Browse through St. Augustine historical events.
- English settlers from Barbados found Charleston (South Carolina), and the Spanish fail to dislodge them.
- Construction began on the Castillo de San Marcos. The Spanish used coquina to build the
fort, making its walls virtually impenetrable and fire resistant. It took 23 years to complete to fortification. The fort
remained in active duty until 1900 and never once fell to any enemy invader. Today, it is the oldest masonry fort
surviving in the continental United States.
- The wooden watchtower on Anastasia Island was replaced with a coquina tower in 1683. The coquina structure was a vast
improvement over the dilapidated predecessor incorporating a guardhouse, a well, and storage house for ammunition. This
tower was used until 1874, when it was replaced with a more modern lighthouse. The tower and keepers quarters collapsed
into the Atlantic in 1880 during a fierce storm.
- Spanish repulse landing of French pirates at Matanzas Inlet.
In the summer of 1686 the Spanish laid siege to the British city of Charles Town. Landing on the Edisto River, the
Spaniards burned and sacked the homes of the colonists, including the Governor Joseph Morton. The siege was abruptly
ended by the onset of a hurricane that drove two of the three Spanish Galleys ashore.
- Construction begins on the first sea wall.
- November 7, King Charles II of Spain issued a Royal Cedula guaranteeing safe refuge to British fugitive slaves. Many
slaves escaped the British plantations, making it to Spanish St. Augustine were they found relative freedom. The fugitives
received refuge, barring they converted to Catholicism and served in the Spanish militia. The Spanish slave policy would
lead to conflicts as an increasing number of slaves escaped from their British masters.
- Pensacola is re-established by the Spanish in 1696. Andres de Arriola arrived at his new post on November 21, 1698
and oversaw the construction of a fort, called San Carlos de Austria. The settlement composed of 350 soldiers, convicts,
beggars and other undesirables who were pressed into service as colonist. Pensacola served as the capitol of West Florida
during the British Period, from 1763 to 1783.
- War of Spanish Succession, known as Queen Anne's War in
America, allied Spain and France against Austria, Great Britain, and other European powers. Colonial James Moore from
Carolina led an attack on St. Augustine in 1702. The English burned the city and surrounding Indian missions, but failed to
take the Castillo de San Marcos. Moore returned to Carolina a failure, unable to claim Florida for England.
- The city gates are constructed.
- In 1704 work on the Cubo Line began in St. Augustine under Governor Jose de Zuniga y la Cerda. A half-mile wall,
made of palms and lined with Spanish bayonet plants, ran from the Castillo de San Marcos to the San Sebastian River.
Additional fortification walls were added over time to protect the city from invaders, forming five in total.
- The South Carolinians destroy the Apache and Timucua missions.
- Weather foils the joint Spanish and French attempts to attack Charleston.
- The Rosario Line was added to the city's defense in 1718. This defense line was connected to the Cubo Line and
extended 3,575 feet along Maria Sanchez Creek and the Matanzas River. The Rosario Line increased the cities defenses,
cutting off any enemy approach by water.
- Colonel John "Tuscarora Jack" Barnwell builds Fort King George
for the English. Located near the Altamaha River in Georgia, it was strategically placed to offer defense against the
Spanish. His Majesty’s Independent Company used the cypress blockhouse, barracks and earthen fort until 1727 when the
area was abandoned.
- Francisco Menendez, an escaped Carolina Slave came to St. Augustine in 1725 with the aid of the Yamassee Indians.
However, once Menendez entered St. Augustine he was re-enslaved and sold to Pedro Menendez de Marquez. Despite being a
slave, Menendez was appointed Captain of the Black Militia by 1726. Menendez was finally granted his freedom by Governor
Montiano, who also established Mose for ex-slaves in St. Augustine.
- Fort King George was abandoned and moved to Port Royal after a fire destroyed most of the structures. Native
attacks, aided by the Spanish, forced the British to abandon their southernmost outpost until Oglethorpe arrived with
Scottish Highlanders in 1736. Over 140 men died at the fort from 1721 to 1727, mostly due to disease.
- Colonel John Palmer attacked St. Augustine with a force of 200
British soldiers and native allies. Nombre de Dios, a Yamassee mission was burned during this attack however the city of
St. Augustine was protected by the defense walls which the British did not infiltrate.
- British establish Savannah (Georgia) on
- The British established Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island in 1736. It served as the home to General James
Oglethorpe, whose regiment consisted of six companies, each with about 125 men. A town was established outside the
fortification, which populated quickly, by 1746 there were over 1,000 inhabitants in addition to the military personnel.
Frederica was eventually abandoned in 1758. The town had suffered a great fire and the infantry relocated. Only ruins of
Frederica stand today.