Brochure entitled "The History of Ormond" dated March 13, 1918


Material Information

Brochure entitled "The History of Ormond" dated March 13, 1918
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Folder: John Anderson: Correspondence: 1875-1892 Outgoing

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
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Full Text

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French and Indians in the Sixteenth Century.
At the time of the coming to Florida of the Span-
ish and French in the sixteenth century, this section
was inhabited by a race of natives divided into sev-
eral tribes, each under its own chief or Cacique.
Those living along the Halifax River were, from
all accounts we have, a gentle, peace loving people,
not given to war, but living homely, quiet lives;
subsisting upon the grains they raised, for they were
an agricultural people, the birds and animals they
killed with their bows and arrows and the fish they
caught with their spears and nets. During the
winter months, the oyster, as shown by the huge
mounds of shells where their villages were situated,
was the principal article of diet. This was the race
that was a century later overrun and the remnant
finally absorbed, by the Creeks and Red Sticks, or
Seminoles, who came down from the mountains of
Georgia and the Carolinas, a more warlike and
stronger people, of which people Coacoochee and
Osceola were later chiefs.
At the time the French Huguenots settled at Fort

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Caroline on the River of May, as they called what
we know as the St. Johns, Ostinola was the Cacique
governing the section along both sides of the Hali-
fax from the head waters of Smith's and Bulow
Creeks down to the inlet at New Smyrna. His prov-
ince was known as Toronita, the Land of Sunshine,
and his villages were scattered along both sides of
the river. The principal one where he was in resi-
dence was, as nearly as can be ascertained, on what
is now known as the shell mound at Hernandez Point,
with a smaller village just opposite on the peninsula.
Their houses were commodious and comfortable;
made by setting posts in a square with the sides
and roofs thatched with palmetto leaves, which style
has been followed even to the settlers of the nine-
teenth century. In the center was an opening for
the smoke of the fire which they built in a sand pit
in the center of the floor, to escape through the roof.
Each family lived by itself, although all property
was held in common, and the bond of family life,
as with nearly all primitive people, was specially
strong. Ostinola and his wife, Cowena, had no
children of their own which was a grievous disap-
pointment to them, but they had living with them
Cowena's sister's child, the maiden known as the
Princess Issena, and her close friend and maid in
waiting, Nonotta.
After the Massacre of the Huguenots at Matan-
zas Inlet by Menendez, one of the French officers,


D'Erlach, who would not trust the half promises of
Menendez, with a few followers preferred to take
his chances with the wild beasts and savages of
the country to the tender mercies of the wilder
beasts of St. Augustine, and came down the Florida
beach marching all day and until long after dark
before they stopped for a few hours rest while their
leader kept guard. In the quietest hour of the night
he heard a strange sound like music out at sea and
while they were wondering at it a boat was described
out beyond the surf and a bugle call came over the
water, and through the surf came the bateau that
had taken the last boatload of their comrades who
had surrendered across the inlet at Matanzas. These
at the last minute had become suspicious and es-
caped and put out to sea and now were coming
ashore near where the House of Refuge now stands
about twelve miles above Ormond. In the morning
the men dragged the boat across the peninsula and
D'Erlach, his younger brother Ernest, the bugler,
Le Bearnoise as he was called, with six oarsmen to
row started down the river, while the rest under
command of Ottigny, continued the march down
the beach intending to meet at the town of Ostinola
of whose friendship they had learned.

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.
The Spanish in the 17th Century do not seem to

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have penetrated to the region of the Halifax River
but confined themselves under Ponce de Leon to the
country around St. Augustine and north of that
place, and along the West Coast from Tampa north-
ward the path of De Soto, and it was not until the
English occupation in the 18th century that there
was any attempt at a settlement in this section.
After the Revolutionary war, when Florida was
ceded back to Spain, the English settlers from the
Bahamas were induced by great concessions to take
up plantations along the Halifax. The Spaniards
were ever Conquerers rather than Colonists and
Soldiers rather than Settlers, but in 1785 many
Scotch, Irish and English families located on broad
plantations up and down the river and engaged in
cotton and sugar-cane raising. The town of Ormond
takes its name from the family name of the two
brothers, James and Emanuel Ormond whose plan-
tation called Damietta lay at the head of the broad
basin where the Tomoka comes into the Halifax,
and which was destroyed in 1835 during the Seminole
war. James Ormond, grandson of the original Cap-
tain James, a young man of seventeen fled to Geor-
gia after the death of his father but came back with
a Georgia Company and was present at the Battle
of Dunlawton (opposite Port Orange) where the
leader on the side of the Seminoles was Coacoochee
(Little Wildcat).
In the two centuries past the more warlike Sem-

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inoles and Creeks from the mountain districts of
Georgia and Carolina overran and exterminated the
peaceful, agricultural nations of Florida, and they
strongly objected to being in their turn ousted by
the conquering Whites, and for nearly fifty years
there was a series of skirmishes and battles.
One of the leaders, Old Philip Emathla, held his
tribe in check for years, but on his death, his son,
Coacoochee, still hardly more than a boy and under
the influence of Osceola (a Red Stick, from Georgia),
who had grown up in Philips family, could not feel
as his old father had felt, and resolved to drive out
the White invaders if possible.
The final event that precipitated the war was
the capture of Osceola's wife and the narrow escape
of Nita Pacheco, the sweetheart of Coacoochee at the
hands of the slave catchers. Nita was the daughter
of one of the few Spanish planters whose wife had
some colored blood in her and by the laws her child
could be taken as a slave even though her mother
was a free woman. She escaped, however, through
the woods at night from her home on the Tomoka
to the Indian camp and was received by them as a
member of the tribe while her brother Louis was
captured, made a slave, and finally was the guide
who led the Whites into the trap that gave the vic-
tory to Coacoochee's men at the battle called the
Dade Massacre.



The Nineteenth Century.
In 1874 a number of people in Connecticut who
were tired of living in the land of ice and snow
decided to try their fortunes at orange growing in
Florida. They sent delegates ahead to look for
the promised land and hit upon the banks of the
Halifax as being nearest to the proverbial "Land
flowing with milk and honey" of any spot in the
state. They found here already settled the Bostrom
family who had come from far off Norway, the land
of the midnight sun, who had been quietly working
out a plantation, who gave them most encouraging
accounts of the climate and soil and urged them to
settle their colony here.
They brought home such glowing accounts that
not only in Connecticut were the people inspired to
go to Sunny Florida, but the good news travelled
all the way to Maine and Kentucky and during the
fall and winter of 1874 and 1875 a strong young
Colony was planted on the main land while over on
the peninsula were two little offshoots from Maine
and Kentucky.
The houses of the first settlers were built on the
Indian plan; four square, with palmetto thatched
sides and roofs and with the fire, in most cases
outside. The settlers worked hard for long hours,
but were always ready for a frolic in the evenings
and wireless telegraph must have been in vogue even


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then for nothing else could account for the quickness
with which the word of a dance would spread all
over the settlement.

The Twentieth Century.
So far in the 20th Century the great war over-
shadows all else, and war work of all kinds seems
to be the only thing to be thought of. We have not
yet been denied tea, so our friends will find plenty
of tea tables with war bread and war cake on the
lawn, furnished by the members of our food con-
servation league of which all our ladies are members.
Our Red Cross workers are showing their handi-
work as they knit while they enjoy this fair, and
our children with their junior work will inspire us
all with their young voices raised in patriotic song.


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