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Full text of "The history and antiquities of the city of St. Augustine, Florida, founded A.D. 1565. Comprising some of the most interesting portions of the early history of Florida"

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FOUNDED A.D. 15 6 5*. < 







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; Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year IS5S, Ly 


In the Clerk's Ofiice of tk£ District Court of the United States Jor the Southern 
District of New York. 

Baker i- Godwin, Printers, 
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1. VlKW DK I'llHUU SlJUAUK, Si'. AlUCUISTlNK, . / 

1. Map ok Florida in 15155, .... 

:{. Foiit Oauoi.ini:, 1564, ..... 

■1. Entkance ok St. John's Rivku, 

o. Mknk.nm:/., FoijKdkk ov St. Aumuhtink, . 

0. Si'VMMi l'o\r tiK Ahmh ovik i:\nn\ri: To Four M.vtttox, 

7. Cm (!atix, . . . . 



I II 1 


Tnis volume, relating to the history and antiqui- 
ties 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 
permanent form. 

The large amount of interesting material in my 
possession, has made my work rather one of labori- 
ous condensation than expansion. 

1 have endeavored to preserve as fully as possible, 
the style and quaiutness of the old writers from 
whom I have drawn, rather than to transform or 
embellish the narrative with the . supposed graces 
of modern diction ; and, as much of the work con- 
sisted in translations from foreign idioms, this pecu- 
liarly 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 Huguenot 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 endeavoring 
throughout his work, to exalt the character of the 

I am under great obligations to my friend, Buck- 
ingham Smith, Esq., for repeated favors in the course 
of its preparation. 




Introductory, ........ ',» 

First discovery, 1612 to 1565. — Juan Ponce de Leon. . . .12 


Rfbmilt) Laudonniere, and Menendez — settlements of the Huguenots, and 
foundation of St. Augustine.— 1562— 1565— 1568. . . 15 

The attack on Fort Caroline.— 1565. . . . . .28 


Escape of Laudonniere and others from Fort Caroline — Adventures of 

the fugitives. ....... 86 


Site of Fort Caroline, afterwards called San Matteo. . . .51 


Menendez's return to St. Augustine — Shipwreck of Ribault — Massacre of 
part of his command. — A. D. 1565. .... 60 


Fate of Ribault and his followers — Bloody massacre at Matanzus. — 1565. 76 



Fortifying of St. Augustine — Disaffections and mutinies — Approval of 

Menendez' acts by king of Spain. — 1565 — 1568. . . .91 


The notable revenge of Dominie de Gourgues — Return of Menendez — 

Indian Mission.— 1568. ...... 102 


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


Subjection of the Apalachian Indians — Construction of the fort, sea 

wall, &c— 1638— 1700. ..... 121 


Attack on St. Augustine by Gov. Moore of South Carolina — Difficulties 
with the Georgians.— 1702— 1732. . . . .131 

Siege of St. Augustine by Oglethorpe. — 1732 — 1740. . . 141 


Completion of the castle — Descriptions of St. Augustine a century ago — 

English occupation of Florida. — 1755 — 17615 — 1783. . . 155 


Re-cession of Florida to Spain — Erection of the Parish Church — Change 

of flags.— 178S— 1821. ...... 173 


Transfer of Florida to the United States — American occupation — Ancient 

buildings, <fcc. . . . . . . .184 


Present appearance of St. Augustine, as given by the author of Thano- 

topsis — Its climate and salubrity. . . . . 190 



The Saint Augustine of tlie present and the St. 
Augustine 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, witji 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 demand ; with no stocks, 
save those devoted to disturbers of the public peace ; 
with no excitements and no events ; a quiet, undis- 
turbed, dreamy vision of still lite 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, which 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 con- 
federacy ; that here for the first time, isolated within 
the shadows of the primeval forest, 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 
occupation 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, "La siempre fid Ciudcul tie San Aug listing 
—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 mar- 
tyr'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 unwont- 
ed prosperity ? Moss-grown and shattered,' it appeals 
to our instinctive feelings of reverence for antiquity ; 
and we feel desirous to know the 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 second 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 thiM, the beautiful land of 
his imagination, there existed a fountain whose 
waters could restore youth to palsied age, and beauty 
to elVncc the marks of time. 

The story ran that far to the north there existed 
a land abounding in gold and in 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 immortality, who had never returned, 
and who, it was supposed, were in a renovated state, 
still enjoying tlie felicities of the happy land. 

Furthermore, Peter Martyr affirms, in his second 
decade, addressed to the Pope, "that anions 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 beimr 
drunk, perhaps with some diet, maketh old men 
young again. And here I must make protestation 
to your Holiness not to think this to he 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 hath divided from the common sort, think it 
to be true." * Thoroughly believing in 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 lon^ 

* 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 eifects produced 
by imbibing this celebrated spring water. 


period afterwards, 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 laurel, and partly in 
honor of the clay, Pascua Florida, or Palm Sunday, 
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 

On the 3d of April, 1512, three hundred and 
forty-five years ago, he landed a few miles north of 
St. Augustine, and took possession of the country 
for the Spanish crown, lie found the natives fierce 
and implacable ; and after exploring the country for 
some distance around, and trying the virtue of all 
the streams, and growing neither younger nor hand- 
somer, he left the country without making a perman- 
ent settlement. 

The subsequent explorations of Narvaez, in 1526 
and of De Soto, in 1539, were made in another por- 
tion of our State, and do not bear immediately upon 
the subject of our investigation, although forming a 
most interesting portion of our general history. 





15C2— 15C5— 15G8. 

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 unsuccess- 
ful. Having procured permission from Charles IX. 
to found a colony in Florida ; a designation which 
embraced in rather an indefinite manner the whole 
country from the Chesapeake to the Tortugas, he 
sent an expedition in 1562 from France, under com- 
mand 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 settlement at Port Royal, South Caro- 
lina, and erected a fort. After some months, how- 
ever, 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 Rene de Laudonniere, and made their 
first landing at the River of Dolphins, being the 
present harbor of St. Augustine, and so named by 
them in consequence of the great number of Dol- 
phins (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 
concluded to establish his colony on its banks ; and 
proceeding about two leagues above its month, built 
a fort upon a pleasant hill of "mean height " which, in 
honor of his sovereign, he named Fort Caroline. 

The colonists after a few months were reduced to 
£reat distress, and were about taking measures to 
abandon the country a second time, when Ribault 
arrived with reinforcements. 

It is supposed that intelligence of these expedi- 
tions was communicated by the enemies of Coligny 
to the court of Spain. 

Jealousy of the aggrandizement of the French in 
the New World, mortification for their own unsuc- 
cessful efforts in that quarter, and a still stronger 
motive of hatred to the faith of the Huguenot, 
induced the bigoted Philip IT. of Spain, to dispatch 


1'edro Menendez de Aviles, a brave, bigoted, and 
remorseless soldier, to drive out tlie French colony, 
and take possession of the country for himself. 

The compact made between the king and Menen- 
dez was, that he should furnish one galleon com- 
pletely equipped, and provisions for a force of six 
hundred men ; that he should conquer and settle 
the country. He obligated himself to cany one hun- 
dred horses, two hundred horned cattle^ four hun- 
dred hogs, four hundred sheep and some goats, and 
five 'hundred- slaves (for which 'lie had a 2">ermission 
free of duties), the third part of which should be 
men, for his own service and that of those who went 
with him, to aid in cultivating the land and building. 
That he should take twelve priests, and four fathers 
of the Jesuit order, lie wiis to build two or three 
towns of one hundred fainibe-i, and in each town 
should build a fort according to the n stave 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 2000 ducats, a percentage of the royal 
duties, and have the freedom of all the other ports 
of New Spain* 

II is force consisted, at starting, of eleven sail of 

* Ijitra'u Knsayo, Cion. CO. 


& 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 September 
Menendez cast anchor in the River of Dolphins, the 
harbor of St. Augustine. He had previously dis- 
covered and given chase to some of the vessels of 
Ribault, off the mouth of the River May. The Indian 
village of Selooe then stood upon the site of St. 
Augustine, and the landing of Menendez was upon 
the spot where the city of St. Augustine now stands. 

Fray Francisco Lopez de Mendoza, the Chaplain 
of the Expedition, thus chronicles thejisernbarkation 
and attendant ceremonies : — 

" On Saturday the 8th day of September, the day 
of the nativity of our Lady, the General disem- 
barked, with numerous banners displayed, trumpets 
and other martial music resounding, and amid 
salvos of artillery. 

" Carrying a cross, I proceeded at the head, chant- 
ing the hymn Te Denm LauJamus. 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 ceremonies, and imitated whatever they 
saw done. Thereupon the General took possession 


of thc^ 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 

The name of St. Augustine was given, in the usual 
manner of the early voyagers, because they had ar- 
rived upon the coast on the day dedicated in their 
calendar to that eminent 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 surprise, 
" 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 pounds. 

But in the mean time Menendez had by no means 
forgotten 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, Laudonniere had 


been forced to seize from the Indians food to sup- 
port liis 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 expected. 

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 the 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 
Mcnendez and of llibault; and in this simple and 
trusting faith, the worthy chaplain gives us the fol- 
lowing account of the miraculous escape and deliver- 
ance of a portion of the Spanish fleet : — 


"God and his Holy Mother have performed 
another great miracle in our favor. The day follow- 
ing the hilling of the General in the fort, he said 
to us that he was very uneasy, because his galley 
and another vessel were at anchor, isolated and a 
league at sea, being unable to enter the port on ac- 
count 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 iifty men, to go on board of his 
galleon. lie 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 unable to proceed further, and there- 
upon 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 be- 
gan 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 vn 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 
Secoiws (V 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, her- 
self, 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 pro- 
visions 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 ar- 
rival. They were well furnished with both troops 
and artillery, 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 seeking 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 

* The Gulleon spoken of was Menendez's own flag-ship, the El Pelayo, 
the largest vessel in his fleet, fitted out nt 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 a3 prisoners, whom he was sending 
home to the Inquisition at Seville. The orders to liis officers were to go as 
speed dy as possible to the island of Ilispaniola, to bring provisions and addi- 
tional forces. Upon the passage, the Lutheran prisoners, with some Levant ine 
sailors, rose upon the Spaniards, killed the commander, and carried the 
vessel into Denmark. Menendez was much chagrined when he ascertained 
the fate of his favorite galleon, a long period afterwards. 



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 dis- 
tance 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 

A council of war was held, and after some discus- 
sion, for the most part adverse to the plan proposed 
by him, Menendez 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 Har- 
rison of their fort, to which, nor to port, will they 
be able to return for many days according to appear- 
ances ; and since they are all Lutherans, as we 
learned before we sailed from Spain, by the edicts 
which Jean lvibault 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 nndit 
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 Indians ; 
so that the^more promptly we shall punish them, we 
shall the more speedily do a service to our God and 
our king, and comply with our conscience and our 

" To accomplish this, we must choose five hund- 
red arquebuse men and pikemen, and carry pro- 
visions 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 canqrot 
get along, we will open a way with our axes ; and 
moreover, I have with me a 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 Ave may take it, by 
planting upon it twenty scaling ladders, 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 of a league distant, and plant- 
ing 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 succeed- 
ing spring." 

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 nature, the ade- 
lautado got up the most splendid dinner in his power, 
and invited Lis recreant officers to the repast, and 
dexterously appealed to their fears, as well as tbeir 
pride, and overcame their reluctance to undertake 
the unknown dangers of a first march through Florida 
at a wet season, an actual acquaintance with which 
would still more have dampened 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, and in 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 further history, the chronicle 
gives other instances of a similar spirit ; and 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, preceded by twenty Biscayans and Asturians 
having as their captain Martin de Ochoa, a leader 
of great fidelity and bravery, furnished with axes to 
open a road where they could not get alono-. At 
this moment there arrived two Indians, who said 
that they had been at the French fort six clays 
before, and who "seemed like angels" to the sol- 
diers, sent to guide their march. Halting for refresh- 
ment and rest wherever suitable places could be 
found, and the Adelantado always with the van- 
guard, 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 veiy bad one 
and very marshy ; but he decided to stop there, and 
went back to seek the rearguard, lest they might 
lose the way. 

•■*■-...■ &=£?tffa& 


V Jii'i' CAR L 1 N E 


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 watei;j"ising 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 coining. 

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 in quietly. Remaining firm in hi^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 advan- 
tageous for their holy service ; and he was persuaded 
that they had all done the same. " But now, Gentle- 
men," he proceeded, " we must make some determin- 
ation, finding ourselves exhausted, lost, without 
ammunition or provisions, and without the hope of 

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 veiy 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, consider- 
ably disturbed by their first experience in encounter- 
ing the hardships of such a march — to show them that 
the danger of retreat was then greater than an ad- 
vance 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 reputa- 

Stimulated by the speech of their General, they 
demanded to be led to the attack, and the arrange- 
ments 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 daylight. 

At dawn, the Frenchman recognized the country, 

A low palm, bearing tin oily berry. 


and the place where 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 ad- 
joining 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, thev 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 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 discovered them, who 


imagined them to be French : but examining them 
he perceived they were unknown to him. He hailed, 
"Who goes there?" Ochoa answered, "French- 
men." The sentinel was confirmed in his supposition 
thatlhey were his own people, and approached 
them ; Ochoa did the same ; but seeing they were 
not French, the sentinel retreated. Ochoa closed 
Avith 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 there- 
upon, 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, Fran- 
cisco de lvecalde, Diego de Maya, and Andres Lopez 
Patino, with their standards and soldiers, without 
being able to restrain himself, he cried out, " San- 
tiago ! 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 Camp had taken with him a con- 
siderable 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 animated the sol- 
diery, killed the sentinel, and cried out with a loud 
voice to those who were pressing forward, " Com- 
rades ! do as I do. God is with us ; " and turned, 
running towards the fort, and meeting two French- 
men 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 French 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 

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 walls. 


Immediately the standards of the Sergeant Major 
and of Diego Mayo were brought iu, 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 hearing 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 him- 
self 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 I 
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 persons were saved, the re*t were all lilUtl 

llcnato de Laudonniere, the Commander of the j 
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 important particulars, how- 


ever, 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 
relations of the event, on the contrary, allege that 
an indiscriminate slaughter took place, and that 
all were massacred without respect to age, sex, or 
condition ; but as this statement 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 lessen 
somewhat the horrors of a scene which has need of 
all the palliation which can be drawn from the 
slightest evidences of compassion on the part of that 
stern and bigoted leader. JMBI W 

The Spanish statement is further confirmed by 
other writers, who speak of a vessel being dispatched 
by Menendez subsequently to carry the survivors to 





The narratives of this event are found singularly 
full, there being no less than three accounts by fugi- 
tives 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 nar- 
rative, not only an account of the fullness of the de- 
tails, 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 require- 
ments. There are apparent, also, a close study of the 
Scriptures, a great familiarity with its language, a 
frequent use of its illustrations, and a disposition to 
attribute all things, with a reverent piety, to the 
direct personal supervision of the Almighty. "With 
the aid of the map accompanying the succeeding 
chapter, it will not be difficult to trace the perilous 


route of escape pursued by De Challeux and bis com- 
panions, 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 re- 
covered 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 continued during the whole night, most of 
our people being at the time in their beds sleeping. 
The wicket gate open, the Spanish force, having tra- 
versed 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 audhate 
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 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, j umping 
from their beds, slipped out and escaped to the ves- 


sel in the river. I was myself surprised, going to my 
duty with my clasp-knife in my hand ; for uporr 
leaving my cabin, I met the enemy, and saw no 
other means of escape "but turning my back, and ma- 
king the utmost possible haste to leap over the pali- 
sades, for I was closely pursued, step by step, by a 
pikeman, 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 my- 
self 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 sav- 
age beasts, than that of our enemy which I had seen 
shown towards our people. But the misery and an- 
guish 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 tio 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 jue, for the hope 
which I have in Thee, what course I ought to take to 
come to the termination of this miserable old acre, 
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, 
Avhen I heard a noise like men weeping and groan- 
ing 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 fcH. Immediately afterwards we found also 
the servant of Sieur d' Ully, the nephew of M. Le- 
brean, Master Jaques Trusse, and many others; and 
we assembled and talked over our troubles, and de- 
liberated as to what course we could take to save our 
lives. One of our number, much esteemed as beinir 
very learned in the lessons of Holy Scripture, pro- 
posed 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, no- 
thing 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 

"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 linappeased 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 
reformed by the preaching of the Gospel ; that we 
should be cowards to trust in men, rather than in 
God, who srives 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. Pe- 
ter and St. Paul, who were all draAvn 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 en- 
feebled ; 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 escap- 
ing 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 moun- 

" 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 promises 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 W, 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 kinds of strange plants ; for the stalk 
was as hard as wood, and the leaves pricked our feet 
and our hands until the blood came, and bernc all the 
while in the wate^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 judgments upon us. 'Alas! 
Lord,' said we, ' what are we but poor worms of 
the earth ? Our souls weakened by grief, surrender 
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 dis- 
trust ; 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 towards 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 re- 
turned to the wood, and cut a long pole, with the 
good-sized 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 vre 
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 overcome as 
though we had been half drowned. After we had 
come to ourselves and we had resumed courage, 
moving on all the time towards the wood, which we 
had remarked close to the 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 

" 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 monstrous, because of its 
gleaming eyes, wondrously large ; but it did not come 
near to do us any harm. 

" The day having appeared, we went out of the 
wood and returned towards 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 covered witli 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 observation, they seemed in as sad a 
plight as ourselves, naked and terrified ; and we im- 
mediately 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 Itouen, 
Niguise de la Cratte, Nicholas the carpenter, the 
Trumpeter 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 discovered 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 aud 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 from hunger 
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,J,o 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 good- 
ness of the Lord, who had saved us against all hope 
from an infinity of dangers and from 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 re- 
counting 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 wag to be 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 
quantity of provisions which we had, our strength 
broken, our munitions and means of defense taken 
from us, the uncertainty as to the condition of our 
Admiral, and not knowing but that he had been 
shipwrecked on some 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, and 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 fust day our two ships were 
si> 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, which we met as 
well as we could, and cannonaded them in such sort 
that we made them subject to our disposal; and bat- 
tered them st> 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, satis- 
fied 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 rencon- 
ter with enemies ; but we were much troubled by 
contrary winds, which often threatened to cast us on 
the coast of Spain, which would have been the fin- 
ishing touch to our misfortunes, and the thing of 
which we had the greatest horror. We also endured 
at sea many other tilings, such as cold and hunger ; 
for be it understood that we, who escaped from the 
land of Florida, had nothing else fur vestment or 
equipment, by day or by night, except our shirts 
alone, or some other little rag, which was a small 
matter of defense from the exposure lo the weather; 
and what was more, the bread whieh 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 company ; and we arrived 
at last, after this perilous and lamentable voyage, at 


Rochelle ; where we were received and treated very 
humanely and kindly by the inhabitants of the 
country and those of the city, giving us of their 
means, to the extent our necessities required ; and 
assisted t'y their kindness we were each enabled to 
return to his own part of the country."* 

Laudonniere'sf narrative speaks more of his own 
personal escape ; and that of Le MoyneJ refers to this 
description of De Challeux, as containing a full and 
accurate account of what took place. Barcia men- 
tions De Challeux very contemptuously as a carpen- 
ter, 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 com- 
rades and threw themselves upon their enemies' 
mercy, are mentioned by the Spanish writers ; but 

they are silent as to the treatment they received. 

* Ternaux Corupans. f Ilakluyt. \ Brevia Narratio. 




It might naturally be supposed that a spot sur- 
rounded with so many thrilling and interesting asso- 
ciations, 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 appel- 
lation of Fort Caroline, and the antiquarfy 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 oblivion the historical romance of the South 
than any other * has well said, " It will be an em- 
ployment of curious interest, whenever the people 
of Florida shall happen upon the true site of the 
settlement and structure of Laudonniere, to trace 

* W. Gilmore Simiri3, Esq. 


out in detail these several localities, and fix tliem 
for tlie 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." 

AVith a consciousness of our unfitness to establish j 
absolutely^ 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 satis- 
factory to myself, and measurably so, I trust, to 

The account given by Laudonniere 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 Hivcr May by Eibaufy who had 
entered it on the first day of May, 15C2, 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 dis- 
covered an hill of meane height, neare which I went 
on land, hardc by the fieldes 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 searche 
out the (pialities of the hill. Therefore I went right 


to the toppe thereof; where we found nothing else 
hut 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 niesquine 
wreathed abouc the trees in great .quantities. Touch- 
ing 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 islets, enter- 
lacing one another. Briefly, the place is so pleasant, 
that those which are melancholicke, would be mforced 
to change their humour. * * * 

" Our fort was built in form of a triangle ; the side 
towards the west, whicli was toward 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 inclosed 
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 whicli I caused an house for 
the munition to be made. It was all budded with 
fagots and sand, saving about two or three foote 
high, with turfes whereof the battlements were made. 
In the micldest, I caused a great court to be made of 


eighteen paces long, and the same in breadth. In 
the middest 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 inclosed my court, 
which I made very faire and large, reached unto the 
grange of my munitions; and on the other side, 
towards tlie 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 towarde 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 BrevisNarratio contains two plates, representing 
the commencement of the construction of Fort Car- 
oline, and its appearance when completed. The 
latter represents a much moro finished fortification' 
than could possibly have been constructed, but may 
be taken as a correct outline, I presume, of its gen- 
eral appearance. 

Barcia, in hi3 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 Laudonniere 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 ]\ave been on the westerly side of a hill, near 
the river. 

The distance is spoken of as less than three leagues 
by Laudonniere. 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. Le 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 br 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 suf- 

Laud<>nnicro Bays, "joujnant la moiitaijnc." 


ficiently definite to enable us to seek a location 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. 

The River St. Johns is one of the largest rivers, in 
point of width, to be found in America," and is more 
like an arm of the sea than a river ; from its mouth 
for a distance of fifteen miles, it is spread, over exten- 
sive marshes, and there are few points where the 
channel touches the banks of the river. At its 
mouth it is comparatively narrow, but immediately 
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 closely along the shore, making a bold, deep 
channel close up to the bank. The land rises ab- 
ruptly on one side, into a hill of moderate height, 
covered with a dense growth of pine, cedar, etc. 
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 im- 

I am not aware that any remains of Fort Caroline, 


or any old remains of a fortress, have ever been dis- 
covered here; but it must be recollected that this 
fort was constructed 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 highly probable, judging from present 
aj)pearances, 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 accompanying diagram and map will illustrate 
this point more fully, and starting at St. John's 
Bluff, the track of the fugitives, as they crossed the 
several creeks, is easily followed, until they reached 
the vessels at the mouth of the river. 

The evidence in favor of the location of Fort Car- 
oline at St. John's Bluff is, I think, conclusive and 
irresistible, and accords in all points with the descrip- 


tions given as to distance, topography, and points of 

It is within the memory of persons now living,* 
that a considerable 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 occupied 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 Laudonniere ; and it requires 
but a small spice of enthusiasm and romance that it 
be recognized as a "goodlie and pleasante spotte," 
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 pleasante that those , 
which are melancholicke would be inforced to 
change their humour." 

* Col. T. D. Hart ; Mrs. James Smith. 


It is but proper, however, to say, that at a plan- 
tation known as Newcastle there is a high range of 
ground, and upon this high ground the appearance 
of an old earth-work of quadrangular 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 trian- 
gular, and is a considerable distance from the water. 
These earth-works, I am satisfied, are Spanish or 
English remains of a much later period. 




After an ineffectual attempt to induce those in 
the small vessels of the French to surrender, failing 
in this, the General concluded to return to St. Au- 
gustine, 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 Spaniards ; and the name of St. Matthew 
was also given by them to the river, now called St. 
Johns, on which it was situated. 

The Spaniards proceeded at once to strengthen 


the fortress, 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 subse- 
quently, affords an amusing commentary. They also 
constructed, subsequently, two small forts at the 
mouth of the river, one on each side, which proba- 
bly 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 Governor 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 Car- 
oline, lie took with him upon his return but fifty 
soldiers, and, owing to the swollen waters, found 
great difficulty 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 expedition. The worthy Chap- 
lain 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 embraced 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 coming, I ran home and put 
on a new soutain, the best which I had, and a sur- 
plice, and going out with a crucifix in my hand, I 
went forward to receive him ; and he, a gentleman 
and a good Christian, before entering kneeled and 
all his followers, and returned thanks to the Lord 
for the great favours which lie had received. My 
companions and myself marched in front in proces- 
sion chanting, so that we all returned with the great- 
est demonstrations of joy." 

When about to dispatch the two vessels in his 
harbor to the St. John's, to cut off the French ves- 
sels 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 doubtful, whether to be ascribed 
to accident or design. Much disaffection prevailed 
among the officers and soldiers, and the fire was 
looked upon with pleasure by some, as having a ten- 
dency to hasten their departure from a spot which 
offered few temptations or rewards, compared with 
Mexico or Peru. 

On the very day of Menendez's return, a French- 
man was discovered by a fishing party on Anastasia 
Island, who, being 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. 

Mencndez 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 reference 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, tliey found a considerable body 
of French upon the south side of an inlet, whose 
fires indicated their position. 

The four vessels of Itibault, 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 
>ere thus thrown on shore without shelter from the 
elements, famished with hunger, borne down by 
disappointment, and utterly dispirited and demoral- 
ized. They were consumed, also, by the most pain- 
ful 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 In- 
dians, 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. 

* 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. 


Upon this they concluded to seek their own safety 
among the friendly Indians of St. Helena, rather 
than to he the useless bearers of the tidings of their 
misfortunes to their companions in arms. 

There are several accounts of the sad fate which 
befell the followers of Ribault, the massacre of whom 
has been perpetuated by the memorial name given 
to its scene, " the bloody river of Matanzas," the ebb 
and flow of whose recurring 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 con- 
sequence, of the rank and number of the victims, the 
event produced various and somewhat contradictory 
accounts ; but all stamped with a seal of reprobation 
and execration the act and the actors, without ref- 
erence to creed or nationality. Challeux relates 
instances of cruel barbarity added to the atrocity 
of the slaughter itself; and others, it appears, had 
given other versions, all in different degree point- 
ing the finger of historic justice to mark and com- 
memorate the crime against humanity. 

The Spanish historian, Barcia, aims to counteract 
this general condemnation, of which in his own lan- 
guage he says, "These calumnies, repeated in so 
many quarters, have sullied the fame of the Adelan- 
tado, being exaggerated by the heretics, and con- 




sentecl 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 Adelan- 
tado did not give his word, nor would he when asked 
give it, to spare their lives, although they were will- 
ing 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 Sails, wife 
of the Adelantado, who was present, and who, relat- 
ing the punishment of the heretics, and the manner 
in which it was accomplished, says, — 

" '-The Adelantado occupied himself in fortifying 
his settlement at St Augustine, as well as he could, 
to defend it from the French ilcet 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 commanded a halt until morning, and 
leaving his soldiers concealed, he ascended a tree to 
see what was the state of matters. lie 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 discov- 
ered, a French soldier 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 ? lie answered, that they were two hundred 
of the people under command of Jean Eibault, 
Viceroy and Captain General of this country for 
the king of the French. He asked again, if they 
were Catholics or Lutherans ? 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 Avhich 
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 tliey were. The General 
asked if he wished to return. He said " Yes, but he 
desired to know what people 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 pro- 
visions to the river. The General instructed the 
messenger 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 Adelantado received them very 
well, with only ten of his followers ; 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 announ- 
ced 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. Augustiue ; 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 V He replied u that they were all of 
the New Eeligion." Then the Adelantado said 
to them, " Gentlemen, your fort is taken and its peo- 
ple destroyed, except the women, and children under 
fifteen years of age ; and that you may be assured 
of this, among the soldiers who are here there are 
many things, and also there are here two Frenchmen 
wh,om 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 Lour 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 
consideration, 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 lie 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 provisions. The other had to go upon busi- 
ness 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 Ade- 
lantado said, M 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 


Lis king ; and that he would go and plant the holy 
faith in this laud, that the Indians might be enlight- 
ened and be brought to the knowledge 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 nhoidd 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 j)oor 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 suspicion 


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 iu accordance 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 pistols, 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 lie directed 
Diego Flores do Valdes, Admiral of the Fleet, to 
receive the standards and the arms, and to go in the 
boat and see that the soldiers did not maltreat them. 
The Adelantado 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 unrestrained, it would be an easy tiling 
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 Ade- 
lantado asked that if any among them were Catho- 
lics, 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 dis- 
tance 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 accord- 
ingly ; 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 trag- 
edy ; 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 ac- 
count we have given, it must be borne in niiud, is 
that of I)e Solis, the brother-in-law and apologist of 
Menendez ; but even under his extenuating hand the 
conduct of Menendez was that 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 ship- 

* Burcia, p. 87. 


wrecked, 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, i 

without regard to faith or flag. j 




The first detachment of the French whom Me- 
nendez 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 Musquito 
Inlet and Matanzas. 

Of the fate of the main detachment, under Hi- 
bault in person, 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. Augustine, 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 Adelantado concluded 
that it must be Jean Ribault, the General of tbe 
Lutherans at sea and on land, whom they called the 
Viceroy of this country for the king of France. He 
immediately 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 
persons, and a raft made to cross over the people, at 
the place where the Adelantado stood. But imme- 
diately, when the French saw the Adelantado and 
his people, they took arms, and displayed a royal 
standard and two standards of companies, souudiug 
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, pay- 
ing no attention to the movement and demonstration 
of battle of the French ; so that they, observing this, 
halted and the fifes and drums ceased, while with a 
bugle note they unfurled the white Hag 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 had called for a 
conference, if he desired any thing he should send 
over some one to communicate with him. The 
same sailor immediately came with a gentlemau, 
who said he was the sergeant major of Jean Ili- 
bault, 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 witty him three hundred 
and fifty French ; that they wished 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, four leagues further on, and that he 
desired to know if they were Spaniards, and under 
what leader they served. 

u The Adelantado ansAvered him, that they were 
Spaniards, and that the Captain under whom they 
served was the person now addressing him, and was 
called Pedro Menendez. That he should tell his Gen- 
eral that the fort which he held twenty leagues from 
there had been taken by him, and he bad 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 


Frenchmen 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 without any appearance of uneasiness on account 
of what the Adelantado had said, replied, that if 
he would have the goodness 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, 
' Farewell, 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 lie may select for his advisors, that he 
may do whatever he may conclude to be best.' 

"Tlie French gentleman then departed with this 
message. Within half an hour he returned to accept 
the assurance the Adelantado had given, and to ob- 
tain 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 Kibault came over, whom the 
Adelantado received very well, with other eight 
gentlemen, who had come with him. They were 



all gentlemen of rank ami position. He gave them 
a collation, and would Lave given them food if they 
had desired. Jean Ribault with much humility, 
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 
any thing else to eat. Then after eating Jean Ri- 
bault 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 
soldiers 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 who 
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 Eibault ; and this Barbero held it 
for certain that the Adelantado had deceived them 
in saying that the fort was taken, it not being so ; 
and thus until now he had supposed. The Adelan- 
tado said that in order with more certainty to 
believe this and satisfy himself, he might converse 


apart with tlie two Frenchmen who were present, to 
satisfy him better ; which he did. 

"Immediately Jean Hibault came towards the 
Adelantado and said, ' it was certain that all which 
he had told him was true ; but that what had happened 
to him, might have happened to the Adelantado ; 
and since their kings were brothers, and such great 
friends, the Adelantado should act towards him as a 
friend, and give him ships and provisions, that he 
intent return to France.' 

"The Adelantado replied in the same manner that 
he had done to the other Frenchmen, as to what he 
would do ; and that taking it or leaving it, Jean 
Eibault could obtain nothing further from the Ade- 
lantado. Jean Hibault then said that he would go 
and give an account of matters to his people, 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 Hibault returned 
in the canoe, and said, ' that there were different 
opinions among his people; that while some were 
willing to yield themselves to his clemency, others 
were not.' The Adelantado replied ' that it mat- 
tered 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 Hibault said to him, ' that the half of the peo- 



pie 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 was 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 ransom, under the necessity I am under for 
such aid, to carry forward the conquest and settle- 
ment 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 
which 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 Ade- 
lantado, ' that he would return with his answer to 
his people ; that as it was late, he would take it as a 
favor if lie would be willing to wait until the follow- 
ing day, when he would bring their reply as to what 
they would conclude to do.' The Adelantado said, 
' Yes, that he would wait.' Jean Eibault then went 
back to his people, it being already sunset. In the 
morning, -he returned with the canoe, and surren- 
dered 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 possessions. 

" 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 captain, 
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 Ki- 
bault 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 lie had done be- 
fore, that they had four leagues to yo after night, 
and that he could not permit theni 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 Iiibault replied, ' that all who were there 
were of the new religion,' and he then began to 
repeat the psalm, ' Domine ! Memento Mei;" 1 and 
having finished, he said, ' that from dust they came 
and to dust they must return, and that in twenty 


years, more or less, lie must render Lis final account ; 
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 trumpeters, and four others 
who said that they were Catholics, in all, sixteen 
persous." " Todos los demos 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 Admiral Jean Eibault, and his 

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 tempest, 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, 

*Bareia, p. 8'j. 


has raised to their memory through sympathy with 
their fate, a memorial which will endure as long as 
the pages of history. 

The Adelautado returned that night to St. Augus- 
tine, 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 Adelantado 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.* 

We have still to trace the fate of the body of two 
hundred, who retired from Ribault after his fatal 
determination to surrender to the tender mercies of 
Menendez. As we are already aware, it comprised 
the elite of his force, men of standing and rank, and 
whose spirits had retained the energy to combat 
against the natural discouragements of their position ; 
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 them : — 

"Twenty days subsequently to the destruction of 

• Barcia, p. 89. 

86 THE HISTORY AND antiquities 

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 Adelantado 
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 provi- 
sions were, in order to build a vessel and return to 
France to procure succor. The General thereupon 
dispatched from St. Augustine 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 Captains Juan Velez de Mcdrano and 
Andrez Lopez Fatrio ; and they arrived at St. Augus- 
tine 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, pro- 
visions for forty days for three hundred men, and one 
days' 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 pri- 
vations ; that he had great hope that he would have 
the goodness and mercy of God to aid him in carry- 
ing through safely this so holy and pious an under- 
taking, lie then took leave of them, leaving most 
of them in tears, for he was much loved, feared, and 
respected by all.* 

" The Adelantado, after a wearisome journey, 
marching on foot himself the whole distance, arrived 
in the neighborhood 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 
descried the Spaniards, they fled to their fort, with- 
out any remaining. The Adelantado sent them a 
trumpeter, 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, 

« Barcia, p. 89. 


sent to say that they would sooner be devoured by 
the Indians, than surrender themselves to the Span- 
iards. 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 cany them." 

De Solis here closes his account of the matter ; but 
from other accounts we learn that the Adelantado 
kept his faith on this occasion with them, and that 
some entered his service, some were converted to his 
faith, and others returned to France; and thu9 
ended the Huguenot attempt to colonize the shores 
of Florida. 

There are several other accounts of the fate of 
TJibault and his followers, drawn from the narratives 
of survivors of the expedition, which, without vary- 
ing 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 his faith to 
them, that their lives should be spared.* It will be 
seen that the Spanish account denies that he did so, 
but makes him use language subject to misconstruc- 

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


tion, 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 been 
accomplished. Nor could Menendez have had a very 
delicate sense of the value of the word of a soldier, 
a Christian, and a gentleman, when, as his apologist 
admits, he did directly use the language of falsehood, 
to induce them to submit to the degradation of hav- 
ing their hands tied. 

Nor, considered in its broader aspects, is it a matter 
of any 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 ordered them to be killed, 
in their bonds as they stood, defenseless, 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 suffering. The act seems one of monstrous 
atrocity, when committed against the people of a 
sister nation. 




During the time of the several expeditions of the 
Adelautado against the French Huguenots, the for- 
tification and strengtheni ng of the defenses of the 
settlement at St. Augustine had not been neglected. 
The fort, or Indian council-house, which had been 
first fortified, seems to have been consumed in the 
conflagration spoken of; and thereupon a plan of a 
regular fortification or fort was marked out by 
Meneudez; and, as there existed some danger of the 
return of the French, the Spaniards labored unceas- 
ingly with their whole force, to put it in a respectable 
state of defense. 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 settlement 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, 
et cetera. 

All of these matters were arranged by Menendez 
before his expedition against the French at Canave- 
ral, of whom one hundred and fifty returned with 
him, and were received upon an equal footing with 
his own men, the more distinguished 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 
inaccessible, 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 unshackled 
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 occa- 

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 the 
fort, 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 arquebuse towards his 
invisible assailants, others would spring upon him 
before he could reload his piece ; or, if he attempted 
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 descend- 
ing upon his unprotected head, end his existence. 
Against such a foe, no defense could avail ; and it is 


related that more than one hundred and twenty of 
the Spaniards were thus killed, including Captain 
Martin de Ochoa, Captain Diego de Hevia, Fernando 
de Gamboa, and Juan Menendez, a nephew of the 
Adelantado, and many others of the bravest and 
most distinguished of the garrison. 

In this crisis of affairs, the Governor concluded to 
go to Cuba himself, to obtain relief for his colony. 
lie 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 offered an empty ves- 
sel. In this emergency, Menendez contemplated, as 
his only means of obtaining Avhat he wished, to go upon 
a filibustering expedition against some Portuguese 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 intelligence among 
the Indians of his lost son. 

In the mean time 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, 
aud seized upon a vessel laden with provisions which 
had been sent to the garrison. The Master of the 
Camp succeeded iu escaping from confinement and 
releasing his fellow prisoners, by a bold movement 
cut off the intercourse between the mutineers on 
board the vessel and those on shore, and hung the 
Sergeant Major, who was at the head of the move- 
ment. The Commandant then attempted to attack 
those in the vessel, and was nearly lost with his 
companions, 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 came 
around to St. Augustine, but arrived after their 
accomplices had left. 

Disease had already begun to make its ravages, 
and added to the general wisli 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 
garrison, but was forced to permit Juan Vicente, 
with one hundred 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 occasions 
deserted from the Adelantado, and all of whom had 
been brought out at his cost, but two or three were 
ever returned to him ; while the deserters putting 
their own construction upon their acts, sent home to 
the king of Spain criminations of the Adelantado, 
and represented the conquest of Florida as a hopeless 
and worthless acquisition ; that it was barren and 
swampy, and produced nothing. 

After this defection, Menendez proceeded along 
the coast to San Matteo, and thence to Guale, 
Amelia, and adjoining islands, Orista and St. Helena ; 
made peaceful proposals to the Indian tribes, lectured 
them upon theology, and planted a cross at their 
council-houses. The cacique of Guale asked Me- 
nendez 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 Christ- 
ians, in order that the devil may take possession of 


them." While at St. Helena he succeeded in 
obtaining permission of the Indians to erect a fort 
there, and he left a detachment. On his return he 
also erected fort San Felipe, at Orista ; and after 
setting up a cross at Quale, the cacique demanded 
of him, that as now they had become good Christians, 
he should cause rain to come upon their fields ; for a 
drought had continued 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 
in to 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 disap- 
pearance ; an incident very illustrative of the vindic- 
tiveness and duplicity of Menendez.* 

He returned to St. Augustine, and was received 
with great joy, and devoted himself to the comple- 
tion of the fort, which was to frighten the savages, 
and enforce respect from strangers. It was built, it 
is said, where it now stands, do ntle e-ste ahor w, (1722.) 

The colony left at St. Helena mutinied almost 

* Ensay. Cron. 110. 


immediately, 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 muti- 
neers who had deserted from the fort at St. Matteo : 
these had been also wrecked there. 

The garrison again becoming much straitened for 
provisions, the Adelantado, in June, was obliged to 
go to Cuba for succor. He was received with indif- 
ference, 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 encouragement, 
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 purchased provisions, and set sail on 
his return, with only sixty-five men. 

But just at this period, succor came to the fam- 
ished troops ; a fleet of seventeen vessels arrived 
with fifteen hundred 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 
exhausted, and further efforts being out of his power, 
they would have been forced to withdraw from the 



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 following royal com- 
mendation 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 occupy that country, and to 
fortify themselves there, in order to disseminate in it 
their wicked creed, and to prosecute there their 
wrongs and robberies, Avhich they have done and 
were doing against God's service and my own, we 
believe that you did it with every justification and 
propriety, and we consider ourself to have been well 
served in so doing. 1 ' * 

To this commendation of Philip II., it is unneces- 
sary 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 memorial of the widows and orphans 
of the slain with contempt, " considering their pun- 

* Eusayo: Cron. 115. 


islmient 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 numerous, 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 Florida ; 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 Island, where he was attacked 

and murdered by the Indians, with a number of his 


The following year was principally occupied by 
Menendez, in strengthening his fortifications at his 
three forts, in visiting the Indian chiefs at their 
towns, and exploring the country. One of his expe- 
ditions 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 hundred 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 mod- 
ern Seminole, — never present when looked for, and 
never absent when an opportunity of striking a blow 

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 Adelan- 
tado 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.f 

* Pensacola Bay was also so called. 
f Eusayo : Crou. 133. 




While Menendez thus remained at the Spanish 
court urging the completion of his business, seeking 
compensation for the great expenditures which he 
had made in the king's service, and vindicating him- 
self 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 for- 
tune, who then abounded throughout Europe, took 
upon himself the expression of the indignation with 
which the French nation viewed the slaughter of 
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 knowledge 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 protec- 
tion 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 
had made such arrangements against surprise or open 
attack upon his forts, that Father Mendoza boasted 
that u 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 himself, appeared in April, 1508, off 
the mouth of the St. Johns. The Spanish fort re- 
ceived his vessels with a salute, supposing them to be 
under the flag of Spain, De Gourgues returned the 
salute, thus confirming their error. He then en- 
tered the St. Marys, called the Somme, and was met 
by a large concourse of Indians, friendly to the 
French and bitterly 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 that island at low 
tide, fell suddenly upon the fort at Batten Island 
on the north side of the river, completely surpris- 
ing 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. Hav- 
ing 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 discovered by the sen- 
tinel 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 Ola- 
tocara leaped upon him, and killed him with a pike. 
Gourgucs then charging in, the garrison by this time 
alarmed rushed out, armed hastily and seeking es- 
cape ; 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 incom- 
moded the assailauts, 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, 
endeavoring to reach the main fort ; being inter- 
cepted by the Indians in one direction, and by the 
French in another, but few made good their escape. 
These, arriving at Fort Caroline, carried an exagger- 
ated account of the number of their assailants. 

De Gourgues at once pushed forward to attack 
Fort Caroline, 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 skill- 
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 misfortune, the Spanish 
commander despaired of being able to hold the for- 
tress, 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 

De Gourgues, now completely successful in making 
retaliation for the fate of his countrymen on the same 
spot where they had suffered, on the same tree which 
had borne the bodies of the Huguenots caused his 
prisoners to be suspended ; and as Menendez had on 
the former occasion erected a tablet that they had 
been punished "not as Frenchmen but as Luther- 
ans," so De Gourgues in like manner erected an 
inscription that he had done this to them " not as to 
Spaniards, nor as to outcasts, hut as to traitors, 
thieves, and murderers." * 

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 cen- 
sured by the French court; and the Spanish ambas- 
sador had the assurance, in the name of that master 
who had publicly declared his approval of the con- 
duct of Menendez, to demand the surrender of De 
Gourgues to his vengeance. The brave captain, 
however the crown might seem to disapprove, was 

* Tcrnaux Compans, p. 357. 


secretly sustained and protected by many distin- 
guished persons 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 ap- 
pointed 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 provocations 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 
inhumanity. Both acted in violation of the pure 
spirit of that Christianity which they alike professed 
to revere, under the same form. 

While these scenes were enacting on the St. Johns, 
Menendez was upon 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 the Indians 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 Lis time and attention. Father Rogel ap- 
plied himself to learning their language, with great 
success ; and an institution was established in Havana 
especially for their instruction. In the Ensayo 
Cronologica, there is set forth in full, a rescript ad- 
dressed by Pope Pius V., to Menendez, conveying to 
him the acknowledgments 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 Christians. 

A small party of Spaniards, as has already been 
mentioned, 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, anticipa- 
ted 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 predecessor 
had been murdered, through the treachery of the 
renegade apostate ; and they themselves fell shortly 
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 Father Kogel, before the 
sentence was carried into execution. A long period 
elapsed before any further efforts were made in this 
quarter to establish a colony ; and it was then accom- 
plished by the English. In consequence 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 

The annals of the city during the remainder of 
the life of Menendez, present only the usual vicissi- 
tudes of new settlements, — the alternations of supply 
and want, occasional disaA'ect ions, and petty annoy- 

Menendez was the recipient from his court of new 
honors from time to time, and had been appointed 
the grand admiral of the Sj)anish Armada ; when, in 
September, 1574, he was suddenly carried off by a 
fever, at the age of fifty-five. It is a singular coin- 
cidence, 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 cliurcli of San Nicolas, at 
Avile3, was erected to the memory of Menendez, 
with the following inscription : 

M Here lies buried the illustrious Cavalier, 
Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a native of this 
city, adelantado of the provinces of florida, 
Knight Commander of Santa Cruz of the order 
of Santiago, and Captain General of the Oce- 
anic Seas and of the Armada wnicii ins Royal 
Highness collected at Santander in the year 
1574, where he died on the 17th of September 
of that year, in the 55th year of his age. 



ST. AUGUSTINE— 1586— 1G38. 

Nine years bad elapsed from the death of Menen- 
dez, and the colony at St. Augustine had slowly pro- 
gressed into the settlement of a small town ; but the 
eclat and importance which the presence of Menen- 
dez had given it, were much lessened ; when, in 158G, 
Sir Francis Drake, with a fleet returning from South 
America, discovered the Spanish look-out upon 
Anastasia Island, and sent boats ashore to ascertain 
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 it, and they retired 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 aban- 
doned their fort; and he offered to conduct them 


over. Upon this information they crossed the river 
and found the fort abandoned as they had been 
informed, and took possession of it without opposi- 
tion. It was built entirely of Avood, and only sur- 
rounded by a wall or pale formed of the bodies or 
trunks of large trees, set upright in the earth ; for, 
says the narrative, it was not at that time inclosed 
by a ditch, as it had 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 horizontally 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, containing £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 pre- 
served in the old fort is the same which fell into the 
hands of Drake, is a question for antiquaries to de- 
cide ; its ancient appearance might well justify the 

On the following day, Drake's forces marched 
towards the town, but owing, it is said, to heavy 
rains, w r ere obliged to return and go in the boats. 
On their approach, the Spaniards fled into the coun- 
try. It is said, in Barcia, that a Spaniard concealed 
in the bushes, fired at the sergeant major 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 garri- 
son 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 of justice, 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 half a 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 
correspond to the appearance presented by the sketch, j 
It is well known that the north eud of the city was 
built at a much later period than the southern, and 
that the now vacant 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 correctly shown on the 
plan ; and there seems no sufficient ground to doubt 
the identity of the present town with the ancient 

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 tho Indians to 
settle ill its neighborhood. 

In 1592, twelve Franciscan missionaries arrived at 
St. Augustine, 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 Mexican, Father Fran- 
cis 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 lan- 

The Franciscan Father Corpa, established a Mis- 
sion house for the Indians at Talomato, in the north- 
west portion of the city of St. Augustine, where there 
was then an Indian village. Father Bias de Rodri- 
guez, also called Montes, had an Indian Church at a 
village of the Indians, called Tapoqui, situated on the 
creek called Cano de la Leche, north of the fort ; 
and the church bearing the name of a Our 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 belonging to it is preserved in 
the Roman Catholic Church at St. Augustine. 

These missions proceeded with considerable appa- 
rent success, large numbers of the Indians being 
received and instructed both at this and other mis- 

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 ne- 
cessary to administer to him a public rebuke. This 


aroused the pride of the young chief, and lie sud- 
denly 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 fol- 
lowers 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 pike- 
staff, and threw his body out iuto the forest where 
it could never afterwards be found. The scene of 
this tragedy was in the neighborhood of the present 
Roman Catholic cemetery of St. Augustine. 

As soon as this occurrence became known in the 
Indian village, all was excitement ; some of the most 
devoted bewailing the death of their spiritual father, 
while others dreaded the consequences of so rush an 
net, and shrunk with terror from the vengeance of 
the Spaniards, which they foresaw would soon follow. 
The young chief of Guale gathered 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 to reach us, will be as rigorous for this 
single friar, 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 that the same ven- 
geance would fall upon them for the death of the 
one, as for all. 

He then resinned. " Since we shall receive equal 
punishment 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 accumu- 
late upon us who are called Christians, injuries and 
disgusts, making 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 inherited 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 absolute 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 Tapoqui, the mission of Father 
Montes, on the Cano de la Leche ; tumultuously rush- 
ing 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 remon- 
strated with them, portraying the folly and wicked- 
ness of their intentions, that the vengeance of the 
Spaniards would surely overtake them, and implored 
them with teai-s, that for their own sakes rather than 
his, they should 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 termed 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 de- 
stroyed, 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 reli- 
gion to the native tribes of Florida. Two hundred 
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 Llood, and fell victims 
to their energy and devotion. The spectacle of the 
dying priest struck down at the altar, attired 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 mis- 
sions 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. 



OF THE FORT, SEA WALL, <fcc— 1G38— 1700. 

In the year 1638, hostilities were entered into 
between the Spanish settlements on the coast, and 
the Apalachian Indians, 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 Apalachian 
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 for- 
tifications of the city. At this period the English 
settlements along the coast to the northward, had 
begun to be formed, much to the uneasiness and 
displeasure of the Spanish crown, which for a long 
period claimed, by virtue of exploration and occu- 
pation, as well as by the ancient papal grant of 
Alexander, all the eastern coast of the United 
States. Their missionaries had penetrated Virginia 


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 celebrated Armada, perished for ever their 
pretensions as a naval power. They were therefore 
forced to look to the safety of their already estab- 
lished 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 form was afterwards changed ; and for 
sixty years subsequently, these unfortunate Apala- 
chian Indians were compelled to labor upon the 
works, until in 1080, upon the recommendation of 
their mission Fathers, they were relieved from further 
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 
(yecinos), a flourishing monastery of the order of St. 
Francis with fifty Franciscans, men very zealous for 
the conversion of the Indians, and regarded by their 
countrymen with the highest veneration. Besides 


these there were in the city alone, a vicar, a paro- 
chial curate, a superior sacristan, and a chaplain 
attached to the castle. The parish church was built 
of wood, the Bishop of Cuba, it is said, not being 
able to afford anything better, his whole income 
being but four hundred pezos per annum, which he 
shared with Florida; and sometimes he expended 
much more thandiis receipts. 

In 1665, Captain Davis, one of the English bucca- 
neers 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 
proceeded 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 garri- 
son of two hundred men in the fort, which at that 
time was an octagon, fortified and defended by round 

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 inclosure 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, dis- 
tant twelve leagues from another called New Castle, 
where the air is pleasant, the climate mild, and the 
lands very fertile, called it Silvania ; 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 England, 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 1081, Don Juan Marquez Cabrera, applied 
himself at once, upon his appointment to the gover- 
ship of Florida, to finishing the castle ; and collected 
large quantities of stone, lime, timber, and iron, more 
than sufficient subsequently 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 re- 
ceived from Mexico, Havana, and Spain ; and many 

* I do not find any account of this expedition and capture of St. Augus- 
tine in the Eusayo Cronologica. 


of them received salaries from the crown. A con- 
siderable Indian town is spoken of at this period, 
as existing six hundred varas north of St. Augustine, 
and called Macarasi, which would correspond to the 
place formerly occupied by Judge Douglas (where, 
in Multicaulis' times, he built a cocoonery), and which 
has long been called Macariz. Other parts of the 
country were known by various names. Amelia 
Island was the province of Guale. The southern 
part of the country was known as the province of 
Carlos. Indian Eiver 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 
oppression towards the Indians, exercised in the 
other colonies under Spanish domination, existed in 
Florida. It has been already mentioned that the 
Apalachians were kept at labor upon the fortifica- 
tions of St. Augustine; and in 1680, the Yemasees, 
who had always been particularly peaceful and man- 
ageable, and whose principal town was Macarisqui, 
near St. Augustine, revolted at the rule exercised 
over them 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 after- 
wards they made a general attack upon the Span- 


iards, drove tlieni within tlie walls of the castle, and 
became such mortal enemies to them, that they 
never gave a Spaniard quarter, waylaying, and 
invariably massacring, any stragglers they could 
intercept outside of the fort. 

In 1G70, an English settlement was established 
near Port Eoyal, South Carolina, one hundred and 
live years subsequent to the settlement of St. Augus- 
tine. The Spaniards regarded it as an infringement 
upon their rights ; and although a treaty, after this 
settlement, had been made between Spain and Eng- 
land, confirming to the latter all her settlements and 
islands, yet as no boundaries or limits were men- 
tioned, their respective rights and boundaries 
remained a subject of dispute for seventy years. 

About 16*75, the Spanish authorities at St. Augus- 
tine, 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. 
Augustine, and attacked a Scotch and English set- 
tlement at Port Eoyal, which had "been founded by 
Lord Cardross, in 1681. The settlement was weak 
and unprotected, and the Spaniards fell upon them, 
killing several, whipped many, plundered all, and 
broke up the colony. Flushed with success, they 
continued their depredations on Edisto River, burn- 
ing 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 Carol inians.f 

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. Augus- 
tine. He received the men and munitions desired ; 

* Carroll's S. C, Vol. 1, p. 62. 

f Rivers' S. C. Hist. Coll. p. 143. Do. Appendix, 425. Carroll's Coll., 
2<1 vol., 350. 


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 whoni 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 men- 
tioned, it was made a part of the royal stipulation 
with Menendez, that he should bring over five hun- 
dred negro slaves. 

Don Diego de Quiroga y Losada, the governor of 
Florida in 1690, finding that the sea was making 
dangerous encroachments upon the shores of the 
town, and had reached even the houses, threatening 
to swallow them up, and render 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 proposed to 
them that in order to escaj)e the danger which men- 
aced 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 dan- 
ger 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 seveuteen 
hundred dollars of their wages, although 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 
following year, of the work of the sea Avail, 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 pur- 
pose 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 sur- 
rounding Indian settlements. Whether this tower 
was erected, or where, we have no certain knowl- 
edge. The towers erected on the governor's palace 
and at the northeast angle of the fort, were intended 
as look-outs both sea and landward. 

The statements made in reference to the building 
of this wall, from the castle as far as the city, con- 


firms 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 center 
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 1G65, it is represented as terminating in a species 
of break-water at the public square. It is unneces- 
sary to add that the present sea wall is a much 
superior structure to the old, and extends above 
twice the distance. Its cost is said to have been 
one hundred thousand dollars, and it was building 
from 183T to 1843. 

In the year IT 00, 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 considerable addi- 
tional funds was requisite, resembling in this respect 
its successor. The new governor, De Cuniza, 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. 




Hostilities had broken out between England and 
Spain in 1702. The English settlements in Carolina 
only numbered six or seven thousand inhabitants, 
when Gov. Moore, who was an ambitious and ener- 
getic man, but with serious defects of character, led 
an invading force from Carolina against St. Augus- 
tine. The pretense was to retaliate for old injuries, 
and, 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 provincial 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 im- 
pressed for the service. 

The Spaniards, who had received intimations of 
the contemplated attack, placed themselves in the 
best posture of defense 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 immedi- 
ately 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 
Oldmixon, is as follows : — 

" Col. Hob. 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 August, 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 pro- 
ceeded 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 sur- 
rounded by a very deep and broad rnoat. 

" They had laid up provisions there for four 
months, and resolved to defend themselves to the 
last extremity. However, Col. Daniel found a con- 
siderable 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 possession 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, instead of going 
thither, came to Carolina out of fear of treachery. 
Finding others offered to go in his stead, he pro- 
ceeded in the voyage himself, after he had lain some 
time at Charlestown. 

" The Governour all this while lay before the cas- 
tle of Augustino, in expectation of the 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, pro- 


cured a supply of bombs, and returned towards 
Augustino. But in the mean time two ships ap- 
peared in the offing, which being taken to be two 
very large men of war, the Governour thought fit to 
raise the siege and abandon his ships, with a great 
quantity of stores, ammunition, and provision, to the 
enemy. 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 English, 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* 

" When Col. Daniel came back to St. Augustino, 
he was chased, but got away; and Col. Moor re- 
treated with no great honor homewards. The peri- 
agas lay at St. Johns, whither the Governour retired 
and so to Charles-Town, having 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 unconcern. The gover- 

* There must bo an error, of course, in this statement of nn 82-gun ship 
entering St. Augustine, us the depth of water would never admit a vessel oi 
over 300 tons: probably 82 should read 12 guns. 0. It. F. 


nor'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 Commons of the province of South 
Carolina, in which it is said, referring to these trans- 
actions, that Moore was obliged to retreat, hut 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 " that the late unfortu- 
nate, ill-contrived, and worse managed expedition 
against St. Augustine, was principally set on foot 
by the said late governor and his adherents ; and 
that if any person in the said late assembly under- 
took to speak against it, and to show how unfit and 
unable we were at that time for such an attempt, 
he was presently looked upon by them as an enemy 

• Carroll's Hist. Coll., vol. 2, p. 352. 


and traitor to his country, and reviled and affronted 
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 expe- 
dition was to enrich themselves will appear particu- 
larly, because whatsoever booty, 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." * 

The Spanish accounts of this expedition of Moore's 
are very meager. They designate him as the gov- 
ernor of St. George, by which name they called the 
harbor of Charleston ; 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 received just 
previous to the English attack, reinforcements from 
Havana, and had repaired and strengthened the for- 

The retreat of the English was celebrated with 
great rejoicing by the Spaniards, who had been for 

Rivera' Hist. Sketches. S. C, app. 456. 


three months shut up within the limited space of the 
walls of the castle ; and they gladly repaired their 
ruined homes, and made good the ravages of the 
English invasion. An English account says that the 
two vessels which appeared off the bar and caused 
Moore's precipitate retreat, contained but two hun- 
dred men, and that had he awaited Colonel Daniel's 
return with the siege guns and ammunition, the castle 
would have fallen into their hands. 

In the same year, the king of Spain, alarmed at 
the dangers which menaced his possessions in Flor- 
ida, gave greater attention to the strengthening 
the defenses of St. Augustine, and forwarded con- 
siderable reinforcements to the garrison, as well as 
additional supplies of munitions. 

The works were directed to be strengthened, 
which Governor Curriga thought not as strong as 
had been represented, and that the sea wall in the 
process of erection, was insufficient for the purpose 
for which it was designed. 

Sixty years had elapsed since the Apalachian 
Indians had been conquered and compelled to labor 
upon the fortifications 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 informations, through the 
Spanish circumlocution offices, this was graciously 


granted in a suspensory form, until their services 
should be again required. 

During the year 1712, a great scarcity of provi- 
sions, caused by the failure of the usual supply ves- 
sels, reduced the inhabitants of St. Augustine to tlie 
verge of starvation ; and, for two or three months, 
they were obliged to live upon liorses, 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 anything like the distress 
indicated should prevail, with the abundant resour- 
ces they had, from the fish, oysters, turtle, and clams 
of the sea, and the arrow-root and cabbage-tree 
palm of the land. 

The English settlements were now extending into 
the interior 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, and kept up an 
intriguing rivalship for this trade for more than 
a hundred years. 

There seems to have been at this period, a policy 
pursued by the Spanish authorities in Florida, of 
the most reprehensible 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 particu- 
larly seized upon all the negroes they could obtaiu, 
and carried them to the governor at St. Augustine ; 
who invariably refused to surrender them, alleging 
that he was acting under the instructions of his 
government in so doing. 

In 1704, Governor Moore had made a sweeping 
and vigorous excursion against the Indian towns in 
Middle Florida, all of whom were in the Spanish 
interest; and had broken up and destroyed the 
towns, and missions attached to them. In 1725, 
Colonel 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 hun- 
dred men entered Florida, with an intention of 
visiting upon the province all the desolation of 
retributive w r arfare. 

He went up to the very gates of St. Augustine, 
and compelled 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 ; carrying off 
the live-stock, and every thing else of value. The 


Spanish Indians who fell within his power, were 
slain in large numbers, and many were taken 
prisoners. Outside of the walls of St. Augustine 
nothing was left undestroyed; and the Spanish 
authorities received a memorable lesson in the law 
of retribution. 




Difficulties existed for many years 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 Island. This was deemed an invasbn 
of the territory of Spain ; and the post was attacked 
unfairly, as the English say, and some of their men 
murdered. Oglethorpe, upon this, acting under the 
instructions of the home 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 Ogle- 
thorpe, 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 settle 
the said place again, at any time hereafter." * 

Don Manuel Monteano was then governor of Flor- - 
ida, and in command of the garrison. The city and 
castle were previously in a poor condition to with- 
stand an attack from a well-prepared foe ; and on 
the 11th November, 1737, Governor Monteano 
writes to the governor-general of Cuba, that " the 
fort of this place is its only defense ; it has no case- 
mates for the shelter of the men, nor the necessary 
elevation 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 
horn's, and though there were, artillery-men to man- 
age them are wanting." 

Under the superintendence of an able officer of 
engineers, Don Antonio de Arredando, the works 
were put in order ; the ramparts were heightened 
and casemated ; a covered way was made, by plant- 
ing and embanking four thousand stakes; bomb- 
proof vaults were constructed, and entrenchments 

* State Tapers of Georgia. Ga. Hist. Soc. 


thrown up around the town, protected by ten salient 
angles, many of which are still visible. The garri- 
son of the town was about seven hundred and forty 
soldiers, according to Governor Monteano's return 
of troops. On the 25th March, 1740, the total pop 
ulation of St. Augustine, of all classes, was two thou- 
sand 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 casema- 
ted. 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 mile in width. 
The inhabitants and garrison, men, women, and chil- 
dren, amount to above two thousand five hundred. 
For the garrison, 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 artillery, 



of the old garrison, and one troop of horse one hun- 
dred each upon establishment ; of these, one hundred 
are at St. Marks, ten days' march from St. Augus- 
tine; upon the Gulf of Mexico, one hundred are 
disposed in several small forts." 

Of these out-posts, there were two, one on each side 
of the river St. Johns — at Picolata, and immediately 
opposite — and at Diego. The purpose of the forts at 
Picolata was to guard the passage of the river, and 
to keep open the communication with St. Marks 
and Pensacola ; and when threatened with the inva- 
sion of Oglethorpe, messengers were dispatched to 
the governor of Pensacola for aid, and also to Mex- 
ico 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 Moosa 
was an out-post at the place now known by that 
name, on the North lviver, about two miles north 
of St. Augustine. A fortified line, a considerable 
portion of which may be now traced, extended 
across from the stoccades on the St. Sebastian, to 
Fort Moosa; a communication by a tide creek 
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 Pappa, or St. Francis de 



Pappa, was a place of some strength. Its remains 
still exist, about 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, much to the annoyance of Governor Mon- 
teano. 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 
carriages, three small guns, ammunition, one hun- 
dred 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 bombarding the town; while he him- 
self, 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 mor- 
tification 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 Span- 



ish 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 

He then prepared to reduce the town by a regu- 
lar 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 surrender to avoid 
starvation. The town was placed under the range 
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 Point Quartel ; 
and others of the troops upon Anastasia Island, and 
the north beach. Three batteries were erected : 
one on Anastasia Island, called the Poza, which con- 
sisted of four eighteen-pouuders and one nine- 
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 dis- 
tinctly marked as on the day of its erection. Four 
mortars and forty cohorns were employed in the 

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 encamped at Fort Moosa, 
including a company of Scotch Highlanders, number- 
ing eighty-five men, under their chief, Capt. Mcin- 
tosh, all equipped in Highland dress. This attack was 
entirely successful, and the English sustained a severe 
loss, their colonel being killed, with twenty Highland- 
ers, twenty-seven soldiers, and a number of Indians. 

This affair at Fort Moosa has generally been con- 
sidered as a surprise, and its disastrous results as the 
consequence of carelessness and disobedience of the 
orders of Oglethorpe. Captain Mcintosh, the leader 
of the Highlanders, was taken prisoner, and finally 
transferred to Spain. From his prison at St. Sebas- 
tian, 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 gen- 
eral and the rest of his little army went to an island 
where we could have no succor of them. I punctu- 
ally obeyed my orders, until' seven hundred Span- 
iards sallied out from the garrison, an hour before 
daylight. They did not surprise U6\ for we were all 
under arms, ready to receive them, which we did 
briskl} 7 , 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 was 
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 
assistance, 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. Augus- 
tine, where we remained three months in close con- 

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 in- 
jury. The family of the Mclntoshes have alwrys 
been conspicuous in the history 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. 

* This statement is unsupported by either Spanish or English author- 
ity.' The writer of the letter, through want of familiarity with their lan- 
guage, misunderstood his informants, in all probability, as to the extent 
of their loss. 

| MSS. in Geo. Hist. Soc. Library. 


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 season and the exposure, to which the Provincial 
militia were unaccustomed, soon produced considera- 
ble sickness and discouragement in the invading 
force, and affected Oglethorpe himself. 

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 provis- 
ions ; 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 
protection 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 
competent force cannot send relief, we must all 
perish." * 

With the exception of the Fort Moosa affair, the 

* Monteano, MSS., Archives St. Augustine. 


hostilities 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 osten- 
sible ground of abandoning the siege by Oglethorpe ; 
but the Spanish governor asserts, that these provi- 
sion vessels did not arrive until the siege was raised. 
The real fact, I am inclined to think, is that the pro- 
vision vessels arrived at Mosquito, a harbor sixty 
miles below, where they were to await orders from 
Gov. Monteano, as to the mode of getting dis- 
charged* 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 Oglethorpe ; his strength 
was iusuilicient for an assault, and his means inade- 
quate to reduce the castle, which was well manned 
and well provided with means of defense. 

It was in truth a hopeless task, under the circum- 
stances, 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 respecta- 
ble strength. 

* Montciwio, MS. Letter of, '28th July, 17-lu. 


The siege continued from the 13th June, to the 
20th July, a period of thirty-eight days. The bom- 
bardment was kept up twenty days, but owing to the 
lightness of the gun3 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 battery, 
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 agaiustthe 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 perseverance with which he sustained the 

It is well known that the English general, had in 
a few months, an ample opportunity of showing to 
his opponent, that his skill in defending his own 
territory under the most disadvantageous circum- 


stances, was equal to that of the accomplished Mon- 
teano himself. The defense of Frederica, and signal 
defeat of the Spanish forces at Fort Simons, will ever 
challenge for Oglethorpe the highest credit fur the 
most sterling qualities of a good general and a great 

Two years subsequently, Oglethorpe again ad- 
vanced 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 one of his dispatches 
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 Com- 
mons, 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 dis- 
tance from hence, in latitude thirty degrees, in Flor- 
ida, the next territory to us. It is maintained by 
his Catholic Majesty, partly to preserve his claim to 
Florida, and partly that it may be of service to the 
plate-fleets when coming through the gulf, by show- 


ing lights to tliem along the coast, and by being 
ready to give assistance when any of them are 
cast away thereabout. 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 king'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 gen- 
erally 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 universal, perpetual 
idleness. From such a state, mischievous inclinations 
naturally sprung 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 incli- 
nations 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 tlie two govern- 

Among the principal grievances set forth in this 
report, was the carrying off and enticing and harbor- 
ing their slaves, of which a number of instances are 
enumerated ; and they attributed the negro insurrec- 
tion 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. Augus- 
tine (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 publickly and privately, by themselves, 
Indians, and Negroes, in every shape molested us, not 
without some instances of uncommon cruelty ."f 

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 nekdiboriner 

* Report upon Expedition to St. Augustine. Carroll's Coll. 2d vol., 
p. 854. 

f Carroll's Hist. Coll. S. C, p. 859. 



1755 — 1703— 1783. 

Don Alonzo Fernandez de Herrera was appointed 
governor of Florida in 1755, and completed the 
exterior works and finish of the fort. It is this jzov- 
ernor who erected the tablet over its main entrance, 
with the Spanish coat of arms sculptured in alto 
relievo, with the following inscription beneath. : — 










Don Ferdinand tiie Sixth, being king of Spain, 
and the Field Marshal, Don Alonzo Fer- 

156 the history and antiquities 

nando hereda, being governor and captain 
General of this place, St. Augustine, of Flo- 

in the year 1*756. tne works were directed 
by the Captain Engineer, Don Pedro de Brazos 
y Garay. 

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 Indians were employed 
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 
labor of hundreds of persons for many long years, 
in procuring and cutting the stone in the quarries on 
the island, transporting it to the water, and across 
the bay, and fashioning and raising them to their 
places. Besides the Indians 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 em- 
ployed 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 complement of its guns is 
one hundred, and its full garrison establishment 
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 ; for it has 
never been taken, although twice besieged, and 
several times attacked. Its frowning battlements 
and sepulchral 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 Coa- 
couchee'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 descrip- 
tion 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 angles. 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, irreg- 
ular 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, 
lie says, the city was built, existed only in the focus 
of the writer's spectacles. 

The Provinces of Florida were ceded by treaty 
to England in the year 1763, and the Spanish inhab- 
itants very generally left the country, which had 
then been under Spanish rule for near two hundred 
years ; and certainly in no portion of this country, 
had less progress been made. Beyond the walls 
occupied by its garrison, little had been attempted 
or accomplished in these two hundred years. This 


was in part, perhaps, attributable to the circumstan- 
ces of the country, — the frequent hostility of the 
Indians, and the want of that mutual support given 
by neighborhoods, which in Florida are less practi- 
cable than elsewhere ; but it was still more owing 
to the character of the Spanish inhabitants, who 
were more soldiers than civilians, and more towns- 
men than agriculturists ; at all events, at the cession 
of Florida to Great Britain, the number of inhab- 
itants was not over five thousand. 

Of the period of the English occupation of Flor- 
ida, we have very full accounts. It was a primary 
object with the British government, to colonize and 
settle it; and inducements to emigrants were 
strongly put forth, in various publications. The work 
of Roberts was the first of these, and was followed in 
a few years by those of Bartram, Stork, and Romans. 
The works of both Roberts and Stork, contain 
plans and minute descriptions of St. Augustine. The 
plan of the town in Stork, represents every build- 
ing, lot, garden, and flower-bed in the place, and 
gives a very accurate view of its general appearance. 

The descriptions vary somewhat. Roberts, who 
published his work the year of the cession, 17G3, 
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. Oglethorpe's 
landing place is show r n 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 feet. 

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 caunon. 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 
17G9. He gives a beautiful plan of the place. Shows 
the fort as it noAV 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 

^oven.lieEm.TiSrt c 

tt Vo> 



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 gov- 
ernor's official residence, and is represented as 
having attached to it a beautiful garden. The 
Franciscan house or convent, is shown where the 
barracks 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 arc regularly laid 
out, and built narrow for the purposes of shade. It is 
above half a mile in length, regularly fortified with 
bastions, 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 impenetrable ; 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 towards 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 
Franciscan Friars, which is converted into barracks 
for the garrison. 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 con- 
sulted convenience more than taste in their build- 
ings. The number of houses within the town and 
lines, when the Spaniards left it, was about nine 
hundred ; many of them, especially in the suburbs, 
being built of wood are now gone to decay. The 
inhabitants were of all colors, whites, negroes, mulat- 
toes, Indians, &c. At the evacuation of St. Augus- 
tine, the population was five thousand 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 
settlement 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 stoccades, 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 u This town is now truly become a heap 
of ruins, a fit receptacle for the wretches of inhabit- 
ants." (Rather a dyspeptic description, in all proba- 

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, and 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 bar- 
racks, characterized by Romans " as such stupendous 
piles of buildings, which were large enough to con- 
tain five regiments, 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 Pensacola ? " 

There is a manuscript work of John Gerard Will- 
iams de Bahm, existing in the library of Harvard 
University, which contains some particulars of inter- 


est, relative to Florida at the period of tlie English 

He states the number of inhabitants of East Flor- 
ida, which in those days meant mostly St. Augus- 
tine, from 1663 to 1771, as follows: householders, 
besides women, &c, two hundred and eighty-eight ; 
imported by Mr. Trumbull 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 store-keepers and traders ; 
three haberdashers, fifteen innkeepers, forty-five 
artificers and mechanics, one hundred and ten plan- 
ters, 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 Mosquito ; Governor James Grant, 
Hon. John Moultrie, planter and Lieutenant Gover- 
nor ; William Stork, Esq., historian ; Andrew Turn- 
bull, Esq., II. M. Counselor ; Bernard Romans, 
draftsman, &c. ; William Bartram, planter ; James 
Moultrie, Esq. 


lie says, The light house on Anastasia Island 
had been constructed and built of mason-work by 
the Spaniards ; and, in If 69, by order of Gen. Hal- 
dimand, 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 sig- 
nal 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 sur- 
rounded with salt water marshes, not at all preju- 
dicial to health ; their evaporations are swept away 
in the day 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 de- 
stroyed by cold. The town is three-quarters of a 
mile in length, but not quite a quarter wide ; had 
four churches ornamentally built with stone in the 
Spanish taste, of which one within and one without 


tli e town still exist. One is pulled down; that is 
the German church, but the steeple is preserved as 
an ornameut 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 ma- 
sonry ; their entrances are shaded by piazzas, sup- 
ported by Tuscan pillars or pilasters, against the 
south sun. The houses have to the east windows 
projecting 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 seasons, 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 
a grand portico decorated with Doric pillars and 
entablatures. On the north end of the town is a 
casemated fort, with four bastions, a ravelin, counter- 


scarp, and a glacis built with quarried shell-stones, 
and constructed according to the rudiments of Mare- 
chal de Vauban. This fort commands the road of 
the bay, the town, its environs, and both Tolomako 
stream and Matanzas creek. The soil in the gar- 
dens 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. 
Augustine, the author is credibly informed, were 
many Spaniards near and above the age of one hun- 
dred years, (observe) this nation, especially natives 
of St. Augustine, bore the reputation of great sobri- 
ety." * 

On the 3d of January, 1766, the thermometer 
sunk to 26°, with the wind from N. W. "The 
ground was frozen an inch thick on the banks ; this 
was the fatal night that destroyed the lime, citron, 
and banana trees in St. Augustine, many curious 
evergreens up the river that were twenty years old 
in a flourishing state." f In 1774, there was a snow 
storm, which extended over most of the province. 
The ancient inhabitants still (1836) speak of it as an 
extraordinary white rain. It was said to have done 
little damage.J 

* DeBrahm MS., p. 192. f Stork, p. 11. 

X Williams' Florida., p 17. 


In this connection, and as it is sometimes sup- 
posed that the climate is now colder than formerly, 
it may be stated that the thermometer went very 
low in IT 9 9. East Florida suffered from a violent 
frost on the Gth April, 1828. In February, 1835, 
the thermometer sunk to 7° above zero, wind from 
N. W. ; and the St. Johns river was frozen several 
rods from the shore ; all kiuds of fruit trees were 
killed to the ground, and the wild orange trees suf- 
fered as well as the cultivated. - 

Dr. Nicolas Turnbull, in the year 1767, associated 
with Sir William Duncan and other Englishmen 
of note, projected a colony of European emigrants to 
be settled at New Smyrna. He brought from the 
islands of Greece, Corsica, and Minorca, some four- 
teen hundred persons, agreeing to convey them free 
of expense, find them in clothing and provisions, 
and, at the end of three years, to give fifty acres of 
land to each head of a family, and twenty-five to 
each child. After a long passage they arrived out, 
and formed the settlement. 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 them. 

An insurrection took place in 1769 among them, 
in consequence of severe punishments; which was 
speedily repressed, 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 becom- 
ing 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 as- 
signed them in the northern part of the city, which 
was principally built up by them ; and their descend- 
ants, at the present day, form the larger portion of 
the population of the place. 

Governor Grant was the first English governor, 
and was a gentleman of much energy ; and during 
his term of office, he projected many great and per- 
manent improvements in the province. The public 
roads, known as the king's roads, from St. Augustine 
to New Smyrna, and from St. Augustine to Jackson- 
ville, 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 legisla- 
tive council was authorized to assemble, and the 
pretense and forms of a constitutional government 
were gone through with. 

In August, 1775, a British vessel, called the Bet- 
sey, Capt. Lofthouse, from London, with 111 barrels 
of powder, was captured off the bar of St. Augustine, 
by an American privateer from Charleston, very 
much to the disgust and annoyance of the British 

At this period, St. Augustine assumed much im- 
portance as a depot and point cVappui for the Brit- 
ish forces in their operations against the Southern 
States ; and very considerable forces were at times 

In the excess of the zeal and loyalty of the garri- 
son and inhabitants of St. Augustine, upon the receipt 
of the news of the American Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, 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 organized and embarked from St. Augustine, in 

Sixty of the most distinguished citizens of Carolina 


were seized by the British in 1780, and transported 
to St. Augustine as prisoners of war and hostages, 
among whom were Arthur Middleton, Edward Rut- 
ledge, Gen. Gadsden, and Mr. Calhoun; all were 
put upon parol except Gen. Gadsden and Mr. Cal- 
houn, who refuged the indulgence, and were commit- 
ted 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 capturing and reducing the 
Bahamas, which have ever since remained under 
English domination. 

The expense of supporting the government of 
East Florida during the English occupation, was 
very considerable, 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. indigo; and in 1782, 20,000 barrels of turpen- 



CHURCH— CHANGE OF FLAGS.— 1783— 1821. , 

In June, 1784, in fulfillment of the treaty be- 
tween England and Spain, Florida, after twenty 
years of British occupation, was re-ceded to the 
Spanish crown, and taken possession of by Governor 

The English residents, in general, left* the coun- 
try, and went either to the Bahamas, Jamaica, or the 
United States. Those who went to the British isl- 
ands were almost ruined ; but those who settled in 
the States were more successful. 

In April, 1793, the present Roman Catholic church 
was commenced, the ju'evious church having been in 
another portion of the city.f It was constructed 

* Among the families remaining were tlie Fatios, Flemings, and a few 

f The old parisli church was on St. George street, on west side of the 


under the direction of Don Mariana de la Rocque 
and Don P. Berrio, government engineer-officers. 
The cost of the church was $16,650, of which about 
$6,000 was received from the proceeds of the mate- 
rials and ornaments of the old churches, about 
$1,000 from the contributions of the inhabitants, 
and the remaining $10,000 furnished by the govern- 
ment. One of its four bells has the following inscrip- 
tion, showing it to be probably the oldest bell in this 
country, being now 175 years old. 


Sancte Joseph 

Ora Pro Nobis 

D 1682 

Don Enrique White was for many years governor 
of Florida, and died in the city of St. Augustine. 
He is spoken of, by those who knew him, in high 
terms, for his integrity and openness of character ; 
and many amusing anecdotes are related connected 
with his eccentricities. 

In 1812, the American government, being appre- 
hensive that Great Britain designed obtaining pos- 
session of Florida, sent its troops into the province, 
overrunning and destroying the whole country. The 
manner and the pretenses under which this was done, 


reflect but little credit on the United States govern- 
ment ; and the transparent sham of taking possession 
of the country by the patriots, supported by United 
States troops, was as undignified as it was futile. 
It is for the damages occasioned by this invasion, 
that the " Florida claims " for u losses " of its citizens 
have been presented to the government of the Uni- 
ted States. The principal of the damages sustained, 
that is to say, the actual value of the property then 
destroyed, has been allowed and paid ; but the in- 
terest, or damages for the detention, has been with- 
held upon the ground that the government does not 
pay interest. The treaty between the United States 
and Spain in reference to the cession of Florida to 
the United States, requires the United States to 
make satisfaction for such claims ; and the payment 
of the bare amount of actual loss, after a detention 
of thirty years, is considered by the claimants an 
inadequate satisfaction of a just claim. 

In the spring of 1818, General Jackson made his 
celebrated incursion into Florida, and by a series of 
energetic movements followed the Seminoles and 
Creeks to their fastnesses, and forever crushed the 
power of those formidable tribes for offensive oper- 

In the latter part of 1817, a revolutionary party 
took possession of Amelia Island, and raised a soi 


disant patriot flag at Fernandina, supported mainly 
in the enterprise by adventurers from the United 
States: M'Gregor was assisted by officers of the United 
States army. An expedition was sent from St. Au- 
gustine by the Spanish governor to eject the inva- 
ders, which failed. One Aury, an English adven- 
turer, for a time held command there ; and also a 
Mr. Hubbard, formerly sheriff of New York, who 
was the civil governor, and died there. The United 
States troops eventually interfered ; but negotiations 
for the cession put a stop to further hostilities. 

The king of Spain, finding his possessions in 
Florida utterly worthless to his crown, and only an 
expense to sustain the garrisons, while the repeated 
attempts to disturb its political relations prevented 
any beneficial progress towards its settlement, 
gladly agreed, in 1819, to a transfer of Florida to 
the United States for five millions of dollars. 

An English gentleman who visited St. Augustine 
in 1817, gives his impressions of the place as follows : 
" Emerging from the solitudes and shades of the pine 
forests, we espied the distant yet distinct lights of 
the watch towers of the fortress of St. Augustine, de- 
lightful beacons to my weary pilgrimage. The clock 
was striking ten as I reached the foot of the draw- 
bridge ; the sentinels were passing the alerto, as I 
demanded entrance ; having answered the prelimi- 


nary questions, the draw-bridge was slowly lowered. 
The officer of the guard, having received my name 
and wishes, sent a communication to the governor, 
who issued orders for my immediate admission. On 
opening the gate, the guard was ready to receive 
me ; and a file of men, with their officer, escorted me 
to his Excellency, who expressed his satisfaction at 
my revisit to Florida. I soon retired to the luxury 
of repose, and the following morning was greeted as 
an old acquaintance by the members of this little 

" I had arrived at a season of general relaxation, 
on the eve of the carnival, which is celebrated with 
much gayety in all Catholic countries. Masks, domi- 
noes, harlequins, punchinellos, and a great variety of 
grotesque disguises, on horseback, in cars, gigs, and on 
foot, paraded the streets with guitars, violins, and 
other instruments ; and in the evenings, the houses 
were open to receive masks, and balls were given in 
every direction. I was told that in their better days, 
when their pay was regularly remitted from the Ha- 
vanna, these amusements were admirably conducted, 
and the rich dresses exhibited on these occasions, 
were not eclipsed by their more fashionable friends 
in Cuba ; but poverty had lessened their spirit for 
enjoyment, as well as the means for procuring it ; 
enough, however remained to amuse an idle specta- 


tor, and I entered with alacrity into their diver- 

"About thirty of the hunting warriors of the Seni- 
inoles, with their squaws, had arrived, for the pur- 
pose of selling the produce of the chase, consisting 
of bear, deer, tiger, and other skins, bears' grease, 
and other trifling articles. This savage race, once 
the lords of the ascendant, are the most formidable 
border enemies of the United States.- This party 
had arrived, after a range of six months, for the 
purposes of sale and barter. After trafficking 
for their commodities, they were seen at various 
parts of the town, assembled in small groups, seated 
upon their haunches, like monkeys, passing round 
their bottles of aqua dente (the rum of Cuba), their 
repeated draughts upon which soon exhausted their 
contents ; they then slept oft: the effects of intoxica- 
tion under the walls, exposed to the influence of the 
sun. Their appearance was extremely wretched ; 
their skins of a dark, dirty, chocolate color, with 
long, straight, black hair, over which they had 
spread a quantity of bears' grease. In their ears, 
and the cartilages of the nose, were inserted rings of 
silver and brass, with pendants of various shapes ; 
their features prominent and harsh, and their eyes 
had a wild and ferocious expression. 

" A torn blanket, or an ill-fashioned dirty linen 


jacket, is the general costume of these Indians; a 
triangular piece of cloth passes around the loins ; 
the women vary in their apparel by merely wearing 
short petticoats, the original colors of which were 
not distinguishable from the various incrustations of 
dirt. Some of the young squaws were tolerably 
agreeable, and if well washed and dressed would not 
have been uninteresting ; but the elder squaws wore 
the air of misery and debasement. 

" The garrison is composed of a detachment from 
the Eoyal regiment of Cuba, with some Hack troops ; 
who together form a respectable force. The fort 
and bastions are built of the same material as the 
houses of the town, coqutna. This marine substance 
is superior to stone, not being liable to splinter from 
the effects of bombardment ; it receives and embeds 
the shot, which adds rather than detracts from its 
strength and security. 

" The houses and the rear of the town are inter- 
sected and covered with orange groves ; their golden 
fruit and deep green foliage, not only render the air 
agreeable, but beautify the appearance of this inter- 
esting little town, in the centre of which (the square) 
rises a large structure dedicated to the Catholic reli- 
gion. At the upper end are the remains of a very 
considerable house, the former residence of the 
governor of this settlement; but now (1817), in a 


state of dilapidation and decay, from age and inat- 

" At the southern extremity of the town stands a 
large building, formerly a monastery of Carthusian 
Friars, but now occupied as a barrack for the troops 
of the garrison. At a little distance are four stacks 
of chimnies, the sole remains of a beautiful range of 
barracks, built during the occupancy of the British 
from 17G3 to 17S3; for three years the 29th regi- 
ment was stationed there, and in that time they did 
not lose a single man. The proverbial salubrity of 
the climate, has obtained for St. Augustine the des- 
ignation of the Montpelier of North America ; indeed, 
such is the general character of the Province of East 

"The governor (Coppinger), is about forty-five 
years of age, of active and vigorous mind, anxious 
to promote by every means in his power the pros- 
perity of the province confided to his command ; his 
urbanity and other amiable qualities render him 
accessible to the meanest individual, and justice is 
sure to follow an aj>peal to his decision. His mili- 
tary talents are well known, and appreciated by his 
sovereign ; and he now holds, in addition to the 
government of East Florida, the rank of Colonel in 
the lloyal Regiment of Cuba. 

" The clergy consist of the padre (priest of the 


parish), Father Cosby, a native of Wexford, in 
Ireland ; a Franciscan friar, the chaplain to the gar- 
rison, and an inferior or cure. The social qualities of 
the padre, and the general tolerance of his feelings, 
render him an acceptable visitor to all his flock. 
The judge, treasurer, collector, and notary, are the 
principal officers of the establishment, besides a 
number of those devoted solely to the military occu- 
pations of the garrison. The whole of this society 
is extremely courteous to strangers ; they form one 
family, and those little jealousies and animosities, so 
disgraceful to our small English communities, do not 
sully their meetings of friendly chit-chat, called as 
in Spain, turtulias. The women are deservedly 
celebrated for their charms ; their lovely black eyes 
have a vast deal of expression ; their complexions 
a clear brunette ; much attention is paid to the 
arrangement of their hair ; at mass they are always 
well dressed in black silk basquinas (petticoats), 
with the little mantilla (black lace veil) over their 
heads ; the men in their military costumes ; good 
order and temperance are their characteristic virtues ; 
but the vice of gambling too often profanes their 
social haunts, from which. even the fair sex are not 
excluded. Two days following our arrival, a ball 
was given by some of the inhabitants, to which I 
was invited. The elder couples opened it with 


minuets, succeeded by the younger couples display- 
ing their handsome light figures in Spanish dances."* 
The old inhabitants still speak in terms of fond 
regret of the beauty of the place when embowered 
in its orange groves, and the pleasantness of its old 
customs and usages. Dancing formed one of their 
most common amusements, as it now does. The 
posey dance, now become obsolete, was then of 
almost daily occurrence, and was introduced in the 
following manner. The females of the family erect 
in a room of their house, a neat little arbor dressed 
with pots and garlands of flowers, and lit up brightly 
with candles. This is understood by the gentlemen 
as an invitation to drop in and admire the beauty of 
their decorations. In the mean time, the lady who 
has prepared it, selects a partner from among her 
visitors, and in token of her preference honors him 
with a bouquet of flowers. The gentleman who 
receives the bouquet becomes then, for the nonce, 
king of the ball, and leads out the fair donor as 
queen of the dance ; the others take partners, and 
the ball is thus inaugurated, and may continue sev- 
eral successive evenings. Should the lady's choice 
fall upon an unwilling swain, which seldom hap- 
pened, he could be excused by assuming the expenses 
- , _ , 

» Voyage to Spanish Main. London, 1819. Page 116, et teq. 


of the entertainment. These assemblies were always 
informal, and frequented by all classes, all meeting 
on a level ; but were conducted with the utmost 
politeness and decorum, for which the Spanish char- 
acter is so distinguished. 

The carnival amusements are still kept up to some 
extent, but with little of the taste and wit which 
formerly characterized them, and without which 
they degenerate into mere buffoonery. 

The graceful Spanish dance, so well suited in its 
slow and regular movements to the inhabitants of a 
warm climate, has always retained the preference 
with the natives of the place, who dance it with that 
native grace and elegance of movement which seems 
easy and natural for every one, but is seldom 
equaled by the Anglo-Saxon. 




On the 10th day of July, in the year 1821, the 
standard of Spain, which had been raised two hund- 
red aud fifty-six years before, over St. Augustine, 
was finally lowered forever from the walls over 
which it had so long fluttered, and the stars and 
stripes of the youngest of nations, rose where sooner 
or later the hand of destiny would assuredly have 
placed them. 

It was intended that the change of flags should 
have taken place on the 4th of July ; owing to a 
detention, this was frustrated ; but the inhabitants 
celebrated the 4th with a handsome public ball at 
the governor's house. 

The Spanish garrison, and officers connected with 
it, returned to Cuba, and some of the Spanish fami- 
lies; but the larger portion of the inhabitants 
remained. A considerable influx of inhabitants 
from the adjoining States took place, and the town 
speedily assumed a somewhat American character. 
The proportion of American population since the 
change of flags, has been about one third. Most of 


the native inhabitants converse with equal fluency in 
either language. 

In the year 1823, the legislative council of Flor- 
ida held its second session in the government house 
at St. Augustine. Governor W. P. Duval was 
the first governor after the organization of the terri- 
tory. The Ralph Ringwood Sketches of Irving have 
given a wide celebrity to the character of our 
worthy and original first governor, now recently 

During the month of February, 1835, East Florida 
was visited by a frost much more severe than any 
before experienced. A severe northwest wind blew 
ten days in succession, but more violently for about 
three days. During this period, the mercury sunk 
to seven degrees above zero. The St. Johns river 
was frozen several rods from the shore. All kinds 
of fruit trees were killed to the ground ; many of 
them never started again, even from the roots. The 
wild groves suffered equally with those cultivated. 
The orange had become the staple of Florida com- 
merce ; several millions were exported from the St. 
Johns and St. Augustine during the two previous 
years. Numerous groves had just been planted out, 
and extensive nurseries could hardly supply the 
demand for young trees. Some of the groves had, 
during the previous autumn, brought to their owners, 
one, two, and three thousand dollars; and the 


increasing demand for this fruit, opened in prospect 
mines of wealth to the inhabitants. 

"Then came a froat, a withering frost." 

Some of the orange groves in East Florida were 
estimated at from five to ten thousand dollars, and 
even more. They were at once rendered valueless. 
The larger part of the population at St. Augustine 
had been accustomed to depend on the produce of 
their little groves of eight or ten trees, to purchase 
their coffee, sugar, and other necessaries from the 
stores ; they were left without resource. 

"The town of St. Augustine, that heretofore 
appeared like a rustic village, their white houses 
peeping from among the clustered boughs and gol- 
den fruit of their favorite tree, beneath whose shade 
the foreign invalid cooled his fevered limbs, and 
imbibed health from the fragrant air, — how was she 
fallen! Dry, unsightly poles, with ragged bark, 
stick up around her dwellings ; and where the 
mocking-bird once delighted to build her nest, and 
tune her lovely songs, owls hoot at night, and sterile 
winds whistle through the leafless branches. Never 
was a place rendered more desolate." * 

The groves were at once re-planted, and soon bid 
fair to yield most abundantly ; when, in 1842, an 
insect was introduced into the country, called the 
orange coccus, which spread over the whole country 

* Williams' Florida, pp. 18, tt tcO. 


with wonderful rapidity, and almost totally destroyed 
every tree it fastened upon. Of late, the ravages of 
this insect seem less destructive, and the groves 
have begun to resume their bearing ; these add to 
the beauty of the residences at St. Augustine, with 
their glossy, deep-green leaves, and golden fruit; 
and hopes of an entire restoration are now confi- 
dently entertained. 

In December, 1835, the war with the Seminole 
Indians broke out ; and for some years St. Augustine 
was full of the pomp and circumstance of war. It 
was dangerous to venture beyoud the gates ; and 
many sad scenes of Indian massacre took place in the 
neighborhood of the city. During this period, great 
apparent prosperity prevailed ; property was valua- 
ble, rents were high ; speculators projected one city 
on the north of the town, and another on the west ; 
a canal to the St. Johns, and also a railroad to Pico- 
lata ; and great hopes of future prosperity were 
entertained. "With the cessation of the war, the 
importance of St. Augustine diminished ; younger 
communities took the lead of it, aided by superior 
advantages of location, and greater enterprise, and 
St. Augustine has subsided into the pleasant, quiet, 
dolcefar niente of to-day, living upon its old mem- 
ories, contented, peaceful, and agreeable, and likely 
to remain without much change for the future. 

Of the public buildings, it may be remarked that 
the extensive British barracks were destroyed by 


fire in 1792; and that the Franciscan Convent was 
occupied as it had been before, as barracks for the 
troops not in garrison in the fort. The appearance 
of these buildings has been much changed, by the 
extensive repairs and alterations made by the United 
States government. It had formerly a large circular 
look-out upon the top, from which a beautiful view 
of the surrounding country was obtained. Its walls 
are probably the oldest foundations in the city. 

The present United States Court-house, now occu- 
pied by many public offices, was the residence of 
the Spanish governors. It has been rebuilt by the 
United States ; and its former quaint and interesting 
appearance has been lost, in removing its look-out 
tower, and balconies, and the handsome gateway, 
mentioned by De Brahm, which is said to have been 
a fine specimen of Doric architecture* 

Trinity Episcopal Church was commenced in 1827, 
and consecrated in 1833, by Bishop Bowen, of 
South Carolina. The Presbyterian Church was 
built about 1830, and the Methodist chapel about 

The venerable-looking building on the bay, at the 
corner of Green lane and Bay street, is considered 
the oldest building in the place, and has evidently. 

* It is said to have been taken down by the contractor, to form the 
foundation of hia kitchen. 


been a fine building in its day. It was the residence 
of the attorney-general, in English times. 

The monument on the public square was erected 
in 1812-13, upon the information of the adoption of 
the Spanish constitution, as a memorial of that event, 
in pursuance of a royal order to that effect, directed 
to the public authorities of all the provincial towns. 
Geroninio Alvarez was the Alcalde under whose 
direction it was erected. The plan of it was made 
by Sr. Hernandez, the father of the late General 
Hernandez. A short time after it was put up, the 
Spanish constitution having had a downfall, orders 
were issued by the government, that all the mon- 
uments erected to the constitution throughout its 
dominions, should be demolished. The citizens of 
St. Augustine were unwilling to see their monument 
torn down ; and, with the passive acquiescence of the 
governor, the marble tablets inscribed Plaza de la 
Constitucion being removed, the monument itself 
was allowed to stand ; and it thus remains to this 
day, the only monument in existence to commemo- 
rate the farce of the constitution of 1812. In 1818, 
the tablets were restored without objection. 

The bridge and causeway are the work of the 
government of the United States. The present 
sea-wall was built between 1835 and 1842, by the 
United States, at an expense of one hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 




St. Augustine has now attained, for this side of 
the Atlantic, a period of most respectable antiquity. 
In a country like America, where States are ushered 
into existence in the full development of maturity, 
where large cities rise, like magic from the rude 
forest, where the " oldest inhabitant " recollects the 
cuttiug down of the lofty elms which shadowed the 
wigwam of the red man, perchance on some spot 
now in the heart of a great city ; an antiquity of 
three centuries would be esteemed as almost reach- 
ing back (compared with modern growth) to the 
days of the Pharaohs. 

The larger number of the early settlements were 
unsuitably located, and were forced to be abandoned 
on account of their unhealthiness ; but the Spanish 
settlement at St. Augustine has remained for near 
three hundred years where it was originally planted ; 
and the health of its inhabitants has, for this long 
period, given it a deserved reputation for salubrity, 
and exemption from disease, attributable to locality 
or extraneous influences or causes. 

The great age attained by its inhabitants was 

i feifi & 





remarked by De Brahm ; the number and health- 
fulness of the children that throng its streets, attract 
now, as they did then, the attention of strangers. 
This salubrity i9 easily accounted for, by the almost 
insular position of the city, upon a narrow neck of 
land nearly surrounded by salt water; the main 
shore, a high and healthy pine forest and sandy 
plains, so near the ocean as to be fanned by its 
constant breezes, and within the sound of its echoing 
waves ; a situation combining more local advantages 
for salubrity could hardly be imagined. While it 
will never probably increase to any great extent in 
population, it will hardly be likely to decrease. Its 
health, easy means of support, unambitious class of 
inhabitants, with their strong attachments, and fam- 
ily and local ties, will contribute to maintain St. 
Augustine as the time-honored ancient city, with its 
permanent population, and its visitors for health, for 
centuries perhaps yet to come. 

I cannot perhaps better conclude these historic 
notices than by giving the impressions of the author 
of Thanatopsis,* one whose poetic fame will endure 
as long as American literature exists. Writing from 
St. Augustine in April, 1843, he says, — 

"At length we emerged upon a shrubby plain, 
and finally came in sight of this oldest city of the 

* Bryant. 


United States, seated among its trees on a sandy 
swell of land, where it has stood for three hundred 
years. I was struck with its ancient and homely 
aspect, even at a distance, and could not help liken- 
ing it to pictures which I had seen of Dutch towns, 
though it wanted a wind-mill or two to make the 
resemblance perfect. We drove into a green square, 
in the midst of which was a monument erected to 
commemorate the Spanish constitution joi 1812, and 
thence through the narrow streets of the city to our 

" I have called the streets narrow. In few places 
are they Avide enough to allow two carriages to pass 
abreast. I was told that they were not originally 
intended for carriages ; and that in the time when 
the town belonged to Spain, many of them were 
floored with an artificial stone, composed of shells and 
mortar, which in this climate takes and keeps the 
hardness of rock ; and that no other vehicle than a 
hand-barrow was allowed to pass over them. In 
some places you see remnants of this ancient pave- 
ment ; but for the most part it has been ground 
into dust under the wheels of the carts and carriages 
introduced by the new inhabitants. The old houses, 
built of a kind of stone which is seemingly a pure 
concretion of small shells, overhang the streets with 
their wooden balconies ; and the gardens between 
the houses are fenced on the side of the street witli 


high walls of stone. Peeping over these walls you 
see branches of the pomegranate, and of the orange- 
tree now fragrant with flowers, and, rising yet higher, 
the leaning bousrhs of the Hi>* with its broad luxuriant 
leaves. Occasionally you pass the ruins of houses — 
walls of stone with arches and stair-cases of the same 
material, which once belonged to stately dwellings. 
You meet in the streets with men of swarthy com- 
plexions and foreign physiognomy, and -you hear 
them speaking to each other in a strange language. 
You are told that these are the remains of those -who 
inhabited the country under the Spanish dominion, 
and that the dialect you have heard is that of the 
island of Minorca. 

u ' Twelve years ago,' said an acquaintance of mine, 
1 when I first visited St. Augustine, it was a fine old 
Spanish town. A large proportion of the houses 
which you now see roofed like barns, were then flat- 
roofed ; they were all of shell rock, and these mod- 
ern wooden buildings were then not erected. That 
old fort which they are now repairing, to fit it for 
receiving a garrison, was a sort of ruin, for the out- 
works had partly fallen, and it stood unoccupied by 
the military, a venerable monument of the Spanish 
dominion. But the orange-groves were the wealth 
and ornament of St. Augustine, and their produce 
maintained the inhabitants in comfort. Orange-tree3 
of the size and height of the pear-tree, often rising 


higher than the roofs of the houses, embowered the 
town in perpetual verdure. They stood so close in 
the groves that they excluded the sun ; and the 
atmosphere was at all times aromatic with their 
leaves and fruit, and in spring the fragrance of the 
flowers was almost oppressive.' 

" The old fort of St. Mark, now called Fort Marion, 
— a foolish change of name — is a noble work, frowning 
over the Matanzas, which flows between St. Augus- 
tine and the island of Anastasia ; and it is worth 
making a long journey to see. No record remains 
of its original construction ; but it is supposed to 
have been erected about a hundred and fifty years 
since,* and the shell rock of which it is built is dark 
with time. We saw where it had been struck with 
cannon balls, which, instead of splitting the rock, 
became imbedded and clogged among the loosened 
fragments of shell. This rock is therefore one of the 
best materials for fortification in the world. We 
were taken into the ancient prisons of the fort-dun- 
geons, one of which was dimly lighted by a grated 
window, and another entirely without light ; and by 
the flame of a torch we were shown the half obliter- 
ated inscriptions scrawled on the walls long ago by 
prisoners. But in another corner of the fort, we 
were taken to look at the secret cells, which were 

* It is much more ancient. 


discovered a few years since in consequence of the 
sinking of the earth over a narrow apartment be- 
tween them. These cells are deep under ground, 
vaulted over-head, and without windows. In one of 
them a wooden machine was found, which some sup- 
posed might have been a rack, and in the other a 
quantity of human bones. The doors of these cells 
had been walled up and concealed with stucco, before 
the fort passed into the hands of the Americans. 

" You cannot be in St. Augustine a day without 
hearing some of its inhabitants speak of its agreeable 
climate. During the sixteen days of my residence 
here, the weather has certainly been as delightful as 
I could imagine. We have the temperature of early 
June as June is known in New York. The morn- 
ings are sometimes a little sultry ; but after two or 
three hours a fresn breeze comes in from the sea 
sweeping through the broad piazzas, and breathing 
in at the windows. At this season it comes ladeu 
with the fragrance of the flowers of the Pride of 
India, and sometimes of the orange tree, and some- 
times brings the scent of roses, now in bloom. The 
nights are gratefully cool ; and I have been told by 
a person who has lived here many years, that there 
are very few nights in summer when you can sleep 
without a blanket. 

" An acquaintance of mine, an invalid, who has 
tried various climates, and has kept up a kind of 


running fight with death for many years, retreating 
from country to country as he pursued, declares to 
me that the winter climate of St. Augustine is to be 
preferred to that of any part of Europe, even that 
of Sicily, and that it is better than the climate of the 
West Indies. He finds it genial and equable, at the 
same time that it is not enfeebling. The summer 
heats are prevented from being intense by the sea- 
breeze, of which I have spoken. I have looked over 
the work of Dr. Forry on the climate of the United 
States, and have been surprised to see the uniformity 
of climate which he ascribes to Key "West. As ap- 
pears by the observations he has collected, the sea- 
sons at that place glide into each other by the softest 
gradations ; and the heat never, even in midsummer, 
reaches that extreme which is felt in the higher lati- 
tudes of the American continent. The climate of 
Florida is, in fact, an insular climate : the Atlantic 
on the east, and the Gulf of Mexico on the west, 
temper the airs that blow over it, making them 
cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I do not 
wonder, therefore, that it is so much the resort of 
invalids ; it would be more so if the softness of its 
atmosphere, and the beauty and serenity of its sea- 
sons were generally known. Nor should it be sup- 
posed that accommodations for persons in delicate 
health are wanting ; they are, in fact, becoming 
better witlr every year as the demand for them 
increases. Among the acquaintances whom I have 


made here, I remember many who having come 
hither for the benefit of their health, are detained for 
life by the amenity of the climate. ' It seems to 
me,' said an intelligent gentleman of this class, the 
other day, ' as if I could not exist out of Florida. 
When I go to the north, I feel most sensibly the 
severe extremes of the weather ; the climate of 
Charleston itself appears harsh to me.' 

" The negroes of St. Augustine are a good-looking 
specimen of the race, and have the appearance of 
being very well treated. You rarely see a negro in 
ragged clothing ; and the colored children, though 
slaves, are often dressed with great neatness. In the 
colored people whom I saw in the Catholic church, 
I remarked a more agreeable, open, and gentle phys- 
iognomy than I have been accustomed to see in that 
class. The Spanish race blends more kindly with 
the African than does the English, and produces 
handsomer men and women. 

" Some old customs which the Minorcans brought 
with them from their native country, are still kept 
up. On the evening before Easter Sunday, about 
eleven o'clock, I heard the sound of a serenade in the 
streets. Going out, I found a party of young men 
with instruments of music, grouped about the win- 
dow of one of the dwellings, singing a hymn in honor 
of the Virgin,* in the Mahonese dialect. They be- 

* This Bong ia usually culled the Fromajardit. 


gan, as I was told, with tapping on the shutter. An 
answering knock within had told them that their 
visit was welcome, and they immediately began the 
serenade. If no reply had been heard, they would 
have passed on to another dwelling. I give the hymn 
as it was kindly taken down for me in writing, by a 
native of St. Augustine. I presume this is the first 
time that it has been put in print ; but I fear the copy 
has several corruptions, occasioned by the unskillful- 
ness of the copyist. The letter e which I have put 
in italics, represents the guttural French e 1 or, per- 
haps, more nearly the sound of the u in the word 
but. The sh of our language is represented by sc 
followed by an i or an e / the g, both hard and soft, 
has the same sound as in our language. 

" ' Disciaron lu dol 
Cantamn aub' alagria 

Y n'arein a da 

Las pascuas a Maria 

Maria ! 
" S Sant Grabiel, 
Qui portaba la ambasciado 
Des nostro rey dol eel, 
Estaran vos prenada 
Ya omitiada 
Tu o vais aqui serventa 
Fia del Dieu contenta 
Para fo lo que el vol 

Disciamn lu dol, &c. 
" l Ya milla nit 
Parigucro vos rcgina 
A un Dieu infinit, 
Dintra una establina. 

Y a nulla dia, 

Quclos angles von cantant 

Pan y aborulant 

Do la gloria de Dieu sol 

Diseiamn lu dol, &c. 


'"Ya Libalam, 

Alia la terra santa , 

Nus nat Jesus 

Aub' alagria tanta 

Infant petit 

Que tot lu mon salvaria 

Y ningu y bastaria 

Nu mes un Dieu tot sal 

Disclaim lu do!, &.c. 
" 'Cuant de Orion lus 
Tres reys la stralla veran 
Dicu omnipotent 
Adora lo vingaran 
Un present inferan 
Demil encens y or 
A lu beneit seno 
Que conesce cual se vol 

Disciaran lu dol, &c. 
" ' Tot fit gayant 
Para cumple la prumas 

Y lu Esperit sant 

De un angel fan gramas 
Gran foe enecs, 
Que crania lu curagia 
Dieu nos da lenguagia 
Para fe lo que Dieu vol 

Disciaran lu dol, &c. 
" ' Cuant trespasa 
De quest mon nostra SeFIora 
Al eel s' empugia 
Sun ill la mateseia ora 
! Empcradora 
Que del eel san eligida 
Lu rosa florida 
Me resplenden que un sol 

Disciaran lu dol, &C. . 
" ' Y el tercer giorn 
Que Jesus resunta 
Dieu y Aboroma 
Que la mort triumfa 
De alii se balla 
Para perldra Lucife 
An tot a sen penda. 
Que de nostra ser el sol 

Disciaran lu dol, &c.' 

"After this hymn, the following stanzas, soliciting 
the customary gift of cakes or eggs, are sung : — 

" ' Ce set que vani cantant, 
Rejrina celestial 1 


Damos pan y alagria 

Y bonas festas tingan 

Y vos da sus bonas festas 
Danos dines de sus nous 
Sempre tarem lus neans Uestas 
Para recibi un grapat de nes, 

Y el giorn de pascua florida 
Alagramos y giuntament 

As qui es mort par dar nos vida 

Y via glorosiamentc, 

A questa casa csta cmpedrada 
Bien halla que la empedro ; 
San amo de aquesta casa 
Baklria duna un do 
Formagiada o empanada 
Cucutta a flao ; , 

Cual se val casa rue grada, 
Sol que no rue digas que no.' 

"The shutters are then opened by the people 
within, and a supply of cheese, cakes or other pas- 
try, or eggs, is dropped into a bag carried by one of 
the party ; who acknowledge the gift in the following 
lines, and then depart: — 

" ' Aquesta casa reta empedrada 
Empedrada de cuatro vens ; 
Sun amo de aquesta casa 
Es omo de compliment' 

" If nothing is given, the last line reads thus : — 

" ' No es homo de compliment.' " 


I ,-V l(? W 



&$38 -