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The Exploration, Discovery, and Colonization of Mobile Bay PowerPoint Presentation
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The Exploration, Discovery, and Colonization of Mobile Bay

The Exploration, Discovery, and Colonization of Mobile Bay

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The Exploration, Discovery, and Colonization of Mobile Bay

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  1. The Exploration, Discovery, and Colonization of Mobile Bay From Its Beginnings Until 1711

  2. First Inhabitants • The first inhabitants…natives • hunter-gatherers…developed more complex ways of living • eventually developed canoes and boats…better use the bay area’s resources

  3. First Inhabitants • Mobile Bay’s natives made contact with other cultures • Natives include people from the Mississippi Valley and the upper Mobile River system

  4. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Some legends have Columbus making a hasty cruise of the northern shores of the Gulf…not taken very seriously…Columbus’s movements have been so well-documented. • Legends also have Amerigo Vespucci sailing into Mobile Bay after mooring briefly at Dauphin Island in 1497…improbable.

  5. Exploration of Mobile Bay • more plausible…numerous unknown navigators came to the Gulf Coast & came back with wonderful reports to the mapmakers. • adventurers referred to this bay as Bahia del Espiritu Santoor Bay of the Holy Spirit. • Bay…deep and wide… also capable of protecting many ships from the winds of the gulf. • teeming with many interesting animals.

  6. Exploration of Mobile Bay • It’s not known whether or not this Bay of the Holy Spirit was actually Mobile Bay, Galveston Bay, or Pensacola Bay.

  7. Exploration of Mobile Bay • More famous explorers rumored to have made voyages to Mobile…including Juan Ponce de Leon and Diego de Miruelo. • Miruelo discovered Pensacola Bay in 1516 • early maps bear his name • likely that he explored the Bay of Mobile at this time too

  8. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Francisco de Garay, governor of Jamaica, orders Alonso Alvarez de Pineda to explore the northern gulf of Ponce de Leon’s bay • Pineda came back with the most information anyone ever had on the northern Gulf Coast. • Probably visits Mobile Bay, Pensacola Bay, and Galveston Bay • Still uncertain which one was meant to be Bahia del Espiritu Santo.

  9. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Pineda and his men spent 40 days in a large Indian village close to the Gulf Coast • They found them friendly and willing to trade.

  10. Exploration of Mobile Bay • next major explorer to come near Mobile Bay…Hernando de Soto. • De Soto…one of the New World’s most successful explorers • organizing a new expedition to La Florida with approval from the Spanish crown.

  11. Exploration of Mobile Bay • De Soto left for Florida in 1539. • From near what is now Tallahassee, de Soto sent out ships led by Francisco Maldonado to search for the Bahia del Espiritu Santo and other waterways. • In the meantime, de Soto headed south toward the bay where Maldonado should have been waiting.

  12. Exploration of Mobile Bay • De Soto ran into Tascalusa, a representative of a native group, while following a major river above Mobile Bay • De Soto asks Tascalusa for lots of things…women, food, services, labor, and information. • Tasculusa objects but eventually gives in and agreed to deliver them at Mauvilla, a small fortified village downstream

  13. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Tascalusa led them down the Alabama River to Mauvilla where a fight broke out. • Mauvilla is burned; 3,000 natives are burned. • Tascalusa is considered dead, but may have escaped into the forest.

  14. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Morale is crushed for de Soto’s expedition. • takes a month to get his expedition back on track. • lose equipment and valuables in the fight with Tascalusa’s natives. • has to change course and go north, eventually costs him his life and 200 of his men.

  15. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Twenty years later…Tristan de Luna was commissioned by New Spain to explore the lands that de Soto and Maldonado had explored and establish colonies • Luna left Veracruz in 1559 with over 1,000 colonists to attempt to colonize La Florida • He had a fleet of 13 ships and arrived on the Gulf Coast in mid-July.

  16. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Luna unloaded at Mobile Bay, and then left going east looking for de Soto’s Ochuse (Pensacola Bay). De Luna • Luna moved his colony to Nanipicana after a hurricane struck the Gulf Coast near Santa Rosa Island soon after arriving. • Found food supplies easier at Nanipicana forced this quick move.

  17. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Because of unfriendly natives, especially because of de Soto’s legacy, Luna was forced to move back to the gulf. • Luna moved his colonists back to Bahia Filipina (Mobile Bay, including Dauphin Island). • Starvation & lack of help caused anger… Luna left and went back to Spain.

  18. Exploration of Mobile Bay • For well over a century after Luna’s disastrous expedition, the northern Gulf Coast saw no “official expeditions.” • Late 1600’s…France, England, and Spain begin to make plans to come to the Gulf Coast

  19. Exploration of Mobile Bay • French explorer Cavelier de La Salle moved down the Mississippi River and claimed the entire Mississippi Valley for France • His follow up mission in 1684 ended in disaster… • Spain sent out a new expedition to search for his colony.

  20. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Spain…looking for the ports of Mobile & Pensacola before the French could locate and claim them • February 1686---Juan Jordan de Reina was at Mobile and Pensacola Bays • May 1687---Martin de Rivas and Antonio de Irarte also arrived at Mobile Bay

  21. Exploration of Mobile Bay • Because of all of these expeditions, the Spanish became determined to fortify one of the Gulf ports • Between 1690 and 1692, King Carlos II, commissioned cartographer Carlos de Siguenze y Gongora to do a thorough investigation of the two bays to determine which one was better to fortify.

  22. Exploration of Mobile Bay • 1693---Siguenza y Gongora arrives on the Gulf Coast to make his maps and recommendations • determines Pensacola Bay is better site for a fort because of its greater depth and narrower entrance • King Carlos II orders Pensacola to be occupied with fortress to be built

  23. Exploration of Mobile Bay • French… already claimed everything west of the Mississippi River. • After the Spanish reported Pensacola’s merit as a port, New France’s greatest naval hero, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville was sent to the gulf ports.

  24. Exploration of Mobile Bay • 1698---Iberville went to Pensacola Bay to find the Spanish were already there, albeit for only a few weeks. • Iberville then went on to Dauphin Island, naming it Massacre Island because of the number of bones he found in ceremonial mounds. Dauphin Island

  25. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Iberville also explored the entrance to Mobile Bay • eventually went west toward the Pascagoula River…settling on building his fort at the Biloxi Bay • Iberville built Fort Maurepas, sailed back to France and left his most capable lieutenant, Jean de Sauvole in charge of the of the new fort.

  26. Colonization of Mobile Bay • 1700---Iberville returns to the Gulf region. • Biloxi Bay did not serve France’s long-range goals • It could not harbor many ships. • There was not a large river that gave access to the interior lands.

  27. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Mobile Bay offered both of these advantages. • Charles Levasseur explored the river basin in 1700 under orders from Jean de Sauvole. • The river allowed entrance to the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers and other tributaries. • allowed them access to native groups as the Mobile, the Alabama, the Grand, and Little Tomeh. • groups could help them hold back the English from Carolina and the Spanish from Florida.

  28. Colonization of Mobile Bay • September 29,1701---Iberville’s orders from the French court were clear… • transfer the fort from Biloxi Bay to the Mobile River • establish a town site for a capital • prepare for extensive colonization

  29. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Iberville learned that Jean de Sauvole had perished at Pensacola a few months earlier at Fort Maurepas • he ordered his younger brother Jean Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville to begin making the preparations to transfer men and supplies from Fort Maurepas to Massacre Island

  30. Colonization of Mobile Bay • January 13, 1702---Bienville, Levasseur, and Joseph Le Moyne de Serigny (Bienville and Iberville’s brother) traveled up the Mobile River 38 miles • decide to build the fort just below Nannahubba Bluff. • would be similar in size in shape as Fort Maurepas and be called Fort Louis after the Sun King.

  31. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Iberville arrived in early March after inspecting the port of Massacre Island and a warehouse at Dog River. The fort was near completion. Fort Louis

  32. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Before leaving to return to France, Iberville participated in a peace conference with the Choctaw and Chickasaw people. • Iberville felt this was imperative to founding a capital for Louisiana. • The state of peace or Pax Gallica was risky for Iberville…meant sending one of his best men, Henri de Tonti into unexplored territory.

  33. Colonization of Mobile Bay • de Tonti went on a 3 week journey through Choctaw and Chickasaw villages…able to get the most important chieftains to come back to Mobile for a conference. • Iberville used his wits as a diplomat and military man…he threatened and gave gifts to appease them and hold the English at bay for a while.

  34. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Iberville left the colony a few days later with his 22 year old brother , Bienville, in charge. • Eventually it would become known that the fledgling colony would need more help than was first thought.

  35. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Factional strife soon begins • On one side…Bienvillists…his brothers and other Canadians, the most experienced and important of the settlers. • On the other side…Nicolas de La Salle…aFrench bureaucrat…he was the commissary of the capital and had the support of the court and the seminary priests

  36. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Mobile was added as a parish by the bishop of Quebec , Jean-Baptiste de La Croix de Chevrieres de Saint-Vallier on July 20, 1703. • Henri Rolleaux de La Vente was nominated as the pastor for the diocese. • Shortly after arriving, he sided with Commissary La Salle.

  37. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Saint Vallier had two main goals • settling the colony • providing spiritual guidance to the colonists. • Mobile’s new pastor, La Vente, came over aboard the Pelican along with 23 eligible young girls and the well-known Mississippi River explorer Pierre Le Suere, who would serve as Mobile’s first judge.

  38. Colonization of Mobile Bay • The Pelican encountered yellow fever when it entered Havana. • The ship left the port without Le Sueur… dangerously ill. • Most of the people on the ship were desperately ill by the time they reached Massacre Island.

  39. Colonization of Mobile Bay • The Pelican brought with it yellow fever to Massacre Island. • Henri de Tonti and Charles Levasseur took ill with the disease and died soon after the Pelican landed. • Yellow fever also hit the native groups in the region very hard.

  40. Colonization of Mobile Bay • Marriages at this time gave way to some important families in the area. • With supply ships and the absence of major diseases, the colony was flourishing.

  41. Colonization of Mobile Bay • The founder Mobile and first governor of French Louisiana, Iberville, was planning his return to the colony with lots of new supplies. • He stopped off in Havana on the way and died of yellow fever…he was buried in the Church of San Cristobal.

  42. Final Burial for Iberville LeMoyne

  43. Colonization of Mobile • The death of Iberville was a setback for the colony • he was the Louisiana governor • the strongest voice in France at the court at King Louis XIV. • It also meant that the colonists did not receive the long-awaited supplies • This caused more problems to occur between the Bienvillists and those who sided with La Salle and La Vente.

  44. Colonization of Mobile • La Salle and La Vent accused Bienville of using the colonies’ supplies to reward his cronies, being corrupt, and incompetent. • In return, Bienville accused them of treason and impudence (pure rudeness) for lodging their complaints with Spanish authorities! • Bienville was also angered because they were sending back word to France to by every ship that left out of Mobile…

  45. Colonization of Mobile • The complaints do make it to the French court. • By spring of 1707, Pontchartrain believed that Iberville and his brother, Serigny, had not worked in the best interest of the colony. • Now, two senior officials were lodging complaints of the same type.

  46. Colonization of Mobile • Pontchartrain decided to send a new governor…his choice was Nicolas Daneau De Muy. • Jean-Baptiste Martin Dartaguiette D’Iron was to accompany the governor to assist him in auditing the account books in an impartial investigation.

  47. Colonization of Mobile • Governor De Muy, became ill outside Havana and died. • Dartaguiette continued on to Mobile and was greeted with respect by La Salle and Bienville. • Dartaguiette immediately began his investigation of Bienville even though he had no real power to arrest or indict…only investigate and report.

  48. Colonization of Mobile • The king ordered Bienville to remove the Canadians from the payroll…he did not. • Pontchartrain sent orders by way of Dartaguiette to get rid of them immediately. • The Canadians did leave…though not happily. • With Daraguiette, the factional strife did get much better.

  49. Colonization of Mobile • The Alabama tribe attacked and burned the Mobile Indians villages…probably goaded by the English traders in the area. • The Mobile Indians were able to defend themselves because of the muskets and ammunition that were supplied to them by the French.

  50. Colonization of Mobile • This attack reminds Bienville of the need to renovate the fort. • It’s now 1709, and the fort is in disrepair again. • He wants to use bricks and mortar to fix it. • This brings up an issue that’s been “under the surface” all along…the location of the town.