John D. Ware


For almost two centuries following their discovery and exploration Tampa Bay lay virtually neglected by the Spanish. Then, in 1756, for a variety of reasons, they seemed to awake to the potential of the area, and they authorized two surveys. The first, made by Juan Baptista Franco in the closing months of 1756, was but briefly recorded. Perhaps because of the brevity of this report a second survey was sought by Señor Don Lorenzo de Montalbo, comisario ordenador de marina, principal naval minister in Cuba. The mission was entrusted to Don Francisco Maria Celi, pilot of the Spanish Royal Fleet, as ordered by Rear Admiral Frey Blas de la Barreda.