“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jacksonville in Duval County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

The River of May

Fort Caroline National Monument


—Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve —

The River of May Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 31, 2011
1. The River of May Marker
Inscription. "[H]aving landed [on the River of May's shore]... we saw the chief of that country, ... he ... showed such enthusiasm that he almost lost his composure. He came up to us... repeating ...'friend, friend.'"
Captain René de Laundonnière, 1564

Captain René de Laundonnière, on June 22, 1564, arrived in New France with his three ships and some 200 French Protestant noblemen, soldiers, and artisans, landing along the River of May (St. Johns River). The adventurous men and women brought their fears, hopes, and dreams. Would they survive in this strange land? Would they discover the riches they imagined? The colonists were hopeful.

The French found a site for their settlement on June 30th. Protected by a bluff commanding a river view, the spot offered fertile land, potable water, woodland fruits and building materials, and an abundance of fish. The French soldiers thought the ground defensible and its closeness to the sea afforded access for ships. Above all, the Timucuan natives seemed friendly and willing to help them in their new world.
Erected by National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 30° 23.194′ N, 81° 29.849′ W. Marker is in Jacksonville, Florida, in Duval County
Map of Florida image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 31, 2011
2. Map of Florida
1564 la Caroline cartographer Jacques le Moyne drew this map. The River of May's main stem cut deep into the interior of la Florida. The French were hopeful the river would lead to lands filled with gold and sliver.
. Marker is on Ft. Caroline Road, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located at a river overlook on a short trail from the visitor center in Fort Caroline National Monument. Marker is in this post office area: Jacksonville FL 32225, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Timucuan Friends (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Building of la Caroline (about 700 feet away); Fort de la Caroline (approx. 0.2 miles away); Spanish Pond (approx. 0.2 miles away); Staking a Claim (approx. half a mile away); Ribault Monument (approx. half a mile away); New France (approx. half a mile away); Timucuan Preserve (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Jacksonville.
Also see . . .  Fort Caroline History. NPS website. (Submitted on August 26, 2011, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
Categories. Colonial EraNative Americans
Overlook and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 31, 2011
3. Overlook and Marker
Rivière de Mai image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 31, 2011
4. Rivière de Mai
The French named the river with the month of their first landing in mind - May. Later the Spanish renamed the river "San Juan del Puerto" which became "St. Johns River."
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 520 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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