Narrative of Le Moyne



The Spaniards, having made several disastrous expeditions into Florida, had left it for a time unmolested. The French Protestants, attempting to colonize under Ribaud, built Charlefort at Port Royal in 1562, and Fort Caroline under Laudonniere, at the River May (now St. John’s, Florida), in 1564. The former was abandoned, leaving no traces but a few French names, which still designate the spot ; the latter, exciting the jealousy and religious indignation of the Spaniards (for the two nations were at peace), was assaulted and taken by them under Menendez, who afterwards founded St. Augustine, somewhat farther south.

These heliotypes are copies of engravings from original drawings by Le Moyne, surnamed Le Morgues, sent by the French Government to accompany the Huguenot expedition under Laudonniere. Having’escaped the massacre by the Spaniards at Fort Caroline, the artist lived for a time in England, where he died ; and his widow sold his manuscripts and drawings to De Bry.

Hakluyt having long ago published an English translation of the relations of Ribaud and Laudonniere, it would seem superfluous to reproduce them here. The drawings are worth perusal from the information they give of the habits of the aborigines three hundred years ago, as well as the arms and costumes of the Europeans of the same period, and give sufficient evidence that the artist visited the country. For instance, no one not familiar with alligators could have represented them with so much accuracy, though in the lapse of three hundred years they appear to have deteriorated in size.

-William Appleton, 1875

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3 thoughts on “Narrative of Le Moyne

  1. […] Narrative of Le Moyne (1859 English translation of Le Moyne’s writings about Florida) Learn more about the ancient Native American civilizations of Florida at our sister site, Learn more about Le Moyne and the French explorations in the southeastern U.S. with the following books & videos: […]

  2. […] likelihood that Fontaneda actually visited Fort Caroline. Le Moyne includes in his accounts an episode where he has two Spanish castaways living among the Indians brought to the fort. They stated they […]

  3. […] “All the troops being now on board, a fair wind for an hour or two was all that was needed to bring us up with the enemy ; but just as the anchors were about to be weighed the wind changed, and blew directly against us, exactly from the point where the enemy were, for two whole days and nights, while we waited for it to become fair.” Narrative of Le Moyne […]