Pensacola was one of the earliest European settlement attempts in American history. Historic Pensacola is the perfect introduction for residents and visitors alike, and arrives just in time for the city's year-long 450th-anniversary celebration in 2009.With brilliant, full-color images throughout, John Clune and Margo Stringfield synthesize history and archaeology in this engaging and informative chronicle. Their accessible narrative, intended for a general audience, summarizes the founding, development, and setbacks of Pensacola through the first three centuries of its history.Five flags have flown over Pensacola since it was founded: Spanish, French, British, American, and Confederate. Alternately abandoned and resettled due to a series of devastating hurricanes early in the colonial era, the city served variously as a Spanish garrison, as a French outpost, and as the capital of the British colony of West Florida. It was the largest city in the state when Florida joined the United States in 1821 with Andrew Jackson presiding as provisional governor.Clune and Stringfield use a wide range of historical and archaeological records, spiced with traditional period recipes, to provide a unique look into the daily lives of the people who endured hardship, disease, and hurricanes to settle the Gulf coast frontier. The result is a highly readable account of a city with a rich and fascinating past.
John J. Clune Jr., associate professor and chair of history at the University of West Florida, is author of Cuban Convents in the Age of Enlightened Reform.Margo S. Stringfield is an archaeologist and research associate at the University of West Florida Archaeology Institute.