Don Patricio de Hinachuba and Companions, April 28, 1706, St. Augustine

Names:                 Don Patricio de Hinachuba (Cacique of Ivitachuco, Apalachee)

                             Don Andres (Apalachee)

                             Cacique Stanislaus (Apalachee),

Date:                    April 28, 1706

Place:                   St. Augustine

Great Indian chief of the Apalachee mission at Ibitachuco, Don Patricio was a truly remarkable man in our nation’s history.  In his lifetime, he was known for his holiness, integrity and charity. Loved and respected by Indian and Spanish alike, he was called “Cacique of the Poor” (Chief of the Poor).  

He corresponded with both King Charles II and King Philip V about Spanish mistreatment of the Indians – and became known as ‘pen pal of the King’.  He was the defender of the Indians. Once, when Spanish Sergeant Ruy López struck a young child in his tribe for playing too noisily, Don Patricio led the boy and his family and his people to the home of the Spanish sergeant. Don Patricio addressed him,

 “[“] Sergeant, you must ask forgiveness to God Father and to all these Indian converts [who are] in front of me for I am their cacique. [ ”]

And the Sergeant said to him that he did not know cause or motive for which he should ask God for forgiveness, and asked why he should do so. And Don Patricio then gave him [the] answer [:] [“] because you struck God and must ask forgiveness to Him who is in the heavens. [”] But then he made the reply [,] the said Sergeant [,] to tell him that he was crazy because he had never struck God and that God cannot be struck.

  And at this Don Patricio put his hand on the shoulder of the said Sergeant and told him[:] [“] you did strike a blow to God because you struck this boy and because of     that you have to ask for forgiveness to this boy and his family who is here in front and to the other Indians and to me because I am their Cacique and Enija because       we are all Christians of the same Catholic faith. Because Jesus Christ said that it must be allowed for the children to approach him and not to be struck like you did.      And he also said that all evil done to one of these little ones was done to Him and because of that you gave a blow to God our Lord and must request forgiveness. [ ”]

And the said Sergeant Ruy López in this circumstance asked forgiveness to God and the boy.”

A group of Creek assailants arrived in St. Augustine before sunrise on April 28, 1706 to attack the surrounding missions “they can cause some damage that will satisfy their allies the English, who are enemies of the faith.” Two elderly Indian chiefs confronted them and were seized: Don Patricio and his good friend and senior chief of Mission San Luis, Don Andres “a good Catholic of daily prayer.”

The Creek Indian chief placed a cross before them

“and told them to spit on it and then break it into pieces, and to throw the pieces to the fire to make a big bonfire with it, and  that  if  they  didn’t  do that of  their  own  accord, then  they  themselves  would  be  spat  on,  and their  arms  and  legs  torn  apart,  and then  burned  in  a  big  bonfire  that  they  were  going  to  light  in order to throw them in it and cause their death. But the aforesaid senior chiefs, or Enijas, whose names were Don Patricio and Don Andrés, didn’t give the least sign of fear for the said Creek, because they are men of integrity and confidence for their example and worthy condition, …

because the only fear they had was the fear of God our Lord, they struck them with their clubs until they broke all their bones, so that they could no longer remain standing, and said: “ Since you didn’t want to leave the Cross or spit on it, we will now strike you to death and spit on you to mock [your religion] and to fill you with shame, and we do this in front of this Cross, and just as we told you to spit on it and burn it, at this time both of you are spat on and stricken with clubs, and you will now undergo a painful death, because we [will] burn you in the same bonfire as we will burn said Cross.”

In order to “kill them twice” however, since Don Patricio and Don Andres were still alive after beating them with axes and clubs, the Creek dragged the two 

Apalachee Indian chiefs to the river and thrust their heads in the water to drown them and then they threw them upon the bonfire

“even Don Patricio would say that for a short while of pain and death they would reach life eternal beside God in heaven, and that this was the reason they had no fear, but haste, because they wanted to be very soon together with God our Lord.  And this what the said Don Patricio kept repeating, and Don Andrés would not complain, and when the said Don Patricio spoke, when he finished he [i.e. Don Andrés] would say, “Amen, Amen.”  And thus they both suffered, but they died without denying their faith.”