Archaeologists find elusive 16th-century Spanish Fort San Marcos

Nearly 40 years after finding the remains of the 16th-century town of Santa Elena on present-day Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, archaeologists have discovered San Marcos, one of five Spanish forts that operated during the town’s 21-year history. University of South Carolina archaeologist Chester DePratter and anthropologist Victor Thompson of the University of Georgia have conducted research […]

UWF archaeology program discovers third shipwreck from Luna fleet

The University of West Florida archaeology program announced today the discovery of a third shipwreck from the Spanish fleet linked to Tristán de Luna y Arellano’s 16th century expedition to modern-day Pensacola. The discovery comes less than one year after UWF archaeologists identified the terrestrial site of Luna’s colony in a developed neighborhood in Pensacola, marking […]

Long-Lost Spanish Fort Found in St. Augustine

Editors Note: I just stumbled across this old New York Times article from 1993 about the possible rediscovery of the original Fort St. Augustine on the grounds of the Fountain of Youth Park. (Since 1993 they’ve built a reconstruction of a Spanish mission here.) The original fort was constructed by Pedro Menendez in an Indian […]
French cannon found off coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida by Global Marine Exploration.

Wreckage found off Cape Canaveral linked to lost French colony of Fort Caroline

Excerpt 1: A private treasure salvage company says it’s found a shipwreck, buried in sand under the ocean off Cape Canaveral, that could be linked to the lost French colony of Fort Caroline. Global Marine Exploration Inc. has discovered scattered evidence of a historic wreck that includes some tantalizing clues: three French bronze cannons, at […]
Artist's interpretation of the church built at San Miguel de Gualdape.

San Miguel de Gualdape

San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement in what would become the continental United States, founded in 1526 by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón. The settlers lasted only through three months of winter before abandoning the site in early 1527. History Records show that in 1521, de Ayllón, a wealthy sugar planter […]

How Natives Conducted Their Warfare Near Tampa

This eyewitness account from one of the first expeditions into the Southeastern U.S. shows the Spanish were definitely impressed by the military tactics of the Native inhabits of Florida. -Editor From A Narrative of the Expedition of Hernando de Soto Into Florida, by a Gentleman of Elvas The Governor sent the chief constable, Baltasar de Gallegos, […]

Description of Ucita- 1st Native Town Encountered by De Soto

The following two narratives, one written by the Gentleman of Elvas and another by Garcillasso de la Vega (aka, The Inca), both members of the De Soto expedition, give a great description of a Native American town in Florida at the time of European contact. It describes its location, layout and architecture as well as the […]

Researchers debate true location of Fort Caroline

On Saturday, September 20, two groups of scholars presented evidence for the true location of Fort Caroline, the first permanent settlement by Europeans in what would later become the United States. First settled 450 years ago, the location of the actual fort has been lost to the ravages of time. Tradition holds that Fort Caroline was located […]
The re-taking of Fort Caroline by de Gourgues, showing the French and the Indians attacking from the shore and the Spanish starting to run away. Note Indian chief Olotacara using a pike to kill a Spaniard.

The Great Fort Caroline Debate to be held at University of North Florida

This Saturday the University of North Florida will hold a debate between two sets of scholars to hopefully resolve the true location of Fort Caroline. This year marks the 450th anniversary of the founding of the French colony of Fort Caroline in America. Fort Caroline was the first permanent European colony in what would later […]

Juan Ortiz Captivity Narrative by El Inca

This is a second and more extensive version of the captivity and rescue of the Spaniard Juan Ortiz who lived among the Indians of La Florida for 12 years. This version by El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega is considered the first piece of literature written by someone born in the Americas. El Inca was […]
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,

Juan Ortiz- Captive of La Florida Indians

When Hernando de Soto landed in southwest Florida to begin his exploration of the Southeast, he did so without the aid of his local native interpreters who had escaped upon sighting land. This would certainly have doomed the expedition but as luck would have it De Soto found a Spanish captive named Juan Ortiz who […]
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