Five hundred and thirty-eight questions and their answers about the State of Florida

      This book was written with various readers in mind. It is first for those local readers who may want a handy and easy-to-read review of historical events, and other useful information about the state. Then there are those visitors to Florida who may want to get an overall grasp on how the state grew from its origins in the fifteen hundreds to the present day. Many may want to compare Florida’s development with those of other states that grew under the Spanish domination. The format is one of questions and answers. Those who know quite a bit about Florida may wish to test their knowledge and score their correct answers. Others may find that short bits of information can more easily be absorbed than pages upon pages of data. The title--Ask About Florida--lends to this format.
      Prior to the era of air-conditioned lifestyles, when Florida was still a very hot, humid and mosquito-infested peninsula, only the curious and the hardy moved to its shores. The French Huguenots settled in the northeast of the state in search of religious tolerance but the Spanish drove them off. The English, constantly seeking to extend their influence from the north, were in constant conflict with Spain. As Floridians began to tame their environment, many more settlers came to build homes and farm the land. It was not until the 1800s that the railways pushed the borders of northern Florida to the south. The 1920s saw an enormous influx of immigrants, buying land and making Florida their home. Many may feel that in the attempt to take what Americans truly felt was their due, they may have not treated the natives with sufficient concern. It has only been recently that we have become more sensitive to the cultural and religious differences and indeed the rights of the Indians. It is anyone’s guess how we would have done it differently, had we been more caring of the sentiments of others. Manifest Destiny gave us a platform for believing that it was God’s will that we invade and take over the entire landmass from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. It has only been relatively recently that we have questioned the actions of Andrew Jackson and his treatment of the Seminole Indians.