Miami Timeline

120,000 BCE
Florida Keys form.

10,000 BCE
Archeologists have found evidence of human habitation of the Cutler Fossil Site at the Deering Estate dating back to 10,000 BCE.
Cutler Fossil Site Lecture

2000 BCE
The barrier islands of Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, and Virginia Key emerge.

2000 BCE
The Tequesta were the people that lived on the land and sea we now call Miami before the arrival of Europeans in the 1500s. Evidence suggest they lived in the area from the upper Keys to present day Broward County.

100 BCE
Historical records indicate the main town of the Tequesta was at the mouth of the Miami River, where the Miami Circle is now preserved. The establishment of this town is estimated to have occured in 100 BCE. The site has seen continuous human habitation since the Tequesta settled it. The population is estimated to have risen to 1,000.

Ponce de Leon sails into Chequescha (Miami & Biscayne Bay). He names the land Florida and claims it for Spain.
Ponce de Leon in Miami Lecture

Christianity is introduced to Miami. In 1567, Governor Pedro Menendez de Aviles establishes a Jesuit Mission in Tequesta.
Miami Missions Lecture

Chief Cosmographer-Chronicler of the Indies, Juan López de Velasco (c. 1530–1598) described Tequesta, present day Miami, in the following manner in 1571.

“At the very point of Tequesta there enters into the sea a freshwater river, which comes from the interior, and to all appearances runs from west to east. There are many fish and eels in it. Alongside it on the north side is the Indian settlement that is called Tequesta. A settlement of Spaniards was established here in the year of 15[67], which was abandoned later, in the year of [15]70. They say it would be advantageous to build a fort there for the security of the ships that might have to come out of the [Bahama] Channel and because the land is good for settlement.”
Juan López de Velasco Text

Florida becomes part of Britain.


Florida becomes part of the USA. Escaped slaves and Black Seminoles leave from Cape Florida for the Bahamas.

Cape Florida lighthouse built. This essentially ends the Saltwater Underground Railroad from Key Biscayne to the Bahamas.

The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on 28 May 1830.
Indian Removal Act text

Second Seminole War begins.

28 December 1835
Seminoles defeat US forces at Ocala at what became known as the Dade Massacre. Miami-Dade County is named after the Brevet Major Francis L. Dade.
Historical account of the battle

23 July 1836
Seminole attack and destroy Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne.

Fort Dallas established

Second Seminole War ends and Fort  Dallas is sold to English. He builds in ollitic limerock slave quarters that are now in Lummus Park.

Army reposses slave quarters and turns them into barracks.

Third Seminole War. Sees Wagner move to Miami.

John William Bailly 16 February 2021