When Juan Ponce de León sailed into the mouth of the Miami River in 1513, he encountered a large Tequesta Indian village.
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés attempted to convert the Tequesta to Christianity, establishing a short lived mission at the village in 1567. Another failed mission was established there in 1743. The Spanish could not persuade the Tequesta to abandon their ancient belief system.
The native people of Florida were almost completely wiped out by unfamiliar diseases brought by the Europeans.