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Britain ceded control of the territory to Spain in 1783, after being defeated in the American Revolutionary War, and the settlement at the Cow Ford continued to grow.After Spain ceded the Florida Territory to the United States in 1821, American settlers on the north side of the Cow Ford decided to plan a town, laying out the streets and plats.Ribault erected a stone column at the site, claiming the newly discovered land for France.In 1564, René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement, Fort Caroline, on the St. Philip II of Spain ordered Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to protect the interest of Spain by attacking the French presence at Fort Caroline.
Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces.
At the time of contact with Europeans, all Mocama villages in present-day Jacksonville were part of the powerful chiefdom known as the Saturiwa, centered around the mouth of the St. French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St.
Johns River in 1562, calling it the River of May because that was the month of his discovery.
The Spanish renamed the fort San Mateo, and following the ejection of the French, St.
Augustine's position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British called the Cow Ford; these names ostensibly reflect the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.