Tolomato Cemetery

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Tolomato Cemetery
Series Title:
Tolomato Cemetery
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Creator:
Coomes, Charles S.
Publisher:
Saint Augustine Historical Society
Physical Location:
Box: 1SW6
Divider: Cemeteries + Burials
Folder: Cemeteries + Burials

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Saint Augustine (Fla.)
14 Cordova Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Tolomato Cemetery (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine

Notes

General Note:
El Escribano, October 1976, Vol. 13, No. 4; FLC

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
USACH00002:00002

Full Text
-EL eSCi(I6IW










TOLOMATO CEMETERY

By Charles S. Coomes*


Tolomato Cemetery is located in St. Augustine on the

west side of Cordova Street and a short distance south of

Orange Street. The date that the site was first used as a

cemetery is uncertain, but various maps and records point

to a timelate in the First Spanish Period, and perhaps in

the early 1700's.

A 1737 map of the City of St. Augustine shows six small

Indian villages at various points near the City. The "Church

and Village of Tolomato, 14 men and 33 women and children"

was at the site of the present Tolomato Cemetery. These six

little villages may well have been populated by the Christian

Indians who fled to St. Augustine for protection following

the destruction of the missions of West Florida by Colonel
2
James Moore of South Carolina in 1704. The Indians who

lived near the City joined the Spanish in leaving St. Augus-

tine when the English acquired Florida in 1763.

Puente's 1764 map of the City describes a building lo-

cated at the site of Tolonatc Cemetery as a "Little stone

Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Tolomato Indian Vil-
3
lage." John Bartram, who traveled through Florida in



*Mr. Coomes is Treasurer of the St. Augustine Historical
Society.


[107]










108 EL ESCRIBANO
4
1765-1766, described a "Dutch" church near the City. Doctor

William Stork noted in 1769 that "Within the first line, near

the town, was a small settlement of Germans, who had a church

of their own." It is possible that the church could have

been used for a time by residents from Switzerland who spoke

German, or "Dutch."6 J. Purcell, on a map of 1777, noted the

"Ruins of a Spanish Church" at this location.7

Rocque's map of St. Augustine may be the earliest that
8
specifically includes Tolomatc Cemetery. This large map de-

tails all of the streets, buildings and property lines of the

City as of April 1, 1788. The northern part of the map, cov-

ering that part of the City from just south of the Plaza to

the City Gate, reduced for publication, is on Page 109. Some

of the border, the title and scale have been re-arranged to

fit the proportions of the page.

Two legal documents of the Second Spanish Period tell

much of the early history of the cemetery, and of the customs
9
of the times. The first was written by Don Miguel Ysnardy,

a man of means and importance in the City, who had lately

acquired five lots, or fields, that lay south of the present

Orange Street and west of today's Cordova Street. From north

to south the property measured some 188 varas (to about the

present Saragossa Street), and it extended westward to the

San Sebastian River. He claimed that the cemetery was on his

property, and petitioned Governor Don Enrique White to recog-

nize his rights and help him get the cemetery removed. Because






TOLOMATO


6cala dt&cn wms eRs
On* /a rdoridZek A4lild 9o 158.


CEMETERY


109











110 EL ESCRIBANO

of their significance the two documents are quoted here in

full.



SEROR GOVERNOR

Don Miguel Ysnardy, a resident of this City,

discloses to Your Lordship, with due respect:
10
That the attached deeds prove conclusively

that the lot, or fields, that are described in their ,

are his, and that he acquired the property to cultivate

and settle it and to clear the land and its surround-

ings of the great number and mass of century plants,

prickly pears, [Spanish] bayonets and palms [palmet-

tos] which surround it and serve more as a hiding

place for poisonous animals than for anything else.

That two obstacles prevent him: first, the pub-

lic and only cemetery is located nearly in the

middle of ,these fields; second, the indifference with

which the Reverend Curate has regarded, and continues

to regard, his suggestion that the cemetery should be

roved.

That from the beginning, and with cnly a Title

of Sufficiency (contrary to equitable and just pro-

cedures) the Vicariate has been charging two pesos

for a burial, whereas it has no right to do so; and

the Church continues to occupy the property even

though it does not own it, in spite of the efforts

of its rightful owner. Furthermore, neither the











TOLOMATO CEMETERY 111

Vicariate nor the Church paid anything for it,

(and therefore, he alleges the Church should

pay) [for moving the Cemetery.]

He has thoroughly inquired into this matter,

and finds that the Government gave Doctor Thomas

Hassett, the previous curate and vicar, permission

to use the place with the consent of the original

owner, Mr. Jesse Fish, now deceased. It is cer-

tain that this permission was not perpetual, but

temporary until the Government could sell the lots

or fields at an auction of the estate of the said

Fish that he ordered to cover his innumerable just

debts.

(At this final sale the cry was loud and intel-

ligible; your petitioner-was present and was actual-

ly one of the buyers of property which he still owns.)

The Governor reserved for the Royal Exchequer the

materials at the site contained in the stone tower,

or bell tower, of Tolomato, explaining through the

Crown's attorney that Fish, when alive, was able to

buy the land or field, but not the tower which had

been constructed with funds from the Royal Treasury.

That eventually the tower was torn down by

order of the Governor, This simple fact, and the

proofs contained in these deeds, show clearly that

the sale [of the said fields] was genuine, free of


all encumbrances, and true .










112 EL ESCRIBANO

That the first of these obstacles is one cf the

greatest that must be overcome in order to carry out.

his plans, it being very detrimental to his interests

for the cemetery to remain on his property any longer

than shall be necessary to lay cut another. This is

so for the following reasons: First, the site occu-

pied by the cemetery is right in the middle of his

properties and almost divides them into two separate

holdings; second, assuming that the Vicariate might

claim the right to use the land, and would offer to

pay equitably for the part occupied by the cemetery,

it would cost him twice as much to fence the

rest, and even so the fields would always remain

broken up.

In any event, if it is necessary for the ceme-

tery to remain in the general area, it will have to

be moved to one side or the cther, with payment for its

fair value.

Third, and most fundamental: for whet reason

does the Vicariate charge for and profit from a plot

of ground belonging to another? The profit belongs

to the legitimate owner in possession of it, or to the

one who might have possessed it and has not asserted

his claim up tc the present. .

That [furthermore, the Vicariate.] ought to have

fenced [the cemetery], and could very well have done

it, to prevent the entrance of all kinds of animals,










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 113

some of which knock down or break the crosses and

others root up the ground. It is almost impossible

to keep these animals out unless the fences are made

of stone, as is customary everywhere alse, to prevent

the desecration that occurs. Does not this always

happen, in situations like this?

That finally, Senor Governor, tc avoid the dissen-

sion and confusion that trouble the Court of Justice,

your petitioner proposes a further solution: if his

deeds are authentic, there is no doubt that the lot

or fields are his. If so, why should he not obtain

possession of them free of all encumbrances

and costs ?

Also, the Vicariate should stop charging for

anything that does not belong to it, such as the two

pesos, and should either move the said cemetery to

another location or buy all the fields. And that,

rather than get involved in litigation, be is ready

to give up the land for what it is worth.

Than in virtue of all the reasons set forth,

your petitioner asks you to judge this matter so

that he may receive your favorable decision, which

he hopes to obtain, and may take possession of the

described lands. Florida, May 28, 1799.


/s/ Miguel de Ysnardy










114 EL ESCRIBANO

On the same date Governor White sent the petition and

the accompanying deeds to the Seior Curate Vicar, Don Miguel

O'Reilly, in order that he might report on their contents.

Father O'Reilly was shocked when he read the petition.

Don Miguel Ysnardy, the good Catholic, the Church Warden, the

11
Public Interpreter, the contractor for the new church, was

trying to take the public cemetery from his parish and use it

for farm land. It was hard to believe. Furthermore, some of

Ysnardy's statements were untrue. Angry and indignant, he

determined to set the record straight with the following reply.



SEROR GOVERNOR

Don Miguel Ysnardy seeks by this petition to dis-

posess the Church of a parcel of land that serves as

the public cemetery or holy ground, claiming that it

is his property. The two deeds that accompany it pur-

port to prove this. Because the petition raises sev-

eral points that do not concern him, and because what

he says untruthful and misleading, I find it necessary

to inform you at length in order to vindicate the honor

of the church which is in my charge, and also my own

character.

In the course of more than twenty-two years it

has not ccme to my attention that anyone has claimed

the land in question, nor has the petitioner yet proved

his claim up to the present time, I do not consider

that our conversation, as we returned from a funeral,










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 115

was a suggestion as he says. He merely said that it

would be nice if the cemetery were closer. I replied

that it would please me if it were around the church,

or even in front cf the Alley of the Portuguese. He

answered that he was going to present a petition, and

that he would do it in such a way that it would be car-

ried out by the residents.

Seior Governor, this is very different from the

statement in his shocking and irritating petition. Ee

never told me that the aforesaid lot was his, and that

it would therefore be necessary for the Church to va-

cate it. He said nothing at all along these lines.

Why does he now say that I ignore his suggestions, when

he never made any?

It is not by a Title of Sufficiency, as he says,

that the Vicariate, contrary to just and equitable

procedures, is charging two pesos for burial in the

cemetery. The amount of the fee has been set by the

Most Illustrious Sefor Bishop; moreover, it is not

two pesos. It is twelve resales for an edult cr.d six

reales for a child. These are ecclesiastical fees,

not money for a grave site. Offices of Secretaries.

. and of Notaries Public charge two, three or

four pesos for documents they prepare, and usually

neither the paper nor the work is worth that much.

Don Miguel Ysnardy, as a Public Interpreter, collects

fees for his translations, which intrir.sically are not










116 EL ESCRIBANO

worth the money they cost.

Nor is it by a Title of Sufficiency that the

Church uses that place to bury the dead of the par-

ish, but by a Title of Use from time inmemorial. In

the time of the old Spaniards it was used for the

burial of the Christian Indians of the Village of

Tolomato, and it is very likely that it had its begin-

nings in that Church and Village. This use continued

until the Province passed to the British Government,

as Dona Nicolasa G6mez, Don Manuel Solana, and all of

the old Floridians can testify.

Later, in the year 1777, when the Mahonese 2
33
came from Mosquito3 to this town, Lcrenzo Cap6, the

retired sexton, on assignment from Doctor Don Pedro

Camps, Missionary Pastor, Curate and Vicar of this

Mahonese Colony, petitioned the British Governor,

Seior Don Patrick Tonyn, for the aforesaid land. In

consideration of its earlier use, he granted the pe-

tition without charge, at a time when the land was

worth more than now. Since tern. it has continued

in use without interruption as a public cemetery for

Catholics, and not from the time of the Spanish Gov-

ernor Senor Don Vicente Manuel de Zespedes, as ill-

informed Dor Miguel Ysnardy says in his rambling pe-

tition.

When the Royal Order was issued that the pro-

perties that had belonged to the Old Floridians










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 117

should be restored to then:, the Churcl was in pos-

session of this land which undoubtedly belonged to

it. I have seen the Order, but cannot now recall

the date. There has been sufficient Title of Per-

petual Ownership by the pastors who have administered

the cemetery, and who will [continue to] administer

it.

Nevertheless, acknowledging that when the Spanish

regained this Province the cemetery property was held

by Don Jesse Fish, who remained a subject of His Cath-

olic Majesty, the Royal Exchequer claimed possession

of the tower of the church which was still in exist-

ence. They tore it down, directing its materials to

those uses that they thought good, whether they were

proper uses or not. I did not believe, nor was it my

concern to investigate, whether the property in question

was included in the sale of Fish's possessions. I was

not stopped from conducting burials, and the buyer did

not claim the right to ownership of the cemetery.

I never had the least notice that it would be possible

for the Church to lcse possession.

For these reasons I do not think that the two

attached deeds that he presents fully prove the owner-

ship that he seeks. It is necessary to present other

proofs [illegible] with legal deeds by the

owners who have possessed it from the time of the Ces-

sion of Florida to the English, and thus prove that










118 EL ESCRIBANO
14
the cemetery is included in the five fields named

in the deeds cited. Certainly, if the deeds say only

that the property measures 188 varas from north to

south, without setting any boundaries from east to

west, there is doubt as to where cre should begin to

measure off the aforesaid 188 varas, and whether or

not the cemetery is included in them; for neither the

fences now around the cemetery, nor those around other

lands recently purchased, serve to prove property bound-

aries because of the many changes in the streets, houses

and lots, as is well known. The various disputes that

have arisen about boundaries prco; thick; they world he

endless if every resident were to measure his house lots

and fields.

It is not surprising that the Church has no formal

deed to prove its ancient ownership of the cemetery.

Without a doubt the Church of Tolomato was built at the

expense of His Majesty through a Royal Grant. The Royal

Order, such as that for the present new church, should

be available for presentation in the Court oi Justice;

hcweer, because of its antiquity, this has suffered the

same loss as the archives of the government and parish

and records of the Notary Public. As experience teaches,

these essential documents of that period cannot

be found. .

In the first deed attached to the petition the

fields are described as being outside of the line that









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 119

encloses the City, whereas in the second deed they

are inside the lines. To reconcile this contra-

diction it will be necessary to present tc the Court

of Justice of your Lordship an earlier deed in order

to determine which one ought to be corrected.

Disregarding the right which the Church holds

to the aforesaid cemetery, and considering only the

ancient and uninterrupted A tse which it has enjoyed

and the large number of bodies buried there; these,

to my way of thinking, are insuperable difficulties

to granting the claims of Don Miguel Isnardy. Most

importantly, consider the scandal that will be caused

when the people find out that this place is going to

be profaned; a place which has always been respected,

even by heathens, and held as sacred from the most

ancient times. The bodies of their fathers, brothers

and other relatives now rest here, their remains to

be treated as the bones of unclean animals to pro-

vide nourishment for the garden plants that wil] be

cultivated by Dor Miguel Ysnardy, who is well known

for his piety.

Ah, Seior! What a contradiction of sentiments

is found in the petitioner! His broken heart suffers

to see the crosses torn down and the earth rocted u:p

by all kinds of animals (which has not happened in

17
my time). These would be gophers. It is not pos-

sible to keep them out because the fence is not made










120 EL ESCRIBANO

of stone. Without any remorse Le seeks to use the ceme-

tery for cultivation; this is undoubtedly more profane

and more productive of irreverent desecration. The

first is committed blindly and unknowingly by anrarls;

the second with open eyes by a Catholic, the Mayordcmc
18
de Animas and Warden of this Church.

Because of the honorable position to which he

has recently beer. confirmed, he should well know that

the meager church fees are scarcely sufficient to allow

the celebration of Divine worship wit, ord;.n1ry propriety,

much less to allow for the construction of a stone fence

as he suggests.

The second difficulty is that there is no suitable

land to the north cr northwest tc which the cemetery

cculd be r(nved. It would rct be satisfactory for it to

be located to the south or east, nor would Your Lordship

allow it, because the prevailing winds are from that

quarter in the summer, and the vapors that would arise

from the corpses would be harmful to the health of the

residents.

The last difficulty is that I can neither author-

ize nor allow the transfer of the dead without the full

knowledge and permission of my Most .111.stricL.s SeOor

Bishop.

Now Ysnardy, foreseeing perhaps these and other

problems, moderates his position. He argues that. in

the event the cemetery must remain in this area, it









TOLOMATC CEMETERY 121

should be transferred to one side of the property

or the other; or, that the Church should buy the

whole plot. To secure one of these well-premedi-

tated ends be sets foith, occestly and graciously,

the injuries that he will otherwise suffer. But

did he not buy the property with this obvious en-

cumbrance? Has he not seen, ever since he has been

in the Province, that this land has always been the

holy ground or cemetery? Did this use start, per-

haps, after he bought it? Surely Don Miguel Ysnardy

can say that he bought the aforesaid property with

complete kncwl.edge, certainty, and. reflection for

the purposes which he himself, in his strange way,

kncws better than anyone else.

If the Church has need for nc more than the

cemetery, why must it tly the wbo3e tract, as he

improperly demands? But assuming that the Church

would have to buy all of it, the payment would be

what the petitioner paid when he acquired it; one

hundred and fifty pesos. I am sure that on Yiguel

Ysnardy did not pay more than that, and it was not

in silver coin, but in goods: brandy, sugar, starch

and the like. Then, for the love of God! why did

he put four hundred pesos in the deed? '

I leave it to Your Lodship to reflect upon this

matter. It is certain that neither Your Lordship,

nor I, nor anyone else who has common sense, could










122 EL ESCPIBANO

believe that LEo Yigtel YEraarcdy paid tour hundred

pesos to Don Sebastian Garcia when there were no more

improvements than those existing when Doctor Ton.as

Travers bought it fcr one hundred and fifty pesos.

Doctor Tr~vers never imagined that, according to

the intentions of the petitioner, the remains of his

deceased wife would be sold in his own lifetime.

Upon my honor; her memory, as well as that of many

others, deserves to be treated with some degree of

veneration, including the memory of two venerable
20
priests, who in their time inspired the respect

of many Catholics who, even today, cry cut: "Beware

of laying hands uron the annointed of the Lord!"

Finally, if Don Miguel Ysnardy persists in his

demands, it will be necessary, although disagreeable

to me, to submit this matter to judicial review, so

that, in this way, evidence of all matters which are

in dispute may be presented by both parties, and a

legal decision may be reached.

This is all that I am able to tell Your Lordship

about this matter, in compliance with yoLr request.

St. Augustine, Florida, June 8, 3799.


Is/ Miguel O'Reilly



The record does not include the decision of Governor

White; however, the Church retained the use of the cemetery.









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 123

Father O'Feil3y's letter to the Governor furnishes a

wealth of information: "in the time of the old Spaniards"

- prior to 1763 the cemetery was used for the burial of

the Christian Indians of Tolometo; "it is very likely that

it had its beginning in that Church and Village," and "this

use continued until the Province passed to the British Gov-

ernment." He does not mention its use during the British

Period from the year 1763 until Fcthcr Carps obtained per-

mission to use it in 1777.

The earliest available church records of burials in

Tolomato Cemetery begin with the Second Spanish Period. The

first death recorded (in Latin) Tvas that cf Gcrtrucds Pons,

who died October 6, 1784. The second was that of Juan Triay,

on November 17, and the third was Manual L6pez on December 1.21

A part of the first page of these records is reproduced in

reduced form on page 124. A partial translation of the first

record is as follows:

On October 6, in the Year of Our Lord 1784, Ger-

trudis Pons, wife of Andres Paceti and a faithful

member of the Holy Mother Church, gave up her Eoul

to God . On the next day she was buried in

the Cemetery of the Parish Church of St. Augustine,

East Florida . As a poor woman, she did not

dispose of anything.


/s/ Thomas Hassett


The record of Father Camps' death, and burial in Tolomato








EL ESCRIBANO


.1'Y6 .44 ew
PL~;* J: ^ .
LIXIA &/,it9rt' u4rA^ 9i17OJi iCr%#ww^^ c >#14&2
(6f %p ^i, vt4 API 'iesa Z?1 44










JLg. % _,l~,Pfl~lfl 1 1 ,.,, ..r- ., y i '
jS ea' &4oa 4141 I< ^*A
6tp//f ci ^ ^^n. t e- <^


























First page of the first register of white adult deaths
in the parish of St. Augustine, beginning October 6, 1784,
following the session of East Florida by Great Britain to
floi the csin of^^^w^^fvyfvc^*^' Eastst^ Floridai by Gt tain to
Spain. 0^' ^^^ ^^"^X.^3^^ .^^:^<^










Spain.


124








TOLOMATO CEMETERY


4N --












Ie" III /
/ J^ ,Uif iI. ..














,, ," V6 !-








Record of the death and burial of Father Pedro Camps in
Tolomato Cemetery in 1790, and of the transfer of his
remains to a vault in the Cathedral of St. Augustine
in 1800.
e'~r ^ 3'" ^a)&<" w' *'- .. y~
^^^ 1~~ J+ L/ ..,7^ ^^^ ^^l




^y--1' Jrb/rcrc d^ <'/^;-'^ y/.^ / ,^^-,




3/Ck ^^^^>^ r_^^., ^ ,r."^/,.








in 1800.


125








EL ESCRIBANO


,-nJua Mc /uen, about 56 yea.s ol, Captai of Miy iti

Ie tr .? he en Z- eGov 'e hite rago teW -1e.
*_ 3i.A A _dJ &^ ^ _p.& *" "














ere o bi 2 'Don Juan'sueab bodyrs to Ca pA tin for Chlist-









iand briend ofeGovernor at 5 nriqe Whveite died oftyphus
th hacienda t fo'W the ne t. mohninA Ri. v ,eas n dacsn-















anb. fried of G ave at r Dn a En r e hiteg ied fra rivl t as
ath hacienda o nor the Sntx Jor hsRvr eato Jackson-
was said for him on the following Sa turday, October 17





















(See Note 24).
t h taci at.^ four the nexa m /o ^Srning. 3F olloin disin

The arv a th CityGt at five the next morning and
burie SLd in a ew g tata is u m jarke fta A9 funeral Mas


wa ad forh the foll Sauray Oco 1/


(iSoe Note(o 24a ).Hr








Don Juan McQueen, about 56 years old, Captain of Militia


ville, on Sunday, October 11, 1807, and was temporarily

Father O'Reilly, he dispatched Don Bartolomy e de Castro y
Ferrer to bring Don Juan's body to St. Augustine for Christ-
ian burial. Leaving at 5:30 in the evening he arrived at
the hacienda at four the next morning, Following disin-
terment, the body in its casket was carried by twelve negro
slaves, in relays, the thirteen leagues to St. Augustine.
they arrived at the City Gate at five the next morning and
proceeded directly to Tolomato Cemetery where Don Juan was
buried in a grave that is unmarked today. A funeral Mass
was said for him on the following Saturday, October 17.


126









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 127

Cemetery in 1790, and of the transfer of his remains for

interment in the Parish Church (now the Cathedral) of
22
St. Augustine in the year 1800, are reproduced on Page 125.

The record of the death and burial of Don Juan McQueen, made
23
newly famous by Eugenia Price in her book of the same name,2
24
is reproduced on Page 126.2

This first record-book of adult white burials is for

the years 1784-1809. The "Cemete.ry cf the Parish Church"

is not named; however, of the 437 deaths recorded there is

only one instance where another place of burial is mentioned.

Doia Anna Welch, second wife cf Louis Philip Fatio and a

native ci Ealiife, Nova Scctia, iho died on November 6, 1791,

and was buried in a family cemetery on the plantation of

Don Francis Philip Fatic at New Switzerland on the St. Johns
25
River.2

In the cemetery itself, the gravestc.re ith the earliest

date is on the sepulcher of Elizabeth Forrester, a girl of 15,

from Philadelphia, "who departed this life on the 20th day of

December, 1798 ." The parish register also records her
26
death. It was this sepv.chler that wLs vandalized by a num-

ber of convicts, who turned grave-robbers and stripped the

body of its clothing. Following this desecration it was pro-

posed to have the cemetery securely fenced against intruders,

but it appears that funds were not available for this pur-
27
pose.

There is a story of uncertain origin family tradition

perhaps that the burial of Mrs. Catalina Usina Llambias, who










128 EL ESCRIBANO

died February 22, 1886, was probably the last in Tolomato

Cemetery. Joseph Francis Llambias fulfilled a promise made

to his mother on her death-bed that she would be buried there,

although an Ordinance prohibiting such burials had been passed

by the City of St. Augustine. The burial took place, as pro-

mised. Mr. Llambias was arrested, and was said to have paid

the fine willingly, feeling that it was worth the cost to com-

ply with the last wish of his mother.28

This City Ordinance prohibited burials in Tolomato, and

in the "Protestant Cemetery situated just north of the City
29
Gates" after July 1, 1884.29 According to the Municipal Docket,

Mr. Jos. Llambias was charged on February 27, 1886 with burying

a body in Tolomato Cemetery. He pled guilty: "Defendant stated

that he would waive the question of his rights in the premises

& submit to decision of the Court." The sentence was $25.00
30
and costs.3

There was, however, a later interment. A vault at the

rear of the cemetery, alongside the chapel, bears the names of

Mattie, Marcella and Robert P. Sabate. According to the in-

scription on the vault, Robert died January 11, 1892, and this is
31
confirmed by parish records. The Muncipal Docket shows that

on January 15, 1892, a Mr. Raymond Sabate appeared and pled not
32
guilty. He was fined $25.00 and costs. Unfortunately, the

records of the Docket (Police Court) in 1892 were not as complete

as they were in 1886, and do not reflect the offense with which

Mr. Raymond Sabate was charged. It seems obvious, however, that

he and Mr. Jos. Llambias were guilty of the same "crimes" and










TOLOMATO CEMETERY


paid the same penalties.

The mortuary chapel at the rear of the cemetery is of

interest because it once contained the remains of a Cuban

patriot-priest, Father Felix Francisco Jose Maria de la

Concepcion Varela, and now holds the remains of Most Rev-

erend Jean Pierre Augustin Marcellin Verot, first bishop of

St. Augustine.

Father Varela, born in Havana in 1788, was a Cuban

member of the Spanish Cortes. Because of his strong advocacy

of Cuban rights he was banished from Spain and its posses-

sions. He fled to New York where he became vicar-general

of the diocese. He visited St. Augustine a number of times,

attracted by its Spanish atmosphere. Following his death in

the City in 1853 he was buried in Tolomato Cemetery. Two

years later Cuban admirers built the chapel, exhumed Father

Varela's remains and placed them in the chapel vault.33

Bishop Verot died on June 10,

1876. Dr. Michael V. Gannon describes

S' his funeral, in part, by quoting a

S letter written by Father P. Dufau,

pastor of a Jacksonville church: "It

was expected that his remains could be kept, but all

means that had been taken to that purpose failed, and the

ceremony of his burial could be delayed no longer than last

Monday, June 12th." Dr. Gannon continues: "On that date

the body was placed in an $80 'metallic case' and carried

into the cathedral for a requiem Mass offered by Father


129










130 EL ESCRIBANO

Dufau. A hastily improvised burial followed at Tolomato Cemetery

in the City, where Verot's body was placed in a mortuary chapel

vault already containing the body of a Cuban Patriot-priest,

Felix Francisco Jose Maria de la Concepci6n Varela. In order

to make a place for Verot's body the bones of Varela were put

in a pillow-case and moved to one end of the vault."34

Father Varela's remains were to be moved yet another time.

A monument honoring him as a national hero had been built in

Cuba, and in 1911 his bones were removed from the vault in To-
35
lomato and placed in the Cuban shrine bearing his name.3

Following this action on the part of the Cubans, there

remained a nagging uncertainty on the part of some, both in

Cuba and in Florida, that the remains removed in 1911 might

be those of Bishop Verot rather than those of Father Varela.

In June 1975 it was decided to open the vault to determine,

once and for all, who was actually interred there. The slab

was removed, the metal casket opened; and there, indeed, were

the remarkably preserved remains of Bishop Verot, garbed in

his episcopal vestments. The casket was then re-sealed, and

the slab restored.3

Commemorative ceremonies were held in the cemetery on

June 10, 1976, honoring the 100th anniversary of Verot's death.

Following plans made a year earlier, the dilapidated mortuary

chapel had been renovated and a new stone, suitably inscribed,

placed over the vault. The cemetery itself was cleaned for the

occasion, and work begun on restoring the broken headstones.

The entire project, under the direction of Mr. X. L. Pellicer,










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 131

was authorized and funded by the Most Reverend Paul M.

Tanner, the present Bishop of St. Augustine, under the

direction of Monsignor James J. Heslin, pastor of the

Cathedral. A suitable marker will be installed, describing

the site and its history, and a regular program of mainte-

nance established.

The cemetery today, unused for some ninety years, is

a testament to sporadic vandalism and benign neglect. In

addition to the broken headstones, many are missing. Some

of the above-ground vaults have suffered from natural or

man-made damage. As with many old cemeteries, it appears to

have been early forgotten; a traveler to St. Augustine visited

the "Spanish burying ground" and published her impressions

in 1889, five years after the cemetery was officially closed

to additional burials. She wrote, in part:

In this neglected spot even memory seems dead.

The gate, opening on the dusty road, is fastened by

a twist of rusted wire, which leaves a dull red

mark upon the lichen of the crumbling post. The

wooden crosses above the sleepers are flaked and

gray in the blaze of sunshine; some of the cross-

pieces have fallen, and the white "I. H. S." has

faded into the weather-stained wood.

There is a path from the broken gate, running.

straight between the graves, to a small chapel at

the other end of the enclosure, where Mass has been

said for the departed. Doubtless "Antonia Jose










EL ESCRIBANO


Terriande de Muir, a native of Cadiz" who was

"lamented by a respectable circle of friends"

was borne up this green pathway .

The writer also deplored:

this forsaken burying-ground, over-run by

hens and dogs and full of blooming weeds, with
37
broken and neglected tombs. .

The above-named deceased was actually Antonio Jos' Fer-

nando de Mier, who died October 24th, 1823, aged 48 years

and 8 months. His sepulcher may be found today at the very

end of the pathway described by the writer, directly opposite

the Sabate vault. The inscription on his tomb reads: "An

afflicted widow and a numerous family are left to mourn his

death, while a respectable circle of friends feel and lament

his loss. Possessed of many good qualities, he passed thro'

life with the character of a useful member of society."

A plan of the cemetery, with the names of all those whose

graves are marked, is on Page 133. When one considers the

large number of burials that must have taken place in the

span of more than one hundred years, the number of vaults

andheadstones is small indeed. It would appear that in most

cases the graves were marked with simple wooden crosses.

There was no native stone suitable for tombstones, and im-

ported stone was costly. By and large, over those years,

most of the people of St. Augustine needed their money for

necessities. As Bishop Verot said, in an 1872 appeal to his

northern friends for funds: "The people of St. Augustine


132











TOLOMATO CEMETERY


Mickler Babies A T
Cr2arles H B dayA son First Bishop of
Robert H 8 days St. Auustne
Vincent J 11 days t

n SABAT ,
Marcellaa"T-7-1882
Nettle 11-22-1880
tbo P -1i~i ai I born 5-23-180S


Maria
de Robles
2-26-1854 one

eI Olvro Olivero.
S -4-" ..6-1861


L-- -- ||died6-10-1876 I Catalina
... .H LJ Benet
11-19-46
Lucas Creyon AoAntoi Antonica James
10-21-1821 sa Antonio V NAO 'ra MHcl d Jos
S de Sier Alvarez 6-28-1856 227-1860
S 0-24-1823 10-1-185 Antoniic | aul LJ 7-1-1867
Ant ono-C O'Hara afael Reid
Maria S Hertz ____Alvarez V-2- 856
7-12-1867 i.t 4-20-1866 Mle Reid 12-30-1869
Frances A Soan H bb T Agnes 8 ) 2Thee
5--1865 l 2-i-36 eJ an ane ) TZare
C Matthew Sol ja2736 Mary Jne dale
8-13-1871 Ann M oers J Sarah ) Sisters
ary BP Solana Hernandez 9-29-1857 il es T aya 6-20-1865
11-7-1821 6-12-1849 -- O'Ha Prnkln D aya 5-30-1868
SRISOKA[ 3-31-1864 nLouis as 5- 30-168
S- t...-..Louise F Baya 12-17-1868
Chr!iii I i M1ry C Say 12-27-1868
om sma 6-24-1858 IMaryi t k ResBet Bay* 12-27-1868
Joseph A
Totly Ponce 4-25-1854 !
1877 Prancesk. di 4--8edro Benet
.-------- 2-5-1870


Mary Adele -1 -
Drysdale I I |
2-24-1860 jU I i |
I.------ L .J Mrs Jane
Masters
Father 2-17-1855


Edward
Mayne
12-21-1834

Ann Wilkinsor
McMillan
3-20-1829


pmi
Brother Louis, of the
Christian Brothers
7-17-1861


Alex P Avice
6-22-1883
Mary N .Avice |
5-19-1.77 -


Margaret
Weir
7-10-1869
ium


Little 4I- I'
Kate II I
Bravo
7-5-1857 Maria
Mernand
Hernandez


Mary
Darlin
7-27-1884 |


Elizabeth
Porrestcr
12-20-1798

no


prancisca Gonzalez
3- 7-1876

Mary M R Andreu
Manucy Mrs M R Andreu
9-30-1867

Patrick
Keenan
1-9-1877


WCharles
oIbert S BZ .
1830 Brnest"-!T30-1883
m Bugene 2 7-25-1871
James P 7-19-1882
James 5-26-1873
---Christiann Raymond C 7-23-1854
SI n B O'Sullivan
S10-5-1841
L-J
Father
Michael
Crob Pathe
6.1-18221 Ii t l
Michael
Willias -a | O'Reilly
Stubhbs 9-13-1812
3-15-1857
John
Reyes
-sf110-25-1873
Mary Mary
wone I Reyes
5-10-1883LJ -s5-1876


3-16-1857 Bllen
Iinkham
JJ O 5-28-1879
Daniel Pnk*ha
5-23-1836

taul
Masters
5-10-1863 Antonio
Augustener Masters
Masters 8-28-1862
7-26-1881 Matilda
Masters
9-28-1869


sn Major
Stephen cri I william
Carreras Corp'l iver
Srank Papy 1Ta re1 r
21st USCT 10-31-1840


T. P.-
SLeoncia Solana
3-8-1874
Mary C Itector
SMasters Company
I ii i i 9-3-1858 .21pany A

Pacetti
P-14-1974


133


Antonio
Bay*
I--
* I


Virginia
Walton
4-2-1854



0 m

Aindres r...
12-4y58 Perdinand
7-2-1855


Janes P-
Morran
L1-28-1877
m










134 EL ESCRIBANO

have always been poor, and are likely to remain so."38



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to express my appreciation to Mrs. Eugenia B.

Arana and to Mrs. Jacqueline Bearden of the St. Augustine

Historical Library Staff for their gracious assistance in

researching material needed for this article, to Mrs. Arana

for transcribing the almost illegible Spanish from the micro-

films of "Ysnardy vs Roman Catholic Church", and to Mrs. Arana

and to Dr. Overton G. Ganong for their considerable help in

the translation of the original Spanish into English.




NOTES


1. Don Antonio de Arredondo, "Plan de la Ciudad de San
Augustin de la Florida y sus Contornos. ." May 15,
1737. Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain,
Est. 87, Caj. 1, Leg. 2(2); Photostat, Library of
Congress; Copy, St. Augustine Historical Society
Library (SAHS). See also Woodbury Lowery, The Lowery
Collection, A Descriptive List of Maps of the Spanish
Possessions within the present Limits of the United
States, 1502-1820 (Washington, D. C., 1912) p. 274
No. 344.

2. Robert Allen Matter, "Missions in the Defense of Spanish
Florida, 1566-1710," Florida Historical Quarterly (FHQ),
Vol. LIV, No. 1 (July 1975), pp 34-35.

3. Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente "Plano de la Rl. Fuerza,
Baluartes, y Linea de la Plaza de Sn. Agustin de Florida
S. ." Map of the City of St. Augustine, etc. as of
January 22, 1764; Dep6sito Hidrografico, Madrid, Photostat,
SAHS.

4. John Bartram, "Diary of a Journey through the Carolinas,
Georgia and Florida," Transactions of the American Philo-
sophical Society, Vol. XXXIII, Part I (Philadelphia, 1942),
p. 53. He described the church of Tolomato as:









TOLOMATO CEMETERY


". there is A dutch church A little way out of
town, but y? soldiers has pulld it almost to pieses
for y. wood to burn; broke y! pillars & arches; y.
steeple yet stands, its not 20 foot square, hath A
great Cupola of stone about 4 story high, but all y.
wood is taken away & y. stairs broke down for fire-
wood. ." (Punctuation supplied).

5. Dr. William Stork, A Description of East Florida, with
a Journal Kept by John Bartram of Philadelphia, Botanist
to His Majesty for the Floridas; upon A Journey from
St. Augustine up the River of St. John's as far as the
Lakes. 3d ed., much enlarged and improved (London,
1769). p. 11. This edition also includes a map by
Thos. Jefferys of "St. Augustine, Capital of East
Florida," which designates the site of Tolomato as
"The Dutch Church."

6. According to Spanish burial records for the years 1720-
1763 in the Archives of the Diocese of St. Augustine
(ADSA), twenty-seven Germans and Swiss died in the year
1744: seven men, nine women and eleven children, some
very young. Twenty-two burials took place in October
between the tenth and the thirty-first. This is more
than in all other years combined. The cause, or causes
of these deaths are unknown; however, they suggest the
possibility of shipwreck. It appears that none received
the Last Rites of the Catholic church, although they
were given Christian burial, possibly at Tolomato. See
also Don Joseph Elixio de la Puente to Don Antonio Martl
Bucarelli, September 26, 1766, AGI 87-1-5/3, enclosure
No. 1, Report on the families who left Florida on the
evacuation of the Presidio, Part I Stetson Collection,
Photostats at SAHS.

7. J. Purcell, "A Plan of St. Augustine and of its Environs
in East Florida, 1777," National Archives, Record Group
No. 77, L 53; Photostat SAHS.

8. Mariano de la Rocque, "Plano Particular de la Ciudad de
S. Agustin de la Florida con el Detalle de sus Mansanas,
Casas y Solares, Castillo, Quarteles y Pabellones segin
en la situaci6n que se hallaba en primero de Abril del
corriente aio. San Agustin de la Florida, 25 de abril
de 1788. A Special Map of the City of St. Augustine,
Florida, with a detailed account of its Blocks, Lots,
Houses, Fort, Barracks and Pavillions, according to the
condition as it was as of the first of April, 1788.
U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Manage-
ment, Washington; Photostat at SAHS.

9. Library of Congress, East Florida Papers, Records of
Civil Proceedings 1785-1821, Bundle 334R2, 1797-1798


135










136 EL ESCRIBANO

Cont'd., Reel 154, Document No. 26, Miguel Ysnardy vs
Roman Catholic Church.

10. "Documentos" Documents, instruments, deeds; here
translated as "deeds" because of evidence developed
in the course of the controversy.

11. Albert C. Manucy, "The Cathedral of St. Augustine"
[mimeographed], (U. S. Department of the Interior,
National Park Service, Washington, D. C., 1946) p. 31;
Michael J. Curley, Church and State in Spanish Florida,
1783-1822 (Washington, 1940), p. 268, n. 34.

12. "Mahonese" natives of Mahon, the Capital of the Island
of Menorca, the home of most of the colonists who left
New Smyrna for St. Augustine in 1777.

13. "Mosquito" a name then sometimes applied to the settle-
ment of New Smyrna, located near what was then called
Mosquito Inlet, the present Ponce de Leon Inlet.

14. "The five fields." See St. John County Deed Book L,
pp. 87-90, Indenture, Gabriel W. Perpall & wife Marianna
to George Field, February 14, 1835: "All of that certain
lot or parcel of land. in the District where the
Church called Tolomato was once founded outside the lines
that surrounded the said City at that time, measuring
North and South one hundred and eighty-eight varas and
East and West from the said lines (now Tolomato Street)
to San Sebastian Creek. bounded on the north by the
Street on which the bulwark of the town is raised, and
the ditch adjacent thereto. which extends from Fort
Marion to the said San Sebastian Creek. and embraces
the five lots of land which were sold by one Juan Jose
Elixio de la Puente, as Attorney of Antonia Monson et al
[Ger6nima Garcia, Lorenza Sanchez, Antonio de Castro,
and Andres Garcia] to one Jesse Fish on the seventh day
of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven
hundred and sixty-four... excepting only the burying
ground belonging to the Catholic Church of St. Augus-
tine. ." The Indenture states that the property
was sold by the Spanish Government on March 31, 1792
to one Thomas Travers at a Judicial sale, and then gives
the following chain of ownership: to Sebastian Garcia,
May 23, 1796; to Miguel Ysnardy, April 23, 1799; to
Charles Gobert, October 17, 1804; and to Gabriel W.
Perpall, March 6, 1822. See also Deed Book "B", pp. 36-
38; St. Johns County Court House, St. Augustine, Florida.

15. The "new" church, the present Cathedral, was finished
two years earlier, in 1797. Manucy, "The Cathedral of
St. Augustine", p. 33.









TOLOMATO CEMETERY


16. The document says "interrupted" but the context favors
the opposite.

17. "Topos," literally, "moles," too small to cause damage
No doubt these were gophers, burrowing land tortoises.

18. Mayordomo de Animas. Literally, Steward of the Animas,
(Souls), the ringing of the church bells, generally at
sunset, to remind the faithful to pray for the dead.
In his will, dated March 30, 1803 shortly before his
death on April 8, he asked to be buried under the Altar
of the Souls in the church that he had built. He may
well have belonged to the Confraternity of the Holy
Souls. On February 16, 1800, he was formally given the
title of "Church Warden," a position in which he had
already "served for many years with zeal and honor."
See: Library of Congress, East Florida Papers, Records
of Testamentary Proceedings 1756-1821, Bundle 307, and
Correspondence to and from the Bishops and Curates,
Bundle 100.

19. It would appear that Ysnardy prepared the Deed from
Sebastian Garcia to show an inflated payment of 400
pesos for the lots, to justify the possible sale of
the property to the Church for the same amount. Also
according to the Deed, Ysnardy paid the 400 pesos in
cash. See Library of Congress, East Florida Papers,
Escritures 1784-1821, Bundle 372, Years 1799-1800,
Reel 171, Document No. 12.

20. The "two venerable priests" were very likely Father
Pedro Camps, who died May 19, 1790, and Father Narciso
Font, who died January 13, 1793. When the present
Cathedral was built, the remains of both priests were
removed to vaults in the church; Father Camps on May 20,
1800 and Father Font on May 27. See ADSA, "Libro Pri-
mero de Adultos blancos difuntos. ." This is the
first register of white adult deaths occurring in the
Parish of St. Augustine, East Florida, beginning Octo-
ber, 1784, following the cession of East Florida to
Spain by Great Britain, pp. 29-30, 51, 95-96.

21. Ibid., p. 1.

22. Ibid., pp. 29, 30, Number 86 and p. 95, Number 222.

23. Eugenia Price, Don Juan McQueen (Philadelphia and
New York, 1974).

24. "Libro Primero. ." p. 146, Number 399; Library of
Congress, East Florida Papers, Testamentary Proceedings,
Bundle 309Q13 (1807-1813), Document No. 2, Reel 140,
"Inventories made on account of the death of Captain
of Militia Don Juan McQueen." (Translation by Mrs. Euge-
nia B. Arana).


137










138 EL ESCRIBANO

25. "Libro Primero. ." pp. 40, 41, Number 110; Gertrude N.
L'Engle, A Collection of Letters, Information and Data
on our Family, vol. I, pp. 29, 37, (Jacksonville, Florida,
1951).

26. "Libro primero. p. 85, Number 202.

27. Library of Congress, East Florida Papers, Correspondence
from and to the Bishops and Curates, 1786-1821,
Bundle 10018, Reel No. 38, Document No. 238.

28. El Escribano, "The Fernandez-Llambias House, Vol. 4,
No. 2, (April 1967), p. 7. Church Records indicate that
the death occurred on February 16, 1886, rather than the
22nd. (Death Records, 1882-1921, Page 6) ADSA.

29. Ordinances of the City of St. Augustine, Book 4,
January 26, 1866 May 23, 1889, p. 242, "An ordinance
prohibiting further interment in vaults or otherwise in
the Protestant Cemetery near City Gates, and Catholic
Cemetery on Tolomato Street." This ordinance, passed
by the City Council on April 21, 1884, was effective
on and after the first day of July, 1884. SAHS.

30. City of St. Augustine Municipal Docket, January 1885 -
January 15, 1887, pp. 74, 75, Number 123. SAHS.

31 ADSA, Death Records, 1882-1921, Page 14.

32. City of St. Augustine Municipal Docket (Police Court).
November 15, 1888 March 27, 1893, p. 110.

33. Michael V. Gannon, Rebel Bishop (Milwaukee, 1964),
p. 248, n. 59.

34. Ibid., pp. 247-248.

35. Ibid., p. 248, n. 59

36. The opening of the vault and casket was witnessed by
Most Reverend Paul M. Tanner, Bishop of St. Augustine;
Msgr. James J. Heslin, Rector of the Cathedral;
Msgr. Terrell F. Solana, Dr. Michael V. Gannon,
Mr. X. L. Pellicer, and a number of others including
the author of this article. As to the doubt about the
remains removed to .Cuba, see Gannon, Rebel Bishop,
p. 248, n. 59.

37. Margaret DeLand, Florida Days (Boston, 1889), pp. 81-86.


38. Gannon, Rebel Bishop, p. 234.




Full Text








TOLOMATO CEMETERY 133




ickler Babies AUST V T Maria

chRet H day Firs Bishop e obLs
Robert H 8days St. A agstine e
0 0] 1o: .. i olive. SABAT 6-4-1858 apy

Nettle 11-22-1880
1 Marelbor7 512381805 Robert ed 111-1892. Cataln H Benet
11-19-46
LucasAntonio e teyon Antonica aes 10-21-1821 tono Antonio V A 0 Jos de Mier Alvarez 6-28-1856 2-27-1860 aar 10-24-1823 10-1-1855 Antonica SRamadi & I 7-100-1867 Antonio- C O'Hars sfael Reid
7-12-1867 Anita 4-20-1866 Mae Reid 2-0-1869 Pranc5s4 A 5ana ,1 H aibbs Agnes B ) Three 5-4-1865 2-7-36 Mary Mary Jsne ) asdale C Matthf. Sola Sah Sisters 8-13-1871 nn M 9oers S Sisters r EP Sola 9-29-1857 Wlliam Anes .T .yl 6-20-1865 11-7-1821 6-12-1849 Prankli D aya -30-1868 ofRISCHA "" L..__ J Louise R Bay 12-17-1868 Christina May-- M C Pays 12-27-1868 S 6-24 1858 ai Mary Benet Bay 12-27-1868 me pneJoseph A I ,B B 7 6 Tolsey Ponce 4-25-1854 II 1877 Prances. k e edro Benet L. 2-5-1870

mDry a '3-7-1876
2-24-1860 t u I Andre
S1 I 1 : Mary R Andreu L-...----..--. ... Mrs Jane Manucy Mrs M R Andreu
Masters 9-30-1867 Father 2-17-1855
Edward
Mayne -mL
12-21-1834 keenan
(I pM 1-9-1877
Ann Wilkinsor Brother Louis, of the
McMillan Christian Brothers
3-20-1829 7-17-1861 Market h rlea weir Gobert SAOEZ 7-10-1869 1830 Ernest- -30-1883 Alex P Avice mm ugene E 7-25-1871 6-22-1883 James P 7-19-1882 Mary N.Avice James R 5-26-1873 5.19-1477 Clrisciasn Jases 5-26-1873 5-19-a7 Christivanna Raymond C 7-23-1854


Little 4S 0 I Kate 4 I
7Brvo 7 .L__J Father 7-5-1857 Maria Michael Hernandez 6Crosb22 Pate Michael
illias 0 O'Reilly Stubhs 9-13-1812 3-15-1857
Maylizabeth John Antonio 7 L2 e- 10- s8737 -2 Mary Mary Vo esece Reyes
me5-101883 -5 -1876

1 I- Mary Carmen Virginia Mickler Walton 3-16-1857 Ellen 4-2-1854 Pinkha
on" 0 5-28-1879 Captain Verot naniel Finkha Hurlbert 1879 5-23-1836
Andres
124 p58 Perdinand rs 1p 5-10-1863 Antonio 7-2-1855 Augustener Masters Masters 8*28-1862 7-26-1881 Matilda Masters
9-28-1869


Major
Stephen William Carreras Corp'l Trav rs s P. rank apy 0-1-1840 Nor an 21t USCT
L1-28-1877
T. P.
0 Leoncia Solana 3-8-1874
Mary C m Hector Masters Copany As 9-3-1858 21s, U
I21st USCT
"wo Pacetti 8-14-1974










122 EL ESCRiBA.NO

believe that Lou Yiguel Ynrard.y paid tour hundred

pesos to Don Sebastian Garcla when there were no more

improvements than those existing when Doctor Ton.as Travers bought it for one hundred and fifty pesos.

Doctor Travers never imagined that, according to

the intentions of the petitioner, the remains of his

deceased wife would be sold in his own lifetime.

Upon my honor; her memory, as well as that of mary others, deserves to be treated with some degree of veneration, including the memory of two venerable
20
priests, who in their time inspired the respect

of many Catholics who, even today, cry out: "FEware

of laying hands u.on the annointed of the Lord'"

Finally, if Don Miguel Ysnardy persists in his

demands, it will be necessary, although disagreeable

to me, to submit this matter to judicial review, so

that, in this way, evidence of all matters which are

in dispute may be presented by both parties, and a

legal decision may be reached.

This is all that I am able to tell Your Lordship

about this matter. in comply ance with yotr request.

St. Augustine, Florida, June 8, 1799.


/s/ Miguel O'Reilly



The record does not include the decision of Governor

White; however, the Church retained the use of the cemetery.









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 123 Father G'Pei3y's letter to the Governor furnishes a wealth of information: "in the time of the old Spaniards"

- prior to 1763 the cemetery was used for the burial of the Christian Indians of Tolometo; "it is very likely that it had its beginning in that Church and Village," and "this use continued until the Province passed to the British Government." He does not mention its use during the British Period from the year 1763 until Fethcr Camps obtained permission to use it in 1777.

The earliest available church records of burials in

Tolomato Cemetery begin with the Second Spanish Period. The first death recorded (in Latin) vas that cf Gcrtrucd Pons, who died October 6, 1784. The second was that of Juan Triay, on November 17, and the third was Manual L6pez on December i.21 A part of the first page of these records is reproduced in reduced form on page 124. A partial translation of the first record is as follows:

On October 6, in the Year of Our Lord 1784, Gertrudis Pons, wife of Andres Paceti and a faithful member of the Holy Mother Church, gave up her Loul

to Cod . . On the next day she was buried in

the Cemetery of the Parish Church of St. Augustine,

East Florida . . As a poor woman, she did not

dispose of anything.


/s/ Thomas Hassett


The record of Father Camps' death, and burial in Tolomato









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 119 encloses the City, whereas in the second deed they are inside the lines. To reconcile this contradiction it will be necessary to present tc the Court of Justice of your Lordship an earlier deed in order

to determine which one ought to be corrected.

Disregarding the right which the Church holds to the. aforesaid cemetery, and considering only the ancient and uninterrupted tse which it has enjoyed and the large number of bodies buried there; these, to my way of thinking, are insuperable difficulties to granting the claims of Don Miguel Isnardy. Most importantly, consider the scandal that will be caused when the people find out that this place is going to

be profaned; a place which has always been respected, even by heathens, and held as sacred from the most ancient times. The bodies of thber fathers, brothers and other relatives now rest here, their remains to be treated as the bones of unclean animals to provide nourishment for the garden plants that will be cultivated by Dot: Miguel Ysnardy, who is well. known for his piety.

Ah, Sefor! What a contradiction of sentiments

is found in the petitioner! His broken heart suffers to see the crosses torn down and the earth rocted up by all kinds of animals (which has not happened in 17
my time). These would be gophers. It is not possible to keep them out because the fence is not made










118 EL ESCRIBANO 14
the cemetery is included in the five fields framed

in the deeds cited. Certainly, if the deeds say only

that the property measures 188 varas from north to south, without setting any boundaries from east to

west, there is doubt as to where cre she:cd begin to measure off the aforesaid 188 varas, and whether or

not the cemetery is included in them; for neither the

fences now around the cemetery, nor those around other

lands recently purchusee, serve to prove property boundaries because of the many changes in the streets, houses

and lots, as is well known. The various disputes that have arisen about boundaries prc~e thick; they wculd be

endless if every resident were to measure his house lots

and fields.

It is not surprising that the Church has no formal

deed to prove its ancient ownership of the cemetery.

Without a doubt the Church of Tolomato was built at the expense of His Majesty through a Royal Grant. The Royal Order, such as that for the present new church, 5 should

be available for presentation in the Court ci Justice;

hcwexer, because of its antiquity, this has suffered the

same loss as the archives of the government and parish

and records of the Notary Public. As experience teaches,

these . essential documents of that period cannot

be found. . .

In the first deed attached to the petition the

fields are described as being outside of the line that








126 EL ESCRIBANO











Don Juan Mc/ueen, about 56 y oatain o Mi

rl oa" o b 1 ..







u reA. te i oeArnr W thei. e-tW .





ieana' i t en. he aid tedfrmient th o n r e Wi
athi acindo t ae aSt Jns Aivr es oJ n
















Dollanvues, in rlays, Ote5hrtn la, a s ti S o Ailti buried there. When Governor White got thre news from Ferrer to bring Don Juan's body to St. Augustine for Christian burial. Leaving at s5:30 in the evening he arrived at the hacienda at four the next morning. Following disinterment, the body in its casket was carried by twelve negro



buried in a grave that is unmarked today. A funeral Mass was said for him on the following Saturday, October 17.
DonJua Mcuee, aout56 ear ol, Cptan o Mieli
and fiendof Gvernr Do Enrque hite di 1 -1 11, u
at ishaiedaonth S. ohn Rve, as o 0ckOn
vil, -; re Is.e 1,187 adwa emoarl

burie thee. Wen A( IWI MAW0 40 t f..C:ro
















temette od n tscskt a crre b tevener











TOLOMATO CEMETERY 111 Vicariate nor the Church paid anything for it, (and therefore, he alleges the Church should pay) [for moving the Cemetery.]

He has thoroughly inquired into this matter, and finds that the Government gave Doctor Thomas Hassett, the previous curate and vicar, permission to use the place with the consent of the original owner, Mr. Jesse Fish, now deceased. It is certain that this permission was not perpetual, but temporary until the Government could sell the lots or fields at an auction of the estate of the said Fish that he ordered to cover his innumerable just debts.

(At this final sale the cry was loud and intelligible; your petitioner was present and was actually one of the buyers of property which he still owns.) The Governor reserved for the Royal Exchequer the materials at the site ccntained in the stone tower, or bell tower, of Tolomato, explaining through the Crown's attorney that Fish, when alive, was able to buy the land or field, but not the tower which had been constructed with funds from the Royal Treasury.

That eventually the tower was torn down by

order of the Governor. This simple fact, and the proofs contained in these deeds, show clearly that the sale [of the said fields] was genuine, free cf all encumbrances, and true. . .




-L E- CR16 9











TOLOMATO CEMETERY

By Charles S. Coomes*


Tolomato Cemetery is located in St. Augustine on the west side of Cordova Street and a short distance south of Orange Street. The date that the site was first used as a cemetery is uncertain, but various maps and records point to a time late in the First Spanish Period, and perhaps in the early 1700's.

A 1737 map of the City of St. Augustine shows six small

Indian villages at various points near the City.1 The "Church and Village of Tolomato, 14 men and 33 women and children" was at the site of the present Tolomato Cemetery. These six little villages may well have been populated by the Christian Indians who fled to St. Augustine for protection following the destruction of the missions of West Florida by Colonel James Moore of South Carolina in 1704.2 The Indians who lived near the City joined the Spanish in leaving St. Augustine when the English acquired Florida in 1763.

Puente's 1764 map of the City describes a building located at the site of Tolomatc Cemetery as a "Little stone Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Tolomato Indian Vil3
lage." John Bartram, who traveled through Florida in



*Mr. Coomes is Treasurer of the St. Augustine Historical Society.

[107]









TOLOMATO CEMETEFY 1.27 Cemetery in 1790, and of the transfer of his remains for interment in the Parish Church (now the Cathedral) of
22
St. Augustine in the year 1800, are reproduced on Page 125. The record of the death and burial of Don Juan McQueen, made newly famous by Eugenia Price in her book of the same name,23 is reproduced on Page 126.24

This first record-book of adult white burials is for the years 1784-1809,. Tbe "Cervtr-ry cof the Parish Church" is not named; however, of the 437 deaths recorded there is only one instance where another place of burial is mentioned. Dcia Anna Welch, second wife cf Louis Philip Fatio and a native c EIlifex, Nova Soctia, who died on November 6, 1791, and was buried in a family cemetery on the plantaticn of Don Francis Philip Fatic at New Switzerland on the St. Jochns
25
River.

In the cemetery itself, the gravestcrce with the earliest date is on the sepulcher of Elizabeth Forrester, a girl of 15, from Philadelphia, "who departed this life on the 20th day of December 1798 . ." The parish register also records her death.26 It was this sepichiter that was vandalized by a number of convicts, who turned grave-robbers and stripped the body of its clothing. Following this desecration it was proposed to have the cemetery securely fenced against intruders, but it appears that funds were not available for this pur27
pose.

There is a story of uncertain origin family tradition

perhaps that the burial of Mrs. Catalina Usina Llambias, who










130 EL ESCRIBANO Dufau. A hastily improvised burial followed at Tolomato Cemetery in the City, where Verot's body was placed in a mortuary chapel vault already containing the body of a Cuban Patriot-priest, Felix Francisco Jos& Maria de la ConcepciOn Varela. In order to make a place for Verot's body the bones of Varela were put in a pillow-case and moved to one end of the vault."34

Father Varela's remains were to be moved yet another time. A monument honoring him as a national hero had been built in Cuba, and in 1911 his bones were removed from the vault in Tolomato and placed in the Cuban shrine bearing his name.35

Following this action on the part of the Cubans, there remained a nagging uncertainty on the part of some, both in Cuba and in Florida, that the remains removed in 1911 might be those of Bishop Verot rather than those of Father Varela. In June 1975 it was decided to open the vault to determine, once and for all, who was actually interred there. The slab was removed, the metal casket opened; and there, indeed, were the remarkably preserved remains of Bishop Verot, garbed in his episcopal vestments. The casket was then re-sealed, and the slab restored.36

Commemorative ceremonies were held in the cemetery on

June 10, 1976, honoring the 100th anniversary of Verot's death. Following plans made a year earlier, the dilapidated mortuary chapel had been renovated and a new stone, suitably inscribed, placed over the vault. The cemetery itself was cleaned for the occasion, and work begun on restoring the broken headstones. The entire project, under the direction of Mr. X. L. Pellicer,










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 131 was authorized and funded by the Most Reverend Paul M. Tanner, the present Bishop of St. Augustine, under the direction of Monsignor James J. Heslin, pastor of the Cathedral. A suitable marker will be installed, describing the site and its history, and a regular program of maintenance established.

The cemetery today, unused for some ninety years, is a testament to sporadic vandalism and benign neglect. In addition to the broken headstones, many are missing. Some of the above-ground vaults have suffered from natural or man-made damage. As with many old cemeteries, it appears to have been early forgotten; a traveler to St. Augustine visited the "Spanish burying ground" and published her impressions in 1889, five years after the cemetery was officially closed to additional burials. She wrote, in part:

In this neglected spot even memory seems dead.

The gate, opening on the dusty road, is fastened by

a twist of rusted wire, which leaves a dull red

mark upon the lichen of the crumbling post. The wooden crosses above the sleepers are flaked and

gray in the blaze of sunshine; some of the crosspieces have fallen, and the white "I. H. S." has

faded into the weather-stained wood.

There is a path from the broken gate, running.

straight between the graves, to a small chapel at

the other end of the enclosure, where Mass has been

said for the departed. Doubtless "Antonia Jose









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 135

". . there is A dutch church A little way out of
town, but y? soldiers has pulld it allmost to pieses
for y! wood to burn; broke y? pillars & arches; ye steeple yet stands, its not 20 foot square, hath A
great Cupola of stone about 4 story high, but all y
e
wood is taken away & y. stairs broke down for firewood. . ." (Punctuation supplied).

5. Dr. William Stork, A Description of East Florida, with
a Journal Kept by John Bartram of Philadelphia, Botanist
to His Majesty for the Floridas; upon A Journey from
St. Augustine up the River of St. John's as far as the
Lakes. . 3d ed., much enlarged and improved (London,
1769). p. 11. This edition also includes a map by
Thos. Jefferys of "St. Augustine, Capital of East
Florida," which designates the site of Tolomato as
"The Dutch Church."

6. According to Spanish burial records for the years 17201763 in the Archives of the Diocese of St. Augustine
(ADSA), twenty-seven Germans and Swiss died in the year 1744: seven men, nine women and eleven children, some
very young. Twenty-two burials took place in October between the tenth and the thirty-first. This is more
than in all other years combined. The cause, or causes of these deaths are unknown; however, they suggest the
possibility of shipwreck. It appears that none received
the Last Rites of the Catholic church, although they
were given Christian burial, possibly at Tolomato. See also Don Joseph Elixio de la Puente to Don Antonio Marie
Bucarelli, September 26, 1766, AGI 87-1-5/3, enclosure
No. 1, Report on the families who left Florida on the evacuation of the Presidio, Part I Stetson Collection,
Photostats at SAHS.

7. J. Purcell, "A Plan of St. Augustine and of its Environs
in East Florida, 1777," National Archives, Record Group
No. 77, L 53; Photostat SAHS.

8. Mariano de la Rocque, "Plano Particular de la Ciudad de
S. Agustin de la Florida con el Detalle de sus Mansanas, Casas y Solares, Castillo, Quarteles y Pabellones segun
en la situaciin que se hallaba en primero de Abril del corriente aio. San Agustin de la Florida, 25 de abril
de 1788. A Special Map of the City of St. Augustine, Florida, with a detailed account of its Blocks, Lots,
Houses, Fort, Barracks and Pavillions, according to the
condition as it was as of the first of April, 1788.
U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Washington; Photostat at SAHS.

9. Library of Congress, East Florida Papers, Records of
Civil Proceedings 1785-1821, Bundle 334R2, 1797-1798










132 EL ESCRIBANO

Terriande de Muir, a native of Cadiz" who was "lamented by a respectable circle of friends"

was borne up this green pathway . The writer also deplored:

this forsaken burying-ground, over-run by

hens and dogs and full of blooming weeds, with 37
broken and neglected tombs .

The above-named deceased was actually Antonio Josi Fernando de Mier, who died October 24th, 1823, aged 48 years and 8 months. His sepulcher may be found today at the very end of the pathway described by the writer, directly opposite the Sabate vault. The inscription on his tomb reads: "An afflicted widow and a numerous family are left to mourn his death, while a respectable circle of friends feel and lament his loss. Possessed of many good qualities, he passed thro' life with the character of a useful member of society."

A plan of the cemetery, with the names of all those whose graves are marked, is on Page 133. When one considers the large number of burials that must have taken place in the span of more than one hundred years, the number of vaults andheadstones is small indeed. It would appear that in most cases the graves were marked with simple wooden crosses. There was no native stone suitable for tombstones, and imported stone was costly. By and large, over those years, most of the people of St. Augustine needed their money for necessities. As Bishop Verot said, in an 1872 appeal to his northern friends for funds: "The people of St. Augustine










li6 EL ESCRIBANO

worth the money they cost.

Nor is it by a Title of Sufficiency that the

Church uses that place to bury the dead of the perish, but by a Title of Use from time immemorial. In

the time of the old Spaniards it was used for the burial of the Christian Indians of the Village of

Tolomato, and it is very likely that it had its beginnings in that Church and Village. This use continued

until the Province passed to the British Government,

as Doia Nicolasa Gmez, Don Manuel Solana, and all of

the old Floridians can testify.

Later, in the year 1777, when the Mahonesel2
33
came from Mosquito to this town, Lcrenzo Cap6, the retired sexton, on assignment from Doctor Don Pedro

Camps, Missionary Pastor, Curate and Vicar of this

Mahonese Colony, petitioned the British Governor,

Senior Don Patrick Tonyn, for the aforesaid land. In consideration of its earlier use, he granted the petition without charge, at a time when the land was worth more than now. Since tHen, it has continued

in use without interruption as a public cemetery for Catholics, and not from the time of the Spanish Governor Seor Don Vicente Manuel de Zspedes, as illinformed Don Migue! Ysnardy says in his rambling petition.

When the Royal Order was issued that the properties that had belonged to the Old Floridians










128 EL ESCRIBANO died February 22, 1886, was probably the last in Tolomato Cemetery. Joseph Francis Llambias fulfilled a promise made to his mother on her death-bed that she would be buried there, although an Ordinance prohibiting such burials had been passed by the City of St. Augustine. The burial took place, as promised. Mr. Llambias was arrested, and was said to have paid the fine willingly, feeling that it was worth the cost to comply with the last wish of his mother.28

This City Ordinance prohibited burials in Tolomato, and in the "Protestant Cemetery situated just north of the City Gates" after July 1, 1884.29 According to the Municipal Docket, Mr. Jos. Llambias was charged on February 27, 1886 with burying a body in Tolomato Cemetery. He pled guilty: "Defendant stated that he would waive the question of his rights in the premises & submit to decision of the Court." The sentence was $25.00 and costs.30

There was, however, a later interment. A vault at the

rear of the cemetery, alongside the chapel, bears the names of Mattie, Marcella and Robert P. Sabate. According to the inscription on the vault, Robert died January 11, 1892, and this is confirmed by parish records.31 The Muncipal Docket shows that on January 15, 1892, a Mr. Raymond Sabate appeared and pled not 32
guilty. He was fined $25.00 and costs. Unfortunately, the records of the Docket (Police Court) in 1892 were not as complete as they were in 1886, and do not reflect the offense with which Mr. Raymond Sabate was charged. It seems obvious, however, that he and Mr. Jos. Llambias were guilty of the same "crimes" and









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 125







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.. .... .. .






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P ". ,sc/~7 v./'7



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APA













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Il
.do































Record of the death and burial of Father Pedro Camps in Tolomato Cemetery in 1790, and of the transfer of his
remains to a vault in the Cathedral of St. Augustine in 1800.










138 EL ESCRIBANO

25. "Libro Primero. ." pp. 40, 41, Number 110; Gertrude N.
L'Engle, A Collection of Letters, Information and Data
on our Family, vol. I, pp. 29, 37, (Jacksonville, Florida,
1951).

26. "Libro primero. . p. 85, Number 202.

27. Library of Congress, East Florida Papers, Correspondence
from and to the Bishops and Curates, 1786-1821,
Bundle 10018, Reel No. 38, Document No. 238.

28. El Escribano, "The Fernindez-Llambias House, Vol. 4,
No. 2, (April 1967), p. 7. Church Records indicate that the death occurred on February 16, 1886, rather than the
22nd. (Death Records, 1882-1921, Page 6) ADSA.

29. Ordinances of the City of St. Augustine, Book 4,
January 26, 1866 May 23, 1889, p. 242, "An ordinance
prohibiting further interment in vaults or otherwise in
the Protestant Cemetery near City Gates, and Catholic Cemetery on Tolomato Street." This ordinance, passed by the City Council on April 21, 1884, was effective
on and after the first day of July, 1884. SAHS.

30. City of St. Augustine Municipal Docket, January 1885
January 15, 1887, pp. 74, 75, Number 123. SAHS.

31 ADSA, Death Records, 1882-1921, Page 14.

32. City of St. Augustine Municipal Docket (Police Court).
November 15, 1888 March 27, 1893, p. 110.

33. Michael V. Gannon, Rebel Bishop (Milwaukee, 1964),
p. 248, n. 59.

34. Ibid., pp. 247-248.

35. Ibid., p. 248, n. 59

36. The opening of the vault and casket was witnessed by
Most Reverend Paul M. Tanner, Bishop of St. Augustine;
Msgr. James J. Heslin, Rector of the Cathedral; Msgr. Terrell F. Solana, Dr. Michael V. Gannon,
Mr. X. L. Pellicer, and a number of others including
the author of this article. As to the doubt about the
remains removed to .Cuba, see Gannon, Rebel Bishop,
p. 248, n. 59.

37. Margaret DeLand, Florida Days (Boston, 1889), pp. 81-86.

38. Gannon, Rebel Bishop, p. 234.










114 EL ESCRIBANO

On the same date Governor White sent the petition and

the accompanying deeds to the Sefior Curate Vicar, Don Miguel O'Reilly, in order that he might report on their contents.

Father O'Reilly was shocked when he read the petition.

Don Miguel Ysnardy, the good Catholic, the Church Warden, the 11
Public Interpreter, the contractor for the new church, was trying to take the public cemetery from his parish and use it for farm land. It was hard to believe. Furthermore, some of Ysnardy's statements were untrue. Angry and indignant, he determined to set the record straight with the following reply.



SEOR GOVERNOR

Don Miguel Ysnardy seeks by this petition to disposess the Church of a parcel of land that serves as the public cemetery or holy ground, claiming that it

is his property. The two deeds that accompany it purport to prove this. Because the petition raises several points that do not concern him, and because what

he says untruthful and misleading, I find it necessary to inform you at length in order to vindicate the honor

of the church which is in my charge, and also my own

character.

In the course of more than twenty-two years it

has not come to my attention that anyone has claimed

the land in question, nor has the petitioner yet proved

his claim up to the present time, I do not consider that our conversation, as we returned from a funeral,










112 EL ESCRIBANO

That the first of these obstacles is one cf the

greatest that must be overcome in order to carry out.

his plans, it being very detrimental to his interests for the cemetery to remain on his property any longer

than shall be necessary to lay cut another. This is so for the following reasons: First, the site occupied by the cemetery is right in the middle of his

properties and almost divides them into two separate

holdings; second, assuming that the Vicariate might claim the right to use the land, and would offer to pay equitably for the part occupied by the cemetery,

it would cost him . twice as much to fence the

rest, and even so the fields would always remain

broken up.

In any event, if it is necessary for the cemetery to remain in the general are6, it will have to

be moved to one side or the other, with payment for its

fair value.

Third, and most fundamental: for what reason

does the Vicariate charge for and profit from a plot of ground belonging to another? The profit belongs

to the legitimate owner in possession of it, or to the

one who might have possessed it and has not asserted

his claim up to the present . .

That [furthermore, the Vicariate.] ought to have

fenced [the cemetery], and could very well have done it, to prevent the entrance of all kinds of animals,










108 EL ESCRIBANO

1765-1766, described a "Dutch" church near the City. Doctor William Stork noted in 1769 that "Within the first line, near the town, was a small settlement of Germans, who had a church

"5
of their own." It is possible that the church could have been used for a time by residents from Switzerland who spoke German, or "Dutch."6 J. Purcell, on a map of 1777, noted the "Ruins of a Spanish Church" at this location.7

Rocque's map of St. Augustine may be the earliest that

specifically includes Tolomatc Cemetery.8 This large map details all of the streets, buildings and property lines of the City as of April 1, 1788. The northern part of the map, cov-ering that part of the City from just south of the Plaza to the City Gate, reduced for publication, is on Page 109. Some of the border, the title and scale have been re-arranged to fit the proportions of the page.

Two legal documents of the Second Spanish Period tell

much of the early history of the cemetery, and of the customs of the times. The first was written by Don Miguel Ysnardy, a man of means and importance in the City, who had lately acquired five lots, or fields, that lay south of the present Orange Street and west of today's Cordova Street. From north to south the property measured some 188 varas (to about the present Saragossa Street), and it extended westward to the San Sebastian River. He claimed that the cemetery was on his property, and petitioned Governor Don Enrique White to recognize his rights and help him get the cemetery removed. Because










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 113 some of which knock down or break the crosses and others root up the ground. It is almost impossible to keep these animals out unless the fences are made of stone, as is customary everywhere alse, to prevent the desecration that cccurs. Does nct this always happen, in situations like this?

That finally, Senor Governor, tc avoid the dissension and confusion that trouble the Court of Justice, your petitioner proposes a further solution: if his deeds are authentic, there is no doubt that the lot or fields are his. If so, why should he not obtain possession of them . free of all encumbrances and costs . ?

Also, the Vicariate should stop charging for

anything that does not belong to it, such as the two pesos, and should either move the said cemetery to another location or buy all the fields. And that, rather than get involved in litigation, be is ready

to give up the land for what it is worth.

Than in virtue of all the reasons set forth, your petitioner asks you to judge this matter so that he may receive your favorable decision, which he hopes to obtain, and may take possession of the described lands. Florida, May 28, 1799.


/s/ Miguel de Ysnardy










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 117 should be restored to them, the Churc was in possession of this land which undoubtedly belonged to it. I have seen the Order, but cannot now recall the date. There has been sufficient Title of Perpetual Ownership by the pastors who have administered the cemetery, and who will [continue to] administer it.

Nevertheless, acknowledging that when the Spanish regained this Province the cemetery property was held by Don Jesse Fish, who remained a subject of His Catholic Majesty, the Royal Exchequer claimed possession of the tower of the church which was still in existence. They tore it down, directing its materials to those uses that they thought good, whether they were proper uses or not. I did not believe, nor was it my concern to investigate, whether the property in question was included in the sale of Fish's possessions. I was not stopped from conducting burials, and the buyer did not claim the right to ownership of the cemetery. I never had the least notice that it would be possible

for the Church to icEe possession.

For these reasons I do not think that the two

attached deeds that he presents fully prove the ownership that he seeks. It is necessary to present other proofs .. [illegible] . with legal deeds by the owners who have possessed it from the time of the Cession of Florida to the English, and thus prove that










134 EL ESCRIBANO

have always been poor, and are likely to remain so."38



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I wish to express my appreciation to Mrs. Eugenia B.

Arana and to Mrs. Jacqueline Bearden of the St. Augustine

Historical Library Staff for their gracious assistance in

researching material needed for this article, to Mrs. Arana

for transcribing the almost illegible Spanish from the microfilms of "Ysnardy vs Roman Catholic Church", and to Mrs. Arana

and to Dr. Overton G. Ganong for their considerable help in

the translation of the original Spanish into English.




NOTES


1. Don Antonio de Arredondo, "Plan de la Ciudad de San
Augustin de la Florida y sus Contornos. ." May 15,
1737. Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain, Est. 87, Caj. 1, Leg. 2(2); Photostat, Library of Congress; Copy, St. Augustine Historical Society
Library (SAHS). See also Woodbury Lowery, The Lowery Collection, A Descriptive List of Maps of the Spanish
Possessions within the present Limits of the United
States, 1502-1820 (Washington, D. C., 1912) p. 274
No. 344.

2. Robert Allen Matter, "Missions in the Defense of Spanish
Florida, 1566-1710," Florida Historical Quarterly (FHQ),
Vol. LIV, No. 1 (July 1975), pp 34-35.

3. Juan Joseph Elixio de la Puente "Plano de la Rl. Fuerza,
Baluartes, y Linea de la Plaza de Sn. Agustin de Florida
S. ." Map of the City of St. Augustine, etc. as of
January 22, 1764; Dep6sito Hidrogrifico, Madrid, Photostat,
SAHS.

4. John Bartram, "Diary of a Journey through the Carolinas,
Georgia and Florida," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. XXXIII, Part I (Philadelphia, 1942),
p. 53. He described the church of Tolomato as:









TOLOMATC CEMETERY 121 should be transferred to one side of the property or the other; or, that the Church should buy the whole plot. To secure one of these well-premeditated ends be sets foth, modestly and graciously, the injuries that he will otherwise suffer. But did he not buy the property with this obvious encumbrarce? Pas he not seen, ever since he has been in tle Province, that this land has always been the holy ground or cemetery? Did this use start, perhaps, after he bought it? Surely Don Miguel Ysnardy can say that he bought the aforesaid property with complete kncule.ge, certainty, and. reflection for the purposes which he himself, in his strange way, kncws better than anyone else.

If the Church has need for no more than the cemetery, why must it try the Uole tract, as he improperly demands? But assuming that the Church would have to buy all of it, the payment would be what the petitioner paid when he acquired it; one hundred and tifty pesos. I am sure that Lon Yiguel Ysnardy did not pay more than that, and it was not in silver coin, but in goods: brandy, sugar, starch and the like. Then, for the love of God! why did he put four hundred pesos in the deed?

I leave it to Your Lodship to reflect upon this matter. It is certain that neither Your Lordship, nor I, nor anyone else who has common sense, could










136 EL ESCRIBANO

Cont'd., Reel 154, Document No. 26, Miguel Ysnardy vs
Roman Catholic Church.

10. "Documentos" Documents, instruments, deeds; here
translated as "deeds" because of evidence developed
in the course of the controversy.

11. Albert C. Manucy, "The Cathedral of St. Augustine"
[mimeographed], (U. S. Department of the Interior,
National Park Service, Washington, D. C., 1946) p. 31;
Michael J. Curley, Church and State in Spanish Florida,
1783-1822 (Washington, 1940), p. 268, n. 34.

12. "Mahonese" natives of Mahon, the Capital of the Island
of Menorca, the home of most of the colonists who left
New Smyrna for St. Augustine in 1777.

13. "Mosquito" a name then sometimes applied to the settlement of New Smyrna, located near what was then called
Mosquito Inlet, the present Ponce de Leon Inlet.

14. "The five fields." See St. John County Deed Book L,
pp. 87-90, Indenture, Gabriel W. Perpall & wife Marianna to George Field, February 14, 1835: "All of that certain
lot or parcel of land. . in the District where the
Church called Tolomato was once founded outside the lines
that surrounded the said City at that time, measuring
North and South one hundred and eighty-eight varas and East and West from the said lines (now Tolomato Street) to San Sebastian Creek. . bounded on the north by the
Street on which the bulwark of the town is raised, and the ditch adjacent thereto. . which extends from Fort Marion to the said San Sebastian Creek. . and embraces
the five lots of land which were sold by one Juan Jose
Elixio de la Puente, as Attorney of Antonia Monson et al
[Ger6nima Garcia, Lorenza Sanchez, Antonio de Castro,
and Andres Garcia] to one Jesse Fish on the seventh day
of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven
hundred and sixty-four. . excepting only the burying ground belonging to the Catholic Church of St. Augustine. . ." The Indenture states that the property was sold by the Spanish Government on March 31, 1792
to one Thomas Travers at a Judicial sale, and then gives
the following chain of ownership: to Sebastian Garcia,
May 23, 1796; to Miguel Ysnardy, April 23, 1799; to Charles Gobert, October 17, 1804; and to Gabriel W.
Perpall, March 6, 1822. See also Deed Book "B", pp. 3638; St. Johns County Court House, St. Augustine, Florida.

15. The "new" church, the present Cathedral, was finished
two years earlier, in 1797. Manucy, "The Cathedral of
St. Augustine", p. 33.







TOLOMATO CEMETERY 109 .







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TOLOMATO CEMETERY 115 was a suggestion as he says. He merely said that it would be nice if the cemetery were closer. I replied that it would please me if it were around the church, or even in front of the Alley of the Portuguese. He answered that he was going to present a petition, and that he would do it in such a way that it would be carried out by the residents.

Seiior Governor, this is very different from the

statement in his shocking and irritating petition. Ee never told me that the aforesaid lot was his, and that it would therefore be necessary for the Church to vacate it. He said nothing at all along these lines. Why does he now say that I ignore his suggestions, when he never made any?

It is not by a Title of Sufficiency, as he says, that the Vicariate, contrary to just and equitable procedures, is charging two pesos for burial in the cemetery. The amount of the fee has been set by the Most Illustrious Senor Bishop; moreover, it is not two pesos. It is twelve reales for an Edult r.d six reales for a child. These are ecclesiastical fees, not money for a grave site. Offices of Secretaries. . and . of Notaries Public charge two, three or four pesos for documents they prepare, and usually neither the paper nor the work is worth that much. Don Miguel Ysnardy, as a Public Interpreter, collects fees for his translations, wtich intrir.sically are not










TOLOMATO CEMETERY 129 paid the same penalties.

The mortuary chapel at the rear of the cemetery is of interest because it once contained the remains of a Cuban patriot-priest, Father Felix Francisco Jose Maria de la Concepcion Varela, and now holds the remains of Most Reverend Jean Pierre Augustin Marcellin Verot, first bishop of St. Augustine.

Father Varela, born in Havana in 1788, was a Cuban

member of the Spanish Cortes. Because of his strong advocacy of Cuban rights he was banished from Spain and its possessions. He fled to New York where he became vicar-general of the diocese. He visited St. Augustine a number of times, attracted by its Spanish atmosphere. Following his death in the City in 1853 he was buried in Tolomato Cemetery. Two years later Cuban admirers built the chapel, exhumed Father Varela's remains and placed them in the chapel vault.33 Bishop Verot died on June 10, 1876. Dr. Michael V. Gannon describes his funeral, in part, by quoting a letter written by Father P. Dufau, pastor of a Jacksonville church: "It was expected that his remains could be kept, . but all means that had been taken to that purpose failed, and the ceremony of his burial could be delayed no longer than last Monday, June 12th." Dr. Gannon continues: "On that date the body was placed in an $80 'metallic case' and carried into the cathedral for a requiem Mass offered by Father









TOLOMATO CEMETERY 137

16. The document says "interrupted" but the context favors
the opposite.

17. "Topos," literally, "moles," too small to cause damage
No doubt these were gophers, burrowing land tortoises.

18. Mayordomo de Animas. Literally, Steward of the Animas,
(Souls), the ringing of the church bells, generally at
sunset, to remind the faithful to pray for the dead.
In his will, dated March 30, 1803 shortly before his
death on April 8, he asked to be buried under the Altar
of the Souls in the church that he had built. He may
well have belonged to the Confraternity of the Holy
Souls. On February 16, 1800, he was formally given the
title of "Church Warden," a position in which he had already "served for many years with zeal and honor."
See: Library of Congress, East Florida Papers, Records
of Testamentary Proceedings 1756-1821, Bundle 307, and
Correspondence to and from the Bishops and Curates,
Bundle 100.

19. It would appear that Ysnardy prepared the Deed from
Sebastian Garcia to show an inflated payment of 400 pesos for the lots, to justify the possible sale of
the property to the Church for the same amount. Also according to the Deed, Ysnardy paid the 400 pesos in cash. See Library of Congress, East Florida Papers,
Escritures 1784-1821, Bundle 372, Years 1799-1800,
Reel 171, Document No. 12.

20. The "two venerable priests" were very likely Father
Pedro Camps, who died May 19, 1790, and Father Narciso
Font, who died January 13, 1793. When the present
Cathedral was built, the remains of both priests were
removed to vaults in the church; Father Camps on May 20,
1800 and Father Font on May 27. See ADSA, "Libro Primero de Adultos blancos difuntos. ." This is the
first register of white adult deaths occuring in the
Parish of St. Augustine, East Florida, beginning October, 1784, following the cession of East Florida to
Spain by Great Britain, pp. 29-30, 51, 95-96.

21. Ibid., p. 1.

22. Ibid., pp. 29, 30, Number 86 and p. 95, Number 222.

23. Eugenia Price, Don Juan McQueen (Philadelphia and
New York, 1974).

24. "Libro Primero. ." p. 146, Number 399; Library of
Congress, East Florida Papers, Testamentary Proceedings,
Bundle 309Q13 (1807-1813), Document No. 2, Reel 140, "Inventories made on account of the death of Captain
of Militia Don Juan McQueen." (Translation by Mrs. Eugenia B. Arana).










120 EL ESCRIBANO

of stone.. Without any remorse Le seeks to use the cemetery for cultivation; this is undoubtedly more profane

and more productive of irreverent desecration. The

first is committed blindly and unknowingly b- arnmcls; the second with open eyes by a Catholic, the Mayordcic
18
de Animas and Warden of this Church.

Because of the honorable position to which he

has recently been confirmed, he should well know that

the meager church fees are scarcely sufficient to allow

the celebraticn of Divine wor ship Jtit or ;ina ry propriety,

much less to allow for the construction of a stone fence

as he suggests.

The second difficulty is that there is no suitable

land to the north cr northwest tc which the cemnhetery

cculd be roved. it would rnot be satisfactory for it to

be located to the south or east, nor would Your Lcrdship

allow it, because the prevailing winds are from that

quarter in the summer, and the vapors that would arise from the corpses ould be harmful to the health of the

residents.

The last difficulty is that I can neither authorize nor allow the transfer of the dead without the full

knowledge and permission of my Most 111.ustricus Seiror

Bishop.

Now Ysnardy, foreseeing perhaps these and other

problems, moderates his position. He argues that in

the event the cemetery must remain in this area, it









124 EL ESCRIBANO










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First page of the first register of white adult deaths in the parish of St. Augustine, beginning October 6, 1784, following the cession of East Florida by Great Britain to Spain.
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110 EL ESCRIBANO

of their significance the two documents are quoted here in full.



SEROR COVERNCR

Don Miguel Ysnardy, a resident of this City,

discloses to Your Lordship, with due respect: !0
That the attached deeds prove conclusively

that the lot, or fields, that are described in the.,

are his, and that he acquired the property to cultivate

and settle it and to clear the land and its surroundings of the great number and mass of century plants, prickly pears, [Spanish] bayonets and palms [palmettos] which surround it and serve more as a hiding

place for poisonous animals than for anything else.

That two obstacles prevent him: first, the public and only cemetery is located nearly in the

middle of ,these fields; second, the indifference with which the Reverend Curate has regarded, and continues to regard, his suggestion that the cemetery should be

moved.

That from the beginning, and with cnly a Title

of Sufficiency (contrary to equitable and just procedures) the Vicariate has been charging two pesos

for a burial, whereas it has no right to do so; and

the Church continues to occupy the property even

though it does not own it, in spite of the efforts

of its rightful owner. Furthermore, neither the