Digitized with the permission of the
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS
FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD
SOURCE DOCUMENT ADVISORY
Digital images were created from printed source
documents that, in many cases, were photocopies of
original materials held elsewhere. The quality of
these copies was often poor. Digital images reflect
the poor quality of the source documents.
Where possible images have been manipulated to
make them as readable as possible. In many cases
such manipulation was not possible. Where
available, the originals photocopied for publication
have been digitized and have been added,
separately, to this collection.
Searchable text generated from the digital images,
subsequently, is also poor. The researcher is
advised not to rely solely upon text-search in this
RIGHTS & RESTRICTIONS
Items collected here were originally published by the
Florida National Guard, many as part of its SPECIAL
ARCHIVES PUBLICATION series. Contact the Florida
National Guard for additional information.
The Florida National Guard reserves all rights to
content originating with the Guard.
Titles from the SPECIAL ARCHIVES PUBLICATION series
were digitized by the University of Florida in
recognition of those serving in Florida's National
Guard, many of whom have given their lives in
defense of the State and the Nation.
Department of Military Affairs
Florida National Guard
The Military and Militia in Colonial Spanish America
St. Augustine, Florida
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AFFAIRS
OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT GENERAL
POST OFFICE BOX 1008
STATE ARSENAL, ST. AUGUSTINE
To anyone interested in the history of Florida, especially
Spanish Florida, Luis Arana is a well-known and honored name.
It is not possible to study the military history of Spanish
Florida and the history surrounding the great Casti lo de San
Marcos without recognizing the tremendous debt we all owe to the
scholarship, records and publications of Mr. Arana.
In this small booklet are reproduced a few of Luis Arana's
articles which focus on the military history of Spanish Florida.
Each has been published in El Escribano, the Journal of the St.
Augustine Historical Society at some time during the past twenty
years. They represent only a small fraction of the published
works of Luis Arana and, considering the vastness of the records
he has accumulated, the tip of a historical iceburg of material
relating to the history of Spain in America.
Our grateful appreciation is extended to the St. Augustine
Historical Society for allowing this material to be made
available to those who attend the conference.
1. Notes on the Military Force in Spanish America
2. Grammount's Landing at Little Matanzas Inlet, 1686
3. Mi itary Manpower in Florida, 1670-1703
4. The Men of the Florida Garrison 1671-1672
5. Military Organization in Florida 1671-1672
6. Enrique Primo De Rivera (1621-1707): A Spanish Soldier in
7. Pirates March on St. Augustine 1683
8. The Basis of a Permanent Fortification
9. The Fort at Matanzas inlet
NOTE 0:`; TH3 MILITARY F7?.CE IE: SPANISSH FLCIDA
Only during the first 20 or 25 years after the settlcrnent of St.
Augustine (1565), the regular military force in Florida consisted entirely
of Spanish-born men. Thereafter, soldiersof other nationalities served in
that force. In the 31 years between 1671 and 1702, the non-Spanish men
care from exico, Cuba, and Florida itself. The deaths, desertions, and
discharges of Spanish-born soldiers were never fully replaced by other
Spaniards, because not enough could be recruited for the purpose. The need
for manpower made tapping of other sources necessary.
In these 31 years, only 265 Spaniards arrived for service here.
Fifty came in 1680; five years later, on two separate occasions, 65;
in 1607, SO; and fifteen years later, 70. The first four- groups were
rc-ruit, in Cadiz and the Canary Islands. The last le'v came from
-alicia province. The average is less than 10 men per year.
The r.nur.er of Mexicans and Cubans was likewise limited. Only h5
-.en car-e from :Cexico during the entire period. They arrived at intervals
between 1671 and 1673. Over the same two-year span, an undetermined, yet
very snall number of Cubans cane to serve in Florida. Not many wanted to
come "due to the horror with which Florida is regarded in Luboa7 because it
is the place to where the trouitlerakers of this country are exiled."
However, there was a voluntary trickle of Cubans between 1687 and 1693.
After the English attack of 1702, 30 men from Havana were left here to
strengthen the garrison.
Of the non-Spanish soldiers, the most numerous were the Floridians
themselves, the nen born in St. Augustine of Spanish parents. They were
forbidden to serve as regulars, but the realities of frontier defense
dictated their employment as early as the 1580's. Their number eventually
increased, and ultimately became indispensable. ,?nen the crown in 1693
officially permitted the enlistment of St. Augustinians, it limited them
to 40 spaces. This was 11% of the then authorized 355-man complement.
This ceiling was completely unrealistic in the light of past
experience. There had been 131 local men in the actual strength of 298
men in 1676, or about h$%. In 1683, the same number had made up 46%
of the 284-soldier actual force. In 1696, after the royal authorization,
there were still 128 St. Augustinians on the rolls, or 37; of the 350-man
force. Unquestionably, the Floridian had emerged as the man who w:as
always available to serve in the defense of his city and his homeland.
C-viously, it is time that the Floridian be given his just place in the
interpretation of the history of this former Spanish territory.
Sept. 19, 1960 Luis P.. Arana
GRAMMONT'S LANDING AT
LITTLE MATANZAS INLET, 1686
Nicholas Grammont, a Parisian born into the gentle-
manly class, was no ordinary pirate. He became notorious
by several successful exploits in the Spanish Caribbean.
Operating along the Venezuelan coast in 1678, Grammont
captured Maracaibo, Torilha, and the forts at Puerto
Caballos in Cumana. The following year, together with
Nicholas Van Horn and Laurent de Graff, Flemish pirate
captains, he seized Veracruz (Mexico). In May 1683, in
company with Lorenzo Jacome, alias Lorencillo, and Monsieur
Ramon, Grammont "distinguished" himself by sacking Veracruz
again. This time the booty was enormous because, with the
impending arrival of the merchantmen from Spain, the city
had brought out the most varied and richest of goods.2
In 1685 he held Campeche in Yucatan during two months.
In later years, Grammont turned "legitimate" by becoming
a lieutenant in the French service and subsequently a
district administrator in Haiti.
It was probably May 1, 1686 when Grammont appeared
off the Little Matanzas Inlet, about one and a half miles
south of Matanzas Inlet, with six vessels. A galliot8
and two pirogues with about eighty men aboard broke away
from the vessels and entered the small inlet. The galliot
108 EL ESCRIBANO
and pirogues intended to navigate northward on the intra-
coastal channel, with their progress paralleled along the
coast by the other vessels out on the open sea. However,
the galliot and the pirogues were diverted by the wish to
take a few prisoners and capture the watchtower which the
pirates had already cut off. This watchtower may have
been the one at Ayamon, 21 miles south of St. Augustine.
The diversion enabled the news about the arrival of
Grammont and his pirates to reach St. Augustine promptly.
The enemy may have been discovered by the watchtower at
Matanzas Inlet. The sentries at Ayamon, or at least one,
of the persons whom the pirates sought to take into cap-
tivity did not get seized. Whatever may be speculated, the
fact is that it is unknown how the warning reached St. Au-
Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida immediately
provided for an active opposition to the enemy. He appointed
regular Adjutant Jose Begambre as the cabo (officer in charge)
of an infantry detachment, probably of 25 men, and ordered
him to the Little Matanzas Inlet. Grammont's men, dispersed
and off guard, were still at the little inlet. But Begambre's
approach was so snail-paced that the pirates reassembled, en-
trenched themselves in the galliot, and opened fire. The
Spanish formation was broken up with the loss of two men
killed and a few wounded.13 In the withdrawal, Begambre was
left behind by his men and given up for dead. The situa-
GRAMMONT'S LANDING 109
tion was most favorable for a move toward the city but the
enemy did nothing.
Information about the repulse of the Spanish somehow
reached St. Augustine, and again an offensive was ordered
against the pirates. On the next day, regular Captain
Antonio de ArgUelles left for the little inlet, probably
with 25 men, to reinforce Begambre. He was followed shortly
by regular Major Pedro de Aranda, probably with another 25
men. These commanders searched for, located, and reassem-
bled Begambre's men. Begambre himself was found hiding in
a palm grove.5
The combined force then attacked the pirates entrenched
in the galliot, which had run aground. In a bitter, four-
hour hand to hand fight, the Spanish forced the enemy to
abandon the vessel and a pirogue, and flee south toward
heathen Indian country in search of their vessels at sea.
The victory cost the Spanish a few more men killed and
wounded,20 with Captain ArgUelles included among the lat-
In their flight from the galliot, the pirates encoun-
tered unexpected tragedy. The heathen Indians living along
the coast stopped and killed them all, except the leader
and another man. This was what Captain Francisco de Fuentes
found out when eleven days after the enemy's defeat, probably
on May 13, he was sent to ascertain his whereabouts. Fuentes
rescued the survivors, who later made depositions in St. Au-
110 EL ESCRIBANO
gustine regarding the events in which they had participated.
Meanwhile, after the loss of his galliot to the Spanish,
Grammont stayed in the vicinity of the little inlet perhaps
a couple of days. He probably hoped to pick up his men
ashore. But then, perhaps having learned of their fate, he
weighed anchor and positioned his vessels off St. Augustine
Inlet. By May 21 Grammont had kept his new position during
sixteen days. It was believed in the city that the pirates
were waiting for the Nueva Espaia ship bringing the situado
(troop pay fund) and flour, and also for the St. Augustine
vessel picking up maize in Habana.3
Indeed the pirates hoped that their blockade would starve
St. Augustine into surrender. This had been stated by the
survivors of the massacre by the heathen Indians. As a
matter of fact, by May 21 there was already no more flour
and maize in the royal store rooms. The soldiers were getting
rations of beef only.24
Under the circumstances, the Spanish decided to run the
blockade and seek aid abroad. A vessel lying in St. Augustine
harbor at the time Grammont had appeared was commandeered to
go to Habana with a report of the situation to the governor
there and a petition for provisions, arms, munitions, and
men. The vessel ran the risk of capture by the pirate vessels
having off the coast but the critical situation demanded bold
action. On May 21, the vessel was ready to depart.2
The course of events in Grammont's attack on Little
GRAMMONT'S LANDING 111
Matanzas Inlet is unknown after May 21. The evidence on
hand is silent in -this regard. It may be speculated that
Grammont withdrew from St. Augustine waters when he re-
alized that he could not wait indefinitely for the arrival
of the flour and maize vessels. If he considered forcing
his entrance into the harbor for an attack on the city,
the recollection of his defeat at the little inlet may
have counseled prudence.
1. Maurice Besson, The Scourge of the Indies--Buccaneers,
Corsairs, and Filibusters. Translated by Edward
Thornton. (New York: Random House, 1929).
2. Jose Antonio Calder'n Quijano, H.istoria de las forti-
ficaciones en Nueva Espana (Sevilla: Escuela de
Estudios Hispano-americanos, 1953), 64-65.
3. Besson, op. cit.
4. North Carolina Department of Archives and History
(Raleigh), Spanish Records Collection (hereafter NC),
Archivo General de Indias (Sevilla) (hereafter AGI)
54-5-19/65, Royal officials of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, September 30, 1686, 4 folios. This is
a duplicate of their previous letter of May 21, 1686,
and is the source for the speculative reconstruction
of the chronology used in the article. On May 21 the
pirates had already been sixteen days off St. Augustine
Inlet, which makes May 5 the date of their move to and
arrival off the inlet. But before moving, after the
fight at the galliot, the pirates stayed "several days"
at the little inlet; assuming "several days" to be two
days, it was on May 3 and 4 that the pirates remained
at the little inlet. The fight at the galliot was a
one-day affair, which puts it on May 2. And still one
more day was required for the pirates to arrive and
defeat the first Spanish detachment sent against them,
which makes May 1 the beginning of the events originating
at the little inlet.
5. NC; P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University
of Florida (Gainesville), Stetson Collection (hereafter SC),
112 EL ESCRIBANO
AGI 58-2-2/66, Royal officials of Florida to the crown,
Florida, September 30, 1686, 5 ff., 1.
6. The pirates entered through a shallow-draft inlet five
leagues (fifteen miles) south of St. Augustine (NC,
AGI 54-5-19/65, 1-2); the pirates had landed at Barreta
de Matanzas (NC, AGI 54-5-19/71, Governor Juan Marquez
Cabrera of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, November 8,
1686, 5 ff., 1); the detachments sent against the pirates
on the second day went to Barreta de Matanzas (SC, AGI 54-
5-19/87, Captain Antonio de ArgUelles of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, February 24, 1688, 31 ff., 18, 19).
Barreta means little inlet and the Spanish used this term
consistently to differentiate between little and big
inlets. Barra is the term applicable to a big inlet.
7. Little Matanzas Inlet is not a geographical feature any
longer. The one-and-a-half-mile distance south of Ma-
tanzas Inlet puts it between Summer Haven and Marineland
on the road used as State Route AIA before relocation
farther west. The distance has been determined by com-
paring modern maps with the 1605 Alvaro Mejia sketch of
the Florida coast between St. Augustine and Sebastian
inlet. The sketch is entitled Derrotero Util y provechoso,
y en todo verdadero, de rios, can'os, lagunas, montes, po-
blaciones, embarcaderos, varaderos y rancherias, et cual
corre desde la Ciudad de San Agustin por dentro hasta la
Barra de Ajs.
8. NC, AGI 54-5-19/65, 1.
9. SC, AGI 54-5-19/87, 7, 20.
10. NC, AGI 54-5-19/65, 1-2.
11. Ibid., 2. GRAMMONT'S LANDING
12. NC, AGI 54-5-19/71, 1. 20. NC, AGI 54-5-19/65, 2.
13. SC, AGI 54-5-19/87, 19. 21. SC, AGI 54-5-19/87, 7.
14. NC, AGI 54-5-19/71, 1. 22. NC, AGI 54-5-19/71, 1-2.
15. SC, AGI 54-5-19/87, 19. 23. NC, AGI 54-5-19/65, 2.
16. NC, AGI 54-5-19/71, 1. 24. Ibid.
17. NC, AGI 54-5-19/65, 2. 25. Ibid., 2-3.
18. SC, AGI 54-5-19/87, 20.
19. NC, AGI 54-5-19/71, 1.
MILITARY MANPOWER IN FLORIDA, 1670-1703
Most of the time that Spain held Florida, the regular
military garrison there was never completely made up of
Spanish-born men. Since Spain was unable to furnish re-
placements to compensate fully for normal attrition of the
original force, other sources of manpower were tapped.
Therefore, men born in Florida itself, Nueva Espa5a (Mexico),
and Habana (Cuba) actually joined the Spaniards as soldiers
in Florida. As it unfolds, this article will discuss the
sources of military manpower in Florida topically rather than
chronologically for the period under consideration.
Spain naturally was the original source of military man-
power for Spanish Florida. The Spanish-born soldier first
arrived when St. Augustine was founded in 1565. Eventually,
desertion, discharge, and death depleted the original number.
Concurrently, the recruitment of replacements directly from
Spain never attained the desired quota. Within thirty years
after the founding, these conditions had been fully felt.
Thereafter, a garrison entirely made up of Spanish-born men
became an unattainable goal.
During the period under consideration, Sergeant Major
Pablo de Hita Salazar was the first governor who succeeded
in having soldiers shipped from Spain for service in
Florida. In July 1677, 111 infantrymen embarked for
St. Augustine aboard the mercury ships. Unfortunately,
when this fleet called at San Juan de Ulua (Mexico), the
men were diverted for service in Nueva Espafa. The
practice of appropriating forces destined for elsewhere
was not uncommon.
The first time Spanish-born soldiers actually reached
Florida during the period was in 1680. They came with
Sergeant Major Juan Marquez Cabrera, Governor Hita's suc-
cessor. But of the 100 infantry originally ordered, only
fifty enlisted in Cadiz, reaching St. Augustine in November.
Marquez proudly believed that the security of Florida rested
exclusively on these men. If he had his way, the Florida
garrison would consist of none but Spaniards.
Marquez succeeded twice in obtaining peninsular soldiers
during his governorship. In September 1684, Captain Juan de
Ayala Escobar of Florida, sailing back from a supplies-seek-
ing visit to Spain, took fifty men on board at the Canary
Islands destined for Habana. Either by mistake or design,
Ayala proceeded directly to St. Augustine, where in the
spring of 1685 the thirty-eight men still left at the end
of the trip were received with open arms by Marquez. That
these replacements were not intended for Florida disturbed
him not at all. He had them enlisted for service. Marquez
justified the expediency by claiming they were needed here,
and pointing out the impossibility of transporting them to
Habana. He could appropriate someone else's troops as well
as the officials of Nueva Espaia.
Of fifty soldiers repeatedly promised to Florida in 1683
and 1684, a fraction arrived in mid-1685 after a most unusual
trip. Fifty had embarked at Cadiz and the Canaries, but the
transport's captain made stops at Santo Domingo and other
Caribbean ports and those localities diverted the lion's share
of the shipment for themselves. Only fifteen were left to
proceed to Florida, but the captain enterprisingly made up
some of the loss by pressing some of the passengers into serv-
ice. Thirty men finally arrived in St. Augustine. Of these,
only three were not enlisted: one was blind, the second was
an Indian, and the third proved to be an elderly married man.
However, Marquez was far from satisfied with the quality of
the rest. For once,, he had found Spanish-born soldiers who
were not even fit for guard duty.
The arrival of these two groups was insufficient to build
up the garrison fully, especially with an entirely Spanish-
born force as Marquez wanted. In September 1686, Florida was
still sixty men short. Captain Ayala was again sent to Spain
to ask for assistance, and the Junta de Guerra (Board of War)
promised him 100 infantry. The last day of June 1687 Ayala
set sail. He either had desertions while in transit or the
full quota was never raised in Cadiz for, when he reached
St. Augustine the ensuing August, he delivered eighty men only.
Even then, some were too young or cripples.
Fifteen years elapsed before another peninsular sol-
dier set foot in Florida. On July 24, 1702, the crown
informed Governor Jose de ZUiiga y Cerda that 2,000 men
from Galicia Province were shipping out to reinforce the
Indies. Florida would be allowed 100, which were to be
picked up at Habana. Three days before the end of that
year, 212 infantrymen landed at Matanzas Inlet to relieve
St. Augustine from the English siege. Among them, there
were only seventy of the 100 marked for service in Florida.
The gattegos (Galicians) turned out to be green soldiers:
they were too young and insufficiently trained to use their
own arms properly.
About twenty-five years after the founding of St. Au-
gustine, the governors of Spanish Florida realized that the
original Spanish-born force had been decimated through normal
attrition, and that replacements from Spain were hard to
come by. Therefore, the governors turned to the source of
manpower nearest at hand: the criollos, the young men born
in St. Augustine of Spanish parents. Their fathers were,
after all, the soldiers of the garrison.
The governors must have been aware that a cedula (royal
decree) of 1588, repeated in 1612, 1618, and 1621, prohibited
the enlistment for pay of any single or married man native
and resident of a city having a presidio (regular garrison).
However, they accepted reality, faced as they were with
responsibility for the security of the locality. The
governors chose to overlook the prohibition, and allowed
the enlistment of St. Augustinians, seemingly as a stop-gap
measure until the arrival of men from Spain. A visitor to
Florida in May 1595 remarked that boys were enlisted there
as soon as they were strong enough to shoot an arquebus.
Few Spaniards ever came and the practice of recruiting lo-
cally became customary.
In Spanish Florida, a controversy over service in the
regular force by the native-born first came up in 1676. The
twelve-year-old son of Sergeant Major Nicolas Ponce de Leon
had been granted a dead-pay by the crown. The cddula pro-
vided that the prohibition against the enlistment of criolZos
was waived in only this instance, hereafter it would continue
in full force. The recording of the grant in the accountancy
caused the royal treasury officials to explain frontier re-
alities to the home government. Up until receipt of the
crown's grant to young Ponce, they had not really known about
the proviso against criollo enlistment. Hence, they and their
predecessors had not objected to the services of St. Augus-
The royal officials proceeded to show the crown how wide-
spread native-born military service had become. There were
then 131 criollos on the rolls. Nothing could be done about
it unless the king sent recruits from abroad, because every
man who could soldier in Florida was affected by the prohibition.
The St. Augustinians then in the service made up 44% of
the garrison, assuming that the strength in 1676 was 298
The crown replied in 1677 that 111 Spanish-born men
were on their way to Florida to replace the crioZZos.
Henceforth, said the cSdula, no St. Augustinian would be
accepted in the army unless the king gave his despensation.
In actuality this decree could not be carried out; it has
already been remarked that the 111 recruits were inter-
cepted in Nueva Espa5a.
The Salgado case again brought the subject of native-
born service to the fore in 1678. In May, Antonio Jose de
Salgado appeared in Captain Antonio de ArgUelles' company,
desiring to enlist. The accountant ruled that Salgado was
not eligible due to his birthplace. However, Governor Hita
ordered his placement on the rolls, pointing out that the
companies were understrength, that replacement could not
be gotten from abroad, and that the security of the presidio
was of higher importance to the crown. Hita went further
by saying that he would accept all those wanting to serve,
until full strength was attained. He felt that the native-
born were better men that those from Nueva Espana, and their
service was satisfactory to him.
The door to military careers was opened to several
St. Augustine youths by Hita's stand in the Salgado case.
The table shows the number and ages of the crioZlos enlisted
THE MEN OF THE FLORIDA GARRISON, 1671-72
Sergeant Major Manuel de Cendoya became governor and
captain general of Florida on July 6, 1671. At the time,
a 300-man dotaci6n (authorized strength) was allotted to
Florida, but the actual strength was 280. The names of
the soldiers who were serving on that day have been found
on a roster attached by Governor Cendoya to his letter of
March 24, 1672, reporting conditions in Florida and some
of his accomplishments since his arrival. The recovery of
these men from the anonymity of history lends a more tan-
gible dimension to the era which saw the beginning of con-
struction of Castillo de San Marcos.
The presence of these soldiers assured the continued
existence of settlement in Florida. So had that of their
fathers, grandfathers, and even great grandfathers who also
served in the garrison. And their sons entered and would
enter military service. Their wives had been daughters of
soldiers and their own daughters would contract similar
matrimonial alliances. There was no question that the
soldier was the Florida settler.
Besides providing family surnames to students inter-
ested in local Spanish genealogy, the roster is an intro-
duction to contemporary military organization. The gov-
ernor and the two Royal Treasury officials (accountant
24 EL ESCRIBANO
and treasurer) are excluded because they were supernumer-
aries to the dotaci'n. Among the major and minor officials
listed are the governor's assistants in exercising command
(two provincial and the fortlieutenant governors and two
entretenidos [retainers]); the men on the garrison's admin-
istrative staff (chief and second assistants to the account-
ant, quarry overseer, munitions notary, chief master black-
smith, and master of the slaves); and the sergeant major and
his small troop staff (two adjutants, surgeon, and barber).
The personnel organic to the two infantry companies
were those filling the positions of captain and ensign (the
officers), sergeant, drummers, fifer,.corporals, and privates.
Listed between the fifer and the corporals are the reformados,
men who had temporarily held the active rank indicated after
their names. The senior captain's company is listed first.
The gunners and the sailors are the last to appear on
Editing of the roster for publication leaves the names
as they appear on the manuscript. They are out of alphabeti-
cal order and surnames do not appear first. Apparently the
roster was made as the muster master approached the particular
place each man had in formation. Editing, however, has mod-
ernized and completed the names and supplied missing rank by
collating the roster with other rosters of 1679, 1680, and
1683, and contemporary correspondence.
Here is the roster of the men serving in Florida in
MEN OF THE GARRISON 25
"I, Captain Don Antonio Menendez Marques, accountant,
and justice official of the Royal Treasury in these Prov-
inces of Florida, certify that, by the royal books of the
accountancy under my charge, there appears and seems that,
since July sixth of the past year of sixteen hundred and
seventy one, when Sergeant Major Don Manuel de Cendoya
took possession of the offices of governor and captain
general of these provinces by appointment of Her Majesty,
to the end of December of said year, there were serving
the King, our Lord, in this presidio the military, naval,
and artillery personnel and other officials who will be
shown below, in the following form and manner:
Major and minor officials
Captain Don Nicolas Ponce de Le6n [the Second], sergeant
Captain Domingo de Leturiondo, lieutenant of Apalache
Captain Juan Fernandez de Florencia, lieutenant of Timucua
Captain Nic6ls [Esteves] de Carmen'atis [the Younger], lieut-
enant of the fortress
Sergeant Major Alonso Solana, retainer
Sergeant Major Juan Sanchez (de Uriza], retainer
Ensign Francisco Gonzalez de Villagarcia, chief assistant
at the accountancy
Adjutant Diego Diaz Mejia [the Second]
Adjutant Alonso Diaz [Mejia, overseer at the quarry.site]
Adjutant Bartolom4 Rodriguez
Adjutant Alonso Solana [the Elder], munitions notary
Agustin Gonzalez, assistant at the accountancy
Carlos Robson, surgeon
Juan de los Reyes, barber
Tomas Hernandez, chief master blacksmith
Juan Sanchez [de San Lucar], master of the slaves
Company of Captain Don Francisco de Lara
Said Captain Don Francisco de Lara
Agustin Rubio, ensign
Alonso de Arguelles (the Third], sergeant
Antonio Martin, drummer
Juan Ramos, drummer
Antonio Chaparro, fifer
Don Pedro [Benedit] Horruytiner [sergeant major]
Francisco de Reina [captain]
Martin Alcaide [de Cordoba] [captain]
Francisco Roma [captain]
26 EL ESCRIBANO
Don Manuel Ponce [de Leon] (captain]
Don Juan Asensio [captain]
Mateo de Sartucha [captain]
Francisco de Monz'n [captain]
Diego [L6pez] de Mercado [adjutant]
Francisco Pacheco [the Elder] [adjutant]
Isidro de Reinoso [adjutant]
Bartolome Entonado [adjutant]
Alonso Alvarez [de Sotomayor] [adjutant]
Geronimo Regidor [adjutant]
Manuel [Rodriguez] de Torres [adjutant]
Martin de Aispiolea (adjutant]
Andres de Sotomayor [ensign]
Juan Dominguez [de Viana] [ensign]
Antonio de Florencia [ensign]
Ventura Gonzalez [ensign]
Juan Sanchez de Uriza (ensign]
Bartolome Perez (de Cubillas] (corporal]
Andres Hernandez [corporal]
Manuel de Orta [corporal]
Jose de Contreras [corporal]
Juan Moreno y Segovia Antonio Francisco
AndrEs.de Herrera Diego de Jagn
Diego Jacinto Diego Anzures
Bernardino Jimenez Diego de la Cruz
Juan Guerrero Ger6nimo del Rosal
Francisco de Dueias (the Elder] Jose de Fuica
Esteban de Luz Marcos Fernandez
Blas de Cendrera Nicolas Ramirez
Juan Rodriguez Tiznado Nicolas Parera
Alonso de Morales (the First] Crist6bal de Meneses
Gabriel Salguero Pedro Ram6n [de Sandoval]
Pedro de Arcos Felipe de Naveda
[Don] Juan de Palomares Jose de Morales
Agustin del Castrien Juan Gomez
Juan Pinto Felipe de Santiago [the First]
Nicolas de Baeza Benito Gonzalez
Jose de Salinas Juan de la Vera
Juan Cruz Francisco Hernandez [de San
Andres Parera Agustin]
Vicente Rodriguez Ventura de Soto
Tomas de Escalera Simon de los Reyes
Juan Muriiz Juan Lopez de Aguirre
Nicolas de Goyas Tomas Gonzalez
Domingo de San Miguel Juan de Arizmendi
Dionisio de los Rios [Enriquez] Pedro Martin
Juan Lucas Juan Rodriguez
[Don] Juan [Antonio] de Avila Ger6nimo Martin
[y Vigue] Jose de Orgaz
Matfas de los Reyes Juan de Molina
Francisco Moreno Francisco Zumaya
MEN OF THE GARRISON
Luis de Granada Pedro Lujan
Francisco Anzures. Isidro de los Reyes
Francisco de Leon Don Pedro Antonio [Nicasio]
Jose de Medina de Cendoya]
Pedro de Torres Don Juan (Saturnino] de
Jose de los Reyes Abaurrea
Lucas Ponce Don Juan del Pueyo
Juan de la Gasca Juan de Leon
Lorenzo Guerrero Lorenzo de Vargas
Manuel (Diaz] Jorge Lazaro Llaca
Sebastian Groso Manuel Martin
Crist6bal NG'ez Don Diego Osorio
Company of Captain Don Antonio de Arguelles
Said Captain Don Antonio de ArgUelles
Juan Ruiz Mejia [the Second], ensign
Francisco Gonzalez [the Younger] ,sergeant
Francisco Jose, drummer
Diego Lopez, drummer
Francisco Ventura fifer
Nicolas Fernandez de Goyas [captain]
Francisco Garcia [de la Vera] [captain]
Don Mateo Pacheco [y Salgado] [captain]
Alonso de ArgUelles [the Second] [captain]
Francisco de la Rocha [Florencia, captain]
Francisco de Aispiolea [captain]
Pedro de Florencia [adjutant?]
Francisco Fuentes (de Galarza] [adjutant?]
Francisco Sanchez [de Daza] [adjutant]
Salvador de Pedrosa [adjutant]
Manuel G6mez [adjutant]
Alonso Naranjo [adjutant]
Francisco de Caiizares [y Osorio, adjutant]
Andres Pgrez [the First] [adjutant?]
Bernabg L6pez (de Dueias] [adjutant?]
Mateo Parera [the Elder] [ensign]
Luis [Herngndez] de Viana [ensign]
Matfas Cabezas [ensign]
Juan Bautista Terraza [ensign]
Agustin de Monzon [ensign]
Pedro de Tejeda (the Elder] [ensign]
Manuel Rizo [ensign]
Juan Antonio de Ayala (the Elder, ensign]
Jacinto Rodriguez (ensign]
Juan de Aldeco (ensign]
Antonio Felipe [ensign]
Bernardo Groso [ensign]
Blas de Cabrera [ensign]
Francisco de Pedrosa [corporal]
28 EL ESCRIBANO
Diego Gutierrez [corporal]
Ger6nimo Ventura (corporal]
Antonio Serrano [corporal]
Andr6s Rodriguez [the First] Alonso Garcia de la Vera
Manuel Rodriguez Marcos Garcia
Juan Lopez de Dueias Francisco de Barbosa
Gaspar de los Reyes Juan Ruiz de Cafizares
Juan de Echevarria Antonio de Solis
Pedro de Escalera Diego Alvarez de Mendoza
Antonio Correa Antonio Diaz
Bartolome Naranjo Fernando Perez
Jose de Escobedo Gonzalo Jorge
Antonio del Pino Juan de Dios
Francisco de Castro Diego Castrej6n
Juan Bautista de la Cruz Nicolas Diaz
[the Elder] Nicolas Calder6n
Juan de Mojica Antonio Valderrama
Francisco de SepGlveda Hipolito Rodriguez
Sebastian de Vargas Nicolas de Bertadillo
Sim6n de Baraona Luis de Le6n
Crist6bal de Cardenas Juan de Sandoval
Jose de Valderrama Crist6bal Fernandez
Juan de la Gasca [the First] Pedro Zamorano
Alonso Lanzarote Jods Giraldo
Andrts de Escobedo Francisco [Fernandez] de
Alonso de Florencia Florencia
Adrian [de] Canizares Francisco [Roque] Perez
Sebastian Rodriguez Jose de Villalpando
Bernardo de Medina Gregorio de Vilches
Ignacio de Sobevares Jose Tinoco
Juan Jimanez Juan Gutigrrez
Marcos Delgado Fabian de Angulo
Jose de Cardenas Martin de Santiago
Diego Zavala Francisco de Aguilar
Diego Martin Alonso Garcia
Francisco Ruiz Isidro Rodriguez [de Lara]
Jose Sanchez Alonso de Avila
Miguel Caballero Antonio Lorenzo [Salvador]
Juan Parera [de Espaia] Juan Rodriguez [de San
Nicolas Mandez Agustin]
Andres Nujano Juan Artenio
Diego Ruiz Tomas Alvarez
MEN OF THE GARRISON
Nicolas [Esteves] de Carmenatis (the Elder], captain of
Francisco Martin Norman, master gunner
Andres Cordero, gunner Manuel Caraballo
Marcos de Reina (the Elder] Bruno Placido
Juan de Arzola Bartolome de la Cruz [the
Jos& Rmfrez First]
Bartolome Montero Juan Vazquez
Martin de Lupgrnaga, captain of sea and war
Gonzalo Hernandez [de Hostos], chief pilot
Juan Luis [Lombardo], harbor pilot
Manuel Jacinto, chief caulker Diego Alvarez [the Second]
Juan de Herrera, seaman Juan de la Cruz
Alonso Solana [the Younger], Domingo de Aguilar
seaman Luis de Figueroa, apprentice
Francisco Bravo [de Acuia], seaman
preferred seaman Juan Bautista, apprentice
Mateo Alonso de Cendrera, seaman
boatswain Asensio de la Cruz, appren-
Martin de Echagaray, preferred tice seaman
seaman Juan Francisco [de Orozco]
Francisco Martin [de Utrera], Antonio Camufas
seaman Domingo de Florencia
Antonio de Oliva Alonso de Cendrera, cabin boy
Manuel Gonzalez (Palma, the Antonio de Torres
Elder] Francisco Luis
Jose de Rivas Gonzalo Hernandez
Cristobal de Rojas
So then, the persons contained in this certificate, military
as well as naval, gunners, and other officials, are two hun-
dred and eighty, who served until the end of December of
said year of sixteen hundred and seventy one, and they con-
tinue to do so today, this date, as every thing appears and
seems by said royal books, to which I refer, and so that it
may be of record, I gave these presents in the City of St.
Augustine in Florida, on the tenth of March, one thousand
six hundred and seventy two years.
Don Antonio Menendez Marques."
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Flori-
da, Gainesville. Stetson Collection
Archivo General de Indias 58-1-35/4, Dofa Estefania de
Avila y Saavedra of Florida to the
crown, Florida, October 28, 1651,
AGI 54-5-10/111, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, October
31. 1671. 8 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/16A, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, March 24,
1672, 32 ff., which includes the
roster published herein.
AGI 58-1-21/68, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, May 23, 1672, 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-19/13, Anastasia Fernandez of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, April 26,
1674, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/148, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, March 11, 1675, 3 ff.
AGI 32-4-29/35/2, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 15, 1675, 55 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/33, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 15, 1675, 67 ff.
AGI 54-5-19, Reformado Adjutant Bernabe L6pez de
Duefas of Florida to the crown, St.
Augustine, June 16, 1675.
AGI 58-1-26/34, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
July 30, 1675, 28 ff.
AGI 54-5-19/22, Reformado Captain Diego Diaz Mejia
of Florida to the crown, St. Augus-
tine, August 16, 1675 misfiledd
March 11, 1677), 9 ff.
MEN OF THE GARRISON
AGI 54-5-19/17, Reformado Adjutant Manuel Rodr'-
guez de Torres of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, August 25,
1676, 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/52, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
March 13, 1679, 10 ff., which in-
cludes "Indice de todas las Cali-
dades y Estado en todo que tiene
este Presidio y Provincias de la
AGI 58-1-21/321, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, July 8, 1682, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/357, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, November 16, 1682, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/9, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augus-
tine, June 28, 1683, 46 ff.,
which includes "Pie de lista gene-
ral de la gente de guerra y mar,
artilleros y otras personas que
tienen plaza de Su Magestad en
este Presidio de San Agustin de
la Florida en 4 de diciembre de
1680;" "Certificaci6n de los
Jueces Oficiales de la Real Ha-
cienda de estas Provincias de la
Florida en 12 de diciembre del
afo de 1680;" and "Lista general
de la infanteria gente de mar,
artilleros y plazas muertas que
pasaron muestra en 27 de mayo de
este present aio de 1683."
AGI 54-5-11/117, Governor Juan Marques Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augus-
tine, August 14, 1684, 15 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/41, Governor Pedro de Aranda y Avella-
neda of Florida to the crown, St.
Augustine, April 28, 1687, 56 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/45, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada
of Florida to the crown, St. Augus-
tine, August 23, 1692, 9 ff.
AGI 58-2-3/59, Viceroy Duke of Linares of Nueva
Espaia to the crown, Mexico,
June 1714 misfiledd as 1712,
1713-14, 1715), 147 ff.
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.
Spanish Records Collection. Microfilm available at the
St. Augustine Historical Society and Castillo de San
Marcos National Monument.
AGI 54-5-18/88, Reformado Captain Alonso de Arguelles
of Florida to the crown, Madrid,
August 1, 1662 misfiledd November 21,
1663), 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-18/70, Accountant Juan Menendez Marques of
Florida to the crown, Florida, July 4,
1668, 7 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/13C. Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, October
31, 1671, 69 ff.
AGI 54-5-19/7, Private Juan Francisco de los Santos
of Florida to the crown, Florida,
March 20, 1672, 12 ff.
AGI 54-5-18/91, Reformado Adjutant Francisco de Cafi-
zares y Osorio of Florida to the
crown, Florida, March 29, 1672, 13 ff.
AGI 58-2-2/7, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, December
20, 1672, 21 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/22, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to Sr. Don Francisco Fernandez
de Madrigal, St. Augustine, August 24,
1675, 7 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/67, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 14, 1681, 25 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/134, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 28, 1683, 16 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/78, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 28, 1683, 12 ff.
MEN OF THE GARRISON
AGI 58-2-6/3, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
April 28, 1685, 122 ff.
between July 4, 1678 and September 30, 1680.
ENLISTMENT OF NATIVE-BORN MEN
SPANISH FLORIDA, 1678-1680
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Age unknown Total
July 1678 1 1 2
Nov 1679 1 4 3 1 9
Dec 1679 1 1 1 4
Jan 1680 1 1
Sept 1680 2 1 i 4
Total 1 2 5 5 2 3 1 20
The crown, nevertheless, was not yet ready to set aside
its traditional policy relative to native-born manpower.
The cadula of May 2, 1680 disallowed the Salgado enlistment,
and explicitly reiterated the prohibition against regular
service by the criollos. The king expected strict compliance
with the law, unless he himself permitted a waiver. So that
there be no excuses for failure to obey, the decree was to
be entered in the books of the royal officials.
Eventually in 1682 the enlistment of the twenty local
youths was likewise disapproved. The crown felt that St. Au-
gustinians should aid in the defense of Spanish Florida with-
out expectation of pay. The young men were to be discharged,
and the authorized man-spaces reserved for soldiers from
abroad. The president of the Canaries would send 100 men,
and as soon as they arrived, the removal of St. Augustin-
ians from the rolls was to begin. Criotlos, the crown
insisted, were decidedly forbidden from serving as regular
soldiers unless they had the special dispensation of the
king. However, spaces granted by the crown to widows and
boys would not be affected.
No other governor held the native-born St. Augustinian
in greater contempt than did Juan Marquez Cabrera during
his administration (1680-1687). He blamed criollo soldiers
and civilians as the source of his troubles. If his gar-
rison was understrength, it was because widows and boys
held dead pays obtained through false reports of their
personal situation. The men enlisted by Hita he found to
be younger-looking than the age they had given. Besides,
some were lazy and incapable of using their weapons. The
criotZo soldiers were inexperienced and cowardly; at Apa-
lache in 1682 they had withdrawn without even meeting the
enemy. He was irked at having to put up with them, but it
was impossible to discharge them all at once.
Imbued with this attitude, Marquez tried his best to
rid the garrison of native-born manpower. He enforced the
1680 cddula to the letter, and did not enlist a single
local man unless told to do so by the crown. He discharged
St. Augustinians whenever he could afford to, chuckling
with great satisfaction. But eventually he began to re-
alize it was an endless task. In June 28, 1683, despite
the twenty-two men stricken off the rolls since 1680, he
still had 130 criottos, exclusive of dead pays and the aged.
All his efforts had not so far vanquished the durable native-
born, for they still constituted 46% of the garrison. The
overall strength a month before had been 284 men.
Subsequently Marquez trained his guns on bigger native-
born game. He alone, he said in 1684, represented royal au-
thority in Florida because the royal exchequer was riddled
with St. Augustinians. By 1686, a far more offensive opinion
had matured in his mind. He asserted that Florida and the
royal funds would be safer if the royal officials were Spanish-
born. These positions had become hereditary within certain
families, and never before had the officials had better sala-
ries. The royal officials' greed, Marquez believed, was
greater than their zeal or experience.
Marquez had finally trod on thin ice when he blasted
at the royal officials. When considering his proposition
in 1687, the Junta de Guerra concluded that it was beneficial
for certain crioZZos to hold those positions, and Marquez
should be reprimanded for having proposed their elimination.
The well-deserving criollo was the very first who should be
provided for, because the undeserving one was never chosen
to hold office. This attitude on the part of the Junta was
a manifestation of a new point of view then emerging in Spain
relative to service by the native-born.
Marquez finally admitted the impossibility of discarding
the St. Augustinians from the garrison. In March 1686 he
threw his hands up.in the air, and said that even if 100
more men were struck off the rolls, there would still be
criotZo soldiers. He even admitted that there were some
St. Augustinians who were capable, but they were married
and too much interrelated for the good of the service.
Even before this, Marquez had conceded in 1683 that St. Au-
gustine-born Spaniards were good militiamen because they
served with alacrity, and were capable and responsible.
It is difficult to understand why Marquez felt that a good
man who served gratituously in the militia turned into a
bad soldier when serving for regular pay.
The crown now began a slow modification of its policy
on regular military service by the native-born in Florida.
It too may have realized that St. Augustinians would always
be available, and wanted them to have the consolation that
they were acceptable for service. So, on June 5, 1687, the
crown provided that a number of oriollos enlisted in pre-
vious administrations were to be kept permanently on the
After Marquez had deserted, Governor Pedro de Aranda y
Avellaneda resumed the use of native-born manpower. In May
1687 fourteen crioltos were enlisted until such time as sol-
diers came from Spain. Concurrently, Accountant Tomas Me-
nendez Marques suggested the acceptance of St. Augustinians
for enlistment whenever necessary to keep the garrison full
strength. After all, the local men were acclimated to the
country, and knew.every inch of it; they were skillful in
trips by sea; and they did not desert because this was their
homeland. When the men from abroad arrived, the local men
would return home with the satisfaction of having served
the crown, and with the hope of being called on again.
The crown was not yet sure about the proper extent of
native-bo'rn participation in the Florida service. In 1688
the Junta de Guerra advised that the enlistments made by
Aranda be approved, as there was already royal authority for
keeping a number of St. Augustinians on the rolls. However,
when the matter was brought to his attention, the king
decided that Aranda's enlistees were to be discharged, in-
asmuch as Spanish-born men had been sent to Florida in June
1687. The crown presumed that levies from Spain arrived in
Florida complete, and that all the men were able-bodied.
Meanwhile in St. Augustine the garrison had attained
full strength partly with the arrival of the men sent in
1687. But among them, there had been some infirm and married
men who were not enlisted by Governor Diego de Quiroga y Lo-
zada. Their places were taken by some young St. Augustinians,
sons of the soldiers, whom Quiroga found satisfactory and
courageous, expert and practised in the ways of the country.
Whenever there were vacant spaces, Quiroga proposed to use
St. Augustinians until men from abroad actually arrived.
The royal officials made a very eloquent plea in 1690
for the utilization of native-born manpower. Accountant
Juan de Pueyo and Treasurer Joaquin de Florencia believed
that the St. Augustinians had characteristics and skills
which made them good soldiers in a wilderness like Florida.
They were honest,well-disposed and willing, with intimate
knowledge of the country, its forests, inlets, rivers and
fords. They got along well with the Indians whose languages
they knew well, and the Indians held them in high regard.
They were good horsemen, boatmen, and lookouts. No one
else, except perhaps the Indian, could make better time
travelling between widely separated outposts, thus ensuring
The royal officials defended the practice of enlisting
oriolZos by setting forth certain advantages accruing from
it. They contended that with the money earned, the native-
born could marry, raise families, and thus increase the
number of inhabitants in the settlement. Eventually the
male portion of this human growth would provide part of the
manpower required for the defense of the presidio. More-
over, these men built houses; the city grew materially,
achieving greater permanency. They worked the soil, de-
veloping subsistence farming. The homegrown produce sup-
ported them, and in lean times they would not have to have
the usual flour ration, which could then be used exclusively
for those who had come from abroad. On the other hand, if
the practice of enlisting St. Augustinians was discontinued,
depopulation of the settlement was inevitable.
Pueyo and Flo-rencia closed their brief by recommending
permanent incorporation of the native-born in the garrison.
The people of St. Augustine would be overjoyed if the crown
reserved about a third of the dotaci~n (authorized strength)
for St. Augustinians only. After all, the criollos had been
considered useful for a long time before the present contro-
The crown finally made up its mind regarding the extent
of native-born participation in the Florida garrison. In
1691, the indefinite answer to the plea of the royal officials
was to "observe what has been the custom heretofore in the
presidio, notwithstanding orders given to the contrary."
However, in 1693 the crown ruled that the native-born would
hold forty man-spaces only. If at present the number on the
rolls exceeded the quota, the men could remain in the service.
But as vacancies occurred, they would be filled with others
until the criollos were down to forty. This represented 11%
of the authorized strength.
This ceiling on criollos was completely unrealistic.
Experience had shown that the native-born filled more than
forty spaces, and it was highly improbable that the St. Au-
gustinians would ever drop to the newly set number. This
was shown in April 1696, when the royal officials reported
there were 128 native-born on the rolls. As the actual
strength at the end cf that month was 350 soldiers, the cyi-
oltos made up 37% of the force.
The report also indicated the positions currently
held by St. Augustinians. It was an impressive list,
showing the large participation of the native-born in the
operation of the garrison. There was a retired sergeant
major, a retainer captain, the public and governmental
notary, the armorer, the blacksmith, the barber, and two
juvenile dead-pays. In Captain Antonio de Argielles'
company, the criollos were ArgUelles himself, the sergeant,
three corporals, the page, and thirty-five privates. The
ensign, the sergeant, two corporals, and thirty-nine pri-
vates in Captain Juan de Ayala's had been born in St. Au-
gustine. In the company of Captain Francisco Romo de Uriza,
Uriza himself, the sergeant, a corporal, a page, and thirty-
one privates were natives. The master gunner and five ar-
tillerists, and a sailor, two apprentice seamen, and the
two interpreters of the Guale and Apalache languages were
the Floridians in the artillery and naval detachments.
The crown, in reply to the report, provided in 1698
that the 1693 decree setting a native-born ceiling would
be strictly kept. As man-spaces held by criollos became
vacant, they would be filled by men from abroad until only
forty St. Augustinians were finally left on the rolls.
The attitude of the St. Augustinians toward military
service began to change in 1696. The limitation on their
number, disgust at being bandied around so much, or perhaps
the existence of ether means of livelihood may have had
something to do with it. At any rate, in April Governor
Laureano de Torres Ayala reported that he needed Spanish-
born men because some criollos wanted to be discharged.
The changed attitude became more obvious in 1697.
Torres needed fourteen to sixteen criclZos to fill part of
some vacancies, until such time as infantry from Spain
reached Florida. He published a proclamation to the effect
on September 13, and next'day the first St. Augustinian had
yet to appear. The governor wondered if any would volunteer
at all. Five months later, Torres had not yet obtained the
modest number of native-born replacements; only ten had en-
listed in that period.
The period closed with the crown insisting on the limi-
tation of native-born numbers in Florida. In 1699 it ordered
Torres to discharge the ten criollos lately recruited, as
soon as he got soldiers from abroad. The viceroy of Nueva
EspaBa had been ordered to furnish men for Florida.
The Levies from Nueva Espaia
The very first men from abroad to arrive in Spanish Flo-
rida during the period were ones recruited in Nueva EspaBa.
In the wake of the 1668 pirate raid, the crown had ordered
the viceroy to remit seventy-five infantry, as the authorized
strength had been increased.
These Mexicans, if we may use this term for brevity.
reached Florida in June 1670. The viceroy had raised seventy-
two men with difficulty because "the people born in this kir.g-
dom, and even many who come here from other places, are
not inclined to give up the comfort and abundance of
peace for the discomfort and needs of war." The men
embarked at Veracruz but forty aboard a vessel were di-
verted for service in Campeche (Mexico), and only thirty-
two reached Habana, the intermediate port on the trip to
St. Augustine. The viceroy made this loss good by having
the criminal tribunal irn Mexico City designate men for
transportation to Florida. Due to death and desertion
enroute, nineteen only joined those already at Habana.
In the end, then, fifty one men disembarked in St. Augus-
More men from Nueva EspaFa came in 1671-1673. A
second levy of sixteen got to Florida in July 1671, when
Sergeant Major Manuel de Cendcya arrived to assume the
governorship. In the ensuing two years, at undetermined
times, another twenty-eight reached St. Augustine. Only
ninety-six men arrived from Mexico during the entire period
covered in this article.
Both the Spanish-born and the native-born were preju-
diced against the men from Nueva Espara. In 1673, Governor
Nicolas Ponce de Leon, a St. Augustinian, said that the
infantry furnished by the viceroy consisted of mulattoes,
half-breeds, and others, who were deficient in courage and
belligerence, and totally unfit for military service. Gov-
ernor Hita, who had been governor at Veracruz, pleaded in
.1678 for replacements from Habana so that he could discharge
the Mexicans. He called them the sons of Negroes, chinos
(mixed bloods), and mulattoes, and all they could do was to
work as cobblers, tailors, carpenters, and blacksmiths.
These were the occupations for which they were fitted by
nature. Those having no trade would be sent to the fields
to help in cattle raising, which has deteriorated due to
lack of hands.
It had been the intention of the crown to provide for
Florida's manpower needs by obtaining the necessary men in
Nueva Espaia. Several times during the period the viceroy
was reminded of this. Likewise, the governor and royal
officials of Florida were instructed to apply to the viceroy
whenever in need of men. But Governor Marquez, who had no
liking for the Spanish-descended, St. Augustine-born men,
was even less willing to accept men of still lower origins.
In 1683 he pleaded that the viceroy be instructed to send
no more Mexicans. He argued that the cost of delivering
ninety-six soldiers from Nueva Espa6a would have paid for
shipping 200 from Spain or the Canary Islands, not to mention
the superior quality of the latter.
Actually Marquez never requisitioned men from Nueva Es-
para. To the representations of the royal officials that it
should be done in order to fill the large number of vacancies,
he invariably replied that he wanted to keep the spaces empty
for the soldiers from Spain which the crown had promised him.
The royal officials did not make the requisitions either;
they feared the unpleasantness of bypassing Marquez.
Governor Quiroga, Marquez's successor, was willing
to follow instructions. In 1688 he informed the crown that
he would ask for Mexican manpower when necessary. However,
many men from Nueva EspaEa had been discharged in Florida
because they were impressed Indians and half-breeds. Be-
sides, they never arrived in full numbers because they ran
away even before leaving Nueva Espaia. As his garrison
was full strength at the moment, he was glad he did not
have to recur to the viceroy.
By 1698 the viceroy had been reminded once more to
aid Florida, but henceforth with a different type of men.
The crown urged him to send delinquents convicted of lesser
crimes which carried imprisonment, but he was not to send
those whose penalty called for exile in the Philippines.
Toward the end cf the period, Nuev. Espana could not
be relied upon as a source of manpower. By the end of 1701,
Governor ZGUiga had written tc the viceroy repeatedly for
100 men. The viceroy had invariably referred to his many
administrative problems, and never gave any promise of
remission. Ziuiga concluded that it was useless to apply
to Nueva Espaia; after all, for sixteen years his prede-
cessors had failed to obtain a single man from that source.
The Men from Habana
Habana, the Spanish locality nearest to St. Augustine,
was the fourth source of manpower for Spanish Florida. It
apparently never supplied levies as large as those from
Spain or Nueva Espana, and the Cubans seem to have come in
very small groups or individually. Their number or specific
times of arrival have not been determined.
On February 25, 1673, Governor Francisco Rodriguez de
Ledesma of Habana was ordered to raise fifty infrantrymen
and send them to Florida. 'In September, he reported how
difficult it was to get any men to enlist, "due to the horror
with which Florida is regarded in this garrison because it is
the place to where malefactors and troublemakers of this
country are exiled." However, he had managed to ship a few
men sentenced to exile for trouble-making. These men would
be useful in Florida.
Some of the troublemakers were men of position in the
gentlemanly social class. In the manuscripts their names
are prefixed by the significant Spanish title of don. They
must have served satisfactorily, despite the stigma of exile,
to have prompted Governor Hita to ask in 1678 for 100 Habana
men to replace those from Nueva Espa6a.
Some of the men from Habana had a point in common with
the St. Augustinians. They too were criloZos, or American-
born. But in Florida they were men from abroad, and thus
qualified for military service.
Roughly between 1687 and 1693, Habana men came individ-
ually to St. Augustine for brief periods of service. They
came for quick appointments as ensigns, returning to Cuba
The period closed with the arrival of a large levy
from Habana. A 212-man force landed at Matanzas on De-
cember 29, 1702, to break the English encirclement of
St. Augustine. There were 142 habaneros among them. The
siege over, Governor ZGUiga wanted to keep eighty tempo-
rarily, but the departing detachment could not spare more
than thirty soldiers.
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of
Florida Gainesville. Stetson Collection.
Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI) 58-2-2/18,
Viceroy Marquess de Mancera of Nueva
EspaEa to the crown, Veracruz, March
15, 1670, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-10/111, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, October
31, 1671, 8 ff.
AGI 54-1-20/5, Governor Francisco Rodriguez de Ledes-
ma of Habana to the crown, Habana,
September 30, 1673, 3 ff.
AGI 58-2-2/29, Governor Francisco Rodriguez de Le-
desma of Habana to the crown, Habana,
September 30, 1673, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/139, Crown to the governor and royal
treasury officials of Florida, Madrid,
January 13, 1675, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/45, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, May 2,
1676, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/206, Crown to the royal treasury officials
of Florida, Madrid, December 24, 1677,
AGI 54-5-14/146, Accountant Salvador de Cigarroa of
Florida to the crown, Florida,
October 24, 1678, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/52, Governor Fablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
March 13, 1679, 10 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/247, Crown to the viceroy of Nueva Espafa,
Madrid, April 6, 1680, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/253, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, May 2, 1680, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/302, Crqwn to the viceroy of Nueva Espaf.a,
Madrid, November 8, 1681, 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/3, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
January 25, 1682, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/326, Crown tc the governor of Florida,
Madrid, August 21, 1682, 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/7, Crown to the Governor of Florida,
Madrid, October 2, 1682, 6 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/2, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, May 31,
1683, 3 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/102, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrere of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 28, 1683, 11 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/1025, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida tc the crown, St. Augustine,
June 28, 1683, 16 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/103, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine, June
28, 1682, 9 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/9, Governor Juar. Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 28, 1683, 46 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/394, Crown to the governor of Florida, Madrid,
March 28, 1684, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/7, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 4, 1684, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/16, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
April 28, 1685, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/27, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, July 15,
1685, 3 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/28, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to- the crown, St. Augustine, July 17,
1685, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/33, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
March 18, 1686, 10 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/34, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Flo-
rida to the crown, St. Augustine,
March 20, 1686, 20 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/44, Accountant Tomas Menendez Marques of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
May 10, 1687, 14 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/38, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, June 5, 1687, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/55, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, March 15,
1688, 3 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/57, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
April 1, 1688, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/84, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, August 1, 1688, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/172, Crown to the royal treasury officials
of Florida, Buen Retiro, May 30, 1691,
AGI 58-1-22/266, Crown to the governor and royal trea-
sury officials of Florida, Madrid,
February 18, 1693, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/78, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, April
25, 1696, 5 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/138, Governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala
of Florida to the crown, Florida,
September 14, 1697, 7 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/142, Governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
February 8, 1698, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/404, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, April 8, 1698, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/493, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, May 16, 1699, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-27/23, Governor Jose de ZUGiga y Cerda of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
October 30, 1701, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-27/A3, Governor Jose de ZG~iga y Cerda of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
December 28, 1701., 7 ff.
North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh.
Spanish Records Collection. Microfilm available in the
St. Augustine Historical Society and Castillo de San Mar-
cos National Monument.
AGI 58-2-2/14, Viceroy Marquess de Mancera of Nueva
Espana to the crown, Mexico, April 20,
1669, 89 ff.
AGI 58-2-2/15, Viceroy Marquess de Mancera of Nueva
Espaia to the crown, Mexico, Cctober
28, 1669, 5 ff., which consists'also
of 31 ff. erroneously attached to
AGI 58-2-2/17, Governor Francisco de
la Guerra y de la Vega of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, January 27,
1670, 34 ff.
AGI 58-2-2/20, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, Mexico, January 15, 1671,
3 ff., which should also include AGI 58-
2-2/16, Pedro Velazquez de la Cadena,
Testimonies del 2? Cuaderno de autos,
cartas y juntas tocantes a socorros
de la Florida, Mexico, January 12,
1671, 50 ff., which presently is filed
AGI 58-1-26/23, Governor Nicolas Ponce de Leon of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
July 8, 1673, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/40, Governor Fablo de Hita Salazar of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
November 10, 1678, 3 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/67, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
June 14, 1681, 25 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/5, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine,
May,5, 1682, 32 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/690, Royal treasury officials of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, May 6,
1690, 5 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/84, Governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala
of Florida to the crown, Florida,
April 30, 1696, 10 ff.
AGI 58-1-23/165, Crown tc the governor of Florida,
Madrid, July 24, 1702, 4 ff.
Charles W. Arnade, The Siege of St. Augustine in 1702
(Gainesville: University of Florida, 1959).
Albert C. Manucy, The Building of Castillo de San Marcos
(Washington: National Park Service, 1942).
PRcopilaci6n de Zeyes de los reins de Zas Indias, 3 vols.
(Madrid: Consejo de la Hispanidad, 1943).
Andres de San Miguel, "Relaci6n de los trabajos que la gente
de una nac, llamada Nuestra Se.ora de la Merced, y de al-
gunas cosas que en aquella flota sucedieron," in Genaro
Garcia, Los antiguas relaciones de la florida (Mexico,
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA, 1671-1702
The term Florida applied only to the territory governed from St. Augus-
tine. It was bounded on the-north by today's Port Royal Sound (South Caro-
lina) and on the west by the Apalachicola River. Based on Indian language
lines, this territory was organized into provinces. Guale Province comprised
coastal Florida north of St. Augustine and Georgia, and its seat was St. Cath-
erine's Island until 1680, Sapelo Island until 1686, and Amelia Island until
1702. Timucua Province extended westward from St. Augustine to the Aucilla
River, with seat at Santa Fe (near today's Gainesville). Apalache Province
lay between the Aucilla and the Apalachicola Rivers, and its seat was San Luis
(Tallahassee). Apalachicoli Province lay north of Apalache, bounded roughly
on the west by the Chattahoochee River, on the north by a line between today's
Columbus and Macon (Georgia), and on the east by a line running from Macon to
Tallahassee. The territory between Apalachicoli and Guale and to the south
of Timucua was unorganized.
Sergeant Major Manuel de Cendoya arrived in St. Augustine on July 6,
1671, and took possession as governor and captain general of Florida. The
roll of the general muster held on the occasion reveals the organization
structure of the Florida garrison. The changes made subsequently did not
alter the structure fundamentally during 31 years. These years saw the
construction and baptism of fire of Castillo de San Marcos, the beginning
of the use of coquina for building private houses, and finally the burning
of "old" St. Augustine in 1702.
The organization of the Florida garrison provided for four main groups
of personnel under the overall command of the governor and captain general.
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 12
These groups were an administrative staff, two regular and two militia infan-
try companies, an artillery detachment, and a naval detachment.
The positions comprised within the administrative staff were an account-
ant and a treasurer (both of whom were called the Royal Treasury officials),
a lieutenant of Castillo de San Marcos, a public and governmental notary, a
chief and a second assistant to the accountant, a rations and munitions no-
tary, two construction superintendents, a master blacksmith, an armorer, and
a chaplain for the Castillo. Although Spanish terms for some of these jobs
varied occasionally, the function nevertheless remained essentially the same.
The number of administrative positions increased or decreased depending
upon temporary needs. In 1688, for instance, a cartwright and a master of
the slaves appeared on a muster roll, and between 1685 and 1696 there was no
second assistant to the accountant. In the latter year, the position was
again reinstituted. A part-time staff position, whose work was performed as
an additional duty by any qualified member of the garrison, was that of in-
terpreter of the Guale Indian language. By 1688, an interpreter of the
Timucua Indian language had also become available.
The two regular infantry companies were under operational, but not ad-
ministrative, command of the sergeant major. The major had a small staff
consisting of two adjutants, a surgeon, a barber, and an apothecary. An
additional adjutant was allowed in 1687 and still another one in 1695. The
surgeon and apothecary positions were filled for some time by priests of
the Order of San Juan de Dios beginning in 1685. The members of this order
received medical training that enabled them to care for sick and wounded
soldiers. By 1699, the apothecary was again a secular person.
Each regular infantry company had two officers, a captain and an ensign.
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 13
The rank and file consisted of a sergeant, four corporals, a page, two drum-
mers, a fifer, and a varying number of privates. The two companies had 102
and 104 privates in 1671, 87 and 91 in 1680, 66 and 61 in 1683, and 76 each
in 1687. A third company was created in the latter year, and then each had
Two militia companies, one of infantry and the other of cavalry, seem
to have been organized in 1671. Almost nothing is known about them. Two
infantry companies appear from a reorganization around 1681. One was constituted
by white St. Augustine-born men and men from abroad, and the other by free
black men. A muster roll in 1683 shows that the white unit had a captain,
an ensign, a sergeant, four corporals, and 51 privates. The black company had
an ensign as commander, a sergeant, four corporals, and 43 privates. By 1688,
the white organization had increased to 83 men while the black unit had reached
the strength of 62, this time including some slaves.
The artillery detachment consisted of a captain, a master gunner, and
nine gunners. This strength rose to 14 in 1679, 16 in 1680, and 23 in 1683.
It has however dropped to 20 in 1702.
The positions included in the naval detachment were those of captain, of
sea and war, chief pilot, harbor pilot, chief caulker, boatswain, seaman,
apprentice seaman, and page. By 1680 a master had been added, and by 1699
a coastal pilot. Naval personnel strength dropped from 27 in 1671 to 11 in
1683. It had however risen to 16 by 1702.
Four major operational functions were carried out by the principal and
peripheral tasks entailed in the positions described above. These functions,
and the positions subject to them were
(1) command and execution: governor and captain general,
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 14
The lieutenant and the chaplain of Castillo de San Mar-
cos, artillery captain, and public and governmental no-
(2) personnel, finance, supply, and communication: account-
ant and his assistants, treasurer, rations and munitions
notary, and naval personnel;
(3) construction and maintenance: construction superinten-
dents, master blacksmith, and armorer; and
(4) troop operation: major, adjutants, surgeon, barber,
apothecary, and infantry company captains.
The governor and captain general of Florida bore absolute responsibili-
ty for the security of Castillo de San Marcos. He was required by royal ap-
pointment to give an oath called pleito homenaJe, as provided in Spanish
statutory law. By it he obligated himself to keep and defend the fort or
die, delivering it only to the person indicated by the crown. The oath made
the governor legally the warden of the Castillo.
The varied tasks of his position prevented the governor from being a
full time warden. Accordingly he delegated the custody, but not the respon-
sibility, of Castillo on an officer appointed by him called the lieutenant
of the fort. This procedure had been observed since the founding of St. Au-
gustine and the first fortification. The Castillo lieutenant, like all the
other lieutenants to the governor, had to be present in Florida, and could
not be the same person or persons who had held that tenure in the preceding
governorship. The lieutenancy of the fort carried the grade of captain.
The tenancy of Castillo de San Marcos was a very frustrating job. The
incumbent was second to the governor as it concerned the fort only, and had
no troops under his command. The Castillo was guarded by sentries appointed
by the major, who still kept command over the guards. The infantry officers
regarded the lieutenant as a mere adjutant or less, rather than as a repre-
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 15
sentative of the governor. An unsuccessful request was made in 1675 to make
the lieutenant superior to the major when the latter was within the Castillo.
The governor, in his capacity as Castillo warden, always gave preference
to the defense of the fort over that of the city. In emergencies he ordered
the soldiers, and even the civilians, to shut themselves up with him in the
fortification. To the dismay of the townspeople, this did not provide for
the settlement's safety and left the houses and farms unprotected. If an
attack did materialize, the settlers stoically had to witness the plundering
and burning of their property.
The Royal Treasury officials proposed a solution to the vexatious pro-
blem in 1683 and again in 1686. They suggested the appointment of the major
or a regular infantry captain as warden, and the assignment of 100 infantry
and 25 artillery to the Castillo as a permanent garrison. The governor, with
the remainder of the troops, could then be responsible for protecting the
city and other places in the provinces. The people would thus feel comforted
that there was protection for the houses and farms they had built with so
much work and privation.
Governor Juan MArquez Cabrera commented on the proposal. He failed to
recognize that independence of the wardenship from the governorship was the
key point. He began by suggesting approval of the warden by the governor,
and ended by demanding appointment by the governor.
Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada gave a more constructive comment in
1691. Supplies, clothing, and the pay for the troops were kept in the Cas-
tillo. These were issued only on the governor's order by the treasurer or
the rations and munitions notary in person. A warden desiring to be sole
commander of the fort might interfere with established procedures. Besides,
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 16
a warden might not keep his troops at full strength and avail himself of the
pay for the vacancies. Furthermore, the work of the warden and his garrison
would be less than that of the remainder of the infantry. A governor trying
to harmonize these differences was bound to have friction with the warden.
The governor should keep appointing the lieutenant, who could be removed if
he did not act correctly.
Quiroga then explained why governors and soldiers shut themselves in the
Castillo when attack threatened. The strength and quality of the personnel
was inadequate. Most of those serving in Florida had been forcibly levied,
and if not controlled centrally might desert to the enemy. A governor had
to foresee all this and if the townspeople did not understand, it was just
too bad. Superior officers did not have to explain to subordinates the
reasons and motives for their actions.
The crown resolved on the proposal in 1692. There would be no change
in the customary way of providing a custodian for the Castillo. The crown
may not have been ready to grant a warden. The separation of the wardenship
from the governorship was the difference between complete military govern-
ment as in Florida, and separate civil and military jurisdictions as in
The sergeant major of Florida, just like the governor, was appointed by
the crown. He was the second in command of the garrison, and succeeded to
the governorship temporarily in the absence or death of the governor. Natu-
rally he was regarded as a potential governor, a fact which disturbed the
proprietary incumbent, and some of them tried unsuccessfully to have the
sergeantcy major abolished.
The major was directly charged with defending the settlement. He was
MILITARY ORGANIZATICN IN FLORIDA 17
not concerned with the security of Castillo; this was the responsibility of
the governor. The source of difficulty in this arrangement lay in that only
one body of troops was available to both the governor and the major to carry
out conflicting defense missions. If the governor in an emergency held for
himself the priority on the use of the troops, the major was left with little
or no resources to perform his task.
The sergeantcy major did not carry concurrent command of a company, as
had been the custom many years before. Several unsuccessful attempts were
made to make the major also an administrative commander of men. Governor
Quiroga proposed in 1688 that the major be given a company if a captaincy
became vacant, thus saving a captain's salary. This was the same argument
used by a company commander in 1694, when he asked for the sergeantcy major
along with his current command.
Majors became acting governors of Florida twice during the period.
When Governor Cendoya died in 1673, Nicolas Ponce de Ledn assumed the gover-
norship and held it until Sergeant Major Pablo de Hita Salazar, the appointed
new governor, arrived in 1675. Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda was acting
governor for four months in 1687, when Governor Marquez went absent without
leave, until relieved by Diego de Quiroga.
Succession to the sergeantcy major in the absence or death of the pro-
prietor was just as important as succession to the governorship. Major Aranda
went to Habana on sick leave in 1689. Immediately the Royal Treasury officials
asked the crown who became acting governor in case the proprietary governor
died or went away while there was no proprietary major. In 1691, the crown
replied that the senior regular infantry captain would be the acting sergeant
major and would succeed to the governorship if both governor and major happened
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 18
to be absent or dead. This provision kept the succession on a crown-appointed
The captains (regular infantry company and artillery commanders) were
appointed by the crown. They held command as long as the king pleased, and
thus they were proprietors of their units. They held their companies despite
temporary absences or disabilities unless relieved by the crown itself. The
captains appointed their subordinate company officer and noncommissioned
officers, subject to approval by the governor.
Garrisons were stationed in the seats of Guale, Timucua, and Apalache
Provinces. These garrisons consisted of a commander, called the provincial
lieutenant governor, and a small group of soldiers. They supported the reli-
gious missionary establishments, kept the converted Indians obedient to the
crown, protected them from raids by unconverted Indians, and kept peace by
arbitrating disputes between chiefs. In 1689, another garrison was stationed
in Apalachicoli Province in an effort to counter the growing English ascendancy
over the Indians. However, more pressing needs in St. Augustine forced withdrawal
in the fall of 1691.
As a conclusion to these notes, the successive steps in an infantry career
in Florida can be sketched. A man enlisted as a private and then advanced
through the grades of corporal and sergeant. He might next become an officer
by promotion to ensign of a company, and then advance to adjutant on the major's
staff. In time he could become the captain of a company, permanently by royal
appointment or temporarily by appointment of the governor. The opportunity for
him to become major by royal appointment was extremely rare, but occasionally
he attained that grade temporarily through appointment by the governor.
Tenure in each of the regular command positions for officers mentioned above
MILITARY ORGANIIZATION IN FLORIDA 19
was limited, except for the permanent captain, and the next higher grade
might not follow immediately. An officer serving during the interval
between assignments to regular positions or to another job was a reformado.
However, the nature of service in Florida called for tasks not covered
by regular command positions, and the reformados were used to perform these
particular jobs. Former ensigns, adjutants, captains, or majors were tapped
for duty as officers in charge of vessels making trips to Habana, Mexico,
Spain, or the provinces. Some times one of these jobs carried responsibili-
ty calling for a higher grade, and the reformado chosen to perform it acquired
that grade. Reformados were also appointed to the administrative positions,
such as acting accountant or treasurer, assistants to the accountant, public
and governmental notary, rations and munitions notary, and construction super-
The service in part of Francisco Romo de Uriza illustrates a military
career in Florida. Uriza enlisted as a private of infantry at the age of
sixteen on June 16, 1673. Two and a half years later, December 20, 1675,
he bypassed promotion to corporal to become a sergeant. Uriza became an
officer when he was appointed as ensign of a company on September 30, 1676.
He was serving in this capacity when seven months later, on May 12, 1677,
Governor Pablo de Hita chose him to command a vessel on a trip by sea, and
appointed him as captain of sea and war. This assignment ended on June 16
following, and Uriza acquired the status of a reformado captain rather than
that of ensign, as he had been previously. His grade as captain became
effective again when he was chosen as lieutenant governor of Guale on May 31,
1688, and consecutively as lieutenant governor of Apalache on July 4, 1689.
He ceased on the latter job on January 2, 1691, and resumed reformado status.
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 20
The captaincy of a company became vacant on June 28, 1692 by the sudden death
of Captain Juan Sanchez de Uriza, Romo's father. Governor Diego de Quiroga
appointed Francisco Romo de Uriza as acting company commander on the same
date. This time his temporary effective tenure was followed by regular
status eight and a half years later, when on December 23, 1700, the crown
appointed him to be the captain of the company. Uriza's career extended be-
yond the period covered by these notes.
P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI) 58-1-26/13C, Governor Manuel de
Cendoya of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, Octo-
ber 31, 1671, 9 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/3, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, March 20, 1672, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/16A, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida to the crown,
Florida, March 24, 1672, 26 ff.
AGI 54-5-19/9, Governor Nicolas Ponce de Le6n of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, July 8, 1673, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/23, Governor Nicolas Ponce de Le6n of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, July 8, 1673, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/125, Crown to Captain Juan Sinchez de Uriza of Florida,
Madrid, April 7, 1674, 4 ff.
AGI 32-4-29/35/2a, Sergeant Major Nicolas Ponce de Ledn of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, August 23, 1675, 2 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/38, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, August 24, 1675, 9 ff.
AGI 58-1-21/123, Crown to Captain and Sergeant Major Pablo de Hita
Salazar of Veracruz, Madrid, February 5, 1674, 7ff.
AGI 58-1-21/177, Crown to Captain Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda,
Madrid, April 1, 1677, 4 ff.
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 21
AGI 58-1-21/184, Crown to the governor of Florida, Madrid, November
1677, 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/52, Governor Pablo de Hita Salazar of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, March 13, 1679, 10 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/102B, Governor Juan MArquez Cabrera of Florida to the
crown, June 28, 1683, 16ff.
AGI 54-5-11/103, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida to the
crown, June 28, 1683, 9 ff.
AGI 54-5-11/107, Governor Juan Erquez Cabrera of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, June 28, 1683, 7 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/9, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, June 28, 1683, 46 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/11, Royal Treasury officials of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, February 20, 1685, 17ff.
AGI 54-5-15/17, Governor Juan MErquez Cabrera of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, April 30, 1685, 59 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/32, Royal Treasury officials of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, March 4, 1686, 6 ff.
AGI 2-4-1/19/13, Governor Juan M~rquez Cabrera of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, March 20, 1686, 50 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/34, Governor Juan Mirquez Cabrera of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, March 20, 1686, 20 ff.
AGI 54-5-14/41 Governor Pedro de iranda y Avellaneda of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, April 28, 1687, 56 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/36, Crown to the viceroy of New Spain, 3uen Retiro,
May 26, 1687, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/50, Crown to Ensign Francisco Hernandez of Florida,
,September 30, 1687, 4 ff.
AGI 58-1-26/114, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, December 19, 1687, 9 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/57, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St, Augustine, April 1, 1688, 3 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/60, Governor Diego de Wuiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, April 1, 1688, 17 ff.
MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN FLORIDA 22
AGI 54-5-12/66, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, April 15, 1688, 35 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/69, Royal Treasury officials of Florida to the crown,
Florida, July 28, 1689, 3 ff.
AGI 54-1-26/1, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, August 1689, 12 ff.
AGI 54-5-12/104, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, June 8, 1690, 12 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/17, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, Kay 12, 1691, 5 ff.
AGI 54-1-22/206, Crown to the Royal Treasury officials of Florida,
Buen Retiro, November 17, 1691, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/32, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, April 10, 1692, 17 ff.
AGI 54-5-19/123, Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, August 23, 1692, 24 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/256, Crown to the governor of Florida, Madrid, December 4,
1692, 2 ff.
AGI 54-5-19/132, Extracto de lo que parece, por los papeles adjuntos,
tocante a la vacant de la Sargentia Mayor de la
Florida y provision de las compafias de aquel Presidio,
Junta de Guerra de las Indias, Madrid, September 20,
1695, 16 ff.
AGI 58-1-22/381, Crown to the governor of Florida, Madrid, February 27,
1696, 4 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/111, Accountant Tomas Menendez Marques of Florida to the
crown, Florida, April 12, 1696, 17 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/85, Governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, April 30, 1696, 5 ff.
AGI 54-5-13/138, Governor Laureano de Torres y Ayala of Florida to
the crown, Florida, September 14, 1697, 7 ff.
AGI 54-5-15/136, Royal Treasury officials of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, September 2, 1699, 20 ff.
AGI 58-1-23/95, Crown to Captain Francisco Romo de Uriza of Florida,
Madrid, December 23, 1700, 5 ff.
ENRIQUE PRIMO DE RIVERA ( 1621-1707)
A Spanish Florida Soldier
The major sources of archival material dealing with Spanish
Florida history afford opportunities to reconstruct the life of
men connected with such history. Information appears in microfilms
or photostats of petitions from individuals to the crown, official
certificates of service, patients for appointments, demographic
records, and even regular reports of occurrences. Any remarks that
emerge pertaining to a specific person can be recorded on an indivi-
dual data card. Eventually this lengthy, painstaking, and laborious
process yields a pattern of the accomplishments and omissions of a
person. The result gives us a man in history, complete in more than
the single dimension of his origin, his birth, his death, and his
To show what can be obtained, we have compiled biographical data
in such fashion on Enrique Primo de Rivera, a Spanish soldier who
served a long career in Europe and Florida. We have not exhausted the
known extant sources shedding light on this man. However, our notes
show him in context with his times, and reveal that his life parallel-
led the historical decline of Spain's power.
Enrique Primo de Rivera was born in Brussels, Spanish Netherlands
(now Belguim), probably in 1621, the year that the war between Spain
and the rebellious United Dutch Provinces was resumed upon expira-
tion of the 12 years' truce. A treaty brought France into the con-
flict on the Dutch side in 1635, and the prospect of a partition of
the southern Netherlands (Belguim) between France and Holland.
Spain lost Breda in 1637 and her sea power received a smashing
blow in the Downs in 1639. For all practical purposes, the
provinces in rebellion had slipped from Spanish dominion.
Primo de Rivera began his military career on November 18, 1639
by enlisting as a private in a Walloon company detached from the
regiment of Captain Guillaume Montertault for service in Flanders.
Six years later, he was promoted to sergeant.
In time Rivera saw his share of combat service. In 1647, he
participated in the recovery of the fortresses of Armentieres, Lan-
drecies, and Dixmunde from the French, and in 1648 was present at
the relief of Courtrai and Chateau de Exterez and in the disastrous
Spanish defeat at the battle of Lens.
The Peace of Westphalia (1648) wrested the United Dutch Pro-
vinces from Spain but did not end Franco-Spanish hostilities. In-
deed Spain aided the Fronde rebels, who came out against the royal
government that same year, in order to dilute French pressure on
Enrique Primo de Rivera now became an officer. On July 18,
1649, he was promoted to the ensigncy in the company commanded by
the governor of Puernoy. Ensign Rivera participated in the relief
of Gravelines, the invasion of France, the taking of Chavri, and
the relief of Dunkirk in 1652. The ensuing year he was present at
the capture of the villages of Rocroi and Vervins, and in 1654 at
the siege and battle of Arras, where the Spanish blunted the French
victory by a skillful retreat. Rivera participated also in the
victory over the besiegers of Valenciennes and in the relief of the
village of Conde in 1656.
After 20 years service, Primo de Rivera finally became a com-
pany commander. On February 27, 1659, he was appointed captain of
a company of Walloon infantry by Don Juan de Austria, the Spanish
commander in the Netherlands, and assumed his command a month
later. However, the Peace of the Pyrenees, signed between Spain
and France that same year, brought about an army reorganization,
and Captain Rivera had to give up his company on March 7, 1660.
He then joined the company of Fieldmaster the Sieur de Henin, gov-
ernor of Singelin, as a reformado captain. On May 1 following,
the Marquess de Caracena, Spanish commander in the Netherlands,
assigned him an entretenimiento (retainer) of 25 escudos monthly
in order that Rivera serve with the Walloon infantry.
With the prospects of holding further active military employ-
ment in Europe greatly reduced, Captain Enrique Primo de Rivera
migrated to Spanish America. In 1662 he took the opportunity of
accompanying Fieldmaster Francisco Davila Orej6n, who had been
appointed governor of Habana and the island of Cuba, to that
country. Rivera then passed on to Florida with Engineer Marcos
Lucio of New Spain, who had been despatched by Governor Davila to
dive for the silver lost in an admiral's flagship wrecked off Placer
de Mimbre (probably Bimini). Upon completion of the task, Rivera
seems to have renounced his reformado status by staying in St.
Augustine as a private resident.
Despite the fact that at the time he was a civilian, Primo de
Rivera participated in the defense of wooden Castillo de San Marcos
from an attack by English pirates in 1668. At one o'clock in the
morning of May 29, when the enemy came ashore at St. Augustine by
surprise, he left the house of his pregnant wife of three months,
and her parents, and hurried to the Castillo. There he volunteered
his services to Governor Francisco de la Guerra. Later in the day,
after the pirates had been repulsed at the fort, Rivera went out
on the ineffectual sally made to dislodge the enemy from the city.
Captain Rivera now sought unsuccessfully to obtain some type
of assignment. In 1669 he petitioned the crown for appointment
as alcaide (warden) of the St. Augustine fortification. He also
applied for permission to dive for the recovery of silver from
vessels wrecked in the Bahama Channel. Despite his unemployment,
Rivera was one of the official witnesses at a very significant
ceremony on October 2, 1672: the groundbreaking for the construc-
tion in masonry of Castillo de San Marcos.
Enrique Primo de Rivera's bad luck changed at last and he ob-
tained a position in the Florida garrison. On January 24, 1673, he
was enlisted as a reformado captain at the then customary pay for
reformados: the salary (115 ducats a year) and ration(2-1/2 reales
daily) of a private. This was less frustrating than having been out
of service for 6 years in an exclusively military town. The oppor-
tunities for performing assignments would present themselves now
that he was on the rolls. Indeed, by May 8, 1676, Rivera had been
appointed captain of the garrison's artillery detachment by Governor
Pablo de Hita.
Artillery Captain Rivera was soon detached for a very important
special task. On December 3, 1678, he was given orders and speci-
fications for building the first Fort San Marcos de Apalache (at St.
Marks), and had finished it by April 7, 1679. While thus engaged,
he received the grant by the crown of a retainer of 16 ducats per
month in Habana, which Rivera did not get to enjoy because he could
not be spared from the construction work.
Primo de Rivera was also unfortunate in losing the artillery
captaincy some time after the completion of the fort at St. Marks.
The crown did not approve the appointment. Therefore, on December
4, 1680, he was on the rolls of Captain Juan Sanchez de Uriza's
company in a reformado capacity.
The loss of the captaincy and the retainer were partly compen-
sated by a grant made to Rivera's 3-year old son. On September 27,
1681, in consideration of the captain's effective service of 33
years, the crown allowed the enlistment of Jose Primo de Rivera
as a private, despite his infancy. The boy could draw salary and
rations even though he would not serve until he became 18 years of
age. This type of grant was called a plaza muerta (dead-pay) be-
cause young Rivera counted as a member of the garrison even though
he was actually an ineffective number. The grant also waived the
circumstance that the infant was Florida--born since royal orders
prohibited the enlistment for regular. pay of any single or married
man who was a native and resident of a city having a garrison.
Captain Rivera had an opportunity for special assignments on
the occasion that pirates captured Matanzas Inlet watchtower in
1683 and subsequently marched on St. Augustine. On March 31 he went
as second in command of the detachment entrusted to Captain Antonio
de Arguelles, which ambushed and repulsed the enemy at El Vergel
(probably Fish's Island) on Anastasia. Next day, Rivera was given
command of 30 men and ordered to Guale Province (coastal Florida
between the St. Johns and the St. Mary's Rivers) to contest the land-
ing of the defeated pirates should they choose to go that way. On
arrival, he found that the enemy had already sacked the Indian vil-
lages of San Juan del Puerto (Fort George Island) and Santa Maria
(on Amelia Island).
Again, Enrique Primo de Rivera was tapped for the construction
of another fortification. Governor Diego de Quiroga chose him on
October 6, 1689 to build a fort in Apalachicola Province. On
December 21, Rivera reported that an earthwork had been finished
on the Chattahoochee River, near present-day Holy Trinity (Alabama).
Rivera used the performance of this task as the basis for his
petition to the crown on November 26, 1690 for the retained of 25
escudos monthly which he had once held, or a company command in
Florida, or transfer to a place where fortifications might be under
Eventually Enrique Primo de Rivera reached the highest position
to which a soldier serving in Florida could aspire: that of
Sergeant major. The garrison major actually commanded the troops.
As second in command to the governor of Florida, he became acting
governor in the event of death, illness, or absence of the proprie-
The promotion of Rivera to major followed a circuitous route.
He was appointed in an acting capacity by Governor Quiroga on May
Q3, 1692, but the crown disapproved the action on April 9, 1693.
Royal orders provided that the senior regular company commander
would be the acting major. At the time, such individual was Captain
Juan de Ayala y Escobar, who was not held in high regard by the
crown-appointed royal treasury officials. When the officials re-
ported their feelings, the crown consequently appointed Primo de
Rivera as the Florida sergeant major on November 23, 1695. Major
Rivera took possession of the office on May 21, 1697.
The advanced age and ill health of Rivera prevented him from
enjoying one of those long tenures in office so characteristic of
Florida service. On August 14, 1700, when the major was about 80
years old and chronically sick, the crown suggested that the senior
regular captain help Rivera by acting in his name as a sort of
deputy sergeant major. Rivera's health did not improve and all
he was able to do, even when he was feeling well, was to receive
the password from the governor and distribute it to the troops.
Informed of this situation, the Junta de Guerra in Madrid recom-
mended on May 22, 1702, that Rivera be officially assigned a deputy
sergeant major, a deserved consideration in view of his 62 years'
service. The crown however rejected the recommendation and ordered
on June 20 the retirement of Major Rivera with full pay.
Before this order reached St. Augustine and became effective,
Enrique Primo de Rivera performed one more service. He was active
in the defense of Castillo de San Marcos against a 50-day siege
by the English in 1702. It is true, however, that he was helped
a great deal by an adjutant in writing and distributing operational
Perhaps improved health and the inability to be inactive prompted
Rivera to petition the crown once more. On October 2, 1706, he
asked for the tenancy of the fort at Matanzas (Cuba), modestly in-
dicating that he had some practical knowledge of engineering. There
was no time left for him to receive an answer. The 86-year old
veteran of Europe and Florida died on February 5, 1707.
Enrique Primo de Rivera was married to Manuela Benedit Horruy-
tiner, the daughter of Sergeant Major Pedro Benedit Horruytiner, a
former acting governor of Florida, on March 4, 1668. Their chil-
dren were Valero, born December 12, 1668; Joanna, July 12, 1673;
Jacobina Damiana, September 26, 1675; Jose, February 18, 1678; and
Pedro Patricio, March 16, 1680, who may have died two weeks after
1. Stetson Collection ( hereafter SC): Archive General de Indias
(hereafter AGI) 54-5-10/108, Governor Francisco de la Guerra
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, September 25, 1667,
2. SC: AGI 54-5-18/77B, Captain Enrique Primo de Rivera of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, March 14, 1669.
3. SC: AGI 41-5-34/9, Gabriel Bernardo de Quir6s to the Casa de
Contracion, Madrid, May 6, 1670, 2 ff.
4. SC: AGI 58-1-26/17-18, Governor Manuel de Cendoya of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, October 31, 1671, 28 ff.
5. North Carolina Spanish Records Collection ( hereafter NC):
AGI 54-5-11/22, Governor Pablo de Hita of Florida to Don
Francisco Fernandez Madrigal, St. Augustine, August 24, 1675,
6. SC: AGI 54-5-19/16, Governor Pablo de Hita of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, May 8, 1676, 6 ff.
7. NC: AGI 54-5-11/46, Royal officials of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, February 27, 1679, 7 ff.
8. SC: AGI 54-5-11/52, Governor Pablo de Hita of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, March 13, 1679, 10 ff.
9. NC: AGI 58-1-26/62, Governor Pablo de Hita of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, March 6, 1680, 13 ff.
10. NC: AGI 58-1-26/67, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, June 14, 1681, 25 ff.
11. NC, SC: AGI 54-5-14'154, Royal officials of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, April 16, 1683, 27 ff.
12. SC: 54-5-12/9, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, June 28, 1683, 46 ff.
13. SC: AGI 54-5-15/41, Governor Pedro de Aranda of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, April 28, 1687, 56 ff.
14. NC: AGI 54-5-19/115, Captain Enrique Primo de Rivera of Florida
to the crown, St. Augustine, November 26, 1690, 21 ff.
15. SC: AGI 54-5-13/45, Governor Diego de Quiroga of Florida to
the crown, St. Augustine, August 23, 1692, 9 ff.
16. SC: 58-1-22/271, Crown to Royal officials of Florida, Madrid,
April 9, 1693, 2 ff.
17. SC: AGI 58-1-22/337, Crown to Captain Enrique Primo de
Rivera of Florida, Madrid, November 23, 1695, 4 ff.
18. SC: AGI 54-5-15/125, Sergeant Major Enrique Primo de Rivera
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, July 26, 1697, 10 ff.
19. SC: AGI 58-1-23/33, Crown to the governor of Florida, Madrid,
August 14, 1700, 3 ff.
20. SC: AGI 58-1-20/71, Junta de Guerra to the crown, Madrid,
May 22, 1702, 5 ff.
21. SC: AGI 58-1-23/162, Crown to Sergeant Major Enrique Primo
de Rivera of Florida, Madrid, June 20, 1702, 3 ff.
22. SC: AGI 58-1-28/10, Governor Francisco de C6rcoles of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, October 2, 1706, 4 ff.
23. SC: AGI 58-2-3/59, Viceroy Duke of Linares of New Spain
to the crown, Mexico, June 1714, 147 ff.
24. Cathedral Parish Records.
25. C. W. Arnade, The Siege of St. Augustine in 1702.
1. Walloon Company or Infantry: Men residing in the southern
portion of Belgidm who were in the Spanish service.
2. Reformado: The term applied to an officer who had vacated
a regular position in the garrison, at which time his pay
was reduced to that of a private.
3. Plaza muerta: A significant institution in the socio-
military organization of Florida in the first Spanish
period, termed "dead pay" in English military practice.
The plaza muerta was the man-space in the regular garrison's
authorized strength, whose salary was paid to a crippled,
aged or infirm soldier, a soldier's widow, or a soldier's
child. Only the crown conceded this benefit for life as a
reward for long and faithful service. Cripples, widows
and children in their minority did not actually perform any
Boys whose fathers had served honorably were granted this
privilege at the discretion of the crown. They drew pay
in an inactive status until they were 18, the age when they
began regular active service by being called out to do
Remarriage did not cancel a widow's plaza muerta unless her
grant included such restriction. Sometimes in a household
where there were no male members left, the grant was passed
on to an unmarried daughter upon the widow's death.
At a time when there were no pensions for a soldier's next
of kin, for the physically disabled or for retirement, the
institution of the plaza muerta provided social security for
Provision for their pay from regular military pay funds
made St. Augustine's social welfare dependent upon the army
force. This is why it is so important to know the military
organization of Spanish Florida to understand its way of
An example of a plaza muerta to a female appears in the same
Primo de Rivera family in 1702. Dona Maria Magdalena Uriza,
who married Enrique's son, Captain Jose Primo de Rivera
on January 27, 1706, had petitioned the crown on June 13, 1702
for a plaza muerta of 4 reales daily in consideration of the
services rendered to His Majesty by her father Juan Sanchez de
Uriza; her paternal grandfather, Juan Sanchez de Merida; and
her maternal grandfather Domingo Fernandes, all deceased.
She was living with her mother, Gertrudes de Lara.
On July 27, 1702, the Junta de Guerra in Madrid recommended
this allowance, and it was granted to her by Poyal 'edula
on August 13, 1702.
1. SC: AGI 58-1- 35/35, Petition of Doia Magdalena de Uriza,
to the crown, St. Augustine, June 13, 1702, 10 ff.
2. SC: AGI 58-1-20/72, Junta de Guerra to the crown, Madrid,
July 27, 1702, 4 ff.
3. SC: AGI 58-1-23/175, Royal Cedula, Madrid, August 13, 1702,
PIRATES MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE, 1683
On or about January 12, 1683, three pirate vessels
sailed from Providence and Siguate (Sidewater?, Sea
Gardens?) in the Bahamas. One was a 3-gun barco luengo
(long boat) named La Fortune, with 36 men aboard, commanded
by French Captain Abraham Briac. Another was a 6-gun
English frigate manned by 28 men under a Providence resi-
dent, Captain Jeremiah Canoe. The third vessel was an
English balandra (sloop), with an 18-man crew, in charge
of Captain George Younge, who was either the lieutenant
governor or a magistrate in Providence. Each freebooter
was armed with an escopette (flint lock musket) and a cut-
The departure had been prompted by the news from
Jamaica that a richly-laden Spanish ship lay at the bottom
of the sea at Organos Bank, west of Habana. The pirates
banded together to salvage the lost wealth using Florida
Indian divers. Between the two of them, the English vessels
carried 18 divers. If gold or silver was retrieved, the
sloop would fetch additional vessels with divers in Provi-
dence, specially one from New England which carried dragging
gear for clearing ballast away.
On their way to the wreck site, the pirate vessels
careened at Ensenilla Key, leeward of Habana. Then they
52 EL ESCRIBANO
proceeded to the Santa Lucia Keys. Off Cabafas, the vessels
sent two canoes inshore to capture someone who knew the
location of the wreck. Bad weather separated the canoes from
the vessels farther out at sea. A Spanish privateersman,
under Captain Juan de Iriarte, appeared unexpectedly on the
scene, and the canoes fled. Iriarte fired a gun three times,
killing two and wounding several of the enemy, and captured
one canoe with seven men on board. The other canoe ran aground
and its 21 men vanished in the country side. Burning the ca-
noes but failing to locate the escapees, Iriarte set course
for Habana,4 which he entered at 8 o'clock in the morning of
February 12, 1683.15
The seven prisoners captured by Iriarte, one a Frenchman
and the others Englishmen, had been aboard the French captain's
vessel. Luis Martin (Louis Martin), a Parisian, was about 37
years old and a Roman Catholic. Eduardo Rale (Edward Raleigh?),
born in Limbreque (Limerick?, Ireland), was 27 years old and
also a Roman Catholic. Tomas Cuque (Thomas Cooke), a native of
St. Christopher's in the West Indies, was 36 years old. Gui-
llermo Esteuart (William Stewart), originally from Llorca
(York?, England), was 24 years old. Juan Mitchel (John Mitchell),
a native of Portsmouth (England), was 28 years old. The full
name, age, and birth place of Guimares (Wymers?) were not re-
corded. The age and birth place also of Guillermo Harlis
(William Arliss?) went unrecorded. The latter four men were
Protestant. All seven could not write.
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 53
The depositions of these men in Habana revealed more
than just the story of their aborted salvaging expedition,
It was common knowledge in the pirate vessels, they said,
that after the salvage they would proceed to the Florida
presidio and sack it. The freebooters had estimated in
Providence that the enterprise would require 200 men, but
they would go ahead if only 150 would band together. They
sent a silver bar worth 1000 pesos ($1580) to Charleston
for provisions for the Florida trip.17
To guide them to their objective, the pirates held a
St. Augustine-born coastal pilot, Alonso de Avecilla,
and another prisoner, an old man named Sebastian. Avecilla
had attempted to evade the dubious task forced upon him by
taking refuge in the house of a Quaker. Briac and 18 other
freebooters petitioned the Providence governor to have the
pilot removed. The governor replied, "Get himl," and if
the Quaker resists, act accordingly. When the pirates set
sail for Organos Bank, Avecilla was aboard the French cap-
tain's vessel. The governor may or may not have known of
the projected Florida operation, but all Providence was
talking of nothing else.9
The pirates had a plan to carry out their St. Augustine
raid. Once the large and the three small vessels they in-
tended to use arrived in Florida waters, the pirates would
transfer to the smaller vessels. At a point 14 leagues
(42 miles) south of the city, they would again transfer to
54 EL ESCRIBANO
pirogues. Then, when within five leagues (15 miles) from
the Matanzas Inlet watchtower, the pirates would land and
march to capture the tower. This accomplished, the pirogues
would enter the inlet and take the men to St. Augustine via
the Matanzas River. After the occupation and sack of the
city, the larger vessels would sail from Matanzas to St. Au-
gustine Inlet to receive the loot.
On February 12, the same day Louis Martin, the captured
French pirate, made his deposition, Governor Jose Fernandez
de Cordoba Ponce de Le6n of Habana reported the alarming news
to Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida. The communica-
tion, including a copy of the deposition, was expressly dis-
patched in a small sloop to San Marc'os de Apalache for prompt
transmittal to Marquez. A duplicate, to be delivered at La
Chua Ranch, and a triplicate, sent by a fishing boat to the
chief of Ays (Indian River south of Cape Caiaveral), ensured
that the news would reach St. Augustine.21
Governor Marquez did indeed receive promptly the infor-
mation on the projected attack on St. Augustine. And that
same month the Habana news was auspiciously confirmed by an
independent source. The Dolphin, a Dutch vessel from New
York commanded by Captain Felipe Federico (Philip Fredericks?),
entered port. Federico reported that the preceding month he
had heard in Providence that French Captain Abraham, allied
with Englishmen, was coming with six vessels to invade St. Au-
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 55
The intelligence from Habana prompted Governor Marquez
to take measures for the defense of the Florida presidio.
He erected a watchtower on the beach north of St. Augustine
and another one at Ayam6n, seven leagues (21 miles) south
of Matanzas Inlet. The latter tower was placed in charge
of reformado Captain Francisco Romo de Uriza.2
But the main feature of St. Augustine's defense, Cas-
tillo de San Marcos, was still unfinished. Work was going
on in placing three of the four courses of stone in half
the length of the east curtain parapet, in building the
parapet on the north and west curtains, and in putting the
parapet on the south curtain at either side of the gate,
which was yet only an opening in the wall. But the ravelin
was finished except its gate, gundeck tabby surface, and
firing step. The four bastions were also finished.
In March 1683, besides the two new watchtowers, the
regular tower at Matanzas Inlet was manned as usual. Cap-
tain Andres Perez, the cabo (officer in charge), and
Adjutants Manuel Rizo, Juan Ruiz de Caiizares, Jose de
Cardenas, and Pedro de Tejeda (the Younger), all of them
reformados, were stationed there. Successive six-hour
shifts of a single sentry provided a day and night watch.
The sentries scanned toward the sea and the inlet exclu-
sively because it was in that direction that approaching
vessels would be seen.
The pirate expedition against St. Augustine departed
56 EL ESCRIBANO
from Providence. It consisted approximately of 300 men
aboard the French vessel under Captain Abraham, who was the
commander, and five English vessels from Jamaica and New
England.30 Apparently, the two English vessels which had
gone salvaging at Organos Bank in January were not present.
On March 24, the pirates reached Mosquito (Ponce de Le6n)
Inlet, 20 leagues (60 miles) south of St. Augustine, and
230 of them came ashore. Leaving the vessels there, the
men marched on the beach toward Matanzas Inlet. Along
the coast, two pirogues, guided by Alonso de Avecilla, kept
pace with the marchers, taking advantage of every turn and
cove in the shore line.3
The night of March 29-30 the pirogues were just outside
Matanzas Inlet. Silently and carefully, they entered the
inlet at high tide, went well beyond the watchtower, and
reached land behind the tower. The pirates landed and,
under cover of scrub and dunes, approached the tower. At
daybreak on the 30th, they rushed it, finding the sentries
asleep and capturing them without a struggle. The pirates
tied them up one to another. Later the pirates marching
overland reached the south side of the inlet, and the pirogues
ferried them across to Escolta (Anastasia) Island on the north
That morning Captain Uriza, the cabo of the Ayam6n watch-
tower, had to come to the Matanzas Inlet tower to inform Cap-
tain Perez of an order from the governor. He crossed an inlet
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 57
south of that at Matanzas in a canoe, and finally reached
the area and embarcadero (landing site) known as El Sargo
at Matanzas Inlet. Uriza saw seven men on the north shore
and called on them to transport him to their side.
Three embarked in a canoe and rowed toward him. As
they came closer, Uriza became intrigued by their dress
and rowing style. He shouted, "Who are you?," and the oars-
men replied, "We are coming!" Realizing then that they
were not Spanish, Uriza began getting away. The canoe
reached the south side of Matanzas Inlet, and the oarsmen
jumped ashore and fired a shot at Uriza. But Uriza reached
and boarded the canoe he had left at the other inlet, only
to find the south shore of that inlet occupied by strangers.
He then rowed westward to a small island in the river, land-
ed and crossed it, and then swam across the inland waterway
to the mainland. Thus through coincidence the pirate raid
Meanwhile the Ayam6n watchtower had also discovered
the pirates. About 10 o'clock in the morning that March 30,
the sentries there saw the enemy on the beach and evacuated
the tower. In the withdrawal, one of the sentries, refor-
mado Ensign Bartolome Perez, became separated from his com-
panions in the dense scrub and brush. The others, per-
haps three men, apparently struck a westward course.
After capturing the Matanzas Inlet watchtower and con-
centrating there, the pirates partially reconnoitered the
58 EL ESCRIBANO
Matanzas River. Manning the two pirogues lightly, they went
up river, forcing.Adjutant Tejeda, one of the captured sentries,
to guide them. But Tejeda led the pirogues into San Julian
Creek, where the pirates lost time extricating themselves.
Shortly after coming ashore on the mainland, Captain Uriza
came across the men of his watchtower. They had walked to-
gether a distance toward St. Augustine when at Palica they
fortunately met Juan Alonso de Esquivel, also on his way to
the city on horseback. Uriza told him about the pirates cap-
turing the Matanzas tower and urged him to ride as fast as
he could and notify the governor. Uriza and his men continued
marching toward St. Augustine, where they arrived at 4 o'clock
in the afternoon.
As soon as Esquivel informed him that the Matanzas tower
had fallen, Governor Marquez adopted measures to defend St. Au-
gustine from attack should the pirates choose to advance on
the city. The call to arms sounded. The regular soldiers as
well as the militia gathered in Castillo de San Marcos. The
soldiers' families too came in, greatly confused because there
was yet no shelter inside the Castillo. The governor then
ordered Major Pedro de Aranda with 30 men, accompanied by
reformado Captain Enrique Primo de Rivera as second in command,
to occupy a site at which the enemy might land if he crossed
the Matanzas River to the city's side, and Captain Antonio
de ArgUelles, perhaps with another 30 men, to occupy another
such site. These two sites were probably at the southern
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 59
end of the St. Augustine peninsula, one where Maria Sanchez
Creek empties into, and the other where the San Sebastian
River joins, the Matanzas. And close to these sites and in
the city,- the governor also provided sentry and observa-
tions posts. These preparations had been completed by
or shortly after 4 o'clock.
Governor Marquez attempted next to put Castillo de
San Marcos in a condition enabling the infantry to defend
it if such a need arose. There were still portions of two
curtains and a bastion where the parapet was either unfin-
ished or entirely missing, and Marquez set about filling
these gaps with dry stone. But the way he supervised
the task well into the night shocked every one inside the
Castillo. The governor kept spouting frightful imprecat-
ions and difamatory remarks, couched in perfidious, shame-
ful, and coarse words, against every one, including the
priests. Fear of the governor gave way to offense and
anger, and that night a mutiny could have taken place,
but Father Jose Perez de la Mota, the Castillo chaplain,
kept his composure and counseled prudence.
Next day, March 31, the decisive action in the pirate
raid against St. Augustine took place. Governor Marquez
sent two scouts to Escolta Island to ascertain the where-
about of the enemy. The scouts returned and reported
that 40 pirates on the island were marching toward the city.
The governor ordered Captain Argielles with 30 men, accom-
60 EL ESCRIBANO
panied by Captain Primo de Rivera as second in command and
regular Adjutant Antonio Mateos, to cross over and ambush
them. At El Vergel (The Garden), about a half league (1 1/2
miles) southeast of Castillo de San Marcos, ArgUelles posted
his force in hiding. Unwarily, the enemy, not 40 but 200 of
them, walked into the trap. The two successive volleys
fired by ArgUelles' men stopped them on their tracks, threw
them into confusion, and prompted them to retreat. In this
auspicious situation, Adjutant Tejeda, who had misguided the
pirates the previous day, escaped his captors and rejoined
the Spanish side.57 But having been wounded in a leg and in
the face, Arguelles withdrew to the Castillo.5 During this
maneuver, Private Francisco Ruiz of the Argielles detachment
was seized by the retreating pirates. On the St. Augustine
side, Major Aranda kept guarding the post entrusted to him
until 11 o'clock that night, when he obeyed orders to return
to the Castillo.
The retreating pirates did not withdraw all the way to
Matanzas Inlet, but stopped at the site of the lime kiln to
enact a ghastly night scene. Private Ruiz was asked about
the condition of Castillo de San Marcos and the strength of
the St. Augustine garrison. Under torture, Ruiz told them
that the fort was defensible and in readiness and that there
were sufficient men to stage ambushes in all possible landing
places on the city's side. He was then confronted with Alon-
so de Avecilla, the renegade St. Augustine sailor who was the
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 61
enemy's guide, who claimed that the Castillo could not be
so strong or the artillery mounted. Ruiz insisted that
the governor had gathered all the Spanish and Indian car-
penters to build carriages and mount the cannon, and pushed
construction work steadily to make the Castillo ready.
The pirates then wanted to kill Avecilla because he had
not told them about the new Ayam6n watchtower, but was
spared when Ruiz said that the tower had been built after
Avecilla had left St. Augustine. Ruiz was tortured again
to compel him to guide the pirates safely to the city.
The soldier agreed to guide them but could not guarantee
safety because ambushes had been set up at all possible
landing places. Getting nowhere, the enemy resumed the
retreat to their vessels at Matanzas Inlet.
Since contact with the retreating enemy had not been
kept up, Governor Marquez had to ascertain again their
location. On April 1, he sent a detachment under Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza to reconnoiter Escolta Island.6
Uriza located traces of spilled blood, debris, a few weap-
ons, and discarded packaging of medical supplies. But
more important, he found that the pirates were at Matanzas
Chance would have it that one Spanish soldier would
play no active part against the pirates. On April 1, En-
sign Bartolome Perez, who had become lost two days earlier
as he evacuated the Ayam'n watchtower, reached the environs
62 EL ESCRIBANO
of Matanzas Inlet. The area seemed to be deserted. Perez
hoped to locate a canoe and get to St. Augustine, and indeed
found an Indian with a canoe who was willing to take him to
the city. But as they were going upriver, the two enemy
pirogues appeared and captured them. They were taken to the
watchtower, where the bulk of the pirates was gathered, and
Perez was confined to one of the six vessels anchored outside
Before they made their next move, the pirates sat tight
at the Matanzas Inlet watchtower during the ensuing three
days. Then on April 5, they brought their vessels to anchor
off St. Augustine Inlet, intending to enter Matanzas Bay and
land in the city. But seeing the size of Castillo de San
Marcos, and perhaps recalling what Private Ruiz had said about
the readiness of the structure and its artillery, Captain
Abraham summoned the other captains to a council of war. They
concluded that the Castillo could not be subdued, and resolved
to abandon the St. Augustine enterprise and proceed to Guale
Province instead to obtain provisions.
Seeing the enemy vessels take a northward course, Gover-
nor Marquez assumed they were bound for Guale and provided
for this contingency. He despatched Captain Primo de Rivera
with 30 men in two pirogues to contest their entry into
that province. When Rivera arrived, he found that the
pirates had already seized and sacked the villages of San
Juan (in St. Johns River estuary) and Santa Maria (on Amelia
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 63
Island) and were yet off San Pedro (Cumberland) Island.
At San Juan, the enemy took away a Spanish launch laden
with maize and the mission bells, but released the four
men of the Matanzas Inlet watchtower, the sentry of the
Ayam6n tower, and three other Spaniards whom they had held
captive for periods of 15, 14, and 5 months. Private
Ruiz was not so fortunate: he was taken away and 2 1/2
years passed before they set him on shore in Cuba, Re-
alizing that Rivera's few men were no match for the far
more numerous enemy, and that it was impossible to support
him promptly, Governor Marquez ordered the captain to
return to St. Augustine.7 Rivera had done so by April 13.
A few days later, Governor Marquez sent eight men
under regular Adjutant Gabriel Salguero to obtain news of
the enemy. On April 28, a courier from Salguero arrived
in St. Augustine and reported that the pirates had careened
their vessels on San Pedro Island, buried a few bodies, and
departed on Easter Day carrying several wounded men.
The Spanish captives released in Guale furnished infor-
mation about the destination and future intentions of the
pirates. The enemy vessels had gone to the site of the
dZmiranta's (admiral's flagship) wreck in the Bahama Channel,
60 leagues (180 miles) from Providence, to dive for treasure,
after which they were to disband. And Captain Abraham had
been heard to say he would return with 600 men to settle
Guale and take St. Augustine.
64 EL ESCRIBANO
Since the return of Captain Primo de Rivera from Guale
until Adjutant Salguero reported the departure of the enemy,
St. Augustine remained in a state of apprehension and sus-
pended animation. Although six of the principal families,
the missionaries of San Francisco, and the parish pastor re-
turned to their houses on April 6, Governor Marquez, the
soldiers, and the other townspeople stayed at Castillo de
San Marcos as previously when the enemy had been expected.
However, they went to their homes during the day and re-
turned to the Castillo at night, for which purpose the fort-
ification kept its gate open until 11 or 12 o'clock, an ob-
jectionable practice which violated all logic, military
procedure, and royal orders. The soldiers and their fam-
ilies, on the alert almost a month, were not able to tend
to their subsistence farming and other work necessary to
sustain themselves. This circumstance was bound to impov-
erish St. Augustine.
An important question raised by the pirate march on
St. Augustine in 1683 was who defended the city in case of
an attack. When he knew that the pirates had captured the
Matanzas Inlet watchtower, Governor Marquez ordered the sol-
diers, their families, and everyone else to come into Casti-
Ilo de San Marcos. And after the repulse of the pirates
next day, he also ordered the only sizable troop detachment
remaining in the city to withdraw to the fortification.
With the city thus deserted, the houses of the townspeople
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 65
had no protection if they had needed it. The exclusive
defense of the Castillo with all the resources available
was their paramount responsibility, the governors of Flor-
ida felt, because their oath of office made them in effect
the wardens of the fortification. The royal officials
(the accountant and the treasurer) believed, on the other
hand, that the townspeople and the natives should have the
comfort that a few soldiers would be ready to help them
defend the city also. After all, the crown supported the
garrison to protect and defend the Florida provinces and
the missionary effort.
On May 25, the royal officials made a proposal to
delimit definite responsibility for defense. Of the 350
men, including a major and two captains, authorized for
Florida, one of the latter, with 100 infantry and 25 gun-
ners, should be designated as the warden of Castillo de
San Marcos and the oath of pleito homenaje required of
him. The governor, with the remaining force and the towns-
people, would tend to the defense of the city and the prov-
inces. This was the way it was done in Habana, where the
military and civil functions were separate, but where the
military commander still retained undivided power in the
event of an attack.
The Florida reports of the pirate march on St. Augus-
tine reached Spain on December 7, 1683, and the Junta de
Guerra de las Indias (Board of War of the Indies) took them
66 EL ESCRIBANO
under consideration. In regard to the Florida event, the
Junta recommended: (1) Spanish diplomatic pressure on the
English crown for orders to the Jamaica and New England gov-
ernors to apprehend and punish the men who had raided St. Au-
gustine, (2) orders to the Armada de Barlovento (Windward
Fleet) for sending two ships to the St. Augustine coast occa-
sionally to show the flag and chase away any lurking enemy,
(3) warning all the governors in the Indies to be watchful,
and (4) inquiry into feasibility of placing a spy in Jamaica
to report on freebooter activity there.86
The Junta also recommended rewards for Governor Marquez
and Captain Arguelles for their parts in defending St. Au-
gustine, and punishment for the soldiers caught asleep in
the watchtower. Three royal decrees of February 19, 1684
implemented the recommendation. One granted Marquez member-
ship in one of the military orders.88 Another granted Ar-
gUelles an allowance of 20 escudos (39.60) above his monthly
salary. And the third decree provided for discharge from
the service of the five men caught at the Matanzas watchtower
plus severe punishment. On March 23, 1685, Governor Marquez
carried out the decree by having Captain Andres Perez and
AdjutantsManuel Rizo, Juan Ruiz de Caiizares, Jose de Carde-
nas and Pedro de Tejeda stricken off the rolls of the Florida
garrison, and exiling them with rations for two years to Ti-
mucua Province. In punishing the sentries Marquez did not
stick to due process of law and the case would come up again.
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 67
1. North Carolina Spanish Records Collection, Department
of Archives and History, Raleigh (hereafter NC), Ar-
chivo General de Indias, Sevilla (hereafter AGI) 54-
1-23, Governor Jose Fernandez de Cordoba Ponce de Le6n
of Habana to the crown, Habana, March 11, 1683, 101
folios, Depositions of Eduardo Rale, Tomas Cuque,
Guillermo Esteuart, Juan Mitchel, Guimares, and
Guillermo Harlis, February 4, 1683.
2. Ibid., Deposition of Luis Martin, February 12, 1683.
3. Ibid., Depositions of Guillermo Esteuart, Juan Mitchel,
4. Ibid., Depositions of Tomas Cuque, Guillermo Esteuart,
Juan Mitchel, Guimares, and Guillermo Harlis.
5. Ibid., Deposition of Luis Martin.
6. Ibid., Deposition of Tomas Cuque.
7. Ibid., Deposition of Eduardo Rale.
8. Ibid., Minute of a letter.
9. Ibid., Deposition of Luis Martin.
11. Ibid., Testimony relative to the deposition of Juan de
Iriarte, privateer captain, on account of a prize he
has taken, May 10, 1683.
12. Ibid., Deposition of Eduardo Rale.
13. Ibid., Minute of a letter.
14. Ibid., Testimony relative to the deposition of Juan de
15. Ibid., Decree in regard to the prisoners which Juan de
Iriarte, privateer captain, brought into this port,
February 12, 1683.
16. Ibid., Depositions of Luis Martin, Eduardo Rale, Tomas
Cuque, Guillermo Esteuart, Juan Mitchel, Guimares, and
68 EL ESCRIBANO
18. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of
Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, June 28, 1683,
16 ff., Deposition of Martin de Goyas, May 9, 1683.
19. NC, AGI 54-1-23, Depositions of Luis Martin, Eduardo
Rale, Tomas Cuque, Guillermo Esteuart, Juan Mitchel,
Guimares, and Guillermo Harlis.
21. Ibid., Minute of a letter.
22. [Luis R. Arana], "An 'Illegal' Trade Transaction in
Spanish Florida, 1683," El Escribano (January 1970),
10, 12; NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, Ex-governor Pablo de Hita
Salazar of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, May 24,
1683, 18 ff., 3.
23. El Escribano (October 1971), 171, note 31; NC, AGI 54-
5-14/154, Royal officials of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, April 16, 1683, 27 ff., Information by
Captain Juan Sanchez de Uriza, April 12, 1683.
24. Cf. jtetson Collection, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida
History, University of Florida (hereafter SC), AGI 54-5-
12/6, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, August 2, 1683, 38 ff., Deposi-
tion of Captain Diego Diaz Mejia, construction oversee
in the royal fort, July 18, 1682; SC, AGI 2-4-1/19/6,
Marquez to the crown, June 28, 1683, 55 ff., Testimony
of Adjutant Alonso Solana, public and governmental
notary, June 10, 1683.
25. CF. qC, AGI 54-5-12/6, Report of Ensign Juan de Ciscara,
miliLary engineer, January 24, 1682; NC, AGI 54-5-12/5,
Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera of Florida to the crown,
May 5, 1682, 32 ff.; SC, AGI 2-4-1/19/6, Testimony of
Adjutant Alonso Solana. ., June 10, 1683.
26. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza, April 13, 1683.
27. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/4, Captain Andres P6rez and Adju-
tants Manuel Rizo, Juan Ruiz de Ca.'izares, Jose de
Cardenas, and Pedro de Tejeda of Florida to the crown,
St. Augustine, March 26, 1685, 4 ff., 1.
28. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Deposition of Martin de Goyas.
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 69
29. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/4, f. 2.
30. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Deposition of Martin Fernandez,
May 9, 1683.
31. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, f. 3.
32. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Deposition of Pablo Delgado,
May 9, 1683.
33. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, f. 4.
34. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/4, f. 2.
35. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, f. 4.
36. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/4, f. 2.
37. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/23, Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera
of Florida to the crown, St. Augustine, April 30, 1685,
22 ff., Deposition of Diego or Santiago [James],
March 18, 1685.
38. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Deposition of Martin Fernandez.
39. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza.
40. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Deposition of reformado Ensign
Bartolome Perez Cubillas, May 9, 1683.
41. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, f. 5.
42. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza.
43. Ibid., Information by Captain of militia Joaquin de
Florencia, April 13, 1683.
44. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, ff. 4-5.
45. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by Sergeant Major
Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda, April 12, 1683.
46. Ibid., Information by reformado Captain Enrique [Primo]
de Rivera, April 13, 1683.
47. Ibid., Information by Captain Juan Sanchez de Uriza.
48. Ibid., Information by Captain Antonio de ArgUelles,
April 13, 1683.
70 EL ESCRIBANO
49. Ibid., Information by reformado Captain Francisco Romo
de Uriza; Information by Captain Nicolas Fernandez de
Goyas, lieutenant of the royal fortress, April 12,
1683; Information by Captain of militia Joaquin de Flo-
50. Ibid., Information by Captain of militia Joaquin de Flo-
rencia; Information by Captain Antonio de Argielles.
51. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, ff. 13-14.
52. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza.
53. Ibid., Information by Adjutant Antonio Mateos, April 13,
54. Ibid., f. 1.
55. Ibid., Information by Sergeant Major Pedro de Aranda y
56. Ibid., Information by reformado Captain Enrique [Primo]
57. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, f. 7.
58. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by Captain Antonio de
59. SC, NC, AGI 58-1-26/82, Autos sobre la entrada de los
enemigos ingleses en las Provincias de Timucua, Apala-
chicoli y Caveta y hostilidades que intentan hacer,
St. Augustine, March 19, 1686, 130 ff., Deposition of
Private Francisco Ruiz, October 15, 1685.
60. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by Sergeant Major
Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda.
61. SC, NC, AGI 58-1-26/82, Deposition of Private Francisco
62. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza.
63. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, ff. 6, 8.
64. NC AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Francisco Romo de Uriza.
MARCH ON ST. AUGUSTINE 71
65. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Deposition of reformado Ensign
Bartolome Perez Cubillas.
66. NC, AGI 58-1-21/378, Junta de Guerra de las Indias
to the crown, Madrid, December 19, 1683, 5 ff., 2.
67. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Depositions of Pablo Delgado,
Martin Fernandez, and reformado Ensign Bartolome
68. Ibid., Deposition of Martin de Goyas.
69. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Enrique [Primo] de Rivera.
70. NC, AGI 58-1-21/378, ff. 2-3.
71. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154,. Information by Captain Nicolas
Fernandez de Goyas.
72. Ibid., Information by Adjutant Antonio Mateos.
73. NC. AGI 54-5-11/99, f. 11.
74. Ibid., ff. 8-9.
75. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/4, f. 2.
76. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Decree, May 8, 1683; Depositions
of Martin de Goyas, Martin Fernandez, Pablo Delgado,
and reformado Ensign Bartolome Perez Cubillas.
77. SC, NC, AGI 58-1-26/82, f. 48.
78. NC, AGI 54-5-14/154, Information by reformado Captain
Enrique [Primo] de Rivera, Adjutant Antonio Mateos, and
Captain Antonio de ArgUelles.
79. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, ff. 10, 11-12.
80. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Depositions of Martin Fernandez,
Pablo Delgado, and reformado Ensign Bartolome Perez
81. Ibid., Depositions of Martin de Coyas and Martin
82. NC, AGI 54-5-11/99, ff. 9-11, 14.
83. NC, AGI 54-5-14/155, Royal officials of Florida to the
crown, St. Augustine, May 25, 1683, 4 ff.
72 EL ESCRIBANO
84. A solemn oath of fealty made to a king or lord (Vox--
Diccionario general ilustrado de la lengua espafola,
2d. ed. [Barcelona: Spes, 1953]).
85. NC, AGI 54-5-14/155.
86. NC, AGI 54-5-11/134, Recommendations of the Junta,
December 14, 1683.
87. NC, AGI 58-1-21/378, ff. 3-4.
88. SC, NC, AGI 58-1-20//26, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, February 19, 1684, 4 ff.
89. SC, AGI 58-1-20/24, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, February 19,- 1684, 4 ff.
90. SC, NC, AGI 58-1-20/25, Crown to the governor of Florida,
Madrid, February 19, 1684, 2 ff.
91. SC, NC, AGI 54-5-12/23, Decree, March 23, 1685.
THE EASIS OF A PERMANENT FORTIFICATION
Three hundred years ago a royal decree laid the basis
for the masonry construction of Castillo de San Marcos. On
October 30, 1669, Queen Regent Mariana of Spain, ruling
during the minority of Charles II (her son), informed the
Marquess de Mancera, viceroy of Nueva Espaia (Mexico), that
she had ordered Sergeant Major Manuel de Cendoya, newly ap-
pointed governor of Florida, to represent to him the need
of an adequate fortification in Flo-rida and charged the vice-
roy to listen and make provision therefore (Appendix I).
The October 30 decree was substantially similar to that
of March 11, 1669 (Appendix II). This earlier instrument,
however, by requiring the governor then in Florida to take
up the matter with the viceroy, subjected written communi-
cation to the uncertainty and hazards of travel over water.
The later instrument, on the other hand, specifically men-
tioned by name the new governor just appointed on October 10,
1669, who would soon be enroute to Florida, and held the
prospect of personal contact between the viceroy and the
Attack of 1668
These decrees aimed at ensuring the security of St. Augus-
tine in case of attack like the one made by English pirates
led by Robert Searles alias John Davis. In May 1668 a ship
from Nueva Espafa, bringing flour for the garrison, had been
expected momentarily in the city. The morning of the 28th
the Anastasia Island watchtower discovered an approaching
vessel and sounded the alarm. While the 120 soldiers in
St. Augustine were alerted at the main guardhouse, the ship
came to anchor two leagues off the inlet.
The harbor pilot had gone out in his launch to identify
the ship and bring it into Matanzas Bay. As he got closer,
the pilot saw the crew lining the rail. He asked for identi-
fication and a Spanish voice answered, "El situado!" [the troop
pay fund]. Going aboard, the pilot found himself a prisoner
of English pirates. Captain Davis had captured the Nueva
Espafa ship off the Habana coast and used it to move toward
his objective undetected! Upon the approach of the pilot, the
pirates in hiding had forced the crew to show up at the rail.
That afternoon the pilot's launch had been seen sounding
the inlet, a standard procedure prior to bringing a vessel in.
This diminished the concern over lack of identification. The
ship nevertheless remained at anchor even when the tide and
a southeasterly wind favored entry into the bay. Governor
Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega of Florida would later
claim that the ship had fired the two cannon shots pre-arranged
as a signal of positive identification.
About 9 o'clock in the evening a second alarm had been
sounded. The Matanzas Inlet watchtower discovered a small
vessel coming toward St. Augustine. Many on land thought
that it was the local frigate, which had left for Habana
50 days earlier and was expected back any moment. But
Davis had also captured the frigate off Habana and his
men were approaching the city aboard it, The coincidence
that two vessels were expected and that two vessels were
indeed outside the inlet seemed to indicate that they were
Spanish. At last, Governor Guerra ordered the alerted
soldiers to leave their weapons at the main guardhouse with
the ordinary guard and go home to sleep.
As soon as the night fell, about 100 pirates had em-
barked in the pilot's launch, the launch of the Nueva Espaia
ship, and two large pirogues they had brought along. The
pirates forced the pilot to guide them over the bar into the
bay, planning to coast along the west shore of Anastasia
Island, ascend the San Sebastian River on the uninhabited
side of the city, and fall upon Government House and wooden
Castillo de San Marcos at daybreak.
About 1 o'clock in the morning, May 29, Corporal Miguel
de Monzon had been fishing in his canoe in Matanzas Bay,
probably opposite the more settled part of St. Augustine
south of the plaza. Suddenly he heard the muffled sound of
oars breaking the water, and promptly headed the canoe
toward land to report the event. But the pirates, who had
already travelled a quarter mile along the inner shore of
Anastasia, also sensed his presence. They pursued him hotly
and shot him twice almost on the shore. Despite his wounds,
Monz6n shouted a belated warning and managed to reach safety
in the fort. Almost simultaneously, the pirates jumped ashore.
St. Augustine had been caught completely by surprise.
A group of pirates scattered noisily through the streets, fir-
ing on or seizing the scantily clad men and women who emerged
from the houses. Accountant Juan Menendez Marques and his
brother, Antonio, ran to the main guardhouse, but found it
already deserted. They then hastened toward Government House
and found complete silence there. Running toward the Castillo
together with 10 or 12 men who had joined them, they were fired
upon by the enemy. Soon after the brothers had left the house,
pirates got to it and captured their family.
When he heard the din, Sergeant Major Nicolas Ponce de
Le6n had been taking mercury unctures and being sweated for his
illness. He rushed to the main guardhouse, but it had been
already lost. Then, when the enemy left the streets temporari-
ly to assault the Castillo, he removed 130 confused men, women,
and children--including 70 unarmed soldiers--to safety a league
The uproar caused Captain Enrique Primo de Rivera, an
unemployed veteran of European campaigns, to leave his pregnant
wife of 3 months in the house of her parents and get to the
fort as a volunteer.
Parish priest Francisco de Sotolongo destroyed the icon of
Our Holy Redeemer to prevent its desecration. He then chose to
become a prisoner so that he could watch over the captured dis-
tinguished ladies and young maidens, because he feared the
pirates might dishonor them
Estefania de Cigarroa, daughter of Major Salvador de
Cigarroa (absent in Mexico), emerged from her house with a
younger sister in her arms. An enemy bullet killed the
girl and pierced one of Estefania's breasts.
Upon jumping ashore, the other group of pirates had
proceeded unerringly to the main guardhouse. The ordinary
guard there, too small to put up a fight, retreated to the
Castillo hastily. The enemy stopped to destroy the weapons
left there the previous day when the alert had been cancelled,
and then crossed the plaza toward Government House.
Someone warned Governor Guerra, "Sir, the English have
invaded the city!" Through a window, Guerra saw the pirates
coming toward Government House, and began descending a stair-
way in the side facing the plaza. He had to get to the Cas-
tillo and direct its defense, a responsibility that he could
not lawfully delegate. But enemy fire penned Guerra in and
killed his secretary, Miguel Alonso de Ojeda. However, he
escaped through a false door and, with the pirates practically
on his heels, did reach the fort.
Reformado Adjutant Isidro de Reinoso had been on sentry
duty at Castillo de San Marcos that night of May 28-29. He
had started making a round when he heard the racket caused
by the pirate landing. Reinoso notified the lieutenant of
the Castillo, Captain Mateo Pacheco Salgado, who immediately
alerted the entire fort's guard. The gate opened to admit
the ordinary guard from the main guardhouse and Accountant
Menendez and a handful of men. Menendez impulsively ordered
the opening of the powder magazine and distribution of ammu-
nition to the soldiers present. Just then Governor Guerra
came in and took command of the 33 men in the Castillo.
Before the cannon could be loaded, Davis had struck the
fort. During 1 1/2 hours, the enemy repeatedly tried to scale
the wall, only to be driven back each time by heavy musketry
fire. A barrel of powder in the fort caught fire, and Adjutant
Reinoso was severely burned about the legs and hands. The
pirates withdrew having lost 11 men killed and 19 wounded.
Five defenders were killed and 5 wounded.
By failing to watch the Castillo closely after their
repulse, the pirates had allowed Governor Guerra to improve
his defense posture. Messengers went out of the fort and
urged every soldier they met to report to the Castillo. Thus,
by daybreak on May 29, seven soldiers had first arrived,
followed a little later by Major Ponce and the 70 men he had
removed to safety during the attack on the town houses.
The pirates had returned to the unfinished task of sack-
ing St. Augustine. The accountancy yielded 133 silver marks,
the same which in 1667 had been recovered from Las Maravillas,
an admiral's ship wrecked off Placer de Mimbre (probably
Bimini). The Royal warehouses were "liberated" of 760 yards
of sail canvas--including a ready-made mainsail, a foresail,
a frigate's main topsail, and a launch's main topsail--and
25 pounds of wax candles. The parish church and the Franciscan
convent church were stripped of their ornaments, the replacement
of which later cost 2066 pesos. The private houses were
carefully searched for jewels and.valuable utensils. As
the dragnet drew to a close, the pirates seized Treasurer
Jose de Prado, who had refused to abandon his house, and
a few Indian servants of the residents.
That morning the Nueva Espaca ship, the St. Augustine
frigate, and the pirate's own ship (which had stayed out
of sight all the time and arrived during the night) had
been brought into Matanzas Bay. The Castillo cannon fired
but scored no hits. Through the day the pirates trans-
ported to the Nueva Espaia and their own ship the booty and
about 70 men, women, and children whom they had captured--
including the treasurer, the parish priest, 10 or 12 ladies
and young maidens of name, and the few Indian servants.
In the afternoon, Governor Guerra had acted to force
the pirates to leave St. Augustine. He detailed artillery
Captain Nicolas Esteves de Carmenatis to command two parties
of 25 men each, in turn under Adjutant Francisco Ruiz Caiizares
y Osorio and Ensign Diego Diaz Mejia, and execute the oper-
ation. Between 3 and 4 o'clock, Esteves sallied from the
Castillo not knowing that only 40 enemies were then on land.
The soldiers went reluctantly, and showed inexperience with
conventional formations. When they received fire and both Ca'iza-
res and Diaz were wounded, the governor recalled the parties
"so that the enemy would not kill them as if they were sheep."
About 9 o'clock in the evening, the last 30 pirates who
had remained on land embarked for the Nueva Espa.a and their
own ship. Their occupation of St. Augustine had lasted 20
hours. The townspeople were pleasantly surprised not to see
columns of smoke billowing to heaven.
The enemy had not left immediately. On the 30th, Davis
wrote to Governor Guerra offering to release the prisoners
in exchange for water, meat, and wood. The governor accepted
but in turn asked for some flour in addition to the captives.
The same day, as if to show good faith, the women--with their
honor intact--were released ahead of the other prisoners.
During the next 6 days the agreement was fulfilled. On
June 5, the treasurer, the parish priest, the harbor pilot,
the crews of the Nueva Espafa ship and the St. Augustine frig-
ate, and the other captives--except the Indians--were put
ashore, and the pirates sailed out of Matanzas Bay amidst the
ineffectual fire from the Castillo.
Racial prejudice had prompted the last minute refusal of
Davis to release the Indians captured in St. Augustine. He
explained to Father Sotolongo that his patent from the gov-
ernor of Jamaica specifically provided that captured Indians,
Negroes, and mulattoes would be regarded as slaves even if
they were freedmen. Sotolongo remonstrated in vain that his
King held the Indians in very high esteem and just as free as
if they were Spanish-born.
Cause of the attack
With the return of the prisoners, the cause of the pirate
attack on St. Augustine had become known. Ever since becoming
governor of Florida in December 1664, Francisco de la
Guerra y de la Vega had made the acquaintance of several
women. Eventually his relations with them became so un-
restrained that it appeared as if Guerra had a wife of his
own in Government House. The admonitions of Parish Priest
Francisco de Sotolongo from the pulpit, in the confessional,
or in personal visits did not deter the governor from his
A Frenchman had entered into this situation in 1666.
He was Pedro Piques, who was appointed surgeon of the Florida
garrison in April. His personal and professional reputa-
tion was impeccable. But for unknown reasons, presumably
contrived by the meddling and gossip of Guerra's women
friends, the governor treated Piques badly. On one occasion
he slapped the surgeon in the face and fired him. Piques
asked for settlement of his accrued pay (slightly more than
200 pesos), which Guerra approved, only to have that amount
attached on the irrelevant pretext that the surgeon was a
Frenchman. Finally, Piques was forced to leave aboard the
St. Augustine frigate that sailed for Habana on April 8, 1668.
The Frenchman had become furious and thirsted for re-
venge. An opportunity came to him when the English pirates
captured the frigate off Habana, almost on the heels of
seizing the Nueva Espaia ship bound for Florida. Piques
encouraged Davis to attack St. Augustine, telling him about
the lay of the land, garrison strength, and defense proce-
dures. Uselessly, Chief Pilot Lourdo Hernandez, the frigate
commander, exposed the flaws in the surgeon's proposal.
Davis was convinced and decided to use the captured vessels
to approach his prey, with his own ship following out of
Results of the Attack
But the released prisoners had also given information
that created a serious apprehension in St. Augustine. The
pirates who had remained aboard the vessels to guard the
captives had sounded the inlet, plotted the sand bars, noted
the technique for channel navigation, and recorded all land-
marks. They had also remarked that they would return with
a larger number of vessels, men, and artillery to seize and
hold St. Augustine. This information, taken together with
the fact that the city had been spared from the torch, lent
credence to the intention of the enemy.
To the Spanish the prospect was indeed gloomy. St. Au-
gustine was at the very exit of the Bahama Channel, and since
all vessels engaged in trade between the Indies and Spain had
to use the channel, an enemy base there would endanger the
vital intercontinental lane.
The reports emanating from St. Augustine on the pirate
attack had contained unanimous recommendations to put the city
in a proper state of defense. The governor, the Royal Treas-
ury officials, and the sergeant major agreed that a stone fort
should be constructed, and listed the four points that made
the proposal feasible: (1) St. Augustine had the stone and