Puslapio vaizdai

taking off the infant colony there, returned to England. Hume, speaking of this adventure, says 'they burned St Anthony and St Helen, two towns on the coast of Florida.** There was no such town as either. He plundered and burned St Augustine, but for the reason above mentioned, did not visit the only other town in Florida, distant twelve leagues towards cape St Helens.†

After the date of this adventure we hear little of Florida for many years. De Laet in 1633, and Sanson in 1662, describe St Augustine and St Mattheo as the only Spanish settlements in Florida, and the former as the most considerable. In 1665 Capt. Davis, admiral of a squadron of pirates, landed near St Augustine and marched directly to the town, which he took possession of and plundered, without the slightest opposition from a garrison of two hundred men in the fort. The fort at this time consisted of an octagon defended by round towers.' In the year 1696 the Spaniards, under Arriola, established a colony at Pensacola, where they erected a fort, called Fort Charles, a church, and several houses. They maintained a small garrison here for several years. About the same time probably they established themselves at St Marks.


In the year 1702 Col. Moore, governor of Carolina, procured an act of assembly to be passed, authorizing an expedition against Florida. It is asserted by a historian of that time, that the true design of the expedition was no other than catching and making slaves of Indians, for private advantage.' This however does not appear to be entitled to much credit, as there was another and more honorable motive for the undertaking. Two thousand pounds were raised to defray the expenses, and six hundred English troops, and an equal number of friendly Indians were enlisted. A part of the expedition under Col. Daniel, a brave officer, sailed for the St John's, there landed and took possession of two small Spanish settlements, and proceeded thence by land to St Augustine, and entered the town without opposition. The inhabitants had retired with their most valuable effects into the castle, and were prepared for a siege. Gov. Moore, arriving the next day with the fleet, landed and entrenched himself before the town. It was found necessary to despatch Col. Daniel to Jamaica to procure mor

History of England.

+ Oldmixon's British Empire in America, 349.

† De Laet, 19.

tars and bombs for carrying on the siege, and in the mean time two Spanish ships of war of twenty two and sixteen guns appearing off the harbour, and being mistaken for ships of a very large size, Gov. Moore hastily raised the siege, and retreated over land to Charleston, a distance of three hundred miles through the wilderness. The fleet was abandoned to the Spaniards, and Col. Daniel on his return from Jamaica came near being taken prisoner. The Spanish garrison did not exceed two hundred men. By this expedition the province of Carolina incurred a debt of six thousand pounds, and the failure of the enterprise caused great discontent. To wipe off the ignominy of this failure, another expedition was soon undertaken against the Apalachian Indians, which was attended with better success. The governor, at the head of a body of militia and friendly Indians, entered their territory, and laid several of their towns in ashes.

. Charlevoix, the celebrated traveller, while on his return from Louisiana to France in April 1722, was shipwrecked on the Martyrs, and with great difficulty escaped the usual fate of those who fall on these dangerous shoals. He succeeded, after severe hardships, in getting into St Marks. He relates that the Spaniards had formerly had a considerable establishment there, but that in the year 1704 it was attacked by the English from Carolina, and a large party of Indians-taken, and destroyed; that at that time the garrison, which had previously been much larger, consisted of only thirty-two men ; and that of this number seventeen were burned by the Indians. At the time of his visit, the Apalachy Indians, who had formerly been masters of an extensive country, were reduced to almost nothing. The forests and prairies were full of cattle and horses, which had been introduced by the Spaniards, and had been permitted to multiply. The Spaniards then talked of reestablishing St Marks on a more respectable scale. It was a dependency on St Augustine, from which it was distant by land eighty leagues.

The traveller proceeded thence to St Joseph, on the bay of that name, distant in the direction of Pensacola, about thirty leagues. This was at that time a very considerable place. There was a fort well supplied with artillery, and with a numerous garrison. There were several officers, most of whom had their families with them. The houses were neat, convenient, and well furnished. But he remarks of this post, which

has been long since entirely deserted, 'I do not believe there is a place in the world where one ought less to expect to find men, especially Europeans, than at St Joseph. The situation of the bay, its coast, its soil, every thing that surrounds it, is such that one cannot comprehend the reason which should induce the Spaniards to establish themselves there; a flat coast, exposed to every wind; a barren sand, a forlorn country that can have no kind of commerce,' &c. The motive of the Spaniards in retaining possession of this unpropitious spot was to keep the French from it. The French had previously attempted to plant themselves there, but had been driven away by force, before they had learned that the place was unfit for habitation.

In 1716 a number of West India traders fitted out from Jamaica a squadron of four vessels, and placed them under the command of Henry Jennings, for the purpose of making reprisals on the Spaniards for the losses they had sustained from their guarde de côtes, which had, under various pretences, detained and confiscated many of their vessels. They sailed for the Martyrs, and there found the Spaniards engaged in recovering a part of the treasure which had been lost two years before in the wreck of the Plate fleet, on its voyage to Europe. The little fleet came to anchor and suddenly landed three hundred men, who attacked and dispersed the Spanish guard, and seized 350,000 pieces of eight, that had been recovered by the divers, and were deposited on shore. With this money they returned safely to Jamaica.

In May 1719 Pensacola was suddenly attacked by four hundred French troops from Louisiana, and eight hundred Indians. The garrison, which consisted of only a hundred and fifty Spanish troops, surrendered on condition of being conveyed with their baggage to Havana. The French ships which were sent to Havana, in execution of this agreement, were met, attacked, and captured near their port of destination by a fleet, which had just sailed for the purpose of making a hostile visit to Carolina. The Spanish fleet returned to Havana with these prizes, and its destination being changed, was immediately sent with this reinforcement to repossess the town of Pensacola. They arrived in August before Pensacola, having a force of eighteen hundred men, six hundred of whom were regular troops. The French garrison was obliged to surrender as prisoners of war. In September the French again ap

peared off the place with six large ships full of troops, and the Indians invested it by land. The ships attacked and battered down a stockaded fort which had been built on the point of the island St Rosa, and defeated the Spanish fleet after an obstinate resistance of two hours and a half. The garrison of the great fort then surrendered, being apprehensive of the result of an assault from so powerful a force, consisting in great part of Indians. The French continued to keep possession of the place until the peace in 1722, when it was restored by treaty to the Spaniards. They soon after transferred to it the garrison and inhabitants of St Joseph, and endeavoured to render it a place of some importance. While it remained in the hands of the French it was visited by Charlevoix. In describing his voyage from Pensacola to Louisiana he says, 'we left on the right the Rio de los Perdidos, a river celebrated by the shipwreck of a Spanish ship, the loss of which, with her whole crew, gave rise to this name.' In 1726 a small town was built on the west side of Rosa island, near the present fort, on the bay of Pensacola. In 1754 the town was removed to the place where it now stands. After the English took possession of the province, a full examination was made, with a view of ascertaining the best situation in the bay for the town, and the present site being preferred, the town was regularly laid out. This was in the year 1765. The town is of an oblong form, and lies parallel to the beach. It is a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile in breadth. It is partly surrounded by two brooks, which rise under Gage hill, and discharge themselves one at each extremity of the town. The soil is sandy, but with proper attention gardens are made to produce a great plenty of vegetables, and oranges, figs, and peaches are raised here in perfection.

In 1740 Florida was invaded by a force, consisting of more than two thousand men, raised by great exertions and at great expense in Georgia, the two Carolinas, and Virginia, and led by Gen. Oglethorpe, assisted by a small squadron of British ships of war. This expedition, which it had been confidently expected would crush the Spanish power in Florida, though apparently conducted with skill and spirit on the part of the commanding officer, entirely failed. Two years afterwards, Georgia, in her turn, was invaded by a still larger force fitted out at Havana and St Augustine, but this expedition of the Spaniards proved equally unsuccessful with that, with which they

themselves had been threatened. They entered the Alatamaha, and after landing their troops, and menacing the town of Frederica, they were so effectually resisted by Gen. Oglethorpe, that they reembarked with great precipitation, leaving behind them a part of their artillery and military stores. The details of these two enterprises are familiar to every reader of American history.

Florida, when it was ceded to Great Britain by the treaty of 1763, contained about three thousand inhabitants; but these, on its transfer to its new owners, all retired to the island of Cuba; so that Great Britain acquired, strickly speaking, nothing but a desert. The value of this desert they greatly overrated, and high expectations were entertained of rendering it a flourishing and productive colony. Great efforts were made for this object. Considerable grants were made by the government to encourage the settlement and cultivation of the country, and several attempts were made by private companies to establish plantations here.

In 1765, Gov. Brown led to Florida sixty-nine French protestants, skilled in the cultivation of the vine and of silk. He carried out also carpenters, coopers, forgemen, tanners, and other artizans, to the number of two hundred and nine persons. All these persons were supported and put in possession of tracts of land of various extent, at the expense of the British government. They planted, in different parts of the colony, rice, tobacco, jalap, and indigo. The government also gave encouragement to the inhabitants of the bay of Honduras to form an establishment here. In 1769 alone, parliament granted more than nine thousand pounds for objects of this nature.

In 1767, Dr Trumbull and a company of gentlemen, encouraged by some promises of aid from the British ministry, established a colony, called New Smyrna, at the mouth of Musquito river. They transported thither, from the island of Minorca, thirteen hundred and forty colonists, principally Greeks, and the rest Italians and Germans. They consisted of whole families, and the greater part were transported at once, in eight large ships. They had an unpleasant voyage, and it is said that although many died, so many were born on the passage, that a greater number landed in Florida than embarked in Europe. They were furnished with every thing necessary to begin their settlement, by the proprietors; New Series, No. 7.


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