Florida Indians and the Invasion from EuropeFlorida Indians and the Invasion from Europe by Jerald T. Milanich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very thorough book. Covering Florida’s early history, how the Spanish explorers roamed the state, the indian interactions, archaeological evidence found. There is an enormous amount of information set in a very readable format.

I did find an unevenness to it all, though. I found another book I read involving Milnach. It seems to me the unevenness may be caused because of the large amount of details and a tough time arranging it all. This is a minor swipe, but something to bring up if others feel it, too. It’s almost a good reason to set the book aside and come back to it.

A larger concern is the charge that the indians mostly died due to disease. The author at one point points out that there is no “documented evidence” that the indians died of disease, then proceeds to continue leaning on the idea. One minute the author is very concerned about the archaeological backing of presumptions and then tosses evidential concerns aside when writing about the fate of the entire indian population in Florida at the time.

About the wiping out of the indian population, I’m becoming more convinced that, based on documented evidence that a good amount of the indian population was massacred and the rest were enslaved by the thousands and thousands and hauled off the peninsula by the Spanish explorers. Both are touched upon and then quickly run away from. I wonder why.

Overall, this, in being one of the few of it’s kind, is an important book to read involving Florida’s history – just with a wary eye at times.

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