Book Review:

   
The Awakening of St. Augustine
The Anderson Family
and the Oldest City: 1821-1924
by Thomas Graham
Book Review:

The Awakening of St. Augustine
The Anderson Family and the Oldest City: 1821-1924
by Thomas Graham

Published by St. Augustine Historical Society
St. Augustine Florida
1978

This book is the modern standard textbook for St. Augustine in the 19th century. Dr. Graham uses the Anderson family
to describe life in St. Augustine from it’s territorial years through the monument building years of the early 1920’s. If you
are interested in reading about Dr. Andrew Anderson, Markland, Henry Flagler, Ponce de Leon Hotel, the Civil War in
St. Augustine; this is the must read book.

The Andersons arrived in St. Augustine in the 1830s. The first Dr. Andrew Anderson began the construction of
Markland, tried different crops, owned slaves and lived as a planter. His first wife died leaving two daughters. His second
wife Clarissa Anderson would complete a smaller Markland and make her living both with the plantation and boarding
northern tourists. Her son, the second Dr. Andrew Anderson, would become a St. Augustine fixture becoming the Mayor,
a close personal friend and advisor of Henry Flagler, and a physician to the local community.

The problem with the book is its strength. Dr. Graham was given access to the records of the Anderson family. He
established a close professional relationship with Mrs. Clarissa Anderson Gibbs the daughter of Dr. Andrew Anderson II.
This access came with a cost. At several critical points the darker side of the Anderson story is glossed over. Clarissa
Anderson spent years stealing the estate from the daughters of the first Andrew Anderson. Andrew Anderson II had
problems with relations in his life that are never explained.

The book does explain and illustrate (and does it very well) the general history of St. Augustine during this important
time period and has strands of African American and Minorcan history throughout the book. This book may be hard to
come by – Amazon.com has only one used copy (Jan. 2, 2014) for $30.00. You will be able to find a copy at the Oldest
House
Andrew Anderson

Henry Flagler

St. Augustine in the Roaring 20s
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