The Spaniards in Florida

Material Information

The Spaniards in Florida comprising the notable settlement of the Hugenots in 1564, and the history and antiquities of St. Augustine, founded a.d. 1565
Series Title:
Drew's series. no. 1
Fairbanks, George R ( George Rainsford ), 1820-1906
Place of Publication:
Jacksonville Fla
C. Drew
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
120 p. : ; 23 1/2 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
History -- Saint Augustine (Fla.) ( lcsh )
History -- Florida -- To 1821 ( lcsh )
History -- Florida -- Huguenot colony, 1562-1565 ( lcsh )


General Note:
Second edition.
General Note:
First published, New York, 1858, under title: The history and antiquities of the city of St. Augustine.
Statement of Responsibility:
By George R. Fairbanks.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Resource Identifier:
029011793 ( ALEPH )
01544423 ( OCLC )
AAN9876 ( NOTIS )
01000616 ( LCCN )

Full Text










FOUNDED A. D. 1565.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York.

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THIS volume, relating to the history and antiquities of the oldest
settlement in the United States, has grown out of a lecture delivered
by the author, and which he was desired to embody in a more perma-
nent form.
The large amount of interesting material in my possession, has made
my work rather one of laborious condensation than expansion.
I have endeavored to preserve as fully as possible, the style and
quaintness of the old writers from whom I have drawn, rather than to
transform or embellish the narrative with the supposed graces of mod-
ern diction; and, as much of the work consisted in translations from
foreign idioms, this peculiarly un-English style, if I may so call it,
will be more noticeably observed. I have mainly sought to give it a
permanent value, as founded on the most reliable ancient authorities;
and thus, to the extent of the ground which it covers, to make it a
valuable addition to the history of our country.
In that portion of the work devoted to the destruction of the Hug-
uenot colony and the forces of Ribault, I have in the main followed
the Spanish accounts, desiring to divest the narrative of all suspicion
of prejudice or unfairness; Barcia, the principal authority, as is well
known, professing the same faith as Menendez, and studiously endeav-
oring throughout his work, to exalt the character of the Adelantado.
I am under great obligations to my friend, BUCKINGHAM SMITH,
EsQ., for repeated favors in the course of its preparation.


THE interest evinced in the publication of the first edition of this
volume, in 1858, under the title of HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES OF
ST. AUGUSTINE, has induced the author to prepare a second edition
for the press, under the present title, as being more exactly descriptive
of that portion of the history of Florida embraced in its pages.

He hopes at no distant day to put to press the History of Florida, in
a much more complete form, and embracing the chequered and various
pictures of the many expeditions which sought either to found upon
its shores a kingdom to satiate their ambition, or to find wealth com-
mensurate with their desires.

A chapter of no mean interest in the history of Florida has been
added since the first preface was written. Battles have been fought
upon its soil, more considerable as to the numbers engaged and the
fierceness of the fray, than any ever before recorded. But as this
chapter forms a portion of the general history of the State rather than
of the old city which played but an inconsiderable part in the contest,
it does not fall within the purview of this work to make more than a
brief mention of this period.
G. R. F.
OCT. 1, 1868.


Introductory.............................................................. ............... 9

First discovery, 1512 to 1565.-Juan Ponce de Leon......................... 11


Ribault, Laudonniere, and Menendez-Settlements of the Huguenots,
and foundation of St. Augustine.-1562-1565-1568............... 13

The attack on Fort Caroline.-1565............................................... 1)

Escape of Laudonniere and others from Fort Caroline-Adventures of
the fugitives........................................... ........................ 24


Site of Fort Caroline, afterwards called San Matteo......................... 31

Menendez's return to St. Augustine-Shipwreck of Ribault-Massacre
of part-of his command.-A. D. 1565...................................... 38


Fate of Ribault and his followers-Bloody massacre at Matanzas, 1565. 46


Fortifying of St. Augustine-Disaffections and mutinies-Approval of
Menendez' acts by king of Spain.-1565-1668............... ... 54

The notable revenge of Dominic de Gourgues-Return of Menendez-
Indian Mission.- 1568............................... ...................... 6)


Sir Francis Drake's attack upon St. Augustine-Establishment of mis-
sions-Massacre of missionaries at St. Augustine.-1586-1638..... 65

Subjection of the Apalachian Indians-Construction of the fort, sea
wall, &c.- 1638- 1700.............................. .......................... 71


Attack on St. Augustine by Gov. Moore of South Carolina-Difficul-
ties with the Georgians.-1702-1732............................... 77


Siege of St. Augustine by Oglethorpe.-1732-1740.......................... 82

Completion of the castle-Descriptions of St. Augustine a century
ag--English occupation of Florida.-1755-1763-1788............. 90


Re-cession of Florida to Spain-Erection of the Parish Church-Change
of flags.- 1783- 1821.......................................................... 100

Transfer of Florida to the United States-American occupation-An-
cient buildings, &c......................................................... .. .... 10(

Present appearance of St. Augustine, as given by the author of Thana-
topsis- Its climate and salubrity............................................... 110

St. Augustine in its old age.- 1565-1868.......................................... 118





THE Saint Augustine of the present and the St. Augus-
tine of the past, are in striking contrast.
We see, to-day, a town less in population than hundreds
of places of but few months' existence, dilapidated in its
appearance, with the stillness of desolation hanging over it.
its waters undisturbed except by the passing canoe of the
fisherman, its streets unenlivened by busy traffic, and at
mid-day it might be supposed to have sunk under the en-
chanter's wand into an almost eternal sleep.
With no participation in the active schemes of life, and
no hopes for the future; with no emulation, and no feverish
visions of future greatness; with no corner lots on sale or
in dei~and; with no stocks, save those devoted to disturbers
of the public peace; with no excitements and no events; a
quiet, undisturbed, dreamy vision of still life surrounds its
walls, and creates a sensation of entire repose, pleasant or
otherwise, as it falls upon the heart of the weary wanderer
sick of life's busy bustle, or upon the restless mind of him
who looks to nothing as life except perpetual, unceasing
action-the one rejoicing in its rest, the other chafing under
its monotony. And yet, about the old city there clings a
host of historic associations, that throw around it a charm
which few can fail to feel.
Its life is in its past; and when we recall the fact that it
was the first permanent settlement of the white man, by
more than forty years, in this confederacy; that here for the
first time, isolated within the shadows of the primeval for-
est, the civilization of the Old World made its abiding


place, where all was new, and wild, and strange; that this
now so insignificant place was the key of an empire; that
upon its fate rested the destiny of a nation; that its occupa-
tion or retention decided the fate of a people; that it was
itself a vice provincial court, boasted of its adelantados,
men of the first mark and note, of its Royal Exchequer, its
public functionaries, its brave men at arms; that its proud
name, conferred by its monarch, Le siemprefiel Ciudad de
San Auoustin,"-The ever faithful City of St. Augustine-
stood out upon the face of history; that here the cross was
first planted; that from the Papal throne itself rescripts
were addressed to its governors; that the first great efforts
at Christianizing the fierce tribes of America proceeded
from this spot; that the martyr's blood was first here shed;
that within these quiet walls the din of arms, the noise of
battle, and the fierce cry of assaulting columns, have been
heard;-Who will not then feel that we stand on historic
ground, and that an interest attaches to the annals of this
ancient city far more than is possessed by mere brick and
mortar, rapid growth, or unwonted prosperity? Moss-
grown and shattered, it appeals to our instinctive feelings of
reverence for antiquity; and we feel desirous to know th\
history of its earlier days.




AMONG the sturdy adventurers of the sixteenth century
who sought both fame and fortune in the path of discovery,
was Ponce de Leon, a companion of Columbus on his sec-
ond voyage, a veteran and bold mariner, who, after a long
and adventurous life, feeling the infirmities of age and the
shadows of the decline of life hanging over him, willingly
credited the tale that in this, the beautiful land of his imag-
ination, there existed a fountain whose waters could restore
youth to palsied age, and beauty to efface the marks of time.
The story ran that far to the north there existed a land/
abounding in gold and all manner of desirable things, but,
above all, possessing a river and springs of so remarkable a
virtue that their waters would confer immortal youth on
whoever bathed in them; that upon a time a considerable
expedition of the Indians of Cuba had departed northward
in search of this beautiful country and these waters of im- ./y
mortality, who had never returned, and who, it was suppo-
sed, were in a renovated state, still enjoying the felicities of
the-happy land.
SFurthermore, Peter Martyr affirms, in his second decade,
addressed to the Pope, "that among the islands on the
north side of Hispaniola, there is one about three hundred
and twenty-five leagues distant, as they say which have
searched the same, in the which is a continual spring of
running water, of such marvelous virtue that the water
thereof being druuk, perhaps with some diet, maketh old
men young again. And here I must make protestation to
your Holiness not to think this to be said lightly, or rashly;
for they have so spread this rumor for a truth throughout
all the court, that not only all the people, but also many of
them whom wisdom or fortune have divided from the com-j
mon sort, think it to be true." Thoroughly believing in
The fountain of youth is a very ancient fable; and the reader will be
reminded of the amusing story of the accomplishment of this miracle, told
in Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales, and of the marvelous effects produced
by imbibing this celebrated spring water.


the verity of this pleasant account, this gallant cavalier
fitted out an expedition from Porto Rico, and in the progress
of his search came upon the coast of Florida, on Easter
Monday, 1512, supposing then, and for a long period after-
wards, that it was an island. Partly in consequence of the
bright spring verdure and flowery plains that met his eye,
and the magnificence of the magnolia, the bay and the lau-
rel, and partly in honor of the day, Pascua Florida, oriahm
/ undiii and reminded, probably, of its appropriateness by;
the profusion of the cabbage palms near the point of his
landing, he gave to the country the name of Florida. J'
On the 3d of April, 1512, three hundred and fifty-five
S years ago, he landed a few miles north of St. Augustine,
and took possession of the country for the Spanish crown.
He found the natives fierce and implacable; and after ex-
ploring the country for some distance around, and trying
the virtue of all the streams, and growing neither younger
nor handsomer, he left the country without making a per-
manent settlement.
The subsequent explorations of Narvaez, in 1526, and of
De Soto, in 1539, were made in another portion of our
State, and do not bear immediately upon the subject of our
investigation, although forming a most interesting portion
of our general history.




THE settlement of Florida had its origin in the religious
troubles experienced by the Huguenots under Charles IX.
in France.
Their distinguished leader, Admiral Coligny, as early as
1555 projected colonies in America, and sent an expedition
to Brazil, which proved unsuccessful. Having procured
permission from Charles IX. to found a colony in Florida-
a designation which embraced in rather an indefinite man-
ner the whole country from the Chesapeake to the Tortugas-
he sent an expedition in 1562 from France, under command
of Jean Ribault, composed of many young men of good
family. They first landed at the St. John's River, where
they erected a monument, but finally established a settle-
ment at Port Royal, South Carolina, and erected a fort.
After some months, however, in consequence of dissensions
among the officers of the garrison, and difficulties with the
Indians, this settlement was abandoned.
In 1564 another expedition came out under the command
of R6n6 de Laudonniere, and made their first landing at
the River of Dolphins, being the present harbor of St. Au-
gustine, and so named by them in consequence of the great
number of Dolphins (Porpoises) seen by them at its mouth.
They afterwards coasted to the north, and entered the River
St. Johns, called by them the River May.
Upon an examination of this river, Laudonniere conclu-
ded to establish his colony on its banks; and proceeding
about two leagues above its mouth, built a fort upon a pleas-
ant hill of mean height," which, in honor of his sovereign,
he named Fort Caroline.
The colonists after a few months were reduced to great
distress, and were about taking measures to abandon the
country a second time, when Ribault arrived with reinforce-


It is supposed that intelligence of these expeditions was
communicated by the enemies of Coligny to the court of
Jealousy of the aggrandizement of the French in the
New World, mortification for their own unsuccessful efforts
in that quarter, and a still stronger motive of hatred to the
faith of the Huguenot, induced the bigoted Philip II. of Spain,
to dispatch Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a brave, bigoted and
remorseless soldier, to drive out the French colony, and take
possession of the country for himself.
The compact made between the King and Menendez was,
that he should furnish one galleon completely equipped, and
/ provisions for a force of six hundred men; that he should
conquer and settle the country. He obligated himselfto
carry one hundred horses, two hundred horned cattle, four
hundred hogs, four hundred sheep and some goats, and five
hundred slaves, (for which he had a permission free of du-
ties), the third part of which should be men, tor his own ser-
vice and that of those who went with him, to aid in cultiva-
ting the land and building. That he should take twelve
priests, and four fathers of the Jesuit order. He was to build
two or three towns of one hundred families, and in each town
should build a fort according to the nature of the country.
He was to have the title of Adelantado of the country, as also
to be entitled a Marquis, and his heirs after him, to have a
tract of land, receive a salary of 2,000 ducats, a percentage of
the royal duties, and have the freedom of all the other ports
of New Spain.*"
His force consisted, at starting, of eleven sail of vessels,
with two thousand and six hundred men; but, owing to
storms and accidents, not more than one half arrived. He
came upon the coast on the 28th August, 1565, shortly after
the arrival of the fleet of Ribault. On the 7th day of Septem-
ber, Menendez cast anchor in the River of Dolph~ins, the har-
bor of St. Augustine. He had previously discovered and
given chase to some of the vessels of Ribault, off the:mouth
of the River May. The Indian village of Selooe then stood
Supon the site of St. Augustine, and the landing of Menen-
dez was upon the spot where the city of St. Augustine now
Fray Francisco Lopez de Mendoza, the Chaplain of the
Expedition, thus chronicles the disembarkation and attend-
ant ceremonies:-
On Saturday the 8th day of September, the day of the nativity
Barcia Ensayo, Cron. 66.


of our Lady, the General disembarked, with numerous banners dis-
played, trumpets and other martial music resounding, and amid salvos
of artillery.
Carrying a cross, I proceeded at the head, chanting the hymn Te
Deum Laudamus. The General marched straight up to the cross,
together with all those who accompanied him; and, kneeling, they all
kissed the cross. A great number of Indians looked upon these cere-
monies, and imitated whatever they saw done. Thereupon the General
took possession of the country in the name of his Majesty. All the
officers then took an oath of allegiance to him, as their general, and as
adelantado of the whole country."
The name of St. Augustine was given, in the usual man-
ner of the early voyagers, because they had arrived upon
the coast on the day dedicated in their calendar to that emi-
nent saint of the primitive church, revered alike by the
good of all ages for his learning and piety.
The first troops who landed, says Mendoza, were well
received by the Indians, who gave them a large mansion
belonging to the chief, situated near the banks of the river.
The engineer officers immediately erected an entrenchment
of earth, and a ditch around this house, with a slope made
of earth and fascines, these being the only means of defense
which the country presents; for, says the father with sur-
prise, "there is not a stone to be found in the whole
country." They landed eighty cannon from the ships, of
which the lightest weighed two thousand five hundred
But in the mean time Menendez had by no means forgot-
ten the errand upon which he principally came; and by,
inquiries of the Indians he soon learned the position of the
French fort and the condition of its defenders. Impelled
by necessity, LaudonniBre had been forced to seize from the
Indians food to supply his famished garrison, and had thus
incurred their enmity, which was soon to produce its sad
The Spaniards numbered about six hundred combatants,
and the French about the same; but arrangements had been
made for further accessions to the Spanish force, to be drawn
from St. Domingo and Havana, and these were daily ex-
It was the habit of those days to devolve almost every
event upon the ordering of a special providence ; and each
nation had come to look upon itself almost in the light of
a peculiar people, led like the Israelites of old by signs and
wonders; and as in their own view all their actions were
directed by the design of advancing God's glory as well as


their own purposes, so thie blessing of Heaven would surely
accompany them in all their undertakings.
So believed the Crusaders on the plains of Palestine; so
believed the conquerors of Mexico and Peru; so believed
the Puritan settlers of New England (alike in their Indian
wars and their oppressive social polity) ; and so believed,
also, the followers of Menendez and of Ribault; and in
this simple and trusting faith, the worthy chaplain gives us
the following account of the miraculous escape and deliv-
erance of a portion of the Spanish fleet:-
"God and his Holy Mother have performed another great miracle
in our favor. The day following the landing of the General in the
fort, he said to us that he was very uneasy because his galley and an-
other vessel were at anchor, isolated and a league at sea, being unable
to enter the port on account of the shallowness of the water; and that
he feared that the French might come and capture or maltreat them.
As soon as this idea came to him he departed, with fifty men, to go on
board of his galleon. He gave orders to three shallops which were
moored in the river to go out and take on board the provisions and
troops which were on board the galleon. The next day, a shallop
having gone out thither, they took on board as much of the provisions
as they could, and more than a hundred men who were in the vessel,
and returned towards the shore; but half a league before arriving at
the bar they were overtaken by so complete a calm that they were un-
able to proceed further, and thereupon cast anchor and passed the night
in that place. The day following at break of day they raised anchor
as ordered by the pilot, as the rising of the tide began to be felt.
When it was fully light they saw astern of them at the poop of the
vessel, two French ships which during the night had been in search of
them. The enemy arrived with the intention of making an attack
upon us. The French made all haste in their movements, for we had
no arms on board, and-had only embarked the provisions. When day
appeared, and our people discovered the .French, they addressed their
prayers to our Lady of Bon Secours d' Utrera, and supplicated her to
grant them a little wind, for the French were already close up to them.
They say that Our Lady descended, herself, upon the vessel; for the
wind freshened and blew fair for the bar, so that the shallop could
enter it. The French followed it; but as the bar has but little depth
and their vessels were large, they were not able to go over it, so that
our men and the provisions made a safe harbor. -When it became still
clearer they perceived besides the two vessels of the enemy, four others
at a distance, being the same which we had seen in port the evening
of our arrival. They were well furnished with both troops and artil-
lery, and had directed themselves for our galleon and the other ship,
which were alone at sea. In this circumstance God accorded us two
favors. The first was, that the same evening after they had discharged
the provisions and the troops I have spoken of, at midnight the galleon
and other vessel put to sea without being perceived by the enemy;


the one for Spain, and the other for Havana, for the purpose of seek-
ing the fleet which was there; and in this way neither was taken.
The second favor, by which God rendered us a still greater service,
was that on the day following the one I have described there arose a
storm, and so great a tempest that certainly the greater part of the
French vessels must have been lost at sea; for they were overtaken
upon the most dangerous coast I have ever seen, and were very close
to the shore; and if our vessels, that is, the galleon and its consort, are
not shipwrecked, it is because they were already more than twelve
leagues off the coast, which gave them the facility of running before
the wind, and maneuvering as well as they could, relying upon the aid
of God to preserve them."*
Menendez had ascertained from the Indians that a large
number of the French troops had embarked on board of the
vessels which he had seen off the harbor, and he had good
ground for believing that these vessels would either be cast
helpless upon the shore, or be driven off by the tempest to
such a distance as would render their return for some days
impossible. He at once conceived the project of attacking
the French fort upon the river May, by land.
A council of war was held, and after some discussion, for
the most part adverse to the plan proposed by him, Menen-
dez spoke as follows:
Gentlemen and Brothers! we have before us now an opportunity
which if improved by us will have a happy result. I am satisfied that
the French fleet which four days since fled from me, and has now
come to seek me, has been reinforced with the larger part of the gar-
rison of their fort, to which, nor to port, will they be able to return for
many days according to appearances; and since they are all Lutherans,
as we learned before we sailed from Spain, by the edicts which Jean
Ribault published before embarking, in order that no Catholic at the
peril of his life should go in his fleet, nor any Catholic books be taken;
and this they themselves declared to us the night they fled from us,
and hence our war must be to blood and fire, not only on account of
the orders we are under, but because they have sought us in order to
destroy us, that we should not plant our holy religion in these regions,
and to establish their own abominable and crazy sect among the Indi-
ans; so that the more promptly we shall punish them, we shall the

The galleon spoken of was Menendez's own flag ship, the El Pelayo,
the largest vessel in his fleet, fitted out at his own expense, and which had
brought four hundred men. He had put on board of her a lieutenant and
some soldiers, besides fifteen Lutherans as prisoners, whom he was sending
home to the Inquisition at Seville. The orders to his officers were to go as
speedily as possible to the island of Hispaniola, to bring provisions and
additional forces. Upon the passage, the Lutheran prisoners, with some
Levantine sailors, rose upon the Spaniards, killed the commander, and car-
ried the vessel into Denmark. Menendez was much chagrined when he
ascertained the fate of his favorite galleon, a long period afterwards.


more speedily do a service to our God and our king, and comply with
our conscience and our duty.
"To accomplish this, we must choose five hundred arquebuse men
and pikemen, and carry provisions in our knapsacks for eight days,
divided into ten companies, each one with its standard and its captain,
and go with this force by land to examine the settlements and fort of
our enemies; and as no one knows the road, I will guide you within
two points by a mariner's compass; and where we cannot get along,
we will open a way with our axes; and moreover, I have with me a
t Frenchman who has been more than a year at their fort, and who says
he knows the ground for two leagues around the fort.
If we shall arrive without discovery, it may be that falling upon
it at daylight we may take it, by planting upon it twenty scaling lad-
ders, at the cost of fifty lives. If we are discovered, we can form in
the shelter of the wood, which I am assured is not more than a quarter
9 of a league distant, and planting there ten standards, send forward a
trumpeter requiring them to leave the fort and the country, and return
to their own country, offering them ships and provisions for the voyage.
They will imagine that we have .a much greater army with us, and they
may surrender; and if they do not, we shall at least accomplish that
They will leave us undisturbed in this our own settlement, and we shall
know the way, so that we may return to destroy them the succeeding
After some discussion it was concluded that after hearing
mass they should undertake the expedition on the third day.
Considerable opposition was manifested on the part of the
officers; but, with a consummate knowledge of human na-
ture, the Adelantado got up the most splendid dinner in his
power, and invited his recreant officers to the repast, and
dexterously appealed to their fears, as well as their pride,
and overcame their reluctance to undertake the unknown
dangers of a first march through Florida at a wetseason, an
actual acquaintance with which would still more have damp-
ened their ardor.
The troops assembled promptly upon the day appointed,
at the sound of the trumpet, the fife and the drum, and they
all went to hear mass, except Juan de Vicente, who said
he had a disorder of the stomach, andin his leg; and when
some friends wished to urge his coming, he replied: "I vow
to God, that I will wait until the news comes that our force
is entirely cut off, when we who remain will embark in our
three vessels, and go to the Indies, where there will be no
necessity of our all perishing like beasts."
This Juan Vicente seems to have been an apt specimen
of a class of croakers not peculiar to any age or country.
Of his future history the chronicle gives other instancesof
a similar spirit ;FTand his sole claim to immortality, like that)
of many an other, is founded upon his impudence.____




The troops, having heard mass, marched out in order, pre-
ceded by twenty Biscayans and Asturians having as their
captain Martin de Ochoa, a leader of great fidelity and bra-
very, furnished with axes to open a road where they could
not get along. At this moment there arrived two Indians,
who said that they had been at the fort six days before, and
who "seemed like angels" to the soldiers, sent to guide
their m a rct`" Halting fo refreshment and rest wherever
suitable places could be found, and the Adelantado always
with the vanguard, in four days they reached the vicinity of
the fort, and came up within less than a quarter of a league
of it, concealed by a grove of pine trees. It rained heavily,
and a severe storm prevailed. The place where they had
halted was a very bad one, and very marshy; but he deci-
ded to stop there, and went back to seek the rearguard, lest
theymight lose the way.
About ten at night the last of the troops arrived, very
wet indeed, for there had been much rain during the four
days; they had passed marshes with the water rising to their
waists, and every night there was so great a flood that they -
were in great danger of losing their powder, their match-
fire, and their biscuit; and they became desperate, cursing
those who had brought them there, and themselves for
Menendez pretended not to hear their complaints, not-
daring to call a council as to proceeding or returning, for
both officers and soldiers went forward very inquietly. Re-
maining firm in his own resolve, two hours before dawn he
called together the Master of the Camp and the Captains to.
whom he said that during the whole night he had sought of
God and his most Holy Mother that they would favor him
and instruct him what he should do most advantageous for
their holy service; and he was persuaded that they had all
done the same. "But now, Gentlemen," he proceeded,
"we must make some determination, finding ourselves ex-


hausted, lost, without ammunition or provisions, and without
the hope of relief."
Some answered very promptly, "Why should they waste
their time in giving reasons? for, unless they returned
quickly to St. Augustine, they would be reduced to eating
palmettos ;* and the longer they delayed, the greater trouble
they would have."
The Adelantado said to them that what they said seemed
very reasonable, but he would ask of them to hear some
reasons to the contrary, without being offended. He then
proceeded-after having smoothed down their somewhat
ruffled dispositions, considerably disturbed by their first ex-
perience in encountering the hardships of such a march-to
show them that the danger of retreat was then greater than
an advance would be, as they would lose alike the respect
of their friends and foes. That if, on the contrary, they
attacked the fort, whether they succeeded in taking it or
not, they would gain honor and reputation.
Stimulated by the speech of their General, they demanded
to be led to the attack, and the arrangements for the assault
were at once made. Their French prisoner was placed in
the advance; but the darkness of the night and the severity .
of the storm rendered it impossible to proceed, and they
halted in a marsh, with the water up to their knees, to await
At dawn the Frenchman recognized the country, and the
place were they were, and where stood the fort; upon which
the Adelantado ordered them to march, enjoining upon all,
at the peril of their lives, to follow him; and coming to a
small hill, the Frenchman said that behind that stood the
fort, about three bow-shots distant, but lower down, near
the river. 'The General put the Frenchman into the custody
of Castaneda. He went up a little higher, and saw the river
and one of the houses, but he was not able to discover the
fort, although it was adjoining them; and he returned to
Castaneda, with whom now stood the Master of the Camp
and Ochoa, and said to them that he wished to go lower
down, near to the houses which stood behind the hill, to see
. the fortress and the garrison, for, as the sun was now up,
they could not attack the fort without a reconnoisance.
This the Master of the Camp would not permit him to do,
saying this duty appertained to him.; and he went alone with
Ochoa near to the houses, from whence they discovered the
fort; and returning with their information, they came to
*A low palm, bearing an oily berry.


two paths, and leaving the one by which they came, they
took the other. The Master of the Camp discovered his
error, coming to a fallen tree, and turned his face to inform
Ochoa, who was following him; and as they turned to seek
the right path, he stopped in advance, and the sentinel dis-
covered them, who imagined them to be French; but exam-
ining them he perceived they were unknown to him. He
hailed, "Who goes there?" Ochoa answered, "French-
men." The sentinel was confirmed in his supposition that
they were his own people, and approached them; Ochoa did
the same; but seeing they were not French, the sentinel
retreated. Ochoa closed with him, and with his drawn
sword gave him a cut over the head, but did not hurt him
much, as the sentinel fended off the blow with his sword;
and the Master of the Camp coming up at this moment,
gave him a thrust, from which he fell backwards, making a
loud outcry. The Master of the Camp, putting his sword
to his breast, threatened him with instant death unless he
kept silence. They tied him thereupon, and took him to
the General, who, hearing the noise, thought the Master of
the Camp was being killed, and meeting with the Sergeant-
major, Francisco de Recalde, Diego de Maya, and Andres
Lopez Patino, with their standards and soldiers, without be-
ing able to restrain himself, he cried out, Santiago! Upon
them Help of God, Victory The French are destroyed.
The Master of the Camp is in their fort, and has taken it."
Upon which, all rushed forward in the path without order,
the General remaining behind, repeating what he had said
many times: himself believing it to be certain that the
Master of the Camp had taken with him a considerable
force, and had captured the fort.
So great was the joy of the soldiers, and such their speed,
that they soon came up with the Master of the Camp and
Ochoa, who was hastening to receive the reward of carrying
the good news to the General of the capture of the sentinel.
But the Master of the Camp, seeing the spirit which ani-
mated the soldiers, killed the sentinel, and cried out with a
loud voice to those who were pressing forward, Comrades !
do as I do. God is with us;" and turned, running towards
the fort, and meeting two Frenchmen on the way, he killed
one of them, and Andres Lopez Patino the other. Those
in the environs of the fort, seeing this tragedy enacted, set
up loud outcries; and in order to know the cause of the
alarm, one of the Frenchmen within opened the postern of
the principal gate, which he had no sooner done than it was


observed by the Master of the Camp ; and throwing himself
upon him, he killed him, and entered the gate, followed by
the most active of his followers.
The French, awakened by the clamor, some dressed,
others in their night-clothes, rushed to the doors of their
houses to see what had happened; but they were all killed,
except sixty of the more wary, who escaped by leaping the
Immediately the standards of the Sergeant-major and of
Diego Mayo were brought in, and set up by Rodrigo Troche
and Pedro Valdes Herrera, with two cavaliers, at the same
moment. These being hoisted, the trumpets proclaimed the
victory, and the bands of soldiers who had entered opened
the gates and sought the quarters, leaving no Frenchman
The Adelantado bearing the cries, left Castaneda in his
place to collect the people who had not come up, who were
at least half the force, and went himself to see if they were
in any danger. He arrived at the fort running; and as he
perceived that the soldiers gave no quarter to any of the
French, he shouted, That at the penalty of their lives
they should neither wound nor kill any woman, cripple, or
child under fifteen years of age." By which seventy per-
sons were saved; the rest were all killed !
Renato de LaudonniBre, the Commander of the fort,
escaped with his servant and some twenty or thirty others,
to a vessel lying in the river.
Such is the Spanish chronicle, contained in Barcia, of the
capture of Fort Caroline. Its details in the main correspond
with the account of Laudonniere, and of Nicolas Challeux,
the author of the letter printed at Lyons, in France, under
date of August, 1566, by Jean Saugrain. In some impor-
tant particulars, however, the historians disagree. It has
been already seen that Menendez is represented as having
given orders to spare all the women, maimed persons, and
all children under fifteen years of age. The French rela-
tions of the event, on the contrary, allege that an indiscrimi-
nate slaughter took place, and that all were massacred
without respect to age, sex, or condition; but as this state-
ment is principally made upon the authority of a terrified
and flying soldier, it is alike due to the probabilities of the
case, and more agreeable to the hopes of humanity, to les-
sen somewhat the horrors of a scene which has need of all
the palliation that can be drawn from the slightest evidences
of compassion on the part of that stern and bigoted leader.


The Spanish statement is further confirmed by other wri-
ters, who speak of a vessel being dispatched by Menendez
subsequently to carry the survivors to Spain.




THE narratives of this event are found singularly full,
there being no less than three accounts by fugitives from
the massacre. The most complete of these is that of Nicolas
de Challeux, a native of Dieppe, which was published in
the following year. I have largely transcribed from this
quaint and curious narrative, not only an account of the
fullness of the details, but also for the light it throws upon
the habits of thought and modes of expression of that day,
when so much was exhibited of an external religious faith,
and so many were found who would fight for their faith
when they refused to adhere to its requirements. There
are apparent, also, a close study of the Scriptures, a great
familiarity with its language, a frequent use of its illustra-
tions, and a disposition to attribute all things, with a
reverent piety, to the direct personal supervision of the
Almighty. By the aid of a map of'the St. John's River,
it will not be difficult to trace the perilous route of escape
pursued by De Challeux and his companions, over obstacles
much magnified by the terror of the moment and want of
familiarity with the country:-
"The number of persons in the fort was two hundred and forty,
partly of those who had not recovered from sea-sickness, partly of
artisans and of women and children left to the care and diligence of
Captain Laudonniere, who had no expectation that it was possible that
any force could approach by land to attack him. On which account
the guards had withdrawn for the purpose of refreshing themselves a
little before sunrise, on account of the bad weather which had con-
tinued during the whole night, most of our people being at the time
in their beds sleeping. The wicket gate open, the Spanish force,
having traversed forests, swamps, and rivers, arrived at break of day,
Friday, the 20th September, the weather very stormy, and entered
the fort without any resistance, and made a horrible satisfaction of
the rage and hate they had conceived against our nation. It was
then who should best kill the most men, sick and well, women and
little children, in such a manner that it is impossible to conceive of a
massacre which could equal this for its barbarity and cruelty.


"Some of the more active of our people, jumping from their beds,
slipped out and escaped to the vessel in the river. I was myself sur-
prised, going to my duty with my clasp-knife in my hand; for upon
leaving my cabin, I met the enemy, and saw no other means of escape
but turning my back, and making the utmost possible haste to lead
over the palisades, for I was closely pursued, step by step, by a pike-
man and one with a partisan; and I do not know how it was, unless
by the grace of God, that my strength was redoubled, old man as I
am and grey-headed, a thing which at any other time I could not have
done, for the rampart was raised eight or nine feet; I then hastened
to secrete myself in the woods, and when I was sufficiently near the
edge of the wood at the distance of a good bow-shot, I turned towards
the fort and rested a little time, finding myself not pursued; and as
from this place all the fort, even the inner-court was distinctly visible
to me, looking there I saw a horrible butchery of our men taking place,
and three standards of our enemies planted upon the ramparts. Having
then lost all hope of seeing our men rally, I resigned all my senses to
the Lord. Recommending myself to his mercy, grace and favor, I
threw myself into the wood, for it seemed to me that I could find no
greater cruelty among the savage beast, than that of our enemy which
I had seen shown towards our people. But the misery and anguish in
which I found myself then, straitened and oppressed, seeing no longer
any means of safety upon the earth, unless by a special grace of our
Lord, transcending any expectation of man, caused me to utter groans
and sobs, and with a voice broken by distress to thus cry to the Lord:
"' O God of our fathers and Lord of all mercy! who hast commanded
us to call upon Thee even from the depths of hell and the shades of
death, promising forthwith thy aid and succor! show me, for the hope
which I have in Thee, what course I ought to take to come to the
termination of this miserable old age, plunged into the gulf of grief
and bitterness; at least, cause that, feeling the effect of Thy mercy,
and the confidence which I have conceived in my heart for Thy
promises, they may not be snatched from me through fear of savage
and furious wild beasts on one hand, and of our and Thy enemies on
the other, who desire the more to injure us for the memory of Thy
name which is invoked by us than for any other cause; aid me, my
God! assist me, for I am so troubled that I can do nothing more.'
"And while I was making this prayer, traversing the wood, which
was very thick and matted with briars and thorns, beneath the large
trees where there was neither any road nor path, scarcely had I trailed
my way half an hour, when I heard a noise like men weeping and
groaning near me; and advancing in the name of God, and in the
confidence of His succor, I discovered one of our people, named Sieur
de la Blonderie, and a little behind him another, named Maitre Robert,
well known to us all, because he had in charge the prayers at the fort.
"Immediately afterwards we found also the servant of Sieur d'Ully,
the nephew of M. Lebreau, Master Jaques Trusse, and many others;
and we assembled and talked over our troubles, and deliberated as to
what course we could take to save our lives. One of our number,

.. -. :** ..
**. *.' **.: *. ':* :.*


much esteemed as being very learned in the lessons of Holy Scripture,
proposed after this manner: 'Brethren, we see to what extremity
we are brought; in whatever direction we turn our eyes, we see only
barbarism. The heavens, the earth, the sea, the forest, and men,-in
brief, nothing favors us. How can we know that if we yield to the
mercy of the Spaniards, they will spare us? and if they should kill us,
it will be the suffering of but a moment; they are men, and it may be
that, their fury appeased, they may receive us upon some terms; and,
moreover, what can we do? Would it not be better to fall into
the hands of men, than into the jaws of wild beasts, or die of hunger
in a strange land?'
"After he had thus spoken, the greater part of our number were of
his opinion, and praised his counsel. Notwithstanding, I pointed out
the cruel animosity still unappeased of our enemies, and that it was
not for any human cause of quarrel, that they had carried out with
such fury their enterprise, but mainly (as would appear by the notice
they had already given us) because we were of those who were re-
formed by the preaching of the Gospel; that we should be cowards to
trust in men, rather than in God, who gives life to his own in the
midst of death, and gives ordinarily his assistance when the hopes of
men entirely fail.
"I also brought to their minds examples from Scripture, instancing
Joseph, Daniel, Elias, and the other prophets, as well also the apostles,
as St. Peter and St. Paul, who were all drawn out of much affliction,
as would appear by means extraordinary and strange to the reason and
judgment of men. His arm, said I, is not shortened, nor in any wise
enfeebled; his power is always the same. Do you not recollect, said I
the flight of the Israelites before Pharaoh? What hope had that
people of escaping from the hands of that powerful tyrant ? He had
them, as it were, under his heel. Before them they had the sea, on
either side inaccessible mountains.
"What then? He who opened the sea to make a path for his
people, and made it afterwards to swallow up his enemies, can not he
conduct us by the forest places of this strange country ? While thus
discoursing, six of the company followed out the first proposition, and
abandoned us to go and yield themselves up to our enemies, hoping to
find favor before them. But they learned, immediately and by
experience, what folly it is to trust more in men than in the promise
of the Lord. For having gone out of the wood, as they descended to
the fort they were immediately seized by the Spaniards and treated in
the same fashion as the others had been. They were at once killed
and massacred, and then drawn to the banks of the river, where the
others killed at the fort lay in heaps. We who remained in the wood
continued to make our way, and drawing towards the sea, as well as we
could judge, and as it pleased God to conduct our paths and to straiten
our course, we soon arrived at the brow of a mountain and from there
commenced to see the sea, but it was still at a great distance; and
what was worse, the road we had to take showed itself wonderfully
strange and difficult. In the first place, the mountain from which it

.." *'- : ** *
: :*:. *. ; ..


was necessary for us to descend, was of such height and ruggedness,
that it was not possible for a person descending to stand upright; and
we should never have dared to descend it but for the hope we had of
sustaining ourselves by the branches of the bushes, which were
frequent upon the side of the mountain, and to save life, not sparing
our hands which we had all gashed up and bloody, and even the legs
and nearly all the body was torn. But descending from the mountain, we
did not lose our view of the sea, on account of a small wood which
was upon a little hill opposite to us; and in order to go to the wood it
was requisite that we should traverse a large meadow, all mud and
quagmire, covered with briars and other kind of strange plants; for
the stalk was as hard as wood, and the leaves pricked our feet and our
haqds until the blood came, and being all the while in water up to the
middle, which redoubled our pain and suffering. The rain came down
upon us in such manner from heaven, that we were during all that
time between two floods; and the further we advanced the deeper we
found the water.
"And then thinking that the last period of our lives had come, we
all embraced each other, and with a common impulse, we commenced
to sigh and cry to the Lord, accusing our sins and recognizing the
weight of his judgment upon us. 'Alas! Lord,' said we, 'what are
we but poor worms of the earth? Our souls weakened by grief, sur-
render themselves into thy hands. Oh, Father of Mercy and God of
Love, deliver us from this pain of death! or if thou wilt that in this
desert we shall draw our last breath, assist us so that death, of all
things the most terrible, shall have no advantage over us, but that we
may remain firm and stable in the sense of thy favor and good-will,
which we have too often experienced in the cause of thy Christ to
give way to the spirit of Satan, the spirit of despair and of distrust;
for if we die, we will protest now before thy Majesty, that we would
die unto thee, and that if we live it may be to recount thy wonders in
the midst of the assembly of thy servants.' Our prayers concluded,
we marched with great difficulty straight towards the wood, when we
came to a great river which ran in the midst of this meadow; the
channel was sufficiently narrow but very deep, and ran with great force,
as though all the field ran toward the sea. This was another addition
to our anguish, for there was not one of our men who would dare
to undertake to cross over by swimming. But in this confusion of our
thoughts, as to what manner to pass over, I bethought myself of the
wood which we had left behind us. After exhorting my comrades to
patience and a continued trust in the Lord, I returned to the wood,
and cut a long pole, with the good size clasp knife which remained in
my hand from the hour the fort was taken; and I returned to the
others, who awaited me in great perplexity. 'Now, then, comrades,'
said I, let us see if God, by means of this stick, will not give us
some help to accomplish our path.' Then we laid the pole upon the
water, and each one by turn taking hold of the end of the pole, carried
it by his side to the midst of the channel, when losing sight of him
we pushed him with sufficient force to the other bank, where he drew


himself out by the canes and other bushes growing along its borders; and
by his example we passed over, one at a time; but it was not without
great danger, and not without drinking a great deal of salt water, in such
manner that our hearts were all trembling, and we were as much over-
come as though we had been half drowned. After we had come to
ourselves and had resumed courage, moving on all the time towards
the wood. which we had remarked close to sea, the pole was not even
needed to pass another creek, which gave us not much less trouble than
the first; but by the grace of God, we passed it and entered the wood
the same evening, where we passed the night in great fear and
trembling, standing about against the trees.
"And, as much as we had labored, even had it been more, we felt
no desire to sleep; for what repose could there be to spirits in such
mortal affright? Near the break of day, we saw a great beast, like a
deer, at fifty paces from us, who had a great head, eyes flaming, the
ears hanging, and the higher parts elevated. It seemed to us mon-
strous, because of its gleaming eyes, wondrously large; but it did not
come near us to do us any harm.
The day having appeared, we went out of the wood and returned to-
wards the sea, in which we hoped, after God, as the only means of saving
our lives; but we were again cast down and troubled, for we saw before
us a country of marsh and muddy quagmires, full of water and
ro-ered with briars, like that we had passed the previous day. We
marched across this salt marsh; and, in the direction we had to take,
we perceived among the briars a body of men, whom we at first thought
to be enemies, who had gone there to cut us off; but upon close obser-
vation, they seemed in as sad a plight as ourselves, naked and terrified;
and we immediately perceived that they were our own people. It was
Captain Laudonniere, his servant-maid, Jacques Morgues of Dieppe
(the artist), Francis Duval of Rouen, son of him of the iron crown
of Rouen, Niguise de la Cratte, Nicholas the carpenter, the Trum-
peter of Sieur Laudonniere, and others, who all together made the
number of twenty-six men. Upon deliberating as to what we should
do, two of our men mounted to the top of one of the tallest trees and dis-
covered from thence one of our vessels, which was that of Captain
Maillard, to whom they gave a signal, that he might know that we
were in want of help. Thereupon he came towards us with his small
vessel, but in order to reach the banks of the stream, it was necessary
for us to traverse the briars and two other rivers similar to those which
we passed the previous day; in order to accomplish which, the pole I
had cut the day before was both useful and necessary, and two others
which Sr. de Laudonniere had provided; and we came pretty near to the
vessel, but our hearts failed us fromhunger and fatigue, and we should
have remained where we were unless the sailors had given us a hand,
which aid was very opportune; and they carried us, one after the
other, to the vessel, on board of which we were all received well and
kindly. They gave us bread and water, and we began afterwards, little
by little, to recover our strength and vigor; which was a strong reason
that we should recognize the goodness of the Lord, who had saved us


against all hope from an infinity of dangers and frpm death, by which
we had been surrounded and assaulted from all quarters, to render him
forevermore our thanks and praises. We thus passed the entire night
recounting the wonders of the Lord, and consoled each other in the
assurances of our safety.
"Daylight having come, Jacques Ribault, Captain of the Pearl,
boarded us to confer with us respecting what was to done by us, and
what means we should take for the safety of the rest of our men and
the vessels. It was then objected, the small quanity of provisions
which we had, our strength broken, our munitions and means of de-
fense taken from us, the uncertainty as to the condition of our
Admiral, and not knowing but that he had been shipwrecked on sbme
coast a long distance from us, or driven to a distance by the tempest.
"We thereupon concluded that we could do no better than return
to France, and were of the opinion that the company should divide
into two parts, the one remaining on board the Pearl, the other under
charge of Captain Maillard.
"On Friday, the twenty-fifth day of the month of September, we
departed from this coast, favored by a strong northerly wind, having
concluded to return to France, and after the first day our two ships
were so far separated that we did not again encounter each other.
We proceeded five hundred leagues prosperously, when, one
morning about sunrise, we were attacked by a Spanish vessel, whji
we met as well as we could, and cannonaded them in such sort that we
made them subject to our disposal, and battered them so that the blood was
seen to overrun the scuppers. We held them then as surrendered and
defeated; but there was no means of grappling her, on account of the
roughness of the sea, for in grappling her there would be danger of
our striking together, which might have sunk us; she also, satisfied
with the affair, left us, joyful and thanking God that no one of us was
wounded or killed in this skirmish except our cook.
"The rest of our passage was without any renconter with ene-
mies; but we were much troubled by contrary winds, which often
threatened to cast us on the coast of Spain, which would have been
the finishing touch to our misfortunes, and the thing of which we had
the greatest horror. We also endured at sea many other things, such
as cold and hunger; for be it understood that we, who escaped from
the land of Florida, had nothing else for vestment or equipment, by
day or by night, except our shirts alone, or some other little rag, which
was a small matter of defence from the exposure to the weather; and
what was more, the bread which we eat, and we eat it very sparingly,
was all spoilt and rotten, as well also the water itself was all noisome,
and of which, besides, we could only have for the whole day a single
small glass.
This bad food was the reason, on our landing, that many of us fell
into divers maladies, which carried off many of the men of our com-
pany; and we arrived at last, after this perilous and lamentable
voyage, at Rochelle; where we were received and treated very hu-
manely and kindly by the inhabitants of the country and those of the


city, giving us of their means, to the extent our necessities require;
and assisted by their kindness we were each enabled to return to his
own part of the country."*
LaudonniBre'st narrative speaks more of his own per-
sonal escape; and that of Le Moynet refers to this descrip-
tion of De Challeux, as containing a full and accurate account
of what took place. Barcia mentions De Challeux, very
contemptuously as a carpenter, who succeeding badly at his
trade, took up that of preaching, but does not deny the truth
of his narrative.
Those who separated from their comrades and threw
themselves upon the enemies' mercy, are mentioned by the
Spanish writers; but they are .silent as to the treatment
they received.
*Ternaux Compans. t Hakluyt. ] Brevis Narratio.




It might naturally be supposed that a spot surrounded
with so many thrilling and interesting associations, as the
scene of the events we have just related, would have been
commemorated either by tradition or by ancient remains
attesting its situation. But, in truth, no recognized point
now bears the appellation of Fort Caroline, and the anti-
quary can point at this day to no fosse or parapet, no
crumbling bastion, no ancient helm or buckler, no shattered
and corroded garniture of war mingled with the bones of
the dead, as evidencing its position.
A writer who has himself done more to rescue from ob-
livion the historical romance of the South than any other,*
has well said, "It will be an employment of curious interest,
whenever the people of Florida shall happen upon thetrue
site of the settlement and structure of Laudonniere, to
trace out in detail these several localities, and fix them for
the benefit of posterity. The work is scarcely beyond the
hammer and chisel of some Old Mortality, who has learned
to place his affections and fix his sympathies upon the
achievements of the past."
With a consciousness of our unfitness to establishabso-
lutely a memorial so interesting as the site of Fort Caroline
must ever be, I shall endeavor to locate its position, upon
the basis of reasons entirely satisfactory to myself, and
measurably so, I trust, to others.
The account given by LaudonniBre himself, the leader of
the Huguenots, by whom Fort Caroline was constructed, is
as follows:-After speaking of his arrival at the mouth of
the river, which had been named the River May by Ribault,
who had entered it on the first day of May, 1562, and had
therefore given it that name, he says, "Departing from
thence, I had not sailed three leagues up the river, still
being followed by the Indians, crying still, 'amy,' 'amy,'
that is to say, friend, but I discovered an hill of mean
*W. Gilmore Simms, Esq.


height, neare which I went on land, harde by the fields
that were sowed with mil, at one corner whereof there was
an house, built for their lodgings which keep and garde
the mil. Now was I determined to
search out the qualities of the hill. Therefore I went
right to the toppe thereof; where we found nothing else but
cedars, palms, and bay trees of so sovereign odor that Balme
smelleth not more sweetly. The trees were environed
around about with vines bearing grapes, in such quantities
that the number would suffice to make the place habitable.
Besides the fertilitie of the soyle for vines, one may see
mesquine wreathed about the trees in great quantities.
Touching the pleasure of the place, the sea may be seen
plain enough from it; and more than six great leagues off,
towards the River Belle, a man may behold the meadows,
divided asunder into isles and islet, enterlacing one another.
Briefly, the place is so pleasant, that those which are mel-
ancholicke, would be inforced to change their humour. *
"Our fort was built in form of a triangle; the side to-
wards the west, which was towards the land, was inclosed
with a little trench and raised with turf made in the form
of a battlement, nine feet high; the other side, which was
towards the river, was enclosed with a palisade of planks of
timber, after the manner that Gabions are made; on the
south line, there was a kind of bastion, within which I
caused an house for the munition to be made. It was all
builded with fagots and sand, saving about two or three
foote high, with turfes whereof the battlements were made.
In the middest, I caused a great court to be made of
eighteen paces long, and the same in breadth. In the mid-
dest whereof, on the one side, drawing towards the south,
I builded a corps de garde and an house on the other side
towards the north. One of the sides that in-
closed my court, which I made very faire and large, reached
unto the grange of my munitions; and on the other side,
towards the river, was mine own lodgings, round which
were galleries all covered. The principal doore of my
lodging was in the middest of the great place, and the
other was toward the river. A good distance from the
fort I built an oven."
Jacob Le Moyne, or Jacques Morgues, as he is sometimes
called, accompanied the expedition; and his Brevis Narratio
contains two plates, representing the commencement of the
construction of Fort Caroline, and its appearance when
completed. The latter represents a much more finished


fortification than could possibly have been constructed, but
may be taken as a correct outline, I presume, of its general
Barcia, in his account of its capture, describes neither its
shape nor appearance, but mentions the parapet nine feet
high, and the munition house and store house.
From the account of LaudonniBre and Le Moyne, it was
situated near the river, on the slope or nearly at the foot of
a hill.* Barcia speaks of its being behind a hill, and of
descending towards it. The clerical-carpenter, Challeux,
speaks of being able, after his escape, to look down from
the hill he was on, into the court of the fort itself, and
seeing the massacre of the French. As he was flying from
the fort towards the sea, and along the river, and as the
Spaniards came from a southeast direction, the fort must
have been on the westerly side of a hill, near the river.
The distance is spoken of as less than three leagues by
LaudonniBre. Hawkins and Ribault say, the fort was not
visible from the mouth of the river. It is also incidentally
spoken of in Barcia as being two leagues from the bar.
De Challeux, in the narrative of his escape, speaks of the
distance as being about two leagues. In the account given
of the expedition of De Gourgues, it is said to be, in general
terms, about one or two leagues above the forts afterwards
constructed on each side of the mouth of the river; and it
is also mentioned in De Gourgues, that the fort was at the
foot of a hill, near the water, and could be overlooked from
the hill. The distance from the mouth of the river, and
the nature of the ground where the fort was built, are
thus made sufficiently definite to enable us to seek a lo-
cation which shall fulfill both these conditions. It is
hardly necessary to remark that there can be no question
but that the fort was located on the south or easterly side
of the river, as the Spaniards marched by land from St.
Augustine in a northwesterly direction to Fort Caroline.
he River St. Johns is one of the largest rivers, in point
of width, to be found in America, and is more like an arm
,._f the sea than a river; from its mouth for a distance of
fifteen miles, it is spread over extensive marshes, and there
are few points where the channel touches the banks of the
river. At its mouth it is comparatively narrow, but im-
mediately extends itself over wide-spread marshes; and the
first headland or shore which is washed by the channel is a
place known as St. John's Bluff. Here the river runs
Laudonniere says, poignantt la montagne."


closely along the shore, making a bold, deep channel close
up to the bank. The land rises abruptly on one side into a
hill of moderate height, covered with a dense growth of
pine, cedar, &c. This hill gently slopes to the banks of the
river, and runs off to the southwest, where, at the distance of
a quarter of a mile, a creek discharges itself into the river,
at a place called "the Shipyard from time immemorial.
I am not aware that any remains of Fort Caroline, or
any old remains of a fortress, have ever been discovered
here; but it must be recollected that this fort was con-
structed of sand and pine trees, and that three hundred
years have passed away, with their storms and tempests,
their rains and destructive influences-a period sufficient to
have destroyed a work of much more durable character
than sandy entrenchments and green pine stakes and
timbers. Moreover, it is higy probable, judging from
present appearances, that the constant abrasion of the banks
still going on has long since worn away the narrow spot where
stood Fort Caroline. It is also to be remarked, that as
there is no other hill, or high land, or place where a fort
could have been built, between St. John's Bluff and the
mouth of the river, so it is also the fact that there is no
point on the south side of the river where the channel touches
high land, for a distance by water of eight or ten miles
above St. John's Bluff.
The evidence in favor of the location of Fort Caroline at
St. John's Bluff is, I think conclusive and irresistible, and
accords in all points with the descriptionsigiven as to dis-
tance, topography, and points of view.
It is within the memory of persons now living, that a con-
siderable orange grove and somewhat extensive buildings,
which existed at this place, then called San Vicente, have
been washed into the river, leaving at this day no vestiges
of their existence. It has been occpuied as a Spanish fort
within fifty years; yet so rapid has been the work of time and
the elements, that no remains of such occupation are now
to be seen.
The narratives all speak of the distance from the mouth
of the river as about two leagues; and in speaking of so
short a distance the probability of exactness is much greater
than when dealing with longer distances.
As to the spot itself, it presents all the natural features
mentioned by LaudonniBre; and it requires but a small spice
of enthusiasm and romance that it be recognized as a
"goodlie and pleasant spotted by those who might like


the abundance of the wild grapes and the view of the distant
salt meadows, with their iles and islets, so pleasant that
those which are melancholike would be informed to change
their humour."tc
It is butproper, however, to say, that at a plantation known
as Newcastle there is a high range of ground, and upon
this high ground the appearance of an old earth-workof quad-
rangular form; but this point is distant some six leagues
from the mouth of the river, is flanked by a deep bay or
marsh to the southeast, and the work is on the top of the
hill and not at its foot, is quadrangular and not triangular, and
is a considerable distance from the water. These earth-
works, I am satisfied, are Spanish or English remains of a
much later period.
By examining a map of the St. John's river, the first pro-
jecting land on the south side, lying east of the second
N township line marked from the coast, will be found nearly
to indicate the point known as St. John's Bluff. On the
I eastern face the bluff is quite high and precipitous-being
possibly the "brow of the mountain mentioned by De
Challeux-and immediately beyond is a deep indentation of
the shore-line of several miles in circuit, within which is an
immense tract of sea-marsh, interspersed with small islands,
and cut up by narrow channels. Through this the fugitives
may be supposed to have crossed, and, reaching the high
lands which hem in the marsh near the mouth of the river,
were enabled to view the vessels which offered them rescue.
About the year 1856 a handful of small copper coins were
accidentally found near the eastern margin of this marsh,
in the rear of what is now known as Mayport Mill. Some
few were at first found on the ground, as if accidentally ex-
posed, and upon removing the earth for a slight depth the
remainder were discovered. They were distributed among
several gentlemen in Florida, and Mr. Buckingham Smith,
at that time and more recently made the history of the
coins a subject of especial inquiry in Spain.
Just before putting the second edition of this work to
press, the following letter was received by the publisher of
this volume, and is given as matter of interest in connec-
tion with the locality referred to:
MADRID, August 15, 1868.
MY DEAR SIR :-I brought with me from Florida, as I proposed,
three copper coins of those found with others of the same sort many
years ago, on the St. Johns river near the old site of Fort Caroline, in
what the French three centuries ago called the Vale of Laudonniere,


that I might have them examined in Europe. There were none of the
sort in the British Museum, with which they might be compared, and
in the Bibliothique Imperial I could only learn that they were Spanish.
On my arrival here I gave them for inspection to Senor Bermudez, a
long time in charge of the national collection of such like antiquities,
second only in extent and value to that of Paris: and showed them
also to other of my friends learned in numismatics. The work of A.
Heiss, now making its appearance in numbers, with the title Descrip-
tion General de las monedas Hispano- Christianas desde la invasion
de los Arabes, has been also consulted, and this is the amount of all
the conclusions, the inscriptions on each coin being nearly the same:
Two II in the midst, with crowns upon them; to the right P, to the left S ;
in the middle a square point.
A Y in the middle, crowned; to the right IIII; to the left F.
They were struck for Dona Juana and Carlos I., Empr. Charles V.,
between the years 1516 and 1555. The Y is supposed to refer to Ysa-
bel: the double I to Joanna I., or may be to the columns of Hercules,
and the crowns upon them to those of Castilla and Aragon. On later
silver coins, not so rude, the columns are placed with the words plus
ultra, as you may have observed on a Spanish dollar. The IIII (on
some 4,) means four maravedises, the value of which have varied: at
present 25 of these would be the value of a real. These coins are un-
common; in good preservation, very rare. The curiosity so many of
us have had for a number of years about these matters, I believe is at
last satisfied.
I have visited the town of Aviles, a league from the Bay of Biscay,
whence Pedro Menendez came, and brought his fleet to Florida, three
centuries ago. I saw his tomb, and not far off the chapel of the family
of one of his companions. There is no stranger any where to be heard
of in all that country; every thing is intensely and old Spanish in
every aspect. Going home late one evening, I was accosted by a na-
tive in good English. He said the town was rarely visited-three or
four Englishmen within his memory had passed through, and he suppo-
sed me to be the first person from the United States who had ever been
there. I told him I came from Florida, and, though rather late, was
returning the visit of Menendez to St. Augustine.
The estate of this old colonist is in the house of the Count of Ca-
nalejas, held by the Marquis of San Estevan, who is also by marriage
the Count of Revilla Gigedo. I called on him at his country seat in
Dania, and, detaining me to spend the day with him, gave orders to
have his family pictures and palace shown to me at Gijon, and his pa-
pers at a residence in Oviedo. Among the documents is a valuable one
for writing a life of Menendez. It is a draft for a letter in his own
hand, directed to his nephew, Governor of Florida, in which he ex-
presses his wish to be with him and away from business. He speaks
of the "invincible armada" which he had been appointed to com-


mand, and gives the number of his ships. This probably was the last
thing he ever wrote, dated ten days before he died, as it is known that
he died on the ninth day of his sickness. Of course I have a copy to
show you.
Spain has greatly changed within the last eight years-impoverished
itself, the people say, with improvements. The railroads traverse most
parts, are well laid, durable, and the service good. The ancient mon-
uments have begun to be cared for, are repaired, and in the charge of
a commission of the government.
Give my best regards to friends about you, and believe me truly
Mr. COLUMBUS DREW, Jacksonville, Fla.



A. D. 1565.

AFTER an ineffectual attempt to induce those in the small
vessels of the French to surrender, failing in this, the Gen-
eral concluded to return to St. Augustine, and send two of
his vessels to the mouth of the river to intercept them.
Some of the fugitives from the fort fled to the Indians;
and ten of these were given up to the Spaniards, to be
butchered in cold blood, says the French account,-to be
sent back to France, says the Spanish chronicle.
The 24th September being the day of St. Matthew, the
name of the fort was changed to that of San Matheo, by
which name it was always subsequently called by the Span-
iards; and the name of St. Matthew was also given by them
to the river, now called St. Johns, on which it is situated.
The Spaniards proceeded at once to strengthen the for-
tress, deepening and enlarging the ditch, and raised and
strengthened the ramparts and walls in such manner, says
the boastful Mendoza, "that if the half of all France had
come to attack it, they could not have disturbed it;" a boast
upon which the easy conquest of it by De Gourgues, three
years subsequently, affords an amusing commentary. They
also constructed, subsequently, two small forts at the mouth
of the river, one on each side, which probably were located
the one at Batten Island and the other at Mayport.
Leaving three hundred soldiers as a garrison under his
son-in-law, De Valdez, Master of the Camp, who was now
appointed Govenor of the fort, Menendez marched for St.
Augustine, beginning now to feel considerable anxiety lest
the French fleet, escaping from the tempest, might return
and visit upon his own garrison at St. Augustine, the fate of
Fort Caroline. He took with him upon his return but fifty
soldiers, and, owing to the swollen waters, found great diffi-
culty in retracing his route. When within a league of St.
Augustine, he allowed one of the soldiers to go forward to
announce his victory and safe return.


The garrison at St. Augustine had been in great anxiety
respecting their leader, and from the accounts given by those
who had deserted, they had feared the total loss of the ex-
pedition. The worthy Chaplain thus describes the return
of Menendez:-
"The same day, being Monday, we saw a man coming, crying out
loudly. I myself was the first to run to him for the news. He em-
braced me with transport, crying Victory Victory The French
fort is ours.' I promised him the present which the bearer of good
news deserves, and gave him the best in my power.
At the hour of vespers our good General arrived, with fifty foot
soldiers, very much fatigued. As soon as I learned that he was com-
ing, I ran home and put on a new soutain, the best which I had, and a
surplice, and going out with a crucifix in my hand, I went forward to
receive him; and he, a gentleman and a good Christian, before enter-
ing kneeled and all his followers, and returned thanks to the Lord for
the great favours which he had received. My companions and myself
marched in front in procession, so that we all returned with the greatest
demonstrations of joy."
When about to dispatch the two vessels in his harbor to
the St. John's, to cut off the French vessels he had left there,
he was informed that two sail had already been seen to pass
the bar, supposed to contain the French fugitives.
Eight days after the capture of Fort Caroline, a fire broke
out in the quarters of St. Augustine, which destroyed much
treasure and provisions, and the origin of which was doubt-
ful, whether to be ascribed to accident or design. Much
dissatisfaction prevailed among the officers and soldiers, and
the fire was looked -upon with pleasure by some, as having
a tendency to hasten their departure from a spot which
offered few temptations or rewards, compared to Mexico or
On the very day of Menendez's return, a Frenchman was
discovered by a fishing party on Anastasia Island, who, be-
ing taken, said he was one of a party of eighteen, sent in a
small vessel, some days before, to reconnoitre the Spanish
position; that they had been unable to keep the sea, and had
been thrown ashore, about four leagues below, at the mouth
of a river; that the Indians attacked and killed three of
their number, and they thereupon escaped.
Menendez dispatched a captain and fifty men, to get off
the vessel and capture any of the French who might be
found. On their arrival at the place, they found that all the
French had been killed by the Indians ; but they succeeded
in getting off the vessel. Menendez, feeling uneasy in ref-
erence to their encounter with the Indians, had followed on


after the expedition, in company with the worthy Chaplain,
to whom his promenade among the briars, vines, prickly
cedars, chaparral, and prickly pears of Anastasia, seems to
have been a true via dolorosa.
Upon their arrival, they found a considerable body of
French upon the south side of an inlet, whose fires indicated
their position.
The four vessels of Ribault, which had gone in pursuit
of the Spaniards at St. Augustine, had been overtaken by
the storm, and after keeping to sea with incredible effort,
had been finally driven ashore upon the shoals of Canaveral,*
with but little loss of life but a total loss of every thing
else; they were thus thrown on shore without shelter from
the elements, famished with hunger, borne down by disap-
pointment, and utterly dispirited and demoralized. They
were consumed, also, by the most painful uncertainty.
Marching to the northward along shore, they discovered a
skiff, and resolved to send a small number of persons in it,
to make their way by sea to Fort Caroline, to bring succor
to them from there. This boat succeeded in reaching the
St. John's, where they were informed, by friendly Indians,
of the fate which had befallen the fort; and subsequently
they fell in with a Frenchman who had escaped, who related
to them the whole disaster. Upon this they concluded to
seek their own safety among the friendly Indians of St.
Helena, rather than to be the useless bearers of the tidings
of their misfortunes to their companions in arms.
There are several accounts of the sad fate which befel the
followers of Ribault, the massacre of whom has been per-
petuated by the memorial name given to its scene, "the
bloody river of Matanzas," the ebb and flow of whose re-
curring tides for three hundred years have failed to wash
out the record of blood which has associated this massacre
of the Huguenots with the darkest scenes of earth's history.
In consequence of the rank and number of the victims, the
event produced various and somewhat contradictory ac-
counts; but all stamped with a seal of reprobation and execra-
tion the act and the actors, without reference to creed or na-
tionality. Challeux relates instances of cruel barbarity added
to the atrocity of slaughter itself; and others, it appears,
had given other versions, all in different degree pointing the
finger of historic justice to mark and commemorate the
crime against humanity.
Canaveral, where Ribault was wrecked, must have been some point
north of Mosquito Inlet, and not the cape now bearing that name, as he
could not have crossed Mosquito Inlet in his march to Matanzas.


The Spanish historian, Barcia, aims to counteract this
general condemnation, of which in his own language he
says, These calumnies, repeated in so many quarters, have
sullied the fame of the Adelantado, being exaggerated by
the heretics, and consented to by the Catholics, so that even
the Father Felix Briot, in his annals, says that he caused
them to be killed contrary to the faith which he had given
them; which is altogether a falsehood, for the Adelantado
did not give his word, nor would he when asked give it, to
spare their lives, although they were willing to pay him for
doing so; nor in the capture of Fort Caroline did he do
more than has been related; and such is the account given
by Doctor Salis de las Meras, brother-in-law to Donna Maria
de Salis, wife of the Adelantado, who was present, and who,
relating the punishment of the heretics, and the manner in
which it was accomplished, says,-
The Adelantado occupied himself in fortifying his set-
tlement at St. Augustine, as well as he could, to defend it
from the French fleet if they should attack it. Upon the
following day some Indians came and by signs informed
them that four leagues distant there were a large number of
Christians, who were unable to cross an arm of the sea or
strait, which is a river upon the inner side of an inlet, which
they were obliged to cross in order to come to St. Augus-
tine. The Adelantado sent thither forty soldiers about dusk,
and arrived about midnight near the inlet, where he com-
manded a halt until morning, and leaving his soldiers con-
cealed, he ascended a tree to see what was the state of mat-
ters. He discovered many persons on the other side of the
river, and their standards; and to prevent their passing
over, he directed his men to exhibit themselves towards the
shore, so that it might be supposed that he had with him a
large force; and when they were discovered, a French sol-
dier swam over, and said that the persons beyond the river
were Frenchmen, that they had been wrecked in a storm,
but had all saved their lives. The Adelantado asked what
French they were ? He answered, that they were two hun-
dred of the people under command of Jean Ribault, Viceroy
and Captain General of this country for the king of the
French. He asked again, if they were Catholics or Luthe-
rans ? It was replied that they were all Lutherans, of the
new religion; all of which was previously well known to
the Adelantado, when he encountered their fleet with his
vessels; and the women and children whom he had spared
when he took their fort, had also so informed him; and he


had found in the fort when he took it, six trunks filled with
books, well bound and gilt; all of which were of the new
sect, and from which they did not say mass, but preached
their Lutheran doctrines every evening; all of which books
he directed to be burnt, not sparing a single one.
"'The Adelantado then asked him why he had come
over? He said he had been sent over by his Captain, to see
what people they were. The General asked if he wished to
return. He said, Yes, but he desired to know what peo-
ple they were." This man spoke very plainly, for he was a
Gascon of San Juan de Suz. "Then tell him," said the
Adelantado, "that it is the Viceroy and Captain General of
this country for the king, Don Philip; and that his name is
Pedro Menendez, and that he is here with some of his sol-
diery to ascertain what people those were, for he had been
informed the day before that they were there, and the hour
at which they came."
"' The French soldier went over with his message, and
immediately returned, saying "that if they would pledge
faith to his captain and to four other gentlemen, they would
like to come and treat with him;" and they desired the loan
of a boat, which the General had directed to bring some
provisions to the river. The General instructed the mes-
senger to say to his captain, "that he might come over
securely under the pledge of his word," and then sent
over for them the boat; and they crossed over. The Ade-
lantado received them very well, with only ten of his fol-
lowers; the others he directed to stay some distance off
among some bushes, so that their number might appear to
be greater than it was. One of the Frenchmen announced
himself as captain of these people; and that in a great storm
they had lost four galleons, and other vessels of the king of
France, within a distance of twenty leagues of each other;
and that these were the people from on board of one ship,
and that they desired they would let them have a boat for
this arm of the sea, and for another four leagues hence,
which was at St. Augustine; that they desired to go to a
fort which they held twenty leagues from there. It was the
same fort which Menendez had taken. The Adelantado
asked them "if they were Catholics or Lutherans?" He
replied "that they were all of the New Religion." Then
the Adelantado said to them, Gentlemen, your fort is
taken and its people destroyed, except the women, and chil-
dren under fifteen years of age; and that you may be as-
sured of this, among the soldiers who are here there are


many things, and also there are here two Frenchmen whom
I have brought with me, who said they were Catholics. Sit
down here and eat, and I will send the two Frenchmen to
you, as also the things which some of my soldiers have taken
from the fort, in order that you may be satisfied.
"' The Adelantado having spoken thus, directed food to
be given to them, and sent the two Frenchmen to them, and
many things which the soldiers had brought from the fort,
that they might see them, and then retired himself, to eat
with his own people; and an hour afterwards, when he saw
that the French had eaten, he went where they were and
asked if they were satisfied of the truth of what he had told
them. They said they were, and desired that for a consid-
eration, he should give them vessels and ships' stores, that
they might return to France. The Adelantado answered,
"that he would do so with great pleasure if they were good
Catholics, or if he had the ships for them; but he had not
the vessels, having sent two to St. Matteo (Ft. Caroline), the
one to take the artillery they had captured, and the French
women and children, to St. Domingo, and to obtain provi-
sions. The other had to go upon business of his Majesty to
other parts.
"' The French captain replied, "that he should grant to
all, their lives, and that they should remain with him until
they could obtain shipping for France, since they were not
at war, and the kings of Spain and of France were brothers
and friends." The Adelantado said, "that was true, and
Catholics and friends he would favor, believing that he
would serve both kings in doing so; but as to themselves,
being of the new sect, he held them for enemies, and he
would wage war upon them even to blood and to fire; and
that he would pursue them with all cruelty wherever he
should encounter them, in whatever sea or land where he
should be viceroy or captain general for his king; and that
he would go and plant the holy faith in this land, that the
Indians might be enlightened and be brought to the know-
ledge of the Holy Catholic Faith of Jesus Christ our Saviour,
as taught and announced by the Roman Church. That if
they wished to surrender their standards and their arms, and
throw themselves upon his mercy, they might do so, for he
would do with them what God should of his grace direct; or, they
could do as they might deem proper; that other treaty or
friendship they should not have from him." The French
captain replied, that he could not then conclude any other
matter with the Adelantado. He went over in the boat,


saying, that he went to relate what had passed, and to agree
upon what should be done, and within two hours he would
return with an answer. The Adelantado said, They could.
do as seemed best to them, and he would wait for them."
Two hours passed, when the same French captain returned,
with those who had accompanied him previously, and said
to the General, "that there were many people of family,
and nobles among them, and that they would give fifty
thousand ducats, of ransom, if he would spare all their
lives." He answered, that although he was a poor soldier,
he could not be governed by selfish interests, and if he were to
be merciful and lenient, he desired to be so without the sus-
picion of other motives." The French captain returned to
urge the matter. "Do not deceive yourselves," said the
Adelantado, "for if Heaven were to join to earth, I would
do no otherwise than I have said." The French officer then
going towards where his people stood, said, that in accord-
ance with that understanding he would return shortly with
an answer; and within half an hour he returned and placed
in the boat, the standards, seventy arquebuses, twenty pis-
tols, a quantity of swords and shields, and some helmets and
breast-plates; and the captain came to where the General
stood, and said that all the French force there submitted
themselves to his clemency, and surrendered to him their
standards and their arms. The Adelantado then directed
twenty soldiers to go in the boat and bring the French, ten
by ten. The river was narrow and easy to pass, and he di-
rected Diego Flores de Valdes, Admiral of the Fleet, to re-
ceive the standards and the arms, and to go in the boat and
see that the soldiers did not maltreat them. The Adelan-
tado then withdrew from the shore, about two bow shots,
behind a hillock of sand, within a copse of bushes, where
the persons who came in the boat which brought over the
French, could not see; and then said to the French captain
and the other eight Frenchmen who were there with, him,
" Gentlemen, I have but few men with me, and they are not
very effective, and you are numerous; and, going unre-
strained, it would be an easy thing to take satisfaction upon
our men for those whom we destroyed when we took the
fort; and thus it is necessary that you should march with
hands tied behind, a distance of four leagues from here
where I have my camp." The French replied "that they
would do so;" and they had their hands tied strongly behind
their backs with the match ropes of the soldiers; and the
ten who came in the boat did not see those who had their


hands tied, until they came up to the same place; for it was
so arranged, in order that the French who had not passed
the river, should not understand what was being done, and
might not be offended, and thus were tied two hundred and
eight Frenchmen. Of whom the Adelantado asked that if
any among them were Catholics, they should declare it.
Eight said that they were Catholics, and were separated
from the others and placed in a boat, that they might go by
the river to St. Augustine; and all the rest replied "that
they were of the new religion, and held themselves to be
very good Christians; that this was their faith and no other."
The Adelantado then gave the order to march with them,
having first given them meat and drink, as each ten arrived,
before being tied, which was done before the succeeding ten
arrived; and he directed one of his captains who marched
with the vanguard, that at a certain distance from there he
would observe a mark made by a lance, which he carried in
his hand, which would be in a sandy place that they would
be obliged to pass in going on their way towards the fort of
St. Augustine, and that there the prisoners should all be
destroyed; and he gave the one in command of the rear-
guard the same orders; and it was done accordingly; when,
leaving there all of the dead, they returned the same night
before dawn, to the fort at St. Augustine, although it was
already sundown when the men were killed.' "*
Such is the second part of this sad and bloody tragedy;
which took place at the Matanzas Inlet, about eighteen miles
south of the city of St. Augustine, and at the southerly end
of Anastasia Island. The account we have given, it must
be borne in mind, is that ofDe Solis, the brother-in-law and
apologist of Menendez; but even under his extenuating
hand the conduct of Menendez wasthat of one deaf to the
voice of humanity, and exulting in cold-blooded treachery,
dealing in vague generalities intended to deceive, while
affording a shallow apology for the actor. A massacre in~
cold blood of poor shipwrecked, famished men, prisoners
yielding themselves to an expected clemency, tied up like
sheep, and butchered by poignard blows from behind,
shocked alike the moral sense of all to whom the tale came
without regard to faith or flag. ( .. ,
Barcia, p. 87.



THE first detachment of the French whom Menendez met
and so utterly destroyed, constituted the complement of a
single vessel, which had been thrown ashore at a more
northerly point than the others. All these vessels were
wrecked between Mosquito Inlet and Matanzas.
Of the fate of the main detachment, under Ribault in per-
son, we have the following account, as related by the same
apologist, the chaplain De Solis:
On the next day following the return of the Adelantado
at St. Angustine, the same Indians who came before returned,
and said that 'a great many more Christians were at the
same part of the river as the others had been.' The Ade-
lantado concluded that it must be Jean Ribault, the General
of the Lutherans at sea and on land, whom they called the
Viceroy of this country for the king of France. He imme-
diately went, with one hundred and fifty men in good order,
and reached the place where he had lodged the first time, at
about midnight; and at dawn he pushed forward to the river,
with his men drawn out, and when it was daylight, he saw,
two bow-shots from the other bank of the river, many per-
sons, and a raft made to cross over the people, at the place
where the Adelantado stood. But immediately, when the
French saw the Adelantado and his people, they took arms,
and displayed a royal standard and two standards of compa-
nies, sounding fifes and drums, in very good order, and
showing a front of battle to the Adelantado; who, having
ordered his men to sit down and take their breakfast, so
that they made no demonstration of any change, he himself
walked up and down the shore, with his admiral and two
other captains, paying no attention to the movement and
demonstration of battle of the French; so that they ob-
serving this, halted and the fifes and the drums ceased,
while with a bugle note they unfurled the white flag of
peace, which was returned by the Adelantado. A French-
man placed himself upon the raft, and cried with a loud
voice that he wished to cross over, but that owing to the


force of the current he could not bring the raft over, and
desired an Indian canoe which was there to be sent over.
The Adelantado said he could swim over for it, under pledge
of his word. A French sailor immediately came over, but
the General would not permit him to speak with him, but
directed him to take the canoe, and go and tell his captain,
that inasmuch as he called for a conference, if he desired
anything he should send over some one to communicate
with him. The same sailor immediately came with a gen-
tleman, who said he was the sergeant major of Jean Ribault,
Viceroy and Captain General of this land for the king of
France, and that he had sent him to say, that they had been
wrecked with their fleet in a great storm, and that he had
with him three hundred and fifty French; that theywished
to go to a fort which they held, twenty leagues from there;
that they wished the favor of boats, to pass this river, and
the other, fbur leagues further on, and that he desired to
know if they were Spaniards, and under what leader they
The Adelantado answered him, that they were Span-
iards, and that the captain under whom they served was the
person now addressing him, and was called Pedro Menen-
dez. That he should tell his General that the fort which
he held twenty leagues from there had been taken by him,
and he had destroyed all the French, and the rest who had
come with the fleet, because they were badly governed; and
then, passing thence to where the dead bodies of the French-
men whom he had killed still lay unburied, pointed them
out to him and said, therefore he could not permit them to
pass the river to their fort.
The sergeant, with an unmoved countenance, and with-
out any appearance of uneasiness on account of what the
Adelantado had said, replied, that if he would have the good-
ness to send a gentleman of his party, to say to the French
general, that they might negotiate with safety, the people
were much exhausted, and the general would come over in
a boat which was there. The Adelantado replied, 'Fare-
well, comrade, and bear the answer which they shall give
you; and if your general desires to come and treat with me,
I give my word that he shall come and return securely, with
four or six of his people whom he may select for his ad-
visors, that he may do whatever he may conclude to be
The French gentleman then departed with this message.
Within half an hour he returned to accept the assurance the


Adelantado had given, and to obtain the boat; which the
Adelantado was unwilling to let him have, but said he could
use the canoe, which was safe, and the strait was narrow;
and he again went back with this message.
"Immediately Jean Ribault came over, whom the Ade-
lantado received very well, with other eight gentleman, who
had come with him. They were all gentlemen of rank and
position. He gave them a collation, and would have given
them food if they had desired. Jean Ribault with much hu-
mility, thanked him for his kind reception, and said that to
raise their spirits, much depressed by the sad news of the death
of their comrades, they would partake only of the wine and
condiments, and did not wish anything else to eat. Then
after eating, Jean Ribault said, 'that he saw that those his
companions were dead, and that he could not be mistaken if
he desired to be.' Then the Adelantado directed the sol-
diers to bring each one whatever he had taken from the
fort; and he saw so many things that he knew for certain
that it was taken : although he knew this before, yet he
could not wholly believe it, because among his men there
was a Frenchman by name of Barbero, of those whom the
Adelantado had ordered to be destroyed with the rest, and
was left for dead with the others, having with the first thrust
he received fallen down and made as though he were- dead,
and when they left there he had passed over by swimming,
to Ribault; and this Barbero held it for certain that the Ade-
lantado had deceived them in saying that the fort was taken,
it not being so; and thus until now he had supposed. The
Adelantado said that in order with more certainty to believe
this and satisfy himself, he might converse apart with the
two Frenchmen who were present, to satisfy him better;
which he did.
"Immediately Jean Ribault came towards the Adelantado
and said, it was certain that all which lie had told him was
true; but that what had happened to him, might have hap-
pened to the Adelantado; and since their kings were broth-
ers, and such great friends, the Adelantado should act to-
wards him as a friend, and give him ships and provisions,
that he might return to France.'
The Adelantado replied in the same manner that he had
done to the other Erenchmen, as to what he would do; and
that taking it or leaving it, Jean Ribault could obtain no-
thing further from the Adelantado. Jean Ribault then said
that he would go and give an account of matters to his peo-


pie, for he had among them many of noble blood; and
would return or send an answer as to what he would do.
"Three hours afterwards, Jean Ribault returned in the
canoe, and said, that there were different opinions among
his people; that while some were willing to yield them-
selves to his clemency, others were not.' The Adelantado
replied that it mattered but little to him whether they all
came, or a part, or none at all; that they should do as it
pleased them, and he would act with the same liberty.' Jean
Ribault said to him, that the half of the people who were
willing to yield themselves to his clemency, would pay him
a ransom of more than 100,000 ducats; and the other half
were able to pay more, for there were among them persons
of wealth and large incomes, who had desired to establish ,
estates in this country.' The Adelantado answered him,
' It would grieve me much to lose so great and rich a ran-
som, under the necessity I am under for such aid, to carry
forward the conquest and settlement of this land, in the
name of my king, as is my duty, and to plant here the Holy
Evangel.' Jean Ribault considered from this, that with the
amount they could all give, he might be induced to spare
his own life and that of all the others who were with him, and
that they might be able to pay more than 200,000 ducats;
and he said to the Adelantado, that he would return with
his answer to his people; that as it was late, he would take
it as a favor if he would be willing to wait until the following
day, when he would bring their reply as to what they would
conclude to do.' The Adelantado said, 'Yes, that he would
wait.' Jean Ribault then went back to his people, it being
already sunset. In the morning, he returned with the canoe,
and surrendered to the Adelantado two royal standards-
the one that of the king of France, the other that of the
Admiral (Coligny),-and the standards of the company, and
a sword, dagger, and helmet, gilded very beautifully; and
also a shield, a pistol, and a commission given him under
the high admiral of France, to assure to him his title and
"He then said to him, that but one hundred and fifty of
the three hundred and fifty whom he had with him were
willing to yield to his clemency, and that the others had
withdrawn during the night; and that they might take the
boat and bring those who were willing to come over, and
their arms.' The Adelantado immediately directed the cap-
tain, Diego Flores Valdes, Admiral of the fleet, that he
should bring them over as he had done the others, ten by


ten; and the Adelantado, taking Jean Ribault behind the
sand hills, among the bushes where the others had their
hands tied behind them, he said to these and all the others
as he had done before, that they had four leagues to go after
night, and that he could not permit them to go unbound;
and after they were all tied, he asked if they were Catholics
or Lutherans, or if any of them desired to make confession.
"Jean Ribault replied, 'that all who were there were of
the new religion,' and he then began to repeat the psalm,
' Domine\! Memento! Mei;' and having finished, he said, that
from dust they came and to dust they must return, and that
in twenty years, more or less, he must render his final ac-
count; that the Adelantado might do with them as he
chose.' The Adelantado then ordered all to be killed, in
the same order and at the same mark, as had been done to
the others. He spared only the fifers, drummers, and trum-
peters, and four others who said that they were Catholics, in
all, sixteen persons." Todos los demas fueron degallados,"-
"all the rest were slaughtered," is the sententious summary
by which Padre de Solis announced the close of the sad
career of the gray-haired veteran, the brave soldier, the Ad-
miral Jean Ribault, and his companions.*
At some point on the thickly-wooded shores of the Island
of Anastasio, or beneath the shifting mounds of sand which
mark its shores, may still lie the bones of some of the three
hundred and fifty who, spared from destruction by the tem-
pest, and escaping the perils of the sea and of the savage,
fell victims to the vindictive rancor and blind rage of one
than whom history recalls none more cruel, or less humane.
But-while their bones, scattered on earth and sea, unhonored
and unburied, were lost to human sight, the tale of their
destruction and sad fate, scattered in like manner over the
whole world, has raised to their memory through sympathy
with their fate, a memorial which will endure as long as the
pages of history.
The Adelantado returned that night to St. Augustine,
where, says his apologist, some persons censured him for
his cruelty. Others commended what he had done, as the
act of a good general, and said that even if they had been
Catholics, he could not have done more justly than he had
done for them ; for with the few provisions that the Adelan-
tado had, either the one or the other people would have had
to perish with hunger, and the French would have destroyed
our people: they were the most numerous.t

* Barcia, p. 89.

t Barcia, p. 89.


We have still to trace the fate of the body of two hundred,
who retired from Ribault after his final determination to
surrender to the tender mercies of Menendez) As we are
already aware,it comprised=eT-ieiT6-oThM`e force, men of
standing and rank, and whose spirits had retained energy
to combat against the natural discouragements of their po-
sition; and they adopted the nobler resolve of selling their
lives, at least with their swords in their hands.
De Solis proceeds to give the following further account of
"Twenty days subsequently to the destruction of these,
some Indians came to the Adelantado, and informed him by
signs, that eight days' journey from here to the southward,
near the Bahama Channel, at Canaveral, a large number of
people, brethren of those whom the General had caused to
be killed, were building a fort and a vessel. The Adelan-
tado at once came to the conclusion, that the French had
retired to the place where their vessels were wrecked, and
where their artillery and munitions, and provisions were, in
order to build a vessel and return to France to procure suc-
cor. The General thereupon dispatched from St. Augus-
tine to St. Matteo, ten of his soldiers, conveying intelligence
of what had taken place, and directing that they should
send to him one hundred and fifty of the soldiers there,
with the thirty-five others who remained when he returned
to St. Augustine, after taking the fort. The master of the
camp immediately dispatched them, under command of Cap-
tains Juan Velez de Medrano and Andrez Lopez Patrio;
and they arrived at St. Augustine on October 23d. On the
25th, after having heard mass, the Adelantado departed for
the coast, with three hundred men, and three small vessels
to go by sea with the arms and provisions; and the vessels
were to go along and progress equally with the troops; and
each night when the troops halted, the vessels also anchored
by them, for it was a clear and sandy coast.
"The Adelantado carried in the three vessels provisions
for forty days for three hundred men, and one day's ration
was to last for two days; and he promised to do everything
for the general good of all, although they might have to
undergo many dangers and privations; that he had great
hope that he would have the goodness and mercy of God to
aid him in carrying through safely this so holy and pious an
undertaking. He then took leave of them, leaving most of
them in tears, for he was much loved, feared, and respected
by all.*
*Barcia, p. 89.


"The Adelantado, after a wearisome journey, marching
on foot himself the whole distance, arrived in the neighbor-
hood of the French camp on All Saints Day, at daylight,
guided by the Indians by land, and the three vessels under
the command of Captain Diego de Maya. As soon as the
French described the Spaniards, they fled to their fort, with-
out any remaining. The Adelantado sent them a trum-
peter, offering them their lives, that they should return and
should receive the same treatment as the Spaniards. One
hundred and fifty came to the Adelantado; and their leader,
with twenty others, sent to say that they would sooner be
devoured by the Indians, than surrender themselves to the
Spaniards. The Adelantado received those who surren-
dered, very well, and having set fire to the fort, which was
of wood, burned the vessel which they were building, and
buried the artillery, for the vessels could not carry them."
De Solis here closes his account of the matter; but from
other accounts we learn that the Adelantado kept his faith
S on this occasion with them, and that some entered his ser-
vice, some were converted to his faith, and others returned
to France; and thus ended the Huguenot attempt to colo-
nize the shores of Florida.
,'\ There are several other accounts of the fate of Ribault
and his followers, drawn from the narratives of survivors
of the expedition, which, without varying the general order
of events, fill in sundry details of the massacres. The main
point of difference is, as to the pledges or assurances given
by Menendez. The French accounts say that he pledged
Pis faith to them that their lives should be spared.* It will
e seen that the Spanish account denies that he did so, but
akes him use language subject to misconstruction, and
calculated to deceive them into the hope and expectation of
safety. I do not see that in a Christian or even moral view
there is much difference between an open breach of faith
and the breach of an implied faith, particularly when it was
only by this deception that the surrender could have
accomplished. Nor could Menendez have had a very deli-
cate sense of the value of the word of a soldier, a Chriatian,
and a gentleman, when, as his apologist admits, he did di-
recflyiuAfthe'nguage of falsehood, to induce them to sub-
mit to the degradation of having their hands tied.
Nor, considered in its broader aspects, is it a matter of any

Such was the understanding of those who then wrote in reference to
the transaction, as Barcia admits.


consequence whether he gave his word or no; nor does it
lessen the enormity of his conduct, had they submitted
themselves in the most unreserved manner to his discretion.
France and Spain were at peace; no act of hostility had
been committed by the French toward the Spaniards; and
Ribault asked only to be allowed to pass on. In violation
alike of the laws of war and the law of humanity, he first
induced them to surrender, to abide what God, whose holy
name he invoked, should put into his heart to do, and then
cajoling them into allowing their hands to be tied, he or-
dered them to be killed, in their bonds as they stood, de-
fenseless, helpless, wrecked, and famished men. It would
have been a base blot upon human nature, had he thus
served the most savage tribe of nations, standing on that far
shore, brought into the common sympathy of want and suf-
fering. The act seems one of monstrous atrocity, when com-
mitted against the people of a sister nation. o A--' ,
h04-4^y'vIw-ky k



OF SPAIN. 1565-1568.
DuRIxN the time of the several expeditions 'of the Ade-
lantado against the French Huguenots, the fortification
and strengthening of the defenses of the settlement at St.
Augustine had not been neglected. The fort, or Indian
coun cil-house, which had been first fortified, seems to have
been consumed in the conflagation spoken of; and there-
upon a plan of a regular fortification or fort was marked
out by Menendez; and, as there existed some danger of the
return of the French, the Spaniards labored unceasingly
with their whole force, to put it in a respectable state of de-
fense. From an engraving contained in De Bry, illustrating
the attack of Sir Francis Drake, twenty years afterwards,
this fort appears to have been an octagonal structure of logs,
and located near the site of the present fort, while the set-
tlement itself was probably made in the first instance, at
the-lower'end of the peninsula, near the building now called
"the powder-house."
He also established a government for the place, with civil
and military officials, a hall of justice, etc.
All of these matters were arranged by Menendez before
his expedition against the French at Canaveral, of whom
one hundred and fifty returned with him, and were received
upon an equal footing with his own men, the more distin-
guished being received at his own table upon the most
friendly terms; a clemency which, with a knowledge of his
character, can only be ascribed to motives of policy. The
position of the French at Canaveral was probably inaccessi-
ble, as they had their arms, besides artillery brought from
the vessels; and the duplicity which .had characterized his
success with their comrades, was out of the question here;
the French could therefore exact their own terms, and un-
shackled could forcibly resist any attempt at treachery.
The addition of this number to his force lessened the
already diminished supply of provisions which Menendez
had brought with him; and want soon began to threaten his
camp. He sent as many of his soldiers as he could into


camp at San Matteo, and endeavored to draw supplies from
the Indians; but unfortunately for him, the country between
the St. Johns and St. Augustine was under the rule of the
Indian Chief, Satouriara, the friend (and ally of the French),
whose hostility the Spaniards were never able to overcome.
Satouriara and his followers withdrew from all peaceable
intercourse with the Spaniards, and hung about their path
to destroy, harrass, and cut them off upon every possible
The winter succeeding the settlement of the Spaniards at
St. Augustine, was most distressing and discouraging to
them. The lack of provisions in their camp drove them to
seek, in the surrounding country, subsistence from the roots
and esculent plants it might afford, or to obtain in the neigh-
boring creeks, fish and oysters; but no sooner did a Spaniard
venture out alone beyond the gates of thefort, than he was
grasped, by some unseen foe, from the low underbrush and
put to death, or a shower of arrows from some tree-top was
his first intimation of danger; if he discharged his arque-
buse towards his invisible assailants, others would spring
upon him before he could reload his piece; or, if he at-
tempted to find fish and oysters in some quiet creek, the
noiseless canoe of an Indian would dart in upon him, and
the heavy war-club of the savage descending upon his un-
protected head, end his existence. Against such a foe, no de-
fense could avail; and it is related that more than one hun-
dred and twenty of the Spaniards were thus killed, including
Captain Martin de Ochoa, Captain Diego de Hevia, Fer-
nando de Gamboa, and Juan Menendez, a nephew of the
Adelantado, and many others of the bravest and most dis-
tinguished of the garrison.
In this crisis of affairs, the Governor concluded to go to
Cuba himself, to obtain relief for his colony. He in the
meantime established a fort at St. Lucia, near Canaveral.
A considerable jealousy seems to have existed on the part
of the governor of Cuba; and he received Menendez with
great coolness, and in reply to his appeals for aid, only of-
fered an empty vessel. In this emergency, Menendez con-
templated, as his only means of obtaining what he wished,
to go upon a filibustering expedition against some Portu-
guese and English vessels which were in those waters. While
making preparations to do this, four vessels of the fleet with
which he had left Spain, and which had been supposed lost,
arrived; and after dispatching a vessel to Campeachy for
provisions, he commenced his return voyage to his colony,


delaying however for a time in South Florida, to seek intel-
ligence among the Indians of his lost son.
In the meantime his garrisons at St. Augustine and San
Matteo had mutinied, and were in open revolt; provisions
had become so scarce that twenty-five reals had been given for
a pound of biscuit, and but for the fish they would have
starved. They plundered the public stores, imprisoned their
officers, and seized upon a vessel laden with provisions
which had been sent to the garrison. The Master of the
Camp succeeded in escaping from confinement and releasing
his fellow prisoners, by a bold movement cut off the inter-
course between the mutineers on board the vessel and those
on shore, and hung the Sergeant Major, who was at the head
of the movement. The Commandant then attempted to
attack those in the vessel, and was nearly lost with his com-
panions, by being wrecked on the bar. The vessel made
sail to the West India Islands. The garrison at San Matteo
took a vessel there and come around to St. Augustine, but
arrived after their accomplices had left.
Disease had already begun to make its ravages,"and added
to the general wish to leave the country; which all would
then have done had they had the vessels in which to embark.
They used for their recovery from :sickness, the roots of a
native shrub, which produced marvelous cures.
At this period Menendez returned to the famished garri-
son, but was forced to permit Juan Vicente, with one hun-
dred of the disaffected, to go to St. Domingo by a vessel
which he dispatched there for supplies; and it is said that
the governors of the islands where they went, harbored
them, and that of some five hundred who on different occa-
sions deserted from the Adelantado, and all of whom had
been brought out at his cost, but two or three were ever re-
turned to him; while the deserters putting their own con-
struction upon their acts, sent home to the king of Spain
criminations of the Adelantado, and represented the con-
quest of Florida as a hopeless and worthless acquisition;
that it was barren and swampy, and produced nothing.
After this defection, Meneudez proceeded along the coast
to San Matteo, and thence to Guale, Amelia, and adjoining
islands, Orista and St. Helena; made p-eaceful proposals to
the Indian tribes, lecturedcthem upon theology, and planted
a cross at their council-houses. The cacique of Guale asked
Menendez how it was that he had waged war upon the
other white men, who had come from the same country as
himself?" He replied, that the other white people were


bad Christians, and believers in lies; and that those whom
he had killed, deserved the most cruel death, because they
had fled their own country, and came to mislead and deceive
the caciques and other Indians, as they had already before
misled and deceived many other good Christians, in order
that the devil may take possession of them." While at St.
Helena he succeeded in obtaining permission of the Indians
to erecta fort there, and he left a detachment. On his re-
turn he also erected fort San Telipe,at Orista; and after
setting up a cross at Guale, the cique-Zenma-ded of him,
that as now they had become good Christians, he should
cause rain to come upon their fields; for a drought had con-
tinued eight months. The same night a severe rain-storm
happened, which confirmed the faith of the Indians, and
gained the Adelantado great credit with them. While here,
he learned that there was a fugitive Lutheran among the
Indians, and he took some pains to cause to be given to the
fugitive hopes of good treatment if he would come into the
Spanish post at St. Helena, while he gave private directions
that he should be killed, directing his lieutenant to make
very strange of his disappearance; an incident very illus-
trative of the vindictiveness and duplicity of Menendez.*
He returned to St. Augustine, and was received with great
joy, and devoted himself to the completion of the fort, which
was to frighten the savages, and enforce respect from stran-
gers. It was built, it is said, where it now stands, donde este
ahora, (1722.)
The colony left at St. Helena mutinied almost immedi-
ately, and seizing a vessel sent with supplies, sailed for Cuba,
and were wrecked on the Florida Keys, where they met at
an Indian town the mutineers who had deserted from the
fort at St. Matteo: these had been also wrecked there.
The garrison again becoming much straitened for provi-
sions, the Adelantado, in June, was obliged to go to Cuba
for succor. He was received with indifference, and his
wishes unheeded. He applied to the governor of Mexico,
and others who happened to be there, and who had the
power of assisting him; from all he received no encourage-
ment, but the advice to abandon his enterprise. He at last
pawned his jewels, the badge of his order, and his valuables,
thus obtaining five hundred ducats; with which he pur-
chased provisions, and set sail on his return, with only sixty-
five men.
But just at this period succor came to the famished
Ensay. Cron. 110.


troops; a fleet of seventeen vessels arrived with fifteen hun-
dred men from Spain, under Juan de Avila, as admiral.
By this means all the posts were succored and reinforced,
and the enterprise saved from destruction; for the small
supplies brought by Menendez would have been soon ex-
hausted, and further efforts being out of his power, they
would have been forced to withdraw from the country.
The admiral of the fleet also had entrusted to him for the
Adelantado a letter from the king, written on the 12th of
May, 1566, which, among other matters, contained the fol-
lowing royal commendation of the acts of Menendez. Of
the great success which has attended your enterprise, we
have the most entire satisfaction, and we bear in memory
the loyalty, the love, and the diligence, with which you
have borne us service, as well as the dangers and perils in
which you have been placed; and as to the retribution you
have visited upon the Lutheran pirates who sought to oc-
cupy that country, and to fortify themselves there, in order
to disseminate in it their wicked creed, and to prosecute
there their wrongs and robberies, which they have done
and were doing against God's service and my own, we be-
lieve that you did it with every justification and propriety,
and we consider ourself to have been well served in so
going" *
STo this commendation of Philip II., it is unnecessary to
add any comment, save that no other action could have
been expected of him. And of Charles the Ninth, of
France, the Spanish historian says that he treated the me-
morial of the widows and orphans of the slain with con-
tempt, "considering their punishment to have been just, in
that they were equally enemies of Spain, of France, of the
Church, and of the peace of the world."
During the absence of Menendez to inspect his posts,
disaffection again broke out; and finding his force too nu-
merous, he with sixteen vessels went upon a freebooting
expedition to attack pirates. He failed to meet with any;
but having learned that a large French fleet was on its way,
he visited and fortified the forts on the islands of Cuba,
Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, and again returned to Flor-
ida; the expected French fleet never having arrived. About
this time, a small vessel brought from Spain three learned
and exemplary priests; one of whom, Padre Martinez,
landed upon the coast with some of the crew, and being
unable to regain the vessel, coasted along to St. George
Ensayo: Cron. 115.


Island, where he was attacked and murdered by the Indians,
with a number of his companions.
The following year was principally occupied by Menendez,
n strengthening his fortifications at his three forts, in visit-
ing the Indian chiefs at their towns, and exploring the
country. One of his expeditions went as far north as the
thirty-seventh degree of latitude by sea, and another went
to the foot of the Apalachian Mountains, about one hun-
dred and fifty leagues, and established a fort. The former
was about the mouth of the Chesapeake, called the Santa
Maria,* and the-land expedition, probably to the up-country
of Georgia, in the neighborhood of Rome.
All attempts at pacifying their warlike neighbor were as
fruitless as their attempts to subjugate him; whether in
artifice and duplicity, in open warfare, or secret ambush,
he was more than equal to the Adelantado, and was a
worthy ancestor of the modern Seminole,-never present
when looked for, and never absent when an opportunity of
striking a blow occurred.
The Adelantado having had built an extremely slight
vessel of less than twenty tons, called a frigate, concluded to
visit Spain, and ran in seventeen days to the Azores, sailing
seventy leagues per day, an exploit not often equaled in
modern times. He was received with great joy in Spain,
and the king treated him with much consideration. The
Adelantado felt great anxiety to return to his colony,
and deprecated the delays of the court, fearing the result of
the indignation at his cruelty to the Huguenots, which, says
his chronicler, increased day by day.t
Pensacola Bay was also so called.
t Ensayo: Cron. 133.



WHILE Menendez thus remained at the Spanish court
urging the completion of his business, seeking compensa-
tion for the great expenditures which he had made in the
king's service, and vindicating himself from the accusations
which had been preferred against him,-the revenge, the
distant murmurs of which had already reached his ears, fell
upon the Spaniards on the St. Johns.
Dominic de Gourgues, one of those soldiers of fortune
who then abounded throughout Europe, took upon himself
the expression of the indignation with which the French
nation viewed the slaughter of their countrymen. From
motives of policy, or from feelings still less creditable, the
French court ignored the event; but it rankled nevertheless
in the national heart, and many a secret vow of revenge
was breathed, the low whispers of which reached even the
confines of the Spanish court. Conscience, and the know-
ledge that the sentiment of the age was against him, made
Menendez from the moment of his success exceedingly
anxious lest well-merited retribution should fall upon his
own colony. He guarded against it in every way in his
power; he strengthened all his posts; he erected for the
protection of San Matteo, formerly Fort Caroline, two small
forts on either side of the entrance of the river, at the points
now known as Batten Island and Mayport Mills. He placed
large garrisons at each post, and ihad made such arrange-
ments against surprise or open attack upon his forts, that
Father Mendoza boasted that "half of all France could not
take them."
De Gourgues, with three vessels and about two hundred
and fifty chosen men, animated with like feelings with him-
self, appeared in April, 1568, off the mouth of the St. Johns.
The Spanish fort received his vessels with a salute, sup-
posing them to be under the flag of Spain. De Gourgues
returned the salute, thus confirming their error. He then
entered the St. Marys, called the Somme, and was met by
a large concouriseof -n7aiia-s-friendly to the French and bit-


terly hostile to the Spaniards, at the head of whom was the
stern and uncompromising Saturioura. Their plans were
quickly formed, and immediately carried into execution.
Their place of rendezvous was the Fort George Inlet, called
by them the Sarabay; and they traversed t lafilaiIht lw low
tide, fell suddenily-iipon the fort at Batten Island on the
north side of the river, completely surprising it. The force
occupying the Spanish forts amounted to four hundred men,
one hundred and twenty of whom occupied the two forts at
the mouth of the river, and the remainder Fort Caroline.
The French with their Indian allies approached the fort on
the north side of the river at day-break. Having waded the
intervening marsh and creek, to the great damage of their
feet and legs by reason of the oyster banks, they arrived
within two hundred yards of the post, when they were dis-
covered by the sentinel upon the platform of the fort; who
immediately cried, "to arms," and discharged twice at the
French a culverin which had been taken at Fort Caroline.
Before he could load it a third time the brave Olatocara
leaped upon him, and killed him with a pike. Gourgues
then charging in, the garrison, by this time alarmed, rushed
out, armed hastily and seeking escape; another part of
Gourgues' force coming up, inclosed the Spaniards between
them, and all but fifteen of the garrison perished on the
spot; the others were taken prisoners, only to be reserved
for the summary vengeance which the French leader medi-
The Spanish garrison in the other fort kept up in the
mean time a brisk cannonade, which incommoded the as-
sailants, who however soon managed to point the pieces of
the fort they had taken; and under the cover of this fire the
French crossed to the other fort, their Indian allies in great
numbers swimming with them. The garrison of sixty men,
panic-struck, made no attempt at resistance, but fled, en-
deavoring to reach the main fort; being intercepted by the
Indians in one direction, and by the French in another, but
few made good their escape. These, arriving at Fort Caro-
line, carried an exaggerated account of the number of their
De Gourgues at once pushed forward to attack Fort Caro-
line, while its defenders were terrified at the suddenness of
his attack, and the supposed strength of his force. Upon
his arrival near the fort, the Spanish commander sent out a
detachment of sixty men, to make a reconnoisance. De
Gourgues sk#fully interposed a body of his own men with


a large number of the Indians between the reconnoitering
party and the fort, and then with his main force charged
upon them in front: when the Spaniards, turning to seek the
shelter of the fort, were met by the force in their rear, and
were all either killed or taken prisoners. Seeing this mis-
fortune, the Spanish commander despaired of being;"able to
hold the fortress, and determined to make a timely retreat
to St. Augustine. In attempting this, most of his followers
fell into the hands of the Indians, and were slain upon the
spot; the commandant with a few others alone escaped.
De Gourgues, now completely successful in making re-
taliation for the fate of his countrymen on the same spot
where they suffered, on the same tree which had borne the
bodies of the Huguenots caused his prisoners to be sus-
pended; and as Menedez had on the former occasion erected
a tablet that they had been punished not as Frenchmen
but as Lutherans," so De Gourgues in like manner erected
an inscription that he had done this to them "not as to
Spaniards, nor as to outcasts, but as to traitors, thieves and mur-
After inducing the Indians to destroy the forts, and to
raze them to the ground, he set sail for France, arriving
safely without further adventure.
His conduct was at the time disavowed and censured by
the French court; and the Spanish ambassador had the as-
surance, in the name of that master who had publicly de-
clared his approval of the conduct of Menendez, to demand
the surrender of De Gourgues to his vengence. The brave
captain, however the crown might seem to disapprove, was
secretly sustained and protected by many distinguished per-
sons official and private, and by the mass of the people; to
whom his boldness, spirit, and signal success were grateful.
Some years afterwards he was restored to the favor of his
sovereign, and appointed admiral of the fleet.
That De Gourgues deserves censure, cannot be -denied;
but there will always exist an admiration for his courage
and intrepid valor, with a sympathy for the bitter provoca-
tions under which he acted, both personal and national; a
sympathy not shared with Menendez, who visited his wrath
upon the religious opinions of men, while De Gourgues was
the unauthorized avenger of undoubted crime and inhu-
manity. Both acted in violation of the pure spirit of that
Ternaux Compans, p. 357.


Christianity which they alike professed to revere, under the
same form.
While these scenes were enacting on the St. Johns,
Menendez was on his way to his colonies, where he first
heard of the descent of De Gourgues, then on his way back
to France. The Adelantado upon his arrival found his
troops hungry and naked, and their relations with thel In-
dians worse than ever. Having made such arrangements
as were in his power, he returned to Havana, to further his
plans for introducing Christianity among the Indians; to
which, to his credit be it said,"he devoted the greater share
of his time and attention. Father Rogel applied himself to
learning their language, with great success; and an institu-
tion was established in Havana especially for their instruc-
tion. In the Ensayo Cronologica, there is set forth in full, a
rescript addressed by Pope Pius V., to Menendez, conveying
to him the acknowledgements of his Holiness for the zeal
and loyalty he had exhibited, and his labors in carrying the
faith to the Indians, and urging him strongly to see to it
that his Indian converts should not be scandalized by the
vicious lives of their white brethren who claimed to be
A small party of Spaniards, as has already been men-
tioned, accompanied by a priest, De Quiros, had been left
upon the Chesapeake, and under the auspices of a young
converted chief, who had been some time with the Spaniards
in Havana and Florida, anticipated a more easy access to
the Indian tribes in that region. Another priest, with ten
associates, went the following year; when, after they had
sent away their vessel, they discovered that their predeces-
sor had been murdered, through the treachery of the rene-
gade apostate; and they themselves shortly fell victims to
his perfidy. Menendez dispatched a third vessel there;
when the fate of the two former parties was ascertained, and
he went in person to chastise the murderers; he succeeded in
capturing six or seven, who, it is said, (rather improbably I
think), confessed themselves to have been implicated in the
massacre. Menendez, in his summary and sailor-like way,
ordered their execution at the yard-arm of his vessel. The
Cronicle says that they were first converted and baptized,
by the zeal of Farther Rogel, before the sentence was car-
ried into execution. A long period elapsed before any
further efforts were made in this quarter to establish a col-
ony; and it was then accomplished by the English. In con-
sequence of these temporary establishments, however, the


Spanish crown, for a long period, claimed the whole of the
intervening country, as lying within its Province of Florida.
The annals of the city during the remainder of the life of
Menendez, present only the usual vicissitudes of new set-
tlements,-the alternations of supply and want, occasional
disaffection, and petty annoyances.
Menendez was the recipient from his court of new hon-
ors from time to time, and had been appointed the grand
admiral of the Spanish Armada; when, in September, 1574,
he was suddenly carried off by a fever, at the age of fifty-five.
It is a singular coincidence that De Gourgues, five years
afterwards, was carried off in a similar manner, just after
his appointment as admiral of the French fleet. A splendid
monument in the church of San Nicolas, at Aviles, was
erected to the memory of Menendez, with the following in-



NINE years had elapsed from the death of Menendez, and
the colony at St. Augustine had slowly progressed into the
settlement of a small town; but the eclat and importance
which the presence of Menendez had given it, were much
lessened; when, in 1586, Sir Francis Drake, with a fleet re-
turning from South America, discovered the Spanish look-
out upon Anastasia Island, and sent boats ashore to ascer-
tain something in reference to it. Marching up the shore,
they discovered across the bay, a fort, and further up a
town built of wood.
Proceeding towards the fort, which bore the name of San
Juan de Pinas, some guns were fired upon them from'nit,
and they reiFrqd towards their vessel; the same evening a
fifer made his appearance, and informed them that he was
a Frenchman, detained a prisoner there, and that the
Spaniards had abandoned their fort; and he offered to
conduct them over. Upon this information they crossed
the river and found the fort abandoned as theyshad been
informed, and took possession of it without opposition. It
was built entirely of wood, and only surrounded by a wall
or pale formed of the bodies or trunks of large trees, set up-
right in the earth; for, says the narrative, it was not at that
time inclosed by a ditch, as ithad been but lately begun by the
Spaniards. The platforms were made of the bodies of
large pine trees (of which there are plenty here), laid hor-
izontally across each other, with earth rammed in to fill up
the vacancies. Fourteen brass cannon were found in the
fort, and there was left behind the treasure chest, con-
taining 2,000 sterling, designed for the payment of the
garrison, which consisted of one hundred and fifty men.
Whether the massive, iron-bound mahogany chest,* still
preserved in the old fort is the same which fell into the
This old chest, which remained in one of the western vaults of the
fort, up to the late war, was broken up for relics, and is no longer there.


hands of Drake, is a question for antiquaries to decide; its
ancient appearance might well justify the supposition.
On the following day, Drake's forces marched towards the
town, but owing, it is said, to heavy rains, were obliged to
return and go in the boats. On their approach, the Span-
iards fled into the country. It is said, in Barcia, that a
Spaniard concealed in the bushes, fired at the sergeant ma-
jor and wounded him, and then ran up and dispatched him,
and that in revenge for this act, Drake burnt their buildings
and destroyed their gardens. The garrison and inhabitants
retired to fort San Matteo, on the St. Johns river. Barcia
says that the population of the place was then increasing
considerably, and that it possessed a hall ofjustice, parochial
church, and other buildings, together with gardens in the
rear of the town.
An engraved plan or view of Drake's descent upon St-
Augustine, published after his return to England, represents
an octagonal fort between two streams; at the distance of
halfa mile another stream; beyond that the town, with a
look-out and two religious houses, one of which is a church,
and the other probably the house of the Franciscans, who
had shortly before established a house of their order there.
The town contains three squares lengthwise, and four in
width, with gardens on the west side.
Some doubt has been thrown on the actual site of the
first settlement, by this account; but I think it probably
stood considerably to the south of the present public square,
between the barracks and the powder-house. Perhaps the
Maria Sanchez creek may have then communicated with the
bay near its present head, in wet weather and at high tides
isolating the fort from the town. The present north ditch
may have been the bed of a tide creek, and thus would cor-
respond to the appearance presented by the sketch. It is
well known that the north end of the city was built at a
much later period than the southern, and that the now va-
cant space below the barracks, was once occupied with
buildings. Buildings and fields are shown upon Anastasia
Island, opposite the town. The relative position of the
town with reference to the entrance of the harbor is cor-
rectly shown on the plan; and there seems no sufficient
ground to doubt the identity of the present town with the
ancient locality.
The garrison and country were then under the command
of Don Pedro Menendez, a nephew of the Adelantado, who,
after the English squadron sailed, having received assistance


from Havana, began, it is said, to rebuild the city, and
made great efforts to increase its population, and to induce
the Indians to settle in its neighborhood.
In 1592, twelve Franciscan missionaries arrived at St. Au-
gustine, with their Superior, Fray Jean de Silva, and placed
themselves under the charge of Father Francis Manon,
Warden of the convent of St. Helena. ,One of them, a Mexi-
can, Farther Francis Panja, drew up in the language of the
Yemasees his "Abridgment of Christian Doctrine," said to
be the first work compiled in any of our Indian languages.
The Franciscan Father Corpa established a Mission
house for the Indians at Talomato in the northwest portion,
of the city of St. Augusti, where there was than an Indian
village. Father Bias de Rodriguez, also called Montes, had
an Indian Church at a village of the Ilidians, called Ta _ogui,
situated on the creek called Cano de'la Leche, north of tiie
fort; and the church bearing-1 name oTof ur Lady of the
Milk" was situated on the elevated ground a quarter of a
mile north of the fort, near the creek. A stone church
existed at this locality as late as 1795, and the crucifix be-
longing to it is preserved in the Roman Catholic Church at
St. Augustine.
These missions proceeded with considerable apparent suc-
cess, large numbers of the Indians being received and in-
structed both at this and other missions.
Among the converts at the mission of Talomato, was the
son of the cacique of the province of Guale, a proud and
high-spirited young leader, who by no means submitted to
the requirements of his spiritual fathers, but indulged in
excesses which scandalized his profession. Father Corpa,
after trying private remonstrances and warnings in vain,.
thought it necessary to administer to him a public rebuke.
This aroused the pride of th& young chief, and he suddenly
left the mission, determined upon revenge. He gathered
from the interior a band of warriors, whom he inspired with
his own hatred against the missionaries. Returning to
Talomato with his followers under the cover of night, he
crept up to the mission house, burst open the chapel doors,
and slew the devoted Father Corpa while at prayer; then
severed his head from his body, set it upon a pikestaff, and
threw his body out into the forest where it could never after-
wards be found. The scene of this tragedy was in the,
neighborhood of the present Roman Catholic cemetery of
St. Augustine.
As soon as this occurence became known in the Indian


village, all was excitement; some of the most devoted be-
wailing the death of their spiritual father, while others
dreaded the consequences of so rash an act, and shrunk with
terror from the vengeance of the Spaniards, which they fore-
saw would soon follow. The young chief of Guale gather-
ed them around him, and in earnest tones addressed them.
Yes," said he, the friar is dead. It would not have been
done, if he would have allowed us to live as we did before
we became Christians. We desire to return to our ancient
customs; and we must provide for our defense against the
punishment which will be hurled upon us by the Governor
of Florida, which, if it be allowed t6 reach us, will be as
rigorous for this single frair, as if we had killed them all.-
For the same power which we possess to destroy this one
priest, we have to destroy them all."
His followers approved of what had been done, and said
there was no doubt but what the same vengeance would fall
upon them for the death of the one, as for all.
He then resumed. Since we shall receive equal punish-
ment for the death of this one, as though we had killed
them all, let us regain the liberty of which these friars have
robbed us, with their promises of good things which we
have not yet seen, but which they seek to keep us in hope
of, while they accumulate upon us who are called Christians,
injuries and disgusts, makmig us quit our wives, restricting
us to one only, and prohibiting us from changing her.-
They prevent us from having our balls, banquets, feasts,
celebrations, games and contests, so that being deprived of
them, we lose our ancient valor and skill which we inher-
ited from our ancestors. Although they oppress us with
labor, refusing to grant even the respite of a few days, and
although we are disposed to do all they require from us,
they are not satisfied; but for everything they reprimand us,
injuriously treat us, oppress us, lecture us, call us bad
Christians, and deprive us of all the pleasures which our
fathers enjoyed, in the hope that they would give us heaven ;
by these frauds subjecting us and holding us under their ab-
Ssolute control. And what have we to hope except to be
made slaves ? If we now put them all to death, we shall
:destroy these excrescenses, and force the governor to treat
us well."
The majority were carried away by his address, and rung
out the war-cry of death and defiance. While still eager
for blood, their chief led them to the Indian town of Tapo-
qui, the mission of Father Montes, on the Cano de la Leche;


tumultuously rushing in, they informed the missionary of
the fate of Father Corpa, and that they sought his own life
and those of all his order; and then with uplifted weapons
bade him prepare to die. He reasoned and remonstrated
with them, portraying the folly and wickedness of their in-
tentions, that the vengeance of the Spaniards would surely
overtake them, and implored them with tears, that for their
own sakes rather than his, they would pause in their mad
designs. But all in vain; they were alike insensible to his
eloquence, and his tears, and pressed forward to surround
him. Finding all else vain, he begged as a last favor that
he should be permitted to celebrate mass before he died.,
In this he was probably actuated in part by the hope that
their fierce hatred might be assuaged by the sight of the
Ceremonies of their faith, or that the delay might afford
time for succor from the adjoining garrison.
The permission was given; and there for the last time the
worthy Father put on his robes, which might well be term-
ed his robes of sacrifice. The wild and savage crowd,
thirsting for his blood, reclined upon the floor and looked
on in sullen silence, awaiting the conclusion of the rites.
The priest alone, standing before the altar, proceeded with
this most sad and solemn mass, then cast his eyes to heaven
and knelt in private supplication; where the next moment
he fell under the blows of his cruel foes, bespattering the
altar at which he ministered, with his own life's blood. His
crushed remains were thrown into the fields, that they might
serve for the fowls of the air or the beasts of the forest;
but not one would approach it, except a dog, which, rushing
forward to lay hold upon the body, fell dead upon the spot,
says the ancient chronicle; and an old Christian Indian,
recognizing it, gave it sepulture in the forest.
From thence the ferocious young chief of Guale led his
followers against several missions, in other parts of the
country, which he attacked and destroyed, together with
their attendant clergy. Thus upon the soil of the ancient
city was shed the blood of Christian martyrs, who were
laboring with a zeal well worthy of emulation, to carry the
truths of religion to the native tribes of Florida. Two hun-
dred and sixty years have passed away since these sad scenes
were enacted; but we cannot even now repress a tear of
sympathy and a feeling of admiration for those self-denying
missionaries of the cross, who sealed their faith with their
blood, and fell victims to their energy and devotion. The
spectacle of the dying priest struck down at the altar, at-


tired in his sacred vestments, and perhaps imploring pardon
upon his murderers, cannot fail to call up in the heart of the
most insensible, something more than a passing emotion.
The zeal of the Franciscans was only increased by this
disaster, and each succeeding year brought additions to their
number. They pushed their missions into the interior of
the country so rapidly that in less than two years they had
established through the principal towns of the Indians no
less than twenty mission houses. The presumed remains
of these establishments are still occasionally to be found
throughout the interior of the country.



TION OF THE FORT, SEA WALL, &c.-1638-1700.

IN the year 1638, hostilities were entered into between the
Spanish settlements on the coast, and the Apalachian Indi-
ans, who occupied the country in the neighborhood of the
river Suwanee. The Spaniards soon succeeded in subduing
their Indian foes; and in 1640, large numbers of the Apala-
chian Indians were brought to St. Augustine, and in alleged
punishment for their outbreak, and with a sagacious eye to
the convenience of the arrangement, were forced to labor
upon the public works and fortifications of the city. At
this period the English settlements along the coast to the
northward, had begun to be formed, much to the uneasi-
ness and displeasure of the Spanish crown, which for a long
period claimed, by virtue of exploration and occupation, as
well as by the ancient papal grant of Alexander, all the
eastern coast of the United States. Their missionaries had
penetrated Virgitia before the settlement at Jamestown;
and they had built a fort in South Carolina, and kept up a
garrison for some years in it. But the Spanish government
had become too feeble to compete with either the English
or the French on the seas; and with the loss of their cele-
brated Armada, perished forever their pretensions as a
naval power. They were therefore forced to look to the
safety of their already established settlements in Florida;
and the easy capture of the fort at St. Augustine by the
passing squadron of Drake, evinced the necessity of works
of a much more formidable character.
It is evident that the fort, or castle as it was usually
designated, had been then commenced, although its forr
was afterwards changed; and for sixty years subsequently,
these unfortunate Apalachian Indians were compelled to
labor upon the works, until in 1680, upon the recommenda-
tion of their mission Fathers, they were relieved from fur-
ther compulsory labor, with the understanding that in case
of necessity they would resume their labors.
In 1648, St. Augustine is described to have contained


more than three hundred householders (vecinos), a flourish-
ing monastry of the order of St. Francis with fifty Francis
cans, men very zealous for the conversion of the Indians,
and regarded by their countrymen with the highest venera-
tion. Besides these there were in the city alone, a vicar, a
parochial curate, a superior sacristan, and a chaplain at-
tached to the castle. The parish church was built of wood,
the Bishop of Cuba, it is said, not being able to afford any-
thing better, his whole income being but four hundred pezos
per annum, which he shared with Florida; and sometimes
he expended much more than his receipts.
In 1665, Captain Davis, one of the English buccaneers
and freebooters (then very numerous in the West Indies),
with a fleet of seven or eight vessels came on the coast
from Jamaica, to intercept the Spanish plate fleet on its return
from New Spain to Europe; but being disappointed in this
scheme, he preceded along the coast of Florida, and came off
St. Augustine, where he landed and marched directly upon
the town, which he sacked and plundered, without meeting
the least opposition or resistance from the Spaniards,
although they had then a garrison of two hundred men
in the fort, which at that time was an octagon, fortified and
defended by round towers.
The fortifications, if this account be true, were probably
then very incomplete; and with a vastly inferior force it is
not surprising that they did not undertake what could only
have been an ineffectual resistance. It does not appear that
the fort was taken; and the inhabitants retired probably
within its enclosure with their valuables.*
In the Spanish account of the various occurrences in this
country, it is mentioned that in 1681, the English having
examined a province of Florida, distant twelve leagues from
another called New Castle, where the air is pleasant, the
climate mild, and the lands very fertile, called it Salvania;
and that knowing these advantages, a Quaker, or Shaker (a
sect barbarous impudent, and abominable), called William
Penn, obtained a grant of it from Charles II., King of Eng-
land, and made great efforts to colonize it." Such was the
extent then claimed for the province of Florida, and such
the opinion entertained of the Quakers.
In 1681, Don Juan Marquez Cabrera, applied himself at
once, upon his appointment to the governorship of Florida,
to finishing the castle; and collected large quantities of
I do not find any account of this expedition and capture of St. Augus-
tine in the Ensayo Cronologica


stone, lime, timber, and iron, more than sufficient subse-
quently to complete it. About this period, a new impulse
was given to the extension of the missions for converting
the Indians; and large reinforcements of the clerical force
were received from Mexico, Havana, and Spain; and many
of them received salaries from the crown. A considerable
Indian town is spoken of at this period, as existing six hun-
dred varas north of St. Augustine, and called 1Mcaras,
which would correspond to the place formerly occupied by
Judge Douglas, deceased, and which has long been called
Macariz. Other parts of the country were known by vari-
ous names. Amelia Island was the province of Guale.
The southern part of the country was known as the
province of Carlos. Indian river was the province of Ys.
Westwardly was the province of Apalachie; while smaller
divisions were designated by the names of the chiefs.
It is hardly to be doubted, that the same spirit of oppres-
sion towards the Indians, exercised in the other colonies
under Spanish dominition, existed in Florida. It has
been already mentioned that the Apalachians were kept at
labor upon the fortifications of St. Augustine; and in 1680,
the Yemasees, who had always been particularly peaceful
and manageable, and whose principal town was Macarisqui,
near St. Augustine, revolted at the rule exercised over tjem
by the Spanish authorities at St. Augustine, in consequence
of the execution of one of their chiefs by the order of the
governor; and six years afterwards they made a general
attack upon the Spaniards, drove them within the walls of
the castle, and became such mortal enemies to them, that
they never gave a Spaniard quarter, waylaying, and invaria-
bly massacring, any stragglers they could intercept outside
of the fort.
In 1670, an English settlement was established near Port
Royal, South Carolina, one hundred and five years subse-
quent to the settlement of St. Augustine. The Spaniards
regarded it as an infringement upon their rights; and al-
though a treaty, after this settlement, had been made be-
tween Spain and England, confirming to the latter all her
settlements and islands, yet as no boundaries or limits were
mentioned, their respective rights and boundaries remained
a subject of dispute for seventy years.
About 1675, the Spanish authorities at St. Augustine,
having intelligence from white servants who fled to them, of
the discontented and miserable situation of the colony in
Carolina, advanced with a party under arms as far as the


Island of St. Helena, to dislodge or destroy the settlers. A
treacherous colonist of the name of Fitzpatrick, deserted
to the Spaniards; but the governor, Sir John Yeamans,
having received a reinforcement, held his ground; and a
detachment of fifty volunteers under Colonel Godfrey,
marched against the enemy, forcing them to retire from the
Island of St. Helena, and retreat to St. Augustine.*
Ten years afterwards, three galleys sailed from St. Augus-
tine, and attacked a Scotch and English settlement at Port
Royal, which had been founded by Lord Cardross, in 1681.
The settlement was weak and unprotected, and the Span-
iards fell upon them, killed several, whipped many, plundered
all, and broke up the colony. Flushed with success, they
continued their depredations on Edisto River, burning the
houses, wasting the plantations, and robbing the settlers;
and finished their marauding expedition by capturing the
brother of Governor Morton, and burning him alive in one
of the galleys which a hurricane had driven so high upon
land as to make it impossible to have it re-launched. Such
at least is the English account of the matter; and they say
that intestine troubles alone prevented immediate and sig-
nal retaliation by the South Carolinians.t
One Captain Don Juan de Aila went to Spain in the
year 1687, in his own vessel, to procure additional forces
and ammunition for the garrison at St. Augustine. He re-
ceived the men and munitions desired; and as a reward for
his diligence and patriotism, he also received the privilege
of carrying merchandise, duty free; being also allowed to
take twelve Spanish negroes for the cultivation of the fields
of Florida, of whom it is said there was a great want in
that province. By a mischance, he was only able to carry
one negro there, with the troops and other cargo, and was
received in the city with universal joy. This was the first
occasion of the reception of African slaves; although as
has been heretofore mentioned, it was made a part of the
royal stipulation with Menendez, that he should bring over
five hundred negro slaves.
Don Diego de Quiroga y Losada, the governor of Florida
in 1690, finding that the sea was making dangerous en-
croachments upon the shores of the town, and had reached
even the houses, threatening to swallow them up, and ren

Carroll's S. C., Vol. 1, p. 62.
t Rivers' S. C. Hist. Coll. p. 143. Do. Appendix, 425. Carroll's Coll.,
2d vol., 360.


der useless the fort which had cost so much to put in the
state of completion in which it then was, called a public
meeting of the chief men and citizens of the place, and pro-
posed to them that in order to escape the danger which
menaced them, and to restrain the force of the sea, they
should construct a wall, which should run from the castle
and cover and protect the city from all danger of the sea.
The inhabitants not only approved of his proposal, but
began the work with so much zeal, that the soldiers gave
more than seventeen hundred dollars of their wages, al-
though they were very much behind, not having been paid
in six years; with which the governor began to make the
necessary preparations, and sent forward a dispatch to the
home government upon the subject.
The council of war of the Indies approved, in the follow-
ing year, of the work of the sea wall, and directed the
viceroy of New Spain to furnish ten thousand dollars for it,
and directed that a plan and estimate of the work should
be forwarded. Quiroga was succeeded in the governorship of
Florida, by Don Laureano de Torres, who went forward with
the work of the sea wall, and received for this purpose the
means furnished by the soldiers, and one thousand dollars
more, which they offered besides the two thousand dollars,
and likewise six thousand dollars which had come from
New Spain, remitted by the viceroy, Count de Galleo, for
the purpose of building a tower, as a look-out to observe the
surrounding Indian settlements. Whether this tower was
erected, or where, we have no certain knowledge. The
towers erected on the governor's palace and at the northeast
angle of the fort, were intended as look-outs both sea and
The statements made in reference to the building of this
wall, from the castle as far as the city, confirm the opinion
previously expressed, that the ancient and early settlement
of the place was south of the public square, as the remains
of the ancient sea wall extend to the basin at the Plaza.
The top of this old sea wall is still visible along the centre
of Bay street, where it occasionally appears above the level
of the street; and its general plan and arrangement are
shown on several old maps and plans of the city. Upon a
plan of the city made in 1665, it is represented as terminat-
ing in a species of break-water at the public square. It is
unnecessary to add that the present sea wall is a much su-
perior structure to the old, and extends above twice the


distance. Its cost is said to have been one hundred thou-
sand dollars, and it was building from 1837 to 1843.
A the year 1700, the work on the sea wall had progressed
but slowly, although the governor had employed thirty
stone-cutters at a time, and had eight yoke of oxen drawing
stone to the landing, and two lime-kilns all the while at
work. But the money previously provided, and considera-
ble additional funds was requisite, resembling in this respect
its successor. The new governor, De Cuniga, took the
matter in hand, as he had much experience in fortifications.
The defenses of the fort are spoken of as being at the time
too weak to resist artillery, and the sea wall as being but a
slight work.




OSTILITIES had broken out betws. dng and Spain
0setements in Carolina uonl ,u -
bered six or seven thousand inh abios,
M rivho was an ambitious and energetic man, but with
serious defects of character, led an invading force from Car-
olina against St. Augustine. The pretense was to retaliate
for ol injuriT, anc, by taking the initiative, to prevent an
attack upon themselves. The real motive was said by Gov.
Moore's opponents at home, to have been the acquisition of
military reputation and private gain.
The plan of the expedition embraced a combined land
and naval attack: and for this purpose six hundred provin-
cial militia were embodied, with an equal number of Indian
allies ; a portion of the militia, with the Indians, were to go
inland by boats and by land, under the command of Col.
Daniel, who is spoken of as a good officer, while the main
body proceeded with the governor by sea in several merchant
schooners and ships which had been impressed for the service.
The Spaniards, who had received intimations of the con-
templated attack, placed themselves in the best posture of de-
fense in their power, and laid up provisions in the castle to
withstand a long siege.
The forces under Col. Daniel arrived in advance of the
naval fleet of the expedition, and immediately.marched upon
the town. The inhabitants, upon his approach, retired with
their most valuable effects within the spacious walls of the
castle, and Col. Daniel entered and took possession of the
town, the larger part of which, it must be recollected, was
at some distance from the castle.
The quaint description of these events, given by Oldmixo'n,
is as follows:-
Col. Rob. Daniel, a very brave man, commanded a party
who were to go up the river in periagas, and come upon


Augustino on the land side, while the Governour sailed
thither, and attacked it by sea. They both set out in Au-
gust, 1702. Col. Daniel, in his way, took St. Johns, a small
Spanish settlement; as also St. Mary's, another little village
belonging to the Spaniards; after which he proceeded to
Augustino, came before the town, entered and took it, Col.
Moor not being yet arrived with the fleet.
"The inhabitants having notice of the approach of the
English, had packed up their best effects and retired with
them into the castle, which was surrounded by a very deep
and broad moat.
They had laid up provisions there for four months, and
resolved to defend themselves to the last extremity. How-
ever, Col. Daniel found a considerable booty in the town.
The next day the Governour came ashore, and his troops
following him, they entrenched, posted their guards in the
church, and blocked up the castle. The English held pos-
I ;? i session of the town a whole month; but finding they could
_, do nothing for want of mortars and bombs, they despatched
away a sloop for Jamaica; but the commander of the sloop,
P instead of going thither, came to Carolina out of fear of
treachery. Finding others offered to go in his stead, he
proceeded in the voyage himself, after he had lain some time
at Charlestown.
The Governour all this while lay before the castle of
Augustino, in expectation of tle return of the sloop, which
hearing nothing of, he sent Col. Daniel, who was the life of
the action, to Jamaica on the same errand.
This gentleman, being hearty in the design, procured a
supply of bombs, and returned towards Augustino. But in
the mean time two ships appeared in the offing, which being
taken to be two very large men of war, the Governour tho't
fit to raise the siege and abandon his ships, with a great
quantity of stores, ammunition, and provisions, to the en-
emy. Upon which the two men of war entered the port of
Augustino, and took the Governour's ships. Some say he
burnt them himself. Certain it is they were lost to the Eng-
lish, and that he returned to Charles-Town over land 300
miles from Augustino. The two men of war that were
thought to be so large, proved to be two small frigates, one
of 82, and the other of 16 guns.*
*-There must bet nerrsacfi -i-rhis statemeiryof an 82-gun ship
entering St. Augustine, as the depth of water would never admit a vessel
of over 300 tons : probably 82 should read 12o a. R. F.


"When Col. Daniel came back to St. Augustino, he was
chased, but got away; and Col. Moor retreated with no
great honor homewards. The periagas lay at St. Johns,
whither the Governour retired and so to Charles-Town, hav-
ing lost but two men in the whole expedition."
Arratomakaw, king of the Yamioseans, who commanded
the Indians, retreated to the periagas with the rest, and there
slept upon' his oars with a great deal of bravery and uncon-
cern. The governor's soldiers, taking a false alarm, and
thinking the Spaniards were coming, did not like this slow
pace of the Indian king in his flight, and to quicken him into
it, bade him make more haste. But he replied, "No;
though your governor leaves you, I will not stir till I have
seen all my men before me."
The Spanish accounts say that he burned the town, and
this statement is confirmed by the report made on the
18th July, 1740, by a committee of the House of Com-
mons of the province of South Carolina, in which it is
said, referring to these transactions, that Moore was obhged
to retreat, but not without first burning the town.*
It seems that the plunder carried off by Moore's troops
was considerable; as his enemies charged at the time that
he sent off a sloop-load to Jamaica, and in an old colonial
document of South Carolina it is represented at the e
unfortunate ill-contrived, and worst managed expe ition
again t. sinewalphctypay-''Te
said late governor and- his adherents; and that if any per-
son in als id late assembly undertook to speak against it,
and to show how unfit and unable we were at that time for
such an/atempt, he was presently looked upon by them as
an ene ny and traitor to his country, and reviled and af-
fronted in the said assembly; although the true design of
the said expedition was no other than catching and making
slaves of Indians for private advantage, and impoverishing
the country. And that the expedition was to enrich
themselves will appear particularly, because whatsoever
bo9ty, as rich silks, great quantity of church plate, with a
great many other costly church ornaments and utensils taken
by our soldiers at St. Augustine, are now detained in the
possession of the said late governor and his officers, contrary
to an act of assembly made for an equal division of the same
amongst the soldiers." t
Carroll's Hist. Coll., vol. 2, p. 352.
Rivers' Hist. Sketches, S. C., app. 456,

0--Vt\~ ^


The Spanish accounts of this expedition of Moore's aie
very meager. They designate him as the governor of St.
George, by which name they called the harbor of Charles-
ton ; and they also speak of the plunder of the town, and
the burning of the greater part of the houses. Don Joseph
de Curriga was the then governor of the city, and had re-
ceived just previous to the English attack, reinforcements
from Havana, and had repaired and strengthened the fortifi-
The retreat of the English was celebrated with great re-
joicing by the Spaniards, who had been for three months
shut up within the limited space of the wills of the castle;
and they gladly repaired their ruinedhg~ meg,-ad-made good
t rlavags-o-the-En-glish--nvasidi. An English account.,
says that the two vessels which appeared off the bar and
caused Moore's precipitate retreat, contained but two hun-
/ ed men, and that had he awaited Colonel Daniel's return
with the siege guns and ammunition, the castle would have/
fallen into their hands-- -
Ithe sham-e-year, the king "of-Sain, alarmed at the dan-
gers which menaced his possessions in Florida, gave greater
attention to the strengthening the defenses of St. Augus-
tine,.and forwarded considerable reinforcements to the gar-
rison, as well as additional supplies of munitions.
The works were directed to be strengthened, which Gov-
ernor Cuniga thought not as strong as had been represented,
and that the sea wall in the process of erection was insuf-
ficient for the purposefor which it was designed.
Sixfy years had elapsed sine the Apalacehaifn ndians had'
been conquered and compelled to labor upon the fortifica-
tions of St. Augustine; their chiefs now asked that they
might be relieved from further compulsory labor; and after
the usual number of references and reports and informa-
tions, through the Spanish circumlocution offices, this was
Graciously granted in a suspensory form, until their services
should beagain-reqnired. .. .. .
'"--il eg the year 1712, a great~ scarcity of provisions, caused
by the failure of the usual supply vessels, reduced the inhab-
itants of St. Augustine to the verge of starvation; and, for
two or three months, they were obliged to live upon horses,
cats, dogs, and other disgusting animals. It seems strange,
that after a settlement of nearly one hundred and fifty years,
the Spaniards in Florida should still be dependent upon the
importation of provisions for their support; and that any-
thing like the distress indicated should prevail, with the


abundant resources they had, from the fish, oysters, turtle,
and clams of the sea, and the arrow-root and cabbage-tree
pm of the land-__
h The E ish settlements were now--extending itcathe-
terior portions of South Carolina; and 'the-French had
renewed their efforts at settlement and colonization upon
the rivers discharging into the Gulf of Mexico. All three
nations were competitors for the trade with the Indians, an
kept up an intriguing rivalship for this trade for more th n
,.a hundred years.
There seems tboave-bbe~-at-4hiperiod a policy pursued
by the Spanish authorities in Florida, of the most repre-
hensible character. The strongest efforts were made to
attach all the Indian tribes to the Spanish interest; and
they were encouraged to carry on a system of plunder and
annoyance upon the English settlements of Carolina. They
particularly seized upon all the negroes they could obtain,
and carried them to the governor at St. Augustine, who
invariably refused to surrender them, alleging that i-was
ac g under ta istitions of hisgverum-entn so doing"
SIn governor Moore had made a sweeping and vig-\
orous excursion against the Indian towns in Middle Florida,
all of whom were in the Spanish interest; and had broken
Sup and destroyed the towns and missions attached to them.
In 1725, Col. Palmer determined, since no satisfaction could
be obtained for the incursions of the Spanish Indians, and
the loss of their slaves, to make a descent upon them ; and
with a party of three hundred men entered Florida, with an
intention of visiting upon the province all the desolation of
retributive warfare.
He went up to the very gates of St. Augustine, and com-
pelled the inhabitants to seek protection within the castle,
In his course he swept every thing before him, destroying
every house, field and improvement within his reach; car-
rying off the live stock, and every thing else of value. The
Sjpanish Indians who fell within his power, were slain in /
largt numbers, and many were taken prisoners. Outside of
Yhe walls of St. Augustine, nothing was left undestroyed ;
a'd he Spanish authorities received a memorable lesson i
thba, of retribution.




DIFFICULTIES existed for manyyears subsequently between
the Spanish and English settlements. In 1732, Oglethorpe
planted his colony in Georgia, and extended his settlements
along the coast towards Florida, claiming and occupying the
country up to the margin of the St. Johns, and established
a post at St. George Islan-d. This was deemed an invasion
of the territory of-Span; and the post was attacked un-
fairly, as the English say, and some of their men murdered.
/ Oglethorpe, upon this, acting under the instructions of the
Some government, commenced hostilities by arranging a
Joint attack of the forces of South Carolina and Georgia,
_.with a view to the entire conquest of Florida.
The instructions of the king of England to Oglethorpe,
were, that he should make a naval and land attack upon St.
Augustine; and if it shall please God to give you success,
you are either to demolish the fort and bastions, or put a
garrison in it, in case you shall have men enough for that
purpose; which last, it is thought, will be the best way to
prevent the Spaniards from endeavoring to retake and set-
tle the said place again, at any time hereafter." *
Don Manuel Mouteano was then governor of Florida, and
in command of the garrison. The city and castle were
previously in a poor condition to withstand an attack from
a well-prepared foe; and on the 11th November, 1737, Gov-
ernor Monteano writes to the governor-general of Cuba,
that "the fort of this place is its only defense; it has no
casemates for the shelter of the men, nor the necessary ele-
vation to the counter-scarp, nor covert ways, nor ravelins to
the curtains, nor other exterior works that could give time
for a long defense ; but it is thus naked outside, as it is
without soul within, for there are no cannon that could be
fired twenty-four hours, and though there were, artillery-men
to manage them are wanting."
Under the superintendence of an able officer of engineers,
State Papers of Georgia. Ga. Hist. Soc.


Don Antonio de Arredondo, the works were put in order;
the ramparts were heightened and casemated; a covered
way was made, by planting and embanking four thousand
stakes ; bomb-proof vaults were constructed, and entrench-
ments thrown up around the town, protected by ten salient
angles, many of which are still visible. The garrison of the
town w..s about seven hundred and forty soldiers, according
to Governor Monteano's return of troops. On the 25th
March, 1740, the total population of St. Augustine, of all
classes, was two thousand one hundred and forty-three.
Previous to his attack upon the place, General Oglethorpe
obtained the following information from prisoners whom he
took at the outposts. He says: They agree that there are
fifty pieces of cannon in the castle at St. Augustine, several
of which are of brass, from twelve to forty-eight pounds.
It has four bastions. The walls are of stone, and casemated.
The internal square is sixty yards. The ditch is forty feet
wide, and twelve feet deep, six of which is sometimes filled
with water. The counterscarp is faced with stone. They
have lately made a covered way. The town is fortified with
an entrenchment, salient angles and redoubts, which inclose.
about half a mile in length, and a quarter of a milein width..
The inhabitants and garrison, men, women and children,
amount to above two thousand five hundred. For the gar-
rison, the king pays eight companies, sent from Spain two-
years since for the invasion of Georgia ; upon establishment
fifty-three men each, three companies of foot and one of ar-
tillery, of the old garrison, and one troop of horse one hun-
dred each upon establishment; of these, one hundred are at
St,-Markss teu days' march from St. Augustine; upon the
G-tlf of Mexico, onieh iindired ire disposed in several small
Of these out-posts, there were two, one on each side of
the river St. Johns-at Picglata and immediately opposite-
and at Diego. The purpose of the forts at Picolata was to
guard theYpassage of the river, and to keep open the com-
munication with St. Marks and Pensacola; and when threat-
ened with the invasion of Oglethop~e, messengers were dis-
patched to the governor of Pensacola for aid, and also to
Mexico by the same route. The fort at Diego was but a
small work, erected by Don Diego de Spinosa, upon his own
estate; and the remains of it, with one or two cannon, are
still visible. Fort Mooisz, was an out-post at the place now
known by that Ufilne, on the North River, about two miles.
north of St. Augustine. A fortified line, a considerable por-


tion of which may now be traced, extended across from the
stockades on the St. Sebastian to Fort Moosa. Communi-
cation by a tide-cree' existed through the marshes, between
the castle at St. Augustine and Fort Moosa.
Oglethorpe first attacked the two forts at Picolata, one of
which, called Fort Poppa, or St. Francis de Poppa, was a
place of some st~rength-. Ttrfremains still exist, bout one-
fourth of a mile north of the termination of the Bellamy
Road, its earthworks being still strongly marked.
After a slight resistance, both forts fell into his hands,
S much to the annoyance of Governor Monteano. Oglethorpe
speaks of Fort Francis as being of much importance, "as
commanding the passes from St. Augustine to Mexico, and
into the country of the Creek Indians, and also being upon
the ferry, where the troops which come from St. Augustine
must pass." He found in it, one mortar piece, two car-
riages, three small guns, ammunition, one hundred and fifty
shells, and fifty glass bottles full of gunpowder, with fuses-
a somewhat novel missile of war.
The English general's plan of operation was, that the
crews and troops upon the vessels should land, and throw
up batteries upon Anastasia Island, from thence bombard-
ing the town; while he himself designed to lead the attack
on the land side. Having arrived in position, he gave the
signal of attack to the fleet, by sending up a rocket; but no
response came from the vessels, and he had the mortification
of being obliged to withdraw his troops. The troops were
unable to effect a landing from the vessels, in consequence
of a number of armed Spanish galleys having been drawn
up inside the bar; so that no landing could be made except
under a severe fire, while the galleys were protected from an
attack by the ships, in consequence of the shoal water.
He then prepared to reduce the town by a regular siege,
with a strict blockade by sea. He hoped, by driving the
inhabitants into the castle, so to encumber the governor with
useless mouths, as to reduce him to the necessity of a sur-
Srender, to avoid starvation. The town was placed under the
Strange of his heavy artillery and mortars, and soon became
untenable, forcing the citizens generally to seek the shelter
of the fort.
Col. Vanderduysen was posted at PointQuartel; and oth-
ers of the troops upon Anastasia Island, and the north
beach. Three batteries were erected: one on Anastasia Isl-
and, called the Poza, which consisted of four eighteen-
pounders and one ine-pounder; one on the point of the

~------- /


wood of the island, mounting two eighteen-pounders. The
remains of the Poza battery are still to be seen, almost as
distinctly marked as on the day of its erection. Four mor-
tars and forty cohorns were employed in the siege.
The siege began on the 12th June; and on the 25th June
a night sortie was made from the castle against a portion of
the troops under command of Col. Palmer, who were en-
camped at Fort Moosa, including a company of Scotch High-
landers, numbering eighty-five men, under their chief, Capt.
McIntosh, all equipped in Highland dress. This attack was
entirely successful, and the English sustained a severe loss,
their colonel being killed, with twenty Highlanders, twenty-
seven soldiers, and a number of Indians.
This affair at Fort Moosa has generally been considered
as a surprise, and its disastrous results as the consequence I
of carelessness and disobedience of the orders of Oglethorpe i
Captain McIntosh, the leader of the Highlanders, was taken
prisoner, and finally transferred to Spain. From his prison
at St. Sebastian, under date of 20th June, 1741, he gives the
following account of the matter:-
I listed seventy men, all in Highland dress, and marched
to the siege, and was ordered to scout nigh St. Augustine
and molest the enemy, while the general and the rest of his
little army went to an island where we could have no succor
of them. I punctually obeyed my orders, until seven hun-
dred Spaniards sallied out from the garrison, an hour before
daylight. They did not surprise us, for we were all under
arms, ready to receive them, which we did briskly, keeping
a constant firing for a quarter of an hour, when they prest
on with numbers; was obliged to take our swords until the
most of us were shot and cut to pieces. You are to observe
we had but eighty men; and the engagement was in view
of the rest of our army, but they could not come to our as-
sistance, by being in the foresaid island, under the enemy's
guns. They had twenty prisoners, a few got off; the rest
killed; as we were well informed by some of themselves,
they had three hundred killed on the spot,* besides several
wounded. We were all stripped naked of clothes, brought
to St. Augustine, where we remained three months in close
* This statement is unsupported by either Spanish or English authority.
The writer of the letter, through want of familiarity with their language,
misunderstood his informants, in all probability, as to the extent of their-
loss.s. Sc
t MSS. in Geo. Hist. Soc. Library. '

a 0 4_v ,


This officer was Capt. John McIntosh; and his son, Brig.
Gen. McIntosh, then a youth of fourteen, was present in
the engagement, and escaped without injury. The family
of the McIntoshes have always been conspicuous in the his-
tory of Georgia.
The large number of persons collected within the walls of
the castle, and under the protection of its battlements, soon
gave rise to serious apprehensions on the part of the
besieged, of being reduced by starvation to the necessity of
a speedy surrender. The batteries, of Oglethorpe were
planted at so great a distance that he could produce but
little effect by his shot or shells upon the castle, although
he rendered the city itself untenable. The heat of the sea-
son and the exposure, to which the Provincial militia were
unaccustomed, soon produced considerable sickness and dis-
Q couragenAent in the invading force, and affected Oglethorpe
The Spanish governor sent most urgent messages to the
governor of the island of Cuba, which were transmitted by
runners along the coast, and thence by small vessels across
to Havana. In one of these letters he says, "My greatest
anxiety is for provisions; and if they do not come, there is
no doubt of our dying by the hands of hunger." In another,
he says, "I assure your Lordship, that it is impossible to
express the confusion of the place; for we have no protec-
tion except the fort, and all the rest is open field. The
families have abandoned their houses, and come to put
themselves under the guns, which is pitiable; though
nothing gives me anxiety but the want of provisions; and if
your Lordship for want of competent force cannot send relief,
we all must perish." *
4 With the exception of the Fort Moosa affair, the hostili-
ties were confined to the exchange of shots between the
castle and the batteries. Considerable discrepancy exists
between the Spanish and English accounts, as to the period
when the garrison was relieved: it was the communication
of the fact of relief having been received, which formed the
Ostensible ground of abandoning the siege by Oglethorpe;
but the Spanish governor asserts that these provision ves-
sels did not arrive until the siege was raised. The real fact,
I am inclined to think, is that the provision vessels arrived Mosuito, a harbor sixty miles below, where they were to
Sawait orders from Gov. Monteano, as to the mode of getting

Monteano, MSS., Archives St. Augustine.


discharged,* and that the information of their arrival, being /
known at St. Augustine, was communicated to the English,
and thus induced their raising the siege; in fact, the hope
of starving out the garrison was the only hope left to Ogle- /
thorpe; his strength was insufficient for an assault, and his
means inadequate to reduce the castle, which was well
manned and well provided with means of defense.
It was in truth a hopeless task, under the circumstances,
for Oglethorpe to persevere; and it is no impeachment of
his courage or his generalship, that he was unable to take a
fortress of really very respectable strength.
The siege continued from the 13th June to the 20th July, a
period of thirty-eight days. The bombardment was kept
up twenty days, but owing to the lightness of the guns and
the long range, but little effect was produced on the strong
walls of the castle. Its spongy, infrangible walls received
the balls from the batteries like a cotton bale, or sand bat-
tery, almost without making an impression; this may be
seen on examination, since the marks remain to this day, as
they were left at the end of the siege, one hundred and
seventeen years ago.
The prosecution of the siege having become impracticable,
preparations were made for retiring; and Oglethorpe, as a
pardonable and characteristic protest against the assumption
of his acting from any coercion, with drums beating and
banners displayed, crossed over to the main land, and
marched in full view of the castle, to his encampment three
miles distant, situated probably at the point now known as
Pass Navarro.
Great credit and respect have been deservedly awarded to
Governor Monteano, for the courage, skill, and perseve-
rance with which he sustained the siege.
SIt is well known that the.English general had, in a few
months, an ample opportunity of showing to his opponent 'r
that his skill in defending his own territory under the most
disadvantageous circumstances, was equal to that of the ac-
complished Monteano himself. The defense of Frederica,\
and signal defeat of the Spanish forces at Fort Simons, will\
ever challenge for Oglethorpe the highest credit for the /
most sterling qualities of a good general and a great man.J
Two years subsequently, Oglethorpe again advanced into
Florida, appeared before the gates of St. Augustine, and
endeavored to induce the garrison to march out to meet
him; but they kept within their walls, and Oglethorpe in
SMonteano, MS. Letter of, 28th July, 1740.


one of his despatches says, in the irritation caused by their
prudence, "that they were so meek there was no provoking
them." As in this incursion he had no object in view but a
devastation of the country, and harrassing the enemy, he
shortly withdrew his forces.
A committee of the South Carolina House of Commons,
in a report upon the Oglethorpe expedition, thus speaks of
St. Augustine, evidently smarting under the disappointment
of their recent defeat.
"JULY 1ST, 1741."
"St. Augustine, in the possession of the crown of Spain,
is well known to be situated but little distance from hence,
in latitude thirty degrees, in Florida, the next territory to
us. It is maintained by his Catholic Majesty, partly to pre-
serve his claim to Florida, and partly that it may be of ser-
vice to the plate-fleets when coming through the gulf, by
showing lights to them along the coast, and by being ready
to give assistance when any of them are cast away there-
about. The castle, by the largest account, doth not cover
more than one acre of ground, but is allowed on all hands
to be a place of great strength, and hath been usually
garrisoned with about three or four hundred men of the
ing's regular troops. The town is not very large, and but
indifferently fortified. The inhabitants, many of which are
mulattoes of savage dispositions, are all in the king's pay;
also being registered from their birth, and a severe penalty
laid on any master of a vessel that shall attempt to carry any
of them off. These are formed into a militia, and have been
Generally computed to be near about the same number as
the regular troops. Thus relying wholly on the king's pay for
their subsistence, their thoughts never turned to trade or even
agriculture, but depending on foreign supplies for the most
Common necessaries of life, they spent their time in uni-
Zversal, perpetual idleness. From such a state, mischievous
inclinations naturally spring up in such a people; and
having leisure and opportunity, ever since they had a neigh-
bor the fruits of whose industry excited their desires and
envy, they have not failed to carry those inclinations into
action as often as they could, without the least regard to
peace or war subsisting between the two crowns of Great
Britain and Spain, or to stipulations agreed upon between
the two governments."*

*Report upon Expedition to St. Augustine. Carroll's Coll. 2d vol., p.


Among the principal grievances set forth in this report,
was the carrying off and enticing and harboring their slaves,
of which a number of instances are enumerated; and they
attributed the negro insurrection which occurred in South
Carolina, in 1739, to the connivance and agency of the
Spanish authorities at St. Augustine; and they proceed in a
climax of indignation to hurl their denunciation at the sup-
posed authors of their misfortunes, in the following terms:
"With indignation we looked at St. Augustine (like another
Sallee!) That den of thieves and ruffians! receptacle of
debtors, servants and slaves bane of industry and society!
and revolved in our minds all the injuries this province had
received from thence, ever since its first settlement. That
they had from first to last, in times of profoundest peace,
both publicly and privately, by themselves, Indians, and
Negroes, in every shape molested us, not without some in-
stances of uncommon cruelty."*
It is very certain there was on each side, enough supposed
causes of provocation to induce a far from amiable state of
feeling between these neighboring colonies.
Carroll's Hist. Coll. S. C. p. 859.



OF FLORIDA. 1755-1763-1783.

DON Alonzo Fernandez de Herrera was appointed gover-
nor of Florida in 1755, and completed the exterior works
and finish of the fort. It is this governor who erected the
tablet over its main entrance, with the Spanish coat of arms
sculptured in alto relievo, with the following inscription be-

I am not sure but that the boastful governor might with
equal propriety and truth have put a similar inscription at
the city gate, claiming the town also as a finished city.
The first fort erected was called San Juan de Pinos, and
probably the same name attached to the present fort at the


commencement of its erection; when it acquired the name
of St. Mark, I have not discovered. The Apalachian Indi-
ans wer-eemployed upon it for more than sixty years, and
to their efforts are probably due the evidences of immense
labor in the construction of the ditch, the ramparts and
glacis, and the approaches; while the huge mass of stone
contained in its solid walls, must have required the la-
bor of hundreds of persons for many long years, in pro-
curing and cutting the stone in the quarries on the island,
transporting it to the water, and across the bay, and fash-
ioning and raising them to their places. Besides the Indi-
ans employed, some labor was constantly bestowed by the
garrison; and, for a considerable period, convicts were
brought hither from Mexico to carry on the public works.
During the works of extension and repair effected by Mon-
teano, previous to the siege by Oglethorpe, he employed
upon it one hundred and forty of these Mexican convicts.
The southwestern bastion is said to have been completed by
Monteano. The bastions bore the names respectively of St.
Paul, St. Peter, St. James, &c.
The whole work remains now as it was in 1756, with the
exception of the water battery, which was reconstructed by
the government of the United States in 1842-3. The com-
plement of its guns is one hundred, and its full garrison es-
tablishment requires one thousand men. It is built upon
the plan of Vauban, and is considered by military men as a
very creditable work; its strength and efficiency have been
well tested in the old times; f, it. haasnever been taken, al-
though twice besieged, and several in-' attacked. Its
frowning iattlements mnd-se-ilcbrai vaults will long stand
after we and those of our day shall be numbered with that
long past, of which it is itself a memorial; of its legends
connected with the dark chambers and prison vaults, the
chains, the instruments of torture, the skeletons walled in,
its closed and hidden recesses-of Coacouchee's escape, and
many another tale, there is much to say; but it is better said
within its grim walls, where the eye and the imagination
can go together, in weaving a web of mystery and awe over
its sad associations, to the music of the grating bolt, the
echoing tread, and the clanking chain.
Of the city itself, we have the following description in
1754 :-
"It is built on a little bay, at the foot of a hill shaded by
trees, and forms an oblong square, divided into four streets,
and has two full streets, which cut each other at right an-


gles. The houses are well built, and regular. They have
only one church, which is called after the city. St. John's
Fort, standing about a mile north of it, is a strong, irregu-
lar fortification, well mounted with cannon, and capable of
making a long defense."
I am inclined to think that the mile between the fort and
the city, and the hill at the foot of which, he says, the city
was built,.existed only in the focus of the writer's specta-
SThe Provinces of Florida were ceded by treaty to Eng-
land in the year 1763, and the Spanish inhabitants very gen-
erally left the country, which had then been under Spanish
rule for near two hundred years; and certainly in no por-
tion of this country had less progress been made. Beyond
Sthe walls occupied by its garrison, little had been attempted
or accomplished in these two hundred years. This was in
part, perhaps, attributable to the circumstances of the coun-
Stry-the frequent hostility of the Indians, and the want of
that mutual support given by neighborhoods, which in Flor-
ida are less practicable than elsewhere; but it was still more
owing to the character of the Spanish inhabitants, who were
more soldiers than civilians, and more townsmen than agri-
culturists; at all events, at the cession of Florida to Great
Britain, the number of inhabitants was not over five thou-
Of the period of the English occupation of Florida, we
have very full accounts. It was a primary object with the
British government, to colonize and settle it; and induce-
ments to emigrants were strongly put forth, in various pub-
lications. The work of Roberts was the first of these, and
was followed in a few yeai~rsby those of Bartram, Stork,
and Romans. The works of both Roberts and Stork, con-
tain plTFns ad minute descriptions of St. Augustine. The
plan of the town in Stork, represents every building, lot,
garden, and flower-bed in the place, and gives a very accu-
rate view of its general appearance.
The descriptions vary somewhat. Roberts, who published
his work the year of the cession, 1763, shows in connection
with his plan of the town, an Indian village on the point
south of the city, at the powder-house, and another just
north of the city. The one to the north has a church. A
negro fort is shown about a mile to the northward. Ogle-
thorpe's landing place is shown on Anastasia Island, and a
small fort on the main land south of the city. The depth
of water on the bar is marked as being at low water, eight


Roberts describes the city as "running along the shore at
the foot of a pleasant hill, adorned with trees ; its form is
oblong, divided by four regular streets, crossing each other
at right angles; down by the sea side, about three-fourths
of a mile south of the town, standeth the church, and a
monastery of St. Augustine. The best built part of the
town is on the north side, leading to the castle, which is
called St. John's Fort. It is a square building of soft stone,
fortified with whole bastions, having a rampart of twenty
feet high, with a parapet nine feet high, and it is casemated.
The town is fortified with bastions, and with cannon. On
the north and south, without the walls of the city, are the
Indian towns."
The next plan we have, is in the work by Dr. Stork, the
third edition of which was published in 1769. IHe gives a
beautiful plan of the place. Shows the fort as it now exists,
with its various outworks; three churches are designated,
one on the public square at its southwest corner; another
on St. George street, on the lot on the west side, south of
Green lane, and a Dutch church near where the Roman
Catholic cemetery now exists. From the size of the plan,
it does not embrace the Indian village. The present United
States Court-house was the governor's official residence, and
is represented as having attached to it a beautiful garden.
The Franciscan house or convent is shown where the bar-
racks are now, but different in the form of the buildings.
With the exception of the disappearance of a part of one
street then existing, there appears very little change from
the present plan of the town and buildings.
He describes the fort as being finished according to the
modern taste of military architecture," and as making a
very handsome appearance, and "that it might justly be
deemed the prettiest fort in the king's dominion." He
omits the pleasant hill from his description, and says the
town is situated near the glacis of the fort; the streets are
regularly laid out, and built narrow for the purposes of shade.
It is above half a mile in length, regularly fortified with bas-
tions, half-bastions, and a ditch; that it had also several rows
of the Spanish bayonet along the ditch, which formed so close
a chevaux de frize, with their pointed leaves, as to be im-
penetrable; the southern bastions were built of stone. In
the middle of the town is a spacious square, called the
parade, open towards the harbor; at the bottom of the
square is the governor's house, the apartments of which are
spacious and suitable; suited to the climate, with high


windows, a balcony in front, and galleries on both sides; to
the back of the house is joined a tower, called in America
a look-out, from which there is an extensive prospect to-
wards the sea, as well as inland. There are two churches
within the walls of the town, the parish church, a plain
building, and another belonging to the convent of Francis-
can Friars, which is converted into barracks for the garri-
son. The houses are built of free-stone, commonly two
stories high, two rooms upon a- floor, with large windows
and balconies; before the entry of most of the houses, runs
a portico of stone arches. The roofs are commonly flat.
The Spaniards consulted convenience more than taste in
their buildings. The number of houses within the town
and lines, when the Spaniards left it, was about nine hun-
dred; many of them, especially in the suburbs, being built
of wood, are now gone to decay. The inhabitants were of
all colors, whites, negroes, mulattoes, Indians, &c. At the
evacuation of St. Augustine, the population was five thou-
sand seven hundred, including the garrison of two thousand
five hundred men. Half a mile from the town to the west,
is a line with a broad ditch and bastions, running from the
St. Sebastian creek to St. Marks river. A mile further is
another fortified line with some redoubts, forming a second
communication between a stoccata fort 'upon St. Sebastian
river, and Fort Moosa, upon St. Marks river.
"Within the first line near the town, was a small settle-
ment of Germans, who had a church of their own. Upon
the St. Marks river, within the second line, was also an
Indian town, with a church built of freestone; what is very
remarkable, it is in good taste, though built by the Indians."
The two lines of defense here spoken of, may still be
traced. The nearest one is less than one-fourth of a mile
from the city gate, and the other at the well-known place
called the stockades, the stakes driven to form which, still
distinctly mark the place; and the ditch and embankment
can be traced for a considerable distance through the grounds
attached to my residence.
A letter-writer, who dates at St. Augustine, May, 1774,
says, This town is now truly become a heap of ruins, a fit
receptacle for the wretches of inhabitants." (Rather a
dyspeptic description, in all probability.)
A bridge was built across the Sebastian river by the
English, but the great depth of the water, joined to the
instability of the bottom, did not suffer it to remain long,
arid a ferry is now established in its room; the keeper of


the ferry has fifty pounds per annum allowed him, and the
inhabitants pay nothing for crossing, except after dark."
The English constructed large buildings for barracks,
characterized by Romans "as such stupendous piles of
buildings, which were large enough to contain five regi-
ments, when it is a matter of great doubt whether there
will ever be a necessity to keep one whole regiment here.
The material for this great barracks was brought from New
York, and far inferior to those found on the spot; yet the
freight alone amounted to more than their value when
landed. It makes us almost believe," says the elaborate
Romans, that all this show is in vain, or at most, that the
English were so much in dread of musquitoes, that they
thought a large army requisite to drive off these formidable
foes. To be serious," says he, this fort and barracks add
not a little to the beauty of the prospect; but most men
would think that the money spent on this useless parade,
would have been better laid out on roads and fences through
the province; or, if it must be in forts, why not at Pensa-
There is a manuscript work of John Gerard Williams de
Brahm, existing in the library of Harvard University, which
contains some particulars of interest, relative to Florida at
the period of the English occupation.
He states the number of inhabitants of East Florida,
which in those days meant mostly St. Augustine, from 1663
to 1771, as follows: householders, besides women, &c., two
hundred and eighty-eight; imported by Mr. Turnbull from
Minorca, &c., one thousand four hundred; negroes, upwards
of nine hundred. Of these, white heads of families, one
hundred and forty-four were married, which is just one-
half; thirty-one are storekeepers and traders; three haber-
dashers, fifteen innkeepers, forty-five artificers and mechan-
ics, one hundred and ten planters, four hunters, six cow-
keepers, eleven overseers, twelve draftsmen in employ of
government, besides mathematicians; fifty-eight had left
the province; twenty-eight dead, of whom four were killed
acting as constables, two hanged for pirating. Among the
names of those then residing in East Florida are mentioned
Sir Charles Burdett, William Drayton, Esq., planter, Chief
Justice; Rev. John Forbes, parson, Judge of Admiralty
and Councillor; Rev. N. Fraser, parson at Musquito; Gov-
ernor James Grant, Hon. John Moultrie, planter aud Lieu-
tenant Governor; William Stork, Esq., historian; Andrew
Turnbull, Esq., H. M. Counselor; Bernard Romans, drafts-
man, &c.; William Bartram, planter; James Moultrie, Esq.


He says, The light house on Anastasia Island had been
constructed and built of mason-work by the Spaniards; and,
in 1769, by order of General Haldimand, it was raised sixty
feet higher in carpenter's work, had a cannon planted on
the top, which is fired the very moment the flag is hoisted,
for a signal to the town and pilots that a vessel is off. The
light house has two flag-staffs, one to the south and one to
the north; on either of which the flag is hoisted, viz., to the
south if the vessel comes from thence, and the north if the
vessel comes that way.
The town is situated in a healthy zone, is surrounded
with salt water marshes, not at all prejudicial to health;
their evaporations are swept away in time by the
easterly winds, and in the night season by the westerly
winds trading back to the eastward. At the time when the
Spaniards left the town, all the gardens were well stocked
with fruit trees, viz., figs, guavas, plantain, pomegranates,
lemons, limes, citrons, shadock, bergamot, China and
Seville oranges, the latter full of fruit throughout the whole
winter season; and the pot-herbs, though suspended in
their vegetation, were seldom destroyed by cold. The
town is three-quarters of a mile in length, but not quite a
quarter wide; had four churches ornamently built with
stone in the Spanish taste, of which one within and one
without the town still exist. One is pulled down; that is
the German church, but the steeple is preserved as an orna-
ment to the town; and the other, viz., the convent church
and convent in town is taken in the body of the barracks.
All houses are built of masonry; their entrances are shaded
by piazzas, supported by Tuscan pillars oi pilasters, against
the south sun. The houses have to the east windows pro-
jecting sixteen or eighteen inches into the street, very wide,
and proportionally high. On the west side, their windows
are commonly very small, and no opening of any kind to
the north, on which side they have double walls six or eight
feet asunder, forming a kind of gallery, which answers for
cellars and pantries. Before most of the entrances were
arbors of vines, producing plenty and very good grapes.
No house has any chimney for a fire-place; the Spaniards
made use of stone urns, filled them with coals left in their
kitchens in the afternoon, and set them at sunset in their
bed-rooms, to defend themselves against those winter sea-
sons, which required such care. The governor's residence
has both sides piazzas, viz., a double one to the south, and
a single one to the north; also a Belvidere and grand por-


tico decorated with Doric pillars and entablatures. On the
north end of the town is a casemated fort, with four bas-
tions, a ravelin, counterscarp, and a glacis built with quar-
ried shell-stones, and constructed according to the rudi-
ments of Marechal de Vauban. This fort commands the
road of the bay, the town, its environs, and both Tolomako
stream and Mantanzas creek. The soil in the gardens and
environs of the town is chiefly sandy and marshy. The
Spaniards seem to have had a notion of manuring their land
with shells one foot deep.
"Among the three thousand who evacuated St. Augus-
tine, the author is credibly informed, were many Spaniards
near and above the age of one hundred years, (observe;)
this nation, especially natives of St. Augustine, bore the
reputation of great sobriety."*
On the 3d of January, 1766, the themometer sunk to 260
with the wind; from N. W. "The ground was frozen an
inch thick on the banks; this was the fatal night that de-
stroyed the lime, citron, and banana trees in St. Augustine,
and many curious evergreens up the river that were twenty
years old in a flourishiug state."t In 1774 there was a snow
storm, which extended over most of the province. The an-
cient inhabitants still (1836) speak of it as an extraordinary
white rain. It was said to have done little damage.T
In this connection, and as it is sometimes supposed that
the climate is now colder than formerly, it may be stated
that the thermometer went very low in 1799. East Florida
suffered from a violent frost on the 6th April, 1828. In
February, 1835, the thermometer sunk to 7 above zero,
wind ftom N. W.; and the St. Johns river was frozen
several rods from the shore; all kinds of fruit trees were
killed to the ground, and the wild orange trees suffered as
well as the cultivated.
Dr. Nicholas Turnbull, in the year 1767, associated with
Sir William Duncan and other Englishmen of note, pro-
jected a colony of European emigrants, to be settled at New
Smyrna. He brought from the islands of Greece, Corsica,
anfi Minorca, some fourteen hundred persons, agreeing to
convey them free of expense, find them in clothing and pro-
visions, ahd, at the end of three years, to give fifty acres of
land to each head of a family, and twenty-five to each child.
De Brahm MS., p. 192.
t Stork, p. 11.
+ Williams' Florida, p. 17.


After a long passage they arrived out, and formed the set-
tlement. The principal article of cultivation produced by
them was indigo, which commanded a high price, and was
assisted by a bounty from the English government. After
a few years, Turnbull, as is alleged, either from avarice or
natural cruelty, assumed a control the most absolute over
these colonists, and practiced cruelties the most painful upon
An insurrection took place in 1769 among them, in con-
sequence of severe punishments, which was speedily re-
pressed, and the leaders of it brought to trial before the
English court at St. Augustine; five of the number were
convicted and sentenced to death. Gov. Grant pardoned
two of the five, and a third was released upon the condition
of his becoming the executioner of the other two. Nine
years after the commencement of their settlement, their
number had become reduced from 1,400 to 600. In 1776,
proceedings were instituted on their behalf by Mr. Yonge,
the attorney-general of the province, which resulted in their
being exonerated from their contract with Turnbull; lands
were thereupon assigned them in the northren part of the
city, which was principally built up by them; and their de-
scendants, at the present day, form the larger portion of the
population of that place.
S Governor Grant was the first English governor, and was
a gentleman of much energy; and during his term of office
She projected many great and permanent improvements in
Sthe province. The public roads, known as the king's roads,
/ from St. Augustine to New Smyrna, and from St. Augus-
\ tine to Jacksonville, and thence to Coleraine, were then
constructed, and remain a lasting monument of his wisdom
( and desire of improvement.
Gov. Tonyn succeeded Gov. Grant; and a legislative
1 council was authorized to assemble, and the pretense and
/ forms of a constitutional government were gone through
In August, 1775, a British vessel called the Betsey, Capt.
Lofthouse, from London, with 111 barrels of powder, was
captured off the bar of St. Augustine, by an American pri-
) vateer from Charleston, very much to the disgust and an-
/ noyance of the British authorities.
( At this period, St. Augustine assumed much importance
as a depot and point d'appui for the British forces in their
operations against the Southern States; and very consider-
abe forces were at times assembled.


In the excess of the zeal and loyalty of the garrison and
inhabitants of St. Augustine, upon the receipt of the news
of the American Declaration of Independence, the effigies
of John Hancock and Samuel Adams were burned upon
the public square, where the monument now stands.
The expedition of Gen. Prevost against Savannah was or- /
ganized and embarked from St. Augustine, in 1779.
Sixty of the most distinguished citizens of Carolina were
seized by the British in 1780, and transported to St. Augus-
tine as prisoners of war and hostages, among whom were
Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge, Gen. Gadsden, and
Mr. Calhoun; all were put upon parole except Gen. Gads-
den and Mr. Calhoun, who refused the indulgence, and were
committed to the fort, where they remained many months
close prisoners. Gen. Rutherford and Col. Isaacs, of North
Carolina, were also transported hither, and committed to
the fort.
An expedition was fitted out from St. Augustine in 1783,
to act against New Providence, under Col. Devereux; and,
with very slender means that able officer succeeded in cap-
turing and reducing the Bahamas, which-av.e ever since
remained unden_ *i-dominati. n.
The expense o si~ppcrtting the- government of East
Florida during the English occupation, was very consider-
able, amounting to the sum of 122,000. The exports of
Florida, in 1778, amounted to 48,000; and in 1772, the
province exported 40,000 lbs. inligo; and in 1782, 20,000
barrels of turpentine.




IN June, 1784, in fulfillment of the treaty between
England and Spain, Florida, after twenty years of British
occupation, was re-ceded to the Spanish Crown, and taken
possession of by Governor Zespedez.
The English residents, in general, left* the country, and
went either to thelBahamas, Jamaica, or the United States.
Those who went to the British islands were almost ruined;
Sbut those who settled in the States were more successful.
" In April, 1793, the present Roman Catholic church was
commenced, the previous .church having been in another
portion of the city.t It was constructed under the direction
of Don Mariana de la Rocque and Don P. Berrio, govern-
ment engineer-officers. The cost of the church was $16,650,
of which about $6,000 was received from the proceeds of
the materials and ornaments of the old churches, about
$1,00.0 from the contributions of the inhabitants, and the
remaining $10,000 furnished by the government. One of
its four bells has the following inscription, showing it to be
probably the oldest bell in this country, being now 185
years old.

Sancte Joseph.
Ora Pro Nobis.
D 1682.
Don Enrique White was for many years governor of Flor-
ida, and died in the city of St. Augustine. He is spoken
of by those who knew him, in high terms, for his integrity
Among the families remaining were the Fatios, Flemings, and a few
t The old parish church was on St. George street, on west side of the street.