Segments in this Video

Struggle to Survive: Episode 1 Introduction (02:49)


This film examines the untold stories of America's early history. The story of the Jamestown colony limits the scope of American history. New historical and scientific discoveries show a different colonial America.

Pedro Menendez and La Florida (05:19)

In the mid-1500s, Menendez was a trusted sailor and navigator in the port town of Aviles, Spain. He convinced the king to send him to Spanish territory in the New World and establish a colony.

Spreading Christianity to the New World (02:24)

The Spanish monarchs were devout Christians, who sought to evangelize the world. Menendez wanted to bring Christianity to La Florida.

Last Hope for La Florida (03:07)

Most Spanish explorers had given up trying to settle a colony in harsh the conditions. The king offered incentives to Menendez and those willing to accompany him. The expedition set sail with eight ships and 1,500 passengers.

Fight for Claimed Lands (03:05)

The French built a fort on Spanish-claimed land in the New World. The king ordered Menendez to force the French and Captain Jean Ribault out of Spanish territory. The Spanish ships landed further down the coast than originally planned and established St. Augustine.

Early Days of St. Augustine (07:58)

The diary of a priest who arrived with Menendez in 1565, outlines the early days of the settlement; the diary is housed in an archive in Seville, Spain. Ribault and the French decided to strike against the new Spanish settlement, but Menendez attacked their fort instead.

Eliminating French Threats (07:16)

At the captured French fort, Menendez found orders that violated Spanish claims to the land and heretical Protestant texts. He sent the women and children back to France and renamed the fort for St. Matthew. He killed most of the Frenchmen, except those who had useful building skills.

Menendez and American History (04:58)

The story of Menendez and St. Augustine has been overlooked in favor of the Mayflower in American history. Modern maritime archaeologists are searching for the wrecked ships of Menendez's French rivals off the coast of Florida.

Unearthing St. Augustine (09:26)

A team of archaeologists uncovered evidence of the first settlement of St. Augustine. They found hundreds of artifacts near a European-style well, which helped them understand the lives of ordinary settlers.

Growing Spanish Settlement (03:02)

The settlers moved from an island settlement to St. Augustine's final location. Menendez established other forts and settlements but by 1574, only St. Augustine and one other settlement remained. St. Augustine grew over the next decade and added a Spanish-style plaza.

Diversity in St. Augustine (05:01)

A large Catholic Church was built in St. Augustine and performed interracial marriages between Spanish settlers and Native Americans. Archaeological evidence shows the settlement's population was diverse. In June 1586, Sir Francis Drake sailed a fleet of warships toward St. Augustine.

Credits: Struggle to Survive: Episode 1 (01:40)

Credits: Struggle to Survive: Episode 1

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Struggle to Survive: Episode 1

Part of the Series : Secrets of the Dead: America's Untold Story
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



We travel to Spanish archives to hear the firsthand accounts written in diaries discovered in the Archives of the Indies and in a private collection held by an ancestor of Pedro Menendez. This episode follows the survivors through their first year - through the artifacts and writings that unveil a very different America.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL166863

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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