New Smyrna Beach, Florida

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New Smyrna Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The population was 20,048 according to the 2000 census. As of 2007, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 23,161.[3]



The area was settled in 1768, when Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull established the colony of "New Smyrna." The colony occupies a notable place in history by being the single largest attempt by a member of the British Crown at colonization in the New World. Turnbull transplanted around 1500 settlers, from Minorca, Majorca, Ibiza, Smyrna, Crete, Mani Peninsula, and Sicily, to grow hemp, sugarcane, indigo, and to produce rum. The colony suffered major losses due to insect-borne diseases and Native American raids; and tensions grew due to mistreatment by Turnbull. Due to these complications, the remaining colonists marched north to St. Augustine along the Old King's Highway, to claim mistreatment by Turnbull to the Governor of Florida in St. Augustine in 1777; then a British protectorate.[4]. Soon after, St. Augustine was returned to the Spanish, and Turnbull abandoned his colony for life in Charleston, South Carolina.

The St. Photios National Shrine on St. John's Street in St. Augustine, Florida, honors the settlers of New Smyrna, who were the first Greek Orthodox followers in North America. The historical exhibit adjoining the Chapel tells the moving story of their plight in great detail, with accompanying exhibits.[5]

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