Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Ryan Smith

Second Advisor

Dr. John Kneebone

Third Advisor

Dr. Faedah Totah


The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest stone fortification on the North American mainland, a unique site that integrates Florida’s Spanish colonial past with American Indian narratives. A complete history of this fortification from its origins to its management under the National Park Service has not yet been written. During the Spanish colonial era, the Indian mission system complemented the defensive work of the fort until imperial skirmishes led to the demise of the Florida Indian. During the nineteenth century, Indian prisoners put a new American Empire on display while the fort transformed into a tourist destination. The Castillo became an American site, and eventually a National Monument, where visitors lionized Spanish explorers and often overlooked other players in fort history. This thesis looks at the threads of Spanish and Indian history at the fort and how they have or have not been interpreted into the twenty-first century.


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