Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Benet Store Block 13, Lot 8
Title: [Reseach notes on Pedro Benet]
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 Material Information
Title: Reseach notes on Pedro Benet
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Benet Store Block 13, Lot 8
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Copyright Date: Public Domain
Physical Location:
Box: 6
Divider: Block 13 Lot 8
Folder: Benet Store B13-L8
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
62 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Benet Store (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 62 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.895679 x -81.313201
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094794
Volume ID: VID00010
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B13-L8

Full Text

When Pedro Benet moved his store to the southwest corner

of St. George and Guna streets in 1840, the United States flag

had flqwu over St. Augustine for not quite two decades. Over
2400 inhabitants were
hald of the/papatattmanuXl still of SpanishA or Minorcan extrac-

tion, and evidences of the Hispanic heritage were still strong.

Trade, however, was largely with other portions of the United


Since 1835 war had been raging with the Seminole Indians,
subject to
and even the outskirts o;f St. Augustine were zxxzXngzrxxuT attack.

But this in itself created a minor "boom" in the little city.

Regiments of the United States Army and various militia units

swelled the population, and brought buying power with them.
And the M oung officers considerably enlivened the so; cial scene.

Despite the war, the first trickling of tourists had begun

to reach the city. Most of these were invalids seeking respite

from northern winters. A weekly steamboat began service between

Charleston and St. Augustine, but most ;marine transport was still

by sail.
In contrast to the growing reputation of winter heaulness,

yellow fever struck A9m in the fall 96 1839 Between 800-900

cases were reported, of which' 39 proved fatal.

There were three churches, two newspapers, one bank, a

reading room and a circulating library, a dancing school, a
soda fountain and two ice-cream establishments. There were seven

dry goods stores, thirteen groceries and six boarding houses.

Once-source indicates six physicians, tweluw lawyers, and "lots

of loagers@. And there were places where gentlemen could drink,
discuss politics, and "critically investigate their neighbor's
business, to the great benefit o; f their own".

This was the setting within which Pedro Benet operated his

small store', after moving it from across the street (Benet House).

ActI1ve as Pedro Benet was in St. Augustine in his long and varied life
and broader
it was his eldest son/his descendents who; added/lustre to the Benet

name. Stephen Vincent (Benet (grandfather of the poet of the same

name) was twelve when the Benet store .opened. At this time he was

reading Blackstone's Commentaries at his father's insistence in order

to prepare fo; r a law career. At age 14 he left St. Augustine to
attend first
guxtz school/in Virginia and later at the University of Georgia.

In May, 1845, he became the first Florida apointee to West Point,

graducating th ird in his class.

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