Andrew Turnbull and the
New Smyrna Colony
During the third quarter of the
18th Century, what is now southeastern Volusia County was the
site of one of the most ambitious attempts by the British to colonize the New World. It was here, in 1768, that Scottish physician Dr. Andrew Turnbull and
1,255 colonists founded what
eventually became the present-day city of New Smyrna Beach. In terms of sheer numbers of colonists, New Smyrna rivaled the original Jamestown colony, established over a century and a
half earlier in Virginia. It was certainly one of the grandest agricultural enterprises undertaken during the British occupation of East Florida. But the New Smyrna colony also is
noteworthy for the magnitude of its failure, abandoned as it was after only nine years.
Until recently, interest in Turnbull's colony resided primarily with historians and a handful of
dedicated vocational archaeologists. But recent research has changed all that. Through surveys and excavation, archaeologists have begun to systematically piece together the remains
of 18th Century New Smyrna.
VolusiaHistory.com is a partnership between the
Volusia County Historic Preservation Board
and the Volusia County Government