MenÉndez De AvilÉs Y La Florida

Author: Mercado, Juan Carlos
In 1565, Menéndez sailed to Florida and fulfilled his duty to Phillip II by recapturing France’s primary settlement, Fort Caroline, and executing the Fort’s commander, Jean Ribault, along with his men. Menéndez continued his duties by establishing two Spanish colonies, one of which, St. Augustine, would become the oldest permanent city of European origin in the United States. Following France’s example, the colonies were instrumental to Spain’s claim and military defense of the territory. This work has been based on the study of the key chroniclers and their writings (primarily Menéndez’ brother-in-law, Gonzalo Solís de Merás, who was with him on the expedition, and Bartolomé Barrientos, Professor at the University of Salamanca, who several years later wrote a second-hand chronicle of the expedition based on eyewitness accounts). This is the first annotated edition of the expeditions’ chronicles and will serve as a sister work to the already-published book by Professor Mercado on the letters.


“This volume offers readers the two narrations concerning Spain’s settlement of the well-known territory discovered by Juan Ponce of Leon in 1512: Florida. Both texts, published now for the first time in one volume, give detailed accounts of the violent efforts of the Spaniards to expel the French, who had originally tried to colonize this area ... Dr. Mercado has carried out a painstakingly careful review of the texts to approach it in the way the original authors did. Its scrupulous annotation concisely clarifies the meanings of a sometimes distant vocabulary. With this edition, Dr. Mercado has enriched and made more accessible these fundamental chronicles of the history of the population and colonization of the Florida territories.” – (from the Prologue) Professor Isaías Lerner, Graduate Center, The City University of New York

“This edition is based on original documents, as well as the writings of witnesses and participants of the expeditions such as Gonzalo Solís de Merás. The volume is rich in notes that clarify different aspects of the expeditions along with the circumstances surrounding the key players ... This book is of great value, since it brings a new perspective on the overall subject of the chronicles of New World explorations. The author took on a true challenge in preparing the book and bringing to light the real goal of the Spaniards, including their political maneuvers and armed confrontations ... With this book, a void is filled in the field of general Latin American colonial studies ...” – Professor M’baré N’gom, Morgan State University

“ ... Thanks to Dr. Mercado’s research, we are able to understand Menéndez’ contacts with native groups whose sole historic record is found in these relaciones. The harshness of life in La Florida, the fear of shipwrecking, the mistreatment of captives by European and indigenous groups, come to life in these pages. The introduction and notes illuminate and recover a key chapter of the shared history of Spain and America.” – Professor Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, The City University of New York

Table of Contents

Índice de láminas
Prólogo de Isaías Lerner
Preface by Isaías Lerner
Vida y hechos de Pedro Menéndez de Avilés