"MOTHIRL TA&LK," "ALL ABOUND THE HOUSB," WO.
* ,~ ~.
~vr>w ~p*~s'rJ >~trw
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
THESE Letters from Florida, by request of many
friends, are offered to the public in a simple, con-
not claim to
be a history
of Florida, but only the impressions left on a prac-
tical mind after several
years of close observation,
which have been growing stronger each year.
some of my readers have the privilege
a few months
years in succession, I
there, for two or three
am confident that
be so strongly confirmed as to
accepted as trustworthy authority.
A HOME AND
WORK FOR ALL
CAsLES IN SPAIN
LIFT UP THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN AND
STRENGTHEN THE FEEBLE KNEES
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE, AND OAN BE DONE
WHAT HAVE YOU TO SAY ABOUT MALARIAL
PRIVATE HOMES, NOT
m HOTEL LIFE
steamer which was to bear
me from the coming snows of the
North to the soft, balmy air of our
Southern shores, you requested me to
send you some letters from Florida. The request,
on recalling it, strikes me as somewhat indefinite. If
you look for something sensational or romantic, you
are doomed to a grievous disappointment. That is
not my vocation-more's the pity I For never was
there a more ample field for the imagination to revel
in uncontrolled, or richer opportunities for blending
8 LETTERS FOM FLORIDA.
romance and reality, than this land of flowers offers to
the gifted ; but, to do it justice, to develop half the
wonderful beauties of these bewildering regions calls
for a more skillful artist. I can but look witE long-
ing on this promised land, this storehouse of poetry
and romance ; I may not unlock the gates and enter in.
Right here, close by where I now write, from
amohg the beautiful palmettoes, and under the grand
old oaks, one still hears the whispers of a wild and
terrible tragedy, as full of strange and thrilling inci-
dents from which to weave a story as the most sensa-
tional writer can desire-one abundantly able to satisfy
those who'areonly content with graphic or startling
narratives, or who most delight to "sup on horrors."
We refer to the Mandarin massacre of 1841, which
left this lovely village desolate. The Indians de-
stroyed every living soul save some of th
who were absent on a hunting expedite
little boy who escaped their fiendish tor
ing in a dense grove of palmettoes. Th
ion, and one
tures by hid-
at same boy,
now a middle-aged man, still resides here, occupying
a house built on the spot where all his friends were
St. Augustine is one vast reservoir of infinite
suggestions and rich material, that have come down
from all the prominent nations of the earth as a legacy
-a bountiful supply for some future genius of our
own land, who, as Walter Scott did for his country,
will collect and weave into story or song the many
strange, wild scenes, the romantic incidents and thrill-
ing adventures in which this region .abounds. Such
A HOME AND
a one will win immortal
of. this fair land from "
Until within a comp
WORK FOR ALL. 9
fame by saving the history
sinking into the darkness of
aratively few years Florida
a bone of. contention, or the foot-ball of which-
nation had the skill or craft to gain posseion of
and keep her the longest. For a year or t*o it
in the hands of the French; then wrested frem
grasp by the Spaniards, only to be snatched
from both by the strong ar
The French coveted th
they saw in its profusion
brilliant and sweet-singing
.the promise of a life of ease
Sand hoped to find among its
m of England.
is lovely country because
of fruits and flowers, its
birds, and loft4 balmy air,
and perpetual enjoyment,
* wonderful mineral springs
the legendary "fountain of life and perpetual youth."
SThe Spaniards reached out after it, hoping, with ar-
rogant and despotic power, to wring from the toil
of natives, through merciless taskmasters, fabulous
wealth, which they imagined was hid in its bosom.
The English, more practical, discovered at once that
its great wealth lay in the rich fruits and productions
of its soil, which through well-directed labor would-
give to them a rich possession. They sought to de-
velop the resources of the land by suitable cultiva-
tion and organizing manufactories for such work as
-promised to bring forward the best that Florida could
yield in the most remunerative manner.
But neither held this goodly land long enough
under their rule to enjoy much of that which each
most dired. Yet the very strife and misrule that
10 LETfERS FROM FlORIDA.
prevailed until a recent period have made Florida rich
in wild and fanciful lore; and ere long, under wise
and more permanent government, this now sparsely
settled region will become populous. Then .towns
and villages lovely as any New England can boast-
and where can.you find any more lovely?-will look
out from these graceful palms and palmettoes, or find
grateful shade under the lofty magnolia and gigantic
live oak, gray with moss, that stand like giant sen-
tinels all along the shores of the grand and beautiful
Amid such surroundings some one will rise up
whose fertile* imagination can combine and skillfully
weave together the many romantic incidents to be
found imong the curious legends of Florida. But,
that is a work upon which I may not venture. Truth
unvarnished is, however, full of elements possessing
more abiding attractions than the most brilliant story;
and to that I shall most strictly adhere.
Finding it necessary to spend the spring months
of the last few years in Florida, the impressions, made
by these visits have greatly strengthened and become
more of a fixed belief with each year's experience
This seems to me strong evidence that these impres-
sions are worthy of credence, and may have more sub-
stantial value than should be conceded to simple nov-
elty or a passing fancy.
There are not many ladies so situated that they
are obliged to witness or understand so much of the
sufferings and deprivations among the poor as is daily
brought to our door; and the utter impossibility of
A HOME AND WORK FOR ALL.
giving substantial relief to any appreciable extent is
a source of acute distress.
Some assistance is needed every morning, and, to
be effective, must often be renewed every evening,
and for an indefinite period. The sick, the wicked,
te Aufortunate, and those ready to perish, are "le-
gion." They come from all nations and from' every
class of people. Who shall feed,this great multitude ?
But who can turn a deaf ear to their complaints, or
send them away empty, without a grievous heartache ?
There is no end to their calls-for help. No permanent
relief for those who suffer.
That much of this destitution is the, result of in-
providence, carelessness, or actual wrong-doing, no
one can deny. But when the curse has fallen, and
want and suffering take hold of them, it is too late to
speak of the sad mistakes. At least, let the past sleep
if.you can, while looking for present help, and by
sympathy and kindness endeavor to build up a better
life. How can this bd done ?
It is a well-established fact that giving to the poor
and unfortunate is a bad policy, and usually, except in
kindness to the
earn even the
Ah l yq.
demoralizing to the recipient. It is a
on the benevolent, as well as a cruel
poor, destroying eventually all energy
Find something, however
each applicant for charity muat do, to
crumbs that fall from the rich man's
This may be wise and most excellent
12a L mETT ERS. to nt fOo
advice ; but tell me where to find employment fot the
who besiege our doors day after day. No
idual can do this. Then how is this sage.
be followed ? That is the true question for
es-a question for which hundreds and thou-
anxiously waiting an answer.
ard times of the last few years have cruel
le of our most valued and refined citizens,
they who were once the foremost in every
good word and work are suffering, with tl
cately nurtured families, for the common ne
of life, which the severity of our Northern
renders truly indispensable. But, unlike th
are always roaming from street to street, no
claiming their wants, these ask no alms,-
"For God's sake give z work, that we may
families from freezing and starvation I "
How often have I been met by such pite
peals that I
l known, and most worthy
I1 It i hard to find--m
charity. It is from such i
an aching heart, poweries
comfort, but earnestly coveting the power to trans-
port such applicants to a climate so genial, for a large
part of the year, that the most destitute if.willing to
make an effort in their own behalf, have a chance for
some relief, and
can not have in
How I long
often may secure comforts which
our Northern winter..
to see those who at the NoaW
work and finding- none, down he
for fifty dollars forty acmo of
A HOM AND WORK FOB ALL.
p -- 1p.. *
or reaay access oy ran; or zor fourteen 0011
sixty cents a quarter section of Government 1
be "entered" free from taxes for five years,
enough to bring the land into a state of cul
that will yield a very comfortable support till an
orange grove is well established, and the trees almost
old enough to give fair promise of remuneration.
When a section is entered, with any just hope of fu-
ture success, it should be done by those who are pre-
pared to rough it," who are not afraid of hard work
and simple food for a few years.
It is useless for any to attempt to build up an in-
dependent home here, or anywhere, if they begin the
operation under the impression that, having "entered
the land, they are to live henceforth on a bed of roses.
With that class of the poor we have no sympathy;
but with those who are not afraid to work, even though
subjected to some rough fare before they master the
situation, we have unlimited earnest sympathy.
Those who "enter" land, or "take up" a quar-
section, may not find steady and profitable em-
nent with others all the time; but they will
abundant need of all their energies in improving
own land, cheered by the thought that every
's work, and all their efforts to economize and
though at first hard, are but preparing the way
comfortable home for their later years.
Well," say you, "this sounds plausible; but-if
too poor to provide for their families at the North,
how are they to get to Florida, and buy the forty
LtmTTus FM iflktnIA.
acres or the quarter section of land& That's an
important question; and if you can't p$ih ct t the
way'to effect this, the whole idea is simply vidsatry"Y
Ah I but I only said I coveted the power t briag
the industrious poor out to Florida, and see them well
started in this mode of supporting themselves and
families. That power unfortunately I do not posse,
and am not so foolish as to imagine destitute people
can come unaided. But, stop a moment, and honestly
make a business-like calculation, and then tll me if
you think my idea so wild or visionary afterward.
On the contrary, do you not see, after a few mo-
ments' reflection, that such a
plan might be a good
and economical investment for the benevolent, a well
as for the suffering and unfortunate
Fairly estimated, how much do you imagine the
reasonably kind-hearted and benevolent peoph It the
North, in comfortably prosperous circumstances, usu-
ally give every winter in charity ? In this estimate,
bear in mind also how much is as good as thrown
away, because often given thoughtlessly-not so much.
to help the poor, or honor God, as "lest by their oon-
tinual coming they weary me."
Alms recklessly or inconsiderately given are often
worse than wasted. How, would not a large propor-
tion of the truly charitably dispbsed feel that. one
hundred dollars a year was a cheap release from per-
petual solicitation ? Judgig from expeienee, it
seems a low estimate-and many better able would,
I doubt not, gladly pu~a t this freedom by Aive
times that sum. And reflect, wh one is thu beset,
A HONE AND
WORK 1FO ALL.
how very mall the summust be which is given to any
one, at our doors. Even if only divided among a few
of these claimants it will be hardly sufficient to have
an appreciable value, distributed as it must be in ho-
meopathio quantities; and by to-morrow each will be
as mach in need of assistance as before.
Besides greatly diminishing one's own trouble,
would not the amount of actual good accomplished be
vastly inmeased, if there were s
substantial benefit ? Would it
charity, first to understand the
wants of those most needing assist
fully to estimate how much one
giving toward supplying one pers
immediate food and daily work,
)me hopes of lasting,
not be a truer, nobler
character and actual
tanoe, and then care-
may feel justified .in
on or one family with
until you can make
suitable arrangements for their independent support ?
Select those you.are confident are the most deserv-
ing and most anxious t work With part of the
money buy a "land, warrant," or a homestead, in
Florida, giving the recipient choice of location. With
the remainder of the money supply as far as possible
a common outfit. Try your own talent for begging
for once, at least, so far as to secure a passage on some
of the Southern steamers, and a little money for farm-
ing implements, to start at least one family a y'ar in a
new home in Florida
If these bentiari esare wisely selected, and have
that natural energy and love of indepedence that
will make them accept such hardships and acrifices
pa mst of neoeemty mark the first steps of any new
o00o, one o -may rest satidfed that, by thus on-
16 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
centrating their charities, one family at least a year
may be placed in a fair way for independent support.
This can fever be done for those who go begging from
door to door, losing each day more and more of their
self-respect.. But if a family thus placed have courage
to accept with cheerfulness the early hardships for
the joy that is set before them, they have a prospect
of building up, slowly but surely, a respectable and
You are talking wildly I Suppose the land war-
rant, or homestead, secured-the log-house erected;
how is it to be furnished ? How provide their daily
food while clearing off the woods, preparing their land,
and waiting for their crops to grow, even with the
hundred dollars you speak of? You acknowledge
they may not always be able to find sufficient employ-
ment to help them to a trifle, weekly. How will you
answer this ?" W
Well, a homestead of one hundred and fifty acres
will cost fourteen dollars and sixty cents. With the
sum named they will have eighty-six dollars left for
indispensable articles, even if many cast-off articles of
household stuff should not be given them when start-
ing. Then, if some neighbors would club together
and send several families of the worthy poor at the
ssme time-a kind of colony, but not on the communi-
ty plan-their money united would, by purchasing ar-
ticles at wholesale, provide better for the whole than
could be done for one family alone. If each of these
charitably disposed persons should, about the time this
oolony is starting, have "a clearing-up day," and empty
A BOM AND
WORK FOR ALL
their attics of clothes and furniture that do no good,
but an always in the way, they would be surprised to
learn how useful "such rubbish" jan be made, and
how thankfully it would be received.
But as to the furnishing of that log-house, you
have no conception of the very little furniture that is
really absolutely necessary here-or indeed anywhere
-to make a family reasonably comfortable. Pros-
perity and wealth multiply the things we must have
in a marvelous manner, and increase the work that
must be done in the same proportion. In some leisure
hour take paper and pencil, and, beginning with your
own room, put down the articles in that one spot tbat
you could do without, and be none the less happy or
When people go into the wilderness, and are inde-
pendent of any
rapidity. I, fI
ment than to c
"hired help," their w
r one, would like no
some here with some
yourself, will think I
you how all I have pi
good stock of patience,
without wfich no one is
fear the experiment.
ants and abso-
few who, like
dly, and show
Planned can be done. With a
fortitude, and good nature-
of much value-I should not
A healthful amount of hard
work and self-denial may be expected for a few years;
but that, in itself, brings genuine enjoyment to an in-
dependent spirit, especially when a home lies just be-
yond. And with all this-I could promise, as the chil-
den say, "lots of fun" besides.
If, in some of those emergencies which will often
18 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
occur in he early days of any new work, it Aould
now and then be found necessary to live f6oi few
days on good brad and water," what then? We
have tried it quite close enough to understand just
what that means; and we also know how a brave and
cheerful spirit can bring light into the darkest hour,
and a good hearty laugh can give even to such mnonas-
tic fare a piquancy and relish
bles loaded with the choicest
life to which we long to brin
are destitute and suffering,
1 not always found at ta-
viands. But in this new
g those at the North who
there is little fear of any
"bread and water" diet, while the rivers and forests
abound with food, to' be had without money and
The number of dishes required by those who de-
manded three or four courses or more for their daily
dinner will not be needed here; and the cooking uten-
sils and furniture which we think so important in our
Northern homes can be easily dispensed with in a
pioneer's first efforts. Many things can be manufac-
tured by one's own self or by some of the family with-
out going to the very extreme of retrenchment, or
losing sight of neatness and respectability. And thus
in every department one soon learns how very little is
actually required to insure a&good she of comfort
I know of those who, losing all at the North but
theii patience, energy, and industry, have managed to
get down to Florida and enter a homestead." Erect-
ing a rough but comfortable shelter, and furnishing it
with what they would once have thought were worth-
A OMkE AND
WORK FOR ALL.
less y~aps that remained out of former abundance,
and A articles as their skill or ingenuty could
manufacture, they prepared a neat and pleasant abode.
In this work the women of the family employed every
leisure moment to increase their comforts, or make the
place attractive, while they were ever ready to help
their husbands and sons in putting in the needed crops
as fast as the land was cleared. While waiting for
these crops to ripen, the men take an hour when needed
to keep a plentiful supply of food by hunting and fish-
ing. Whenever opportunity offered, a few days' work
for neighbors now and then supplied comforts which
they could not raise
sirable. And in this
already see promise
A little self-denial f<
tiers may look with
will have every com
life requires, and ma
tant future when th<
property, with all t]
I am only speak
there are difficulties
from their land, or which were de-
primitive, impromptu home, they
of a bright and peaceful future.
or a few years, and ihese new set-
confidence to the time when they
fort that a healthy, independent
y safely look forward to a not dis-
ey will be the owners of valuable
he luxuries that may be thought
ing of wht I have seen. That
and discouragements between the
first steps, of -auchan undertaking and the day which
will put the %et oh firm foundations, I do not deny.
But tell me of any important enterprise which ever
begins smoothly, and marches on to full consumma-
tion without a ripple of trouble or anxiety-without
many mistakes, and perhaps some serious disasters!
I think there is less to fear in seeking to build up a
20 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
home in Florida-bearing in mind to the fullest extent
all the difficulties one is liable to encounter-ti* when
entering a new and untried feld elsewhere. This de-
lightful climate, the rapid growth of vegetation, the
comparatively short time that must intervene before
one begins to reap the fruit of well-directed industry,
all conspire to cheer the spirits, to keep the courage
alive, and to lighten burdens which but for such en-
couragement might become oppressive.
I have many Castles in Spain," built when, mier-
ably sick and feeble, we first came to Florida, and
which ever since, as we see more of this charming
country, have been rising on firmer foundations than
such castles can usually boast. Some of these I will
show you; but, having already lingered too long, I
will close ndw, reserving them for the next letter.
My "Castles" are sufficiently stable to keep another
ON my first visit to
." Of birds and bowers,
Where at once upon the
Hang her fruitage and her
luxury, of breathing easily
comfort, and therefore did little but
quietly indulge ip day dreams.
you visit with me presently some of
22 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
the "castles" so often built and filled with happy ten-
The first visit to Florida seldom awakens much
enthusiasm. It requires
to the great dissimilarity
at the North
i, the marks
time to become accustomed
between. this section of our
regions. One pines for the
grass, the merry haymaking
of more rapid progress and
h form a prominent feature
t the olden times, when, in its
ate, it was as a country far
more wild and dreary than anything seen in Florida.
But now it shows what labor and skill, united, can do.
It has made our cold and rocky North bud and blos-,
som like the rose. Spread over Florida the same skill
and energetic labor that for the last century has grad-
ually, clothed and beautified the North, and in less
than one third of that time this State will Jbe like
the garden of Eden, and all traces of the ruin and
desolation which war has left will be for ever oblit-
The first visits to this part of our land are more
frequently made for health than for pleasure; and,
not realizing how many things indispensable at the
North are unnecessary here, it is not strange that
for a while one longs for "the flesh-pots of Egypt."
With little or no expectation that it may be necessary
there is no inducement for any spe-
as to the prudence, comfort, plUa-
securing a permanent winer resi-
Then, again, those who can be content and happy
only in the excitements and enjoyments of fashion-
able life will never be attracted here, unless for a fly-
ing visit; and then, instead of learning anything of
the country, they will be disposed to pass their time
in a round of frivolous pleasures which can be easily
found in many of the attractive and fashionable ho-
tels. These are not the best places in which to learn
all about the resources of Florida, and form a correct
estimate of her wonderful capabilities. Unless such a
life is the height of their desires and ambition, few
will spend a second winter here-breathe this soft and
balmy air, enjoy the brilliant
Sand partake of the delicious
to form some estimate of
and vast resources-without
strong attachment has been
a great desire to secure at
flowers and lovely birds,
s fruits, and just begin
its natural advantages
being conscious that a
formed, and by and by
least a winter residence
At present, however, while so much
was once most beautiful lies desolate in m
this country through the devastations of
much money and labor will be needed to
waste places and revive the original lo
growth of interest, mostly through transi
must of necessity be much too slow fo
lany parts of
war, and so
r our impa-
tience. Yet it is impossible to doubt that, with intel-
ligently directed labor, it will be no herculean task to
make the future of this fair land far transcend its
former beauty and productiveness. So confident am I
that great results are possible, it is difficult to "pos-
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
sees my soul in patience till this work of rejuvenation
begins to advance more rapidly.
But, while there is no spot on earth where the poor,'
if willing to work industriously (and they deserve
little sympathy if they are not), can be made so com-
fortable, and with reasonable hopes of increasing pros-
perity with each coming year, still it is the young
-those who are in search of some desirable spot on
which to erect tl
any other class t(
try all that the 1
this class before
ness, in my first
and build and consecrate
"-who can do more than
this now sparsely settled coun-
repared it to be. It was with
ind that I was planning and
long hours and days of weak-
Florida; and these dreams, I
5, will be in some degree realized and
at no very distant day.
Oh I the many neat and comfortable homes that
those who are just beginning their new and indepen-
dent life could establish here, and with comparatively
little expenditure of money Ah the homes with
the promise of future independence
but unfortunate poor, who are now
which I have planned in
these long winter nights,
are trying to forget snow
in most unprofitable slum
do vanish in the morning ?
and nothing can rob me o
ears hence,, in God's good
en my No
faith that, not
time, a way will be
provided by which my structures shall have firm and
CASTLES IN SPAIN.
abiding foundations, and these visions
no longer fade before the brightness
To restore that which war has laid
establish communications through which
tions of these regions will be sure of
and amicable exchange become easy to a
land, we must 'be largely indebted, no
good and wise action of those in powe
principled politicians, both North and
of the night
of the. rising
in ruins, and
h the piroduc-
ll parts of our
doubt, to the
r. When un-
have become entangled in the nets they have spread
for the unwary, and, reaping the fruits of their own
selfish follies, shall have been put aside for honest
men to fill their places (for surely there are more
than ten righteous men left to save our country)-men
who will labor earnestly to establish good institutions
of every kind, and secure every facility for rapid
transportation and communication all over our land-
then we may confidently hope to see developed the
best moral elements as well as the full natural re-
sources of this whole united country.
But while recognizing the great importance of co-
operation and aid from our Government to secure the
most speedy development of this and all other States
in our Union, we also know that much can and must
*be done, by individual effort, while waiting for the
tardy assistance of those in high places.
On my first visit to Florida I spent several weeks
in a part of the State where I had the best opportuni-
ties of constantly observing what ignorance, neglect,
and misfortune had done, and, by the contrast which
& W k
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
lay ever before me, realizing
taste, and industry, with but ve
It was on the St. Mark's.
the Saratoga of Florida, bi
almost entirely destroyed.
what education, good
ry little money, can do.
place was once deemed
ring the war had been
three years before my
t was waste and barren; but from my wind
then see a large track of land well plowed,
fenced, where grain and potatoes were co
e broad fields with. rich green, and where
planted cotton and sugar-cane would be:
days spring up with promise of abundant
What had wrought this change ? What had
this oasis in the desert ? Three years before a fe
gray-haired man, over whom the doctors had
nounced sentence of death, resolved to make one
effort for life, and try what Florida, instead of
sicians. could do for him. He purchased the
orange-grove of any size
eral desolation-an old grc
and covered with lichens,
rejuvenation. The fences
that had survived the
,ve, whose trees, moss-b
gave but faint promi
all around the place
tumbling down, gates off the hinges, and everything
telling of neglect, desertion, and decay.
In the middle of the grove stood a long, rambling,
one-story house, with many dilapidated out-buildings.
It was evidently once among the aristocratic resi-
dences of the place, but, like the grove and surround-
ing property, was fast tending to ruin.
Here, sick and very feeble, the new owner began
the work of rejuvenating both the property and him-
" If / /'
k b I
I (I 0
self-not by waiting for strength to come to him, but
by crawling-for at first it was literally nothing more
-out after it; beginning by sitting in an easy-chair
in the fields and giving directions to his hired men;
then, as fast as strength was gathered in, working
with his own hands, at first only a few moments at a
time, then stopping to rest.
So the first year sped by. Believing that strength
is given for use, and, if employed with judgment, will
take unto itself a double quantity, he daily "traded"
with his small capital of strength, and found that it
surely increased and multiplied with wonderful ra-
Three years later, at the time of our visit, we found
an vigorous and full of energy and resolute in-
The colored men in his employ would often
in open-mouthed amazement when witnessing
tiring resolution, thus receiving a lesson in in-
they sadly needed. Such lessons are by far
forcible and effective when taught by deeds
than words. True. that race is slow to learn
the growth if
but little by little they take root, and
s perhaps first seen in the increased care
about their own humble homes and small
t in time this mode of teaching will de-
and effective industry.
years from the time when this gray-haired
man with feeble steps began his work on a place
which, like himself, seemed past renovating, you will
not find anywhere a happier, more energetic man, or
one who can easily accomplish so much labor; or a
w ------ -v
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
more flourishing orange-grove, or more neatly fenced
and productive fields. The moss and lichens, the
scale-insects, and other evils that were killing the
groves, are all destroyed under this skillful manage-
ment and wise administration; the trees, grown young
and vigorous, are repaying their, owner for his care by
yielding the largest and most perfect fruit that can be
But this man, whose life has been prolonged and
strengthened for many years ol usefulness by this
wonderful climate, has not given his attention solely
to orange-culture. He is testing the fertility and re-
sources of Florida in every way that promises success
and remuneration. He is raising sugar-cane, and mak-
ing sugar and molasses from it, himself. Irish and sweet
potatoes, and all kinds of vegetables and luxuries that
belong to a well-kept farm, or plantation, receive the
amount of attention
In the next lett4
trast between this ea
that best promises or secures a
er I desire to show you the con-
rnest, systematic, intelligent kind
of labor, and
yield, and als(
that this soil
> bring to yc
h, and firmer
building up a comfortable
of ease and competency, f
and their parents' declining
This one village, and th
ing it till it shall far outshine
the war, is only a sample
surface work which never
can so readily be made to
>ur notice the work which
health have done toward
home, with every promise
or their mature manhood
Opportunities of improv-
le its best condition before
of many others. Under-
CASTLES IN SPAIN.
stand that I make no pretense of
of Florida, but only, at your request,
giving you a history
impressions, and such positive knowledge as I gather
from good authority, careful
cal oversight of
observation, and practi-
a few acres.
LIFT UP THE HANDS THAT HANG
DOWN AND STRENGTHEN THE
u have not forgotten the state-
ment I gave of
done in one of
calities in this
who came here
what can and has been
the least encouraging lo-
country by a feeble man
with seemingly no chance
for life; you can now understand how,
with slowly returning health, under the
recuperating influences of this delightful
climate, aided by resolute, energetic, and
practical labor, he. has changed the wil-
4 derness into the fertile garden which I
see before me from the windows where
1 I now write. But you must be told of
Florida as you would find it were you
the good and the bad-if you would gain a cor-
rect impression of this strangely beautiful country.
I have told you of my window-view. Now step
out into the moonlight, as I have often done, from
UP THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN.
among the orange-trees, or under the China-tree which
overhangs the gate. Right before us lies the saddest
thing that can be imagined, next to a desolate heart
-a deserted village. Roofless cl
houses, all that fire and fierce
standing, rapidly falling to pieces
tilled fields, groves of orange-tree
perfumed blossoms, or golden with
covered with lichens
; fenceless and un-
s, once white with
luscious fruit, now
and other destruc-
tive parasites-the dead limbs more abundant than the
How often from such moonlight scenes have I re-
turned to my room to spend many sleepless hours in
trying to devise some practical scheme by which hun-
dreds of the skillful and intelligent men and women,
.suffering for food and the bitter cold at the North,
could be transplanted to this or many similar spots
in FIbrida I Put some of our Northern sufferers, who
are now walking our streets half starved or freezing,
down here, set them to work, and they would show
better than tongue or pen can describe what a few
months of intelligent industry and skill can effect,
even in a place which on I
and past reclaiming.
But bringing this land
and redeeming it from the
part of the good which
Think of the incomparably
which would result from such
women, and children saved fro
beggary, which so soon dwarfs
first sight seems worthless
under proper cultivation,
wilderness, is only a small
might be accomplished.
more important good
divine charity. Men,
m that cruel want and
and wellnigh destroys
32 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
a human being-eating away courage, energy, self-
reliance, and independence I To lift up and purify,
to encourage and ennoble any portion of the human
race-is not that even a more blessed work than to
repair the waste places of earth, and make "the wil-
derness bud and blossom like the rose" ?
But think what it would be to unite the two la
bors I What nobler work can any one desire than to
strengthen the weak, heal the sick, feed the hungry,
find homes for the homeless, and transform into self-
supportihg men and women those who now overtax
our sympathies and drain our purses, without securing
any permanent relief. And add to all this that, by
the very act of relieving these unfortunate people, the
ruined villages are rebuilt, and the beauty and pro-
ductiveness which God has given to this country are
in a promising way to be richly developed.
But while such visions rise before one of *what
this land, now crippled and defaced by the ravages of
war and the neglect that must follow it, might be
made in a few years with proper care and resolute in-
dustry, and the hosts of sufferers that might be trans-
formed into useful, happy citizens, one must not
make the common mistake of supposing that this
transformation can be effected without hard work-
without much fatigue and some discouragements.
Such drawbacks are met with in every pursuit, in
every undertaking. Often many days of hard- work
are lost through inexperience; but such losses should
teach lessons that seldom need to be repeated, and
therefore such experience is not dearly purchased,
LIFT UP THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN. 33
How small a proportion of what is given every
month in careless or injudicious charity, or wasted
in frivolous and unsatisfying pleasures, would sup-
port a whole family here, and, best of all, give them
the first fair start toward independent, useful citi-
But something even better often springs from
such wise investments. It is not simply finding food
and shelter for the miserable; but, without some kind
hand stretched out to save by securing a self-sup-
porting position, many a family-buffeted and tossed
about, gleaning a precarious living in the hardest pos-
sible way-has through want and discouragement sunk
into a listless apathetic state, which leaves them an
easy prey to the yery worst temptations. Who will
be obliged to pay the taxes which vice and crime im-
pose on a community? Is it not a better economy
to aid the poor and suffering to gain a foothold on a
spot where, by industry, they can support themselves,
and through such industry be redeemed, if helped in
time, from a life of want and wretchedness, that may
tempt to sin, that sooner or later will destroy both
body and soul?
By raising up and repairing the doors of some of the
half-destroyed houses in the waste places which war
has left in Florida-by mending broken windows and
neatly curtaining them-no longer allowing the blinds
to swing on one hinge at the mercy of every wind
that blows-how soon might one see a neat white-
washed cottage peeping out from under the well-
trimmed orange or shade trees I Why, a smart active
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
woman would not rest long uutil-alone, if itnmust be
-she had brought some order out of this confusion,
some beauty out of this decay! I know I should for-
get fatigue and suffering in the great pleasure of
working'out such transformation.
Do not think that Florida is full of deserted vil-
lages and moss-grown orange-groves. Some of the old
villages still remain unoccupied, and are rapidly losing
all semblance of anything that was probably once the
homes of refined and wealthy people; but Northern
enterprise and activity are improving and' building
up most of these waste places, and it will not be many
years before these will become habitable, comfortable
dwellings-if not stately mansions-and well-culti-
vated and productive orange-grove.
"But an effort to reclaim such old, half-dead trees
as you have told, of seems preposterous. I should pre-
fer to grub up such unsightly objects, plant a young
grove, and possess my soul in patience till they came
That, begging your pardon,.proves your ignorance
as regards orange-culture.
only one year's skillful la
have jumped to the same
when I first saw some of
gnarled and unsightly, wit
old age"; but since then I
tured, grows more and mor
after it first commences bh
You have been told how
bor was repaid. I should
conclusion that you have
the long-neglected groves,
;h no promise of "a green
have seen trees much more
The orange, when well nur-
e remunerative every year
caring, quite down to old
age; and even when neglected and abused for several
LIFT UP. THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN.
years, it, quickly and gFtefully responds to the first
touch of kindness
Scrape off the
all dead branches,
fully all through
and proper care.
moss, remove the lichens, cut away
wash and scrub the bark, plow care-
with muck from the swamps
having this muck properly m
leaves, etc., and leaving it to b4
for a time, some bone meal s]
and plowed in; and in a year
cayed grove will amply repay
bright and healthy fruit. If
nrich the ground
with ashes, lime,
over the ground
ro an old half-de-
wner by a crop of
;are is continued,
each year will increase the products of the trees; and.
your grandchildren'may find this grove, once appar-
ently so near death, a handsome legacy.
Bring down our Northern men who are begging for
work, but finding none, and, as if by magic, not only
will the work of re-creation go marching on, but new
land will be broken up, young groves will be planted,
and, where is now the wilderness, neatly fenced and
well-tilled fields, rich in cane and cotton, will obliter-
ate the intrenchments and earthworks, sad
the war. Encroaching on the haunts of the
other wild animals, little hamlets w:
with broad streets, shaded by the
trees that make these forests so love
to, magnolia, liquid-amber or gum-tr
pine, and a countless variety of trees,
pass quickly from infancy to mature
which in Florida
and vigorous age
-would in a marvelously short time canopy the streets
of these young villages With a grateful shade, that a
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
would willingly work fears
Pretty settlements are springing up, not only along
the banks of the St.
John's, but around the beautiful
inland lakes, where one family-and sometimes two or
three-five or six years ago, felled
broke the ground in
the midst of
the first trees and
the forest, where
never before had
been an acre of
Some of these, when I first went South,
and to an inexperienced eye gave little promise of any
great comfort or success.
I judged, as you did, igno-
for now orange-groves, just coming into bear-
ing, are plenty all along the
tages and neatly
that they have passed out of pioneer life into organized
townships or pleasant villages, making steady progress
year by year toward elegant and refined homes.
Many of these
new settlements have been started
and after clearing and fenc-
getting in their first
vegetables, planting the seedlings or sour stumps"
for the young
nuity to erect
exert their inge-
shelter for their
the younger portion of the family,
will join them when all this rough preliminary work
has prepared the way for them.
Ah if you could realize how very truthful all this
is, which-shivering over your
Northern coal fires-
may possibly appear
you could better understand how very small a portion
LIFT UP THE
HANDS THAT HANG
week for that which satisfieth not, could make hun-
dreds happy and self-supporting,
who now go hungry
out on such
just been described-so full of promise if right-
ly entered upon-and in imagination appropriated (by
permission) a part of the large sum a fashionable lady
will spend on one party or ball-or, perhaps, a dinner
heart, would gladly give
half the sum
to be excused
for some deserving
those families need
just this which Florida holds,
waiting for them
ah I how Florida needs that class of people whom we
would so gladly send to her shores!
True, that which we build in the night watches of
comfort and beauty i demolished by the rising sun.
But what more
show after expending so large a sum on her fancies ?
dreamings as mine give a higher enjoy-
ment, free from any of the inconvenience, fatigue, or
heart-burnings which molest and irritate the fashiona-
We are up with the sun, feeling hopeful that
a good time will surely come, by which some of those
dreams may be worked out into realities.
which satisfieth not--drags her
chamber just as night gives place
haps secures a few hours of most unsatisfying slum-
For the time being there may be one sort of
but on retrospection, both for host and guests,
the taste is too often like Jeremiah's figs-exceedingly
Please remember, this is not all idle dreaming. I
have seen these transformations and improvements in
are not extreme
can justly call
supposition that those who are joined to
who live only for their own selfish gratification-will
ever be dispo
to help feed
to deny themselves one extra ribbon
the hungry, clothe the naked, or provide
a home for the unsheltered wanderer.
Our hope rests chiefly with those who find pleasure
and comfort in helping the weary and heavy-laden-
to see the open
door, to step to
front in all acts of kindness.
on new land ; for t
gin at the beginni
For the young it is an
to secure a homestead and begin
;hey can afford to take time-to be-
ng, and have what would be to me
the great satisfaction of feeling that they had wrested
from the foundation by perseverance, energy, and solid
But for the feeble and aged
there are many
in some of the deserted villages where,
small sum, they can at once secure some old planta-
or a few
although neglected and
to decay, can very soon be made sufficiently
LIFT UP. THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN.
comfortable to shelter them at once, and by their own
skill, little by little, be made a neat and pleasant
Newport, on the St. Mark's, the west side of Flori-
da, is one of these .spots-given up by those of its
former inhabitants who still live ; and yet the tenant-
less, dilapidated houses, and fields run to waste, could
soon be rejuvenated and be made productive, if there
was any one with intelligence and industry to occupy
and improve. To prove that my statement rests on
more substantial foundations than a woman's imagina-
tion, listen while I give you one example. In that one
place alone there are many others of the same general
character, but one will suffice.
Just across the street from the plantation described
in my first letter, there are two small cottages, better
preserved than most of those lying vacant in that
vicinity. The owners being scattered or dead, and
the heirs making homes or in business elsewhere, both
places, since the war, have stood empty and neglected.
Each cottage has four good-sized rooms, with spacious
fireplaces in each; for, wood being abundant, there
is no need of close economy in fuel. A latticed ver-
anda separates the kitchen, store-roo'ms, and servants'
rooms from the main building. A cemented cistern
or reservoir of ample size is in the rear. A good barn,
hen-house, and yard, all pertain to each place. There
are a few young orange-trees just coming into bearing,
pecan-trees, peaches, figs, grapes, and a few young
apple-trees in good condition. Cape jessamine, crape
myrtle, roses, and many other flowers made the places
neglect which they could not entirely conceaL
The land on which these two cottages stand occu-
pies one large square-I do not recollect the measure
in rods or acres-each house owning half of the land.
The heir of one of these places not being of age, it can
not yet be sold
but the other was purchased, to pre-
being occupied by tramps or rovers, to the
detriment of a friend.
dred dollars /
The price given was one hun-
The purchaser, having other property in
Florida, was ready to sell it whenever an active, ener-
getic person should
who would be public-
to help reclaim and build up this vil-
In less than a
year it was sold again for three
is a pretty
owner proves intelligent,
enterprising, the cotton,
cane, and sweet
could be raised on the place will in a
short time return the sum he gave for the whole
be in a condition
to extend his land to
any extent at a simple nominal price.
This is but one case.
Only men and money to cul-
tivate and improve the land are wanted
to make this
region rich in productiveness.and as lovely as fairy land.
Men begging only for work are scattered all over the
Is there none among those who are annoyed
the continued importunity
destitute, who, even if they
" fear not God nor regard
" will give of their abundance even so liberally as
to send these claimants where work can
if only to free themselves from their importunity?
LIFT UP THE HANDS THAT
that this gives you little infor-
mation about Florida?
a history that
Well, be patient.
that yearly visits to a land
It was not
loved have made
on my own mind-impressions which I feel confident
do not differ materially from well-authenticated facts,
Three or four years steady efforts of earnest laborers
that are almost
I write con more, and therefore "hasten slow-
ly," making perhaps the common mistake of thinking
one most deeply must have the
same attractions for all.
AND CAN BE
marriage step at once into
out exertion on their part are provided with an ample
income and, as far as wealth and social
HAS BEEN DONE.
secure it, have every prospect of gliding through life
"on the smooth surface of a summer sea." These are
not likely to find any great attractions in Florida, or
only those which tourists and pleasure-seekers are ex-
pected to find in any new scenes. To be sure, some,
with all that wealth can give, may be compelled to
make this country their residence, or die. "All that
a man hath will he give for his life." But if for this
cause they settle here, their riches will cheat them
out of half the true enjoyment those will find who
come ready to work and build up-not to be waited
upon and lead useless, self-indulgent lives.
We do not look to this class with any hope that
they willdevelop the wonderful, unlimited resources
of Florida. To be sure, their money, if liberally
used, will greatly assist others to open up all that now
lies dormant here. But we look most hopefully to
those who, having less of this world's goods, are
forced to begin life
tions but such as the
insure. And this clE
ness, and courage, wi
where to choose," w
nd with no expecta-
gy and industry will
have vigor, earnest-
world before them
pity. They will be
none the less happy for the.lack of ready-me
if they are sensible enough to understand
was not given to be all play and romance,
various duties, to be gradually unfolded and
in God's own good time.
If, when young people come to years of
and are ready to make a home of their own
begin this new life with the full determine
1 that life
but full of
, they will
tion to ac-
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA
these duties as they rise, and, confident in their
fully, they will soon learn how full of choicest bless-
waiting to be garnered all along the unknown,
untried way, is a life of diligent courageous effort.
young are often
discouragements at the
of their new and independent life.
frequently spring from the attempt to
own future on the old foundations which their fathers
These were doubtless wisely planned,
period when their ancestors began the
and, under the then existing circumstances, no
doubt the best that could have been devised*
unfolded better ways, and gradu-
ally made the old ways distasteful and irksome.
more evident, and
discontent and loss of
faith in the old-time methods
be wise for young
people to relinquish the idea of settling close by large
towns and cities, unless their bank accounts are heavy
and their prospects of
success are past a doubt.
ruinous to remain in familiar localities, hampered by
the old methods, endeavoring to force their way, till
is wasted in
find a firm and permanent foothold.
but their own strong
hands and well-cultured brains
on, leave the old
places that only rich men
productive condition, and
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE.
create a home in newer lands,
stanch integrity, and the uns
where intelligent labor,
elfish desire to do good
to all around them will make their presence a blessing,
good influence may remain to comfort and strengthen
long after these pioneers have gone to receive
the joyful "Well
For all who are ready thus to
begin an independent
establish their future from the foundations,
is no place
e so easily,
polished as in this State.
done here, and
examples of what
can be done again.
improvements a sick and
man had wrought in a few years on an old and miser-
ably dilapidated plantation, and will now attempt to ex-
plain what younger and more robust men can do in new
when undaunted by such hardships as must in-
evitably be met by pioneers in every new undertaking.
Northern home on a prospecting tour through Florida,
intending, if suited, to
' enter a homestead and pre-
pare a comfortable home for their, parents and sister
as rapidly as possible.
After visiting many localities,
a quarter section of Government land
near Little Lake George, through which the St. John's
young men had not
to farming or the use of carpenter's tools, nor
were they familiar with any of those kinds of labor
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
out their plans.
with them a chest of tools, well stocked with all that
might be needed, and a good supply of farming uten-
sils. All this shows that they were smart, intelligent,
should or would venture on such an experiment.
work was to build a lo
This was easily done.
g house for their own shelter.
[hen several acres were cleared,
fenced in, and a large number of sour-orange stumps
set out to be ready for grafting the next spring, or
when the roots were well established : and beside these
a large quantity of
sweet-orange seeds were
to start a seedling grove.
This is an impOrtant con-
sideration for all new-comers, as these young groves
the owners are giving
to immediately necessary
grass started, corn, sweet and Irish potatoes, and other
to be ready for
early use when
those anxiously waiting at the North
should come to them.
Having labored to get all these things safely under
way, and in a prosperous condition, the next step was
to build a more comfortable and commodious dwelling,
and make everything about thd place as home-like and
attractive as possible for the parents 'and sister. Um
deterred by lack of mechanical knowledge, and deter-
mined as far as possible to supply this
common sense, and
that skill which is
vering efforts, they prepared a plan of a house,
they developed with most encouraging success
under their united
efforts, rose as neat and
convenient a cottage as could
hall the whole length of the house, a
a comfortable diaing-room, and six bedrooms gave am-
ple accommodations for the whole family and a gener-
ous provision for guests.
the Southern custom (a most
sensible arrangement, and one which* would add great-
the comfort of
the kitchen, store-
rooms, and servants' room were built separate from the
house, but connected by a latticed veranda, with a roof
to protect from
sun and rain
thus all cooking
fumes were kept away from the house.
fine work, it is true,
were not finished
by an ac-
but I spent some days, a short
with this most kind and hospitable family,
and could be well content to spend my days in as neat
and comfortable a dwelling.
rest of the
so speedily and
prepared a home for them in the midst of the forest.
Before leaving the North,
the sister sold
and on reaching
that had been th
the money in
dry goods and groceries
suitably fitted up for a store, of which the young lady
had the sole charge.
Now, at the close of seven years, this family have
they are constantly improving.
A large part of their
orange-trees are mostly sweet seedlings, which,
48 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
within a short time, it was supposed could never come
thought to be safer in case of frost than the grafted
sour stump. Later experience, however, proves that,
by grafting the sweet seedlings, they can be brought
into bearing almost
stump-that is to I
not quite as early as the sour
This enterprising family have now a large
number of orange, lemon, guava, and fig trees, as well
as a choice collection of grapes, and raise successfully
cotton, sugar, corn,
and all needed
vegetables for their own use as well as for sale.
In all these years they have not paid one penny for
hired help, but have done many days' work for others.
sons, in addition
superintend and do a large share of
work on two
or three neighboring plantations, where they are con-
unhealthy, they have
Does any one need a
ness of Florida ?
better warrant for the healthi-
is only one example out of
very many that
have come under my own immediate observation, and
to illustrate how liberally this beautiful lanJ
will recompense honest and intelligent labor, and what
who trust her generosity.
groves, and fruit-trees
what are the prospects of
support for the
new settler during these five or six years ?"
If one settles near some plantation owned
by those whose
on it, and
not allow them
the superintendence of
place, he is fortunate
for the pioneer, who intends to
live on his own land, can take charge of the stranger's
plantation, and be paid in money, or half the crops he
can raise on it,.and at the
same time push
cleared and planted.
If no such place is
access, he will not starve
or suffer any
Every one on coming out should take such canned
meats and vegetables as he cab and flour and vegeta-
bles will be
marketing distance to help
the crops are well under way, and some
ready for use.
All kinds of vegetables
desired are easily raised.
proverbially poor, but it should not be so.
ern farmer would soon prove that good pork and beef
But it takes
time to bring about any desirable change, and till then
The experiment of using this a
year or so
them more determined to introduce a
better quality as-soon as they can.
is no necessity of
suffering from want,
even with poor beef and pork, so long as the beautiful
lakes abound with fish, and the woods are
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
full of game.
There was never a spot at the
where one can have chickens, ducks, and turkeys, and
tifully as i
with very trifling effort, so plen-
a poultry house and yard on a large scale,
can any one desire
cious wild turkey, duck, partridges, quail, and any va-.
the danger is
but most tempting birds,
or snared ? And the .ve
which are so
ison / Here
that the excellence of the wild meats
will tempt those who are in haste
to bring their land
condition, to delay the work of improving
for the luxury of having
milk in plenty, forgetting to care for their cows.
Do you think-although there may and must
to be encountered in taking the pre-
here-do you think any
need suffer from hunger, unless too lazy to open their
mouths and receive the good things a bountiful Provi-
dence provides ?"
There are many fruits also
earlier than the orange. The
that come to maturity
fig is a rapid grower,
and as easily propagated as the currant, and begins to
bear as early after well started.
The fresh fruit will
not bear transportation to the North, but it is a great
comfort for those who raise it.
house, for black or white, has
very healthy and
Almost every hut or
s fig-trees, if
what a luxury it is when properly dried or preserved.
The guava is also a rapid grower, and the fresh fruit,
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE.
I am told, is very fine.
The jelly and marmalade made
from the guava needs no endorsement.
Strawberries, if well cared for, are to be had
early winter till late spring, or, indeed, into summer.
Blackberries (wild) are abundant, and so fine that to
cultivate them would be a waste of time.
I saw acres
of ripening, wild blackberries in a neighboring planta-
tion, and heard the
proprietor give orders
quarts for a
quarts were gathered, none could tell by the looks of
the bushes that any had been taken. The huckleberry
abounds in the woods in every direction. The cassava
root is easily raised, and is
used boiled like a
or made into starch or in
kinds of cakes are made.
raised and profitable crop.
to flour, from which various
The peanut is also an easily
And in the extreme south-
ern part of Florida almost any kind of
fruit that can
be found in the tropics can be cultivated and made re-
Time would fail
to enumerate all the fruits, vege-
tables, nuts, etc., that Florida will yield bountifully to
those who accept her favors, and are
them forward with skill and industry
but she has no
promises for those who will not help themselves.
a homestead," it is not wise
tempt to clear a large amount of land at first, or in
clearing to cut down all the forest trees.
Some of the
forest trees should
preserved in clusters of
eight, according to the character of the tree, both for
beauty and to protect the
orange groves from
any frost, but occasionally a cold snap warns
the orange-grower to be careful, and the experience of
those who have groves
lands where all the trees are cut off
from frost and winds.
suffer most, both
The land being thus exposed,
and injures if
not quite destroys it.
It is sad to see large tracts of land, like a desert, with-'
out any shade-trees
the fields and crops
would be so much benefited by them, aside from the
great pleasure one derives from the grand and beauti-
The eagerness to get the land in a
blinds the judgment.
True, the growth of
that new trees
cover a cleared field if allowed to
the old roots
; but nothing
been the patriarchs of
And added to the
regret for their
is also the
in destroying the forests,
be long before the fuel now so plentiful will
be greatly needed.
A sensible man will clear only so much land as can
be properly cultivated, set out as many oranges as the
working force which he has on hand can bud or graft,
the vegetables or other
varieties of fruits will claim his care.
as a homestead
one hundred and
sixty acre, and only a small part of it should be under
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE.
other acres must not be left profitless.
SGeorgian cattle are a good investment.
If one has
can be spared,
it fourfold in
a few months.
d six dollars a
to the homestead they may be
fed for a day or two, and then "branded" and turned
loose to range
the place, or,
them home at night a few times, throw a little corn
into the inclosure, and
they will soon
learn to return
their wanderings every night of their own will.
This is called cow-penning them
the trees, for cattle thus penned
great benefit in enriching the ground, and will
of fertilizing ;
the fall these
trees faster than any other mode
no harm to the
having become quite fat on the
wild grass in the woods,
thirty dollars a head.
me an exhaustin
where to find a stopping-place it is difficult to tell.
meant to have finished
in this letter, and to have told
this old settlement at
Rollestown, and of
eral other places, of the Medicinal
Springs, etc., etc.,
be possible-but all
that I can
from saying, into my next letter.
AT HAVE YOU TO SAY
MALARIAL FEVERS ?
LAST year, on my way to
by the good steamer City
Dallas. I was as much
interested in one of the lady
sage and a full
a rough pas-
me seasickness would
to select land in Florida, and
the best provision
for his bride that
could be expected in the early days
a pioneer s
he had so far progressed
to secure a comfortable
did not require
and money to
her, but, sure of
--- - -
care and all needed
and every comfort that he had power to provide, she
any escort to meet her lover at Jack-
in a simple,
manner, and left that same evening for her new home.
Some few months since
I received a
this lady, from which I had intended to copy largely,
as an excellent corroboration of my own ideas of what
willing hands a
if they are led
courageous hearts may
to make a home
have lost the letter, and regret it all
the more, as I
to visit this
to compare a
in Florida with my
very far above
she found a comfortable log cabin, or house, ready for
She told me the
already cleared and. planted.
lings were just starting, and
ing were set out and thrivinE
The orange seed-
" sour stumps ", for graft-
. She spoke of the quiet
the North, that were viewing in
the wild plants and vines
earnestness that proved her a fit wife for an enterpris-
Her chickens and other poultry were also a source
of great pride to her, and
deservedly, as she had been
very successful in rearing them, and even in this short
56 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
canned meats and fruits she brought from.the North,
were an important item n6w,
while everything was in
a formative state.
To be sure, her
in game, but had little time for hunting
while his trees and crops were needing constant care.
may come a time when
many others, may
fearless, and in
not only her own life,
work was over indoors, this lady either worked in the
her husband, or, before the sun was too
powerful, launched her boat and went alone on to the
fish, fresh. from the
water, for their dinner.
Before leaving the
she had furnished her-
self bountifully with a good supply of choice reading,
when needing rest, enjoyed them while swinging
in her hammock
under the grand old
trees that sur-
round the little house, now fast blossoming into beauty ;
while several well-cleared fields near by already mani-
power of industry intelligently
In the evenings her
when she was busy with her needle.
that I longed
to roll back the wheels of time and be-
anew, in a land so
rich in resources, and so
bountiful in repaying the labor bestowed upon it.
Another lady, bound for Florida, was also with us
during this same voyage-a
little children, one a babe in
ven years old.
beyond Chicago, I
near Smyrna, on t
and son had been
nd and building th
her and her weary
the arms, the other six
come, with no escort,
e house thi
was going some-
River. Her hus-
at was soon to re-
She talked as if
she was well posted in all the hardships and many in-
conveniences she would probably encounter. A slight,
pale woman, but in nowise disheartened after the
storm and seasickness were over. Her husband had
wisely kept her thoroughly informed of all he had ex-
perienced, and what she might expect, and his descrip-
tion of the country and climate disarmed the new life
of all terrors.
These are the right kind of men and women to
make Florida all she can and should be.
But what about the sickly summers, the malarial
fevers ? Is there nothing to be feared from this
source ? "
Certainly. Where will you find a spot in which
one can not conjure up all sorts of terrors, if he pre-
fers to live in perpetual fear of what may happen?
There is almost as much to feed such weakness as
may be found in any country. But why not inquire
about the chills," congestive, typhoid, and the other
varieties of fever-of the acute diseases, pleurisy,
pneumonia, diphtheria, and a multitude of ailments,
seldom if ever known in Florida, but of daily occur-
rence in New York and Brooklyn-all along the banks
of the lovely Hudson and Connecticut, and other riv-
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
ers-or wherever a new railroad is
being built, or a
the frosts and snows of
White Mountains ?
currency throughout our
These afflictions, of 'daily oc-
country, are not supposed to
be sufficient to deter people from settling North, East,
or West, any more than
of fearful crimes
or the re-
common with both parties in times of political excite-
ment, scare people from seeking a home in our cities.
But if Florida, or the South generally, catches the
echo of political recr
the same unchristian
Yes, it is wicked, North or
But we have not
seen or heard.half as much here of political or climatic
malaria as is transpiring weekly at the North. The
Ibause or remedy of the first it is not our business to give,
but there are a few.things to be said of the latter.
the early morning air before eating, or
before the sun is fully up, almost anywhere, and espe-
there are river fogs,
the present generation in our
I be likely to
I don't think
cities will suf-
fer much from any exposure before sunrise.
new settlers can not allow the sun to find them napping.
If a cup of hot tea or coffee, or a little bread and but-
ter, is taken before going out, then we
should feel no
any harm from the morning air anywhere.
Careless exposure to night air-tempted by a beau-
company, a moonlight sail,
night-hunting or fshing-is not safe, unless well pro-
tected with extra wraps, even on a summer's evening,
in any country or clime that I know of.
The greatest danger will be found while the for-
ests are cleared from new
lands, and the
plowed for the first time after warm summer weather
good anywhere, North
South, wherever woodland
Do we not find chills, malarial fevers, etc., follow
closely after every new railroad or park that is made ?
For this reason it is much
cleared and exposed
cool or cold weather.
sun early in
If possible, a temporary dwell-
little distance from
is going on,
the unhealthy dampness that
must rise for
some weeks, while the newly-turned earth is becoming
bogs and morasses have been
this is done, it
If there are no
is perfectly safe to
to take shelter in,
the new-comers must run the risk, but take every pre-
on hand always some light brushwood, and start an
the moment one is out of bed in the morn-
a bright, quick blaze), and
and this should
from malaria in
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
the hottest days <
everywhere, in old
f July, not in
or new settle-
there is any more
danger from malarial fevers in Florida (and
the sickness that there
is ever here)
in any State in the
woodland is being
cleared, or old pastures and mowing-lots ripped up by
face, or where muck is drawn from swamps or river-
beds and piled near dwellings, to ripen for compost.
I know, in the wonderful healthy town of Peekskill,
New York State, muck was dug out of a swamp some
years ago, and piled
up to drain and sweeten before
hauling up to
the family nearest to
the swamp complained
threatened with, chills and fever in
eost the owner of the swamp one hundred
stop that malaria.
Strange what medicinal power can,
And all along the lowlands on the banks of the Hudson,
or wherever a new railroad is begun, chills and fever are
prevalent, and to be
expected as a matter of
But this does not necessarily make that State or coun-
try where they occur unsafe or dangerously unhealthy.
Chills and fevers are not desirable companions
had a thorough knowledge of them
but they are not
half so unsafe as many diseases that are very common
at the North.
"Well, you don't seem willing to give Florida all
the fevers and malarial troubles, but you will not deny
that poisonous snakes a
Oh, no, I will not
lorida (abound is rath
must remind you that
things everywhere, until
drains the swamps, and
tion to. his skill. It is
dangerous animals abound
they are found
er too strong a word); but I
this is the natural order of
il man cuts down the forests,
brings the earth into subjec-
not peculiar to one State or
country, but to all that are densely wooded and sparse-
The moccasin and rattlesnake are not so attractive
and amiable that one would desire them for household
pets, but they are no more deadly in Florida than else-
where; and you know they are found occasionally in
almost all localities. I knew and heard very little
about them when here. It was only after returning
home that the fearful dangers I had escaped were re-
vealed. I have seen but one moccasin, and not one-
rattlesnake, except in a cage. The colored people,
who would be the most likely to know the worst that
is to be told of them, appear to give themselves no
uneasiness about the serpents or animals that are sup-
posed to make traveling, or walking in the forest, unsafe.
"Aunt Kitty," who for years has done the family
washing where I am, walks two
woods every Monday to come here,
returns alone, but says she has never
and has no fears. She would not like
s through the
and after dark
to come upon a
rattlesnake unawares, but thinks a little caution is all
that is needed.
The first year I was in Florida, on the St. Mark's,
62 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
an opossum was caught in the night, making trouble
in the hen-house.
The next morning a little, bright-
of eight or nine years, lay on his
stake in the yard.
"Well, Smart, did you everbsee a 'possum before ?"
"What do you do when you find them?
"Did you ever see a coon ? "
"Well, what do you do with them? "
leaves / "
"What do you do then ?"
em," said he, with a merry laugh.
"Did you ever meet a rattlesnake ?
"What do you do then, my boy ?"
leaves quick /"
Mosquitoes are no worse
here than in large cities
we are told they are more troublesome still
It may be so.
black or sand fly here, but no more than I am
every fall when at the
very provoking and
annoying, however, and we have
not one word to say in their behalf.
They are a nui-
sance wherever found, but
time is short.
comfort is that
Do not think I am only giving you one-sided state-
I would not have
you think that I imagine
Florida the very Garden of Eden before the fall,
the serpent and all other disagreeable things left out.
Not so at all.
I only wish you to see it as it is,
tion; but none of them in a worse or more aggravated
form than is common to all lands, and very few that
skill and labor cannot remove entirely.
Please to bear this in mind, and remember also that
there are, for the sick, the feeble, and the poor, hopes
and comforts that our dear but less genial North can
Here is cheaper land, no frost or cold at any
season of the year to prevent outdoor labor, and the
seasons both able to give two or three remu-
negative crops a year, aside from the luxury of almost
of tropical fruits.
annoying to every
new settler are such as
be found in every spot where man
begins to reclaim primeval forests, and turn them into
productive fields and comfortable homes.
No sensible persons will come to enter new lands
of making it
without being prepared to feel the loss of many
of the comforts and
privileges that they
to from childhood-the circle of friends
that have grown up with them, the church relations,
children, the lack
counting the cost, all these must
added to the amount, and the legitimate effect of this
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
determination to give time and thought toward build-
ing up and sustaining everything that tends toward
moral and religious strength, as well as to cultivate
and improve the soil.
But one who settles here must remember that there
will naturally be more discomforts and perplexities
the first year than in succeeding years. The promise
is surer here than in many
wilderness can be made to
rose; but, as I have some
"this can not be done in a
under your own vine and fi
or make you afraid; but t
first be planted, matured, ai
other new places, that the
bud and blossom like the
where heard the remark,
lay or a year. You can sit
g-tree, with none to molest
;he vine and the fig must
united labor of improving and cultivating
believe that the old prejudices between the
i the South will wear away, and a common
e established, by which each will employ
their best faculties to accomplish the
Each will bring to the work their own
provements and excellences, until the
ously laboring for the same end, will ha
tice the best, most. rapid, and reliable
ve put in prac-
modes of de-
veloping the naturally rich and wonderful resources
of this State.
Many vegetables and greens that hitherto have not
been thought capable of culture will yet be success-
fully raised here; and implements that it has been
thought could not be used in Southern culture will be
found, on trial, of invaluable service.
There is one other comfort that I would be glad to
see more extensively used, and which those who come
here in straitened circumstances should be sure to in-
I would like to see the goat raised more ex-
The stock of cattle is for the present very
a common ex-
course, this being true, a sufficient sup-
ply of milk will also be very difficult to secure at first,
It will soon be seen that there are
many kinds of
grass that can by cultivation be raised
here, and a better food be given to the cattle.
turn, they will give
better and more abundant milk.
But it will take some years to succeed in this, and, till
accomplished, the goat will be an excellent substitute.
This animal can be raised in Florida with no care
or trouble, or so little as not to
are easily kept
the waste from
the kitchens will
much more pleasantly and serviceably used for them,
in raising swine.
Their milk is the richest and
most nutritious of any animal, and, if tethered, so as
not to browse on every coarse and disagreeable shrub,
it can be had
is so offensive
entirely free from the strong flavor that
poor man should attempt to tide
over the two or three first years in Florida without a
two or three at least.
kid is said to be very
bought for a small
price, and will add
greatly to the comfort of a pioneer's family.
The milk and flesh is o
No hotel in Florida should
here for health;
f great value for invalids.
be without them for those
and aside from that, with
a little care and skill, they may be made exceedingly
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
for the finest of the Thibet and Asiatic
be raised here, and their long silken fleeces
sell for a high price.
You have, I fear, had
more of Florida
will find interest in
but I will trouble you with only
one more letter, if I can help it.
The theme is to- me
think of it,
broader it stretches out before me and tempts me on.
I would like to tell
you a little of
one place where
I have lately visited, and where I expect to be when I
write next, and will then
you no further, per-
SEEK THE TRUTH IN PRIVATE HOMES, NOT
FROM public docu-
ments and through cur-
rent reports I have
gathered many inter-
esting items which ap-
pear reliable, and had
hoped to add to my
stock of information
something that would
have pleased you from the
interior parts of Florida. We
had planned a little excur-
sion, taking the Transit Rail-
road from Fernandina to Ce-
dar Keys. The lakes
on either side of this Af
road are said
68 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
the surrounding country around Lake Santa F6, Samp-
son, and Kingsley, is high land, or
not foggy and damp, and very salubrious and delight-
ful. Having dreamed over these pleasant descriptions,
I was quite eager to see with my own eyes, and test the
truth of what I had heard.
" the best-laid schemes
mice and men gang
Baldwin, the morning trains had just been discontinued
for the season, and by this change I should be subject
to many delays and inconveniences.
So that pleasure
aside for another winter
permit a few words which
should have been added to the last letter.
Letters requesting more minute particulars about
Florida are received daily
and I am therefore more
ever anxious to
give no false impressions,
sient visits, publish
the injury done by those who, on tran-
"overwrought, visionary letters.
In their enthusiasm they are tempted to paint only the
practical, stubborn facts in the case,
which those who
come every winter, or have become residents, see and
I have endeavored not to err in that direction, and
honestly do not think I have.
It is not
she now is, but what I truly believe she can be made,
that I have endeavored to show
and, with her natu-
ral advantages of soil and climate, this change can be
effected much more readily than in most new lands.
course, I take it for granted
good sense will teach them
that the readers'
that the work which must
THE TRUTH IN PRIVATE HOMES.
be done to secure good results can not be accomplished
without some hardship and
severely either of these may press upon the new settler
will depend largely on the strength, energy, and natu-
Florida is most truly a
" new State," because, after
struggling to rise above the many obstacles that have
so often well-nigh destroyed her.
She has been tossed
about from one nation to another like a foot-ball
her history we will speak presently.
to make it plain
Just now we
steps are always surrounded with hardships, and often
-like a little child learning to walk-one rises for a
moment, but to fall again, and so on, till the way be-
comes familiar and
"The hardy pioneer,
who forces his way into
wilds of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and
other parts of
our Western States, will tell you that when one decides
in new or wild lands and
begins to reclaim
them, he must make up his mind that for two or three
years a rough life, with many inconveniences and hard-
ships, chill or ague, and other ailments, are before him;
that it is a close fight, a sturdy determination to grap-
subdue the wilderness
bear in mind and
take courage from
" but he must
that, having conquered, the reward
is close at hand.
It is strange that so many people who are really sensi-
ble in most things, making the attempt to settle here
or elsewhere, are entirely ignorant of this.
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
expecting to find Florida
"one vast flower-garden or
tion," and th
by nature, needing n4
at, without a Joshua
3 labor or cultiva-
to lead, they have
but to pass over and possess the promised land, and at
part, sit down
under their own vine and fig-tree, with none to molest
or make them afraid.
But "the truth is, this lovely
but a wilderness as yet, and those who would
have the garden and the grove, must come and make
"Is Florida a healthy State ?
"The sanitary reports of
is a frequent ques-
the army show a much
greater degree of health among the soldiers in Florida
during the late war, and
previously among the troops
stationed here, than in any other section of the Union
and the prevailing disease, intermittent fever, is of
much less virulent type than
in most new countries.
This does not prove, however, that there is no sickness
There certainly is
but it is also perfectly true
that the healthfulness of Florida is fully equal to that
of any other State in our Union."
I have quoted from the best authority
is one point not mentioned, so far as I have been able
to learn, in any report, but which I think it but com-
mon justice to refer to
for it touches on an objection
often made against coming here for health or with any
hope of retaining and securing what one has.
I can better illustrate my meaning by putting into
shape conversations that one often hears when going
up and down the St. John's River, or crossing over to
SEEK THE TRUTH IN PRIVATE HOMES.
Now and then one finds some dis-
satisfied or discontented mortals, who
a very short time in Florida, hurrying back North as
pestilence were behind them.
In such cases
"Why, my dear sir, you are wild to return North
Your family, if not yourself, will suffer in
North before the 1st of May.
The cold, raw days, of which we always have so many
at the North
after the 20th-of May, will be very
Oh, I've made up my mind that coming to Florida
for health is all nonsense."
interrupts his friend,
here long enough to
try or climate."
know anything about this
a day or two
in each of the best hotels, or
a week or two traveling
in steamer or railroad, one can form a
the country and
I, for one, have had all
the character of the climate.
the experience I care for. If
this is considered a climate to grow strong and sound
in, or the people one meets are specimens of the effect
of the climate upon the constitution, then Heaven help
us! I never saw so many miserable, sallow, sickly,
time in my life as I have in the short time I have been
I am sick of the sights I see here.
the beauty-and I concede that there is a great deal-
72 LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
can not compensate for the suffering which such for-
lorn-looking people must have endured. I feel as if I
was in a vast lazaretto-feeble steps, hectic flushes,
coughs that rack the body and seem to threaten in-
stant death, rheumatism that cripples and distorts. I
tell you I am sick of it all, and shall hurry back and
risk the inclemency of the North, rather than remain
"Why, my friend, you are getting excited. Re-
fleet for one m
belong here, or
who have settle
Oh, no ; I
seen only those
or are met with
I think that is
tell you I
moment, and you will understand your
e you seen much of the people who
of those from the North and West
d here and make Florida their home? "
have made no acquaintances, and have
who board for the winter at the hotels,
in excursions up and down the river.
quite sufficient to judge from, and I
am disappointed and disgusted.
om what section of the country have these
acquaintances come ? "
om everywhere, I think North, East,
the Old Count
East, and the
health. It is
it seems it
ill their sick
not the sick
blind, halt, and maimed fr
land-those half dying in c
a last resort-that
I have found many from
is the North, West, and
om beyond the sea, that
into Florida to seek for
of Florida at all, but the
Dom other portions of *the
,older regions, sent here as
rou so bitter against the
come for relief-often
SEEK THE TRUTH IN PRIVATE HOMES.
late-when all others have failed, and they know not
what else to do."
No estimate that has the first semblance of truth
-or justice can possibly be made of the character of
a people or the healthfulness of the climate of any
state or country, if such knowledge is only gained
from watching the transient occupants of fashionable
hotels, or the multitudes who rush over the land from
all parts of the world by steamer or railroad.
To form a just estimate, one should endeavor to find
board in some neat and pleasant family (and such can
be found without difficulty in many portions
State), who have built up a home here. Select ,
if possible, who have been long enough here to
fortably, but not luxuriously, settled. See wl
have accomplished. Learn what brought them
what state of health they or some members of tt
ily were when they came, and compare it wi
present condition. This is the only honest anc
way of learning
But let no one go back
North to spread a report-honestly believed, no doubt
tel life, all
la is a lazar-house,
in that direction
d the country and
over our land or
from which to fi
ests, flitting hithei
pleasure, or, as in
until, leaving hotel life,
which shall teach th
its climate better. ]
in any country, is
orm a just estimate
are usually occupied
Sand thither, either
valids, imperfectly try-
ing all things, but holding fast to none.
I have dwelt on this longer than I intended, but
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
feel it important, as well as just, that Florida should
not be compelled to own all the invalids that visit her
Florida, before y
from what section
came, or if they
smaller towns or
the banks of the
two from San M
and capable of
About five thous
two brothers, an
you bear of sickness and death in
ou make out the estimate, just inquire
)n of the country these unfortunates
claim this State as their home.
nship map of Florida locates all the
villages which are springing up along
St. John's; and among them you will
about three miles from Palatka and
ateo. It is on a bluff, or high land,
being made exceedingly beautiful.
iand acres of this point is owned by
i on the bank of the river they are
cultivating the orange-tree with unusual promise of
"In 1765 Denis Rolle, Esq., father of Lord Rolle
of England, obtained from the King a grant of forty
thousand acres, and embarked with one hundred fami-
lies, intending to settle in Middle Florida, near the
St. Mark's River, but was driven by stress of weather
into the St. John's River, and, wearied with a long
voyage, decided to remain, and selected his location,
from about three miles above Palatka, nearly up to
Here he built his own mansion and tenements for
the people he brought over to cultivate his land, in-
tending to raise corn, cotton, and indigo, the last be-
ing a very profitable article of merchandise.
This place has natural advantages surpassed by
very few on the St. John's. On September 1, 1766,
Rolle writes of
TRUTH IN PRIVATE HOMES.
"Everything in nature seems to
correspond toward the cultivation of
happy province-the most precious jewel in his Mqa-
esty's American dominions."
exports of this province of East Florida in-
creased rapidly, the Florida indigo bringing the high-
est price in England, and everything indicated increas-
ing prosperity and much
but then began a
The Spanish force got possession, but
were surprised and routed a short
again succeeded in gaining possession of
a large part
of Florida, giving the English people eighteen months
their property, or
Spanish rule and
the orange-groves and made pleasant by the fragrant
blossoms of the honeysuckle, the rose and acacia, in a
land where Nature had lavished her choicest beauties
and created a perpetual summer, the unfortunate resi-
dents of Florida were obliged to turn their backs f&
But since that period Florida has changed hands
to Spain in part,
then again under English rule, then in part to France
once more to Spain.
became a part of these United
almost every settlement.
LETTERS FROM FLORIDA.
Rolle's mansion were used only a few weeks since as
the foundation of the present cottage where I now
The old e
in almost ever
of great inter
must be a st
well be here.
ted to the wri
genius can de
it were worth
have picked up the glazed bricks that
building the houses for his tenantry.
thworks and rifle-pits built to protect
e Indians are still to be seen here.
ou see, this is an endless theme. I had
)eak of the medicinal springs that abound
ry portion of Florida, and other objects
est-at least, I find them so; but there
opping-place somewhere, and it may as
I would gladly have made these letters
ng; all that is lacking must be attribu-
ter. The theme has all that the greatest
sire but what is writ. is writ. Would
A CORRESPONDENT Of the Louisville "Courier-
There are many errors afloat about Florida. Some
suppose the orange belt covers the State. Orange cul-
ture is not safe north of the twenty-ninth parallel,
better south of
wet locations, a
stock on which
as the sour tree
the sweet graft
not grow in wet
The sour one is
nd may be used
the sweet orange
is a much slower
or perish beneath
o one who desires a p
would ever use a sour
-eighth. The sweet
land any more than
sometimes found in
in such places as a
can be worked. But
grower, it must dwarf
permanent orchard of
stock. The orange
in January and February, and a freeze at such
estroys fruit and trees. The northern coun-
subject to such frosts, and hence experience
has taught the old settlers that orange-culture can not
succeed in such a climate. Cold continued long enough
to form ice of half an inch must destroy the unpro-
tected trees, and smaller ones succumb to a less de-
gree of cold. The lemon and lime succumb to still
less cold, and the guava is destroyed at tht freezing
point, if continued for a few hours. The whole class
of the custard apples.are equally tender. The banana
and pineapple fail near the same point. A multitude
of other fruits and trees fall with these last.
"Another error one sees going the rounds of the
papers is, that the orange will thrive under the native
forest trees, and that it requ
rect rays of the sun during
the tree will not thrive in th
it be the palmetto, which s
a short distance. Few trees
gree of s
sofne of t
get as far
ires protection from the di-
lnshine than the o
ie hottest portions
. know that
g roots but
is used in
, as at Gua-
n Mexico, to shade the coffee plants. The
'is the effect of cold, not of sunshine-of
proper nutriment, not of heat of the sun in
Our advice to the fruit-grower, then, is to
south on the peninsula of Florida as he can
land, and as near water communication as
TAKING a narrow path, I crossed through some
dense underwood, and all at once I stood on the banks
of Wakulla Spring. There was a basin of water one
hundred yards in diameter, almost circular. The thick
bushes were growing almost to the water's edge, and
bowing their heads
stepped into a skiff
fishes attracted my
strike them. The
under its unrippled
and pushed off. Some immense
attention, and I seized a spear to
boatman laughed, and asked me
hbw far below the surface I supposed they were. I
answered, about four feet. He assured me that they
were at least twenty feet from me, and it was so. The
water is of the most marvelous transparency. I dropped
an ordinary pin in the water, forty feet deep, and saw
its head with perfect distinctness as it lay on the bot-
tom. As we approached the center, I noticed a jagged,
grayish limestone rock beneath us, pierced with holes;
through these holes one seemed to look into unfathom-
able depths. The boat moved slowly on, and now we
hung trembling over the edge of the sunken cliff, and
far below it lies a dark, yawning unfathomable abyss.
a living river.
dropped a te
there 190 feet
on the bottom
that the piece
top of a tower
toward the north side, al
pouring forth, with immense
Pushing on just below its
n-cent piece into the water,
in depth, and I clearly saw
a. This seems incredible. I
s a magnifying power. I am
could not be so plainly seen
190 feet high. We rowed on
nd suddenly we perceived the
water, the fish which were darting hither and thither,
the long flexible roots, and the wide, luxuriant grasses
on the bottom, all arrayed in the most brilliant pris-
matic hues. The gentle swell occasioned by the boat
gave to the whole an undulating motion.
stillness reigned around, and a more fairy-like scene I
never before beheld.
So great is the quantity of water
here poured forth, that it forms a river of itself large
enough to float flatboats laden with cotton.
er who lives here has
transported his cotton to
Near the fountain we saw some of the
a mastodon which had been taken from it.
The triangular bone below the knee measured six inches
on each side.
The Indian name of
" The Mystery.
" It is said that the Span-
ish discoverers sprang into it with almost frantic joy,
supposing they had discovered the long-sought Foun-
tain of Youth,
which should rejuvenate them.- Cor-
respondence of the New York Evening Post.
something of the productions of Florida.
Let us be-
gin by saying that oranges are not a product of West-
All that region lying north of the Gulf
Peaches, plums, and
care and cultivation.
The peach does not thrive very
There are no wild fruits except
blackberries, and these are
generally found in unap-
Grass is a universal product, and
yet grass for pasturage after
swales or marshes.
July is only found in
The upland wire grass is as tough
pastures are not known, for the
grass which will sward those
eatable through the summer,
sandy lands and remain
will confer a boon upon
The leaves of the cane afford
support for cattle during a large part of the
other words, cattle
goodly portion of the year in the piney woods.
is only grown
upon prepared land, and then
is light-fifteen bushels to the acre being a good yield.
Even sweet potatoes, although
"to the manor born,"
The same is
all the vegetables.
The land is
prepared in the following
g fence is placed around a plot of
ing not unlike our "cattle
" and the stock are
the soil is probably bene-
fited by the treading as well as fertilized.
perceived at once that
can thus b
most any season of
had every month
It will be
but a limited quantity of land
The list of vegetables pro-
Irish potatoes are grown at al-
the year, and new ones could be
Western straw piles
hand for a
Cabbages, such as
usually sell in
Chicago for forty cents per dozen, sell
there for seventy-five cents each.
can not better convey an
idea of the
country and its production than to describe the mar-
July, and August ot
vehicles are mainly
horse (poor one), or
produce offered for
milk, Irish potatoes,
the same, with now
tuce. In June the
peas, plums, okra, co
July gave us ws
f the past summer. The m
carts drawn by a single
dilapidated market wagons.
sale was, in April, milk, b
greens, etc. In May it was
and then a few cabbages an
products were increased by
ring beans, etc. The month
Ions and peaches in addition
ermilk finds a ready market.
" the producers would repair
store and lay in corn (grown i
working animals, meal for their f:
An astonishing amount of the
natives of the South. If you d
is a meager list of marketable
n Illinois) for
latter is used
decide that the
have only to add that it is a true one, as we saw what
we have described with our own eyes during those
The natural products of Florida and the piney
wood generally through the Southern States are con-
siderably diversified. The list of valuable woods is
varied. The magnolia looks somewhat like our bass-
wood. The blossom buds
much like goose eggs on th
are exceedingly beautiful.
tiful and as white, and more
er. There are inany other
the master of
look just before flowering
le limb ends. The flowers
The bay flower is as beau-
fragrant, but much small-
varieties of wood, but the
situation, the great source
of wealth and Southern
industry, the source of the
etc.. the chief
Gulf export, is
;, pitch and
These stand like goblin sentries in thousands
square miles along the rivers entering the Atlantic
anti the Gulf westward
to the Mississippi.
paying industry of the South is
the surest and quickest in returns.
Reference to the
census reports evidences that lumber is the great arti-
cle of export, finding a market in Cuba and Europe,
New York and Philadelphia.
HISTORY OF OPINIONS
SCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE OF RETRIBUTION.
By EDWARD BEECHEO, D. D.,
Author'of "The Conflict of Ageps"
1 vol., 12mo. - Cloth, $1.5.
The momentous question of future retribution is here historically
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word, aiidoe. The opinions of those to whom Christ spoke, and
bow they understood him, are vital questions4n the argument; and,
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STUDIES IN THE CREATIVE WEEK.
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By CLAUDE REIGNIER CONDER, R. E.,
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