History Happened Here

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Marianna

Jackson County

Year Founded: 1827Founded by: Robert and Anna Maria Beveridge

History

According to local Historian Dale Cox, the City of Marianna has a rich history that dates back to the Spanish mission of San Nicolas de Tolentino, established at the mouth of a large cave in 1674. Only a year later the mission was destroyed in an uprising of the Chacato (also known as Chatot) Indians, which resulted in Spanish retaliating by burning the homes and fields of the Indians. Over time the Chacato Indians disappeared and the Creek and Seminole tribes emerged in the area. Many believe that during the First Seminole War, Indian warriors hid in the caves of what is known today as the Florida Cavern’s State Park when Andrew Jackson marched his army through town. After Jackson’s 1818 campaign many of his frontiersmen that had traveled along the Chipola River returned to settle the area. However, Florida remained a Spanish territory until the United States gained possession in 1821.

After Florida became a state many more settlers came to the area. Robert Beveridge, a Scottish land speculator, and his wife Anna Maria, arrived from Baltimore and laid out the City on a hilltop overlooking the Chipola River. He derived the name of the town by combining his wife’s middle name with the first name of his business partner, Anna. It was in 1827 that the town was officially founded.Cutler was shot and severely wounded by two young Confederate soldiers, but because of his heroism he recuperated in the bed of Mayor Thomas M. White for months. Cutler was treated kindly by the local citizens while he remained in Marianna before he was sent away to a prison at Macon and Andersonville. However, he returned after the war and was well received. The Battle of Marianna is memorialized at the Church, its cemetery, downtown in monuments, and the Riverside cemetery.

Marianna prospered and later fought a political battle with the nearby town of Webbville (which is no longer in existence) to become the County seat of Jackson County. Although Webbville was prosperous at that time, one of the reasons for Marianna’s success and support was its location along the Chipola River, which was used to barge bales of cotton downstream to the Gulf of Mexico.

By the time of the Civil War, Marianna was the home to Confederate Governor John Milton and a military headquarters for southern troops assigned to defend Northwest Florida. On September 27, 1863 the City was attacked by Union forces. This has become known as the Battle of Marianna. Fighting took place throughout downtown Marianna and many Confederate troops were killed when St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and two nearby homes were burned over their heads. The fight has been referred to as “Florida’s Alamo.” A young Union Officer (20 years old) of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, Nathan Cutler, ran into the burning church and saved the Bible from its lectern. It’s on display today for visitors to see. Cutler was shot and severely wounded by two young Confederate soldiers, but because of his heroism he recuperated in the bed of Mayor Thomas M. White for months. Cutler was treated kindly by the local citizens while he remained in Marianna before he was sent away to a prison at Macon and Andersonville. However, he returned after the war and was well received. The Battle of Marianna is memorialized at the Church, its cemetery,

Story of City's Founding

After Florida became a state many more settlers came to the area. Robert Beveridge, a Scottish land speculator, and his wife Anna Maria, arrived from Baltimore and laid out the City on a hilltop overlooking the Chipola River. He derived the name of the town by combining his wife’s middle name with the first name of his business partner, Anna. It was in 1827 that the town was officially founded.

Little Known Facts

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