Tocobaga people

Tocobaga people

The pre-discovery inhabitants of the Fort De Soto Park region. The Tocobaca tribe was a large relatively peaceful people until Spanish explorers reached the shores. At first the Spanish explorers and the Tocabaga people lived in peace then the settlers came and war was inevitable when the newly appointed governor Pánfilo de Narváez in around 1528 vowed to rid Florida of all the natives. He sent 5 ships out with 300 men to do the dirty deed but they only drove the natives inland. Almost all his men perished trying to return to the ships.
Then in 1539 explorer Hernando de Soto landed on the Tampa bay shores. Only to find a few small villages along the shores. The story goes that the Tocobaga people over the next few decades were decimated by diseases brought by the Spanish. From 1567-1612 the Tobobaga people were raided by Spanish troops and defeated.
Over the next century they were converted to Christianity by missionaries and those that were not were slaughtered by troops. At this time there were only a few villages left.
When the Spanish gave up their Florida claim to the English in 1763 they retreated to Cuba and took many Tocobaga with them. At this time The Tocobaga Nation sadly ceased to exist.



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