I have long been fascinated with the first tenuous toeholds of the Europeans landing in the New World. Much like the early explorers of space the risks were enormous, they were launching themselves into the unknown with much hope and little knowledge. Most were seeking either wealth or freedom (a few sought both), a great many paid with their lives. One example of those that sought freedom and wealth and also paid for that daring with their lives was the French Huguenot colony that founded Fort Caroline.
The Huguenots were a Protestant sect that was much prosecuted in France, they (well, some of them at least) offered to establish a colony in North America on behalf of France in an effort to be able to practice their religion in peace. They also went seeking to enrich themselves (the Spanish pillaging of the Aztecs had convinced a good many Europeans that gold was as common as sand in the Americas). the French king was desirous of tweaking the Spanish king's beard and of ridding himself of the heretics in his lands agreed. The Wikipedia article tells the whole sad tale. Needless to say they didn't find freedom or wealth.
The fort I toured is a reconstruction (the original was mostly earth and log and would not have lasted even if the site hadn't been washed away when the river changed course) built to a smaller scale, and to my mind a rather odd design. The NPS website tells the story of the park.