Yesterday was a special day at Castillo de San Marcos, when the National Monument celebrated its groundbreaking in St Augustine 340-years ago; according to an announcement received by Historic City News from park guide, Jesse Olbrich.
One of many artifacts that are property of the National Park Service is a notarized affidavit recording the event at the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine on October 2, 1672. A second document, a drawing describing the height and dimensions of the Bastion, Doorway, and Curtains being built during the project between July 2, 1675 and December 14, 1677, is part of a “plan of construction” for the Presidio of St Augustine, done under the care and supervision of Sergeant Major Don Pablo de hita Salazar.
The affidavit reads:
I, Juan Moreno y Segobia, notary public for the government of this city and presidio of San Agustín of Florida, do certify and [give] true testimony whereto may agree the gentlemen who might see these presents:
That today, Sunday, about four o’clock in the afternoon, the year of one thousand six hundred and seventy-two; being next to the fort of this presidio where the site of the new fort is marked, which by order of his majesty is to be built of stone, the señor sergeant major don Manuel de Sendoya, governor and captain general of these provinces for his majesty, in his royal name, accompanied by the judges, royal officials, sergeant major don Nicolas Ponce de Leon and captain Antonio de Argüelles of this presidio, who are officers of his majesty, and many other persons and retired military officers of the presidio; [the said governor] with a spade in his hands and the other persons and royal officials present, began this said day to dig the foundation trenches to commence the building of said castle.
That the work continued on this said day and at most of it, I, the notary, was present; and so that it may be on record, by command of the señor governor and captain general I give these presents in the city of San Agustín of Florida, on the said day; witnesses being Antonio de Argüelles, captain of infantry for his majesty, the captain Lorenso Joseph de León and don Enrique de Ribera, citizens and retired officers in the presidio.
It is written on ordinary paper inasmuch as the official stamped paper has not arrived in this presidio. Of which I do attest.
Witness my signum [rubric] in testimony of truth.
JN MORENO Y SEGOVIA
Scribe of the government