Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 35, Lot 1
Title: Partial Historical Background for Southern Part of Lot 35
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Partial Historical Background for Southern Part of Lot 35
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: Block 35, Lot 1
Physical Description: Research notes
Language: English
Creator: Parker, Susan R.
Publication Date: 1989
Physical Location:
Box: 7
Divider: Block 35
Folder: B35 L-1
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
32 Aviles Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Father O'Reilly House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 32 Aviles Street
Coordinates: 29.890417 x -81.311379
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094857
Volume ID: VID00005
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: B35-L1

Full Text


Negotiations among diplomats ended two centuries of Spanish

possession when the Florida peninsula was ceded to Great Britain

in 1763. Evacuating Spanish property owners looked to Juan

Joseph Elixio de la Puente to handle the sale of land and houses

that they were forced to abandon. This real estate agent's map

of St. Augustine of 1764 shows that the extreme southwest corner

of Block 35 was a vacant lot belonging to Petronia Arritola,

measuring 14 varas north to south and 13-1/2 east to west. To

its north on today's St. George Street was the tabby house of Don

Antonio Nieto, 14-1/2 X 47-1/2 varas. To her east Antonio

Crespo's tabby and frame house awaited new occupants, its lot

measuring 17 X 14.*

A few days before Christmas 1767, Juan (John) Nutt bought

Petronia's lot for the equivalent of 13 pesos 4 reales according

to Jesse Fish' account book. That ledger has no listing for

either Crespo or Nieto." Mr. Nutt apparently had problems with

his continued ownership of the property; in 1773 Governor James

Grant on behalf of the British Government transferred the

property to Francis Levitt.3 For the next dozen years Levitt was

'Juan Jose Elixio de la Puente, Plano de la fuerza,
baluartes y line de la plaza de San Agustin de Florida..... 1764
January 22 (HSAPB map #1).

,'Vera Smith, "Translation of Jesse Fish account book", page
96 (typescript copy in HSAPB files).

-Francisco Levitt to Don Rocque Leonardy, 18 March 1785,
Bundle 366, page 195 (reel 169, frame 234), East Florida Papers
(hereafter EFP), Library of Congress (microfilm copies at St.

its owner. In 1784 treaty negotiations forced Great Britain to

return the Florida peninsula to the king of Spain.

Born in Turkey in the Levant, Francis Levitt described

himself as "a Settler from its earliest period," referring to

Florida's British ere. Coming to East Florida in 1769, this

wealthy planter from Georgia became an assistant judge and member

of the Council of East Florida. He owned 20,000 acres at

Julington Inlet on the St. Johns River. Upon hearing the news

that East Florida was to become Spanish again, he decided against

building a large house (50 to 60 feet long) at his plantation for

which he had already secured the necessary lumber.-

In 1780 he had purchased property in today's Block 23, where

he had his atone dwelling house. He sold this house at a last-

minute sale prior to his departure from East Florida to Francis

Fatio. He may have lived on the south end of Block 35 during the

years between 1773 and 1780.=

He also sold the Block-35 property before his departure from

the province. On March 18 1785, Rocque Leonardy, one of the

Mediterranean colonists who fled Andrew Turnbull's New Smyrna

plantation in 1777, purchased the lot with its "falling down"

Augustine Historical Society).

-Wilbur Henry Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to
1785, Vol. II (Deland: The Florida State Historical Society).
228-237; Census Returns, Bnd. 323A, EFP; Charles Loch Mowat, East
Florida as a British Province, 1763-1784 (University of Florida
Press: Gainesville, reprint 1964), 44, 71.


house, adjacent to land he already owned.f

Two years later for 120 pesos fuertes (hard dollars)

Leonardy sold to a fellow Mediterranean immigrant, Gaspar Papy:

"a piece of a lot with a little wooden house...a little bit south

of the old main church on St. George Street." It measured 135

feet on St. George St., 55 feet on the south along the street

going from the bay to the San Sebastian River, 161 feet on the

east where Leonardy retained a house and lot, and 62 feet on the

north, where Father O'Reilly's lot was. In 1794 Leonardy sold

him the remaining piece of the parcel, with the same dimensions

as the earlier purchase [sic] for 140 pesos.7

Both the 1788 Rocque map and the 1790 Quesada Inventory

mention Gaspar Papy's wooden house at this location."

According to the inventory of Gaspar Papy's estate made in

August 1817, there was a separate kitchen, oven, and the house

had a chimney and tabby floor. Papy was shopkeeper who sold

textiles and groceries, and based upon the inventory, also

cookware and tableware. Papy's wife, Ana, had taken home quite a

bit of the store's goods, and the appraisers had to go to the

home to find the missing items to complete the inventory. At the

'Levitt to Leonardy, Bnd. 366, p. 193 (reel 169, frame 232),

7Rocque Leonardy to Gaspar Papy, 18 May 1787, Bnd. 367, p.
20 (reel 169, frame 691) and 2 December 1794, Bnd. 369, p. 418
(reel 170, frame 2509), EFP.

"Mariano de la Rocque, Plano particular de la ciudad de San
Agustin de la Florida...... 1788 April 25 (HSAPB map # 130); 1790
Quesada Inventory, photocopy in HSAPB files.


widow's home they located foods, nails, rope, spades, frying pans

and drinking glasses, which should have been part of the store's

inventory .'

Susan R. Parker
HSAPB Historian
March 22, 1989

r Inventory of Estate of Gaspar Papy, August 1817, Bnd. 31 ,
reel 145), EFP. -,

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