Florida’s First American-Built Road Passed Through Jackson County
By Dale Cox
Compass Lake – When the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821, few people had any idea of the dramatic size of the territory. More than 400 miles of wilderness separated Pensacola and St. Augustine, the only two cities in Florida and little more than a rugged footpath that took six weeks to travel connected the two places.
As settlers flooded into the new American territory, the complete lack of a transportation network proved astounding. A call went up to the U.S. Congress for help and on February 28, 1824, an act was passed approving the construction of a “Federal Road” linking Pensacola and St. Augustine.