Antonio de Benavides

Colonial Florida governor
name in native language
Antonio de Benavides (spanish)
birth name
Antonio Benavides Bazán y Molina (spanish)
Antonio Benavides Bazán y Molina
Antonio Benavides Bazan y Molina
date of birth
December 8, 1678
date of death
January 9, 1762
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Antonio Benavides Bazán y Molina (December 8, 1678 – January 9, 1762) was a Lieutenant General in the Spanish Army who held administrative positions in the Americas as Royal Governor of Spanish Florida (1718–1734), Governor of Veracruz (1734–1745), Governor and Captain General of Yucatán province (1745 – 1750), as well as Governor of Manila in the Philippines (September 1750 – ?). Before his successive appointments to these various positions, he served with distinction in several campaigns of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1710, and perhaps saved the life of Philip V, the first Bourbon King of Spain, at Guadalajara. During his term of office in Florida, Benavides jailed Juan de Ayala y Escobar, the previous governor, for dealing in contraband, and repelled several attempts by the English to invade Florida by land and sea. He secured the friendship of the neighboring Indian groups who had previously been inimical to the Spaniards, a state of affairs that continued without interruption while he governed the province. He defended the rights of the indigenous people and established the first black militia unit in Florida to defend St. Augustine, the capital of the province, from British attacks. Over the course of his various administrative appointments, Benavides apparently donated most of his income to the poor people of Florida, Yucatan, Veracruz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
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Antonio Benavides Bazán y Molina
Antonio Benavides Gonzales de Molina
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Spanish Biographical Dictionary ID