Menendez: A Brief Biography

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Menendez was born in 1519 and ran away from home to be a sailor at age of 14. He became an officer in the Spanish Navy and in 1549 was commissioned to fight pirates off the coast of Spain. He excelled so much that Phillip II granted him permission to begin a colony in Florida and drive out the French. Menendez shortly thereafter set sail to the New World with 11 ships, over 2,000 sailors and soldiers with their families. When the fleet arrived, Menendez set up camp just south of the French’s Fort Caroline. With the help of the Timucuan Indians, Menendez and his men built a fort there. On September 8, 1565 Menendez named the fort St. Augustine. This became the first permanent settlement in the United States. He then claimed all of Florida
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