Witness to Empire and the Tightening of Military Control:
Santa Elena's Second Spanish Occupation, 1577-1587
The prolonged Indian challenges to Spanish domination, in combination with real and perceived threats from French and English corsairs, fundamentally shaped the second period of Santa Elena's occupation which lasted from the rebuilding of the fort there in 1577 until Spaniards dismantled the town in 1587 in a climate of uncertainty following Sir Francis Drake's raid on West Indies ports, including St. Augustine.During this period Santa Elena, which had previously been the seat of Florida's government with a strong settler, as well as soldier, element became little more than a military garrison, trying to survive as proof of Spain's claim to these lands.But while the conditions of war in the colony and the threats from other European countries were very real, part of the almost exclusive focus on military matters in La Florida at this time was due to the priorities of those who governed.King Philip's appointment of Pedro Menéndez Marqués, the nephew of adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, as Florida's governor had two main effects.First, this choice kept the colony's leadership in the hands of the family that had ruled since the adelantado's day, as Pedro Menéndez Marqués continued to appoint his relatives and close associates to key offices.  Second, as I will explain, the decision to name Menéndez Marqués governor instead of adelantado removed his incentive to invest in Florida's long-term development.  What resulted was an era in which Pedro Menéndez Marqués and Gutierre de Miranda, who governed under him at Santa Elena, fulfilled their military duties to the King, but then used their authority to remove even the limited power the colony's residents had previously enjoyed in pursuit of their own interests.The many voices and agendas that characterized Santa Elena's Spanish population in the first period were silenced into an uneasy peace under the second period's military rule.Faced with growing threats from their European enemies, Spain's leadership apparently chose to ignore the excesses of those who provided effective defense in this strategically valued, but extremely vulnerable, frontier region.
King Philip II's decision to appoint Pedro Menéndez Marqués governor of Florida rather than continue the institution of adelantamiento there marked an important stage in the trend toward increased royal support for this colony, as well as efforts to control its affairs.  Pedro Menéndez de Avilés's contract had been for two lifetimes, and the King chose to count Hernando de Miranda's brief term as adelantado as the second.  Spanish monarchs had drawn on the Reconquest tradition of adelantamiento to extend their efforts to conquer and settle the Indies beyond what their funds allowed since the days of Columbus.But while the Crown granted special privileges to those who undertook these ventures of conquest and colonization until the mid-sixteenth century, it also imposed measures to limit the adelantados' power in the regions under their control.  By sending Pedro Menéndez Marqués to govern La Florida in an appointed, rather than a contractual role, King Philip in some ways ensured that this nephew of adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés would serve even more directly under royal command than those who preceded him.  But this assertion of Crown authority over La Florida's government also removed these leaders' incentive to invest in the colony's long-term well-being.Their rewards came, not from painstaking efforts at settlement and the establishment of good relations with the Native Americans to achieve their conversion, but from fulfilling their military duties to remove immediate threats to La Florida, then pursuing their own goals related to pleasure, power, and personal enrichment.
Accompanying this assertion of control over Florida's government was a steady increase in royal funding in the form of the annual payment known as the situado.As discussed earlier, the financial subsidy for La Florida began in response to concerns about the French presence at Fort Caroline, which the King only learned about after signing the conquest contract with adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565.  This royal assistance was formalized in 1570, when the King granted the colony an annual payment of 8,788,725 maravedíes from the treasury of Tierra Firme for the support of one hundred and fifty soldiers, as well as other expenses.  In 1577, when King Philip sent Pedro Menéndez Marqués to govern Florida, the funding level remained at this amount, but the responsibility for paying it had shifted to the treasury of Vera Cruz.  After learning of the reappearance of the French in La Florida, as well the threat from Native Americans, the King doubled the number of Florida soldiers he would fund in 1578.  The new soldiers arrived from Spain in October, 1578, during Captain Álvaro Flores's inspection of the Florida forts.  Soon after this, King Philip ordered the Vera Cruz officials to send Florida an additional 4,000,000 maravedíes per year to support these men, but the payments were to go through the governor of Cuba, apparently as a measure to control the use of this money.  In January, 1580, the King raised the situado payment by 5,125,000 more maravedíes for a total of 17,913,725 maravedíes per year.  Royal funding of the Florida colony remained at this level until at least the middle of the seventeenth century, although the amount actually paid tended to vary. 
Even though Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués answered more directly to his King than his predecessors, in many ways the Florida power structure remained the same as during the adelantado's day.Members of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés's network of extended family and associates, or comuño, still ran the government.  The King tried to appoint treasury officials from outside the colony in 1577, but when the man he appointed as factor failed to take up the position, Pedro Menéndez Marqués named a comuño member, Rodrigo de Junco.  Eugene Lyon notes that, through Junco, the governor was able to undermine the initiatives of the other two royal officials.  Eventually, one of these men, the treasurer Juan Cevadilla, entered the comuño through marriage to Rodrigo de Junco's daughter.  Pedro Menéndez Marqués kept the highest levels of the Florida government within his family's inner circle.He named his brother-in-law, Gutierre de Miranda, to govern Santa Elena during most of its second Spanish occupation.  Another of his brothers-in-law, Juan de Posada, was also active in Menéndez Marqués's service, as were a couple of the governor's nephews.  When a long-time resident complained in 1584 that La Florida's government was dominated by "uncles and nephews and brothers-in-law," he could easily have been talking about the colony's days under the adelantado.  Pedro Menéndez Marqués could justify some of these appointments by claiming that these men were most qualified through prior Florida service, but their loyalty to him appears to have been their best claim to these positions.For as before, comuño members presented a united front against other groups in the colony.In this period, however, there were even fewer checks to their power.
Santa Elena as Symbol of Spanish Rule
Both General Pedro Menéndez Marqués and Captain Gutierre de Miranda appear to have fulfilled their military duties to the King with diligence.The previous chapter discussed Governor Menéndez Marqués's efforts to bring the Indians of the Guale and Santa Elena regions under the obedience of the King, as well as his tireless search for the Frenchmen who lived among them.Gutierre de Miranda mostly spent the years from 1577 to 1580 performing various tasks for Pedro Menéndez Marqués while Captain Vicente González and Captain Tomás Bernaldo de Quirós governed at Santa Elena as his lieutenants.Once Miranda assumed his post at Santa Elena in November, 1580, however, he led military expeditions against Indian groups in the surrounding area and investigated reports of corsairs off his region's coasts.As I will discuss later, Gutierre de Miranda was also very attentive to the condition of Florida's forts.During this period, a focus on the colony's physical existence – building, maintaining, and defending Florida's structures and towns – seems to have been particularly important to the King and his representatives.Indeed, for much of Santa Elena's second occupation, the town's very presence on this northern frontier constituted the most valuable aspect of its service to Spain. 
When Spaniards rebuilt Santa Elena, they took care to do so along the lines of a proper Spanish American town, for Florida officials recognized the importance of town construction to the King's service.One account of Captain Tomás Bernaldo de Quirós's accomplishments during his period as lieutenant governor of Santa Elena mentioned not just his peace treaties with the region's Native American leaders, but also his work to create a "formed town" (pueblo formado) there.  Pedro Menéndez Marqués reported on March 25, 1580 from Santa Elena that "This village is being very well built, and because of the method which is being followed, any of the houses appears fortified to Indians, for they are all constructed of wood and mud, covered with lime inside and out, and with their flat roofs of lime.And as we have begun to make lime from oyster-shells, we are building the houses in such manner that the Indians have lost their mettle.There are more than sixty houses here, whereof thirty are of the sort I am telling your Majesty."  When Captain Tomás Bernaldo left the position of governor of Santa Elena in November, 1580, a notary testified that at the time of Bernaldo's arrival on September 4, 1578, "there was no more than the fort of His Majesty and one house wherein were gathered four married men."  The notary stated that "in the time he held the said governorship, by his order and command, and with his resolution, there was made and founded a town of more than forty houses of clay and flat roofs."  This use of lime-covered roofs was an adaptation based on the Spaniards' experience with the Indians' burning arrows, mentioned first in Pedro Menéndez Marqués's instructions to Captain Vicente González regarding improvements to Santa Elena's fort.  Today, the presence of significant amounts of lime mortar made from burned oyster shells tells archaeologists when they have found a site from the second period of Santa Elena's Spanish occupation. 
Town construction had its practical side, of course, for by the time Captain Tomás Bernaldo came to govern at Santa Elena, there was apparently a great need for these houses.Pedro Menéndez Marqués gave some indication of the size of Santa Elena's population only a couple of months after he rebuilt the fort there when, in a letter to the King dated October 21, 1577, he described the burden he faced in providing for the town's residents.He wrote, "The laborers here are all youths, who are soldiers married to daughters of the older farmers; they serve in soldiers' plazas because there are no other [men], and they have forty-four women, sixty-two children and eleven pregnant women, about to be confined:which makes in all, one hundred and six persons who perforce must eat."To feed them and the fort's soldiers, Governor Menéndez Marqués said, "let not your Majesty count on the farmers, for at two hundred paces they dare not do any ploughing, and all they cultivate is but a little air in comparison with what they eat and what they exact."  He stated, "I brought to this fort five women only, with their husbands; they are married to five sawyers.[I brought them] because of the need there was of them, although against their will, as they did not wish to come, saying that there was nothing to eat.So I have given and now give them rations as I do their husbands; and to the others I give nothing until I hear what your Majesty commands."  Before Captain Bernaldo had these houses constructed, most of Santa Elena's residents likely lived in tents or other temporary dwellings, but a 1578 drawing shows a building labeled "house of the married women" just outside the fort. 
Pedro Menéndez Marqués re-established the town of Santa Elena mostly with different men than had lived there before, although there may have been greater continuity among the town's female population, as indicated by the governor's letter quoted above.  When Santa Elena's residents abandoned the fort there in 1576, the soldiers and male settlers of fighting age disembarked in St. Augustine, while the others, mostly women and children, sailed on to Havana.  Some of these people continued to other destinations, but most of the colonists appear to have either returned to or remained in La Florida.  On November 26, 1576 in St. Augustine, the royal inspector Baltasar del Castillo y Ahedo mustered the soldiers who had fled Santa Elena, among whom were some of the men who had originally traveled there as settlers, separately from the men who had been serving in St. Augustine all along.  A comparison of these lists to the first muster conducted by Captain Álvaro Flores at the fort of Santa Elena on October 15, 1578 shows that only five of the men who had fled Santa Elena were living there again, including the chaplain, Fray Francisco del Castillo.  Another former resident and twenty-seven new soldiers from Spain had joined them by the time of Captain Flores's second muster at Santa Elena on November 2, 1578.  By contrast, approximately seventeen of the soldiers Baltasar del Castillo reported as serving at St. Augustine at the time of the 1576 uprising were living at Santa Elena in October, 1578.
When a notary certified that Captain Tomás Bernaldo de Quirós had constructed a "formed town" at Santa Elena, he provided no explanation as to what this meant.But the archaeologists who study Santa Elena believe that the second Spanish town constructed on this site likely followed the guidelines prescribed in King Philip II's 1573 "Ordinances for the Discovery, New Settlement and Pacification of the Indies."  These rulings which cover every aspect of a new settlement's founding from the choice of its location, to its layout along the grid-plan pattern, to the rights enjoyed by the settlers were part of King Philip's wider effort to exert greater royal control over Spain's colonies during this period.  Archaeologists Chester DePratter and Stanley South have come up with a hypothetical layout of part of the town through computer mapping of evidence from the several Spanish lots they have excavated from Santa Elena's second occupation, as well as the results of shovel samples taken from the rest of the projected area of the town.Their findings indicate the possible location of a street and a plaza, oriented in conformance with a grid layout.  The distribution of buildings on the land along this street appears to correspond to the lot sizes specified for more elite residences in the 1573 Ordinances, and South and DePratter contend that these lots situated beside the harbor and close to the protection of Fort San Marcos would have been a prime location during this period.The projected plaza area, indicated on the computer maps through a notable lack of Spanish, and to some degree Indian, materials, also roughly follows the rectangular shape and comes close to the minimum dimensions for a plaza which appear in these Ordinances. 
In The Architecture of Conquest:Building in the Viceroyalty of Peru, 1535-1635, art historian Valerie Fraser offers an interesting discussion of the ideas and attitudes which came together to shape towns, even in remote regions of the Spanish American empire.She describes King Philip II's 1573 "Ordinances for the Discovery, New Settlement and Pacification of the Indies" less as prescriptive measures and more as codifications of existing practice.Fraser says that the Ordinances explicitly advocated the use of the grid-plan town design for the first time, but that this layout was already the "established norm" in the Spanish American colonies by 1573.She refutes others' claims that previous experience, centralized authority, or prescriptive literature were responsible for the prevalence of this pattern.  Instead, Valerie Fraser finds an explanation in the cultural assumptions that the Spaniards who built these towns brought with them when they encountered the peoples, situations, and challenges of the Americas.She writes:
Behind this unanimity about the grid-plan layout for new towns lies the assumption that civility is conditional upon an urban lifestyle.In the case of Spanish America this comes to mean not just any town, but specifically the grid-plan type and the orderliness of the grid-plan layout is a metaphor for the orderliness and civility of the people who live within it.Spaniards in America should therefore live in orderly towns both as a demonstration both to themselves and to the Indians of their inherent civility. 
Valerie Fraser discusses one of the 1573 Ordinances which calls for Indians to remain outside a Spanish American town while it was being built, so that "when the Indians do see it they are amazed, and they understand that the Spaniards are settling there permanently and not temporarily, and they will fear them and will dare not offend them, and they will respect them and wish to have their friendship."  As she points out, this ruling would have had little to do with reality, for in most cases Spaniards relied as much as possible on indigenous laborers.But, Fraser says, this ordinance shows "the strength of the idea, and the extent to which it was believed that towns and buildings (and the implication, of course, is European-style towns and buildings) were capable of playing an active role in the ideological conquest of the Indians:it is assumed that Spanish towns will be so obviously superior and imposing that, almost despite themselves, the Indians will be awed into submission." 
While little Santa Elena, with its wattle and daub houses and forts made of wood and mounded earth, was not likely to awe the observer in the same way as the great urban centers of the Spanish American empire, the intended symbolic effects of even this town's existence must not be ignored.When Captain Tomás Bernaldo de Quirós supervised the construction of the houses with their flat, lime mortar-covered roofs, he did so not just to shelter the people living there.He claimed to have built a "formed town," and the archaeologists' findings suggest that Bernaldo did indeed take the time to rebuild Santa Elena along the lines of a proper Spanish American town, even as he faced housing shortages and uncertain relations with the neighboring Indians.  In other situations, the Spaniards had shown themselves aware of the need to lead Native American and French enemies to believe that their presence at Santa Elena was stronger than it actually was, such as in the 1577 reconstruction of Santa Elena's fort.By building an orderly town with their customary grid-plan arrangement, the Spaniards would have communicated a degree of permanence, not only to the Native American population, but also to French and later, English corsairs.By early 1580, when corsair ships ventured into Santa Elena's harbor, they would have seen not just a fort and a collection of tents, but a town constructed along the lines of those they may have seen elsewhere in areas under Spanish control. 
The Tightening of Comuño Control
Captain Gutierre de Miranda finally arrived to assume his duties as Santa Elena's captain and military governor (alcaide) on November 10, 1580 after Vicente González and Tomás Bernaldo de Quirós had served in his place since the fall of 1577.  Documents from the previous year show the preparations for Miranda to occupy this post.King Philip II had issued a decree dated June 10, 1579 that Gutierre de Miranda receive two hundred ducados in extra pay each year, and that he continue serving as the captain and alcaide of the fort at Santa Elena.Other royal orders from this date confirmed Miranda's appointment to these positions.  Around this time, Gutierre de Miranda was apparently planning for the estate he would establish at Santa Elena, for an order dated July 6, 1579 mentioned Miranda's request that the King give him land for his seat of government so he could build, farm, and raise livestock.This document granted Miranda two cattle ranchesand lots of the larger size known as "caballerías" for this use as had been given to "other people of this land of his rank."  Another royal order from this date gave Gutierre de Miranda permission to take two African slaves to Florida free from charges. 
Gutierre de Miranda was in Spain when these decrees were issued, performingvarious duties for Pedro Menéndez Marqués as he had done since Menéndez becamegovernor of Florida.On July 13, 1579, King Philip ordered Miranda to recruit fifty soldiers there for service in the Florida forts.  When the King sent one hundred and fifty soldiers as reinforcements to Florida in September, 1578, nearly fifty of them drowned when the galleon Santiago el Menor sank at the bar of St. Augustine's harbor.  In late June of 1579, Pedro Menéndez Marqués had dispatched the Florida factor Rodrigo de Junco to request fifty more soldiers to replace the men from the Santiago el Menor, as well as others who had died or "turned out to be useless."  Some of the men Gutierre de Miranda enlisted wanted to take their wives with them, and some women with husbands already in Florida wanted to travel with Miranda as well.King Philip ruled that these women could go to Florida on February 9, 1580.On that day he also gave Gutierre de Miranda permission to take an African slave to Santa Elena to serve as the drummer there.  The list of the soldiers Gutierre de Miranda took to Florida on the ships San Juan and Espiritu Santo do not show the women who must have accompanied them on this voyage.However, it does name "Sebastián de Miranda, dark-skinned black man, slave of Captain Gutierre de Miranda." 
Florida's leaders constantly struggled during this period to keep the colony's forces at three hundred men.  In a letter dated October 12, 1580 from St. Augustine, some of Florida's royal officials asked the King to order that no one younger than twenty could hold a soldier's position.They charged that at that time, Gutierre de Miranda had some men under his command younger than sixteen, and that they drew a soldier's pay but did not serve.The officials discussed this in the context of the weakness of the Florida forts in the face of an Indian and French alliance, and they said their enemies in the guise of friendship "every day count one by one and see what people there are."  Soon after he arrived back in Florida, Gutierre de Miranda wrote to the King that, between the soldiers killed by Frenchmen and those who died every day in skirmishes with Indians, they would never be able to keep the three hundred positions filled unless the forts were improved and repaired.  Some soldiers' lives were lost to disease, as when around January, 1582, the fort at Santa Elena faced such severe illness that at one point only eight men were healthy enough to perform guard duty.However, when treasurer Juan Cevadilla wrote about this on January 22, 1582, he reported that only three soldiers had died and the rest were convalescing.  In December, 1582, Cevadilla reported another dilemma faced by Florida officials as they sought to keep the number of soldiers at three hundred.He said that Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués was accustomed to recruiting men to fill the empty soldiers' positions from among the settlers brought to Florida by adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.Cevadilla pointed out that if the men were allowed to farm instead of performing soldiers' duties, they could support themselves rather than draw funding from the King and also improve the region.Pedro Menéndez Marqués replied that he was required to fill the three hundred positions designated by the King. 
Pedro Menéndez Marqués's incorporation of male settlers into the soldiers' ranks had implications not just for their ability to farm and practice other trades to support and sustain the colony.Instead, this move marked a fundamental redefinition of the settlers' role in La Florida.Since the days of adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Santa Elena's male colonists had been drawn into military duties when they were needed, but they clearly maintained their identity as settlers.  As discussed before, Santa Elena's first Spanish occupation was marked by conflicts between these colonists and comuño members who questioned the status they claimed as "first settlers."  Colonists further asserted their rights and privileges through the institution of the town council (cabildo), which was generally made up of members of this group.By naming these men soldiers, however, Pedro Menéndez Marqués brought them into the stricter realm of military discipline and effectively silenced these challenges to comuño authority.He chose not to send more than a few of the former Santa Elena residents back there when he reestablished the town, perhaps as a way to break their strong identity as the first settlers there.Indeed, documents from Santa Elena's second occupation refer to the men as "soldiers," but never as "settlers" or "farmers."  When he arrived in Florida to govern, Pedro Menéndez Marqués moved quickly to cut off the residents' avenues for complaint by disbanding the town council and local tribunal in St. Augustine.  He also asserted greater control over the people and letters leaving the colony.  While these changes are most visible in the male colonists' lives, they also had profound effects for the women of this group who hadactively asserted their "first settler" status as well.
This pattern of reining in potential challenges to authority and dissent could be seen as a response to siege conditions.But the targets of this discipline and the context in which it was carried out suggest that Florida's leaders did not assert their dominion solely with greater military readiness in mind.In his accounts of life at Santa Elena and St. Augustine during the early 1580s, Domingo González de León described how Pedro Menéndez Marqués and Gutierre de Miranda used their power for their own purposes, often in a way that undermined the colony's well-being.  Unlike his uncle, adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Pedro Menéndez Marqués was not granted a lifetime to reap benefits from the colony's leadership, and so he did not have the same investment in Florida's long-term development.The Council of the Indies likely recognized the dangers of this when, in October, 1579, its officials recommended that half of Governor Menéndez Marqués's salary be paid to him from the situado and that the other half come from "the fruits of the land."They explained that all of adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés's salary had come from the products of La Florida, and that Pedro Menéndez Marqués had asked to receive his full salary from the situado because the land was at war and there had been no yield.But, the Council pointed out that if Governor Menéndez Marqués drew half his salary from the products of the land, "although there are none at present, this will compel him to try the more that there may be some, and to go on pacifying that [territory]."The King approved this course of action.  However, Domingo González de León claimed several years later that Pedro Menéndez Marqués just used this "fruits of the land" part of his salary as an excuse to take money from the royal cashbox whenever he pleased. 
Few documents discuss life at Santa Elena during the years of Gutierre de Miranda's term there, other than to mention relations with Native Americans or sightings of French and English corsairs.In February, 1583, Captain Miranda presented an interrogatory about his service at Santa Elena up until then.One of his questions asked if he had governed the soldiers of Fort San Marcos "with much peace and love" without there being any revolt among the men.His witnesses, present and former officers and soldiers at Santa Elena, all affirmed that this was the case.  A very different picture of life at Santa Elena up until around 1584 emerges from Domingo González's relations as he petitioned the King for redress of the grievances the soldiers and other residents of Florida had suffered at their leaders' hands.  González reported the various ways that Pedro Menéndez Marqués, his nephews, and his brother-in-law Gutierre de Miranda, all acted to enrich themselves at the expense of those under their power, and how they at times humiliated and abused Florida's men and women for their own amusement.Domingo González's accounts vividly portrayed the pain these actions caused, as the colony's residents apparently came to fear the attacks on their honor at least as much as the assaults on their persons and possessions.Ironically, these documents also provide the best glimpses of daily life in Santa Elena during this period, for the incidents of abuse they describe took place in a setting where parents worked to feed their families, craftsmen practiced their trades, town residents celebrated Holy Days in church, and husbands and wives struggled to live a good life together. 
Domingo González de León stated that when Captain Gutierre de Miranda came to Santa Elena, he arrived at full speed, like a "man rabid for wealth."According to González's account, Miranda took the fields that the soldiers worked which was land that had been plowed and tilled by Spaniards before the loss of Fort San Felipe.These soldiers had struggled to secure it from the Indians once the Spaniards re-established their presence there.Gutierre de Miranda claimed these fields as his own, then sowed them with corn which he sold to the soldiers at a high price.He told the soldiers that they could not fish near the fort, but that they had to go far from it and fish without nets.Presumably because of the danger they faced from their French and Indian enemies, the soldiers were reluctant to do this, and so Miranda sold them the fish from his nets at "immoderate prices."  Those who went out to hunt had to give Gutierre de Miranda the portion of their game that he desired, or he would punish them and deny them future permission to leave the fort for these purposes.Miranda also took grapes, figs, pomegranates, melons, and vegetables that the soldiers cultivated without paying for them.  As during Santa Elena's first occupation, government leaders clashed with priests who censured their behavior.Domingo González de León told how Gutierre de Miranda threatened to hang a priest from the ruins of Fort San Felipe when he intervened on behalf of a soldier who had not been paid for ten years. 
Gutierre de Miranda's wife, Doña Mariana Manrique, was apparently no less eager than her husband to assert her position of privilege in this town.Doña Mariana had been at Santa Elena in 1576 when the fort was abandoned, for Miranda came to take her and the rest of their household to safety when he learned of the Indian uprising in that area.  She returned to Santa Elena when her husband governed there, for Domingo González told in his 1584 account that Miranda's wife was "of his same temper, tongue, and deeds."  González described how, like her husband, Doña Mariana would seek revenge on those who did not do her bidding by turning spouses against one another.  In one case, Mariana Manrique asked to see a shirt a woman's husband had bought her.The woman distrusted Doña Mariana and did not want to give it to her, so Doña Mariana called the husband to her and asked him for the shirt.He told his wife that he would have the garment embroidered and brought it to Mariana Manrique.She never returned the shirt, but had trousers made from it for her husband for a voyage he was to take.  Domingo González added that Gutierre de Miranda many times failed to pay tailors, shoemakers, blacksmiths, and carpenters for the work they did for him.Once, when a tailor demanded his compensation, Miranda had his head placed in the stocks and beat him. 
Domingo González de León's accounts show how Gutierre de Miranda used not only physical punishment, but also attacks on the personal honor of the soldiers and their wives to strengthen his hold over this community.According to Domingo González, he did this both through the brutality of his actions and by consciously making his targets anexample to others.In one case, a man complained that Gutierre de Miranda's taking most of the soldiers with him when he wanted to visit his hog corral outside the fort did not constitute service to God or the King.This soldier said his time would be better spent gathering firewood for his family, and that the captain should remain in the fort and not risk his own life in this way.When Miranda learned of this, he placed the soldier in the stocks, "dishonoring him very badly," according to Domingo González.The man remained outside for a month, day and night, in all weather, and Gutierre de Miranda did not allow any other soldier to talk to him or do anything for him upon pain of being labeled a traitor.The man's wife also shared in her husband's punishment.With no one to help her, she had to gather firewood and grind corn to sustain her husband and family.  But González said that Gutierre de Miranda went farther and publicly humiliated the woman at every opportunity.On one holy day, Miranda insisted that she show her deference to him and his wife by kneeling before everyone in the community until the couple had left the church.Domingo González stated that Miranda treated the woman this way in order to frighten the other people, and that he went so far as to dishonor her by beating her.But, González added, no one dared to protest. 
Domingo González de León's relations repeatedly mentioned the rapes committed against the married women of La Florida by Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués and his relatives.  He spoke of the great harm and scandals that had come by their "dishonoring and raping women by deed and word, not taking heed of their being honorable or married, [thereby] dishonoring many good men only for their personal interest."  These documents describe the bizarre amusements Pedro Menéndez Marqués and his nephew indulged in among St. Augustine's women, including chasing married women from their homes into the streets where they conducted a muster complete with a proclamation and drummer, in which women played the soldiers' and officers' roles.The governor and his nephew then took the women to a deserted island outside the fort where they remained all day, eating and drinking and doing what they wanted with the women.  Pedro Menéndez Marqués apparently held other such "parties," even in the fort, with the doors locked.When some women refused to come to these gatherings, the governor sent for them in the name of his sister, a "very honorable lady."  González also told how Pedro Menéndez Marqués leaned against the grille at the front of the church on a holy day and made a speech to the townspeople gathered there about how he had been accused of "providing himself" with married women, with the result that some of their children looked like him.Domingo González said Menéndez named the women involved, since they were all present, and that the things he spoke about caused "no little scandal." 
What is clear from these documents is that whatever these leaders' will, the Florida residents were not allowed to refuse them.Men who protested their wives' going to the governor's "parties" were severely punished.  Under military discipline the soldiers had to obey orders to stand guard or perform tasks such as cutting wood outside the fort and so could not guard their families all the time.Menéndez and his relatives then took or created these opportunities to assault women.  Even when women managed to stop their advances, the Florida leaders would seek to convince their husbands that they had been unfaithful, so that they would turn against their wives and physically abuse them.  In one particularly brutal case, Domingo González told how a married woman had refused Gutierre de Miranda who then systematically set out to destroy her marriage which, he said, had enjoyed a good reputation for ten years.Miranda had a man "dishonor" the wife, such that her husband knew it, thus giving the husband incentive to kill her through physical abuse (mala vida).Even though the husband did not apparently assault his wife, Gutierre de Miranda put him in prison and filed false papers against him in the wife's name.Miranda held her under guard, but when she managed to escape and return to her home, he sent his military company to return her to his custody.When the husband asked why his wife had been taken away from him and why he was being detained, Gutierre de Miranda told him that his wife wanted to have their marriage annulled.He even killed the family's dogs, who apparently tried to defend their master when Miranda came to take him from the house.Domingo González said the King should consider whether any man under his command should be allowed to inflict such suffering on another, and that this was "an evil act so obscene" that he felt shame in writing about it. 
Under the rule of Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués and Captain Gutierre de Miranda, the Florida residents' concerns about honor apparently took on a different significance than they had had during Santa Elena's first occupation.Then the colonists sought to assert the privileges the King had granted them, partly because of their relatively vulnerable position in this frontier community.But the opportunity to improve their social status was also undoubtedly part of what led these Spaniards to emigrate to Santa Elena in the first place, and these "first settlers" actively pursued the rights and position they knew were theirs.Apparently robbed of the "first settler" status under Pedro Menéndez Marqués's governorship, these people, now families of soldiers, feared a loss of their personal honor during a time of even greater vulnerability, when they did not have the limited institutional protections available to settlers during Santa Elena's first period.Historians Lyman Johnson and Sonya Lipsett-Rivera discuss in the introduction to their book The Faces of Honor, how not only elite members of colonial Spanish American society, but also people of middle and lower rank valued their honorable status.They write that "plebians especially coveted a reputation for honor, because the economic and political vulnerability of their lives put them in perilously close proximity to squalor, forced labor, prostitution, and illegitimacy." 
An additional explanation for the importance of honor in the Florida colony during this time appears in Ramón Gutiérrez's examination of frontier society in colonial New Mexico.In When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away, Gutiérrez states that:
An exaggerated moral code for personal public behavior based on honor developed among New Mexico's Spanish colonists because the social and legal institutions that would have provided society an orderly tenor were absent on this remote frontier where might was right.Given the exploitative nature of class relations in the colony, the assorted amalgam that constituted society, and the absence of law and order, it was through principles of familial government, through ideas of personal and familial worth and good conduct, that a semblance of hierarchy and cohesiveness was maintained. 
Domingo González's relations reveal the deep importance the Santa Elena and St. Augustine soldiers and their families placed on maintaining their families' honor.González also vividly described the consequences they faced when their reputations were harmed.His accounts demonstrate that in this time of seemingly brutal and arbitrary rule, the Florida residents clung to these principles, no doubt in part to maintain a sense of order in their lives.The colony's leaders clearly recognized the importance that honor held for those under their command, and when it suited their purposes, proved willing to use it against them.
Comuño Service to the King
King Philip II and the Council of the Indies must have had some idea of the treatment Captain Gutierre de Miranda and Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués were giving those in their charge.Domingo González de León and his petitions had reached Spain by October, 1584, and the Cuban governor Gabriel de Luján also wrote to the King on at least two occasions to intercede on the Florida residents' behalf.  In a November 30, 1583 letter, Governor Luján reported the soldiers' complaints that Gutierre de Miranda took their pay "without leaving them one real," and that "worst of all," Miranda had uttered "many blasphemies and heresies."According to Luján, the soldiers assembled to inform the King about Miranda's behavior, but his brother-in-law, Pedro Menéndez Marqués did not want to conduct an interrogatory and punished the men.  Governor Gabriel de Luján spoke again about Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués's mistreatment of the Florida soldiers in a letter dated June 5, 1585.He stressed the ways the Florida leaders silenced complaints by seizing letters leaving the colony and said the witnesses in their interrogatories were either frightened or influenced by friendship.Luján seemed particularly concerned about the residents' lack of an avenue for their appeals and suggested that they could be handled by the Audiencias of either New Spain or Santo Domingo.  But King Philip never sent a representative to investigate these charges or the Florida government during this period, other than Captain Álvaro Flores's inspection of the colony's forts in 1578.Perhaps as long as Pedro Menéndez Marqués and Gutierre de Miranda ably performed their military duties during this time of perceived danger from European corsairs, not to mention Florida's Native American population, the King was willing to tolerate this behavior. 
Captain Gutierre de Miranda was particularly attentive to the condition of Florida's forts and seemingly adept at strengthening them by using materials available in that land.When he took charge of Santa Elena's fort on November 10, 1580, his official report of conditions there noted that there were one hundred soldiers, as well as officers and the fort chaplain, Fray Gaspar Gómez.Gutierre de Miranda stated that the region around Santa Elena was in rebellion and had been for some time, and that a large number of Indians had come to the island of Santa Elena to try to kill the soldiers and burn the fort.  But most of Gutierre de Miranda's inspection centered around the condition of the fort and its military supplies.This was likely in part because the King's 1577 orders to Pedro Menéndez Marqués specifically mentioned the importance of refortifying Santa Elena for the "peace and security of the Indies."  But fortification also appears to have been Gutierre de Miranda's particular interest and skill.  While the royal inspector, Captain Álvaro Flores, had declared Fort San Marcos "ready and placed in [a state of] defense for whatever purpose" on October 20, 1578, Gutierre de Miranda had several criticisms for this structure two years later.  He reported that it was too small and did not have enough room to fight inside it or fire artillery because the pieces were so close together on the casemates.By then, the wooden platform under the most powerful artillery was so rotten that these large cannons could not be fired.Miranda observed that the artillery could have little effect anyway, because the fort had no moat or outer moat.In his inspection, Gutierre de Miranda found the arms and munitions at Santa Elena in short supply as well. 
While Florida officials hired carpenters and sawyers to work on the colony's forts, soldiers provided much of the labor for their construction, as well as the constant repairs necessary due to rotting wood.In his instructions dated June 16, 1578, Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués ordered Captain Vicente González to make a twelve-foot-wide moat around the fort at Santa Elena by working half the men there for two hours in the morning and the other half for two hours in the afternoon.  For whatever reason, this moat had not been made by the time of Miranda's inspection two years later, however.Writing to the King in early 1580, factor Rodrigo de Junco asked that thirty royal slaves be sent from Havana to Florida to labor on the colony's forts.Junco explained that because the forts were made of wood and there was no other material there from which to build them, these structures required continuous repairs.He reported that the soldiers did this work unwillingly, saying that this was not part of their job.This fueled their discontent which, Rodrigo de Junco pointed out, was not advantageous to the service of the King.  In response to this request and others by Florida officials, on September 30, 1580, King Philip issued an order for these royal slaves to be sent to work on the fort of St. Augustine for four years. 
The royal slaves apparently spent most of their time in St. Augustine, although twenty of them went briefly to Santa Elena to repair the fort and build an artillery platform there.  Gutierre de Miranda may have been talking about this platform when, in his February, 1583 interrogatory, he told how, at some point in the early 1580s, he had a strong bastion constructed of wood and placed all the artillery on top of it within thirty days after receiving a warning from Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués about Frenchmen in the region.The soldiers and officers who served as Miranda's witnesses all said they had been present during this construction.  In a December 20, 1583 letter, two royal officials reported that, at the beginning of that year, "ten of the best" of the King's slaves had been sent to Santa Elena to saw boards to cover the fort there.Once they had begun the work, however, these men found that all the wood was so badly damaged that it was necessary to tear down the body of the fort and rebuild it.Because of the little amount of time the men had for the construction – they were due back in St. Augustine in April to sow crops for their own sustenance – the soldiers had to help them with the sawing, the officials said. 
Domingo González de León presented a different picture of the royal slaves' time in Florida.He said that, even though King Philip had sent the thirty slaves to work on the Florida forts and so provide some relief for the soldiers, the soldiers did as they always had done, and the officials rented out the slaves for their own profit.  According to Domingo González, Gutierre de Miranda had soldiers carry wood from the forests during this dangerous time "like animals" and make platforms, large towers, and sentry boxes.González said the heavy loads broke the men, so that many of them were not able to serve the King.He claimed that more of this labor was for Gutierre de Miranda's own purposes than for the King's service, adding that Miranda had the men carry wood to make "many houses" which he then sold to the soldiers.  As discussed in the previous chapter, Domingo González de León told how Gutierre de Miranda also forced Indians to carry wood and palm rods for the houses without paying them or even offering them anything to eat.He said that Miranda treated both Indians and soldiers "with much tyranny." 
It is difficult to know how life changed for Santa Elena's residents following the apparent cessation of hostilities with the Native Americans of Guale and the Santa Elena region sometime around 1583.  They surely experienced greater freedom to leave the fort and perform tasks such as working in their fields and tending livestock, but their leaders did not relax their guard.For even though tensions with the Indian population had declined, the Spaniards of La Florida continued to worry about French and, increasingly, English corsairs.Writing to the King on August 8, 1585, Gutierre de Miranda reported that the Florida Indians were at peace.  But in a previous letter he mentioned a warning that he had received from the King that June of a large English corsair fleet that was on its way to do great harm to that part of the Indies.  This must have been the fleet of Sir Francis Drake.  In this time of heightened tension between Spain and England, the corsairs served as Queen Elizabeth's unofficial warriors, fighting an undeclared war, but inflicting harm on the enemy.  They also sought great wealth for the Queen and for themselves, as they targeted the fleets bringing bullion from the Spanish American mines.  Officials throughout the Caribbean circulated reports of corsair sightings, as well as an English settlement expedition, during the fall of 1585.  In Madrid on November 8, 1585, Rodrigo de Junco urged the King to take quick action on repeated requests to send more soldiers and supplies to Florida for, he said, there had been "much news" of corsairs passing through those parts. 
Drake's Raid and Its Aftermath
Sir Francis Drake attacked Santo Domingo on January 11, 1586 and remained there a month as his men sacked, looted, and burned the town while the Spaniards attempted to raise enough ransom money to persuade the English to leave.  On February 8, 1586, soon before Drake's fleet departed from Santo Domingo to sail southward toward Cartagena, the site of their next major raid, Pedro Menéndez Marqués received news ofDrake's arrival in the Indies.  That day Menéndez Marqués wrote a letter to Gutierre de Miranda at Santa Elena telling him that Drake's fleet of thirty ships had devastated Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo and was certain to head for Havana.  Pedro Menéndez Marqués instructed Miranda that he should fortify as well as he could, as they would do at St. Augustine, and then "let fortune do what it wants."  He instructed Gutierre de Miranda that no religious or lay person was to go among the Indians until the situation changed.  The Spanish fears of English settlements to the north also surfaced in this letter, as Pedro Menéndez Marqués mentioned that the corsairs who passed by Guatari had settled along the Atlantic coast "where, it is said, there is a passage to the South Sea." 
Gutierre de Miranda must have begun his improvements on Fort San Marcos immediately, for on April 6, 1586, he claimed before the notary Miguel de Molina that construction had been completed there by the end of March, 1586.  When Pedro Menéndez Marqués's warning arrived, Santa Elena's fort was, according to Miguel de Molina, "made of wood with its two casemates and a large tower of the same."  He observed that the artillery was distributed on these structures "without any type of fence, moat, or wall, or any other defense."  Gutierre de Miranda stated that by the end of March, he had enclosed the fort with a "moat and walls with their large towers in the terrepleined corners."  Miranda claimed to have done this "without being sent any of his Majesty's slaves, carpenters, tools" or any funds from the royal account.  The scale of these improvements was more evident in a sworn statement Gutierre de Miranda gave in November, 1586.This account shows a fort and homemade weaponry constructed mainly from the materials available in that land, particularly earth and wood.Miranda explained that the walls he built surrounding the munitions house and the casemates were approximately twenty-feet tall on the outside and slightly lower on the inside, where there was a horizontal platform for artillery to rest.  The earth mound parts of this structure were covered with oystershell "so that the rain cannot do it any damage."  According to Miranda, the moat was approximately forty feet wide and twenty feet deep and lined with stakes.He said, "filling it with enough water to cover a man is easily done with the tide of the creek that goes by here."  Gutierre de Miranda also told how he had a "strong stockade" built in the creek at the entrance to the moat "so that the ships that came to attack would be delayed by it, [then] damaged and sunk by the artillery." 
As part of these preparations, Gutierre de Miranda said he had each soldier construct himself an iron pike with a handle, but Miranda substituted less conventional weapons for swords, which were then in short supply.He explained, "Seeing also that most of the soldiers were without swords and others had broken ones, and that in a time of need they were not effective, I have had the walls stocked with pebbles and large stones and pine stumps to fling over the rampart at the enemy's sortie."Miranda also had each soldier make himself a large wooden club, so that "Any enemy who places his hands on the wall and comes rushing [over] can be greatly harmed, more than with a sword, even if he comes armed."Captain Miranda also had large, clay bottles of resin placed on top of the walls, which presumably would have been heated before being flung over the top at the approaching enemy below.  Those who did the labor on the fort were, according to Gutierre de Miranda, his own slaves, as well as "paid carpenters and sawyers and other day laborers."Miranda also said he "brought many natives from this region to assist in the repair."He said he fed them and paid for their work on the moat and terrepleined walls.  At some point after this, Gutierre de Miranda had an approximately 180-foot-long boom of cedar logs connected with iron couplings made to stretch across the fairway.  It was fastened with iron chains to strong pillars on either shore and rose and fell with the tide.The purpose of this boom was to act with the stockade in the creek to delay the ships so that the artillery could damage them. 
Sir Francis Drake attacked St. Augustine on June 7, 1586.According to Pedro Menéndez Marqués's account of this raid, Drake arrived with twenty-three large ships and nineteen small ones.Menéndez Marqués claimed that Drake initially landed five hundred men who went directly to St. Augustine's fort and then, when they met with resistance, sent two thousand more men on land with artillery to bombard the fort.  He said the Spaniards resisted for a day and a half before they fled into the woods, where the women and children were already hiding.Once the Spaniards abandoned the town, Indians looted it, although, Pedro Menéndez Marqués commented, "they did not rebel."  Sir Francis Drake and his forces then entered St. Augustine and remained for six days, during which they burned buildings and fields and took everything they could before they left and sailed northward toward Santa Elena.  Drake's raid was also devastating for historians for, judging from contemporary accounts, many documents were lost in his fires.  Because the account records were destroyed, the lieutenant treasurer Bartolomé de Argüelles had to make a new inventory of everything remaining in the colony.  But at least one St. Augustine soldier, Pablos Juan, claimed that Pedro Menéndez Marqués and other royal officials stole from the King when the English entered St. Augustine, and that they also burned papers important to the King, including some from the fort at Santa Elena. 
Following Drake's departure from St. Augustine, letters went out from Florida and Havana reporting this raid and commenting on the damage that everyone was sure had been done at Santa Elena.On July 30, 1586, one Cuban official went so far as to write that it appeared from reports that the English must have taken the fort at Santa Elena.He speculated that Drake's fleet intended to settle somewhere along the Florida coast, since the English troops had seized many tools and other things during their attack on St. Augustine that would be necessary for colonization, but were otherwise useless.  Governor Gabriel de Luján and two other Cuban officials separately expressed their concern that even if the residents of Santa Elena escaped the English, the Indians of that region would likely kill them.  Governor Luján concluded that knowing the danger they faced in fleeing the fort, Captain Gutierre de Miranda and his men would fight to the death.He said that "the enemy, seeing their determination and works, might leave them alone."  As it turned out, Sir Francis Drake's fleet missed the Santa Elena harbor.According to Spanish accounts, his ships first entered a port seven leagues south of Santa Elena.Then, when they realized their mistake, Drake's men sailed north during the night, firing artillery and hoping for a reply from the Spanish fort.Whether or not he had received the warning Pedro Menéndez Marqués sent him from St. Augustine, Gutierre de Miranda ordered that there was to be no cannon or arquebus fire or any light.The English ships sailed past Santa Elena's harbor without detecting the town.  When they sounded their guns again at Orista several leagues beyond and found there was no Spanish fort, Drake and his men concluded that they had missed Santa Elena.They stayed there until June 26th, taking on water and firewood and replacing masts on some of their ships.Pedro Menéndez Marqués reported that Gutierre de Miranda learned these things from his Indian spies in that area. 
The Spaniards apparently learned from three "negros ladinos" who had fled the English fleet at Orista that Drake was headed for an English settlement at Ajacán that had been established a year before.  Captain Juan de Posada reported that at Orista, the English had given the Indians many gifts and had told them that they had settled nearby and would return the following Spring.  In the months that followed Drake's raid on St. Augustine, concerns about a corsair strike on Santa Elena and rumors about English settlement to the north surfaced repeatedly.  Pedro Menéndez Marqués wrote the Casa de Contratación at the end of August, 1586 that an Indian man had just informed him that, in the middle of that month, five large ships and three small ones had entered the harbor and made a sounding of Santa Elena's sandbar, then departed.When asked why Gutierre de Miranda had not sent a report with him, the man apparently replied that Miranda and his soldiers were busy with defense and so could not write.Pedro Menéndez Marqués said that he dispatched a small boat commanded by an ensign to verify this story.  Indeed, account records from this time show Ensign Francisco Hernández de Ecija and eight soldiers receiving amounts of wine, biscuit, and olive oil beyond their usual rations to go in a small boat to Santa Elena to reconnoiter the fort there because of reports that corsairs had attacked it.  They must have returned by September 10, 1586 when Pedro Menéndez Marqués wrote that this story was, as he suspected, an "invention of Indians," and that once the English corsair had departed, he had never returned.  In May, 1587, Pedro Menéndez Marqués himself went to look for the reported English settlement in the area of Ajacán upon receiving orders from the King.The governor's letter from June 22, 1587 stated that in the area he traveled, he saw no sign of any corsairs. 
The Spaniards Dismantle Santa Elena
Sir Francis Drake's crushing defeat of several West Indies ports inspired the Spaniards to reassess their defenses in this region.  In the case of La Florida, Drake's raid brought a new urgency to discussions about the vulnerability of Florida's forts and the need to either abolish them altogether or consolidate them into one.Drake had barely left the North Atlantic coast when on July 2, 1586, Diego Fernández de Quiñones spoke of the futility of trying to resist "a corsair who has such power" with wooden forts and advised the King that he should either "deliberately fortify and settle or depopulate."  Pedro Menéndez Marqués soon began to urge that the people of Santa Elena should join his soldiers at St. Augustine and said that one fort would be more effective than two far apart, with many indefensible harbors in between.  Following Drake's time in La Florida, Spanish officials apparently feared that the English had attempted to make common cause with the Native American population as the French had done previously.As mentioned above, Captain Juan de Posada wrote to the King on September 2, 1586 and informed him of Drake's overtures to the Indians at Orista when he stopped there for water and firewood.Posada saw further evidence of English efforts to court the Native Americans' good will in the fact that Drake and his men had burned St. Augustine, but left an Indian town standing "a cannon shot away."When Drake sent some men to offer friendship to the Indians, his representatives found no one in the town.Juan de Posada explained that "because most of them were Christians and so nearby, they had withdrawn to the forest with the [Spanish] women and children."  Posada concluded that the fort at Santa Elena should be abandoned and all the soldiers and artillery placed at St. Augustine.This way, he said, "the natives would be more subject," for half of Florida's three hundred soldiers could guard the fort, and the other half could "patrol the whole land." 
Suggestions that one or both of the Florida forts be dismantled were not new at the time of Drake's raid, for this discussion had apparently been going on for at least several years.Cuban governor Gabriel de Luján argued repeatedly that Florida's forts should be dismantled and that the money the King spent on them be used to support four galleys to protect Florida, Cuba, and the other islands in that part of the Indies.  In letters from 1583 and 1585, he challenged the notion that the Spaniards' enemies would be able to establish themselves in La Florida.Governor Luján described the great expense and effort that Spain and some of its colonies, including Cuba, had gone to to support La Florida and said its residents still "starve the rest of the year."  Another Cuban official echoed this opinion in an August 16, 1586 letter.Alonso de Toledo pointed out the vast amounts of money that had been spent on La Florida, and the little that had been accomplished there.He said that the whole coast was sand, that the Indians sustained themselves on fish and crayfish, and that no other people would be willing to live like that.Given this harsh environment, Toledo did not feel that enough of the enemy could settle in Florida to do harm to the Spanish fleets. 
In one of his documents from 1584, Domingo González de León commented that "many are of the opinion that the forts of that coast should be dismantled and that there be galleys" instead.  However, González said the galleys would have little effect without forts.He urged the King to continue the policy of settlement and noted that fishing for cod brought the Irish, English, and French to the Florida coast.He said that the French had tried particularly hard to settle there, and that they could quickly become the lords of Florida, as they had cultivated friendship with the Indians.González explained that from this coast, they could easily gain control over New Spain which, he said, was not far from La Florida.  As part of another report, González included a piece by Juan Méndez dated April 6, 1584 which argued that the forts at both St. Augustine and Santa Elena should be dismantled, and that a new fort should be built farther north to house Florida's three hundred soldiers.  Méndez advocated this area for the new fort because of the land's richness, and he spoke of the possibilities for settlement and farming if at least one hundred of these soldiers were married and focused on cultivating the land while the others defended the fort.Juan Méndez discussed with confidence the mines and rich lands the soldiers would find on expeditions inland, as well as the region's many Native Americans, whom he characterized as "people of much reasonableness." 
Dreams about the richness of La Florida's lands and its proximity to New Spain clearly endure in these passages.These dreams had retained their power more than twenty years after adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés first arrived on those shores.But when the decision was made about the future of the Florida forts, it was fundamentally shaped by the colony's internal politics and power struggles.The King and Council of the Indies apparently believed that they were following the advice of the men most knowledgeable about La Florida when they made the decision to dismantle the fort at Santa Elena and consolidate all the soldiers at St. Augustine.But the documents show that Pedro Menéndez Marqués and his supporters actively campaigned to bring their leaders to this opinion.Noticeably absent from this group was Gutierre de Miranda.This may have been because of strained relations between Governor Menéndez Marqués and Miranda, but it is more likely that on this occasion, Pedro Menéndez Marqués's personal interests diverged from those of his brother-in-law.  Menéndez Marqués had clearly established St. Augustine as his base by then, while Gutierre de Miranda worked to expand his holdings at Santa Elena.
An October 24, 1586 opinion by the Council of the Indies shows the effects of Pedro Menéndez Marqués's lobbying efforts.On this date, the Council described its September 10, 1586 recommendation that both forts be dismantled and that in their place, a small fort be built farther south to aid the Spanish victims of shipwrecks and an additional ship be added to Havana's galleys to meet the region's defense needs.  But on October 24, the officials said the opinions of Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués and Captain Vicente González had changed their minds.They altered their recommendation to one of uniting the people from both forts at St. Augustine which, they said was closer to the Bahama Channel.The Council officials said that this decision also had the advantage of not abandoning the Christian Indians who were at peace in that area.They were clearly impressed with Vicente González's knowledge of that region and said he told them that not far from St. Augustine was an excellent port near a land with gold and diamond mines, heavily populated with Native Americans, and fertile.The Council recommended that this land should be explored further, and that settlements should perhaps be established there.  Documents from this period show that two long-standing concerns remained on the King's mind – preventing his enemies from establishing a foothold in La Florida and finding the passage that went across these lands to the Pacific. 
The first that Captain Gutierre de Miranda apparently heard about these debates over dismantling the site of his post and personal possessions was when Pedro Menéndez Marqués arrived with the orders to do so.On August 16, 1587 in Santa Elena, General Pedro Menéndez Marqués declared before a notary that Juan de Tejeda, Inspector General of the Forces of the Indies had ordered him to dismantle the fort of Santa Elena, gather all the King's artillery, munitions, and people there, and take them to St. Augustine where he was to repair the existing fort and build another one.Menéndez Marqués instructed the notary to inform Gutierre de Miranda of Tejeda's commands and directed that the people and munitions be distributed between the two ships and the launch there.  Juan de Tejeda's order was dated on July 10, 1587 in Havana and stated that people with experience in La Florida had informed him of the little resistance that the colony was able to offer an enemy with the people and munitions divided between the forts of Santa Elena and St. Augustine.Tejeda said he had concluded that in order to best serve the King, Florida should have only one fort, and it should be in St. Augustine. 
Gutierre de Miranda's response to these commands stressed his belief that the King and Juan de Tejeda had not made their decision to dismantle Santa Elena based on sound information.Captain Miranda described the many improvements he had made on the fort after he received warning of Francis Drake's raids in the Indies.He stated that when they chose to abandon Santa Elena, Tejeda and the King had not been informed of these repairs or the superior nature of the Santa Elena port.  Miranda's arguments which followed focused as much on the inferiority of the St. Augustine site and fort as Santa Elena's well-prepared fort and excellent land and harbor.  He said that adelantado Pedro Menéndez de Avilés had established his capital at Santa Elena because he knew of the land's abundance, while, Miranda claimed, the land around St. Augustine had been explored and was "for more than sixty leagues around seen to be very sterile and swampy land and full of lakes where the native Indians laboriously sustain themselves." 
The favorable description that Gutierre de Miranda gave Santa Elena was no doubt largely due to the fact that he had fairly extensive holdings there.Miranda even mentioned the damage to himself and the other Santa Elena residents who had worked hard on their houses and fields as one argument against the town's destruction.  But Miranda's point that the abandonment of Santa Elena would cause a loss of the King's property and damage to his reputation had merit as well.If La Florida was to have only one fort – and Gutierre de Miranda did not appear to question this assumption – Miranda argued that it should be Santa Elena, which had already been repaired and enclosed by a moat, instead of the St. Augustine fort, which needed so much work and would draw heavily from royal funds.  Miranda mentioned the "triumph" the enemy, presumably the English in this case, would feel if the Spaniards moved the fort and town from Santa Elena, and the "great courage" the enemy would draw from these actions.Gutierre de Miranda also said that "a great reputation would be lost with the native Indians, although at the present they are very peaceful and obedient."  Captain Miranda concluded his protest of the command to dismantle Santa Elena by saying he had not seen any evidence that Juan de Tejeda had authority from the King to make this order. 
Gutierre de Miranda's protest was in vain, however.Pedro Menéndez Marqués answered Miranda's objections through the notary, and the abandonment of the site proceeded with no further appeals.In his response, Menéndez Marqués said that the King had been very well informed about how no Indian in the Santa Elena area had ever been converted to Christianity, and that they were people "without any civility (policía) at all who live by their bow and arrows like savages."He said that if they were peaceful, it was because of the tools (herramientas) that they carried away from Santa Elena.Menéndez Marqués stated that this land was not good for settlement.He suggested that Gutierre de Miranda was motivated by his own profit to claim that Santa Elena was superior to St. Augustine, and he asserted that the King needed to fortify the port of St. Augustine "for the reasons that his Majesty knows."Pedro Menéndez Marqués was not impressed by Miranda's effort to question Tejeda's authority.He stated that he was giving these orders as Gutierre de Miranda's governor and captain general, and that if Miranda disobeyed them, he would be fined five hundred ducados and punished as a man rebellious to the orders of his leader.  Notified of this, Gutierre de Miranda said he would comply. 
The surviving account records offer the few clues that exist as to how Pedro Menéndez Marqués and his men dismantled Fort San Marcos and the town of Santa Elena.  Florida officials inspected the supplies and munitions in the fort before it was destroyed and decided which things to take to St. Augustine.Some items were deemed beyond salvage, such as a broken musket which, the record said was burned where it lay.  Sixty casks which had held wine and flour and were found wrecked with some of their iron barrel hoops were burned with the "wood and nails of the said fort" when Pedro Menéndez Marqués had the fort ignited.  At the time that Santa Elena's fort was dismantled, inspectors found three and a half casks of rotten flour there, of which two and a half casks were deemed useless and burned.According to the account entry, General Pedro Menéndez Marqués gave the remaining cask of flour which "was not very rotten" to neighboring Indians.  Most of Fort San Marcos's remaining supplies and munitions were embarked on the ships San Juan and San Pedro and taken to St. Augustine where the Santa Elena supplykeeper Juan Gómez Fiallo turned them over to the St. Augustinesupplykeeper, Gaspar Fernández Perete.These items included several artillery pieces, as well as ammunition, weapons, a forge, and a bell.  The account records also list the more than 1,300 pounds of flour given to the "people of the fort of Santa Elena" for their provisions on their journey from Santa Elena to St. Augustine in August, 1587. 
In a joint declaration, thirty-three Santa Elena residents later told how Pedro Menéndez Marqués had ordered them onto the boats he brought to Santa Elena for that purpose without allowing them to escape.They said that they were not able to take anything with them except their persons and "ragged clothing," since their most important possessions were their houses, gardens, and fields.  In describing the early days of Santa Elena's second occupation, the soldiers told how they – and presumably, their families – were "all enclosed in one fort which was made of lumber and dirt," and that they did not dare leave it more than was necessary.  The men said that "some because they were married and the rest because they were compelled" cultivated fields and gardens to supplement the King's supplies which were not sufficient for their sustenance and added that "what was brought from outside was held at very exorbitant prices."  But, the soldiers explained, because they wanted "to populate and ennoble the said city and cause fear and terror to the rebelling Indian chiefs and natives of the region around the said island of Santa Elena," they began to build themselves houses "little by little."  The men described how, "According to our means, some houses were built and enclosed with wood and covered with palm; others were covered and enclosed with the said palm according to the practice of the land with enclosures made of spears where we planted trees and harvested vegetables for assistance with our sustenance, with this and the fields which we sowed."  These soldiers claimed that, at the time Pedro Menéndez Marqués came to force Santa Elena's abandonment, "The said city was beginning to be ennobled and the lack of supplies coming from outside by sea beginning to be remedied." 
When the Santa Elena residents arrived at St. Augustine, the fort there was still being rebuilt following Francis Drake's raid on that city.Without any other shelter, those from Santa Elena had to buy and build new houses, and they requested reimbursement for the value of their Santa Elena homes to help meet their expenses in St. Augustine.  In response to this request, Pedro Menéndez Marqués ordered an appraisal of the holdings that the thirty-three men named had possessed at Santa Elena.  These appraisals show houses and property with values ranging from the house and garden of Rodrigo Páez appraised at fourteen ducados to the house and garden of Prudencio de Arrieta, estimated to be worth one hundred and twenty ducados by representatives chosen by Pedro Menéndez Marqués and the soldiers' power-of-attorney.Unfortunately, this document offers no details about these properties or what accounted for the differences in their value.Two-thirds of these holdings were appraised at between fourteen and thirty-six ducados, with half of these worth twenty to twenty-eight ducados.  In an undated note, Governor Pedro Menéndez Marqués assured the King that he had done everything he could to keep the appraisals of the Santa Elena homes moderate.Menéndez Marqués stated that these holdings were actually worth more than their valuations, even as he acknowledged the poverty of the Santa Elena residents.  On February 21, 1590, King Philip II ordered that these men be paid the total amount contained in the appraisal they had submitted, that of 1,391 ducados.  This amount was to be paid gradually from the situado funds, and an account record from 1598 mentions the Santa Elena residents receiving one of these payments. 
Gutierre de Miranda appealed for reimbursement of his lost property separately from his men.On February 27, 1588 in Havana, Miranda presented a request for an interrogatory before the Cuban governor Gabriel de Luján.The questions Gutierre de Miranda submitted focused on his services to the King but also discussed his holdings at Santa Elena.  Miranda claimed here that he had not expected the fort of Santa Elena to be dismantled, and so he "had made next to it in the town which had some inhabitants houses and gardens and livestock-raising farms for hogs and larger livestock from which he had profited greatly."Because of this and the fact that he would have continued to gain from these holdings, Gutierre de Miranda estimated that a fair appraisal of all his property was four or five thousand ducados at the time Santa Elena was abandoned.  Witness Diego Fernández de Jimena testified that approximately one league from Santa Elena's fort, Gutierre de Miranda had made a ranch, as well as the houses, gardens, and a livestock-raising farm mentioned above.Fernández said that if Captain Miranda had known he would be at Santa Elena so little time, he never would have made these things.  The witnesses in this interrogatory who voiced an opinion about the value of Gutierre de Miranda's property tended to agree with his estimation.Even after Miranda's death, his wife, Doña Mariana Manrique, continued to ask for reimbursement for their losses at Santa Elena, which she said included houses, gardens, fields, corrals for livestock, and animals, among other things. 
From these accounts, it appears that Santa Elena was finally beginning to thrive again when the town was dismantled in August of 1587.In writing to request reimbursement for their losses, the thirty-three Santa Elena soldiers who had holdings of any significant size tried to show the King how they had served him in eking out a living for their families under this region's harsh conditions.Their petition did not emphasize military exploits, but reflected the King's own words and concerns when it spoke of building houses "to populate and ennoble the said city and cause fear and terror to the rebelling Indian chiefs and natives of the region around the said island of Santa Elena."  The soldiers reported that Santa Elena "was beginning to be ennobled" when Pedro Menéndez Marqués arrived with orders to dismantle the town and its fort.  But by then, the King's concerns, at least with regard to La Florida, had changed.King Philip's interest in the conquest and colonization of Florida had always had a strategic aspect to it, but this element came to dominate in the 1580s, as he faced increasing threats and challenges in this region from his European neighbors.The location that had given Santa Elena its importance also proved its undoing, for when the decision came to dismantle this settlement, it was based purely on what the Council of the Indies deemed strategically sound – even if the decision was based on very biased accounts.Ironically, the text of the Council's recommendation to abandon Santa Elena showed that after more than twenty years of facing the grim realities of La Florida, these Crown officials could still believe that somewhere, it contained a land of plenty awaiting their exploration and settlement.