Charlotte Fontaine Philippe “Countess of Citrus”

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Performed by Elizabeth Neily

The second wife of a Tampa Bay pioneer, Odet Philippe, describes frontier life from the beginning of the Second Seminole War in 1835 to the Armed Occupation Act of 1848. She talks about how Fort Brooke got its start on the Hillsborough River, a military base to launch Indian removals to Oklahoma. She tells about the entrepreneurs attracted to the area with the promise of a quick buck. Out of these shaky beginnings as a shanty-town and military garrison, Tampa was born.

Odet Philippe claimed to be a French count. He married his daughters off to local settlers. These early pioneers began a dynasty whose descendants still live in the Tampa Bay area today. The county park at the head of the bay is named for Philippe, who eventually settled at his plantation he namedSt. Elena in what became Safety Harbor. In his day, he was known for introducing citrus growing to the area for shipping barrels of oysters to St. Augustine.