The twenty-seventh State admitted into the Union
; received its name from its discoverer in 1512 (see Ponce De Leon
). It was visited by Vasquez, another Spaniard, in 1520.
It is believed by some that Verrazani saw its coasts in 1524; and the same year a Spaniard named De Geray visited it. Its conquest was undertaken by Narvaez
, in 1528, and by De Soto
in 1539. Panfilo Narvaez
; Cabeza De Vaca
(q. v.), with several hundred young men from rich and noble families of Spain
landed at Tampa Bay
April 14, 1528, taking possession of the country for the King
In August they had reached St. Mark's at Appopodree Bay, but the ships they expected had not yet arrived.
They made boats by September 2, on which they embarked and sailed along shore to the Mississippi
All the company excepting Cabeza de Vaca
and three others perished.
In 1549, Louis Cancella
endeavored to establish a mission in Florida
but was driven away by the Indians, who killed most of the priests.
Twenty-six Huguenots under John Ribault
had made a settlement at Port Royal
, but removed to the mouth of St. John's River
, where they were soon reinforced by several hundred Huguenots with their families.
They erected a fort which they named Fort Carolina
with 2,500 men reached the coast of Florida
on St. Augustine
's day, and marched against the Huguenot settlement.
's vessels were wrecked, and Melendez attacked the fort, captured it and massacred 900 men, women, and children.
Upon the ruins of the fort Melendez reared a cross with this inscription: “Not as to Frenchmen, but as Lutherans.”
When the news of the massacre reached France
, Dominic de Gourges
determined to avenge the same, and with 150 men sailed for Florida
, captured the fort on the St. John's River
, and hanged the entire garrison, having affixed this inscription above them: “Not as to Spaniards, but as murderers.”
Being too weak to attack St. Augustine
returned to France
The city of St. Augustine
was founded in 1565, and was captured by Sir Francis Drake
The domain of Florida
, in those times, extended indefinitely westward, and included Louisiana
visited the western portion in 1682, and in 1696 Pensacola
was settled by Spaniards.
At the beginning of the eighteenth century the English
in the Carolinas attacked the Spaniards at St. Augustine
; and, subsequently, the Georgians, under Oglethorpe
, made war upon them.
By the treaty of Paris
, in 1763, Florida
was exchanged by the Spaniards, with Great Britain
, for Cuba
, which had then recently been conquered by England
Soon afterwards, they divided the territory into east
and west Florida
, the Appalachicola River
being the boundary line.
Natives of Greece
, and Minorca were induced to settle there, at a place called New Smyrna, about 60 miles south of St. Augustine
, to the number of
1,500, where they engaged in the cultivation of indigo and the sugar-cane; but, becoming dissatisfied with their employers, they removed to St. Augustine
During the Revolutionary War
the trade of the Southern
colonies was seriously interfered with by pirates fitted out in Florida
, and the British
incited the Indians in that region to make war on the Americans
invaded west Florida
, and captured the garrison at Baton Rouge
, in 1779; and in May, 1781, they seized Pensacola
By the treaty of 1783, Florida
was retroceded to Spain
, and the western boundary was defined, when a greater part of the inhabitants emigrated to the United States
When, in 1803, Louisiana
was ceded to the United States
, it was declared to be ceded with the same extent that it had in the hands of Spain
, and as it had been ceded by Spain
This gave the United States
a claim to the country west of the Perdido River
, and the government took possession of it in 1811.
Some irritation ensued.
In the war with Great Britain
(1812), the Spanish
authorities at Pensacola
favored the English
An expedition against the Americans
having been fitted out there, General Jackson
captured that town.
Again, in 1818, it was captured by Jackson
, but subsequently returned to Spain
was purchased from Spain
by the United States
in 1819, and was surrendered to the latter in July, 1821.
Emigration then began to flow into the Territory
, in spite of many obstacles.
In 1835 a distressing warfare broke out between the fierce Seminole Indians
(q. v.), who inhabited some of the better portions of Florida
, and the government of the United States
, and continued until 1842, when the Ind-
Scene of the murder of the Huguenots by Melendez.|
ians were subdued, though not thoroughly conquered.
was admitted into the Union
as a State on March 8, 1845.
Inhabitants of the State
joined in the war against the government, a secession ordinance having been passed Jan. 10, 1861, by a convention assembled on the 3d.
Forts and arsenals and the navy-yard at Pensacola
were seized by the Confederates
The State authorities continued hostilities until the close of the war. On July 13, 1865, William Marvin
was appointed provisional governor of the State
, and on Oct. 28 a State convention, held at Tallahassee
, repealed the ordinance of secession.
The civil authority was transferred by the national government to the provisional State officers in January, 1866, and, under the reorganization measures of Congress, Florida
was made a part of the 3d Military District, in 1867.
A new constitution was ratified by the people in May, 1868, and, after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the national Constitution, on June 14, Florida
was recognized as a reorganized State of the Union
The government was transferred to the State
officers on July 4.
In 1899 the assessed (full cash value) valuation of taxable property was $93,527,353, and in 1900 the total bonded debt was $1,275,000, of which all excepting $322,500 was held in various.
The population in 1890 was 391,422; in 1900, 528,542.
Don Tristan de Luna
sailed from Vera Cruz, Mexico
, Aug. 14, 1559, with 1,500 soldiers, many zealous friars who wished to convert the heathen, and many women and children, families of the soldiers.
He landed near the site of Pensacola
, and a week afterwards a terrible storm destroyed all his vessels and strewed the shores with their fragments.
He sent an exploring party into the interior.
They travelled forty days through a barren and almost uninhabited country, and found a
deserted Indian village, but not a trace of the wealth with which it was supposed Florida
Constructing a vessel sufficient to bear messengers to the viceroy of Mexico
, De Luna
sent them to ask for aid to return.
Two vessels were sent by the viceroy, and, two years after his departure, De Luna
returned to Mexico
returned to Georgia
(1736) he discovered a hostile feeling among the Spaniards at St. Augustine
They had tried to incite the Indians against the new settlements, and also to procure the assassination of Oglethorpe
The latter, not fairly prepared to resist an invasion, sent a messenger to St. Augustine
to invite the Spanish
conmandant to a friendly conference.
He explored some of the coast islands and prepared for fortification.
His messenger did not return, and he proceeded to secure possession of the country so far as its defined boundary permitted him. His hostile preparations made the Spaniards
vigilant, and even threaten war; and when, in 1739, there was war between England
, he determined to strike the Spaniards at St. Augustine
a heavy blow before they were fully prepared to resist it. He penetrated Florida
with a small force and captured some outposts early in 1740; and in May he marched towards St. Augustine
with 600 regular troops, 400 Carolina militia, and a large body of friendly Indians
With these he stood before St. Augustine
in June, after capturing two forts, and demanded the instant surrender of the post.
It was refused, and Oglethorpe
determined to starve the garrison by a close investment.
The town was surrendered, and a small squadron blockaded the harbor.
Swiftsailing galleys ran the weak blockade and supplied the fort.
had no cannon and could not breach the walls.
In the heats of summer malaria invaded his camp, the siege was raised, and he returned to Savannah
Hostilities were then suspended for about two years.
In the summer of 1776 a citizen of Georgia
visited General Charles Lee
and persuaded him that St. Augustine
could easily be taken.
The man was a stranger, but, without further inquiry, Lee
announced to the Continental
troops under his command that he had planned for them a safe, sure, and remunerative expedition, of which the very large booty would be all their own. Calling it a secret, he let everybody know its destination.
Witharation without a field-piece or a medicine-chest, he hastily marched off the Virginia
and North Carolina
troops, in August, to the malarious regions of Georgia
By his order, Howe
, of North Carolina
, and Moultrie
, of South Carolina
, soon followed.
About 460 men from South Carolina
were sent to Savannah
by water, with two field-pieces; and on the 18th, Lee
, after reviewing the collected
troops, sent the Virginians and a portion of the South Carolinians to Sunbury
The fever made sad havoc among them, and fourteen or fifteen men were buried daily.
sought to shift from himself to Moultrie
the further conduct of the expedition, for he saw it must be disastrous.
warned him that no available resources which would render success possible had been provided, and the wretched expedition was then abandoned.
Fortunately for his reputation Lee
was ordered North early in September and joined Washington
on Harlem Heights
See Lee, Charles
Tory refugees from Georgia
acquired considerable influence over the Creek Indians
, and from east Florida
, especially from St. Augustine
, made predatory excursions among their former neighbors.
Gen. Robert Howe
, commanding the Southern Department, in 1778, was ordered from Charleston
to protect the Georgians and attack St. Augustine
A considerable body of troops led by Howe
, and accompanied by General Houstoun
, of Georgia
, penetrated as far as the St. Mary's River
, where sickness, loss of draught-horses, and disputes about command checked the expedition and caused it to be abandoned.
The refugees in Florida
retaliated by an invasion in their turn.
In the summer of that year two bodies of armed men, composed of regulars and refugees, made a rapid incursion into Georgia
from east Florida
—one in boats through the inland navigation, the other overland by way of the Altamaha River
The first party advanced to Sunbury
and summoned the fort to surrender.
, its commander, replied, “Come and take it.”
The enterprise was abandoned.
The other corps pushed on towards Savannah
, but was met by about 100 militia, with whom they skirmished.
In one of these General Scriven
, who commanded the Americans
, was mortally wounded.
At near Ogeechee Ferry the invaders were
repulsed by General Elbert
with 200 Continental soldiers.
Hearing of the repulse at Sunbury
, they also retreated.
, the Spanish
governor of New Orleans, took measures in 1779 to establish the claim of Spain
to the territory east of the Mississippi
He invaded west Florida
with 1,400 men, Spanish regulars, American volunteers, and colored people.
He took Fort Bute, at Pass Manshac (September, 1779), and then went against Baton Rouge
, where the British
had 400 regulars and 100 militia.
The post speedily surrendered, as did also Fort Panmure
, recently built at Natchez
A few months later he captured Mobile
, leaving Pensacola
the only port of west Florida
in possession of the British
On May 9, in the following year, Don Galvez
took possession of Pensacola
, capturing or driving away the British
there, and soon afterwards completed the conquest of the whole of west Florida
The success of Napoleon's arms in Spain
and the impending peril to the Spanish
monarchy gave occasion for revolutionary movements in the Spanish
province of west Florida
bordering on the Mississippi
early in 1810.
That region undoubtedly belonged to the United States
as a part of Louisiana
bought from the
, but Spain
had refused to relinquish it. The inhabitants were mostly of British or American birth.
Early in the autumn of 1810 they seized the fort at Baton Rouge
, met in convention, and proclaimed themselves independent, adopting a single star for their flag, as the Texans
did in 1836.
There were some conflicts between the revolutionists and adherents of the Spanish
connection, and an attack upon the insurgents seemed imminent from the Spanish
garrison at Mobile
, governor of the Mississippi Territory
, the revolutionists applied to the United States
for recognition and aid. They claimed all the unlocated lands in the domain, pardon for all deserters from the United States army (of whom there were many among them), and an immediate loan of $100,000.
Instead of complying with these requirements, the President
issued a proclamation for taking possession of the east bank of the Mississippi
, an act which had been delayed because of conciliatory views towards Spain
, governor of the Orleans Territory
, then in Washington
, was sent in haste to take possession, authorized, in case of resistance, to call upon the regular troops stationed on the Mississippi
, and upon the militia of the two adjoining Territories.
It was not necessary.
Soon after this movement at Baton Rouge
a man named Kemper
, who purported to act under the Florida
insurgents, approached Mobile
, with some followers, to attempt the capture of the garrison.
He was repulsed; but the alarmed Spanish governor wrote to the American
authorities that if he were not speedily reinforced he should be disposed to treat for the transfer of the entire province.
Congress passed an act authorizing the President
to take possession of both east
and west Florida
to prevent its falling into the hands of another foreign power.
Thus it might be held subject to future peaceful negotiations with Spain
, it will be remembered, was divided into two provinces, east and west.
The boundary-line was the Perdido River
, east of Mobile Bay
coveted east Florida
, and in the spring of 1812 Brig.-Gen. George Mathews
, of the Georgia
militia, who had been appointed a commissioner, under an act of a secret session of Congress in 1810-11, to secure that province should it be offered to the United States
, stirred up an insurrection there.
(q. v.), lying a little below the dividing line between Georgia
, was chosen for a base of operations.
The fine harbor of its capital, Fernandina
, was a place of great resort for smugglers during the days of the embargo, and, as neutral ground, might be made a dangerous place.
The possession of the island and harbor was therefore important to the Americans
, and a sought — for pretext for seizing it was soon found.
insurgents planted the standard of revolt, March, 1812, on the bluff opposite the town of St. Mary
, on the border line.
Some United States
gunboats under Commodore Campbell
were in the St. Mary's River
, and Mathews
had some United States troops at his command near.
The insurgents, 220 in number, sent a flag of truce, March 17, to Fernandina
, demanding the surrender of the town and island.
About the same time the American gunboats appeared there.
The authorities bowed in submission, and General Mathews
, assuming the character of a protector, took possession of the place in the name of the United States
At the same time the commodore assured the Spanish
governor that the gunboats were there only for aid and protection to a large portion of the population, who thought proper to declare themselves independent.
On the 19th the town was formally given up to the United States
authorities; a custom-house was established; the floating property in the harbor was considered under the protection of the United States
flag, and smuggling ceased.
The insurgent band, swelled to 800 by reinforcements from Georgia
, and accompanied by troops furnished by General Mathews
, besieged the Spanish
garrison at St. Augustine
, for it was feared the British
might help the Spaniards in recovering what they had lost in the territory.
The United States government would not countenance this kind of filibustering, and Mathews
was superseded as commissioner, April 10, 1812, by Governor Mitchell
, of Georgia
, professing to believe Congress would sanction Mathews
's proceedings, made no change in policy.
Representatives did actually pass a bill, in secret session, June 21, authorizing the President
to take possession of east Florida
The Senate rejected it, for it would have been unwise to quarrel with Spain
at the moment when war was about to be declared against Great Britain
's invasion of Florida
and his capture of Pensacola
caused much political debate in and out of Congress.
By some he was much censured, by others praised.
The United States government
In a Florida Swamp.|
upheld him, and the Secretary of State
, John Q. Adams
, made an able plea of justification, on the ground of the wellknown interference of the Spanish
authorities in Florida
in American affairs, and the giving of shelter to British subjects inciting the Indians to make war. It was thought the British
government would take notice of the summary execution of Arbuthnot
(see Seminole War
); but it took the ground that British subjects, meddling in the affairs of a foreign nation, must take the consequences.
and the Spanish
minister, Don Onis
, had been in correspondence for some time concerning the settlement of the Florida
question and the western boundary of the United States
next to the Spanish
Finally, pending discussion in Congress on Jackson
's vigorous proceedings in Florida
, the Spanish
minister, under new instructions from home, signed a treaty, Feb. 22, 1819, for the cession of Florida
, on the extinction of the various American claims for spoliation, for the satisfaction of which the United States
agreed to pay to the claimants $5,000,000. The Louisiana
boundary, as fixed by the treaty, was a compromise between the respective offers heretofore made, though leaning a good deal towards the American
It was agreed that the Sabine
to lat. 33° N., thence a north meridian line to the Red River
, the course of that river to long.
100° W., thence north by that meridian to
the Arkansas River
to its head and to lat. 42° N., and along that degree to the Pacific Ocean
, should be the boundary between the possessions of the United States
treaty was immediately ratified by the United States Senate, and, in expectation of a speedy ratification by Spain
, an act was passed to authorize the President
to take possession of the newly ceded territory.
But there was great delay in the Spanish
It did not take place until early in 1821.
The ratified treaty was received by the President
Before the Florida
ordinance of secession was passed Florida
troops seized, Jan. 6, 1861, the Chattahoochee arsenal, with 500,000 rounds of musket cartridges, 300,000 rifle cartridges, and 50,000 lbs. of gunpowder.
They also took possession of Fort Marion
, at St. Augustine
, formerly the Castle of St. Mark
, which was built by the Spaniards more than 100 years before.
It contained an arsenal.
On the 15th they seized the United States coast survey schooner F. W. Dana
, and appropriated it to their own use. The Chattahoochee arsenal was in charge of the courageous Sergeant Powell
and three men. He said, “Five minutes ago I was in command of this arsenal, but in consequence of the weakness of my command, I am obliged to surrender. . . . If I had force equal to, or half the strength of yours, I'll be d—--d if you would have entered that gate until you had passed over my dead body.
You see that I have but three men. I now consider myself a prisoner of war. Take my sword, Captain Jones
Anxious to establish an independent empire on the borders of the Gulf of Mexico
politicians met in convention early in January, 1861, at Tallahassee
, the State
was chosen chairman of the convention, and Bishop Rutledge
invoked the blessing of the Almighty upon the acts they were about to perform.
The members numbered sixty-nine, and about one-third of them were “Co-operationists” (see Mississippi
). The legislature of Florida
, fully prepared to co-operate with the convention, had convened at the same place on the 5th.
On the 10th the convention adopted an ordinance of secession, by a vote of 62 against 7.
In its preamble it was declared that “all hopes of preserving the Union
upon terms consistent with the safety and honor of the slaveholding States” had been “fully dissipated.”
It was further declared that by the ordinance Florida
had withdrawn from the Union
and become “a sovereign and independent nation.”
On the following day the ordinance was signed, while bells rang and cannon thundered to signify the popular joy. The news was received by the Florida
representatives in Congress at Washington
; but, notwithstanding the State
had withdrawn from the Union
, they remained in their seats, for reasons given in a letter to Joseph Finnegan
, written by Senator David L. Yulee
from his desk in the Senate chamber
. “It seemed to be the opinion,” he said, “that if we left here, force, loan, and volunteer bills might be passed, which would put Mr. Lincoln
in immediate condition for hostilities; whereas, by remaining in our places until the 4th of March, it is thought we can keep the hands of Mr. Buchanan
tied, and disable the Republicans from effecting any legislation which will strengthen the hands of the incoming administration.”
Senators from other States wrote similar letters under their official franks.
The convention was addressed by L. W. Spratt
, of South Carolina
, an eminent advocate for reopening the African slavetrade.
Delegates were appointed to a general convention to assemble at Montgomery, Ala.
, and other measures were taken to secure the sovereignty of Florida
The legislature authorized the emission of treasury notes to the amount of $500,000, and defined the crime of treason against the State
to be, in one form, the holding of office under the national government in case of actual collision between the State
and government troops, punishable with death.
The governor of the State
) had previously made arrangements to seize the United States
forts, navy-yard, and other government property in Florida
In the early part of the Civil War
the national military and naval forces under General Wright
and Commodore Dupont
made easy conquests on the coast of Florida
In February, 1862, they
captured Fort Clinch
, on Amelia Island
, which the Confederates
had seized, and drove the Confederates
Other posts were speedily abandoned, and a flotilla of gunboats, under Lieut. T. H. Stevens
, went up the St. John's River
, and captured Jacksonville
, March 11.
was taken possession of about the same time by Commander C. R. P. Rogers
, and the alarmed Confederates abandoned Pensacola
and the fortifications opposite Fort Pickens
Before the middle of April the whole Atlantic coast from Cape Hatteras
to Perdido Bay
, west of Fort Pickens
and its vicinity), had been abandoned by the Confederates
See United States, Florida