A. E. Hammond


One of the bloodiest and most publicized chapters in the early history of Florida was written by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, intrepid and unscrupulous agent of Philip II of Spain. On three occasions in the months of September and October, 1565, this Spanish gentleman, fired with true inquisitional fervor, ordered and supervised the systematic slaughter of remnants of the third French expedition to the Florida coast, thus ending the French attempt to colonize this disputed territory. Neither the events leading up to the massacres nor the details of the savage butchery requires retelling here. They are the subjects of numerous narratives, both secondary and primary. A brief word on the European reaction to these events is essential, however.