The French government heard of his
outrage with apathy, and made not even a remonstrance on the ruin of a colony, which, if it had been protected, would have given to France
an empire in the south, before England
had planted a single spot on the new continent.
History has been more faithful, and has assisted humanity by giving to the crime of Melendez an infamous notoriety.
The first town in the United States
sprung from the unrelenting bigotry of the Spanish
We admire the rapid growth of our larger cities; the sudden transformation of portions of the wilderness into blooming states.
presents a stronger contrast, in its transition from the bigoted policy of Philip II.
to the American
principle of religious liberty.
and the French
nation did not
share the indifference of the court.
Dominic de Gourgues
—a bold soldier of Gascony
, whose life had been a series of adventures, now employed in the army against Spain
, now a prisoner and a galley-slave among the Spaniards, taken by the Turks with the vessel in which he rowed, and redeemed by the commander of the knights of Malta
—burned with a desire to avenge his own wrongs and the honor of his country.
The sale of his property, and the contributions of his friends, furnished the means of equipping three ships, in which, with one hundred and fifty men, he, on the twenty-second of August, 1567, embarked
, to destroy and revenge.
He surprised two forts near the mouth of the St. Matheo
; and, as terror magnified the number of his followers, the consternation of the Spaniards enabled him to gain possession of the larger establishment, near the spot which the French
colony had occupied.
Too weak to