Publication Year: 2001
This translation of an eyewitness account by a major participant offers valuable information about all three attempts to establish a French colony on the south Atlantic coast of North America.
Rene Laudonniere's account of the three attempts by France to colonize what is now the United States is uniquely valuable because
he played a major role in each of the ventures—first, in 1562, as second in command during the founding of the ill-fated Charlesport, then as commander for the establishment of Fort Caroline on Florida's St. Johns River in 1564, and finally as the one to welcome French reinforcements the following year. It was also Laudonniere's destiny to witness the tragic fall of Fort Caroline to Spanish claims one month later.
Laudonniere wrote his chronicle, L'histoire Notable de la Floride, in 1565 following the fall of Fort Caroline as he recuperated in England. Much more than an account of his feelings and adventures, Laudonniere's history reveals him to be an exceedingly able and accurate geographer with a highly developed interest in anthropology.
The first English translation was published by Richard Hakluyt in 1587. Charles E. Bennett's graceful and accurate rendering in modern English was first published in 1975 by the University Press of Florida. Besides the account, thoroughly annotated and with present-day names identifying sites visited by the Frenchman, this volume includes a valuable introductory essay. The appendices to the volume are four noteworthy documents, the last of which—a guide to plants of 16th-century Florida—will be of exceptional interest to naturalists, gardeners, and students of folklore. The account itself will fascinate professional historians and anthropologists as well as general readers interested in the exciting and often moving
events of early European settlement in the New World.
Rene Laudonniere was a French adventurer and explorer of the 16th century who wrote L'histoire Notable de la Floride. Charles E. Bennett is a historian and former Florida congressman. He was coauthor of the Moss-Bennett legislation and was instrumental in the establishment of the Fort Caroline National Memorial and the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve. Jerald T. Milanich is Curator in Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page, Acknowledgments
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Foreword to Paperback Edition
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Four and a half centuries ago in 1562, a French expedition sailed the Atlantic coast of the southeastern United States, searching for a suitable location for a settlement. Under the leadership of Jean Ribault, the French founded Charlesfort on Parris Island, South Carolina. Poorly supplied, the small colony failed soon after its leader returned to France. ...
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An expedition sent by the French to the New World in 1562 explored a portion of the Florida coast and established the short-lived Charlesfort settlement in present-day South Carolina. This voyage was followed in 1564 by the enterprise that resulted in the founding of Fort Caroline, on the shore of Florida's St. Johns River. ...
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In my opinion there are two reasons which have principally stimulated man to travel to foreign lands, both in the past and in the present. The first has been a normal desire to discover the means for a better life, fully and easily achieved whether by totally quitting the native land to live in a better one, ...
The First Voyage
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The admiral of Chiltillon [Coligny], a nobleman more anxious for the public good than for his own, having learned of the desire of his king to explore new lands, set about promptly to equip the vessels and enlist the proper men for such an enterprise. Among these was Captain Jean Ribault, a true expert in marine affairs. ...
The Second Voyage
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After peace was declared in France, the Admiral of Chatillon remonstrated with the king that there had been no news of the men whom Captain Jean Ribault had left in Florida and that it would be a great pity to lose them.54 Because of this, the king gave him permission to equip three ships, ...
The Third Voyage
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While all of this was happening, on August 28 the wind and the sea came through in good shape for setting sail. Captain Vasseur, who commanded one of my ships, and Captain Verdier, who commanded the other, were just about ready to go when they spied sails at sea. ...
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Page Count: 258
Publication Year: 2001