The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997

Book Reviews

Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe. By Jerald T. Milanich. (Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 1995. Pp. xi+304. Preface, notes, references,
index. ISBN o-81301-360-7. $29.95, cloth.)
Jerald T. Milanich, curator of archeology in the Department of Anthropology
at the Florida Museum of Natural History and author of twelve books on Florida
archeology, has now written an excellent introductory overview of Florida's in-
digenous peoples and their interaction with Europeans during the often neglect-
ed period from the early sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century. This
book is especially valuable because Milanich is one of the few authors who has
the knowledge and ability to skillfully combine archeological findings with his-
torical data. In doing so, he has provided a clear and concise picture of what oc-
curred in Florida between Ponce de Le6n's first landing in 1513 and the
destruction of the Spanish missions by the English in 1707.
The book, however, is not written in a chronological, narrative form. First,
Milanich describes how scholars can interpret both written documents and
archeological research, and provides a brief overview of the historical archeolo-
gy that has been carried out in Florida since World War II. Using the findings
from these works, he traces the prehistory of Florida in a manner that is easily
understandable to non-archeologists. With the assistance of highly informative
maps, Milanich divides Florida into three sections-northern, central, and
southern-to describe the many indigenous peoples and the state of their vari-
ous cultures at the time of the European "invasion." The author also employs
the techniques of historical archeology to describe the Spanish and French ex-
perience in Florida; exploration, settlement, missionary expansion, and, finally,
the Spanish retreat to Saint Augustine following Queen Anne's War. The final
two of eleven chapters specifically deal with the Indians' disastrous interaction
with the Spaniards in the missions that were established in northern Florida.
Once again, Milanich does not employ a chronological narrative, choosing in-
stead to provide a general look at how the missions functioned, and how the
material lives of the native peoples were altered through contact with the
priests.
Basically, what Milanich has done in this work is introduce the reader to a
colonial history of Florida that includes Indians as well as Europeans, while at
the same time providing an introduction to the uses of historical archeology. Oc-
casionally, the author will cite specific cases in which the use of both types of evi-
dence either has solved mysteries-such as the discovery of two mission systems
in the province of Timucua-or has created one that has yet to be resolved-
whether or not Apalachee Indians were resettled in Timucua after its depopula-
tion. These interesting items serve to make this a highly informative and
enjoyable work, aimed, however, more at readers who are unfamiliar with Flori-
da's colonial past than at experts in the field.

1996

117

University of West Florida

F. TODD SMITH

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/. Accessed December 27, 2014.