Florida 2018 2017-06-30T21:32:06+00:00

Event Summary

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 on site of the Castillo de San Marcos in 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!

Join Us in Sunny Florida!

 

They’ve done all the work for you! Just show up and enjoy each of the amazing venues, and soak in the Biblical interpretations and rich fellowship. You won’t regret it!” —Jessica K. (2016 Florida Tour)

We will also attend one of the most interesting Civil War reenactments 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.


St. Augustine Pirate Museum


St. Augustine Pirate Museum


Castillo de San Marcos


Castillo de San Marcos


Battle of Olustee Reenactment


Battle of Olustee Reenactment


Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park


Historian Bill Potter


Rich Christian Fellowship

Landmark Events does an amazing job at weaving together our Christian heritage with the broader history in an educational and fun way for everyone in the family! You won’t be disappointed!” —Darrell S. (2016 Florida Tour)

Ticket Information

Included in This Tour

  • All venue admissions
  • All guide fees and gratuities
  • Three audio recordings to listen en route: Introduction to Fort Caroline, Introduction to Olustee and Pirates: Truths and Myths
  • Individual electronic headsets for listening convenience
  • Friday pitch-in pizza and salad dinner/discussion
  • Access to Landmark Events’ special discounted hotel rates
  • Breakfast included for guests of Holiday Inn Express and Suites
  • Study Preparation section
Youth (5-16) $85
Adult (17+) $99
Family (4 Members) $333
Add’l Family Members $59

Definitely worth more than a month’s worth of book lessons! And to be remembered for so much longer! Best of all, the tour was Christ-centered in every aspect. Thank you Landmark for precious home school memories for our family!” —Rena B. (2016 Florida Tour)

Tour Highlights

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.


Ponce de León


Castillo de San Marcos

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.


St. Augustine Pirate Museum


St. Augustine Pirate Museum

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 on site of the Castillo de San Marcos in 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 Civil War reenactments 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.


Battle of Olustee Reenactment


Battle of Olustee Reenactmen

Event Speakers

Historian Bill Potter

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.

Event Schedule

Thursday, February 16
7:00pm Welcome Reception (light snacks served with iced tea and water)
Holiday Inn Express & Suites St. Augustine North
2300 State Road 16, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Friday, February 17
    7 miles ≈ 15 mins.
9:00am Ponce de León’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
11 Magnolia Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084
(Fountain of Youth has a nice picnic area if you want to bring your lunch on Friday. They also have a small snack bar on site or you can get something en route to Jacksonville. No food is available at Ft. Caroline.)
9:00am   Listen to ‘Introduction to Fort Caroline’ en route to Fort Caroline

40 miles ≈ 50 mins.

1:00pm Fort Caroline National Memorial (meet at visitors center)
12713 Fort Caroline Road, Jacksonville, FL 32225
9:00am   Listen to ‘Pirates: Truths and Myths’ en route to the Pirate Museum

40 miles ≈ 50 mins.

4:30pm

St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
12 South Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084
9:00am   7 miles ≈ 15 mins.

7:00pm

Pizza, Andrew Jackson, and Fellowship in Hotel
Optional pitch-in Pizza & Salad Dinner with discussion and fellowship following at Holiday Inn Suites ($4 per person)
2300 State Road 16, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Saturday, February 18
9:00am Castillo de San Marcos (meet outside ticket kiosk)
1 South Castillo Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32084
    Lunch on your own. Picnic, dine in or partake from food vendors at Olustee Reenactment.
    Listen to ‘Introduction to Olustee’ en route to Olustee Battlefield

85 miles ≈ 90 mins.

2:30pm Enter Olustee Battlefield
20706 US 90, Sanderson FL 32807
(Reenactment requires a 1-mile shuttle ride from parking area at Baker Correctional Facility to main entrance.)
3:30pm Battle reenactment begins
4:30pm Battle reenactment ends
    Note: Times are subject to change.

Accommodations

For your convenience, Landmark Events has secured a block of rooms at the:Holiday Inn Express & Suites St. Augustine North
2300 State Road 16
St. Augustine, Florida 32084Book online or call:1 877 859 5095 or 904 824-5151Request the Landmark Events rate (group code LD2) of $95 for Thursday February 16 and $119 for Friday and Saturday February 17 and 18 for a room with 2 queen beds and breakfast. There is also a limited number of rooms with 2 queen beds and a pullout sofa for a slightly higher rate. Wi-Fi and parking are free. Make your reservations by January 29 to secure this special rate.

The Thursday evening Welcome Reception will be held in the meeting room of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, as will the Friday evening meal/fellowship and the Saturday morning lecture.

Please note: Our choice of hotels is limited to properties that have a meeting space adequate to accommodate our group. However, guests are free to stay wherever best meets their facility needs and budget.

Study Prep

Key People

King Ferdinand & Queen Isabella
Christopher Columbus
Ponce de León
Hernando de Soto
Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny
Jean Ribault
Pedro Menendez de Aviles
Edward Teach
Sir Francis Drake
General Andrew Jackson
Chief Osceola
General Truman Seymour
General Joseph Finegan

Key Issues and Topics

Spanish Empire
Conquistadors: Missionaries or Murderers?
Huguenots and the French Reformation
Fountain of Youth (man’s constant search for immortality)
Motivations for Exploration: God, Gold, and Glory
Differences in Colonization Theory: English, French, Spanish
Role of Piracy in Atlantic Coastal history
Piracy in the Cinema: Romantic Misfits?
A Biblical Analysis of Piracy vs. Letters of Marquee/Raiding the Spanish Main
Florida’s Strategic Role in the Civil War

Bibliography / Recommended Reading List

Pirates, Puritans, and the Perils of the High Seas, by Captain Charles Johnson and Puritan John Flavel, Edited by R. A. Sheats

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates, by David Cordingly

Spain in America, by Charles Gibson

Londonniere & Fort Caroline, by Charles E. Bennett

Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun, by Charles Hudson

Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee, by William H. Nulty

Upcoming Events

Grand Canyon Adventure
August 11-15, 2017

Heart of American History Tour
October 2-6, 2017