Jacque Le Moyne - Fall of Fort Caroline

Jacque Le Moyne - French Artist

As an artist I knew only how to paint, but Jean Ribault was a soldier and knew the deadly threat that the Spanish ships we spied posed to our new French colony.  His plan was to attack the Spanish fleet before they could build their defenses. He gathered a group of 200 sailors, 400 soldiers and l2 ships and set sail to attack the Spanish. Unfortunately a violent storm scattered Ribault’s small fleet to the south and wrecked it. Menendez, that Spanish dog, took advantage of the storm and set out on foot with a force of 500 soldiers to take Fort Caroline. The attack was brutal. He spilled the blood of 188 Frenchmen that day: men, women, and children, it didn’t matter. I was among the few who remained alive, along with Laudonniere. We escaped to ships we had hidden and sailed for France. Later, we discovered what happened to Ribault. His fleet was driven ashore by the storm and his scattered forces were in bad shape. One group of 208, whose ship broke apart, were starving and destitute when the Spanish found them at Matanzas Inlet. They surrendered to Menendez. After he fed and bound them, he executed 198. Two weeks later when Ribault and his 150 men reached l\/latanzas, they also surrendered only to be executed.

 

 

 

 Objective

To expose students to the experiences of the French as they made a second attempt at settling Florida. This video shows the trouble that leaders faced miles away from any sort of law and order.

 

Background            

The French wanted desperately to establish a foothold in the New World. Spanish world domination was moving too fast. Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere was chosen to lead the expedition to settle Fort Caroline. The life of the fort was short and troubled but Le Moyne provides us with one of the best accounts of Florida and its natives.

 

Class Discussions

Discuss the importance that the documentation provided by Le Moyne holds for understanding the early expeditions to Florida.

Why was the Fort in such bad shape

Additional information