Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 7 - Lot 5, Greek Shrine
Title: The Avero Story
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 Material Information
Title: The Avero Story An early Saint Augustine family with many daughters and many houses
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 7 - Lot 5, Greek Shrine
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Creator: Arnade, Charles W.
Subject: Saint Photios Greek Shrine (Saint Augustine, Fla.) -- Avero House (Saint Augustine, Fla.) -- Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- 41 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- SAint Augustine -- 41 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896485 x -81.313233
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090509
Volume ID: VID00068
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B7-L5

Full Text

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By Charles W. Arnade
University of Florida

I - --.1


I. Juan de Penaloza and the Siege.

By November 10, 1702, the English forces led by the ruthless
James Moore, Governor of English Carolina, had occupied the town of St.
Augustine. Over 1500 people took refuge in the Spanish fort which the
English never were able to conquer. For two months Moore besieged the
fort. The Spanish artillery was weak and ineffectual in driving away
the enemy; the English artillery was inadequate against the massive
walls of the fort. Moore tried to place his guns within closer range
of the moat. The Spanish, afraid of this maneuver, dispatched a patrol
with orders to burn all houses within a range of 750 feet from the fort.
The houses of thirty-one St. Augustinians were devoured by the Spanish
flames. Among them were the buildings that stood on northern St. George
Street, today's unofficial main street of St. Augustine.

Once these structures were burned, the English were deprived
of elevations from which to fire into the fort. The siege continued,
with Moore hoping that better guns would arrive from English Jamaica,
and the Spanish praying that a requested relief convoy from Havana might
reach St. Augustine before the Jamaican artillery. The Spanish won the
race; the Carolinians folded camp and retreated in haste. But before
lifting the siege they applied the torch to every remaining building in
town. By December 30, 1702, the English had left, but all of St. Augus-
tine was a shambles. On New Year's Eve, most of the flames had died
down, but ashes were still smoldering when the new year arrived. To the
thirty-one proprietors who lost their houses at the hands of their own
compatriots, 118 were added, since their residences too, were eaten by
the flames--English flames. It did not matter whether the fire was
English or Spanish; it spread rapidly and efficiently and destroyed all
of St. Augustine.

Compensation and reconstruction were neither rapid nor effi-
cient. Naturally, the fervent Carolinians had burned to the foundation
the hated main church of St. Augustine. The Spaniards, so punctilious
in their religion, were never able to obtain funds to rebuild the church
during their first occupancy of Florida, which came to an end in 1763.
Certainly the task of rebuilding was slower than a snail's pace. Not
until early 1708 was an appraisal report of private property destroyed
in 1702 undertaken. This document was finally dispatched to the Crown
in August, 1709. Many proprietors had lost hope of ever receiving any
compensation. Naturally, those who had seen their houses go up in fire
at Spanish hands were more impatient to get some kind of aid.

Among these was a man by the name of Juan de Penaloza. His
burned house was appraised in 1708, at 200 pesos, for possible compensa-
tion. This indicated that it was an average house, maybe somewhat on the
poorer side, since the appraisal range was from 50 to 6,000 pesos. Docu-
ments have failed to tell us much about Pe'aloza and if he ever received
his 200 pesos. It is doubtful that he did. If not, the only thing left
to do was to slowly rebuild a new structure on his lot at his own expense.
Maybe this is what Pe'naloza did, not only in order to have a new residence
on his homestead, but to leave a house to his descendents. Such was a
sign of parental success in the colonial way of life.

Penaloza's daughter was Maria Flores, who married Domingo de
Azevedo, a peninsular, which means born in Spain but resident in St.
Augustine. From this marriage a daughter by the name of Maria Francesca
Garcla de Azevedo PeTaloza came into the world in St. Augustine. In
turn, Maria Francesca, once married, would give birth to many St. Augus-
tinians. But until then, she, Marfa Francesca, was still the darling
granddaughter of the Pe aloza who lost his house in the famous siege of
1702. It is assumed by documentary deduction, but not proven by these
documents, that the Penaloza homestead, with some kind of rebuilt struc-
tures--within one musket-shot (750 feet) of the fort--was passed on to
the daughter, Maria Flores; then to the granddaughter, Maria Francesca.
To this granddaughter and her many children, the 1702 siege was some-
thing of the far past--only days of glory of the grandfather and great

Sixty years later, around 1762, these glorious days had faded
somewhat into obscurity. Only the very old ones remembered the spacious
church that the Protestant Moore destroyed in his ire. These elders
still cherished the old pride and deplored the absence of a new church.
The newer generation, such as the daughters of Maria Francesca, had known
only one St. Augustine. This was the St. Augustine of the post-siege era,
where there was no main church, only the crowded hermitage of Nuestra
Sefora de la Soledad for the main services. When discussing the past,
the St. Augustinian talked about the pre- and post-siege eras.

The younger generation, as in any place at any time, talked
more about the future than the past. Little news of the big world made
its way into isolated St. Augustine. The town was fairly prosperous and
there was hope for bright years ahead which might equal the golden age
of the half century preceding the 1702 siege.

The pre-siege days had been full of activity and positive
action by a proud criollo citizenry. Sleepy and isolated, St. Augustine
had awakened to the welcome noise of the construction crew which slowly
built a massive stone fortress, dream of every St. Augustinian, in their
midst. It was in these years that more funds stimulated some prosperity;
and this in turn brought new blood--many non-military elements, especi-
ally from the Canary Islands--to town. The rustic and isolated presidio
had begun to look like a city.

It was in these days before the siege that a governor arrived
who captured the support of the St. Augustinians, who had always des-
pised the executive since he had always before been an outsider. When,
in May, 1675, Pablo de Hita Salazar took possession of the governorship,
he said that he liked St. Augustine and wished to remain there with his
family, composed of four active sons. He began to distribute Crown
land to his criollo friends from St. Augustine. The Crown was not pleased
with this, and when Hita Salazar's term came to an end in 1680, he failed
to receive a reappointment. The Governor, true to his promise, did re-
main in St. Augustine as a private citizen, building a house in an as yet
undetermined location, but probably not too far from the main square, in
order to keep his social stature. It too was burned during the Moore

All his four sons married St. Augustine girls, and by 1763,
over thirty grandchildren of the deceased Governor lived in the town,
some important local citizens and some of unimportant stature. One of
them, Geronimo Josef, the eighth child of the third son of the Governor;
was a simple soldier even though he was near fifty years old. He hardly
could have inherited his grandfather's homestead or rebuilt house. By
1763, to Geronimo Josef, the siege of the fort his grandfather had helped
to build was a matter of history and history only. Soldier Hits must
have been a sad man since many of his immediate relatives held more res-
pectable positions more in line with the distinguished past of his
family. But he was at least ready to keep up the name of the Hitas with
respect to their tradition of giving birth to many children.

He had six accounted children by his wife, Juana Avero Garcfa
de Azevedo. And Juana Avero was the daughter of Maria Francesca, who in
turn was the granddaughter of Penaloza, whose house had been burned by
the Spanish sally during the 1702 siege. Consequently, Juana Avero, the
wife of soldier Hita, was the great granddaughter of Pealoza. Hita and
his wife lived in the neighborhood of the old Penaloza homestead near the
fort along today's St. George Street, not too far from the city gates.
The residents of this neighborhood were employees of the Crown, as were
most other St. Augustinians, and were nearly all married to Avero girls,
sisters of Juana,

Out of the old Penaloza homestead a thriving new cluster of
houses had developed, belonging to people related by close family ties.
And as was the custom, the houses were full of children ready to carry
on the family tradition to the approaching 19th century. Another golden
age, much better than that of the times of Governor Hita de Salazar,
whose direct descendents were now part of this thriving cluster dominated
by the Averos in northern Calle Real (as St. George Street was commonly
called in those days), was in the making. It did not materialize.

II. The 1763 Exodus: Puente and Fish

Spain was rapidly declining in international power and pres-
tige. Since 1702, when English Carolina had first attacked Spanish
Florida, the English possessions north of Spanish Florida had expanded.
Although James Oglethorpe too had failed to conquer St. Augustine in
1740, doing far less damage than James Moore, the English danger had
grown to critical proportions. In 1754, an Anglo-French conflict began
in the Ohio Valley, which two years later developed into a titanic
world war known in Europe as the Seven Years' War, or in America as the
French-Indian War. France, Spain, Austria and Russia battled England
and Prussia. In America, it was France and Spain against England,

St. Augustine, which had weathered several English attacks in
the past century, fared peacefully during this gigantic war. This lull,
plus the narrow provincialism of the St. Augustinians, made them unaware
of the real danger to Spanish sovereignty in Florida. The citizens were

more preoccupied with local affairs, such as the presence of an arro-
gant but able governor, Don Lucas de Palazio y Valenzuela, who was
courting a local girl. In the spring of 1761, Don Lucas married the
girl, only to die a few months later of a sudden heart attack. This
and other happenings, such as Indian troubles, had removed the St.
Augustine citizenry from the stream of world events.

Havana had fallen into the English hands and the war was
rapidly approaching complete defeat for France and Spain. In 1763,
the nations at war made peace. In the Paris Peace Treaty Spain re-
covered Havana by trading Florida. France offered to save Florida
for the Spaniards by proposing that England take French Louisiana for
Havana, but England preferred Spanish Florida. Florida was, then,

When the news of the Paris Peace Treaty arrived in St.
Augustine, consternation must have been the natural reaction. Docu-
ments so far have failed to portray the emotions and tempers of the
St. Augustinians. The reestablished Spanish authorities of Havana
took charge of the Florida transfer of 1763, to the English. The
Floridians were all gently asked to evacuate Florida, including St.
Augustine, and come to Havana. This was done. By 1764, the mass
exodus had been completed.

The story of this complete exodus is a chapter in itself,
full of color and human excitement. Undoubtedly the most complicated
problem was the disposal of Spanish real estate, especially of private
property. Most Spaniards were unable to sell their houses and lots be-
fore their departure. Havana authorities were anxious to prove good
faith to the Florida emigrants. They appointed Juan Joseph Elixio de
la Puente, a St. Augustinian whose family was deeply rooted in Florida
and which held extensive real estate, as the agent to dispose of the
private property at a fair price. He was an able administrator who be-
fore the evacuation had held the position of chief officer of the Royal
Accountancy of Florida. Unquestionably, Elixio de la Puente was the
best prepared Floridian of the eighteenth century. He was well quali-
fied for this most difficult, if not impossible, commission.

Elixio de la Puente did not succeed, but he did leave for
posterity something extremely valuable and quite accurate. Juan
Joseph Elixio de la Puente, as a necessary tool for his assignment,
made a real estate map in which he plotted every house and assigned it
a number. On the margins of the map he listed the 393 numbers, identi-
fying the owners of each house or lot and the structural quality of the
buildings. This map plus its description was mailed to his superiors
in Havana from St. Augustine on January 22, 1764. The map represents
St. Augustine real estate as of 1763; therefore it is known as the St.
Augustine Puente map of 1763 (hereafter referred to as PM).

It was a good map but it certainly did not assure the sale
of the houses. It is here that a somewhat mysterious figure -- who
deserves more intense historical research, maybe a master's thesis --
comes into the picture.

Jesse Fish was born on Long Island in the state of New York,
but was by 1763 a resident of St. Augustine. Fish appears to have been
an opportunist par excellence who professed loyalty to whatever flag
was flying over the nearest government building. He also had an ability
to convince people; he was a salesman in the truest sense. Jesse Fish
somehow convinced the able and shrewd Elixio de la Puente, whom he had
known in past days, that he was the man of the moment; that he, Fish,
would help Elixio de la Puente in his difficult assignment.

Elixio de la Puente turned the unsold houses and lots, about
220 real estate items, over to Fish. The Spanish commissioner received
from Mr. Fish a nominal sum for.each house or lot. This entitled the
New Yorker to a general deed for all 220 properties. Fish promised to
sell the houses at their fair value and then reimburse the Spanish owners.
He also promised to journey to Madrid and London to expedite his real
estate transactions. Truly, the whole Fish deal is still shrouded in a
veil of mystery, although documentation is abundant. At any rate, the
result was predictable.

Jesse Fish pocketed the over 200 properties and lived in
relative modesty on a huge, 10,000 acre plantation on Anastasia Island,
which produced internationally famous oranges. He had wife trouble,
but this was nothing compared to the impending difficulties. Did Jesse
Fish ever think that the Spaniards might come back to Florida?

By 1776, the same English colonies, such as Carolina and
Georgia, which had in the past attacked Spanish Florida, were now re-
belling against their mother country, England. Florida, the newest
English colony, remained utterly loyal to London, and the American War
of Independence bypassed St. Augustine just as had the French and Indian
War of bygone days. But, as it had been in the previous war, the end
result was drastic for Florida. This time, Spain too had entered the
war against the arch enemy, England, on the side of the rebellious
colonies. When victory came to the rebels and their independence was
guaranteed, Spain shared a slight part of this triumph by regaining
Florida. Twenty years of English rule came to an end in 1783. St.
Augustine witnessed a repetition of 1763, but in reverse. A great
majority of the English left and many of the old St. Augustinians re-

Jesse Fish refused to lose his tremendous investments, and
stayed. He professed great joy at the Spanish return, denouncing the
English and proclaiming that his sorrowful days had come to an end with
the glorious return of the beloved Spaniards. Somehow Fish, with his
usual slickness, managed to win the partial confidence of the new Span-
ish administrators. They did confiscate some of his extensive proper-
ties which he had acquired so dishonestly twenty years earlier, but they
did little else to the man. Some of the old St. Augustinians felt rather
different about the Fish matter and were ready to demand the return of
their property. The New Yorker, in ill health, lived like a hermit on
his Anastasia property. On February 8, 1790, he died.

The Fish account book was impounded by the Spanish administra-
tion, which felt dubious about the legality of returning the property to
the original owners of the First Spanish Period. Some of this property
had been sold by Fish to people who had bought it in good faith, in-
cluding some Spaniards who were residents during the Second Spanish
Period. Furthermore, Fish had paid for each house a sum, making it a
purchase rather than trust. The legal implications of the Fish trans-
actions were gigantic. Apparently the Spanish administration in Florida
decided the best solution was to auction off the unsold properties of
Fish, therefore avoiding the Fish family's continuing to hold this
property. If this was a good practical solution in seeming the least
of all evils, it was still not without consequences. It remained
very much of an evil to the old inhabitants and their direct descen-
dants, who wanted to recuperate their property.

Soon after the death of Fish and the public auction held on
April 8, 1791, a rash of legal suits was started by the old owners or
their children and grand children to regain the old homesteads. The
most vociferous and best prepared suit was filed by the representatives
of Antonia de Avero, who was still residing in Havana, but whose daugh-
ter and nephew were back in St. Augustine. The nephew was Tadeo Ar-
rivas, who was a person of significance in the new Spanish St. Augus-
tine. The daughter was married to a Colonel Antonio Fernandez, who also
held an important position in the Spanish garrison. Antonia de Avero,
claiming three houses, had indeed able representatives who were close
to the administrative apparatus of St. Augustine. Claiming three houses
and employing able aid, the Antonia de Avero suit was of significance
as a most interesting test case of the whole l'affaire Fish.

III. The Averos

Antonia de Avero, born in St. Augustine on March 3, 1717,
was the sister of Juana de Avero who had married the soldier Hita and
was the daughter of Maria Francesca Garcfa de Acevedo Penaloza. Con-
sequently Antonia de Avero was the great granddaughter of the Penaloza
whose house was burned during the Moore siege in 1702. The father of
Antonia and husband of Marfa Francesca was Victoriano de Avero, a
native of the Canary Islands, who came at an undetermined date to St.
Augustine. Our information about Sr. Avero is very sparse. He mar-
ried Maria Francesca on August 25, 1711, and therefore became a partner
of the Penaloza patrimony, including the homestead in the northern area
of St, George Street. If Maria Francesca brought real estate to the
marriage or if Victoriano Avero already had a house is a matter of
speculation, with no documentary confirmation or conclusions. What-
ever the truth, the documents tell that the Averos developed a cluster
of houses along today's northern St. George Street, the area of recent-
ly planned historical reconstruction,

Such a cluster developed because of the Avero's propensity
to give birth to daughters who apparently married neighbors. In their
sixteen years of married life Victoriang de Avero and Marfa Francesca
gave birth to six accounted daughters and one boy who apparently died
at a young age. Victoriano de Avero died during an epidemic in 1727.
His widow, Mar a Francesca, remarried in 1738, and gave birth to
further children who did not live in the Avero cluster of houses. The
various daughters of the first marriage repeated the performance of
their mother, remarrying when widowed, and giving birth during their
marriages to many children. Two of these played a leading role in
spearheading the drive of their clan to regain the houses after the
death of Fish. Especially outstanding was the role of Antonia de Avero,
the most aggressive of the Avero girls.

It was Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente, the man responsible
for giving Fish the Avero cluster, who in his 1763 real estate map (PM)
identified the Avero houses or those of the husbands of the Avero girls.
Numbers 68 and 81 belonged to Antonia de Avero, the third daughter.
Number 66 was that of Alfonsa de Avero, the oldest daughter. Number 80
was listed under the name of Geronimo de Hita, husband of Juana de Avero,
the second daughter. Geronimo was the soldier grandson of Governor
Pablo de Hita y Salazar. Number 67, a double structure, was assigned
by the PM as belonging to Raymundo de Arrivas, who was in 1763 the hus-
band of Ursula de Avero, the fifth daughter. Numbers 68, 67, and 66
were lined up on the western side of the street. Numbers 81 and 80 were
on the eastern side just opposite from 68, 67 and 66.

There was one more component of the Avero complex. It was
house number 64, somewhat farther north than the other houses. PM lists
this house under the ownership of Joaquin Blanco, who was at the time
of the evacuation in 1763, the husband of Antjnia de Avero.

When, after Fish's death and the government auction Antonia
de Avero tried from Havana in 1791 to regain her St. Augustine property,
she claimed three houses. This agrees with the PM which lists two
houses, numbers 81 and 68 in her name, and number 64 as belonging to
her husband. Since Antonia failed to be specific about these three
houses, except calling one "the larger" the other "the small one" and
the third with no specification, we possess no direct check in corre-
lating these three claimed houses of 1791 with those of the PM of 1763.
Therefore an interesting historical case of documentary deductions,
mostly from the documents presented in the Avero suit plus other histori-
cal data, is permissible in order to further clarify the history of the
Avero cluster or complex.


IV. The Old House.

Common sense plus evidence going as far back as the 1702
siege, correlated by genealogy, says that the Avero cluster started
from one homestead, lot or house. This would be the patriarchal build-
ing, the house where the Avero girls were born and from which they
spread to all over the block, As previously stated, the Avero girls
were related through their mother to Pe alcza, who lo3t a house during
the siege of 1702 in the neighborhood of the fort and in the area where
the Avero cluster developed. Artonia de Avero, who was the great grand-
daughter of Penaloza, stated in her legal suit of 1791 "That in regard
to the titles of domain and ownership (titulos de dominion y propiedad)
of one of the houses, which is the largest (italics mine), and which was
appraised by the Engineer Don Juan de Cotilla it is necessary to go back
to the year 12 (i.e., 1712) of this century in order to know the lot and
old houses (italics mine) which stood on it and which came to me by
inheritance from my grandparents and parents" (folio 24). Antonia de
Avero did not include title or deed of this particular property, the
largest house of the three. At any rate, one of the three claimed houses
of Antonja de Avero, the big one, went back to the early eighteenth
century as a family patrimony, according to the claimant. From the PM
and additional testimony (see infra) in the legal Avero presentation it
is known that her largest house was number 81 of the PM. Therefore it
is 81 that Antonia claimed as dating back to her grandparents' times.
Under these circumstances it is quite feasible to state that house num-
ber 81 of PM is the patriarchal building whose construction went back
to 1712.

The 1712 date is as good a date as can be expected. The town
was destroyed in 1702 and the period of reconstruction was painfully
slow. Then, on September 30, 1707, a terrific hurricane struck St.
Augustine and again leveled most houses. It can be assumed that between
1710 and 1715 the first new houses came into existence which lasted,
with apparent modifications and additions, into the English and Second
Spanish periods. This does not preclude that these houses were built
on foundations that date back to years previous to the 1707 hurricane
and the 1702 siege. It is quite probable that the large house claimed
by Antonia de Avero (PM:81) in 1791 and claimed to come to her from her
forefathers, stood on the lot and foundations of a previous building or
buildings destroyed during the 1702 siege.

Exactly when Antonia de Avero could have inherited the large
house, and if this really was the family homestead, remains in doubt.
Her father, Victoriano de Avero, died in 1727 during that year's epi-
demic, when the yearly death rate rose from a thirty-five average to
over two hundred. An-onia failed to include the will of her father or
mother in her legal suit.Following Spanish tradition, the wife of the
deceased, who was Maria Francesca Garcfa de Acevedo, ought to have in-
herited the house. But the widow remarried on July 21, 1738, a certain
Christoval de la Torre de Borjes, a native of Cuba. Whether the new
bride, mother of many children and many times a grandmother, stayed in
the Avero house or moved to a residence of her new husband is not known.

It is known that Maria Francesca died in 1745; but her will is not part
of the record. If Antonia did not inherit the house (PM:81) in 1738,
she must have in 1745. But was this house the patriarchal residence?

V. Alfonsa and Juana.

If custom was followed, the oldest daughter would have in-
herited the main house. Antonia was not the oldest, she was the third
daughter. Alfonsa, or Ildefonsa, de Avero had the right of primo-
geniture. Alfonsa was born on February 14, 1713, and married at the age
of sixteen a native of the Canary Islands--the birthplace of her father--
by the name of Fernando Rodriguez. They had only one child, who died
in 1731. Soon after, Rodrfguez died. The young widow remarried in
June, 1734, a local man by the name of Francisco Perez de la Rosa and
bore him six children. In 1763, Alfonsa was living in number 66 of the
PM, which was across the street and somewhat to the north of Antonia's
number 81. 'After this, Alfonsa Avero de Perez de la Rosa fades out of
the documents. It would not be surprising if the house she was living
in (PM:66) was really the old Avero house. But at the same time she
could have married a neighbor, either at the first or second marriage.
We do not know the answer.

The same goes for the second daughter, Juana de Avero, born
on March 19, 1715. She too married at the age of sixteen. Her husband,
Simon de Morales, was a native of Havana whose family too had come from
the Canary Islands. Juana also had had only one child from this, her
first marriage, when her husband died. On December 30, 1736, Juana,
like her sister, married for a second time. Her second spouse was a
true St. Augustinian, the soldier Geronimo de Hita, one of the thirty-
two grandsons of Governor Pablo de Hita y Salazar. Juana and Geronimo,
just like Alfonsa and Francisco, had six children. They lived just
across from Alfonsa and Francisco, in house number 80 of the PM. Here
too, documents fail to specify if Juana inherited the house from her
parent or from her first husband, or if she moved into her second hus-
band's house. Since Juana was the second daughter, it is less con-
ceivable that her residence (PM:80) was the old family homestead. It
is practically impossible that this house goes back to Geronimo de
Hita's grandfather, the governor, as some modern claims insist. Gero-
nimo was at least 29 times removed from the right of primogeniture of
the governor's private house, whose location has yet to be determined.
Furthermore,-he had been a social failure in a town where military rank
was of utmost importance. To this must be added that the house where
Juana and her soldier husband lived in apparent happiness is today a
vacant lot just next to the large house of Antonia de Avero, identified
as number 81 of PM.


VI. Antonia.

Antonia, the third daughter, appears as the most interesting
of the Avero girls, carrying the traditions of the Averos into the
Second Spanish Period. She was born in St. Augustine on March 3, 1717,
and died in Havana on August 8, 1792. Her will is with the legal suit
which she started a year before her death to regain her three houses in
St. Augustine (folios 46-51v). Antonia in her seventy-five years of
existence had a full life. She did not marry at the age of sixteen as
her other sisters. Not until she was eighteen was she joined in wed-
lock to Captain Don Joseph Guillen, a native of Cartagena (in today's
Colombia) who was a shrewd businessman. Antonia and Joseph had five
children. The last of these five was Victoriana Isadora, who was born
on April 21, 1743. Seven months later Antonia's husband, the father of
the five children, died.

Captain Joseph Guillen's will was kept by his widow and later
was presented in her legal claim of 1791 (folios 59v-66). This will
stands as a possible contradiction to Guillen's wife's declaration that
she had received her large house from her grandparents and parents.
Guillen on his death bed in December, 1743, stated that he owned "houses
which are my residences with their lots and rooms, male slaves, and one
sloop called El Santisimo Christo de la Soledad, San Joseph y las
Animas."(folio 62). In the will, multiple business transactions of the
Captain came to light. He left everything including the "houses" to
his wife, Antonia de Avero.

The term "houses" is confusing. Antonia used it when she
spoke of her inheritance. It might refer to one single house in the
modern sense. In colonial days a house had many disconnected parts,
such as the kitchen and servant quarters. When Antonia de Avero and
Joseph Guillen spoke of houses it is possible that they meant one single
residence. This assumption still leaves us in the dark as to where
Captain Guillen's house or houses stood. In the PM no houses with the
name of Guillen are identified. In the 1708 claims list of property
burned during the 1702 siege no Guillen or genealogical connection has
come to light. But then Guillen was not a native of St. Augustine. Be-
tween 1708 and 1763 no real estate lists have been found. At any rate,
there is no doubt in view of the discovery of the Guillen will of 1743
that the widowed Antonia inherited one of the three houses she claimed
from Captain Guillen. But she had three casas'

As did all her other sisters, Antonia Avero, widow of Guillen,
remarried. After ten years of widowhood she was wedded "with dispensa-
tion" to another block neighbor, the socially distinguished Joaqufn
Blanco. This man held the garrison position of Guarda Almacen de Muni-
clones y Petrechos, whose responsibility was to manage all of the
presidio's supplies. Blanco was among the administrative elite of St.
Augustine. If the marriage was one of love or of convenience, it
nevertheless represented a social climb for the Averos and an extension
of their real estate cluster or complex.


The PM lists a Joaquin Blanco house just north from the other
Avero houses. It was number 64 of the PM and stood on the western side
of the street (today's St. George Street). The New Yorker, Jesse Fish,
whose dubious dealings motivated the Avero suit, stated in 1764 that
he had received from Joaqufn Blanco three (italics mine) houses. The
Fish receipt was introduced as legal evidence in the 1791-1793 legal
proceedings (folio 4). There is little doubt that these three houses
listed by Fish as Blanco properties are the same three buildings claimed
by his wife under her ownership. Were they Blanco or Avero houses?

VII. Antonia's Large House.

In the legal proceedings in 1793, three witnesses testified
that they had lived in St. Augustine previous to 1763, and that they
had known Antonia de Avero as the legal wife of Joaqurn Blanco (folios
36-37). These witnesses stated that the Blanco couple lived in a
house that still stood in 1793. On its immediate south lived in 1793
the Maestro Mayor de Galafate, Juan Sanchez, and to the north was the
house of the Sobrestante Mayor de Reales Obras, Francisco Canto. They
also said that the house in question, where Antonia de Avero and
Joaquln Blanco lived, was on the east side of the street (today's St.
George Street). In a 1788 map drafted by the Spanish military engineer,
Mariano de la Rocque, the house due south of the largest Antonia de
Avero house (PM:81) is listed as belonging to a Juan S4nchez (see
numbers 5 and 6 of the Rocque map). No northern neighbor is shown in
the 1788 map. There is no reason to doubt that in the intervening five
years between 1788, when Rocque made his draft, and 1793, when the wit-
nesses testified, a new house due north could have been built by Sr.
Francisco Canto. In sum, the three testimonies of 1793, by elder St.
Augustinians leave no doubt that Antonia de Avero together with her
second husband, Joaquin Blanco before the 1763 evacuation lived in the
house identified by Antonia as her "large house," which the PM marks
as number 81. This was the building which Antonia de Avero claimed she
received by inheritance from her forefathers and whose commencement
date must be around 1712.

The three 1793 witnesses do not agree with this, since they
present direct contradictory information. The first one testified
that "he knows that this house (Antonia's large one; PM:81) was ac-
quired during the life (en tiempo de) of Don Joseph Guillen the im-
mediate preceding (i.e., first husband) of the aforementioned Avero
(Antonia)." Witness number two stated "that the above mentioned house
(Antoniat.s large one where she and Blanco lived; PM:81) was owned by
D. Jose Guillen who was the husband of the late Avero (Antonia) and
who was the precedent to Joaqufn Blanco." Finally, the last witness
only testified that Antonia de Avero lived in her house (PM:81) be-
fore she married Blanco and that she had been married to Guillen. But
all three witnesses wrote that since the time of Jos4 Guillen and through

the residence of Blanco "something was manufactured in it (the house)."
None of the three said what the product was. The fact is that the
large house of Antonia de Avero was the one on the east side of the
street where she lived first with Guillen and then with Blanco. Fur-
thermore, Antonia did not receive the house from Blanco. She either
inherited the building from her parents or from her first husband,
Guillen. If the latter is the case, the house PM:81 was not the ori-
ginal Avero residence. Could it be either of the other two houses that
Antonia claimed in her 1791 legal presentation?

VIII. Antonia's Small House.

The PM lists number 68 as belonging to Antonia de Avero.
This house provides no problem in tracing its origins and whereabouts.
The Avero girl stated in her suit that she inherited the smallest
house of the three from a Fernando Rodriguez, a retired garrison mem-
ber from the lower echelons. Rodriguez died in 1762, at an advanced
age, and his will is available (folios 54-59). The Galician stated
that he owned a house which was his residence and which was made "of
wood (madera) covered (covijada) with palms ( alma) with one new room
that has a flat roof (azotea)" (folio 5v). This addition was con-
structed by the master builder, Juan Perez. Sergeant Rodriguez in his
will wrote that the new room, of which he was most proud, was "touching
(arrimado) the walls of those of the Lieutenant Don Raymundo (Arrivas)."
He further said that "he has paid the arrimos (right of wall sharing)
up to the kitchen." Rodriguez continued by saying that the house stood
on a lot located on San Patricio Street (seventeenth century and early
eighteenth century name for the Calle Real of 1763 which was also known
as Del Governador or Calle que va a la Puerta de Tierra (today's St.
George Street). He identified the size of the lot as measuring 15w
varas of width and 35 varas deep. The old Rodriguez, who had no living
children or grandchildren, left most of his belongings, including the
house in which he lived, to Antonia de Avero for unknown reasons. An-
other lot that Fernando Rodriguez possessed outside the city walls and
next to the old Leche shrine was bequeathed to Rodriguez faithful
Negress slave called Anna Maria, who was granted complete liberty by
the will. Joaquin Blanco (Antonia's husband) and Raymundo Arrivas
(Antonia's brother-in-law and old man Rodriguez' neighbor, to whom he
had paid-the wall-sharing rights) were named executors of the will.
There is no question that Antonia de Avero inherited in 1762 this house
and took possession of it. It was her smallest house.

There is little difficulty in identifying this little Rod-
riguez house; in 1763 Antonia de Avero's house. The will cites the im-
mediate neighbor who was Lieutenant Raymundo Arrivas and it specifies
the size of the lot: 15 by 35. Furthermore, Antonia de Avero called
this house her smallest house. Everything agrees with Puente's no. 68
(PM:68), located on the western side of St. George Street, the southern-
most of the houses of the Avero cluster. Number 68 of PM is a smaller

house; it is next to the house of Raymundo de Arrivas (PM:67) and the
lot size given by Puente is 15 by 35 varas. Therefore, the little
house of Antonia de Avero is the old Rodriguez house and is number 68
of the Puente map of 1763,

IX. Antonia's Middle-Sized House: The Blanco House.

The smallest Antonia de Avero house is PM:68, and the largest
one is PM1:81. But she claimed three houses, including a middle-sized
structure. The PM lists only two Antonia de Avero houses, precisely
numbers 68 and 81. But the map does identify a Joaquin Blanco house
(PM:64) on the northwest edge of the Avero cluster. There is no reason
to doubt that this is the third of the Antonia de Avero houses, which
unquestionably she inherited from her second husband. We possess little
concrete information about its origin but it is conceivable that its
architectural features are better known than any of the Avero houses of
the whole cluster.

On folio 5 of the Ayero suit or brief the assessment or ap-
praisal (tasaci6n) of a Joaquin Blanco house of 1763 is enclosed. An-
tonia de Averots son from her first marriage, Agustin Guillem de Avero,
claimed in a printed memorandum (folios 6-7) that an appraisal of all
three houses was undertaken in 1763, and that the total assessment of
all three structures was 8378 pesos. Yet, in the suit, only one assess-
ment is reproduced (folio 5) and it is specified as belonging to the
Blanco house. This assessment provides architectural data such as the
existence of a stairway, flat roof, balcony, etc. Since the assessor or
appraising engineer specified the house as belonging to Joaquin Blanco
"situated in the Calle del Governador to the north (North St. George
Street)" it is only feasible to believe that the appraisal with its ar-
chitectural data applies to PM:64, the middle-sized house of Antonia de
Avero inherited from her second husband, Joaquin Blanco. Unfortunately,
there is some doubt about this matter.

The Guillen son stated that the appraised value of all three
houses was 8378 pesos. The Blanco appraisal on folio 5 is for 4827 pesos.
This would make the house over half of the total value of all three
houses. Common sense would assign the assessment of 1763 of 4827 pesos
to the largest house, which is PM:81. Furthermore, Antonia de Avero in
her legal presentation--often confusing and contradictory--stated (folio
24) that her largest house (PM:81) was appraised in 1763. At the same
time, Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente was a most conscientious worker and
he must have had a reason to assign two houses to the name of Antonia de
Avero and one house to Joaqufn Blanco. The most probable reason was the
registration of the deeds. Furthermore, the engineer assessor, Juan de
Cotilla, was also a careful man and he too must have had a basis for
identifying the correct owner of the assessment. Consequently, the ap-
praisal or assessment presented by Antonia de Avero in her suit either
corresponds to PM:64 or to PM:81. It is impossible to say which of the
two presents a stronger possibility. Whatever the correct answer may

be, PM:64 was the third Antonia de Avero house: the middle-sized one
that had come to her via Joaquin Blanco, who must have died in Havana
after the 1763 evacuation. Additional data tend to tip the weight in
favor of PM:64 as the house of the 1763 assessment evaluated at 4827
pesos and inserted on folio 5 of the record of the Avero suit.

Antonia de Avero talked about her large house (PM:81) and her
small house (PM:68), providing us with some conclusive information. She
failed to give specific data for the middle-sized house, the Joaqufn
Blanco house (PM:64). yet she was quite disturbed about this house be-
cause it was the one that was not auctioned off by the government in
1791 after the death of Fish. It was this auction where two of her
houses, the large and the small, were sold by the government, and which
motivated the whole legal suit. The third one was the middle-sized one
(PM:64) and it was not sold in public auction because it already had a
bona fide owner with an acceptable deed, the validity of which was chal-
lenged by Antonia de Avero. Fish had sold it to a returning Spaniard who
was a captain of artillery and whose name was Pedro Joseph de Salcedo.
There is good corroboration of this since the engineer Rocque in his 1788
map identified houses numbers 44 and 45 of his map as belonging to a Pedro
Joseph Salcedo.

According to recent geographical research, done by Professor
John Dunkle of the University of Florida, the number 45 of the Rocque
map corresponds to number 64 of the Puente map. And number 64 of the PM
is the house listed as belonging to Joaquin Blanco, which in turn was
identified as the middle-sized house that Antonia de Avero claimed. There
is no question that Captain Salcedo was happily living in this house at
the time of Fish's death. He must have presented a legal title to the
house, and therefore it was not auctioned off, making it the most diffi-
cult of the three houses to reclaim. Consequently, it is quite possible
that Antonia de Avero and her representatives went out of the way to find
legal proof to reclaim the Salcedo house. Therefore, as soon as the pro-
ceedings started, she introduced the 1763 assessment, which she believed
to be equal to a valid legal title. The other two houses listed in the
auction were easier to reclaim because it is possible that no legal titles
were drawn up.

X. Antonia's Failure to Recover the Three Houses.

Since the records of this auction have not yet been located
(there are possibilities that eventually they will be), it is impossible
to say whether or not titles were given as soon as possible to those who
acquired the ex-Fish booty this way. But it is known that the large and
the small houses of Antonia de Avero (PM:81 and 68) were turned over to
Colonel Antonio de Fernandez before the auction, before the death of Fish;
very soon, as a matter of fact, after the Spanish return, in 1783. The
colonel was the son-in-law of Antonia de Avero, having married a daughter,
from her first marriage with Guillen, by the name of Victoriana.

In 1792, the Spanish governor of Florida, Don Vizente Manual
de Zespedes, issued a certification to be made part of the record of the
Avero suit (folio 22). In it he testified that as soon as the Spaniards'
regime was reinstated Jesse Fish had turned over two houses of his 1763
acquisition to Colonel Antonio Fernandez, the son-in-law of Antonia de
Avero. The governor identified these two structures as "a house that
was serving as a Catholic church (Minorcan Chapel) and another house just
across." On folio 28v of the legal record of the Avero suit, the lawyer
of the Fish interest, Fernando de la Maza Arrendondo, stated in March,
1792, that the English administration of Florida took one of the ex-Avero
houses away from Mr. Jesse Fish and turned it over to Doctor Pedro Camps
(the Catholic priest oT the Minorcans) who converted it into a "Church
of the Catholics."

Father Pedro Camps, in the Golden Book of the Minorcans (last
folio), which was his register, stated that "On the 9th of September,
1777, the Church of San Pedro was transferred from the settlement of
Mosquito to the City of Saint Augustine, with the same colony of Mahonese
that was established in the said settlement and with the same priest and
missionary D. Don Pedro Camps." Therefore, the establishment during the
English Period of a Minorcan Chapel in an ex-Avero house acquired by Fish,
and its later transfer to Colonel Fernandez, is a historical fact. And,
thanks to the accurate and efficient engineer, Mariano Rocque, author of
the detailed map of St. Augustine of 1788, it is possible to determine
which of the Avero houses became the Minorcan Chapel. On his map the house
marked as number 5, indeed a very large house, is listed as "in the charge
of Don Antonio Fernandez," who unquestionably is Colonel Antonio Fernandez.
Also note that Rocque did-not say it belonged to Fernandez, but that it
was "in the charge of" the colonel. Geographical correlation places house
number 5 of Rocque as corresponding to house number 81 of the 1763 Puente
map. And PM:81 was Antonia de Avero's large house.

Furthermore, Governor Zespedes stated that the second structure
turned over to Colonel Fernandez was "just across" from the chapel.
Rocque in his 1788 map confirms this.. The house just across from his
number 5 (Antonia de Avero's largest house, PM:81; later a Minorcan cha-
pel; later "in the charge of" Fernandez), was number 42 which Rocque iden-
tified as a "House of masonry .... in the charge of Don Antonio FernAn-
dez". And Rocque's number 42 correlates with PM:68 which was Antonia de
Avero's small house which she had inherited in 1762 from old man Fernan-
do Rodriguez.

Consequently, the large and the small houses (number 5 and 42
of Rocque correlated to Puente's numbers 81 and 68), until the auction
were again in possession of the Avero family. Antonia's middle-sized
house, which she received from Blanco (PM:64 and Rocque:45), had been
deeded to a stranger to the Averos and was a real target in her suit, al-
though she had little substantial proof of ownership, with the possible
exception of a 1763 appraisal containing architectural data.


In sum, Antonia de Avero's houses were PM:81, 64 and 68
(according to size), correlated to Rocque:5, 45 and 42. Her largest
was PM:81 Rocque:5, a house she inherited either from her parents or
her first husband, Josef Guillen. The house was turned over to Fish,
who in turn had to give it to the English government, which made a Minor-
can chapel out of it. At the return of the Spaniards it went back to an
Avero descendant who lost it at an auction and failed to recover the title
but in subsequent years regained the house through a possible repurchase.
Her middle-sized house was PM:64 Rocque:45 which she must have inherit-
ed from her second husband, Joaquin Blanco. This house, too, went to
Fish after the 1763 evacuation and later was sold with proper deed to a
Spanish captain of artillery called Joseph de Salcedo. The property was
never regained, temporarily or permanently, by the Averos and their des-
cendants. The smallest of Antonia's three houses was PM:68 Rocque:42.
This was the Rodriguez house which-she inherited in 1762. It passed in-
to Fish's hands at the evacuation of 1763 and returned temporarily to
the Avero family at the time of the return in 1783. It was auctioned off
in-179. and was never regained by Antonia Avero and her descendants. The
house`was located next to what is known as the Arrivas house.

XI. Ursula.

There was a man named Arrivas who played a part in the Avero
story and cluster. He was the husband of the sixth Avero child, called
Ursula, born on October 30, 1723. Ursula de Avero was the sister of An-
tonia, the third Avero daughter. The fourth daughter was Manuela, born
in 1719, and the age of seventeen to a native St. Augustinian
called Marcos Rosendo. We know nothing of this family except that they
had two children, born in 1737 and 1741. We have no data on their house.
They did not form part of the family complex or cluster. After 1741, no
new births are recorded, and they therefore fade out of the picture at
this date. Since St. Augustine burial records are unsatisfactory, and
since many are missing, it is conceivable that death wiped out the family.

The fifth child was, finally, a boy, called Francisco Gabriel,
born in 1721; but he too immediately disappeared from the historical
documents. He certainly died at an early age.

This leads to the sixth child, Ursula, married to Arrivas.
At the time of the 1763 evacuation Ursula was listed as living with her
husband, Raymundo de Arrivas, in the house identified by Puente as num-
ber 67 (PM:67). The house was due north from the old Rodriguez house in-
herited by Antonia de Avero (PM:68), next to Alfonsa de Avero's house
(PM:66), and across from Antonia's.large house (PM:81) and the home of
Juana de Avero and her soldier husband, Geronimo de Hita (PM:80). But
Sr. Arrivas was not the first husband of Ursula. As all her sisters, she
too had married a second time after a short period of widowhood.

Ursula married at the usual age of fifteen the dashing in-
fantry lieutenant Diego Repilado, a native of Palermo in Sicily, but of
Spanish parents from Estremadura. In modern slang, Ursula had made a
good catch. The Repilados, between.the years 1738 and 1746, had five
children. But beginning with 1745, disaster invaded the happy Repilado
home. Ursula delivered her fifth child on December 1, 1745, and buried
it twenty-five days later. On March 10, 1746, another daughter died,
and the next year her husband, Diego Repilado, passed away.

Ursula de Avero remained a widow only for a brief time. In
August, 1748, she married another army officer called Raymundo (also
spelled Raimundo) de Arrivas. He was a peninsular from Arabelo. In
1752, he was a second lieutenant of the Second Infantry Company. By
1759, Arrivas had been promoted to First Lieutenant with a salary of
528 pesos a year. In 1764, Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente identified
Arrivas with the same rank and the same pay as in 1759. The Arrivas
had six accounted children, which gave Ursula a total of eleven births.
Puente has the family living in house number 67, composed of two struc-

XII. An Arrivas House?

With regard to this house (PM:67), the usual question arises.
Was it an Arrivas house into which Ursula moved or was it an Avero house
into which Arrivas moved? A third possibility arises: did Ursula inherit
the house from her first husband, Sr. Repilado? Documents provide no an-
swer, as Ursula or her descendants failed to claim the house. It slipped
again into the hands of the Avero descendants due to the shrewd manipula-
tions of Tadeo Arrivas. He was the last son of Ursula and Lieutenant
Arrivas and was born in Cuba. Tadeo went to Florida during the second
Spanish occupation and held key positions in the administrative apparatus.
Fish, who had acquired the house of Ursula and Arrivas, lost it after his
death to Tadeo, who without regaining a permanent deed lived in it with
his charming wife Maria Garcia Perpal. It was Tadeo de Arrivas who hand-
led the Antonia de Avero legal suit to reclaim her three houses, since he
was her nephew. But Tadeo de Arrivas, who told us so much about his aunt
Antoniats life and property, failed to cite information about the house
of his mother and father (PM:67). More indirect information, hearsay and
legend, has come from the Repilados.

About ten years ago a member of the Repilado family of San-
tiago de Cuba, came to St. Augustine to consult the St. Augustine Histori-
cal Society about genealogical data of its forefathers. The modern Repi-
lados of Santiago de Cuba, claim to be descendants of Diego de Repilado
and Ursula de Avero. They talked about an old Repilado house in St.
Augustine. No documentary data was provided, but it is quite conceivable
that the Arrivas house of 1763 was the Repilado house which fell into
Ursula's hand by inheritance, repeating a previous pattern of her older
sisters. The answer might lie in Cuban archives.

At any rate, the Ursula case completes the Avero cluster or
complex.* Her house, inherited from Repilado, Arrivas, or constructed
by the Avero family, is the very heart of the Avero complex, surrounded
north, south and east by other Avero houses. Its reconstruction will re-
create the Avero house per se, a monument to a typical Spanish colonial
family of Spanish Florida, wTth a typical life, of typical ambitions,
happiness, sorrows, mores and idiosyncrasies. They had no sons, valued
so much in the Spanish colonial social structures, but they had many
daughters, and their purpose was to marry and bear children in order to
make up in number and material acquisitions the loss of the Avero name.

XIII. An Average Family in an Average Settingl

What does the Avero family, its daughters and its houses, in-
significant facets in the vastness of Florida history, mean to historians
and other interested social scientists? First of all, it represents a
case study, which has become popular not only in the fields of sociology
and anthropology, but also in history. Naturally no standard criteria
were used to select this particular family of this particular period. The
St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission, which
is a state commission created by the 1959 Florida Legislature, purchased
a house standing on the approximate site of PM:67. This house, today's
46 St. George Street, is still known by tradition as the Arrivas House.
Documentary research from untapped primary material led to the Avero
family and the Avero complex. Therefore, the Avero family case study was
a concomitant of the architectural history of St. Augustine. By sheer
coincidence the Avero family with its spreading cluster of houses proved
to be an ideal case study of historical sociology of Spanish Florida.

St. Augustine was a military town, a presidio, totally geared
to the garrison. The garrison with its families was the town, the presi-
dio. There were no really rich and no really poor people, but by the end
of the seventeenth century, once the powerful fort was finished, there
was a moderate economic boom. Additional people came to St. Augustine who
were not actual members of the garrison but who lived off the military
apparatus. Although it is conceivable that they, doing business as petty
merchants and the like, were better off financially, these non-military
elements failed to achieve the status achieved by and reserved for mili-
tary rank. Therefore they tried to establish consanguinity through mar-
riage with the military personnel. For similar reasons, the desire to
marry a military man was often equaled or outdistanced by the deep wish
to marry an outsider, preferably from Spain.

* A sixth daughter called Maria was born on January 17, 1726. Nothing
more is heard about her. She must have died during the 1727 epidemic at
the tender age of one.

The Averos fitted perfectly into this picture. The patriarch-
al figure, Victoriano de Avero, was apparently not connected with the
garrison. He was an outsider, from the Canary Islands. This is what
probably induced Maria Francesca Garcia de Asevedo, the granddaughter
of the 1702 siege veteran Juan de Penaloza, to marry him. Then, as might
be expected, their daughters very vigorously searched the military ros-
trum for husbands. Naturally the best marriage was to a military man
who came from the outside. Some of the Avero girls managed this.

The Avero family's lack of boys makes it somewhat atypical.
At the same time it focuses very clearly the only duty of every colon-
ial Spanish American girl: to marry, have children and increase the
family's real estate by consanguineous connections. While in most
colonial areas of Latin America social status was intimately connected
with landed estates, such was never true in Spanish Florida, due to
military and ecological conditions. Instead, the town house or houses
acquired a greater importance as a symbol of status. The Avero cluster
is good proof of this.

The geographical position of a house was in Spanish colonial
America just as important as the quality of the building. Those in the
best social stratum had their houses on the main square, if possible,
near the cathedral. Thefar'her removed they were from the square, "t]le
lower was the social status they reflected. There is no reason to doubt
that this pattern also existed in St. Augustine. Yet the existence of
the fort as the main structure in St. Augustine brought a variable fac-
tor into the picture. A small cluster of fairly decent houses near the
fort indicates that this location was the second best. The Averos were
closer to the fort than to the plaza and their cluster had expanded only
toward the fort, not the main square. This identifies them as an average
family, neither of too high nor too low status. Naturally the documents
do not provide a conclusive answer to social problems.

There are interesting implications or possible questions that
this Avero study provides. It gives us some insight into the status
of women in a Spanish garrison town. Yet it leaves open for further
research the exact position of St. Augustinian women in Spanish Florida.

The question of marriage for convenience or love remains un-
answered by the Avero study, but the early marriage age of the girls
plus the high birth rate is clearly shown. The death rate of the Avero
girls from childbirth and of their newborn babies is rather low. Why?

The position of the women in St. Augustine commerce remains
unanswered but there are indications that they played a leading role.
Other questions, such as mores, education, social activities other than
church functions, and others remain all unanswered.


XIV. Postscript

In sum, the Avero cluster and complex proved to be useful
not only for architectural information, but it also pointed to inter-
esting new social data of Spanish Florida history. It should encour-
age further case studies. Such excellent collections as are now
available at the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the Uni-
versity of Florida, the Library of the St. Augustine Historical Society,
at the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, and the Department of
Agriculture in Tallahassee, can serve as a formidable manuscript re-
servoir for this type of study. Cuban archives should also contain
valuable manuscript material referring to the social history of St.
Augustine and Florida. They constitute our biggest gap and therefore
are the great untapped source. The East Florida Papers at the Library
of Congress remain the greatest documentary jewel for the Second Span-
ish Period.

The Averos take us from one century to another- from the
First Spanish Period to the English interlude (1763-1783), to the
Second Spanish Period. Any historical reconstruction must recapture
the atmosphere of these three foreign, distant and distinct periods.
The Averos do it.



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Florida, 1671-1702." Master's thesis, History, University of
Florida, 1960. 116-pp.
Arnade, Charles W. "Architectural Information of Early St. Augus-
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Beeson, Kenneth Henry, Jr. "Fromjadas and Indigo. The Minorcan
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Manning, Mabel. "The East Florida Papers in the Library of Congress,"
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PRIMARY SOURCES (by chronology)

St. Augustine Cathedral Parish Records: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials,
1594-1804 (parts missing; for example, burials between 1638 and
1720 lost). Well classified photostats available at the St.
Augustine.Historical Society. Originals at the library of the
University of Notre Dame.
Governor Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega to the Crown. Madrid,
Jan. 25, 1673. 4 folios. AGI: 58-2-5-2, Stetson Collection,
University of Florida (hereafter cited as SC). (Discusses plans
to bring Canary Islanders to Florida.)
Governor Pablo de Hita y Salazar to the Crown. St. Augustine, Nov. 10,
1678. 5 folios. AGI: 61-6-20-3, SC. (Deals with bringing
Canary Islanders to St. Augustine.)


Governor Juan Marquez Cabrera to the Crown. St. Augustine, Jan. 28,
1682. 29 folios, with enclosures. AGI: 54-5-11-85, SC.
(Reports a local squabble in which the Hitas, especially the
old ex-Governor, are involved.)
Governor Diego de Quiroga y Losada to the Crown. St. Augustine,
April 1, 1688. 4 folios. AGI: 54-5-12-53, SC. (Discusses
social tensions: local-born elements vs. outsiders.)
Joseph de Cobo to Manuel de Aperrigui. Tenerife (in the Canaries),
March 3, 1706. 30 folios, enclosures. AGI: 58-1-35-49, SC.
(Deals with the emigration of Canary Islanders to Florida.)
Governor Francisco de Cdrcoles y Martfnez to the Crown. St. Augus-
tine, Nov. 12, 1707. 4 folios. AGI: 58-1-27-121, SC.
(Discusses the 1707 hurricane.)
Demand puesta por los Senores Juezes Oficiales de la Real Hacienda
contra el exmo. SeKor Maestro de Campo General, Don Joseph
de Ziuiga y La Zerda . . Juez de Residencia: Francisco
C6rcoles y Martinez. Escribano Pdblico y de Gobernacidn:
Juan Solana. St. Augustine, 1707. 849 folios. AGI: 58-2-8,
SC. (Basic document of the 1702 siege.)
Francisco de C6rcoles y Martfnez to the Crown. St. Augustine, Aug.13,
1709. 28 folios, enclosures. AGI: 58-1-28-66, North Carolina
Spanish Record, University of Florida, reel 12. (1702 damage
Francisco de Castilla (Contador Interino) to the Crown. St. Augus-
tine, July 3, 1743. 48 folios, enclosures. AGI: 58-1-34-73, SC.
(Contains will of the accountant, Francisco Mendndez Marqu's.
A typical,-will by an important St. Augustinian of the eighteenth
"Noticias del Estado en que Don Josef Antonio Gelabert all& la Real
Hacienda de aquella Provincia los anos de 1752 y 59, Medios que
propone . ." Materias de Real Hacienda, Florida. Havana,
(no date). 168 folios. AGI: 87-1-14-2, SC.
"Relacidn de todos las Plazas Fortalezas y Presidios que hai al pre-
sente en la Jurisdiccion del Govierno y Capitania General de
mi carga . ." by Governor Lucas de Palazio. St. Augustine,
April 26, 1759. 7 folios which are enclosure 5 of "Informe
del Tribunal." Mexico, May 14, 1764. 109 folios. AGI: 87-1-14-
4, SC.
"Plano de la Real Fuerza, Baluartes, y Linea de la Plaza de Sn. Augus-
tin de Florida, con su Parroquial Mayor, Convento e Iglesia de
San Francisco: Casas,,.y Solares de los Vecinos; y mas algunas
Fabricas y Huertas Extramuros de ella . ." by Juan Joseph
Elixio de la Puerte. Drafted in 1763 and dispatched to the Crown
in 1764.
(The origi~af is located at the Museo Naval of Spain, in
Madrid -Also available in the Buckingham Smith Papers of the
New Y6rk Historical Society.) (1763-1764 Puente Map.)
"Accounts of Jesse Fish." Serial no. 319. Dates: 1763-1770. 1 Box.
East Florida Papers, Library of Congress.


"Inventory of the ornaments, altars, images, bells, and valuable
belongings to the Parochial Church and Brotherhoods of the
Presidio of St. Augustine, signed by Doctor Juan Morel Telles,
priest of the greater parochial church of St. Christopher of
this city of Havana, Feb. 6, 1764." Available in the (Wilbur
Henry) Siebert typescript translations at the St. Augustine
Historical Society. (Contains information about Raymundo
"Documents Relative to (the) Sale of Spanish Properties in St.
Augustine, Florida, by Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente in 1764."
Translated by Edward W. Lawson in 1956. 28 typescript pp.
Available at the St. Augustine Historical Society.
"Cuenta y relacion jurada presentada por Don Joaquin Blanco Guarda
Almasen que fue de la Florida corriente de 2 de Julio de 1757
hasta fines de Deciembre de 1763." Havana, Dec. 6, 1765. 52
folios. AGI: 87-3-27-A (Santo Domingo: 2663), SC. (Shows
the position and duties of Joaqufn Blanco.)
Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente to Antonia Maria Bucareli (Viceroy
of New Mexico). Havana, Sept. 26, 1766. 51 folios. AGI:
87-1-5-3, SC. (1763 exodus and transfer reports.)
Pedro Camps. "Golden Book of the Minorcans, 1768-1827." 385 folios.
Cathedral Archives, St. Augustine, Fla. (Also known as Father
Camps' Register.)
Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente. Report of May 8, 1770, written in
Havana (no forwarding address given). 70 folios. AGI: 87-1-
5-4-5-6, SC. (1763 exodus and transfer reports.)
Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente to the Marques de la Torre (Governor
of Havana). Havana, March 4, 1772. Filed under Marques de la
Torre to Sr. B Fr. Dn Julian de Arriaga (of the Council of
Indies). Havana, May 18, 1772. 66 folios. AGI: 86-7-11-24,
St. Augustine Historical Society. (1763 exodus and transfer
Escrituras of 1784-1787, 1791, 1803-1806, 1813-1814, 1815. Serial
nos. 366-369, 371-373, 375-376, 378-380. 12 boxes. East
Florida Papers, Library of Congress. Translated typewritten
briefs available, plus some of the originals (on microfilm)
at the St. Augustine Historical Society. (Local city records
of the Second Spanish Period.)
Mariano Rocque. "Descripcion de Piano Particular de la Ciudad de San
Augustin de la Florida en tal ano de 1788." St. Augustine,
April 25, 1788. 21 folios. Filmfile 4.3,-mocrodex 1, Field
Note Division, Department of Agriculture (Tallahassee),S.tate
of Florida. (Original Rocque key to his 1788 map.)
"Plana Particular de la Ciudad de Sn. Augustin de
la Florida con el detail de sus Mansanas, Casas y Solares, Cas-
tillo, Quarteles y Pabellones segun en la situation que se
hallaba en primero de Abril del Corriente ano." Original in the
East Florida Papers (Library of Congress), Serial no. 176:
Public Buildings, Fortifications and Defense. Copies available
at the St. Augustine Historical Society, Castillo de San Marcos,
and St. Augustine Historical Restoration and Preservation Com-
mission. (1788 Rocque Map.)


"Inventorios, tasaciones, y venta en public remate
de las casas y solares del Rey." Florida, 1790. (Done at the
request of Governor Juan Quesada; known as the Quesada Inventory
of 1790.) 72 folios. Filmfile 4.3, mocrodex 1, Field Note Div-
ision, Department of Agriculture (Tallahassee), State of Florida.
"Concurso de Acredetores causado por fallecimiento del Britanico D.
Jesse Fish. Florida ano 1790." In Testamentary Proceedings,
East Florida Papers, Library of Congress. Microfilm available
at the St. Augustine Historical Society: Boxes 18-21, reel 5.
(Legal implications of Fish's death.)
"Dona Antonia de Avero sobre reasumir sus Casas, y posesiones, con
lo demds que de los Autos consta. Florida. AKo de 1793."
86 folios. No. 19, Bundle no 320; City Lots: St. Augustine;
Field Note Division, Department of Agriculture (Tallahassee),
State of Florida. (Basic document (legajo) for this essay or
"1793 Census List." 50 folios. Serial no. 323A: Census Returns.
Dates: 1784-1814. 2 boxes. East Florida Papers, Library of
"Diligencias promovidas por Dona Eugenia de Hita y Salazar, sobre
dejar una casa del Rey que havita, y remato en public subasto
D. Romnaldo Micklaszuicich, nuebo poblador el ocho de Abril
de mil setcientos nobenta y uno, dejandose la encargada quando
se ausento de esta plaza. Florida, ano 1793." 41 folios.
No. 19, Bundle no. 320; City Lots: St. Augustine; Field Note
Division, Department of Agriculture (Tallahassee), State of
"Assessors Inventory of 1800." 110 typewritten pp. at St. Augustine
Historical Society. Original in Serial No. 320: Assessors
Inventory. Dates: ? 1 Box. East Florida Papers, Library of
Governor Francisco de C6rcoles y Martfnez to the Crown. St. Augus-
tine, Nov. 12, 1707.


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