Title: Menendez lands his people and founds St. Augustine (8 September 1565)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00067344/00001
 Material Information
Title: Menendez lands his people and founds St. Augustine (8 September 1565)
Series Title: Spanish Colonial St. Augustine.
Physical Description: Book
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)   ( lcsh )
Florida   ( lcsh )
Colonies -- Spain -- America
Temporal Coverage: Spanish Colonial Period ( 1594 - 1920 )
Colonial Period ( 1594 - 1920 )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns County -- Saint Augustine -- Historic city
North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Funding: Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00067344
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Board of Trustees of the University of Florida on behalf of authors and contributors. All rights reserved.


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Menendez lands his people
and founds St. Augustine
(September 8, 1565)

About eight leagues by sea, and six by land, I found a place that I had seen
before, on the Feast Day of St. Augustine, and it is just short of 30 degrees and a
half, and seven from there. Here I disembarked two hundred soldiers. And on
the seventh [of September], three small vessels arrived with another three
hundred, plus the husbands with their wives and children. And I also put ashore
the greater part of the artillery and munitions that I brought, and the eighth [of
September], being the Feast of Our Lady, having landed another one hundred
people that I had to put ashore, along with sufficient cannon and gunpowder, the
flagship and the admiral's galleon from the French fleet arrived, standing off half
a league from us, offering battle, and coming round on us as we were anchored.
They gave indications that they were coming to board us, but at three o'clock in
the afternoon, they took in sail and departed for their harbor. And I went ashore
and claimed possession in the name of Your Majesty, and I was sworn into office
by the captains and officials, as governor, captain general, and adelantado of this
land and coast, according to the provisions of Your Majesty.
There were many Indians present, including the principal men among them.
They showed us friendship, and it seemed to us that they were enemies of the
French, and they told us that by an inside route from this place, without putting to
sea, we could reach the river where the French were, ahead of the fort by the
upper river, seven or eight leagues; which is a fortunate thing, it being possible to
move the artillery and the encampment and the cavalry, if we desire to land close
by their fort. For unless the island impedes us, even though they have a fort, we
would be able to go overland with the horses and cannons.
I am resolved to fortify my position as best as I can, until reinforcements
come, and within three days, I intend to send to Havana by the quickest route, so
that with God's help, I think they can get there inside eight or ten days, and I will
send pilots, so that relief can come back with all speed to this port. Whatever
comes will come, and I will use all my skill, with Our Lord's help, to gain the
island of that place, and plant the cannons above their forces, because with the
cavalry, I trust in God, to secure safety and be the victor of this campaign.
With the first two hundred soldiers I sent two commanders, Juan San Vicente,
the brother of the captain of the San Vicente, and Andres L6pez Patino,
experienced campaigners, so that they could build a trench work around the
best-suited spot; which place they fortified and gathered together the people who
were ashore, to defend against enemies if they should come upon us. And they
did this so well, that when I came ashore on the Feast Day of Our Lady, to take
possession of the land in Your Majesty's name, it seemed like they had done a
month's work. It could not have been done better, even if they had used shovels,
and drills [,] and other implements of iron (although we had no such tools,
because the ship carrying them had not arrived).

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