Territory of Florida (Second Edition), 5

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Material Information

Title:
Territory of Florida (Second Edition), 5
Series Title:
John Lee Williams Papers
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Williams, John Lee, 1775-1856
Creation Date:
1839-1856

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Lawyers -- Correspondence -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Historians -- Correspondence -- Florida   ( lcsh )
History -- Sources -- Picolata (Fla.) -- 19th century   ( lcsh )
St Johns -- 12109   ( ceeus )
Escambia -- 12033   ( ceeus )
Leon -- 12073   ( ceeus )

Notes

Summary:
Papers, biographical sketch, correspondence, newspaper clipping. This collection contains miscellaneous papers related to John Lee Williams. The longest item is a 300+ unpublished manuscript, intended to be an expanded and revised edition of his "Territory of Florida" (1837), in which he devotes more space to the Second Seminole War. There are also biographical sketches, minor receipts and deeds, and letters written by John King of Charleston to William's stepson, Washington M. Ives, concerning property in St. Augustine.
Biographical:
Civil engineer, lawyer, Florida pioneer, historian.
Biographical:
Florida". He quit his law practice and gathered quite a reputation as an eccentric who was known for his walks around the dangerous Indian territory around Picolata, but was never harmed. A story of his evasion of a group of Indians who murdered a troupe of actors is included.
Source of Description:
Originally derived from archival-level ALEPH record 028340846 ( OCLC: 50656958 )
Funding:
Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) as part of the Pioneer Days in Florida Project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Special Collections
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028340846
System ID:
AA00017224:00009


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Gadsden county extends from the Georgia line, to the Gulf of Mexico,
a distance of sixty-six miles, and from the Appalachicola to the Oclockony
River, from thirty to thirty-six miles. Dog Island, on the coast, is attach-
ed to it. The lands on the Appalachicola are very rich, covered with wA
large timber, interspersed with luxuriant cane brakes. Musquito Creek and
Sweet Water, small branches of the Appalachicola, water considerable
tracts of good land on the west, while Little River and its branches, spread
over the N. E. quarter of the county, and irrigate some of the finest land in
the Territory. The Oclockonyis navigable for large boats. Vessels drawing
six feet water, can enter the bay, and ascend as far as the crooked stream will
render it profitable. The principal settlements are on the Attapulgas; Rocky
Comfort, and Robinson's Creek, branches of Little River, which enters the
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the bay to the Econfina River, there are extensive ranges of ponds, with
poor pine ridges betweenr.rn progress of time its commercial advantages
may render this county one of the most important in the Territory.
4-ackson CountjSJmM^yl ia*Akm, 70-W ;^efeJaIute ii

7 an Cjir. It je miles in length, from east
to west, and thirty-so from\porth to south. It is one of the most
.populous counties in the TeyritoYj. Near the centre of the north line
arises Spring Creek, frm several ery large springs which ri-e on both
sides of the line; this the largest N4utary stream of the Chipola River,
which rises in Richmond and Columbia counties, Alabama. It meanders
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I
COUNTIES. 129

SHolmes Creek rises in Richmond County, Alabama, passes through
the north-west corner of Jackson County, and falls into the east side of the
Chactawhatchee River, about seven miles above the Cow Ford. This
creek has a channel deeper than the river, and the enterprise of Messrs.
Shackleford and Merlet has rendered it navigable, as far as Hard Labor
Creek, by clearing out the timber, which had before that time obstructed .
the channel. They have erected warehouses about forty miles from its .-
mouth to receive the produce of the Chipola planters. The Big Spring 0
of Chactawhatche rises near the mouth of this creek, within which it
unites its waters. Six feet of water can be carried from the bay into this
spring, which will be hereafter more particularly described: Groves of
S. fine cypress cl6jbe--the margins of this creek, and a-few good hammocks
^- skirt its banks. .
SThere is another very good settlement on the Econfina River, which is
navigable fifteen miles from the Bay of St. Andrews. The limestone lands
on this stream are very fertile, producing in a natural state, the finest groves
of white oak in Florida : there is also a large quantity of wild cherry and
S red cedar of superior quality. All the productions of this country are
S raised in abundance here. Numerous springs of fine water are found con-
S venient to every farm, and the county is healthy as it is fertile, .
The hammocks on the north side of the main body of the bay and of
the eastern arm are extensive and rich, and will afford excellent farms, for











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j.TIES. 133
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T_ S. E. has many, sections of very superior sugar land. The principals
settle ements are north of the road wading from Tallahasse' lo St. August-
ine. This part of the country is rolling oak land, in erspersed with fine
springA and streams of water. Old Hick's Town wa formerly a favorite
settleme t o the Seminoles. The borders of San Pdro Lake were early
occupiedfT J aniards as a missionary estab ishment. Much of the
pine la-t heg"e.troad, east of the Ocilla, is ich and productive. The
Hisf fa hf aahatliee, and Achenahatc e, and Fwnahalloway, a
larg "illa, water the south n part of the county. A
Iaktalaire scattered ove it; of these, the largest is
e- rrrce of the Cl ttahatchee. The south-east
:..^^^ ^xnr,'-ontains some e cellent cane lands ; va- "----
lu l ij^en Ig plantations here ./.', -'^,,.,.,,-44 f.
-Ha o. t nis ended west by t e Withlacooche River, north by
the Georgia leeast anc south by t e Little Suwanne River. It is
about 36 miles long and 20 i the wide t part. This county has acquired
a considerable population in a s ort ti e. It is said to contain much good
land, and is finely watered. Thi L tle Suwanne skirts it for 40 miles.
The Allappahaw passes through t centre, and the Withlacooche Washes
the western side. The line which s rates it from Georgia, runs on a
ridge that divides he waters wlch fal into the Suwanne on the" '," .$
Swdanp 01 the north Mir\ fituatez in-lhc ferw>&
I I iV -"- X AL
Columbia County is bounce d west by the Suwanne River; noith, by
the Georgia line; east, by t e St. Mary's Rive- and Duval County; and
south by Allachua County It is about seventy- wo miles long and sixty
wide. It contains,'much oor pine barren land. -In he northern part there
are detached spots of go d farming land. In the sou hern part, about the
Santaffe and its tributary streams and lakes, there is considerable good
land. The settlement s are much scattered over the coun It is almost
surrounded by the S wanne, the St. Marys, and the Santaf Rivers.
Ocean, or Rand lph Lake is situated about twelve miles om the St. '
Marys, on the no th side of the road leading to St. Augustine ;-it is about"
seven miles lon and five wide; it discharges its waters into the Marys.
Alligator Lal is, in a wet season, three miles long and two wide but in
a dry season the waters of six considerable streams sink into the eah :-
the surface f the land is soon covered with grass, and herds of cattl are
seen during summer, where shoals of fishes and alligators swim during ohe
winter. ,,ason. When a sudden drought has withdrawn the water,
million of fish have been left to perish on the muddy bottom. The al
*ligato( are more provident,-they withdraw with the water to the great




///4;




134 COUNTIES.

khe Whether the waters of the laIe arise again at New River, a
branch of the Santaffe, or at Echatucne, a great spring south of the
natural bridge, is uncertain; both are large creeks that arise at once from
the earth, not many miles distant. There are several other large lakes
in this county, but little known. Gadsdens' Spring. is celebrated for its
medical qualities; it is situated in the seventeenth sc,%'le rst town-
ship in range fourteen, on the south bank 's the fit4 Sni IL t is
situated on the bank of the river, is about sixty feet across, and thirty to
forty deep. A small village is here incorporated. 'This cc.nty is a fine
grazing tract both for cattle'and hogs. .. "
Duval County is bounded north and north-wcst by ssau;.,,. -by te
Atlanti and St. Johns River; 'south, by Allachua ; and wes4y iimbia'O
S" Counties. It is about eightyfour miles long and thirty wide: e seat of .
justice is at Jacksonville, on the north side of the St. Johns 'R r about t '
thirty miles from the sea. The eastern part of this county is low and
marshy. The Nassau River separates it from the county of that name
on the north. On the bar of that river there is eight feet water, but the
country affords but few objects for commercial enterprise. Some live oak
has been cut. In some future time, rice plantations will be cultivated.
Considerable business is done on the St. Johns. Live oak to a considerable
..- amount is annually exported-cotton, oranges, lemons, moss, jerked beef,
"d_ 4eV t lumber. Both sides of the St. Johns is cultivated..by indibto'iuos far-
' z ,mers. There is a safe inland passage from the St. Johns to Savanna.
Steam Boats have already passed back and forth from that place, and it is
confidently expected that much business will hereafter be done in that line.
Groves of fruit trees are rapidly extending, cotton farms, and sugar planta-
tions are increasing in number and extent. Black Creek, a tributary of
St. Johns, is a fine navigable stream for fifteen miles. i. thl- rxaa-,-
~eyL.t- "1 .t for..-. f- 1 f3 -Creek
will become.. .valuable situation for-busrhiee The islands of Fort George
and Talbot are well cultivated, and produce abundance of provisions and
F fruit. The first is wholly owned by Mr. fitsi, the second by Messrs.
Houston and Christopher.
Nassau County is bounded west and north by St. Marys River; east by
the Atlantic; and south, by Duval County. The lands of Nassau are
generally low and level, but it is well settled by an industrious, and thriving
population. Amelia Island extends the whole length of its eastern line,
and is divided from the main land by a navigable sound, which has lately
been improved by a canal about half a mile in length. The Harbor cf
Fernandina is the best south of Chesapeake nay. Some of the planta-
tions on the St. Marys are very productive in rice and sugar. The plan-
.










COUNTIES. 135

station called White Oak while it belonged to Z. Kingsley, Esq., is said to
have produced crops of the value of ten thousand dollars in one year. In
1829 he made five thousand bushels of rough rice, fifty hogsheads of
sugar, besides a large quantity of cotton, corn, peas, potatoes, &c. The
T seat of justice for Nassau County has lately been removed from Feman- ,
dina to a settlement north, of Nassau River.
Allachua County' lte'ds from the south line of Columbia, south to the ft
? po nfsixty-six miles. And .' ,
from Orange Lake on the east to the Wakasasse Bay, and Suwanne
River on th$west, forty-eight miles. It embraces oneof the largest tracts
of good tE 1.fm .t,- tTerritory. It was from the time of its first discovery, by
de So- -eent day, covered by a dense population. In 1812, the
seat i ihinble'nation, governed by Paine, and Bowlegs was in this
county,BHsd continued till their power was broken by Col. Newnan. The
site oftheia principal towns, is comprehended in the grant of land made to Ar-
redondo. This county embraces the great Lakes of Orange, Pithlachucco,
and Hogmasters, and the Prairies of Allachua, Kanappaha, Wakahoota,
and many others. The great plantation of Lang Syne, Oakland and
Tarvers, and many others, produced great quantities of sugar and provi-
sions. The herds of cattle, and droves of horses that ranged over these
prairies, were almost innumerable; good judges have estimated that the.
Seminoles have, since this war commenced, driven off more than thirty
thousand head. The Allachua savanna, is during the winter season, usu-
ally covered with water if the season be very wet ; a stream flows from it
into Orange Lake. But as the dry season approaches, the water with-
draws into a sink hole, near the north shore, and leaves a green meadow
fifteen miles from east to west, and six from north to south. It is probably
one of the best spots for grazing in the world. The grass is often so tall
as to hide the droves of cattle, and deer from sight. The sink hole that re-
ceives these waters is a deep rocky dell in the north bank of the prairie,
shaded with lofty oaks, and here in the. dry season may be seen innume-
rable fishes and alligators. A large stream runs from the Pithlachucco
Lake, through part of the savanna into this Sink lIole. Almost any quan-
tity of fine trout may be caught in this stream. ,.The hammock lands, on
the borders of this great prairie, are very rich and afford ?manry delightful
prospects, and many rich farms, before the Seminole war..
From the Allachua uplands, the country descends westward, about
twenty miles, to the Wakasasse River, is covered with pine timber, and is
diversified by a variety of grass ponds and swamps. The Wakasasse is
formed by the collection of many springs and drains, from the wet savan-
nas. The whole country is excellent for grazing.






/43


136


COUNTIES.


From the Wakasasse to the Suwanne, the country is rolling pine land
until you approach the coast, when it becomes fiat and wet, in many places
very swamov. ..a
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1 formed us that on one of these islands t e eminole chiefs kept their- magazine
of ammunition concealed from the eat bdy of their own people. West of
the Olocklikany, the country falls estwar over rather barren pine lands
Ito the Gulf The country arou Chicuchat ris high table land formed
of the rich red clay, so predom* ant in Middle lorjda. In this part of the
country there are many delia tful situations for antes, with pleasant and
extenisivre prospects, fine air. &"!"Aantspringskof g d water, aj: excellent
grazing land.
H.illsbo,-, gt.ount. ,is bN ed north by Dade, east bythe Indian Re-
serve, South bCharlotte Harbor, d west by the Gulf of,.&Vexico. This

'On the east side of Hillaborough-Bay the inc lands have a gobd sub-soil
o clay. Southwest of taeeRvr the borders of Tampa, and
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progr aing towards the i-azota Bay, there is onsiderafe live oak ham-
moficklds, and ereOwi cane and tall palmettoes. hInan negroes, lonil appears to be-
ri formed ubes that on one of these islands t.ae'beminole hiefs kept their magazine
Sof ammunition concealed'from the gTfeat bohdy of their own people. West of
the. Olocklikanyt, the country fallsi/westwardkover rather barren pine lands






east sidthe Gulf. The c zota there has been ia considetablegh table land formoved, and
of the rich red clay, so predottlemeant in Middle loda. In thiso Charlotte ay, the lands,






s c they have been e red, are poor. Some beautiful s1 nations are
si extensive prospects, fine aiijsfemi-tat'springs, of gbood water, aaa excellent
grazing land. ,,f
>: tillsbmorough/County, is bou'^/01ed ed orhby ade, east by ~t-le Indian Re-
.'serv e, south b^ Charlotte Harbor, ____ west by the Gulf of..Vtexieo. This
G ut -v I' .. ...e~ m p ,R R,_.. -- -. .. -




fud on the coast sid e of cially aboo y t Pal no lands have a go6d sub-soiln
o'ands extend to thwest, oGulf for 'atee River, o the bor 15 miles oTampa, and
progrssn~g towards the S4 fazota Bay, there is'onsiderab fe live oak ham-
mock, intN, ersie~wi ,ane and tall palmettoes, !^.he soil appears to be
rich. The beslsnar0f of these ha mm~ocks 'are about Oyser Creek. On the
east side of the ah~ota there has been a considerable u~t improved,-' and
would now aifforda fils~ttlement. From this, to Charlotte'ay, the lands,
so'far as, they have been e ^ored, are poor .:Some beautiful si nations are
foyndfc on the coast, especially ab't Palm ,,Sound ; below which, t~e pine
i'T~ands extend to tihe Gulf for a distanstf 2 or 15 miles, to Cleni S ud,




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