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: VID00006
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 6
Spanish Pensacola, 1698-1763

Pensacola's history from 1686 to 1763 can best be divided into two parts. In Part One
we look at the contest between France and Spain to place a colony on the Gulf Coast.
Then in Part Two we review the early history of Pensacola.

Part One

Juan Jordan de Reina and Pensacola Bay

In 1685, news reached Spain that Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, had established
a French settlement somewhere on the Gulf coast. King Charles II was determined to
eliminate this colony before the French could threaten the Spanish towns of Mexico. He
sent eleven expeditions in search of La Salle between 1685 and 1690! One of these, the
Barroto-Romero voyage of 1686, was ordered to visit Tristan de Luna's old abandoned
settlement at Pensacola Bay. They did not find the French there, but they were reminded
of the importance of the bay. Ensign Juan Jordan de Reina, one of the officers, wrote in
his diary that it was "the best bay I have ever seen in my life." The local Indians, according
to Jordan de Reina, called themselves the Panzacola (a Choctaw word for "long-haired
people"). Later expeditions to the area also spoke enthusiastically about settling the area.

Inception of Pensacola Project, 1689

In 1689, information about Pensacola Bay reached the viceroy of Mexico, the Conde
de Galvez. He was so intrigued by the reports that he recommended closing St. Augustine
and transferring its garrison to Pensacola. He commented upon the friendliness of the
Panzacola Indians and believed they would convert to Christianity.

The viceroy sent a naval officer, Andres de Pez, to Spain to secure permission to place
an outpost at Pensacola, but Pez ran into trouble. King Charles II favored the creation of
the settlement, but his royal council did not. They decided Pensacola Bay should not be
occupied unless a scientific survey justified it, or unless there was a danger that the
French might occupy the site.

The Pez-Sigiienza Expedition, 1693

So Admiral Pez returned to Pensacola in command of a scientific expedition. He was
accompanied by Dr. Carlos de Sig0enza, a noted scientist from the University of Mexico,
who was to make a detailed and accurate survey and draw a map of the bay. A land
expedition from St. Augustine was supposed to meet the Pez-Sigcenza expedition, as

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use only.

well; however, they were delayed. Meanwhile, Pez and Sig0enza landed at Pensacola on
April 7, 1693, and spent 11 days surveying the bay. Sig0enza named the bay the Bahia
Santa Maria de Galvez. He also named several other locations: the Rio de Almirante
(Blackwater River) for Admiral Pez, and Punta de Sig0enza, the western point of Santa
Rosa Island, for himself. Sig0enza, who was also a priest, conducted a religious service
and erected a wooden cross on Punta de Sig0enza before leaving the bay. He submitted
his report and map to the viceroy in May and strongly recommended that a settlement be
made on the Rio de Almirante.

Land and Sea Expedition of Laureano de Torres y Ayala

The governor-elect of St. Augustine, Laureano de Torres y Ayala, headed the land and
sea expeditions that were supposed to rendezvous with Pez and Siguenza at Pensacola.
The land expedition did not depart Apalachee until early June 1693, too late to meet up
with the scientific group. Torres y Ayala's men wandered around the swamps and did not
get to Pensacola for nearly a month. The sea expedition, which was charting the coast,
arrived only a day before them. Together they inspected Pensacola Bay and described it
as a good port, capable of being fortified without any difficulty. But they noted it lacked
building stone and that no Indians seemed to live in the area.

Plans to Occupy Pensacola Bay Approved

Based upon these two good reports and the recommendations of the viceroy of
Mexico, the king and his royal ministers approved the plan to occupy Pensacola Bay. A
royal order to that effect was issued on June 13, 1694. Still, time went by and nothing was
accomplished. By the mid-1690s, neither France nor Spain had done anything to
establish a new colony on the northern Gulf coast.

Dr. Daniel Coxe and Carolana

Soon, however, the English began to take an interest in the area. In 1696 Dr. Daniel
Coxe, physician to the English royal family, acquired title to a huge land grant in North
America. The grant, named "Carolana," extended from the Atlantic coast to the South Sea
(Pacific Ocean) and from 31 degrees to 36 degrees north latitude. It was the largest land
grant ever given to an individual in the New World by the English crown.

Coxe's grant included the territory known as Guale (Georgia) to the Spaniards. They
objected to any English colony in that area, but Coxe ignored them and issued a pamphlet
entitled "Proposals for Settling a Colony in Florida." The valuable products of Florida, the
prospects for trade, and other inducements were dangled before the public view.

At the time, a large number of French Huguenot refugees lived in London. In May
1698, Coxe negotiated with their leaders to go to America where they would receive an

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use only.

initial grant of 500,000 acres. He asked them to take 200 Protestant families and settle
there within two years. There was nothing secret about Coxe's plans, and word soon
reached France and Spain.

Another Race

With so much interest in Pensacola Bay, both the French and the Spanish tried to get
there first. The French sent the Sieur d'lberville with orders to land at the bay and set up a
colony. The Spaniards sent Juan Jordan de Reina (the officer who had so admired the
area in 1686). He was assisted by Col. Andres de Arriola, who was to be the governor,
and by Capt. Jamie Franck, a military engineer under orders to construct a fort.

Spain Arrives First

Jordan de Reina reached Pensacola Bay on November 17, 1698 from Havana and
four days later, Governor Arriola arrived from Mexico with some 357 men. They quickly
surveyed the area and selected a site on the Barrancas de Santo Tome (Cliffs or Bluffs of
St. Thomas) near the entrance to the bay. Afraid that the French might soon come and
attack them, they began work on a wooden fort. Capt. Franck did not think he could finish
the fort in time, so he played a trick. He finished the front wall of the fort, the one that
faced the bay. From the water, it looked like the fort was complete. He placed all the
cannon behind this wall, and the Spaniards waited to see if the French would come.

The French Arrive at Pensacola

Several months went by but in January 1699, d'lberville and his five ships from France
reached the entrance to Pensacola Bay. Gov. Arriola refused to let them land, but he did
allow an officer to come ashore to get water for the crew. The officer was not permitted to
get too close to the fort. He was impressed by the front wall of the fort, just as the
Spaniards hoped, and could not see the parts of the fort that were still being built. He
returned to the ships to inform d'lberville that the fort appeared formidable. Capt. Franck's
trick had worked. He wrote: "I built the front facing the camp to look so good that the one
who sees it could infer that an attack on it will be a bloody business. And, that is how the
envoy from the leader of the French squadron saw it; he perceived both it and our
determination." The French replenished their water and sailed on westward and
established Fort Maurepas at present-day Ocean Springs, Mississippi. That was the
beginning of French Louisiana.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use only.

Part Two

The Presidio's Early Years, 1698-1707

Pensacola had a garrison of 220 plazas, or spaces, broken down into 150 soldiers, 20
artisans and sailors, and 50 convicts. Initially there were no women at Pensacola, but by
1704, four families were living there. During the early years, the garrison suffered more
from internal problems than from external threats. Captain Franck wrote of fires that nearly
destroyed their quarters and of thieves who used the distraction to steal his belongings. In
fact, the thieves often set the fires.

The War of the Spanish Succession, 1702-1713

War finally reached Pensacola in the summer of 1707, when about 20 to 30 enemy
Creeks burned the houses of friendly Indians living near the outpost. Oftentimes people
leaving the safety of the fort were captured and carried away. In November 1707, several
Englishmen were reported among a force of 200 Indians who laid siege to the outpost and
demanded its surrender, which was, of course, refused. The soldiers inside the fort
suffered from illnesses and shortages of guns and ammunition. It was a miracle that the
fort did not fall. English harassment continued through the summer of 1713, which made
life in Pensacola a miserable existence.

The War of the Quadruple Alliance, 1718-1721

In 1719, the sixth Spanish governor, Juan Pedro de Matamoros de Isla, commanded
the garrison when war again came to the little Spanish outpost on Pensacola Bay. The
French from Mobile and Dauphin Island captured the battery and fort at Pensacola. They
carried the Spanish prisoners-of-war to Havana, Cuba, but met a large Spanish fleet at the
harbor. The French tried to explain they were delivering prisoners under a flag of truce,
but the Spaniards ignored the flag and took the French as prisoners. Then they sent the
Pensacola garrison back to Florida on board ship. The fleet reached Pensacola in early
August and quickly retook the outpost. But the French were not to be denied. In early
September they returned for a second time and captured Pensacola. This time they sent
Matamoros and the Spanish soldiers to France. For the next three years, Pensacola
belonged to the French.

In 1721 a treaty agreement returned all possessions to the original owner. The French
wanted very much to keep Pensacola, but were forced to give it back to Spain. The
French commander, Lt. Carpot de Montigny, destroyed the fort and nearly all of the
buildings before he surrendered Pensacola.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use only.

Dominic Serres' Drawing of the Presidio Santa Rosa

An early sketch of Pensacola comes from Dominic Serres, a French sailor and artist,
who made a drawing of the settlement on Santa Rosa Island in 1743. It is the only
illustration from this time. The view is from inside the bay looking south. It clearly shows
the important buildings there including the fort and the octagonal-shaped church. Serres
later became famous as the seascape painter for King George III of Great Britain.

4.- --

Serres, a noted artist of maritime scenes, produced this image of Santa Rosa presidio in 1743. From left to
right it shows the fort, the town, the church, and outlying houses. This print is one of the documents
archaeologists are using as they explore the remains of this settlement.
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History.

Rivera's Report of the Presidio

Also in 1743, Field Marshal Pedro de Rivera y Villal6n, a distinguished Spanish military
officer in Mexico City, began preparation of a report on Pensacola for Viceroy Pedro
Cebrian y Agustin. Rivera's history of the presidio contains some errors, but he does
provide a rough sketch of its history, including the names of several governors not
otherwise recorded. Perhaps the most important point made in Rivera's report was the
general lack of funds provided for the upkeep of the outpost and the resulting poor
condition in which it then existed.

Rivera warned that Santa Rosa Island was a bad location. A storm might inundate the
island and destroy the town, he said. He recommended moving Pensacola back to the
mainland. The viceroy accepted Rivera's report. Despite the warnings, the presidio
remained on Santa Rosa Island. In 1750, two companies of soldiers consisting of 62 men
and a labor battalion of 24 men were stationed there.

The Destruction of the Island Presidio

On November 3, 1752, Rivera's worst fears came true. A hurricane and tidal wave hit
Santa Rosa Island and destroyed all of the buildings except the storehouse and hospital.
Orders from Mexico soon directed that the island be abandoned. For several years, a

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications, ( 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use only.

small fort, San Miguel, had existed on the mainland, and Pensacola was moved to that
site. Orders issued from Spain in 1757 directed that the new name would be Presidio San
Miguel de Panzacola. Thus for the first time "Panzacola" was officially made a part of the
town's name.

The French and Indian War, 1754-1763

Pensacola did not feel the effects of the French and Indian War until 1757. Beginning
in that year, the Creeks occasionally attacked the outpost. Col. Miguel Roman de Castilla
y Lugo managed to defend it against these attacks. However, the Spanish Christian
Indians, the Yamasee-Apalachinos, living in the villages of Escambe and San Antonio on
Garcon Point, were so harassed by the Creeks that the governor moved them into town
for their protection.

In 1761, Col. Diego Ortiz Parrilla became the new governor of Pensacola. A veteran of
the Indian wars in Mexico and Texas, he arrived with reinforcements for the outpost and
successfully defended it until the end of the war in 1763.

Spain Loses Florida to Great Britain

Spain had lost Havana to the British in 1762 and in order to get it back, offered to trade
either Florida or Puerto Rico to Britain. In the treaty which ended the war in 1763, the
British accepted Florida. For their part, the Spaniards and their Catholic Indian allies in
Pensacola elected to leave. In September 1763, all of the Spaniards and all of the Indians
left Pensacola. Most of them went to Veracruz, Mexico, but within a few years, the
Yamasee-Apalachino Indians moved to San Carlos de Chachalacas where they made
their home for the next decade.

Coker, William S., et al. Florida : from the beginning to 1992. Houston, TX : Pioneer Publications, C 1991.
All rights reserved. Reprinted here with the permission of the authors. Intended for educational use only.

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