• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Copyright
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 What Florida offers
 A backward glance
 Climate
 Health
 Temperature
 Pine lands and hammocks
 Where shall I settle?
 What will it cost?
 Making the home
 Home surroundings
 What shall I need?
 What shall I eat?
 Home supplies
 Out of the depths
 The dairy question--old style
 The dairy question--the coming...
 Pasturage
 Florida poultry
 The poultry-yard
 Poultry patients
 Firing the woods
 All about fences
 Household help
 Trials and tribulations
 Making the best of it
 Helpful hints














Title: Home life in Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00055595/00001
 Material Information
Title: Home life in Florida
Physical Description: 433 p. : fron. ; 20cm.
Language: English
Creator: Warner, Helen Garnie, 1846-
Publisher: J.P. Morton & company
Place of Publication: Louisville Ky
Publication Date: 1889
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Economic conditions -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: By Helen Harcourt pseud.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00055595
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000133952
oclc - 01706816
notis - AAP9994
lccn - 01006932 //r

Table of Contents
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Copyright
        Page 2
    Preface
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    What Florida offers
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    A backward glance
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Climate
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Health
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    Temperature
        Page 77
        Winter
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
        Summer
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
    Pine lands and hammocks
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    Where shall I settle?
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    What will it cost?
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
    Making the home
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Home surroundings
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    What shall I need?
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
    What shall I eat?
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
    Home supplies
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
    Out of the depths
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
    The dairy question--old style
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
    The dairy question--the coming style
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
    Pasturage
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
    Florida poultry
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
    The poultry-yard
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
    Poultry patients
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
    Firing the woods
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
    All about fences
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
    Household help
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
    Trials and tribulations
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
    Making the best of it
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
    Helpful hints
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
Full Text




V 4


,:


EM









HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA


HELEN HARCOURT


WARNE


Author of "Florida F its and How to aise The ," etc.,


Circde


in the Florda Farme and


Edior of


rui Gmrower.


LOUISVILLE, KY.
JOHN*P; MORTON & COMPANY.
1889


"Our Home


8L A


ioS-
MAL 6 o





9)o


COPYBIGHTED BY
JOHN P. MORTON AND COMPANY
1888


Elctrotypd
BY ROBERT ROWELL,
LOUIsvILLE, KY.


15













PREFACE.



It is not well to venture into unknown regions blind-
fold, as it were. That sound old admonition to "Look
before you leap" is full of good common sense, and yet
it is passed by unheeded more frequently than one can
well realize.
We doubt if, in all the globe, there is any one spot con-
cerning which more has been written, pro and con, than of
our beloved Florida; much that is true, much more that is
untrue.
An injudicious friend has more power to harm than an
open foe-and thus has it been with Florida: some of her
friends, misled by eager enthusiasm, have painted her in
colors unnaturally brilliant, such as belong not to this
world, all light, no shadows; enemies, moved by self inter-
est to turn the great tide of immigration to other quarters,
have portrayed Florida in somber tints, dark and forbidding
enough to deter any but the most courageous from crossing
her borders.
We love Florida; of our fair State it may well be said
that "' to know her is to love her," but we hold that her
truest interests are best served by a plain statement of
facts, not fafcies; of realities, not theories; "the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
Not only throughout the United States, but in Europe,
thousands of home seekers are eagerly turning their eyes
(3)







4 PREFACE.

toward Florida, and questioning as to what manner of life,
what measure of comfort and success await those who
elect to cast in their lot with hers.
To answer these eager questioners, to cast a clear, honest
light upon the paths they will be called upon to tread, to
reveal the truths and possibilities of home life in Florida,
this is the task we have set our pen to perform; and if, as
the reader closes the following pages, he is not satisfied that
an honest, industrious man or woman need have no fear of
not "making a living" and a comfortable home in Florida,


with less outlay of
then has this volume
Profiting by the
Fruits and How to


capital and hardship than elsewhere,
e been written in vain.
experience of a former work (Florida
Raise Them) in which several articles


valuable to settlers were referred to, but no address given
where they might be procured, an omission which called
forth numerous inquiries from readers, the present volume
will be found to contain all the information relative to each
article mentioned which is necessary to enable the reader
to procure it direct, thereby immensely enhancing its prac-
tical value to the settler whose interests it seeks to serve.
That this humble work, which may at least claim to be
honest and candid, may be the means of winning many to
test the peaceful content and comfort of home life in Flor-
ida is the earnest hope of
THE AUTHOR.


S




-'a.


TABLE


OF CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.-WHAT FLOwRDA Ornzas. PAi
Comfort and Competence for the Honest and Industrious.
Increase of Prosperity, and Population of the State. Good
Investment for both Capital and Labor. Health for the
Invalid ............. .................. .. .... .. 9


CHAPTERII.-A BACKWADn GLAwxz.
Why Florida is called "A New Country."
7 of her History...........................


A Glimpse


CHAPTER III.-CLMAT.
Proved by Comparison and Statistics to be the Finest in
the World. Scientifically Moderately Dry:" Variation
of Temperature Just Sufficient for Health and Comfort.


CHAPTER IV.-HEALTH.
The First Consideration. Statistics
the Healthiest State in the Union.
Times of the Year. Purity of the
eating: Water, Wells, and Filters.


Prove Florida to be
Safe to Settle at all
Air. Points in Lo-


CHAPTER V.-TzMPEKATaUE. WIanR. SUMMER.
Violent Changes almost unknown. Mild Winters. Cooler
in Summer than in the Northern States..............

CHAPTER VI.-PINX LADS AND HAMMOCKS.
Diversity of Soil and Surface. Relative Value in Pro-
ductiveness and Healthfulness........................
(6)


Ct
r.








CONTtNeS.


CHAPTER VII.-" WHaEB SHALL I SZmTE? "
Northern, Middle (including West), and South Florida.
Varied Products and Climatic Differences of the Several
Sections... ... .. ...... .... ......a..*.*. 1 ** *** *


CHAPTER VIII.-
Prices of Land:


"WHAT WILL IT COST?"
According to Location and Quality.


Cost and Methods of Clearing Land. Solid and Increas-
ing Value of a Bearing Orange Grove. "Over-produc-
tion Impossible.. ......... ....... .... *** ***** *


CHAPTER IX.-MAKING THE HOME.


Attractive Locations.


Beautiful Water Views.


About


SV'ind inills.IIII .1)1 ..... .. ..*5 *..


CHAPTER


X.-HOME SURROUNDINGS.


Grass Lawns.


Vines and Flowers.


Shade-tref and Ar-


bors. Shade for Poultry-yards................

CHAPTER XI.--" WHAT SHALL I NEED?"


Warm Clothing and Carpets Desirable.
" The Dark Days of January, 1886."


Cool Weather.
Whether to Bring


or Buy in Florida the Household Furniture.
Shipping Goods.........................

CHAPTER XII.--"WHAT SHALL I EAT?"


Hints for
...........


Deprivations in New


Neighborhoods.


The Provision


Closet.


Conveniences and Food Supply Constantly In-


creasing... .... ......


CHAPTER XIII.-HoME SUPPLIES.


Fish, Flesh, and Fowl to be had for the Catching.
Gopher Tortoise................................

CHAPTER XIV.-" OUT OF THE DEPTHS."


A Boat the first Requisite.


Methods of Fishing for Trout


or Bass.


Salt-water Fish,.Clams, and Oysters.


Methods


of Catching Fresh-water Turtle; Curious Quality of their
Flesh. a...... o . I .... .S *. ... a *.







CONTENTS. 7

CHAPTER XV.*-THE DAIRY QUESTION-OLD STYLE.


The Native Florida


Cow.


Methods of Milking.


How to


Make a Cow-pen. Best P
the Soil by Cow-penning.


CHAPTER


lan for best results in Fertilizing
Treatment of the Florida Cow.


XVI.*--THE DAIY QUESTION-COMING STYLI.


Native Stock to be Improved by Crossing with Thorough-


breds and


Proper Treatment.


Acclimated Thorough-


breds should be Bought of Florida Breeders.

CHAPTER XVII*-PASTUAGeE.


Bermuda, Johnson and Para Grass.


Beggar's Weed


Indian


CHAPTER XVIII.*-FLORID POULTRY.


Nearly all Varieties do Well.
cessfully.....................


How to Treat them Suc-


CHAPTER XIX.*-THE POULTRY-YAuD.
Shade, Grass, and Pure Water Requisite.


The Nursery.


How to guard against Hawks. Movable Coops and Fences. 296


CHAPTER


XX.*-POULTRY PATIENTn


How to Treat the Few Diseases Florida Poultry are sub-
ject to................... ..........................

CHAPTER XXI.*-FIRING THE WOODS.


Permitted


by Law for the Benefit of Cattle;


but will


soon be a Thing of the Past.
tom, Injurious to Soil and Prope


A Most Pernicious Cus-
rty. How to Fight Fire. 820


CHAPTER XXII.-ALL ABOUT FENCE.


The Fence Law.


Repeal Urgent.


Injury done by al-


lowing Stock to roam at Large, and compelling the Ag-


riculturist to Fence against Them.


and Cheap Fences.


How to Make Good


Wire Fences Made at Home.


* For the major portions of these chapters we acknowledge our indebt-


edness


to the


courtesy


originally appeared.


of the Florida Dispatch, in whose columns they


Clover........................







CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIII.-HousEHOLD HLPx.


Housekeeper's Trials.


Florida Negro Servants.


Amus-


ing Experiences.


tic Help.


Importance of the Problem of Domes-


How it may be solved...............


CHAPTER XXIV.-TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS.


Insect Foes, and How to Fight Them.


Harmless Lizards


and Frogs.


The "Bugaboo"


of Snakes.


CHAPTER XXV.-MAKING THE BEST OF IT.


Compensations for Drawbacks.
Home Happy.................


How to Make the New


CHAPTER XXVI.-HELPFUL HINTs.


How to Paint Houses.


Recipes for Cheap Paints.


About


Horses, Wagons, and Harness.


rages.


How to Renovate Car-


Home-made Furniture, Rugs, and Refrigerators.


To Preserve Food.











HO LITFE IN FLORIDA




CHAPTER I.
WHAT FLORIDA OFFERS.
A little bird has come tapping at our study door, bear-
ing in its beak a message from the North, East, West, and


Southwest, and from "
"We have read of
cane, her climate; we
what has been and can
breadth of the noble
have we read or heard
the every-day life that


beyond the seas," which reads thus:
Florida's fruits, of her cotton, her
have heard glowing accounts of
be done through all the length and
'Land of Flowers;' but nowhere
of the thousand and one details of


must be met and lived


tier before he attains the grand sum total of ind
How do he and his wife live and work and


time ? What do they wear? what do the'
it cost? what can they raise? Tell us of
that all the thousands of us who are co
seeking homes may know to what we are
some clear rays of light shining through


vague generalit
unknown to us
We know that
not know the d
to meet them.
things that go


yeat?
these
ming


by the set-
ependence.
pass their
what does
things, so
to Florida


coming, and see
the obscurity of


ies. Things known to you old settlers are
; things familiar to you are enigmas to us.
your ways are not as our ways, but we do
details of the difference, nor how to prepare
We are thirsty for information of the little
to make up the daily life of the. settler.


Give us to drink of the fountain of knowledge, that we
(9)







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


may be strong to meet the life we must face in our future
homes."
And so, having been taught that it is as impolite to
ignore a message as to refuse to notice a verbal question,
we "take our pen in hand to let you know" of Florida
Home Life-" the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth."
Florida's climate has been spoken of, and justly, by the
most eminent scientists as one of the finest, and, away
from the miasms of the swamps, as one of the most health-
ful in the world, and we, who know her well, know that
she has no need of exaggerated statements to plead her
cause, and we propose to make none.
We who dwell and have dwelt for years within her bor-
ders know that our beautiful State has no need of over-
drawn, rose-colored pictures
It is better to understate rather than overstate the


truth; it is bett
nature is apt to
then, not finding
nestles amidst th


er to climb up than fall down. Human
fly to extremes, to expect too much, and
it, to shut the eye to the good that really
e evil. And so it has fared with hundreds


who have gazed on highly-colored pictures of F1
pictures tinted with rainbow hues, not a sha
flaw any where; and, so gazing, have hastened
pockets empty, yet full of anticipations of a
easy fortune to be obtained without time, or
patience, or deprivation, and then finding that
only an earthly country after all, not a paradise


orange trees are so unreasonable a
to grow up, increase, bear, gather,
their own volition while their owne


lorida life,
dow or a
there with
quick and
work, or
Florida is
, and that


md willful as to decline
and ship their fruit of
r sleeps, they turn their


backs upon the prospective golden fruit and draw a black
brush over the rainbow-hued picture that had drawn them
Florida-ward.






WHAT PLORIDA OFFES. 11
We hardly know what our own ideas of Florida life
were until the realities were before us; for, in fact (like
many another, doubtless), we hardly had time to think
about it at all.
"Jack and gill went up the hill
To get a pail of water;
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And gill came tumbling after,"

and never stopped -until they landed in the midst of a
young orange grove, which some day will surely carry
Jack and gill up hill again in a gold and green chariot, if
only they are patient and energetic.
But there were some of us, we remember, who thought
the trees had only to be stuck in the ground anyhow and
then let severely alone for two or three years, when they
would be found full of glorious fruit. Visions of special
steamers to be chartered, of whole trains of cars loaded
with the produce, floated before the glowing imagination;
and as for vegetables, they were to be had for the scatter-
ing of the seed, all the year round, if, indeed, they did not
spring up aid grow of their own accord.
It is curious to find, in collecting the preconceptions of
"Florida fever" patients, how wildly just such ideas as
these obtain credence. Very rarely, indeed, do we find a
settler who has not formed impossible expectations, and is
therefore gwinee to be disappointed and in the rebound
to see his future home in darker hues than it deserves.
And all this comes of the unwise laudations of the enthu-
siastic friends who have done more actual harm to our
beautiful State than all her foes collectively.
To clear away the mists and throw in the shadows that
all earthly paintings must accept as part and parcel of
themselves, and to tell the honest truth, and in such shape






HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


as to do the most practical good, is the earnest object of
this present work.
Throughout the length and breadth of these United
States, north, south, east, and west, and scarcely lees in
Great Britain also, there are at this moment thousands of
hearts turning wistfully toward Florida as a haven of ref-
uge and of hope from financial storms or from untimely
death and disease. These inquirers are eager to know the
real, substantial advantages she holds out to those who
elect to cast their lot with hers, and the Floridian who sets
forth these advantages side by side with the ever-attendant
disadvantages, eivinf Dublicity to facts and not to "vain


imaginings," will do his State more real
who willfully misleads by false statements
credited by any reasonable thinking being.


service than he
impossible to be


We hold that our beautiful State has no need of exag-
geration, no need of that which is bright to be painted
brighter. She only wants the truth to be known to mark
her out as thrice blessed among her sister States. She has
her drawbacks and deprivations, of course, though these
are fewer than those of any other new country that we
know of. Take notice that we use the word "new," for
there are those who come to Florida ignoring the fact of


its very recent open
because things are


ing
not


upto
cond


grooves they have been accuse
whose rescue from the wilde
years, even to the hundreds.


settlers
ucted ii
tomed t
mrness d


There


unreasonable, unreasoning, impractical


i, and then grumble
t the old well-worn
o in their old homes,
ates back for many
are plenty of such
I people in the world,


and occasionally they edify and amuse their wiser brethren
by holding forth on the subject of imaginary grievances.
Florida has seen a goodly number of them, and some of
them not being known outside her borders in their true
character have done her considerable injury. Many a man






WHAT FLORIDA OFFERS.


has come to our beautiful State, lured
tions and rose-colored pictures of im
with his expectations wrought to the
finding no paradise of ease and plenty
up without working or waiting, has tu


by glowing descrip-
possible perfections,
highest pitch, and
awaiting his picking
rned his back upon


her and gone back whence he came, to revile her as a
fraud, a sham, a "trap to catch sinners."
Surely it is better for Florida that her settlers should
come to her with moderate, reasonable expectations, and
find their ideas lower than the reality; far better this way
than the opposite of expecting too much, and meeting bit-
ter disappointment, and such a revulsion of feeling that
the good that really lies before them is swallowed up in
the gloom. Florida desires nothing but the truth to be
told of her wealth and virtues-the plain, sober truth, in
facts and figures, of deeds done And work accomplished, of
what has been and is, not of the theoretical "might be,"
this should be enough to satisfy an energetic, reasonable
man; and she wants none other. She is beautiful, but is
not a paradise; her climate, both summer and winter, is
delightful, but it is not perfection; the summer days and
nights are cooled by such breezes as are seldom known at
the North. The heat is therefore less oppressive than the
same season in any other State, in the North or South, but
the warm weather continues longer. The winter has no
snow, but sometimes there is ice, a thin skim that forms
during the night and usually vanishes in the morning, but
stays long enough to nip tender vegetables; so that the


truck gardener must hasten to plant again
lose the cream of the early Northern mark
times there is a drought that shrivels up th
keeps back the earliest shipments.
So you see there do exist drawbacks


n in order not to
ets. And some-
le vegetables and

and discourage-


ments, but they are not always nor all the time, and the







14 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

man of pluck and energy who has made up his mind
to act on that grand old adage, "If at first you don't
succeed, try, try again," is certain to triumph in the
end.
We heard the other day of a man (and this is only one
instance out of hundreds) who came to Florida a few years
ago with six hundred dollars' capital, borrowed money,
every dollar of it. In five years he had repaid the money,
including a heavy interest, and had three, times as much in
the bank, besides being the owner of forty acres of land,
a young orange grove and peach orchard, two horses, half
a dozen cows, and a comfortable house. He wisely located
on a line of railroad to secure quick transportation, instead
of settling in some place where his products could not find
a market, and then he rolled up his sleeves and went to
work like a man, to raise vegetables. He was new to the
business, had been a hard-worked book-keeper, struggling
vainly to support his family even in the most frugal man-
ner. He knew nothing of farm life, but he studied, used
his eyes and his brains as well as his hands, questioned his
neighbors, did not disdain to take advice from men less
educated but better informed in agriculture than himself,
and so he succeeded, as every man will who follows his
example-one of true worth and manliness. His cucum-
bers brought him from four to six dollars a crate, his toma-
toes from twg to six dollars, and peas, beans, beets, potatoes,
and cabbages in like proportion; and he blessed the day
that he resolved to turn his back on the office desk and
seek his fortune in fair Florida's outstretched hand.
It was not all plain sailing, be it understood. He worked
faithfully and intelligently in spite of discouragements.
Sometimes frost killed his young plants; sometimes dry
weather did it. Insects helped them, dishonest commis-
sion men robbed him, but he kept steadily on, planting a







WHAT FLORIDA OFFERS.


new crop as fast a
Neither he nor the
To-day he is in
need wish to see.
happy, and his life
trast," he exclaims,
all because he had
worn-out groove a


ts the old one was killed or gathered.
ground were allowed to remain idle.
possession of as pretty a home as one
His wife and children are well and
-is full of contentment. "What a con-
" to what it was eight years ago!" And
the nerve to drag himself out of the old
nd the pluck to hammer out a new one.


This is no fancy picture, but one that every energetic
man may make a reality for himself if he will blt seize
and hold Florida's royal bounty. And this man, take
notice, was a gentleman, educated and trained as a book-
keeper-one of a vast army who struggle on from day to
day, overworked, underpaid, or not paid at all.
Take up any one of the newspapers of our great cities,
and what do we see? The same old story that has been
told over and over again for years past. "A merchant
advertised for a clerk at ten dollars a week, and eight hun-
dred applied for the position." "There are now no less
than seven thousand book-keepers out of employment
in this one city alone I" Is not that a pitiful show-
ing? and in "one city alone." Think of it then all over


the country! Now why is it that so many young men
prefer the precarious life of a salaried clerk, book-keeper,
or salesman, shut in-doors all day and every day, from
morning till night, earning barely enough to keep up
appearances before the world, laying by nothing to meet
the rainy season, sure to come-if "out of employment,"
"on the sick list," too old to work"-to the free, manly


life of the farmer o
air, uncontaminated
ing a life of comfort
of honest daily toil,
client independence


r fruit-grower, breathing God's pure
by the dust and smoke of cities, liv-
and freedom from care, even if one
and storing up for the future a suffi-
for himself and his family? Why is






10 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

it? Is it because in these days of ultra civilization and
refinement manual labor has come to be looked upon as
unworthy of a "gentleman"?
Fie upon it! If this is the reason of the surplusage of
clerks and book-keepers, and the scarcity of young farm-
ers and horticulturists and artisans, why then let us hasten
back to the good old times of barbarism, and be happy and
prosperous because we are not educated above a good, hon-
est, hard day's work!
Do ye not perceive," saith the Great Ruler of us all,
"that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the
man, it can not defile him?" But "that which cometh
out of the man, that defileth the man." And so it is not
the work that a man does that lowers him, but his manner
of doing it. A sturdy, intelligent tiller of the soil, free to
come and go, to breathe the pure air and join in the joyous


hymns of the birds,
ally, and in the best


doing his work
manner, is surel


cheerfully, energetic-
y the full equal of the


* salaried book-keeper, sitting at his desk, at the call of
another, and liable to be thrown out on the world penni-
less after years of steady application to work that is cer-
tainly less elevating, free, and manly than that of the
farmer or fruit-grower.
Florida holds forth her hand in hearty welcome, not
only to the capitalist and manufacturer, whose gold is a
magnet to draw forth yet more of the precious metal from
amidst her hidden treasures and mysteries, and to utilize
those resources of which we already know. Not only these
does Florida welcome, but also, with just as much earnest-
ness, the poor, honest man, be he cidevnt clerk, book-
keeper, mechanic, artisan, or farmer, who comes to her
seeking a comfortable home, and is neither ashamed nor
too lazy to work for it. She wants good men and true-
men of intelligence, of mind, and of muscle, with willing







WHAT FLORIDA OFFERS.


hands to convert her vast forests into rich fields and fruit-
ful groves, and to fill their own treasure chest with the
well-earned reward of honest toil judiciously expended.
She has ample room for the skilled workman, the indus-
trious mechanic, the day laborer, the farm hand, the truck
farmer, the fruit-grower, the merchant, the blacksmith,
and all the many men of many trades" who go to make
up our busy, hard-working world. It is a noble, boun-
teous gift that she holds out to such as these, who flee to


her from the crowded,
up in one word--a veri
Comfort! a glorious
mate, a comfortable h
comfortable life for all
able fortune for their
waiting for the self-cho
tage of the gift so fre


icy North. It can all be summed
table multum in arvo.
boon. is it not?--a comfortable cli-


ome, a comfortable
Their days to cope,
children after them.


sen ones,
ely offered


hood enough to grasp it and mak
mark well that proviso, "to grasj
of it." For there are some who
ble, half-hearted sort of way, an
make as good use of it as they m
so blind that they may gaze strai


competence, a
and a comfort-
It is all here


who elect to take advan-
to those who have man-
e the best use of it. But
it and make the best use
take and hold it in a fee-
d do not, by any means,
ight, and others who are
ght into bonnie Florida's


outstretched
has got into
ous obliquity
landscape to
Aye! it is
which weary


palm
their
and


and see nothing there but the sand that
eyes and affected their vision with a curi-
color-blindness that changes all the fair


one deep shade of blue.
a most generous offer-comfort-a boon for
thousands upon thousands are seeking all their


lives long and i
most noble gift
gards, nor to me
sowed, to gather
into the ground


lever find it, not for
indeed, but not mad
n who expect to reap
without planting, to t
one day and see the g
2


an hour or a day-a
e to sloths nor slug-
where they have not
;hrust an orange tree
olden fruit drop into






18 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

their pockets the next; nor to men who possess neither
patience nor energy, neither perseverance nor backbone,"
who prefer sharp practice to honesty, falsehood to truth.
For such men as these Florida has no gifts to offer; she does
not want them, has no room for them, and gives them small
encouragement to encumber her fair fields and forests.


Not only in our own dear country, but in
land, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany,
sands upon thousands of men and women,
too_ the higher walks of life, struggling
meet the daily, never-ending problem of h
how to clothe and educate their children.


but know of the peaceful, comfortable
ida holds forth for their acceptance!


England, Scot-
there are thou-
many of them
day by day to
ow to live and
Ah! did they


home that fair Flor-


When the cold, chilling breath of the Ice King sweeps
over the land of the North, and suffering-suffering from
cold, from starvation, from sickness-presses its heavy hand
upon the downcast, out of work," poverty-stricken toilers
of the earth, we of sunny Florida read the sad story with.
aching hearts; we look out upon our own bright surround-
ings and clear, warm sky, upon trees loaded with golden
fruit, ground green with growing crops, chickens and ducks
merrily chasing insects; birds, rabbits, fish, turtle, and, on
the coast, oysters and clams to be had for the catching;
upon our own lightly clad forms, our small wood fires,
some days not even called into requisition; upon cord after
cord of heat-giving, life-giving wood lying rotting' on the
ground; upon master builders, carpenters, artisans of all
kinds crying out, We can not work faster because we can
not get workmen enough." We of bonnie Florida look put
upon all these things, and the contrast in the lives of those
wretched, suffering masses of the North, as it is, with what
it might be if they would but accept the comforts that
Florida freely offers them, fills our hearts with a yearning






WHAT FLORIDA OFFERS.


compassion and desire to point out the open road that lies
before them, did they but see it. And we are thankful,
intensely thankful to know that the number of those who
do see it is daily increasing-increasing, too, just as we
would have it, in exact proportion as the veil of mystery
is lifted from Florida's beautiful, genial form, and she
stands revealed, her true self, the refuge, the benefactor
of the struggling multitude.
The weary, anxious father and mother, whose hard, un-
remitting toil scarce suffices for the present needs of their
little ones, and who, so long as they creep on in the same
old groove, are able to lay by not one dollar for the future
or for the "rainy day," so certain to come to all sooner or
later, need but to transplant their household treasures to a
genial Florida home to find in the present, comfort, and in
the future competence, if nothing more; and this, too,
with less toil and hardship, less anxiety from day to day
than they endured in the old life behind them. And many
are awakening to this truth. Here, there, every where, we
see colonies forming, neighbors joining hands and Seeing
in a body from the icy winters of their old homes to seek


an easier, more
in themselves a
ciations in the


a,


prosperous life in sunny Florida, making
community bound together by mutual aso-
past, giving to each other hope, support,


encouragement in the present and future.
To the honest man willing to work, with a wife or chil-
dren willing to lend a helping hand, there can be no such
word in Florida as "fail." Even the despairing widow
with little children dependent upon her, if she is able to
work and can but get together enough money to carry her
to one of the growing Florida towns, secure an acre or
half acre of land (there are some who donate several acres
to actual settlers), and erect a little frame house thereon,


will find plenty of work to do/ind reduced expenses for






20 HOME LIFE IN FLOD.
clothing and fuel; profit, too, in raising a few chickens
and vegetables; and meantime, for the future, may have
growing on her little property a few well-cared-for orange
and other fruit trees. For mark well this fact: a few
trees properly tended will pay better and quicker than five
times the number only half nourished and cultivated.
One acre of land set with choice orange trees, say fifty of
them, with peach, fig, and pear trees in the diamonds and
corners, and vegetables raised between them, will in a few
years go far toward supplying the wants of any reasonable
family. And there are very few who could not acquire
this much of landed property in bonnie Florida.
Florida offers opportunities for the energetic and indus-
trious in every class of life, from the great capitalist down
to the common day laborer. In all her towns workmen of
every kind are in request at excellent wages, with less ex-
pense for clothing and fuel and house rent to be met than
at the North. In every one of the numerous towns spring-
ing up all over the State, wherever and whenever the fast-
spreading net work of transportation lines reaches out its
life-giving arms-in every one of these numerous towns
there are openings ready and waiting for all who choose to
grasp them. For the man or woman who would embark in
mercantile pursuits, with only a small capital to start with;
for the merchant, the dressmaker, the tinsmith, the milli-
ner, the baker, the washer and ironer, the blacksmith, the
carpenter-for each and all, in fact, Florida has a welcome
and a home.
The day has gone by when there was employment in
Florida only for builders and those connected with horti-
cultural pursuits. "Maqy men of many minds" can now
find plenty of opportunities to ply their several callings
with profit. Merchants, manufacturers, capitalists are
coming in day by day, and as to the future reources and







WHAIT FL~DORID OFERS


possibilities of our infant State no one now living dares
fix their limit, for the simple reason (by way of illustra-
tion) that no one dare say that Edison, the great elec-
trician, can proceed no further than his last wonderful
invention, that of telegraphing to and from a railroad
train going at full speed. Year by year, month by month,
as the tide of immigration and travel flows across the bor-
der in a steadily augmenting stream, some new resource,
some new indication of Florida's future greatness is discov-
ered. Even her most despised productions develop into
fresh resources of wealth and channels of industry. Wit-
ness, in passing, the much condemned scrub or saw pal-
metto, found here, there, every where. Its fiber proves
to be very valuable for manufacturing brushes and brooms
and various other things, while its sturdy roots are found
to be richer in tannin than the much-vaunted oak, and
hence invaluable in tanning leather. Ground fine or
burned, it is also a valuable fertilizer. The long gray
moss which drapes the hammock trees is coming into exten-
sive use for mattresses and upholstery; and so we might go
on swelling our list indefinitely. Tobacco factories are
already in operation at several points, ice factories are nu-
merous, the manufacture of textile fibers has commenced,
fruit and vegetable canneries are springing into being, cot-
ton mills coming to the fore, cattle ranches are close at
hand.
But it is not the purpose of this present work to enter


in deta
winning
intellig
indicate
Florida
support


il into.the various methods that Florida offers of
g home and competence to the industrious and
ent toilers of the world. Enough that we have
ed the roads that lie open to the "Home Life in
" and its possibilities. As to the means that shall
t that home, it is for the settler to choose according


to his means or inclination.


Our sole object is to show


I







SOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

what the Florida home may be made, what the settler must
expect to meet, and how to make the best of his or her sur-
roundings. We want the every-day realities of the new
home to be known, so far as it is possible for our humble
pen to reveal them, and in the telling of it all it shall be
our earnest endeavor to adhere strictly to facts and to point
out all sides of Florida life, good, bad, and indifferent.
Happily we can truthfully say that the former largely pre-
dominates. Those who come to Florida "to stay," seek
health, wealth, and a happy home, and these they will find
if they are sought for in a reasonable, sensible spirit. We
trust that when our readers lay down the pages of this book
they will have gained a correct idea of Florida home life.
Very many still hold to the same utterly unjust and


erroneous opinion of Florida's true
once uttered concerning her by that
man and senator, John Randolph,
when the question of the purchase of


inwardness that was
most eccentric states-
of Roanoke. It was
f Florida from Spain


was being considered by the United States Senate, and
Randolph was bitterly opposed to it. "What is Florida?"
he exclaimed. "A land of swamps, everglades, filled with
frogs, tadpoles, snakes, terrapins, alligators, mosquitoes,


gallinippers, and ague and fever!


Why, sir, a man would


not emigrate to that county, even from purgatory I What,
then, do we want with Florida?" And all the John Ran-
dolphs are not dead yet, but they are dying rapidly. Flor-
ida kills them all off, one after the other, as fast as they
look upon her fair, honest face. One glance does it; but
the trouble is that so many do not take that- one glance,
and hence, if they pay any attention to the subject at all,
are liable to be deceived, whether they believe all or be-
lieve nothing. Those who know Florida as she is, are
those who love her best, and are most willing to tell the
truth about her, without fear or favor.






WHAT FLORIDA OFFERS. 2
Not yet is she appreciated by the world at large as she
should be and -will be in the near future; but she is better
known now than she was two or three years ago, and is
today considered as one of the most valuable sections of
our great nation-the only part on the eastern side of our
country where snows never fall, and where, in literal
truth, "perpetual spring abides and never-fading flowers."
False statements, deliberate, unblushing, malicious, have
been made time and again, with the one set purpose of
doing our beautiful State an injury, and other statements
have been made also with a very different intent, yet
scarcely less untrue because the picture they drew of ease,
comfort, and rapid wealth are penciled in colors too bright
to be realized in this world, inasmuch as they are promised
without the prelude of waiting or working. And yet, in
spite of the assaults of unscrupulous foes and injudicious
friends, 'Florida prospers with an -eceeding prosperity,
because the truth is ever triumphant; and here are a few
figures that go to prove what she has done in the last few
years, which we clip from a current newspaper:
"The census returns show that the people of Florida
are getting richer very rapidly. During the five years
since the census of 1880 the population increased at the
rate of about 13,000 yearly, or from 269,494 to 334,146,
while the value of property has increased from $30,000,000
to $60,000,000 in round numbers. Thus twice the values
represented by the population in 1880 are represented now
by a population increased less than one sixth, and, averag-
ing the property per capital, makes each individual of to-day
worth nearly twice as much as he was five years ago. These
figures are even more satisfactory than those showing the
increase of population. There are a good many more of
us, and we are much richer."





HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


CHAPTER II.

A BACKWARD GLANCE.

The question is frequently asked, How is it, if Florida
is so desirable a country as a home, a fruit orchard and
vegetable garden, that people have been so long in finding
it out? Why was it not thickly settled long years ago?"
And the query is natural enough if one has not paid much


attention to the reco]
pauses to look back
pages, the wonder ce
units that go to make


rds of Florida's history; but when one
ward into those strangely romantic
cases. Not one amidst all the various
Sup the noble sum total of our United


States can boast of a story so full of market(
tragic romance that savors of the olden tim
beautiful "Land of Flowers," which, even f
moment of its discovery, seemed to be set api
rest of the continent to undergo an experience
The very fashion of that discovery was out
nary track of common events.
Dating from the ever memorable year 14{
immortal Columbus revealed the existence of
tinent to the astonished denizens of the "
each year had witnessed the departure from
the latter of one or more expeditions fitted


1 events and
es as can the
rom the first
art from the
e all its own.
of the ordi-

92, when the
another con-
Old World,"
the shores of
out for the


double purpose of discovery and conquest. But though
the several voyagers had sailed all along the eastern shores
of the new continent, from the Carolinas northward, and
had landed here and there, exploring the country, its riv-
ers and harbors, yet none had set foot on the Florida coast,
although one or two had sailed within sight of its eastern
shores. No good harbor for their ships offering, however,
they passed it by unheeding. Somehow, as we have inti-






A BACKWARD GLANCE.


mated already, the southernmost extremity of North Amer-


ica seen
set apai
measure
low her
saying,
should 1
Whil


is from the first to have been, by common consent,
rt for "future consideration." Nature had, in a
, placed it by itself, and man was disposed to fol-


e

be
e


being dre
and settle
land so l1


example. Oddly enough, it was decreed that the
the last shall be first, and the first shall be last,"
verified in this instance.
other lands to the north and west of Florida @ere
nched in the blood of conquered and conquerors,
sments formed and as quickly abandoned, the fair
rng neglected was destined to have' and to hold


the first permanent settlement on the whole continent;
for, as every one knows, the quaint little town of St.
Augustine, still bearing the imprint of its Spanish ori-
gin, antedates all others in America.
But it was with no thought of future St. Augustine or
any other settlement that Juan Ponce De Leon turned his


prow toward the fair land
the "New World" had dra
turers in search of fame,
them seeking them, too, u
promotion of the cause of 1
of the heathen. But of
Ponce De Leon. He soug]


of Florida. The discovery of
wn to its shores hosts of adven-
gold, and conquest, many of
under the guise of religion-the
the church and the conversion
none of these things thought
ht a personal benefit, it is true,


but of a widely different kind. The heyday of his youth
had passed, but not, as he now fondly hoped, forever. He
had heard wondrous tales of a marvelous spring wherein
one's youth might be regained, and this, this alone, was
the object of his quest-the realization of a new, strange
hope. Juan Ponce De Leon had served his country dur-
ing the wars in Granada with no slight distinction, and
when Columbus sailed on his second voyage to the "New
World" he had discovered, De Leon went with him in
search of a fresh field for adventure. On this expedition






26 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

he added not a little to his reputation as a skillful, daring
soldier, and his services were rewarded by the appointment
to the governorship of Bimini, one of the Bahama Islands
lying nearest to the great continent.
De Leon lived in an age of comparative ignorance, and
therefore superstition held full sway over the minds of the
masses of all ranks, from the highest to the lowest. Par-
ticularly was this the case with the traveler, who witnessed
much that he could not understand, and consequently set
'it down to the account of an agency not "of the earth,
earthy." Ponce De Leon was not an exception to the
general rule. He had journeyed fai and often, over sea
and land, and had seen many wonderful things which he
attributed to supernatural causes. In the new land in
which his lot was now cast there was much to astonish the
rough, ignorant soldier. The very existence of this great
country was in itself a thing to marvel at. Altogether
poor De Leon was in a proper frame of mind to be victim-
ized, or, rather, to victimize himself; and that is just what
he did, aided not a little therein by the wondrous tales
brought to his credulous ears by those of his comrades in
arms who had penetrated into the wilds of the continent.
Now, among the aborigines of Bimini and of the adja-
cent islands there was a legend which had been handed
down from father to son from time out of mind, and none
could tell its origin beyond tracing it to a certain great
cacique. It was hardly a legend either, for its whole pur-
port was to the effect that he who bathed in the stream
should renew his youth. It was, in fact, only a different
version of our own saying that "cleanliness is next to god-
liness." The far-away cacique, dead so long ago that his
very name was forgotten, who impressed this maxim on
his people, was certainly a wise old.gentleman, and worthy
of more renown than -has fallen to his lot. The strength







A BACKWARD GLANCE.


and vigor of youth is a boon cherished by all; hence, to
preserve it, or to recover it when lost, the natives bathed
frequently, and by so doing did much to attain their object,
since cleanliness is certainly a great promoter-of health,
and health simulates youth. This was, doubtless, the full
and entire extent of the wise cacique's meaning, and as
such the great majority of his people received it; but here
and there one might be found who took the matter less lit-
erally, and held fast to the belief that the cacique's words
referred to one particular spring or fountain, which, it was
true, they had not yet discovered, but only because it had
not been perseveringly searched for.


With sundry of these believers the veteran
took counsel, and at once decided in his own
the Fountain of Youth was an actual, tangible
where; therefore, that it could be discovered,
Ponce De Leon was the happy man destined to
this great feat and to be the first to profit by


after week, month after month, the
brooded over this wonderful fountain,
man with but one idea, a monomaniac.


De Leon
mind that
fact, some-
and that
accomplish
it. Week


governor of Bimini
until he became a
He boldly avowed


his firm belief that any man, no matter how worn out with
age he might be, who should dip his body into the waters
of this mighty spring, would emerge restored to the full
bloom of youth and strength. Imbued with the idea that
his own lost youth might be regained did he but make the
effort, the sturdy warrior at length threw prudence to the
winds, and with a few followers embarked on a voyage
among the neighboring islands, determined to find the life-
giving fountain, if he spent years in the search; for of


what value were years upon years
ful youth restorer were discovered
modern knowledge and contempt o


when once the wonder-
? In the light of our
f superstition, it is pit-


iful to think of a strong man, a renowned soldier and






HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


leader, thus wasting his energies in
supernatural boon on earth.
Long and weary were the days an
his departure from Bimini. Buffete
wave, De Leon persevered in his sea
not exist, landing on every island ani


the vain quest of a

d weeks that followed
d about by wind and
rch for that which did
d every little point of


terra firma, exploring every hill and hollow, tramping
through weary miles of tangled underbrush, and plunging
into every stream, every spring, and every hole containing
water, no matter how slimy or muddy it might be. But
from none of these many baths did he rise up one whit the
younger; on the contrary, the historians tell us, what one
would naturally suppose would be the result, that all this
toil and exposure and fatigue, coupled with continual anx-
iety and disappointment seriously affected De Leon both
in mind and body, so that he never afterward displayed
his wanted energy or judgment in thought or deed.
Hither and thither sailed poor, deluded Ponce De Leon,
wearied and disheartened, yet still convinced that the
Fountain of Youth existed and that in time he should find
it. So magnificent a boon to mankind would naturally be
difficult of access. Men hid their best treasures, often-
times; then why not Dame Nature ?;
Suddenly, on the 27th of March, 1512, while beating


about on
and, saili
extensive
from the
along the
he landed


the ocean, De Leon unexpectedly sighted land,
ng cautiously nearer, perceived that it was an
country, heretofore unknown, and very different
small islands of the Bahamas. Slowly he crept
coast, seeking a harbor for his ships, and at last
on the spot where now stands the oldest city in


the United States, St. Augustine. Splendid forests of pine
trees, immense oaks, cypress, magnolia, palm, and bay
trees rose grandly toward the sky, adorned to their very
tops with the long gray moss now so familiar to us all.






A BACKWARD GLANCE.


From the ground at their feet peeped forth, amidst a rank
growth of coarse grass, flowers of all colors; and even
away up toward the tree tops climbing vines bedecked the
green foliage with yellow and white and scarlet flowers, all
gleaming and glinting in the sunshine, with the graceful,
sober-tinted moss waving to and fro in their midst, and alto-
gether forming a scene so weirdly strange and beautiful


that Ponce De Leon and his
named this new land "Florida
And thus was our fair peninsula
the Spanish adventurer.
So elated was the old warrior


followers with one accord
"-blooming or flourishing.
a christened for all time by


r by t


had accidentally made that even the


ie grand
long-che


of the Fountain of Youth was relegated
ground; and although one might naturally
here in this fairy-like land, if any where, 1
fountain might well be located, yet now De
suddenly from his chimera, and instead of
more of his valuable time in any further
once proceeded to investigate the extent of th
as he believed it to be.
Knowing as we do, at this present day,
visible and hidden dancers and intricacies


among the Florida reefs, and viol
the Gulf Stream in flowing among
" keys," it is a marvel that De L
coast in safety, as he did, from 1
southward, finally rounding the


lent currents
g the number


eon was
the site
south


sailing northward a short distance along
Although still believing the land he
be an island, he was now well assured


discovery he
rished dream
to the back-
suppose that
the wondrpuis
Leon turned
wasting still
search, he at
is new island,

all the many
of navigation
Produced by
ous islands or


able to follow the
of St. Augustine
rnmost point and
the western shore.
had discovered to
that it was very


large and important. He therefore hastened to Porto
Rico and thence to Spain, where he laid before the king
the particulars of his discovery, and received as a reward






30 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

authority to conquer and govern the country, under the
high-sounding title of Adelantado. Returning to the West
Indies, he immediately commenced extensive preparations
for.an expedition of conquest and settlement. The build-
ing and arming of ships and the enlistment of the proper
kind of men for such work consumed a considerable time,
and it so happened, unluckily for Ponce De Leon, that he
was in the interval called upon to suppress an insurrection
of the Caribs, who, having long patiently borne with the
wanton cruelty of their conquerors, were at last roused to


resistance.


And now the physical results of that direful


search o
revealed
Leon, th
his men
regard o
suited to
ciplined,
sickness


ver sea and land for
themselves more unmi
e renowned soldier, had
through swamps and ju
f probable ambuscades
a young, inexperienced
war-hardened veteran.


the Fountain of Youth
stakably than ever. De
lost his cunning. He led
ngles, with a reckless dis-
and entanglements more
volunteer than to a dis-
His soldiers died from


brought on by needless exposure and fatigue, their


ranks were thinned by unseen foes who lurked behind the
trees and underbrush, ever and anon sending a fatal arrow
into their midst. Instead of securing, as they expected,
an easy victory over the untaught savages, one reverse
after another overtook the devoted band, until they were
compelled to abandon the expedition, the whole burden of
its failure being justly ascribed to the want of skill and
judgment of its leader.
The effect of this reverse was disastrous to the future
fortunes of De Leon. His prestige was gone forever, and
men feared to trust to his leadership. The result was that
nine years elapsed before he succeeded in collecting even a
small force to accompany him to the beautiful land of
which he was nominally Adelantado. Before that unfor-
tunate expedition against the Caribs Ponce De Leon could





A BACKWARD GLANCE. 31

have filled a dozen ships with enthusiastic followers. Now
he could with difficulty find enough men willing to accept
his leadership to fill two ships. With these, however, he
finally set sail once again for the flowery shores of Florida,
still believing his promised domain to be a large island.
Landing, he spent some time in explorations with a
view to locating a colony, the nucleus of his government.
The natives, astonished at the sight of the white stran-
gers, kept carefully aloof during these preliminary pro-
ceedings; but, coming at length to the conclusion that
their presence boded themselves no good, they determined
to drive them away.
Had Ponce De Leon been the soldier he once was, their
resolves had been made in vain; but here again, as with
the Caribs, he neglected the most ordinary precautions,
and conducted all his operations with culpable careless-
ness, despising the naked heathen too much to guard
against his attack. Strange that he had not yet bought
experience I
The Indians collected in large numbers, and while De
Leon was busily engaged in planning the site for his col-
ony, he and his men were boldly attacked and completely
routed by their savage foes.
De Leon himself was severely wounded by an arrow,
and this accident tended not a little to the demoralization
of his force. Carrying their leader with them, they fled to
their ships, returning with all haste to Cuba.
Here, soon after, Ponce De Leon, the deluded, baffled
soldier, laid down his arms forever. The wounded body
and broken spirit proved too heavy a burden for a life that
once had deemed no deed of valor impossible.
And thus ended the first scene in the history of Florida.
The disastrous result of De Leon's expedition had, as
might be supposed, a dampening effect on the ardor of






HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


those sturdy adventurers whose minds were set on the dis-
covery and conquest of golden countries," and for a time
Florida was relegated to her wonted quiet and obscurity.
Individual merchants, however, made repeated visits to
her shores, and on one of their expeditions a certain Diego
Miruelo obtained a considerable quantity of gold. We
are not told how much nor in what shape, but, however
it was, the fact was sufficient to revive all the old delusive
stories of Florida's fabulous wealth in gold and silver.


These Spaniards, be it re
eyes the solid facts of the en
already, in sight" of the r
Mexico, and readily conceive
as rich. Not only so, but b
from communications with
Florida, so far from being t
was only a small section of
so much the more worth co
claimed as Florida," and


membered, had before their
ormous wealth in these metals
recentt conquests in Peru and
I that other lands might prove
y this time they had learned
the Indian inhabitants that
he island they had supposed,
a vast country, and therefore
nquering. They accordingly
the property of the Spanish


Crown, the whole continent of North America, even includ-
ing Quebec.


In February, 1528, the second would-be Spanish con-
querer of Florida, the Adelantado Narvaez, landed on her
beautiful coast and took possession for Spain with solemn
ceremonials. Noticing some golden ornaments in the pos-
session of the Indians, and learning that they had obtained
them at "Apalachen, a country in the interior," Narvaez,
despite of his total ignorance of the land he was to pene-
trate, of the difficulties and foes he might encounter, took
up his line of march for the interior, with only one day's
provisions.
The history of that march is pitiful indeed. Unspeakable
hardships awaited the adventurers; a third of their num-
ber perished by the arrows of the Indians, and more than


!






A BACKWARD GLANCE.


another third died from exposure and fatigue. Finally,
after reaching the coast and not finding their fleet awaiting
them, they built rude boats, sewed their shirts together as
sails, and made ropes of the fibers of palm trees. They were
hunting for the ships they had left to await their return,
but it was like "hunting for a needle in a hay-stack," igno-
rant as they were where to look. Hither and thither they
sailed, without aim or result. Some died of disease, some
of starvation, after vainly endeavoring to preserve life by
eating the bodies of their dead comrades.
Finally, from five boats holding forty men each, the once
proud expedition was reduced to one boat, containing six
men and a boy One of these men was the hapless vete-
ran, Narvaez. Near the mouth of the Perdido River his
soldiers went ashore to seek provisions, while he himself,


with a sailor
ing the night
the Gulf; and
life-light of ti
the boat nor ii
The four sol


mies, fared
ever, after
the Indians
rescued by
that should


and the boy, remained in the boat Dur-
Sa violent wind drove the boat out upon
There, either by drowning or starvation, the
he once brilliant soldier went out. Neither
ts occupants were ever heard of again.
diers, left thus on shore in the midst of ene-


but little better. They finally succeeded, how-
seven years of misery of all kinds, slavery to
included, in reaching Mexico, and were there
their own countrymen. Meantime the ships
have met them on the Florida coast returned


to Spain, having given up their comrades for lost.
Thus ended the second scene in Florida's history.
In the year 1539 came Fernando De Soto to try his for-
tune in Florida, and landed at Tampa Bay, which he
named Espiritu Santo. He had a thousand men at his
back, and three hundred and fifty horses. His search was
not so much for conquest as for gold.
Marching onward, the Indians opposed his advance at
3






64 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

Ocali (now Ocala, Marion County), the cacique, Vitachuco,
met and fought the Spanish invaders, but of course was
utterly routed by the superior weapons and discipline of
his foes.
De Soto marched on through Florida into Alabama, his
troops meeting hardships, death by arrows, death by dis-
ease, starvation, fatigue; but no gold. Then, while at the
Indian village of Mawvilla (presumably Mobile), their
leader heard that not far away, at Ochuse, now Pensacola,
his ships were waiting his arrival; but so infatuated, so
resolute to find gold or die, was this fated soldier, that he
carefully kept the news from his many followers, and
straightway led them further into the interior. And there,


less than four years after his enthusia
Bay, with his thousand troopers, F<
of the most brilliant soldiers of his
beneath the waters of the Mississippi
on land, his Indian foes should find
from their fear of the great warrior,
This sad duty performed, the dish
the expedition started on the mar
hundred and eleven survivors out
marched five hundred miles and waste


stic landing at Tampa
rnando De Soto, one
time, was laid to rest
River, lest, if buried
the grave, and, freed
destroy his followers.
heartened remnant of
ch for Mexico, three
of a thousand having
bed four years of their


lives for no result.
And so closed the third scene in Florida's history, leav-
ing her just where Juan Ponce De Leon had found her
thirty years before, except indeed that her soil was the
richer for Spanish blood and Spanish bones.
And now one would have thought that at last the adven-
turous Spaniards would have been content to abandon
Florida to its fate.
But the fact is, that those rugged old soldiers of by-
gone days were very much as we find the human family at
the present time each .one thought himself smarter than






A BACKWARD GLANCE. 35

his predecessor, and that he would succeed where the latter
had failed. Moreover, each was searching for another
Peru or Mexico, with their marvels of wealth.
Consequently, just twenty years after the landing of
Fernando De Soto at Tampa Bay, another force, even
more splendid in equipment and greater in numbers,
landed at the then Bay of Santa Marie, now Pensacola,
fifteen hundred men, and a large number of priests to
christianize the natives, under the leadership of Don Tris-
tan De Luna.
The expedition was ill-omened from the start, for within
a few days after their arrival a hurricane wrecked every
one of their ships, together with the greater portion of
their provisions. Nothing daunted, however, they built a
ship from the remnants of the fleet, and, sending it back
to Cuba for more stores, set forth into the interior to look
for gold, and convert the natives by conquest and oppres-
sion and chains.
Some of the Indians were friendly, but there is such a
thing as trespassing on the hospitality of our friends, and
"wearing out our welcome."
Wearied and worn, the Spanish troops, coming to a pleas-
ant spot and finding generous hosts, sat them down-for a
good long period of rest and enjoyment. It was all very
well at first, but soon the poor Indians found themselves
likely to be eaten out of house and home. They were not
rich; in fact, it was rather hard times with them, because
(we suppose) the "factory hands had struck for higher
wages," the railroad freights had "eaten up the profits on
vegetables," and the pigs had rooted up their sweet pota
toes, and the savings bank had gone all to pieces.
At all events, whatever the inducing causes might have
been (there are some who may not credit the above as
such), the friendly Indians felt that they had too much







36 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

of a good thing." They could not invite their unwelcome
elephants to leave by force of arms, so they got rid of them
by a strategem worthy of the most august court in Europe.
One morning an ambassador from the most powerful
King of Coosa arrived to interview the great white war-
rior. He was most gorgeously arrayed in paint and feath-
ers, and accompanied by a large number of attendants.
His errand was to convey a most pressing invitation from
the King of Coosa (Alabama) to visit him forthwith,
bringing all his troops with him.
Nothing loth, the valiant De Luna set forth for Coosa,
guided by the ambassador, and after several days of hard
traveling he awoke one morning to find the ambassador
and his suite vanished, and himself-sold, a fact he speedily
realized.
He, however, pushed on toward Coosa; as well there as
any where. Hardships pursued the adventurers; they
grew ill-tempered and quarreled and mutinied; they suf-
fered from hunger, lived upon roots, berries, and acorns;
and at last, with a few followers only left of all the brave
fifteen hundred, Tristan De Luna made his way back to
Santa Marie or Pensacola, and there found ships awaiting
him, with orders to return to Mexico forthwith.
And so ended the fourth Spanish attempt to wrest golden
conquest from Florida.
There was, in very truth, a golden conquest to be made
in that beautiful country, but it was not to be won by
force or the sword; rather by peace and the plow.
Possibly, after this, the Spaniards might have let Florida
alone as an unlucky country, but there is a good deal of
the dog-in-the-manger disposition in human nature.
The French Huguenots, under the direction of the
famous Admiral Coligni, conceived the project of a settle-
ment in the New World, and, after several unsuccessful






A BACKWARD GLANCE. 37

attempts, finally built Fort Caroline, on the St. John's
River, at a point, it is supposed, now called St. John's Bluff.
All this stirred up the Spaniards once more, and under a
fierce, bigoted leader, Don Pedro Menendez, an expedition
was fitted out to drive the accursed heretics out of Florida.
This force landed at St. Augustine, as Menendez named
the settlement he at once founded as a basis of supplies,
and thus, in the year 1565, was started the first settlement
in Florida, and the oldest in the United States.
The French commander, Ribault, hearing of his ene-
mies' approach, resolved to become the assailant. Taking
five hundred men, and leaving less than one hundred in
the fort, he sailed for St. Augustine; but before reaching
the mouth of that river a storm drove his ships out to sea,
and then drove them on shore, leaving them total wrecks,
and himself and his men three hundred miles from their
fort.
After nine days of constant marching and hardships
they arrived in sight of their longed-for haven, to see the
Spanish flag floating over the rampart! It was a cruel
blow.
Ribault justly distrusted the assurances of Menendez;
but his men were worn out, unable to retreat, unable to
fight, and the only thing left to do he did-surrendered to
Menendez, on his promise of safety. Then the treacherous
Spaniards, taking their prisoners into the fort (from across
the river), thirty at a time, tied their hands behind their
backs and mercilessly slaughtered them, heaping useless
cruelties and indignities upon them, while the military
hand played its loudest and merriest to drown the cries for
mercy.
And so the poor Frenchmen were murdered, each de-
tachment ignorant of the fate of its predecessors. Ribault,
pleading for his men, was stricken down, stabbed in the






38 HOME LFE IN FLORIDA.

back, and covered with wounds. And then Menendez, not
satisfied with his demoniacal work, hung up the mangled
bodies to a tree and wrote above them, "Not as French-
men, but as heretics."
But it was not long before retribution came:'"As ye
mete, it shall be meted unto you."
A French warrior, De Gourges, his heart burning to
avenge his countrymen, equipped an expedition at his own
expense, sailed from France, reached Florida, and was
there joined by a large body of the natives, who had
learned to love the more gentle Frenchmen as much as
they hated the Spaniards.
De Gourges was fortunate in every movement. He sur-
prised and captured the Spanish forts on the St. John's, and
hung their garrisons on the very same trees from which
the mangled remains of his unfortunate countrymen had
been suspended, writing above them, "Not as Spaniards,
but as traitors, robbers, and murderers."
Menendez, the arch-murderer, escaped, because he was
in Spain at the time of De Gourges' vengeance.
From this time forth the Spaniards held to their settle-
ment at St. Augustine, fighting off and on all the time
with the English, who now began to settle along the Car-
olina and Georgia shores, which Spain claimed as also
"Florida."
In 1696 the Spaniards began to colonize the western
coast of Florida, and built a fort at Pensacola, besides
establishing missions at various points.
Finally, in 1763, by a treaty, Spain ceded Florida to
England in exchange for Havana, which heretofore ha
belonged to the British Empire. The result of the Span-
ish claim to Florida, held since 1512, being two small mili-
tary settlements.
The new English possessors at once proceeded to make a






A BACKWARD GLANCE.


very different use of their prize. General James Grant
was appointed Colonial Governor, immigration was invited,
land grants made to officers and soldiers upon condition of
settlement, books descriptive of Florida were issued and
distributed, good roads built (some still remaining), agri-
culture was fostered, the culture of indigo encouraged.
During the Revolution no less than seven thousand
stories and loyalists found refuge in Florida, which re-
mained under English supremacy.
In 1780 Governor Tonyn called together the first Gen-
eral Assembly of Florida.
And now the beautiful State at last was prosperous.
Indigo culture was a splendid success; the turpentine pro-
duct was very valuable. Florida's fame as a manifold agri-
cultural country was slowly spreading, and immigration
was rapidly on the increase. But nature in those days
was not done playing football with genial Florida.


England had lost all the rest of her American posses-
sions south of Canada, so she did not care now to keep
Florida, consequently she tossed her over into the lap of
Spain once more. The English settlers, all their cherished
labors come to naughteing allowed eighteen months to
rise up and go back home to the "old countree."
So once more noor Florida was nut to bed and to seen


in the Spanish cradle, dreaming
warfare, fights with Indians, b
and runaway convicts. Once, in
resolved to annex Florida, and
and they marched down to St. A
on complaint of the Spaniards,


r -- -v -------- ----- -- rmf, b
realistic dreams of border
roils among adventurers,
1812, a party of Georgians
govern it their own way,
Lugustine to take it. But
the young United States


Government sat down on the Georgians, and sent them
home in disgrace, like naughty boys.
The United States already owned that portion of Florida
lying west of the Perdido River. Spain had ceded it to






40 HOME IFE FLORIDA.

France, and the latter, as a part of Louisiana, sold it to
the American Government in 1803. Having this much,
the Georgians, like Oliver Twist, wanted "more, more,"
hence their action in the premises.
Spain, like England, at length concluded that Florida
was an elephant it would be well to get rid of, as costing
more than it earned; so, in 1821, it was formally handed
over to the United States, and in 1822 East and West
Florida were consolidated into the Territory of Florida,
under an organized government, and soon after the site of
the former Indian settlement of Tallahassee was selected as
the capital.
And now, as the rich agricultural possibilities of the
country and its wonderful climate began to be understood
at last, and more and more immigration crossed the bor-
ders, the Indians became an important factor in the case.
They occupied some of the best portions of the State, and
naturally resisted the advance of the whites, whom they
waylaid, murdered, and plundered continuously. In one
Indian village alone, when General Jackson, in 1818, cap-
tured it, were found three hundred fresh scalps of men,
women, and children.
The burning of plantations, the carrying off of stock,
the murder of their owners were every-day occurrences;
and at last it became imperative to remove the Indians
from the country, or abandon the fairest of all the United
States to their sole use and benefit. Until this was done,
and, as every one knows it cost seven years of war and mas-
sacre to do it, it is no wonder that the settlement of Flor-
ida was slow.
It was not until 1842 that the settlers felt safe and could
draw a long breath of relief, freed forever from their ene-
mies. But still the development of the country was necessa-
rily slow. It lay outside the usual line of travel, and trans-






A BACKWARD GLANCE. 41

portation facilities were few and far between. But these
points were rapidly improving, and Florida was once more
striding forward when the unhappy civil war broke out,
and again her onward progress was checked. But not for
long.
After three hundred and seventy years of playing foot-
ball to Spain, France, England, Indians, Florida is now
herself again, and is blossoming out into one of the most
noble, most beautiful flowers in the giant bouquet held by
Uncle Sam-the United States.
In growth, in improvements, in developments, in possi-
bilities, Florida stands among the first and foremost. The
infant has awakened from her long sleep, a very giant of
wonders, and will yet be known as one of the wealthiest
among her many powerful sisters, as she will ever be the
fairest.
j






42 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


CHAPTER m.
CLIMATE.

Going back to its Greek derivation, we find that the
word climate means literally, "the slope of the earth from
the equator toward the pole." In its modern meaning it
signifies the condition of a place in relation to the various
phenomena of the atmosphere, as temperature, moisture,
and other properties of the same nature, which may either
directly or indirectly affect animal life and more notably
that of man.
Florida has many, very many attractions, not fanciful
nor ephemeral, but real, solid lasting, and amid them all
the brightest jewel in her crown of brilliant gems is her
climate. The Italy of America" is a title frequently ap-
plied to our fair State, but those who know Italy, and
also know Florida, assert that the inference is very far
from flattering to the latter. While Italy and Southern
France enjoy a winter climate far milder than that of the
rest of Europe, still it is incomparably inferior to that of
Florida. And as to their spring time, here is what an
eminent physician, who has made the subject one of special
study, says of that, in concluding a winter contrast by
no means to the advantage of our trans-atlantic neighbors:
"I will say nothing of their spring, for no one who has
ever tried it, or who has inquired of any reliable authority
about it, would trust himself there after the first of March.
Even in the most sheltered localities, as at Cannes and
Mentone, a change on one of the most pleasant days from
the sunny to the shady side of the street often produces a
shiver, and renders necessary for an invalid an extra cov-
ering. At sunset one must rush home and in-doors for his







CLIMATE.


life; nor does any prudent man dare to ride out in the
afternoon without the wraps he would require in his north-
ern home. Such is the case even in Algiers, which is a
superior climate to that of the north shore of the Mediter-
ranean."
In Nice, that much-vaunted resort for those Europeans
who seek a mild climate, the same physician tells us that,


"In winter there is a difference
temperature of places exposed
between those in the shade and
from Nice to Italy we find in tl
that, "Only dogs and strangers
And here, in contrast, let us
station, this also from the pen


Sof 120 to 240 between the
to the south and the north,
Iin the sun," and traveling
ie latter a significant saying
Sgo on the shady side."
notice one more brief quo-
of a well-known physician:


"In Florida during most of the warm and pleasant days
one may not only be out at sunset on land, but with equal
comfort on the water. I have frequently called the atten-
tion of persons to this contrast with the European climates,
when we were returning from a row at sunset in mid-win-
ter, some of us in our shirt-sleeves. Had there been any
considerable dampness in' the air this would not have teen
prudent or comfortable."
From the earliest visitors, and from the numerous adven-
turers who once landed on Florida's shore, came enthusiastic
reports of her climate, and from that time to this the cry
has been taken up and echoed and re-echoed all over the


world, a paraphrase of the Mussulman's watch-word,
ida I Florida I there is but one Florida I"
Why, would you ask ?
In the first place, our State is a peninsula almo
entirety, and from the earliest days of civilization p
las have always been preferred as favorite residence


"Flor-


t in its
eninsu-
es, and


resorted to in the winter by those living in the cold, inland
countries, because their climates are always milder, and







44 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

have a peculiarity all their own, in the fact that the heat
rising from the vast bodies of water lying on either side,
tempers and modifies every cold current of air that passes


over their surface. This
the summer time the san
waters absorb a portion of
air sweeping across their
genial winter service to th
For these reasons the
greatly from that of inla


during the winter season. In
oe force is at work; the cooler
the heat contained in the warm
bosom and store it up for their
eir landward neighbor.
climate of a peninsula varies
nd countries, even in the same


section and same latitude.
We have already noted the fact that Florida now con-
fessedly holds the front rank before all other peninsulas or
seaside countries. There are very good reasons for this.
Not one of them all has the same latitude, the same
slope to the winter sun, the same topography, and the same
features.
The Apennine Mountains, with their lofty snowcapped
summits, chill the air that circulates over the Mediterra-
nean and Atlantic seas. In Mexico, in Southern Cali-
fornia, in Spain, in France, every where, save in our bon-
nie Florida, we find mountain ranges towering aloft, their
white peaks covered with snow, their hollows with ice, cool-
ing off the air faster than the sun can warm it, obstructing
the pressure of the winds in summer and in winter, keeping
the kindly breezes in check during the one season, and send-
ing down cold, cutting winds during the other.


Now, Florida has nothing
riences go. Her surface' is
only a gentle rise between th
gulf on the other, so that th
lying waters in the winter se
ing the summer, are ever fre
her beautiful bosom. And


like this, so far as such expe-
comparatively level, having
te ocean on one side and the
e breezes, warmed by her out-
ason and cooled by them dur-
e to play back and forth over
when we say that her surface






CLIMATE. 45

is comparatively level, we do not mean to be understood
that it is actually and entirely flat, though we know this
is the generally received opinion, and quite on a par with
some of the other ideas that are wafted across land and
sea concerning our sunny Florida. "Low and damp, and
generally malarial," those are the terms a supposed-to-be-
reliable professor applied to her not very long ago in the
columns of a magazine that should have more carefully
guarded its pages against the crime of "bearing false wit-
ness against its neighbors." We shall have more to say
about that charge by and by, for we intend to look thor-
oughly into this question of Florida's climate, since upon
this point hinges the whole subject of her suitability as a
home-a healthy, happy home worthy of the name.
But just now we have to do with her surface, which is
by no means uniformly level; in fact, one of its greatest
and oddest features is its picturesque lack of uniformity
of any kind, for it is all one strange mixture of rock and
sand, hill and flat woods, pine land, and hammock land,
rivers and lakes, interior and coast line, fruits of the
tropics, the semi-tropics, and the temperate zones; trees of
the equatorial regions, and of the colder climes, and vege-
tables of the most tender as well as the most hardy kinds.
Florida is more than seven times as large as Massachu-
setts. It is larger than the States of New Hampshire,
Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Dela-
ware, and Rhode Island combined. Florida is one fourth
larger than the great Empire State of New York, and
fifty per cent greater than the State of Ohio with its pop-
ulation of three millions. Stepping across the Atlantic,
we find it covering considerably more territory than Greece,
Belgium, and Switzerland, and it goes squarely over the
whole of England by a surplus of nine thousand square
miles.







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

Florida is one of the largest States in the Union; the


very largest east of the Mississippi River.


It embraces


clear water lakes, formed by a rather
-"high sand hills," as they are te
not really "high" at all, that is, to
hill country; but locally the name
non-residents are apt to be misled by it
hammock, low hammock, high sand
these are localisms well understood
with the State. It is not height a!
indicated, but location with regard to


undulating country
rmed, only they are
a resident of a true
is correct, although
ts application. High
hills, flat woods, all
by those acquainted
3ove the sea that is
natural drainage.


37,913,600 acres of good, solid land, and 4,440 square
miles of water, and has over 1,200 miles of coast line. So
you see there is plenty of room for variety of all kinds,
especially so when we note the fact that her length from
north to south (that is, from the southern point of the
peninsula to the Georgia line) is 380 miles, and her
breadth in what is called the mainland portion, is 345
miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rio Perdido. The
average breadth of the peninsula is less than one hundred
miles, and that of the strip between the Gulf of Mexico
and the Georgia and Alabama lines is less than forty miles,
consequently there is no portion of the State so far removed
from the vicinity of the sea air as not to feel its modifying
influences.
South Florida-and by this term we mean those coun-
ties that have an undisputed claim to the title which is
often erroneously bestowed on others that should more
properly be termed the "Central Belt." South Florida,
represented by the counties of Dade, Monroe, Brevard,
Manatee, Lee, Hillsboro, Hernando, Osceola, Citra, and
Polk are noted for their generally "level" surface, prai-
ries, and flat woods, with the exception of Polk and Citra,
which are the proud possessors of numerous beautiful,






CLIMATE. 47
Down through the center of Florida runs a decided
ridge or backbone; not mountainous, but rising gently
from the sea-coast on either side until the middle, running
north and south, is reached, and here at some points the
"divide" is so sharp that the little streams taking their
rise in one of the small lakes will flow to the east on one
side and toward the west on the other.
A phenomenon similar to this was witnessed by the
writer a few years ago on the summit of the high ridge
dividing the Isthmus of Panama. There is a space three
or four feet long where the water in the railroad drain lies
perfectly still, while at each end it flows rapidly in opposite
directions, one toward the Atlantic, the other toward the
Pacific Ocean.
Crossing Florida's peninsula from east to west, or vice
versa, is like ascending gradually a series of terraces, the
one blending into the other, until a gently undulating
plateau is reached at the highest point, continuing for a
distance varying from six to twenty or more miles across,
and then commencing another terraced descent on the
other side.
Probably the greatest elevation in Polk County, which
is the highest in South Florida, is not over but rather
under two hundred and thirty-five feet above the sea.
Passing northward from South Florida we find the face
of the country gradually changing; instead of the rolling
lands being the exception they become the rule; and not
only so, but the undulations are more decided, real, genu-
ine hills" being frequently found, for here, in the vicinity
of the backbone of the State, is its greatest elevation,
about three hundred feet above the sea.
While thegeneral opinion prevails that Florida is low,"
very few are aware of the fact that her highest elevation
is also that of all the States on the Atlantic coast, their







48 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

general elevation, with some local exceptions, being act-
ually less than three hundred feet.
Florida's average level above the sea, according to To-
ner's Dictionary of Elevations is sixty feet, while that of
Louisiana is seventy-five feet; no very great difference,
you see, yet no one looks askance at Louisana on that
account, even though it necessitates the construction and
maintenance at an immense expense of a levee to keep the
land from being inundated at times by the Father of
Waters," an effort, as we all know, not always successful
either.
But enough for the present of the surface of Florida.
We have seen sufficient to prove that, while she has no
mountain ridge to cool the air with snow and ice and sud-
den blasts of wind, yet neither can she be justly described,
as she has so often been by her enemies, as "one vast ex-
panse of swamps and flat woods."
"Low," as regards elevation above the sea, in compari-
son with many countries, Florida undoubtedly is; but
compare her with some others and her lowest lands become
highlandsd.
Look across the ocean, for instance, at the Old World.
The valley of Jordan is no less than one thousand feet
below the level of the Mediterranean Sea. The countries
lying along the Caspian Sea are lower than its surface;
and why is it that a large portion of Holland has to be
defended by a system of dykes against the inroads of the
waters? Not, surely, because her lands lie higher than
the waves that beat against her shores.
Yet these countries we have named are healthy and fer-
tile, and thickly populated, and no one thinks of casting
their lowly station in their teeth.
Chiefly low, and generally damp and malarial," those
are the words we quoted a while ago as applied to Florida







CLIMATE.


by a certain professor who had not even done her the jus-
tice of investigating the truth or crossing her borders. We
have effectually disposed of the first charge, now let us
attack the second, "generally damp."
We suppose he meant humid," as that term applies to
the atmosphere or climate, while damp indicates moist-
ure" or "slightly wet," and if this quality refers to the
soil, accompanied by warmth and fertility, it is very far
from being objectionable to any farmer or fruit-grower.
Taking humidity, then, to be the word that should have
been employed as applied to the degree of vapor held in
the atmosphere and not perceptible to the human senses,
let us see how it stands.
Well, in the first place, humidity is by no means un-
healthy when accompanied by sunshine and fresh air, and
if these are to be had any where on earth it is in bonnie
Florida.
In the second place we will compare the degree of moist-
ure held in the Florida atmosphere with that of some other
places, and note how she bears the comparison of scientific
and authorized facts and figures.
Here are some items from the Signal Service reports, as
cases in point:
The mean humidity for Jacksonville, Punta assa, and
Key West for the five coldest months of the year is 72.7;
for the same months in the three principal cities of Min-
nesota the mean was 74.3; while, crossing to Southern
France, we find the humidity for the same period to be
72.4 at Cannes and Mentone. That shows a difference in
favor of Florida of 1.6 against Minnesota, and an advan-
tage of only 0.3 in favor of the French cities, and the dif-
ference in both these readings would have been still more
upon Florida's side had the observations been taken in the
interior of the State at a higher altitude instead of, as
4







O HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

they were, on her lowest grounds and on the bank of the
St. John's River and the Gulf of Mexico. As a matter of


fact the relative
than that of fiv
European health
The beautiful


humidity of Florida year by year is less
e out of eight of the most celebrated
resorts.
llUakndia usneoides or Snanish moss.


J-


S


which adds so much to the beauty and grandeur of our
Southern forests, and is one of the most admired among
the many novelties that attract the attention of a new-
comer, is often quoted as a proof of the excessive moisture
in Florida's atmosphere. Now it is quite true that in
those spots where this graceful drapery is found in the
greatest abundance there is a very moist local atmosphere;
note that word, local, for in that lies the explanation of
the seeming contradiction. Some people have an idea that
the moss itself creates the dampness, while in truth it finds
already there the moisture it requires for its daily food, and
by living upon it and taking it up out of the air actually
lessens the amount and so performs valuable sanitary ser-
vice. Its presence in large quantities-which is always in
low hammock lands-indicates the existence of super-
abundant' moisture, but has the opposite effect to increas-
ing it; and yet it is frequently found scattered about here
and there, forming a most luxuriant drapery on isolated
trees, growing on high and dry lands, but here its presence
is no indication of dampness. The sunshine pours down
on it all day long, and water may not be any where near
it, but it thrives, nevertheless, on the same principle that
one man can live upon less than two.
The great scientist, Vivenot, has carefully classified the
degrees of relative humidity as follows: It being under-
stood that here as elsewhere, the basis of all such figures is
the air saturated so that it can hold no more moisture in
invisible suspension. This point is marked as one hundred


SI







CLIMTE.


per cent; then, if the air of a certain place is only half
saturated it is marked as fifty per cent; one quarter sat-
urated as twenty-five per cent."
Here then is Vivenot's classification: Moderately dry,
56 to 70; moderately moist, 71 to 85; excessively moist,
86 to 100."
We have already seen that the humidity of certain points
in Florida during the five coldest months is 72.7, which
just brings it under the heading of "moderately moist."
But take the whole State and the whole year, and then
the figures change to 69.6, and this at once places Florida's
climate where it belongs, under the classification of "mod-
erately dry."
She has reason to be thankful that it is not any drier
than it is, for if her atmosphere contained less moisture
her greatest charm would be gone. Why, do you ask?
Simply because a certain amount of moisture is absolutely
necessary to prevent great and sudden ranges of tempera-
ture, a thing which is quite as deleterious to health as an
excess of humidity.
Who that has sat in a dentist's chair to have a tooth filled
does not recall with a shudder the intense aching caused by
the little bellows which dries the cavity to be filled? It
must be very dry, and it is this absence of moisture, pro-


during an
the excess
We see
stance, if
moisture
dew, then
140 (oftel


Intense cold by rapid evaporation, which causes
sof pain.
the same principle at work in the air. For in-
Florida did not possess a certain amount of
and a consequent deposit of a certain amount of
I, instead of a night and day variation of 13 or
n less) in temperature, there would probably be a


difference of 300 or 40.
In the desert of Sahara, where the dryness is absolute
and radiation at night entirely unrestrained, the tempera-


I







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


ture changes from an almost unendurable heat during the
day-1000 or over in the shade-to no less than 320, the
freezing point, at night.
In Upper Egypt the range is 400, and out on our own
western prairies there is not infrequently a difference of
600, so that one is scorched by day and frozen at night.
Let us be thankful then that Florida has just enough
moisture to temper the heat during the day by condensa-
tion, and during the night by retarding radiation suffi-
ciently to keep. the cold in check. Her climate is just as
it ought to be to secure health and warmth.
A few practical, every-day illustrations of the proof of
our statements, and we close our study of Florida's climate
so far as humidity goes.
One of the scientific tests of a "moderately dry" cli-
mate is the dessication of meats and their slow decomposi-
tion. Now, it is a fact that causes much surprise to new-
comers, that beef when hung up in a current of air will
keep fresh much longer than in the same or even lower
temperature in the more northern States; and venison,
which has naturally less moisture than beef, will harden
and dry on the surface and continue good much longer
than beef.
Another test is, "matches will take fire with certainty,
even in unheated rooms." Here, also, the writer has noted
a marked difference between, for instance, Maryland, New
Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania, and Florida, and de-
cidedly in favor of the latter. It is very seldom indeed
that a match is found to have absorbed enough moisture
to crumble or miss fire.
Unless during the prevalence of several days' rain (an
infrequent occurrence) ladies find that their hair will re-
main in crimps or curls for days together; this, as is well
known, is an unfailing proof of dry air.
I







CLIMATE.


If pianos are kept closed on rainy
and occasionally thrown wide open-
raised-at other times, little if an]
keeping them in tune, especially i
.Stafe, which is very far from being
countries.
During the rainy season, from J
sive, it is difficult to keep table salt
than in the majority of the States


days when not in use,
-that is, the entire lid
y trouble is found in
n the interior of the
the case in very moist
a


une
dry
unde


to August inclu-
; but no more so
hr similar circum-


stances, and the writer has frequently seen in Philadelphia
and New Jersey salt-cellars actually full of liquid salt, but
never more than very moist in Florida.
Clothing that has been wet and "salted" with perspira-
tion, even though dry when taken off at night, will often
be found quite damp in the morning, the salt having ab-
sorbed moisture during the night. But clothing not so
salted, even though left by an open window, will be per-
fectly dry. Of how many of our States can this be sid
during a long" rainy spell"?
Even during the rainy season, when showers fall more
or less copiously everyday (the sun shining in the interval),
the air is not saturated. It never comes under Vivenot's
classification of "excessively moist," a fact that is proven
by the continued, though diminished evaporation of water,
for, as every one knows, this would be an impossibility if
the atmosphere already contained as much moisture as it
could hold in suspension.
In the lower St. John's fogs are quite frequent and
heavy, but in most other localities they seldom occur,
and then are light and quickly vanish as the sun rises
higher.
And now we hope that the facts we have given so fai
will refute effectually the erroneous idea that generally
prevails concerning Florida's moist climate."







HOME LI IN FLORIDA.


The charge of unhealthfulness or "malaria" remains,
and this too we shall presently lay in its grave, along with
sundry other untruths and misconceptions, and cover them
away out of sight forever, from the sight of those who
peruse these pages.






HEALTH. 55


CHAPTER IV.
HEALTH.

One of the very first questions that confronts the intend-
ing settler is that of health, and so it should be, paramount
to all others; for what is wealth, or life itself, without the
capacity for enjoying them ? And we all know from bitter
experience, either in our own persons or in that of those
dear to us, that there can be no pleasure, whether in riches
or in life, if they are accompanied by sickness and pain.
So in selecting a home the question of its healthfulness
should be the most important of all. the first and fore-
most to be considered even at the possible cost of sacrifice
in some minor points;: we say minor advisedly, because all
other points are minor to this, and the wise man will sub-
ordinate them to it first and last.
It is a well-known, but none the less to be lamented,
phase of human nature, that the moment a country or
individual becomes prominent among the rest, by reason
of superior merit or advantage, that moment hosts of ene-
mies, bitter and unscrupulous, arise and assail them with
a venom born of that "envy, hatred, malice, and all un-
charitableness," from whose evil dominion we pray for
deliverance.
For years upon years our sunny Florida lay perdue, as
it were, too humble and insignificant to attract the notice
of the busy, struggling thousands scattered all over the
rest of the world. Why this was so is easily understood
by any one who pauses to look back upon her history, as
we have seen. Only within a comparatively few years has
general attention been bestowed upon this hidden gem of
the Union.






56 HOME LIFE M FLORIDA.

The cry was, Go West, young man I" and many a young
man obeyed; and some remained rejoicing, and some de-
parted in a different frame of mind. But enough went,
and enough continued to follow in their footsteps to enrich
the land speculators. And it was like the falling of a
bomb-shell into their midst when Florida, bonnie Florida,
with her sunny smile and warmth of welcome, stepped for-
ward into the light, offering far more than all the much-
vaunted West could bestow, even after years of toil and
exposure to the inclement storms of winter and the terrible
gales of summer.
And then straightway arose a host of foes, striking
blindly at the formidable rival looming up so suddenly in
their pathway. She endangered all their cherished plans,
and so she must be struck down by slander, falsehood, mis-
representations, malice, by any and every weapon, so that
only their end was attained. But it never was, for Florida
was too powerful in her charms, and truth, like murder,
"will out," providing that one searches for it. Yet still,
as we have seen, a great many are satisfied to accept as
truth every chance statement they may happen to see or
hear, whether for or against, without reaching down below
the surface, much less seeking "at the bottom of the
well" for it.
This is the reason why such charges as we have quoted
in these pages gain headway. They are carelessly read,
and repeated from one to the other, and no one stops to
ask, How much is true? how much is false"
We have proven by facts and figures that Florida is not
"low," in the usual acceptation of the term, and that her
climate is not "damp," and now let us put to rout that
other charge, that she is "generally malarial."
We have dealt it a heavy blow already, for every one
knows that a "moderately dry" climate, and undulating






Fa mUr--


lands, with distinct ridges here and there, such as we have
shown Florida to possess, and malaria are antagonistic, and
that therefore the reign of the latter must be local, and on
a small scale. We do notfor one moment intend to assert,
or wish it to be believed, that there is no malaria in Flor-
ida. She is "of the earth, earthy;" not by any means a
paradise, not without drawbacks nor imperfections; but
only better, balancing all things pro and con, than any
other land we know of.


Yes, Florida h
a State that has i
to districts low,
covered by water
that such district
tions; that malar
hold there?


as malaria. Can you name a country or
it not in some localities? Can you point
marshy, where vegetation is alternately
and exposed to the air and sun, and say
a are healthy and fit for human habita-
ia, in all its many phases, finds no foot-


If a man chooses to locate his home in such spots as
these, either in Florida or any other land, when all around
him are high, dry, healthy lands, then he really deserves
to lose his health and his life; but we pity his family, and
counsel them to rise up in rebellion while yet they may.
We know a man here in Florida, whose home was in the
pine woods, as healthy a location as could be found any


where, and his family grew and flourished apace.
there came a day when work was offered a few miles
and he preferred taking his family to leaving th
home. He rented a house that had been deserted
owner because of the malaria lurking around it.
built in a low, wet place, surrounded by swamp an
hammock; but it was lower in rent, as well as po
than any other offering. So the family dwelt i
"Black Hole" while the husband and father went


But
away,
em at
by its
Itwas
d low
sition,
n this
off to


his work on a high pine ridge a mile or two away, so that
the malaria affected himself but little. What was the







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.
I


result?


The wife and children were stricken down with


fever, one of the latter died, and almost another. Then
they went tack to their healthy home with shattered
health, one and all, and soon the poor wife followed her
child, thankful to be at rest, yet sorrowful too for those
who remained behind. And all this did not come of igno-
rance of the probable results either, but was just a delib-
erate "tempting of Providence" to save a few dollars.
But when the accounts were footed up, to the two lives lost
were added also many dollars lost as well. There is a
moral to this story, and He who runs may read," and if
he is wise, "He who reads will run" from low places every
where.
Florida is like every other country on the face of the
earth; there are spots totally unsuited to human habita-
tion, others moderately good, others desirable, and still
others yet more desirable.
And yet during the dry winter months even the most
malarial of these localities become almost healthy, because
the excess of moisture and the poisonous gases from decay-
ing vegetation are taken up far above the earth by the
absorbent power of the atmosphere and wafted far away
by the constant breezes, But during the warm, rainy
months the decay is too rapid and the moisture too great
to permit this beneficial factor to do its work so effectually,
although even then it is still powerful enough as a general
rule to rob the fever fiend of much of its deadly strength.
What says the report of the United States Army Sur-
geon-General: The statistics of this bureau show that the
diseases which result from malaria are of a much milder
type in Florida than in any other State in the Union, and
the number of deaths there to the number of cases of re-
mittent fever has been much less than among the troops
serving in other portions of the United States."






HRALTL&


Let us glance for a moment at the ratio of deaths from
remittent fever in the various divisions of the United
States, and note how they stand the test of official sta-
tistics.
In the Middle States there is one death to thirty-six
cases, in the Northern States one to fifty-two, and in the
Southern one death to fifty-four cases, the Western States
not being given.
So much for these three great divisions. The South has
the best of it, you see, although such is not the general
impression.
And now here are three representative States: In Texas
the death-rate in remittent fever is one to seventy-eight
cases, in California one to one hundred and twenty-two,
and in Florida only one to two hundred and eighty-seven.
Then taking all diseases together: In New York State
the ratio is one death out of every two hundred and fifty
of the population, while in Florida it is only one in four-
teen hundred. What a contrast! Yet no one calls New
York an unhealthy State, neither "low, and generally
damp and malarial." Why not? If Florida is, then
New York must be nearly six hundred per cent worse,
according to the official statistics, and certainly ought to
be forever quarantined and suppressed.
It is the usual impression among those not to the manor
born" that one or two years of that half-sickness, which is
harder to bear than a severe illness, is the least that one
must expect in becoming acclimated to the Southern States.
Undoubtedly it is true in some localities, but we do not
believe it is generally so. It is human justice, because one
member sins to call the whole family sinners.
At all events we know of our own experience that it is


notso of Florida.
times of the year.


Here it is perfectly safe to come at all
One, portion of the writer's family ar-






60 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

rived at their new Florida home, in the midst of the pines,
in April, and the remainder in June, yet all from that day
to this-nearly eleven years-have enjoyed better health
than they could boast of in their old home. Two who suf-
fered for years with severe headaches, lasting for days to-
gether, have not had one such attack since breathing the
balmy air of Florida. Another, for whom the fiat seemed
to have gone forth-and indeed had done so-bade farewell
to hemorrhages and coughs after the first year of the new
home life, and now is able to get through with no incon-
siderable amount of literary work. We feel, therefore,
that we have good reason to love bonnie Florida's sunny
face, and defend her by telling the truth concerning her.
* With the same amount of prudence, or even less than is
or ought to be practiced at the North, neither malarial
fever, nor the less dreaded but decidedly miserable "chills
and fever," need be feared at all. And it soon comes to
be noticed by the new settler, that in Florida one's feet
may get wet time and again with impunity, even from a
drenching in the rain, if one keeps in motion so as not to
become chilled before dry clothes can be obtained, and
that no ill effects are apt to follow.
It is a matter of daily and increasing wonder to those
new to the State to note how much more exposure of this
kind they can endure without injury than they had ever
before deemed possible in their old homes, be they where
they might.
What few fevers there are, as we have seen, are usually
of a mild type and easily controlled.
Diphtheria and scarlet fever are almost unknown, and
cases of pneumonia are rare and seldom fatal.
Those who suffer from rheumatism and kidney diseases
are always relieved, and not infrequently cured entirely by
a continuous residence in this healthful piney woods.






HEALTH.


As to the benefit accruing to those with lung trouble,
consumption, asthma, catarrh, we need not speak, for in
this Florida's reputation is world-wide.
Children who are racked and nervous, and stand at
death's door, from the attacks of measles, scarlatina; or
whooping-ough, almost invariably recover rapidly if they
are brought to Florida, and that too with little if any med-
ical treatment.
In the adult nervous dyspepsia, which is becoming more
common every year, finds immediate relief and generally
cure in the quiet, peaceful, out-of-door life of Florida.
There is one widespread disease, for it really amounts to
that, for which, as Dr. Lente tells us, "Florida affords as
healing a balm as for the pulmonary variety" of consump-'
tion. Dr. Lente calls it "cerebral consumption," but fifty
years ago it was described thus by James Johnson, and no
one can fail to recognize the picture: There is a condi-
tion of body, intermediate between sickness and health,


but much nearer the former than the latter, to
unable to give a satisfactory name. It is daily
felt by tens of thousands, but I do not know
ever been described. It is not curable by physi
apprehend it makes much work for the doctors,
if .not for the undertakers. It is the wear and
living machine, mental and corporal, which n


overstrenuous labor and exertion
ulties rather than of the corporal
anxiety of mind and bad air."
For such as these, victims of ner
ida does indeed offer a healing bal
and quiet.
Is it not with good reason that
Florida that none need fear to ti
hands, When both facts and figure


which I am
and hourly
that it has
c, though I
ultimately,
tear of the
results from


of the intellectual fac-
powers, conducted in


vous prostration, Flor-
m and a bower of rest


ve claim for our sunny
rust their lives in her
es-the former widely







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


known, the latter official-proclaim that "Florida leads
the list of healthy States"? Is not the false charge of
"generally malarial" dead and buried?
We have not yet referred to the singular purity of the
Florida air, a constituent of climate which has not until
recently been regarded worthy the attention it certainly
merits.
The usual idea of "pure air" is simply air that is free
from disagreeable odors; but this is so far from being cor-
rect, that the gases from which these odors emanate are
the least serious of the impurities of the atmosphere, and
very seldom exist in sufficient quantities to do any harm
to human beings.
Carbonic-acid gas, which is popularly supposed to be
the most dangerous of all, is rarely fund in injurious
quantities even in a crowded room, and is not in itself
poisonous.
What makes the difference between "country air" and
"city air"? Not, as is generally believed, the presence of
poisonous gases to an injurious extent in the latter, as ex-
haled from the multitude of chimneys, workshops, and
animal bodies, living and dead.


The celebrated Angus Smith tells us that the amount of
gases present in the air of a city and in that of the pure
and unadulterated country are very nearly the same. To
prove his assertion he makes a calculated statement of the
actual amount, which overturns one's previous ideas as to
the relative purity of city and country air.
For instance, Lake Geneva, in 100 volumes of air, has
0.439 parts of gas, while in the city of London the analysis
shows 0.420 in the same amount of air.


Who has not read with a thrill of horror the sad story
of the poisonous air of the "Black Hole" of Calcutta,
where two hundred and sixty out of three hundred prie-






HEALTH.


owners died like dogs


"because they were compelled to


inhale air pois
oxygen"? Bu
slaughter is a
modern science
proven of late
rats in a trap,
too much carb


oned by carbonic-acid gas an'
t the cause thus given for
another of those world-wide
e is revealing day by day.
that these unfortunate men
without light or ventilation,


onic-acid gas or too little oxy


the presence of organic matter in the air
too minute to be visible, yet all powerful


,d
to


d destitute of
this wholesale
mistakes that
It has been
, shut up like
died not from
'gen, but from
iseased germs,
sow the seeds


of malaria broadcast, and contaminate all with which they
came in contact.
That country air is purer than city air is universally
conceded, but, as we have just observed, it is not the ab-
sence of gases to a greater degree in the former that gives
it the advantage. No, not in the gaseous, but In the solid
portions of the atmosphere do we find the mischief-maker
enthroned.
"It has been established beyond all doubt," says Shroe-
der, "that these organic substances, be they the gaseous
,products of putrefactive processes in the animal or vegeta-
ble kingdom, floating in the atmosphere, do reach the lungs
in the currents of air inspired, and are there capable of
doing great mischief."
So we see that it is these germs, or "seeds of disease,"
as they have been appropriately termed, that cause the
trouble and contaminate the air, and these are found, as
would seem most natural, in much greater quantities in
the atmosphere of the cities than in that of the country.
In the one thousands of agencies are at work to produce
and encourage their presence; in the other the leaves of
the trees, the grass, the growing crops, the sparkling river
or lakes, all serve to keep the air pure and sweet. But of
course these eeds f disease" do exist in some localities,






64 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

even in the open country, for they are the direct cause of
malarial affections which, be it understood, do not always
manifest themselves simply as fevers, but assume many
and varied forms, attacking always the weakest parts of
the individual.
Wherever vegetation is undergoing the process of de-
cay and fermentation, there look out for the breeding
places of these fatal germs. It does not matter whether
the locality be north or south, at the equator or the north
pole, given certain conditions such as the above, and the
same result will follow.
There are some places in Canada, and some in New
York, apnd some in Pennsylvania, some in California, in
Texas, in (eorgia, in Florida, where we would not build
our home for all the wealth of the United States, because
we could niot live to enjoy them, neither we nor any one
else. But these places are self-evident; no one is compelled
to live there, or even to try to; there is room enough for
all in healthy localities.
Where, however, this presence is known or suspected, a
thin cotton screen in the windows and doors-cheese-cloth
for example-will prove a great safeguard, as it has been
proven by frequent tests that the disease germs can not
pass through cotton; the fine loose films catch and hold it.
This is a fact well worth remembering by those who have
unhappily "cast their lines" near low, swampy ground,
where these germs "most do congregate."
Nor is this cotton screen the only barrier that may be
interposed between these fatal atoms and their intended
victims. A thick belt of forest trees or of sunflowers, or
where the climate is mild enough, the eucalyptus tree, all
these serve as efficient body-guards and hold the enemy in
check. This is especially true of the latter tree, which
acts in a double manner; first, by evaporating moisture






HEALTH.


from the soil, for there is no other that is such a "
drinker" as the eucalyptus tree, and consumes such
quantities of water; and, second, the peculiar aroma
exhales from its leaves seems to possess the qualities
antiseptic, and destroys all the seeds of disease that
within its influence.
There is a district in Persia, reaching for miles
from the banks of a river, a district large and exceed
fertile. Until twelve years ago it was esteemed a
cursed spot, and was shunned as a pest-house, becat


hard-
large
which
of an
come


back
lingly
In ac-
se no


one could live-all died-who sought to dwell there. But
now it is all changed as by magic. The king ordered
eucalyptus trees to be planted thickly along the river
banks, and in groups here and there all over the district,
and nobly they did the work they were set to do. They
grew rapidly, as they have a way of doing, and drained
the excess of moisture, while the aroma from their leaves
killed the disease germs floating in the air. The whole


district is thickly populated now, and no
is more healthy than this.
So this shows, one instance among many,
lyptus can do for humanity. Better than
doctor, or a watch-dog is a grove of these


part of Persia

what the euca-
a drug store, a
trees around a


house where the malaria fiend lurks near by.
Until the discovery of these germs in the air it was a
matter of increasing perplexity as to why some diseases
should rage with violence in certain localities, and in
others adjoining be almost unknown; often, too, being
most violent, as in diphtheria or scarlet fever or cholera, in
the homes of the wealthier classes where one would least
expect to find them. But when the existence of the dis-
ease germs and the cause of their presence in greater or
less quantities became known the mystery was solved. In
the better clas homes, where water-pipes, drains, and sinke
6







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

were improperly made or allowed to become uncleanly,
the malaria fiend grew and flourished, and performed its
deadly work unsuspected, while in the humbler homes
these breeding places were missing.
It was also found that experiments on the air from differ-
ent places, but all of them country air," gave different
results. Sometimes the same methods used for the de-
struction of the germs failed to have that effect. This was
the case with the air of Florida, taken from various local-
ities away from the low or swampy lands or along the low
margins of lakes or rivers. Why? Because the germs
were not there to be killed; because the air was absolutely
pure, in its deepest and widest sense.


In the low hammocks or wherever decaying vegetation
lay on the surface of the ground, there, as must be ex-
pected, the malaria fiend was discovered, "seeking whom
he might devour," stronger in summer than in winter, but


seldom, as we have seen, as powerful
other similar localities, because of the
moisture to feed upon.
But in the undulating lands, or evei
where the soil is sandy and the tall pin
as it does on more than three fourths
of the State, where the lakes have c
there the malaria fiend meets his dei
seeks to enter the charmed circle.
One of the most important factors


here for evil as in
lack of excess of

n in the flat woods,
te tree towers aloft,
of the land surface
lear, sandy shores,
ath the moment he

both in producing


and in preserving the remarkable purity of the Florida
atmosphere is her much-abused sandy soil," which has so
often been held triumphantly aloft by her enemies, to be
pointed at in ridicule, as an evidence of the falsity of her
claims to luxurious vegetable production.
For the character of the soil has a very great influence
on the health or otherwise of those who dwell upon it, and






HEALTH. 67

on the purity of the air that surrounds them.4'A clar sil
that retains too much moisture, or one that will not tain
it at all, are equally injurious and detrimental to heal h.
In his Manual of Practical Hygiene," Parkes, the cele-
brated scientist, uses these words: Sand absorbs very little,
clay ten or twenty times more, and humus, or common sur-
face soil, more than forty or fifty times as much as sand."
Now, when we consider that it is the excess of moisture
lying on or near the surface that causes vegetable decay,
and that the latter is the most powerful agent in breeding
the malaria germ, we see at once why it is that the latter
holds high carnival wherever soils retentive of moisture
are found. And, considering further that a certain amount
of moisture is absolutely necessary to preserve health and
a moderate equality of climate, we perceive also why soils
impervious to moisture are inimical to human life.
Well may Parkes remark that the sands are therefore
the healthiest soils in this respect."
It is evident then that a permeable soil is the most health-
ful soil, and nowhere in the world is this quality more
prominent than on the sandy surface of Florida, which,
however, be it noted in passing, is not only and all sand
pure and simple, but disintegrated rock, finely comminuted
shell, coral, lime, and other productive ingredients.
Dust is another factor in producing disease, whose influ-
ence is too often overlooked and underestimated.
On clay or humus or surface soils, the element of dust,
when they are dry, is ever present and ready to rise up
into baleful activity on the slightest provocation, as a
breath of wind, or even a passing footfall of man or beast.
And here is another of Florida's safeguards. Her soil
is generally sandy, and sand produces dust fine enough to
be held in suspension in the air in such small quantities as
to become immaterial as to any harm it can do. There is







68 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.
less of that impalpable dust," the taste of which we all
know, because we have all been compelled to breathe it
more or less, there is less of this prevailing lung-irritant
in Florida.than in any other country we know of.
So we see that our bonnie Florida has cause to bless the
sands that lie so thickly scattered over her'bosom; to their
sanitary work she owes no small part of her superlative
healthfulness.
Quite as important as any other point in the selection of
a home that will be a healthy one is that of the water-sup-
ply. For water, good, bad, or indifferent, must be had.
It is one of the things that a family must have, no matter
what else they have not. Water and air-we can no more
dispense with the one than with the other. That Florida
has an abundance of the latter, pure and wholesome, we
have already seen. Now, how about the water? This too
must be pure and sweet, for there is no source more fruitful
of disease than bad water. Says an eminent physician, "Did
people know the nature and extent of the terrible impuri-
ties in the water they drink they would wonder that they
are still alive."
Medical men every where assert that the vast majority
of diseases are directly traceable to the results of some
sporadic germ, unseen, unsuspected, unknown, but none
the less surely existing, and by some means, either of air
or water, drawn into the human system, and of these two
means of conveyance the most powerful factor is the water
we drink.
No one who has arrived at the age of maturity needs a
physician to tell him that water which contains vegetable
organic matter or minerals, like salts or lime for example,
will cause dysentery or diarrhea.
But while this fact is generally known, there is another
equally true, but so recently proven as not yet to be uni-






HEALTH&


versally admitted; that is, that impure water may also
cause malarial fevers, and not only may but does fre-
quently so "cause them to a greater extent than any other
one factor.
If a certain place is known to have malaria in the air
during the summer months because of conditions which do
not exist in the winter season, all danger would be consid-
ered as passed so soon as the cold winter set in. And just
here is where many a serious mistake has been made. Be-
cause the winter air does not contain the malarial germs,


that is no proof that they are not
The water of that contaminated E
the seeds of disease, and these are
as in summer. Impure water is
fevers induced by its use are more
Those who drink water coming
in Florida or elsewhere, will be


still dangerously near.
ipot holds within itself
just as active in winter
always dangerous, and
fatal than others.


from
subject


marshes,
t to fev


times of the year, while those who are careful
only pure, clean water, even in malarial distri
rarely have fever outside of the late summer or
and then the water is not responsible. This has


whether
irs at all
to drink
cts, very
autumn,
been re-


peatedly proven in all parts of the world, and is a fact well
worthy of note, dwell where we may.
In respect to her water-supply Florida as a general rule
is favored, as she is in most other things. In most locali-
ties, whether drawn from lake, river, spring, or well, her
waters are "soft," that is, destitute of lime, and for all
purposes as pleasant to use as rain-water. In a few less
favored spots, however, the well-water is "hard," being
charged with lime and magnesia, an excellent drink for
growing children, who need these bone-making materials,
but hardly so desirable in other ways.
There is a difference in "hard" water wells. Some are
charged with magnesia and sulphate of lime, and others






HOME LUFB, I FLOPIEA.


with magnesia and carbonate of lime; the one is perma-
nently hard and utterly intractable, crying out, The more
you try me the more I won't come-soft;" the other is
more obedient and only temporarily hard. But under-
stand when we say temporarily" we do not mean that the


character of the wa
that it fluctuates, a
not this at all, but
ness may be remove
water. Of course
of lime contained i
by it and becomes
you rub soap in it


ter in the well itself is subject to change,
nd is sometimes hard and sometimes soft;
only that by certain processes the hard-
ed and the water rendered as soft as rain-
there is a reason for this. The sulphate
n the permanently hard water is deserted


on
th


e of its constituents, and
e stearic acid in the latter


with the lime and magnesia and forms a chemical


that the water can not dissolve, and so
cleaning lather, an ugly, disagreeable


instead of
curdiness


then when
combines
compound
a pleasant
results.


On the other hand, the carbonate of lime, which is
found in the temporarily hard water, is not, and can
not be dissolved, like the sulphate, by pure water, and
hence it is only held in suspension, not permeating or
becoming an inseparable constituent of the water.
How does the carbonate get there, then, you ask? The
explanation is simple; all natural waters, but especially
those obtained from wells or springs, contain more or less
carbonic-acid gas in a state of absorption, and when thus
charged are capable of dissolving the carbonates.
Thus we see that, while pure water will not dissolve the
carbonates, water that contains a certain proportion of
carbonic-acid gas will do so. But expel the latter gas,
and the carbonate will be at once precipitated. This ex-
pulsion is easily accomplished by boiling, and the incrus-
tation found at the bottom and sides of the kettle shows
what has become of the carbonate. Try the water now,
and you will find it soft and fit for any purpose.






HEAVL. 71

Boiling, however, is not the only way to treat this class
of waters; stir into a tubful of it a little slaked lime, and
allow it to settle; in ten or twelve hours, perhaps less,
there will be a white deposit at the bottom of the tub, and
the water will be almost as soft as rain-water. How and
why? Because the lime you added combined with the
free carbonic-acid gas and destroyed it, and then the car-
bonate, being insoluble in water without the presence of
this gas, was precipitated to the bottom of the tub.
Where hard water is encountered, either in Florida
or elsewhere, these simple tests will prove which sort
it is, and if they render the water soft, the well owner
may rejoice in having the less intractable servant of the
two.
Some scientists aver that rain-water is the only safe
water to use any where, and even that only after being
filtered; this is doubtless true in part, that is, as regards
some sections of country, but it does not apply to Florida
as a rule, although in a few exceptional cases it may be
found the safest to use for drinking purposes.
Almost all over the State, however, the chief supply is
obtained from wells, and purer, more crystal-like water no
one need wish for.
As to the depth at which it will be found, that depends
entirely upon circumstances, whether the spot selected for
the well lies much higher than the level of the surround-
ing country, or lower, or whether dug in the wet or dry
season.
It is always better, when possible, to have it sunk to-
ward the end of the latter, or winter season, as then the
water is at its lowest level, and the maximum depth of the
well can be reached at once; otherwise several deepening
will be necessary, or the well will "go dry" as the waters
recede in the lakes and streams.






HOME LIFE IN LORIDA.


Generally, Florida wells are cased with yellow pine
boards, because they are every where obtainable; but
where other material can be procured we would strongly
advise against this.
The objections are, first, non-durability; every three or
four years a new casing is required, the boards rotting
away; and if not carefully watched, or repairs are post-
poned, a heavy shower is apt to cave in" the well.
Sometimes the rotting of the casing is so complete and
sudden that nothing can be done except to fill in the well
and make a new one elsewhere.
The pine boards generally used are not heavy enough;
that is the chief trouble; instead of half or three quarters
of an inch, let them be at least two inches thick, and then,
if they must be employed in the absence of preferable
material, they will at least last long enough to pay for the
work done on them.
The second objection is. fortunately, one that does not


continue very long, not over a
well is emptied of its water two
interval; we refer to the taste
the yellow pine, which, until it
the water, causes the latter to
smell decidedly unpleasant; this
much lessened degree where the


month or two, if the
or three times in this
of the turpentine in
has all passed out into
foam and to taste and
is true, however, in a
lumber used has been


seasoned by exposure to wind and water for some weeks
or months.
But where lumber just sawed is employed, as is usually
the case, it will shorten the turpentine period greatly if
the boards as soon as received are immersed in the waters
of a lake or stream (one or the other is most likely to be
at hand), and left there for several days, or longer if pos-
sible; a large portion of the turpentine taste and odor
will be got rid of in this way.


*








Now, however, that our beautiful State is being trav-
ersed in all directions, further and further day by day,
with the wonder-working rails of steel, and great throbbing
steamers, speeding over land and water, the days of yellow
pine casings, like many other things tolerated of necessity
in the past, are rapidly passing away, except in localities
far from transportation lines, and these are not so many,
even now.
Artesian wells, with their iron pipes, circular wells,
bricked or cemented, these are the coming wells of Flor-
ida, furnishing pure, clear water from the very first of
their being.
Settlers who have been accustomed all their lives to the
free use of ice during the warm months find the summer
temperature of the Florida water-supply one of the great-
est crosses they have to encounter in their new homes;
they get used to it after a while, but where ice can not be
had to cool it, and either spring-water at a temperature of
800, or well-water, if drawn from as much as thirty feet
below the surface, at about 700, is all one can get to
quench thirst, the contrast at first is hard to bear.
The writer found it so years ago, when there were no
ice factories in the State; but there are many now, and
but few places on the line of transportation where ice can
not be procured, and that, too, at very reasonable rates,
from one half to one cent per pound.
While the Florida waters are generally pure, it does not
by any means follow that they are so because they look
clear and have no unpleasant taste or odor; this is usually
considered the test, but never was a greater mistake made.
Water, not only here, but any where, may possess these
qualities, and yet be utterly unfit for use, because contain-
ing the germs of disease in mineral ingredients, and other
water, like that of the St. John's and Ocklawaha rivers,
7


HrEALTH.






HOME LIF IN FLORIDA.


for instance, may be tinged brown or yellow, because it has
percolated through vegetable matter, and yet be whole-
some, especially to those who are accustomed to its use.
Place nothing on the same side of the house with the
well that can possibly pollute its water; do not rely on the
soil acting as a filter.to the water before it reaches the well;
if you do, you make a mistake that may prove fatal to one
or more of your family.
Hear what the National Board of Health, of New York,
has to say on this subject, after a series of careful experi-
ments, and their report, we may add, only confirms the
opinion of every sanitarian in the civilized world, and
proves that natural soil, while it is a good filter for im-
pure air, is worthless where water is concerned:


"From these results
absolutely no barrier bet
factions from cesspools,
great distances in the lo
it appears probable that


it appears
ween wells
cemeteries,


that sand interposes
and the bacterial in-
etc., lying even at


wer wet stratum of san
a dry gravel, or possible


d.
y


very coarse sand interposes no barrier to the free em
into houses built upon them, of these organisms,
swarm in the ground air around leaky drains," etc.
experiments have shown that ground air will take
fectious germs from water that is disturbed.
And here, from a physician resident in the State,
still another warning:
If you have a well for household purposes near
trees, do not fertilize with commercial manures; su
should have only cotton seed, tobacco leaf, or pure


And
a dry,
entrance
which
Other
up in-


comes

orange
h trees
Schem-


icals
yield
can n
inate
water


to feed upon. Animal fertilizers of any kin(
a poison to the water through our porous soils.
ot be too careful, with our light soil, how you co
the surface of the ground about your wells.
r is a fruitful source of bowel troubles. Our


d will
You
ntam-
Bad
water






FRA LT H.


here can not be excelled, and let us see that we keep it
sweet and pure."
It is an easy matter to test the purity of water, no mat-
ter whence drawn, and here is the modus operandi: Fill
a pint bottle three quarters full of the water; dissolve in
it one half teaspoonful of the best white sugar; set it away
in a warm place for forty-eight hours. If the water be-
comes cloudy it is unfit to drink; if not, you are perfectly
safe in using it freely.
There are also some safeguards that it is well to know.
The use of lemon juice or citric acid, even in the pro-
portion of one two-thousandth part, will destroy any mi-
croscopic animalcules that may be in the water, and in
about three minutes from the time the citric acid is used
they will be found dead at the bottom of the vessel
But bear in mind the citric-acid solution must be freshly
made, or it will lose its power.
This citric acid would be an excellent thing for tourists
or hunting parties, and still better is a filter that is within
the reach of every one, light and portable, and always
ready for use.
For such a-filter as this, which is also very cheap and
perfectly effective, we are indebted to the State Geologist
of New Jersey; here are the directions he gives: "It is


the bot
turpeni
ing out
and, wi
cold wa
placed
the sho
cup of
of cold


tle


filter, and is made by tying a string wet with


ine around the bottom of a quart bottle and break-
the bottom. This is done by lighting the string,
hen the flame has encircled the bottle, dipping it in
lter. Layers of fine cotton batting must then be
in the bottle until a wad is collected that rests on
ulders of the bottle and its neck. Now dissolve a
alum in hot water and pour the solution into a cup
water. This makes a filtering substance. I use


alum, because it is the only thing which will precipitate







76 HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

all the impurities of the water to the bottom. For every
gallon of water that it is desired to purify, add a teaspoon-
ful of the filtering fluid, and stir it until every particle of
the animalculse is precipitated. This usually takes five
minutes. Then run your gallon of water thus treated
through the filter, and you will have your water free from
all impurities."
To make a filter with a wine barrel, procure a piece of
fine brass wire cloth of a size sufficient to make a partition
across the barrel. Support this wire cloth with a coarser
wire cloth under it, and also a light frame of oak, to keep
the wire cloth from sagging. Fill in upon the wire cloth
about three inches in depth of clear, sharp sand; then
two inches of charcoal broken finely, but no dust; then
on the charcoal four inches of clear, sharp sand. Fill up
the barrel with water) and draw from the bottom.
Sometimes, after heavy rains, the well-water is found to
have sediment in it; in such cases drop into it powdered
alum, in the proportion of one tablespoonful to a hogs-
head of water.
Or, if alum is not at hand, borax will do, two ounces to
about twenty barrels of water.
In either case stir the water for a few moments, and the
impurities will in a few hours settle to the bottom, but
more entirely so with the alum than with the borax.
Neither affects the taste of the water.
We have been thus minute in dealing with this subject,
not because the settler is at all likely to have any trouble in
procuring pure water, for, as we have said, this is only so in
Florida in exceptional localities, but rather on the principle
that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
The sugar test will quickly settle the matter of pure or
impure water; not one in one hundred will find it the
latter.






TEMPERATURE-WINTER. 77


CHAPTER V.

TEPEATURE-WITER

And now we come to the last phase of the constituents
of climate as regards fair Florida-a phase upon which we
have not so far touched, yet one which is more frequently
quoted, and to the superficial observer or tourist is more
important than any other, as more directly affecting one's
physical comfort-and that is, temperature.
It is this feature that is usually meant when passing
allusions are made to the Florida climate; it is this that
is called "charming," "incomparable," "glorious," "de-
lightful."
These are the adjectives most frequently met with as
applied to this subject, and, strong as they are, we think
few who have experienced in their own persons the strik-
ing contrast between the climate of Florida and that of
any other State, nay, of any other known, country, will
object to them as being too expressive.
Certain it is that thousands do indorse them, and among
these is the writer, who, having spent in Florida ten con-
secutive summers and winters, with better health and more
uniform comfort than any preceding years at the North,
ought to be in a position to judge somewhat of their jus-
tice.
Florida's climate compared with perfection is not per-
fect, but compared with other climates it is perfect, and
nothing less; no other can approach it, as we have previ-
ously shown.
Florida's temperature is not monotonous, not equable.
The time has been, and not so long ago either, when
this fact would have condemned her in the eyes of med-






TEMPERATURE-WINTER. 77


CHAPTER V.

TEPEATURE-WITER

And now we come to the last phase of the constituents
of climate as regards fair Florida-a phase upon which we
have not so far touched, yet one which is more frequently
quoted, and to the superficial observer or tourist is more
important than any other, as more directly affecting one's
physical comfort-and that is, temperature.
It is this feature that is usually meant when passing
allusions are made to the Florida climate; it is this that
is called "charming," "incomparable," "glorious," "de-
lightful."
These are the adjectives most frequently met with as
applied to this subject, and, strong as they are, we think
few who have experienced in their own persons the strik-
ing contrast between the climate of Florida and that of
any other State, nay, of any other known, country, will
object to them as being too expressive.
Certain it is that thousands do indorse them, and among
these is the writer, who, having spent in Florida ten con-
secutive summers and winters, with better health and more
uniform comfort than any preceding years at the North,
ought to be in a position to judge somewhat of their jus-
tice.
Florida's climate compared with perfection is not per-
fect, but compared with other climates it is perfect, and
nothing less; no other can approach it, as we have previ-
ously shown.
Florida's temperature is not monotonous, not equable.
The time has been, and not so long ago either, when
this fact would have condemned her in the eyes of med-







78 HOME LIFE IN FLODA.

ical men, for it was then considered that equability of
temperature was, for an invalid, one of the first and fore-
most points to be insisted upon.
But all that is changed now-a-days, like many other
things, as science advances, undoing and correcting our
views and our knowledge.
Says a distinguished English physician, "A long resi-
dence in a very equable climate is not favorable to health,
even with all the advantages of exercise in the open air:
a moderate range of temperature and of atmospheric
variation seem to be necessary for the preservation of
health."
And another recent authority asserts, in speaking of the
dread that persons in weak health experience of cold
weather:
"If our invalid could indeed find a lotus-eater's land,
In which it seemed always afternoon,
All around the coast the languid air did swoon,

I would predict that the results on their health would
be rather pernicious than otherwise, and loss of appetite
and diarrhea.would probably be induced."
Now, just here is the difference between Florida and
Africa, or the West Indies: the one is semi-tropical, the
others are wholly tropical; the one has decided changes of
temperature, the others have none-it is always the same,
an unchanging, wearying heat, the only variation being
from the wet to the dry seasons.
No, we do not claim that Florida's climate is entirely
equable; on the contrary, we should regret very much
having to admit that it was so: happily, we can "hold
fast to the truth" and yet deny it emphatically; from the
northern to the southern boundary, even down to the
extreme point of Dade County, the temperature changes






TEMPERATURE-WINTER. 79

decidedly, according to the seasons; there is nothing mo-
notonous or debilitating about it.
And yet these variations are rarely violent, as they so
frequently are in all other countries; they are not of a
nature to produce illness from exposure, or sudden shocks
to the system, but, on the contrary, are entirely bene-
ficial, even to the most delicate, acting as a wholesome,
stimulating tonic rather than the contrary; it is the ab-
sence of these changes which, as we have seen, render
tropical climates so enervating and ultimately injurious.
The usual range of temperature for Florida during the
day, according to observations carefully conducted for
more than forty years by Government officials, is only
130 to 140; and for the night season only a little more;
it changes just enough to be refreshing, seldom more or
less.
The ideas that until recently obtained almost universal
credence, and are still prevalent to a great extent regard-
ing the mildness of a Florida winter, may be summed up
in the often-heard phrase, "No winter clothing required."
And this is hardly to be wondered at when some of the
most prominent land companies scatter broadcast over the
country pamphlets containing such sentences as these:
"You can live in comfort all winter in tents;" "You
need not bring your winter overcoats, it will only be an
incumbrance;" "No carpets required, hence a great ex-
pense saved."
And these and others also claim that bananas, pine-
apples, grapes, limes, and other tender plants can be
raised to profit, even almost to the northern border, and
"need no winter protection."
There is exactly one grain of truth in these statements,
the last one quoted; for certainly the plants mentioned
"need no winter protection" in the sections indicated,







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


because it would
grown with profit
that is frosty, ever
ing point.
Florida is over
perature varies m
usual for equal d
will flourish in oi
County, for insta
their north, and re
the north.
Some poor, de


do no good; tropical fruits can not be
in regions swept every winter by air
n if it does not actually touch the freez-

four hundred miles long, and her tern-
ore from one degree to another than is
instances on the main land; plants that
ordinary winters as far north as Orange
ace, are unreliable for crops a little fur-
gularly winter killed yet a little more to


luded people


were actually


trying


"live in
Gulf coast
wave of J
north pole
people ha&
interviewed
afterward,
by experie


comfort all winter in tents" down on the
at the very time that the unprecedented cold
[anuary, 1886, came rushing down from the
on its way to astonish Cuba; these good
i not been very happy before this cold wave
d them; they felt still sadder (and madder)
and it was not long before, learning wisdom
nce, they had good substantial walls and roofs


to shelter them and good honest fires to warm them, and
then for the first time they ceased to regret and began to
rejoice that they had selected Florida as their future home.
Others too had followed directions and left behind them
the comfortable winter overcoat and the cosy carpets
which they were not to require, and even before those few
bitterly cold days they found out how little dependence is


sometimes to be placed in fan
interested parties.
Those few days in January,
forgotten by the many who, in
the force of the blast), are not
count of the Florida climate,


those of even an


ing circulars set afloat by


1886 (which will never be
person or in property, felt
to be set down to the ac-
or their effects quoted as


"unusually severe winter," as this is







TEMPERATURE-WINTER.


commonly experienced; it was simply something abnor-
mal, outside altogether, a fierce incursion into an un-
offending country by an armed horde of marauders from
the north pole, who carried destruction in' their path
over the whole United States, and even invaded Cuba
and Europe.
The "January freeze" has no more to do with the
climate of Florida than the bursting of a reservoir, or
the flooding of a river, or the horrors of a cyclone have
to do with the usual characteristics of any country in
which these misfortunes may chance to occur in the
course of the passing years.
It was literally a "passing strange" experience for
fair Florida, and while its injurious effects will quickly
pass away its salutary lessons will forever be remembered.
And now, that we may have a full and clear idea of
the actual winter temperature, as Florida winters ordi-
narily run one with another, let us look at some of the
facts and figures collected by years of observation by
scientific men:


Jacksonville, .
St. Augustine, .
Palatka,. .
Indian River, .
Florida (average),


Autumn.


Winter.


These figures, as you will see, refer to different parts of
the State. How do they compare with the autumns and
winters elsewhere? Surely not to Florida's disadvantage.
Let us examine more in detail into the actual tempera-
ture of this famous winter of 1886, which was the most
severe all through of any ever experienced in the State,
and not at all likely to recur during the lifetime of its
present population.







82 HOME iE IN FLORIDA.

From observations taken during 124 days, from No-
vember to March, we find that the highest point reached
by the thermometer was 870 and the lowest (for two days
only) 160; -this latter, of course, during the reign of the
''cold wave" king.
There were 102 days when the maximum temperature
was between 550 and 80; there were 89 days when the
lowest point ranged between 340 and 540; several more
when the minimum was 700, and only three when it was
cold enough to freeze water at noon. Of sunshiny days
during this same period there were no less than 82;
showery days, 28; cloudy, 13; rain all 'day, 4.
Now this is the daily record of the most unpleasant
winter Florida has ever known. What do you think of
its contrast to that of the mildest winter at the North?
Note also the fact that these temperature markings were
made at Jacksonville, and that the record further south
would show still higher points.
As an ordinary thing the Florida autumn and winter
weather is very like the typical May or September of the
North, or the famous "Indian Summer," which every one
calls "delightful."
The mornings and evenings are cool enough as a rule
to make a brisk wood fire quite cosy and comfortable, and
sometimes for several days together it is very acceptable
all day long; in truth, necessary to comfort.
And then again there are times, many of them, when
no fire at all is waited, but rather summer clothing out-
side the heavy under flannels that wise people wear, even
though it be balmy Florida; we have dressed at Christ-
mas tide in thin white outer garments, and again in heavy
blue flannels.
"Variety is the spice of life," and it is this very quality
that saves Florida's climate from being enervating.






TEMPERATURE-WINTER.


In ordinary winters, days when the thermometer reaches


a maximum of 76
highest point is 6'
minimum of 400
variations are seld
when they are it
responsible, rushing
with a snow storm
ida in its hand.
There has been a


0 are
0 or
is of
lom sW
is the
g dow
at its


not rare, but those in which the
650 are more frequent, while a
common occurrence, but these
o sudden as to be violent, and
chilling northwest wind that is
'n without warning or welcome,
back and a rain storm for Flor-


Great deal of foolishness, both written


and spoken, about something that does not exist in our
beautiful State-" the frost line." It is true that some
sections and some localities are less liable to damage from
this cause than others, but none can claim certain and
uniform exemption, if they "cling to the truth."
The frost waves that occasionally sweep across the State
are erratic-they travel by no known route, are governed
by no known law.
For instance, a few years'ago, during the march of one
of these unwelcome visitors, the thermometer at Tampa


marked 39, while at Fernandina,
their north, it recorded at the same
During the same cold wave to
County on the north side of a lak
those over two hundred miles fa
protection, were killed outright.


two hundred miles fur-
day and hour 54.
mato vines in Alachua
e were uninjured, while
rather south, with water


Experience has abundantly proven that the effect of
cold is dependent on currents of air, and is much modified
by water protection. There is no use in trusting to lines
of latitude for exemption, for they will surely fail some-
times; a frost that visits a locality one time and spares
another close by, may do the opposite on its next visit.
The "frost line" is a myth, and if any claim to be uni-
formly "below it" in Florida the truth is not in them."







84 HOME LIFE IN FODA.



If there is any one point concerning Florida which is
subject to more misapprehensions than any other, it is that
of her summer climate. Ninety-nine persons out of a
hundred would at once jump at the conclusion that a cli-
mate which is so much milder than that of others during
the winter, must be correspondingly hotter during the
summer season.
But put the question to those who live in Florida all
the year round, "What of the climate in summer?" and
the answer will be, "In winter the climate is pleasant, in
summer it is delightful."
This is the almost universal verdict of all who spend a
summer or two in the State; astonishment at first, then
delight.
When the mildness of the winter is taken into consid-
eration, and also the fact that the line of latitude in-
cluded in Florida is also that embraced by Northern
Africa and a part of the Desert of Sahara, where, as
we have seen, the temperature ranges during the day
about 1000 in the shade and falls to freezing at night, it
is not to be wondered at that the Florida summer should
be regarded with suspicion by those who judge from the
process of natural induction and are without knowledge
of the facts.
Those who know Florida at all, are well aware that no
such heated air as reigns perpetually during the day over
the Sahara ever sweeps, even transiently, over fair Florida.
The same peculiar location of our treasured peninsula
which influences the winter temperature has also its effect
upon the summer. The very fact that it is a peninsula,
with a great ocean to the east and south and a mighty
gulf to the west, tells its own tale if one but pauses to






TEMPE RATURE-S--USME 85
interpret it, for it is simply impossible that such a long,
narrow strip of land, its shores bathed by a great body of
water on three sides and. constant winds sweeping over it,
their extremes tempered by its influence, should be either
as cold or as hot as land in the same latitude not so lo-
cated.
In the winter the winds passing over the GulfEtream
before touching the land lose a great portion of their
sharpness; during the summer the current of cold water
that passes between the east coast and the Gulf-stream,
tempers and cools the warm air sweeping across it.
SThat is one reason why Florida is so favored in summer
as well as in winter. Another (that also operates in the
latter season, as we have already noted) is the absence of
neighboring mountains to check the constant and even
circulation of the air. The result is that Florida is never
without a breeze, morning, noon, or night; first from the
one great body of outlying water, then from the other, a
constant succession of pure, life-giving breezes are playing
back and forth over her broad bosom. Of all the many
summers the writer has spent in Florida, the first unbear-
ably hot day or night has yet to appear
We do not claim that Florida summers are not warm,
very warm in the sun or in violent exercise, just as else-
where, but we do claim, and ninety-nine out of a hun-
dred of her citizens will bear us out in the assertion, that
her summer is more pleasant and less oppressive than that
of any other State, north or south.
Who has not suffered from the oppressive heat of the
northern summer season with the thermometer ranging
high up among the nineties, and not a breath of air stir.
ring to cool the fevered pulse and throbbing head I
In our own old home, Philadelphia, we have many a
time marked the thermometer at 96, 98, 100; even
I






HOME LFE N FLORDA.


occasionally 104,
of the interior of
have been cool if
thing also in othe,
sey, in New York,


and this too
a large brick
any where;
r parts of Pe
in Maryland,


in the shelter and shade
dwelling, where it should
we have seen the same
nnsylvania, in New Jer-
and with it all there was


a close, sultry "feel" in
life away and to make
great for endurance.
Even in the country,
a great river near by,
night, heat so intense,
must suffocate; sleep,
while wandering over
finding a "shadow of
neighbors wandering lik
their gardens, looking


the air that seemed to sap one's
the very effort of breathing too

with open fields all around us and
we have experienced, night after
so close, that it seemed.as if we
rest even, was impossible, and
the house in the vain hope of
a breeze," we have noted our
ewise in the dead of night about
more like uneasy ghosts than


merely unhappy mortals, slowly melting away in the
vain search for a breeze.
That is a search that no one need ever take in Florida;
it is more of a problem how to get out of the breeze than
how to get into it; it is always on the qui vive and never
waits to be hunted for; it hunts for you in every crack
and corner.
It frequently happens that it is too cool to sit on the
porches in comfort when the thermometer actually marks
900 or 920, and common sense tells you that you ought to
be feeling very warm, and would be excessively so with
the same temperature in any other State.
It looks mysterious, does it not? but it is true, nor is
the mystery very deeply hidden.
In Florida during all the long summer the thermometer
and the breeze are perpetually warring with each other;
they quarrel night and day, and have a lively time to-
gether, to the incalculable benefit of all living creatures.






TEAn;PE TUn-sun. 87

The thermometer says one thing, the breeze says an-
other; for instance, the former declares the true marking
to be 960, the latter insists that it is not over 820, and
hardly that. And the breeze is nearer the truth, at least
so we should decide did we consult our feelings rather
than the thermometer.
The reason is self-evident if one stops to think about it;
when we have no ice and want to cool some water to drink
we set it in the shade and in the breeze; the latter passing
over it causes a rapid evaporation that at once produces
the desired effect.
Exactly in the same way the breeze striking a moist
skin produces that sensation of coolness which is so re-
freshing and so vainly sought for when there is no such
kindly, stirring friend near by.
We have never once seen the thermometer in Florida
rise higher than 980, and that only two or three times, in
the hottest part of the day, and even then the gentle
breeze that never fails cools the heated air like an im-
mense, invisible fan, so that it is not oppressive or a
source of discomfort; unlike the North, there are cool
places to be found in plenty, so long as you keep in the
shade and at rest.
Of course it is hot in the sun. Was there ever a sum-
mer any where where it was not? If there is such a
place, woe unto its grains, its grasses, its fruits.
Yes, the Florida sun is hot during the hot season, but
not one whit more so than elsewhere.
And men, white men, unaccustomed to such work are
seen toiling in the full glare of the sun, and declaring that
they feel the heat less than if they had been quietly ram-
bling along the road at their old homes with the thermom-
eter at the same height.
It is a fact that men are able to work out-doors in the






HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA


Florida summer in a higher temperature than they could
possibly endure elsewhere.
Of course there is a reason for this; nay, two of them.
In the first place, the bountiful breeze, one of fair Flor-
ida's coolest yet best friends, is a very important factor in
fanning the worker and preventing overheating; in the
second place, the dryness of the atmosphere promotes pro-
fuse perspiration, which of itself is one of nature's cooling
processes.
Sunstroke is utterly unknown in Florida. The reason
of this unwonted exemption from one of the most common
casualties of the Northern summer being this very fact of
so profuse a perspiration; it is a safety valve, as every one
knows or should know, and its sudden stoppage or absence
is the direct cause of sunstroke and other serious illness.
Now and then (but very seldom) a man may attempt


too much and overtax his strength, and consequently is
overcome, not so much by heat as by exhaustion; but
these attacks are very different from sunstroke, and are
rarely serious.
One reason why the Florida summer is so pleasant and
comparatively cool is that rains fall nearly every day, not
all day, but in showers, usually in the afternoon or morn-
ing, and often when it is not actually raining the sun is
veiled by clouds, so here are still other factors at work,
you see, to cool the atmosphere. June, July, and August
are the "rainy months," but of course it does rain at
other times also.
The only objectionable feature of the Florida summer
that we have ever heard quoted is its length. It is true
that it begins sooner and ends later than the Northern
summer, but even so it is not very much longer, and it is
cooler and more uniform in temperature, and hence more
healthful." ,


L






TEMPERATURE-SUMMER


The warm season usually sets in about the middle of
May and continues until the middle of September, when
a sensible difference will be noticed.
And now, as to the nights during the Florida summer,
they are invariably cool and refreshing. Here no one
ever rises in the morning worn out with a night of rest-
less tossing and inability to sleep because of heat and
sultriness.
There is always the breeze ready to dance through your
rooms, if allowed, and fan you to sleep, a good, sound,
refreshing sleep, and no one who knows Florida will retire
without having some extra covering lying convenient at
the foot of the bed, for it is almost certain to be needed
before morning.
Now, how does this record compare with the summer
nights elsewhere?
Florida is in the far South, it is true, but she neither
roasts nor boils her honest citizens who stand by her, not
only in winter but in summer. Let the doubters come,
see, and feel for themselves; let them come from the land
of snow and ice, and hot, sultry days and stifling nights;
from the land of storms and clouds and tornadoes and


blizzards, and compare with these things Florida's mild
winter and cool summer, her refreshing nights, her aver-
age of three hundred clear days out of the three hundred
and sixty-five, and her gentle, invigorating breezes.
Having now, as we trust, proven beyond dispute by
facts and figures that the climate of Florida is te most
healthy, as it certainly is the most pleasant in the world,
and therefore unsurpassed so far in the "raw material"
that goes to make up a home full of happiness and con-
tentment, we will pass on to the consideration of those


points that must influence the settler in
shall select for his new residence.


the locality he






HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.



CHAPTER VI.

PINE LANDS AND HAMMOCKS.


Florida, it must be remembered, is a large State; so
large and so varied in its productions that, to avoid con-
fusion, it has been by common consent and Governmental
authority subdivided into sections, Northern, Middle, and
South Florida.
In each of these the character of the soil and landscape
is exceedingly diversified; nowhere is it all pine or all
hammock, all lake or all river, all flat or all undulating.
The report of one of the Florida Commissioners of Im-
migration speaks truly in saying: "There is one feature
in the topography of Florida which no other country in
the United States possesses, and which affords a great
security to the health of its inhabitants; it is that the
pine lands, which form the basis of the country and which
are almost universally healthy, are nearly every where
studded at intervals of a few miles with the rich ham-


mock lands
supposed, I


. These ham
ow, wet lands


or draining; they v
forty thousand acres
In no one respect
misrepresented, both
matter of her soil.
Unhappily, tourist
which lies on the a
report is almost inv
unproductive" natul
This is to be regret
tially true, butkecau


Lmi
i;


rary in
."


ocks. are not, as is generally
they do not require ditching
extent from twenty acres to


has Florida been more systematically
in malice and ignorance, than in the

s as a rule see but little except that
surface, and as a consequence their
ariably of a one-hued, "sandy, and
re.
tted, not only because it is only par-
se it at once prejudices those who are






PINE LANDS AND HAMMOCKS.


accustomed to dark, loamy soils, and have a dread of
"hungry, leachy sands."
While it is true that in the surface soil sand predomi-
nates, yet in many parts of the State the soil is a firm,
sticky, clay-like loam; sometimes of that rich dark red,
which, as every one knows, is an indication of exceeding
fertility.
Such, to a great extent, are the lands of Middle Flor-
ida, as we shall see in the future.
Before going further let us dive below the surface and
bring to light some of the (literally) bottom facts that
underlie the State.
In the older geographies, gazetteers, encyclopedias,
every where, in short, where the subject is mentioned at
all, you will read that Florida is of a comparatively recent
formation, and upraised from the ocean on a coralline
formation.
This statement, however, like so many others, as we
have seen, has been proved to be a complete mistake, the
result of judging merely by surface indication, Florida
having been one of the few States that has never had the
advantage of a regular geological survey.
At this present writing, however, this important work


is at last
made by
vealed the
stages and


going forward and a preliminary survey is being
the new State Geologist, which has already re-
e truth above stated, although yet in its earliest
1 very far from complete in any respect.


The rocks that underlie Florida are of the same geol
ical formation as those of the territories that rest on
heights of the Rocky Mountains, and the observations
far made render it not at all improbable that the sa
upheaval which raised the Rocky Mountains also lif
Florida from the depths of the ocean to become one
the most sparkling gems of our sisterhood of States.


og-
the


mne
ted
of






92 HOME LI'E IN LORIDA.

So far from coral being the corner-stone on which she
rests, the main rock beds that have been reached by the
borings for her first artesian wells are those of the lignite
and flint beds that belong to the eocene tertiary, and this
too at a very moderate depth, from one hundred and fifty
to two hundred feet, and in some sections these rocks are
actually outcrops.
The indications as to what riches and mineral wealth
the thorough survey soon to be made will reveal are sim-
ply startling in their promise to those who have heretofore
been satisfied to consider Florida as all on the surface."
Near Tallahassee, for instance, rich specimens of iron
ore have been found cropping out on the surface, and the
probabilities are that the hills around that beautiful city
are underlaid with this ore in paying quantities.
An eminent mineralogist, who some time since made
careful and patient research in South Florida, found on
the dividing ridge an outcropping of "over seventy tons
in sight and unknown quantities beneath the surface" of
an ore which, carefully assayed, proved to contain fifty-
four per cent of pure lead and fifty-two ounces of pure
silver to the ton, in addition to traces of gold in paying
quantities, and this result was obtained from random spec-
imens taken from the outcroppings.
Indications of gold have also been found in Northern
Florida, and this same mineralogist declares that there are
at least three extensive coal deposits, one in Northern, one
in Middle, and one in South Florida.
"Mining," he says, "will be one of Florida's great
future industries."
Already the preliminary geological survey has shown
rich deposits of phosphates, equal in value to the famous
Charleston phosphate rocks, and these appear to exist all
over the State, as they have been found in widely sepa-






PINE LANDS AND HAMMOCKS.


rated districts; extensive marl beds and the best quality of
limestone for manufacturing purposes are also among the
preliminary.revelations of the geological wealth of Florida.
The surface soil, to the consideration of which we now
return after our excursion "into the depths," is composed
all over the State of deposits-" recent" as compared with
the age of the underlying rocks-of sand, clay, and marl,
which in themselves contain finely comminuted marine
shells, coral, phosphates, calcareous materials, salts, de-
posited by the sea that once swept over them all, and
vegetable humus, which necessarily is the most recent
addition of all and is constantly accumulating.
So varied is the quality of this soil that, like the State


itself, it has been subdivided
order that it may be spoken
second, and third-class pine
hammock, and swampy lands
The first-class pine lands


and classified as follows, in
of understandingly: First,
lands; high hammock, low
;no less than six grades.
if Florida are not like any


other lands found in any of her sister States;, in fact, it is
doubtful whether their counterpart exists in any country.
Their surface is covered for several inches with a rich,
dark, vegetable mold, beneath which lies a chocolate-col-
ored, sandy loam several feet in depth, and beneath this
again is a substratum of marl, clay or limestone.
This soil, as may be seen, should be very fertile, and so
it is, exceedingly so, and moreover wonderfully durable;
for instance, there are several sections where for eighteen
years the land has been cultivated in successive seasons
without the addition of a particle of manure, and yet it
has yielded, and still yields, four hundred pounds of Sea
Island cotton to the acre; and how much longer these
lands will continue thus productive deponentt sayeth
not," because no one can tell; they have not yet begun
to fall off.







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.

These first-class pine lands are elevated, almost with


"high hills" in
undulating in a
ive to health and 1
The timber is
giant oaks; and
little underbrush,


som
degr
beau
large
in
an


lakes that are thickly
pine lands, with theii
here and there, the
home feeling that is


e localities, but as a rule merely
ee pleasant to the eye and conduc-
ty of landscape.
e, tall, and straight, with occasional
many localities where there is but
1 the clear, sparkling waters of the
scattered through these beautiful
r clean, white beaches, peep at one
scene is full of a quiet, peaceful,
inexpressively soothing and restful.


The greater portion of these superior lands-where they
are found in the largest bodies we mean-is in the more
northern and western sections, where are found some of
the richest and most attractive portions of the State.
When we consider what has been raised on this first-
class pine land (we could give some marvelous figures did
our present purpose permit), and that it has been accom-
plished by the rather hap-hazard methods of cultivation
that are still too much in vogue, and then consider what
results thorough cultivation, intensive farming, and deep
plowing and fertilizing would bring forth, we become lost
in wonder at the possibilities of the despised Florida sands,
as represented by her first-class pine lands.
Frequently clay is found close to the surface, inter-
mingled with rich vegetable mud, and these lands are
eminently adapted to the growth of almost every thing-
oranges, lemons, long and short staple cotton, sugar-cane,
corn, potatoes, oats, rye, turnips, vegetables, fruits of all
kinds; and in the northern sections, wheat, barley, and
some varieties of apples, and every where, also, grasses
and cattle ad libitum.
There is more second-class pine land than first-class.
Fully two thirds of all the Florida homes are located on






PINE LANDS AND HAMMOCKS.


this grade of land, and although rated as "second," their
quality and productiveness in actual cultivation is little,
if any, below that of the first-class.
Second-class pine land is timbered with a medium size
growth of pine trees, with here and there a solitary black
oak; a great many willow oaks, as bushes or small trees,
and an occasional clump of palmetto in the lower spots,
but elsewhere there is little underbrush.
These lands are frequently rolling and, like their su-
perior grade, interspersed with crystal lakes.
Many of the finest orange groves in the State are located
on the second-class pine lands. The famous Spear grove
for one, the Ginn grove for another.
And now we come to a class of lands much abused and
heretofore despised, but like many other things, especially
in a new, progressive country, improving on acquaintance.
These are the third-class pine or black-jack lands.
They do look poor and-discouraging enough, and unfor-
tunately these are the lands that lie along the lines of sev-
eral of Florida's main railroads, in full view of the trav-
eler, who naturally judges from what he sees rather than
from a hidden reality.
The surface soil is light yellow, sometimes even white;
the wire-grass is short and thin, and often missing alto-
gether; the pine trees are stunted in height and their
foliage sprawling, often only thirty or forty to the acre,
with plenty of crooked, gnarled black-jack oak trees and
sprouts, sickly clumps of palmetto, and altogether a tired,
out-of-heart, don't-care sort of look.
This land costs less to clear than any other, and when
put under cultivation and the same fertilizers, no more,
given to it that are bestowed on the two superior grades,
its productiveness is wonderful, and it takes a very close
observer to detect much difference in the ultimate results.







96 HOME LFE IN FLORDA.
Some of the most famous old groves are on "black-
jack," or third-rate pine lands; the Belair grove, at San-
ford, is one, the De Forest grove another.
If the "black-jack" soil shows the least tint of yellow
(and very little of it does not), it will come out all right
if properly fertilized and cultivated.
It should be noted that red or yellow soils contain iron
in a greater or less degree, and this under cultivation
combines with tannic and other acids, and so in a few
years the yellow soil becomes dark and rich, but the white
sands lack iron and will never darken.
"Hammocks" are tracts of land which, lying rather
lower than the surrounding country or else along the
banks of the larger lakes and rivers, are constantly moist,
and have, therefore, escaped the annual visitation of the
destructive fires which every spring sweep from one end
to the other of Florida's piney woods. We shall have
more to say upon this subject by and by.
Thus year after year the falling leaves of the hickory,
oak, and other deciduous trees which grow so luxuriantly
in these damp places remain to decay upon the ground,
thus steadily enriching it and forming a rich humus in
which a luxuriant undergrowth springs up, adding more
and more to the fertility of the soil by its-falling leaves
and branches; such an undergrowth as has no opportunity
to establish itself in the piney woods on account of these
same annual fires we have mentioned.
This, we are convinced, is the true origin of the Florida
hammocks, where the wild orange groves are invariably
found, and where the rankest tropical luxuriance of vege-
table life is the most striking characteristic; through one
of these true Florida hammocks it is impossible to make
one's way without the constant use of axe and hatchet.
The writer has seen the giant trees and wondrous wealth







PInE LADS AND HAMMOCKS. 97
of vegetation of the tropical regions, those of South Amer-
ica, yet even there the rich, dense undergrowth of our gen-
uine Florida hammocks is not excelled.
It is the high hammocks that are usually meant when a
"Florida hammock" is referred to in a general way; these
are on high ground, are often decidedly undulating, almost
hilly, in fact; their soil is a fine vegetable mold with a
sandy loam, and underneath, from two to five feet, is usu-
ally found a substratum of marl, limestone or clay-we
saw a piece of this substratum the other day-a hard,
rock-like substance underlying one of the finest (one time
wild) groves of Lake Harris, and had we not known other-
wise we should surely have declared it to be a fragment of
the famous coquina wall of St. Augustine.
These soils seldom suffer from too much water, but they
are frequently affected and their trees droop -under a
drought that passes harmlessly over their piney-woods
neighbors.
"Hammocks" are very rich and fertile, no doubt; their
large trees, dense undergrowth, the luxuriant growth of
orange trees and splendid yield of sugar without the use
of manures proves this fact.
Low hammocks may be said to be a cross between the
high hammock and the swamp lands, and in truth, this
fact is recognized in the odd kind of local name often used
to designate them, which is "swammocks;" they are not
less fertile than the swamp lands, but their good qualities
are not so durable; the soil is deep and tenacious and the
surface usually level, so that ditching is sometimes a ne-
cessity-not often, however.
Low hammock lands are not so plenty as the swamp
lands, and it was on these tracts that the great bulk of
the sugar plantations of the old regime were located.
Let it not be supposed that all of Florida's rich lands
7







HOME LIFE IN FLORIDA.


are "hammock" lands, nor that all hammock lands are
alike. This is the most diversified State in the Union,
not only as regards climate, but soil and the unique dis-
tribution of the different kinds of the latter.
Most people regard Florida's hammocks as her richest
and best land; this is not the case, however. The richest


of the rich lands a
lands;" they are of a
being added to in e
varying from twenty
more, were original


re those technically
lluvial formation, an
xtent year by year.
rto two hundred a
y depressed basins,


called "swamp
d are constantly
These tracts,
,cres, sometimes
which have be-


come gradually filled in by the washings from the higher
surrounding lands; for centuries, the broken branches,
rotting wood, leaves, grass, and debris of all kinds have
been steadily accumulating in these basins, which we may
well term Dame Nature's compost heaps--heating, fer-
menting, decaying, and becoming vast store-houses of the
richest plant-foqd. So that these swamp lands are really
the most valuable in the State; not only because they are


richer than
fertility is n
But, and
gold mines,
have money


the hammocks at the outset, but because their
iuch more lasting.
"there's the rub," these swamp lands are like
you know the richness is there, but you must


Sin your poc


dollars and reap fifty or
must first have the ten
have it, you are all right
to Florida have it not,
these rich swamp lands
drained before they can
there still remain for sal
may be had for from two
We have said nothing


cket to get at it. You invest ten
one hundred in return, but you
dollars to use as a lever; if you
; but most people who immigrate
and it is for this reason, because
must be carefully ditched and
be made available, that to-day
e nearly one million acres, which
dollars downward per acre.
about the healthiness of living


on these same lands-is it necessary?


Swamp lands all




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