Return to Defenses of St. Augustine
Fort Diego
Fort Diego  -1739 - (on the Tolomato (North) River at the head of Pablo creek (a fortfied house).
San Diego de Spinoza Palm Valley in St. Johns County.

Description
The ranch of Diego de Espinosa was palisaded with a fifteen foot walland fortified, before 1736, with two bastions, and
armed with five guns, increased to 11 guns in 1740. Also referred to as Fort Diego. Captured by the British in May
1740.

British view the fort
Sir: Diego de Espinosa (one of the most respected citizens of this presidio) has informed me that there came to
this point last year, one Don Carlos Dempsis, an Englishman, second in command of the settlements of New Georgia.
As he wished to return to them, Don Francisco del iMorai gave him permission to go overland, directing the adjutant
Don Manuel de Arze, who is now here, to accompany him. This officer allowed the Englishman to see a fort built by
the said Espinosa at his own expense on his stock farm about six leagues from here, and mounting five falconets,
and to sleep one night on the place. Now this Englishman is an Engineer, and is the first of his nation to see the said
fort, the only defense in its territory. Moreover the same privilege was later granted by Don Manuel to two other
Englishmen. I consider it my duty to report these facts to your excellency such as they are, in order that they
may not be hidden from your superior penetration. I beg Your Excellency to honor me with frequent advice to the
betterment of my poor abilities in your behalf.

May God keep Your Excellency many years, as I desire,
and is proper.

Saint Augustine, in Florida, March 22, 1737.

Your Excellency's grateful and obliged servant, who
kisses your hand,

Don Manuel Joseph de Justis.


To Senor Don Juan Francisco de Guemes y Horcasitas :

I, Antonio Alvarez, Keeper of the Public Archives of East Florida, do hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and
correct transcript from a book in which are recorded the official letters addressed by Don Manuel Joseph de Justis
Governor of East Florida, to Don Juan Francisco de Guemes y Horcasitas, Captain General of the Island of Cuba,
between the 22d March, 1837 ( sic) and the 14th August of the same year, which book belongs to the Archives under
my charge. (
Antonio Alvarez was the owner of the Gonzalez-Alvarez House - today's oldest house)

Witness my hand and seal of
office at the City of St. Augustine, territory of Florida,
this twelfth day of February,
A. D. one thousand eight  hundred and forty-four.

(Signed)
Antonio Alvarez,
K. P. A.

Destruction
In 1740 Oglethorpe crossed the St. Johns River from Fort George and marched down the oceanfront to attack Fort
San Diego, Fort Mose and
Castillo de San Marcos. He destroyed the Horse Guards Sentinel Station in South
Jacksonville Beach area. While he overran Fort San Diego and
Fort Mose he was unable to take the Castillo. When he
returned again in 1742 he again overran the rebuilt Fort Diego.
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