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Special Collections & Archives has recently acquired a collection of sixteen late Spanish colonial manuscript documents.

 Scanned page of a handwritten Spanish report from 1808.

These letters exhibit beautiful penmanship and were written by church and military officials relating to the administration of Florida, dating from 1805 to 1820, shortly before the United States took possession of the territory. The letters were penned in Pensacola and have several authors. Most were sent to the archbishop of Havana, Juan José Díaz Espada y Landa, and report on issues including the need for a new chaplain for the 1st Battalion in New Orleans, a military trial in Louisiana in which the defendant was judged insane, the appointment of a parish priest in Mobile, an official coerced to commit fraud, and the fleeing of officials after Jackson's invasion of Florida.

These documents are a rare glimpse into the history of the Gulf Coast as the interests and ambitions of Spain, France, and the United States came to a head in the early 19th Century. 

The documents will be digitized, transcribed, translated, and made available in AU's digital library.

The purchase of these materials was made possible thanks to the support of generous donors.


Questions? Contact us at archives@auburn.edu or 334-844-1732.

Last updated: 07/01/2021