ADA Compliance
The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.

Consumer Confidence Report
The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing clean and safe drinking water. For the previous year's sampling results please click here. To notify the city regarding water treatment concerns contact: Patrick Timoney, Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, Phn: 904.825.1044, Fax: 904.823-2280, Email:; or, or write the City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.

Great Floridians 2000

(Thomas) Buckingham Smith

(1810 - 1871)

In 1820, upon his father's appointment as U.S. Consul to Mexico, Thomas Buckingham Smith moved to St. Augustine with his mother and younger sister. He had been born a decade earlier at nearby Cumberland Island, Georgia. In 1826 Josiah Smith died in Mexico, leaving his son to become a ward of his uncle who educated him. In 1836 Buckingham Smith graduated from Harvard Law School and for a short time practiced law in Maine.

He returned to St. Augustine to practice law and in 1839-40 served as secretary to Gov. Raymond Reid. Smith served a term on the city council and, in 1841, a term in the Florida Territorial Legislature. He acted as a candidate to the Democratic convention in 1864. His last political office was in 1868 when he accepted an appointment as tax commissioner in Florida. In 1870, he relocated to his New York City residence, and the following January he died of a stroke. He is buried in St. Augustine’s Huguenot Cemetery in the family plot with his mother Hannah Smith and sister (Hannah) Anita Amelia Porter.

His two most significant roles have had lasting effects on St. Augustine. Intermittently, from 1850 until 1868, he held Foreign Service offices in Mexico and Spain. During these years, he fastidiously researched early American history, particularly with a focus on Spanish settlements in Florida. He translated numerous documents from Spanish or Portuguese to English and authored several important publications. These include: The Narrative of Alvar Nunez Cabeca de Vaca (1851) and Narratives of Career of Hernando de Soto in the Conquest of Florida, as told by a Knight of Elvas (1866) and numerous others.

Although Buckingham Smith and his mother were slave owners and operated plantations, Smith staunchly supported the Union in the Civil War. His will provided a life estate in his local property to one of his former slaves and cash to others. In accordance with his wishes, the remainder of his estate became The Buckingham Smith Benevolent Association, a corporation the mission of which is to benefit the black people of St. Augustine and their successors in all time to come. This fund continues to operate and is partly responsible for recent nursing home construction in the city.

Marker location
Huguenot Cemetery on Castillo Drive

Web site for the Memorial Presbyterian Church, warden of the Huguenot Cemetery



< Return to Great Floridians


< Return Home