William Henry Chase picture
Rachel Donelson Jackson
Hero of Horseshoe Bend, the Battle of New Orleans, and seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837, Andrew Jackson was also the first provisional governor of the Territory of Florida in 1821. He presided over the ceremony in Pensacola marking the transfer from Spanish to American control, and planned the first road from Pensacola to St. Augustine, the two largest towns in the territory. Jackson's administration in Pensacola was brief. He resigned within a year and returned to Tennessee with his family.
Rosamond Johnson picture
Army Private Rosamond Johnson, Jr. was the first Escambia County resident to die in the Korean War on July 26, 1950. He had successfully carried two wounded soldiers to safety and was returning with a third when he was fatally wounded. He had joined the military at age 15 and died at 17. He posthumously received the Purple Heart August 21, 1950 and several veteran groups are still working to see if Johnson deserved additional military honors. During the early days of an integrated military it was not uncommon for recognition to be overlooked for black troops.
Pensacola beaches were racially segregated at the time of Johnson's death; the Gulf beach area was a popular area for blacks. After the Korean Conflict the county-owned recreational area was renamed to honor its fallen hero at the suggestion of the Sunset Riding Club, Inc. The club leased the land in 1950 from the county for the sole use of bathing, beach and recreational facilities for "colored citizens." Although the lease was canceled in 1956 the name Rosamond Johnson Beach remained. The area became part of Gulf Islands National Seashore May 8, 1973. A permanent monument in his honor was erected at Johnson Beach on June 10, 1996. Guest speaker, retired Army Maj. Gen. Mike Ferguson of Pensacola and the Veterans of Underaged Military Service, said the real heroes of the war - those who make the ultimate sacrifice - can never receive enough recognition. "There is no medal that signifies hero. You couldn't invent a medal to signify hero."
He stands in the unspoken line of patriots who have
Freedom lives, and through it, he lives - in a way that
He crossed the 38th parallel three times. The first two times, he carried back wounded. The third time, he got killed before he could make it back.
May 18, 1933 - July 26, 1950
Andrew Pickens picture
Andrew Pickens was born in 1739 in Pennsylvania. His family then travelled south and settled in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas. After serving in the militia against the Cherokee Indians, Pickens settled down in South Carolina near the Georgia border to become a farmer, marry and raise a family. After war broke out, he became a militia captain. He served at Ninety-Six, South Carolina, Snow's Campaign and Williamson's expeditions against the Indians.
Adam Slemmer picture
On January 12, 1861 Lieutenant Adam Slemmer refused to surrender Fort Pickens. When requested to surrender by representative of Florida and Alabama governors, Lt. Slemmer replied that he "was here under the orders of the President of the United States, and by direction of the General-in-Chief of the Army," that he "recognized no right of any governor to demand a surrender of United States property; that my orders were distinct and explicit." Because of his actions, Fort Pickens remained in Union control for the entire conflict.
Did You Know?
Gulf Islands National Seashore's barrier island habitats, offshore waters, and submerged resources offer a variety of recreational opportunities for people year-round.