Major Professor: Dr. J. Michael Francis, Ph.D.
Adrian O’Connor, Ph.D.
Erica Heinsen-Roach, Ph.D.
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
June 19, 2017
St. Augustine’s 1763-64 evacuation was a ten-month event that ended Spain’s two hundred year rule in Florida. A careful review of Spanish records produced during the evacuation reveals that mid-eighteenth century St. Augustine was a cosmopolitan city, where immigration was a key component to social mobility. St. Augustine’s role as Spain’s bastion against the expanding British North American colonies meant that the city was a key piece in British and Spanish imperial maneuvering. Both St. Augustine’s strategic location and military function allowed diversity to flourish in the city. St. Augustine’s diverse community adapted to the constant immigration by developing intricate kinship networks that allowed both newcomers and Florida-born criollos to elevate and secure their social standing. St. Augustine’s residents used religious and legal institutions to express their agency by transforming physical spaces into safe spaces that protected them from Crown authority. In short, St. Augustine was a diverse, dynamic, city with tight connections to the Atlantic world; an idea that challenges traditional narratives that depict the city as an impoverished and isolated military outpost.
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Bryant, T.E., "Between Two Empires: Life in Mid-Eighteenth Century St. Augustine on the Eve of Evacuation" (2017). USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate). 160.