The city of Mobile, Alabama, gained its name from the Mobile tribe that the French colonists encountered living in the area. Spanish explorers were sailing into the area of Mobile Bay as early as 1500, with the bay being marked on early maps as the Bahía del Espíritu Santo (Bay of the Holy Spirit). Hernando de Soto explored the area of Mobile Bay and beyond in 1540, finding the area inhabited by indigenous Muscogee people. During this expedition his forces destroyed the fortified town of Mauvila, from which the name Mobile was later derived.
The European settlement of Mobile began with French colonists, who in 1702 constructed a fort. It was founded by French Canadian brothers Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, to establish control over France’s Louisiana claims. These brothers founded many cities in this area (see day 316).
In 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Seven Years’ War, which Britain won, defeating France. By this treaty, France ceded its territories east of the Mississippi River to Britain. During the American Revolutionary War, West Florida and Mobile became a refuge for loyalists fleeing the other colonies. While the British were dealing with their rebellious colonists along the Atlantic coast, the Spanish entered the war in 1779 as an ally of France. They took the opportunity to order Bernardo de Galvez, Governor of Louisiana, on an expedition east to retake West Florida. He captured Mobile during the Battle of Fort Charlotte in 1780, as part of this campaign. The Spanish held Mobile as a part of Spanish West Florida until 1813, when it was seized by United States General James Wilkinson during the War of 1812.
Went to the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico. The interesting thing about this museum is that it is built to resemble a container ship, with each exhibit in a separate container.
Unfortunately, Christmas is coming, and we must head home. We see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ponchatoula, Louisiana to Mobile Alabama: 139.1 miles