March 3: Florida Becomes the 27th State
On this day in 1845, as James Polk was enjoying his last full day as President, Florida became the 27th state. Florida had been a US territory since 1821. Explore these resources from FCIT to learn more about the early days of Florida as a part of the United States.
Kirk Munroe (1850-1930) was an author and adventurer. At a time when many authors writing about Florida had never even visited the Sunshine State, Munroe had settled in Florida by the 1880s. A member of the Florida Audubon Society, Munroe’s knowledge of the Florida environment allowed him to include rich descriptions in his books and stories.
- Alligator Hunting With Seminoles: An experience of hunting with Seminole Indians in Florida
- Canoemates: A Story Of The Florida Reef And Everglades: This is a story about young boys who cruise through the Florida Everglades in search of adventure in the late 1800s.
- Wakulla, A Story Of Adventure In Florida: Mark and Ruth’s parents sell their plantation and move to Florida. The children have many adventures in their new home state.
- The Flamingo Feather: When Rene De Veaux’s parents die he goes to live with his uncle, who happens to be setting out on an exploration of the new world.
In Palmetto Leaves, Harriet Beecher Stowe describes life in Florida in the 1800’s. Enjoy these vignettes from her book. Each title includes the audio file and a PDF of the text.
- St. Augustine: The Author describes the scenery in St. Augustine, Florida.
- The Grand Tour up River: The Author gives a detailed description of the vegetation and wildlife that surrounds the St. Johns River.
- From Mandarin to St. Augustine: The author discusses the many wonders of nature that can be witnessed while traveling between Mandarin and St. Augustine, Florida.
- About Florida Oranges: The author discusses the beauty of the Florida orange.
In this four-part article from 1869, Robert Stearns describes nineteenth century Fernandina, Cedar Key, Tampa, and Pinellas. Each of the four sections is available as an audio recording and a PDF. Reading level: 11.3 Word count: 11,507
A mere 16 years after becoming a state, Florida seceded from the Union. For a unique description of this period in Florida history, listen to Emily Holder’s journal of life at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Also available as a PDF on the Lit2Go website. Reading level: 10.8 Word count: 3,740
A brief introduction to the First and Second Seminole Wars from St. Augustine Under Three Flags: Tourist Guide and History. A PDF of the passage is also available. Reading level: 11.0 Word count: 6,550