Ensign Pedro de Torres

After Sir Francis Drake attacked St. Augustine in 1586, the Spanish thought it prudent to consolidate their forces and they abandoned Santa Elena to withdraw to more secure locations to the south. Although the Spanish had been compelled to remove their main forces southward, they continued to view South Carolina as part of their territory and attempted to defend it as their own as best they could.

Toward this end, Captain Francisco Fernandez de Eçija was dispatched from St. Augustine in 1605 and again in 1609 to search for an English colony that was said to be located somewhere along the coast of the Carolinas, but failed in both instances to find any evidence of an English presence.

Similar searches were conducted some years later under the command of Pedro de Torres, who led a small force of Spaniards and Indians in search of alleged European interlopers but failed on successive attempts in 1627 and 1628 to find any evidence of foreign intruders. The 1628 expedition went as far north as central South Carolina.


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