Francis L. Dade

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Visitor center at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. Note redoubt in foreground

Francis Langhorne Dade (1793? – December 28, 1835) was a Brevet Major in the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment, United States Army, during the Second Seminole War. Dade was killed in a battle with Seminole Indians that came to be known as the "Dade Massacre".

Dade was born in Virginia, most likely in King George County. He joined the Army in March 1813, and was brevetted major in February 1828.[1]

When hostilities ceased, the Army proposed to transfer the remains of all who died in the territory, including those who fell with Dade, to a single burial ground. Reinterment took place at the St. Augustine Post Cemetery, which would become St. Augustine National Cemetery. In addition to Dade's command, more than 1,400 soldiers were interred in three mass graves. These men are memorialized by the Dade Monument, which is composed of three distinct pyramids, constructed of native coquina stone, and an obelisk. The dedication of the memorial at a ceremony on August 14, 1842, marked the end of the Florida Indian Wars.

Miami-Dade County, Florida; Dade County, Georgia; Dade County, Missouri; Dadeville, Alabama; and Dade City, Florida are all named after Major Dade. The now decommissioned fort on Egmont Key was also named for him. The battle is re-enacted at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park each year.

In 2002, the Dade County Courthouse was renamed the Major Francis Langhorne Dade County Courthouse by the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County. In the resolution changing the courthouse's name, the Board noted that it found "that Major Francis Langhorne Dade is a person who made a significant contribution to Miami-Dade County".[2]

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