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FLORIDA'S FIRST (LOG CABIN) CAPITOL-1824
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FLORIDA'S CAPITOL BUILDINGS
Upper Right: Begun 1838, Finished 1842; Upper Left: Begun 1901, Finished 1902;
Centre: Begun 1922, Finished 1923
STATE CAPITOL AND GROUNDS, TALLAHASSEE
TALLAHASSEE OF YESTERDAY
SALLIE E. BLAKE
T. J. APPLEYARD
MBEY M28 rT
MAY 28 398
COPYRIGHT, 1924, BY
SALLIE E. BLAKE
T. J. APPLEYARD
To My NIECE
CARRIE LEONARD TAYLOR
THIS LITTLE BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED
TABLE OF CONTENTS
P reface ................................... 23
Great Seal of the State of Florida ............ 29
Tallahassee- A Poem ........................ 31
The Location of the Capital .................. 35
State Capitol ................................ 39
Early Settlers .............. ............... 45
The Tournament ............................ 69
Establishment of Churches .................. 75
State College for W omen ..................... 97
The May-Party Tree... ...................... 105
Long's Grove ................... .......... 109
The Governor's Mansion ..................... 113
The Walker Library....................... 117
Tallahassee Dirt-Daubers Association .......... 121
Natural Bridge.............................. 125
The Smoking Volcano........................ 126
A Legend of the First Indians of Florida....... 129
Old Fort St. Louis......... ................. 132
The Legend of Lake Jackson.................. 133
The Cherokee Rose.. .................. ...... 134
Gov. Duval's Message to the Legislature........ 136
Governors of Florida: ..................... 142
Frontispiece-The Log Cabin Capitol-the first one.
Andrew Jackson, First Governor.
Great Seal of the State.
Three Views of Florida's Capitol Buildings.
State Capitol Now.
Prince and Princess Murat.
Churches of Tallahassee.
Florida State College for Women.
The May-Party Tree.
The Governor's Mansion.
The Walker Library.
On the Thomasville Road.
Confederate Monument at Natural Bridge.
"Uncle" Pompy Jordan.
North Florida Scenes.
Many visitors to Tallahassee ask why a little
sketch of the early days of this city, its settlers, its
historical associations, its many Indian legends, and
its many points of interest has never been written.
This lack I have long pondered over, for I have
for many years dwelt within the precincts of this
city, and my earliest recollections are of matters
connected with the State Capital of Florida. It is
to fill this long felt need that I have gathered a few
points of interest connected with the town and
neighborhood. Many and thrilling,, beautiful and
gay, gladsome and sorrowful have been the events
that have happened here. Mindful of all these
things, I have attempted to tell the dwellers in Talla-
hassee, and to those not so favored, something of the
history which I venture to hope will in some degree
supply this lack. This, and not the aspiration of
authorship must be my apology for coming before
My historical facts are taken from the Histories,
"The South in the Building of the Nation" and
from Miss Caroline M. Brevard's "History of
Florida." The former was published in Boston and
Atlanta 1890-1896, and the latter in New York 1904.
I sincerely thank the many friends who have so
kindly contributed articles for this little publication.
S. E. B.
Great Seal of the
State of Florida
GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
(From Joint Resolution of Legislature, approved
August 6, 1868).
The Sun in his splendour rising over a highland
in the distance, a cocoa tree, a steamboat on the
water, & an Indian woman scattering flowers in the
In God we trust.
The Sun is the emblem of Glory & Splendour.
In heraldry its meaning is "absolute authority."
The Highlands & Water are typical of the State, &
the steamboat of its commerce and progress.
Flowers are the symbol of hope & Joy, & the
Indian scattering them shows the influence of the
Indian nation over the State.
The Cocoa or palm tree is the emblem of victory,
justice & Royal honour.
Tallahassee, with sunny skies and lakes of blue
And soft winds wooing hearts so true,
With waving moss and songbird trills,
And happy homes, despite earth's ills;
With joys and friends the heart to cheer
And best of all, beloved ones near:
We love thee, "Little Town of Flowers"
And thank our God who made thee ours.
For 'tis here, the zephyrs are fondest
As they come with the touch of their wings.
'Tis here, the flowers are fairest
And here, that the mocking bird sings.
'Tis here that the trill of the bluebird
Sweetly blends with the oriole's song
As they flit over meadow and hillside
In the sunlight all the day long.
The Location of the Capital
THE LOCATION OF THE CAPITAL
On February 22, 1819, Spain deeded "The Flor-
idas," a tract of land to the eastward of the Missis-
sippi, to the United States, but the final ratification
and proclamation of the treaty of cession was de-
layed two years and did not take place until Febru-
ary 22, 1821. The United States agreed to assume
and satisfy the private claims of its citizens against
Spain, to the amount of five million dollars, and to
Spanish subjects, in settlement of their claims
against the United States, paid a sum slightly in
excess of one million dollars.
On March 3, 1821, Congress authorized the Pres-
ident to take possession of the territory and appoint
such officers as he should deem necessary for its
proper government. Andrew Jackson was imme-
diately installed as Governor, with practically un-
limited powers. To him the Spanish Governor of
West Florida, Don Jose Callara, surrendered his
authority at Pensacola-then the Capital of West
Florida-the transfer of authority taking place July
17, 1821. On July 10th of the same year Colonel
Robert Butler, as representative of General Jackson,
had received the transfer of East Florida at St.
Augustine, the capital, from Don Coppinger, Gov-
ernor of East Florida, and on March 25, 1822,
Lieutenant Galbraith Perry of the United States
Navy, took possession of Key West.
Governor Jackson divided the new territory into
two counties, Escambia on the west of the Suwannee
River and St. Johns on the east; and issued ordi-
nances for the proper administration of justice.
History tells us that Jackson was impetuous and
high handed and so made many enemies. As it had
never been his intention to retain his new position
long, he resigned in the fall .of 1821, after having
been in office a little more than six months.
.Congress then took steps to give Florida proper
laws and standing as a territory, and in the spring
18.22 a territorial government was organized with.
legislative and executive powers vested in a Gov-
ernor and a Legislative Council, consisting of
"'Thirteen of the most fit and decent persons in the
territory." William P. Duval, a native of Virginia,
but later a citizen of Kentucky, was appointed
As above intimated there were at this time two
capitals-Pensacola and St. Augustine. The first
legislature met in Pensacola in June, 1822, and the
second in St. Augustine during the following year.
It was at the latter session that the law-makers
decided to appoint a commission to select a more
convenient and permanent site for the capital.
Accordingly, Dr. William H: Simmons of St. Au-
gustine, and Mr. John Lee Williams of Pensacola,
were chosen commissioners with the necessary
powers for selecting a new site for the Capital of
Florida. Then began a hazardous and dangerous
journey for these two pioneer citizens, for traveling
in those days in an Indian infested country over
poorly defined roads and taking refuge at night
wherever a chance shelter could be found, meant
hardship and discomfort. Mr. Williams was twenty-
three days making his trip from Pensacola to St.
Marks, where he met Dr. Simmons, who had been
out fourteen days coming from St. Augustine.
The old fields, now the red hills of Leon County,
which had been deserted by the Tallahassee Indians
during Jackson's time, were settled upon as the
proper and suitable place for the location of the
new seat of government. Chefixico and Naemathla,
two leading chiefs with their followers owned and
occupied these lands. After these chiefs had been
consulted, arrangements were made for the purchase
of the desired location. In 1824 the present town-
ship was surveyed and laid out and the charter
granted November 8th. The name Tallahassee,
which some tell us, means "Old Fields," and which
was the name of the chief who had occupied these
grounds, was given to the new settlement.
During the negotiations for the land, it is said
that the "white men" at first experienced some
difficulty in inducing the "red men" to vacate their
cherished holdings, in order that the territory might
have a local habitation and a home. But the smooth
tongued white men-never as honorable, I fear, in
his dealings with his red brother as he should have
been-finding talk futile, is said to have persuaded
the latter easily by means of generous gifts of "fire
water." At any rate, the deal was soon consum-
mated, the lands bought and christened Tallahassee,
in honor of the old chief.
~_? __1_ ~1~__~__~_I
SFor two years the Capitol of the new territory
consisted of a log house, and in this was transacted
,all business and were held all meetings pertaining
to the territory's interest.
In 1826 the corner stone of the present Capitol
was laid; but many years passed before the building
was entirely finished-as the funds were derived
from sale of town lots.
In 1824, James Monroe was President of the
United States, and John Quincy Adams was Secre-
tary of State. Accordingly the streets immediately
east and West of the Capitol were named Monroe
and Adams, in their honor. It was a happy thought
to name the streets leading directly north and south
from the Capitol after former seats of government-
hence arose the name of the present highways-Pen-
sacola and St. Augustine.
With the growth of the territory, and its erection
into a state of the Union, its business continued to
increase, and the Capitol soon became inadequate.
Not until 1901, however, did the legislature attempt
to meet conditions by appropriating the sum of
seventy-five thousand dollars With which to. add
wings to the north and south. For a number of
years this sufficed, but the State was now growing
by leaps and bounds, and the legislature of 1921
found it necessary to make another appropriation-
this time for two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars-in order to construct the east and west
The governors, unless prevented by inclement,
weather, have all these years taken the oath 6f
office and accepted the State Seal on the east porch.
The receptions and inaugural balls have been held
in the Senate Chamber and the House of Represen-
For many years a character closely associated
with the Capitol building was Sergeant David Ellis,
night watchman. His loyalty to his duties, his abso-
lute punctuality, and his faithfulness in every way
frequently reminds us pf the old sexton in the Eng-
lish poem "Curfew"
"Long, long years I've rung the Curfew,
From that gloomy shadowed tower.
Every evening just at sunset
It has told the twilight hour.
I have done my duty ever
Tried to do it just and right,
Now I'm old-I will not miss it!
Girl, the Curfew rings to-night."
Sergeant Ellis was an Englishman by birth, manly
in his bearing, and courteous to all. Those who live
in Tallahassee and had the pleasure of knowing him,
can I dare say, still picture him in the summer time
at his post of duty at the ground entrance on the
north side of the building, often presenting some
favored passerby with a choice flower from his own
garden-and always with a pleasant greeting.
For the first years of the new settlement, the red
and white men dwelt in amity and peace. But with
the increasing settlement of Florida and the en-
croachment of the "pale face" on the land of the
Indians, trouble broke out. The amity of the
earlier years gave way to hostility. The era of good
feeling between the races vanished, and the settlers
in Tallahassee learned to dread those who had for-
merly been their friends. During the years of the
Seminole War, many were the alarms that came to
the little city nestling amid its red hills.
Until 1906 there remained one of the many old
houses with "port holes" through which the whites,
in years gone by, had protected themselves, mold-
ing their own bullets and devising various plans of
Notwithstanding the trouble with the Indians,
people were attracted to the new territory by its
wonderful natural advantages and balmy climate.
From the very beginning, cultivated families from
Virginia, the Carolinas, and Kentucky, made their
homes in and near Tallahassee-others settling on
the many beautiful lakes near by with their slaves
In an incredibly short time, this wilderness was
transformed into beautiful plantations with their
colonial homes, and the village became a town, its
inhabitants ranking among the most cultivated and
refined in America. For many years to "come from
Tallahassee" meant entire to the best and most exclu-
sive circles of society wherever one chanced to go.
The descendants of the -early settlers were 'like
them-noted for gallantry among the men and
beauty among the women. :
From 1824 to 1836, the Butlers, Pringlei, Byrds,
Wyatts, Calls, Williamis, Myers, Blakes, Bettons,
Browns, Baileys and many others settled here. They
and their descendants became a part of the growth
of the city and the surrounding country.
Governor Duval, one of the pioneer settlers and
the first Governor of the Territory, was the first to
raise sugar cane in this section. In 1828 on less
than an acre of land, he made twelve hundred
pounds of sugar and several barrels of syrup, and in
many ways worked for the advancement of the
Governor Richard Keith Call, a native of Vir-
ginia, an intimate friend and protegee of the.great
Jackson, was appointed Governor in 1835. He was
a brave, daring man and was largely instrumental
in shaping the Territory. His daughter, Ellen Call,
later Mrs. Ellen Call Long, was the first white child
born in Tallahassee. She was the author of that
delightful book, "Florida Breezes," and has left her
impress in the city as well as on the State at large,
in many ways. Tallahassee is proud to remember
that Governor Call's granddaughter, Caroline Mays
Brevard, was a teacher in our midst and the author
of the small school history of Florida, which is now
taught throughout the State, while as this is being
written, her larger history of Florida, left in manu-
script at her death, is going through the press.
Among the many men who have left their names
imprinted upon time's memory is Governor David
S. Walker, a native of Kentucky. Coming here while
still a young man, a lawyer by profession, he soon
rose and became a power in politics. Hospitable
and cultured, he was always brave, true and honest.
He was Senator in the First Legislature, represent-
ing Leon and Wakulla Counties, and in January,
1866, was inaugurated Governor of his adopted state.
The old Walker home, a two-story building-a
__ I ___
mansion in those days-still stands on the corner of
South Monroe street and Byrd Park.
When Florida was admitted to the Union as a
state in 1845, William Moseley of North Carolina,
became first governor. A number of his descend-
ants are still living in Tallahassee.
As years were passing other prominent, families
were moving in-among them the Cottons, Archers,
Gambles, Wards, Houstouns, Crooms, Bradfords,
Eppes, Winthrops, Whitfields and many others.
A character every one will be interested in, owing
to historical connection, is that of Prince Achille
Murat-a newphew of Napoleon of France, and a
son of the King of Naples. He was banished from
France and selected this State for his new home. He
owned'plantations in Jefferson and Leon Counties
and made his home at "Napole" in Jefferson. We
are told this name was given it for his home Naples
in Italy. He was a unique character and many in-
teresting stories are told of his peculiar habits. The
following interesting article written about the
Murats was written by Matilda L. McConnell in the
Century Magazine, August, 1893:
"Catherine D. Murat was born at Willis Hall,
near Fredericksburg, Va., August 17, 1803, and was
the daughter of Col. Bird Willis and of Mary Lewis,
who was a niece of General Washington. Catherine
was not only a child of engaging manners, but she
possessed a beauty which increased as she advanced
in age. At the age of fifteen years she was married
to Mr. Gray, a Scotch gentleman, and a neighbor of
her father. In a little over a year Mr. Gray died,
leaving his young wife a widow and a mother at the
age of sixteen. The child survived its father but
a short time. These were the first trials that her
childlike nature was called upon to bear, and it was
sometime before she recovered from the shock. She
then returned to her father's house and made it her
home. About the year 1826 Mr. Willis, having met
with a reverse of fortune, decided to move to
Florida. His family, consisting of his wife, three
sons and four daughters, accompanied him, leaving
one married daughter in Virginia. He rented a
house in Tallahassee, the Capital of Florida, on Mon-
roe street, southeast of the state house, and here it
was that the young and beautiful widow, Catherine
Gray, first saw Prince Achille Murat (the eldest son
of the King of Naples and Caroline, sister of Napo-
leon Bonaparte), who being exiled from France and
Italy, had a short time previous, selected Florida as
his home. In Tallahassee she was surrounded by
persons of intellect and refinement to an extent not
often found in a frontier country, as Florida then
was. Among the gentlemen were Governor W. P.
Duval, Judge Thomas Randall, Gen. R. K. Call, Col.
Gadsden, and others, and among the ladies were
Mrs. R. K. Call, Mrs. "Florida" White, Mrs. Nutall,
as well as the family of William Wirt.
Mrs. Gray soon became foremost in this circle,
and attracted the favor of Prince Achille. She w'as
not pleased with him at first, for though he was a
man of education, and could entertain a company
by the hour with his remarkable memory and genius,
still he had allowed himself to fall into such care-
less habits that he did not at all approach the beau-
ideal of the delicately nurtured and fastidious lady.
It was only after listening to the persuasion of her
parents, and seeing the constant devotion of Achille,
that she could look with favorable eye upon his
suit. However, on the 30th of July, 1826, the two-
the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and the grand
niece of George Washington were married. The
couple soon moved to "Napole," Prince Murat's
plantation in Jefferson County. Around them,
within an area of a few miles, lived many of those
whose names have already been mentioned, and a
constant round of gaity was kept up, all unnecessary
etiquette being laid aside.
Thus were passed many happy years, Mme. Murat
still enlivening all with her attractive society, and
the Prince passing his time in the acquisition of
learning. The range of his experiments may be in-
ferred from the Prince's declaration that "alligator
tail soup will do, but the turkey buzzard is not
On one occasion when at Achille's suggestion,
Mme. Murat had gone to spend the day with a
friend, he took the opportunity to test the merits of
a plant which he thought would make a fine dye.
Heknew the process would occupy -some time, and
that his "dear Kate" might be an obstacle to his
undertaking. When she was about to return the
coachman called her attention to,a cloud of smoke
rising from the plantation. Mine. Murat, seriously
alarmed for fear the house was one fire, was driven
home rapidly accompanied by some of her friends.
As they approached, a huge kettle could be seen
under which was the fire that had caused the
anxiety. Over it, heated and smoke stained, they
detected Achille, eagerly at work. As he saw his
wife approaching, he rushed to her and said, while
his face was radiant with success: "0 Kate, I have
made all your clothes a most beautiful pink! You
wil look so lovely in them!" Sure enough, to her
dismay, she discovered that he had dyed, indis-
criminately, all that he could lay his hands on-
sheets, pillow cases, table cloths, and various articles
of clothing, even including dresses, though the ser-
vants, seeing what was going on, and knowing that
their mistress would disapprove, had hidden a great
deal from him. Years after, I heard Mme. Murat
relate the circumstance with much feeling. She
never could refer to him without tears in her eyes,
for, notwithstanding his eccentricities, he was a
most affectionate husband.
A trip to Belgium, where they remained two years,
made an agreeable change in their mode of life.
Prince Murat was assigned to the command of a
regiment in the Belgian service and their home was
in Brussels. During their residence in that city an
amusing incident occurred. An English family, in
which were two grown daughters, were near neigh-
bors, and with them Mme. Murat soon came to be
on very friendly terms. One day when the young
ladies wished to ride, their mother gave her consent,
provided Mme. Murat would be their chaperon.
She readily acquiesced and the party soon mounted.
Mme. Murat being, like all southern ladies, a fine
horsewoman, was given a lively English steed. They
set off merrily, and soon her horse showed a disposi-
tion to keep in front. She tried to curb his im-
patience but found that she had not physical
strength to control him. Of course the young ladies
felt in duty bound to keep near their chaperon, and
every now and then she heard them mildly asking
her if it would be more agreeable to ride a little
slower. Mme. Murat having a good share of national
pride, decided to conceal the true situation, and gave
some excuse for continuing the rapid motion. It
was useless for her to try to slacken the gait of her
animal, for hurry on he would and all followed at
John Gilpin speed. She was greatly rejoiced when
she reached their destination for she was very tired
from her unusual exertion. While the others were
engaged in viewing the objects of their visit, she
was dreading the prospect of a similar ride in re,
turning. She had to conquer her pride and acknowl-
edge the truth, or bear the annoyance. Meanwhile
all were profuse in their admiration of her as an
equestrian, saying: "How well you ride, but how
fast?" She only smiled in reply, and soon all were
in the saddle again. Alas! it was the same story.
Off went her Rosinante, and although the repeated
cries of "Madame, please do not ride so fast!" were
in her ears, she was unable to check her horse, and
finally reached home very much fatigued, and glad
to be delivered from the danger. Her prudence for-
bade her trying the experiment over again.
The striking resemblance which Prince Murat bore
to his uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, seemed to awaken
the love and esteem of many whom he met in Bel-
gium, and frequently he was stopped in public by
the soldiers and subjects of his uncle and father,
who knelt to him, covering his hands with kisses.
There were those in power at that time who began
to fear that the enthusiasm thus elicited might prove
a nucleus around which sufficient troops could be
raised to restore to his family their respective
crowns; Consequently, by the order of the King of
Belgium the regiment was disbanded. On taking
leave of his soldiers, Achille addressed them in
seven different languages, such were his proficiency
and the variety of nationalities represented.
It was the pride of Prince Murat's heart to see
his lively Kate prove herself, by her beauty and
graceful manners, in no way inferior to the courtly
ladies with whom she was in daily intercourse. The
Bonaparte family was at that time exiled by France
and Italy, and when the Prince and Princess Murat
made London their home, they enjoyed the society
of the imperial family, as well as that of other dis-
tinguished Europeans, and of many Americans of
note, among whom was Washington Irving ;and
John Randolph of Roanoke. Louis Napoleon was
their constant guest, and at that time he predicted
that at a future day he would be on the throne iof
France, often saying, "When I am emperor, Cousin
Kate, you shall have a chateau and everything you
want in return for your kindness to me now."
Doubtless Prince Murat had a latent hope that such
would be the case, and probably it was because
there were no signs of its speedy realization that at
the end of a year he concluded to return to Florida.
He lived for some time in St. Augustine and Talla-
hassee. It was while the Murats were in St. Au-
gustine that Louis Napoleon came to New York. He
was on his way to visit his cousins in Florida when,
hearing of the severe illness of his mother h'e re-
turned to Europe.
Prince Murat now determined to study law. After
his admission to the bar he moved to New Orleans
and formed a partnership with Mr. Garnier. While
thus engaged, he purchased a sugar plantation on
'the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, where Mme.
Murat spent much of her time in winter, although
her husband owned a handsome residence in the
city. One day during the season of sugar 1..;1i!_
Achille approached too near the edge of one of the
large vats of syrup, which had been left to cool, and
accidentally slipped into it, and while all around
declared that it was hot enough to scald him, he
said after a few minutes, that his whole thought
was, "Kate will make me wash." He had a decided
aversion to water. He never drank it without add-
ing whisky to it. He said, "Water is intended only
for the beasts of the field."
Prince Murat was rather visionary in his ideas,
and after several years spent in Louisiana he became
embarrassed in his planting operations and was on
the: eve of leaving them in disgust when he heard of
the death of his mother. He then persuaded Mme.
Murat to stay with her father in Virginia while he
went to Europe. to look after his interests.. He was
absent about a year, and returned without having
arranged his business satisfactorily, He again went
to Florida with his wife and established his planta-
tion, called Econchattie, in Jefferson County, where
they lived several years. About this time began the
Florida Indian War in which Prince Murat took an
active part. He was aide de camp to Gen. R. K.
Call and was also commissioned colonel and ap-
pointed to the command of the forces then guarding
the frontier settlements, and exhibited much bravery
Although at the risk of her life, his devoted wife
never left him. On one occasion he was so; very ill
that she was afraid that he would die during the
night, and yet for fear that the Indians would see
the light and murder them, she could not even have
a lamp burning. In the dark she would often put
her hand on him and listen to hear if he were
During their residence at Econchattie their house
was the resort- of many friends. Groceries: were
sometimes difficult to obtain, having to be brought
from Tallahassee, twenty miles away. Numerous
guests were once visiting them when the cook in-
formed her mistress that .the last barrel of flour
was nearly out. Mme. Murat immediately asked her
husband to send for a fresh supply. A wagon was
hurriedly dispatched with an order in the wretched
handwriting of Prince Achille, but unfortunately the
messenger was not informed what he was sent for.
It was many hours before he returned, and to the
consternation of Mme. Murat he brought no barrel.
As he approached she inquired, "Wherev is the
flour?" "I dunno, missis," was the reply. "I give
the mahr's letter to the storekeeper, and he couldn't
read it. He tik it to sum genmen, and they couldn't
read it, and at last they 'cluded'this is what he
wrote for," and he pulled out of his pocket a kind
of lancet with which to'bleed horses, called a "horse
fleam." None but a lady who knows how hard it
is to provide with a scant larder can realize what
her feelings were.
After a lingering illness, Prince Murat died April
15, 1847. His remains were deposited in the
Episcopal Cemetery at Tallahassee. His widow
bought a house called Belle Vue, two miles from
the city and there made her residence. She was,
however, so much attached to Econchattie that the
premises were always kept in repair, and she spent
a great deal of time there every year. Had Prince
Murat lived a few years longer he would have seen
the restoration of the Bonapartes, which he had so
long hoped for and expected. Louis Napoleon did
not then forget his kind "Cousin Kate,', and when
the Bonaparte family assembled in Paris, she was
there also, and was received by the Emperor with
appropriate honor as a Princess of France. At the
time he bestowed upon her forty thousand dollars,
and the privilege of using the royal livery, which
she did during the remainder of her life. She was
invited to dine with the Emperor and was con-
ducted by the grand chamberlain to an elevated seat
in the drawing room of the palace, where a large
party of guests were assembled. She did not know
that she occupied the seat of honor until her ears
caught the words, "Le Princess Achille-La Prin-
cess Achille Murat," whispered around the room.
This in a measure embarrassed her. When the cry
of "L'Emperrereur!" announced the approach of
Louis, who walked directly to her and after a most
cordial welcome, offered his arm to escort her to
the dinner table, her excitement was such that as
he laughingly said, she hardly knew how she came
down the steps. Notwithstanding her usual ease of
manner and familiarity with court etiquette, to feel
that she was the observed of all observers mantled
her cheeks with blushes. At the state dinner she
occupied the seat at the Emperor's side, which was
always reserved for the Empress, whose non-appear-
ance, it was then presumed, was caused by indisposi-
tion. The ceremonies of the dinner being over, the
Emperor invited the princess to accompany him into
the reception room of the empress. To her surprise,
she found the Empress perfectly well, and warm in
her reception of her "dear Cousin Kate." In her
eagerness to meet her she had tripped and nearly
fell, when the Emperor playfully remarked, "Ah,
Eugenia, will you never remember that you are an
empress?" She then said that she had absented her-
self from the table only to enable the Emperor to
show his cousin every possible respect and attention.
All restraint was now put aside and they laughed
and talked about old times.
The Emperor tried to persuade the Princess to
make her home in France, offering to fulfill his
promise of giving her "a chateau and everything
she wanted." But her love for her Florida home,
added to the responsibility she felt as the mistress
of two hundred slaves, bequeathed to her by her
husband, caused her to decline his kind offer and
return to America. She brought with her many
mementos of her friends in the palace.
Prince Murat had been obliged to mortgage his
land and negroes to the Union State Bank of Florida.
He always expected to get money from Europe, and
he had asked his wife, whenever she had it in her
power, to redeem the property. The generosity of
the Emperor now enabled her to do this, and feel-
ing, with all good owners, that slaves, like children,
were to be taken care of, she did all in her power for
Settled now at Belle Vue, the Princess continued
her wonted hospitality to the poor as well as to the
rich. Her delightful entertainments and her many
deeds of charity, unostentatiously bestowed, will
long be remembered. Those in trouble found her
a sympathizing friend, and she always took the part'
of the oppressed. She was made vice regent of the
Mount Vernon Association of Florida, and by her
great liberality and energy succeeded in raising in
the State nearly three thousand dollars toward the
preservation of the Washington home. Like other
relatives of Washington, she bore a striking re-
semblance to the first president and was asked by
strangers if she were not a relative of his.
In the course of time the secession of the southern
states took place, and then the war. She contrib-
uted most liberally to all soldiers' aid societies and
was prominent in doing all she could for the south-
ern soldiers. Her carriage was often seen at the
doors of the hospitals, where fruit, vegetables and
numerous delicacies were taken by her to the sick.
The officers she did not have so much sympathy
for, because they were the pets of society, but the
private soldiers she looked upon with a motherly
interest and pride. On one occasion she had a
breakfast at her home for the entertainment of
those -at the hospital who were sufficiently con-
valescent to attend.
When the war was ended and the Princess saw
so many of her old negroes, as well as those who
were too young to work, cast out penniless on the
world, she was much troubled in their behalf. She
was then unable to assist them, and really had no
means of her own. She sent some valuable jewels to
New York to be sold, giving directions to have the
money arising from the sale, invested in provisions
and other necessaries. Her wishes were complied
with but the goods purchased were- unfortunately
shipped without being insured on a steamer bound
for Jacksonville, Fla., which was lost at sea, and
thus she gained nothing by her sacrifice. Her former
slaves were still allowed to live at the Econchattie
plantation, with the privilege of cultivating the land.
The following Christmas many of them brought
testimonials of their affection and gratitude to their
'"mistress," as they still preferred to call her, in
the shape of chickens, eggs, syrup, etc., of their own
raising. Her tender heart, much touched by their
kindness, prompted her to decline these gifts, and
delicately returning them, telling her people she
hoped they would still be as merry and happy as
Her generosity was rewarded in a manner which
is thus described by one of her friends: "It was
early in 1866 I met Mine. Murat, much agitated.
Handing me a document she said, 'read this.' Ten
minutes ago I did not know that I possessed a dollar
in the world. I found the paper to be a letter from
the private secretary of Louis Napoleon, informing
her that his majesty had settled upon her a large
annuity. It was a moment of exquisite pleasure to
us both, and most pleasantly did we mingle our
tears of gratitude. In broken speech she said, "God
bless Louis! His gift shall relieve many a poor
widow and orphan." In a letter to me on the sub-
ject, after telling me the good news, the Princess
added, "I feel of course, very happy that I shall
not only have it in my power to be more comfort-
able, but can help my friends and relations." In
speaking of the matter to me afterward, she said,
"I lay awake one night thinking what I would do
for money to live on and the next night what 1
would do with my money." The desire to assist
others seemed to be ever prominent in her mind.
In 1866, -having become suddenly ill with symp-
toms resembling those of paralysis, a voyage to
Europe was prescribed by her physicians, and ac-
companied by one of her nephews, she again left
Again she was received by her husband's relatives
with an affectionate welcome. She related many in-
cidents of the Southern Confederacy to the emperor
and empress, together with the sacrifices and priva-
tions the south was called upon to bear. The prin-
cess asked the emperor if he felt so much for the
south, why he had not helped the Confederacy. His
reply was, "Cousin Kate, you all had my warmest
sympathy and hopes for your success, but on ac-
count of slavery I did not dare to send an army to
your assistance. Had I done so, I should have had
a mob in Paris." Mme. Murat spoke of the empress
as a person of lovely character, being constantly em-
ployed in deeds of benevolence, even visiting the
hospitals. The prince imperial she spoke of with
much affection, he being a most interesting youth.
In one of her conversations with Eugenie, Mme.
Murat asked her if she led the fashions, or followed
them, to which she quickly answered that she only
followed them. While in Paris she was invited to
visit her relatives at the castle of Mouchy. The
duke of Mouchy was married to Anna, the daughter
,of Prince Lucien Murat. Anna, with the natural
buoyancy and affection of youth, was in constant
dread lest some grim specter with a well-filled
purse would be allowed to her, and when she was
one day sent for by the empress she knew her fate
was sealed. She left home in tears. Great was her
ON THE THOMASVILLE ROAD, NEAR TALLAHASSEE
- .-t~ '-*: *
' ' ^ * . ; ; "
joy however on being informed by the kind empress
that her hand had been promised to the young and
handsome duke of Mouchy, to whom she was al-
After a most pleasurable stay in Europe, with
health apparently restored, the princess returned to
America in 1866.
A few months later sorrow darkened many a
household when it was announced that Princess Mu-
rat's health was declining. I went to see her, and
well do I remember her bright smile of welcome as
I entered her chamber door and saw her reclining
on a couch in a handsome dressing gown, with a rose
in her hair. She was so devoted to flowers that she
always wanted them near her. "I am glad you have
come. You must not leave me," were almost her
first words, and it was my pleasure to be near her
for many weeks. For a long time she could not be
persuaded to change her couch for a bed. I think
she hoped that by the resistance of her will her slow
typhoid fever would abate, but hope had to yield
to its ravages, as day by day she lost her strength.
From week to week her sickness continued.
Friends constantly around her, and relatives at a
distance were summoned, who remained at her side
until the close of her life. Her negroes at first were
not uneasy, one of them exclaiming, "It is impos-
sible for missis to die!" and much amused was that
mistress when the quaint remark was repeated to
her by some one who had heard it. As the fever
progressed they began to be alarmed and they came
to see her so often, even all the way from Econ-
chattie, that as they were very numerous, the physi-
cian, fearing the bad effects of excitement, gave di-
rections that none should be admitted but those who
waited on her. One elderly woman who had long
been deranged in mind, would watch around the
doors late in the evening, and if she could find a
moment when there was no one in the room, would
slip in and quietly take her seat. Once she ventured
to speak, and looking affectionately at her mistress
said, "You ain't dead yet!" as much as to say, "You
will get well." Her former slaves had frequent
prayer meetings for the purpose of imploring divine
aid to save her life. For months her illness con-
tinued, and still their devotion did not cease.
The physician had long urged her removal to the
sea shore as the only hope for her recovery, but the
princess could not be induced to be taken anywhere
else than to Econchattie, the home endeared to her
by so many tender associations. There, still sur-
rounded by relatives and friends, she lingered. She
had surrendered all hopes of life, and arranged her
affairs accordingly, making her old friend, Octovius
H. Gadsden, the executor of her will. With the ex-
ception of a few legacies including land and money
to her servants, William Hughes, Patsy Lee and
Jerry Hughes, her coachman and former slaves, her
entire property was left to be. divided equally be-
tween her brother and two sisters.
On the 6th of August, 1867, in the firm hope of
entering into a happier life, after an illness of five
months; her spirit took its flight. Her remains were
taken to Tallahassee and buried by the side of her
When her negroes found that their best friend had
really left them, their grief knew no bounds. A
large procession of them with badges of mourning,
followed her to the grave. While the coffin was in
the church, the deranged woman before referred to,
placed herself as near it as possible, weeping bit-
terly. William Hughes, who was inconsolable, re-
quested that he might be allowed to assist in carry-
ing the coffin from the hearse to the grave, and
while gentlemen were at each side, he supported one
end. In such fashion did the former slaves share the
grief felt for their beloved mistress by all who had
known her in society.
(Used by courtesy of Century Magazine, August,
CLIPPING FROM MRS. THOMAS BROWN'S
In 1828, Mrs. Thomas Brown, whose husband was
second State Governor, wrote a friend in Virginia-
"Tallahassee is quite gay with balls every week or
fortnightly, 'The Bouquet Ball' being most popular.
A young lady presents a gentleman with a bouquet
or many gentlemen may be given bouquets, this
means these gentlemen must give the next ball, pay-
ing all expenses."
An enjoyable amusement in olden days was "The
Tournament." Some of our citizens will recall many
who participated in those exciting contests of manly
grace and horsemanship.
STORY OF A LEON COUNTY TOURNAMENT OF 1870,
WHICH WILL REVIVE MANY HAPPY
An issue of the Floridian in January, 1870, con-
tains a well written account of a Tournament held
near Tallahassee at that time, in which a number
of the most prominent citizens of Middle Florida-
many of whom have joined the silent army of the
dead, but whose memories live green and cherished
in the hearts of the friends of long ago-partici-
pated.' A copy of the paper was most carefully pre-
served by the late Mrs. Susan B. Hopkins, and
loaned by her daughter, Mrs. John A. Pearce, for
It will be seen that the king of this Tournament,
Mr. George Houstoun, crowned as his Queen of Love
and Beauty, Miss Betty Douglass, now Mrs. George
Lewis, while the First, Second and Third Maids of
Honor were Miss H. Scriven (now Mrs. B. A.
Meginniss), Miss Mattie Ward (now Mrs. John A.
Henderson), and Miss N. Gamble (now Mrs.
Lowndes of Baltimore, Maryland), chosen respec-
tively by "James Fitz-James" (Mr. George Ward),
the "Knight of the Golden Horse Shoe" (Mr.
Thomas B. Archer), and the "Knight of the Green-
wood" (Mr. John B. Hopkins). The last named,
alas, is now the only survivor.
We feel no doubt that young Tallahassee readers
of today will read with livliest interest and en-
thusiasm of the gala scenes of festivity so heartily
enjoyed py their predecessors of three decades ago.
The account of the Tournament as given in the old
"Floridian" is as follows:
The Tournament is universally recognized, we believe, as
a Southern institution, and one that has ever enlisted the
sympathies of the young men of this section. Its feats
of daring chivalry are particularly attractive to those of
Huguenot descent, who, unlike the descendants of the
straight-laced Puritans, find a vast fund of enjoyment in its
exciting contests. The ladies, too, from time immemorial,
have endorsed the feats of the tournay by their presence
and approving words, and beneath their sweet glances it
cannot be wondered at, that such contests have been en-
couraged to the utmost by the rising men of the South.
Animated by such sentiments as swelled the bosoms of
such chivalric knights as Richard Coeur de Lion, and
wishing to revive a time honored custom which extensively
prevailed in the South in ante-bellum times, but which, for
many reasons, have been allowed to languish of late, the
young men of Leon County formed an organization, which
was to culminate in a grand contest of skill and lance in
the presence of the assembled daughters of Leon, for such
prizes as are usually awarded on those occasions.
The old field in the rear of Judge Dannely's residence,
about a mile and a half to the northward of the city, where
in the good old days of yore many a contest between brave
and skillful knights had taken place, was selected for the
present Tournament, and last Friday was agreed upon as
the day, which should witness the ceremony, The day
dawned lovely. Old Sol shone brightly forth in a clear and
placid sky, and at the hour of ten o'clock a. m., vehicles of
every conceivable description filled with visions of loveli-
ness and beauty, thronged the road leading to the grounds,
while pedestrians were almost too numerous to be counted,
from the fact that every conveyance which could be had
for either love or money was already engaged. By eleven
o'clock the grounds were literally covered with spectators
eager to witness the feats of skill and arm by the Knights
of Leon and their colleagues, who were now rapidly ap
preaching the scene of action. Upon their arrival the
Knights were drawn up in line, in front of the assembled
multitude, when Mr. George P. Raney, the orator of the
day, delivered an appropriate oration in which he referred
to the past days of chivalry; reminding the Knights of the
memories clustering around their order, and pointing to the
fair ladies there assembled to witness and reward with
approving smiles their deeds of activity and valor. The'
Knights soon filed down the line under the command of
Captain R. B. Burroughs, field marshal, and were drawn
up at the starting point in the following order:
MB. B. W. PARTRIDGE, Knight of Ravenwood.
MB. W. BUDD, Osceola, the bare-back rider.
MR. T. W. TUCKER, Roland of Avenel.
MR. GEORGE FOOTMAN, Knight of the Golden Fleece.
DR. B. SIMKINs, Knight of the Border.
MB. R. B. WHITFIELD, Knight of Clerm'ont.
MR. G. A. COLSON, Knight of Gadsden.
MB. W. PERKINS, Malcolm Grahame.
MB. GEORGE HOUSTOUN, Knight of Malta.
MR. JOHN HOPKINS, Knight of the Greenwood.
MR. GEORGE R. WARD, James Fitz-James.
MR. H. C. DAMON, Knight of Crescent.
ME. W. FELKEL, Knight of LaGrange.
DR. JULIUS CARN, Knight of the Red Cross.
MB. THOMAS ARCHER, Knight of the Golden Horse Shoe.
MB. -, The Unknown Knight.
Three arches, with a ring suspended from each, had been
erected at intervals of about fifty yards. The starting point
was about ninety yards distant from the first arch, and
fifteen seconds were allowed each Knight to make the whole
distance. Col. George W. Scott, Capt. L. E. Johnson and
Mr. A. Hopkins acted as judges, and Mr. T. P. Myers and
A. L. Woodward, Jr., as heralds. The costumes of the
Knights were neat and exceedingly appropriate, and
mounted upon symmetrical steeds they promised to give
fine sport to the company then and there assembled.
Anxious was the gaze of every one, especially the ladies,
as the bugle sounded the charge and the Knight of Raven-
wood commenced the exercises of the day, as with well
poised lance he sped forward like the wind and with triumph
bore off the first ring. He was followed by Osceola, the
bare-backed rider, who met with similar success. The other
Knights soon completed their first run, none taking more
than one ring excepting the Knight of Malta, who carried
off two rings successfully.
The second run was perhaps more successful than the
first, although a want of practice was plainly perceptible
on the part of many of the Knights, some of whom were
on the ground for the first time. In this contest two rings
were taken off by the Knights of the Golden Horse Shoe
and Greenwood, and by James Fitz-James, and eager must
have been the expectations of the fair damsels for whom
these chivalric Knights so gallantly rode.
After an intermission of a few minutes to allow both
horses and men to recuperate, the third run commenced,
and as the Knight of Malta rode through, carrying off the
whole number of rings, making six in the three runs, he
was greeted with loud shouts of applause, for it seemed
evident that he would win the crown. And so the sequel
proved, for no other Knight bore off more than five rings
altogether, which fell to the lot of James Fitz-James, who
thus gained the privilege 'of selecting the First Maid of
Honor. The other honors fell upon the Knights of Green-
wood and the Golden Horse Shoe. The tilt being completed.
every one was of course anxious to know whom the Knight
of Malta would designate as the Queen of Love and Beauty.
With such an array of beauty and loveliness as was ex-
hibited upon the ground, a choice would seem to have been
attended with no little embarrassment, but the successful
Knight doubtless had a fair 'one in view when he entered
the lists, for he had no hesitation in making his choice.
The Knights were soon drawn up in front of the vehicle
occupied -by Miss Bettie Douglass, when the Knight of
Malta advanced bearing upon the point of his lance an artis-
tically wrought crown, with which, after an appropriate
speech by the orator of the day, he decorated her brow,
saying: "With this chaplet I crown thee Queen of Love and
Beauty." The compliment was received with that becoming
modesty with which the daughters.of Leon are pre-eminently
distinguished. The Queen was soon joined by Misses H.
Screven, N. Gamble and M. Ward, who were selected as her
Maids of Honor.
The carriage with its precious freight, surrounded and
guarded by all the Knights, then moved off in the direc-
tion of the city, amid the enthusiastic plaudits of the crowd,
many of whom joined in the procession and swelled the
Royal train. Arrived in town, the lovely Queen and her
elegant Maids of Honor were all safely escorted by the gal-
lant Knights to their respective places of abode, and all
then dispersed to prepare for the Grand Fancy Ball which
was to come off in the evening.
The Assembly very kindly permitted their hall to be
used for the ball-room, and the desks, railing and carpet
were removed and every thing arranged for the dance. At
an early hour in the evening, the Knights and invited
friends began to assemble, and the hall was soon crowded
with fair women and brave men. Seldom, if ever, have we
seen such a magnificent display of beauty and fashion.
The Queen and her Maids of Honor were elegantly attired
and promenaded the hall with a graceful dignity, being the
observed of all observers. The Knights appeared in the
costumes worn in the Tournament, while a great portion
of the ladies were in costume, admired by all who sur-
Among the most prominent characters represented was
LaFille du Regiment, personated by Mrs. L. E. Johnson.
Her glistening epaulettes, miniature drum and canteen, en-
listed the attention of all present. "Night," robed as black
as Erebus, wearing a mantle profusely studied with golden
stars, was represented by Miss Archer, and was universally
admired. Miss Lewis, as Cupid, the God of Love, bearing
the fatal bow and a quiver well stocked with enven'omed
darts, excited a great amount of attraction, her little silver
shaft being aimed promiscuously among the gay bachelors
present, and kept, we doubt not, by many of her victims
as welcome souvenirs of the past. Miss Mary Perkins, as
the Highland Lassie, won warm enc'oniums for the correct
and faultless style of costume she had selected for the occa-
sion. Perhaps the most original and attractive costume was
that worn by Miss Argyle, who appeared as a representative
of the press, her dress being made entirely of newspapers,
while upon a narrow silken scarf she wore most gracefully
was printed conspicuously, "The Floridian." We doff our
best hat to our lady friend in honor of the delicate com-
pliment conveyed, and can assure her that it was fully ap-
preciated by ourselves.
The Senate Chamber was laid out as a supper room,
where a ,number of tables groaned beneath a liberal and
elegant display of the choicest and richest viands, and as
the band pealed forth a stately march the gay assemblage
filed gracefully in to the fetsive board, where in place of
dry and uninteresting debates, loud and joyous laughter,
capital jokes, toasts and sentiments became the order of the
evening. If any one present failed to be in a capital good
humor it was certainly their own fault. After supper was
dispatched, the dancing was resumed in the hall, and con-
tinued until a late hour, leaving every one perfectly satis-
fied with the Tournament and its attendant enjoyments, and
hoping to witness an annual repetition of the same.
Establishment of Churches
ESTABLISHMENT OF CHURCHES
I should very imperfectly execute the task which I
have undertaken if I did not mention the establish-
ment of churches in Tallahassee.
The following statements are taken from the
various church records. Many descendants of per-
sons mentioned in these articles still reside in
EARLY CHURCHES IN TALLAHASSEE
Rev. J. C. Ley in his book "Fifty-two Years in
Florida," says: In 1825 a church was built in Talla-
hassee. Josiah Evans was still Presiding Elder. The
builder was Rev. C. Woodbury, the father of Rev.
Samuel Woodbury, of our conference. The house
was a plain wooden structure without ceiling, paint,
sash or blinds, but the board shutters supplied their
places, and for many years this building served the
people for a place of worship, and as far as I know,
was the first Methodist church built in Florida.
In 1828 Tallahassee was made a station, it having
been served previously as one of the appointments
of a circuit, Josiah Evans, Presiding Elder, and
Josiah Freeman, preacher in charge.
METHODISM IN TALLAHASSEE IN 1836.
BY REV. JOSHUA KNOWLES
Dear Brother in the Lord: Preliminary to what
follows permit me to state that I joined the Metho-
dist Church in early life in Columbia, S. C., during
the pastorate of Rev. Josiah Freeman, who was, I
believe, the first stationed minister in Tallahassee.
He was a truly good man, more eminent for zeal
and Godliness than for the graces of person or the
gifts of a finished education.
In 1836 I was sent to Tallahassee-this was the
third year of my ministry-accompanied by the Rev.
J. L. Jerry, the heroic Presiding Elder. I reached
that place on the Saturday before the first Sunday
in January, and was the favored guest of Mr. Miles
Blake, a faithful steward of the church and a good
old-fashioned North Carolina Methodist. 'My home
was under his hospitable roof until he moved to his
plantation in the country, near Miccosukie Lake. I
then became the guest of Mr. William Manor, also
a steward of the church, and a zealous Methodist.
Both of these gentlemen were in good circumstances
and generous supporters of their church. 'On the
first Sunday night after my arrival, I performed for
the first time the marriage ceremony at the church,
the only house of worship in the place. It was an
unfinished building, with a gallery for the colored
people, from which came frequent inspiring re-
sponses to enliven the service. During my pastorate
I was the only resident minister.
Many families were driven away, and those re-
maining were frequently annoyed by reports of
Indian advances and depredations. The Capitol was
fitted up and barricaded with cotton bales, and at
the signal of danger was to be sought by mothers
and children as a place of protection and safety.
Sentinels kept up their vigils night and day for some
time. The old, spacious, Central Bank, a brick
building in which resided Mr. Benjamin Chaires and
family, was also made a place of refuge.
There was a good deal of sickness in Tallahassee
this year among the citizens and soldiers stationed
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH-EPISCOPAL
there. One day I performed as many as four burial
services. Mr. Philip Courtney, an official member
and a zealous worker in our church, died that year.
And here memory brings to mind some of those pious
men and women who amid sickness and death and
Indian alarms, were my faithful co-workers: Messrs.
William Hilliard, Miles Blake, William Maner,
George C. Johnson, Dr. J. R. Taylor, W. C. Camp-
bell, and others. Mrs. Hilliard, Mrs. Downes, Mrs.
Wynn, of the Methodist Church; Mrs. Charles
Austin of the Episcopal Church; Mrs. Archer of the
Baptist Church, and others. I well remember them
as pious, ministering spirits in the habitations of
the afflicted and bereaved. Mrs. Myers was quite
gifted in prayer, which she sometimes led in social
During this and after years there was great unity
among the different churches in Tallahassee.
During my pastorate, and subsequently, the Metho-
dist congregation in Tallahassee was occasionally
favored with the acceptable ministrations of the Rev.
David L. White of Gadsden County, and the Rev.
Wesley Adams of Jefferson County. They were both
remarkable men. The latter subsequently became
for a period the pastor of the Tallahassee church.
He was a man of venerable years, commanding
presence, and genial spirit. The very memory of his
glowing countenance, even as I now write, softens
my heart. Not only early Methodism in Tallahassee,
but religion generally in Middle Florida, owes much
to the holy life and preaching of this good man.
At the close of this conference year I located in
Tallahassee, and became a resident of the place for
several years. I was succeeded in the pastorate by
the Rev. J. C. Simmons. Brother Simmons was a
strong man, phy-i.a.lly, mentally and religiously. He
was a man of family. The church owned a small and
unpainted parsonage, which, by dint of hard begging,
was plainly furnished.
The support of a minister with a family this year
was rendered quite difficult by. continued Indian
troubles, which prevented absent families from re-
turning, and others from moving in. Brother Sim-
mons did not therefore remain the whole year.
A singular incident occurred soon after his arrival.
During the Seminole war Tallahassee was thronged
with gamblers. One of them, "Uncle Ben Thorn-
ton," as he was called, a backslidden Methodist from
Baltimore, came into my office one day and handed
me nearly one hundred dollars, with the request that
I pay it to Mr. Simmons, and stated that it was made
up by his supporting friends to keep Mr. Simmons
from leaving. Seemingly by special. and merciful
Divine interposition, during the gracious revival of
1842, in which the Rev. Isaac Boring, who was then
stationed in Quincy, labored very successfully, and
with whom Thornton was acquainted, he was induced
to attend the meeting, was reclaimed and joined the
church, and died I believe a Christian.
In 1841, Tallahassee was for the first time, visited
with yellow fever. It was very fatal. In some in-
stances bearing away whole families. Many, espe-
cially the dissolute, died in a few hours after the
attack. Many citizens retired to pine barrens south
'of the town, later known as "Belleair." Others fled
from the Territory (Florida was not then a state).
When the fever broke out I was in the North, but
returned in time to witness the desertion and deso-
lation of the town, and to nurse and close the eyes of
cherished friends, and to follow them to the grave,
and say over the sleeping dead the solemn ritual of
the church. Tallahassee, before this terrible visita-
tion, was very dissipated. Upon the disappearance
of the epidemic, and restoration of business, influen-
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH
tial citizens belonging to the different churches, and
some who were members of no church, rallied around
the temperance cause. This temperance movement
reclaimed many a drunkard, and was followed by a
glorious revival of religion in the Methodist Church,
which extended to other churches. I think over one
hundred whites were added to the Methodist Church
alone, and many colored people also. This revival
was during the pastorate of Rev. William Choice,
who was assisted by the Rev. Wesley Adams, Isaac
Boring, and others, and worked a most satisfactory
change in the moral and social aspect and feeling of
the people of Tallahassee and vicinity.
By request of my brother, Rev. E. L. T. Blake, I
address to you this letter. It contains an imperfect
narrative of Methodism in Tallahassee in an eventful
and trying period of its history. The Protestant
Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal churches, stand-
ing as they do in the relation of mother and daughter,
in their appropriate spheres should be hearty co-
laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, and ever lov-
ingly hail each other as brother.-Amen
Written to be read at the Semi-Centennial of
Tallahassee Methodism in 1878, by Rev. Joshua
Knowles, an Episcopal clergyman, of Greensboro,
Georgia. Mr. Knowles having late in life gone over
to that church.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
In 1829 St. Johns Episcopal Church was organ-
ized in Tallahassee. The congregation worshipped in
the court house with Reverend Mr. Williston and
Mr. H. N. Gray in charge.
In 1838 the church was built by Reverend J. L.
Woart. This building was burned in 1879 and re-
built in 1880.
The first Wardens were: Thomas Eston Randolph,
Richard K. Call.
The first Vestrymen were: Francis Eppes, Tur-
bett Betton, Isaac E. Stewart, Edward Lockeman,
John S. Shephard.
The chimes, which have been installed in St.
John's Church in recent years, were the gift of Miss
Mary S. Lewis, a fine Christian woman and a de-
voted member of this church.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee was the
first church, or at least one of the first churches, of
that denomination to be organized in the State of
Florida. Every member interested in its welfare
and seeking its future prosperity should know, there-
fore, some of the leading facts in its past history.
For the preservation of these the church owes a deep
debt of gratitude to that devoted Christian gentle-
man, Major Robert Gamble, who acted as Clerk of
its session from 1857 to 1906, when he passed to his
eternal reward. In the earlier part of this splendid
service of nearly fifty years Elder Gamble prepared
a most interesting sketch of the history of the church,
which appeared in the "Floridian," a widely known
newspaper then published in Tallahassee. This
record has been highly prized during.years past and
will be still more prized in years to come. It is con-
sidered accurate in every detail, as, at the time of its
publication, Major Gamble was the oldest member of
the church and undoubtedly the only person living
who was in possession of the facts therein set out.
From this valuable old record we learn that a
committee of the Georgia Presbytery, consisting of
Revs. Joseph Stiles, Horace Pratt, and Nathaniel A.
Pratt, visited Tallahassee, held a protracted meeting,
and on the 4th of November, 1832, organized a
church composed of two Ruling Elders and sixteen
members, .to be received under the care of the Pres-
bytery, as "The Presbyterian Church in Tallahas-
see." Three months later this Tallahassee Presby-
terian congregation was incorporated by Act of the
Legislature, on February 16, 1833. The Trustees
were John G. Gamble, James Lin, Elisha B. Perkins,
David C. Wilson and George W. Ward.
This was taken from a little booklet gotten up in
recent years by the local Presbyterian Church, and
written by Prof. Arthur Williams of the State Col-
lege for Women.
The First Baptist Church of Tallahassee was or-
ganized some years before the Civil War, but really
did not become effective as an organization until a
lot for a house of worship was purchased about 1855.
This purchase and definite organization was largely
the result of efforts of Hon. T. W. Brevard, Comp-
troller, and Hon. James E. Broom, Governor. These
men are considered the organizers of this church.
During and after the war the church building
deteriorated considerably, due largely to the fact that
the house was used for a hospital and barracks. The
membership was small for many years. Hon. Walter
Gwynn and wife were among the early and efficient
workers in the church. It was through the efforts
of Mrs. Gwynn that the Florida Baptist Association
met here and through this meeting an interest was
created not only among local Baptists, but among
Baptists throughout the State in the work at
Rev. Dr. McCants, of Monticello, was one of the
first pastors of the church. The first permanent all-
time pastor was Dr. S. M. Province, who served from
1892-1902. To Dr. Province more than any other
pastor is due the credit for building up a progres-
sive work. He was untiring and efficient in his sacri-
ficial service for the cause in Tallahassee.
Other pastors have been Rev. T. J. Betts, Frank
Cramer, J. B. Pruitt, J. D. Adcock, who served for
eight years, 1911-19, and under whose efforts a new
house of worship was built and the membership
greatly increased. The present pastor, Rev. Bunyan
Stephens, has served since October, 1919. The
church now has a membership of 550.
- :;c. I
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST
THE FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST