For the past two decades, under the able direction of Elizabeth Alexander, the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History has engaged in an aggressive program to collect, catalogue, and calendar primary materials bearing on the two Spanish periods of Florida history. Now with this handsome pamphlet, the library has launched a series of occasional research papers to highlight the richness of its holdings on Spanish Florida.

In this study, Engel Sluiter analyzes the Florida subsidy (situado) for 81 years, 1571-1651. He first provides a well-documented, succinct nine-page history of the situado, those funds sent from Mexico for the military defense of Florida, gifts to the Indians, and support of the Franciscan friars serving in that inhospitable frontier region. A detailed table for this epoch listing the subsidy year, initial grant allocation, payment period, date and amount actually remitted, and purpose of the subsidy payments rounds out the study. Remarkably, only ten years are missing from the table for the 81 years in question—remarkable because so many of the Contaduría records for Mexico in the AGI were so badly burned and washed in the 1924 fire. Interestingly, Sluiter’s findings are revisionist. Contrary to traditional interpretations or the evidence to be gleaned from the correspondence, he shows that the situado was usually delivered on time and usually in the amounts prescribed by law. In sum, this is a valuable work which illuminates a bit of the history of early Spanish Florida and demonstrates how rewarding research in the holdings of the P. K. Yonge Library can be. Scholars and aficionados of early Floridiana can only welcome this new series with great enthusiasm. Engel Sluiter has set a high standard for it.