At the beginning of the seventeenth century, St. Augustine was still recovering from Francis Drake's 1586 raid during which the town and fields were ravaged.1 Officials were also evaluating the fallout from the 1597 Guale Rebellion during which four of the five friars working among the native peoples were killed, and rebuilding the town following a devastating fire in 1599. If not for St. Augustine's strategic location and perceived progress in the religious conversion of natives, Florida might well have been abandoned at the turn of the century. As it turned out, the next century would be the period of Spain's most extensive presence in La Florida.
McEwan, Bonnie G.
"The Historical Archaeology of Seventeeth-Century La Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 92:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol92/iss3/6