The History of Margaret’s Walk Born to a lineage that traces back to the noble Setons of Barnes and Parbroath of Scotland, Margaret Seton was at the heart of a family intertwined with the tumultuous history of America in its formative years. The Seton legacy is intertwined with revolutionary war tales, land ownership sagas, and dramatic episodes that echo the soul of the nation during its early days. Charles Seton and the Spanish Florida Adventure Charles Seton, otherwise known as “Don Carlos Seton” in Spanish-Florida, was a man of adventure. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1776 to Andrew and Margaret Seton, his family had fled from Long Island to Brooklyn during the American Revolution. These Setons were of Scottish descent, prominent figures in their community. As Charles grew, he ventured through Europe, traversed Spain, and reached the coast of Africa, broadening his horizons. But it was in Spanish Florida where his destiny would take a dramatic turn. Arriving in 1811 when Spain still ruled the territory, Charles and his father, Andrew, settled in. Charles would, however, face treason charges against Spain due to his loyalty to the United States. As a result, his properties were auctioned off by the Spanish crown. In 1812, Charles married Matilda Sibbald. The union bore two children, George and Margaret Seton. They settled in Fernandina, a region marred by strife between the Americans and the Spanish. But despite this, Charles thrived, building George Plantation and a sawmill. In 1820, he even became Fernandina’s first American mayor, while also being an active Mason. Trials, Triumphs, and Tragedies Charles’s life was a series of ups and downs. He got wounded in 1813 during the War of 1812-1814 and would bear that injury until his death in 1836. Margaret, his daughter, remained in Florida, wedding Lewis Fleming, a member of another esteemed Florida family. Margaret’s life, though, was anything but calm. During the Civil War, as her sons fought for the Confederate, she and her daughters were accused of being “Confederate spies” and were expelled from their Hibernia Plantation by Union troops. The family returned post-war to find their house ransacked. However, the resilient Flemings rebuilt it, transforming it into the “Fleming House Hotel”. Margaret’s Legacy and the Flemings’ Future Margaret passed away in 1878. Her legacy, though, lived on through her children. Francis Phillip Fleming, one of Margaret’s sons, became Florida’s 15th Governor in 1889. The family continued to operate the Fleming House Hotel until the 1920s. Sadly, today, only Margaret Seton Fleming’s private chapel and the family cemetery remain of the original Hibernia Plantation. A great read into the story of Margaret and the history of Margaret’s Walk read “Margaret’s Story” by Eugenia Price. Sources: “An Old Family or the Setons of Scotland and America”, by Monseignor Robert Seton, Bretano’s, New York, 1899; biographical excerpt, Dena Snodgrass, Seton Family Papers, Box 1.