5 Aug


In August 1559, six years before his Spanish compatriots settled at St. Augustine and nearly 50 years before the English arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano founded a colony near the Bay of Ochuse (now Pensacola Bay) on the Florida coast. Despite the devastation wrought by a hurricane just five weeks after their arrival, Luna’s colony managed to survive for two years, far outlasting earlier European settlements in what is now the United States. Now, after a local historian turned up a shard of 16th-century Spanish pottery on the site of a bulldozed house this fall, archaeologists have confirmed the location of Luna’s pioneering settlement in an urban neighborhood in downtown Pensacola.

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