History of Santa Rosa County, A King's County
by M. Luther King. Used with permission.
Under the reoccupation of Pensacola and West Florida by the Spanish,
the Spanish Governor, Callava (1819- 1821), at Pensacola complained that
the wholesale migration of English settlers from Spanish Florida was leaving
the country bare and unpeopled. His plea to his king won an invitation
to those people who would, to come and settle in Florida without many
of the restrictions that had previously been placed upon them. For instance,
nationality, race, or religion were no longer barriers to settlement in
Florida. However, wholesale grants of land for speculative purposes were
not allowed. Then, too, an oath of allegiance to the King of Spain was
a primary requisite. Quite naturally, under that regime.of Spain there
was no toleration of any public religious worship except Roman Catholic,
though others could worship privately.
Even so, with this lack of restrictions on the one hand and imposed restrictions
on the other, there was a rather pronounced migration of settlers from
nearby states of the United States. Many came from the Carolinas, nearby
Georgia, and the Mississippi Territory (now Mississippi and Alabama).
For varied reasons, these settlers sought homes in this Spanish territory.
Many came a bare jump ahead of law enforcement officers in their old home
areas. Others came hoping for material gain and still others for "elbow
room." There was a final and quite sizable group who came to satisfy that
great "American Urge" - the spirit of adventure.
It is still somewhat difficult, even thus far objectively removed, to
say just which of the above-mentioned motives prompted those who came
to Milton and Santa Rosa County. The reasons were probably as many and
as varied as the people and their origins.
The names entered on these concessions (or grants) are in themselves
interesting to some of us - Calhoun, Brewster, Parker, Quigles, Holmes,
Hawthorne, Maloy, Edgley, Towns, Weaver, Nelson, Mason, Michelet, Falzon,
Keyser, Villaseca, Carrer, Simpson, Limbough, Innerarity, Kelker, Wilson,
Philabeau, Paul, Bru, Riaboo, Palmes, Murrell, Barco, Fernandez, Hernandez,
Bonifay, Molino, Anderson, Brackenridge, Call, Garcia, and Mastria.