<%BANNER%>
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 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Introduction
 Symposium Participants
 Table of Contents
 British East Florida: Loyalist...
 "Left as a Gewgaw": The Impact...
 Commentary
 The Southern Contribution: A Balance...
 The Problem of the Household in...
 Mitres and Flags: Colonial Religion...
 Commentary
 Changing Traditions in St. Augustine...
 British Material Culture in St....
 What Our Southern Frontier Women...
 Back Matter
 Back Cover
 Spine


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Eighteenth-century Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100519/00001
 Material Information
Title: Eighteenth-century Florida the impact of the American Revolution
Physical Description: xvii, 149 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Proctor, Samuel
Bicentennial Commission of Florida
University of West Florida
Conference: Bicentennial Symposium, 1976
Publisher: University Presses of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Gainesville
Publication Date: 1978
Copyright Date: 1978
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Civilization, Modern -- Congresses -- 18th century   ( lcsh )
History -- Congresses -- Florida -- Revolution, 1775-1783   ( lcsh )
History -- Congresses -- Florida -- English colony, 1763-1784   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
conference publication   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: "A University of Florida book."
General Note: Papers presented at the fifth annual Bicentennial Symposium held March 18-20 and sponsored by the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Florida in cooperation with the University of West Florida.
Statement of Responsibility: edited by Samuel Procter.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University Press of Florida
Holding Location: University Press of Florida
Rights Management: Copyright by the Board of Regents of the State of Florida. This work is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to electronically copy, distribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship. However, all printing rights are reserved by the University Press of Florida (http://www.upf.com). Please contact UPF for information about how to obtain copies of the work for print distribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the University Press of Florida. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 03669578
lccn - 78001870
isbn - 0813005892
Classification: lcc - F314 .B55 1976
ddc - 975.9/02
System ID: UF00100519:00001

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Symposium Participants
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
    Table of Contents
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
    British East Florida: Loyalist Bastion
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
    "Left as a Gewgaw": The Impact of the American Revolution on British West Florida
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
    Commentary
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    The Southern Contribution: A Balance Sheet on the War for Independence
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    The Problem of the Household in the Second Spanish Period
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Mitres and Flags: Colonial Religion in the British and Second Spanish Periods
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Commentary
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Changing Traditions in St. Augustine Architecture
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    British Material Culture in St. Augustine: The Artifact as Social Commentary
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
    What Our Southern Frontier Women Wore
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
    Back Matter
        Page 150
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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EighteenthoCentury Florida
The Impact of
the American Revolution









EighteenthoCentury Florida
The Impact of
the American Revolution










Edited by
SAMUEL PROCTOR











A University of Florida Book
University Presses of Florida
Gainesville / 1978






Papers read at the Fifth Annual Bicentennial Symposium sponsored
by the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Florida,
held at the University of West Florida, March 18-20, 1976















Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Bicentennial Symposium, 5th, Pensacola, Fla., 1976.
Eighteenth-century Florida.

"A University of Florida book."
Papers presented at the fifth annual Bicentennial
Symposium held March 18-20 and sponsored by the
American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Florida
in cooperation with the University of West Florida.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Florida-History-Revolution, 1775-1783-
Congresses. 2. Florida-History-English colony,
1763-1784-Congresses. I. Proctor, Samuel.
II. American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of
Florida. III. University of West Florida.
IV. Title.
F314.B55 1976 975.9'02 78-1870
ISBN 0-8130-0589-2


The University Presses of Florida is the scholarly publishing agency
for the State University System of Florida.

COPYRIGHTrr 1978 BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS
OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA

TYPOGRAPHY BY STORTER PRINTING COMPANY, INCORPORATED
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


PRINTED BY ROSE PRINTING COMPANY, INCORPORATED
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA






Introduction


UNLIKE the rebelling colonies north of the St. Marys River, the
Floridas in 1783 had neither won their independence nor had the
territory become part of the American Union. Yet the people who
lived in Florida were affected by the peace treaties which ended
the Revolution. The most immediate impact, of course, was the
return of sovereignty from Britain to Spain. Spain's royal banners
flew once more over the vast territory which her conquistadores had
discovered in 1513 and which she had held for more than 250 years.
Havana, "the Pearl of the Caribbean," had been captured during
the Seven Years War, and to redeem that great city, Spain had
relinquished with some reluctance her Florida colonies in 1763.
Now Spain was returning to that territory which stretched from the
Atlantic to the Mississippi and south from the St. Marys to the Keys.
Moreover, Spain was determined to hold onto Florida by building
up the population, stimulating the economy, and strengthening the
defenses; thus the territory could be defended against its old enemy,
England, and a new threat, the United States of America.
Except for GAlvez' attack on Pensacola in 1781 and scattered
incidents in the Jacksonville-Amelia Island area, the Floridas had
not become a theater of military operations during the Revolution.
There had been repeated threats of invasion from Georgia and the
Carolinas, but none had materialized. A few ship captures and sev-
eral minor skirmishes were the only military incidents of the war in
East Florida. There was no destruction-no real wounds of war-for
Florida to recover from after the Revolution. The loyalists who had





vi / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
moved in during the Revolutionary period departed for other desti-
nations when they received word that there would be a change of
flags. As refugees, the loyalists had come from Georgia, the Caroli-
nas, and the backcountry. They did not tarry; for the vast majority
of them Florida was only a way station. Many returned to their
former homes and became loyal Americans; others settled on the
Mississippi frontier. Hundreds shipped out of Pensacola and St.
Augustine for the Bahamas, Nova Scotia, or England to rebuild their
lives and fortunes.
With their departure, Florida became for a brief time almost an
empty wilderness. It was history repeating itself, for when the
British arrived in 1763, they found that the Spaniards had also de-
parted. Not every Tory, of course, left Florida after 1783; some
stayed on believing, or perhaps only hoping, that the United States
would not endure and that England would reestablish her sover-
eignty. And so there remained a Minorcan colony in St. Augustine,
English families living along the St. Johns River, and a few French
on the Gulf coast in and around Mobile. But the real impact of the
American Revolution on Florida was the presence of the United
States of America, that newly created country that lay to the north,
whose citizens were already dreaming of the day when the Amer-
ican flag would fly over all of North America. Whatever the belief,
or hope, on the part of Englishmen living in Florida that America's
future was precarious and that its political survival was question-
able, Americans were completely optimistic about the future. What
better place to expand than south into deserted Florida?
Spain realized that she could not supply what she hoped would
be an expanding population with needed manufactures, and she
turned to the officials of the Panton, Leslie Company, the English
trading firm which had extensive operations in East and West Flor-
ida. It had warehouses in St. Augustine and Pensacola, several
stores throughout the area, and cordial relations with the Indians in
the lower Mississippi Valley.
Aggressive Americans were an ever present problem for Spanish
Florida in the years after the American Revolution. Searching al-
ways for more land, they poured south, clearing the forests, estab-
lishing farms, and planning for the day when the Florida territory
would become a part of the United States. By the end of the
Revolutionary period a polyglot population had settled in Florida-
English, Spanish, French-a vast variety of ethnic, social, and reli-





Introduction / vii
gious groups which lived on and worked the land. In many ways
the Floridas were a microcosm of a whole continent. Florida was
still unsettled and undeveloped by the close of the eighteenth cen-
tury, although there had been some economic growth during the
British period. Timber had been cut, indigo, cotton, and citrus
cultivated, and naval stores and barrel staves exported. The potential
for vast social and economic growth in Florida was obvious on every
hand.
All of these topics are vital to an understanding of Florida's role
during the Revolution and of the impact which it had on the area.
The scholars who gathered for the Fifth Florida Bicentennial Sym-
posium in Pensacola, March 18-20, 1976, discussed these and other
related subjects. The Bicentennial Symposium was sponsored by the
American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of Florida in co-
operation with the University of West Florida. There were four
previous conferences, beginning with the first held at the University
of Florida in 1972. The theme that year was "Eighteenth-Century
Florida and Its Borderlands." The following year, 1973, Florida
International University helped organize a second symposium in
Miami, at which time "Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Carib-
bean" was the topic for discussion. "Eighteenth-Century Florida:
Life on the Frontier" was selected as the theme for the Third An-
nual Florida Bicentennial Symposium held in Orlando, March 1974,
in cooperation with Florida Technological University. The following
year, 1975, the fourth symposium, "Eighteenth-Century Florida and
the Revolutionary South," was held in Tallahassee in cooperation
with Florida State University. Scholarly papers presented at these
four conferences have already been published by the University
Presses of Florida.
The participants in all of these symposia have included many of
the outstanding scholars in American, southern, and Florida colonial
history. Their books and monographs and the scholarly articles
which they have published in journals both here and abroad have
broadened our knowledge and understanding of American history
and have helped to shape our thinking and attitudes about Florida's
past. The scholars who participated in the fifth symposium examined
critically the roles and contributions made by important segments
of Florida society during the eighteenth century with special em-
phasis on the period of the American Revolution.
When the Florida Legislature established the state Bicentennial





viii / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
Commission in 1970, it set forth a mandate: plan for Florida's par-
ticipation in the celebration of our nation's two-hundredth birthday.
To recall Florida's heritage, which reaches back more than half a
millennium, and to place it in its proper historical perspective be-
came a fundamental goal of the commission. The Committee on
Research and Publications developed a comprehensive program of
activity which included publication of twenty-five facsimiles of rare,
out-of-print books on Florida history, of two volumes devoted to the
role of Florida during the Revolutionary period, and of a guidebook
to the historic sites that had been placed on the Florida Bicenten-
nial Trail. A series of grants was established to encourage research
for and the publication of county and local histories. Almost a score
of these works have been published, and several more are in prepa-
ration. The commission was a twenty-seven-member body represent-
ing the legislature and various state agencies. Ten persons were
appointed by the governor, and he served as honorary chairman.
Florida's lieutenant governor was the chairman. The commission's
executive offices were in Tallahassee.
President James A. Robinson of the University of West Florida
welcomed the participants to the Fifth Annual Bicentennial Sym-
posium. Lieutenant Governor Jim Williams, representing the Florida
Bicentennial Commission, also extended his greetings to the as-
semblage. William S. Coker, professor of history, University of West
Florida, was chairman of the first session, "The British Floridas."
The session "Heritage of Change" was chaired by Professor Jane
Dysart of the University of West Florida. Professor James R. Mc-
Govern and Professor George F. Pearce served as cochairmen for
the session "Florida's People: How They Lived."
The symposium was funded by a special grant from the Bicenten-
nial Commission, and its executive director, Dr. William R. Adams,
and his staff were particularly helpful in making arrangements.
James Moody, director of the Historic Pensacola Preservation Board,
and the local arrangements committee held a reception in the West
Florida Museum of History in the historic district of Pensacola for
the participants on Thursday evening. Dr. Grier M. Williams di-
rected the West Florida Grand Orchestra in a special concert, "An
Evening at Chautauqua," after a dinner on the campus of the Uni-
versity of West Florida Friday evening. Dr. James McGovern was
chairman of local arrangements. William Clauss, Jed Mongeon, and





















Introduction / ix
the staff of the Division of Continuing Education, University of
West Florida, coordinated the arrangements for the meeting.
Dr. Samuel Proctor, Distinguished Service Professor of History
and Social Sciences and Julien C. Yonge Professor of Florida History,
University of Florida, was chairman of the conference in Pensacola.
He served also as chairman of the earlier symposia. The Fifth An-
nual Bicentennial Symposium was dedicated to the memory of Pat
Dodson of Pensacola, former chairman of the American Revolution
Bicentennial Commission of Florida.









Symposium Participants


KENNETH COLEMAN, a native of Georgia and a graduate of the Uni-
versity of Georgia, is a longtime member of the history faculty of
that institution. He holds his doctorate from the University of Wis-
consin. Dr. Coleman is a specialist in Georgia and early American
history and has written many articles which have appeared in schol-
arly journals on these subjects. He is the author of six books, in-
cluding Georgia History in Outline, The American Revolution in
Georgia, Georgia Journeys, Confederate Athens, Athens, 1861-1865,
and his most recent one, Colonial Georgia, a History. He is the
editor and one of the contributors to the recently published History
of Georgia.


THEODORE G. CORBErrTT is a graduate of Earlham College and of the
University of California at Los Angeles and has studied at the Uni-
versity of Madrid and the University of Perugia in Italy. He has
been a member of the teaching faculties at the University of South-
ern California, Wisconsin State University, and Florida State Uni-
versity, and he taught in Florida State University's overseas pro-
gram in Florence, Italy. Professor Corbett's articles have appeared
in the Journal of the History of Ideas, The Hispanic-American His-
torical Review, and the Florida Historical Quarterly. He is the au-
thor of The Corporate Spirit in the Reform of Early Modern Spain.
Professor Corbett has worked extensively in the early parish records
xi





xii / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
of Flo Ada to determine migration, population structure, and family
life in St. Augustine and East Florida during the First and Second
Spanish periods. He has received a grant from the Newberry Li-
brary, Chicago, to complete this Florida study.


ANNA C. EBERLY is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and attended the
Virginia Commonwealth University. She works for the National
Park Service as an interpretive specialist in eighteenth-century his-
tory and is presently serving as interpretive supervisor at Turkey
Run Farm, McLean, Virginia. The St. Augustine Preservation Board
and other professional agencies in the United States and in Puerto
Rico have utilized her extensive knowledge of fabrics and colonial-
period clothing.


MICHAEL V. GANNON, a specialist in Florida religious history, is a
graduate of the University of Florida, a professor of religion and
history at that institution, and assistant dean of the College of Arts
and Sciences. Professor Gannon has had a longtime interest in the
early Spanish missions of Florida and has written about them ex-
tensively. Two of his books, Rebel Bishop and The Cross and the
Sand, treat the early history of the Roman Catholic Church in Flor-
ida. He edited and wrote the introduction to George Fairbanks'
History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine, Florida, one of
the volumes in the Bicentennial Floridiana Facsimile Series. His
articles have appeared in scholarly and professional journals, and he
was the first recipient of the Arthur W. Thompson Memorial Prize
in Florida History given by the Florida Historical Society. Dr. Can-
non is chairman of the Historic St. Augustine Preservation Board
and serves as chairman of the advisory board for the southeastern
states to the National Park Service. The government of Spain has
bestowed upon him the Knight Cross of the Order of Isabella.


THOMAS G. LEDFORD is a native of Houston, Texas, and holds his
graduate degrees from the University of Arizona. He served as as-
sociate curator in the exhibit division of Arizona State University
before coming to St. Augustine in 1973 as restoration curator. He
was involved in the Historic Preservation Board's interpretation of





Symposium Participants / xiii
that colonial city, including research of the material culture, archeol-
ogy, and exhibit planning. His interests include the history of
American technology and early American industries, Spanish-
Colonial material culture, and military history.


ALBERT MANUCY, a native of St. Augustine, received his degrees
from the University of Florida and has served as historian, restora-
tionist, interpretive planner, and curator with the National Park
Service, United States Department of the Interior. Since 1971 he has
been a free-lance writer, illustrator, and historical consultant, work-
ing for the St. Augustine Restoration Foundation, the National
Geographic Society, and other organizations. He was a Fulbright
Research Scholar in Spain and has received awards from the United
States Department of the Interior, the Amigos los Castillos of Spain,
and Rollins College. Mr. Manucy is a past president of the Florida
Historical Society and has contributed many articles to scholarly
and professional journals. His books and monographs include Artil-
lery Through the Ages, Colonial Floors at Castillo de San Marcos,
The Fort at Frederica, The Houses of St. Augustine, Florida's
Men6ndez, and The Forts of Old San Juan.


GEORGE C. ROGERS, JR., was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and
is a graduate of the College of Charleston and the University of
Chicago. He was selected as a Rotary International Foundation Fel-
low in 1949-50 and studied at the Univesrity of Edinburgh, Scot-
land. Before his appointment to the faculty of history at the Univer-
sity of South Carolina in 1958, Dr. Rogers taught American history
at the University of Pennsylvania, Hunter College, and Emory Uni-
versity. He is presently Yates Snowden Professor of History at the
University of South Carolina. In addition to many scholarly articles,
Dr. Rogers is the author of Evolution of a Federalist, Charleston in
the Age of the Pinckneys, and The History of Georgetown County,
South Carolina. He is the editor of the South Carolina Historical
Magazine and served as a member of both the South Carolina Tri-
centennial Commission and the advisory committee for the Library
of Congress American Revolution Bicentennial program. He is also
editor of The Papers of Henry Laurens.





xiv / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
ROBERT A. RUTLAND, a native of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, was edu-
cated at the University of Oklahoma, Cornell University, and
Vanderbilt University. After working as a reporter for the United
Press in Oklahoma City, he became research associate for the State
Historical Society of Iowa. He taught journalism at the University
of California, Los Angeles, from 1954 to 1969, and held a one-year
appointment as Fulbright professor at the University of Innsbruck,
Austria. He was coordinator of Bicentennial programs (1969-71) at
the Library of Congress, and it was during this period that he edited
three volumes of The Papers of George Mason. Since 1971 Professor
Rutland has been professor of history at the University of Virginia
and editor of The James Madison Papers. He is the author and
editor of a number of books, including e( o'B ifi f the Bill o-
(Vik, George Mason, Reluctant State 0 r a ..e
CUo-nstitution, and The Newsmongers. His most recent publication is
Madison's Alternatives: The Jeffersonian Republicans and the Com-
ing of War, 1805-1812.


J. BARTON STARR, a native Floridian, born in Pensacola, received
his degrees from Samford University and Florida State University.
He is a member of the history faculty of Troy State University at
Fort Rucker, Alabama. His articles have appeared in the Florida
Historical Quarterly, the Alabama Review, and other professional
journals, and his book, Tories, Dons, and Rebels: The American
Revolution in British West Florida, 1775-1783, has been published
by the University Presses of Florida. He is also coauthor of Alabama
in the Nation and has edited John Pope's Tour through the Southern
and Western Territories in the Bicentennial Floridiana Facsimile
Series.


J. LErrITCH WRIGHT, JR., a graduate of the University of Virginia, is
professor of history at Florida State University. Prior to coming to
Florida he taught at the Virginia Military Institute and Randolph-
Macon College. Professor Wright is a specialist in eighteenth- and
nineteenth-century southern and Florida history, and his articles on
these subjects have appeared in many scholarly journals. He is the
author of the monograph, British St. Augustine, and his books in-
clude: William Augustus Bowles: Director General of the Creek






















Symposium Participants / xv
Nation, Anglo-Spanish Rivalry in North America, Britain and the
American Frontier, 1783-1815, and Florida in the American Revo-
lution. The latter volume was commissioned by the American Revo-
lution Bicentennial Commission of Florida. Professor Wright is a
member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Historical Society
and serves on the editorial board of the Florida Historical Quarterly.









Contents


British East Florida: Loyalist Bastion / J. Leitch Wright / 1
"Left as a Gewgaw": The Impact of the American Revolution
on British West Florida / J. Barton Starr / 14
Commentary / George C. Rogers, Jr. / 28
The Southern Contribution: A Balance Sheet on the War
for Independence / Robert A. Rutland / 38
The Problem of the Household in the Second Spanish
Period / Theodore G. Corbett / 49
Mitres and Flags: Colonial Religion in the British and Second
Spanish Periods / Michael V. Gannon / 76
Commentary / Kenneth Coleman / 93
Changing Traditions in St. Augustine Architecture /
Albert Manucy / 99
British Material Culture in St. Augustine: The Artifact as
Social Commentary / Thomas G. Ledford / 133
What Our Southern Frontier Women Wore /
Anna C. Eberly / 143


xvii









British East Florida: Loyalist Bastion


J. LEITCH WRIGHT





PRECEDING the outbreak of hostilities in 1775 and throughout the
entire American Revolution the royal province of East Florida was
conspicuous for its loyalty to the Crown. From the battles of Lexing-
ton and Concord until the final evacuation in 1784, the Union Jack
resolutely waved over St. Augustine for nine years. This was a longer
period than for any other comparable mainland colony. East Flor-
ida's conduct contrasted with that of the thirteen colonies to the
north who overthrew British rule. Yet by taking a larger view it is
apparent that East Florida's course was not so exceptional. In ad-
dition to the thirteen which rebelled, Britain had other American
colonies which remained loyal, including West Florida, Quebec,
Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Jamaica, Barbados, and other West
Indian islands. The total numbered some thirty. All of them were
affected by Parliament's revenue measures, the navigation acts, and
mercantilistic restrictions imposed by the Mother Country, and all
complained before 1775 about aspects of imperial rule.
During 1775-76 Britain's colonies in the Western Hemisphere
had to decide whether the Mother Country's regulations were so
onerous that independence was the only recourse. With great re-
luctance in some cases, thirteen decided on separation, while the
other seventeen refused to draw their swords against the Crown, re-
maining in the empire despite its imperfections. East Florida fol-
lowed this latter course as did most of Britain's New World colonies,
and in this sense, East Florida was in the mainstream and her thir-
teen neighbors were out of step. It should be kept in mind, how-





i Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
ever, that with few exceptions it was Britain's most populous colo-
nies which revolted and the most thinly settled ones, such as East
Florida, which did not.
A number of general reasons help explain East Florida's loyalty
and that of many other British colonies in America. First to be con-
sidered is (jperial taxation. East Floridians grumbled about the
Stamp Act. After 1763, the new colony was caught up in the frenetic
land speculation raging throughout America, and vexatious stamps
had to be placed on legal documents, increasing the costs of land
acquisition. Stamps also had to be placed on newspapers, but this
was not a great burden since until 1783 no paper was printed in the
province. East Floridians like other Americans were not enthusiastic
about paying Stamp Act taxes, the Townshend Duty Act imposts,
and duties on tea. The important point to keep in mind, however,
is that British East Flori e Spanish Florida beforehand, was
zeby the Mother Country
East Floridians recognized that the amount of money spent in the
province by the Crown greatly exceeded the taxes collected. The
Mother Country paid the salaries of royal officials, built barracks,
a powder magazine, a hospital, and provincial fortifications and
spent large sums to support a garrison of regulars numbering be-
tween two hundred and six hundred and fifty men before 1775.
Approximately one-twentieth of the British army in America was
stationed in East Florida,2 while most of the thirteen colonies had
no redcoats, certainly not in their capitals. If East Floridians pro-
claimed their independence they would have to tax themselves for
the first time to pay for provincial defense and civil government.
These taxes would have fallen primarily on an influential white
elite who were well aware of this fact. Imperial revenue measures
which helped sever the bonds of empire in the thirteen colonies
served to fix East Florida firmly in the Old Empire.
Continued necessity for itisL tiiPwas another influence
helping keep East Florida loyal. The province confronted a number
of potential dangers: large Indian and Negro populations, each of
which outnumbered whites, an exposed coastline vulnerable to in-
sult from Spanish and French warships, and a small-and if one

1. Wilfred B. Kerr, "The Stamp Act in the Floridas, 1765-1766," Journal
of American History 21 (1935):463-70.
2. Charles L. Mowat, "St. Francis Barracks, St. Augustine: A Link with the
British Regime," Florida Historical Quarterly 21 (1943):267-68.





British East Florida / 3
included Catholic Minorcans3--perhaps unreliable provincial mili-
tia. Britain's other colonies which remained loyal in 1775 still felt
the need of the Mother Country's protection. Perhaps 90 percent of
the inhabitants of the province of Quebec were French speaking,
and British rulers realized they were in a minority and that France
might try to revenge Montcalm's loss on the Plains of Abraham.'
Nova Scotia, though part of the American mainland, in fact was
isolated and appreciated the need of British protection. West Flor-
idians merely had to look across their river boundaries to see enemy
Spanish soldiers, while the island of Jamaica depended on the Royal
Navy for its survival. Virginia, Massachusetts, and the colonies
which revolted felt that enemy threats were insignificant after 1763.
Had not France departed from Canada and Louisiana, and Spain
given up Florida, and could not the thirteen colonies rely on a
numerous militia to quell local disturbances? Thethirtencoo-e-)
had not been taxed for imperial defense before 1763 and jTeven
es for ass -in isbrdenafter the Seven Years War, now
that France and Spain were gone. This reasoning made sense in
Williamsburg and Boston but not in St. Augustine.
The very presence of the British army-and to an extent the
Royal Navy-in East Florida had muchto do with the province's
loyalty. It was the army, not civilians, who took over St. Augustine
from the Spaniards, and for twenty-one years, until the final evacu-
ation, redcoats were evident throughout the province. They gar-
risoned redoubtable Fort St. Marks and transformed the four-story
coquina Franciscan monastery on the capital's southern edge into a
barracks. If soldiers were not quartered in the fort or in the St.
Francis Barracks, they moved into deserted houses in town, which
had belonged to the Spaniards who had departed almost without
exception. With bright red coats, freshly tarred gaiters, and long
bayonets hanging from their belts, troops, marching at quickstep
back and forth between the barracks and fort through St. Augustine's
narrow streets, deterred any incipient rebel.5

3. Governor Tonyn continually fretted that Catholic Minorcans would col-
laborate with their coreligionists in Spain and France or possibly with American
Whigs. Minorcans did correspond with Spaniards in Cuba, though on the whole
Minorcans did not support Britain's enemies.
4. William J. Eccles, France in America (New York, 1972), pp. 228-38.
5. The British occupation of St. Augustine and the establishment of British
rule may be followed in my British St. Augustine (St. Augustine, 1975), pp.
Iff.





4 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
Even if a potential Sam Adams or Patrick Henry had appeared
in East Florida's capital, there was no convenient sanctuary within
the province for him to retreat to and be protected by supporters.
Other than New Smyrna seventy miles below St. Augustine, no
significant body of whites lived in the province. For a combination
of reasons New Smyrna was not a safe haven for potential rebels.
Had a Sam Adams or a Patrick Henry been inclined to speak out in
St. Augu s he probably would have had to retire to an adjoining
colony East Irda in fact a no incendiaries of this type. Royal
Governor Patrick Tonyn accused Andrew Turnbull, New Smyrna's
proprietor, and Chief Justice William Drayton of secretly sympa-
thizing with those Americans proclaiming independence, and there
may have been truth in these charges. Tonyn badgered Turnbull
and Drayton, forced both of them out of the province during the
Revolution, and before the war was over, they had taken up per-
manent residence in South Carolina.6
Th absenceof a popular ssembl as another reason no fiery
radicals emerged in East Florida before 1775. Both Henry and
Adams had used the elected assembly effectively as a forum in their
respective provinces. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 stipulated that
the government of East Florida would be patterned after that of
typical royal colonies such as Virginia and Massachusetts.7 Pro-
vision was made for an appointed governor and council and a
representative lower house. As it turned out East Florida's first as-
sembly did not meet until March, 1781, and its sessions continued
for over two years until the end of 1783.8 Governor Tonyn, who con-
fronted many problems in 1775, was relieved that a hostile assembly
was not one of them.
So far in explaining in a general way why East Floridians did not
revolt in 1775 there has been the tendency to lump all the province's
population together. This is misleading because East Florida's
populace was heterogeneous. A casual visitor in 1775 might have

6. Charles L. Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 1763-1784 (1943,
facsimile reprint, ed. Rembert W. Patrick, Gainesville, Fla., 1964), pp. 83-
106.
7. The proclamation is published in Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Doughty,
eds., Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada, 1759-1791
(Ottawa, 1918) 1:163-68.
8. Debates and proceedings of the East Florida assembly are in Great
Britain, Public Record Office (hereafter cited as P.R.O.), C05/572 and 624.





British East Florida / 5
heard snatches of English, French, Spanish, Catalan, Greek, Italian,
Sicilian, German, Muskogee, Hitchiti, Cherokee, Mende, Hausa,
Fulani, a pidgin such as Gullah, and a Scottish burr. Sometimes
ethnic groups remained doggedly loyal for different reasons.
In East Florida, as in Georgia and South Carolina, whitejwere
in the minority. Among the whites the Scots were prominent: the
province's first governor, James Grant; the men of the Royal Scots
regiment who occupied St. Augustine in 1763 and took their dis-
charges in the capital; Anglican priest the Reverend John Forbes,
a graduate of King's College, Aberdeen; merchant-planter Richard
Oswald, friend of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Laurens and
master of Mount Oswald on the Tomoka River; James Spalding,
who maintained Indian trading posts on the St. Johns River; these,
with many others, both civilians and in the military, testified to the
omnipresence of the Scottish influence. It is not that Scots played
such an important role in East Florida that is controversial, but in-
stead why almost all of them in East Florida and throughout Amer-
ica remained so fiercely loyal to the Mother Country. The occasional
Scottish John Paul Jones was the exception. Highlander and Low-
lander alike served George III faithfully in America. This seems
perplexing, for Highlanders had been ruthlessly suppressed by royal
forces after their defeat at Culloden in 1745, and they had seen
their clan system and tartans proscribed. Yet three decades later
there were no more active champions of royal government in Amer-
ica than Highlanders. James Cameron of the Royal Scots, mustered
out in St. Augustine after the 1763 peace, took up arms again during
the Revolution and died fighting for the Crown in Georgia.9
One explanation of Highlander loyalty is that the 1745 hostilities
reflected almost as much inter-clan rivalry as a conflict with the
British king.10 Economic motives probably better account for the
devotion of both Highlanders and Lowlanders to the preservation
of the empire. Scotland agreed to the 1707 union with England
primarily for economic reasons. As a result the British empire in
America was thrown open to ambitious Scotsmen, and during the
eighteenth century they eagerly took advantage of their opportunity.

9. Memorial of Ann Cameron, Jan. 23, 1787, P.R.O. Audit Office (hereafter
cited as A.O.), 12/3. (
10. George S. Pryde, Scotland from 1603 to the Present Day (Edinburgh,
1962), pp. 57-66.





6 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
When Britain acquired East Florida, Scottish soldiers, civil servants,
merchants, artisans, and land speculators were among the first on
the scene. Absentee planter-merchant Richard Oswald not only
acquired Mount Oswald in East Florida but also had holdings in
Georgia, the West Indies, England, and Africa.'1 In large measure
his affluence depended on the thriving commercial capitalism and
security guaranteed by the empire. There is every reason to assume
that the fortunes of less wealthy Scots in East Florida were similarly
identified with the preservation of the empire. There is another pos-
sible explanation of Scottish loyalty. Throughout British America
they were frequently disliked and distrusted by non-Gaelic neigh-
bors, and Scots may have felt that their minority interests would be
best served by a powerful government in London.12
Minorcans comprised another significant group of whites in East
Florida. In the late 1760s, Andrew Turnbull had engaged impover-
ished peasants from Minorca, along with others from Greece, Italy,
and Sicily, to emigrate to New Smyrna. Revolts, beatings, sickness,
and a high death toll followed, and Turnbull's experiment fared
poorly. Minorcans blamed Turnbull for much of their suffering.
This rather than imperial taxation was their greatest concern in 1775.
Surviving Minorcans, numbering some four hundred in 1777, de-
serted New Smyrna en masse, marched to St. Augustine, and threw
themselves on the mercy of Governor Tonyn. Minorcans had fled
from Turnbull, who was accused of secretly being a Whig, into the
arms of their savior, Governor Tonyn, who was very much a Tory.'8
East Florida Indians fought valiantly in behalf of George III.
Tribes which had lived in Florida at the time of sixteenth-century
white contact for the most part had disappeared. Newcomers, typi-
cally Hitchiti-speaking Lower Creeks, had moved southward in the
eighteenth century to fill the vacuum. At some point, apparently
early in the British period, they were called Seminoles.14 Concen-
trated in Alachua, Apalache, and about the forks of the Apalachicola

11. Memorial of Mary Oswald, Nov. 11, 1786, P.R.O., A.O. 12/3.
12. William H. Nelson, The American Tory (Oxford, 1961), p. 89.
13. Several books have been written about the Turnbull colony at New
Smyrna; the most recent is Jane Quinn, Minorcans in Florida: Their History
and Heritage (St. Augustine, 1975). Miss Quinn erroneously equates the suf-
ferings of the New Smyrna bondsmen with those grievances about which
Patrick Henry and Sam Adams were complaining.
14. The best account of the origin of the Florida Seminoles is Charles H.
Fairbanks, Ethnohistorical Report on the Florida Indians (New York, 1974).





British East Florida / 7
River, Seminoles and Lower Creeks fought side by side with red-
coats. Thomas Brown, wealthy refugee from the Georgia-South
Carolina backcountry, had been tarred and feathered at the begin-
ning of the Revolution. Arriving in East Florida, he became a colonel
in the provincial forces, and in 1779, the Crown appointed him
Indian superintendent. More often than not it was Brown who was
at the head of the Indians whenever Georgians invaded East Flor-
ida, and it was Superintendent Brown who later led warriors north-
ward across the St. Marys River into Georgia and South Carolina.15
The conduct of East Florida Indians during the Revolution was
similar to that of natives from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. It did
not make much difference to them whether George III, Louis XVI
of France, Charles III of Spain, or George Washington was their
white father. The overriding consideration was which country
through trade and presents could furnish the Indians manufactured
goods and at the same time not overrun their lands. After 1775, it
appeared that Britain was best suited for this role. Through an un-
planned series of developments Britain had assumed France's former
position on the North American mainland. Rebellious Whigs in the
thirteen colonies threatened Indian lands, while Britain, the leading
industrial nation, backed by a powerful navy, controlled St. Au-
gustine and later Savannah in the South and Detroit and Montreal
in the North. British subjects were best able to furnish the required
manufactures. East Florida Seminoles, dressed in scarlet coats,
armed with steel knives and hatchets, wearing silver armbands and
gorgets, and equipped with new muskets and rifles, all recently
made in England, lifted Whig scalps throughout the war.16
Blacks comprised the largest ethnic group in East Florida and
outnumbered whites roughly two to one. Some were free; others as
either slaves or freemen lived among the Indians, while a majority
were slaves who worked in rice, indigo, and sugar fields or produced
naval stores on St. Johns and St. Marys river plantations. Blacks

15. Brown's career can be followed in excellent articles by Gary D. Olson,
"Loyalists and the American Revolution: Thomas Brown and the South Carolina
Backcountry, 1775-1776," South Carolina Historical Magazine 68 (1967):201-
19, 69 (1968):44-56; and "Thomas Brown, Loyalist Partisan, and the Revo-
lutionary War in Georgia, 1777-1782," Georgia Historical Quarterly 54
(1970):1-19, 183-208.
16. My Britain and the American Frontier, 1783-1815 (Athens, Ga., 1975)
considers the implications of Britain's assuming the previous French position in
North America.





8 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
numbered just over two thousand in 1775, and by 1783, their num-
bers had swelled to approximately ten thousand.17 Because of the
dearth of sources-far more scarce than for neighboring Georgia
and South Carolina-it is risky to speculate about the response of
East Florida blacks to the Revolution. Based on such evidence as
is available one might guess that they were little affected by rebel
arguments concerning natural rights and imperial taxation. In most
respects it made little difference whether a slave's master was Whig
or Tory.
Throughout the South slaves were numerous, and in the lower
South, including East Florida, they were in a majority. The military
potential of blacks wasJnolost on hard-pressed royal officials. Gov-
ernor Dunmore in Virginia, Lord Cornwallis in the Carolinas, Gov-
ernor Tonyn in East Florida all at the outset expected blacks to
support the royal cause in a variety of ways. They might serve as
impressed laborers, be organized into military units as pioneers, or
be given muskets and employed as ordinary soldiers. At the begin-
ning of the Revolution royal authorities from Virginia to Georgia
promised slaves who ran away from their Whig masters sanctuary
and freedom within British lines.18 Because there were no Whig
plantations in East Florida and his authority was not threatened,
Governor Tonyn did not have to issue such a proclamation. It is
reasonable to assume, however, that East Florida Negroes who
served with distinction in military units expected to win their free-
dom. Most of East Florida's new black population came from Geor-
gia and South Carolina where British commanders for years had
promised freedom to fugitive slaves. During the war both southern
Whigs and Tories talked a good deal about natural rights and the
evils of slavery; for the most part, however, it was Tories who at
times backed up their oratory with deeds. A tradition evolved that,
at least to a degree, black freedom was linked to the success of the

17. Mowat, East Florida, p. 137; J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Florida in the Amer-
ican Revolution (Gainesville, Fla., 1975), p. 13. Population figures are estimates
and do not include blacks living among the Indians.
18. Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the American Revolution (Chapel Hill,
1961), pp. 19-32; James Wright, John Graham, Anthony Stokes, et al. to Lord
Germain, in Wright to Germain, 6 Jan. 1779, Collections of the Georgia His-
torical Society (Savannah, 1873), 3:250; memoranda for the Commandant of
Charleston and for Lord Cornwallis, Charleston, 3 June 1780, Sir Guy Carleton
Papers, 2800, London, microfilm, Florida State University Library.





British East Florida / 9
oyal cause. This helps explain why East Florida Negroes either
remain passive or actively fought for George III.19
We leave the blacks and the Indians to look more closely at
the white elite. Whether they were Scots, Englishmen, or immi-
granhts romtber British colonies in America, a high percentage of
these whites were royal officials, including the governor, lieutenant
governor, councilmen, surveyor, priest, schoolmaster, harbor pilot,
clerk of the council, messenger of the council, sheriff, naval officer,
jailer, constables, receiver general of the quit rents, clerk of the
public accounts, keeper of the Indian presents, deputy postmaster,
judge and court officials, customs officers, provost marshal, coroner,
etc. With few exceptions their salaries were paid by a parliamentary
subsidy.20 Throughout America crown officials tended to remain
loyal, and East Florida was no exception. The difference was that in
East Florida royal officials did not comprise an insignificant white
minority.
In discussing East Florida's population, so far only males, ex-
plicitly or by inference, have been considered. British East Florida
was a raw, new colony and, as was typical of almost anywhere on
the American frontier, males- outnumbered females two or three to
one. For lack of any contrary evidence it must be assumed that the
political views of the wives of planters, artisans, soldiers, merchants,
and agricultural laborers were the same as their husbands'. Few
single white females appeared in British East Florida, and widows
with any spark or fortune remaining soon remarried.21
East Florida's population, excluding Indians and the garrison,
grew from approximately fgr- thasand in 1775 to over seventeen
thousand in J178322 Many of the newcomers had been tarred and
feathered or otherwise abused, had had their property confiscated,
and had been Jorced to flee precipitately. These uncompromising
loyalists proved the most zealous champions of George III's govern-

19. See James W. St. G. Walker's perceptive article, "Blacks as American
Loyalists: The Slaves' War for Independence," Historical Reflections 2 (1975):
51-67.
20. John Pownall to Peter Chester, Whitehall, 3 May 1775, Colonial Office
Records (hereafter cited as C.O.), 5/619.
21. Mary Peavett is perhaps St. Augustine's best-known widow. She married
three husbands in succession, the last of whom was half her age. St. Augustine
Historical Society, The Oldest House (St. Augustine, 1963), p. 5.
22. Mowat, East Florida, p. 137.





10 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
ment. Most of them believed in representative government and no
taxation without representation. They merely felt that their interests
would be best served by remaining in the empire. Their increasing
presence in East Florida made that province even more loyal after
1775 than it had been previously. Refugees eagerly enlisted in pro-
vincial units raised in East Florida. Whether combating Americans
who tried to liberate St. Augustine early in the Revolution or later
fighting in Georgia and South Carolina, these displaced Tories
participated in some of the most savage fighting of the war.
After Lexington and Concord the size of the regular army sta-
tioned in East Florida increased, though at first the withdrawal of
troops from the province to others more threatened had reduced
the number of effective soldiers to barely thirty-five able-bodied
men.23 But in 1776, reinforcements arrived, and for the balance of
the war, between just under five hundred and over three thousand
enlisted men speaking assorted English dialects, German, and
French were stationed in the province.24 Usually the total was
closer to the lower figure. Soldiers were not necessarily the flower
of European society, and harsh penalties of up to five hundred
lashes and execution by firing squads seemed necessary to preserve
discipline. Occasionally disputes between the St. Augustine gar-
rison and civilians got out of hand. Soldiers patronized conveniently
located taverns. If for some reason they were not satisfied with the
service, off-duty redcoats might pull down the building, timber by
timber. Soldiers sometimes assumed that the women who fetched
their rum also practiced an older profession. A melee ensued when-
ever a redcoat erred.25 There was probably some truth to reports
reaching the Continental Congress that enlisted men in East Flor-
ida's garrison were unhappy and might desert.26
Occasional civilian-military altercations and possibly a raid on

23. John Stuart to Major Small, St. Augustine, 2 Oct. 1775, Peter Force, ed.,
American Archives: Consisting of a Collection of Authentick Records, State
Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Public Affairs . Fourth
Series (Washington, 1837-53), 4:318.
24. Sir Henry Clinton to Lord George Germain, 8 Oct. 1778, Sir Henry
Clinton Papers, William L. Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan; state of
the army under the command of Clinton, New York, 15 Feb. 1781, ibid.
25. Patrick Tonyn to Germain, St. Augustine, 26 Nov. 1781, C.O. 5/560.
26. Memorial and particulars relative to Ft. St. Augustine with a plan of
attack, by Marquis de Bretigny, 26 Aug. 1778, U.S. Continental Congress,
papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-89, National Archives and Record
Service, microfilm, Florida State University Library.





British East Florida / 11
the coast by an enemy privateer marked the only disturbances in
East Florida after 1778. The growing population seemed secure,
wartime nds s ated the economy, and the first provincial
representative assembly was e ecte an met in 1781. Yet not many
months transpired after delegates commenced deliberations in the
state house before news arrived of Cornwallis' disaster at Yorktown.
During the 1782-83 peace negotiations East Florida's fate was a
lively topic. Throughout the Revolution East Floridians had suffered
and fought in George III's behalf, and they had resolutely kept the
province in the empire. They were stunned, therefore, when they
learned in 1783 that the colony was to be handed over to Spain.
Though the peac y allowed British subjecttokeep their
property and remain in the province, a majority elected to move
elsewhere. They relocated in Nova Scotia, the Mo er country, te
West Indies, and especially the neighboring Bahama Islands; some
moved to the Mississippi Valley or returned to their homes in the
United States. The harbor at St. Augustine and the mouth of the
St. Marys River were busier than ever after 1783 evacuating white
loyalists along with blacks and a few Indians. The formal transfer
of power occurred in St. Augustine on July 12, 1784, and Governor
Tonyn and the remainder of the exiles did not leave the St. Marys
River until the end of 1785.27
In many respects this British evacuation duplicated the Spanish
one in 1763. The main difference was th-at, -whereas, with minor
exceptions, all Spaniards had left Florida, a considerable number
of British loyalists remained. In a variety of ways they would help
shape Florida's development both during the Second Spanish Period
and later, when the Americans took over. Among those who stayed,
Minorcans were the most conspicuous, cohesive group. Spain's in-
sistence on Catholic orthodoxy posed no problem for them. In the
decades after the Revolution some Minorcans rose from an op-
pressed peasantry and achieved a measure of prosperity and in-
fluence. The Ben6t family was an example, and in 1845 the first
cadet appointed to West Point from the new state of Florida was
Stephen Vincent Ben6t, grandfather of the twentieth-century poet.28
Joseph M. Hernandez, the military officer who captured Osceola
27. Wilbur H. Siebert, ed., Loyalists in East Florida, 1774-1785; The Most
Important Documents Pertaining Thereto, Edited with an Accompanying Nar-
rative by Wilbur Henry Siebert (DeLand, Fla., 1929), 1:137-80.
28. Charles A. Fenton, Stephen Vincent Bendt: The Life and Times of an
American Man of Letters, 1898-1943 (New Haven, 1958), p. 4.





12 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
in the Second Seminole War, also was of Minorcan background.29
Swiss-born Francis Philip Fatio, a professional soldier in Britain's
garrison during the Revolution, remained after 1785. The Ximenez-
Fatio house in St. Augustine is one of the older surviving structures
and indicates the important nineteenth-century role played by the
Fatio progeny. Former British subjects remained on their property
in St. Augustine or on their St. Marys and St. Johns river planta-
tions; others who initially had evacuated the province were enticed
back by Spain to help develop East Florida. Zephaniah Kingsley,
ebullient master of Kingsley Plantation, falls into this category.30
Indians and even blacks remained ri after the Reo-
ptiona. remained loyal to the British interest largely because
British merchants traded with them and encouraged them to hold
fast to their lands, culture, and liberty. Typical merchants and
"political advisers" who lived among the Indians and blacks were
former British loyalists or their descendants and business associates.
One merely has to mention Thomas Brown, William Augustus
Bowles, George Woodbine, Alexander Arbuthnot, and Robert Am-
brister-the latter two executed at St. Marks by Andrew Jackson in
1818-to make the point. From the American Revolution until at
least the conclusion of the Second Seminole War, East Florida
blacks and Indians continued to fight against the Americans. Sem-
inole Chief Kinache (Kinhega) had marched with Thomas Brown
during the Revolution and with Bowles afterwards, accompanied
British troops to New Orleans in 1814, and confronted Andrew
Jackson and his American successors when they stormed into East
Florida. Up until his death (in the 1820s or perhaps later) he re-
garded British loyalists as his allies and looked to King George as
his protector.31
British loalists still dominated Florida's commerce after the Revo-
lution. Before the war William Panton, from his base in Georgia,
ha7X&aded with East Florida Indians; he fled from Georgia after the
outbreak of hostilities, and Governor Tonyn entrusted him with
29. John K. Mahon, History of the Second Seminole War, 1835-1842
(Gainesville, Fla., 1967), p. 99; Quinn, Minorcans in Florida, p. 164.
30. There is no biography of Kingsley, and there is not likely to be a satis-
factory one until historians make further researches into East Florida's Second
Spanish Period. A starting point is Philip S. May, "Zephaniah Kingsley, Non-
conformist (1765-1843)," Florida Historical Quarterly 23 (1945):145-59.
31. George Woodbine to Hugh Pigot, Prospect Bluff, 25 May 1814, Cochrane
Papers, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2328; William V. Munnings
to Lord Bathurst, Nassau, 30 Nov. 1918, C.O. 23/68.






British East Florida / 13
overseeing East Florida's Indian commerce; after the Revolution
Panton's partners remained in East Florida and, with Spain's bless-
ing, enjoyed in effect a monopoly of the Indian trade. John Leslie,
a member of Panton, Leslie and Company, stayed in St. Augustine,
supervised his agents at warehouses on the St. Johns and St. Marys
rivers, and legally or not, traded extensively with the populace of
Spanish St. Augustine.32 William Panton joined the general evacu-
ation from St. Augustine and retired to the Bahamas, though by
1785 he had relocated in Pensacola. As much as anyone he helped
make Pensacola the dominant port for the Indian trade of the entire
Old Southwest, supplanting Charleston and Savannah. He prospered
more than ever at Pensacola and probably was the most affluent
inhabitant in Spanish West Florida.33
By moving into Pensacola Panton's East Florida firm took over
the pre-Revolutionary Indian trade formerly controlled by other
British merchants in West Florida. These West Florida merchants
had been forced to evacuate Pensacola after the 1781 capitulation
to Spain, and Panton and his East Florida associates saw their op-
portunity and eagerly filled the vacuum. Part of Spanish West Flor-
ida's stormy history after the Revolution represented a conflict be-
tween Tory newcomers from East Florida, like Panton, and former
British West Floridians, such as the merchant and councilman John
Miller, who had to abandon Pensacola in 1781."4 But merely looking
at the career of William Panton and John Leslie is enough to il-
lustrate that militant loyalists in diverse ways continued to play a
substantial role throughout both East and West Florida long after
the passions of the Revolutionary War had subsided.
32. Janice B. Miller, "Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada, Spanish Governor of
East Florida 1790-1795" (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1974), p. 197.
33. Randy Nimnicht, "William Panton: His Early Career on the Changing
Frontier" (Master's thesis, University of Florida, 1968) gives the best account
of Panton's pre-1783 career, and other scholars have dealt with Panton, Leslie
and Company after the Revolution. In this latter regard one should be aware
of the forthcoming Papers of Panton, Leslie and Company, William S. Coker,
University of West Florida, editor and project director.
34. The West Florida planter-merchant John Miller relocated in the Bahama
Islands after the Revolution and in time became the senior member of the
Bahamian council. In conjunction with exiled Florida merchants, Lord Dun-
more (the Bahamian governor), William Augustus Bowles, and others, Miller
for years attempted to reestablish his commerce in West Florida.






"Left as a Gewgaw":


The Impact of the American Revolution

on British West Florida



J. BARTON STARR



WHEN West Florida became a British possession at the conclusion
of the French and Indian War in 1763, Great Britain found itself
the guardian of a sparsely settled, unhealthy, and dilapidated piece
of real estate. Twen years later England returned the province to
Spain with larger towns, tter fort cations, and a much larger
population which was capable of producing royal revenues through
various crops; in general, Spain received back a considerably more
valuable colony. The intervening twenty years form the history of
British West Florida, a history filled with growth, internal discord,
the American Revolution, loyalty, and the war with Spain. It is at
times a dull and almost lifeless history; at times one of excitement,
heroics, and pageantry; and at times a history filled with death, de-
feat, and pathos.
The story of the American Revolution and the concomitant Anglo-
Spanish war in West Florida fills almost half of the brief history of
the British possession of the colony. The province was a frontier
area, remote from the scene of the Revolution, at peace but in fear
of war. In the years preding the outbreak of hostilities, there was
little to indi that West Floridians were even aware of the prob-
ls..tothe-- north which would eventual a e
exception of the Stamp Act-to which there was noisy but fruitless
opposition-the causes of unrest in the American colonies which are
traditionally considered as leading to the rebellion had little mean-
ing for West Floridians.1
1. J. Barton Starr, The Spirit of What Is There Called Liberty': The
14





Impact of the American Revolution / 15
During the first three years of the rebellion, West Florida was
cognizant of the war only through correspondence and occasional
rebel excursions to New Orleans for supplies. The request f he
First Continental Congress that West Florida endorse their actions
was shelved Goveor Peter Chester and never made public.
Likewise, the Continental Association, the prohibition on trade to
West Florida by the Continental Congress, and the embargo placed
on commerce with the rebellious colonies by Lord George Germain,
had little effect on the colony.2
The earliest result of the American Revolution that had an impact
on West Florida was the influx of loyalists from the thirteen colonies
in rebellion. As early as May 1774, a West Floridian suggested that
if immigration to West Florida were "properly encouraged, [it]
would greatly aid in purging and regulating the discontented
colonies."3 Apparently the next mention of the matter was not until
July 5, 1775, when the Earl of Dartmouth informed Governor
Chester of a ministerial decision concerning the loyalists. Dartmouth
instructed Chester to issue a proclamation declaring West Florida
to be a haven for loyalists fleeing the colonies in rebellion and
promising land grants in the colony for the newcomers.* Chester
issued the required proclamation on November 11, 1775,5 and while
the refugees were slow in coming at first, by A il 1776 the loyalists
were flocking to West Florida in large numbers. As a result of this
loyalist immigration, the population of West Florida nearly doubled
during the American Revolution. The loyalists who sought asylum
in West Florida came from almost every colony in revolt as well
as East Florida and the West Indies. Over 40 percent of those for


Stamp Act in British West Florida," Alabama Review (July 1976). See also my
"Tories, Dons, and Rebels: The American Revolution in British West Florida,
1775-1783" (Ph.D. diss., Florida State University, 1971), pp. 71-80, recently
published in revised form (Gainesville, Fla., 1976).
2. Worthington C. Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress,
1774-1789 (Washington, 1904-37), 1:101-3, 54; Henry Middleton (presi-
dent of Congress) to the inhabitants of West Florida, 22 Oct. 1774, Colonial
Office 5/595 (hereafter cited C.O.); Peter Chester to George Germain, 24 Nov.
1778, ibid.; Germain to the governors of the West Indian Islands, Nova Scotia,
East and West Florida, 1 Feb. 1776, C.O. 5/77; Chester to Germain, 28 June
1776, C.O. 5/592.
3. Lt. John Cambel to Earl of Dartmouth, May 1774, C.O. 5/592.
4. Dartmouth to Chester, 5 July 1775, C.O. 5/619.
5. Proclamation of Governor Peter Chester, 11 Nov. 1775, C.O. 5/592.





16 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
whom we have dependable records came from Georgia and South
Carolina. The addition of such a strong contingent of loyalists to
the original loyal inhabitants was an important factor in keeping
West Florida attached to the British cause.6
When the noted botanist and traveler William Bartram made a
tour of West Florida in 1778 he made no ffenti on of the American
Revolution. The fact that he failed to mention any evidence that
the colony was aware and concerned that the rebellion existed,
however, does not exclude that possibility. By 1776, the province
was well aware of the Revolution, which had begun to have an im-
pact on its life with the influx of loyalists into the newly proclaimed
sanctuary. At this period, West Florida was not yet involved in
fighting with the Americans and the war with Spain had not yet
begun, but the officials in the colony keenly felt that the possibility
of such a war existed. From the outbreak of hostilities at Lexington
in 1775 until early 1778, West Florida was threatened only by the
capture of ships leaving West Florida ports by American privateers
and by constant rumors of rebel invasions. While the war scares
amounted to little, relations with the Spanish in neighboring Louisi-
ana continued to worsen. Distrust and suspicion characterized re-
lations of British West Florida and Spanish Louisiana. These feel-
ings were not unwarranted as almost from the establishment of the
colony, the British in West Florida plotted to gain possession of
New Orleans. In turn, the Spanish in Louisiana began aiding the
rebellious colonists early in the American Revolution and would
continue to do so, and ultimately would enter the war as a non-
ally.7
The long-threatened invasion of West Florida occurred in 1778
as the American Revolution finally reached the colony. Acting
under a commission of the Commerce Committee of the Continental
Congress, Captain James Willing-a former resident of West Flor-
ida-forcefully brought the rebellion to the inhabitants of the
6. For a full discussion of the loyalists in West Florida, see chap. 10 of
Starr, "Tories, Dons, and Rebels," pp. 372-99. The statistics in this chapter
have been revised in my book of the same title.
7. Other than the raid of James Willing, the two main American ventures
down the Mississippi River to New Orleans before the outbreak of the Anglo-
Spanish War in 1779, were attempts to gain aid from the Spanish. In the sum-
mer and fall of 1776, a force of Virginians under Captain George Gibson suc-
ceeded in obtaining gunpower from the Spaniards, while a similar venture in
1778 led by Colonel David Rogers was in vain. Starr, "Tories, Dons, and
Rebels," pp. 112-17, 130-33.





Impact of the American Revolution / 17
British frontier outpost. After leaving Fort Pitt on January 10, 1778,
in the armed boat Rattletrap, Willing's force of about thirty vol-
unteers increased on the trip down the Ohio and Mississippi to over
one hundred men. Moving swiftly on the swollen rivers, the small
group of Americans completely surprised and captured Natchez
but apparently inflicted few injuries and did little damage to the
property of the settlers. Below Natchez, however, Willing's tactics
changed rapidly as he and his "body of banditti"8 began a raid of
plundering and destruction in the sparsely settled region.
Briefly and for the first time, the original inhabitants of West
Florida faced the decision of remaining loyal to England or of join-
ing the rebel cause. There was uncertainty in the minds of the con-
fused residents as they went through the same difficult procedure
of determining priorities which the loyalists of the colonies in rebel-
lion had already done. The American Revolution in West Florida,
however, ended almost as quickly as it had begun. Once Willing's
raid was over and he left New Orleans, the revolt was at an end.
The American excursion under a compelling but impulsive leader
was more detrimental than helpful to the rebellious colonies. The
raid did manage to interrupt briefly the flow of supplies from the
Mississippi to Pensacola and the West Indies.
Probably the most important result of "the late rascally trans-
action of Mr. Willing,"9 however, was a change in attitude by the
British on the Mississippi. Before the expedition most of the resi-
dents were either neutral or pro-American in sentiment. After the
American raid, however, intense loyalist sentiment developed as the
settlers deprecated the plundering and devastation of the Ameri-
cans. While many of the inhabitants must have agreed with William
Dunbar that wouldd be a prostitution of the name of Americans
to honor them [Willing's party] with such an appelation,"o1 the
depredations caused by an expedition sent down the Mississippi
with a commission from Congress drove Floridians to hold a firmer
allegiance to the British Crown, whose forces could protect them
8. Gov. Peter Chester to [?], 25 Mar. 1778, C.O. 5/129. For a full discus-
sion of Willing's raid, see chap. 3 of Starr, "Tories, Dons, and Rebels," pp.
141-210, and John Walton Caughey, "Willing's Expedition down the Missis-
sippi, 1778," Louisiana Historical Quarterly 15 (1932):5-36.
9. John Stephenson to Patrick Morgan, 7 Apr. 1778, quoted in John Walton
Caughey, Bernardo de Gdlvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783, reprint ed. (Gretna,
La., 1972), p. 142.
10. Eron Dunbar Rowland, ed., Life, Letters and Papers of William Dunbar
(Jackson, Miss., 1930), p. 63.





18 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
against such free-booting activities. The huge drafts for supplies
which Willing drew on Oliver Pollock, the American agent in New
Orleans, also caused the almost total destruction of Pollock's credit
and, consequently, of his usefulness to the American cause.
Despite the efforts of local militia units and the fact that naval
and troop reinforcements had been sent to West Florida to oppose
the Americans during and immediately after Willing's raid, the
American invasion impressed upon the British officials the weak and
defenseless state of West Florida. Before Willing's expedition, fewer
than five hundred regulars were scattered around the province to
provide protection. Following orders from Whitehall, on October
31, 1778, over twelve hundred Waldeckers and Pennsylvania and
Maryland Loyalists sailed from New York for Pensacola under the
command of Brigadier General John Campbell. Arriving in Pen-
sacola in early 1779, Campbell and the troops under his command
had time to do little more than disembark and begin repairing the
fortifications, when Spain and England declared war upon each
other.
The outbreak of the Anglo-Spanish war marked the beginning of
another phase of the history of British West Florida. While they
were aware that a rebellion was still in progress to the north, the
West Floridians faced the even greater and more direct threat from
their Spanish neighbors. No longer was there any question as to
where their loyalty should rest. War against Spain in 1779 was no
different from war with Spain in 1762; traditional loyalties became
dominant as the American Revolution became more and more re-
mote. The colony faced two separate wars whose dates overlap, but
in West Florida they were distinct wars against totally different
enemies and required completely revamped loyalties.
Although Spain declared war on England in June 1779, word of
the outbreak of hostilities did not reach West Florida until Septem-
ber 8. General Campbell immediately began preparations for an
attack on New Orleans. In the meantime, however, news of the
Spanish declaration of war had reached New Orleans in mid-
August. There Bernardo de GAlvez, the ambitious thirty-year-old
governor of Louisiana, already had prepared for such a contingency

11. "State of a Detachment of Troops under the Command of Brigr. Genl.
Campbell, on their Passage from New York for Pensacola in West Florida.
Kingston the 26th December 1778," C.O. 5/597. Waldeckers were German
mercenary forces from the province of Waldeck.





Impact of the American Revolution / 19
in order to make himself "master of all the establishments which
they [the British] have on the Mississippi and particularly Mobile
and Pensacola."12 After several delays, on the morning of August
27, 1779, GAlvez led a force of Spanish regulars, militia, free blacks
and mulattoes, and Americans out of New Orleans for an attack on
Manchac, the southernmost British settlement on the Mississippi.
Gathering additional strength along the march from militia and
Indians, Gailvez arrived at Manchac on September 6 with 1,427
men. The British commander at Manchac, Colonel Alexander Dick-
son, however, had received intelligence that the Spanish were ap-
proaching Manchac and had moved the main body of his force to a
hastily constructed, but more tenable, earthen redoubt at Baton
Rouge. With fewer than 500 men under Dickson's command on the
entire Mississippi, the outcome of the campaign was never in doubt.
After easily capturing Manchac, the Spanish marched on to Baton
Rouge where on September 21, after a three-hour cannonade, Dick-
son proposed a truce. The terms of the Articles of Capitulation that
GAlvez dictated to the British required Dickson to surrender his
entire command on the Mississippi-including Natchez. Dickson
reluctantly agreed to the surrender of Natchez, and GAlvez sent a
captain and 50 men to take possession of Fort Panmure. Resigned
to their situation, the British settlers submitted peacefully to Span-
ish control.13
In one short campaign GAlvez had captured the entire British
force along the Mississippi and secured New Orleans against attack
from British subjects on the Mississippi. With the western area of
West Florida safely in the hands of the Spanish, GAlvez was now
free to turn to the two remaining strongholds in the colony, Mobile
and Pensacola.
After two months' preparation, GAlvez' force of 754 men and 12
vessels embarked at New Orleans on January 11, 1780, for the cam-
paign against Mobile. Lack of adequate water at the mouth of the
Mississippi, adverse winds, and a hurricane delayed the expedition,
but on February 9, GAlvez' scattered fleet (some of whom had
sailed as far east as the Perdido River) regrouped off the bar at
Mobile Bay. Eleven days later 5 ships arrived from Havana with
12. Bernardo de Gailvez to Jos6 de Gilvez, 17 Aug. 1779, Admiralty Office
1/241. For an excellent biography of Gfilvez' career in Louisiana, see Caughey,
Bernardo de Gdlvez.
13. For a full discussion of the campaigns against Baton Rouge, Mobile,
and Pensacola, see Starr, "Tories, Dons, and Rebels," pp. 243-357.





20 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
1,412 men, equipment, and supplies. To oppose the Spaniards at
Mobile, Lieutenant Governor Elias Durnford had under his com-
mand about 300 men, only a fraction of whom were regulars. Also
sixty-three-year-old Fort Charlotte was in a sad state of disrepair;
General Campbell reported that the fort and barracks were "almost
a scene of ruin and desolation."14
After tending to the normal formalities of eighteenth-century
warfare and some preliminary skirmishing, on March 12, 1780, the
Spanish opened fire on Fort Charlotte. All day long an animated
fire continued by both the Spanish and the English. The Spanish
fire was effective as it dismounted two cannon (which were quickly
replaced) and battered the walls until the attackers had opened
two large breaches. The British cannon replied vigorously all day
despite the hunger and fatigue from which the garrison was suffer-
ing. The artillerymen remained at their weapons until they ran out
of ammunition. There were both cannon and ammunition in the
arsenal, but not of the same caliber. Finally at sunset, Durnford
hoisted the white flag asking for a truce. Two days later, on March
14, the formal surrender of Fort Charlotte took place. Slow-moving
General Campbell, torn by indecision as to whether the Spanish
planned to attack Mobile or Pensacola, had finally left Pensacola
with a force of over five hundred regulars, militia, and Indians to
support Durnford. Before the reinforcements arrived, however,
Mobile had surrendered; consequently, Campbell returned to Pen-
sacola with nothing accomplished and the loss of seven men.
One Spaniard who was present at the siege of Mobile did not
believe their victory was of consequence. "The conquest of Mobile
is to us of little importance, so that we may say that all we have
done has been to endure much fatigue and put the king to much
fruitless expense."'5 With the capitulation of Mobile, however,
British West Florida was reduced to the district of Pensacola.
Mobile could no longer serve as a source of supply for Pensacola,
and all effective communication was cut off to the west of Mobile.
The British control of the western Indians was in doubt as the
Choctaws began turning against the British, and the loyalty of the
Chickasaws was questionable. The "outpost of the plaza of Pen-
14. Campbell to Sir Henry Clinton, 10 Feb. 1779, C.O. 5/597.
15. Gaspar Francisco to Gabriel Montenego, 16 June 1780, Sir Henry Clin-
ton Papers, William L. Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan.





Impact of the American Revolution / 21
sacola"16 had joined Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez in the
fold of conquered territory. Only Pensacola remained British.
Gilvez intended to lead an expedition against Pensacola immedi-
ately after Fort Charlotte's surrender, as the seizure of Pensacola
was the ultimate aim of the Spanish conquests on the Gulf of Mex-
ico. A swift campaign against Pensacola would take advantage of
confusion in the town following Campbell's unsuccessful attempt to
reinforce Mobile and would not allow time for the British to re-
ceive reinforcements or to improve their fortifications. Delays ne-
cessitated by Galvez' need for army and naval reinforcements,
internal disagreements and indecision among Spanish officials, and
the vagaries of weather prevented the rapid movement that he
desired, and it was nearly a year before the Spaniards began the
investment of Pensacola.
In the meantime the British worked feverishly to prepare for the
coming attack. With constant rumors of Spanish ship sightings, the
Pensacola residents were on edge in anticipation of a Spanish
landing. General Campbell also began to feel the pressure of con-
stant vigilance, and tired of waiting for GAlvez to attack, he decided
to take the initiative. On Sunday morning, January 7, 1781, a force
of approximately eight hundred Waldeckers, regulars, provincials,
and Indians attacked a Spanish outpost on the east side of Mobile
Bay known as the Village of Mobile or Spanish Fort. The expedi-
tion was a disaster for the British, and they beat a hasty retreat
back to Pensacola to argue over who was to blame for the defeat.
Also throughout the year between the battles at Mobile and Pen-
sacola, Campbell determined that additional work was needed on
the defenses of Pensacola, which after seventeen years of British
possession were still in need of major repairs and renovation. De-
ciding that the old garrison fortress in the town could not be ade-
quately defended, the commander ordered construction of Fort
George on Gage Hill, 1,200 yards north of the existing fortress. In
order to protect Fort George, he also directed the erection of the
Queen's Redoubt on the northwest end of Gage Hill with the
smaller Prince of Wales' Redoubt in between. To guard the en-
trance to the bay, seamen fabricated the Royal Navy Redoubt. To

16. Jose de Gilvez to Bemardo de Gilvez, 22 June 1780, quoted in
Caughey, Bernardo de Gdlvez, p. 186.





22 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
man these wood and sand fortifications, Campbell could call upon
a polyglot force of only 1,736 to 1,836 men, including regulars,
Waldeckers, provincials, Indians, militia, Negroes, and seamen.
Without reinforcements, the prospects of facing over 8,000 Spanish
and French troops were grim.
After a year's delay, G6lvez' force arrived off Santa Rosa Island
on March 9, 1781, and the long-anticipated battle for Pensacola
was about to begin. For the next two months the Spanish moved in-
side the bay, set up camp, and began construction of trenchworks
that got progressively closer to Fort George and its redoubts. Minor
skirmishes occurred as Campbell ordered out small parties to harass
the Spanish as they continued their construction, but no major
assault occurred. Finally, on May 1, the Spanish began bombard-
ment of the British fortifications and the British responded. The
heavy shelling continued until May 7, doing major damage to the
fortifications but with neither side inflicting many casualties.
The eighth of May, 1781, began like so many of the preceding
days. At 6:00 A.M. the British in the Queen's Redoubt began bom-
barding the Spanish again and the Spanish returned the fire with
two howitzers from their redoubts. Between 8:30 and 9:00 one of
the howitzer shells burst just outside the open door of the magazine
where the British were obtaining powder. An explosion rocked the
redoubt and, as Campbell reported, "in an instant reduced the body
of the redoubt to a heap of rubbish. . ," killing seventy-six and
wounding twenty-four.17 The Spanish soon seized what was left of
the Queen's Redoubt, set up batteries and opened fire on the Prince
of Wales' Redoubt. The British returned the fire, but the advanced
redoubt held a commanding position, and thirty of the British de-
fenders soon lay wounded. Realizing that he could hold out only
a few days at the expense of many lives, at three o'clock Campbell
ordered the white flag raised and proposed a truce. Twenty-four
hours later the formal surrender took place.
With the surrender of Pensacola, Spain had captured all of West
Florida, and she was likely to keep the province unless Britain re-
captured it. Pensacola surrendered in May 1781, two years before
the general peace settlement. These two years in West Florida were

17. Campbell to Clinton, 12 May 1781, British Headquarters' Papers
(Carleton Papers or Lord Dorchester Papers; microfilm located at Florida State
University), 9918, reel 27.





Impact of the American Revolution / 23
filled with intrigue and rebellion, while England, Spain, and the
United States pondered the final disposition of the remote region.
The most notable event during these two years was the revolt in
mid-1781 of the English settlers at Natchez against Spanish rule.
Primarily a chapter in Spanish history, the revolt occurred in April
and May when a group of British citizens at Natchez forced the
capitulation of Fort Panmure. Their success was short-lived, how-
ever, for when word of the surrender of Pensacola reached Natchez,
the rebels deemed it prudent to return the post to the Spanish.18
While the Natchez insurrection marked the end of open fighting
against the Spanish in what was once British West Florida, it by
no means ended British intrigue in the area. Throughout the re-
mainder of the Anglo-Spanish war, and even after the conclusion
of the war, many ex-West Floridians and others attempted to get
England to retake West Florida as a haven for the loyalists. The
loyalists' desire for land speculation, their wish to regain lands and
possessions lost when Spain captured the province, and their plans
to unite eventually British-held Canada and West Florida through
the Ohio Valley as a check on the rebellious states all militated in
favor of such a venture.
While there were several other proposals, the most ambitious and
most advanced intrigue was that of Lord John Murray, the Earl of
Dunmore. The ex-governor of Virginia advocated an attack on West
Florida in order to provide a home for dispossessed and fleeing
loyalists, to allow West Floridians to regain their homes and posses-
sions, and not incidentally, to allow Dunmore to gain new lands for
speculation to replace the four million acres he had lost in the Ohio
Valley. Beginning in late 1781 and continuing throughout 1782 and
1783, Dunmore urged the adoption of his proposal, but the home
government never embraced the scheme.19
The 1783 Anglo-American Treaty of Paris and the accompanying
treaties among England, France, and Spain crushed any real chance
of success for British intrigue in West Florida. Discussions of the
negotiations concerning West Florida generally centered around
the question of the "Separate Article," which was in the preliminary
18. The "Natchez Rebellion" is covered well by John W. Caughey in chap.
13 of his biography of Gilvez.
19. For a full discussion of Dunmore's intrigue, see J. Leitch Wright, Jr.,
"Lord Dunmore's Loyalist Asylum in the Floridas," Florida Historical Quarterly
49 (1971):370-79.





24 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
treaty of 1782 but was omitted from the definitive treaty of 1783.20
While the confusion caused by this section of the treaty would con-
tinue until the Pinckney Treaty of 1795, a much more important
question in relation to West Florida's role in the American Revolu-
tion remains to be fully explored; that is, what real difference did
West Florida make in the treaties ending the American Revolution
and the Anglo-Spanish War? Professor Cecil Johnson suggests that
there is a 'lack of documentary evidence showing a cause-and-
effect relationship between the Spanish conquest of West Florida
and its subsequent cession to Spain."21 Despite the lack of docu-
mentary evidence, the fact that West Florida was in the hands of
Spain while the negotiations were underway was influential in the
peace settlement. As Professor Robert Rea points out in what he
calls an "exploratory essay," "the plain fact was that Spain would
be as unlikely to part with conquered West Florida as Britain was
to part with unconquered Gibraltar."22
At the end of the American Revolution Britain's most pressing
problem concerning West Florida was what to do with the loyalists
whom the Spanish had evicted from the colony. When the war
broke out, West Florida did not join the rebels but remained loyal
to the Mother Country. Unfortunately, every major historian of the
loyalists in America had ignored the loyal colony of West Florida.
While some contemporaries questioned the loyalty of the West
Floridians, arguing that there were "few persons fit to be trusted"23
and "excepting the army and navy, the number of loyalists . is
very small,"24 the evidence strongly indicates that loyalty was the
norm rather than the exception in the frontier colony.
20. A copy of the "Separate Article" is in Richard B. Morris, The Peace-
makers: The Great Powers and American Independence (New York, 1965),
p. 552, and Samuel Flagg Bemis, The Diplomacy of the American Revolution
(Bloomington, Ind., 1957), p. 264.
21. Cecil Johnson, "West Florida Revisited," Journal of Mississippi History
28 (1966):130.
22. Robert R. Rea, "British West Florida: Stepchild of Diplomacy," in
Eighteenth-Century Florida and Its Borderlands, ed. by Samuel Proctor
(Gainesville, Fla., 1975), pp. 61, 76. See also J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Anglo-
Spanish Rivalry in North America (Athens, Ga., 1971), pp. 132-33. The most
recent and one of the best discussions of the diplomacy concerning West Flor-
ida is in J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Florida in the American Revolution (Gaines-
ville, Fla., 1975), pp. 111-24.
23. John Stuart to Sir William Howe, 23 Aug. 1777, British Headquarters'
Papers, 649, reel 2. For a full discussion of the loyalists in West Florida, see
Starr, "Tories, Dons, and Rebels," pp. 372-99.
24. Robert Taitt to Thomas Browne, 23 May 1777, C.O. 5/558.




Impact of the American Revolution / 25
Sharing little in common with their loyal brethren in the rebel-
lious colonies, West Floridians remained loyal because of such
factors as their isolation, the fact that it was a colony of recent im-
migrants, skillful (and perhaps unscrupulous) management of the
government by Governor Peter Chester, and the presence of a large
number of troops in proportion to the population. Already a loyal
colony, the strength of the loyalty of West Florida increased after
November 1775 with the addition of loyalists fleeing from the colo-
nies in rebellion to the haven proclaimed by Chester. Another key
point in understanding the loyalty of the inhabitants is the fact that
the colony became involved in a war with Spain. Once England
and Spain declared war upon each other, the whole situation in
West Florida changed. No longer were the colonists faced with the
decision of loyalty to England or joining the Americans. The issue
became one of loyalty, or of joining an ancient enemy. This im-
portant change placed the question of loyalty in a different light.
While a few inhabitants may have harbored some desire to join the
Americans, the thought of siding with the troops of "His Catholic
Majesty" was an anathema.
As for the composition of the loyalists, the usual stereotype of
office holders, clergy of the Anglican church, landowners, mer-
chants-in general, the wealthy---did not hold true in West Florida.
While it is true all of these types of men were present in the
frontier colony and remained loyal, so did virtually everybody else
even though they fit into none of these categories. Except briefly
during Willing's raid, the inhabitants were never forced into the
position of having to decide where their loyalties lay until the out-
break of war with Spain, and then the question was much easier to
answer. It was easier to be a loyalist in West Florida than in the
colonies in rebellion, as the heartrending decision of loyalty to the
Mother Country or to the American soil never had to be made. If
an inhabitant in West Florida simply made no decision, he was in
fact a loyalist. The patriots had to do the converting, and in West
Florida the change did not occur. If loyalty was the norm and the
conversion process did not take place, the pre-1775 inhabitants re-
mained loyal to the Mother Country by default.
One question remains to be answered. What happened to the
loyalists after the Spanish conquest of the frontier province? While
statistics are meager, they indicate that many of the British re-
mained in the colony after the war and switched their allegiance.





26 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
The evidence suggests that a majority and perhaps as many as two-
thirds of the loyalists remained. To do so was not inconsistent with
action of loyalists in the original thirteen colonies, nor with the
principles of loyalty. At the end of the Revolution throughout the
colonies, many loyalists remained at their homes or returned to
them when the opposition to their doing so was slight. Since West
Florida was a "loyal" colony, and since the Spanish had little ob-
jection to the loyalists remaining, many of them simply did not
move. Not only did many West Floridians remain in the colony,
but large numbers of loyalists from other colonies (particularly
East Florida) sought the protection of the Spanish government in
West Florida. Governor Patrick Tonyn of East Florida reported in
early 1784, for example, that four thousand inhabitants from East
Florida were moving to the Mississippi.25 Thus the loyalist haven
that Dartmouth attempted to establish in 1775 and which Dunmore
planned during the last years of the war became in part a reality.
It was not the refuge under British control which Dartmouth and
Dunmore envisioned, but it was, nevertheless, an asylum for the
loyalists of West Florida and the other ex-British colonies.
The loyalists who left West Florida continued to suffer because
of their loyalty. When the Commission for Enquiring into the
Losses, Services, and Claims of the American Loyalists met, it
excluded West Floridians from consideration except for damages
arising out of Willing's raid. Certainly the decision of the commis-
sion is easy to understand. If it had granted compensation to West
Floridians for their losses to Spain, England would at once have
been saddled with debts arising from claims around the world be-
cause of the global conflicts in which she became involved. At the
same time many West Florida loyalists suffered almost total de-
struction of their personal fortunes, and the failure of England to
grant some kind of relief through direct compensation or an annual
pension seems callous. The commission did grant small annual pen-
sions amounting to 410 per year to eight West Floridians for
property lost to the Americans during Willing's raid. For over thirty
years the remainder of the West Florida loyalists continued to seek
compensation or confirmation by the United States of their British
land grants in West Florida, but by and large their efforts were in
vain.
25. Quoted in Wilbur Henry Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to
1785, 2 vols. (DeLand,.Fla., 1929), 1:156.











Impact of the American Revolution / 27
What, then, may be said of the importance of the American
Revolution in West Florida? The defense of West Florida is an
important chapter in British colonial policy during the Revolution.
By reinforcing the colony, the British kept the Spanish from using
their troops against the British troops in the rebellious colonies.
Or as a disgusted General Campbell said shortly after the surrender
of Pensacola, "What interpretation can the whole bear, but that it
was considered no object of national concern, and left as a gewgaw
to amuse and divert the ambition of Spain and prevent it from
attending to objects of greater moment and importance."26 Once
the war was over and the negotiators were attempting to decide the
fate of West Florida, had Spain not been in possession of West
Florida, it is unlikely that Great Britain would have surrendered
it to Spain. Historians have strongly documented the fact that
Spain's ownership of West Florida facilitated American acquisition
of the area later. The loyalists who settled in West Florida are an
important part of the history of the American loyalists of the Revo-
lution. Perhaps more important, however, is the fact that they
proved the fertility of the soil on the Mississippi and consequently
encouraged expansion into the Old Southwest. If England had re-
tained West Florida, she would have been an obstacle to American
expansion. With the weak control of Spain and the presence of
large numbers of loyalists, who in time became pro-American, the
new nation began achieving its manifest destiny long before J. L.
O'Sullivan ever coined the phrase.
26. Campbell to Clinton, 21 May 1781, British Headquarters' Papers, 9919,
reel 27.






Commentary


GEORGE C. ROGERS, JR.





THE papers that have been presented are solid, interesting, and
suggestive. They attempt to probe the nature of loyalist sentiment
in East and West Florida. Professor Leitch Wright suggests that the
majority of the East Floridians were loyalists because the province
had been dominated by the Scots, army officers, and placemen.
Professor Barton Starr indicates that the persons residing in West
Florida in 1776 did not have to face a decision one way or the
other until very late in the war and by then, West Florida had be-
come a haven for many of the loyalist refugees leaving Georgia and
South Carolina. Thus West Florida was neutral first, loyalist second.
But the chief question, which neither paper ever successfully
penetrates, is who were the people of the Floridas. Can one avoid,
as Professor Wright says, lumping all persons together, seeing them
simply as one group? Can one ever know enough of the lives of
individuals so that life sketches can be assembled as pieces in a
mosaic until the total picture emerges? This can be done now better
than at any previous time. My work on the Papers of Henry
Laurens" has convinced me that the scholar can come to know the
individuals of these southeastern societies: the cooper, the sea cap-
tain, the slave, as well as the merchant, the planter, and the factor.
While I was pursuing every facet of the South Carolina society in
the 1760s I stumbled upon the best collection for the study of East
Florida that has yet been revealed-the papers of James Grant,
1. The Papers of Henry Laurens, ed. George C. Rogers, Jr. and David R.
Chesnutt, 5 vols. to date (Columbia, S.C., 1968-) (hereafter HL Papers).
28





Commentary / 29
governor of East Florida from 1763 to 1771. This collection is at
Ballindalloch Castle in the north of Scotland on the River Spey in
Banffshire. It is the property of Sir Ewan Macpherson-Grant.2 The
Scottish Record Office became aware of these papers in 1971; the
calendar of the collection was only completed in the fall of 1974.
Of the more than 700 bundles in the collection, 125 pertain either
to South Carolina or to East Florida.
An examination of these letters and documents shows they con-
tain valuable information and data about the people of East Florida
and by inference the people of West Florida. The prime movers in
each province were the Scots. There are some fascinating characters
in the story of East Florida in the 1760s. The person that binds
many of the events of these times together is Lord Adam Gordon,
the fourth son of the second Duke of Gordon. He arrived in 1764
to post his regiment in the West Indies and then made a tour of
Pensacola, St. Augustine, Charleston, and the northern colonies.
After being handsomely entertained by Governor James Grant in
St. Augustine, he spent the winter of 1764-65 in Charleston.3 John
Moultrie, who was Lord Adam's host in Charleston, confided to
Grant on January 30, 1765, that after a number of drunken parties
in Charleston, he, Lord Adam, and Captain Wallace of HMS Tryal
had had to flee to the Moultrie plantation at Goose Creek "in order
to cool a little." On March 23, 1765, Moultrie again wrote Grant
saying that he should have written sooner, but "I was on pritty hot
service with" Lord Adam.4 Lord Adam on his way to the North
stopped at Georgetown, South Carolina, to discuss indigo crops with
Francis Kinloch.5 In New York City at the time of the Stamp Act
Congress, he talked to Thomas Lynch about ventures in East Flor-
ida.6
Colonel John Scott of the Twenty-sixth Regiment of Foot, who
represented the Scottish boroughs in Parliament from 1754 to his
death in 1777, visited St. Augustine in 1769. He was a celebrated
2. I am indebted to Mr. Daniel Littlefield of the Department of History,
York College of the City University of New York, Jamaica, New York, for
drawing my attention to this collection.
3. "Journal of an Officer who Travelled in America and the West Indies in
1764 and 1765," in Travels in the American Colonies, ed. Newton D. Mereness
(New York, 1916), pp. 367-453.
4. John Moultrie to James Grant, 30 Jan., 23 Mar. 1765, Bundle 261,
Ballindalloch Castle Muniments.
5. Lord Adam Gordon to James Grant, 15 Mar. 1765, Bundle 474, ibid.
6. Lord Adam Gordon to James Grant, 5 Oct. 1765, Bundle 483, ibid.





30 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
gambler who had gained a fortune estimated at 500,000 sterling.
According to Lady Haden-Guest, "when his luck at play ever fal-
tered, the phenomenon was considered worth recording."7 Presum-
ably Governor James Grant acted on that rule, for after he won a
slave from Colonel Scott at cards, Grant named the slave "Scott."8
When General Scott died in 1777, a friend noted that Scott's Lon-
don club would go "into mourning on Thursday. The waiters are
to have crepes round their arms and the dice to be black and the
spots white, during the time of wearing weepers, and the dice box
muffled."9
A book on the South, the Scots, and the American Revolution is
well worth doing, with a premise that the Highland Scots were the
principal loyalists during the Revolution.'0 By focusing on the
Highland Scots one can tell the entire story of the Southeast from
1763 to the end of the American Revolution.
First, one would have to concentrate on the governors of the
Floridas-James Grant of East Florida and George Johnstone of
West Florida-both of whom were appointed in October 1763.
Grant arrived in St. Augustine in the fall of 1764 and remained in
the province until May 1771. Johnstone stayed until 1767.11 John
Stuart wrote James Grant on March 1, 1767, that Governor John-
stone of West Florida had returned home as his brother John John-
stone had arrived from India with a fortune of 300,000 sterling
which needed managing.12 Later, both George and John Johnstone
secured seats in the House of Commons.
Grant was a Highland Scot; Johnstone a Lowland Scot. Around
them grouped their Scottish friends, all of whom were seeking to
make their fortunes. It is often asked, as indeed Professor Wright
has done, why the Scots were so loyal to the Hanoverians during
the American Revolution. The answer is quite simple and clear.
The second half of the eighteenth century was the golden age of
7. Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke, The History of Parliament: The
House of Commons, 1754-1790, 3 vols. (New York, 1964), 3:413-14.
8. John Torrans to James Grant, 30 May 1769, Bundle 552, Ballindalloch
Castle Muniments.
9. Namier and Brooke, The House of Commons, 3:413-14.
10. The reader should keep in mind that there are distinct differences be-
tween the Highland Scots, the Lowland Scots, and the Scotch-Irish.
11. For the careers of James Grant and George Johnstone see Namier and
Brooke, The House of Commons, 2:529-31, 683-85.
12. John Stuart to James Grant, 1 Mar. 1767, Bundle 251, Ballindalloch
Castle Muniments.





Commentary / 31
Scottish history-a period that brought a great upsurge in the
energies of the people, producing vast wealth and a distinct cultural
renaissance. The defeat at Culloden triggered this outburst of en-
ergy. What one overlooks is that the government in London tried
to buy the support of the Scots in many ways. The Scottish mem-
bers of Parliament generally supported the government in power;
in return they and their friends received profit and privilege. The
chance to exploit the Floridas was one of the avenues to profit and
high position.
But before one can analyze this Scottish rapaciousness, the story
of the failure of South Carolinians to exploit the potential of this
southern region should be examined. Henry Laurens, Francis Kin-
loch, Thomas Lynch, John Moultrie, William Drayton, and others
considered establishing themselves in Florida.'3 The plantation sys-
tem was extended first into Georgia and then further south with
the Altamaha grants of 1763. That movement was successful and
Henry Laurens was the prime example of the enterprising planter.
But was there the possibility of also extending the indigo plantation
system into East Florida? Francis Kinloch, who had the greatest
expertise in the planting and production of indigo, was considering
such a move when he died in June 1767. Neither Laurens nor
Lynch, both of whom knew how to produce the best grades of
indigo, ever actually launched Florida plantations. Except for John
Moultrie and William Drayton, no South Carolina planter really
succeeded in transferring his operations that far south, and both
Moultrie and Drayton received salaries from high public offices to
sustain them in their attempts. Drayton later sold his Florida plan-
tation; Moultrie, alone among the South Carolinians in Florida, be-
came a loyalist.
The great speculation in Florida lands in the 1760s took place in
London.14 The president of the East Florida Society was Lord
Adam Gordon, and its principal members were members of Parli-
ament, army contractors, and Scotsmen. These men secured orders
in council in London for 10,000-20,000-acre land tracts in the Flor-
idas. Among those securing grants were the Duke of Buccleuch,
the Earl of Cassillis, the Earl of Thanet, the Earl of Moira, the Earl
13. Bundles 254 (Kinloch), 261 (Moultrie), 263 (Drayton), 359 (Lau-
rens), and Lynch is mentioned in Bundles 394, 491, ibid.
14. George C. Rogers, "The East Florida Society, 1766-1767," Florida
Historical Quarterly 54 (April 1976):479-96.





32 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
of Egmont, the Earl of Tyrone, Lord Adam Gordon, Sir Alexander
Grant, Charles Townshend, Richard Oswald, John Hamilton, Peter
Taylor, and John Murray. In all there were 227.
According to the terms of these orders in council, each man had
to find someone to lay out his lands in Florida, have them sur-
veyed, and have the grant recorded in St. Augustine. Ultimately
the land had to be settled by a specified number of white Protes-
tants. It was the last stipulation that caused Dr. Andrew Turnbull
and Dr. William Stork to become such important personages in
Florida since they had access to willing immigrants from Europe.
Dr. Stork had contacts with Germans, Dr. Turnbull with Greeks.
Richard Oswald informed James Grant on June 1, 1767, that the
continuation of the authority to ship rice directly to the ports south
of Cape Finisterre would facilitate getting cheap conveyance for
Greeks, French Protestants, and persons from southern Switzerland
who were experienced in raising the products of southern climates.15
Dr. Stork was the prince of the agents, having twenty persons
for whom he was trying to establish plantations. He did not succeed
and died a frustrated man in August 1768. But the agents of these
great land speculators were an important group, playing an influ-
ential role in the colony, and they can be identified. John Tucker
secured Joseph Stout of Philadelphia as his agent.16 The Earl of
Egmont who held property on Amelia Island sent out James Jollie.17
Patrick Tonyn and Francis Levett, his son-in-law who had long
been resident at Leghorn, sent Alexander Gray;18 Charles Town-
shend and Lord Dartmouth dispatched Thomas Wooldridge;19
Richard Oswald and Peter Taylor employed James Penman and
William Mackdougall, who had served with them in Germany;20
Thomas Thoroton and the Earl of Cassillis sent Captain John Fair-

15. Ever since the days of James I members of the Greek Orthodox church
were lumped with the Protestants rather than with the Roman Catholics. For
Oswald's letter see Bundle 295, Ballindalloch Castle Muniments.
16. Spencer Man to James Grant, 2 Sept. 1768, Bundle 412, ibid.
17. The Earl of Egmont dismissed James Jollie in 1769. Earl of Egmont to
James Grant, 27 Oct. 1769, Bundle 264, ibid.
18. Patrick Tonyn to James Grant, 9 July 1767, Bundle 253, ibid.
19. Charles Townshend to James Grant, 19 Nov. 1766, Bundle 253, ibid.;
Charles Loch Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 1763-1784 (Berkeley,
Calif., 1943), p. 20.
20. Peter Taylor to James Grant, 16 Sept. 1766, Bundle 491, Ballindalloch
Castle Muniments; HL Papers, 5:228.





Commentary / 33
lamb;21 the Earl of Moira and the Earl of Tyrone had Charles Ber-
nard;22 William Elliott hired John Ross;23 and David Yeats served
Governor Grant from 1771 to 1784.24 This group can be studied in
great detail by examining the correspondence in the Grant papers.
Each of these land speculators wrote to Governor Grant, and their
letters have been preserved.25
Some of these agents came out in great style. Wooldridge arrived
in Charleston in 1767 with a landau and two fine horses, although
he was not to succeed in his ventures.26 On November 1, 1774, the
Reverend John Forbes informed Grant by letter of the progress of
each of these attempts to operate plantations in East Florida.27 As
agents they would naturally have been allied with their masters in
England and thus would have become loyalists. But the South Caro-
lina gentry did not care for the land speculators. As Henry Laurens
helped James Penman, Alexander Gray, and other agents, they
would be torn in their loyalties between England and South Caro-
lina.
Professor Wright states in his paper that "Few single white fe-
males" came to Florida. One can, however, through the letters of Sir
Alexander Grant, get a glimpse of one group of young women. Sir
Alexander was head of a London charitable institution, Magdalen
House, which was a home for "reformed Penitents." Sir Alexander
wrote "They are not Virgins 'tis true," but he informed Grant that
at a recent meeting the board had decided to send with Dr. Stork
four young women who had been chosen from the middle ranks.
These four did arrive with Stork in the Aurora in the summer of
1767.28
Of those who came to New Smyrna with Dr. Turnbull more is
known including the facts surrounding their revolt in the fall of
21. Earl of Cassillis to James Grant, 8 Apr. 1769; Thomas Thoroton to
James Grant, 5 Sept. 1767, Bundle 412, Ballindalloch Castle Muniments.
22. Earl of Moira to James Grant, 20 Oct. 1767, Bundle 552; John Beres-
ford to James Grant, 12 July 1767, Bundle 394, ibid.
23. William Elliott to James Grant, 15 June 1767, Bundle 264, ibid.
24. Bundle 250, ibid.
25. My article "The Papers of James Grant of Ballindalloch Castle, Scot-
land" was published in the South Carolina Historical Magazine 77 (July 1977):
145-60.
26. Andrew Tumbull to James Grant, 27 Jan. 1767, Bundle 253, Ballindal-
loch Castle Muniments.
27. Bundle 481, ibid.
28. Sir Alexander Grant to James Grant, 17, 19 June 1767, Bundle 402, ibid.





34 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
1768 and their later abandonment of that settlement.29 Thus there
were serious elements of discontent in East Florida. Yet, as both
Wright and Starr have pointed out, St. Augustine and Pensacola
were important military posts to which the army had withdrawn in
the late 1760s. According to Wright, one-twentieth of the troops in
America were at St. Augustine. Troops were moved from South
Carolina to East Florida; thus the officers of these regiments, many
of whom were either Scots or Swiss, like Prevost and Haldimand,
became the primary maintainers of order. When Grant left in May
1771, the military men thanked him for his leadership.30
One statement made by Professor Wright is a matter of conten-
tion. If there were no Samuel Adamses or Patrick Henrys in East
Florida, there was a Sons of Liberty movement. When James Grant
left St. Augustine in May 1771 to take up his inheritance of Ballin-
dalloch Castle, he was addressed by various groups in St. Augustine
upon his departure: planters, members of the royal council, military
men, and Masons. Their addresses were printed in the General
Gazette in Charleston which was owned by Robert Wells from
Dumfries in Scotland.31 However, as John Moultrie assumed the
role of lieutenant governor, a group of bolder men opposed to the
Scottish faction presented an address to him in which they urged
a different course from that taken by his predecessor, James Grant.
They asked for the calling of an assembly, for the popular forms
of government. This address, published by Peter Timothy in the
South-Carolina Gazette, was signed by thirty-eight persons.32 This
is a longer list than the Sons of Liberty of Charleston.33 A compari-
son of these names against De Brahm's census list of 1771 reveals
twenty-seven who can be identified: six were storekeepers, four
were carpenters, four were pilots or mariners, three were traders,
or 'livers in town," three were innkeepers, and only two were
planters, and one each was a cooper, a mason, a haberdasher, an
29. E. P. Panagopoulos, New Smyrna: An Eighteenth Century Greek Odys-
sey (Gainesville, Fla., 1966).
30. South Carolina and American General Gazette, 20 May 1771.
31. Ibid., 13, 20 May 1771.
32. South-Carolina Gazette, 23 May 1771. Someone, probably John Moul-
trie, sent a clipping of this document from this issue to Grant. Bundle 278,
Ballindalloch Castle Muniments.
33. Sketches of the twenty-six Charleston Sons of Liberty can be found in
Joseph Johnson, Traditions and Reminiscences Chiefly of the American Revo-
lution in the South (Charleston, S.C., 1851), pp. 27-36. For suggested addi-
tions to this list see HL Papers, 5:27n.





Commentary / 35
overseer, and an attorney at law.34 This group belonged to the
mechanic class in St. Augustine, a similar group to that which
followed Christopher Gadsden in Charleston. William Collins, the
lawyer, who had arrived with Dr. Stork in 1767, may have been the
leader.35 William Drayton wrote James Grant on May 13, 1771, that
Edmund Grey, William Collins, and James Jollie were "a respect-
able triumvirate, figure away on every Post & Comer of the Town."
Collins, who had presented the petition to Moultrie, may have been
the author of the document asking for self-government. William
Wilson, Thomas Stone, and Adam Bachop went with Collins to see
Lieutenant Governor Moultrie."3 Spencer Man notified Grant on
September 1, 1771, that Stone and Wilson had not been so violent
recently. "I believe Bachop's death has broke that party."37 Of
Adam Bachop and of Josiah Warner, who were pilots, one learns
much from the Henry Laurens papers. An almost complete story
about Bachop could be detailed. John Moultrie wrote Grant on
December 13, 1764, praising Bachop as "a very sober honest man,
in the highest degree obligeing, & seems a good Sailor, I am sure
a very careful one, & a very active one."38 He served both Henry
Laurens and James Grant for many years on the St. Augustine-
Charleston run as master of the pilot boat East Florida.39 Bachop
drowned in August 1771, just ten days after his marriage.40 Thus
one can begin to probe the structure of society in Florida at the
time. Although this protest of the St. Augustine mechanics failed,
it did affect the power of the Scottish faction.
Later, when William Drayton and Andrew Turnbull had their
disagreement with John Moultrie and Patrick Tonyn, there was a
group that Drayton and Turnbull could reach out to for support.
The Reverend John Forbes believed that "Drayton may wish to
make a tool of William Collins."'41 Drayton and Jonathan Bryan
were hoping on the eve of the American Revolution to secure con-
34. De Brahm's Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of
North America, ed. Louis De Vorsey, Jr. (Columbia, S.C., 1971), pp. 180-86.
35. List of Passengers brought out by Dr. Stork in the Aurora, Bundle 412,
Ballindalloch Castle Muniments.
36. William Drayton to James Grant, 13 May 1771, Bundle 297, ibid.
37. Spencer Man to James Grant, 1 Sept. 1771, Bundle 552, ibid.
38. John Moultrie to James Grant, 13 Dec. 1764, Bundle 261, ibid.
39. HL Papers, 4:483; 5:566.
40. James Penman to James Grant, 11 Aug. 1771, Bundle 491, Ballindalloch
Castle Muniments.
41. John Forbes to James Grant, 23 Aug. 1773, Bundle 369, ibid.





36 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
trol of millions of acres of land around Apalache.42 This is much like
William Henry Drayton's attempt to get control of the Catawba
Indian reservation in South Carolina. The fact that these attempts
were blocked by royal officials may be the reason that both Dray-
tons (they were first cousins) became patriots rather than loyalists.43
William Drayton's motives are more difficult to fathom. He did go
to England and lived in Wales until the end of the war."
It might be possible by using the James Grant papers in conjunc-
tion with the Henry Laurens papers to tell the story of the introduc-
tion of slaves into East Florida. John Graham of Savannah was the
merchant who transshipped many slaves to East Florida, partic-
ularly during the period when importation into South Carolina
was cut off.45 Richard Oswald asked Grant on February 19, 1768,
if Negroes should not be substituted for Protestant settlers in the
securing of land grants."
The story of the Carlisle Peace Commission of 1778 might be ex-
amined in the light of Florida history. Henry Laurens was president
of the Continental Congress during the summer of 1778 at the time
of the mission. George Johnstone was one of the commissioners who
accompanied Lord Carlisle. Behind the scenes was Richard Oswald
writing letters to his former business associate Henry Laurens. The
connections established in the development of the Floridas might be
useful in bringing an end to the conflict.47 Since Laurens was one
of the five persons appointed by Congress to make peace with
Great Britain and Oswald was one of the British negotiators, one
wonders how their Florida associations affected the negotiations.
Professor Starr in his paper raises the important question of why
Florida was retroceded to Spain in 1783. The obvious fact was that
the Spaniards under Bernardo de GAlvez had captured Pensacola

42. John Moultrie to James Grant, 23 Dec. 1774, Bundle 521, ibid.
43. For William Henry Drayton's interest in the Catawba lands see William
M. Dabney and Marion Dargan, William Henry Drayton & the American
Revolution (Albuquerque, N.Mex., 1962), pp. 40-44.
44. George C. Rogers, Jr., Evolution of a Federalist, William Loughton
Smith of Charleston (1758-1812) (Columbia, S.C., 1962), pp. 94-96.
45. John Graham to James Grant, 11 Sept. 1769, Bundle 401, Ballindalloch
Castle Muniments.
46. Richard Oswald to James Grant, 19 Feb. 1768, Bundle 295, ibid.
47. R. F. A. Fabel, professor of history, Auburn University, who is writing
a biography of George Johnstone, commented during the discussion that John-
stone did indeed try to make use of the connections established while he was
in West Florida.









Commentary / 37
in May 1781. The Spaniards wished to hold on to West Florida as
long as the British held on to Gibraltar. Of what importance was the
Separate Article which was in the temporary treaty of peace but
was not in the definitive treaty? The Separate Article was signed
by both Laurens and Oswald along with Benjamin Franklin, John
Adams, and John Jay. Were the Floridas needed as places of refuge
for loyalists? John Murray, Lord Dunmore, had such a scheme for
West Florida. Even though the Floridas were returned to Spain,
many loyalists remained in the territory. Professor Starr explained
why they stayed on in West Florida, but one might wonder more
about Don Juan McQueen, Zephaniah Kingsley, and the Swiss
career officer Francis Philip Fatio in East Florida. If the loyalists
found it easy to stay on in Florida, why did so many Floridians
end up in South Carolina after the war? Dr. Andrew Turnbull,
Elihu Hall Bay, John Bowman, and George Lockey are examples.
There can be no doubt that Florida became a base for raids
against Georgia and South Carolina during the American Revolution.
The career of Thomas Brown is a fine example of this.48 But the nov-
els and historical writings of William Gilmore Simms might provide
additional useful evidence. In his novel Joscelyn, Simms identified
the loyalists as Scots.49 In other novels he spoke often of gangs of
Florida raiders. Professor Wright in his fine recent study, Britain
and the American Frontier, 1783-1815,50 has provided us with the
framework for our future work. We must look at the pressures on
the perimeters of the thirteen colonies, as well as the actions at
Lexington and Concord and at Yorktown.
48. J. Leitch Wright, Florida in the American Revolution (Gainesville, Fla.,
1975), pp. 23, 32, 36, 39, 40, 55, 56, 58.
49. The Writings of William Gilmore Simms, Centennial Edition, Volume
XVI. Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution, introduction and explanatory notes
by Stephen E. Meats. Text established by Keen Butterworth (Columbia, S.C.,
1975).
50. J. Leitch Wright, Britain and the American Frontier, 1783-1815
(Athens, Ga., 1975).






The Southern Contribution:


A Balance Sheet on the War

for Independence



ROBERT A. RUTLAND



A STROLL across the historic bridge at Concord or a migration to
the Bunker Hill monument will become a routine pilgrimage in this
year of our Lord 1976, as Americans pay homage to the embattled
farmers, the men who waited until they saw the whites of British
eyes, and the Minuteman immortalized by Daniel Chester French,
a native of Exeter, New Hampshire. During the past few years we
have been assailed by reports of a reenacted Boston Tea Party, a
make-believe Boston Massacre, and unless we are very lucky indeed
we will witness, in living color, a reenactment of the moment when
Captain Parker's men stood their ground, and someone (we shall
never know who and by now no one cares) fired that famous first
shot. Orators keep telling us that first volley is still reverberating
around the world. But notice the New England ring to all these
events. And on April 19, as has been the custom for over one hun-
dred years, the Boston schoolchildren will not worry about busing
because that is Patriot's Day-a holiday more fabulous in Massa-
chusetts than the anticlimactic Fourth of July. On the other hand,
no Virginians take a day of rest on another nineteenth, October 19,
to celebrate the final event of the great drama when Cornwallis
surrendered at Yorktown-on southern soil to an army led by a
southerner after leveling what had once been a little gem of a city,
destroying in the process the home of Thomas Nelson, the selfless
southerner who at the start of the war was rich and who died in
penury shortly after it ended. For nearly two hundred years now
that day has passed by almost unnoticed.
38





Southern Contribution to the War for Independence / 39
Yes, there was great talk of sacrifice and the spirit of 1776, but
it seems to me that much of the rhetoric was generated on behalf
of the notion that the Revolution was a northern-inspired event,
essentially brought to fruition through the sacrifice of northern
blood and treasure. Generations of our countrymen have heard
Longfellow's words and trooped across Lexington green in pursuit
of a glimpse of the glory of April 1775. And then there is Valley
Forge with the stained glass windows depicting Washington kneel-
ing in prayer in northern snow. And in upstate New York they still
sing the praises of Herkimer, belittle Arnold, and speak of Saratoga
as the turning point of the war. But consider that in 1777 the good
news from Saratoga caused John Adams to exult that "one Cause"
of the jubilation ought to be "that the Glory of turning the Tide of
Arms, is not immediately due to the Commander in Chief, nor to
southern Troops. If it had been, Idolatry, and Adulation would have
been unbounded; so excessive as to endanger our Liberties, for
what I know Now [is that] we can allow a certain Citizen to be
wise, virtuous and good, without thinking him a Deity or a savi-
our."' Sour grapes, perhaps, but in a sense Adams was delivering
tit for tat. We can recall that Washington-the "certain citizen" of
Adam's jealous outburst-had held in scorn many of the New
Englanders he dealt with at Cambridge in 1775. After Bunker Hill,
Washington had told his kinsman in Virginia that he was sur-
rounded by "the most indifferent kind of People I ever saw. I have
already broke one Colo. and five Captains for Cowardice and for
drawing more Pay and Provisions than they had Men in their
Companies."2 Not only were they crooks, but they were cowardly
crooks. "There is two more Colos, now under arrest," Washington
continued, "and to be tried for the same offences; in short they are
by no means such Troops, in any respect, as you are led to believe
of them from the accts. published." Washington was disenchanted
by the variance between the reported troops extolled in Isaiah
Thomas's Massachusetts Spy and the real army he was trying to
lead. "I dare say the men would fight very well (if properly
Officered) although they are an exceeding dirty and nasty people."
Surrounded by Yankees, Washington felt that with proper leader-
1. L. H. Butterfield et al., eds., The Book of Abigail and John (Cambridge,
Mass., 1975), p. 197.
2. George Washington to Lund Washington, 20 August 1775, John C. Fitz-
patrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources,
1745-1799, 39 vols. (Washington, 1981-44), 3:438.





40 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
ship the battle at Breed's or Bunker's Hill might have turned out
quite differently, and he was not indifferent to the first instances of
Americans wilting in the face of enemy fire. "It was for their be-
havior on that occasion that the above Officers were broke," he
concluded, "for I never spared one that was accused of Cowardice
but brot 'em to immediate Tryal."
Thus we see, from the top rung of leadership in the Revolution,
a jealousy based on sectional bias, an anger over the propaganda
that made heroes out of sunshine patriots, a brooding contempt of
the southerner for his northern comrades-in-arms, and Adams'
backlash of discontent surfacing when an American victory broke a
string of embarrassing losses. It would be wrong, however, to close
the books on sectional contributions and jealousies without a search
for evidence in counting houses as well as in company recruiting
rolls. (It is too easy to pass off Adams' jealous assessment of Wash-
ington's greatness as based on wealth, height, and pride. In "Vir-
ginia geese are all swans" he told Benjamin Rush when asked to ac-
count for Washington's greatness. ) 3
Can we say of the Revolution that it was a northerner's war, but
a southerner's fight? Perhaps, but before making such a claim we
need a balance sheet that goes beyond Yorktown to see what came
out of the experience which we are now pleased to call the War of
Independence.
Insofar as the movement for independence goes, we must credit
the South with the initiative in taking the step which timid men in
Philadelphia and New York feared. Was John Adams merely feed-
ing southern vanity when he assured Patrick Henry that the Con-
gress looked to his state for examples? Richard Henry Lee, follow-
ing the orders from the Virginia convention, took the fateful stride
on June 7, 1776. To his wife, Adams was saying: "As to Declarations
of Independency, be patient." He counseled Abigail, "Read our
Privateering Laws, and our Commercial Laws. What signifies a
Word."4 Everything, it seemed, for after much hemming and haw-
ing Lee called for the question. From below the Mason-Dixon line,
only South Carolina hesitated; above it New York, Pennsylvania,
and Delaware were unready. After an overnight pondering, the
delegates voted again and Lee's motion passed, twelve to none.
3. Adams to Rush, 11 Nov. 1807, John A. Schutz and Douglass Adair, eds.,
The Spur of Fame (San Marino, Calif., 1966), p. 98.
4. Butterfield, Book of Abigail and John, p. 122.





Southern Contribution to the War for Independence / 41
When the matter went to a committee for proper phrasing, Adams
again deferred to a southerner. When called upon to decide, the
more likely prospect of a halter than a halo had deterred the New
Yorkers and left a few Pennsylvanians queasy (three out of seven
signed). Meanwhile, Virginia had on May 15 taken itself irrevo-
cably out of the British Empire by its resolutions regarding inde-
pendence, and by June 29 for all practical purposes Virginia was
operating as an independent commonwealth, an example which
shook the complacency of a whole train of states within the next
twelve months and by imitation flattered the sensibilities of George
Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the other slave-
owning planters who were eager to talk about freedom. By the time
the northern colonies proved themselves ready to become states,
they found all the ideological questions already worked out for
them by these landed aristocrats who were willing to become re-
publicans, propounding constitutions and forms of government with
explicit curbs on the powers of government born out of their ex-
perience. The paradox of the Virginia experience in the spring and
summer of 1776 was that these aristocratic planters sought popular
sanction for their actions. "Nothing has been done without the
Approbation of the People," George Mason boasted in 1778, "the
People, who have indeed out run their Leaders; so that no capital
Measure hath been adopted, until they called loudly for it. . To
us upon the Spot, who have seen Step by Step, the progress of this
great Contest, who know the defenceless State of America in the
Beginning, & the numberless Difficultys we have had to struggle
with, taking a retrospective view of what is passed, we seem to
have been treading upon enchanted Ground."5 Of course, Mason's
enchanted soil was southern soil, and by 1778-for this was a year
when the army's fortunes sank-the South was thereafter destined
to be the main battleground to determine whether all of Mason's
hyperbole was ever to be justified. The French came into the war,
but late in 1778 Savannah fell and in an ill-advised effort to retake
the Georgia port 1,100 Americans died while the entrenched British
suffered but few casualties. The threat to Georgia brought relief
to the North, as the British abandoned their only stronghold out-
side of New York City at Newport, Rhode Island, and decided to
conquer the South, destroy the American armies, and end the war.
5. Robert A. Rutland, ed., The Papers of George Mason, 3 vols. (Chapel
Hill, N.C., 1970), 1:436.





42 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
The opening scenes in 1780 seemed to prove Lord George Ger-
main's fondest expectations. He prayed that loyalist troops would
join with the king's armies in a sweep that would prove the futility
of further resistance. New Englander Benjamin Lincoln, called to
command at Charleston, apparently felt pressure as the only north-
erner in the American force, and perhaps to avoid the political over-
tones of a southern surrender by a Yankee general, he blundered
into a trap and ordered his men ready for battle. The outcome was
total failure and the surrender of 5,500 men, 300 artillery pieces,
two frigates, and hundreds of barrels of military stores. It was a
disaster almost without parallel in the short history of the American
army-greater than Burgoyne's humiliation at Saratoga and like the
fiasco at Fort Washington in 1776 a distinct blow to southerners-
2,818 prisoners being lost in the New York surrender and a large
share of them from the South, many destined to die in prison ships
while their families in Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia
prayed for news of exchanges or paroles that never came, or came
too late. So the southerners were paying a bitter price for their
ticket out of the British Empire, and to many observers in New
York and London, Charleston looked like the last phase of the war.
As a matter of fact, Marshall Smelser reminds us, Charleston's loss
can "be matched in the history of United States arms only by Julius
White's surrender at Harper's Ferry in 1862, the Bataan debacle of
1942, and the surrender of the 106th Division in 1944."6
Of course we know that this was the darkest hour that preceded
a terrible but tempering campaign under Cornwallis. The bloody
road that Cornwallis followed to Yorktown started on an isolated
South Carolina beach on a cold spring day in 1780 as the English
peer set out to end the stalemate which was turning both Parlia-
ment and the Continental Congress into hotboxes of frustration and
faction. The fleet of ninety ships and 9,000 men which sailed out
of New York for Charleston bore in reality the last hope of the
British, but in this war of attrition time then seemed on their side.
Lincoln's capture was celebrated in London as the beginning of the
end-as indeed it was-but the end of what? It was the end
of dreams of loyalist uprisings, the end of indecisive skirmishes and
wasted opportunities. At Camden the rout of Gates' army was high-
lighted by Gates' mad dash for the safety of a not-so-nearby North
6. Marshall Smelser, The Winning of Independence (Chicago, 1972), p.
270.





Southern Contribution to the War for Independence / 43
Carolina retreat, but at Kings Mountain the British learned that the
dream of loyalist support was a chimera as the bloody fighting saw
1,100 Anglo-Americans and their British comrades perish and
made the southern Generals Marion, Sumter, and Pickens anxious
to show their mettle, which was something Nathanael Greene also
needed to prove, after he relieved Gates. In essence these were
southern soldiers fighting under a northern general on the red trail
to Yorktown, and Greene must have felt some pressure owing to
his background as a Rhode Island blacksmith and former Quaker
turned general, now leading tobacco-chewing yeoman farmers and
planters' sons. (He would emigrate to Georgia after the war and
become a planter himself.)
Greene avoided the British traps, and in the meantime the South
had another blow as the traitorous Arnold, his pockets lined with
at least twelve pieces of silver, had commanded a British task force
that swept up the Virginia peninsula and left a stain that is still not
removed. Arnold's forces met little opposition and forced their way
into the suburbs of the little capital at Richmond, destroyed the
Westham Ironworks, and fell on the archives of the infant common-
wealth. The state papers of Virginia were strewn about and burned,
and so history was ground into the ashes of the Richmond bonfires
which have left huge gaps in our knowledge of how the largest
colony-turned-state conducted its affairs between 1775 and 1780.
No other state suffered such indignities or felt the brunt of Arnold's
treachery so much as Virginia.
Understandably, an important group of Virginians looked at the
scenes of desolation and believed that they had been let down by
their northern brethren. In the state legislature John Taylor of
Carolina drafted a protest which was intended to be forwarded to
the Virginia delegation in Congress to show the lopsidedness of the
states' ardor for the war effort. The report scored the northerners
"who in times of their own need, used the affectionate appellation
of Brethren, but [who] appear now to have forgotten the duties of
such a relationship. . 'Ere the war began we heard the cries of
our brethren at Boston, and paid the tax due to distress. We ac-
companied our northern allies, during almost every progressive
stride it made, where danger seemed to solicit our ardour. We bled
with them at Quebeck, at Boston, at Harleam, at White Plains, at
Fort Washington, at Brandywine, at Germantown, at Mud Island,
at White Marsh, at Saratoga, at Monmouth and at Stony point. ..





44 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
But when we came to look for our Northern allies, after we had
thus exhausted our powers in their defense, when Carolina and
Georgia became the theatre of war, they were not [to] be found."7
The Virginia remonstrance claimed that southerners alone had
carried the brunt of battle from Savannah through to Cowpens, and
in March 1781 Taylor insisted that Virginia, "impoverished by de-
fending the northern department, exhausted by the southern war,
now finds the whole weight of it on her shoulders." Taylor blamed
northern indifference to the South's burdens as shown by the failure
to send money or supplies for their beleaguered brothers, with the
consequence that "our only resource, is the wretched one of more
paper money, in addition to enormous taxes, which are the more
peculiarly distressing, as they must be collected whilst near 10,000
of our citizens exclusive of our regular troops, are in the field."
Sagacious Edmund Pendleton told Madison, to whom the rough
draft was sent, to consider the complaints as more Taylor's than
the legislature's, but he added, "It may be not improper perhaps for
Congress to pay some attention to the Sentiments, tho' youl not
publish the paper." So Madison, in the interests of national unity,
apparently pocketed the protest without sharing its contents with
the northerners for whom it was intended.
Neither Taylor nor Madison nor, for that matter, Washington
himself could have foreseen the circumstances that soon sent Ameri-
can hopes soaring after months of near despair. We need not re-
count the triumphs and failures between Kings Mountain and York-
town. Cowpens had been the classic battle, a military textbook
situation, while Guilford Court House and Eutaw Springs were
other measured steps on the weary road to victory. Then finally, the
impossible happened, partly owing to British ineptitude and partly
to the combination of French and American daring plus some luck
of the draw. And so on October 19, Cornwallis was bottled up,
abandoned to his fate, and what Rochambeau later called "the
miracle of the blockade and capture of Cornwallis" occurred, with
Washington as commander-in-chief in his native state on a battle-
field only a few miles from the very place where the Virginia Con-
vention had voted five years and five months earlier to break all
bonds with England.
The story could not end there, although little fighting took place
7. Enclosure in John Taylor's hand, with Edmund Pendleton to James
Madison, 26 March 1781 Rives Collection, University of Virginia Library.





Southern Contribution to the War for Independence / 45
thereafter and that notable for the totally useless loss of the promis-
ing young William Washington. Thousands of militiamen and reg-
ulars, mainly from Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, returned
to their homes and huzzahed the name of Washington to the last
echo when he met Congress in Annapolis and turned in his sword,
bound so he thought for the sweet retirement of Mount Vernon
under his own vine and fig tree.
Only the military phase of the Revolution had ended, however,
and thus it seemed to be left up to the South to cement the victory.
Certainly the initiative for a restructured national government was
the South's doing. From the moment of the Mount Vernon Compact
in 1785 on through the Annapolis Convention to the federal gather-
ing in Philadelphia in 1787 it was the fine hand of either Mason or
Madison or their colleagues in the Virginia House of Delegates
always leading the way. There was no greater nationalist in all the
Union than Washington, unless perhaps it was Madison, as these
southerners eschewed sectional leanings to appeal to their fellow
southerners for the magnanimity needed to make the Revolution a
political as well as a military success. The Virginia Plan kept the
Philadelphia convention on a course of republican commitment,
and while doing so the delegates heard Madison frankly state that
"it seemed now to be pretty well understood that the real difference
of interest lay, not between the large & small but between the N. &
Southern States. The institution of slavery & its consequences
formed the line of discrimination."8 He went on to imply that even
though there were five southern states overbalanced by eight north-
ern ones, he was willing to submerge sectional concerns for the
greater good of a virile republic capable of demonstrating the
blessings of self-government to a skeptical world. The Constitution
which resulted from their deliberations was full of sectional con-
cessions, but even so eloquent a northerner as Oliver Ellsworth be-
lieved that in time slavery would not be a speck on the American
scene, and the New Englanders reasoned that they could grow
strong by shipping southern produce to markets stretching from
Canton to Calais.
The Constitution had barely been in operation when a sectional
clash opened old wounds, however, and in the halls of Congress the
question of who had done their fair share during the fighting phases
8. James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787
(Athens, Ohio, 1966), p. 295.





46 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
of the war caused tempers to flair anew. In justice we must allow
that the northerners also believed they had borne more than their
share of the wartime burdens, and as Samuel A. Otis complained
late in 1788, "the great disproportion of men we had in the field, the
astonishing loss by old money, and want of alertness in bringing
forward accounts . will hang like a mill stone about the neck of
Massachusetts for ages."9 The eight northern states had about
eleven million dollars worth of unpaid war debts, about the same
amount facing the southern taxpayers. Massachusetts and South
Carolina, with four million each, had the lion's (or some would
have said, and did say, the hog's) share. But listen to Congressman
Jackson of Georgia argue, when the fight over assumption of state
debts reached a fever pitch. Jackson said he "came from a State
which had suffered the most of any in the Union; where there was
no place, no corner but where the British arms had been carried;
where the families had been wholly driven off, and their property
had been totally destroyed . where what the British had left the
army had taken to subsist on, and not a certificate had been given
in numerous instances. . Would it be justice, after all these losses,
& after this voluntary contribution, to put our hands again in their
pockets, and say, you must pay the debts of Massachusetts and
South Carolina?"10
Aedaneus Burke of South Carolina had a different view. There
was not a road in South Carolina, he said, "but has witnessed the
ravages of war; plantations were destroyed, and the skeletons of
houses, to this day, point out to the traveller the route of the British
army . men, women and children murdered in cold blood, by
the Indians and stories . now is it to be wondered at that she is
not able to make exertions equal with other States, who have been
generally in an undisturbed condition."" The South Carolina war
debt had been "contracted in the common cause, in fighting the
battles of the Union." The loss of fighting men in South Carolina
had been so great, Burke insisted, "that there was not less than
fourteen hundred widows in one county, at the close of the war.
After all these things, to be left or be pressed down by the enor-
9. Samuel A. Otis to Nathan Dane, 29 October 1788, in Letters of Members
of the Continental Congress, ed. Edmund C. Burnett, 8 vols. (Washington,
1921-36), 8:811.
10. Speech of 1 March 1790, Annals of the Congress of the United States,
1st Cong., 2d sess., p. 1431.
11. Ibid., p. 1416.





Southern Contribution to the War for Independence / 47
mous weight of taxes [to pay off the state war debts] is unreason-
able and unjust."12 Thanks, of course, to the lobbying of the in-
vestors of Boston, Philadelphia, and New York and their friend Mr.
Hamilton, South Carolina's debt became the nation's debt. But in
their moments of truth even some of the northerners who profited
from the war could be candid. Stephen Higginson confessed that
ordinary rules of prudence and good judgment had been allowed
to slide during the Revolution. In 1790 he told Hamilton, "We have
not yet got wholly rid of the habits contracted during the War, &
do not manage our business with that industry & oeconomy, which
must be adopted to carry [business forward] with advantage."13
The passage of the Assumption bill, in my judgment, marked the
end of the era that began in 1765 as a protest movement, became
a war, and finally saw a nation emerge. The Funding Act had all
the features of a gigantic pork-barrel bill, with something for every-
body, but its passage consolidated more than the war debt, erasing,
in the marketplace at least, all the contention about who had fought
the most, bled the most, suffered the most. The Assumption bill told
the nation that whatever the costs had been for independence,
the price was not too high. If speculators made some huge profits,
that could not be helped, for it settled the old scores of money
owed and money lent, and placed in its compromise the national
capital astride the eastern seaboard. For a rare moment, Washing-
ton was happy, Hamilton was happy, Jefferson was happy, and
Madison was not too unhappy. The Union had been preserved and
the Founding Fathers were ready to concede, as Robert Frost later
told us, that one's life cannot be devoted to wondering how each
cent is spent.
Fortunately, certain things were beyond all price or calculation
of price. Most precious was the liberty, the liberty embodied in the
daily actions of Americans, the first men who knew no ancient
customs of privilege and birth but only the free route embodied
in the documents written and speeches made, chiefly by south-
erners, from the time of Patrick Henry's bold defiance at Richmond
to James Madison's genteel weaving of theoretical republicanism
into a working plan of action at Philadelphia. Oblivious of the sour
12. Ibid., p. 1411.
13. Higginson to Hamilton, 20 May 1790, in The Papers of Alexander
Hamilton, eds. Harold C. Syrett and Jacob E. Cooke, 22 vols. to date (New
York, 1961-), 6:425.









48 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
note of slavery, they talked of freedom, for they knew its efficacy
in their homes and churches, in their printing offices, and in their
halls of state. Their concept of personal liberties involved a re-
spect for the law and a belief that republicanism was best fostered
when rooted in an agrarian society. These southern planters and
farmers, proud and fiercely independent, thought they had dragged
their northern brothers along into a new era of human history. Al-
though they sometimes had lingering doubts about the costs, they
believed that the balance sheet would in time prove that all man-
kind had benefited from the American Revolution. Whatever the
cost, it had been worth the gamble, and "generations unborn" would
be the beneficiaries of their commitment. During some heated de-
bate at the Federal Convention, after Gouverneur Morris had made
a blatantly sectional speech calling for limitations on newly ad-
mitted western states, Madison felt moved to a rebuttal. "If the
Western people get the power in their hands," Morris said, "they
will ruin the Atlantic interests."14 This was too much for Madison,
who wanted the West to come into the Union on equal terms just as
men entered society on equal terms. "To reconcile the gentleman
with himself it must be imagined that he determined the human
character by the points of the compass," Madison said. "The truth
was that all men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain
degree."'5 This southerner had in capsule form expressed the philo-
sophical undertone of the American Revolution: we cannot trust
men individually, but we must trust mankind. In the keeping of
accounts, surely the ledger shows that it is we who are indebted,
indebted to the great southerners who above the din of battle gave
the Revolution its appeal to men individually, and to all mankind.
That is our legacy, our burden, and our joy.
14. Madison, Notes of Debates, p. 271.
15. Ibid., p. 272.






The Problem of the Household in the


Second Spanish Period




THEODORE G. CORBETT




STUDY of the family is an endeavor which historians have normally
left to the case analysis of anthropologists or to the charts of geneal-
ogists, but recently such work has become the preserve of social
historians, who have adopted techniques from these disciplines.1 A
major thrust of the new investigations has been to deemphasize the
family as an entity bound together by ties of kinship and to replace
this conception with an idea of the family as the center of a func-
tioning household. The collecting, counting, and formulation of
family households, therefore, has become an important means of
re-creating a community's social past.
Our Anglo-Saxon culture and contemporary environment have led
us to think of the family and the household as almost synonymous:
a household existing for each individual family. As might be ex-
pected, this condition was scarcely dominant in Florida's Second
Spanish Period when a majority of households were crowded not
only with immediate kin, but distant cousins, lodgers, slaves, ser-
vants, apprentices, and orphans. Certain households, furthermore,
like the plantation, the hacienda, the manor, or the factory were
organized solely for the purpose of profit. It is impossible, then, to
think of the bulk of the households in the period from 1784 to 1821
as consisting of a single family. Instead, a household can be defined
1. Peter Laslett and Richard Wall, eds., Household and Family in Past Time
(Cambridge, England,. 1974); Robert Wells, The Population of the British
Colonies in America before 1776 (Princeton, New Jersey, 1975), pp. 297-333;
Edward Shorter, The Making of the Modern Family (New York, 1975), pp.
22-53.
49





50 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
as having three characteristics: a common premises (most usually
thought of as a roof over one's head), a division of labor in the task
of managing the premises, and, least consistently, the traditional
bonds of kinship.2 This definition has the advantage of allowing us
to ask questions not only about birth and marriage, but also about
matters like privacy and racial relations or, even more important,
about the degree to which the family household functioned as an
economic unit.
In the Second Spanish Period, Florida's inhabitants were trying
to build a new society that had twice been radically altered by
evacuations: the Spanish in 1763-64 and the British in 1784-85. The
change of regimes had left Floridians divided in terms of citizenship,
ethnic background, and cultural attitude. Some residents traced their
ancestors back to the First Spanish Period and consequently were
designated natives, or Floridanos. Others were holdovers from the
British Period and their tastes were similar to the British Americans
who had settled in the Carolinas and Georgia. Still others were es-
sentially European peasants, possessing Mediterranean cultural
values that had been carried to America from Minorca, Greece,
Italy, Corsica, Catalonia, and the Canary Islands. Finally there were
the blacks, some of them victims of the African slave trade, but at
this late date the majority were probably native Americans. Such
a diversity of backgrounds made it inevitable that household struc-
ture would vary.
Two basic types of household structure were inherited from the
British Period. One of these was the plantation, a form which the
British introduced to Florida. The peculiar affinity of British Amer-
icans for the plantation was demonstrated by the failure of their
philanthropic efforts to create permanent settlements of yeoman
farmers at Rollestown in British Florida and in the early phases of
Georgia's colonization.3 British occupation of Florida proved far
more successful and lucrative when plantations were established
along the St. Marys and St. Johns rivers. Among them, Governor
James Grant's villa, Lieutenant Governor John Moultrie's Bella
2. Laslett, "Introduction," in Laslett and Wall, Household and Family, pp.
24-25, 34-40.
3. Carita Doggett Corse, "Denys Rolle of Rollestown, A Pioneer for Utopia,"
Florida Historical Quarterly 7 (October 1928):115-34; on Georgia's develop-
ment see Lawrence Henry Gipson, The British Isles and the American Colonies:
The Southern Plantations 1748-1754, vol. 2, The British Empire before the
American Revolution (New York, 1960), pp. 173-79.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 51
Vista and Rosetta Place, Richard Oswald's Mount Oswald, and
Francis Philip Fatio's New Switzerland bear witness to the creation
of a society of great planters.4
Besides the presence of these plantations, certain characteristics
of a plantation society appeared in British Florida. In contrast to
the First Spanish Period a high percentage of the population was
black and the colony was less centered around St. Augustine. At the
time of the Spanish evacuation in 1763, blacks and mulattoes
numbered only one out of every ten East Floridians; by 1782, how-
ever, Governor Tonyn reported that they numbered three out of
every four permanent inhabitants.5 Whereas at the beginning of the
eighteenth century the Spaniards had abandoned most of Florida's
interior to concentrate around the fortifications of St. Augustine,
only about half of East Florida's population resided there under
the British.6 Planters and entrepreneurs developed the land north-
ward to Amelia Island and southward to New Smyrna.7 British Flor-
ida had, moreover, another feature of plantation society: it exported
crops to distant markets. In 1776, 65,000 oranges, 860 barrels of rice,
and 58,295 pounds of indigo were sent to England and to the
British American colonies.8 Overall, the British province seemed to
be following the path of neighboring South Carolina.
The structure of plantation households in British Florida is a
matter of conjecture since censuses do not report them in detail.
The material that does exist, such as the loyalist claims, must be
treated with reserve for in many cases the claimants actually under-
estimated the value of their property.9 Data for South Carolina
and the British West Indies are much more complete and can pro-
vide clues to the identification of a plantation household. To begin
with, it seems definite that the majority of inhabitants within a

4. Charles Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 1763-1784 (Gaines-
ville, 1964), pp. 68-70.
5. Ibid., p. 126; Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain, estate 86, caj6n
6, legajo 6/43, April 16, 1764, photostat in Stetson Collection, P. K. Yonge
Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville.
6. John Jay TePaske, The Governorship of Spanish Florida, 1700-1763
(Durham, N.C., 1961), pp. 110-16.
7. J. Leitch Wright, Florida in the American Revolution (Gainesville, 1975),
pp. 4-7.
8. Mowat, East Florida, pp. 77-78; Helen Hombeck Tanner, Zespedes in
East Florida, 1784-1790 (Coral Gables, 1963), p. 140.
9. Eugene Fingerhut, "Uses and Abuses of the American Loyalists' Claims,"
William and Mary Quarterly, 3d. ser. 25 (April 1968):245-58.





52 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
plantation society were not great planters. Capitalists with thirty
slaves or more were always a minority, the bulk of the white popula-
tion consisting of small-scale farmers or of craftsmen with few or no
slaves. It should thus come as no surprise that in 1771 only one-third
of East Florida's male population was designated as planter or that
in the 1784 evacuation census, laborers and carpenters outnumbered
planters.10
But a certain household structure can be ascertained from ex-
amples of plantation societies in eighteenth-century South Carolina
and the British West Indies. There households were more extensive
than anywhere in British America, the mean size ranging from 9.5
members in South Carolina to 43.6 in Tobago." Such figures were
high not because of the size of the average family, but rather be-
cause of the scores of slaves that often worked for a lone white
overseer. In these colonies neither black nor white families flour-
ished, the number of surviving offspring being small, while the
growth of the colony was dependant upon immigration. In the case
of blacks this condition was not only a result of the rigors of their
labor, but also was caused by the planter's preference for males in
their prime years as field hands, leaving most plantations with fewer
females than males. White families also tended to be small because
many planters came as bachelors or left their families in their home-
land, returning to domestic life after they had made their fortunes.12
In South Carolina, though white families were not always limited in
size, they rarely had a chance to increase because of high mortality
caused by the prevalence of malaria in the rice fields.13 In sum,
plantation households were identified by thirty or more slaves as a
labor force, directed by a white family of only a few members.
The second form of household that existed in the British Period
was the peasant type, a form markedly in contrast with the planta-
tion. It was found among Turnbull's bondsmen at New Smyrna,
but did not flourish until 1777 when the majority of the Minorcans
10. Mowat, East Florida, p. 64; Library of Congress, East Florida Papers
(hereafter cited as LC, EFP), B. 323A, Census Returns, 1784-1814, Census
of October 20, 1784.
11. Wells, The Population of the Colonies, p. 300.
12. Richard Dunn, Sugar and Slaves (New York, 1972), pp. 94-97; Philip
J. Greven, "The Average Size of Families and Households in the Province of
Massachusetts in 1764 and in the United States in 1790: an Overview," in
Laslett and Wall, Household and Family, pp. 557-59.
13. Peter Wood, Black Majority: Negros in Colonial South Carolina from
1670 through the Stono Rebellion (New York, 1974), pp. 63-91, 131-66.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 53
escaped to make homes in St. Augustine.14 Established in the town,
their households consisted of the conjugal domestic unit-the father,
mother, and immediate children. Slaves, cousins, and servants were
rare additions because the family could not afford to feed the extra
mouths. Families were thus similar in size to the four or five mem-
bers that are common today, not due to birth control but because of
the high mortality rate. Before their arrival in St. Augustine the
Minorcans had suffered a demographic disaster: in 1768 when they
left Gibraltar they numbered 1,403; after their voyage to Florida the
number was reduced to 1,225; when counted in January 1778 as new
citizens of St. Augustine there were only 419.15 This adversity had
the effect of creating many conjugal units from the remarriage of
widows and widowers who already had established families. Oc-
casionally, more extensive households existed, usually among crafts-
men who took apprentices and journeymen onto the premises to help
with their trade. These Mediterranean folk also maintained an af-
finity for congregating in urban communities, even when engaged in
farming, for they would leave their townhouses each day and go out
to work in the fields.': Basically, these peasant households were
made up of the classic nuclear family of Europe, where the con-
jugal unit served as the labor force, the town was the home, and
only a minority could afford the luxury of slaves and servants.
What role did these two forms of household play in the Second
Spanish Period? Certain population characteristics support the con-
tention that the plantation household was as influential under the
Spanish as it had been under the British. The dispersed pattern of
the population remained, to the extent that in the censuses of 1785
and 1793 one-quarter of the population resided outside of St. Augus-
tine, and in the census of 1815 the number grew to almost one-
half.17 This latter count actually showed that Amelia Island with

14. On the Minorcans see: E. P. Panagopoulos, New Smyrna: An Eigh-
teenth Century Greek Odyssey (Gainesville, 1966); Jane Quinn, Minorcans
in Florida (St. Augustine, 1975); Carita Doggett Corse, Dr. Andrew Turnbull
and the New Smyrna Colony of Florida (Jacksonville, 1919).
15. Panagopoulos, New Smyrna, pp. 48, 54, 173-74.
16. Julian Pitt-Rivers, The People of the Sierra (Chicago and London,
1963), p. 42. Although not agreeing with his conception of peasant society as
being limited to non-Europeans, Richard Morse's "Some Characteristics of
Latin American Urban Society," American Historical Review 67 (January
1962):317-38, affirms the urban nature of Spanish colonization.
17. LC, EFP, B. 323A, Census Returns, 1784-1814, Census of 1785, Census
of 1793, Census of 1815 (the last census is dated 1815 despite the Library of





54 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
1,481 persons had a larger civilian population than the capital city.18
The percentage of blacks and mulattoes among the province's inhab-
itants also remained high, rather than reverting to the pattern of
the First Spanish Period. Though the colored segment of society
was never as extensive as it was in the estimate of 1782, it included
one out of three persons in St. Augustine.19 The 1815 census revealed
a further rise so that 40 percent of the city's population was
colored.20 Though figures are more sketchy for rural areas, those of
1787 show that outside of the city, three out of five inhabitants
were blacks or mulattoes.21 Thus in the Second Spanish Period the
population dispersed into rural areas and the colored population
increased, conditions which were similar to those of the British
Period.
At this point detailed analysis of household structure becomes
necessary in order to determine which types of households were
most numerous. A census of 1786, done for St. Augustine and the
area within a fifteen mile radius, is most useful because it groups
the inhabitants into 167 households.22 Gathered by the Irish priest
Thomas Hassett, the census includes most of the population, except
the garrison and its dependents as well as a handful of officials em-
ployed by the royal treasury.23 The list divides the inhabitants
into four categories: Foreigners, Floridians, Minorcans (including
Greeks, Italians, and Corsicans), and Spaniards. This is, therefore,
one of the few documents allowing for analysis of the household
in terms of ethnic and cultural groups. It will be recalled that the
Foreigners were essentially British or British-Americans, holdovers

Congress citation); John Dunkle, "Population Change as an Element in the
Historical Geography of St. Augustine," Florida Historical Quarterly 37 (July
1958):14-17, 20.
18. Census of 1815; Dunkle, "Population Change," p. 20. Dunkle's figure for
Amelia Island is mistakenly recorded as 1,491.
19. Census of 1785, Census of 1793; Dunkle, "Population Change," p. 21.
20. Census of 1815; Dunkle, "Population Change," pp. 20-21.
21. Tanner, ZVspedes, pp. 127-86.
22. LC, EFP, B. 323A, Census Returns, 1784-1814, Census of Father
Thomas Hassett, 1786. A portion of this census has been reproduced by Joseph
Byrne Lockey as "The St. Augustine Census of 1786," Florida Historical Quar-
terly 18 (July 1939):11-31.
23. Unlike enumerations in the First Spanish Period, those of the Second
Spanish Period normally include only the civilian population. As a result, to
gain an idea of overall population one would have to add the garrison, treasury
officials, and their dependents to the censuses of civilian population. The num-
ber of noncivilians can be estimated as 1,500 to 2,000.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 55
from the previous regime. The Floridians were those people who
had been born in St. Augustine during the First Spanish Period and
who now returned with their families. The Minorcans were, of
course, the remains of Tumbull's colony. The last of these settlers
were peninsulars, Spaniards who had migrated from the Old World,
in this case particularly from the Canary Islands and Catalonia. The
census did not treat blacks and mulattoes separately, probably be-
cause few of them headed households.
Before putting this census to a test, some familiarity must be
established with different types of households.24 It would be naive
to expect the households of this census to fall neatly into place as
being either of the plantation or the peasant forms. The document
shows, in fact, at least six distinct types. First and most obvious is
the household made up of a single individual, the solitary. Then
there is a second type where no kinship existed between the head of
the household and its other members. Such a "no kin" form was
typical of the plantation where a single bachelor oversaw scores of
slaves. Another category that has impressed scholars as dominant
in much of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe is the
nuclear, or simple, household, consisting of the conjugal family unit:
father, mother, and children. This classical form has already been
noted as prevalent among peasants like the Minorcans. If this nu-
clear household added servants, slaves, or relatives, it became an
nuclear extended household, a common occurrence among a sizeable
minority of the population. Two more complicated varieties of ex-
tended family households have also been recognized: the stem and
the multiple types. The former is identified by the existence of the
conjugal unit plus grandparents, in other words, a junior and a
senior couple. Such a form represents a stage in household develop-
ment where grandparents relinquish leadership over a premises and
retire, passing their duties on to their children. The latter consists of
two families that live in the same dwelling and share the duties of
operating it. Though kinship between the two families was not
necessary, this form was often headed by brothers or by a brother
and a sister, who banded together because neither family could run
the household singly. To see the household in its full complexity, our

24. Although I take full responsibility for this classification of household
types, the categories are based on Laslett and Wall, Household and Family,
pp. 28-32 and on Shorter, Modern Family, pp. 29-89.















TABLE 1
TYPES OF HOUSEHOLDS IN THE 1786 CENSUS ( % )

Extended Total
Group Solitary No Kin Nuclear Stem Multiple Households

Foreigners 21.7 13.0 47.8 4.3 13.0 23
Floridians 7.1 35.7 14.3 21.4 7.1 14.3 14
Spaniards 25.0 18.8 31.3 25.0 16
Minorcans 4.4 7.0 55.3 29.8 1.8 1.8 114
Total 6.0 12.6 43.7 31.1 2.4 4.2 167





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 57
study must be broadened to six types: solitary, "no kin," nuclear,
nuclear extended, stem, and multiple.
The results of counting the different types of households found in
the four census groups can be seen in Table 1. Clearly predominant
among Foreigners were the extended nuclear and "no kin" forms.
The same is true of the Floridians, though the strength of the two
types is reversed. Since both these forms of household require ad-
ditional members beyond the conjugal unit, it is in these two groups
that plantations were most likely to be present. Meanwhile, the
Spaniards and Minorcans seem to belong to a different tradition.
Among them the simple nuclear type appears most often, while the
TABLE 2
TYPES OF NUCLEAR HOUSEHOLDS IN THE 1786 CENSUS ( % )

Extended Total
Group Simple Multiple Simple Multiple Households
Foreigners 20.0 6.7 73.3 15
Floridians 20.0 20.0 60.0 5
Spaniards 55.5 11.1 33.3 9
Minorcans 52.0 14.6 18.8 14.6 96
Total 47.2 13.6 28.0 11.2 125

nuclear extended form holds second place. The Spaniards were ex-
ceptional because they had a considerable number of solitary and
"no kin" households, reflecting the fact that many had not formed
families because they had recently arrived from the Iberian Penin-
sula. Stem and multiple families appear to be rare in the population
as a whole, though Foreigners and Floridians were most likely to
have some. Overall, the dominating number of Minorcan households
makes their nuclear and nuclear extended pattern the most char-
acteristic of the community.
It would be misleading to think of the nuclear households of the
census as being identical with those of today. Table 2 takes both
the nuclear and nuclear extended households and shows that a
number of them were multiple in the sense that they had been
formed from previously separate families.25 Such unions were usu-
25. In Table 2 the term "simple" is used to describe a nuclear household
formed from a single family by a single marriage, while the term "multiple"
describes a nuclear household formed by two or more families from two or
more marriages. In this instance the term "multiple" should not be confused
with the extended multiple household in Table 1.












TABLE 3
HOUSEHOLD SIZE IN THE 1786 CENSUS


Number of Members


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 16 17 20 51 63


Foreigners (23 households)
Number of households
Percent of households
Floridians (14 households)
Number of households
Percent of households
Spaniards (16 households)
Number of households
Percent of households
Minorcans (114 households)
Number of households
Percent of households


2 5 3 3
9 22 13 13


1 1 1
4 4 4


1 1 2 2 4
7 7 14 14 29


1 1
7 7


1 1 1 2 1 1
4 4 4 9 4 4

1
7


4 1 1 4 3 2 1
25 6 6 25 19 13 6

5 16 17 21 15 16 12 2 5 2 1 2
4 14 15 18 13 14 11 2 4 2 1 2





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 59
ally between a widow and a widower. Though the majority of For-
eign nuclear families were similar to those of the twentieth century,
in other words headed by a couple from a single marriage, three out
of ten Minorcan nuclear families, and two out of ten Florida nu-
clear families were created from a second or a third marriage. One
out of every four nuclear families in the community was created in
this way. The prevalence of such households, particularly among
the Minorcans and Floridians, fortifies the contention that these
groups had suffered from high mortality rates in the years before the
census.
The information in these two tables lacks, however, an important
dimension: size. Without some idea of it, no differentiation could be
made, for instance, between a full-fledged plantation and a nuclear
extended family with a few slaves. Table 3 presents household size
to complement the previous tables. These figures suggest that For-
eigners and Floridians on one hand and Spaniards and Minorcans
on the other followed similar household patterns. In the former two
groups, households of three to five members were most common;
but there was a considerable number of them that were larger: one
out of four among the Foreigners had thirteen or more members,
one out of five among the Floridians had ten or more members. The
average family in the latter group was a bit more extensive, con-
sisting among Spaniards of from four to six members and among
Minorcans of from two to seven members. But while the families
were slightly larger, there were few extensive households. No Span-
ish households had more than seven members, and the numerous
Minorcans were limited to one with eleven and two with thirteen
members. Thus, the Foreigners' and Floridians' households con-
tained more people than those of any other group.
If the components of these households are examined in terms of the
number of children, slaves, and free coloreds, then an idea of the
economic structure can be obtained. It is plain from Table 4, which
deals with children, that Minorcan women bore them more con-
sistently and in greater profusion, from two to four in each house-
hold, than any other group. Spaniards and Floridians were least
likely to have offspring, though even among them, over half the
households had children, usually in numbers of one to three. The
pattern of residence for children among the Foreigners ranged be-
tween these two extremes. Table 5 shows that whereas Minorcan
households had the most children, they were least likely to have





60 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
slaves. Three-quarters of the Minorcan and Spanish households had
no slaves, while only half of those of the Foreigners and Floridians
were without them. These latter groups had the most slaves, a
quarter of the Foreign households having six or more, while one
Floridian household topped all others with fifty-three. Table 6 dem-
onstrates that the number of free coloreds in the population was
minimal, but that they were also most likely to be found among the
Floridians. In sum, these tables show that many Foreign and Flo-
ridian households were dependent upon slave and free colored labor,
while those of the Minorcans were sustained by their own children,

TABLE 4
CHILDREN PER HOUSEHOLD IN THE 1786 CENSUS

Number of Children 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 14

Foreigners
Number of households 7 8 5 1 1 1
Percent of households 30 35 22 4 4 4
Percent of children 26 32 10 13 19
Floridians
Number of households 6 3 1 2 1 1
Percent of households 43 21 7 14 7 7
Percent of children 10 7 20 17 47
Spaniards
Number of households 7 4 3 2
Percent of households 44 25 19 13
Percent of children 25 38 38
Minorcans
Number of households 25 20 30 18 16 2 3
Percent of households 22 18 26 16 14 2 3
Percent of children 9 27 24 28 4 8

and those of the Spanish were apparently deficient in both slaves
and children. The tables indicate that Foreigners and Floridians
were most likely to have plantation households, while Minorcans
and Spaniards clung to the peasant norms of the Old World.
Lest use of these tables create a healthy skepticism that the flesh
and blood reality of family life has been turned into mere figures,
discussion of specific households is required. On this level the in-
tricacies of unique family situations can be dealt with. A dozen fam-
ilies have been chosen for analysis and each one will be presented
with the aid of an ideograph.
Among Foreign households, that of Jamie McGirt can be identi-











TABLE 5
SLAVEs PER HOUSEHOLD IN THE 1786 CENSUS

Number of Slaves 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 9 10 11 14 15 46 53


Foreigners
Number of households
Percent of households
Percent of slaves
Floridians
Number of households
Percent of households
Percent of slaves
Spaniards
Number of households
Percent of households
Percent of slaves
Minorcans
Number of households
Percent of households
Percent of slaves


11 2
48 9
1


7 3 1
50 21 7
4 3

12 1 2
75 6 13
10 40


2
9


1 2 1 1 1
4 9 4 4 4
8 17 11 12 36


7
78


1
6
50


86 14 3 7 3
75 12 3 6 3
23 10 34 19


1
1
15





62 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
fled in Figure 1 as one of nuclear extended form. The brother of
the famous renegade, McGirt was a Lutheran from Carolina whose
reputation and livelihood were clouded by dishonor because of his
support of his brother.26 By occupation McGirt was a farmer, who in
the 1790s held eight hundred acres on three different farms. He ap-
pears to have cultivated each farm to exhaustion and then moved
on to the next. Eventually, he obtained a grant of forest and was
able to follow the more profitable endeavor of providing lumber for

TABLE 6
COLORED FREEMEN PER HOUSEHOLD IN THE 1786 CENSUS

Number of Freemen 1 2 3 7 9
Foreigners 1 1
Floridians 3 1 1
Minorcans 2 1

houses and fences. In the census, his larger than average household
consisted of fourteen members, including him, his wife, five sons, a
daughter, and four male and two female slaves. Ranging from
twelve to twenty years of age, the sons were all unmarried and
formed the family's principal labor force. McGirt's extensive num-
ber of children was unusual among the Foreigners, his household
being more typical of the farmers of the Carolina Piedmont.
Other nuclear extended households among the Foreigners were
more dependent upon slave labor. McGirt was classified in the
census as a mere farmer, while Dofia Honoria Clark was distin-
guished as a planter. This Irish widow (Fig. 2) with only her
sixteen-year-old daughter and fourteen-year-old son depended upon
her fifteen slaves to bear the burden of the household duties. Be-
sides being a planter, she ran a store and had a twenty-six-year-
old Irish gentleman as a lodger, as well as a young Spanish orphan,
who no doubt helped with chores. Though her conjugal family was
smaller than McGirt's, her household was much more substantial,
and her involvement in several enterprises made her something of
an entrepreneur.
26. Joseph B. Lockey, East Florida 1783-1785 (Berkeley and Los Angeles,
1949), pp. 21, 246, 338-54, 525-31; Historical Records Survey (hereafter cited
as HRS), Spanish Land Grants in Florida, 5 vols. (Tallahassee, 1940-41),
1:219-21, 3:122, 4:95-97.





A
Male


Head of Household




Married Couple



Widower


0


Female

Slave
Slave


Sex Unspecified


Inferred Link,
Unspecified in Data


Brother and Sister
Brother and Sister


0

Widow


Widow with Children


Married Couple with Children


Conjugal Family Unit


Ed Ay



Extended Family Household


Key to Ideographs









Ideographs representing household structure:
St. Augustine, 1786
Foreigner Foreigner
AsA
+2



Nuclear Extended 0 0 Nuclear Extended
Foreigner Floridian


CA 3 12
A 06


Multiple Extended 0 0 No Kin
Floridian Floridian


0
0 ....

(Nephews-Nieces)
Stem Extended ( ( Multiple Extended











Spaniard Spaniard






Solitary (0 Nuclear
Minorcan Minorcan


(9 9


Nuclear () Nuclear Extended
Minorcan Minorcan


DeceA asked)


Nuclear Extended @ @ Stem Extended





66 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
Most Foreign households were smaller than these two examples,
that of Maria Collen and Maria Luisa Rodriguez being closer to the
norm. Only four people are found in their dwelling (Fig. 3), and
none were slaves. This household was multiple because of the two
families who shared it. Maria Collen's husband did not live on the
premises and Maria Luisa was a widow; each woman had a single
child. There were no kinship ties between the two families and the
two women were actually of different faiths: Maria Collen was
Protestant, Maria Luisa was Catholic. Here was a type of extended
household which was smaller than many conjugal families or nuclear
households. Most likely it was created because neither woman
wished to face the difficulties of running a separate household.
The most extensive household in the entire census belonged to a
Floridian, Francisco Xavier Sanchez. His classification as a native
was based upon his birth in St. Augustine in 1736, the son of Jose
Sanchez de Ortigosa from Ronda, Spain, but uniquely he had stayed
in Florida under the British regime, an experience which left him
with strong ties to the Foreigners.27 Figure 4, derived from the
census, presents him as a bachelor, forty years old (he was actually
fifty), without any kin, the master of fifty-three slaves (twenty-
seven male, twelve female, and fourteen children) and nine free
mulattoes. The location of this household is unclear since Sanchez
owned several houses in St. Augustine, while his principal estate
was located on the San Diego Plains, eighteen miles north of the
city. Worked by slaves, his lands produced beef for consumption by
the garrison of Castillo de San Marcos. He was a self-made man,
who in the words of Governor Tonyn "rose from a state of obscure
poverty to a degree of affluence seldom attained."28 Sanchez also had
more of a family than is apparent from the census. His black mis-
tress bore him eight children but this relationship ended in 1787,
when he married Theophilus Hill's young daughter. Here was a man
who managed a household which appeared to be a classical plan-
tation.
Sanchez' household was exceptional, and equally exceptional were
the few stem and multiple households that appeared among the
Floridians. As an example of the stem form there is the household

27. The record of Sanchez' birth is found in the Cathedral Records, St.
Augustine Parish, photostatic copies in the St. Augustine Historical Society,
St. Augustine, Florida; Tanner, Z6spedes, p. 125.
28. Lockey, East Florida, p. 215.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 67
headed by Don Francisco Huet, which contained not only his wife
and immediate children but his seventy-eight-year-old father. Fig-
ure 5 shows that Huet included the older generation in his house-
hold, probably out of respect for his father, as well as his ability to
provide for him. Besides this stem family household, there were also
multiple family households, like that of Sebastian and Josepha Es-
pinosa. As diagrammed in Figure 6, this brother and sister accepted
the responsibility of raising their nieces and nephews, so that the
household was a composite of three separate families. Such a pat-
tern was testimony to the high mortality that this family had suf-
fered in Cuba.
The peninsulars had arrived from Europe the same year as the
census and hence their households had been least exposed to the
American environment. One-quarter of them were of the solitary
structure, such as that of Antonio Rivera (Fig. 7). A sailor and
native of Catalonia, he ran a wine shop in competition with other
Spanish bachelors, although two years after the census he was an
intern in the Royal Hospital of San Ambrasio.29 He was at a mar-
riageable age, thirty-two, but he was evidently too impoverished to
take on that responsibility. Another peninsular household, that of
Joseph Antonio Corufia, a native of the Canary Islands, is recorded
in Figure 8. He brought his wife, sixteen-year-old son, and nine-
and six-year-old daughters to manage a farm in the New World.
Nuclear households of Corufia's type were most popular among the
Spaniards, showing that it was more common for families to be
transferred intact from Europe to America.
The Minorcan community had existed in Florida for eighteen
years, yet their household structure remained almost as European
as those of the newly arrived Spaniards. Seen in Figure 9, the house-
hold of Juan Joaneda, for instance, was also nuclear. Born in
Minorca, Joaneda had lived in New Smyrna before the exodus of
1777.30 In St. Augustine he married Magdalena Marin, the daughter
of a cobbler, and the census shows him with a young daughter and a
younger son. Although identified in the census as a mere laborer, he
prospered, building a townhouse, cultivating a farm between the
North River and Guana Creek, and eventually marrying his eldest
daughter to the eligible Floridian Nicolas Sanchez. This success
was marred, however, by the death of his wife in the early 1790s,
29. HRS, 3:147-50.
30. Ibid., 1:41, 3:195, 5:43-45.





68 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
and his house was sold after 1807. Joaneda's household was clearly
that of a young Minorcan family, prepared to experience the for-
tunes of life in St. Augustine.
As mentioned, one-third of the Minorcan nuclear and nuclear
extended families were multiple or made up of previously separate
families. This is the background for the household in Figure 10. It
is that of Francisco Pellicer, a carpenter from Minorca, who had
previously settled in New Smyrna and married Margarita Fe-
manias.31 Though five children were born to the couple in Turnbull's
colony, only the eldest, a son, and a daughter survived to appear
on the census. Five years before the census was taken, Margarita
died, and in 1783, Pellicer was remarried to Juana Vila Ferrer. This
union produced a daughter, Maria, who appears on the census. By
1780, Pellicer lived in his own attached house in the town, but seven
years later he sold this house and moved to a farm along the
Matanzas River. In his later years he evidently prospered, fathering
more children, acquiring three or four slaves, and in 1798 building
a townhouse from which he traveled back and forth to his extensive
rural acreage. Here was a household which recovered from the
demographic disasters of New Smyrna and went on to prosper in
St. Augustine.
The structure of households headed by people from the other
Mediterranean areas varied little from the pattern of the Minorcans.
The nuclear extended family of an Italian, Rocco Leonardi, is dia-
grammed in Figure 11. Though evidently prolific, his family did not
escape the high mortality rate that plagued the Minorcans. He was
married to Esperanza Bolla at New Smyrna, and they had two chil-
dren before she died in 1774.32 His remarriage to a Minorcan widow,
Agueda Coll, was more lasting, and in the years that followed, they
had eleven children. The census records show his household with
four of these eleven children, as well as Agueda's son by a previous
marriage, and two blacks, one free and one a slave. Though a mere
laborer, Leonardi prospered, as is indicated by the fact that one
year after the census he owned four houses, fifty acres of land, and
two horses. This success was apparently based on his abilities as a
wine merchant and grape grower. In the 1790s he became a full-
fledged farmer cultivating two thousand acres on the North River,
81. Overton Ganong, "The Peso De Burgo-Pellicer Houses," El Escribano
12 (July 1975):82; Quinn, Minorcans, pp. 152-63.
32. HRS, 4:48-52, 5:9-11.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 69
only fifteen miles from St. Augustine, developing a reputation for
the best fruit and wine in the area. Once again the census shows a
household prospering after the hard times at New Smyrna.
The households of Minorcan craftsmen were often somewhat
more extensive than the norm, and that of Francisco Marin, a shoe-
maker (Fig. 12), is an example. The head of this stem family house-
hold had learned his trade in his native Catalonia. Evidently he had
migrated from there to Minorca and married a native of the island,
Magdalena Escodero.33 They had come to New Smyrna and had
several children, of whom only a son, Francisco, and two daughters,
Tecla and the previously mentioned Magdalena, survived to marry.
Tecla's spouse was a Corsican, Elias Medici, whose family had origi-
nally come from Italy. She died before 1786, leaving Elias to take
care of their three children and to carry on his work as a cobbler.
He and the children came to live with his father-in-law because the
census showed them as part of the household. Another member of
Marin's establishment was a journeyman carpenter, Antonio Llam-
bias, whose story was one of courage in the face of adversity: his
entire family was wiped out in only a few years. A Minorcan, he
arrived in St. Augustine in 1777 with his father, after his mother,
two sisters, and two brothers had died at New Smyrna. His father
succumbed within a year, and Antonio was orphaned at the age of
sixteen. Without money or security he was forced to apprentice
himself to the master carpenter Martin Hernandez. Perhaps there
was some sort of exchange between Hernandez' and Marin's house-
holds, a situation which the census supports, for Marin's fifteen-year-
old son, Francisco, was an apprentice in the master carpenter's
household. In 1789, Llambias left Marin's household to marry, while
Francisco, by 1793, had returned to be a part of his father's home.
The Medici children continued to live with their grandparents, even
after 1793 when their father was no longer present. In the 1790s,
Marin built a stone house to accommodate his still numerous family.
Thus the Marin household was maintained by several generations of
the family, as well as a bachelor craftsman, rather than depending
upon the presence of slaves. Here is an indication that this house-
hold maintained the traditions of the Old World longer than others.
Having thoroughly examined the census, I can make some overall

33. Doris Wiles, "The Fernandez-Llambias House," El Escribano 4 (April
1967):6; Panagopoulos, New Smyrna, pp. 61, 62, 181, 183; Quinn, Minorcans,
p. 233.





70 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
observations. The nuclear household was unquestionably the most
common type, although few existed among Foreigners and Flor-
idians who were not a majority in the census. Two out of five house-
holds were nuclear, and among the Minorcans it was the dominant
type. As pointed out, these nuclear households were neither as prev-
alent nor created from a single marriage as often as they are today,
but their abundant presence in the census indicates that the nuclear
household was, as some historians have previously asserted,34 the
most popular form in Western preindustrial society. If, in fact, the
nuclear extended households are added to those of the simple
nuclear type, as has been done also, then three-fourths of the house-
holds belong to these two forms.35 The Florida community, having
an average of only 5.7 persons per premises, did not produce house-
holds with as many members as the plantation societies of South
Carolina or of the British West Indies.
Before concluding that East Florida could not have maintained a
plantation society in view of its many nuclear families, it is im-
portant to see if there is another side to this question. The evidence
of substantial plantation development is, to say the least, weak, with
only two full-scale plantations, three more modest establishments
with planters as heads of household, and the households of two
farmers that might qualify. Fifteen households were extensive
enough to have ten or more members: seven of them headed by
Foreigners, five by Minorcans, three by Floridians, and none by
Spaniards. Of these, five were headed by merchants or tradesmen,
one by a craftman, one by a sailor, and one by the sacristan; so
these can be eliminated. Of interest as plantation households were
the five headed by planters and two headed by farmers. The names
of these planters and farmers are well known to those familiar with
the British Period since they were all Foreigners, save Sanchez,
who was only technically a Floridian. The list included (besides
Sanchez): the planters Francis Philip Fatio, Juan Hudson, Dofia
Honoria Clark, and Jesse Fish and the farmers Theophilus Hill and
Jaime McGirt. Of the planters, three of the households were nuclear
extended in structure and two were of "no kin" composition. The
census showed the five planters with 149 slaves and 10 free blacks,
63 percent of all slaves recorded, or an average of 30 slaves per
34. Laslett, "Preface," p. xi, and "Introduction," pp. 8-10, 59-60, 72-73,
in Laslett and Wall, Household and Family.
35. Laslett, "Introduction," ibid., pp. 29, 85.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 71
household. Actually only two households, those of Sanchez and
Hudson, contributed two-thirds of all the slaves, designating their
establishments as the only full-fledged plantations in the area. Here,
then, is East Florida's modest planter aristocracy.
It cannot be denied that the 1786 census has definite limitations
in settling the question of the degree to which these two societies
flourished. Conclusions drawn from the census are limited to the
vicinity of St. Augustine, while plantations were more numerous in
the distant rural areas of East Florida. The 1786 census, for instance,
showed Fatio's household, which consisted of sixteen members, of
whom eleven were slaves, as smaller than that of Dofia Honoria
Clark. The bulk of Fatio's wealth was located, however, outside of
St. Augustine on the St. Johns River at New Switzerland, which was
worked by no fewer than seventy-nine slaves.36 The census did not
take into account plantations along the St. Johns or in the other
areas of rural East Florida. The census, moreover, gives only a view
of conditions at the beginning of the Second Spanish Period, and it
must be assumed that there were changes over the next thirty-five
years.
Such deficiencies can be remedied to an extent by placing the
census in broader context, sketching household conditions in rural
East Florida and briefly explaining what happened after 1786. One
year after the census, for example, Father Michael O'Reilly ac-
companied Governor Zespedes on an inspection of the province,
keeping account of the households visited. Though more rudimen-
tary than the 1786 census, this document does provide complemen-
tary information on rural East Florida.37 It indicates that there were
few slaves in the north between the St. Marys and the St. Johns
rivers or on the Talbot Islands, but considerable numbers along
the St. Johns where Fatio, Sanchez, Hill, and William Pengree had
plantations. Taken as a whole, O'Reilly's figures showed more
slaves living outside of St. Augustine than the 1786 census counted
in the town and its suburbs. Later in the period there is evidence of
a shift in plantation development from the St. Johns to the coastal
islands between that river and the St. Marys. The most notorious of
these planters was the British-American Zephaniah Kingsley, who
in the 1800s moved from the St. Johns to establish his plantation on


36. Census of October 20, 1784.
37. Tanner, Zdspedes, pp. 127-36.





72 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
Fort George Island.38 From this location, Kingsley participated in
the slave trade, training African blacks in his fields and then selling
them illegally in Georgia and South Carolina.
In the years after the 1787 visitation, however, the planters seem
to have lost a good deal of their influence over East Florida. Their
hold over the land seemed secure in 1785, when Fatio asserted that
the Minorcans and Spaniards had congregated in the town as petty
shopkeepers, artisans, and proprietors of liquor canteens rather than
as cultivators of the soil.39 Even the Floridians seemed to be no
threat as they, he complained, were content to depend upon the
Crown's subsidy for their livelihood. Fatio's appraisal of these rival
ethnic groups was substantiated by Z6spedes' opinion that the newly
arrived Canary Islanders showed no inclination for either industry
or cultivation.40 But while the Foreigners enjoyed these early years
as the leading men of enterprise, in the 1790s the situations changed
considerably. Following through on the promise of Z6spedes that
the Crown would grant them land according to the number in each
family,41 the Minorcans began to move into rural East Florida. This
settlement of the interior is exemplified by the previously mentioned
households of Joaneda, Pellicer, and Leonardi. The scope of their
efforts was limited to relatively small plots within easy access of
St. Augustine, particularly along the North and Matanzas rivers, in-
cluding the San Diego Plains toward the St. Johns River. Farms of
this type were called estancias, or truck farms, common in Mediter-
ranean Europe and in Cuba.42 They were managed by nuclear fam-
ilies, supplemented by a few slaves, the households working together
as a single unit. The produce of these farms was sold in St. Augus-
tine and, as noted, residence on the land was often only daily or
seasonal, the family retiring to spend the night or a portion of the
year in a townhouse. Though the size of the estancia was small,
when united these numerous farms were unquestionably a challenge
to the great plantations.
While exploitation of the land increased, there is evidence that

88. Philip May, "Zephaniah Kingsley, Nonconformist (1765-1848)," Flor-
ida Historical Quarterly 23 (January 1945): 145-59.
39. Lockey, East Florida, p. 481.
40. Tanner, Zespedes, pp. 125, 139.
41. Lockley, East Florida, pp. 461-63.
42. The influence of the estancia in pre-nineteenth-century Cuba is dis-
cussed by Herbert Klein, Slavery in the Americas: A Comparative Study of
Virginia and Cuba (Chicago, 1967), pp. 143-49.





The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 73
cultivation, particularly of staple crops, decreased. Fatio himself
no longer called for the production of rice or indigo, but hoped in-
stead to develop a naval stores industry.43 Sanchez' vast acreage was
not organized as a classical plantation, but as a hacienda, similar to
the extensive ranches of Mexico which provided meat and hides for
local consumption. Ranching and the exploitation of the forest for
lumber and naval stores appear to have been much more popular
and profitable than tilling the soil. The transition from farming to
these other endeavors was relatively easy. Sebastian Espinosa, for
example, fenced five hundred unproductive acres on the San Diego
Plains, placed stock on it, lived there for a while in a house, and
soon had a modestly successful ranch.4 Where grass or forest was
not plentiful, one could follow the example of Miguel Chapuz,
whose household at New Smyrna engaged in the management of a
turtle farm, an enterprise which provided this delicacy for the cooks
of St. Augustine.45 Such evidence indicates that both planters and
estancia farmers rivaled each other in the sale of meat and lumber
in St. Augustine's markets.
The rise of ranching, lumbering, and, to a lesser extent, the
estancias pointed out the difficulties of maintaining plantations and
farms for cultivation. For one, the sandy soil would not hold seed
and after only a year or two was exhausted. One Floridian, Lorenzo
Rodriguez, had fenced, cultivated, and improved three hundred
acres which he proudly dubbed Buena Vista; but it was reported
that in the twelve yea's he occupied it he made little profit because
of the sterility of the %oil.46 Such land required intense cultivation
and fertilization, a form of farming which was only practical in the
estancias within and about St. Augustine.
Besides the problem of the infertility of the soil there was also a
danger of brigandage in rural areas. Indians and renegade bandits
ravaged isolated plantations and farms. There is the case of the
widow Nicolasa Gomez, who claimed to have built buildings and
put six slaves to work on a land grant on the Hillsborough River,
far from St. Augustine, but "Indians and rebels" interrupted her
effort to develop the grant and on at least one occasion in the early
1800s, Indians drove her workers away.47 Nor were the great plant-
43. Lockey, East Florida, pp. 479-80.
44. HRS, 3:50-51.
45. Ibid., 5:34-35.
46. Ibid., 4:250-52.
47. Ibid., 3:191-92.





74 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
ers immune from such hazards: during the raids of 1812, Fatio's
plantation house at New Switzerland was destroyed by Indians.48
These conditions made it wise to live and farm within the vicinity
of St. Augustine rather than opening virgin land, an enterprise so
necessary to the maintenance of a plantation.
The urbanization of a sizeable minority of East Florida's black
population was also not conducive to a plantation society. Though
planters held the bulk of slave labor in both St. Augustine and the
rural areas, probably one-third of the blacks in East Florida worked
on the estancias or were household servants. That the colored seg-
ment of St. Augustine's population prospered is indicated by the
aforementioned rise in their numbers from 1786 to 1815. By this
latter date, manumission and miscegenation had some effect, for 12
percent of the colored group was free, and one in seven of them
was mulatto.49 The presence of these pockets within the population
no doubt reflects the urban environment where slave participation
in household and family duties made manumission and miscegena-
tion more likely than in rural areas.50 One should not exaggerate the
extent of this process, for Pensacola had a much more liberal at-
titude toward its colored population. Blacks there were often free
artisans and tradesmen, while black women shared households as
mistresses of white men.51 St. Augustine was more segregated and
conservative, probably as a result of attempts by Minorcans to
monopolize crafts and compete with blacks as a source of labor.
Unlike many Spanish-American communities, the Minorcans pro-
vided St. Augustine with a group of enterprising craftsmen and
tradesmen. Still, St. Augustine offered blacks an urban alternative
to the plantation, an alternative where some of them could gain
their freedom and a degree of social status. Again, the prospects of
maintaining a plantation society appear to have been bleak.
The present state of research on the household in this period pre-
vents the assertion of hasty conclusions. One piece of evidence, the
1786 census, has been thoroughly analyzed, but there is a great deal
48. Susan L'Engle, "Notes of My Family and Recollections of My Early
Life," manuscript in St. Augustine Historical Society, St. Augustine, Florida,
p. 20. This is a typescript apparently taken from a book of the same title
printed in New York at the Knickerbocker Press in 1888.
49. Census of 1815.
50. This statement was true under similar conditions in Cuba; see Klein,
Slavery, pp. 62-65, 146-47.
51. Duvon Corbitt, "The Last Spanish Census of Pensacola, 1820," Florida
Historical Quarterly 24 (July 1945):34-38.
















The Household in the Second Spanish Period / 75
more to do. What has been achieved at this point is the establish-
ment of a framework from which to approach the social and perhaps
the economic history of the age. This interpretation of the period is
based on two types of households and, more basically, on two
distinct life-styles: the one cherished by the British-American.plant-
ers who sought to continue the ways of the previous regime and
perpetuate a plantation society much as existed in South -aro6ina;
the other represented by the Minorcan nuclear households, where
the traditions of Mediterranean peasants were maintained and enter-
prises centered upon the labor of the family. Both social segments
had a part to play in Florida's Second Spanish Period, and tracing
their development after 1786 will provide impetus for further re-
search in this much neglected period. Here also is an interpretation
which offers a new perspective for social history, based not upon
the Marxist conception of class distinction and conflict, but rather
upon ethnic and cultural contrast, particularly as found within the
household structure. Let us make the best of this new learning.






Mitres and Flags:


Colonial Religion in the British and

Second Spanish Periods



MICHAEL V. GANNON



BY the time of the Treaty of Paris of 1763, Spanish Catholicism in
Florida was in a greatly weakened condition when compared with
its state of health in the previous hundred years. Following the
catastrophic attacks on the Guale, Apalache, and Timucua Indian
missions by the Englishman Colonel James Moore in the first
decade of the eighteenth century, Spanish evangelization of abo-
riginal inhabitants of the peninsula and panhandle regions entered
upon a long period of depression and decline. The Order of Friars
Minor, or Franciscans, to whom the Indian doctrinas had been en-
trusted a century and a half before, lost everything: their villages,
their zeal, their hope, and their influence. It is a tragic story best
read in a more detailed history, but it needs to be said that their
losses were brought upon themselves by themselves, as much as
they were by Moore's marauders. Abandonment of the original
Franciscan spirit, internal rivalries between Creoles and Peninsu-
lares, and constant disputes with the secular clergy and governors
must be recognized as the prime reasons for their ultimate collapse.
By 1763, all management of Indians and mestizos had fallen through
default into the hands of the secular clergy, and only ten Franciscans
remained in Florida service, from a high of seventy in 1655 and
from twenty-five in 1738. The mission era was over, and it would
never be revived. The secular priests fared little better in the twi-
light years of Spain's first possession of Florida. Their work with
the garrison and civilian list, and later with the Indians and mesti-
zos, was similarly compromised by internal dissensions, conflicts
76





Religion in the British- and Second Spanish Periods / 77
with the friars, and clerical involvement in the soldiers' mutiny of
1758. Both preaching and the administration of sacraments had be-
come pedestrian and uninspired. When on July 20, 1763, a regiment
of English redcoats paraded through the plaza of St. Augustine,
it brought an abrupt end to the hopes of the church after sixty
years of obvious ecclesiastical deterioration. One year later no more
than eight Roman Catholics, all laymen, could be found anywhere
on the peninsula.1
In order to secure a financial return on the church properties in
and around St. Augustine, the presidio's cura and Franciscan supe-
rior arranged for Don Juan Elixio de la Puente, royal auditor of the
colony, to dispose of the properties at nominal sums to friendly
agent-trustee-owners John Gordon, a wealthy English Catholic
from Carolina, and Jesse Fish, for nine years a factor in St. Augus-
tine of the Walton Exporting Company of New York. To Gordon
the Spaniards sold the episcopal residence, situated at the southeast
comer of today's King and St. George streets, which had been used
on occasion by resident auxiliary bishops from Cuba; the Fran-
ciscan Convent of the Immaculate Conception; and, north of the
presidio, the Mission Nombre de Dios with its hermitage of Nuestra
Sefiora de la Leche y Buen Parto. To Fish the Spanish church
officials conveyed the property and walls of the unfinished parish
church, together with the Tolomato stone church building situated
about five miles north of Nombre de Dios. According to plan, the
agents would then sell the church properties to individuals of the
English government at the highest possible prices. Puente com-
pleted these transactions two months prior to the eighteen-month
deadline for such exchanges stipulated in the Treaty of Paris.
Within a year, however, the churchmen, by that time in Cuba,
heard the distressing news that Great Britain, taking a strict inter-
pretation of the patronato real, the royal patronage relationship of
church and state favored by Spain, had determined that the proper-
ties in question had been owned originally, not by the church,
but by the Spanish Crown, and hence were public property already
passed by escheat to British ownership in the treaty. To their dis-
may, the former St. Augustine church officials learned that the
1. This decline can be reviewed in Michael V. Gannon, The Cross in the
Sand: The Early Catholic Church in Florida (Gainesville, Fla., 1965), chap. 5,
"Decline and Ruin, 1675-1763," pp. 68-83; and in John Jay Tepaske, The
Governorship of Spanish Floridia, 1700-1763 (Durham, N.C., 1964), chap. 7,
"The Governor and the Church," pp. 160-91.





78 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
episcopal residence would be given over for use by the recusant
Church of England, or Anglicans; that the Franciscan monastery
would be made over into a military barracks; that the hermitage
of La Leche would be converted into a hospital; and that the site
of the new parish church building would be leveled to serve as an
extension of the parade ground.2 Later, in 1773, their former
hospital-church of Nuestra Sefiora de la Soledad, situated south of
the plaza, would be taken over for use as the Anglican parish
church. The coquina structure was renamed St. Peter's and was
embellished with a wooden spire, clock, and bells.3
Where were the former Spanish church officials? They were
mostly in Cuba, some in New Spain, along with the former Spanish
populations of La Florida and all the movable church possessions
from St. Augustine, Apalache, and Pensacola. St. Augustine's sacred
articles reached Havana in February 1764 via the schooner Nuestra
Seniora de la Luz y Santa Bdrbara. On board were all of the town's
altars, images, vestments, canopies, vessels, candlesticks, bells, and
other sacred objects. Included, too, were fifteen folio volumes of
parish registers (notations of baptisms, marriages, burials, etc.) that
formed a continuous record of the pioneer Christian community
from 1594 to the day of embarkation. The registers were placed in
the archives of the Bishop of Santiago de Cuba, where they would
remain for the next 143 years. Although freedom of worship had
been promised them by the newly occupying English government,
the Spanish populations of St. Augustine, Apalache, and Pensacola
abandoned Florida almost completely. Their longtime antipathy
toward England, together with offers from Charles III of new
homes in Cuba and Mexico, would be incentive enough for the
mass exodus. No doubt their mistrust of the English pledge to re-
spect the free exercise of Roman Catholicism also played a part in
their decision to withdraw. By March 1764, over three thousand
people had debarked at Havana. The pastor of St. Augustine, Don
Juan Joseph Solana, with his acting chief sacristan, was the last to
leave San Agustin. The St. Augustine seculars resettled in Cuba and
New Spain, most taking positions in and around Havana. The ten
remaining Florida Franciscans, including the chaplains of San
2. Robert L. Gold, Borderland Empires in Transition: The Triple-Nation
Transfer of Florida (Carbondale and Edwardsville, Ill., 1969), pp. 41-42,
138-39; Gannon, Cross in the Sand, pp. 84-86.
3. J. Leitch Wright, Florida in the American Revolution (Gainesville, Fla.,
1975), p. 8.





Religion in the British and Second Spanish Periods / 79
Marcos de Apalache, also moved to Cuba in search of new assign-
ments. The secular clergy from Pensacola apparently sailed to Vera
Cruz, New Spain. It is interesting that a large number of Florida
Indians also sought refuge with the exiting Spaniards.
In the decades immediately prior to the Spanish withdrawal
Spain had had little success in pacifying, much less in Christianiz-
ing, the interior tribes. With British colonies to the north and
French colonies to the west competing with her for Indian alliances,
Spain had been left by 1763 with only the Apalache in some kind
of control. To her surprise, when news of the change of flags be-
came widely known, non-Christian Indians, many of them pre-
viously hostile to Spain, sought permission to accompany the
departing Spaniards. Officials at St. Augustine and Pensacola, how-
ever, decided to take only those families that had been baptized or
had committed themselves to conversion. Altogether eighty-nine
Yamassee men, women, and children departed St. Augustine for
Havana under those terms. On their arrival, a lack of provisions and
yellow fever struck the Yamassees hard and only fifty-five remained
alive in 1766. Five Indians seem to have accompanied the Spanish
garrison that left Apalache for Havana, but forty families of Yamas-
see Apalachinos sailed in the vessels from San Miguel de Pensacola
to Vera Cruz. In 1765, they were resettled in the nearby town on
Tempoala (now Tempoal), which was renamed San Carlos, and
there they appear to have experienced the same calamities as had
the inmigrantes in Cuba.4
When England acquired the Florida peninsula from Spain, she
also received at the same time eastern Louisiana from France, with
its principal settlement of Mobile. English suzerainty extended,
therefore, from the peninsula westward as far as the Mississippi.
Dividing this vast territory at the Chattahoochee River, England
created two new royal colonies: East Florida with a capital at St.
Augustine and West Florida with a capital at Pensacola. The west-
ern colony would greatly expand its northern boundary to take ad-
vantage of the French-originated fur trade. England now had to
staff its new domains with the necessary church officials. These of
course would be licensed clergymen of the Church of England,
and Parliament initially designated four in number for service in
Florida: the Reverend Mr. John Forbes arrived in St. Augustine as
4. The best account of the Spanish evacuation is in Gold, Empires in Tran-
sition, pp. 132-37, 140, 153-61.





80 / Eighteenth-Century Florida and the Revolution
minister on May 5, 1764, and he would remain in East Florida
throughout the British occupation. His may not have been the first
Anglican services in East Florida, however. That honor probably
belonged to the ship chaplain who held prayer book services on
board one of John Hawkins' ships anchored inside the St. Johns
River in the summer of 1565.5
The Reverend William Dawson was appointed to Pensacola, but
he would withdraw from that position in 1766 in order to accept a
more attractive ministry at St. John's Parish in Colleton, South
Carolina. The Reverend Samuel Hart spent one year at Mobile
before transferring to Charleston in 1765 to serve as assistant
minister of St. Michael's Church. The Reverend Michael Smith
Clerk, destined for ministerial labors in Mobile, settled instead in
Jamaica where he was given church facilities by the bishop of
London.6 The direct auspices under which these men set out for
America were those of the bishop of London and of the Incorpo-
rated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
The latter body cooperated with the bishop in examining and rec-
ommending candidates for foreign service. It also assisted in fi-
nancial support, as similar missionary societies act on behalf of
certain Christian denominations at the present time. The travel
expenses and salaries of the clergymen were paid from the public
treasury, however, in much the same way as the patronato real pro-
vided for the Spanish clergy. The bishop of London had theoretical
authority over sacred matters in the American colonies, but his
powers were exercised at great distance, leading many colonists on
the Atlantic seaboard to complain that the colonies should have a
bishop or bishops of their own so that jurisdiction might be more
knowledgeable and direct and to provide for the administration of
confirmation and holy orders to those seeking those sacraments on
this side of the Atlantic.
Many Anglicans, and, as might be expected, the great majority
of colonial Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and other evangelicals
opposed the establishment of an American Anglican episcopate
because of its obvious connection with the aristocracy. One pro-
ponent of the plan wrote in 1765: "Alas! The [Anglican] Southern
5. See William Morrison Robinson, Jr., The First Coming to America of the
Book of Common Prayer, Florida, July 1565 (Austin, Texas, 1965).
6. Gold, Empires in Transition, pp. 143-44, 147; Wright, American Revo-
lution, p. 8.