Fort San Salvador

[This information from Charles DePratter, at  http://www.cas.sc.edu/sciaa/staff/DePratterC/hstory1.html]

 

When Philip II of Spain learned of the French settlement, he sent Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to the area to deal with the usurpers into what was considered Spanish territory.

 

 Menéndez established an outpost at Santa Elena, a small fort called Fort San Salvador (the location of this fort is currently unknown), with a garrison of about 80 men. In 1566, Captain Juan Pardo arrived at Santa Elena with an additional force of 250 men, necessitating construction of a larger fort,  Fort San Felipe.

 

While Menéndez' first settlement was at St. Augustine, he soon made Santa Elena his capital in Florida. When his wife and her attendants arrived in July 1571, they settled at Santa Elena. Santa Elena was a small, struggling community with a total population of 179 settlers and 76 soldiers in August, 1572. Settlers were primarily farmers, who by this time were growing a variety of crops including corn, squash, melons, barley, and grapes; livestock, including hogs and cattle, as well as chickens, had been introduced and were being raised with limited success.

 

A poor relationship with the Indians led to a series of attacks on Santa Elena. The loss of thirty soldiers in these attacks ultimately forced the temporary abandonment of both the fort and town at Santa Elena in late summer, 1576. As the soldiers and settlers waited to cross the bar in departing Port Royal Sound, they could see the town and fort being burned by Indians.

 

Two years later the Spanish built another fort, San Marcos, and the Spanish reoccupied Santa Elena. But that was abandoned in 1587 as the Spanish consolidated their operations in the town of St. Augustine.



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