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The Governors of Colonial Florida, 1565-1821

Below are lists of all Florida governors throughout the entire colonial era, including the First Spanish Period (1565-1763), British Period (1763-1781/1783), and Second Spanish Period (1781/1783-1821).  The First Spanish governors listed below is based in large part on my own extensive direct work with original documents in the Archivo General de Indias, while the subsequent lists below are based principally on secondary sources, though occasionally adjusted based on my own research.  While I do not claim that these are 100% accurate and complete, they should at least provide a useful list for anyone interested in the governorship of colonial Florida.  I would encourage anyone with documentary evidence of any errors, omissions, or additions to contact me via email so I can continue to refine the list.

First Spanish St. Augustine / First Spanish Pensacola

British East and West Florida / Second Spanish East and West Florida

The Governors of First Spanish St. Augustine, 1565-1763

The following list includes data I have compiled between 1988 and 2007 regarding the official terms of the governors of colonial Spanish Florida, including royally-appointed governors (in bold) and interim governors (in regular type).  No subordinate lieutenant governors are included in this list, though many are known to have governed during the temporary absence of the primary office-holder, or as provincial lieutenants in the various mission provinces.  Dates of appointment are not included, though dates of installation and succession or death are provided to the level of specificity currently known.  This information was compiled from a multiplicity of sources, initially based on published lists and then substantially revised over the course of many years based on information contained in a variety of primary documents.

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés (September 8, 1565-September 17, 1574)

Diego de Velasco (September 17, 1574-February 24, 1576)

Hernando de Miranda (February 24-September 5, 1576)

Gutierre de Miranda (September 5, 1576-1577)

Pedro Menéndez Márquez (1577-July 9, 1594)

Domingo Martínez de Avendaño (July 9, 1594-November 24, 1595)

Alonso de las Alas, Bartolomé de Argüelles, and Juan Menéndez Márquez (November 24, 1595-June 2, 1597)

Gonzalo Méndez de Canzo (June 2, 1597-October 20, 1603)

Pedro de Ybarra (October 20, 1603-1610)

Juan Fernández de Olivera (1610-November 23, 1612)

Juan de Arraçola and Joseph de Olivera (November 23, 1612-1613)

Juan de Trevino Guillamas (1613-August 2, 1618)

Juan de Salinas (August 2, 1618-October 28, 1624)

Luís de Rojas y Borja (October 28, 1624-June 23, 1630)

Andrés Rodríguez de Villegas (June 23, 1630-September 21, 1631)

Nicolás Ponce de León and Eugenio de Espinosa (September 21, 1631-July 29, 1633)

Luís de Horruytiner (July 29, 1633-November 26, 1638)

Damián de Vega, Castro, y Pardo (November 26, 1638-April 10,1645)
Benito Ruíz de Salazar Vallecilla (April 10, 1645-April 11, 1646)

Francisco Menéndez Márquez and Pedro Benedit Horruytiner (April 11, 1646-January 8, 1648)

Benito Ruíz de Salazar Vallecilla
(January 8, 1648-May 14, 1651)

Nicolás Ponce de León (May 14-October 19, 1651)

Pedro Benedit Horruytiner (October 19, 1651-June 18, 1654)

Diego de Rebolledo y Suárez de Aponte (June 18, 1654-February 20, 1659)

Alonso de Aranguiz y Cotes (February 20, 1659-November 2, 1663)

Nicolás Ponce de León (November 2, 1663-December 30, 1664)

Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega (December 30, 1664-July 6, 1671)

Manuel de Cendoya (July 6, 1671-July 8, 1673)

Nicolás Ponce de León (July 8, 1673-May 3, 1675)

Pablo de Hita Salazar (May 3, 1675-September 28, 1680)

Juan Márquez Cabrera (September 28, 1680-April 11, 1687)

Pedro de Aranda y Avellaneda (April 11-August 20, 1687)

Diego de Quiroga y Losada (August 20, 1687-September 21, 1693)

Laureano de Torres y Ayala (September 21, 1693-1699)

Joseph de Zuñiga y Cerda (1699-April 9, 1706)

Francisco de Corcoles y Martínez (April 9, 1706-July 13, 1716)

Pedro de Olivera y Fullana (July 13-October 30, 1716)

Juan de Ayala Escobar (October 30, 1716-August 3, 1718)

Antonio de Benavides, Bazan, y Molina (August 3, 1718-May 21, 1734)

Francisco del Moral Sanchez (May 21, 1734-March 12, 1737)

Manuel Joseph de Justís (March 12-September 11, 1737)

Manuel de Montiano (September 11, 1737-August 8, 1749)

Melchor de Navarrete (August 8, 1749-June 3, 1752)

Fulgencio García de Solís (June 3, 1752-April 18, 1755)

Alonso Fernández de Heredia (April 18, 1755-April 21, 1758)

Lúcas Fernando de Palacio y Valenzuela (April 21, 1758-December 6, 1761)

Alonso de Cárdenas (December 7, 1761-March 20, 1762)

Melchor Feliú (March 20, 1762-July 27, 1763)

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The Governors of First Spanish Pensacola, 1698-1763

Following the 1686 "rediscovery" of what was then christened as the "Bahia de Panzacola" along the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline far west of its Florida colony, and the subsequent maritime and terrestrial exploration of the bay in 1693, Spain finally established a permanent Spanish presence in Pensacola in 1698, administered as a presidio subordinate to New Spain and supplied principally through Veracruz, Mexico (and thus distinct from St. Augustine).  The following governors served through various relocations/incarnations of the presidio, including Santa María de Galve (1698-1719), Bahia de San Joseph (1719-1722), Isla de Santa Rosa, Punta de Sigüenza (1722-1756), and San Miguel de Panzacola (1756-1763).

Andrés de Arriola, 1698-1709

Joseph de Guzman (interim) 1709-1711

Gregorio de Salinas Varona, 1711-1717

Juan Joseph de la Torres (interim), 1717-1718

Juan Pedro Matamoros de Ysla, 1718-1719

Gregorio de Salinas Baraona, 1719-1720

Joseph Primo de Ribera, 1720-1721

Pedro Primo de Ribera, 1722-1734

Diego de Escobar, 1734-1740

Nicolás Ximénez de Florencia (interim), 1740-1741

Gervasio Cruzat y Góngora, 1740-1742

Juan de Yarza y Ascona, 1742-1752

Nicolás Ximénez de Florencia (interim), 1752-1753

Santiago Benito Eraso, 1753-1757

Miguel Román de Castilla y Lugo, 1757-1761

Diego Ortíz Parrilla, 1761-1763

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The Governors of British Florida, 1763-1781/1783

The British formally divided Florida into East and West colonies, an administrative innovation that was subsequently maintained by the Spanish after their return following the American Revolution in 1781-1783.

East Florida (1763-1783)

James Grant, 1763-1770

John Moultrie, 1771-1774

Patrick Tonyn, 1774-1783

West Florida (1763-1781)

George Johnstone, 1763-1767

Montforte Brown, 1767-1769

John Eliot, 1769

Elias Durnford, 1769-1770

Peter Chester, 1770-1781

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The Governors of Second Spanish Florida, 1781/1783-1821

During its final four decades as a colony, Second Spanish Florida was administered as two colonies under the jurisdiction of Havana within the Viceroyalty of New Spain, with West Florida initially falling under the intermediate jurisdiction of Spanish Louisiana in New Orleans before 1803.

East Florida (1783-1821)

Vicente Manuel de Céspedes y Velasco , 1783-1790

Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada y Barnuevo , 1790-1795

Bartolomé Morales , 1795

Enrique White , 1796-1811

Juan José de Estrada, 1811-1812

Sebastián Kindelán y Oregón , 1812-1815

Juan José de Estrada, 1815-1816

José Coppinger , 1816-1821

West Florida (1781-1821)

Arturo O'Neill de Tyrone y O'Kelly , 1781-1793

Carlos Howard , 1793

Enrique White , 1793-1796

Francisco de Paula Gelabert , 1796

Vicente Folch y Juan , 1796-1811

Francisco San Maxent , 1811-1812

Mauricio de Zúñiga, 1812-1813

Mateo González Manrique , 1813-1815

José de Soto , 1815-1816

Mauricio de Zúñiga, 1816

Francisco Maximiliano de San Maxent , 1816

José Fascot , 1816-1819

José María Callava , 1819-1821

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