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St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Sons of St. Augustine

 
 
Sons of St. Augustine Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
1. Sons of St. Augustine Marker
Inscription.  These statues tell the story of two residents of the Segui Kirby Smith House. Edmund Kirby Smith (right) was born in this house in 1826 and Alexander H. Darnes (left) a slave of the Smith's was born ca. 1846.

E. K. Smith graduated from West Point in 1845 and served in the Mexican War and on the expedition that set the U.S.-Mexican border. Smith served in the 2nd. U.S. Cavalry, primarily in Texas. In 1856 Smith chose Darnes to be his personal servant. When Smith resigned his position and joined the Confederate Army in 1861, Darnes continued to serve in that role. Smith commanded forces in several states, eventually becoming the Commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department. On May 26, 1865 he became the last Confederate full general to surrender. Near the end of the war, Smith sent Darnes, with the general's personal belongings, to Edmund's wife and children in Virginia.

Darnes continued to serve the Smith family as a freedman until 1867. He attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania earning both a bachelor's and master's degree. He attended Howard University medical school and became a physician in 1880. He moved to Jacksonville
Marker detail: Alexander Darnes sculpture image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Alexander Darnes sculpture
Edmund Kirby Smith's great-granddaughter, Maria C. Kirby-Smith, sculpted the Sons of St. Augustine in 2003 and donated the piece to the St. Augustine Historical Society.
and was the first black physician to practice in Florida. Darnes was praised for his work during smallpox and yellow fever epidemics. When he died in 1894, his obituary stated that he was universally esteemed by all who knew him.

After the Civil War, Smith was the Chancellor of the University of Nashville and president of the Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company. He then became Professor of Mathematics at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and taught there until his death in 1893.

The statues represent the two men in their postwar lives; Darnes with his medical bag and Smith in his academic gown.
 
Erected by St. Augustine Historical Society.
 
Location. 29° 53.485′ N, 81° 18.709′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in St. Johns County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Aviles Street and Artillery Lane, on the right when traveling south. Marker and subject sculpture are located in the Segui-Kirby Smith House courtyard, accessible from Aviles Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12 Aviles Street, Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Segui-Kirby Smith House (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named The Segui-Kirby Smith House (a few steps from this marker); The Ximenez-Fatio House
Marker detail: Edmund Kirby Smith sculpture image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Edmund Kirby Smith sculpture
The pair of bronze statues of Darnes and Smith is entitled “The Sons of St. Augustine.”
(within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Ximenez-Fatio House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Ximenez-Fatio House (within shouting distance of this marker); Solana House (within shouting distance of this marker); Nuestra Seρora de los Remedios (within shouting distance of this marker); 31 King Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Augustine.
 
Also see . . .
1. Edmund Kirby Smith (Wikipedia). On June 2, 1865, Smith surrendered his army at Galveston, Texas, the last general with a major field force. He quickly escaped to Mexico and then to Cuba to avoid arrest for treason. His wife negotiated his return during the period when the federal government offered amnesty to those who would take an oath of loyalty. After the war, Smith worked in the telegraph and railway industries. He served as a college professor of mathematics and botany at the University of the South in Tennessee. (Submitted on December 17, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Alexander Darnes (Wikipedia).
Sons of St. Augustine Marker • <i>wide view<br>(sculpture in background)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
4. Sons of St. Augustine Marker • wide view
(sculpture in background)
After the war and emancipation of slaves, Darnes gained an education, aided by Frances Smith Webster, daughter of his first household, earning his medical degree from Howard University in 1880. He returned to Florida, settling in Jacksonville. In 1888 Darnes served residents during a terrible yellow fever epidemic, when half the population fled the city. Darnes was well respected, an officer of the Freemasons and member of the Mt. Zion AME Church. Some 3,000 people, both black and white, attended his funeral, the largest in city history to that time. In 2004 a statue, Sons of St. Augustine, was erected at the Sequi-Kirby Smith House, showing both Darnes and Kirby Smith as adults in later life. It was the first piece of public art in the city to honor an African American. (Submitted on December 17, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansScience & MedicineWar, Mexican-AmericanWar, US Civil
 
Sons of St. Augustine Sculpture<br>Alexander H. Darnes, M.D. (<i>left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
5. Sons of St. Augustine Sculpture
Alexander H. Darnes, M.D. (left)
Sons of St. Augustine Sculpture<br>Prof. Edmund Kirby Smith (<i>right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
6. Sons of St. Augustine Sculpture
Prof. Edmund Kirby Smith (right)
Sons of St. Augustine Sculpture Inscription image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, December 17, 2019
7. Sons of St. Augustine Sculpture Inscription
Alexander H. Darnes, M.D.
Jacksonville, FL
ca. 1840-1894

Prof. Edmund Kirby Smith
University of the South, Sewanee, TN
1824-1893
 

More. Search the internet for Sons of St. Augustine.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 17, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on December 17, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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