05 March 2007

Ft. Caroline

Ok so now begins the adventure into the Budd archives! Todays grouping is from a couple weekends ago when I went down to Fort Caroline in Jacksonville. Fort Caroline became the pivotal point in the colonization of this area, becasue it caused the Spanish and English to move in. So here is the story:
Spain had discovered and claimed Florida in 1513. Despite this, French Hugenots under Jean Jacques Ribault arrived in the area of what is now Jacksonville in 1562, which they claimed as French territory.They then went on to an area near modern Port Royal South Carolina, set another claim, and went back to France. In 1564 they returned under Rene de Goulaine de Laudonniere with about 250 settlers. This group established Fort Caroline on a bluff overlooking what they called the river of May, now the St. Johns river in Jacksoville. Ribault returned in 1565 with more supplies and settlers. In that same year, Spain sent Admiral Pedro Menendez to drive off the French colony. He went south and established the town of St. Augustine, which is now the oldest continually inhabited city in North America. Ribault learned of the Spanish settlement and sailed down the coast to attack it, but his ships were caught in a storm and they disembarked to the south of St. Augustine in the area of what is now Daytona beach. At the same time, Menendez went north with intentions to attack Fort Caroline. On Sep 20, 1565, they attacked, meeting little resistance as most of the French force was far to the south. The Spanish slaughtered 140 men, women, and children, saying they were heathens. This is a reflection of the Catholics and Protestants struggle with each other in Europe. Supposedly, about 70 women and children were spared when Menendez learned what was happening and ordered that they not be killed. After attacking Fort Caroline, which they now renamed Fort San Mateo, the Spanish headed south to find the French forces. At an inlet south of St. Augustine, the two forces met, and the French, having lost their weapons in the storm were compelled to surrender. Menendez gathered them in small groups, and then led them into the jungle where they were slaughtered if they did not convert to Catholicism or were not of a useful trade. Over 300 French were killed at that inlet that earned the name Matanzas, Spanish for slaughter. (More on Matanzas inlet coming in a future post.) Later, in 1568, French under Dominique de Gourgues arrived at now Fort San Mateo to get their revenge. They allied with the local Timuquan indians that their predecessors had befriended and attacked the fort and killed nearly 400 Spanish. Despite this, the Spanish continued to use the fort until it was abandoned in 1569. The area was used later by various forces, including the Confederates who errected cannon batteries here during the Civil War. The original fort has long since dissapeared, and its original site is believed to be gone due to errosion. The present day reconstruction is based on drawings and descriptions, and is located near where they think the original was.
Photos: The first photo is a totem pole from the Timucuans that was excavated near here and is the only totem pole found east of the Mississippi. Photo #2 is a Timucuan canoe found near here.
Third photo shows French and Spanish artifacts found in the area. Fourth photo is a Spanish canon found here. The next three photos are of the fort and its canon. Then a photo looking out over the St. Johns river bluff, and the last photo is of the reproduction of the monument that Ribault left when he first arrived, claiming the area as French.

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