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Fort Caroline: The First French Settlement in the New World


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Created by 4th grade students at MJGDS (2012-13).

Published in: Education, Technology
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Fort Caroline: The First French Settlement in the New World

  1. 1. Fort Caroline:The First FrenchSettlement in theNew WorldBy the4th Grade Studentsat MJGDSMay 2013
  2. 2. Table of ContentsIntroductionAbout the FrenchRene de LaudonniereVoyage to the New WorldDesign of the FortChallenges for the FrenchThe Life of the TimucuaThe Relationship Between the Timucua and the FrenchFrench and Spanish WeaponryTimucua WeaponsFrench vs. SpanishWorks CitedImage CreditsProject Reflection
  3. 3. IntroductionEliana J. and Ayden I.We are a fourth grade class at the Martin J.Gottlieb Day School in Jacksonville, Florida.Our teachers are Ms. Shelly Zavon, Ms. SaraLuettchau, and Ms. Karin Hallett. In our SocialStudies class we have learned about FortCaroline. Fort Caroline was the first attempt tostart a French settlement in the New World.The French settled in Florida in 1564. FortCaroline was demolished by the Spanish in1565.In November, the fourth and fifth gradeclasses took a trip to Fort Caroline. We werevery interested in the fort, so with Ms. Hallett’shelp, we created an ebook explaining thehistory of Fort Caroline and the NativeAmericans who lived in the area around thefort at the time.Fig. 1. MJGDS 4th grade class.
  4. 4. When the French settled in Florida in 1565, they barelysurvived the first year. There were 300 Huguenots,including men, women, and children. Huguenots weremembers of the Protestant Reformed Church of France.They came so they could be free from law. They wore gildedarmor and bright clothing ("Explorers and Settlers").About the FrenchZach R. and Josh M.Fig. 2. Huguenot from 1500s.
  5. 5. Rene de Laudonniere was a French Huguenot explorer. He was also the leader of theHuguenots (Florida Historical Society). The Huguenots were members of the ProtestantChurch during the 16th and 17th century. They wanted to leave France because theywanted religious freedom. His three ships landed near St. Augustine and sailed furtherwhere they found the St. Johns River, which de Laudonniere named “River of May” (FloridaCenter). Rene de Laudonniere decided the location of the fort and organized itsconstruction (Timucuan). He later became the governor of the French colony there.Rene de LaudonniereNoah G. and Jasmine M.Fig. 3. Rene de Laudonniere.
  6. 6. A Voyage to the New WorldRebecca B. & Samantha Z.We do not know what the French’s voyage was like, butwe do know what voyages were like at the time ingeneral. People on the ship were cut off from normal lifeon shore for months, sometimes even years. They had toaccept cramped conditions, diseases, and poor food andpay. The trip from Europe to the New World was verydangerous. On the journey, workers had to eat bad androtten food that sometimes had bugs in it.On the ship to the New World, supplies were limited. Thepeople on the ship worked very hard in all kinds ofweather to earn money for their families. The pay was notvery good so most of the men were very poor. Some ofthe workers died from hunger and disease. But hopes ofa better life in the New World made many people want totake a chance with the voyage, no matter how bad itmight be for some (Royal Museum).Fig. 4. This is a representationof a French ship.
  7. 7. The Design of the FortZach M. And Julia C. Fort Caroline was builtin 1565.The fort was atriangular shapebecause the Frenchfortresses were oftendesigned with thatshape. There wheremoats surrounding itand the structure wassturdy. The structurewas made of woodenplanks and wheremeant to betemporary. The fortwas on an island in theSt. Johns river. Thefort had small cannonsto defend the French.The French whereliving in the fort inorder to be protectedfrom the Timucua andthe Spanish. Fig. 5. Old etching of Fort Caroline, from the FloridaState Archives.
  8. 8. The Timucua Native Americans helped the French start their new settlement when theyarrived in the New World. One of the first big challenges for the French was to try to meettheir survival needs. It was hard to find food in the New World, because they did not knowanything about the new environment. The Timucua helped the French by telling them whatwas good and what was not healthy to eat.The French also had to avoid diseases which was difficult. This was hard because theycould get sick and, if they got sick, they could die (National Park Service).Fig. 6. French flag in the 1500s.Challenges for the FrenchAriella T. and Parker B.
  9. 9. The Life of the TimucuaThe ancestors of the Timucua are called “People of the Shell Mounds”, because all Timucualooked for food and shells in and along rivers or near the beach. They also fished and collectedshellfish, hunted in forests and swamps, and planted maize, beans, and squash. The Timucualived in North Florida and South Georgia. Devastated by European disease and attacks by otherIndians, the Timucuan culture started to become extinct. From a population possibly numberingtens of thousands at the time of contact, only an estimated 550 Timucuas were still alive in 1698.Today, there are no known Timucua left (National Park Service).Fig. 7. Timucua hut.Fig. 8. Timucua territory.Jagger L. and Arin N.
  10. 10. At first, the French settlers were very nice andfriendly. The Timucua were also friendly by givingthe settlers food such as grain and fruit and teachingthem how to survive (Trotter). The relationship wasgreat at first, but then things started to change andboth of them became more hostile when theTimucua realized the French only wanted gold(Florida Department of State).Fig. 9. Timucua chief talking to a Frenchcolonist.Relationship Between the Timucua and the FrenchJeremy Z. and Evan L.
  11. 11. The Spanish used swords and harquebus. The swords were long and made of metal (Minster).Harquebus were like rifles, but older, weaker, longer, and no longer used in battle. Theharquebus was also called hackbut. It was the first gun to be fired from the shoulder. The namecame from the German words meaning “hooked gun.” The harquebus was made in Spain in themid-1600s (“Harquebus”).Spanish WeaponryFrench WeaponryEmily T.The French used swords, swivel guns, and harquebus (Chartrand). The harquebus’s rangewas about 650 feet (“Harquebus”). Swivel guns were like cannons (Swivel Gun). The Frenchand the Spanish wore armor but the Native Americans did not.Elad O.Fig. 10. Harquebus.
  12. 12. The Timucua used several weapons.There were wood clubs, javelins,stone hatchets, and the most popularweapon for hunting and warfare, thebow and arrow. The Spanish wereamazed by the Timucuas skill atarchery. The Timucua arrows couldgo through a horses chest almost allthe way to their tail. If shot from 80feet away, their arrows could gothrough two layers of armor worn bythe Spanish and their horses (Emery).Timucua WeaponsAyden I. and Eliana J.Fig. 11. Timucua warriors with weapons.
  13. 13. French vs. Spanish:French and Spanish RelationshipIt was the year 1565 when the Spanish fought the French forFort Caroline. The French wanted to expand their empire,expand Christianity, and control the New World. They heardabout Florida and wanted to claim it for themselves, but theSpanish had found it first and wanted nobody else on theirland. The French set up a fort and named it Fort Caroline.The French tried with all their might to protect their land. Inthe end, the Spanish won and obliterated the entire fort.Then, the Spanish built their own fort at the site and tookcontrol of Florida (Jimenez).Griffith W. and Orli G.
  14. 14. Fig. 12. Present day replica ofFort Caroline.
  15. 15. Works CitedChartrand, Rene. “French Weapons at Fort Caroline, Florida, 1565 and 1568.” MilitaryCollector and Historian 60.2 (2008):156. American:History & Life. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.“End of a Culture.” National Park Service: Timucuan. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.“Explorers and Settlers of Fort Caroline.” National Park Service: Timucuan. Web. 19Mar. 2013.Florida Center. “Jean Ribault Claims Florida.” Exploring Florida. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Records. “First Expeditions AndArrivals, 1562-1565.” Florida French Heritage Trail. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.Florida Historical Society. “Rene de Goulaine de Laudonniere.” 21 Mar. 2013.“Fort Caroline, Jacksonville, Florida 1564.” Access Genealogy. Web. 21 Mar. 2013."Harquebus". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.Jimenez, Gus R., and Michael Odom. "The French Found A Colony." Social StudiesFlorida. Glenview: Pearson Education, 2006. 100-01. Print.
  16. 16. Minster, Christopher. “Armor and Weapons of the Spanish Conquistadors.” Web. 15 Mar. 2013.“Rene de Laudonniere”. National Park Service: Timucuan. Web. 7 Mar. 2013.Royal Museums Greenwich. “Life at Sea in the Age of Sail.” National MaritimeMuseum. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.“Swivel Gun.” Web. 15 Mar. 2013.“Timucua Indians.” National Park Service: Timucuan. Web. 19 Mar. 2013.Trotter, Dave. “ Florida’s Forgotten French Men.” The Political Hurricane. Web. 15Mar. 2013.
  17. 17. Image CreditsCover. By N. Belin (1562) ([1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 1. Image by Karin Hallett, May 2013.Fig. 2. By probably Eugène du Faget (18..–18..), designer [1] [Public domain], viaWikimedia Commons.Fig. 3. By Rouargue frères [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 4. Louis Le Breton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 5. From the Florida State Archives [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 6. By Oren neu dag (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 7. By Moni3 at English Wikipedia (Own work (Original text: “self-made”)) [Publicdomain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 8. By Bryan Strome ( [GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons.
  18. 18. Fig. 9. By User:SEWilco [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 10. By Jacques Le Moyne /Theodore De Bry. Photo credit the Florida Centerfor Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.Fig. 11. Arequebus by jpellgen on Flickr (, via Fotomedia.Fig. 12. Image by Griffith W., Martin J. Gottlieb Day School.
  19. 19. Project ReflectionFor the past few months we have been working hard to create our ebook on Ft.Caroline. We found this project to be challenging and fun at the same time. Some ofthe fun aspects were: getting to take a field trip to Ft. Caroline, working on the ipad,using the Book Creator app (which we never had not used before), collaborating andwriting about our topics with classmates, and getting to work with our Librarian, Mrs.Hallett.Some of the challenging parts were: arguing with partners when collaborating andwriting, finding and checking out websites to make sure they were credible, findingimages that were not copyrighted, learning how to cite images and websites, addingcitations, and making sure we did not plagiarize.Overall, this was a difficult, yet educational project. Even though the settlement anddestruction of Ft. Caroline happened hundreds of years ago, it is special to learn andteach others about it using modern technology.