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Histoire notable de la FlorideRené Goulaine de Laudonnière was the founder of the French colony of Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville, Florida.

In 1562, Laudonnière was appointed second in command of the French Huguenot expedition to Florida under Jean Ribault. Leaving in February 1562, the expedition returned home in July after establishing a small colony in present-day South Carolina. After the French Wars of Religion broke out between French Catholics and Huguenots, Ribault fled France and sought refuge in England. While in England, another expedition to Florida was planned and Laudonnière was placed in command in Ribault's absence. Arriving at the mouth of the May River (today called the St. Johns River) in June 1564, Laudonnière settled the colony along with 300 fellow Huguenots. In August of 1565, Jean Ribault arrived in Fort Caroline to take command.

On September 4, 1565 a Spanish fleet commanded by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived off the shore from the fort, with the goal of removing the French presence in Florida. Two weeks later, the French succumbed under the assaults of the Spanish. Among the few Frenchmen who managed to escape alive was René Goulaine de Laudonnière. Laudonnière died in 1582.

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