Jane Landers


Historians of slavery in colonial North America have frequently alluded to the lure of Spanish Florida for slave runaways from the English colonies of South Carolina and Georgia, and contemporary slave owners complained bitterly of the sanctuary provided in St. Augustine. They repeatedly charged the Spanish with deliberate provocation, if not outright theft. Nonetheless, few historians have addressed these issues from the perspective of Spanish Florida. The Spanish policy regarding fugitive slaves in Florida developed in an ad hoc fashion and changed over time to suit the shifting military, economic, and diplomatic interests of the colony, as well as the metropolis.