CHIEF TUSKALOOSA shows the riches of Alabama to HERNANDO DeSOTO
In 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto entered what is now Alabama. Word went out among the Native tribes that he was coming. It was known that he took chiefs captive and burned villages and murdered many. There were then 4 main tribal groups in Alabama-- Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw; De Soto would meet them all. The Maubilians, who were later considered part of the Choctaws, were in southwestern Alabama, near what is now Mobile; indeed, the name of Mobile is derived from their name. To view a larger version of the picture of Tuskaloosa and Hernando De Soto, click here; use your browser's BACK button to return to this page.
The Chief of the Maubilians was Tuskaloosa, impressive for his size and nobilty, he was nearly 7 feet tall, and known for being a great leader. When Tuskaloosa heard of the approach of De Soto, he went out to meet the Spaniard and invited him to visit his village, Maubilia. All along the way, Tuskaloosa pointed out the beauty and riches of his homeland but De Soto is not impressed; he is seeking gold and only that. What he doesn't realize is that Tuskaloosa has arranged an ambush. When they arrive at the village, De Soto and his men were attacked by the Natives. A horrendous battle ensued. At the end, De Soto and his men were lucky to escape. They ran away into the deep forest and were never as strong as before that event. A year later they made their way to the banks of a huge river, the Mississippi River. Hernando De Soto took a fever and died there. His men buried him and moved on. Tuskaloosa and some of his people left their ravaged village and made their way north to live at the falls near what is now the town of Tuscaloosa. The river known as the Black Warrior River is named to honor Tuskaloosa.
Notes4U: In early fall in Alabama, thousands, maybe more, of Monarch Butterflies pass on their migration path to Mexico; if you are lucky to be at or near the Gulf of Mexico, you will see them; it is a marvelous sight. Find in the picture native things: a glorious Painted Bunting, Coral snake, beware, danger in a beautiful package; golden Coreopsis, Indian Pinks, Joe Pye Weed as tall as me! And the Ferns that have been here forever.
Illustrations and stories by Carol Middleton 1998, 1999,
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