The Acuera Indians inhabited the Timucuan linguistic division of the Muskhogean linguistic family. They lived near the the headwaters of the Ocklawaha River in what is now Florida. Freshwater Indians and the Unita Indians, are some of the related tribes with which the Acuera tribe later intermingled. These tribes were known collectively as the Timucua Indians, after the region in which they were located, although there was a dominant tribe in this confederacy also known singularly as the Timucua tribe.
First European Contact
The Acuera were first mentioned in a letter written by Desoto at Tampa Bay to the civil cabildo of Santiago de Cuba. According to information transmitted to him by his officer Baltazar de Gallegos, Acuera was “a large town where with much convenience we might winter,” but the Spaniards did not in fact pass through it, though, while they were at Ocale, they sent to Acuera for corn.
The name appears later in Laudonniere’s narrative of the second French expedition to Florida, 1564-65 (1586), as a tribe allied with the Utina. It is noted sparingly in later Spanish documents but we learn that in 1604 there was an encounter between these Indians and Spanish troops and that there were two Acuera missions in 1655, San Luis and Santa Lucia, both of which had disappeared by 1680.
The inland position of the Acuera is partly responsible for the few notices of them. The remnant was probably gathered into the “Pueblo de Timucua,” which stood near St. Augustine in 1736, and was finally removed to the Mosquito Lagoon and Halifax River in Volusia County, Florida.