Robert Kapitzke


In the past, studies of St. Augustine in the First Spanish Period (1565-1763) portrayed the settlement’s jurisdictional division of power as a series of two-way struggles between the Franciscans and the governors, the governors and the secular clergy, or the secular clergy and the Franciscans.1 More recent investigations, however, have shown that to appreciate the complexities of St. Augustine society fully it is necessary to look beyond this narrow, two-dimensional interpretation.2 St. Augustine, like all communities, was composed of an ever-changing web of interrelations involving all segments of society. Alliances were formed, and sides were taken. Often the struggle for power took place not between opposing institutions but between individuals. These conflicts in turn had a profound effect on St. Augustine, as personal feuds escalated and engulfed the wider community. These social dynamics can be viewed in the feud that occurred between Father Juan Joseph Solana and Governor Palacio y Valenzuela during the waning years of the First Spanish Period.