St. Augustine is the oldest permanently inhabited settlement, by Europeans, in the United States. With such an enduring existence, the city has undergone dramatic changes and turmoil throughout its history. From its early establishment in the days of colonization to its role in the American Civil War, there are many things of interest to explore in the History Of St. Augustine.
Learning more about St. Augustine history is essential for all history buffs or anyone who wants to have a better understanding of this unique place. Let’s look at some of the pivotal events in the History Of St. Augustine and learn more about why it is an interesting place to visit today.
Early Days Of St. Augustine
St. Augustine was originally founded by visiting Spanish colonists. The conquistador Pedro Menendez was sent to the New World by the King of Spain to prevent the French from securing a foothold in the area. The settlement founded by Menendez was originally known as San Agustin.
Jean Ribault – a French Huguenot – attempted to attack St. Augustine to ensure the survival of French settlements in the area, including Fort Caroline. Unfortunately for Ribault, his attack was hindered by storms. Menendez was able to protect St. Augustine and the settlement continued on.
Encounters With Europeans And Indigenous Groups
St. Augustine history is incomplete without understanding how indigenous groups engaged with the new settlement. Early encounters and visits to St. Augustine were somewhat hostile, as the Spanish were attempting to branch away from the city to expand their reach in the New World.
The history of St. Augustine is also complicated by the fact that it switched ownership between the British and the Spanish several times. The city was exchanged through various historical treaties over time which left a mark on St. Augustine’s history. For example, the United States initially gave the city back to the Spanish after their War of Independence because Spain had assisted the American cause.
The history of St. Augustine also extends through the American Civil War when it was quickly captured by Union soldiers and held throughout the war. This occupation left an enduring mark on the city’s culture and history.
Visit St. Augustine Today
The history of St. Augustine is rich and diverse; however, only so much can be understood from reading about it. Visit St. Augustine to explore the historical sites and visit the history museums that the city has to offer. Visit the city to look for the recently discovered historical shipwreck of Jean Ribault as well!