Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 1. Prologue: Changing frontiers...
 2. Anglo-Saxons invited to Spanish...
 3. The coming of minister...
 4. Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond...
 5. Council of war, 16 January 1794;...
 6. Order of imprisonment; Lang's...
 7. 21 January council of war; McIntosh's...
 8. Hammond's declaration; documents...
 9. Gambling for cigars at Clark's...
 10. Whip the governor "at a fair...
 11. Message from Don Juan...
 12. Sarah McIntosh, loyal wife
 13. Path of the peddler
 14. Conclusions of the 1794 investigation...
 15. Capture of Juana, 1795
 16. Capture of San Nicolas and...
 Appendix: Hammond's recollections...
 Selected bibliography
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100482/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida's "French" revolution, 1793-1795
Physical Description: x, 218 p. : ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bennett, Charles E., 1910-
Publisher: University Presses of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Subjects / Keywords: Opstanden   ( gtt )
Spaanse koloniën   ( gtt )
History -- Florida -- Spanish colony, 1784-1821   ( lcsh )
Histoire -- Floride -- 1784-1821 (Colonie espagnole)   ( rvm )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 207-210.
General Note: "A University of Florida book."
General Note: Includes index.
Statement of Responsibility: Charles E. Bennett.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 07554385
lccn - 81007431
Classification: lcc - F314 .B39
ddc - 975.9/03
bcl - 15.85
System ID: UF00100482:00001

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    1. Prologue: Changing frontiers in the new world
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    2. Anglo-Saxons invited to Spanish Florida
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    3. The coming of minister Genet
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
    4. Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond expose the rebellion
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    5. Council of war, 16 January 1794; statements by Hall, Arons, and Cryer
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
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        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
    6. Order of imprisonment; Lang's testimony
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    7. 21 January council of war; McIntosh's testimony
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    8. Hammond's declaration; documents of revolution
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    9. Gambling for cigars at Clark's Inn
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
    10. Whip the governor "at a fair fite"
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
    11. Message from Don Juan McQueen
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    12. Sarah McIntosh, loyal wife
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
    13. Path of the peddler
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    14. Conclusions of the 1794 investigation of the rebellion in Florida
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    15. Capture of Juana, 1795
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
    16. Capture of San Nicolas and end of the rebellion, 1795
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
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        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
    Appendix: Hammond's recollections of French proposals
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Selected bibliography
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
Full Text

Florida's "French" Revolution, 1793-1795

...................... path or road

10 miles

Northeast Florida, 1790-95

Florida's "French" Revolution, 1793-1795


A University of Florida Book
Gainesville 1981

University Presses of Florida is the central agency for scholarly publishing of the State of
Florida's university system. Its offices are located at 15 NW 15th Street, Gainesville, FL
32603. Works published by University Presses of Florida are evaluated and selected for
publication by a faculty editorial committee of any one of Florida's nine public universities:
Florida A&M University (Tallahassee), Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton), Florida
International University (Miami), Florida State University (Tallahassee), University of
Central Florida (Orlando), University of Florida (Gainesville), University of North Florida
(Jacksonville), University of South Florida (Tampa), University of West Florida (Pensacola).

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Bennett, Charles E., 1910-
Florida's "French" revolution, 1793-1795.
"A University of Florida book."
4' Bibliography: p.
Includes index.
1. Florida-History-Spanish colony, 1784-1821.
I. Title.
F314.B39 975.9'03 81-7431




Dedicated to the memory of
Carita Doggett Corse,
distinguished historian,
treasured friend


Acknowledgments / ix
1. Prologue-Changing Frontiers in the New World/ 1
2. Anglo-Saxons Invited to Spanish Florida/ 11
3. The Coming of Minister Genet / 19
4. Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond Expose
the Rebellion/ 32
5. Council of War, 16 January 1794; Statements by Hall,
Arons, and Cryer/47
6. Order of Imprisonment; Lang's Testimony/66
7. 21 January Council of War; McIntosh's Testimony/73
8. Hammond's Declaration; Documents of Revolution/86
9. Gambling for Cigars at Clark's Inn/99
10. Whip the Governor "at a Fair Fite" / 117
11. Message from Don Juan McQueen / 126
12. Sarah McIntosh, Loyal Wife/136
13. Path of the Peddler/ 148
14. Conclusions of the 1794 Investigation of the Rebellion
in Florida / 166
15. Capture of Juana, 1795 /172


viii Contents

16. Capture of San Nicolas and End of the
Rebellion, 1795 / 185
Appendix: Hammond's Recollections of
French Proposals / 205
Selected Bibliography /207
Index /211


MANY years ago, the late Judge Burton Barrs of Jacksonville
encouraged the author to study the history of East Florida during
the American Revolution, a field in which the judge had published
East Florida in the American Revolution (Jacksonville: Cooper
Press, 1949). From this prompting there grew a strong interest
concerning some of the participants in that period of history,
particularly the patriots Elijah Clark and John McIntosh.
The first outcome of that research pertinent to the subject
matter of this book was an appendix, "The French Republic of
Florida," added by the author to Southernmost Battlefields of the
Revolution (Bailey's Crossroads, Va.: Blair, Inc., 1970). The
further pursual of this field of study resulted in the present vol-
This book owes most to Richard K. Murdoch of the Univer-
sity of Georgia and to his work The Georgia-Florida Frontier,
1793-1796 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951), an
extremely thorough and authoritative volume. Professor Mur-
doch encouraged the author and generously made constructive
The primary source of manuscript material for this work was
a microfilm in the Charles E. Bennett Collection of the Manuscript
Division of the Library of Congress, entitled "Criminales de
oficio contra Don Juan Mac Intosh .. .," reproducing original
documents in pormenor 16, legajo 166, Archivo General de In-


dias, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba, Seville. There is also a type-
script of these documents in Box 293 of the East Florida Papers in
the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The type-
script was completely translated from its Spanish text because the
1977 microfilm reveals that substantial deterioration has occurred
in the original documents since the date of the typescript produc-
tion in 1924 by Charles H. Cunningham at the Library of Con-
gress. Thus the typescript was used to fill in passages from the
original documents that are eroded or illegible because of discol-
Other manuscript material came from photocopies in the
Library of Congress made from the original documents described
in the footnotes. All other manuscript source materials were
secured from photocopies of the original manuscripts in foreign
depositories (for example, the Cochrane Papers in the National
Library of Scotland); in each such case the photocopies have now
been deposited in the Charles E. Bennett Collection in the Manu-
script Division of the Library of Congress.
Three persons who gave much encouragement and help in
this work were Luis Arana, historian for the National Park Serv-
ice, St. Augustine; Ofelia Recio, a recent emigrant from Cuba,
Falls Church, Virginia; and Bessie Lewis, historian and consul-
tant at Fort King George, Darien, Georgia.
For the writer this book has been an exciting adventure-
about exciting adventure. He hopes its readers may find it so too.

Charles E. Bennett


Prologue-Changing Frontiers in the New World

WHEN on 27 March 1513 Juan Ponce de Le6n discovered Flor-
ida-and on 2 April landed on the coast somewhere between
present-day Jacksonville and St. Augustine-he named the land
Florida, after the religious period of its discovery, Pascua Florida.
As far as he was concerned, this new land and all the lands to the
north were now Spanish. The king of Spain was agreeable to that;
and the Pope had already given his blessings.
Ponce attempted in 1521 to strengthen the Spanish claims by
settlement on the lower Gulf coast of present-day Florida.1 The
settlement failed, as did a 1526 Spanish colony under Lucas
Vasquez de Ayll6n, near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in South
Carolina. Neither Ponce nor Ayll6n long survived their efforts at
settlement. Ponce died of complications from an arrow wound,
and Ayll6n died of fever and was buried at sea.
Tristan de Luna y Arellano brought his colony for the Spanish
king to Pensacola in 1559, endured great hardships for two years,
and was supplanted by Angel de Villafafie, who was then ordered
to colonize Santa Elena (Port Royal, South Carolina). He landed
at several places on the east coast and everywhere claimed title
for Spain, but he quickly abandoned settlement efforts in the
north and finally in July of 1561 settled his followers on the
Caribbean island of Hispaniola. Following all of these failures and
after successes in Mexico-beginning with the 1519 settlement of
1. Charles Norman, Discoverers of America, p. 12. The other data in these introduc-
tory pages are largely from this volume when not otherwise noted. Complete publishing
information for all references is in the bibliography.


Veracruz by Hernan Cortes-Spain in 1561 was considering
abandoning all the northern lands that are now the United States.
France took quick advantage of such Spanish indecision.
After all, reasoned Catherine de Medici, queen mother of France,
had not French fishermen fished off the coast of America for many
years before the Spanish had made any efforts there? And then in
1524 Francis I, king of France, had sent Giovanni da Verrazano to
explore those Atlantic seaboard areas. He had ably done so. And
in the decade 1534 to 1543 there had been other French efforts by
Jacques Cartier and Lord Roberval in the northern American
wildernesses. So the French called the eastern seaboard of north-
ern America by the name of New France. Jean Ribault led an
expedition that visited the lower St. Johns River and went on to
establish a small colony at Port Royal, South Carolina, in 1562.
Too small to have much chance of success, it failed; and the
handful of survivors took to the sea without a compass and were
rescued after they had been driven to devour one of their fellow
Undeterred, France dispatched Rene Laudonniere in 1564
with a colony of several hundred settlers to what is now Jackson-
ville, Florida. There they founded La Caroline, named for Charles
IX, boy king of France. When these French settlers came, there
were no settlements of Europeans in what is now the United
States. This was never again to be the case. Spain reacted to the
French intrusion with understandable vigor. Before the end of the
next year she had bloodily run up the Spanish flag over La
Caroline, named it San Mateo, and placed the new Spanish col-
ony's capital at a place thirty-five miles to the south. There Pedro
Menendez de Aviles in 1565 established St. Augustine, the oldest
city existing in the United States today. It is noteworthy that when
Pensacola was finally settled in 1698, it was to forestall French
settlement in that area.
The English were the next to challenge the Spanish, basing
their claims on the discoveries of John and Sebastian Cabot in the
late 1490s. England first made an unsuccessful settlement effort in
1583, with an expedition led by Sir Humphrey Gilbert to New-
foundland. In 1585 Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Island settle-
ment failed also; it was followed in 1587 by the more famous

Changing Frontiers in the New World

failure of "the lost colony" in present-day North Carolina. En-
gland at last gained its permanent toehold in 1607 with James-
town. From then on, American colonial border disputes played
their part in the tensions between England and Spain.2
In 1702 the Carolinas' English governor, James Moore, per-
sonally led troops into Florida but failed to take the fortress at St.
Augustine. He returned to attack the Indian allies of Spain in
Apalachee in 1704, and Spain made an abortive retaliation on
Charleston in 1706. With the establishment of Georgia by the
English in 1733, friction between the countries and between their
colonies intensified. Within the next decade Georgia's leader,
James Oglethorpe, twice attacked Florida, and Spanish Florida
made a retaliatory attack on British Georgia in 1742. Spain and
Britain were at that time engaged in a war precipitated in 1739 by
the loss of an ear of a British mariner-Robert Jenkins-at the
hands of a Spanish official. The war was first called the War of
Jenkins' Ear but later merged into the War of the Austrian Suc-
Great Britain captured Havana in 1762, in the Seven Years
War; the next year Spain reluctantly deeded Florida to Britain in
order to regain the Cuban city, a precious jewel in the Spanish
treasury. The British divided the territory into East and West
Florida, the Apalachicola River separating the two provinces.3
The following twenty years were prosperous British years for
Florida despite the American Revolution and two sizable expedi-
tions of patriots into Florida, one in 1777 and the other in 1778.
The first ended in the battle of Thomas Creek in what is now
Jacksonville and the latter ended just to the north in the battle of
Alligator Bridge, about a mile north of present-day Callahan.4

2. Only a few of these conflicts are mentioned in the text; for a full discussion of them see
Verner W. Crane, The Southern Frontier, 1670-1732. For instance, there was a major
Spanish attack upon the English at Charleston in 1676 and another upon the Scotch at Port
Royal three years later; and there were substantial English penetrations of northeast Florida,
notably by Colonel John Barnwell in 1708 and by Colonel John Palmer in 1727. For a brief
discussion of these events see ibid., p. 81, and Pleasant D. Gold, History ofDuval County,
Florida, pp. 42-50.
3. J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Florida in the American Revolution, p. 2.
4. These two Florida engagements are treated at length in Charles E. Bennett, South-
ernmost Battlefields of the Revolution.


These were the most southerly battlefields of the Revolution
in the continental United States, at least on the eastern seaboard.
Some historians support the 1781 battle of Pensacola as being the
most southerly of the Revolution. Pensacola is farther south than
Jacksonville or Callahan and did fall in 1781 to Spain in a major
Spanish-British battle; and there were small skirmishes else-
where in West Florida and in the lower Mississippi valley. But it
must be remembered that Spain, unlike France, was not an ally of
the thirteen colonies. Her contemporaneous war with Britain,
though helpful to the colonies, was designed to regain the Floridas
for Spain and not to free them.
The 1783 peace treaties did return Florida to Spain, and the
Spanish continued the British governmental arrangement of two
provinces, East and West Florida. The terms of the treaties care-
fully ensured the ancient French fishing rights on the northern
Atlantic seaboard; France had already lost most of her colonial
holdings in North America, having ceded Louisiana to Spain in
1762. The treaties, however, left many-boundary matters unset-
tled. The eastern states of Virginia, North and South Carolina,
and Georgia claimed sovereignty westward across the Appala-
chian Mountains and to the Mississippi River.
But Spain also claimed substantial areas east of the river, and
many Indians not only claimed such lands but extensively oc-
cupied them. Even when Indians specifically "sold" lands, they
often asserted later that they had meant only to convey to others
the right to share, not the right to exclude Indians from their
traditional uses of the lands for hunting, nomadic food gathering,
and agriculture. When white speculators tried to buy up the land
of the great Indian warrior Tecumseh after the Revolution, he
asked: "Sell the country? Why not sell the air, the clouds, the
great sea?"
In the northern areas to the west of the Appalachians, Great
Britain maintained forts pressing the Canadian border down into
areas firmly claimed by the United States-for example, Detroit.
One of the reasons why Great Britain delayed closing these forts
was her reluctance to abandon her former Indian allies, who
feared that they might lose their rights to lands in those areas. A

Changing Frontiers in the New World

more compelling motive for the British was to retain leverage for
demanding better treatment of British subjects and other
The greatest irritant to the western settlers was the adamant
refusal of Spain to allow free access to transportation down the
Mississippi River. The American settlers were willing to accept
almost any political arrangement if only this access could be
According to the 1783 treaty Britain ceded to the United
States the land north of a line running from the Mississippi River
eastward along the thirty-first parallel to the Chattahoochee
River, thence south to the junction of the Flint; and thence east-
ward again to the source of the St. Marys and along the course of
the stream to the Atlantic Ocean. Spain did not agree to this,
instead claiming all the land south of the Tennessee River and
west of the Appalachian Mountains. She claimed in the west not
only Pensacola but also other Spanish settlements at such places
as Natchez and Nogales (Vicksburg). Some of the settlements to
the east of the river were heavily populated by British loyalists,
the Tories. Spain's treaty with Britain, unlike the Anglo-American
treaty, left uncertain the exact northern line of the Spanish
Spain relied heavily upon her Indian allies to prevent Ameri-
can settlement in the lands east of the Mississippi, thus thwarting
U.S. claims. One of Spain's ways of keeping friendly relationships
with the Indians was the fostering of Indian commercial trade
through the Scottish trading firm of Panton, Leslie and Company.
This firm, with roots established while Britain owned the
Floridas, enjoyed a monopoly under Spanish protection in return
for supplying the Indians and encouraging the natives to resist
Anglo-Saxon migration from the eastern seaboard. Spain would
have welcomed a Spanish-based successor to this firm, but none
could be found to do the job efficiently.
In 1786 Spain's representative in the capital city of Philadel-
phia, Diego de Gardoqui, approached John Brown, who repre-
sented the Kentucky District of Virginia in the Congress, suggest-
ing that if the westerners would pull away from the new nation,


traffic on the Mississippi would be opened to them and recognized
in a formal alliance with Spain.5 Thus the "Spanish Conspiracy"
was born. In 1787 James Wilkinson, formerly a patriot general in
the Revolution and at that time a merchant in Kentucky, took an
oath of allegiance to the Spanish king and promised to bring
Kentucky over to Spain. But Kentucky's convention voted in
1789 to stay in the union, ending the first phase of the Spanish
Governor John Sevier of the abortive State of Franklin (later
Tennessee) wrote to the Spanish authorities suggesting that
Franklin might ally itself with Spain-a plan that quickly col-
lapsed. The entire Spanish Conspiracy expired when North
Carolina in 1790 turned its western lands claims over to the
United States. This cleared the way for the new State of Tennes-
see to achieve what Franklin had never achieved: full statehood
within the framework of the union.
British officials also made overtures toward filling the vac-
uum of governmental leadership in the Spanish-claimed lands
east of the Mississippi, to which many Tories had fled during and
after the Revolution. As a result William Augustus Bowles, with
the blessings of the British governor of the Bahamas, arrived in
Florida in 1788 with a plan to set up an Indian state in the Floridas
and extending northward into the land that is now Alabama. His
venture ended in failure a few years later; but in the meantime he
had been declared by an aggregation of Indian chiefs to be the
director general of the State of Muskogee, an allegedly sovereign
territory that included parts of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.6
Early in 1790 Dr. James O'Fallon, a physician and brother-
in-law of Kentucky's General George Rogers Clark, was ap-
pointed agent for a land-speculating company chartered by Geor-
gia. He planned an independent country in the company's lands
lying in areas claimed by Georgia but not relinquished by the
Indians. President Washington signed a proclamation on 19
March 1791 forbidding any such effort, and the plan was
thwarted. This was but one of many speculative ventures in the
5. Thomas P. Abernethy, The South in the New Nation, 1789-1819, p. 46.
6. Ibid., p. 244.


William Augustus Bowles, painted by T. Hardy, engraved by T. Grozer. Courtesy of the
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.



western lands; among persons involved in them were Patrick
Henry, Senator William Blount, and Thomas Carr. The latter two
projected settlements at Muscle Shoals. Henry was involved in
the ventures of the Virginia Yazoo Company, composed primarily
of Virginians but dealing in Georgia lands. The land venture of
O'Fallon was but one of his several imaginative proposals. For
example, in 1788 he had offered to settle and rule for Spain all land
between the St. Marys and the St. Johns. Four years earlier John
Cruden, living on the St. Marys and signing himself "President of
the British-American Loyalists," had tried to achieve autonomy
for the same area under either the British or the Spanish flag.7
Spain's feeble claims to sovereignty east of the Mississippi
only mildly disturbed politicians; but the use of Indian allies to
discourage all western migration in Indian-claimed areas greatly
alarmed almost all frontiersmen, particularly in southern Georgia,
where the Indians claimed land all the way to the coast. Anglo-
Saxon migration southward across the St. Marys into Spanish
Florida was an alternative expansion suggested by Spain. When
the British gave up Florida in 1783, almost everyone in East
Florida moved away. Spain felt strongly the need to encourage
even the Anglo-Saxons to immigrate into her regained lands in
The transition from British to Spanish reign in the area be-
tween the St. Marys and the St. Johns was marked by unrest and
turbulence. Nicholas Griner, the commander of the Spanish gar-
rison on the St. Marys, wrote to the governor on 10 November
1784 that "the number of outlaws between the towns of St. Johns
and St. Marys is about sixty families. Among them some might be
useful to our nation; but the others, the sooner we drive them out
of the province, the better, as they are men who have neither God
nor law, and men who are capable of the greatest atrocities." A
final warning was given to the outlaws to depart on 5 April 1786,
but Griner reported that things were even worse on 5 December
1786: "The inhabitants have openly declared against us but con-

7. Wright, Florida in the American Revolution, pp. 136, 137, 142; Helen H. Tanner,
Zespedes in East Florida, p. 159; Abernethy, The South in the New Nation, p. 79.

Changing Frontiers in the New World



($ i.* 2 l~~5

I ,,<, fi 0 ,
1: : -. -.,, ,: .-.

Chief Hopothle Mico at the signing of the Treaty of New York, 1790, by John
Trumbull. Courtesy of Fordham University, New York City.

ceal themselves in the wilderness on the banks of the St. Johns as
far as St. Marys, controlling the province."8
Georgia authorities were constantly trying to negotiate with
the Indians to allow white settlements in the west. The Treaty of
Galphinton in 1785 was the joint creation of the Georgia govern-
ment and certain minor Creek chiefs. It provided that the Indians
would move to the west of the Oconee River and west of a line
8. Gold, Duval County, pp. 61,62. Richard Lang, a major figure in the events to follow,
already resided in this area at that time. See Wilbur H. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida,
1774 to 1785, 2:7.



from the Oconee's junction with the Altamaha to the headwaters
of the St. Marys River. The St. Marys, by that treaty, became for
the first time the southern boundary of Georgia without any
Indian buffer zone north of Spanish Florida. But the central
government of the United States disapproved of state treaties
with Indians; and the dominant Creek leader, Alexander McGil-
livray,9 also disapproved of the Galphinton treaty. So a lesser
Indian removal was arranged in the 1790 Treaty of New York,
executed by McGillivray with the government. The St. Marys
remained Georgia's southern boundary, however.
In the meantime, on the northern shores of the St. Marys
River at Buttermilk Bluff, or Wright's Landing, near the river's
mouth, the new town of St. Patrick was established in 1788-
shortly following the 1787 designation of the older St. Patrick on
the south side of the Satilla as the first county seat of Camden
County. By 1792 the official county seat was moved to the St.
Marys location and the new town was called thenceforth St.
Marys. The Spanish persistently called it New Town, or New-
9. A volume of revealing documents relative to McGillivray is John W. Caughey,
McGillivray of the Creeks.
10. The founding of St. Marys is discussed in detail in Marguerite G. Reddick, Cam-
den's Challenge: A History of Camden County, Georgia, pp. 6, 145, 146. See also Richard
K. Murdoch, The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793-1796: Spanish Reaction to French
Intrigue and American Designs, p. 4; Janice Borton Miller, "Juan Nepomuceno de
Quesada: Spanish Governor of East Florida, 1790-1795" (Ph.D. diss.), p. 211.



Anglo-Saxons Invited to Spanish Florida

ST. MARYS, Georgia, by whatever name-Buttermilk Bluff,
Wright's Landing, St. Patrick, or the name used by the Spanish,
Newton-posed a real threat to Spanish Florida in the last decade
of the eighteenth century. In its good harbor an aggressive fleet
could assemble for an attack on Florida. St. Marys could be a base
for pushing westward the Indian allies of Spain. As Georgia's
most southerly outpost it furnished a place where revolutionary
forces could assemble unnoticed among the population, and from
which criminal elements could run across the Florida border in
plundering raids and return to safety. The town stared across the
St. Marys River at strategic Amelia Island, which the Spanish had
from time to time garrisoned with troops. Moreover, other
Anglo-Saxon communities springing up along the northern banks
of the river extended the dangers westward, notably at Coleraine
and Temple.
Spanish nationals remained reluctant to settle north of the St.
Johns River. The British had abandoned their plantations on the
lands from the St. Johns River to the St. Marys River, and a
repopulation of these lands seemed essential to Spain's interests.
So Spain in 1790, following her recently liberalized immigration
rules for the Mississippi Valley and in order to give more security
to Florida's northern border, issued an invitation to aliens to come
to East Florida, but under specific restrictions. They had to swear
allegiance to the Spanish crown and become Spanish subjects.

Anglo-Saxons Invited

Though not required to become Catholics, they would not be
allowed to practice openly any other religion. Each family would
be granted 100 acres for the head of the family, 50 for each family
member, and 50 for each slave. They would be required to build
adequate houses and to cultivate their parcels of land for ten
years, whereupon an outright deed to the land would be given.1
Many Anglo-Saxons came to Spanish Florida during this
period, some of them from as far north as Virginia but most
directly from Georgia. Among the family names were: Ashley,
Atkinson, Blunt, Cryer, Hogans, Hollingsworth, Jones, Lang,
McIntosh, McQueen, Plummer, and Wagnon. Four of the settlers
who arrived in Florida about this time were of particular impor-
tance in the events that were soon to follow: John McIntosh,
Richard Lang, John Peter Wagnon, and William Jones.
Traditionally the McIntosh family was opposed to Spanish
colonialism in Florida, and they were by nature pugnacious.
John's grandfather, John McIntosh, Mor,2 had been captured
when he fought under Oglethorpe in Florida in 1740 and had been
freed two years later after imprisonment in Spain. John's uncle,
General Lachlan McIntosh, once had commanded the continental
troops in Georgia and had killed Georgia's President Button
Gwinnett in a duel. John himself had won the hand of his beloved
wife, Sarah, following a bloody duel (fought with swords) and a
long and tender nursing back to health by his betrothed.
The younger John McIntosh had been a Georgia hero in the
American Revolution. When challenged in 1778 to surrender Fort
Morris (a small earthen fort on the harbor shore at Sunbury,
Georgia), he sent a laconic message to the much more numerous
British forces: "Come and take it!" Bluffed, the British withdrew.
He had been a member of General Robert Howe's staff in the
Florida expedition of 1778. After the American Revolution he
settled at St. Marys; by 1791 he was back in Florida, this time as a
settler and planter on the banks of the St. Johns River. One of his
1. Rembert W. Patrick, Florida Fiasco: Rampant Rebels on the Georgia-Florida
Border, 1810-1815, p. 50.
2. Ibid., p. 19. The word "Mor," sometimes placed after the first name, is a Gaelic
word, variously spelled, denoting "great," "esteemed," or "senior."


to Spanish Florida

plantations, which was to be his principal residence, was on the
south side of the river, eight miles downstream from the Spanish
military post San Nicolas.3 This plantation was called by the
Spanish Cerro Fuente ("Spring Hill"). When Mrs. McIntosh
wrote from there she headed her letters "Bellevue," apparently
the name of the house.
The natural leadership of John McIntosh was immediately
recognized by the Spanish authorities; he was given a magistrate's
position for a broad area in the St. Johns River valley. Spanish
documents of the time refer to him as lieutenant governor of East
Florida in the St. Johns district. He owned land in various places
in Florida but his most strategically placed plantation, and one of
his favorites, was at Cowford, on the north bank of the St. Johns
directly across from San Nicolas-about where the Jacksonville
City Hall stands today.
McIntosh was one of the first three settlers at Cowford,
which became Jacksonville in 1822. Thomas Philpot had settled
there by 1772 with a store and ferry house, but the place was
overrun by the patriots in 1776 and then abandoned.4 McIntosh
and Robert Pritchard5 both came in 1791, Pritchard settling at the
bend of the river to the west of the McIntosh lands. Both soon
3. The McIntosh Spring Hill plantation has been located erroneously by many histo-
rians at various locations, even on the eastern side of the river to the south of the center of
Jacksonville's population today. From the testimony taken about the capture of San Nicolas,
it is clear that Spring Hill was on the southern bank of the river. Mrs. McIntosh's corre-
spondence suggests that the plantation was about eight miles downstream from San Nicolas,
near San Vicente Ferrer on the south side of the river. Moreover, there are documents that
prove the location precisely. Specifically, the western boundary of the plantation is shown as
the eastern boundary of F. P. Fatio's New Castle plantation in a map printed in "Florida
Private Land Claims," 2:282, Record Group 49, Archives of the United States; that line is
known to all title researchers and is in the official land maps of Duval County, Florida. These
documents show that line to be approximately 140 feet east of present-day Buckskin Trail,
East. Moreover, the eastern line of the McIntosh plantation is shown as the western
boundary of the lands claimed by Andrew Atkinson just west of San Vicente Ferrer; the
documents recording these boundaries are under the claims of George Gibbs and Andrew
Atkinson, items IE and 2S (2 February 1792) in "Spanish Land Grants in Florida," vol. 1,
Unconfirmed Claims, Florida Department of Agriculture.
4. A map of about 1772 depicts Philpot's ferry house at Cowford (Pleasant D. Gold,
History of Duval County, Florida, p. 52).
5. Pritchard is discussed in T. Frederick Davis, History of Jacksonville, Florida, and
Vicinity, 1513 to 1924, pp. 40, 51.


Anglo-Saxons Invited

took up residence elsewhere, McIntosh first and then Pritchard.
Mr. and Mrs. Zachariah Hogans began the permanent settlement
of what is now downtown Jacksonville in 1816, launching the
village of Cowford and the City of Jacksonville.6
None of them, of course, were the first whites to settle on the
land occupied later by Jacksonville with its greatly expanded city
limits. Rene Laudonniere, governor of La Caroline in 1564-65,
had been the first.7 Indians who had once generously populated
the area had been pushed westward from this coastal region by
Richard Lang had come to Florida without benefit of Spain's
1790 invitation. The records show that the Executive Council of
Georgia discovered that on 18 June 1784 Lang was in jail in
Savannah, charged with committing a felony in South Carolina,
and on that date he was ordered removed to Charleston to stand
trial. He escaped and promptly went to Florida. He may have
arrived just before Governor Vincent Manuel de Zespedes, who
did not take over the reins of government from the British until 27
June 1784. Lang had probably visited Florida before his impris-
onment in Savannah. By 1786 he had acquired land on the south
side of the St. Marys, and his name appears in a 1787 Florida
Governor Zespedes considered Lang a troublemaker, along
with an associate of his in the same neighborhood, Daniel
McGirtt. Born in the Kershaw District of South Carolina, McGirtt
had been a scout for the patriots at the beginning of the American
Revolution. His superior officer at St. Illa, Georgia, had coveted
his mare, Gray Goose, and had had McGirtt whipped and impris-
oned; but the prisoner escaped and, with his brother, joined the
British in Florida. Toward the end of the war they plundered in
Georgia; after Spain took title to Florida at the end of the war,
6. Hogans is discussed in Gold, Duval County, p. 65, and Davis, History of Jackson-
ville, p. 51.
7. Charles E. Bennett, Laudonniere and Fort Caroline: History and Documents and
Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, Three Voyages, p. xvi.
8. See Allen D. Candler, comp., Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia, 2:661;
Wilbur H. Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to 1785, 2:7; Folks Huxford, Pioneers of
Wiregrass Georgia: A Biographical Account of Some of the Early Settlers .. ., 5:256.


to Spanish Florida

they plundered in Florida. Daniel was captured in 1783 and im-
prisoned for five years; released, he returned first to South
Carolina and then to Florida, where he continued to make trouble
for the authorities.9
Toward the end of 1787 Richard Lang was a candidate to
supplant Henry O'Neill, a former British officer, as the Spanish
magistrate for the St. Marys River valley. Eighteen men on the
border submitted a petition endorsing Lang's candidacy. O'Neill
was murdered in May 1788; the Spanish suspected followers of
Lang and McGirtt of being the felons. Nevertheless, the governor
uneasily appointed Lang to the position he had sought.10
Lang's principal place of residence in Florida was called Casa
Blanca ("White House"), a 400-acre plantation on the south bank
of the St. Marys River at Mills's Ferry (now Kings Ferry).11 It was
an important frontier location, for even during the American
Revolution the ferry was the northern Florida terminus of a trail
or crude road from St. Augustine to Georgia. On that road the
battle of Alligator Bridge had taken place in 1778; and General
Howe had headquartered himself near that ferry at the British
Fort Tonyn, which his Continentals had taken on 29 June 1778.
Lang also owned Florida land on Pigeon Creek five miles west of
The Spanish authorities gave Lang the title of "justice of the
peace" and "commander of the militia" in the region lying be-
tween the St. Marys and Nassau rivers. Originally his jurisdiction
extended to the St. Johns; but Carlos Howard was later given the
superior military command of all of the northern frontier, with a
military command post at St. Johns Bluff (called by the Spanish
San Vicente Ferrer). Lang retained his subordinate authority in
9. See Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 2:328; Gold, Duval County, p. 53; Louise F.
Hays, Hero of Hornet's Nest; A Biography of Elijah Clark, 1733 to 1799, p. 40.
10. Helen H. Tanner, Zespedes in East Florida, 1784-1790, p. 189. Jan H. Johannes
reports that O'Neill's widow, Margaret, was given substantial land grants on the mainland
near Amelia Island and that the community name of O'Neill in that area perpetuates the name
of this family (Yesterday's Reflections, Nassau County, Florida: A Pictorial History, pp.
329, 330).
11. Richard K. Murdoch, The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793-1796: Spanish Reac-
tion to French Intrigue and American Designs, p. 156. The date 4 April 1792 is given as the
date of Lang's grant to this land (Johannes, Yesterday's Reflections, p. 82).


Richard Lang's property at Mills's Ferry, 1817. From official records of Nassau County, Florida.

Anglo Saxons Invited to Spanish Florida

a I
William Jones's property at San Nicolas, 1793. From American State Papers, ed. Asbury
Dickins and James C. Allen (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1859), class viii, vol. 4, p. 379.

the St. Marys and Nassau valleys after Howard's appointment;
but another, Nathaniel Hall, was given similar responsibilities
near the mouth of the St. Marys.
John Peter Wagnon was another veteran of the American
Revolution; he and John McIntosh had fought together with dis-
tinction. Wagnon was allowed by the Spanish to buy a house in St.
Augustine, on Hippolyte Street.12 A two-story structure, it was
purchased by Wagnon in 1793 from Andrew Dewes. The year
before, William Jones had been granted land on the south side of
the St. Johns River, at the bend in the river as it turns and flows
eastward to the Atlantic Ocean. His land abutted on the east the
lands of the Spanish Fort San Nicolas and lay just across the river
12. Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp. 72, 157.


Stake X

North 750 iast, 50 chains


18 Anglo-Saxons Invited

from the Cowford plantations of John McIntosh and Robert
When McIntosh, Lang, Wagnon, and Jones made their vari-
ous ways to Florida, they could hardly have anticipated that
political affairs in faraway France would unite them in adventure
and substantially affect their lives; but such was to be the case.


The Coming of Minister Genit

THE end of the American Revolution left the French treasury
depleted, partly because of the tremendous assistance given to
the thirteen American colonies in revolt and partly because of
royal extravagance through several generations. The tax-
burdened middle classes and the poor began their ten-year revolu-
tion against the French government in 1789. It started with merely
reducing the powers of the king; but by 1792 the king was impris-
oned, all powers had been vested in the National Assembly, and
the National Convention had been created to draw up a new
constitution. The 1792 meeting of the Convention declared
France to be a republic; the meetings continued until 1795.
Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville was one of the principal
leaders of the Girondists, the majority party in the Convention,
which advocated exporting the Revolution and actively sought
war. He had traveled in the United States in 1788; in 1791 he
published in Paris his observations, Nouveau Voyage dans les
Etats Unis. In it he discussed particularly the unrest caused by
Spain's closure of the Mississippi, commenting on the attitude of
western Americans:

They are determined to open it with good will or by force;
and it would not be in the power of Congress to moderate
their ardor. Men who have shaken off the yoke of Great
Britain and who are masters of the Ohio and the Mississippi

The Coming of

cannot conceive that the insolence of a handful of Spaniards
can think of shutting rivers and seas against a hundred
thousand free Americans. The slightest quarrel will be suffi-
cient to throw them into a flame; and if ever the Americans
shall march toward New Orleans, it will infallibly fall into
their hands.1

In 1792 General George Rogers Clark and his brother-in-law,
Dr. James O'Fallon, put together a plan for an attack on Louisiana
under the French flag. Clark had won important victories in the
western campaigns of the American Revolution; he had
exhausted his personal funds in the cause. Now he was disturbed
by the indifference the new government was showing to western
settlers.2 O'Fallon wrote of their plan and their desire for French
support to his old friend Thomas Paine, former revolutionary
leader in America and by then a member of the French Conven-
tion. Paine replied from Paris on 17 February 1793 that the matter
was under consideration in France, before the Executive Council
of the Republic. Earlier, on 2 February 1793, General Clark had
written to Edmond Charles Genet, prospective French minister
to the United States.3
Brissot had nominated Genet for the position in America; as
expected, instructions for Genet's mission in the United States
outlined the fomenting of revolution in Spanish America. Thomas
Jefferson, then secretary of state, was told by a reliable infor-

1. Quoted in Frederick J. Turner, "The Origin of Genet's Projected Attack on Louisiana
and the Floridas," p. 654. During the period 1793-96, Republican France was increasingly
relying on the talents of Napoleon in her efforts to replace royal establishments in Europe
with new republics. On 22 December 1793 Napoleon, aged 24, was made brigadier general;
his first significant acts were to protect the National Convention in 1795, establish a repub-
lican regime in Lombardy, and create the Cisalpine Republic in 17% (Encyclopaedia
Brittanica [Chicago: Encyclopedia Brittanica, Inc., 1977], 12:832-33). For a discussion of
the French-inspired and French-imposed republics in Europe in the late eighteenth century,
see R. R. Palmer, The Age of the Democratic Revolution (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton
University Press, 1964), pp. 180, 186, 265-70, 295, 549. Palmer observes that France was
spreading revolution in Europe primarily as a weapon against her enemies.
2. See Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 2:967.
3. Genet's participation in the French efforts in Florida are fully discussed in Meade
Minnigerode,Jefferson, Friend of France, 1793: The Career of Edmond Charles Genet.
... See also Encyclopaedia Britannica, s. v. "Genet, Edmond Charles."


Minister Genet

mant, Colonel W. S. Smith, that the revolutionaries "meant to
begin the attack at the mouth of the Mississippi, and to sweep
along the bay of Mexico, southwardly, and that they would have
no objections to our incorporating into our government the two
Having good reason to understand that France was actively
considering becoming again a colonial power in America at the
expense of Spain and that the United States might benefit as a side
result by the acquisition of the Floridas, Secretary of State Jeffer-
son, with the approval of President Washington, on 23 March 1793
drafted instructions to U.S. representatives in Spain against
signing any treaty guaranteeing Spanish colonies in America. The
Jefferson draft shows a proposal, later expunged, to give such a
guarantee if it could be done in exchange for a cession of the
Floridas to the United States.
Just as discontent along the Mississippi with the Spanish
control of commerce on the river was heavily relied upon there,
so in Florida the French revolutionary forces capitalized on an
existing deep-seated local frustration with Spanish commercial
policies dictated from Madrid. There was a very general dissatis-
faction in East Florida about the shortage of commodities for
purchase and the lack of the benefits of competitive free enter-
prise. On 10 January 1793 a sizable cross-section of the leadership
of East Florida submitted a lengthy petition for corrections to be
made, stressing the relative success of the previous British colo-
nial policies and the poor conditions which had followed under
Spanish policies, which granted virtual monopoly in the lucrative
Indian trade to the Scottish firm of Panton, Leslie and Company,
with principal stores at St. Augustine, Pensacola, and St. Marks.
Administration stalwarts like Andrew Atkinson and Juan
McQueen signed it and so did potential rebels like J. P. Wagnon
and John McIntosh.5
Spain was fearful that a policy of freer trade would, by

4. Turner, "Origin of Genit's Projected Attack," p. 655.
5. Archivo General de Indias, Santo Domingo, 87-3-22, enclosed in Quesada to Gar-
doqui, 10 January 1793, St. Augustine. Microfilm in P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History,
University of Florida, Gainesville.


The Coming of

lessening the profits of Panton, Leslie and Company, reduce total
imports to a dangerous level incapable of being offset by imports
from other sources. Moreover, the helpful hand of Panton, Leslie
and Company in Indian affairs might be weakened. An order was
approved in Madrid on 9 June 1793 that, while making minor
adjustments, very much maintained the status quo. Many of the
East Florida settlers, and many in the States, saw the Spanish
government's position only as a selfish one. Frustration with the
1793 order was generally shared by most of the leaders of the
Florida rebellion of 1793-95; and it aroused considerable grass
roots support for rebellion because the shortage of consumable
goods was felt by everyone.
Minister Genet left France in February of 1793; but, sailing
against adverse winds, he arrived on 8 April at Charleston rather
than at the more appropriate and ultimate destination of the
capital city of Philadelphia. During March, France had declared
war on Spain, thus making easier Genet's task of finding American
recruits to aid the esteemed ally, France. President Washington's
policy was one of complete neutrality, however; and Genet im-
mediately became a problem for the American president.
The Girondists, who had been dominant in French politics
and had launched Genet on his American mission, fell from power
at the hands of more radical elements in the French Convention in
June of 1793, thus making the efforts of Genet less secure and less
authoritative. Although he pressed forward with his original plans
and instructions, the broad vision of liberating Spanish colonies in
South America was to be postponed to await the outcome of
operations in Louisiana and the Floridas.
With the coming of Genet there simultaneously sprang up in
America local societies strongly supportive of the new French
republic. Often they were called "democratic" societies. Earlier
there had been democratic societies in America to stimulate
strong adherence by politicians and others to the basic rights of
man. Similar societies existed in France and England, formed to
commemorate England's revolution of 1688, which had expelled
an English tyrant and enthroned a prince of popular choice,
William II.


Minister Genet

In America, the Sons of Liberty had been organized in 1765,
and during the Revolution the Committees of Correspondence
had furnished unparalleled philosophical and political leadership
for the war and for the government. Patron saints-inspirers-of
the democratic societies after the Revolution were Locke and
Rousseau, particularly the latter. The arrival of Genet in America
not only gave great impetus to all such societies but also increased
popular concern for liberty-not only in America and in France
but wherever it might bloom. Jefferson wrote: "All of the old
spirit of 1776 is rekindling."6
Substantial opposition to the policies of these societies came
from those who strongly supported President Washington's
policies of conservatism and strict neutrality. Various conserva-
tive societies were established to support the administration.
From the development of these societies of opposing views even-
tually emerged the two-party system of American politics.
Soon after his arrival in America, Genet made contact with
General George Rogers Clark. The general was to lead the main
attack by Kentucky frontiersmen against New Orleans and
Louisiana. William Tate, a distinguished Virginian now of South
Carolina, was to lead a force down the Tennessee River to the
Mississippi and cooperate with the Kentucky forces.7 Colonel
Samuel Hammond, another Virginia patriot now of Georgia, was
to command the attack on St. Augustine in coordination with
General Elijah Clark of Georgia, who was to attack West Florida
as well.8 Clark had led the attack against the British in Florida at
the battle of Alligator Bridge in 1778.

6. Quoted in Eugene Perry Link, Democratic-Republican Societies, 1790-1800, p. 46
(an excellent study of the political and philosophical societies of this era).
7. Tate was active in the democratic societies of both states and was a trustee of Wythe
Academy of Virginia and of Weemsborough Academy of South Carolina. See Link,
Democratic-Republican Societies, p. 171.
8. Hammond (1757-1842) was born in Richmond County, Virginia. He served as a
lieutenant colonel for the patriots in the American Revolution. A member of the U.S. House
of Representatives from 1803 to 1805, he was a partner of the trading firm of Hammond and
Fowler. From 1805 to 1824 he was military and civil commander of the District of Upper
Louisiana; thereafter he moved to South Carolina, where he was surveyor general in 1826
and secretary of state in 1831. See Webster's Biographical Dictionary (Springfield, Mass.:
G. & C. Merriam Co., 1943) s. v. "Hammond, Samuel." Elijah Clark migrated from North


The Coming of

Jefferson knew many of the details of the planning from the
very start; and in the beginning he seemed quite sympathetic and
was of substantial assistance to Genet. The primary motivation of
Jefferson was the possible acquisition of the Floridas for the
United States. Supporters of the French venture included those
who wished to aid the French Republic in establishing
sovereignty in the lands that were to be taken, and those who
supported the idea of independent countries adjacent to the
United States, all to remain under the influence of France. Many
were convinced that the Floridas after gaining independence
would ultimately become a part of the United States.
At the request of Genet, Jefferson wrote a letter of introduc-
tion to Governor Shelby of Kentucky on behalf of Andre
Michaux,9 a French botanist who was planning to travel in Ken-
tucky, ostensibly for scientific studies. The letter was intended to
give Michaux some standing with the governor-not only in the
field of botanical research but also in the field of politics-by
informing him that Michaux possessed the good opinion of Genet,
who desired Jefferson to make Michaux known to Shelby. Both
Michaux and Genet thus profited by the letter, which by implica-
tion gave some sanction to the deeds of both Frenchmen.
In the southeast the able French consul at Charleston,
Michel Ange Bernard de Mangourit,10 handled political and other
matters directed against Spanish rule, in Florida particularly. His

Carolina to South Carolina and then to Georgia before the American Revolution, in which he
was a hero; he was famous as an Indian fighter. (Others sometimes spelled his name
"Clarke," but not Elijah.) See Louise F. Hays, Hero of Hornet's Nest; A Biography of
Elijah Clark, 1733-1799, especially pp. viii, 296.
9. Michaux (1746-1802) was a French botanist; he traveled in the Tigris and Euphrates
valleys (1782-85), in the United States (1785-96), and in Madagascar (1801-2). He collabo-
rated with his son Frangois. Andre Michaux's works were published in French (Histoire des
Chenes, 1801) and Latin (Flora Boreali-Americana, 1803). Frangois' works were published
in French as Voyage a I'Ouest (1804) and Histoire des Arbes (1810-13), translated as The
North American Sylva. See Webster's Biographical Dictionary, s. v. "Michaux, Andre."
10. Mangourit (1752-1829) was a diplomat and writer. See Larousse, Grand diction-
naire universal du XIX siecle (Paris, 1860-90), s. v. "Mangourit, Michel Ange Bernard de."
A useful listing of French consular officers in the United States in the 1790s is in M. S.
Fletcher, "French Consular States Agents in the United States, 1791-1800." Mangourit
biographical data is from American Historical Association Report (1903), p. 930.


Minister Gene't

most active lieutenant was Major C. M. F. de Bert,"1 a French
veteran of the American Revolution. De Bert wrote to Mangourit
on 13 February 1793 about French troubles with Spain, American
reactions to them, and current turbulences in Florida, covering
the most sensitive information in his report by the use of the
following secret code words:12

Later in the year Mangourit sent Citizen Fremin, a subordi-
nate French consular officer at Savannah, to the St. Marys and St.
Johns rivers to cruise about in a small vessel in order to pinpoint
the location of the Spanish defenses.13
In August of 1793 Mangourit wrote to Genet that General
McIntosh in Georgia was doing all he could for the cause.14 (The
reference was certainly to Lachlan McIntosh15 rather than to his
nephew John, whose highest title at that time was colonel and
who was already a resident of Florida.) He added that Major de
Bert, William Tate, Elijah Clark, Stephen Drayton (the South
Carolina governor's secretary), and the brothers Samuel and
Abner Hammond were busy about this work.16 Clark, major

11. De Bert fought under Casimir Pulaski during the American Revolution. In the 1790s
he served under Mangourit as an assistant French consular officer at Savannah. He was
active in the recruiting and organizing of the Florida project. See Richard K. Murdoch,
"Citizen Mangourit and the Projected Attack on East Florida in 1794," particularly p. 526;
see also Link, Democratic-Republican Societies, p. 136.
12. The original letter, the property of the Boston Public Library, is partly reproduced
here by courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library.
13. See Richard K. Murdoch, The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793-1796: Spanish
Reaction to French Intrigue and American Designs, p. 26.
14. Frederick J. Turner, "The Mangourit Correspondence in Respect to Genet's
Projected Attack on Louisiana and the Floridas."
15. Lachlan McIntosh (b. 1725, Scotland) came to Georgia in 1736, fought in the
American Revolution in the South and North, and was made brigadier general on 16
September 1776. He wintered with Washington at Valley Forge in 1777-78 and was captured
by the British at Charleston in 1780. See Webster's Biographical Dictionary, s. v. "McIn-
tosh, Lachlan." The quotation concerning him in the text is from Turner, "Mangourit
16. The Hammonds were assisted in recruiting by their uncle LeRoy, who had been a
colonel in the patriot forces of the American Revolution. When the French intrigue failed,


The Coming of

.. .

Edmond Charles Genet. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Wash-
ington, D.C.

general of the Georgia militia at the time, resigned his Georgia
commission to accept one as a major general for France. Such a
commission could be given by the French army or navy to nonna-
tionals to award a temporary status or protection. Others with
new French commissions were Abner Hammond, colonel of
cavalry, and Brigadier Generals William Tate and Samuel Ham-
The Hammonds operated an Indian trading firm, Hammond

Abner Hammond returned to mercantile and political pursuits in Georgia, living his last years
in retirement in Milledgeville. See Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp. 25, 28, 40, 114;
Hays, Hero of Hornet's Nest, p. 359.


Minister Genet

and Fowler.17 One of their strong interests in the matter was their
desire to supplant Panton, Leslie and Company and to take over
the lucrative Florida Indian trade. Local discontent with Panton,
Leslie enhanced the prospects of Florida recruitments for rebel-
lion. Despite repeated petitions for a much freer trade in Floridas1
(in part supported by the Spanish governor), Spain had not re-
An event occurred in 1793 that embarrassed the success of
the French project and brought to bear the heavy hand of Presi-
dent Washington. Genet proposed to fit up a fast sailing corvette
called the Petite Democrate and provide her with ample arma-
ments for use in southern waters in support of the plot. However,
this plan violated Washington's orders against the arming of
privateers in U.S. waters. Jefferson asked Genet to take no steps
until the president returned from Mount Vernon to Philadelphia
and the matter could be discussed more fully on a cabinet level.
Jefferson then reported to the cabinet that Genet had agreed not to
move the ship immediately. But Genet changed his mind, re-
named the ship Cornelia, after his fiancee in New York, added
guns, and sailed off on a cruise. Washington was infuriated, not
only because of the sailing but also because of statements attrib-
uted to Genet, reported by Jefferson to the cabinet, that if Wash-
ington did not assist in the project Genet would take his appeal
from the president to the people.
Genet went to President Washington in an effort to win his
point. The president was courteous but gave him no encourage-
ment. The French minister, in an effort to placate, stressed that
the newspaper accounts had inaccurately quoted his criticisms.
Genet recorded that Washington "simply told me that he did not
read the papers and that he did not care what they said concerning
his Administration."19

17. Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, p. 26; Turner, "Mangourit Correspondence,"
pp. 572, 591.
18. See Arthur Preston Whitaker, Documents Relating to the Commercial Policy of
Spain in the Floridas .. ., pp. 185, xxxvi; Janice Borton Miller, "Juan Nepomuceno de
Quesada: Spanish Governor of East Florida, 1790-1795" (Ph.D. diss.), p. 199.
19. Minnigerode, Jefferson, Friend of France, p. 270.


The Coming of

On 15 September 1793 Washington asked France to recall
Genet; the new power structure in France honored this request on
22 February 1794. However, Genet did not go back to France and
did not, for a time at least, even retard his efforts to carry out his
original plans. His lieutenants, both French and American, did
not allow his recall to interfere with their own activity. In fact,
Mangourit at Charleston was attempting to speed the operations
along, and Major de Bert, French consul at Savannah, was active-
ly enlisting followers and organizing the expedition.
The attack on St. Augustine was set for 10 April 1794. Genet
pursued efforts to find more ships to send to the St. Marys River
for a coordinated land and sea attack. Michaux was at Charleston
and the leaders in Georgia claimed to have thousands of men,
under the leadership of General Samuel Hammond, ready for
entry into Florida. A formal declaration of independence was
prepared for Florida, promising ultimate independence under
French protection and featuring in its heading the words "Equal-
ity" and "Liberty." Its salutation was "from the free French to
their brothers in Florida."20
A new French minister, Antoine Fauchet, was sent to
America bearing orders to arrest Genet and send him back to
France to face trial-orders based on Washington's request for his
recall. However, Washington mercifully refused to permit the
extradition and Genet remained in America, became a naturalized
American citizen, and eventually abandoned the active leader-
ship of the revolutionary plans he had nurtured.
On 6 March 1794 the newspapers printed Fauchet's procla-
mation that every Frenchman was forbidden to violate the neu-
trality of the United States and that all commissions tending to
infringe upon that neutrality were to be revoked and returned.
Though France, under pressure from the United States gov-
ernment, had officially repudiated Genet and the use of the
French flag in the planned revolutionary efforts in North
America, she still stood to gain by any harassment given to Spain,
a nation with which she was at war. So French agents in America

20. Turner, "Origin of Genet's Projected Attack," p. 654.


Minister Genet

continued to give quiet and ambiguous encouragement to the
American rebel movement. In the Mississippi Valley the venture
lost steam, partly because Spain liberalized slightly its rules for
Mississippi River commerce; but the borderlands inhabitants in
the Southeast, bolstered by French immigrants from the Carib-
bean and by French veterans of the American Revolution, still
found the French flag a useful shield in rebellion against Spain in
Florida. The Americans involved in these adventures reasoned
for the most part that the U.S. avowal of neutrality was just
window dressing since any new French republic in America
would be U.S. territory as soon as the Spanish flag could be
In Florida there were subjects of Spain who were enthusias-
tic about the idea of freedom from Spanish rule. One of those
counted upon by Samuel Hammond, Elijah Clark, and their as-
sociates was Colonel John McIntosh, with his strategically lo-
cated plantation on the north side of the St. Johns River in what is
now downtown Jacksonville. McIntosh carried on an extensive
correspondence with General Samuel Hammond and with John
Peter Wagnon, the Georgian who had served under McIntosh
during the American Revolution and who had resided in St.
Augustine since 1792.
When Abner Hammond came to Florida early in 1794, osten-
sibly to visit his wife and his father-in-law, William Jones, the
Spanish authorities suspected that his real motive was to support
the French revolutionary effort in Florida. He and Jones, along
with McIntosh, Wagnon, William Plowden, and Richard Lang,
were accused of crimes of rebellion against Spain. Abner Ham-
mond and McIntosh were imprisoned in Morro Castle in Cuba.
Lang, Wagnon, Jones, and Plowden were released after a few
months' incarceration in Florida. Major de Bert, the veteran
French military and consular officer involved in the Florida activ-
ities, wrote to the French consul at Charleston on 15 February
1794 that most of the persons imprisoned were "not in on the
secret but from their known sentiments they were counted upon
for help."21
21. Ibid.


The Coming of

The McIntosh plantation, Cerro Fuente, was ransacked and all
correspondence and papers were seized. Knowing that her letters
to her imprisoned husband would be read carefully by the Spanish
authorities, the colonel's wife, Sarah, wrote cautiously to him that
she had obtained the return of most of his letters and papers
"except your agreement with Mr. Wagnon to bring in your cattle
from Georgia and four letters from Colonel Samuel Hammond
which he [the governor] informed me he had forwarded to the
Captain General." She stressed that "this was far from being
unpleasant, knowing full well the contents" to be innocent busi-
ness and simply correspondence among old friends.22 McIntosh
and Hammond were not released for about a year, after a brisk
correspondence to secure this end by Mrs. McIntosh, who was
almost totally blind. She even invoked and secured the assistance
of President Washington.
On the affaire Genet Washington did not content himself with
proclamations of neutrality and the official repudiation of Genet's
plans by the French. He arranged for the presence of troops to
enforce neutrality at the Georgia border. There were rumors of
Spanish troops moving northward toward the St. Marys while
Captain Jonas Fauche, commanding American troops, marched
south to the same destination. Fauche later wrote: "Before this,
General Clark had withdrawn his garrisons; and at the aforemen-
tioned approach, his troops dispersed."23 The French warship
Las Casas, which had arrived at Amelia Island on 9 April, pulled
away to return to Charleston before the end of the month; Clark
withdrew his troops to Indian lands to the west of Georgia; and
the French-inspired Florida revolution almost died aborning in
As we shall see, Washington's opposition and France's official
repudiation failed to put a stop to revolutionary activities in 1794.

22. George White, Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 552.
23. Fauche to Joseph Bevan, 5 February 1826, Joseph Bevan Papers, Georgia Histori-
cal Society.
24. The activities of Las Casas at Charleston and St. Marys were supportive of the
rebellion (Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp. 13, 34). The warship withdrew from the
Amelia Island support position in April 1794 ibidd., p. 165).


Minister Genet 31

The end would not occur before shots were fired under the French
flag in 1795. Meanwhile, the Spanish were investigating these
activities and collecting testimony from their prisoners: John
McIntosh, Richard Lang, John Peter Wagnon, William Jones,
William Plowden, and Abner Hammond. Their depositions and
the other documents presented in the following chapters give the
background for the story of Florida's French revolution.


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond Expose the Rebellion

AS the Spanish investigations into the rebellion continued during
1794, documentary evidence was submitted to the governor of
East Florida, Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada.1 Quesada was in
poor health in the early 1790s and made many efforts to retire. He
was allowed to retire officially as of 30 April 1795 (to be succeeded
later by Bartolome Morales) but was unable to turn over the reins
of government permanently until well into 1796.2 The document

1. The common source for most of the documents pertaining to the French-induced
rebellion against the Spanish government of East Florida presented in this volume is a single
bundle (a legajo) of official papers (in this case a "litigation") preserved in the Archivo
General de Indias, Papeles Procedentes de Cuba. These documents in legajo 166,pormenor
("subsection") 16, were located from a study made of Roscoe R. Hill's Descriptive
Catalogue of the Documents Relating to the History of the United States in the Papeles
Procedentes de Cuba Deposited in the Archivo General de Indias at Seville (p. 98). Most of
the original documents are recorded in Spanish; these are printed here in translations by
Charles E. Bennett. The original English-language documents from the legajo are identified
as such in the source note, which appears in square brackets [ ] immediately above the first
line of the document itself. Sometimes the next line is a heading [printed in italic type in this
volume] that was entered for cross-reference by the clerk in the original document.
Copies of these documents are to be found in Box 293 in the East Florida Papers, Library
of Congress, and there is a complete microfilm of all of legajo 166 in the Charles E. Bennett
Collection of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.
As this volume is being readied for the printer, the University of Florida's P. K. Yonge
Library is preparing a calendar of their Spanish colonial documents, an expanding microfilm
collection, which includes the East Florida Papers. That calendar may permit the later
identification of still more documents bearing upon the French intrigue of 1794.
2. See Janice Borton Miller, "Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada: Spanish Governor of
East Florida, 1790-1795" (Ph.D. diss.), for general biographical information; see also
Richard K. Murdoch, The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793-1796: Spanish Reaction to
French Intrigue and American Designs, p. 140.


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

bearing the earliest date of those collected in legajo 166, 29 De-
cember 1793, was generated by Captain Richard Lang, com-
mander of the Spanish dragoons in the St. Marys Valley (see
chapter 2). It is a formal statement taken by Lang from Ruben
Pitcher, an immigrant from the United States who had settled near
the St. Marys in 1790. Pitcher was an early collaborator in the
French intrigue, returning to Georgia in 1793 as one of Samuel
Hammond's principal recruiting agents.3 Lang forwarded
Pitcher's statement to Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Howard, com-
mander of Spain's northern frontier in East Florida.
Howard, according to Luis de las Casas, Spain's governor of
Cuba, was "an individual of mature judgment, capable, well
informed, and one who has earned the esteem of the two gover-
nors under whose orders he has served." Of Irish descent, How-
ard had thirty years of military service behind him when he began
his administrative duties in East Florida, first for Governor Zes-
pedes, then for Governor Quesada. He had fought for Spain in
Brazil, at the Rio de la Plata, in the expedition of Havana in 1780,
and in Santo Domingo. He then became an officer of the Irish
infantry regiment stationed at St. Augustine. Zespedes gave him
the title of secretary of the government.4

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 64]
December 30, 1793
I have transmitted to you a copy of Mr. Ruben Pitcher's state-
ment, of which matter I expect to have a fuller account in a few days,
which I will communicate either to you or his Excellency the Gov
[ernor], as I intend to get to town on Saturday next if nothing
unexpected happens.

3. Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, p. 156.
4. Lawrence Kinnaird, ed., Spain in the Mississippi Valley, 1765-1794, 2:34; Miller,
"Quesada," p. 91; Helen H. Tanner, "Zespedes and the Southern Conspiracies," p. 17. In
1797 Howard was sent on a reconnaissance of the upper Mississippi when it was feared
Britain might attack Louisiana from Canada. Later he was made commanding officer of the
Fixed Regiment of Louisiana. See Arthur Preston Whitaker, Documents Relating to the
Commercial Policy of Spain in the Floridas .. ., p. 238.


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

I have further to inform you that I have made a confidant of
Pitcher, begging you and his Excellency not to make it known where
the intelligence comes from. He has proposed to me that he enlist
with their forces to find out all the schemes and plans; and I will
communicate anything that comes to my notice.
I hope you will excuse haste. I have some accounts of three
Indians being at Mrs. Neely's house, she talking with them, giving
them potatoes. I wish to go to see what they are about and what they
say. I am with respect and affection, your humble servant
Richd. Lang

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 64]

Statement mentioned in the preceding letter:

Personally appeared before me Ruben Pitcher who, being duly
sworn, says and deposes on his oath that he is informed by good
authority that an expedition is forming against the Province of East
He further says that he has had some conversation with some of
the recruiting officers; that they had enlisted in the County of Cam-
den, Georgia, upwards of thirty men to plunder Florida.
He further says on his oath that he is informed that Colonel
Samuel Hammond is to command the land forces; and that there are
in Newton three frigates ready for the expedition.
He further says on his oath that Lieutenant Hardee,s the recruit-
ing officer for said expedition, tried to enlist him for the intended
The deponent further says that he was informed that a vessel
had arrived at the Newton landing, with provisions and a large
number of entrenching tools.
He further says that he has every reason to believe that this said
vessel is intended for this expedition.

5. John Hardee came from a prominent Camden County family, several of whom fought
in the American Revolution. Their coastal plantation in the northern part of Camden County
was called Rural Felicity (Marguerite G. Reddick, Camden's Challenge: A History of
Camden County, Georgia, pp. 4, 22, 30, 54). Johannes reports that a distinguished descen-
dant of his, Dr. Charles Hardee, settled on the Bell River near Amelia Island in the 1800s (Jan
H. Johannes, Yesterday's Reflections, Nassau County, Florida: A Pictorial History, pp.


Expose the Rebellion

He further says that he was informed that a late survey of the
works of St. Augustine was taken together with the situation of the
The deponent further says that he is well informed in Camden
County that the abovementioned Hammond is to recruit a force of
700 men there to take the oath of allegiance to France and then to
plunder and take the Province of East Florida, with the assistance of
the three frigates, which are to strike at the same time as the land
forces do.
The deponent further sayeth not.
Ruben Pitcher

Sworn before me this 29th day of December, 1793.
Richard Lang

This is a true copy of the original that is actually in my posses-
Richd. Lang

Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Howard responded to Richard
Lang in a note dated just one day after Lang's letter to Howard.

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 66]

Amelia Island at 11:30 on the night of December 31, 1793

Richard Lang.
Dear Sir:
I have just this instant received your letter of yesterday, which I
shall use appropriately, with appreciation for its promptness. At the
same time I want to inform you that the matter you talk about has
been made public in the State of South Carolina, where the main
agents have been arrested and condemned by a decree of the Gov-
ernor. Such decree has been published in the newspaper of Sa-
vannah on the 19th of last month.
In any case, you and Captain Hall would do well to warn the
people about this.
I am,
C. H.


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

P.S. You should also find out the reason for the visit of the
Indians. These are copies translated from the originals that are in my

Amelia Island, January 1, 1794

Carlos Howard

A week later, on 7 January 1794, Lieutenant Colonel Carlos
Howard wrote to Governor Quesada. His letter enclosed two
important statements taken by Howard from Abner Hammond,
sergeant major of Georgia militia in Camden County, Georgia,
and commissary general for the French-backed rebels in Florida.

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 53]

Official letter of Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Howard accompanying
the testimony heretofore taken by him from Abner Hammond; and
another paper which he submitted to him.

Senior Governor:
Day before yesterday at noon I received a letter from the Amer-
ican Abner Hammond asking me to go talk with him on Cumberland
Island,6 where he had some interesting things to tell me affecting the
well being of Spain and the United States.
So, consequently, I went there in the afternoon; and, walking
alone with me, he told me that the matter he wished to discuss with
me was of such a nature as to require that I would, on my word of
honor, never say that he gave me such information. I gave it to him in
a formal way, not without thinking that the matter would be relating
to the enlisting already known about; and so it was. But, finding out
later that he had the full secret of the infamous conspiracy, I thought

6. Cumberland Island is the most southerly island in Georgia, just across the St. Marys
from Amelia Island in Florida. It was the site of a sixteenth-century Spanish mission.
Fortified by Oglethorpe in the eighteenth century, it was well populated before the town of St.
Marys was established (Reddick, Camden's Challenge, p. 211). Most of it is now a part of
National Park Service holdings, i.e., the Cumberland Island National Seashore.


Expose the Rebellion

of the little value that would come from reference to a simple conver-
sation and how much more important it would be if all were
I suggested this to him, adding that for better achieving the
honorable ends he had in mind it would be best for him to accompany
me to my post so we could discuss the matter more deliberately. He
accepted this upon condition that I would give him a pass to St.
Johns7 and to St. Augustine, because he wanted to see Your Excel-
lency. This is exactly what I wanted. He accompanied me to this
post; and that same night I wrote down his sworn statement, a
translated copy of which I enclose for Your Excellency, numbered
one, and the second, a translation of the paper he wrote and signed
the next morning.
There is no doubt that everything said is the straight truth; and,
when supplemented by the copy of the original propositions made by
the French agent De Burte, which Hammond will present to Your
Excellency, it will constitute a convincing and detailed account of
this evil plot.
I say that I am certain as to the truth of the testimony. What
seems to confirm the good intentions of the witness is the clear
proposition8 set out in Number 2 that is about placing the provisions
and war supplies of the conspiracy so that they can fall into the hands
of the government, thus wrecking the projected expedition. But at
the same time, I must confess that the confidence I now have in the
man is more apparent than real, and it will remain so until I see all the
preparations of the plotters completely under our control.
I do not like Hammond's proposal (although I have concealed
my feelings from him) that before taking any steps against them, they
be allowed to gather in Temple all of the supplies. It would seem to
me to be more natural and less likely to arouse the suspicion of the
conspirators if Hammond, returning from St. Augustine where at the
latest he should be on the 14th, could cleverly tell his confederates
and spread around in this river valley the news that he had gained the
permission he sought from the Spanish government (because of the
scarcities which have brought about the rebellion) to bring in a
certain amount of provisions and farm equipment by means of an

7. There was a St. Johns town at the bluffin the late 1700s, but here the term was used to
describe the lower St. Johns River valley, which today comprises most of Duval County.
8. Printed below at p. 44.


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

inner passage to the St. Johns River.9 Consequently he could start
sending in shipments without delay and deposit them in places which
Your Excellency may deem safe and close at hand for easy seizure.
The permit for the introduction should be put in writing and
limited to small amounts.
In order to satisfy Hammond and with his knowledge, I shall let
everything pass through here in all quantities; and the excess over
Your Excellency's licensed amounts will always be a sufficient ex-
cuse for the Royal Estate to take it all over whenever desired.
If Hammond acts accordingly in good faith, the greatest diffi-
culty I foresee is finding enough small vessels to provide transporta-
tion for these goods. Such are in very short supply in this river.
Everything considered, I feel that the disclosure of the plot in
Carolina, and the recommendation afterwards made by the Legisla-
ture of Georgia in the middle of last month and to their Governor on
the same matter, must have weakened, if not killed entirely, the plans
of the conspiracy; and I firmly believe that even in the event that the
plot had not been uncovered, [not even] a third of those enlisted
would have come together inside the Indian Line.
That the project was formed and was intended to be carried off I
am sure; but I still consider it to be the fruit of the thoughtless
fanaticism, temerity, and impudence that distinguish the rebellious
Ambassador Genet and his diabolic masters, the National Conven-
It is appropriate to add that I learned through a conversation
with Abner Hammond that the French commissions or certificates
would not be handed over to the leaders in the conspiracy until they
are outside the boundaries of Georgia, with the idea that this would
exempt the behavior and the people from all the responsibilities to
the laws of the United States.
In order to assure keeping the secrecy that I had promised
Hammond, before trusting the words of his statement, paper, and
letter to the clerk whom I was obliged to use, I formally swore him
[the clerk] to secrecy about the whole affair as a Christian and loyal
I have the intention, if Your Excellency approves, to write

9. The inner passage, or inland waterway of today, had been but slightly improved at the
time. Some work on it was done by patriots during the American Revolution (Charles E.
Bennett, Southernmost Battlefields of the Revolution, p. 17).


Expose the Rebellion

another letter to the Governor of Georgia letting him know the
contents of the recent statement and naming all the conspirators,
without omitting same Don Abner as Commissary elect of the expe-
God keep Your Excellency many years,
Amelia Island, January 7, 1794

Carlos Howard
Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada

The first of Hammond's statements transmitted to the gov-
ernor by Howard's foregoing letter was given orally to Howard
and recorded by the Spanish officer. The second was written by
Hammond himself. It offered what had been suggested previ-
ously, a betrayal of his associates. The means of accomplishing
the betrayal were outlined and the motives for it stated.

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 40-in English]

Statement by Abner Hammond concerning a conspiracy formed
against the two Floridas and Louisiana.
Number 1.
Charles Howard, Lieutenant Colonel of his Majesty's Army,
Captain of Grenadiers in the Third Battalion of the Regt of Cuba, and
Temporary Commandant of the Spanish frontier on the River St.
Marys in the Province of East Florida- On the fifth day of January
of the year 1794 in the Island of Amalia of the abovementioned
province, on the aforesaid frontier and river personally appeared
before me one Abner Hammond Esqre major of the militia in Cam-
den County of the State of Georgia, who in presence of two assisting
witness, Justo Lbpez and Emmanuel Bernal, being duly sworn on
the Holy Evangelists, in consequence of his professing the Protes-
tant religion, declareth spontaneously, and at his own request and
desire by virtue of the said oath, as follows.
That previous to his the deponents departure from his residence
at Temple on this River of St. Mary, which departure was on the first


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

day of last November he had reports of men there being enlisting the
States of Georgia and South Carolina under French commissions for
the purposes of levying war against His Catholic Majesty's posses-
sions, particularly against East and West Florida and the Louisiana;
but of this deponent did not make any account or give faith to at that
time, but upon his arrival at Augusta the seat of government in
Georgia he found it to be true, having been invited to engage in the
business by various persons already concerned in it, in the first
instance by Mr. De Burte agent for the French Republick, and who
had formerly served in the American Army in the Regiment
Pulawski, Colonel Samuel Hammond, who was to have the com-
mand of the troops to be raised in Georgia, Colonel Henry Hampton,
a member of the Senate of said State, as was the abovemention'd
Samuel a representative, and several other individuals of respect-
ability, whose names deponent considers superfluous to specify; the
above persons, after disclosing the business, proposed to deponent
to engage in it, which he declined, insisting insisting [sic] strenuously
on the risquiness of the attempt and that such a proceeding militated
flagrantly against the honour and laws of the general government of
the United States; but the arguments made use of by deponent were
of no avail and were laughed at and even caused a dispute and
dissatisfaction between deponent and his brother, the above [men-
tioned] Colonel Samuel Hammond.
From these circumstances after two days weighing the matter,
deponent judged that the best method he could adopt to keep himself
out of trouble, to reclaim his brother Samuel, and to [sic] his duty to
his country, would be to shew an appearance of his being convinced
by the arguments urged to him and share with the proposals to obtain
a fuller knowledge of the general tendency of the designs, to be the
better able to free his brother, his country and himself from the
disagreeable consequences which must inevitably attend so wild and
unlawfull a project; in consequence of which accession of deponent
to their proposals, they laid open their whole plan to him, and
appointed him commissary of stores for the intended expedition,
part of which stores, consisting of forty-five barrels of flour, ten of
pork, and five of beef, with one dozen of shovels, one dozen of
spades and four dozen of hoes, and four hundred and twenty-seven
gallons of rum, are actually lodged at deponent's house at Temple
brought round from Savanah in the schooner Lively, Captain Sher-


Expose the Rebellion

man, the same one that Mr. Olivero1 is said to have freighted to carry
him and his party from Cumberland to Augustine. Deponent adds the
leaders of the expedition are to send forward to Temple as much
greater [a] quantity of provisions and military stores, arms and
ammunition to be sent to the same place but none are being for-
warded as yet. That number enrolled are said to be six hundred, the
commander to be the abovementioned Samuel Hammond the sec-
ond in command Henry Kerr,1" late Colonel of militia in Green
County and the third a Mr. Oliver,12 whose Christian name deponent
is unacquainted with but comprehends he was formerly settled in
Charleston in the mercantile line. Deponent further adds that there
are captains and subalterns appointed, but does not know the name
of any of them, except having heard, since his return from Savannah,
four days ago and by land that Mr. William Knecblack13 of Camden
County is one of the captains. Deponent further adds the officers and
men were to be pay'd cloath'd and ration'd on the same footing as the
federal Troops of the United States. That when the whole will be
ready to be carry'd into execution, the people enrolled are to march
in small parts to the place of rendezvous (the particular spot depon-
ent is unacquainted with, nor does he think it is fix'd upon as yet).
However he believes it will be somewhere within the Indian Line,
near the fork of the Oconees, to be the sooner clear of the State of
Georgia and from there to fall down towards the head of St. Marys,
and there enter East Florida there to find some [illegible] provisions
at Temple; it being encharged to deponent to procure beforehand a
permit from the Spanish government to transport the greater part to
the river at St. Johns under the appearance of disposing of them there
at public market, to the [illegible] to which deponent agreed, tho
firmly resolved to disclose the whole to the Spanish government.
Deponent being asked if any part or the whole of the above had
10. This was probably Captain Pedro Oliver, a Spanish officer who was given the task of
trying to dissuade the Indians from giving up the lands agreed upon in the U.S. treaty of 1790,
New York (Murdoch, Florida-Georgia Frontier, p. 46; James F. Doster, The Creek Indians
and Their Florida Lands, 1740-1823, 1:164).
11. Colonel Henry Kerr of Greene County, Georgia, raised many recruits for Samuel
Hammond (Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, p. 27).
12. This Mr. Oliver was originally from Greene County, Georgia; he moved to Charles-
ton and from there recruited men for Samuel Hammond (ibid.).
13. William Niblack was a leader in Camden County affairs and was instrumental in
establishing St. Marys as the county seat (Reddick, Camden's Challenge, pp. 5, 6, 22).


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

come to the knowledge of the executive government of the State [of
Georgia] sayeth that he believes that the government had come
to the knowledge of part, but not of the whole, and that said part was
not known by government, until after deponent left Augusta, which
was to the best of his recollection the fifteenth of last month a day
more or less. Deponent further sayeth that at Savannah he heard
from good authority that the affair had been brought forward at the
assembly, deponent does not recollect by whom, but that in conse-
quence a motion was made to adopt the same measures to stop the
progress of so vile a proceeding as had been adopted for the same
purpose at South Carolina but the motion was overruled. All the
proponents of it could affect was that a recommendation should be
passed to the governor, to [illegible] that he might issue a proclama-
tion forbidding the enlistment of men under a foreign authority, and
further the assembly voted that the governor should use such
means as were legally permitted to quash any such enlistments.
Deponent being asked if said expedition against the Spanish
dominions are to be supported by any naval force- sayeth he was
informed by the abovemention'd French agent that it would be
supported by seven, or [illegible] arm'd frigates, but deponent does
not know where said armed force was to come from or be collected.
It is remarked that deponent in the beginning of his declaration
said the ringleaders of the enlistments had in view the invasions of
the two Floridas and the Louisiana, yet farther on in his declaration
he specifys the design to be particularly against East Florida. He is
therefore asked how he can account for that difference. Deponent
says that the parts enlisted in South Carolina were of an under-
standing with that of Georgia and the two had combined their opera-
tions; for the better effecting of which Colonel Tate of the South
Carolina party had repaired to Augusta whilst deponent was yet there
and it was agreed that the South Carolina corps should assemble at
the Muscle Shoals on the Tennessee to proceed against West Florida
and the Louisiana. [Illegible] from Carolina being to be joined by
parties from the Western [sic] Country and Kentucky; and that the
whole was to be commanded by General Clarke; the Georgia corps
being to act separately against East Florida as declared above. And
farther deponent sayeth that he had in his hands at Temple a copy of
the original proposals made by aforesaid French agent to deponent's
brother Samuel, which copy deponent is ready to produce to Colonel
Howard or his Excellency Gov. John [Nepomuceno] de Quesada to
which purpose he wishes to go to Augustine.


Expose the Rebellion

Deponent being ask'd if any of the people of Coleraine, or of his
own stockade at Temple are concerned in the business and particu-
larly if a Lieutenant Hardy or an Ensign Howard14 are of the
number- sayeth that since his return he has heard that Hardy, and
the abovementioned Knecblack were concerned in the business,
also one Brown15 at the Station of Satilly, but deponent does not
believe that Howard is concerned, and deponent has also heard that
one Hampton of Coleraine is likewise concerned; deponent here
recollects that he this day wrote to Knecblack and Hardy to meet
him tomorrow at Temple, on purpose to enquire as party concerned,
how far they are engaged in the business, deponent being persuaded
that they are not engaged in the same party that he is and wishes to
know who may be their employers: and further deponent sayeth not,
except that what he has declared above is truth and nothing but the
truth by virtue of the oath he hath taken, and that he is thirty-two
years of age, in testimony whereof he signs this his declaration after
having read it word by word to his own satisfaction in presence of the
abovenamed witnesses.
A. Hammond
Carlos Howard
Justo L6pez
Manual Bernal

January 7, 1794

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 444-in English]

Abner Hammond's paper written in English and signed in his own
handwriting, on the morning after the night he gave his statement to
Carlos Howard.

Number 2.
It might appear presumptious in me (after the information given)
to pretend to advise what measures might best be taken, that I

14. William Howard, a U.S. army officer stationed in Georgia, assisted in the enlistment
for the French intrigue (Miller, "Quesada," p. 242).
15. Jacob R. Brown served under William Tate (Louise F. Hays, Hero of Hornet's
Nest; A Biography of Elijah Clark, 1733 to 1799, p. 243).


Captain Lang and Colonel Hammond

therefore must submit to the superior judgment of his Exclncy the
Governor and any measures adopted by him will be readyly agreed
to by me [if] they do not extend to discover my having given
information of the business which to me would be dangerous and
prejudicial to the measures to be taken to prevent the progress
As a considerable quantity of provisions more are to be ship'd to
me, I should judge that when the whole may be received I might be
permitted to send them for sale to St. Johns, where they may, from
some information given by some other person, be siez'd on by the
government as property of the French Republick, in which case I
should expect that my expenses and trouble in the business would be
paid by the government and, as I have given receipts and shall be
oblig'd to give others for all I may receive, I shall expect that the
government will indemnify me for any damage therefrom and the
french property being put into their hands by me will judge the
propriety of what would be a proper disposal thereof.
As the whole of the provisions are to be rec'd by me and stored
previous to any movements being made by the troops and as they are
to wait my advice when the provisions are ready, it may be so fix'd
that the first advice I give them will be that I have been admitted to
send the provisions to St. Johns and that after their being stor'd there
a suspicion had arisen or some information been given and that the
provisions a [re] seized on by the government & removed to St.
Augustine, which will put a stop to the movement of the men, not
being able to procure supplies.
As I am to be in Augustine it is my wish that the communica-
tions there be had through some good and confidential person;
perhaps Father O'Riley16 would be the most [proper] person, I being
acquainted with his brother, and with the uprightness of his own
And for my own safety as well as to have it in my power more
effectually to prevent the intended business it is my wish that the
information from me be known to as few persons as possible.

Amelia-6 Jany., 1794-

A. Hammond.
16. Father O'Reilly spoke four languages and taught in the school at St. Augustine
(Miller, "Quesada," p. 110). Variant spellings of proper names have been preserved in this
study unless otherwise noted.


Expose the Rebellion 45

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 82-in English]

A letter from Abner Hammond to Richard Lang of 1st November.

1 Nov. 1793

Dear Sir:
I herewith send a letter for Mr. Jones which I will thank you to
send by the first safe hand and the mare also.
I have engaged the wagon for Mr. Jones if the money can be sent
soon to Capt. Dawson, of which I inform Jones by the letter to him &
you may also inform him if he sends the money shortly he can have
her. I am in haste, just setting out for Augusta.
Remain dr sir
Your most obt servt
A. Hammond
Captn Lang

'..- VI ~ a

Royal House, residence of the Spanish governors at St. Augustine. From a 1764 watercolor, courtesy of the National Park


;ipJs*j^- jI -.-


Council of War, 16 January 1794;

Statements by Hall, Arons, and Cryer

AT the Royal House in St. Augustine, the governor's mansion on
the plaza, Governor Quesada called the following officers to-
gether in a council of war on 16 January 1794. Colonel Bartolome
Morales, commander of the Third Battalion of the Cuban Infantry
Regiment, had been intendant of Louisiana before coming to St.
Augustine in 1791. During the governor's frequent illnesses,
Morales was called upon to act in his stead. Captain Juan Re-
medios, the ranking artillery officer in East Florida, and Pedro
Salcedo, another captain of artillery, were also present. Pedro
Berrio was the ranking officer of the engineers in East Florida and
regularly advised the governor on the improvement of defenses,
particularly those of Amelia Island.1 Gonzalo Zamorano was the
colony's accountant; when the governor was ill, Zamorano as-
sumed his duties in fiscal matters.2 Manuel Rengil held the title of
government secretary of East Florida.
The council of war decided that John McIntosh, Richard
Lang, Abner Hammond, William Jones, John Peter Wagnon, and
William Plowden should be arrested for their suspicious behavior
in connection with the rebellion. John McIntosh, because of his
responsibilities as lieutenant governor for the St. Johns River
district, had apparently violated his trust by not reporting the
1. Richard K. Murdoch, The Florida-Georgia Frontier, 1793-1796: Spanish Reaction
to French Intrigue and American Designs, p. 168.
2. Ibid., p. 163.

Council of War,

rebellion promptly. Although Richard Lang, captain of one of the
companies of dragoons on the St. Marys River, had originally
insisted on the fortifying of a house at San Jose on the upper St.
Marys, he had then suspiciously urged abandoning it despite its
strategic location at an entry into Florida.3 Abner Hammond was
ordered arrested because of his failure to report the progress of his
plot to subvert the rebellion. William Jones, father-in-law of
Hammond, and William Plowden4 were apprehended under more
general allegations of suspicion.
That same day the governor received an unsigned letter
making secret accusations against McIntosh, Jones, Plowden,
and other Americans residing in the St. Johns River valley, and
asserting that they could be expected to join the rebellion and that
the people in the St. Marys and Nassau valleys were mostly
Tories, who could be expected to resist an American-supported
rebellion. Lang was also implicated because of his close friend-
ships with people in the St. Johns area. This unsigned letter was
probably written by Captain Nathaniel Hall, commander of the
Spanish militia in the lower valley of the St. Marys. In the pro-
ceedings he was noted as being present at a meeting wherein he
submitted a statement. Evidence concerning his identity is to be
found in the language of an order of 20 January based on the
conclusions of the council of war. Hall also gave a formal state-
ment under oath on 17 January and wrote a letter to Carlos
Howard dated 19 January, both of which are included in this
chapter along with statements by other Florida residents, George
Arons and Thomas Cryer.s
3. The exact location of San Jose has not been pinpointed, but it seems probable that it
was either across the river from Coleraine, a major point of entry, or more likely about five
miles to the west, since Lang said it was about ten miles from Florida settlement and that
location would be ten miles west from Lang's house. The latter location became the major
entry into Florida in the later years. A detachment of Spanish dragoons was ordered there on
16 January 1794 (Janice Borton Miller, "Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada: Spanish Governor
of East Florida, 1790-1795" [Ph.D. diss.], p. 242).
4. Plowden had settled in St. Augustine around 1791 and purchased a large house there
in the Calle de Marina. He fled to Georgia because of the exposure of the intrigue, and his
properties were confiscated (Murdoch, Florida-Georgia Frontier, p. 157).
5. Cryer had been granted 500 acres south of the St. Marys on 6 November 1790
("Spanish Land Grants in Florida," Florida Department of Agriculture, 3:30; Murdoch,


16 January 1794

The statement by Arons gave many details of the planned
invasion and quoted Ruben Pitcher as saying that Richard Lang
had been planning to leave his Spanish post as militia captain on
the St. Marys but was dissuaded by John McIntosh, who had
urged Lang "instead to keep his commission because very shortly
this province would be free and independent; and then he would
command this river and McIntosh the St. Johns." Thomas Cryer
stated in his testimony about John McIntosh that Ruben Pitcher
had said of McIntosh "some months ago" that he "knew and
participated fully in the plot of the Georgians."

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 19]

Two articles, beginning and end of the Council of War.

At the Council of War held on the day of this writing, in the
Royal House which serves as the residence of the governors at St.
Augustine, East Florida, those present were Don Juan Nepomuceno
de Quesada, Colonel in the Royal Army, Governor of said City and
Province, who, as president, authorized the council and as commit-
teemen convened by him, Colonel Bartolome Morales, Commander
of the Third Battalion of the Regiment of Infantry of Cuba: the
Captains of the Royal Corps of Artillery, Pedro Salcedo and Juan
Remedios; Pedro Berrios, engineer; Gonzalo Zamorano, Comptrol-
ler of the Royal Treasury; and myself, Manuel Rengil, Interim Secre-
tary of this government; so that the following could be accomplished
in the council meeting:
Said President reported all the secret and clandestine informa-
tion that he had received from the shores of the St. Johns and St.
Marys rivers, all relating to the enlisting of a group of Americans,
certain people from the State of Georgia, on the boundary of this
province under commissions and directions from the French with
intent of attacking this province; he read several paragraphs of
letters and other documents relating to the same matters, and all that

Florida-Georgia Frontier, p. 175). Jan H. Johannes identifies Cryer's holdings as the lands
that the British set aside for their new communities of New Bermuda and Hillsborough on the
St. Marys River, the latter having been settled by John Bethune and others from the Isle of
Skye in 1772 (see Yesterday's Reflections, Nassau County, Florida: A Pictorial History,
pp. 101-3).


Council of War,

he had written about the matter to the Governor of Georgia and to the
Spanish and English ministers established in various places around
the United States, demonstrating to them a justified suspicion and
mistrust of certain Americans recently admitted as subjects of his
Majesty and established in this city and on the shores of said rivers.
Everything being fully considered under mature reflection and
with a view to the risks that such proceedings entail and with the
determination to prevent and avoid such in every way possible, the
council unanimously and with common accord, without dissent,
agreed and decided upon the following things:
Article I
With regard to the fact that John Macintosh, who is authorized
the title of Lieutenant Governor in the District of the St. Johns River,
has violated government regulations by giving open protection to
Diego Allen6 and John Peter Wagnon, men known to be perverse and
under suspicion, and that he has also failed to communicate to the
government as he should the schemes that are being plotted in the
State of Georgia, which are public knowledge and notorious along
the entire length of that river and, moreover, that he has seen and
dealt with Abner Hammond, one of those planning to invade this
province and in charge of collecting supplies for said expedition, and
brother of the main leader of it:
For these acts and others described by the President at said
meeting, he is suspected of conspiring with enemies of the State; and
it is ordered that he be arrested this night while he is in this city
without a license from the government and without any excuse that
could justify his so coming, thus increasing the suspicion against
Because of similar reasons for suspicion, Richard Lang, Cap-
tain of one of the companies of dragoons on the St. Marys River,
should also be arrested, since he, having fortified a house at the
expense of the Royal Treasury at the upper part of said river (at a
place called San Jose) all because of concern expressed by the
inhabitants there and mainly by said Lang, now insists that it be
abandoned under frivolous pretense; and in addition said house is on
the entry into this province, and to this may be added that he

6. Allen wanted to trade with Indians in Florida, and McIntosh was accused of encour-
aging this violation of rules (Miller, "Quesada," p. 239).


16 January 1794

communicated with said Abner Hammond before coming to this city
where he now is. And other reasons for mistrust were stated by the
President against said Lang.
William Plowden should also be arrested because of the mis-
trust and suspicion which the President has and has made known
against him.
It is ordered that these three men be put in separate cells and
without communication until examined by the government, remov-
ing from them all the papers they possess; and that somebody be sent
to the house of John Macintosh to pick up the papers he may have
there so they can be scrutinized and examined.
Article II
In view of the fact that Abner Hammond had suggested to
Carlos Howard that he would negotiate with the Governor about
taking to the St. Johns River the military supplies and food which
were planned for use in the invasion of this province from the State of
Georgia; and also about designating the spot or spots where they
could be gathered together so that after they had been assembled the
Spanish Government could confiscate them as being French, and
that he stipulated the fourteenth of this month as the latest date to
arrange this, and it being already the sixteenth without finalization
and he being still on the St. Johns River negotiating and conferring
with residents there who are suspect to the government (among them
John Macintosh and William Jones, a rebellious man of restless
disposition and father-in-law of said Hammond), said Hammond
because of his acts is under suspicion of conspiring with residents
along said river while pretending to come in good faith to deal with
the Governor: and it is believed and presumed that his devious
intention is to lull the government with attractive offers, while truly
collaborating with his confederates. It is ordered that someone
trustworthy go to the home of William Jones, taking with him enough
escort to arrest said Abner Hammond and said William Jones, his
father-in-law, bringing them to this city with all the papers that can be
That the detail, having accomplished this, go on to the home of
Richard Lang and pick up and bring back to the Governor all the
papers that are found there so they can be inspected too.
Conclusion of the council.
The preceding points were determined and unanimously ap-


Council of War,

proved for the better service of the King; and after being signed by
the President they were also signed by the other members. I certify
to this in St. Augustine, January 16, 1794.
Juan Nepomuceno de
Bartolome Morales
Pedro Jose Salcedo
Juan Remedios
Pedro Diaz Berrio
Gonzalo Zamorano
Manuel Rengil

[This document] reproduces the two articles, conclusion, and
preamble of the original meeting which were given to me to produce
this testimony and which I returned to the Secretary of Government;
and in accordance with orders I attest to it in St. Augustine, Florida,
today, January 22, 1794.
Jose de Zubizarreta,
government reporter

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 12]

Copy of the secret accusation.7

East Florida, January 16, 1794

To His Excellency the Governor:
Dear Sir:
In regard to what I mentioned to Your Excellency this morning I
am of the opinion that if a group of Americans were to come to take
over or plunder this province many of the residents of the St. Johns
area instead of defending the country would go against it and maybe
would join them: like Macintosh, Plowden, Goodwin,8 Jones, Sterl-
ing9 and a majority of those that came lately from the United States.
7. This letter was probably written by Nathaniel Hall.
8. The house of Francis Goodwin was searched and suspicious materials were found
there. He left the province but was allowed to return and reoccupy his old plantation,
Strawberry Hill (Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp. 107, 171).
9. Francis Sterling married Mary Lang, second daughter of Richard Lang, about 1790


16 January 1794

As to the people of the St. Marys and the Nassau, who were
mainly British subjects before, it is evident that in general they hate
the Americans, and consequently they would defend the Province.
Concerning Captain Lang, he appears to be very close to the
people of the St. Johns mentioned above, but that may not mean
there is anything wrong intended; but if so I will discover it, and will
send the appropriate message to Colonel Carlos Howard; and I will
do likewise with any other thing that I hear of that would be harmful
to the Province.
Sir, the most obedient friend and humble servant of Your Excel-

Certified that the foregoing is a faithful copy of the original in the
secretariat temporarily under my charge and its signature is con-
cealed in accordance with the stipulation in the Order which heads
[the report of] this business.
Saint Augustine, Florida, January 21, 1794
Manuel Rengil

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 67]


Amelia Island, January 16, 1794.

Carlos Howard, Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal Army, Cap-
tain of the Grenadiers of the Third Battalion of the Regiment of
Infantry of Cuba and Interim Commander of the Spanish frontier:
With reference to Samuel Russell,10 Orderly of the Militia of this
river valley, having come last night to tell me that George Arons, a
local resident, had told him various things about the covert enlisting
of people in Georgia for hostilities against this province; and that
Arons had a neighbor in Georgia who had told him about this so that
Arons could protect his property; that this information was given by

(Folks Huxford, Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia: A Biographical Account of Some of the
Early Settlers .. ., 5:256). He should not be confused with Thomas Sterling, a Spanish
justice of the peace (see p. 85 in this volume).
10. Samuel Russell settled on the south side of the St. Johns River in the early 1790s and
afterwards sold the 650-acre tract to Francis Richard (Pleasant D. Gold, History of Duval
County, Florida, p. 68). Russell was in the Spanish militia (see p. 57 in this volume).


Council of War,

his neighbor in gratitude for Arons having saved his life some years
before; and upon the Orderly's asking Arons why he did not report it
to me, he responded that he was ready to do it when I would call him;
so consequently I sent the Orderly to bring him to me; and in the
meantime I ordered this document signed with two witnesses to have
it ready so that when the aforesaid Arons appeared I could examine
him about the matters mentioned above. Consequently I've ordered
it drawn up and signed with witnesses.
Carlos Howard
Justo Lopez
Manuel Bernal

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 4]

Statement by Nathaniel Hall.

St. Augustine, Florida, January 17, 1794.

Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada, Colonel of the Royal Army,
Governor, Commanding General, Royal Protector and Administra-
tor of the Royal Estate in said City and Province for his Majesty:
Since the prompt return to the St. Marys River of the Captain of
Militia of that area, Nathaniel Hall, is important, given that Richard
Lang, also Captain of Militia on that river, has been imprisoned by
order of His Lordship in the fortress [the Castillo de San Marcos]'1 of
this place, and it being necessary that said Hall testify about some
aspects of the imprisonment of Lang, and of others. Hall was or-
dered to appear before His Lordship and Manuel Rengil, secretary of
this government, and took an oath by God and by all that he believes

11. St. Augustine was originally fortified in 1565. The fort was made of wood and was
followed by eight other wooden and earthen forts. When Charleston was settled by the
English in 1670, the need for a stronger fort seemed evident. Spain built the present coquina
fort in the period 1672-95, replacing the last wooden fort. It withstood a 50-day siege by John
Moore's Carolinians in 1702 and repeated efforts by Oglethorpe in the 1740s, including a
38-day siege. After the British capture of Charleston in 1780, the South Carolinians brought
to the Castillo as prisoners were Lieutenant Governor Christopher Gadsden and three
signers of the Declaration of Independence: Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge, and
Thomas Heyward, Jr. The signers had the freedom of the town, but the lieutenant governor
was imprisoned. See Luis Arana and Albert Manucy, "The Building of Castillo de San
Marcos" (manuscript).


16 January 1794

in the Bible according to his Protestant beliefs and under this he
promised to tell the truth of what he knew and was asked; and he
responded as follows:
Asked what day he had left the St. Marys River, if alone, or with
He said he had left there last Saturday, the eleventh of this
month, alone, and that he arrived in the nighttime near the St. Johns
River and that at about half a mile from its bank he went to sleep in
the field, and that the next morning he crossed the river by the pass of
San Nicolas,12 from whence he went to the house of William Jones,
who has charge of it.
Asked about whom he found there, whether he went some-
where else, and with whom did he come from there to this city:
He said that he found Mr. Hammond in the house, a resident of
the State of Georgia and the son-in-law of William Jones; that having
asked him about Captain Lang, whom he expected to find there
because of a message left for him on the 8th of this month at the St.
Marys by Mr. Blunt, an inhabitant there, they told him that Lang had
been waiting for him some two or three days but that during this time
he had gone to the other side of the river to the residence of Mr.
Thomas Sterling, with whom he had some things to discuss. That
when Lang had come back to the house of Mr. Jones and found out
that the witness [Hall] had not yet arrived, he went to the residence of
John McIntosh, from whence he came back again at around 10 or 11
o'clock that same morning, in a boat accompanied by the said
McIntosh, Mr. Cay, his foreman, and William Lee.13 Having asked
Lang if he was going to the city, he was told it was too late and that he
would wait until the next day; and in truth the next morning they
started on their way to the city-the said McIntosh, Lang, Daniel
Johnson and the witness-and at about 18 miles from the city they
met up with Mr. Prither, and they all arrived in the city together.
Asked if he thought that said Daniel Johnson was a companion

12. The pass of San Nicolas was at the bend of the St. Johns where Fort San Nicolas was
built. It was planned about 1740 because of threats of English invasions at that time, but it
was not built until late 1791 or early 1792 (Gold, Duval County, p. 47). Its later history is
described in T. Frederick Davis, History of Jacksonville, Florida, and Vicinity, 1513 to
1924, pp. 36, 37, and in James Ward and Peggy O'Neal, "Time Traveler."
13. William Lee had a plantation on the south side of the St. Johns, and since he was a
suspect in the intrigue, his effects were searched (Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp.


Council of War,

of the people that came with him or if his coming was only to solicit
from the government a pass to look over his properties (which he did
secure); if in the time he stayed at the Jones residence, in the Road
District, or in the time they stayed in this city [St. Augustine] he had
heard any conversations about the rumors that were going around of
attacks against this province, and if he knew the reason why Ham-
mond did not accompany him as he said he would; and all the rest he
could contribute to clarifying what was sought to be accomplished
by an act so harmful:
He said he believes Johnson does not contemplate any other
thought but that which he manifested because he does not suspect
him of any wrongdoing; that in the time that he stayed at the Jones
residence he heard no other revelations except the ones Lang sub-
mitted to His Lordship and he thinks these are the same things which
he said he wrote about to Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Howard,
though the witness did not see the letter. And that in the city he was
not able to find out anything more, even though they were always in
the city together. But this was not unusual because they all lived in
the same house, although the others sometimes went their separate
ways to visit Leslie'4 and Fatio15 whom the witness does not visit.
This is all he can say about this matter; and he signed under oath
before His Lordship with the said Secretary, to which I testify.
Nathaniel Hall
Manuel Rengil

Before me, Jose Zubizarreta, government reporter

14. John Leslie was a partner in the firm of Panton, Leslie and Company; he was elected
16 March 1781 as a representative in the General Assembly of East Florida (Wilbur H.
Siebert, Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to 1785, 1:169, 2:276). The other members of this
firm were William Panton, William Alexander, and Thomas Forbes. They had a business
house in London with branches at Charleston and Savannah, and early in the American
Revolution they moved from Savannah to the St. Johns River. Later they established their
headquarters at St. Augustine and Pensacola and maintained branches at St. Marks and
Mobile ibidd., 2:365).
15. Francis Philip Fatio, Sr., was born in Switzerland in 1724 and died in Florida in 1811.
He moved from Switzerland to England and there became interested in land investments,
which brought him to Florida in 1771. He wielded wide influence in the British and second
Spanish occupations of Florida.


16 January 1794

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 67]

Statement of George Arons.

Amelia Island, January 18, 1794

Before me, the said Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Howard, and
two witnesses in my presence, appeared George Arons, brought
there by the orderly of the militia, Samuel Russell; and Arons,
having taken the oath upon the cross and by the Holy Trinity, as is
done in his homeland of Alsacia, offered to tell the truth as to the
matters about which he was to be questioned, and interrogated with
respect to the particulars which the foregoing order embraces, he
said the following:
1st. Asked if he had talked with the orderly of the militia,
Samuel Russell, about some enlistment of people being made in
Georgia and what it is that he knows about the matter:
He said that it is true that he had talked about the enlistings to
said Russell last Tuesday and that he had told him at the same time
that he was coming to tell me what he had heard, but first he wanted
to bring his slaves to safety; that he told the orderly to come to give
advance notice. And he added that now that he has been called
before me, what he knows of the matter is that fifteen days ago, more
or less, he went with Richard Lang to the house of Mr. Wright (the
one that has been the chief constable in Camden County), located
between the stockades of Temple and Coleraine in Georgia and about
half a mile from the house of said Lang, and that in Wright's house
Lang had a long private conversation with an American called Ruben
Pitcher, of which he could not hear a word; but afterwards he went to
the front yard where the two were talking and asked if the conversa-
tion were over; to which Pitcher responded by asking the witness
[Arons] if he did not know the dangers threatening his Province of
East Florida, with the witness answering back that he did not know
of any danger at all; to which Pitcher replied that an invasion of
Florida was planned and that recruitments were being made in
Georgia, particularly inland.
In due time the recruits would march in small platoons, assem-
bling together in Indian Territory, and once assembled, would attack
Florida by the Lachua side'6 and from there head toward St. Johns;
16. That is, from the Indian lands to the west of St. Augustine.


Council of War,

comprising altogether between five and seven hundred men, well
mounted and armed with sabers and pistols, with intent to move on
to St. Augustine to take the city and fort by assault.
Consequently Pitcher insisted that the witness spend the night
with him, from which he excused himself saying that there were
things to do at home; and the witness added that, as he was walking
down to the pier to go on the boat accompanied by the owner of the
house, Wright, he asked Wright about what had he heard Pitcher say,
and asked confidentially for advice; and he received the reply that
these things seemed to be true and about to be carried out, but that it
was too bad that the plans would be executed despite whatever
opposition from the government of Georgia, because the majority of
the people were inclined to go ahead with them.
2nd. Asked if Richard Lang heard or was present during anything
of what is stated by the witness:
He said that he is positive Lang did not hear anything of what
happened between the owner of the house and the witness when he
went down to leave; that he does not know whether Lang heard what
Pitcher told the witness, but he is certain he could have as he was
present during the conversation.
The witness added that last Sunday Pitcher came to his house
and told him that he came on request of Simeon Dillingham,17 a
resident of Temple and close friend of Abner Hammond, to warn him
to take care as to what he does and to guard his property because he
was in danger of an attack from the other side of the river, that is from
Pitcher also said that Dillingham was sending this message to
the witness because of friendship and gratitude for favors received,
but he emphatically wants his name not to be mentioned to anybody;
because if news spread of him, Dillingham, giving such information
on Hammond, he would have to suffer the consequences.
Pitcher added of his own accord that already in Temple there
was a stock of food supplies, arms, military supplies, and entrench-
ing tools for the expedition, that two more boats loaded with similar
things were expected, and that Colonel Hammond and his brother

17. Simeon Dillingham was a voting resident of Camden County, Georgia, in 1788. He
was instrumental in establishing St. Marys in 1788, including the signing of papers in 1787. He
was a member of the Georgia Constitutional Convention of 1789 (Marguerite G. Reddick,
Camden's Challenge: A History of Camden County, Georgia, pp. 5, 145, 146).


16 January 1794

Abner had already received five thousand pounds sterling from
certain Frenchmen to buy said supplies.
That Samuel Hammond was to be commander-in-chief of the
troops and that the second in command would be Colonel Kerr,18
and they would have as agent or commissary of supplies the said
Abner; that the land troops would be supported by three frigates with
all the supplies already anchored at Port Royal or Beaufort, in South
Carolina, between Savannah and Charleston, and that the battery on
Amelia Island would be attacked by surprise when least expected
unless Spanish or British warships prevented it, which event would
be the only thing to fear for that could spoil the success of the
That it was known that there were only a small number of
people, such as one hundred and fifty, in St. Augustine; and even in
case of failure to take the city by assault, it would be taken by
starving them as it is known there is only food for one month there.
3rd. Asked if he had heard or knew that there were some in this
province participating in or with knowledge of the premeditated
He said that he thinks in the St. Marys River valley the people in
general have an idea of the matter, some more and others less, and
that he thinks that some are thinking of leaving the province to be
safe in the United States.
4th. Asked if he knows who they were:
He said that he does not know with certainty, but he does not
doubt that the majority of them consider it, and that a little time will
tell who they are.
The witness added that he had pressed Pitcher to know if there
were any of the ones from this side, or of the St. Johns, who joined
with the bad intentioned ones in Georgia, and that Pitcher resisted
telling him; but that finally he said that he was sure that John
McIntosh of the St. Johns River knew of the matter some six weeks
ago, and that some time ago when it was said that Richard Lang was
going to leave his post as captain of the Militia, McIntosh had
advised him not to do that, but instead to keep his commission
because very shortly this province would be free and independent
and then he would command this river and McIntosh the St. Johns.
18. The spelling of this man's name is Carr at this point in the record; but to avoid
confusion, since it is clearly the same man whose name elsewhere is given as Kerr, the latter
spelling has been used here.


Council of War,

And the witness added that he presumes that another who must
know of the plot is William Jones, inhabitant of said river valley,
because he is the father-in-law of Abner Hammond; and the witness
added that if what he has said about McIntosh becomes known it
could be dangerous to himself, so to prevent that he wants to
persuade Ruben Pitcher to come and say the same things before me.
Also the witness has no doubt that John Peter Wagnon also
knows everything because he came back by himself Sunday from
Georgia, saying at Thomas Cryer's house that he was only coming for
his wife and family and that he would be back in this river in eight
days to move away from the province; for which purpose he had a
boat and people waiting for him at Newton even then; and that said
Cryer can inform me further on this; and that Richard Lang can
further inform me on the whole matter, since Pitcher has told the
witness that all he knows about the matter has come from Lang.
Here the witness remembered that Pitcher told him that he had
heard Abner Hammond refer to being with Colonel Howard and that
the latter had pressed with great zeal to discover his thoughts but that
Hammond had known how to avoid his efforts and wiles; and that the
witness does not know anything more about the things he has been
asked about, but all that he has stated so far is the truth under the
oath he has given in good faith, and that being forty-seven years old
he signs the statement in front of Justo L6pez and Manuel Bernal
after its being read by me, word for word in the English language,
which, although he is not from that nation, he understands best.
Carlos Howard
George Arons
Justo L6pez
Manuel Bernal.

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 130]

A letter of Captain of the Militia Nathaniel Hall to Carlos Howard,
dated January 19, 1794.

Dear Sir:
I have to inform you that when I was examined in St. Augustine
I stated that I thought the people of St. Marys and Nassau would fight


16 January 1794

for their province if they were ordered to; and I am still of that
opinion if they are ordered to while still in this country; but after my
return home I have been informed that John Bailey,19 Frank Sterl-
ing,20 and Walter Drummond, with the Motes, are all about to move
away to Carolina.
I was a little suspicious of these men before, because they had
offered their pigs and cattle for sale; and I mentioned them to you,
Colonel, in my last letter. When I was interviewed in St. Augustine I
did not think of these men, but before I got home I remembered that
and hurried and walked fast, until at 10 at night I reached home, and I
went out early in the morning and soon I [was informed by] Lieuten-
ant Hogan y Ricardo [that] they were going to leave the province,
positively. And as I have found mistakes in what I had said and
pointed out my errors, I hope to be forgiven.
You asked me to tell you where Wagnon had crossed the river
and what route he took for St. Johns. I understand that he went by
water, and going first to Mr. Talley he got a horse and then hurried on
so fast toward the castle that he tired out his horse before coming to
the St. Johns, leaving it at San Nicolas, where he got another horse
from Jones, which he rode to the city.
I hope you will place this letter in the hands of the Governor as
soon as possible. In doing so you will highly oblige his most obedient
and sincere friend and humble servant,
Nathaniel Hall

P.S. Mr. Daniel Burnett21 told me today that there is a certain
Mr. Hampton living in Coleraine who owes him 10 pounds, which
debt he contracted in East Florida, and that Atkinson,22 who lives in
this province, owes Hampton enough to pay said Burnett; and Mr.
Burnett would like to know if that could be obtained from Mr.
Atkinson or frozen in his possession. You could kindly let me know if
something can be done about this matter.

19. John Bailey married Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Richard Lang (Huxford,
Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia, 5:256). He owned lands just east of Lang's, where Fort
Tonyn had stood, now called Woodstock (Johannes, Yesterday's Reflections, p. 119).
20. See note 9 in this chapter.
21. Burnett was a member of the family of David Burnett, who had two sons in the
Spanish militia (Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp. 86, 167).
22. Andrew Atkinson, a native of Northampton County, Virginia, came to Camden
County, Georgia, as a settler in 1785 and to East Florida in 1792. He was soon a captain in the


Council of War,

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 73]
Statement by Thomas Cryer.
Amelia Island, January 20, 1794.
Before me, Carlos Howard, Lieutenant Colonel of the Royal
Army, Captain of the Grenadiers of the Third Battalion of the Regi-
ment of Infantry of Cuba and Interim Commander of the Spanish
Frontier, in the presence of two witnesses and of myself, appeared
Thomas Cryer, resident in the St. Marys River valley, for the pur-
pose of being examined with respect to the statement made by
George Arons on the eighteenth of the current month about the
enlistments being made in Georgia, which statement was sent to the
government yesterday; and being present the said Thomas Cryer
gave his oath on the four gospels by which he promised to tell the
truth on the points he would be questioned about.
1st. Asked if he has heard or knows of enlistments of people
being made in Georgia for the purpose of harassing this province;
from whom and when did he hear such things:
He said that it is true that he has heard of such enlistings from
two different people, both Americans, one called Ruben Pitcher and
the other one Mr. Lewis,23 whose first name is not known to the
witness; that the first one he heard these things from was the said
Pitcher, who on the eleventh of the current month, arrived at the
witness's house and told him as a friend to pick up his things as soon
as possible and take them to safety because groups of people were
forming in Georgia and Carolina under the pretext of marching
against the Indians, but with the real purpose of attacking this
He said that it was not the purpose of those people to unite
themselves inside the limits of Georgia or Carolina but inside the
Indian territory, or this province, so as to avoid incurring the penal-
ties of the laws in those states.

Spanish militia and was praised by Quesada; a loyal supporter of the Spanish government, he
married an illustrious Spanish woman. He visited Coleraine to gain information on the
French intrigue and was sent to Georgia to deal with Georgia officials. In 1820 he was living in
Philadelphia (Murdoch, Georgia-Florida Frontier, pp. 94,104,108, 161; Miller, "Quesada,"
p. 230). He owned substantial real properties in Florida, including 450 acres at Shipyard, now
partly included in the Fort Caroline National Memorial at Jacksonville (Gold,Duval County,
p. 88). Calypso Island in those government lands is at the mouth of Shipyard Creek.
23. This was possibly the Lewis who served under Elijah Clark in the American
Revolution and for a time was on the Executive Council of Georgia (Louise F. Hays, Hero of
Hornet's Nest; A Biography of Elijah Clark, 1733 to 1799, p. 141).


16 January 1794

That the governors of both, especially that of Carolina, were
very opposed to such a treacherous attempt; but that nevertheless
the conspirators were determined to follow through with their ideas,
considering themselves once out of the United States to be subjects
of the new French republic; that the people of Georgia were to be led
by Colonel Samuel Hammond and Colonel Kerr; and that the
brother of said Hammond, Abner Hammond, was in charge of
supplies for the expedition and had received and deposited lately in
his stockade at Temple a large supply of barrels of flour, beef, and
pork meat, one hundred and seventy bushels of corn, a number of
casks of rum, various entrenching tools, and seventy swords; and he
adds that to buy such supplies and some others yet to come, the
French ambassador gave Samuel Hammond several thousand
guineas. The witness said that he definitely heard them mentioned.
The witness went on to say that what he heard from the said Mr.
Lewis was on the twelfth of this month when he arrived at the
witness's house (accompanied by John Peter Wagnon, who had
arrived from Georgia in a boat with three Negroes with the plan of
removing his wife, and quitting the province to go and live in Au-
gusta, from whence he had just come); and the witness, then remem-
bering what Pitcher had said about the enlistments, anxiously asked
Wagnon what he knew of the matter, and was answered that he
hadn't heard a word of such an enterprise; but Mr. Lewis having
answered that there was in fact such business underway, Wagnon
added to the witness: "Yes, yes there is something going on and you
can be sure it will be carried through"; Wagnon said no more about
the matter, and having finished lunch (he had arrived at such a time)
he started on his way to the St. Johns and from there to St. Augustine
seeking his wife, with whom he promised Mr. Lewis to return in
eight days. And Lewis, to whom the boat belongs, told him he would
not extend the wait with the boat one day longer than eight days.
Wagnon having departed, the witness again talked about the
enlistments to Mr. Lewis, who expressed surprise that this matter
had been discovered by the residents of this river valley.
The witness answered that it was not remarkable at all, because
it was well known in the river valley that there was an accumulation
of food stuffs and war supplies being assembled in Temple for the
expedition; and likewise that they expected two other boats loaded
for the same purpose; and Lewis said that perhaps there was no need
for immediate concern for the time being because the troops were not
going to move until the middle of March or the beginning of April,


Council of War

and right then the waters of the Altamaha River were so swollen that
they were not passable.
Lewis added that anyway nobody need fear for his properties,
because as soon as the troops entered the province and the three
French frigates blocked the harbors, particularly St. Augustine,
edicts would be published assuring the peaceful and full possession
of property for all who would join the invaders and also full pardon to
all the refugees for their crimes or debts (which kind of people
comprised, as is well known, the majority of the population of the
province); to this the witness replied that they would never be able to
capture the fortress of St. Augustine because it was too strong.
Lewis answered that nevertheless it would eventually be taken
because it was well known that they did not have supplies for three
months, and consequently the Spanish would have to surrender
because of hunger; Lewis concluded by saying that to this the
circumstance must be added that the invaders will find many friends
in the countryside; with this Lewis said goodbye and left in his boat
for Newton to wait there for Wagnon's arrival, and he has not seen
him since.
2nd. Asked if he has heard of or knows any of the inhabitants of
this river valley or of the province in general who are participating in
the plot of the enlistments:
He said that he knows generally that almost all of the inhabitants
of this river valley know by now and are very apprehensive about
what is being contrived in Georgia; but that he does not know or has
not heard that any of them, or of the province in general, are
accomplices in the plot, with the exception of the magistrate of the
St. Johns River, John McIntosh, who according to information given
the witness by the said Ruben Pitcher, knew and participated fully
for some months in the plot of the Georgians; and the witness added,
if this be so, it must be since the said John visited said state in
September or October; that is the most the witness remembers about
the matter; and what he has said is the truth under oath; and being
sixty-two years old he signed this statement in the presence of Justo
Lopez and Manuel Bernal, after having it read to him by me, word
for word in his native language, which is English.
Carlos Howard
Thomas Cryer
Justo L6pez
Manuel Bernal


L b*S~s~,.. .
~aB~ "
"3i~ ~a3~ iP~
I ~dlS~ci ~;rg~da~~---- r

~se~- I~miliF _$a aaai~SL ~B~i~96~9s

Castillo de San Marcos, moder-day St. Augustine. Courtesy of the National Park Service.


Order of Imprisonment; Lang's Testimony

ON 20 January 1794 Governor Quesada moved to carry out the
conclusions of the council of war held on 16 January by ordering
the swift arrest of John McIntosh, Richard Lang, Abner Ham-
mond, John Peter Wagnon, William Jones, and William Plowden.
The seizure of papers in the homes of the accused men was
ordered as well as the taking of testimony. The first of the accused
to be interrogated was Captain Lang, who testified on 21 January
in his prison cell in the fortress at St. Augustine, the Castillo de
San Marcos. He gave details of his knowledge of the plans of the
rebels, and his affidavit cited "Rubin Pitchard" as his chief infor-

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 1]
Florida 1794

Official Criminal Papers
Against John Macintosh, Lieutenant Governor of the St. Johns
River; Richard Lang, Captain of the Militia of the St. Marys River;
1. Although the document spells the name of the informant as "Pitchard," the text of the
deposition indicates that the reference was to the same man who signed his name "Pitcher"
in the statement given before Captain Lang on 29 December 1793. Variant spellings of proper
names in the documents have been preserved in this study, unless otherwise noted.

Lang's Testimony

John Peter Wagnon; William Jones and William Plowden, new
settlers and residents on both rivers: On suspicion of conspiracy and
subversive negotiations with the Americans and the French, who
together planned in the States to invade this province from Georgia;
in which action is included Abner Hammond, subject of said States
and working with the invaders in the post of Commissary General-
in charge of provisions for the expedition that was to be under-
taken-under suspicion also of deception in his entry into said
Province, and that which he sought for all the provisions with osten-
sible loyalty.

Order. St. Augustine, Florida, January 20, 1794
Don Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada, Colonel of the Royal
Army, Governor, Commanding General, Royal Protector and Ad-
ministrator of the Royal Estate of this City and of this Province for
his Majesty said:
That on information-circumstantial and proved by docu-
ments-provided with due caution by Lieutenant Colonel Carlos
Howard, Captain of Grenadiers of the Third Battalion of the Regi-
ment of Infantry of Cuba and Interim Commander of the Spanish
Frontier on the St. Marys River in this Province, and on other
information received from reliable sources, His Lordship [the gov-
ernor] :2 knows about the conspiracy plotted against this Province,
Louisiana and the other Florida by a certain number of Anglo
Americans established in the States of Georgia and South Carolina,
who by violating their official laws and their friendship with our
Sovereign, enlisted themselves with some of the French Convention
circulating in those States. These, it was said, have influenced them
to invade this Province, and the others already mentioned.
That His Lordship, in the attempt to take the precautions for the
defense of his Province which his responsibility and zeal for better
service for the King dictate, has come to suspect, not without
foundation, that Richard Lang, John Macintosh, William Plowden,
William Jones, and Abner Hammond, all Americans and, except for
the last one, residents of this province and subjects of his Majesty,
had sinister communications and plots among them; and perhaps
werejoined by Samuel Hammond, resident of Augusta and named to
the command of the troops that are being enlisted in Georgia, brother

2. Su Senioria, often abbreviated as "S. S." in the documents.


Order of Imprisonment;

of Abner, son-in-law of Jones. That His Lordship, moved by zeal
and better calculation, divulged his suspicions against said persons,
and his reasons for the same, in a Council of War that he called
together for this purpose among others. And the members by unani-
mous decision determined on imprisonment for all; and upon this
being verified, and with the gathering up of the papers that were
found, His Lordship so ordered and included the arrest of John Peter
Wagnon, also American, who, having left for Georgia without a
passport, he arranged to have arrested when he came back, having a
suspicion about him similar to that about the others.
It had to be ordered and was ordered: that, in his presence and
that of the counsellor, the documents be examined by the public
interpreter after his authorization and oath; and that with appropri-
ate discrimination an inventory be made of those papers adjudged to
be pertinent to this investigation. The reporter will assist throughout
this matter, and will keep those papers not pertinent until further
action by the Tribunal.
That the Interim Secretary of the Government add a certified
copy of the secret accusation made to His Lordship, which, keeping
confidential the identity of the author [probably Nathaniel Hall], as it
will also be in that copy, was examined in the aforementioned Coun-
cil of War and contributed to its decision.
That also it will be put in these proceedings, after these matters,
that it was decided to imprison the said persons and to gather up their
papers; and that the testimony include the heading and conclusion of
the said decision.
And finally, that having certified the arrest of the said culprits
and having taken care of the matters supplied and the statements of
the persons named by His Lordship concerning the things that can be
adjudged relevant to these proceedings or in any way related to
them, the prisoners' statements be taken as to whatever particulars
His Lordship may determine; among them, what will result from the
statement supplied by the Captain of the Militia of the St. Marys
River, Nathaniel Hall, which will also be included. In view of this
and from what by then has come out, other suitable orders will be
And by this document which His Lordship executed with the
concurrence of his lieutenant and general counsellor it was so or-
dered; and each signed under oath.
Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada.


Lang's Testimony

Attorney Jose de Ortega3

Before me, Jose de Zubizarreta, reporter

The matter of the suspension of the examination of papers seized
from prisoners; and accusation by the accused Richard Lang before
His Lordship.

St. Augustine, Florida, January 20, 1794

For the purpose of the examination of the papers as provided
under the preceding order, the public interpreter, Miguel Iznardy, in
the presence of His Lordship and of the counsellor and before me as
the scribe, was examining one of the two packages of papers that
were found in the home of William Jones, to give notice to the Court
of Justice about their contents, as proposed, and to inventory the
pertinent ones. And, being engaged in this business, notice was
received by the said interpreter, Miguel Iznardy,4 that Richard Lang,
one of the prisoners, begged to see him right away. Motivated by this
request, and in case what he wanted to say might be pertinent to the
inquiry underway, His Lordship, with the agreement of the counsel-
lor, ordered that the interpreter with me, the reporter, determine
what Lang wanted. And when we returned immediately to report
that what he wanted was to talk alone with the Governor accom-
panied by the said interpreter, it was agreed to get on with it without
delay but that he be persuaded to talk to His Lordship in front of me
without giving up in our insistence unless he absolutely refused. And
although at first he insisted that I retire, in the end he took the advice
of His Lordship.
His Lordship, having been informed by the interpreter about the

3. Ortega was a highly competent lawyer of unquestioned integrity. He had held the
important post of director of tobacco in the Spanish government (Janice Borton Miller,
"Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada: Spanish Governor of East Florida, 1790-1795" [Ph.D.
diss.], p. 99). Quesada complained of his arrogance but the Spanish authorities justified his
actions, although they admitted that he was headstrong. It was suggested that a solution
might be to send him to a more populous location where the presence of other lawyers might
restrain him (Arthur Preston Whitaker, Documents Relating to the Commercial Policy of
Spain in the Floridas . ., p. 243). He was acting governor of Florida for a brief time in 17%.
An important area on the St. Johns River bears his name, as does the Ortega River, a
tributary of the St. Johns.
4. Iznardy was the government interpreter, captain and owner of a schooner, and
captain in the Spanish militia (Miller, "Quesada," p. 179).


Order of Imprisonment;

statements that Lang made, which in many ways confirmed the
suspicions upon which this investigation is based, retired with the
interpreter and me and made the necessary preparations, Lang
having agreed to testify under oath.
Signed by the counsellor as to the part that he witnessed, and
the said interpreter, to all of which I testify.
Attorney Ortega
Miguel Iznardy

Before me, Jose de Zubizarreta

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 15]

Legal ratification by means of a formal statement of Richard Lang
concerning the verbal accusations he made before His Lordship.

St. Augustine, Florida, in the same day, month, and year[21 January

For the purpose of receiving the statements from Richard Lang
anticipated under the previous order, His Lordship went to the
fortress of this place, where [Lang] is being held prisoner, accom-
panied by the general counsellor and by the public interpreter and by
the reporter and being in the said fortress, there was brought to our
presence the said Richard Lang, who (through the interpreter) was
put under oath, which he made by God Almighty and the Sacred
Bible of the Protestant faith, which he professes. And he promised to
speak the truth of whatever he knew and was asked, and being asked
as to what he had said to His Lordship yesterday afternoon about the
information he had concerning the enlisting on the prodding by the
French of certain Americans in the States of Georgia and South
Carolina to come against this Province:
He said that it had been fifteen days since Rubin Pitchard,
formerly a neighbor of his and a resident of this Province, and since
then a fugitive in Georgia, had informed the witness of the organiza-
tion at Newton, to which he had gone to find out if it were true that

5. This date is taken from a purely procedural paper, not included here, that immediate-
ly preceded the document translated in the text.


Lang's Testimony

troops were gathering there against this province; that he had heard
this rumor earlier from John Bayley, American resident of that place;
that the enlisting there was a fact not only against this province but
also against Louisiana and Pensacola, which were to be invaded by
the American and French residents; and that they are recruiting in
the areas of Cumberland6 and Kentucky.
That the said Pitchard added that in a few days, he would give
the witness other particulars which he did, coming to the home of the
witness, at about eight o'clock, and saying that he had received a
letter from Dillingham (one of the recruiting captains in the State of
Georgia), including an official French subaltern's commission for
him, so that he could enlist as such with those forces.
That the said Pitchard informed the witness at that time that the
number of those troops were eleven hundred in landing forces ready
to come in three frigates, now at anchor and alerted to sail from Port
Royal;7 and another seven hundred on horses, these led by Brigadier
General Samuel Hammond as commander-in-chief; one brigade of
them commanded by his brother Abner; and another by Colonel
That he also had said that the invasion was to be ready in three
or four weeks. And the witness, having talked about this matter with
said Abner Hammond in the home of William Jones, his father-in-
law, then Hammond confirmed to the witness the news of the inva-
sion, saying he believed it was true because the Frenchmen wanted a
port to land their plunder.
That, talking to the witness about 15 days or more ago in
American stores on the other side of the St. Marys River, there was
one Henry Wright who asked the witness how many troops and
prisoners were here and how long the fortress could resist a siege.
That the witness, having answered by exaggerating all the mat-
ters of strength inquired about, turned the conversation to what the
witness had heard about Abner Hammond wanting to sell his food
supplies and goods on the St. Johns River for the king, to which
Henry [Wright] told him not to believe such a thing because the food
and war materials were not his and that he was just an agent for the
French to buy them.
That, while this conversation was going on, Rubin Pitchard
came in and told the witness that he would advise him of the day and
6. Later called Tennessee.
7. In South Carolina.


Order of Imprisonment;

time that [the troops] would march, because he had to know; and that
from what he understood it was not the intention to come down the
St. Marys River, but to cut through, and make the trip as if they were
going toward Indian [territory], attacking from west of the city.
That this is all he knows of the matter that was asked about and
precisely what he told His Lordship yesterday; and that everything
is the truth under the weight of the oath he took; and having read his
statement (translated into English by said interpreter, which is the
language of the witness), he said that it was faithfully and legally
translated and he affirms and ratifies it; that he is fifty years old, and
he signed with His Lordship and with the counsellor and with the
said interpreter, to which I testify.
Attorney Ortega
Richard Lang
Miguel de Iznardy

Before me, Jose de Zubizarreta, government reporter



21 January Council of War; McIntosh's Testimony

THE preliminary investigation having clearly revealed to Gov-
ernor Quesada the necessity for immediate defense precautions,
he urgently called together another council of war in his residence
on the plaza in St. Augustine. This conclave of 21 January 1794
was presided over by the governor and included Colonel Bar-
tolome Morales and Captains Pedro Salcedo and Juan Reme-
dios-as well as Pedro Berrio, Gonzalo Zamorano, and Manuel
The council of war provided for a coordinated plan of defense
for the Province of East Florida in the face of the growing evi-
dence of imminent attack. It ordered Carlos Howard to remove
the battery of two cannon from Amelia Island to San Nicolas, on
the south side of the St. Johns River. Personnel from the St.
Marys region were consolidated with the troops at San Vicente
Ferrer in order to strengthen the more realistic defense line pro-
vided by the broad waters of the St. Johns. San Nicolas was
ordered to be manned by troops from both San Vicente Ferrer and
St. Augustine-augmented by local militia.
The militia on the St. Marys and St. Johns rivers and at St.
Augustine were called up for full active duty. Every man over
fourteen years old was called into military service; any who
refused were required to leave the province. Negroes, whether
slaves or free, were called up for work duty. Captain Miguel
Costa's sloop Maria was ordered to sail swiftly to Havana to

21 January Council of War;

John McIntosh, Mor. From a miniature painting, courtesy of
Walter Dunwody.

notify officials there of the crisis and to take to prison John
McIntosh and Abner Hammond, who were considered the most
dangerous rebel leaders.
All residents of the province living north of the St. Johns
were ordered to move south of that river, bringing with them all of
their possessions and burning their buildings behind them so they
could not be used by the revolutionaries. This tactic vacated
immediately such strategic locations as the McIntosh plantation
on the north side of the St. Johns at the cow ford, and the fortified
house of Richard Lang on the south side of the St. Marys at Mills's
Ferry. It also made unnecessary the difficult defense of the
marshes, hammocks, islands, and waterways in the land north of
the St. Johns.


Mclntosh's Testimony

This order is referred to many times in today's chains of title
to lands in Florida. In one of them the order was referred to as an
incident of "Wagner's War,"1 probably a reference to the name of
John Peter Wagnon. About forty families moved out of Florida
because of this command. At the conclusion of this chapter there
is a statement made on 23 January by John McIntosh and a
contract between Wagnon and McIntosh; together with a 23 June
1793 letter from Samuel Hammond to John McIntosh, which
speaks of Hammond's current and growing military leadership in
the troubled times "with the Indians." In that letter Hammond
said: "The troops will not march without me and I have been
overpersuaded to take command again." Correspondence be-
tween Hammond and Mangourit indicated that Hammond in-
tended to use military forces to "wipe out Panton and Leslie's
stores."2 The Spanish authorities may well have believed that
Hammond's letter to McIntosh in referring to "Indian" troubles
was just using the phrase as a cover for a reference to the
rebellion-a conjecture that would probably have been entirely

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 17]
In the meeting of the Council of War today held in the Royal House
that serves as the residence of the Governors of this Province of East
Florida there came Juan Nepomuceno Quesada, Colonel of the
Royal Army and Governor of this city and said province, who
presided over the council members assembled by him: Colonel
Bartolome Morales, commander of the battalion which guards this
city; Pedro Salcedo and Juan Remedios, Captains of the Royal Corps
of Artillery; Pedro Berrio, artillery engineer; Gonzalo Zamorano,
accountant of the Royal estate and me, Manuel Rengil, Interim
Secretary of this government, all to perform our duties in this Coun-
cil of War.
After said President produced a letter of Carlos Howard, Com-

1. See Pleasant D. Gold, History of Duval County, Florida, p. 67.
2. Hammond to Mangourit, 5 March 1794, Samuel Hammond Papers, Boston Public


21 January Council of War;

mander of the Indian and American Frontier, and a sworn statement
of a resident of the St. Marys River and another secret statement by
an individual in whom he has confidence, in all of which are con-
tained positive reports to the effect that there are now being enlisted
in the State of Georgia some seven hundred cavalrymen to enter this
province, at the same time that three French ships appear nearby
with 1,100 men with a plan to attack under orders from Samuel
Hammond, American and Brigadier General, who is named chief of
said expedition, which is to take place within three weeks, we
unanimously and of common accord resolved and agreed to the
following measures:
1. That Carlos Howard should retire from Amelia Island, em-
barking in the vessel San Agustin with two cannon that are now
placed in the battery there, together with all the military supplies that
are on the island and burning everything else under his command
that could be of use to the enemy, because the site cannot be
defended on account of its location and distance from this city, with
the few troops available; that he should join the troops at San Vicente
Ferrer on the St Johns River, taking command of the troops there
and at the [post] on the sand bar, and advise the residents of the St.
Marys and Nassau rivers to the north of the St. Johns River that
anyone who wants to stay in the province and take up arms in its
defense should within eight days retire to the southern side of said
river with all his property, including boats and canoes, which it is
indispensable that they keep on the said bank [of the river], within a
week, burning behind them all their houses and ranches.
2. That having united with the forces now detached at San
Vicente Ferrer, Commander Carlos Howard should post the troops
and boats that are under his command at the places he deems most
appropriate to prevent the enemy from crossing the river in case
such anticipated effort takes place.
3. That with the two cannon taken from Amelia Island they
should form a battery at San Nicolas to stop the enemy from pene-
trating that area and that it is to be manned by the Subaltern from San
Vicente and ten soldiers and two gunners from said post and by a
sergeant, a corporal, and another ten men from this city together
with a company of militia or of Negroes if it can be formed; and that
so that said Subaltern can retire in case of being attacked by superior
forces, and can ask for all necessary assistance from Carlos Howard,


McIntosh's Testimony

to whom he must be subordinated, he shall designate the boats to be
taken with him.
4. That men of the Companies of Militia of the St. Johns and St.
Marys rivers in whom the officers have confidence shall be called
under arms with appropriate salaries; and that, as to the suspicious
ones or ones not wanting to comply with what they have sworn to,
those are to be told to leave the province within three days and that
this should be enforced without exception. That all of the militia to
take up arms will take orders from Carlos Howard and will be
employed in any matter of service which may occur, but that they are
mainly to oppose the intentions of the enemy.
5. That because of the scarcity of men in the Battalion of Cuba
and the large number of detached troops, it will be reinforced by
eight men and a corporal from each of the three companies of urban
militia of this city, paying only those men who actually are used for
each day of service.
6. That the guards should be reinforced for the fortress, the
bakery, and the gunpowder magazine.
7. That the Governor should publish a decree ordering every
man over fourteen years of age who does not want to take up arms in
defense of the province to leave it within five days.
And that all the residents who have Negroes to put to work
provide these as soon as possible under the assurance that they will
be paid their wages.
And that all free Negroes who are in the province are to come
immediately to such service, and anyone who does not do it should
be punished by order of the Governor.
8. That in consideration of the small number of cells this for-
tress has, of the war supplies that they contain, of the fact that they
must be used for housing troops in case of the attack that is expected,
and that five cells are now occupied by prisoners, there should now
be sent to Havana both Abner Hammond and John Macintosh, who
are men of great reputation and power, bringing together the other
four in the same cell, at an opportune time.
9. That, finally, the Governor should reiterate his official com-
munications to the Captain General, with a copy of these latest
reports because they leave no doubt of the imminence of an attack
upon this province; and not only for this purpose but also for convey-
ing said prisoners, the sloop of Miguel Costa should be commis-


21 January Council of War;

sioned because it is faster than the sloop of Juan Bautista Ferreira,
which is about to leave for the Port of Havana.
The nine preceding points were the agreements and unanimous
accords dictated in the best service of the King; that after these
expressions by the President, they were signed and agreed to by all
Council members as follows:
St. Augustine, Florida,
January 21, 1794

Juan Nepomuceno de
Bartolome Morales
Pedro Salcedo
Juan Remedios
Pedro Diaz Berrio
Gonzalo Zamorano
Manuel Rengil

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 20]

Statement by John McIntosh

St. Augustine, Florida, January 23, 1794.

Don Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada, Governor and Command-
ing General, went to the Castillo de San Marcos of this city, accom-
panied by the general counsellor and the public interpreter and me,
the government reporter, all to receive the statement of John McIn-
tosh, whom His Lordship ordered brought before him. And by
means of the interpreter the witness was put under oath before God
Almighty and the Holy Bible of the Protestant faith which he profes-
ses, by which he swore to tell the truth of what he knew and was
asked, and so the following ensued:
1. Asked if he knew or had heard of the expedition that is
planned against this province in the States of Georgia and South
Carolina, what is the date set, number of troops enlisted, military
supplies, provisions and ammunition accumulated:
He said he did not know any more of what he was asked, than


Mclntosh's Testimony

that which he had already told His Lordship on the night of the
fifteenth of this month, that is to say, that he had heard vaguely of the
2. Asked if he does not remember that he has had two conversa-
tions with His Lordship about that subject, one on the morning of the
fourteenth and the other on the night of the fifteenth in the presence
of John Leslie. That in the first one (after trying to excuse himself
with His Lordship about the trip to Georgia by John Peter Wagnon,
sent there by the witness without any permission from the govern-
ment, and the showing of a letter from his brother about sending
some cattle) he inadequately responded to His Lordship on the
details of the expedition even though given ample freedom in the
questioning. And that on the second visit, which was on the night of
the fifteenth, he was accompanied by John Leslie (who tried to
excuse with His Lordship this mistake of the witness in not telling
him in the previous visit of the information on the proposed expedi-
tion) and the witness told His Lordship about it by means of Leslie,
who speaks Spanish. The witness was asked to say therefore if he
does not remember these things and if he wants to take back now
what he had said, having now recalled what he did then, so that it can
be attested to judicially:
He replied that things were true as referred to in the question,
and that it is also true that if on the first of the two occasions referred
to he did not tell His Lordship all the news given on the second
occasion through John Leslie, this is because he thought it warranted
discretion, and he could not use discretion with the commander of
the battalion present and since people were always coming in and
going out; but that he, having left the house of the Governor, had
talked to Leslie and told him what he knew and asked him if he
thought His Lordship had the same information, to which Leslie had
answered that he thought the government knew but nevertheless he
thought it the duty of the witness to inform about it also as a
precaution; and that as a result he went back to the Governor and by
means of Leslie, who tried to excuse said oversight, he told him
about it; that his information came from some people on the St. Johns
River, although he does not remember their names; that the previ-
ously mentioned Hammond (whose first name he does not know and
who is the son-in-law of William Jones, a resident on the St. Johns
River) had accumulated on the other side of the St. Marys a large
amount of provisions, the same things he had up for sale at his


21 January Council of War;

father-in-law's house for the residents on the river; but that the
defendant thinks that it was not for that purpose that they had been
gathered, believing that they were instead for the planned invasion,
because of their excessive quantity.
He said that he also informed His Lordship of what he knew of
that, that is to say, that he heard that they had enlisted from 1,500 to
2,000 men, and that there were three ships cruising before Britford,3
ready for the expedition and said to be connected with it; but he does
not remember if he said then to His Lordship that he also had heard
that their leaders were in prison in the Carolinas; although, by the
latest information he had received from Georgia through John Peter
Wagnon (who had just returned from there), he had understood that
the enlisting of the troops is not against this province, as thought, but
rather for establishing a new country or body politic in the western
part of Georgia.
3. Asked if the latest news that was communicated by Wagnon
had been written or by word of mouth:
He replied that the information was oral at the time he received
two letters brought from Georgia.
4. Asked if he knows who is in charge of the command of said
expedition, if those enlisted in it are infantry or cavalry, and if he
knows anyone in command, from having seen him, talked with him,
or having communicated with him by mail:
He said that he knows nothing with certainty on these ques-
tions, but he thinks His Lordship told him that a brother of Ham-
mond was in command of the troops. That he does not know him
[Abner] and consequently he is not in touch with him.
5. Asked about how long he had known of the expedition and if
concerning it, its progress, its present status, and the circumstances
which he has now mentioned, he talked with other people in the city
or province, with whom, and what they had said:
He said that he remembers that in the Clark Inn he had talked to
Andrew Davies4 about said expedition, and that the witness said that
he knew all the residents of this province would suffer many difficul-
ties which would not occur in the city, and that Davies expressed the
opinion that he thought said expedition would not materialize.
6. Asked if he were a friend of Hammond, son-in-law of Jones,
3. Undoubtedly Beaufort, South Carolina, was referred to, as other evidence shows
that French naval support was located there.
4. Davies, a lieutenant in the Spanish militia, had responsibilities on the St. Johns.


Mclntosh's Testimony

of whom he has spoken, if it had been long since he had seen him,
where and with what purpose, if he discussed with him the conspi-
racy against this province and, if so, did he speak about the selling of
the goods that he had talked about before, and if he gathered that
there was something sinister intended in the proposal of selling them:
He said he was not a friend of Hammond, whom he hardly
knows by sight; that the one he does know and has spoken to is his
brother Samuel, but that he did first see him [Abner] on the San
Nicolas road when the witness last came to his city; and that on the
road the witness said to him that he would be glad if on his return he
would visit him for two or three days; but he replied that he did not
know if he would have any free time.
7. Asked if Samuel Hammond with whom he keeps in touch has
written to him lately or at some other time concerning anything
related to the planned invasion, and if so, what and when:
He said that Samuel Hammond has never written him a word
related to the said invasion.
8. Asked if John Peter Wagnon, who he says has informed him
lately of how things are in Georgia, carries a government passport to
go there, and the motive for his trip:
He said that Wagnon had a government passport to go to Geor-
gia, the same one he [McIntosh] carries (dated April of '91, a very
few days after he was admitted to be a subject);5 that the witness
while on the road to Georgia with some of his Negroes was using the
passport that His Lordship had given him with which to bring back
part of his cattle; that he was informed on the way by Andrew
Atkinson, Captain of the Militia of St. Johns, that the wife of the
witness had arrived from the State of Georgia where she had gone to
be cured of some illness; that this information caused him to return to
his home to be with her and there he found Wagnon and Francisco
Sterling, who was coming to the city; and that he [Wagnon] in the
presence of Sterling asked the witness how much money he would
give him for going to Georgia to bring back the cattle, and they
having agreed on $110, the witness did not hesitate to commission
him to do it, thinking he was authorized by the passport in which His
Lordship gave him leave to go with three or four white men; that he
told the Governor of this event caused by the arrival of his wife,
telling him by way of Thomas Sterling, who was going to the city.

5. April 1791 was apparently the date of the Mclntosh official permit to settle in Florida.


21 January Council of War;

9. Asked, if on the day he asked for the permit from His
Lordship to bring in the cattle, was he not denied this on the terms he
wanted it (that is to be able to send the person he would choose);
being told by His Lordship that it had to be a personal pass; the
witness saying he did not know whom he was going to send and being
told by the Governor to go back home, from whence he could advise
him of the person he had chosen so that he could send him a personal
permit; that the witness said he would go personally; and from all of
that should he not have come to the conclusion that one had to give
the names of people in the permits to avoid such fraud as the one
Wagnon wanted to work with his permit of April of '91:
He said that although everything is true as expressed in the
question he thought however that he could substitute himself for
another person because of the specifications in the permit that two
white men could accompany him.
10. Asked if he knew Diego Allen had enlisted in the expedition
against the province after he escaped from here, protected by the
witness and William Jones and John Peter Wagnon:
He said he does not know if Allen enlisted, and that it is not true
that he had escaped from the province under the witness's protec-
tion, because he was away at the time.
11. Asked if the government (having had to make the determi-
nation to deprive Allen of all contact with the Indians because it was
harmful) did not place him under the care of the witness as a Judge on
the St. Johns River, making him stay near the witness and telling the
witness, among other things, under no circumstances to let him join
the Indians; and did not the witness, notwithstanding this, allow or
overlook his going to them on two occasions; so His Lordship, being
suspicious of the witness, commissioned Andrew Atkinson to arrest
Allen; and that the witness, having verified this, pressed for his
immediate release, and not having accomplished his purpose, asked
to be permitted to take him before His Lordship, who freed him on
the ardent petition of the witness and Thomas Sterling; not punishing
the disobedience and misdeeds of Allen, but complying with their
requests, being confident of their promises that they would answer
for Allen's conduct to allow him to establish himself at Matanzas
from then on; but was not the result of all this, during the voluntary
absence of the witness to Georgia and the illness of Sterling, that
Allen escaped in the meantime assisted by William Jones who
bought his things and by John Peter Wagnon who also helped:


Mclntosh's Testimony

He said it was true what is being said about when Allen was to be
established and true about the witness being in charge of not letting
him visit the Indians, and that he nevertheless went two times; but
the first time he was authorized by His Lordship so that he could go
get the things he had left there and when the second visit was made
the witness was very ill and unconscious.
That it is not true that he pressed Andrew Atkinson to free
Allen, but it is true that he asked him to turn him over to His
Lordship as was verified, pleading for him along with Thomas Sterl-
ing, who wanted to answer for Allen on the matter of his second visit
to the Indians, blaming himself for it; and that he does not remember
Sterling ever talking to him about the last recommendation of His
Lordship about Allen's conduct after he told him to go live in Matan-
zas, because he would never obligate himself to answer for his
conduct or the fulfillment of that command.
And at this point His Lordship ordered the hearing suspended,
to continue it later if necessary; the witness had all this read to him,
translated to his language by means of an interpreter.
He said that there is an exception to the response to the fourth
question, for he had thought that the Governor had informed him that
Samuel Hammond was commissioned to lead the expedition and
that he now thought it was Richard Lang who gave him this informa-
tion, and that everything else in the statement is in accordance with
what he has said; and it is affirmed and ratified; and that he is
thirty-eight years old and signed with His Lordship and with the
Counsellor and the Interpreter, on oath.
Attorney Ortega
Miguel de Iznardy

Before me, Jose de Zubizarreta, government reporter

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 81-in English]

One of the letters cited as disclosing the undertakings, written by
Samuel Hammond to John Mclntosh, and reading as follows:


21 January Council of War;

Savannah, 27th June, 1793

Dear McIntosh:
Since I wrote to you last I have had a severe attack of the fever
of which I am now, thank God, fully well relieved.
I spent yesterday afternoon with Mrs. McIntosh and am happy
to find that she is mending fast and that she is in good spirits. She
really appeared quite cheerful. The inflammation has entirely sub-
sided and the film in one of her eyes is grown so thin that the color of
the eye is easily discovered. Doct. McLeod appears very sanguine &
on his judgment I back my hopes principally. Yet should he fail of
success I think there may be found men whose particular study has
been the occular system, who must have greater knowledge than
McLeod and thro whose means I am persuaded she may be perfectly
restored. She has now a [illegible] issue on the back of her neck
which she says give her little or no pain or inconvenience, although
she has suffered considerably with them when with you. This I
apprehend naught out of; of the better judgment of the Doct. in
whose hands she now is. Your son has grown a stout fellow and is
very well. William McIntosh, the old lady, & son request that I
communicate their love to you. William M. says she cannot see quite
well enough to write you as yet but as soon as she is so far recovered
you may expect to hear from her; but hopes in the meantime that you
will not conclude she could not get some of her friends to read to her
any letters she may have the pleasure to receive from his friends.
We are still in trouble with the Indians. A detachment marched
from Savannah yesterday for the frontier, and another goes today,
and I shall follow tomorrow. Politics are strangely changed here. I,
who never sought the dame of popularity and who six months ago
could scarcely make interest enough to keep out of long ships, am
now as popular as any of the dons of this place. The troops will not
march without me; and I have been overpersuaded to take command
again. The bearer will not wait, & I have only time to add that nothing
could afford me such real happiness in this world as to be set down in
the same neighborhood with you, with our families with us in good
health-& that I am with unabated esteem your most obedient
humble servant
S. Hammond



[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 81]

The paper that contains, as expressed, the agreement between John
Mclntosh and John Peter Wagnon concerning the transporting from
Georgia to this province of part of the cattle that should have been
delivered by his brother.

Received of John McIntosh, esquire, a bay gelding valued at
one hundred and ten dollars, for which I oblige myself to go into
Georgia and have all such cattle as may be delivered to me by his
brother William brought to this Province, the expense to be paid by
him, and the business to be completed in thirty days, provided the
cattle are delivered in twenty days after my arrival. It is also under-
stood that I am not to be liable for any loss or accidents as witness my
hand this 24th Nov. 1793.
J. P. Wagnon
Witness: Thomas Sterling, J.P.,
Justice of the Peace

Mclntosh's Testimony


Hammond's Declaration; Documents of Revolution

ON 24 January the governor, accompanied by lawyer and inter-
preter, went to Abner Hammond's cell in the Castillo de San
Marcos to interview the prisoner before he was shipped off to the
dungeon in Havana. Hammond volunteered that his wife was still
at her father's plantation at San Nicolas, where she guarded some
very important papers concerning the revolution. He suggested a
procedure to obtain the papers, and Jose Maria Figueroa, sub-
lieutenant of dragoons, was immediately dispatched for them.
Figueroa returned with some of the papers on 26 January.
The next day, 27 January, the governor interviewed Ham-
mond again at the fortress, this time with documents retrieved
from Mrs. Hammond at William Jones's plantation, among them
the accounts of the rebels' supplies. Although Hammond ad-
mitted the importance of these, he said that his wife had not sent
the extremely important document that outlined the French con-
sul's proposals to Samuel Hammond. Abner Hammond then
wrote down what he could remember about these proposals, but
he suggested that the copy he had made of the French proposals to
Samuel Hammond be explicitly requested.
Major C. M. F. de Bert had signed the original document
under instructions from Mangourit (the French consul at Charles-
ton). In that document, as Abner's copy indicated, Colonel
Samuel Hammond was referred to only as "Coll. ." It was

Documents of Revolution

dated 24 July 1793. After a new effort, Abner's original copy was
Once Abner Hammond's interrogation was completed, he
and John McIntosh were finally put aboard the Maria, the sloop of
Captain Miguel Costa. The sloop sailed for Cuba on 28 January

[AGI, PC, leg. 166, pormenor 16, p. 28]

Statement by Abner Hammond.

St. Augustine, Florida, January 24, 1794.
His Lordship accompanied by the general counsellor and by the
public interpreter, Miguel Iznardy, went for the purpose of getting a
statement to the Castillo de San Marcos of this city, where in one of
its underground cells there is a prisoner answering to the name of
Abner Hammond; and he [Hammond]having read the oath by means
of said interpreter, affirmed it by God Almighty and what he believes
of the Holy Bible under the Protestant faith which he professes,
offering to tell the truth in everything he knows and was asked, in
which disposition the following questions were asked:
1. First of all, what was his name, where was he from, what age,
occupation and profession did he have:
He said he was a native of Virginia and a neighbor in the State of
Georgia (in the environs of the St. Marys River), thirty-two years of
age, married and a merchant by trade.
2. Asked how many times he has been in this province, when
was each time, if every time that he has come he has notified the
government of his motives for coming, and when he was here most
He said he does not now recall how many times he has come to
the province; that he came among other times last October and
talked with His Lordship as on another occasion when he was in the
city; and at other times he had not done this because he did not come
to the city first, just as when residents of this place go to Georgia they
do not present themselves to that government; and, as he recalls, it
was on the tenth of this month when he last came to this province.
3. Asked where or at whose house he stayed on the occasions
that he has been in this province or in the city:


Hammond's Declaration;

He said when he has come to the city he has stayed at Clark's
public house and when he has come only to the province he has
stayed in the home of his father-in-law, William Jones.
4. Asked if, being the foreigner that he is, the government
should not at all times, and particularly now, have knowledge of the
business things he came for; requested to tell what they are and the
reasons he had to remain silent on them, and maybe he could be
excused for what was indicated to be the cause of his imprisonment:
He said that this last time he came to the province it was with the
intention of seeing his wife, who is at her father's house, and at the
same time to talk with His Lordship and show him certain papers;
and for that purpose he obtained a pass from Lieutenant Colonel
Carlos Howard, commander of the Spanish post on the American
frontier, who, as the witness remembers, told him that by the four-
teenth or fifteenth of the month he would present himself before His
Lordship, to whom he was writing to that effect, and the witness did
not in fact comply with this because, having arrived at his father-in-
law's house where his wife was, he found her sick, and so he
postponed his coming a few days, bad weather also contributing. But
having been arrested on Friday the seventeenth he has not been able
to comply with his promise.
5. Asked where the papers were that he said he came to show
His Lordship:
He said that he has them at his father-in-law's house on the St.
John's River.
6. Asked if such papers were sent sealed to His Lordship; or by
another person, and if so, who was it; or if they belonged to the
He said that they did not come directed to the governor by
anyone who sent them; that they were copies of papers that had
news of interest to this government, and that the witness had copied
them from some originals; that he promised Carlos Howard he would
come on the fourteenth to bring the information to His Lordship in
order to ratify the statement he had made on the subject before Don
7. Asked if he explained in said statement substantially all of
the contents of the papers that he spoke of, or if he kept something to
say personally or in writing to the Governor:
He said that actually he said everything in his statement before
Don Carlos as to the content of said papers; but that at the same time


Documents of Revolution

he advised him that in case some other thoughts came to him he
would tell them personally to the Governor.
8. Asked if, after the statement which he said he had made
before Don Carlos, did he make or sign any other one afterwards;
and if there is something he would like to add in order to continue to
demonstrate the good faith already indicated in his first statement:
He said that besides his statement, he voluntarily made and
signed another paper which he left with Don Carlos so that he could
then send a translation of this to the Governor, but that his now
confused mind does not remember well what he said, mainly be-
cause he has not seen the papers since his imprisonment; that he only
remembers that he did not mention in his statement some materials
gathered up which later he had found out about.
9. Asked if in support of his intent he wants to write an order to
his father-in-law's home so they could deliver up the papers he is
talking about or tell them where they are kept so that His Lordship
can have them picked up:
He said that the location of the papers about which he is asked is
not known to anyone and that because of their importance he has
even hidden them from his father-in-law; that if His Lordship deems
it convenient to send him to the place where they are, even escorted
by 100 men, the witness himself will bring them back and will
continue, until the end, the good faith he has demonstrated.
10. Having been shown the original statement that he gave
under oath before Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Howard on the fifth of
this month and the other paper dated the next day at Amelia Island,
asked if they are the same papers he has been talking about in the
preceding inquiry, and if the signatures are authentic, and if he
verifies the contents, and if he wants this as part of his statement:
He said, having recognized both papers and the signatures at the
bottom of them, that they are in his handwriting and script; that he
ratifies both as being true in all their parts and that he wants this
statement to be added to this record as part of his declaration.
11. Asked if on the fourteenth or fifteenth of this month (by
when, following his promise to Howard, he would talk with the
Governor and show him the said papers) he had not talked in his
father-in-law's house with some people who were coming to the city
and who had arrived there on the fourteenth, the day after they had
been talking; asked who they were, and if he had used them to send
any message to the Governor:


Hammond's Declaration;

He said that it was true that the stated day he had talked in the
house of his father-in-law Jones to Richard Lang, in the presence of
John McIntosh, both of whom were coming to town, and that he had
asked the former to tell the Governor that he was here with a permit
from Carlos Howard to come to talk with him but that he would not
take advantage of the occasion to accompany Lang and McIntosh
because his wife was ill, but would instead do it a day or two
12. Asked if he had spoken to Lang and McIntosh or to anyone
else about the expedition which is planned against this province and
which was discussed in his ratified statement and also in his other
verified paper; and if in conversation with them he had told them
about the time and place determined upon for said expedition, and
the persons to whose command it was entrusted:
He said that he doesn't think he has spoken to McIntosh of that
matter, but he did with Lang, to whom, although he assured him that
the expedition was certainly going to take place, he still insisted that
he thought it would not take place; but he did not tell Lang thepeople
in charge nor the time it was going to take place, nor does he think he
discussed those matters with anybody except Carlos Howard,
whom he informed in writing as to what was in the wind, both by his
statement and in another paper duly acknowledged along with his
13. Asked if he has anything more to say; or if, continuing his
good will toward the Spanish government, he wants to testify as to
the whereabouts of the hidden papers so that a reliable person can go
pick them up and inspect them, thus contributing to reducing the
suspicions that have led to his imprisonment:
After explaining the risks that would imperil his life if he re-
vealed this (making him by this action alone a target for the rebels of
the projected expedition as soon as found out), he said that neverthe-
less, in spite of everything and to give the Governor the fullest
impression that his intentions were not corrupt but all in agreement
with what he said in the first statement, he was going to write four
alphabet letters which would be shown to his wife, whom he believes
will immediately deliver the papers, so that, with the appropriate
confidentiality, and the fidelity of the person who is chosen to bring
them, they may be examined. With this, His Lordship suspended the
hearing to be continued if convenient. And the defendant, to whom it
was read by the said interpreter by way of translation to his language,