Prof. Mirow Publishes Chapter on St. Augustine’s Constitutional Monument

M.C. Mirow has published “Translating into Stone: The Monument to the Constitution of Cadiz in Saint Augustine, Florida” in Translations in Times of Disruption: An Interdisciplinary Study in Transnational Contexts 101-117 (David Hook and Graciela Iglesias-Rogers, eds., London: Palgrave Macmillan). DOI 10.1057/978-1-137-58334-5_5; ISBN 978-1-137-58334-5. He provided the following abstract:

St. Augustine, Florida, most likely has the only surviving monument to the Constitution of Cádiz erected during the first promulgation of the Constitution in the Spanish Empire. Constructed in 1813 and 1814, the monument was the most expensive public work in the city, then the capital of the Spanish province of East Florida. The monument was highly successful attempt to translate the Constitution into stone as a way of marking this city’s constitutional and imperial compliance. The chapter addresses the monument’s construction, projection, and unusual survival through constitutional and absolutist periods. The origin of the Masonic square and compass on one tablet of the monument continues as a topic of debate. When the region became a territory of the United States in 1821, it is likely that the subject of the monument was easily shifted from the Constitution of Cádiz to the United States Constitution. This chapter addresses the monument’s history and symbolism as well as the political conflicts that led to its construction. Minutes of the proceedings of the city council (cabildo constitucional) reveal that the monument was just one part of an attempt to establish an entrenched constitutional regime in the city and region. Leaders of the community worked swiftly to create required constitutional institutions, and a deputy was selected and sent to Cádiz in 1813 to represent the interests of St. Augustine.


Professor Mirow is a founding faculty of FIU College of Law and member of the Florida Bar. He publishes on legal history and property. To read Prof. Mirow’s works, visit his Selected Works gallery