Friday, September 7, 2012

Menendez Lands in Florida

This September 8th marks 447 years since Admiral Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés stepped ashore into his new role - in the new world of Florida. Menendez was sent by Spain's emperor, Felipe II. Felipe II was upset from reports of French Huguenots trying to settle the new world, that’s the new world that was claimed for Spain years earlier by the explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon.

These settlers were the French version of pilgrims who were only trying to find a place to practice their religious faith in peace. But protestant were non-Catholic or, non-believers as they were called by the Spanish. But with the title 'Defender of the faith', bestowed on the emperor by the pope himself, this news was a shock. Especially to the Spanish ruler who felt it was his Devine job to rid the new world, and Spanish Florida in particular, of these people. So he dispatched one of his most effective Admirals.

Accompanied by several Captains of the Spanish Armada, Menendez first established a town and then hunted down the French to dispatch them to heaven for God’s judgment. That particularly bloody event gave St Augustine’s bay and river it's name, Matanzas (Massacre).

Menendez was appointed governor of the new colony, who in his time, had to defend St Augustine from the British as well as British backed pirates; he establish the Catholic church foothold in the new world, and Build a Spanish city across the Atlantic from his home.

The city Pedro scratched out of the sandy dirt of the new world, and founded back in 1565, today is home of his burial box and headboard. Visitors can visit these artifacts where on display at the place where Menendez first stepped onto the new world. And on September 8th, there will be a re-enactment of the landing.

So come see it for yourself, and book your room today at the Inn on Charlotte, so you can witness this historic moment, 447 years later, which was the beginning of Spanish power and influence within the original 15 American colonies.

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