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Key West, like the other Florida Keys, began as a coral forest under the sea water - marine life was its population.
As the polar ice caps reformed and the sea level dropped, terrestrial plant and animal life found its way.
The Spanish normally used "isla" for island and "islet" for small island.
At least in the New World, they appear to use "cayo" and "cayuelo" for a very small island.
Europeans stopped for fresh water on these islands, which stood as silent as the martyrs for which they were first named.
The silence was broken occasionally by those seeking refuge from being shipwrecked, to fish, to lumber, to salvage, etc.
Simonton had already divided it up amongst three others: Whitehead, Fleeming and Greene.
Greene made several strategic moves by buying up claims in his name.
It had professional residents such as doctors, lawyers, insurance representatives, politicians, military personnel, journalists, publishers, etc.The history of Key West is much like the rest of the Keys until 1821.