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Book cover of Zespedes in East Florida, Seventeen Eighty-Four to Seventeen Ninety

Zespedes in East Florida, Seventeen Eighty-Four to Seventeen Ninety

by Helen Hornbeck Tanner

Publisher: University Press of Florida
Pages: 292
Paperback
ISBN: 9780813009582






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Overview of Zespedes in East Florida, Seventeen Eighty-Four to Seventeen Ninety

"A fine sociological portrait… A very successful case-study of the East Florida governorship in the first six years of Spain’s return to the peninsular province." -- American

"Excellent… Recaptures the texture of life in the late eighteenth-century Florida with… an enthusiasm and ingenuousness… that should win over the most scrupulous critic. Florida history needs more indefatigable investigators like Tanner."-- Florida Historical Quarterly

As East Florida’s first governor during the Second Spanish Period, Vicente Manual Zespedes y Valasco had to reshape colonial institutions to fit the Spanish mold and to redefine the relationship of his colony to the new United States, the French and English, and the Indians. At the same time he had to cope with myriad internal problems. In this informative and entertaining biographical history, Tanner skillfully interweaves historical narratives with intimate personal details of life in eighteenth-century St. Augustine.

Synopsis of Zespedes in East Florida, Seventeen Eighty-Four to Seventeen Ninety

"Sitting at his desk in Havana, Cuba, on March 3, 1784, Don Vizente Manuel de Zespedes y Velasco carefully drafted a short letter acknowledging his appointment as governor of St. Augustine and the surrounding province of East Florida. The formal and modest phrases he penned scarcely revealed his inner sense of pride."

With her opening lines, Tanner begins to rough out a very human image of Zespedes, whose governorship and milieu she goes on to portray with great artistry in this biographical history. East Florida s first governor during the Second Spanish Period, Zespedes set out to reestablish Spanish rule after twenty years of British occupation, to protect his colony from the new United States, the French, the English, and the Indian factions and to cope with myriad internal problems.

Skillfully blending chronological and topical approaches, Tanner deals with Zespedes arrival in St. Augustine and his problems, with economic and religious issues, border difficulties and defense, census taking, manners and morals, fiestas, and repercussions from the clandestine marriage of his eldest daughter.

The finished work re-creates late eighteenth century Florida in rich color. Although the historical narrative of the governorship occupies the foreground, Tanner paints in the background with an equally deft touch, focusing on the activities of such figures as Daniel McGirt, Francisco Sanchez, and Alexander McGillivray and sketching intimate vignettes of St. Augustine life.

This new edition of Tanner s 1963 study includes an introduction commissioned from anthropologist Patricia Griffin by the St. Augustine Historical Society.

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