Copyright 2008 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Constitutional Convention State Museum
Located in the beautiful coastal city of Port St. Joe, the
Constitutional Convention State Museum tells the story of
Florida's first constitution and the "lost city" of St. Joseph.

From the time of its transfer from Spain to the United States in
1821, Florida had been a U.S. Territory. Many in the old colony,
however, dreamed of bringing the region into the United States
as a new state. A major step in this direction took place in
1837 when a majority of residents voted in favor of statehood in
a territory-wide referendum.

In an effort to placate the battling interests of various parts of
the territory, the Legislative Council selected the coastal boom
town of St. Joseph to host Florida's first Constitutional
Convention, a necessity on the road to statehood.

Delegates from throughout Florida convened at St. Joseph on
December 3, 1838. For 34 days they met, debated, deliberated
and took action until finally, on January 11, 1839, they
completed the process of drafting the first of Florida's five
constitutions. Just six years later, Florida was admitted to the
Union as the 27th state.

The effort of the early delegates is memorialized today at the
Constitutional Convention State Museum in Port St. Joe. The
museum preserves and interprets the history of the old city of
St. Joseph, which had all but vanished by 1845, and the
drafting of Florida's first constitution.

The exhibits include artifacts from the lost city, a life-sized
audio-animated reconstruction of the convention and a replica
of the locomotive from Florida's first railroad.

The 13.5 acre museum grounds also provide a beautiful bay
front setting for a monument to Florida's first constitution and
the delegates that drafted it.

The Constitutional Convention State Museum is located at 200
Allen Memorial Way in Port St. Joe. Open from 9 a.m. to 12
noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time Thursday through
Monday. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and
Wednesdays, but the grounds are open seven days a week.
The Story of Florida's First Constitution
Constitutional Convention State Museum
This state museum in Port St. Joe explores the
history of the "lost city" of St. Joseph and the
drafting of Florida's first constitution.
Monument to Florida's First Constitution
The monument, located on the grounds of the
Constitutional Convention State Museum, was
erected in 1922.
Florida's First Constitution
Among the exhibits at the museum is a life-sized,
animated reconstruction of the Constitutional
Convention in session.