STORIES OF FLORIDA
Principal, Daytona Beach, Florida
R. L. GOULDING
Supervising Principal, New Smyrna, Florida
RATHER PUBLISHING COMPANY
RATHER PUBLISHING COMPANY
STORIES OF FLORIDA
PAUL IRVINE, PH.D.
Professor of Education, Alabama Polytechnic Institute,
Auburn, Alabama, Editor
COPYRIGHT, 1931, BY RATHER PUBLISHING COMPANY
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
These Stories of Florida have been compiled to
provide rich and valuable reading materials for the
pupils of the upper elementary grades in their study
of English, History and Geography. The manuscript
was re-written and adapted to those grades by Minnie
Clare Boyd, Ph.D., Geneva, Alabama. The learning
exercises were revised and supplemented by Professor
Martin L. Beck, specialist in the teaching of the social
sciences, Alabama Polytechnic Institute. The final
manuscript was read by Sara M. McDonald, Elemen-
tary Supervisor, Lee County, Alabama.
FOREWORD TO TEACHERS
How does each story touch the life of my immedi-
ate locality? That is the first question for the teacher
to ask herself. No opportunity should be lost to make
the child aware of his surroundings. Knowledge and
wisdom grow outward in ever-increasing circles. The
child, conscious of his immediate background, looks
next in succession to his neighbor, his town, his state,
his nation and his world. These stories are his intro-
duction to that wider world. It is for the teacher to
make the contact.
Various learning activities are suggested at the end
of each story. In addition to these, one or more con-
tinuous activities may prove valuable. A large out-
line map of Florida may be drawn and placed on the
wall, and, as the stories are read, the proper entries
be made of places, names, events and products. An-
other continuous activity is the compiling of a "Who's
Who of Florida" including brief biographical sketches
of the notable characters in the making and progress
of the state. The teacher may find it valuable to
introduce other activities: dramatizations, sand-table
projects, visits to nearby places of historic interest,
and early settlers' stories.
Some dates have been mentioned. The child has
had so little experience with the passing of years that
it is easy to overemphasize the time element. Many
of the questions are calculated purely to make the
child see visions. Success with such questions depends
entirely on the way the teacher introduces them. To
the extent that the teacher stimulates the imagination
and quickens the child's appreciation of the past, to
that extent has the teacher succeeded.
1. HOW THE WHITE MAN CAME TO FLORIDA . .. 1
2. PANFILO DE NARVAEZ TRIES TO GO TO MEXICO .. 6
3. HERNANDO DE SOTO . . . . .. 10
4. AN INDIAN PRINCESS SAVES A SOLDIER'S LIFE . 15
5. THE STORY OF THE HUGUENOTS . . .. 18
6. THE SPANIARDS DRIVE THE FRENCH FROM FLORIDA 22
7. THE HUGUENOTS ARE AVENGED . . .. 28
8. PEDRO MENENDEZ . . . . . .. 31
9. THE OLDEST TOWN IN THE UNITED STATES . 35
10. THE STORY OF THE SPANISH MISSIONS . .. 41
11. PENSACOLA .. .. . . . ... 44
12. DR. TURNBULL AND HIS NEW SMYRNA COLONY .50
13. THE WAR WITH THE SEMINOLE INDIANS . .. 54
14. THE STORY OF OSCEOLA . ... . . .59
15. JANE MURRAY SHELDON, PIONEER . . .. .62
16. THE SHELL MOUNDS OF FLORIDA AND THE MYSTERY
OF ONE OF THEM . . . . .. 67
17. THE FIRST MAN TO MAKE ICE . . . 70
18. FLORIDA'S PART IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 73
19. GENERAL EDMOND KIRBY-SMITH . . . 80
20. THE KEY TO THE GULF . . . . .. 84
21. THE GREAT FREEZE . ... . . .91
22. How PEOPLE MAKE A LIVING IN FLORIDA . 94
23. FLORIDA'S CITIES . . . . . 99
24. FLORIDA'S BIRDS . . . . . 103
25. THE SINGING TOWER . . . . .. 108
26. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE BROWARD . . .. 112
27. FLORIDA'S ADOPTED SONS . . . .. 115
GLOSSARY . . . . . . 118
HOW THE WHITE MAN CAME TO FLORIDA
Long, long ago the only people living in Florida
were Indians. There were no towns, nor cities, nor
paved roads. Florida was covered with forests and
swamps in which the red men hunted and fished. The
white men lived in Europe so far across the ocean
that they had never heard of this land of flowers.
But at last there was a brave, bold sailor named
Christopher Columbus who wanted to know if there
was a land beyond the sea. One bright day he set
sail from Spain with three small ships. It is not hard
to remember that:
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
They sailed straight out into the unknown sea. For
more than two months they saw no land. At last
they came to one of the small islands not far from
Florida. We call these islands the Bahamas. Just
imagine how glad they must have been to feel the
good earth under their feet once more. Then Columbus
found other islands and they called these islands the
Indies. After nearly three months he set out for home.
He even carried some Indians to show the people in
Spain. The people were very glad to see him and
wanted to know all about the strange, new land he
had found. The news soon spread and other men
wished to go and see for themselves this land of which
he told them.
Columbus made three other voyages. Among the
men who were with him on his second voyage was a
brave Spanish soldier named Ponce de Leon. He was
such a fine soldier that the King of Spain made him
governor of Porto Rico. Now Ponce de Leon was
brave but he was also very cruel. He hunted the
Indians with fierce dogs. There was one famous dog
named Bercerillo. It was said that this dog killed
many Indians and that it could tell as well as a man
which Indians were at war and which were at peace.
The Indians were more afraid of ten Spaniards with
the dog than of one hundred Spaniards without him.
There was one thing the Spaniards always wanted
to know. That was, where they could find gold. It
was hard for the Indians and white men to understand
each other because they did not speak the same lan-
guage. Sometimes the Indians told the white men
stories that were not true. Sometimes the white men
did not understand exactly what the Indians had told
them. Perhaps the Indians were afraid of Ponce de
Leon and wanted him to go away. It may be that
they thought they were telling him the truth. But
when he asked them if they knew where there was
gold, they told him of a beautiful land not far away.
There was gold there. Better than gold there was a
wonderful spring. If a man bathed in this spring he
would be young again. The Indians called it the
Fountain of Youth.
Now Ponce de Leon was growing old. He did not
wish to have white hair and wrinkled skin. He wanted
always to be young and strong. So he set out with
three ships to find this beautiful land with its gold
and its fountain of youth. It is more than three hun-
dred years ago that Ponce de Leon first saw our beau-
tiful state. He landed near the place where St. Augus-
tine now stands. It was Easter Sunday. Everywhere
he looked there were flowers. There were so many
flowers that Ponce de Leon said it should be called
Florida, the land of flowers.
Then they began to search for the wonderful foun-
tain. Ponce de Leon and his men drank at every
spring and bathed in every stream. At last they
knew that there was no fountain of youth. They also
failed to find gold, so they sailed back to Porto Rico.
A few years later Ponce de Leon came back to
Florida. This time he came to settle. He brought
enough food to last for several months and seed to
plant. He landed near Cape Sable. But, since he
had been there, slave hunters had visited the Florida
coast. The Indians were filled with so much fear and
hate that they drove the Spaniards back to their
ships. Ponce de Leon was wounded with a poisoned
arrow. He had not found gold. He had not found
the fountain of youth. He went back to Cuba a dis-
appointed man and died.
But his name has lived after him. There is a
wonderful spring near St. Augustine which is called
Ponce de Leon. This may be the spring about which
the Indians talked. But it is not a fountain of youth.
There is no such fountain anywhere.
Thus Ponce de Leon was the first white man to
find our state. He gave Florida its beautiful name.
We shall always remember him.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Who was the first man to sail across the ocean and
find new land?
2. When was America discovered?
3. How long did Columbus stay in the West Indies?
4. How long did it take Columbus to come to America?
How long does it take to come today?
5. What did he take back to Spain with him?
6. What do you think the Spaniards thought of the
7. How do you think men heard about Columbus'
voyage? How do we hear about the voyages of great ex-
plorers of today? Tell how you heard about Colonel Lind-
bergh or Admiral Byrd.
8. What two things was Ponce de Leon seeking?
9. What does Florida look like at Easter time?
10. Why did Ponce de Leon call the new land Florida?
11. Ask your teacher to help you make an outline map
of Florida to be placed on the wall. It should be about
three feet square. As you read the stories in this book,
put on the map at the right place the name of each place
and event. The map of Florida at the first of this book
will aid you. After reading this first story place these names
on the map: (a) St. Augustine (b) Cape Sable.
12. How many places in Florida are named in memory
of Ponce de Leon?
PANFILO DE NARVAEZ TRIES TO GO TO MEXICO
We have learned now Ponce de Leon found Florida
and called it the land of flowers. When he landed
and began looking for the fountain of youth he had
to force his way through the thick palmetto scrub and
wade the streams and marshes. The Indian trails
were hard to follow. When the Spaniards came to
cypress swamps they did not know how wide they
were nor how deep the water was.
But the Spaniards were brave men. They were
willing to wade swamps and cut their way through
palmetto scrub, if only they could find gold. It was
not long after Ponce de Leon's travels in Florida that
other Spaniards came. Instead of gold they, too,
found savage Indians and hunger and sickness.
There was one Spanish soldier named Panfilo de
Narvaez. He had been in Mexico where there was
gold. He thought that Florida was close to Mexico
and that it would be easy to go there by land. He
landed on the west coast of Florida about where
Tampa is now. The Indians fled when they saw the
Spaniards coming. De Narvaez found a golden trinket
in one of the Indian huts. This made him think that
he would surely find gold.
He left his ships with a few men in Tampa Bay.
Then he set out with an army of three hundred men.
He expected to reach Mexico in a few days. Little
did he dream that it was fifteen hundred miles away.
If we tried to go from Tampa to Mexico today, we
would go through west Florida, Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana and Texas. We would ride along on the
beautiful paved road called the Old Spanish Trail.
De Narvaez and his men had to go through great
pine forests, cypress swamps and around many deep
lakes. They had to cross wide rivers and bayous.
When their food gave out, they ate the shoots of
young palm trees.
At last they came out on the gulf coast near
Apalachicola Bay. Nowhere had they found any
gold. They had found only the poor mud huts of
the Indians. They were sick and hungry. They were
lost and began to give up all hope of ever getting
back home again. They ate their horses and because
of that they called the place the Bay of Horses.
The sea was their only hope. There was only one
carpenter in the company. They had no tools, nor
iron, nor forge, nor resin, nor rigging. They made
nails, saws and axes out of their stirrups and spurs.
They found resin to make their boats waterproof.
They covered their boats with horse hide. They
made ropes and rigging from palmetto and horse hair.
They made sails out of the men's shirts.
So they set forth on the Gulf of Mexico in five
frail boats. They had to stop somewhere on Santa
Rosa Island on account of a storm. They had a
battle with the Indians near a large inlet. This was
probably near Pensacola. At one place they sent a
negro and a Greek, who were in the company, ashore
to get fresh water. They never came back.
Finally only four men were left. De Narvaez and
his three hundred men had been killed by the Indians
or had died of hunger or had been drowned in the sea.
These four men were Cabeza de Vaca, two other sol-
diers and a negro named "Little Steve." For four
long years they wandered about living among the
Indians, always hoping to find Mexico. At last they
came to a Spanish village. It was Cabeza de Vaca
who told us what we know of their strange adventures
among the Indian tribes.
We have learned how Ponce de Leon came looking
for gold and a fountain of youth in Florida. He went
home to die from the wound of a poisoned arrow. We
have learned how De Narvaez set out with three hun-
dred men to explore the great new land, and how he
died in the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of all that, when
De Vaca went to Spain and told his wonderful stories,
rich nobles sold their lands and houses and jewels to
come to America.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. What was Florida like when the white men first
2. Who was Panfilo de Narvaez?
3. Where did De Narvaez land in Florida? What did
he find there?
4. Where did he plan to go?
5. What is the difference in the way we would go to
Mexico and the way De Narvaez had to go?
6. Have you ever seen men build a boat?
7. How did De Narvaez build his boats?
8. Have you ever been to any of the places where De
Narvaez stopped on his journey?
9. How many of De Narvaez' men got home alive?
10. Who told us what we know about that famous
11. What did the Spaniards think when they heard all
of the things that De Vaca told?
12. If some one told you of such a journey would you
want to make it?
13. Trace on the map the route that De Narvaez took
as he started from Tampa Bay to go to Mexico.
HERNANDO DE SOTO
We have seen how the Spaniards were willing to
undergo great hardships to search for gold. Gold was
like a lightning bug. It was here, it was there, it was
everywhere, it was nowhere. We have learned about
Ponce de Leon and De Narvaez. There were others,
too. There was a man named Cortez who really found
gold in Mexico. There was another man named
Pizarro who found much gold in South America. The
gold that they found made the King of Spain very
rich and the more money they had the more they
Now there was at this time a very great soldier.
Indeed, it was said, that he was one of the four
greatest soldiers in all of America. His name was
Hernando de Soto. He had been in South America
where the Indians had great riches and he had carried
some of this wealth back to Spain with him. De Soto
had heard all the miraculous things that De Vaca had
to tell. He believed as De Narvaez and Ponce de
Leon had believed, that there was gold in Florida.
He persuaded the King of Spain to make him governor
of Florida and Cuba.
De Soto landed near the present city of Tampa.
That was about the same place that De Narvaez had
landed. More than five hundred men were with
De Soto. There were about two hundred horses and
a drove of three hundred hogs. De Soto also brought
bloodhounds to hunt down the Indians and chains
with which to bind them when they made them pris-
oners. There were cannon. The men had guns and
they wore armor. Such armor must have been hot
and heavy when they were cutting their way through
the trackless forests.
They had just begun their journey when a white
man suddenly appeared out of the woods. He had
been with De Narvaez eleven years before and had
been captured by the Indians. His name was Juan
Ortez. He knew his way through the woods and he
knew the redman's language. De Soto was very glad
to see him because he needed someone to guide them
and to act as interpreter. Juan Ortez told De Soto
that he had seen no gold, nor jewels,'ut that he had
heard of a rich country thirty leagues inland.
Some of the Indians were friendly. They told
them that towards the sunset there was a land where
it was always summer, where there was so much gold
that when the people came down to war they wore
gold hats. But some of the Indians were hostile.
They had learned how cruel the white man could be.
De Soto tried to make peace with them, but one chief
told him that they knew too well what the white
men were like. They knew how they robbed the poor
and murdered the defenseless. The old chief said that
they did not want the white man's friendship, but
would fight them to the death.
So De Soto often fought with the Indians. He
fought one battle near the Suwanee River. Near that
river he found a few mud and palmetto huts. He also
found ripe Indian corn there. But the Indians ran
away and hid themselves so that they would not be
taken as slaves. So the Spaniards had to grind their
own corn for bread. Some of them sifted the meal
through their mail shirts. Others would not do what
they called slave labor, and ate the whole grains
At one battle the Indians leaped into two lakes
nearby. The Spaniards watched on the banks, and
that night, strange to say, they saw water lilies slowly
moving on the water towards the shore. The Indians
held them in their mouths and hoped to escape the
eyes of the Spaniards. But the Spaniards seized them
and put iron collars on their necks and chained them
De Soto came to Ochlochnee River. He found the
Bay of Horses where Narvaez and his men had made
their boats eleven years before. From this place he
and his men marched north through Georgia. The
men wanted to turn back, but the Indians led them
on with tales of rich cities and treasures. Many of
De Soto's men were killed in battles. Many died of
sickness. Their fine clothes wore out. Their hair was
long and matted. They had no powder for their guns
and no medicine for the sick. From Georgia they
turned west and wandered through Alabama and
Mississippi. After two long years they came at last
to the great Mississippi River. De Soto was the first
white man to see that great river which the Indians
called the Father of Waters.
They crossed the river and wandered about for a
year or more in what we now call the states of Arkansas
and Missouri. They came back again to the Missis-
sippi. Then De Soto fell ill with a fever and died.
The Spaniards secretly buried their leader, but were
afraid that the Indians had seen them. So in the
middle of the night they wrapped the body of De Soto
in furs and went out in a canoe to the middle of the
great river which he had discovered. They weighted
the body with sand, and with no sound but one deep
splash it sank into the river.
Three hundred and ten of De Soto's men finally
got to the Spanish settlements in Mexico. Before
De Soto died he had put a man named Moscosa in
charge of his men. Now Moscosa told the Spaniards
wonderful stories of the north country, but when the gov-
ernor tried to get him to go back he did not want to go.
But now the white men knew a little more about
this great new continent. The Indians still held the
land. They were going to hold it for a great many
more years. But more and more the white men came.
Today Florida is the white man's country. The only
things left by the red man are the beautiful Indian
names of the creeks and rivers and towns.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. What Spaniards came to Florida looking for gold?
2. Where did De Soto land in Florida?
3. How many men did he have with him? What else
did he have with him?
4. Who was Juan Ortez? Why was De Soto glad to
5. What did the Indian think of the white man?
6. Who was the first man to see the Mississippi River?
What did the Indians call the river?
7. Did De Soto's men ever find gold? What did they
8. What places in Florida have Indian names? Locate
them on your map.
9. Trace on the map De Soto's march while searching
for the rich kingdom.
10. Imagine you are De Soto. Tell about your trip;
its dangers; the Indians; finding of the forests; methods of
AN INDIAN PRINCESS SAVES A SOLDIER'S LIFE
You remember that when De Narvaez marched
away looking for Mexico, he left his ships in Tampa
Bay with a few men. These men were so cruel that
the Indians hated them. Soon the Indians marched
against the Spaniards and drove them into their ships
and they had to sail away. In the battle one of the
young Spaniards was captured by the Indians. His
name was Juan Ortez. This was the same man who
later acted as guidteio De Soto. When he got back
to his white friends, he had many strange adventures
to tell about.
One time the proud chief of the Indians ordered
that Juan should be tied hand and foot and placed
on a rack of poles to be burned to death. So the
warriors took the poor young man, tied his hands and
feet and placed him on the rack. Then they laid
wood to make a large fire.
The Indian chief had a beautiful daughter. Her
name was U-le-lah. The white men had been very
cruel to her people. They had killed many of them.
They had even killed women and children. But
U-le-lah was very sorry for the poor, young soldier.
She could not bear to see him suffer and die.
The fire began to burn. The smoke and flames
rose about Juan Ortez. He cried and struggled, but
he could not get away. Then U-le-lah rushed from
her wigwam, threw herself at her father's feet and
begged him to spare the young man's life. She said
that he had never harmed their people and that it
would be a noble thing for her father to keep him
captive instead of burning him alive.
The Indian chief loved his daughter and listened
to her when she begged for the life of Juan Ortez.
He ordered the warriors to take Juan from the burn-
ing rack just in time to save him from the leaping
flames. U-le-lah tenderly cared for him. She put
healing oils on his body where the fire had touched it.
She nursed him back to life. We may be sure that
Juan Ortez never forgot the young Indian princess
who savetlis life. Juan lived with the Indians eleven
years. He learned many things from them. He
learned their language and he learned their trails
through the forests.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. How did Juan Ortez fall into the hands of the In-
2. How did the Indian Princess save his life?
3. How long did he live with the Indians?
4. What are some of the things that the Indians could
teach the white man?
5. How did Juan Ortez get back to his own people?
6. Plan with some of your friends to act out the story
of U-le-lah and Juan Ortez. Ask if you may give the play
before the class.
THE STORY OF THE HUGUENOTS
For fifty years after the discovery of Florida, the
Spaniards kept coming to the new land. There was
Ponce de Leon, De Narvaez and De Soto. We have
studied how badly they all treated the savages. They
stole their corn, they tortured and killed them, they
carried them away into slavery. They did not seem
to care what suffering they caused the unhappy
But now a different people decided to come to
Florida. They did not come to plunder and steal, but
to make homes in the new world. These were the
Who were these Huguenots? It is hard for us to
think of a time when all Christians belonged to the
Catholic Church. But up until just about the time
that Columbus discovered America, that was true.
Now, however, some people were deciding that they
did not want to worship God as they had been doing.
They decided that they did not like popes and priests.
In France they called these people, who left the
Catholic Church, Huguenots. In Germany they
called them Lutherans. In England they called them
Puritans and Presbyterians. Usually they were all
called Protestants. Of course, the Catholics tried to
keep them from going out of their church. Also the
Protestants tried to get as many Catholics as they
could to come and worship as they did. There have
never been any bloodier wars than the wars that the
people fought over religion.
The leader of the French Huguenots wished to
find a place where his people could come if they were
defeated by their Catholic enemies. He heard of
Florida and decided that it was the very place for
So the Huguenots fitted out two ships. Jean
Ribaut was placed in command. The French sailed
across the broad Atlantic and landed on the coast of
Florida, near the spot where St. Augustine now stands.
They did not stay there, but turned north. They
came to the mouth of the St. Johns River. They
called it the River May because they found it in the
month of May. They turned north again and finally
planted a colony on an island off the coast of South
Carolina. Ribaut left twenty-five men there and then
sailed back to France. Their food was soon gone.
Ribaut did not come back. So they built a little
boat and tried to go back to France. An English
vessel picked them up and saved them.
The Huguenots' first attempt to plant a colony
failed. But they wanted a refuge in America very
much; so they tried again. This time a man named
Rene de Laudonniere was their leader. They again
reached the Florida coast and their leader decided to
establish his colony on the south shore of the River
May near the ocean. They built a small fort and
called it Fort Caroline.
De Laudonniere sent some of his men up the river
to find out what kind of land it was. It was not only
the Spanish who believed the Indian tales. One of
the French scouts said that he had really seen and
talked to men who said that they had drunk at the
fountain of youth. They told him that they had
already lived more than two hundred years. Some of
the men thought that a great store of gold had been
discovered up the river and that De Laudonniere would
not take them there. They were so angry that it
looked for a while as if their colony would fail because
of quarrels. But De Laudonniere had four of the
leaders in the rebellion shot. Their bodies were hung
at the mouth of the river. After that things were
quiet. But from this we know that the French as
well as the Spaniards had their thoughts on gold.
The French did not know how to find food in the
new land. All that they had was what they had
brought with them. When that was gone an Indian
queen helped them by sending baskets of food. Some
of the Indians would catch fish for the Huguenots.
But after a while the Indians got tired of feeding the
white men. Then the French got very angry. So
they captured one of the Indian chiefs and sent word
to his tribe that they would kill him unless food was
brought in. But this plan did not work. The Indians
refused to pay the ransom. They became the enemies
of the French. The Indians were learning that white
men were alike whether they were Spanish or French.
The Huguenots were almost starved when, as luck
would have it, a famous English sailor named Sir
John Hawkins passed that way. He brought his fleet
into the River May and not only gave them a ship
to go home in, but gave them food as well.
De Laudonniere was about to set sail for France,
when seven ships and about six hundred and fifty men
arrived from France. These ships brought plenty of
food and tools. Now they really planned to make it
a permanent settlement at Fort Caroline. The leader
of this fleet was Jean Ribaut, who had come back to
take charge of the colony.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Who were the French Huguenots? Why did they
wish to come to Florida?
2. Who was Jean Ribaut?
3. Where was Fort Caroline built?
4. Have you ever seen the St. Johns River? What did
the French call it?
5. Why did the French quarrel among themselves?
6. What did the French do when their food gave out?
7. What Englishman saved them?
8. Tell how Jean Ribaut came back to the French colony.
9. On a map of the world show the route followed by
the Huguenots under the command of Jean Ribaut.
THE SPANIARDS DRIVE THE FRENCH FROM FLORIDA
Now the Spaniards claimed all of Florida for the
King of Spain. When they heard about the French
colony at Fort Caroline, they were very angry. So
the King of Spain sent a soldier named Pedro Menendez
to drive the French out. Menendez landed on the
coast of Florida on the 28th day of August. That is
St. Augustine's Day. Menendez gave the name of
St. Augustine to his fort at this place. The city that
is there is called St. Augustine to this day.
We have already learned how Ribaut came back
to Fort Caroline just in time to save the colony. Now
it so happened that Menendez came to St. Augustine
on the very day that Ribaut came to Fort Caroline.
The Indians told Menendez that the French had come.
The Spaniard decided to attack the French at once.
So the Spanish ships sailed north. They found the
French ships in the St. Johns River. Menendez sailed
his ships among the French.
"Gentlemen, from where does this fleet come?" he
"From France," they said.
"What are you doing here?" he next asked them.
"Bringing soldiers, guns and food for the fort
which the King of France has in this country," they
"Are you Catholics or Protestants?" he then asked
"We are Protestants, and our leader is Jean Ri-
baut," they answered.
In answer to the same questions Menendez said,
"I am the commander. My name is Pedro Menendez.
These are the ships of the King of Spain. He has
sent me to this coast and country to burn and hang
the Protestant French."
Then the French ships pulled up their anchors and
sailed away so fast that Menendez could not catch
them. So he gave it up and sailed back to St.
The French ships went back to Fort Caroline and
told Ribaut what had happened. Ribaut thought
that an attack should be made on the Spaniards at
once. So he put most of his men on the ships and
set sail for St. Augustine. No sooner had Ribaut put
to sea than a terrible storm arose. The fleet was
driven far down the coast. The storm was so great
that the ships were forced on the beach. Most of the
men managed to wade ashore.
But while Ribaut was being wrecked on the beach
many miles below St. Augustine, Menendez was march-
ing against the French at Fort Caroline. He had de-
cided to attack the French by land. During the great
storm the Spaniards found their way through the
marshes and forests to the little fort. Menendez
reached Fort Caroline just at daybreak. The French
were half asleep. They rushed out in their shirts,
just half dressed. Within an hour more than a hun-
dred had been killed. Half a dozen men and about
fifty women and children were taken captive. De
Laudonniere, who had been left in charge, and a few
others, escaped into the woods.
Menendez hanged the Huguenot prisoners to trees
near the fort. He placed this sign over their bodies:
"I did this, not as to Frenchmen, but as to Protestants."
Then he marched back to St. Augustine.
But where were Ribaut and his men all of this
time? They had gone ashore near what is now called
Daytona Beach. They did not know how far they
had been blown by the storm. But they knew that
Fort Caroline was somewhere north of them. They
did not know that between them and their fort were
Matanzas Inlet and Menendez with his Spanish sol-
diers. They began their long, weary march up the
beach. They had no water nor food.
They came at last to the Inlet. There were Me-
nendez and his soldiers on the other side. They sent
two men across to talk to the Spaniard. He told
them what he had done at Fort Caroline. When they
begged for their lives, it is said that he told them,
"I am waging a war of fire and blood against all who
come to settle in Florida and plant their evil Protestant
religion." Then the French offered money for their
They thought that he had promised them safety.
Anyway they had little choice. Behind them were
their wrecked boats. Ahead of them were the Span-
iards. They had to surrender. They were carried
across the Inlet ten at a time. As soon as they reached
the other side, the Spaniards tied their hands, marched
them behind the sand dunes and killed them. All
except those who said that they were Catholics were
slain. One man was not killed by the dagger that
struck him. That night he escaped to the Indians
who took care of him. This man finally reached
France and told of the cruel treachery of the Spaniard,
Menendez. So bloody was the slaughter that until
this day the place is called Matanzas, which means
Menendez went back to St. Augustine. The In-
dians told him that there were some more Frenchmen,
who had been shipwrecked south of Ponce de Leon
Inlet. These men built a little fort near Cape Cana-
veral. They also :.rie'd 't' b'tu:d a -boat. Menendez
sailed down tJ. s'6 until he'f6un'd he' Fench camp.
He sent wrd. t-Giat if they would surren'df...e would
*: ::' *"
treat them well. It may be that the French had
heard of the slaughter at Matanzas. At any rate
about fifty of them said that they had rather be
eaten alive by the Indians than to trust themselves
to Menendez. The other men surrendered. Some say
that Menendez kept his word. Others say that there
was another terrible slaughter. What happened to
the fifty brave Huguenots who remained at Cape
Canaveral, no one has ever known.
You remember that, when Menendez attacked
Fort Caroline, de Laudonniere and a few men escaped.
There were still three small French boats anchored in
the river. So the French leader and his men got to
these boats before the Spaniards found them. They
sailed away and at last reached France to tell the sad
story of the little colony.
Now Menendez wrote the King of Spain about
what he had done. He wrote the story as coolly as
a farmer would write about killing pigs or chickens.
Some Spaniards thought that he had been very cruel.
But one man wrote that he thought that Menendez
had been very merciful, because he could have burned
the French alive. The King of Spain wrote Menendez
and said, "We think that you have done well."
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Whom did 'the.e atnia 'Iig' .end to destroy the
French settlementt~ ' .: .
2. H..'w'"i t. Augustine get its naift?:."..
-. .." "' :' "i ' .:'."
*.: * '* "
3. What happened to the French fleet when it went to
attack the Spaniards?
4. Tell about the fall of Fort Caroline. Did anybody
5. Tell how Matanzas Inlet got its name.
6. What did the King of Spain think of the way Menen-
dez treated the French Protestants?
7. On the outline map locate small forts to show where
these places were:
a. Fort Caroline.
b. St. Augustine.
c. The little fort near Cape Canaveral.
d. Matanzas Inlet.
THE HUGUENOTS ARE AVENGED
When the news of the massacre at Fort Caroline
and the terrible slaughter at Matanzas went back to
France, the French hated the Spaniards more than
ever. There was a brave French soldier named
Dominic de Gourges. He had once been captured by
the Spaniards and forced to serve as a galley slave.
He hated the Spanish very much. When he heard
of the shameful slaughter of the Huguenots, he re-
solved to avenge the death of his countrymen.
De Gourges sold his land. He borrowed money
where he could. At last, with three ships and about
one hundred and eighty men he set sail for Florida.
He landed near the place where the city of Fernandina
is now. The Indians there hated the Spaniards.
When they found that the French were planning to
attack the Spaniards, they helped them gladly.
The Spaniards were in Fort Caroline. They had
renamed it Fort Mateo. They had built two other
forts at the mouth of the St. Johns River. De Gourges
planned to sail into the river, and the Indians were
to attack by land.
The Spaniards had just eaten their dinner. They
did not- know that there were any Frenchmen in all
of the New World. The two new forts were quickly
taken. Then the French and the Indians marched on
Fort Mateo. The Spaniards were caught in a trap.
A party of sixty Spaniards came out to fight. All of
them were soon killed or captured. The fight did not
last long. The cannon were taken from the fort and
it was blown up.
Then De Gourges took the Spanish soldiers that
he had captured to the place where Menendez had
hanged the Huguenots. He told the Spaniards how
Menendez had hanged the Huguenots. He told them
how Menendez had slaughtered the French at Matanzas
Inlet. Then he hanged the Spaniards from the very
trees where the French had been hanged.
Dominic de Gourges wrote these words on a board
which he left with the Spaniards: "I do this not as
unto Spaniards nor mariners, but as to traitors,
thieves and murderers."
So the French crossed the wide ocean and cruelly
avenged the cruel death of their fellow countrymen.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. What did the French think when they heard about
the fate of the Huguenots at Fort Caroline?
2. Who was Dominic de Gourges?
3. Where did he land?
4. Tell about the destruction of the forts.
5. What do you think about the way Frenchmen and
Spaniards treated each other in those days?
When we think of Pedro Menendez we think of
the cruel way he treated the French Huguenots. But
Menendez did much for Florida in the early days of
its history. He was born in the city of Aviles in
Spain. His father was a poor Spanish nobleman.
Pedro spent the greater part of his boyhood in sight
of the sea. He always loved the sea.
When he was about ten years old, his family de-
cided that he should marry a beautiful girl named
Ave Maria de Solis. They hoped that this would
take his mind away from the sea. They did not want
him to be a sailor. Later in his life he did marry this
young lady. But he never lost his love for the sea
and before he died he became one of the greatest
admirals Spain ever had.
When Menendez was a young man, he sailed along
the coast of Europe in small vessels. In those days
when Spanish, or French, or English ships met they
usually fought. Menendez was the hero of many
fights with French ships. They tell this story of
Menendez. One day while he was just a boy, he was
on a small vessel when it was seen by a large French
warship. The men on the Spanish ship wanted to
give it up, but Menendez said, "No, let us fight them."
They fought so well that they were able to save the
ship from the French.
Pedro Menendez made many voyages from Spain
to the Indies. He was made captain and put in
charge of a large ship because he was so brave and
was such a good sailor.
There were great men in those days who wanted
to make more money than they should out of the
food, clothing and supplies that they sold the ships
and sailors of the Spanish navy. We have men today
who want to make more money than they should in
dealing with the government. We call such men
grafters and profiteers. Now those dishonest Spaniards
did not like Menendez because he tried to keep them
from cheating the King of Spain.
At one time they offered him a great deal of money
if he would keep his ships in the harbor for a day or
two. They could make a great deal of money if he
would hold his ships. Now that is what we call a
bribe. But Menendez would not take their bribe.
He went ahead and put his ships to sea. Because
they could not bribe him, they tried to get rid of
him. One time they caused him to be thrown into
prison. But the King found that he was honest.
He learned how well Menendez did his duty and
ordered them to release the prisoner.
Now Menendez was a devoted Catholic. When he
heard about the Huguenots at Fort Caroline, he asked
the King to send him to Florida to drive them away.
He got together a large number of ships. He gathered
many men and missionaries and set sail. While cross-
ing the ocean, they ran into a severe storm and only
about one-third of his ships reached Florida.
We have heard the sad story of the Huguenots at
Fort Caroline. It is hard to understand how a great
man like Menendez could be so cruel. But he thought
it was his duty to kill the Frenchmen, because they
were fighting his church, and because they had settled
on land claimed by his king.
There were three things that Menendez wanted to
do: first, to conquer and settle new lands for the
King of Spain; second, to keep all other people out
of these lands; and third, to convert the Indians to
the Catholic religion. One time he wrote: "After the
saving of my own soul, there is nothing I desire more
than to end my days saving souls in Florida."
Menendez spent the last days of his life working
for Florida. He made several trips to Spain to get
money and people for his Florida colony. It was no
easy thing to get men and money, because he had
many enemies in Spain.
In those days there were a great many pirates
around the coast of Spain. The Spanish king wanted
his best admiral to take charge of his fleets and drive
them away. Menendez was chosen for this work. He
was put in charge of one of the largest fleets that
Spain ever had. But he never set sail with this fleet.
Just a few days before it was to sail he became sick
and died. Some think that it was fever that killed
him. Others think that his enemies poisoned him.
Why he died we will never know. But we do know
that while he was alive he did much for Florida. We
know, too, that he was an honest man, that he was
very religious and that he did his duty as he saw it.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Where was Menendez born?
2. Tell some stories of his boyhood.
3. What makes us think that Menendez was honest?
4. What is a grafter or profiteer? What is a bribe?
5. Why was Menendez so cruel to the Huguenots?
6. What were the three things that Menendez wanted
7. What did he do for Florida?
8. On the sand-table build a fort like the old fort the
Spanish built at St. Augustine.
9. It will be very interesting for you and your class-
mates to start a Florida Museum by collecting old relics of
Indians: tools, arrows, and any other items you can find.
THE OLDEST TOWN IN THE UNITED STATES
Do you know that the oldest town in the United
States is in Florida? The Spaniards called it the "ever
faithful city of St. Augustine" because it was founded
on St. Augustine's Day. It was founded in 1565.
That was more than fifty years after Ponce de Leon
came seeking the fountain of youth.
You remember that, when Menendez landed at
St. Augustine, he rushed away to destroy the French
settlement at Fort Caroline. When he came back, he
-began to build a castle and a church and homes for
his people. The castle was built of logs. It had eight
sides. It stood near the place where Fort Marion is
Menendez had great dreams for his colony. He
dreamed of mines and pearls, of sugar plantations and
silk worms. He dreamed of ripe wheat fields and rice
fields. He saw great ships being built. But these
were only dreams. After he had destroyed the French
at Fort Caroline and his people were settled in their
new homes, his troubles had just begun.
When Menendez spoke of Florida he meant a great
deal of country. He meant all of Alabama, Georgia,
South Carolina and North Carolina. Two years after
he came, he had built forts all around the coast. He
wanted to make sure that no other people would try
to come to Florida. There were forts from Tampa
Bay all around Florida, even up to South Carolina.
But the Spaniards would not work. They said
that they had not come to plow and plant. They
had come to find riches. They had heard stories of
cities in Florida where the streets were paved with
gold. They had been told of cities where the rulers
had great chests filled with diamonds, rubies and other
Then the Indians gave trouble. As long as the
old men in the tribe could remember they had lived
on the land around St. Augustine. They did not
want to give up their home land to these strange
people. So they tried to drive them away. When
the Spaniards learned that the Indians would kill
them, and that there was no gold nor precious stones,
they wanted to go away.
Menendez wanted them to stay. He wanted to
build a great city. When they tried to run away, he
would not let them go. He worked very hard to make
the people safe and happy. He went to Cuba and
Spain to get money and soldiers. He tried to get
families to come to Florida. When Menendez died,
St. Augustine was strong. It was one of the most
important settlements in all of America.
A few years after Menendez died, the great Eng-
lish seaman, Sir Francis Drake, came to St. Augustine.
Whenever Englishmen and Spaniards met they fought.
They delighted to burn and destroy each others' cities.
Sir Francis Drake learned that the Spaniards had fled
from their fort when they saw him. They had gone
in such a hurry that they had forgotten a chest filled
with gold. Drake went after the gold. He then
burned the town and sailed away. But the Spaniards
came back and rebuilt their homes.
One time the Indians killed some missionaries.
The Spaniards went out and conquered them. They
brought many of them back as captives. It is said
that for sixty years these Indians were forced to labor
on the walls and fort of the town. They cut and
carried much coquina stone from Anastasia Island.
Much of the old town was built of this stone.
The Spaniards in Florida were always having
trouble with their English neighbors in South Carolina
and Georgia. They were always quarreling over the
boundary line. Then, too, the English claimed that
the Spanish kept their runaway slaves. So Governor
Moore came down and tried to take the Spanish city.
The fort was too strong for him. He had to sail away,
but he came back a second time. He did much harm
by destroying the beautiful mission buildings and driv-
ing off the missionaries. It was about this time that
the Spaniards began to build their sea wall. Parts of
this old wall may still be seen.
A few years later another Englishman came to
Florida. This was James Oglethorpe. It was James
Oglethorpe who first settled Georgia. Now it did not
take Oglethorpe long to find out that the Spaniards
were not good neighbors. They would steal slaves.
They even paid the Indians to kill Englishmen and
to burn their homes.
Finally Oglethorpe sailed down to St. Augustine.
He landed his men on Anastasia Island. If you have
ever been to St. Augustine you know that Anastasia
Island is very close to the city. Oglethorpe then
began to fire on the city and the fort. All of the
Spaniards had hurried to the fort so that they would
be safe. Oglethorpe blocked the city so that ships
could not come in and bring food to the people in the
fort. That is what we call a blockade. It looked as
if the Spaniards were going to have to give their city
up to the English. But at last some Spanish ships
slipped through and landed food in what is now called
Halifax River. Oglethorpe learned that the Spaniards
had a new supply of food. So he gave up and sailed
back to Georgia. But the marks of his cannon balls
may still be seen on the eastern walls of the fort.
That all happened nearly two hundred years ago.
A few months after Oglethorpe left St. Augustine
the Spanish governor gathered an army and went to
Georgia. He hoped that he would be able to drive
the English out of their colony. But Oglethorpe de-
feated the Spaniards so badly that they never tried
again to invade his colony.
The Englishmen cleared their land, worked their
farms and built towns. But the Spaniards were satis-
fied to stay in St. Augustine. They cleared very little
land and built few towns. Georgia and the other
English colonies grew rapidly. Their people were
happy and they had plenty to eat and wear. The
Spanish colony in Florida grew slowly. The people
were not happy. They did not have much money
because they would not work.
The English wanted to own Florida. In the year
1763, they gave the city of Havana to Spain and
Spain gave them all of Florida in return. Most of the
Spaniards sailed away to Cuba, because they did not
want to live under an English government.
St. Augustine was made the capital of East Florida.
It grew very rapidly under the English. But at the
close of the American Revolution it was given back to
Spain. The English people moved away and it became
once more a sleepy, little Spanish fort.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. What did Menendez hope for the future of St. Au-
2. Why were the first Spanish settlers unhappy in St.
3. Why were the Indians so unfriendly?
4. Why were the Spanish and the English settlers not
5. Tell about James Oglethorpe at St. Augustine.
6. Why did the English colonies grow faster than the
7. Have you ever been to St. Augustine? What did
8. With four or five students working in a group do the
a. Prepare a list of reasons why the English settlements
were more prosperous and grew more rapidly than
the Spanish settlements.
b. Suggest a plot for a short motion picture based on
c. Make a booklet entitled "St. Augustine." Include
pictures, poems, and any other items of interest.
THE STORY OF THE SPANISH MISSIONS
The first thought of the Spaniards when they came
to Florida was to find gold so they could return to
their own country with great wealth. Their second
thought was to teach the Indians about the Christian
religion. They brought priests with them to do this.
These priests were brave and fearless men. They
were glad to risk their lives to teach the Indians about
Christ. Often the Indians did not understand that
the priests wanted to help them. The priest was a
white man. White men stole their land and made
slaves of them. So the Indians thought that the
priests were their enemies too. Therefore the Indians
sometimes killed the priests as they would kill other
At first the priests traveled with armed bands of
soldiers and lived in the forts. As the country became
more settled they went out among the Indians and
lived with them. They tried to make them followers
There was one band of missionaries called the
Franciscan Friars. They started many missions in
south Georgia and in northeast Florida. They called
their buildings missions. These mission buildings were
usually built of coquina rock. They contained chapels
where services were held. There were also rooms
where the friars lived. Sometimes the Indian converts
lived in the missions. By the year 1634, there were
forty-four of these missions in what is now Georgia
and Florida. More were built after that time.
You remember that when Governor Moore was
governor of the English colony he made war on the
Spaniards in Florida. He brought a large number of
soldiers to Florida and destroyed many of the missions.
In spite of Governor Moore and the Indians who
helped him, we can still see the ruins of these missions.
Large trees have grown up between the stones of the
floors. Vines have climbed over the walls and arches.
Sunshine, rain and wind have worn away the rock in
many places. But enough is left of a few of these old
buildings to remind us of the faithful Spanish friars
who tried to help the Indians.
Near the city of New Smyrna stand the ruins of
one of these old missions. It is thought that it was
built for the Jororo Indians. It was partly destroyed
by Governor Moore. We do not know whether the
Spaniards ever tried to rebuild.it as a mission or not.
We do know that a sugar mill was built in its ruins
and that in 1835 a man by the name of Stamps had
the engine for his mill in the room that the friars had
once called the chapel. This sugar mill was destroyed
by the Indians during the Seminole war. Many years
later the stones were taken away to build houses and
fences in New Smyrna.
A few years ago a man named Washington E.
Connor wanted these ruins to be preserved. So he
bought them and gave them to the Florida State
Historical Society. This society will see to it that
they are preserved. Have you ever seen these old
ruins? It is hard to believe that once years ago, red
Indians and long-robed friars really moved about
within their walls. It is hard to imagine men singing
and reading and praying in these old missions. Today
there are only the songs of the birds and bees.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Why did the Spaniards come to Florida?
2. What is a mission?
3. How many missions were built in Georgia and
4. How were the missions destroyed?
5. Have you ever seen these old ruins?
6. Have you ever seen any old ruins, or old deserted
houses? What did you think of them? Did you try to
think of the time when people lived and moved about in
One of the oldest cities in Florida is Pensacola.
Perhaps you have been to Pensacola. It has a very
deep harbor. Ships can stay there safely during the
worst storms. That is one reason why the Spaniards
came there so early. They could come and leave their
ships in the good harbor and then go on into the
country to explore.
We have read about the way the Spaniards de-
stroyed the French fort called Fort Caroline. Now
just a few years before that time a Spaniard had come
to Pensacola. His name was Tristan de Luna. He
had over a thousand sailors, soldiers and priests with
him. A short time after he came a great storm arose.
During the storm one of the ships left the safe harbor
and was sunk with all the men on board. The other
ships stayed in the harbor and were not harmed, but
most of the supplies were ruined. This storm was
probably a hurricane. It is the first such storm men-
tioned in Florida History.
De Luna went on and explored much of the country.
It is thought that he went north through what are
now Alabama and Tennessee. When he came back
he found ships in the harbor that had been sent to
help him. He sailed away to Mexico. If he had
remained at Pensacola, then this city could claim to
be the oldest town in the United States. But it was
more than a hundred years before the Spaniards came
again to plant a colony on Pensacola Bay. This settle-
ment was about where Fort Barrancas now is.
Now the French had settled at New Orleans and
Mobile. The Spaniards had not liked their French
neighbors at Fort Caroline. They liked their French
neighbors at Mobile no better. In the spring of 1719
some French soldiers came from Mobile and captured
Pensacola. Then some Spanish ships came into the
harbor and recaptured the city. The French came
back a few months later and destroyed everything
that they could find. They marched away because
they knew that they could not hold the place.
Three years later the Spanish came back and built
a new town on Santa Rosa Island. Some of you have
been to Santa Rosa Island. You know that it is not
a good place for a town. Santa Rosa Island is very
long and narrow. It stretches all the way from Pensa-
cola to Choctawhatchee Bay. It is really just a long
sand bar. In a short while the settlers began to build
where the present city is. After a while they had all
moved to the new town.
In 1763, Spain gave Florida to England. In return
England gave Havana back to Spain. The French no
longer owned New Orleans and Mobile. Spain now
owned these towns. The Spaniards wanted to keep
Pensacola also. So they marched over from Mobile
to take it away from the English. There were almost
a thousand English soldiers at Pensacola. It looked
as if the Spaniards would not be able to take the
place. At last they fired a red hot shell to the place
where the English had stored their powder. This blew
up the fort so the English had to give up the city.
It was just a few years later that the Americans
began fighting the English for their independence.
Then all the English soldiers in America were busy
fighting the Americans. The English did not try to
take Pensacola again. When the American colonies
won their freedom, Florida was given back to Spain.
The Spaniards in Florida and the Americans in
Georgia and Alabama were not friendly at all. There
was much quarreling between them. When the Ameri-
cans were at war with England again in 1812, the
Spaniards let the English soldiers stay in Pensacola.
They did all they could to get the Indians to make
war against the Americans who were moving into the
When things got very bad, the President sent
General Andrew Jackson down to West Florida. He
punished the Indians and drove out the English. Then
he turned Pensacola over to the Spaniards.
But the Indians began killing the settlers in Georgia
and Alabama as soon as General Jackson went away.
The Spaniards did all they could to stir up the Indians.
When Jackson came back he took Pensacola away from
the Spaniards. This time he stayed in Florida for
more than a year and ruled the state as he saw fit.
Spain saw that she could not hold Florida. The
United States wanted to buy it. So in 1821 the
United States paid five million dollars for Florida.
From that time Florida has been a part of the United
As soon as Florida became a part of the United
States it began to grow. Pensacola became quite a
large settlement. It became an important port. The
United States built forts to protect it and placed one
of its finest navy yards on Pensacola Bay.
There was peace at Pensacola until the War Be-
tween the States divided the country into two fighting
nations. Fort Barrancas, the Navy Yard and the
city of Pensacola were all taken over by the Con-
federates. At one time there were almost eight thou-
sand southern soldiers camped at Fort Barrancas and
around Pensacola. But the Confederates could never
take Fort Pickens. It is on the very end of Santa
Rosa Island. Once they tried and there was a battle
on the island, but they did not take the fort.
Early in the war the southern soldiers were sent
to Tennessee. This left Pensacola in the hands of the
Like all southern cities Pensacola suffered very
much during the war. After the war was over it
began to grow. Today about thirty thousand people
make their homes in Pensacola. The Naval Air Sta-
tion at Pensacola is one of the finest in the United
States. Many of our best aviators were taught to fly
there. Admiral Richard E. Byrd, who flew over both
the North and South Poles, is one of the famous fliers
who was trained at the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Each year many ships come into the fine harbor
which Tristan de Luna had found so safe more than
three hundred years ago. These ships take lumber,
cotton, naval stores and many other things to foreign
countries. They also bring many things from foreign
countries to be used in the United States.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Have you ever been to Pensacola? What can you
tell about it?
2. Tell the story of Tristan de Luna.
3. Have you ever seen a hurricane? Tell about the
first hurricane mentioned in Florida History.
4. What troubles did the Spaniards have with their
5. Have you ever been to Santa Rosa Island? What is
6. How did the Spaniards defeat the English?
7. How did the Spaniards get along with their American
8. Who was General Andrew Jackson?
9. When did the United States buy Florida? How
much did they pay for it?
10. What is Pensacola like today?
11. What famous aviator learned to fly at the Pensacola
Naval Air Station?
12. What do the ships take away to foreign countries?
13. Write to the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce and
ask for historical and descriptive literature on Pensacola.
DOCTOR ANDREW TURNBULL AND HIS NEW SMYRNA
You remember that Florida became an English
colony in 1763. The English wanted people to come
and settle on the land and raise silk, cotton, indigo
and other crops. Large plots of land were offered to
people who would bring settlers to Florida.
One of the first men to try to make a settlement
was a Scotch doctor named Andrew Turnbull. He
and his family came to Florida and spent some time
at St. Augustine. Doctor Turnbull went into all of
the country around St. Augustine trying to find the
land that suited him best. He decided on that part
of the east coast near what was then called Mosquito
Inlet. We now call this place Ponce de Leon Inlet.
Doctor Turnbull had married a beautiful woman from
the city of Smyrna in Asia Minor. He decided to
call his colony New Smyrna after the place where his
wife was born.
Then Doctor Turnbull went back to England to
get the ships and money he needed. He decided to
get his colonists from the countries along the Mediter-
ranean Sea instead of from England. He went to
Greece. There he was able to persuade about two
hundred men and women to join him. Then he went
to Italy where he was able to get about a hundred
more people for his colony.
Then he heard that the crops on the Island of
Minorca had failed. This island is just off the south
coast of Spain. The people there were starving. He
decided to go there for the rest of his colonists. When
he got there he found that many of the Minorcans
wanted to go to America. About twelve hundred pre-
pared to go with him.
By August, 1768, these fifteen hundred people from
Greece, Italy and Minorca had landed at New Smyrna.
Each family was living in a rude hut on its own land.
They worked hard clearing the land. They set out
orange, fig, and olive trees. They planted indigo,
sugar, cotton, corn and rice. But they did not know
how to farm in the new country, so their crops the
first year were not what they expected. Soon they
began to run short of food.
There were other things that made it hard for the
people to get along. The colony was made up of
Greeks, Italians and Minorcans. They spoke different
languages and had different religions.
Doctor Turnbull had brought men from the plan-
tations in Georgia and South Carolina to oversee the
work and to teach his colonists how to raise their
crops. But these men did not understand the lan-
guage of the colonists at New Smyrna. They were
used to working negro slaves and often mistreated the
white men and women working under them. All of
these things made the colonists unhappy. They began
quarreling among themselves and plotting to harm
At one time a number of men in the colony re-
volted against Doctor Turnbull and the overseers.
They tried to escape by taking a boat and going to
sea. But they came back and the leaders were severely
For a few years the colony seemed to do well in
spite of all these troubles. But they were not able
to raise enough food. The indigo that they expected
to send to Europe did not grow well. The climate
did not agree with many of the colonists and quite a
number of them died.
Doctor Turnbull found that he had to go back to
England to get help for his colony. A short time
before he set out a new governor was appointed by
the King of England. This man did not like Doctor
Turnbull. He did all he could to make his colony at
New Smyrna a failure. One day a boy heard a visitor
at New Smyrna say that, if the people knew what
their rights were, they would rebel. The Minorcans
sent men to St. Augustine to see the governor. Then
they went up to St. Augustine and made their homes.
Today many of the people living in St. Augustine are
descendents of the Minorcans who moved from New
When Doctor Turnbull came back from England
he found that his people had left their homes. Weeds
were growing in the street. The houses were beginning
to fall down. The forest had started growing again
in the fields that had been cleared. He was a broken
and discouraged man. He left Florida and went to
Charleston where he began to practice medicine. He
lived the rest of his life in that city.
All of this happened more than a hundred and
fifty years ago. One can still see the foundations of
the old fort, the ruins of the old church, indigo vats
and sugar mills. The canals which were dug to drain
the water from the lowlands are still in use today.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Why did Doctor Turnbull want to make the settle-
ment at New Smyrna?
2. Where did he get his colonists?
3. How was the new colony unlike the Spanish settle-
4. What became of the Greeks, Italians, and Minorcans?
5. Do you know whether any of these people were your
6. Do you know where your ancestors came from?
7. Make a list of the causes that led to the failure of
8. From your readings, and using a map of Europe, see
if you can explain why so few Italians and Greeks came to
THE WAR WITH THE SEMINOLE INDIANS
We have already learned that in 1821, Florida was
sold to the United States for five million dollars. At
that time there were very few white people in Florida.
Most of the people in Florida were Indians, belonging
to the tribe called the Seminoles. But when Florida
became a part of the United States, more white people
began coming here to make their homes. The white
people did not want the Indians for neighbors. So
the Indians were told that they must stay in the south-
ern part of the state.
As more and more white people came, they decided
that they did not want the Indians in Florida at all.
From the days of Ponce de Leon the Indians had been
afraid that the white man would take away their land.
Now they were doing that very thing. The govern-
ment told the Seminoles that they must leave Florida
and go to a new home west of the Mississippi River.
This did not please the red men, but some of the
chiefs promised that they would go.
But when the time came to go, most of the red men
refused to move. They said they wanted to stay in
Florida, where they had been born and where they
had always lived. The Indians began to get ready to
fight. They began to buy guns and powder. At a
meeting between a United States general and the
Indian chiefs, Osceola, one of the bravest leaders of
the Seminoles, told the general to his face that he
would not leave Florida. Florida was his home. It
had been the home of the red man long before the
white man came. These words made the general very
angry. He ordered the soldiers to seize Osceola and
put him in prison. Osceola was kept in prison a long
This made Osceola very angry. He did not think
the white man had treated him right. He planned ->
his revenge. One day when the general was walking/
in the woods near the fort, Osceola killed him. This
was the beginning of the long and bloody Seminole L?
For a long time the white men could not defeat
the Seminoles. One morning about one hundred sol-
diers were marching through the pine woods when
the Indians suddenly attacked them. After a battle
that lasted all day, all the soldiers except two were
killed. These two escaped in the night. This battle
is called Dade's Massacre. After this victory, the
Indians were so pleased that they fought better than
ever. By the end of the first year of the war, the sol-
diers had been driven out of all south Florida, and the
white people there left their homes and farms.
By this time the government knew that it had
a real war to fight. A large army was sent to Florida
to conquer the Seminoles. The soldiers marched all
over the state. They burned the Indian homes. They
killed the Indians' cattle. They destroyed the In-
dians' crops. At last the red men began to talk of
Coacoochee, a famous chief, with two hundred of
his warriors came to the army post to talk terms of
peace with the general. But the soldiers captured the
chief and his men. Coacoochee was taken to St.
Augustine where he was put in a dark dungeon in
Fort Monroe. The general thought that by this trick
they would stop the war, because the brave Coacoo-
chee was one of the wisest of the Seminole leaders.
But Coacoochee was a clever Indian. He pre-
tended that he was sick and refused to eat anything
for a long time. He became very thin. Then, one
dark night, he squeezed himself between the heavy
iron bars in the narrow window of his dungeon and
went back to his people. He quickly made them go
on with the war.
Now the government made an offer to the Sem-
inoles. It said, "If you will stay in the southern part
of the state until the President of the United States
decides what he will do with you, we will not burn
your homes or take your women and children captive
or try to kill you." The Indians were tired of the war,
and so were the soldiers. So the Indians said they
would agree to that. Many of them gathered at Fort
Jupiter to wait to see what the President would do.
But when they were all at the fort, the soldiers seized
them. They were all sent west of the Mississippi
The Indians that were left felt that they had better
talk peace. Coacoochee and fourteen of his warriors
went to the army post to pay a visit. But they were
seized by the soldiers and put in prison. This time
the general did not mean to let the clever Indian chief
get away from him. He said, "Send five of your
warriors back to your tribe. Tell them that if they
do not all come in and surrender before the next forty
days are passed, we will hang you and your warriors."
This made Coacoochee very sad. He knew that
if his people did not give up now, he and his braves
would have to die. So he took forty sticks, one for
each of the forty days. He smeared one of them with
blood. He gave the sticks to his five men and sent
them back to the tribes. He said, "When all but the
bloody stick are thrown away, with the setting of the
sun of that fortieth day, Coacoochee will die like a dog,
with none but white men to hear his last words."
The Seminoles knew now that they must give them-
selves up to save the life of their chief. So they began
to come in to the army post. They were put on ships
and sent away to the west. So they left their homes.
They said goodbye forever to Florida.
But some of the Indians would not surrender. Led
by a chief called Billy Bowlegs, they hid deep in the
swamps of the Everglades. The soldiers went after
them and killed many of them. They burned their
tents and killed their cattle. Finally there were only
about three hundred Indians left in all of Florida.
The United States decided that the few Indians left
in the Everglades might stay there. This was nearly
a hundred years ago but some of the Seminoles are
down in the Everglades to this day. The Tamiami
Trail passes through the heart of the Everglades.
If you ever pass along that highway you may see a
lonely Seminole poling his dug-out along the canal.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. When was Florida bought by the United States?
2. Who lived in Florida at that time?
3. Why did the white people want the Seminoles to
4. Why did the Seminoles refuse to go?
5. Suppose you had been a Seminole, how would you
have felt about leaving Florida?
6. Tell about Osceola, Coacoochee, and Billy Bowlegs.
7. Where are the Seminole Indians today?
8. Do you think the Indians in the Everglades today
are like the Indians who were here when Ponce de Leon
9. Choose one of the following and write a short account
of him: (1) Osceola, (2) Coacoochee, (3) Billy Bowlegs.
THE STORY OF OSCEOLA
One of the bravest of the Seminole warriors was
a young chieftain named Osceola. In our language
his name may be called "Rising Sun." Osceola be-
came one of the most famous men in the history of
Osceola was born in Florida and loved his home.
When the United States decided that the Indians
must all leave Florida, he and his warriors felt that
they would rather die than be forced to leave their
native land. Then the soldiers stole Osceola's young
wife. This filled Osceola with grief and rage. He
became one of the greatest enemies of the soldiers of
the United States. He was a hero to all of the Indians.
One day the officers of the army persuaded Osceola
to come to their camp to talk terms of peace. When
Osceola learned that the price of peace was that he
and his people must leave Florida forever, he drew
his long knife from his belt. He drove it through the
paper of the treaty as it lay on the table and cried,
"The land is ours! This is the way I will sign all such
treaties!" Then he went back to his people in the
pine forest to fight for his homeland.
Osceola did not wage war against the helpless white
women and children. He spared them the horrors
of war whenever he could. But the white soldiers
were not always so good to the Indian people.
Finally, after many years of bloodshed, the Amer-
ican soldiers invited Osceola again to come to their
post to talk about peace. Osceola came with some of
his warriors, under a flag of truce. This meant that
the Americans promised that he could go home free
from the meeting. But Osceola trusted wrongly. The
soldiers rushed in. One of them hit Osceola with the
butt of his gun and knocked him down. Then he was
tied hand and foot, put in a wagon and carried to St.
Augustine. There he was put in the dungeon of the
old Spanish fort. From there he was taken to Fort
Moultrie in Charleston. There he died.
But the American soldiers buried his body with
honor and respect. Perhaps they were ashamed of
the trick they had played on a brave and generous
foe. Soldiers escorted his body to its grave. They
fired a military salute over it. On the tomb-stone of
this famous Indian chieftain one may read these
words: "Osceola-PATRIOT AND WARRIOR. Died
Jan. 30, 1838."
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Why did Osceola hate the white man?
2. How did the soldiers capture Osceola?
3. What shows that Osceola was brave?
4. Do you know any place in Florida named Osceola?
5. Dramatize the conference between Osceola and the
6. Make a five minute talk defending Osceola in his
claims for Florida.
7. Give the class your opinion regarding the treatment
of Osceola by the American soldiers.
JANE MURRAY SHELDON, PIONEER
Pioneers are the first people who go into a new
country to make their homes. They cut the trees
and build houses and barns. They build fences and
farm the land. After they have done all of these
things other people come. Cowards and weak men
are not good pioneers. To be a pioneer a person must
be strong. He must not be afraid.
The early settlers of Florida had a hard time.
This story is about a pioneer woman whose name was
Jane Murray Sheldon. Her son, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren are still living in New Smyrna,
Florida. Perhaps things just as interesting happened
to your great-grandparents.
Jane Murray Sheldon's father and mother moved
from Philadelphia to Florida in 1803. They settled
near New Smyrna. This was years after the Minor-
cans had left New Smyrna. But the Indians were so
troublesome that the Murrays could not stay. When
Jane was sixteen years of age the Murrays came back
to Florida. This time they settled at Mandarin, on
the St. Johns River. Jane soon married John Dwight
In 1835, Jane and John Sheldon moved to New
Smyrna. They built a house on an old shell mound.
At this time there were very few settlers around New
Smyrna. Most of these settlers lived on plantations
on the west side of the Halifax River. The family of
Captain Dummit lived across the river from the
Sheldons in what is now Coronado Beach.
On Christmas Eve, 1835, a servant girl brought
word that the Indians had been seen nearby with their
faces painted. This was a sign of war. The Seminole
Indians were on the warpath. The Sheldons placed
all their belongings on a raft and went across the river
to Captain Dummit's home.
Mr. Sheldon was afraid the Indians would attack
them there. So he sent Jane and her mother to a ship
anchored at the river several miles away. All the
household goods were left on a raft in charge of some
negroes. When John Sheldon returned he found that
the negroes had been driven away and the Indians
had destroyed everything on the raft. They also
burned the house on the shell mound. On that Christ-
mas day the Sheldons had lost everything except the
clothes they wore. But, as they sailed up the Halifax
River, they saw that all the plantations along the
banks had been destroyed. Then they were thankful
to be alive.
Most of the settlers of the Halifax country were gath-
ered at Bulow Landing. They were planning to go on
to St. Augustine if necessary. For three weeks they
camped at this place. Then they had a fight with the
Indians. After that they went to St. Augustine to
get help for the wounded and to be under the protection
of the United States troops.
During the next two years of the Seminole War
Mrs. Sheldon stayed at St. Augustine. Her husband
was acting as guide to the soldiers who were fighting
the Indians. One day she decided to go to Mandarin
again. She had been there only a short time when
the Indians came and killed a number of settlers.
Once more she had to seek a place of safety. She and
the other settlers who had escaped stayed there until
soldiers came from St. Augustine to rescue them.
In 1843 the Sheldons and their three children went
back to New Smyrna. They felt that they could
live there in safety the rest of their lives. They settled
six miles below the first home and began planting an
orange grove. The Indians were peaceful for a while,
but when they thought that some of the white traders
had not been honest with them they gave trouble again.
Mr. Sheldon sent his wife and children to Jackson-
ville. They lived there in safety for some time. One
day Mrs. Sheldon learned that soldiers had been sent
to New Smyrna. She longed to see her home. So
without sending word to her husband, she took passage
on a boat that was going south past New Smyrna.
She and her children were landed late in the afternoon
near the shell mound on which her first home had
stood. After the boat had gone on down the river she
learned that the soldiers had not stayed in New Smyrna.
They had been sent on to another place. She was
badly frightened. She knew that as soon as it grew
dark she and her children might be attacked by Indians
or runaway slaves. She stayed awake all night watch-
ing and waiting.
But the Indians had not seen them. Just as soon
as there was light enough she and her eleven-year-old
girl and a small slave girl raised an old row boat. They
stopped up the holes with rags and, using bed slats
for oars, sought safety in the marshes. When she got
into the river she found that the tide was running
swiftly and that she could get to the Dummit home
across the river. She went to this place and was there
when Mr. Sheldon came looking for them.
Peace came to Florida. The settlers again started
to work on their groves and plantations. Everything
went well with the Sheldons until the War Between the
States. Then the New Smyrna harbor was blocked
by the Federal gunboats. Soldiers from these boats
sometimes made raids upon the houses near the river
front. Once a gunboat came into the river and began
firing at the houses. Again Jane Murray Sheldon was
driven from her home. This time she took refuge in
the woods back of her home on the old shell mound.
From her hiding place she saw her home and all her
possessions destroyed again.
As soon as it was safe Mrs. Sheldon and her family
set about rebuilding their home. In this home she
lived the rest of her life.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Do you know where New Smyrna, Port Orange, Or-
mond and Mandarin are? Locate them on the map.
2. Do you know how long it has been since the first
white people came to the place where you live?
3. Have you ever heard your mother or father talk
about the first settlers?
4. What are the oldest houses in your neighborhood?
5. Were your grandparents pioneers?
6. What did the Florida pioneers do for those of us who
now live in Florida?
7. How many times did the Sheldons have to rebuild
8. Let a child impersonate a pioneer woman and tell
the class how she was frightened by the Indians.
9. Have a class discussion of what the war meant to
peaceful settlers of Florida.
10. Imagine you were a little boy or girl living in Florida
in pioneer days. Tell the class what you did.
THE SHELL MOUNDS OF FLORIDA AND THE MYSTERY
OF ONE OF THEM
You remember that the Sheldons built their home
on a shell mound. There are still a great many shell
mounds in Florida. Many of them, however, have
been destroyed. The shell in them was good for road
building. Many of the main roads in Florida fifteen
or twenty years ago were made of shell. But with the
coming of the automobile, the shell was found to be
too soft. So we no longer tear down our shell mounds
to build roads.
These mounds have been here as long as the white
man remembers. They must have been here long
before Ponce de Leon discovered Florida. On one of
the first maps ever made of Florida, the great Turtle
Mound near Coronado was shown. It was called
Turtle Mound because it looked like a huge turtle
from the sea. It is sixty feet high, one thousand feet
long and three hundred feet wide. It was a great
landmark. When the early sailors saw it they knew
where they were. It was a sort of lighthouse.
Many curious things have been found in these
mounds. Bits of pottery, arrow heads and other
things made by Indians have been found. People
often wonder why the Indians built these great mounds.
It has been explained in this way. The Indians were
very fond of oysters. Indeed they must have lived on
oysters in some places along the coast. In the shallow
rivers, bays, and lagoons of the coast a great many
oysters have always grown. The Indians would find
some place where there were a great many oysters
and make a long camp.
From this place they would go out in their canoes
and bring the oysters to shore. Then they would
build fires, roast and eat them. They would throw
aside the opened shells. Year after year they would
keep this up, until at last there would be a great mound
of shells. Certainly it must have taken a very long
time for the shells from the Indian oyster roasts
to become such huge mounds as we now find in
There is a great mystery about one of these mounds.
It was in what is now the very center of the city of
New Smyrna. Some years ago a man was digging
in the shells when he struck coquina rock. When they
cleared away the shells there was the foundation of a
very large building.
Now who could have begun this building? There
are many guesses. Some people have thought that
this was the foundation of a fort which Menendez
started and that this was the first site of St. Augustine.
Other people have said that this could not be so because
the Spanish forts were not shaped like this one and
were not made of wood.
Some people think that the English started to
build a fort here to protect Dr. Andrew Turnbull's
colony. But others say this could not be true because
a map that was published fifty years before Dr. Turn-
bulls colony was founded shows that there was a fort
there then. So no one knows who began the building
nor why it was not finished.
This we do know. The ruins are there on a hill
where they are visited by hundreds of people every
year. Everyone who sees them wonders when the
mystery will be explained and when we will know the
secret which they have kept all these years.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. What use has been made of the shell mounds? Why
Sdid we stop using them this way?
2. How old do you suppose these mounds are?
3. How do you think the Indians came to build these
4. How were the foundations of the fort at New Smyrna
5. What are some of the guesses as to why this building
6. What are two things that maps have told us in this
7. List all the reasons you can that might explain why
these mounds were built and by whom.
THE FIRST MAN TO MAKE ICE
What would we do without ice? You are so used
to going to the refrigerator for ice that you will be
surprised to know that seventy years ago there were
few homes in Florida that ever had ice.
The ice that was used in those early days was cut
during the winter from the frozen lakes and rivers in
the north. As soon as it was cut it was packed in
sawdust and stored in buildings called ice-houses.
When the hot summer days came this ice was unpacked
Sometimes a boat loaded with ice sailed to Florida
in the summer. The ice was sold to people living in
the large coast towns. But it could not be taken to
the people living in towns and on farms away from the
coast because it melted too quickly. This ice was
very expensive and only the rich people could afford
to buy it.
In hot weather sick people were very uncom-
fortable. There were no electric fans to make cool
breezes for them. When their heads were hot and
aching from fever there were no cooling drinks for
them to sip. The doctors knew that they would get
well more quickly if they had ice. But there was no
ice in Florida in the winter to be stored for summer
use. Everyone had to depend upon the ice brought
down from the north.
A doctor in Apalachicola named John Gorrie tried
every way he could to make his patients comfortable.
He helped people to plan their houses so that they could
get all the breezes possible. He knew that ice was
needed, too. He thought about it a great deal. Finally,
after many years of study and work, he discovered
how to make ice by machinery even on the hottest
When he made this discovery Dr. Gorrie gave up
his medical work. It took so much of his time to make
his ice machine perfect that he could not do anything
else. Soon all of his money was gone. He tried to
get his friends to help him build a large ice plant,
but they would not help him.
New Orleans was a large city then and many
rich people lived there. Dr. Gorrie knew that the
people in this city needed ice, too. So he went there
to try to raise money. In New Orleans he met a man
from Boston who promised to help him. But this man
died and Dr. Gorrie could find no one else to help him.
He had to give up his plan to make ice by machinery.
He had to go back to Apalachicola. He was so badly
disappointed at his failure that he lost all interest in
his friends. He stayed at home all of the time and
would not go anywhere. Within a short time he be-
came a very sick man, and in the year 1855 he died.
Not many people ever praised the noble doctor for
what he tried to do. A short time before he died a
newspaper in New York said: "There is a Dr. Gorrie,
a crank down in Apalachicola, Florida, who says
that he can make ice!" When he died he felt that his
life had been a complete failure. He did not live to
see his invention bring comfort and pleasure to people
all over the world.
Many years after his death Florida honored Dr.
Gorrie as it has honored but one other man. It placed
his statue in the Hall of Fame in the capital at Wash-
ington. By this act Florida let it be known to the
world that Dr. John Gorrie was one of her greatest
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Name as many things as you can that we would
not have if we did not know how to make ice by machinery.
2. Have you ever been in an ice plant or a cold storage
plant? How does it work? Have you ever seen dry ice?
3. Have you ever seen a refrigerator car on the railroad
track? What is brought into Florida and taken out of
Florida in these cars?
4. What is a great citizen?
5. Visit an ice-plant and see how ice is made.
6. Make a list of all the uses of ice that you can and
show how ice has aided human progress along many lines.
FLORIDA'S PART IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
When you are older you will study the history
of the United States. You will then find that one of
the saddest chapters in that history is the one which
tells about the War Between the States. One of the
things this war taught us is that one of the states of
the United States cannot leave the union even if its
people all want to leave. Before this war many people,
especially in the South, thought that they had this
When Abraham Lincoln was elected President of
the United States, in the year 1860, the people of the
Southern states felt that they could no longer stay in
the union. On January 9th, 1861, the legislature of
Florida voted to leave the United States and declared
our state an independent nation. Florida and the
other Southern states then formed a new union. They
called it the Confederate States of America. Jefferson
Davis was elected president of the new union.
One of the first things that Florida did after de-
claring that it was no longer a part of the United
States was to take over all the forts in the state. They
seized Fort Barrancas and the Navy Yard at Pen-
sacola, and also Fort Marion at St. Augustine and
other forts. Fort Pickens, which is on the western
end of Santa Rosa Island and guards the entrance to
Pensacola, was not captured by the Florida soldiers.
Nor did these soldiers take Fort Taylor at Key West
nor Fort Jefferson on Tortugas Island. These forts
were so well protected by the water which is around
them that they could not be captured.
The Confederates wanted to hold Pensacola harbor.
It would be very useful for shipping cotton to Europe
and for bringing in supplies of all kinds from other
countries. But as long as the Union soldiers held
Fort Pickens, Confederate ships had trouble getting
in and out of the harbor.
A large number of confederate soldiers were sent
to Pensacola and placed at Fort Barrancas and the
Navy Yard. One night in October, 1861, these soldiers
crossed the bay and landed on Santa Rosa Island east
of Fort Pickens. They crept along the island toward
Fort Pickens but were discovered before they could
capture it. In the fight that followed a number of
brave soldiers on both sides were killed. Among them
was a Captain Bradford. Bradford County in the
central part of Florida is named for him.
Most of the fighting during the War Between the
States took place in Virginia, Tennessee, and the states
north of Florida. So early in the war most of the
soldiers in Florida were sent to those states. Pensa-
cola, Fernandina, and other coast towns had to be
given up to the Union soldiers.
A great many men from Florida went into the Con-
federate armies. These brave Floridians fought in
most of the important battles of this terrible war.
Many of them died on the battle fields and in war
hospitals far away from their sunny homes.
War always brings death and suffering. Wherever
men are sick and wounded there are always brave
women to nurse them. Two women, Mrs. Martha
Read and Mrs. Elizabeth Harris, went from Florida to
Virginia to run hospitals. Sick and wounded Florida
soldiers were brought to the hospitals and many were
nursed back to health who would otherwise have died.
When the Confederate soldiers left the coast towns
they did not give up the whole state. Farmers who
lived back from the coast raised much food and sent
it to the armies. Near some of the smaller coast
towns salt was taken from the ocean water. This was
the only way the people could get salt during the war.
Union soldiers were sent to Florida to keep the
farmers from sending supplies to the Confederate
soldiers. In the third year of the war an army was
landed at Jacksonville and it marched toward Tal-
lahassee. A Confederate army met them at Olustee
and a battle was fought there. The Confederates
won this battle and the Union army went back to
Jacksonville. So the farmers in this part of the state
kept on sending supplies to the Confederate armies.
A large number of men were killed in this battle
and a great many more were wounded. The good
women living in towns near Olustee set up hospitals
and nursed and cared for the wounded soldiers. These
war hospitals were not the great, beautiful buildings
that we see in the cities today. The wounded soldiers
were placed in homes, churches, tents, any place that
would keep out the rain and give shelter from the sun.
There were few beds that could be used, so the wounded
men were laid on cots, rough boards covered with
blankets, or pine straw. Often the best that could
be done was to place them on piles of straw gathered
together on the ground.
Wounded men of both armies were cared for by
these good women. Confederate and Union soldiers
were given the same kind of treatment. These women
wanted only to relieve the suffering of those who were
in pain. It made little difference to them on which
side the soldiers had fought.
Captain J. J. Dickinson was the leader of a small
band of Florida soldiers who did their best to protect
the central and eastern parts of the state from raids
by the Union soldiers. His company of men was so
small that he had to surprise the enemy and then
retreat quickly so he would not be caught. At one
time he captured a Union gunboat in the St. Johns
River. He and his men fought battles with the enemy
at Palatka, Gainesville, and other places. Usually
his small band of soldiers was victorious over the much
larger bodies of soldiers with whom they fought.
In September, 1864, the Union commander of the
fort at Pensacola set out with a large number of
soldiers to march through west Florida. There were
only two or three small companies of Confederate
soldiers then in all that part of the state. These
soldiers decided to make a stand at Marianna and to
try to keep the Union army from going beyond that
city. They were joined by a group of old men and
boys calling themselves "The Cradle and the Grave
Company." They threw up breastworks in the
streets of the little city, but some of the soldiers de-
cided to cross the Chipola River and fight there. "The
Cradle and Grave Company" decided to fight behind
When the large body of well armed Union soldiers
came, it did not take them long to capture the little
city and its brave defenders. But many of the old men
and young boys gave their lives in the defense of their
After the battle of Marianna the Union soldiers
went back to Pensacola and the people of west and
north Florida kept on sending food and other supplies
to the hungry Confederate soldiers in Virginia, Caro-
linas, and Georgia. The Union soldiers decided to try
one more time to stop these supplies from going to the
Confederate armies. Early in March, 1865, an army
was landed at St. Marks and it began its march towards
All Confederate soldiers in and around Tallahassee
were called together. General William Miller was
placed in command of the little army. All of the
students in the West Florida Seminary went with
General Miller to fight the men who were coming to
destroy their homes. One man said that he saw three
small boys, each with a gun, riding on one horse and
going into the fight.
The Confederate and Union soldiers met at a place
called Natural Bridge. There a battle was fought and
the Union soldiers were stopped. They went back to
their ships at St. Marks. The victorious Southern
army marched back rejoicing to Tallahassee.
In the month of April, 1865, General Lee sur-
rendered. The war was over. The men in both armies
went home. But it was many years before Florida
and the other states got over the effects of this terrible
war. War always brings sorrow, suffering, and death.
Homes are destroyed, cities are burned, thousands
of men are killed or crippled for life. Women and
children who have to stay at home suffer many hard-
ships. We hope that some day men will be able to
settle their quarrels without going to war and killing
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Do you live in, or have you ever been to any of the
places mentioned in this story?
2. Do you know any men who fought in the War Be-
tween the States?
3. Where is Fort Pickens? Tell of the attempt to
4. What did the women do during the war?
5. How did Florida farmers help the Southern armies?
6. Have you ever seen salt made? Could we get along
without salt? Do you suppose our grandparents needed
salt more than we do?
7. Why were the Southern soldiers at Marianna called
"The Cradle and the Grave Company"?
8. Pretend you were a soldier wounded in the Battle of
Olustee. Tell the class what kind.of treatment you received
in the hospitals there.
9. Give your reasons as to why the Confederate govern-
ment wanted to hold Pensacola harbor. Locate it on the
10. Make a list of the ways in which Florida helped in
11. Do you think that fighting is the best way to settle
GENERAL EDMOND KIRBY-SMITH
When the United States bought Florida from Spain
they had to sent officers to govern it. Among these
officers was a judge from Connecticut. This judge
was named Joseph Lee Smith. He and his family
moved to St. Augustine to live. In the year 1824
a son was born to Judge and Mrs. Smith. This son
was called Edmond Kirby-Smith.
Edmond spent but little of his boyhood in Florida.
Most of the time he stayed with relatives in the North.
His older brother was an officer in the United States
army and his sister married a captain in the army.
So Edmond decided that he wanted to be an officer
in the army, too. He studied hard so that he could
pass the examinations to enter the United States
Military Academy at West Point. This is the school
that trains our army officers.
He entered West Point in the year 1841. The
students called him "Seminole" because he was from
Florida. They called him this because at this time
the Seminole Indians were still fighting against the
army of the United States. Edmond made a good
record at West Point and graduated in the year 1845.
'Edmond became an officer in the United States
army. Soon afterwards he was sent to Mexico, for
our county was at war with Mexico. He fought in
many battles of this war and was promoted for bravery.
After the war with Mexico was over Edmond was
sent back to West Point and taught the young men to
become army officers. But he did not stay long for
he was soon sent to fight the Indians in the West.
He stayed out west until the War Between the States.
Edmond always claimed Florida as his native
state. When he learned that Florida had voted to
leave the Union, he resigned from the United States
As soon as he could do so he joined the Southern
army. He was made a general and was given charge
of a large number of soldiers. He was badly wounded
in one of the first battles of the war. When he had
recovered, he led his army into Kentucky where he
won several battles. Later he was put in command
of all the Confederate soldiers in Texas and the other
states west of the Mississippi River. He was the last
Southern general to surrender his army.
General Kirby-Smith was a man who could always
be trusted to do his duty. He was a kind and gentle
man also. Like Generals Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall"
Jackson he was active in the work of his church.
One of the causes of the War Between the States
was that the people of the South owned slaves and the
people of the North thought this was wrong. When
General Kirby-Smith's father came to Florida, he
became a slave owner. At one time it seemed that
some of the slaves would have to be sold and one of the
negro families broken up. Edmond was with the army
in the West at this time and had no use for a slave,
but he would not allow this negro family to be sepa-
rated. So he sent money to his mother, who still lived
in St. Augustine, and asked her to use it to keep the
negro family together. This is just one of the many
kind acts that made people love him.
When General Kirby-Smith surrendered to the
Union army in 1865, he had in his charge a large sum
of gold, money which had belonged to the Confederate
government. He had lost everything he owned, and
it would have been an easy thing for him to have kept
the money. But he knew that this would be wrong.
So he gave it to the proper Union officer and went
Many of the officers and soldiers of the Confederate
army went to Mexico and Cuba after the war was over.
General Kirby-Smith was one of them. But he was
not happy in those foreign lands. He longed to return
to his native land. He came back as soon as he could.
\sy After he returned he started a school for boys at
New Castle, Tennessee. This was a fine school, but
had to close when some of its buildings were burned.
-Then he became the head of the University of Nash-
ville and later a professor in the University of the South
at Sewanee, Tennessee.
Here General Kirby-Smith spent the last eighteen
years of his life. It was at Sewanee that he died in the
year 1893. The last words that he spoke were these
from the Twenty-Third Psalm: "Yea, though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no
Florida claims Edmond Kirby-Smith as one of her
greatest men. There is a large junior high school in
the city of Jacksonville named after him. When
Florida was asked to place the statue of two of her
greatest men in the Hall of Fame in the capital at
Washington, she chose General Kirby-Smith as one
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Where was Kirby-Smith educated?
2. Where does the United States train its army officers?
3. What did Kirby-Smith do that showed he was a good
4. What countries did Kirby-Smith visit after the war?
5. How did Kirby-Smith spend the last years of his life?
6. What two Florida men have you studied about whose
statues are in the Hall of Fame? Why were they placed
7. What makes a man great?
8. Relate an incident which proved Kirby-Smith's
honesty. What would you have done under the same cir-
9. Do you think Florida should have placed the statue
of Kirby-Smith in the Hall of Fame at Washington? Why?
THE KEY TO THE GULF
If a ship wishes to go from the east coast of Florida
to the west coast, it must go through the Straits of
Florida. Here the ship channel runs very near that
long line of low, wooded, coral islands known as the
Many a fine ship has gone to pieces on those little
coral islands. Sad stories are told of unfortunate men
and women who were shipwrecked on these shores.
There are also strange stories of pirates who hid among
the islands in the olden days.
Some think that the city of Key West was so
named because it grew up on one of the most western
of the coral islands. It may be that it was called
Key West because of the way the English speaking
people pronounced its Spanish name. The Spaniards
called it Cayo Hueso (pronounced Ki-yo Way-so).
This means bone island. The island was given that
name because of the large number of human bones
found on it. No one knows just how these bones
came there. A legend says that about the year 1700,
the Indians who lived on the keys and those on the
mainland were at war with each other. The main-
land Indians drove the island Indians from one island
to another until they came to Key West. There a
great battle was fought. Many Indians were killed
and their bones were left unburied where they fell.
As soon as the United States bought Florida they
saw that Key West was the key to the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1822, Lieutenant M. C. Perry, who was in command
of the United States schooner Shark, landed and took
possession of the island in the name of the United
States. From that time there have always been
soldiers and sailors stationed at the fort and navy yard
at Key West.
Before the days of lighthouses and before we had
our weather bureau, sailors dreaded the Florida
Straits. Sailing vessels were always in danger of being
wrecked on the coral islands and reefs. Many a good
ship was lost even when the weather was good. When
storms arose the ships sailing along the keys were in
the greatest danger.
There is a law that when a vessel is wrecked the
person who first comes to it and saves the cargo gets
a part of the value of the goods saved. Because of
this law there were in the early days many vessels
known as salvage ships. They were always on the
lookout for wrecks from which they could save the
cargoes. It was dangerous work. Men on these
salvage ships often risked their lives to save the things
on a wrecked vessel.
We are told that in the year 1835 there were twenty
or more salvage ships working out of Key West. Each
captain tried to get his vessel to the wreck first. The
first one there was called the wrecking master. He
received more of the salvage money than those who
came later to help him. When a cargo was taken from
a wreck it was taken to Key West and turned over to
the United States court there. The judge of this court
decided how much the wreckers were to get for their
During those days nearly everybody in Key West
was interested in the wrecking business. When a
ship was seen to be on one of the reefs or cast up on
shore, the cry "Wreck Ashore" spread the news to
everybody on the island. Then there was a great
race to get to the wreck first.
This amusing story is told of a man who owned a
wrecking vessel. One day he was making a speech
to a crowd of people in a hall. He saw through the
door that a vessel had run ashore on a reef in the
harbor. He knew that his audience could not see the
vessel. He also knew that if he gave the cry "Wreck
Ashore" everyone of them would rush out from the
hall and he would be the last to get out. He continued
his talk and went down the aisle talking to the people.
When he reached the door he shouted Wreck Ashore,"
and ran as fast as he could to his own boat. He got a
crew together quickly and was the first to reach the
wreck. He became the wrecking master and got a
larger share of the salvage money than any other
The wrecking business is of little importance now
for the lighthouses warn sailors of all dangerous places
so there are few wrecks. Also our government weather
bureau can tell when and where bad weather is going
to be. Ships are warned of danger both in port and
at sea by means of the telegraph and wireless. Then,
too, the steamship of today has powerful engines.
It can battle against winds and waves where an old
sailing vessel would have been helpless.
Fort Taylor is at Key West. It was one of the
forts in Florida which was never taken by the Con-
federate soldiers. Most of the people were Southerners,
but they were not strong enough to take the fort from
the Union soldiers who held it when the war started.
Soon after the war began more soldiers and ships were
sent to Key West. During the war ships and sailors
were sent out from Key West to the other parts of the
gulf and the south Atlantic coast.
Key West was also an important place during the
Spanish-American War. One of the causes of that
war was the sinking of the battleship Maine in the
harbor of Havana, Cuba. That battleship sailed on
her last voyage from Key West. During this war
battleships came to Key West for coal and other
supplies. At one time most all the ships of our navy
and many other vessels were in the Key West harbor
at the same time.
Spain held Cuba much longer than she held Florida.
The people of Cuba were sadly mistreated by the
Spaniards who were sent to rule over them. For
many years they tried to drive out their Spanish
rulers. At first they were not successful. Many of
the finest people in Cuba had to flee to other countries.
Since Key West was so near many of them came there.
They were given a glad welcome. The people of Key
West hoped that the Cubans would be able to drive
out their hated Spanish rulers.
These Cubans in Key West were called refugees.
They never forgot that the people of Cuba were fight-
ing for their freedom from Spain. Many of their
attempts to break away from Spain started in Key
West. The people of Key West gave a great deal of
money to help them.
Key West has always been a hard place for travelers
to reach. In the early days anyone wishing to leave
the island had to pack his belongings. Then he often
had to wait many days for a vessel to come into the
harbor, which would take him where he wished to go.
It was very hard to get letters mailed. At one time a
vessel made trips between Key West and Charleston,
South Carolina, for the purpose of carrying mail,
passengers and freight. It took more than a month to
make the trip. In fact, it took almost two months to
make some of these trips when the weather was bad.
Later on a ship was sent to St. Marks, on the Gulf of
Mexico. From there the mail was sent north to
Tallahassee. As time went on other ships began to
make regular trips from Key West to other places on
the coast. Then people knew more about what was
going on in the world for these ships brought them
letters, magazines and newspapers.
When railroads were built to Miami and Tampa,
steamships made regular trips from these places to
Key West. This made it much easier to travel to
At last Mr. Henry M. Flagler, the builder of the
Florida East Coast Railroad, extended that road to
Key West. The railroad runs for miles across the
ocean over concrete bridges. It is one of the great-
est pieces of railroad and bridge building in the
Just recently Monroe County built a fine auto-
mobile highway over the Keys and has bridged the
waters between them. Now one can drive an auto-
mobile right into Key West. It is still necessary to
travel about thirty miles on a ferry boat, but it
will not be many years before this gap has been
It is no longer hard to get to Key West. Anyone
can go there by automobile, railroad or airplane with
speed and comfort. It is the point from which steamers
make regular trips to Cuba. It forms an important
link in the chain connecting us with our Cuban neigh-
bors just to the south.
SUGGESTED LEARNING EXERCISES
1. Tell the Indian legend explaining why so many bones
were found at Key West.
2. Why is Key West so important to the United States?
3. Tell about the salvage ships.
4. Why is the wrecking business not profitable now?
5. Have you ever been in a lighthouse? How do people
know when a storm is coming?
6. What part did Key West play in the War Between the
7. Find Key West on the map. Why did so many Cu-
bans come to live there?
8. What part did Key West play in the Spanish-Ameri-
9. How can people get to and from Key West now?
10. Who built the railroad into Key West? Have you
ever ridden on that road?
11. Construct a relief map of Florida showing the ports
and coral islands known as Florida Keys.
12. If you were an early settler living at Key West how
would you send your mail to other parts of the country?
13. Plan a play in which several wrecking parties answer
the call, "Wreck Ashore."
THE GREAT FREEZE
Florida is the land of flowers and sunshine. Even
at Christmas time we have roses and strawberries.
We have heard of white Christmas, but we have never
seen one in Florida. With us Christmas is always
green. We have seen Christmas cards with Santa
Claus all bundled up in a heavy coat and riding over
snow in his sleigh. But in Florida instead of snow, the
poinsettias are in bloom. Here Santa would need a
Boys and girls who live in the northern part of the
state near Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola, see
ice every winter, to be sure. But very seldom does it
snow anywhere in Florida. Boys and girls who live in
Fort Myers and Miami may never see any ice formed
even by the coldest winter nights.
Because the climate is so mild, people soon learned
that oranges could be grown here. So growing oranges
became one of the most important ways of making a
living. Thirty or forty years ago very few people had
settled in south Florida, so most of the orange groves
were in the northern part of the state. Many people
moved to Florida just to grow oranges.
Then to this land of sunshine there came a freeze.
Such a freeze as you have never seen. It came just
after Christmas in the year 1894. At Jacksonville
the temperature fell to eighteen degrees below freezing.
That is cold weather even in the north. Orange trees
cannot stand such cold. All of the fruit on the trees
was ruined. The young trees were killed, and the
smaller limbs on the large and old trees were killed.
People simply did not know what to do. After
the terrible cold the days grew mild and balmy as
they usually are. The trees, that had not been killed,
began to put out new leaves. But, alas! another freeze
came. The temperature fell as low as it had weeks
before. All of the trees were trying to recover from
the first freeze. Now everything was ruined. Every
tree that was less than ten years old was frozen to
the ground. The second freeze in February of 1895
almost completely destroyed Florida's orange groves.
The orange growers lost millions of dollars. Thou-
sands of people lost everything they had. Many
families gave up and left the state.
But there were many in Florida brave enough to
plant new trees. In a few years these were bearing
crops. Also many of the old trees that had lived
through the freeze were bearing fruit again. Then
just when the groves were recovering there came
another freeze. This was five years after the first one.
A great, cold storm swept over the South and over