Old St. Augustine: A Story of Three Centuries.
By Charles B. Reynolds. St. Augustine: E.H.
IT is hardly necessary to have seen the quaint
old town of which Mr. Reynolds writes, to feel
interested in his narrative of its �changing for-
tunes� � �unstable as the shifting sands of its
harbor bar.� He tells us graphically of its found-
ing in 1565 by the Spanish bigot Menendez, who
enforced his claims to Florida by that terrible
slaughter of French Huguenots which gave name
to Matanzas inlet. Many were the vicissitudes
of massacre, sack, conflagration, and siege, to
which different foes, the Frenchman, the English-
man, the Indian, the Boucanier (Buccaneer), sub-
jected St. Augustine before it was ceded to Eng-
land in 1763. During our Revolutionary War it
was loyal to the British crown, but the enter-
prising Englishmen who had infused new vigor
into it received a poor reward for their loyalty,
when its retrocession to Spain in 1783 compelled
them to seek other homes. From that date St.
Augustine remained in Spanish hands until Flo-
rida passed into the possession of the United
States in 1821. All these changes are exhibited
by our author in a series of well-selected historic
pictures, on which he has succeeded in throwing
a strong light. Various characters of greater or
less note enliven his pages, from Admiral Sir
Francis Drake to Coacoochee and Osceola, heroes
of the Seminole war. The story of Fort Marion
�of the first building of San Juan de Pinos, of
its destruction, its rebuilding, its resistance as
San Marco to obstinate siege, its rechristening as
Fort Marion�is an interesting one.
The book is graced by various illustrations, some
being copies of drawings made three centuries
ago, and the remainder mostly artotypes of old
buildings, the Cathedral, City Gate, Fort Marion,
etc. A list of dates and a full index add to the
value of the little volume.