By Matthew C. Cannavale
It was Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth that established Spain’s claim to Florida in 1513, but it would take the founding of a settlement by French Protestants 50 years later to spur Spain to take colonization seriously. Readers follow all the action as French forces are massacred, St. Augustine is founded, and Spanish missionaries begin a 200-year effort to convert the Indians to Christianity. New tensions build as English settlements spring up to the north and France starts colonies in the west. Eyewitness accounts help students compare life during Spanish and British rule, and biographical sidebars introduce them to legendary figures such as Andrew Jackson.It provides in-depth biographical sketches for many people in colonial Florida.
Florida is impeccably researched. Photographs, historical maps, and lively, first-person accounts from explorers, native Americans, missionaries, slaves and indentured servants, farmers, government officials, and more are seamlessly woven together to create a vibrant and accurate portrait of life in the colony, including the British, French, and Spanish settlements.