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The French Fleet of 1565

Author(s): John de Bry ; Chuck Meide

Year: 2014

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16th century France was a vigorous, expansionist nation emerging from feudalism and dreaming of empire. Spain, the world's leading power, already had a foothold in the Americas, and France wanted a share of the riches. After a first attempt, France assembled a more powerful expedition in May 1565. Shortly after they arrived in Florida, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés' fleet appeared and challenged the French. What followed led to the loss of the French fleet and the founding of St. Augustine, the oldest permanent settlement in North America. Recently discovered manuscript documents in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, reveal some interesting facts about the expeditions. Archaeological evidence from shipwreck survivor camps has also lent insight into the wrecking event. The historical context of the expeditions and the circumstances of the loss of the fleet will be addressed as well as a remote sensing survey to locate the shipwrecks scheduled for July 2014.

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The French Fleet of 1565. John de Bry, Chuck Meide. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436992)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-45,01

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America