Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Title: The household of Charles and Mary Jane Loring
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 Material Information
Title: The household of Charles and Mary Jane Loring
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Sanchez House, Block 7 Lot 6
Physical Description: Report
Language: English
Creator: Parker, Susan R.
Publication Date: 1988
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
43 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
de Mesa-Sanchez House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 43 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896429 x -81.313225
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091263
Volume ID: VID00104
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L6

Full Text


Charles Loring was born 1812-13. His first wife, Mary Jane

Campbell's birthdate is reasonably placed 1810-1815.1 Charles

family moved to St. Augustine in 1823, two years after the

departure of the Spanish government and its officials. He was

related to many old New England families, including that of

Priscilla and John Alden. His mother, Hannah Kenan, was from a

prominent North Carolina family.2

Both Charles and Mary Jane were young when they married each

other on November 20, 1830. It appears that by 1835, there had

been at least three children, all girls, born to the Lorings:

Elizabeth Catherine, Emma who died in 1834, and another


In 1832 Charles' parents, Reuben and Hannah Loring, opened

the new "hotel" that they had just built. "The Mansion House"

was on the northwest corner of St. George and Treasury Streets.

It appears that Mary Jane and Charles spent time in the

country as well in town, as was common for the more monied

members of St. Augustine's society. Charles and his father

purchased U. S. government lots on the south bank of Julington

Creek on the St. Johns River. In 1833 the Lorings sold

Charleston- and Savannah-made brick at his landing there.* The

couple was at Julington Creek, when little Emma died in May 1834.

The next year, Loring served as an election inspector for the New

Switzerland polling place at George Colt's house. (Colt's house

was on land granted to his prominent forebear, Francis Fatio, in

1772.) He continued to own the property on the St. Johns River

until his death, when it passed ;to his second wife, Cornelia.

Indian threats may have forced Charles and Mary Jane to spend

more time in St. Augustine. The Fatio place, not far south of

them, was burned by raiding Indians in 1835 (the Indians had

burned the original Fatio house in 1812). Indian threats to the

St. Augustine area came from all sides except the ocean. In

December 1836, the newspaper reported that only the Hanson

plantation (the old Florida Memorial College campus) and

Hulbert's plantation (in the area of today's county jail) had

been spared and that at the two locations had just begun the

grinding of corn and boiling of sugar."

Charles joined the St. Augustine Guards, a local militia

unit. In January 1836, he was a captain in Company F of the 2nd

regiment. His friend, Seth K. Gifford, was a lieutenant in

Company G, same regiment. Militia officers below the rank of

major were elected. The militia usually dressed in their regular

clothing although it seems likely that the officers, with more

social status and more money, wore uniforms to some degree

similar to those of the regular army."

Charles participated in the signing of petitions to the

territorial legislature. He reaffirmed his support of Judge

Smith in a petition of February 1832, and in 1839 supported the

division of the Florida territory into two states.'

There are some bits and pieces of their activities:

The Florida Herald (November 24, 1836) reported the arrival on

the schooner S. S. MILLS at the port of St. Augustine of the

Lorings, two children, and a servant on November 24, 1837.

In 1839 Seth Gifford deeded the Mesa-Sanchez house and land

to Mary Jane Loring, who as part of the purchase price assumed

the outstanding mortgage debt of $800. The Florida Herald and

Southern Democrat reported that "In Hawkinsville, Georgia, on the

20th of August [18403 after a short and severe illness, Mrs. Mary

Jane Loring [died], wife of Charles Loring, formerly of St.

Augustine." B Two months later the suit to foreclose the

mortgage on the Mesa-Sanchez was filed. Not until 1844 was the

foreclosed property sold at public auction."

The U. S. Census of 1840 lists for the Charles Loring

family: 1 white male, 20-30 years old

1 white female, 20-30 years old

2 white females, 5-10 years old

3 female slaves under 10

1 female slave, 24-36 years old

1 female slave, 36-55 years old"O

There remain some leads. It appears that the Lorings

had a close relationship with Seth Gifford and with Mrs. Ann

Campbell (perhaps she was Mary Jane's female relative).

Susan R. Parker
September 22, 1988

.4 1 f


1. William L. Wessels, Born to Be a Soldier: The Military
Career of William Wing Lorinq of St. Augustine. Florida
(Texas Christian University Press: Forth Worth, 1971), 2.
Charles Loring's household in 1840 contained 1 white female
20-30 years old. (United States Census 1840).

2. Wessels, Born to Be a Soldier, 1-2.

3. St. Johns County Marriage Bonds; Wessels, Born to Be a
Soldier, ; Florida Herald and Southern Democrat (St.
Augustine), June 5, 1834; U. S. Census of 1840: lists two
white females in C. Loring's household between 5-10 yrs. of

4. St. Johns County public record: Miscellaneous Book A, p. 76.
Florida Herald, 20 January 1836.

5. Florida Herald, June 5, 1834, Emma died May 23, 1834; St. Johns
County public records: Deed Book R, p. 291; Gertrude N. L'Engle,
A Collection of Letters. Information and Data on Our Family. 2
vols. (Jacksonville, 1951), p. ; Florida Herald, December 1,

6. Florida Herald (St. Augustine), January 13, 1836; George
Cassel Bittle, "In Defense of Florida: The Organized Florida
Militia from 1821 to 1920 (PhD. dissertation, Univ of Fla.,
1965), p. 34; John K. Mahon, History of the Second Seminole
War. 1835-1842 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press,
1967), p. 140.

7. Territorial Papers, 24:665 & 25:631.

8. Deed Book/', p. 354; Z_. The Pulaski County, Georgia,
(Hawkinsville) death records are not available before 1897.

9. Deed Book O, p. 609.

10. U. S. Census of 1840 (microfilm copy at St. Augustine
Historical Society).

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