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The Tampa area was depopulated and ignored for more than 200 years. The sparse civilian population practically abandoned the area during the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842, after which the Seminoles were forced out and many settlers returned. On January 18, 1849, Tampa was officially incorporated as the "Village of Tampa".
It was home to 185 civilians, or 974 total residents including military personnel, in 1850.
People from Tampa are generally known as "Tampans" or "Tampanians".Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page.Archaeological evidence indicates the shores of Tampa Bay were inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years.When Spanish explorers arrived in the 1520s, they found Tocobaga villages around the northern half of Tampa Bay and Calusa villages along the southern portion of the bay.Expeditions led by Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando de Soto landed near Tampa, but neither conquistador stayed long.The Civil War ended in April 1865 with a Confederate defeat.In May 1865, federal troops arrived in Tampa to occupy the fort and the town as part of Reconstruction. Tampa was a fishing village with very few people and little industry, and limited prospects for development.The native inhabitants repulsed any Spanish attempt to establish a permanent settlement or convert them to Catholicism.The newcomers brought with them infectious diseases, resulting in a total collapse of the native cultures of Florida.First, phosphate was discovered in the Bone Valley region southeast of Tampa in 1883.The mineral, vital for the production of fertilizers and other products, was soon being shipped out from the Port of Tampa in great volume. The discovery of phosphate, the arrival of Plant's railroad, and the founding of Ybor City and West Tampa—all in the mid-1880s—were crucial to Tampa's development.