Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Social status and animal resource...
 Account of the Spanish and British...
 Cultural affiliation and foodw...
 Animal resources of the Atlantic...
 Materials and methods
 Analysis of subsistence patter...
 Summary and conclusion
 A : list of field specimens analyzed...
 B : species list for each site
 C : summary of faunal categori...
 D : frequency of bone elements...
 E : regression data
 Biographical sketch
 Back Matter

Title: Spanish and British subsistence strategies at St. Augustine, Florida, and Frederica, Georgia, between 1565 and 1783
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025914/00001
 Material Information
Title: Spanish and British subsistence strategies at St. Augustine, Florida, and Frederica, Georgia, between 1565 and 1783
Physical Description: xii, 359 leaves : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Reitz, Elizabeth Jean, 1946-
Publication Date: 1979
Subject: Human beings -- Effect of environment on   ( lcsh )
Animal remains (Archaeology) -- Florida -- Saint Augustine   ( lcsh )
Animal remains (Archaeology) -- Georgia -- Frederica   ( lcsh )
Anthropology thesis Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Anthropology -- UF   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Thesis: Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography: Bibliography: leaves 341-357.
General Note: Typescript.
General Note: Vita.
Statement of Responsibility: by Elizabeth Jean Reitz.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025914
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000092943
oclc - 06025237
notis - AAK8352

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    List of Tables
        Page viii
    List of Figures
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Abstract 3
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Social status and animal resource use
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Account of the Spanish and British occupation on the Atlantic coastal plain, 1565-1783
        Page 23
        Page 24
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        Page 26
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        Page 46
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        Page 48
    Cultural affiliation and foodways
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Animal resources of the Atlantic coastal plain
        Page 62
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        Page 100
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        Page 102
        Page 103
    Materials and methods
        Page 104
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    Analysis of subsistence patterns
        Page 128
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    Summary and conclusion
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    A : list of field specimens analyzed from each site
        Page 225
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    B : species list for each site
        Page 239
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    C : summary of faunal categories
        Page 288
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    D : frequency of bone elements for each site
        Page 305
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    E : regression data
        Page 319
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    Biographical sketch
        Page 358
        Page 359
    Back Matter
        Back Matter 1
        Back Matter 2
Full Text








Many people have assisted in this effort. The members of my commit-

tee, Elizabeth S. Wing, Kathleen A. Deagan, Charles H. Fairbanks, Maxine

L. Margolis, S. Jeffrey K. Wilkerson, and Ronald G. Wolff, have individ-

ually and collectively contributed to the quality of the research pre-

sented here. Due to their special impact on the course of my career I

wish to thank specifically two of these individuals. In my first

anthropology course twelve years ago Dr. Fairbanks interested me in

human behavior and Dr. Wing helped me focus that interest on subsistence

studies. Their advice and assistance has been greatly appreciated. I

consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to study with them.

Numerous other people have assisted in vital ways with the produc-

tion of this study. The following individuals have read portions of the

manuscript: Erik J. Bitterbaum, George H. Burgess, Thomas Chase, Peter

A. Meylan, Robert W. Simons, and Susan L. Scott. I appreciate their

efforts to improve the quality of the data and the presentation. Also

Dr. John F. Anderson, Dr. Amy Bushnell, Nancy Halliday, Dr. Stephen R.

Humphrey, Dr. Pejaver V. Rao, Dr. Robert L. Reddish, and Dr. Henry R.

Wilson provided needed assistance on difficult facets of the research.

Robert W. Taylor permitted access to his data on gopher tortoise weights.

I am grateful to Arlene Fradkin, Kathleen F. Johnson, L. Jill Loucks,

Henry M. Miller, Steven Ruple, Gary Shapiro, Erika H. Simons, and Robin

L. Smith for access to their unpublished faunal reports. I have also

benefited from conversations with Dr. Kathleen M.Byrd, Dr. Michael C.

Scardaville, and Sylvia Scudder. A special thanks go to Greg

Cunningham and Steven Wing for their help counting the faunal materials,

and to Pamela R. Johnson for typing the tables and text of this disser-


For faunal materials, financial aid, and work space several people

and institutions are to be thanked. Robert H. Steinbach as Director of

Research and Development, Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board,

permitted access to many of the faunal collections reported here and also

assisted in the interpretation of the data. Dr. Kathleen A. Deagan

excavated many of the faunal collections and provided information on

these sites. Theresa A. Singleton discussed SA26-1, the Lorenzo Josef

de Leon site, with me. Nicholas Honerkamp made available the faunal

materials he excavated from the Thomas Hird lot at Fort Frederica

National Monument, as well as answered numerous questions about the site.

John Bostwick assisted with information on the Plaza II well and the

British Period trash pit from SA7-4. The faculty of the Florida State

Museum of the University of Florida graciously provided unlimited access

to their facilities as well as financial support. The Department of

Anthropology of the University of Florida also provided financial assis-

tance, not to mention academic instruction. Faunal analysis for SA36-4

was funded by Florida Board of Regents STAR grant #77-081 to the Historic

St. Augustine Preservation Board and the Department of Anthropology,

Florida State University.

Finally I wish to acknowledge the debt I owe to my parents, Dr. and

Mrs. Herman J. Reitz, and to my brother, Max. My mother's totally biased

opinion of my merits has been and will continue to be an inspiration.

My father and brother both read drafts of the dissertation and provided

valuable suggestions for its improvement. All three have endured with

good grace endless conversations about a topic far removed from their

own spheres of interest.

While all of the above individuals, and many who are not mentioned,

have assisted me in many ways with this work, they are not to be held

responsible for the interpretation. I hope they feel, however, that I

have benefited from their counsel.





ABSTRACT . . . .




Sn. 11 I L \ I . . .

Historical Archaeology and Human Ecology .

Hypotheses . . . . .

Organization of Presentation . . .


Archaeology and Social Class . . .

Archaeological Examples . . . .

Social Status in Spanish Florida . .

Discussion . . . . .


A Brief History . . . . .

The Spanish Florida Population . . .

The British Population . . . .

Spanish Economics . . . .

British Economics . . . .

Discussion . . . . .
















. 23
. 29

* 31

. .33

S. 43

S 45


Traditional British Foodways . .

Traditional Spanish Foodways . .

Old World Foodways . . .

Historic North American Foodways ..

Discussion . . . .


The Atlantic Coastal Plain . .

St. Augustine and Frederica . .

Species Accounts . . . .

Notes on Capture Techniques . .

Summary of Faunal Categories . .

Discussion . . . .



Restatement of Hypotheses . . .

Materials . . . . .

Methods . . . . .


The Collection as a Whole . . .

Discussion of Each Site by Cultural/Tempora

Discussion . . . .


Cultural Affiliation and Local Resources

Social Class . . . .

Political and Social Environment . .

Conclusion . . . .




1 Division .
. . .

. . 49































E. REGRESSION DATA ..... ...... .. .. 319

BIBLIOGRAPHY ... ..-. .... ;..... ....-. ... .. 341

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .. ........ .... .. 358


Table 1. Chronology of Events . . .... .168

Table 2. Activity Period and Seasonal Patterns of Fauna
from the Coastal Plain . . .... .173

Table 3. Habitats and Habits of Fauna from the Coastal
Plain . . . . .. ... 182

Table 4. Commensal Species . . . .... .190

Table 5. Sites Discussed in Text, Listed by Cultural/
Temporal Division . . .. .192

Table 6. Regression Formulae Used in Estimating Biomass
of Animals Represented in Study . ... .194

Table 7. Diversity and Equitability Values Based on MNI 195

Table 8. Diversity and Equitability Values Based on
Total Biomass . . . ... .196

Table 9. Summary of Species Lists (Appendix B) . 197

Table 10. Summary of Faunal Categories (Appendix C):
MNI, Totals, and Percentages . . 198

Table 11. Summary of Faunal Categories (Appendix C):
Biomass, Totals, and Percentages . ... .200



Figure 1. Florida and the Caribbean (Cumbaa 1975) . .. 202

Figure 2. The Atlantic Coastal Plain . . .... .203

Figure 3. The Environs of St. Augustine, Florida (after
Palmer 1862) . . . . 204

Figure 4. The Environs of Frederica, Georgia (after
Honerkamp 1975) . . . .... .205

Figure 5. The Town of St. Augustine, Florida (after
Puente 1764) . . ... ... 206

Figure 6. The Town of Frederica, Georgia (after
Honerkamp 1975) . . . .... .207

Figure 7. MNI and Biomass Diversity and Equitability Ranges,
Means, and Standard Deviations for the First
Spanish Period and 18th Century British Collections 208

Figure 8. Comparison of Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard
Deviations for the First Spanish Period and 18th
Century British Collections for Three Faunal
Categories, Biomass and MNI . . .. 210

Figure 9. Percentage Distribution of MNI from Six Faunal
Categories for Each Site . . ... .212

Figure 10. Percentage Distribution of Biomass from Six Faunal
Categories for Each Site . . .... .214

Figure 11. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations of
Pig (Sus scrofa) Biomass and MNI for the First
Spanish Period and 18th Century British Collections.
SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow . . . 216

Figure 12. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations
of Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Biomass and MNI
for the First Spanish Period and 18th Century
British Collections. SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow 217

Figure 13. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations
of Cow (Bos taurus) Biomass and MNI for the
First Spanish Period and 18th Century British
Collections. SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow ... .. 218

Figure 14. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations
of Chicken (Gallus gallus) Biomass and MNI for
the First Spanish Period and 18th Century British
Collections. SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow .... 219

Figure 15. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations of
Sea Catfish (Ariidae) Biomass and MNI for the
First Spanish Period and 18th Century British
Collections. SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow .... 220

Figure 16. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations of
Drum (Sciaenidae) Biomass and MNI for the First
Spanish Period and 18th Century British Collections.
SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow . . .... .222

Figure 17. Percentile Ranges, Means, and Standard Deviations of
Mullet (Mugil sp.) Biomass and MNI for the First
Spanish Period and 18th Century British Collections.
SA26-1 Indicated by Arrow . . .... .224

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



Elizabeth Jean Reitz

June, 1979

Chairperson: Elizabeth S. Wing
Major Department: Anthropology

Anthropologists have for a number of years been investigating the

relationship between human populations and their environments. Although

much work has been done in this area using prehistoric archaeological

materials, historic archaeologists have been slow to recognize the value

of ecological studies in interpreting their data. The purpose of this

research is to demonstrate the applicability of ecological theory to

studies of archaeological materials from historic sites.

The study focuses upon the use of vertebrate animal remains from

the First Spanish Period, St. Augustine, Florida (1565-1763); the British

occupation at Frederica, Georgia (1736-ca. 1748); and the British Period

at St. Augustine, Florida (1763-1783). Using archaeological faunal

materials from several sites the influence of social class, political

and social environment, cultural affiliation, and local animal resources

on the adaptive strategy is assessed. Particular emphasis is placed upon

the types of species used; the habitat, habits, and seasonality of the


species exploited; and the proportion of wild to domestic species

incorporated in the diet. Standard zooarchaeological techniques are

employed to determine Minimun Number of Individuals and allometric

scaling formula are used to determine biomass estimates.

Analysis demonstrates that the adaptive patterns found at all

of the sites examined differ from the strategies reported for other

European settlements in North America. In addition, the faunal

samples from the British Period at St. Augustine are more similar

to the 18th Century First Spanish Period materials than to the faunal

samples from British Frederica. Environmental factors did have an

influence on the subsistence strategies employed by colonial British

and Spanish residents at St. Augustine and Frederica.




This is a study of human adaptation. Specifically it is a study of

subsistence patterns followed by Spanish and British colonists at two

military outposts on the Atlantic coastal plain of North America between

1565 and 1783 (Fig. 1). The study focuses upon the use of animal re-

sources by the Spanish colonists at St. Augustine, Florida,in the First

Spanish Period (1565-1763); British colonists at Frederica, Georgia (1736-

ca. 1748); and British colonists at St. Augustine during the British

Period (1763-1783).

Guided by principles of human ecology, analysis of faunal materials

from these historic archaeological sites will concentrate upon three

aspects: subsistence activities practiced by members of the same

cultural affiliation in different habitats; populations of distinct

cultural affiliation in the same habitat; and changes in subsistence

activity through time within a population occupying the same habitat.

Factors predicted to be influential in the adaptive strategies to be

observed are social class, political and social environment, cultural

affiliation, and local animal resources. In the ensuing chapters each

of these factors will be briefly discussed, but first the relationship

between historical archaeology and human ecology will be considered.

Historical Archaeology and Human Ecology

The Law of Uniformitarianism (Lyell 1850) states that the processes

which are observed in the present are the same ones which affected past

events. This principle is the basic interpretive link between past and

present human behavior, binding social-cultural, biological, and archae-

ological anthropologists into a single, unified discipline. It is this

same principle that unifies prehistoric and historic archaeology. The

processes which influenced prehistoric human behavior continue to affect

the behavior of recent populations. It follows that the analytical tools

developed in studies of modern ethnographic populations and applied to

the study of prehistoric groups may also be appropriately applied to

historic ones. The basic premise of this study is that subsistence be-

havior of historic populations can be explained in ecological, adaptive

terms on the same basis as the subsistence behavior of current popula-

tions and prehistoric ones.

Although ecological interpretations of anthropological data have

been common since the 1950's (Netting 1971), prehistoric archaeologists

followed this lead slowly (Meighan et al. 1958; Binford 1972; Deetz 1972;

Flannery 1972b). Historic archaeologists have lagged even further behind.

In fact, historic archaeologists have been chided recently for not being

anthropological at all (Schuyler 1970; Griffin 1978).

Traditionally historical archaeologists have been more concerned

with salvage projects, reconstructions, and public interpretive programs

rather than with exploring cultural patterns and questions of human

adaptation. We are faced with the paradox that more is known theoret-

ically about the adaptive behavior of prehistoric populations than of

historic ones. This is in spite of the fact that the presence of

historical documents should make studies of historic adaptations a

fruitful area of research where the validity of ecological interpretations

could be tested.

Part of the reason for the neglect of human adaptation in historic

occupations cannot be attributed solely to the funding base and research

interests of historic archaeologists, but rather to a common assumption

made about domestic plants and animals. Historic populations, at least

ones with a European background, were almost always associated with

domestic plants and animals. It has been assumed that such domestic

food sources somehow protected the human population from the need to

adjust to the natural environment in any but the most superficial sense.

The early discussions of the Neolithic Revolution clearly assume that

humans were consequently freed of environmental constraints (Childe 1958).

This assumption is particularly strong where historic European popula-

tions are involved.

There is ample ethnographic and archaeological evidence indicating

that the presence of plant and animal domesticates does not relieve the

human population of the need to deal with local environmental factors in

some coherent, integrated manner (Clark 1972; P. Lyon 1974; Stark and

Voorhies 1978). Human subsistence behavior must be responsive to

variables of the environment even where domestic plants and animals are

present. The few available examples of European colonial adaptations in

North America clearly indicate that French, British, and Spanish animal

use was highly variable in ways not explicable if the presence of

domestic animals rendered these European populations immune to environ-

mental influence (Cleland 1970; Cumbaa 1975; Barber 1976; Bowen 1976;
Shapiro 1978a, 1978b).

The interpretation of Spanish and British foodways made in this

study is explicitly ecological. Human behavior may be

studied as animal behavior and interpreted the same way
as behavior (or part of the behavior) of any other species,
for instance, in its adaptive aspects and consequent
interaction with natural selection. (Simpson in Vayda and
Rappaport 1968:492)

Adaptive requirements are placed upon human organisms just as they

are placed on non-human ones, with an intervening variable: culture

(Binford 1972).

The culture, or part of the culture, of a human
population is regarded as part of the distinctive
means by which the population maintains itself in
the ecosystem. (Rappaport 1969:185)

It is presumed here that environmental factors are as applicable to

historic populations of European descent as to modern, non-industralized

groups or to prehistoric populations. Just as with these latter two

groups, it is possible to explore species and habitat exploitation,

subsistence scheduling, procurement techniques, and food preparation

habits for a historic population. It is also possible to compare changes

in subsistence activity through time, in different areas occupied by

members of the same cultural affiliation, and between different cultural

groups. Interpretation of human adaptation to the natural and social

environment is as basic to an understanding of historic archaeological

data as it is for prehistoric data.

Analysis of the subsistence patterns of North American colonists of

Old World ancestry can provide interesting insights into the adaptation

made by these people. The colonists arrived here with little under-

standing of their new environment and great naivete. Like modern

historical archaeologists, the early colonists seemed to think that their

domestic food sources and trans-Atlantic supply routes buffered them

from the new environment and made adjustments in their Old World subsis-

tence strategy unnecessary. Reports of "starving times" are almost a

hallmark of early colonial efforts (Weeden 1890; Bruce 1895; Gray 1933;

Thompson 1942) and show that the colonists quickly faced reality. They

had to modify their traditional Old World adaptation to suit the North

American habitats. The new adaptations developed at each outpost reflect-

ed the influence of available technology, political environment, tradi-

tional foodways, and the local natural environment.

One of the basic elements in human adaptations is the ability of

humans to make choices.

Choices of usable resources, decisions as to their
proportional use and time of utilization, and the
demographic and spatial arrangements chosen in order
to accomplish the exploitation, all allot human time
and energy and are visualized as structuring the
subsistence and settlement patterns of a human group.
Even granting the proposition that relatively small
amounts of energy may be expended by hunters and
gatherers in the food quest (Lee 1968; Sahlins 1968),
the allotment of these expenditures depends on choices
among competing or mutually exclusive activities; the
"scarcity" pertains to time and energy devoted (by
choice) to subsistence. (Jochim 1976)

David L. Clarke (1968:490) has defined a strategy as "a program or

plan of an entity's moves.... ." Humans are rational beings who attempt

to maximize satisfactions by choosing between competing objectives, the

decision often involving a compromise among those objectives. There are

several criteria for guiding the food procurement decision making process

according to game theorists (Clarke 1968). The one which appears to be

most useful in explaining human adaptive strategy is the Simon satisficer

criterion in which the objective is to satisfy a safe, low-risk, sub-

maximal aspiration level rather than to provide a maximum yield. Humans

generally attempt to provide themselves with sufficient goods while ex-

pending the minimum or least effort (Haggett 1965; Marshall 1968; Paine

1971). Human adaptive systems are distinctive, however, in their flexi-

bility so a mixture of other game criteria may be implemented to deal

with a problem (Clarke 1968). While the basic strategy may be a satis-

ficer one, during seasonal runs of bluefish or caribou, a maximizing

strategy may be followed.

According to Michael A. Jochim, a population must deal with three

problems: resource use schedule, site placement, and demographic arrange-

ment, with the pattern of resource use being the most important in influ-

encing other aspects of the adaptation (1976). In developing a resource

use schedule, conflicts in seasonal cycles of preferred and possible

foods as well as the distribution of these resources in the area must

be resolved (Flannery 1972a). Humans must also conform to Liebig's "Law

of the Minimum," that is, the adaptation must be to the weakest elements

in the subsistence system rather than to the most favorable ones (Odum

1971; Hardesty 1977). The group adapts to the worst years rather than

to the best ones.

In establishing and following a resource use schedule the primary

goal is to obtain necessary foods and raw materials while keeping the

cost/risk/effort factor low (Jochim 1976). In terms of food species,

it is important to exploit several resources, some of which provide a

moderate return for little effort and with little risk and others which

yield a high return but are costly in terms of effort and low in security.

The more reliable resources will be emphasized in the diet, since it is

of primary importance to have a secure food and raw materials source

available providing high yield at minimum cost. However, the resources

requiring great effort, involving high risk, but providing large yields

will be the more prestigious. Prestige or luxury items are those which

provide high fat and meat content but are scarce and/or highly mobile

(e.g. deer, caribou, cattle). Procurement and processing techniques such

as traps, nets, weirs, and storage facilities increase the efficiency of

capture and help reduce the cost of exploitation. Species which can be

captured with greatest efficiency will be more heavily exploited, though

less valued, than the species which are more difficult to obtain.

Settlement location reflects the resource use strategy (Jochim 1976).

Sites for habitation tend to be selected to minimize the distance to the

most secure and most abundant resources. These are the same resources

which have the lowest prestige. Temporary camps are placed near the less

secure, high-prestige resources. Sites are also selected to provide

protection from the elements and for observation of strangers.

The third problem identified by Jochim (1976) is demographic arrange-

ment. Decisions about group size must be based upon provision of food

for the population, resource distribution, and social interaction. These

will not be reviewed here since it goes beyond the scope of the research

presented here to do so. This decision does not imply that demographic

arrangements for historic occupations cannot be profitably studied.

For a valuable ecological interpretation it is desirable to incor-

porate studies of cultural and historical data, human biology, zoological

and botanical data, demography, and other sciences. Unfortunately all

of this material is not yet available from the study area or on the study

groups. Emphasis is placed here almost entirely upon an interpretation

of human adaptation as revealed in subsistence activities. Subsistence

activities are further delineated to include only those which can be

studied via analysis of faunal remains from archaeological sites. Much

could be learned to supplement the faunal study if floral materials were

also available, but they are not. It is acknowledged that there is more

to an ecological reconstruction than this, but time, space, and available

data do not permit a broader study. As has been implied earlier, there

is little comparative material available on historic, colonial adaptations.

Consequently it is felt that work with material from these sites must be

basically descriptive. The interpretations offered here are tentative

ones, models to be tested carefully in future studies rather than ones

to be accepted without further analysis.


1. The implication of the preceding discussion is that a human

population must adapt to the resources of the local environment. When a

population moves into a new environment, as happened during the coloni-

zation of the New World by Europeans, cultural traditions relating to

subsistence patterns had to be modified to exploit the new resources and

habitats available. It can be predicted that when two populations of

distinct cultural affiliation occupy the same location, their adaptive

strategies will be similar. The British Period subsistence pattern at

St. Augustine, as reflected in the faunal materials, will be more

similar to the Spanish pattern at St. Augustine than to the British one

at Frederica. Local environment will have more influence than cultural

affiliation upon the subsistence strategy of cultural groups occupying

the same environment, where technological level is the same.

2. It is further predicted that within cultural affiliations, where

environment, political events, and technology are held constant, socio-

economic level will be the most useful explanation of the range of adap-

tive patterns observed (Homans 1950; Warner 1962). Income, occupation,

and ethnic affiliation are used to indicate socio-economic level at St.

Augustine (Poe in prep.) and these have been observed to be important at

St. Augustine (Deagan 1976a). The most frequently used species will be

those that were easily caught near the settlement with a minimum of

effort. Social status can be inferred from the presence of species which

were more risky to obtain, but were larger and provided more meat (Jochim

1976). Variability in social affiliation will be reflected in variability

in the adaptive pattern as observed in the faunal record.

3. Changes in the political and social milieu of the two colonial

occupations will also have some impact on the adaptive strategies ob-

served in the faunal record. This is not a contradiction of the basic

ecological position assumed in this study. The social and political

milieu is part of the environment to which a population must adapt

(Sahlins 1964). Changes in the socio-political environment, just as

changes in the natural one, must be accommodated in the basic adaptive

strategy. This is just as true for prehistoric populations as for

historic or ethnographic ones; however, for prehistoric populations

political events are generally unknown. Some of the adaptive changes

observed through time at Spanish St. Augustine are best explained by

historical events.

Organization of Presentation

Each of these hypotheses will be elaborated on in the following

chapters. Part One will present background material from the historical,

archaeological, and environmental literature. The importance of social

status to subsistence activities, and consequently to excavated faunal

materials, will be discussed with reference to examples of social class

reflected in the faunal record from several historic sites (Chapter 2).

The historical background of the St. Augustine and Frederica populations,

as well as demographic and economic information, will be presented with

a summary of the impact which these factors might have had on local

subsistence strategies (Chapter 3). Following this, traditional British

and Spanish Old World foodways will be described. This material will be

supplemented by reference to zooarchaeological reports from historic

sites in North America in order to contrast British Old and British New

World foodways (Chapter 4). Finally the wild and domestic animal re-

sources of the Atlantic Coastal Plain will be reviewed (Chapter 5).

Part Two will cover the new material being presented here. The

hypotheses outlined above, and refined in Part One, will be tested using

British and Spanish faunal collections recovered during archaeological

excavations at St. Augustine, Florida,and Frederica, Georgia. Of the

sixteen faunal collections that are reviewed, eleven were drawn from the

Spanish occupation at St. Augustine, and five were from British house

lots at St. Augustine and Frederica. They represent a variety of cultural

and temporal divisions as follows: 16th Century First Spanish Period,

St. Augustine (five sites); 17th Century First Spanish Period, St.

Augustine (one site); 18th Century First Spanish Period, St. Augustine


(five sites); British Frederica (two sites); and the British Period at

St. Augustine (three sites). These materials and the methods employed

in analysis are reviewed (Chapter 6), analyzed (Chapter 7), and conclu-

sions drawn (Chapter 8).



It has been predicted that variability in faunal use during the

First Spanish Period at St. Augustine will reflect socio-economic level.

It was mentioned briefly that social status might be inferred for an

archaeological collection on the basis of faunal materials (Chapter 1).

This possibility will be explored using evidence of social stratification

in archaeological faunal samples from documented colonial and plantation

sites. The outline of the major social strata in the Hispanic Empire

is well known. These will be described here as they might affect access

to animal resources at St. Augustine. The discussion begins with a

review of the concept of social status.

Archaeology and Social Class

The concept of social class as defined by William Lloyd Warner

incorporates the following socio-economic symbols: occupation, source

of income, house type, and dwelling area (1962). According to Warner,

"a social structure is a system of formal and informal groupings by which

social behavior of individuals is regulated" (Warner and Lunt 1941:14).

Social stratification serves to set limits upon attainment of goals, and

to maintain authority relationships (Lipset 1968). Social criteria are

not based purely upon economic criteria, but also upon self-identification,

life-style, and prestige (Goldschmidt 1968:332). To be a member of the

highest social class a person must not only be wealthy, but must also

display appropriate symbols of importance. These include such conspicu-

ous traits as prestigeful house location, personal adornment, associations,

employment, ceramic assemblages, social behavior, and food. Only some of

these symbols of high social status survive in the archaeological record.

Lewis R. Binford (1972) postulates that it is possible to identify

status grading in archaeological sites from socio-technic items. He

defines these as "the material elements having their primary functional

context in the social subsystem of the total cultural system" (1962:95).

An individual's social status might be inferred from ceramics, metal

objects, items of apparel, house construction materials, house size, and

house location, just to mention a few durable symbols.

In more strictly economic terms,

the stratified society is distinguished by the differential
relationships between the members of the society and its
subsistence means--some of the members of the society have
unimpeded access to its strategic resources while others
have various impediments in their access to the same
fundamental resources.(Fried 1974:32)

Elevated social status is not without its burden of responsibility

however. To maintain rightful access to strategic and luxury resources,

leaders must continually validate their status by supporting the system

and publicly displaying the appropriate symbols of authority. Leaders

must also conform more closely to the norms of acceptable behavior than

do individuals of lower social standing (Homans 1950).

Persons of lower social status experience restricted access to valued

resources. They may be predicted to occupy the less desirable locations,

build with less prestigious materials, and use less valued ceramic vessels.

They may also be predicted to have access to less preferred foods. If,

however, they commit infractions upon social norms, perhaps in the food

quest, this is viewed less harshly than if a person of higher social

standing commits the same offense.

Archaeological Examples

The best documented example of differential access to scarce

resources provided by historical archaeology has been provided by John

S. Otto (1975). Otto excavated cultural and faunal materials from a Sea

Island cotton plantation on St. Simons Island, Georgia, occupied between

1793 and 1861. He had samples from three social-economic levels (planter,

overseer, and slave) from Cannon's Point Plantation. Otto was able to

demonstrate a close correlation between diet as reflected in the faunal

collections and materials found in the cultural collections. He found

that the slave diet included proportionately more domestic animal

individuals than did the planter diet. Slaves had more pigs (Sus scrofa)

and more cattle (Bos taurus). Otto explained this difference by suggesting

that the planter had the ability to employ slaves as hunting specialists

and so had access to more wild resources than did the slaves. Slaves had

to use the nearest available, most secure resource: domestic animals.

In this case, wild animals might have been the prestige food.

Another example of differential access to scarce food resources is

provided by Stephen L. Cumbaa from the 18th Century First Spanish Period

at St. Augustine (1975). Cumbaa analyzed patterns of animal use from

three households whose social status in the community was known from the

documents. He found that the diet of a household (SA16-23) occupied by

an Indian woman, Maria de la Cruz, and her Spanish husband, incorporated

less domestic meat than did the diet of the other two households studied.

This household, of lower social status than the others, made use of more

wild resources from the nearby salt marsh. Occupying an intermediate

social position, the Gertrudis de la Pasqua household (SA13-5) made use

of more domestic individuals than did the de la Cruz household, but of

fewer such animals than the Cristoval Contreras household (SA34-2).

Contreras was from the Canary Islands and a wealthy man, yet he used wild

resources to a greater extent than Cumbaa had expected based on his social

status. Cumbaa interpreted this as an indication that Contreras had

engaged the services of a hunting specialist, possibly one of his slaves.

This contrasts with the de la Cruz household which probably secured its

wild resources through its own or kin group efforts.

It is interesting to note that Dona Katherine Beidleman, in an

analysis of ceramics from the lot occupied by Contreras (SA34-2) found a

close correlation between ceramics and social status (1976). During the

late First Spanish Period, British goods were illegally, or at least

illicitly, imported into St. Augustine (Harman 1969). A member of the

upper class, however, did not make use of these cheaper goods because

of the expectation of behavior associated with higher status and so had

to use the more expensive, lower quality items legitimately shipped to

St. Augustine by Spanish sources. Here is an example of leaders con-

forming strictly to the legal code, to their own discomfort.

Cattle (Bos taurus) were part of the illicit British trade (Harman

1969). Could it not be possible that individuals of high social standing

not only had to avoid using British delftware, but also had to avoid

using British cattle? While the de la Cruz household may have had limited

access to cattle due to low social status, the Contreras household may

have had limited access to cattle due to an elevated status.

Social status is also studied via the faunal record by Henry M.

Miller (1978). Miller analyzed materials from two late 17th Century

homesites on the James River. The Pettus Plantation was occupied by a

wealthy Virginia colonist, while Utopia Cottage was on land owned by

Pettus, and may have been occupied by a tenant farmer. Structure size,

ceramic analysis, and documentary evidence all indicated that Utopia

Cottage was occupied by a person of lower social standing than the Pettus

Plantation site. Cattle (Bos taurus) contributed about equal proportions

of edible meat at both sites, and was the dominant animal food source.

Next in order of edible meat importance were swine (Sus scrofa), which

were also used about equally at both sites. Analysis of elements re-

covered from the two sites, and of butchering patterns, failed to indicate

a substantial difference between the two collections. Swine were more

selectively butchered by age at Pettus than at Utopia and more fish were

consumed at Utopia than at Pettus; however, neither of these differences

was of major importance.

The homogeneity of the Pettus and Utopia faunal materials is

interesting considering the documentary evidence and the clear indication

of lower social status provided by architectural and ceramic materials.

Miller concludes that diet may have been one of the first patterns to

change as a household became upwardly mobile. This interpretation is

supported by the fact that in inventory lists cooking utensils and

bedding are the first things to increase in numbers with increased

wealth (Miller 1978).

This last example serves to provide a cautionary note to interpre-

tations of socio-economic level from faunal collections. Two households

of different social status might well exhibit a similar faunal collection,

although for different reasons. In order to avoid a :misinterpretation

it is critical to incorporate as much cultural and documentaryevidende

as possible into the analysis. Only by doing so was Miller able to avoid

a mistaken interpretation of Pettus and Utopia. Otto also found that the

material assemblages of-the planter and slave habitations he analyzed

were superficially similar, but was able to avoid mis-identifying'the

status of each group of occupants using detailed analysis of the ceramics

in conjunction with documentary evidence. This does not negate the`''

hypothesis that social class is an important variable in the subsistence

strategy practiced, but it does emphasize the difficulty inherent in such

an interpretation. The possibility that the two extremes of a social *:

continue might be similar in the fauna utilized is well worth exploring

and the possibility that social status may be identified using faunal'

materials merits closer examination. It is best to remember, though,-

that patterning is most accurately reflected in the total assemblage

rather than in a single component of the complex.

Social Status in Spanish Florida

Spanish society in the New World was highly structured with over

sixty racial classifications (Morner 1967). The influential posts, and

the persons accorded highest prestige by the Crown, were persons of Old

World birth, called peninsulares (Haring 1947). Immigrants from either

the Spanish Iberian peninsula or the Canary Islands (as Contreras in the

above example) belonged to this favored group. The governors of Florida

were always peninsulares, although criollos (persons born in the New

World) might serve as temporary appointees. Policy as well as custom

combined to maintain the social distance between peninsulares and

criollos. Peninsulares in responsible positions were usually transferred

to a new post after a few years, serving to further isolate them from

local populations. There were rarely enough peninsulares in Florida to

satisfy the Crown (Corbett 1974).

Spaniards of New World birth, creoles or criollos, were excluded

from positions of influence and authority generally, even though the

wealth and local prestige of many might have better qualified them to

serve. They were also barred from major commercial enterprises, which

by law were based only in Seville or Cadiz, Spain (Haring 1947).

Criollos were said to be lazy, indolent, and quarrelsome. It was felt

that no criollo should be on the government payroll (Bushnell 1978b).

The power struggle between peninsulares, assigned to positions of author-

ity for only a few years and essentially outsiders and strangers, and

local, wealthy criollos was intense throughout the Spanish New World.

By 1696, and despite objections against the practice from the Crown,

criollos filled half of the garrison posts at St. Augustine (Arana 1960)

and all of the leadership positions except that of the governor (Arnade

1965). They also managed the extensive, lucrative commercial cattle

ranches that flourished in the latter part of the 17th Century (Bushnell

1978b). The wealthier criollos might have attempted to define their

status by identifying with peninsulares, although not all criollos were


Mestizos, or persons of mixed ancestry, were accorded a low social

status. Since the title originally referred to illegitimate children of

Spanish and Indian parents, the term had a connotation of illegitimacy

(Haring 1947). Peninsulares and criollos alike disdained mestizos, who

were thought tobe vagrants. Mestizos were the ones who did manual labor,

while the "whites" avoided such.work insofar as possible (Morner 1967).

In some areasof the Hispanictworld, mestizos were legally denied educa-

tion beyond religious instruction. In spite of the feelings against

them, mestizos served in the Florida military garrison (Corbett 1976).

Blacks and Indians were at the lowest social level. LegallyIndians

were of a social status above mestizos but this was not so in practice

(Haring 1947). Blacks at St. Augustine may either have been slave or

free. Spanish Florida was a haven for escaped British slaves.since they

were not returned to their owners (Tepaske 1964). Many artisans at St.

Augustine were slaves or Indians (Boniface 1971), and Indians may have

served on St. Augustine ships (Bushnell 1978c) .


As examples cited above serve to illustrate, the identification of

social status from faunal assemblages is not without risks. Had documen-

tary assistance been lacking, the slave faunal collection from Cannon's

Point might have been identified as belonging to the planter; and the

households of Pettus Plantation and Utopia might have been interpreted

as belonging to the same social statum.

Is an analysis of differential access to scarce resources justified

in the absence of documentary evidence? Prehistoric archaeologists are

accustomed to doing so using cultural materials. Social value is assigned

to objects excavated from archaeological context on the basis of such

observed evidence as local availability, quality of materials and manu-

facture, scarcity at the site, and distribution within the site. It

seems reasonable to assume that observed differences in faunal use could

also be used to infer social status where social stratification is known

to have existed.

The difficulty lies in assigning value to animal foods. While

archaeologists feel themselves to be safe in predicting that oriental

porcelains were highly valued, who feels secure enough to do the same

for deer? It is here that Jochim's analysis of a valued food source

may be useful (1976). Large animals which provide abundant quantities

of meat, but which are difficult to raise or obtain may be more highly

valued than animals which are reliably secured locally with a minimum

of effort. Archaeological faunal collections which contain larger

quantities of these valued animals may be from households of higher

social status than comtemporaneous sites of the same cultural affiliation

which have these species in lower numbers.

The intent in this study regarding social status is to predict

social status for the 16th Century First Spanish Period sites for which

we have no documentary evidence. It is known that social status was

important at St. Augustine and it will be seen that cattle (Bos taurus)

was a valued commodity (Chapter 5). Members of high social status,

either peninsulares or criollos, might be expected to have the greatest

access to cattle. In the 18th Century, peninsulare access to this

commodity was restricted due to the fact that it was available through

dealings with illicit traders. Upwardly aspiring criollos might also

have followed the high status model and avoided such dealings, so that

both groups may not have had cattle to the extent that their social status

would suggest. Thus in the 18th Century two groups would lack cattle:

low status mestizo households such as that of Maria de la Cruz and high

status individuals such as the peninsulare Contreras.

In the 16th Century there was no illicit British trade to confuse

the issue. Cattle during this time were scarce, however, and therefore

potentially a prestigious item. It is felt, therefore, that socio-

economic level in the 16th Century can be predicted on the basis of

access to cattle. Unfortunately there is no good way to test the inter-

pretation until documentary evidence is found, nor can absolute status

be predicted. While the two extremes of the continuum can be observed

and interpreted with reasonable confidence, identification of households

between the two extremes is more difficult.



The documented history of British and Spanish interaction in the Old

and New World provides a framework within which to study the subsistence

patterns at St. Augustine and Frederica. The two garrisons were part of

an international struggle which affected the daily lives of the residents,

in as much as their reason for being was based more upon military strategy,

than upon commercial enterprise. Although Frederica was pleasantly

situated, St. Augustine's location was not selected for its pleasing

agricultural prospect. The wealth of Florida and of Frederica lay in

their strategic locations. Much of the subsistence activity at both

locations was formed within constraints imposed by political alliances

and mercantile policies stated by their respective Crowns. Military

duties, disrupted supply lines, relations with natives, and unofficial

trade networks all had to be incorporated into the subsistence plan.

In this chapter the history of the region will be summarized. In

addition, the populations of St. Augustine and Frederica will be

described and the economic conditions of Spanish and British residents


A Brief History

There are many excellent histories of the Spanish Empire (Haring

1947), of the Caribbean (Haring 1966; Sauer 1969), of early explorations

in North America (Sauer 1971), and of Florida (Chatelain 1941; Tepaske

1964; Bolton and Ross 1968; Lyon 1977a). It is not the intent here to

supplant these, but only to highlight some of the processes which

directly affected the lives of colonists at St. Augustine and Frederica.

Significant events are summarized in Table 1.

Shortly after Columbus claimed the New World for Spain, Spanish

explorers had extended effective dominion throughout the Caribbean, onto

the mainland of Mexico, and down into South America. Spanish explorers

had also explored much of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of North America

(Sauer 1971). Compared to the wealth known to exist in Central and South

America, North America seemed to hold little promises of riches. None-

theless several attempts were made to explore and settle the area named

"la Florida" by Juan Ponce de Leon. These attempts all ended in failure,

which prompted Filipe II of Spain in 1561 to forbid any further efforts

at colonization.

The very next year France, recognizing the value of the Atlantic

coast's proximity to the wealth of the Caribbean (Fig. 1), began to

establish colonies in the New World. The initial effort at Port Royal

Sound, South Carolina, revived the Spanish Crown's interest in Florida

(Fig. 2). A hostile fortification so close to the vital shipping lane

used by the Spanish treasure fleets each summer could not be tolerated.

This initial French settlement failed before the Spanish could launch

their counter offensive. However, the French established a second out-

post even closer to the sea lane, at the St. Johns River, in 1564. It

was this second French installation which the Adelantado Pedro Menendez

de Aviles attacked and destroyed the following year.

As part of his royal charter Menendez was required to establish two

towns. He did so at once, the first and most southerly of which was

named St. Augustine. In the following years Menendez established a string

of fortifications along the Atlantic coast as far north as Port Royal

Sound (Santa Elena) and around the tip of Florida up the Gulf coast to

Tampa Bay (Lyon 1977a). The purpose of these outposts was to prevent

further foreign intrusions on the Atlantic coast, to protect the vital

Spanish treasure fleet sailing to Spain from Cuba up the Bahama Channel

or Florida Straits, and to aid victims of shipwreck in the treacherous


Although the initial intent was for the Florida garrisons to be self-

supporting, this proved to be impossible (Lyon 1977a). Shortly after the

Adelantado's death, the Florida garrison became a dependency of the

Spanish Crown. Unlike other Spanish colonies in the New World, the Royal

subsidy, or situado, rather than commerce, was intended to be the chief

support of the Florida garrison. Consequently there were no encomiendas

(large land grants) or repartimientos (Indian labor grants) on the scale

that these institutions occurred elsewhere, nor were there confirmed

deeds (Gold 1969). As a result there were no fortunes to be made and

most of the population was composed of soldiers on military assignment

rather than colonists there to make a fortune (Corbett 1976).

Spain claimed possession of all of North America east of New Mexico

under the name "La Florida," but in reality control was exercised only

over the narrow geographical strip occupied by the missions and forts

northward from St. Augustine along the Georgia coast and westward across

the northern end of the Florida peninsula. This area was divided into

four provinces: Guale, eastern Georgia and the coastal islands; Timucua,

north-central Florida and a portion of southern Georgia; Apalachee,

southwestern Georgia, southern Alabama, and Florida between the St. Marks

River and Pensacola; and Provincia Nueva, southern Florida (Gillaspie


During the last half of the 16th Century, existence at St. Augustine

was a tenuous affair. British and French soldiers as well as Indians

continually harassed the Spanish officials with raids and uprisings

(Bolton and Ross 1968). A series of Indian insurrections along the

Georgia coast, culminating in the Guale Revolt of 1573, caused the

virtual abandonment for a while of the Atlantic coast down to present-

day Savannah and by 1597 all of the Georgia missions had been temporarily

deserted. The garrison at St. Augustine was further strained in the

1500's by pirate attacks, pestilance, fires, floods, and worries about

unconfirmed English activities to the north.

At the turn of the century, with Spanish resources strained by war

with England, the outlook for survival of the presidio at St. Augustine

was in doubt. Thoughts were entertained of abandoning the unprofitable

and complaining post entirely (Arnade 1959). When British activity to

the north was confirmed, however, the decision was made to remain at

St. Augustine. After 1602 a series of missions was established westward

from St. Augustine across the Florida peninsula to present-day Tallahassee,

and the chain of missions previously abandoned north of St. Augustine

along the Georgia coast was reestablished. By the mid-1600's Spanish

missions once again extended as far north as Port Royal Sound (Lanning

1935). In conjunction with the interior missions, cattle ranches were

established, principally in the vicinity of present-day Gainesville but

also between St. Augustine and the St. Johns River. In spite of occa-

sional Indian revolts, disturbing intrusions by English traders in the

interior, and pirate attacks, the St. Augustine outpost enjoyed a period

of relative calm during the 1670's and 1680's.

Effective control of the area was being eroded, however. French

and British raids in the Caribbean were becoming increasingly bold.

Around 1686 St. Augustine officials once again began to withdraw the

northern mission chain, this time down to the St. Marys River. English

traders were generating major unrest among the Indians once allied with

the Spanish (Wright 1971). The beginning of the 18th Century marked a

major shift in Spanish control of Florida, bringing with it the disas-

trous raids of British Colonel Moore and French encroachments in the

west of the peninsula. The interior mission system and the cattle ranches

were destroyed. Spanish authority for a while was more strictly limited

to the immediate vicinity of the presidio at St. Augustine than it had

been for a long time.

Frederica and its companion fortifications were established in the

first half of the 18th Century as part of the British southward advance

into territory claimed by Spain as part of "la Florida." Frederica's

mission was primarily strategic, although the colonists were expected to

be self-sufficient and profitably employed in the export of raw agricul-

tural crops such as silk. While there was little cause, the garrison

continually watched for a Spanish raid, and even lost a crop one year

because of an alarm (Wright 1971). Indian relations were not a major

problem to the settlers themselves, although the Salzburger farmers

complained that Indians raided their fields, gardens, and stole their.

livestock (Bonner 1964). In 1739 the War of Jenkin's Ear between.,_

England and Spain began. A raid on St. Augustine, led from Ft. Frederica

by General James Oglethorpe in 1740, did much damage to the town. The

Spanish garrison retaliated in 1742 with a raid of their own. Shortly

after this the war was drawnto a close. Frederica was abandoned by the

British military personnel, and the shopkeepers quickly followed (Reese


In spite of the exchange of raids between St. Augustine and

Frederica, the period between 1733 and the early 1750's was one of

relative security at St. Augustine (Tepaske 1964). Hostilities among

England, France, and Spain continued, however, with France and England

resuming a state of war in 1756. Although Spain remained aloof from

this confrontation for a while, the Crown eventually joined France

against England, just in time to be on the.losing side. England captured

Cuba in the closing days of this warrand Spain was eager to regain that

island, even if it cost them Florida to do so. As the British prepared

to occupy the peninsula (all that remained of the once extensive Spanish

"la Florida") virtually the entire Spanish and Florida Indian population

evacuated the province (Dunkle 1955).

Britain remained in control of.the Florida colony for twenty years.

Initially it was an idle backwater (Wright 1975), but when-the American

Revolution began St. Augustine remained loyal to the Crown and once again

assumed strategic importance. The town experienced a florescence as,it

became a staging area for British troops and supplies going north. The

town also served as a refuge for Tories fleeing the rebellious colonies.

As part of the agreement ending the Revolution, however, Britain returned

the Florida peninsula to Spain and most of this refugee population evac-

uated the town along with British soldiers and local citizens (Dunkle


The history of the region between 1565 and 1783 was clearly marked

by unrest and danger. Throughout the Spanish and British occupations

war or the threat of war hung over the garrisons. During much of the

time it was unsafe for Spanish residents at St. Augustine to venture far

from the protection of the fortification. Although the British colony at

Frederica was not so clearly under immediate threat of attack from Indians,

the possibility of a Spanish or French raid was very real to the residents


The Spanish Florida Population

The demographic composition of the population in Spanish Florida has

been studied by John R. Dunkle (1955) and Theodore G. Corbett (1974; 1976).

They found that people who came to the presidio at St. Augustine originated

from two basic sources. The first major source was the Iberian peninsula

and the Canary Islands. The second source was Mexico and the Antilles.

During the First Spanish Period these two areas alternated in supplying

manpower to the garrison. For example, between 1658 and 1691, migration

to St. Augustine from Mexico and the Iberian peninsula was strong (Corbett

1974). After that fewer people arrived from Spanish America, and more

blacks came to the town, either as escaped slaves from the British

Carolinas, or as slaves from the Spanish Antilles. Iberian and Canary

Island migrations also increased. Between 1733 and 1756 a large number

of Cuban criollos came to St. Augustine (Corbett 1974). A census in

1607 also listed twenty-eight Portuguese, six German, twenty French, and

two Flemish residents. After 1685 English Catholics were also allowed,-

to settle in Florida (Dunkle 1955).

The initial migrants to Florida were carefully selected for skills

representing virtually all of the major 16th Century crafts (Lyon 1977a)

but eventually this trend was reversed. .Most of the later migrants to

the presidio were urban poor. Many had either served time in prison,or

had been sent to St. Augustine as part of their sentence. For example,

men who participated in the 1694 food riot in Mexico City were sentenced,

to labor on the Castillo de San Marcos (Corbett 1974). Mexican soldiers-

were generally described as "impressed Indians and half-breeds" (Arana .-:

1960:90-92). Those from the Iberian peninsula were the urban poor, or

criminals, from cities such as Seville, Cadiz, and Granada in the

southern province of Andalusia (Corbett 1974). Settlers from Cuba and

from the Canary Island tended to be more affluent, having the social

advantage also of being either criollos or peninsulares, rather than

mestizos. It must have been difficult for wealthy criollos at St.

Augustine to be viewed in an inferior light to the type of peninsulare

coming from the streets of Cadiz, however.

The size of the population shifted dramatically through time. Some

1,500 people may have come with Menendez to Florida in the initial settle-

ment of 1565 (Boniface 1971). As the focus of Royal attention shifted

elsewhere, and dreams of wealth and glory vanished, the population

declined dramatically. By 1574 only 300 settlers remained, most of whom

were soldiers or sailors. Between 1685 and 1702 there were about 1,500

military and civilian residents (Corbett 1976). The garrison size in

1699 was 315 men, of whom thirty-three were not able to serve, and many

of whom were stationed at outlying posts. By the late 16th Century over

a third of the garrison strength was criollo (Boniface 1971). When the

town was abandoned at the end of the First Spanish Period, 2,996 to 3,104

people were evacuated, including Florida Indians and blacks (Corbett 1976).

At the time of the evacuation St. Augustine was the second largest city

in the south after Charleston, South Carolina (Gold 1969).

The Indian population at St. Augustine deserves special mention.

While there were some Indians living in villages near St. Augustine

(Grinan 1757; Lyon 1977a), the number of Indians living near the forti-

fication grew steadily as English slaving raids became more intense in

the interior (Tepaske 1964). By 1738, 1,350Indians lived in the St.

Augustine area, although only twenty-four actually lived in the town

(Benavides 1738). During work on the coquina Castillo de San Marcos,

as many as 300 Indians were sent to the town from the missions each year

(Dunkle 1955). Some Indians may even have served as sailors on the

presidios' ships (Bushnell 1978c). Most Florida Indians prior to Moore's

raids, however, had little contact with the presidio. Even the Indians

living near the missions had little to do with St. Augustine itself.

As elsewhere, European disease took its toll on the Indians (Swanton

1946; Dunkle 1955). While the Indian population was increasing in the

vicinity of the fort in the last part of the First Spanish Period, the

number of Indians generally was declining.

The British Population

As with their St. Augustine counterparts, most of the British

immigrants to Frederica had an urban background. Many also came from

the poor, or "middle poor" (Saye 1943), Unlike their Spanish counter-

parts, they were not criminals. Most were highly skilled craftsmen and

almost all came from Britain, Scotland, or Germany. The first group of

settlers, 230 persons, came from England together landing first at

Savannah. Many of the German Salzburgers then refused to continue to

Frederica. Those Salzburgers who did continue settled in a small.

farming community apart from the main town of Frederica surrounding the

fortification. The first group to settle on St. Simons Island numbered

104 persons. In 1739 Oglethorpe's Regiment of 700 soldiers and their

families arrived. There were some slaves at Frederica in spite of a

prohibition against slavery in the founding charter.

During the British Period at St. Augustine (1763-1783), the popu-

lation experienced some major shifts (Wright 1971). Initially the town

was settled by a small contingent of Scottish soldiers, a few merchants,

and some large land-owners. Indian allies and slaves also were found at

St. Augustine. In 1777 the Minorcan colony at New Smyrna collapsed and

some 409 of these people took refuge at St. Augustine. Once the American

Revolution began the population swelled rapidly. By 1778 there were 1,000

resident whites, 3,000 local blacks, and 8,000 refugees from the northern

colonies (Dunkle 1955). Most of these were transients waiting to go

north to fight, or waiting for the war to end so they could return to,

their homes. Many of these acquired land for cultivation between the

coast and the St. Johns River, although there was not enough land for all

the refugees (Williams 1976). The Seminole Indians, who had been in the

process of occupying the interior of the Florida peninsula during the

last part of the First Spanish Period, continued to become more populous

during the British Period. In addition, some British settlers lived in

the interior either as traders or as farmers. When the British Period

ended approximately 13,000 people evacuated the province, although some

British citizens avoided the Spaniards by moving further into the

interior of the peninsula (Dunkle 1955).

Spanish Economics
As a military garrison, governmental center, and mission base, most

of the income at St. Augustine was supplied by a royal subsidy (Chatelain

1941; Tepaske 1958; Bushnell 1978c). The Spanish Crown assumed responsi-

bility for the colony's support shortly after Menendez's death in 1568

(Hoffman 1977). The annual subsidy, or situado, was paid out of the

coffers of New Spain and was initially administered by the Viceroy of

New Spain in Mexico City. The situado included pay in cash and in goods.

Commodities might be beeswax, wine, oil, lard, salt pork and beef, ham,

salt, rice, corn, flour, beans, and fabrics (A.G.I. 87-3-13, December

1758). It could also include axes, bows, caldrons, pails, machetes, drills,

goatskins, paper, bells, church furniture, cassava, and munitions (A.G.I.

87-3-12, June, 1740; A.G.I. Contraduria 962 A, 1751).

Delivery of the situado was irregular at best (Tepaske 1958, 1964).

The Viceroy of New Spain frequently delayed payment, or neglected to

supply the necessary funds at all. Once items purchased by the St.

Augustine agent in Mexico using the New Spain funds were aboard ship,

they might be captured by French or British raiders or otherwise lost at

sea. The situado might be delayed for only a matter of months, or for

as long as ten years (Bushnell 1978c).

The situado was unsatisfactory for other reasons as well. Often the

goods purchased by the St. Augustine agent in Mexico were of poor quality

initially, or spoiled during the delays incurred in shipment. Inflation

was a major problem throughout the Hispanic Empire and the goods purchased

for St. Augustine were always exhorbitantly priced. The personnel on the

Royal payroll in Florida received their annual salary in goods and the

remainder in currency. Due to inflation and gouging by Mexican merchants,

once the cost of the goods had been deducted from the annual salary,

little remained of an individual's income to be disbursed as cash

(Gillaspie 1961).

As a result government employees seldom saw any cash money (Bushnell

1978c). In addition, rations were not enough to support a family so that

St. Augustine residents had to purchase additional supplies from the

Royal warehouse or from local merchants and vendors. Due to the lack of

cash in the town such purchases were usually made against future salaries

(Grinan 1757; Chatelain 1941; Bushnell 1978c). When the situado finally

arrived, outstanding debts incurred by the citizens of the town to the

Royal storehouse and favored local merchants, taxes, and church tithes

were deducted before the employee received payment. Often there was no

cash left and the cycle continued. Many of the presidio personnel

served in virtual debt peonage. There was enough cash available in the

town, however, for some wealthy criollos to order personal supplies to

be shipped for their own use, to purchase property at auction, and to

buy maize for speculation (Bushnell 1978c).

In order to correct these conditions responsibility for administra-

tion of the situado payment was shifted in 1702 to the Bishop of Puebla,

assuming that a cleric might be more responsible. He was not (Tepaske

1964). It should be noted that the Bishop of Puebla did not exercise

ecclesiastical responsibility for Florida. Finally, in 1740, the

responsibility for supplying the situado was transferred to the Havana

Company of Cuba in exchange for trade concessions granted to the company

by the Spanish Crown. After this, situado payments became more regular,

and the amount of cash circulating in St. Augustine increased since the

British goods purchased by the Havana Company were less expensive than

the Spanish goods purchased in Mexico and Cuba (Bushnell 1978c).

While officials of New Spain continually neglected the needs of the

garrison, England was eager to serve the St. Augustine market. Legally

British merchants could only deal with New World ports by going through

Spain first. By the early 1600's even this trade was being curtailed.

English trade, originating principally in the North American colonies,

gradually became more and more a matter of contraband and freebooting

(Wright 1971). Under the mercantilist policy it was strictly forbidden

that New World Spanish colonies trade with English merchants directly,

or even between themselves (Haring 1947). All trade legally had to go

through Iberian ports. However, by a treaty signed in 1670, English

vessels could call at Hispanic ports when in distress, or to exchange

prisoners (Harman 1969). Under this guise, or without it, foreign

traffic at St. Augustine was common and continued regardless of any

state of hostility or open warfare that might have prevailed at the

time. During periods of open warfare, Spanish St. Augustinians did

appropriate English merchant vessels by force, when they could, and

British merchants in St. Augustine sometimes had their goods seized by

local governors attempting to enforce the law, or angered that they had

been slighted by some trade deal.

St. Augustine officials and private citizens traded heavily with

English merchants from Charleston, New York, and Virginia. They exchanged

local oranges, fish, deer skins, naval stores, and even sea turtles for

liquors, vinegar, apples, corn, peas, flour, biscuits, salt,beeswax,

fabrics, barrels of salted beef, pork, cod and herring, as well as cheeses,

tools, clothing, and household goods (Harman 1969). In spite of the risks

involved, English goods were of better quality and were cheaper than the

Spanish ones available through the situado (Grinan 1757). In addition to

the maritime trade with the British colonies, there was an active over-

land and inland waterway trade in livestock from the southern British

colonies. Pigs (Sus scrofa) and cattle (Bos taurus) were regularly

smuggled into St. Augustine, or purchased openly (Harman 1969). At one

point in the 1700's it was said that British merchants walked the streets

of the presidio just as if they were in London (Tepaske 1964).

Trade with British merchants was legalized in 1740 when the Havana

Company of Cuba was authorized to act as supply agent for St. Augustine

(Tepaske 1964). The Company could purchase goods from the British

colonies if no Spanish equivalent could be found. This action only made

legitimate a source of trade which had been flourishing for years. After

1740 the repetitious complaints from St. Augustine of privation and

starvation subsided and the amount of cash to be invested by residents

at the town increased. The period between 1733 and 1756 marks, in fact,

one of the two brief periods of stability the colony enjoyed (see above).

St. Augustine residents also conducted limited trade with Hispanic

ports (Gillaspie 1961; Boniface 1971). The colony was allowed to send

one ship a year to Spain, with the Canary Islands being included in this

exchange. An official quota of deer hides could be traded for military

supplies, clothing, wine, and staples such as rice, beans, flour, and

corn. From the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, St. Augustine obtained corn,

salt, henequen, wax, and cacao, among other things, although this trade

was not entirely legal (A.G.I. 54-4-15/89, 1692; Gillaspie 1961). Some

commerce was done also with Veracruz as part of the situado payment.

Cuba was the favored trading partner. From this port the garrison

at St. Augustine received spices, rice, beans, salt pork, tools, and

munitions. The population exchanged deer hides, naval stores, salt beef,

beans, chickens, hams, and lard. It is interesting that this list

contains so many agricultural products since it is not usual to think of

St. Augustine exporting food. Many of these items are found on ship

manifests of 1674-1694 and reflect the production of the interior cattle

ranches near present-day Gainesville. Two or three ships came from

Havana to St. Augustine twice a year between 1731 and 1741 (Grinan 1757).

Purchases were usually made on credit and occasionally Havana merchants

would claim as security the St. Augustine situado ship(s) as it laid

over in Cuba on its voyage from Veracruz to Florida (Bushnell 1978c).

Mercantile ties between Cuba and Florida were supported by extensive

kinship bonds between influential criollos in both communities (Gillaspie

1961). In the 16th Century the Governor of Cuba and Florida was the same

individual although this practice was soon ended because of suspected

graft (Bushnell 1978c).

In conjunction with this extensive external exchange system, St.

Augustine also obtained supplies from within the province of Florida

itself. The Spaniards traded with near-by Indians, and relied heavily

upon livestock and produce from the Apalachee missions near modern

Tallahassee, once those missions were established (Boniface 1971).

Indians were encouraged to supply produce and meat, as well as other

goods to the population at St. Augustine. In a letter written to

Governor Joseph de Zuniga about 1700 his correspondent wrote that fifty

chickens were being sent to the Governor via some Indian carpenters

going to work at St. Augustine. The Governor had originally requested

chickens, hides, tallow, and yarn. At some point Zuniga sent 500 yards

of cloth to San Luis to barter for corn, tallow, hogs, beans, chickens,

deer skins, and wheat (Boyd et al. 1951). Jonathan Dickinson in his

journey on the Atlantic coast of Florida between 1696 and 1697 encoun-

tered Indians going to St. Augustine to trade ambergris (1975). Indians

brought produce to the market at St. Augustine. Their wares included

cassina, sassafrass, deer and buffalo skins, nut oil, bear grease, tobacco,

canoes, rope, fishnet, dried turkeys, fresh fish, and game (Bushnell

1978c). These goods were either bartered or sold on credit. Yards of

cloth amd ambergris were used as units of exchange also (Bushnell 1978c).

Indians contributed to the Spanish economy in other ways as well.

They owed tithes to the religious community and tribute payments to the

Crown (Bushnell 1978c). These were paid either in produce or in a labor

draft. Indians at Apalachee were under orders to supply sixty batches

of cassina each month to the Spanish personnel stationed in that province.

The Franciscans sold excess produce they obtained in this way either in

St. Augustine or, preferably, in Havana. The governors used the tribute

in kind as rations for the soldiers, or sold it at public auction. The

labor of Indians was put to use either in the public fields, on fortress

maintenance, or in private fields. Indians not only tilled the fields,

but guarded the crops-against .crows and wild animals (Bushnell 1978c).

Service Indians were fed and housed during their stay at St. Augustine.

There isrsome suspicion that trade with the Indians was not always

equitable or voluntary (Lanning 1935; Tepaske 1964).-In a report from

San Luis, the administrative center of Apalachee located at the western

end of the mission chain across the northern peninsula, an Indian cacique,

or chief, complained that the wife of the deputy governor had taken fish

and milk from the Indians without compensation (Boyd et al. 1951). The

labor tax also was subject to abuse (Lanning 1935; Gannon 1965).

To compound their-problems the St. Augustine population had to

compete with French, British, and Cuban traders as well as the local

Franciscans for access to the Indian's produce. The Franciscans carefully

guarded the Indians from official requisitions, preferring to sell Indian

products in Havana, where these commanded a better price. Cubans came to

Florida to fish and to trade with the Apalachee ranches for produce, deer

skins, and wild turkeys (Bolton and Ross 1968). Traders from Havana also

dealt with Indians on the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. In 1685

one collection of 185 deer skins and 200 beaver and otter pelts which had

been destined for British markets in Carolina was captured (Lanning 1935).

The British merchants also traded with the Atlantic coast Indians of

southern Florida for ambergris and goods salvaged from Spanish shipwrecks

(Bushnell 1978c). The French traded with the Georgia coastal Indians for

pelts and sassafrass in the 16th Century and with the Apalachee Indians

in the 18th Century.

Soldiers supplemented their incomes by working at trades and pro-

ducing food in their own fields and gardens. Trades included burning

charcoal, fishing, weaving fishing nets, building boats, rounding up

cattle, and hauling firewood (Bushnell 1978c). They cultivated small

plots of land outside the town which were assigned to them, and had

access to the wooded commons. The garrison personnel was essentially

urban and ill-suited for such work. Efforts to produce wheat and other

Iberian crops were particularly doomed to failure. In order to encourage

local food production Governor Mendez Canzo ordered his soldiers into the

fields and constructed both a mill and a market place in 1598 (Manucy

1962). Time and manpower were lacking for large scale plantings, however

(Otto and Lewis 1974), and Indian predations on crops and soldiers made

such work hazardous during some periods. Maps as early as 1597 show field

crops being grown north of the fort and between Maria Sanchez Creek and

the San Sebastian River (Fig. 3; Chatelain 1951:Fig. 2, 3, 4).

Some produce and livestock were grown within the town itself. Maps

show gardens and orchards growing on house lots (Jeffries 1762; Chatelain

1941:Fig. 2). Dickinson reported that such crops as figs, grapes, oranges,

pomegranates, mulberries, squash, radishes, kidney beans, onions, garlic,

lettuce, peppers, cabbage, and sweet potatoes were grown in these gardens

and orchards (1975). Chickens (Gallus gallus) and pigs (Sus scrofa)

roamed the streets of the town (Boniface 1971). In 1602, Governor

Mendez Canzo complained of the cattle (Bos taurus) running loose in the

streets (Arnade 1959).

A major advance in food production coincided with the lull in Indian

hostilities between 1650 and 1700. During this time cattle ranches

flourished in the interior of the Florida peninsula, particularly around

the area of present-day Gainesville. Some ranches also existed along

the St. Johns River and around San Luis in the panhandle of Florida

'(Arnade 1965; Bushnell 1978b). These ranches were operated by the small

cluster of landed criollo families, althoughlsuch large-scale land owner-

ship was prohibited in Florida (Lyon T977a). Many of these ranchers

preferred to ship their produce to the better markets in Havana, using

the Suwannee and St. Marks Rivers as outlets.' Between 1680 and 1687,

Governor Marques Cabrera attempted to stop this trade by ordering that

all cattle be processed through a slaughterhouse he had built at St.

Augustine. A tax was levied on the cattle las well.' Governor Quiroga

in 1693 even attempted to blockade the Suwannee River with debris to stop
'the Havana cattle trade. The era of the cattle ranches coincided with

the most bustling and prosperous period in Spanish Florida as a whole in

conjunction with the construction of the coquina Casti-llo de San Marcos

-at St. Augustine (Bushnell 1978b). It is interesting"to note that in the

1680's this abundant -supply of fresh meat supplanted the usual salted or

dried meat in the soldier's rations. The soldiers complained of this

(Bushnell 1978c), perhaps because fresh meat did not keep well in the

Days prior to refrigeration.

S'Although the only legal retail outlet ih St. Augustine was the

market place and the royal storehouse at the town plaza (Boniface 1971),

there were other retail facilities as well. The market, houses for fish

and meat vendors, as well as a grinding mill were established by Governor

Mendez Canzo in 1597. The market was a place to barter produce (Arnade

1959). Don Pedro Sanchez Grinan reported that between 1731 and 1741 as

many as twelve stores were operating (1757). These sold rum, wine,

vinegar, sugar, tobacco, spices, lard, soap, suet candles, silk, wool,

linen, and ribbons. John J. Tepaske, referring to English traders in the

18th Century, says that these merchants were driving local Spanish shop-

keepers out of business (1964). Criollos, as hidalgos or gentlemen, were

not supposed to be merchants (Bushnell 1978a). This did not prevent

many criollos from trading ambergris and cattle (Bushnell 1978b), and

one even operated two stores in St. Augustine in the late 1600's, one of

which was in his home (Gillaspie 1961). At least one commercial fisher-

man existed in the town in the 17th Century since such an individual was

on salary to supply fish to the laborers working on the Castillo de San

Marcos in the late 1600's (Chatelain 1941). Commercial fishermen and

hunters existed in the 1500's as well (Lyon 1977b). A soldier's partner-

ship in the 16th Century sold venison in the town (Lyon 1977b). A

tannery and slaughterhouse were present and in the 1750's one of the

butchers was an Englishman (Solana 1960). The tongue of the slaughtered

cattle was reserved for the governor (Bushnell 1978c).

It is not known what volume of food consumed at St. Augustine was

sold or exchanged at the market, purchased from Indian vendors, secured

through private agriculture, hunting, fishing or collecting efforts, or

acquired through barter and private exchange systems. While the evidence

is tentative, the following assumptions will be made: that there was a

public market where produce could be purchased or bartered; that there

were a few shops also; and that there were a few people, who may have

been Indians, willing to serve as hunting and fishing specialists.

In addition to the above efforts to obtain needed goods, the Spanish

employed another strategy as well. Throughout almost the entire 200 year

occupation, complaints from the presidio were regular and consistent.

Almost every governor wrote.reports to the Crown complaining of short or

unsatisfactory rations and requesting additional assistance from the

Crown both in cash and in.the form of reprimands to New Spain officials.

At one point an official letter wrote that the population "ate herbs, fish,

and other scum and vermin. ; ."(Conner 1925:99). After British seizure

of the situado ship in 1712, Governor Don Francisco de Corcoles y Martinez

reported that the population ate rodents, dogs, cats, and horses (Tepaske

1964). While these complaints were persistent, they did not usually

produce the desired result.

British Economics

As at St. Augustine, most of the residents at Frederica were expected

to do military duty; however, the colony was also expected to be self-

supporting. The roster of Frederica residents, and their trades, indicates

that the colonists were basically self-sufficient in craft skills, much

as St. Augustine had been originally (Saye and Coulter 1949). There were

at least three shopkeepers included among the colonists, but few farmers

(Saye and Coulter 1949). The settlers were given small grants of land,

agricultural tools, and seed. Efforts to produce small fruit and

vegetable gardens as well as field crops were successful. Most of the

British townsmen did not farm, but preferred to rely upon the Salzburger

farmers for produce (Deagan 1972). Using Frederica and Savannah as head-

quarters British merchants James Spaulding and William Panton traded

extensively with Indians, exchanging firearms, trade goods, and liquor

for deer skins. It was trade such as this that was so annoying to the

Spaniards at this time. Frederica was not entirely independent, however,

and as late as 1741 was still dependent upon Georgia trustees for rations

of food (Bonner 1964). The period between 1737 and 1741 was a particu-

larly trying one as bad weather caused a series of crop failures (Bonner


The British Period at St. Augustine was marked more by military

activity than by economic prosperity. Recognizing that the town, with

its increasing population could not possibly feed the refugees produced

by the American Revolution, the English Crown supplied food for these

people (Wright 1971). The British residents continued to use the small

backyard gardens established by the Spaniards earlier, and also cultivated

plots of land outside the town (Wright 1971). There were merchants in the

town, and some large landowners who produced rice, indigo, naval stores,

and barrel staves for the export market. Due to favorable Indian treaties

many colonists lived outside the fortifications as far away as the St.

Johns River (Bartram 1955; Covington 1961). Traders such as Spaulding

and Panton (originally from Frederica) continued the Indian trade with

posts in the interior although raids by the Indians on these posts were

not unknown (Bartram 1955). Local butchers not only maintained their

own cattle herds, but also purchased cattle from Georgia (Wright 1975).

Indian hunters were employed on at least one plantation on the St. Johns

River (Bartram 1955).

-In terms of Spanish and British subsistence patterns, several points

are of importance. One is that the Spanish population at St. Augustine

and the British population at Frederica and, to a lesser extent, at St.

Augustine during the British Period, were essentially military in

orientation. Among the Spanish residents almost every individual was a

part of the military or civilian bureaucracy, a dependent of it, or a

member of the religious community.- While the British populations included

some merchants and large landowners, they also were basically military

communities. This fact, in conjunction with the urban orientation of the

population, left the colonists ill-prepared for efficient food production.

'The second observation is that during most of the First Spanish

Period it was dangerous for Spanish residents to venture far from the

fort (Tepaske 1964). Essentially St. Augustine was the Florida colony.

Only during the mid-1600's and again in the last decades of the First

Spanish Period was the interior a place of relative safety. This contrasts

-sharply with the comparative security of the British frontier where the

;colonists could exploit the resources of their environment more peaceably.

In addition to the hazards of the interior, the Spanish residents at

St. Augustine had difficulties with their supply network. Trade with the

Indians must have been tricky, with-watchful missionaries anxious to

'protect their charges, the Britons eager to supplant the Spaniards as

allies and trading partners, and the Indians given to periodic revolts

-against Spanish control. The situado was undependable. Illicit trade

with British merchants was subject to the vagaries of international

politics, pirates, Spanish official seizures, and acts of God. While

British ships were not immune to accidents on the high seas, supply lines

to Frederica and British St. Augustine seem to have been more secure.

After all most of the pirates that plagued the Spanish shipping lane were

British subjects.

Guided by Liebig's "Law of the Minimum," it is predicted that the

Spanish population at St. Augustine did not simply starve in the face of

the irregular supply routes. Liebig's "Law" states that a population's

adaptation must be toward those elements which are most important to

survival, but available in limited quantities. Adpatation must be made

to a complex of limiting factors. If an environment is subject to a

severe drought during the span of a generation on a regular and routine

basis, the population, to survive, adapts to the drought, not to the

intervening years of plenty. The Spanish population, to have survived,

must have been adapted to an irregular situado rather than to a prompt

one. This adaptation included trade with British merchants and Indians,

in conjunction with some production of food locally. The faunal record

should indicate reliance upon the animal resources obtained through

these activities.

Based on Liebig's "Law," it is doubted that the Spanish claims to

have eaten unusual food items will be supported in the faunal record. It

is expected that the quantity of dog (Canis familiaris), cat (Felis

domesticus), rodent, and horse (Equus caballus) remains in Spanish and

British collections will be about the same. Periods of starvation caused

by a failure of every strategy would have been rare and would be camou-

flaged in the record by the intervening years in which the strategy

employed functioned successfully.

Due to the hazards of venturing away from the fort during much of

the First Spanish Period, the faunal collections will probably contain

little wild terrestrial fauna, or cattle (Bos taurus). Reliance upon the

nearby marine resources, and upon pigs (Sus scrofa) and chickens (Gallus

gallus), which could have been raised in the backyards and streets of the

town, may be predicted. In the 17th Century faunal collection from the

Spanish occupation, cattle may be more prominent, reflecting the presence

of cattle ranches in the interior and the relative safety of that region.

The British, both at Frederica and at St. Augustine, enjoyed unham-

pered access to the area around their settlement. They were, therefore,

free to exploit wild terrestrial fauna if they wished, and to raise

cattle with only minor interference from Indian predations.

The military and urban composition of all three components, Spanish

St. Augustine, British Frederica, and British St. Augustine, should be

reflected in the faunal samples also. The species exploited should be

those which could be captured near the settlements, with a minimum of

time expenditure due to the need to resolve the scheduling conflict

between military duties and subsistence activities. Highly seasonal

resources which might conflict with official duties would not be a regular

item in the diet of any of these components. Emphasis can be expected

to be placed on species which could be caught in large numbers, or using

untended devices, during off-duty hours.

The predictions expressed in these last three paragraphs are

slightly contradictory. The Spanish and British components at St.

Augustine may be similar to each other for two different reasons, and

it is not altogether clear how to distinguish the valid explanation for

each sample. If the British Period component at St. Augustine is more

similar to the Spanish one at St. Augustine than to the British Frederica

collection, this may indicate that both the Spanish and British diets

used immediately available resources due to scheduling conflicts rather

than to restricted access to the interior, which would not have been a

factor in the British adaptation. Both explanations, scheduling conflicts

and restricted access to the interior may have been influential in the

Spanish adaptation. This question will be returned to in Chapter 5 when

the resources of the environment are discussed. It may have been un-

necessary for either the Spanish or the British garrisons to venture more

than a mile or two from the confines of the fort to obtain any of their

animal resources other than cattle. If that is the case the Spaniards

at St. Augustine could have exploited local resources just as safely as

did the Britons and the Spanish adaptation will best be explained in

terms of scheduling conflicts.



In addition to social status, historical events, demography, and

economics, the subsistence strategies Followed by the Spanish and British

households being studied here may have been influenced by traditional

Old World foodways. Although the origins of the populations at

Frederica and St. Augustine were mixed, the predominant traditions would

have been either from England or from Spain. These two foodways will be

discussed here. Recognizing that many of the British Period residents

at St. Augustine would also have been more correctly described as

American colonists rather than British citizens, some foodways of the

American colonies will also be explored as they have been examined in

zooarchaeological studies. As will be seen, these materials have little

value in predicting the subsistence strategies observed from the faunal

collections of Frederica and St. Augustine beyond the initial observation

that domestic animals predominate.

Traditional British Foodways

Since very little information is available on traditional British

foodways of the 17th and 18th Centuries, emphasis will be placed here

upon a single source, 'A Solid Suffiency': An Ethnography of Yeoman

Foodways in Stuart England, written as a dissertation by Jay Allan

Anderson in 1971. This excellent work represents a synthesis of primary

materials dealing with the 17th Century English yeoman/husbandman class.


According to Anderson, there are virtually no other works on pre-

industrial English food habits which deal with this material. Conse-

quently this section will be confined to a summary of some of Anderson's

findings as they relate to food habits at Frederica or St. Augustine.

Two reservations about the adequacy of this treatment must be noted.

First, Anderson deals with basically rural food habits, whereas most of

the British residents at Frederica and St. Augustine had an urban back-

ground. Secondly, he is dealing principally with the 17th Century and

the present study of British foodways is placed in the 18th Century.

However, Anderson himself addresses the first objection by indicating

that even those few people who did live in market towns and cities in

the 17th Century kept barnyard animals on their lots, which also included

a garden and an orchard (1971:20). "The majority of these part-time

farmers were craftsmen who because their skills were long and difficult

to learn gradually became specialists" (1971:5). This description might

well fit the specialists that joined Oglethorpe's Frederica expedition.

In fact, Anderson equates the urban artisans, craftsmen, and tradesmen

as the urban counterparts of the rural husbandmen and yeomen (1971:15).

Perhaps many of Oglethorpe's people had a similar background. The second

objection is addressed simply by questioning how much change would have

occurred in yeoman foodways between the 1600's and the early 1700's.

The procurement technique employed by the English husbandman was

mixed farming incorporating locally available products and emphasizing

self-sufficiency with a little surplus to be used in trade or converted

to cash. Most of the cash crops produced were cheese, barley, poultry,

and eggs (1971:27). While field crops such as wheat, barley, oats, rye,

and legumes were important in this strategy, so also were garden vege-

tables and orchards. Apparently few wild fruits or herbs were used in

the diet (1971:45).

Domestic stock included horses, oxen, dairy cattle, goats, sheep,

swine, rabbits, poultry, pigeons, and bees (1971:58-77). Other fowl

included geese, ducks, capons, hens, and "thirty tame birds usually

baked in pies" (1971:59). The dairy herd was the most valuable and

productive of these since they produced a variety of milk products.

Almost no cattle were bred for meat and usually only those animals not

expected to last the winter were slaughtered. Cattle butchered in this

manner were typically at least 10 years of age (1971:187). Beef was not

a major food source (1971:66). Sheep were a basic source of meat, al-

though they also supplied milk, milk products, and wool. The most

significant source of meat was swine (1971:68). Some of these were

confined to the yard, but most roamed the wooded lowlands in the nearby

commons. The yeomen of Stuart England were not blind to the good yield

for minimal effort that pigs provided. Goats also were allowed to fend

for themselves, but were not a major food source.

Wild mammals, birds, and fish constituted a small, but important,

part of the diet (1971:77). Wild birds were usually snared, but some

were also shot with fowling pieces. Birds included wild goose, lark,

plover, teal, mallard, quail, woodcock, partridge, and pheasant. Wild

hares were trapped both as a food item and to eliminate a crop pest.

Deer were rare. It was a symbol of the New World's bounty that so many

deer could be hunted. Yeomen also fished, using eel weirs, herring nets,

or gaffs. Most seafood was purchased at market, however. Seafood was a

dietary staple due to "fish days," which were retained after the

Reformation. Fish were more frequently consumed in the cities than in

the country since meat was more expensive to purchase in town (1971:80).

Over one hundred different kinds of fish were regularly consumed, either

fresh or salted. These included ray, mullet, skate, sole, and whiting.

Most of the produce of the farms had to be preserved. Mammals,

birds, and fish were usually preserved by salting, either wet or dry.

Beef and pork were the basic preserved meats, with pork as the most

important. Ham and bacon were first wet or dry salted and then exposed

to slow drying or smoking. Smaller cuts of meat, as well as fish and

birds were often potted. Potted meat was salted and/or cooked and then

sealed with congealed fat. Pickled meat could either be "collared" or

"souced." Collared meat was first deboned and then allowed to sit in

an herb brew until needed. It was best kept only about a week. Souced

meat was much the same except that it included wine and the product

could be kept longer. Mutton was usually not brined (1971:68).

Food preparation techniques included a variety of different methods.

Bread, cheese, and ale figured prominently at most meals, although dinner

usually included roasts, stews, hot salads, and eggs. Vegetables often

were consumed raw. Roasts of beef, pork, poultry, mutton, kid, lamb,

and veal were popular, but boiled foods were more common since they

required less attention. Meat or fish was consumed in some form every

day. "Spoon-meats," the name for soups, gruels, and porridges were made

with cereal grains and perhaps some spices and dried fruits. Rice, an

imported item, was also popular and considered a staple. Pies were

eaten in large quantities, and contained almost any flesh. To quote

Anderson on one type of pie "the 'battalion' pie, included almost any-

thing that happened to be perched or swimming around" (1971:198). Tartes

contained fruit, custards, or vegetables. Stews included meat, while

pottages contained vegetables and broth. Interestingly, the omelette or

quelquechose was popular. The idea had just recently been imported from

continental Europe (1971:227). Eggs were also consumed in fried, hard

boiled, roasted, and baked form.

Traditional Spanish Foodways

Traditional Spanish foodways will also be summarized from a single

source, although for a different reason than given above. There are a

number of interesting sources available dealing with foodways of the

Iberian peninsula. These were consulted by Stephen L. Cumbaa in his

dissertation Patterns of Resource Use and Cross-Cultural Dietary Change

in the Spanish Colonial Period written in 1975. He cited this material

in order to demonstrate for the 18th Century Spanish adaptation at St.

Augustine what I hope to demonstrate for the entire First Spanish Period

as well as the British occupations at Frederica and St. Augustine: that

traditional foodways were modified to meet New World conditions. His

position is well supported and it seems unnecessary to expand upon his

work. His contribution will be summarized here for the convenience of

the reader, who may not have Cumbaa's dissertation at hand.

Many of the more popular dietary items in Spain were those also

popular in England. The traditional Iberian field crops included wheat,

barley, oats, rye, as well as legumes. Fruits such as oranges, figs, and

apples were also prominently used. Maize was grown after its introduction

from the New World and quickly became a major food crop, supplanting rice.

Sheep were the most important animal produced. Although principally

grown for wool, mutton, milk, and cheese were also consumed from the

animals. Cattle were primarily draft animals, with milk and meat

consumed after the animal had served its time. Goats likewise were

present, but in small quantities. Young horses, called "red deer" were

commonly eaten, as were dogs in some parts of Spain. Swine were present

in small numbers, but were not allowed to forage on their own as in

England. From these domestic species, pork was the most expensive meat,

followed by beef and lastly by mutton. Fowl had a price similar to that

for beef.

Wild mammals, birds, and fish were not a major component of the

diet generally. Hunting was a marginal activity, with hares and deer

being the primary game species. Deer were protected by royal decree,

but may have been hunted at least by the nobility. Birds, especially

partridges, pheasants, and cormorants, were hunted. Young birds were

caught on the nest for consumption. Most fish were obtained by

commercial fishermen in the Atlantic and Meriterranean. Species

included grouper, pompano, cod, tuna, sole, mullet, drum, and shark.

Non-commercial fishing was done by hook and line on the interior mountain

streams, which in Spain are rare, and using cast nets. Fish sold more

cheaply than did domestic meats.

The most popular food preparation techniques included a boiled stew,

puchero or olla podrida, and a cold soup or broth, gazpacho. Puchero and

its more elaborate form, olla podrida, included a combination of meats

and vegetables boiled in a covered earthenware pot. Roasting was also

popular, as were frying and broiling.

Old World Foodways

If the traditional patterns of animal use described above were

transferred to the New World as a complete complex several patterns

could be expected to be observed in the faunal record. The British

faunal pattern would include mostly swine remains, followed by sheep and

a few aged cattle. Goat might also appear in limited numbers. There

would be a few domestic rabbits, wild hare, and an occasional deer. A

wide variety of domestic fowl should be recovered, as well as a large

number of wild fowl of various species. Fish would be quite common in

the collections, with marine species being most abundant.

The Spanish pattern would be quite different. Sheep would dominate

the collection, followed by cattle and pigs. Some domestic fowl such as

chickens, pigeons, and ducks would be present. Wild species such as deer

and wild hare might be present in small numbers; but wild birds, particu-

larly young ones, would be fairly common. Fish would be common also, and

be mostly pelagic species. Cumbaa's research demonstrated that this

pattern was modified in response to New World conditions.

Historic North American Foodways

A number of faunal collections will be reviewed here. A variety of

geographical locations are represented, but all date to the pre-Revolu-

tionary period, and most coincide with the French and Indian War. Both

domestic and military occupations are represented. All should follow

the British traditional foodways extrapolated from Anderson's study if

these traditional foodways were transferred unmodified to the New World.

It should be noted at the outset that this comparison is handicapped

by a methodological problem common to zooarchaeology. There is little

comparability in reporting techniques. Some use the Minimum Number of

Individuals technique (MNI), others refer to bone count or bone weight,

still others present their data as pounds of edible meat, but their

techniques of determining pounds of edible meat are not standard. This

problem will be further discussed in the chapter on methods and materials.

As the moment there appears to be no way to resolve the issue. Emphasis

in this analysis will be upon MNI where that is available since the

technique by which this is derived is fairly uniform among faunal

analysts. Where MNI is not available, emphasis will be placed upon the

species utilized rather than upon the proportion of species contributing

edible meat.

Fort Loudoun, in eastern Tennessee, was a British fort used

during the French and Indian War (Parmalee 1960; Bowen 1976). The

faunal assemblage indicates that cattle were most heavily used, followed

by pig and deer. There were no sheep or goats identified in the

collection. Some waterfowl were identified, but emphasis was placed

upon the domestic chicken and turkey. There were also passenger

pigeons identified from the site. Some fish, particularly freshwater

catfish, were identified from the sample. There was also a small

collection of aquatic turtles, as well as bear, beaver, and woodchuck.

At Fort Ligonier, a French and Indian War fort located in western

Pennsylvania, domestic animals contributed most of the MNI (Guilday 1970),

19% of which were sheep and 19% of which were cattle. Pigs represented

only 5% of the individuals. Wild fauna contributed 40% of the individuals.

Most of these wild animals were mammals (26%), with some birds, reptiles,

and two fish. Deer contributed 13% of the MNI, but bear, fox, bobcat,

squirrel, and rabbit were also present.

Fort Pelham, a third French and Indian War fortification, is located

on the northern border of Massachusetts (Bowen 1976). At this fort, there

were no sheep at all. Cow and pig contributed 40% and 49% respectively

of the individuals. It is not known what other species may have been


Mott Farm, a farm site in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, was occupied in

the mid-18th Century (Bowen 1975, 1976). Pigs constituted 40% of the

individuals identified from the faunal collection, cattle contributed

36% of the individuals, and sheep 24% of the individuals. By comparing

the ages of the sheep, Joanne Bowen concluded that sheep were raised

primarily for wool, and incidentally for sale or consumption. Over 80%

of the cattle in the collection were older than three years of age, which

indicated to Bowen that cattle were used as draft and dairy animals and

slaughtered after a period of useful service.

Joanne Bowen, from whose studies (1975, 1976) the above sites have

been summarized, concluded (1976) that the predominance of domestic

animals at the sites reflected the basic foodway pattern in England,

that the changing proportions of domestic animal use at the four sites

indicated local, regional variation in that basic tradition. The

frontier Ft. Loudoun materials, on which more information was available,

indicate some significant departures from the yeomen pattern described

by Anderson (1971), particularly in the use of an extensive range of

wild mammals.

Several samples of faunal materials from Fort Michlimackinac have

been analyzed, first by Charles E. Cleland (1970) and recently a new

collection was studied by Gary Shapiro (1978a and b). FortMichlimackinac,

located at the Straits of Mackinac, Michigan, was occupied by the French

between 1715 and 1760. British soldiers manned the post from 1760 until

1780. Cleland found that both the French and British occupants relied

heavily upon domestic animals. Pig was the only domestic animal

identified by Cleland from the French Features studied, whereas the

British Features also contained cattle and sheep, in that order. Bear,

snowshoe hare, and beaver were found in both components, as well as a

wide variety of wild birds and fish. The French population at the fort,

according to Cleland, used a greater variety of mammals than did the

British occupants, who used a greater variety of fish.

While Cleland interprets the differences between French and British

collections to be quite distinct, I would interpret them to be fairly

similar, except in the use of cattle and sheep. Certainly it would not

be possible to confuse either of these collections with those discussed

by Bowen (1975, 1976) or Anderson (1971). The British adaptation at

Michlimackinac as revealed in the faunal collection studied by Cleland

supports the hypothesis being tested here that the British colonists did

not transfer their barnyard complex to the New World unmodified. There

is very little similarity with the pattern that would be expected from

Anderson's study (1971).

Gary Shapiro directed his study to British adaptations at

Michlimackinac, testing the assumption made by Cleland and others that

the British were "transplanted Englishmen" unwilling to modify their

traditional foodways to a new environment (1978a and b). Comparing

faunal materials from three archaeological Features, Shapiro found that

the British collections followed a seasonal round exploiting wild species,

indicating that the British colonists adapted their foodways to a schedule

similar to that of local Indians, with account being taken for the more

sophisticated technological level of the British residents. It might be

added here to Shapiro's analysis that the British adaptation to the

seasonal availability of resources appears to be similar to that of the

French occupants in the same location.

Turning now to faunal reports from colonial sites in the southeast,

Henry M. Miller (1978) has analyzed two late-17th Century Virginia

households, Pettus Plantation and Utopia Cottage. These two sites,

adjacent to each other on the James River, were very similar to one

another in their faunal use, in spite of documentary and archaeological

evidence of different social class (Chapter 2). Important to this

discussion is that at both sites swine constituted a plurality of the

individuals, followed by cattle, while sheep were a minor component.

Deer, raccoon, opossum, squirrel, and rabbit were also used, as were

chicken, goose, and turkey. Catfish, gar, striped bass, and marine red

drum were identified along with a few aquatic and terrestrial turtles.

The Pettus Plantation was sold in 1700 to James Bray II (Miller 1978)

and the faunal materials from one of Bray's wells has been analyzed

(Barber 1976). Barber discusses his materials in terms of usable meat.

However, to make his material comparable to that discussed above, his

presentation will be reviewed in terms of MNI, which will alter the

interpretation he made of the data. Of the domestic species, sheep were

the most abundant, followed by pigs and cattle. Cattle provided the bulk

of the edible meat followed by pigs and sheep, which were about equal

contributors. Goats were also present. Several of the cattle were

apparently under three years of age. Deer, raccoon, and opossum are

absent from the collection, although a large number of wild rabbits were

present as well as a bear and a muskrat. There are a number of birds in

the collection, but not the variety of barnyard fowl that might have

been expected from Anderson's discussion (1971). Some freshwater fish

were used, and several aquatic and terrestrial turtles.

From Williamsburg, Virginia, a similar pattern of species use

emerges. Williamsburg faunal analysis was done by Stanley J. Olsen and

recently published by Audrey Noel Hume (1978). Although proportional

contributions are not known, cattle, pigs, and sheep were reported from

all sites. Mutton was less popular according to Noel Hume than was pork

or beef (1978). In addition deer, rabbit, opossum, squirrel, and otter

were consumed, as well as a variety of wild and domestic birds. The

Williamsburg fauna also included marine fish such as black drum, sturgeon,

shad, and catfish. Turtles were esteemed as were shellfish (Noel Hume 1978).


It is clear from the above discussion that, just as Bowen had

concluded on a smaller sample of sites (1975, 1976), the British

adaptation in the New World was a highly varied one,.and not altogether

similar to the one which would have been predicted from Anderson's study

(1971). Just as Cumbaa concluded from Spanish New World materials (1975),

it appears that the British subsistence pattern in the New World was

adapted to new, local environmental conditions. Cultural affiliation,

that is traditional Old World foodways, had little to do with British

foodways in the New World. Clearly domestic animals did not buffer the

colonists from the need to adapt to new environmental factors. Efforts

made by the early colonists to transfer the English barnyard animal

complex to the New World did not entirely succeed, although a few sites

discussed above appear to conform to the Old World pattern more closely

than others. The differences observed particularly in the British,

French, and Indian War fort samples, where temporal and cultural factors

are constant, probably reflect adaptations to local environmental factors.

Using the New World British colonial foodways as a guide, a series

of predictions will be tested using the Frederica and British Period

St. Augustine faunal collections. First, it appears that either cattle

or swine will be the dominant species in the collections, with preference

to.cattle biomass. This will be in contradiction to the yeoman pattern

in which swine predominates. Wild terrestrial species were used, but not

extensively. Deer were the most popular wild species. There was a

wide range of wild birds, but not of domestic ones, a departure from the

yeoman pattern. Fish were rare (Barber 1976; Miller 1978), another

departure from the yeoman pattern. Turtles, a class not mentioned by

Anderson, were included as a minor component of the species used. It

is further predicted that the trend seen here, for British subsistence

patterns to reflect local conditions, will continue to be a factor. To

this extent, the British and the 18th Century Spanish faunal collections

from St. Augustine may be quite similar to each other, just as the

British, French, and Indian collections from Ft. Michlimackinac are.

These predictions may be refined in the following discussion as it is

seen how the British residents at St. Augustine and Frederica adapted

to those environments and the Spanish population adapted to the environs

of St. Augustine.



In the first chapter, four factors were identified as being

influential in the formation of Spanish and British subsistence strategies.

Social class, political and social environment, and cultural affiliation

have been reviewed. In this chapter the last factor, animal resources,

will be considered. The Atlantic Coastal Plain and the estuarine

environments occupied by Frederica and St. Augustine represent a series

of intergrading biotopes. These will be described in terms of their

proximity to St. Augustine and Frederica. The major portion of the

chapter will deal with local wild and domestic animal resources. Habits,

habitats, seasonal occurrences, and size of the species identified from

Frederica and St. Augustine will be discussed, along with information

about colonial use of these species where possible. As will be seen,

all of the species used at these two sites could have been encountered

within a mile or two of either Frederica or St. Augustine.

The Atlantic Coastal Plain

The Atlantic Coastal Plain (Fig. 2) is the old coastal region of

the southeastern United States. Its northern and western edge is

defined by the Fall Line, a Mesozoic Era shoreline (Johnson et al. 1974).

The coastal plain was deposited by a series of marine advances during

the Tertiary and Quaternary Periods. The soils are sands and sandy clays

of marine origin which are usually acidic. They possess a low native

fertility due to excessive leaching.

In Georgia the climate found on the coastal plain is a mild one

(Johnson et al. 1974). The average annual temperature is 60-70F.

Daily temperature maxima in July and August range within the 80's and

90'sF. Average winter temperatures are around 430F, with occasional

winter freezes. The coastal islands may be somewhat cooler than the

mainland. The rainfall pattern is for a summer rainy season, followed

by a winter drought. Average annual rainfall is about 53 inches.

Hurricanes in the late summer affect the Georgia coast about every ten

years, between August and October. A major hurricane was recorded in


The climate at St. Augustine is similar to that in Georgia. It has

been described as humid-subtropical (Mehta and Jones 1977). Most of the

precipitation falls in July and September, with spring and fall droughts

and a mean annual rainfall of 47 inches. The average annual temperature

is 690F, with daily means ranging from 810F in July to 570F in January

(Dunkle 1955). St. Augustine experiences about one hurricane every

seven years.

The Atlantic coastal plain is a low, flat region of well drained,

gently rolling hills and poorly drained flatwoods extending east and

south of the fall line to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico from

southeastern Virginia to eastern Texas, excluding the southern end of

Florida (Johnson et al. 1974). On well drained soil the dominant plant

species are long-leaf pine (Pinus palustris), loblolly pine (P. teada),

and several species of oak (Quercus sp.). On poorly drained soil the

dominant species are long-leaf pine and slash pine (P. ellioti) with a

dense ground cover of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), gallberry (Ilex

glabra), and wire grass (Aristida stricta). This is the community

referred to as the Pine Barrens sector by Lewis Larson (1970). The long-

leaf pine is adapted to a humid subtropical climate of mild winters, hot

summers, high rainfall, and frequent ground fires. Today the long-leaf

pine community is much less extensive and formidable than it was in the


Other biotopes also are found on the coastal plain. Where the soil

is very poorly drained pond pines (P. serotina) dominate. Slash pine

(P. ellioti) is the common member of the Pine Flatwoods community along

the coast of Florida, while long-leaf pines are less common on the coast

than they are further inland. At St. Augustine, sand pine (P. clausa)

together with evergreen species of Lyonia and Quercus forms a scrub

community that is common on the dunes of ancient shore lines that form

sandy ridges back from the present coast. Sand pine do not occur on the

coast (Simons pers. comm.).

The Southern Mixed Hardwood community is dominated by oaks (Quercus

sp.), although the composition of this community can be quite diverse.

Live oak (Q. virginiana), laurel oak (Q. laurifolia), sweet gum

(Liquidamber styraciflua), magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), red bay

(Persea borbonia), pignut hickory (Carya glabra), cabbage palm (Sabel

palmetto), and Florida elm (Ulmus americana floridana) are the more

common species. Near St. Augustine this forest type is found bordering

freshwater creeks and floodplain swamps or in low, fertile areas near

the coast. Wooded swamps are composed principally of pond cypress

(Taxodium ascendens), swamp tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica), and/or red maple

(Acer rubrum). The coastal plain is traversed by many sluggish, meander-

ing streams and dotted by innumberable swamps, ponds, and lakes where

these latter communities can be found.

S Another important terrestrial community is one caused by human

activity. Disturbed habitats are found in urban centers, as garden plots,

and as agricultural fields. While the plant species found in these areas

are largely selected by human agents, the wild animal populations exploit-

ing them are self-selected. Usually the animals are attracted either to

the crops grown there, to the prey species attracted to the crops,or to

the hedgerows bordering the fields.

An important topographic feature of the coastal plain is a series

of offshore islands known as sea, or barrier, islands. While a chain

of these islands stretches from New Jersey to Texas, the segment between

North Island, South Carolina, and Anastasia Island, Florida, shares a

similar natural history (Johnson et al. 1974). The Georgia islands,

such as St. Simons Island where Frederica is located, are separated

from the mainland by extensive marshland, tidal streams, and sound

systems (Fig. 4). Anastasia Island is separated from the mainland by

less than half a mile (Fig. 3). Nonetheless, between Anastasia Island

and the mainland lies a rich estuarine environment containing many of

the same features as at St. Simons Island. Low sandy beaches border

the seaward edges of the islands. Elevation on the islands is usually

less than 25 feet, although individual dunes may be much higher.

' The major communities on these islands are maritime oak forests

and pine forests. The oak forest is dominated by live oak (Q. virginiana)

with cabbage palms (Sabel palmetto) and a low woody understory. Pine

forests are found on better drained portions of the islands and may be

the by-product of old agricultural clearings (Johnson et al. 1974).

Between the beach and the first dune crest there is a salt spray

tolerant community of grasses and herbs characterized by sea oats

(Uniola paniculata). At St. Simons Island, the pine community is

composed principally of loblolly pine (P. taeda) with some slash pine

(P. ellioti) or long-leaf pine (P. palustris) (Johnson et al. 1974).

Anastasia Island at St. Augustine is vegetated by a saw-palmetto scrub

on the highest elevations, with a live oak-palmetto biotope bordering

this (Deagan 1976). There is a mildly brackish marsh dominated by clump

cordgrass (Spartina bakeri) on the southern part of the Island.

Michael Dahlberg has defined two major habitats for marine organisms

(1975). The inshore area includes the waters along the beaches and in

the estuaries. The offshore region encompasses the continental shelf.

The inshore beach waters are an area of turbidity and surf made uneven

by sandbars. Many of the same species found inside the estuary are also

found adjacent to the beaches.

The estuarine environment lies behind the barrier islands and is

protected from the ocean by them. Estuaries are subject to regular tidal

fluctuation through a series of inlets which separate the islands from

one another. There is considerable current in these inlets due to tidal

flow and as a consequence the inlets are usually deeper than adjacent

coastal or estuarine waters (Larson 1970). The lower estuary is a saline

environment diluted by freshwater runoff from the mainland. It contains

deep bays, or sounds, surrounded by salt marshes which are traversed

throughout by tidal creeks of various sizes. These creeks are the access

route for humans into this area of dense vegetation and soft mud.

Using the height of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) as an

index, the salt marsh biotope has been divided into several communities

(Johnson et al. 1974). Spartina sp. forms vast flat marshes within the

estuary. The "Tall Spartina edge marsh" is the border of vegetation

found immediately adjacent to the low tide mark. Where the marsh is

inundated by tidal waters for several hours each day the "Short Spartina

low marsh" is defined. The Short Spartina high marsh" biotope occurs

where daily tidal flow is short. Smooth cordgrass is replaced by salt-

meadow cordgrass (Spartina patens) where the marsh is only flooded a few

times a week, and by needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) where tidal inunda-

tion is rare. Bordering the saltmarsh is a shrub community of salt

myrtle (Baccharis glomeruliflora), groundsel tree (B. halimifolia), and

southern red cedar (Juniperus silicicola).

Freshwater is found in a few locations. As ponds or sloughs on

barrier islands they-contain a variety of aquatic plants depending on

depth. Freshwater and brackish marshes are found around the mouths of

large mainland streams. As they extend up the rivers these become the

cypress-gum or hardwood swamps discussed above. There is a small fresh-

water spring on the northern end of Anastasia Island.

The offshore habitats lie beyond the barrier island beaches and are

defined by depth rather than by vegetation or salinity (Dahlberg 1975).

The continental shelf on which these biotopes are located is about 70

to 80 miles wide, with a gentle drop of about two feet per mile. The

coastal habitat is a zone of transition between the beaches and a depth

of 8 to 10 fathoms. When these waters are diluted by freshwater (around

inlets), they are turbid and productive. Both offshore and inshore

fauna are found here, due to the transitional nature of the habitat.

The open shelf, between 10 and 30 fathoms, is of intermediate fertility

and does not support a rich fauna, nor do the shelf edge (30-40 fathoms)

and the lower shelf edge (60-100 fathoms) habitats. The open waters

beyond are clear and less productive (Johnson et al. 1974). Where live

bottoms, or reefs, are found (9-30 fathoms) a diverse subtropical and

tropical fish faunas are found also. These include groupers (Serranidae),

snappers (Lutjanidae), and porgies (Sparidae). Two such reefs occur

off St. Augustine (Freeman and Walford 1976). It is not known if similar

reefs are found off St. Simons Island. A reef has been recently identified

off Sapelo Island, an island just north of St. Simons, at 10-12 fathoms

(Dahlberg 1975). Such shallow reefs are less-diverse than deeper ones

(Dahlberg 1975).

St. Augustine and Frederica

Comparing Figures 3 and 4 it can be seen that both communities are

located within estuarine environments. Two important differences appear.

First, Anastasia Island is much smaller than St. Simons Island. Second,

St. Augustine is located directly on the sound, whereas Frederica lies

some three miles north of St. Simons Sound on the Frederica River and

three miles south of Sapelo or Altamaha Sound.

St. Augustine occupies a low, sandy spit of land between the

Matanzas River and Santa Maria Creek. Originally located on Anastasia

Island, the town was moved to its present position in 1572 (Chatelain

1941). The Matanzas River is not actually a river at all, but an arm

of the sea extending behind Anastasia Island from Matanzas Inlet at the

south end of Anastasia Island north to St. Augustine Inlet, a distance

of 15 miles. The North River parallels the Atlantic coast for 13 miles

and did not originally have a northern outlet. Its waters were fresh

in the upper reaches before channelization. To the west about a half

mile beyond tiny Santa Maria Creek lies the San Sebastian River. Although

subject to tidal action in its lower reaches, the San Sebastian is fresh

upstream. Inland from the coast the land slowly rises in elevation to a

broad coastal plane of pine flatwoods interrupted by freshwater streams,

swamps, and ponds and by sand pine scrub on the ancient dune ridges. At

about the latitude of St. Augustine the Gulf Stream current so important

to Spanish shipping begins to flow away from North America toward Europe

(Boniface 1971). Anastasia Island is about 3 miles long and less than a

mile wide. The lagoon behind it is deep and is one of the few protected

harbors on Florida's Atlantic coast.

The garrison at St. Augustine used this environment in a number of

ways. Two sentinel posts were maintained on Anastasia Island as part of

the defense system, one at Matanzas Inlet, and the other at the northern

end of the island. Ships were often anchored at the north end of

Anastasia rather than off the town proper and a wharf was built here in

the 18th Century (Olano 1740; Jeffreys 1762). In the 1500's at least

there were fields on Anastasia (Chatelain 1941:Fig. 2), and later fisher-

men possibly maintained a weir on the bars in the Inlet itself (Jeffreys

1762). In addition the marsh north of the fort, known as Hospital Creek

today, could have been extensively used, as it is today, by fishermen.

There were fields grown within sight of the fort between Santa Maria

Creek and the San Sebastian River (Chatelain 1941:Fig. 2, 4, 10, 13).

St. Simons Island is a more hospitable island than Anastasia and

today is graced by large oak trees with occasional pine hammocks. The

island is about 12 miles long and 3 miles wide. On the seaward side it

is buffered from the Atlantic by Little St. Simons Island and Sea Island.

Consequently the only strip of beach on the island is on the southern

tip along St. Simons Sound. The town is located on the Frederica River,

which may be likened to the North or Tolomoto River at St. Augustine

except that the Frederica River eventually connects with Altamaha Sound

at the north end of the Island. The river is a meandering stream which

is eroding into the bluff on which the town of Frederica is located. On

the far side of the stream is an extensive marsh system. There are

several freshwater sloughs and small streams on the island, which is

separated from the mainland by about 3 miles of marsh and tidal streams.

Like the Spanish colony, the garrison at Frederica also manned an outpost

on the southern end of their island, and had extensive fields adjacent

to the fort (Reese 1963).

'Species Accounts

A wide variety of animals use the biotopes discussed above, not all

of which will be reviewed here. In order to make the following presen-

tation reasonably manageable, only those species which have actually been

identified from either Frederica or St. Augustine will be reviewed. In

addition, Tables 2 and 3 summarize the data on seasonality, habits, and

preferred habitat presented here. When possible, these data will be

supplemented by traveler's accounts and data on colonial use of these

species. The classes will be discussed in the text in the same order as

they appear in the Tables: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, sharks,

rays, and bony fish. Unless otherwise noted, species accounts were

compiled from the following sources: Bent 1962a, 1962b, 1963; Bull and

Farrand 1977; Burt and Grossenheider 1964; Caldwell et al. 1959; Carr

1952; Conant 1975; Dahlberg 1975; Freeman and Walford 1976; Golley 1962;

Hoese and Moore 1977; Howell 1932; Iverson 1977; Jennings n.d.; Johnson

et al. 1974; Jordon 1969; Kortright 1943; Lowery 1974; McClane 1974a and

1974b; McIlHenny 1935; McLane 1955; Palmer 1976; Peterson 1947; Robbins
et al. 1966; Schwartz and Burgess 1975; Sprunt 1954; and Youatt 1847.

An animal's use of its environment is not as clear-cut or restricted

as Tables 3 and 4 suggest. Species generally use a variety of biotopes,

with preference for one or two of these. Likewise nocturnal animals can

occasionally be found abroad during the day, and vice versa. The daily

cycle of many marsh animals is timed to coincide with the tides. Peak

feeding activity occurs at the turn of the tides, whether that is at

noon or midnight. However fish that prefer to feed at night may be more

active at the evening tide than at the diurnal tide. Species which

hibernate further north, seldom reduce their activity on the coastal

plain except during spells of exceptionally cold weather. In terms of

human use of animal species, the capture technique employed can circum-

vent the habits of the animal. For example, use of a turtle trap makes

the fact that turtles are diurnal immaterial to the collector, who can

collect the trapped animals whenever it is convenient.

The presence of marine species is correlated with shifting water

temperatures and the salinity of the inshore waters. The salinity of

the estuary varies considerably according to rainfall and freshwater

drainage (Gilmore 1977). During the wet season, runoff may lower

salinity considerably, and affect the species present. Species which

require greater salinity must temporarily retreat to more saline off-

shore waters. During cold spells water temperature drops to lethal

levels for some of the more tropical fish and these also must retreat

to warmer offshore waters. In addition, inshore waters become colder

in Florida during July and August due to cold water upwellings. Fishing

is usually poor during these months (Gilmore 1977).


The opossum, Didelphis virginiana, is a small, cat-sized animal

weighing about 1.9 to 2.8 Kgs. Opossum are omnivorous and nocturnal.

They prefer deciduous forests in bottomlands, and along streams. Through-

out the study area they are a common mammal, but not very prevalent in

salt marshes. Opossums are often accused of raiding gardens and hen

houses. William Bartram in his travels reported (1955) that they were

eaten by residents of Florida and Georgia, who considered them a deli-

cious, healthy food. Some considered opossum better than raccoon, which

was tough and stringy (Hilliard 1972).

Two rabbit species may be found in the study area, the cottontail

(Sylvilagus floridanus) and the marsh rabbit (S. palustris). In most

cases the post-cranial skeletons of these species are difficult to

distinguish from one another. The cottontail weighs about 1 Kg and is

a nocturnal herbivore. The marsh rabbit weighs around 1.2 Kgs. The

cottontail prefers uplands, both wooded and open, particularly old fields

with thickets, or hedgerows of thick grass and is common near agricul-

tural lands (Hilliard 1972). The marsh rabbit prefers lowlands, partic-

ularly swamps and brackish water areas, and is characteristic of high


Two species of squirrels also inhabit the area, the gray squirrel

(Sciurus carolinensis) and the fox squirrel (S. niger). The gray

squirrel, about 461-512 grams, is found in hardwood forests and urban

areas, usually near trees. The fox squirrel, 821-972 grams, prefers

pine uplands. Fox squirrels tolerate more open conditions than gray

squirrels and are frequently seen near corn or soybean fields, in which

they feed by day.

The hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus), a small rodent weighing

about 86 grams, has been called the most abundant mammal in Georgia by

Frank Golley (1962). They do much damage to garden crops because they

are moderately abundant in cover around house sites.

The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus), roof rat (R. rattus), and house

mouse (Mus musculus), are all introduced species of Old World origin.

Presumably their introduction was unintentional since they are serious

pests, doing extensive damage to human property and acting as transport

for disease. The Norway rat is omnivorous, but are particularly attracted

to stored grains and garbage dumps. They are also found in salt marshes.

Roof rats live by preference in walls and lofts of barns, or under refuse.

Corn is a major food source. House mice are also human commensals living

in old fields, barns, and houses. They are omnivorous, preferring small

grain seeds and herb seeds.

The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) may have been of almost any

known size and either of Old World or New World ancestry. The Florida

Tocobaga ate dogs (Bullen 1978). The Spanish claimed to have eaten them

when placed under extreme privation due to delays in the situado.

Although it is not expected that the dog remains to be studied will show

evidence of butchering marks or burning, the possibility that the Spanish

did consume dog remains. It should be noted that dogs were a regular

food item in the Mediterranean region and Frederick J. Simoons reports

that dog flesh is still valued as a delicacy in Extremadura, Spain (1967).

If the Spaniards at St. Augustine did eat dog flesh, it may not have been

out of necessity.

The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a medium sized animal

(ca. 3.5 Kg) which is nocturnal and prefers a habitat with a mixture of

fields and woods. Areas of cultivated fields surrounded by woods are

particularly favored. This is reasonable considering that their pre-

ferred prey species are rabbits, hispid cotton rats, mice, pocket gophers,

Norway rats, and gallinaeceous birds which also frequent shrub thickets.

Fox have often been implicated as barnyard raiders (Johnson and Brown

1903). During the colonial period there was some trade in fox skins

(Bruce 1895).

The black bear (Ursus americanus) weighs around 120 to 150 Kgs, is

omnivorous, and generally nocturnal. While they may den in the winter,

they may not always do so. They prefer heavily wooded areas but also

frequent corn fields and swamps. Bartram (1955) noted that bear and

raccoon were both extremely fond of young corn. Bear meat was occasion-

ally preserved for storage (Reddish pers. comm.), was thought to be

"least apt to rise" in the stomach, and was valued as an aphrodisiac

(Booth 1971). Bear fat was a valued grease (Gray 1933) and served as

candle material in St. Augustine (Bushnell 1978c), and to keep firearms

clean (Kirkland ca. 1967). It also served as an insect repellant

(Booth 1971).

The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is one of the most abundant mammals in

the salt marsh. These animals weigh about 5-10Kgs and are generally

nocturnal. Besides being members of the salt marsh community they also

utilize low lying farmland and mixed woodlands. They frequently raid

garbage areas and have been associated with garden and barnyard thefts

as well. Bartram, discussing an encounter with raccoon and opossum,

considered coons delicious eating (1955), and the British in Virginia

thought that coon meat was equal to lamb (Weeden 1890). In addition to

being good to eat, there was some trade in raccoon skins. Raccoon meat

was thought to be beneficial on swellings and inflammations of the body

(Booth 1971).

The bobcat (Lynx rufus) weighs about 8.2 Kgs,is nocturnal, and

prefers river bottoms and swamps. Primarily carnivorous, it seeks out

rabbits, mice, and opossums as food. It is found around old fields and

thickets and has been implicated in barnyard raids. There was some trade

in bobcat hides during the colonial period (Bruce 1895). Its flesh was

compared with veal, although it was thought to be sweeter than veal

(Booth 1971).

The domestic cat (Felis domesticus) was transported from Europe as

was the horse (Equus caballus). The horse, like its allies the mule

and donkey, were not very common in the British colonial period (Gray

1933; Bonner 1964). However, the supply of horses in Georgia increased

after Oglethorpe's 1740 attack on St. Augustine. He returned to

Savannah with several hundred head of captured cattle and a number of

horses (Bonner 1964). There were some horses in Spanish St. Augustine,

although they do not appear to have been plentiful. The elite seem to

have access to them (Bushnell 1978c), and some wild horses were hunted

in the spring (Grinan 1756). According to Grinan, there were no wild

ass or mules (1756).

Both Spanish and British colonists claim to have eaten horses

during periods of starvation. Consumption of horse flesh had once been

common in Europe. During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church attempted

to abolish this "pagen" practice (Simoons 1967), but Spain was occupied

by Moors during much of this time so the custom of eating horses endured

in that country longer than elsewhere. There was a revival in horse-

flesh consumption among both the poor and the elite of France in the

18th Century (Simoons 1967).

The pig (Sus scrofa) is one of the most interesting and important

of the mammalian food species, although Bonner says that they were of

less importance in Georgia than cattle (Bos taurus) (1964). One of the

principal reasons that swine were popular animals was that they require

very little care. In Britain (Fussell 1937b; Anderson 1971) and in the

British colonies (Weeden 1890; Bruce 1895; Grey 1933; Bonner 1964) pigs

were almost totally neglected. Occasionally pigs would be set out on

islands in order to limit their dispersal (Thompson 1942), but this

was not a universal habit. The Spanish as a matter of policy released

both hogs and cattle during their explorations so that their increase

could support travelers on passing or wrecked ships. The increase was

remarkable in many cases (Haring 1966; Sauer 1969). The Indians of

Florida provided the French colonists with pigs before St. Augustine

was founded and also supplied pigs to settlers in South Carolina (Towne

and Wentworth 1950). Presumably these had been wild animals, escapees

from Hernando de Soto's journey or from a passing ship.

The feral pig is a wild and resourceful animal.

The real American hog is what is termed the wood hog; they
are long in the leg, narrow on the back, short in the body,
flat on the sides, with a long snout, very rough in their
hair, in make more like the fish called a perch than any
thing I can describe. You may as well think of stopping
a crow as those hogs. They will go to a distance from a
fence, take a run, and leap through the rails three or
four feet from the ground, turning themselves sidewise.
These hogs suffer such hardships as no other animal could
endure.(Parkinson in Gray 1933)

They prefer moist bottomlands, feeding on seeds, roots, fruits, nuts,

mushrooms, snakes, larvae, worms, eggs, carrion, mice, small mammals,

kitchen refuse, and feces. As a feral animal the pig is nocturnal and


Pigs are frequent raiders of gardens and fields and it may be an

incident related to this habit that gave Bonner the impression that pigs

were not valued in the Georgia colony. Oglethorpe did not permit pigs

to roam the streets of Frederica as they did other towns (hogs roamed

the streets of New York City well into the 19th Century). When a herd

of pigs invaded Frederica, Oglethorpe had them all shot (Bonner 1964).

Prior to the 1800's there were no standard breeds of hogs, or other

domestic livestock (Rouse 1977). The size range of the animal appears

to vary dramatically, as does the conformation, depending upon heredity

and food supplies. In 1827, a contest was held in North Carolina for

the largest hog, neatly dressed. The winner was a 2 1/2 year old

weighing 238 Kgs (Southern Agriculturalist 1828). An average slaughtered

weight of 4,000 southern hogs in 1860 was 63 Kgs (Fogel 1965), which is

more likely. A feral hog of about eight months weighed at the Florida

State Museum recently tipped the scales at 8.5 Kgs. Two adult feral

females of about 1 1/2 years weighed 34 Kgs and 38 Kgs. A male of the

same age weighed 58 Kgs. The hogs sold by John Pynchon, of Massachusetts,

in 1662-1683 averaged 77 Kgs (Weeden 1890).

Pigs have several attractive qualities that make them a profitable

crop. In addition to the fact that they are easily reared (as long as

you do not try to pen them in) and will subsist on a variety of foods,

they will also provide a larger and quicker return of flesh in proportion

to their live weight and food consumed. The pig stores 35% of the calories

it consumes, contrasted to 11% for cattle and sheep (Towne and Wentworth

1950). A carcass yields 65-80% dressed meat compared to 50-60% for

cattle and 45-55% for sheep. A pig gains one pound for every three to

five pounds of feed, and it will eat a great variety of foods. In 18

months a pig may gain 90 Kgs,with a yield of 54 usable kilograms. Almost

the entire carcass can be put to some use, and pork takes more kindly

to preservation than do other meats. Nutritionally pork is very

satisfying due to its high fat content. Pork also contains more thiamin

than any other meat (Towne and Wentworth 1950). It is little wonder

that salt pork was one of the habitual foods of the urban poor in Europe

between 1391 and 1560 (Braudel 1967).

The Spanish at St. Augustine made use of both feral and penned hogs.

In 1574, Dr. Alonso de Caceres reported that there were fifty pigs

running loose and that these were wild and skinny (1574). This number

surely increased. Pigs roamed the streets of the town and were raised

in the backyards along with poultry (Boniface 1971). Due to the

difficulty of confining hogs, some of these animals may have been free

without the design of their owners.

Deer, Odocoileus virginianus, was also an important species in the

colonial economy, not only for meat, but for skins as well. The average

weight of deer on the coastal plain is around 46-54 Kgs on the coastal

plain. It adapts to a wide variety of habitats, such as deep forests,

swamps, and open farmland. It also will feed at the edge of salt marshes.

Its preferred habitat is a brushy woodland, or disturbed situation.

Deer feed during dawn and dusk hours, and are attracted to fields and

gardens. Deer were said to have destroyed three acres of peas belonging

to one Georgia colonial farmer (Coulter and Saye 1949). Today they eat

young citrus trees and are a major crop pest. Trade in deer skins was

extensive prior to the Spanish settlement at St. Augustine. In the'

1560's Indians brought quantities of deer skins to trade with English

ships scouting the Florida coast (Chatelain 1941). As was mentioned

earlier the British continued this trade. A collection of skins evac-

uated in front of a Spanish scouting party in 1685 required 150 Indians

to carry. At another time the Spanish were successful in capturing a

shipment that included 500 deerskins (Bolton and Ross 1968).

Like pigs, cattle (Bos taurus) were popular colonial livestock and,

like hogs, they usually roamed free over the countryside. According to

John E. Rouse (1977) there were two basic sources of cattle in the New

World. The British brought with them, or imported from Ireland, a pre-

breed which he calls the Native American cattle. These animals were not

well adapted to the humid subtropics of Florida or the rest of the

Hispanic Empire.

The cradle of the cattle industry instead lay in Spain, around

Castile, where a tough, hardy pre-breed which he calls the criollo

developed. In Spain, as in England, cattle were originally raised for

traction rather than for beef. By the end of the Reconquest of Spain

in 1492 some of the northern provinces of Spain also raised vast herds

of cattle for beef and hides (Bishko 1952). In these areas cattle even

took precedence over sheep. These animals were tough, resourceful, and

adapted to a hot, humid environment where pasturage was low in nutrients,

and scarce. The Galician and Castilian method of herding was very similar

to the round-up technique transferred to the New World with the cattle for

whom it had been developed (Rouse 1977).

The weight of cattle is highly variable. An English beef in 1710

weighed about 167 Kgs (Thompson 1942) although by 1795 the average weight

had risen to 362 Kgs (Fussel 1929, 1937a). A modern Florida scrub cow,

descendent of the original Spanish criollo cattle, weighs about 204 Kgs

when grazed on pine flatwoods, and 294 Kgs on prairie. A bull weighs

slightly more (Rouse 1977). The average weight of a cow in colonial

Georgia was 317 Kgs, with oxen averaging 362 Kgs (Bonner 1964).

Cattle usually were allowed to fend for themselves. In Georgia

the Spanish pattern was followed, and in both Florida and Georgia roving

cattle were a problem since they raided fields and gardens (Bonner 1964).

In an effort to control this cattle were occasionally confined to islands

(Andres de San Miguel in Garcia 1902). The Spanish (Grinan 1757; Arnade

1965; Bushnell 1978b) and the British (Bonner 1964) conducted annual

cattle roundups, but cattle thefts were common. There was also a good

deal of raiding across the border in territory claimed by both Spain and

England. Spanish Florida in the 1700's must have had more cattle than

is normally credited if Oglethorpe could return from his 1740 seige with

several hundred head of cattle. In 1727 Governor Perier of French

Louisiana requested to purchase 800 head from Florida (Gray 1933). It

was reported in 1602 that every family at St. Augustine had four to ten

cows (Arnade 1959).

Cattle raising, however, is not quite as easy as swine raising.

Although cattle will forage for themselves, the product is a scrawny,

rather than a lean, beast. They will not produce a good weight gain

except with improved feeds, and never provide as good a yield as hogs.

They are also more subject to debilitating diseases. A pig in its first

eight months attains almost adult size although it was not the general

custom to slaughter them until 18 months (Commissioner of Patent Reports

1844). Cattle do not provide the return for effort of pigs. In addition

beef does not preserve as well as pork and so was not as highly valued

on the market (Weeden 1890). There was, however, an active demand for

cattle hides (Rouse 1977) and both cheese (Harman 1969) and milk (Boyd

et al. 1951) were used by the Spanish residents in Florida.

Sheep (Ovis aries) and goats (Capra hircus), appear not to have been

very popular in the southern colonies or in Florida. Sheep were partic-

ularly disfavored because they were helpless to defend themselves against

wild dogs and wolves and would not reproduce themselves freely (Weeden

1850; Thompson 1942). Since the preferred animal husbandry technique

was to turn the animals loose, this was an obvious drawback.

The early colonists did bring sheep and goats with them. The French

had brought sheep with them to Ft. Caroline and Menendez also brought

sheep with him, but they did not do well (Lyon 1977a). When sheep were

turned loose at Frederica in 1735, they reverted to wildness and could

not be herded as they had been in England (Bonner 1964). Goats also were

included among the Spanish livestock inventories (Lyon 1977a). They

fared better than did sheep because they could defend themselves against

carnivores (Bonner 1964). Goats were introduced to Georgia in 1741 when

Robert Williams brought some over, but they were not immediately popular

(Bonner 1964).

Sheep had been a major herd animal in Spain, perhaps because the

Moors preferred mutton to beef (Rouse 1977), and were prohibited from

eating pork (Simoons 1967). It may be no coincidence that northern Spain,

the area under Moorish domination for the shortest period of time and the

first area to free itself, was the center of cattle raising in contrast

to the more southerly provinces which did not expel the Moors until 1492,

and were sheep raisers.


A great variety of wild birds and some domestic ones appear in the

species lists from St. Augustine and Frederica. It should be noted that

birds provide a number of useful items in addition to flesh. Eggs of

wild birds were often consumed (Johnson and Brown 1903; Sprunt 1954;

Braudel 1967) and feathers were a valuable commodity. In 1702, five

pounds of feathers could be bartered for the value of one beaver skin

in Massachusetts (Weeden 1890). In Georgia, geese, in particular, were

raised for feathers, and it was also thought that having geese graze a

field was beneficial to the crop (Bonner 1964). It is not possible to

assess the use of the birds identified for these purposes. The flesh

of a wide variety of birds was consumed, both adults and juvenile birds,

called squabs (Bartram 1955). It would appear that in terms of exploi-

tation, birds might not only have been captured at their preferred day-

time feeding area, but at their rookeries as well. Consequently,

reference to roosting habits will be included below. In order to keep

the account as succinct as possible, the birds will be reviewed by order

rather than by genus.

Pelecaniformes are represented in the collections by cormorant

(Phalacrocorax auritus) and gannet (Moris bassana). Both are water birds

which are gregarious and feed on fish. Gannets are essentially winter

residents in the study area and the number of resident cormorants

increases in the winter as northern individuals come south.

Ardeiformes present in the samples include the great blue heron

(Ardea herodias), American egret (Casmerodius albus), Louisiana heron

(Hydranassa tricolor), little blue heron (Florida coerulea), black-

crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), and white ibis (Eudocimus
albus). With the exception of the night heron all are commonly found in

the salt marsh as well as around freshwater ponds, sloughs, and streams.

The great blue heron and the American egret are found also on the beaches

and along the sounds where they can wade in search of fish. The white

ibis is not only frequently found in the salt marshes, but also visits

fields and pastures. The other three species are either salt marsh

residents, or found near freshwater. All of the species are diurnal in

habit, except the night heron, and all are communal roosters at night;

in fact, many of these species share their night-time abode with one
another in trees and low hanging brush near water.

Many of these birds were part of the once-active feather trade, but

also could have been used for food. Night herons, particularly young

ones, were often shot, and white ibis, called "curlews," were referred
to in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings novel The Yearling (in Sprunt 1954).

Until very recently heron eggs were a favorite food (Johnson and Brown

1903). Herons, egrets, wild swans, bitterns, cranes, and flamingos were

consumed in France between 1391 and 1560 (Braudel 1967).

Anseriformes is a varied order which includes the following: the
Canada goose (Branta canadensis), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), black

duck (A. rubripes), Florida duck (A. fulvigula), gadwell (A. strepera),

green-winged teal (A. carolinensis), blue-winged teal (A. discors),

shoveller (Spatula clypeata), wood duck (Aix sponsa), redhead (Aythya

americana), ring-necked duck (A. collaris), scaup (Aythya marilla),

hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) and red-breasted merganser

(Mergus serrator). With the exception of the wood duck and the Florida

duck most individuals of these species are migratory, being found here

only in the fall and winter. All are found in flocks either in sheltered

waters or in tidal streams. The wood duck prefers quiet, secluded bodies

of freshwater. Geese often visit fields and gardens. Until recently

only the mottled duck or Florida duck of the genus Anas would be found

nesting in salt marshes, although the black duck, which often interbreeds

with the Florida duck, also is found in salt marshes. The shoveller

prefers freshwater, as does the wood duck, the redhead, the ring-necked

duck and the red-breasted merganser. Scaup, however, raft in salt water

during the winter in large flocks and the hooded merganser also is found

in estuaries. The redhead is a nighttime feeder but they, like the

scaup, form large daytime rafts.

Several of these birds may have been tamed. The Canada goose and

mallard were listed in the earliest American Poultry Association's

Standard of Excellence (1874) and breeding experiments had been done to

improve the breeds (Johnson and Brown 1903). Wood ducks had been tamed

successfully (Johnson and Brown 1903). It will be remembered that

Anderson also referred to tamed birds (1971).

Accipitriformes are represented by several birds of prey, which

could not be identified down to a useful category, and two genera of

vultures, the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and the black vulture

(Coragyps atratus). These two birds are common scavengers around garbage

dumps and may represent non-food activity; however, they and other

members of this order were hunted widely as food (Booth 1971).

Galliformes include several genera, some of which might have been

domestic species. These include: the bobwhite (Colinus virginianus),

the domestic chicken (Gallus gallus), and the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).

The turkey is thought to be a wild rather than a domestic species because

of the difficulty encountered in raising them until recently due to

diseases (Johnson and Brown 1903; Schorger 1966). The wild turkey was

once very common in the area, preferring moist hardwood swamps, where it

is found today in a habitat shared with feral swine. Although flocks of

3-4 individuals are found today, flocks of up to 40 individuals were

reported by Jamestown settlers (in Bruce 1895). Turkeys roost in trees.

Bobwhite prefer open pine-lands and thickets. In the winter coveys of

up to 24 birds can be seen foraging in open fields. Neither of these

species is found in the salt marsh and both are gregarious birds.

As with the other Old World domesticants introduced by the colonists,

chickens were introduced before breed registers were established. Since

chickens were basically allowed to fend for themselves, with occasional

scraps to keep them close, it is assumed that the chickens used by the

early colonists would have been small in size, roughly comparable to a

Mediterranean class, Brown Leghorn Bantam (Wilson pers. comm.). A

Bantam dozen eggs weigh about 396 grams (Johnson and Brown 1903) and

the bird itself weighs about 680 grams (Florida State Museum files).

Chickens, although small, nonetheless represented an available food

supply which could be raised in the yards or streets until needed, when

the tough bird was probably boiled rather than baked! Chickens will

eat a variety of table scraps, and the Spaniards even fed them shellfish

(Caceres 1574). Predators, including opossums, raccoons, foxes, owls,

and snakes take a heavy toll on barnyard chickens and their eggs.

Sam Hilliard suggests, though, that chickens were experts in survival

in an era when protection provided by humans was minimal (1972). They

could fly well and roosted twenty to fifty feet above the ground. In

spite of these qualities they may at one time have been very expensive

in Spanish St. Augustine (Geiger 1937), although Indian villages had

these birds as early as the 16th Century (Garcia 1902).

Gruiformes includes a number of varied species: whooping crane

(Grus americana), sandhill crane (Grus canadensis), and clapper rail

(Rallus longirostris). Since whooping cranes no longer are found in the

area it is not known if they were permanent residents or not, but they

once were found in salt marshes. The sandhill crane is today a resident

of freshwater marshes and has both migratory and non-migratory popu-

lations. Both species are gregarious, and once fed in grain fields as

well as in marshes. Bartram says that the "Savannah crane" makes an

excellent soup (1955) although it is not known to which crane he was

referring. Clapper rails are still popular game birds. Clapper rails

are one of the most typical of the salt marsh species, where they are

concealed in the tall grasses. Rails are permanent residents of the

salt marshes.

Charadriiformes include the following species: killdeer (Charadrius

vociferus), Wilson's snipe (Capella gallinago), long-billed curlew

(Numenius americanus), willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), dowitcher

(Limnodromus griseus), black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus), and

two-striped thick knee (Burhinus bistriatus). This last bird is an

introduced species from Mexico found at the mestizo household of 18th

Century St. Augustine (SA16-23) by Cumbaa and discussed at length by

him (1975). He interpreted the bird to be a watch-bird. The other birds

are common beach and mud flat species except for the snipe which is a

freshwater slough and open ground resident. The willet is found more

often in the salt marsh than on the beach and killdeer often feed in

fields and pastures. These last two species are permanent residents,

as are stilts. Most of these species were in recent years popular game

birds, and generally referred to as curlews.

The razor-billed auk (Alca torda) is also a member of Charadriiformes,

but Florida does not constitute its normal range. Unlike the thick-knee,

it was probably not brought here as a watch-bird, but came here on its

own. The auk is a small arctic bird which frequents the open sea and

occasionally winters as far south as New'England. No explanation is

offered for its presence at St. Augustine other than to add that there

have been several sightings of these birds on the Florida coast

(Cruickshank 1967; Robertson 1967; Kale 1976) and they have also been

reported from a few aboriginal sites in Florida (Hamon 1959; Fradkin


Columbiformes include the rock dove or domestic pigeon (Columba

livia) and the mourning dove (Zenaidura macroura). The rock dove was a

European domestic introduction which soon became feral. As feral animals,

they continue to prefer human habitations and urban areas where they

congregate in large numbers on public monuments, buildings, and in parks.

Mourning doves are permanent residents in Florida whose numbers are

swelled in the winter by migrants. They are found in large groups in

urban areas, cultivated fields and pastures, and on dunes.

Strigiformes are represented by a single species, the barred owl

(Strix varia). It is not.known if this bird was eaten, but considering

the number of rodents and chickens which might have been around houses

in the colonial period, the owl may have been attracted to that resource

and accidently been included in the refuse. The barred owl today is

found as a permanent resident near the edges of towns. In view of the

range of wild fowl that did end up in the stew pot (Braudel 1967; Anderson

1971) it does not seem unlikely that the owl also was eaten.

Passeriformes is a diverse order of perching birds, represented here

by the fish crow (Corvus ossifragus) and the common grackle (Quiscalus

quiscula). Both of these animals are common birds in coastal areas and

both are attracted to garbage dumps, gardens, and fields. Considering

the nursery rhyme about "4 and 20 blackbirds" and the fact that bird pies

were common menu items (Anderson 1971) these species may well be food

items rather than accidental inclusions. Blackbirds are mentioned by

Braudel (1967) among birds commonly consumed in France.

Reptiles and Amphibians

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) can attain a
length of between 1.8 meters and 5.0 meters, with a record of 5.8 meters.

Its flesh is quite tasty and is esteemed, as are the eggs. Alligators

prefer quiet freshwater sloughs and ponds on barrier islands or on the

mainland, but they also are found in tidal creeks and sounds as they

move between freshwater and brackish marshes. Alligators also inhabit

salt marsh. Colonials thought that alligator meat would cure ulcers

and cancer (Booth 1971).

Most turtles are rare in the estuarine environment. Six species of

normally terrestrial or freshwater turtles do manage to survive in the

coastal area, including the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). The

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