Spanish Land Grants
Several archival collections contain material relevant to the Spanish Land Grants and settlement of Territorial Florida. Click on the collection to read a description of each. To search for other collections, go to the State Archives of Florida's Online Catalog.
This collection contains correspondence, writings, and other papers of Richard Keith Call, territorial governor of Florida, and his family. Before he became governor, Richard Keith Call was first receiver for the General Land Office of Florida.
- S 59 Surveys of private claims, 1827-1853
- S 139 District tract books, 1845-1890
- S 606 Register of tracts purchased, 1825-1833
- S 617 Township survey plats, 1823-1933
- S 619 Florida tract books, 1824-1890
- S 1472 Survey field notes, 1824-1890
- S 1812 Plat maps of counties, 1820-1845
- S 1815 Plat maps, 1824-1851
- S 979 East Florida Papers, 1737-1858 (microfilm)
- S 992 Memorials and concessions, 1786-1821.
- S 993 Memorials for city lots in Saint Augustine, 1764-1821
- S 994 American state papers (Duff Green edition), 1789-1834 (microform)
- S 995 Minutes of and testimony taken before the Board of Land Commissioners for East Florida, 1823-1825
- S 997 Concessions for new settlers, 1791-1821
- S 1001 U.S. Board of Land Commissioners Record Books, 1773-1828
- S 1022 U.S. Board of Land Commissioners Protocols, 1804-1819.
- S 1023 Miscellaneous Spanish Florida land records, 1804-1849
- S 1232 Surveys of Spanish land grants, 1791-1836
- S 1235 Memorials and concessions not acted upon, 1804-1821
- S 1439 Concessions for services, 1815-1821
Settlement of the Spanish Land Grants was an international endeavor involving many governments, agencies, and individuals. Therefore related collections can be found in several repositories in Florida and elsewhere.
Florida Division of State Lands (Dept. of Environmental Protection) Tallahassee, Florida
The Florida State Lands Division maintains a large collection of historic Florida lands record [which once included the Spanish Land Grants until 1984 when they were transferred to the State Archives of Florida.] Many of the records are available online (see links below) but others can be researched on site. These include the 4-volume Spanish Claims in Florida by Don Alonzo Spaulding for Surveyor General John Westcott in the 1850s, and the East and West Florida Land Commission minutes in English and Spanish.
- General Land Office Records
The General Land Office (GLO) Early Records are available online. The first official survey of Florida was performed around 1840. The original survey notes and plats have been preserved and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has made these documents available to the public in electronic format.
- Florida Land Records Online
The Division has electronic images for thousands of active and historical documents, including surveyors notebooks, tract books, deeds, permits, leases, and easements. Use the search to find specific records.
- Interactive map for Online Land Records
Combines the Divisions historical records with interactive maps.
- Certified Corner Records
Certified Corner Records have been collected since 1984 and are updated monthly. All records use the recently adopted land identification program sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management.
American Memory Project (Library of Congress) Washington D.C.
- American State Papers
These are the published records of the U.S. Congress between 1789-1838, arranged in ten series, totaling 38 volumes. Series VIII deals with Public Lands, including Territorial Florida. The outcome and additional information of many Spanish Land Grants can be found here.
*More information on the American State Papers:
American State Papers, Davidson College Library
Library Resources for Administrative History: Congressional Serial Set, National Archives and Records Administration
- East Florida Papers (PDF) (originals)
These are the records of the Spanish government in East Florida (all of Florida east of the Apalachicola River) that were seized by the Federal government in 1821. Contains more material on the Spanish Land Grants and many of the individuals and policies involved. Most are in Spanish.
*For more information on the East Florida Papers:
Index to the East Florida Papers University of Florida
PK Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida:
- United States General Land Office, Florida District.[Description not online]
Partial records of the Tallahassee, Newnansville, and St. Augustine land offices, including commissioner letters (194 v) registers (65 v) and receiver books (101 v.).
- Papeles Procedentes de Cuba
Over 760 microfilmed reels of Spanish colonial treasury records for Florida from 1760 to 1821; originals found in the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain.
- Guide to Spanish Colonial Records
A guide to the major collections of Colonial Florida housed at both the P.K. Yonge Library and the Library of Congress.
- John B. Stetson Collection (1518-1820)
Over 150,000 copies of Spanish colonial records, indexed with more than 14,000 catalog cards.
- Panton, Leslie, and Co business records (Heloise Cruzat Papers)
Includes materials on land records and Spanish Land Grants; especially strong for West Florida.
- James David Glunt Papers
Historical papers relating to the Second Spanish Period and Territorial Florida.
- Richard K. Call letters, 1814-1862
Forty items of (photocopied) Call’s correspondence, including a letter sent from Havana while on a mission to Cuba on behalf of the US government to secure copies or original documents concerning land claims in Florida.
Florida Historical Society, Cocoa, Florida
- Francis Fleming Papers, 1694-1912 (bulk: 1810-1912)
Includes records relating to Spanish land Grants and the Second Spanish and Territorial periods.
- Call Family Papers [Description not online]
Includes correspondence and a journal by Richard Keith Call, first receiver for the General Land Office, lawyers for the United States during the land claims cases in the 1820s, and territorial governor of Florida. A companion collection to the State Archives of Florida’s Call Collection.
University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida
- Special Collections
Houses the largest selection historical records and manuscripts for Colonial Pensacola and for West Florida.
Archives of the Indies, Seville, Spain
Includes most of the colonial records of Spain in the New World, including Florida’s First (1513-1763) and Second Spanish (1793-1821) periods. [The Web site is in Spanish.]
University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
- Archdiocese of Louisiana and the Florida Archives
The Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas was established in 1793 and took in all the territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Florida
- Butler Family Papers Includes material on Territorial Florida’s first surveyor-general Robert Butler.
St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library, St. Augustine, Florida
Maintains large collection of Second Spanish Period records, including censuses, baptismal records, church records, manuscripts, and publications.
Florida History Online, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida
- British Plantations in East Florida
Online exhibit with interactive maps and descriptions of British period (1763-1783) plantations and farms, several of which survived into the Second Spanish and Territorial periods.
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
- Adams-Onis Treaty
Online version of the treaty that transferred Florida form Spain to the United States in 1821.
An online transcription of the 1783 Spanish Census of Florida, transcribed online by genealogist Susan Peterson for free use.
- Beerman, Eric. “Arturo O’Neill; First Governor of West Florida During the Second Spanish Period,” Florida Historical Quarterly 60 (July 1981)
- Bisceglia, Louis R. “The Florida Treaty and the Gallatin-Vives Misunderstanding,” Florida Historical Quarterly 48 (January 1970)
- Boggs, Glenn. “The Case of Florida’s Missing Real Estate Records,” Florida Bar Journal 77:9 (October 2003)
- Brevard, Caroline Mays. “Richard Keith Call,” Florida Historical Quarterly 1:2 (1908)
- Hanna, A.J. “Diplomatic Missions of the United States to Cuba to Secure the Spanish Archives of Florida,” in A. Curtis Wilgus ed. Hispanic American Essays Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press, 1942 (reprinted 1970).
- Hamilton, Frank. “Spanish Land Grants in Florida,” Florida Historical Quarterly 20 (July 1941)
- Hill, Louise Biles. “George J. F. Clarke, 1774-1836,” Florida Historical Quarterly 21:3 (Jan. 1943)
- Holmes, Jack D.L. “Educational Opportunities in Spanish West Florida, 1781-1821,” Florida Historical Quarterly 60 (July 1981)
- Johnson, Sherry. “East Florida Papers,” Florida Historical Quarterly 71 (July 1992)
- Keuchel, Dr. Edward F. and Dr. Joe Knetsch. “Settlers, Bureaucrats, and Private Land Claims: The Little Arredondo Grant,” Florida Historical Quarterly 68:2 (Oct. 1989)
- Knetsch, Dr. Joe. “Impact of Spanish Land Grants on the Development of Florida and the South Eastern United States,” Paper delivered at the FIG XXII International Congress, Washington, D.C., April 2002.
- Knetsch, Dr. Joe. “Robert Butler vs. Henry Washington: A Case of Revenge?” Professional Surveyors Magazine 26:2 (Feb. 2006)
- Knetsch, Dr. Joe. “Spanish Land Grants: A Problem for Florida Surveyors: The case of George J. F. Clarke,” Florida Division of State Lands.
- Knetsch, Dr. Joe. Faces on the Frontier: Florida Surveyors and Developers in the 19th Century. Cocoa, Fla.: Florida Historical Society Press, 2006.
- Martin, Sydney Walter. “Richard Keith Call: Florida Territorial Leader,” Florida Historical Quarterly 21 (April 1943)
- Martin, Sydney Walter. “The Public Domain in Territorial Florida,” Journal of Southern History 10:2 (May 1944).
- Miller, Janice Borton. “Struggle for Free Trade in East Florida and the Cedula of 1793,” Florida Historical Quarterly 55 (July 1976)
- Parker, Dr. Susan. “Men Without God or King: Rural Settlers in East Florida, 1884-1790,” Florida Historical Quarterly 69:2
- Poitrineau, Abel. “Demography and the Political Destiny of Florida During the Second Spanish Period,” Florida Historical Quarterly 66 (April 1988)
- United States. Works Projects Administration. Historical Records Survey. Spanish Land Grants in Florida Tallahassee: State Library Board, 1942.
- Whatley, George C. and Sylvia Cook. “East Florida Land Commission: A Study in Frustration,” Florida Historical Quarterly 50:1 (July 1971)
- White, David H. “A View of Spanish West Florida: Selected Letters of Governor Juan Vicente Folch,” Florida Historical Quarterly 56 (October 1977)
- White, David H. “The Forbes Company in Spanish Florida, 1801-1806,” Florida Historical Quarterly 52 (January 1974)
- Wright, I. A. “The Odyssey of the Spanish Archives,” in A. Curtis Wilgus ed. Hispanic American Essays Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press, 1942 (reprinted 1970).