This house in downtown St. Augustine currently acts as the Research Library for the St. Augustine Historical Society. Bernardo Segui built the coquina house there around 1805. Bernardo Segui was a baker and supplied Spanish troops.
In the American Territorial Period, Superior Court Judge Joseph Lee Smith from Connecticut rented this house. His wife, Frances, was an ardent Confederate sympathizer and was exiled from town by Union forces. Their son, Edmund Kirby Smith, was the last Confederate general to surrender forces, approximately two months after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
Alexander Darnes, born into slavery and once the personal valet of Edmund Kirby-Smith, became Jacksonville’s first African American physician. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and his medical degree from Howard University in 1880.
The Free Public Library of St. Augustine occupied this space before the Historical Society’s Research Library. In the courtyard stands a bronze sculpture depicting Dr. Alexander Darnes and General Edmund Kirby Smith, both born in the Segui-Kirby Smith House.
The home was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1955, and these drawings are available on the Library of Congress website.