Did You Know?

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Media Contact:
Paul Ramey, APR
(352) 273-2054
[email protected]
Oct. 17, 2015-April 17, 2016
Did you know?
• Long before Jamestown, Spaniards, free and enslaved Africans and Native
Americans crafted our country’s first enduring European settlement — St.
Augustine, in 1565.
• The first Thanksgiving was held in the first colony in St. Augustine, Florida, on Sep.
7, 1565, decades before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
• The first Spanish ship carried 26 women to Florida.
• Government-sanctioned Catholicism was the only religion permitted for Spanish
colonists, and the church influenced nearly all aspects of life.
• St. Augustine’s residents developed a way of life that blended Spanish, Native
American, African and newly created practices.
• Both free and enslaved people of African heritage lived and worked in St. Augustine,
but Spanish slavery differed in many ways from English slavery.
• Spaniards established the first legally sanctioned free black town in North America,
Fort Mose, in 1738.
• The site of the abandoned first settlement remained buried, lost from history for
more than 400 years, until archaeologists rediscovered it at what it today’s Fountain
of Youth Archaeological Park.
• Dirt stains left by wooden posts and sills reveals a Spanish-style walled
encampment, with rectangular barracks and a large fortified storehouse.
• Most buildings were made of thatch and some settlers lived in round Timucuan-style
huts.
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