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The Menorcan American Dream

Among some of the earliest European settlers to the New World were the Menorcans and many families in St. Augustine can trace their heritage directly back to these early immigrants.

The Menorcans first came to the United States after the British took control of Spanish Florida following the Paris treaty. The British were eager to fill their new colony with settlers so they sought out help from Doctor Andrew Turnbull. Turnbull’s wife was Greek so he first looked to Greece for anyone interested in moving to the new world.

The Menorcans

Due to Turkish control of Greece at the time he had little luck in recruiting anyone to join the voyage and turned to other areas in the Mediterranean including Italy, France, and Corsica before getting the most recruits from Menorca, a small island off the coast of Spain. Many were excited at the promise of land and a new start in their lives and over 1,400 people joined the voyage the largest single group of European settlers at the time.

The Menorcans voyage and eventual settlement in Florida was plagued by many hardships from the beginning. Turnbull had pretty much abandoned the settlers in swampland and they had to clear the area mostly by hand. Several of the settlers died but were guided and inspired by their own leaders, Father Pedro Camps and his assistant, Father Bartolome Casanovas.

After nearly ten years in the new colony over 700 people had died and the remaining settlers sought refuge in St. Augustine. The Menorcans were originally welcomed into the city but were isolated and treated like second class citizens once they moved in. After several more years of toil and hardship they were eventually able to control their own land and began to start several plantations. This economic success was short lived when the United States invaded Florida during the Patriot War of 1814. Many Menorcan homesteads were raided and looted during the invasion and did not receive compensation from the United States until 1821.

The Menorcan Cultural Society

The continued hardship of the Menorcans did not stop them from persevering and they were able to rebuild their lives and their businesses once again. The legacy of the Menorcans lives on today in many surprising ways. Over 25,000 people in St. Augustine can trace their heritage back to the immigrants. The Menorcan Cultural Society was founded in 1980 to celebrate the culture and heritage of these early Americans.

Perhaps the most obvious legacy can be found in cuisine of St. Augustine most notably the Datil pepper. This pepper is an important ingredient in many local recipes including the famous Menorcan clam chowder which can be tried in many of the local restaurants. This pepper is only grown and cultivated in the St. Augustine and is celebrated every October during the annual Datil Pepper Festival. Continuing Education Company holds 3 Primary Care CME Conferences in Palm Coast which is only 25 minutes away. It is the perfect time to try Minorcan clam chowder for yourself!

Upcoming CME Conferences & Online Learning

Want to attend a live CME conference in a beautiful locale or complete an online course from the comforts of home?

At Continuing Education Company, we provide you with options to make your medical continuing education fun, engaging, and relevant. Check out our conference calendar to view the dates and locations of upcoming conferences as well as the online learning courses and live streaming that are currently available. And, for a limited period of time, take advantage of our Special Offer! Attend one of our LIVE conferences in person and you will receive a FREE online 15 credit CME course from CME365™.

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