By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (March 30, 2022) – In Issue 2022-062 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we celebrate the roots of what is now known as the “Sunshine State”.


The shape of Florida was formed 200 years ago today in 1822 when Congress united the two Spanish provinces of East Florida and West Florida to form the Florida Territory. 

Tallahassee was chosen as the new capital for the territory because it was halfway between the two previous capitals of Pensacola and Saint Augustine.

Florida remained a territory until becoming a state in 1845.

Now known as the home of Mickey Mouse, the Space Coast, and sugar-spun beaches, the Florida Territory was a swampy land inhabited by Spanish settlers and the Seminoles.

Here is Johnson’s map of the Sunshine State from 18 years after becoming a state.  Given the odd shape of the state, most map makers truncated the peninsula and showed the bottom portion and the Keys in an inset, like on this image.

Alvin Johnson’s map of Florida from 1864 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.