Lead: Forty-five years before the settlement of Jamestown, Huguenots, French Protestants, led by French officer Jean Ribaut, attempted a permanent settlement in the New World.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: By the early 1560s Huguenots, French followers of John Calvin, had known spectacular growth in numbers and influence. After at first dismissing the infant movement as a passing phase, Catholic nobles allied with the church stirred themselves to a program of persecution and outright warfare against rival Protestants. Between 1562 and 1598, eight wars of religion ripped apart French national life. The climax came in the summer of 1572 when 2000 thousands of Huguenots were murdered in Paris by Catholic mobs on St. Bartholomew’s Day. Thousands more were killed out in the countryside. In response to such persecution, over the next century hundreds of thousands of Huguenots left France to find religious toleration elsewhere. In 1562 Huguenot Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, organized an expedition to the New World to establish a colony, which would serve as an asylum for persecuted Huguenots.