The entrances to Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor are obscured by barrier islands, and their locations, and the names applied to them, were a source of confusion to explorers, surveyors and map-makers from the 16th century though the 18th century.
Bahía Tampa and Bahía de Espíritu Santo were each used, at one time or another, for the modern Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. Tampa", corresponding to Tampa Bay, appeared on a British map of 1705, with "Carlos Bay" for Charlotte Harbor to the south, while a 1748 British map had "B.
While there is a substantial historical record of the Tocobaga (and the Calusa, who lived far to the south), there is less surviving documentation describing the Pohoy chiefdom, which controlled the area near the mouth of the Hillsborough River near today's downtown Tampa.There is no natural gold or silver in Florida, and the native inhabitants repulsed Spanish attempts to establish a permanent settlement or convert them to Catholicism.The fighting resulted in a few deaths, but the many more deaths were caused by infectious diseases brought from Europe, which devastated the population of Native Americans across Florida and the entire Western Hemisphere.Local authorities consulted by Michael Kruse of the Tampa Bay Times suggest that "Tampan" was historically more common, while "Tampanian" became popular when the former term came to be seen as a potential insult.A mix of Cuban, Italian, and Spanish immigrants began arriving in the late 1800s to found and work in the new communities of Ybor City and West Tampa.
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