This page is dedicated to Florida historical markers near Orlando Orlando’s First Settler, Aaron Jernigan. There are many historical markers in Florida. This marker in is an excellent example.
Orlando’s First Settler, Aaron Jernigan
This Florida Historical Marker is entitled Orlando’s First Settler, Aaron Jernigan , and is located in Orlando in , Florida. Marker is at the intersection of Alamo Drive and 29th Street, on the left when traveling south on Alamo Drive.
Inscription on the Marker
The inscription reads:
Orlando’s First Settler, Aaron Jernigan. Aaron Jernigan moved to what is now Orlando in 1843 after the passage of the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 that opened vast areas of Florida for settlement. According to the law, one could move onto land at least two miles from an established fort, erect a home, and become a citizen-soldier. After defending the land from Indians for five years, the homesteader would receive title to 160 acres., Jernigan cleared land and built a cabin on the northwest shore of Lake Holden, about two miles from Fort Gatlin. Early in 1844, Jernigan moved his wife Mary and their children, his Negro slaves, and 700 head of cattle to his homestead. When Florida became a state in 1845, he was elected Orange County’s first representative to the state legislature. In all, Jernigan acquired 1200 acres of land., Although the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, Indian uprisings and cattle rustling continued to be a problem. In 1846, Aaron had to leave Tallahassee to protect his herds. He built a stockade on the north shore of Lake Conway in 1849, and 80 residents plus their slaves quickly moved in for protection and remained there for almost a year. Jernigan became the captain of a local militia that patrolled the area for renegade Indians in 1852 but was able to disband the same year once the Seminoles were convinced to stop their raids. (Continued on other side). Reverse: , (Continued from other side). By 1850, the Jernigan home had become the nucleus of a village named Jernigan which had a U.S. Post Office and was indicated as a settlement on early Florida maps. But, as more settlers moved to the area, the new town of Orlando replaced the small village., Jernigan and some of his sons were accused of killing a man at Orlando’s log cabin post office in 1859. Orlando had no jail, so the Jernigans were transported to Ocala where they escaped. Legend has it that Aaron moved to Texas where he lived for 25 years. He eventually returned to the area and died in Orlando in 1891. He was buried at the Lake Hill Cemetery in Orlo Vista, Florida.
Marker Sponsor and Install Date for Orlando’s First Settler, Aaron Jernigan
Placed by Orange County:
Richard T. Crotty, Mayor
Linda A. Stewart, Commissioner District 4, Orange County Board of County Commissioners.
Maps & Location Views
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The History of Orlando
More than a century before the Pilgrims set foot at Plymouth Rock, in 1513, Florida began its modern-day history, of which Orlando is a part.
During this period, Florida was still part of the United States Territory and not yet a state; therefore, many Native American tribes occupied land throughout Central Florida, including Seminole Indians who had migrated there from Georgia during the First Seminole War (1817-1818).
In 1838, the U.S. Army built Fort Gatlin south of the present-day Orlando City limits to protect settlers from attacks by Indians during the Second Seminole War. During the Civil War, Orlando’s role included supplying the Confederacy with food, cattle, and horses from the vast plantations in the region.
Today Orlando is recognized as a global tourist attraction and entertainment city
About the Florida Historical Marker Program
One of the most well-known and noticeable public history initiatives of the Division of Historical Resources is the Florida Historical Marker Program. It is intended to increase residents’ and visitors’ enjoyment of Florida’s historic places and to increase public knowledge of the state’s rich cultural past.
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