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Presidio Santa María De Galve (1698-1719): A Frontier Garrison in Spanish West Florida

Judith A. Bense
Historical Archaeology
Vol. 38, No. 3, Presidios of the North American Spanish Borderlands (2004), pp. 47-64
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25617180
Page Count: 18
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Presidio Santa María De Galve (1698-1719): A Frontier Garrison in Spanish West Florida
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Abstract

Presidio Santa María de Galve was a small but tenacious presidio community established to stop French aggression from Louisiana. While authorized by Spain, this presidio was a colony of New Spain. It was manned with petty criminals from Mexico City, Puebla, and Vera Cruz and teetered on the verge of disaster for most of its existence between 1698 and 1719. As there was no local Indian population to provide support, and the situado was irregular and limited, trade with the French colony at Mobile was the key to survival. The social organization of the community was revealed in the distribution of artifacts and architectural differences. Architectural remains and associated materials were found of the warehouse, three barracks buildings, and one church. Two cemeteries were also located. The stockade fort walls were also found and studied. The artifact assemblage is very different from that of contemporary Presidio San Agustín or Catholic mission settlements as it is dominated by Mexican-made materials with a minority of Indian-made items. The information from Presidio Santa María de Galve in Pensacola has produced much new information and shed new light on the differences between East and West Spanish Florida.

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