Events That Affected West Florida
Contributed by Laura Lee Scott
Source: West Florida Footprints, #12
Web page formerly maintained by Bernard Short
1559 -- Tristan de Luna Y Aellano settles on Pensacola Bay Fort abandoned 1561 1698 -- Andres de Arriola fortifies Pensacola 1719 -- After a great naval battle, Pensacola surrenders to France 1722 -- Spanish secure return of Pensacola and reoccupy, November 1763 -- At the close of the Seven Years War (French & Indian War), Britain gained control of Florida. Spanish evacuate. Settlers from Europe and the American colonies to the north began to move into the area. Provinces of East and West Florida were formed. 1764 -- First meeting of West Florida Council, November. Began by declaring all titles purchased from departing Spaniards void. Surveyor, Elias Durnford, prepares a plan for the city. Divides town into building and garden lots 1773-74 -- Botanist William Bartram explores Florida. 1775-83 -- Revolutionary War, Florida remains loyal to England. 1781 -- Bernado Galvez captures Pensacola, West Florida evacuated by British. 1783 -- Florida given to Spain by England in exchange for Bahamas and Gibraltar. Most British settlers leave. Spanish census of Pensacola. 1790 -- United States makes treaty with Creeks to return runaway slaves. 1795 -- Spain yields its claim to the northern part of West Florida. 1803 -- Louisiana Purchase, United States claims West Florida. 1810 -- Republic of West Florida proclaimed. 1812 -- War of 1812, United States declares war on England, June 18 United States annexed portions of West Florida to Louisiana and to the Mississippi Territory. 1813 -- British occupy Pensacola, Andrew Jackson drives them out. 1814 -- Treaty of Ghent Andrew Jackson occupies Pensacola, November 7-9. 1817-18 -- First Seminole War (Jackson's campaign). 1820 -- Spanish census of Pensacola. 1819-21 -- Adams-Onis Treaty. 1821 -- Andrew Jackson accepts Penasacola from Spaniards, July 17 Circuit courts in each county have jurisdiction over minor civil cases, probate, equity, guardianship, and felonies for each county. 1822 -- Florida organized as a territory. March 30. County judges keep probate, marriage, adminsitration, and guardian-ship records. 1824-26 -- Road built from St. Augustine to Pensacola. 1825 -- Authorization of Navy Yard and depot at Pensacola. 1826-1845 -- Construction of Navy Yard, Ft. Pickens, Ft. McRee & Ft. Barrancas. 1830 -- Florida's first Federal census. Indian removal begins. 1836-43 -- Second Seminole War. 1845 -- Florida becomes a state, March 3. Sections and townships laid out by the General Land Office. 1861 -- Col. William Chase authorized by Governor M. Perry to sieze the forts at Pensacola. January 8th. Florida seceded from the Union, January 10. Navy Yard at Pensacola surrendered to southern milita troops, Jan 12. Outbreak of Civil War, April 12 1862 -- Union troops seize Fort Pickens at Pensacola. Federal troops recieved the surrender of Pensacola, May 10. -- Pensacola city government goes into excile in Greenville, Alabama. City records hidden at Bluff Springs. 1865 -- Florida formally surrendered to Federal forces, May 20. Civil War over June. 1868 -- Florida readmitted to the Union, June 25. 1876 -- First burial at St. Johns Cemetery, August 10th. 1883 -- Railroad reaches Pensacola. Opera House, built by Daniel F. Sullivan, opens. 1889 -- State Board of Health established. 1898 -- Spanish American War. 1906 -- Hurricane. 1914 -- Naval Air Station established at Pensacola Banks in Pensacola collapse, February 2. 1916 & 1926 -- Hurricane, heavy destruction in Pensacola & Milton. Many records business records destroyed.