|Table of Contents|
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LIBRARIES
P K YONGE
_ -- ._I
TERRITORY OF FLORIDA
OF THE TOPOGRAPHY,
THE CLIMATE, AND THE INDIAN TRIBES,
THE FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE PRESENT TIME,
BY JOHN LEE WILLIAMS.
A. T. GOODRICH.
4 A 11ittM
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1837, by
A. T. GOODRICH,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of New York.
Mailon Day, Printer.
IN the preface to my View of West Florida, published in 1827; I inti-
mated an intention of publishing, at some future period, a similar view of
East Florida. To be, also, accompanied with a Map of the country.
Since that time I have employed every interval of leisure, and every oppor-
tunity, that business or accident has presented, to collect such facts, as
would enable me to point out its geographical peculiarities, its native pro-
ductions and its civil and natural history. I have traversed the country in
various directions and have coasted the whole shore of the Peninsula, from
Pensacola to St. Marys, examining, with minute attention, the various
clusters of Keys or Islets, that are grouped on the margin of the coast. I
have ascended many of the livers, explored the lagoons and bays, traced the
ancient improvements, scattered ruins and its natural productions, by land
and by water. In addition to my own observations, I have availed myself
of the knowledge collected by others. I am under obligations to the writ-
ings of Garcelasso de la Vega, Romans, Roberts, Stork, the elder and
younger Bartram, Darby, Forbes, Vignolles and Simmons, for various and
extensive information, and I was lately favored with a rare and ancient
manuscript in the Spanish language, in which the early history of Florida
was condensed, with a regular succession of dates and events. On the sub-
ject of the ancient aborigines of the south, this manuscript has been of
great use to me ; on that of the missions established in the interior of the
country for the dissemination of the Catholic religion, and fP subjecting
to the crown of Spain the powerful tribes which, at that time, swarmeover
these extensive and beautiful regions, this information is in my esti action
invaluable. We can now fully account for the piles of ruins, the extensive
moats, the deep ditches, the numerous roads, the broad avenues, and the
wide spreading fields, that even now, show signs of former cultivate
For a perusal of this manuscript I am
one of the Aldermen of this city.
And for its translation, I am
der equal obligations to my lamented friend, the late Thomas Murphy I
Mr. Alvarez, Keeper of
also carefully examined
protocols in his office,
thus enabled me to correct or establish m;
dates and facts of this history.
Still I have to regret that the work is v
one half of the
Territory has been
a small portion is yet inhabited.
outline south of Tampa Bay
Indian River, I have been unable to fill up.
The interior of this part of
Territory is wholly unexplored by white men, and the descriptions of
Indian inhabitants is at best imperfect.
Such as it is, I have compare
crossed a corner of it near the head savannas of St. John's river.
explored the coast, my force
that enter the Gulf of Mex
was not sufficient to ascend the large riv
:ico, and the great lakes that are believed
supply these rivers, are wholly unknown.
From the eastern coast to the everglades, the distance is short
the borders of these.
To explore them effectually the winter season music
A boat must be had large enough to carry fuel as well as pro
- -. -_ 1 L. 1 A I I A -- I
investigation of a field so boundless, but they were not the only ones. It
was suggested to me by some friends whose opinions I have been accustomed
to respect, that the subjects of natural history are not generally interesting
to the mass of readers, and that it might be more expedient to devote to
these a separate work.
Among various improvements of the Map, I have inserted a complete
outline of St. Andrews bay. This extensive sheet of water had never been
examined by any of the surveyors of our coast or of the public lands, and the
sketches on all our charts and maps, represent anything, but a correct de-
lineation of one of the finest harbors on the Gulf of Mexico. The Wakasas-
se Bay embraces the Fresh Water Keys, a group so extensive, that I have
been unable to do more than to point to their location. Gauld here skipped
over thirty miles of the coast, and modern surveyors have followed his ex-
ample, probably because this bay is shut in, by an extensive reef, through
which a navigable channel was not discovered. I however have much
reason to believe that such a channel does exist, although I have not been
so fortunate as to discover it. The Wakasasse river enters the east side of
The mouth of the Ouithlacouche river and the Anclote Keys, are cor-
rectly laid on Patten's Chart, published in 1828. They are placed too far
south on most of the Charts. On this Chart also, the Bay of Espiritu
Santo is restored to its proper size and shape. It has been shamefully
misrepresented on most of the former charts, and even on the recent Maps
of Florida, professing to be correct.
Cape Roman or Puerta Longa, I discovered, to be the extreme point of
a large Island, fifteen miles in length. The Caximba* sound, which
separates it from the main, is nine miles long and affords six feet water
through. The width could not be discovered, it being full of extensive
islands. To my great surprise, I have found here several well cultivated
plantations, long hid from the civilized world. Sharks River, which occu-
pies so conspicuous a place in most of our maps, I have omitted, simply be-
cause I could not find it. From Racoon point about twelve miles above
the cape, I examined the coast with much attention, but discovered only one
small stream, called Dry river. It is connected with some lagoons, and
* Pronounced Kahamba.
they have another outlet behind an island, about six miles north. It is pos-
sible that such a river does exist farther north. No improvement can ever
be made in Gauld's survey of the Florida Keys. And the Atlantic coast is
generally correct. The whole face of the country east of the St. John's
river is more particularly, and I trust more correctly exhibited on mine, than
on any former map. Still perfect correctness cannot be expected, until the
country is surveyed.
I present the work to the public, as the best I have been able to render,
and I trust that the leading facts and outlines will be found generally cor-
rect. The style and manner has occupied less attention than the subject
deserves, but had the author abilities, he has not had leisure to improve
HISTORY OF FLORIDA.
THE name Florida" was at one period, applied to all that tract of
country, which extends from Canada to the Rio del Norte. This extent
has, in a course of two hundred years, been curtailed by various political
arrangements, until it was finally settled, by the treaty with Spain, in 1795.
Roberts, in his natural history, states, that this name was given by Ponce
de Leon, in consequence of his having discovered the country, on Easter
day, in the year 1512. Without disputing with De Leon, the credit of
naming the country, we must certainly deny that he was the original discov-
erer; as it is known, that Sebastian Cabot coasted the whole of its eastern
shore, in 1498.
By the treaty with Spain, in 1795, the Perdido was constituted the
western limit of Florida. On the north, the 310 of north latitude was ex-
tended, from the Perdido to the Chattahooche river, the boundary, thence
descended that river to the forks of Appalachicola; it thence proceeded east-
ward, to the head of St. Mary; thence down that river to its mouth. On
the east, it is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean ; and by the Gulf of Mexi-
co, on the south. Its length, from east to west, is about 385 miles : and
its width, from north to south, varies from 50 to 250 miles, forming an
area, of 57,000 square miles, and 37,000,000 acres of land. Its present
population is 34,725 souls.
The face of the country is uneven, but not mountainous. Numerous rivers
intersect it, from north to south and some in all directions ; several of them,
especially the St. Marys, St. Johns, and Appalachicola, afford excellent
navigation for coasting vessels. The whole extent of the sea coast, is in-
dented with bays and lagoons, and the interior of the country is diversified
with beautiful lakes and ponds, abounding in fish and fowl, of various kinds,
and of the most delicate flavor. No part of the United States affords
greater facilities for internal and external commerce. A large portion of the
country, is covered with pine forests; the trees of which, standing at a con-
siderable distance, from each other, without brush or underwood, affords an
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.
opportunity for the grass and flowers to spread luxuriantly, over the surface
of the earth, during the whole year. The borders of water courses, how-
ever, are usually skirted by hammocks, of hard timber, entangled with
grape and other flowering vines.
Notwithstanding so large a portion of Florida is of that quality, usually
termed pine barrens," and much of it extremely poor, still there are many
extensive tracts of table land, hammock and swamp, of the richest soil, fine-
ly adapted to the culture of sugar, rice, cotton, corn, tobacco and fruits.
A considerable quantity of the pine land, is equally rich, and the barrens,
themselves, afford extensive ranges of grazing land, usually intersected
with streams of pure water. Many parts of the Territory abounds in yel-
low pine and live oak timber. Our sea coast is generally healthy, in many
parts remarkably so. The interior is not behind the coast, in this respect,
unless it be, near extensive marshes. The seasons are mild, the mercury
rarely arising to 90 in summer, or defending to 30' above zero in winter.
The southern coast of Florida, between Perdido and cape St. Blas, a
distance of a hundred and forty miles, is formed of pure white sand, princi-
pally silicious, but mixed with calcareous particles of broken sea shells.
Between cape St. Bias and Appalache Bay, the sand becomes of a yel-
low brown color, and extensive salt marshes alternate with the sand hills.
From the Appalache river to the Suwanne, a distance of 80 miles, a soft
calcareous rock forms the sea coast: it is uniformly covered with coarse grass
and rushes, which extends from the woody coast, several miles into the sea.
The same limestone forms the base of the peninsula and of the Florida
Keys ; but in the Appalache Bay it is sheltered from the storms, and is very
shoal, so that, at low tide, the sea appears like a green meadow five or six
miles from the coast. South of the Suwanne, the shore and keys present a
bare rock with small trees of cabbage and cedar growing in the crevices,
until we pass the Anclote Keys; the sea then beats heavily on the shore,
and makes a rough coast, as far south as Isle Roman. The pine barrens
here, usually extend to the rocky shore.
About the 27th degree, the coral insect begins to cover the calcareous
rock, with his various and beautiful habitations. The first that we discovered
near shore, is at Sarrazota sound or bay; they become more general, farther
south. The Florida Keys are wholly covered with them. From Appa-
lache river, to Cape Sable, the reef extends very far from the shore. Oppo-
site Wakasasse -Bay, it is near twelve miles distant. It is broken at
Tampa Bay and at Charlotte Harbor, and it closes with the land, at the
middle curve of Cape Sable. The coral formation is prominent as far as
the Soldier Keys. Key Biscayne is sandy, as is the coast north of it, as
far as Jupiter Inlet. From thence the Coquina formation lines the coast,
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.
as high as Anastasia Island, in front of St. Augustine; here it ceases, and
not a rock of this formation is north of this Inlet. Coralines are discovered
in Indian river, and even as high as Halifax river, but in no proportion to
those on the western coast. North of St. Augustine, the whole coast is
formed of white silicious sand, as far as the St. Marys.
Between the Perdido Bay and the Escambia River, the interior country
presents an exterior surface of fine silicious sand, on a substratum of clay.
This clay presents various colors, as red, white, yellow and blue. The
strata aie often 30 feet thick, and are worked into excellent bricks. Iron
sand-stone, of a dark brown color, is sometimes found here, especially near
the Escambia River; most of it appears to have been melted ; it is hard
and answers well for rough walls. This tract of country is generally poor.
It affords some good pine timber, and good grazing in wet seasons. Bricks
are the most valuable productions ; they form a considerable article of com-
The peninsula, extending near 30 miles, between St. Rosa Sound and
Pensacola Bay, is from two to five miles wide. It has a poor sandy soil,
in some places chequered by small hammocks, pleasantly situated for coun-
try seats. It is in some places subtended by peat, and at others with soft
iron sand stone.
On the north side of Pensacola Bay, Black Water River descendsthrough
a valley of fine timbered land. Near the head of the stream there are
good hammock and pine tracts. Between this river and the Escambia, the
Pine Level affords some excellent farms.
North of the Chactawhatche Bay, a high ridge of land divides the water
courses, which fall southwardly into the bay, and northwardly into Shoal
and Titi creeks ;both tributaries of Yellow Water River. This ridge termin-.
ates, near the sources of Allaqua river, Uche and Shoal Creeks, in groups
of high peaks.
A pleasant country extends from the Allaqua to the Uche Valley. It
forms the eastern part of Walton county. The Allaqua passes over a soap-
stone formation. The Uche creek drains the only limestone country, west
of the Chactawhatche River. North of the Uche creek, burrstone is
found, extending, in detached masses, far into Alabama and Georgia. It
seems a congeries of small tellina shells, quite entire, cemented together
with a strong alluminous matter, nearly as hard as chalcedony. It is quite
porous and has been manufactured into excellent mill-stones. It is of a
light brown color, its break conchoidal, has an earthy appearance, and rings
Ponds and lime sinks are numerous between the Chactawhatche and
Chipola rivers. Large springs, forming navigable streams, frequently
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.
burst from this formation. The waters, although perfectly transparent, are
highly impregnated with lime, and are considered as rather unhealthy.
Approaching the Chipola, the limestone acquires greater firmness, loses
the shelly structure and clayey concrete ; it often swells into hills, or high
platforms, covered with grass ; but from want of soil, trees cannot take root.
At other places, the rocks diverge in broken fragments, and are interspersed
with dogwood, plumb and hydrangie bushes. The land, in this district of
country, is excellent and already supports a dense population. But they
do not extend more than twenty miles from the Alabama line ; towards the
coast, the pine barrens again predominate. The Econfina river bursts from
the limestone formation and traverses a valley of fine land, to the Bay of
The limestone of Florida, is a deposition, but little harder than chalk, of
abluish cast, amorphous, with nodules of hornestone. It hardens when
exposed to the air; lies in differentstrata, and ascends to the ridge of the
peninsula. The different strata are separated by clay or sand. Chrystal-
ized limestone is found in Hamilton county near the Suwanne river, and on
the Econfina, in Washington county.
On the east side of the Appalachicola, there are very high rocky banks, but
after passing them, there are few indications of stone, until we approach Leon
county. Here a ledge of rocks surrounds the Appalache Bay, at four to
six miles distance, forming falls and rapids in all the streams, passing into
the bay, except Oscilla, which finds a passage beneath it. A higher
stratum pervades the hills of Tallahasse; it is of a light yellow, enclosing
both shells and bones, but when calcined forms a very good mild lime. The
silex contained in the limestone formation, is usually of a light grey color,
does not form kidney shaped masses, but spreads through the mass, in
cones, full of holes, which are filled with calcareous matter; when this is
washed out by the water, the residue forms very rough flinty reefs. The
hornstone is quite opaque, breaks with a conchoidal fracture, and gives fire
freely with steel. But it is void of that greasy feel, usual to the kidney
shaped masses. The rock formation is very productive of grass. This
Vegetable constantly springs up from it, through salt or fresh water, even to
the depth of twenty feet. Oysters grow to the rocks in great masses, and
are hard to separate from them. Through Gadsden and Leon counties, the
limestone is covered with yellow or red clay, from 20 to 100 feet deep; the
red clay here, terminates an extensive formation, which extends along the
east side of the Apalachian mountains, through Georgia and the Caroli-
nas. It is always rich in vegetable productions, and lies in graceful undula-
tions ; in its natural state, covered with black oaks, cane brakes and vines.
The soil'in this part of the Territory, is usually a brown loam, very rich and
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.
productive; the pines usually mark those lands latest cultivated; these
are extensive and strongly marked with ancient ditches, foundations, wells
&c. The springs are numerous and pure, rising above the limestone, but
they scarcely ever attain the size of mill streams, ere they are precipitated
into the caverns of the earth, to join the subterraneous torrents which occa-
sionally burst out in navigable rivers. Lakes, ponds, and sinks are also com-
mon. Some of the former can scarcely be excelled in beauty. The waters of
most of them are transparent and cool, abound in fish, and evidently appear
to be connected with the rivers beneath the surface of the earth. They
are, however, usually tinctured with lime.
East of the Wakasasse Bay, the coast bends rapidly to the southeast.
In this angle, the coast is flat and filled with a large cluster of islands, call-
ed the Fresh Water Keys. The Wakasasse River empties its waters behind
them, through a low marshy coast. The country then rises into rich ham-
mocks, and extends over a series of sandy ridges, occasionally broken by
masses of limestone, to the Allachua country. This is a Seminole name
given to a rich tract of land thirty or forty miles in extent but wholly unde-
fined as it regards boundary. The name has been applied to a county of
great extent ; which, however, embraces the original Allachua. This part
of the country is curiously diversified with savannas, lakes, ridges of ham-
mock, and plains of pine barren. The soil is equally various, in one part
covered with a rich black loam, in another sand mixed with limestone, sand-
stone, or flint. In some places for a great extent, not even a pebble can be
found. Some of the savannas, the Allachua in particular, are 15 miles in
length, covered with tall grass; adjoining a ridge of sand hills will remind
one of the sea coast, and the hammocks present groves of live oak, exactly
similar to the shores of the Gulf, which are however twenty-five to thirty
miles distant. On the whole, the Allachua is a fine country of land, and
will support a dense population ; the titles to the land here are generally
settled. There are considerable tracts of good land on both sides of the
Santaffe river, which empties into the eastern side of the Suwanne. But
from that stream to the Georgia line, the lands are poor, rolling, pine barren;
this kind of land extends eastward, to the heads of St. Marys and Nassau
South of the Allachua, the lands towards Fort King, are diversified with
pine groves and hammocks of an excellent quality. That towards the
sea coast, falls off in gentle swells of pine land.
South of Fort King, the Big swamp, Long swamp and Wahoo swamp,
present large bodies of first rate sugar lands. On every part of the coun-
try, watered by the Ouithlacouche, the lands are diversified with rich ham-
mocks, dense swamps, good pine flats, wet savannas and extensive grassy
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.
ponds. South of the Ouithlacouche and near the sea coast, is a very ex-
tensive tract of rich swamp land, eight or ten miles in length, and from three
to four in breadth. The country, from Fort Cooper to Chicuchatty, is a
high healthy country and much of it covered with a rich soil.
Between Chicuchatty and Fort Alabama, there are considerable ridges
of sand hills ; but on the head waters of Hillsboro river, are many beautiful
and rich hammocks. East of the great Bay of Tampa, the country is
usually covered with pine. Some of the lands, that have a substratum of
clay, will produce excellent crops, and there are occasionally small ham-
mocks about the water courses. The Indians cultivate excellent lands, in
the neighborhood of Hitchepucksasse. But in general, from the bay to
Peace river, the country is flat and rather poor, even as far south as Char-
So far as Peace and Macaco rivers have been explored, they rise in good
strong land. Below'Apopkachee Lake, the Indian towns had become,before
the war, quite populous ; some of them contained, from one to two hundred
But from this lake to the Apopka on the Ocklawaha the country runs
into ridges of sandy pine barrens, and this is the character of all the region
about the head waters of the Ocklawaha. Some of the ridges break off,
abruptly, into high peaks.
Between the Allachua country and the St. Johns river the surface is gen-
erally covered with pine timber. From the heads of Santaffe and Black
Creek to the Orange Lake Creek there is a ridge of high sand hills broken
by numerous ponds and Lakes, among them are many tracts of good land
that formerly sheltered small Indian villages. Such were the Ettini and
East of this ridge the country is flat pine land diversified with streams of
good water, and is altogether most excellent for grazing. The east side of
the St. John's, is very similar to the west, except that the grass is
not so abundant and of course less valuable for raising stocks of
cattle. Hogs on the contrary, thrive better on the east than on the west
of the St. John's.
There is little difference in either soil or productions from the St. Marys
to Musquito. The sea coast is covered with palmettoes. Two or three
miles from the sea shore, there is a strip, from one to four miles wide, covered
with excellent land, bordering on the lagoons, that stretch parallel with the
shore. West of that are flat pine lands.
South of Musquito, and of Volusia on the St. John's, the country chang-
es rapidly. Vast grass meadows, and savannas, diversified with clusters of
cabbage-palms, and live oaks, are separated by strips of pine land and ham-
FACE OF THE COUNTRY.
mocks of wild orange, and verges fast towards a tropical complexion,
which increases as you approach Cape Florida.
The Peninsula, which extends southwardly between the Atlantic and the
Gulf, is yet imperfectly explored. In soil and productions, it varies, con-
siderably from the northern part of the Territory. This difference is
more remarkable after passing the 27th degree of latitude. The shores and
Islands of the south are uniformly covered with mangrove bushes ; these
as we approach the cape, become forests of tall trees. This timber extends
as far into the country as the salt water.
The back country presents a singular alternation of savannas, ham-
mocks, lagoons and grass ponds, called altogether the Everglades. These
extend into the heart of the country, for two hundred miles north of Cape
Sable. They are drained on the north by the noble river St. John's, and on
the west by Macaco or Charlotte river. A great number of small streams
drain it on the east and west; among the former are the St. Sebastians, St.
Lucia, Potomac, Rattones, and Miame, and among the latter the Gallivan,
Swallow river and St. Marys. Sharks river, if it exists at all, must enter
the Gulf much farther north than it is located, on Vignoles' and Tanners'
maps, as we have critically examined the coast, from cape Sable, ten or
twelve miles north, where no such river is found. There is a curious con-
trast between the calm and gentle swells of the Gulf of Mexico, and the
furious surf that eternally lashes the Atlantic coast. In the Gulf, the tide
rises only two and a half feet, but on the Atlantic, it rises more than six
feet. In the Gulf on the western side of the peninsula, the soundings
range from seven to fourteen fathoms, at twenty miles from the coast. On
the Atlantic, the same distance from the shore, in many places, sound-
ings are lost. The eddies of the Gulf stream, throw upon the
eastern coast, such a quantity of broken shells, called coquina, that,
from St. Augustine to Key Largo, the mouths of all the rivers are dammed
up, and their waters thrown back on the country. Such are the waters of
Indian river, as well as Hillsborough, Halifax and Matanzas. These are
shut out from the sea, by banks of shells and sand, from fifteen to thirty
feet high. The waters thus barred out from the ocean, unite laterally, and
form extensive lagoons, peculiarly calculated for inland navigation. At
this time, fourteen miles of canal would open an inland navigation from Ju-
piter Inlet, to the river St. Marys, a distance of three hundred miles. When
the waters of these Lagoons are greatly swelled, by rains in the upper
country, they burst their shelly barriers and open a deep channel into the
ocean, through which the waters are soon drained, and the waves again
commence a natural dam, to close the inlet. Jupiter Inlet has several times
been opened and closed, and the Matanzas, about ten years since, under-
went the same operation. As soon as the shells are cast on the shore, the
rains dissolve the calcareous matter, chrystalization commences, be-
tween the fragments, and the rudiments of a rock are formed. The
Coquina formation has probably commenced within a few hundred years.
It extends from Anastatia Island, south, beyond Indian River, but is scarce-
ly ever six miles wide, and generally not more than two. We think the form-
ation began at the south; the rocks there appear much older than they do
here. Very small quantities of shell are thrown on the coast, at Cape
Canaveral, while here, they are extremely abundant. The strata are hori-
zontal, and of various thickness. They have been quarried to the depth of
twenty feet, but we have not been able to learn how much farther they des-
cend into the earth. The houses of St. Augustine and the extensive old
fort Marian, are built of this stone.
The climate of Florida is various, embracing six degrees of latitude and
as many of longitude. We necessarily feel a great difference of tempera-
ture between the north and the south, as well as between the east and the
west. The mean temperature of St. Augustine is about 681-. It is a little
higher in Pensacola ; at that place it is also colder in the winter. Frost is
felt at some seasons, in every part of Florida, though not usually below
latitude 270. During eighteen years that we have resided in Florida, the
greatest heat has been 960 of Farenheit, in the shade. Three or four
times it has arisen to this height, and on the sixth April, 1828, it was as low
as 30. At that time ice was made an inch thick at six mile creek, and cut
off the crops of corn and cotton as far south as Tomoko, while at St.
Augustine and Duns Lake, the marks of frost were scarcely discoverable.
In usual seasons, the mercury rises to about 900 in the hottest days of mid-
summer, and falls to 43 during the coldest days of winter. In West Florida,
the north west winds are felt, much more powerfully, than in East Florida.
Its effect on fruit trees is extremely obvious. The sweet orange cannot be
depended on at Pensacola, while at St. Augustine it, in usual seasons,
affords the staple of commerce. The land and sea breezes alternate with
much greater regularity in West than East Florida. The Peninsula of
East Florida projects so far to the east, as to divide the current of the trade
wind; one portion of it passes up the coast and forms the charming sea-
breeze that fans us so constantly, each day of summer, except it be kept in
check, by the north east wind. In west Florida, the struggle is between
the north west wind and the trade wind. During winter, our north east
winds are chilly, damp and often rough; but they are never charged with
frost, which is often the case with the north west.
DISEASES AND HEALTH.
The health of Florida has been justly proverbial, still there are parts
of the Territory that have ever proved unhealthy, and the healthiest parts
have, at times, been visited with epidemics, of a very fatal character. In
the year 1765, a regiment of soldiers were sent from England to Pensacola,
during a very hot summer; on their arrival they were confined, during day
and night, within the walls of the fort, at Barrancas, which excluded the
sea breezes; they soon became infected with a malignant fever, which prov-
ed very fatal to the common soldiers, while that part of the troops which
continued on board the vessels, enjoyed perfect health.
In 1821, St. Augustine was visited with the yellow fever. It broke out
in several old buildings situated in the back part of the city, which had for a
long time been closed up, their owners having retired to Havanna. On the
cession of the country to the United States, a sudden increase of population
occasioned these houses to be thrown open and rented to strangers. One
of them was hired late in October to several American Officers, three of
them fell immediate victims to the fatal disease. In some instances the
sickness commenced in vessels lying in the harbor, which had brought
fruit from Cuba. One of these had on the voyage lost the Captain
and most of the crew, by sickness. Some early cases of fever were traced
to other vessels. In most cases however, the sickness seemed to originate
in the place of its operation. Since this period, St. Augustine has been
distinguished as one of the most healthy spots, in the United States.
In 1822, Pensacola was again visited by the yellow fever. The court
of General, then Gov. Jackson was fixed there; the place was full of
strangers, and there was no efficient police. The streets and lots were ex-
ceedingly filthy, especially near the bay. At this time, a cargo of spoiled
codfish arrived from Cuba, and was distributed among the huckster shops.
From this moment, the pestilence spread like wild-fire, sweeping whole fami-
lies, and often whole streets in one general destruction, which ended only,
with a total removal of the whole population, or rather the recent popula-
tion, for none of the old inhabitants were afflicted with the pestilence.
Key West was distressed by a similar visitation in 1824. The fever was
particularly fatal to the young Officers of the fleet under Commodore Por-
ter. In 1829, the same place was nearly depopulated by the same fever.
Key West is surrounded by the sea, and exposed to breezes from every
quarter of the compass. A portion of the Island is covered with salt ponds.
While the tide ebbs and flows freely into these, no injury could result.
When that is not the case, they ought to be opened. At certain seasons of
the year, seaweeds, in great abundance, are cast on the shore, and usually
smell very badly, but they soon decay and are washed away by the tide.
There appears no reason why this Island should be permanently unhealthy.
Indian Key is peculiarly healthy, and it is worthy of remark, that musqui-
toes disappear in a great measure from these Islands when cultivated.
The Tomoko settlement, in East Florida, St. Marks, in Middle Florida,
Fort Gadsden on the Apalachicola river and the western bank of the
Chipola, have often been visited by malignant fevers. All these places are
surrounded by low and rich lands, and the latter situation is covered by a
very dense population. It is believed that the health of all these places
will improve, as the country around becomes more extensively cultivated.
Tallahasse, the seat of our Territorial government, is a new town settled
in 1824. It has been usually healthy, except the years 1831 and 1832;
during these seasons fevers prevailed over the Middle District generally.
Since those periods, the inhabitants have in common seasons enjoyed excel-
Tampa Bay, where nearly three hundred troops have been station-
ed, for seven or eight years, has proved peculiarly salubrious. Not one
death has occurred by fevers of any kind. Indeed there have been very
few deaths from any cause.
When a new country is first improved, and the surface of the earth with
all its decaying vegetable matter is exposed to the sun, it is then if ever,
subject to fevers. We cannot with certainty foretell what may be the ef-
fect of a crowded population in this climate. -But, thus far, our prospect of
health, equals that of any state in the union.
St. Augustine has become celebrated for restoring tone to the system, in
Pulmonary and Bronchial complaints. And invalids from every part of the
United States resort here, during the winter season to avoid the severity of
the northern frosts, and to enjoy the mildness of our southern breezes.
Sea bathing is greatly practiced in west Florida by all classes of citizens,
and is believed to restore more strangers to health, than any other prescrip-
tion. The benefits resulting from it, in East Florida are equally great, in
proportion to its practice. Riding and walking are exercises more practic-
ed, in St. Augustine, than in any other part of the Territory.
From October to June, the weather is usually serene and temperate. A
few very hot days generally occur about the month of June and the begin-
ning of July. In February we often experience a week of cold uncomforta-
ble weather, and rough winds from the North East are frequently felt early
in the Spring. But in usual winters, we see no snow, and frost continues
but for a few days. Flowers decorate our gardens and our wild savannas,
during the whole year.
There are however, exceptions to this routine of soft breezes and bloom-
ing flowers. In the year 1765, Mr. John Bartram, English botanist, spent
the winter months in East Florida. On the 3d of January, being on the
St. Johns river, south of lake George, he states the :thermometer was at 26'
wind N. W. The ground was frozen an inch thick on the banks: this
was the fatal night that destroyed the lime, citron and bananna trees in St.
Augustine." In 1774, there was a snow storm, which extended over most
of the Territory. The ancient inhabitants still speak of it as an extraor-
dinary white rain. It was said to have done little damage.
During the year 1822, in February, the cold was so intense in West
Florida, that all the fruit trees were killed, to the ground ; and several per-
sons, in exposed situations, were chilled to death. This season was com-
paratively mild in East Florida. On the contrary, East Florida suffered
exceedingly, from a violent frost on the 6th of April, 1828. The winter
had been unusually mild, there had been no check to vegetation, in trees or
plants. On this bitter night, crops of cotton, corn and fruits, were all de-
stroyed. The thermometer, at Six Mile Creek, on the St. Johns River,
stood at 270. This frost did not extend to West Florida.
Severe storms, are usually expected about the equinoxes, though several
successive years often intervene without a gale. They rarely penetrate far
inland. Although a few vestiges of severe hurricanes are seen, which
must have prostrated all the timber on extensive tracts of country, yet none
have been experienced, since the Americans have taken possession of Flori-
da. Showers of rain are frequent during the summer; they are sometimes,
but not usually attended by severe lightning. During the season of 1830,
the lightning Wcs unusually fatal.
The average temperature, at Mr. Andrew Ellicot's station, on the Appa-
lachicola river, during the months of August and September 1799, taken at
7 A. M. and 2 P. M. was 770 and 860. On the 28th August the heat
at the same hours was 740 and 960. It has never been higher in any part
of the Territory, so far as our information extends.
During the winter of 1800, at Pensacola, the mean temperature, was at
7 A. M. 440, at 2 P. M. 54. The coldest days at the same hours was
300 and 51.
At Amelia Island, the same year, the mean temperature in January, was
440 at 7 o'clock and 610 at two o'clock P. M. In St Augustine, during
the years 1825, 6, 7, and 8, the mean temperature was 6810
The coldest day in 1825 was 30th Dec. 420
The hottest, 20th Aug. 940
In 1826, the coldest day, 21st Jan. 440
The hottest, 5th July. 920
In 1827, the coldest day, 6th Feb. 430
The hottest, 16th July 92
In 1828, the coldest, 6th April 270
-The hottest 950
1829, the coldest 320
The hottest 96
1830, hottest 96
The winter of 1830, was so mild that banannas grew in the open gar-
dens, at St. Augustine, without injury, and were in blossom on the 15th
May. Corn also, grew, during the whole winter. We had roasting ears
in May, and abundance of Irish potatoes, which were planted in December.
During the month of February, 1835, East Florida was visited by a frost,
much more severe than any before experienced A severe north west wind
blew ten days in succession, but more violent for about three days; during
this period the mercury sank seven degrees below zero. The St. Johns
River was frozen several rods from the shore, and afforded the astonished in-
habitants a spectacle as new as it was distressing. All kinds of fruit trees
were killed, to.the ground; many of them never started again, even from
the roots. The wild groves suffered equally with those cultivated. The
orange had become the staple of our commerce; several millions were ex-
ported from the St. Johns and St. Augustine, during each of the last two
years. Numerous groves were just planted out, and extensive nurseries
could scarcely supply the demand for young trees. Some of the groves
had, during the previous autumn, brought to their owners, one, two and
three thousand dollars; and the increasing demand for this fruit, opened in
prospect, mines of wealth to the inhabitants,
'' Then came a frost, a withering frost."
Some of the orange groves in East Florida were estimated at, from five to
ten thousand dollars. They were at once rendered nearly valueless. The
Minorcan population, at St. Augustine, had been accustomed to depend on
the produce of their little groves of eight or ten trees, to purchase their
coffee, sugar and other necessaries from the stores ,they were left without
The town of St. Augustine, that heretofore, appeared like a rustic vil-
lage, their white houses peeping from among the clustered boughs and
golden fruit of their favorite tree, beneath whose shade, the foreign invalid
cooled his fevered limbs and imbibed health from the fragrant air, how is
she fallen! Dry unsightly poles with ragged bark, stick up around her
dwellings, and where the mocking-bird once delighted to build her nest,
and tune her lovely song, owls now hoot at night, and sterile winds whistle
through the leafless branches. Never was a place more desolate.
With the blessing of usual seasons for two or three years, we shall proba-
bly begin again to have some fruit. The young groves are rising from
eight to ten feet high, and a few blossoms were this spring discovered on a
few trees; but it will require ten years to restore our groves to the state they
were in before the frost destroyed them.
The groves of wild orange are at this time, 1837, in full bearing, south of
of Volusia on the St. Johns river, and at Musquito on the coast of the Atlantic.
Peaches, plumbs, and figs, are again in full bearing, and the mulberry,
the Multicaulis in particular, are now rapidly increasing, and will soon add
a new production to the commerce of Florida.
Most of the tropical fruits, will grow as far north as 270 of latitude; al-
though in some particular seasons, they will be likely to suffer from the
cold. The cocoanut and sugar apple grow wild at Cape Sable and Cape
Florida, and even as high as Charlotte Harbor.
The ovino, custard apple, hickok, and huesco plumbs are abundant, on
the east bank of Indian River.
Perdido or lost bay, divides Florida from Alabama, on the west. It is a
pleasant sheet of water, about 30 miles in length and from two to six miles
wide, and swarms with excellent fish. Its banks, in many places, are
formed of clay bluffs, proper for bricks. The country around, is healthy
and abounds in excellent pine timber. The land however, is generally
poor. The western arm, stretching near to Bonsecours, is called La
Lance. This bay has a narrow and crooked outlet, the bar shifting, from
five to seven feet water.
Pensacola, formerly called Ochusa, took its name from a tribe of Indians,
who formerly inhabited the northern bank. It is from twenty-five to thirty
miles long and from four to seven broad. It was discovered by Maldonado,
one of Ferdinand de Soto's officers, in 1540. It was then called Ochusa
by the natives. About eleven miles from the Gulf, it is divided into three
parts: the western arm is called Escambia Bay; this is eleven miles long
and four broad, and receives the Escambia River from the north, among nu-
merous, marshy islands. The middle arm is called Yellow Water Bay; it
is nearly the same size as Escambia. It receives the Yellow Water River,
from the east, through several mouths. Black Water Bay, an oval sheet
of water, seven miles long and two broad, is-attached to the N. W. end of
Yellow Water Bay. Black Water Bay is full of small islands. It re-
ceives from the north Black Water River and Cedar Creek.
BAYS AND LAGOONS.
East Bay is the third prong, it extends about seven miles into the country,
where it tapers off into a small river, very near to St. Rosa's Sound. This
is a noble bay, admits the largest class of our Frigates, which can lie in
safety, sheltered from all winds. It is connected with St. Rosa Sound on
the south east, and through that with the Chactawhatchee Bay and thence
into the Gulf, through the Pass L' Este, at the east end of St. Rosa Is-
land. Its entrance, between the fort of Barrancas and the west end of St.
Rosa, is about three fourths of a mile wide. It has at the lowest tides 21
feet of water on the bar, and usually 24 to 25. Large vessels coming
from the eastward, should keep in seven fathoms until the Lighthouse
bears north by west, then run for it across the bar, till the west end of St.
Rosa bears east by south, you will then be within the island and may haul
up to the east. Vessels coming from the westward may safely run to five
fathoms, then take the same course. 'Vessels drawing no more than 14
feet, may bring the light to bear north three fourths west, then steer for it,
till within a half mile, thence E. by N. till shelte-ed by the island. The
ebb tide sets S. W. directly on the Caycos shoal. The flood tide sets
across the middle ground.
The Grand Lagoon extends from the entrance of Pensacola Bay, below
Barrancas, eight miles westward, and within three fourths of a mile of Per-
dido Bay, with which it might be connected at a trifling expense. It has
an inlet from the Gulf near the west end. Near Barrancas, the entrance
of the Lagoon is constantly growing more shoal.
The Big Bayou opens from Pensacola Bay, one and a half miles above
Tartar Point. Three miles farther up the bay, Bayou Chico presents an
inlet to Camp Clinch. This is a beautiful little sheet of water, and a fine
harbor for the small craft attached to the station.
Bayou Texar enters the bay one mile above Pensacola. It is four miles
long, but narrow. The Bayou Mulatto enters the bay from the east twenty
five miles from the coast.
St. Rosa Sound is about forty miles, from east to west, and from one half,
to two and a half miles wide. Vessels drawing five feet may pass through
it into Chactawhatchee Bay, and thence, through Pass L' Este, into the
Gulf. This Sound is sheltered from the Gllf by St. Rosa Island. On
its northern shore are many small hammocks, finely watered, affording
charming sites for country seats.
Chactawhatchee Bay bay affords good navigation for vessels drawing
six feet water. It extends from east to west, forty miles, and is from seven
to fifteen miles wide. It receives the Chactawhatchee River from the
north, also the Aliqua and several large and fine creeks. There is much
excellent land and abundance of fine live oak on the north east shore of
this bay. The eastern shore is low, rich ground, the western high pine
barren, with small shell hammocks. The reeds and grass are so high and
thick, that the N. E. shore, for eight or nine milesi cannot be approached,
except through some water course. This bay is much affected by storms,
and many shoal capes extending far into the bay, the navigation is consid-
ered dangerous. It communicates with the Gulf, through Pass L' Este,
at the south west end, and is connected with Pensacola Bay by St. Rosa
Sound. When the wind blows strongly from the south, it raises a heavy
surf on the bar of Pass L' Este, and when the tide ebbs against it, a
passage should not be attempted. The British established a profitable
fishery here. It might at this time be improved to great advantage.
St. Andrews Bay was, until lately, almost unknown. At some future
time, it must become a place of importance, It is easy of access, has
eighteen feet water on the bar, has good anchorage and is perfectly shelter-
ed from all winds. Its various arms are very capacious, some of them ex-
tend thirty miles into the country. The north and eastern divisions extend
near to the rich settlements of Chipola, the principal part of the trade, of
which, passes through this bay. The main entrance is between Sand Is-
land and Hammock Island. Another channel between Hammock and
Crooked Islands is almost as good, but is not so direct to the sea. The
main body of the bay extends north twelve miles, and thus far, averages
from two to five miles in width. One mile from the sea beach, an arm
about one mile wide, runs westward, parallel with the coast, for twenty
miles. Ten miles from the sea, another arm branches off to the eastward
thirty miles. This arm is in some places ten and in others not more than
one mile wide. It approaches within seven miles of the Chipola Inunda-
tion. A company has been incorporated to connect the two waters.
Should this be carried into effect, St. Andrews will command the trade of
The Wapaluxy Bay recedes from St. Andrews, fifteen miles from the sea,
on the western side of the north arm. It is a circular basin about twelve
miles iti diameter, and is from twelve to fourteen feet deep. It is surrounded
by low flat pine barren, a creek enters the western border, which interlocks
with the pond branch of the Chactawhatchee. Four miles above Wapa-
luxy, on the north arm, is Little Oyster Point, thus far any vessel may as-
cend that can cross the bar. From this point to the head of the bay is eight
miles, the water gradually shoals to seven feet. Here, at the ware houses
of Sewal and Bower, the produce of the interior country is shipped. At
this place the Econfina River enters the bay. The sound behind Ham-
mock Island affords shelter for vessels drawing 18 feet water, and is easy
of access at either end of the island.
St. Josephs Bay presents a wide entrance from the N. W., affording on
the bar, seventeen feet water. A middle ground occupies much of the
space, between Cape False and the peninsula. On this, there is from nine
to eleven feet. -There are two channels nearly equal in depth, the one
near to Cape False on the N. W. the other close to the point of the penin-
sulai on the south side of the entrance. The bay is from seven to eight
miles wide and near twenty in length. The water shoals near four miles
from the S. E., end of the bay. Here is a picturesque Island about two
miles from the end, covered with live oak, cedar and palms. The N. E.
shore is intersected by ponds and lagoons. The southern point of the
crooked peninsula, stretches far into the sea and forms Cape St. Blas.
On- the eastern shore of this bay the town of St. Joseph has lately been
built. The north end of. this peninsula is blown up, into sharp and high
sand hills; behind these, near the south entrance, is a level plain, covered
with a forest of tall pines, which may be seen far at sea.
The Appalachicola Bay is formed by the islands of St. Vincents and St.
George, enclosing the mouth of the river. It is thirty miles long and eight
wide. Vessels drawing fourteen feet water can enter the bay, and with
eight feet, can approach the mouth of the river, at the village of that
name. The river Appalachicola being the only river that extends far into
this part of the country, the Village here must ultimately become a place
of considerable importance, unless the connection of the Chipola, with the
east arm of St. Andrews, or the new town of St. Joseph shall divert the
rich produce of the interior into other channels. The Appalachicola Bay
is connected with the Gulf, by the Indian Pass, between St. Vincents Is-
land arid the main. This pass is rapidly filling, with oyster shoals; there is
not, at present, more than four feet water on the bar. The main channel is
between St. Vincents and St. George islands and on the east side of a round
sand bar, called Flag Island, situated in the entrance. From the north
end of St. Vincents an extensive oyster bar runs in a circle eastward, near-
ly enclosing the inlet ; a narrow passage runs near the west end of St.
George Island, sweeping round to the north east, making a circle, near
to Cat Point, before it crosses over to the mouth of the river. St. George
Sound opens a communication, between Appalachicola Bay and the Gulf.
It is upwards of twenty miles long and from three to four wide, and, but for
an oyster bar, would afford an important inland passage. This bar crosses
the sound, from north to south, and has not three feet water at low tide, in-
deed it is in many places quite bare. But a passage of deep water is said
to have been lately found through this bar. Near Cat Point, the oysters
are numerous and large. Between St. George and Dog Islands the chan-
nel is wide and deep. At the east end of Dog Island there is a fine harbor
with eleven feet water. New River'enters the sound, exactly north of the
west end of Dog Island.
Oclockony Bay is about seven miles long and from one to two miles
broad. It has six feet water on the bar, at low tide. The river of the same
name enters the west end, but a large branch is divided off to the west
which, after skirting James Island, for nearly 20 miles, joins New River and
with it enters St. George Sound.
Appalache Bay is that large indentation of the coast, which sweeps
round, from South Cape, to Histahatchee Bay, forming a circle, of seventy
to eighty miles. This bay is open to the south and affords no safe harbor
to large vessels. The shoals off South Cape break the seas so that mer-
chant vessels drawing from ten to twelve feet may lie in safety off the
mouth of the river, and with eight feet, may enter the Spanish Hole, where
they are sheltered from all winds. A great reef of rocks project from the
shore of the bay from ten to twenty miles, and many round shoals rise in
different parts of it. Among these there is usually from ten to twelve feet
water, and as there is no heavy seas, except when southern storms arise,
the Appalache is usually navigated in safety. It is wholly surrounded on
the north and east by green marshes, sprinkled with islets of cedar and live
oak; in some places with cabbage-palms, which grow higher on this rocky
coast, than in any other part of Florida The port of Magnolia is much
frequented, since the establishment of the seat of Government, at Tallahas-
se, and a new town has. lately been laid out, at St. Marks, the old fort of
the Spaniards. In this bay, commerce will keep pace with the rapid popu-
lation of the country. Seven feet water can be carried to Magnolia, six-
teen miles from the mouth of the Appalache, on the St. Marks fork of the
river. A rail road is now completed, connecting Tallahasse with St.
The Wakasasse Bay is formed by the delta of the Suwanne River. It
is sheltered from the Gulf by Oyster Shoals. The eastern part is filled
with the Fresh Water Keys. It has 12 feet water, and is perfectly sheltered ;
but a navigable entrance has not yet been found, although there are strong
reasons to believe that there is one. It may be entered from the Anclote
Keys by crafts drawing seven feet.
Anclote Sound is sheltered on the west, by Anclote, Jacs and Sand Keys.
There is ten feet water and good anchorage behind the main key. It is
easy of access both north and south of the island. It is three miles from
the island to the shore. The south end of this sound is on some of the old
maps called St. Joseph. From this to Tampa Bay, there is an inland boat
Tampa Bay, called by the Spaniards Espiritu Santo, is the largest bay
in the Gulf of Mexico. It lies between 270 4' and 280 N. latitude, and
between 50 31 and 60 W. longitude from Washington. It is forty miles
long, and in one place thirty-five wide, and has from eighteen to twenty
feet water on the bar. It is easy of access and affords safe anchorage
for any number of vessels. It receives Hillsborough River from the north;
at the mouth of which is situated Cantonment Brock, a beautiful station,
that does honor to the judgment and taste of the veteran General who
formed it. On the S. E. fourteen miles from the Cantonment, Manate
River enters, through a mouth near a mile in width, and- in some places,
ten feet deep. Indian and Alafia Rivers enter the bay, between the Hills-
borough and Manate. Oyster River enters twenty miles below Manate.
The eastern part of this bay, Was, by the British called Hillsborough, and
the little bay attached to.the north side, Tampa. The little Tampa is an
elliptical basin about ten miles in diameter, but very shoal. Numerous
islands are scattered over this bay, especially on the western part. Among
the most pleasant are Egmont, in th6 mouth of the harbor, Minnies, Long,
and Borrd Islands. Fish and turtle are abundant; in the S. W. part in
particular, such numerous and extensive shoals of fish are met, as almost
to impede a 'boat in the shoal waters. The Spanish fishermen keep a
schooner'here, to carry fish and turtle to the Havanna. From fifteen to
twenty men are constantly employed in curing them and in conveying
them away to market. Sea-fowl are also exceedingly numerous; the
beautiful flamingoes, in particular, appear in long files, drawn up on the
beach, like bands of soldiers in red uniforms. The country around this
extensive bay, is generally poor land, for the most part pine barrens, inter-
spersed with small oak hammocks, and low savannas. On the south of
Oyster River, however, there is an extensive hammock of rich land. Sim-
ilar hammocks extend as far as Sarrazota Bay, with some interruptions.
Sarrazota Bay extends from Tampa, fifteen miles down the coast. It is
separated from the Gulf by an island of the same name. It is from three
to five miles wide. The north part, adjoining Tampa, is much filled with
islands. It may be entered through Long Boat inlet, with eight feet water.
This is.between Long and Sarrazota Islands. The southward inlet, called
Bocca Seca, has only four feet water on the bar. It is connected by a small
creek with Palm Sound, but. the natives usually haul over their canoes, across
a hammock about twenty rods wide. On the east shore of this sound, there
are extensive old fields, of rich land. The hammock is covered with live
oaks and cane. The shore is rocky and high, the ruins of about fifteen old
houses are seen among the grass and weeds. We found in 1828, in the
old gardens, among luxuriant weeds, tomatas, lima beans, and many aro-
matic herbs, perfectly naturalized.
Palm Sound extends seven miles behind Palm Island. It is about one
fourth of a mile wide, but navigable only for small boats. Palm Bay ex-
tends near ten miles, behind a peninsula connected to the main land on the
south. Across this narrow isthmus there is a haulover, of about 100 yards.
From the south part of Sarrazota Bay to Charlotte Harbor, the pine coun-
try approaches near to the coast, is high rolling land, covered with tall
pines, and has pleasant streams of pure water, running into these bays
and into the sea. From this to Cleni Inlet, is about twelve miles. As
the lagoon extends from this inlet north for several miles, a canal across
the pine barren, of eight miles, would complete an inland communication
from Tampa, and even from Wakasesse Bays, to Charlotte Bay. This
could be easily accomplished, as there are several fine brooks crossing the
space, which would supply sufficient water to a canal.
Gasparilla Sound extends from Cleni Inlet to Charlotte Bay, a distance
of six miles. It is about two miles wide. Cleni Inlet, between Cleni
and Gasparilla Islands, has four feet water. Gasparilla Inlet, between
Gasparilla and North Islands, has six feet water on the bar. From Bocca
Grande to Carlos Bay may be twenty-five miles. It is full of islands,
among which Pine is the largest. It lies eight miles south of Bocca
Grande, which is the main channel; it has fourteen feet water on the bar,
and is easy of access. Macaco River enters twenty-five miles east of
Bocca Grande. It is here two miles wide: and twelve feet deep. Peace
River also joins the Macaco near the entrance of the bay. This river
extends far to the north-east, is large and deep. Toampa Island lies
five miles south of Bocca Grande. It is about a mile long, from east to
west, is a rich shell hammock, and produces many tropical fruits, as cocoa
nuts, limes, oranges, &c., but is badly cultivated. The proprietor is a
stout, healthy, old white-headed Spaniard, very industrious; carries on
fishing to a great extent ; keeps two small schooners running to Havanna,
with fish and turtle. His village is built on the west end of the island, and
consists of from eighteen to twenty palmetto houses, mostly occupied by
various branches of his extensive family. There are three other fishing
establishments in the bay. Many of the islands in this bay are fertile,
but the Spaniards and Indians who occupy them, cultivate very little land.
A small quantity of corn, beans and melons satisfy them, as they live prin-
cipally on fish.
Carlos Bay is connected with Charlotte by Sanybal Sound. The deep-
est channel is from the Gulf, between Moosa and Caloosa Islands. The
bay extends fourteen miles into the country northwardly, and receives the
Caloosahatche River from the N. E. The Caloosa Channel has twelve
feet water on the bar, but the broad entrance east of Caloosa Island is
shoal. Under the east end of the island there is deep water, and a good
harbor against all but southerly winds. There is a large fishing establish-
ment up the bay, in sight of Caloosa Island.
The Caximba is a narrow sound that separates Isle Roman from the
main. It is nine miles in length, and scarcely half a mile wide in any part.
It is full of mangrove islands; has six feet water on each bar. But where
the tides meet the channel is very narrow, crooked, and muddy. Coasting
vessels may easily pass through by employing one of the native pilots.
There are several plantations near this Sound. That of John Durant, a
native of Savannah, Georgia, lies on the south side, about a mile from the
western inlet. Another, near the eastern inlet, is owned by a mulatto man.
They all employ several native Indian families, to assist in cultivating the
ground. The produce of the farms sell at a high price, to the fishing com-
panies, who, in return, furnish them with clothing, powder, lead, &c.
Many birds are also caught by the Indians, and sent to the Havanna in
neat willow cages. They make bird-lime from the juice of the Gum
Elemi, which they call Gumbo-limbo.
Gallivans or Delaware Bay is the nook formed east of Punta Longa or
Cape Roman. From the nqrth point of this bay, the Caximba enters and
Gallivans River disembogues into the north east side. The north part of
the bay, being filled with islands, separated by deep channels, its extent has
not been explored. It affords perfect sheller for vessels drawing eight feet
water. .There is twelve feet sheltered from all winds except the south
Richmond Bay is the broad space, between the Florida Keys and Cape
Sable. It is open to the west, but sheltered on all other sides; The depth
of water is about nine feet. The bottom is rock, with a thin coat of white,
soft calcareous mud, like white-wash. There are many channels, which
passing- between the keys, enter this bay, from various points, these are
usually crooked and narrow and always about six feet deep.
Sandwich Gulf extends from Key Largo to Rio Rattones, a distance of
more than forty miles, and is generally about six miles wide. It is usually
from seven to nine feet deep. There are many inlets into this bay from the
Attdntic, the principal of which are Angel-fish, Black Caesars, Saunders,
Fowey and White Inlets. All these have about six feet. water on their
Among the Florida Keys, there are several small bays and sounds, which
afford shelter fbr vessels bound to-and& from the, Gulf of Mexico. The first
is on the east side of Elliotts Key. It has eight feet water and there is an
inletmih front of it, through the outward reef.
Before Key Tavernier, there is a harbor, in which, the Wreckers make a
general rendezvous ; but the depth or extent of it is not known to us.
New Found Harbor lies west of the Honda Keys and is partially shel-
tered by the outward reefs. It has twenty feet water, which may be en-
tered across the reef.
The Harbor, on the west end of Key West has 24 feet water and is easy
of access, but is exposed to the north and west winds. At the north east
end of the island is Spanish Harbor; it is safe for small vessels, drawing
eight feet water.
Among the reefs of the Dry Tortugus's, there is said to be an admirable
harbor, sufficiently deep and capacious for Vessels of the line. All we
know of it is, the report of Commodore Rodgers to our government, which
may be seen.
On the eastern coast of the Peninsula, there are no Bays. The rivers
and inlets afford harbors for coasting vessels. The first of these, above
Cape Florida, is New River, which has six feet water on the bar. Jupiter
Inlet is next, it has opened and closed so often, that it is impossible to know
the depth of water. It has had five fathoms and at other times not one.
This is the most southern entrance to Indian River. Just below Cape Ca-
naveral is the main inlet to this river. It is little frequented and the depth
of water on the bar has varied from seven to eleven feet.
Musquito Inlet has nine feet on the bar, at low water. Vessels drawing
eight feet may ascend Halifax River eight miles, and with six feet, may
reach the Orange Grove twelve miles from the bar. The South Lagoon
may be navigated about the same distance. After crossing the bar, the
harbor is perfectly safe. The harbor of St Augustine is extremely similar
to that of Musquito, and the North and Matanzas rivers are navigable on
each side of the city, to about the same distance as the Halifax and Hills-
borough. Small vessels and steam boats may enter the Matanzas IfiTet
and pass through the sound to St. Atgustine.
The St. Johns River has ten feet water on the bar, and is navigable for
vessels drawing eight feet, into the lakes George and Dunns, one hundred
and fifty miles from the bar. Nassau River may be entered with eight feet
Fernandina Bay, at the mouth of the river St. Marys can receive vessels
drawing twelve feet, and is entered with more safety, than any harbor on
the southern coast. It is perfectly safe. During the destructive embargo and
non-intercourse of Mr. Jefferson, this port was much frequented by foreign
vessels, and became suddenly a place of much importance; but it fell with
the non-intercourse law. The surrounding country affords few objects of
,commercial concern. Should the canal, across the peninsula of Florida,
be ever carried into effect, this bay is intended for the Depot of the produce
transported across the country. The St. Marys enters this bay, fromthe'
west, navigable for large vessels one hundred miles. A navigable Lagoon
connects it with the river St. Johns, and another with Savannah River,
so that the advantages of this bay, in a commercial point of view are very
Cape St. Bias is situated in Washington county, in latitude 290 42'
and longitude 8 29' W. from Washington. It lies at the south end of St.
Josephs bay. Its shoals extend more than twenty miles into the Gulf, in
successive ridges. Vessels drawing ten feet water should keep three miles
from this cape in good weather, and in southern swells still farther. The
point is a low sand bank, and the pine forests discovered, are at least three
miles north of the point.
Cape St. George, the next in succession, lies in latitude 29' 52' and
longitude 70 561 W. It is in Gadsden county, on the south side of St.
George Island, about five miles from the west end. It is not perceptible
more than five miles at sea.
South West Cape is also in Gadsden county in front of Oclockony Bay
and is the S. E. end of James Island. There is no distinct point, but the
shoals extend, in succession seven or eight miles, to the S. E. On this cape,
the pine woods extend to the sea. Vessels bound to St. Marks should keep
from five to seven miles S. E. of the cape, before they haul up to the
Punta Longa, or Care Roman, is situated in latitude 260 and longitude
60 46' W. It is the south point of a large island, and projects fifteen miles
from the main land, and from a S. W. point a succession of sandy shoals
extend fifteen miles farther, in a S. S. W. direction. Vessels drawing
six feet water may avoid this cape, by passing through the Caximba and
by a passage of nine miles, shun a dangerous voyage of sixty miles.
Qape Sable is the most southward point of the peninsula. It is in laitude
4250 4 N and 40 10' W. longitude. It is called, on the Spanish charts, Punta
Tanche. As the land terminates in three projections, each of which is some-
what circular, it is difficult to designate the exact spot, for the Cape. Each
of these projections are high and pleasant shell banks, extending back, in
grass fields, called the Caloosa old fields. The reef of rocks, which has bari-
caded tl.e coast, from Appalache Bay, ends at the south side of the middle
projection, and there causes, as the tide ebbs and flows, a very turbulent sea.
The rock again projects from the shore, about four miles east of the cape,
and leaving Richmond bay, a circular basin, it subtends the whole group of
Sound Point is a very shoal projection, from the Island of the same name
which lies in front of and on the S. E. side of Key Largo. Carysford reef is a
corresponding projection of the opposite reef on the east side of Hawks chan-
nel. Two thirds of the wrecks that happen on the southern coast, occur
here, or within a short distance of this point. The coast is of the roughest
reef rock, and covered, to some distance under water, with mangrove bush-
es. Among these the waves have carried every possible kind of wrecked
matter, broken ship timbers, spars, plank, shreds of canvas, cordage, old
iron, glasses, crockery, &c. are piled in ruinous confusion, upon the man-
Cape Florida is the S. W. end of Key Biscayene. There is nothing
in the situation, to justify the term, but custom has fixed it there. A very
excellent lighthouse had been erected at this place and it marked the en-
trance of Hawks channel, -but is now burned down by the Seminoles. It
stands in attitude 250 38' and west longitude 3 13r.
Cape Canaveral is the only remaining projection of any note on this
coast. It is situated in front of Indian River, in latitude 28' 15/ north, and
west longitude 3 22. From this cape, a shoal extends east eight miles.
About five- miles N. E. there is a reef of rocks usually bare; the water is
deep around them ; small vessels may safely run inside of them, but should
keep at least three or four miles from the shore.
St. Rosa is a narrow sandy island extending from the mouth of Pensa-
cola Bay, opposite to the Fort of Barrancas, to the Pass L' Este, a distance
of 50 miles. It is about half a mile wide, and is conspicuous, for its pure
white sand. hills, which appear like drifted snow banks. It is very barren;
a few crooked live oaks and pitch pines, grow in spots, on the north side of
the island ; while scrub oaks and yapon bushes, tangled with vines, form
impenetrable thickets on the northern sides of the white sand hills. These
are excellent shelters for deer, which are numerous. During winter, abun-
dance of water fowl cover the fresh water ponds, which are found among
the vallies. There is usually, a heavy surf, breaking on the south shore of
the island.; during storms, it is tremendous. Several vessels have been
wrecked on this shore. A small fort and pilot house formerly stood on the
west end of this island ; they are now in ruins. But the United States are
erecting in their place a formidable fort. Opposite the mouth of St. An-
drews Bay, there are three islands; Sand, Hummock, and Crooked islands.
The first is near three miles from the shore, and about a mile in circumfer-
ence, It produces a few bunches of tall grass (ueniola latifolia) and a pe-
culiar sort of sea cress, excellent for sallad ; but a great portion of it is bar-
ren. Early in-summer, it is wholly covered with the eggs of sea fowl. Be,
tween this island and the shore, there is a narrow channel eight feet deep
the rest of the space is shoal.
Hummock Island commences, a mile S. E. of Sand Island, and extends,
parallel with the coast, about six miles. It is quite narrow and produces
nothing but grass, sea cress and purslain. A ridge of low sand hills skirt
the western side. The main channel, into St. Andrews, runs from the Gulf
directly to the west side of this island, near the centre, then passes along
the island to the north end. Then passes close to the N. E. end of Sand
Island, into the centre of the bay. On Gauld's chart, the west point of St.
Andrews is made to extend to the south end of Hummock Island, and
Crooked Island is alone marked, as separate from the shore. It is not im-
probable, that these two islands have, lately, been separated from the point.
The. sound, behind this island, forms an excellent harbor, easy of access,
from either end. There is eighteen feet water on the bar.
Crooked Island lies a mile south of the former. Its north east end ap-
proaches near to the main shore, but there is a deep channel between. It is
about as long as the former, but juts out into the Gulf in form of a crescent.
It is narrow at each end, butj.half a mile wide in the centre, where it is cov-
ered with a grove of pine trees. Between the south end of this island and
Cape False there is 8 feet water.
St. Vincent Island bounds Appalachicola Bay, on the west. Its form is
triangular; the north and west sides are each about ten miles long and the
eastern, from five to six. It is thickly covered with timber, lofty pines shade
the sea coast; while the eastern side is diversified with palms, live oaks and
magnolia, scattered over the grassy surface, which give it the appearance of
a fine park, rather than a lonely uninhabited island. A charming stream of
fresh water, enters the bay from the centre of the east side. The north
shore is broken by large marshes and Lagoons.
St. George's Island is about forty miles long, and from one half, to two
miles wide. Its west end is opposite to, and eight miles distance from, the
mouth of the Appalachicola River. For about four miles its direction is E.
by S.; it then bends N. E. The eastern end is about three miles from the
main shore, and about the same distance from Dog Island. Its southern
shore is thrown up in two or three sharp parallel ridges of yellowish brown
sand, in some places forty feet high. The centre is usually covered with
pine forests, among which are small hammocks of live oak and cedar. The
northern shore is indented with bays, marshes and lagoons. This side of
the island seems to be increasing. The east end is much washed by the
seas. It is low and barren.
Dog Island lies in the same direction and about the same distance from the
shore, as St. George's, and.is similar to it, in surface and productions. It is
about seven miles long and one wide. There is an excellent harbor at the
north east end, which will admit vessels drawing ten feet water.
James Island lies inland, behind Dog Island. It is formed by a branch
of the Oclockony, which leaving the head of that bay runs S. W. and
enters New River, four or five miles from the coast. The island thus cut
off, is about twenty miles long, and from three to six wide. Alligator Har-
bor is a small bay in the S. E. point of the island. The land is poor, cov-
ered with pines and palmettos, and broken by ponds of water. The east
end is covered with extensive marshes. The S. E. point is called South
There are several islands of considerable extent, formed by the several
outlets of Suwanne River. The soil on them appears to be rich alluvion.
They are sprinkled over with cedars, palms, and live oaks. A Mr. Bradley
began a settlement on one of them, but left it on account of sickness.
The N. E. part of Wakasasse Bay is filled with islets called the Fresh
Water Keys, being situated in front of the estuaries of the Suwanne
and Wakasasse Rivers. Many of these are pleasant and rich little spots,
and there is plenty of fish and turtle among them. These islets are but
Still farther south are the Cedar Keys, an extensive group jutting far
into the Gulf. They are very rocky, and separated by innumerable salt
creeks. The cedars and other trees on these islets are small and sparse.
Opposite Turtle Mount there are three beautiful oval islands, about a
mile apart, and the same distance from the shore. The longest is more
than a mile in length, and all of them are well timbered.
Between the Cedar and Anclote Keys the Mangrove Islands are nume-
rous, but usually small. Whenever an islet is separated at some distance
from the others it is uniformly selected by some nation or tribe of birds.
They load every branch almost to breaking. Gulls, curlews, and cranes
often associate on the same key, but the cormorants, pelicans, fish-hawks,
man-of-war birds, and eagles, live by themselves, admitting no associates.
On approaching these aviaries of nature, the whole tribe rises in mass, and
wheel round your head with loud screams, and are in some instances so
numerous as to darken the air.
Anclote Key is situated about ten miles from Ouithlacouche River. It
is three miles from the coast, about one mile long, of an oval form, and has
ten feet water all round it, with good anchorage.
Joe's Key is two miles long, lies half a mile south of Anclote.
Helley's Keys are a range of sandy islands extending in front of Toco-
bagos, or St. Joseph's Bay. From Tocobagos to Tampa there is a boat
channel behind these keys, but at some places it is very shoal at low tide.
Egmont Island lies in the entrance of Tampa Bay. It is merely a sand
bank about a mile in length.
Mullet Keys lie north of the channel. There are several of them ; one
is two miles long.
Minnies Island is also north of the channel, ten miles from Egmont.
On this island there is plenty of fresh water.
Barnaby is a sandy key, south of Egmont.
Long Island closes the entrance of Tampa Bay on the south. It is
seven miles long and divides the north part of Sarrazota Bay from the Gulf.
Like most other of the islands on the coast, it is covered with mangroves.
Oyster Islands are a group that divide Tampa from Sarrazota Bay.
Many of these are high, and rich in fruits and flowers. The hawey, a
minute fig, is first seen on these islands; farther south they are abundant.
Sarrazota Island lies south of Long Island, and is separated from it by
Long Boat Inlet. Several small islets are grouped around the south end.
These are bounded by Rio Seco, which terminates Sarrazota Bay on the
Palm Island is formed by the waters of Sarrazota Bay and Palm Sound.
The Indians usually hauled their canoes over the south point of this island
to save a long circuit at low water. There is a considerable hammock on
this island, of a good quality, especially near the south end. It is several
miles in extent.
Cleni is the first island in front of Charlotte Bay. It is a mile long, low
and sandy. A narrow inlet separates it from Gasparilla.
Gasparilla is the second island proceeding south. It is six miles long,
but narrow; it has beautiful groves of gum elemi, and clumps of ovino
trees. The east side is.in many places covered with haweys.
Crooked Island lies on the north side of Bocca Grande, and is separated
from Gasparilla by an inlet of the same name.
Round Island is on the south side of Bocca Grande, which is the main
entrance to Charlotte Bay.
Capativa extends about seven miles down the coast. It was, with Sany-
bal, formerly occupied by a tribe of Muspa Indians.
Sanybal is twelve miles long, and about two miles wide. It has on its
margin some narrow hammocks. A Company from New-York, in the
winter of 1833, surveyed a town at the S. E. end of the island. One ele-
gant house was built and several smaller ones, but at this time, 1837, it is
Caloosa is the last of this chain of islands; it lies partlyin front of
Carlos Bay. It is about five miles long, and from one to two wide. It is
a beautiful, wild, solitary place ; it is diversified with thick groves of heavy
timbered hammocks, and broad grass savannas, sprinkled with flowers,
ovino and cotton shrubs, entwined with grape and nickernut vines. The
perennial cotton shrub we first discovered on this island.
Pine Island is the largest inside of the bay. It consists principally of
high pine land ; it is five miles long and two wide. On its border there
are some narrow hammocks. It is situated on the east side of the bay,
about ten miles south of Bocca Grande, and has on the north end a
considerable fishing establishment.
Toampe is situate five miles south of Bocca Grande, in the heart of the
bay. It is one mile long, from east to west, and half a mile wide. Itjs
the seat of the Calde family. Their village consists of near twenty pal-
metto houses, and stands on the south west point of the Island. This
Island is a high shell bank, covered with large timber. A small portion of
the land is under cultivation. The inhabitants living principally on fish,
turtle, and coonti; the last, they bring from the main. Here are several
cocoanut trees in bearing, orange, lime, papayer, hawey, and hickok plum.
They raise cuba corn, peas, mellons, &c. I am told that most of the
Islands in this bay, are nearly as fruitful as Toampe. They are innumera-
ble. The Muspa Indians, once a numerous tribe, formerly inhabited these
Isle Roman is separated from the main by the Caximba. It is about
thirty miles south east of Carlos. It is near fifteen miles from north to
south, and ten to twelve from east to west. The north end is much cut up
with creeks and lagoons, but contains some extensive hammocks, and old
Indian fields. Three or four good plantations are under cultivation. That
occupied by John Durant, a native of Savanna, lies about a mile from the
western coast, the white oyster clifts of which, are seen half way through
the Caximba. Corn, peas, and mellons, are the principal productions.
The interior of the island is pine barren. The south point of the island is
the Cape Acies, or Punta Longa, of the Spanish charts, and the Cape
Roman of the British; it terminates in dangerous shoals, which extend
fifteen miles into the gulf.
The Caximba islands are extremely numerous, and but little known ; one
on the north of the main inlet, must be five or six miles in length. Jewfish
island lies about two miles from the western entrance, on the north side of the
channel; it is often visited by fishing parties of Spaniards, who admire the
fish. The group extends as far east as the Gallivan river.
Musquito Key lies at the mouth of St. Mary's river. It is three miles in
length, and apparently. contains good land. Many smaller islands are
scattered about it.
Rocky Keys are a considerable cluster of islands, above the mouth of
Hujelos river. These islands are, for the most part, formed of curious co-
ralines, some of them have beautiful hammocks on their shores.
Pavilion Key lies inside of the bass bank, and is marked as a point of
land on the old charts.
Racoon Island, is also marked as a long point. It is surrounded by a
cluster of islets.
The Florida Keys, are altogether an extraordinary archipelago of islands
and reefs. They commence in latitude 25' 351 on the Atlantic side of the
peninsula, and from thence, extend in a group which describes the are of a
circle, bending westwardly, two hundred miles. They end in the Tortu-
gas shoals, in latitude 240 32' and longitude 6 10' west. It has been
made a question, whether these keys are fragments of the continent, torn
by the abrasion of the tide : or whether they are additions constantly increa-
sed, by the labors of the Zoophite. It is not my intention to argue this
question, but to state the few observations I have made among them.
Key Biscayno is the most northerly of the group. It is about seventy
miles N. E. from Cape Sable. It is seven miles long, and two broad. It
produces many mangroves, some hammocks on the north side, and much
sand on the south. A lighthouse is located on the west end, where it
is called, but without any reason, Cape Florida. The light house is now
burned by the Indians. Here is plenty of fresh, water. Sandwich Gulf
spreads in a sheet six miles wide, on the north, separating it fromva rocky
coast. Bear Cut on the east, is a mile wide, and six feet deep. Here
commences the passage, called on the English charts, Hawks channel; at
this island terminates the silicious sand, so abundant in East Florida.
The Fowey rocks lie about two miles S. E. of this island, and form the
commencement of the reef, that shuts Hawk channel from the sea. This
.channel affords safe navigation, for vessels drawing twelve feet: it is never
less than fifteen feet deep, and is from four to six miles wide.
Soldier Keys are three small islands, in a row, six miles south of Biscayno.
The Paps are a small cluster of islets, two miles S. E. of the Soldiers.
Castor and Pollux are two small keys, lying west of the Paps, and east
of Saunders Cut.
Elliot's Key lies south of Saunders Cut; it is eight miles long, and three-
fourths of a mile wide. It is rocky, but has a rich soil. The eastern side
shows to advantage; is covered with luxuriant grass and herbs, among
which the maguy, the queen of plants, raises her pendulous white flowers,
high in the air. Scattering ovino and mastic trees, give it the appearance
of a plantation, and one is surprised to see no buildings, or animals, in a spot
so flourishing. The west side of the island is thickly covered with wood.
On the east side of the island there is a safe harbor, of eight feet water.
Caesars Creek washes the south end of the island.
Jennings Island is about one mile long, and lies between Caesars and
Largo Keys are a chain of islands, near thirty miles in extent, and in
width very unequal, from half a mile to four miles. The south shore is
very rocky ; most of it is covered with heavy timber, but so entangled with
vines, and so infested by mosquitoes, that few have proved hardy enough
to explore its recesses. In many places, it has both black and red loam
to a considerable depth, which might undoubtedly be cultivated to great
advantage. It produces a great number of wild fruits and flowers, which
flourish most luxuriantly. About half a mile up Taverniers Creek, which
enters the island below Sound Point, which is said to extend across to Sand-
wich Gulf, there is a small plantation commenced by Capt. Walton, plan-
ted with fruit trees. Sound Island lies in front of Tavernier Creek ; the
extreme ends are called North and South Sound Points. Behind these points
there are harbors sufficient to shelter the wrecking vessels. Sound Key
has no fresh water.
Carysford reef commences opposite the north end of Largo and ends just
below N. Sound Point. The S. E. end of Carysford, is dry at low water. A
deep inlet passes through the reef here, the current setting towards Key
Tavernier. A narrow creek terminates Key Largo, and divides it from
Long Island. A light ship is stationed behind Carysford reef, a little to
the east of N. Sound Point.
Key Tavernier lies in front of the south end of Largo. It is small and
low. It is remarkable only, as the rendezvous of all the wreckers. A
small harbor affords shelter for their vessels, and the situation is important
only, as it commands a view of Carysford reef, the most dangerous part of
the coast. From this spot the wreckers scour the reefs and keys in every
direction, sending daily north and south, three or four of their fleet, to the
extreme points of the Florida Keys; so that vessels in distress, usually
receive offers of assistance within a few hours. Numbers of vessels are thus
saved from total loss every season. Doubtless these hardy veterans of the
deep, have at some times, imposed on those whom they proposed to benefit.
But we happen to know that much ingratitude has also been practised by
those who have been saved from ruin by the wreckers. At all events, an
excellent court is established at Key West, where all claims of salvage are
legally and expeditiously adjusted, and there is no necessity for unfortunate
masters of vessels to submit their causes to'the arbitration of interested men.
Key Tavernier is succeeded by Key Rodrigues; it lies four or five miles
west of and opposite to the channel, between Largo and Long Island ; it is
small and of little value. Here terminated the surveys of the celebrated
English Engineer, Gauld. His surveys of the coast and Florida Keys,
can scarcely ever be improved. It is a great pity that -the policy of war
should have put a stop to his labors, that were equally valuable to Ame-
rica and England.
New Mattacumbe is four miles long, and about two miles wide. It has a
broken rocky surface, but is clothed with a forest of hard woods, vines and
plants, some of the latter very beautiful. Many kinds of fruit might be cul-
tivated advantageously at this place. The wells of fresh water on the east
end of this island are inexhaustable. They appear to be natural fissures
in the madrepore rock, placed there by a Bountiful Providence, to supply
the navies that have, time out of mind, frequented these latitudes.
Big Lignum Vitae Key is about one mile long, and half a mile wide, is
situated behind the channel that separates Mattacumbe and Long Islands,
and about two miles distant. It contains more good land than any other
island in this part of the group: part of it is under cultivation, the rest is
covered with hard timber.
Indian Key, on some of the old charts called Matanzas, was distin-
guished, by the destruction of a large crew of Frenchmen by the Caloose
Indians. The vessel of the French, was wrecked on the reefs out side of
this island, and the crew only escaped shipwreck to be massacred by the
savages. It is one mile south of New Matacumbe, and contains about seven
acres, the whole a Madrepore rock, in the clefts of which a few mangroves
and flowering shrubs originally took root, and afforded roosts for innume-
rable variegated perewinkles-that crawled over the branches.
At this time much of the island is improved as a garden, the rocky sur-
face being covered by a bed of mould drawn up from the channel. Several
buildings ornament the island ; a superb Hotel overtops them all, erected by
the enterprising proprietor, Mr. Housman. Large stores are supported
here principally by the wrecking business. This little island is becoming
a fashionable resort for invalids from the north, the climate being healthy and
pleasant, and the insects less numerous than in most of the keys.
Indian Key is 75 miles south west from Cape Florida, and 75 north east
from Key West.
Old Mattacumbe is five miles long, and two wide. In surface it is similar
to New Mattacumbe, but thereis a greater quantity of good land on this
than on the other island. This island was the last place of refuge of the
Muspa and Caloose Indians, who formerly inhabited the eastern shore of
the Mexican Gulf.
The space between the Mattacumbe and the continent, is sprinkled over
with small islets, called Lignum Vitae Keys.
Viper Key, called on different charts, Bivora and Vivora, is five miles
long, and from half to a mile wide. It is of a triangular form, and is much
cut up with salt ponds and lagoons. On the shores are several hammocks
of hard woods, but so narrow as to be scarcely fit for cultivation. There
is a pretty harbor at the east end, sheltered by small keys.
Duck Key is a narrow rocky islet, containing some fine salt ponds. Mr.
Howe, from Charleston, made a considerable establishment on the island
for the purpose of making salt, but having died some time since, the project
has been abandoned. It is about two miles long.
The Vacas or Cow Keys are ten or twelve in number, and extend about
fifteen miles in length. Some of them are four miles in length, while others
are scarcely half a mile long; some are covered with tall pines, some with
hammock trees, and some almost entirely with grass. On the north side
of the group they are generally rocky, and bear many small palmetto trees.
There are from ten to fifteen families scattered over them. Knights Key,
the south west key of this cluster, has a good house and cleared field, that
appears to great advantage from the water. Most of these keys possess
good springs and wells of fresh water, and turtle are abundant in the neigh-
Sombrero is a crooked little island, covered with fragments of wrecks,
with clumps of mangrove bushes. It lies five miles south west from
Knights Key, and about the same distance from Cabbage Island, out upon
the edge of the reef. Here there is a broad channel extending from the
Atlantic, between the keys into Richmond Bay. It is usually ten feet deep.
Cabbage Island is the longest of a considerable cluster of islets, called the
Honda Keys. It is two miles long, and two-thirds of a mile wide ; it is-co-
vered with tall cabbage trees interspersed with fruits and flowers, and ap-
pears rich and pleasant, but we did not explore the interior of the island.
The Honda Bay lies in lat. 24 351 and has from two and a half to five
fathoms of water. It is well sheltered and safe from all winds. There is a
small, but pleasant settlement on the east side of the harbor, with a well
of good water.
This cluster of keys extend fifteen miles west, and about ten in a north
direction, over an extensive coraline shoal; they are extremely numerous
and separated by innumerable narrow channels. They are generally
clothed with a dense vegetation of trees, shrubs, herbs and grass, sprinkled
with various kinds of flowers. The trees of the hammocks are overtopped
with a kind of vine, whose leaves spread over the limbs like a green carpet;
the seaside grape, different kinds of plumbs, and custard apples are frequently
found in the hammocks. They are of all sizes, the largest extend ten miles
north and south, and three to four in width, and from this size they are
found not half an acre in extent. The northern points of this cluster are
covered with tall pines, somewhat sparsely scattered over the surface of the
rocky soil. Among these islands there are numerous salt ponds and la-
goons, to and from which the tide flows and ebbs with great rapidity.
Samba Keys are six in-number, or rather one great Key, thesurface of
which is cut by the currents into six parts. They extend about five miles
in each direction; they are however merely the shells, of islands of which
the centres want filling up. The shores are high and look promising, but
they immediately fall back into salt ponds.
Key West is the nextisland in succession. It is seven miles long and
two wide. The east end is divided by a channel through which the tide ra-
pidly flows into an extensive salt pond that covers one third of the island.
The west end of the island however is solid ground, based on a limestone
rock, over which the zoophite has spread a few feet ofcoralines, and the thick
forests have on the top of both a rich soil. Only a small part of this is cleared
and cultivated in gardens, where the pine apple bananna plantain and
various other tropical fruits reward the toil of the planter, and the stately
cocoanut raises his tall head abundant in rich fruit and broad expanding
leaves, supplying at once necessity and ornament. The whole island is on its
surface very stony, though covered with a dense forest of various valuable
trees. This part of the island has generally a rich soil of red or black loam.
Wells of Fresh water'may be obtained in any part of the island by cut-
ting through the limestone rock from six to ten feet deep. The rock is a
deposit of lime without grit, and so soft that it may be cut with an axe.
Many of the small ponds, at the west end of the island, have been trenched
so that the tide ebbs and flows through them; this has rendered the place
more healthy. Improvements have been principally confined to the west
end of the island, where the relinquishment of Congress, to three leagues
square, has been located by the proprietors. This grant will cover all the
good land on the island. The harbor is at the north west, which is entered
through a channel of four fathoms of water. The best anchorage is on the
east side, where there are wharves and large ware houses for the accomo-
dation of trade. There are some coral banks near the mouth of the har-
bor. The N. W. winds, at some periods, affect vessels moored here; they
are safe from all other quarters. A shoal extends from the south side of the
island; it is covered with a perfect forest of marine plants, infinitely various
in size and texture. Southern storms sometimes tear these from the rocky
bottom and drive them in heaps upon the shore, to ferment, and sometimes
to create very unpleasant vapors, and are supposed to affect the health of
the town. Some experiments have been made on the salt ponds, situated
in the heart of the island, which have been successful in producing salt, of
a good quality. The bottom of these ponds are uniformly of limestone, but
they require to be smoothed, in most places, before they can be advanta-
geously raked. A canal has been cut from the north shore into the prin-
cipal pond. We have heard no reason assigned, except a want of enterprise,
why the salt ponds of this key, should not be as productive, as those on
the Bahama's. Key West has been greatly benefitted by the trade car-
ried on in wrecked goods, which are usually deposited here for sale. In
other respects it is a superior situation for trade, and in time of war its har-
bor will be of vast importance. It is said to be capable of defence, at a
reasonable expense. The original name of the Island was Cayo Huesso.
It was for many years occupied by the Calde family, as a fishing establish-
ment. They abandoned it for the island of Toampi, in Charlotte harbor,
which they now occupy. The first American settlement made on Key
West was in April, 1822.
The West India, squadron commanded by Commodore Porter, was station-
ed here, from April 1823 to Oct. 1826. And the Mexican squadron under
the same commander, was stationed here afterwards. It is at this time in-
habited by about fourteen hundred souls.
The Mangrove Islands, or Mule Keys, are small islets, scattered over a
coral reef, that extends fifteen miles west of Egmont channel. This reef is
about eight miles wide. Most if not all these islets are covered with water
at high tides. It is bounded on the west by the grand entrance. It is
from four to five miles wide and from seven to ten fathoms deep.
The Marquesas are two small keys about three miles south west of the
Entrance Key, and are on the same reef, which extends nearly twenty
miles west. On the west end of this reef, the silicious sand again appears
in shifting banks.
The Entrance Key lies west of the grand entrance. It is crooked like
a half moon. It is five or six miles long and in some places near a mile
The Tortugas Keys are eleven in number, situated on a coral reef, which
is about fifteen miles in extent. This reef is about ninety miles west of
Cape Sable, sixty five miles west of Key West, and one hundred miles N. W.
from Havanna. Of this group, a few of the largest are about three feet
above the common tides. Seven of them are covered with mangrove bush-
es and bastard lignumvitae. The smaller ones are covered with herbs and
grass. The S. W. Key, though one of the smallest, is most important to
be known, because it ends the chain of Florida Keys. A reef of coral rock
extends a quarter of a mile S. W. from it. North of this is a long sandy
key. Under the lee of this there is good anchorage, about a quarter of a mile
from the shore. The best harbor is near Rush Key ; this is sheltered from the
sea by a large reef of rocks and a flat shoal, and is quite smooth even in a
gale. There is eighteen feet'water close to the bank. Three broad chan-
nels lead to this harbor, which is capacious enough for a large fleet. The
channels among these keys abound with fish and turtle, but they afford
neither fresh water nor wood, except small bushes, and are important, only
as a harbor.
Five or six miles west of the Tortugas, there is a large bank of coral
rock and white patches of sand. These extend three or four miles west
and north, and have from six to twelve fathom water. From a vessel they
appear very shoal, but are not dangerous.
The Florida Keys are sheltered from the sea by a coral reef that extends
near two hundred miles in length, and at a distance of from three to seven
miles, forming a channel between it and the keys, usually three fathoms
deep. This channel affords a safe passage for coasting vessels in smooth
water all the way to the Mangrove Islands, where it ends. From this
which on the English charts is called Hawks Channel, several other
channels branch off northwardly through the keys into the Gulf west of
Cape Sable. The first has only eight feet water, it enters at Bahia Honda
and winds northwardly round the Pine Islands into Richmond Bay. The
second passes the west end of Key West and diminishes in depth to twelve
feet where it enters into Richmond Bay. Coasting vessels drawing eight
or nine feet, usually run through this pass, buit strangers should take a pilot
at Key West. On the English charts this pass is called Egmont Chan-
Bocca Grande is a pass between the Mangrove and the Marquesas Keys.
It is about fifteen miles west of Key West. It is usually three miles wide,
and has six or seven feet water. There is -a middle ground with patches
of coral rock, but they have on them from two and a half to three feet
.There is a broad channel between the Marquesas and the Tortugas,
with fifteen fathoms water; but the eastern side, next the Marquesas,
has patches of coral, and banks of quicksand, in some places not more
than from' five to twelve feet under water.
In all these channels there is good anchorage, and the bottom can
be clearly seen 'from the mast of a vessel in clear weather. The water
is always of a light color within the reefs.
The reef ends directly south of the west end of the Marquesas. It is
here about three miles wide, with five fathoms water. Proceeding east-
wardly it soon becomes narrower, but more shoal. It is here about four
miles from the keys. The first key on the reef is about nine miles S.
S. W. from Key West. It is called Sand Island, and has a revolving
light. Four miles west of this, there is a patch of rocks; about two miles
east there is another patch; from this there is from two to three fath-
oms for about five miles east, but there is four and a half fathoms on
the reef, opposite to the west end of Key West. To enter, bring the
light on Key West to bear about N. N. W. ; after passing the reef, run
west so as to leave the light three-fourths of a mile on the right hand,
then run close round the N. W. point of the island into the harbor.
Proceeding eastward on the reef to bring the east end of Key West N.
W. about seven miles, there are three small sandy keys called Samboes.
The reef here becomes narrow; between the two west keys there is a
channel of four fathoms, and between the two eastern ones another chan-
nel of three fathoms.
For ten miles east of the Samboes, which are sandy islets, the reef
spreads to four miles wide, and is very shoal, having at some seasons bare
patches of rock; but opposite Newfound Harbor the reef is about three-
fourths of a mile wide. Here was situated Loo Key, but it is washed
away; some reefs of rocks, however, remain. About a mile west of these
rocks, there is a fair channel of four fathoms water. To the east for three
miles there is about sixteen feet water ; it then deepens for five miles to
three, four, and five fathoms. The reef runs pretty straight past Bahia
Honda ; it is about three miles from the keys.
Key Sombrero is the easternmost islet on the reef. It is situated six or
seven miles S. E. from Bahia Honda, and four miles S. W. from Knight's
Key, the western key of the Vaccas group. It is but a patch of rock, cov.
ered with a few mangroves and pieces of wreck. From Sombrero to the
west end of Old Mattacumbe the reef is broken and irregular in breadth
and depth. There are patches of coral rocks, some under and some above
water. Seven or eight miles off the east end of Vaccas, there are several
bad ones. Off Bivoris there are more, some near the surface, others deep-
er, off the west end of Old Mattacumbe. At the east end of this key
there is a good harbor for coasting vessels. Indian Key is passed close to
the east side, where there are convenient wharves' constructed. South-
west from this last key about three miles, is the Alligator shoal, where one
of our sloops-of-war was wrecked. In this shoal there is only four feet
Opposite Key Rodrigues the reef has only about seven feet water, and
is three miles from the islands. Eastward of this the coral rocks increase,
and the reef is often broken by channels of deep water. There is one, in
particular, off Sound Island, of four fathoms, through which the tide rash-
es with great velocity, especially in easterly storms.
Opposite to the north end of Key Largo, commences Carysford reef,
which extends to the last mentioned channel. This is the most dangerous
part of the whole reef. More vessels are wrecked here than on the whole
coast besides. The coral rocks are sprinkled over this part of the reef;
many of them entirely above water.
The reef extends nearly to the Soldier Keys, a little south of Biscay-
no light; it varies in breadth from one to two miles, and is covered. with
rocks. During fair weather vessels of any size may sail very near to this
reef along its whole course. In the inside channel they should keep with-
in a mile of the keys, as there are scattering coral rocks near the reef in
many places, and the south side of the channel is most shoal.
So far as I have been able to examine the extraordinary group of islands
and reefs on our southern coast, I have found the soft calcareous rock to
subtend the whole group. It is the same formation that encircles the Gulf
of Mexico as far as the Appalache River, and I believe it to be the founda-
tion of the whole peninsula. But the surface of every reef and island is
covered with strata of zoophites of almost every description. Their labors
are continual, and their work constantly progressing in an infinite variety
of beautiful forms and colors. Two-thirds of the distance between the
Mattacumbe islands and the main, is bare at low water, and presents a
surface bristling with fresh coralines, interspersed with young mangroves,
from three inches to the size of trees. Little islets are rising above the
water, from one rod, to one, two, and three miles apart; some covered
with bushes, others with a heavy growth of timber. Narrow channels,
generally about six feet deep, wind among them in every direction, and
many of these convey the tide through the reefs, from Hawks' Channel
to Richmond Bay. The bottom of all these channels is formed of the soft
limestone; but it is usually covered with a white-wash of dissolved matter,
about a foot thick. When stirred it gives to the water a milky tinge.
These channels are the favorite haunts of the turtle, and almost every
kind that live in the water may be found here. The inhabitants of the
keys are generally adepts in the art of spiking them. One of these sports-
men, who resides on Indian Key, is said to have spiked and secured sixteen
in one day: Fish are not so numerous among the keys as they are about
the 27 of latitude. There are, however, many kinds, and some of them
highly prized; and among which are the Jew-fish, porgy, hog-fish, and
bass. There is also a species of cray-fish, which lives in holes among
the coralines, of two or three pounds weight, which is excellent eating.
It is variegated with beautiful colors, but wants the long claws of the
lobster. Large and beautiful concks are also numerous on some of the
flats near Key West, where they are much used for soups. The most su-
perb corals, in white clusters, are found on Long Reef. The delicate purple
are principally confined to the Lignum-vitue Keys.
After passing the Florida Keys, Jupiter or Gomez Island next presents
itself. It is twenty-five miles long and from half a mile to two miles wide.
The eastern side presents a beach sloping off half a mile to low water
mark. The ridge of sand hills is high ; behind this is a space covered with
small oaks and palmettoes, while the western side terminates in ham-
mock, and where the island throws projections into Hobe Sound, the ham-
mocks are of such extent that they might form small farms, of excellent
land. This side of the island is rocky, near the shore. Four miles from
the south end, several fruit trees still remain, that were planted long since
among these are cocoanuts, oranges, limes and plums. Several old fields
indicate former settlements. Several dangerous reefs of rocks lie in front of
St. Lucia Island was formerly connected with Jupiter, and the whole
was granted to Don Eusebius Gomez, on account of public services, ren-
dered ti:e government of the province. A few years since, the high waters
of St. Lucia River, forced a passage through the coast at the place called
the Gap, on the old charts, and about four miles south of the black rocks.
In 1831 a mile in front of the north end of the island, was torn away by
storms. This island is sixteen miles long, and extends from Jupiter, to
Indian River inlet; at the north end it is three miles broad. The surface of
this Island is exactly similar to Jupiter. Indian River contains innumerable
mangrove Islands, none of which are of much extent except-
Meritts Island. It lies west of Cape Canaverel, and extends thirty miles
in length, and is for a considerable distance more than two miles wide.
The western side generally presents a surface of high rolling pine land.
The south end is a reef of rocks of the Coquina species. Three miles from
the south end are fine looking hammocks. On the N. E. side the ham-
mocks are more extensive, and a considerable plantation was began here,
by a Mr. Merritt; some fruit trees, of his planting, still remain. The eastern
shore is mostly a low mangrove swamp.
Bissets Island is a low narrow island, situated in the N. W. side of Hills-
borough Lagoon. It is eight miles long, but contains very little good land.
It is surrounded by hundreds of small islands, which fill the Hillsborough,
from New Smyrna, to Ross's old plantation, a distance of fourteen miles.
Some of these islets are high and pleasant, bearing palm trees and grass,
but most of them are low and covered with mangroves. Dog Island is
about two miles wide, and has a good soil. Gallups Island is nearly as large;
both islands have clusters of low oaks, and cabbage-palms. Hallifax river
contains a similar group of small islands.
Anastatia Island, extends from the little bar of Matanzas, to St. Augus-
tine. It is twenty-one miles long, and two broad. It was granted to Jesse
Fish by the Spanish Government, except the Kings quarries and the
site of the Tower. His heirs are still in possession. It contains a few
hundred acres of excellent land, a part of which is improved in a fine orange
grove. A lighthouse occupies the place of the old Spanish Tower. The
quarries of Coquina stone are extensive; they have furnished stone for the
principal buildings of St. Augustine, as well as the Fort and sea wall, and
other buildings; and plenty still remains for all purposes, public and pri-
Fort George Island, extends from the mouth of St. John's River, to Tal-
bot Inlet, about three miles, and it is more than half that width. It is the
seat of Zephaniah Kingsley Esqr. It contains a good deal of excellent
land, much of which is highly improved.
Talbot Island extends from the Inlet to Nassau River, about four miles.
Messrs. Houston and Christopher, are the proprietors, who cultivate valu-
able plantations on the island.
Amelia .Island extends from Nassau to St. Mary's River. It is fifteen
miles long and four miles wide. A considerable proportion of the island is
good land; several extensive plantations were formerly cultivated on it.
Fernandina, situated at the north-west end, was once the county seat of
Nassau County. During the time of non-intercourse and embargo laws,
this town rapidly increased to a place of importance ; with those laws, it
died a natural death. It may revive when our peninsular canal is carried
The Two Sisters are two small, but fertile islands, situated on the north
side of St. John's River, above Fort George Island.
McDonald's Island is near the new canal, and is about three-fourths of
a mile long. There is on it about fifty acres of excellent land.
Tiger Island is situated in the mouth of St. Mary's River, opposite Fer-
nandina. It is more than a mile in length, and of a crooked form. It is
mostly marsh, with a-few small hammocks.
The marsh in front of St. Mary's extends four or five miles, but it con-
tains no arable land.
Nassau Island lies about eight miles from the mouth of the river; is five
or six miles in extent, but nearly all marsh.
Fleming's Island extends from Doctors' Lake to Black Creek, a distance
of twelve miles, on the west.side of St. John's River ; the land is excellent
and highly cultivated in Sea Island cotton, provisions, and cane.
Murphy's Island is near the east side of the St. John's, directly above
Dunn's Creek. It contains about two thousand acres of land; a part of it
is excellent hammock, the rest is pine land and swamp.
Kingsley's, or Drayton's Island is situated at the north end of Lake
George. It is three miles long and two wide. A considerable portion of
the land is excellent. A small improvement has been kept up, for several
years, near the north end. It is beautifully situated opposite the outlet of
the lake, and will, at some time, become a delightful plantation.
The Perdido forms the western boundary line between Alabama and
Florida. It rises in Alabama, about thirty miles above the Florida line.
It is navigable about seven miles above the bay, to some saw-mills. It is a
noble mill stream, and its banks are covered with superior yellow pine tim-
The Connecuh rises in the south-east part of Alabama. Its general
course is S. W. till it meets the Escambia River, near the north line of the
Territory. It there loses its name in the Escambia, which is a much
smaller stream. Here it turns a S. E. course, and enters the north-west
end of Escambia Bay, through several deep channels. Its principal tribu-
tary streams are the Sepulgas, Murder Creek, and the Big and Little Es-
cambia rivers. The lands on the borders of this river are rich, but are
often overflowed, which renders planting on the river bottoms a hazardous
employment. In the autumn agues and fevers prevail, on the low grounds.
Where there is clay enough in the soil, to form good embankments, the
waters might be leveed off, and the land would be equal to any in the
Black Water River is only about fifty miles long, but is navigable for
boats, near twenty miles. It is narrow and crooked, but deep, and is a fine
mill stream. It empties into a bay of the same name which is attached
to Yellow Water Bay. It is full of Islands, and about seven miles long.
Above the bay, it receives Cold Water Creek from the west. These waters
generally, rise from fine springs on the borders cf a good farming country,
called the Pine Level.
Yellow Water River rises in Covington county, Alabama. It runs a
course of ninety miles and enters the N. E. side of Yellow Water Bay,
through several mouths. It receives, in its course, Shoal River, from the
S. E. the principal branches of which are Titi and Pond branches. It is
navigable for boats forty miles, to Barrows Ferry. The Aliqua River rises
in the Knobs of Walton county, and after a course of about twenty-five
miles, enters the north side of Chactawhatche Bay. It is navigable to
Vaughns, fifteen miles from its junction with the bay. This river is formed
suddenly from large springs, some of them large enough for mills.
Chactawhatche River rises in Pike county, Alabama, and after a south-
ern course, of one hundred and fifty miles, enters the east end of Chactaw-
hatche Bay. It is navigable for boats, about eighty miles. At the north
line of Florida, it receives Pea River from the west; the latter is the
largest and longest stream. Uche Creek enters, about iwenty-five miles
from the mouth, and Sandy Creek about forty miles, both from the west; and
Holmes Creek from the east, as well as Big Barren and Pond Creeks.
Holmes Creek is navigable to the Big Spring at all times and to Shackle-
fords landing, fifteen miles higher, at most seasons.
Econfina River rises in Washington county, south and east of Oak Hill,
and after a course of thirty miles, enters the north arm of St. Andrews Bay.
It is navigable to the Natural Bridge, fifteen miles from its mouth. Below
the Natural Bridge, it receives the waters of Hamblys spring, and a number
of extraordinary fine springs burst into the west side of this river, for three
or four miles. The lands on its banks are generally of a superior quality,
and at the same time perfectly healthy. Bear Creek is a navigable branch
which enters the Econfina, from the east, four miles from its mouth. This
river abounds in trout of a superior quality.
The Wetappo River rises in Washington county, west of the Chipola,
and after pursuing a very crooked S. W. course about twenty miles, it
turns suddenly to the west, where it receives the S. E. branch, and five
miles farther, enters the east end of the east arm of St. Andrews Bay. This
river is usually twenty feet deep, but at its entrance into the bay, the water
is not more than four feet. The S. E. branch extends within seven miles
of the Chipola River, and is deep enough for boats of any description. It
is a superior stream for fish, trout in particular. It is through the S. E.
branch of this stream, that it is contemplated to connect the waters of the
Appalachicola River and St. Andrews Bay.
Appalachicola River is formed by the junction of the Chattahooche and
Flint Rivers, about one hundred miles from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Chattahooche River, rises near the corners of the four states, of Ten-
nessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, and strikes the north line of
Florida, at 31st degree of north latitude. About twenty-one miles below
this, it is joined by the Flint. The latter river rises in De Kalb county in
Georgia, and pursues a course, nearly south, to its junction with the Chat-
tahooche. Vessels drawing eight feet water can ascend to the Forks, a
distance of one hundred miles. The Chattahooche is navigable for Steam-
boats to Columbus. The Flint may be navigated, about forty miles, to Bain-
bridge. It receives the Chipola thirty-three miles from its mouth. This
branch rises in Richmond and Henry counties in Alabama, and is navigable
as far as the Natural Bridge, above Marianna. A passage has been broken
from the Appalachicola, into the Chipola, just above the situation where
the Wetappo approaches the latter river, and by overflowing the natural
banks of the Chipola, has formed a lake of considerable extent The Ap-
palachicola enters the bay, through several mouths, and has thrown into
the bay a great extent of marshy delta. The lands on the banks of this
river, are generally rich, and the produce conveyed to market down its va-
rious channels is already very considerable, and is rapidly increasing.
The Oclockony River rises in Irwin county, Georgia, and pursuing a
southwardly course, it enters the bay of the same name, seven miles from
the Gulf, and about twenty west of St. Marks. Lieut. Swift reported
seven feet water on the bar, at the entrance of Oclockony Bay. Steam-
boats may probably ascend fifty or sixty miles at most seasons of the year.
A branch called Crooked River, breaks off above the bay, and after a
course of twenty miles, enters New River, a small stream that reaches the
Appalachicola Bay, directly north of the west end of Dog Island. Tugulo,
Little River, Robinsons Creek, and Rocky Comfort are branches of this
The Appalache Rirer is formed at St. Marks by the junction of the
Wakully and St. Marks Rivers; the Wakully rises from the earth, eleven
miles north west from St. Marks. Boats drawing six feet may ascend to
the head. The upper part of the river is full of small islands, and even
the crooked channels are filled with long' grass, so as to impede the naviga-
tion. The St. Marks rises in a small pond, nineteen miles N. E. from its
junction with the Wakully. Boats drawing four feet, can ascend to its
source. Schooners drawing seven feet, ascend to Magnolia, seventeen
miles from the Gulf. It is probable that the real source of this river is in
Irwin county, Georgia; that after traversing Mickasukey Lake, it sinks into
the earth and ultimately rises at the pond at Brockhaven. Numerous
streams direct their course towards its supposed channel, and sink into the
earth. Large sinkholes also, and at one place a large stream appears above
ground, where this river is supposed to flow. Below St. Marks the naviga-
tion is very crooked and much impeded by Oyster bars. Congress in 1829,
appropriated a sum of money, to improve the navigation. It is greatly
needed, as commerce is rapidly increasing here, and will progress with the
population of the Middle District. A lighthouse has lately been erected at
the entrance of this river.
The Ocilla River rises in Irwin county, Georgia, and enters the Territory
in two branches, about ten miles apart. These unite about fourteen miles
below the line. The eastern branch forms the division line between Madi-
son and Jefferson counties. The western branch, from the Georgia line
nearly to the place of its junction with the eastern branch, spreads into a
wide grassy lake, more than a mile wide. About thirty miles from its
mouth it falls over a rocky ledge, and twelve miles from the Gulf, it sinks.
under ground for three fourths of a mile. From this bridge to the sea, it is
navigable for small vessels. It receives from the east a considerable stream,
called Foenahalloway. This stream abounds with excellent fish.
The Chattahatchee, or Stony River, takes its course southwardly from
Sampala Pond, which, by the Spaniards, was called San Pedro. It runs
through a barren country, and falls into the Gulf about fourteen miles east
of the Ocilla.
Achenahatche, or Cedar River, rises in numerous lakes, in the eastern
part of Madison county, and falls into the Gulf about thirty miles east of
the mouth of Suwanne. This river is small, but is the outlet of a rich gra-
Histahatche River is formed by the junction of three streams, at the falls,
nine miles from the -Gulf. It spreads into a round bay before it enters the
Gulf. From this to the falls, it is very deep, and its rocky shores are scoop-
ed by the waters into numberless grotesque and fanciful shapes. From the
bay to the Gulf the passage is shoal. The land about this stream is very
rocky, but heavily timbered.
The Suwanne is formed by the junction of the Little Suwanne and Alla-
pahaw Rivers. The Ouithlacouche rises in Doole county, Georgia, and
joins it six miles below the Allapahaw. The Little Suwanne rises above
the Okefanakow Swamp, in Appleby county, Georgia. The Suwanne
makes a very circuitous course to the Gulf, into which it carries an exten-
sive delta. It empties its waters through numerous shallow channels.
From the bar, which has no more than five feet water, fifteen feet may be
carried as high as the Santaffe, which enters from the east, fifty-five miles
.from the bar. Above the Santaffe there are several ripples, where the wa-
ters are no more than six feet deep. This depth may be carried up to the
Ouithlacouche. The bed of this river is uniformly rocky. The Santaffe
rises in a long pond, on the ridge of the peninsula. It runs a course of
about fifty miles, and receives the outlet of Sampson's Pond, or Alligator
Creek, New River and Sanfilaseo. above the bridge, and the Echatuckne
below the bridge. The natural bridge covers the stream for about three
miles. In high freshes, the subterraneous passage is not sufficiently large
to receive all the water, and then a large stream passes over it.
The Wakasasse rises in Allachua county, and running a southwardly
course through a long range of ponds, it enters the Wakasasse Bay be-
hind the Fresh Water Keys. This stream passes through a fine grazing
country, as the name imports. The remains of several Indian houses are
situated about seven miles from the mouth of it. This river is little known.
Should the bar be sufficiently deep to admit merchant vessels, a conveni-
ent depot for the produce of the Allachua country may be found on its
The Ouithlacouche rises in the Seminole District, on the east side of
the military road, south of Lake Ware. Its course is N. W. till it ap-
proacihes Camp King, it then turns westward and enters the Gulf above
St. Clement's Point. This is a narrow and swift stream, and in many
places rocky. The bar is shoal; boats, however, may ascend within four-
teen miles of Camp King. From the Silver Spring, a navigable water
of the Ocklawaha, to this place, is seventeen miles. This is decidedly the
place where the waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf can be connected
by the shortest cut, and besides, that the land is comparatively level, the
height of the table land is here only eighty-seven feet above the tide,
while the height on the route by Black Creek and Santaffe, recommended
by the Board of Engineers, is 237- feet. It is matter of regret that the
Engineers did not examine this route; and the more so, as it was particu-
larly pointed out by our delegate in Congress.
Hillsborough River rises a little south of the Ouithlacouche. It has a S.
E. course of about 50 miles and enters the north end of Hillsborough Bay.
Boats can ascend this river about 20 miles, to the falls. Cantonment
Brook is situated at the east side of its mouth.
Manatee river rises in the unexplored country east of Tampa ,Bay, and
is about a mile wide at its entrance. It has ten feet of water to the Falls
of Haffia. It is little known beyond, except that several considerable
branches extend through the country, the largest of which, spreading north-
ward, was by the English called South Hillsborough. The Manatee en-
ters the bay 15 miles S. E. from Cantonment Brook.
Talackchopko, or Peace River, is the same named Asternal on Vig-
nolles' Map. It rises in the interior from Lake Apopkochee, and pursues
a westward course until parallel with Charlotte Bay; it then turns south for
about 18 miles and enters the north side of the bay, some miles below the
mouth of Macaco River. It was 60 yards wide where Capt. Clark's survey
Macaco, or Charlotte River, is supposed to have its source in Myacco
Lake, in the heart of the Peninsula. We have not been so fortunate as to
find white man or Indian that had ever visited the lake or the river more
than fifty or sixty miles above Charlotte.Bay. There, it flowed with
a rapid current, and the stream was two miles wide and twelve feet deep.
The north bank was a wide and deep swamp. The south bank had a
narrow strip of high ground, which soon fell off into mangrove swamp.
This is the largest river on the western side of the Territory. It is to be
regretted that it has never been explored to its source.
Caloosahatchee River enters Carlos Bay; it appears to be a large stream,
but has never been explored. A Spanish fishery has been established at
Delaware, or Gallivan River, enters the east end of the Caximbas,
among numerous islands. It is a bold stream, and vessels drawing eight
feet can sail into it. How far it is navigable is unknown. There is a high
and pleasant bank on the south side of the river, but it seems to be confined
by the mangroves at some distance back. There is a good harbor for
coasting vessels in front of this river.
St. Maria and Hujelos, or Swallow River, are separated only by a
point. They are small streams and their sources are unknown. The Hu-
jelos is the southern boundary of Hackleys' claim, on the west. This is, by
the native Indians, called Chittahatche, or Snake River. They relate
that thirty miles up it there are several good islands, covered with oak tim-
ber and mastic, but they say that they are prevented from hunting there
by the snakes. Except Dry Creek, or Sable Creek as it is sometimes
called, there is no river below the Swallow River. This creek throws up
at its mouth high banks of sand, and is doubtless very rapid in high fresh-
ets. It has an excessive crooked course among the mangroves, which ter-
minates in a drain from the Glades.
Sharks River I could not find, and think that it does not exist. Below the
Upper Camachee Field, 15 miles above Cape Sable, the water was
very deep, and there appeared much current among a cluster of islands.
A stream might enter behind them, but nothinglike what is represented on
the map for Shark's River.
Miame River is a small stream that issues out of the Glades and enters
Sandwich Gulf, behind Cape Florida. It is about six feet deep where it
enters the gulf. The tide rises about 4 miles up in a rocky channel. It
there: forks, and the north branch descends from the Glades in a rapid cur-
rent over a limestone rock. The height of the Glades above the tide has
not been ascertained. The inhabitants here say 40 feet; I feel confident
that it is more- than half that height. Fifty feet, if cut through would drain
a vast extent of grass meadow, that appears to the eye quite boundless.
There may be lagoons of great depth, but they cannot be extensive, as the
waters, to appearance, are not more than, from two to four feet deep.
The River of Rats, or Rattones, is extremely similar to the Miame in its
course. The tide, however, scarcely affects it, and falls over a plane less
iri'lined than the Miame. A prong of this stream is connected with a
branch of New River. Indeed, there is little doubt that all the streams on
this coast, up to Indian River, are drains from the Glades, and thus may
communicate with each other. Arch Creek is a considerable stream that
enters the bay between these two rivers. It waters a rich tract of land.
New River has a longer course than the Miame and Rat Rivers. The
Glade here recedes farther from the coast. It has six feet water on the
bar, and it may be navigated several miles into the country.
The Potomac leaves the Glades about fifteen miles from the coast and
enters H illsborough Inlet, where it is joined by the waters of Bocca Rat-
tones, which has for several years been closed up. There is six feet water
at the mouth of the inlet, which is narrow and rocky. [Since writing the
above, Hillsborough Inlet has closed, and Bocca Rattones is again open.]
Jupiter Creek is a sluggish stream, which runs a N. E. course about 15
miles, and enters the south-west end of IIobe Sound.
Middle River is a drain somewhat larger, and pursues a course from west
to east of about twenty miles, and enters Hobe near the last creek.
Greenville River enters the sound, a short distance from the last river.
Its northern branch is near thirty miles long, and traverses a pine country
after leaving the glades.
St. Lucia enters Indian River near the south end, with a broad bold
stream, which appears more like an arm of the bay, than a river. It con-
tinues thus for ten miles in a westerly direction. Here is a large bend, and
its course is from the south; here it passes through two small lakes. At
twenty-two miles from the mouth it suddenly contracts into a narrow and
crooked, but deep stream; which is encumbered with old cypress trees.
Romans states, that it passesathrough the savannas and glades, but rises
far back in the high grounds of the peninsula. This is contradicted by
Vignolles, who says that it is soon lost in the swamps ; that it is a mere
drain from the glades. The waters of this stream have, within a few
years past, forced a passage through the coast, at the place marked on the
charts, the Gap. Probably, this is not the first time the channel has been
opened. The tide passes and re-passes this new inlet, with great rapidity.
The bar was not sounded by me. It appeared shoal. In the winter of
1832 this inlet was carefully examined; recent storms had made great
changes in the islands of the coast ;-a full mile had been cut off from the
island on the north side of St. Lucia Inlet, and the channel had deepened
to eight feet on the bar.
Indian River is a vast lagoon. It was formerly called Ys. The dis-
tance from its head branches to Jupiter Narrows is about one hundred
miles. It is in some places four miles wide; in others not fifty yards. In
some extensive reaches it would swim a frigate, at others six feet water
can scarcely be found across the channel. The depth of water is greatly
affected by the seasons. When the southern inlets are closed the waters
rise very high, before they have power to force open the closed inlets. The
north branch of this river rises in McDougal's Swamp, five miles S. W.
from New Smyrna. It inundates the centre of the swamp for about
fourteen miles ; it then confines itself to a deep crooked channel, and re-
ceives the west branch from the pine woods, about sixteen miles from New
Smyrna. It is likely that the western branch has the largest course, as
the current is more rapid than that of the north branch. Its course, to the
haulover, is about S. E. In passing southwaidly it gradually spreads to
a width of four miles, and opposite to Cape Canaverel it is more than
six miles wide. It becomes very narrow opposite Crane Creek, and widens
again at the inlet to four miles. The deepest water is usually on the west
side. The eastern side is filled with islands in many places, particularly
above and below the inlet, and on the east side of Merritt's Island. It re-
ceives from the west many tributary streams. Elbow Creek enters just
above the south point of Merritt's Island. It is a large stream. Crane
Creek is less, and enters below the south point of the island. Turkey
Creek is still less, and enters about three miles south of Crane Creek.
These three creeks drain a branch of the glades, that approach within
twelves miles of Indian River.
St. Sebastians River rises in the Glades, and pursuing a N. E. course,
enters the river eighteen miles below Merritt's Island, and twenty-seven
above the Inlet. This is the longest tributary stream of Indian River, ex-
cept St. Lucia, which has been considered as a branch, until lately, when
it forced a passage through the beach, and thus cut off about three miles of
Indian River, to the south, where it is connected with Jupiter Narrows.
These Narrows are a labyrinth of narrow, deep and crooked channels, that
connect the south end of Indian Lagoon, with Hobe Sound. The tide
passes swiftly through them; they are separated by a vast number of man-
grove islands. These narrows extend about eight miles. Hobe Sound is
a handsome sheet of water, from a quarter to half mide wide, and extends
from the narrows to Jupiter Inlet, about eight miles further. Before St.
Lucia River broke the chain, Indian River, and Hobe Sound formed one
great Lagoon, near two hundred miles long. This great Lagoon under-
goes frequent changes. There is every reason to believe that, at some former
period, it discharged a great column of water at Cape Canaverel, which
appears like a bank of sand, forced into the Atlantic by a rapid stream.
This river being choked up by the Coquina formation, which constantly
accumulates on the coast, the waters were driven laterally into the St. Lu-
cia, which in its course became blockaded; and a great lake collected
behind the coast, until the accumulated waters burst new channels into
the sea. Jupiter Inlet has opened and closed three times, within seventy
years. There is at this time, three inlets. The old Indian Inlet, 40 miles
below Cape Canaverel, St. Lucia Inlet, and Jupiter Inlet, all of which are
shoal and appear to be closing up. When one or rmoe of these shall
close, it is to be expected that the force of the tide will render the others
deeper. Should the old inlet and St. Lucia be closed, the navigation of
the whole lagoon would be greatly benefitted. For turtle and fish, Indian
Lagoon is equal to Tampa Bay.
Hillsborough Lagoon extends from Cape Canaverel to Musquito Inlet, a
distance of forty miles. The southern point is in some places six miles
wide. It has no tributary streams. The north end, for fourteen miles, is
full of mangrove Islands; and some, that have high ground, covered with
palms and other timber. Vessels drawing eight feet, can ascend twelve
miles to Turtle mount, and sloops can pass the Cigeras, or Mount Rodney,
four miles further. This Lagoon interlocks with Indian Lagoon. A
small creek connects the east end of Hillsborough Lagoon, with the waters
of Indian River, on the east side of Merritt's Island. At the Haulover, the
distance is only half a mile, between the navigable waters of each. It
abounds in turtle, and fish of the best quality and size. New Smyrna was
situated on the western bank of this lagoon, four miles south of Musquito
Halifax Lagoon extends from Musquito Bar, northward to Tomoko, a
distance of twenty-three miles. It is usually a mile wide, and has many
islands and extensive marshes at the south end. Eight feet water may be
had as far as Pellican Island, eight miles north of the bar, and sloops have
ascended to the Orange Grove, four miles higher. The Bar of Musquito
Inlet, is about the same depth as that of St. Augustine, and the harbor is
easy of access, and when entered perfectly safe. Halifax and Hillsborough
Lagoons, meet at this bar. Several small streams enter the Halifax.
Spruce Creek is navigable from 15 to 20 miles, one half that distance,
through extensive marshes. The Kings road crosses it over a wooden
bridge, ten miles from the lagoon; the creek is there ten feet deep.
Tomoko Creek enters at the head of the lagoon, on the west side.
Smiths Creek and Haulover Creek, unite before they enter the north end
of the lagoon. Haulover Creek rises in the savanna, near the head of Ma-
tanzas River, and not half a mile west of the coast. Smiths Creek is a
drain from the pine woods, west of the former, and is navigable for boats,
sixteen or seventeen miles from the lagoon.
The Matanzas Sound, separates Anastatia Island from the main. From
the Bar of St. Augustine, to the Matanzas Bar is 21 miles, and an arm or
lagoon extends seven miles further, to Mala Compra, the seat of Gen.
ST. JOHN S RIVER.
Hernandez. It is, on an average, three fourths of a mile wide, and receives,
at the south lagoon, Longs Creek; Pallaciers Creek near the Matanzas bar;
Moses and Moultree Creeks twelve and five miles south of St Augustine,
and St. Sebastians, just below the city. Vessels drawing nine feet water,
have often loaded at Matanzas Inlet and passed through the sound to St.
North River rises in Cabbage Swamp west of Diego Plains, and after a
southern course of twenty-five miles, meets the Matanzas at the Inlet of
St. Augustine. It has no tributaries except Guano Creek and several
pleasant brooks, from the pine woods. 'It is navigable for schooners twelve
miles ; thus far, it is about half a mile wide. Boats drawing five feet ascend
to the plains, eight miles farther.
The St. Johns is a noble river, sweeping round a large extent of the
Peninsula in a circular form. Its sources, although, probably within twen-
ty miles of the coast, have never been explored. It often spreads from
three to five miles, in width ; at other places it is not one fourth of a mile.
It is exceedingly crooked, meandering through a beautiful and healthy coun-
try. Although, in a straight line, it may not be one hundred and fifty miles
from its mouth to its source, yet, in its meanderings, it is more than twice
that distance. Vessels drawing' eight feet water, enter Lake George and
Duns Lake, one hundred and fifty miles from its mouth. At the entrance
of this river, there is twelve feet water on the bar. It is here only one mile
wide. A lighthouse on the south side of the river, marks the entrance.
From the best information we have been able to collect, the St. Johns
rises nearly opposite to Cape Canaverel, in the extensive grass meadows
that extend, east and west, from three to twelve miles, and twenty to thirty
north and south, but separated from the waters that run south, into the
Everglades, by a very crooked rise of cabbage land, but little elevated
above the adjoining meadows. Indeed it is more than probable, that in wet
seasons they may be connected.
The head streams are numerous, and although, from three to six feet
deep, are so full of grass that a canoe cannot be pushed up them without
The first open navigable water is a Lake about five miles long and one
wide, near fifty miles south of Lake Monroe. About a mile north of this,
a large stream enters from the S. E. which appears to rise in a small lake
about a mile distant. The river now widens, in the course of three or four
miles, to two hundred yards, and has a depth of eight to ten feet. The
eastern bank is from eight to ten feet high with small beautiful hammocks,
broken through by several tributary streams. The west side an unbroken
ST. JOHN S RIVER.
Three small Lakes now embrace the river in the distance of as many
miles. The river is then divided among numerous large marshy islands, so
that the main channel is hard to be found; ponds and lagoons of every
shape are numerous, and no pine woods to be seen on the west.
In a few miles a Lake opens to the north, perhaps five miles in circuit
and averaging six to seven feet deep. The river leaves this Lake near
three hundred yards wide and twelve to fifteen feet deep, and continues to
meander through grass meadows, marshes, hammocks and clusters of cab-
bage trees, occasionally increased by tributary streams, the largest of
which comes from the south west; in which direction the pine timber again
Seven miles above Lake Monroe, Lake Peyton joins the river on the west
side, at the extremity of a long sharp bend. It extends to the westward four-
teen miles in an oval form, becoming narrow towards each end; the east-
ern, is indeed scarcely half a mile wide for a considerable distance. In the
centre, where the width is perhaps five miles, there is a circular island with a
shoal extending to some distance towards the east. The water of the lake
is usually six feet deep, except the east end which is no more than three
feet. The eastern part of the lake is bordered with cypress swamp. The
western part by hammocks covered with cabbage palms, live oaks and
other hard timbers. A large Indian old field lies on the south side of the
lake near the end. Near it a considerable stream passes into the lake; this
stream rises about a mile from the lake in several large sulphur springs.
On the west side of the stream, on the lake shore is a considerable Semi-
Two miles below Peyton Lake, the river embraces a large island, near
three miles long and one broad.
The country here, is diversified with grass savannas, swells of pine land,
oak hammocks and clumps of palms; in many places near the river, the
grass meadows are rich and beautiful.
Four miles from the island the river enters Lake Monroe over a sand bar
on which there is little more than three feet water.
This Lake is of an oval form, seven or eight miles long and three to four
wide, towards the south end; it is narrow at the north end. A very long
point of land runs from the S. E. end, more than a mile towards the centre
of the lake, dividing it into two deep bays, into the eastern of which the
river discharges itself. The depth of water is on an average about eight
feet, though deeper towards the N. W. end. The river passes from the
lake over a bar of five feet.
The above lake was discovered in the spring of 1837 by Lt. Peyton, 2d artillery. To
whom I am under obligations for this information.
ST. JOHN'S RIVER.
The eastern shore of the lake is thinly shaded with hammock trees, be-
yond which, grass savannas extend for several miles. Several large medi-
cinal springs rise near the N. E. shore. At the S. E. near the entrance of
the river, the bank is formed of concrete shell rock, that might answer for
building. On the S. W. side there is a hammock of some extent, covered
with loose shells; on this is situate Camp Mellon, established by Col. Fan-
ning about the 5th Feb., and attacked by Philip on the 8th. In this affair
the Seminoles were severely handled, and driven off with the loss of several
men, after a close engagement of four hours.
Lake Monroe abounds with excellent fish. North of Lake Monroe, the
river is usually from thirty to fifty yards wide, from two to three fathoms
deep, and very crooked. The banks variegated with meadows of grass,
twenty feet high, hammocks of live oak, magnolia, &c. and clumps of cab-
bage trees, generally rich land, for thirty miles to Berrisford.
Berrisford was the most southern settlement made by the English on this
river. It is a high rich hammock on the N. E. side, separated from the
river by a pleasant lake, half a mile wide, and two or three long. A large
mineral spring rises behind the north point of Berrisford. It is very trans-
parent, five to six fathoms deep, thirty yards broad, abounds in fish, whole
companies of which may be seen sailing in every part of the fountain. The
column of water thrown up forms a creek thirty yards wide, and six feet
deep, which enters the lake near a mile from the head.
For twenty miles the river continues to pass through a country similar
to that from lake Monroe. It then passes through the west end of Long
Lake, at the entrance of which on the west bank, is a wild orange grove.
The east end of this lake is connected with Dexter's Lake by a creek one
and a half miles long. Dexter's Lake is a triangular sheet of water, about
six miles in circumference. Into the N. E. angle enters Spring Garden
Creek. This creek rises in a large spring, five 'miles east of Dexter's Lake
and at the north end of Spring Garden Plantation, the property of Colonel
Rees, of South Carolina. The spring affords water sufficient to manufac-
ture the sugar and mill work of the plantation. It is the first experiment
of damming up and raising water on the spring head, and has succeeded per-
fectly well. Spring Garden Lake, is a shallow water, extending from near
the spring, nearly a mile south, bounding the western side of the plantation.
The whole course of navigation from this to the St. Johns, is about twenty
miles. Long Lake is six miles from east to west, and sufficiently deep for
any craft that can pass Lake George.
Six miles brings us to Volusia, a pleasant military post, six miles above
Lake George, on the N. E. bank of the river. This place was long occu-
pied as a plantation; the soil is rich shell land, rising into considerable emi-
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ST. JOHN'S RIVER. 57
nences. Here the old Indian trail crosses the river leading from St Augus-
tine to Chicuchatty. A road is now opened from this to Tampa Bay by
The river enters Lake George over a bar of four feet water. This lake
Sbout fifteen miles long, and eight wide. It averages about twelve feet
leptth. There are several pleasant and rich tracts of land on its borders,
d it contains two. large islands near the north end. Drayton's Island,
'ned by Mr. Z. Kingsley, contains near three thousand acres of land, on
wnich is a considerable plantation. The Silver Spring, a beautiful fountain,
rises on the S. W. border of the lake, the outlet of which, is navigable for
boats. The Salt Spring rises about five miles from the N. W. shore; the
estuary is navigable for steam boats to the head. A very handsome creek
on the eastern side of the lake, has excellent land on its banks.
Seven miles of bold and open water brings us to Little Lake. This is an
expansion of the river five or six miles in circumference, with a very crook-
ed channel winding through it.
Mount Royal is a small tract of land on the north shore of the river south
of the lake, formerly an English farm.
North of the lake is Mount Tucker, formerly a very extensive plantation,
with a high lookout mound, close to the lake shore. On the west side of the
river, enters the Ocklawaha, the largest tributary of the St. Johns.
This river rises about sixty miles east of Tampa Bay, near the centre of
the peninsula, and after passing through two smaller lakes, enters Lake
Eustis, about nine miles south of the road leading from Volusia to Tampa.
The north end of Eustis approaches near to the road, its outlet is fordable in
dry seasons, but at other times is fifty yards wide, and six to eight feet
deep. A bridge was thrown across this place by General Eustis; it was
afterwards destroyed by the Indians. A large lake spreads out below the
crossing, but little is known respecting it. Pain's Landing used formerly to
be considered the head of navigation, but since the establishment of the In-
dian Agency at Fort King, boats have come up into Spring Creek, three miles
east of that post. Twenty miles below Spring Creek, Orange Creek enters
from the west. From thence it passes through vast clusters of Islands,
which impede the navigation for about eight miles. It enters the St. Johns
opposite Mount Tucker, through very extensive swamps of rich land. The
government of the United States have granted $10 000 to improve the
navigation of this stream.
Twenty miles below the Ocklawaha, Dunn's Creek enters from the east.
This creek is navigable for schooners into Dunn's Lake. From this creek it
is eight miles to Palatka, the seat of Doct. Brush, of New-York, where a
ferry was kept before the Seminole war, on the road leading from St. Au-
ST. JOHN'S RIVER.
gustine to the Allachua country. Palatka is now destroyed by the savages.
Five miles below this, Rice Creek enters from the west; it is navigable
about twenty-five miles. It has its source in the Etteni cluster of ponds,
thirty miles west.
Thus far the river is very narrow, and very crooked ; below this it widens
and becomes much straighter. In a distance of twenty-five miles to Picol-
ata, it is in some places three miles wide. At Picolata on the east, and
Bayard on the west, the great road from St. Augustine to Tallahasse
crosses. This far the tide rises from ten to eighteen inches. A line of
steamboats runs from Savanna to this place.
Six Mile Creek enters from the east, five miles below Picolata, and Black
Creek at twelve miles, on the west side. This creek has a good navigable
channel, fifteen miles to Garey's Ferry, where a military post is established.
Mandarin is a small village on the east bank of the river, three miles
below the mouth of Julington Creek. Girts Creek enters from the west,
five miles above Jacksonville, and Trout Creek five miles below. Pablo
enters from the south three miles above the bar.
There is an inland communication between the St John's and St. Mary's,
navigable for steamboats.
The tide is perceptible in the St. John's more than a hundred miles from its
mouth. Its waters are of a brown color, tinged by the abundant vegetables
washed in its course. It abounds in fish, and its alligators have been cele-
brated by Bartram the younger rather correctly than otherwise.
Nassau River rises about half way between the St. John's and St. Ma-
ry's. Its sources are in large swamps west of the King's Road. It pursues
a meandering course of about fifty miles, through extensive marshes, and
enters the Atlantic over a bar of six feet at low water.
St Mary's River is the boundary line between Florida and Georgia. It
rises in Oquafanoke Swamp in Apling County, Georgia, and discharges its
waters into the Atlantic in lat. 30 40-L N. between Cumberland and Ame-
lia Islands. There is thirteen and a half feet of water on the bar at low
tide. The tide rises six and a half feet. High tides at full and change of
the moon, at half past six o'clock. This river is clear and limpid water,
and navigable for large vessels, eighty-five to one hundred miles. The na-
vigation is safe, the banks almost perpendicular. It is, however, a very
crooked stream. The little St. Mary's is a southern branch, that enters the
river about 25 miles above the town, and directly below the plantation of
Z. Kingsley, Esq.
Spanish Creek rises in Little Oquafanoke Swamp, and enters the river
just above Colerain. Big Creek rises in Allachua County, and is the south-
ern branch of the St. Mary's. Its source is'in a large pond. The inland
communication between this river and the St. John's, is large enough for
the passage of steamboats. Congress has lately expended several thou-
sand dollars for the purpose of improving this communication.
The first lake worthy of notice in the western part of the territory, is
McDavid's. It is situate on the north line of Walton County. It is about
three miles long and two broad. It is a beautiful sheet of water, abound-
ing in fish and water fowl.
Lake Wimico is near the coast in Washington County. It is seven
miles long and three broad. It has a navigable outlet into the Appalachico-
la River. Its west end is five and a half miles from the St. Joseph's. It is
now connected with the St. Joseph's by a rail road.
Hort's Lake is an inundation of the Appalachicola River, covering a large
extent of country. The Chipola river passes through it. It has not been
Iamony Lake is situate in the north part of Leon County, is between eight
and nine miles long, and from three to four broad. It discharges its wa-
ters into the Ocklockony River.
Lake Jackson is four miles N. W. from Tallahasse. It extends north
and south about ten miles, and is in some parts five miles wide.
Mickasooke Lake lies east of Lake Jackson, It is twelve miles from
north to south, extending into the State of Georgia. The western part is
much the largest, and is in form a triangle. Much of this lake is covered
with tall grass, of which cattle are so fond, that they often wade where the
water is over their backs to feed on it.
Old Tallahasse Lake is in the S. E. part of La Fayette's Township. It
is three miles long from east to west, and about a mile wide. It has long
been celebrated for its excellent trout.
Sampala Lake, the San Pedro of the Spaniards, is situate in Madison
county, on the north side of the eastern military road. This is a superior
water for fish. It has an outlet into Foenahalloway, or Chattahatchee
Alligator Lake is situate in the north part of Allachua, now Columbia
County, on the south side of the military road. In winter it is three miles
long and almost as wide. It receives several creeks, but has no outlet, ex-
cept a sink hole, which in summer drains the pond nearly dry. It is then
an excellent grazing tract. It probably communicates with New River, a
north branch of the Santaffe.
Randolph, or as the inhabitants call it, Ocean Lake, is on the north side
of the St. Augustine road, about fifteen miles N. E. of Alligator Lake. It
is one of the heads of the St. Mary's River, and is claimed by Georgia as
the main source of that river. It is said to be six or seven miles long, and
two or three wide.
Pithlachucco Lake is within the Arredondo Grant, in the centre of Al-
lachua County. It is nine miles long and three wide. Its outlet, called
the River Styx, falls into the great sink of Allachua Savanna.
Hogmaster's Lakes are two, closely connected together, extending east
and west about seven miles. They lie south of Mr. Levis' Plantation, in
the heart of the Allachua grant. They are almost covered with grass.
Orange Lake, in the same grant, is eleven miles long and from one to
five miles wide. When this lake is rendered navigable from its head to the
Ocklawaha, and thence into the St. John's River, it will be the depot of the
produce of the Allachua country.
The Etteni Ponds are a large cluster, of all sizes and shapes, up to four
or five miles in extent. They extend south of the Ockawilla Savanna to
the Orange Lake Creek. The largest of them is the head of Big Cedar
Creek. They derive their name from a tribe of Seminole Indians, whose
towns were situate among them.
Doctor's Lake is rather an arm of the St. John's River. It extends
south-West, towards Little Black Creek, about seven miles, and is from
two to three miles wide, and navigable for schooners.
Dunn's Lake lies between St. John's and Musquito Counties. It is fif-
teen miles long and four to five wide. It is a beautiful sheet of water,
abounding in fish and water fowl, and is navigable for large schooners.
Dunn's Creek connects it with the St. John's. It receives the Haw
Creeks at the S. E. end. The three creeks unite near the lake, and form
a channel navigable for boats four or five miles.
Lake George is fifteen miles long and eight to nine broad. It is pretty
uniformly .twelve feet deep. It receives many pleasant streams, from
the east and two large springs from the west. The salt spring rises five
miles from the lake, and admits boat navigation to the head. The silver
spring rises only a mile from the lake and throws into it, a tribute of trans-
parent water. The river above Lake George expands into several small
lakes. Spring Garden Creek does the same, and the Ocklawaha, more than
Lake Eustis is near the head of the Ocklawaha, and is said to be of an
oval form about five miles on the course of the river, and four miles wide.
On the S. E. side there are high sand hills.
One branch of the Ocklawaha passes through two more large lakes.
The southernmost is Apopka; it is large but little known.
Apokachee or Big Apopka is situated south of Hitchepucsassee, is the
head of Talackchapko or Peace River ; it is said to be ten miles long and five
or six wide. At the outlet on the S. E. end the Seminoles had several towns
containing two hundred houses, which were burned by Col. Goodwin, at
the close of General Scott's campaign.
Tokopalika Lake is situated in the centre of the peninsula of East Flori-
da, and is connected with the southern Everglades by a chain of lakes and la-
goons. Standing on theN. E. shore, no land can be seen in a southern direc-
tion. Gen. Jessup's campaign extended south asfaras thislake. Philip's princi-
pal towns were in this vicinity, and here he remained unmolested during the
whole Seminole war, with the exception of the establishment of fort Mellon
on Lake Monroe, supposed to be twelve to fifteen miles east of this Lake.
Lake Monroe is sixty miles from Lake George in a south east direction;
It is seven miles long and from three to four miles wide. It is usually full
eight feet deep. It is of an oval form, narrowest at the north west end, and
has a long point jutting from the south east end more than a mile towards
the centre of the lake, dividing the south end into two deep bays. It abounds
in fine fish, and is altogether a healthy and pleasant sheet of water. Fort
Mellon is on the S. W. bank.
Lake Ware is situated between the Seminole Agency and Tampa road,
and the Ocklawaha river. It is said to be five miles long and three miles
wide ; Pilhuena Island, near the south end of this lake, is described as a rich
and romantic spot. Its luxuriant orange groves are said, formerly to have
over-shadowed a red sprig of Royalty, who appears at least to have pos-
sessed some taste in rural scenery.
Fresh Water Lake lies parallel and near to the southern Atlantic coast.
Its north end approaches within ten miles of Hobe Sound. From thence,
it extends southwardly, twenty-four miles, and is usually from two to three
miles wide. There are several large lakes in this neighborhood, but they
have not been explored, by any person, to my knowledge.
The same observations apply to Lake Macaco; several old maps exhibit
waters on the interior of the Peninsula, connecting the principal rivers on
both sides. I am inclined to believe, that the peninsula has not been ex-
plored, far from either coast, south of Tampa Bay and Indian Lagoon.
When Ferdinand de Soto invaded Florida, he found an Indian Chief named
Macaco in the neighborhood of Tampa Bay, and his province bore the
same name. When I visited Charlotte Bay, in 1828, I found several
native Indians, about the Spanish fisheries, who called Charlotte River, by
the name of Macaco, but they could not be made to comprehend anything
about such a lake. Not one of the writers who have described this country,
since the change of flags, has been able to obtain any certain intelligence
~ ~ ~ ~ j .
The Horses of Florida are a breed of hardy ponies, small and easy to
support; they will keep fat on the wild grass and herbage of the country,
but they are not heavy enough for the harness. They are excellent travel-
lers in a new and sandy country like ours. The breed is said to have been
brought, originally, from Andalusia in Spain. It is thought that a breed of
horses, from the English, mixed with the native poney, would unite most
of the qualities, desirable in that useful animal.
Mules are not raised here, but they are frequently brought from the
neighboring states, and sometimes from Campeachy and Texas. They
are principally used for draft. They live longer, and are more easily kept
than the English horse.
The native cattle are a large breed with broad horns and close, sleek
hair. They are good breeders, but have not been highly valued for their
milk. They often become very fat on the wild grass of the country. The
marshes on the coast, often give the milk, as well as the beef, a disagree-
able flavor and a bad taste. Cattle bred in the interior country, often be-
come sick when brought near the coast for grazing.
Few oxen are used in the yoke, because agriculture is yet in its infancy
in the Territory.
Sheep succeed well in the higher parts of the country. The flavor of
the mutton is good, and the meat of a tolerable quality.
Goats are raised with ease; they even seem to succeed best when most
neglected. They multiply faster than any other domestic animal, and their
increase is a clear profit to the owner.
Of dogs we have every kind. The hound is extremely useful to the
early settler on the frontier, and pointers and water-dogs are highly valued
on the coast, where fowls are abundant.
Hogs succeed to admiration; they grow fat where every other animal
would starve. They delight in the small shell-fish and marsh roots on the
coast, while the mast and black bracken roots, in the country, are equal fa-
vorites with them.
Of wild animals, the deer is most important; they are numerous in
almost every part of Florida. They however do not grow so large here, as
in the Middle States, and they are still smaller towards the capes of the
Panthers are numerous in many parts of the Territory. In some of the
grazing districts they are particularly destructive to calves. They are
very shy animals and rarely seen.
Bears are most numerous about the cane-brakes. They destroy abun-
dance of hogs, and are usually very fat.
Um 1 A jL 14LA k-h it
ANIMALS AND REPTILES.
Wolves are found in all the unsettled parts of the Territory; but except
in purloinng a calf occasionally, they are little known. Their attention
is usually directed to the sheep, and of these, there are, as yet, very few in
Wild cats and foxes are rare. Opossums and racoons extremely nume-
rous. The latter, in particular, about the sea-coasts live on fish and oysters,
and become lumps of fat.
Otters and minks are numerous about the water courses. There are two
kinds of squirrel;-the small grey, and the pine squirrel. The latter is a
beautiful animal. His body is usually of a rich, glossy, brown color, and
his head black, and very often one half of his face white. The Salaman-
der is a land mole, about half the size of a rat. He is peculiar for throw-
ing up rows of small sand hills over the woods, where the ground is easily
excavated. He lives on the roots of plants. Rats and mice are numerous
and troublesome every where. The small ground mole often commits dep-
redations in the gardens, and especially in the orange nurseries.
A great variety of Tortoises inhabit the territory. The common Land
Tortoise, vestudo guacca, is from seven to ten inches long, very thick and
clumsy, its head fat, and its tail covered with scales, its shell a dark brown
on the back, and pale yellow beneath. It usually lives in deep shady
woods, and feeds on insects. The female lays five eggs, and covers them
up in sand, leaving them to hatch by the heat of the sun.
The Gopher is much larger than the land tortoise. It frequently weighs
from six to twelve pounds. It delights in soft sandy land, where it can
push its burrows with little labor. It is usually taken by digging pits, be-
fore the mouth of its burrow. Soup and gumboes made of their flesh, are
in high estimation. They feed in the evening and morning, on the dewy
grass and herbs, but never stray far from their holes. They lay two or
three eggs near their habitations, these are quite round, with hard shells,
about the size of hens eggs; they are covered about four inches in sand, and
left to hatch by the heat of the sun.
There is a very small tortoise found in Florida, not larger than a dollar.
They are curiously striped with yellow, they are quite docile, and placed
in a tumbler of water, they make very clever pets. I have not seen the
species in any other place.
The Painted Tortoise, testudo picta, is found in our rivers where they
become brackish with the tide. They delight to bask in the sun, upon old
logs, on limbs that hang over the water, from which they drop at the first
appearance of danger. It is somewhat larger than the land tortoise.
The Snapping Tortoise, testudo serpentina, grows to a huge size; our
Lakes and Lagoons are well supplied with them. They often bite at the
hook, and make very good food.
The Green Tortoise, testudo mydas, is very numerous among the Flo-
rida Keys. They are found, more or less, in every part of the Gulf of
Mexico, and they also extend up the eastern coast of Florida, in considera-
ble numbers. They grow to a great size. They usually average from
ninety to a, hundred pounds, but one was caught near the Ouithlacouche
river, by Capt. Dagget, of the Dighton, weighing six hundred. Another
was brought into Key West, weighing near eight hundred. Their heads
are small and round, their feet long and webbed somewhat like fins. They
come upon the beach, during the moonlight nights, of the summer season,
dig holes in the edge of the grass, near high water mark, and lay from 112
to 130 eggs, and bury them from two to three feet deep in the sand. The
turtle hunters often find, them at their nests, and turn them on their backs,
where they remain safely till they are conveyed away. When pursued on
shore, they throw the sand with great violence behind them. They are
very social, and herd together in large communities. Many inhabitants of
the Keys, live by hunting them. A good turtler, will take from ten to
twenty in a day; they not only surprise them by land, but they pursue
and strike them at sea. The tortoise spike is one inch and a half long ; the
point that pierces the shell is only three fourths of an inch square, sharp
and highly polished; a grooved shoulder is raised in the centre, to which a
cord is tied, a very short socket enters the end of a long straight pole, from
which the spike easily slips. Great judgment is requisite in striking the
tortoise; if the blow be too heavy, the shell is cracked by the shoulder of
the spike, and it will not then adhere, but if correctly entered, the force of
the largest tortoise will not disengage the spike. The animal flies like a
harpooned whale, but soon looses breath, and is easily towed to the boat.
Large nets are also used in deep water, to catch them. By the quantity,
tortoises are sold about the keys, at six and a half dollars per hundred
weight; at retail, twelve and a half cents per pound, is a common price.
The Hawk-bill, testudo imbrecata, is a rare turtle on our coast. It is
occasionally taken among the green ones. It is not highly valued for
food. Its shell is highly estimated in commerce, and finds a ready sale
among the manufacturers of combs, snuff-boxes, &c.
The soft-shell, testudo feron, inhabits our fresh water lakes; it is covered
with a gelatinous gristle, instead of a shell. It is shaped like the green
tortoise, and his feet are somewhat webbed. He ;usually feeds on frogs,
but is particularly fond of young ducks. Its flesh is quite equal to that of
the green tortoise. It rarely weighs over twenty pounds.
Turtling forms so important a branch of southern industry, that a turtle-
crawl is considered an essential appurtenance to a habitation ; as much so,
as a barn is to a northern farmer. Turtle is the permanent stock. The
crawl is a pen made where the water is about two feet deep, at low tide.
Mangrove poles are generally driven into the beach, so near together that
the turtle cannot pass between them. The tide thus flows freely about
them, and they are daily fed with sea-grass or-purslain.
The Alligator, laceita cinerous, is undoubtedly the ugliest creature
living. Floating on the water he resembles a log. On land he looks like
a huge snake, with the addition of thick, short legs, and sprawling claws.
But it is in his wallow, a large mud hole arong the rushes, that the alli-
gator is quite at home, surrounded by a hundred young imps of ugliness,
all barking like young puppies, and constantly pursued by the male for
food. The female then adds rage to her natural deformity, and often kills
her whelps by the strokes of her tail, while fighting in their defence. If
any of our readers wish to become acquainted with the chivalric character
of the male, let them consult William Bartram's Travels in Florida, page
129. These hideous reptiles are, however, more disgusting than danger-
ous. I have often seen people bathe within a few yards of them, with per-
fect safety; nor have they, so far as we have ever heard, attempted to in-
jure any person. They often attack dogs and hogs, and have, rarely, at-
tempted to seize cattle swimming in the water. During the warm season
they spend the night in holes of fresh water near the coast; but usually
retire into the sea or some deep water during the day. Some inhabit the
inland lakes and rivers, but salt lagoons are their favorite residence, where
fish, turtle, and frogs are plenty; they are not delicate in their choice of
food. They sometimes swallow pine knots for want of better eating.
During the warm evenings of summer, it is difficult for strangers to sleep
near their haunts, on account of their bellowing. In the southern parts of
the Territory, they keep abroad during the winter; but they are not so nu-
merous there, as in the St. John's River, and Appalachicola Bay, which
are greatly infested by them. Their nests are truly described by Bartram,
nor has he greatly exaggerated their numbers ; but I have never discovered
the ferocity that he describes. Their eggs are usually laid in five or seven
tiers, one above another, with layers of green vegetables and mud between
each; the whole is then plastered over with mud, and forms a cone four
feet high, and as many in thickness. The heat of the fermenting vegeta-
bles and the sun's rays hatch the eggs, and the young whelps, about six
inches long, crawl, in succession, from a hole near the top of the nest, and
instinctively seek their mother in some neighboring wallow. The alligator
differs from the crocodile in their teeth; the fourth pair of the crocodile
passes upwards in a groove,-the alligator's perforates the upper jaw.
The feet of the crocodile are webbed, those of the alligator are half-web-
bed. The crocodile does not bellow like the alligator. The flesh of the
alligator is said to be wholesome and pleasant food, and is eaten by many
people. Their hides make excellent leather.
There is a great hiatus between the alligator and the striped lizard, la-
certa scorpio. This reptile is only six or seven inches long, with sides
striped alternately with red and brown, and has large red gills. It is a
greasy, disgusting thing, and very impudent, intruding itself into the cham-
bers of the new settlers. It is, however, innocent, feeding on flies and
The Swift, lacerta veloxa, is from five to six inches long, of an ash color,
striped and dotted with brown. The tail long, of a deep green, and ex-
tremely brittle ; when broken off it is re-produced in a short time.
The Florida Cameleon, lacerta agilis, is less ugly than any of the lizard
family. It is very domestic; delights to run over the vegetables in the
gardens, peas in particular. It will often sit on a leaf and puff out its un-
der lip like a bladder, speckled with rubies, looking you all the time in the
face with great assurance. It is almost transparent. While living on ve-
getables it is of a most beautiful green, while those that are found on dark
or burnt soils are of a dark brown; some are beautifully speckled with scar-
The Black Newt, L. terestris, is usually found under rotten timber, and
rarely appears abroad.
The Bull Frog, rana accellata, is found in great numbers in some of our
grassy ponds, but they are not so large or so numerous as in the Middle
States. They live only in pure water, and feed on young ducks and
cray-fish. They, in their turn, become the prey of the alligator, who will,
in the course of a few weeks, clear a considerable pond of them.
The common Brown Frog, rana temporaria, is more numerous than
any other of the species. The female lays thousands of eggs at a litter;
these produce the little brown frogs, that we see after a shower, all of a
size, crawling in multitudes over the ground.
The Green Frog,. R. esculenta, is sometimes seen in the northern parts of
Florida, but they are rare. About the month of May the female spawns,
and the male attends to regale her with an unusual croaking noise. This
kind of frog is in some countries highly valued, as a wholesome and de-
The Little Tree-Frog, hyale, is of a fine pale green color. They usually
live among the branches of trees, and feed on moths, worms, &c. They
are rarely seen, on account of their similarity of color to the herbage they
inhabit. Like the green lizard, this reptile assumes the color of the objects
it inhabits. They are very musical reptiles, and rejoice at the fall of
The House Frog, hyale domestic, is usually concealed under the roof,
or in some hole, from which it can easily approach the open air. He is al-
so very musical; in damp weather and during settled rains joins his notes
with those of the tree frog and cricket, in a general serenade.
The Garden Frog, H. hortularius, imitates to perfection the barking of a
puppy. His note is so loud as to become very disagreeable.
The Rattlesnake, crotillus horridus, is occasionally found in the islands
and dry hammocks of Florida. The pine woods are so frequently burnt
over that most of the reptile tribes are destroyed; some few get into the gopher
holes and shelter themselves from the flames. The low parts of the Territo-
ry are too wet for them, and the south is too hot. There are, perhaps,
less snakes in Florida, than in any State or Territory of the same extent in
the Union. I have spent nineteen years in this Territory, and visited almost
every part of it, and during that time I have not seen so many poison-
ous snakes as I have discovered in half a day in the western part of Penn-
The Copperhead has been discovered only in the western part of the
Territory, and there very rarely.
The Moccassin is the most numerous snake in the Territory. It inha-
bits still waters. About the mouths of some rivers they bask on logs and
limbs of trees, and often drop into boats passing under them. Their bite,
although not so terrible as that of the rattlesnake, is yet very poisonous.
The Viper, coluber berus, has been seen in some parts, but is very
The Ground Rattlesnake is about 12 inches long. It is frequently seen
coiled in a circle, flat like a piece of ferretting ; in this situation it lies on a
fence rail, or log, and has been seized by children, as a plaything. Its bite
often produces a lingering illness, though not frequently mortal.
The Black Snake, constrictor, is considerably numerous. One kind
lives among the titi bushes, that cover streams running through the pine
barrens. They often grow large and catch many chickens. They are.not
poisonous. A less kind inhabits the water; these are numerous in some
The Coachwhip is the largest and most numerous kind of snakes in
Florida. They exactly resemble a thread-covered whip, with a black han-
dle. The body is remarkably slender, of an ashy grey color. They are
The Pine Snake is long and slender also, and chequered with black, on a
light ground, the cheques are scarcely a twelth of an inch square. It is in-
The King snake wears a coat of brilliant hues. Lack, brown, yellow
and white colors shine in mixed rings of an inch in length. He is about
four feet long, somewhat stouter than the pine snake, and has the credit of
destroying the rattle snake, wherever he can find him.
The Bull Snake is of the size and color of the rattle snake, but is not
poisonous; his shape is more slender, he is sometimes called the Gopher
The Garter, Riband, Green and Grass snakes are occasionally seen, but
there are few of either kind.
The Insects of Florida are numerous as her vegetable productions, and
were it not for the birds that destroy them, they would render the country a
wilderness. Yet so careless are the inhabitants of their interests, that ten
persons are found to destroy the innocent warblers, for one that attempts to
destroy the pestiferous insects. Those most common, are-
Night-walker.-Melalonthe. He flies about in the night and eats off the
leaves of plants.
Lady-bird.-Coccenilla. This insect feeds on the aphides, or tree-lice and
is very useful to gardens.
Wevil.-curculia. A most destructive insect, in this climate, destroy-
ing every kind of grain; indian corn in particular, is so much injured by it,
in a few weeks, as to render it useless. It is common to leave the corn un-
husked, to guard, in some degree, against the evil.
Metal Bug.-cicindela. Appears clothed in copper highly burnished.
Cochineal.-C. cacti. The larvae of this insect resides, during the win-
ter, under a white web, on the leaf of the prickly pear, or the articulation of
the nopal, where it leaves its eggs to hatch in the spring and to feed on the
flower of the plant. Both larvae and imago are filled with the purple
Dermestes cardaneus. A small oval spotted bug.
D.-- domesticus. The little bug that turns wood to a white pow-
der, called powder-post.
D. ferugenia. Feeds on rose buds.
D.- carrabeus. Feeds on the tender leaves of trees.
D.- cassida. A smaller spider.
D. farfidela. Produces the Earwig.
r Ptinus pulsator. Ticks his everlasting note on the old paper, in Florida,
as well as every other place. He is, by superstitious people called the death
P.- fur. The book-worm.
P.- campyrus. The fire-fly.
The above are insects with shelly wings of the class caleoptra. The fol-
lowing have wings of a softer texture, of the class hemeptera.
Cockroach.-Bletta. A most infamous stinking bug, very numerous
and very mischievous, eating papers, wafers &c. ; no place can be guarded
against them. Some grow to two inches in length. They are brown, but
after moulting, their new covering is almost white. The natives dis-
solve them in spirits to cure wounds and spasms.
Grass-hopper. Locust.-gryllus. The former are plenty, the latter rather
scarce. A large chocolate colored grasshopper is found in Florida, three
inches long, often very numerous, on the marsh grass. They are very slug-
gish, scarcely removing to avoid death. They seem born for no purpose
but to propagate their species and to die.
Katydid.-cicady. This insect lays her eggs near the edge'of the
orange leaf, the edge of one lopping over the other like scales. The leaf of
the tree is their food.
C.-spumonia lays her eggs on the stalk of some plant, and encloses
them in a bunch of froth. This froth is by some called snake spittle.
Vine-fretter.-aphis puceron. Is very destructive to vines, rose bushes,
cabbages &c. There is said to be one hundred and fifty species. On every
species of plant they vary in form and color. They derive their whole nour-
ishment, from the juice of the plant they inhabit. Fortunately they have
many enemies; the caterpillar will devour one hundred pucerons in an hour.
Gall Bug.-chermes. An insect similar in appearance to the puceron,
but the chermes enter the twig, or leaf, and raise an excrescence about it
which we call gall-nut.
Thrips are minute insects, of various forms, that live on the flowers of
Bed Bug.-betulanius. Found in houses,where there is a want of indus-
try and neatness, very rare in Florida.
Ant.-formica. These insects, the little red ant, in particular, are terrible
pests. They penetrate the earth and every thing that exists on the face of
it. They do not raise hills of sand, as at the north, but they undermine trees
and plants, destroy furniture and crawl into every kind of food. There are
Butterfly-lepidaptera. Innumerable. While in this state of existence,
they are not only innocent, but afford much pleasure by their brilliant colors
and graceful undulations. But in the eruce, or caterpillar state they are
infinitely mischievous. In some instances, they have destroyed whole crops
of cotton in a few days. The most common species of the butterflies in
Peacock -papillio io. This butterfly produces the eruca gossippium;
most destructive to the cotton plant.
Tortoise shell, P. urtical. Feeds on the asclepias.
Blue, P. eimon.
Yellow, P. flava.
White, P. alba,
Citron Moth, P. extreus.
The eruca often covers the limbs of the orange, stripping the branches.
Tobacco Moth, P. faciola.
Very destructive to the tobacco.
Hawk Moth, P. iris.
Eyed Sphynx, S. ascellatus.
Death Head, S. atropos.
This insect gives rise to many foolish superstitions.
Clothes Moth, Phalena sargatella.
Very destructive to clothes, furs, skins, &c.
Cabbage Moth.-P. oleracia. This insect will in a few days time, make
riddles of every cabbage in a garden. They must be carefully watched
every morning in the summer, and destroyed as fast as they appear.
Musquito Hawk.-Libellula. Called by some the dragon fly, is bred in the
water, but hovers about moist places, and lives principally on musquitoes.
Bay Fly.-Ephemera. This fly is the innocent tenant of a day, but very
numerous at some seasons.
Rustic Fly.-E. vulgata. Similar to the above.
River Fly.-Rornbica, Spring Fly.-Phygarea. Both these species,
in the larvae state, enclose themselves in a silken web, to which they
attach sand, sticks and bits of shells, by way of fortification. They confine
themselves to fresh water.
The Hymenopterea, or stinging insects, are very numerous.
Wasp.-Vespa. Are of several kinds. The large black wasp builds his
mud dwellings, under the roofs or ceilings of houses. The small black
wasp constructs a comb, like the honey bee, and hangs it to a limb. The
yellow jacket burrows in the ground, as in the northern states.
Honey Bee.-Aphis. The honey bees found wild in Florida, are smaller
than those which are domesticated in the northern states, their honey is very
white and pure, and when made from the orange flower, the aroma of the
blossom is distinctly perceptible, and much admired. The ants, moths and
spiders, wage eternal war with this favorite insect, and' it requires con-
stant attention, to guard them from their enemies. The trouble is however
well repaid, and the raising of them ought to be encouraged.
Humble Bee.-A. bombyleous. This common insect is very often robbed
of his small store of honey, by the bears.
Gall Fly.-Cynips. This insect produces on the lonicena and some other
shrubs, excresences of a very extraordinary shape and size.
Saw Fly.-Tenthredo. Pine timber, cut in the summer, is pierced full of
holes by this living auger. In order to guard against his ravages, timber
should be cut in the winter and pealed ; when thus exposed to the sun, the
albumen becomes too hard for his operations.
Ichneumon.-Manifestator. A harmless insect and useful in destroying
Two winged insects of the Deptra class, are very numerous, at certain
House Fly.-Musca domesticus. Not so bad in Florida, as in the middle
Gad Fly.-M. astres. Extremely numerous and vindictive.
Horse Fly.-M. equi. Of these there are five kinds-1st. the large
black, called thunder bug, an inch long; 2nd. small black; 3d. the small
brown, very numerous near the sea-coast; 4th. the green fly with a black
head, a perfect savage; 5th. the slender green fly seen only in the morning
Horse Guard, a species of large Hornet that burrows in the sand; de-
stroys the flies.
Gnat.-Culex. Four kinds-1st. the Gallinipper, with speckled legs,
near half an inch long; 2nd. Musquito, which infest the low mangrove
swamps, on the southern end of the peninsula, and the low and wet ground,
in every part of the Territory, are more or less infested by them; and in
some places, the hammocks and pine woods swarm with them. The
whole territory affords no object so unpleasant.to strangers, as this little
troublesome insect. But even in their worst haunts, an extensive cultiva-
tion of the land, nearly exterminates them. 3d. Sand Fly; this insect
continues but a short period, and is confined to the coast; 4th. the Mite
Gnat, is common to every part of America, and we have our share of them.
Insects without wings, or .Jptera.
Red Cotton Bug.-Baccareum. An insect that pierces the capsule of
the cotton, enters the seed and deposits its egg. The seed emits an oil
from the hole that stains the floss of the cotton, of a yellow brown color.
Sometimes the capsule dies, but more frequently survives in a sickly state
Mite Red Bug.-Londicorreus. Is too small to be observed by the naked
eye. It resides on old rotten wood and moss. They crawl over a person
in myriads, insinuating themselves under the skin, and raising large burn-
ing blotches, which produce an inveterate itching. The best remedy is
immediately to bathe in salt water or spirits.
Sea Tick.-Sanguineus. Are confined to a few locations.
Wood Tick.-Ovino. These are frequent in all the unsettled parts of
Cheese Mite.-Siro. Itch Mite.-Exulcerons. Very rare in Florida.
Spider.-Aranea. There are many kinds.
Silk Spider.-A. Flavia. About the size of a pigeons egg. He extends
strong lines of yellow silk, to a great distance, from tree to tree. It is so
strong that small birds have been caught and held by it.
Giant Spider.-Gigantea. Covers four inches of ground, with its
sprawling hairy legs. His bite is poisonous, but not mortal; the inflamma-
tion usually subsides in a few hours.
Crab Spider.-A. cancer. This unusual insect is found near the sea-coast.
The orange tree is his favorite residence. He bears a shell similar to a crab,
dark mottled brown on the back, and yellow underneath. Each side is
armed with three red spikes.
House Spider. A. labarinthicus.
Water. A. fimbreata. .
All these kinds are innocent,
Black. A. halorisiea. and not numerous.
and not numerous.
Wanderer. A. viatica.
Field. A. graminia.
Flea. pulex. Abundant in the new settlements in dry hammock lands.
They are innumerable about the beds of hogs and dogs. In our houses,
soap suds and the broom are effectual remedies, but require frequent
Chigoe.-Jigger .A species of flea, confined to a few places in the Terri-
tory. It enters the skin of the feet, forms a little bag, in which it deposits
numbers of eggs ; as they increase in size, the bag extends to the size of a
pea. They inflame the flesh and produce excruciating itching. To cure
the part, the bag must be carefully extracted. If broken, each egg, too
small to be seen, produces a new ulcer.
Scorpion.-scorpio. Found in various parts. The large brown kind are
sometimes three inches long. The smaller kind are lighter colored, and
usually live in the ground, or under boards, on old wood. Their bite in-
flames the part affected, but has never proved dangerous.
Barnacle.-L. antifera and L. narialis. These are most destructive in-
sects to all water craft. They often, in a few months time, reduce the
bottom of a vessel to a honey-comb. Vessels are preserved for a short time,
by paying them over with tar and brimstone. But coppering is the only
effectual remedy. The mangrove and the cabbage-palm resist their attack.
There are many birds in Florida, distinguished for the brilliancy of their
plumage; and some that are excellent food. But there are fine songsters
besides the Mocking Bird.
The Wild Turkey, meleagris Americana, stands at the head of the fes-
tive board, and is abundant in most of the new settlements.
The Water Turkey, ichthyophagus, is less than the wild turkey, and
usually of a darker color. It is supposed to be the Ibis of the Egyptians.
It haunts the streams and lakes of the interior. These birds usually sit
over the water on some pendant limb, from which they suddenly drop, when
disturbed, and sink to the bottom, where they may be seen walking, if the
water be clear. Their flesh is very good eating.
Bald Eagle. Falco leucephelus.
Fishing Eagle. F. piscatoreus.
Hen Hawk. F. gallinareus.
Chicken Hawk. F pullenareus.
Pigeon Hawk. F. columbarea.
Marsh Hawk. F. raniverius.
Horned Owl. Strix arcticus.
Whooping Owl. S. acclamator.
Screech Owl. S. assio.
[The owl is more numerous in the northern, than in the southern parts
Turkey Buzzard. Vultur. aurea.
Carion Crow. V. atratus.
Raven. Cerrus carniverous.
Rook. C. martimus.
Small Crow. C. ferugireous.
Florida Jay. C. floridamus.
Jackdaw. Granda quiscula.
Crow Blackbird. G. purpurea.
Bob of Lincoln. oriole.
Paroquet. Psitticus carolinaensis.
Whiteback Woodpecker. Picus principalis.
Red Crested. P. pillatus.
Red bellied. P. carolinus.
Speckled. P. pubescens.
Yellow bellied. P. various.
Nuthatch. P. varia venture.
Brown Creeper. Centhia rufa.
Pine Creeper. C. pinus.
King Fishe:. Aludo alion.
Humming Bird, trochilus calubris. We have two other kinds of the
humming bird, very small, but very beautiful.
Butcher Bird.-lanius garrullus.
Wren.-muscitapa cantatrix. We have three other kinds of flycatchers.
Pigeon.-columbo migratore. This kind are not so numerous in general,
as the turtle dove, and ground dove.
Robin.-turdus migratoreus. Seen here only in winter.
Mocking Bird.-T. pollyglottis. These incomparable singers, are nu-
merous in every part of Florida.
Cedar Bird.-amphillis garrullus.
Sparrow.-passen palustris. There are two other kinds. The house
sparrows are numerous.
Red Bird.-merula merilandica. The loxia cardinalis is also found
here, but is less in size, and by no means so fine a singer as the merula.
Tewe.-fringilla. There are four kinds of fringilla.
Cowpen bird.-S. stercatoreus
Blue Bird.-motacilla sialis. There are four kinds of motacilla.
Yellow Bird.-parreus luteus. A species of Rice Bird.
Swallow. -hi"rundo. There are four or five kinds, of which the Martin
is most admired.
Night Hawk.-caprimulgus Americanus.
Nocturnal Goatsucker.-C. Europeus.
Muckawis.-C. rufus. This bird resembles the Whippoorwill in every
thing but his note.
Sandhill Crane.- Grus pratensis. This bird inhabits the pine barrens,
and feeds on grass seeds and insects. They are usually found in small flocks,
or in pairs. Vast flocks of them collect on the coast, or the gravelly bank of
some river, to spend the night. They usually stand close together near
the water. Each small party as they arrive, in the dusk of the evening,
give a cry, which is answered by those at the place of rendezvous. They
are three feet high; of a cinerous grey color. They are generally very
fat, and are superior eating to a turkey. They are noisy birds, and appa-
rently very intelligent.
Heron.-Andrea herodias. There are several kinds; the grey, white,
large and small crab-catcher, frog catcher,
grey bittern, blue bittern and
This bird is of a peachblow
smaller than the sea curlew, with which it often associates.
color ; a little
They are ex-
They rarely appear north of Musquito Lagoon on the east,
or the Fresh Water Keys on the west side of the Peninsula.
Black Winged Pellican.-Tantalus loquator.
White Curliew.-T. alba.
White and red breasted.
or seven kinds, some of them peculiar to this coast.
Of this species there are
seven kinds, perhaps
There are four species of geese found here during win-
ter. They are usually fat and well flavored.
There is a great variety of ducks.
In some of the in-
land lakes acres of water are covered with them.
as their plumage.
Their flavor is as various
rous in the Gulf of Mexico.
are extremely nume-
Is not so common as the pied diver.
found in salt and fresh water.
Tropic Bird.-Phaeton Athenius.
Gull.-Laurus. Very numerous.
Three or four species.
Sea Pellican.-Onoratus Americanus,
Man of War Bird.-Aquilus.
Always soars high in the
air during a
Plover.-Atraradnus. Of these there is the kildear, spotted plover and
Water Rail.-R, aquateous. and Brown Rail.
bird is si
flocks, south of the 28th degree of north latitude, particularly
side of the peninsula. They
stand from 4 to 5 feet high ;
neck, the body, and the legs.
een in large
on the Gulf
are more rare on the eastern coast.
this height being equally divided between the
Their color is a beautiful crimson when full
PRODUCTIONS OF THE SOIL.
grown. The young ones are paler; the under side of their wings are
black. They have a large, crooked, and clumsy bill; the rest of their
proportions are slender and graceful. In flying, their legs form a right line
with their necks. While ranged on the shore, they resemble files of soldiers
in uniform. They are excellent food.
PRODUCTIONS OF THE SOIL.
These vary with the soils that produce them. They may be compre-
hended under five heads';-pine-barrens, uplands, hammocks, swamps, and
marshes. If we estimate the quantity of land at 10,560,000 acres, and
deduct one-fourth part for bays, lakes, rivers, &c., there will remain
7,920,000. Of this quantity, two-thirds, or 5,280,000 acres may be cov-
ered with pine barrens; 800,000 with tillable upland; 600,000 with ham-
mocks; 500,000 with swamp; and 400,000 with marsh.
The pine barrens are composed, principally, of silicious sand, more or less
mixed with calcareous and vegetable matter, and often divested of every
fertilizing principle, by the frequent fires which run over them. Barrens
are found on the sea coast, and on the ridges, between the large water
courses. All the lands covered with pine timber, are by no means barren;
on the contrary, some of the best uplands are wholly, or nearly all, cover-
ed with yellow pines. And some of the burnt barrens will not produce
even pine or scrub oaks, but are usually partially covered with clumps of
savin. West of Cape St. Bias, the sands are usually of a pure white;
east of that point, they become more colored, and of course, more fertile.
Very few. trees grow on this soil; those most frequent, are,
Pine, pitch. Pinus rigida-a low, poor timbered tree, but produces turpen-
tine and tar.
Pine, many cored. Pinus seratina-a useless tree, found on the banks of
lakes and lagoons.
Pine, loblolly. Pinus teda-a large tree, in valleys, has much sap.
Pine, yellow. Pinus palustris-this is a large and most useful tree ; it is
the principal timber used for plank and scantling in the southern states;
and also produces turpentine and tar.
Oak, high willow. Quercus cinera-on barren hills.
Black Jack. Quercus nigra-on the poorest sand ridges-excellent fire-
Andromeda. A. rigida-on the edges of savannas and streams.
Quercus pumilla-round the borders of hammocks.
Q0. maratima-near the sea coast, very fruitful.
the branches often
bent to the ground with acorns, excellent for swine.
Azalea. A. I
Juglans tormentosa-the better kind of barrens.
Cratagus parvaflora-ridges, fruit green or yellow, eatable.
C. flava-sea islands and dry plains.
C. apafolia--edges of savannas and streams.
color and nudiflora,
Castanea nana-dry ridges, edge of hammocks ; nuts fine.
A. feruginea-dry ridges, edge of hammocks.
Vaccineum myrsinites-dry ridges, berry small,'black.
V. staminium-dry ridges, berry larger.
V. dumosum-plains, dark purple. With several other va-
V. frondosum-damp flat plains, berry blue.
larger fruit, on a smaller shrub.
Herbs are abundant, to wit :--
Helianthes atranubus-pine woods.
H. pubescens--banks of streams.
H. hispidulus-ridges and sandy plains.
S. laterifolia-pine woods.
Aster. A. ericoides-dry ridges.
A. squarosus-pine woods.
There are numerous other species.
A. pugloides, do.
Stachys sylvatica-barren fields.
S. hysopafolia-barren fields.
S. aspera, do.
Wild Mallows. Hybiscus scaber, do. with five other species.
Origanum. Monarde punctata, do.
Spiderwort. Tradescanthia virginica, do.
T. tripetalous, do.
Wild Indigo. Baptista perfoliata, do.
B. lanceolata-pine woods.
B. tinctorea, do. this is a most valuable
plant ; it produces the best indigo, with less trouble than any other of the
species, and grows on the poorest soil.--much used in family dying.
Agrimony. Eupatoreum alleum--barren plains.
E. rotundifolium, do.
E. linearifolium, do.
E. fceniculasceum. do.
Penstemon. P. pubescens-pine woods.
P. levagatum, do,
Chrysopsis. C. argentea-dry ridges.
C. graminifolia, do.
C. pinifolia, do.
C. trychophylia, do.
Ophrys. Neottia tortillis-sandy plains.
Balsam Cuphilla. C. viscossima, do.
Gerardia. G. linifolia-sandy plains, flower blossoms four months.
Scull cap. Scutelaria villosa-pine woods.
S. pilosa, do.
Silkweed. Asclepias phytolachoides-sandy plains, and sea islands.
This beautiful plant has already, by the French nation, been cultivated
to advantage. The pappus is spun with raw silk for gloves, the juice
collected for opium, and the leaf used in dying.
Asclepias connivens-sandy plains and sea islands.
A. obtusifolia, do. do.
A. amplexicoides, do. do.
A. lanifolia, do. do.
A. tuberosa, do. do.
Violet. Viola villosa.
Button Root. Eryngia.
Lupin. Lupinus perennis-pine woods.
L. villosus, do. with three other species.
Glycine. G. argentosa-dry plains.
G. peduncularis, do.
Sensitive plant. Mimosa sensitiva--dry plains.
White Lilly. Crinum-pine woods.
Nightbeile. Ipomea bona nox, do.
Sand Lilly. Convolvulus spithamiacus--dry plains.
C. obtusilobus, do. and sea islands.
Granadilla. Passiflora incarnata, do.
P. lutea, do.
Phlox. P. parviculatus d'o.
P, pyramidalis, do.
P. glaberima-damp plains.
Verbena. V. corymbosa.
Graphalum. G. purpureum.
Annona. A grandiflora.
Ruellia. R. strepens.
Salvia. S. graviolens.
Prenanthus. P. virgata.
Chrysomachia. C. acaulis.
Galega; G. chrysophylla.
Hypoxis. H. folafilia.
Comelina. C. erecta.
Black root. Pychnastaticum.
Blackberry. Rubus villosus.
Dewberry. R. cunefolius.
Strawberry. Fragaria virginiana.
White do. F. canadensis.
Tormentilla. T. officinalis.
Wood-anemony. A. nemorosa.
Muscadine grape. Vitis rotundefolia-heads of small streams, thick skin.
Briar, China. Smilax China-grows every where, but best in damp soils,
near streams. It often extends one hundred feet; the root is similar to
a cluster of potatoes. The Indians grate them, or bruize them in a large
wooden mortar, then throw on water, strain the starch through baskets,
dry and pulverize it; the color is a reddish brown. They mix it with
fine homony, and make cakes; with honey and warm water, it becomes
a fine jelly ; toasted and mixed wit] sweet milk, it is a delicious food.
Morning-glory. Convolvulus purpureus :-variegated with purple and blue.
C. dracrorhizus--with twenty other species.
Cypress vine. Ipomea coccinea-a beautiful scarlet flower.
I. nil--a rich coclico flower.
I. dissecta--all found in middle Florida.
Traveller's Joy. Clematis holoserica.
Crimson woodbine. Lonicera sempervirens.
Yellow do. L. flavium.
Climbing Ivy. Cissus hederocea.
Yellow Jessamine. Gelserinum sempervirens-dry plains.
The grasses are also numerous ; there are very few spots, indeed, of pine
barren, that are not covered with grass : in many dry ridges, the heat of the
summer kills the stem, while the roots remain entire ; and fire is thought
to improve ts growth; the herdsmen, accordingly, fire the barrens, at re-
gular seasons. Deer, as well as cattle, may always be found on places re-
cently burnt over.
Twisted Xyris. X. flexuosa-flat grounds.
Rough-head Fuerina. F. squarosa-flat grounds.
Rush-like F. scirpoida-savanna edges.
Killingia. K. purila, do
Rhynchospera. R. plumosa-dry plains.
Schcenus. S. Sparsus-pine woods.
Nut grass. Cyperus hydra-on cultivated sandy land, and almost every
place; it is the greatest curse to planters; the Riband cane is said to
keep it down, but nothing has been found to eradicate it. The root is
fibrous like horse hairs, strung at a few inches apart with tubers of the
size of a rifle ball, which descend into the sand, in every direction,
frequently to the depth of five feet.
C. distans-pine woods.
Mariscus. M. retrofractus-sandy plains.
Scirpus. S. Capellaceus-dried savannas, forms a close carpet soft as silk.
S. autumnalis-savanna edges.
S. ferugineus-pine woods.
S. exaltatus, do. grows to a
great height-ten feet.
Smooth Panic grass.
Broad-leaved Panic grass.
P. ciliatifolium-old fields which have been cultivated.
P. latifolium--pine woods.
P. amarum-sand ridges.
P. ciliatum-wet barrens, evergreen.
P. divergens-sand hills.
D. dactylon--these, as well as P.
be cultivated: these in dry, that in wet soils.
Silky A grostis.
A. senicea-sand hills-may
be cultivated wherever
there is calcareous matter in the soil.
A. trichopodes-sand hills.
A. juncea-sand hills, not fit for hay.
Purple Aristida. A.
Wooly do A.
A. ciliatus, do. if mown early, the hay is tolerable,
Nodding Andropogon. A. nutans-finer.
A. purpurea-stem coarse, few leaves.
Broom Grass. Lateralis-tall, coarse, and often used for sweeping.
A. purpurea.--sea islands.
P. hirsuta--old fields.
Green do P. viridis,
Duchromena leucocephala-wet barrens.
Cenchrus tribuloides-old sandy uncultivated fields.
Arundinarea tecta-around spring heads.
Muhlenbergia erecta-pine woods.
P. grus-galli-round savannas.
P. nitida, do
Rough do P. rigida-pine woods.
Purple do quinquefida-makes excellent hay.
Oat grass. Uniola paniculata--sea islands.
U. gracillis-pine woods.
Slender Fescue. Festuca tenella-barren plains.
F. parvaflora-pine woods.
Hairy do F. mycinus-ridges.
F. nutans-most common in the barrens.
Crows Foot. Eleusine indica-old fields, an exotic probably.
Tooth-ache Grass. Monocera aromatica.-This is a singular grass; it
has a naked stalk four feet high, spikelets in two close rows, on one side
of the stem, at top; straight when young, but bends with age, aid final-
ly curling in a spiry coil. It affects the breath and milk of cows, who
eat it when young and tender. The root is bitter, and affects the salivary
Uplands are formations of clay, which arise gradually on the subtending
limestone; they usually commence about twenty miles from the coast.
The first stratum of clay is usually white; red clay succeeds; while the
surface is covered with a mulatto or chocolate colored loam. The trees, on
this soil, are abundant, and form the pleasantest groves imaginable. The
following are most common.
Oaks, Hemispherical. Quercus laurefolia.
Black. Q. tinctoria.
Red. Q. coccinea.
Yellow. Q. rubra.
Spanish. Q. falcata; triloba.
Post. Q. obtusiloba
White. Q. alba- the most useful tree in America.
Yellow Pine. Pinus palustris.
Black Hickory. Juglans nigra.
Thick shelled do. J. sulcata.
J. tormentoso-the common Hickory of Florida.
Magnolia. M. grandiflora.
Umbrella Tree. M. tripetala.
Yellow Poplar. Liriodendron tulipifera.
Dogwood. Cornus Florida.
Wild Cherry. Cerassus virginiana.
Persimmon. Diospyros virginiana.
VEGETABLE PRODUCTIONS. 83
Holly. Ilex opaca.
Sassafras. Laurus sassafras.
Mulberry. Morus rubra.
White do. M. alba, or pubescens.
Black Gum. Nyssa sylvatica.
Sorrel tree. Andromeda arborea.
Catalpa. C. bignonia.
Scarlet maple. Acer rubrum.
Plumb, red and yellow. Prunus chlicasa.
Annona. Asimina triloba, or Pawpaw.
Gordonia. G. lacianthus.
Hopea. H. tinctoria.
White Locust. Robinia pseud acacia.
Beach. Fagus sylvatica.
Chestnut. Castenea vesca.
Birch, white. Betula alba.
Iron wood. Carpinus ostrya.
Sycamore. Platanus occidentalis.
White Ash. Fraxinus epiptora.
Honey Locust. Gleditschia triacanthos.
The uplands produce few shrubs; the following are found about spring
heads, banks of rivers, lakes, and savannas:
Annana. A. grandiflora.
Lantana. L. camera.
Stratia. S. virginica.
Hopea. H. pumila.
Shrub Locust. Robinea hispida.
Baccharis. B. Halimifolia.
Carylus. C. americana.
Chinquapin. Castanea pumila.
Myrtle. Myrica cerifera-rare.
Prickley Ash. Zanthoxilon tricarpium.
Service Berry. Prinos verticilatus.
White Fringe tree. Chionanthus virginica.
Azalea. A visciosa-rare.
Hydrangea. H. Nivea-on limestone rocks.
The herbs, vines, and grasses, on the hammocks, are many of them si-
milar, but of more numerous species than those on the uplands ; the same
classes of trees and shrubs also grow on the hammocks, but there is also a
greater variety of species; those which are common to both, will there-
fore not be again enumerated; but such as are peculiar to the hammocks
will be noted.
Sweet Bay. Laurus borbonia. This tree produces timber inferior only to
mahogany, which it closely resembles. The young leaves are often
used for tea, which is a most pleasant and healthful beverage. Cattle
eat the herbage with avidity.
Pond Spicewood. L. geniculata.
American Olive. Olea americana.
Spotted Haw. Fothergillia punctata.
Cabbage Palm. Chsmarops palmetto.-The greatest ornament of our
sea coast; they sometimes rise on a straight column eighty feet. The
foot stalks of the old branches enclose the trunk like a coarse net work.
The timber resists the Gulf worm, so destructive to vessels. Hats, bas-
kets, mats, &c. are manufactured from the leaves. The embryo head is
excellent food.* Bears and other animals feed on the berries. Confined
to the coast and islands; not seen farther west than St. Andrew's Bay.
Cotton Tree. Populus grandidentata.
Juniper. Juniperus alba.
Red Cedar. J. virginiana.
Sweet Gum. Liriodendron styraciflua-rivers, hammocks.
Live Oak. Quercus virens.
Cettis. C. occidentalis.
Mulberry. Morus rubra.
Saponaria. Sapindus saponaria.
Sidiroxelon. Bumelia lycoydes.
Halesia. H. tetraptera.
Azalea. A. calendulacia-the most beautiful native shrub of Florida.
Flame colored, pink, yellow, streaked and mottled, with every interme-
*On removing the large branches the cabbage is discovered lying in many thin, white,
brittle flakes, which taste like unripe chestnuts. It should be boiled in two waters; the first
Haw. Crategus grus galli.
Vaccinium. myrtilloides-about the size of a
usually grows near streams; ten feet high.
Clethera. C. tomentosa.
Styrax. S. grandifolium.
Hydrangia. H. quercifolia.
Annana. A. incarnata-five feet high, flowers large, white, many on a
large panicle ; fruit size of a small cucumber; pulp yellow, and tastes
Mimosa eburnea-the first plant which grows
sea sand; excellent for hedges and ornament.
Blue do. S. laterifolia.
Lindernia. L. dilatata.
Bellwort, Uvularia sessilafolia.
Fairy Flax. Houstonia ccerulea.
Star of Bethlehem
i. Hypoxis erecta.
Ladies traces. Neottia tortillis.
Domestic Ipecacuanha. Gillenia trifoliata.
Scabious. Erigeron philadelphicum.
Asclepias. A. tuberosa.
Pentstemon. P. pubescens.
Starwort. Aster lineafolium.
Bird Pepper. Capsicum minium.
Wild Sunflower. Helianthus truncatus.
Annemona. A. thalictroides.
Milkwort. Polygala purpurea,
Pogonia. P. verticillata.
Smilacina. S. canadensis.
Cancer Root. Orobanche virginica.
Wormseed. Chenopodium anthelminticum.
Lamb's Quarter. C. alleum.
Poke. Phytolacca decandria.
Sheep Sorrel. Oxalis acetosilla.
Spanish Moss. Tilandsia usneoides.
Indian Agave. A. virginiana.
Ground Sorrel. Rumex acetosa.
Jimpson. Stramoneum datura.
Phlox. P. carolina.
Broad Thistle. Sonchus macrophyllus.
Cotton do. S. oleraceous.
Narrow leaf. S. floridanus.
Small yellow. S. carolinianus.
Milk Thistle. S. accuminatus.
Wild Baum. Melissa.
Golden Rod. Solidago reflexa.
Tarragon. Artemissia caudata.
Wild Parsnip. Sison trifoliatum.
Ranunculus. R. recurvatus.
Wild Fennel. Antherim finiculeum.
Poppy. Papaver-white and yellow, petals four, stamens many, pistil
one, leaves jagged and thorny, sap a yellow juice somewhat corrosive ;
these plants are new to me, and although very common on the shores
and old fields, it is doubtful whether they are not exotics naturalized.
Mallows. Malvus virginicus.
Water Cress. Sisymbrium nasturtium.
S. amphibium.-This plant is found on sea
islands in other respects barren, and on the shore; the sands often drift
over it, but it shoots through again ; it is a delicious and most healthy
herb, especially in scrobutic affections.
White nettle. Urtica alba.
Domestic Euphorbium. E. cordifolia.
Aurantium. A. coccinia.
Veronica. V. angustifolia.
Eupatoreum. E. fceniculaceum.
Graphalium. G. polycephalum.
Senecio. S. hieracifolium.
Chrysopsis. C. pinafolia.
Verbesina. V. sinuata.
Cancer Weed. Salvia lyrata.
Madwort Alyssum. halifalius-common.
Jacobean Lilly. Amaranthus formassissima-wet pine lands.
Fox grape. Vitis vulpina.
V. mestivalis-usually cultivated for arbors, it is also a good
Bignonia. B. radicans.
Rhus. R. radicans.
Poison Vine. R. toxicodendron.
Crimson Woodbine. Caprifolium sempervirens.
Yellow do. C. flavum.
Supple Jack. Rhamnus volubilis-Twisted walking canes of this vine
are much admired.
Yellow Bell Flower. Convolvulus obtusilobus
Ipomea. I. coccinea.
Ivy Vine. Cessus hederacea.
Yellow Jessamine. Gelsemum sempervirens.
Yellow Echites. E. diformis.
Aristolachea. A. tomentosa.
Purple Thyrsa. Thyrsanthus frutescens.
These may be divided into three kinds. First, those formed on the bor-
ders of rivers, by inundation; these are the richest swamps, and most ex-
tensive. They are usually separated from the stream by a ridge of dry
land, formed by the heaviest parts of the alluvial matter, which is deposited
immediately after leaving the current; this ridge, or natural embankment,
prevents the waters from draining off, as the surface of the rivers subside.
They are, usually, densely covered with heavy timber, and this tangled
with innumerable vines, which renders them almost impenetrable. Second-
ly, pine barren swamps, which are natural basins, containing the waters of
the surrounding country. These swamps, when covered with small coast
cypress trees and knees, are usually, but improperly, termed cypress galls.
Cypress knees are hollow cones, which rise from roots of the cypress tree,
from one to six feet high, and terminate in a blunt point. These never shoot
up into trees, as has been imagined, from the circumstance of large cypresses
being supported on hollow cones, similar in appearance ; in the latter case,
the tree first grows up straight, and the cone gradually swells out under-
neath it, as high as the highest stage of the water. Savannas are no more
than natural reservoirs of water like the swamps; except that they are cov-
ered with grass and herbs instead of trees and vines; they are usually
founded on clay or marle, but sometimes only on a hard sand. They are
frequently extensive, and form excellent grazing lands. The third kind of
swamps are those spongy tracts, where the waters continually ooze through
the soil, and finally collect in streams and pass off. These are properly
termed galls, sometimes sour, sometimes bitter lands. They are the coldest
soils we have, and the waters arising through them are frequently impreg-
nated with sulphur, vitriol, and iron. When their foundation is alluvial
matter, it is usually very thin, like quagmire : the land may be shaken for
acres in extent. When the base is sand, it is always a lively quicksand,
very dangerous for cattle. These galls are usually covered with titi and
other andromedas, loblolly and other laurels, vacciniums and vines.
The trees most peculiar to swamps, are,
Cypress. Cupressus disticha.-A large and beautiful tree, often rising one
hundred feet, makes excellent boards, scantling, palings, and shingles.
Pine barren do. C. imbricarea.
Swamp Ash. Fraxinus epiptera.
White do. F. acuminata.
Oval-leaved. F. platycarpa.
Black. F. pubescens.-Red ash in ponds.
Willow Oak. Quercus phellos.
Water do. Q. aquatic.
Lyre-leaved. Q. lyrata.
Chestnut do. Q. prinos.
Velutinian. Q. michauxii.
Pignut. Juglans porcena.
Tupelo. Nyssa unifolia,
Ogechee Lime. N. capitata.
Loblolly. Laurus carolinaensis-grows in every kind of swamp, from ten
to seventy feet high; the beauty and aroma of its flower is well known.
Swamp Magnolia. M. glauca.
Swamp Poplar. Populus angulata-river swamp.
Whohao. Ulmus alata-high pine barren.
Bumelia. B. lycoides-galls.
Plane Tree. Planera gmelini-grows in river swamps, and resembles
Soap Tree. Sapindus saponaria, do. near the sea coast.
Winter Plumb. Prunus hiemalis, do. back from the coast
Gordonia. G. lasianthus, do.
Buttonwood. Cephalanthus occidentalis-near the Atlantic coast.
Swamp Dogwood, Cornus canadensis.
Amorpha. A frutescens-river swamps.
Strawberry Tree. Euonimus americanus, do. borders of streams
Viburnus. Viburnum dentatum, do. swamps
Swamp Haw. V. nudum, do. do.
Sambucus. S. canadensis-deep inland swamps.
Laurel. Laurus millisafolium, do. and in bay galls.
Andromeda. A. axillaris.
Sorrel Tree. A. arborea.
Titi. A. angustifolia.-this class furnishes most of the shrubs found in
our swamps ; the titi, in particular, occupies the same situation south of
Georgia that the alde; does in the northern states. It grows from six to
twelve feet high ; the stoles are slender and set so thickly together that
their shade keeps the small streams cool for a great distance from their
fountains. In March, their racemes of white flowers are abundant and
very ornamental, and their singular strings of three cornered seeds often
hang on the bushes till winter.
Billberry. Vaccinium corymbosum.
Spice wood. Laurus benzoin.
Bird Shot. Canna
C. callitriche-bay galls.
G. aurea-pine barren swamps.
G. pilosa-near swamps.
G. sphaerocarpa-lake shores, and savannas.
G. quadridentala, do.
Square-stemmed. G. tetragona, do.
Lindernia. L. dilatata, do.
L. attenuata, do.
Round Micranthemum. M. orbiculatum, do.
Big-leaved do. M. emarginatum, do.
Floating Utriculare. U. inflata, do. in still water, fresh.
Purple do. U. saccata, do.
Yellow do. U. longirostris, do.
Small do. U. biflora, do.
Bristle-stalked. U. setacca-pine barren swamps and savannas.
Narrow-leaved Lycopus. L. europius, do.
Sallop-leaved do. L. sinuatus, do.
Blue Tripterella. T. ccerulea, do,
Variegated Iris. I. versicolor, do. the root is a remedy for
dropsy. White Iris. I. alba.
Three-petaled. I. tripetala, do. rare.
Blue. I. hexagona-rich river swamps.
Yellow Tricoma. Lachranthes tinctoria--pine barren swamps and ponds.
Creeping Comelina. C. communis, do.
Blue do C. longifolia, do.
Moss-leaved Syena. S. fluviatilis-bay galls.
Proserpina. Proserpinaca palustris, do.
P. pectinata do. and savannas.
Coonta. Zamia integrafolia-south of 290 30' in rich pine lands, all the
way to the Capes.
Tetragon. Diorea tetragona-galls.
Three-leaved Galium. G. trifidum, do.
Centaurella. C. verna, do.
C. paniculata, do. and swamps.
Sanguisorba. S. canadensis, do.
Potamogiton. P. pinnatum-stagnant fresh water.
P. verticillatum, do.
Villarsia. V. trachysperma, do.
Lysimachia. L. ciliata-savannas.
Phlox. P. divaricata-low river swamps.
Cardinal flower. Lobelia cardinalis, do. beautiful scarlet.
L. ammena, do. blue.
Pinckneya. P. pubens-galls and savannas.
Solanum. S. nigrum-savannas.
S. mamosum-low swamps.
Swamp Milkweed. Asclepias parviflora, do. scarlet floi
Hydrolea. H. quadravalvis-galls.
H. corymbosa, do.
Erynguim. E. fcetidum, do.
E. gracile, do.
Hydrocotyle. H. interrupta-stagnant water.
Wild Annise. Ammi copillaceum-galls.
Cicuta. C. maculata, do.
Sundew Drasera. D. rotundifolia-galls.
D. longifolia, do.
Spanish Moss. Tilandsia usneoides-swamps.
T. recurvata, do.
Wampee. Pontederia cordata-galls and savannas.
Pancratium. P. mexicanum-savannas and swamps.
Smooth Palmetto. Yucca gloriosa-galls near the sea shore.
Calamus. Acorus calamus-muddy galls.
Cats Tail. Typha latifolia, do.
Soft Rush. Juncus effusus-galls and savannas.
J. setaceus, do.
J. triflorus--river swamp edges.
Rumex. N. britannicus.-shady swamps.
Nectris. N. aquatica, do.
Swamp Lilly. Saururus cernuus-galls.
Rhexea. R. virginica, do
Blue Scull-cap. Scutelaria laterifolia-swamps and galls.
Poylgonum. P. hirsutum, do.
P. persecaria, do. and ponds.
Penthorum. P. seoides-swamps and ponds.
White Pond Lilly. Nymphaea odorata-in swamps, ponds, and ditches.
The root used by the natives to cure felons.
Sarracena. S. purpuria-swamps, galls, and savannas.
S. rubra, do.
S. variolis.-The leaf of this singular plant is a tube which
widens towards the top in the two latter species; in the two former,
they are contracted near the top. The inside of the tube is covered with
viscid hairs, which prevent insects from retreating, when once they have
entered for shelter or food. They are always partly filled with insects.
The leaf is beautiful, both as to shape and color, and the flower is of a
deep gaudy redish brown, and remarkable for having two calyces.
Hypericum. H. parvaflorum.
Elodea. E. virginica.
Ranunculus. R. hederaceus.
Caltha. C. ficoloides-swamps.
Cyamus. C. luteus, or Yellow water Chestnut-ponds. The capsule con-
tains from four to ten edible chestnuts-Hogs will swim in the water to
obtain the fruit.
Polygala. P. lutea-ponds and galls.
P. corymbosa, do.
Winged Dolichos. D. luteolus, do.
Aromatic Liatris. L. odoratus-galls and savannas.
Purple Veronica. V. oligophylla-edge of swamps.
Eupatorium. E. perfoliatum, do. A decoction of this plant
operates as a gentle emetic. Indians use it as a sudorific in fevers.
Conyza. C. marylandica.
Black Root. Pterocaulon pychnastachum.-The famous Indian remedy
for pulmonary disorders.
Butter Weed. Senecio lobatus-swamps.
Slender Aster. A. carolinianus, do.
A. dracunculoides, do.
Rnl rl n R virgata. do.
Baltonia. B. asteroides, do.
Heleneum. H. autumnale, do.
H. quadridentatum, do.
Yellow Bidens. B. coreopsis-ditches and galls.
Chana. C. capitata, do.
Duck-meat. Lemma minor-stagnant waters.
of the water in form of a green scum.
Bristly Typha. T. latafolia, do.
Sparganium. S. americanum, do.
Carex. C. stipata-swamps.
C. scirpoides, do.
C. scoparia, do.
C. crineta, do.
C. trichocarpa, do.
C. furcata, do:
Orchis. 0. ciliaris, do. and galls.
0. cristata, do.
Calopogon. C. pulchellus, do.
Sagittaria. S. sagittifolia, do.
S. graminea-swamps and galls.
Arum. A. dracontium, do.
A. triphyllum, do.
A. alba, do.
Often covers the surface
Cissus. C. ampelopsis-swamps.
Echites. E. diformis, do.
Dolychos. D. luteolus, do. near salt water. On sand hills.
Apios. A. tuberosa, do. This vine has numerous tubers of the
size of hickory nuts. The Seminoles raised great quantities for food.
Glycine. G. reflexa, do.
Grape. Vitis labrusca-in all swamps.
Muscadine. V. rotundifolia-edges of swamps.
Smilax. S. pastata, do. very common
Smooth Briar. S. bona nox.
S. pseudo china.
S. caduca.-These briars cover wet lands of every descrip-
Pistache. Amphicarpe monoica.-This is a singular plant, stem decum-
bent, climbing angular, red at the base, light green above, branching,
twenty inches to two feet long. They were greatly cultivated by
the Seminoles, and are now much used by the Americans of West
Florida. This vine produces a large crop on sandy land. They are
baked or roasted in the shell, and are much used by the confectioners.
The pistache is a native of Spain, from which it was, but a few years
since, transferred to the gardens of France and Italy. With us it is per-
Rhynchospora. R. cymosa--galls and savannas.
R. distans, do.
R. sparsa, do.
Cyperus. C. articulatus, do.
C. vegetus, do.
Spanish Grass. C virens, do.
Yellow Cyperus. C. flavescens, do.
C. tenuiflorus, do.
C. odoratus--edge of rivers.
C. strigosus-galls and savannas.
C. speciosus, do.
C. enslenii, do.
Scirpus. S. filiformis, do.
S. validus--in lakes and ponds.
S. minimus--galls and savannas.
Fringe leaved. S. ciliatifolius-savannas.
Dichromena. D. ciliata-margin of ponds and swamps.
Trichophorum. T. cyperinum--savannas.
Cane. Arundenaria macrosperma.
A. tecta--edge of swamps and marshes.
Spring Trichodeum T. laxiflorum--swamps.
Leersia. L. oryzoides, do. inland.
Phalaris. P. americana, do. fresh and brackish.
Early Paspalpum. P. precox, swamps.
Joint Grass. P. distichum, do.
Large Spiked Panicum. P. italicum, do.
Cockfoot. P. grus-galli, do'
Water Panicum. P. geniculatum-swamps.
Compressed. P. anceps, do
Sword-leaved. P. ensifolium--galls.
Aira. A. palustris--swamps and savannas.
Proserpinaca. P. palustris, do.
P. pectinata, do.
Arenarea. A. glabra, do.
Liatris. L. tormentosa.- do.
Veronica. V. oligophyla, do.
Awlwort. Sibularia aquatica--river swamps, and wet sea beach.
Are of two kinds, fresh and salt. The former are usually situate on the
borders of some large body of water, in the interior of the country. The
latter on the sea coast, or near the estuaries of rivers. There is a great di-
versity of marshes; much depends on the substratum on which they are
based. For instance, the most extensive marshes of West Florida are based
on limestone, which renders them extremely fertile in aquatic vegetables;
some of the fresh marshes, on the contrary, are merely quicksands, covered
with a very thin soil, and are of course quite barren. Others have a clay
foundation, and may be cultivated to advantage. Marshes produce no
trees; a few shrubs sometimes skirt the edges of them. The salt marsh
has been found to be an invaluable manure for our sandy soils. The herbs
most common, are,
Micranthemum. M. Orbiculatum--fresh marsh.
Triptaleria. T. carulea, do.
Creeping Comelina. C. communis, do.
Convolvulus. C. sagittifolius-salt.
C. repens, do. near the mouth of rivers.
Marsh Rosemary. Statice limonium-salt marsh near the the shores.
Pancratium. P. mexicanum-fresh.
Dracocephalum. D. variegatum, do.
Cardamine. C. pennsylvanica-salt-near the sandy shore.
Pistia. P. spathulata-rivers and lakes in Florida. It floats on the sur-
face, the roots hanging like threads in the water, and often forming float-
Sagittaria. S. lancifolia, do.
Arum. A. virginicum, do. and fresh.
Iresine. I. celosioides-salt and fresh.
Acnida. A. rusocarpa-fresh.