Street); another in the Chapel of our Lady of the Milk that was in the location
of the Cemetery now on Ocean Street, where another chapel now stands.
During the English occupation the Franciscan convent was made into barracks for
the troops and is now the State Arsenal.
In 1586 Sir Francis Drake arrived off St. Augustine. He immediately landed his
troops on Anastasia Island, intending to make an attack the next day. During
the night, however, the Spaniards fled from the castle, leaving behind 13 or 14
great pieces of brass ordinance and 2000 pounds sterling, which had been sent
to pay the soldiers. Upon learning that the soldiers had fled, Drake
immediately crossed the bay, plundered and destroyed the fort. To attack the
town, owing to marsh and streams south of the fort they found it necessary to
take to the boats and row south. On landing a Spaniard fired from Ambush,
killing Drake's sergeant-major. In retaliation for this Drake burned the town
and destroyed the gardens.
After the departure of Drake the Spaniards rebuilt the fort. This fort was
built of wood and earth, part of an octogen in shape.
One of the houses survived Drakes attack because when the English took
possession in 1763 they found many very old houses, one with the date 1571
In 1595 Hernando de Mestas went to Spain and presented a petition to the King
asking that the fort should be made of stone. The petition contained upon it a
drawing of the fort as it was at that time. He also presented maps of the
former forts, one an oblong building, probably the house of the cacique, one
of a triangular fort, "San Agustin" three miles from the probably the house
of the cacique, one of a triangular fort, "San Agustin" three miles from the
bar. In 1690 the governor, Diego de Quiroga y Losada writes to the King that
the castle is bar. In 1690 the governor, Diego de Quiroga y Losada writes to
the King that the castle is completed and he uses the slaves that are idle to
rebuild the officials' houses. He also writes that his predecessor lived in
In 1665 the famous pirate, John Davis, plundered the town, but obtained little
In 1702 Governor Moore, of South Carolina, sent an expedition consisting of
600 militia and the same number of Indians against St. Augustine. Part of
the expedition under Colonel Daniels came by land, attacked and took
immediate possession of the town, the troops and inhabitants retiring to the
fort. Governor Moore arrived shortly after with a naval force, but owing to
the lack of heavy siege guns, no impression on the fort could be made.
Colonel Daniels was then sent to Jamaica for the necessary artillery, but
during his absence two Spanish vessels appeared before the harbor and
fearing his retreat might be cut off, Moore, after a siege of three months,
abandoned the undertaking and returned to South Carolina. Before he retired,
however, he committed the barbarity of burning the town.
In 1727 Col. Palmer of Carolina, crossed the Attamaha river with 300 white
troopers and a large band of Indians. He laid waste all northern Florida,
"To the very gates of St. Augustine" (Fairbanks) . This is the first mention
of the gates. It is evident, therefore, that they were built before Palmer's
attack in 1727.
In 1740 Governor Oglethorpe, of Georgia, besieged St. Augustine. On June
12th he opened fire with five batteries located on the island and mainland
across the bay. The garrison at that time consisted of about 750 men, while
the total population of all classes was about at that time consisted of about
750 men, while the total population of all classes was about 2100. The
inhabitants all took refuge in the fort, where they were compelled to remain
for 38 days, during the heat of summer, until the siege was raised on July
20th. The bombardment did little damage owing to the spongy nature of the
material of which the walls are constructed. Many holes where cannon balls
entered the walls on the water side may still be seen.