Florida—the ancestral homeland of varied indigenous peoples—became a United States Territory in 1821, thus ending more than 250 years of Spanish and British rule. This opened Florida to increased development and the expansion of American policies and culture. This expansion was viewed by many American leaders as an advancement for the newly-formed nation; however, policies affecting enslaved peoples and native peoples would leave a scarred legacy that would last far beyond the territorial period. The territorial period saw Florida’s population shift, the development of new cities, and the creation of a constitution. In 1845, Florida was granted statehood by the U.S. Congress.
To engage the public in learning more about this important transitional time in Florida’s history, the Florida Department of State (DOS) will highlight its territorial and early statehood period resources in 2021. The unique resources include official territorial and state records, nineteenth-century archaeological and historical collections, structures, and exhibits that illuminate the time period. Furthermore, DOS will be developing engaging virtual tours, programs, and videos to share this history with the community.
- February 11, 2021 – Virtual Director’s Tour: Researching Slavery in Tallahassee, presented by The Grove Museum. Click here to view a recording of this presentation.
- February 17, 2021 – Seminoles in Territorial Florida – virtual presentation by Marty Bowers, Education Coordinator, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, presented by the Museum of Florida History. Click here to view a recording of this presentation.
- March 11, 2021, Noon – Understanding Slavery Through Archaeology, virtual presentation by The Grove Museum. Register for this event here.
Department of State Resources List
- A Guide to Researching the Territorial Era at the State Archives of Florida
- Bureau of Archaeological Research, Territorial Period artifacts, Handmade Brick, ca. 1830s
- Division of Historical Resources, Territorial Period artifacts, Pearlware Plate, ca. 1818-1846