Interview with Kathleen Deagan


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Interview with Kathleen Deagan
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Oral history interview
Kathleen Deagan ( Interviewee )
Paul Ortiz ( Interviewer )
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Oral history
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United States of America -- Florida -- Alachua

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University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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All rights reserved by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
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spohp - SAHP 004
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! !"#$%&'()*+,&($-&.$!"#$/*+&.$0*+,&( $ "#!$%&'(!)**+,-&#.-/!0#1-.-&-.+# !"#$%&'()*+,*)'-)"&'./0,*)1'()*2)"# 2+((343!+5!6.73,'(!",-1!'#8!9:.3#:31 ;,+4,'!=,?!;'&(!),-.@ ABC!;&4D!E'(( F3:D#+(+4/!2++,8.#'-+, >!=37+,'D!E3#8,.G ;)!H+G!CCIACI J'.#31K.((3L!M6!NAOCC NIA P NQA P RCOS NIA P SBO P CQSN!M'G May 2013 The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) was founded by Dr. Samuel Proctor at the University of Florida in 1967. Its original projects were collections centered around Florida history with the purpose of preserving eyewitness accounts of economic, social, poli tical, religious and intellectual life in Florida and the South. In the 45 years since its inception, SPOHP has collected over 5,000 interviews in its archives. Transcribed interviews are available through SPOHP for use by research scholars, students, jo urnalists, and other interested groups. Material has been used for theses, dissertations, articles, books, documentaries, museum displays, and a variety of other public uses. As standard oral history practice dictates, SPOHP recommends that researchers ref er to both the transcript and audio of an interview when conducting their work. A selection of interviews are available online here through the UF Digital Collections and the UF Smathers Library system. Oral history interview t ranscripts available here ma y be in draft or final format. Draft transcripts are created by SPOHP workers who listen to the ori ginal interview recording and type a verbatim d ocument of it. The transcript is written with careful attention to reflecting original grammar and word choice of each interviewee; s ubjective or editorial changes are not made to their speech. The draft trans cript can also later undergo a later final edit to ensure accuracy in spelling and format I nterviewees can also provide their own spelli ng corrections SPOH P transcribers refer to the Merriam Webster's dictionary, Chicago Manual of Style, and program specific style guide, accessible here: Style%20Guide%202013.pdf For more information about SPOHP, visit call the SPOHP office at 352 392 7168, or send an e mail to Tamarra Jenkins at


SAHP 004 Interviewee: Dr. Kathleen Deagan Interviewer: Dr. Paul Ortiz Date: April 23, 2012 O: Well, first of all Dr. Deagan, I want to thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to be with us. It means a lot to the o ral history program a nd especially given your early professional connections with Samuel Proctor. Welcome back. D: Thank you, it's a pleasure. O: I wonder if we could start with your early educational background and maybe some clues as to how you ended up becoming interested in academia, arch a eology, so on and so forth. D: Well, I am from a Navy family. My dad wa s a Navy meteorologist and we moved every two years so I went to twenty three schools before I started college. So, I didn't have a firm notion really of archaeology P lus girls couldn't do that in the late [19]60s. So I started college at the Univers ity of Florida in 1965 and graduated and left All through that time I kept trying to major in things that were appropriate for girls to get jobs in, young women. My parents of course assumed I'd have a husband. B ut I majored in primary education and so ciology and I just couldn't get a grip. I kept sneaking in courses in anthropology. In particular, Charles Fairbanks who was one of the first arch a eologists to teach at University of Florida, I took several courses because they were so fascinating and I w as told, finally, that I either majored in anthropology or spent another semester in school. T hat's how actually I came to study arch a eology. Left, I started graduate school at University of California at Davis because of a museum


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 2 studies program, I tho u ght there, but didn't stay. D rifted off to San Francisco in the late [19]60s, early [19]70s, but then decided to come back to graduate school at Florida because there was a historical arch a eology program beginning here and it was really one of only two in the country at that time. Fairbanks was the organizer and director, and he became my major professor. I got hooked into archaeology so I ended up getting my Ph.D. here at Florida in [19]74. O: What was it that drew you initially to archaeology ? B ecause as you were saying, as a young woman at the time, there were certain societal expectations Maybe your parents had a certain idea, but it seems like you were really curious and kind of self driven into this field. Do you remember kind of the early things t hat excited you about historical archaeology ? D: I think the early things that excited me were more prehistoric archaeology It was amazing to me that we could know things about people who never wrote or had a chance to speak. I th ink the way the courses came, you'd see an object or a couple of objects together and then realize that this meant people were eating a certain way in a certain place or they were eating certain animals and they were spending their year roaming around. It just seemed amazing and interesting to me. It was so unlike our own culture, so unlike the western world. I think too then, it was the era of the Vietnam War and e verything was changing and there was a huge interest among students of that period in sort of non W estern, non est ablishment kinds of questions. I'm sure that fed into it. It was just sort of fascinating that that could be known. Then eventually, under Fairbanks, we learned that you could also learn more things about people who did write and did


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 3 leave records. Histori cal archaeology is a kind of transitional discipline as you know b ut it was a revelation to me to realize that even when people left a lot of documents, sometimes they lied, sometimes they only wrote down certain things that were important s ometimes the y just didn't even know what was happening. I think my favorite example of that is in Rhode Island, wh en they were excavating privies and found all kinds of bacteria and parasites that cause very specific, deep diseases. The people who had lived in those b uildings in the eighteenth century simply they just knew they had dropsy or vapors [Dropsy now referred to as edema, refers to the an increase in interstitial fluid of any organ, th e major causes of which include heart failure, kidney failure, and malnutr ition. The vapors, similar to female hysteria, was a catchall term for certain mental or physical states in women, including depression, bipolar disorder, and mood swings; it was seen as the equivalent of melancholy in men ] They had no idea what was happe ning, but yet three hundred years later we could come back and realize what made them sick and why using waste in their gardens and so on. So that was really pretty intriguing to me too. But the clincher in historical archaeology was the bicentennial o f the United States. A lot of money became available for studi es of the revolutionary period, so I was able to get funded to do work in St. Augustine and on Florida missions as a graduate student because the state's sort of contribution to this bicentenni al in part was reconstructing the mission chain. And w hen you're a student, you don't lightly give up a funding opportunity. [Laughter]


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 4 O: What were some of the early texts maybe that kind of struck your attention or kind of interested you? Was it mor e Dr. Fairbanks's? D: I think it was more Fairbanks's work and going to the field with him and talking with him. There really weren't any texts at that time in historical archaeology I think the first one was published in about 1965 by a British anthrop ologist Ivor No‘l Hume at Williamsburg. But t here wasn't even a formal organization until [19]68 when the Society for Historical Archaeology was established. It was a real from the ground up enterprise, which also appeals to me. O: Right. What kind of a mentor was Professor Fairbanks? I've heard his name certainly, but what kind of a person was he? D: Really, most people probably think of him as a curmudgeon, and he really was. He was very clear on what he wanted and didn't want, and what he thought But he was just devoted to his students. I mean, we would get yelled at a lot. If you used the wrong like a 2B instead of a 3B pencil on the map, he'd take it and break it over his knee. But he was just so broadly educated. He knew everything. He was in terested in plants, and animals, and astronomy, and prehistory, and history. It was always amazing to be around him, just to get the sort of crumbs that dropped from him talking. But he was a very, very old school professor, but just would do anything for students. He was really one of the first people in the country to train women. I had graduate student colleagues who were peers who were women, which was very unusual at that time. He trained a lot of women over here.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 5 O: Now I want to get to your work in the bicentennial and the missions, but earlier, in an e mail that you had sent to me you had suggested that we talk perhaps about some of the earliest arch a eologists to work in St. Augustine. Could you talk about them and what their work was? D: Yes. St Augustine is one of the earliest places in the country where what we call historical archaeology now was done and s erious professional historical archaeology That was in the 1930s, actually at the Fountain of Youth Park where we're still working [T he Fountain of Youth Park opened as a tourist attraction in 1901, preserves the site of the original fort and village of St. Augustine, which was established in 1565 T he archaeological site also includes the original location of the Mission Nombre de Dios, the nation's oldest religious center, and the site of the Timucuan town of Seloy] At that site where they were planting orange trees, they found skeletons. The owner of the site called the Smithsonian and said, we have skeletons, do you want to come look ? They did, and they sent a team down and did a very extensive excavation there in the 1930s. It turned out to be a mission burial ground. The original church, the first mission church, was there and this was probably inside the church. Nothing much more h appened un til the late 1940s when a brand new anthropology professor at University of Florida John Goggin went there to kind of follow up on that and do some work That's a funny story really because I did a paper recently on Goggin and St. Augustine. The owner of the site William Fraser was a state senator and the mayor of St. Augustine and a very Walter B., I'm sorry not William. Walter B. Fraser was a state senator and he was really influential It


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 6 was under his influence that the Carnegie Instit ute came to St. Augustine to do that original work. He encouraged a lot of WPA work in the town [WPA stands for Works Progress Administration, the largest of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal projects, w hich operated from 1935 to 1943 and employed mi llions of workers to carry out public works projects] But a s part of that, he got to be very close friends with Curtis Wilgus who was at that time at Georgetown University and a member of the Federal Commission on St. Augustine. Because t here was a feder al commission in the 1930s on observing and celebrating St. Augustine that Fraser was chair of. I don't know what his role was, but he lured or helped lure Curtis Wilgus to the University of Florida in the 1940s. Wilgus was the founder of the Cen ter for La tin American Studies, and t hen Fraser funded a lot of the publications of the Center for the first several years. He also wanted a dig done on his property again. I'm certain he got Wilgus to strong arm the young first year professor John Goggin to come to St. Augustine and do that work. There's a long string of wonderful correspondence. Goggin didn't really want to work there, and he sent his students. There's a whole string of papers, that's a whole other story about the development of historical archaeol ogy that began there. But Goggin to make a long story short, did start working there and worked there into the [19]50s. He really got hooked I think, eventually. After that, John Griffin who was head of the Florida Park Service the first sort of profes sional park arch a eologist in the state lived there H e did work in St. Augustine at that time in collaboration with the other third historical archaeologist in the state, Hale Smith who was the first anthropologist at Florida State University The three of


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 7 them worked at the oldest house, and they worked on Native American sites around St. Augustine and in that area. That was during the late [19]40s and [19]50s as well. So they really sort of established the groundwork, working on missions. When they sto pped working it just sort of ended until the 1960s when the Restoration Commission was formed, partly leading up to the bicentennial. Bob Steinbach was the archaeologist Hale Smith was working there at the time, at the Arrivas House in the [19]60s. Bob Steinbach was his graduate student and Bob came along as the graduate student assistant and just stayed. He did a lot of work and then became the archaeologist for the Restoration Commission and then the Preservation Board, and administered a lot of the funds for these, both the 400 th anniversary of St. Augustine, whic h was the big event and also probably five years later, the money from the bicentennial program, which was where I came in. I've been working there ever since. O: Wow. So it sounds like from the very beginning, or at least the modern era of historical archaeology that University of Florida faculty have been involved in one way or the other. D: Absolutely. The only short period when the University of Florida was not involved were the ye ars in the [19]60s when Hale Smith was working there from Florida State and the years that I taught at FSU were eight years but I continued the work in St. Augustine that had begun at the University of Florida through the FSU years.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 8 O: Wow. So Dr. Deaga n you mentioned that the bicentennial appears to have been a real important element here in encouraging historical archaeology You mentioned grant funding through that. Was that your initial foray into historical archaeology in St. Augustine or had you D: In St. Augustine, yes. O: Okay. D: I had worked on some mission site collections and field sites in Florida, but as my own project, that was my first experienc e. There was funding to look at, and I'm not certain it was federal. Jan Matthews can prob ably tell you better than I, but it was the federal matching grant historic preservation funds through the state. They funded work at the National Greek Orthodox Shrine in part, which was a British period Minorcan building and the Greek Church of course also funded that. The [Peso] de Burgo Pellicer House was funded and excavated and built during that period as a bicentennial project. Fairbanks was mostly interested in the British period in the Mincorcans also. He began work at the Maria de la Cruz sit e as it's known now, where I did my dissertation. But h is interest in that site was that it was a Minorcan household. So h e was interested in that, but I was much more interes ted in the early Spanish period because a Native American woman married to a Sp anish soldier lived at the household and I was fascinated by this idea of native women as culture brokers between native and Spanish societies. I kind of got in, in a back door way for that work.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 9 O: You had mentioned that it's interesting to think about how archaeology and historic preservation is organized, and structured, and funded. Could you talk about that dimension in the 1970s as you were really getting your feet wet in field work? D: Sure. It was very different in the 1970s than it is today. Whe n I first came to St. Augustine, the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board was the principal entity for historic preservation. At that time, John Griffin was the director. There was a generous, really a good working budget from the state to maintain the Preservation Board and its staff, and to do research, and to do public interpretation. Within the community, there really weren't other there were private enterprises like the Fountain of Youth Park and the li ghthouse, but in terms of state funded or p urely historic preservation non tourist basically goals, the Preservation Board really was the only entity. The city had no heritage tourism program or any such thing, or archaeology The board had a staff that included historians. I'd worked through th e board with Amy Bushnell, and Michael Scardaville, and Tony Ganong, and Susan Parker, and a number of well known historians were full time employees. They did research that was going to lead to how the buildings would be interpreted and were interpreted. As far as archaeology goes at that point, Bob Steinbach was the only person doing archaeology He really encouraged us from the University of Florida at that time when I was a student to continue. We tried to find projects that both met their needs for historic interpretation, or building restoration, but that also had an interesting anthropological problem. So I would try to get funding from the


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 10 anthropo logy end, from various entities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, or Colonial Dames of Amer ica, any place that would give us money. Bob worked on the restoration historic preservation end and we could match that. We did really the first ten years [19]76 to [19]90 downtown in buildings and sites that met both of those needs. It was a pretty cos t effective way. We had free student labor. I taught usually two field schools a year while I was at FSU in the spring and summer terms. That was really the whole basis, I don't recall other efforts. There was of course the Historic Architectural Revie w Board in the city, but that really was the only activity. Flagler College was really just beginni ng at that time and very small, so t he board was the big guy in town. O: Right. During that period of time Dr. Deagan, what were some of the sites that rea lly kind of stuck out in your mind as being really fascinating projects? D: I've always been of course it was my dissertation project but the Maria de la Cruz site was a really fascinating project where we for the first time started realizing that Span iards in St. Augustine un like other colonists in America unlike British colonists, really incorporated native materi als into their own households, n ot just native sites. Really n othing of that had ever been reported in the literature, w e were doing a di fferent kind of archaeology then W e called it backyard archaeology We did work on the buildings to comply with those parts of the project to help restoration, but we were interested in the trash pits in the backyard and the kitchens. That's when we reali zed from individual deposits that wait, this isn't just Indian pottery left around from before. This is material that Spaniards use, and native foods and other smudge pits. That provided the basis


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 11 to pick other sites to see if that held across cultural t ies and across ethnic and economic households. Was that only something that mestizo households did? So w e spent actually years and years at different sites trying to look at that and did find that it was a consistent very consistent pattern. Now, in retr ospect, having worked in other parts of Latin America, I realize it is true of virtually everywhere the Spaniards colonized. Just kind of a really core question that is interesting, why is that? Certainly, intermarriage. People always say well, the Spania rds had to marry Native Americans because the gender imbalance of the immigrants was so pronounced, but that's not really true. If you look at the first fifty years, there were more Spanish women relatively coming to America than British or French women wi th those colonies. Yet, the British men didn't marry that frequently Native American women and even when they did, apparently they didn't incorporate too much. Their households were British. So t hat's been a long term intriguing puzzle that has a lot of implications for why we have a Latin America and an Anglo America. I was intrigued by the idea that women in invisible places like kitchens really were where this transformation happened rather than in state buildings and forts. Anyway, that site sparked it. Another site that was just really fun to excavate was what is now the National Gr eek Orthodox Shrine where w e worked both inside the building t hey jackhammered up the floors and we were able to trace the building from its early 1700 origins up into th e way the building evolved and w orked in the backyard. That was the all woman archaeology team. It was one of my first field schools for FSU. I just happened to have all women students sign up, which was pretty fascinating to the tourists. They were amaze d.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 12 O: They probably were expecting to see men. D: Well, they were. I've said this in so many talks it's really a clichŽ by now, but they would always stare and ask questions but one woman we heard just said to her son, now you see George, that's what happens when young girls drop out of school. [Laughter] Because we all had boots and shovels and we were digging. O: Dr. Dea gan, y ou said somethi ng that was really fascinating. I had interviewed Mike Gannon a few months ago and he said the same thing fr om kind of a historical perspective in terms of the marked different cultural aspects of the Spanish settlement and how it interacted with Native American culture, the role of women. Mike kind of gave from a historical perspective his interpretation, his analysis of that. He talked a lot about the influence of the Franciscan fathers and so on and so forth. But f rom an anthropological perspective, how would you account for some of those differences between Latin America and Anglo America? What's at the cru x of this? D: That's sort of a life long quest, but the hypotheses people have suggested and they seem really reasonable to me was a combination of certainly Catholicism because the Church had no impediment, and no problem with interracial marriages. The y did with inter religion marriages. The position of the Church, which was so profound in everyday life was that as long as somebody was baptized and a good Catholic, there was simply no problem. In fact, in the very earliest days, in the early Caribbean colonies, Isabella mandated that men must. They wanted men to marry Indians and Spanish women to marry Indian men so


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 13 that the two might know one another Perhaps, it has been suggested that the centuries and centuries of Convivencia in the Iberian Peninsul a, of living with Muslims, Jews, Catholics, people from North Africa, kind of developed a sense of acceptance of diversity that didn't develop in the northern European world, where it was pretty homogenous. Anybody who didn't look like everyone else was an other, but that wasn't really necessarily true in the Iberian Peninsula. That and probably the various clear Spanish governmental principles about native people, where they fit in to the scheme of things. For example, native leaders were of much higher r ank than Spaniards who were commoners, and they were all through Latin America. There was a lot of intermarriage originally between the conquistadors and the native rulers. I think rank and religion outweighed race in a way that we just don't see in Ang lo America, although that's simplistic. I'm sure it's a much more complicated. O: Well, you know it's interesting that you raised it because again, Mike Gannon really spoke and really said the same thing about the Spanish period. In fact, he lamented t hat American historians and American culture in general hadn't really learned the lessons from St. Augustine that it could have and instead seemed to trend more towards a place like Jamestown, where he said there's really much less of value to be learned. D: And Mike of course has the famous quip that when Jamestown was founded, St. Augustine was up for urban renewal. O: Urban renewal. [Laughter] Right, exactly. That's a wonderful quote.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 14 D: Mike has influenced me greatly over the years. He was on my graduate committee and I've known him since that time, and worked with him as a historian since then. He's correct, and it's never been very popular to acknowledge the Church and religion in shaping a lot of these patterns, but I think he's on target ther e. O: Yeah. Well, here's a question that just occurred to me because you're doing this amazing work in both interdisciplinary, but also you have always been kind of challenging the academic understandings of things, including race. And you're working i n St. Augustine at a time when a lot of social things are happening there. The backdrop is the C ivil R ights M ovement, and so on and so forth. I mean, how much of that had an impact on your development as a scholar? D: I'd like to say, you know, I was imm ersed in it and it really directed me, but I don't think that the local conditions and th at sort of t he worst of the turmoil of the civil rights movement was settled before I got there. But a t that time as a graduate student and a young professor, I was re ally sort of looking outward at sort of cross cultural comparative issues, although that situation did become critical later when we began working at the site of Fort Mose and there was quite a bit of local dismay, in a sense [Fort Mose, also known as Grac ia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, is the site of the first government sanctioned free black community in the United States The community was chartered in 1738 when Florida was a Spanish territory]. O: Why?


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 15 D: There was a sense that we were doing revision ist history and people didn't want to have the free black settlement there. It wasn't something that we need ed to really be concerned about. There were two people I know went before the city commission to complain. Jane Landers was accused of falsifying do cuments and I was accused of planting things on the site. That went on forthere's i n the archives of the St. Augustine Record you can see this. Gradually, that ended when the Fort Mose Historical Society was established. Now, I think that project had a l ot to do with true integration in St. Augustine. But that was much la ter, t hat was the [19]80s. But a t that point, a lot of white and black residents became fascinated with that notion and joined together in the Fort Mose Historical Society. I can't think of another organization in St. Augustine that is so effortlessly integrated. That really kind of affected my thinking too about cultural diversity and integration. O: How so? D: I started myself paying much more attention to African contributions to that mŽlange that's Latin America and even St. Augustine, with the help of J ane Landers, who was a student. O: Did Jane kind of precede you into that? D: Well, because s he was working on her dissertation on second Spanish period St. Augustine black soc iety in the later eighteenth century. She became the historian for the Fort Mose project and went to Spain and got archives. She did sort of push me in that direction. Archaeology has always said that African American


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 16 sites are about people without voices, people without a written history because no one ever wrote anything down and they couldn't. Jane found documents that no one had looked for because of that assumption but there were detailed censuses and letters written by people from Fort Mose. There wa s a lot of history, but it had never specifically been looked for. In that case, I sort of pridefully thought that well, maybe archaeology is driving the direction of history in this case when it had always been the other way around. Once she got into th at, then I started realizing, yes we've been missing an el ement here. It's really a three culture, a tri cultural engagement, not just Spaniards and Indians. O: When you first started working at the Fort Mose site, what were some of the early kind of in triguing things you were finding or beginning to see as maybe distinctive from the town proper? D: Well, I have to say from an archaeological perspective there was very little that would distinguish that site from other non elite sites in the town, which was a very interesting insight. We worked there expecting to find a different way of building houses, and eating food, and living on the landscape because they were black or African Many of them were from Africa. N ot African Americans, they were African s. But we really didn't. They had the same food resources available to them and in the kinds of things archaeologist s see, we couldn't distinguish that from, say a Spanish private's home in St. Augustine in terms of food, shelter. We did find circular st ructures that were very similar to Native American buildings, so they may have built those. But i n earliest days, the Spaniards did too. That said, I am certain that we just don't recognize the grammar of how people use things.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 17 I'm sure that, if o ne of the whole conundrums in African American archaeology is that ev erybody used the same objects, t hey probably meant different things and people used them in different ways but we just weren't equipped to understand what that might have been. There's a wonderful study a colleague of mine did in the Bahamas on slave plantation sites, in the slave quarters, and found that they did use European pottery but made a selective choice of types of pottery that ha d certain symbol shapes on them, Bakongo symbolism that was meaningful to the people but had a completely different meaning to the makers of the pottery [The Bakongo, also known as the Kongo people or Congolese, are a Bantu ethnic group that live along the western coast of Africa] I'm wondering now if at Fort Mos e there probably is information like that. We just didn't get overt symbols, but the way people use things and wha t it meant is something wet o be honest, we really concentrated on the architecture of the fort just because there was such an ou tcry that th is wasn't Fort Mose. What is this, this isn't right? O: What did people thing it was? D: Right near town. Well, we had to show that it really was a fort, that it really was a fort that looked like the map. We spent a couple of years doing that until the landowner got angry and we were sort of thrown off the site and no one's worked there since. It's a very complicated story and it had to do with legislative funding, and sale of the property to the state of Florida. It had come into the public trust, whic h everyone wanted even the landowner but I guess there were issues over price and so on. The state ultimately took it through eminent domain. It was the first arch a eological site to be acquired in that way. So t he landowner had us


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 18 leave, and w e never did r eally get into the domestic households as much as we wanted to. O: It's fascinating to me Dr. Deagan, because, as a graduate student I read Dr. Landers's book and it was just a fascinating read and it was coming out. Peter Wood was one of my advisers a nd so in the book, I guess I got a certain understanding thanks to all this fieldwork and everything that she and you had been doing. What struck me about the book initially was the emphasis on kind of the military aspect of the strategic character of the fort. So I guess it wasn't surprising to me that th e fort was placed where it was right, in a certain sense. D: Right. Absolutely, it's kind of the northern line of defense against the British. There had been a mission site in that area before. An Apal achee Indian refugee group had settled there but that didn't last too long So the site wasn't just out in the jungle or out in the wilderness. There had been a settlement in that area before Fort Mose. But it was a very strategic defensive locatio n. Well, it's been taken nowI mean, i t's become such an icon for African American history, really throughout the country. It's always intrigued me that that one short project really made the kind of impact that Mike and I for example would love to see with the whole 400 years of Spanish O: A huge impact. D: o ccupation, which didn't seem to ever resonate in American history. But the Fort Mose project did.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 19 O: Well, certain ly for Peter Wood. It was one of the first books that he assigned to his students. You had to read this book by Jane Landers. In fact, I think we may have initially read the dissertation. D: Well, o f course now she has so many more. O: Right. D: I remember having to read and just loving Peter Wood's book Black Labor and White Rice O: Yeah, and the Stono Rebellion D: Yeah. He's an intellectual hero of mine. O: Yeah, he is. Dr. Deagan as you were working on the Fort Mose site and some of the other sites, a city archaeology program developed at a certain point. Could you talk about that program and how it articulates with the University of Florida programs? D: It was in the 1980s, the mid 1980s, when a particular city manager Flip K i nzie was his name I remember. He was a city manager of St. Augustine. He was fascinated by arc haeology He came to all the digs. He realized that as St. Augustine was growing they really did need a city archaeology program to be there when the field schools weren't, because our work was only done during a semester a year. Construction projects po p up all the time. An ordinance was passed with the help of a lot of people: Stanley Bond who was with the preservation board, and Bruce Pi atek who is now with the [Florida] A gricultural


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 20 M useum, and the Board I think was very influential in getting thi s. Not only the legislation for the city passed, the city ordinance, but getting fu nding. I mean having a funding mechanism and that mechanism is through the public works department It's not connected in any way to historic preservation or heritage tour ism. It's the fee from public works projects that fund the city archaeology program. So a project that applies for permits kicks the process off for archaeology It's really never been able to articulate with the historic preservation aspect, but it's alwa ys articulated really well with the University of Flor ida and Florida State programs because t he first couple of c ity archaeologist s were University of Florida students from the field schools. When they hired Carl Halbert in 1990, it worked out to be a rea lly great collaboration because we send students when we do have the field schools to work with Carl to get a taste of real life. A field research field school project is not real life archaeology it's a training program. We have also had Carl's volunteer s and people work with us to learn different kinds of techniques and we've shared resources and it's just been a really good thing. I think probably more for the University of Florida even than the city archaeology program because of the training opportuni ties. It's still very much a collaborative effort. We just do different kinds of archaeology O: I wanted to ask you about archaeologist s who were trained in St. Augustine and their trajectories, but I wonder if I could preface this. Kind of going back t o the question about t he sites that you were working on. There's such a fascinating range of them. I know part of this would depend on funding and local situations,


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 21 but wa s there a general criteria that you were working with in terms of choosing certain s ites? D: There was. In order to write grant funding, we had issues, problems that we were interested in finding out about. Some of them were just interpretation of a certain kind of household or w e were interested for many years, as I mentioned, finding out if this conglomeration, this incorporation of native and Spanish materials was tru e of everyone in St. Augustine, s o we picked households of different sort of economic background and occupational background. So w e would find a variety of sites that we re appropriate for the problem. The first criteria after that would be if the site is going to be developed or disturbed or endangered. That's where the preservation board w e worked with the board to assign criteria like that. Third of course, the landown er had to be on board. O: There must have been some interesting situations there right? D: There were, but we've never, except with the political issues around Fort Mose ever had a landowner not be excited about having archaeology done. We've actuall y gained a lot of volunteers from the landowners. Even when we worked at the Sisters of St. Joseph convent and across the street at what was the Soledad Church and Cemetery the sisters came out and worked with us sifting. They would come out at night afte r we were gone and pray for the burials. That was before days when burials were not w e just tried to leave them alone, but this was the Spanish parish cemetery. Once we had done the projects on adaptation those were mostly eighteenth century sites and seve nteenth


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 22 century we wanted to know more about whether this started in the sixteenth century. Or was it something that people in this area gradually learned rather than just starting out with? So we moved back to earlier sites and did a series of those to lo ok at different kinds of assumptions about the original St. Augustine, mostly with NEH funding but with the same criteria, working with the preservation board and the landowners to figure out which sites were either going to be built on and disturbed or on e that the board especially wanted information for a particular interpretive project. That was really fascinating and fun because we had no documents to go by, so we really had to be creative. O: And it sounds like there were so many archaeologist s and y oung scholars who were trained in St. Augustine during that time. Could you talk about some maybe that kind of stand out in your mind? People who kind of got their start and went on to other D: I would say probably four or five hundred students have go tten field training there. Ones that did dissertations there, in particular, have gone on. Bonnie McEwan who is the director of the San Luis program in Tallah assee, and Charlie Ewen who's now just become a full professor at Eastern Carolina a s tudent F red Smith who s at William and Mary. A lot of them went on to graduate programs Ph.D. programs in other areas. It's really heartening to see Russ Skowronek at University of Santa Clara. Just many ha ve gone on to other schools and are doing their own fiel d schools now but a t national conferences, it's really fun to introduce people and they'll say, oh Steve Shepherd [19]75


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 23 Dehita site ah, Kate Hoffman [19]87 National Guard. [Laughter] It's really kind of a fun reunion that we have there at those meet ings. O: So it sounds like it has been really a tremendous educational value to students and scholars at the University of Florida and D: I think it has developed the field school program. It's one of the more rigorous ones just because of the Universi ty of Florida's semester program and the way classes are structured. They have to have twelve credits to go, so i t's a seventy hour week for me not that many but w e're in the field forty hours a week and then there are two classes, two three hour seminars afterwards and term papers. So i t is a rigorous program and most places have not been able to afford that. Florida, over the years, has supported that kind of training, which is good. I get good feedback from employers and other departments. O: That's g reat. Well, I may ask Jan to help me articulate this question in case I botch it. From the perspective of someone who walks into a place like Government House for the first time and they're a person who really wants to learn the archaeology and the histor y of that really important place, how do you explain that to a first time ? Say someone who is maybe they're doing a tour and they've just come from the low country plantations or even Jamestown and they're used to a certain kind of explanation for how a t own and settlement grows in Anglo America. How do you explain the Government House to a first time person who is coming from that perspective who may lack the knowledge of it ?


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 24 D: Well, that's really the crux of the exhibit that we're trying to develop to o I think the important thing would be to let people know t hey are standing in the center of the oldest European settlement in America or, North America and let them know you're not in Jamestown anymore. This is different and we're going to tell you all the things that happened that you probably didn't know about St. Augustine and why it was here as a haven for shipwreck victims. And i t guarded the treasure fleets for gold. It was a huge chain of missions Franciscan missions. I think hitting people right away with the fact that they are in the place, the center, the heartbeat of this huge enterprise that they probably don't know very much about. Let them know what some of the really interesting sort of whoa items are before trying to draw them into an e xplanation, a detailed historical chronology or explanation. I think the keys are that it's the first that they are on the spot. I think that means so much. The place, the sense of place, of being part of it. The excitement of learning something, they're in a spot that isn't anything like what they thought American history was. I mean if you were in a museum context, you'd say, so you think you know American history. You're not in Jamestown anymore, or, did you know that ? Particularly if people can come in to Government House and interact with the either physically, electronically, or in the written word or spoken with some of these questions. What do you think? Did you know? That's really sort of the core concept in an exhibit to make people engaged an d draw into them. I think that it's important to know that this city, this plaza, the way this city is, is something that's been.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 25 well, no, Columbus didn't bring it to America, but i t has been in the Ameri cas for almost 100 years before anything else. O: Yeah. And it strikes me that one of this as you are articulating this Dr. Deagan I remember when I first went to Jamestown but even C olonial Williamsburg. Things have changed over the years, but the initial narrative that a tourist would get is like these heroic individuals in the wilderness and yeah, there's the Thanksgiving narrative but that's just kind of frosting right? The real narrative up there seemed to have always been, what did the Europeans bring with them, what did they do in their st ruggle for survival, and everything else was external. There were certainly no missions to kind of point to. Is that part of what you're trying to get at almost sort of the mestizo sort of narrative? D: Certainly that would be the next step in the narra tive. The issues that Jamestown and some of the sort of North American cherished myths or ideology involves individuality, and struggling, overcoming obstacles, being pioneers, making do with what you have and building something out of it. I think it's imp ortant that those were also stories of the Spanish arrival in Florida, although the idea seems to be God, gold, and glory, not individuality, struggle, and overcoming hardship. Even though God, gold, and glory were part of the story for the Spaniards, I th ink it's important to weave the other parts of amazing exploits of sort of heroic exploits of these early settlers. The way they used their ingenuity and the way they overcame obstacles was different than the way the English did They adapted and incorpora ted what was around them. The English, and to some extent the French, spent all of their effort on just recreating a mini England,


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 26 which didn't really happen here or in much of Latin American in some places. I think that if people can identify with those s ame values that we identify today as American, or essentially American, those were there but they played out in a really different way in Spanish Amer ica. Today, the issues that are you know, cultural diversity, race mixture, immigration engagement among lots of different cultures, that were at the heart of the early Spanish experience are now at the heart of twenty first century America. I'm wondering if maybe making that link a little more overtly could draw people into the story. It's something I think we're all struggling with, how the Government House exhibit will unfold and how we can bothw ell, one of Jan's students last night or some of them were talking about you've got to. It's a familiarity of something that resonates. You say, oh, yeah, I hea rd that. I like this exhibit. It reifies what I know, or is it the whoa, I had no idea about that. We want that, the learning versus just t h e reifying. T he story in Government House really does have to be crafty in that way. O: This is really wonderful. I'm learning so much listening, just thinking about the different possibilities and ways to reinterpret the American narrative in the twenty first century. I want to maybe take a step back. How does a well you've done some fascinating work in digging into wells. How would you do that through say a trash pile or a well? What could you introduce to people from those sites that would kind of get them thinking differently perhaps? D: Well, everybody used wells pretty much, in colonial America. Everyone's f ascinated by them because first of all, they're time capsules. Once a well went bad, people filled it in pretty quickly so they wouldn't fall in. Kids wouldn't trip in.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 27 They filled it with trash. At the bottom it stays wet, so there's really great preserv ation. I think you could show a series of wells that were time capsules of different periods or times with different kinds o f objects. Maybe in one well we found timbers from when we think the town was burned by Francis Drake and different food remains that would show people well at this moment, this is what was going on. At this moment, there were starving times. There's very little people were hungry. They were eating rats and that sort of thing. We've found shoes and carved wooden items and kids tops and things in the bottoms of these wells. I think you could highlight the time capsule nature and the good preservation to structure a story of change or similarity, however really you wanted to do it. The wells could be the hook. The other thing abo ut the wells that is really unique is the spacing. The notion that in St. Augustine, like all of these Spanish cities in the Americas, there was a really clear plan. The town planning ordinances specified where buildings would be and how large lots would be. It was very specific. I don't think they say anything about wells. But we have found that they occur so predictably in relation to street lines in St. Augustine that they are usually twelve to fifteen meters back from a curb line and in those intervals along a given block. I remember at one site, I was just trying to explain this to the students that it was a notion of spatial symmetry, of order of regularity that Spanish settlers imposed on the landscape when they came in. We would hold the tape down from the corner to fifteen meters, and pulled it back at a right angle, and put in a hole that went from twelve to fifteen meters and opened it, and we found three wells of different periods in there. It even really surprised me


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 28 too. That's another thing that hierarchy, regularity of Spanish settlements. Way before really the Enlightenment era, archaeologist s working in the Plymouth area and Jamestown marked the mid eighteenth century sort of era of late eighteenth century era of Enlightenment they call it with Georgian architecture and very regular spacing as the time when Renaissance influence finally impacted the colonies. That is when Georgian architecture, and regularly laid out gardens, and matched service settings and plates and that sort of thing started appearing in the archaeological record. It had been Renaissance in American since 1502. That's another really interesting difference that the wells underscored O: You've excavated scores of wells of course. There were a couple at the Menendez s ite. What was so distinctive about those wells? D: For one thing, the Menendez site, which we now know as the original 1565 encampment of St. Augustine, we had begun working there thinking it was a historic era Native American settlement. That's why we st arted working there. In fact, one of the students wrote a master's thesis on the site, an eastern Timucua town in coastal Florida, before we realized this was the site. The well was what made u s turn around and rethink this, because t here are no examples o f Native American wells. They weren't even necessary. The site has five or six above ground artesian springs on the property. The well was clearly Spanish, so it's a little time capsule of that very first Menendez encampment. We did find it was in the end of the encampment because they had filled the well in. There was a lot of early Spanish pottery, a lot of food remains. We found out what the settlers were eating, smilax roots, and acorns. These were not just falling in. Lo ts of them that


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 29 had been burned or prepared, crushed. An Indian shell cup they had been using i t really did set us on the right track for identifying the site. It only took twenty more years before I was willing to say it aloud. O: Why the hesitation? You were just trying to essentiall y compile more evidence in a sense? D: Evidence that would show that the site couldn't be anything el se. The wells were reallyw e've found other wells since then in these buildings, but that's one reason we sort of stepped back and enlisted Eugene Lyon an d Herschel Shepard, and others to really Eugene Lyon went back to the archives and did a lot more research on that early period and found more information about the settlement. No one had any kind of description of the fort or the settlement. No descriptio n of where it was. Most people had thought it was on like, I don't know, an island or Nombre de D ios mission site. It's a very ephemeral site. It has been eroded. There was an airplane strip there in the [19]30s. So t he evidence is ephemeral, but worst of all, we didn't know what it was supposed to be like. We kept going back to the architects and the historians to say, well, what can you tell us about what this was like or should have been like. Then we would go back and find something else and it wasn't e xactly what they thought it would be, but that provoked them to go in a different direction. Then we'd wait. Then they'd come back and Eugene would say, oh, we know it was native thatch now for sure. There was a mutiny and they pounded on a door, so we k now there was a wooden door. The mutineers ran away and they tried to shoot them. They were a falcon shot away from the bar, so we kind of put together what a falcon shot


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 30 would be and where the bar was at that time and where our site was. It took a long ti me. There's a lot of political implication of saying that this is the very first place, this is the site. I mean, if we were wrong, it would sort of have entered into historical understanding and would be almost impossible to change that. We also worked al l around that area to make sure we couldn't find anything else. That's still problematical only because it's not what people expect the first fort to be. O: Right. Dr. Deagan, would you like to take a short break? We've gone on for Are you okay? D: Are you good? I mean I'm fine too. O: Okay. D: It's of course always fun talking about your pet projects. O: Exactly. D: Let me know if O: Oh, no. Just to continue talking about the sites, you mentioned Nombre de dios. When did you start working ther e and what did you find out initially that kind of surprised you? D: Well, we started working there in 1976, through an aug e r survey we were doing of the whole northern section of town from the fort up to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, which i s a couple miles between San Marcos Avenue and the bay front. We were working with the preservation board archaeologist s too, to do this. We were working in the park and the mission, drilling every ten meters of


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 31 hole and then sifting the artifacts and plot ting them on maps. The only place in the whole area with sixteenth century artifacts of the Menendez era was a little piece of the mission ground in the Fountain of Youth Park. So t hat's what led us to start opening the sites. As I mentioned, John Goggin h ad been there working on those sites in the [19]50s, and didn't imply or suggest that there had been a Spanish presence there. They thought it was an Indian site too. So we thought, well, we'll look at the sixteenth century native people. But once we began work there at the mission site, we found a moat, which immediately caused us to think that, oh, the encampment is at the Fountain of Youth Park site, and the fort must be separate and at the mission of Nombre de Dios site. But in the subsequent years sin ce then, we've done a lot of work there a lot of field schools have been at the mission site i t seems that it is just a stretch of a ditch that doesn't go around anything. It just ends. It doesn't protect anything. We assumed there's a ditch, it's a moat, it's protecting something. We're still puzzled about what that is. We've opened a huge portion of the site to the south and to the north. Right now, it looks as though the ditch may well have been associated with a blockhouse that Menendez put there in 156 7 at Old St. Augustine. The native people were still really violently resistant until the 1570s. They just had to place blockhouses with eight soldiers on the mainland, because one of the things we were able to confirm through Gene Lyons work was that the town moved over to Anastasia Island for eight years before it came back to the plaza. But in any case, it's still uncertain because for archaeology to distinguish 1565 from 1567 is impossible. But we do know that there was a presence there of a lime burn ing site. It's the


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 32 only sixteenth century li me kiln in North America that' s been excavated in North America right there on the site. The moat may have protected that. But a t the moment, it's definitely a sixteenth century occupation and we're thinking it was either the first area of encampment. The documents say that people came ashore. Menendez sent the people ashore and the men dug a hasty entrenchment to protect things while I was looking for a better site for a fort. It's conceivable that that's what t hat O: That could be it. D: Represents But then we also know he left a block house there after they abandoned the original settlement. It could be that or it could be both. We're hoping to continue. There's always more questions than answers. But both of those sites are, in some way, connected with the Menendez settlement, and the part at the Fountain of Youth Park is clearly the residential area. O: It's interesting thinking about this how often the personal intersects with the scholarly. Jan had men tioned to me that you had found Mike Gannon's mother's front yard D: That's right. O: Unearthed children's toys. Can you talk about that? D: They weren't unfortunately Mike's toys as a kid. [Laughter] But, w e found eighteenth century toys. That site where Mike's mom lived and he grew up was in the eighteenth and probably seventeenth century, the home of the sergeant


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 33 major of the colony. He was the second Nicol ‡ s Ponce de Le — n [ Nicol ‡ s Ponce de Le — n II was acting governor of Florida from 1673 1674. His father, Nicol ‡ s Ponce de Le — n I, was also governor of Florida from 1650 1654]. He was second in command behind the governor of the whole colony. So it was a wealthy site. We found, for example, in an eighteenth century well, we think it's a set of gami ng pieces because there were six made out of local pottery. There were six circles. They were about three inches across, just circles like a checker piece We found a set of them with unglazed pottery, and another set of pottery green glazed as though som eone had made a set of gaming pieces just out of local pottery. We found baby thimbles that little girls must have I mean just tiny thimbles for teaching children to sew. Really, m y favorite was a bug made of gold, and copper, and brass wire. Not much gol d, but it was a twisted beautiful little dragonfly type bug that surely was made by somebody for a child. There were children's amulets. Spaniards were very and still are committed to this forbidden practice of superstition. The Church was not. They said, rely on the saints and on God, not on these superstitions and amulets. But w e find them all over St. Augustine and people's households. Particularly the figas the clenched fist with the thumb that you still see everywhere today in Latin America and Spain. But they were really associated with babies. You can see images of babies with dozens of these hanging from them. There were a couple of them at th is Ponce de Leon site. It's fascinating. We as twenty first century people didn't recognize at first a lot of these. I think sometimes, speaking of the personal, if I hadn't grown up Catholic, I probably wouldn't have recognized some of these.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 34 The notion of we don't have amulets .y es, we do have amulets, and holy cards, and icons, and a lot of material. It di d provoke me to write to colleagues and visit the Museo del Pueblo Espa–ol in Madrid, which is a popular museum for people [el Museo del Pueblo Espa–ol in Madrid, Spain houses seminary documents, folk art, and other historical collection s] They have this whole collection of amulets. That led me to other literature that I was never aware of. If you find a white quartz bead in a site, normally you'd say, white quartz bead, probably a necklace bead or a rosary rather than this is a quinte de leche it's a b ead that women used as amulets to increase lactation. There are all sorts of these little hinged fishes for some reason. They're still sold in China. But a ccording to the early literature, they helped children learn to speak sooner. Horns of goats, carved in a certain way protected from rabies. We kind of are trying to go back through these collections too, and locate things we just thought were unidentified object or games and ceremonials because they do actua lly show what these people s ome of their belie fs that wouldn't show up in documents. Kids especially are invisible U sually in the archaeological record, i t's very hard to track them. We have found spinning tops, and little figurines, and so on. O: Wow, that's fascinating. You had mentioned and if you wouldn't mind, we'll maybe kind of go over a few items you've already spoken about and get a little more detail perhaps. Dr. Deagan, you had mentioned the critical role that women played in early St. Augustine, specifically in roles as say cultura l brokers. Can you expand on that a bit?


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 35 D: Well, the notion of women as cultural brokers and particularly Native American women or even African women rose because there were a lot of Spanish, Native American marriages in households. It was almost alway s a Native American woman and a Spanish man, although there are examples of Spanish women marrying Native American men in St. Augustine. The women who entered these households sometimes as just laborers, as cooks, or maids, or concubines, or wives, had s till connections to their own Native American communities and also this entre into the Spanish world. There really wasn't any mechanism for Native American men to do that. They really served as their laborers on construction projects and farmers outside t he town. There were very few opportunities to become intimately engaged in household life in the town. So i t seemed that women had this really different sort of role to play. We then mainly looked at the women's activities within the household. I've really in recent years, in the discipline gotten some heavy critique about that early work from feminist theorists on the notion that we would assume that women's activities played out within the household and that men Spanish men dominated the public landscap e. It's sort of considered to be an anti feminist notion of history that women were relegated to a role. I wonder ed often if it's not because we work so closely with historians and they've shown so many times that there were in fact, very clear, understoo d, and lived roles for men and women in the past. So, it' s been interesting to me these last few years that the feminist scholars have said, well even if it's tr ue, you can't write that. But it was an early, in the [19]70s, there wasn't a feminist scholar ship. We were sort of the first wave assuming this is


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 36 really enhancing scholarship about women and their roles, particularly non elite women. We knew about pri ncesses and the governor's wife, so t hat was the rationale. Eventually, it seemed clear after lo oking at all these households that in the household domestic area and childcare and spheres that women were associated with food we did find a mixture always of Spanish and American and once in a while African elements. In things that were male dominated architecture, weaponry, commerce, there really was no Native American input. Building construction and architecture, were pretty Spanish in form The weaponry, although we do find some projectile points, they aren't usually in households, but we find a lot of gun parts Spanish gun parts that sort of thing. So it was a gendered approach and that was our notion of the culture brokers. I think that's true throughout Latin America. O: You talked about the scholarly debates and your initial interpretatio ns. Again, kind of taking a step back, and now you're trying to introduce all of this, this notion of women as cultural brokers to a person who walks into Government House. How would you kind of distill that for them? What would be a good D: I think you would really have to first do it visually with an image that shows the mŽlange. A woman, an Indian woman, a Spanish man, children and in a context with both kinds of objects. I think that's a more powerful way to begin, and then explain that native women were the only people with a foot in both cultures when the Spaniards arrived. They shaped how that culture developed and emerged. But it's not that odd for Spain. I mean, i n North Africa you see the same thing in a way. The local pottery industries and l ocal household items are adopted, but


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 37 the Portuguese or the Spanish exterior forms are maintained. Kind of a Roman thing. Maybe that's part of the difference, the Roman background because that happened in Roman colonies as well. O: Yeah, and y ou mentione d earlier, I mean, Muslim influences, North African influences are such a huge part of the Iberian Peninsula. D: Yeah. O: It could hearken back to that. I noticed recently that, in fact, my wife and I are traveling to Spain in a couple weeks. D: Luck y you. O: We're going to the Alhambra site and I've noticed that recently the Spanish government has placed special emphasis on even taking out some of the later Spanish influence and trying to get back to the earlier, what the Alhambra looked like befor e it was kind of beginning -it's interesting how people are. D: It is very interesting. And Spain itself, we've seen again a celebration, or an observation T he quincentenary I think that really shifted Spain's approach to its modern archaeological p ast [Spain's quincentenary celebration of 1992 was held to commemorate Columbus's initial discovery voyage from Spain in 1492] It was virtually impossible to get comparative data twenty five, thirty years ago from Spain on sixteenth or seventeenth centur y household deposit. What did they look like? Because it was simply not considered history or important. Archaeologist s just went through, right down to medieval was really the late


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 38 stuff then back to Iberian, pre Roman materials. We couldn't even find m useum collections that had excavated materials from Spanish households. Really the first study was one of our grad students Bonnie McEwan went and worked with a group at the University of Seville for her dissertation. They were getting ready for the qui ncentenary, and she worked with them and offered to analyze and organize the sixteenth century stuff. Which I thought, w hy? But she did, and that's really kind of our baseline comparative material now. Since then since Fernando Amore s did publish some of t hat material, and Bonnie's published a lot, we're now seeing other publications in Spain that actually deal with that period. I like to think American archaeology did provoke that in a way, because now Spanish archaeologist s have to come here to study our artifact collections for when things date to because in the Americas we have little slices of time. We'll have a site that dates from 1503 to 1540 or 1490 to 1562, and then it was abandoned. So we know that the objects from that period date to this prec ise period, yet in Spain, they've never worked in that time period so they don't really know what is sixteenth versus seventeenth. It's a really interesting turnabout colonially. O: Yeah. [Laughter] Dr. Deagan, you had mentioned earlier Francis Drake a nd the possible burning of St. Augustine. What does it look like, and I remember going to Government House and kind of looking through the fact that I hadn't realized earlier that this was a settlement that was under a lot of pressure externally. The idea that someone could come and literally burn down the city. What does it look


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 39 like archaeological ly speaking when you're at a place where someone has literally burned it down? What are the types of markers you see? D: Well, certainly the soot stains the soi l. If the site hasn't been graded and cleaned up, you can see that as a narrow band in the soil stratigraphy. Usually it's in these trash pits and wells where the cleanup took place. In fact, it was another well at Mike Gannon's mom's house. When we found a number of burned building timbers, totally burned, stuffed into a well with other objects burned that were of that time period. I mean it has to be the right time period but i f you can kind of match refuse that has been clearly annihilated with a dirt horizon and the right dating artifacts, I think we can say that some of these people didn't usually throw away chair parts and that sort of thing in wells. Usually it was household garbage. But in a cleanup when everything is broken and just getting cle aned up, like renting one of those dumpsters for your garage, you just throw it all in just to get rid of it. That's a really different look than features that are trash deposits for daily trash. O: So, we're fairly certain that Francis D rake did actuall y burn down the D: Well, there are certainly accounts that describe it very clearly. The archaeological evidence. I mean, I'm sure the entire town wasn't burnt, but in the south half south of the plaza, there are several sites that have those marke rs. The descriptions are. O: Are pretty graphic.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 40 D: Yes, although again, but you know people don't always tell the truth. Either they don't kno w the truth or they exaggerate. So t hat's still open, I think, to inquiry the extent to which they ravaged the town. O: Right. Yeah. It seems like some of the depictions were pretty dramatic. D: Yes. O: Earlier we talked about intermarriage and gender roles. Again if you're in Government House and a person is walking in of course there's a limit to ho w much you can kind of fill them up with. But c ould you say that St. Augustine could become that place where you could really begin to communicate a completely different understanding of the modern period in this hemisphere? Is that D : Well, we would hop e so. In fact, we are at the Florida Museum developing a very large exhibit to do exactly what you hope to do, exactly what you say. Not tell th e story in terms of the heroes and the conquistadors, but tell the story in terms of what St. Augustine began that we now see today as us, the sort of engagement, diversity, newness, the whole immigration issues. So, I would hope that it can be both a real story of the first colony but also provoke some thinking about these other issues. It wasn't just the conquis tadors and the governors who really shape the way people lived their lives out, but it was people who didn't usually get to write. O: People at the grassroots. D: Yes, l iterally. [Laughter] That would have been a great title, under the grassroots.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 41 O: That's a great title. All right. Well, and relating to that Dr. Deagan, when you began as a young graduate student you mentioned there was very little in terms of a text. I remember people were just beginning to write these types of texts in historical archaeology Would it be fair to say that the collective work that you and others have done at St. Augustine has changed the scholarly trajectory, or is that maybe overreaching? How would you say that work has impacted the field? D: Well, it's difficult. You don't want to sound self congratulatory in these things. I think in a sense it has in terms of pushing for cross colonial, cross cultural examination, which really historical archaeology had always been about restoration of important places and buil dings and places where George Washington slept. It really was started by Fairbanks, and Hale Smith, and John Goggin. They looked at those kinds of things in missions and sites and ta ught my generation. Really I would say I am of the first generation of pr ofessional historical archaeologist s. None of those guys would have t hey just said, I'm an archaeologist I do everything. W hich they did. I think that and then the attention to non European people in history and gendered approaches did have an effect, an impact. I would like to think. [Laughter] O: Is it important that the University of Florida continue to remain engaged with this kind of work or is that D: I've retired, almost two years ago. I think it's really important for a lot of reasons that t he University of Florida keep engaged in St. Augustine studies and Spanish colonial archaeology in general. For one thing, we have the largest collection


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 42 really probably anywhere of systematic colonial materials in our collections here. Certainly, in thi s hemisphere. They're well dated and contextualized. People study them a lot. We get a lot of people. But y ou can't maintain a living, vital collection like a library even without caring for it, adding, eliminating redundancy, encouraging working with sc holars and students for that reason Also, there really isn't any other such program that extends into the Caribbean. With St. Augustine right here as part of our university now and as a wonderful training opportunity, it just would seem tragic not to tak e advantage of it in an educational way. Our connections in the Caribbean, we have convenios with many Spanish Caribbean areas to do work ["convenio" means "agreement" in Spanish] O: Y ou mentioned earlier, grants and the realities of fundraising I f som eone just handed you an unlimited pot of money, how would you carry the project forward at this point? If they just said, oh here's a bunch of money Dr. Deagan. D: Do what you want. O: Do what you want. D: I think I would probably try, and I've alw ays liked this idea, to have an ongoing research training, sort of a field school, and then a lab session project that could provide support for students from Latin American countries and Caribbean countries to participate. One of the reasons we're one of the only programs in that area is that there is no money for training or research of students or professionals in those areas. I think as we become more global and less


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 43 isolated it could only help us and our students getting access to those areas. I woul d love to have a more international Latin American Spanish colonial program developed. I think a lot of student support and travel support would be really critical. I mean, we're not going to be allowed to work anywhere after, you know, soon I think in ot her countries unless we do engage in that way. I would reopen projects in Dominican Republic and Haiti that we have worked on, which really have stopped completely. So I think that's what I'd start out doing. And then every time you do something, it genera tes a whole new set of agendas you never thought of before. O: Yeah. D: Well, the St. George Street excavations, I think, are sort of a shock to most people if they see the images because the city decided to put all the power lines and utilities under ground, and dug huge trenches about a meter each on each side of St. George Street down to the subsoil. There was not any formal archaeology done, but archaeologist s from the city, and from University of Florida, from all over came and volunteered when the y could to at least map the profiles. A lot of the fronts of buildings on St. George Street of colonial buildings got popped out because the street was much narrower then. What was part of the street now used to be the fronts of buildings. But i t was done. There are records of that and I mean it has been documented. I think it was before the time when such a thing would have really caused an outrage, but it was done at n ight. Students would come out at night and there'd be people with headlamps on doing profiles soil profiles behind the bulldozer Stanley Bond mostly and


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 44 Bruce Piatek and our kids who volunteered. We do know more about the edge of St. George Street from that. The burials are a very interesting issue. There are so many cemeteries under St. Augustine where we walk every day that I don't think it should distur b anyone. They're shown on maps. I t's known for the most part. But r eally, from Charlotte Street over to Aviles Street starting on King Street going back under the military hospital is all a sixteenth century burial ground. Many burials Christian burials from that first church have been excavated from there. It's very problematical. I mean, Jan might have some real thoughts on this. If a Native American burial is a Christian burial, is the basis for NAGPRA on spiritual beliefs and the native belief that the bones must remain in place to be united with the spirit [NAGPRA stands for Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act the strongest federal legislation pertaining to abor iginal remains and artifacts, passed by the US Congress as a federal law in 1990. NAGPRA requires federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding to return Native American cultural items to their respective peoples, including human remains, funerary objects, and others] That's not a Catholic belief at all. There's no problem for Catholicism with removing bones. That could be a huge issue because some of the burials were Indians and Christian. So that's one large area and across the street fr om the Sisters of Saint Joseph there's the very large burial ground at La Soledad, which was in use for 200 years, which we've excavated a number of those Catholic burials. At the Fountain of Youth Park where the first burial skeletons were found, at lea st 140 of them have been they're covered now. Under St. George Street, a number of places under the


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 45 existing buildings there were Native American burials but not Christian burials. These are particularly in the courtyard area of the de M esa Sanchez hous e and under the building itself, there were burials Native American burials excavated or located that were in flexed positions. One small family was in the courtyard. One of the maps I think maybe the Arredondo map but I would have to look at that again locates that region as the barracks of the Indians. So, it was I think where clearly workers on the Castillo at that time who died were being buried. Carl uncovered burials under the building that used to be the Spanish tourist office. It had the bunnery in it. It's on the corner of Hypolita and St. George, catty corner from the Columbia. I think that area did t here are burials along there. I know that's very problematical for the Native American groups in the area. But they are, of cours e, left in peace. They are not disturbed. Jan Matthews : Do you want to do the Pan American thing or do you want to do the archaeological collection ? [Pan Americanism is a movement which seeks to encourage and organize relationships and cooperation between the states of t he Americas, using diplomatic, political, economic, and social means] D: I think the collection is an important issue because that's really the basis of ongoing and future research. Over the years, when we excavated materials stored them at the Government House. The basic idea in museum or one of the basic ideas is that you want to have a collection in one place because researchers usually need once you look at one part of a site or collection that belongs together, you want to compare it to other parts. If you have to run from Tallahassee to St. Augustine to Gainesville to look at one site, it's just not good


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 46 policy. But w hen the basement of Government House flooded in 1990, it was a bad flood, and a lot of artifact bags started floating and the wooden ca ses they were in broke. There was nowhere to put them. They had to just go in boxes that were stacked in closets and hallways. They became a fire hazard. No one could use them. Of course, nobody in St. Augustine really wanted them to come go anywhere else. They wanted to be in St Augustine, but w e were not able, and no one was able, to get a facility, a collections facility. W hich is a hugely expensive undertaking because of the HVAC, and the security, and you can't have certain fumes, and you have to use materials that don't off gas You have to have somebody like a staff who constantly is there to maintain all that. So t hey came to Gainesville. The first grant, I think, was through the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and that allowed the materi als to be cleaned and cataloged and put in cabinets here. We developed with that same grant a website that has since been used just tremendously. There's an exhibit on St. Augustine that the Advisory Council funded an online one. Then the type collectio ns, all of our voucher samples are photographed and online for researchers. It probably gets more hits than any other museum website just because it's there and free. Especially for people in Spain or Latin America. So t hat was when they came over. Then, there was a second move in 1997 when I think it was 1997, wasn't it? When the board was sundowned? The Preservation Board was sundowned and the city assumed responsibility but the city also had no place to put these things that had accumulated since 1990 There were a lot more materials. The city archaeology program has its own collections of sites that Carl Halbert has


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 47 excavated on city property, which they maintain. But all of the rest of the state collections were rotting away that had been done. So we made a second move. The National Science Foundation funded that I think on the strength of the success of what the Advisory Council had funded first. Had that not happened, I don't think the NSF would have supported us, but maybe they would have. So the y're all united here in one place that researchers can access partly online, which we're still trying to do. I've retired, but you know, that's another reason why we have to keep this program going because there's so much more work to make this accessible But the collections are safe and they're availabl e to anyone from St. Augustine, and a big portion of them are exhibited. We've worked with the Fa tio house the Greek Orthodox Shrine the Colonial Dames, the Sisters o f Saint Joseph, Fort Mose. A ny time anybody wants to display the objects that's even better. It's always a touchy issue, but I feel good that they're safe, and systematized, and online. O: Well, you had mentioned, and this is an issue you have talked about Dr. Deaga n, earlier, but I wonde r a follow up a re there examples or how are scholars in Latin America using the collection or the work that has been done in St. Augustine. Do you have a sense? D: We've collaborated with a number of projects in Latin Amer ican doing comparative studies. For example, after doing all these sites, to convince ourselves that this was a regular practice of integrating Spanish and Native American materials in households t hen we wondered, well, maybe it's just St. Augustine, it was so isolated. We're in contac t with other researchers in Mexico


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 48 and Guatemala and Ecuador and Colombia and throughout the Caribbean. There was very little done in that period. It was like Spain, and for good reason I guess, most of the archaeology programs in Latin America skipped th e colonial period and go to the Aztecs or the Mayas or the great civilizations. The colonial period is not a matter of heritage pride. And if they did do archaeology it was on the spectacular buildings in churches and forts. That engagement began, and so we've had students from a number of places come here. We've had a couple of post docs working on the collections. But we've gone there to study their collections and have collaborated in the Dominican Republic on several projects, and also Panama. They hav e provided now us with some of their index specimens either through photographs or through objects. Basically, what you d o with the collections online is o ne, sort of the lowest grade level is you say what is this thing? When was it made? Who made it? That's what the index voucher specimens are identified as. At least you know when this dates to, where it came from, maybe why it was used. So from site to site you can start seeing different ways, what different people chose to use when. And i s it the s ame as this other place? Is it similar across these presidio towns, or in the big cities did people do this in a completely different way ["Presidio" is a term for a Spanish military fort or garrison] ? It's a global question, this whole issue of why is Lat in America Latin America and Anglo America Anglo America? So we hope that can continue. Tell the board of trustees. O: Tell the boardy eah, exactly. [Laughter] We'll send them a copy, t his tape would be a great resource for them.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 49 D: I think t hey'd p robably snooze. [Laughter] Better edit that out. O: Right, exactly. Jan Matthews: It's worth mentioning Walter Fraser D: Oh yes. Jan Matthews: [inaudible] Pan American federal board included Rockefeller D: We mentioned a little bit about that with the early archaeology and how Goggin came to be, but there was an earlier commission I think in 1937 to observe and commemorate the Spanish heritage of St. Augustine. That was a high powered commission. I think one Rockefeller was on that an d the head of Voice of America, and a couple of senators, and Fraser and Tigert was on it. I'm not really sure exactly what it did or what happened, but there are documents about it and then the Pan American union was established when Wilgus came to the University o f Florida. Wilgus and Fraser were really the movers in that. It was designed to enhance understanding and exchange among Latin America and St. Augustine. Fraser was the funding basis for that. He funded a lot of Wilgus 's travels and other historians and ar chaeologist s at University of Florida. And the Pan American union continued for. I remember when they still had a building on St. George Street, a museum. You could go in and see pots and artifacts from different countries of Latin America. I'm not sur e when it fizzled, but there's some great photos of those days. O: I've heard about it, but yeah, I've never really thought about


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 50 D: UF did get, you know, quite a substantial investment from that in terms of Latin American studies. O: But at a certai n point it just kind of D: I suspect when Walter Fraser died I don't know what year it was but his son, John who took over, was not particularly interested in history. For some reason, he loves University of South Florida and is not a Gator. So that may have had something to do with it. [Laughter] O: Wow. Interesting. Well, we've covered a lot of ground. D: Yeah. Talking about someone walking in to Government House and wantin g to get engaged with the story, o ne of the people we had identified for our little online exhibit was a young girl named Estefania [de] Cigarroa The pirates attacked St. Augustine again and really ravaged the town in 1668 Searle [In 1668 a group of pirates lead by Captain Robert Searle attacked the town of St. Augustine to raid it for silver ingots Following the raid, Spain's Council of the Indies commissioned a massive stone fortress, the Castillo de San Marcos, on Matanzas Bay to protect the city in the future ] There was an account of Estefania and her sister in the street. Her sister was shot and killed, and the pirates captured Estefania and took them back to her ship to hold as ransom. That's really all we know, but what a story. Imagine that experience. She later, in fact, married. Got ransomed, apparently, because she wa s married to the Ponce de Leon who lived O: The sergeant major.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 51 D: At Mike's mom's house. [Laughter] Good. It was a good conversation. It made me O: Yeah. D: Provoked my O: And I always ask though a re there other aspects or elements of your work that we didn't touch upon that you'd like to. D: Not so much for St. Augustine. O: Okay. And what we'll do is we'll transcribe the interview and we'll give you a copy to read over and if there are items you'd like to add or things you'd like to may be even modify a bit, we can do that as well. D: Okay, great. O: Thank you. I know, your time and I know D: Well, we've both gotten over the end of the semester. I was really surprised when you could even get away to agree to do this. O: Well, I re ally appreciate it. Again, both from my perspective, you know, as a graduate student reading your work and myself being a beneficiary of that work, I really thank you. D: Well, thank you. We've been beneficiaries of your work too. These racial issues ar e, I know, very illuminated by what you've done.


SAHP 004; Deagan; Page 52 O: Thank you. Thank you Kathy. [End of Interview]