Supplies at Presidio Santa Maria de Galve (1689-1713): A Study of the Historical and Archaeological Records

Brenda Nancy Swann

          Many factors contribute to the formation of the archaeological and historical records of a settlement, the most important of which are timing, placement, and function. The Spanish established Presidio Santa Maria de Galve in 1698 on present-day Pensacola Naval Air Station to fend off French encroachment into Florida and the northern Gulf of Mexico. The inability of the people at the settlement and the surrounding environment to support a local subsistence system and export economy left the presidio with few legal alternatives to the unreliable trade system of colonial Spain. A comparison of the archaeological and historical records provides evidence of trading at Santa Maria de Galve outside official, or legal, channels and demonstrates the importance of goods imperative to the function of the settlement as a military garrison.

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