Precious metals from the Americas financed Catholic Spain’s powerful role in Europe’s post-Reformation religious and political struggles. Seeking a share in New World riches, France and England attempted to establish colonies in North America, aware that Spain perceived this as a threat: an excuse to establish safe harbors for state-sanctioned piracy.

Floridae Americae provinciae recens & exactissima description…

by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues

Frankfurt, 1591
37 x 45 cm , Copperplate, uncolored.

In 1564, Le Moyne accompanied religious dissenters, Huguenots, sent by France to establish the settlement of Carolina on the May, now St. Johns, River. He drafted this map based on direct observation of the coast and information provided by the native Timucuas about the hinterland. Le Moyne barely escaped with his life when the Spanish attacked.