Various cost-free Blacks held Spanish land grants in the typical region northwest of present day Holmes Boulevard and County Road 214. Two of them, Philip Edinburgh (also Edinboro, Embara and other spellings) and Tony (or Antonio) Proctor bought their land grant property, which would develop into the sugar plantation of John Hanson.
The houses of Edinburgh and Proctor ended up adjacent. Tony Proctor was the lifetime companion of Edinburgh’s daughter Eusebia and the father of his grandson. Each gentlemen and their families experienced been residents of the St. Augustine region in the course of its Spanish yrs and remained after Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821.
Hanson would merge these two parcels with some others to develop his sugar plantation in the 1830s. At the sugar organization, the do the job would be performed by enslaved Blacks. The product sales of Edinburgh’s and Proctor’s lands are showcased in the on the internet Black Record Thirty day period exhibit by the Office environment of the St. Johns County Clerk of Court docket Brandon Patty, stjohnsclerk.com/black-heritage-exhibit.
Also included in the exhibit is a study in coloration manufactured in 1817 by the purchase of the Spanish governor of East Florida to mark the boundaries of Edinburg’s land grant. The surveyor mentioned a “marked pine” at every single of the four corners of the parcel of land. (The survey is not part of the clerk’s data, but of the Spanish Land Grant paperwork in Tallahassee.)
Tony Proctor offered his 185 acres in 1824 for $185. The deed, which Proctor signed with his mark, can be viewed and study in the on the web exhibit. Elias Gould bought Proctor’s land and would transfer ownership later on.
Edinburg held on to his land until eventually 1831, when he sold his 100 acres to John Hanson for $234. Edinburg too signed the deed transferring his house with his mark. At this time, there many paperwork have been signed with a mark — whether by totally free Blacks, or whites. Many women of all ages also had not been taught to study or publish and signed with marks.
Proctor may not have regarded how to signal his name, but his knowledge of “Indian languages” manufactured him invaluable. In Proctor’s paperwork for the land grant, the governor of Spanish East Florida wrote of Proctor’s company as a translator as well as a homesteader.
Edinburg experienced been a cattle trader to negotiate with the Seminoles to acquire meat for Spanish authorities officials and troopers. He was really hectic and in need both of those in St. Augustine and in the countryside due to the fact he was known as a qualified butcher.
Enslaved Blacks and absolutely free Blacks have alternated their presence on these two attributes and nearby land. The to start with information and facts we have about the place is that all through the British period (1763-1784) Joseph Peavett owned 500 acres in this place and employed enslaved laborers to perform the land. About 1815, it is no cost Blacks Proctor and Edinburg who develop into proprietors. These two males market the house which will be incorporated into John Hanson’s sugar plantation. Enslaved laborers returned to this location to operate Hanson’s fields. Skipping ahead a handful of a long time, Hanson’s property, which was missing in a submit-Civil War bankruptcy, became the campus of an establishment of better mastering for Blacks.
In 1917, Florida Baptist Academy ordered this land so to relocate their university from Jacksonville. The pursuing calendar year the faculty school opened as the Florida Usual and Industrial Institute. The institute went as a result of a number of name modifications and relocated to Miami in 1968. Nowadays, the Florida Memorial College (its present name) even now owns the land.
Susan R. Parker retains a doctorate in colonial background.