Florida Museum of Natural History

Spain joined the Seven Years' War in Europe (1754-1763) on the side of France against England. The war was also waged in the colonies, and Spain lost both Havana and Manila to England in 1762. At the conclusion of the war in the following year, Spain agreed to cede Florida to the English in exchange for the return of Cuba. Diplomats had accomplished with the Treaty of Paris what innumerable English and Indian soldiers over the previous century had been unable to do with guns.

St. Augustine would never again be a typical Spanish-American town. It was a British colony from 1764 until 1784, when Spain regained Florida. During the ensuing 37-year long second period of Spanish colonial rule St. Augustine was not an isolated Spanish colony, but rather an international settlement, closely connected to the new United States, and through them to a much wider Atlantic world. It was a period of economic and social internationalization, with a population of English, Spanish, Minorcan, Seminole Indian, African American, Swiss, and other residents, and a far-flung network of trade relations. St. Augustine's the colonial period ended in 1821, when Florida became a territory of the United States.

Click here to browse the artifacts and characters
of this unique period of time!