When he landed ashore on September 8, 1565, gleaming trumpets and roaring artillery traveled to Don Pedro Menéndez de viles. The Spanish admiral kissed a cross carried by the fleet’s captain, Father Francisco López, then claimed Florida for each his lord and his nation. As curious members of the indigenous Timucua tribe watched, 800 newly arrived colonists gathered round a makeshift altar as Father Lopez celebrated a Catholic mass of thanks for his secure arrival on the newly eponymous settlement of St. Augustine. At Menendez’s invitation, Timuquan then joined the newcomers for a communal meal.



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