Ray E. Held


Second in the list of governors of Spanish Florida stands the name of one Hernando de Miranda. An almost unknown figure, he was for two years King Philip II’s adelantado, captain-general, and governor for the royal provinces of Florida. Following the rule of the first governor, the famous and able commander, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Miranda’s brief administration (1575 to 1577) occurred at a time when Florida, having been made secure against the French, was settling down into the two centuries of the relatively obscure first Spanish colonial period. That Miranda was succeeded in turn by another capable governor, Pedro Menendez Marques, nephew of the first adelantado, does not add to his prominence. Unfortunately for his place in history, the one important event connected with Miranda’s name is the loss of one of the two settlements in the area which comprised what the Spaniards knew as La Florida.