Letter: Glorify the French – Vilify the Spanish
James Dean Fiske
Palm Coast, FL
I’m very glad I only had to pay for gas to attend the “Timucuan and Europeans in 16th Century Florida” held in the Flagler Room of the Ponce de Leon Hotel and presented by Jonathan de Coster, an assistant professor at Otterbei .
This should have been titled “Professor to glorify the French involvement with the Timucua and vilify the Spanish”.
First, he spent much time showing us shots of the outside of buildings he visited for his research and the rooms for microfiche reading. It would have made a great tourism PowerPoint program.
He did his best to tell a tale of how wonderful the French were at Fort Caroline and how they were so revered by the Timucua. Then, he decided it was time to let everyone know how the Spanish suddenly became a murderous band of people who did nothing but slaughter and enslave everyone.
Anyone ever heard of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre? Guess where it took place? It just so happens to have taken place in France, by the French Protestants and the Catholics. Several thousand people were killed. Funny thing. You never hear about that. Oddly enough, that took place around the same time that Pedro Menendez had to make a momentous decision about the shipwrecked Huguenots. He couldn’t let them go, there were too many. He didn’t have provisions to feed them. The only other choice at that time was to do what he did.
I guess the professor forgot about how the French set up so many missions to work with the natives (and of course convert to their religion). Oh, that’s right, they didn’t.
One major problem there, professor. The Spanish did that. The French were too busy trying to decide which chief to screw over.
He finished off by his inability to give a direct answer to any of the questions from the audience.
I don’t have the cute little letters behind my name like this guy, so I’m not an authority by any means. But, I’ve done enough research myself to know when someone is merely throwing stuff together that sounds good to himself to sell a book.