i A ell
&COLE rLF Mu 'r
* lE1LORIDA OF TO-DAY
J". I -S : *-' ..... '- 5 "'- '' ;
Mn=-. GUIDE FOR TOURISTS
AND SETTLERS -
"JAMES WOOD DAVIDSON, A. M.:
: AUTO OF -TSrE UVW. WWRTE2 OF TEE SO-B";
A SCHOOL BETORT OP SOUTH CAROLMIA ; "TUE CORESPONXDENTF"'
S"THE POETZX OF THE -FVTUH," wc.
WITH MAtP A"D ILLUSTRATIONS
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
I. HISTORY......... 7
Settlement. .. 12
Cession to Great Britain 15
Retrocession to Spain. 17
Cession to the United States 17
Territory of Florida . . 17
Seminole Wars . 18
State of Florida. . 25
II. GEOGRAPHY 28
III. CLIMATE 33
IV. DivisioNs . 41
First, North Florida . 42
Second, Semi-tropical Florida 43
Third, Subtropical Florida . 43
V. HEALTH 52
1 Malaria 52
0 Tornadoes 58
VI. GEOLOGY 59
Industrial Features 63
Mineral Waters. 67
Soils . .
Drainage . .
Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades.
Key West . .
The Ocklawaha River.
The Suwannee River .
The Caloosahatchee River
The Homosassa River
VIII. POPULATION .
Northern and Foreign Immigrants
IX. EDUCATION .
Other Citrus Fruits
Grapes and Wine
Yet other Fruits.
Out of the Waters
XII. PESTS. .
Railway Routes .
List of Hotels
MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
Map of Florida
Map of Divisions
The Banana. .
Street Scene in Jacksonville
Street in St. Augustine .
Ponce de Leon Hotel
Looking across Indian River.
A Hammock .
A Scene on the Ocklawaha River
Orange-Trees . .
The Banana and the Pineapple
A Cypress-Shingle Yard
A Hunter's Camp .
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
THE early history of Florida-its discoveries,
conquests, reconquests, cessions, and retrocession-is
as varied and spirited as a romance.
Discoveries.-It is agreed generally among the
historians that Ponce de Leon was the first of the
several discoverers. This romantic and enterprising
adventurer, hunting the phantasmal Isle of Bimini
-one writer calls it Boiaca-with its precious fount-
ain of youth, failed indeed to find that, but reached
the coast of Florida just north of where St. Augus-
tine now is, on Easter-Sunday, the 27th of March,
1512. He landed the 2d of April, and named the
country, known to the Indians as Cautio, FLORIDA,
from Pascua Florida, the day of his discovery. Mr.
Fairbanks, however, states that the discovery was
made on Palm-Sunday. Ponce de Leon did little
THE FLORIDA OF TO-.DAY.
else on that occasion than to land, erect banners, and
baptize the fair land of flowers.
Florida was next discovered by Miruelo in 1516.
He got, it is said, some pieces of gold from the na-
tives, which, on his return to Cuba, the general base
of operations for the Spaniards at that early date,
created great excitement among the gold-hungry ad-
venturers of that day.
The next year, 1517, De Cordova led an expedi-
tion of Spaniards to the new El Dorado; but he was
speedily driven off, and returned to Cuba to die of
The same year Alaminos came with three ships,
landed twice, found no gold, and was soon driven
In 1521 Ponce de Leon made another invasion
of Florida; but he found no gold, was baffled and
wounded, and returned to Cuba to die, as De Cor-
dova had done.
Seven years later the Spanish fortune-hunters
began to discover and to invade Florida on the
western side. De Narvaez, in April, 1528, led an
expedition of about four hundred men and eighty
horses, which landed in Clear Water Bay. He
landed with three hundred men and the horses,
and marched northward along the Gulf-shore, hav-
ing ordered his vessels to coast along apace with
his marching troops. The arrangement was a fail-
ure. The ships lost sight of the troops, and, baffled
in every effort to find them, months afterward re-
turned to Cuba. The three hundred troops were
all, in one way or another, destroyed, except four.
These four remained seven years in the El Do-
rado, became "medicine-men" among the Indians,
and finally worked their way back, crossing the
Mississippi River, to the Spanish settlements in
Mexico. One of these, Cabega de Vaca-the veri-
table discoverer of the Mississippi River-wrote an
account of these stirring events. While the ships
were yet lying at Clear Water, a Spaniard, Juan de
Ortiz, rashly ventured ashore, and was left there a
prisoner among the Indians, known then as Mari-
annes. He remained there eleven years-until the
next discoverer came along-and had a sort of John
Smith experience with a Floridian Pocahontas and
Powhatan. The name of the interesting heroine of
this adventure seems to have perished, but the
Powhatan was named Hirrihigua.
In 1539 De Soto, with a thousand men and
three hundred and fifty horses, landed in what is
now Tampa Bay, which he christened Espiritu
Santo. Upon landing, he found De Ortiz, men-
10 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
tioned above, who acted as his guide; but, as it
turned out, he knew almost nothing about the
country. De Soto was in quest of reported "great
store of crystal, gold, and rubies, and diamonds,"
that lay somewhere to the northward. He sent his
vessels home, and set out overland to the region of
treasures, wherever that might be. He reached
Chicora, or Chicola-South Carolina, perhaps-then
turned westward, and passed beyond the Mississippi
River, which had been discovered years before, and
named Rio Grande, by De Vaca. De Soto returned
to that river, died there, and was buried beneath its
paternal waters. Just three hundred and eleven of
his thousand men finally reached Mexico.
In 1545 a treasure-ship, sailing from Mexico for
Spain, was wrecked on the eastern coast of Florida,
and about two hundred persons escaped to the land,
and thus unwittingly discovered Florida again. The
most of these were murdered by the gentle Stoics
of the woods, and the rest were enslaved. About
twenty years later one of these slaves made his
way to Laudonniere's settlement, at the mouth of
the St. John's River, and a few others reached the
colony of Menendez at St. Augustine.
In 1549 four Franciscan friars landed at Tampa
Bay, with the idea of evangelizing the stoical abo-
rigines, but the noble savages tomahawked three of
them, and thus convinced the fourth brother that
that kind of a conquest of Florida was impractica-
ble-at that time.
Ten years later, De Luna set out from Vera
Cruz with fifteen hundred adventurers and a large
number of zealous priests; the former to pick up
fortunes, and the latter to preach the gospel of
peace to the cut-throat barbarians. He landed at
the Bay of Pensacola, then called Santa Maria,
pitched a camp there, marched into the interior,
accomplished the loss of a good many men, and was
In 1562 Ribault came from France with two
vessels and a colony of Huguenots, and made land
near St. Augustine; thence coasted northward, dis-
covered the St. John's River, which he christened
the May, and erected a monument of stone engraved
with the arms of France. He soon re-embarked,
and proceeded to make a settlement at Port Royal,
In 1564 LaudonniBre brought a still larger col-
ony of Huguenots, landed where St. Augustine now
stands, but promptly re-embarked and sailed to St.
John's Bluff, and there built Fort Caroline. This
colony struggled on for a year, and, becoming dis-
12 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
heartened, were preparing to return to France,
when, in August, 1565, Ribault arrived with about
six hundred and fifty other Huguenots, some hav-
Settlement.-The same year brought Menendez,
who arrived in July, 1565, at St. Augustine. Upon
his arrival he heard of Ribault and his Huguenots
at Fort Caroline, and promptly pursued his vessels,
but without success. He then returned to St. Au-
gustine, and built solid fortifications. Ribault ral-
lied quickly, and set out to capture Menendez
before he could complete his defenses; but the
French were driven south, and finally wrecked near
Matanzas. Menendez was equal to the occasion,
and, taking advantage of the situation, attacked and
captured Fort Caroline. He hanged a number of
his French prisoners upon trees, and put this in-
scription over their hanging bodies: Non por
Franceses, sino por Luteranos." The victor re-
christened the fort San Mateo, returned to St. Au-
gustine, there first heard of Ribault's shipwreck,
hastened down to Matanzas Inlet, captured Ri-
bault's straggling party, and, under the banner of
the cross, butchered them to a man.
This closed the efforts of the French to hold a
colony in Florida proper.
Menendez held his post at St. Augustine, and
this doubtless was the first permanent settlement of
Europeans in the United States.
In 1567 a gallant Frenchman, De Gourgues, got
up an expedition to avenge the brutal massacre and
insult of his compatriots by the Spaniards at Fort
Caroline. With three small vessels and a hun-
dred and eighty-four men he came to Florida,
adroitly secured the co-operation of the natives, and
with these combined forces he surprised Fort San
Mateo-the old Fort Caroline-and captured the
entire garrison. He turned the merciful aborigines
in upon the Spaniards, and a few survived. These
De Gourgues hanged upon the same trees that Me-
nendez had used for the Huguenots, and on a
pine board over the corpses he wrote, "I do this,
not as to Spaniards, nor as to outcasts, but as to
traitors, thieves, and murderers." The avengement
St. Augustine, meanwhile, was held continu-
ously by the Spaniards; but holding was about
all they did, except fighting off Indians. In
1647 the city contained three hundred families.
It was twice captured and burned down-once
by Sir Francis Drake, who was returning from
a freebooting expedition in the Spanish Main,
14 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
and once, in 1665, by Captain John Davis, a buc-
Spain claimed that Florida embraced all the ter-
ritory as far north as Virginia and westward to the
Mississippi River-in those early Spanish days
known as the Rio Grande. Accordingly, when the
English and Scotch began to colonize the Carolinas,
the Spaniards began to fight them as intruders; and
the Indians joined whichever side promised them
the most blood. Under this feeling, in 1676, the
Spaniards sent a force to wipe out the English set-
tlement at Charles Town, on the Ashley River; but
the expedition failed utterly. Again, in 1678, an-
other Spanish force was sent for the same purpose;
and this one murdered many of the English colo-
nists, pillaged a few plantations, and did a deal of.
In 1696 the Spaniards, under D'Arriola, made a
settlement where Pensacola is; and, where Fort
Barrancas now stands, they built their Fort Carlos,
a church, and some dwellings.
In 1702 the English Governor Moore, of South
Carolina, captured and burned St. Augustine, but
failed to reduce the fort; and in 1703 he laid waste
the Indian towns in Middle Florida which were
under Spanish protection, so called.
The Pensacola settlement was destroyed by the
French in 1718; and the Spaniards, in 1722, built
on Santa Rosa Island, where Fort Pickens now
stands, and rebuilt Pensacola.
These alternations of colonizing, building, capt-
uring, rescuing, burning, rebuilding, returning, and
so on, were kept up between the Spaniards and
French in animated style for several years. Indeed,
nothing else seems to have received any attention.
The banner of the cross of peace waved over the
land, and the tomahawk kept the soil moist with
St. Marks was settled by the Spaniards in 1718.
Spanish Florida had three aggressive and troub-
lesome enemies-the English in Carolina and Geor-
gia on the north, the French in Louisiana on the
west, and the aboriginal tomahawks all around
In 1713 the English Governor Oglethorpe, of
Georgia, invaded Florida, and offered battle under
the walls of St. Augustine; but the Spanish
adelantado Montiano, declined to go out, and Ogle-
thorpe declined to go in-so there was but little
Cession to Great Britain.-The treaty of peace of
1748 between Great Britain and Spain closed these
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
alternating forays and filibusterings. When this
treaty was broken by the war of 1762, the British
captured Havana; and in the treaty following, in
1763, Great Britain gave Cuba to Spain in exchange
for Florida. Thus Florida became a British posses-
sion, and enjoyed a rest from Spain's magnificently
little conquests of empires that had been going on
The Spaniards, during their two hundred and
fifty years of occupancy, had achieved little beyond
their numerous ostentatious conquests of nothing,
much bloodshed and brutality, and a profound igno-
rance of the country and its resources. At the date
of the cession the European population of the terri-
tory was about six thousand five hundred; and of
these many left the country at the transfer.
The first British Governor, James Grant, took
steps promptly to develop the country. Roads
were cut, colonization encouraged, and bounties
offered for indigo and other productions. Dr.
Turnbull and Sir William Duncan brought into the
territory about fifteen hundred Minorcans and
Greeks, and made a settlement near New Smyrna,
in Volusia County.
Florida took no part in the war of secession in
1776 known as the American Revolution, and was
a place of refuge for thousands of loyalists from the
battling States, as it was later for fugitive slaves
from the adjacent States.
Upon the breaking out of war between Great
Britain and Spain in 1779, the Spanish Governor of
Louisiana invaded Florida and captured Pensacola
Retrocession to Spain.-In 1783, upon the close
of the war, Great Britain exchanged Florida for the
Bahama Islands, owned by Spain, and thus Florida
returned to Spanish rule. The British settlers
promptly moved out, and Spanish lethargy settled
over the country again.
In 1814, during the late war, the British sent
a fleet to Pensacola and captured the forts there;
and General Jackson was sent to oust them. He
stormed the forts and destroyed them. In 1818
General Jackson again invaded Florida, in order to
check and chastise the Seminoles.
Cession to the United States.-In 1819 a treaty
between Spain and the United States was concluded,
and ratified in 1821, by which Florida was ceded to
the latter power.
Territory of Florida.-In 1822 the Congress of
the United States established the Territory of Flor-
ida, with its capital at an old Indian settlement or
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
camp called Tallahassee, although the first Legisla-
tive Council met at Pensacola, and the second at St.
The Territorial Governors, with the beginnings
of their terms, were: Andrew Jackson, 1821;
William P. Duval, 1822; John W. Eaton, 1834;
R. K. Call, 1835; Robert Raymond Reed, 1839;
R. K. Call, 1840; John Branch, 1844.
Seminole Wars.-It was mainly during the terri-
torial period that the worst of the Seminole wars
occurred. These wars were full of stirring and
tragic events, and but little variety relieved their
bloody monotony. A detailed account of them is
wholly unnecessary here. Speaking of the earlier
Indian conflicts at the beginning of the eighteenth
century-up to about 1720-Mr. Fairbanks makes
this comparison: "In every New England house-
hold the story of the sufferings of the Williams fam-
ily, of the Dustins, and of Miss McCrea, excited
the most tender emotions of pity. The history of
the Southern colonies presents hundreds of such in-
stances." If it was hundreds then, it is thousands
now. It is within reason to say that the history of
Florida itself, as a Territory and as a State-1821
to 1860, say-can give a score of such tragedies for
every one so graphically told in the school-books of
all the New England States. But these have not
yet been celebrated in song and story. Many have
not been written at all, and are thus far recorded
only in the hearts and memories of this silent South-
Peace with these Indians is perhaps an impossi-
bility, and had never really existed; but the most
important outbreak, known as the Seminole War, be-
gan with the Dade massacre in South Florida in
1835, and closed with the so-called treaty of 1842.
But there has been much fierce fighting outside of
that period both before and after. The word mas-
sacre fitly describes the destruction of Major Dade's
battalion in Sumter County. After the last man
had fallen, Mr. Fairbanks states, the Indians then
rushed into the breastwork, headed by a heavy
painted savage, who, believing that all were dead,
made a speech to the Indians. They then stripped
off the accoutrements of the soldiers and took their
arms, without offering any indignity, and retired
in a body." The story closes with these words:
"Soon after the Indians had left, about fifty ne-
groes galloped up on horseback and alighted, and
at once commenced a horrible butchery. If any
poor fellow on the ground showed signs of life, the
negroes stabbed and tomahawked him. Lieutenant
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
Basinger, being still alive, started up and begged
the wretches to spare his life; they mocked at his
prayers, while they mangled him with their hatch-
ets until he was relieved by death. After stripping
the dead, the negroes shot the oxen and burned the
gun-carriages." One man, by something like a
miracle, escaped to tell the story.
* There have been several causes assigned for the
Indian's hostility to the white man-encroachments
of the whites, individual wrongs to property, espe-
cially cattle, etc.; but the great underlying and
essential causa causans has been the innate blood-
thirst of the savages. The killing is sweet to them.
This has showji itself ever since the Easter-Sunday
in 1512 when De Leon, the fountain-hunter, first
sighted' the blooming shores of Cautio.
During these wars the savages have times and
again made agreements and treaties so called, only
to gain time or to put the whites off their guard, and
then resume hostilities whenever and wherever they
could find a white throat convenient to cut. And
yet the whites trusted them again and again. Gov-
ernor Reed, in 1839, in his message to the Legisla-
ture, said: The close of the fifth year will find us
struggling in a contest remarkable for magnanimity,
forbearance, and credulity on the one side, and
ferocity and bad faith on the other. We are
waging war with beasts of prey. The tactics that
belong to civilized nations are but shackles and
fetters in its prosecution. We must fight tire with
Gallant officers with brave soldiers were sent to
quell the brutal work of Indian murder and pillage
-Jackson, Clinch, Dade, Macomb, Belknap, and
others-and all were baffled. Some of them fought
well, and had edifying talks, and secured excellent
treaties; but the Seminole was master of the situa-
tion practically, until General Worth went in
Our forces had captured Coacoochee, a chief,
.and several of his braves, and they were en route
for the West, when General Worth sent to New
Orleans and had the party returned to him at
Tampa. The interview between the general and
Coacoochee took place on a transport in Tampa
Bay, on the morning of the 4th of July, 1841.
The general and his staff were seated, and the
chief and his companions came forward heavily
ironed, and sat down on the deck. General Worth
advanced, and, taking the chief by the hand, said
to him: "Coacoochee, I take you by the hand as a
warrior, a brave man. You have fought long, and
22 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
with a true and strong heart, for your country. I
take your hand with feelings of pride. You love
your country as we do. Coacoochee, I am your
friend; so is your Great Father at Washington.
What I say to you is true. My tongue is not
forked like a snake's. My word is for the happi-
ness of the red man. You are a great warrior.
The Indians throughout the country look to you as
a leader; by your counsels they have been governed.
This war has lasted five years. Much blood has
been shed-much innocent blood. You have made
your hands and the ground red with the blood of
women and children. This war must now end.
You are the man to do it; you must and shall
accomplish it. I sent for you, that, through the
exertions of yourself and your men, you might
induce your entire band to emigrate. I wish you
to state how many days it will require to effect an
interview with the Indians in the woods. You
can select three or five of these men to carry your
talk. Name the time-it shall be granted; but I
tell you, as I wish your relatives and friends told,
that, unless they fulfill your demands, yourself and
these warriors now seated before us shall be hung
to the yards of this vessel when the sun sets on
the day appointed, with the irons upon your hands
and feet! I tell you this, that we may well under-
stand each other. I do not wish to frighten you,
you are too brave a man for that; but I say what
I mean, and I will do it. It is for the benefit of
the white and the red man. The war must end,
and you must end it!"
The wily chief made a diplomatic reply, and
evidently counted on making his escape. Conclud-
ing, he said: "I wish now to have my band around
me and go to Arkansas. You say I must end the
war! Look at these irons! Can I go to my
warriors? Coacoochee chained! No; do not ask
me to see them. I never wish to tread upon my
land unless I am free. If I can go to them
unchained, they will follow me in; but I fear
they will not obey me when I talk to them in
irons. They will say my heart is weak, I am
afraid. Could I go free, they will surrender and
General Worth knew his man. He told him
that he could not go free, and reminded him that
he had not proposed anything of the kind. He
closed by saying: "I say to you again, and for the
last time, that unless the band acquiesce promptly
in your wishes, to your last wish, the sun, as it
goes down on the last day appointed for their
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
appearance, will shine upon the bodies of each of
you hanging in the wind."
Coacoochee understood aright this time. He
accepted the inevitable. He selected five of his
men to carry his talk to his band in the swamps.
The five went accordingly, and they returned with
the entire band of about two hundred Coacoochean
Seminoles. They all went West.
This policy of General Worth's availed some-
thing. But it was arrested midway by another
treaty, by the provisions of which nearly three hun-
dred savages are yet allowed to linger in Florida-
almost powerless for serious ill, but a nuisance and
annoyance, without any compensating advantage.
The heroes, so called, of this mongrel race,
counting back a hundred years or so, are many-
Secoffee, Pascoffer, Osceola (As-se-se-ha-ho-lar, Black
Drink), Jumper, Micco, Sam Jones, Micanopy,
Alligator, Black Dirt, Arpeika, Chitto-Tustenug-
gee, Coacoochee or Wild Cat, Emathla, Otulkee,
Halleck-Tustenuggee, Aleck Hajo, Tiger-Tail, Tal-
lahassee, Billy Bowlegs, Hospetarkee, and so on to
a hundred, each and all distinguished for some-
thing. One is crafty and silent; another, bold and
talkative; another, vigilant and far-seeing; another,
ambitious and boastful; another, skillful and busy;
another, vulpine; another, feline; another, snaky;
and another, tigery-but all blood-hungry and
These Seminole wars have cost perhaps twenty
million dollars, and over thirty thousand soldiers
have seen service in them, of whom about fifteen
hundred lost their lives.
In November, 1843, General Worth estimated
the whole number of Indians in Florida as fol-
lows: of warriors, Seminoles, forty-two; Micco-
sukies, thirty-three: Creeks, ten; and Tallahassees,
ten; making ninety-four warriors; and, including
women and children, three hundred in all. These
were under Holatter Micco as head-chief, and
Assinwar and Otulko-Thlocko as sub-chiefs. In
1845 Captain Sprague estimated the aggregate at
three hundred and sixty. To-day, they are reck-
oned to be two hundred and sixty-nine-statement
given elsewhere-so that the race is not self-sus-
State of Florida.-Florida was organized as a
State and admitted into the Union in 1845.
The State Governors prior to the war of seces-
sion were: W. D. Moseley, 1846; Thomas Brown,
1848; James E. Broome, 1852; Madison Perry,
1856; John Milton, 1860.
26 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DA Y.
Secession.-An ordinance of secession from the
Federal Union was passed by a State Convention on
the 10th of January, 1861; and the State joined
the Confederate States in the struggle for State
sovereignty in the war of secession, bearing its
part bravely and well.
At the close of the war a State Convention
repealed the ordinance of secession.
In 1865 there were three Governors-A. K.
Allison, acting Governor; William Marvin, mili-
tary Governor; and David S. Walker, elected by
the people, served until 1868, when reconstruction,
so called, was regularly ushered in.
Reconstruction. Under a new Constitution,
adopted in 1868, a new line of Governors was
inaugurated. Beginning with that date, the follow-
ing have been the Governors, with their dates:
Harrison Reed, 1868; 0. B. Hart, 1873; M. L.
Stearns, 1873; George F. Drew, 1877 ; William D.
Bloxham, 1881; Edward A. Perry, 1885.
Restoration.-The election of Governor Drew
in 1877 marks the new era of prosperity in Florida.
From 1868 to 1877 the reconstruction regime ob-
tained. During that period party politics seemed
to be the main pursuit of those having the State in
charge; and other industries were dwarfed by mis-
directed legislation or overborne by onerous taxa-
tion. The upward and forward impulse given all
industrial pursuits by the election of Governor
Drew, in 1877, was well sustained and increased
successively by Governors Bloxham and Perry.
The extent of the rebound from the reconstruc-
tional depression, or rather prostration, is clearly
shown by Governor Perry in a communication of
the 30th of March, 1888. He says: "I am glad to
be able to say for my State that its agricultural
interests are marvelously improving, that the num-
ber and amount of farm mortgages and liens on
crops are decreasing, and that farmers are more
prosperous generally. Their lands are yearly in-
creasing in value, and their general advancement
is marked." The assessments for taxation for the
years 1870, 1879, and 1887 bear ample testimony
to the material advancement of the State during
the period in question:
For 1870............................... $29,700,022
For 1879.............................. 32,794,383
For 1887 ............................... 86,265,662
FLORIDA is the largest in area of the States east
of the Mississippi River, and it has an area of culti-
vable land greater than that of the six New Eng-
The political, judicial, and congressional divis-
ions of Florida are not matters of special interest to
the traveling public; and, in view of the State as a
place to visit or to settle in, they are not important.
In a general way, again, the State is divided into
West, Middle, East, and South; but this division is
both vague and arbitrary, and comparatively mean-
ingless. To the Northern as to the European read-
er's mind the State is pretty much a unit; and from
this misconception has arisen much of the confusion
of thought, conflicting opinions, the seesaw of vili-
fication and overpraise, and the general wholesale
inaccuracy, that has been so lavishly written about
Florida for the last twenty years.
For the purposes of these pages-to give a cor-
rect idea of the country in its salient and diverse
features, and to picture it as it is to-day-the sec-
tions of the State are three, which for convenience
may be called Northern Florida, Semi tropical
Florida, and Subtropical Florida. The basis of this
division is climate; and the three Floridas will be
discussed as separate in future pages.
The physical features of this State, like its
eventful early history and its manifold industries,
are varied and diverse. The highest point in the
State is Table Mountain, in Lake County; and
though the barometric measurements have not been
very close, a presumption is established that the sum-
mit is nearly five hundred feet above the sea-level.
Louisiana is the only State with a less elevation.
The highest point in the United States is Mount
Whitney in California, 14,898 feet.
Florida is a land of water. In addition to its
1,148 miles of salt-water coast, it has, scattered all
over its surface, certainly 1,200 fresh-water lakes.
These vary in size, from Okeechobee (the word is
said to mean Big Water), with its thousand square
miles of area, to the picturesque little lakelet-for
there are lakelets both large and small-with less
than a hundred square feet. These lakes and lake-
lets are nowhere stagnant and unseemly with scum;
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
but are of waters fresh, clear, bright, smiling, and
wholesome, often good enough for general use, and
even for drinking. Even the Everglade waters are
pure and drinkable. This clearness and health-qual-
ity appear as well in the chalybeate and the sulphur
springs that are found in many parts of the State.
The word "spring," in this connection, has great lati-
tude of meaning; and some of the so-called springs
are very large, as Silver Spring, in Marion County,
two hundred yards in diameter, whose brook is a
thoroughfare for a line of steamers, and the Blue
Springs in Volusia County, with a basin seventy
feet in diameter and forty feet deep. Of this latter
a State official gives the following description: A
huge bowl, from the center of which a column of
blue-tinted water presses upward with such force
that the center of the surface is convex to the ex-
tent of perhaps ten inches, and it is impossible to
put or keep a boat on this summit, such is the force
of the hydraulic pressure upward and laterally.
The stream which this gigantic spring feeds is
about fifty feet wide and of an average depth of ten
feet, with a current of about five miles an hour.
The Indian name of the St. John's River is Wee-la-
ka, meaning a chain of lakes. The following are a
few of the largest lakes: Okeechobee, Kissimmee,
Tohopokaliga, Istokroga, Monroe, Apopka, Eustis,
George, Crescent, Orange, Miccasukee, lamonia, De
Funiak, Santa Fe, and Buffum. The heights of
these lakes vary a good deal, Buffum, in Polk
County, being 138-26 feet above sea-level; Kis-
simmee, 59-06 feet; and Okechobee, 20-24 feet.
About Okeechobee, and mainly southward of
it, extend the Everglades, in the counties of Dade,
Monroe, and Lee, with an aggregate area of fully
seven thousand five hundred square miles-nearly
as large as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Everglade waters are, like all the waters of
Florida, pure and clear, and vary in depth from a
few inches to several feet, rarely more than ten.
Tall grass, as high sometimes as eight or ten feet, is
very common, with shrubs, vines, trees, moss, and
all sorts of tangle and roots. Islands lie here and
there, with trees and vines on them-cypress, pine,
oaks, palmettoes, magnolias, and a score at least of
other subtropical trees. Fish in infinite variety
The immense extent of sea-shore, almost encir-
cling the State, is dotted with islands-islands of
all sizes, from Santa Rosa Island and Key Largo,
thirty to fifty miles long, to a dot big enough only
to sun a turtle. Beginning at the mouth of the St.
32 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
Mary's River, at Fernandina, with Amelia Island,
twenty-two miles long, on which that city stands, we
have an unbroken chain-Anastasia, opposite which
St. Augustine stands; scores of islands and islets
along Hillsborough, Halifax, and Indian Rivers; on
down to the Florida Keys, numbering hundreds, of
which Key Largo is the largest; on to Key West
and the Dry Tortugas; thence northward up the
Gulf coast, taking in the Ten Thousand Islands on
the coast of Monroe; and so on by Charlotte Har-
bor, Tampa Bay, and Cedar Keys, to the island-
dotted coast of Franklin County; and on to the
largest of all, Santa Rosa Island; and finally on to
The rivers of the State are numerous, frequently
serpentine, sluggish, and shallow, but rarely if ever
stagnant. The principal streams are the St. John's,
Suwannee, Kissimmee, Caloosahatchee, Withlacoo-
chee, Apalachicola, Ocklawaha, St Mary's, Wakulla,
Chipola, Peace, Manatee, Alafia, Homosassa, St.
Mark's, Miami, Ocklokonee, and Ocilla. There are
nineteen rivers navigable by steamers, to the aggre-
gate distance of over a thousand miles.
THE climate of Florida, considered as one, is ex-
ceptional. It is, in some important respects, the
finest in the world. Dr. Baldwin, a prominent
physician of Jacksonville, maintains that the State
occupies a most favorable position in regard to cli-
mate; for the many modifying influences in oper-
ation have produced, he shows, a climate that for
equability has few if any equals and no superior."
Temperature.-As regards temperature, contin-
ued observations in various parts of tIe State show
that it is not excessive in either direction during
the entire year, the range between winter and sum-
mer temperature being only about 20. The an-
nual mean is 70; that of spring, 710; summer,
800; autumn, 710; and winter, 600. The following
is the Weather Bureau's official statement of the
temperature at Jacksonville, for the year 1887:
Annual mean ................................. 68'1
Maximum ................ ..... .... .... .... 100-3
Minimum ............................... ... 21-9
34 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
This may be accepted as applicable for the northern
part of semi-trppical Florida, and approximately for
the whole orange belt.
The following table presents results given by
the Signal Service. The figures for Florida are pre-
sumably those for Jacksonville, for there are parts
of the State where 105 has not been felt for a hun-
dred years. The figures are degrees Fahrenheit,
and the table shows the one point of comparative
PLACE. Maximum. Minimum. Difference.
Florida............... 105 10 95
Louisiana ............. 105 0 105
Mississippi ............ 105 -05 110
Alabama ............. 105 -10 115
West Virginia.......... 100 -20 120
Georgia ............... 105 -20 125
Ohio .................. 105 -25 130
Kansas................ 110 -20 130
Connecticut ............... 105 -30 135
Oregon................ 110 -25 135
Illinois ................ 105 -35 140
Nebraska.............. 110 -30 140
New York ............. 105 -35 140
Idaho................. 115 -30 145
Colorado............... 110 --45 155
Dakota................ 110 -45 155
California ............. 115 -45 160
Montana............... 115 -50 165
As the public mind naturally expects, and as the
California press have demanded, a comparison of
the two States in the matter of temperature, the fol-
lowing figures are given from the monthly weather
review of the Signal-Service Bureau, for August,
Merritt's Island ...........
St. Augustine .............
98 Fall Brook ..............
94 College City..............
94 Murietta. ...............
94 Red Bluff ...............
94 Los Angeles .............
For September, 1885, the figures from the same
review are these:
Key W est ................
Merritt's Island ..........
St. Augustine .............
97 Fall Brook...............
92 Los Angeles .............
These two tables answer the question whether
California is warmer in midsummer than Florida.
Humidity.-As to the humidity about which so
much extravagant nonsense has been written, and
which hasty writers have pronounced excessive
and therefore objectionable, Dr. Baldwin insists,
and with conclusive reasons, that it is one of the
fortunate and favorable features, when consid-
ered in the light of science. "Let it be remem-
36 T E FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
bered," he writes, that the term relative humidity
as used by meteorologists is not the same as absolute
humidity" ; and then proceeds to show how this is
true, in the following way: Absolute humidity de-
termines the exact amount of vapor in the air when
condensed into water; while relative humidity has
relation to the amount of vapor in the air when it
will be condensed after the point of saturation
is reached, and this point of saturation depends on
the temperature and tension or force of vapor
determined by the barometric pressure at the time
of taking the observation. In relative humidity,
the point of saturation is marked 100, and the
figures in the column below 100 are the percentage
of that quantity as existing at the time under a spe-
cific degree of temperature and tension of vapor.
Therefore, the point of saturation is variable; as, for
instance, when the thermometer is 500 and the
barometer marks 30 inches pressure, a cubic foot of
air then contains four grains and a fraction of water
at the point of saturation, 100. When the tempera-
ture is 175 and the barometer the same as before, a
cubic foot of the atmosphere then contains nine
grains and a fraction where the air is saturated, but
still marked 100. At the temperature of 1000,
pressure as before, the cubic foot of air at the point
of saturation will contain twenty grains and a frac-
tion. Thus we see that the amount of moisture in
the air at different temperatures varies in quantity.
Therefore, the percentages given of 100 and the
different temperatures must also vary, so that the
same figures, although they may be correct percent-
ages of 100, do not indicate to us the absolute
amount of moisture in the atmosphere, unless we
know the temperature which regulates each point of
saturation. Time and space will not permit a more
extended exposition of this interesting subject.
Professor Henry, of the Smithsonian Institution, in
an article on meteorology, says: It is not upon the
actual amount of vapor which the air contains at a
given time or place that its humidity depends; but
upon its greater or less degree of saturation. That
air is said to be dry in which evaporation takes
place rapidly from a surface of water or moistened
substance. Hence, if relative humidity shows a
small percentage of 100, the point of saturation in a
climate where the absolute moisture is great, its
effect in producing evaporation is the same as where
the absolute humidity is less at the same percentage
of 100, indicating saturation there."
Accordingly, so far as Florida is concerned, it,
with its so-called excessive humidity, is in that
38 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
respect not less favorably conditioned than those
places which boast of their dry climates, because
their absolute humidity is less, and therefore more
conducive to health. But the absolute humidity of
this climate is productive of benefit in modifying
its temperature. Vapor in the atmosphere regulates
radiation of heat from the earth into the voids of
space, thus preventing refrigeration and sudden
changes of temperature, so inimical to the comfort
of mankind, and so destructive to vegetation and
the ripening of fruits.
Professor Tyndall says: "The observations of
the meteorologists furnish important, though hith-
erto unconscious, evidence of the influence of vapor
on the atmosphere. Whenever the air is dry, we are
liable to extremes of temperature. By day in such
places, the sun's heat reaches the earth unimpeded,
and renders the maximum high; by night, on the
other hand, the earth's heat escapes unimpeded into
space, and renders the minimum low. Hence, the
difference between the maximum and the minimum
is greater where the air is driest. Wherever
drought reigns, we have the heat of the day forcibly
contrasted with the chill of the night. In the Sa-
hara itself, when the sun's rays cease to impinge on
the burning sands, the temperature runs rapidly
down to freezing, because there is no vapor over-
head to check the calorific drain."
Professor Tyndall states the phenomena in ques-
tion with further illustration, but the above is
enough for this purpose. Dr. Baldwin calls atten-
tion to the fact that the cool nights of the sum-
mers in Florida, so highly appreciated by all that
have experienced them, attest the fact that the
(so-called excessive) moisture in the air does not
prevent radiation. And again, during many winters
when excessive cold has characterized the weather
of the North, and the cold polar waves have been pre-
cipitated upon these latitudes, the moisture-bearing
breezes from the south meet them, and the moist-
ure overhead is condensed into clouds that prevent
severe radiation and protect them and their orange-
groves from the intense cold that otherwise they
should experience. But if, as has recently been
their sad experience, those intensely cold winds, re-
duced to a temperature below zero, be driven as
northers down upon Texas and the Gulf and there
reflected across to this State, the passage of them
across the warm waters of the Gulf, although modi-
fying their temperature, will still leave them cold
enough to be destructive in their effects. But these
pre-refrigerated storms of a foreign origin are rare
THE FLORIDA OF TO--DAY.
visitors to this clime, and do not count as indige-
nous elements to this enjoyable climate.
To put this matter of relative humidity in yet
another light, the following table, taken by Dr. C.
J. Kenworthy from official Signal Service sources,
compares Florida with several other States, and
with two Mediterranean watering-places:
Mean Relative Humidity.
Novem Decem- Janu- Febru- March. e
ber. ber. ary. ary. months.
Per t. Per ct. Per ct. Per ct. Per ct. Per ct.
Mcntone & Cannes 3 71-8 74'2 72-0 70*7 73-3 72-4
Nassau, N. P.... 1 761 720 77'0 72-5 684 73'2
Atlantic City, N.J. 5 76-9 791 80-6 77-3 76-8 78-1
Breck'nridge,Minn 5 76-9 83"2 76*8 81'8 79-5 79-6
Duluth, Minn ... 5 74-0 72-1 72'7 73-3 71-0 72-6
St. Paul, Minn... 5 70-3 73-5 75'2 70-7 67-1 71-3
Punta Rassa, Fla. 5 72-7 732 74-2 73-7 69-9 72'7
Key West, Fla... 5 77-1 78-7 78-9 77-2 72-2 76-8
Jacksonville, Fla. 5 71-9 69'3 70-2 68'5 63'9 68'8
Augusta, Ga..... 5 718 72'6 73-0 64-7 62-8 68-9
Bismarck, Dak... 1 76-6 76*4 77-4 81-6 70'6 76-5
Boston, Mass.... 1 68-0 61-8 60'6 68-2 63*7 65'6
BUTr in fact thrt- re are .
three FluridJas, thr.-.e eli- ,_
... r :
eniC problemn- inv,,lvei.e ( .... '.-.-- -. 7.'-:- I
In defiuinD these tree ---' :-_ :,l
Florida-, the line.' of lati-
tude are nut the divid-
ing lines. The east and K ,"'
the west sides of the
peninsula differ in temperature more than a degree,
the east or Atlantic side being to that extent warm-
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
er in winter. Professor A. H. Curtiss, while en-
gaged in a botanical exploration of the State sev-
eral years ago, was the first to call attention to this
interesting and important fact. He found that in
its flora Cedar Keys on the west corresponded with
Fernandina on the east; and in the same way cor-
responded Tampa with Daytona, Charlotte Harbor
with Cape Canaveral, Cape Romano with St. Lucie,
and Chukaluskee with Lake Worth. Lines con-
necting these places respectively, may be called
isofloral lines. Professor Curtiss concluded fur-
ther that Cape Romano on the western coast and
Cape Canaveral on the eastern may be considered
the points of demarkation between the temperate
and the subtropical vegetation."
In the light of these and other similar facts
since developed, it seems fair to divide the State
into three Floridas, as above intimated, basing the
division upon climatic conditions. These three are
(1) Northern, (2) Semi-tropical, and (3) Subtropical.
Taking these in this order, severally, there are:
First, Northern Florida, lying north and west of
a line from Cedar Keys to Fernandina, or perhaps
better the tortuous line of the Suwannee, Santa F6,
and St. Mary's rivers-a region whose climate may
be designated as southern.
Second, Semi-tropical Florida, lying south of the
above-designated line and extending to a line from
the month of the Caloosahatchee River to Indian
River Inlet-a region whose climate is semi-tropi-
cal, and which may be appropriately designated as
the Orange Belt; and,
Third, Subtropical Florida, or all the region
lying south of the semi-tropical orange belt above
defined, embracing the Florida Keys.
These three Floridas are distinct in general
features, climates, and productions; but the divid-
ing lines are in no sense sharp. These Floridas run
into one another, and varying seasons press their
lines northward or southward, and many conspicu-
ous floral features extend over all. But the general
demarkation is distinct, well defined, and easily
In climate the three are distinctly dissimilar.
In Northern Florida the extremes-approximately
stated, for illustration-are, maximum, 1050, mini-
mum, 200; in Semi-tropical Florida, 1000 and 25;
and in Subtropical Florida, 950 and 30. This in-
crease of equability or decrease of range as we go
south is at one with the scale covering greater dis-
tances; as, New York, Virginia, Florida-the ex-
tremes always coming nearer as we go south. This
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
difference is the natural result of the decreased
length of the midsummer day at points farther
The difference between Northern Florida and
Semi-tropical Florida-apart from and in addition
to the difference of latitude-is largely due to the
greater elevation of the former, and the distance of
the Gulf Stream from it. The waters of the Gulf
of Mexico attemper the immediate coast line in this
region, but their effect does not extend far inland;
and the obliquity of the dividing line is due mainly,
if not wholly, to the warming influence of the Gulf
Stream in the Atlantic.
The Gulf Stream is an immense factor in the
climate of both the peninsular divisions. Coming
directly from the Cuban waters northward through
the Strait of Florida, pressed close to the shore
along Dade County by the Bahama banks, it flows
northward-this vast body of deep-blue water, a
thousand times the volume of the Mississippi River,
thirty miles wide, and two thousand feet deep, with
a velocity of fully five miles an hour-the year
round. The temperature of this enormous ocean-
river is about 814 all the time, and thus creates a
constant stratum of warm air that floats over the
land. The temperature of the Gulf Stream is fully
nine degrees above that of the ocean-waters through
which it flows, and it loses but one degree every
five degrees of latitude. Sir Philip Brooke reported
the temperature of the stream as 80 at the point
where the ocean-water was 320. The stratum of
warm air is borne westward across the land by the
trade-winds which blow constantly from the east-
ward-at least nine tenths of the time-summer
and winter. The stream flows directly along the
Florida coast from the point of contact-about 25
20'-to Jupiter Inlet, 27, at which point it leaves
the land, getting gradually farther out to sea. Of
course, its influence on the climate of Florida grad-
ually decreases as it passes northward, but never
ceases entirely. From the Indian River Inlet-the
southern boundary of Semi-tropical Florida-north-
ward to Fernandina, the whole coast is made both
milder and greatly more equable than the Gulf
coast in the same degree of latitude; and this, as
elsewhere stated, to the extent of more than one
degree. And purity accompanies equability on the
wings of these eastern winds. They strike the land
of Florida fresh from the Atlantic, absolutely pure,
and sweep across the peninsula, bearing with them
whatever of malaria escapes dilution, absorption,
and dissipation, thus putting the Gulf coast to a
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
disadvantage so far as these influences extend.
How far they extend has not been determined, but
certainly not very far. Long moss is much scarcer
along the Atlantic coast than in most other places
Thus it will be seen, and why, Semi-tropical
Florida enjoys an equability decidedly greater than
does Northern Florida. This climate is that of
Northern Florida with its extremes softened a little.
This is the part of the State best known at the
North. The St. John's River region has been so
fully and so frequently written up and written
down that readers can not need, here and now, to
hear more of this beautiful orange belt. The popu-
lar mistake is to confound this favored region with
the two other Floridas-the Northern and the Sub-
tropical-while the difference is considerable.
But the phenomenal effects of the Gulf Stream
and the trade-winds are to be found on the Atlantic
coast south of Indian River Inlet; and especially
south of Jupiter Inlet, where the shore trends west-
ward and the Gulf Stream bears rather eastward,
making for a passage around Hatteras. It is this
separation of the Gulf Stream and the shore that
really marks the northern boundary of the sub-
tropics. In this eastern side of Subtropical Flor-
ida are found the four equalizing agencies at their
greatest; to wit, the Gulf Stream, the trade-winds,
the Everglades, with water-surface preventing the
land-breeze and its corresponding sea-breeze, and
the zone of high barometric pressure. These
agencies conspire to increase the mere latitudinal
difference between Semi-tropical and Subtropical
Florida. Here the midsummer heat that might
otherwise be 950, say, is reduced to something like
880; and the midwinter chill that might otherwise
be, say, 300, is warmed up to something like 40.
The trade-winds, in bringing to the Subtropics the
breath of the Gulf Stream, hurry off all incipient
malaria into the Everglades, and thus keep pure
the air of that eastern coast. The absence of
Spanish moss from this region proves the purity
of its atmosphere; for, as a rule, in this latitude, if
moss does not mean malaria, it at least raises an
uncomfortable doubt in the premises. Here, also,
as nowhere else on the earth except in the Island
of Formosa, are to be found the most marked
results of these exceptional climatic agencies-an
equability greater than is to be found anywhere
else in either of the grand divisions of the Ameri-
can continent. As Florida considered as a unit is
more equable, temperate, and healthy than any other
48 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
State in the Union, so Subtropical Florida stands,
at least in equability, in favorable contrast with the
northern divisions of the State.
In summary, then:
The climate of Northern Florida, while its range
of temperature is the greatest of the three Floridas,
is still more equable than are the Southern States
generally. Its greater range has its special charm
to many, and its enjoyableness depends upon indi-
vidual tastes. For those coming to Florida from
higher latitudes, it is naturally the most attractive
part of the State. The frosts are always light, but
they mark definitely the seasons and destroy the
insects, clearing the way for a new spring. Ice is
formed every winter, and snow has fallen but once
in forty years, and then barely an inch deep. This
one snow extended over a considerable portion of
the orange belt. This is the land of the Le Conte
pear, as Semi-tropical Florida is the land of the
orange, and the subtropics are of the pineapple.
The semi-tropical fruits, almost all, including the
typical orange, can be grown here in Northern
Florida, and especially near the southern line; but
they do not attain the degree of excellence here that
they do in their habitat, either in size or in quality.
The influence of the Mexican Gulf water is consid
erable on the southern border, but, as the Gulf
Stream does not reach those waters, the influence
is merely that of an ocean-frontage. There are,
however, the daily alternating land and sea breezes
which render grateful effects. North of the range
and reach of these breezes, the different elevations
of land, with lakes, rivers, and springs, give pleas-
ing variety in warm weather, and produce a most
attractive Southern climate; a climate vastly supe-
rior to most of the written-up and classic resorts
of the Old World. Messrs. Reasoner, perhaps the
best-informed nurserymen in Florida, publish a
very carefully prepared and scientific catalogue of
fruits for this State. They give, as suiting farther
north than the semi-tropical fruits, the following
among many: Pears of several kinds, including the
Le Conte and the Keiffer, pecan, Japan plum, and
grapes. These all have Northern Florida as their
The climate of Semi-tropical Florida, or the
orange belt, is that of Northern Florida, modified
by more water frontage, by the partial influence of
the Gulf Stream, especially on the eastern side, and
by the slight difference in latitude. The highest
point in the State is well south in this division,
and the number and variety of lakes in this
50 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
mid-Florida lake region-there are three or four
lake regions in the State--tend to make this
one of great variety and numberless attractions.
All these and many other delectable features have
been given to the public again and again. This re-
gion is the Florida of the legions of writers that
in the last twenty years have lavished their praises
and their abuse for the entertainment or the infor-
mation of the Northern public. The fruits of the
subtropics will many of them grow and mature
here; but the trees of such are smaller and the fruit
inferior. The Reasoner Brothers, of Manatee, in
their list of trees called semi-tropical have these:
The whole citrus family-orange, lemon, shaddock,
grape-fruit, and lime-fig, Cattley guava, pome-
granate, and jujube.
The climate of Subtropical Florida is that of
Semi-tropical Florida, modified by a still greater
proportion of water-frontage, by the full influence
of the Gulf Stream, and by the slight difference in
latitude. It is the most equable in the State. The
authorities named above mention these tropical fruits
as suitable for Florida, and it is perfectly fair to as-
sume that they can not grow to anything like
perfection anywhere north of the subtropics, and
some of them even there are a little too far north;
The anonas, such as the cherimoya, guanabena
(sour-sop), custard-apple, sugar-apple, the pineapple,
sapodilla, cocoanut, mangosteen, mammee, mammee
sapota, Spanish lime, mango, aguacate or alligator
pear, guava, ti-es, tamarind, and almond.
GENERAL health depends largely-indeed, almost
whlly-upon climte-Atre, all the writing
about Florida health-and of the popular kind it has
been voluminous-has been about that part of the
State elsewhere in these pages defined as Semi-trop-
ical Florida; and a patient public that has read Dr.
Kenworthy on the Climatology of Florida," Dr.
Logan on Climate-Cure," Dr. Blodget on Clima-
tology," and the more or less able papers of Drs.
Baldwin, Lawson, Denison, Lente, Lee, Johnson,
Jacques, Wilson, and the rest, can hardly care to
have the matter treated here with any fullness. A
brief summary will suffice.
Malaria.-A good deal has been written and said
about the picturesque long or Spanish moss as an in-
dicator of malaria. It doubtless indicates the pres-
ence of certain elements-moisture and heat, say-
that are often present where malaria prevails; and
it must be confessed that, other things being equal,
the probabilities of perfect healthfulness are rather
against the places wherein this banner of the
marshes abounds. But there are many places in
Florida entirely free from this moss, notably along
the Atlantic coast quite near the ocean, as between
260 and 270; and there are many places where the
moss abounds that are free from the effects of
Malaria seems to be the great bugbear of the
partly- informed. The character and quality of
malaria can both be ascertained, approximately at
least, by finding the nature and prevalence of the
diseases caused by it. These diseases are well
known. Even in these, Florida stands better than
any of the other States-better as to frequency of
malarial fevers, and vastly better as to the severity
of such cases. The fevers that are reckoned as
arising from this cause are always milder, and yield
more readily to treatment, than in most other places
where they are found, and are almost never fatal or
even very severe.
A drainage company has been operating with
thirty to forty hands, all white, since 1881, in the
heart of the Everglades, where malaria is imagined
to abound; and James M. Kreamer, the chief en-
gineer and general superintendent, in 1885, after
54 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
four years of work there, in his official report, says:
" One of the best attested records as to the contain.
ued healthfulness of this portion of the State is
shown by the reports respecting the condition of the
force employed by the Okeechobee Drainage Com-
pany, which has been operating on the line of the
rich bottom-lands since the year 1881. Our em-
ploy6s come from almost every State in the Union
and foreign countries. During this interval [till
1885], and after a continuous service, without in-
termission, during the summer months, there has
never been a death from any cause whatever; and a
physician in a professional capacity has never vis-
ited our work. The health of our men, not only,
but of the residents throughout this district, is un-
impaired at this time."
Surgeon-General Lawson, U. S. A., some years
ago, in his official report, after making a detailed
mention of the comparative health-merits of various
places occupied by the army, gives this pointed
"As respects health the climate of Florida
stands pre-eminent. That the peninsular climate
of Florida is much more salubrious than that of any
other State in the. Union is clearly established by
the medical statistics of the army. Indeed, the
statistics of this bureau demonstrate the fact that
diseases that result from malaria are of much milder
type in the Peninsula of Florida than in any other
State in the Union. These records show that the
ratio of deaths to the number of cases of remitting
fever has been much less than among the troops
serving in any other portion of the United States.
In the Middle Division of the United States the
proportion is one death to thirty-six cases of remit-
ting fever; in the Northern Division, one to fifty-
two; in the Southern Division, one to fifty-four; in
Texas, one to seventy-eight; in California, one to one
hundred and twenty-two; in New Mexico, one to
one hundred and forty-eight; while in Florida it is
but one to two hundred and eighty-seven. In short,
it may be asserted, without fear of refutation, that
Florida possesses a much more agreeable and salu-
brious climate than any other State or Territory in
the United States."
The sanitary qualities of the Florida climate are
important. The best informed medical advisers
send at least two classes of patients to this State-
consumptives, or those suffering from some disease
of the respiratory organs, and those broken in
health without any well-defined special form of
56 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
Upon the former class of these-consumptives-
the United States census reports give the facts
embodied in the following table:
Deaths from Consumption in 1,000 Deaths from all Causes.
M aine ...................
New Hampshire ..........
New Jersey ..............
California ............... 188
Minnesota ............... 133
W isconsin ............... 131
North Carolina........... 117
Illinois .................. 108
Louisiana ............... 97
Missouri ................. 97
Kansas ................. 90
South Carolina ........... 90
Alabama ................ 71
Georgia ................. 68
Florida .................. i
This table is better than a volume of arguments
and laudatory generalities, especially when consid-
ered in view of the patent fact that something like
fifty per cent of the deaths from consumption in
Florida are imported cases-cases sent thither, too
often, when the patients were so far gone as to be
beyond the hope of recovery. It is safe to add that
cases of this class originating here are almost inva-
Upon the other class of cases benefited by Flor-
ida's sanatory climate-broken health, or brain-fag
-a few words from Dr. Kenworthy, a man thor-
oughly acquainted with Florida's sanitary and sana-
tory features, may suffice: "In this active business
country we find many persons who have been over-
worked and present a breach in the chain of those
vital processes whose continuity constitutes health-
a condition popularly known as 'broken health.' In
Florida, the worn-out man of business, suffering
from broken health,' will find the necessary relax-
ation from 'brain-fag,' opportunities to take out-
door exercise, plenty of sunshine, pure and bracing
air, and other necessary adjuncts to relieve a condi-
tion affecting the many. In this connection I can
not refrain from referring to what I consider an im-
portant fact. From my observations in the United
States and in foreign lands, and in hospital as well
as in private practice, I have been forced to notice
the infrequency of chronic disease and broken
health in Florida. In my visits to various portions
of this State I have met with many persons, old
and young, who live from year to year on improper
food, and who drink water from shallow holes, near
marshes, and yet, singular to say (although such
persons are somewhat anemic), they do not present
58 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
any manifest diseased condition. In cities, towns,
villages, and rural districts, where residents are sup-
plied with proper food and drink pure water, a
case of chronic disease or broken health is seldom
met with. And if we have a climate in which
these conditions rarely occur, are we not justified in
concluding that it will exert a powerful influence in
restoring the invalid to health As most of you
are aware, I have at various times visited many
portions of the State, and have been surprised to
meet so many persons who have settled in it as in-
valids, and have been restored to health or compara-
tive comfort by the climate-a large proportion of
them having been sufferers from pulmonary dis-
Tornadoes.-In the light of meteorological ob-
servation during the past decade or two, it is per-
fectly safe to assume that Florida as a whole is as
safely out of the line and sweep of tornadoes and
hurricanes as any State in the Union, and rather
more so than some of the Northwestern States and ,
So much for the climate of Florida as a unit.
THE geology of Florida is full of interest, mainly
prospective, although no general survey has yet
been made. Dr. J. Kost, the first and present
State Geologist, has issued one report of results,
and the public await with profound interest the
further prosecution of the work. A preliminary
inspection is all that has been thus far accomplished,
but that has afforded glimpses of rich treasures in
the fields of both mineralogy and paleontology.
Dr. Kost finds the geological formations of Florida
to be the equivalent of the Tertiaries of the Paris
basin in France and the vale of the Thames in Eng-
land." He reports fossil remains, not only of the
mastodon, zeuglodon, and carcharodon, but also of
the rhinoceros, hippopotamus, llama, peccary, leop-
ard, tiger, hyena, lion, camel, and elephant; and "a
species of bimana." One of the three mastodon
skeletons found is of exceptional size and will be
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
set up for the State Museum; and it will be the
largest one of a mastodon on record; and, next to
that of the whale, the largest known of any animal."
The mineralogical scope is also considerable.
Dr. Kost finds lime, iron, and sulphur widely dis-
tributed; with silicon galore, and potassium, so-
dium, magnesium, aluminum, and phosphorus. Oth-
er authorities report lead. Agates of chalcedony
and opal are reported as found near Tampa.
Nothing has been discovered, it appears, lower
than the Tertiary period; but this is abundantly
and fully.represented in all its subdivisions. The
Eocene is of considerable depth; the Miocene and
the Pleiocene, less; while over nearly all lies a
heavy spread of Pleistocene or Post-tertiary.
The doctors disagree sadly as to the formative
agencies that made this peninsula and their pro-
cesses. Some years ago, such men as Agassiz and
Joseph Le Conte, after examining the Atlantic side,
told us that this southward-pointing land was un-
derbuilt by corals and upraised in successive tiers.
Later, Heilprin explored the Gulf coast, and failed
to find any confirmation of the coral-reef theory.
He confidently asserts: "On the contrary, the ex-
istence of the heavy fossiliferous deposits about
Tampa, on the Manatee, along the tributaries of the
Big and the Little Sarasota Bays, and more particu-
larly those exposed on the Caloosahatchee, conclu-
sively proves that a coral extension to the Southern
United States, such as has been theoretically set
forth, does not exist in fact." Of the coral, he
maintains, the structure is limited and local. Dr.
Kost thinks it almost absurd to venture upon any
statements concerning the principles of the geologi-
cal formation of the State. He adds, however, that
when the Eocene rocks were in course of deposit,
the Tertiary was reposing at the bottom of the sea,
from one hundred to several hundred feet deep, and
was, for a time at least, sinking slowly-that is, at a
pace correspondent to the continuous building of
coral reefs. This Eocene deposit, though new geo-
logically, is in secular chronology very old, be-
cause it dates back to a time anterior to the up-
heaval of the lower half of the Rocky Mountains.
In course of time, the bottom of the sea began to
rise, at first slowly. During this period occurred
the Oligocene deposits. Later, the dry land ap-
peared, and the Miocene deposits were made; and,
in the after-age, the land was submerged again, the
submergence embracing not only Florida but also
Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and parts of
Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas -the whole to
62 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
emerge a second time, and to rise to its present
level. The State Geologist finds, further, that "an
extensive anticlinal, of an axis parallel with that of
the peninsula, trends centrally through the penin-
sula." There are to-day indications, especially on
the eastern side, of a rise of the land now in prog-
ress. Dr. J. Dabney Palmer finds the origin of
this peninsula in the changes wrought by the "rise
of the Appalachian Mountains," which diverted the
Gulf Stream from its former channel up the Mis-
sissippi Valley. This caused an eddy south of the
then land; and sand-bars resulted and sediment and
coral insects followed. "And thus it has been go-
ing on for ages-sand-bar and deposit, and coral
reef. And thus the building and extension of the
peninsula continue to this day. The gradual up-
heaval of the land has lifted the northern and cen-
tral portions of the peninsula far above the sea-level.
This elevation will probably increase, and the Ever-
glades become dry, even if not assisted by artificial
means. The digging of wells, etc., has disclosed
this great variety of formations throughout the
State. It is not infrequent that as beautiful de-
posits of coral are disclosed high up in the peninsula
and Northern Florida as are to be found on the
reefs south of Cape Sable. Should these causes
continue, the deep channel of the Gulf Stream may
be closed, Cuba annexed by natural causes, the val-
ley of the Mississippi be extended, and the Gulf of
Mexico become a fertile plain." The indications,
along both the Atlantic and the Gulf side, are con-
firmatory of the theory that the land is still rising
slowly-more slowly, it is confidently believed, than
the operations of the Atlantic Coast and Canal Com-
pany's dredging corps.
Industrial Features. The industrial arts find
some valuable mineral deposits among these rock
materials. Dr. Kost states that several localities
have been found to have large deposits of rich
phosphates, deposits quite as rich in phosphoric
acid as are the phosphate rocks on Cooper and
Ashley Rivers in South Carolina, from which im-
mense revenue has been derived. These Florida
beds show phosphates of lime, of silica, of alumina,
and of iron. They are indicated by phosphoric-acid-
bearing rocks in the counties of Wakulla, Alachua,
Marion, Hillsborough, and Manatee. In Wakulla
the State Geologist finds a triple phosphate of lime,
iron, and alumina, indicating exceedingly valuable
beds, the samples analyzed showing in one instance
23-85 per cent in phosphoric acid, equivalent to
59-05 per cent bone phosphate of lime (CaPOs).
64 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
Shell marl of marine deposit is found in nearly
all parts of the State, and inexhaustible fertilizing
marl-beds underlie the soil almost everywhere.
Limestone is to be found in nearly all parts of
the State; a large proportion of which, however,
will not yield a first quality of lime. The rock is
generally too silicious, and slacks poorly; yet Pro-
fessor Pickel, of the State College, found by analy-
sis 93"67 of carbonate of lime, being equivalent to
52-46 per cent of quicklime.
Clays exist, especially in Northern Florida, of
which passably good bricks are made; but the
presence of too much either of lime or of sand
often prevents the best results in this direction.
Clays sufficiently fine and pure for pottery are to
be seen at various points, in lower strata, where
coarser varieties occur.
Kaolin has been found in numerous localities;
but thus far little is known of its quality or quan-
Iron-ore is found in Northern Florida, and in
Jackson County a "rather extensive deposit" is
reported; but nobody seems to believe that it exists
anywhere in paying quantities. The ore is of the
limonite variety, and is not the best. It is to be
found in all parts of the State. There are several
chalybeate springs whose medicinal qualities have
been tested. Dr. Kost thinks that a large propor-
tion of the running water of wells and springs is of
the chalybeate character; in springs and wells these
are commonly called sulphur-waters, because of the
presence of sulphureted hydrogen occasioned by
chemical action. Nearly all the clays are stained
by "oxides of iron."
Coal is present. Lignite has been unearthed in
Northern Florida. Dr. Kost discovered, in Santa
Rosa County, a vein about thirty inches thick.
This Tertiary coal is similar to that found along the
Northern Pacific Railroad and used on that road.
An artesian well, sunk during the present year in
Marion County, it is stated, passed through a vein
of coal some fifteen to eighteen feet thick, at a
depth of nearly six hundred feet.
Limestone, quarried for building purposes, exists
in Northern Florida. It is, however, for the most
part, soft, porous, and liable to imbibe moisture;
but the Ufion Bank building at Marianna, in Jack-
son County, built of this material, has stood now
some forty years, and is to-day in a good state of
preservation. Chimneys are frequently built of it.
It has been pretty extensively used in Hernando
County for both building-walls and chimneys.
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DA Y
Flint-rock is available for rough walls, and
will last till the end of time. This is found as far
south as Sumter County, in Semi-tropical Florida.
Arrow-heads, spear-points, and rude knives were
made of this flint by the Indians or their prede-
cessors. In Northern Florida it abounds along the
line of the railroad in Suwannee and Alachua Coun-
ties. Dr. Kost says: "This rock was evidently
deposited from solution by presence of lime and
potash, with the silica in the waters of the later Ter-
tiary, as the shell remains of the echinoidea, pecten,
etc., appear with their own shell tissue, often m
Sandstone occurs in many places. It is soft, its
cementing principle being impaired "by diffusion
of aluminous materials previously oxidized."
Marble, of stalactite and stalagmite varieties, is
to be found in the caves of Jackson County and
some other localities. Ceilings, floors, and walls of
the caves are covered with this marble. It is in
some instances beautifully white and translucent.
Coquina-a shell limestone, as the name im-
plies-exists in many places along the Atlantic
coast. The texture of the rock, Dr. Kost writes, is
very interesting, from the integrity of the shell ma-
terial. It dresses moderately well, leaving a corru-
gated surface of rather agreeable aspect. It is very
durable, as is proved by the integrity of the walls
of St. Augustine, those of the old Spanish Fort San
Marco, and of the old cathedral at the same place-
some of these a matter of two centuries old.
Coralline is abundant, especially on the Atlantic
coast south of the coquina region.
But concrete-of sand, shells, and lime or,
better, cement-is more easily managed than either
coquina or coralline, cheaper, and doubtless equally
durable; so that its use is likely to supersede both
the other hitherto favorite building materials. It
has been used extensively in several places, notably
at Cedar Keys; and, more recently, in a modified
form in the erection of the palatial hotels at St.
Mineral Waters.-The great variety and abun-
dance of mineral deposits in Florida naturally give
numerous mineral springs. The mineral waters are
in the main solutions of lime, alumina, and iron;
but magnesia, soda, sulphur, and potash occur fre-
quently, and iodine and bromine somewhat rarely.
Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Perpetual Youth has
been discovered a score of times, pretty much all
over the State, and the modern wonder is that that
grandiose Adelantado himself could not find it,
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
when it is so numerous to-day. Among the mineral
springs conspicuous are the Newport Springs, on
St. Mark's River, in Wakulla County; the Hamp-
ton Springs, of Taylor County; the White Sul-
phur Springs, of Hamilton County; the Suwannee
Springs, of Suwannee County; and the Green Cove
Springs, of Clay County.
Soils.-The soils are usually classed as first, sec-
ond, and third rate pine or sand lands, high and low
hammocks, and swamp lands.
Of the pine lands Dr. Kost says: "The sand
deposits of Florida lands are very generally mis-
judged. They are generally estimated by the tour-
ist by what he has been conversant with in deposits
of sand-banks' in Northern localities, distant from
the sea, which are generally wind-drifts or drifts
from fresh-water bays or lakes, and the sand is quite
liable to be clean and free from earthy or saline
mixture. But here in Florida the accumulations
are from salt-water bays or sea-coasts, and they are
never free from marine salts, or more especially hav-
ing the presence of the dust of marine shells, in the
form of carbonate of lime from organic forms or
shells of mollusca. Hence the sands of Florida are
far more productive as compared to others than are
those not of recent marine derivation. It happens,
therefore, that tourists who have opportunity to in-
spect growing crops on the 'sandy barrens' are
not a little astonished to see respectably good crops
grown on such lands. Similar sand deposits else-
where-that is, in the adverse circumstances-com-
monly are found to be almost completely barren."
Humus is the general need of the sand lands.
Hammocks may be defined as hard-wood lands,
the high being either alluvial or clay, the low being
of infinite variety both as to wetness and to material.
Swamps are either sand or low hammocks in
process of formation.
Drainage.-Germane to the matter of soils is the
reclaiming of lands. In Subtropical Florida espe-
cially there is much overflowed land, and a drain-
age company has undertaken to reclaim lands on
shares around Okeechobee as a center. Here are, it
is estimated, about eight million acres of water-
covered land--Lake Okeechobee, of a thousand
square miles, and the Everglades, more than ten
times that area. The company began operations in
1881. In 1887 the Legislature sent a committee to
examine and report results. They first visited Lake
East Tohopekaliga, and their report states: "We
find the lake eight feet two inches below its origi-
nal level, with a handsome beach of firm white sand
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
three or four hundred feet wide, hard and level,
where formerly was seven or eight feet of water.
We find the surrounding marshes and cypress
swamps are dry and ready for the plow. . All
these lands are in the highest state of cultivation,
with handsome crops of sugar-cane, corn, potatoes,
and various vegetables, all vigorous and thrifty.
The lands are exceedingly fertile, and though but
recently freed from two to four feet of standing
water, are now dry and fit for all crops of a tem-
perate or subtropical climate. . Sixty-five tons
of cane, seventy bushels of corn, seventy bushels of
rice, have been raised per acre on these lands."
All this is en couleur de rose certainly.
Toward the draining of Okeechobee directly the
Drainage Company cut one canal forty-six feet wide
and tan feet deep from the lake connecting it with
the Caloosahatchee River, which flows into the Gulf
of Mexico. The company seems to have published
no report of recent results of this part of its
work; but Mr. John B. Hickey, of Fort Myers, on
the Caloosahatchee River, writes that Lake Okee-
chobee is now three feet below its normal level.
The immediate friends of this enterprise appear
very hopeful of early and complete success. Many
others are less hopeful. As Okeechobee is 20-44
feet above sea-level, and as the Everglades-level at
Lake Worth is sixteen feet above that lake, and as
the Everglades-level at Miami is 5"5 feet above that
of Biscayne Bay, it does not seem impossible that
at least a great part of these Everglades waters may
be drained off. It seems to be a question mainly of
Writers on hygiene maintain that the condi-
tions above given-removal of water from exten-
sive areas of rich alluvial lands and cultivation of
the same-must evolve malaria. The healthfulness
of this reclaimed region, however, is vouched for,
at least for the first four years of the Drainage
Company's operations-up to 1885-as appears in
its report quoted elsewhere in these pages in treat-
ing of malaria. It kept nearly forty white men at
work summer and winter for three or four years,
and had not a single case of malarial fever. This
report goes far to prove that malaria is not as
prevalent as is popularly believed, at least in that
Everglade-lake region. What future developments
are to bring forth remains to be seen; and it is pos-
sible that these very operations may change things
in that regard; but, to-day, assuredly there is no
great reason to be alarmed about malaria. A very
few more years of draining will settle that question.
TRAVEL to Florida is increasing from year to
year. Health, pleasure, and profit are the three
guiding stars. These motives extend and increase
with the development of the country; and health,
pleasure, and profit seekers rapidly become immi-
grants and home-seekers. Over sixth thousand
tourist~-v4sisted-A State _dring-4he-past season.
How to reach Florida is the tourist's first in-
From New England, the adjacent States, and
Canada, excursionists for Florida should make New
York city their common point of departure. In
that city all the great railway and steamship lines
have offices, where full information may be got;
and tickets bought not only for Fernandina or Jack-
sonville, but for numerous other points in interior
Ocean Routes.-Of the water ways, the Mallory
Steamship Line is an excellently appointed one and
very popular. Four first-class steamers ply between
New York and Fernandina, Florida, leaving New
York every Friday. These steamers are large, safe,
and comfortable, built of iron, three thousand
tons capacity each, with deep draught and full
Clyde's New York, Charleston, and Florida
Steamship Line, New York, has also four first-class
steamers, two going to Fernandina and two direct
to Jacksonville; all of them generally stopping en
route at Charleston. They leave New York on
Tuesday and Fridays.
The Ocean Steamship Company have a full out-
fit of steamers sailing regularly from Boston, New
York, and Philadelphia, to Savannah, where they
connect with the Savannah, Florida, and Western
Railway-the Waycross Short Line, which leads to
Jacksonville. These vessels are large, convenient,
safe, and first class in every way. They sail from
New York three times a week, and from Boston
Overland Routes.-Railway travel facilities are
exceptionally fine. The Atlantic Coast Line is the
shortest one from the East and North to Florida.
The line runs three express trains daily each way,
the time between New York and Jacksonville be-
74 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
ing about thirty hours, and by express train less
than twetyo .
In addition to these rare facilities of speed and
frequency, this line has during the present year
taken some important steps in advance of ordinary
travel. The recent vast increase of pleasure-travel
has produced two coincident results-fine hotels in
Florida and sumptuous means of travel to the State.
The tide of fashionable touring and resort-seeking
southward has set in within the past year or two;
and the health and pleasure resorts have been made
to meet the demands of that class. The summer
resorts of Newport, Saratoga, Bar Harbor, Long
Branch, and Cape May are beginning to reappear
with at least some of their features and habitues at
St. Augustine, Pablo Beach, Rock Ledge, Tampa,
Tarpon Springs, and Key West, as winter resorts in
Florida. In response to the increase of this class
of travel of late, the Atlantic Coast Line has put on
regularly running Pullman vestibuled trains be-
tween Boston and Jacksonville. These trains con-
sist exclusively of drawing-room cars, containing
each a library, reading-room, smoking-room, dining-
cars, and sleeping-cars. The cars of these trains are
so connected by means of vestibules that each train
is practically one continuous car, with the conven-
iences of a well-ordered hotel. The trains through-
out are lighted with electric lights depending from
the ceilings. The traveler on these trains may
breakfast in New York one day and dine in Jack-
sonville the next.
The Piedmont Air-Line has its advantages as an
all-rail route between the North and the South. It
runs double daily trains, with Pullman buffet and
Mann boudoir cars, between Atlanta and Jackson-
ville, making regular and close connections at At-
lanta with Northern trains. The route from the
North lies through the great battle-fields of Vir-
ginia, the Shenandoah Valley, the beautiful broken
rolling country of the Piedmont region, which pre-
sents some of the finest landscape scenery in Amer-
ica. This connects also with the East Tennessee,
Virginia, and Georgia systems of railway.
Cincinnati is the starting-point from the North-
west region of St. Paul, Chicago, and Indianapolis;
and from that point there run through sleeping-
cars and double daily trains of the Cincinnati
Southern Railway and of the East Tennessee, Vir-
ginia and Georgia Railroad, connecting with the
Savannah, Florida and Western Railway to Florida,
making the time between Cincinnati and Jackson-
ville only twenty-eight hours.
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DA Y.
St. Louis is a fit starting-point from the great
North-Northwest, embracing Kansas, Nebraska,
Iowa, Minnesota, Dakota, Oregon, and the Territo-
ries thereabout. From that point the Louisville and
Nashville Railway runs two trains a day, passing
through the mountain-regions of Tennessee and
Alabama, and connects, by way of Pensacola, with
the Florida Railway and Navigation Company's
road, passing through Tallahassee and the great
tobacco and cotton region of Florida.
New Orleans is the starting-point for the South-
west-Mexico, California, Texas, Arkansas, Louisi-
ana, and Mississippi. There the traveler may take
the Louisville and Nashville Railway, to River
Junction on the Chattahoochee River; thence, by the
Savannah, Florida and Western Railway, through
Thomasville and Waycross; or by the Florida Rail-
way or Short Line, which passes several points of
interest-the Olustee battle-ground, the Suwannee
River, and other attractive scenery in Western and
Jacksonville.-IHiving reached this travel-cen-
ter, the metropolis of-the Stat-fewhetherbyraiTor-
water, the tourist will pause to consider the outgo-
ing conveyances from this point.
Jacksonville itself is altogether familiar to the
reading public, and on that account needs but brief
mention here. It has a population of 26000,
and is both progressive and aggressive; has all the
modern appliances of comfort fine hotels and
many of them, gas and electric lights, telegraph
and telephone, daily newspapers, street cars, etc.
The settlement was originally known by its abo-
riginal name, Wacca Pilatka, which means Cow's
Crossing-over-Cowford-Oxford-Bosporus ; but
it became a whiteman's town in 1816, and in 1822
received its present name in honor of Andrew
Jackson. It is largely a Northern city in its spirit
and methods; at least not essentially Southern in
any characteristic sense.
The city has recently become representative of
the State of Florida, by the establishment of the
Subtropical Exposition, a permanent institution,
there. It is to be kept open every winter season,
and is to exhibit the products and resources of
Florida and the most valuable and attractive exhib-
its that can be obtained from the Bahamas, West
Indies, Mexico, and South America. Such an ex-
position is new in the United States, and, when it
is fully organized and equipped as designed, will be
without a rival in the world. The intention is to
increase its scope, variety, and quality every year.
78 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DA Y.
STREET-SCENE IN JAOKSONVILLE.
Last season's exhibits were eminently successful,
and prove the entire feasibility of the general idea.
By this means the visitor to Jacksonville is, in a
way, a visitor to all parts of the State. Suitable
buildings were erected, and these must be extended
from year to year. The main building is three
hundred and twenty-five feet six inches in length,
including towers-twenty feet-at the front end.
Its width, including the towers or minarets-twen-
ty feet-is one hundred and fifty-two feet. En-
gine, dynamos, and other machinery are provided.
An annex, of sixty-four by eighty-eight feet, two
stories high, is for an art-gallery, restaurant, and
other suppletory compartments.
Germane to the spirit, aim, and final cause of
the Subtropical Exposition, is the Florida Immigra-
tion Association, with headquarters at Jacksonville.
This Association, representing all parts of the State,
in the same way that the Exposition will ultimately
do, was organized for the purpose of furnishing full,
authentic, and trustworthy information to those that
are looking toward the State with conditional view
to making a home there. To carry out this object
there has been established at Jacksonville a general
agency for the purpose of inviting correspondence.
Prompt attention will be given to inquiries relating
to any section, locality, or feature of the State. It
is the purpose of this Association to deal only in
facts, and to avoid exaggerated praise, which ulti-
mately does the State more harm than unjust de-
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
traction. The general agent is E. B. Van Deman,
From Jacksonville. There are four general
directions by railway from Jacksonville: one west-
ward, reaching Pensacola; one southwestward,
reaching Cedar Keys; one southward, reaching
Punta Gorda on Charlotte Harbor in the Gulf of
Mexico; and two southward, reaching St. Augus-
tine on the Atlantic coast and Titusville at the head
of Indian River. These routes are controlled by
five companies. Seven years ago there were 537
miles of railroad in the State, whereas to-day there
are 2,180 miles.
The five companies are-the Florida Railway
and Navigation Company, extending westward 209
miles to the Appalachicola River and to Cedar Keys,
and southward to the Wilhlacoochee River, Tavares,
etc.; the Plant System, which reaches southward to
Tampa and Punta Gorda; the Jacksonville, Tampa,
and Key West Railway, which extends to Sanford,
Tavares, Titusville, on Indian River, St. Augustine,
and De Land; the Florida Southern Railway, from
Palatka to Brooksville and Pemberton Ferry; and
the St. Augustine and Palatka Railroad, connecting
St. Augustine with Tocoi and Palatka, Jacksonville,
Mayport, and Pablo Beach, Pensacola with Mill-
view, Blue Springs on the St. John's with Hills-
borough on the Atlantic, and Monroe with Tarpon
The steamboat line-De Bary and People's
Line-from Jacksonville up the St. John's River to
Sanford and Enterprise, runs passenger-boats every
day except Saturday.
From Jacksonville, accordingly, the traveler can
readily reach any point of interest, and these
abound in all directions.
Excursions of a few hours may be made
1. Pablo Beach, sixteen miles from Jackson-
ville by rail. It is a sea-side resort of growing
popularity, on the Atlantic shore, eight miles south
of the mouth of the St. John's River. The beach
at this point is one of the finest on the Atlantic
coast, being straight, sandy, shelving gently, smooth,
and free from rocks and pit-holes. The bathing is
perfectly safe. A handsome but irregular little
town has sprung up within the last few years, hav-
ing now a first-class hotel known as Murray Hall,
with pavilions, restaurants, and other conveniences
and comforts-an establishment as fine as any on
the Atlantic coast, not surpassed at Long Branch,
Ocean Grove, or Cape May.
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
2. St, Augustine, the oldest city in the United
States, is thirty-six miles by rail from Jacksonville.
The city-population, about 8,500-is noted for its
picturesque beauty; its crumbling old city gates;
its odd streets, ten to twenty feet wide, without
sidewalks; its coquina-built houses; its overhanging
balconies, with a scent of days gone by over all; its
governor's palace; its unique sea-wall; the hoary
ramparts of its year-laden San Marco; its medimval-
looking Moorish cathedral; and the finest and most
striking hotel in the world.
Lady Hardy, in her admirable book of travels,
"Down South," a few years ago, of this gaudily
solemn old city felicitously writes: It is like an
old-fashioned beauty who has been lying in state
through these long years, ranked in all her finery
of feathers, furbelows, paint, powder, and patches,
and now wakes up and walks and talks with us in
the quaint, stilted phraseology of old days."
There is not a step nor a turn in this grand old
ruin of other days that is not interesting. The very
ocean seems to roll in an antique sort of a way; and
the trade-winds that sweep through the picturesque
date-palms, magnolias, and oleanders, seem to be
whispering in Spanish, or howling in the Cautio
vernacular spoken there four centuries ago.
STREET IN ST. AUGUSTIRE.
84 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
The ancient San Marco is now Fort Marion. It
was begun probably in 1565, and is like the pyra-
mids of Egypt in being the work of slaves; and it
is a most interesting fossil of a foreign civilization,
restored by numerous later touches. The moat is
now dried up and overgrown; but there are still
the drawbridges, the massive arched entrance, the
gray barbacan, the dark under-ways, the sullen
bastions, and the crypt-like dungeons. The princely
hotel recently built, the Ponce de Leon, has an
annex or supplementary house, the Alcazar; and the
two, a magnificent unit, unite the old and the new,
the past and the present, with wonderful splendor
and effect. The Alcazar is unfinished. The Ponce
de Leon revives the style of three hundred years
ago, and enriches it with all the luxuries of to-day.
It is built in the style of the early Spanish Renais-
sance, with its decided flavor of the Moresque.
The material is shell concrete, and the great build-
ing is a stupendous monolith, and was molded, not
built. The general complexion is a light mother-
of-pearl, with bright salmon terra-cotta ornamenta-
tion. The greatest turret height is a hundred and
fifty feet. The building is five hundred feet long
and covers nearly five acres. A thousand guests
can be accommodated and seated in the dining-room,
PONCE DE LEON HOTEL.
THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
and this hall is one of the marvels of this immense
establishment. The grand parlor is one hundred and
four by fifty-three feet, but is practically divided into
five rooms by arches, portieres, and screens. The
drawing-rooms on the first floor surpass in number
and style everything of the kind ever presented to
the public. Besides all these there are splendid
courts, fountains, lakes, tennis-courts, bowling-alleys,
bars, billiard-rooms, bazaars, and arcades; but more
sumptuous than all are the luxurious Roman, Turk-
ish, and Russian baths. From these access is had
to the unrivaled plunge-baths of sea-water, covering
nearly half an acre of varying depths from two to
six feet. Back of these is the sea-bath proper
which may be described as a stupendous cave of
solid concrete, one hundred and eighty-four feet by
eighty-four feet, and from four to thirty feet deep,
altogether making a bath without a precedent in all
history. The electric lighting of the building is
something phenomenal, and is in keeping with the
splendor of the whole. The outlay for this com-
pleted main building-the Ponce de Leon proper-
is reported as two and a half million dollars; and
the Alcazar, it is predicted, will equal the other in
both splendor and cost. During the past season,
this immense hotel was crowded for full two
months, having a thousand guests frequently; the
gross income being stated at over five thousand
dollars a day.
There are at St. Augustine yet other fine hotels
-the new Hotel Cordova, as unique and in most
respects as fine and as well appointed as the Hotel;
the San Marco, the Magnolia, the St. Augustine,
and half a dozen minor houses.
3. Fort George Island, at the mouth of the St.
John's, has fine tropical scenery, charming walks
and drives, and a good hotel.
4. Mayport, on the south side of the mouth of
the St. John's, is a pleasant little town of perhaps a
hundred cottages, many of these being summer
residences for business men in Jacksonville. The
St. John's was called May by the French, and
thence the name of Mayport. Already popular as
an excursion resort, it is growing in popularity.
5. Besides the above there are, within easy
excursion distance of Jacksonville, Orange Park,
Mandarin, Magnolia, Green Cove Springs, and
scores of others on the St. John's, all having hotels,
and all their special charms. The St. John's region
is too well known to need a word at this late day.
Longer excursions from Jacksonville lie in all
directions southward and westward:
88 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
1. Beginning with the east coast, the tourist
may make Indian River his objective point. This
region enjoys a glorious climate, less variable than
the interior and west, has fine rich semi-tropical
scenery, and grows beyond doubt the finest oranges
in the world. From Jacksonville the traveler may
go by rail direct to Indian River at Titusville, 166
miles, a town reached by telegraph and express.
From that point he may make the entire tour of
this famous sound, called by universal consent a
river-known to the Spaniards as the Rio d'Ais-
from Titusville near the head, to Jupiter at the
southern extremity, a distance of 118 miles, by
steamer all the way. One line 'of steamers leave
Titusville daily, passing Rock Ledge, with its first-
class hotel, fine scenery, with excellent hunting and
fishing; Eau Gallie, with its post-office, store, and
hotel, with several residences, and its State Agri-
cultural College building, a monument of recon-
struction sham and of Gleason; down to Melbourne,
39 miles from Titusville, where the flora begins to
show increase of tropical elements; and where there
is a thriving settlement, largely English, with two
hotels, a newspaper, and no end of rod and gun
sport. From Melbourne to Jupiter, 69 miles,
there plies a steamer three times a week, passing
LOOKING ACROSS INDIAN RIVER.
90 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DA .
The Narrows, with its acres and islands of oysters;
St. Lucie, with its long-famed hunting-grounds and
its flocks of manatees; Eden, with its famous pine-
apple fields and fine fishing; on to Jupiter Inlet,
the present end of the telegraph line, with its
lighthouse 170 feet high. Here the tourist is defi-
nitely within the subtropics; and a handsome,
well-grown cocoanut-tree is Flora's conspicuous
sign of a new climate.
Only a few names of places have been men-
tioned in this transit from Titusville to Jupiter;
but there are more than a score of delightful places,
with each a hotel and a post-office. The flora and
fauna gradually pass from the semi-tropical to the
subtropical as the traveler goes southward. The
attempering breath of the Gulf Stream becomes
more and more operative until the traveler reaches
Jupiter, where the Stream first separates from the
land in its course northward.
2. Or, the traveler may make Lake Worth his ob-
jective point. He would then, as before, go from
Jacksonville by rail to Titusville, 166 miles; from
Titusville to Jupiter by steamer, 118 miles; from
Jupiter by hack to Lake Worth, 8 miles. Once on
the lake-which, like Indian River, was originally a
sound-he can go to any point in boat, either row,
sail, or steam; mostly sail. Lake Worth is 23 miles
long, about a mile wide, and separated from the
Atlantic by a narrow strip of land in some places
less than a quarter of a mile wide. An inlet near
the northern end of the lake connects it with the
Atlantic. The water of the lake is less salt than
that of the ocean, by reason of numerous small
streams and a general seepage from the fresh-water
lakes above to the westward. The fresh-water lakes
are about a mile west of Lake Worth; so that the
fisherman finds three kinds of water in less than
three miles-the ocean, the semi salt lake, and the
fresh lakes-with their several families of fishes.
Deer, turkeys, ducks, and small game of various
kinds are abundant; as indeed they are almost the
entire length of the Atlantic coast, but especially
abundant in the more newly settled localities. The
flamingo, a distinctly tropical bird, has been seen as
far north as this lake. The cocoanut-palm grows
and fruits here, while it is a very uncertain growth
anywhere north of this. The tropical fruits that
can be grown north of this region, can be grown
here without protection.
3. Or the tourist may make Biscayne Bay, about
sixty miles south of Lake Worth, his objective
point. To this beautiful region there are two
92 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DA Y.
routes. One is, as above, from Jacksonville to Titus-
ville, to Jupiter, to Lake Worth; and there charter
a boat and sail down the Atlantic coast, from the
head of Lake Worth to Miami, the county-seat of
Dade County, 84 miles. From Miami to Key West
the distance is 130 miles. The other route to the
Biscayne region is, to go south down the other side
of the State-that is, from Jacksonville to Punta
Gorda by rail, to Key West by steamer or sail, to
Miami by sail. This Miami region has the usual
Atlantic coast variety of soils-pine, hammock, and
prairie with the Everglades lying west of it.
Here, in the heart of the subtropics, the visitor
sees in the flora the difference between semi-tropic
and subtropic. The guava, for example, which
grows sometimes as far up as 300-and land agents
in that latitude advertise the guava as one of their
attractions-the guava, here in Subtropical Florida,
grows to be a tree twenty or even thirty feet high,
with a delicious and abundant fruit, while in the
higher latitudes it is a shrub about as tall as a man,
with a dwarfed fruit that is hardly fit to eat at all.
So also with the lime; and, indeed, with all the
rarer and more tender fruits. Fishing and hunting
both have here the best of fields. The Gulf Stream
brings into these waters the whole family of tropi-
cal fishes, and carries the same up as far north as
Jupiter Inlet. As to climate, this is, especially the
northern portion of it, doubtless the most equable
in the State; and that, of course, means in the
United States. The equability appears to be pretty
94 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
uniform from Cape Florida to Jupiter Inlet-the
region touched by the Gulf Stream-and from Jupi-
ter Inlet to Fernandina the equability gradually de-
creases; but the entire Atlantic coast has less varia-
tion of temperature than other parts of the State.
4. Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades are best
reached from Jacksonville by rail to Kissimmee in
Osceola County, and thence by boat through the
lakes and down the Kissimmee River into Okeecho-
bee. A second route is, by rail to Punta Gorda,
and thence by boat up the Caloosahatchee River,
into Okeechobee-a lake of about a thousand square
miles in area, being about forty by twenty-five
miles. The river and lake travel in these routes is
not generally so delightful in itself as a vestibuled
car; but as a picnic, pleasant and refreshing.
5. Key West is in Monroe County, on an island
of the name of the city, of about twelve square
miles. It is a Spanish-looking town of nearly
20,000 inhabitants, is lighted with gas, runs street-
cars, and is reached by telegraph. It is a quaint
and antiquely novel city, full of oddities and va-
riety. Dr. Henshall says its buildings are of all
sizes and of every conceivable style, or no style,
of architecture; and they are promiscuously jumbled
together, but are joined or seamed to each other by
a wealth and profusion of tropical foliage, which
surrounds, invests, surmounts, and overshadows
them, softening the asperities, toning down the
harsh outlines, and uniting the separate pieces,
which merge their individuality in a harmonious
tout ensemble. That writer sums up Key West's
heterogeneous attractions in these words: "And so,
mansions, huts, and hovels, balconies, canopies, and
porches, gables, hoods, and pavilions, pillars,
columns, and pilasters, are mingled in endless con-
fusion, but harmonized by arabesques of fruit and
foliage, festoons of vines and creepers, wreaths and
traceries of climbing shrubs and trailing flowers,
and shady bowers of palm and palmetto, almond
and tamarind, lime and lemon, orange and banana."
The population is mainly Cubans and Conchs, but
there are also Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans,
Spaniards, Italians, negroes, and Americans. Eng-
lish immigrants from the Bahamas are called
Conchs, and settlers from the United States are
called Americans. The island is rich in tropical
beauties and fruits; and the city is noted for its
unique and picturesque features, Spanish tone, and
cigar manufactures. In this one industry it employs
over three thousand operatives, and handles five
million dollars a year. It can be reached, as above
96 THE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY.
stated, from Jacksonville by rail to Cedar Keys,
Tampa, or Punta Gorda; and from either of these
points by steamer to Key West direct. Or, on the
other side of the peninsula, from Jacksonville by
rail to Titusville, thence by steamer to Jupiter
Inlet, thence down the coast by Lake Worth to
Miami in Dade County, and thence one hundred
and thirty miles, by schooner, to Key West.
v6. Cape Sable and the entire southern coast of
Lee, Monroe, and Dade Counties are well worthy a
visit. Here the subtropical sometimes threatens to
become the tropical. Cocoanut groves are here and
there, and the royal palm is to be found here, the
only place in the whole country. The tourist, in
a paradise of Nature, may select any one of a
score of attractive points for his visit and tempo-
rary sojourn. Around the coast runs a horse-
shoe of fertile land, not many miles wide at any
place, and backed by the Everglades, which center
in the great Okeechobee. That part of this horse-
shoe attempered by the Gulf Stream, the part
toward the east on the Atlantic side, is especially
attractive. All this region can be reached readily
by schooner or other boat from either Key West
or Miami; and such boats are on hand all the time,
especially at Key West.
7. Tampa, some 240 miles from Jacksonville by
rail direct, is a typical Florida city, of nearly 2,000
inhabitants. It is interesting for its history, scenery,
oranges, fish, and mounds. It is reached by tele-
graph and express. One writer claims that Tampa
is probably older than St. Augustine, and explains
that, in the same year that Menendez founded the
latter city, his deputy, De Reinoro, was in charge
of Tampa. Menendez sent a hundred laborers, in-
cluding fifteen women, to Tampa to teach spinning
to the squaws. Padre Rogel, a Catholic priest,
was in charge of ecclesiastical interests at that
time, and the following year Menendez made a
Spanish peace between the Tago and the Tampa
tribes at Tocobayo. But no records of that his-
tory appear to have come down to this day. It
was in Tampa Bay that General Worth persuaded
Coacoochee to go West with his tribe, as narrated
elsewhere in these pages. It is a few miles south
of this city that a very large and old orange-tree
was said to be still living that had borne over ten
thousand oranges in one year.
8. Tallahassee, the capital of the State, is an
ideal Florida city, and one of the loveliest in the
South; and a most charming community, homo-
geneous, hospitable, and essentially Southern. It