Catholic Florida: Stolen Catholic Florida: Attacked and Stolen by the Masonic-Protestant US Government

       Before Florida joined the United States, it was a territory under the governing authority of Catholic Spain. It had a well developed Christian civilization, a society influenced and guided by the Catholic social and moral order, which acknowledged the social reign of Christ the king. Tens of thousands of Indians were Christian, civilized, and sincerely practicing the Faith (often more devoutly than their co-religious American brethren). History texts more often than not simply state that, after uncontrolled Indian rebellions, Spain ceded Florida over to the US in 1819 for a sum of five million dollars. But much anti-Catholic activity in fact led up to this event. The US government had encouraged multiple excursions and/or uprisings against Spanish rule in Florida. But, before we cover how the US government, to put it bluntly, bullied Florida from Spain, we will provide a brief survey (outline) of Florida's history up to the 19th century.

1499: Sited by Vicente Pinzon, captain of the Nina on Columbus' voyage, as he sailed along the east coast heading north.

1513: Discovered and named Pascuel Florida ("Flowery Easter") by Juan Ponce de Leon;

1516: Diego Miruelo arrives at the west coast, lands and trades with the natives.

1517: Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba expedition enters bay of Charlotte Harbor and, while taking on a supply of fresh water, some of his men are attacked by a band of Indians who wound a half a dozen.

1519: Alonzo Alcarez de Pinada explores west coast and arrives at present-day Mobile Bay, which he names Bay of the Holy Spirit. He stays for forty days and explores the surrounding areas.

1521: Ponce de Leon arrives with several missionaries, 250 soldiers and colonists, 50 horses, and different kinds of cattle and seeds to plant. They begin building several houses and a chapel, but the constant hostility and attacks of the Indians prevents work from being completed. With some dead and others injured (including De Leon), they return to Cuba.

1524: Diego Miruelo again explores west coast.

1528: Panfilo de Narvaez expedition of five ships, six hundred soldiers and colonists, and a band of Franciscan missionaries, arrives in Tampa Bay on April 14. Five hundred go ashore and walk north exploring the area all the way to present-day region of Tallahassee. (The ships continue on, heading west along the Gulf coast.) Attacked by Indians, they head down to the coast, head west and stop at today's Pensacola Bay. There they make large rafts and head out into the gulf along the coast. A tropical storms destroys them, only four survive.

1538: Cosmographer Juan Anasco sails along both east and west coasts of Florida making a detailed map.

1539: Hernando de Soto expedition of eleven ships, one thousand people, including twelve missionary priests, and numerous horses, cattle, dogs, pigs, seeds, and other supplies, arrives at Tampa Bay on June 1 and begins to explore the regions north.

1539: Mission among the Apalachee also established. Does not experience any growth until 1595, and eventually becomes the city of Tallahassee.

1549: Father Luis Cancer, O.P. heads expedition. Three Dominican missionaries, including Fr. Cancer, and some laymen were martyred by savage Indians.

1559: Mission/Settlement at Pensacola Bay established with more than 200 colonists. It is abandoned by 1562, re-established in 1693 as Santa Maria de Pensacola, but not built until 1698. It is taken over by British forces in 1776, but regained by Spain in 1781.

1565, Summer: City of St. Augustine is founded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles. Menendez becomes first governor of Florida. Despite early trouble by (Protestant) French and English pirates, it grows and becomes successful. It is the oldest city in America. From there numerous mission/settlements are eventually established over the next two centuries, resulting in the conversions of tens of thousands of Indians covering the areas of not only Florida, but also Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama, and eastern Mississippi.

1567: The Mission of Tequesta is established. It eventually becomes the city of Miami. Fort San Mateo is built near the site of present-day Jacksonville.

1607: By the time English Protestants settle Jamestown, VA, Florida alone has more than 25 mission/settlements occupied. Another eight will be established by the time the Pilgrims land in Plymouth in 1620.

1687: First town of free black people in America was born in Catholic Florida just north of St. Augustine. It would eventually be named "Royal Grace of St. Teresa of Moose" (or Mose). The inhabitants are former slaves who have converted and been baptized into the Faith. (Spain had a policy of unconditional freedom for all slaves who came into her territory seeking refuge.) The former slaves ended up marrying, obtaining jobs with pay and founding a settlement near one of the missions surrounding St. Augustine. Thus, the first town of free black people was born in Catholic Florida. (Towns such as these had existed for over 100 years in other Spanish territories like Cuba, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Venezuela.) Unfortunately, this settlement was attacked in 1740 by the Masonic-Protestant Governor of Georgia, James Oglethorpe.

1700: By 1700, more than eighty (80!) mission/settlements had been established in Florida, and tribes like the Apalachee, Utica, Gulags, Chicanos, and Timucua (or Timuqua) were nearly all converted to the Catholic Faith and civilized -more than 15,000 Christian Indians at this time. Unfortunately, due to the constant and violent attacks organized and directed by English Protestants of South Carolina and Georgia, only ten more missions would be established, and none after 1720.

1680-1743: Wanting to not only minimize a Catholic presence in the region, but to rid the region entirely of it, Florida (and Georgia) missions and settlements are constantly raided and attacked by English Protestants. The major attacks were those led by Governor James Moore of South Carolina between 1680 and 1707, and those led by Governor James Oglethorpe of Georgia from the mid-1730s to the 1750s. Both used and directed heathen Indian allies to increase their strength and the brutality of the attacks. In these attacks, dozens of missions were destroyed, missionaries and Christian Indians, including women and children, were brutally murdered, and thousands of Christian Indians were captured and forced into slaverly, being sold to land owners in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. By 1750, the English Protestants had forced some ten to twelve thousand (12,000!) Indians into slavery. Thus was destroyed the beautiful Spanish-American Indian Christian civilization that had developed in Georgia and Florida.

1763: Florida falls under British control.

1780: Spain gets control of west Florida.

1783: As a result of the British defeat in the Revolutionary War, the rest of Florida is regained by Catholic Spain.

Revolt against Monarchy

       Before we come to the events which led immediately up to Spain's ceding of Florida to the US, one more point needs to be made. By the turn of the 19th century, the revolutionary spirit of rebellion against monarchy and the social reign of Christ the King (and thus God's order in civil society) was spreading everywhere. The ideology behind the American system of government came straight from Masonic principles (i.e., those of the so-called "Enlightenment") which spawned this revolt against the entire monarchical system of governance. Thus, whether or not a particular president was a Freemason did not(and does not) matter, for the system itself is based on the revolutionary principles that -contrary to what God has explicitly revealed (see Romans 13:1-2; John 19:11)- hold that authority and power come from the people below (and not from God above) who delegate such to their elected representatives and officials. Thus were born liberal republics and democracies; and monarchy was always a bothersome reminder of Catholicism to those who embraced the so-called "Enlightenment" (i.e., that traditional religion and government/society were both hierarchical). Thomas Paine reflected this attitude in his popular pamphlet "Common Sense" wherein he denounced monarchy as "the Popery of government." As a result, the combination of a region of America governed by a Catholic-monarchy was, at the least, quite bothersome to many Americans and those who ran the government. At the most, it was simply intolerable. (Of course, none of this was explicitly stated, hence the distortions concerning these facts.)

       The American idea known as "Manifest Destiny" also would not allow a Catholic presence to flourish on this continent. It held simply that the Anglo-American was predestined by God to inherit the entire American continent. This new breed of “the chosen” would spread over the entire land mass of the Americas, displacing anyone who did not conform to its Masonic-“Enlightenment” ideas. The inheritors of Manifest Destiny, it must be remembered, were white Anglo-Protestants. The entire land must be taken, so Americans thought. Yet, between 1800 and 1805 around forty more Franciscan missionaries arrived in Florida to continue the work of evangelization and expanding Christ's kingdom on earth. This was an affront to the Manifest Destiny idea. Catholic Florida also had a policy of giving refuge to run-away slaves and allowing them to remain as freemen. Such explicit Catholic activity did not go unnoticed by non-Catholic Americans who coveted Florida and wanted to rid the region of its Catholic rule and presence. Numerous attempts to take Florida occurred in the following years: 1799, 1810, 1811-12, 1818. The last, leading to a successful (in U.S. eyes) result. The turmoil and resulting instability would be used by the U.S. as an excuse to taking all of Catholic Florida. We will now look at the actual events that forced Spain to cede Florida to the United States.

The Attacks on Florida

       In 1799, some Americans and their heathen Creek allies (sound familiar?) had attempted to take over a portion of western Florida. They seized Fort Marcos of Apalachee and claimed independence from Spain. The Spanish governor sent troops and recaptured the fort. The leader of the invaders, William Bowles, was eventually handed over by Creek Indians to the Spanish governor who shipped him off to prison in Havana. But more Americans began to covert the land and tensions increased.

      In September, 1810, a group of American rebels in Baton Rouge (still part of western Florida) attacked the main garrison, captured the fort, took Governor Carlos H. DeLassus prisoner and, on September 23, proclaimed the independence of the West Florida Republic. This group already had been in communication with President James Madison, a Freemason who would serve two terms in office from 1809 to 1817. Madison undoubtedly knew of these plans, for he approved of their revolutionary (and immoral) action. Nearly a month later the rebel group, led by Judge Fulmar Skipwith, formally request to be annexed to the United States. At first, Madison made a public protest, but it was not sincere, and then, pretending to give in to the inevitable, on October 27, he agreed to the annexation.

       However, just one section of western Florida was not enough. Madison and others coveted the entire territory and wanted to rid the entire region of then presence of a Catholic monarchical government. Accordingly, Madison now made plans to take over northern Florida. In March of 1811, a group of Americans seized a region known as Fernanda in northern Florida, overpowering the men of its garrison. They then headed south and took over Moosa, the settlement of Catholic free blacks (see back to 1687). Finally they came to the walls of the oldest city in America, St. Augustine (itself having survived numerous attacks in the past). They demanded the Spanish surrender. Their demand was refused. So the American invaders, secretly backed by the US government, began a long siege. This siege for the most part involved keeping supplies from reaching the city by attacking supply shipments so as to starve its inhabitants. This situation went on for more than a year. But as relations with the British became worse (leading up to the War of 1812), and because Spanish reinforcements fought off the invaders, the effort to take St. Augustine was abandoned -for the time being.

       General Andrew Jackson, a hero in the War of 1812, was known to have coveted the Spanish territories of Florida and Texas. He wanted to find an excuse to invade and take Florida. But simply because Florida was Catholic was not enough of a public excuse to organize a major invasion and simply take it. So, Jackson and President James Monroe, both whom were Freemasons, came up with an idea. First, Americans would be encouraged to settle in Florida (as well as Texas). Then they would spread the ideas of the revolution, especially among the Indians, and this they did.

       For years, Catholic Spain had fought off the influence of Freemasonry and the revolutionary ideas of the "Enlightenment" that Masons championed. But these rebellious ideas against authority had gained some ground in those Spanish territories closest to the United States, and Florida was no exception. Those Spaniards who embraced these ideas did not love or practice their faith seriously in the first place. They, along with colonists from the U.S., incited the Indians to rebel against Spanish authority. These uprisings were all that Jackson and the government needed as an excuse to invade Florida.

       In April, 1818, Jackson, with approval from President Monroe, invaded Florida with an army. Simple stated: it was an invasion into foreign territory. On April 6, Jackson attacked and took the Spanish fort at St. Mark's. During April and May Jackson attacked the Indians and others in their own land. He hanged some and burned their homes. After "victories" in the northern part of Florida, the Jackson-led army headed west along the Gulf coast and took Pensacola, where the Spanish government of the territory had its seat. A number of citizens were killed in the fighting. Jackson then established a military government for the territory. Because of revolutions occurring elsewhere in Latin America (also encouraged by the Masonic U.S. government), Spain just could not spare the men to defend her Florida territory. In February, 1819, after three hundred years of exploring, colonizing, evangelizing and civilizing Florida, Spain reluctantly gave it up and sold Florida to the United States for five million dollars. Jackson, Monroe, and many Americans achieved what they wanted.

       What have we seen here with these episodes? We have Americans -with approval, nay, with encouragement and planning from the Masonic U.S. government- invading foreign lands and attacking foreign nationals again and again, then simply taking over the region and annexing them -or simply proclaiming independence. (Aren't these the very same types of action Hitler is accused of committing?) These acts of aggression and the way the United States acquired Florida were clearly unjust and immoral, yet they are ignored or glossed over or simply misrepresented (i.e. given a positive twist) by establishment historical works and the media. Nearly three hundred years of a successful and beautiful Catholic Spanish-Indian culture was destroyed. The same would soon happen to Texas, the Southwest, and California. Students of American history need to know these facts and the causes behind them.

                                                                                                                                   - Adam S. Miller
(Taken from the soon-to-be published Journey America: Pathways to the Present, Marian Publications, Inc.) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

-The Catholic Pioneers of America, John O'Kane Murray (Philadelphia, PA: H. L. Kilner Co., 1882)
-The Cross in the Sand, Michael V. Gannon (Gainsville, FL: Univ. of Florida Press, 1965)
-Documents of American Catholic History, John Tracy Ellis (Milwaukee, WI: Bruce Publishing Co., 1956)
-Here They Once Stood: The Tragic End of the Apalachee Missions, M.F. Boyd and J.W. Griffin (Gainsville: Univ. of Florida Press, 1951)
-Our Catholic Heritage, By a Benedictine Monk (New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, Inc., 1950)
-Spanish Roots of America, Bishop David Arias (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, 1992)
-Spanish Settlements within the Limits of the U.S., Woodvery Lowery (Russell, NY, 1959)
-Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in America, two vols., P.J. Mahon & Rev. J.M. Hayes, S.J. (Chicago: J.S. Hyland & Co., 1907)

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