The last decades of the sixteenth century were times of administrative
changes, natural and military disasters, and social experimentation
for St. Augustinians. In 1572 the town itself was moved from Anastasia
Island to its present location, partly because of the disastrous
erosion of the Island site, and partly because the Timucua in the
immediate vicinity of St. Augustine were largely pacified. After
Menéndez's death in 1574, Florida's administration was turned
over to his heirs, who mismanaged the colony's governance and finances.
As a consequence, St. Augustine became a crown colony in 1576, and
Pedro Menendéz de Aviles' nephew, Pedro Menéndez Marquez,
was appointed by the crown as governor, accountable to the King.
This was no longer a struggling military outpost, but was by now
a Spanish colonial town community with an increasing sense of stability,
and a growing number of families who developed their own, uniquely
Floridian strategies for surviving in the face of adversity.