The second century of settlement in Spanish St. Augustine, 1670-1763


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The second century of settlement in Spanish St. Augustine, 1670-1763
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viii, 280 leaves : ; 29 cm.
Parker, Susan R
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History thesis, Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- History -- UF   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 265-279).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Susan R. Parker.
General Note:
General Note:

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University of Florida
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oclc - 69353530
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This dissertation is dedicated to my children:

Christopher, Amanda, Robert


As with many areas of life, a dissertation is the product of the efforts

and concern of many persons. I am indebted to earlier archival researchers,

abstractors, and indexers whose work and painstaking detail facilitated my

research efforts. Professor Michael Gannon, who supervised this

dissertation, guided and vastly improved my project. He endured the tedium

of reading every word of several drafts and commented in both breadth and

detail. Professors Murdo MacLeod, Kathleen Deagan, and Anthony Oliver-

Smith helped shape my work with their specific remarks and suggestions as

well as their wealth of research and publications. I was fortunate that for

several years a consultation with Professor Eugene Lyon was only a few old-

St. Augustine-sized blocks from my office. Meetings with him were always

both pleasurable and enlightening.

Many others helped with their interest, knowledge, expertise, and

creative suggestions and ideas: Bruce Chappell and James Cusick at the

P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida; Charles Tingley,

Mary Herron, Dorothy Lyon and Leslie Wilson at the St. Augustine Historical

Society Library; David Coles at the Division of Archives, Florida Department

of State; Joe Knetsch at the Bureau of State Lands, Florida Department of

Environmental Protection. Luis Arana, Bruce Piatek, and Stanley Bond

provided their knowledge and encouragement. An Albert W. Beveridge Grant

from the American Historical Association assisted in my research.

Two colleagues and very dear friends, Jane Landers and Patricia

Griffin, offered scholarly insight, suggestions and affectionate concern. My

friends, Nancy Hamilton and Grace Anna Paaso, performed well as sounding

boards and sympathizers. A long-time co-worker and good friend, Betty

Galipeau, generously proofread the manuscript. My dear Mal Haughton

volunteered for tedious tasks in order to free up my time and gently urged me

on when I sagged. And, there is long-suffering Robert, my youngest child,

whose lot it was to live with me throughout the entire project.

I appreciate you all.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............................................. iii

ABSTRACT ..................... ................. vii


1 INTRODUCTION ........................................ 1

P eriodization ....................... ................ ...................... ..... 5
R regional C ultures ............................................................... 8
Documentary Sources ....... ............................................. 14
Notes ..... ............................. ........ .............. 23

2 "LA FLORIDA'S" FIRST CENTURY ............................... 29

N o te s ....................... ................... ........ ..................... 3 6

FLORIDA'S "URBAN INDIANS"................................... 38

Retreat and Relocations .............................. ................ 47
From Village to Town; from Ward to Citizen ..................... 51
Social A alliances ............................................ ................. 61
Flexible Racial Classification ........................ ................. 64
Conclusions .............. ............................................ 67
N o te s ................... ...................................................... 7 0

4 ARCHITECTURE ......... .......................... ... ................ 77

New Men, New Iberian Regional Traditions ..................... 80
Buildings as Detailed By Those Who Knew Them Best...... 87
C conclusions ....... ............................................... ................. 98
Notes ............ ............................... ..................- 104

5 PROVIDING A HOME .... ...................... ........................109

C conclusions .......................................... .................... ...... 128
N o te s ................................................................................... 13 0

6 PERSONAL POSSESSIONS ........................ ................ 137

Furnishings ................................................ ................... 139
Implements and Containers .......... .............................. 144
Textiles and Clothing .......................................................... 147
Jew e lry ..................................... .................................... 14 9
Building Materials ............ ....... ................. 150
S la v e s ......................... ....................................................... 1 5 2
Livestock ............. ................................................ 156
Transportation ..... ....................................... ................... 157
C conclusions .......................... ......................................... 159
Notes ....... ............................... 168

7 FO O D ....................................................... ................... 173

The Food Supply ................ ........................................... 176
Conclusions .......... ................................................ 182
N o te s ......................................... ....... .............. ................... 18 3

8 RETAILING AND PERSONAL FINANCE ........................ 186

Debts and Debtors ....... ............................................... 189
R eta iling .................... .......................... .................... 194
Stores and S hops ................................................................ 204
C conclusions .................................................... .................... 206
N o te s ................................................................................... 2 1 1


Functions and Ceremonies ............................................... 224
Chapters and Their Members .......................................... 225
Financial and Performance Obligations .......................... 231
Material Wealth of the Confraternities .............................. 239
Conclusions ............. ............................................. 245
Notes .. ............ ................................................... 247

10 CONCLUSIONS ...................................................... .......... 253

BIBLIOGRAPHY .. ................................... 266
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............................. ................... 280


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Susan R. Parker

August 1999

Chairman: Michael V. Gannon
Major Department: History

Residents of Spanish Florida and its capital, St. Augustine,

conducted their lives guided and constrained by the strong social institutions

of the Roman Catholic Church and the army. The primacy of church and

state has overshadowed the private lives of the residents in the historical

literature of colonial Florida as it did in the colonial era itself. This study

relies on information written or provided by the individuals themselves,

rather than by officials or churchmen, to describe the personal and private

aspects of life. As a counterpoise to scholarly emphasis upon minority or

peripheral citizens, this study focuses primarily on ordinary, white (Euro-

American) colonists and assimilated non-whites. It examines the topics of

assimilation, property ownership, private buildings, personal possessions,

interpersonal financial arrangements, and small-scale business activities,

food, and parishioners' religious organizations.

After a century of permanent Spanish settlement in the southeast

region of North America, English colonists established South Carolina in

1670. The Second Century of Settlement became an era of mutual enmity

and alert for the residents of the southeast. Native American groups

simultaneously faced more pressures and also benefitted from new leverage

with the advent of South Carolina. Spain delivered new fighting men, who

brought their various Iberian regional cultures into Florida and to its

generations of American-born residents.

This dissertation adds to the study of the role of European regional

donor cultures upon the development of regional cultures in the New World.

Scholars have viewed the cultural differences within Spanish Florida through

the wider, more overt lens of race; the transplantation of Iberian cultural

diversity has hardly played a role in analysis. Florida's difference from North

American Anglo colonies lay as well in its service-based, cash economy of

the military regime rather than in an export-based agricultural economy.

This study presents Spanish Florida as an essential element of the

history of the colonial southeast. It depicts changes in everyday life brought

about in the Second Century by the permanent proximity of an enemy, the

introduction of new regional cultures, and the expansion in the Atlantic world

of goods and commerce.


It would be greatly inconvenient
if anyone else might settle in Florida.
-Pedro Men6ndez de Avil6s, 1565

The history of the colonial southeast differs from that of the rest of

eastern North America.' Typically, histories of the colonial period reduce the

Spanish presence in the continent to merely an extension of the original

conquistadors' adventures. The presence of the Spanish appears as a

transitory activity in the southeastern region, with colorful mention of ill-fated

explorers followed by a sentence or two noting the founding of St. Augustine

and the colony of Florida in 1565. Whether survey texts or monographs,

these histories give few words and little importance to Spanish settlements

that lasted continuously for two years short of two centuries, from 1565 to

1763. In fact, permanent Spanish presence in the southeast had achieved

the century mark by the date when English settlers initiated their colony of

South Carolina in the region in 1670.

A dismissive and overly succinct treatment of the Spanish presence

diminishes the complexity of relationships in the region, and developments in

the English settlements thus seem to take place in a splendid isolation rather


than in the international environment which was indeed the colonial reality.2

Not only is Spanish activity almost unseen historiographically, but without

adequate consideration of Spanish activities, the Carolina colonial experience

is thus less filled out than it should be. Florida is often portrayed as a block to

English expansion to be overcome, but seldom is Florida's existence seen as

shaping the development of Carolina itself, although Carolina's settlers did

indeed incorporate adaptive measures by virtue of the Spanish presence.3

Historian Betty Wood credits Spanish Florida's presence as a major

factor in the debate over use of slave labor at the time of the establishment of

British Georgia in 1733. Georgia's founding trustees saw Spanish Florida in

the 1730s as a runaway slave haven and as an incendiary force to foment

slave revolts. Wood asserts that the trustees made the decision against

slavery as much because of a pragmatic concern for the potential loss of

capital invested in enslaved laborers and the dangers to settlers as they did

because of any philosophical tenets about labor. By the middle of the 1740s

the trustees' perception of a weakened Florida encouraged them to

reconsider the original prohibition against slavery.4 Permanent French

settlements on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, beginning in 1699, added to

the complexities of colonial development in the entire region. Extant Spanish

and English settlements now had to deal with the French as well as each

other. Native Americans acquired another element to incorporate in their

survival strategies as they played the European powers off against each


other. European and Native American diplomacy took on a multilateral

perspective rather than the more nearly bilateral division prior to the French


Studies of Native Americans in the southeast have paid more attention

to the multinational presence in the southeast than have those concerned with

white or Euro-American settlement. Many recent historical and

anthropological studies of Spanish Florida have focused on the lives of the

Native Americans and the changes within native societies following contact

with Europeans, while the white or European society has received little

attention. Our own contemporary emphasis on diversity and upon eliciting the

history of minorities has left us with a picture that is better developed for what

today constitutes minorities (although the groups were often not numerical

minorities during the period studied) than for that of colonial Euro-American

society.5 Yet changes were always developing within white societies as well.

The current focus on ethnic legacies among today's minorities has also turned

the focus away from assimilation by non-whites into the dominant culture.

This study presents a description and interpretation of Spanish Florida

as an essential element of the history of the colonial southeast It depicts the

changes and practices which developed in or were introduced into Florida

following the arrival of the English and which were responses to the English

presence. Without Florida's existence, South Carolina would have developed

in a different manner. Without South Carolina's inception, Florida likewise


would havebeen different. Both colonies evidenced their mutual fear of the

other by erecting defensive walls around their capitals. Carolinians had

begun construction of Charleston's wall by 1697. Floridians tarried until

1706, adding their wall as they rebuilt St. Augustine after Carolinians had

burned the Spanish town in 1702.6

An enlarged and elaborated portrayal of Florida's society provides a

lens for viewing other contemporary colonial societies and locales as well as

for increasing the knowledge base and understanding of the Spanish colony

itself. A depiction of the society in Florida which developed in ways which

were different from other areas of both British America and Spanish America

fosters new questions about those other areas in the context of alternative

colonial developments. Florida's differences did not just lie in its Iberian

roots, but also in the fact that it did not become a colony with an export-

based, agricultural economy despite founders' plans and hopes. The roles of

work and labor, real and personal property, developed within the context of

Florida's economic base, wherein these assets served a different function

than in an agricultural economy. Florida also developed from and within in a

seminal European-based culture which was different than many other areas.

The course of Spanish Florida offers historians the opportunity to examine a

service-based, cash economy as a comparison to the more nearly self-

sufficient, agricultural societies in British America and other areas of Spanish

and also French America.



This study seeks to describe the society that developed in the

southeast in the context of regional realities. Thus its temporal boundaries

match local or regional changes rather than those originating in Europe.

Employing the date of 1670 as a point of beginning recognizes the changes

wrought by the arrival of the English and permits the ease of using a common

temporal point for analysis of activities in both the English and Spanish


Spanish Florida's longevity in the region and on the continent is clearly

illustrated when we recall that children who had been founders of the Florida

colony in 1565 were themselves grandparents and great-grandparents when

English settlers stepped ashore at Jamestown and Plymouth in the early

1600s.8 Seldom are the Englishmen's planting of South Carolina in 1670 and

its development portrayed in the context of that English colony's proximity to

the existing Spanish colony and the latter's already established influence in

the southeast. Yet, Carolinians concerned themselves with threats and

attacks from the Spanish in Florida as well as from Native Americans. The

defenses of both St. Augustine and Charleston revealed that each prepared

to fend off a European enemy fighting in the European style. In both towns,

fortifications and entrenchments resembled simplified versions of European



Florida's Iberian founders intended for the colony to be a profitable

enterprise. Instead, the Spanish monarch had to assume financial

responsibility for the viability of the Florida colony in 1571. A century later,

the Spanish crown had to respond vigorously to fend off threats to the realm

throughout Spanish America.9 In the middle of the seventeenth century the

crown increased its concern and thereafter its attention and funding to the

vulnerable areas. Royal decrees allocated monies to finance physical

improvements and additions to fortifications and relocated fighting men to the

besieged or vital areas.

It was the founding of the English colony of South Carolina in 1670 that

especially menaced Spanish Florida. Defensive remedies of additional

money and men sent by the Spanish crown impelled the lives of the ordinary

colonists to take a new direction in the second century of Spanish settlement.

Florida's white residents, especially the American-born criolloss) colonists,

became more oriented toward Iberia, toward the metropolis, with the influx of

men from the homeland (peninsulares) and the new men's enlarged influence.

Arriving white colonists, who were mostly male, Native Americans, and

residents of African descent, found new roles offered to them within the

reinvigorated defense structure. For subordinated groups, the new roles

translated into greater access to goods and enlarged relationships with

members of the dominant society, that is the society of persons of Iberian


descent. The defensive actions brought about changes in the lives of the

residents of all races and racial mixtures.

Many studies of Spanish Florida employ the beginning years of the

eighteenth century as a defining point. For studies which focus on

international politics or on imperial activities and policies, the year 1700

serves well. A new dynasty laid claim to the Spanish throne upon the death of

Spain's childless Charles II and a subsequent war to decide the succession

ensued. The Bourbon family, triumphant in its grasp for the throne, brought

changes in Spain's imperial policies and introduced amity with France by

virtue of close kinship of the kings of the two nations.10

Crown decisions regarding Florida which resulted in the colony's

reorientation toward the metropolis began, however, while a Hapsburg

monarch still occupied the throne of Spain. The changes in direction for

Spanish Florida predated the War of Spanish Succession and its

accompanying destruction in Florida and predated Spanish colonial reforms

initiated by the victorious Bourbon family although these events are usually

invoked as the markers for periodization. The year 1702 has served as a

distinctive marker for the analysis of architecture in Spanish Florida. While

1702 brought destruction of the buildings in St. Augustine and at the

missions, in the capital the replacement buildings incorporated ideas that had

already been introduced and were holdovers from before the conflagration.


In 1763 the transfer of Florida to Great Britain brought more than a

change of sovereigns. The attendant departure of Spanish colonists

sundered lives and regional patterns and marked the end of the Second

Century of Settlement. The changes that began in the 1670s and continued

until Florida's abrupt transfer to Great Britain validate the concept and

periodization of "the second century of settlement"-a century characterized by

persistent conflict, new men and their new traditions entering the colony, and

the simultaneous expansion and growth of trade in the Atlantic world.

Regional Cultures

This study of the southeast fits with the recent emphasis on the role of

European regional donor cultures upon regional development in the New

World as well as adding an element to the larger transatlantic analysis.

Invoking the idea of the influence of new (that is, arriving) European regional

cultural factors in the Spanish southeast builds upon works by scholars

seeking to explain the regional diversity which developed in Anglo America.

Historians Bernard Bailyn, Jack P. Greene, and David Hackett Fischer and

cultural geographer D. W. Meinig examine relationships between components

brought from European donor regions and their manifestations in the

American colonies. These scholars distill and assess the variations of

multiple, but consistent, elements that were transported and established by

immigrating generations into different areas of North America. Meinig looks at


cause, citing Michael Kammen's remark that "colonials didn't come from

Europe. They came from [regions.]" Focusing on effect, Bailyn asserts that

"the colonies' strange ways were only distensions and combinations of

elements that existed in the parent cultures." In the Americas these elements

"were released, fulfilled-at times with strange results that could not have

been anticipated."" Greene's finer focus looks at the transference of political

and intellectual thought from England to America. He explains dissimilar

developments among the various American regions and colonies as resulting

from the particular state of ideas in the home islands at the time of the

founding in the New World. Thus New England and South Carolina began as

quite different colonies because of the different premises carried into each of

these colonies at inception. In other words, they would have been different

even if the natural environments were more alike.12

Fischer's use of the concept of cultural hearths and the sequential

arrivals of their components at different times into different American regions

is especially pertinent for the study of the Spanish southeast. Fischer

maintains that the series of implantations fashioned differing characteristics

within British America. Four discrete combinations of a particular region of

the British Isles feeding immigrations which occurred at a particular period of

time resulted in four identifiable cultures in the British colonies, which have

persisted into the present.13 The four folkways Fischer discerns are: English

Puritans to New England, 1629-41; cavaliers and indentured servants to the


Chesapeake, 1642-75; Quaker migration to the Delaware Valley, 1675-1725;

British borderland inhabitants to the American backcountry, 1717-75.

In Florida too there was a sequence of immigration from Iberia, but

unlike the British colonies, the later arrivals in Florida came into an already

Europeanized area. Historians of Spanish Florida have paid little attention to

the influence of immigrants arriving in the eighteenth century who came with

cultural traditions which had developed in different regions than those of

Florida's founders, who had arrived in the sixteenth century. Cultural

differences within the Florida colony and among its residents have been

viewed through the wider and more overt lens of race, especially Native

American vis-A-vis European. The transplantation of the cultural diversity that

existed within Iberia has played hardly a role. Theodore Corbitt's study of St.

Augustine's population dealt with the size of the population and the birth and

death rates, but was not concerned with the Iberian regional origins of

immigrating persons. Kathleen Hoffman uses racial categories as the cultural

categories. Thus persons of European ancestry were placed within a single

category whether their origin was Iberian or Spanish American, with no

discernment by regions.14

Spanish America displayed more colonial uniformity than Anglo

America and that has lessened the questioning of the role of Iberian regional

diversity within the former Spanish empire. The ubiquity of dogma, ritual, and

accoutrements throughout the Roman Catholic Church made for religious


homogeneity throughout the Spanish world--in Europe, in the Americas, in

Asia. The uniformity of the singular church eliminated one of the big dividers

of humans in society. As Meinig observes, "Cultural diversity... is

fundamentally either regional or religious in character."15 There was almost

no diversity of the latter in Spanish America. A strong centralized colonial

administration and empire-wide colonial legal codes likewise engendered

homogeneity throughout Spanish colonies.? In Spain, however, the

geographical areas of the old kingdoms which were incorporated into the

Spanish throne still retained many provincial traditions, privileges, and rights,

making the metropolis culturally more heterogeneous than the colonies.17

Entry of new cultural elements into the areas where a creole society already

existed in Florida meant that either the existing ways held fast and resisted

the new or were supplanted, or both old and new were altered to

accommodate each other.

Historiographical emphasis since the shift in the 1960s by the history

profession toward an enlarged interest and concern for the ordinary, minority,

and peripheral citizens'8 has paid more attention to Native Americans and

African Americans in Spanish Florida to remedy the negative or trivialized

roles that those ethnic and racial groups held for so long. In the study of

Spanish Florida, the practitioners of history and anthropology have worked

well together in this endeavor.19 Life among mission Indians has received

extensive scrutiny and analysis.20 Jane Landers's investigation of black


society in Florida has focused attention on the lives of the previously unknown

residents of African descent and their role in the geopolitical developments in

the region.21 But, ordinary white (Euro-American) colonists, because they

were part of the dominant culture, and non-whites who successfully

assimilated have not received the same attention of late.

What if the words written, dictated, or in some aspect overseen by the

Florida colonists themselves were to form the basis for the picture of their own

lives in the Second Century? The image of the colonists has relied heavily

on reports composed by military and ecclesiastical administrators. This study

looks to documents which were either written by the colonists or were subject

to their scrutiny, to their editing and then verification indicated by their

signatures or their even more frequent "cross" marks. Some records, like the

recording of the administering of sacraments, were not written by the

participants, but the communicants supplied at least some of the details

recorded by the priests.

In the highly institutionalized and formalized society of the colony of

Florida what was life like for the ordinary resident? For the corporal, for the

midwife, for the slave, for the mission Indian fulfilling a labor obligation?

What changes took place in their lives? How did developments in the rest of

the Atlantic world affect the ways in which the colonists organized themselves,

protected their possessions, provided for their offspring? What were their

relations with each other?


This study in no way attempts to diminish the primacy in Florida of the

military and the church organizations and their leaders. That would be folly.

The firm and often rigid framework of those institutions underlay the colony.

Because of the presence of these strong institutions, Spanish Florida's early

society was orderly, stable, and less contentious than those societies

established later in southern English colonies. In contrast, Jack Greene

describes the Chesapeake and the Carolinas as locales where "religion and

other traditional institutions were weak, a sense of community tenuous, and

cultural amenities almost non-existent." Thus the "potential for social discord

was high."22

But life was not all army and church. Florida's men did not spend all of

their time on guard duty; parishioners and even priests did not spend all of

their waking hours in prayer or at mass. Yet almost any depictions in

communiques concerning the actions of ordinary folk were drawn to express

the needs of the military or the church. The governor, his officials, priests,

and friars composed and compiled the reports. Other views were offered by

foreigners, visitors, and enemies. The remarks of this last group of observers

revealed as much about the foreign writer as about the Spanish in Florida.

And the ordinary people of Florida, most of them illiterate, generated few

documents themselves. Spanish military historian Juan Marchena Fernandez

computed that 78 percent of his sample of enlisted men who served in Florida


between 1700 and 1763 could neither read nor write; 12 percent could write

only their name (Marchena's study begins with the year 1700).23

Most citizens appeared in non-narrative documents rather than in

descriptive reports, and it is to those records that this study turns. When bits

of this sort of information are combined, we can discern something of what

historians Darrett and Anita Rutman called "the evolving web of associations"

which existed among the colonial residents.24 The content and form of the

records changed over the time under consideration here. In subsequent

decades and centuries, books became lost, and damage by humidity and

hungry bugs and microbes has left literal holes in the data.

Documentary Sources

The departure of Spanish residents from the mainland meant the

departure of the documentation of their lives as well. The emigration of 1763

was the first of several generated by treaty cessions. In 1784 British subjects

departed as the Spanish returned to the peninsula; in 1821 Spain once again

divested itself of Florida, this last time to the United States.

Departure of Florida's Spanish population upon British takeover of the

peninsula in 1763 resulted in the removal of the documents created in Florida

during the first two hundred years of European settlement. The Catholic

Church's records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials for the

first two centuries were removed to the cathedral in Havana, where they


remained unnoticed until 1871, when St. Augustine's then-bishop discovered

them. Another thirty-five years passed before the parish records were

returned to Florida." Departing Spanish officials transferred the military and

civil records, some of which went to the office of the exchequer in Havana.2

Official correspondence by government, military, and church administrators

remains in collections in Spain, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

Notaries and government secretaries in Spanish Florida often made multiple

copies to be forwarded to various officials at several administrative centers in

the empire. Florida officials sent copies of their correspondence via several

ships and on subsequent sailings to improve the chance that the information

would reach its destination in the face of possible loss to weather, water

damage, or enemy capture.27

Personal documents from Florida's first two centuries of European

settlement are almost nonexistent or at Jeast undiscovered. Evacuees in

1763 carried their important papers-deeds, wills, debt documents-with them

among their furnishings and other possessions to their new homes in Cuba or

Mexico. When Spanish subjects returned to Florida twenty-one years later in

1784, they complained that "ownership papers had been lost by virtue of the

evacuation." Unlike the transported governmental documents, which were

grouped and stored under official auspices, it is likely that the personal

documents stayed with their owners and thus physically were dispersed.

Given the refugee mode of life experienced by the evacuees, documents


often survived the relocations no better than did their owners, who died in

substantial numbers in Cuba.28 If available, the evacuees' personal papers

would reveal individual-level decisions, although usually expressed in the

hand and language of a notary rather than that of the subject.

On the other hand, the change of sovereignty created a need for

inventories, maps, and other documentation that otherwise might not have

been ordered and effected. In fact, Florida's several changes of flags

generated documentation to clarify situations and establish land titles. The

periods of departure and arrival of governments and residents offer clusters of

information, which were not generated with the same intensity during more

stable times. The content and form of the records change over time. One

sort of information ceases to be recorded, only for some other concern to


The records of the Roman Catholic Church provide the most nearly

complete data on the individuals who resided in Spanish Florida. The parish

records cover a long period of time and encompass all ages, races,

occupations and social groups. The time span and inclusiveness make them

an invaluable source.2 The Church, not the state, recorded information which

today is considered as vital-statistics data. Many times an entry in the parish

records was the sole documentary evidence of an individual's existence in the



The St. Augustine parish registers have the distinction of being the

oldest written records of American origin in the United States. There are

continuous records from 1594 tol763, except for a five-year hiatus between

1638 and1643.30 For some periods, the parish records offer only a minimum

of information. For example, in the early 1600s marriage entries limited

information about the bride and groom to their names only. In the 1720s and

1730s the recording of infant burials was often so succinct as to include only

a reference to "a small child" and name of the father, no mother's name at all.

In the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment appreciation and appetite for

facts revealed itself in the expansion of church records, enlarged to include

information about the parentage of marital partners, previous spouses, and

sometimes occupations.

The records of marriages are available from 1594 forward, although the

information contained in them varies over time. There is a gap in the records

of baptisms from 1640 to 1670. Burial records likewise disappear in 1640 and

do not resume until 1720.

The parish records of baptisms, marriages, and burials for the middle

third of the eighteenth century offer a good deal about familial and fictive

kinship.31 In the middle of the 1730s the parish records were enlarged to

include information on the birthplaces of parents of baptismal candidates,

information on nativity of marriage partners and their parents, and information

on any previous marriages of the spouses. Sometimes information on


occupation or employment was included. Burial records provided information

about the decedents' survivors and heirs, sometimes with notations

concerning irregularities regarding burials or last rites. For example, entries

specify when circumstances made burial impossible, such as drowning or

death at the hands of the enemy and no corpse was retrieved. Many burial

entries after 1735 mention wills made by the decedents and list the executors

and the specific bequests which would benefit the Church's ritualistic needs

and charitable goals. But the wills themselves which were referenced have

not been located.

In 1735 parallel but separate sets of books for whites and non-whites

(pardos y morenos y indios) were established. The books of non-whites

recorded information on nativity and parentage, Native American or African

tribe of origin, racial mixture, free or slave status, and listing of the owners of

the enslaved.

Muster rolls of the military units provide a listing of men in service for

many individual years. Muster rolls for the garrison also offer information

regarding age, birthplace, parentage, physical infirmities, and annual salary.

The rolls sometimes include all who were recipients of crown funds: civilian

employees paid by the crown, such as interpreters or harbor pilots, clergy,

soldiers' widows and orphans, convict laborers, and mission Indians. Like the

parish registers, the information on the individuals increases in the middle of

the eighteenth century. Musters in the 1670s and 1680s, in addition to listing


soldiers, concern themselves with the assignment of weapons. The repetition

of "because he is a creole" or similar wording in the muster of 1683 May 27

reveals the elimination of many men for the garrison. In the 1690s, notations

about disabilities-gouty, blind-replace the weapons as a concern. By the

1740s, ever more data states salaries and where individual soldiers were

posted, such as in Apalache or at Fort Matanzas. The 1751 roster compiled by

Jos6 Gelabert is very detailed. It lists age, date of enlistment, birthplace and

father of the soldiers as well as annual pay. Civilian employees such as a

surgeon, drummers, and pilots appear within the listing of soldiers.

Dependents of deceased soldiers are cited with the amounts of their stipends.

Clergy and their church or mission village assignments are included.

Birthplace of convict laborers and the prisoners' locations-sick, at the

quarry-are stated. Mission Indians are listed by village, age, and marital

status. The musters do not constitute a discrete collection, but a series of

similar listings of ordinary individuals which span the time period considered

here and for the purposes of this study they can be seen as a specific kind of

source. The original musters are located in the Archive of the Indies and were

microfilmed for incorporation in the John B. Stetson Collection (described

later). 32

The few testamentary and probate documents and a smattering of lists

and inventories which were not generated by postmortem affairs found their

way back to the North American mainland or to colonial archives in Spain.


While the fewest in number, these documents offer detailed information about

the material life of the colonists. Fragmentary and scanty, their availability is

extremely valuable in the void. Although the paucity of the documentation from

probate papers precludes the ability to make observations about the

representativeness of practices which the documents reveal, the papers do

serve as a starting point from which to ask more questions and to make

comparisons to other sources. These documents are located in the Stetson

Collection and East Florida Papers Collection. The latter is the governmental

archive of the second Spanish period (1784-1821), but it contains a few items

which were generated in the earlier Spanish period.

Notary records of the first two centuries either have not survived or also

await discovery. In the absence of the books wherein the notaries recorded

sales of lands and slaves, contractual agreements and wills, the few

documents of this sort contained in the Spanish Land Grants Manuscript

Collection must serve. This collection is primarily a source for activities of

second Spanish period, but the Section for Claims for Town Lots holds

unexpected material generated in the first Spanish era.

When Florida was returned to Spain by Great Britain in 1784, some of

the evacuees of 1763, their offspring, or other relatives sailed to Florida

intending to reside on former family lands. Inside the desks, chests, and

trunks loaded on the departing ships in 1763 the townspeople had placed their

personal documents. Now the evacuees or their representatives submitted


certified copies of documents that had been transported to Cuba, usually

deeds or wills, in order to support their claims to the abandoned property."

For the two decades of Spanish absence and of British ownership, British

colonists had perforce occupied, purchased, and improved the former Spanish

sites. While a number of British-era residents chose to stay under Spanish

rule after 1784, others opted to leave and receive some compensation through

sale of property to incoming Spanish subjects. Conflicting claims arose in this

situation, of course, and in cases where there were not valid claimants, the

Spanish crown intended to benefit from the sale of ownerless property. The

documents are conserved in the Claims for Town Lots section of the Spanish

Land Grants collection at the Division of Historical Resources in Tallahassee.

For years these documents were valued as substantiation of property

ownership, which was the intent when presented, but the papers, in fact,

mention a lot more. A few other similar claims became part of the East Florida

Papers Manuscript Collection, now at the Library of Congress. The

documentation arising from property claims should be considered a highly

biased source as only those families with reason to return to Florida after 1784

were included, unlike records such as notary books which would include

property transactions across the population. Given the original intent,

historians look to the Claims for Town Lots for information on property

ownership and perhaps descriptions of buildings. This collection has never

been consulted as a source for other evidence, which was merely incidental at


the time of the claims, but which in fact provides information on aspects of

individuals' lives in Florida, almost impossible to investigate in the absence of

the notarial records. As claimants submitted wills and sworn statements which

justified ownership of abandoned real property, they also described all sorts of

personal property, financial arrangements among individuals, relations with

slaves, and the use of specific rooms within houses.

The John B. Steston Collection is the premier source for the study of

first Spanish period with its copies of official correspondence between Florida,

Cuba, and Spain that span the entire period. It provides the documentation

that constitutes a chronology of the events in the Spanish colony and in the

region. The documents were selected in the 1920s from the holdings at the

Archive of the Indies in Seville, photographed, and subsequently microfilmed.

Especially useful for this study, in addition to the official perspective, are

petitions, testimony and affidavits made by lower-ranking soldiers and civilians

and incorporated into official communiques.3 Numerous archival bundles in

the Archive of the Indies which concern Spanish Florida have been microfilmed

in their entirety and are available on microfilm in addition to the Stetson

Collection at the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of


The lives of the ordinary residents can be partially reconstructed by

combining the information from several of the sources mentioned above.

Seldom will a single source provide a good picture. In combination, these

documents permit the examination of what concerned ordinary residents. The

documents offer information and insight into the decisions and behavior of

individuals and their interaction with kin, friends, associates, sponsors, and

superiors. Sometimes we can pursue questions that interest us, but with which

the colonial residents were probably not consciously concerned. The data

offer the possibility to see changes in personal behavior in response to the

larger political, social, and material world and also see the individual lives as

components of the aggregate behaviors that propelled the larger

changes-forces which in turn pressed the lives of the colonists into ever-

changing patterns.


1. This is a slightly altered restatement of Joel Evans's contention. Evans
also includes in his assessment of Spanish influence the passive and
unwitting introduction of disease and the resulting demographic collapse and
greatly diminished Native American populations with which Europeans might
have to contend. "Southeastern Indians and the English Trade in Skins and
Slaves," in Charles Hudson and Carmen Chaves Tesser, eds., The Forgotten
Centuries: Indians and Europeans in the American South (Athens: University
of Georgia Press, 1994), 305.

2. It is not intended to present here a broad critique of current survey texts,
but to give representative examples. Although Philip Jenkins sets forth his
temporal focus as 1492-1765, he in fact limits it to the earliest years, reducing
Spanish presence to the "wonder of the conquistadors," in A History of the
United States (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1997), 7. Maldwyn A. Jones
observes that "apart from leaving a fort at St. Augustine, Florida a number of
missions in the southwest, Spain turned her back on America north of the Rio
Grande in the late sixteenth century though without relinquishing her claims
there." Limits of Liberty: American History. 1607-1992, 2d ed., (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1995), 4. Similar presentations appear in Virginia
Bernhard, David Bruner, Elizabeth-Fox Genovese, John McClymer, Firsthand


America: A History of the United States, 3" ed., (St. James, NY: Brandywine
Press, 1993), 11-14, even though it claimed to be more inclusive than previous

3. Robert M. Weir continues the interpretation and portrayal of Spanish
Florida as a barrier in Colonial South Carolina: A History (Columbia:
University of South Carolina Press, 1997), 42, 52, 82, Weir's role for Florida
as part of the "prologue" to South Carolina's settlement perpetuates the
exclusion of the Spanish colony's continued function in the development of
the region. Weir includes the most recent material on Florida in his
bibliographic essay (395-96) with emphasis on the contact period in the
sixteenth-century, but not upon the Spanish colony as an on-going factor.

4. Betty Wood, Slavery in Colonial Georgia. 1733-1775 (Athens: University of
Georgia Press, 1984), 8-9.

5. In the colonial context the terms "dominant" and "subordinated" better
reflect the colonial situation than "majority" and "minority." Peter H. Wood's
term, "black majority," to describe colonial South Carolina is a good example
where the majority was not the dominant group. Black Majority: Negroes in
Colonial South Carolina from 1670 to the Stono Rebellion (New York: Alfred
A. Knopf, 1974).

6. [n.a.], "The Walled City," in Carter L. Hudgins, Carl R. Lounsbury, Louis P.
Nelson, Jonathan H. Poston, eds., The Vernacular Architecture-of Charleston
and the Lowcountryv 1670-1990: A Field Guide, 24-25.

7. The use of regional activities as the basis forperiodization appears in
historian Michael V. Gannon's The Cross in the Sand: The Early Catholic
Church in Florida. 1513-1870 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1965)
wherein he invokes 1675, "the finest hour of the missionary movement," (66)
as a turning point in the Spanish mission system in the region rather than
looking to the destruction of 1702 and 1704, which were major events, but
still part of the downward path rather than the end ICh. 5). Gannon continues
the use of the regional reality with chapter 6, whose periodization (1768-1790)
reflects the break in the presence of clergy of the Catholic Church in Florida
rather than using the political change, from a Spanish colony to a British
colony, as a marker.

8. "By the time the Pilgrims came ashore at Plymouth, St. Augustine was up
for urban renewal." Michael Gannon, Florida: A Short History (Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 1993), 4.


9. Engel Sluiter, The Florida Situado: Quantifying the First Eighty Years,
1571-1651 (Gainesville: University of Florida Libraries, 1985), 1.

10. John Jay TePaske, The Governorship of Spanish Florida. 1700-1763
(Durham: Duke University Press, 1964); Amy Turner Bushnell, The King's
Coffer: Proprietors of the Spanish Florida Treasury. 1565-1702 (Gainesville:
University of Florida Press, 1981).

11. Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction
(New York: Vintage Books, 1988), quote on 122; David Hackett Fischer,
Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1989); D. W. Meinig, The Shaping of America: A Geographical
Perspective on 500 Years of History, Vol. I, Atlantic America. 1492-1800 (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), quote on 80.

12. Jack P. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early
Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture (Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1988).

13. Fischer, Albion's' Seed, 6-7. Extending his argument into modern times,
for example, Fischer claims that "each American culture had its own motives
for supporting JWorld War Il]" and attributes the different style of the top-
ranking U.S. military commanders to regional differences, 877-80.

14. Theodore G. Corbitt, "Population Structure of Hispanic St. Augustine,
1763," Florida Historical Quarterly, 54 (1976): 263-84; Kathleen Hoffman,
"Cultural Development in La Florida, in Donna L. Ruhl and Kathleen Hoffman,
eds., Diversity and Social Identity Colonial Spanish America: Native
American. African and Hispanic Communities During the Middle Period.
Historica( Archaeology 31 (1997): 24-35.

15. Meinig, Atlantic America, 80. Meinig offers a framework composed of
three sequential, developmental periods and eleven cultural regions for North
America and the West Indies. With this framework, he describes how
Europeans established their dominance in America and how that dominance
reshaped the American world. Meinig separates the sequential framework
into "seafaring," "conquering," and "planting" periods. The last, which
encompasses the eighteenth century, he divides into two phases:
"implantation" and "reorganization." In the "implantation" phase major
production districts and cultural areas were formed. During the
"reorganization" phase, metropolitan authorities attempted to bring these New
World offshoots under tighter central control. His criteria for identifying a
cultural region largely being homogeneity of the population, Meinig identifies
Greater New England, the St. Lawrence River valley, Hudson's Bay, the

Hudson River valley, Pennsylvania, Greater Virginia, the Tropical Islands, the
Carolinas, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas and the Lower Rio Grande valley.
Meinig addresses the concept of "reorganization" as a situation molded
by external political demands and gives little weight to internal regional
cultural or economic factors.

16. Jos6 Maria Ots y Capdequi, Historia del derecho esparfol in America y
del derecho indiano (Buenos Aires: Losada, 1945), 3.

17. Ann M. Pescatello, Power and Pawn: The Female in Iberian Families.
Society, and Culture. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1976), Ch. 1.

18. There is a plethora of discussions of the evolution of the field of social
history. For a brief overview of its roots, methods and content, see Alice
Kessler-Harris, "Social History," in Eric Foner, ed., The New American History
(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1990), 163-84.

19. See Michael Gannon, "The New Alliance of History and Archaeology in
the Eastern Spanish Borderlands," William and Mary Quarterly 49, 3"I ser.
(1992): 321-44 for a discussion of interdisciplinary projects.

20. David Hurst Thomas, ed., Columbian Consequences: Impact of Hispanic
Colonization in the Southeast and Caribbean (Washington, D C: Smithsonian
Institution Press, 1990), includes essays by most of the mission researchers
and mission sites. Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Indians and the Invasion from
Europe (Gainesville; University Press of Florida, 1995); John H. Hann, A
History of the Timucua Indians and Missions (Gainesville: University Press of
Florida, 1996); idem. Apalachee: The Land Between the Rivers (Gainesville:
University of Florida Press, 1988); idem and Bonnie G. McEwan, The
Apalachee Indians and Mission San Luis (Gainesville: University Press of
Florida, 1998) deals with interactions among the Native Americans and the
Spanish. Hudson and Tesser, eds., The Forgotten Centuries and Peter H.
Wood, Gregory A. Waselkov, and M. Thomas Hatley, eds., Powhatan's
Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast (Lincoln: University of Nebraska,
1989) survey the Native Americans in the southeast.

21. Jane Landers, "Black Society in Spanish St. Augustine," Ph.D. diss.
(University of Florida, 1988); idem, 'Traditions of African American Freedom
and Community in Colonial Spanish Florida," in David R. Colburn and Jane L.
Landers, eds., The African American Heritage of Florida (Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 1995), 19-41; "Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de
Mose: A Free Black Town in Spanish Colonial Florida." American Historical
Review 95 (1990):9-30.


22. Greene, Pursuits of Happiness, 12-13.

23. Juan Marchena Ferndndez, "St. Augustine's Military Society, 1700-1820,"
El Escribano 22 (1985): 69.

24. Darrett B. and Anita H. Rutman, A Place in Time: Middlesex County,
Virginia, 1650-1750 (New York: Norton, 1984), 12.

25. Gannon, Cross in the Sand, 191.

26. Charles S. Coomes, "Our Country's Oldest Parish Records, El Escribano,
18 (1981):74-83. Pedro Jos6 G6mez's claim stated that Eligio de la Puente's
papers were located in Cuba in the office of the exchequer (Tribunal de
Cuentas de Real Audiencia), Bnd. 320, no. 81, Claims for Town Lots, Spanish
Land Grants manuscript collection (SLG), Florida Division of Historical
Resources, Tallahassee, Florida.

27. For an example of the multiple distribution, see Juan Fernandez de
Olivera to the Crown, 1612 October 13, Archivo General de Indias (hereafter
AGI), Audiencia de Santo Domingo 229 (hereafter SD), number 75.

28. Jos6 Miguel Chapuz, claim for the house of his mother Beatriz Amadora,
Bundle 320, claim no. 62 [also numbered 298], Town Lots, SLG. Juan Jose
Eligio de la Puente's correspondence to the Governor of Cuba noted that
many of the evacuees were dead by the date of his report of 1770 January
27. AGI SC 87-1-5/4.

29. Cathedral Parish Records (hereafter CPR), Diocese of St. Augustine,
Diocesan Center, Mandarin, Florida (microfilm copies at St. Augustine
Historical Society).

30. Gannon, Cross in the Sand, 191-92.

31. CPR.

32. The muster rolls of soldiers and those individuals sustained by crown
funds are generally titled "General List" (lista general or pie de lista),
sometimes signed by the governor, at other times sent in the name of a
subordinate, administrative official. The following musters were consulted;
only date and archival citation are listed here: 1671 July 6, 58-1-26/16A;
1680 December 4, 54-5-12/9; 1683 May 27, 54-5-12/9:1683 June 28, 54-5-
11/102 duplicate; 1687 April 20, 54-5-14/41; 1698 December 2, 58-2-3/25;
1699 September 1, 54-5-15/136; 1701 December 3, 58-2-3/34; 1706, 1707,
1708, 1709 all December 3, 58-1-35/61; 1712 December 3, 58-2-3/59; 1714
December 31, 1714; 58-2-4/17; 1719 August 12, 58-2-4/25; 1717 June 3, 87-


1-2/63; 1738 April 5; 87-1-3/20; 1740 58-1-32/23; 1745 January 2, 87-3-
12/70; 1746 January 12, 87-3-12176; 1746 July 15, 87-3-12/84; 1747 January
23, 87-3-12/23; 1748 July 8 and 17, 87-3-13/2. The report by Jos6 Gelabert,
1751 October 29, 87-1-14/2 is very detailed and thus contributed a great deal
to this study. All AGI SC.

33. Hardly any claimants presented certified copies of documents which had
been transported to Mexico.

34. Gannon, Cross in the Sand, 192-93.


St. Augustine, a Spanish garrison being planted to
the southward of us about a hundred leagues,
makes Carolina a frontier to all the English
settlements on the main.
-Governor Nathaniel Johnson of
South Carolina, 1709

From an Iberian perspective, La Florida was a latecomer among New

World settlements. Still, this youngster of Spain's American territories

predated any enduring settlements of England or France in North America.

The boundaries of La Florida originally extended to Newfoundland and to the

west as far as the mind could comprehend. Other nations who planted

settlements could only trespass in this context.

After a half-century of exploration of the southeast and thwarted

settlement attempts, which began with Juan Ponce de Le6n,1 the Spanish at

last in September 1565 founded St. Augustine, the first settlement to endure.

Juan Ponce had set out from Puerto Rico in February 1521 with materiel to

settle on the lower west coast of the Florida peninsula. But Native Americans

drove the settlers out. In 1526 Spanish settlers established the San Miguel

de Gualdape settlement on or near Sapelo, a Georgia barrier island. It


endured for no more than six weeks.2 In 1559 a hurricane undermined the

nascent Spanish settlement at Pensacola even before all cargo could be

offloaded; still it survived until 1561.3 The 1565 expedition's leader, Pedro

Men6ndez de Aviles, had intended to settle in the vicinity of Parris Island,

South Carolina, but the construction of a French fort at the mouth of the St.

Johns River led Men6ndez to debark his colonists and supplies at the next

harbor south of the French foothold. Such a location would provide a land

base for Menendez to attack French Fort Caroline and oust French colonists

from Spanish-claimed lands. And Men6ndez's men handily accomplished the

removal within a few weeks of first landing.

Men6ndez did establish a settlement at the intended Carolina location

at Eastertide 1566. But Santa Elena's survival was even more fitful than that

of St. Augustine. The Spanish abandoned Santa Elena in 1576 and

reestablished it in 1578. By 1587 the Santa Elena site was given up for the

second and final time and its residents resettled in St. Augustine.4 Thus the

site at St. Augustine, which had begun as a default location, became the seat

of permanent Spanish presence on the North American Atlantic coast.

The wisdom for St. Augustine's location probably caused many to

question Men6ndez's rationality for maintaining the settlement.5 The town

took root on the west bank of an estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, not at the

mouth of a river flowing from the interior. Surrounding rivers and creeks are

tidal. Thus access to St. Augustine's hinterland was by land rather than via a


ready-made highway of water. The difficulty inherent in overland transport of

the era would hinder interior development. Overland transport would become

expensive in both money and good relations with the natives.

Nor was the harbor itself of much note. The entrance to the safety and

haven of the estuary passed through a fickle inlet and shifting sand bars. An

eighteenth-century traveler perceived the security from invading vessels that

the bar offered. "It was Spanish wariness to fix the capital of a colony behind

a sand-bank which cannot be crossed except at great peril.'" Such conditions

served well at the time of founding when protection against French vessels

was paramount. But the St. Augustine inlet bore out the Spanish proverb

which advised "el cuchillo que corta el pan tambien se corta el dedo" (The

knife which cuts your bread will also cut your finger). Storms and hurricanes

could improve and deepen the passage or relocate and virtually close the


Laborers had to offload supplies from deep-draft vessels anchored

outside the inlet to be ferried in smaller boats to the city's landing. Larger

ships dared not risk running aground in the inlet or allow themselves to be

imprisoned in St. Augustine's harbor, awaiting the lunar phase to bring the

highest tides and thus navigable depths. A series of north-south estuaries

facilitated movement and transportation that paralleled the coast. But access

into the interior from St. Augustine had to be overland, making the movement

of goods most onerous.


Despite Spain's claim to the lone settlement in the region, the Spanish

never had the lower southeast all to themselves. Raiders and traders from

other European nations appeared and departed. For a century following the

founding, no other European power secured a toehold in the region. But by

the last quarter of the seventeenth century Spain faced a permanent English

presence in South Carolina and the incipient French colony of Louisiana. A

century of successive wars would re-shape both Europe and North America.

Spain's territorial status in the lower southeast went largely

unchallenged from the time of Men6ndez's founding of St. Augustine and

Santa Elena in 1565 and 1566 until the advent of English Charleston in 1670.

Historian Ralph Davis asserts that the 1607 placement of Jamestown

reflected concern by England's James I "to keep well clear of the Spanish

limits in Florida" in the early seventeenth century.7 Historian Kenneth

Andrews similarly claims that England "shrank" from challenging Spain over

Virginia and that the English even explained that endeavor to the Spanish as

a private risk rather than an English crown project.8 English, French, and

Dutch traders and privateers indeed devastated Spanish settlements

throughout the circum-Caribbean and deprived residents and the crown of

security and material goods, but acquisition of the land and the labor of its

native inhabitants was not a part of their agenda. Early Dutch, French, and

especially English activity was as booty driven as early Spanish aims,

although stereotypes persist of the "settling" English and the "greedy,"


extractive Spanish.9 These latecomer raiders generally targeted the wealth or

goods of other Europeans while the Spanish had focused on appropriating

Native American resources. Money, supplies, and perhaps artillery, not

lands, lured Francis Drake to attack St. Augustine in 1586.10 The French,

more oriented to trade than plunder, continued seasonal trading visits to the

southeast coast despite their rout by Menendez in 1565 and again in 1580 at

the mouth of the St. Johns River. The Guale natives of the Georgia coast

and French corsairs both ignored Spanish prohibitions on their trading


The advent in the south of English settlement in 1670 marked a change

in life and activity in the southeast by virtue of the raids and attacks that the

English and their Indian allies made in the region. Governor Johnson's

remark in 1709 charging that the Spanish presence so near to Carolina forced

the English colonists to live in a state of fear and alert ignored the chronology

of settlement, but well illustrated English jealousy. France's appearance in

1699 along the lower Mississippi River and the coast of the northern Gulf of

Mexico added to the complexity. Historian Charles Arnade refers to the

international conflict in the southeast as a "triangular struggle."12 Yet,

continuing with his geometric metaphor, a polygon serves as a better

description, for the various Native American nations comprised "sides" as

well. The struggle was certainly not equilateral and the number of sides and

their respective sizes varied over time. Arnade assigns the Native


Americans' weight to one of the three major European players rather than

seeing native activity as purely native in character, driven by native benefit

and survival rather than by allegiance to one or another of the colonial

powers. Historian Daniel Usner views Native Americans in the region as a

forceful group who participates fully in shaping its own destiny in the face of

Europeans' territorial and commercial machinations. Usner, for the French

Lower Mississippi Valley, and historian Amy Bushnell, for Spanish Florida,

both point out the Europeans' or Euro-Americans' dependence upon the

natives for food in the face of the French and Spanish metropolises' ever-

inadequate supply practices."

Entry of the English permanently into the southeast in 1670 coincided

with the zenith of the Spanish Florida mission system and with the time of the

largest reported number of Indian communicants. It was the mission residents

on the coast of the southeast who felt the first English attacks on Spanish

enclaves and against Spanish influence in the region. The mission residents

quickly adapted to the new reality in the region as they relocated and

reorganized. It was only the beginning of changes for Spanish Florida.

Florida's proximity to the Gulf Stream offered an asset that Spain could

not risk having another empire control. The current came very close to the

mainland along Florida's southern coast, increasing the potential for

shipwreck in that area. So long as Florida remained Spanish, cargo and

passengers cast overboard might be saved by Spanish interests. Near St.


Augustine the current turned sharply eastward and the natural propulsion of

the Gulf Stream carried the galleons away from the Americas and out into the

Atlantic toward Europe. This route made St. Augustine the last chance for

Spain's silver fleet to get assistance with navigational problems or aid against

threatening enemy vessels.14 When Florida's benefit to the empire was

questioned in light of its meager production during hearings in 1602,

justification for maintaining the colony was put forth in the larger context of the

colony's role in the security of the fleets and therefore the security of Spain's


Florida helped protect Spain's access to precious metals. Florida's

role continued to be its strategic location to protect shipping headed to Spain

laden with ingots and other colonial products. Near the end of the eighteenth

century Florida additionally buffered the valuable silver mines of Mexico from

overland incursions from the new United States.16 Only when Spain had

almost nothing left to protect in the Caribbean after the wars for independence

of the early nineteenth century did the Spanish crown give up its colony of



1. Michael Gannon, "First European Contacts," in Michael Gannon, ed., The
New History of Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996), 20-21.

2. Paul E. Hoffman, "Lucas Vdzquez de Ayll6n," in Jeannine Cook, ed.,
Columbus and the Land of Avll6n: The Exploration and Settlement of the
Southeast (Darien, GA: Lower Altahama Historical Society, 1992), 27.

3. Gannon, "First European Contacts," 34-35.

4. Eugene Lyon, "Settlement and Survival," in Gannon, ed., New History of
Florida, 48-58; Amy Turner Bushnell, Situado and Sabana: Spain's Support
System for the Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida (New York:
American Museum of Natural History, 1994), 62-64.

5. Among the concerns addressed during the 1602 inquiry by the Spanish
crown of St. Augustine's continued existence were the area's topographical
defects (questions 4 and 5). Charles W. Arnade, Florida On Trial, 1593-1602
(Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press, 1959), 24.

6. Johann David Schoepf, Travels in the Confederation, trans. Alfred J.
Morrison, Vol. 2 (New York: B. Franklin, 1968), 228-29.

7. Ralph Davis, The Rise of the Atlantic Economies (Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press, 1973), 83.

8. Kenneth R. Andrews, Trade, Plunder and Settlement: Maritime Enterprise
and the Genesis of the British Empire. 1480-1630 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1984), 310-12.

9. Eugene Lyon's numerous studies of Pedro Menendez's plans for Florida
have dispelled the traditional Hispanophobic conclusions which limited
actions to conquering, enslaving and mining. See The Enterprise of Florida:
Pedro Men6ndez de Avil6s and the Spanish Conquest of 1565-1568.
(Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1976) and Pedro Men6ndez de
Avil6s Vol. 24 Spanish Borderlands Sourcebooks (New York: Garland, 1995).

10. J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Anglo-Spanish Rivalry in North America (Athens:
University of Georgia Press, 1971), 28-29; Amy Turner Bushnell, The King's
Coffer: Proprietors of the Spanish Florida Treasury, 1656-1702 (Gainesville:
University of Florida Press, 1981), 94-95.

11. Bushnell, Situado and Sabana. 63-65.


12. Charles W. Arnade, "Raids, Sieges and International Wars," in Gannon,
ed., New History of Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996),

13. Daniel H. Usner, Jr., Indians, Settlers and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange
Economy: The Lower Mississippi Valley Before 1783 (Chapel Hill: University
of North Carolina Press, 1992); Amy Turner Bushnell, Situado and Sabana.

14. Murdo MacLeod, "Spain's Atlantic Trade, 1492-1720," in Leslie Bethell,
ed. The Cambridge History of Latin America I, (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1984), 341-88.

15. Arnade summarizes the Franciscan friars' position as in favor of
maintaining the colony of La Florida, but abandoning the Florida peninsula in
favor of an area located closer to the bulk of the Indian population.
"Geographical and nautical considerations, indeed recognized by the fathers,
were of but minor importance" in their point of view. Florida on Trial, 89.

16. Elena Sanchez-Fabres Mirat, Situaci6n hist6rica de las Floridas en la
seaunda mitad del siglo XVIII (1783-1819) (Madrid: Ministerio de Asuntos
Exteriores, 1977), 9, 111.


The inhabitants were of all colours, whites,
negroes, mulattoes, Indians, &c, at the evacuation
of St. Augustine.
-John Bartram, 1765

Of the three major empires to claim and colonize the Americas-Spain,

England, France-the Spanish viewed the Native Americans more as a

resource, in fact a necessity, rather than an obstruction to the viability of their

New World endeavors. Indian labor had been among the first rewards offered

by the crown to early Spanish colonizers of the Caribbean. When Spain

finally turned toward settling the North American mainland, the Spanish

carried with them their viewpoint that Native labor was essential for success.

Indian slavery was never really a factor in the colony of Florida, for by

the time of Juan Ponce's first voyage to Florida in 1513, Indian slavery had

already been legally prohibited in Spanish America by the Laws of Burgos of

1512, so called for the city in which they were promulgated. Thus,

theoretically, the Native Americans of Florida were free Spanish subjects, and

the Spanish had to rely upon enticing native laborers rather than enslaving

them. The institution of slavery remained firmly in place for Africans in


Spanish Florida and throughout Spanish America, although Spanish rule

offered Africans more options for freedom and economic opportunities than

did other colonial regimes.'

Euro-Americans, Native Americans and African-Americans were

present as well in the contemporary regions of other colonial powers on the

North American mainland, but the interaction among the races differed with

region, culture, and empire. French New Orleans counted Indians and blacks

among its residents. Daniel Usner writes that slaves "constituted the core of

the resident Indian population" of the Louisiana capital. Indian slavery was

also permitted in the English colonies. In Maryland,,Virginia, North and South

Carolina, the sale of Indians enslaved in wars of removal helped to pay for the

wars themselves. South Carolina has been described as "preeminent in the

use and exportation of Indian slaves" among all the British continental


After the middle of the seventeenth century, Native American groups

formed the frontier between rival European nations who claimed territory in

southeastern North America. By the time of the establishment of Florida (and

the Philippines and New Mexico), Hapsburg purposefulness had altered the

earlier American encomienda system (a state assignment of compulsory

labor) into a grant to collect tribute.3 In comparison to the expectations upon

Native labor in Peru and New Spain, Florida officials believed that they were

especially ungreedy and lax in their demands with "no encomiendas, obrajes


[sweat shops] or mines." The labor levy which Florida officials had

negotiated with chiefs (caciQues) supplied manpower (and it was to be

unmarried manpower) primarily to maintain fortifications, to plant fields for

Spaniards, and to furnish household and personal servants and ranch hands.

As for the specific labor demands, Natives found the requirement of burden-

bearing to be the most galling. While Governor Andr6s Rodriguez de Villegas

declared in 1630 that Florida Indians were "the best treated in America," it is

doubtful that the Florida Natives shared His Lordship's positive view of the

situation, for the workers were not comparing the demands upon them with

those upon Natives in the labor-devouring areas of Mexico or Peru. Nor did

the Florida Natives' worldview include a pre-Columbian past of massive labor

exaction of or by other Native groups.4

Still, the number of Indians in the Florida colony fell and alarmed

officials. Anthropologist John Worth describes the seventeenth-century

mission era as being a time of "a free-fall decline" in population. The decline

mystified Governor Luis de Rojas y Borja (1624-30). The shrinking Native

population ultimately translated into fewer producers of food for the Spanish

in Florida.5 The colony's governors continually fretted about feeding and

fighting and the intertwining of the two problems. Plagued by such concerns,

Florida officials responded to the specter of a scarcity of Native labor with

decisions that only exacerbated the problem and alienated the labor source.

When an epidemic in 1655 diminished the number of Timucuan Indians of


northeastern Florida who were available to grow corn to be sent to feed the

presidio in St. Augustine, Governor Diego de Rebolledo (1654-1659)

launched a ruthless raid on other groups to acquire workers to plant

compensatory fields near St. Augustine. Contemporary events in the

Caribbean worsened the situation for Florida Natives. Multinational rivalries,

especially the Anglo-Spanish competition in the Americas, brought pressures

upon the Natives of La Florida even before the English established a

permanent presence in the lower southeast. Alarmed by the English capture

of Jamaica, Rebolledo attempted to call up Indian nobles for militia service,

who were in addition ordered to bring their own food with them on their backs,

thus demeaned "as if they were mules or horses."6

Then in 1670 the English made a permanent incursion into the lower

southeast and henceforth into the Spanish monopoly of the region's Native

American labor pool and surplus. The dynamics between Europeans and

Native changed dramatically.

Unlike most regions of Spanish America, residents of all colors and

cultures in colonial Florida found themselves physically threatened by

European enemies, primarily England. Within the context of the international

face-off in the southeast, Spanish colonial officials had to adapt their methods

of dealing with the Native Americans of the region. No longer could the

requirement of native labor be demanded and expected; rather officials had to


recruit and woo Natives' cooperation or sometimes at best settle for Natives'


More plentiful and superior gifts and trade items lured Native groups to

the orbit of England and Carolina. But interchange with the Carolinians could

mean tragedy instead of material acquisitions for Natives. Under the guise of

warfare, Carolinians also captured and enslaved Indians, citing

disagreements over land rights, destruction of crops and slaying of cattle as

bases to justify attack. Carolina's Indian allies brought in Spanish-allied

Indians to be slaves. Most of the Carolina slaves were shipped to the West

Indies to work. Exported Indian labor capitalized Carolina in the early years

when no staple crop had yet proved successful. Historian Converse Clowse

asserts that the export of Indian slaves may have been the most important

generator of profits during the first five years of Carolina's existence. The

extent of the trade is not known as it was illicit and thus little documented.7 It

was a simple extractive venture, so to speak, that could be quickly set up with

little equipment, expertise or capitalization. With slaves being supplied by

wars among the Native groups themselves, Carolinians did not make direct

demands upon individual labor as the Spanish did.

A decade after the founding of Charleston, Carolinians began the

assault on Spanish presence in the southeast in earnest. Abetted by fickle

Yamasee allies, Carolina colonists drove the Spanish soldiers, priests and

Indian converts from St. Catherine's Island as the first operation. The mission


towns and the Indians who chose to remain with the Spanish began island-

hopping southward, regrouping all the while. The English also harried to the

west in the Apalachee area and extended their influence among the Lower

Creeks.8 Meanwhile the Spanish demands upon Native labor surged in order

to furnish laborers for the building of the shellstone fortress in St. Augustine.

Groundbreaking for the fortress began only two years after the founding of

Charleston and continued for 23 years. Natives became disenchanted with

European empires in the southeast, but were given little opportunity to be

neutral. Additionally, Natives' attraction to manufactured metal goods, cloth

and liquor altered the Native lifeways so that they became materially

dependent upon the imports. During the 1690s the hostilities abated and

superficially friendly relations existed, with the English and the Spanish each

keeping the other informed on activities of the French, the common threat-of-

the-moment to them both.9

In 1702 the English in Carolina took advantage of the outbreak of war

in Europe to attack Spain in Florida. In September 1702 a Carolinian and

Yamassee expeditionary force of 800 to 1200 (sources disagree) set out for

Spanish Florida. Spanish-allied coastal Natives fled to St. Augustine's

fortress as the English with their own Indian allies approached. Charles

Arnade termed the conflict in Florida as "one of the first large engagements in

the international struggle on the North American continent .... [which]

marked the beginning of a century of warfare in North America."10 English


attacks in the Apalachee area in both 1702 and 1704 resulted in the

destruction of Spanish missions and the capture and enslavement of

"reasonably no more than a thousand Natives" according to John Hann's

assessment. The leader of the English forces, James Moore, reported figures

ranging from 400 to 4000.11 The English would sell the captives to offset the

cost of the conflict. The Carolinians' assaults left the Natives scattered.

While in the east all racial and cultural groups suffered from the total burning

of the capital city by the English before the invaders retreated.

In 1715 Carolina's Yamassee allies turned on the English colonists.

Florida's governor denied any part in inciting the attacks. In truth the Spanish

in Florida were engaged in literally rebuilding St. Augustine and were hardly

in a condition to give more than verbal support to attacks against the English.

Outlying Spanish missions were almost nonexistent, for the Spanish in Florida

had not yet recuperated sufficiently to move out much beyond the capital and

the protection of the fort and its artillery. Many Native Americans of South

Carolina subsequently fled to Florida for refuge. Historian John Hann notes

the paradox of the refugees running to Spanish Florida from the Yamassee

War who had only a decade earlier "played prominent roles in the destruction

of the Florida missions." Hann further asserts that the influx led to a

significant reorganization and expansion of the settlements that had already

arisen to accommodate the refugees from the missions in the century's first

decade.12 Hoping to perpetuate "infidel and Catholic Indians" as allies,


Florida Governor C6rcoles requested from the Spanish crown "funds to

succor and bring them to our side ... [and] make them productive."13 He

feared that the English would try to invade in order to destroy their former

Native allies now in Florida.14

The tables of the southeast had turned. The Yamassees had forced

contraction of English settlement to a small area of South Carolina

reminiscent of what the English had done to the Spanish of Florida only about

fifteen years earlier. Perhaps C6rcoles wanted also to ensure his own peace

with the Native rebels, who had now seen their own strength and who might

decide to use it on the Spanish as well. Indeed the interaction between the

Spanish and the Natives, albeit with various and different Native groups as

time passed, had transformed from the Spaniards' requiring labor and

products to a Spanish position of supporting Natives as refugees and

potential allies or at the least to appease them and assure inaction on the part

of the Natives.

During the first quarter of the eighteenth century relations with Native

Americans in Spanish Florida found the Natives transformed into an expense,

a fiscal liability that could not be neglected lest they defect to other empires.

Gangs of workers no longer arrived from missions to sustain defense projects

and other public works. Indians had been interacting within the society since

the Europeans' arrival. Spanish male colonists early on took Indian women

as brides, which allowed the establishment of a stable and self-sustaining


population early. A priest shipwrecked about 1595 reported "there are few

Spanish women, and only today I heard it said that a Spaniard was married to

an Indian chieftainess". He also observed that some of the Indians spoke

Castillian well and dressed in the Spanish style.15

Indians served as personal servants and contract workers for Spanish

families at outposts and in St. Augustine. Native Americans in Apalachee in

the San Luis region resentfully provided services to the household of the

deputy governor stationed there, Juan Femrndez de Florencia. Indians

manned the ferries at the St. Johns River crossing to the interior, building and

repairing the vessels as well. Indians came from Apalachee to serve

employers in St. Augustine. Two who ran amok in St. Augustine, fashioning

small counterfeit coins, described themselves: "a contract Indian" and the

other as having "no other trade than to render service in what he is ordered

to, as at present he is serving [his master] in his field."'6 Indians' carpentry

skills helped literally to build St. Augustine. After felling the trees, the Natives

had planed the finished boards for the roof and fences of the governor's

house built in 1690 and they might very well have done so for private building

in exchange for payment in cash, but more likely in kind. During the

confinement of Florida residents in the English siege of St. Augustine, Marta

Maria, a Guale wage worker (naboria) married to a slave, gave birth to one of

the babies born inside the fortress.17


The Yamassee uprising in Carolina and its shockwaves of refugees

brought about new interactions between Native and Spanish. The refugees

were settled along the very perimeter of the town of St. Augustine. Indians

from several villages and language groups were mixed together within the

enclaves. John Hann has translated accounting by officials and friars of the

refugee villages, which emphasize languages as well as village affiliations.

Chilean historian Mario G6ngora observes that colonial officials and priests

throughout Spanish America denominated and grouped Natives by language

rather than by Native organization. In the early days of New-World

settlement, missionaries emphasized the preservation of Native tongues and

evangelized in the Indian languages, the learning of which they considered to

be one of their first duties. More than two hundred years later the tradition of

linguistic classification and separation persisted throughout Latin America and

perpetuated the racial and caste system.18

Retreat and Relocations

Like a concertina, Florida's mission villages over the five decades after

the 1702-1704 destruction moved alternately nearer to and then farther from

St. Augustine in response to raids or threats of raids. In the process of the

relocations villages were combined and sometimes new refugees attached

when the letters' towns ceased to be viable communities. For example, the

Pocotalaca village had relocated nearer the capital after an early-morning


attack on November 1, 1725 drove its residents into the safety of the city from

their location at Las Rosas de Ayam6n about 16 miles south of St. Augustine

(two or three miles south of Matanzas Inlet). Following this raid, the chief of

the village and his family lived in town, sustained by one of the town's

upstanding citizens. Agustin Guillermo de Fuentes "received into his own

house" the chief, his wife, three children, his father- and mother-in-law, the

chiefs nephew and another young boy.19 But so insecure did the refugees of

the relocated Pocotalaca village feel that in 1728 they moved into the town at

night from their daytime location already as close as "a musket-shot distance

from the castillo."' In 1739 Governor Manuel de Montiano moved the

Pocatalaca members back to the countryside "to cultivate more fertile lands ..

at a distance of four leagues," probably near their earlier location at Ayam6n.

(A league's size varied from 2-1/2 to four miles. By the late 1700s in Florida,

it often equaled about three miles.) But they would not remain in the

countryside. In 1763 an alphabetical symbol on Engineer Pablo Castell6's

map marked the existence of the village of Pocotalaca once again closer to

St. Augustine, on the southern outskirts of the town.21 An ordinary green-

and-white bridge sign on Interstate 95 today bearing the words "Pocotaliga

River" reminds of the villagers' refugee history and the sign serves as an

unintentional epitaph for that village's even earlier, pre-Florida site in South



The trail of the village of Tolomato likewise wound its way ever

southward down the coastal islands and ultimately departed the North

American mainland for the Antilles in 1763. Until the middle of the

seventeenth century the Tolomato people inhabited the area around St.

Catherine's Island on the Georgia coast. At some time prior to 1658 the

Tolomato village was located in McIntosh County; some have suggested at

the site of Fort King George.22 Raids by hostile, non-Christian Indians forced

the village's displacement to a new site some two to three leagues north of St.

Augustine. Bishop Calder6n visited the mission of La Natividad de Nuestra

Sehrora de Guadalupe de Tolomato in 1675, when it was situated at the tip of

the Guana peninsula on North River near St. Augustine.23 The Tolomato

Cemetery on Cordova Street in St. Augustine marks a subsequent location of

the village and perpetuates its name. (The cemetery postdates the village.)

The graveyard occupies the last North American mainland location of the

Tolomato villagers. In 1763 remnants of the Tolomato people evacuated

Florida for Cuba, along with the rest of the colony's Spanish subjects, in the

face of incoming British rule.

While Natives associated with missions themselves or at least with the

missions' inhabitants sought security near the capital, other southeastern

Natives were filling the lands in the interior of the Florida peninsula left vacant

by the missions' disappearance. Spanish colonial officials took advantage of

animosities between Creek groups and English colonists in the southeast and


among the Creeks groups themselves to invite the disenchanted groups to

relocate to Florida. The Creek groups might have also been looking for areas

with more fertile soil than their planting grounds in today's Georgia could offer

after years of maize and bean culture. Lt. Diego Peia visited Lower Creek

villages in 1716, 1717 and 1718 and successfully recruited new residents for

Spanish Florida.24

Little is known about the half century of relocation into Florida.

Anthropologist Brent Weisman illustrates the minimal information in his

remark that with respect to the exact dates of Seminole colonization in

Florida: "The period 1716-67 is as much as we can say." Weisman and

historian John Mahon divide early Seminole history into two periods. The

"colonization period" featured the initial migrations of the Creek towns into

Florida. The "enterprise period" saw an era of prosperity under British and

returned Spanish rule prior to the cession of Florida to the United States.

During the colonization period Creeks not only migrated into Florida, but also

diminished their ties and identification with the Creek groups they left behind.

By the time of Florida's transfer to Great Britain, the relocated Creeks had

become known as Seminoles.5 The term "Seminole" derives from a

Muskogee term simano-li, which itself had been appropriated from the

Spanish word cimarr6n, both meaning "wild" or "runaway."'2


While these migrating groups were friendly with the Spanish regime, there

was little contact between these two groups and cultures. With little

interaction, Seminoles remained for the most part outside of the orbit of

Iberian cultural influence.

From Village to Town: from Ward to Citizen

Proximity and manpower needs of the Spanish colony enabled some of

the Native Americans refuged near the capital to move out of their Indian

enclaves and into the town's neighborhoods. According to historian Robert

Gold's computations, eighty-nine Indians, composing nineteen families, left

St. Augustine in the 1763 evacuation. But St. Augustine's Indians were in fact

undercounted; the tally of the Indian evacuees included only wards of the

Crown and not the independent Indian residents.

Native American families who had left their village homes for a town

residence and economic integration also achieved documentary identification

with the military and civilian personnel.27 For modem researchers the Indian

who moved into homes interspersed among the Spanish citizenry became

increasingly difficult to locate in contemporary records: with their progressive

integration into the tableau of Spanish society, the Indians blended into the

documentary mosaic as well. Without the survival of the Catholic Church's

records of births, marriages and deaths and the expanded information

required for those entries in the mid-eighteenth century, these "urban Indians"


would be almost impossible to discern--perhaps an indication of how well the

Natives blended into the society itself at the time. Intensive study of the

parish records yields recognition of the presence of independent Indians

families and enables the creation of genealogies and partial biographies of

the individuals who composed the families.

Pedro Tombs de Ribera and his wife, Maria de la Cruz, of Tolomato

village, established themselves as an independent, self-sustaining family

within the town walls or inside the defense line lineea. Pedro and Maria

literally and juridically crossed the line, truly making a positive passage

toward higher personal and social evolution from the perspective of the

dominant Hispanic culture. Pedro and Maria had been born during the years

when the Tolomato village relocated for the survival of its members and as a

group. In sworn statements and Church records Ribera claimed that he was a

native of this Guale (Ibaia) village.28 Although in the eyes of Euro-American

recorders the Riberas had shed their village affiliation for town citizenship,

Maria and Pedro continued to live very close to their village. They located

their home on the west side of Spanish Street-at the closest possible site to

the Tolomato village.2 In 1764 the Ribera-de la Cruz homesite occupied the

width of the block and with street frontage of 44 varas (120 English feet). The

structures on the Ribera-de la Cruz lot were not ephemeral refugee huts.

Archaeological evidence indicated a two-cell structure with an interior


masonry partition and the foundations' dimensions suggest a two-story


Physically as well as symbolically, Pedro and Maria remained,

however, close to the line between being Indian and Hispanic-between ward

and citizen. Their back property boundary was a portion of the defense line

that surrounded St. Augustine and it marked the spatial and social

designation between inside the walls and outside the walls. Discussing free-

black contemporaries of Pedro and Maria as well as other town Indians in St.

Augustine society, historian Jane Landers refers to the Spanish cultural

association of urbanization with the advance of civilization. Residence

outside the city, outside its walls, reflected lower cultural and spiritual

development. She asserts that the efforts in 1752 of Governor Garcia de.,

Solis to remove blacks back to their own former village at Mose '"beyond the

walls'... made a visible statement about their supposed inferiority." The free

blacks had moved into St. Augustine for protection in 1740, abandoning their

own village about two miles north of the capital. It is interesting that Governor

Montiano's moving the Pocotalaca village back to the countryside (mentioned

previously) was contemporaneous with Montiano's establishing of the free

black community at Mose in 1738.31 Montiano had removed the less Hispanic

elements out of town and to the periphery, where they could also serve as

first lines of defense. These peripheral residents had the most to fear and to


lose from British attacks or British-allied Indian raids; runaway slaves and

enemy Indians could be taken or re-taken as slaves.

Ribera claimed that he and his family were parishoners and citizens of

juridical St. Augustine and were listed as such on the official rolls. Distinction

between full-fledged parishoner and mission Indian meant the difference

between independence or dependency, between being a legally full member

of the society, a vecino, or being a ward under the jurisdiction of the friars.

Ribera stated that he had been married and received a nuptial benediction in

the parish church, and that his children likewise had all been baptized in the

parish church. When a Franciscan friar included Ribera and his family on the

lists of those under the friars' care, Ribera objected and claimed that the

friar's action was "against my wishes." The formal objection by Ribera might

well have been instigated and orchestrated by the secular clergy, who wanted

to retain as many parishioners as possible. Ribera's statement, however,

illustrates the importance of the distinction to him and his family. Natives had

the option, or in the language of the day privilege, granted by the king to

choose their parish. Ribera and de la Cruz chose the main parish church of

St. Augustine, not a mission church.3

Ribera acquired a man-space (plaza del rev) with the cavalry company

and it can be reasonably assumed the pay and equipment that accompanied

the position as well. In 1746 he was killed while fighting enemy Indians."

Maria de la Cruz might have also have contributed cash or goods to the family


through her own work. A notation that Maria baptized a newborn infant at the

point of death suggests that Maria might have served as a midwife.3

Assimilation and incorporation of Pedro and Maria into the economy

and society of colonial Florida was reflected in the marriages of their four

children who lived to adulthood. Many other siblings had been laid to rest in

the Florida soil, for the parish records reveal a succession of burials in the

churchyard of small, frequently nameless, children (pirvulos) born to Pedro

and Maria: in December 1737, November 1738 (this girl surviving at least

long enough to receive a name), August 1740, June 1741.35

The marriages of Pedro and Maria's children reflected the changing

population and the changes to the society of St. Augustine society. Four

children survived Pedro, none of whom married either residents of Indian

towns nor mestizos (children with white and Indian parentage).3 Very much

in the St. Augustine tradition, daughter Ana Lucia married a soldier from

southern Spain. This couple represented the expected interracial marriage:

Spanish soldiers had been finding wives among the Native population since

the earliest days of the colony. Juan de Ribera married a woman recently

arrived in St. Augustine as part of an immigrant group of Canary Islanders.

When Juan died in Havana in 1772, his will revealed how acculturated into

Hispanic society he had become. He instructed that he be buried according

to the rituals of the Third of Order of St. Francis, a prestigious international

religious order for laypersons.37


Sons Francisco Xavier and Antonio married white creole women born

in St. Augustine. The recognition of the existence of these marriages runs

counter to the widely accepted assumption that "in the Spanish town ... the

union of Spanish and Indian always involved a Spanish man and an Indian

women.Y" Francisco Xavier's father-in-law had arrived in St. Augustine as a

soldier from southern Spain and typically found a wife among the town's Euro-

American population.3 The most surprising union was the one contracted by

Antonio de la Cruz Ribera. Here was a Native American man who married a

local Spanish woman-and one who was highly connected, at that. Antonio's

wife was a first cousin of the wife of Governor Lucas de Palacio. Did Antonio

make a surprising match or did the governor? Perhaps both men did. Father

Juan Jose de Solana, who said little about Governor Palacio that was

complimentary, criticized the governor for marrying below his station with this


One street to the east of the Ribera-de la Cruz homesite lived another

Indian family. In the house that stood directly at the head of the alley that led

to the Castillo lived the Native American family of Chief (Cacigue) Francisco

Jospogue.41 In his old age, Chief Francisco petitioned the Spanish Crown to

award him a pension in recognition of his loyalty and sacrifices. His written

request provides an unusual opportunity to follow the story of a Native

American family for more than a century. The family's tale represents and

symbolizes the travails of the Native groups buffeted by international rivalry in


the colonial southeast. Chief Francisco's testimony indicated that he was

born to "noble Christian" parents only a few years before the founding (1670)

of Charleston; he claimed to be about thirty-six years of age when Florida

Governor Torres y Ayala (1693-99) recognized him as hereditary chief of his

village.42 St. Catherine's Island or its vicinity was probably Chief Francisco's

birthplace; Ospogue Bar was located four leagues south of Sapelo Sound in

Guale.' Francisco's long association with the Spanish, perhaps since birth in

the 1660s or 1670s, indicated Guale or Timucuan ancestry. Perhaps a friar

taught him early to sign his name, for his petition to the king in 1728 bears

Francisco's signature.

Chief Francisco was silent about his migration toward St. Augustine

and Spanish protection. He paid a high price for his allegiance to the Spanish

Crown. In the early months of 1702 Governor ZOhiga spoke of Francisco's

position as chief of the mission village of Nombre de Dios Chiquito. The

English incursions into Spanish Florida and the siege of St. Augustine at the

end of that year would destroy and displace Native villages along the coast.

In November 1715, enemy "pagan" Indians allied with the English descended

upon St. Augustine seeking to burn the town. Chief Francisco was "one of the

first to take up arms to defend" the "city of Florida." His family, defenseless in

the absence of the fighting men of the village, were captured by the

marauders. The Spanish Council of the Indies in Madrid in 1716 regretted the

situation in which the English offerede] arms, munitions, foods and clothing to


those Indians who will capture Christian [that is, Catholic] Indians found within

Carolina's jurisdiction." Carolina's putative territorial claims at that time

extended to a line far south of St. Augustine. English-led raiders separated

the strong Indians at knifepoint, then gatherede] up the women and children

to conduct them away to be sold as slaves in other British lands." Often the

head chiefs of these violated villages banded together to offer foods and other

products to ransom their captured families. Three times the English offered to

return Chief Francisco's family in exchange for his alliance with the English

side and abandonment of Catholicism. Three times he refused. He believed

that his wife and four children had been dispersed and separately "perished,"

probably sold as slaves to work on sugar plantations in Jamaica or


In 1717, left without a family and perhaps without many of his former

followers Chief Francisco found himself shepherding a group of recent

refugees who had fled the Yamasees' war with the English. In 1715 the

Yamasees as well as Creeks, Choctaws and Cherokees in Carolina had

revolted in dissatisfaction with English traders. The Yamasees, who had

forsaken the Spanish and the Guale region for the English in Carolina during

the 1680s, turned back to their old Spanish allies for protection after the

uprising.4 Chief Jospo[gue] was attached, possibly assigned, to the

Yamasee village of Our Lady of Candelaria. He governed forty-six adults and

twenty-three children, all "heathens" except one warrior. Perhaps the


governor placed these newcomers under Francisco's care because of the

chiefs record of accomplishing many conversions in the past and his

knowledge of the Yamasee language.'

Francisco Jospo[gue] and Agustina P6rez were married some time

before 1728. Agustina appears only once in the parish records with a racial

description: mestiza. All of the entries for Agustina reside in the books for

non-whites, but records offer no village association for her or her parents.

Perhaps Agustina was, like her sister, a native of the village of Nombre de

Dios Chiquito, which had at one time been headed by Chief Francisco

Jospogue. Perhaps wishing to create a new family, Chief Francisco chose a

wife quite a bit younger than himself, for Agustina bore children as late as

1751, whereas Francisco was in his sixties when their son Miguel was bom in

1728. Over the at least twenty-two years that Agustina was giving birth, the

Church records suggest that the newborns that she buried outnumbered

those that survived.47

The Jospo family probably took advantage of the purchasing power

that came with the granting of Francisco's pension of two reales daily to

acquire a lot and tabby house on St. George Street. They moved in between

1734, when Francisco's petition was finally forwarded to the proper

authorities, and before 1737, when neighbors referred to Jospo as deceased.

Their lot, like the Riberas' property, spanned the width of the block, 191 feet

(70 varas), but provided only 41 feet (15 varas) frontage on St. George Street.


In 1738 Agustina married the son of a chief, a birth position that held little

promise in the matrilineal Native societies of the southeast. Thus would

Agustina's new husband be bypassed in a structure wherein inheritance to

rule passed from uncle to nephew through the chiefs sister.48

Agustina's new husband, Juan de Fuentes, found employment as a

sailor and later as a soldier in the artillery company, while Agustina and her

child or children contributed money to the household as the heirs to Chief

Francisco's pension, secured by virtue of Francisco's loyalty. Thus Agustina

P6rez provided income for her family through the same pension mechanism

as did many of St. Augustine's Euro-American widows.49

The "urban" Indians insinuated themselves into the social fabric of St.

Augustine through the foremost institutions of the Spanish world: the church

and the military. Like Ribera, Fuentes looked to his relationship to the Church

structure to verify his independence and citizenship. Incorporated into the

Franciscans' census like Ribera and his family, Fuentes also argued that he

was a citizen of the town and that he and his family were communicants of the

parish church, not residents of the missions or their churches. In the rivalry

between the secular priests, who staffed the parish church, and the friars, who

manned the missions, Ribera, Fuentes, along with other neighbors, were

enrolled by the friars to "pad" statistics as the missionaries tried to justify their

continued existence in the face of dwindling flocks when the Indian families

had indeed left behind their status as dependent, mission Indians. The


controversy about who had jurisdiction over natives in St. Augustine had

come up at the beginning at the eighteenth century. At that time the crown

decided in favor of the regular clergy-the Franciscans. But in 1746, the

crown reversed its earlier decision and favored the secular clergy. John

TePaske's administrative viewpoint presents the religious contention from the

administrative viewpoint and what the decisions meant for the church and

state. But, indeed, the subjects of the controversy had their own concerns

and saw their autonomy at issue.5

Social Alliances

Mirroring the dominant society, these Indian families employed the

relationships arising out of personal religious life to improve and solidify their

status as citizens. Choices of sponsors and attendants at the personal

religious rites of baptism and marriage established and formalized obligations

which could carry over into the profane parts of life. Godparents of higher

standing could open social and economic opportunities for the godchild or for

the child's parents. Landers has identified the importance of the ritual

kinships and the dynamics associated with godparenthood as practiced by

blacks in Spanish St. Augustine. She notes that religious kinships linked all

three races. Generally white persons could offer the most status and benefits

through the ritual relations to blacks, Indians, or mixed bloods. Throughout

the Spanish Indies birth in the Iberian peninsula carried status that birth in the

Americas did not command. Choice of sponsors was effected by proximity

considerations, such as the selection of neighbors, or by corporate or

institutional relations, such as social hierarchy or social distance imposed by

military ranks. Nor should we diminish or discount the importance and

strength of affection as an influence in the selection. Native Americans, of

course, honored and entrusted members of their own families and villages

with selection to stand for them in these important positions.

But St. Augustine's Native American families also chose Spanish-born

neighbors, and in a few surprising instances were chosen by Spanish families

to act as witnesses or sponsors at rites for Spanish citizens. When the

daughter of Agustina Perez and the deceased Chief Francisco Jospogue

married in 1750, Agustina selected her entrepreneurial next-door neighbor,

the Iberian, Francisco Navarro, to be a witness. Agustina had similarly

incorporated other Spanish neighbors when her own sister, the latter still

living in her natal village, had married a few years earlier. Agustina at that

time chose a locally important couple, the Hitas, who lived only a few doors

away. It is likely that the nuptials took place at Agustina's house on St.

George Street. Navarro, who owned a store that sold English wares,

members of the Hita family, and Joaqufn Blanco, in charge of the Crown's

warehouse and an importer in his own right, frequently participated in non-

white ceremonies, perhaps expanding or reinforcing obligations and

strengthening their own commercial positions in the process.51


Several Latin American historians who have studied the practice of

godparenthood (compadrazqo) conclude that in the Spanish New World the

relationship between the parents and godparents was more important than

that between the godparent and godchild, the latter being the primary

relationship in Spain.52 Artillery Sergeant Martin Martinez Gallegos, who lived

directly across the street from Agustina Perez and Juan de Fuentes, agreed

to be godfather to their daughter. A sailor at the time of the baby's baptism,

Fuentes subsequently advanced economically and no doubt socially when he

was able to enlist in an artillery company. Did the godfather-sergeant

facilitate Fuentes's entry into the artillery corps? Artillery service was

desirable in a military town for not only did the artillery pay better than cavalry

service but it also offered its members exemptions and privileges not

available to other branches, such as the cavalry or infantry.5 Fuentes and

Antonio de la Cruz Ribera, both Indians, drew annual salaries of 180 pesos

as artillerymen in comparison to the 158 pesos paid to Fuentes's neighbor,

infantryman Lorenzo G6mez, from an old St. Augustine creole family. In an

interesting interracial turnabout G6mez requested the Indian Francisco Xavier

de Ribera to be the godfather of G6mez's two-day-old daughter. Kinship with

the Indian Ribera might have offered some economic advantage to G6mez for

Francisco Xavier owned land and buildings along the waterfront in the area

where retail stores and warehouses were located."


Flexible Racial Classification

As Native American residents of St. Augustine moved further into the

town's social and economic life, the descriptions of them in racial terms

diminished in documents and was replaced by economic identification, usually

in occupational terms. When Juan de Fuentes married Agustina Perez, the

priest recording the union described the bride and groom in terms of their

relationships to Indian nobles: the widow and the son of chiefs, respectively.

Parish records made two and three years later denominated Fuentes by his

occupation, a sailor, and did not include a racial description for him.

The priests were not consistent in their use of terms specifying racial

mixture. Yet what appears to be inconsistencies might very well have been

determined acts by the recorders. In 1735 the Church in St. Augustine began

to record the sacraments--baptism, marriage, burials-in separate sets of

books for whites and for non-whites (pardos y morenos y indios). The books

of the St. Augustine parish, however, did not employ the variety of terms

indicating fractional racial mixture that were used in Central and South

America. In addition to "Indian" and "black," "mestizo" (of Indian and white

ancestry) and "mulatto" (of black and white ancestry) appeared in the St.

Augustine records with few additional terms. During the course of a lifetime a

person of non-white or mixed ancestry might be described with different terms

by the same recorder. The members of the Ribera family appear as Indians in

some entries, as mestizos in others, and in still other with no racial


identification, which implied a white person, even when it was the same priest

signing the seemingly contradictory entries. The inconsistencies cannot be

attributed merely to carelessness or mental lapses on the part of the priests

for such practices have been noted in other areas of colonial Latin America.

Throughout Latin America, even to modern times, terms that denote

racial identification have been applied to individuals with fluidity, the terms

being contingent upon the benefits to either the recorder and/or the subject.

Thus in Latin America the same individual might be named even by the same

recorder as an Indian in one instance and a mestizo in another, depending on

the circumstances. Conversely in much of Anglo America the ambiguity of

intermediate identity was avoided by the practice of what anthropologist

Marvin Harris calls "hypo-descent:" identification with a racially subordinate

ancestor rather than with one of the superordinate group. Identification with

"whiteness" was, however, still beneficial in Latin America. Marriage records

tended to list the marital parties in racial terms that narrowed the social

distance. Thus the union between an Indian and a Caucasian might be

recorded in the books of white marriages with the Indian's racial identity

"lightened" to the category of mestizo. Historian Patricia Seed found such

occurrences in her analysis of mid-eighteenth century parish and census

records from Mexico City. Seed's study offers insight into the interracial

relationships, which were also interpersonal relationships, in St. Augustine.


Additionally her work suggests possible explanations for the documentary

inconsistencies in St. Augustine's records.5

The treatment of Antonio de la Cruz Ribera and his children is

particularly interesting. In May 1756, when Ribera married Rosa Maria de

Angulo, a woman of an established St. Augustine creole family, Father Juan

Jos6 de Solana entered the record of their nuptials in the book of white

marriages; the priest made no reference to Ribera's racial background,

implying white. Thus was the social distance narrowed in the records. The

earlier marriage of Antonio's brother, Francisco Xavier, to a white woman was

recorded in the same manner. At the baptism of the former couple's firstborn

in January 1758, Father Solana again registered the event in the book for

whites. But the following January, Father Solana recorded the baptism of the

Riberas second son in the book of non-whites and furthermore identified

Antonio Ribera as a mestizo. In March 1761 the record of the baptism of the

Riberas' third son was entered in the book of whites. Perhaps the complexion

or appearance of the individual babies influenced the decisions.

But there is another scenario that illustrates the presence in St.

Augustine of the same attitudes and practices identified by Seed for Mexico.

Father Solana probably chose to record the marriage in the book of whites in

consideration for the respectable birth family of Rosa Maria de Angulo and

the same sentiment was at work at the time of the first child's baptism. By the

time that Ildefonso, the second son, was born a strong animosity existed


between Father Solana and Governor Palacio, the latter having married into

the family of the baby's mother. Solana found the governor lacking in his

religious behavior and selfish and remiss in carrying out the responsibilities of

office and reported these opinions to officials in Cuba any number of times.5

In the honor-oriented society of the colonial Spanish world the baptism of the

tiny Ribera boy offered Father Solana an opportunity for a more subtle and

enduring slight than direct criticism of the governor. The priest could gleefully

dishonor the colony's highest official by recording the governor's kinship with

racially inferior relatives. The baptismal record of two-days-old Ildefonso

Ribera became the weapon. By 1761 a different priest entered the baptism of

the couple's third child in the book of white baptisms. By then, however,

Father Solana was no longer serving the St. Augustine parish, having fled to

Cuba to avoid arrest at the orders of Governor Palacio. And in the finality and

singularity of burial, Antonio Ribera came full circle in the Church documents,

back to his identity as an Indian.57


The recognition of the activities and roles of Indian families such as the

de la Cruz-Ribera group or the families formed by Agustina P6rez and her two

husbands introduces a new perspective into the history of Spanish Florida

and the colonial southeast. The institutional structures that kept St. Augustine

society so conservative and ordered also provided the scaffolding for


adventurous and enterprising Indians to become citizens of the town, not just

residents. These families penetrated St. Augustine society through fictive

kinship (godparental relationships) and corporate and commercial

connections. Certainly the opportunity to move into the cash economy

through military enlistment provided the means to advance socially and

materially. Members of the Ribera-de la Cruz family had acquired enough

worldly goods to make wills necessary in order to direct the disposition of their

possessions, and they had sufficient funds to pay the government notaries to

compose the wills.5 While it is doubtful that they were fully integrated into the

society of St. Augustine, these Indian families illustrate that their participation

in the town's social and economic life was not as constrained and

opportunities were not as foreclosed as previously thought.

In Spanish Florida, some Natives were able to take advantage of the

labor and defensive needs to insert themselves into the mainstream economy:

the defense budget. In the process they lost their Indian identity in the

documents. Usually their racial classification was first lightened to mestizo

and with incorporation into the army a military or occupational designation

replaced the racial one. These same individuals declared themselves full-

fledged parishioners of the St. Augustine church and were listed by the

secular priests and no longer ministered to by Franciscans priests and

counted as mission villagers and wards of the crown.5 Regular and secular

clergy argued over the status of Indians, which was in fact a conflict over


control and authority over a clientele. For the Natives, becoming a

parishioner was part of the process toward full citizenship, being a vecino.

The natives who received a plaza in the garrison were paid as any other

cavalryman, pilot, or artilleryman and were not dependent upon royal charity.

They were sui uuris and no longer children or incompetents under the law nor

under the Franciscans. Every Native American who became a vecino

diminished the influence of the friars.

Spanish Florida had looked to non-whites for fighting men for many

years. It has already been mentioned that the Spanish governor activated an

Indian militia in the light of Cromwell's Western Design.60 In 1683 blacks and

mulattoes were organized into their own militia-before the Spanish Crown

would formally institute such a policy in the Caribbean following the Seven

Years War.61

As British Carolina and Georgia burgeoned, Spanish Florida

increasingly felt the need for soldiers who were bound by a formalized

obligation-more than a militia requirement--and Spain did not adequately

deliver fighting men. To oversimplify: Spain now had to pay the going rate for

what in former times it could demand.

Recognizing the entry of Indian families into the economic mainstream

adds another dimension to the existing view of assimilation of Natives in St.

Augustine. Economic integration is much more rapid than cultural

amalgamation as Marvin Harris has observed. Thus economic means offer

more rapid integration than do cultural mechanisms. For the Native

Americans of Spanish Florida social independence and economic integration

went hand in hand when achieved through the primary institutions of the

existing society. Not all Indians entered mainstream society in the cultural

slipstream of a Spanish or creole male, whether he be husband or father. It

was possible for the individual to make the entr6e directly, rapidly, and in the

individual's own right rather than serving some sort of cultural apprenticeship

while attached to a member of the dominant society and culture.


1. Jane Landers, "Black Society in Spanish St. Augustine," Ph.D. diss.
University of Florida, 1988; and Landers, '"Traditions of African American
Freedom and Community in Colonial Spanish Florida," in David R. Colburn
and Jane L. Landers, eds., The African American Heritage of Florida
(Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1995), 19-25.

2. Daniel H. Usner, Jr., "American Indians in Colonial New Orleans," in Peter
H. Wood, Gregory A. Waselkov, and M. Thomas Hatley, eds., Powhatan's
Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast (Lincoln: University of Nebraska
Press, 1989), 106; Almon Wheeler Lauber, Indian Slavery in Colonial Times
Within the Present Limits of the United States, (1913, reprint, Williamstown,
Mass.: Corner House Publishers, 1970), 130-33; John Donald Duncan,
"Indian Slavery," in Bruce Glasrud and Alan M. Smith, Race Relations in
British North America. 1607-1783 (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1982), quote on 85.

3. Amy Turner Bushnell, Situado and Sabana: Spain's Support System for
the Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida (New York: American Museum
of Natural History, 1994), 30-31; David J. Weber, The Spanish Frontier in
North America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 125.

4. Bushnell, Situado and Sabana, 118, 122, quotes on 122; Leslie Bethell,
ed. Cambridge History of Latin America (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1984)1: 220-21

5. John E. Worth, The Timucuan Chiefdoms of Spanish Florida (Gainesville:
University Press of Florida, 1997)1:213; John H. Hann, A History of the
Timucua Indians and Missions (Gainesville: University Press of Florida,
1996), 192, 261-5. Hann asserts that the Timucua bore the full brunt of a
series of epidemics from 1614-17 by virtue of their close contact with the
pathogen-carrying Spanish Floridians. He claims that the disappearance of a
substantial portion of the Timucua population was an important motivator for
extension of the missions into Apalachee.

6. Bushnell, Situado and Sabana, 129-31, quote on 129; J. Leitch Wright, Jr.,
Anglo-Spanish Rivalry in North America (Athens: University of Georgia Press,
1971), 44-45.

7. Converse D. Clowse, Economic Beginnings in Colonial South Carolina
(Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971), 65-66.

8. Wright, Anglo-Spanish Rivalry, 56.

9. Wright, Anglo-Spanish Rivalry, 58.

10. Charles W. Arnade, The Siege of St. Augustine in 1702 (Gainesville:
University of Florida Press, 1959), quote on 8. Arnade's monograph is the
most complete account of the siege from the Spanish perspective.

11. John H. Hann, Apalachee. The Land Between the Rivers (Gainesville:
University of Florida Press, 1988), 281-83. Chapter 12 discusses the
discrepancies in the reports of number of slaves captured.

12. John H. Hann "St. Augustine's Fallout from the Yamassee War," Florida
Historical Quarterly 68 (1989):186.

13. Governor and Other Officials to King, St. Augustine, 1715 November 28,
Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI) Johns B. Stetson Collection
(hereafter SC) P. K. Yonge Library of Florida, 58-1-30/44 (microfilm copies in
Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board collection [HSAPB]).

14. Governor of Florida, 1716 April 23, AGI SC 58-1-30/57.

15. Genaro Garcia, Relaci6n de los trabaios que la gente de una nao
Ilamada Nra. Senlora de la Merced padeci6 y de algunas cosas que en
aquella flota sucedieron, escrita por Fray Andrbs de San Miguel, publicada


por primera vez por Genaro Garcia (Mexico: Casa de F. Aguilar Vera y
Compaflia, 1902), 205-06.

16. Governor Diego Quiroga y Losada to Crown, 1693 April 24, AGI SC 54-5-
15/693; John H. Hann [trans.], "Apalachee Counterfeiters in St. Augustine,"
Florida Historical Quarterly 67 (1988): 59-60.

17. Royal Officials to Crown, 1696 April 20, AGI SC 54-5-15/114; Baptism of
Francisco, mulatto son of Juan de los Gasdos, slave of Adjutant Ger6nimo
Regidor and Marta Maria, a naborfa, 1702 November 18, Cathedral Parish
Records (hereafter CPR), Diocesan Center, Mandarin, Florida (microfilm
copies at St. Augustine Historical Society).

18. Mario G6ngora, Studies in the Colonial History of Spanish America.
Richard Southern, trans. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975),

19. Petition of Agustin Guillermo de Fuentes y Herrera, 1734 April 29, AGI
SC 86-7-21/6.

20. Hann, "St. Augustine's Fallout from the Yamasee War," 194.

21. Manuel de Montiano Letterbook, 1740 January 31, Bundle 37 (hereafter
Bnd.), no.180, East Florida Papers (hereafter EFP), Library of Congress
Manuscript Collection (microfilm copies at St. Augustine Historical Society;
Pablo Castell6, "Piano del presidio de San Agustin de la Florida y sus
contornos ." 1763 July 21. Library of Congress (original in the Spanish
Ministry of War, LM 8a-1a), map # 30, HSAPB.

22. Alonso Las Alas spoke of the villages of Yoa and Tolomate along Sapelo
and St. Catherine's sounds in his testimony of September 12, 1600. Charles
W. Arnade, Florida on Trial. 1593-1602 (Coral Gables, Fla.: University of
Miami Press, 1959), 16; David Hurst Thomas, St. Catherine's: An Island in
Time (Atlanta: Georgia Endowment for the Humanities, 1988), 17. Hurst is
not convinced that the subsequent fort's location was the mission site.

23. Robert Allan Matter, "The Spanish Missions of Florida: The Friars Versus
the Governors in the 'Golden Age,' 1606-1690." (Ph.D. diss., University of
Washington, 1972), 106; Michael V. Gannon, The Cross in the Sand: The
Early Catholic Church in Florida, 1513-1870 (Gainesville: University of Florida
Press, 1961), 64.

24. James W. Covington, "Migration of the Seminoles into Florida, 1700-
1820," Florida Historical Quarterly 46 (1968): 340-57.

25. John K. Mahon and Brent R. Weisman, "Florida's Seminole and
Missocukee Peoples," in Gannon, ed., The New History of Florida, 186-88,
quote on 187.

26. Harry A. Kersey, Jr., The Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes: A Critical
Bibliography (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987), 1-2. Several
scholars disagree with this sequence of evolution of the name.

27. Robert L. Gold, Borderland Empires in Transition: The Triple-Nation
Transfer of Florida (Carbondale & Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University
Press, 1969), 67.

28. Statement of Pedro Tomas de Ribera, 1745 February 9, AGI Santo
Domingo (hereafter SD) 842 (microfilm copies at Yonge Library).

29. I have placed a different family on this site than the one selected by
Kathleen Deagan in her archaeological excavations. Deagan identified the
mestizo family of Maria Sebastiana de la Cruz and Jos6 Gallardo with this
site, but a better argument can be made for locating the Indian family of
another Maria de la Cruz and her husband, Pedro Tomas de Ribera, there.
There were several women by the name of Maria de la Cruz who appear in
the parish records during the pertinent time period. The biographical cards at
the St. Augustine Historical Society, which were probably the source of
information about Maria de la Cruz, did not and still do not include the parish
records of non-whites. Thus the existence of the Indian, rather than mixed,
family which I place on the site was not a possibility offered to Deagan.
Both de la Puente's map and transfer of parcel #51 to Samuel Piles in
July 1764 refer to the "heirs of Maria de la Cruz" as the evacuating owner.
Maria, wife of Pedro Tomis de Ribera, had died shortly before the evacuation
and there was no time for the disposition of her estate, hence the notation on
the map as belonging to her heirs. A woman by the name of Maria
Sebastiana de la Cruz owned a house and lot on today's Tolomato Lane (de
la Puente #28) and there is no record of her death before the evacuation.
Juan Jos6 Elixio de la Puente, "Piano de la real fuerza, baluartes y linea de la
Plaza de San Agustin," 1764 January 22, parcel #51; Deagan, "Sex, Status
and Role of Mestizaje;" Kathleen Deagan, Spanish St. Augustine: The
Archaeology of a Colonial Creole Community (Orlando: Academic Press,
1983); Burial of Maria de la Cruz, 1763 June 3, CPR (non-whites). After 1735
separate books were kept for whites and non-whites. Following the practice
of the colonial recorders, the term "non-whites" is used to indicate such
books. No racial term either indicates the books for whites, after 1735, or the
racially unseparated books before 1735.


30. Eligio de la Puente map, lot #51; Claims for Town Lots, Spanish Land
Grants Manuscript Collection, Florida Department of State, Division of
Historical Resources; Deagan, Spanish St. Augustine, 108.

31. Jane Landers, "Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose: A Free Black
Town in Spanish Colonial Florida,' American Historical Review 95 pp. 28 &
29 in SAHS booklet.

32. Statement of Pedro Tomas de Ribera, 1745 February 9, AGI SD 846.

33. Burial of Pedro Tomas de Ribera, 1746 January 13; burial of a small child
of Tomas Ribera, soldier of this presidio, and of Maria de la Cruz, 1737
December 19, CPR, (non-whites).

34. Burial of Maria Ignacia [Morente], 1749 February 5, CPR.

35. Burials, CPR (non-whites).

36. Estate of Juan de Ribera, Testamentary Proceedings, EFP.

37. Estate of Juan de Ribera; see A. J. R. Russell-Wood, "Prestige, Power
and Piety in Colonial Brazil: The Third Orders of Salvador," Hispanic
American Historical Review 69 (1989), for a discussion of third orders,
especially 78-87.

38. Deagan, Spanish St. Augustine, 104.

39. Baptism of Maria Barba, 1738 April 16; marriage of Maria de los Dolores
Barba to Francisco Xavier de Ribera, 1756 August 2, CPR.

40. Governor Palacio, a knight, was a widower when he married Josefa de

41. House of Agustina Pdrez (Eligio de la Puente map #62).

42. Petition of Francisco Jospogue, 1728 October with transmittal
correspondence dated 1734 January 12, AGI SC 86-7-21/5 (hereafter
Jospogue petition).

43. This information is included in listing of available ports from St. Augustine
in Santa Elena described by Bartolom6 Arguelles in September 1602. See
Charles W. Arnade, Florida on Trial (Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami
Press, 1959), 47.

44. Jospogue Petition; Council of the Indies, Madrid, 1716 January 8, AGI SC

45. Wright, Anglo-Spanish Rivalry, 56.

46. Cacique Tospe [sic] was described as a speaker of the Yamasee
language. Hann, "St. Augustine's Fallout," 185; Statement of Governor Jos6
de ZCAiga, 1702 [sic] January 11 in Jospogue Petition.

47. Marriage of Francisca Xaviela Perez to Lorenzo de Selva, 1747 October
30; Statement of Governor Jos6 de ZO iga, 1702 [sic] January 11, in
Jospogue Petition; Miguel Jospo was fifteen years old at his death in January
1744, giving him a 1728 birth date. Burial of Miguel Jospo, 1744 January 3;
burial of a small nameless child of Juan de Fuentes and Agustina [P6rez],
1751 August 7, CPR (non-whites).

48. Will of Ger6nima Rodriguez states that her southern neighbors are "the
heirs of Francisco Jospo," 1737 February 14, Claim of Juana Navarro, Bundle
359, EFP; Marriage of Juan de Fuentes and Agustina P6rez, 1738 June 12,
CPR (non-whites).

49. Burial of Juana [de Fuentes], 1741 August 3, CRP (non-whites);
Francisco Jospogue had requested that his pension be passed to his heirs.
Jospogue Petition; Don Jos6 Antonio Gelabert to the Crown, General list of all
who serve and are paid by the king at the presidio of San Agustin, 1752,
Havana, AGI SC 87-1-14/2; Statement of Juan Jos6 de Fuentes, 1745
February 9, AGI SD 846; Juan Jos6 Eligio de la Puente to Governor of Cuba,
Havana, 1770 January 27, AGI SC 87-1-5/4; statement of Juan Jos6 de
Fuentes, 1745 February 5, AGI SD 846.

50. Statement of Juan Jos6 de Fuentes, 1745 February 9, AGI SD 846; John
Jay TePaske, The Governorship of Spanish Florida, 1700-1763 (Durham:
Duke University Press, 1964), 175.77.

51. Marriage of Crespin Francisco Diaz and Maria Antonia Jospo, 1750 July
1: Don Ger6nimo de Hita and his wife, Juan de Avero, sponsored the
marriage of Agustina's sister, Maria Solana, marriage of Juan Mateo Munos
and Maria Solana, 1747 March 13, CPR (non-whites).

52. George Foster, Hugo Nutini and Betty Bell, Sidney Mintz and Eric Wolfe
noted flexibility and regional variations, but agreed on the importance of the
relationship among compadres.

53. Marriage of Lorenzo de Selva and Francisca Xaviela P6rez, 1747
October 30; baptism of Juana [de Fuentes], 1741 August 3, CPR (non-


54. Don Jose Antonio Gelabert to the Crown, General list of all who serve
and are paid by the king at the presidio of San Agustin, 1752, Havana, AGI
SC 87-1-14/2; baptism of Maria Catalina G6mez, 1754 March 11, CPR; Eligio
de la Puente map, parcel #173.

55. Marvin Harris, Patterns of Race in the Americas (New York: Walker and
Company, 1964), 54-58; Patricia Seed," Social Dimensions of Race: Mexico
City, 1753," Hispanic American Historical Review 62 (1982): 569-606.

56. Robert Kaptizke, 'The 'Calamities of Florida': Father Solana, Governor
Palacio y Valenzuela and the Desertions of 1756," Florida Historical Quarterly
62 (1993):1-18.

57. Baptism of Josefa Maria de los Dolores Ribera, 1761 March 14, burial of
Antonio de la Cruz Ribera, 1763 July 19, CPR (non-whites); Kapitzke,
"Calamities of Florida," 16-17.

58. Burial of Maria de la Cruz, 1763 June 3; burial of Antonio de la Cruz
Ribera, 1763 June 19, CPR (non-whites).

59. Statements, 1745 February-April, AGI SD 846.

60. "Western Design" (1654-6) was the term used by England's Oliver
Cromwell for his expedition aimed at seizing important points in the West
Indies from which Spanish America might be placed at his mercy. The
successful seizure of Jamaica gave England a major naval base in the
Caribbean from which to attack Spanish and French colonies.

61. Jane Landers, "Fort Mose: Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose: A
Free Black Town in Spanish Colonial Florida," American Historical Review 95
(1990): 9-30.


The Spanish consulted conveniency
more than taste in their buildings.
-William Stork, 1765

Spanish residents and officials of Florida were able to pack up their

possessions and important papers both times they departed the colony, 1763

and 1821. But the buildings where they ate and slept, transacted business,

loved, grieved, and made their plans stayed in the Florida peninsula and

panhandle. When British subjects evacuated Florida in 1784, many

dismantled their buildings to transport for reconstruction in new locations, but

there are no reports of the Spanish doing likewise at either evacuation.1

The buildings left behind became the most notable and durable vestige

of Spanish presence in the southeast-a vestige that was at times

misunderstood and misinterpreted by contemporary non-Spanish observers

and then repeated by generations to come. In the attempt to reconcile the

status of St. Augustine's sixteenth-century beginnings with the remnant

physical evidence extant in later centuries, writers both ingenuous and

ingenious, historical and otherwise, attributed age to structures which in fact


were much younger; they either overlooked or perhaps were unaware of the

almost total destruction of the city in 1702.2

Albert Manucy's The Houses of St. Augustine, first published in 1962,

is the seminal, enduring, and standard analysis of the Euro-American

architecture of Spanish Florida.3 Manucy's pioneering work emphasizes and

relies upon late colonial structures; that is, the era for which the most

documentary information is available. More extant examples originated in the

second Spanish period than in the first, and those that did remain from before

the 1763 evacuation were altered and enlarged by subsequent British and

Spanish residents. Because this study focuses on the period for which less

field data were available, it is less accepting of assertions in The Houses of

St. Augustine than many previous studies have been and offers refinements

to Manucy's work for the years of the second Spanish century.

Decades later in 1997, looking back to the even earlier, founding days,

Manucy produced Sixteenth-Century St. Augustine to provide an architectural

picture of a now-invisible period.4 Seventeenth-century buildings remain the

most unknown of all although they succeeded the founding-era Euro-

American buildings. Anthropologist Kathleen Hoffman recently provided the

most descriptive assessment to date of the structures of the 1600s, based

largely on archaeological remnants. Hoffman found that post molds offered

evidence of wood-frame buildings. Narrative descriptions from the 1600s

were few and a dearth of inventories for what Hoffman denominates the


"middle period" limits data as well. What descriptions may be available for

the 1600s are characteristically less detailed than those for the eighteenth

century. In a succinct valuation in 1681 of Governor Pablo de Hita y

Salazar's new private home, the appraising mason and carpenter reported

two buildings about 17 feet in height (6 varas) on a waterfront lot, constructed

primarily of wood and incorporating a small amount of masonry.5

By the middle of the eighteenth century appraisals articulated building

materials by unit sizes and number of items, as a mathematical and

engineering perspective came to prevail. But with regard to modem field

work, most architecture from the first half of the eighteenth century had

disappeared by the time of Manucy's investigations or had been altered and

masked by years of use and accommodation to the needs of occupants.6

This study brings to the analysis of architecture in Spanish Florida the

concept of several and successive Iberian regional cultures rather than a

single Spanish cultural tradition. In the second Spanish century the influx of

new soldiers and accompanying influence from additional Iberian regions

provoked change. This study also looks to previously unexamined individual-

level documents to present a functional analysis of building space and of

building components. It enables a look at the attributes and use of upper

levels and also provides descriptions of the exterior, which are difficult to

discern in the archaeological record.


New Men, New Iberian Regional Traditions

Florida's buildings in 1763 were different creatures that those in 1565,

despite the implication of the idea of a "first-Spanish-period" architecture.

Developments in architecture in Spanish Florida should be seen as a product

of physical and cultural forces rather than predictable stages in a

deterministic architectural metamorphosis. Developments and changes in the

architecture of Spanish St. Augustine have been viewed from an almost

Darwinian evolutionary perspective. That is, an assumption that the changes

from earthen structures to wooden and then to masonry represented an ever

improving course. This is a presentist, antiquarian and heritage-oriented view

which assigns disproportionate importance to durability and longevity.

Because a building still stands for our use, observation and enjoyment today,

we too often narcissistically assume that its endurance represents the

desiderata of its creators as well. In this evolutionary perspective, the

changes in choice of construction materials has been attributed to determined

choices by supposedly ever more astute and prescient residents. Changing

to building with masonry over wood has been adjudged as intentional

progress. Other, non-linear factors have not entered the analysis. Yet, when

addressing motive and intent of persons in the past, we would do well to heed

Barbara Tuchman's admonition that "history is the unfolding of



Cultural considerations and differences among the Spanish colonists

regarding building construction in Florida and use of materials have received

little attention. David Weber with his view as wide as the borderlands,

however, recognized that "Spanish-built homes in North America resembled

those of different regions of Spain."7 Paradoxically, the preference by the

British inhabitants for wood upon their acquisition of Florida after two

centuries of Spanish building developments has not generally been seen as

regressive. Yet the British choice of wood over stone contradicts the

assessment that the Spanish residents' turn toward stone be judged as a

move up the architectural evolutionary ladder. Use of wood by the British is

portrayed as a decision to employ familiar cultural elements while use of wood

by the Spanish is seen as a manifestation of a materially pitiful locale (see

Chapters 6 and 7).

The turn toward masonry structures in Florida was fueled by several

contemporaneous changes. It has long been accepted that for more than a

century after settlement by Europeans, Florida's town residents constructed

their buildings of wattle and daub or of wood. Residents with a minimum of

economic resources turned to buildings of wattle and daub. In supposed

imitation of the Native Americans, the builders employed the technique of

pressing an earthen mixture into a framework, woven of supple poles or

reeds. Lightweight roofs of either palm fronds or of some strawlike material


topped these structures. Constructing such buildings required simple

technological skills and few tools.

The use of wattle and daub in the founding period has generally been

viewed as the Spaniards' imitation or appropriation of Native styles. With

landfall M6nendez quickly commandeered Timucuan Chief Seloy's building

and assigned his men to convert part of the village into a fort for defense

against feared French assaults. Manucy reasonably concludes that the

settlers "became familiar with Indian structures" and that mimicking of Native

housing took place. This conclusion, however, evidences a Eurocentric

viewpoint that Native techniques were adopted out of necessity and by default

as a stopgap rather than asking whether the arriving settlers gravitated toward

a variation of what was familiar. Yet the Asturian settlers might have felt

somewhat comfortable with the Timucuan structures which they encountered

on the Florida coast, for there were similar structures in their Iberian

homeland. Circular folk structures roofed with straw still persisted in Asturias

as recently as the years just prior to the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).8

Wood was the material of choice for the more substantial and higher-

status buildings of Florida's early years. The use of wood could very well

have been a determined choice to rely on timber rather than the local

shellstone. Manucy claims that the "early builders in Florida did not have

stone to work with," yet by 1580 Florida residents were aware of and even

had constructed at least one building of coquina.9 The reliance upon wooden


structures was the product of the happy occurrence of settlement in an area

which could provide plenty of the construction material which was the primary

fabric of the arriving settlers' building tradition. The leading first settlers,

hailing from wooded areas of the northwestern Iberian peninsula, brought with

them a tradition of building with timber. The members of Menendez's Florida-

bound coterie departed from a region where most of the houses were still of

wood. Constantino Cabal's study of popular housing or "vernacular

architecture" in Asturias asserted that in the middle of the sixteenth century

(1540) the majority of houses were made of board (de tabla).10 Florida's

forests enabled the early settlers to replicate the fabric as well as the style of

the homes of the land that they left behind.

Even the buildings used by the highest officials were made of wood. A

circa 1595 drawing of St. Augustine depicts structures of vertical boards for

the governor's house and the church. The roofs were of planks as well. But it

was the weaponry rather than the buildings which were important to the

inhabitants, or perhaps in this case to the "artist" passing through St.

Augustine. The cannon placed in the openings of the guardhouse were

drawn with more care than the buildings. The cannon were presented with a

three-dimensional appearance while the buildings more resembled a two-

dimensional child's drawing. The attention to storage barrels was also

disproportionate. This focus parallels the relative depiction of the structures

and artillery at Santa Elena. Therein, the handles on the cannon were


elaborated while the buildings received little concern." Buildings were in

effect available locally and thus inexpensive. Buildings could be fashioned

from resources near the settlements while cannon had to be transported from

Spain, where the foundries were located. Distance and the locus of

technology elsewhere made the weaponry expensive and important, and by

default made for an uneven graphic portrayal of the colony.

Governor Gonzalo M6ndez de Canzo relocated the executive

residence in St. Augustine from the waterfront to a more inland lot when he

purchased a wooden house from Maria de Pomar. After making

improvements and additions, Mendez de Canzo sold his homesite to the

Crown "at a bankruptcy price" (in his opinion) when he departed Florida for

his next tour of duty. Mendez de Canzo's upgrades were of wood, except for

the replacement of a palm thatch roof with flat roof (azotea), a sealant coat of

tabby over planking.12

Although use of wattle and daub persisted throughout the seventeenth

century, it became less prevalent. "Board walls became increasingly

numerous up to the wholesale destruction of the 1702 siege." concluded

Albert Manucy. Then, he says, over the next half century (1700-50) masonry

became the principal building material.13

Changes in St. Augustine's buildings were brought about by a

combination of factors-technical, economic, social and cultural: the

availability of trained craftsmen and construction material, more money and


credit, and the influence of new cultural elements in the population. The

impetus for the turn toward masonry structures was fed by the release to the

public of the local shellstone into a scenario which provided a cadre of

craftsmen who had been trained to work with the shellstone during the

construction of the Castillo de San Marcos. Governor Manuel de Cendoya

imported fifteen skilled workers--masons, stonecutters and lime burners--from

Cuba in 1671 to work on the proposed masonry fortification, begun the

following year. Others learned the skills in Florida, as demonstrated by the

predominance of Native American and African slave craftsmen in building a

new governor's residence in 1690.14

Fear of widespread destruction by fire following the 1702 siege and the

enemy's purposely ignited conflagration has been considered the primary

motivating factor for the change in material, especially the turning away from

flammable material. But here again, hindsight takes on a deterministic

character in historical analyses. Because the change in building materials

took place largely in the years following the 1702 razing, it has been

concluded that it was the English-set inferno which instilled a pervasive fear

of fire in the community and the preventive action of building with masonry.

Why would the residents wait until after 1702 to prevent fire when it had

always been a threat? Francis Drake burned the town in 1586, fire consumed

important buildings in 1599, and fire certainly deprived colonists of their

homes in random and intermittent individual tragedies.15 Yet masonry


buildings did not spring up after these events. Even if coquina were not

readily available for private use, the material for tabby masonry certainly

abounded in the oysterbeds in tidal creeks and in nearby shellmounds

created in earlier millennia.

Historians Luis and Eugenia Arana state that the 1702 destruction "cut

short" masonry construction rather than serving as the impetus for turning to

shellstone. The Aranas attribute the turn to masonry construction to more

money entering the colony in the last third of the seventeenth century and the

ability of the residents to build on credit. Royal policy permitted soldiers to

pledge their salaries to finance new structures.16

Cultural traditions were at work as well. The influence of a substantial

number of arrivals from Iberian regions where masonry construction prevailed

prompted a preference for masonry instead of wood as much as did pragmatic

concerns and local events. The soldiers who began arriving in 1680 after

decades of no new troops and thus no immigrating residents were largely

natives of Castilla and Andalucia.17 The aridity of these areas of Iberia did

not nurture forests, and masonry construction in those areas was if nothing

else a default choice. Leopoldo Torres Balbas described the situation in

Andalusia as "construction materials are stone, in the form of rubble

(mamposteria) for the most part .... The arboreal vegetation is scarce and

wood for building is scarce and poor."'18


When English expeditionaries kindled St. Augustine and the missions

in 1702 and 1704, the invaders accelerated the incorporation of the arriving

architectural notions and practices. The town's ashen earth presented a

physical tabula rasa as a stage for the building traditions arriving with new

soldiers.'9 The incorporation of arriving architectural traditions did not have to

await the need for a repair or for an addition to what was already in place.

New architectural ways neither blended with nor competed with the old. The

destruction wrought by the 1702 siege provided an empty and yet fertile arena

for new materials and styles in architecture.

Buildings as Detailed by Those Who Knew Them Best

Individual-level appraisals and inventories available from the first half

of the eighteenth century were overseen and perhaps contributed by the

owners and residents of the buildings themselves. Details were set forth in

those documents that town-wide sources did not include. Such specifics

make it possible to ascertain or at least reasonably to infer use and perhaps

even the level of comfort of the spaces.

The Eligio de la Puente map of 1764 of St. Augustine provides

standardized information about property ownership, building materials, and lot

size throughout the entire town. Eligio did not, however, include information

on building size or for outbuildings. For his purposes in the role of real estate

agent, the latter sort of information might have been superfluous.2' Although


Eligio recorded only simple measurements of length and width, lots were

sometimes trapezoidal as blocks widened between their extremes. Some lots

surely included jogs and irregularities as the property lines on de la Rocque's

1788 map depict. The succinct measurements given for length and width of

parcels in both of the aforementioned maps, however, allows for later

reconstruction of only rectangular lots. Pablo Castell6's map, contemporary

with that of Eligio, depicted St. Augustine with the eye of the mathematician

and engineer for detail, including outbuildings, gardens and fields, but it did

not include measurements and building materials.21

Much of the picture we have of the Spanish capital has relied upon the

observations and writings of visitors. The information was often spritely and

entertaining, for the visitor tended to comment upon that which was unusual

from his perspective. The generic, common and prosaic were absent while

cultural bias pervaded the descriptions, as seen in William Stork's remark that

Spanish buildings gave more consideration to convenience than to taste.22

Conversely, those most familiar with the structures left us little narrative

description. Tedious probate inventories and other official papers are the

only record we have from the Spanish residents who actually walked in and

out of the buildings, who supervised the construction, alterations, and repairs.

The persons who used the doors and windows that they evaluated left us little

more than brief itemizations and costs, not phrases about decoration and

pleasing proportions. They saw no reason to do more. Yet they did in fact tell


us more about their houses than was explicit in the list of elements. For

example, when an occupant described a door specifically as the "door

between the bedroom and the shop," the use of space was made apparent."

The appraisals of ten private stone buildings constructed in the first

half of the eighteenth century provide a picture of Florida's substantial city

structures and their attendant secondary buildings. Father Juan Jose Solana

wrote in 1760 that there were 303 buildings in St. Augustine; stone buildings

comprised 49 or about one-sixth of the buildings. He reported that among

those stone structures, the kind of roofing material was about evenly

distributed: 23 of stone and flat roofs, 26 of boards and shingles.24 Based on

Solana's figures, the available appraisals describe about twenty percent of

the stone buildings. Private buildings in the town made of other materials do

not appear in the available appraisals, except for wooden kitchens or other

workspaces, such as washhouses, which were secondary to and associated

with a primary stone building.

The probate of the property of Diego de Espinosa on St. Augustine's

waterfront provides the most detailed description of buildings, use of space

within the buildings, and the relationship of rooms to one another. The few

other available contemporary probate proceedings did not include

accounting which were as detailed as these. The entries in the appraisal of

Espinosa's estate were surely scrutinized closely by those who knew the

buildings the best: his widow and four children. The "cross" mark of his widow


Josefa de Torres, who did not know how to write, vouched for the information.

Because the buildings would not be transferred to all the heirs, careful

attention was called for in order to assure fair distribution of the value of

assets. Thus one child received livestock or slaves rather than real estate;

the price of a calf turned over to one child might well offset the value assigned

to a door or roof in a building acquired by a sibling.2s

Three primary masonry buildings stood on Espinosa's property when

he died in May 1756: the main house (casa grande) and its kitchen, the

house with the tabby roof (casa de azotea) and the small house on the

waterfront (casa chica de la marina). Espinosa's holdings occupied lots on

both sides of today's Charlotte Street. The two-story main house on the west

side of the street with approximately 800 square feet (98 [square] varas) per

floor served as the living quarters for Espinosa and his wife.26 The exterior

and some interior walls were of masonry. A low-pitched roof of wooden

shingles covered the building.27 Tabipue (thin-wall masonry) divided the

interior space into rooms; there were also partition walls built of boards. A

dining room and an apartment (or bedroom) occupied the ground floor with a

doorway joining the two rooms. The rooms also had other doors opening to

the outside for independent access. Three windows admitted breezes and

light into the apartment. Upstairs were another bedroom and a drawing room

or salon (sala).28 From a small balcony on the back of the house the


Espinosas could enjoy the land breeze (puerta del terral y el balconcito). A

larger balcony overhung the street.

The one-story, tabby-roof house was situated at a street comer. With

its six, ground-level rooms, it covered a large area.2 The northwest comer of

the building also formed the street corner. The building could be accessed by

several doors opening to the streets. At the corner were double doors; there

were other doors opening to the street as well. And there was a large door or

gate on the street. The building was divided into an entryway, a shop and a

storeroom, a dining room, a parlor and two bedrooms.

Espinosa's two-story building directly on the waterfront had shellstone

exterior walls honed to a Spanish foot in thickness (a tercia: 11 inches).

Tabby also composed a portion of the east side of the building in the only

example describing a combination of the local cement material and the hewn

stone. Perhaps an originally open-ended space was later walled in and the

use of tabby cement was easier than joining cut shellstone blocks. Although

this structure was located nearest to the waterfront, there was no mention of

its use for storage of goods offloaded from boats. A bedroom and parlor

occupied the lower floor, with the bedroom opening onto a patio. The

appraisal suggests that there were two patios, one serving the bedroom and

another on the waterfront. Doors were listed for the patio del aposento and

patio de la marina. Upstairs a balcony offered an outside space. The


appraisal does not specify the use of the upstairs rooms. On the east side

were thin-wall arches or buttresses and a coquina wall.

Each of the three main buildings of the Espinosa compound had its

own kitchen with a fence around the kitchen yard. The kitchen of the main

house was built of coquina, displaying an unusual expenditure for utilitarian,

secondary space. The oven in this kitchen was also of coquina with no other

kinds of masonry, such as bricks, listed for the baking chamber. There were

no references to a hearth or fireplace, which might have been used for

cooking. Any breezes circulating through the two doors and small window

were no doubt most welcome.3 The roof was of masonry (tabby) as well. A

round table and a dozen chairs were inside the kitchen. Perhaps the kitchen

building was used for storing extra seating or maybe workers and servants ate

in the building. Because flooring usually appears in the evaluations, its

absence from the appraisal suggests that the kitchen's floor was merely dirt.

Yet an earthen floor seems incongruous with the investment in the rest of the

kitchen building. Tabby flooring is listed for the main house, the waterfront

building, and the tabby-roof building, the last building containing the shop

and storeroom. The kitchens for the tabby-roof house and waterfront house

were built of wood, apparently without hearths or ovens, and each surrounded

by a wooden fence. The inventory included additional coquina blocks of

varying sizes and the lime to make the mortar to hold them together, which

were located in the yard of the main house when Espinosa died.

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