Part 2
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May 31, 1797
[EFP] Lucy Braddock requested acceptance and certification of return of seven fugitive slaves.

July 24, 1797
[EFP] In a letter to East Florida Governor Enrique White, Pedro Marrot advised that William Alexander Fitzgerald had arrived in the province with his property.

November 9, 1797
[EFP] Lucy Braddock requested permission to cut wood in the Nassau River area.

December 1797
[EFP] An Account of John Edwards and Family listed him, Mary Edwards his wife, two children, two Negroes.

Thomas Ellis Hardee, son of John and Sarah Ellis Hardee , was born in Camden County, Ga. He later married Mary Ann Berrie, daughter of William and Ann Braddock Berrie.

January 20, 1798
According to a record in claim Con. C 41; DG, "Spicer Christopher, neighbor and inhabitant, petitions for Little Talbot Island of 300 to 400 acres, separated from Talbot Island by impassable marsh and useless, on account of its being torronteras of sand and marsh, except for pasture. Governor White, 1/20/1798, refers to Pedro Diaz Berrio who reports that the land is marsh and cut over woodland, but is good for pasture. Governor White grants, 1/31/1798."

January 27, 1798
[EFP] Spicer Christopher wrote Governor Enrique White requesting delivery of slave Samuel and payment of debt by John Holzendorf to Spicer’s sister-in-law, widow Francisco Teran.

April 4, 1799
John David Edwards, son of John and Mary Braddock Edwards, was born. He later married Louisa Houghton.

April 11, 1798
[EFP] Two French Blacks, Juan Gufiel and Jilve Neducin Bautiste  were captured by militia Sergeant Spicer Christopher. Two days later, French agent, Antoine Suarez from Newton [St. Marys] claimed them as fugitive slaves of Spalding and Stofer of Camden County.

May 13, 1798
[EFP] Captain of a militia unit and judge Andrew Atkinson complained to Governor Enrique White about illegal wood cutting and mentions Spicer Christopher, Samuel Harrison, widow Teran, Joseph Maxey, Francis Pelot, William Alexander Fitzgerald, and William Braddock.

October 16, 1798
[EFP] Lucy Braddock, wife of William Fitzgerald, was informed that Governor White has issued a decree freeing her slave Thomas Primus and family.  

April 9, 1799
[EFP]  Susanna Greenwood wrote the governor requesting she be freed of charge by government for corn, claiming her deceased husband Francisco Teran paid for it from his wages in the militia.

May 17, 1799
[EFP] Governor Enrique White advised Amelia residents Samuel Russell and William Fitzgerald that they are to fulfill their voluntary donations to the Crown.

June 17, 1799
Thomas, about 3 years old and Elizabeth, about 1 year old, children of Spicer, "native of Marylandia," and Mary Greenwood Christopher, "native of Georgia," were baptized at Talbot Island. Also baptized the same day at Talbot was William Taran, about 1 year old, son of Francisco Susannah Greenwood Taran. Sponsor for all four was John McQueen, of which much has been written, including the book "Don Juan McQueen" by the renowned author Eugenia Price.

June 19, 1799
Baptized on Amelia Island two days later were Elizabeth, about 6, Eugene about 4, and Ann, about 2, children of John Edwards, "native of Carolina del Sur [South Carolina], son of Isaac and Marta Federt" and Mary Braddock, "native of Georgia, Estados Unidos de America, daughter of " John and Lucia Cooke." I haven’t been able to find the surname "Federt," John Edwards’ mother’s maiden name anywhere, certainly not in South Carolina. One Spanish meaning of the word is "spring."  There is a multitude of Springs in South Carolina. But that is only speculation. It is obvious that Ann was married before her father’s death in 1794.  No oath of allegiance for John Edwards is in the East Florida Papers.

The same day, Jose Daniel Vaughan, about 1 year old, son of John Daniel Vaughan, was baptized. Vaughan was a New Englander who served as a private in the Revolution, in which he was wounded 9 times. He later became a lieutenant and served at Burnt Fort in Georgia. He married a lady from Georgia. He received two Spanish grants on Amelia, one in 1797 next to John Edwards land. The AmeliaNow web site has a tribute to him.

Years later, his heroic blood would blend with the heroic Braddock blood when his great-grandson, James Gage Vaughan, married Addie Wilds, granddaughter of Hester Braddock Wilds, granddaughter of Revolutionary War hero John Cutler Braddock..

June 29, 1800
[EFP] Hero of Eugenia Price’s  popular novel “Don Juan McQueen” was John McQueen who spent the latter part of his life as an exile in Spanish East Florida rather than go to prison for enormous debts he owed in Georgia. He advised Governor Enrique White of the need to buy a canoe built by John Edwards.

July 9-10, 1800
[EFP] Spicer Christopher and party arrested horse thief and trouble maker William Harris and delivered him to St. Augustine .

October 1, 1800
[EFP] John Edwards was listed as one of the defaulters of Capt. Andrew Atkinson's troop of militia dragoons.

October 30, 1800
[EFP] Militia Sergeant Spicer Christopher was sent to Amelia Island to get information on French corsair activity.

Mary Ann Berrie, daughter of William and Ann Braddock Berrie, was born. She later married Thomas Ellis Hardee.

January 19, 1801
According to Camden County, GA Inferior Court minutes, Spicer Christopher won a civil case against "Silvenus" Church and was awarded "four hundred & sixty-two dollars with interest from the 8th August 1797, & cost of suit."

February 14, 1801
[EFP]  Governor White ordered Americans cutting timber on Amelia Island at direction of William Alexander Fitzgerald to return at once to U.S. He ordered the lumber to be publicly sold. Fitzgerald was placed under arrest.

June 16, 1801
William Berrie, according to Con. B 24; DG IV 279, petitioned for 100 acres at Snelling Old Field which belonged to his step-father, William Hull, and it was approved.

September 17, 1801
[EFP] Slaves of Spicer Christopher captured forced labor deserter Jose Rafael Banegas on Talbot Island and were rewarded 8 pesos by Governor White.

September 28, 1801
[EFP] Governor White was advised that inhabitants of Amelia Island have put up a battery at William Fitzgerald's plantation.

April 28, 1802
[EFP] The mother of William Berrie who married Ann Braddock was Elizabeth Maxey. After her first husband, William Berrie Sr., died, she married William Hull. Hull died sometime after October 25, 1793, when he requested a license to sell dye in St. Marys for pork and flour. In a letter to Governor White, Priest Father O'Reilly complained that William Tucker and the widow Hull contracted a clandestine marriage in Georgia and their property should be confiscated and they should be expelled from the province  [So this is when the tradition of eloping to Camden County started].

April 30, 1802
[EFP] The Governor responded to O’Reilly that because the Royal Order of November 30, 1792 had not been published in Florida , William Tucker and the widow Hull could not be punished for their clandestine marriage in Georgia . He advised that the oversight would be corrected.

May 6, 1802
[EFP] David Braddock mounted a pedrero [whatever that is] on the Amelia Island boat at a cost of 10 pesos.

July 14, 1802
[EFP] The governor ordered William Tucker who married widow Hull in Georgia to report to him in St. Augustine to take the oath of allegiance.

January 4, 1803
Spencer Christopher, Spicer’s brother, signed the oath of allegiance. On it he says he is Protestant, shoemaker, is married, has two sons, five slaves, and 50 cows. The same day he "petitioned for 500 acres at Punta de Hazzard north of Nassau River." Governor White approved the grant three days later.

Spencer must have been a revered uncle; 13 of his brother's descendants in my genealogy database have the given name Spencer. And Spicer must have been a beloved father and grandfather as 22 of his descendants in my database have the name Spicer.

May 4, 1803
William Oglebay [Ogilvie], whose son David would marry Mary Greenwood Braddock, daughter of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, signed the oath of allegiance saying he was single, Protestant, had 26 slaves, 2 horses, and 500 cows, and lived on the St. Johns.

July 28, 1803
[EFP] Governor White ordered Spicer Christopher to come at once to St. Augustine with 11 slaves he brought from US. He refused the order.

August 3, 1803
[EFP] Apparently reconsidering his refusal, Spicer Christopher presented himself in St. Augustine .

September 23, 1803
Burroughs Higginbotham, progenitor of numerous descendants who married into the Braddock family, on this date petitioned for 700 acres. A transcript of the claim, Con. H57; DG V 57, 61, submitted in 1845 to the Commissioners Appointed to Ascertain Claims to Lands and Titles in East Florida for his widow, Elizabeth, to receive certification of ownership in the eyes of the United States Government, reveals some interesting facets of Burroughs and his family. One item of interest is that his wife was a widow in early 1816, indicating that Burroughs probably died in late 1815. Another is that, as a widow, she had sixteen children. Here is a full transcript of the claim:

1 - B. Higginbottom [sic] petitions, through Zacharias Haddock, 9/23/1803, for 700 acres on St. Marys River at the place abandoned by Reding Blunt, for himself, his wife, 9 sons, 1 slave. Governor White grants until future allotment is made, 9/24/1803. Toras de Aguilar certifies true copy, 3/15/1815.
2 - George J. F, Clarke certifies plat for 500 acres, 1/10/1816, at Higginbottam's Bluff, part of Burrows Higginbottom's quota, to his widow, Isabela Higginbottom.
3 - Clarke certifies plat of 200 acres, 1/22/1816, at Sondag's Bluff in full of Burrows Higginbottom's quota, to his widow, Isabela Higginbottom.
4 - Elizabeth Higginbottom petitions for royal title to lands she has cultivated for more than 10 years, 2/25/1819. She is a widow with 16 children. Governor Coppinger orders the taking of testimony, 3/6/1819.
5 - Zephaniah Kingsley, native of Luysiana [sic] deposes, 3/6/1819, that for more than ten years he has known the large family of B. Higginbottom to occupy the land in question, continuously cultivating and improving it.
6 - Francisco Roman Sanchez deposes confirming the above.
7 - David Hard deposes same.
8 - Governor Coppinger grants royal title to the 2 tracts according to plats. Entries attests 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 and certifies Isabela Higginbottom of 8.
9 - Royal title by Governor Coppinger to Isabela Higginbottom 4/16/1819, for 200 acres at Sondag's Bluff. Entralgo attests and certifies true copy.
10 - Antonio Alverez' abstract, 2/11/1845, from descriptive list, No. 539. Decree: "By the rule adopted by this Board, to consider a royal title made subsequent to the date specified in the treaty as conclusive evidence of the performance of the consideration of a previous concession, this claim for 200 acres is confirmed."

April 8, 1804
The photocopy of the Spanish record I have of John David’s conversion to Catholicism, in addition to being in Spanish, is of poor copy quality. However, I was able to translate loosely the first few lines, which read:

"Sunday, twenty-ninth of April of 1804, David Braddock, adult of twenty-eight years of age , single, native of Georgia, legitimate son of John, already deceased, and of Lucy Cook, native of South Carolina, appeared before me to . . ."

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John David also signed an oath of allegiance in 1804 which contains the meager information that he was a labrador (farmer), was Catholic, and place of residence was "Mosquitoes," which is the Los Mosquitos Inlet (now Ponce de Leon Inlet) area near New Smyrna Beach. The Spanish government in St. Augustine was trying to encourage settlement below St. Augustine and may have given John David a grant in that area.

April 23, 1804
William Braddock signed an oath of allegiance in which the only information given besides his name and date is that he is a farmer and has nine slaves.

May 9, 1804
John David Braddock married Martha and William Braddock married Charlotte, daughters of Spicer and Mary Greenwood Christopher.

May 12, 1804
Spencer Christopher, "prevented by illness from at once taking possession of the land granted, 1/7/1803, found another had petitioned for and obtained the same land and is now cultivating it. He, accordingly, petitioned for the same acreage south of Nassau River, about 4 miles north of the lands conceded to the late John Sample and bordered on the other end by a creek that limits it on the northwest at the first marsh gully after passing Doctor’s Island on the left." Governor White granted the petition.

November 24, 1804
In Camden County, Georgia court records is the entry, "Spicer Christopher of the Island of Talbot, East Florida, to his daughter Elizabeth Christopher. Gift of slave boy 14 years of age 'Tom,' dated Nov. 24, 1804. Witnesses: David Braddock, William Braddock, Michael Macker, and John Christopher."

Mary Greenwood Braddock, daughter of John David and Martha Christopher was born. She later married John Carroll Houston II.

February 5, 1805
John Spicer Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Christopher, was born. He later married Nancy Sarah Higginbotham.

May 18, 1805
[EFP] James Cashen, George Atkinson, Domingo Fernandez, William Lawrence, John Pelot, and William A. Fitzgerald proposed formation of a new militia unit to protect Amelia Island and the mainland.

July 27, 1805
[EFP] In a letter to Enrique White, John McQueen detailed defense preparations against threat of privateer Tom Johnson. He suggested Cashen, Lawrence and Christopher as Amelia Island militia officers.

September 11, 1805
[EFP] Fernando de la Puente advised Governor White that William Fitzgerald acquired a sawmill.

November 2, 1805
According to claim Con. B 23; DG IV 278, Thomas Mann sold claim on Turkey Island, on the east side of the Nassau Prong of Nassau River, to William Berrie for $100. The purchase is witnessed by John D. and William Braddock.

Caroline M., daughter of John and Mary Braddock Edwards, was born. She later married Alfred Fisher.

William Alexander, son of William and Ann Braddock Berrie, was born. He may have been named after Lucy's second husband. He later married Matilda Ann Piles.

February 12, 1806
Apparently in failing health at the age of 47, Spicer Christopher wrote his will. Thanks to Sharon Cope for providing a transcription of the will.

In the name of God, amen — I Spicer Christopher conscious of the uncertainty of human life and of inevitable death at present of frail body but of sound judgment and mind, Declare this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all former ones in the following manner and form viz. ————————————————————

1st I commend my soul into the hands of that Being from whom I received it praying for His holy acceptance thro’ the merits of a blessed Redeemer————————————

2nd My body to be buried according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England —————————————————————————————————

3rd My temporal or worldly affairs to be divided or apportioned as follows—————

I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Mary Greenwood Christopher one half or moiety of all my moveable property consisting of horses, hogs, cattle and the following Negroes Sharpee and his wife Sue, Cook, Dando, Anthony, Harry, Nelson, Jeffrey, Andrew, Will, July, Tom, big Mary, old Sal, Dido,  Sam, Amy, March, old Luce, young Luce, Nelly, Jeanny, Jim, Luck, Tombo, Daniel, Munday, Rose, Hatty, little Sue, and Dick, and that she shall be allowed to live upon and work the above slaves on any plantation or Island belonging to me for this Province without any molestation whatever during her natural life, and at her decease the said Negroes to be equally divided among the children hereafter mentioned or their Lawful Representatives  ————————————————

The residue of my Negroes to be apportioned in the following manner ——————

To my son John Bluet Christopher: Nice, big Ned, Bob, Sandy, and Isaac; and to William Greenwood Christopher: Jarvis, Cuffey, Sampson, Peter, and Simon; to Martha Christopher Braddock: little Ned, young Nancy a Mulatto, Newton, Buck, Sally, & old Nance; to Charlotte Christopher Braddock: Duncan, young Sal a Mulatto, Fortune, Boatswain, & Betty; to Spicer Samuel Christopher: Ishmael, Mint, little Ned, Lindah, & Newport; to Lewis Christopher: big Sam, little Mary, Collin, Moses & his wife Charlotte; to Elizabeth Christopher Howe: Eve a Mulatto, Nance the youngest and her two children Pheobe and Sam —————————————————————————

My landed property to be partitioned in the following manner—————————

To my son John my plantation on the River St. John called [a blank space followed]. To William my Plantation called Point Hazzard; To Spicer my Plantation on the River St. Marys called old Township; Talbot Island and Santa Maria Nassau to be equally divided between Elizabeth who is to hold and possess the southern moiety of said Island her brother Lewis the north part thereof, and the said Elizabeth to pay to her sisters Martha & Charlotte the sum of two thousand dollars to each, and the said Lewis one thousand dollars to each of the said sisters Martha and Charlotte———————————————

And be it furthermore known and understood that the Children viz. William Greenwood Christopher, Spicer Samuel Christopher, Lewis Christopher, and Elizabeth Christopher who have not as yet withdrawn their proportion of Negroes from the original stock, shall be each of them entitled to an equal share of the net proceeds when laid out in any specie of property whatever, at the total exclusion of those who have already received their respective quota or apportionment—————————————————

And for the true performance of this my last will and Testament, I hereby nominate and appoint Mary Greenwood Christopher my beloved wife, Executrix, John Bluet Christopher and John David Braddock, Executors to this my last Will and Testament to see the property duly divided as already specified, having first discharged all my just debts dues and demands———————————————————————————

                        Done on Talbot Island, Province of East Florida, dated this 12th day of February in the year of our Lord 1806 as witness my hand and seal———————————————————————————————

                                                     (signed)  Spicer Christopher

Sign’d sealed & delivered         )
   in the presence of                  )
              Robert Walker           )
              Robt Harrison            )
              David Aiken              )                                    

Either Spicer or whoever transcribed his will miswrote the married last name of his daughter Elizabeth as Howe instead of Houston.

Thomas Christopher, listed on genealogies as a son, apparently died as he is not mentioned in the will.

Either there were two "little Neds" or Spicer willed the same slave twice.

The plantation on the St Johns willed to John Christopher may have been San Cristobal, which was surveyed for Spicer Christopher in 1792, at which time it was recorded in the grant request that he had 5 children and 11 slaves.

May 1, 1806
Elizabeth Greenwood Braddock, daughter of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, was born. She later married John Hardin, then James Bessant, then David Ogilvie. It is interesting to note that she was 13 years older than David Ogilvie. One of their sons, William A. Ogilvie, born on 1848, had the nickname "Tete." Is it possible that it was really "Tait," his grandmother's maiden name, but sounded like "Tete."

September 1, 1806
[EFP] William A. Fitzgerald is accused of mistreatment of a female slave.

November 14, 1806
[EFP] Spicer Christopher’s attorney Santos Rodriguez requested a survey of land near Bells Creek belonging to Christopher.

According to Con. B 22; DG III 643, William Berrie of Camden County, GA bought from William Carney for $400 a little house with its fence on 25 acres of seed land on Amelia River, Cowpen Branch in 1807. Although there is no more seed land there, pine land of 350 acres with buildings and improvements are included. Berrie petitioned for absolute title on September 3, 1816, and Governor Grant approved grant February 10, 1817.

In claim Con. B 55; DG IV 254, John D Braddock claims "640 acres, a donation grant, on the road from Rose Bluff to main road from St. Johns River to Georgia, being a few miles from the home of Elijah and Joseph Higginbotham and part of 1,000 acres petitioned for and not received in 1807 from the Spanish government as a cow pen, which has been held since then by John D. Braddock." He named it Sand Hill Plantation. The name of the area later became Evergreen, and in 1835 the Nassau County seat, including the courthouse and post office, was moved here. John David’s son Spicer Christopher was named first postmaster.

April 23, 1807
Spicer Christopher Braddock, son of John David and Martha Christopher Braddock, was born. He later married Anna Sever Sapp.

April 26, 1807
Elizabeth, daughter of John and Mary Braddock Edwards., married William Bluet Christopher, son of Spicer and Mary Greenwood Christopher.

September 12, 1807
[EFP] American John Houston asked for refuge in East Florida for self and slaves.

October 21, 1807
John Christopher bought from Gilbert Mann 50 acres on Nassau River, east of other land of John Christopher.

Mariah, daughter of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, was born. She later married Stephen Vanzant.

Joseph C. Berrie, son of William and Ann Braddock Berrie, was born.

January 5, 1808
According to Camden County, GA Inferior Court Minutes, John C. Houston lost a civil case to Edward Barnwell.

February 6, 1808
[EFP] John Lowe claimed that Spicer Christopher was holding some of his land on Bell 's Creek, mentions Springfield .  The claim was settled by Christopher giving up Springfield land to Lowe.

February 27, 1808
Adeline Catherine, daughter of John and Mary Braddock Edwards, was born. She later married Adam Wirick.

March 1, 1808
[EFP] William Alexander Fitzgerald complained that James Pelot was holding some of his land.

October 1808
In late summer of 1808 the town of St. Marys , Georgia suffered a plague of fever that killed many of the town’s residents and forced many others to flee, leaving only ten residents. Letters in the Florida Heritage Collection tell of the compassion and generosity of their neighbors across the St. Marys River in Spanish East Florida :

SAVANNAH , October 23.
Extract of a letter from St. Mary's , dated 9th Oct. to a gentleman of this city.

  During our distress, we have had an opportunity of seeing what men are.—What do you think of the infamous conduct of the inhabitants of the town of Jefferson , in our country, not suffering a soul from this place to enter their town, and had even had the audacity to advertise the same in our market house. At the general county election by this conduct, such of our towns people as could have gone to vote, were debarred. This was effected by a few vile wretches to influence the election in favor of their own creatures : under such conduct, no honest mind can conceive that the legislature will consider the election legal; nor has the most trifling assistance been afforded to the sick, except by a few planters in this vicinity, who have humanely rendered such aid as in their power. It would be high ingratitude to pass unnoticed the magnanimous humane and generous conduct of our neighbors in Florida . On hearing of our distress, 12 gentlemen, then at the house of Mr. McClure , on Amelia island , subscribed the sum of $191, and immediately sent the cash, inclosed in a letter, of which a copy is subjoined. Contrast this act of humanity with that of our own citizens, who have been looking on, and seeing our poor suffer, and to the great disgrace of our country, have been for these eight months past, using every means to starve these neighbors, by descending to extreme littleness in preventing even a loaf of bread or a pound of fresh beef to cross the river of St. Mary's . We must suppose our collector and the officers of the gun vessels have orders of their doings ; it however appears harsh, much unlike the conduct of magnanimous, free and independent government, and must be unpleasant to good officers.

  Our worthy friend, Major Seagrove , the chairman of the committee of health, is now the only one of that board in town ; he is determined to remain for the benefit of the sick, while God spares his life ; his family are getting better, as are all our friends in the country, who removed from town. Only 2 new cases in the last 48 hours; nearly all the inhabitants have fled, are sick or dead ; not more than 10 of the old inhabitants (whites) remain.

Amelia Island , 1st Oct. 1808.
—Hearing of the melancholy situation of St. Mary's , from the prevailing fever, and being sensible that some must be without the necessary means of support and attention, a few gentlemen at my house this morning have subscribed $191, which will be delivered to you by Mr. Kerr , purser of U.S. gun boat, to be applied as you and the board of health may think proper. For the present the subscribers thought it necessary to send this trifling sum, as it might be of immediate use ; but hope that from this province the amount will soon be much larger.

I am, dear sir,
Your obedient servant,


Names of donors, and sums subscribed.

J. H. McIntosh , $20— George Sibbald , 20— Captain Don J. Lopez , commandant at Amelia Island , 20— John McClure , 20— Spicer Christopher , 20— George Atkinson , 20— M. Lynch , 10— P. Deveese , 10— A. Atkinson , 10— F. D. McDonnell , 10— John H. Kerr , 10— F. Wire , (of Bahamas ) 16— T. Backhouse , 5


October 31, 1808
At some point after her arrival on Amelia Island, Lucy Cook Braddock, widow, married William Alexander Fitzgerald. After his death, an inventory of his possessions was made. The inventory, which is in the East Florida Papers at the University of Florida Special Collections Library in Gainesville, is dated October 31, 1808, so it is a reasonable assumption Fitzgerald died shortly before that date.

The inventory, which is in several sections, each of which was signed by witnesses, is written entirely in Spanish except for Fitzgerald’s one-page will:

In the name of the Holy Trinity
Amen — I William Alexr Fitzgerald of the Island of Amelia & Province of East Florida, planter, at present sound in mind and body and for which thanks be to God, but at the same time conscious of the uncertainty of life and all sublunary objects, do declare this to be my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all other, whatsoever — Imprimis [in the first place] I commend my soul into the merciful hands of that Being from whom I received it, and my Body to be decently interred. —

I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Lucy all my property of every description whatever (Hannah and her children only excepted) for her sole use benefit and behoof, after paying all my just & equitable debts during her natural lifetime, and at her decease to be equally divided among her children and their offspring.

Despite my difficulty with translating Spanish to English, I was able to glean some items of interest from the inventory:

  • In every instance but one, the deceased is referred to as Don (a title like Mr.) Alexandro (Spanish for Alexander) Fitzgerald in the inventory. In the one exception he is referred to as Mr. Fitzgerald. Perhaps this is an indication that he went by his middle name.
  • He was Protestant, fifty-six years of age, and a native of Virginia.
  • She is referred to in the document, and other Spanish records, as Lucia, the Spanish translation of Lucy, her given name. Her maiden name is spelled Cooke on the document.
  • She and Fitzgerald lived on Amelia Island.
  • Braddock was written in the inventory as Broadick, close to the original old English meaning of the name, Broad Oak, which is an area in Cornwall, England.
  • All her children are listed in one section (I’ve translated all but their names): " . . . children of her earlier husband Juan Broadick, named Maria, married to John Edwards, Guillermo, of state of marriage, Ana, married to Guillermo Berry, Maria Ester [Hester], married to Juan Christopher, and David, the oldest of all in age, of state of marriage . . ." Names of wives of William and John David are not given in this section of the inventory.
  • No indication is given of William having a middle name.
  • Several men signed the several documents, but not everyone on all documents. Signers were: Fernando de la Maza Arredondo, Garrett Ledwith, Domingo Fernandez, William Munro, Robert Walker, Santiago Cashen, William Braddock, William Berrie, John Edwards, John D. Braddock, John Christopher, Michael Ludwith, Fernando Donald McDonnell, and East Florida Civil and Military Governor Enrique White.
  • Apparently, women weren’t qualified to sign. On one document, William Braddock signed under a notation written in Spanish in another hand. The notation read, " Por mi Madre," which is "for my Mother." On another document, John Christopher signed under the notation, "Por mi Esposa Maria Ester Broadick," esposa meaning wife and Maria meaning housewife. John Edwards and William Berrie signed for their wives under similar notations.
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  • William and John David’s signing of Braddock is very similar to the way their father signed it.
  • Items on the inventory, which had a total value of 15,223 pesos and 4 reals (would be interesting to know how much that translated to in dollars of that time), were:
    • 24 slaves, the name, age, and value of each was given.
    • 100 cultivated acres called Montenegro [Spanish rendition of Black Hammock, as the plantation was known. The dictionary definition of hammock is: a tract of forested land that rises above an adjacent marsh in the southern United States], and 200 cultivated acres called Bigdrain.
    • One personal residence, several slave quarters, and 2 buildings for cotton.
    • 25,000 cotton seed, 400 bushels of corn, and clean cotton worth 800 pesos.
    • 14 hoes, 6 hatchets, 6 shovels, one hazadon (whatever that is), a cart with 4 wheels, and blacksmith’s equipment.
    • Two horses, four mules, three cows with calves, and three pigs.
    • One mahogany chest of drawers, one cupboard, one mahogany table, one tray, seven wooden chairs inlaid with silver, one ladle, and twelve teaspoons.

A claim the heirs of Antonio Surez submitted to the Commissioners Appointed to Ascertain Claims to Lands and Titles in East Florida in 1825 mentions Bigdrain, the 200 cultivated acres in the inventory, and William and Lucy Fitzgerald. It also mentions several families who became entwined with the Braddock family. Here are excerpts from that claim:

" . . . Antonio Suarez petitions, 6/21/1796, for the quota corresponding to himself and his family of 6 persons, at Punta Negra [Black Point], on Ceno de Pots Burgh [Pottsburg Creek] on Amelia Island - tracts which were occupied by the Rebel Juan Dudley and are now vacant. Suarez has been a resident of this province 1784. For nine years he was skipper of the small crafts on the St. Johns and St. Marys Rivers, and later captain of the San Pablo gunboat. . . .

". . . Antonio Suarez petitions, 5/16/1807, to have Juan Purcell survey . . . . the 500 acres granted him at Black Point, on Amelia Island, as he has troubles concerning the boundaries of the said land with Francisco Pelot, one of his neighbors. . . . .

". . . upon receipt of the above . . . they called Francisco Pelot . . . ; John Daniel Vaughan; and Antonio Suarez, in order to present their certificates of grant; there also appeared William Alexander Fitzgerald, alleging his petition for Big Drain, between lands of Pelot and Suarez. It was agreed first to survey the 500 acres belonging to Suarez; then mark the boundaries of the 200 acres belonging to Fitzgerald between Suarez' land and 464 acres belonging to Pelot; and last to finish the boundaries Suarez and the 314 acres of Vaughan. Thus the land was surveyed, and in accordance with the certificates of grants they presented, which are as follows:

"Suarez was granted, 6/21/1796, 400 acres, 200 of which are at San Vicente Ferrer and the remaining 200 at Black Point, on Amelia Island. He was the first planter to settle on this island. In 1799 he was granted 500 acres altogether at Black Point, after having relinquished the lands at San Vicente Ferrer.

"To James Pelot was granted, 6/19/1796, the plantation called Campos Viejos de Aquilia [Aquila's Old Field0, about 200 acres; on June 9, 1798, 100 acres at the same place; and on December 20, 1803, 640  acres altogether at the same place, on condition that if in surveying his land he should incur any injury to those who had been already granted the land, then he should take the remainder of his grant elsewhere.

" John Daniel Vaughan was permitted, 3/4/1797, to settle on the island at Buena Vista, North of John Edwards' land, and on February 4 of this year, Purcell was ordered to survey for him 250 acres, his quota.

"William Alexander Fitzgerald was granted, August 1797, 200 acres, at Big Drain, which brought a complaint from James Pelot and a legal fight, which has not yet been cleared, but Pelot has benefited by the lands granted to Fitzgerald.

"Antonio Suarez should be allowed to remain in possession of his 500 acres; Fitzgerald of the 200 acres granted to him at Big Drain; Vaughan of the 314 acres; and James Pelot of 464 acres at Aquila's Old Field, and Pelot should take the remaining 176, if granted to him, at North Branch on Nassau River, 40 miles from Simon's Pine

Besides the above mentioned, Antonio Suarez has 30 acres at St. Vicente Ferrer granted, 3/26/1803; Pelot 300, on Nassau River; and Fitzgerald 110 at San Patricio, also about 25 acres of pine lands at Ship Yard, granted to his wife.

" . . . Santiago Cashen and Fernando de la Puente certify, 11/5/1807, the list of William Alexander Fitzgerald's family at San Patricio Plantation as follows: William A. Fitzgerald and Lucy Cook, heads of the family, Israel Pool, foreman, and 18 Negro slaves from 2 to 43 years of age.

". . . Cashen and Fernando de la Puente certify, 11/6/1807, list of the family and slaves of John Daniel Vaughan at his Buena Vista Plantation as follows: J. D. Vaughan and Rhoda Cole, heads of the family, Harriet and William, children from 3 to 11 years, and 9 slaves from 2 to 30 years of age.

The above claim gives the name of John Daniel Vaughan's wife as Rhoda Cole while it is given as Rhoda Miller in Vaughan genealogies.

Another interesting claim mentioning Black Hammock was submitted by the heirs of William Hull. William Hull married widow Elizabeth Maxey Berrie, mother of William Berrie, husband of Ann Braddock.

Hull, William, Heirs of             Unc. H 35; G&S VI 75;; DG V75,
     Camden County, Georgia
1 Joseph Hull claims 500 acres in 2 tracts, 100 acres in Black Hammock, at the mouth of the Nassau River, in Duval County, and the remainder in the same county next after St. Johns, on the bank of said river confronting a place called A. E Ferguson's plantation known as Tobacco Bluff. The grant was made by Governor Quesada, 3/1/1792, to William Hull, for head rights for himself, his wife and 6 children, according to the ratio then in vogue.
2 William Hull petitions for the above land. On the 100 acres at Black Hammock he intends building a home to live in during the rigors of summer, to preserve his family from the illness which are experienced at such times in the neighborhood of head waters . . . . Governor Quesada authorizes Pedro Marrot to make the survey.
3 Note on the back of 1 indicates no proof of possession. *

*No plat of survey was produced as evidence, nor did Hull's name appear on the list of inhabitants upon the St. Johns River to whom lands had been surveyed by Marrot. . . .

My research, limited by distance, has turned up little additional information about Lucy’s second husband other than he is listed as a sponsor on the baptismal records dated June 18, 1799 of four children of Samuel Harrison and Elizabeth English Harrison: Michael, John , Mary, and Elizabeth. The Harrisons had come to Amelia Island in 1780s from Belize where his father had fled as  a Loyalist at the start of the Revolution. Samuel received several grants in the Amelia Island area. Their daughter Sarah Ann would marry William Henry Houston, son of John Carroll Houston who lived on Talbot. The day after the Harrison baptisms, William Fitzgerald served as sponsor for the baptisms of two children of John and Mary Stuart Lofton, William and John. He may have had children by a previous marriage.

November 8, 1808  

Surveyor Juan Purcell surveyed 100 acres for Spicer Christopher on Talbot Island adjoining land Spicer already had. Document courtesy of Terrell Thompson:



November 26, 1808

[EFP] Justo Lopez advised Governor White that he received militia prisoners Sgt. Samuel Russell and David Braddock from Capt. Santiago Cashen.


Claiming he has Captain Andrew Atkinson's permission to set up a 4th militia company, Spicer Christopher offered himself for its Captain’s position.

December 19, 1808
[EFP]  Governor White ordered Lieut. Spicer Christopher and Sgt. Samuel Russell deposed from militia positions for attempting to set up a separate militia company.

December 19, 1808
[EFP] Governor White ordered Justo Lopez to free Sgt. Samuel Russell and David Braddock. They were released on Christmas Eve.

April 12, 1809
According to claim Con. H74, Spicer Christopher was granted 100 acres on Talbot Island.

July 14, 1809
[EFP]  Fernando de la Maza Arredondo agent for Spicer Christopher, requested translation of an English language document verifying debt owed Christopher by John McClure.

July 15, 1809
Spicer Christopher wrote a deed of gift in which he deeded a slave to William Braddock for grandson John Spicer Braddock:

Know all men by these presents that
I, Spicer Christopher, planter of Talbot Is-
land in the province of east Florida, for
and in consideration of the love, good will,
and affection, which I have and do bear to-
wards my grandson John Spicer Braddock
son of William Braddock of the province
aforesaid, have given and granted and
by these presents do freely give and grant   
to the said John Spicer Braddock, his
heirs, executors, or administrators a Negress
named Eve about 12 years of age, to
have and to hold the said Negress &
her issue as his lawful property from
henceforth, absolutely & without any
conditioner whatever ——

                         In witness whereof I
have hereunto set my  hand and seal
this  fifteenth day  of July  one thousand
eight hundred and nine years —

Sign’d, seal’d and delivered
In presence of ——         Spicer Christopher
Robert Andrew
John Uptegrove
James Ramsay


The same day he also signed similar deeds of gift to his widowed niece Martha Bluit Grisholm for her son Jesse Grisholm; one to John David Braddock for granddaughter Mary Christopher Braddock; and one to John David Braddock for grandson Spicer John Braddock.

Christopher S., son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, was born. He later married Elizabeth Bessant.

John David II, son of John David and Martha Christopher Braddock was born. He later married Belinda Leigh.

November 1, 1810
Spicer Christopher signed deeds of gift deeding slaves to two of his grandchildren, one to William Braddock for granddaughter Elizabeth Greenwood Braddock; and one to William Christopher for granddaughter Martha Louisa Christopher.

The same day, Spicer Christopher sold to his son Louis three slaves for $1,000 and three to his son Samuel Spicer for $1,000.

November 27, 1810
[EFP] Fernando de la Maza Arredondo, who had acted as agent for Spicer Christopher July 14, 1809, requested for William McClure a translation of several English language documents and requests the translations be filed. The documents concern a debt owed by John McClure to William Berrie and mortgaging of McClure's Louisa Plantation on Amelia Island.

Ann B., daughter of William and Charlotte Christopher was born. She later married James Wilson.

Richard James, son of William and Ann Braddock Berrie, was born. He later married Mary C. Piles.

February 4, 1811
[EFP]  Spicer Christopher Jr.  was prosecuted for shooting and wounding sailor Esteban Arnau for picking fruit off his father’s trees. Arnau was on his way by water to deliver mail to Fernandina.

March 18, 1811
[EFP] Of the countless publicly recorded exploits I’ve seen of my direct ancestors, starting all the way back to the mid-1600’s with Dr. John Cutler and proceeding down through Captain John Braddick, Captain William Lyford Sr., Captain David Cutler Braddock to Captain John Cutler Braddock, none has made me ashamed of them other than, like many people of their day, they owned slaves. When I encountered in the East Florida Papers an index record briefly describing in English the contents of the Spanish document the index record represented concerning an act of my third great-grandfather, an otherwise good man, I felt, and still feel, an almost unbearable shame. 

The index record title said: “Prosecution of William Braddock for beating death of slave Duncan.”    I do not have easy access to the numerous rolls of microfilm on which the East Florida Papers documents are recorded. Even if I did I, I don’t have the ability to translate one page, much less 178 pages the document consists of, from Spanish to English. So I began searching around and found a book, Black Society in Spanish Florida, by Jane Landers, that mentions the tragic incident. The book, which relies heavily on East Florida Paper’s Spanish documents, paints an excellent picture of how things were, not only for Blacks, but for all residents of Spanish East Florida. Following is a brief paraphrase of what Ms. Landers described in seven paragraphs:

Rayna, a slave, reported to Henry Yonge that William Braddock had horribly beaten his slave Duncan. Duncan died from the beating. Yonge informed authorities of the death and the severity of the beating that caused it and urged that Braddock be immediately arrested. When arrested, he seemed unrepentant and blamed the death on Duncan’s arrogant and haughty manner and his earlier knife attack on Braddock’s white overseer. He said he had to punish Duncan as an example to his others slaves. An official inventory showed Braddock had only six slaves, three of them women. He later admitted he knew harsh treatment of slaves was forbidden and that he did not mean to kill Duncan.

Neighbors appearing as character witnesses testified that he was good to his slaves. Some of their slaves testified that Duncan had made threats to kill Braddock. Other slaves, some of them Braddock’s, testified that Duncan had been beaten until he fell to the ground and that after the first beating he was locked up for the night, beaten the next morning, and placed in a pillory. By midday he was dead.

Braddock neighbor Eber O’Neill testified that he had vainly tried to intercede for Duncan, asking Braddock to forgive him. Surgeon Joseph Grant’s autopsy on Duncan’s exhumed body found coagulated blood, which he attributed to the blows, but could not find sufficient damage to believe the blows were the cause of death.

Under further questioning by authorities, Braddock said he would not have beaten Duncan so much if he had known it would kill him because he was poor and could not afford the loss. He also said it was the overseer who gave Duncan 250 blows with a heavy walnut stick and that Duncan had strangled himself to escape further beatings. 

Because of the surgeons testimony, Braddock was cleared of the charge of murder. However, he was fined court cost for excessive and cruel treatment of his slaves.

April 6, 1811
[EFP] John D. Braddock requested a license from the governor of Florida to cut pine on the St. Marys and Nassau Rivers.

May 2, 1811
[EFP] John Christopher requested a license from the governor of Florida to cut timber near Lofton Creek and Nassau River.

May 2, 1811
Elizabeth Susannah Christopher, daughter of Spicer and Mary Greenwood Christopher, and John Carroll Houston, son of John Carroll Houston and Jane Harvey, were married.

JCHoustonwed.jpg (59226 bytes)

June 1, 1811
[EFP] Santiago Cashen sent details to Juan Jose de Estrada of foreigners cutting Florida timber. Names of East Florida residents and non-residents are mentioned. Among them are Burroughs Higginbotham and David Braddock.

June 19, 1811
Spicer Christopher sold his son Samuel Spicer Christopher a slave for $350

July 10, 1811
Spicer Christopher died.

September 4, 1811
[EFP] Acting Governor Juan Jose de Estrada ordered Spicer Christopher Jr. to come to St. Augustine to pay the costs of the case of his wounding Esteban Arnau.

Charlotte M., daughter of John David and Martha Christopher Braddock, was born.

January 31, 1812
James Braddock Edwards, son of John and Mary Braddock Edwards, was born. He later married Mary Kempes Turnbull.

February 12, 1812
An inventory of Spicer Christopher's estate was made. Other than February 12th, I could not read the year, which was written in longhand, except for eighteen hundred. According to some sources Spicer died July 10, 1811, so it is likely that the inventory was made in early 1812. Except for seven brief wills leaving slaves to his grandchildren and niece, which are included with the inventory, the inventory is completely in Spanish. The poor resolution of the document on microfilm and the recorder’s handwriting made the already difficult task of translating the document almost impossible. However, I persevered enough to decipher some items of interest.

  • The total value of the inventory was 36,732 pesos, a lot of money back then, even in pesos.
  • Of that, Talbot Island, along with its grove of fruit trees, was valued at 20,000 pesos.
  • His residence was valued at 1,500 pesos.
  • Among other structures listed under "Casas" were two kitchens (it was common back then to cook in a separate building to avoid burning down the residence), a stable, a cotton storehouse, a corn storehouse, a carpentry shop, six slave quarters, two cottages, a grinding shed, and a tannery (Spicer’s brother Spencer listed his occupation as shoemaker on the oath of allegiance he signed in 1803).
  • Included under "Muebles de Casa" —furniture of the house— were a mahogany table, six chairs, two old mirrors, a dozen knives and forks, a crystal glass bottle, six iron pots, two irons bells, eight dozen plates, half-dozen platters, and 12 table spoons.
  • Under the heading "Animales," were listed two burros, two mules, a herd of branded beef cattle valued at 450 peso 30 pigs, an illegible number of horses valued at 300 pesos, three horses valued at 160 pesos, and eleven mares and seven colts worth 1080 pesos.
  • Legible items listed under "Utencilios de labronia"—tools of farming—were a cart, three plows, a mill stone, two machines for deseeding cotton, two machines for cleaning cotton, a copper pan, a safe with shelves, two hand-saws, three old brushes, three old drills, two old hammers, fifty hoes, 25 axes, an iron pot, two saddle mounts, two stools, an old farrier, (for horse-shoeing), a canoe, a boat with six oars and a rudder, and a float (the translation for "flota" is "fleet," so he apparently had several vessels larger than a rowboat. Or the "flota" could also have been the "Lord Nelson," the family's enormous periagua, a large open-deck ship, like a giant canoe, used to transport cotton. Or it could have been the unnamed sloop of which the 1786 census mentions him as being partner.
  • Under "Eslavos,"—slaves—46 are listed with names, ages, and value.
  • Signatures affixed to four sections of the inventory included Santiago Cashen, William Fitzpatrick, Eusebio Marie Gomez, Lorenzo Solana, Eber A. Hull, and Spicer’s seven children: Charlotte, Samuel, John B., Lewis, William, Elizabeth, and Martha. On one of the two sections Martha signed, other than the one pictured, "Braddock" was added in a different handwriting.
image008.gif (23894 bytes)

Testimonies in claim C 41, give some insights into Spicer Christopher and what he had made of Talbot Island: Juan Parades deposed, "that in command of the schooner San Augustin of the royal property for many years, he has, on his trips, become familiar with all of Spicer Christopher’s 5 plantations and certifies to there excellent condition, etc." Thomas O’Neil, who had migrated from South Carolina deposed that Spicer "had sole charge of the King’s highway, extending north and south on Talbot Island, through which he often passed; that Spicer Christopher had his residence in the center, with houses for overseers and slaves on the outskirts; that he bred pedigreed mares and had $3,000 invested in horses; he also raised China oranges, etc." Timothy Hollingsworth, who had come from North Carolina, deposed "to good conditions of everything, conveniences that he [Spicer] shared with passers by on the road from Barra Chica to Barra Ciego, fine cattle pens and pedigreed mares and stallions." David Solomon Hill, 33, from New York "testifies to entertainment of wayfarers; cowpen and one plantation of his son-in-law, David Brodick."

James Cusick, curator for the University of Florida Special Collections Library,  said the following in a recent email to me:

"Spicer Christopher owned about half of Talbot Island where he lived in great estate, with a cotton plantation worked by 100 slaves, a great house, ranching enterprises that comprised about 600 head of cattle, and a large corral of horses (he was known for having the best horses in the province, Arabians and English mares)."

Professor Dan Schafer, of the History Department of the University of North Florida, added the following comments:

"There is a very interesting inventory of Talbot Island property of Spicer Christopher in the East Florida Papers. SC, Jr. [Spicer Jr.] apparently shot a canoe mailman for eating from the Christopher orange grove bordering the inland passage. Jr. skipped to Georgia before the governor's soldiers sequestered the plantation. Sr. was on his death bed when the estate was seized and inventoried. Check the will again and probate file (testamentarios in East Florida Papers) for record of how Sr.'s property was split up.

"Another Christopher property, not Sr.'s but one of his sons, is the site at New Berlin and the island across from there, today Blount Island and the Jax Port."


March 17, 1812
A force of American troops and "Patriot" volunteers from Georgia and Tennessee crossed the St. Marys River from Georgia and landed at Roses Bluff. East Florida Papers lists Burris Higginbotham, Joseph Higginbotham, and Elijah Higginbotham from St. Marys, Georgia among the Rebels. Joined by some East Florida residents, they proceeded to Amelia Island, hauled down the Spanish flag, ran up the "Patriot’s" flag, and declared the land below the St. Marys to be the "Republic of East Florida."

spflag.jpg (1982 bytes)

pflag.jpg (2003 bytes)

John Houstoun McIntosh, was self-appointed "Director" of the "Republic." McIntosh’s house on Fort King George Island became headquarters for the "Patriots." Built in 1798, this oldest plantation house in Florida had been previously owned by John "Don Juan" McQueen. Zephaniah Kingsley would own it after McIntosh.

In 1807, John David petitioned for a grant of 640 acres on the road from Rose’s Bluff to the main road from St. Johns River to Georgia. An entry in the journal of Henry Hamilton Floyd  gives the proximity of John David’s land to Rose’s Bluff, where the Patriots had landed:

May, 1853
Tu. 17. Clear. At 10 A.M. left Jacksonville in a buggy and got to Mr. Braddock's, 2 miles beyond Nassau Court House, by sunset. Mr. Phillip Fraser, Col. Pearson and Mr. St. George Rodgers were in company.

Wed. 18. Clear and cool. Started early for the ferry, near Rose's Bluff distance 10 miles, and got there in little over an hour.

Thus began Florida’s "Patriots War." The invaders were led by General George Matthew's and were supported by the United States government, which was getting antsy about the continued close presence of a foreign power to our young nation’s soil.

March 26, 1812
[EFP] John Edwards, William Christopher, David Braddock, John Christopher, and Spicer Christopher Jr. are on a list of persons declared to be rebels.

July 17, 1812
A delegation of  Patriots held a convention in Fernandina and drew up a constitution for The "Territory of East Florida" even though only a small portion of the territory had been captured. Following is a photo of part of the constitution's preamble and signatures of the delegates who formulated it. John H. McIntosh, leader of the Patriots, signed himself as president. Other notable signers were  John D. and William Braddock, their brother-in-law William G. Christopher, John C. Houston, and Zephaniah Kingsley.

efc.jpg (98338 bytes)


The invading forces left behind them ample evidence of their presence; one historian of the time commented, "The army of Regulars and Irregulars appears to have left nothing in Florida that could be carried away or destroyed." A claim brought against the United States government by William Braddock attests to the damage the invaders left in their wake. He sued for losses amounting to $10,235, of which he received only $1,622 when the case was settled April 18, 1840. Court records of the claim, which were provided to me by Dr. James Cusick, curator of the University of Florida’s special collections library, include testimonies of two witnesses, Samuel Russell and William’s brother John David Braddock. In John David’s testimony he reveals that he had been compelled to be a member of the Patriots.

Testimony of John David Braddock:

William Braddock
———vs.———                                                                          Claim for Losses
The United States                                                                          in 1812 and 1813


Answers of John D. Braddock to the direct Interrogatories, a Witness in the above case.


1. Answer to the first direct Interrogatory:
Witness says that he was acquainted with William Braddock in the years 1812 and 1813 and prior thereto — and has been since——

2. Witness says that in 1812 and 1813 Claimant did reside in East Florida and that he was then a Spanish subject.———————

3. Witness says that claimant did own at this time and cultivate a plantation in East Florida situated in that part of the Province now known as Nassau County.————————————————

4. Witness says that Claimant did sustain heavy losses in East Florida in the years 1812 and 1813 by the act, conduct, and operations of the American Troops.

5. Witness says Claimant did plant and cultivate crops upon his two plantations in East Florida, one on Nassau and one in O’Neil’s Neck, so called in 1812, and he planted in all, about seventy-five or eighty acres consisting of cotton, corn, potatoes, pease, about forty acres of Cotton Thirty acres in corn, and some five to seven in potatoes, and as many acres in pease and corn, with the corn and pease on the same land.

6. Witness says that Claimant’s lands, if they had been properly cultivated, would have produced from one hundred and seventy five or eighty pounds of clean cotton per acre, eighteen or twenty bushels of corn per acre, from one hundred and fifty to two hundred bushels of potatoes, and from seven to ten bushels of pease over the same number of acres as corn, pease and corn are cultivated on one and the same land.

7. Witness says that Claimant’s crops were well cultivated till September 1812 when he was compelled to abandon the cultivation and to leave all; claimant worked in this year ten or eleven full hands.

8. Witness says Claimant crops were an entire loss to him in 1812. Claimant was compelled to abandon his plantation for safety, such was the hostile conduct of the invading army. Claimant, as above stated, was compelled to abandon his said place in the month of September this year.

9. Witness says that the manner of destruction and loss to Claimant’s is explained by saying he was obliged to abandon the cultivation and not permitted to return to it. The United states and Patriot Troops had possession of this country and it was unsafe from their conduct to remain on the place. After the Claimant abandoned the place, it was plundered and robbed by foraging parties detached from the main body of the invading army.

10. Witness says that Claimant did cultivate and plant a crop on his plantation in O’Neil’s Neck in the year 1813. It consisted of cotton, corn, pease, and potatoes. Claimant planted this much as he did the year before, [word illegible] the labors of two hands that were stolen from him in 1812, but he in planting this year hired a white man to plough for him, and witness thinks this additional aid made his force nearly equal to what it was the year previous. Claimant planted this year from forty to forty-five acres of cotton, from-twenty-five to twenty-eight acres of corn, as many pease as corn, on the same land with the corn, from five to six acres of potatoes. If Claimant had been permitted to cultivated his crops to ripeness, witness has every reason to believe that his crop would have been good for one hundred and seventy-five to eighty pounds clean cotton per acre, from eighteen to twenty bushels per acre of corn, about from one hundred and fifty to two hundred bushels of potatoes. Claimant was compelled to abandon his crops, and in consequence, it was lost. In the early part of 1813, the pillaging and foraging and quartering in this part of the country for a little time ceased, and the people were encouraged to plant; but soon after this, and by the time the crops were well enough set to grow, the scouring of the country commenced again when Claimant was compelled to abandon, and he never returned to his place, for before the country was clear, the crop was ruined.

11. Witness says that this part of the country was in possession of the United States Troops and Patriots from the time of their arriving into it till the time of the evacuation in 1813, some time in May of that year. This allied army of occupation continued during all the period scouring the country for forage and subsistence and some of them, or its followers, plundered anything that was valuable in their way, slaves especially were an article much sought out. This army was in the habit of coming to a plantation and letting their horses in upon the crops and thus wantonly destroying what they could not consume.

12. Witness says in the years 1812 & 1813 sea island cotton such as Claimant made was fifty-six cents per pound; corn was fifty cents per bushel; potatoes were fifty cents per bushel & pease were worth one dollar and twenty-fives cents per bushel.

13. Answer to thirteenth direct interrogatory: Witness says that Claimant in the year 1812 was the owner of a male slave named Boatswain and of two female slaves, one named Betty & other named Syke. These slaves were worth sixteen hundred dollars. Boatswain was worth say six hundred dollars; his wife Betty four hundred dollars; & Syke six hundred dollars. Syke was a very valuable young woman.

14. Witness says the said Negroes were taken from the plantation of Claimant in the year 1812 after the American troops entered East Florida & while they were with their allies the Patriots in the neighborhood of the plantation. These Negroes Claimant never again got nor did he ever receive any value for them; they were lost property to the Claimant total & entire.

15. Witness says Claimant had at the time the American troops entered East Florida a large quantity of ranging timber hauled at the water’s edge. Witness says he never measured this timber; but he has been often among it, is well acquainted with the business of getting of such timber, is sure that there was seventy five thousand of it at least and believes there was a great deal more agreeable to his judgment; Remembers the lumber perfectly. This lumber was all lost. Claimant was prevented from selling it, & it lay until it was burned up; and what was not burnt was a total loss. It was caught on fire from the woods supposed to have been set on fire by the army encamped, as they were, here & there, and firing the woods as their custom was. Timber was worth ten dollars per thousand at the time spoken of.

16. Witness says that the invading army did fire the woods in the vicinity of Claimants plantations; and to all appearance it was done wantonly that the fires might catch the fences, timber, and houses about & on the plantations. Claimant had a good frame dwelling burnt up in this way on his place together with all the outhouses, fences, &c. This house was twenty-two feet long, by sixteen feet in width, with a good piazza and a shed room one story and a half high. This house was worth at least one thousand dollars; it cost more & can’t be built now for less money. Witness did not see anyone burn or set fire to it but had never any doubt that the loss of it was occasioned by the operations of the invading army. Claimant was compelled to leave it, & no one could stay to protect it from approaching fire. This house was burnt in 1813.

17. Witness says the ranging timber was to the best of his belief burnt up by the fact of the invading army having set fire to the woods & from this the fire run & caught the timber. The timber was burnt sometime in 1813; month can’t state.

18. Witness says he knows that Claimant owned a gray mare, a good animal, & a brown horse; they were lost in the early part of 1813 while the troops were in the province, and through their means. Did not see any one take them. The mare was worth one hundred and twenty dollars; the horse was worth one hundred fifty dollars. Can’t state the month that they were taken off in; but knows that they were lost to Claimant as witness has stated. The horse was a very fine animal.

19. Witness says that he resided within six miles of Claimants Nassau place & sixteen miles from his place in O’Neil’s neck & was often at both places in the years 1812 & 1813.

20. Witness says that Claimant was a respectable planter in easy circumstance at the time of the invasion. Witness says that these losses should not have occurred if the country had not been invaded by the United States troops. In his judgment they were caused singly & entirely by their conduct & acts: for all the losses witness has said Claimant sustained occurred after the troops came into the country in 1812 & before they left in 1813.

21. Witness says he has stated all he knows about this claim, either for or against it.

Answers to the cross Interrogatories:

1. Witness says that he knows that Braddock sustained losses, not from information derived from hearsay, but from his own personal knowledge.

2. Witness says that he is more than sixty years of age. Was in that part of Florida known as Nassau County in 1812 & 1813 only that part of the time he was driven out by the invading army. Witness says that he was with the Patriots by compulsion. Claimant is witness’ brother. Has no interest direct or indirect in this claim.

3. Witness says that all the losses that he has testified that Claimant sustained he has stated above were caused by the operations of the American troops and the Patriots acting in alliance. Indians or Alexander’s men had no agency in causing these losses. Witness says that all these losses he has spoken of occurred in the years 1812 and 1813 after the American troops came into the Province of East Florida in March of the former & before it left in May of the latter year. Witness says he can’t state more particularly than he has, when these losses occurred.

4. Answer to the fourth cross interrogatory: Witness says that he has told all he knows of this claim.

Sworn & subscribed to before )
me at Nassau August 7th, 1838  )       John D. Braddock
Jus. L. Doggett                           )

William Braddock was not the only East Florida resident on which the Patriots War inflicted damage. Dr. James Cusick, curator of the University of Florida Special Collections Library says:

[Spicer Christopher] died around 1811, just before the outbreak of the Patriot War, an American invasion of Spanish East Florida aimed at overthrowing the government and installing a rebel government in its place. This conflict, which lasted two years, merged into the War of 1812, and created chaos in Florida, where Spanish troops and militia, backed by Indian and maroon allies, were fighting against the U.S. Army, the Georgia militia, and a group of settlers who had revolted and had dubbed themselves the "Patriots". Property damage in East Florida was later assessed at $1.2 million. Christopher's offspring were listed among the rebels against Spanish authority, and late in the conflict, in 1813, their Talbot Island plantation became a haven for retreating rebel forces and was heavily raided and looted by the "Patriots." This was fairly typical of the times--people joined the rebels, then ended up losing everything they owned to rebel looting. There is an extensive claim regarding the Christopher property that was made out against the U.S. Treasury Department in "First Auditor, Records of the Accounting Offices of the Department of Treasury, Miscellaneous Division, relating to Claims and Accounts, Record Group 217, Entry 347, National Archives and Records Administration, II, College Park , Maryland . First Auditor, Records of the Accounting Offices of the Department of Treasury, Miscellaneous Division, relating to Claims and Accounts, Record Group 217, Entry 347, National Archives and Records Administration, II, College Park, Maryland."

Claim of Spicer Christopher, No. 84,642, RG 217/347.

In order to win compensation, the Christophers had to downplay their own role in the rebellion and had to prove that their losses had been caused by either the Patriot rebels or the U.S. Army. Besides an inventory of the estate, there is a lot of testimony in this case about the Christopher family's involvement with the "Patriots" and about the damages to the property, including the requisition of the "Lord Nelson," the family's enormous piragua, a large open-deck ship, like a giant canoe, used to transport cotton; the seizure of many slaves; the confiscation of the cattle; and other depredations. Like many of their neighbors, the Christophers applied for and received an amnesty from the Spanish government that allowed them to remain in East Florida after the rebellion was put down, but they suffered much abuse from settlers who had remained loyal to the Spanish government and who blamed the Christophers and other former rebels for all the property destruction that occurred between 1812 and 1814.

What little I have included above about the Patriots War falls far short of doing it justice. For a full and highly interesting account of  this important event in Florida's history and a much better understanding of the time and place in which our first Florida ancestors lived, be sure to read Dr. James Cusick's  "The Other War of 1812," which will soon be published in paperback form by the University of Georgia Press. Click here: The Other War of 1812.

One of the maps in the book, rendered from an early Spanish map, shows the location of William Braddock's plantation. The map is being used with Dr. Cusick's permission:






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