Author: Pedro Menendez de Aviles


Instructions from Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to Pedro de Coronas, et al. (August 1, 1566)

In the following document, dated August 1, 1566, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, governor of the Spanish province of La Florida, provides instructions for a military and religious expedition to present-day Virginia. Two Dominican friars, three officials, and fifteen soldiers, in the company of a baptized Virginia Indian called Don Luís, were to sail on La Trinidad to Bahía Santa María, or the present-day Chesapeake Bay, and there establish a colony and convert the Indians. This document was written in the hand of Diego de Carmago, the expedition’s secretary. The records of the expedition are stored at Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain (Patronato Real 257, No. 3, R. 4). This English translation, by L. A. Vigneras, was originally published in the North Carolina Historical Review and is reprinted by permission.

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