The Early People
The Massacre of the French
The founding of St. Augustine in 1565 began 235 years of Spanish control of Florida. The most significant factor of the First Spanish Period was the threat of the British in the Carolina and Georgia Colonies which led to the building of the Castillo de San Marcos in 1672-1695, and after two failed sieges by the British, the building of Fort Matanzas in 1740-1742 to guard the southern approaches to the city. Read More . . .
During the Seven Years War (French and Indian War), the British captured Spanish Cuba and the Philippines. In order to get these valuable colonies back, Spain was forced to give up Florida. England held Florida for a mere twenty years, however. At the end of the American Revoluntion, the Second Treaty of Paris returned Florida to Spain. Read More . . .
Spain's aid to the American colonies during the Revolutionary War was to be her last act as a great power. By 1800 Spain's fortune was waning. There was little money to maintain her Florida colony, let alone the outpost fort at Matanzas. Erosion and rainwater took their toll. Fort Matanzas was already in poor condition by 1821 when Florida was purchased by the United States through the Adams-Onís Treaty. Read More . . .
The American Period (1821 to the Present)
Did You Know?
"Spanish Moss" (Tillandsia usneoides) is not a moss and is actually a cousin of the pineapple! Its name derives from Native Americans who joked that it looked very much like the beards of the Spanish settlers. Ft Matanzas National Monument, Florida