The Cana Sanctuary
History, Diplomacy, and Black Catholic Marriage in Antebellum St. Augustine, Florida
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
Title Page, Copyright
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A major source for this study was the Patriot War claims located at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education enabled me to spend several months in College Park locating and taking notes on...
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This study of African American diplomacy in antebellum St. Augustine, Florida, is an intellectual history that explores the roots of a campaign by black Catholics to protect their families from the United States slave society that had solidified by the early 1840s. Because of the economic importance of history to the inhabitants...
1. “The Good Old Flag of Spain”
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Three years after the Civil War’s end, and nearly five decades after Old Glory first had been hoisted over St. Augustine, Eliza M. Whitwell finally was coming home. She had been a young bride when her neighbors exiled her from the Ancient City in 1842. Now, as a physician’s widow, she was returning to East...
2. “Jackasses of the Lion”
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God’s agents who invaded Spanish East Florida in March of 1812 were Americans. Perhaps some saw themselves on a divine mission to spread the blessings of democracy. None came to undermine the institution of slavery in the colony. But the invaders did exactly that, illustrating that Providence does indeed work...
3. Barbarians at the Gates
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Robert R. Reid was a “thoughtful, introspective man with an affection for biblical study and the classics.” This native Georgian, who had graduated from South Carolina College and served in Congress from 1819 to 1823, had come to Florida in 1832 as a federal district judge. He would rise to occupy the governor’s...
4. Prince’s Black Company
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In 1946, the undefeated Ken High Red Raiders was the best scholastic football team in western Pennsylvania. The squad’s fame spread far beyond the Pittsburgh area, and consequently, it was selected to play a Texas school in Miami’s Orange Bowl. The invitation must have thrilled the players from the cold, grimy...
5. Prophets of the Apocalypse
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We have seen how white antebellum East Floridians remembered the years immediately preceding the United States–sponsored invasion of 1812 as harbingers of a golden age. Witnesses testifying in the Patriot War claims cases blamed Washington for shattering their dreams of prosperity. Moreover, they portrayed...
6. The Notorious Andrew Gué
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On 25 July 1843, Andrew Gué, William Hernández, Joe Williams, Robert Williams, James Ashe, Gasper Mickler, and Harvey (alias Henry) Fontané threw St. Augustine “into a state of unusual excitement.” Four of these slaves had served aboard the U.S. schooner Walter M, then anchored in port. The conspirators...
7. The Cana Sanctuary
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Andrew Gué’s dramatic escape manifested the depth of the desperation and dread that wracked St. Augustine’s enslaved community in the wake of the Second Seminole War. Over the centuries, Afro–East Floridians had become adept at exploiting geopolitical conflict in order to expand the boundaries of their...
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2012