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Florida, which was in the possession of England from 1763 to 1783, remained loyal to that country during the revolutionary war. After the fall of Charleston 61 gentlemen of high standing, believed by the British to be promoters of the revolution, were sent to St. Augustine as prisoners. A number of these patriots, including General Gadsen, were closely confined in the fort for nearly a year. The others were allowed the freedom of the city, but were treated with great indignity and contempt. Among these patriots were three signers of the Declaration of Independence, Arthur Middleton, Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward, Jr. and David Ramsay noted historian of the Revolution.

The Library of Congress has transcripts of many English records of Florida, in the Manuscript Department. These give full accounts of the history of St. Augustine of that period. At one time 11,000 refugees were in Florida.


On the 10th day of July 1821, the flag of Spain, which for two and a half centuries had waved over St. Augustine, was lowered forever from the castle and in its place rose the Stars and Stripes. For the history of this period read the American State Papers Public Lands.


On March 11th, 1862 the fort was surrendered without resistance to Commodore Rogers, of the Union Forces and remained garrisoned by Federal troops until the end of the war.

Harper's magazine Vol. 33, page 704, the 15th chapter of "Heroic Deeds of Heroic Men" by John S. C. Abott, Nov. 1866 gives a detailed account of the Civil War in Florida including the surrender of St. Augustine.


In 1875 Comanche, Kiowa and Arrapahoe Indians to the number of 77 were confined in Fort Marion. In 1886 five hundred Apache prisoners of war were sent to Fort Marion, where they were kept for more than a year, after which they were transferred to Alabama. During the Spanish-American war of 1898 it was used as a military prison.


In the petition of Hernando de Mestas 1595 in which a request is presented to the King for a stone fort, statements are made that there is plenty of stone and lime "from which a masonry fort can be built". This petition has notes on the margin, one of which is "See the plan and if it is approved by engineer; if so, let it be built of stone". Another appropriates ten thousand ducats for this purpose, another "Let this be seen in the council on fleet, to see to it that it is built according to the plans", then, up to twenty negroes may be provided.

In 1640 Appalachian Indians prisoners were employed on the Fort. In 1690 Governor Don Diego de Quiroga y Losada writes to the King that the Castle is completed and the slaves idle, so he is using them to rebuild the officials houses of stone. In one letter he mentions that his predecessor lived in the castle.

In 1756 the engineer in charge placed over the entrance the coat of arms of Spain with the inscription which, translated, reads:

"Don Fernandez the Sixth being King of Spain, and Field Marshal Don Alonzo Fernandez de Herreda, Governor and Captain General of the city of St. Augustine, Florida, and its province, this fortress was finished in the year 1756. The works were directed by the Captain-Engineer, Don Pedro de Brazas y Garay".

Fairbanks states, "I am not sure but that the boastful governor might not with equal propriety and truth have put a similar inscription at the city gate, claiming the town was also a finished city".

During all the Spanish rule the structure was known as San Marco Castle. After coming into possession of the United States the name was changed to Fort Marion, in honor of General Francis Marion, of Revolutionary fame.

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