The first annual symposium of The History Council will be held in St. Petersburg on October 27-28, 2018. The subject is “Pre-Columbian and Early Colonial Florida”, focusing on the west central Florida area.
The west coast of Florida, from Charlotte Harbor to Tampa Bay, are the sites of the first exploration and settlement attempts by Europeans in the New World. From Juan Ponce de León’s discovery of the Florida west coast in 1513, to his settlement attempt in 1521, to the Narváez Expedition in 1528, to the Hernando de Soto Expedition of 1540, little is known about where their landings in “La Florida” occurred, and little is known of the Native Americans who were here at the time. The symposium will include presentations and introduce new research, to help us to understand more about the people who came here, the people who lived here at the time, and where the explorer’s excursions took them.
Speakers include Sterling Professor Rolena Adorno of Yale University; Professor Emeritus Jerald Milanich of the University of Florida; Chair and Professor J. Michael Francis of the University of South Florida- St. Petersburg; Professor Emeritus Barbara Purdy of the University of Florida; Professor Emeritus Martin Favata of the University of Tampa; Professor Ping Wang of the University of South Florida; and Professor Emeritus Al Hine of the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg.
Topics will include Native Americans of Pre-Columbian Florida; the wildlife, flora, fauna, and coastal geography of the area during the Pre-Columbian and “first contact” periods, and early attempts at settlement and exploration of the Florida west coast.