Hurricane timeline: 1495 to 1800
Hurricanes played an important role during the European exploration and colonization of the Americas. New settlements were established, battles were lost and geography was changed by these monster storms. ** 1495 -- Columbus encounters a hurricane near Hispaniola
The earliest hurricane report comes from Christopher Columbus, who encountered a tropical storm on one of his voyages to the New World. He later declared that "nothing but the service of God and the extension of the monarchy'' would induce him to expose himself to such danger
1559 -- Hurricane wrecks Spanish expedition; A Spanish fleet of 74 ships sent to recapture Florida sailed into a hurricane. Most of the fleet was sunk, but one ship survived and founded a colony near Pensacola, Fla. *** 1565 -- Storm destroys French fleet
The French lose their bid to control the Atlantic coast of North America when a storm smashes their fleet, allowing the Spanish to capture Fort Carolina, near present-day Jacksonville, Fla. *** 1609 -- Bermuda settled after ship seeks refuge from a storm
The Sea Venture was bound for Virginia to relieve the starving Jamestown colonists when a hurricane crippled the ship on July 28, 1609. Many of the 150 men, women and children aboard found safety on the Bermuda Islands.
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