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Earle W. Newton
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Ms. Gail Crevatt, Curator
St. Aucustine Preservation Bd.
St. Augustine, Fla. 32084
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Ms. Gail Crevatt, Curator C
St. Augustine Preservation Bd.
St. Augustine, Fla. 32084
Dear Ms. Crevatt,
Summarizing our conversation, these are my recollections
of the Pan-American project at St. Augustine in 1964-66.
To complement the Spanish government building, I sought, in
Cooperation with the Organization of American States, the devel-
opment of a Pan American Museum. There being no single government,
as with Spain, to approach for financial assistance, I first sought
the sponsorship of the OAS, which was specifically granted, with
the expectation that the land and buildings would be turned over to
tham, (as was the Spanish Center). This understanding was implicit
in the presence of the Chairman of the Council and the Secretary-
General, who laid the cornerstone and later dedicated the building,
accepting it for the OAS in 1966. However, just as with the Span-
ish building, St. Augustine Restoration, Inc.,(of which I was then
President), acted as intermediary for the receipt and disbursement
of funds for the purchase of land, construction of the building,
and purchase and exhibit of the collections (largely put in place
by Carleton Calkin, then Curator).
I sought the funds to accomplish this from American corpora-
tions active and interested in Latin America, and Senator George
Smathers was instrumental in approaching these companies for dona-
tions for this purpose (and no other). Any other use of these funds,
or the property which they purchased, would be improper and illegal.
The Museum, as a permanent link to Latin America through the OAS
and an exhibition center for Latin American culture, was the purpose
for which non-profit donations were solicited by Senator Smathers
and by me. I am sure Senator Smathers would share my dismay at any
other (illegal) use of the property. He and I made promises in the
name of a chartered non-profit organization to an international
organization, and to the companies involved who made their donations
solely for that purpose. If the property were used for other pur-
poses, especially commercial ones, it would be necessary to refund
the gifts to the donors, and there certainly would be state and fed-
eral fines for the misuse of 501 (c)3 donated funds.
To further the development of the link between Spain and the
Hispanic countries, we developed an Hispanic Garden. As a center-
piece, I persuaded Anna Hyatt Huntington to donate a bronze of her
superb statue of Queen Isabella, who made possible the discovery of
the Latin world which even today has both an Hispanic and a native
heritage that Norteamericanos need to understand. The Pan American
Center was to be the means of enlightening the millions who pass
through St. Augustine. I hope it can resume this mission after the
long-delayed transfer to the OAS.
Earle E. Newton
former President St. Augustine Restor-