One of the reasons why the French wished to establish colonies in the New World was because some of them wanted to escape religious persecution at home. In 1562, a group of thirty French Protestants, let by Jean Ribault, landed at the mouth of the St John’s River in the Spanish territory of Florida (left). However, the Indians were hostile, and when the colonists weren’t defending themselves, they were looking for gold instead of cultivating food, and so were soon starving. On their way home to France they were even reduced to cannibalism, and the final disaster came when the remaining survivors were captured by an English ship.
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