Photo Credit: License Some rights reserved by Dave
“The name of Florida is one of the oldest connected with the discovery of America. It appears on the earliest maps known sometimes as a great island and sometimes as a headland. It was visited and taken possession of for the Spanish crown within twenty years of the first landing of Columbus at San Salvador and is the oldest settled portion of the United States.
As originally designated, it covered all the country from Cape Florida to the Chesapeake and westward to unknown limits. Its romantic and eventful history extends over a period of nearly four hundred years embracing as well expeditions for the discovery of gold and precious stones as for the propagation of the Christian faith among a savage nation. or as a refuge from religious persecution.” (Source: Florida, Its History and Its Romance: The Oldest Settlement in the United States, 1898, by George Rainsford Fairbanks, pp v-vi)