Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788
In the history of St. Augustine, the story of the Minorcans, who still today exert tremendous political and social influence, rivals the drama of the ... Show synopsis In the history of St. Augustine, the story of the Minorcans, who still today exert tremendous political and social influence, rivals the drama of the Jamestown or Plymouth settlements. Patricia C. Griffin describes their first twenty years in the New World, including the hardship of their arrival in British East Florida in 1768, their starvation and suffering on an indigo plantation, and their revolt and flight to sanctuary in St. Augustine. There, survivors of this devastating experience pieced back together their Mediterranean heritage. In time, they became farmers, craftsmen, shopkeepers, mariners, and fishermen. "Mullet on the beach," their freedom cry, signaled the emigrants' release from plantation captivity. As the Floridas reverted to Spanish control and were later acquired by the United States, the Minorcans became the core population of St. Augustine, settling into a quarter next to the city gate and south of the old Spanish fort which is now known as the restored area. Griffin brings alive this remarkable colonial venture through her use of documentary sources, archaeological evidence, and topographical and climatic data. Students of Florida history and the Spanish borderlands, specialists in migration studies, ethnohistorians, and the general reader will value this solidly researched study of a folk community's struggle and triumph in the New World.