James G. Cusick is curator of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida Library and author of The Other War of 1812: The Patriot War and the American Invasion of Spanish East Florida. His interests in Florida history focus primarily on its colonial and 19th century past. Since 2004 he has also worked closely with the Florida Humanities Council to bring knowledge of Florida’s colonial history to primary, middle school, and high school teachers around the state.
Aviles Street in St. Augustine is the oldest street in the United States. Many of the Spanish colonial buildings that line the narrow brick street now serve as museums or businesses catering to tourists.
On March 2, 1800, at about 5pm, two men had an altercation on Aviles Street that resulted in one of the men’s death.
1565 – Pedro Menendez de Aviles received his “asiento” or settlement orders from the Spanish government to travel to La Florida on this date. Two years earlier, Don Juan Mendedez, Pedro Menendez’s only son was lost in a wreck near the Bahamas and Menendez was determined to find him. He was also instructed to reconnoiter the gulf and east coasts, making detailed observations about the ports, currents, hazards, etc., and settle the new territory. The Spanish government also tasked Menendez with driving the French settlers out of La Florida.
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