Founding of St Augustine Florida

Saint Augustine is on my top ten historic places to visit. I have been there on three occasions and each time I learn something new.

September 8, 1565: The Founding of St. Augustine

September 8, 1565: The Founding of St. Augustine – In March of 1565, Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés y Alonso de la Campa, Comendador of the Holy Cross of Zarza of the Knights of Santiago, Captain-General of the Indies Fleet, Governor of Cuba, is awarded a contract by Felipe II of Spain, appointing him Adelantado (frontier governor) of Florida.

At that time, Spanish Florida consisted of all of North America from the Keys north to Newfoundland and west to some unmapped point. Menéndez’ contract charges him, within three years and without cost to the Crown, to explore, conquer, and colonize the land and begin its conversion to the Holy Faith. When, 10 days after the contract is signed, Felipe II learns of an “illegal” settlement of French Huguenots on today’s St. Johns River - Fort Caroline, under René de Laudonnière - he adds 300 royal soldiers and 15,000 ducats, making the Enterprise of Florida a joint venture.

Spies report that Jean Ribault (a Hugenot) of France is on his way to reinforce the fort, Menéndez sails for Puerto Rico, then, with a force of more than 1,000, up the Gulf Stream to the mouth of the St. Johns. Ribault, however, has won the race for Florida; his ships, too large to cross the bar of the St. Johns, lay at anchor outside the channel. Menéndez encounters the French ships and forces them to flee. He then falls back to the nearest harbor to off-load supplies from his flagship, the great galleon San Pelayo, and has his men fortify the bay-side native Timucuan village of Seloy. There, on September 8, 1565, to the sound of drums, trumpets, and artillery, witnessed by cheering soldados and colonists, as well as mystified natives, Menéndez lands and officially takes possession of Florida in the name of His Most Catholic Majesty, formally establishing the municipality of San Agustín (present-day St. Augustine, FL) as part of the Spanish Empire. The settlement that Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded has survived for 443 years upon its original site.

This 208 foot cross marks the Site of the first Mass in Florida.

Mission of Nombre de Dios and the chapel of Our Lady of La Leche, is the site and grounds of the first Mass in Florida and the First Mission in the New World. It is just moments away from the old Fort Caroline. It may be found here.

Fort Caroline is the site of the First french settlement in Florida. Photos of it may be found here and the Spanish fortress San Marcos here...

Dieu le Roy!


Moshea bat Abraham said...

St. Augustine is one of my favorite vacation spots. Next time you go there, do be sure to visit Zorayda's Castle if you haven't been already.

philippe du plex said...

What about the "French Huguenots on today’s St. Johns River - Fort Caroline, under René de Laudonnière".
I believe they were murdered by Menendez, prompting the not very protestant King of France to send a punitive expedition against the Spaniards. A quite "successful" move ist was...

de Brantigny said...

Absolutely you are half correct. They were prepared for battle, interloping on Spanish territory. The Catholics prisoners were allowed to live.

It was done before the Wars of religion in France. The king probably had no other objective other than removing a cause of friction between his Catholic subjects and his heretic subjects. The Spanish did not care to have them in lands they owed.

Should the colony flourish it would be new lands for theFreanch Crown and failing it would be a bit less friction.
de Brantgny

du.plex said...

Dieu garde les descendants d'Henri, ainsi que ses galants sujets.

de Brantigny said...

Oui! Véritablement Dieu conserve son desendants surtout Louis XX.

Vive Henri