Saturday, February 5, 2011

1845 Florida map: Spanish land grants

This 1845 map of Florida was published in Germany.
When the Spanish came back to Florida the second time, the government tried with some success to get settlers to establish ranches and homesteads. The Spanish crown granted vast tracts of land to soldiers and others who had served the king.

When the United States acquired Florida in 1821, the government agreed to honor all Spanish ownership of lands the king had given to individuals, providing the land actually been settled and worked. As might be expected, there were numerous claims for land, many of which ended up in court for decades. 

Three disputed claims that ultimately went to the United States Supreme Court were the Arredondo Grant, which includes Micanopy and Paynes Prairie (and a smaller claim where Fort Myers is today), the Delepines Grant near Cape Canaveral and the Mirandas Grant, which includes parts of present-day Hillsborough, Manatee, Hardee and Polk counties.  All three are shown on this 1845 map in the colletion at Lighthouse Books, ABAA.

We’re at the Miami Map Fair through the weekend. The map fair is at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. Here an article from the Latin American Herald Tribune on the Miami Map Fair. We'd be delighted if you stop by to see us at the fair.

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