American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Drake's Attack on
St. Augustine

St. Augustine
"St. Augustine"

London: 1589
Hand-colored engraving
Rare Book & Special Collections Division

Five years after Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the globe (1577-1580), he was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to lead a fleet of twenty-five ships against the Spanish settlements in the Caribbean. On this punitive expedition, he attacked and plundered Cartagena in Colombia, San Domingo on the island of Hispaniola, and St. Augustine in Florida. Depicted here is his 1586 assault on St. Augustine. This is the earliest printed depiction of any European town within what is now the United States.

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