Manuel de Cendoya (? – 1673) was a Spanish soldier who served as governor of Spanish Florida (La Florida) from mid-1671 to mid-1673. His administration is remembered primarily for initiating construction of the Castillo de San Marcos, a masonry fortress whose building had first been ordered by Cendoya's predecessor, Governor Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega, after the destructive raid of the English privateer Robert Searle in 1668.[1][2] Work proceeded in 1671,[3] although the first stone was not laid until 1672.[4]

Manuel de Cendoya
24th Governor of La Florida
In office
July 6, 1671 – July 8, 1673
Preceded byFrancisco de la Guerra y de la Vega
Succeeded byNicolás Ponce de León II
Personal details
Bornearly 17th century
DiedJuly 8, 1673
Saint Augustine, Florida
ProfessionSoldier and administrator (governor of Florida)

Biography edit

Early years edit

Manuel de Cendoya was born in the early 17th century. As a youth, he joined the Spanish army, where he learned military engineering.[5] During his 22 years of service, he fought in several military campaigns to capture enemy strongholds[5] in Extremadura, Guipúzcoa, Flanders, and Italy,[5] eventually attaining the rank of sergeant major[6]

On July 6, 1671,[7] when Cendoya was in Cadiz, Spain, he was appointed royal governor and captain general of Florida.[6][8] He left Cadiz for Florida the same year with his wife and his two children.

Government of Florida edit

Castillo de San Marcos edit

Construction of the Castillo de San Marcos began on October 2, 1672,[4] and continued through the administrations of seven successive governors, finally being completed in 1695.

Before assuming the governorship, Cendoya sailed to Mexico in November 1671 to receive the appropriated funds and consult with the Viceroy of New Spain, Sebastián de Toledo, and his military engineers about the construction of a new fort to defend the colony. The present one was a small structure with four bastions made of timbers that were being undermined by tidal waters.[5] It was decided that Cendoya should build a second small wooden fort at the St. Augustine inlet of the Matanzas River (actually a tidal lagoon),[9][10] and a third to prevent troop landings, as well as a large masonry fort to defend the capital of La Florida. To build all this would require thirty thousand pesos, but then news arrived of the establishment of Charles Town in the British colony of Carolina. Consequently, Cendoya suggested building a fourth fort at Santa Catalina de Guale as well to prevent British incursions southward. Cendoya gave orders the same year for surveying the grounds where the new blockhouses and the fortress would be erected.[11]

Spanish Coquina Quarries, on Anastasia Island. Blocks of coquina, a sedimentary rock, were quarried on Anastasia Island and transported on barges to the Castillo.

In April 1671, Cendoya obtained 12,000 pesos in Mexico City to build the fort, as well as acquiring tradesmen, including fifteen masons, stonecutters, lime burners, and plasterers in Havana. The best of the plasterers was Lorenzo Lagunes, who had worked in France, Italy, and Havana, and may have been familiar with treatises on fortification published in Europe;[5] he now served as master of the stonemasons and lime burners.[12] Cendoya chose military engineer Ignacio Daza to supervise construction works on the Castillo; presumably he was responsible for drawing up its plans.[3] To these workers were added 17 soldiers, several Black slaves from Cuba and one hundred and fifty Native American peons to labor at the fort.[13]

On August 8, Cendoya opened the coquina quarries on Anastasia Island, where a sedimentary rock, called coquina by the Spanish and composed of the shells of tiny mollusks, was quarried to construct the Castillo. It was over a year, however, before construction began and the first trenches for the fort's foundations were dug.[13] Native Americans hired as laborers cleared trees and brush from the quarry site and removed topsoil to expose the coquina beneath, working with picks, shovels, and tools forged by the town's blacksmith. Labor gangs of dozens of Indians working virtually as slaves transported the coquina on barges from la isla de la Cantera (Anastasia Island) to the construction site, where others carried firewood and shells to burn the lime for the mortar.[5]

Cendoya even suggested that the Spanish government build four small casemate fortresses: two to guard the entrance to the harbor of St. Augustine, one in Santa Catalina de la Frontera to the north, and another at San Marcos de Apalache to the west, on the Gulf of Mexico.[14] Although the boards of War approved the project, funds were not appropriated.[5]

Other Forts and conflicts with the British edit

Artist's conception of one of the early wooden watchtowers at Matanzas Inlet, as described in a 1671 document

After receiving reports of numerous threats appearing at Matanzas Inlet, Cendoya began to consider the status of its watchtower, and after personally inspecting the wooden structure himself,[15] formed a plan to build a second masonry fort there. He also sent Captain Matheo Pacheco and twenty-five soldiers to a mission located on St. Catherines Island to establish a garrison and obtain information from the local Indians of activity in the British colonies to the north. Meanwhile, the garrison at Apalache was strengthened to counter the increasing number of raids across the Spanish borderlands made by settlers from the British colonies.

On January 24, 1671, the king ordered Cendoya to announce publicly the Treaty of Madrid with the British, signed on July 7, 1670. Cendoya, however, ignored this order,[16] deciding instead to improve the defenses of the Spanish missions against British attacks, and to maintain military readiness for further British provocations like those made against the Spanish in Florida between 1671 and 1672 (at least from his point of view). Cendoya informed the king in a letter of his decision to continue the struggle against the British. According to him, a group of British colonists was kidnapped on St. Catherines Island. He thought it was too soon to seek a peace agreement with the British and their Native American allies, whose attacks had become increasingly frequent. In February 1673, the Captain General of Havana received an order to assist in the defense of Florida, and sent soldiers to the garrison in Saint Augustine. The Spanish Crown also sent orders to Cendoya to arrange a meeting between him, the Captain General of Havana and the Viceroy of New Spain, to discuss possible ways to drive out the British from Carolina without breaking the peace treaty.[17]

Cendoya died unexpectedly[5] on July 8, 1673,[7] while still in office as governor of Florida,[18] and construction of the Castillo de San Marcos was still in its early stages. A huge storm destroyed the existing wooden fort in 1674. Cendoya was replaced by Nicolás Ponce de León II, who served as acting governor and continued to monitor construction of the fort.[5]

Personal life edit

Cendoya married and had at least two children.

References edit

  1. ^ Lawrence Sanders Rowland; Alexander Moore; George C. Rogers (1996). The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: 1514-1861. Univ of South Carolina Press. p. 63. ISBN 978-1-57003-090-1.
  2. ^ Amy Turner Bushnell (1987). David Hurst Thomas (ed.). Situado and Sabana: Spain's Support System for the Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History: The Archaeology of Mission Santa Catalina de Guale, No. 74. Vol. 68. University of Georgia Press. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-8203-1712-0.
  3. ^ a b Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America. Vol. 1. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1569. ISBN 978-0-8018-5986-1.
  4. ^ a b Albert C. Manucy. The Building of Castillo de San Marcos: National Park Service Interpretive Series, History No. 1. United States Government Printing Office Washington. p. 18. GGKEY:R1D08K7CWUJ.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i November 26, 2008. El Fuerte de Piedra y la Villa Archived 2012-03-14 at the Wayback Machine (In Spanish) "The Stone Fort and the Village". Page 93-95.
  6. ^ a b Worth, John E. (2007). The Struggle for the Georgia Coast. Ed: The university of Alabama Press. Page 187.
  7. ^ a b Cahoon, Ben. U.S. States F-K.
  8. ^ Luis R. Arana; Mark Johnson (1986). "The Military and militia in colonial Spanish America, St. Augustine, Florida". St. Augustine, Florida: Department of Military Affairs, Florida National Guard. p. 23.
  9. ^ "MR312 (Matanzas River)". St. Johns River Water Management District. 2015. Archived from the original on April 1, 2015.
  10. ^ Earth Science. Earth Science Publishing Company. 1976. p. 80.
  11. ^ Juan Ignacio Arnaud Rabinal; Alberto Bernández Alvarez; Pedro Miguel Martín Escudero; Felipe del Pozo Redondo (1991). "Estructura de la población de una sociedad de frontera: la Florida española, 1600 – 1763" [The Population Structure of a Frontier Society: Florida] (PDF). Revista Complutense de Historia de América (in Spanish). 17. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. ISSN 1132-8312.
  12. ^ Luis Arnal Simón (2006). Arquitectura y urbanismo del septentrión novohispano: Fundaciones en la Florida y el Seno mexicano, siglos XVI al XVIII [Architecture and Urban Planning in Northern New Spain: Foundations in Florida and the Mexican Heartland, 16th and 18th Centuries]. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Arquitectura. ISBN 978-968-36-7436-4.
  13. ^ a b Theodore Corbett (2012). St. Augustine Pirates and Privateers. The History Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-60949-721-7.
  14. ^ Luis Arnal Simón (2006). Arquitectura y urbanismo del septentrión novohispano: Fundaciones en la Florida y el Seno mexicano, siglos XVI al XVIII [Architecture and Urban Planning in Northern New Spain: Foundations in Florida and the Mexican Heartland, 16th and 18th Centuries] (in Spanish). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Arquitectura. p. 100. ISBN 978-968-36-7436-4. Military efforts in Florida had intensified; following the ideas of Cendoya, construction on the Apalachee fort continued and the small fort of Santa Catalina de Guale had been completed...
  15. ^ Luis R. Arana; Jean Parker Waterbury (1999). Defenses and defenders at St. Augustine: a collection of writings. St. Augustine Historical Society. p. 32.
  16. ^ Timothy Paul Grady (22 July 2015). Anglo-Spanish Rivalry in Colonial South-East America, 1650–1725. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-317-32386-0.
  17. ^ Grady 2015, p. 43
  18. ^ Bushnell 1987, p. 212

External links edit