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flourished because of the precious metals and the docility of the natives. On the northern mainland they found no mines, and the Indians would not submit to enslavement.) They traversed a rich game country and great tracts of fertile soil which, later, the English settler's rifle and plow were to make sustaining and secure to the English race. But the Spaniards, accustomed in America to living off the supplies and labor of submissive natives, were not allured by the prospect of taming tall Creek warriors, or of tilling the soil and hunting game to maintain themselves in the wilderness. They had astounding enterprise and courage for any rainbow trail that promised a pot of gold at the end of it, but little for manual labor. When news of Villafañe's failure reached Spain, Philip decided against any further attempts to colonize Florida for the time being. He was reassured, as to France, because the French as yet had not made any firm foothold on American soil. There seemed little to alarm him in the steady increase of their fishing vessels, alongside those of Spain, in Newfoundland waters, or in the small trade in the furs the fishermen were bringing home yearly. He could not foresee that not the pot of gold but the beaver was to lead to the solution of the Northern Mystery and to spread colonies from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Moreover, thought the King, where Spaniards had failed, Frenchmen could not succeed. So, in September, 1561, Philip issued his declaration with regard to the northern coast. It is interesting to note that he was largely influenced to this decision by the advice of
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, who was very shortly
to change both his own mind and Philip's. But no doubt he relied more on the treaty signed in 1559 between himself and Henry II of France, under
which France surrendered booty from Spanish
ships and ports, said-perhaps somewhat extravagantly — to equal in value a third of the kingdom; and on his own marriage by proxy in the same year to the French princess Elizabeth, daughter of Catherine de' Medici.
- QBut Philip's policy of hands off Florida was destined to speedy reversal, to meet the exigency of a new intrusion into Spanish domains.) A year had not passed when Jean Ribaut of Dieppe led a colony of French Huguenots to Port Royal, South Carolina, the very Santa Elena which Villafañe, less than a year before, had tried to occupy for Spain. Ribaut's enterprise dismally failed, it is true, but two years later Coligny, Admiral of
France, a Huguenot, and the uncompromising foe of Spain, sent a second colony under René de Laudonnière. And a French settlement was founded, protected by Fort Caroline, on St. John's River, in the land of which Ponce de León had taken solemn possession for Spain. The enthusiastic reports made by these French pioneers are proof that not alone the Spanish fancy ran astray in the face of tales that were told in the American wilds. Ribaut heard of the Seven Cities of Cibola; but Laudonnière went him one better, for one of his scouts, while exploring the country round about, actually saw and con, versed with men who had drunk at the Fountain of Youth, and had already comfortably passed their first quarter of a thousand years. But Laudonnière's artistic sense did not fit him to lead a colony made up chiefly of ex-soldiers — and including both Huguenots and Catholics, who had so recently been in armed strife on their home soil. Men who tilled the ground had been omitted from the roster; the artisans could not turn farmers on the instant; and the soldiers had no inclination to beat their swords into plowshares so long as Spanish treasure ships sailed the Bahama Channel. Laudonnière offended the Indians nearby by trying to make friends with their foes as well and forcing them to set free some captives, and so was presently in straits for food. Some of his men mutinied, seized two barques, and went out on a pirate raid. One of their vessels with thirty-three men aboard was captured by the Spaniards and the men hanged — in return for their seizure of a Spanish ship and the killing of a judge aboard of her. The other barque returned to Fort Caroline and Laudonnière had the ringleaders executed. Only ten days’ supply of food was left, when one morning, like gulls rising against the sun, four strange sails fluttered over the horizon. Instead of Spaniards bent on war, the visitor, who sailed his fleet into the river's mouth, proved to be the English sea-dog, John Hawkins- Master Hawkins had been marketing a cargo of Guinea Coast blacks in the islands where, by a suggestive display of swords and arquebuses, he had forced the Spaniards to meet his prices and to give him a “testimoniall of his good behauior” while in their ports. Hawkins fed and wined the French settlers and offered to carry them away safely to French soil. But Laudonnière, not knowing whether France was at peace or war with England, was afraid to trust the generous pirate. So far from resenting Laudonnière's suspicions, Hawkins, no doubt thinking that, in like circumstances, he would be equally cautious, agreed to sell a vessel at whatever price the Frenchman should name. And he threw into the bargain provisions and fifty pairs of shoes, so that Laudonnière, in his memoir, descants much upon this “good and charitable man.” y Grave reports of Laudonnière's mismanagement reached Coligny and decided him to send Jean Ribaut again to take command. Ribaut, with his son Jacques and three hundred more colonists, chiefly soldiers, set sail on May 23, 1565. On the eve of departure Ribaut received a letter from Coligny, saying that a certain Don Pedro Menéndez was leaving Spain for the coast of “New France” – such the French declared to be the name of the coast south of the St. Lawrence. Coligny sternly counseled Ribaut not to suffer Menéndez to “encroach” upon him “no more than he would that you should encroach upon him.” If the settlement at Port Royal had been a disquieting intrusion, Fort Caroline, under the very nose of Havana and on the path of the treasure fleets, was an imminent menace to New Spain. Its import was plainly stated in the reports to