... .............. .. .......
113 FAY AWT TIT(RU79 TUNE 19.1K,
WITH A VIEW OF ITS
HISTORY AND ADVANTAGES
RESORT FOR INVALIDS.
R. K. SEWALL.
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR BY
GEORGE P. PUTNAM, 155 BROADWAY.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by
GEORGE P. PUTNAM,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District
LEAVITT, TROW & CO.,
Printers and Stereotypers,
49 Ann-street, N. Y.
THIS brief account of one of the most interesting
towns in this country, in many historical points of view,
has been prepared to meet the wants of those who may
desire to learn something of the place in view of a
sojourn, or who may already have come hither in search
The work makes no pretension to fullness of detail,
nor to absolute perfection in any particular. It is
rather a glimpse at, than a full history of, the place,
though it gives such a connected view of the course of
events, as to satisfy the curiosity of such as come among
us, (and which every sojourner feels the want of,) so far
as the lights we now have can aid us in a knowledge
of the past.
I have availed myself of such helps, in the few
works written, as I could find, which speak of the
But the field of historical research upon which I
have entered, I find too extensive to be compressed in all
its interesting particulars into a work of this sort. The
gleanings, therefore, must for the present suffice.
St. Augustine, June 20, 1848.
Places-Public Works of the City 7
Early Settlement-Founder-The Objects of his Voyage from
Spain-Character-Entrance into the Harbor-Name--Mas-
sacre of the Huguenot Protestants-Slaughter at Matanzas--
Drake's Attack-Indian Assault-Contribution laid on the
City by Davis, the Bucanier-The Bucaniers-Expedition
of Gov. Moore of South Carolina-Causes of the same-Col.
Palmer's Attack-Oglethorp's Invasion-Minorcan Inhabi-
tants-Patriot War-Purchase of Florida by the United
States-Change of Flags-Frost of 1835-Orange Trade
and Groves-Fruit Growing in East Florida-Tropical Lux-
uries produced-Inducements to Agriculturists from the
Climate of Florida-Testimony of Physicians-Coast Climate-
Its Advantages -Class of Diseases favorably affected by a
Residence in the Climate-St. Augustine as a Place of
Resort for Invalids-Accommodations-Society-Tables of
Temperature of the Climate, exhibiting the Degree of
Changes during the Month and Year, as compared with
Foreign Places of Resort-Customs-Conveyances to the
THIS city, the ancient metropolis of the Spanish
Province of East Florida, is situated near the Atlantic
coast, little south of the 30th parallel of north latitude.
The southern point of a narrow peninsula, formed by the
confluence of the waers of the St. Sebastian River and
the sea, which here is backed in behind Anastatia
Island, through the inlets of North River and Matanzas
bar, is the site on which the city stands.
The island, behind which takes place an expansion of
these waters into a beautiful harbor, accessible to all
classes of vessels drawing nine feet, which is the depth
on the bar at low water, is a long, low, and narrow body
of sand and coquina, or shell rock, which is covered with
various shrubbery; and though it affords a barrier to the
surf of the Atlantic, it does not obstruct the cooling sea-
breeze, nor indeed a prospect of the ocean from elevated
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
The town is nearly surrounded with salt water. The
face of the country, skirting on the seaboard, from Cape
Hatteras hither, is low, level, and sandy. This feature
prevails southward to near Cape Florida; when the
rock-bound shore, the rudiments of which begin with
the coquina formation opposite the city, again is made
the barrier against the encroachments of the sea, and
continues until it is broken up among the keys of the
The country around the city, is a plain of sandy shell
soil, termed pine barren." With this the city is joined,
on the west, by a substantial bridge over the St. Sebastian
River; and on the north, in a neck of land over a stone
causeway. Egress at this point is made from the city
by a thoroughfare, once commanded by a fortified trench
and gateway. On the east, are the harbor and bay,
which open in a beautiful sheet of water, over which,
towering above the sand hills, on the adjacent island, is
seen the light-house, originally a fortified "look-out,"
where the Spanish sentry watched against danger.
The peninsula on which the city stands is said to have
been originally a "shell hammock." The soil consists
of shell and sand, with an intermixture of vegetable
mould. The surface has but a slight elevation above the
level of the surrounding water. Both these circum-
stances are favorable. In wet weather, the texture of
the soil is favorable to a rapid extraction of the super-
abundant moisture from the surface; and in dry weather,
DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY.
the slight elevation of the land above the sea, enables it
to withstand drought,-the waters percolating through
the soil, refresh vegetation.
These things conspire to promote the health of the
city, inclosed as it is by the arms of the sea, to whose
salubrious and refreshing breezes it is entirely open.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY.
The city of St. Augustine is built in the-style of
an ancient Spanish military town. The plan of the city.
is a parallelogram, traversed longitudinally by two
principal streets the whole length. These are inter-
sdcted at right angles, transversely, by several cross
streets, which divide the city into squares. Though not
larger than many of our New England villages, the city
is nevertheless regularly laid out, as it was intended to
be compactly built, each square having more or less
space, once occupied with groves of the orange, which a
few years since were the glory and wealth of the place.
Indeed, it was once a forest of sturdy orange trees, in
whose rich foliage of deep green, variegated with golden
fruit, the buildings of the city were embosomed; and
whose fragrance filled the body of the surrounding
atmosphere so as to attract the notice of passers by on
the sea; and whose delicious fruit was the great staple
The harbor fronts on the east, and is furnished with
good wharves. The sandy beach of the St. Sebastian
brings up the rear on the west, affording space for a
delightful drive around the city; while a once thrifty
10 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
but now ruinous suburb-the bubble of a speculation
in "morUs multicaulus" times-called the North City,
fills the background on the north.
The coquina rock, a concretion of sand and- shell
formed on the neighboring sea-beach on the south side
of the bar and on the island-the upper extremity of
which opens in sheets, ready for quarrying, and on which
quarries are now extensively worked-is the principal
building material. The streets are excessively narrow,
and are furnished with neither side-walks nor pavements.
The houses are usually two-story buildings, generally
crowded into the streets; and are built without much
regard to architectural style or ornamental beauties.
Not unfrequently a piazza projects from the base of
the second story, which in some cases is inclosed with
movable Venetian shutters, so as to control the draft of
air, and increase o;abate it at pleasure.
These appendages, though they add greatly to the
comfort of the occupants, nevertheless disfigure the
buildings by impairing their symmetrical proportions.
The piazza, especially, awakens a sensation of peril, as
one passes for the first time on horseback through the
streets, particularly if he has been accustomed to the
broad thoroughfares and elevated structures of a northern
Anglo-American city. The contrast is great.
GREAT ANTIQUITY OF THE CITY.
In all its outlines and main features, this city is
deeply traced with the furrows of age. It also wears a
foreign aspect to the eye of an American. Ruinous
buildings, of antique and foreign model, vacant lots, bro-
ken inclosures, and a rough, tasteless exterior, scarred
by the ravages of fire and time, awaken a sense of dis-
comfort and desolation in the mind of a stranger.
From the sea, as you enter the inlet from the harbor,
the city presents a fine view. Any distant prospect is
decidedly pleasing. Its deformities-the narrow streets-
dilapidated buildings, with their projecting piazzas-are
lost to the eye in the distance; in which, also, unity of
effect is produced by the regularity of the plan on which
the city is built; which effect is heightened greatly by
the ornamental trees, whose foliage screens many of the
houses--the overshadowing pride of India--and the
vigorous morus multicaulus." There is, however,
much to relieve the first unfavorable impressions of a
stranger. Its comfortless appearance is the effect of first
impressions, which of course are superficial, and often
delusive. The blighted stocks of desolate orange groves
-the tokens of decay-the obvious lack of industry and
taste, and the consequent want of thrift-on a close in-
spection, are relieved by a constant succession of images
of the past, illustrative of the character of Castilian
mind in a heroic and barbarous age. Moreover, there is
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
a rapid transition in progress. This ancient city is
being transformed into American features, both in its
external appearance, and in the habits and customs of
Many of its recent edifices are in the neat, attractive
style of American village architecture. Especially is
this the case in the neighborhood of the Magnolia House.
The city has a public square, or inclosed common.
In the centre, a monument some sixteen or eighteen feet
high, has been erected. It commemorates the giving of
a constitutional basis to the Spanish government. On its
fronts, the following Spanish sentence is engraved:-
"Plaza de la Constitution."
The three sides of this square, or plaza, are now
bounded by as many streets, fronting on which are the
public buildings. The Government House, now used as
a hall of justice, and for public offices, stands on the
west front. On the east, near to the water, are the
market buildings. The Roman Catholic Cathedral, sur-
mounted with the vertical section of a bell-shaped pyra-
mid, which supports a chime of bells, and which termi-
nates in a small cross, stands on the north ; and on thF
opposite south front is the Episcopal Church, a neat, well-
proportioned Gothic edifice, having a spire and bell.
The Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, the former
north and the latter south from the common, on the same
street, are well-built, substantial houses of worship, of
PUBLIC WORKS. 13
simple Grecian style of architecture and neat American
St. Francis Barracks, on the southern extreme of the
city; Fort Marion, on the north, with its water-battery
and the sea-wall,.are among the objects of historical and
military interest within the city.
The sea-wall is erected of the native coquina rock.
The upper stratum is granite flagging stone. This im-
portant work is more than a mile in extent, and of suffi-
cient width for two to walk on it abreast. As a public
promenade, as well as a fortification against the encroach-
ments of the sea, it is of great use; and it is also a place
of universal and of delightful resort.
This wall incloses two beautiful basins, furnished also
with stone steps. These are the points of embarkation
and of debarkation for the numerous boatmen who navi-
gate the neighboring waters for pleasure and for profit.
The Castle is a fortress of great strength, covering
several acres, and built entirely of stone from the neigh-
boring coquina quarries, and according to the most ap-
proved principles of military science. It is said to be a
"good specimen of military architecture."
Its walls are twenty-one feet high, terminating in
four bastioned angles, at the several corners, each of
which is surmounted with towers corresponding. The
whole is casemated and bomb-proof." This work is in-
closed in a wide and deep ditch, with perpendicular walls
14 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
of mason-work, over which is thrown a bridge, originally
protected by a draw.
Within its massive walls are numerous cells. On the
north side, opposite the main entrance, is one fitted up as
a Romish church. It has now become converted into a
storehouse for military fixtures. These rooms are at
best dark, dungeon-like abodes; and, by natural associa-
tion, they revive the recollection of scenes characteristic
of a dark and cruel age.
Some of these gloomy retreats, though like Bunyan's
giant Despair they now can only grin in ghastly silence
at the Pilgrim stranger, yet look as if they were once
the strong-holds of despotic power. With this character
the gossip of common fame also charges them.
The Castle commands the entrance to the harbor. Its
water battery is furnished with a complement of Paixhan
guns of heavy caliber. These are in a state of readi-
ness to be mounted.
The Castle is a place of chief and universal attraction
to the curious stranger. On approaching the main en-
trance, through the principal gateway, the first object of
interest is a Spanish inscription, engraved on the solid
rock immediately over head, and under the arms of
Spain, and is as follows, viz.:* Reynando en Espana
TRANSLATION.-" Don Ferdinand the Sixth being King of
Spain, and the Field Marshal, Don Alonzo Fernandos de IIerida
being Governor and Captain General of this place, St. Augustine
of Florida and its province, this fortress was finished in the year
1756. The works were directed by the Capt. Engineer, Don Pedro
de Brazas y Garay."-See WTilliams's Hist. Flor.
PUBLIC WORKS. 10
el son Don Fernando Sexto y Sierdo Governador y Capi-
tan General di esta Plaza de San Augustine de Florida
y su Provincia el Moriscal de Campo Dn. Alonzo Fer-
nandez de Herida se conduyo este Castello el ano de 1756
dirigendo las abras et Capitan ynginero Don Pedro de
Brazas y Garay."
On reaching the interior of the Fort, the several apart-
ments may be explored, except those where the magazine
is found, and those which are used as cells for prisoners
- the State being permitted to -confine its prisoners
Within the bastion of the northeast angle, far under
ground, is a dark, dungeon-like recess, constructed of
solid mason-work. Before entering here, the guide will
furnish himself with a torchlight of pitch-wood.
This place was accidentally discovered soon after the
work fell into the hands of the American army. It was
then walled up, and was not before known to have had
an existence. Of this concealed retreat, Rumor has
whispered strange things.
A human skeleton, with the fragments of a pair of
boots and an empty mug for water, it is alleged were
discovered within. As to the history of the place-
whether it was once an inquisitorial chamber, or the
scene of vengeance, where bigotry invoked the secular
arm to silence heretical tongues, and suppress heretical
thoughts; and as to the name, character, standing, guilt or
innocence, pleasures or pains, of the poor unfortunate to
whom the boots and bones belonged, there is silence.
Either Fame has been unable to catch the echo through
10 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
the lapse of time, or shame bids her be silent, or horror
has paralyzed her tongue.
By these, and like rumors, either truth or fiction has
succeeded in investing this place with mysterious and
melancholy interest to an American citizen.
The Barracks occupy a spot on which were the ruins
of an ancient monkish retreat, near the south end. The
main building is a substantial structure, of large dimen-
sions and neat appearance. The prospect from it, of the
ha bar, ocean, and neighboring country, is delight.
ful. Its location is one of the most eligible in the city.
A large space is inclosed in rear of the main building, for
a garden; the southern extremity of which is occupied
as a military burial ground, where repose the ashes of
the major part of the regular force of the United States,
who fell in battle during the recent bloody Seminole
war. Chaste and beautiful monuments with appropriate
inscriptions, mark the spot where sleep the gory dead.
Here, beneath two pyramids, together in one bed
repose the ashes of one hundred and seven men-the
gallant Major Dade and his intrepid warriors-a sacri-
fice to the vengeance of the brave and warlike Seminole,
who with the Indian agent were the first fruits of
the terrible threat of Osceola, who having indignantly
rejected all overtures on the part of the government to
leave the graves of his fathers, on closing his intercourse
with the government agent, being refused the right of
purchasing powder, thus addressed himself to Gen.
Thompson: "Am I a negro? a slave? My skin is
dark, but not black. I am an Indian-a Seminole. The
m)~nal~'hTII B~iT I 7ILHIIM ],- RILTITUTNhIT \1 1NJ MPL JK,
PUBLIC WORKS. 17
white man shall not make me black I will make the
white man red with blood; and then blacken him in the
sun and rain, where the wolf shall smell his bones, and
the buzzard live upon his flesh !"* The extreme point
of the peninsula, south, on which the city is located, is
'occupied with the outlines of an ancient breastwork, in a
ruinous condition, and the United States Arsenal build-
On the whole, it will be seen, from the facts above
stated, that this city is not without its interest to the anti-
quary and to the historian. If not old Spain in miniature,
it is a chip of the block of the old in the new world, a
relic of the past interwoven with the texture of the pre-
Sprague's IIist. War in Florida.
18 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
THIS city is by forty years the oldest town within the
limits of the United States of America. It was the
offspring of the religious bigotry, fanaticism, and jea-
lousy, of a barbarous but heroic age.
On the 8th of September, 1565, at noonday, on the
celebration of a religious festival in honor of Mary, the
virgin goddess of Papal homage and superstitious rever-
ence, a creature of the Spanish government, Pedro Me-
lendez by name, who had recently crossed from the old
world, entered this harbor, debarked, and taking formal
possession of the country, proclaimed Philip II king of
North America, had the service of Mass performed,
and the foundations of the town immediately laid.
THE ORIGINAL FOUNDER.
Pedro Melendcz was a man of blood. His bigotry
had been nourished, says the historian, in the wars
against the Protestants of Holland. He had also acquir-
ed wealth and notoriety in the conquests of Spanish
But there he had been guilty of such excesses, and
pursued a course of such rapacity, that his conduct had
THE ORIGINAL FOUNDER.
provoked inquiry. It ended in his arrest and conviction.
The king confirmed sentence against him. To recover
the favor of his sovereign, retrieve his character, if not
to atone for his crimes, Melendez devised the scheme of
conquering, colonizing, and converting to the faith of
Papacy, the Province of Florida. He agreed also to
import five hundred negro slaves.
In the meanwhile, a company of French Huguenots, in
their flight from the bloodhounds of persecution, let loose
upon them from the strong-holds of the Romish church,
had found an asylum in the wilds of America, and as
they supposed, on the banks of the St. John's River in
East Florida. Thither they had fled and planted their
colony. Amid the desert wilds and pestilential vapors
of the morasses of Florida, they fondly hoped to enjoy
" freedom to worship God."
Delusive hope Where could a poor Protestant hide
from the wrath of the "great red Dragon," breathing
out fire and death to worry and destroy the saints,
if the dens and caves of the earth could afford him no
shelter in Europe ?
Melendez, whose piety had been fed on the blood of
Protestants till it had become bloated with bigotry, smell-
ing the scent of prey from afar, "collected a force of
more than twenty-five hundred persons:-soldiers, sailors,
priests, Jesuits, married men with their families, laborers
and mechanics." With this company he embarked,
net merely to found, but to root up and destroy a peace-
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
ful colony, solely because it was made up of the followers
of Calvin, and not of the Pope !
In traversing the Atlantic he encountered a storm.
His ships were by it scattered ; so that only one third
of the number he embarked with from Spain reached the
coast of Florida.
It was on a day consecrated to the memory of St.
Augustine, a venerable and pious father of the early
ages of Christianity, that he came in sight of the coast
of Florida. Four days he sailed along this coast; and
on the fifth he landed, having discovered a fine haven
TRANSACTIONS AT THE MOUTH OF THE ST. JOHN'S.
Learning from the natives, the place where the French
Huguenot colony had established itself, and the position
of Fort Caroline on the banks of the St. John's, and hav-
ing named the harbor and haven here, where he first set
foot on shore, St. Augustine, Melendez immediately
sailed northward in quest of the infant Protestant com-
Landonnier had conducted the expedition which had
sought the shores of Florida, to find an asylum for the
persecuted Protestants of France. Under the patronage
of Admiral Coligni, he had on the 30th of June, in 1564,
settled the mouth of the River St. John's with Protestant
refugees, and erected Fort Caroline. This place Ribaut
had reached on a return voyage from France, a few
days prior to the appearance of Melendez. Melendez
purposed to seize by treachery the French shipping,
MOUTH OF THE ST. JOHN'S.
which, however, by suddenly running to sea, eluded his
grasp, and was soon after wrecked; being driven by a
storm on the coast below, while menacing this place.
The appearance of the Spanish fleet foreboded evil.
The circumstances excited the fears of the Protestant
colonists. They inquired the name and objects of the
Spanish commander. To the deputation he answered:
"I am Melendez of Spain, sent with orders from my
king to gibbet and behead all the Protestants in this
region. Frenchmen who are Catholics I will spare-
every heretic shall die !"
Thus did he announce his mission to be one of blood
with unblushing boldness. Melendez now returned to
this place, to prepare for, and put it effectually into exe-
cution. Here his forces were collected, his plans laid:
and from the newly laid foundations of this-the first
town within the United States of America-even while
they were wet in the holy water of the Mother Church-
armed with the blessing of her priesthood, Melendez
led a chosen band to the execution of his bloody
mission. He marched through the wilderness with eight
days' provisions, and reached the forests and hammocks
on the banks of the St. John's near to Fort Caroline,
where the Protestant colony reposed, unconscious of the
evil impending. He now prepared himself and his
followers for their work of human butchery, by kneel-
ing and praying for success."* All was silence, save
the calm voice of nature, whose soft whispers were
* Johnson's Life of General Green.
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
wafted through the branches of the gray old trees and
sturdy oaks, that stood round about and cast their pro-
tecting shade over the heads of a peaceful colony.
These, perhaps, sighed at what they saw, and against
which they could not warn. From prayers Melendez
rose up to the slaughter. The blood of the mother and
of her innocent babe mingled in the same pool! Helpless
woman and decrepit age bowed together in death and
violence! The citizen and the soldier met the same
fate! A scene of carnage and of cruelty was enacted,
unparalleled in the annals of human butchery !
Some eighty-six persons, whose only crime was their
Calvinism, fell victims to the barbarity of a savage Popish
bigot. But few escaped. Of these, such as were after-
wards taken were hung on the limbs of the next tree,
where their bodies became food to hungry birds of prey ;
and to mark the spot, Melendez erected a monument of
stone, on which he engraved, in extenuation of his crime,
"Not as Frenchmen, but as heretics."*
Having executed his avowed mission of death to Prot-
estantism in Florida, he retraced his steps to the place
where he had laid out his new town, the work of the
erection of which he was prepared to complete on the
foundations he had now consecrated with hands reeking
in Protestant blood, as well as with holy water. Here
As there are some slight variations among historians in respect
to the order of the events in the destruction and overthrow of the
colony on the St. John's and of this massacre, I have inclined to
the numerical preponderance of historical proof, inclining to Ban-
croft, reconciling the several particulars.
MIOUTH OF THE ST. JOHN'S. 23
"Melendez was hailed as a conqueror by a procession of
priests and people who went out to meet him." Te
Deum was solemnly chanted !"*
But the sacrifice offered could not satiate the thirst for
blood which inflamed the desires of this persecutor, whose
life had been steeped in atrocities. Perhaps he felt that
a life of crime such as his, could have its guilt washed
out only in the blood of poor innocents, who presumed to
avow their purpose to worship God according to the dic-
tates of their own consciences. The taste of Protestant
blood he had just sipped seemed but to quicken his ap-
Angry," says Bancroft, "that any should have es-
caped, the Spaniards insulted the corpses of the dead
with wanton barbarity;" and having celebrated mass,
and reared a cross on the spot, and chosen for the site of
a church the ground still smoking with the blood of a
peaceful colony, Melendez went in pursuit of the ship-
wrecked fugitives, who were now the only survivors of
the French Protestant settlement in East Plorida. They
had been cast upon the sands south of this city. In their
wandering along the beach, they had reached the inlet
of the Matanzas. Here they were found, a company of
famished and forlorn men. To secure the destruction
of these men more effectually, the cowardly assassin,
Melendez, first contrived to obtain their confidence in his
humanity, a virtue of which this creature in human
shape was utterly incapable.
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
They surrendered by capitulation, though a few, sus-
picious of treachery, distrusted the integrity of Melendez,
and fled into the interior. The major part being secured,
the captives, in successive bands, were ferried over the
river and received among the- Spaniards. On reaching
the opposite shore, each man's hands were pinioned be-
hind him; and thus, like sheep to the slaughter, they
were driven toward St. Augustine. But, as the company
approached the fort, a signal was made."* Thereupon,
the man in whose perfidious honor and humanity they
had confided-(acting, it may be fairly presumed, on
the principle that no faith was to be kept with heretics-
a principle worthy of the Romish church, and which had
been baptized and sanctified in oceans of Protestant
blood)-this man, I say, amid a flourish of trumpets and
drums, cut the throats of the whole company, not as
"Frenchmen, but as heretics."t
Though the government of France looked on this
thrilling scene of horror, in the destruction of her own
peaceful subjects, unmoved, yet, adds the historian, his-
tory has been more faithful, and has assisted humanity by
giving to the crime of Melendez an infamous notoriety."
The site of the Huguenot colony was named Fort Caro-
line. De Gourgas was a Roman Catholic and a French-
man. He had been distinguished in public life, but had
retired to the enjoyment of his repose, when, on learning
* Bancroft's Hist. U. S. A.
the barbarous atrocities with which his countrymen on
the St. John's had been sacrificed to Spanish bigotry, he
emerged from private life-again buckled on his armor
for vengeance. At his own risk, he got up and fitted out
an expedition. He sailed from France, with a chosen
band of followers, to avenge the blood of his slaughtered
countrymen. Between the years 1569 and '74 he
reached the coast of Florida-debarked his forces at the
mouth of the St. John's-carried several outworks-and
finally inclosed the Fort, now occupied by a Spanish
colony. He entered it, and the first sight that greeted his
eyes, was the horrible vision of the skeleton forms of his
murdered countrymen, their bones and sinews dangling
from the limbs of the surrounding trees. Here too was
the stone set up by Melendez, with its inscription. The
bone and relies of the slaughtered Huguenots De Gour-
gas ordered to be buried. He then fell upon the Span.
iards. Hardly one escaped; and their bodies he ordered
to he hung in the places where those of his countrymen
had been before suspended, and underneath De Gourgas
wrote this inscription-" Not as Spaiards, but as mur-
darers." He immediately returned to France.
Thus the light of Protestantism, which had been first
kindled by the fugitive Huguenots of France on the
cast of Florida, in the southern extreme of these United
States, was put out in the blood of those, who, as pioneers,
were the torchbearers of religious liberty, which was not
b be again rekindled until it shot up from Puritan altars,
bad burst forth in the frozen north, where it was cherished
Protected by chilling snows and frosts in those wintry
26 a- -cas OF SO. AU--STINi.
wilds, till it had acquired force and intenity sufficient to
spread its beams over the whole land.
Such is the connection of this city and its founders,
inits early history, with the early Protestant inttutions
of the republic It can hardly be credible to an Ameri.
can citizen, that there is within the bounds of these United
States a nook or oer so dark and bloodstained !
Melendez, bfr twelve years, presided over the destmies
of this town, directing his attention mainly to the subjec-
tion, and conversion to papal superstitions, of the abori
ginal inhabitants, aided by the Franeiscans, an order of
monks. Their missions were established throughout the
interior. An ancient monkish retreat, occupying the
present site of the United States Barracks, was the head-
quarters of the order in this city. A number of the ms-
sionaries, while on their passage from Cubao to ins place,
were wrecked on the bar at the entrance of this harbor,
and in full view of their convent, and, with the crew of
the vessel, were drowned.
INcODENTS IN TR SuBSEQUENT HISTORY.
Some twenty-one years had elapsed since the founding
of this city and the massacre of the neighboring Potestant
colony, when Drake, as lie coasted along the shore, dis-
covered the Laok-out," a tower on the adjacent island.
This led him to suspect a settlement inland. He ordered
his boats to be lowered and manned, to make a ron-
noisance on the shore. He landed onan island. In the
exploration he perceived, across the water, a town built
of wood. Soon after, a French fier deserted from the
Spanish forces-crossed the lagoon in a canoe, playing
an English air, the march of the Prince of Orange. This
circumstance recommended him to the favor of the Eng-
lish admiral-for Drake now sailed as an admiral of the
royal navy. The Frenchman described his situation to
be that of a captive. He probably told also of the recent
massacre, and described its horrors; and was himself,
undoubtedly, one of the fugitives from that scene, who
had been spared for some reason.
Elizabeth of England was a Protestant queen; Drake,
her representative, was a Protestant in his sympathies.
Moreover, Spain and England were on terms of hostility
at this time. His marine force was disembarked, under
the command of Carlisle, his subordinate; the inter-
vening sound was crossed; and, notwithstanding the
greatest caution had been observed in all these move-
ments, the reconnoitering officer was discovered by the
Spaniards. A cannon was fired, and thereupon they
all fled to town. This took place at an outpost. This
work was immediately taken possession of by the recon-
noitering party under Carlisle. It was a fort built of tim-
ber, mounting fourteen pieces of brass cannon. Drake
then plundered the garrison of a chest of silver, and next
day marched for the town. As he approached, he en-
countered the Spaniards. An action commenced; but
at the first fire of the invading force, the Spaniards fled,
and the inhabitants evacuated the town, which fell into
the hands of Drake, who burnt and plundered it; and
then sailed for England, where he arrived in July of the
same year, 1586.*
28 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
Twenty-five years* passed away before any other tra-
gedy was enacted within the precinct of this then new
city. But vengeance did not slumber long. The natives
of Florida-a brave, warlike, and cruel, as well as nu-
merous band of savage men-assaulted, captured, and
burned the city to ashes. The details of this terrific
scene of savage barbarity, and the immediate causes
thereof, we have not at hand.
1665. In a quarter of a century more, Davis, the
Bucanier, discovered this Spanish retreat. He entered
on a piratical expedition against it; invested it with an
armed band of freebooters; captured, and plundered it.
The circumstances of this movement, the details of the
attack and plunder of the town, are not to be found.
The Florida archipelago, and the neighboring keys
and islands of the West Indian seas, have been the resort
of freebooters from an early period. The security they
afforded, as a place of retreat from discovery, gave these
points great eminence, as the centre of operations for a
large, bold, and ruthless band of sea-rovers. Their pi-
ratical expeditions swarmed over the adjacent waters, and
desolated the neighboring coasts of the Gulf of Mexico
and the Spanish West Indies. This brotherhood of out-
laws were termed Bucaniers. They hailed from France,
England, and Holland. They led a life of plunder;
and reduced piracy to a profession, regulated by its own
laws and customs, which had all the force of martial law
THE BUCANIERS. 29
The existence of these desperate men as a class was
owing to the exclusive and arbitrary measures of the
Spanish government, through which, they endeavored
to secure and maintain the exclusive control of the com-
mercial resources of the New World.
In war, the Bucaniers preyed on commerce as com-
missioned privateers; in peace, they resorted to hunting
wild cattle, and contraband trade against the Spanish.
Finally, they entered upon a course of open piracy and
plunder. They are said to have originated on this wise.
Soon after the Spanish conquests on the Main had secur-
ed the fertile plains of Mexico and extended over it the
Spanish power, the island of Cuba was nearly depopu-
lated by a tide of emigration setting into the newly
acquired territory. The emigrants left their cattle be-
hind. These, in course of time, multiplied prodigiously.
The hills and valleys of the island of Cuba were at
length covered with herds of wild cattle ; and it was soon
found profitable to hunt them for their hides and tallow
alone. The first who engaged in this business were
French. The distinctive term applied to these men, had
its origin in their customs. Bucanier is supposed to be
a derivative of the Carib word boucan," by which the
Indians designated flesh prepared for food by its being
smoked and dried slowly in the sun. The hunters
prepared the fleshof the slaughtered cattle for food in
this way. From this circumstance, the term "Buca-
nier was first applied to the hunters; and subsequently,
it was used to designate all such as followed a contra-
band trade, or were engaged in a predatory life upon
the sea or shore.
30 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
The Bucaniers, at first, made the island of Tortuga
their head-quarters. But the settlement being obnoxious
to the Spaniards, they seized the first opportunity to
destroy it. This dispersed the company, who sought
other places of refuge ; and from thence they worried
the Spanish settlements, actuated by motives of revenge.
Several places and Spanish towns were compelled to
submit to the degradation of purchasing the forbearance
of the Bucaniers, by paying them contributions, equiv-
alent to black-mail levied by the banditti of Scotland.
Being driven from their original retreat on the island
of Tortuga, the Bucaniers retired to the Keys. No
doubt the inlets and islands of the southern peninsula
of Florida attracted their bands. Not only the towns
and settlements on the Spanish islands and on the Main
became objects of plunder, but the commerce of every
It is not till within a few years, that the remnants of
this desperate class of men, who have long infested the
waters in the neighborhood of the West India islands,
have been driven from their haunts, and hunted down,
by the American Navy. The Bucanier was terrible
in his appearance, as well as in his profession.
His dress consisted of a shirt dipped in the blood of
cattle-trousers prepared in the same manner-buskins
without stockings-a cap with a small front, and a leath-
ern girdle, into which were stuck around his body,
knives, sabres and pistols. Such was the filthy and ter.
rifle garb of the Bucanier in full costume.
Such was Davis, who laid this city under contribution
CAUSES OF BORDER TROUBLES.
some eighty years after it was founded by Melendez. At
this period, the Bucaniers seem to have regarded the
whole Spanish race as their natural enemies, and their
commerce and their cities as lawful objects of plunder.
CAUSES OF BORDER TROUBLES.
At the close of the seventeenth and in the beginning
of the eighteen century, the English settlements of Caro-
lina had acquired permanency and importance. But
Spain had proclaimed her exclusive right to American
possessions. By a permit from the Roman Pontiff, she
had already seized and subdued a greater part of the
New World, and left the prints of her bloody hand upon
the rights and treasures of the aboriginal inhabitants.
In the face of the civilized world, Spain, then one of
the richest and most powerful states on earth, having as-
serted a claim to and planted her foot upon the soil of
North America, how could she forego the exclusive con-
trol of the same ? How could she endure the presence,
or divide the occupancy of the soil with a rival state ?
She had already acquired the proud title in her sove-
reign, of "Defender of the Faith," for the ardor and
fidelity with which she supported the arrogant pretensions
of the See of Rome, having given her strength to the
extension of its interests, even to the prostitution of her
civil power to ecclesiastical domination. How then could
Spain consent that the Protestant religion should gain a
foothold in North America ? Had she not already ex-
tinguished it on the coasts'of Florida ? Were not the
English colonies still in their infancy, as well as within
82 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
the reach of her arms ? It required but a single well
directed stroke, and the Anglo-Saxon race and the hated
Protestant faith would perish together.
We have glanced at the barbarous scenes with which
Spain opened her schemes of colonization in North
America. The same malign purposes and bigoted spirit
moved all her subsequent counsels, and hung like a
dark and portentous cloud over the future peace and
prosperity of her border settlements.
In her efforts to make good her pretensions, a series
of petty jealousies and strife between the English and
Spanish races ensued. Distrust and jealousy were fos-
tered. These feelings led to mutual hostile demonstra.
tions. Mutual depredations were perpetrated; and thus
the seeds of open war were sown. The struggle was
maintained till English blood and the Protestant faith
acquired permanent ascendency in the Floridas.
EXPEDITION OF GOV. MOORE.
The Spaniards and Indians, stimulated by the bigoted
and rapacious spirit of the mother country, perpetrated
acts of wanton barbarity on the colonial settlements of
Carolina and Georgia. Provoked to retaliation by these
depredations, Governor Moore, A. D. 1702, projected an
invasion of Florida, by the forces of South Carolina. In
the month of September, with an army of twelve hun.
dred men, he embarked on an expedition for the reduc-
tion of St. Augustine, which was esteemed the centre of
the predatory operations against the English settlers.
Col. Daniel was ordered to scour the country inland,
and penetrate to the city by the route of the St. John's
River. An officer of distinguished military skill and
enterprise, Col. Daniel, with great promptitude and suc-
cess, marched through the country, captured and plun-
dered the city, and shut its inhabitants up within the
walls of their Castle. Such was the position of affairs
when Gov. Moore reached the scene of his military ope-
rations before St. Augustine. A regular siege was ad-
vised. The Fort was invested. But the artillery of the
besieging army was too light, and no impression could
be made on the fortified works.
Col. Daniel was despatched to procure guns of a larger
caliber and more effective powers. In the meanwhile,
a Spanish naval armament made its appearance off the
coast. Governor Moore, in a panic, appalled at this
demonstration, raised the siege, abandoned his ships and
stores, and fled back to Carolina by the nearest inland
The original causes of disquietude were in nowise re-
moved or abated. They became, indeed, more and more
active and aggravated, till they ripened into further hos-
The Spanish charged the English with intrusion. The
grounds of complaint were mutual. *
The English, on the other hand, charged the Spaniards
with enticing away their colored servants, and with ex-
citing the Indians to murder and depopulate their frontier
towns. The Spanish governor not only justified himself
34 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
in these things, but immediately fitted out an expedition
from Augustine and marched into Georgia, laying waste
the country, sparing neither age nor sex.
These provocations occurred twenty years after Gov.
Moore had invaded the Floridas.
The tribe of the Yamasee Indians had been made the
tools of Spanish barbarity in their recent hostile opera-
tions against the English colonies of Georgia and Caro-
The intrepid Col. Palmer immediately raised a force
of militia and friendly Indians, with which he marched
into Florida to retaliate the injuries of his countrymen.
He pushed at once to the very gates of the city, laying
waste nearly every settlement. The citizens fled and
entrenched themselves within the city fortifications, leav-
ing the poor natives, their allies, to the mercy of the in-
vaders; and the power of the Yamasee tribe was broken
under the walls of the city, being nearly all killed or
made prisoners by the English.
All was destroyed but what lay within range and pro-
tection of the guns of the Fort.
The Georgians, in their fury, seized on the Papal
Church of Nostra Seniora de Lache," plundering and
burning it to the ground, from which they took the gold
and silver ornaments for booty, and also an image baby,
which they found in the arms of the image of a woman,
the Virgin Mary, with which the church was adorned.
This place of worship occupied a position a little with-
out the city gates. The point of land back from the old
steam mill is alleged to have been its site, the ruins of
which, it is alleged, are still to be found there.
Palmer, with his Georgians, having taken ample ven-
geance, and being unable to reduce the city without
heavier ordnance than he then had at command, gath-
ered all the booty within his reach, which was consider-
able, and retired to Georgia, leaving the Spaniards to
obtain satisfaction as best they could.
OGLETHORP'S INVASION, A. D. 1740.
During the next fifteen years, no considerable overt
act of hostility was perpetrated, though the spirit and
embers of war still glowed in the hearts of the border
colonists. The Georgians were still plundered of their
property. Their negroes were enticed and spirited away
into the wilds of Florida; and this was justified by the
Governor of St. Augustine, on the pretence that the
Spaniards "were bound in conscience to draw to them-
selves as many negroes as they could, in order to con-
vert them to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church."
Moreover, "a plot was discovered, which contemplated
the utter extinction of the English settlements. A Ger-
man Jesuit-one Christian Priben--a resident among the
Cherokees, was the master spirit in this conspiracy. He
was taken by the English traders. Upon his person was
found his private journal, revealing his design to bring
about a confederation of all the southern Indians, and to
effect a new social and civil organization. He had noted
his expectations of assistance in the execution of his ori-
ginal design from the French, and from another nation,
whose name was left a blank. Among his papers were
found letters for the Florida and Spanish governors, de-
manding their protection and countenance. Also, there
36 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
were found among his papers the plan and regulations
for a new town.
Many rights and privileges were enumerated, mar.
riage was abolished, a community of women and all kinds
of licentiousness were to be allowed.
In addition, the Spaniards had just made an abortive
attempt to dispossess the Georgian colonists of Amelia
At this juncture, Oglethorp appeared on the stage
of action. He had been recently appointed to the office
of governor of the colony.
The salvation of the English settlements required
prompt and vigorous measures.
Oglethorp solicited and secured the co-operation of
South Carolina, in a combined effort to insure the safety
of the English settlement.
The invasion of Florida, and the reduction of St.
Augustine, as the nest where were hatched the broils
and perils of a border serife, and from whence swarmed
the savage hordes which overran and devastated the land,
were determined upon.
South Carolina promptly responded to the call of
Oglethorp. Carolina raised a regiment of five hundred
men, and equipped one vessel of war, carrying ten car-
riage guns and sixteen swivels, with a crew of fifty men.
Two hundred men enlisted as a volunteer force. In
addition, Oglethorp had his own regiment of five hundred
men, two troops of Highland and English rangers, and
two companies of Highland and English foot." His
Stephen's Hist. Gee., art. in Southern Quarterly; April No. 1848.
OGLETHORP'S INVASION. 37
plan was to take the city by surprise. This however
With a select force, he entered East Florida, invested
and reduced Fort Diego, situated some twenty-five miles
north of St. Augustine. Having left here a garrison
force, and completed his arrangements, he marched
direct for St. Augustine and occupied Fort Mosa. This
work he destroyed; and then advanced to reconnoitre
the city. The result of the reconnoisance was disheart-
ening. The town was strongly fortified. The Spanish
force within the intrenched city and castle, amounted to
seven hundred regulars, two troops of horse, with armed
negroes, militia, and Indians.*
At the outset an oversight had been committed, in ne-
glecting to blockade the harbor, on account of which,
supplies were thrown into the city, and additional means
of resistance. Oglethorp, however, soon afterward, en-
forced a blockade. The ships were moored across the
entrance of the bar; and lines of investment were drawn
around the town on the land. Col. Palmer, with a
company of Highlanders and a small force of Indians,
occupied the old Fort Mosa, with orders to scour the
country. A small battery was planted on Point
Quartele; while Oglethorp with his own regiment
erected and occupied field works on the northern ex-
tremity of Anastatia Island, opposite the Castle. The
ruins of these works are markedby a clump of shrubbery
and a slight elevation on the point.
* Spanish accounts say less than this.
38 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
The arrangements being perfected, a bombardment of
the town and Castle was attempted. Oglethorp opened his
batteries with a hot fire of shell and shot, a great number
of which were thrown into the town. The fire was return-
ed with spirit from the Castle, and from galleys in the har-
bor; but the distance was too great for either party to do
much execution. The shallow water of the bar prevented
any co-operation of the English naval force with that of
the land. The fire of the besieging army at length abated.
A counsel of war was held. In the meanwhile a sortie
was made by the besieged; and Col. Palmer, with his
entire force, were surprised in sleep, and all cut off at
Fort Mosa, except a few who escapAd by a small boat,
and crossed to Point Quartele, where the Carolina regi-
ment was stationed. The Indian allies soon grew im-
patient, and left in disgust. The blockade of the inlet
at Matanzas was raised, and provisions and other'supplies
were thrown into the town, through this approach to the
city. The English troops became enfeebled by disease,
dispirited, and filled with discontent, and many deserted.
The naval fbrce became short of provisions, and the
hurricane season was at hand. Oglethorp was taken
down with fever, and the flux raged among his troops.
The siege was thereupon raised, and the army withdrawn
into Georgia. -Thus the expedition became abortive,
though the face and angles of the Castle, fronting the
harbor, bear the mark of Oglethorp's storm of shot and
shells to this day.
A counter invasion of Georgia was projected from this
-city, two years after. But though the preparations were
made on a scale of unusual magnitude, and the expedition
was well supported by competent naval power; the
Spaniards were whipped and -frightened off from the
settlements of Georgia. They related, on their return,
as an excuse for their disgraceful and cowardly behavior,
that, "the deep morasses and thickets were so. lined
with wild Indians and fierce Highlanders, that the devil
could not penetrate to the strong-holds of the Georgians."
Retaliation was, of course, the natural result. The very
next year, Oglethorp again visited Augustine, captured
a fort in the vicinage of the city; but being frustrated in
some of his plans, retired again to his province, without
further molestation to the enemy. These hostilities and
differences continued to distract this city, till A. D. 1768,
when the peace of Paris gave the Floridas into possession
of the government of Great Britain. For the twenty
years that Florida remained in possession of Great
Britain, great improvements were made, flourishing
settlements begun; and the prosperity which industry
and skill insure began to show itself on every side. In
1784, the Floridas were retroceded to Spain. The
Anglo-Saxon race forsook their fields and villages, and
retired under the shield of British law and the Protestant
Says the historian, "A military government succeeded,
together with a sparse population, who barely subsisted
-on their pay, who neglected improvements,-who suffer-
ted their gardens and fields to grow up with weeds, their
Fences and houses to rot down, or be burned for fuel."
40 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
The Minorcan population, however, it is alleged, were
an exception. Their industry furnished fish and vege-
tables to the market. This is a peculiar people, and
they compose a large proportion of the population of the
city. The present race were of servile extraction. By
the duplicity and avarice of one Turnbull, they were
seduced from their homes in the Mediterranean-located
at Smyrna-and forced to till the lands of the proprietor,
who had brought them into Florida for that purpose.
After enduring great privation, toil, and suffering, under
the most trying circumstances of a servile state, they
revolted in a body, reclaimed their rights, and maintained
them under English law, by a decision of the king's court
at Augustine, whither they had fled from their oppressor,
under the conduct of one of their number, a man by the
name of Palbicier. A location was assigned them in the
north of this city, which they occupy in the persons of
their descendants to this day. Their women are distin-
guished for their taste, neatness, and industry, a peculiar
light olive shade of complexion, and a dark, full eye.
The males are less favored, both by nature and habit.
They lack enterprise. Most of them are without edu-
cation. Their canoes, fishing lines, and hunting guns,
are their main sources of subsistence. The rising
generation is, however, in a state of rapid transition.
The spirit of American institutions, and the reflex
influence of an association with Anglo-American society,
are working an assimilating change in the whole social
structure of the native population of this city; the pre-
sent population of which is estimated at from 1800 to
MINORCAN POPULATION. 41
From the time of the retrocession of the Floridas, till
the disturbances growing out of the late war with Eng-
land, there was a state of comparative quiet in the border
settlements. But ancient jealousies and the seeds of
former dissensions, differences of religion, and the re-
membrance of past injuries, had not been altogether
eradicated. Moreover, the occupants of lands on the
line between the American and Spanish nations found
those within the Spanish domain who strongly sympa-
thized with the free and liberal spirit of American insti-
tutions, as seen in contrast with the despotic features of a
military government under the control of an intolerant
and bigoted hierarchy.
A patriot war ensued.* A neutral territory 'was
erected. Spanish authority was rejected. Augustine
was again invaded. But the American government in-
terposed, restored quiet, and immediately entered upon
negotiations with the king of Spain for the purchase of
These negotiations were at length crowned with suc-
cess; and on the 17th of June, 1821, the "stars and
stripes of the United States of America floated from the
Castle, and St. Augustine became an Anglo-American
town, under the government of the American general,
Andrew Jackson.t Protected by the shadow of the
It is more than probable that the American government con-
nived at, if it did not encourage, these transactions.-EDITOR.
t It is well known that the Spanish governor of West Florida
attempted to withhold from the United States the public papers, and
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
American eagle, for the first time, the genius of the
American institutions called together her sons and daugh-
ters in the old Government House, for the exercise of a
right which had been watered with Protestant blood in
the soil of Florida centuries before-"freedom to worship
God." On Friday, the 11th of June, 1824, was organ-
ized the Presbyterian church. Subsequently, the Prot-
estant and Methodist Episcopal churches were estab-
lished. Thus Protestant influence and institutions gained
a firm foothold in the ancient Spanish capital of East
It is related,* that immediately on the exchange of
flags a strange sight was seen in the city.. A Methodist
that Governor Jackson was under the necessity of resorting to com-
pulsory measures to obtain them.
The same disposition was exhibited by the governor of the East.
Captain Hanham had been appointed sheriff of East Florida, and
was dispatched for St. Augustine, and required to be there in seven-
teen days. He arrived within the given time, and applied to Gov-
ernor Coppinger for the public records. The governor declined, and
gave him to understand that he should resist his authority. Under-
standing that a vessel lay in the offing ready to receive the papers
and convey them to Cuba, Hanham forced his wayjpto the govern-
or's room. There he found the papers nearly all packed in eleven
strong boxes. He seized them all, and delivered them over into the
hands of the collector of the United States. It was afterwards found
that the papers thus rescued were of the greatest importance to the
These summary proceedings created an excitement at the time,
which however soon passed away.
This was told the author as coming from the lips of the man
who was the subject of this anecdote, who still lives.
MINORCAN POPULATION. 43
itinerant was observed, wending his way from street to
street and from house to house on a religious mission,
distributing Protestant religious books, and otherwise
intruding himself among the sons and daughters of the
The circumstance, so unusual, and the great presump-
tion of the stranger, of course alarmed the Romish eccle-
siastical authority. The priest could not brook such
intrusion. He went in pursuit of the presumptuous man
in black, and when he had overtaken him, menaced him
with the indignation of his ghostly power if he did not at
The itinerant surveyed him for a moment in silence,
as if measuring with his eye the capacity of his power,
and then, with the most imperturbable coolness, and an
impudent though significant movement of the eye, pointed
the wrathy shadow of the Pope to the stars and stripes,"
which now proudly floated over the battlements of the
Castle-when it vanished, and left the Methodist minister
to prosecute his favorite work among the people as he
This, undoubtedly, was the first time that prelacy had
been taught a lesson of forbearance here, or to consider
the nature of the change which had come over the scene
of its former undisputed sway, and to understand, that
under the flag of the United States of America man was
protected in the enjoyment of his high prerogative-
" freedom to worship God."
44 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
DESTRUCTION OF THE ORANGE GROVES.
Prior to February, 1835, groves of the sweet orange
had for many years, and with great care, been brought
into a thrifty and productive state. Then St. Augustine
was one immense orange orchard, and appeared, says an
eye-witness, like a rustic village, with its white houses
peeping from among the clustered boughs and golden
fruit of the favorite tree, beneath whose shade the invalid
cooled his fevered limbs and imbibed health from the
fragrant air." Much attention was given to the rearing
of orange orchards, and large investments had been made
in planting out nurseries of fruit trees, which, indeed,
could hardly supply the demand for the young trees.
The season prior to February, 1835, was very pro-
ductive. Some of the orange groves paid from one to
three thousand dollars. I have been informed, that twelve
years ago the income to the city was some $72,000 per
annum. Mature, thrifty trees sometimes produced 6000
oranges; and the average product per annum of a single
tree was 500 oranges.
In the vigor and thrift of the orange business, the
annual export of oranges was between 2 and 3,000,000
per annum from this city.
The trade was brisk, and a source of revenue and profit
to the place of great value. In the orange season, the
harbor was enlivened with a fleet of fruit vessels, that
thronged the city for the purchase and transportation of
oranges to the northern market.
But on the night of the fatal month of February, 1835,
TROPICAL FRUIT CULTURE. 45
a frost cut down the entire species of the orange tribe,
some of the trees rivaling in stature the sturdy forest oak.
At one fell stroke, the labor and profit of years of toil-
the inheritance of many generations-the little all of
many families, were swept away The resources of the
city were dried up! Many were hurled in a night from
the seat of affluence, into the lap of poverty and distress !
To this day, the city has not recovered from the blight
of that dire stroke. Shoots from the withered stocks of
the old trees have indeed sprung up, and been struggling
for life ever since, but under the pressure of disease;
and all efforts to resuscitate the tree have been rendered
abortive by the ravages of insignificant animalcule,
which prey on the life and vigor of the young shoots, and
perpetuate the influence of the frost of 1835.
TROPICAL FRUIT CULTURE OF EAST FLORIDA.
There are important facts relative to these agricultural
products and resources of East Florida, which ought to
be better understood by those, who, on account of consti-
tutional delicacy, consumptive habits, or other causes, at
the north, are disposed to seek other and more congenial
latitudes. On the east coast of South Florida the lands
are productive, and healthy in location. On the St. Lu-
cie River and Sound, the banks are high shell bluff, and
exceedingly fertile for high lands. Though north of the
tropical latitude, yet the climate is so genial, that it nour-
ishes with luxuriance, in the open air, most of the fruits
of tropical climes. The cocoa, orange, lemon, lime,
guava, citron, pine-apple, banana, and other like pro-
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
ducts, together with the semi-tropical fruits, the grape,
fig, olive, &c., and garden vegetables, the cabbage, po-
tato, beet, onion, with various species of the melon kind,
grow with great luxuriance. Orange orchards, pine-
apple fields, banana and cocoa-nut groves, are now in
process of cultivation by settlers, many of whom are
from the north, and have begun to clear their lands with-
in the last few years.
Industry and perseverance are the chief investments
of capital required, in order to reap ample remuneration.
Northern men, with their own hands, are now thus en-
gaged. It is no longer an experiment. On the banks of
the Indian River and St. Lucie Sound fruiteries are being
raised. Fruit'groves and cane fields are being planted,
which will probably ere long furnish for northern mar-
kets the delicious products of tropical climes, in a more
perfect condition and of better quality than can be else-
The lands of tropical Florida on the east coast, in the
region of the Indian River, appear to be of an older for-
mation, and are on a higher level above the sea, than
those in this neighborhood. The landscape is finer. The
climate is more salubrious. Its attractions for those who
wish to make their own labor their capital, from which
they shall be enabled to draw a support for themselves
and families, are great. The orange, pine-apple, and
sugar lands of South Florida are worthy more attention
from agriculturists, capitalists, and emigrants, than they
have received; and the day is not far distant, when their
rich resources will begin to be developed, and will excite
;TIMTE N ikXJPILX
IU lh Af-hZ-, wi V.-- J
TROPICAL FRUIT CULTURE. 47
The orange culture has been proved to be a source of
great profit. It will be again, whenever in this country
groves can be reared. The culture of the pine-apple
will be found to be of equal worth with that of the
The pine is said to mature its fruit from the slips,
when they are well set out, in about eighteen months,
and their stocks will continue to bear for several years.
One acre of land will produce some 40,000 pines, and
the sale of this fruit is made in market at say from ten to
eighteen dollars per hundred.
Moreover, the fruit from the pine plants of South Flo-
rida need not be plucked till it has matured on its stock.
It will therefore come into market in a more mature con-
dition, and of finer flavor than any that can elsewhere
be grown. It will bring the highest market prices; and
the fruit of this kind that has already been grown, by
competent judges is said to be of the best quality.
The lands which are adapted to this culture are, in-
deed, of limited extent; but there are sufficient to sup-
ply the home market. 4
These facts, together with the salubrity of the fruit.
growing region, must ere long attract attention from the
public. Thousands, in that mild and equable climate,
might there live and labor, and enjoy a ripe old age, who
must soon die, amid the vicissitudes of the climate in
Admitting that the pine-apple, on account of risks in
transportation and cost in getting to market, should be
worth only about one-half the market price in the field,
48 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
yet an acre of thrifty, well cultivated pines will yield
from $1500 to $2000 per annum. At five cents each,
the product of an acre of pine-fruit would be $2000.
These calculations show the great value of the pine
lands and other fruit soil of Tropical Florida. These
facts have but to be known, to be understood and appre-
ciated. They indicate the great resources of South
Florida, in the soil of its tropical fruit lands, which is a
region of country lying some forty miles south of Cape
ADVANTAGES OF CLIMATE.
ST. AUGUSTINE AS A PLACE OF RESORT FOR INVALIDS.
ADVANTAGES OF CLIMATE.
THIS city enjoys many advantages in respect to climate,
which are peculiar. The same may be true of the cli-
mate of the Florida peninsula in general. An intelligent
correspondent of the Army and Navy Chronicle, in an
interesting article, thus writes of the climate of Florida:
Florida, from its position, lying just north of the
Tropic of Cancer, and being nearly surrounded by water,
would be judged to possess one of the blandest and most
equable climates in the world. And such, in fact, for
several months in the year, is found to be the case.
In the interior and upper portions, the variations in the
annual temperature are considerable-80 and 90 degrees.
The diurnal variations are considerable. On the sea-
coast and in the lower part of the territory, where regular
trade-winds prevail, the temperature is so much less va-
riable, that the islands about capes Florida and Sable are
in this respect unexcelled perhaps by any other region
of the globe."
Dr. Forry,* U. S. A., thus writes of the climate of
this region:-"Among the various systems of climate
Author of a standard work on climate, and of the highest pro-
DU SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
presented in the United States, that of the peninsula of
Florida is wholly peculiar. Possessing an insular tem.
perature, not less equable and salubrious in winter than
that afforded by the south of Europe, it will be seen that
invalids requiring a mild winter residence, have gone to
foreign lands in search of what might have been found
at home. Florida therefore merits the attention of phy-
sicians at the north; for here the pulmonary invalid may
exchange for the inclement seasons of the north, or the
deteriorated atmosphere of a room to which he may be
confined, the mild, equable temperature, the soft, balmy
breezes of an evergreen land."
"For many years," says Dr. Wardeman, "afflicted
with phthisis, and compelled to pass the last seven win-
ters in the West Indies and the southern parts of Florida,
we have been necessarily placed in communication with
numerous invalids similarly affected, many of whom
were under our professional care ; and from personal
experience and the observation of others, we have had
ample opportunities for comparing the effects of different
climates on the disease. Premising that we have passed
five winters in Cuba, one at Key West, and one at Enter-
prise, East Florida. Florida has the advantage over
Italy, in having no mountain ranges covered during win-
ter with snows; the cold blasts from the Apennines and
the Jura mountains, rendering a large portion of Italy
and southern France unfit for invalids unable to bear a
sudden and great increase of temperature."
Dr. Bernard Byrne thus writes of the climate of Flo-
rida (see the National Intelligencer of May 18th, 1843):
ADVANTAGES OF CLIMATE. 01
Taking it the year round, the climate of East Florida
is much more agreeable than any other in the United
States, or even.than that of Italy. In the southern por.
tion of the peninsula frost is never (rarely) felt; even so
far north as the Suwanee River, there are generally but
three or four nights in a whole winter that ice as thick
as a quarter of a dollar is formed. The winter weather
is delightful in East Florida, beyond description. It very
much resembles that season which in the Middle States is
termed "Indian Summer;" except that in Florida the
sky is perfectly clear, and the atmosphere more dry and
We now will consider the climate of St. Augustine
in particular. There is circulated a sentiment prejudi-
cial to the virtue of the climate of St. Augustine, as a
resort for invalids in search of health. This may be all
very natural, when the interest north of this city, served
by the traveling public, is considered; but it is not just.
Experience usually contradicts this sentiment. It is en-
countered under various exaggerated forms of statement,
all along the southern inland route. In the face of de-
clarations designed to forestall opinion against the place,
however, many have persevered, and found experience
the wisest counselor.
Says a correspondent to the Florida Herald, 1848 : I
have occasionally been in the interior. In every instance,
however, I have found the climate of this city preferable
on the whole. The same is true of every place I have
visited south, if I except the climate of south or tropical
Florida, which I believe to be without a parallel."
52 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
These remarks on the nature of the climate, exhibiting
its advantages, are founded on the experience and obser-
vation of individuals who have thoroughly tested its vir-
tues, and who were capable of forming and of expressing
an intelligent opinion-many of these writers being called,
in the course of professional duty, to analyze and study
the nature and effects of climate.
Let me suggest certain peculiarities, which impart to
the climate of St. Augustine peculiar advantages over
any interior or more northern locality, and which are
properties peculiarly favorable to a restoration of im-
During the winter months, the extremes of temperature,
though the transitions are somewhat more sudden, are
nevertheless not so great here as in the interior. This
peculiarity follows a law of climate, which, both north and
south, causes it to be warmer in the neighborhood of the
sea in winter, than in regions remote therefrom. It is
also cooler in summer.
The east winds here are far different from the east
winds at the north. Though somewhat raw and gusty,
they are nevertheless shorn of their intensity, and greatly
modified, in their passage across and along the Gulf
stream. They thus lose very much of their asperity,
and would hardly be recognized by a New Englander,
being usually unattended with rain. In summer, the
air is neither so hot nor as sultry as it is inland, where
respiration is attended with a suffocating sensation. The
atmosphere of the sea-coast is not so highly rarefied. The
process of evaporation, which is perpetually going on,
ADVANTAGES OF CLIMATE.
tends to equalize temperature, and so to adapt the atmos-
phere to the action of the respiratory organs, that one
breathes freely and easily. By the same process, the
intensity of the heat is greatly abated. The afternoons
and evenings are invariably cool and refreshing.
The atmosphere exhilarates. On one's energies and
spirits, it acts as a stimulus, so that one does not suffer
from lassitude here, as is usual at the north. The nights
are refreshing in the hottest season. This remark is
true, I believe, only of the atmosphere in the neighbor-
hood of the sea, amid the coast climate. Indeed, the
whole body of the atmosphere on the coast is more pure
and healthful than in the interior; and is believed also
to be medicinal in its effects. The various chemical in-
gredients of the atmosphere on the coast, are powerful
disinfecting agents, which are perpetually elaborated,
from the prodigious evaporation and other chemical com.
binations of the mineral waters of the sea, whose grand
elements are soda and chlorine. These impart to the
atmosphere healing power and medicinal virtue. The
sea and the sun are laboratories of healthful energy and
influence, which are projected into this atmosphere from
natural resources, and which are taken into the system
by the ordinary process of respiration. For these reasons,
invalids have often experienced as great, if not greater
benefit, from a summer residence here, than from a win-
ter sojourn. Disease, taken in its incipient stages, may
be eradicated, under the influence of the climate alone,
aided by the vis medicatrix nature." Air and exercise
are the chief medicines required.
04 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
CLASS OF DISEASES REACHED AND FAVORABLY AFFECTED
BY THIS CLIMATE.
In relation to this interesting point of inquiry, the
opinions and reasoning of Dr. Samuel Forry (in the
Journal of Medical Science, in the year 1841) are full
and explicit. Bronchitis.-" The advantage of a winter
residence in a more southern latitude, as respects this
disease, becomes at once apparent.
If the invalid can avoid the transition of the seasons,
that meteorological condition of the atmosphere which
stands first among the causes that induce catarrhal
lesions, he will do much towards controlling the malady.
As regards the change of climate, it will be observed
that in the advantages enumerated, reference is made
only to chronic bronchitis.
The climate of Florida has been found beneficial in
cases of incipient pulmonary consumption, and those
threatened with disease from hereditary or acquired
indisposition. It is in chronic bronchial affections more
particularly that it speedily manifests its salutary tend-
But there are other forms of disease, in which such a
climate as that of East Florida is not unfrequently of
decided advantage. To this blass belongs asthma.
In chronic disorders of the digestive organs, where no
inflammation exists, or structural changes have superven.
ed in viscera important to life, but the indication is merely
to remove disease of a functional character, a winter's
residence promises great benefit; but exercise in the
DISEASES AFFECTED BY THE CLIMATE. 00
open air, aided by a proper regimen, are indispensable
In many of those obscure affections called nervous,
unconnected with inflammation, exercise and traveling in
this climate, are frequently powerful and efficient re-
Chronic rheumatism, though apparently much less
under the influence of meteorological causes than pulmo-
nic affections, will be often benefited by a winter residence
in Florida. As these cases often resist the best directed
efforts of medicines, it is the only remedy which the
* northern physician can recommend with a reasonable
prospect of success.
When there exists a general delicacy of the constitu-
tion in childhood, often the rubeola, or scarlatina mani-
festing itself by symptoms indicative of a scrofulous
disposition, a winter residence in a warm climate
frequently produces the most salutary effects.
Another form of disease remains to be alluded to, in
which change of climate promises healing power, viz.:
premature decay of the constitution, characterized by
general evidence of deteriorated health, whilst some
tissue or organ important to life commonly mani-
fests symptoms of abnormal action. This remarkable
change occurs without any obvious cause, and is
not inappropriately termed in common parlance, a
breaking up of the constitution.' In treating of the
climate of Florida, the primary object held in view, is to
direct attention to its fitness as a winter residence for
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
A comparison with the most favored situation on the
continent of Europe and the islands held in the highest
estimation for mildness and equability of climate, affords
results in no way disparaging. A comparison of the
mean temperature of winter and summer, that of the
coldest and warmest months and seasons, furnishes
results generally in favor of the Peninsula of Florida.
On the coast of Floridathe average number of fair
days, is about 250; while in the Northern States, the
average number of fair days per annum, is about 120.
Though climate is one of the most powerful remedial
agents, and one, too, which in many cases will admit no
substitute, yet much permanent advantage will not result,
either from traveling or change of climate, unless the
invalid adheres strictly to such regimen as his case may
"The attention of many persons suffering with pul-
monary diseases having been directed to the southern
section of the United States, as a temporary residence for
the benefit of their health, and there being much diversity
of sentiment as to the location most proper for attaining
this desirable end, I propose to offer to the public some
facts derived from personal observation. Having in the
early part of last year been the subject of an attack, that
threatened a rapid termination in consumption, the
unanimous opinions of several of my medical friends
concurred with my own judgment, to induce me to avoid
the vicissitudes of the approaching winter in our varying
climate; and I felt compelled to make an effort,
which to every appearance was to decide the event of
DISEASES AFFECTED BY THE CLIMATE.
St. Augustine in East Florida, was the place to which
my views had been directed, and I arrived there soon
after the commencement of the present year. A few
days' residence convinced me of the efficacy of the
climate in promoting my own health; and from the
observations I was continually enabled to make, in re-
ference to the invalids who had resorted there, from
motives similar to my own, I became assured of the ex-
cellent effects of the climate : and am fully satisfied, that
although prudence would have dictated a removal two
months earlier in the season, the present great improve-
ment of my health is to be attributed almost wholly to
having substituted for the variations of our own latitude,
the mildness of that favored region. St. Augustine is the
most southern location on our extensive seaboard to
which a valetudinarian can resort, with any prospect of
obtaining the attentions and comforts requisite for the
improvement of health. "
The climate of St. Augustine, seems peculiarly
adapted to the improvement of patients with consumptive
chronic affections of the lungs, asthma, spitting of blood,
rheumatism, and dyspepsia. It is a fact worthy of re-
mark, that though it is universally acknowledged the
advanced stages of pulmonary consumption are often
beyond the power of medical skill to produce restoration,
There are now points in South Florida in a tropical climate,
where preparations are being made for the accommodation of invalid
strangers. The banks of the Indian River, St. Lucia Sound, and
the Miami, possess advantages over any other place in this country.
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
yet most of those who resort to a change of climate for
cure, reject the advantages to he derived from the
removal, until the disease shall have made such exten-
sive ravages as to render hopeless every prospect of
Many cases of this nature I had an opportunity of ob.
serving during the last winter; and, in some instances,
the patients seemed to have hastened from their homes
whilst the last glimmerings of life only remained.
"The benefit of the climate of St. Augustine will be
particularly evident in the incipient stages of those
affections, for the cure of which it has been celebrated;
and those invalids who contemplate a removal thither,
ought not to allow the commencement of winter to sur-
prise them whilst preparing for departure.
The glowing, and even exaggerated reports of this
climate, that have been given by some persons of lively
imagination, have occasioned disappointment to a few
whose expectations had been greatly excited. Never-
theless, I am persuaded, generally, a residence there
during the winter season will contribute much to the
advantage of every stage of pulmonary affections." Ex-
tracts from a Circular published in Philadelphia, 1830,
by James Cox, M. D.
TEMPERATURE OF THE CITY.
TABLES OF THE COMPARATIVE AND ABSOLUTE TEMPERA-
TURE OF THIS CITY.
Exhibiting a Comparison between the Mean Temperature of the
most favorite Resorts for Health in other Countries and that of
St. Augustine-Fahrenheit's Thermometer.
MEAN DIFFERENCE OF THE MEAN ANNUAL RANGE.
Pisa, 5.75 Naples, 64
Nice, 4.74 Nice, 60
Rome, 439 Rome, 62
Penzance, Eng., 3.5 Penzance, 49
Madeira, .2.41 Madeira, .
St. Augustine, Flor., 3.55 St. Augustine, 59
Exhibition of the Mean Temperature of each Month at St. Augus-
tine, East Florida-Years 1825, 1828, 1830.
January, 62.15 July, .82.36
February, 64.97 August, 82.68
March, 66.53 September, 77.55
April, 68.68 October, 73.61
May, 76.44 November, 67.47
June, 81.12 December, 61.31
Exhibition of the
Mean Annual Monthly Range
Annual range, 590.
for the same
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
of the Tropical Fruit-growing
Pierce. Indian River Inlet.*
-uvl ainsuaul ol 0WuguiWilsul ON
I I I I I I I I I I
4 C cI 1- 1v tD u
14 ,13 r"c r--q W-4 P--4r6C
ul n4 7L
Cl cl~U VC~ I NT. C9 V~
r-" --" -rC-" HCI "-
oc m I VCu I r-gio M r --q V
I 1 I
IiL I ~[9 "Ms /
I T j '-
r~I N1~ -~t -~C ~~r ~I~ 1P
.AA..NI r1r II I Ics I Ic
I. N I ;mi
00 x al I
I (I'4aC~ I 4bc'~3
+++ + +++
Co 00 Vs 0 0 ^a CI O
LOOC O O CO W X 0 W tto -I---
-,t M tc~r o X -t Ln r-w r---q GO C
a, d;et6 p6 06 r-rjIri t ei 4
I--*- L- t- --..
o W Cn V el % > V V 'Tt tC 00
0' 00 00 C ) m cl t IC
.~PC3 00 M 00 O~Go o m 00 1I-- t-- 00 00 00or
3:~"i c cC C C" t 3
1 hS I 0
cl pi (
k!;4 ::I -
-~m e I
_ __ ____
flllh~D LA Il~) hDiPT Th~Sl ilJm~Tfl 1E.IF
ADVANTAGES OF ACCOMMODATION. 01
ADVANTAGES OF ACCOMMODATION.
The accommodations for invalids, in this city, are
comparable with any that can be furnished in this region,
and will be ample.
There are four public houses, two of which, in regard
to style, convenience, and comfort, will compare well
with any like establishments.
The Magnolia House," erected by B. E. Carr, is a
spacious and attractive resort. Its style of architecture
is neat; its grounds are laid out with taste; its location is
eligible. Its host was trained in one of the best establish-
ments of the city of New-York, and of course understands
well how both to satisfy and please those who make his
house the home of their sojourn. The Magnolia House,
though recently opened for public accommodation, it has
been found necessary considerably to enlarge. This work
its enterprising proprietor is now engaged upon. It will
be also modified so as to suit the convenience and meet
the wants of the public, by affording many comforts and
conveniences not generally attached to a hotel. Seven-
teen additional rooms, with a new and spacious dining
hall, are to be added, which in many respects will make
it one of the4nost desirable places of sojourn for families
and travelers in this city, as well as for invalids.
The "Planters' Hotel" is a spacious and convenient
public house, well adapted to the accommodation of the
public. This large establishment is to be opened the
ensuing fall, under the supervision of its present proprie-
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
tor, Mr. Loring. The "Florida House," on the side
opposite, is a large, well-kept establishment, belonging to
Mr. Cole ; the "City Hotel," under Mr. Bridier, is also
There are several neat private residences, where
strangers and sojourners can be accommodated, at rea-
sonable prices. The boarding establishment of Mrs. Reid
is an attractive establishment, capable of accommodating
many persons, both families and single.
The residence of Mrs. Dr. Anderson is conspicuous on
the avenue leading over the bridge near the St. Sebas-
tian River. It is built of the native coquina rock, and
was embosomed in a grove of young orange trees, of
which the decaying stumps and sickly shoots are all that
remain, together with the hedge of Spanish bayonet,
which inclosed it. These suffice to designate Mark.
land," though shorn of its glory-which is partially sup-
plied by a grove of olive trees now in bearing.
"Yallaha" is the neat cottage residence of P. B. Dun-
nas. It is the Indian word for orange. Yallaha is situ.
ated on the river St. Sebastian, and is distinguished for
the beauty and healthfulness of its position, and also for
the delicious strawberries which enrich its blushing gar-
dens in the month of March.
It was in orange times the site of a beautiful and ex-
tensive grove of trees, variegated with green foliage and
golden fruit and fragrant blossoms.
It is the purpose of the proprietor to erect on his
grounds commodious boarding establishments.
RECREATION AND AMUSEMENT. 83
RECREATION AND AMUSEMENT.
This city contains a small circle of intelligent and
cultivated society. It is not as yet deformed with the
arts and moral conveniences of more fashionable circles,
in the higher walks of life. It needs not the blandish-
ments-it dreads not the encroachments which, if tolera-
ted in higher circles, would dissipate the fictitious colors
that glow to deceive around fashionable intercourse. Its
very simplicity is at once its greatest charm and surest
defence against impertinent intrusion. The city affords
comfortable, if not elegant homes, to the invalid sojourner,
both in public houses and private families, through which
he will have a more or less direct connection with the
avenues to the Anglo-American society. Excellent
medical aid can here be commanded, from resident mem-
bers of the profession ; and the institutions of religion
can be enjoyed under the several forms of the Episcopal,
Presbyterian, Methodist, and Roman Catholic churches.
The invalid will here find a home in his sojourn, where
he will meet with some of the advantages which distin-
guish the more cultivated circles of northern society.
The sportsman, with his line and gun, can satisfy his
largest desires in the way of game and angling. The
boatman has a spacious harbor and the broad Atlantic
open to him for health and pleasure, though it must be
confessed that good boats are in great demand without a
The active, agile "Indian Pony," is a luxury to
64 SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
those who seek health in horsemanship. In the neigh-
borhood, on the estate of Capt. Hanham, of the ordnance
department, are springs, which are alleged to contain
mineral waters; and to which invalids sometimes ride
in a conveyance the proprietor has had fitted up, and
runs for that purpose.
And then pleasure excursions over the beach are
frequent. A boatman with his crew are secured the
day beforehand, a party having been made up for such
The boatman and crew are usually negroes. The
party having provided themselves with a lunch, apparatus
for making coffee, knives and forks, and other necessary
and useful articles for an oyster pic-nic, embark in the
morning. They wend their way across the harbor, de.
bark, and arrange matters so as that the scattered
fragments of the expedition shall be gathered at the
proper time and place, to partake of the refreshments,
and then disperse,-some for the light-house, and others
for the quarry-while the boat's crew are left to collect
oysters, and gather fuel for the roast on the beach.
When the repast has been finished, the party return,
loaded with specimens of rocks and natural history,
fatigued, indeed, but gratified and benefited. This ex-
cursion is both pleasant and useful; and should the
resort to this watering place fbr health increase as it
has been doing, there doubtless will be afforded greater
facilities for more extended and healthful water excur-
sions: such expeditions, whether for shell or fish, in this
climate being healthful and pleasant. Ordinarily, ex-
RECREATION AND AMUSEMENT. UD
posure does not induce colds, and may be taken without
The moonlight walks, are truly delightful beyond
description. Those who reside at the north, and have
never beheld, can have no adequate conception of a
moonlight scene on the coast of Florida. A recent
writer thus speaks of it: The nocturnal aspect of the
heavens differs from a northern one, in the same manner
that two paintings may differ, the warmth and richness
of the one contrasting with the coldness and poverty of
the other." It is no unusual thing for ladies to appear
abroad on the public promenade, in their light, loose,
flowing dresses, without shawl or bonnet, with denuded
neck and arms, till near midnight, and not suffer the
least risk ,r inconvenience. Nature, in silence, ma-
jesty, and beauty, invites her children to enjoy her
moonlight luxuries. She fans them with soft and fra-
grant breezes. She allures them into the open air, and
charms them with the gorgeous magnificence of the
nocturnal scene, in which every object, earth, sea, and
sky, are made to glow in rich and pure effulgence.
Who can restrain himself from the enjoyment of health
and exercise, amid such attractions? and that, too,
without peril from evening dews and tainted atmos-
The maiden and her lover, the matron and her spouse,
the youth and children, alike participate in the enjoy-
ment of these natural luxuries; and make the welkin
ring at midnight often, with the merry peal of joy and
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
life, or with the notes of music, accompanied with the
soft mellifluous strains of the guitar and viol.
There are various customs, relics of Popish supersti-
tion and Spanish practice, yet prevalent in the city.
Carnival is here observed, though not with its ancient
excess of folly. This is a religious festival, observed in
Roman Catholic countries, as a season of feasting, by
which another religious festival called Lent is introduced.
It is usually celebrated by feasts, operas, balls, concerts,
&c." In this city it is celebrated by masquerade dances
by night, idle and frivolous street sport, in processions of
vagrant men and boys, disguised in masks and grotesque
array by daylight.
A most ridiculous burlesque is exhibited in honor of
St. Peter, the fisherman of Galilee, by which his pro-
fessional skill in the use of the net is attempted to be
illustrated. This is the closing farce of the feast of car-
nival. The description of this, as it passed under the
eye of the author at the very last carnival, may suffice
to give a stranger some idea of its folly.
As I passed along one of the narrow streets of the
city, my attention was arrested by the various exclama-
tions and boisterous cries of a motley crowd of black and
white, who thronged the street, occasionally surging to
the right hand and left.
I was at first at a loss to account for it. On a nearer
approach, I perceived two half-grown men heading a
rabble of boys and others, with the face masked and
concealed, and the person attired in a coarse, shabby
fisher's dress. Over the shoulder of each was flung a
common Spanish net. Whenever a boy black or white
came within range of a cast, the net was suddenly
spread, and thrown over the lad's head so as to inclose
his person. There was seldom more than one throw of
the net; and if it were not successful, it was seldom
repeated on the same individual. Thus the streets
were beset till the farce-the solemn farce-in illustra-
tion of the call of Peter to become a fisher of men"
On an evening after the celebration of the nuptials
of an inhabitant of the city, who has been before mar-
ried, and thus emerges from a state of widowhood, the
welkin is made to ring with a most discordant concert
of voices, horns, tin pans, and other boisterous sounds.
It is an excessively annoying exhibition, to say nothing
of its ill-manners, and gross violation of the peace and
good order of society. The whole city is usually dis-
turbed by such riot and confusion, as in any orderly
community would consign the perpetrators tp a guard-
house, or prison, till they had taken some practical
lessons in decency. This is what is here termed Sheri-
varee. The residence of the newly married pair is beset
by the rabble in some cases, till it is bought off with
money, or whisky.
There are some other customs and practices growing
SKETCHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
out of the foreign extraction of the city, and connected
with religious festivals, and which are the relies of the
past, that are now passing rapidly away.
FACILITIES OF COMMUNICATION.
There are two routes, by which invalid strangers from
the north may reach this city.
The one is direct by sea, from either Charleston or
New-York; the other is by the inland steam and stage
route. The former is occasional; the latter is always
available, though there is some prospect that a direct
communication will be opened, and sustained between
this city and Charleston ere long.
The voyage from New-York, by sailing or steam-
packet, through to Charleston or Savannah, is the most
reliable and expeditious. Twice a week, steamboats
connect between Savannah and the St. John's River, at
Picolata. The distance from Picolata to St. Augustine,
is over land, and about eighteen miles. This distance is
overcome by stage-coach, and a new and convenient
omnibus the present proprietor of the line, Mr. Bridier,
has just had completed for that route. Passengers are
met by these conveyances, and usually reach St. Augus-
tine by 4 o'clock P. M., and often about noon. There
is an inland steam connection between Charleston, S. C.,
and Savannah, Ga., with which the Florida boats con-
nect twice in a week.
The most expeditious and economical route to Florida
is that by which the traveler takes passage direct from
New-York to Savannah, where he will be received by
FACILITIES OF COMMUNICATION.
the steamer, with his baggage, and brought into Florida
and landed within eighteen miles of St. Augustine; the
distance to which, from Savannah, is 218 miles.
The passage from Savannah, especially over the wa-
ters of the noble river of the St. John's, is pleasant and
instructive. The lover of nature-the curious stranger
-may each be gratified. In passing along this route,
the traveler will get a bird's-eye view of a conside-
rable portion of the southern country, on the seaboard.
The plantations-marshes-and peculiar varieties of
trees, among which the noted cabbage-tree will be con-
spicuous---reeks-inlets-and the various specimens of
natural history-the alligator-and peculiar species of
water-fowl met with-and the various contrasts between
northern and southern habits, as presented in agricultu-
ral life-will be novelties, more or less interesting
and instructive to the curious traveler. Many preju-
dices will be dissipated-many errors will be corrected
-many contrasts will be presented.
R. K. 6EAL KTHS0 S.kGS