Author Thomas Tozer

The official blog of Thomas Tozer, author of "Pierre's Journey to Florida"

Archive for the tag “Native American”

Pierre’s Journey to Florida

In his new novel Pierre’s Journey to Florida, author Thomas Tozer brings history to life in a tale about a young French Huguenot, named Pierre de Bré. The book, in the genre of historical fiction, was narrated in 1703 by Jean-Louis Hardouin, Pierre’s great-great-grandnephew, based on diaries kept in the family and written by Pierre 130-135 years before. The diaries begin at the time when the persecution of Huguenots, French Calvinists, becomes violent and the Huguenots become political pawns in settling Nouvelle (New) France, a region the Spanish claimed as “La Florida”. The French settlers and the Spanish have many encounters and in some of them the French are extensively massacred, indeed almost annihilated. Pierre and his little sister, Dominique, survive when their French colony, Fort Caroline, is attacked by the Spanish. They escape to the Indian village of Alimacani, where his Indian friend, Honoso, who is about his age, lives. There he loses his little sister, learns the beliefs and customs of his new community of Timucuan Indians and takes an active part in the daily activities of his newly adopted family.

After Pierre had lived with the Timucua for nearly three years, a Frenchman by the name of Dominique de Gourgues arrives to avenge the previous massacres of the French. After obtaining his revenge at Fort Caroline and at neighboring forts, and returning to France, Pierre and de Gourgues find that the war between Huguenots and Catholics has intensified. Pierre moves to Paris where life continues to be difficult for him and where he meets his end, but the story of the de Bré family is not over as Jean-Louis continues to tell the story of his family during the tumultuous religious upheavals of the subsequent French Wars of Religion.
The author’s motivation for writing his book comes from four distinct sources: a visit to St. Augustine, Florida, where he became captivated with the early contribution of the French Huguenots to the founding of the United States; knowledge that Huguenot ancestors on his mother’s side came to the United States from France in the late 17th century; visiting most of the places in France and Florida mentioned in the book; and going to elementary and high school with numerous Native Americans.
The book is an action-packed story that should be of interest to anyone fascinated by original Native American cultures or with a curiosity about the historic events leading to the settling of North America. Copies of the book may be obtained at Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com

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Pierre’s Journey to Florida

Pierre’s Journey to Florida is a historical fiction book about Pierre de Bré, a young French Huguenot, and his adventures at the time when European and Native Americans first came into contact with each other.

It is also a story of harsh times in Europe – a time with divisive, indeed tumultuous, religious and political problems, but a time when exploration of the unknown parts of the world was so exciting, romantic, and adventurous.

My motivation for writing this book came from four distinct sources. One was a visit to St. Augustine, Florida, where I became captivated with the early contribution of the French Huguenots to the founding of Florida and the United States.

The second source was knowledge that it is very likely that some of my ancestors on my  mother’s side, by the original name of Hardouin, were Huguenots who came to the United States from France in the late 17th century.

The third was the fact that I spent nearly one and one-half years, in total, in France, teaching courses, attending meetings, spending leisure time, and visiting friends. During these times, I visited most of the places in France mentioned in the book.

Finally, I grew up in an area of California with several Indian reservations and went to school, 1st to 12th grade, with numerous Native Americans, many of whom were friends.

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