1821 – The Americanization of Florida

On Display in the Smathers Library Second Floor Gallery August-December 2020.

Casta Painting from Spain, c. 1715, showing a Spanish man, a Black woman, and their child

200 years ago, Florida became a US territory. New settlers flooded into Florida in pursuit of land while established residents – former colonists, enslaved peoples, free people of color, and indigenous inhabitants – wrestled with the implications of new laws, a new political system, and a new set of values that promoted freedom for some while restricting it for others. This exhibition explores the writings, costumes, and artifacts from the small but diverse population of Florida.

More content from the exhibition is available digitally on the PK Yonge Library of Florida History website.