Native Language Unspoken for 200 Years Brought to Life

November’s “3rd on 3rd” at the Amelia Island Museum of History will be presented by Dr. George Aaron Broadwell, chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Florida, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.

His presentation will discuss one of two surviving letters in Timucua, the native language of much of North Florida. The Jesus Maria letter was written in 1651 and is the oldest letter in a Native American language of the United States.

This letter has never been translated, due to lack of sufficient knowledge of the Timucua language. However, using modern linguistic technology, it has recently become possible to translate the Jesus Maria letter for the first time.

This talk describes how it is possible to create a dictionary and grammar of a native language that has not been spoken for at least 200 years and the techniques involved in translating historical documents written in Native American languages.

Attendance is free for members and a suggested donation of $5 for nonmembers. Seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is wheelchair accessible.

The museum is at 233 S. Third St. in Fernandina Beach.

Watch this program remotely at

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