French Huguenots in North America
This marker commemorates the French Huguenot landing near this site on May 1, 1562, and their lives as colonists on the land until 1565. Hoping to escape religious persecution in Western Europe, the Huguenots set sail to this un-colonized portion of the New World, establishing La Caroline in June of 1564.
Between May 1562 and September 1565, the Huguenots shaped history by establishing many "firsts": The first Protestant prayer on American soil, offered by Jean Ribault; the first settlement of men and women seeking religious freedom; the first Colonial Thanksgiving, celebrated June 30, 1564; the first known commercial artist of North America, Jacques le Moyne, who documented native Timucua life; the first recorded birth of a European child in the continental United States; the first international port of trade when Englishman John Hawkins exchanged goods with La Caroline's leader, Rene de Laudonniere; and with the 1565 Spanish attack on the colony, the first battle between European forces on soil that later became the United States.
The August 1565 Spanish attack on La Caroline failed. As the French pursued the
The colony's lasting legacy is illuminated through Congressman Charles E. Bennett's words, "The Fort Caroline settlement set a new pattern for religious freedom in America--a pattern which was to be imitated until religious liberty and personal freedom became the great trademark of the United States."
In Honor and Memory of the La Caroline Colonists who perished September 20th at the St. Johns River and Jean Ribault and his men who died at Matanzas defending the colony on September 29th and October 12th, 1565
Dedicated October 10, 2016 commemorating the 450th Anniversary Year
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Exploration • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is May 1, 1562.
Location. 30° 23.728′ N, 81° 25.745′ W. Marker is in Bayport, Florida, in Duval County. Marker is on Ocean Street (State Road A1A) just east of Broad Street, on the left when traveling east.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. U.S. Merchant Marine (a few steps from this marker); Historic Old Mayport Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pilot Town/Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (approx. half a mile away); Jean Ribaut (approx. half a mile away); The Huguenot Memorial Site (approx. 1.2 miles away); St. George Episcopal Church (approx. 1.2 miles away); Ribault Club Inn (approx. 2.3 miles away); Fort George Island (approx. 2.3 miles away).
Also see . . . French Huguenots in America. (Submitted on July 18, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 19, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 18, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 18, 2018, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.