Massacre at Fort Caroline

Fort Caroline Massacre

This engraving depicts the massacre that took place at Fort Caroline. It was created by Theodor de Bry from a sketch by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues – who survived the attack.

Seeing that they were Lutherans, his Excellency condemned them all to death; but, as I was a priest and felt a sympathy for them, I begged him to grant me a favor, – that of sparing those who would embrace our holy faith. He granted me this favor. I succeeded in thus saving ten or twelve; all the rest were executed because they were Lutherans and enemies of our holy Catholic faith. All this took place on the day of St. Michael, September 22d, 1565. There were one hundred and eleven Lutherans executed, without counting fourteen or fifteen prisoners.

I Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, Chaplain of his Excellency, certify that the foregoing is true.

A Huguenot survivor of the attack on Fort Caroline has described that human butchery as “a massacre of men, women, and little infants, so horrible that one can imagine nothing more barbarous and cruel.”

From Boomfield’s Illustrated Historical Guide, one of the many guidebooks published in the late 19th century as St. Augustine became a popular tourist destination. Photo courtesy State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

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