St. Augustine Written Timeline

  • 1562
    Jean Ribault was sent to North America to settle a colony for France. Three ships with 150 French Huguenots, landed in Florida around present day Jacksonville. Ribault continued sailing north and established Charlesfort and the settlement of Port Royal in present day South Carolina. Ribault returned to France after establishing the outpost, however he was unable to return with supplies. The settlements were abandoned by 1564.
    Menendez is accused of numerous infractions and is imprisoned in Seville.
    Rene de Laudonniere established Fort Caroline in northeast Florida for France in 1564. Jacques Le Moyne, a French artist, joined Laudonniere and rendered drawings of the various people and places he saw. Fort Caroline was destroyed by the Spanish in 1565, however, La Moyne and Laudionniere managed to escape and return to Europe. The Spanish, led by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, founder of St. Augustine, killed the other Huguenots at Ft. Caroline.
    King Phillip II of Spain learned of French intrusion onto Spanish lands in the New World. To prevent the loss of territory to the French, Phillip II sent Pedro Menendez de Aviles to Florida. He arrived on the Florida coast by September 1565, with orders to eliminate the French settlements and establish an outpost for Spain along the coast.
    Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived on the Florida coast with 10 ships and 1500 men. He settled St. Augustine and immediately attacked the French settlement of Fort Caroline in late September 1565. Menendez took the fort had some of the Frenchmen hung from trees with a message carved into a tree trunk that read "Hanged Not as Frenchmen but as Lutherans."
    After the siege at Fort Caroline, Menendez pursued Ribault, who arrived to resupply Fort Caroline days before Menendez’s arrival in Florida. Ribault’s ships encountered a hurricane and wrecked on the coast, near Matanzas Inlet. Menendez found the shipwrecked Frenchmen and slaughtered them on the beach. Menendez fulfilled his promise to the king, eliminating the French and establishing St. Augustine for Spain.
    The mission of Nombre de Dios was established around 1567, two years after St. Augustine was founded. Franciscan friar Antonio de Escobedo was assigned to the mission, and helped build the first church at that site. The site remained undiscovered by modern historians until 1934, when a gardener found human remains while planting an orange tree. Archaeologists found over 100 Christianized Native American burials, the largest ever discovered in the United States.
    Diminique de Gourgues attacked the Spanish Fort of San Mateo (formerly Fort Caroline) in 1568, spurred by the Spanish attack three years prior. The Spanish left a message stating they hung the French "Not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans and heretics." Gourgues left his own message to the Spaniards after his attack in 1568 stating that the Spaniards were "Hanged, not as Spaniards, but as traitors, robbers, and murderers."
    Francis Drake (Great Britain) circumnavigates the World in the "Golden Hind"
    Coquina was discovered on Anastasia Island in 1580. Governor Pedro Menendez de Marquez ordered its official use because it was fireproof and readily available. It proved to be one of the best construction materials used by the Spanish. Coquina is comprised of quartz sand and mollusk shell and is formed on the East Coast of Florida, from St. John’s County to as far south as Palm Beach. It can be seen to this day along parts of the Florida Coast.
    Sir Walter Raleigh established the first English Colony of Roanoke in 1585. Governor Ralph Lane was appointed to the settlement, however, they were ill equipped for such an adventure. The 100 original settlers abandoned the settlement in 1586 when Sir Francis Drake arrived at Roanoke after burning St. Augustine.
    Sir Francis Drake attacked St. Augustine in 1586. His forces destroyed the sixth wooden fort, San Juan de Pinillo, a predecessor of the Castillo de San Marcos. Boazio, an Italian artist who accompanied Drake, rendered a map of the city during the siege. Boazio’s map is the earliest depiction of St. Augustine and provides historians with important information regarding the layout of the city and important landmarks.
    Phillip II, King of Spain, wanted to overthrow the Protestant Church in England under Queen Elizabeth I. Phillip II sent the Armada’s 130 vessel fleet against the British in 1588. Surprisingly the smaller British Navy defeated the Armada, at that time the most powerful naval force in the world. Only 67 of the original 130 ships returned to Spain, most in poor condition. Spain’s defeat marked the decline of Spanish naval dominance and power in Europe.
    On May 14 the first settlers with the Virginia Company land and settle Jamestown Island forming the Virginia Colony for England. The first English colony was named for King James I who granted the land in 1606. Jamestown served as the capitol of the Virginia colony from 1616 to 1699.
    Antonio de Herrera Lopez y Mesa led Spanish soldiers and native captives to negotiate peace between the Apalachees, the Amacanos, the Chacatos, and the Apalachicola Tribes. The Spaniards increased interior trade through this negotiation with the natives of southeast Florida. The Spaniards traded their European supplies for valuable commodities such as deerskins and corn.
    Charles II, King of England, created the Charter for Carolina in 1663. Eight noblemen, called the Lord Proprietors, were the recipients of large portions of land between the colony of Virginia and Spanish Florida. The Charter included all land between the 36th and the 31st parallels, later extending to the 29th parallel in 1665.
    Carolina Charter of 1665 enlarged the original grant for the Carolina Colony. The new boundary was defined as 29° north latitude, which extended into Spanish territory. The expansion of the Charter included the city of St. Augustine, which had been held by the Spanish for over 100 years. This Charter extension caused a border dispute between the English and Spanish in the Americas, not fully settled until the Georgia colony is formed.
    John Yeamans left his residence in Barbados to establish a colony at Cape Fear River in 1665. The Lord Proprietors declared Yeamans governor of the colony and in two years time there were over 800 people in the settlement. Yeamans’ Cape Fear settlement furnished the much-needed lumber in the form of boards, staves, and shingles to Barbados. This settlement was abandoned and moved to Charles Town by 1670.
    England's Carolina grant of 1665 amended to include Florida land all the way south to New Smyrna, comprising even St. Augustine.
    English pirate Robert Searle (also known as John Davis) raided the city of St. Augustine in May 1668. Searle’s men pillaged the town and murdered sixty residents, including children. They ransomed off hostages and sold non-Hispanics into slavery. Dr. Henry Woodward, an original settler of South Carolina was rescued from the Spanish Fort before Searle’s departure.
    Queen Regent Mariana of Spain orders the construction of a stone fort in St. Augustine. Spurred by news of the English attack on St. Augustine, she made several requests for improvements to the city's defense in 1669. Decrees were sent to the Viceroy in Mexico, the Monarchs representation in the New World. The Viceroy was to distribute and gather additional troops for the fortifications construction. The Governor of Florida was to oversee the construction and prepare the defenses for British attack.