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Posted on Fri, Sep. 13, 2002

Miami Chronology: 1500s to 1900

March 27 1513 Ponce de Leon sights Florida coast.
April 2 1513 Ponce de Leon lands near St. Augustine.
May 13 1513 Ponce de Leon believed to have passed the islands off Miami.
July 3 1513 Ponce de Leon returns, identifies the mouth of the Miami River as "Chequescha".
June 22 1564 First artist arrives in America (Florida)...Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues.
September 8 1565 First permanent white settlement, St. Augustine.
May 28 1589 Sir Francis Drake attacks St. Augustine, 28th and 29th, and burns the fort and city.
September 23 1696 Jonathan Dickinson and group of Quakers shipwreck on Jupiter Island. (August 23?)
August 12 1762 Britain occupies Cuba.
February 10 1763 Treaty of Paris gives Spain control over Havana and land west of the Mississipi in exchange for turning Florida over to British.
May 10 1781 British West Florida ceases to exist as flags turned over to Spanish forces at Pensacola.
September 3 1783 Treaty of Paris gives Florida back to Spain.
January 1 1804 Haitian independence.
February 27 1808 Spanish crown grants land where Miami now stands to John Egan.
September 23 1810 Republic of West Florida established.
March 13 1812 Territory of East Florida proclaimed on Amelia Island.
February 22 1819 U.S. signs treaty with Spain ceding Florida to U.S. .
February 22 1821 Florida cecession treaty ratified.
July 17 1821 Andrew Jackson receives the Floridas from Spanish authorities at Pensacola.
December 20 1821 John Simonton buys Cayo Hueso (Key West) from Juan Salas of St. Augustine, in Havana.
January 19 1822 Simonton takes possession of Key West, the first established community in South Florida.
March 25 1822 Matthew C. Perry arrives in Key West aboard schooner Shark to survey the new territory and raises the flag to proclaim the Keys part of Florida.
March 30 1822 Government of territory of Florida created when President Monroe signs law providing for governor and legislative council.
July 3 1823 Monroe county created out of St Johns county: including all areas of Florida south of Lake Okeechobee. Key West is county seat.
October 23 1823 Tallahassee chosen capital of Florida.
March 4 1824 Governor DuVal proclaims Tallahassee seat of government, with legislature to meet in November.
December 17 1825 The tower of the Cape Florida lighthouse on Key Biscayne is completed.
December 28 1835 Major Francis Dade killed near Bushnell in Second Seminole War.
January 6 1836 Family of New River settler William Cooley is massacred by Seminoles. It would be end of the settlement which had started in 1824.
February 4 1836 Dade County created, out of Monroe County, Indian Key is county seat. Monroe retains western Keys, west coast of south Florida.
July 23 1836 Indians burn Cape Florida lighthouse.
December 25 1837 Battle of Okeechobee, climax of Second Seminole War; Col. Zachary Taylor led the 1000-man army, defeating a band of 400 Seminoles.
December 29 1837 John Collins born in New Jersey.
January 10 1839 Florida constitution adopted.
August 7 1840 Dr. Henry Perrine and 6 others massacred in an Indian raid on Indian Key.
March 9 1844 Dade County seat moved to Miami.
August 8 1844 First known deed in Miami area.
February 13 1845 House passes Florida statehood bill.
March 1 1845 Senate passes Florida statehood bill.
March 3 1845 President John Tyler signs law making Florida 27th state.
July 1 1845 D.L. Yulee of Florida becomes first Jewish senator.
May 6 1851 First mechanical refrigerator patent to John Gorrie of Apalachicola makes air conditioning of buildings possible.
January 28 1853 Jose Marti born.
June 10 1858 U.S. Army abandons Fort Dallas.
January 10 1861 Florida secedes from Union.
January 13 1861 Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West claimed for Union.
February 4 1861 Florida is admitted to the Confederacy.
September 14 1861 First naval engagement of Civil War, Pensacola.
February 20 1864 Battle of Olustee, most significant of Civil War in Florida.
May 20 1865 American flag raised over Tallhassee for first time since Civil War began.
October 10 1868 Republic of Cuba declared, insurrection against Spain.
November 14 1868 First application for a homestead in Coconut Grove area by Edmund D. Besly (?)
April 7 1869 Horticulturist David Fairchild born.
January 6 1873 A postmaster is appointed to Cocoanut Grove post office. It would close 2/8/1874.
January 12 1874 Carl Fisher born in Indiana.
July 10 1875 Mary McLeod Bethune born in SC. She would found a school for Negro girls in Daytona which would become Bethune-Cookman College.
October 7 1876 Biscayne House of Refuge gets first keeper (at present-day 71st st. and ocean on MB).
November 20 1882 First deeds for land on Miami Beach.
January 6 1883 Charles Lum purchases two lots on Miami Beach from federal government. He would build first house there.
August 25 1884 Cocoanut Grove post office is reopened with Charles Peacock, postmaster.
October 11 1887 Barefoot mailman Ed Hamilton disappears attempting to cross Hillsboro Inlet.
February 19 1889 Dade County seat moved from Miami to Juno. It would move back in 1899, with the jail building being shipped by barge to serve as courthouse.
April 7 1890 Marjory Stoneman Douglas born.
October 8 1890 Eddie Rickenbacker born.
February 19 1891 Women of Coconut Grove form Housekeeper's Club.
May 22 1891 John E. Culmer born in Bahamas. An Episcopal priest, he would be Miami's most influential black leader in the 1930s and 40s.
August 18 1891 First post office in Fort Lauderdale in House of Refuge building.
November 14 1891 Julia Tuttle arrives in Miami. 13th?
January 31 1893 Frank Stranahan arrives at New River. He would establish an indian trading post at his camp.
February 11 1894 Flagler's Royal Poinciana Hotel opens in Palm Beach.
April 2 1894 Flagler's railroad reaches Palm Beach.
April 7 1894 Lemon City Library opens in home of Cornelia Keys.
December 29 1894 Florida experiences the worst cold wave since 1835; most of the citrus crop is lost.
February 7 1895 A second cold wave hits Florida (first was in December of this winter).Most of the state hits freezing. Henry Flagler sends James Ingraham to Miami, he returns with orange blossoms.
April 22 1895 Henry Flagler responds to Julia Tuttle's letter with a plan to extend the railroad and lay out a city at "Bay Biscayne".
May 19 1895 Jose Marti is killed by Spanish soldiers during Cuba's war of independence.
July 12 1895 Boats begin navigation on canal between West Palm Beach and the New River.
October 24 1895 Henry Flagler and Julia Tuttle sign contract for the exchange of land that would become city of Miami; "Miami's birth certificate".
February 1 1896 Julia Tuttle signs deed transfering land to Henry Flagler for his hotel.
February 18 1896 First passenger train leaves Palm Beach for Fort Lauderdale.
February 22 1896 First train arrives in Fort Lauderdale
March 3 1896 Henry Flagler sends men to begin work on building a new city in Miami.
March 15 1896 Groundbreaking for Henry Flagler's Royal Palm Hotel at mouth of Miami River.
March 26 1896 First store opens in Miami (Sewell brothers)
April 1 1896 Four men meet in tent to organize First Presbyterian Church in Miami.
April 3 1896 Flagler's railroad tracks reach Lemon City.
April 7 1896 Flagler's railroad tracks reach Miami.
April 13 1896 First train, with Henry Flagler aboard, arrives in Miami.
April 15 1896 First passenger train arrives in Miami.
May 2 1896 Miami's first bank, the Bank of Bay Biscayne, opens.
May 15 1896 First newspaper published in Miami (Miami Metropolis, a weekly).
May 21 1896 Steamship City of Key West inaugurates regular service between Miami and Key West.
June 17 1896 A meeting is held to discuss incorporation of Miami.
July 28 1896 344 Miami residents, meeting in a room over a pool hall, vote for incorporation.
October 21 1896 First school in Miami opens.
November 20 1896 First black person born in Miami: Irene Gertrude Sampson in Coconut Grove.
December 25 1896 A fire destroys many buildings in downtown Miami.
January 16 1897 Royal Palm hotel opens in Miami.
July 20 1897 First burial in Miami City Cemetery.
February 3 1898 Miami's Board of Trade founded.
February 15 1898 Sinking of battleship Maine in Havana harbor.
April 25 1898 U.S. declares war on Spain.
June 20 1898 War Dept. orders 7,500 troops posted to Miami. The southern soldiers would cause a racial incident the next month.
July 3 1898 Battle of Santiago Bay-end of Spanish-American War.
July 23 1898 An Army private kills a black cook after the man brushed against a white woman in a narrow aisle. Also this month, troops terrorize a black neighborhood following rumors a black man killed a soldier. The troops leave in August.
September 14 1898 Julia Tuttle dies at age 48.
December 9 1898 Lemon City Colored School appoints first supervisor. Date of opening not known.
December 10 1898 Treaty of Paris grants Cuba independence from Spain.
January 1 1899 U.S. occupation of Cuba begins.
July 8 1899 William Larkins gets approval to establish a post office in his store, postmark Larkins (now South Miami).
October 22 1899 Miami is quarantined by state health officials because of a yellow fever epidemic.
November 12 1899 A fire destroys downtown Miami buildings including the building where the city was incorporated in 1896.

Last Updated on 9/13/2002

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