A recently rediscovered archeological report, published as a letter to the editor in the Dec. 24, 1869, edition of the Bristol News (a precursor of the Bristol Herald Courier), serves as the earliest confirmation of the long-known Spanish presence in this region in the 16th century – and of the story of conquistadors attacking Yuchi Indians in Virginia in 1567.
Thirty years ago, archeological evidence for that Spanish presence was found at the site of Fort San Juan at Morganton, N.C., 75 miles due south of Saltville, Va. Some call that site "The first lost colony," referring to its being two decades older than the failed settlement of Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 on the Carolina coast.
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Jim Glanville is a retired professor who lives in Blacksburg, Va. He holds a doctorate degree in chemistry and frequently speaks about the history of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee, including a couple presentations at the Bristol Public Library.