Welcome to the History of Florida
Page 1
This page by Jerry Wilkinson

     (This is a sample and incomplete cybermuseum page. Remember to click on the image to enlarge and that a "photo is worth a thousand words," so pay attention to subtle details.     J.W.) 
     Not only did Florida look this that long ago, the Florida Keys did about 100,000 years ago and this is the approximate age of Key Largo Limestone and Miami Oolite. As the polar glacier reformed the seawater level dropped killing the corals. The ocean began rising about 15,000 years ago.
     Florida received its name when Ponce de Leon landed on its northeast coast in the spring of 1513. From the chart above one can follow his journey southward along the Florida east coast and past the Keys. According to Antonio Herrera, Ponce's biographer, he named the Keys "Los Matires", translated means the martyrs. 
     Most libraries will have a readable copy of this map. It is only presented to depict the geographical concept of Florida in early times. Theodor De Bry spent considerable time in the Jacksonville sketching the native Timucian Indians. 

This is one of  Theodor De Bry's sketches of the Timucians.
     Another map depicting the perceived size of Florida. The Spanish claimed from the Rio de Grande River to about the Cheasapeake Bay area. 
     The early history of Florida was strictly maritime and Native Americans. Ponce de Leon had discovered the northward flowing Gulf Stream and it became the maritime highway of the time. Frenchman, Jean Ribault established Fort Caroline on the banks of the St. Johns river in 1562, but it was later destroyed. The Spanish owned St. Augustine survived to be America's oldest surviving permanently settled community. 

Another later map showing the immense size of Spanish Florida. 
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