Four hundred years ago, Europeans made the first permanent settlement within the present limits of the United States. These were Spaniards who under Pedro Menendez de Aviles established St. Augustine in 1565, upon land discovered fifty-two years earlier. In the interval between discovery and colonization, the coast of Florida had been gradually charted and portions of the interior explored. Though all attempts at planting the civilization of Spain in the new land failed until Menendez appeared on the scene, the discoveries of Juan Ponce de Leon, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, Panfilo de Narvaez, and Hernando de Soto gradually outlined the contour of the peninsula, brought it within the known lands of the world, and contributed to the eventual success of Menendez. This paper summarizes the accomplishments of those explorers and furnishes translations of the four contemporary accounts of the founding of St. Augustine.
Arana, Luis Rafael
"The Exploration of Florida and Sources on the Founding of St. Augustine,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 44
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol44/iss1/4