First Draft for Comments and Additions
Archeological Investigations in St. Augustine: The
Background of an Urban Ethnic Group
The National Endowment for the Humanities
The Department of Anthropology, University
The St. Augustine Historical Preservation Board
The Bureau of Urban Research, University
Archeological Investigations in St. Augustine: The Background of An Urban Ethnic Group
Under multi-discipline sponsorship, the project proposes an intensive and
extensive excavation of selected lots within Block 16 of the St. Augustine Historic
Area. Lying near the northwestern corner of the colonial fortified town, this
area was not heavily occupied during the First Spanish Dominion. During the
American Revolution it was heavily settled by the Minorcans from Dr. Andrew
Turnbull's unsuccessful settlement at New Smyrna and became known as the "Greek
Settlement". The descendents of these Minorcans remain today an identifiable
ethnic element in St. Augustine.
The work will be carried out using standard historical archeological
techniques. Historic summaries have already been completed on land ownership,
house types, and some cultural characterization of such details as occupation,
family style, etc. The specific objectives are to define land use, including housing
details and, especially, the recreation of the life style of the inhabitants.
Special attention will be given to the garden areas because of lack of informa-
tion on the living facilities located there. Cultural remains will be analyzed
intensively and attention will be given to domestic evidences.
The work will be conducted by advanced undergraduate and graduate students
under the direction of Dr. Charles H. Fairbanks. Assistance will be given in
direction by Dr. John W. Griffin and Robert Steinbach. The laboratory facilities
of the St. Augustine Historical Preservation Board will be used for continuing
analysis of the remains.
The Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida and the St.
Augustine Historical Restoration Commission are beginning a program of excavation
in selected areas of Block 16 of the St. Augustine Historic Area. While the
major expenses of the investigation will be borne by the two agencies, supplemental
funds are requested from the National Foundation for the Humanities. The
objectives are twofold: 1. To determine the historical evidences which remain
on the site, and 2. to investigate the life-style and cultural uniqueness of
the Minorcan group who lived there during the American Revolution.
Block 16 lies in the northwest corner of the colonial fortified city
(Chatelain, 1941). It seems to have been rather thinly occupied during the First
Spanish Dominion (Manucy & Griffin 1962). Historical research indicates that
some tabby or coquina houses existed there during the middle years of.the 18th
century. During the English Dominion and the American Revolution it became
the home of a number of Minorcans from the Turnbull settlement at New Smyrna.
These people razed unserviceable earlier buildings and erected frame dwellings.
While it is unknown what outbuildings were present, the frame construction is
felt to reflect distinctive Minorcan building styles. We believe that we will
discover substantial evidence of the culturally distinct group. Excavation
will clear house remains, search back garden areas, and attempt, by flotation
of proper soil samples, to define dietary patterns.
As the latest British colony in North America, Florida was still experiencing
initial growth at the outbreak of the American Revolution. Because of its
special geographic and cultural position it served as a refuge for many Loyalists
during the Revolution. The unrest of the Revolution may partly account for
the factionalism that beset the New Smyrna settlement.
Dr. Andrew Turnbull had planned to bring a large number of Greek settlers
to a large grant of land that he had secured some distance south of St. Augustine.
The history of British Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard is repleat with many other
examples in which philanthropic Englishment encouraged European ethnic groups to
settle in the New World. Dr. Turnbull's New Smyrna is typical of these
agrarian experiments in many respects. Having been unsuccessful in recruiting
Greek settlers, he heard that crop failures on Minorcan had entailed wide-
spread hardship. His recruiting was successful and he arrived in June 1768
at New Smyrna with eight ships bearing some 1500 Minorcans and 100 Greeks. While
the great bulk of these immigrants were of the Catholic faith, and thus forbidden
to settle in the British Colony, he secured permission for them to enter and even
brought priests to minister to them. The settlement was beset with many problems
and never achieved stability. Attempts to open communication with the Spanish
population of Peba were regarded as treasonous and harshly suppressed by the
English authorities. Governor Tonyn after his arrival in 1774 seems to have
been sympathetic to their problem, releasing them from their indentures. He
also admitted, and probably encouraged, them to leave New Smyrna for settlement
in St. Augustine. The section now called Block 16 became known as the "Greek
Cl ir i lT.
Settlement" (Doggett, 1919).
While historical research has revealed the change to frame dwellings during
the American Revolutionary period, we need to know considerably more about the
houses and the domestic appointments. Excavation of one or more house sites
should give a considerably expanded view of architectural features. Excavation
of trash pits and other features will reveal a great deal about the cultural
pattern. We have here an excellent opportunity to study the background of a
definite ethnic minority and to guage their adaptation to and acculturation to
American culture of the Hispavir and British traditions (Deeta, 1968).
The Minorcans remained in St. Augustine and its vicinity. Census data
indicate that they were often farmers, fisherman, and craftsmen. With the return
of the Spanish to Dominion in Florida they became a more fully participating
part of the community. Some of them, at least, rose to positions of affluence
and prominence. With the purchase of Florida by the United States in 1819, they
again largely remained in and around St. Augustine. Today they may still be
identified in the community, largely through-the surnames which they still bear.
In language, dress, occupation, religion, and other cultural indices they
conform to the community as a whole. What remains is the awareness of their ancestry
and an identification with their past. This project will throw some specific
light on the early years of this ethnic group, their cultural pattern before
acculturation had begun, and the process by which they have acquired a uniform
Anglo-Floridian culture, while still maintaining an awareness of their origins.
The project presents an unusual opportunity to trace the acculturation from
the time of the American Revolution of this little known cultural enclave.
O I X
National Endowment for
University of Floridi
or St. Augustine
Supervision by Dr. Charles H. Fairbanks
Administration, payrolls, etc.
15 students @ $1.60/hour
40 hours/week, 10 weeks
Graduate assistant 1/3 time 2 1/2 months
Student housing, 10 weeks
Laboratory equipment and supplies
Miscellaneous small tools
Truck mileage, gas, oil
Typing reports, ect.
Rental of front end louder
Total Direct Costs
. ^ l. )^l,
Beeson, Kenneth Henry
1960 Fromajadas and Indigo; the Minorcan Colony in Florida.
Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Florida.
Register of births (of Minorcans). MS. in Cathedral Archives,
St. Augustine, Florida, Microfilm in Yonge Library of Florida History.
Chatelain, Verne E.
1941 The Defenses of Spanish Florida 1565-1763. Carnegie Institute
of Washington Publication 511. Washington, D.C.
1968 "Late Man in North America: Archeology of European Americans" in
Betty Meggers (ed.), Anthropological Archeology in the Americas,
Anthropological Society of Washington, Washington, D.C. pp. 121-130.
1919 Dr. Andrew Turnbull and the New Smyrna Colony of Florida. Jacksonville.
Fairbanks, George R.
1881 History and Antiquities of St. Augustine, Florida. Jacksonville, Florida.
>. ,I0 -.
CHARLES H. FAIRBANKS, PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Born: June 3, 1913
Education: A.B. University of Chicago, 1939
M.A. University of Michigan, 1950
Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1954
Professional Societies: American Anthropological Association, Fellow;
Society for American Archaeology; Sigma Xi; Southern Anthro-
pological Society; Society for Historical Archaeology, President
1971; Southeastern Archaeological Conference; local southeastern
1937-38 Archeologist, TVA, University of Tennessee
1938-43 Archeologist, Ocmulgee National Monument
1946-48 Superintendent, Ft. Frederica National Monument
1950-54 Archeologist, National Park Service, Ocmulgee
National Monument and Washington, D. C.
1954-63 Florida State University, Assistant Professor,
Associate Professor (1959-1963).
1963-70 University of Florida, Professor and Chairman
1970-present University of Florida, Professor
Military Service: Army United States 1943-1946
"The Occurrence of Coiled Pottery in New York State,"
Amer.Antiq., Vol. 2, No. 3, Jan. 1937, pp. 178-179.
"Classification Problems of Southeastern Archaeology in Relation
to Work in the Tennessee Valley," Readings of the Society for Georgia
Archaeology, Vol. 2, No. 1, unpaged, (4) mimeographed, 1940.
"The Taxonomic Position of Stalling's Island, Georgia," Amer. Antig.,
Vol. 7, No. 3, pp. 223-231, 1942.
"The Macon Earthlodge," Amer. Antiq., Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 94-108,
"Fort Frederica National Monument," Emory University Quarterly,
Vol. IV, No. 1, pp. 8-14, Emory, 1948.
"A General Survey of Southeastern Prehistory," Florida Indian
and His Neighbors, pp. 55-76, Winter Park, Fla., 1949.
S"A Preliminary Segregation of Etowah, Savannah, and Lamar,"
Amer. Antig., Vol. XVI, No. 2, 1950, pp. 142-151.
"Creek and Pre-Creek," Archaeology of Eastern United States, James
B. Griffin, ed., pp. 285-300, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1952.
"1953 Excavations at Site 9 HL 64, Buford Reservoir, Georgia,"
Fla. State Univ. Studies, No. 16, pp. 1-26, 1954.
"The Excavation of the Hawkins-Davision Houses, Frederica
National Monument, St. Simons Island, Georgia," Georgia Historical
Quarterly, 40:3 (Sept.), 1956, pp. 213-29, Athens.
"Archeology of the Funeral Mound Ocmulgee National Monument,
Georgia," National Park Service, Archeological Research Series Number
Three, Washington, 1956, vi, 95, 28 plates, 6 figs, VI tables,
"Ethnological Report, Florida Seminole," 300 pp, Mineographed, 1957.
"Ethnological Report on Royce Area 79, (Cherokee, Creek,
Chickasaw)," 250 pp., Mimeographed, 1958.
"Some Problems of the Origin of Creek Pottery, The Florida
Anthropologist, Vol. XI, No. 2, pp. 53-64, Tallahassee, Florida, 1958,
"Anthropology and the Segregation Problem," in The Negro in
American Society, Florida State University Studies, No. 28, pp. 1-18,
"European Ceramics from the Cherokee Capitol of New Echota,"
Southeastern Archaeological Conference, News Letter, Vol. 9, No. 1,
June 1962, pp. 10-16.
"Excavations at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama," Florida Anthropologist,
15:2 (June), pp. 41-56, 1962.
Ethnohistoric Report on the Biloxi, Pascagoula and Adjacent
Tribes, Prepared for U. S. Department of Justice, 1964, 247 pp.
"Indian and Spaniard. Selected writings of John M. Goggin," Ed.
with Irving Rouse and William C. Sturtevant, University of Miami Press,
"Excavations at the Fort Walton Temple Mound," Florida Anthropologist,
Vol. 18, No. 4, (December), pp 239-264, 1965.
"The Archeological Contribution to Urban Studies," in Urban
Anthropology, Research Perspectives and Strategies, Elizabeth M. Eddy, Ed,
Southern Anthropological Society Proceedings, No. 2, Athens, pp. 16-23.
"Early Spanish Colonial Beads' The Conference on Historic Site
Archaeology, Papers,1967, Vol. 2, Part 1, pp. 3-22.
DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
GAINESVILLE FLORIDA 32601
September 2, 1971
Dr. John W. Griffin
St. Augustine Preservation Board
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Attached is the first draft of the grant proposal. It is being reviewed
here while you also review it and clear it with the Division of Cultural
Affairs. Please feel free to suggest any changes that occur to you.
You should perhaps extend the bibliography and attach curricula vitae
for yourself and Bob. Mine is already attached.
I'd like to get this off to Washington early in October, if possible.
rles H. Fairbanks
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