Skip to content
Tara S. Gree, Clerk of Court and Comptroller of Clay County, FL
Clerk of Court and Comptroller of Clay County, FL Clerk of Court and Comptroller of Clay County, FL
Search
MENU
How Do I

Territorial Times

Learning about the history of our region is a real eye-opener, especially when traveling back hundreds of years.  In addition to the timeline featured below, enjoy this article written by Archives Specialist Vishi Garig detailing the rise and fall of Fort San Francisco de Pupo. (Fort Pupo Article)

The following timeline was gleaned from two wonderful websites: Dos.myflorida.com and Floridamemory.com.

1513

Juan Ponce de León and his expedition were the first documented Europeans in Florida. He landed near present-day St. Augustine. Ponce de León named the land “Florida” as the season was “Pascua Florida” (Flowery Easter).

Research indicates Spain had no true national flag in 1513 when Juan Ponce de León landed on Florida shores, but the Castle and Lion flag of the King was recognized as the country’s flag.

1521

Ponce de León returns to Florida in search of gold. Ponce de León is killed in South Florida.

1527

Pánfilo de Narváez leads a second expedition into Florida.

1539

Hernando De Soto landed in Florida with an 800-man expedition.

1540's

European diseases decimate Florida’s native peoples. Within a century 90% had died.

1559

Tristán de Luna y Arellano, with 1500 colonists, attempted Florida’s first settlement, Puerto de Santa Maria (today’s Pensacola Naval Air Station.) It was not successful.

1562

Jean Ribault, France, explores northeast Florida.

1564

France establishes Fort Caroline

FIRST SPANISH PERIOD 1565 – 1763

The Burgundian saltire, or Cross of Burgundy, represented Spanish rule in Florida from 1565 to 1763. The red cross symbolized the rough branches of the trees on which Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Burgundy, was crucified. The flag was introduced into Spain by Philip I, Duke of Burgundy, and was later established as one of the country’s banners by his son Charles I in 1516.

1565

Establishment of St. Augustine, first permanent European settlement in North America, located within Timucua territory. Spanish expel the French.

1560's-1590's

Spanish friars spread Christianity throughout the southeast

1672-1695

Castillo de San Marcos built by Spanish in St. Augustine, using native and slave labor

1740

British general, James Oglethorpe, invades St. Augustine

BRITISH PERIOD, 1763 – 1783

The British flag’s major element was the Red Cross of St. George, England’s patron saint. In combination with the white Scottish Cross of St. Andrew, it formed the Union flag. This flag flew over Florida from 1763 until 1784.

1763

French and Indian (Seven Years War) results in the transfer of Florida from Spain to England. Division of Florida into East and West Florida. The British colonists expand Florida agriculture, especially cotton, rice, and indigo. St. Augustine remains the capital of East Florida, with Pensacola the capital of West Florida. James Grant is appointed Governor of British Florida.

1760's

Native peoples from Georgia and Alabama, many of them members of the Creek peoples, move into Florida. They become known as the Seminoles from the Spanish word cimarron, meaning “outsiders” or “runaways.”

1776

American Revolution begins. Florida remained loyal to England. Its previously sparse population swelled overnight as Tories escaped to Florida, mostly settling in St. Augustine.

1783

Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolution.  Spain reoccupies Florida.

SECOND SPANISH PERIOD, 1783 – 1821

Charles III created this Spanish national flag in 1785. It flew over Florida until the United States took official possession of the territory in 1821.

1816

Andrew Jackson invades Florida in pursuit of Seminole Indians. Start of the First Seminole War.

1819-1821

Florida transferred to the United States under the Adams–Onís treaty.

TERRITORIAL FLORIDA 1821-1845

The flag of the United States had twenty-three stars when the Treaty with Spain, ceding Florida, was ratified and proclaimed on February 22, 1821.

1835

Beginning of the Second Seminole War

1842

Second Seminole War ended by U.S. Government decision

1845

The Act establishing statehood for Florida approved on March 3, 1845 by the second session of the 28th Congress.

Upon admission Florida as the twenty-seventh state on March 3, 1845. By law, new stars were added to the national flag on the fourth of July following the admission of each new state, so a twenty-seventh star was added for Florida on July 4, 1845.

Additional Resources

Books at the Archives

  • Colonial Records of Spanish Florida 1577 – 1589 Vol II, by Jeannette Thurber Connor
  • Florida Under Five Flags, by Patrick Morris
  • Governor James Grant’s Villa, British A British East Fla. Indigo Plantation
  • William Bartram and the Ghost Plantations of Florida, by Daniel Schafer

close

Passport Day - Saturday, April 27th at Orange Park Branch

We encourage those in need of new passports to use this site (Passport page) to make an appointment (O.P. Branch only) and to review the checklist of items needed to submit a passport application.  Please review the release linked below for details.  It is time for Passport Day in Clay!

Passport Day 2024 – Media Release