The Spanish in South Florida

The Spanish in South Florida


  • The Spanish in South Florida

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 6]
who could share their trials and help them to understand those brutes. Many
Spaniards have saved their lives by finding before them those associates." (9)

During the time that Fontaneda remained with the Indians many
ships were wrecked on the lower east coast of Florida. He had more
than one opportunity to meet men who were made captive, for he
traveled a great deal and was quite familiar with this part of the state. In
his memoirs, Fontaneda makes no account of his own rescue but it is the
opinion of Buckingham Smith that he escaped from servitude when
Pedro Menendez came to Florida. (9)

Menendez had two missions. He sought a son who had been lost
with a Mexican convey in 1563. (1) In addition, he was commissioned
to colonize and fortify Florida in order to protect Spanish shipping from
the attacks of marauding French and English pirates. (12)

Those familiar with Spanish colonial history know that Spanish
expansion in the New World had proceeded with remarkable activity. A
report of 1574 showed that the Spaniards had established 200 towns and
cities. (12) Every town was required by law to provide a church, a
hospital, and a school for teaching Indian children. (12) By 1535 a
college for Indian boys had been established in Mexico and, in 1551, the
Universities of Mexico and of Lima were founded. (12) A printing
press was introduced early in the same century. (12)