Florida Guide > Florida History
A Florida Timeline: the middle years.
So now we come to the second part of the history of Florida and here we shall cover the time from Ponce De Leon landing in 1513 to 1858 when the Seminole wars resulted in the forcing out of Florida most of the Native American population.
1513 was a very important year in the history of Florida for that is when the explorer called Ponce De Leon landed, This was probably in St Augustine but this is not proved beyond doubt. Ponce promptly named what we now know as America Florida; not because it is laden with flowers (it is not) but after the religious festival of Pasera Florida (feast of flowers) On this occasion, he was shooed off by the Native American and we shall see later why he should have taken fair warning from this.
1519 is when the first mention of another important person in the history of Florida is mentioned. This is one Hernando De Soto and he sailed into Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers and religious leaders. Once again the Native American saw them off and the remaining troops fled to Mexico.
1564 saw French settlers occupy the area round the mouth of The St John River near Jacksonville.
1565 The Spanish now occupied most of Florida. They create Catholic missions and build forts.
1702 The missions between South Carolina and St Augustine are destroyed by Creek Indians and the English.
1756 The 7 year war begins which results in Spain exchanging Cuba for Florida with the English. We divided Florida into 2 parts and these became the 14th and 15th British colonies in The Americas.
1776 The American Revolution starts: Florida remained loyal to Great Britain throughout.
1786 A peace treaty was formed that meant that Spain regained control of Florida from the British.
1813 The Creek Indian War was fought and the result was that The Creeks forfeited the south east area of Florida.
1845 Florida became the 27th State in The United States of America.
1858 The Seminole Wars mean that the Native American is all but driven out of Florida. What a sad fate for these hardworking, resourceful people who had called Florida home for almost 13000 years.
And that seems a good place to leave this most interesting timeline of the history of Florida and in the next section we will explore how the population grows exponentially and how tourism makes its first baby steps in this, The Sunshine State!
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