Locations of Utina, Paticos and Allicamani Offer Further

Evidence Fort Caroline on Altamaha River

By Gary C. Daniels, LostWorlds.org, TheNewWorld.us
Written May 16, 2014; Revised January 13, 2017

Three Indian tribes that the French interacted with on the May River provide
further evidence that the Altamaha River was one-in-the-same as the May. These
villages were Utina, Patica, and Alecamani. All are shown on maps dating back to at
least 1591 as being on the same river system as French Fort Caroline. Only the state
of Georgia is known to have had three such tribes.

Utina & Paticos

It is widely accepted by archaeologists and historians that a tribe called the
Utinahica lived along the western portion of the Altamaha River.1 A search for a
Spanish mission to this tribe, called the Mission Santa Isabel de Utinahica, is
currently being conducted by the Fernbank Museum along the Altamaha.2 One
possible location for this mission is at the Sansavilla Bluffs region along the
Altamaha River.3 Archaeologists have found a large quantity of Spanish artifacts
dating to the mission period at this location. It is thought the name Sansavilla is a
corrupted form of Sans Ysavella (Santa Isabel). Although at present it is not believed
that this is the location of the original Santa Isabel Mission but a later version when
the Utinahica moved down river to escape raids from hostile tribes.4

But this begs the question: if the Utina lived near the St. John’s River in Florida why
would the Spanish have built a mission for them on the Altamaha River in Georgia?

Additionally, in William Bartram’s account of his travels among the Muscogee tribe
in Georgia in 1774 he notes that the Muscogees:

“…never ceased war against the numerous and potent bands of
Indians who then surrounded and cramped the English
plantations, as the Savannas, Ogeeches, Wapoos, Santees, Yamasees,
Utinas, Icosans, Paticos, and others until they extirpated them.”5

The Savannas lived along the Savannah River, the river that serves as the boundary
between South Carolina and Georgia. The Ogeeches lived along the Ogeechee River,
the first major river south of the Savannah River in Georgia. It is unknown who the
Wapoos were but the Santees, also known as the Sattees6, likely lived along the
Satilla River which is south of the Ogeechee River. (An 1823 map shows this river
named Santila River. Since the Santee were also known as the Sattee, this likely
explains why the river was known as both the Santi-la and Sati-la River.)

This evidence reveals that Bartram was describing Georgia tribes living along
Georgia rivers. He next lists Yamasees, another known Georgia tribe, and the Utinas,

likely one-in-the-same as Utinahica. (Hica means “village”7 thus Utinahica simply
means Utina village.) It stands to reason that the last two tribes, Icosans, and
Paticos, were also Georgia tribes.

The French recorded two of these tribes, the Utina and Patico, as living near Fort
Caroline. First the Utina:

“They made known by signs that the soldier who was sought was not
there but presently was at the home of King Molona, a vassal of
another great king, identified by them as Olata Ouae Outina.”8

Next, the Patico:

“Their sail was no sooner discovered along our coast than a king of
the place, named Patica, living eight leagues distant from our fort and
one of my good allies, sent an Indian to tell me that he had discovered
a ship along the coast and that he believed it to be of our nation.”9

The 1591 map Floridae Americae Provinciae Recens10 by Le Moyne, Fort Caroline’s
resident artist, was the first to show these locations in association with the fort.

Detail from 1591 map showing Carolina (Fort Caroline) and Patica.

Detail from 1591 map showing Utina (top left), Carolina (Fort Caroline) & Patica (bottom right.)

In addition to the coastal Patica, Le Moyne’s map also shows the Utina living up the
May River near a tribe called the Patchica (Pati-hica?), again likely associated with
Laudonniere’s Patica and Bartram’s Paticos.

The 1625 map Florida et Regions Vicinae shows the Utina living up the River of May
near the Patiqua, likely one-in-the-same as Bartram’s Paticos and Laudonniere’s

1639 map shows Utina near Patiqua and upriver from Allicamani.

(Native American town names often ended in the following suffixes: -cua, -koa, -qua,
-quah. All four are pronounced the same. Sometimes these were shortened to –co
and –ka/-ca. Thus Patiqua would be the same as Patico or Patica. The –ica suffix
could also be a shortened form of –hica. Regardless, all these suffixes indicate the
same thing: “village.”)

Since Bartram placed the Utina and Paticos in Georgia this provides further
evidence that these maps are representations of the Altamaha River in Georgia and
not the St. Johns River in Florida.

After conquering Fort Caroline, the Spanish changed the names of both the fort and
river to San Mateo. They then set out to meet the Utina. According to Spanish
accounts they travelled 20 leagues (52 miles) up the May/San Mateo River from
Fort Caroline/Fort San Mateo and then walked another 5 leagues (13.1 miles) to
reach Utina:

"Up to this time Menendez had never navigated upstream on the San
Mateo River. He now did so, and ascended this river for upwards of
fifty leagues with the intention of establishing friendly relations with
the various caciques. He went ashore after he had covered a
distance of twenty leagues. He then set out cross-country with the
aid of a compass and walked five leagues across some very fine
plains, all in the land of the cacique Aotina."11

According to the “Altamaha River State Canoe Guide12,” fifty two river miles upriver
from the proposed site of Fort Caroline near modern-day 2-Way Fish Camp in
Darien, GA would bring one to Johnston Station Landing located where Highway 84
crosses the Altamaha River. This is the location of Doctortown formerly called Aleck
Town. (Aleck means “doctor” in the Muskogean language.) It was also here that the
important Native American road called the Alachua Trail crossed the Altamaha
River. (Alachua = Aleck-cua or Aleck Village?)

Le Moyne's map showed that Utina was located in the center of a crescent-shaped
lake. Are there any crescent-shaped lakes 13.1 miles from Aleck Town? Twelve and
a half miles north east of this location between Ludowici and Allenhurst is a
crescent-shaped lake called Goose Pond (although satellite views show this lake has
almost dried up today.) This is very close to the Spanish estimate of 13.1 miles.
Could this lake be the one Le Moyne drew on his maps as the location of the Utina? It
is also only 16 miles from Sansavilla Bluff, a possible location of the Santa Isabel de
Utinahica mission.

Le Moyne’s map shows Utina located inside crescent lake near Patchica

Map showing two possible Utina locations in relationship to Doctortown and Sansavilla Bluff.

Although this site appears to fit Menendez’s travel itinerary the best another
possibility exists nineteen miles north of this location where lies another crescentshaped lake northeast of Glennville on the Fort Stewart Military Reservation. This
distance is somewhat greater than the 13.1 miles the Spanish claimed but if one
travels upriver several more miles and disembarks it is precisely 13.7 miles to the
center of the crescent-shaped lake. (See Google map entitled “Utina-Alecamani Map”
at http://goo.gl/maps/4KioU).

Unfortunately, no archaeological work has ever been done at either of these two
locations to determine if an Indian village was located there. In the Spring of 2014 I
participated with the Fort Caroline Archaeology Project in scouting a potential Utina
site west of Glennville, Georgia. TFCAP’s archaeologist did shovel tests at the site but
the results were negative. Neither of the two sites listed above were tested at that


The Allecamany is the third tribe which helps locate Fort Caroline on the Altamaha
River. The French leader at Fort Caroline, Laudonniere, noted:

“…six Indians arrived from the land of Chief Allicamany…they spoke of
the amiable alliance that Allicamany wished to enter into with me.”13

Allicamany is composed of two root words: allic + amany. As previously noted, allic
means “doctor” in the Muskogean language of the Creek Indians. Yet amany has no
translation in Creek. It does translate in Siouan, however. Mani means “walk” and
amani means “to walk toward on or over, to walk toward for a purpose.”14 Thus
Alecamani could mean “to walk towards Aleck (Town).” Or simply, “the way to
Aleck.” The fact this tribe’s name is translatable in Siouan suggests Allicamany was a
Siouan tribe related to the Santee on the Satilla River to the south and Ogeechees on
the Ogeechee River to the north.

Le Moyne’s 1591 map shows Alecamany (curiously misspelled Alimacani like the
Spanish) at the mouth of the May River on the north side. Other maps such as the
1625 Florida et Regions Vicinae show the Alecamani upriver from the mouth and
downriver from the Utina just before the first fork of the May River.

The first major fork in the Altamaha upriver from Fort Caroline is at Doctor’s Creek
(Aleck Creek?). Doctor’s Creek is a substantial creek system with two of its branches
coming within two miles of the crescent-shaped lake I believe has the strongest
possibility of being the location of Utina. Five miles downriver from Doctor’s Creek
is Alex Creek (Aleck Creek?) Seven miles further downriver is Sansavilla Bluff where
the abundance of Spanish artifacts were found as well as evidence of a longstanding
Native American settlement. An additional eight miles downriver is an island named
Aleck Island. (Aleck Island is located just 14 miles upstream from my proposed site

for Fort Caroline.) These Aleck place names are situated in the same area where the
1625 map places Alecamani.

The Creek Nation controlled this area until 1766 when they relinquished ownership
to the British and moved further upriver. A 1769 survey map shows their new
village was identified as “Doctor Town an Indian Settlement.” Thus Doctor
Town/Aleck Town was clearly a Creek Indian settlement as its name suggested. If
the Alecamani were Siouan they likely resided downriver from these Aleck place
names. Le Moyne’s map shows Alecamani at the mouth of the river while other
maps place them further upriver. This suggests Alecamani (Way to Aleck) was a
province with many villages from the mouth of the Altamaha River up to the
Muskogean town of Aleck. The chief of this province was Satouriona (Sati-uriona?)
which supports the idea this was a Siouan tribe since Sati was another name for

Doctortown and the Fevertree

The Muskogean aleck or “doctor” was the most prominent placename on the lower
section of the Altamaha River. Both the name of a major trading path, the Alachua
Trail, and rival tribe, Alecamani, seem to point travelers to this location. According
to researchers, “The Alachua Trail, a north-south route for Indians and other
travelers, was well known in the colonial period of America, a fact pointing to long
aboriginal use. It started at the Altamaha River in Georgia and continued to the
Alachua Lands around Micanopy, Florida.”15 William Bartram traveled this trail and
said it went as far north as Virginia. So what was so valuable at Aleck Town that
Native Americans would travel so far to get?

A French resident of Fort Caroline sent a letter home which might answer this
question. He noted that a variety of cinchona tree grew near the fort. The cinchona is
a tree that only grows in the Andes region of South America and is the source for
quinine, a cure for malaria. Coincidentally, William Bartram discovered a relative of
the cinchona called the Georgia bark or fevertree growing near Doctortown. More
importantly, the current range of this tree is limited to the rivers and coast of
Georgia. The tree doesn’t grow in the area of the St. John’s River where academics
believe Fort Caroline was located.

So not only does this provide further evidence that the Altamaha was the location of
Fort Caroline but it also explains why Aleck was such a prominent place name.
Fevertree bark was a powerful medicine that could save lives and it only grew in a
limited area of south Georgia including at Aleck Town (Doctor Town.) This explains
why both a major trading path, the Alachua Trail, and neighboring Indian province,
Alecamani, were directing travelers to this location.


Two of the tribes the French reported living near Fort Caroline, the Patica and Utina,
were said to live in Georgia by William Bartram. No independent accounts of these
tribes living on the St. John’s River have ever been made. The placename aleck which
was part of the name of another tribe recorded near Fort Caroline, has an extensive
history on the Altamaha River but none on the St. John’s River. And the medicinal
plant that’s the raison detre for this placename, the Georgia bark or fevertree, grows
on the Altamaha but not the St. John’s.

It seems clear that the Patica, Alecamani and Utina were situated on the Altamaha
River in the exact same locations where French maps placed them on the May River.
This provides more evidence that the Altamaha and River of May are one-in-thesame.


1 “Utinahica.” Wikipedia.org. Accessed online 16 May 2014 at <
2 “The Santa Isabel de Utinahica Project.” FernbankMuseum.org. Accessed online 16
May 2014 at < http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/research-collections/the-santaisabel-de-utinahica-project/>.
3 Elliot, Dan. “Sansavilla Bluf: Survey at the Crossroads of the Colonial Georgia
Frontier.” LAMAR Institute. Accessed online 13 January 2017 at <
4 Worth, John. “The Early 17th Century Locations of Tama and Utinahica.” Historic
Indian Period Archaeology of the Georgia Coastal Plain. University of Georgia, p. A-5.
Accessed online 13 January 2017 at <
5 Bartram, William. “Settlements and Migrations of the Muscogulges.” in Hernando
de Soto and Florida. Edited by Barnard Shipp, Philadelphia. 1881: p.642.
6 Daniels, Gary C. “Dakota Sioux Once Lived in Georgia?” LostWorlds.org. Accessed
online 13 January 2017 at < http://lostworlds.org/dakota-sioux-lived-georgia/>.
7 Anthony, Piers. Tatham Mound. p.502
8 Laudonniere, Rene. Three Voyages. p.76.
9 Laudonniere, Rene. Three Voyages. pp. 102-103.
10 Le Moyne, Jacques. Floridae Americae Provinciae Recens & exactissima descriptio
Auctore Iacobo le Moyne cui cognomen de Morgues, Qui Laudonnierum. Frankfurt,
1591. Accessed online 13 January 2017 at <
11 Barrientos, Bartolome. Pedro Menendez de Aviles: Founder of Florida. p.115.
12 “Altamaha River State Canoe Guide.” AltamahaRiver.org. Accessed online 16 May
2014 at < http://www.altamahariver.org/map2012.pdf>.
13 Laudonniere, Rene. Three Voyages. p.89.

14 Lakota Dictionary Online. Lakotadictionary.org. Accessed online 7 January 2017 at
15 “Alachua Trail.” KingsleyLake.org. Accessed online 13 January 2017 at