Group Title: Florida : from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative
Title: Florida
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 Material Information
Title: Florida from the beginning to 1992 : a Columbus jubilee commemorative
Physical Description: xii, 204 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Coker, William S
Shofner, Jerrell H., 1929-
Morris, Joan Perry, 1935-
Malone, Myrtle Davidson
Publisher: Pioneer Publications
Place of Publication: Houston Tex. (12345 Jones Rd. Suite 103 Houston 77070-4843)
Publication Date: c1991
Subject: Industries -- Florida   ( lcsh )
History -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-203) and index.
Statement of Responsibility: by William S. Coker and Jerrell H. Shofner ; Joan Perry Morris, photo editor ; edited by Myrtle D. Malone.
Funding: Funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025122
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Board of Trustees of the University of Florida on behalf of authors and contributors. All rights reserved.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001747568
oclc - 25790765
notis - AJG0402
lccn - 91066897

Full Text

Chapter 5
St. Augustine and La Florida, 1600-1763

St. Augustine, Florida, is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Only
some of the Pueblo towns of the Southwest, and San Juan, in Puerto Rico,
are older. By the time places like Jamestown, Plymouth, Boston, New York,
or Charlestown were founded, the Spanish settlers in Florida had already
experienced raids by Frenchmen and Englishmen, Indian rebellions, severe
hurricanes and storms, hunger and thirst, and all of the other problems of a
distant and often forgotten frontier colony. Already, we have mentioned that
Sir Francis Drake burned St. Augustine to the ground in 1586. It was burned
down again in 1702. But always it was rebuilt and people continued to
struggle and live there.

St. Augustine after Menendez

King Philip II appointed Gonzalo Mendez de Canzo y Donlebun as the
new governor of Florida in 1595. Canzo had some difficulty reaching Florida,
and when he arrived in St. Augustine on June 2, 1597, he soon faced one
tragedy after another.

As previously noted, in the fall of 1597, the Indians of Guale rebelled
against the Franciscan missionaries and killed a number of friars. Canzo
suppressed the rebellion the following year. In 1599, a serious fire and
hurricane destroyed many homes in St. Augustine. A scarcity of food, meat
and safe drinking water plagued Canzo. Local gardens produced some corn,
fruit and vegetables, but not enough to feed the people.

Governor Canzo's Improvements

In spite of all his problems, Governor Canzo is credited with making some
improvements to the city. He erected a six-bed hospital with a woman of color
as nurse. Canzo also directed the construction of a plaza for St. Augustine.
As in other such towns, it also served as a marketplace. The governor
apparently delighted many of the women settlers when he ordered the
construction of a horse-drawn corn mill so that they would no longer have to
grind corn daily by hand. But these improvements did not eliminate criticism
of St. Augustine by officials near and far.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

Abandon St. Augustine?

Pedro Redondo Villegas' visit of 1600, along with that of Fernando Valdes'
investigation of 1602, produced a number of reasons why they and many
others felt St. Augustine should be abandoned. Francis Drake's raid and
destruction of St. Augustine in 1586 had demonstrated that the town was hard
to defend. It was also difficult for ships to enter the harbor. The bar across
the inlet was too shallow and only small vessels could cross it. Hurricanes
and storms caused severe flooding. Much of the land was unsuitable for
farming. St. Augustine was too far from the route of the Spanish treasure fleet
to be of much use in coastal defense and it could not provide the needed
protection for victims of shipwreck. Also, no riches had been discovered. In
spite of these reasons, the Spaniards did not abandon St. Augustine. It would
cost money to move the presidio to another location and, some argued, men
and money were all St. Augustine needed.

St. Augustine was founded in part to protect Spanish treasure fleets.
By the 1600s, some in Spain were questioning whether the settlement
was doing its job. The arrows in this diagram show the route of
Spanish ships coming into the Caribbean to pick up silver, gold,
cochineal, cacao, and other goods, and their route back to Spain by way
of Cuba and Florida.


Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

The Population Numbers

Since one of St. Augustine's necessities was settlers, an examination of
St. Augustine's population during this period is in order. Such an overview
might best be termed a "guesstimate" since few accurate population statistics
are available. The first population figure known for St. Augustine is that of
1565, when Menendez de Aviles arrived with about 800 personnel, including
500 soldiers, 200 seamen and 100 others. For various reasons, the numbers
declined sharply and in 1578 only 184 military personnel were present: 157
soldiers and 27 seamen. This does not include any churchmen, women and
children. Only 150 military positions were authorized for that year. In 1580,
the authorized number increased to 300, but at the time of Drake's raid in
1586, only 150 men were in the fort.

Year Baptisms Population

1601 19 275
1641 24 575
1671 29 725
1701 36 912
1731 61 1,350
1761 115 2,750

Population estimates are available for many of the years between 1595
and 1761. These figures from a study by John R. Dunkle are based upon the
number of baptisms recorded in the parish records. They are only rough
estimates, but are all that are available. These numbers suggest a steady
increase in population, but there were years in which the population declined.
When the Spaniards evacuated St. Augustine in 1764, the population
exceeded 3,000 including 551 soldiers and officers. At the same time, there
were 87 free blacks: 31 men, 34 women and 22 children living in the free
black community, Fort Mose, north of St. Augustine.

The Population Place of Origin

One other interesting aspect of St. Augustine's population concerns the
place of origin of the settlers. Theodore G. Corbett studied the available
statistics for St. Augustine's males for the years 1658-1756, and a summary
of his findings is given below. As in the case of the population summaries, the
percentages varied from year to year.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

Place of Origin .... ....... ............ .................... Average for
(Spanish provinces and Canary Islands).............. 38.0%
Spanish America
(New Spain, New Granada, etc.) ......................... 15.8%
(Europe and British America)................. ............. 4.9%
A fricans............................... .. ................ 4.5%
Asians .............. ........................... ........... 0.2%
Creoles (Including Floridanos)............................... 36.6%

Since these figures include only males, what about the women in St.
Augustine? About 85 percent of the women recorded in marriage records
were born in Florida. Other statistics reveal that approximately 50 percent
those from Spain came from Andalusia. Of those coming to St. Augustine
between 1658 and 1691, one out of five was born in Mexico. The black
population in 1764 amounted to 14 percent of the total population. This was
the largest black population, free and slave, in the Spanish borderlands, and
reflected in part the number of slaves from English colonies who fled into
Florida seeking freedom.

The Houses of St. Augustine

The early homes of St. Augustine residents were usually one-story
buildings constructed of wood with palmetto frond roofs. Due to natural
deterioration, fires, storms and floods, these houses did not last long, and
were frequently replaced with buildings made of "tabby." Tabby was an
oyster-shell concrete and was a corruption of the Spanish word tapia,
meaning a "mud-wall." By pouring tabby into wooden forms and letting it set,
the Spaniards could erect walls that were dense and resistant to fire. When
royal funds arrived to build the Castillo de San Marcos, colonists also began
to learn how to quarry and use the natural shell-stone "coquina," which they
could find on the barrier island. Most of this stone was reserved for the fort,
but afterwards wealthier settlers began to build their houses of stone.

Typically there were no windows on the north side of the houses because
of the winter winds. The windows on the other sides were originally wooden
shutters, later replaced by casement, or glass framed windows, which opened
outward. The door was on the south side.

The typical house had two or three rooms with the kitchen on the porch or
in the yard. The bigger and better houses often included a loggia, an arcaded
or roofed gallery, on the south side, and the yards of the better houses were

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

enclosed with walls for privacy with entry through a gate into the patio. A
garden plot, orange or other fruit trees, and a shed were usually found in the
walled areas.

Several of the pre-1763 houses have been restored and may be seen
today. The "Oldest," or Gonzalez House, originally constructed in the 17th
century, has been rebuilt several times. The Ribera House, made from
coquina and tabby, is unique because it was a two-story building and
classified as a "fine" house. Many other colonial houses in St. Augustine date
to the late 1700s.

The buildings in these pictures show different types of colonial houses in St. Augustine. At
left are two types of early house. Neither is original. Most early houses were destroyed in
various fires and attacks on St. Augustine. These reconstructions show a typical one-story
house with a flat roof and a vertical timber frame house with a peaked roof. The Llambias
House (right) dates to the late 18th century and is typical of later colonial homes: two stories,
of coquina stone, with a front balcony, and a pitched roof covered in cypress shingles.
Photos by James Cusick and Philip Geiser. Used with permission.


Entertainment in colonial St. Augustine was limited. The soldiers
stationed at the Castillo had a reputation for being rowdy and undisciplined.
Like soldiers at most garrison towns on the frontier, they spent their free time
drinking, gambling, and chasing women.

For settlers, few events warranted big celebrations in St. Augustine. The
most important occasions were the funeral or coronation of a new king in
Spain. Others included the birth, death or marriage of a member of the royal


Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

family, the pregnancy of the queen, or a great military victory. But even
events involving the royal family did not always appeal to the local Florida

Perhaps the premier event of the period was the accession of King
Ferdinand VI. Two days were set aside, April 30 and May 1, 1747, in St.
Augustine to honor the new king. Plays, masquerades, dancing, horse races
and even a bullfight commemorated the occasion.

Punishment of criminals also attracted crowds. On October 23, 1684,
people gathered to see the hanging of an English pirate, Arthur Ranson.
Ranson declared his innocence and swore by the grace of the Virgin Mary
that he would not die. The hangman seated him on a stool, put the rope
around his neck and spun the stool several times. Ranson's body went limp,
but on the next turn, the rope broke and Ranson fell to the ground.
Immediately some of the local parishioners led by the parish priest, Father
Joseph Perez de la Mota, who had opposed the hanging, grabbed Ranson's
body and rushed him to the church. Miraculously, Ranson was revived. Gov.
Juan Marques Cabrera demanded that the priest turn Ranson over to the
authorities, but he refused to do so, claiming protection under the sanctuary
of the church. Both sides appealed to higher authority and eventually Ranson
was transferred to another location where he was sentenced to hard labor.
But his life was spared and the event became known as the "Miracle of the
Broken Rope."

Government Officials

The governor was the most important official in the colony. He handled
virtually all problems: administrative, judicial, economic, military, social and, in
some cases, even religious matters. Since a cabildo, or town council, was
discontinued in 1570, the governor often got advice from an advisory council,
a junta, consisting of treasury, military and religious officials, whom he
consulted on important issues.

Sources of Government Income

Although the amount collected was minimal, there were several sources of
income in Florida: ecclesiastical (tithes and indulgences), crown properties
(lands, productive enterprises, slaves and convicts, royal offices and
monopolies), shipping (freight charges and customs duties), barter, salvage
and booty (the king's treasure taxes), and personal levies (tribute and

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

donations). Since the income from these sources was very limited, Florida's
main source of financial support was the annual subsidy, or the situado.

Because Florida did not make enough money to support itself, the crown
in 1570 assumed that financial responsibility. The formula for the amount of
money to be paid Florida was based upon the number of military plazos
(spaces) authorized for the presidio. Basically, this meant the number of
officers and soldiers who were stationed in the town. From 1570 to 1580,
there were 150 spaces and the amount of the subsidy was 32,312 pesos. In
1580 the number of spaces increased to 300 and the subsidy doubled to
65,859 pesos. This continued to be the annual subsidy for the presidio until at
least 1651. In 1700, the subsidy was 80,842 pesos for the 355 spaces. In
some years, though, St. Augustine got no subsidy at all. Sometimes it was
seized by pirates, sometimes the ships carrying it sank, and sometimes
Mexico and Cuba refused to pay it.

Searles Raid Leads to Permanent Fort

From the time of its founding in 1565, Florida suffered from conflict with
French and English colonists and also with pirates and privateers from
various nations. In 1668, Robert Searles plundered the town and left 60 dead.
He cleaned out the treasury and found 138 silver bars that had been salvaged
from a shipwreck. This raid terrified people in St. Augustine and finally
convinced the Spaniards that a strong permanent fort had to be built to guard
the harbor and town.

The Castillo de San Marcos

In 1669, the Spanish Crown
made plans to build a new stone
fort at St. Augustine. Local
masons would use coquina rock
quarried on Anastasia Island.
Gov. Manuel de Cendoya
received 72,000 pesos from
Mexico in 1671 and the work
started. Military engineer Ignacio The sallyport (the only entrance) to the Castillo
Daza of Havana and his work de San Marcos. The Castillo as it exists today
crews broke ground on October is about ten feet higher than when it was first
completed. When British forces attacked in
2, and laid the cornerstone on 1702, and all the townspeople of St. Augustine
November 9, 1672. withdrew into the fort, it was still only partially
Photograph by Philip Geiser.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

Many workers were needed to build the fort. Stonemasons and skilled
artisans arrived from Cuba. But the Spaniards also required Indian towns to
send laborers. There were few slaves in Florida at this time, but those owned
by the government, about a dozen men, were also put to work building the
fort. In the quarries workers cut the coquina stone into blocks. It was a soft
rock and they let it harden in the sun, then hauled it to the bay. There they
loaded the stone onto rafts and ferried it across to the mainland. According to
Luis Arana, former historian for the Castillo, the fort was pretty well completed
by 1695, but work continued off and on for the next half century. The Castillo
de San Marcos was not officially dedicated until 1756.

The price in human life and suffering that accompanied the construction of
the Castillo was high. Many of the Indian laborers brought to St. Augustine
never returned home. But the Castillo became a formidable fort. Two times
English attackers tried to capture it (in 1702 and 1740) and failed. American
soldiers tried to capture it in 1812, and also failed.

The War of the Spanish Succession or Queen Anne's War

As time went on, the Spaniards in Florida found it harder and harder to
stop English settlement to the north. The founding of Charles Town in 1670
meant St. Augustine had a major rival, another thriving town. Fear of the
English was one reason the Spaniards in Florida began building the Castillo.
The two colonies-Florida and Carolina-were soon headed towards war. In
Carolina, English settlers wanted to break up the Spanish mission system in
Florida. They did not want the Spanish colonists to have too much influence
among the Indians. The Spaniards were equally unhappy with having the
English as neighbors. In 1686 they raided Carolina, hitting the plantation of
the governor, and even stealing away some of his slaves.

The question of slavery also created tensions between Carolina and
Florida. The Spanish settlers relied on Indians as workers, and did not keep
many slaves. Planters in Carolina, on the other hand, ran their plantations
with slave labor. Eventually some slaves tried to escape from their English
masters by running away into Florida. The first small group of runaways
arrived in St. Augustine in 1687. To begin with, the Spaniards did not know
what to do. They appealed to the king, and in 1693 received his decision.
Any slaves escaping from the English and reaching Florida would be freed,
he said, as long as they agreed to study the Catholic religion. This news
angered slave owners in Carolina. As soon as war broke out between
England and Spain, they decided to attack St. Augustine and drive out the
Spanish settlers.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

In 1702 Gov. James Moore of Carolina brought an army of local colonists
south. They had no trouble taking over Spanish outposts, but when they
reached St. Augustine, they received a shock. They knew the Spaniards had
been working on a fort, but they were not expecting a large stone fort. The
Spanish governor Joseph de Zuniga y Cerda decided he could not keep the
English out of town-it was too big to defend-but he was determined to save
the lives of the settlers. He ordered everyone in St. Augustine some 1,500
people into the Castillo. Fortunately, it was a cool time of year, and the
Spaniards drove cattle into the dry moat around the fort so that they would
have food. But even so, the fort was incredibly crowded. For six weeks, the
English occupied the deserted town and laid siege to the Castillo. Unable to
destroy the fort's thick coquina walls with their small artillery, the English sent
to Jamaica for heavier cannon. Before it arrived, Spanish reinforcements from
Havana sailed into sight. At that point, Moore, in frustration, burned many of
the homes in the city as well as his ships in the harbor, and then retreated
with his army. Although conditions within the Castillo had been far from good,
it had survived. Two years later, though, in 1704, Moore sent troops and
Indian allies back into Florida. This time they ignored St. Augustine but
destroyed the outlying missions and carried large numbers of Indians back to
Charleston as prisoners.

Slave Sanctuary Policies

As noted above, in the 1680s the Spaniards allowed runaway slaves from
Carolina to settle in Florida. They hoped the newly freed slaves would help
defend the colony. They also hoped that if enough slaves ran away, the
English colonists in Carolina would find it difficult to run their plantations and
make money from their crops.

The number of ex-slaves in Florida slowly began to grow. Not many
slaves succeeded in escaping from Carolina, but by the 1720s, there were
about 200 men, women, and children living in St. Augustine. These free
people of color began to play an important role in the life of Florida. They
became artisans, craftspeople, and farmers, and the men also served as
soldiers in the local militia.

Not all slaves reaching Florida were freed, however. In 1738, after much
debate, Governor Montiano reviewed all the cases and finally agreed that all
slaves from Carolina should have their liberty.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

The English Attack of 1728

Troubles continued between Carolina and Florida. The Yamasee Indians
began to side with the Spaniards and attacked British settlers. The fact that
slaves were running away into Florida also kept the colonists of Carolina
angry with the Spaniards in Florida. In February 1728 Col. John Palmer led
a force from Carolina and attacked the Yamasee villages located close to St.
Augustine, including those at the old mission site of Nombre de Dios just
north of the town. Palmer camped outside the range of the cannon in the
Castillo de San Marcos, but could not entice the Spaniards to leave the safety
of the fort. After a short stay, Palmer destroyed the village and church and
carried off the church ornaments and statues.

The British Occupy Georgia

Tensions between the British and Spaniards increased when the British
founded a new colony south of Carolina. In 1733 Gen. James Oglethorpe
created the colony of Georgia in the area between Florida and Carolina. The
Spaniards were outraged and assembled a fleet and army at Havana to
attack Georgia. However, just before the armada sailed, orders from Spain
cancelled the plans. Efforts to negotiate a truce between Florida and Georgia
also failed, and down in St. Augustine Gov. Manuel de Montiano began to
strengthen the Castillo's defenses. He increased the garrison to about 750
men, expecting he would soon be at war.

Francisco Menendez, Fort Mose, and the Stono Slave Revolt

Two events in Florida had a major impact on relations with Georgia and
Carolina. In 1738, Governor Montiano decided it was time to build a town for
the runaway slaves who had come to live in Florida and were now free. He
located the town two miles north of St. Augustine and named it Gracia Real
de Santa Teresa de Mose. The first black leader of this town was a man of
incredible daring. Francisco Menendez had been a slave in Carolina before
escaping to Florida. He was a Mandingo by birth, and had escaped slavery
with the assistance of Yamasee Indians. He became captain of the free black
militia in Florida in 1726, and would remain a military officer under Spain for
40 years. Soon he was in charge of running a town of about 100 people.
Menendez served with distinction in the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739-1743) as
both a soldier and privateer. On one privateering raid at sea he was captured
and condemned a second time to slavery. Somehow, he again managed to
escape and returned to Florida.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

Map by Tomas Lopez after an original by Thomas Jefferies,
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History

'- Image of a maroon, a runaway slave who has
-- I taken up arms to protect himself from being
recaptured. Francisco Men6ndez, leader of Fort
-Mose, first gained his liberty by fleeing through the
7 Georgia wilds with a group of Yamassee Indians.
'-.":. 1From The Proceedings of the Governor and
Assembly of Jamaica, in regard to the Maroon

SNegroes, by B. Edwards, John Stockdale, London,
____~________ 1796.


Coker, William S., et al. Florida :from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX: Pioneer Publications,

All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use
tI'a.en ........ to prtc hisl from .

reapurd =r of For

-""orgia wilds with a group of Yamas ee Indians.

In Carolina, news that the Spaniards had created a town for freed
slaves spread through the slave community. In 1739, slaves at Stono, near
Charleston, revolted. They killed twenty settlers and then tried to head south
to reach Florida. But forces under the British governor intercepted them.
Colonists in Carolina were now determined that the town of Mose had to be
destroyed, before more slaves tried to revolt.

The War of Jenkins' Ear tE a row. cAdgEB

Another major confrontation
between Carolina, Georgia, and
Florida began in 1739 when
England declared war on Spain in
the War of Jenkins' Ear.

As soon as war broke out,
Governor James Oglethorpe of
Georgia received orders to proceed
against Spanish Florida. Using
militia soldiers from both Georgia
and Carolina, he headed south.
Once again, Spanish outposts fell "
easily. In June 1740, the attackers
drove back the black soldiers at
Mose, forcing them to retreat into _
St. Augustine. Then they took over 1
the fort. But in a surprise move,
Gov. Montiano launched a
counterattack. Spanish troops, A print of James Oglelhorpe's attack on St. Augusline
Indian allies and black soldiers in 1740, from a map by Thomas Silver. British ships
Ii and b k diers blockaded the channel and landed troops and artillery
sprang a sudden assault on Fort on Amelia Island to bombard the town and Castillo.
Mose just before daylight, catching
the defenders off-guard. They killed the commander, Col. John Palmer-the
man who had attacked Florida in 1728-and 75 of his men, and recaptured

Oglethorpe, meanwhile, was using his ships to land troops on Anastasia
Island. From there he bombarded the Castillo de San Marcos. Early plans to
take the Castillo failed, and a lengthy siege followed. The siege lasted from
June 13 to July 20, but the British were unable to take the Castillo and
reluctantly withdrew.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

The Battle of Bloody Marsh

The Spaniards were determined to retaliate against their British foe and in
July 1742, Governor Montiano led a Spanish force against Fort Frederica on
St. Simons Island in Georgia. The British defeated the Spaniards in the Battle
of Bloody Marsh and Montiano retired to St. Augustine.

Oglethorpe Returns to St. Augustine

The defeat of the Spaniards encouraged Oglethorpe to attempt again to
take the Castillo de San Marcos. In September 1742, a British force reached
St. Augustine and moved to attack. Artillery fire from the Castillo seriously
damaged a British ship, which later sank. To make matters worse, a storm
struck, scattering the British ships. Deciding that was enough, the British soon
withdrew. St. Augustine was saved again. Hostilities continued, however, into
1743 with the British encouraging their Indian allies to attack the outlying
Spanish forts. Except for an occasional raid by Indians, for all intents and
purposes, the war was over in Florida. The Spaniards took advantage of the
respite and during the next 20 years worked hard to make the Castillo de San
Marcos even more impregnable.

Mose, in the meantime, was so damaged by war that no one returned to
live there for twelve years. But in the 1750s the community started up again,
in what is called "the second Fort Mose."

Illicit Trade

As can be seen, relations between Spanish and English colonies were not
good in the early 1700s. So it might be surprising to learn that the Spanish
settlers frequently traded with people in Charleston and Georgia. People in
St. Augustine were always hard up for food and supplies, especially when the
situado did not come. Then they would trade with whomever they could to
get the things they needed. Joyce Elizabeth Harmon, in a study of St.
Augustine's trade, has shown that not only were English goods cheaper,
there was a ready supply of them. Illicit trade between St. Augustine and the
British colonies, especially Charleston, began early in the 18th century.
Records show that in 1716, British vessels from Charleston were bringing
supplies to St. Augustine. With some exceptions, trade increased over the
years as did the variety of goods exchanged. The Spaniards usually paid for
the British goods with gold or silver from the situado. Sometimes they also
supplied the British with fruit, especially oranges. In 1735 one ship returned to
Charleston with a cargo of 28,000 oranges. More often than not, though,

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

British ships returned home in ballast, indicating that they had received cash
for their merchandise. This was a perfect example of the mercantile system at

Charleston was not the only city with which St. Augustine traded. By 1732,
the Floridians were carrying on a regular trade with New York. Later there
was some trade with Georgia and Virginia.

The French and Indian War or Seven Years War, 1754-1763

The last and greatest conflict in North America in the early 1700s was the
French and Indian War, or Seven Years War. It had a profound effect on the
continent. In this war, England fought both Spain and France and won. As a
result, the French lost all their North American colonies. They gave their
colony of Louisiana to Spain, and everything else, including Quebec in
Canada, to the British. Spain also had to surrender land. The British
captured one of Spain's most important colonial cities-Havana, the capital of
Cuba. To get it back, Spain had to give Florida to England. So, at the end of
the war, British America included practically everything east of the Mississippi
River, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, a huge area. Britain divided Florida
into East and West Florida, with capitals at St. Augustine and Pensacola, and
these two provinces became Great Britain's 14th and 15th American colonies.

This was not the end of Spanish Florida, though. British control of Florida
only lasted twenty years, from 1763 to 1783. Then, at the end of the
American Revolution, Great Britain would have to return the area to Spain. It
is the only example where colonies "flip-flopped" from Spanish to British to
Spanish rule in America.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications,
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use

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