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|Died||October 12, 1565 44–45) (aged|
Jean Ribault (also spelled Ribaut) (1520 – October 12, 1565) was a French naval officer, navigator, and a colonizer of what would become the southeastern United States. He was a major figure in the French attempts to colonize Florida. A Huguenot and officer under Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, Ribault led an expedition to the New World in 1562 that founded the outpost of Charlesfort on Parris Island in present-day South Carolina. Two years later, he took over command of the French colony of Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. He and many of his followers were massacred by Spanish soldiers near St. Augustine.
Ribault was born in the town of Dieppe in Normandy in 1520. He entered the French navy under the command of the Huguenot admiral Gaspard de Coligny. In 1562 Coligny chose him to lead an expedition to the New World to found a colony. Leaving France on February 18 with a fleet of 150 colonists, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean and explored the mouth of the St. Johns River in modern-day Jacksonville, Florida.He named it the "River May", as this was the month when he found it, and erected a stone column claiming the territory for France. Ribault's fleet then proceeded north, charting more of the coastline and noting several rivers. Eventually, they came to the Port Royal Sound in present-day South Carolina, and Ribault elected to establish a settlement on Parris Island, one of the Sea Islands off the coast. Ribault oversaw the layout of a small fort, which was named Charlesfort in honor of the French king Charles IX. Ribault left 27 men under the command of Albert de la Pierria to man the fort and soon set sail for France.
Ribault's intention was to collect supplies for Charlesfort and return by the end of the year. When he arrived at Le Havre, however, he discovered the French Wars of Religion had broken out between the Catholic majority and the Protestant Huguenots. Ribault assisted the Huguenots at Dieppe but was forced to flee to England when the city fell. While in England, he managed to gain an audience with Queen Elizabeth I and organized some backers for a plan to settle in America. However, despite this cordial welcome, he was soon arrested and detained in the Tower of London as a spy. During his time in England, and probably while imprisoned, Ribault wrote an account of the voyage, which survives only in English translation.
The 1563 Peace of Amboise finally allowed Coligny to devote attention for a new voyage to North America. He appointed Ribault's former lieutenant, René Goulaine de Laudonnière, to replace Ribault in the North American endeavors. During this time, however, Charlesfort had fallen into despair. A fire destroyed most of the settlement's meager stores. Captain Albert de la Pierria's heavy discipline led the soldiers to a mutiny in which he was deposed and killed. Afterward, the survivors elected to build a crude vessel and attempt to sail back to France. The trip was arduous, and most of the participants died before they finally reached the English coast, where they were rescued. News of this reached France just before Laudonnière had embarked on his voyage.
Laudonnière ultimately set sail on April 22, 1564 and arrived at Florida two months later.The plan for Ribault was to follow him in Spring 1565 with reinforcements and fresh supplies. As Charlesfort was now abandoned, the expedition decided to found a new colony on the banks of the St. Johns River, the same area Ribault and company had explored on the prior voyage. They christened the settlement Fort Caroline.
Fort Caroline sustained itself for the next year, but Ribault found himself caught up in the fresh outbreak of war in France and was unable to set sail at the appointed time. As a result, the colony experienced food shortages and deteriorating conditions, and some soldiers mutinied and became pirates, attacking Spanish vessels in the Caribbean. The situation was exacerbated by a clash with the Utina, a Timucua Indian tribe up the river to the south. Ribault finally organized his fleet in the summer of 1565, ultimately departing from France with 800 new settlers and five ships. He arrived in Florida on August 28, just as the despairing Laudonnière was preparing to sail home. Ribault promptly relieved Laudonnière as governor and assumed command of Fort Caroline.
In the meantime, the Spanish, who had long maintained a claim over Florida, had made preparations to find and oust the French from Fort Caroline. In early September Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, newly appointed adelantado of Florida, encountered Ribault's ships at anchor off the River of May. After a brief naval skirmish, the French ships cut their anchor lines and fled, and Menéndez retreated to the next inlet to the south, landing his men on 7 September and establishing the settlement of St. Augustine.
The Spanish hastily threw up palm-log and earthworks around an existing Timucua Indian village at their newly founded settlement and began unloading their ships. Before all of the equipment and supplies could be unloaded, Menéndez sent his flagship San Pelayo away to Hispaniola, as it was too big to enter the St. Augustine Inlet and Menéndez expected an attack from Ribault. Jean Ribault did attack only hours later, and almost captured Menéndez who was on a smaller vessel offshore, but the Spaniard risked crossing the sandbar at the mouth of the inlet and made it to the harbor. As the French galleons were also too large to cross the inlet, Ribault took his fleet south to pursue San Pelayo when the hurricane struck on September 11, driving his ships further south to their destruction on the Canaveral coast.[ citation needed ]
Assuming that the majority of the French men at arms were on board Ribault's ships leaving Fort Caroline defenseless, Menéndez ordered his infantrymen to march 40 miles north to Fort Caroline, during the hurricane. [ citation needed ]On 20 September, the Spanish captured the now lightly defended French settlement; 140 men were immediately put to death. In the eyes of the king of Spain, the Protestant religion and acts of piracy committed from Fort Caroline made the entire settlement a dangerous nest of pirates, heretics, and trespassers on Spanish territory. Only about 60 women and children were spared. René Laudonnière and about 40 others escaped the wrath of the Spaniards, and eventually returned to Europe to tell their tales.
The same hurricane that masked the approach of Menéndez's troops on Fort Caroline, utterly destroyed all of Ribault's fleet, driving them up on the beach many miles south of their intended target. Several hundred soldiers and sailors made it ashore barely alive and then walked from near present-day Daytona Beach to Matanzas Inlet, 14 miles south of St. Augustine. The marooned sailors were soon tracked down by Menéndez and a patrol force of Spanish troops, probably under a hundred men. Ribault, believing his hungry men would be fed and decently treated, allowed himself to be bluffed into surrender. In groups of ten, the Frenchmen were rowed across to the mainland, hands tied behind their backs. Following the explicit orders of King Philip II of Spain, the prisoners were asked if they were professing Catholics. Those who were not were marched behind a dune and put to the sword by Menéndez's Spanish soldiers. Only a handful of Catholics, young musicians and ship's boys were spared their lives. A similar surrender and mass execution of a smaller group of Frenchmen followed a few days later. This time, a few Frenchmen, suspicious of their enemies, preferred to take their chances with the Native Americans. [ citation needed ]Altogether, Ribault and about 350 of his officers and men lost their lives in the two massacres. The location of this event still carries today the name "Matanzas", the Spanish for "slaughters." Menéndez had carried out his orders to wipe out the French incursion.
In 1568 French nobleman turned pirate Dominique de Gourgues avenged Ribault. He and 200 men attacked Spanish-held Fort Caroline, secured the garrison's surrender and then put all the prisoners to death.
In 2018 the shipwreck of Ribault's flagship, La Trinité, was located off of the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Republic of France and State of Florida Sign Declaration of Intention to Embark on a Historic Partnership to Research and Preserve the Trinité Shipwreck.
Several places and institutions in Jacksonville are named for Ribault, including Jean Ribault Middle Schooland Jean Ribault High School; the Ribault Club on Fort George Island; a tributary of the Trout River, the Ribault River; several neighborhood streets near the river; and the Mayport Ferry Service boat, the Jean Ribault. In Beaufort and adjacent Port Royal, SC, Ribaut (spelled without the l) Road is a major thoroughfare; as a segment of US 21 it passes near the Charlesfort site. Ribault was featured in the "Conquest of the Southeast" episode (2005) of The History Channel's documentary miniseries Conquest of America and in the "Secrets of Spanish Florida" episode (2017) of the PBS/WNET program, Secrets of the Dead .
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century and continued on into the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America. Most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, rice, sugar, and furs.
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was a Spanish admiral and explorer from Avilés, in Asturias, Spain. He is notable for planning the first regular trans-oceanic convoys, which became known as the Spanish treasure fleet, and for founding St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565. This was the first successful European settlement in La Florida and the most significant city in the region for nearly three centuries. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited, European-established settlement in the continental United States. Menéndez de Avilés was the first governor of La Florida (1565–74). By his contract, or asiento, with Philip II, Menéndez was appointed adelantado and was responsible for implementing royal policies to build fortifications for the defense of conquered territories in La Florida and to establish Castilian governmental institutions in desirable areas.
Rene Goulaine de Laudonnière was a French Huguenot explorer and the founder of the French colony of Fort Caroline in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, a Huguenot, sent Jean Ribault and Laudonnière to explore potential sites in Florida suitable for settlement by the French Protestants.
Fort Caroline was an attempted French colonial settlement in Florida, located on the banks of the St. Johns River in present-day Duval County. It was established under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière on June 22, 1564, as a new territorial claim in French Florida and a safe haven for Huguenots, who were being persecuted in France because they were Protestant, rather than Catholic. The French colony came into conflict with the Spanish, who established St. Augustine in September 1565, and Fort Caroline was sacked by Spanish troops under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on September 20. The Spanish continued to occupy the site as San Mateo until 1569.
The Matanzas River is a body of water in St. Johns and Flagler counties in the U.S. state of Florida. It is a narrow saltwater bar-bounded estuary sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by Anastasia Island.
Spanish Florida was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire during Spanish colonization of the Americas. While its boundaries were never clearly or formally defined, the territory was initially much larger than the present-day state of Florida, extending over much of what is now the southeastern United States, including all of present-day Florida plus portions of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Spain's claim to this vast area was based on several wide-ranging expeditions mounted during the 16th century. A number of missions, settlements, and small forts existed in the 16th and to a lesser extent in the 17th century; they were eventually abandoned due to pressure from the expanding English and French colonial settlements, the collapse of the native populations, and the general difficulty in becoming agriculturally or economically self-sufficient. By the 18th century, Spain's control over La Florida did not extend much beyond a handful of forts near St. Augustine, St. Marks, and Pensacola, all within the boundaries of present-day Florida.
Jacques le Moyne de Morgues (c. 1533–1588) was a French artist and member of Jean Ribault's expedition to the New World. His depictions of Native American life and culture, colonial life, and plants are of extraordinary historical importance.
The maritime history of Florida describes significant past events relating to the U.S. state of Florida in areas concerning shipping, shipwrecks, and military installations and lighthouses constructed to protect or aid navigation and development of the Florida peninsula.
Matanzas Inlet is a channel in Florida between two barrier islands and the mainland, connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the south end of the Matanzas River. It is 14 miles (23 km) south of St. Augustine, in the southern part of St. Johns County. The inlet is not stabilized by jetties, and thus is subject to shifting.
Saturiwa was chief of the Saturiwa tribe, a Timucua chiefdom centered at the mouth of the St. Johns River in Florida, during the 16th century. His main village, also known as Saturiwa, was located on the south bank of the river near its mouth, and according to French sources he was sovereign over thirty other village chiefs. Chief Saturiwa was a prominent figure in the early days of European settlement in Florida, forging friendly relations with the French Huguenot settlers, who founded Fort Caroline in his territory.
Dominique de Gourgues (1530–1593) was a French nobleman and soldier. He is best known for leading an attack against Spanish Florida in 1568, in response to the destruction of the French Fort Caroline. He was a captain in King Charles IX's army.
Santa Elena, a Spanish settlement on what is now Parris Island, South Carolina, was the capital of Spanish Florida from 1566 to 1587. It was established under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the first governor of Spanish Florida. There had been a number of earlier attempts to establish colonies in the area by both the Spanish and the French, who had been inspired by the earlier accounts by Chicora and Hernando de Soto of rich territories in the interior. Menéndez's Santa Elena settlement was intended as the new capital of the Spanish colony of La Florida, shifting the focus of Spanish colonial efforts north from St. Augustine, which had been established in 1565 to oust the French from their colony of Fort Caroline. Santa Elena was ultimately built at the site of the abandoned French outpost of Charlesfort, founded in 1562 by Jean Ribault.
The Charlesfort-Santa Elena Site is an important early colonial archaeological site on Parris Island, South Carolina. It contains the archaeological remains of a French settlement called Charlesfort, settled in 1562 and abandoned the following year, and the later 16th-century Spanish settlement known as Santa Elena. The Spanish remains include a fort built directly on top of the abandoned Charlesfort remains. This fort and other nearby structures have been called, at various times, Fort San Marcos, Fort San Felipe, and have the designated archaeological site identifiers 38BU51 and 38BU162. Because of their remarkable state of preservation, and their importance in understanding early French and Spanish colonial practices, the site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001. The site is accessible through the United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Port Royal, South Carolina.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Florida:
The Saturiwa were a Timucua chiefdom centered on the mouth of the St. Johns River in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. They were the largest and best attested chiefdom of the Timucua subgroup known as the Mocama, who spoke the Mocama dialect of Timucuan and lived in the coastal areas of present-day northern Florida and southeastern Georgia. They were a prominent political force in the early days of European settlement in Florida, forging friendly relations with the French Huguenot settlers at Fort Caroline in 1564 and later becoming heavily involved in the Spanish mission system.
Tacatacuru was a Timucua chiefdom located on Cumberland Island in what is now the U.S. state of Georgia in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was one of two chiefdoms of the Timucua subgroup known as the Mocama, who spoke the Mocama dialect of Timucuan and lived in the coastal areas of southeastern Georgia and northern Florida.
French Florida was a colonial territory established by French Huguenot colonists in what is now Florida and South Carolina between 1562 and 1565.
The Spanish assault on French Florida began as part of imperial Spain's geopolitical strategy of developing colonies in the New World to protect its claimed territories against incursions by other European powers. From the early 16th century, the French had historic claims to some of the lands in the New World that the Spanish called La Florida. The French crown and the Huguenots led by Admiral Gaspard de Coligny believed that planting French settlers in Florida would help defuse religious conflicts in France and strengthen its own claim to a part of North America. The Crown wanted to discover and exploit valuable commodities, especially silver and gold, as the Spanish had done with the mines of Mexico and Central and South America. The political and religious enmities that existed between the Catholics and Huguenots of France resulted in the attempt by Jean Ribault in February 1562 to settle a colony at Charlesfort on Port Royal Sound, and the subsequent arrival of René Goulaine de Laudonnière at Fort Caroline, on the St. Johns River in June 1564.
The history of St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European origin in the continental United States, began in 1565 when it was founded by the Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. The Spanish Crown issued an asiento to Menéndez, signed by King Philip II on March 20, 1565, granting him various titles, including that of adelantado of Florida, and expansive privileges to exploit the lands in the vast territory of Spanish Florida, called La Florida by the Spaniards. This contract directed Menéndez to explore the region's Atlantic coast and report on its features, with the object of finding a suitable location to establish a permanent colony from which the Spanish treasure fleet could be defended and Spain's claimed territories in North America protected against incursions by other European powers.
The Massacre at Matanzas Inlet was the killing of French troops by Spanish troops near the Matanzas Inlet in 1565, by order of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, adelantado of Spanish Florida.