Mission San Francisco de Potano

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Mission San Francisco de Potano (1606-1706) - A Potano Province Spanish mission established by Franciscan friar Martin Prieto in 1606 in present day Alachua County, Florida. Named for St. Francis of Assissi (A.D. 1182-1226). Abandoned in 1706.


Father Martin Prieto established Mission San Francisco de Potano in 1606 along with Mission Santa Ana de Potano, Mission San Miguel de Potano and finally Mission San Buenaventura de Potano. Initially the four missions had an Indian population of about 1200 but a series of epidemics significantly reduced their numbers and caused Mission San Miguel de Potano and Mission San Buenaventura de Potano to close and the survivors to relocate to Mission San Francisco de Potano and Mission Santa Ana de Potano.

The Potano people participated in the Timucuan Rebellion in 1656 and the mission towns were destroyed as the Spanish put down the rebellion. After the rebellion ended the Mission was rebuilt.

During Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) the British in the Carolina colony and their Indian allies systematically waged a war of attrition on the Spanish missions in Florida, attacking and destroying where they could. Nearby Mission Santa Fe de Toloca was destroyed in 1702 and the survivors moved into Mission San Francisco de Potano. By 1706 the Mission San Francisco de Potano was forced to close and the inhabitants relocated east of the St. Johns River. Like other native peoples, the Potano were so reduced by the conflicts and by western diseases that they became extinct soon after.

Current Status

An archaeological site 8AL272 (Fox Pond) in Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Alachua County, Florida

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 294491

Location: Alachua County, Florida.

Maps & Images

Lat: 29.883611 Long: -82.566389

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  • Elevation: 112'



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