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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.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.with which the city government consolidated in 1968.Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits.This highlighted the visibility of the state as a worthy place for tourism.The city's tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 19th century by yellow fever outbreaks.
Significant factors in the local economy include services such as banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics.
On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St.
Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed nearly all the French soldiers defending it.
Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad.
President Grover Cleveland attended the Sub-Tropical Exposition in the city on February 22, 1888 during his trip to Florida.