Wednesday, August 14, 2013

key west history, part 2

In 1815 the Spanish governor in Havana, Cuba deeded the island of Key West to Juan Pablo Salas, an officer in the Royal Spanish Navy stationed in Saint Augustine.

                                                           John W. Simonton

After Florida was transferred to the United States, Salas was so eager to sell the island that he sold it three times.
First for a sloop valued at $575, and again to a U.S. businessman, John W. Simonton, during a meeting in a Havana cafe in 1821 and then finally to General John Geddes, a former governor of South Carolina, who tried,without much luck to secure his rights to the property before Simonton and his influential friends in Washington were able to gain total title to the island.

                                                                     John Whitehead

 Simonton bought the island because his friend, John Whitehead, had drawn his attention to the opportunities presented by the island’s strategic location.
Whitehead had been stranded in Key West after a shipwreck in 1819 and was impressed by the potential offered by the natural deep harbor of the island.

                                                                 Matthew C. Perry

 In March of 1822, Matthew C. Perry sailed the schooner "Shark" to Key West and planted the U.S. flag, physically claiming the Keys as United States property.

                                                             Commodore David Porter

Then 1823, Commodore David Porter of the United States Navy West Indies "Anti-Pirate Squadron" took charge of Key West as military dictator under martial law.

1 comment:

Hugh said...

This is awesome!