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Title: Florida: a pamphlet descriptive of its history, topography,
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Title: Florida: a pamphlet descriptive of its history, topography,
Series Title: Florida: a pamphlet descriptive of its history, topography,
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Table of Contents
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Full Text



L 0 Yrl 1- V" a








Commissioner of State Bureau of Immigration.



*--r ? ^ .^
-^i. >--'.-,-* ^.--


FLORIDA, the southeastern State of the United States, lies between 25
degrees and 31 degrees north latitude, and between 80 degrees and 88 de-
grees west longitude from Greenwich.
Until recently the area has been estimated at 59,268 square miles, but
according to a bulletin recently issued by the Census Bureau the State con-
tains but 58,680 square miles. In this latter document the soast waters,
bays, gulfs, sounds, harbors, &c., are put down at 1800 square miles of sur-
face ; rivers and smaller streams at 390 square miles; lakes and ponds at
2,250 square miles-making the whole water surface 4,440 square miles, and
leaving 54,240 square miles of land surface, or 34,713,600 acres.
Italy is said to resemble in shape a boot, with the foot turned south-
ward. Florida has somewhat the same resemblance with the foot turned
northward. The peninsular portion, measuring from the northern boundary,
extends south about 400 miles, with an average width of about 100 miles.
The northern part of the State extends from the Atlantic westward along
the southern boundary of the States of Georgia and Alabama about 375
miles, with a width to the Gulf of from 40 to 90 miles.
North and South America, Africa and Asia, owing to some great natu-
ral causes which worked in their formation, are all pointed or narrowed in
their breadth in their farthest extension south. Florida, probably from the
operation of the same-causes, is of similar shape in her southern extremity.
Her territory is included in the same zone in which, according to the most
ancient of books, the human race had its origin, and in which the Garden
of Eden was said to be situated. This zone embraces the territory of the
ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome.
The average altitude of Florida, as set forth in Toner's Dictionary of
Elevations of the United States, is 60 feet above the level of the sea. This
Sis a somewhat lower average level than that of any other of the States.
Louisiana, the next lowest according to that authority, is 75 feet above the
sea in its average. The larger portion of the territory of all the States on


4 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida is less than 300 feet above the
sea level by this authority.
There is an impression with some that high places are the most healthy,
but this does not always follow, and is not the testimony ot experience
here in Florida. Sometimes the lower places in the same neighborhood
have had quite the advantage in point of health. In the Old World, some
healthful and fertile localities are below the level of the ocean, as the valley
of the Jordan, more than 1,000 feet below the surface of the Mediterranean
sea, the shores of the Caspian sea, and portions of Holland reclaimed from
the ocean by its dykes.
The early history of Florida was not one of rapid and encouraging
development. From 1565, the date of the settlement of St. Augustine, the
oldest town in the Union, to the cession of 1819-21, the territory was
claimed by Spain, except the 20 years under British authority from 1763.to
1783. In 1763 the Floridas, East and West, were ceded by Spain to Great
Britain, but in 1783 Great Britain, having lost the thirteen American Colo-
nies in the war of 1776 and succeeding years, receded the Floridas to Spain.
Thus for more than 250 years the territory was in the grasp of a power far
away, and of a monarch whose people regarded the territory too muck in-
ferior to the fatherland to invite immigration.
On the 22d of February, 1819, a treaty was made between John Q.
Adams, Secretary of State of the United States, of the one part, and Luis
De Onis, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the King-
dom of Spain, dn the other part, each vested by their respective govern-
ments with full power to act, ceding the Floridas to the United States. On
the 24th of October, 1820, the treaty was ratified by the King of Spain, and
by the United States, February 19th, 1821. By one of the stipulations of
the treaty the United States were to satisfy all just claims which the in-
habitants and Spanish officers of the Floridas may have upon them in con-
sequence of the damages they may have sustained by the operations and
proceedings of the American army." In the war of 1812-15 between the
United States and England the United States had stationed troops for a
time on Spanish soil in Florida. Another stipulation, the eleventh article
of the treaty, states the agreement of the United States to pay to her own
citizens' claims against Spain for damages done to their commerce in Span-
ish waters to the extent of $5,000,000. But the correspondence in reference
to the treaty, and a note by the Spanish Minister to this eleventh article,
show that the $5,000,000 was only a small item in the incentive to con-
cluding the treaty. In this note to the eleventh article the Spanish Minis-
\er says, his government would not make the cession for $20,000,000 but for
e desire to arrange and terminate all differences with the United States.
he leading consideration which moved Spain to the cession, was the ad-
justment of the boundary between the two countries west of the Mississippi,

I~--~--- ~- --.~Xyn*-L_

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

and of the Louisiana purchase by the United States from France. The
boundary line agreed upon was to commence at the mouth of the Sa-
bine river and run along the western bank of said river to the 32d degree
of north latitude; thence due north to Red river; thence along said
river to the one hundredth parallel of west longitude from London and 23
from Washington; thence crossing the river due north to Arkansas river;
thence along the southern bank of said river to its source in latitude 42 de-
grees north ; thence "by that parallel of latitude to the South -ea."
With a coast line of nearly 1,200 miles, accessible with .mall boats all
along the shore, the long, narrow figure of Florida puts its whole surthce
in near approach to the commerce of the ocean. Some of the best harbors
of the United States are on the coast of Florida. Only Portsmouth, N. H.,
has deeper water (42 feet) than Key West, where is found a drtlt of 35 feet.
The next deepest water in any harbor on the Atlantic coast is at Boston,
(28 feet,) which is only one foot deeper'than the water off Ga.lparilla key,
in Charlotte harbor, which shows 27 feet within two rods of the hl'ore.
True, there is a narrow sand bar with only 18- feet of water at low tile to
be passed in reaching it but with far less cost than has been expended upon
many of the ports along the Atlantic coast, the water bn tlhat b1.at an be
made of any required depth. New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pen-
sacola are stated to be 24 feet; but this is the depth after the expenditure
of labor and cost upon most of them. Baltimore is said to have been deep-
ened from 15 to 24 feet. Wilmington, N. C.,and Charleston, S. C., register
21 feet, and Savannah, Ga., 22 feet. But as the bars at Charleston and Sa-
vannah were dredged or deepened from 16 feet to their pirse'nt dl.lpti, -o
the waters at Fernandina, Charlotte Harbor, Manatee, Taml:pa :i1-l Rio
Carrablle, with the same labor, may be made even more than that ; -.,
that with an equitable expenditure upon her harbors Florida will ha\'e a
larger number of ports accessible to ocean steamers than an .ot her -ister
Nineteen of the rivers of Florida are' already navigall,- Iy sti,:-amrsi
to the distance, in the aggregate, of over 1,000 miles. Their nmin,., b-.-u-
ning on the east, are: St. Johns, Ocklawaha, Indian Riv-er, Ki.-imlinee,
Caloosahatchie, Peace River, Manatee, Alafia, Homosassa, W't lithcl....-lhec,
Suwannee, St. Marks, Wakulla, Ocklockonee, Apalachicola, (C'lil'la, Choc-
tawhatchie, Escambia and Perdido. These streams, flowing ini -rome in-
stances entirely across the State, make transportation availa Il-r to extensive
" areas, and in almost every instance have at their mouths suc-h harbor. I'aeili-
ies as make coast-wise navigation to vessels of moderate ldaflt *ale and
The railway system of the State embraces some sixty railroads, com-
pleted or projected; and half a dozen or more canal companies have also
been chartered. There are fourteen railways already completed in whole or

I~ I"

6 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

in part. Their aggregated length now in use is 750 miles. It is estimated
that at this date (June, 1882,) there are several thousand hands at work
constructing road-beds in the State, and every week adds'to the number of
miles in actual operation. The aggregate length of the railways now in
use and of those chartered is more than 5,000 miles. Some of these roads
may not, and probably will not be built, but the prospect is that a large
proportion of them will be; the encouragement offered by the State assures
this much. All these companies have the right-of-way through the State
lands, and also the right to acquire alternate sections of land for six miles
on each side of'proposed routes, amounting to 3,840 acres per mile. The
enhanced value of these lands, as soon as the roads are built through them,
will at ready sale pay the cost of building a narrow-gauge road, and a num-
ber of them are of this class.
Some of these companies also have the same right-of-way, together
with grant of alternate sections, through the United States lands. But the
Stronger incentive for the construction of these roads, or at least some of
them, apart from their value when completed, is yet to be mentioned. The
Legislature in chartering some of them offered, additionally to the right-of-
way and to alternate sections, in the aggregate over 13,000;000 acres of
land. To some of them this bonus is five, to some six, to some ten, and to
some twenty thousand acres to the mile; and some of them after building
their roads and selling their lands will have the roads as clear profit. A
further incentive to railroad building in Florida is the level surface over
which most of the roads are to pass. Years ago railway statistics showed
the roads in England to cost about $40,000 per mile, and in the United
States about $20,000 per mile ; but now, in Florida, the estimate is that a
narrow-gauge road can be built and economically equipped at a cost of $5,-
000 per mile.
As fast as these roads are completed, saw-mills are erected for convert-
ing the growing trees into lumber, and thus furnishing a remunerative
amount of way freightage while the country is still but sparsely settled.
The turpentine distilled from the pine and the resin thus supplied, adds to
this freightage ; and, before these are exhausted, vegetables and fruits,
tropical and semi-tropical, for Northern markets will take their place.
There are six charters for canals, with an aggregated length of over
700 miles. Some of these, like some of the chartered railways, will never
be constructed, perhaps, but upon others the companies are already at work.
The canals, like the railways, have the right-of-way, with alternate sections
of State lands they pass through, when constructed in accordance with
such plans and specifications of construction as 'may have been agreed upon
between the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund and the Board of
Directors of such railroad or canal company."
Four of these canals propose passage through the peninsula, connect-


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 7

ing the Atlantic with the waters of the Gulf. One of these, The Atlantic
and Gulf Coast Canal and Okeechobee Land Company," proposes to make
a passage for vessels from the navigable waters of the Caloosahatchie
through Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic. The next one, further north,
from Charlotte harbor through Manatee and Brevard counties to St. Lucie,
on Indian river. The next, further north, commencing in Levy county, at
the mouth of the Withlacoochee, runs through the counties of Levy, Marion,
and Volusia, to "New Britain on the Atlantic;" and the one farthest
north, The Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Ship Canal," from Cumberland
sound in the harbor of Fernandina through the counties of Nassau, Duval,
Clay, Bradford, Alachua and Levy, or the route surveyed by General Gil-
more from the St. Mary's river to St. Marks."
Either one of these canals, when constructed, will be of great advan-
tage to the State, and if either one be of such dimensions and depth as to
admit the passage of large ships, then the whole civilized world will be in-
terested in and accommodated by this shorter and safer and cheaper route
of travel. The travel and freightage from San Francisco through the pro-
posed ship canal at Panama, or over the ship railway contemplated through
Tehaunteepec, would find the ship canal across the peninsular a passage of
safety against the coral reefs and storms that are encountered in passing
around Cape Florida. So the commerce of the Mississippi passing through
this canal would avoid the same dangerous adventures, and would, more-
over, shorten the distance to the Atlantic ports and to Europe by hundreds
of miles. The importance and value of such a passage, even to foreign na-
tions as well as to the American people, is clearly recognized. Through
officials and well informed parties prepared to speak, the voice of England,
Russia, Germany and France have been heard in favor of such a passage.
As a further proof of the material importance of this route, it may be stated
that a recent bill has been introduced in the Senate of the United States
calling that body to a grave consideration of the interests involved, and to
give proper aid to the construction of such a canal.
By turning to the list of railways and canals in subsequent pages, and
observing their courses, crossings and connections, it will be seen that they
form a sort of net work all over the State, and that only a small portion of
the territory of the State will be more than twenty miles from lines of
transportation, either by rail or water.
These facilities for transportation, for travel and commerce in Florida
in the near future, are assurances of a prosperity highly encouraging. All
along down the path of the ages commercial facilities and wealth have ac-
companied each other, and in modern times the rapid march of Europe on
the line of progress, as compared with the more tardy steps of Asia, has
been due mainly to her much larger proportion of coast line, its frequent
indentations, its harbors and its coves, and its more numerous navigable


8 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

streams. These have given more numerous and convenient commercial
facilities, and her greater wealth and progress have been the result. Lon-
don, the largest city in the Old World, and New York, the largest in the
New, sit beside the sea, where the world's commerce and wealth are con-
veniently poured into the lap of each. Now, Florida is favored above most
of her sisters in having all her territory convenient to the commerce of the
ocean, and in the greater number and depth of her harbors, where her pro-
ducts may be exchanged and the wealth of the commercial world received.


The conditions of the atmosphere in its degrees of temperature and
moisture are items which affect organized life, animal and vegetable. Since
the temperature of the atmosphere falls, as distance from the equator in-
creases, one degree of depression to every added degree of latitude, and
since, moreover, the thermometer falls one degree for every 300 feet in alti-
tude, Florida being so near the equator and so little above the sea level,
might be thought from these premises to be very hot; but there are other
influences which must also be taken into the account to reach the truth. There
are dozens of rivers and smaller streams coursing over the surface, then
lakes in Florida are thicker than the stars in the skies; and some of them
very deep. The evaporation from these streams and lakes and from the
Gulf hard by on the one side, and the Atlantic on the other, rapidly con-
sumes or absorbs the heat of the sun just as water sprinkled upon the floor
absorbs the heat of a room; and this process is more rapid, because as the
vapor rises and takes all the heat it can render insensible, the breezes from
the Atlantic or Gulf bear it away and supply other atmosphere to be filled
with other vapor, performing the same office in the cooling process; conse-
quently, as a matter offact, the thermometer in summer rises higher in New
York, Boston and Montreal, than in St. Augustine, Tampa and Key West.
Sun-stroke, with its terrors, so frequent in the cities, and, indeed, in the
country North, is never known in Florida.
Another item to be taken into account when searching for the causes
of higher temperature in summer of places north of Florida, is the fact
that the days in summer are longer as we proceed northward, and the
nights are shorter. There is, consequently, less time for throwing off or
radiating the heat from the sun during the day until his return with new
The rainy season in Florida is in the summer months, when the showers
cool the atmosphere and refresh the crops. During these months the aver-

_~---~1 I

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

age moisture is slightly greater than in the States further north. Observa-
tion and experiment show, however, that the humidity of Florida in sum-
mer is only 1.07 greater than that of Minnesota, while in the winter months
-Florida's dry season-the moisture is less than in Minnesota by 1.08 de-
grees. In demonstration of these statements as to the degree of humidity
and heat, we append statistics that have already been before the public; but
truth does not grow old with years, and these statistics will meet the eyes
of some readers for the first time.
We extract from Climatelogy of Florida," by Dr. C. J. Kenworthy, the
following: To place the subject of mean relative humidity in a clear and
unmistakable light, we shall freely use the material furnished by the Signal
Service reports, and not use data of private individuals, which are not
always reliable. I will simply remark that when the atmosphere is satu-
rated with moisture it is said to contain 100 per cent.; when one half or
one' quarter saturated, 50 or 25 per cent., and when absolutely dry, 0."


B E., Pr P
i ai p .

per ct. per et. per ct. per et. per ct. per ct. per ct.
Mentone & Cannes 3 71.8 74.2 72.0 70.7 73.3 72.4
Nassau, N. P... .1 76.1 72.0 77.0 72.5 68.4 73.2
Atlantic City, N.J. 5 76.9 79.1 80.6 77.3 76.8 78.1
Breckenridge.Minn! 5 76.9 83.2 76.8 81.8 79.5 79.6
Duluth, Miinn ..... 5 74.0 72.1 72.7 73.3 71.0 72.6 74.5
St. Paul, Minn ... 5 70.3 73.5 75.2 70.7 67.1 71.3
Punta Rasa, Fla... 5 72.7 73. 74.2 73.7 69.9 72.7
Key West, Fla.... 5 77.1 '78.7 78.9 77.2 72.2 76.8 72.7
Jacksonville, Fla. 5 71.9 69.3 70.2 68.5 63.9 68.8
Augusta, Ga .... 5 71.8 72.6 73.0 64.7 62.8 68.9
Bismarck, Dak.... 1 76.6 76,4 77.4 81.6 70.6 76.5
Boston, Mass..... 1 68.0 61.8 60.6 68.2 63.7 65.6

From the above table it will appear that, while at three points in Min-
nesota the mean humidity for the five months of November, December, Jan-
ary, February and March, is 74.5 per cent., for the same period at three
points in Florida the mean is 72.7 per cent.
The same authority says: If we take the entire year, for a period
of five years, we will find but little difference in the mean relative humidity
of Minnesota and Florida, as the following data, kindly furnished us by the
Chief Signal Officer of the United States Army, will demonstrate:"


10 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.



_____ ____ P4
per ot. per ct. per ct. per ct. per ct. per ct.
1875 ..................... 75.7 67.2 69.0 70.8 76.0 71.5
1876........................ 67.7 68.2 69.1 67.2 78.9 76.1
1877 ....................... 72.2 71.9 67.6 69.3 70.5 74.1
1878. ............... 76.2 71.5 67.7 68.7 72.4 74.5
1879. ............. ........ 74.1 72.8 65.3 69.7 72.3 74.2
Mean for 5 years. 73.2 70.3 67.7 69.0 78.3 74.1

Mean for 5 years for States. I 70.4 72.0

In a publication called The Florida Settler or Immigrants' Guide, pub-
lished in 1873 by Hon. Dennis Eagan, then Commissioner of Lands and
Immigration for Florida, we find the following table, taken from the Army
Meteorological Record, which shows the yearly mean' temperature. for
twenty years at three places in the State, and at two points north for a sim-
ilar period, and from which the extreme equability of the climate of the
State of Florida is very apparent:

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June July Aug. Sept Oct. Nov. Dec. Yr.
St. Augustine, Fla ................ 57.03 59.9463.34 .78 73.0179.3 80.90 80.56 8.6 71.8864.12 57.26 69.61
Tampa Bay ......... 61.53 63.5467.72 71.82 76.64 70.46 80 2 80.43 78.28174.02 66.94 61.99 71.92
Key West .. .......... 66.68 86.88 72.88 75.38 79.10 81.63 83.00 82.90 74.66 71.03 176.51
West Point, N. Y................ 28.80 37.3 48.70 9.82 68.4173.75 71.83 64.31 53.04 42.23 31.98 50.73
Fort Snelling, Minn..... .... 13.76 17.57 31.41 46.34 58.971 68.46 73.40 70.05 58.86!47.15 31.671 16.86 44.54

It will be seen from the above that the mean annual variation of the
thermometer at Fort Snelling is 59.64 degrees, while at St. Augustine it is
23.87 and at Key West only 16.32.
The climate of the State resembles in equability the climate of Barba-
does or Madeira, both of which places are held in high esteem by physicians
as a resort for invalids. This is shown by the following comparison of tem-
perature, taken at two points in Florida-Fort Dallas and Fort Myers-
and at the places named:
Barbadoes. Madeira. Ft. Dallas. Ft. Meyers.
Deg. Deg. Deg. Deg.
Spring ........... ..... 79.2 65.6 74.7 75.4
Summer................ 78.5 71.3 81.5 82.4
Autumn.......... .. 82.1 69.0 76.3 76.9
Winter ........ ......... 78.5 65.8 66.6 65.4
Yearly .................. 79.5 67.9 74.8 75.0
Fort Dallas is situated at the mouth of the Miami river on Biscayne
bay, a little below the twenty-sixth degree of latitude, and Fort Myers is
on the Caloosahatchie, near the Gulf coast. The above statistics were


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.


kindly furnished to the department by the Hon. W. H. Gleason, together
with the following table, which shows the monthly mean at these points:

Ft. Dallas. Ft. Meyers. Ft. Dallas. Ft. Meyeps. Ft. Dallas. Ft. Meyers.
Deg. Deg. Deg. Deg. Deg. Deg.
January 66.4 63.4 May 77.0 80.1 Sept. 79.6- 81.7
Feb'ry 66.6 68.0 June 80.5 81.2 Oct. 77.9 77.7
March 70.4 72.2 July 82.1 82.9 Nov. 71.3 71.5
April 75.6 73.8 Aug. 81.8 83.1 Dec. 66.8 64.7

The following table shows the monthly temperature and moisture for
the year 1871, taken at various points in the State :




0 9


Es g I



d-. deg. d-eg. in. deg d deg.
Port Orange............ 7. 34.. 3 ini. d d 1. in.
Jacksonvlle........... 82. 2. 59.3 1.05 80. 28. 55.5 2.2 84. 38. 1.2 5.40
Palatk......... ... 84. 29. 59.6 2.8 78. 30. 56. 5.29 84. 86. 61.8 6.36
Ocala............. ...... 89. 2. 0.8 1.12 79. 2. ... .. .. 86. 28. 62.1 .....
Manatee. ............. 82. 42. 67. 3. 78. 40. 61.7 2.2 80. 46. 66.2 4.40
St. Augustine............... .. .. .. . 60. 76.2 .... 92. 68. 79.1 3.10
Port Orange .......... 86. 44. 64. .. ... .. . .i.. . ..". ... .:. .... .
Jacksonille........... 91. 39. 67.2 3.2 96. 69. 75.7 1.5 96. 1. 79.2 8.10
Palatka...... ....... 94. 38. 67.9 1.38 ............ ...... 98. 72. 81.1 7.8
Ocala................. 92. 40. 63.4 9..... 92 55.56 4 ...... 95. 65. 80.2
Manatee ............... 86. 52. 69.7 1.7 82. 70. 79. 2. 92. 74. 83.5 4.5
Orange Grove.......... 85. 50. 67.7 2.3 88. 65. 76.4 2.1 90. 71. 80.5 5.4
Newport............ .. .. 94 58. 74.2 1.29 92. 69. 77.8 6.88
Chattahoochee ......... .. ... ...... ... ...... 99 47 ...... .... 95. 66. ...... 6.5
St. Augustine.......... 22. 72. 81.5 I 2.5 94. 76. 85.3 0.4 96. 70. 78"4 7.
Port Orange........... 89. 72. 79.2 4.8 88. 73. 80.6 2.08 86. 68. 77.6 11.88
Jacksonville............ 97. 76. 84.1 2.65 94. 77. 84.4 4.4 93. 71. 77.2 9.38
Palatka.... ... ....... 98. 74. 82.4 4.16 96. 72. 82.3 1.13 96. 68. 79.4 11.04
Ocala ....... ..... .. .. ..... ...... . .. .. .. 96. 68. 81.
Manatee ............... 94. 74. 8.1 11. ..... .
Orange Grove.......... 92. 73. 821 9.65 94. 76. 82. 7.06 90. 74. 80.7 6.57
Newport.............. 91. 70. 77.9 2.77 93. 73. 80.2 2.65 89. 68. 76. 7.02
Chattahoochee ........ 96. 72. 86.1 3.2 95. 70. 84. 5.5 90. 69. 79. 2.91

St. Augustine.......... 88. 75.6 ... .. ........ .. i .
Port Orange........... 84. 55.' 74.2 13.16 78. 36 63.2 2.02 76. 25 3.3
Jacksonville............ 87. 52. 73. 7.10 85. 40. 62.7 4.29 73. 19. 53.3 1.95
Palatka.. ............ 90. 52. 74.7 4.32 90 38. 64.6 3.6 82. 22. 516 .11
Orange Grove. 88. 67. 75.8 9.75 .. ..
Newport ... 8 2.45 8 : 7.3 2.6 70. 0.9 49.9 I 2.15
Chattahoochee ... . . . ..... ... 87. 15.7 ....... 9.5

As will be seen from the foregoing table, the quantity of rain which
falls in the State during three months of the year is very large. These
months are July, August and September, and embrace entirely what is



12 Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

known as the rainy season." Some years the rainfall is very slight, and
is no more noticeable to a stranger than the rainfall in more northern lati-
In connection with the subject of temperature, we feel authorized to
say that in Florida, owing to her peninsular formation and proximity to the
sea, the great proportion of inland water surface exposed to evaporation, to-
gether with the almost never-ceasing air currents-sea breezes -her sum-
mer climate is one of the most agreeable.
As already noticed, the thermometer rises not quite so high in Florida
during summer as further North, but this is not the whole advantage. The
animal system is, in temperature, ordinarily above that of the atmosphere.
The breezes are continually removing from contact with the body the par-
tially-heated particles of atmosphere there and supplying cooler particles
which more rapidly absorb the heat, and the cooling sensation is in propor-
tion to the rapidity of this process. So in.the same way these breezes cool
more rapidly the surface of the earth than if no breeze stirred.
Such breezes are a constant and enduring feature of Florida's summer
climate, occurring with almost unvarying daily regularity, and must be ex-
perienced to be appreciated. This feature is the secret of offr cool nights.
It is a generally recognized fact that there occur few nights in summer when
covering of some description is not found desirable, and such close, swelter-
ing temperatures as are sometimes met with at night in the interior of more
northern States is so rare in Florida as to be scarcely remembered.
This feature of our climate perhaps accounts for the total absence of
sun-strokes among men and hydrophobia among dogs.
It is this feature, too, that enables a man or beast to exert himself out
in the direct rays of our semi-tropical sun throughout the long summer
days without distress or danger. This is a feature that has impressed many
Northern settlers of late years with little less surprise than pleasure.
The much-talked-of frost line," we are constrained to say, does not
exist in Florida. Frosts occur throughout the State, except, perhaps, in
the southern parts of Monroe and Dade. In the northern tier of counties
it is frequent and often severe, and occurs with less frequency and severity
as we go south, until the lower portion of Dade and Munroe counties
is reached, where the prevailing trade winds are said to prevent the occur-
rence of frost. During a residence of fourteen winters on the south side of
the Manatee river the writer cannot recall a winter when a light frost did
not occur there, though some winters not severe enough to affect tender
tropical plants; nor indeed of a character, ordinarily, to injure vegetation
seriously, but sufficiently to make its effects discernable upon tender tropical
It is true, and very properly to be noted here, that at irregular inter-
vals of eight, ten or more years, Florida has been subjected to the influence

-------- __ I ---, I

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 13

of cold waves, destructive to tropical vegetation over much the greater part
of her territory. In 1835 the orange trees were killed over the larger por-
tion of the State. Several times since that period the orange trees in the
northern counties have been either killed to the ground or badly damaged.
In 1868 there was ice as far south as the Manatee river, and the guava
trees were killed to the ground, or rather most of them, as well as most
other tender tropical plants. These currents of arctic air seem to come in
belts, and the coldest weather in the southern counties has not been always
simultaneous with the severest cold in sections of the northern counties.
On the 31st of December, 1880, when the last "cold snap of this char-
acter occurred, the mercury fell in Tallahassee, for a few hours only, how-
ever, to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and was very injurious to the orange trees
in that section. The thermometer at Manatee was but little, if any, below
the average of the coldest winter weather there.
The absence in Florida of periods of prolonged and severe drought, anala-
gous to such seasons as sometimes prevail in more interior parts of the con-
tinent, is perhaps owing to her proximity to the influence of the Gulf
Stream. Certain it is, however, and properly to be noted, as responsive to
the extensive inquiry heretofore made upon that head from the people of
the Western States, that we have never known in Florida any such seasons
of severe dryness as are experienced in the Northwest; and rarely, if ever,
in the history of agriculture in this State, has such a drought prevailed as
seriously to impede the abundant production of the usual crops.
is attested by reports of army officers who kept, for years, and made statis-
tical reports on the subject from various military stations in the State. As
some of my predecessors in the office of Commissioner have done, I quote
from the reports of Surgeon-General Lawson, of the United States Army,
who says: Indeed the statistics of this bureau show that the diseases
which result from malaria are of a much milder type in Florida than in other
States in the Union; and the number of deaths there to the number of cases
of remittent fever has been much less than among the troops serving in
other portions of the United States. In the Middle Division" (meaning
Military Division of the United States) "the proporion is one death to 36
cases of remittent fever. In the Northern 1 to 52. In the Southern 1 to
54. In Florida it is but one to 287." "From the carefully col-
lected statistics of this office it appears that the annual rate of mortality of
the whole peninsular of Florida is 2.06 per centum, while in other portions
of the United States it is 3.03 per centum. Indeed, it may be asserted, with-
out fear of refutation, that Florida possesses a more agreeable and salu-
brious climate than any other State or Territory in the Union."
Prominent among the causes of Florida's superior healthfulness is its


14 Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

long, narrow figure, north and south, in its peninsular portion, and in its
proximity to the Gulf in the narrow strip of it stretching westward along
the coast. This peculiarity of shape exposes it to the breezes, which re-
move most of the resulting malaria or other atmospheric poison.
The larger portion of the surface is covered with pine forests, whose
tall trees, with branches near the tops only, give to the winds but little ob-
struction, especially near the surface, while these trees perfume them with
a resinous exhalation, healthful in its influence.
Moreover, scientific tests have demonstrated that ozone, that peculiar
modification of oxygen, which gives to it its purifying properties, exists
more abundantly in the atmosphere of the ocean and along the coast than
in the atmosphere of places further inland, and no one of the American
States has so much coast line as Florida, unless, perhaps, California.
Some learned medical men hold that the turpentine exhaled from the
pine forest possesses, in a larger degeee than all other substances, the prop-
erty of converting the oxygen of the atmosphere into ozone. (See pro-
ceedings of Medical Association of Florida for 188), page 71.)
Dr. Chas. H. Lee, editor of Copeland's Medical Dictionary, as quoted
in the authority referred to, says: Mildness and equability are the two
distinguishing characteristics of the climate of the Florida peninsula."
The mortuary statistics of Florida, reported to the Census Bureau for
a number of decades, represent her as among the most healthful States of
the Union.
In the correspondence of this office we are sometimes inquired of as to
the liability to yellow fever in Florida. This epidemic has been brought to
our seaports occasionally, and sometimes, for want of proper sanitary regu-
lations, has found a temporary lodgment. But the interior of the country
is not more liable to this malady than places inland of the States further
North. Indeed, both the cities of the Atlantic coast and on the waters of
the Mississippi, have suffered more from this terrible epidemic than have
any localities in Florida.

Is exceedingly diversified, and in its varied character is suited not only to
the crops of the other States generally, but because of its near approach to
a tropical clime, to some products not grown elsewhere in the States.
The soil is generally classed as first, second and third rate pine lands,
and as high and low hammock and swamp lands. The pine lands cover
much the larger portion of the State, and the traveler in the trains, or over
the highways through them, is not apt to be impressed in such casual in-
spectien with their real worth.
The white sand on the immediate surface is taken as conclusive testi-

------ --Eu

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 15

mony against them; but that is not all sand which, in the careless glance,
appears to be. In a large portion of the State this sand is mixed with
finely comminuted bits of shells or carbonate of lime. Even the third-class
of pine lands produce abundantly the saw palmetto, and this plant is rich
in potash, one of the most important elements of plant food, and generally
furnished by nature to the various soils with a very rigid economy. One
of the marks of the third-class pine lands is the black-jack growth upon the
more elevated spots, and the ash of the black-jack, like the ash of the pal-
metto root, makes fine soap, showing both of these plants to be rich in
potash; and this mineral is not derived through the leaves from the atmos-
phere, but through the roots from the soil. Even this poorest soil is not
worthless. It does more than fill what would otherwise be an inconvenient
chasm in the earth's surface. It furnishes more or less of pasturage, both
upon the black-jack elevations and the gallberry flats." Cattle feed fre-
quently upon the palmetto leaves, and hogs are very fond of the tender
buds in the spring time, and fatten upon the berries in the season for their
ripening. Then the spreading leaves are converted into cheap and con-
venient fans for cooling the face, and are now being converted into paper of
the first quality.
During the last session of the Legislature there were specimens of this
paper shown to members of the body, which were impervious to water, and
a vessel made of it, containing some liquid, was on exhibition by a gentle-
man representing the company engaged in its manufacture. The fibre of
the palmetto leaf is being converted also into brushes, mattresses and other
household conveniences. Factories for thus utilizing the palmetto upon a
large scale are about being erected in several places. The root of the pal-
metto, when finely broken or ground up, is said to furnish fine material for
tanning leather, because of the amount of tanic acid in the root. This
seeming digression is still a plea for our poorest lands.
Of tillable plants the sisal hemp and the pine-apple are both air plants
in a large degree, and do well with little tillage on very poor soil. Leibig,
the German Agricultural Chemist, says that the poorest soils, even the
Luneburg heath of his country, contain enough of mineral plant food for
centuries of profitable tillage, but that it is locked up in such chemical
combination as to render it inaccessible to plants, except in a very slight
degree.- The plant has a power, which the chemists call catalysis, by which
it disintegrates and dissolves the minerals containing plant food, when they
are in contact with or near the roots. The temperature of the atmosphere
and the soil have something to do with aiding or retarding this vital -power
of the plant to supply itself with needed nourishment. When soil and
plant roots are frozen this catalytic power of the plant is suspended, thus
in colder climes, where for months the surface and its contents are locked
up in ice, in Florida this disintegration and dissolution of the minerals by


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

the forces of the plant are continued without any such suspension. All the
year round the plant has the key to this chest of supplies; therefore, with
a soil of the very same constituents the plant will have access to the larger
supply of food, taking the year round, in the warmer clime.
In the gallberry flats, while the pine trees are not so tall as on the bet-
ter lands, nor so well suited for lumber, they have more sap-wood, and are
better suited for supplying turpentine and resin; and the collection and
preservation of these articles is a paying and a growing industry in Florida.
Turpentine and resin are appreciating in value, as the sources of supply
are becoming narrowed, and the commercial demand continually enlarging.
The second-class pine lands, which have been adjudged by competent
authority to be in the largest proportion, are all productive. They are not
hilly, but for the most part undulating in their surface. In some places,
however, these elevations amount to hills. Some of the sand hills in Her-
nando county are regarded among the highest points in the State. Under-
lying the surface is clay, marl, lime rock and sand. These lands, from their
accessibility and productiveness, the facility, of fertilizing with cattle, and
the impression of their !helthfulness above hammock lands, have ifiduced
their enclosure and tillage, when the richer hammock lands were hard by,
but more difficult to prepare for cultivation.
Some of these lands have no regular compact clay under them, or, at
least, not in reach of plaht roots. This fact is taken frequently as an evi-
dence against them, since the popular prejudice is decidedly in favor of a
clay sub-soil. This objection, if it really be one, is taken for more than it
is worth, for clay proper, or aluminum, as the chemists call it, is not food
for plants. Its uses to the plant are mechanical. It serves to hold firmly
the roots of the enlarging trunk, but not to subsist the hungry or thirsty
plant. Sometimes it has been found in small quantities in the ash of woods,
but this is because the rootlets take up more or less of whatever is in solu-
tion about them, and clay has been taken up in this way just as poisons
may be taken up; for trees are sometimes killed by pouring poisonous
liquids about their roots, but clay never makes any part of the organism
of the plant, nor is it numbered among the elements which contribute to
their growth.
Another notion as to the value of a clay sub-soil is, that without its
presence the applied fertilizers will leach through and be lost. The fer-
tilizers used are generally lighter than the soils to which they are applied,
or than the water coming down from the clouds. As the rains fall some of
these fertilizers are carried down, after a time of drought; as the soil fills
they are borne upward again by the waters to the surface, and both as they
go down and come up, whether they be liquid or gaseous, the humus of



soils has a strong absorbing affinity for them and readily appropriates and
retains them for the uses of the plant, when.the superabundance of water
has passed away. But if the soil is not filled to the surface, so as to bring
back directly any fertilizer in solution that was carried down, it is safer
there in the sub-soil than on the steep hillsides of clay, where what is ap-
plied is frequently carried away into the floods, together with the soil, to
the vales below. Whereas what has gone down in the porus soil is brought
up by the capillary attraction of the surface soil, in time of drought, to the
reach of the growing crop. One of the uses of drought is, that it thus
S brings up from the sub-soil any mineral food that may be there, to where it
will be in reach of the growing crop.
But light, sandy soils, though they may produce freely at first, soon
Give way, and this fact, for frequently it is a fact, is regarded as conclusive
as against loose and porus sub-soils, whereas it only proves that these light
soils were not sufficiently supplied with humus, and the limited supply soon
Some of the best and most enduring soils of Florida have a chocolate-
colored, loose, porus sub-soil. The very tenacity and ,closeness which it
is claimed prevents the applied fertilizer from sinking will of course be
equally in the way of fertilizing matter rising, in the time of dought, from
the sub-soil.
Of the first-class pine lands Mr. J. S. Adams, Commissioner of Immi-
gration, in his publication of 1869, says: It has nothing analagous to it
in any of the other States. Its surface is covered for several inches with a
dark vegetable mold, beneath which, to the depth of several feet, is a choco-
late sand loam, mixed for the most part with limestone pebbles, and resting
on a substratum of marl, clay or limestone rock. The fertility and dura-
bility of this description of land may be estimated from the well-known
fact that it has on the upper Suwannee, and several other districts, yielded,
during fourteen years of successive cultivation, without the aid of manure,
400 pounds of Sea Island cotton to the acre, the lands are as productive as
ever, so that the limit of their durability is still unknown."
In reference to these lands also, we again quote from the pamphlet of
Mr. Adams: There is one feature in the topography of Florida which no
other country in the United States possesses, and which affords a great se-
curity to the health of its inhabitants, it is that the pine lands which form
the basis of the country, and which are almost universally healthy, are
nearly everywhere studded at intervals of a few miles with the rich ham-
mock land. These hammocks are not, as is generally supposed, low, wet
lands, they do not require ditching or draining. They vary in extent

I ~ ,- -~aasParmasar

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

from twenty acres to forty thousand acres. Hence the inhabitants have
it in their power to select residences in the pine lands, at such conven-
ient distances from the hammock as will enable them to cultivate the latter
without endangering their health, if it should so happen that any of the
inhabitants prove to be less healthy than in the pine lands. Experience
has shown that residences only half a mile distant from cultivated ham-
mocks are exempt from malarial diseases, and the negroes who cultivate
and retire at night to pine land residences maintain their health. Indeed,
it is found that residences in the hammocks are generally healthy after they
have been a few years cleared. This class of lands, under favorable cir-
cumstances, have produced as much as three hogsheads of sugar per acre."
These hammocks, high and low, are generally admixed with lime, and
the streams running through them are impregnated with it, more or less.
The low Hammocks aie less elevated and less undulating, and gener-
ally require ditching to relieve them of a superabundance of water, espe-
cially during the rainy season. They have a deeper soil and are generally
regarded as more lasting than the high hammock. They are especially
fitted for the growth of the sugar-cane, which is not so much affected by
either dry weather or flood as most other crops. Sometimes in its growth the
surface about it is covered with water for weeks, without seeming seriously
to injure it, and then requiring a longer period for maturing than most of
our field crops, it has in the autumn, when the rainy season is over, a
mild and dry period, when it grows fastest, which is best adapted to the
maturing of its juices.
are esteemed the most durably rich lands in Florida. They occupy de-
pressed places, where they receive the drift from places more elevated.
They are of more recent formation than the high hammocks, or even the
pine lands, which are a formation subsequent to the hammocks. They are
alluvial and still receiving deposits from the higher grounds. Some of
what is called the Everglades, in the counties of Monroe and Dade, is soil
of this character. These lands will be, in a large degree, reclaimed by the
canal now in process of construction for that purpose, and for providing
transportation for the world's commerce with that section. A portion of
these Everglades will, without question, turn out to be very poor, but
among them and in other portions of the State, there is estimated to be
more than 1,000,000 acres of swamp land not yet appropriated to agricultu-
ral purposes. In several instances, and in different localities, this class of
land has produced four hogsheads of sugar to the acre. Some suppose
that eventually as much sugar will be raised in Florida as would supply
the present demand of the United States with that article.
Some of the counties of Middle Florida, Gadsden, Leon, Madison
and Jefferson, and Jackson county, of West Florida, have large areas of




Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 19

fine high hammock land, underlaid with a stiff clay. These are the best
lands of the State for the growth of the short staple cotton, and are indeed
the cream of the State for general farming purposes. They are of the ear-
liest formation of the Florida lands.
In East Florida, the counties of Alachua, Levy, Marion, Hernando and
Sumter have most hammock lands.
Most of the swamp lands (proper) are in South Florida.
One peculiarity of the Florida soil is its easier culture than the stiffer
soils. Another is that most of the farm labor and tillage can be performed
in those months of the year when the grounds are frozen further north.
Another peculiarity is that the fertilizers are applied with better effect,
both because the applications are not carried away by the rains, as fre-
quently they are in hillier regions, and because the more porous soil lets
in the atmosphere more readily to aid the fertilizers in the work of decom-
posing the minerals of the soil, and setting free the food elements they
contain for the use of the crops grown.

The staple commodities of Florida for markets outside the State are
enlarging in number. The long and short staple cotton, corn, rye, oats,
rice, sugar, syrup, tobacco, vegetables of almost every variety, and fruits,
tropical and semi-tropical, as well as most of those grown in temperate
zones, fish, sponge, lumber, turpentine, resin, &c., are the most prominent.
The cereals grown in the United States generally do well also in Florida,
with the exception, perhaps ,f wheat, which is supposed to be more subject
to rust in Florida than further north. For the want of proper mills for
converting the grain into flour, but few experiments have been made in
wheat; but as it grows well in Egypt climate cannot be the difficulty.
In the census of 1880 the average of the corn crop of the State of Geor-
gia per acre is put down at 9.2 bushels; South Carolina at 9.3 bushels, and
Florida at 9.4 bushels. Florida, therefore, is not entirely in the rear. The
average per acre of the oat crop in Alabama is put down at 9.2 bushels, and
Florida at 9.4 bushels.
That she is behind any of the States may not be the want of proper soil
and climate, but some other causes for which there may be a ready remedy.
'The fact that ex-Governor George F. Drew, in Madison county, Florida,
iod.'uced 135 bushels of corn to the acre settles the question that there is
a i,-medy for the shortness of our corn crops hitherto. We have been reli-
:,ily informed by Mr. John A. Pearce, of Leon county, that his corn crop
S ;:'r the present year (1882) will average 40 bushels per acre, and that, too,


20 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

without one particle of fertilizer having been applied to his fields. Either
from the effects of climate and soil in favor of this cereal, or from the vari-
ety in use, or possibly from both causes, corn here is. above the average
weight, standard weight being 56 pounds per bushel, while Florida corn is
frequently over 60 pounds.
A larger area in Florida is suited to the growth of Sea Island cotton
than in any other one of the States. Indeed, about half the whole Ameri-
can supply is raised in this State.
At the Atlanta Exposition a bag of long-staple cotton, from Levy
county, Florida, took the first premium.
As this staple brings double, and sometimes treble the price of the
short staple, the localities best suited to its growth will be turned to its
The small grain cereals generally have been found to do well in Flor-
ida as far as they have been tried. Rice does finely, even on the poor pine
lands when sufficiently fertilized. After cow-penning the grounds 60 bush-
els per acre have been produced. The reclaimed swamp lands will be emi-
nently fitted for its production. While this grain feeds a majority of the
world's people, the straw is excellent forage for horses and cattle. But the
sugar-cane will, perhaps, be the larger crop on the richer lands, whether
swamp, low hammock or high. The world's demand for the product of the
cane is enlarging, the price is enhancing, and no substitute has yet been
found'that will adequately supply its place. Another incentive to its pro-
duction is the improved machinery brought into use in the last few years
for converting its juice into sugar and syrup, and purifying its granulations
up to the highest grades.
JUTE is now meeting with experiment in this climate, and with every
prospect of success. This is the proper soil and climate for it. Its growth
will diversify our crops, and the manufacture of its fibre here will diversify our
labor, and diversity of labor is one of the great wants of the South. There
will be a home demand for the manufactured article. This will save ex-
pense of freightage from abroad and import duties upon arrival.
Another plant producing textile fibre is the Sisal hemp. This plant
was introduced into Florida while yet a Territory, from Yucatan, by one
Dr. Perrine, who engaged with the United States Government to introduce
and grow tropical plants, in consider.i.ion of a township of land south of
the 26th degree of north latitude. His enterprise, for some cause, failed,
*and the'grant failed with it; but some of the plants he introduced found
in the locality a genial home, and live on, without attention and tillage.
In my enclosure at Manatee this one-Sisal hemp-has been somewhat
troublesome. It feeds so largely upon the atmosphere as to be almost in-
dependent on the soil. This character of the plant will encourage its til-

--n-~s~- I I

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 21

lage, even upon the very poorest lands. Properly cared for it will yield a
remunerative crop, and, like the jute, the article grown and manufactured
here will find an extensive home demand.

THE PINE-APPLE is also largely an air plant, and in a suitable climate
will do well, even in a poor soil. Very fine pine-apples have been grown
as far north as Tampa, about 28 degrees north latitude, and will do well up
to 29 degrees. On the islands between Key West and the mainland it is a
staple crop, as also in Dade county. Indeed, it may and will be grown
profitably anywhere south of 29 degrees north. It is only awaiting con-
venient transportation.
THE COCOA-NUT just at present is attracting great attention. There is a
"boom in its production in the counties of Monroe and Dade. The Key
West Democrat, of April 1st, 1882, gives a list of names of persons re-
cently engaged in the business. These gentlemen are planting on the keys
of Monroe county. There are trees in prosperous and prolific bearing at
Fort Myers, near the northern boundary of Monroe county. With a little
protection to the plant for the first several years during the coldest nights
it will do well as far north as the Manatee river.
THE DATE-PALM, from which is obtained the date of commerce, is a
somewhat hardier plant than the cocoa-nut, and will do well, therefore,
something further north. Date trees, and very old ones, are bearing at St.
Augustine, and in Franklin county, at Apalachicola. As yet this fruit has not
attracted much attention as an investment, as about twenty years are gen-
erally required to obtain fruit from the seed.
THE GUAVA, a tree in its size and shape and manner of growth not un-
like the peach tree, does about as well in the southern counties of Florida as
it can anywhere. From its fruit is made the guava jelly of commerce, so
widely and so favorably known over the world. The taste for the fruit,
like the taste for most tropical fruits, is an acquired one, but when acquired
is fully endorsed. Some persons like the fruit upon first tasting it, but
the majority require frequent tasting before the flavor becomes decidedly
agreeable. The full crop ripens in August and September, but the trees
have blossoms and fruit all the year, and all the year the fruit is ripening.
They grow with less attention than the peach, and sometimes bear the sec-
ond year from the seed. The fruit is ordinarily about the size of the peach,
and'fully as varied in size and quality. So far experience has demonstrated
no other means of utilizing this fruit for market than by canning, or as

22 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

jelly or marmalade. As to its ekact profitableness, even in one of these
forms, we have no very reliable data.
THE "SUGAR-APPLE," in local nomenclature, the Spaniards putt or
near the head of the fruit list for its excellency. In its flavor it is one of
the most concentrated sweets known among fruits, but the first taste has a
smack of something repulsive, soon lost in a few repetitions, and then the
acquired taste is very'agreeable. It grows upon a shrub but little, if any,
larger than the pomegranate, and in size and shape is somewhat like the
pine cone. It decays too soon after ripening for transportation, and as yet
has established a use only at home. It thrives as far north as Tampa.
THE POMEGRANATE, several varieties of sweet and sour, grows finely in
every part of the State. It is not a marketable product, but when properly
prepared makes a most delightful sub-acid summer drink-is a decided feb-
rifuge much in vogue. The tree with its rich foliage and brilliant coral-like
flowers is highly ornamental.
THE COFFEE-PLANT has attained maturity in the open air in but one
county in the State, or even the United States. It sometimes attains,
height of ten or twelve feet. Mrs. Atzeroth, of Manatee county, has sent
several pounds of the matured grain to Washington'City,and received a
premium for the same. She is engaged mainly, however, in raising the
plants for sale. Whether it can be grown profitably on. a large scale, and
will figure among the available crops of Florida, is yet to be tested.
THE MANGO is another tropical fruit of high flavor, and is now bearing
abundantly as far north as the 28th degree of north latitude. In size and
shape it somewhat resembles a pear, and in flavor has been likened to the
apricot. This is a marketable fruit- finds ready sale in Texas and Louis-
iana markets. Dr. Kellum, on the Caloosahatchie river, proposes to engage
in growing this fruit extensively, and thinks that within a certain market
limit it will prove quite as profitable as oranges.
THE SAPPADILLO, (after a little familiarity with it,) is a very luscious
and desirable fruit. The tree attains about the dimensions of the orange,
but will not stand the cold quite so well. A few trees are growing as far
north as the Manatee river. They are not yet in bearing, but as they
grow finely promise well.
THE ALLIGATOR PEAR, or Laurus Persea ( Li .. ,} is a tree somewhat
larger than the orange, resembling in the general appearance of its foliage
and growth the magnolia. The fruit, when matured, is about the shape and
color (the only similarities) of the pear, is palatable, flavor peculiar to itself.
Preferred by many to any other tropical fruit. Is marketable, bears trans-
portation quite as .well as the orange. Attains perfection as far north as 29
degrees north latitude. As yet has attracted little attention. In 1868


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

some of the trees in Tampa were killed to the ground, but have been equal
to the coldest weather since.
THE ORANGE can be more extensively and profitably grown in Florida
than in any other State of the Union. Louisiana, Texas and California will
in time compete with us in the production of this popular fruit, but from
advantages we enjoy in certain peculiarities of climate, soil and seasons, it
is more than likely that Florida will ever retain a superiority over any
other section of the country in its production.
The history of orange-growing in Florida as an industry is very recent.
True it is that our primeval forests abound, in some localities, in native wild
groves. With the first settlement of St. Augustine by the Spaniards it is
probable that the orange was planted and cultivated with success. During
the period of American occupation, from the cession in 1819-21 up to the
close of the civil war in 1865, many Floridians had planted and matured
extensive groves, prominent among which was the renowned Dummit Grove
on Indian river, together with others of less size at St. Augustine and at
several points along the St. Johns river and at Tampa bay. Still these
ante-bellum groves were merely among the embellishments of home sur-
roundings with a few wealthy proprietors, as fish ponds or other brna-
mental features sometimes are upon the premises of Northern men of
wealth; but nowhere in Florida was orange-growing regarded as a busi-
ness to be pursued solely for profit.
After the late war the winter climate of Florida was sought by hun-
dreds of Northern people in pursuit of health. The beauty of the rich
golden fruit, amid its dark, green foliage, attracted the eye, and, as many
of these visitors bought and improved homes along the banks of the St.
Johns and other accessible points, they began the propagation of the or-
ange. Gradually the facilities for its culture and the wonderful profitable-
ness of the business became apparent, and induced investments in small
tracts for the purpose. Year after year, as at various points additional
trees and young plantings came into bearing, the great superiority of the
Florida fruit over any other made itself felt in the North. The demand for
" Florida Oranges began to grow, prices advanced, improved methods of
propagating by budding, pruning and fertilizing obtained; year by year
the demand and supply continued to increase. Soon choice locations
adapted to the culture of the fruit began enhancing in value-lots that for
fifty years had remained vacant at $1.25 per acre were found to command
and readily bring $50 to $100 per acre. And so the enormous profitable-
ness of this industry became noised abroad, and the Orange fever was
fairly established, and not without good cause; for, however extravagantly
the subject has in many instances been treated by some writers, not always
without selfish purposes in inducing sale and settlement of lands, there is

~~.~,~~.;,--,. --n-- ---- -i-:


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

no shadow of doubt as to the really sure and safe ground for the invest-
ment of untold thousands of dollars in making orange groves.
One thousand dollars per acre per annum has time and again been real-
ized from this business. Indeed, double that amount per acre has been fre-
quently made; and with proper culture and fertilization, where the latter
is needed, $1,000 per acre is an available crop. Like all excellent things,
orange culture has many and serious obstacles to its successful accomplish-
ment. Being a new business there is not a vast amount of experience to
govern and direct the beginner. Almost as many different theories exist
as to the most approved methods of culture as there are men engaged in it.
The natural enemies of the tree and fruit are numerous, and not very
well understood. An entomologist recently sent from the Bureau at Wash-
ington reports having discovered no less than 35 different insects that are in
a greater or less degree damaging to the orange. Judicious selection of
locality as well as location for groves are most important matters. The
selection of stocks, buds, seeds, and the best methods of planting, protect-
ing and cultivating, are all material factors of success. Frosts, droughts,
gales and other casualties are to be considered, and time is largely of the
essence of the undertaking. We believe, from experience thus far, that on
an average it requires twelve or fifteen years to make an orange grove very
profitable from the time of planting. True it is that in some, perhaps many
instances, where the environment were in all respects most favorable, much
better results have been obtained.
While Commissioner of Immigration the writer has had numerous in-
quiries made of him from all parts of the country as to the advisability of
"poor men coming to Florida for the purpose of engaging in orange-cul-
ture. He is frequently asked: How much capital is required to enable a
man to engage in growing oranges ?" Can a man with very moderate
means put out an orange grove and make a support off the land while the
trees are growing?" &c. These, like many others of analagous character,
are very pertinent inquiries, but quite beyond most persons' capacity to an-
swer. The amount of capital required depends, of course, on the extent to
which the enterprise is pursued. The cost of land, trees, labor and support
are all involved, and these vary as to localities and what might be thought
a support by different people.
It has been customary heretofore by writers on this subject to submit
estimates of the cost of these several items, appended to which frequently
occurs such an entry as value of 5 acres in bearing trees at 7 years old,
$--,-" &c. We will attempt no such table. We have been quite unable
to reconcile the great discrepancies of experimenters in their estimates of
bringing a grove into bearing; too much so, at any rate, to be able to digest
therefrom reliable data for the guidance of others.

_ _~_ ~_____

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

We believe, however, that orange growing, while it of course can be en-
gaged in at a decided advantage by those who have means to conduct it on
a cash basis, and be independent of support until such time as the grove is
an assured success, does not, nevertheless, present any insurmountable fea-
tures to "poor men "-by which term we mean, in this instance, men with-
out ready money and dependent upon their own labor for a support. In-
deed, in the knowledge of the writer, many of the most successful and to-
day independent orange proprietors in Florida began the business with no
other capital than their own labor.
But for fear of misleading minds prone to overlooking the details when
so dazzling a prospect is offered them of converting in a few years acres of
) 1.25 land into bonanzas yielding princely incomes, we caution them that
there is a long, hungry gap between raw pine woods and groves of bearing
orange trees. It takes many hard licks, plenty of pluck, assured health,
good luck and favorable auspices. To all of which a large family, bad
health, indolence, inexperience or accident are possible drawbacks.
It has been urged that the profits of orange growing would directly
attract so many to the business as to overstock the ,market and break it
down, but a little reflection will dissipate such fears. Apples sell as'readily
now, and at as good prices, as they did forty years ago, and yet there are
millions of acres suitable to growing apples where there are hundreds suit-
able to growing oranges, and there are millions of apples now on the market
where there used to be one. If the apple market cannot be so overstocked
as to break it down, much less can the market for oranges. The consump-
tion of the orange within the United States is put down at 600,000,000 per
annum. A little above 50,000,000 of that supply is furnished at home; the
remainder, as shown at the custom-houses, is made up of receipts from
abroad. We furnish about one-twelfth of the supply, while foreign sources
furnish the other eleven-twelfths. The ease by which we can effectually
occupy the market when our supply is sufficiently enlarged is shown in the
fact that the foreign fruit is frequently sold in the market as Florida "
fruit to procure for it a more ready sale. Ours is of a better quality and
richer flavor, and the foreign article finds a market among us only because
the home supply fails to meet the demand. And this demand is increasing
almost as rapidly as orange trees in Florida are multiplying.
The natural increase of American population, that is the number of
births over the number of deaths, is only about one-third of the real in-
crease. More than half a million people from foreign lands will arrive upon
our shores during the present year with the intention of permanent resi-
dence among us. Then every railroad in the other American States, as
well as every railroad and canal added in Florida, increases the facility and
lessens the cost of putting this tropical fruit at every man's door.

U_ I~-r--n --- 1--7 i

I-_~~_~~~~~~_ ~_~_ _~ ___


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

The following statistics, obtained from the Census Bulletin of 1880,
will give some idea of the state of the orange business in Florida at that


Alachua ........................ ..........
Baker.... ..............................
Bradford ...............................
Brevard. .................. .................
Calhoun ....... .......................... ..
Clay........... ............... ...........
Columbia.................. .... .............
Dade ......................................
D uval.....................................
Escambia ....................................
Franklin ... ...................... .
Gadsden .... ........................
Hamilton . ............. .................
Hillsboro ...................................
Holmes.................... ..................
Jackson ....................................
Jefferson. ....................................
Lafayette............. ......................
Leon ......... ...........................
Liberty ................. ..................
Madison ....... ......................... ..
M anatee ........................ ............
M arion ............ ......................... .
M onroe ...................... ....... ......
Nassau .....................................
Orange ............... .................. ..
Polk ........................ ................
P utnam ..................... ...............
Santa Rosa. ................. ..............
St. Johns..................... ..............
Sumnter ............ ............. ..........
Suwannee............. ................
Taylor. ... ........................... .....
Volusia .....................................
W akulla. ............ .........................
W alton .......................................

1.T tal,,, ..................... ...........

T otal .................. ... .............

date :
Name of

. Bearing Yield in
Trees. 1880.
18,111 2,250,000
21 9,450
3,377 338,850
10,884 1,250,000
841 282,400
738 165,700
436 157,850
500 500,000
10,131 3,000,000
11 10,000

7,685 52,000,000
18,683 4,409,150

1,000 ......

1,157 48,800
2,500 750,000
460 500,000-

594 512,900
17,291 2,000,000
46,195 6,000,000
500 500,000

29,049 4,000,000
2,283 1,500,000
64,170 7,120,631

12,006 2,000,000
13,029 2,250,000
157 120.700
1,846 255.200
24.638 4,000,00
83 70,493

11,536 457,225

292,324 46,097,856

From want of reports from several of the counties in the above list,
they are made to appear as non-productive of oranges. This we feel au-
thorized to correct. There is not a county in Florida where bearing orange
trees are not to be found; and in Franklin and Liberty, two of the counties
not reported in the above list, orange growing is quite an industry. Some
very handsome and valuable groves are to be seen on the banks of the Apa-
Other members of the citrus family, viz : The lemon, lime, citron, grape
fruit and shaddock can be successfully grown in at least a large portion of


$33,750 00
141 75
4,815 50
4,170 50
2,522 25
2,741 00
7,500 00
45,000 00

45,410 25

3,500 00

662 00
11,250 00
7,500 00

7,685 00
30,000 00
90,000 00
7,500 00

60,000 00
22,500 00
108.414 80

30,000 00
33,750 00
2,060 00
2,747 50

7,056 10

$672,176 65

--------- ----- --- --

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 27

the State. The lime and lemon will be about as widely used as the orange,
though not so abundantly, and as not a tithing of so many are engaged in
growing them, they will, perhaps, be about as profitable.
THE GRAPE-FRUIT is only a larger and coarser variety of the orange.
The shaddock is a yet larger fruit-measuring some ten or twelve inches in
THE CITRON is a healthy, vigorous grower and prolific bearer, though
less hardy than the lemon or orange. By a process, as yet not understood
in Florida, from this fruit is prepared, in the East, the Citron of com-
merce; which art, when acquired here, will develop only another source of
industry and revenue to the State.
THE BANANA is one of the most popular of tropical productions. It is
generally relished from the first, but even this fruit requires a little prac-
tice to develop in full a palatable sense of its richness and delicacy. More-
over it belongs to the family-the plantain, which is claimed to be the rich-
est of all the fruits in nutritious matter. It has a number of varieties.
The hardiest of these, and the one most widely scattered over the State, is
the African. This variety needs to be quite ripe to be in its highest de-
gree palatable. Most of the other varieties, as the French, Fig, Dwarf,
Red, Cavendish, Lady-finger and Apple, are regarded as more delicate in
their flavor.
Parties growing for the market are selecting some one or other of
these finer varieties, even though of more delicate vitality. This plant
sprouts or tillers from a single root or bulb, each sprout in its turn becom-
ing the parent of another generation of sprouts, which attain their maturity
in about fourteen months, when the pendant frpit is developed at the top,
after the ripening of which the sprout dies and makes room for a younger
one. One season, therefore, is not sufficient for the wants of the plant.
The first white frost disposes of its leaves, and a freeze of the stem also.
With a little painstaking the fruit can be ripened all over Florida, and
even further north. Let the plant, when it comes up in the spring, have
tillage and fertilization, (it requires a rich soil,) and at the commencement
of cold weather take up and shelter from cold by embanking in earth, as in
case of sugar-cane. The leaves will perish, but the stem will be preserved
with more certainty than the eye of the sugar-cane. In the following spring
if these stems are reset and cultivated, ripened fruit during the summer will
be assured. This precaution, however, is only necessary during some winters
in the extreme northern counties of the State. It is very tenacious of life,
and bears taking up and resetting almost like an onion. The plant belongs
to the order of Musas and is closely allied to the M. Textillis or Manilla
hemp of the Phillipine Isles. It furnishes a fibre of extreme tenacity and
durability, and may in time come to be extensively utilized as a fibre-pro-
ducing plant. Another property of probable value possessed by this plant

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

is its juice, which is very abundant in stem and leaf, trickling in quite a
stream when fresh cut; and makes an indellible die, which can be varied in
color by the addition of other matter, and this dye improves with age.
The fruit is worth far more than its cost for both food and ornamentation, and
no Florida home is complete without its surrounding of the rich semi-
tropical foliage of the banana.
THE JAPAN PLUM OR LOQUAT, as well as the Japanese Persimmon,
flourish throughout the State; both are excellent fruit, with growing pop-
ularity, and promise to be profitable products for market beyond the State.
The persimmon is as large as an apple, and in some of its varieties very
much the same shape. Some specimens of the fruit are seedless. The
flavor is rich and pleasant.
THE PEACH, though it grows about as well in the far south of the State
as farther north, yet does not fruit as regularly. Sometimes, for several
years together, the tree will cast every bloom. In the northern counties,
while the orange tree grows well, and even better than in the thinner lands
of the southern counties, and for the last half a century have grown full
crops for more than three-fourths of the years, yet are liable occasionally
to be killed down by a severe freeze ; but the peach, in at least its earlier vari-
eties, offers a high remuneration for its tillage. In North Florida it can be
ready for the earliest market and command monopolizing prices. The
Peen-to or Flat Peach, of China, begins to ripen in the neighborhood of
Tallahassee, in Leon county, in the last week in April and continues for a
month. These peaches brought most extravagant prices in New York the
past spring.
PEARS of very many varieties, but especially the Dwarfs, have been for
many years favorite incumbents of the orchards in the northern and mid-
dle portions of the State, and are found to succeed well. Standards have
been extensively planted of late years. Among these the Bartlett has so far
proven the most satisfactory. The introduction within the last five years in
the northern counties, especially in Leon and Jefferson, of the celebrated
LeConte variety, has given an impetus to the production of this fruit that
amounts to a boom, and promises to rival in extent the orange industry.
The LeOonte is a most vigorous grower, comes into bearing the fourth year
from the cutting, attains a growth of twenty-five or thirty feet, and is the
most prolific and sure bearer of any character of fruit tree experimented
with in Florida. The fruit is not, perhaps, as excellent in quality as some
of the more choice varieties, but is nevertheless a very edible and readily
marketable fruit. The rapidity of its growth, the small amount of capital,
labor and time required to secure bearing orchards of any extent, its won-
derful prolificAess, excellent shipping properties and earliness of ripening,
make the production of this pear deservedly one of the most popular in-

I~ ;__i-i -;--; ;--I---- --____~___ _

Florida-I-ts Climate, Soil and Productions.

vestments in Florida. Prices in New York so far have been most satisfac-
rory, and have stimulated the production of the LeConte so that in the two
counties of Leon and Jefferson many thousands of these trees have been
put out within the two years past. Parties in Tallahassee have recently
refused $100 per acre for land with two-year old LeConte trees upon it,
that could have been purchased for $5 per acre without the trees. We
think this industry is likely in a few years to assume very great propor-
tions, and is calculated to effect settlement and prices of real estate in that
section very much as the orange business has in sections lower down the
GRAPES of several varieties grow wild throughout Florida. They
rarely if ever occur in the pine woods, but in hammock land trees are hung
and festooned in every direction with the luxuriant growth of vines.
In many localities considerable attention has been given to the culti-
vation of domesticated varieties. The Concord, Catawba, Ives, Clinton
and other American grapes of that family have been found to grow and
fruit well wherever the proper attention has been given the pruning, &c.
As to the cultivation of grapes of that character on a large scale for making
wine, we know of no very extensive operations, and it is questionable
whether our rainy season, which occurs during vintage in July, will not
prove a serious draw-back, until experience and selection have induced a
variation in the grape that will induce earlier ripening. The Delaware is a
determined success in Middle Florida at any rate.
THE SCUPPERNONG has been more extensively propagated than any
other grape. In Gadsden county, near Mt. Pleasant, Col. M. Martin has a
large vineyard of many varieties, and manufactures considerable quantities
of wine. At Lake City, in Columbia county, Gen. J. J. Finley has also en-
gaged largely in this business. Inquiries made of these gentlemen, and of
Mr. John A. Craig, of Tallahassee, and Col. John F. White, of Live Oak,
will probably meet with fuller information touching grape culture in Flor-
ida than any other we can now suggest.
Of the production of any varieties of European wine grapes we are
unable to give any reliable information. Many experiments have been
made, and none, we think, have so far been very favorable. ,This may be en-
tirely owing to the want of proper knoweldge of the best methods of pruning,
&c. The so-called wines manufactured in Florida and other parts of the
South are only cordials, made by the addition of sugar or spirits to the
juice of the grapes. They are sweet, heavy drinks generally, with decided
flavors peculiar to themselves ; are palatable drinks when a taste is acquired
for them, but are not wines in a commercial sense. Very considerable
profit, however, attends their manufacture and sale.
APPLES, so far as we know, have never been extensively or very satis-
factorily grown in Florida. There are in some of the northern counties

Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

small orchards of considerable age that have borne fruit abundantly for
years, but are not of choice varieties. Mr. John A. Craig, six miles north
of Tallahassee, has a young orchard of Shockley trees. that are bearing to
his perfect satisfaction. By proper selection of suitable varieties, and the
adoption of a system of culture that experience will prove to be adapted to
our climate and seasons, there is little doubt that on the stiff, rolling lands
of the hill country in the northern portion of the State, apples may yet be-
come a prominent feature among the industries.
FIGs of every known variety do well in Florida, but in the most south-
ern counties are a little uncertain about fruiting. When it does bear in
those sections the fruit is quite as good as that grown farther north, and it
may be that painstaking in its tillage will discover a remedy for this irregu- A
larity. In the East it is an article of great commercial value, and when
Florida becomes fully exercised in. fruit growing, and has acquired skill in
preparing her fruits for market, the fig will probably become prominent
among the list. The tree attains great age, and continues to bear indefi-
nitely. Every home has its fig trees of different varieties, and the fruit is
among the most wholesome article of diet.
PLUMs of many wild varieties are found throughout the State.. Little
attention has been bestowed on them. Some of the early Southern varieties
have been found profitable for shipment North. They ripen about the first
of April, and can be put in the Northern market at a time when they have
no other fruit to compete with.
THE PECAN of the West grows finely all over the State. It requires
no tillage and nursing. Comes into bearing from the planting-of the nuts
in ten or twelve years. The fruit is abundant, falls when ripe, is easily and
cheaply gathered, bears keeping and rough shipment any distance in any
climate, and is quoted in the New Orleans market to-day at 16- cents per
pound wholesale for the best quality of Texas nuts.
The Reverend Charles Beecher, of Massachusetts, has on his Southern
home at Newport, on the St. Marks river, 21 miles south of Tallahassee, a
very fine grove of pecan trees in full bearing. The profitableness of the
production of this nut, as discovered by the experience of his grove, has
awakened quite an interest in the planting of extensive areas in the nuts
along the high banks of that beautiful river. Recently several gentlemen
from New York have purchased tracts of land there for the purpose of
planting entirely in pecan this fall. The fact that no fencing, fertilizing,
cultivation or care other than the planting of the nuts, taken with the
early and great productiveness of the trees, the imperishable and conven-
iently-handled character of the fruit, with the steady and increasing de-
mand and good prices for the nuts, put the production of pecan nuts high
up on the list of desirable investments in Florida. The trees once planted
grow on indefinitely, and attain gigantic dimensions\

_ ---. ------- I

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 31

THE ALMOND grows well in Florida. Little success has been had in
maturing fruit of any other variety than the Hardshell---which variety is
not marketable. We know of no drawback to the successful production of
other varieties, save the heretofore want of proper care and attention.

we think experience in Florida discards all except the blackberry and
strawberry. Currants, gooseberries, raspberries, so far as we know, have
never proven a success in Florida.
BLACKBERRIES grow wild all over the State in great profusion. Some
attention has been given in 'Middle Florida, where labor is abundant and
cheap, to drying the berries for shipment. The dried fruit commands 14
cents per pound net, and is becoming the source of considerable revenue to
those who have undertaken its preparation and shipment.
STRAWBERRIES are one of the prominent subjects of interest to the
fruit growers and market gardeners. This delightful fruit, so eagerly
sought after in every market, grows to great perfection throughout the
State of Florida. The fruit comes into the market too early to find com-
petition from any other section, and Florida strawberries enjoy a monopoly
in the Eastern seaboard markets for many weeks during January, February
and March. The production and shipment of the berries North is rapidly
increasing, and has now assumed such proportions as to secure the provis-
ion by the transportation companies of suitable refrigerating cars for their
proper preservation in transit. As an evidence of the profitableness of
the strawberry culture in Florida, we extract from an article by Mr. W. II.
Haskell, in a pamphlet recently issued by the Leon County Farmers' Club,
the following: Proceeds of one shipment of berries from Jacksonville, of
1,052 quarts, shipped to New York, and sold for $2,630, or $2.50 per quart;
cost of packing and shipping, $283; leaving a net profit of $2,346."
The production in Florida of
for shipment to Northern markets is rapidly assuming extensive pr6por-
tions, and will, in all time to come, prove a most important and profitable
feature of her industries.
During the present season (1882) cabbages have been shipped from
Tallahassee, in Leon county, and sold in New York at a net profit of $500
per acre.
In South Florida tomatoes, cucumbers and beans thus far have been
the leading articles for shipment. The tomato has been the most profitable.
In that section of the State* the fall and winter months are best suited for
vegetable growing. Beans, peas, cucumbers, potatoes and cabbages can be
grown at seasons which command for them monopolizing prices. Five, six


Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

and seven hundred dollars per acre have been realized, both from cabbages
and tomatoes. Cucumbers have paid as much to the area in tillage, to the
early grower, as any vegetable on the list. The great drawback, thus far,
to the early market gardeners has been the want of ready and reliable trans-
portation facilities. These, however, are rapidly multiplying and extending.
And the vegetable and fruit trade will soon be so immense in this propor-
tion as to command for their use all the commercial facilities that human
skill and industry can supply. The State seems likely soon to become one
vast orchard for fruits and garden for vegetables.
THE SWEET POTATO comes nearer being a universal crop in Florida
than any other the soil produces. It is easily propagated from the roots,
sprouts or vine, and sometimes the seed, though the latter mode is rarely
used. From its easy propagation and cultivation, its large yield, and the
variety and excellence of the dishes prepared from it, it is one of the in-
dispensable crops. In the southern counties it may be planted at any sea-
son of the year, and generally is not taken from the ground until needed
for use.
THE IRISH POTATO, or "White Potato," is accredited with being a na-
tive of Chili and Peru, and was introduced into North America by the
Spaniards, from whence it was in 1586 carried by Sir Walter- Raleigh
to England, and perhaps acquired its name of Irish from the ex-
tent to which it is grown- in Ireland, and the excellence with which the
Irish soil produces it. This tuber has within the last year or two taken a
very prominent place among the very profitable early crops in Florida. On
the best class of lands truckmen have been getting about an average of
thirty barrels of first-class shipping potatoes per acre, which, getting into
the Eastern markets about the time the old crop is exhausted, have been
netting, over cost of shipping and selling, about $4 per barrel, making say
from $100 to $120 per acre realized from land in a short period of generally
100 days, and leaving the ground ready for some other crop by first of May.
These figures have been very much exceeded in many localities. On the
excellent farm lands of Middle Florida some wonderful results have been
attained. Mr. E. W. Gamble, of Tallahassee, for instance, has, during the
past spring, taken from six acres of land, to which no commercial fertilizer
had been applied, 288 barrels of potatoes, for which he realized the sum of
-1,72., net. Some of his last shipments sold for $9 per barrel. Interest-
ing statistical information, touching the cost and profitableness of the pro-
duction of potatoes and cabbages for shipment North, can be obtained by
the curious by application to the Secretary of the Leon County Farmers'
Club, addressed at Tallahassee. There are in Florida many
may be obtained, but there are three from which its preparation is the lead-
ing use. These are the Maranta Arundenacea, or Arrowroot of Com-

~ i~__

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 33

merce ;" Coontie, or Florida Arrowroot," and the Manihot Utilissima, or
ARRowROOT grows well on good land. It is not extensively grown for
market, but frequently is grown and utilized for food purposes, as well as
starch making.
COONTIE is indigenous to the southern counties, where it grows most
luxuriously. On the Miami river, in Dade county, parties have been en-
gaged in manufacturing starch from this plant for the Key West market. It
is there sometimes appropriated to the uses of the table. Doubtless tillage
would improve it in its useful properties, just as other plants have been
thus improved and developed.
CAssAVA.-Parties who have cultivated this plant pronounce it to be a
most excellent food crop for fattening hogs ; that an acre of this crop will
go further in feeding than an acre of potatoes. Like the potato, it may be
propagated by cuttings of the stems. From this plant is prepared the
Tapioca of commerce. Recently this plant has been utilized in the produc-
tion of glucose, which it is found to yield in such quantities as to make its
manufacture a leading purpose.
ToBAcco has been found, from the earliest settlement of Florida,
to be well adapted to both the climate and soil, and has been at differ-
ent periods and in different localities extensively produced. Several
varieties of marked difference in character and quality are commonly
cultivated. Experience has taught that Florida tobacco possesses a
fineness and toughness of leaf that admirably suits it to the use of
wrappers for cigars. Before the war a wide reputation was estab-
lished by the planters in the county of Gadsden for the production
of what was termed the "Florida Speckled Leaf," which was pro-
nounced the very best for wrappers grown anywhere, and commanded
unusually high prices. The lands of that county were found to be pecu-
S liarly suited to its production. One thousand pounds was the average
yield per acre, and several handsome fortunes were amassed by its culture.
A highly flavored and fragrant article of tobacco is being extensively
planted for home consumption in many portions of the State. This quite
equals in the excellence of its flavor the Cuban weed; is indeed grown from
seed originally introduced from that island. What are known as shell ham-
mocks in the county of Wakulla, in Middle Florida, and indeed in many
other parts of the State, are most admirably suited to the production of this
Cuba variety, and are just now attracting renewed attention for that pur-
MELONS of every variety, from the classic pumpkin to the primitive
gourd, abound in Florida, are of the very finest quality, and in the canta-
loupe and watermelon furnish only an additional entry to the shipping list
of the truckman, and are by no means one of his least profitable interests.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

SILK might easily be made a most profitable industry in Florida. The
Morus Multicaulis and M. Alba-both grow most luxuriantly. Cuttings
of either laid horizontally in furrows, and covered in early spring, put up a
vigorous sprout at every joint, and grow in ten years to be hedges of stout
canes. These kept cut back, so as to stool and multiply the number of
sprouts, and not allowed to grow into trees, and thus elude the reach, will
the third year, and thereafter, furnish heavy crops of foliage for feeding the
worms. In many places careful experiment with choice varieties of Euro-
pean, American and Asiatic varieties of worms have proven very satisfac-
tory. Mrs. Ellen C. Long, of Tallahassee, and Mrs. R. B. VanValkenburg,
of Jacksonville, have perhaps more carefully familiarized themselves with
the features of silk-culture, of late years in Florida, than any other parties
we can now recommend, and persons desirous of gaining more detailed in-
formation on the subject are respectfully referred to them, to whom, we
doubt not, it will be a pleasure to impart information.
HONEY is rapidly becoming a staple product of Florida, whose climate
and flora seem specially adapted to the propagation of bees. Even in the
winter months, in South Florida, there are a supply of flowers quite suffi-
cient to support the hives. This permits heavier tolls to be made on them,
as less honey must be left to feed during winter. Bees work in South Flor-
ida all winter.
In response to recent circulars of inquiry upon the subject of bee-
culture, addressed to different counties in the State, by Mr. Columbus
Drew, the agent of Bureau of Immigration at Jacksonville, much data on
the subject has been furnished. Our space precludes the publication of
this, but as a standard authority on the subject, to whom parties are recom-
mended to apply for details, we recommend Mr. W. S. Hart, of New Smyrna
in Volusia county, who in April last furnished quite an exhaustive reply to
Mr. Drew on the subject.
Mr. Hart is the most prominent apiarist in Florida, is Vice-President
for Florida of the North American Bee-keepers' Society.
In the communication referred to Mr. Hart says: In some portions
of Florida bee-keeping pays better than in any other State. The average
natural increase, and honey production, is from one to three and 150 pounds
of honey. I have never seen or known of a diseased colony of bees in the
State. The enemies are toads, dragon-flies, ants, moths and birds. I con-
sider the coast counties south of 29th parallel unsurpassed for the industry.
Our bees winter perfectly on summer stands and gather honey or pollen every
month in the year. Some of the leading honey and pollen-producing trees
are the maple, willow, sweet-gum, bays, orange, myrtle, oak, bass-wood,
hickory, youpon, mock-olive, saw-palmetto, cabbage-palmetto and mangrove,
the last two of which come together in the middle of summer, and are un-

ii;li~-----ic~~ -~i _

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 35

equalled as honey-producers by anything else in the whole vegetable king-
dom known to the writer. They produce honey in abundance of the finest
quality, and we think it safe to say never fail to produce a good crop.
We also have honey-producing vines and plants too numerous to mention."


Numerous inquiries have been addressed to the Commissioner from
different quarters as to the supply and location of different commercial
woods to be found in Florida. It is quite impossible, in the absence of au-
thoritative data, for the writer, whose personal knowledge or facilities for
obtaining information officially on this subject is most limited, to at all pre-
sent the facts of the case as they fully deserve. The establishment in Flor-
ida, as in other States, of an Agricultural Bureau will in time shed light on
this, one of her richest resources.
Besides her boundless areas of yellow pine, whose timber is largely
supplying the world's markets, there is in Florida, perhaps, a larger supply
of cypress timber than in any other section of the United States." This
timber for the manufacture of staves for syrup and sugar barrels and hogs-
heads is unsurpassed, is being extensively sawed and shipped to the prairie
States as railroad cross-ties, and is rapidly coming in demand, especially in
Germany, for'ship-building. It is, too, the shingle timber of the South.
Untold fortunes are still standing in this timber along the numerous rivers,
lakes, lagoons and swamps.
THE LIVE-OAK, so durable and valuable for ship-knees, is still abundant
along the coast and rivers, and of the most gigantic size.
RED CEDAR, of the very best quality, abounds in all the low hammock
lands along the coast and rivers. The cutting of this timber has for years
been a prominent industry. Large supplies are consumed by cedar mills at
Cedar Key and Tampa, where quantities of this wood is sawed to supply
the pencil factories of A. W. Faber & Co.
WHITE-OAK, suitable for stave timber, is to be found in very consider-
able quantities in many portions of the State-in the counties of Jackson,
Calhoun, Gadsden, Jefferson and Wakulla, in Middle Florida. Especially
in the great hammocks along St. Marks and Wakulla rivers, in the latter
county, are to be found rich supplies of this valuable timber, ready of access
from the streams. So rapid is growth that upon large plantation tracts,
cultivated up to the beginning of the late war, and since then left idle, for-
ests of white-oak have sprung up, and in the short space of 22 years attained
a growth that will square from ten to twelve inches. It is a curious sight to



36 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

ride through a forest of stately trees and count the old corn ridges beneath
RED-OAK is the principal timber growth over extensive areas of high ham-
mock in the hill country of Middle Florida. This timber, while some-
what too porous and brash to be used in the manufacture of agricultural
implements, answers admirably for staves for a certain class of bar-
rels, and furnishes a most abundant supply of tan-bark, making the manu-
facture of leather a cheap and profitable industry in that section.
Many other varieties of oak abound throughout the State.
HICKORY is abundant over extensive areas. Trees of the most extra-
ordinary size are to be found in all the hammocks. The climate of Florida
makes the second growth of this ordinarily slow growing tree rapid, and
inexhaustible supplies of most excellent hickory can for years be drawn
from the hammocks all over Florida. The same is true of the ash in many
POPLAR is a common growth along most of the rivers; the supply is
WILD CHERRY AND BLACK WALNUT are not so abundant, but are very
rapid growers and attain great size. Several enterprising spirits propose
the planting of extensive plantations of black walnut on the shell lands
along the St. Marks Railroad in Wakulla county. The cheapness of the
lands, (Old Forbes' Purchase,) their wonderful fertility, the rapidity with
which a wood of black walnut attains marketable growth, (about 15 years,)
and the absence of any cost of culture and fencing, it is thought, makes
such a scheme a safe and sure investment.
STINKING CEDAR," (Torreya Taxifolia Arnott,) is an evergreen, be-
longing to the yew tribe of conifers, peculiar to Florida, and confined to a
rather limited locality near Aspalaga, on the Apalachicola river. The
timber is possessed of the most remarkable durability, great lightness, is
soft, splits straight, can be rived as thin as card board, has !.:. t;. i'-, re-
ceives a high polish, and ought to be valuable for any purposes requiring
these qualities in a high degree. It is said that the dead trunks of the
torreya are to be found imbedded in the alluvial drift of the Apalachicola
river bottom in a perfect state of preservation, (as to the heart,) and that
they must, from every indication, have been exposed to the decomposing
influences of earth and water for centuries. The lamp posts in the Capitol
grounds in Tallahassee are made of this remarkable wood.
RED BAY, (Laurens Carolinensis) is commonly termed Florida ma-
hogany." It is very abundant throughout the hammocks and swamps of
Florida. Its dark-colored, handsomely veined wood makes it valuable for
cabinet work. It commands ready sale in the markets.
It would be quite an endless job to enumerate the long list of Florida

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 3T

woods that have been and could be utilized in the arts. As yet, except in
the case of pine, cypress, cedar and live-oak, very little has been done in
manufacturing timber from the many valuable trees in the State. Vast
forests of most valuable wood have been felled and burned. As transporta-
tion facilities are increased and manufacturing developed, more attention
will be directed to the sawing of hard woods.


as applied in Florida, embraces so many purposes, methods, and degrees of
S profitable success, that it is quite difficult in the limits of a publication of
this character to discuss it intelligibly to one totally unfamiliar with it.
Along the coast, in all the counties east of Escambia, are to be found
larger or smaller herds of cattle. These run at large through the pine
woods, swamps or salt marshes, and thrive on the coarse pasturage in a
manner quite profitable and satisfactory to their owners, who round up "
once a year, mark and brand the new calves and give little other attention.
So little expense attends this sort of stock-raising that notwithstanding
the paultry character of the scrubs produced, they prove valuable. Indeed,
the hide and tallow in a five-year-old steer would return a good profit on the
.4 cost of his keep. These cattle are small, with thick heavy necks and fore-
parts and narrow loins, but when fat will clean, at four years old, about 500
to 600 pounds, which finds ready sale among Floridians at from 6 to 10
cents per pound. There are stock-men in all the coast counties west of the
Suwannee, however, who realize very handsome results from the sale of
these cattle. It is doubtful whether the rough pasturage they rely upon
will admit of a very marked improvement in these cattle, even if crossed
with improved breeds.
In the northern counties of Middle Florida, on the red lands, where
many varieties of excellent pasture grasses abound, and where stock are
S kept under fence, a very different tone of things exists. Thoroughbreds of
the Durham, Devon, Jersey, Ayreshire, Hereford, and Alderney breeds, have
for some years been introduced and liberally used, until a large per-
centage of the cattle in that section are grades of one or Lhe other of these
bloods. The Bermuda grass pasturages of these counties are naturally of
a very fine quality, and of recent years are receiving a degree of attention
tending very greatly to their rapid improvement. Stock-raising of all
kinds is being fostered by the farmers as most profitable adjuncts to their
farming operations, not only in the growing of manures, but the ready sale
at good prices, of the dairy products and increase. Near the towns of Mad-
ison, Monticello and Tallahassee are to be found several herds of thorough-
breds that do credit to their owners, and are fast winning a reputation for


38 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

e these places for excellent dairy products. Butter exhibited at the annual h
n exhibition of the Middle Florida Agricultural and Mechanical Association, t
compares most favorably with the production of any dairy districts. This
S is a rapidly growing industry in these localities, and bids fair to take a
prominent place. t
In South Florida cattle raising is a leading industry. More capital
s has been employed in it than in the tillage of the soil, until within the last
t few years.
That this investment pays well has this practical proof: More money
has been made in that business than in any other, until quite recently, and
Sa number have thus grown wealthy. The cattle are not so large as those
al grown in Texas. First, because the native grass of that part of Florida is
less nutritious than that of Texas, and further, far less attention has been
given here to improve the native breeds of stock. The buyers in the Cuban
markets, to which shipments are made, are said to prefer the Florida to the
Texas beef. If the South Florida grass be not so nutritious, it seems to
impart a more agreeable flavor to the flesh.
As cattle-raising has been a paying enterprise in the past history of
the State, so it is likely to be still, in some places, for years to.come.
h Gradually, however, it will be forced to retire before the tread of a popula-
co tion too dense to leave it, as at present, the whole land surface for pastur-
age. These cattle-men have a large experience of their observing powers
rb through what they see and what they hear, and the thinking each one does
for himself. They are really better informed frequently than some who know
far more than they about books. These men will see the trend of things,
and will be ready to change their investments as soon as it will be best for
them and best for the country.
As the inquiring immigrant must needs pass through the country, the
better to see if it be suited to the supply of his wants, and as a thinly-settled
country is, for that reason, less inviting to the traveler, it may be pertinent for
his encouragement, to mention one prominent feature in this population of
the Southern counties. I mean the cordial hospitality which is met at
their hearthstones. As in nature they are the same with other men, we
Suppose ready hospitality must result from their employment and sur-
roundings. They need frequently the help one of another, in herding
their stock; then in the woods, and at the table of some one of their number,
most of the men of a pretty wide circle frequently take their meals to-
Sgether. They are thus put in sympathy one with another. Another char-
acteristic of the section is to add but little to their bill of fare because of
the company. The dishes ordinarily provided for the family are set before
the guests. And as it costs less trouble, so he is the more heartily welcome
than in many places where there is more preparation and more pretension
in the reception given. From whatever source this trait of character may

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 39

1 have originated, it is now the habit of the people, and will sometimes cheer
S the traveler as he journeys through a strange land.
S SHEEP have been found to do well in Florida wherever they have been
given a fair trial. In many portions of the State where the land is very
thin and sandy, the vegetation is correspondingly sparce and coarse, and
While sheep will live on it and increase at a fair rate, they, of course, under
such circumstances produce an inferior quality of both wool and mutton,
and tend very much to become bare of wool on the legs and bellies, but
their continued presence has been found to gradually overcome these very
drawbacks; and under their grazing, pine woods, originally very scant of
vegetation, have in a few years become enriched; new characters of weeds
and grass have spung up, and sheep and new crops prove of mutual benefit
I to one another. In some other portions of the State, especially in the coun-
Sties west of the Apalachicola river, the rolling pine woods furnish pastur-
age of a much better character, and sheep have been found to do propor-
tionately well. There are to be found in that part of the State some very
fair flocks, and the profits therefrom, when compared with the cost of their
Keep, show a net perhaps beyond what is realized by breeders of a higher
class with more expensive surroundings. Sheep, like goats, feed upon a
greater variety of plants than cattle, and are susceptible of profitable hand-
ling on pastures that would not support a herd.
On the red lands of the middle and northern portions of the State
sheep have always proven profitable. Heretofore the extensive culture of
cotton and other agricultural crops has rather tended to keep all available
lands in cultivation, but as the supply and quality of colored labor has de-
creased in that section, many broad acres have been turned out. On these
old plantations the Bermuda grass, having no longer the plow and hoe to
contend with, has asserted itself and extensive pasturages of this nutritious
crop now invite the introduction of flocks.
The farmers of this section are, as a rule, very intelligent and wide-
awake people, are not slow to perceive the advantages of the new opportu-
nity, and are beginning to turn attention and money in this new channel.
Bucks of improved strains are being introduced, both of long and medium
wools. In this connection we extract from a letter from Mr. John L. In-
glis, of Madison county, to the Secretary of this Bureau, in reply to some
inquiries made recently in the interest of some Northern men who were
considering sheep-culture in Middle Florida: I find no trouble in break-
ing up Bermuda sod four or five years old ; and where a perfect mat of roots,
a sharp turn-plow, (two-horse,) with coulters, runs just about two and a half
inches deep. Follow with a twister in same furrow. In a word, Bermuda
is,all and more than its friends claim for it. It is the best pasture I ever
saw. Everything likes it, and it makes No. 1 hay, both in quality

I .. ..

Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

and quantity. It grows best on rich land, but it will enrich old land
quicker than anything (except ash element and cow peas). The field you
refer to has made three tons to the acre at one cutting, and pastured seven
months in the year, too. It is now (November 1st) splendid, green, and a
fine pasture. I plowed it, as I thought it was root-bound. I will plant it
in corn or oats this season, and let it go for hay or pasture again. I have
not time to write you more, but Bermuda grass and sheep, in my opinion,
is the course to take with the old plantations."
In the southernmost counties of the State sheep husbandry is rapidly
increasing, and is thought to be more profitable than cattle.
HoGS can be raised as cheaply and of as fine quality as anywhere. In
ante-bellum times all planters in Middle Florida were large producers of
bacon. The difficulty of protecting them from theft in that region since
the old plantation smoke-houses ceased to be a certain source of supply,
has done much to limit the business. Yet many small farmers in all the
northern counties have introduced Berkshire, Poland China, Essex, and
Chester White breeds, and besides their entire home supply have a surplus
of bacon, hams, and lard to dispose of at good prices. In many other por-
tions of the State this character of stock is allowed to' run at large;. they
gain a living in the woods, and in one and two years grow large enough to
kill, having cost their owners nothing.
HORSES in some parts of the State are being bred profitably, and of a
most excellent quality. The cow ponies in use among the cattle-men
of the South are a breed as peculiar to Florida as is the Mustang to Texas.
They are admirably suited to the uses made of them. In Madison, Jeffer-
son, Marion, Alachua, Leon, Gadsden, and Jackson counties, some thor-
oughbred stallions have for some years been made use of, and many very
stylish youngsters are to be found in the stables of breeders in those locali-
ties. The presence of nutritious grasses in those counties, together with
the firm, smooth roadways, gives advantage and attraction to the raising
of horses and mules that is wanting elsewhere.
In the annual premium list of the agricultural shows and stock exhibi-
tions in those sections a prominent place is given native colts. Less attention
has been directed to the acquirement of speed in the production of horses in
that part of Florida, than to the acquisition in the colts of style, bottom and
general usefulness. Those interested in further inquiring on this subject are
respectfully referred to Mr. Amos Hays, of Greenwood, Jackson county,
Florida; Captain Patrick Houstoun, of Tallahassee; Mr. Charles P. Davis,
of lamonia post-office, in Leon county; Messrs. Daniel H. Bryan and Geo.
W. Taylor, of Monticello, in Jefferson county.

T;;;--~;~;===~====-=7s==;=-r~i~ ii I

Florida -Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 41

The great variety and excellence of the fish in Florida is not one of
the least attractions, whether to the sportsman or more practical housewife.
The lakes and streams of the fresh waters abound in fish of the finest qual-
ity, prominent among which are the black bass, pike, jack, bream, and
many varieties of the perch family. Along the coast the list of varieties is
longer than the fisherman's list of names for them. Red snapper, black
snapper or grouper, sheephead, red-fish black-fish, pompano, Spanish mack-
erel, rock-fish, mullet, and a long list of small pan-fish are chief among
the marketable varieties. The pompano is regarded as the choice among
Sepicures. The snapper and grouper are both deep water fish, and are taken in
great numbers by smacks on the banks off shore for the Havana, New Orleans
and Galveston markets. They can be kept for weeks in the wells of the
fishing smacks without injury to them. On both the Atlantic and Gulf
coasts there are extensive fisheries, where, in the season of the run," mul-
let are taken in vast numbers on the seine-yards. Some of the strikes made
by the fortunate seine-masters number hundreds of barrels. These fish take
salt quite as well as the mackerel of the northern waters, and furnish an
abundant supply of cheap and wholesome food to the inhabitants.
Along the Gulf coast west of the Suwannee, and especially on the
coast line of Wakulla and Franklin counties, the revenue derived
from this industry is considerable. The proximity of those points
to the southern counties of Alabama and Georgia enables the
small farmers of those sections to reach the Florida coast in their
farm wagons. About the first of October, when the run" of the fish
commences, the Georgia and Alabama farmer takes his wife and children in
his wagon and journeys southward. A week of recreation is spent, after the
year's work, on the beach, where these up-country folk enjoy the salt air
and water, and return home with several barrels of pickled fish to be eaten
during the winter. Last fall it was estimated that more than three hundred
Georgia wagons passed through Tallahassee alone, on their way to the fish-
eries. How many fisheries there are on the whole coast we are not advised nor
what quantities of fish are shipped to points beyond the State, but assuredly
it is a growing and paying industry. Perhaps no waters abound in fish in
greater quantity or of better quality than the waters of the coast of Flor-
ida. There was shipped from Cedar Keys in 1880, 1,701,000 pounds of bar-
relled fish, of the value of $68,000, according to the authority of Col. W. H.
Sebring, of Levy county. The Key West Democrat, of April 1st, 1882,
states that about one dozen schooners of Key West, aggregating 750 tons,
were then engaged in the taking of fish for the Havana market. Recently
the catch of several fisheries along the coast have been utilized in the man-

I I _P

___- -- ___- II E

42 Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

ufacture of a fish fertilizer, which is taking a high place among the farmers
and promises to develop into an extensive industry.
GREEN TURTLE may be mentioned as another commodity of the Flor-
ida coast. In Key West the beef and turtle markets adjoin. They are
both supplied with about equal regularity, and very many prefer the turtle
to the beef, particularly after the latter has been submitted to the hardships
of a voyage from the mainland. Turtle are shipped alive to the Northern
markets from Key West, and sometimes car-loads of them pass over the
Florida Transit and West India Railroad from Cedar Keys on their way
North. One of the sports of persons living near the coast is walking the
beach in April and May, watching for and "turning the turtle that crawl
out upon the shore in that season to lay. When they find the turtle making
her nest or laying her eggs a sufficient number of persons lay hold and turn
her upon her back. She is then helpless, unable to re-turn herself, so as to
have the use of her feet. Parties are thus supplied with both the turtle
and her eggs, and both are prized as savory food.
OYSTERS are so continuous around the coast, that when our railroad
and canal system shall have been completed, a supply, at short notice, will
reach any part of the interior of the State in a few hours, at the expense of
gathering and short freightage. Cedar Keys has already commenced their
shipment, and for all the distance that ice can make them safe freightage,
fresh, canned, and in the shell, this commerce is likely to extend. The sup-
ply seems inexhaustible.
SPoNGE.-The gathering of sponge along the Gulf coast is rapidly be-
coming an industry of considerable dimensions. The principal sponge
reefs lie to the southeastward of the port of St. Marks, between that point
and Cedar Keys. It has been quite impossible to ascertain definitely the
number of vessels engaged in this business, or the value of the aggregated
catch. The Key West Democrat, of April 1st, 1882, gives the number of
vessels from that port alone engaged in taking sponge at 150, and the value
of the sponge shipped from that point during the past year as amounting
to $250,000. Since Cedar Keys, St. Marks, Rio Carabelle and Apalachi-
cola are also extensively engaged in this business, it will be fair to estimate
the number of additional craft on the reef at thribble the above number,
and the value of the whole amount of sponge taken in the year at a little
short, if any, of $753,000. Spongers report the growth of these fish on the
reef to be increasing, and there is reason to expect the business to develop
much greater proportions.

-~-_~;==~_====~=~c;P----clll aWI I

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Almost any soil may be improved by proper fertilization, but in order
to do it wisely, and with the highest profit, several things ought first to be
known. First, one needs to know what elements of plant food are con-
tained in his soil, and it what proportions. Next, he needs to know what
are the elements that will be suitable food for his particular kind of crop,
and in what proportions. Thus knowing what was deficient, he would know
what to supply, and in what quantities. But the period is somewhere
ahead yet when farmers generally will have such acquaintance with their
soils, and with the constituent elements o their crops. One of the great
wants of Florida, therefore, is a State Geologist and Chemist. He could
not only tell the farmer in what his fields were deficient, but frequently
could point him to beds of the needed nourishment, in his immediate
neighborhood, awaiting his call for it. There are beds of mineral and veg-
etable fertilizers all over the State. These need to be examined scientific-
ally and their value declared authoritatively, that the unscientific may
know where and what they are and what they are worth. Without this in-
formation the farmer is but guessing and working in the dark. Instead of
supplying what his soil needs, he may be laboring to spread upon it what it
already has in superabundance-carrying coals to New Castle.
Phosphatic rocks have already been found in Alachua and Clay coun-
ties. Some of these rocks from Clay, so we are informed, were sent to the
office of the Scientific American, New York, with an inquiry whether they
were of such character and firmness as suited them for good building mate-
rial. The reply is said to have been that they would do well for building
material, but much better for agricultural purposes. That they contained
a large percentage of the phosphate of lime-that which gives to the rock
near Charleston, S. C., its value as a fertilizer, the mining of which has
proven such a bonanza since the war.
Green marl is also found in some of the counties in several portions of
the State. The green marl of New Jersey, besides the lime, clay and sand
of ordinary marl, is said to contain about 4 per cent. of phosphoric acid,
one of the scarce and yet important elements of plant food.
Over an extended area embraced between the Wakulla and St. Marks
rivers, in Wakulla county, and indeed extending far to the westward of the
former river, there exists a rich deposit of phosporic rock, and the soil of
the hammocks in which this rock is found gives evidences in its forest
growth of a fertility surpassed by none in Florida. Nowhere could the
utilization or manufactory of a commercial fertilizer be more cheaply and
conveniently engaged in than there, on account of the transportation facil-
ities enjoyed both by water and rail.

El- ---~~ _~-

I,,- II -I-E-; -I

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

All over the State are sulphur springs, and an examination may find
beds of sulphur near the surface worth working. Some preparation has
already been made for working the lime ore of Levy county.
Most of the plants which make up our crops have already been submitted
to analysis of their trunk, branches, leaves and fruit. The farmer can find
a statement of these results, the number of simple elements contained in
each species of plant examined, and the proportion of them, in his agricul-
tural paper. A State Geologist and Chemist could then tell what of these ele-
ments were contained in the soil, and in what proportion. Those absent
from the soil or present in insufficient quantity could be intelligently sup-
plied. True, precise accuracy would require examination or analysis of
each particular farm, but.sufficient approximation to the truth for practical
purposes can be reached with less labor than this. The geologist, already
familiar with the rocks, of each geological formation, and the simple ele-
ments of which these rocks are composed, has only to learn to which forma-
tion the surface of any particular section belongs, and he knows
what to expect as to the character and constituents of the soil. A
few analyses in a locality would enable him to give with tolerable accuracy
useful lessons to a whole community, concerning the elements of plant
food contained in the soil, and in what proportions, whether in excess or
deficiency, or whether needed ones are entirely absent. The planter, with-
out being geologist, chemist or botanist, would then be able to work intel-
ligently in supplying what is deficient or entirely absent. His agricultural
paper would tell him the simple elements contained in the plant he desired
to cultivate; the geologist what were the elements of his soil and their pro-
portions, and frequently where to get the deficient or absent ones, pointing,
it may be, to beds in his immediate neighborhood.
Because it will take but a few lines to state names of all the simple
substances of plant food, and because the unscientific reader is unfamiliar with
most of their names, we give them, fourteen in number: Oxygen, nitrogen,
hydrogen, carbon, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, silicon, chlorine,
sulphur, phosporus, iron and manganese. The first two named make the at-
mosphere we breathe. The first and third, oxygen and hydrogen, combined
chemically, make the water we drink. Common charcoal is the fourth-car-
bon almost pure. Potassium combined with oxygen makes potash. Sodium
combined with oxygen makes soda. Calcium makes lime. Magnesium
combined with oxygen makes magnesia. Silicon with oxygen makes sand.
Chlorine with sodium makes common salt. Sulphur, phosphorus, iron and
manganese are all simple substances and are better known to the common
reader under these names than they are in their combinations. These
fourteen simple substances contain in their various combinations all
the different substances upon which plants feed. Knowing these,
we know all the materials from the many that make up the earth's


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 45

bulk, we need to procure to enrich our soil. Some sources of supply
for the lack of our lands are generally known. Every farmer knows that
the droppings of his domestic animals are a benefit to even the best of his
lands. This waste matter was obtained from the vegetable matter with
which these were fed. The muck of the ponds is also vegetable,
containing plant food in a less concentrated form. It is made up of the
decayed and decaying remains of what was once the vegetable life of the
forest. As milk contains all the simple elements necessary for developing the
young animals which nature prepares it for so muck contains all the ele-
ments to develop plants, for itself once existed as plants. This muck, col-
lected in ponds and depressed places, is found all over the State. There is
S an easy access to it in the dry season, which embraces the winter and spring
months, but it is, ordinarily, not in a condition for use as it is first taken
from the bed. In most instances it is so infused Vith tannic acid that the
process of decomposition in this muck or vegetable mould has been arrested.
However rich it may be in plant food, that nourishment is locked up in
chemical combinations, until the process of decomposition is restored. Hu-
mus or mould can feed plants only as it goes on to further decomposition, thus
yielding up the food it contains. Tannic acid is, moreover, poisonous. to the
growing plant. The application of the freshly-dug muck, therefore, has
frequently hurt rather than helped the crop to which it was applied. If
spread in the lots rain will wash out some of the acid, some be evaporated
by the wind; or an admixture of lime with the muck will neutralize it.
The process of decay will thus be restored, and the muck made a useful
fertilizer. Muck is more or less rich, according to the plant remains of
which it is made. As different plants take up a somewhat different food,
or it may be, the same elements in different proportions, even the same
plant in different parts of its body or organs requires a different food. The
buds, leaves, fruits, and seed generally contain most of the elements in
which poor soils are deficient.
Lime has already been mentioned as doing a friendly office in neutrali-
zing unwholesome acids, but it has other uses to the plant. It is of itself
plant food in a limited degree, and when applied to the soil hastens the de-
cay of vegetable mould, and contributes also to the decomposition of the
minerals of the soil, containing other food. Lime is easily found in beds
all over the State, but the surface soil is frequently deficient in this
element, even when it rests upon a strata of lime only a little way
down. Dr. McIlvain, of Cedar Keys, who had some experience in lime-
burning to get the material for his large concrete hotel, told me it could be
burned from the shells on the coast at a cost of about 20 cents per barrel.
Common salt is easily and cheaply obtained. It readily supplies all

I ~---~------~-

_Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

the chlorine necessary, as well as some of the soda. It must be applied
In the fertilizers upon the market, potash, phosphorus, and ammonia
are the chief ingredients of value. In two places phosphatic rocks have
been already discovered. This encourages the hope that a geologist would
find other points where they are present. It may be the places already
known, if tested and found to be valuable, could supply the whole State.
Captain Buddington, of Clay county, is said to have powdered the phos-
phatic rock there and applied it to his garden, and nearly doubled the crop
of his vegetables.
Most of the fourteen simple elements, which constitute the food of
plants in its entirety, can be appropriated as food only when two or more of
them are chemically combined in certain proportions. Nitrogen as food is
among the costliest kinds that we supply to our crops, and yet nitrogen is
all around us, making fotr-fifths of the air we breathe, but in that form the
plant cannot use it. In the form of ammonia, and in the form of nitric acid
the plant can appropriate it. Ammonia is composed of one part of nitro-
gen and three of hydrogen-one of the elements of water. One of the great
wants of the age is a cheap method of forming this, combination. For,
since atmosphere and water are so plentiful, what is now the dearest'would
then be among the cheapest of fertilizers. Agricultural science in its pro-
gress will probably soon supply this want. At present the cheapest method
we have of effecting this combination is through the bodies of living plants
and animals; both are laboratories for producing this combination, either in
the changes wrought in the food taken, or in the decay of their organisms
at death. As an illustration, the excrement of the cow contains more am-
monia than the hay upon which she was fed. So it is with the droppings
of animals generally, whether liquid or solid, and in the decay of the bodies
of both plants and animals, ammonia is one of the resulting compounds,
and are in greater or less abundance as the decaying substance contained more
or less of nitrogenous matter.
Another convenient fertilizer for Florida soil is just now beginning to
receive attention-the fish guano already being prepared at some of the
fisheries. The bones and heads of fish are rich in phosphate of lime. A
great many fish are taken in the net at the fisheries not fit for food, and of
these, together with the offal of the better ones, the fish guano is made, con_
training a good percentage of ammonia, phosphate of lime, and some other
fertilizing matter. The coast will directly be girded with factories of this
description wherever there are fisheries.
I have treated more at large the subject of fertilizers, and the undevel
oped sources of them here at home, because the facts stated are in them-
selves an argument for a Bureau of Agriculture. We need one that the
practical farmer may have intelligent guidance, and that his pathway may

_ -- 1Eu


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 47

be enlightened by that careful scientific experience which is enabling the
other States to advance with an easier and more rapid step to agricultural
success. If each farmer in the State, under such tuition, is enabled to en-
large the product of his field by one bushel of corn per annum, and to re-
lieve himself of one day's non-productive labor, all the expense of such
department would be more than compensated.
There is, perhaps, in the whole range of the science of plant culture no
subject of greater importance, nor one upon which fewer established truths
of universal application are recognizable, than the matter of fertilizing
Even among men, as well as all domestic animals, the character, preparation
and fitness of food supplied them is one of the conditions that most se-
riously affects all their vital functions and effective purposes; and philoso-
phers declare that not only the intellectual and moral attributes of indi-
viduals, but, indeed, of provinces and nations, are largely determined by
external climatic influences and internal gastric conditions.
The powers of locomotion in all except the lowest types of animal life,
and the capacity they possess of changing their habitat and readily adapting
themselves to changed environment, gives to this kingdom a wonderful ad-
vantage in the struggle for existence over the members of the vegetable
kingdom, which, in most instances, can avail themselves of only such condi-
tions as occur in reach of their fixed and unchangable location. So that
the judicious supplying of the wants of plant life, and their protection from
the inroads of enemies by artificially assisting the natural survival of the
fitest, is, perhaps, one of the most difficult and delicate offices ever attempted
by human ingenuity. What wonderful progress and success have attended
the efforts of the intelligent agriculturist, horticulturist and florist in this
particular, assisted by the gradually-acquired experience of successive gener-
ations of observing experimenters through the ages that have accompanied
the domestication and improvement of plant life, is familiar to the well-
informed mind. The agencies and methods to be employed by the intelli-
gent operator in improving the character and supplying the wants of do-
mesticated animals and plants, are ever to be determined in connection
with the other conditions, natural or artificial, that constitute the environ-
The two most important factors to be considered in the solution of this
problem are climate and soil, as regards the successful culture of plants.
Methods of culture and fertilization that experience has shown to be best
suited to the development of plant life in one locality or habitat, are found
to be unsuited to the wants of even the same orders or species in another
locality possessing marked differences of climate and soil. In Florida the
peculiarity of*her climate, as well as the character of her soil and relative
effect the two exercise upon plant life, it has been found, make many of the


-------;;---- I

-"- '"== --- =--= -^^ ^ ^ ^^^ ^^^

48 Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

most approved theories and practices of cultivation, effective elsewhere, of
little practical value when applied here; indeed, in many cases what are
recognized as universally proper methods further north have been found to
be seriously injurious to the condition of like crops in this State.
Throughout her great field of operations nature seeks to establish and
maintain an equilibrium that shall result in giving a fair average chance for
every created thing to protect and support itself. Suppose that our ten
months of summer weather, with our regular supply of rainfall, could be
transferred to the rich prairies of the Northwest, how many years before
the combined effects of such seasons and soil would develop an advantage
in favor of plant life that would make of those regions a jungle that would
defy the efforts of the settler ? If Florida soil was as fertile as that of
Iowa for instance, what race of men could conquer her forests and subject
her forces to control ? Take away from Florida her sandy and compara-
tively poor soil, and replace it with such alluvial deposits as the great
Mississippi carries to the State of Louisiana, and the cane and bamboo
would run the people out of the country. As it is, the wonderful growth
of vegetable life, under the influence of our semi-tropical seasons, is a fea-
ture differing from any other portion of the United States.-
In many parts of the country the season in which plants can grow is very
limited, and in the cultivated areas the whole of that time is employed in
maturing the crops planted, so that the growth of all weeds is carefully
prevented, and when the crop planted is harvested the ground is left bare,
or, at best, but a meagre stubble is left to be turned under and help to
compensate for the loss the land sustains in producing the part carried
away; so that year after year there is a continuous tax upon the soil, and
but a small return made to it. In many parts of the Southern States, where
the seasons are somewhat longer, any advantage that might be derived
therefrom is in many instances counteracted by the effect of regularly
occurring seasons of drought during the summer months that impedes the
growth of plants and limits the amount of vegetable matter to be returned
to the soil almost, or quite as much, as does the shortness of the growing
season further north. True it is that this evil is in a great measure reme-
died by rotating crops and by planting clover and grasses, which are
plowed under. The debt is finally paid, but it is at a fearful rate of interest,
involving extra labor and the use of the land for the time necessary to ma-
ture the fertilizing crops. Notwithstanding the expensiveness of this pro-
cess of recuperation and fertilizing, it is universally recognized as the
surest and most economical method of attaining the end desired; or, in
other words, however costly it has proven in different localities for farmers
to adopt the practice of laying land fallow from time to time' or letting it
go to grass or clover to be turned under, such method is periodically of
absolute necessity to keep their lands up to their standard of productive-


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

ness. The application of manures measurably obviates this necessity, and
on a small farm well supplied with live stock, the supply of droppings is
often sufficient to fully compensate for all crops taken from the land, and
the use of commercial fertilizers, separately and composted with lot ma-
nures, is often resorted to. But the making and handling of any quantity
of compost is an exceedingly expensive operation, and if relied on solely it
takes an enormous quantity, generally much more than the circumstances
of the farmer afford. The purchase of commercial fertilizers is a drain on
the till, and if we compare the cost of the enormous quantities of these
manures frequently paid for in some localities of the South, with the value
of the crops sold from the same localities, the difference is an exceedingly
narrow one for the farming class to subsist on. Now, what is measurably
true of every part of Florida, and pre-eminently a distinguishing pecu-
liarity on her rich red uplands in the middle district of the State, is the
feasibility of taking away one crop and putting back two in every season,
with scarcely any additional cost; or, in other words, we claim that cer-
tainly on the clayey uplands of the counties of Madison, Jefferson, Leon,
Gadsden, and Jackson, in Middle and West Florida, and on very similar
soil in parts of Marion, Alachua and Hernando in the South, a judicious
farmer can cultivate his land every year, and without the application of one
pound of artificial manure his land will regularly improve each year, until
after a few years' of steady cultivation its fertility will be many fold greater
than when he began, or if he had let it lie out uncultivated. That this con-
dition of things, if true, gives to these regions a wonderful advantage in the
eyes of practical farmers no one will .question, and of its truth a personal
examination of the premises and the causes will satisfy the most skeptical.
In support of this statement it may be said that there are indigenous to the
section named above several plants of very luxuriant growth that spring up
wherever the ground is stirred. Ignoring all these except one, we cite
what is commonly known as the Beggar weed. This plant comes
up in the corn fields, after the crop receives its last working, as
thick as grain in a well-sown field. About the time the corn blades
are stripped or fodder pulled," as it is termed throughout the South, the
Beggar weed is about knee high. It is now that the summer rains set reg-
ularly in, and that the summer sun gets squarely down to business, and
under their combined influence the growth of this Beggar weed beggars
description. But by the end of August it stands about six feet high, as
an average, all over the cultivated fields. The foliage is very dense and
completely shades the ground during the long summer. This crop can,
with a suitable plow, be entirely turned under.
Estimate the bulk of a -standing crop six feet high and as thick as
wheat, how many cords of compost would be an equivalent ?
If turned under green in August another crop springs up immediately,

II ~---- L6 1_

--- --II.


Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

for a sufficient quantity has by that time matured to seed the ground; this
second crop can again go under in October. Compare the return made by
these two crops with the toll taken from the land in the corn crop, and
determine on which side the balance stands. But the plowing in of a
heavy green crop'in August involves heavy work on a team at a very hot
time, besides making it necessary that the matured crop of corn shall be
first removed, which, too, is a warm occupation for August. For these
reasons it is the exception rather than the rule in Florida for this crop
of weeds to be turned under at that time. They are left to die where they
stand, and after shading the ground all summer-itself no mean equivalent
for manuring-they throw down in the late fall a coat of leaves that quite
covers the earth. After the first frost, the stems, which average about the
size of an ordinary walking-cane or a man's finger, become exceedingly
brittle and fracture readily under the headway of a team and the roll of the
dirt from the mould-board. The ease with which they turn under would
astonish one unaccustomed to them. Now that the summer sun is gone,
the land turned over with this heavy crop of weed stems, which pulverize
and soon rot, is not injured by the heat, but during the succeeding months
of November and December grows as mellow as pie-crust, and begins the
feeding of a crop in January with three times as much plant-food at its
disposal as at the January preceding. This gives to the Florida farmer the
advantage of growing his market crop and his fertilizing crop on the same
ground, during the same year, with no additional cost of handling, no out-
lay for seed and no loss of the use of the land. That this beggar weed is
far superior to clover or pea vines as a renovator of land is the conviction
of every intelligent farmer who has had an opportunity of comparing them.
It has a long tap-root, goes into the sub-soil and brings up the salts, and
yields many fold more bulk than either of the other two. It is also a most
excellent and nutritious feed for stock. Everything eats it. Horses
turned into a corn field before the crop is gathered will greedily devour the
beggar weed and grow fat, and leave the corn ears unmolested.
The presence of this plant in Middle Florida has saved her lands from
utter ruin under the shiftless and exhaustive system of farming to which
they have been subjected since the war. And despite drawbacks that any-
where else would have resulted in utter impoverishment, lands in that sec-
tion that have been continuously under bungling cultivation for thirty and
forty years have really increased in fertility, and some of them will to-day
produce as abundant crops as when covered with virgin soil immediately
after being cleared. We feel confidence in saying that fertilizing of a high
and permanent order can be more easily and cheaply accomplished in Flor-
ida than anywhere else in America.


I --,.- I m

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 51

As elsewhere in the South, Florida has heretofore given but a limited
attention to the manufacturing of her raw materials. Capital, prior to the
war, was confined chiefly to investments in lands, slaves, stock and agri-
cultural interest. More recently the gradual influx of money, skill and
experience from the North and West have begun to recognize the many
natural advantages accruing to investments in manufacturing. The result of
such experiments have been most satisfactory. Judging, among other evi-
dences, from the great amount of earnest inquiry being made at present
from outside sources, through the medium of this bureau, of the induce-
ments offering for the investment of money in manufacturing, we are in-
duced to regard the establishment, in the very near future,'of many manu-
factories in different points in Florida as well assured.
Much difficulty has attended the acquisition of reliable and definite
data on the subject of the different interests of this character in the State.
There are two mills in the State where short cotton is being. spun. One
in Tallahassee, employing 33 hands and consuming about 360 bales of cot-
ton per annum, and turning out weekly about 3,000 pounds of yarn, which
is shipped to the Philadelphia market. Steam is used for driving the ma-
chinery. Another at Mount Pleasant, in the county of Gadsden, where
the Clement Attachment is used. By the use of this machine the cot-
ton is taken in the seed," or as it comes from the fields before being ginned,
and converted directly into yarns. This mill has invested in machinery
about $6,000-in building and mill site, about $2,000. About 230,000 pounds
of seed cotton per annum is here converted into yarns. The ".Clement
Attachment" can only be used for short staple cotton. One of the claims
for this attachment is that it cuts the fibre less and makes a stronger thread
than the old process. Neither of these factories convert the fibre into cloth,
finding it more profitable to prepare yarns for Northern mills.
The Gadsden county mill is driven by water power. Both companies
consider their investment profitable.
As at a number of points in Florida, there is water power which may
be utilized, and will be, because cheaper than steam, and as a large part of
the cotton crop of Florida is the long staple or Sea Island variety, which,
for the most part, is converted into thread, we shall probably soon have
factories in Florida for its manufacture.
In the City of Jacksonville there is established a company engaged in
manufacturing brushes, mattresses, mats and other household articles from
the fibre of the cabbage palmetto, which abounds over so large a part of
the State.
There is also in the City of Fernandina a company engaged in the
manufacture of paper from parts of the leaf of the same plant.

52 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

The manufacture of cigars has already become quite extensive. In the
City of Key West alone there are eighty-one factories, turning out during
the year 1881, 26,732,460 cigars and consuming 700,945 pounds of tobacco.
The internal revenue tax upon these products for the year was $189,056.
There are also many cigar factories in Jacksonville, and other points inland.
One factory has recently been established in Tallahassee, and is now en-
gaged in filling extensive orders for Chicago houses.
Wherever along the lines of railroad occur extensive pine forest there
are distilleries for the manufacture of spirits of turpentine. This is a very
extensive and profitable industry, employing many hands, and adding largely
to the freightage of the transportation lines.
It so happens that the marsh pines, which grow on low, flat places,
have more sap and larger tops, and produce a more abundant yield of crude
turpentine. The price of turpentine, pitch, tar and resin is steadily advan-
cing, and the number of distilleries increasing. The Collector's office, at
Custom-house in Fernandina, reports as shipments of these products from
that port for 1881 : Shipments of resin, 27,363 pounds, and of turpentine,
275,540 barrels.
Lime is made generally in Florida for home consumption. Along the
coast extensive shell banks occur, where the burning of lime is a matter of
but small cost. Several companies are engaged at different places in its
manufacture for shipment with profitable results.
At such places in the State as investigation shall show the fossil lime
stone to be richest in phosphoric properties, there will undoubtedly, at no
distant day, be established mills suitable for grinding and putting the pro-
ducts of these rocks on the markets as fertilizers.
In Middle Florida, and wherelse the red-oak tree abounds, tan bark is
abundant and cheap, and tanneries of some dimensions exist, from which
excellent leather, in considerable quantities, is produced.
The leading manufactured product of Florida, and the only branch of
that industry of really imposing proportions, is
from extensive saw-mills. There are said, in official reports, to be more
than 6,000,000,000 of feet of timber standing in Florida that can be con-
verted into lumber. As the country is settled up, and the lands cleared, a
great deal of this timber must be thus utilized immediately or lost. Ex-
perimental test has already determined the timber from Florida to be the
best upon the market, and the mills and shipments are increasing by a
heavy percentage. Even Mexico and Central America are being supplied
with cross-ties for their railroads from Florida pine.
The shipments of lumber from Jacksonville are stated to be forty per
cent. ,r''i'er during the present year than for the same period during last

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

year. We have been utterly unable, after every effort, to obtain statistics
of the amount of lumber handled at all the shipping points in the State,
but suppose the average increase throughout the State to be quite as great
as at Jacksonville.
By far the most important timber depot in Florida is the superb harbor
of Pensacola. Here are to be found, at all seasons of the year, fleets of
foreign shipping awaiting'cargoes from the many mammoth mills along the
waters tributary to that port. By far the greater portion of timber sent to
other countries from Florida is loaded at Pensacola. The completion, by
the end of the present year, of the line of the Pensacola and Atlantic Rail-
road from this great harbor to the Chattahoochee river, in Jackson county,
will add extensively to Pensacola's lumber supply. The great forest of
pine, through which the new road extends for 160 miles east of Pensacola,
is, perhaps, the finest section of timber standing in the Southern States.
Its inaccessibility heretofore has protected it from the inroads of the lum-
bermen. Along this great artery will flow, in 1883, a stream of freightage
for foreign bottoms at Pensacola that will swell her shipping list to gigantic
proportions. No section of the South is now offering more attractive fields
to the lumbermen for investments. With Pensacola at the western .termi-
nus of this line of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, and through con-
nection at Chattahoochee to Jacksonville and Fernandina over the Florida
Central and Western Railroad system of Sir Edward Reed, together with
cheap water transportation up the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers to points
in Alabama and Georgia, and down the Apalachicola by raft or barge to
deep water and foreign shipping at Apalachicola and Rio Carrabelle, it is
difficult to estimate the extensive advantages to be enjoyed in that section
by the mill men.
As to the quality of the lumber from Florida, we extract a quotation
made by Commissioner Adams in his pamphlet of 1873, from the New
York Mercantile Journal:
"Yellow pine flooring and step plank from Florida are in fair demand
at $30 per thousand feet, while inferior lumber, made in North and South
Carolina, moves slowly at from $23 to $25 per thousand. The yellow pine,
so-called, growing in the Carolinas, is objectionable for many reasons. In
the first place the tree is of a different and less enduring species, and has a
greater proportion of sap-wood and black-knot; and in the second place it
is from those trees from which the manufacturers of pitch and turpentine
get their material, thus depriving them of the ingredient upon which the
durability and peculiar excellence of this kind of wood depends. Owners
should always require in their specifications that the yellow pine to be used
in first-class buildings should be of the growth of Florida."
The quality of the Florida pine explains the demand for the lumber
made of it.



Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

A statement, purporting to be from official sources at Washington,
puts the amount of merchantable timber standing in the forests of Florida
at a little over 6,000,000,000 feet, board measure; Alabama, 21,000,000,000 ;
Mississippi at 22,000,000,000, and Texas at 66,000,000,000. Whatever may
be the truth of this conjecture as to other States mentioned, it is, as we
think, much too low an estimate for Florida. In an estimate recently pub-
lished by the Census Bureau, the area of Florida is 58,680 square miles, or
37,555,200 acres. It is certainly a low estimate to say that one-third of
this area is covered with forest, which, if true, would amount to 12,518,400
acres in timber. At a rate of 1,000 feet ot lumber per acre, and sometimes
a single tree will make more, the sum would be 12,518,400,000 feet-about
double the estimate going the rounds of the papers. As good pine and
other timber are large items in the world's industries, Florida should not
permit herself to be under-estimated in this item of her wealth.
The timber cut for the census year ending May 31st, 1881, amounted
to 208,054,000 feet-a little over 3 per cent. of the sum accredited to Florida
in the estimate referred to. At this rate, in about 30 years, Florida would
be cleared of her timber, but putting the true amount, as we suppose it to
be, and it will supply the market at double that percentage for 30 years and
more. This would be true even if there was no natural increase, but it is
a fact familiar to lumbermen in Florida that less than 30 years is necessary
to restore to land once cut over a new supply of mill stocks. Indeed, it
has been authoritatively asserted by parties familiar with the premises t hat
in the country tributary to Pensacola, even with her immense mill capacity,
the timber grows faster than it can be cut off.
We append statistics of lumber shipments from the ports of Pensacola,
Fernandina, Jacksonville and Cedar Keys for the terms designated in each
PENSACOLA, for year ending October 31st, 1881:

DETINHewn Timber, Sawn Timber, Lumbor,
DESTINATIO. Tonnage Cubic Feet. Cubic Feet. Sup' Feet.

Great Britain............ 246 195,9201 3,669,703 5,773,185 15,109.000
Continent of Europe....... 97 55,836 878,844 756,888 17,078,000
Java, Africa and Canaries.. 6 4,592 5,565 193,595 395,000
W. Indies, S. America, &c 85 83,083 39,908 19,342 21,663,000
Coastwise........ .. ...... 10 50,251 29,366 34,073,000
Total.............. 564 339,191 4,623,386 6,743,010 88,318,000

~i~s~ .I.

-- -----~ II~ ______~___

Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 55

FERNANDINA, during year 1881, shipped 40,424,000 superficial feet, and
for first four months of 1882:
Coastwise. F r.... Total.
January................................ 2,954,000 1.414.'"n 4,368,000
February ............................... 1,972,000 2,310,000 4,282,000
March................................... 3,585,000 1,753,000 5,338.000
April.................... ............... 4,526,000 251.000 4,777,000
Total .................. ............. 13,037,000 5,728,000 18,765,000
JACKSONVILLE, for year ending June 30, 1881, shipped 46,666,000 super-
ficial feet, and from same port for ten months succeeding, 46,034,908 feet.
CEDAR KEY, for year 1881, shipped 30,000,000 feet.
For part of the above statistics the Commissioner has been indebted to
Hon. Columbus Drew, Agent of Bureau at Jacksonville, to whom for this
and much other valuable assistance in the preparation of this book the
Commissioner takes this occasion to acknowledge an indebtedness.


Besides innumerable springs of ordinary characters ahd dimensions,
sources of creeks and streams, as in other countries, Florida possesses a fea-
ture in spring formation as novel in character as they are surpassingly beau-
tiful in appearance.
The bursting of great rivers at one bound from the earth is the remark-
able feature of some of Florida's fountains.
Beneath the surface of limestone formation underlying the State num-
erous rivers course towards the sea. In many places no evidence of them
are observable until they rise to the surface through great caverns or fis-
sures in the limestone, often of wonderful depths. Most prominent
among these is Silver Spring in Marion county, and the famous Wakulla
Spring in the county of that name, fourteen miles south of Tallahassee.
Thousands of visitors have seen the Silver Spring, upon which steam-
boats enter. The Wakulla, being in a section heretofore less resorted to
by winter visitors to Florida, is not so familiarly known. Both deserve de-
scriptions our space will not admit of. Their great size, depth and trans-
parency are their most striking features. Lying on the bottom of Wakulla
Spring, 180 feet (so reported from actual measurement), below the surface,
a dime piece can be as distinctly seen as through the atmosphere. Indeed,
an object is even more plainly discernible than at the same distance through
the air, as the boil of the waters gives them the conformation of a lense,
and thus they acquire magnifying properties.
Certainly no natural object can be more beautiful than the appearance
of this great fountain, on a clear day, when no wind disturbs the face of its

amll-- I

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

The Blue Springs of Volusia county, in South Florida, a little way east
from St. Johns river, is thus described by a writer in the Florida, of Janu-
ary, 1882:
There is a basin 70 feet in diameter and about 40 feet in depth. A
huge bowl, from the centre of which a column of blue-tinted water presses
upward with such force that the centre of the surface is convex to the ex-
tent of perhaps ten inches, and it is impossible to put or keep a boat on
this summit, such is the force of the hydraulic pressure upward and latter-
ally. This stream, which this gigantic spring feeds, is about 50 feet wide,
and an average depth of 10 feet, with a current of about five miles an hour.
The scenery about this locality is beautiful and picturesque in the extreme,
and worth a long journey to see."
There are many such springs to be found in different parts of Florida.
They are all subterranean rivers up to the points where they break forth.
They all contain lime enough to precipitate any sediment or discoloring
matter, leaving the water perfectly clear. Fish of many sorts and sizes are
seen gamboling in their sports or gliding about through the waters seeking
their food. The ripples on the surface refract the rays of the sun, when at
the proper angle, and give the varied colors of the rainbow, and lend a2 sort
of enchantment to the view.
There are also mineral springs in several parts of the State, whose wa-
ters, as tested in a large number of instances, have curative properties, and
are the resort of invalids. Of this class are the Newport S.*rnl.n on St.
Marks river, in Wakulla county, the Hampton Springs of Taylor, the
White Sulphur Springs of Hamilton, the Suwannee Springs of Suwannee,
and the Green Cove Springs of Clay.
Persons afflicted with rheumatism, dyspepsia and diseases of the liver
have met with very remarkable cures from drinking and bathing in the wa-
ters of these springs.
In the midst of the rich palm-grown forest surrounding the Wakulla.
Spring a prominent Cincinnati physician has recently purchased and is
erecting a sanitarium for winter patients.


In an official publication from the Census Bureau, setting forth the
area of the States and Territories, the gross area of the State of Florida is
put down at 58,680 square miles. Coast waters, bays, gulfs and sounds,
1,800 square miles; rivers and smaller streams, 390 square miles; lakes
and ponds, 2,250 square miles; whole water surface is 4,440 square miles,
leaving of land surface 54,240 square miles, pr 34,713,600 acres. In the
report of the Commissioner of Lands and Immigration of the\State of Flor-

. I ......E m

~__~__~~ ._ .___ ___

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 57

ida, of January lst, 1875, the amount of private land claims confirmed by
the United States is stated to be 3,784,303, leaving as the amount of land in
the territory not disposed of to private parties at the time of the cession,
By act of Congress of March 23, 1823, an entire township in each
of the districts of East and West Florida, to be selected by the Secre-
tary of the Treasury, were reserved for the use of a seminary of learn-
By act of May 24, 1824, a quarter section of land was given for the
Seat of Government.
By act of 3d of March, 1845, Florida was admitted as a State into the
Union; and by the same act eight sections of land were given to the State
for the purpose of fixing the Seat of Government." Also the sixteenth
section of every township, or its equivalent, for the use of the inhabitants
of such township for public schools." Also two entire townships, in addi-
tion to the two already reserved, for two seminaries of learning, one east,
the other west, of the Suwannee river, and five per cent. of the net proceeds
of the sale of public lands for the purposes of education. Also by an act
of the same date, 3d of March, 1845, 500,000 acres were given for purposes
of internal improvement.
By an act of 28th of September, 1850, all the swamp lands and lands
4 i subject to overflow were given to the State.
By an act of July 2d, 1862, the several States were granted for col-
leges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, 30,000 acres for each Senator
and I1-.r.--lttiitiv,- that the said States were respectively entitled to under
the census of 1860.
The Commissioner of Lands and Immigration of Florida, in his report
of January. 1881, thus states the whole amount of the swamp lands and
lands subject to overflow, selected and patented to the State, to be:
Total patents received................... ....................... 14,442,464 acres.
Quantity disposed of by the State up to time of report............ 1,684,725 acres.
Leaving at that time on hand........... ... .................. 12,757,739 acres.
On the first day of June, 1881, the State Board of Internal Improve-
ment effected a sale to Hamilton Disston, of Philadelphia, of 4,000,000
acres of swamp and overflowed lands for the sum of $1,000,000, thus ena-
bling the board to relieve these lands of liens, with which they had
therefore been embarrassed, and to stop an annually accruing interest of
nearly $50.000. One-half of this 4,000,000 purchase was subsequently sold
by the vendee to Sir Edward Reed, acting in the interest of British and
Dutch capitalists.
These large land-holders are busily engaged in arranging railroads and
canals for making their lands accessible and for increasing their value.
The sale of these State lands from the first of January, 1881, to May 1st,

-~ --

58 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

1882, beside the sale to Disston, as shown by the books of the Commis-
sioner of Lands, amount to 296,574 acres. This number of acres, and the
4,000,000 to Disston, subtracted from the 12,759,735 acres leaves 8,461,160
acres of the swamp and overflowed" lands still belonging to the State at
that date. The location of these State lands, as their name suggests, are
confined to comparatively low sections of the State. They are largely con-
fined to the southern portion of the peninsula, but are to be found in small
bodies scattered in almost every township in Florida.
By an act of the State Legislature of January 6, 1855, the 500,000
acres of land granted to the State by act of Congress of March 3d, 1845,
then remaining unsold, also the swamp lands and lands subject to overflow,
granted to the State by act of Congress of the 28th of September, 1850,
were set apart as an internal improvement fund, and vested in the Gov-
ernor of the State, the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the State Treas-
urer, the Attorney-General, and Register of State Lands, and their succes-
sors in office, as trustees of said fund. Under this act of the 6th of Janu-
ary, 1855, for giving encouragement and aid for the building of rail-
roads," the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund were authorized to
endorse the bonds of railroad companies of certain prescribed lines upon
certain prescribed conditions, to the extent of $10,000 per mile; for the sum
of $8,000 per mile, (when the grading was completed and the cross-ties put
down for twenty miles,) for the purchase of :iron, spikes, &c., and when the
iron rails were put down, then for the additional sum of $2,000 per mile
for the purchase of necessary equipment. And after the first twenty miles
shall be completed, then for every ten miles there shall be a like endorse-
Under this Internal Improvement Act the bonds so issued and en-
dorsed were a first lien or mortgage upon the road bed, equipment, work-
shops and franchises for the payment of said bonds, as against said railroad
companies, and was a lien upon the Internal Improvement Fund only for
the annually accruing interest upon said bonds.
Upon the failure (as subsequently occurred) of the said several rail- J
road companies to pay the accruing interest upon said bonds semi-annually,
and one per cent. upon them for a sinking fund, the Trustees of the Inter-
nal Improvement Fund were authorized, after thirty days from said default,
to take possession of the road of such defaulting company, to sell the same
and apply the proceeds to the purchasing and cancelling the bonds of the
said defaulting company.
A number of the railroad companies which took the benefit of the In-
ternal Improvement Act, and issued bonds with the endorsement of the
said Trustees, failed to make their stipulated payments of interest and one
per cent. for a sinking fund. Under the provision of the statute in such
cases, the roads were sold, but for prices not sufficient to pay the outstand-


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 59

ing bonds of these several roads. The Commissioner of Lands, in his re-
port of January 1, 1881, says: As well as can be ascertained the out-
standing bonds of said companies are as follows :
Bonds of Pensacola and Georgia R. R. Co............................... $387,7 00
Bonds of Tallahassee R. R. Co........................................... 52,9 00
Bonds of Florida R. R. Co......................... ..................... 228,000
Bonds of F. A. and Gulf Central R. R. Co............................... 31,00 0
Total................. ...... ... .... . .... ...... .. $699,600
The annually accruing interest on this amount is about $48,980. The
whole amount of indebtedness which has already accrued against the Inter-
nal Improvement Fund for interest, as aforesaid, is not less than $600,000.
As before stated, this amount of indebtedness for accrued interest is a
lien upon the lands of the Internal Improvement Fund, but both the bonds
and the interest must be paid before these lands will be relieved of em-
barrassment, for while the bonds are outstanding the interest will continue
to accrue.
On the first day of June, 1881, the State Board of Internal Improve-
ment effected a sale to Hamilton Disston, of Philadelphia, of 4,000,000 of
acres of the swamp and overflowed lands for the sum of $1,000,000, thus
enabling the board, in whole or in part to relieve these lands of the liens
with which they had been embarrassed, and to stop the annually accruing
S interest of nearly $50,000.
There is another fund which will come into the hands of the said trus-
tees, which can be applied to the payment of these bonds and interest, if
the receipts from the Disston purchase should not be sufficient. On the
sale of the railroad from Lake City to Quincy, and its branches, the pur-
chasers failed in payment of part of the purchase money to the amount of
$463,175, and there is interest on this sum from the 20th of March, 1869, at
8 per cent. per annum, which interest up to the 20th of March, 1882, to-
gether with the principal, makes the sum of $944,877.
Under a decree of the 31st of May, 1879, of Justice Bradley of the
Circuit Court of the United States, before whom the question was brought,
the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund have a first lien for this
unpaid purchase money, upon this road from Lake City to Quincy, and
from Tallahassee to St. Marks, and branch to Monticello, and if the money
is not paid by or some time during the month of July, 1882, the United
States Marshal is required to sell said road for the payment of said pur-
chase for the satisfaction of said lien.
It appears from the books of the Commissioner of State Lands that the
sale of the swamp and overflowed lands from the first day of January, 1881,
to the first day of May, 1882, to other purchasers than Disston, amount to
296,574 acres. This added to the 4,000,000 sold to Disston makes 4,296,-
574 acres, which amount taken from the 12,759,729 acres, heretofore shown


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

as belonging to the State January 1st, 1881, leaves 8,461,165 acres of the
swamp and overflowed lands on May 1st, 1882. There are in Florida other
swamp and overflowed lands, not selected and patented to the State, but
under the act of Congress have vested in the State Government. The
probable amount of these, it is estimated, will be about 2,000,000 acres. Of
the 500,000 acres granted to the State March 3, 1845, by Congress for In-
ternal Improvements, about 183,000 acres remain unsold and subject to en-
try in the State Land Office.
Besides the right of way and the alternate sections within a six-mile
limit that have been granted to railroad companies by the legislature of the
State, and withdrawn from market by the Board of Internal improvement
as the several roads have complied with the conditions of their charters,
there is a further bonus granted of other land per mile of finished road.
The names of the railroad companies, the length of their proposed
roads, and the number of acres to be given additionally to the alternate
sections within a six-mile limit are as follows:
Name of Corporation. Io. PerMle Total.
',..ti_. ill. d I DeLand Railroad............... 28 miles 5,000 140,000
F!..ii., '.i.ti. ii. Railroad and Branches ......... 370 miles 10,000 3,700,000
Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad....... 380 miles 10,000 3,800,000
Palatka and Indian River Railroad ................ 75 miles 6,000 450,000
Tropical Peninsula Railroad........................ 160 miles 10,000 1,600,000
Silver -' .i .11 i in ..l .1 Railroad................. 40 miles 10,000 400,000
Pensac..Il Iil A.i!.,.t s. Railroad.................. 160miles 20.000 3,200,000
Florida Midland and Georgia ..................... 50 miles 600 300,000
Total...................................... 1,263 miles ....... 13,590,000
In some of the above roads the distance is not stated in the charters
granted by the Legislature, or in the articles of association filed under the
general act of incorporation, but in those instances the distance is under
rather than overstated above. The fact that the amount of the lands will
be exhausted before all these premiums can be met will probably be a stim-
ulus to industry in building, and, in the meantime, these lands are not
pledged in such way as to prevent sales by the State to persons applying
to purchase or homestead the same.
In the act of Congress granting swamp and overflowed lands to the
several States of the Union in which they lie, it is stated that as much of
them as may be necessary for draining and reclaiming them, is to be ap-
propriated for that purpose. To carry out this express purpose of the
grant, the Internal Improvement Board have contracted to give to the
Atlantic and Gulf Coast Canal and Okeechobee Land Company, one-half
the lands they reclaim in the section of the State lying south of township
26 in the several ranges, and east of Peace creek. Of the four townships
granted by Congress for the uses of the East and West Florida Seminaries,
there remains to be sold about 34,000 acres, as shown by the records of the

?.~ L

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 61

Land Commissioner. There have been funded of the original grant $98,000,
the interest arising from which is for the use of the said seminaries.
The lands granted by Congress to the several States by the act of July
2, 1862, for the establishment of colleges of agriculture, have been disposed
of in Florida, and the proceeds funded amounting to $125,600.
By supplementary act of Congress of the 3d of March, 1845, every
sixteenth section of land in each township, or its equivalent, is given to
the State for the use of
Taking the land surface of the State, as stated on a previous page, at
54,240 square miles, and adding the water surface of rivers and small
streams, 390,000 square miles, and the surface of inland lakes and ponds,
2,250 square miles, we have 56,880 square miles, or 36,403,200 acres, from
which take the sum of private land claims existing at the time of cession
to the United States, and since recognized, amounting to 3,784,600, and we
have left 32,618,600 acres, one thirty-sixth part of which, amounting to
906,072 acres, accrues to the benefit of public schools.
But since the United States are allowing equivalents in other lands
where a part or the whole of a 16th section is at the bottom of rivers or
under the sea, the question whether a liberal construction of the law giving
equivalents for deficient or missing 16th sections would not apply to lands
to which private parties had already acquired title before the cession to the
United States may arise, as in the Forbes' Purchase for instance. Thus
far there has been no occasion which has brought this question before the
proper department at Washington, nor before the courts; but since the
question involves more than 100,000 acres of land for schools, a subject for
which all in authority are now disposed to be liberal, the writer thinks it
worthy of consideration.
The Land Commissioner estimates the amount of school land yet un-
sold at 570,000 acres-the amount of these for each county can be found
under that head in the description of each county. It is proper to remark
that the atove amount includes no allowance for such 16th sections as lie
in unsurveyed territory, nor for lands selected as equivalents for deficient
16th sections.
Of the school lands already sold, and the proceeds funded, the proceeds
amount io $248,900, only the interest of which can be distributed among
the counties.
No inquiry occurs oftener in the correspondence of this bureau than
that as to where
and how parties can procure maps or charts indicating what lands in Florida
are still subject to entry or purchase. The utter inability of the Commis-


Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

sioner of Immigration to answer such an inquiry, or to supply such a map,
or even to suggest how much or what particular land is still vacant in any
o ne county or another, has occasioned serious inconvenience. That the
public may see that this arose not from neglect upon his part, thd Commis-
sioner of Immigration addressed a letter officially to the Commissioner of
Lands, the Hon. P. W. White, at Tallahassee, asking to be informed of the
amount of the overflowed and swamp lands, of the amount of Seminary
lands, and of the amount of public school lands in each county remaining
unsold up to some recent date. He also addressed a letter to the Hon. L.
A. Barnes, Register of Lands for the United States, at Gainesville, asking
for the amount of United States lands in each county remaining unsold up
to some recent date. Their replies are appended to show that the informa-
t ion our correspondents inquired for was not within our reach:
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., June 21st, 1882.
Hon. A. A. Robinson, Commissioner of Immigration, Tallahassee, Fla.:
DEAR SIR-In reply to your letter of the 28th of May last, I have the
honor to state that it would require several months' time for the clerical
force in this office, in addition to their present duties, to prepare the state-
ment you request of the amount of swamp and overflowed and internal
improvement lands which remain unsold in each county of this State. A
very large portion of the swamp and overflowed lands which were patented
to the State have been sold or disposed of by legislative grants to various
corporations. The selections under the sale to Mr. Disston have not yet
been completed, but will be soon. This will take four millions of acres,
extending over a vast area of the State. It is estimated that the grant of
the alternate sections within the six-mile limit, and the additional grant of
twenty thousand acres to the mile, made to the Pensacola and Atlantic
Railroad Company, will amount to about three million acres. Ten thou-
sand acres to the mile, in addition to the alternate sections within the six-
mile limit, have been granted to many other railroad companies. To these
must be added large grants to canal and drainage companies-all of which
will aggregate several millions of acres more. Should all of the corpora-
tions to which grants have been made under the State legislation complete
their several works, very little, if any, of the swamp and overflowed lands
granted to the State will remain subject to entry in this office. This, how-
ever, is a contingency to be determined in the future, and depends upon the
ability and determination of the corporations claiming these grants to com-
plete their works. However this may result, I think you might assure all
persons wishing to make homes in the State that the lands which may be
acquired by various corporations under grants from the State, as well as
those purchased by Mr. Disston and others, will be for sale; and I have no

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

doubt they will find it to their interest to sell to actual settlers at fair or
moderate prices. They doubtless will compete with each other in induce-
ments held out to immigrants for settlement of their lands. Thus the large
capital and many agencies brought into active operation will be most pow-
erful auxiliaries to your bureau in swelling the tide of immigration now
so strongly setting into this State, and will hasten its development and
establish a condition of unprecedented prosperity.
Of the five hundred thousand acres of land granted to the State for
internal improvement purposes by act of Congress of March 3d, 1845, there
remains unsold about one hundred and eighty-three thousand acres, about
five hundred and seventy thousand acres of school land, and about
thirty-four thousand acres belonging to the seminary fund. These aggre-
gate about seven hundred and eighty-eight thousand acres, and are located
in all sections of the State. Some of them are considered the best lands
in the State. and all subject to entry in this office.
Very respectfully,
Commissioner of Lands and Immigration.

GAINESVILLE, FLA., May 29, 1882.j
A. A. Robinson, Esq., Commissioner of Immigration, Tallahassee, Fla.:
SIR-In reply to yours of May 28, 1882, would advise you that it will
be impossible to give the information asked for-have over 1,000 township
plats in the office. To answer your question would require weeks or even
months of work. Private parties are continually writing here asking such
questions. Our answer is township diagrams, showing all the vacant United
States land in any township of the State, furnished for $1-the State land
also shown on same diagram. The status of any section called for given
promptly and without charge. Should be happy to accommodate you if
we could. Mr. Wombwell, of Tallahassee, was here about two months get-
ting entries in only two or three counties. He could probably give you an
idea of the work you have asked for.
L. A. BARNES, Register.

United States lands still vacant in Florida are subject to entry by land
warrants, by purchase, and by homestead entry. Such lands are to be found
in almost every township in the State. In the older settlements, where
transportation facilities have been long enjoyed, and the lands are of good



Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

quality, very little, if any, vacant land can be found. All inquiries as to
United States lands should be addressed to L. A. Barnes, Register United
States Land Office, Gainesville, Florida.
The State Land Office, with Hon. P. W. White as Commissioner, is at
Tallahassee. All inquiries as to vacant State lands should be made to him.
Such a map as is so often asked for, showing the location of all vacant land
in the State, was never published by any State, and would be quite impracti-
cable, since daily entries would require a daily revision of the map to make
it accurate. Indeed, we would advise intending purchasers to rely solely
on their personal inspection of land in selecting locations. First find a
piece of land that suits you, then ascertain to whom it belongs, and whether
public or private land, secure it by purchase. The State lands are to be
found scattered everywhere. Like the United States lands, few State lands
of any value or desirable quality are left in sections of the country where
land is good, settlements old, and agriculture has been pursued for any
length of time.
School lands and Seminary lands are subject to entry at.their appraised
value, not less than $1.25 per acre. The larger portion of these lands is
held at $1.25 per acre, but some tracts are valued as high as $7. Payment
may be made in United States currency or State scrip.
Internal Improvement lands generally $1.25 per acre, none less; some
as high as $6.50 per acre.
Swamp lands-for forty acres-$1 per acre, for more than forty and
not exceeding eighty acres, 90 cents per acre. For more than eighty and
not exceeding two hundred acres, 80 cents per acre. For more than 200
and not exceeding six hundred and forty acres, 75 cents per acre. For
more than six hundred and forty acres, 70 cents per acre.
In case of entries of land at less than $1 per acre, the land must not
be in detached pieces, but must lie in a body.
For Internal Improvement and Swamp lands nothing is receivable in
payment except United States currency.
Terms of sale in all cases cash.
Lands cannot be reserved from sale for the benefit of any applicant.
An application not accompanied with the full amount of purchase money
does not give any priority.
But by act of March 7, 1881, actual settlers upon any of the public
lands of this State may enter the lands upon which they reside or have in
cultivation, not to exceed 160 acres, to be taken in compact form according
to the legal subdivisions, at the prices now or hereafter to be established
for such lands, by paying one-third the purchase money at the time of the
entry, one-third of the same within two years thereafter, and the remaining
one-third within three years after the date of entry."


t~=---- r 1

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 65

By act of 16th February, 1872, the right of homestead is given on the
overflowed and swamp lands.
Section 6. Any person who is the head of a family, or who has ar-
rived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States,
or who shall have filed his declaration of an intention to become such, as
required by the laws of the United States, shall, from and after the first day
of April, be entitled to enter one quarter section, or a less quantity of the
unsold swamp and overflowed lands granted to the State of Florida by act
Congress, approved 28th day of September, 1850. Any person owning or
residing on land may, under the provisions of sections six to thirteen of
this chapter, enter other lands contiguous to his or her said land, which
shall not, with the lands so already owned and occupied, exceed in the ag-
gregate 160 acres.
Section 7. The person applying for the benefit of section six shall
file with the Commissioner of Lands his or her affidavit that he or she is
the head of a family, or is twenty-one years or more of age, and that such
application is made for his or her exclusive use and benefit, and that the
said entry is made for the purpose of actual settlement and cultivation, and
not directly or indirectly for the use and benefit of any other person or
persons whatsoever, and upon filing said affidavit with the Commissioner
of Lands, and upon payment of ten dollars where the entry is more than
S eighty acres, and of five dollars when the entry is not of more than eighty
acres, he or she shall thereupon be permitted to enter the amount of land
specified; Provided, however, that no deed shall issue therefore until the
expiration of five years from the date of such entry; and if at the expira-
tion of such time, or any time within two years thereafter the person mak-
ing such entry, or, if he be dead, his widow, or, in case of her death, his
heirs or devisees, or, in case of a widow making such entry, her heirs or
devisees, in case of her death, shall prove by two credible witnesses that
he, she or they have reclaimed said lands by means of levees and drains,
and resided upon and cultivated the same for the term of five years imme-
diately succeeding the time of filing the affidavit aforesaid, and shall make
affidavit that no part of said land has been alienated; then, in such case,
he, she or they shall be entitled to a deed."

The lands of the Atlantic, Gulf and West India Transit Railroad Com-
pany have been heretofore estimated by my predecessor at 650,000 acres.
They are the alternate sections, within the six-mile limit, along the line of
said road from Fernandina to Cedar Key. They are offered by the company
at $1.25 per acre, with free transportation over the road to purchasers with

I I .., _ -

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

their families and effects. The same authority puts down the lands of the
Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad Company at 200,000 acres.
The recent purchase by Sir Edward Reed and associates of these two
roads, together with the line and franchises of the Florida Central Railroad
Company from Jacksonville to Lake City, and also the acquisition by the
same syndicate of 2,000,000 acres from Mr. Hamilton Disston, has put into
the hands of the proprietors an immense amount of land in Florida of al-
most every quality, and located in almost every part of the State. The
management and disposition of this great landed interest is vested in the
land department of the company under the direction of Hugh A. Corley,
late Commissioner of State lands, who can be addressed at Jacksonville,
Florida. Mr. Corley's knowledge and experience in connection with lands
in Florida peculiarly fit him for the conduct of the affairs of this great
company, and the great diversity in quality and location of the lands under
his control and at his disposition will enable him to meet the wants of al-
most any character of purchaser. Those desiring more detailed informa-
tion of the whereabouts, character, prices, &c., of these lands are respect-
fully referred to him.
in their first report published in the Pensacola Commercial, of the lands to
be theirs upon the completion of their road, put them down thus:
In alternate sections from the State..................................... 55,000
In alternate sections from the United States ........................... 633,600
In the bonus of 20,000 acres per mile from the State for 160 miles........ 3,200,000
Making in the aggregate ........... ...... ... .................... 3,888,600
Of this amount, the 688,600 acres of alternate sections, State and
United States, will of course be exclusively west of the Apalachicola river,
or along the line of the road. Of the 3,200,000 acres obtained by way of
bonus from the State, much the larger portion will have to be taken in
other parts of the State, since owing to the high and dry character of the
country of West Florida the amount of swamp and overflowed lands in
that section is limited. This road will be completed and in operation by
the end of the year, and will make the connecting link in the great trunk
line of communication from New Orleans in the most direct line to deep
whter on the Atlantic seaboard. It will open up and rapidly develop that
large portion of Florida lying south of the State of Alabama and hereto-
fore inaccessible. The character of the railroad lands in that section is for
a good part of a high order. We are not advised of the prices at which
they are to be offered to settlers, but refer for such information to W. D.
Chipley, Vice-President of the company, at Pensacola, Florida.
is entitled to 900,000 acres of land by way of a bonus in addition to the
alternate sections along their line from Gainesville to Palatka and from


Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 67

Gainesville to Ocala. We are not advised as to what disposition is being
immediately made of the lands of this company. Lying, as many of them
will, in the heart of the Orange belt" of the State, the demand for them
is doubtless considerable. Dr. E. S. Francis, of Palatka, is Vice-President
of the company, and C. A. Boardman, of the same place, is in charge of
its.land affairs. To these gentlemen we refer parties desiring further in-
is another company, which, having completed the construction of its road,
has, under the charter, lands to be disposed of. The amount of these lands
we are not familiar with; they will be comprised in the alternate sections,
six-mile limit, along the line of the road from Sanford, on Lake Monroe, to
Kissimmee City, on Lake Tohopekaliga, at the head of navigation on Kis-
simmee river. James E. Ingraham, of Sanford, Florida, is the President of
the company, and to him we refer inquiries of those lands.
The 4,000,000 of acres of land sold by the State to Mr. Hamilton Diss-
ton, of Philadelphia, were selected principally from the counties of Her-
nando, Sumter, Orange, Volusia, Hillsborough, Polk and Manatee by par-
ties familiar with this territory. They extend entirely across the middle
portion of the peninsula, and from north to south some two hundred miles.
Theylare intermixed in their location with State lands, United States lands,
and those of private parties. In his sale to Sir Edward Reed, Mr. Disston
reserved the privilege of selecting first 2,000,000 acres, and surrendering the
remaining 2,000,000 to Sir Edward Reed. The portion reserved by Mr.
Disston is now held by the Florida Land Improvement Company. This
company is made up mainly of Philadelphia capitalists. The central office
is located at Jacksonville, Florida, with A. P. K. Safford, ex-Governor of
Arizona, as Land Commissioner. This company has also resident local
agents in each of the before-named counties. Prices generally from $1 to
$2 per acre. These lands are well suited to orange-culture and to the pro-
duction of vegetables. They are furnished with transportation facilities on
the east by the St. Johns river, and the South Florida Railroad
connecting that river with the navigable waters of the Kissimmee. The
Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad proposes to run through the
centre, and the Grand Trunk Road, recently purchased by Sir Edward
Reed, from Fernandina and Jacksonville, down the peninsula, runs through
the western portion. Additionally to this there is a lake communication
connecting with the St. Johns river by the Lake Eustis and St. Johns Rail-
road and the Ocklawaha river.
Mr. Disston, after making his purchase of Florida lands, engaged the
Hon. E. F. Dunne, ex-Chief Justice of Arizona, to visit Florida and super-

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

vise the taking out of his title deeds. Whereupon Judge Dunne made se-
lection of 50,000 acres of the Disston purchase in the neighborhood of
Clear lake, near Fort Dade in Hernando county, for the establishment of a
Catholic colony, with the approval of Dr. Moore, the Catholic Bishop of
Florida, who has appointed a priest for the colony. Judge Dunne resides
on these lands; his address is Fort Dade, Florida.
The 2,000,000-acre purchase of Sir Edward Reed of the Disston lands,
being located among the Disston lands, have the same climatic and trans-
portation facilities.
was chartered in 1881. By the terms of a contract with the Board of In-
ternal Improvement of the State, this company receives one-half of all State
land reclaimed by draining in that part of the State south of 28 degrees, 15
minutes north, and east of Peace creek. This area will cover about 8,000,-
000 of acres, much the greater part of which has vested in the State under
the swamp and overflowed land act, &c. This company are also chartered
to construct canals and other lines of transportation. They own, by pur-
chase, franchises for construction of 330 miles of steamboat canal alofig the
east coast of Florida, connecting Matanzas, Halifax river, and Mosquito
inlet with Indian river and Lake Worth, and also a franchise for connect-
ing Lake Tohopekaliga with Kissimmee river. The company have already
constructed dredge boats and steam tenders. One boat is engaged in cut-
ting a canal 28 feet wide by 54 deep, due east from the head of Lake Flirt
to Okeechobee. Another dredge will immediately commence work cutting
through from Lake Tohopekaliga to Cypress, and from Cypress to Kis-
The permanent lowering of the surface of Lake Okeechobee will, it is
estimated, reclaim several hundred thousand acres of land, and these lands,
owing to their semi-tropical location, it is believed will be superior for the
production of sugar to any land in the United States. Samuel H. Gray is
President; Wm. Brindel, Secretary; James M. Kreamer, General Superin-
tendent; office at Jacksonville, Florida.


Only the roads of those companies are marked upon the map that had
filed plats of their roads in the office of the Commissioner of Lands, and as
no such plats were filed of any of the canals chartered none of them are
marked on the map.
Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad.-From a point on the Atlan-
tic, Gulf and West India Transit Road to Jacksonville, through Nassau
and Duval counties; length 21 miles; completed 21 miles.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 69

East Florida Railway-From Jacksonville to Calico Hill, on St,
Marys river, Nassau county; completed 42 miles.
Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railroad.-Incorpor-
ated by act of Legislature February 28, 1881; alternate sections of State
lands ; length 80 miles; completed 11 miles.
St. Johns Railroad.-By act of December 31st, 1858; from St. Johns
river to St. Augustine; right of way 400 feet on each side of track, with
alternate sections of State lands; capital stock $100,000; length 18 miles.
Atlantic, St. Johns and Indian River Railroad.-From St. Augustine
to Palatka, thence to Indian river, through the counties of St. Johns, Put-
nam, Volusia and Brevard. Articles of incorporation filed October 24th,
1881; capital stock $2,000,000; length 200 miles.
Seville and Halifax River Railroad.-From Seville, east side of Lake
George, Volusia county, to Ormond, on Halifax river. Articles filed Jan-
uary 7, 1882; now building, of road and branches, 50 miles; capital
stock $50,000..
Orange Ridge, DeLand and Atlantic Railroad.-Now building ; length
28 miles; right of way with alternate sections of Stdte lands, and.bonus of
5,000 acres per mile of finished road from DeLand landing on the St. Johns
river, to the Atlantic coast, or to Daytona, New Smyrna or some navigable
stream flowing into Mosquito inlet. By act of 1881; capital stock
Palatka and Indian River Railroad.-Now building; length 75 miles;
right of way 60 feet wide each side of road; alternate sections and bonus
of 6,000 acres per mile; from Palatka to Ansantia, Volusia county, touch-
ing on Mosquito lagoon; by act of 4th March, 1881.
Sanford and Indian River Railroad.-Length 30 miles; filed Febru-
ary 6, 1881 ; capital stock $150,000; from Sanford, Orange county, to Titus-
ville, Brevard county.
Lake Monroe and Lake Jessup Railroad.-Length 20 miles; from Lake
Monroe to Lake Jessup, Orange county; articles filed July 4th, 1881; capi-
tal stock $100,000.
St. Johns and Halifax River Railroad.-Now building; length 45
miles; from Rollestoun, in Putnam county, to New Brittain, Volusia
county; articles filed December 12th, 1881; capital stock $100,000.
Palatka and Sanford Railroad.- From Palatka, through Marion
county, to Sanford; articles filed December 19th, 1881; capital stock
$20,000 ; length 80 miles.
Indian River Central Railroad.- From Enterprise, Volusia county,
to Titusville, Brevard county; articles filed December 28th, 1881; length
40 miles.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Jacksonville and Palatka Railroad.-From Jacksonville, through Du-
val,'Clay and Putnam, to Palatka; articles filed February llth, 1881; cap-
ital stock $2,000,000; length 65 miles.
The Great Southern Railroad.-From Millen, Ga., through Nassau,
Duval, St. Johns, Volusia, Brevard, Dade and Monroe, to Key West; arti-
cles filed 10th of April, 1876; capital stock $14,000,000; consolidated
length 360 miles.
South Florida Railroad.-From Sanford, on St. Johns river, Orange
county, to Orlando, Tohopekaliga, thence to Bartow, Polk county, thence
to Tampa, Hillsborough county; length 150 miles; completed from Sanford
to Tohopekaliga, 40 miles; articles filed October 16, 1881.
St. Johns and Lake Eustis Railroad.-From St. Johns river, near Lake
George, to Lake Eustis, Orange county; by act of 20th February, 1879,
but articles filed February 21st, 1875; capital stock $100,000; right of
way and alternate sections; length 25 miles.
Orange Belt Bailroad.-Articles filed 24th March, 1882; capital stock
$1,300,000; from Lake Eustis, Orange county, to a point at ornear Apopka,
thence to a point at or near Orlando, thence to a point'at or near Tohope-
kaliga, thence to a point at or near Eau Gallie, in Brevard county; length
130 miles.
Gainesville, Ocala and Charlotte Harbor Railroad.-From the Georgia
line, Columbia county, to Charlotte Harbor, Manatee county ; with branch
from an available point in Polk county to Tampa, Hillsborough county,
through Columbia, Alachua, Marion, Sumter, Polk, Hillsborough and Man-
atee; filed June 8th, 1876; capital stock $ ; length 325 miles.
Gainesville, Ocala and Charlotte Harbor Railroad.-Changed to Flor-
ida Southern by articles filed April 7, 1881. From Lake City, Columbia
county, to Gainesville, Alachua; Ocala, Marion; Leesburg, Sumter county;
Brooksville, Hernando county; with branch from Gainesville to Palatka
finished, 60 miles, and from Gainesville to Ocala finished, 30 miles; length
370 miles.
Jacksonville, Tampa and Key West Railroad.-Now building; first
by act of March 4, 1879, as Tampa, Peace Creek and St. Johns, then by
articles filed July 5, 1881, to name first above; right of way and alternate
sections with right to choose any convenient gauge, and bonus of 10, 000
acres per mile of finished road; work commenced; length 380 miles.
Sanford, Lake Eustis and Ocala Bailroad.-From Sanford, Orange
county, by Lake Eustis, to Ocala, Marion county; alternate sections and
right of way; articles filed 5th of March, 1881, then by act March 8, 1881;
length 70 miles.
Tavares, Orlando and Atlantic Railroad.-From Tavares, near Lake
Dora, Orange county, to Apopka City, thence to Orlando, thence to St.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Johns river, near Lake Harney, thence to Titusville, Brevard county; arti-
cles filed October 10th, 1881; capital stock $20,000; length 95 miles.
Leesburg and Indian River Railroad.-From a point on the Florida
Tropical Railroad, due west from Leesburg, thence east to Leesburg, thence
to Lakes Eustis and Dora, with branches to Apopka and Tohopekaliga,
through Orange and Brevard to a point on Indian river; articles filed Sep-
tember 23, 1881; capital stock $750,000; length 80 miles.
Tavares and Lake Monroe Railroad.-From Tavares to Sanford, Or-
ange county; articles filed October 10th, 1881; capital stock $20,000;
length 35 miles.
Apopka Branch of South Florida Railroad.-From Jackson, on South
Florida Railroad, in Orange county, to the Withlacoochee river, Sumter
county; articles filed October 10th, 1881; capital stock $150,000; length
56 miles.
Atlantic, Gulf and West India Transit Railroad.-Incorporated first
as Florida Railroad, January 8, 1853, then changed to name first as above.
From Fernandina, Nassau county, to Tampa Bay, Hillsborough county,
and Charlotte Harbor, Manatee county, with branch to Cedar Keys; right
of way and alternate sections of State lands, and by act of Congress 17th
March, 1856, to alternate sections of United States lands from Fernandina
to Cedar Keys; completed ; length 155 miles.
Florida Midland and Georgia Railroad.-From Deadman's Bay, Tay-
lor county, to the Georgia line, between Madison and Quitman or Valdosta;
alternate sections and bonus of 6,000 acres per mile of completed road; in-
corporated by act of 1881 ; length 70 miles.
Live Oak, Tampa and Charlotte Harbor Railroad.-By act of 25th
February, 1881, as Live Oak, Tampa and Rowland's Bluff, then by articles
filed 23d July, 1881, to name first above; finished to Rowland's Bluff, 23
miles; capital stock $5,000,000; length 260 miles.
Micanopy and Brooksville Railroad.-From the Transit road, between
Gainesville and Arredondo, through Micanopy to Brooksville, through
Alachua, Marion and Hernando counties; length 80 miles.
Jacksonville and Palatka Railroad.-From Jacksonville, through
Duval, Clay and Putnam to Palatka; articles filed February llth, 1882;
capital stock $2,200,000; length 65 miles.
Seaside Railway.-From Brooksville, Hernando county, through Hills-
borough to Point Penellas; length 75 miles. *
Monticello and Georgia Railroad.-From Monticello to Georgia line,
to connect with a Georgia road there ; by act of 7th March, 1881; capital
stock $50,000 ; length 12 miles.
Florida Railroad and Lumber Company.- From Bronson, Levy

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

county, west to Suwannee river; articles filed April 4th, 1882; capital
stock $100,000; length 20 miles.
Georgia and Florida Midland Railroad.-From a point on Georgia
line, in Gadsden county, to a point on the St. Johns river, Duval county,
through Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Madison Taylor, Lafayette, Alachua,
Bradford, Clay and Duval; articles filed April 15th, 1882; capital stock
$5,000,000; length 22b miles.
Chattahoochee and East PassRailroad.-From Chattahoochee, in Gads-
den county to Gulf of Mexico, on southern boundary of Franklin county,
through Gadsden, Liberty and Franklin; articles filed December 26th, 1881;
length 65 miles.
Florida Central and Western Railroad.-First Florida, Atlantic and
Gulf Central, then Florida Central and Western; from Jacksonville to
Chattahoochee, with branches to Monticello and from Tallahassee to St.
Marks; all completed; length 228 miles.
Savannah, Florida and Western Branch Railroad.-From Dupont, Ga.,
to Live Oak, Fla,; all completed.
Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad.-Right of way 200 feet wide ; alter-
nate sections from State, and by act of Congress May 17th, 1856, from
United States; from Apalachicola river at terminus of Florida Central and
Western, by most direct route to Pensacola; now building; with a bonus
of 20,000 acres per mile of completed road; length 160 miles.
Pensacola and Mobile Railroad and Manufacturing Company.-Com-
pleted; From Alabama and Florida Railroad to Perdido river; by act of
1861; length 21 miles.
Pensacola and Perdido Rlirwlia.l.-Completed; By act of February
27th, 1872; capital stock $100,000 ; length 9 miles.
Florida Peninsula Railroad. -From Waldo, Alachua county, to
Ocala, Marion county; completed; length 42 miles.
Pensacola and Louisville'Railroad.-From Pensacola to Alabama line;
completed; length 36 miles.
Tropical Peninsular Railroad.-From Ocala to Leesburg, Sumterville,
Sumter county, Brooksville, Hernando county, thence to Tampa, Hillsbor-
ough county, with a branch from Leesburg to Orlando, Orange county;
right of way 120 feet wide; alternate sections and a bonus of 10,000 acres
per mile of finished road; length 130 miles.
Green Cove Springs and Melrose Railroad.-Progressing; by act of
February 28th, 1881; right of way 120 feet wide and alternate sections;
length 30 miles.
Okeehumkee and Panasoffkee Railroad.- From Okeehumkee to Pana-
soffee, Sumter county ; by act of March 8th, 1881; length 12 miles.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Silver Springs, Ocala and Gulf Railroad.-Completed 6 miles; from
Silver Springs, Marion county, to Ocala, thence to the waters of the Gulf
in Levy or Hernando county; by act of February 27th,'1872, then by arti-
cles filed January 21st, 1875; capital stock $100,000; alternate sections;
right of way and 10,000 acres per mile; length 40 miles.
Florida and Pacific Railroad.-From Chattahoochee river to Mobile,
Ala., through the counties of Jackson, Washington, Holmes, Walton,
Santa Rosa and Escambia; length 150 miles.
lemoka Railroad.-From the mouth of Withlacoochee river, Levy
county, to Ormond, through the counties of Levy, Marion, Orange and Volu-
sia; articles filed May 6th, 1881 ; capital stock $400,000; length 150 miles.
St. Johns and Suwannee River Railroad.-From navigable head waters
of Black creek, Clay county, to Suwannee river, through the counties of
Clay and Bradford, via Starke, Alachua county; capital stock $150,000
articles filed 12th July, 1881; length 70 miles.
Tavares, Brooksville and Gulf Railroad.-Articles filed October 12th,
1881; from Tavares, Orange county, to Brooksville, Hernando county,
thence to Gulf of Mexico; capital stock $20,000 ; length 90.miles.
Bartow and Tampa Railroad.-From Bartow, Polk county, to Tampa,
Hillsborough county; articles filed October 10th, 1881; capital stock
$250,000; length 45 miles.
Florida Western Railroad.-From Louisville and Nashville road in
Escambia county, northwest to Alabama line, capital stock $500,000;
length 15 miles.
St. Johns and Suwannee River Railroad.-From Melrose, Alachua
county, to Fort Fanning, on Suwannee river, Levy county; capital stock
$300,000; length 60 miles.
Indian River and Northwestern Railroad.-From a point in Suwannee
or Alachua county, through Alachua, Marion, Sumter, Orange and Brevard,
to Indian river; articles filed December 12th, 1881; capital stock $3,000,-
000; length 300 miles.
Palatka and Sanford Railroad.-From Palatka, through Marion, to
Sanford, Orange county; articles filed December 19th, 1881; capital stock
$20,000; length 80 miles.
Indian River Central Railroad.-From Enterprise, Volusia county,
to Titusville, Brevard county; articles filed December 28th, 1881 ; capital
stock $100,000; length 40 miles.
Indian River and Manatee Railroad.- From Titusville, Brevard
county, to the mouth of Manatee river, Manatee county, via Bartow and
Fort Meade, Polk county; articles filed January 27, 1882; capital stock
$100,000; length 150 miles.

74 Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Bartow and Gulf Railroad.-Articles not filed; from Bartow, Polk
county, through'the southeastern portion of Hillsborough to a point at or
near the mouth of the Manatee river.
Florida Tropical Railroad.-From Ocala to Charlotte Harbor, via
Tampa; completed ; length 150 miles.
St. Johns Terminal Railroad.-From a point on the Fernandina and
Jacksonville Railroad, three miles from the Jacksonville terminus, to a
point on the Florida Central and Western, three miles from the Jackson-
ville terminus; articles filed April 4th, 1882; length 5 miles.
Thomasville, Tallahassee and Rio Carabelle Railroad.-Incorporated
June, 1882; from Thomasville, via Tallahassee, to deep water on the Gulf
at St. George Sound; length 95 miles.

Florida Canal.-From Chattahoochee river or bay to St. Andrews bay,
thence to Dead Lake, thence to Chipola river; length 23 miles.
Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Ship Canal.-Filed March 30th, 1881;
from Cumberland sound and the Harbor of Fernandina on the Atlantic,
across to the Gulf through the counties of Nassau, Dural, Clay, Bradford,
Alachua and Levy, or the tier of counties further south: St. Johns, Put-
nam, Marion and Levy; or, if found more practicable, the canal may be
located on the route surveyed by General Gilmore from the mouth of St.
Marys river to the Gulf of Mexico, at St. Marks river and bay passing
through the counties of Nassau, Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee,
Madison, Taylor and Jefferson. The whole distance from St. Marys to
St. Marks, 170 miles; right of way 200 feet wide and 1,000 feet additional
on either side ; also a ship railway through the counties aforesaid, similar
to the ship railway to be constructed across the isthmus of Tehauntepec in
construction and operation; capital stock $40,000,000; articles filed again
August 22, 1881.
Florida Ship Canal.-From Charlotte Harbor to St. Lucie, Indian
river; articles filed April 7, 1881; capital stock $30,000,000; length 130
Florida Canal.-From the mouth of the Withlacoochee, Levy county,
to New Brittain on the Atlantic, through Levy, Marion, Orange and Volu-
sia; articles filed June 23d, 1881; capital stock, $100,000; length 100
Florida Coast Line and Canal Transportation Company.-From Ma-
tanzas river, St. Johns county, through Smiths creek to the head of Halifax
river; also from Mosquito lagoon within four miles of Haulover, south-
wardly to Indian river in Volusia county; capital stock $100,000; length
12 miles.

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 75

Atlantic Coast, Steamboat Canal and Improvement Company.-Arti-
cles filed December, 1880; capital stock $1,000,000; length 330 miles.
Atlantic and Gulf Coast Canal and Okeechobee Land Company.-By
act of March 8th, 1881; from the navigable waters of Caloosahatchie to
Lake Okeechobee, and through the same to the Atlantic; length 80 miles.


The Constitution of the State of Florida requires that the Legislature
shall provide a uniform system of common schools. It moreover provides
that the instruction in them shall be free.
The 4th section of the XIIIth article provides that the Common School
Fund, only the interest of which shall be applied to the support and main-
tenance of common schools, shall be derived from the following sources:
" The proceeds of all lands that have been, or may hereafter be, granted to
the State by the United States for educational purposes; donations by
individuals for educational purposes; appropriations by the State; the
proceeds of land or other property which may accrue to the State by escheat
or forfeiture; the proceeds of all property granted to the State when the
purpose of such grant shall not be specified; all moneys which may be
paid as an exemption from military duty; all fines collected under the
penal laws of this State ; such portion of the per capital tax as may be pre-
scribed by law for educational purposes; twenty-five per centum of the
sale of public lands which are now or may hereafter be owned by the
The amount already derived from these sources, and now funded, only
the interest of which can be used, is $248,900.
The Constitution also requires that a special tax of not less than one
mill on the dollar of all taxable property of the State shall be levied and
apportioned annually for the support and maintenance of common
schools. "
An act of the Legislature has provided for carrying out this clause of
the Constitution.
The taxable property of the State, as shown by the last returns in the
Comptroller's office, real and personal, is $36,691,823. The one-mill an-
nual tax for common school purposes on this sum is $36,691.82. The com-
mon school fund of $248,900, derived from the sources above specified and
now at interest, returns an available revenue for the present year of
The Board of Public Instruction for each county is required to prepare
each year, on or before the last Monday in June, an itemized statement

76 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

showing the amount of money required for the maintenance of the neces-
sary common schools of their county for the next ensuing scholastic year,
and shall deliver an official report of the same to the Assessor of Taxes on or
before the first Monday in July following, and the said amount shall not be
less than one-half the amount received from the State by the apportionment
of the Common School Fund nor more than one-half of one per cent. of the
assessed value of taxable property of the county.
Under these very liberal provisions of the Constitution and Legislature,
in the State of Florida common schools are supplied throughout her bor-
ders wherever the scholastic population demands their presence. Separate
schools for white and colored scholars are universally established, and in
no cases are the children of the two races in attendance at the same
The common school system established first in Floridain 1868, is gain-
ing in public favor, and requires only experience and skill in teachers to
make it a success.
The number of the children in the State entitled to the benefit of the
Common School Fund, as shown by the last enumeration is, whites,
44,523; colored, 40,000. The number in each county of children of school
age, and the number attending school, will be found in the separate articles
on each county.
The East and West Florida Seminaries, one at Gainesville and the
other at Tallahassee, are not colleges proper, but chartered institutions with
powers to confer degrees and grant diplomas. The East Florida Seminary,
at Gainesville, has a Normal Department for the instruction of teachers.
In order to secure a wise and equitable application of the educational
funds of the State, and the advancement of all its educational interests, the
Constitution provides that there shall be a Superintendent of Public Instruc-
tion, who holds his office for four years. He is aided in his duties by a State
Board of Education, provided by law, consisting of the Superintendent of
Public Instruction as President of the Board, together with the Secretary
of State and the Attorney-General. This board has charge of the lands of
the State reserved for educational purposes. They keep, manage and dis-
burse the education funds with a view to the highest interest of education.
The statute provides also for a Board of Public Instruction for each
county, of not more than five members appointed by the Board ot Educa-
tion, or the nomination of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the
recommendation of the representative of the county.
Each county constitutes a school district.
The law also provides for a Board of Trustees for each school, of not
more than five members, to be recommended by the patrons of the school
and appointed by the County Board of Public Instruction.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

A County Superintendent of Public Instruction is also provided for by
the school law. He makes timely inspection of the county, ascertains the
localities in which schools should be established, the number of youths who
will attend each, and the amount of aid that citizens will contribute for the
establishing of any one school, and is required to visit the schools of his
district at least once during each term, and "to do all in his power to
awaken in parents, guardians, trustees and teachers an increased interest in
education and the general diffusion of knowledge."


The powers of the government of the State of Florida, like those of the
sister States, are divided into the three departments of Legislative, Execu-
tive and Judicial.
Legislative powers, vested in Senate and Assembly, is designated the
Legislature of the State of Florida. The Legislature meets on the first
Tuesday after the first Monday in January, every two years, and may hold
its sessions not longer than sixty days.
The members of the Assembly are chosen biennially on the first Tues-
day after the first Monday in November. Senators are chosen for the term
of four years at the same time and places as members of the Assembly, in
such way that one-half of the whole number are elected biennially.
The Legislature fixes the ratio of representation, but the Constitution
provides that each county shall have at least one representative, and one
additionally for every one thousand registered voters, but no county shall
have more than four. The Legislature also fixes the number of Senators,
which, however, under the Constitution, shall never be less than one-fourth
nor more than one-half of the whole number of the Assembly. At present
the number of Assemblymen is 104, and the number of Senators 32. The
pay of members of the Legislature is a per diem fixed by law for each
day's actual attendance, and in addition thereto 10 cents mileage.
is vested in a Governor, who is elected for four years. To be eligible, he
must have been for nine years a citizen of the United States and three
years a citizen of Florida.
A Lieutenant-Governor is elected at the same time and places as the
Governor, and is President of the Senate, but has only a casting vote. He
becomes Acting Governor upon the removal from office by death, inability
or resignation of the Governor.
The Governor has a (abinet of Administrative officers, consisting of
Secretary of State, Attorney-General, Comlpoller, Treasurer, Superintend-

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

ent of Public Instruction, Adjutant-General, and Commissioner of Lands.
They are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
of the State are vested in a Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, County Courts
and Justices of the Peace.
The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice and two Associate
Justices. They are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Sen-
ate and hold their offices for life or during good behavior. The Supreme
Court appoints its own Clerk.
There are, as the Constitution requires, seven Circuit Judges appointed
by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate, who hold their offices for
eight years.
The Executive appoints a County Judge for each county, who is con-
firmed by the Senate and holds his office for four years.
The Governor appoints as many Justices of the Peace as he may deem
necessary, who hold office for four years, but are subject to removal by the
Governor for reasons satisfactory to him.
The Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, appoints in each
county a Sheriff and Clerk of the Circuit Court, who 'is also Clerk of the
County Court and of the Board of County Commissioners, Recorder and
ex-officio Auditor of the county. He holds his office for four years.
The Governor appoints, by and with the consent of the Senate, in each
county an Assessor of Taxes and Collector of Revenue, who hold office for
two years, subject to removal upon recommendation of Governor and con-
sent of Senate.
The Governor appoints in each county a County Treasurer, County
Surveyor, Superintendent of Common Schools, and five County Commis-
sioners, each of whom shall hold his office for two years, and is subject to
removal by the Governor when, in his judgment, the public good will benefit
A Constable may be elected by the registered voters of each county-
one Constable for every two hundred voters, but under the Constitution
every county is entitled to at least two, and no county shall have more
than twelve.
The salary of the Governor is $3,500, that of the Justices of the Su-
preme Court, each, $3,000; that of the several Judges of the Circuit Court

Every male person of the age of 21 years, and of whatever race, color,
nationality or previous condition, who shall, at the time of offering to vote,
be a citizen of the United States, or who shall have resided or had his habi-
tation, domicile, home, and place of permanent abode in Florida for one


Florida- Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

year, and in the county for six months next preceding the election at which
he shall offer to vote, shall, in each county,be deemed a qualified elector.
Every elector shall, at the time of his registration, take and subscribe
the following oath: "I, do solemnly swear that I will support
the Constitution and Government of the United States, and Constitution
and Government of the State of Florida, against all enemies, foreign and
domestic; that I will bear true faith, loyalty and allegiance to the same,
any ordinances or resolutions of any State Convention or Legislature to
the contrary notwithstanding. So help me God."
Disfranchisement results from the conviction of bribery, perjury, lar-
ceny or other infamous crime, or for being directly or indirectly interested
in any bet or wager, the result of which shall depend upon any election, or
for being principal or second in a duel, or shall send or accept or be the
bearer of a challenge or acceptance to fight a duel.

A homestead to the extent of 160 acres of land, or the half of one acre
within the limits of any incorporated town or city owned by the head of a
family, residing in this State, together with $1,000 worth of.personal prop-
erty, and the improvements on the real estate are exempted from forced
sale under any process of law, and the real estate, shall not be alienable
S without the joint consent of husband and wife when that relation exists,
but no property shall be exempt from sale or from the payment of obliga-
tions contracted for the purchase of said premises or for the erection of im-
provements thereon, or for house, field or other labor performed on the
The exemption herein provided shall not extend to more improvements
or buildings than the residence and business house of the owner.

The Constitution provides that institutions for the insane, blind and
deaf, and such other benevolent institutions as the public good may require
shall be fostered by the State.
An asylum for the insane has been founded, where the idiotic are also
received. This institution is located upon a high hill on the eastern side
of the Apalachicola river in Gadsden county. A part of the buildings were
erected originally by the United States Government for an arsenal and sub-
sequently turned over to the State, and then fitted by erection of new build-
ings and proper alterations for present uses. The inmates are comfortably
provided for. The males and females of both colors have compartments
for themselves and then in these their separate rooms. These apartments
and enclosed grounds, at the date of a casual visit, 20th May, 1882, were
found in a neat and comfortable condition. The unfortunate inmates, num-

.L -

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

being 126, seemed all to be on the best of terms with Dr. Randolph, the
intelligent and humane gentleman having them in charge. They evidently
enjoyed his presence as he passed among them in showing us around. The
water at the asylum is pure free-stone and of the best quality. The locality
is thought one of the healthiest in Florida. There is connected with the
asylum about 1,800 acres of land for such uses as the institution may have
for it.
No institution has as yet been provided for either the blind or the
The policy adopted by the State of Florida in the care of convicts for
oeit crime is to lease them for terms to contractors, who employ them
upon railroad construction and other public works, instead of confining
them within the walls of a State Prison.
The number under sentence of imprisonment is about 200.
Experience has demonstrated that the plan of hiring the convicts to labor
in the open air is both humane and healthful, and more agreeable to the
prisoners themselves than close confinement. It is, moreover, less expen-
sive to the State. Indeed, they are hired out at present at $15 each per
annum, with such obligations to provide for their safe keeping as was
thought necessary to require.
The population of Florida, under the census returns of 1880, was
269,493. The increase in population in Florida during the decade from
1870 to 1880 was something over 30 per cent., and for the years 1879 and
1880 there was an increase at the rate of 60 per cent. As this tide of im-
migration has been largely increased during the last two years, it is fair to
estimate that the annual rate of increase in her population is now not far
from 20 per cent.
The vote of the State in the general election of 1880 was: Democratic,
28,000; Republican, 23,000-total, 51,000.

The State Legislature, at its session of January, 1881, imposed a tax
of 8 mills upon the assessed value of real and personal estate for the years
1881 and 1882; but the enactment provided that if the Governor should
discover, from the aggregate assessment of the property of the State, and
from other sources of revenue, the reduction of the 8 mills State tax to 7
mills will be justified, he is hereby authorized to direct the Collectors of
Revenue to collect on 7 mills State tax for 1882."
The returns of Assessors showed an increase of taxable property from
$31,157,846 in 1880 to $36,243,523 in 1881-an increase in taxable property
in twelve months of over $5,000,000. Instructions were therefore issued
by the Governor to the several Collectors to collect but 7 mills for the year
1882. Of this tax of seven mills one mill goes to the support of schools,


--;- ---- ---------------------

Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

(in addition to the county school tax,) three mills for sinking fund and in-
terest on the public debt, leaving three mills for the general expenses of
the State government.
The returns have not yet been made of the lands assessed for taxation
in 1882, but returns have been made of all the lands assessed for taxation
in 1881. The aggregate sum of all the lands assessed for taxation in 1881
gives as the tax-paying area 7,292,857 acres. The large land sales that
have been made in order to disencumber the Internal Improvement Fund,
and the generous grants made in aid of railroads and canals by the Legis-
lature, coupled with the more thorough system of assessment which has
been inaugurated during the present year, will add many million acres more
to the assessment rolls. In quantity, therefore, the tax-paying area will
probably be doubled by the time of the next assessment.
The indebtedness of the State, which is bonded, as shown by the books
in the Comptroller's office, is about $1,280,000. Nearly one-half of these
bonds are controlled by the State, and the interest accruing upon them is due
to institutions under the fostering care of the State. Of these bonds there are
held for common schools $248,900; for East and West Florida Seminaries,
$85,000; for sinking fund, $150,000; held by private parties, $666,000.
Florida's credit was never so good as now. She has no floating debt, her
Treasurer meets all demands in cash, and her bonds are at a high premium,
S her 7 per cent. bonds being worth to-day 125.
There are also 7 per cent. bonds of the State held by the Indian Trust
Fund of the United States, amounting to $132,000; but as an offset the
State has a claim against the United States amounting to about $275,000-
$225,000 of which was reported upon by the Secretary of War to the last
Congress as justly due. That much of the claim, therefore, is likely to be
allowed, which will more than liquidate the claim of the United States
against Florida.

The following descriptions of counties have, for the most part, been
prepared for this pamphlet by residents of the several counties. In some
instances the Commissioner has found it impossible to procure such contri-
butions, and has been obliged to substitute such mere statistical data
touching such counties as he could acquire with the limited opportunities
at his command.
The area and population, as given under the several county heads, are
taken from the latest bulletins on the subject from the Census Bureau at
Washington. The area of improved lands or acres in cultivation, number
of domestic animals, and assessed value of property, are from returns in
Comptroller's office for the year .1881. The number of public schools,

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

number of children of school age, white and colored, and number of school
attendance, is from data in the office of Superintendent Public Instruction,
and for the year ending September 30, 1881. Amount of school lands un-
sold are also from the same office.
Where, in the following descriptive articles on the several counties, no
resident is named or recommended to the reader as a proper person to ad-
dress any additional inquiries to concerning that county, we beg that the
reader will write to the Secretary of the Bureau of Immigration, Tallahas-
see, Fla., and ask the name of a correspondent in that county. In all cases
an effort will be made to place the inquirer in correspondence with some
resident citizen of such county, who will answer letters and give detailed
information. In no case will the Bureau regard itself in any sense as re-
sponsible for the statements and representations so made by parties whose
names we furnish, as in most cases such parties are unknown to the Bureau,
except as residents willing to answer letters referred to them from this
Area, 1,260 square miles, 806,400 acres. Population in 1830 was
2,204 ; in 1840, 2,582 ; in 1850, 2,524 ; in 1860, 8,232 ; in 1870, 17,328 ; in
1880, 18,697. Number of public schools, 62; children of school age,
7,312; white 2,601 ; colored, 4,711 ; school attendance, 2,233; school land
unsold, 12,078 acres. Number of acres of improved land, 37,095. Horses and
mules, 2,340; cattle, 16,202 ; sheep and goats, 2,004; hogs, 7,292. Assessed
value of property, $2,189,588.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONs.-Alachua county is equidistant from Ma-
tanzas, on the Atlantic, and Deadman's bay, on the Gulf, being seventy
miles at the centre from each point. The highest altitude is nearly two
hundred feet above sea level. For this reason the heat is refreshingly tem-
pered by the wind currents from the opposite seas. This fact is attested
by the low range of the thermometer during this summer, which has been
the hottest experienced by the present generation. On no day did the
mercury register 100 degrees in the shade. Northwestern people settled
here within the last twelve months wrote home about the refreshing breezes
of the day and the coolness of the nights. The county is equally as
healthy as any in the State ; portions of it as free from disease as any part
of the Union. Except under accidental conditions of the most unfavorable
kind, such as great exposure to the malaria of low hammocks, rains, &c.,
high and fatal bilious fever is rare. Easily managed chill is more fre-
quent. Occasionally cases of typhoid fever develop, but they seldom ter-
minate fatally. It is the testimony of all physicians that diseases are less
stubborn, and are less likely to terminate in death than the same kinds of
diseases in higher latitudes. For a territory of about 1,400 square miles,
the death rate is exceedingly small.
THE LANDS TO LIVE ON.-It has always been the custom to select dry
pine lands for residence, on account of their great healthfulness and the
purity of the water. These two conditions insure health, proofs of which
we have from all quarters and from old and new settlers.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 83

A SANITARIUM.-In winter the country is a sanitarium for invalids.
The air is light, dry and invigorating. The natural water-sheds preserve
the rainfalls from standing and stagnating, or the sandy soil absorbs them
like a sponge, and they are carried off by natural under-drains.
EFFECTS OF COLD.-The county being elevated and within the frost
line, it is with sudden freezes that orange-growers and gardeners have to
contend. But this danger is averted generally by careful protection of
trees and plants. All over the territory there are numerous large bearing
orange trees that have never been materially injured by cold. A number
of wild sour groves have been transformed into sweet by budding, and
there are hundreds of young seedling and budded groves coming on to
high bearing. The severity of last winter did little damage to the trees.
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTIONS.-The production of early vegetables for
Northern and Western markets is largely engaged in, especially along and
near the railroads, and requires much care. Strawberries are grown on a
large scale for shipment. The early and late of every variety of peach
grows and bears well. Apples of very considerable size are produced. Le-
Conte pears have been introduced, are thrifty in growth, and, no doubt, will
yield abundantly. Walnut and pecan trees bear liberally on hickory lands.
Figs, grapes and berries in many varieties abound. Two crops of field
peas a year can be made, and peanuts, gubers and chufas can be produced
,in great profusion for stock. A number of grasses maybe turned into ex-
cellent hay, and millets flourish. The beggar-louse" weed grows luxuri-
antly. All kinds of stock feed on it greedily and fatten, and some farmers
put it up for hay. It is a valuable substitute for clover. Oats are becom-
ing a staple crop, and rye may be made so. Indian corn is planted by all
who cultivate the soil, and in proportion to the carefulness of tilth and the
practical experience of the cultivator is the product. On land that could
be made to average sixty bushels of corn to the acre, the majority of our
farmers are content with twenty-five, and on inferior land with ten. The
ease with which the land can be worked seems always to have been a draw-
back to planting fewer acres and giving them better cultivation. By im-
proved methods of cropping the entire demand for corn for the consumers
of the county could be supplied by the farmers. Rice is destined to take
rank as a staple crop, both as a forage plant and for the able. The high-
land variety is receiving much attention. It grows a large, strong stalk,
crowned with abundant grain, and can be made to average forty bushels to
the acre. Lately patented machinery for cleaning is ready to be introduced
by inventors living here. Arrow-root, cassava, coontie and other starch
plants, and Irish and sweet potatoes, tanyas, cabbages and onions, pump-
kins, squashes, turnips, cucumbus, egg-plants, okras, tomatoes, qushaws
and melons, radishes, parsnips, peppers, &c., grow as well and politically
here as they do anywhere in the world. The wild pasturage is abundant
and good for the larger portion of the year, during which kine, sheep,
horses, mules and hogs keep fat. With winter provision for them, stock-
raising would be a better business than making cotton. For rearing
horses and mules no man could demand a more provident section of coun-
try. The cultivation of tobacco from Cuba seed is being introduced, and
promises to become a large industry. Sugar-cane is a valuable staple crop.
Like all other products except cotton, fruits, berries melons and vegetables,
sugar and syrup are made for home use and not for export. The adapta-

84 Florida--Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

ability of the soil and climate to the cultivation of sugar-cane must be recog-
nized in the fact that nearly every farmer annually plants a small crop of it,
and pays as much attention to it as to his corn and cotton. Sugar and syrup
being heavy articles to transport, rates of carriage prohibitory, and the
market demand small, no inducements offer to make these articles of neces-
sity for export; nor will a change come until all the latest improved ma-
chinery employed to prepare all classes of commercial sugars for the trade
are introduced here. Capitalists are beginning to learn that sugar-houses,
as well as cotton factories, do best when established where the raw mate-
rials grow. But cotton is the main staple of the county. It is the Sea-
Island or long-staple variety ; and the superiority of the fibre is recognized
in the markets of Savannah, Charleston and Liverpool. It is used for
sewing threads and the finest white goods, and nearly every bale goes
across the Atlantic. Some day it will be spun and woven at home, and
the manufactured articles exported over the commercial world.
PPOULATION-- TS ELEMENTS.-The population of this county is about
20,000, the majority being freedmen. The increase has been of white peo-
ple by a steady immigration of American and foreign-born settlers. In a
short time the white citizens will be in the majority. But no social evils
have grown out of the fact that they are the lesser in number. Intelligence
predominates in all the essential avenues of business ,and the principal oc-
cupations of life. For the most part the colored people are law abiding,
industrious and prosperous. Only the towns collect the most indolent and
poor, while the majority in such places are thrifty, keep up their churches,
and are useful citizens. Tha white population is of the advanced classes,
a very large per cent. of them being of the educated, refined and mor-
ally trained society of the old States. The bar, the pulpit, the school-
house, the merchant-houses, the work-shops, the hotels, the exchanges, the
internal improvements, the mills and the farms, are filled and carried on by
men who have moved here from the most advanced, enlightened and enter-
prising sections of the North, South, East and West, and the best culti-
vated in. these particulars of the native population. There is absolutely no
ostracism of such settlers, come from where they may. The only division
is political, as it is in every State of the Union. In all other matters there
is close unity of sympathy, public spirit and action, just as in all the older
States. A man from Old or New England is just as much at home here
as there in his business and social relations. Every new-comer, like those
we have welcomed within the past ten years, will meet with well-wishers on
every hand.
THE CHuRcHEs.-The Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists and Presby-
terians have houses of worship. There are among us also Lutherans, Chris-
tians, Methodist Episcopals, Congregationalists and Cumberland Presbyte-
rians, in smaller numbers than the sects before named, but adding much
to the volume of the conserving influence necessary to the maintenance
of a society desirable to dwell in.
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS.-Educational advantages in this county
are second to none in the State. Since the introduction of the free school
system in 1868, all the children have had the privilege of instruction in short
terms of schools annually, which but comparatively few of them could havese-
cured by the employment of teachers for private schools. The great mass

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 85

of the people were so utterly impoverished by the war that they could not
have paid for the services of teachers for years. The system is not only in
its infancy, but it lacks the necessary adjunct of means liberally diffused
among the people for the employment of competent instructors, to keep the
free school open for the school year, by private sustentation, supplementary
to the public funds. When public schools shall come to be financially sus-
tained, systematized and conducted by trained teachers, their inestimable
advantages will be felt and fostered by the whole body of the people. There
are a number of private schools carried on for ten months' sessions by thor-
oughly educated and experienced teachers in Gainesville, to which pupils
from the surrounding country and distant counties are sent. In this
city, too, is located the East Florida Seminary, a State Institution, open for
males and females alike. The object of its establishment is to give a lib-
eral and thorough normal education and training of students, free of tuition
charges, from each county east of the Suwannee river, in proportion to the
county's representation in the lower branch of the Legislature. The bene-
ficiaries are selected by the Commissioners of each county. The Trustees of
this Seminary are appointed by the Governor, with the consent ofthe Senate.
In their discretion the trustees may allow the admission of pupils from any-
where, and may require the payment from their parents or guardians of a small
tuition fee. The charge now made is $2.50 per quarter of nine weeks for
all scholars except beneficiaries representing counties. There are now 110
pupils enrolled, 32 of whom are beneficiaries and nbn-residents of the
county. The Seminary is supported by the semi-annual interest of an in-
vested public fund, and the small tuition fees paid by the non-beneficiary
scholars; and, therefore, it will be a permanent seat of learning, the great
advantages of which should be accepted and enjoyed by the eighteen coun-
ties entitled to them. The Trustees and Board of Instruction greatly de-
sire a full representation of pupils from each county at every annual ses-
PHYSICAL PECULIARITIEs.-The topography of Alachua is more nearly
like that of Leon than any other county with which the writer is familiar.
The hard woods are the same, with other valuable timber not found there.
The soil differs from the stiff red clay. In general, the best pine land is
almost identical with the first-class in Middle Florida, but more rolling,
without a rotten limestone base, and with an abundance of free, pure
water. The open hammock lands are hilly and pebbly ; soil a dark loam,
underlaid with a chocolate-colored friable clay. On the high mixed pine
and hammock lands most of the oldest and largest plantations are situ-
ated, and their producing qualities to-day attest the durability of the soil.
Some of the old planters preferred the first-class pine land for general crop-
ping, using for fertilizers cotton seed and pea vines, by which means an-
nual productiveness was greatly increased. Perhaps the most curious fea-
ture is that on the highest hills, in both the oak and pine sections, are to be
found large or small lakes fed by subterranean springs. Every section of
the county is abundantly watered, save a small part lying between New-
nansville and Cow Creek. Fine crops are made on lands which, to the eye
of the inexperienced, are utterly worthless. But practical tests long since
settled the question of their value. The heavy hammock lands being ex-
pensive to clear, will ba reserved to the use of moneyed men for fruits and
vineyards, while nearly every acre of fair, uninundated pine land will be

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

sought after by farmers and gardeners who do their own work. About
Hawthorne, Waldo, Orange Lake, Melrose, Fairbanks, Archer, Arredondo,
Battonville, Jappa, Frankland, Cow creek, Santa Fee river, Newnansville,
LaCrosse, and Gainesville there are lumber, cotton and grist-mills, run by
steam or water power. The lumber business has always been good, and
will soon increase to much larger proportions. Large lakes and small ones,
from which the waters are discharged by large and small creeks, teeming
with trout, bream, perch, and many other kinds of fish, abound in the four
quarters of the county. Sand-stone is common, and is used by steam-mill
men and farmers for their furnaces in preference to bricks. It is also pro-
nounced to contain a large per cent. of phosphoric acid, and better for fer-
tilizing than for building. Rock containing iron ore is found toward the
Suwannee river. Limestone is common, and is being brought into use for
plastering and fertilizing. Beds of drift and coral rock, and petrified
wood and bones, are found. It is said that there are beds of blue, yellow,
red, and white clays, green and white marls and chalk. Mineral springs
also are found all about the county. Some are strongly impregnated with
iron, and others with sulphur and magnesia. There are deep-blue springs,
and springs of transparent soft water. The Worthington, the largest sul-
phur springs, are north of Newnansville, and exist on both sides of the
Santa Fe river, dividing Alachua from Bradford county. The two
largest throw up jets from a long distance beneath the river's bed that make
the basins boil like huge pots over a large fire. They are resorts in the
summer and are recommended for rheumatism. The Blue or Magnesia
spring is situated near the point at which the Florida Southern Railway,
from Gainesville to Palatka, crosses Lochloosa creek. It is coming into
notice as a cure for dyspepsia. Large streams are suddenly lost in the
gullet of an open sink, and others are as suddenly disgorged from deep re-
cesses. A few hundred yards from the south end of Santa Fe lake, and
evidently connected with it at an unknown depth, there is a deep canon out
of which issues a large stream, and a few hundred yards further on it is
put to the practical use of turning the water wheel of a mill. With the ex-
penditure of a little money the stream could be made navigable. Payne's
Prairie, in past time, discharged the water passing through it from New-
nan's lake, four miles from Gainesville, into the famous sink," the which
all tourists go to see, and has bankrupted the descriptive powers of not a
few. The underground passage is now choked up, and the great Alachua
pasturage is now a vast sheet of water over which a small steamer does a
carrying trade. The Devil's Washpot" is another curious place visited
by pleasure parties. The Natural Bridge, across the Santa Fe river, is
formed by the sudden whirl of the water into a capacious cavern, and its
breaking out again to the surface far below. A few years ago a spot in the
old Newnansville road, that had been traveled for years, dropped in, and
the tallest trees settled out of sight, while the bowl filled with water.
Natural wells are found as round and perpendicular as if they had been cut
through the rock by the hands of man. It is evident that there is almost as
perfect a net-work of underground streams and springs as marks the sur-
RArL AND WATER-WAYS.-Next to the fertility of soil, purity of water
and healthfulness, and advanced social, educational and moral conditions in
Alachua county, the facilities of transportation and travel are chief induce.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 87

ments to immigration. These of late have been greatly increased to meet
the natural demands of growing population, agriculture and trade. The
Transit Railroad, from Fernandina to Cedar Key, uniting the Atlantic and
Gulf of Mexico, runs nearly east and west and not far from the centre of
the county. Including Gainesville, the Shiretown, five towns and villages
have been settled on this road within the past twenty-two years, to afford
convenient centres of trade for surrounding neighborhoods as they have
grown in numbers and prospered in agricultural pursuits. From the
Transit, at Waldo, this county, the Peninsular Railroad runs south along
the east side of Orange lake to Ocala, in Marion county, and opens an in-
viting section of Alachua to rapid settlement. From Gainesville the Flor-
ida Southern Railway runs east, with the terminus at Palatka, on the St.
Johns river. The Florida Southern crosses the Peninsular Railroad at
Hawthorn, this county, about twenty-two miles from *Gainesville. Nearly
midway of the two latter places, at Perry Junction, the main trunk of the
Florida Southern runs south, along the west border of Orange lake, cele-
brated for its immense orange groves budded on the forest of wild trees.
The charter of this railway grants the right of construction from a point
on the Florida Central and Western Railroad to the southern part of
the Gulf at Charlotte Harbor. The company are grading from Orange Lake
to Ocala, and surveying the route through this county in a direction west of
north towards Lake City. They have displayed great energy in pushing
on this important enterprise, and will, no doubt, continue to build their
railway both south and north with the speed large capital can command.
This railway is designed to connect with the Georgia system of railroads.
It will afford much needed facilities for travel, transportation and settle-
ment to by far the most productive and densely populated portion of this
county. There is likewise an extension contemplated of the Georgia con-
nection at Live Oak, on the F. C. & W. Railroad, through the extreme
western part of Alachua, by Bronson, on the Transit Road, to Charlotte
Harbor, now being surveyed. This, when completed, will make the fifth
railroad projected through large sections of this county, two of them cross-
ing near the centre and passing through the whole territory from east to
west and from north to south. A number of lakes are navigable by light-
draught steamers. One steamer is employed in the carrying trade on Or-
ange and Lochloosa lakes, which are connected by a deep stream. Another
has been built for the same purpose, to run through a canal between Santa
Fe lake and Waldo, at the junction of the Transit and Peninsular Rail-
roads. The canal, when completed, will give ample and cheap transporta-
tion to a large number of old and new industrious, practical fruit-growers
and farmers of four counties. At this time there is a small steamer that does
a good business on Payne's Prairie, which has been overflowed for two or
three years by the stoppage of its subterranean passage. The Santa Fe
river has a deep navigable channel from Fort White to its entrance into the
Suwannee, and the latter river, which is the western boundary of the
county, is navigable for steamers from Cedar Key and the Gulf. It is seen,
therefore, that Alachua is not second to any county of the State in the
number, convenience and excellence of inland rail and water-ways for the
public use, the attraction of the tide of immigration and the development
of opulent resources.
LANDS FOR SALE.-Large bodies of select land are held for sale by rail-

88 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

road and other companies, by non-residents and residents, by the State and
the United States. They are for sale in small and large quantities, and at
prices ranging from $1.25 to $50 per acre. The highest in price belong to
individuals, the others sell at low rates.
THE OLDEST SETTLEMENTS.-Between townships six and twelve, south,
and ranges seventeen and twenty-one, east, or thirty-six miles from north
to south, and twenty-four miles from east to west, the oldest settlements
and densest population of Alachua county are embraced. The attractiveness
of this section may be inferred from the fact that it has been selected suc-
cessively by Indians, Spaniards, Englishmen and Americans, in the past
three centuries for habitation. Large grants made by the Kings of Spain
are still the familiar names by which they are called to-day, and embrace
the finest bodies of land in the county. They are inferior to none in the
State for natural fertility, and they are equally durable. The oldest towns
are Newnansville, in the northern part, and Micanopy at the southern ex-
tremity of the county. Newnansville, years ago, was the county site, be-
fore which it was an advanced post in the Indian territory. A large and active
population, mostly enterprising Georgians, settled around it and soon sur-
rounded themselves with bountiful competence. Although the war disas-
trously affected the place, the hard laboring farmers around have contrib-
uted a good deal of trade to it, while they have prospered in a good degree.
Many of them make and save money. They live in the most picturesque
portion of the county. The larger proportion of the land is rolling open
hammock, and the pine land is mixed with oak and hickory growths, and
the latter is quite as hilly as the former. Out of these hills springs of water
gush. While there are many extensive open plantations, there are still
there large areas of open hammock and pine land awaiting clearing and
occupants. Colonists counted by the thousand could make elegant homes
in that productive section of our county. It is not known whether wheat
will grow there, but every other cereal will; and cotton, tobacco, cane,
fruits, berries, vines and vegetables are at home. Micanopy is situated in
the vicinity of lower and denser hammock and mixed lands. The natural
growths and crops are similar. The town is embowered in old orange
groves. Much attention has been given by the farmers there to fruit, vine,
and vegetable-culture. This departure from the custom of cultivating field
crops alone has not only kept up the business of the place, but bids fair to
become the means of making all the people in the vicinity independent.
The business of the place is gradually expanding, and its rising prosperity
seems now to be well assured. At one time it was the county site, and
maintained a seminary of high grade. The citizens represent many States
and foreign countries. They are intelligent, economical and attaining a
condition in life for which they have been long heroically struggling The
sightly orange groves and vineyards that will abound there will always
make it an attractive section. Situated near Orange lake, about four miles
from the track of the Florida Southern Railway, with which the town will
be connected by a branch road, producers will have the facilities they have
long needed to get their crops to market. This new advantage will bring
the lands of that section rapidly into market, and materially increase the
areas of the varied merchantable productions of all classes of people, and
invite numbers of new settlers.
THE YOUNGER SETTLEMENTS.-It will be seen on consulting a map of

Florida-ts Climate, Soil and Productions. 89

Alachua county, that the Transit Railroad passes through the Arredondo
grant, and that Waldo lies on the east and Archer on the west of this great
plat of magnificent land, and nearly between these is Gainesville, the
county site. The railroads brought these and other railroad towns into ex-
istence, and helped to settle in and around them a comparatively new pop-
ulation. Fairbanks is situate east and Arredondo west of Gainesville, each
at about twelve miles distance. Archer is a place of considerable trade,
but is noted principally for the cultivation of fruits, vines, berries, vegeta-
bles and melons for early supplies to Northern markets. Peach trees attain
a great age and size in all that section; grapes, the orange and other fruits
do well. Messrs. Lipsey & Christie have turned their attention success-
fully to a large nursery, containing a great variety of fruit trees, vines and
plants. Surrounding lands are pine, with a friable clay subsoil, which
gives trees and vegetation prolific vigor and endurance. Very fair bricks
have been made of the clay. But the principal products are Sea Island
cotton, corn, oats, rice, cane, peas, Irish and sweet potatoes, cabbages, beets,
turnips, squashes, tomatoes, beans and a multitude of other kinds of gar-
den vegetables. The soil is easily tilled, and the owners are gradually im-
proving their circumstances. Gainesville occupies a nearly central position
to the county, at the junction of the Transit and Florida Southern Rail-
roads, a branch of the latter running to Palatka, on the St. Johns river,
and the main trunk being constructed northwest and south through the
peninsula. The two railroads will bring the city into close relationship to
the large and productive scope of country inclosed within townships 6-12,
ranges 17-21, and within which the great majority of 20,000 inhabitants
have their homes. The city is situated on what is called a "black-jack "
(stunted red-oak) ridge, on account of the well known healthfulness and
purity of the water of such localities. The soil is a deep bed of silica, un-
derlaid with pipe clay at a depth varying from two to twenty feet. Yet
all over the place there are large orange trees, grapes, as fine an orange and
pecan nursery as can be found in the State, varieties of fruit trees, straw-
berries, flowers, gardens of vegetables in profusion and melons of extraordi-
nary size, rare plants, &c. It is a standing demonstration that there is
not a foot of land in the county, if it is not overflowed, but that will yield
an abundant living to any one able to cultivate it. But these healthful and
good-watered ridges are the exception and not the rule in the section of the
country which we have bounded. Most of the lands are hard-wood ham-
mock or mixed-wood pine. The heavy hammock area, inclusive of the high
open lands, extends from east of Micanopy to Payne's Prairie, and the upper
part of Newnan's lake, skirting the prairie on both sides, passing west of
Gainesville and spreading out fan-like about twelve miles from this place,
with half the periphery filling the great bend in the Santa Fe river and
crossing ranges 17 and 21 to the west and east. Within this area there are
occasional stretches of cypress ponds and saw palmetto plats, but they do
not give character to the section; and even such lands will be reclaimed
and made valuable in the near future. Gainesville being in such a favor-
able position relatively to this extensive area of the finest classes of land
in the county, and to the railways crossing here, will constantly attract
and secure additions to the present population of about 3,000, and acces-
sions to its commercial, mechanical, political, educational and social impor-
tance and power. The people of this whole section have struggled under

90 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

-many disadvantages, and1fall avocations have eked out the prosperity of
this city by protracted honest work. Latterly capital from abroad has
found here profitable investment. Two hotels and many dwellings have
been erected by new-comers from the North and elsewhere. Citizens who
saved a little surplus money out of their avocations have invested it in
furnishing themselves with homes. A bank is doing a very good business.
There are more applications for rooms for winter guests than can be filled.
Compared with ten years ago, this is a new place. What it will be ten
years hence we may not predict, but its future shines much brighter in the
eye of hope than did its past. Its churches, embracing the Episcopal,
Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and other denominations are growing,
and its educational advantages, in private schools and in the East Florida
Seminary, we believe to be unsurpassed in the State. The society is com-
p osed of good citizens from Canada to Texas, from Massachusetts to Cali-
fornia, and from Europe; and they will not suffer in the comparison with
those of the climes from which they came. The city is orderly and the
community law-abiding, fraternal and enterprising.

Has 500 square miles of territory, or 320,000 acres. The population in
1880 was 2,312; in 1870, 1,325. In 1880 the number of whites was 1,682;
colored, 630.
The number of schools in 1881 was 17. Children of school age, 728-
white, 599; colored, 129 ; school attendance, 451; school lands yet unsold,
8,973 acres; number acres of improved land, 3,779; number horses and
mules,.32 ; cattle, 6,348; sheep and goats, 550; hogs, 3,258; assessed val-
ue of property, $251,634.
Sanderson, the county site, is situated on the line of Florida Central
and Western Railroad, which furnishes convenient transportation for the
lumber, turpentine and farm products, which are abundant. Vegetable and
fruit growing for markets abroad is thus made practicable and promising.

Area, 550 square miles, or 352,000 acres. Population in 1870 was
3,671; in 1880, 6,167-white, 4,895; black, 1,272. Number of public
schools, 36. Children of school age, 1,600- white, 1,334; black, 266;
school attendance, 1,256 ; school lands unsold, 4,789 acres; number of acres
improved lands, 17,358 ; horses and mules, 1,104 ; cattle, 10,584; sheep and
goats, 3,01.0; hogs, 8,557 ; assessed value of property, $667,129.
SoIL-First-class. Slightly undulating pine lands; dark, sand loam
with clay sub-soil; little or no palmetto, thickly timbered, roots of trees
several inches under surface; not so level or low as to become too wet, nor
light and rolling enough to be thirsty ; ranks high for vegetables, fruits,
cotton, corn; not adapted to small grain cereals except rice.
S.,,,,..... I.., .-Rolling, beautiful, open pine woods with deep, loamy,
yellow sand soil and clay sub-soil; not so fertile as the first-class, but suited
to same products, including oats, rye and barley ; has hammocks in spots,
and forms a large proportion of the west and northwest part of the county;
is heavily timbered.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

Third-class.-Throughout the county are spots of low, level, compact,
gray sand land, too wet for crops in rainy season; covered with scrub pal-
metto, roots of trees very near or at surface; under a thin, gray top soil
are strata of white sand, and under this, 12 to 20 inches from surface, a
very compact, dark substance sometimes called "hard pan." This class is
not recommended.
The most fertile lands lie along Santa Fe river, west of Fort Call and
Lake Butler, extending to and beyond Providence along Olustee creek.
Many large and fertile farms yield plentiful harvests to a prosperous people
throughout this beautiful and attractive portion. Most of the hammock
lands in the county are found here.
STATE LANDS.-In ranges 18 and 19, including large bodies of choice
lands, there were, up to 1880, 22,000 acres of State lands in virgin richness,
heavily timbered. There are many streams throughout this domain with
water power sufficient and available for running large mills. Especially is
this the case on Olustee creek, Swift creek and Six-mile creek.
In ranges 20 and 21, at same time, there were about 43,000 acres, main
body lying north of Lake Butler, with large portions east and south. The
greater area is rolling, open pine land of the second class, elsewhere de-
scribed. There are some excellent farms in these ranges on New river.
Thousands of acres of these State lands are heavily timbered-the tower-
ing forests of yellow pine delight the eye of the professional mill man, the
stretches of woodland pasture invite the stock-raiser, the arable soil a
tempting location for farmer and fruit grower, the health-restoring, health-
preserving pine-woods air imparting vigor to the fnvalid and new strength
to the robust man.
road runs diagonally across range 22, and here most of the State lands
have been entered. The Florida Land and Immigration Company still
(1882) own 36,316 acres in this county, all in range 22. Other parties, rep-
resented by the Land Commissioner of said company, own here 5,594 acres.
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT LANDS.-Every acre of this in the county has
been recently located in the interest of Sir Edward Reed as a part of the
two million purchase from the Disston Company.
LAKEs.-There are many lovely lakes in the county, affording excellent
fishing grounds for delicious trout, bream and all varieties of fish found in
Florida inland waters.
The most important are South Prong pond in the northwest, area
about 1,200 acres; Swift Creek pond in the north, 700; Lake Butler in cen-
tral portion, 700; Sampson lake three miles west of Starke, 2,200 ; Crosby
lake and Rowell's lake, both near Sampson, 800 acres each. The last three
form a cluster, swamp lands separating the contiguous shores, which are
inundated during wet seasons. The lands around are well timbered with
yellow pine. A canal for floating logs could be easily opened from Crosby
to Rowell's. Sampson and Rowell's are connected by a creek. Timber
could thus be floated from a very large area to a point within 21 miles of
the Transit Road. Some of the finest orange groves in the county are
around the shores of these three lakes.
CYPRESS PONDS. -Tle entire county is dotted with cypress ponds from

92 Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

one-quarter of an acre to 5, 10 and 50 acres in area. They are more numer-
ous in the east and northeast. These ponds are mostly dry, except during
rainy seasons, and have a value. The timber is manufactured into best
quality of shingles, syrup barrels and railroad ties. In them are exhaustless
deposits of muck, the vegetable mold of ages, which is used as a fertilizer.
Where thoroughly drained, some of them produce remarkably. In the east
nearly every 40-acre lot has one or more, and the far-seeing prospector of a
fruit grove takes into consideration the convenience of a muck pond.
AGRICULTURAL-Bradford county is eminently agricultural, and has
great possibilities outside of fruit-culture.
CORN, OATS, POTATOES, &c.-Corn, on natural soil, yields an average
of from 10 to 30 bushels, according to class of land. Lands respond freely
to fertilizers all over the county, and 25 to 40 bushels per acre are not
unusual results. Oats average 15 bushels; rice 15, though as high as 70
bushels of rice per acre have been grown in the Lake Butler district; sweet
potatoes 100 bushels, highest yield, 300 bushels per acre; rye, 12; cow
peas, 20; chufas, 35.
SEA ISLAND COTTON.-Sea Island cotton averages 400 pounds in seed
per acre, but in some localities the yield doubles this amount. It is the
staple product. The cotton crop of 1881 was 1,200 bales; value, $105,000.
The grades of cotton grown on the humid soil of Bradford rank high in
the market.
On four acres, at Lake Butler, 900 pounds of lint cotton were grown,
which sold for $237.50. Cost of labor, $30. No fertilizer used. On Samp-
son lake, on cow-penned land, a crop of cotton from three acres sold for
SUGAR-CANE.-This is a valuable crop. Every planter can readily make
enough sugar and syrup for home use. It is profitable here for market.
The average is 100 gallons of syrup per acre. By fertilizing or cow-penning
lands the yield reaches 600 gallons per acre.
HORTIOULTURAL.-A good garden is half a living. All the vegetables
of semi-tropical Florida do well. Irish potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers,
beans, cabbages, peas, turnips, beets, onions, okra, asparagus, &c., can, with
proper care, be grown to perfection. Throughout the whole year the table
can be supplied with wholesome, fresh vegetables.
FLORICULTURE.-The lover of nature's poetry can, in this portion of
delightful, historic Flowerland, revel in a sweet wilderness of her choice
productions, in the days of mild December as well as in those of the rare
queen month of June. The soil is comparatively free of thirsty sand beds,
is humid and sufficiently compact for successful floriculture.
BEE-OULTU E.-Several hundred stands of bees in the county.
FRuITs.- Plums, whortleberries and blackberries grow with no care.
Pomegranate, grape, melon, fig, peach, pecan, pear (LeConte), orange, and
other East Florida fruits grow well.
PEACHEs.-The rolling lands develop large, well-flavored, juicy peaches,
free of insects. The crop of the county is 10,400 bushels. Half of this
quantity rot or are fed to the hogs. A great industry could be made very
profitable here converting the peach crop to marketable product.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 93

PEARs.-The famous LeConte variety is being introduced. The tree
grows vigorously, faith in its future is strong, and young orchards are being
planted. There are a few bearing trees in the county.
PECANs.-Some few trees in the county bearing prolific crops. A few
groves being put out.
ORANGEs.-The agricultural interests are great, but the orange culture
is fast assuming such proportions that it promises, in the near future, to be-
come a staple product, and Bradford's soil and climate boasts trees that are as
vigorous growers, as choice fruit, and as prolific bearers as are in any por-
tion of East or semi-tropical Florida. Every cottage and cabin in a large
area of the county is, or will soon be, embowered in the rich foliage of the
orange. Owing to the humid soil, the orange rarely suffers here from drouth.
The severe cold of 1880-'81 stripped the leaves and froze what fruit there
was on the trees, but did no material damage. The spring following clothed
them again, and a crop of oranges was borne same season. In Lawtey dis-
trict are trees 20 inches in diameter, bearing 4,000 to 6,503 oranges each.
In Starke .vicinity some bear 6,000. The Fort Harley tree, a few miles
southwest of Starke in the edge of Alachua, has been known to bear 10,-
000. In Lake Butler neighborhood is a tree 24 inches in diameter, bearing
7,000 oranges. Near Providence are some bearing as much as 8,000. The
orange business is yet in its infancy. There are now about 10,000 bearing
trees in the county, over 200,000 in position, and several hundred thousand
nursery stock.
FOREST PRODUCTs.-The census of 1880 gives 16,125 acres of land
tilled. There are now about 300,000 acres heavily timbered with yellow
pine and cypress. But little timber has been cut except along the Transit
Road. Value of mill products in 1880, $138,135; capital invested in saw-
mills, $60,000. Timber and naval stores are largely exported.
TOPOGRAPHY.-Trail Ridge and Highland are very near together; high
rolling pine and black-jack ridges; deep, yellow, loam sand soil, that re-
sponds readily to manures, but naturally poor, adapted to orange, peach,
grape, pear and other fruits. At .Iighland are extensive mill-works, manu-
facturing best quality yellow pine from lands of Bradford, about the head-
waters of New river. One store and several neat dwellings.
LAWTEY AND BURRINS may be considered one village. Settled princi-
pally by wealthy parties from the North. $100,000 invested last two years
by immigrants. Some of the finest residences in Florida are seen here.
Extensive orange groves being planted-1,000 bearing trees, 35,000 in posi-
tion, 30,000 nursery stock-in community. Saw-mill at Burrins; capital
invested, $10,000. Grist-mill, cotton gin and shingle factory in connection.
Two stores; value merchandise sold, 1881, $30,000. Level pine soil with
clay sub-soil. Lands sell from $1.25 to $100 per acre.
GARDEN CITY.-A settlement 3 miles from Lawtey attracting capital.
TEMPLE'S MILLs.-Centre of large mill interest. Tram road to Kings-
ley lake; prospective one to New river. Level pine lands; vegetables and
fruits do well. Several pretty cottages and flourishing young fruit groves.
In 1881 nearly 6,000,000 feet of lumber were shipped. Crates, laths, shin-
gles, brackets, pickets, and all classes of building material manufactured.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

STARKE.-Central point on Transit Railroad between Fernandina and
Cedar Keys. Level and undulating pine lands around, suited to cotton,
vegetables and fruit. Orange groves dot the entire district. Within cor-
porate limits are 6,000 trees in position, and 30,000 nursery stock. Seven
stores; value merchandise sold, 1881, $130,000 ; shipped same season, 800
bales Sea Island cotton. There are now in attendance upon two schools in
the town an average of 160 pupils the entire scholastic year. Supported
by a fine farming and fruit-growing country, the place is rapidly and sub-
stantially building up. A large hotel is greatly needed; capital so invested
would pay handsome profit. Here, as in a great portion of the county, it
is remarkably healthy. A large proportion of the orange groves in the
county are in this district.
SANTA FE.-Straggling village; one small store. Within radius of
three miles are first-class pine lands, and some of the most flourishing or-
ange groves in the county. In the Santa Fe district are 10,000 trees in
position and 20,000 nursery stock. Level pine lands, with choice sections
of rolling oak ridges.
PINE HILL.-A settlement in western interior with a store, school-
house and Masonic hall. Thickly settled, excellent farms, rolling, fertile
pine lands, sprinkled with oak, gray and black soil with some fine hammock;
a beautiful country. One grist steam mill and two water mills. A pros-
perous people live here.
FORT CALL.-One of the old land marks of Indian history. Fertile,
mulatto clay soil, pine and hammock. On some farms corn yields.20 to 30
bushels per acre on natural soil.
PROVIDENCE.-The oldest settlement in the county; centre of choice
belt of productive and thickly-settled country. A very prosperous place
in ante-bellum days. Within two years $15,000 have been invested by im-
migrants. One saw-mill, 2 water-mills, 8 cotton gins, 10,000 orange trees,
and 40,000 pounds of home-raised bacon in the district. In the village are
five stores; value merchandise sold, 1881, $20,000. Handles nearly 300
bales Sea Island cotton each season.
WORTHTNGTON SULPHUR SPRING.-This spring, in western portion of
county, forms a clear, deep basin 40 by 15 feet. Lands around are best
class pine and hammock. Here, as elsewhere in the county, are remarkable
sink holes." One, a few miles southwest of Sampson lake, in the open
pine woods, forms a fearful, precipitous cavity deep into the earth. It is
100 yards in diameter at surface, and is a wonderful phenomenon of nature.
LAKE BUTLER is the county scat. Lands around are productive, suit-
able to all crops and fruits that grow in the county. Four stores; value
merchandise sold, 1881, $25,000. The place is improving, and needs only
railroad connection to develop a prosperous town. Within two years there
have been 100 exchanges of real estate, and $20,000 invested by immigrants
in the neighborhood. In the district are raised annually 50,000 pounds of
home-cured bacon. There are 6 water-mills, 1 steam mill, 4 cotton gins, 4
shops, 10,000 orange trees, 40,000 nursery stock.
LIVE STOCK.-Value, 1880, $117,813. Horses, mules, cattle, swine,
sheep, goats and poultry look thriving. The range is good, and there are
excellent beef and mutton. Every farmer can raise his supply of bacon.

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions. 95

CosT OF CLEARING LAND.-Some simply girdle trees, burn logs that are
on the ground, and break up with plows, making good crop first season.
Where all timber is cut and stumps dug the cost varies, according to class
of land and forest growth, from $10 to $30 per acre.
PRICE OF LuMBER.-Best building material of yellow pine, $10 to $16
per M.; shingles, pine, $3; cypress, $4 per M. An able-bodied man can
take axe, saw and a few simple tools, go into the woods, and in a few days
"knock up a cabin that is comfortable in this climate.
BRICK.-There is clay in localities from which is made a fair quality of
Florida brick. Price, $8 to $10 per M.
BUILDING STONE.-In the Fort Call and Providence country there is
in abundance a lime and sand formation admirably adapted to building
purposes. Taken out of the earth moist, it is easily sawed into blocks, any
size and shape desired, with a common cross-cut saw. It is porous, very
light of weight when dry, hardens and whitens with age. It is much
cheaper than brick.
EDUCATION.-Number schools, 44; 38 white, 1,461 pupils enrolled; 8
colored, 264 enrolled pupils. Amount State aid, $896.12; county fund,
$1,964.12; private contributions, $920; board of teachers extra, $900; to-
tal for school purposes, $4,680.24. School year commences October 1st,
ends September 30th. Public terms, 3 months; three-fourths of schools
continue 6 to 10 months in the year.
CHuRCHEs.-Different denominations have organized churches through-
out the county.
NEWSPAPERs.-The Florida Telegraph, published at Starke.
FREE MASONRY.-In the county are 4 lodges F. & A. M. ; total mem-
bership 107, viz : Pine Hill, 26; Bradford (Starke), 30; Providence, 25;
Lake Butler, 26.
IMPROVED ORDER OF RED MEN.-First tribe in the State organized at
Starke in 1880. Membership, 73. Four other tribes chartered in the State.
Total membership I. 0. R. M. in Florida, 200.
TAXES.-1881, State tax proper, $3,064.99; general sinking fund,
$133.51; special sinking fund, $665.74; State school fund,4$.;...7: ; total
State tax, $5,727.98. County tax proper, .A..,i';,4.'i'; school, $1,997.25;
special, $665.74; total, ..,7 :7 i.
RAILROADS.-The Atlantic, Gulf and West India Transit Railroad, run-
ning from Fernandina on the Atlantic to Cedar Keys on the Gulf of Mexico,
runs southwest across eastern border. An application has been filed by Sir Ed-
ward Reed for a railroad from the St. Johns westward through this county.
A corporation, also, has been formed for building a road from Middleburg,
on Black creek, Clay county, running east and west through this county to
Rowland's Bluff, on the Suwannee river. One or the other of these roads
will be built, and choice bodies of land along the prospective route can now
be bought cheaply.
The varied resources of Bradford county offer many pleasant and lu-
crative inducements to the immigrant. The climate is free of gnats, mos-

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

quitoes, sand-flies and malaria, and delightful the year round. In the great
future of Florida Bradford will stand prominent among her sister counties,
showering prosperity and happiness among her sons and daughters.
Sec'y Bradford Co. Agrl. and Fruit-Growers' Association, Starke, Fla.

Area 4,390 square miles, or 2,809,600 acres. Population in 1860, 246;
in 1870, 1,215; in 1880, 1,486-white, 1,424; colored, 62. Number of
schools, 14; children of school age, 264-white, 251 ; colored, 13. School
attendance, 127. School lands unsold, 58,508 acres. Number of acres im-
proved land, 1,970. Horses and mules, 224; cattle, 39,632 ; hogs, 1,185;
assessed value of property, $490,174.
Hon. W. H. Gleason, in the Florida Agriculturist, says:
The county of Brevard is bounded on the north by the counties of
Orange and Volusia, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the
county of Dade, and on the west by the counties of Manatee, Orange and
Polk. The Kissimmee river flows along its western boundary, and is navi-
gable for over 100 miles. The St. Johns river rises in this county, and is
navigable as far south as Lake Washington. The Indian river flows for
over 120 miles near its eastern border, and is navigable its entire length.
Three-fourths of the county is swamp and prairie, which affords fine pastur-
age for stock. The Kissimmee and St. Johns river prairies are the most
extensive and best stock range in the State. The entire county west of the
St. Johns river, with the exception of a narrow, wedge-shaped belt of tim-
ber land which extends down from the north between the St. Johns and
Kissimmee river prairie, is one part prairie and savanna, interspersed with
small cabbage palm hammocks of only a few rods in extent. Large herds
of cattle feed on these prairies and savannas, and are driven to Punta Rassa
and then shipped to Havana. Many of the savannas will make excellent
sugar lands when properly drained. All of these prairies are subject to
overflows during the rainy season, and are unfit for general agriculture or
fruit raising until they are properly drained. A contract for the drainage
of these lands has been entered into by the State with the Lake Okee-
chobee Canal and Drainage Company." The company have commenced
operations, and have constructed dredge boats, which are at work on the
Kissimmee river and Lake Okeechobee. By the lowering of the lake four
or five feet, it will reclaim from overflow a large amount of land in the im-
mediate vicinity of it. During the rainy season the lake has a reservoir
for the waters flowing down the Kissimmee river, there being ample fall for
this purpose. The distance from the lake to the Caloosahatchie river,
which is the outlet of one of the proposed drains, is only eight miles, with
a fall of a little more than eighteen feet. The construction of a canal from
the Kissimmee lake through Lake Mariano to Lake Washington, and from
there across to Indian river at Eau Gallie, will keep the waters off the prai-
ries below Lake Kissimmee and at the same time make a steamboat route
from the Gulf of Mexico via Lake Okeechobee and the St. Johns river to
Jacksonville, and via Eau Gallie and the inland coast navigation to Fer-
nandina via the Halifax river and St. Augustine. The work of connecting
the inland waters lying adjacent to the coast will soon be completed, and

Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

give a river steamboat communication from Key West to Fernandina, pass-
ing the entire length of the county. A railroad is now in process of con-
struction from Palatka to Indian river, with its terminus at Titusville, the
county seat. When these improvements are completed, it will give a great
impetus to immigration, as there is no one county in the State that has
greater resources and advantages than this.
Indian river has long been celebrated for its oranges, which have the
reputation of being the finest in the State, and bring from fifty to seventy-
five cents per hundred more in the City of Jacksonville than oranges from
any other section. The river is from one to four miles in width, and is a
sheet of pure tide water, clear and transparent; it resembles a lake more
than a river, and is properly a sound. Its shores are generally free from
swamp and marshes, and rise at an angle of from twenty to twenty-five de-
grees, extending back from three to five miles to the St. Johns river prai-
ries. In many places the shore rises abruptly and perpendicular fifteen to
twenty-five feet above the river. The country has the appearance of an endless
park, the timber being principally scattering pines with grass growing un-
derneath, with an occasional hammock of magnificent live oak and cabbage
palms. The orange belt is from one to three miles in width, and is along
the margin of the river. West of this are the St. Johns prairies, which are
unfit for orange culture, but afford fine pasturage. The raising of stock,
the culture of oranges and other fruits will become a united industry in
this county. There are some fine, large live-oak hammocks filled with wild
orange groves in the western part near the head of Indian river, and occa-
sional belts of hammock land are scattered the entire length of that stream.
The climate and soil are favorable for winter gardening, which, properly
conducted, will bring rich returns for the Northern markets, and for the
supplies of the numerous hotels upon the St. Johns river. Injurious frosts
seldom visit this part of the State, and vegetables are from four to six
weeks earlier than on the St. Johns. In favorable localities pine-apples,
guavas, bananas and other tropical fruits mature in the open air Every-
where the climate is warm enough for vigorous winter growth; grass grows
green and flowers bloom every month in the year. Honey bees are found in
the forest trees, and do well. The cocoa-nut can be raised along the ocean
beach in the southern part of the county. Sugar-cane arrives here at its
greatest perfection, tassels, and requires planting only once in from seven
to ten years.
For winter residences there is no place in the State where nature has
provided superior sources of enjoyment. The climate from October to May
is a perpetual Indian summer, commingled with the balmiest days of spring,
but little interrupted by storms or fogs ; most of the time there is a gentle
breeze coming inland from the even-tempered waters of the Gulf stream, or
seaward from off the extensive savannas of the upper St. Johns and Kis-
simmee rivers. The nights are cool, the days invigorating and health re-
storing. The morning sunrise opens up a scene of magnificent splendor as
it emerges from among the white and fleecy clouds which ever hang over
the Gulf stream in the eastern horizon, only to be equaled by its glorious
sunset, which fringes the clouds with a golden lustre. Bears, deer, turkeys
and quail range in the pine woods and hammocks; ducks, curlew and other
water fowl along the rivers and lakes; fish of the finest quality are found
in all of the rivers and lakes, and in Indian river all of the different kinds

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Florida-Its Climate, Soil and Productions.

of salt water fish, oysters and green turtle. Upon the ocean beach are
found a great variety of beautiful sea shells. Lands upon Indian river, un-
improved, can be purchased for from $10 to $20 per acre, according to loca-
tion, back two or three miles at government price. Lands east of the St.
Johns river are mostly owned by the Lake Okeechobee Canal and Drainage
Company, and are sold at appraisements made by the company's agents.
Persons desiring to go to the eastern part of the county should take
the DeBary line of steamers at Jacksonville, get off at Sanford and take
the South Atlantic Railroad to Kissimmee City; daily connections are
made. There are only two post-offices west of the St. Johns river in the
county-Lake View and Barrville. Those desiring to visit the Indian river
country should also take the DeBary line of steamers at Jacksonville for
Sanford, and there connect with Hart & Smith's line of Steamers for Rock
Ledge landing on Lake Poinsett; stage here connects with steamers on In-
dian river. The distance across by stage from Lake Poinsett to Indian
river is three miles. Persons every day go from Sanford to Salt Lake by
steamer, and then connect by stage with Titusville, (distance eight miles,)
the county seat. The mail is carried up and down Indian river twice a.
week. The post-offices are Titusville, City Point, Rock Ledge, Georgiana,
Eau Gallie, Melbourn and St. Lucia.

Area, 1,160 square miles, or 742,400 acres. Population in 1870, 998 ; in
1880, 1,580. Number of public schools, 9; children of school age, 607;
whites, 535; colored, 72; school attendance, 25; unsold school lands,
15,857 acres. Number of improved acres, 1,987. Horses and mules, 164;
cattle, 5,451; sheep and goats, 2,366; hogs, 3,235. Assessed value of
property, $137,503.
Blount's Town, on the Apalachicola river, is the county site.
The Apalachicola river, on the eastern boundary, is navigable for large
steamers all the year, and several lines of fine boats ply its waters from
Apalachicola to Columbus, in Georgia, giving fine transportation facilities
to the products of the county.
The Chipola river, running through nearly the whole county, is navi-
gable most of the year. Lake Chipola, near the centre of the county, is
sixteen miles long and from one to three wide. It abounds in fish. The
Chipola river passes through it before emptying into the Apalachicola.
Attention has been given to orange growing in this county, and with
profitable success. Sev, ral fine groves planted within the last decade are
in a most flourishing condition.
The Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad, though not running through the
county, will be near enough to give increased value in the northern part.
The soil in the larger part of the county is of a very fine character.
The Apalachicola river, flowing through the rich lands of Georgia and
Alabama, reaches Florida laden with sediment, and for ages, during periods
of overflow, has in the limits of Calhoun county made alluvial deposits cor-
responding with the river bottom lands of the Mississippi, Red and Arkan-
sas rivers. Nowhere in the Western valleys are richer bottom lands to be
found than along the Apalachicola river, in the county of Calhoun. A bale
of cotton or seventy-five bushels of corn to the acre is what the farmer
counts on there. Lying back from the river lands are extensive plateaus of

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