Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bradenton folks share lineage of noble Floridano

Ever heard of Francisco Xavier Sanchez?
Probably not.
But you should know who he was and what he represented, especially for a family of his descendants.
They include Bradenton folks, who number 10 generations, some of whom visited his gravemarker last weekend at the Tolomato Cemetery in St. Augustine, America's oldest city.
Born in Spanish East Florida, Sanchez (1738-1807) was one of the state's most successful planters whose career endured turbulent times under the flags of Spain and England.
Sanchez is the only known Patriot born in Spanish East Florida who served in that territory, which Spain ceded to the U.S. in 1821.
Among his descendants are: Rick Sheffield, an eighth great grandson,  his son, Travis, a ninth great grandson, Asaph Graham, another ninth great grandson, and Anthony Quandt, a 10th great grandson.
There were other Americans who benefited by this noble Floridano.
When Spain joined the colonies against England in 1779, the British imprisoned Spaniards and colonials in the St. Augustine fortress Castillo de San Marcos during the Revolution. It was called Fort St. Mark under British rule.
Sanchez provided prisoners with clothing and food.
Among them?
Thomas Heyward Jr., Arthur Middleton and Edward Rutledge --- all signees of the Declaration of Independence.
Francisco Xavier Sanchez died destitute, but his legacy lives on as an ancestor for the Sons of the American Revolution, Bradenton folks included.

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