America's First Settlement

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link titleAmerica's First Settlement is a slogan used by the City of Pensacola in reference to the 1559 expedition by Don Tristan de Luna that established the first European presence within the current United States. However, the colony was abandoned after being devastated by a hurricane, and six years later St. Augustine became the oldest continuously occupied European city on the continent.

The phrase is found on several signs that welcome visitors to downtown Pensacola, despite the fact that Luna is believed to have settled further west, outside city limits, on or near the bluff where Fort Barrancas now sits.

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-- CORRECTION --

The first European settlement in what is now the United States was not near Pensacola.

In 1526, more than three decades before the de Luna expedition, another Spanish explorer named Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon with an expedition of three ships carrying 600 settlers and 100 horses, established a settlement on the coast of what is present-day Georgia or South Carolina. This settlement was called San Miguel de Gauldape.

"San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement inside what is now United States territory, founded by Spaniard Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526"

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