Front Cover
 Title Page
 The cabinet and the board...
 The quadricentennial coat-of-a...
 Florida's quadricentennial
 Editorial preface
 Florida for tourists, invalids,...
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 I. Questions and answers
 II. Natural divisions of Flori...
 III. A tour of the state with the...
 IV. A trip through North Flori...
 V. Jacksonville, Fernandina, and...
 VI. The St. John's River
 VII. The Ocklawaha river, Silver...
 VIII. The Indian River region and...
 IX. The Gulf-Coast and Key...
 X. The Sanford grant and Orange...
 XI. Random sketches
 XII. Climate and health
 XIII. Retrospective - An historical...
 XIV. Florida folks and familie...
 XV. Orange-culture
 XVI. Other tropical and semi-tropical...
 XVII. Field and farm products
 XVIII. Livestock
 XIX. Fur, fin, and feather
 XX. Insects and reptiles
 XXI. Opportunities for labor and...
 XXII. A word of friendly advice...
 XXIII. Routes to and through...

Group Title: Quadricentennial edition of the Floridiana facsimile & reprint series
Title: Florida for tourists, invalids, and settlers ...
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Full Citation
External Link: http://www.upf.com
 Material Information
Title: Florida for tourists, invalids, and settlers ...
Series Title: Quadricentennial edition of the Floridiana facsimile & reprint series
Physical Description: xxi 310, 9 p. : illus., col, coat of arms, fold. col. map. ports. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Barbour, George M
Peter, Emmett, 1919-
Publisher: University of Florida Press
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1964
Copyright Date: 1964
Subject: Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliographical references included in "Notes" p. xxi
Statement of Responsibility: By George M. Barbour. A facsim reproduction of the 1882 ed., with introduction by Emmett B. Peter, Jr.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00020422
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University Press of Florida
Rights Management: Facsimile reproduction of the 1882 edition with prefatory material, introduction & index added. New material copyright 1964 by the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions of Florida. This work is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/. You are free to electronically copy, distribute, and transmit this work if you attribute authorship. However, all printing rights are reserved by the University Press of Florida (http://www.upf.com). Please contact UPF for information about how to obtain copies of the work for print distribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the University Press of Florida. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000121174
oclc - 01510284
notis - AAN7094
lccn - 64019152

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    The cabinet and the board of control
        Page iii
        Page iv
    The quadricentennial coat-of-arms
        Page v
        Page vi
    Florida's quadricentennial
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Editorial preface
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
    Florida for tourists, invalids, and settlers - 1882
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 2a
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
    List of Illustrations
        Page 9
        Page 10
    I. Questions and answers
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    II. Natural divisions of Florida
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    III. A tour of the state with the commissioner of immigration
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    IV. A trip through North Florida
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    V. Jacksonville, Fernandina, and St. Augustine
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    VI. The St. John's River
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    VII. The Ocklawaha river, Silver Spring, and Ocala
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
    VIII. The Indian River region and the inland lakes
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    IX. The Gulf-Coast and Key West
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    X. The Sanford grant and Orange county
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
    XI. Random sketches
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    XII. Climate and health
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
    XIII. Retrospective - An historical sketch
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
    XIV. Florida folks and families
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
    XV. Orange-culture
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
    XVI. Other tropical and semi-tropical fruits
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
    XVII. Field and farm products
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
    XVIII. Livestock
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
    XIX. Fur, fin, and feather
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
    XX. Insects and reptiles
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
    XXI. Opportunities for labor and capital
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
    XXII. A word of friendly advice to new-comers
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
    XXIII. Routes to and through Florida
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
Full Text


of the
State of Florida

1961- 1965

Carl Sandburg has said: "Books say Yes to life.
Or they say No." The twelve volumes commemo-
rating the Quadricentennial of Florida say Yes.
They unfold a story so adventurous and thrilling,
so colorful and dramatic, that it would pass for
fiction were the events not solidly rooted in his-
torical fact. Five varying cultures have shaped the
character of Florida and endowed her with the
pride and wisdom that come from full knowledge
and abiding understanding. Let us enjoy with
deepening gratitude Florida's magnetic natural
endowments of sun and surf and sky. Let us also
recognize in her unique cultural heritage the pat-
tern of energy and dedication that will spur us to
face the challenges of today and tomorrow with
I am grateful for the privilege of sharing these
volumes with you.









of the 1882 EDITION

of the

University of Florida Press

of the

/ /, K 7

of the 1882 EDITION



Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 64-19152




Secretary of State
State Comptroller
Commissioner of Agriculture

Attorney General
State Treasurer
Superintendent of Public Instruction


St. Petersburg
Ft. Lauderdale

Vice Chairman
Executive Director, Tallahassee

of the

CARPETBAG RULE IN FLORIDA by John Wallace. 1888.
Edited by Allan Nevins.
IDA by William Watson Davis. 1913. Edited by
Fletcher M. Green.
THE EXILES OF FLORIDA by Joshua R. Giddings. 1858.
Edited by Arthur W. Thompson.
by George M. Barbour. 1882. Edited by Emmett B.
Peter, Jr.
IDA AND LOUISIANA IN 1814-15 by A. L. Latour.
1816. Edited by Jane Lucas de Grummond.
ITY, 1513 to 1924 by T. Frederick Davis. 1925. Edited
by Richard A. Martin.
M. M. Cohen. 1836. Edited by O. Z. Tyler, Jr.
FLORIDA WAR by John T. Sprague. 1848. Edited by
John K. Mahon.
PEDRO MENENDEZ de AVILES by Gonzalo Solis de
Meras. 1567. (The Florida State Historical Society edi-
tion, edited and translated by Jeannette Thurber Con-
nor.) Edited by Lyle N. McAlister
THE PURCHASE OF FLORIDA by Hubert Bruce Fuller.
1906. Edited by Weymouth T. Jordan.
THE FLORIDAS by James Grant Forbes. 1821. Edited
by James W. Covington.
IDA by Jean Ribaut. 1563. (The Florida State Histori-
cal Society edition, including a biography of Ribaut by
Jeannette Thurber Connor.) Edited by David L. Dowd.

The Quadricentennial Coat-of-Arms
Surmounted by the Crest symbolizing our National
Emblem and underlined by the Scroll, the Shield -
with the Tower of Spain in the Heraldic quarter of
honor, followed by the Fleur-de-lis of France, the
Lion Rampant of Britain, and the Mullets and Saltier
of the Confederacy depicts the four-hundred-year
cultural heritage of our Florida of today.

The Florida Quadricentennial Commission acknowledges its
deepest gratitude to Chase D. Sheddan,
distinguished scholar, and A. Vernon
Coale, noted Heraldic Artist, for their
conception and portrayal of the official
Florida Quadricentennial Coat-of-Arms.



14 it- r3- -r-~




LORIDA enjoys a unique
position among the fifty
states of the Union. Her
city of St. Augustine ante-
dates Jamestown, the sec-
ond oldest European
settlement within the pres-
ent boundaries of the United States, by forty-
two years. But it was not until 1950 that
Florida entered the select circle of the ten most
populous states of the nation. Since 1950 she
has passed Massachusetts in population and is
challenging New Jersey for eighth place.
Within the South only Texas with more than
four and one-half times the area of Florida has
a larger population.
Neither number nor age is necessarily a dis-
tinction, but most Americans are impressed by
the former and revere the latter. Floridians
view the recent and rapid increase in their
state's population as an indication of youthful
vigor. In 1860 eleven states of the Union had
a million or more inhabitants, a status symbol
not attained by Florida until the mid-1920's. At
the turn of the century Florida ranked thirty-
third in a nation of forty-six commonwealths;
today she is ninth in population among the

viii Florida's Quadricentennial
fifty states. In contrast to the national increase
of less than 20 per cent from 1950 to 1960,
Florida's population increased by more than 78
per cent. The number of people living in the
state in 1964 is more than twice that of 1950.
While boasting of their state's recent surge,
Floridians are also proud of their four-
hundred-year-old origin. In 1957 the Florida
Quadricentennial Commission was established.
With the approval of its members local organi-
zations have celebrated the quadricentennials
of several historic events. The attempt of Tris-
tan de Luna to found a colony on the western
tip of Santa Rosa Island in 1559 was observed
in Pensacola by reconstructing the Spanish
village settlement. In 1962 Jacksonville noted
the Quadricentennial of Jean Ribault's explora-
tions with a colorful drama. Even before this
tribute to the French explorer, a museum was
built near the spot where in 1564 another
Frenchman, Rene de Laudonniere, brought the
first Protestant colonists to an area within the
present-day United States. These and other
quadricentennial celebrations will culminate in
1965 with state, national, and international ob-
servance of the founding of St. Augustine.
There are many ways to celebrate quadricen-
tennials-parades, speeches, pageants, the re-

Florida's Quadricentennial

creation of villages and forts, and the restora-
tion of buildings. Some of these are spectacular
but fleeting; others, including the restoration of
buildings, will retain for our descendants to
see and feel. More enduring than any of these
are ideas. For this reason the Governor, the
Cabinet, and the Florida Quadricentennial
Commission gave priority to the reprinting of
rare and valuable books relating to Florida.
These reproductions will endure. They will en-
able many Americans to share in the state's
past, and will provide source material for the
Until recently few authors or publishers were
interested in Florida. Englishmen brought the
first printing press to Florida in 1783 and from
it came a newspaper and two books. But for a
century and a half the books on Florida were
rare and the number of copies printed was
small. In cooperation with the University of
Florida Press the Quadricentennial Commission
is reprinting twelve rare or semi-rare books.
The subject matter in these volumes covers a
period of more than three hundred years of
Florida's history-the French and Spanish set-
tlements, the War of 1812, the purchase by
the United States, the Seminole War, the Civil
War and Reconstruction, and the modern


x Florida's Quadricentennial

period. In addition to textual reproductions,
these facsimile editions contain introductions
by businessmen, journalists, and professors.
The Quadricentennial Commission hopes these
twelve books will stimulate the production of
other reprints and encourage students to write
original manuscripts which describe and inter-
pret Florida's past.
The Florida Quadricentennial Commission

FRED H. KENT, Chairman-Jacksonville
GERT H. W. SCHMIDT-Jacksonville
H. E. WOLFE-St. Augustine


THE last quarter of the nineteenth'century was
auspicious for Florida. Even mediocre manuscripts
on the romantic former Confederate state were ac-
cepted by editors of magazines with national circu-
lations. Transportation companies and hotels issued
pamphlets which described in delirious prose the
attractions of Florida. Business organizations ad-
vertised in travel accounts that portrayed the cli-
mate's healing qualities for invalids and the idyllic
opportunities for sportsmen.
Many post-Civil-War Americans possessed the
requisite means for travel. Tourism was a status
symbol for the nouveaux riches of the Gilded Age.
Affluent members of northern society visited the
spas of Europe and wintered near the beaches of
southern France and of Italy. Luxurious state-
rooms and gourmet meals on coastwise steamships
attracted an ever increasing number of these tour-
ists to the South. The faster but less comfortable
railroads appealed to the upper middle class who
had less vacation time than their wealthy compa-
triots. As early as the 1880's Florida possessed a

magnetic attraction for northern vacationers. Those
who suffered from pulmonary trouble compared the
low death rate from consumption in Florida with
the higher rate in other states of the nation. The ill
and infirm dreamed of recovery in Florida or at
worst endurable last days in warm sunlight.
.Newspaper Reporter George M. Barbour wrote
for the invalid, but he was sufficiently perceptive to
appeal to the healthy. There were deer, duck, and
quail in Florida for the hunter. Fresh and sea water
teemed with fish for the sportsmen. Semitropical
scenery awaited the tourist. There were opportuni-
ties for investors and land for settlers. Barbour's
guide to Florida merited a popularity that justified
many reprintings and a number of editions after
the first edition in 1882. Barbour praised and criti-
cized, he reported enchanting scenes and monoto-
nous terrain. He attempted fair appraisals while
seeing the possibilities in Florida for tourists and
Emmett B. Peter, Jr., newspaper editor and cit-
rus producer, evaluates Barbour's work in clear,
readable prose. Diana Mahan Mahoney indexed the
book. Stanley L. West, Director of Libraries at the
University of Florida, permitted the use of the
first edition of Barbour in the P. K. Yonge Me-
morial Library in the production of this facsimile
University of Florida General Editor of the


THE last three decades of the nineteenth century
belonged to Horatio Alger and his hero, Tattered
Tom. Boys of that time learned from Alger's
stories that they could rise to greatness, no matter
how miserable their circumstances, if only they'd be
honest, ambitious, and plucky. The age of the in-
dustrial sweatshop, of the twelve-hour day, and of
child-labor exploitation was also (perhaps neces-
sarily) one of dreams and hopes for better days to
The post-Civil-War era brought another national
publishing phenomenon a long list of Florida
guidebooks. Dozens of them came out in cloth, pa-
per, or leather covers and became a staple product
of the bookshop. They were bought and read by un-
told thousands who had heard about idyllic Florida
and yearned to know more about a land of sunshine
and limitless opportunity.
Not many of the waifs who read Alger's novels
were destined to become kindly tycoons, as Alger's
heroes did. Nor did all readers of Florida guide-
books settle in Florida. There is reason to believe,


however, that a substantial number of them did.
The books almost certainly influenced the immigra-
tion to Florida of Yankees, Midwesterners, and
even groups of British subjects, between the end of
the Civil War in 1865 and the start of the twentieth
century. A spectacular growth began during Gover-
nor William D. Bloxham's administration (1881-
"*George M. Barbour's book (1882) is merely one
among a procession of books that sought to tell "the
Florida story." It is not written or organized as
capably as the Sidney Lanier guidebook,' which
treats many of the same subjects. Yet, curiously,
Barbour's journalese does often manage to create
sharper' impressions of Florida than the loftier
prose of the Macon poet. Barbour's newspaper
background he wrote for the Chicago Times -
had trained him to observe details. For the most
part he does just that, and in a pedestrian narrative
style; but at times his prose takes flight into im-
agery. Barbour eats a guava for the first time and
the experience is "like eating a strawberry inside
of an orange, large as a pear, only the seeds are like
small shot." Backwoods Florida cooking he finds
"villainous," adding: "No wonder the 'crackers'
look so unhealthy, or are so stupid, or that the men
take to whisky, and like to fight so vindictively.
Anything that involves a change must be agreeable
to people fed on such a wretched diet." He sizes up
the vanished glory of North Florida cotton growers
by quoting the saying, "Every acre meant another
bale, and every bale meant another nigger," but
adds that after Appomattox these people were "liv-
ing on memories." In fact, Barbour's awareness of



the New South and its potential under vigorous
leadership makes him a sort of Yankee Henry
Barbour sees a St. Johns River steamboat and it
looks to him as if it had been "placed in service
just before completion." He is alert, also, to pick up
the colorful native metaphor such as the Seminole
Indian expression "grass water" for the Ever-
glades. This is not to suggest that Barbour pro-
duced a work of literary art. Its significance rather
is in the impact on the public of a book that is, first
of all, ambitious in its scope; a book that is candid,
often to the point of ungraciousness; and a book
that creates subjective~ images that appeal to the
senses of sight, smell, and touch. In short, Barbour
wrote a warm, human, and readable book? And he
succeeded in "stopping the clock" to document Flor-
ida as it was, or appeared to his eyes, at a signifi-
cant time of incipient change.
Possibly Barbour was able to write such a book
because of his status as a free-lancer and not as
publicist for some land developer, railroad, or
steamship line. (Would the subsidized propagandist
dare describe Apopka as a pretentious town with a
citizenry wanting in taste and enterprise?)
Was Barbour a latter-day Nostradamus? A case
might be made for him as a seer by recognizing his
prediction that the sparsely settled Miami and Palm
Beach coast would spawn big population centers
once railroads linked them to the North. Barbour
also foresaw the emergence of Orlando and Tampa
(and even Charlotte Harbor) as major cities; and
he recognized the latent economic importance of
winter vegetables as soon as fast railroads could



whisk produce from Florida's rich hammocks and
mucklands to Northern dinner tables.
These points he did make and they are undeni-
ably shrewd; but they would have to be weighed
against an equal number, at least, of fallacies and
outrageous prejudices. Barbour proposed replacing'
Negroes with Chinese laborers, describing the for-
mer slaves and their progeny as "always uncertain,
indolent, and negligent given to falsehood and
petty theft." He added that the "silent, neat, care-
ful, polite Chinese are far preferable," but offered
no suggestion of what was to become of a sizeable
Negro population already in the state. (Apparently
it didn't occur to him that the Negro was capable of
rising to a higher station.) Native white Alabama
workers to Barbour were of even meaner status:
"ignorant, shiftless, improvident, conceited, and
lazy about the only class of immigrants to Flor-
ida that are useless." Georgia laborers he exalted
as "shrewd, thrifty, sober, industrious," and added
an analogy that might, to the Georgian at least, be
regarded as a somewhat dubious compliment, "a
regular Southern Yankee." (Barbour seemed un-
aware that Georgia and Alabama emigres came
from very similar cultural, economic, and educa-
tional backgrounds.) He reserved his damning
judgment, however, for the Florida "cracker" of
rural habitat, "white barbarians, rapidly dwindling
away." Again he is silent about where the po'
whites were dwindling to.
'In spite of his crude excursion into pseudo-ethno-
geography, Barbour's observations are his own and
not a parroting of others' notions. He did travel the
state by every available conveyance from Key West


to Pensacola; he did mingle with people; and he did
watch them at work and at play. He visited the
homes of cotton planter, tradesman, farmer, profes-
sional man, politician, poor white, and Negro. What
emerges is a word-picture drawn by a man who was
there, a carefully drawn mural of Florida. That
mural contains an abundance of images to please
the nostalgic reader. Vast virgin forests contained
deer, bear, wild turkey, duck, fish-all there for the
taking by any man with a gun and a good aim, or
a fishing line. Barbour tells of quaint Toonerville-
type railroad lines, some of them with wooden rails;
and of the jolly locomotive engineers who made
jokes when the train jumped the track (which was
often). Even the hopelessly dated parts are enter-
taining to today's reader, and of value to the his-
torian. Barbour's treatise on citrus culture and his
claims for medical cures in the health spas are com-
ic to the modern citrus grower or physician.
Barbour becomes a practicing economist and is-
sues sober warnings to prospective settlers: Avoid
the "land sharks" and bring money if you've got it,
because "it can be loaned on perfectly good security
at from ten to eighteen per cent per annum." He
counsels against a move to Florida without at least
modest living capital unless the breadwinner and
his family were prepared to endure much hard work
and privation while land was cleared and groves and
crops put in the ground.
Whatever its faults may be, the Barbour book is
an authentic document of late nineteenth century'
Florida as an able and shrewd journalist saw it.
For reasons of his own, Barbour avoided a detailed"
discussion of Florida politics. However, in consider-




ing the book today, some eighty-two years after its
compilation, the reader ought to examine Barbour's
observations and judgments of 1882 in the context
of the complicated and fast changing political events
of that day. Florida had regained its statehood in
1868 after two years of presidential reconstruction
and one year of federal military rule; and there fol-
lowed nearly ten years of Republican carpetbag
domination. A rejuvenated Democratic party had
been able in 1876, only six years before publication
of the Barbour book, to wrest control of govern-
mental machinery. As late as 1880 Republicans
were engaged in a spirited campaign to regain pow-
er, and missed by fewer than 6,000 votes! (They
did seat a congressman as late as 1882.) Voters in
1882 rejected a constitutional convention, and chose
instead to continue the carpetbag constitution of
1868 under which the governor appointed his own
cabinet officers, justices of the supreme court,
judges of lower courts, and even local officials such
as sheriffs and county commissioners.2 While Demo-
crats did hold key offices, their political position
was tenuous. In view of that uncertainty, it is
scarcely a wonder that Governor Bloxham (as well
as former Governor George F. Drew) endorsed
Barbour and his book in extravagant terms. There
can be no doubt that the expansion-minded Blox-
ham and his colleagues actively sought for their
state "a good press." Bloxham had, in fact, schemed
to bring in settlers and new business even before
the Democratic victory at the polls. Early in 1876,
with a Republican governor still firmly in control
of the government, Bloxham made an "eloquent"
speech advocating new settlers, industry, and com-



mercial enterprise.3 The stronger motivation, how-
ever, probably was the political hope that Barbour
would succeed in luring additional white settlers to
Florida as a ballast against the still powerful black
belt counties.
Did the Barbour book play a decisive part? We
can only guess, but the large-scale white immigra-
tion did take place. Between 1881 and 1885 Florida'
grew at the rate of 14,000 a year,4 nearly all the
new settlers being white. A Florida population and.i
business boom was under way, and the hold of car-
petbag Republicans had been broken.
About Barbour almost nothing is known except
that he came to Florida in 1879 with General
Grant's tour party. A recent bibliography of South-
ern travel literature by Thomas D. Clark5 provides
a little additional information about Barbour's trip:
"On his tour of Florida he was accompanied by
Seth French, the state commissioner of immigra-
tion. He went by boat up the St. Johns and by train
to Jacksonville, Titusville, Sanford, Leesburg, Tam-
pa, Cedar Keys, and Fernandina. He described cat-
tle ranches, sugar plantations, and orange groves,
and mentioned by name many Northern immi-
grants. He also listed fishes and birds. He was ac-
companied on his tour of northern Florida by
Samuel Fairbanks, the assistant commissioner of
immigration. On this tour he visited the plantation
region along the Jacksonville, Pensacola, and Mo-
bile Railroad touching at Quincy, Marianna, Chat-
tahoochee, Pensacola, and Tallahassee. He described
homes and plantations, among them those of W. H.
Bloxham and Achille Murat. In this area Barbour
found many settlers from Georgia and Alabama,



and some Chinese and Irish laborers. He pointed
out opportunities for both capital and labor. A valu-
able work on Florida."
Apparently Barbour intended at one time to set-
tle in the state; he reported "engaging in a vocation
requiring visits to all the more prominent [Florida]
places." If that was his intention, he changed his
mind. We find him back in Chicago, in 1883, editing
a promotional book for an exposition.6 There is no
indication that Barbour returned to Florida; and
the editor of this facsimile reproduction could learn
nothing more about him. The Chicago paper for
which he wrote is long extinct; the successors to D.
Appleton, his publishers, could supply nothing; the
Florida State Library is bare of biographic facts
about Barbour. In spite of the author's obscurity,
his book about Florida enjoyed a long vogue. Cleo
Ann Sapp, in her study of Florida promotional ma-
terial,7 lists editions dated 1883, 1884, 1885, and
1887. The latest one contains a considerably revised
section on routes to and through Florida. The state
may owe a great deal to an itinerant journalist who
wrote a book and then disappeared quietly, never to
be seen or heard from again.



1. Florida: Its Scenery, Climate and History (Philadel-
phia, 1875). Lanier wrote the book on commission 'of the
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and Lena E. Jackson writes
that it is "essentially hack work, quickly done," but with
occasional writing of poetic force (Florida Historical Quar-
terly, XV [Oct., 1936], 119-20).
2. W. T. Cash, long-time Florida State Librarian, wrote
in Story of Florida (New York: The American Historical
Society, Inc., 1938), I, 499: "Whites of Middle Florida and
throughout the Black Belt were afraid to take the appoint-
ing power away from the governor, as they were certain a
new Constitution would. They knew a Democratic governor
would appoint white officials, but if the choosing of county
officials were left to a vote of the people, Negroes would be
chosen in many cases throughout the Black Belt."
3. The Tallahassce Floridian, March 21, 1876, tells of
Bloxham's talk before the Leon County Industrial and Im-
migration Society, a regional precursor to the Florida De-
velopment Commission of a later period of rapid growth in
the 1950's and 1960's.
4. J. E. Dovell, Florida, Historic, Dramatic, Contemporary
(New York, 1952), 593. In the same volume (606-8) Dovell
lists and discusses the many magazine articles and books
about Florida.
5. Travels in the Old South (Norman: University of Okla-
homa Press, 1962).
6. Sketchbook of the Inter-State Exposition (Chicago:
Donnelley and Sons, 1883).
7. "Bibliography of Florida Promotional Material" (The-
sis, Florida State University, 1949).



A Florida Orange Grove.
















THE writer of the following pages first saw Florida
in the month of January, 1880, when he accompanied
General Grant on his tour through the State, as corre-
spondent of the "1Chicago Times." He had previ-
ously either traveled or resided in nearly every other
portion of the country, East, West, and South; but his
first impressions of the "Land of Flowers" were so
favorable that, his special service as correspondent being
over, he returned thither with the idea of making for
himself a permanent home which should put an end to
his wanderings. Since then he has enjoyed an extended
experience in the State, engaged in a vocation requir-
ing visits to all the more prominent places, and traveled
over its immense territory under circumstances the most
favorable for learning its real resources and observing
the great variety of its productions.
Almost from the beginning, the importance of writ-
ing a book embodying the results of his observation
and experience was urged upon him by the friends


whom he made in the course of his travels; and his pe-
rusal of the multifarious inquiries addressed to the State
Bureau of Immigration, at Jacksonville, convinced him
that there is a real demand for an adequate and trust-
worthy descriptive work on Florida. With the excep-
tion of a few brief pamphlets, written for the most
part in the interest of some land scheme or other spec-
ulative enterprise, there appears to be really no publi-
cation (except the Bureau of Immigration pamphlet)
which answers practical questions in a practical, man-
ner; and even those books designed for transient vis-
itors have been rendered wofully inadequate and anti-
quated by the progress that has been achieved during
the past few years.
* The present volume is the result of personal obser-
vation and study; and is written with a sincere desire
to do justice to all parts of the State, and to describe
accurately and with precision its real resources and ad-
vantages. It is written for Florida entire, and not in
the interest of any corporation, speculative scheme, or
special locality. Having no land to sell, and no personal
interest of any kind to further, the author has found
little difficulty in following Othello's injunction, naught
to extenuate, nor set down aught in malice."
Where so many have aided him with information
and suggestions, the author feels that it is almost in-
vidious to name only a few; yet he can not forbear thus
explicitly acknowledging his obligations to the Hon.


Seth French, late Commissioner of the Bureau of Im-
migration; to Captain Samuel Fairbanks, Assistant Com-
missioner; and to Mr. William Bloxham, the present
Governor of the State. Last, but not least, he would
offer his acknowledgments to Mr. C. H. Jones, of New
York City, who rendered him invaluable aid in the ar-
rangement and revision of his work.
G. M. B.
September, 1881.


It is known to the undersigned that the author, Mr.
George M. Barbour, has traveled over almost the whole
of Florida, under circumstances peculiarly advantageous
for enabling him to acquaint himself with the varied
resources of the State, and with the attractions which it
offers to the three classes to whom his work is addressed
-Tourists, Invalids, and Settlers. Our knowledge of
his abilities as a writer on Florida subjects, and of the
opportunities he has enjoyed in preparing his book, are
such that we can commend it as at once trustworthy and
comprehensive-greatly superior in these respects to
anything hitherto published descriptive of the entire
State and its soil and productions.

Governor of Florida.
Ex- Governor of Florida.
Ex-Commissioner of Immigration.
Assistant Commissioner of Immi-




ING 264


A Florida Orange-Grove .Frontispiece.
Lighthouse on Florida Keys .. 18
Hammocks ... 19
The Banana ... 43
A Typical Country Hotel in Florida-" Ocklawaha House," Pendryville 46
A Pair of Crackers" 55
View on the Escambia River, near Pensacola 70
Street-Scene in Pensacola .. 72
View of Bay from Shot Park, Navy-Yard 73
Specimens of Pensacola Fish ... 75
Ruins of Fort McRae, with Fort Pickens in the Distance 76
Fort Barrancas 77
Street-Scene in Jacksonville .. 93
A Cluster of Palmettoes 97
Street in St. Augustine .. 100
St. Augustine Cathedral 102
The Convent-Gate ... 103
Entrance to Fort Marion 105
Mouth of the St. John's 109
Mrs. Stowe's Residence 112
Entrance to Iart's Orange Grove .. 114
Forest on the Ochlawaha .. 12


A River Post-Office .
The Lookout
Silver Spring
A Sudden Turn
Looking across Indian River
The Cabbage-Palm
Key West .
A Country Cart
Out for a Drive
The Fig .
A Pineapple Plant
The Date-Palm
A Cypress-Shingle Yard
Florida Pine-Barrens
A Hunter's Camp .

S 128
. 129
S 132
S 137
S 153
S 255
S 258
S 273
S 288





FLORIDA! What kind of a place is .it? How does it
look ? What does it produce? What are the conditions
of success there? How do the people live? How do they
like it? These are a few of the multitude of questions
that are eagerly showered upon a resident of this sunny,
genial clime, when visiting the less favored regions of our
Those who ask them commonly suppose that they can
be answered as compendiously and precisely as the some-
what similar questions in a geographical text-book; but,
unfortunately, this is not possible, and the numerous pages
comprising the present volume are none too many to an-
swer them in full. In fact, it is for the sole purpose of
answering these and similar inquiries that I have written
the following book; and I trust that, when he has finished
it, the reader will acquit me of having made any larger
demands upon his attention than was necessary to the
accomplishment of this object. I might say, indeed, in
response to the first question, that it is a delightful place;
to the second, that it looks like a region perpetually
breathed upon by airs from Araby the blest; and to the
other, that it produces nearly everything, with less expen-



diture of labor than is the case in any other portion of the
wide domain included within the United States. There
are few, however, who will be satisfied any longer with
such "glittering generalities "-a surfeit of them having
already been dealt out by previous writers on the subject ;
and my own aim has been to give as clearly and specifi-
cally as I can such information as may prove helpful to the
three classes of readers to whom the book is addressed:
the tourist who comes for amusement, sight-seeing, or
sport; the invalid who comes in search of that more ge-
nial climate which shall prolong his days in the land ; and,
even more especially, the settler whose aim is to make him-
self a home under pleasanter and more promising condi-
tions than those which he encounters on the stern soil or
amid the harsh blasts of the northern sections of our coun-
Florida has a history (as will be told in the chapter on
that subject) that extends back to 1512, covering a period
of nearly four hundred years; yet in spite of this, and in
spite, too, of its unequaled natural advantages, it has a
smaller population, in proportion to its great size, than any
other State in the Union, except, perhaps, Nevada and
Colorado. A constantly rising tide of immigration is now
flowing in, and there has been a surprising increase in the
number of inhabitants during the past ten years; but some
of the very choicest localities in the State are still in a
state of nature, and there is room and verge enough for an
additional million of busy and prosperous workers. For
Florida is a very large State-one of the largest in the
Union-with an area of nearly sixty thousand square miles;
and, in proportion to its size, it has as large an acreage of
productive soil as any other, except the prairie States of
the West. Many portions, no doubt, are ill adapted for
what are commonly regarded as the great staples of the
country ; but in the range and variety of its productions it



is hardly equaled, and is certainly not surpassed, by any
other section of equal area.
This fact in regard to Florida is usually overlooked
by those who derive their ideas from the hasty conclusions
of transient winter visitors. Each so-called "season wit-
nesses an influx of thousands of these visitors, in search of
health or on pleasure bent," usually wealthy, and equipped
with more prejudices than their well-filled traveling-bags
would contain. Their chief desire is to find an elegant
hotel, having "all modern conveniences"; and, once estab-
lished there, to secure some cozy nook on a broad veran-
da, where they may watch the fruits and flowers growing
in the open air, breathe the soft, balmy air, and lazily en-
joy all the luxury and delights of June in January. For
recreation, they ride to the nearest orange-groves, or in-
dulge in a moonlight sail, or, if a little more adventurous
and "masculine," take a few quiet fishing-trips, or hunt
quail and duck. Once, at least, during their stay, they
make the "grand tour" by the regulation route-up the
St. John's to Palatka, Enterprise, and Sanford, up the
darkly-mysterious Ocklawaha (very few, on this excursion,
even leaving the boat), then down the river again and over
to St. Augustine, where the longest stay is apt to be made,
as its many points of interest and its animated social life
render St. Augustine peculiarly attractive to the average
pleasure-seeker. This, in the great majority of instances,
is the full extent of their study and observation of the char-
acteristics and resources of Florida; and, such being the
case, it can hardly be regarded as surprising that they should
represent it as a pleasant enough place of resort in winter
for invalids, but a hot, unwholesome region in summer,
poor in soil, arid of aspect, the haunt of alligators, reptiles,
and insects, with nothing especially good in it but oranges.
It need hardly be pointed out, however, that the true
capabilities of a great State can not be dealt with ade-


quately in this summary fashion; and, as a matter of fact,
Florida has a soil in which can be grown every variety of
fruit, flower, garden-vegetable, field-crop, or forest prod-
uct, that grows in any temperate or semi-tropical region
of the world. Every one has heard of its fabulous yield
of oranges, lemons, and the like ; and the stories told on
this head are not always exaggerated. I have seen groves
of orange-trees which produced from two hundred to four
thousand dollars to the acre, and know of an acre of pine-
apples that, within two years after the trees were cleared
from its surface, yielded the owners (two bright young
New York lads, by-the-way) eighteen hundred dollars.
But these, and such as these, by no means exhaust the
list of valuable products which Florida yields to the cul-
tivator. I have seen fields of wheat ripening in January
that produced twenty-eight bushels to the acre; corn that
produced in the same month seventy bushels to the acre;
sugar-cane that yielded one hundred and sixty dollars
net profit to the acre; common Irish potatoes producing
two hundred bushels to the acre; fields of rice that paid
a net profit of two hundred dollars an acre; and cassava
that netted a hundred and fifty dollars per acre. Water-
melons and garden-vegetables grow rapidly, attain great
size, are of excellent quality, and, where convenient to city
markets, or to lines of transportation, pay the producer
from one hundred to one thousand dollars per acre. Of
garden-vegetables three and even four crops are some-
times taken from the same tract within twelve months;
and of the entire list of strange or familiar farm and
garden products, fruits, and flowers, you may, in a trip
through the State, find each and every one growing in
abundance. The largest peach-tree, undoubtedly, in Amer-
ica, is near Orange City, in Volusia County, with a spread
of branches over seventy feet in diameter !
Nor is this all. I have seen bean-vines in their third




year bearing as vigorously as when first planted; pears
growing on vines; peas growing on trees ; and plants
growing on nothing at all-the latter being the common
air-plants. Of live-stock, I have seen as large, fine, fat
swine, and as neat cattle and sheep, as in Vermont, New
York, or Illinois; and they can be raised and kept in
good condition at so small a cost that comparison with
Northern-raised stock is absurd.
The climate of Florida in the winter months is simply
delightful, and the summers are about as endurable as in
most other portions of the United States. The summer
of 1880 was said by all to be the hottest for many years,
and the winter of 1880-'81 to be the coldest; yet I can
affirm from the sure basis of personal experience that they
were both healthy and agreeable, even to a new-comer.
It seems absolutely impossible that any human being, or
any living creature able to move about, should really suffer
from either cold or heat, or from hunger, in Florida. It
is asserted (and meets with no dispute) that no case of
starvation, of freezing, of sunstroke, or. of hydrophobia,
was ever known in the State; and local epidemics have
never been heard of.
Consider the terribly cold weather of the long, dreary
winter season throughout the North ; the suffering it
causes ; the many deaths among the poor, perishing for
want of a little friendly warmth. Consider also the cases
of sunstroke, the suffering and deaths caused directly or
indirectly by the heat, in those same regions during the
summer; and the still more sorrowful cases of actual star-
vation for lack of the plainest food in many of the large
cities. Then contemplate the advantages of this favored
clime, where food-even such articles as are regarded as
luxuries in other localities-may be had in abundance,
for very little cost or labor, and where a genial tempera-
ture prevails at all seasons!



But there is one thing to be remembered in connec-
tion with all this-and it is forgotten oftener than would
be supposed: even Florida is not the garden of Eden, and
a man can not live even here like the lilies of the field,
"which toil not, neither do they spin." Florida soil and
climate can and will do a great deal; but living without
labor is not possible, and here as elsewhere the great law
prevails, that in the sweat of his brow shall man eat his
bread. The true advantage which Florida offers is, that
by little labor can much comfort be enjoyed, and the bet-
ter directed the labor the greater the comfort. To those
who have but little capital (or none), and who are anx-
iously seeking for a home with all the comforts of life, I
believe that this State offers the best chances of any in
our country.
Finally, as a compendious answer to the many inqui-
ries upon the subject that have come to my knowledge,
I would say that a settler in Florida-whether he comes
as a capitalist, as a farmer, or as a laborer-can live with
more ease and personal comfort, can live more cheaply,
can enjoy more genuine luxuries, can obtain a greater in-
come from a smaller investment and by less labor, and can
sooner secure a competency, than in any other accessible
portion of North America.




As I have already remarked, Florida is a very large
State, containing nearly sixty thousand square miles (59,-
268). From north to south it stretches 450 miles-from a
temperate to a tropical clime. Washed along its entire
eastern border by the equable waters of the Gulf Stream,
which always pours its pure salt breezes over the peninsula,
and by the tropically warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico
on much of its western boundary, it possesses a variety of
climate, soil, and products, such as can be found nowhere
else save in Italy, which enjoys a similarity of geographi-
cal conditions.
Though its extreme length from the Perdido River to
Cape Sable is about 700 miles, its average breadth is less
than 90 miles, and in shape it is a long and narrow penin-
sula, extending southward into the Atlantic and pointing
toward Cuba, Havana being only 110 miles from Key
West. On the southeast it is separated from the Bahamas
by the Straits of Florida. The peninsula proper termi-
nates on the south in Cape Sable; but a remarkable chain
of rocky islets, known as the Florida Keys, begins at Cape
Florida on the eastern shore, extends southwestward nearly
200 miles, and ends in the cluster of sand-heaped rocks
called the Tortugas, from the great number of turtles for-
merly frequenting them. South of the bank on which the
Keys rise, and separated from them by a navigable channel,
is the narrow and dangerous coral ridge known as the Flor-

ida Reef. The entire State is comprised between latitude
240 30' and 310 north, and longitude 80 and 87 45' west.


In the aggregate Florida possesses a coast-line of more
than 1,150 miles, but on this long stretch of seaboard there
are only a few good harbors. The principal on the Atlan-
tic coast are St. Augustine, Fernandina, Port Orange, and
Jacksonville (on the St. John's River); those on the Gulf
coast are Pensacola, Appalachicola, St. Mark's, Cedar Keys,




Tampa, Charlotte Harbor, and Key West. The latter is
one of the most important naval stations of the republic,
owing to its commanding situation at the entrance of the
most frequented passage into the Gulf of Mexico. The
chief rivers are the St. John's, which furnishes nearly 1,000
miles of water navigation; the Indian River, a long, nar-
row lagoon on the eastern coast; the Ocklawaha, the Appa-


lachicola, the Ocklockonnee, the Perdido, the Suwanee,
and the St. Mary's. The Withlacoochee, which discharges


its waters into the Gulf, is an important stream, as are also
Peace Creek, which falls into Charlotte Harbor, and the
Caloosahatchie, which empties into the Gulf still farther
south. Kissimmee River, connecting several of the smaller
lakes with Lake Okechobee, is also a navigable stream.
The surface of the State is generally level, the greatest
elevation being but little more than 500 feet above the sea,
and this being attained in only a few places. The lands
are classified as high-hammock, low-hammock, savanna,
swamp, and pine. The hammocks vary from a few acres
to thousands of acres in extent, and are found in all parts
of the peninsula. They are usually covered with a dense
growth of red, live, and water oak, magnolia, gum, hick-
ory, and dogwood; and when cleared they afford a soil of
almost inexhaustible fertility. The savannas are rich allu-
vial tracts on the margins of streams, or lying in detached
areas, yielding largely, but requiring ditching and diking
in ordinary seasons. Except in the hammocks, the soil is
generally sandy and apt to be poor. Numerous lakes dot
the surface of the interior, the largest being Lake Oke-
chobee, which is said to cover an area of more than 650
square miles. Perhaps the most remarkable geographical
feature of the State is the immense tract of marsh or lake
filled with islands, in the southern part of the peninsula,
called the Everglades (by the Indians "grass-water"). It
is about 60 miles long by 60 broad, covering most of the
territory south of Lake Okechobee, and is impassable dur-
ing the rainy reason, from July to October. The islands
with which its surface is studded vary from one fourth
of an acre to hundreds of acres in extent, and are usually
entangled in dense thickets of shrubbery or vines. The
water of the lake is from one to six feet deep, and the bot-
tom is covered with a growth of rank grass which, rising
above the surface, gives it the deceptive appearance of a
boundless prairie. Another noteworthy feature of Florida




are the subterranean streams which undermine the rotten-
limestone formation, creating numerous cavities in the
ground that are locally known as "sinks." These are in-
verted conical hollows, or tunnels, varying in extent from a
few yards to several acres, at the bottom of which running
water often appears.
The foregoing is a rapid summary of the geographical
or cyclopedic descriptions that are usually given of Flor-
ida, and it is as accurate, perhaps, as such sweeping gen-
eralizations can be expected to be; yet when taken too lit-
erally these descriptions are not only inadequate, but mis-
leading. For the truth is, that there are three kinds of
Florida-three Floridas, so to speak-each distinct ifi soil,
climate, and productions; and it is because of this that the
people of other sections, as they read about the State in
short newspaper sketches, or in pamphlets published in the
interests of some special locality, are apt to draw erroneous
inferences. For instance, the winter of 1880-'81 was ex-
ceptionally severe everywhere, making itself felt even in
Florida; and the Northern and foreign reader, learning
that fruits were destroyed, garden-crops hopelessly ruined,
oranges frozen on the trees by thousands, in fact that cold
and frost played havoc in Florida as well as elsewhere,
doubtless came to the conclusion that it was not much of a
tropical State after all. Well, these things happened, just
as reported. The frost came, and immense damage was
done, and much loss inflicted. Yet the fact is that the sec-
tion thus visited included but a small portion of the State
-only the northern and a portion of middle Florida. A
large portion of the State was not-and never is-visited
by frosts that kill. So that, while the reports were true,
they were not the whole truth, and there were many dis-
tricts to which they did not apply at all.
The three natural divisions under which Florida must
be described, if it is to be described accurately, may be


classified as the Northern or Temperate, the Semi-tropical,
and the Tropical.
Northern Florida, especially the western section of it,
in soil, productions, and general appearance, closely resem-
bles regions much farther north. It is a land of live-stock,
of corn, wheat, cotton, cane, jute, rice, ramie, potatoes, ap-
ples, grapes, peaches, figs, in fact all the products of fields,
forests, and gardens of a northern clime, with a few of the
hardier of southern products. The tropical banana, pine-
apple, etc., do not grow there, nor the orange or lemon, as
a crop for profit. Its soil'is excellent; its surface is rolling
and hilly, with grand forests, rocks, springs, and streams;
and the roads are firm and good. It is not tropical, but is
very picturesque and home-like, and, to the Northern visit-
or, is the most agreeable portion of the State. Better live-
stock, or crops, can not be produced in the world, in great-
er abundance, or with less expense and labor, than grow
here; but they are not tropical crops. Such is Northern
Florida, where frosts and "cold snaps" are not only possi-
ble, but frequently occur.
Middle Florida is that portion of the State lying be-
tween the twenty-eighth and thirtieth parallels, and may
be termed Semi-tropical Florida. It is the region where
many of the products of both the temperate and the tropi-
cal climes may be found growing side by side; where the
orange, lemon, fig, guava, citron, grape, and all garden-
vegetables, may be found growing, for profit, in the open
air, all the year round. It is where cotton, cane, rice, and
all field-crops pay best, and where wheat, corn, and live-
stock are noticeably less productive than a little farther
north. The soil here is mostly of a sandy character, and
begins to have the characteristic appearance of a tropical
soil; while the surface is generally flat and uninteresting,
with occasional slightly rolling tracts. There are but few
streams or lakes, except in the central portion-known to




the residents as the Orange Lake region-where there are
several quite large-sized lakes, which are of very attractive
Large orange-groves are found growing in all parts of
this region, and thousands of trees are being set out
yearly. Hundreds of the settlers there-especially along
the line of the Transit Railroad (that runs from Fernan-
dina to Cedar Keys) and its branches-in the vicinity of
Starke, Waldo, Gainesville, and of Ocala and Leesburg,
are engaged in raising vegetables of all kinds for the
Northern markets. Thousands of crates of green peas,
tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, onions, cabbages, cauliflower,
spinach, celery, lettuce, beets, etc., and car-loads of water-
melons, are gathered and shipped to all points North in
January, February, March, and April. It is an industry
that has, in a few years, grown to great proportions, and,
when the season is at all favorable, repays those engaged
handsomely. In many cases profits of several hundreds
of dollars (upward of a thousand dollars are known of in
several cases) have been made in a single season, from an
acre or but little more, of some special crop, that for-
tunately ripened and reached the market at the right
moment. Strawberries here grow abundantly, and with
proper care and culture yield immense crops, repaying
wonderful profits. I .know of several cases where the
clear profit, netted from about an acre, was almost fabu-
lous. This is rapidly becoming a leading crop or industry
of the State.
Semi-tropical Florida, while not very attractive in
scenery, probably produces the greatest variety of mar-
ketable and profitable crops of any region in our country.
Although the hardier field-crops of the North, such as
wheat, corn, etc., and the more delicate fruit-products of
the extreme South, like the banana, pineapple, etc., do not
grow well in this region, yet the variety of the vegetable



kingdom, including the hardiest of the Southern and the
tenderest of the Northern crops, is so great that the land
will always produce paying crops in one form or another.
As transportation facilities increase, the opportunities and
advantages will multiply ; for the crops of this region
are grown in that season, and are of that kind, that they
must be at once placed in the hands of the consumer.
Without entering into a lengthy description of its
climate or physical features, I may say that it is a healthy
region, and that game and fish are plentiful. There is but
one unpleasant feature to mar its numerous advantages:
it is liable to frosts. They may come any winter-and
may not in a dozen years-but a visit, when it comes, is
very apt to destroy your hopes of profit for that season.
Of oranges and such fruits, in this semi-tropical belt, the
farther south the better ; every mile north is a step toward
greater risk. You can not get too far south-that is, if
you find good soil-but you can easily get too far north,
even for semi-tropical products.
South Florida comprises all that region of mainland
and innumerable keys or islands, great and small, lying
south of the twenty-eighth parallel, and is the really, truly
tropical Florida-the Italy, the Spain, the Egypt, of the
United States. In this region frosts rarely come, and
every fruit, flower, shrub, plant, or product, that grows in
any tropical region of the world grows, or can be grown,
here. Either on its Atlantic, breezy, rocky coast ; its hot,
torrid, south end shores, or its balmy Gulf coast, or within
its vast interior-the famous Everglades region-in all
these prolific, tropical soils can something of profit be
grown ; though, of course, the farther south the more
surely can the really tropical products be counted upon.
It is the region of the pineapple, banana, cocoanut, guava,
sugar-apple, bread-fruit, sugar-cane, almond, fig, olive, and
all the innumerable list of tropical fruits.




The great Everglades region includes much of the
mainland of this part of the State.- It is not a swampy
region, but is a flat, prairie country very much like Illi-
nois, only this is covered with clear, pure water for thou-
sands of square miles, from three to thirty inches deep,
and studded with islands that have a dense growth of
palmetto, cypress, pine, bay, cedar, oak, hickory, gum,
magnolia, and all such timbers. These island fastnesses,
by-the-way, are the homes of the remnant of the once
powerful Seminole Indians. A contract has recently been
made, and ratified by the State, for the drainage of this
vast region, which, if successfully performed, will open up
for settlement millions of acres of the richest and most
valuable sugar and cotton lands in the world.
The regions along the coasts generally contain the best
soil for the production of vegetables and fruits. It is
also in these localities that the sand-fly, gnat, mosquito,
and such pestiferous insects are most abundant. But even
here there are months when they are not troublesome: it
is during the midsummer months when they are worst,
and it is the fact that right in those localities there are
places perfectly free from all the insects that infest other
places. The coasts, especially on the Atlantic, are very
rocky, and the scenery is in general exceedingly tropical
and interesting. The woods, fields, air, lakes, bays, and
rivers are filled with fur, fin, and feather, flesh and fowl,
oysters, turtles, and fruits. The metropolis of all this
region is Key West, itself on an island just off the south-
ern extremity of the peninsula; and other prominent
places are Indian River, Lake Worth, Key Biscayne Bay,
Florida Bay, Cape Sable, Whitewater Bay, Oyster Bay,
Charlotte Harbor, and Tampa Bay.
This is the region to go to for purely tropical products
and for the benefits of a summer climate in winter ; but
as a place for a continued residence the entire year, it will



not be desirable until many more settlers move in. It is
too lonely, and the means of transportation are too few
and irregular ; but all who live in those regions are quite
unanimous in asserting that the climate is pleasant all the
year, and I have reason to believe life is just as pleasant
there in all seasons as anywhere, except for the lack of
society and transportation above mentioned. If large set-
tlements, towns, and cities were founded there, and regular
communication opened, it would be one of the most de-
lightful regions of America, healthy and agreeable, while
the products of its salt-water coast, fresh-water lakes and
rivers, fields, gardens, and groves would furnish to man-
kind, at all seasons, the best and most delicious of all
foods that human nature craves.
"Like all other tropical countries, Tropical Florida has
its wet and dry seasons.* The wet or rainy season is dur-
ing midsummer, which has a tendency to cool the atmos-
phere, and render the summer months cooler than they are in
the more northern portions of the State or in other portions
of the South. During the rainy season nearly the whole
country is flooded, the country being so flat and level that
the water does not flow off readily. A great portion of the
country requires ditching and draining, and, when some
systematic method shall be adopted to let off the surplus
water during the rainy season, this portion of the State will
prove the most productive part of the South. It has but
few swamps or marshes, unless you consider the Everglades
a marsh. The Alpativkee Swamp, upon the head-waters of
the St. Lucie River, is the only swamp of any magnitude in
Tropical Florida, and this part of the State has less swamps
than northern Wisconsin or Michigan. The country east
and south of the St. John's River has more swamps than any
other part of the State through which I have traveled.
They are principally covered with cypress-timber, and, be-
ing easy of access from the St. Johns and Indian Rivers,
are valuable. There are fine lands upon Halifax River and
SThe following paragraphs are abridged from a report prepared by a
resident at the request of the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration.



Mosquito Lagoon, which, at a former period, were under cul-
tivation, but were abandoned during the Indian war by their
owners. All that portion of the State which I have denom-
inated Tropical Florida is capable of producing oranges,
lemons, limes, arrow-root, cassava, indigo, Sisal-hemp, sugar-
cane, sea-island cotton, rice, figs, melons of all kinds, as well
as the vegetables grown in the more northern States. The
country around Charlotte Harbor and Biscayne Bay is sus-
ceptible of producing cocoanuts, cacao, pineapples, gua-
vas, coffee, bananas, plantains, alligator pears, and all the
fruits and plants of the West Indies. The rich lands which
skirt the savannas upon the coast side are covered with
rotten limestone, and have mixed with the vegetable matter
to that extent that the soil will effervesce as soon as it comes
in contact with acids. These savannas are valuable for
sugar-plantations, as the sugar-cane requires a large per-
centage of lime, and the climate is so mild that the cane
will not require planting oftener than once in ten or twelve
years. The Palma Christi, or castor-bean, is here perennial,
and grows to be quite a tree. I saw a number as large
as peach-trees twenty feet high. Sea-island cotton seems
to be a perennial in this section of the State, and is of a fine
quality. Live-oak, yellow pine, cabbage-tree, and mangrove
are the most abundant forest-trees, though formerly a good
deal of fustic, mahogany, lignum-vitm, an;d braziletto was to
be met with; but these valuable species of timber have
been so much in demand for ship-building and commerce
that trees of any size are rare. The most formidable obsta-
cle the farmer meets in preparing ground for cultivation is
the saw-palmetto (Chaamerops serrulata), with plated pal-
mate fronds and sharply serrate stipes. The roots cover
the surface of the ground, and are removed by the slow
process of the grubbing-hoe. Several species of this genus
of palm afforded the Florida tribes food, wine, sugar, fruit,
cabbage, fans, darts, ropes, and cloth. Some have good
fruit, like plums ; others austere, like dates. They are now
chiefly used to make hats, fans, baskets, and mats, with the
The land bordering on the Caloosahatchie River and its
tributaries is accessible by vessels drawing not more than
six feet, and contains enough live-oak to supply the navy
of the United States for a quarter of a century. Other val-


able timber for ship-building is found in the same locality.
Such being the natural advantages which invite enterprise
to this quarter, there can be no doubt that, when its agri-
cultural resources are more generally understood, southern
Florida will be covered with a dense population of thrifty
farmers. Cuba, with almost a corresponding climate, has
several hundred plants which serve as a basis to her agri-
culture, such as grains, farinaceous roots, edible seeds, veg-
etables, salads, sauces, and fruits ; the great staples of ex--
portation-sugar, coffee, and tobacco; plants for dyes,
yielding oil, suitable for cordage or cloth, yielding grums
and resins, good for tanning ; grasses ; and woods employed
in various uses. Now, it is well known that most of the
productions of Cuba are growing in south Florida, and,
with cultivation, might be made to rival those of that cele-
brated island. Sea-island cotton of a fine quality has been
produced in the very center of the peninsula. Florida sur-
passes Cuba in variety and delicacy of vegetable culture.
At all seasons of the year beets, onions, egg-plants, carrots,
lettuce, celery, etc., are produced with the most indifferent
culture, while everything tlat grows upon vines is in abun-
dance and in great perfection. Cabbages and Irish pota-
toes, if planted in October, produce well. The former have
been grown at Fort Myers, a single head weighing forty
pounds. Cattle, hogs, and poultry increase astonishingly.
Besides the above, tobacco, pindars, cow-peas, and Irish
potatoes yield abundantly.
The prairie lands are immense meadows, clothed with
luxuriant verdure, interspersed with clumps of oak-trees
and palmettoes of from five to ten acres each. These lands
are looked upon as inferior for agricultural purposes, and
are subject to periodical inundations during the summer
season-i. e., from the beginning of June to the 25th of
August. They are the favorite resort of vast herds of cat-
tle and game, which roam and graze upon the fragrant herb-
age. The estimate of the amount of cattle is from 150,-
000 to 200,000 head, thereby forming one of the principal
products of the country. Stock-cattle sell for five dollars
per head, and beef-cattle from nine to thirteen dollars per
head. Hogs also do well, and, when strict attention is paid
to them, pay well. I have known and heard of several
instances in which the common woods-hog, two and a half




years old, weighed from 400 to 500 pounds gross. Sheep
and colts, with the natural advantages that this country
possesses, could be made profitable. The forest abounds in
game, such as bears, panthers, deer, cats, raccoons, squir-
rels, and turkeys, and the lakes and rivers afford innumer-
able multitudes of fish and waterfowl. There are also nu-
merous small lakes of pure water, some of which are only
a few rods in extent, while others are from two to ten miles
in length, filled with fish. These prairies are the paradise
of the herdsman and the hunter. The cattle require no
feeding during the winter, and one can hardly travel over
the prairies a whole day without seeing from fifty to one
hundred deer."




IN the midwinter of 1879-'80 the HIon. Seth French,
State Commissioner of Immigration, decided to make an
official tour through the southern and middle regions of
the State, for the purpose of better informing himself as
to the general character of the people, the soil, the prod-
ucts, and the facilities for transportation. He kindly in-
vited the writer to accompany him, and the invitation was
gladly accepted. It was a very extensive tour, and gave
us an unusually excellent opportunity to fully acquaint
ourselves with a very large section of the State. Mr.
French-known to all his friends as Dr. French-is a na-
tive of New York, but was for many years a resident of
Wisconsin. He is a man of wealth, liberal education, fine
presence and address, social disposition, thoroughly inter-
ested in his duties, and an enthusiast about Florida-in
all respects just the man for the peculiar and responsible
position which he then held.
At noon of one rainy day late in January, we took
passage at Jacksonville on the old, small, odd-looking but
excellent steamer Volusia, commanded by young Captain
Lund. It is an up-river steamer, an old-timer, built espe-
cially for navigating the narrow, crooked channel of the
far-up St. John's. The steamer was crowded with passen-
gers, including an elderly lady and her husband, from
New England; a Massachusetts school-ma'rm; a lady with



a daughter of about sixteen, from Ohio; and a lady resid-
ing in Jacksonville, with three small children and a nurse.
The latter was on an excursion-trip, up and return; and
those three children, that is to say, the two eldest boys,
kept the entire party in an uneasy fidget for fear that they
would or wouldn't get drowned.
The morning of the third day found us in Lake Jessup,
and from this point the trip was novel as well as interest-
ing.* The St. John's above Lake Monroe (twelve miles
below Lake Jessup) is little more than a narrow and very
crooked creek. Passing out of Lake Jessup, we at once
entered this narrow stream, and found ourselves in a re-
gion differing wholly from any other portion of the St.
John's country. It is a flat, level region of savannas, much
resembling the vast prairies of Illinois. In all directions
the eye ranges to the horizon, with nothing to break the
monotony. But though monotonous, it is not uninterest-
ing. These savannas, or prairies, are everywhere densely
covered with luxuriant growths of marshy grasses and
maiden-cane (the latter a tall, slender, waving growth of
the sugar-cane species, in appearance closely resembling
fields of wheat, ten to fifteen feet high), with occasional
clumps of timber, consisting sometimes of but three or
four trees, and sometimes being several acres in extent.
The trees are nearly or quite all of palmetto, and lend a
distinctively tropical appearance to the scenery. They
much resemble small islands dotted over the surface of a
great lake.
Throughout that entire region were to be seen hun-
dreds of cattle grazing on the rich vegetation, which is
said to be greatly liked by them, and very fattening. One
herd alone, owned by J. M. Lanier, numbers over twenty
thousand head, and there are several other herds fully

SThe lower St. John's is fully described in another chapter.



as large. The scene, too, was enlivened by hundreds of
storks, cranes, curlews-of all gay colors-pelicans, herons,
flamingoes, and water-turkeys, nearly all varieties being
large, long-legged, long-necked, and long-billed, in gay-
colored or snow-white plumage, all quite strange, and cu-
riously interesting to the Northern visitor. Everywhere
they could be seen standing in motionless meditation ; or,
if the boat approached too close, they would rise in a sin-
gularly graceful manner, and wheel off into the distance.
The water everywhere was alive with ducks of several
varieties, and numbering millions, probably, while alliga-
tors were very plentiful. This, indeed, is the real home
of these great, hideous, but always interesting saurians;
here are the largest size, the monsters of the race ; often
of ten to fifteen feet in length. This portion of the river
is, in fact, but little traveled. Only five or six small
steamers ply upon its waters, and it is seldom that more
than two steamers pass a given point in one day; so the
beasts and reptiles that haunt it are but little disturbed,
and thrive unmolested by mankind.
The stream is so narrow that the little steamer, only
about twenty feet wide, often brushed the tall cane on
both sides as it passed along. Now and then it seemed as
if the boat was traveling on land, as it came to some
sharp bends and pushed its way through the tall grasses
almost overarching above. And the channel is so crooked
that in many places the steamer would have to plow its
nose into the bank, let the stern swing around a little,
while a small boat, rowed by two stout deck-negroes, would
tow the head around the sharp bend. After hours of
travel, we could look back, and within one or two miles'
distance see the outlines of the stream zigzagging across
to the right and left, like a great letter S. At one point
we could see across five of these curves within a distance
of two miles. At intervals the stream widens into broad,



shallow lakes, full of fish and covered with ducks. These
lakes are the paradise of alligators, fish, birds, and cattle.
Late in the afternoon-it was supper-time-we arrived
at Salt Lake, the end of our journey by the boat, having
traveled a distance of three hundred and eleven miles by
water, or about one hundred and forty-five miles in a di-
rect line, from Jacksonville.
Salt Lake is a small lake, or series of connected ponds;
prairie on all but the east side, which has a heavy growth
of timber, the commencement of a forest that covers the
intervening country to the Indian River. On the shore
was a solitary cabin, the depot of the mule-power, wooden-
railed road over to Titusville. We anchored some distance
from the shore, for the water was too shallow for the little
steamer to go close in. At once several of the passengers
took the small boat and went fishing, having a grand suc-
cess. In a half-hour, five men caught upward of forty-five
fine, large fish. Others continued shooting away at the ducks
all around us, killing great numbers, that were brought in
by the small boats. Many passengers had been shooting
at ducks (and alligators) all day; most of the ducks were
picked up by a little Mexican, a member of the crew, who
followed along behind in the row-boat, for the steamer
goes slowly there, and he took advantage of short cuts.
The next morning was beautiful; all were up early,
and soon the car was seen at the shore cabin. Then two
or three negro laborers poled a large lighter out to the
steamer, and we were soon seated in the curious vehicle.
We met here a party of several tourist-sportsmen return-
ing from a fishing, turtling, hunting-trip on Indian River;
also on the lighter was a cargo of about eighty monster
sea-green turtles, their weight marked on their backs.
These were on their way to the leading hotels of the
North. "Turtle-soup to-day" was their final epitaph.
The journey on this primitive sort of railroad was


through a flat or slightly rolling country, timbered with
pine, palmetto, and oak, and it was enlivened by the car
getting off the track two or three times, caused by the
breaking of the old wooden rails. On such occasions the
male passengers would cheerfully assist the very good-
natured conductor to replace the- car and hunt up and
lay a fresh rail. All were in good-humor, and seemed to
consider it a part of the business of the trip-a sort of
side-show entertainment. Titusville, eight miles from the
boat-landing on Salt Lake, was reached early in the fore-
noon, and we were at last on the Indian River. The
town, or settlement, is the county-seat of Brevard County,
and has about one hundred and fifty inhabitants. It con-
tains two very neat, well-kept hotels (the Lund House and
the Titus House), two or three small stores or shops,
a warehouse, and about fifty dwelling-houses. The land
thereabout is flat, and appears to be rather poor, although
we saw excellent vegetables, and a great abundance of
flowers, growing in the gardens of its vicinity. Across
the river-it is really a sound, for it has no current, and
has a slight tidal action-about a mile wide here, is a strip
of land, and beyond this is the ocean. This strip of land
varies from a half-mile to two miles in width, alternates
in poorest sand-tracts and richest hammocks, where the
most prolific crops grow, and is alive with game. Here,
without much looking, may be found bears, deer, cougars,
wild-cats, panthers, and the wily lynx.
The town with its surroundings is quite tropical in ap-
pearance. The Titus Hotel in particular is built in what
may be called the tropical style-a large main building
with two long wings, all one story high, forming three
sides of a square neatly laid out in a garden, and with
the rooms opening off of the wide verandas like a row of
houses in a city block. The table at once convinces the
guest that he is in a tropical region, the meats being




principally oysters, clams, fish, shark-steaks, turtle-steaks,
etc., with many strange and familiar fruits and vegeta-
bles, all tropical, and fresh in January. Colonel H. T.
Titus is a noted character, once of great notoriety all over
the country, as the fiercest antagonist of old John Brown,
the Harper's Ferry Brown. These two, with their follow-
ers, had many desperate conflicts in the early days of
"bleeding Kansas" history. Colonel Titus is now old, a
helpless invalid, and, curiously enough, is an uncompro-
mising partisan of the political party which he so des-
perately fought in its earlier history.*
Early the next forenoon, Dr. French, Mr. Churchill,
and myself, embarked on the trim yacht Mist for a trip
to the sugar-plantation of Mr. Perry E. Wager, situated
on a lagoon on Banana Creek, six miles southeast of Titus-
ville. It was a delightful day, and the scenery was beau-
tiful, with clear waters and myriads of ducks and strange
birds-pelicans, storks, herons, etc.
About noon we arrived at the plantation, and as Mr.
Wager and the Doctor were old friends, we were all soon
discussing an abundant dinner, after which we walked
over the sugar-cane patch of ten acres. It was located
in a clearing of gigantic oaks, magnolias, etc., interspersed
with wild-orange trees laden with fruit, palmettoes, and
the like, and covered with great vines-a jungle-scene of
the most tropical kind. The soil was jet-black, and evi-
dently of great fertility. Mr. Wager remarked that the
bears and deer gave him much trouble by getting into
his cane, of which they are very fond. A walk through
the cane was something like a scramble through an Illinois
cornfield, only worse, because the cane-stalks were fifteen
to twenty feet tall, large as your wrist, and often curled
and bent, making it like climbing through a "snake"

* Since this was written Colonel Titus has died.


fence to proceed. We cut three stalks of the cane, each
twenty-one feet long, and they had fifty-two, fifty-four,
and fifty-five joints respectively. The reader must bear in
mind that each joint represents an increased value of the
cane for sugar, and that on the famous sugar-plantations
of Louisiana a stalk ten feet in height, or even eight, with
fifteen joints, is regarded as something to boast of.
Here the planter is not obliged, by fear of frost, to cut
all the crop at one date, thus requiring a large, hastily
collected force and much expense; but he can employ
three or four hands, one at the mill, one at the sirup-
kettle, and two to cut and haul, and with this small force
can make sugar all the year round. Nor does the cane
require annual planting or cultivation, hoeing, etc., but
they cut the stalks close to the ground, strip off the leaves
(which are much like corn-blades), and thickly cover the
ground with them, thus keeping down the weeds, and
securing, as they decay, a rich compost. The roots soon
"rattoon," and no fresh planting is needed for ten or twen-
ty years.
The sirup of fresh cane is very sweet (to me it was
slightly sickish)-and how the bears, hogs, and darkeys
do love it! It is very fattening, and a darkey on a sugar-
plantation is always noticeable for his fat, oily appearance.
Mr. Wager grinds his cane in a mill of three iron rollers,
worked by a mule, and boils the extracted juice into sirup
in a large, shallow kettle, the same as is used in making
maple-sugar. With the labor of three negroes, he is able
to net about sixteen hundred dollars from ten acres.
Returning to Titusville, we embarked next day on the
same yacht for a journey down the Indian River. It
was a hazy, soft, dreamy, delicious sort of day, and, as
the boat bowled along with a pleasant breeze, we qui-
etly and indolently enjoyed it. At noon we landed at the
home of Captain W. H. Sharpe, a very agreeable gentle-




man from Georgia, with a Yankee wife, who entertained
us hospitably, and showed us his thrifty young orange-
grove and cane-field. After an excellent dinner, Captain
Sharpe and Dr. Holmes, an Ohio gentleman, now residing
here, joined our party; and, a bushel of oranges being
put on board, we continued on our journey, reaching
Rock Ledge late in the afternoon of a wonderfully in-
teresting day. Here we landed and accepted the warmly
proffered hospitalities of Mr. A. L. Hatch. He came here
several years ago from Mississippi, in search of health,
found it, and in this charming spot is rapidly creating a
fine home. He is an enthusiast about Florida, and is a
zealous student of the culture of fruits and flowers. We
all took an extensive stroll over his lawns, gardens, and
fields, and it was like a visit to a botanical or horticult-
ural museum, so great is the variety of plants growing
there. An evening long to be remembered was enjoyed
on his veranda, smoking, hearing of tropical Florida, and
watching the full moon rising across the waters, that
glittered like silver, while the intervening lawn showed
strangely with aloes (or century-plants), palmettoes, oaks
festooned with gray mosses, and multitudinous flowers.
Rock Ledge is twenty miles south of Titusville, and
two and a half from Lake Winder, where the St. John's
River steamers are taken, and freight is shipped to Jack-
sonville, four hundred and twenty-three miles distant, or
one hundred and sixty on an air-line. Of course the
steamers are the diminutive kind, such as I have before
From Rock Ledge to New York is about seventy hours'
travel. The place derives its name.from a formation of
coquina-rock along the shore there, and is a very pleas-
ant locality, with a good class of settlers, some forty in
all. But I think they have placed the price of their lands
too high. One hundred dollars per acre for a site on the


river is too high for the average immigrant, especially
where the land is uncleared and unimproved. It may be
worth it-for the soil is undoubtedly rich-to the wealthy,
but it will bar out the industrious poor, and retard the
growth of the region.
It was here I made my first attempt to eat a fresh-picked
guava. I failed miserably then, but have since learned to
like the fruit, and think it excellent. As a friend once
expressed it, "It's like eating a strawberry inside of an
orange, large as a pear," only the seeds are like small shot.
The taste for this abundant fruit is like that for tobacco-
it must be acquired ; but, as is seldom the case with to-
bacco, its acquisition is never regretted.
The next morning Mrs. IHatch served us an excellent
breakfast-peculiar in this, that it consisted almost wholly
of various kinds of garden fruits and vegetables, cooked
in divers ways, to show what an Indian River table can
supply. We visited several homes in the neighborhood,
everywhere meeting agreeable people, and were shown
wonderful gardens. All agreed that snakes and such
things were rarely seen, and that flies, gnats, or mosqui-
toes were not unusually troublesome in the summer.
Poultry, eggs, fish, oysters, turtles, and ducks are too
plentiful for special mention. Among other places, we
visited the Spratt orange-grove, one of the finest in Flor-
ida, with one thousand trees growing on ten acres. The
founder, Mr. Spratt, came here about ten years ago, an
old man, and with but little means or money. He com-
menced clearing the land all by himself, and now has
a grove hard to surpass. The land is quite clean, level,
and rich; the trees all very uniform in size and shape, and
thrifty, and laden with noticeably fine-looking and richly-
flavored fruit. That grove is sure to produce henceforth
an income of several thousand dollars annually ; and
it is an evidence of what one poor old man can do by




living a camping-out sort of life for a few years. Near
here also is a fine guava-preserving establishment, recently
built by some Massachusetts parties.
After an extended tour of this region-all much alike
in one respect, that it presented beautiful scenery and was
deeply interesting-one pleasant morning again found us
at the little landing on Salt Lake, and we were soon
lightered out to another of those curious little upper St.
John's River steamers. This was the We-ki-wa, a snug
craft, but so very small and so odd; every inch of space
being utilized by the bright, active boy, a lad of about
fifteen, who acted as steward, assistant engineer, pilot,
dish-washer, table-waiter, chambermaid, and general-utility
man. There were but five or six passengers, among them
an Ohio gentleman, who had with him a fine sporting rifle,
which he kindly invited the Doctor and myself to try.
The Doctor led off with a splendid shot at a very large
alligator, pinning it permanently to the marshy bank
where it was sunning itself. Later in the day he killed
another. I also had the satisfaction, such as it was, of
killing two alligators, big ones. They were very abun-
dant all day ; often ten or more could be seen slowly
crawling into the water, where they keep their heads up,
staring at us, then, their curiosity satisfied, suddenly drop-
ping from sight.
Early the next morning we reached Enterprise, on Lake
Monroe, where we staid some time. Our party improved
the time by going ashore and visiting a famous sulphur-
spring on the estate of Count Frederick de Bary, a wealthy
New-Yorker. A fine residence, large orange-grove, pier,
and packing-house are here, the spacious grounds all hand-
somely fenced and improved in neat style, with every-
thing elegant and complete. The spring is circular in
form, about fifty feet in diameter, and is located in a
pretty nook. The water is green as the greenest paint,


and forms quite a good-sized brook. It is slightly warm,
tastes strongly of sulphur, but is not unpleasant. Re-
suming our journey, the boat was soon on her way down
the river with our friend, the Ohio man, at the wheel,
which he managed with unexpected skill. Blue Spring
Landing was reached at noon, and here the Doctor and I
left the boat. It was February 1st, and a very warm
day. The spring, from which the landing takes its name,
covers about an acre, is of very pure, clear water, of a
slightly sulphurous flavor, and deep blue in color; it is
the fountain-head of quite a large stream that flows into
the St. John's. The adjacent grounds are slightly rolling,
and the general appearance is picturesque, offering a fine
site for a winter hotel. The water looked so cool, clear,
and tempting, that we couldn't resist, and, finding a re-
tired nook, we plunged in and enjoyed the agreeable
novelty of an open-air bath in midwinter. Afterward
a warm walk of about two miles brought us to Orange
City, in Volusia County, and we were soon in the cozy,
hospitable home of the Doctor, his own Florida abiding-
Orange City was founded in 1876 by the Doctor and
a number of congenial spirits, mostly from Wisconsin.
Already a good deal of land has been cleared, roads and
streets have been surveyed and opened in every direction,
and lots set off for business and residence purposes, a school,
churches, and shops. Several stores and eighty or more
residences have been erected, new fences and buildings are
constantly being built, and the place is rapidly growing,
having a population now of about three hundred, which
is increasing every month. One hundred and seventy-five
groves, on about one thousand acres of land, are in bloom,
and new groves and gardens are being started everywhere
in the vicinity. Here I met two young men, brothers,
from New York City, who came a short time ago for




their health, and now have one of the largest and finest
pineapple-fields in the State. The newsy South Florida
Times is published here. The two following days were
spent in short tramps and drives in the surrounding coun-
try. The third day, the Doctor, with his son, myself, and
Mr. Andrew Jackson, a jeweler from Eau Claire, Wis-
consin, a wealthy, shrewd business-man, distributed our-
selves in a wagon, and started on a trip through the
country. The roads were in good condition, and we
trotted along briskly, passing new homes everywhere, the
people being all busily engaged in fencing, clearing, build-
ing, or setting out trees. At noon we arrived at De
Land, another enterprising colony, mostly from western
New York. The site was located in 1877 by Mr. H. A.
De Land, the celebrated soda-manufacturer of Fairport,
New York, and bears his name. The country here con-
sists of rolling, open pine-land, and is quite pretty and
home-like in appearance. A fine church and a first-class
schoolhouse, one of the best in the State, several stores,
and dwellings, had then been erected; and the buildings
were all of noticeably substantial, comfortable construc-
tion, while the house-grounds were cleared up and set
out with flowers and shrubs. The "Florida Agricultur-
ist" is published here. It has a large circulation, and is
considered standard authority on all subjects in its special
From De Land we drove to Spring Garden, another
of the enterprising colonies of this favorite section. New
York and Illinois are mostly represented here. In 1872
Major George H. Norris, a native of western New York,
well known in Chicago, came here and purchased an im-
mense Spanish grant, and, having perfected his title, laid
out this pretty hamlet. A large amount of land has been
cleared in the vicinity, and wide streets have been opened
for miles, well fenced, and set out with orange-trees for


shade. The "Spring Garden House," quite a cozy, home-
like, well-built hotel, is kept by Mr. E. M. Turner, a wide-
awake Chicago hotel-man. It stands in a large orange-
grove, surrounded by a number of pretty hotel-cottages
for invalid guests. A landing-pier and packing-house
have been built at Spring Garden Lake, two miles distant,
where the St. John's River steamers land goods and passen-
gers. Quite a number of families have their homes here,
and form an unusually select and refined community, dis-
crimination being exercised in the sale of lands. Their
homes are noticeably well constructed, and have an air of
settled improvement, surrounded by lawns, gardens, and
groves, grape-arbors, fences, etc. In the evening quite a
party of the residents met us at the hotel, and a very pleas-
ant, entertaining time was enjoyed. Accompanying the
Major to his hospitable residence near by, I had the pleas-
ure of feasting on a heaping dish of freshly-picked straw-
berries, and partaking of some excellent samples of orange-
The next morning we drove to the immense orange-
groves owned by Major Norris. He has 11,000 trees,
mostly on hammock-lands, which are nearly all bearing;
in fact, he gathered last winter upward of 460,000, filling
3,100 boxes In time that grove will produce millions,
yielding a princely revenue. The trees were nearly all
sour stumps budded with sweet fruit. The Major said,
"In a few years I will show the visitor here an avenue
five miles long, lined with solid orange-groves all the way,"
and I think it quite likely that such a spectacle may then
be seen. At the house of Mr. B. F. Haynes we were feast-
ed on delicious bananas; and another resident whom we
met was Professor Isaac Stone, who was for years United
States consul at Singapore. His wife, Mrs. Stone, is the
author of a standard work on India-" India and its




Orange City, De Land,*and Spring Garden, are three
places that impressed me as favorably as any I have seen
in Florida. There are other places that are more inter-
esting for historical reminiscences or scenery, or for some
particular enterprise; and others may, very likely, become


larger and more active communities, like Sanford, Lees-
burg, and Charlotte Harbor; but those three places first
named will, I think, always be pretty, home-like, pros-
perous villages, of slow, steady, healthy growth and solid
prosperity. The region has a mean elevation of about



seventy feet above tide-water, and is noted for its health-
From Spring Garden we returned to Orange City, vis-
iting Beresford, Volusia, and Starke's Landing, all on the
lake. They are merely little landing-places, with but three
or four families in the immediate neighborhood, but are
the foci of quite a goodly number of families living back
on the highlands. At Starke's Landing we visited the
famous old grove of Captain Starke, and saw hundreds
of noble orange-trees twenty-five to thirty-five years old,
scattered about irregularly over a grand old lawn. Some
of them are fully thirty feet high, and bear crops of from
two to ten thousand oranges each. This was one of the
grand old English estates of the last century, the property
of Lord Beresford. Remains of his extensive improve-
ments are yet to be seen. Here we saw hogs feeding on
oranges, and it certainly seemed a shame to see them eat-
ing such rich fruit. Here also we saw an immense tree
that had just been transplanted with its crop in full fruit,
and showed no signs of injury.
All that region is of hilly pine-land, with open growth
of trees and excellent soil, the exceptions of bad soil being
very few. And it undoubtedly is a very healthy section
and quite free from insects, being high, well drained, pine-
timbered, and open to the pure sea-breeze all along its
eastern coast. Ormond, Port Orange, Daytona, and Smyr-
na, are all thrifty, enterprising, growing little hamlets, lo-
cated in the rich hammock-belt of land on the adjacent
ocean-coast, where they have the advantages of good soil
and both fresh and salt water; but the insects in the sum-
mer months make a residence there unpleasant except in
some specially favorable locations. Each has from ten
to fifty families of unusually agreeable, select people, the
nucleus of future pleasant communities. In fact, the peo-
ple of nearly all the villages and settlements throughout




Volusia County are of exactly the right sort of Northern
stock, and under their enterprising, law-abiding control,
the region is sure to become one of the most prosperous in
The next morning we bade farewell to the good peo-
ple of Orange City, and again set out on our travels. At
Blue Spring Landing we took the steamer George M. Bird,
which in the course of the afternoon carried us to Sanford,
where we remained over the following day, a rainy Sun-
day. Sanford and the adjacent country I have considered
important enough to have a chapter to itself; so, to avoid
repetition, will say nothing about it here.
Early on Monday morning we resumed our journey in a
fine two-horse rig, accompanied by Mr. D. L. Way, editor
of the South Florida Journal," of Sanford. Our route
was southwest from the St. John's, and for the first five
or six miles the ride was through a flat, uninteresting coun-
try, which gradually rises and becomes fairly hilly. Alta-
monte was reached about noon, and we were invited to the
pleasant home of Mr. George E. Wilson, a young man who
came here from Maine several years ago, and now has
a comfortable house, a large orange-grove, and a grocery,
a perfect sample of New England enterprise and thrift.
After an excellent dinner, we visited some fine gardens in
the neighborhood, and saw ample evidence of good soil
and energetic people. It is noted as a pleasant neighbor-
hood, the residents being generally cultured people from
the North, and the appearance of the country thereabout
is pleasing. It is quite likely that they will have railroad
communication with Sanford soon, which will undoubtedly
make this a fine locality for either residence or occasional
Late in the afternoon we reached'Apopka, where we re-
mained overnight. It is a small place, of about three hun-
dred inhabitants, mostly Southern natives, and the cluster



of cheaply constructed buildings, all of plainest design, un-
painted and weather-beaten, closely huddled together on
the narrow, short streets,
gives it an appearance
much like the backwoods
hamlets of Alabama, Geor-
gia, and the States of that
~ belt. The soil thereabout
is rolling pine and ham-
H mock, and famous for its
ii fertility. We visited sev-
Siiiiieral gardens and groves,
iii and saw none better any-
where else in the State.
It is an excellent region
0 for oranges, sugar-cane,
and vegetables, and is ex-
ceptionally healthy. The
"Hsf 1iit S country is everything that
Could be desired, but there
i is an evident lack of taste
H and enterprise among the
inhabitants. It is the cen-
H ter of a good trade, being
the most pretentious town
in that region, has a good
average school, and will,
no doubt, soon have rail-
way connection with the
St. John's at Sanford.
Three miles from the
town is Lake Apopk~a, a
superb body of water-an inland sea, about fifty miles in
circumference, surrounded by a large tract of hammock,
with a rolling black soil, densely covered with forests of



hard-woods, etc. The richness of the soil in this hammock
is famous throughout the State. Hon. T. G. Speer, State
Senator, is engaged in cutting a series of short canals that
will give water communication from Lakes Apopka, Dora,
Eustis, and Griffin, into the Ocklawaha, and so to Jackson-
ville. When this short canal (or a railroad outlet) shall
have been secured, this lake will soon be surrounded by a
large population.
The next morning we turned northward, and at noon
reached Zellwood, on little Lake Maggiore, where we ac-
cepted the cordial hospitalities of Colonel T. Elwood Zell,
who owns a fine estate and a beautiful home here, and
from whom the locality derives its name. The country
from Apopka to this place, which we traversed, was all
high, rolling pine-land, with frequent lakes and hammocks,
evidently very good soil. The vicinity of Zellwood is very
attractive, with productive soil and agreeable scenery. The
Colonel and his charming wife are Philadelphians, who
spend much of their time abroad, but make occasional win-
ter visits to their dainty home on this pretty spot.
It was quite dark when we arrived at Pendryville, on
Lake Eustis, where we found very comfortable accommo-
dations at Mr. A. S. Pendry's home-the Ocklawaha Hotel.
Mr. Pendry is from Rochester, New York, and has select-
ed a very attractive location for his home. He has cleared
a large tract of land, built a good hotel, fenced his lots,
and made many improvements. It is generally a rolling
pine-land thereabout, with small lakes, and large tracts
of hammock bordering on Lake Eustis. Undoubtedly a
healthy region of pleasing scenery, it will very likely be-
come in time quite a prosperous place.* Here Mr. Way
This prediction has been verified much sooner than I could then have
suspected. Visiting Pendryville in June, 1881, I was struck with astonish-
ment at the progress that had been made in the brief space of a year and
a half. The Pendry farm has been laid out in town-lots, which are rapidly

left us to return to his home in Sanford, greatly to our re-
gret, for he proved a most agreeable traveling companion.
He has a fine, thrifty-looking orange-grove, prettily located
on two small lakes, visited by us shortly after leaving Zell-
We remained all day at Pendryville, driving about,
viewing the prospects, and forming a very favorable opin-
ion of the locality. The right class of immigrants are set-
tling there, and a railroad is certain to tap that region very
soon. The St. John's and Lake Eustis Railroad is now
within two miles of the hotel. After dinner next day,
we drove over to Fort Mason, on the opposite shore of
Lake Eustis. On the route we stopped at the home of the
Hon. J. M. Bryan, member of the Legislature, and he ac-
companied us to the town, which consists of a hotel, two
well-stocked stores, and a cotton-press. The country and
soil thereabout is rich, low hammock. Here we met Sena-

being bought and built upon, numerous orange-groves have been set out in
the vicinity, population is pouring in with unprecedented rapidity, and the
bustle and stir of a prosperous growth are everywhere visible. Owing
largely to the skillful and well-directed efforts of Mr. John A. Macdonald,
editor of the "Florida New-Yorker," attention has been attracted to the
advantages of the locality; and in no portion of the State have I observed
more healthy and pleasing signs of progress-such as neat and tasteful
fences, substantial houses, and lands thoroughly cleared and carefully culti-
vated. The young orange-groves, too, looked exceptionally well, and re-
markably early returns have been obtained in some cases that were called
to my attention. Moreover, as I saw more of the country, I was impressed
much more strikingly with its scenic attractiveness. Rolling hills and undu-
lating slopes are the characteristic features of the region, bold bluffs front
the lakes on almost every side, and from certain points on the northern
shore of Lake Dora (about five miles from Pendryville) views are obtained
that are unlike anything seen elsewhere in Florida. The lake itself nestles
at the foot of wooded bluffs over a hundred feet in height; on the oppo-
site shore still higher hills lift boldly from the water; while farther away
still, beyond Lake Harris, at the distance of twenty-eight miles, a misty
line of heights rises almost mountainously against the horizon.




tor T. G. Speer, who was engaged in constructing his
dredging-machine, and he explained his intention of cui-
ting a canal so as to connect the entire series of large
lakes in this famous lake-region. This improvement will
open up a vast amount of rich soil to transportation con-
The country from this point to Leesburg is all a rolling
pine-land, in some places quite hilly, and contains innu-
merable small lakes and frequent tracts of rich hammocks,
in which we saw many wild groves of sour oranges grow-
ing, all laden with their deceptive golden fruit. The Doc-
tor pronounced it an excellent region, of rich soil; but
very few houses or improvements were seen. At one
of the few houses encountered on the route (a handsome,
new building, occupied by a family from Illinois), we
stopped and were shown a splendid large orange-grove,
yielding the owner an income of several thousand dol-
lars annually. He had come here very poor, had lived
cheaply and worked hard, and now is reaping his reward.
Early in the afternoon we crossed the wild head-waters
of the Ocklawaha, on a ferry worked by hauling on a rope
stretched across on poles. The road on either side was,
for a long distance, through a dense jungle, and we were
glad to get well through it and reach our destination.
Leesburg, the county-seat of Sumter County, the home
of about two hundred people, is a quiet, contented, easy-
going, rather old-fashioned sort of a place, all the business
houses being low, plain, wooden buildings, mostly of one
story, ranged along one wide, sandy street. A good win-
ter hotel is badly needed, and would probably be a profit-
able investment. The town lies in the midst of a rather
flat pine and hammock country,.the soil of which is nearly
all very rich. It has a good school and church, and an
orderly society, which includes only one lawyer, who does
not make a very large income, although they boast that


h.e can earn double fees by arguing for both parties in the
same case. The adjacent region is being rapidly taken up,
and already contains many settlers. This is the upper end
of navigation on the Ocklawaha River, which furnishes the
only outlet of the region. Leesburg has, beyond doubt,
a prosperous future before it; within the year, probably,
the Peninsular Railroad will reach there, and its central
position insures it a large and increasing trade.
The'whole of the day following our arrival was spent
in looking about the town, gathering statistics of its
trade, garden and field crops, shipping facilities, etc. The
next morning we accepted an invitation to enjoy a sail
on Lake Harris, and at an early hour were on board a
trim and-rapid yacht. The party included Mr. William
Fox, once of Chicago, now a prominent citizen of Lees-
J burg; Mr. George Pratt, owner and editor of the "Lees-
burg Advance "; Mr. Jackson, owner of the yacht, re-
cently of Cincinnati, now residing on Lake Eustis, where
he has purchased a fine property ; and ourselves.
It was a beautiful day, with a pleasant breeze, and
we bowled along over the clear waters of this lovely lake
(it is eight miles wide by ten miles long) in exhilarat-
ing style. The shore everywhere has much natural beau-
ty, being high, with a rich, dark soil, generally covered
with a heavy growth of very large hard-wood trees,
oaks, etc., evidently very fertile as well as very pictu-
resque. We passed several fine estates, their lands neatly
cleared and fenced, substantial, cozy-appearing houses,
surrounded by pretty gardens, flowers, and young groves,
presenting perfect pictures as seen from our boat. Among
several places at which we stopped was that of Colonel
J. W. Marshall, a hearty, genial, intelligent gentleman
of the old school, who came here from South Carolina
shortly after the war, which so sadly impoverished the
planters of that State. Here he has established himself





on a grand estate, containing several large orange-groves
of all varieties and ages, from the tender seedling grove
to the full bearing, and all remarkably thrifty and well
kept. The oldest grove, now in full bearing, yielding im-
mense crops, is one of the finest we saw in all the State,
with the largest-sized trees and the heaviest crops.
The old Colonel showed us all over his extensive estate;
it has a rich soil, carefully cleared, a rolling, hilly surface,
and produces a great variety of plants and fruits, including
teas, coffees, etc., fully demonstrating the fact that every-
thing in the way of fruits, flowers, garden and field prod-
ucts, may be grown on the soil of this lake-region. Taking
us finally into his bearing grove and pausing at a large
tree, the low-hanging branches of which were laden with
easily plucked fruit, he gave us a complete course of in-
struction in the fascinating, divinely refreshing art of or-
ange-eating and how to do it." And his recipe, while it
may not be of the highest degree of mincing daintiness-
the eating-soup-with-a-fork style-is an exceedingly enjoy-
able, practical method of getting the juice, the whole juice,
and nothing but the juice, out of an orange. Said he:
"Now, gentlemen, roll up your sleeves, remove your cuffs,
high collars, etc., unbutton your vests and a few other
waist-buttons; take a sharp knife, pull a dark-shade, heavy
orange, peel it to the quick all around, leave no bitter rind,
shut your eyes and suck; don't bite-just suck."
The reader hardly needs to be assured that we obeyed
to the letter. I think we each averaged about fifteen or-
anges in rapid succession-and in silence, sweet silence-
one steady draught of nectar pure and wholesome. Lack
of capacity alone compelled us, one by one, to regretfully
cease this luscious feast; and repairing to the house, we
were invited, after a short respite, to partake of a fine
dinner, well washed down with select brands from an evi-
dently well-stocked cellar. Soon after dinner we took our


departure from this hospitable home, the old Colonel de-
positing a huge basketful of oranges in our boat as a
remembrancer. We bade him good-by with regret, all
hoping that his considerable shadow may never be less.*
A long, circuitous sail was made around the lake that
we might view its beautiful shores, and we reached the
hotel in the evening. Early next morning we resumed
our journey, and were soon well on our way to Sumterville,
west of Leesburg. The route lay through a rather flat,
uninteresting belt that appeared generally wet, and, in
tracts, marshy, a good sugar-cane region. We crossed one
broad body. of water, which was much deeper than our
driver had counted upon, and, in consequence, we barely
escaped the unpleasant incident of a ducking. In some
places the road passed through extensive hammocks, always
attractive. About five miles from Leesburg we reached
the stony belt of Central Florida, the only locality in all
the peninsula (except along the coasts and in some of the
northern counties) where we found stones. Here they
were plentiful, scattered about in all shapes and sizes, and
it gave us considerable satisfaction to hear the wheels click
along over them, with the music so familiar in more north-
ern regions.
It was noon (Sunday noon) when Sumterville was
reached, and our team turned back to its starting-point,
while we took quarters at the primitive hostelry that offers
scant accommodations to way-bound travelers. Sumter-
ville is an old ante-bellum settlement, with large tracts of
cleared land-evidently a high level, as it is not wet-
with a dark soil, which is undoubtedly very rich and pro-
ductive. The hamlet contains two or three very rude
backwoods sort of stores, and about a dozen dwellings,
but has great expectations, that are quite likely to be ful-

* Since our visit, Colonel Marshall has sold this grove for $28,000 cash.





filled, as it is on the present State stage-line and United
States mail-route from Ocala to Tampa, and is on the di-
rect line from Leesburg to the latter place, such as a rail-
road will desire to select. It is a good, healthy, fertile
region, needing only settlers.
The next day several of the residents called on us,
and we spent the day, a warm one, in visiting a number
of gardens and fields and orange-groves in the vicinity.
Everywhere the vegetables, crops, and fruits looked finely,
growing in great abundance with little care. We also
drove to Lake Panasofkee, six miles distant, a large lake
surrounded with rich black hammock-land, the region
for sugar-cane and all garden and field crops. Also in
this neighborhood are numerous large sinks of the land,
so frequent in all parts of Middle Florida, usually circular
in form, the sides quite straight and smooth, varying from
twenty-five to one hundred and more feet in depth, and
seldom containing any, or but little, water. This, indeed,
is the singular feature about them, for often they are close
to large lakes whose waters are fifty feet above the bot-
tom of the sink, yet none in the sink. It is as if some-
thing had given way in the bowels of the earth, and the
soil had fallen in; but they must all have subterranean
outlets, for in no other way can the absence of water
be accounted for.
The next morning we took the stage-coach, a little
rattle-trap sort of an affair, and were soon on our way
to Brooksville. It is a long ride through a decidedly
rolling country, mostly pine-land, with very little ham-
mock, and few lakes. The stone belt extends all through
this region, ending along the Withlacoochee River. It
closely resembles the piny-woods region in Michigan,
and the ride became very tedious and monotonous, ex-
cept that we saw any quantity of feathered and furred
game, rabbits, squirrels, quail, etc., and occasionally wild



turkeys, large and shy. This is a range where deer and
bear also are plentiful.
The entire trip that day was through an unsettled
region, the only human beings living anywhere along
the road being four or five families of Florida natives,
the genuine, unadulterated "cracker "-the clay-eating,
gaunt, pale, tallowy, leather-skinned sort-stupid, stolid,
staring eyes, dead and lusterless; unkempt hair, generally
tow-colored ; and such a shiftless, slouching manner sim-
ply white savages-or living white mummies would, per-
haps, better indicate their dead-alive looks and actions.
Who, or what, these "crackers" are, from whom descend-
ed, of what nationality, or what becomes of them, is one
among the many unsolved mysteries in this State. Stupid
and shiftless, yet shy and vindictive, they are a block in
the pathway of civilization, settlement, and enterprise
wherever they exist. Fortunately, however, they are very
few and rapidly decreasing in numbers, for they can not
exist near civilized settlements. The four or five cabins
we passed of these "crackers" were bare log structures,
with low roofs, no doors or windows-merely openings-
or fireplaces; no filling between the logs, and usually no
floors; no out-houses, wells, or fences; and no gardens or
plants, except a sweet-potato patch. A near lake, or spring,
supplies their water; hogs, cattle, and game, their meat;
and the tops of cabbage-palmettoes, sweet-potatoes, and
wild fruits, form almost their only diet; while pellets of
clay eaten as a seasoning ingredient take the place of
needed salt and pepper.
As the stage was slowly climbing a rise in the road,
we were surprised to see four women, seated on a fallen
tree close by the roadside; all were of precisely the same
size, with the same features, eyes, and hair, and a vacant,
stupid stare; each wore a light-colored, faded calico dress,
of plainest, scantiest possible make, quite clean (a surpris-




ing fact), and large, plain, cotton sun-bonnets; each wore a
cheap, bright-hued, cotton handkerchief around her neck;


and they were all barefooted, carrying their low, thick-
soled shoes in their hands. The dress and kerchief ap-
peared to be their only garments-no underwear whatever.


~-~ ---~


Our driver, a sociable sort of fellow from Ohio, stopped
and chatted with this strange feminine quartet, and we
learned that they were a mother and three daughters,
which was the climax of surprise to us, for the four faces
all appeared of the same age. They were going to a
dance at a cracker's," some fifteen miles farther on, and
they had already walked about five miles. Think of
woman-lovely, tender woman!-walking barefoot twenty
miles to dance all night in a close cracker cabin, with whis-
ky-perfumed cracker males, to the scraping of a wheezy
violin in the hands of an old darkey; the scene lighted
with pine-knots; the feast of hog, hominy, beef, sweet-po-
tatoes, and likely a few villainous compounds of flour,
cheapest brown sugar, or sirup, and called cake or "risin'-
bread." And, perhaps, that cracker ball will be kept up
two or three days and nights, until all the stock of eatables
and whisky is used up.
The "cracker," when resolved to give a dance, shoots
some game and carves a hog, finds a market and sells his
game for a little cash, lays in a stock of whisky, a little
flour, cheap sugar, sirup, tobacco, hominy, or grits, more
whisky, coffee, or cheap tea, goes home, sets the wimmin-
folks" to baking, while he resolves himself into an invi-
tation committee, and sets out on his lean, lank, cracker
pony, and invites all the crackers for miles around to "cum
roundd" And they come. A fight generally ends the
dance, and the best man wins the girl, for these dances are
usually prolific of "jinin" matches. It should be said,
however, per contra, that there is very little sexual immo-
rality at these half-civilized gatherings, for the mothers-
as in this case-are also on hand, and keep a sharp eye on
proceedings; while the men-the fathers-will shoot.
We passed on, and at noon crossed the Withlacoochee
River, at Hays's Ferry, where there are two or three cabins.
The river is here a wide, deep, dark-colored, swift-running



stream. A rope stretched from bank to bank was our
means of passage. Just across the river we found the
cabin of a cracker, and here we were to get dinner. After
a long delay, we were called in and told to "set by"; but,
although the table was heaped with food (alleged to be),
yet I couldn't eat of its: sweet-potatoes in two styles-
baked and fried in slices-but less than half cooked in either
shape; bread, merely chunks of yellow, hot, steamy dough,
incased in burned crusts; muddy coffee (plenty of grounds
for being muddy, if the reader will excuse the pun) ; and
fat pork. There were eggs visible, however; so, under
pretense of not feeling well, I induced the cook to soft-
boil a few, and, having managed to strain off some coffee
from its mud basis, worried through a luncheon. The
housewife was of indolent, unhealthy, flabby appearance,
slattern and unwholesome. Said the driver, who knew
them well, "That husband of yours, if he should ever
trip up in a mud-puddle, would lie and die there, he is so
lazy." And that loving wife replied, with a shallow smile:
" Yas, I 'spect that's so; he are mos' dreffle, or'nary, lazy-
like, sho' enuff, jes' no 'count." The listening husband
grinned as if a compliment had been paid him.
Such villainous, disgusting cooking as that found on
the tables of the low whites of this region is surely un-
equaled. The ignorance among the women of this very
necessary art is frightful. Living in a region where, al-
most without solicitation, Nature provides all the daintiest
and best of fruits and garden-vegetables, yet their tables
seldom have any sauces or fruits of any kind, except occa-
sionally. dried apple-sauce, bought at the store, or else some
wretchedly made guava-jelly. Vegetables are seldom seen
on any tables, except those of the land-owner class, or of
Northern settlers occupying homes in the neighborhood.
No wonder the "crackers" look so unhealthy, or are so
stupid, or that the men take to whisky, and like to fight so


vindictively. Anything that involves a change must be
agreeable to people fed on such wretched diet. Steam-
engines are great civilizers of nations, but good cooking
beats anything as a civilizer of individuals. I have seen
its beneficial effects among the very worst Indians of the
Resuming our journey, the region passed over in the
afternoon differed somewhat from that of the forenoon,
being more hilly, and involving a constant going up and
down of more or less steep inclines. We were now out
of the stony belt, and the hammocks were more frequent.
No settlers were seen, and game was very abundant. Late
in the afternoon large tracts of cleared land began to be
seen, mostly neglected; and at supper-time we reached
Brooksville. Standing on the broad, level top of a high
hill, in the midst of many hills-the largest hills we saw
in any part of the State-Brooksville is one of the most
prettily located towns or settlements we saw in Florida,
being equaled only by Tallahassee. It is, in fact, the
most un-Florida-appearing place imaginable, with excel-
lent, rich, dark-brown soils, occasional stones and gravel,
first-class hard country roads in all directions; forests
of oaks, maple, beech, hickory, and all such hard-wood
growths, rail-fences, and far-viewing hills. All was like
Ohio, Wisconsin, New York-the western part on the Erie
Railway-in fact, anywhere in a hilly but not rocky re-
gion. Even the houses, the old and the few (very few)
new ones, somehow do not look Florida-like.
This is one of the most desirable sections of the State.
Although not at all tropical in appearance, yet all the
products of the tropical as well as of the northern cli-
mates grow here. Cotton, cane, wheat, oats, bananas,
oranges, peaches, corn, guavas, figs, all thrive as well as in
any of their special regions. Here also we found grass,
a good sod, that seemed refreshing to walk on. Prior to




the war this was a region of large plantations and wealthy
planters. All seem to have left, as their slaves left, aban-
doning everything. The houses decayed and were de-
molished, fences were destroyed, broad fields have gone
to waste, and weeds, underbrush, and tangled vines have
everywhere taken the place of cultivated crops.
Next morning we found Mr. Frederick L. Robertson,
editor of the "Brooksville Crescent," an old friend of the
Doctor's. Horses were procured, and we rode to the resi-
ence of State Senator H. T. Lykes, on Spring Hill, six
miles distant; then across the country, ten miles, to the
large estate of Mr. William Hope, where we found all
varieties of vegetables growing finely, and rode through
a field of several hundred acres of oats, spreading out
over the hills and valleys-Ohio, surely, except for the
season (it was February) Good roads, numerous brooks,
hard-wood forests, broad fields (abandoned mostly), plenty
of game, was the result of our observations. The town
is the county-seat of Hernando County, and contains the
court-house-a large, new, wooden building, a good struct-
ure, but provokingly plain in design-three groceries, two
or three saloons, and about thirty dwellings, nearly all
small cottages, generally surrounded by small gardens, and
groves of orange and such trees. Everything looks old-
fashioned and of out-in-the-country style. Yet in lo-
cation and soil it is the gem of South Florida; and, if
a railroad should ever reach here-which is very likely,
for any road to Tampa will surely pass through Brooks-
ville-it will very probably become, in time, the center of
a thickly settled, prosperous region.
Late in the afternoon we set out on our journey to
Tampa, fifty miles distant. Fort Taylor was reached at
twilight. This place, once the site of a military camp,
now has but one house, surrounded by a fine grove of
old orange-trees. About midnight we reached the hum-



ble cabin of the stage-station, where we obtained lodg-
ings which, though very rough, were acceptable after our
ride of twenty-six miles. The route had been through a
slightly rolling pine-wood region, with a dark soil of
average fertility, few lakes, no settlers, and very little
Early next morning we were out looking about the
ranch, a plain little roughly constructed building, sur-
rounded by numerous out-houses, and a garden, where a
variety of tropical plants were thriving. The keeper
was a genuine curiosity, an old regular army veteran,
a native of Maine, who came to this country as a pri-
vate of the Second Regiment U. S. Artillery to fight
the Seminoles in 1835, and has remained here ever since.
After a breakfast, abundant but rudely prepared, we
resumed our journey, passing through a region similar
in all respects to that traversed on the previous day, lone-
ly and monotonous, rolling pine-land of average fertility,
no settlers, but abundance of game.
At noon we reached the Hillsborough River, a stream
about fifty feet wide and eight or ten feet deep, and
crossed it on a well-constructed toll-bridge. Beyond the
river the appearance of the country changes very much,
being a high, rolling, open-hammock region, with fair
soil and a heavy growth of native wire-grass. Clearings
and houses, gardens and groves, began to appear, and
we were once more in a region of settlers. Late in the
afternoon we at last drove into Tampa, very hot, much
fatigued, dusty, and hungry. The last few miles had
been over very sandy and parched roads, making hard
pulling for the tired horses; and we felt exceedingly
glad when we halted at last in front of a cool, quiet,
inviting-looking hotel, that much resembled a neat and
comfortable village dwelling.
We had completed a long journey seldom taken-a



ride across the heart of South Florida from the Atlantic
to the Gulf, a distance of about one hundred and forty
miles in a direct line, but about two hundred and fifty
as traversed by us, with side-excursions to visit promi-
nent places.
Tampa is an old town, the name being associated
with the very earliest Spanish history of the State, and
is well known as "a place in Florida" by all school-
children throughout the country.
It is quaint and old-fashioned in appearance, contains
about fifteen hundred inhabitants, and is situated at the
upper end of Tampa Bay. It is laid out with consider-
able regularity into squares, with streets of usual width,
level and clean, but very sandy. Having been designed
for a big place, the town is much scattered, the houses
average few. to the block, and, though the sidewalks are
generally good, there is much "cutting across-lots" in
going from one point to another. Few of the dwellings
are pretentious, but they have a comfortable, home-like
appearance, all standing in ample grounds, and nearly all
having abundance of tropical fruits, plants, flowers, shrubs
and vines, sea-shells, and the like, reminding the visitor
that he is in a tropical clime.
The public buildings-court-house, schools, churches,
and halls-are all well-built, fair-sized structures, quite
creditable to the remote little community. There is no
large hotel of the customary hotel style, and such an es-
tablishment is greatly needed. The present accommoda-
tions for travelers are three small dwellings, neat, clean,
and well kept, but not roomy-mere boarding-houses, in
fact. The business-houses are all plain, village-like, low-
roofed, wooden structures, scattered irregularly along the
street leading to the wharf. They generally'carry good
stocks, and a large business is transacted here.
The United States Government owns a large tract of


land, forming a peninsula which reaches out into the
harbor. It is a lovely spot of about seventy-five acres,
quite like a park, with rolling surface, covered with good
sod of native grasses, while clumps of low-growth bushes
and gigantic oaks and hard-wood trees are scattered about.
The view, looking out over the harbor, is very beautiful.
The barracks, officers' quarters, cavalry-stables, hospital,
and other military buildings, are scattered about the
ground, and are all old, and have a neglected, dilapi-
dated appearance. No troops are permanently stationed
here now; but occasional detachments are sent here for
a few months for sanitary benefit. A walk over these
grounds is quite pleasant, and is one of the "proper
things for the visitor to do.
Large tracts of land in the suburbs have been cleared
of their pine-woods, laid out into long, wide avenues,
and named after Northern States, the plots comprising
ten or more acres each. Many of these lots have been
sold, and the purchasers have evidently spent much
money and time in improving them. The residences are
unusually well built, tastefully ornamented, and brightly
painted, while neat barns, out-houses, fences, sidewalks,
and the civilized improvements usual in Northern pro-
gressive communities, are everywhere seen-the reason,
perhaps, being that the settlers are nearly all Northern
people. In spite of all this labor, taste, and enterprise,
however, there is a very noticeable number of vacant
houses, showing signs of abandonment.
The appearance of the greater portion of the soil
in the vicinity of Tampa is sandy, with an unhealthy,
ashy-gray color, that promises little for productiveness.
There are occasional tracts of dark, rich soil, but these
are scarce, and very seldom for sale. There is good soil
in that region lying along the coast and on the islands,
but in the immediate neighborhood of Tampa I think it




is mostly poor, and nearly valueless for purposes of fruit
or vegetable culture.
The harbor contains numerous islands and is quite
pretty. It is alive with fish and ducks. We found the
Hon. T. K. Spencer, of the "Sunland Tribune," and en-
joyed an agreeable visit with him, looking about the
place. The Peninsular Railroad, now in process of con-
struction through the central region of Florida, will
doubtless soon place Tampa in direct connection with the
commercial centers of the East and North. This will
greatly benefit it, besides opening up to settlement a
large and at present nearly uninhabited region.
It was a beautiful morning when we took our de-
parture from Tampa, going aboard the little steamer
that carried us down the harbor to the handsome ocean-
steamer Lizzie Henderson, one of the fine line of Gulf-
steamers (the "Henderson Line") that ply between New
Orleans, Pensacola, St. Mark's, Cedar Keys, Key West,
and Havana. The boats of this line are large, roomy,
well equipped, and well supplied. The freight and pas-
sengers were rapidly transferred from the roomy old
lighter to the steamer, and we were soon steaming down
the broad bay to Manatee, thirty miles distant on Man-
atee River, which flows into the extreme southern por-
tion of the bay. Immense flocks of ducks of several
kinds, innumerable porpoises, and countless fish leaping
out of the bright waters, were constantly in sight. The
watery pathway of certain shoals could be traced by the
sight of hundreds of fish of the six-pound size leaping
out of the water in a rapid, direct line.
Late in the afternoon we passed up the broad river
several miles to Manatee, where a short stop was made
to take on cargo. There was no opportunity to visit
the settlement, or to examine the soil thereabout, but
the dwellings located along the banks of the river were



mostly roomy and neat-looking houses, and several gar-
deners were at the wharf with vegetables of large va-
riety and excellent quality.
The sun was setting brilliantly as we passed out of
the bay into the Gulf; and the islands with their luxu-
riant vegetation, the solitary, tall, white lighthouse, and
the tropical-appearing bar on which it stands, the por-
poises disporting in all directions, and the deep-blue wa-
ters of the Gulf, all made a scene beautiful to behold and
long to be remembered.
At sunrise the next morning we were entering the
lovely harbor of Cedar Keys, passing near a number of
pretty islands, among them Atsenna Otie Island, where
there is a large saw-mill and machine-shop owned by
Faber Brothers, of New York, giving employment to a
colony of thirty families, mostly Germans, engaged in
cutting and preparing the cedar-wood for the famous
Faber lead-pencils. At the wharves of the little seaport
and railroad terminus we found five large steamers and
numerous sailing-vessels, giving it quite an appearance of
commercial enterprise.
The Doctor, Professor J. N. Comstock (entomologist
of the Agricultural Bureau at Washington, whom we
had met on the steamer), and I, enjoyed the day stroll-
ing about the streets and limited suburbs, visiting the
curious shell-mound-quite a hill, composed of sea-shells
of all kinds, such as are found along, that coast. It is
the scientific supposition that this strange mound was
erected by a race of prehistoric dwellers in this region,
who resorted here to feast on oysters, clams, etc. It
offers a superb position on which to build a large winter
hotel, for the scene in all directions, as viewed from that
elevation, is beautiful, the whole harbor and the Gulf
being visible. We met my old friend Major Parsons
here, and had a very agreeable visit and a tramp about the



town with him. His reminiscences of Cedar Keys, extend-
ing back over a period of forty years since he first came
here from the North, a clerk in the Quartermaster's De-
partment of the United States Army, under old General
Z. Taylor, are very interesting. In the afternoon, while
the Doctor dozed, Professor Comstock and I went down
to the beach, where the tide was out, and busied ourselves
pulling out oysters from the great quantities that solidly
line all the shores of the bay, and feasting ourselves to
repletion on that luscious bivalve.
Cedar Keys is a port of entry, and has several large
mercantile establishments, all carrying extensive stocks,
and evidently prosperous. Their patronage is derived
from the settlers all along the coast and many goodly
rivers that empty into the Gulf there. There is very
little, if any, good land on the adjacent mainland. The
trade is solely the result of its railroad and shipping ad-
vantages. The buildings are mostly constructed of the
substantial coquina-stone, and, with its main street (in
fact, there is only one street in the place) paved with
shells, all white mortary in appearance, it much resembles
an old Spanish seaport.
Early on the morning after our arrival, we were again
on our travels-the final stage-seated in one of the
handsome coaches of the Atlantic, Gulf and West India
Transit Company Railroad, better known in its abbrevi-
ated and more convenient form of the "Transit," that
crosses the State from Cedar Keys to Fernandina. Gaines-
ville, Waldo, Santa Fe, Starke, and Lawtey, all thrifty,
busy, growing, enterprising places, of which accounts are
given elsewhere, were passed. Waldo is an especially
pretty place, and the inhabitants show much taste and
care, of which they may well feel proud, and for which
they deserve much credit. Near the depot is a neat lit-
tle park, fenced nicely; the grounds all about the pretty



town are clean and grassy as a lawn; also, near the de-
pot is a band-stand of neat design, at the base of a ship-
shape, mast-rigged flag-staff, the gift of a jolly old sea-
captain resident. The dwellings, mostly of cottage style,
are neat, tasty, trim, and clean, of generally good design,
surrounded by lawns of grasses and flowers, gardens of
fruits and vegetables, all showing careful labor and at-
tention. The soil thereabout is fertile, and the people
are energetic and industrious. Waldo is a pretty spot, a
good place for either health-seekers or wealth-seekers.
Early in the afternoon we reached Jacksonville, and
the "Tour of Florida with Hon. Seth French, Commis-
sioner of Immigration," was ended.




IT was the middle of March when Captain Samuel
Fairbanks, Assistant Commissioner of Immigration, set
out on an official pilgrimage through the northern sec-
tion of the State, in search of information for the use of
his bureau. The Captain was peculiarly well adapted for
his official position, and especially to investigate this por-
tion of the State, which had in all its parts become fa-
miliar to him, through a residence of over forty years.
He came originally from central New York, and there
are many other people here from that favorite section of
the Empire State.
The writer accepted a cordial invitation to join Cap-
tain Fairbanks on the proposed trip, and enjoyed a de-
lightful time, for the Captain was a pleasant, entertain-
ing traveling companion, full of interesting information,
anecdotes, and reminiscences of the State and the people.
The previously described journey in the other portions
of the State had given me a fine opportunity to see the
wilder and more remote regions, and the present trip
gave me an opportunity to learn of the older and more
populous sections. Our route lay through the counties of
all the northern and western portions of the State, where,
in the "piping times of peace," the ante-war days, the
true era of Southern prosperity, the planters of Florida
lived and flourished and waxed wealthy. In those days

Cotton was King, and the broad rolling acres of the vast
plantations that covered the hills and beautiful valleys of
the charming region were everywhere white with their
great crops of the snowy staple. "Every acre meant an-
other bale, and every bale meant another nigger," was
the current saying in regard to it. This was always, from
the days of its transfer to American rule, a favorite re-
gion with the cotton-planters ; here were obtained the
largest yields per acre, of the best quality (the famous
sea-island variety), and the earliest in market.
We left Jacksonville late one afternoon, by the Flor-
ida Central Railroad, changing at Live Oak (the county-
seat of Suwanee County) to the Jacksonville, Pensacola
and Mobile Railroad. The early morning hours found us
speeding through Ohio, Wisconsin, or central New York;
certainly, it was not Florida in appearance-hilly, with
a rich, brown, clayey soil, solid roads, rocks, and fields of
grass, just like the Northern States. Early in the fore-
noon we arrived at Quincy, the county-seat of Gadsden
County, and took the stage from the depot to the town,
one and a half mile distant by a road which winds prettily
over hills and through fine forests.
Quincy is a quaint, old-fashioned town, Southern in
appearance (not, however, of the dingy, miserable, "crack-
er style), a representative type of once-flourishing in-
dustry. It has a large, park-like, well-fenced square, with
the court-house standing in the center, one of the old
Southern regulation kind of square four-roomed-on-two-
floors buildings. Huge oaks and similar trees shade the
park, and around it or adjacent to it are the city build-
ings, jail, etc., with plain and rather faded brick stores, the
usual number of offices, pumps and water-trough, and the
universal Southern hitching-rail on high posts, with al-
ways a number of saddle mules and horses attached. Over
all is an impalpable but unmistakable mantle of mildewy




decay, of neglect rapidly verging on dilapidation. Such
is the gefieral appearance of the business portion of
The suburbs make an impression altogether more favor-
able. The residences here are mostly large, well-built
structures, with handsome house-grounds, gardens, lawns,
out-houses, shade-trees, sidewalks, etc.-in all respects, ex-
cept that of a few semi-tropical products, closely resem-
bling the usual thrifty appearance of a steady, old, agri-
cultural center in the North. The weather at the time of
our visit was lovely (it was March 10th) ; fruits, flowers,
and gardens of thrifty vegetables were everywhere visible;
the doors and windows stood wide open, verandas were
occupied, croquet-parties dotted the lawns; and The
Pirates of Penzance," and other latest music, was every-
where heard floating through the open windows, from the
keys of skillfully played pianos. At the handsome resi-
dence of Postmaster Davidson, we were shown some of
the finest specimens of the exquisitely beautiful, golden-
hued, feathery pampas-grass that I ever saw, and it grows
in many other gardens thereabout.
The views across the country in all directions are fine,
ranging over broad fields, hills, valleys, hard-wood forests,
orchards, good fences, and roomy residences-in all a
beautiful region exhibiting unmistakable signs of agricult-
ural prosperity. Nowhere does live-stock grow better.
In the near future, when the old (but worthy) class of
men and women shall have passed away with their ante-
bellum ideas of business, crops, social "ranks," educa-
tion, slave-labor, and their bitter memories of the war,
with its defeated hopes and its "lost cause"-when this
race, with such memories in their hearts, shall be gone,
and the young generation of their offspring, filled with
new ideas, new aspirations, new hopes, shall be in full
control, then, I believe, Quincy and all the other towns



of that fair, fertile region will be among the pleasantest
garden-spots in all America. At present the goodly people
are brooding upon memories."
Chattahoochee, the present terminus of the Jackson-
ville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad, is merely a little
hamlet on the Chattahoochee River, close to the Alabama
line, and has stage connection with Marianna, the county-


seat of Jackson County, another of those old-style, quiet
inland towns, a description of one of which answers for
all. The State Insane Asylum is located at Chattahoo-
chee, a roomy old structure, clean, and having an air of
comfort and adaptation to its purpose, and containing
about thirty inmates. The river, in that region, is quite
a large, respectable stream, the outlet of an extensive back



country-once the water-way of an immense traffic-to
the Gulf-port of Appalachicola. The scenery thereabout
is very fine, and the atmosphere noticeably soft and
clear. This is attributed to the fact that it is due north
of the Gulf, and is always tempered by the famous
" Gulf-breezes."
From Marianna, a long ride by stage-coach brought
us to Pensacola. The ride was tedious and fatiguing,
but not really monotonous, for the scenery was very at-
tractive, except in occasional tracts. Vernon, Euchee
Anna, and Milton, passed en route, are all three county-
seats, and are small, drowsy-looking towns, old-fashioned,
and in all respects typical specimens of the better class
of representative Southern county-seats. A square, an
old-fashioned tavern, a court-house, and a few shops, may
be said to compose each and all of them.
On every side, in all that region, including Gadsden
and adjoining counties, were seen large old plantations,
and roomy, old, Southern-style planters' residences, giving
evidence of a long-settled region, that had suddenly been
arrested in its growth, and was in a state of suspended
animation. Yet it is a good country, and has, in fact, a
steady growth, though it is of a kind not strikingly per-
ceptible, being in crops and products, instead of houses,
factories,. and such town improvements, that are more
likely to catch the attention.
The great, crying need of all that portion of the State
is a railroad, tand the series of causes that have pre-
vented the completion of the Jacksonville, Pensacola and
Mobile Railroad are disgraceful to all concerned. All
the parties-the moneyed cliques, railroad-wreckers, law-
yers, and agents-that have for years defeated the con-
struction of that road across this fine region to its natu-
ral terminus at Pensacola, deserve the honest execrations
of all who reside there; for they have greatly damaged


and retarded the growth and prosperity of what ought
to be one of the most flourishing sections of Florida.*
Pensacola is a charming city, clean, nicely laid out,

_-_--._ _. ___


with great shade-trees, handsome homes, the houses gen-
erally of good architectural taste, with pretty lawns, ar-
bors, gardens, etc. The navy-yard and fortifications, with
their garrisons and official staffs of both branches of the
service, give it an animated appearance; and the officers
and their families contribute very much to the high repu-
tation for culture and refinement enjoyed by the society
there. The city has a large commerce, and is one of the
most important lumber-shipping ports in the United States.
In respect to attractions for tourists and visitors, Pen-
sacola is one of the most important places in Florida ; and,
Since the above was written, the courts have, after many years of
tedious and costly litigation, awarded the railroad to its rightful owners,
the Dutch company, who, it is understood, will at once complete the line
across the State as originally contemplated.




instead of attempting a detailed description of my own, I
will quote the following passages from a well-written and
tastefully printed local hand-book :

The splendid Bay of Pensacola, unrivaled for its beau-
ty, depth, and security, was discovered by Pamfilo de Nar-
vaez, in 1525. Various adventurers gave it different names,
as Port de Ancluse and St. Mary's Bay, but that of Pensa-
cola, which prevailed, was the true name among the Ind-


ians, the natives of the country. The first settlement was
made by the Spaniards, in 1686. The first Governor was
Andr6 Arivola, who constructed a small fort, called San
Carlos, and erected a church upon the present site of Fort
Barrancas. The French took Pensacola in 1719; the Span-
iards retook it, and the French again took it in the same




year and kept it until 1722, when it was restored to Spain.
In the mean time, Pensacola had been removed to the west
end of Santa Rosa Island, near the present site of Fort
Pickens, where the Spaniards constructed a fort, which af-
terward was improved by the English General Haldemand.
The settlement remained on the island until 1754, when, the
town being partly inundated, the site was removed to the
magnificent location which it now occupies. Pensacola was
ceded to the English in 1763, by whom it was laid off in
regular form in 1765. The town surrendered to the Span-
ish arms in 1781. On the 7th of November, 1814, General
Andrew Jackson, with the American army, entered the
town, when the English fleet in the bay destroyed the forts,
San Carlos (at Barrancas) and Santa Rosa.
By consulting the map of Pensacola and its surround-
ings, the reader will observe the network of water-courses,
bays, and bayous centering at that city. The water is clear,
bright, and beautiful. Surf-bathing upon Santa Rosa beach,
as enjoyable as language can express, the salt-water bathing
in the bath-houses of the bay, and bathing in fresh water
as clear as crystal, can all be had within a distance of seven
miles. The Perdido Bay is one of the loveliest sheets of
water in the State, rivaled by the Escambia Bay, with its
bluffs and ever-moving fleets. Any attempt to particular-
ize becomes confusing, as the special beauties and attrac-
tions of the different bays and bayous are remembered.
Escambia River is the Ocklawaha' of West Florida. The
stranger who wishes to enjoy a short trip will be pleased
as the steamer plows through the broad, placid waters of
Escambia Bay, and then delighted with the luxuriance of
the tropical growth as the vessel winds its way up the nar-
row and tortuous channel of Escambia River to Molino.
At this point the excursionist can take the train and return
by rail to Pensacola.
"The fresh-water fishing is superb. The waters liter-
ally swarm with all kinds of fish, notably trout, black bass,
and pike. All varieties of perch abound, including a spe-
cial kind, a very game fish, called bream. It is not unusual
for a good angler to pull out fifty to sixty of these fish in
an hour, weighing from a half to one pound. Both in salt
and fresh water, fishing is carried on with pleasure and
profit the entire year. In the bay and bayous every descrip-



tion of salt-water fish abounds, and, in the season, fifty cents
will purchase half a dozen Spanish mackerel of the size for
which the epicure pays seventy-five cents for one half in the

SPucEudzs OF PENISAo1 ELAfis

restaurants of New York City. These fish, and the salt-
water trout, give special excitement to those who love a
contest with a very game fish. No one can claim to have
seen what fishing is until he has visited the snapper banks
off Santa Rosa Island. There the famous red snapper can
be caught, two at a time, weighing from five pounds to
sixty, as rapidly as the line is thrown in. The limit to the
quantity catchable is commensurate with the physical en-
durance of the catcher.
"The pleasure of boating at Pensacola is not confined
to fishing or idly rolling on the mighty wave, or smoothly
plowing the placid waters; but added to these charms are
the numerous places in the vicinity to go to. The stranger

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