Minorcans trace their heritage back to the Spanish island of Minorca in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1767, Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull hired about 1,500 workers from Minorca and other Mediterranean islands to work on his Florida plantation at New Smyrna. Harsh working conditions and the overbearing behavior of Turnbull’s overseers led the laborers to march to St. Augustine and seek redress from the governor of British East Florida. The governor gave refuge to the workers, who chose to remain in the St. Augustine area. Descendants of the original Minorcan immigrants have retained elements of their ancestors’ culture over the years, especially crafts and foodways.

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