Mosquito County, Florida

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Mosquito County
Former county
Location of Mosquito County
Country United States
State Florida
County seat near Ormond (1824–1835),
New Smyrna (1835–1843),
Enterprise (1843–1844)[1]
Founded December 29, 1824[1]
Disestablished March 14, 1844[1]
Population (1830)
 • Total 733 (15 heads of families)

Mosquito County (also labeled on maps as Musquito County) is the historic name of one of the early counties that once comprised most of the east part of Florida. Originally Mosquito County covered the entire eastern part of Florida area presently including all of Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Seminole, Osceola, Orange, Lake, Polk and Palm Beach counties.

History[edit]

The whole east coast of central Florida was known as "Los Musquitos" starting from the 1500's until 1844.[1]

After Andrew Jackson received authority to take possession of the Florida territory ceded by Spain in 1821, he divided the whole territory into two counties, along the Suwannee River.[1] All of the area west formed Escambia, and all of it east formed St. Johns County.[1] This was largely consistent with the previously existing British colonies of West Florida and East Florida.

Mosquito County was split off from St Johns on December 29, 1824 and the county seat was designated at John Bunch's house just west of the present location of Tomoka State Park.[1] At roughly 220 miles long by 90 miles wide, it was the largest county in the new territory.[1]

In 1830, the census listed 15 heads of households, and a total of 733 persons, mostly slaves.[2] In January 1835, the county seat was moved to New Smyrna.[1] However, the Second Seminole War had largely depopulated Mosquito County of white settlers by the end of that year.[3] In 1838, there was so little activity in the county that the St Johns County Clerk was designated to keep the records of the county.[3] However, by 1840, although the census listed no white inhabitants other than the military personnel based at Fort Pierce and New Smyrna,[2] the county had its own officials.[3]

In 1841, legislation was introduced and passed to rename the county "Leigh Read County", however the governor did not sign the bill within the legal time, and it was not formally enacted.

In 1842, the Armed Occupation Act, was passed providing a quarter section (160 acres) to any head of family who settled on property south of Ocala/Ormond.[2]

In 1843, the county seat had moved again to Enterprise.

In 1844, the expansive area of Mosquito County was cut in half with the southern half being named St. Lucia County, and the northern half being renamed Orange County.[3] St Lucia County was renamed Brevard County in 1855.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Eriksen, John M., Brevard County...A Short History to 1955
  2. ^ a b c Stone, Elaine Murray, Brevard County From Cape of the Canes to Space Coast
  3. ^ a b c d e Shofner, Jerrell H., History of Brevard County Volume 1