Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Nancy M. White


colonial, Crevecoeur, Gulf Coast, pottery, trade


The Spanish Fort San José, located on the St. Joseph Peninsula, was occupied from 1719 until 1723. This site is significant as it preserves key details on Spanish settlement, trade, and ethnic diversity on the northern Gulf Coast and relationships with aboriginal and other European peoples of the region. The first archaeological testing of this site was conducted in the 1960s, but limited information exists on this work, and the fort's structural remains are now gone. My research examines a recently discovered artifact collection from this site and combines the new data with information from extant collections from Florida State University and the University of West Florida.

The research aims first, to document the large body of materials from the site, then to provide new insights on the nature of this remote and short-lived colonial outpost and how this settlement compares in material culture and inferred social and economic behavior with other contemporaneous aboriginal and Spanish settlements, including Santa Maria de Galve in Pensacola, approximately 225 km (140 mi) to the west, and Mission San Luis de Talimali in Tallahassee, approximately 127 km (79 mi) to the east. My artifact analysis, coupled with description from historical documents, resulted in the determination that Fort San José was not simply an outpost but is actually very similar to Santa Maria de Galve and Fort San Luis at the Mission San Luis de Talimali in both function and the artifacts that were left behind. Fort San José was intended to be a strong Spanish presence in the Gulf Coast, as evidenced by the number of individuals living here, the interactions they had with other colonial powers, and the remarkable footprint they left in just four short years.