Navy Commodore David Porter’s 1823 letter established the island as “Allenton” and the base as “Thompson’s Battery.” The city was initially named for a lieutenant killed by pirates.
The document is among thousands of artifacts recently donated to Monroe County’s Key West library by the Key West Maritime Historical Society.
The Key West Citizen reports that a rare book collector in Maine sold the artifacts to the historical society for an undisclosed sum.
Along with Porter’s letter, the artifacts include old travel brochures, a La Concha Hotel skeleton key and an 1829 edition of the Key West Register newspaper featuring a story about a ban on nude sunbathing.
Source: The Associated Press