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Letter to Editor

Letter to the Editor: Pre-U.S. Settlement In America by Greeks

December 18, 2017

To the Editor:

Thank you for the op-ed piece “No Greeks Need Apply” (Aug. 12) by Andrew S. Gounardes and Maria AvgitidisPyrgiotakis, of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, and Hellenic Professional Women, respectively, but I would like to add that the authors forgot to mention that there was earlier settlement of Greeks even before the United States existed.

Dr. Andrew Turnbull, aScottish physician who later served as a British Consul at Smyrna, organized the largest attempt at British colonization in the New World by founding New Smyrna, FL, named for his Greek wife’s birthplace, in 1768.

Turnbull was married to Maria Gracia Dura Bin, the daughter of a Greek merchant from Smyrna in Asia Minor. The colony was located in the province of British East Florida, and was 101,400 acres,almost three times the size of the colony at Jamestown.The St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in St. Augustine, FL is dedicated to the first colony of Greek people who came to America in 1768. The settlers moved north to St. Augustine and established a church, even older than the one in New Orleans.

Soula Z. Pappas

New York, NY

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