Apalachicola ( (listen) AP-ə-lach-i-KOH-lə) is a city and the county seat of Franklin County, Florida, United States, on the shore of Apalachicola Bay, an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. The population was 2,231 at the 2010 census.
"Apalachicola" comes from the Apalachicola tribe and is a combination of the Hitchiti words apalahchi, meaning "on the other side", and okli, meaning "people". In original reference to the settlement and the subgroup within the Seminole tribe, it probably meant "people on the other side of the river". Many inhabitants of Apalachicola have said the name means "land of the friendly people".
Between the years 1513 and 1763 the area that now includes the town of Apalachicola was under Spanish jurisdiction as part of Spanish Florida, however, the Spanish, based out of Pensacola, never ventured as far east as the Apalachicola river and the area remained unsettled and unexplored during the duration of Spain's first occupation of Florida. The only inhabitants of the area during that entire time were the Apalachee, Miccosukee and Timucua tribes. In the 1750s during the French and Indian War the British captured the Spanish colony of Cuba, however, because Cuba was a prized possession for the Spanish and Florida was mostly unused backwater, the Spanish traded Florida to the British in return for regaining Cuba. Between the years 1763 and 1783 the area that is now Apalachicola fell under the jurisdiction of British West Florida. A British trading post called "Cottonton" was founded at this site on the mouth of the Apalachicola River. In 1783, British West Florida was transferred to Spain, however, the trading post (and its British inhabitants) remained and continued facilitating trade along the Apalachicola River (which was connected to the trading network along the Chattahoochee River). Gradually after acquisition by the United States and related development in Alabama and Georgia, it attracted more permanent European-American residents.