Group Title: Florida : from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative
Title: Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025122/00003
 Material Information
Title: Florida from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative
Physical Description: xii, 204 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Coker, William S
Shofner, Jerrell H., 1929-
Morris, Joan Perry, 1935-
Malone, Myrtle Davidson
Publisher: Pioneer Publications
Place of Publication: Houston Tex. (12345 Jones Rd. Suite 103 Houston 77070-4843)
Publication Date: c1991
 Subjects
Subject: Industries -- Florida   ( lcsh )
History -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-203) and index.
Statement of Responsibility: by William S. Coker and Jerrell H. Shofner ; Joan Perry Morris, photo editor ; edited by Myrtle D. Malone.
Funding: Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025122
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Board of Trustees of the University of Florida on behalf of authors and contributors. All rights reserved.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001747568
oclc - 25790765
notis - AJG0402
lccn - 91066897

Full Text





Chapter 3
Frenchmen and Spaniards in La Florida, 1562-1600


A number of French expeditions
to the Atlantic coasts of North and
South America preceded French
efforts to establish a colony in La
Florida. The Spaniards reacted as
might be expected to intrusions
upon lands that they claimed as
their own colonies. Spanish interest
in La Florida was revived in the
mid-1550s, in part because of
French activities in the Caribbean
French colonists and soldiers talking to a
and rumors that France planned to Timucuan chief.
plant a colony on the Florida coast.
In particular, the Spanish Crown had to worry about protecting its treasure
fleet. The ships of this fleet, carrying silver from Mexico and Peru, used the
Gulf Stream along the Florida coast to help them make a quick journey back
to Spain. The Gulf Stream, a kind of river current flowing in the sea, pushed
the ships along. But it also took them close to the east coast of Florida (and
to any enemy ships that might be lying in wait for them there).

France: Catholic versus Protestant

Some historians have emphasized the religious conflict in France, Catholic
versus Protestant (Huguenot), as the motivating factor in the French desire to
establish a colony in Florida. Catholic France would then have a place to
send its Protestant Huguenots, and they in turn would have a place to go.
While the religious problem should not be completely ignored, Gaspard de
Coligny, admiral of France was himself a Huguenot. He wanted to know
more about the geography of the south Atlantic coast. A French colony in the
right place, not too far from the Caribbean and close to the route of the
homeward bound Spanish treasure fleet, would be an ideal location.

The French Expedition of 1562

Jean Ribault, also a Huguenot, commanded an expedition of three ships
and some 150 men, which departed France on February 18, 1562. Among

1
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









others, Rene de Laudonniere accompanied Ribault. They first landed near
present-day St. Augustine on April 30, and explored the coast north to a large
river. They named it the River of May (because they arrived there on May 1)
and today it is known as the St. Johns River, Florida's largest. Indians of the
Timucuan-speaking tribes greeted the Frenchmen and seemed pleased to
see them. Ribault erected a marker with the French coat of arms, signifying
French claims to the area. The French carefully examined the coast until they
reached Santa Elena, which they named Port Royal. There they erected a
small fort, which they named Charlesfort in honor of Charles IX of France.
After a short stay at Port Royal, Ribault left a detachment of 30 men under
Capt Albert de la Pierria and departed for France. He promised to return with
supplies the following year.

Ribault in France and England

When Ribault reached France, the country was again involved in religious
strife. The Catholics were fighting the Huguenots, and Ribault escaped to
England. There he made plans to return to Charlesfort with English help.
When things did not move quickly enough to suit him, Ribault decided to
return to France. The English became suspicious of his activities and arrested
him. He remained in jail for about a year before they released him and he
crossed the channel to France.

French Abandon Charlesfort

In the meantime, things had not
gone well at Charlesfort. There was
trouble with the Indians, a serious
shortage of supplies, and fighting
among the settlers. The French
decided to abandon the colony. One
young man, Guillaume Rouffi, decided
not to go. The others built a ship of
sorts and sailed for France, but they
were becalmed in mid-ocean with no it
supplies or water. According to One of the leaders of the French
Laudonniere, they drank their expedition to Florida was Rene de
seawater and even their own urine, Laudionniere.
and even turned to cannibalism, to survive. They selected one man,
apparently by lot, killed him and equally divided his flesh among them.


2
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









Eventually, an English ship discovered these castaways and carried them
to England. Then Laudonniere prepared to lead another expedition back
across the sea.


Spanish Expedition to Port Royal

As these events were taking place in France, the Spanish ambassador in
Paris informed King Philip II of Spain about French activities. Spain not only
desired more information, but made plans to find and capture the French
colonists. Hernan Manrique de Rojas left Cuba for Port Royal in the spring of
1564 and went to Port Royal. He found the young Frenchman, Rouffi, who
had stayed behind, and he destroyed Charlesfort and returned to Cuba.


The French Return to La Florida

At about the same time, the Spaniards learned that more French settlers,
uner Laudonniere, were going to make another attempt to settle in La Florida.
Laudonniere arrived in Florida in June 1564 with three ships and about 300
persons, including four women and several survivors from Charlesfort. He
selected a site on the River of May (the St. Johns River) and built a triangular
fort of earth, timber and
faggots. It was named
Fort Caroline, also in
honor of Charles IX.


The colonists spent
too much time looking
for riches and not
enough preparing for
the coming winter. A
short-age of food and
women, diseases, and
a desire to leave
Florida brought the
colony to revolt. Some
of the men took ships,
sailed for the
Caribbean, and
became pirates.


FoTr CAROLINE


An artist's reconstruction of Fort Caroline, with the flag of
France.
Original artwork by A.L.L. Martin, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida
History.


From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









By the summer of 1565, with the settlers in desperate straits, Laudonniere
made plans to abandon Florida. Then in August, Sir John Hawkins, an
English buccaneer, surprised the French and briefly stopped at Fort Caroline.
Hawkins traded some goods and a ship for artillery and ammunition. He even
offered to carry the French back to Europe, but Laudonniere was uncertain
about English-French relations at the time and turned down the offer. Shortly
after Hawkins' visit, the French prepared to depart. Before they hoisted sail,
however, they saw a fleet of seven ships approaching. It was Ribault with
about 600 men and women and orders to relieve Laudonniere of command.

Colonists and Indians

Much of what we know about the lives of the Timucua Indians of
northeastern Florida comes from the records that the French (and later the
Spanish) left behind. The French colonists had an artist with them named
Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues. Le Moyne made sketches of Indian life, and
later a printer in Europe, Theodore de Bry, printed the images, along with
explanations of what was happening in the pictures. All of these prints can be
found in the "Image Gallery" and there is also another website dedicated to
them at California State University's "Theodore de Bry Copper Plate
Engravings" (http://www.csulb.edu/proiects/ais/woodcuts/).

To begin with, the local Timucua tribes got along with the new French
settlers. The Timucua lived in towns and villages all along the coast and
rivers. Some of these towns had stockades around them, to protect the
villagers from raids by rival tribes. The towns were divided into different
family lines (called clans) and each town had clan leaders and a chief, or
cacique. The people spent part of the year farming (they grew corn, squash,
and other vegetables). Travel between towns was mostly on foot or in
canoes. Hunting was common, and some of Le Moyne's drawings show
animals common to Florida-deer, turkey, alligators, etc. Most of the people
in the Timucua towns were interested in trading with the French settlers, and
were curious about new things like copper, iron, glass, and horses, that the
settlers brought from Europe. But when the French began to aid some towns
against others, they ended up making enemies as well as friends. This is one
reason why some of the towns decided to help the Spaniards when they
came looking for the French.






4
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.








The Spaniards Also Return to Florida


The Spaniards were making their own plans for Florida. Their number one
priority was to get rid of the French. King Philip II selected Pedro Menendez
de Aviles for the job. A veteran Spanish officer, Menendez had much
experience in the New World and had commanded the Spanish fleet on a
number of trips to the Caribbean. Menendez willingly invested his own money
in the venture. The crown also contributed. Besides capturing the French
Protestants, he hoped to create a successful Spanish colony in Florida. He
also hoped to find his son, Juan, whose ship had been lost in a hurricane in
the Atlantic in September 1563.
Menendez commanded an impressive fleet of some 30 ships and nearly
2,650 personnel, which departed Spain on June 29, 1565. However, it turned
out he was in a race across the ocean with the French. Jean Ribault and his
French fleet had already sailed to reinforce the French colony at Fort
Caroline.
Hit hard by storms at sea, Menendez lost the race. He arrived after
Ribault. The storms scattered his ships, and he arrived with only five vessels
and about 600 men. He first caught sight of the Florida coast around Cape
Canaveral on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine.


Pedro Men6ndez de Avil6s came to Florida under orders from King Philip II to destroy the
French settlement and to establish his own colony for Spain.




5
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.


lol.-









Sailing north, Menendez landed a few days later at a site he named St.
Augustine (San Agustin de la Florida). He continued northward, reaching the
mouth of the River of May on September 4. There the Spaniards discovered
Ribault's ships, four of which were anchored outside the bar. Menendez
prepared to attack them, but the French cut their anchor cables and outsailed
him. The Spaniards then returned to St. Augustine. (To read Menendez's
own account of meeting the French, go to "Primary Sources" where there is a
brief English translation).

Ribault to St. Augustine Disaster!

The French commander Ribault decided to attack the Spaniards at St.
Augustine right away, convinced that he could defeat them. When he arrived
he tried to capture Menendez's flagship, the San Pelayo, which was just
sailing out for Hispaniola. Ribault tried, but could not overtake the Spanish
ship.

Ribault's bad luck was just beginning. Some distance south of St.
Augustine, a hurricane struck, dashing Ribault's ships on the coast. Only one
small French ship survived, and it headed for the Caribbean.

Menendez Destroys Fort Caroline

Meanwhile, Menendez saw Ribault sail away and gambled that he could
reach Fort Caroline overland before the French could come back. He quickly
led a party of 500 soldiers north for that purpose. He finally reached the River
of May, but with only 400 men. The French were totally unprepared when the
Spaniards struck early on the morning of September 20. Laudonniere, the
artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, and others jumped from their beds and
attempted to fight the Spaniards, but they were outnumbered two to one.
Fortunately, some of them managed to escape to the French ships in the
river. The Spaniards killed 132 of the approximately 200 Frenchmen there.
Menendez spared about 50 women and children. The victors renamed the fort
San Mateo and renamed the river the San Juan (St. John). It still has that
name today. Menendez left a garrison at Fort San Mateo and quickly
returned to St. Augustine. When Menendez reached St. Augustine, those left
there shouted with joy at his great victory. Then Menendez learned that
Ribault's ships had all been wrecked by storms.




6
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









The Massacre


On September 28, Indians brought word of the French shipwrecks, saying
the survivors were south of St. Augustine. Menendez led a small army to
meet them and ordered the Frenchmen to surrender. There is some question
about whether he promised them safety if they surrendered. For various
reasons, he spared seventeen, but the rest, numbering more than 100, were
marched behind the sand dunes and executed. That site became known as
Matanzas, or "massacre." But there was a second party of Frenchmen,
including Jean Ribault, not yet captured.

Word reached St. Augustine about October 10 that the remaining
Frenchmen were now at Matanzas. Menendez quickly left with an army of
150 men and met Ribault. During the surrender negotiations, Menendez
refused to make any promises about the treatment the French might receive.
Thus, only half of the French about 75 persons, including Ribault gave
themselves up. The rest retreated southward. Again there were a few
exceptions, but most of those who surrendered were executed, Ribault
among them. By early November, Menendez had marched south to the Indian
River country and captured the remaining Frenchmen. This time, for whatever
reason, Menendez spared their lives. Now that the French were no longer a
threat, Menendez's became interested in exploring north to South Carolina,
and finding the old site of Santa Elena and Port Royal Sound.

Santa Elena

Now Menendez started on his grand plan. This was to establish a colony
at Santa Elena and then to build more towns. In April 1566, Menendez
journeyed to the Carolina coast and settled back in the area where both the
Spanish and the French has tried to start colonies in the past. He left about
60 men there under the command of his kinsman, Esteban de las Alas. They
built a fort, which they named San Salvador, on present-day Parris Island. In
June 1566, more than half of the soldiers, unhappy with the conditions there,
revolted and fled to Cuba, leaving Las Alas and the others on the island.

Santa Elena, the Capital of Florida

Capt. Juan Pardo arrived at Santa Elena in July 1566 with about 250 men.
Pardo reestablished order and began construction of a new fort, San Felipe.
The next month, Menendez returned to Santa Elena with additional men and
supplies. He soon shifted his seat of government to Santa Elena and

7
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









appointed Las Alas governor and captain general of Florida. Menendez also
designated provincial governors for San Mateo and St. Augustine. Few
people realize that the capital of Florida was supposed to be in today's South
Carolina! Menendez spent much more time and money trying to settle
Carolina than he did on the Florida peninsula. However, things were not
going to work out for him in this northern colony.

The Juan Pardo Expeditions, 1566-68

When Pardo departed for Santa Elena, Menendez ordered him to look for
a land and water route to Mexico. In 1566 and 1567, Pardo made an
extended expedition into the interior, which lasted about four months and
covered some 500 miles. He reached the Appalachian mountains, founded
the city of Cuenca and built Forts Guatari and Joada (Joara). He also
discovered several great rivers, but did not find the land and water route to
Mexico that Menendez expected.

Later in 1567, Pardo made a second trip into the interior. He brought
supplies for his soldiers there and continued his exploration of the area.
Pardo reported that the land he traversed had good agricultural prospects.
But he made the mistake of thinking he was close to Mexico. In his travels he
reached modern day Alabama, and thought Mexico was just 100 miles further
west. His forts did not fare well, either. In 1568 the local Indians revolted and
massacred many of the Spaniards Pardo had left in the interior. All of the
Spanish settlements and forts west of Santa Elena had to be abandoned.

Revenge! Dominique de Gourgues

The Spanish massacre of the French at Fort Caroline and Matanzas in
1565 had not been forgotten in France. In 1568, Dominique de Gourgues
landed in Florida. He discovered that one of the Indian caciques, Saturiba,
and many of his people, were very unhappy with the Spaniards. With
information and assistance from Saturiba, Gourgues slipped down the coast
and captured several Spanish outposts. News of the French and Indian
presence reached Fort San Mateo and most of the Spaniards fled. When
Gourgues arrived at the fort, it was deserted. Two Spaniards taken prisoner
by the Indians were hanged in the fort. A sign placed over their heads
announced "Not as to Spaniards, but as to Traitors, Robbers and Murderers."
Although far from satisfied, Gourgues had avenged the French defeat there.
He quickly left the fort and sailed for France, where he became a national
hero.

8
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.











The Last Years of Menendez


Menendez, meanwhile, had returned to Spain, where he was having legal
troubles and also need to ask for additional financial support from the crown.
Somewhat successful on both counts, he hurried back to La Florida with his
family. They settled at Santa Elena in 1571.

Not all was well in La Florida. Indians in present-day Virginia had killed the
Jesuit friars sent to preach to them. Difficulties in securing supplies, a lack of
settlers and many similar problems prevented Florida from becoming a
successful enterprise. Menendez returned to Spain in 1572 and died in
Santander in September 1574.

The Eclipse of Santa Elena

Santa Elena never thrived. By 1576 the capital of La Florida had been
transferred to St. Augustine. Nevertheless, settlers remained at Santa Elena
until 1587, when the island site was formally abandoned. The families and
soldiers moved to St. Augustine, although many were unhappy because they
had been forced to leave their homes and businesses behind. Eventually the
crown reimbursed them for their losses. Now St. Augustine would be the
main Spanish foothold for La Florida.

St. Augustine in the 1580s

In 1577 the Council of the Indies named -
Pedro Menendez Marquez governor of Florida, - -.. -
a position he held until 1589. He was a nephew
of Pedro Menendez de Aviles. By the 1580s, '" --
with Marquez in charge, St. Augustine's ,l
population numbered about 300 persons with "" '. .-
100 houses. The settlers planted orange trees
and corn, and grazed cattle in the ejidos, or .,
communal lands. To help defend the town they .-
built a new fort in 1586. This was the sixth St. Augustine's fort at the time
that Francis Drake attacked in
wooden fort at St. Augustine. But it did not last ancis rake backed in
long.




9
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









Sir Francis Drake Destroys St. Augustine


Soon after the fort was constructed, Sir Francis Drake, the English
buccaneer, sailed along the Florida coast. He spotted the watchtower the
Spaniards had erected out on the barrier island that guarded St. Augustine's
inlet. Drake had planned to hit the settlement of Santa Elena, but turned his
attention to St. Augustine instead. He attacked the town. The Spaniards put
up a good initial defense, but finally fled into the surrounding forest.
Unfortunately, they forgot to take their pay chest, which contained 2,000 or
more ducats. Drake detested the Spaniards, and before he was through, he
had burned the town and fort, cut down the orange trees and destroyed the
cornfields. He then sailed north to Santa Elena, but did not get close enough
to land there. Nonetheless, his raid of 1586 caused the Spaniards to evacuate
Santa Elena the following year and to consolidate the all their people at St.
Augustine. Slowly they began rebuilding the town.































10
From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, 1991.
All rights reseed. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.









More Forts at St. Augustine


The Spaniards built two more forts at St. Augustine before the turn of the
century. The eighth, Fort San Marcos, completed in 1599, was another
wooden fort. It suffered the same problems as the earlier forts and required
constant attention, but lasted until about the mid-1600s, when the ninth and
last wooden fort was built. By this time, the Spaniards had discovered the
stone-like material, coquina, on Anastasia Island. They learned how to quarry
and shape it, and petitioned the crown to make a large strong fort out of the
stone. In 1672 the crown agreed to provide money, and work crews in St.
Augustine began to build what is still its most famous structure, the Castillo de
San Marcos.



































11

From:
Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer
Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for
educational use only.




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