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St. Augustine, Florida, 1855
View of St. Augustine, East Florida, 1855

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A Spanish Expedition Established St. Augustine in Florida
September 8, 1565

Menéndez de Avilés named San Agustin for St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, Algeria, upon whose feast day he had sighted the coast. The city was to serve important functions for the Spanish Empire, defending the primary trade route to Europe along the Atlantic Ocean's main west to east current, called the Gulf Stream. As the territorial capital, St. Augustine would also defend the Spanish-claimed land against invasion.

In 1672, the Queen ordered a stronger fort be built to replace a wooden fort, which had proved vulnerable to pirate attack. This new one, made of shell stone, consisting of walls 30 feet high and 12 feet thick, and surrounded by a moat, was made to last. And last it did.

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