Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
St. Lucie County
St. Lucie County was formed in 1844 and recreated in 1905. Named for St. Lucie of Syracuse, the region's original inhabitants were the Tegesta Indians. Ft. Pierce, the county seat, was named for Major B.K. Pierce, brother of Pres. Franklin Pierce. The fort was the headquarters of the Army of the South under Gen. Jesup during the Seminole Indian wars. A settlement about the fort began soon after its establishment about 1838.
Erected 1961 by Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials. (Marker Number F-60.)
Location. 27° 26.77′ N, 80° 19.359′ W. Marker is in Fort Pierce, Florida, in St. Lucie County. Marker is on South Indian River Drive (County Road 707) north of Boston Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located in front of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 221 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce FL 34950, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce (approx. 0.6 miles away); Traces of an Early Indian Village Old Fort Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Fort Pierce (approx. 0.7 miles away); St. Lucie Village (approx. 3.2 miles away); US-1 Tee-Beam Bridge in Indian River County (approx. 8.1 miles away); Historic Hallstrom Farmstead (approx. 9.2 miles away); McKee Jungle Garden Gates (approx. 11.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Pierce.
Regarding St. Lucie County. The original location of the Second Seminole War fort named Fort Pierce is .7 miles south on S. Indian River Dr. at Old Fort Park.
Also see . . .
1. St. Lucie County Historical Society, Inc. For more information regarding St. Lucie County. (Submitted on May 3, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida.)
2. United States History. For more information on Osceola, General Thomas S. Jesup and Dr. Fredrick Weedon. (Submitted on May 3, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida.)
1. Early Ft. Pierce
Ft. Pierce was established January 2, 1838 as the easternmost of a series of forts, outposts and supply posts which stretched across Florida from Ft. Brooke (Tampa) during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). This line of forts formed a northern boundary designed to keep the Seminoles to the south in what was then considered "no man's land."
Seminole leader Osceola was captured on October 21, 1837. He was eventually imprisoned at Ft. Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. Dr. Fredrick Weedon was a contract surgeon at Ft. Moultrie when Osceola died in his cell on January 30, 1838. Seeking profit from the death of his patient, Weedon removed and embalmed Osceola's head.
After the war, under the Armed Occupation Act of 1842, Weedon was the first to receive a land grant in the area of Fort Pierce in what was then Mosquito County. The land Weedon acquired included the site of Fort Pierce.
In 1968, the National Park Service, excavated and removed Osceola's intact coffin to discover his skeleton minus his skull and first five cervical vertebrae. This exhumation was performed to discredit a claim by a Miami, Florida city commissioner's claim to have robbed Osceola's grave and stolen his bones. Osceola was reinterred and his grave can be visited today at Ft. Moultrie.
Additional sources and recommended reading.
Hatch, Thom. Osceola
Mahon, John K. History of the Second Seminole War: 1835-1842. Rev. Ed. University of Florida Press. Gainesville, 1985.
Roberts, Robert B. Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States. Macmillan Publishing. New York, 1988.
— Submitted May 2, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida.
Additional keywords. Second Seminole War
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Native Americans • Wars, US Indian •
More. Search the internet for St. Lucie County.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 1, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. This page has been viewed 518 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on May 1, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on May 2, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.