Portrait of Stephen “Don Esteban” Minor
From the outset of the American Revolution, Spain was an important ally to the revolutionary cause. Spain provided soldiers and sailors, uniforms, equipment, and money. Like France, Spain’s support was unofficial at first. Using their international merchant networks, Spain sent supplies and money to America through a variety of fake companies to hide their activities. In 1779, Spain allied with France against Great Britain.
At the same time that Spain openly joined the American war in 1779, Pennsylvania-born Stephen Minor, along with a handful of other Americans, joined the Spanish Army in Louisiana. Minor fought with the Spanish in the campaign to retake Florida from the British in 1780 and 1781. For his service during the Siege of Pensacola in the spring of 1781, he was made a captain in the Spanish forces. After the war he settled in Mississippi, becoming a wealthy landholder, a Spanish commissioner, bank president, and the last Spanish governor of Natchez before it was ceded to the United States in 1798.
Stephen “Don Esteban” Minor"
Attributed to William Edward West
New Orleans, Louisiana
Oil on canvas
Museum of the American Revolution, gift of IBERDROLA