Tallahassee | Florida Capital City, Map, & History (2024)

Florida, United States

verifiedCite

While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions.

Select Citation Style

Feedback

Thank you for your feedback

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

External Websites

Britannica Websites

Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

  • Tallahassee - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11)
  • Tallahassee - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up)

Print

verifiedCite

While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions.

Select Citation Style

Feedback

Thank you for your feedback

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

External Websites

Britannica Websites

Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

  • Tallahassee - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11)
  • Tallahassee - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up)

Written and fact-checked by

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree. They write new content and verify and edit content received from contributors.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Last Updated: Article History

Tallahassee, city, capital of Florida, U.S., and seat (1824) of Leon county. It is situated in the central part of the state’s northern panhandle region about halfway between Pensacola (west) and Jacksonville (east).

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto camped in the area during the winter of 1539–40; it was originally occupied by Apalachee and later by Creek peoples. Seven Franciscan missions were established, with their headquarters at Fort San Luis (1633), which was destroyed (1704) by forces led by Governor James Moore of Carolina during Queen Anne’s War (1702–13). In 1821, when Florida became an American territory, it had two capitals, St. Augustine and Pensacola. As a central location between the two, Tallahassee (derived from a Creek word meaning “old town”) became the capital in 1824. The porticoed capitol building, begun in 1839, acquired its dome in 1902 and was restored after a new skyscraper capitol was completed in 1977. Prince Achille Murat, nephew of Napoleon I, and his wife, Catherine Willis, great-grandniece of George Washington, were early residents of the city. During the American Civil War, Tallahassee was far removed from the significant battle areas and was the only capital of a Confederate state east of the Mississippi River not captured by Union forces, although there was an engagement (March 6, 1865) at Natural Bridge, about 10 miles (16 km) southeast (now a state historic site) when a local militia repulsed a Union march on the city.

Britannica QuizU.S. State Capitals Quiz

Tallahassee is a trade and distribution point for the surrounding lumbering, agriculture, and livestock region; printing and publishing and the manufacture of electronic equipment and metal products are also of some importance. Services (associated with government or the area’s institutions of higher education) are a major component of the economy. The city is the seat of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (1887), Florida State University (1851), and Tallahassee Community College (1966).

Local attractions include the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, the Museum of Florida History, and the Columns (1830), the city’s oldest building. The annual month-long Springtime Tallahassee (March–April) commemorates the city’s founding. Apalachicola National Forest borders Tallahassee on the southwest; on the city’s northern edge are Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens and Lake Jackson Mounds State Archaeological Site. Also nearby to the south are Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park and, on Apalachee Bay, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Inc. 1825. Pop. (2010) 181,376; Tallahassee Metro Area, 367,413; (2020) 196,068; Tallahassee Metro Area, 384,298.

This article was most recently revised and updated by World Data Editors.

Tallahassee | Florida Capital City, Map, & History (2024)

FAQs

Why was Tallahassee chosen as the capital of Florida? ›

As a result, Tallahassee was chosen as the capital of American Florida in 1824, primarily because it was the midway point between the two principal cities. Three log cabins served as Florida's first Capitol.

Did Florida have two capitals? ›

In 1821, when Florida became an American territory, it had two capitals, St. Augustine and Pensacola. As a central location between the two, Tallahassee (derived from a Creek word meaning “old town”) became the capital in 1824.

Which highlighted state on the map has the capital of Tallahassee? ›

Tallahassee is the capital city of the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2020 Tallahassee has a population of 196,169 people.

What is the history of Tallahassee? ›

Tallahassee (population 177,879) was founded in 1824 to serve as the capital of territorial Florida's government, due to its central location between St. Augustine and Pensacola. The area's vegetation, rolling hills, and fertile soil have contributed to a long history of habitation.

Why is Tallahassee so famous? ›

Tallahassee is widely known for being the capital of Florida; the state's political and legislative center. The city boasts the iconic Florida State Capitol building, a majestic structure that serves as the seat of government for the state.

What does the word Tallahassee mean? ›

“Tallahassee” is an Apalachee Indian word meaning “old town” or “abandoned fields.” The area became an abandoned Apalachee village. In 1656, a Spanish deputy governor and his crew settled in the Apalachee town that they called San Luis in west Tallahassee.

Why is Tallahassee so hilly? ›

Geologists suspect that the Tallahassee Hills region is another remnant of the vast plain that, perhaps, once reached from southern Georgia into northern Florida. Streams have carved the region into smoothly rolling hills. In Liberty County, the elevation of the Hills reaches 250 feet above mean sea level.

What is the closest country to Florida? ›

Florida shares a land border with only two other states, both along its northern boundary: Georgia (east) and Alabama (west). The nearest foreign territory is the island of Bimini in the Bahamas, some 50 miles (80 km) to the east of the state's southern tip.

What tribe lived in Tallahassee? ›

From at least A.D. 1000, a group of farming Indians known as the Apalachee lived in northwest Florida. Their territory extended from the Aucilla River to the east and the Ochlockonee River to the west, and from what is now the Georgia state line to the Gulf of Mexico.

Why is Tallahassee called Big Bend? ›

The Big Bend of Florida, United States, is an informally named geographic region of North Florida where the Florida Panhandle transitions to the Florida Peninsula south and east of Tallahassee (the area's principal city).

What percentage of Tallahassee is African American? ›

The 5 largest ethnic groups in Tallahassee, FL are White (Non-Hispanic) (49.5%), Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (35.2%), Asian (Non-Hispanic) (4.17%), Two+ (Non-Hispanic) (3.31%), and White (Hispanic) (3.14%).

What was significant about Tallahassee during the Civil War? ›

Tallahassee was the only Confederate state capital east of the Mississippi not captured by Union forces during the Civil War, and the only one not burned. The Battle of Natural Bridge was fought outside Tallahassee.

What was the capital of Florida in 1845? ›

Florida's Capital City - Tallahassee

Tallahassee became the capital of Florida in 1824, when Florida was still considered the Florida Territory until the land was ratified as a state in 1845.

What was the capital of the Florida Territory? ›

After territorial status was granted, the two Floridas were merged into one entity with a new capital city in Tallahassee. Established in 1824, Tallahassee was chosen because it was halfway between the existing governmental centers of St. Augustine and Pensacola.

Who named Tallahassee in the 18th century? ›

Octavia Walton is said to have chosen the name Tallahassee for its long association with the natives of the area, though one account says she chose the name for its “sun town” meaning. The Legislature formally adopted the name Dec. 11, 1824 near the end of its first session in Tallahassee.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated:

Views: 6536

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.