Mudcat Café message #2502948 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116477   Message #2502948
Posted By: Amos
27-Nov-08 - 11:31 AM
Thread Name: BS: Thanksgiving historical corrections (USA)
Subject: RE: BS: Thanksgiving historical corrections (USA)
Well before the Spanish founded Saint Augustine the French had a fully operational community, founded I think in 1567 or so, where the first white-boy Thanksgiving feast was held. The Spanish, annoyed at the presence of a French cmmunity in the Spanish-claimed lands of Florida, set up Saint Augustine and used it as a base to launch an expedition against the French community, massacring them because they were Huguenots, a class of Protestants, and French to boot.

"Landing in balmy Florida in June of 1564, at what a French explorer had earlier named the River of May (now the St. Johns River near Jacksonville), the French émigrés promptly held a service of "thanksgiving." Carrying the seeds of a new colony, they also brought cannons to fortify the small, wooden enclosure they named Fort Caroline, in honor of their king, Charles IX."...

"Leading this holy war with a crusader's fervor, Menéndez established St. Augustine and ordered what local boosters claim is the first parish Mass celebrated in the future United States. Then he engineered a murderous assault on Fort Caroline, in which most of the French settlers were massacred. Menéndez had many of the survivors strung up under a sign that read, "I do this not as to Frenchmen but as to heretics." A few weeks later, he ordered the execution of more than 300 French shipwreck survivors at a site just south of St. Augustine, now marked by an inconspicuous national monument called Fort Matanzas, from the Spanish word for "slaughters.""

(Story in the NY Times.