Blacks began arriving in Spanish Florida in the early sixteenth century soon after the appearance of Europeans, and from that point on they constituted a significant minority of the population, if not an absolute majority. During the British era, 1763-1784, blacks outnumbered whites. Except for rare instances, scholars interested in Negro history at any time during Florida’s lengthy colonial era will search in vain for published books and articles. A stroll 200 years ago through rice and indigo fields and through sugar houses of St. Johns River plantations or a visit to St. Augustine’s public market on the plaza and to the slave auction block would provide much information no longer available. Knowledge which was commonplace two centuries ago has been lost. Contemporary historians must utilize the few sources available, and be conscious that, if they are lucky, they may at least see the tip of the iceberg.
Wright, Jr., J. Leitch
"Blacks in British East Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 54:
4, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol54/iss4/4