Individuals typically consider historical past as everlasting, unchangeable, and irrefutable; a static set of details that may by no means change.

Opposite to widespread perception, historical past is consistently altering.

These revisions of historical past grow to be essential when new main supply paperwork are found that contradict lengthy-held assumptions, or nicely-recognized main sources are reevaluated with recent eyes and new conclusions are reached. Over time, societal norms evolve and alter, offering historians totally different lenses by means of which to view the previous.

Typically, notably with native histories, concepts concerning the previous can turn into entrenched in our collective consciousness as tales are handed down from era to era, and repeated as reality by new generations of historians.


Final week on this column, we mentioned the final naval battle of the American Revolution. All the particulars of the battle introduced within the article are verifiable and undisputed, apart from one.

Did that battle truly happen off of Cape Canaveral?

In line with a state historic marker:

“The final naval battle of the American Revolutionary Conflict occurred off the coast of Cape Canaveral on March 10, 1783. The struggle started when three British ships sighted two Continental Navy ships, the Alliance commanded by Captain John Barry, and the Duc De Lauzun commanded by Captain John Inexperienced crusing northward alongside the coast of Florida.”

The marker goes on to elucidate how the American ships have been carrying seventy two,000 Spanish silver dollars from Havana, Cuba, to Philadelphia to help the Continental Military. The British ships chased the People south. The British ship Sybil, commanded by Captain James Vashon, attacked the Duc De Lauzun. The Alliance got here to the rescue of the Duc De Lauzun, and defeated the Sybil. After the British retreated, the People efficiently accomplished their mission.

Brevard County Historic Commissioner Molly Thomas has completed in depth analysis into this battle for a collection of articles showing within the Indian River Journal. Though she hoped to help the story of the battle occurring off of Cape Canaveral, that’s not what occurred.