La Florida Talk

October 12, 2019 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Available for Purchase

Anatomy of a Sixteenth-Century Florida Expedition:  Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and the First Settlers (Los Viejos) of St. Augustine

A lecture by Dr. J. Michael Francis with introduction by Scott Grant


On October 12, 2019, La Florida: The Interactive Digital Archive of the Americas ( will launch two exciting initiatives related to the founding of St. Augustine, Florida. In this talk, Dr. J. Michael Francis will introduce the first phase of a long-term project to identify the men and women who joined Menéndez's 1565 expedition. To date, roughly 550 individuals have been recorded in the La Florida database, revealing fascinating patterns of regional diversity, a unique window into the lives of the Europeans and Africans who joined Menéndez's 1565 enterprise.

Local historian and author Scott A. Grant, will lead listeners into an intimate portrayal of Pedro Menéndez and his life in early northeast Florida. This discussion will take place at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with a light reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for members and $30 for the general public and can be purchased online at, by calling 904.280.0614, or by visiting the Cultural Center. Tickets will be available at the door.

About Dr. J. Michael Francis
Francis received his PhD in History in 1998 from the University of Cambridge and is a published author of several books including Invading Colombia, Murder and Martyrdom in Spanish Florida: Don Juan and the Guale Uprising of 1597, and The Martyrs of Florida. Since 2008, Dr. Francis has represented UNF on the editorial board for the University Press of Florida. He continues to serve as Book Review Editor for the journal Ethnohistory, and in 2011, US Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, appointed Dr. Francis to serve on the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission.

About Scott A. Grant
Grant has been interviewed by local news and radio. His account of the 1942 Submarine attack off our coast was featured on the front cover of the Folio Weekly and on a broadcast by WOKV. Grant has spoken to local Rotary Clubs and was invited as a guest speaker at the Beaches History Museum, UNF's Osher Lifelong Learning Program, and The Florida Conference on History Education.

About the Cultural Center
The Cultural Center's mission is to bring the arts into the life of the community through arts education, exhibitions, and outreach, and by honoring a donor-driven philosophy.

The Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with tax ID #59-3238148. The Cultural Center is located at 50 Executive Way in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082.

Hosted By

Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra
Questions? Please contact Jennifer

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