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But the coming of the Europeans—as well as intruding native raiders, such as the Comanche, Tonkawa, and Apache—triggered devastating cultural upheaval and movement among coastal native groups.

Some were pressured southward into the traditional territories of other native groups, others forced into slavery, and others enticed or coerced into Spanish missions.

During the Historic period, sickness and diseases brought by Spanish missionaries and French traders devastated entire villages.

To cite only a few examples, the mission Atakapans were stricken twice by disease in the 1750s, while Karankawas suffered a "devastating scourge" of measles and/or smallpox in 1766.

Some tried to resist, either by force, or by passive means, such as "visiting," rather than living at, missions to obtain food as the need arose. In the case of Indians of the Rio Grande delta in the early 1500s, resistence to a Spanish expedition armed with cannons and crossbows is a remarkable story of strategy and wile —and was repeated successfully on three subsequent occasions.

The Spaniards left, but, ultimately, others came in their place. Native attempts to hold their lands were futile in the face of the larger, better-armed populations carrying trade goods and disease.

Metal points made of iron scrap found near the site of the circa 1820s Spanish post, Fort Lipantitlan.

Last modified 24-Nov-2019 15:31