Career mission chains begin in St. Augustine.
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously settled city established by Europeans in the continental United States. It was founded by the Spanish under Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. The first Christian worship service held in a permanent settlement in the continental United States was a Catholic Mass celebrated in St. Augustine. A few settlements were founded prior to St. Augustine but all failed, including the original Pensacola colony in West Florida, founded by Tristán de Luna y Arellano in 1559, with the area abandoned in 1561 due to hurricanes, famine and warring tribes. Fort Caroline, founded by the French in 1564 in what is today Jacksonville, Florida only lasted a year before being obliterated by the Spanish in 1565.
In 1586 St. Augustine was attacked and burned by English privateer Sir Francis Drake. In 1568 it was plundered by pirates and most of the inhabitants were killed. In 1702 and 1740 it was unsuccessfully attacked by British forces from their new colonies in the Carolinas and Georgia. The most serious of these came in the latter year, when James Oglethorpe of Georgia allied himself with Ahaya the Cowkeeper, chief of the Alachua band of the Seminole tribe and conducted the Siege of St. Augustine during the War of Jenkin's Ear.
In September 1565 the French commander of Fort Caroline, Jean Ribault sailed with a squadron of ships and detachment of soldiers to attack St. Augustine. Despite a storm which scatters his ships he sights the Spanish fort on September 13 and offloads the majority of his men out of sight on the north shore. By the time he has landed the bulk of his force the missing ships have rejoined his squadron. Directing his ships to bombard the Spanish to keep their attention he hits the garrison where they least expect it, the landward side of the fort. The battle is furious with both Ribault and the Spanish commander, Don Pedro Menéndez, slain. The Spanish yield the fort and with it all claim to Florida.
In 1720 the port of St. Augustine has grown from a simple Timucua Indian village with earthworks to a decent sized town.