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Fort Pierce in Saint Lucie County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

St. Lucie County

 
 
ST. LUCIE COUNTY Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
1. ST. LUCIE COUNTY Marker
Inscription. 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 Saint Lucie County. Marker is on South Indian River Drive (County Road 707) north of Boston Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Rupert J. Smith Law Library. Marker is at or near this postal address: 221 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce FL 34950, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. US-1 Tee-Beam Bridge in Indian River County (approx. 8.1 miles away); McKee Jungle Garden Gates (approx. 11.8 miles away); McKee Jungle Gardens (approx.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
2. ST. LUCIE COUNTY Marker
View looking south on S. Indian River Dr.
11.8 miles away); Vero Beach City Hall (approx. 14 miles away); Osceola Park Historic Residential District (approx. 14.1 miles away); Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary (approx. 14.2 miles away); City of Vero Beach (approx. 14.2 miles away); Baseball and Dodgertown (approx. 15 miles away).
 
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.) 
 
Additional comments.
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
Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
3. Old Fort Park
Old Fort Park. Site of the original Fort Pierce built in 1838.
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 and the Seminole War: A Struggle for Justice andFreedom. St. Martin's Press. New York, 2012.

Mahon, John K. History of the Second Seminole War: 1835-1842. Rev. Ed.
Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
4. Old Fort Park
Plaque at the site of Fort Pierce. Erected 1925.
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, CastlesNative AmericansWars, US Indian
 
Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
5. Old Fort Park
Interpretive marker at Old Fort Park. Click picture to enlarge.
Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
6. Old Fort Park
View of Indian River from site of Fort Pierce.
Old Fort Park image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 24, 2015
7. Old Fort Park
Old Fort Park. Note oak and palm trees leaning west away from the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean.
Osceola Grave Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dean Moss McCracken, April 11, 2014
8. Osceola Grave Marker
Gravesite of Osceola at Ft. Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 1, 2015, by Dean Moss McCracken of Lakeland, Florida. This page has been viewed 422 times since then and 90 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.
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