Pirates, Presidents, Conquistadors and More Tour 20142017-11-17T04:56:03+00:00

This tour is a car tour. All venue admissions are included in registration. Each family is responsible for their own lodging and meals, as well as transportation to each destination within the tour. For a map of the different destinations and their addresses, click here.

Join Us in Sunny Florida!

By 1492 the last Muslims fleeing the Inquisition left the coasts of Iberia, setting off a train of events unforeseen by any but the God of Providence, Lord of the Earth. The House of Aragon and the House of Castile had earlier united in the marriage of cousins, 17-year-old King Ferdinand and 18-year-old Queen Isabella, combining the kingdoms that eventually led to the modern nation called Spain. In 1492 they gave approval for a skilled navigator, designated “Admiral of the Oceans,” Christopher Columbus, to seek a sea route to the Far East by sailing westward across the Atlantic Ocean.

While the 16th Century would become the era of the Reformation, Europe would also witness the rise of the mighty empire of Spain that would encircle the globe, conquer ancient civilizations, and brook no successful challengers to its professional, arrogant, and rapacious armies. The explorers launched out into the oceans, closely followed by the conquistadors and the missionary priests of the Roman Catholic Church, baptizing the conquered peoples and leaving a cultural influence that continues to thrive in South America, Central America, and the American southwest.

The legacy of Spanish conquest still lies embedded in the oldest continuously inhabited place in the continental United States, St. Augustine. Founded on “St. Augustine’s Day” in the liturgical calendar, a great fortress known as Castillo de San Marcos (The Castle of St. Mark) arose, to tower over the settlement both as a protection for the Spaniards defending the frontiers, as well as a potential launching pad for the further conquest of North America.

Join historian Bill Potter as we explore the ancient sites of northeastern Florida, redolent with the sea breezes of the Atlantic and steeped in a providential history that helped create the English civilization that became embedded north of Florida and brought about the abandonment of the outposts of Spain’s Empire in North America. We will tell the stories of the Fort at St. Augustine and the French Huguenot colony at Jacksonville, Ft. Caroline. We will remember the courageous Reformed settlers who brought the Gospel to the natives of the region and their subsequent extermination by the Spanish for the capitol crime of rejecting the Catholic Church and following the Calvinist Reformation. We will examine the lives and times of fearless conquistadors, superstitious explorers seeking the fountain of youth, the ferocious no-holds-barred Scots-Irish General Andrew Jackson who seized Florida and would not give it back, and the natives who suffered through all the invasions and fought a war with the United States that was never concluded!

We will also attend one of the most interesting Sesquicentennial Civil War reenactments of 2014 at the scene of the largest battle fought in Florida. A Confederate victory in a strange place of palm trees and swamp grass, the Battle of Olustee took place hundreds of miles from the main theaters of action. The army of Georgia and Florida Regiments routed an army of New York, Massachusetts and Colored troops—for the Union, the second bloodiest battle of the war per number of troops engaged.

Event Speakers

Historian Bill Potter

Historian Bill Potter

An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. Mr. Potter has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Mr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Bill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Virginia.

Col. John Eidsmoe

John Eidsmoe

John Eidsmoe is a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel and Alabama State Defense Force Colonel, and a graduate of the Air Command & Staff College and the Air War College. He is Professor of Law at the Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy and, in his various teaching assignments, his students have given him the Outstanding Professor Award or Professor of the Year Award five times. He has served as Senior Staff Attorney with the Alabama Supreme Court and is currently Legal Counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law. Eidsmoe also serves on the boards of Lutherans for Life, The Plymouth Rock Foundation, and the Gospel Martial Arts Union, and is a constitutional attorney who has defended homeschools, Christian schools, the right of students to study the Bible in public schools, and the right to display the Ten Commandments in the public arena. He has authored numerous books, including Historical & Theological Foundations of Law, Christianity & the Constitution, God & Caesar, and Columbus & Cortez, and has produced a variety of audio and video lecture albums including The Institute on the Constitution and Here I Stand: A Biblical Worldview for a New Millennium. He holds seven academic degrees in law, theology, history, and political science. He and his wife, Marlene, have been married since 1970, have three children, and live in rural Pike Road, Alabama.

Event Schedule

Thursday, February 13
7:00pm Lecture: St. Augustine Holiday Inn & Suites Historic District—Flagler Room
Friday, February 14
9:00am Meet at Castillo de San Marcos Visitor Center
11:00am Fountain of Youth
1:00pm Lunch on your own. Drive to Jacksonville.
2:30am Meet at Ft. Caroline
4:30pm Free time and dinner on your own
Saturday, February 15
8:30am Lecture: St. Augustine Holiday Inn & Suites Historic District—Flagler Room
9:30am Pirate Museum
11:30am Lunch on your own. Drive to Olustee
2:30pm Enter Olustee Battlefield
3:30pm Battlefield reenactment

Note: Times are subject to change.


Accommodations

Accommodations

For your convenience, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn & Suites St. Augustine Historic District. The rooms are reserved at the special rate of $95 per night for double occupancy. This rate includes full breakfast and parking. To receive this special rate, please reserve your room(s) before February 1. For reservations, call 800.315.2621 or 904.494.2100 and mention that you are part of the Landmark Events group.

Conveniently located less than one mile from St. Augustine’s historic district, the Holiday Inn & Suites is in a great location, situated just moments from shopping, dining, and beautiful beaches. Click here for a virtual tour of the hotel.

Holiday Inn & Suites

The hotel will serve as the home base of the tour, with Thursday night and Saturday morning lectures taking place there in the Flagler Room. However, you are welcome to find accommodations elsewhere should you find they suit your family better. St. Augustine offers a variety of accommodations from very economical motels, cute and cozy bed and breakfasts, and full service resorts.


Other Considerations

Meals

There are no meals included in the tour so you have great flexibility for your family’s dining experience. We have allotted a moderate amount of time for lunch each day and have chosen locations where you are able to bring in your own food, purchase food from the venue, or travel out to lunch. You are welcome to bring your lunch to the mid-day lectures on Friday and Saturday if you choose to combine lunch and instruction! A picnic cloth may come in handy as there are a limited number of tables available.

Clothing

Touring clothing is up to the individual. It is likely to be warm during the day, (mid 60s), but a sweater or light jacket may be welcome in the evening. The most common attire that we see on these trips is sometimes termed business casual, with casual slacks and sometimes nice shorts with a polo shirt or similar for the men while many of the ladies are in a casual dress or skirt and a blouse. This will be an active trip in terms of walking, therefore good walking shoes are important. These are all merely recommendations and you ultimately need to decide on your wardrobe. Our desire is to communicate charity and respect to those around us by dressing modestly in coverage and fit wherever we are.

You may consider bringing…

  • Water bottles
  • Notebook and pen
  • Portable camp chair
  • Umbrella
  • Hat / Sunglasses / Sunscreen

Upcoming Events

Civil War in the West Tour
March 27-28, 2019

2019 Scotland Adventure
July 7-13 & 14-20, 2019