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This is one case where an American court reporter might write ''Key' when an Englishmen prounced 'Cay.' See the Admiralty Papers, Vol. The native aborigines and subsequent native groups were the first settlers of Key West.
The Europeans were tourists for its first 300 odd years of historic existence.
Anyway, English maps of the Keys made just prior to the Revolutionary War of 1776 used the word "Key." A Colonial American court record of the "Libel of Dennis and Allen vs the snow St.
Fermin alias Britanis" in 1744 used the word "Keys" referring to the Florida Keys.
Other than the Native Americans, apparently no one settled permanently until about the time Florida became a United States territory in 1821.
There are scattered references, but no specifics, to New Englanders and Bahamians as permanent settlers before the early 1800s.
On May 23, 1828, Congress acknowledged the land grant of Salas was confirmed. We might surmise that this was Florida's first land scam.
Amazing as it legally appears, the Territory of Florida with an Act of Incorporation incorporated the City of Key West on January 8, 1828. He renamed Cayo Hueso (Key West) to "Thompson's Island" for the Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson and the harbor "Port Rogers" for the president of the Board of Navy Commissioners.
These documentation's have made Key West history easier to be 'history', not fable. In population alone it overwhelmed all the remaining Keys for about a century and a half.Therefore, the following is nowhere a complete outline of its history.From a historian's point of view, Key West has an interesting beginning. In reality it went round and round with claims and counter claims. John Simonton soon took on three northern partners: John Whitehead, John Fleeming and Pardon Greene.Europeans stopped for fresh water on these islands, which stood as silent as the martyrs for which they were first named.The silence was broken occasionally by those seeking refuge from being shipwrecked, to fish, to lumber, to salvage, etc.