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The Florida Historical Society
FRANCIS P. FLEMING.
GEORGE W. WILSON,
WM. A. BLOUNT.
Secretary and Treasurer,
CHARLES S. ADAMS.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
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FRANCIS P. Fi S m&E 'offi'o, .' .* .*'
GQ~1'. 'W. WILSON, ex officio, ".'
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WILLIAM D. BLOXHAM.
WILLIAM W. HAMPTON,
FRED W. HOYT,
PETER 0. KNIGHT.
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Report and Address of Francis P. Fleming, Acting President, to
the Annual IMcetihg of the Florida Historical Society,
November 20, 1906.
Gentlemen of the Florida Historical Society:
Since we last assembled in annual meeting, the society has sus-
tained a serious loss in the death of our honored and lamented presi-
dent, Major George Rainsford Fairbanks, which occurred in Se-
wanee, Tenn., on August 3, 1906.
Major Fairbanks was a man far beyond the ordinary. Born in
Watertown, N. Y., on July 5, 1820, he graduated from Union col-
lege, Schenectady, with the degrees of A. B. and A. M., and was soon
after admitted to the bar. He came to Florida, and located in St.
Augustine about the year 1842, where he practiced his profession,
and for several years occupied the position of clerk of the United
States District court. Upon the establishment of the University of
the South, he was appointed one of its trustees, and held the posi-
tion un to the time of his death.
He served the Confederate States during the war as major in
the quartermaster's department. Throughout life he was a devoted
member of the Episcopal church, and at the time of his death was
the oldest member of the general convention of that church. He was
a patriotic and public-spirited ctiizen, always interested in every-
thing which would promote the good of his adopted State. But it
is more especially of his services to Florida from a literary stand-
point that mention should be made. For many years he took an
active interest in and devoted himself to the study of Florida his-
tory. In 1856, largely through his influence, the Historical Society
of Florida was organized at St. Augustine, of which he was one of
the vice-presidents, Major B. A. Putnam being the president. On
the roll of the society appear the names of many of the leading citi-
zens of Florida of that time. I have no information as to what col-
lections, if any, were made by that society, or what became of them.
If any can be found, we should make an effort to have them placed
in the custody of this society as its proper successor.
On April 15, 1857, Major Fairbanks delivered a lecture before
the Historical Society of Florida, on the early history of Florida.
The major -kindly presented our society with a pamphlet copy of
that interesting lecture, which is among our literature. About, or
soon after that time Major Fairbanks published his first historical
work, The History and Antiquities of St. Augustine. Afterwards
he published a History of Florida, the last revised edition of which,
bringing it up to date, was published in 1904. He also published a
School History of Florida. He was universally recognized as the
best authority on Florida history.
He was chosen the president of this society on its organization,
and held the position up to the time of his death. He was active,
energetic and earnest in furthering its objects, and we are indebted
to him for some of our most valuable literary collections. We will
sadly miss his sage and mature wisdom and advice. Let us draw
inspiration from his life and labors to aid and encourage us in the
work we have undertaken.
The initial movement of the organization of the Florida His-
torical Society was a meeting of gentlemen from different parts
of the State held in Jacksonville on November 26, 1902. On that
date an organization was effected, with Major George R. Fairbanks
as president and Mr. G. W. Wilson as secretary. A prospective cir-
cular setting forth the objects of the society was prepared and
sent to many persons throughout the State. But little, however,
was accomplished until the society succeeded, through the kind-
ness of trustees of the Jacksonville Public Library, in securing a
local habitation by the assignment of a commodious room in the
magnificent fire-proof library building in the early part of 1905.
Since that time, though, the work of the society has been embar-
rassed and retarded for lack of sufficient funds, much has been
accomplished in the collection of historic and other literature ap-
pertaining to and illustrative of Florida, maps of Florida, ancient
and modern, Indian and other relics, letters, manuscripts, etc. A
catalogue of our principal collections is hereto attached.
Among the most interesting relics of which I deem it proper to
make special mention are the fragments of three ornate bronze
candlesticks, which some years ago were excavated about the ruins
of an old Spanish chapel, or mission house, near New Smyrna,
which were kindly donated by Mrs. W. E. Conner, of New York,
whose husband now owns the old ruin. Of such fragments we have
been able, through the kindness of Greenleaf & Crosby Co., to have
a complete candlestick restored. Another relic of much interest is
an old bell, obtained by purchase through the courtesy of Judge E.
J. Vann, of Madison, which was found about the year 1840, in a
pond in Madison county. It weighs about 100 pounds. In lettering
around the top are the words "Santa Maria, Ora Pro Nobis." It is
also marked with stars grouped in the shape of a cross and the in-
scription "Ano 1758." There can be but little doubt that during
Spanish times this old bell sounded the call of the faithful to wor-
ship, and that it now bears silent witness to the effort of the Span-
ish priest to convert the red man to Christianity. A small portion
of our collections were obtained by purchase. By far the larger
portion are donations.
Among those to whom we are indebted for donations are our late
president, Major Fairbanks, Mr. Henry M. Flagler, Mrs. J. D.
Palmer, of Fernandina, granddaughter of Dr. Henry Perrine
Hon. Thomas M. Shackleford, of the supreme court; Hon. A. C.
Croom, comptroller; Hon. H. Clay Crawford, secretary of state;
Hon. B. E. McLin, commissioner of agriculture;. Hon. John C.
Avery, of Pensacola; Mrs. W. E. Conner, of New York; Mr. John
Y. Detwiler, fish commissioner; Mrs. John D. Starke, of Berrisford,
Col. Charles A. Choate, of Tallahassee; Mr. J. M. Dickinson, of
Daytona; Rev. V. W. Shields, and Messrs. J. W. Spratt, O. P.
Havens, W. B. Clarkson, Horace Drew and H. R. Teasdell, of
Jacksonville; Mr. W. W. Dewhurst, of St. Augustine; Mr. R. H.
Liggett, of New York and Mr. J. Reed Pearson, of Knoxville. I
have also had the pleasure of making some donations to the collec-
Upon establishing the society in the room in the library build-
ing, as above stated, wi employed a lady as assistant to the secre-
tary at moderate pay, to take charge of the room, keep it open from
9 a. m. to 1 p. m., and to attend to the clerical part of the work.
As our finances became reduced, we found it necessary to reduce
her pay, and only, therefore, required the room to be kept open
three days in the week. But I regret to say that even that arrange-
ment had to be discontinued about the first of August last, for want
of sufficient funds, and for several months the door of the room has
been closed, as our collections are too valuable to leave the door open
without someone in charge. This is greatly to be regretted. The
collections should be open every day to all who feel an interest in
our State, or desire information as to its history or resources.
On May 15, 1905, we perfected the organization of the society as
a corporation, not for profit, under the name of The Florida Histor-
It would do much to promote the good of the society and facili-
tate its work to publish a bi-monthly or quarterly periodical con-
taining historical sketches, personal reminiscences and other things
not found in general histories. We now have on hand considerable
matter of such character, well worthy of preservation in substantial
and permanent form. Such publication would keep us in touch
with our members and give them something substantial for the pay-
ment of their dues, and materially increase our membership, our
only source of income being the annual .dues of members. I pre-
pared during the past summer a circular letter setting forth the
objects of the society, its location and work, its great need of addi-
tional membership to raise its income so as to successfully carry on
its work, with an urgent appeal for membership. This was sent to
many people in the State, but I regret to say that it resulted in the
addition of only two members. The average person pays but little
attention to such written appeals. If each of our members would
undertake by personal application to induce one or more to become
members, our membership roll, now 80, would greatly in-
crease, with a corresponding increase of income. We now owe
$75.00 balance to the assistant to the secretary, and about $65.00
for furniture and have but $40.95 in the treasury. We greatly need
a show case for the display of certain of our relics and some other
articles in the room. I earnestly recommend that some means be
adopted to raise sufficient funds to pay our indebtedness, properly
supply our room and justify the keeping of it open at least three
days in the week.
The work on which we have entered is one of public utility and
of great benefit and interest to the whole State. It is eminently
proper, therefore, that until our income from other sources is suffi-
cient to properly carry on the work, we should endeavor to get a
small legislative appropriation, say six hundred dollars a year,
which with our other income would enable us to pursue the work
in such manner as to produce the most gratifying results. With a
literary collection containing everything to be found on Florida and
a museum of great value. I therefore recommend that our members
will use their influence to that end.
I beg to assure you that I will not relax my interest in the
good work on which we have embarked.
CATALOGUE OF COLLECTIONS.
BOOKS, PAMPHLETS, ETC.
La Florida del Ynca (Spanish), 1605, De la Vega.
Hakluyt's Voyages, 1600, Hakluyt.
Life and Adventures of Hernando De Soto, 1858, Wilmer.
Conquest of Florida, 1835, Irving.
Sketches of the Floridas, 1821, Forbes.
The Florida Peninsula, 1859, Brinton.
History of Florida, 1904, Fairbanks.
School History of Florida, 1904, Green.
History of Florida, 1904, Brevard.
Memoirs of Florida, 1902, Rerick.
Colonial Florida, 1892, Campbell.
Florida History, Topography, Climate, Soil, Etc., 1904, McLin,
Commissioner of Agriculture.
History of St. Augustine, 1881, Dewhurst.
The Florida War, 1848, Sprague.
The Exiles of Florida, 1858, Giddings.
The War in Florida, 1836, Staff Officer.
Executive Document, Twenty-fifth Congress, Court of Inquiry,
Operations in Florida, 1838.
Red Patriots, 1898, Coe.
The Florida Troops in Virginia, 1881, Fleming.
Dickison and His Men, 1890, Dickison.
Florida, Climate, Scenery, etc., 1876, Lanier.
Report of Senate Committee on Memorial of Dr. Henry Per-
Eventful Years, with Account of Massacre on Indian Key,
Life of Albert J. Russell, 1897, Russell.
New France, 1900, Charlevoix.
Sand Mounds of St. Johns River, 1894, Moore.
Carpet-Bag Rule in Florida, 1888, Wallace.
Why the South is Solid, 1890, Pasco and others.
Messages and Documents, Florida 1889, 1891, 1893, 1899, 1901,
Various Department Reports, Florida.
Minutes of Trustees of I. I. Fund of Florida.
Many pamphlets on Florida, historic, descriptive, etc
Many maps of Florida. 1584 to 1903.
Old and recent maps of Pensacola.
Letters, Manuscripts, Confederate Bonds, etc.
Fragments of bronze candlesticks found at ruins of old Spanish
mission near New Smyrna.
Old Spanish bell, 1758, found in pond in Madison county, in
Section of live oak taken from center of masonry near Old Rock
House, supposed to be the foundation of the traverse of a gun to
command the entrance to New Smyrna inlet.
Name board of filibuster steamer, Commodore, sunk off coast
Gold dollar coined at private mint of A. Brechter, Rutherford
county, N. C., about 1843.
Indian Relics.-Stone pipes, hatchets, chisels, spear and arrow
heads, pottery, etc.
Photographs of Major George R. Fairbanks, Senator D. L.
Yulee, Judge J. M. Baker, Judge B. M. Pearson, Gov. N. B. Brow-
ard, former Govs. W. D. Bloxham and F. P. Fleming, Mr. H. M.
Flagler and Mr. George W. Wilson.
CHARTER OF THE FLORIDA HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
APPROVED MAY 15, 1905.
The name of this corporation shall be The Florida Historical
Society. The place where it is to be located is Jacksonville, in
Duval County, Florida.
The general nature of the objects of the corporation is the col-
lection, arrangement and preservation of all material pertaining to
the history of, or in any manner illustrative of Florida, including
books, pamphlets, documents, archives, manuscripts, newspapers,
diaries, notes, letters, speeches, maps, plats, surveys, portraits, pho-
tographs or other likenesses of men and women prominent in Flor-
ida history, pictorial illustrations of Florida scenery, relics and
products. Also relics of every kind, whether historical or prehis-
torical, fossils, geological specimens, and everything in any manner
illustrative of Florida.
To prepare, edit and publish articles, sketches, biographies.
pamphlets, books and documents, descriptive or illustrative of
All persons of good character may become members of this cor-
poration, upon the approval of the board of directors. Honorary
members may be chosen at all annual meetings.
TERM OF EXISTENCE.
The term for which this corporation shall exist is to be ninety,
The names and residences of the subscribers are as follows:
George R. Fairbanks, Fernandina, Fla.; Francis P. Fleming
Jacksonville, Fla.; James P. Taliaferro, Jacksonville, Fla.; V. W.
Shields, Jacksonville, Fla.; Charles M. Cooper, Jacksonville, Fla.;
George W. Wilson, Jacksonville, Fla.; William A. Blount, Pen-
sacola, Fla.; George P. Raney, Tallahassee, Fla.
OFFICERS AND ANNUAL MEETING.
The affairs of the corporation are to be managed by the follow-
ing officers A President, a First and Second Vice-President, a
Secretary-Treasurer and a Board of Directors consisting of the
President, First Vice-President, Secretary and four other members
of the corporation. Such officers are to be elected at the annual
meeting of the corporation to be held on the third Tuesday of
November of each year.
The names of the officers who are to manage all of the affairs
of the corporation until the first election are as follows : George R.
Fairbanks, President; Francis P. Fleming, First Vice-President;
William A. Blount, Second Vice-President; George W. Wilson,
Secretary; V. W. Shields, Treasurer; James P. Taliaferro, George
P. Raney, Charles M. Cooper and Minor S. Jones, together with the
ex officio members, Board of Directors.
The by-laws of the corporation are to be made, altered, or re-
scinded by the Board of Directors.
LIMIT OF INDEBTEDNESS.
The highest amount of indebtedness or liability to which the
corporation may at any time subject itself is fifty thousand dollars,
which shall never be greater than two-thirds of the value of the
property of the corporation.
VALUE OF REAL ESTATE.
The amount in value of the real estate which the corporation
may hold, subject always to the approval of the Circuit Judge, is
one hundred thousand dollars.
BY-LAWS OF THE FLORIDA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
ADOPTED NOVEMBER 17, 1905.
1. All applications for membership shall be accompanied by
the payment of at least one year's dues to the Treasurer. Such ap-
plication shall be acted on by the Board of Directors, and upon
approval of the board the name of the applicant shall be entered on
the roll of membership.
2. Honorary members may be elected at any annual meeting
of the society.
The dues of membership shall be five dollars per annum, pay-
able in advance.
The payment of fifty dollars by a member will entitle him to
life membership without the further payment of dues.
Any member who is one year in arrears of dues, after thirty
days' notice thereof, shall be dropped from the roll of membership
by the board of directors.
1. There shall be an annual meeting of the members of the
society on the third Tuesday of November of each year. Special
meetings may be held upon the call of the President on the applica-
tion of ten members. Ten days' notice shall be mailed to each mem-
ber at his usual place of residence of all annual and special meetings.
Fifteen members shall constitute a quorum.
2. The board of directors shall meet on the call of the presi-
dent. Due notice of such meeting shall be sent to each member of
the board at his usual place of residence.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS.
1. The President.-The president shall preside at all meetings
of the society, shall be ex-officio president of the board of directors,
and shall call all meetings of the board, and shall perform all other
duties usually appertaining to such office. In case of his absence
or disability, the duties of the president shall be performed by the
next ranking vice-president.
2. The Secretary.-The secretary shall be custodian of all col-
lections, records and other property of the society. He shall keep
the records and carry on the correspondence of the society. He
shall make an annual report to the society. He shall be ex officio
secretary of the board of directors.
3. The Treasurer.-The treasurer shall receive and have the
custody of the funds of the society, and shall keep its financial
accounts and shall give such bond as may be required by the board
of directors. He shall report delinquent members to the board of
directors; and shall make an annual report to the society. His books
and accounts shall always be open to the inspection of the board of
directors, or any member thereof.
4. The Board of Directors.-The board of directors shall have
the direction and supervision of the work and business of the society
and take such action and adopt such means as will best promote
the objects of the society. Three members of the board shall con-
stitute a quorum for each meeting.
The seal of the society shall be the coat of arms of the State
of Florida, with "The Florida Historical Society" surrounding thd
ORDER OF BUSINESS.
1. Call to order.
2. Roll call.
3. Report of officers.
4. Report of committees.
6. Unfinished business.
6. New business.
7. General discussion in interest of the society.
z. Election of officers.
9. Approval of the minutes.
The by-laws may at any time be amended by the board of direc-
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Adafns, C. S., Jacksonville.
Allen, Geo. W., Key West.
SAvery, Jno. C., Pensacola.
SBaker, H. J., Fernandina.
Baker, W. H., Jacksonville.
-' Barnett, B. H., Jacksonville.
Bennett, H. E., Tallahassee.
Blount, Win A., Pensacola.
Bloxham, W. D., Tallahassee.
Bours, W. A., Jacksonville.
Bryan, N .P., Jacksonville.
Bryan, J. M., Dania.
Buckman, H. II., Jacksonville.
Cassidey, P. D., Jacksonville.
Coachman, WV. F. (life), Jacksonville.
Corry, W.. M., Quincy.
Cooper, Chas. M., Jacksonville.
Crosby, J. H., Jacksonville.
Summer, W. W. (life), Jacksonville.
Daniel, R. P., Jacksonville.
Dillon, B. F., Jacksonville.
Dismukes, J. T., St. Augustine.
Dotterer, H. E., Fernandina.
Drew, W. B., Jacksonville.
Fairhead, J. S., Tacksonville.
Flagler, H. M. (life), Palm Beach.
Fleming, F. P., Jacksonville.
Forbes, J. F., DeLand.
Fulton, W. A., Brooksville.
Furchgott, L., Jacksonville.
earner, C. E. (life), Jacksonville.
SGilchrist, A. W., Punta Gorda.
Gray, W. C., Orlando.
Griggs, J. F. C., Apalachicola.
Haile, W. K., Jacksonville.
Hampton, W. W., Gainesville.
Hartridge, J. E., Jacksonville.
Hayes, C. L., DeFuniak.
Hoyt, F. W., Fernandina.
Hunter, Dexter, Jacksonville.
Inglis; J. L., Port Inglis.
Jeffreys, W. 0., Frenandina.
Johnston, J. B., Dade City.
Jones, Minor S., Titusville.
Jordan, W. S., Jacksonville.
Knight, P. 0., Tampa.
Knowles, W. H., Pensacola.
Lamar, W. B., Tallahassee.
L'Engle, E. J., Jacksonville.
Locke, J. W., Jacksonville.
Love, H. A., Quincy.
Liddon, B. S., Marianna.
Massey, L. C., Orlando.
Mallory, S. R., Pensacola.
McCarty, C. T,. Mon'ticello.
McFarlane, M. B., Tampa.
Munnerlyn, J. K., Jacksonville.
Munoz, J. I., Jacksonville.
O'Brien, J. E., Portsmouth, Va.
Parrott, J. R., Jacksonville.
Pasco, S., Monticello.
Phillips, H. B., Jacksonville.
Phillips, J. H., Tampa.
Porter, T. V: (life), Jacksonville.
Raney, Geo. P., Tallahassee.
Robinson, H., Jacksonville.
Rogers, C. B. (life), Jacksonville.
Shields, V. W., Jacksonville.
Swann, S. A., Fernandina.
Taliaferro, J. P. (life), Jacksonville.
Upchurch, J. J., Moniac, Ga.
Van Agnew, P. A., Kissimmee.
Walter, Philip, Jacksonville.
West, E. E., Jacksonville.
Weed, E. G., Jacksonville.
Williams, A. T., Jacksonville.
Williams, J. S., Richmond, Va.
Welborne, J. F., Sanford.
Wilson, Geo. W., Jacksonville.
Yonge, P. K., Pensacola.
* Anno, W. R., Miami.
Durkee, Jos. H., Jacksonville.
Fairbanks, Geo. R., Fernandina.
McEachern, H. A., Jacksonville.
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