Pedro Menéndez de Avilés

Spanish explorer
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés Pedro Menéndez de Avilés (15 February 1519 – 17 September 1574) was a Spanish admiral and explorer, best remembered for founding St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. This was the first successful Spanish foothold in La Florida and remained the most significant city in the region for several hundred years. St. Augustine is now the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the Continental United States. Menéndez subsequently became the first governor of Spanish Florida. Menéndez made his career as a sailor in the service of the king. His first plans for a voyage to Florida revolved around searching for his son, Juan, who had been shipwrecked there in 1561. However, following the founding of Fort Caroline in present-day Jacksonville by French Huguenots under René Goulaine de Laudonnière, he was commissioned to conquer the peninsula as Adelantado. He established St. Augustine in 1565, and later took over Fort Caroline and displaced the French. Firmly established as governor, Menéndez turned his focus to exploring the area and establishing further fortifications. He returned to Spain in 1567 and was also appointed governor of Cuba. He made one further trip back to Florida. He died in 1574.

Personal facts

Given name
Pedro
Family name
Menéndez de Avilés
Birth date
1519-02-15
Birth place
Asturias Avilés Spain
Occupation
Admiral
Death date
1574-09-17
Place of death
Cantabria Santander, Cantabria Spain
Depiction
External link

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