Interactions between native peoples and the Spanish were brief and often violent, and although the newcomers did not stay for long, they introduced European diseases which brought the collapse of native societies across the Florida peninsula over the ensuing decades.Although Spain claimed all of Florida and beyond as part of New Spain, it did not found a colony on the west coast.
The town grew slowly, and had become a minor shipping port for cattle and citrus by the time of the United States Civil War. Census data showed an average annual growth of 2.47 percent, or a gain of approximately 97,000 residents per year.
The first iteration of the name "Tampa" first appears in the memoirs of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda (1575), who had spent 17 years as a Calusa captive and traveled through much of peninsular Florida.
He spelled it "Tanpa" and describes it as an important Calusa town on the west coast.
Today, Tampa is part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the "Tampa Bay Area". This might be a reference to the many lightning strikes that the area receives during the summer months.
Other historians claim the name means "the place to gather sticks".