A collection of blogs and musings from the people that work at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Florida's Finest Lightstation.

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1/25-26/14: Sea Your History Event: Celebrating French History in St. Augustine

Posted by: Chuck Meide in Events, LAMP Events, LAMPosts

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The French arrive in Florida, from Theodor de Bry, Grand Voyages (1591)

Join us this weekend, Saturday January 25 - Sunday January 26 at the Lighthouse for our ongoing Sea Your History event! This weekend the focus is on French history and culture.

Our guest of honor is Dr. John de Bry, the Director of the Center for Historical Archaeology and an expert on French colonial archaeology and historical documents. On Sunday, Dr. de Bry and LAMP Director Chuck Meide will be available to meet the public from 3 pm to 4 pm at a table displaying a collection of rare French shipwreck artifacts, and they will present a lecture entitled "The French Fleet of 1565: Collision of Empires." This will focus on the French settlement attempt at Fort Caroline and Ribault’s colonization fleet which attacked St. Augustine and was wrecked in a storm south of our coast. Dr. de Bry and Meide will provide historical context for the well-known Theodor de Bry engravings, present the documentary research related to the lost fleet carried out in the French archives, and provide an update for LAMP’s search for these lost ships, scheduled to begin July 2014. Dr. de Bry is a direct descendant of Theodor de Bry, whose iconic engravings have brought the French settlement attempt to life for the rest of the world from the 16th century to the present day.

During and after Sunday's archaeological events (3 pm to 6 pm) there will be a French wine tasting courtesy of PRP Wines of Jacksonville!

Read below the fold for the full schedule of both Saturday's and Sunday's events!

The celebration of all things French starts on Saturday with a special Twilight Tour focusing on the beautiful French lens in our Lighthouse! There will be some ghost stories in addition to the science of the lens so there's something for the whole family! See the full weekend schedule below:

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More details:
At 3 pm Dr. de Bry and Chuck Meide, Director of LAMP, will be at in the Lighthouse courtyard at a table displaying artifacts from a French shipwreck excavated in 1997-1998 at the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean by a team lead by Meide which also included LAMP archaeologist Dr. Sam Turner. This unidentified vessel, known as the Kingstown Harbour Shipwreck, is believed to be a French frigate, and a cannon raised from the wreck was dated 1776. This collection of artifacts contains a number of rare French faience ceramics, including a beautifully decorated cruet bottle which is believed to be one of only three intact examples known in the world, according to archaeologist Ivor Noel Hume. This will be the first time this collection has been on public display.

Our special guest: Dr. John de Bry is the Director of the Center for Historical Archaeology. John is a historian who focuses on the translation of colonial French and Spanish documents, and also a historical archaeologist who has worked on a number of French colonial sites including the Ribault shipwreck survivor’s camp near Cape Canaveral and also La Salle’s ship La Belle, lost in Texas in 1686. He is also a direct descendant of Theodor de Bry, who is famous for publishing the iconic engravings depicting the 1564-1565 French settlement at Fort Caroline.

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