Significant Documents

This exhibit provides images of historically significant documents from the collections of the State Archives of Florida. These documents represent some of the formative events in Florida's history and offer an important resource to researchers and students.

First Spanish Period to Early Statehood

Saint Augustine Map, 1589
Saint Augustine Map, 1589

The oldest item in the State Archives of Florida, this engraved, hand-colored map or view-plan by Baptista Boazio depicts Sir Francis Drake's attack on Saint Augustine on May 28 and 29, 1586.

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Land Grant from the Upper Creeks, Lower Creeks and Seminoles to Thomas Brown (March 1, 1783)
Land Grant from the Upper Creeks, Lower Creeks and Seminoles to Thomas Brown, 1783

On March 1, 1783, several "Kings and Warriors" representing Upper Creek, Lower Creek and Seminole towns affixed their names and family marks to a document granting British Indian Agent Thomas Brown substantial territory west of St. Augustine, Florida.

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Territorial Governor DuVal's Message to Legislative Council, 1822
Territorial Governor William Pope Duval's Message to Legislative Council, 1826

A message from Territorial Governor William Pope Duval to the Legislative Council describing what he hopes they will accomplish.

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First Act of the Territorial Legislature, 1822
First Act of the Territorial Legislature, 1822

This first act of Florida's Territorial Legislature in 1822 divided the territory into four counties and established local courts.

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Act Establishing Florida Statehood, 1845
Act Establishing Florida Statehood, 1845

The Act establishing statehood for Iowa and Florida was approved on March 3, 1845, by the second session of the 28th Congress.

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Petition to Establish the East Florida Seminary in Alachua County, 1852
Petition to Establish the East Florida Seminary in Alachua County, 1852

A petition calling upon the General Assembly to establish a seminary for East Florida at Newnansville, which was then the county seat for Alachua County.

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Civil War Period

Ordinance of Secession, 1861
Ordinance of Secession, 1861

Ordinance signed by delegates from Florida stating that the state was seceding from the United States of America and declaring that Florida is "a Sovereign and Independent Nation."

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World War I to the Depression

World War I "National Crisis Day" Proclamation, 1917
World War I "National Crisis Day" Proclamation, 1917

National Crisis Day proclamation signed by Florida Governor Sidney J. Catts proclaiming May 6, 1917, as National Crisis Day to urge Florida farmers to produce more food and to encourage food conservation throughout the state.

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World War II to the Present

World War II "V-J Day" Proclamation, 1945
World War II "V-J Day" Proclamation, 1945

V-J Day proclamation signed by Florida Governor Millard Caldwell proclaiming the 24 hours after the announcement of Japan's surrender during World War II as V-J Day.

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Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by Clarence Earl Gideon, 1961
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by Clarence Earl Gideon, 1961

Petition for a writ of habeus corpus written by Clarence Earl Gideon to the Florida Supreme Court while he was serving a five-year sentence at Raiford Prison.

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