The Old Plaza of St. Augustine

The Old Plaza of St. Augustine


  • The Old Plaza of St. Augustine

Published Date

  • published 1940


[page 4]
Perhaps, a public auction was to be held or some public notices
read advising the community of legal decrees, government sales, and
news from Europe. Negroes were sold at public auction. There is an old
account which describes the sale of a slave in order to satisfy a mortgage
against the owner.

Adjoining the market, and marked by two James cannon of the
Mexican War, is a monument honoring the memory of 46 men of St.
Augustine who were killed during the War between the States.

The monument in the center of Plaza de la Constitucion (Plaza of
Constitution) was erected in 1813 to commemorate the adoption by the
Spanish Government of a liberal constitution. From this monument the
Plaza takes its name. In 1814 Ferdinand VII was recalled to the throne
of Spain, but his many promises to the Spanish people later proved
worthless. One of this first acts was to declare the new constitution
unlawful, then he ordered all monuments commemorating the
constitution to be destroyed. All over the vast Spanish Empire
monuments were torn down. In St. Augustine, however, some of the
officials and inhabitants were in sympathy with the liberal constitution,
so instead of destroying the monument, the tablets were removed and
safely hidden. Later they were again displaced. There is still a mystery
connected with the monument of the Plaza de la Constitucion, because
no one is able to explain the crudely carved Masonic system on the shaft.

Construction of the Catholic Cathedral site the Plaza opposite the
Plaza on Cathedral Place was begun in 1793 and completed in 1797. In the
latter part of the next century the church was almost destroyed by fire, only