British Attacks on St. Augustine
L. Chandler -- NPS Photo
The Siege of 1702
In 1700,Spain’s King Charles II died without an heir. Soon, most of Europe was embroiled in a conflict with each country supporting its own Protestant or Catholic candidate for the Throne. This War of Spanish Secession boiled over into the New World where it became known as Queen Anne’s War. This was the excuse South Carolina's Governor James Moore needed. In 1702 he led an expedition against St. Augustine and its new fort. After 58 days, the British retreated, but as they left, they burned St. Augustine to the ground.
Oglethorpe's Attack of 1740
Just as the 1702 Siege grew out of a larger European conflict, so would the next attack on St. Augustine-- James Oglethorpe's Siege of 1740, which grew out of the War of Jenkin's Ear, a dispute between Britain and Spain over trade in the Caribbean.
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L. Chandler --NPS Photo
The Building of Fort Matanzas and British Challenges
The British siege convinced Governor Manuel de Montiano that he needed more than just a wooden tower at Matanzas Inlet. Had the British been able to seize that point, they would probably have been able to starve the city into surrender. Montiano, therefore, put his career on the line. He did not even ask the king’s permission before he ordered engineer Pedro Ruiz de Olano to build a strong, stone tower at Matanzas.
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Did You Know?
Ft Matanzas is built with the unique limestone, "coquina". Made of many tiny shell fragments and sand lightly bound together with calcite, it has survived cannon balls and hurricanes but is very fragile to human contact. Ft Matanzas National Monument, Florida