Historic Markers Across Florida

The First Fort Lauderdale

Marker ID: FLHM F-722
Location: 400 SW 11th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL
County: Broward
Coordinates: N 26° 7.051    W 080° 9.36
  26.11751666    -80.156
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The First Fort Lauderdale

The prehistoric peoples of Fort Lauderdale, commonly known as the Tequesta, occupied camps as early as 500 BCE in the area now known as Sailboat Bend. By 1800, Seminole Indians and Bahamian and American settlers inhabited lands along New River. In January 1836, after the outbreak of the Second Seminole War, settler William Cooley's family was killed by the Indians. In response to the incident and to seek out the Seminoles and their leader Sam Jones (Abiaca or Abiaki), U. S. Army Major General Thomas Jesup sent 200 mounted Tennessee Volunteers, commanded by Major William Lauderdale, from Jupiter to New River. They were accompanied by Lieutenant Robert Anderson with Company D, Third Artillery, and followed a route later known as "Military Trail." On March 6, 1838, the soldiers encamped on the north bank of New River at its forks. The new post was designated "Fort Lauderdale" after its commanding officer. Although active during its occupation, the garrison abandoned the fort by May 1838. Soldiers returning to reestablish Fort Lauderdale in February 1839 found that the fort's blockhouse and stockade had been burned. They chose a site further down river, west of Tarpon Bend, for the second Fort Lauderdale.

F-722 A Florida Heritage Landmark

The City of Fort Lauderdale
and the Florida Department of State