e THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
C i HC tl ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Edited by Lewis Leary
Advisory Editorial Board
Hervey Allen Ruby Leach Carson John C. Gifford
Pauline Corley Marjory Stoneman Douglas Robert E. McNicoll
Pre-Flagler Influences on the Lower Florida East Coast
George E. Merrick 1
The Caloosa Village Tequesta: A Miami of the Sixteenth Century
Robert E. McNicoll 11
Bradish W. Johnson, Master Wrecker, 1846-1914, Vincent Gilpin 21
General Problems of Florida Archaeology, Doris Stone 33
Pre-Columbian Man in Southern Florida, Karl Squires 39
The Episcopal Church in South Florida, 1764-1892
Edgar Legare Pennington 47
To Miami, 1890 Style, Mrs. John R. Gilpin 89
The History of Air Transportation in Florida, Thomas P. Caldwell 103
An Annotated Checklist of Florida Maps, John Matthews Baxter 107
Notes and Queries 116
req%4eStA is published annually In March by The Historical Association of Southern
I Florida as a Bulletin of The University of Miami. Subscription, $1.00.
Communications should be addressed to the editor at the University of Miami. Neither
the Association nor the University assumes responsibility for statement of fact or of
opinion made by contributors.
VOLUME ONE MARCH, 1941 NUMBER ONE
on the Lower Florida East Coast
by GEORGE E. MERRICK
Mr. Merrick, President of the Historical Association of Southern Florida,
founder of the City of Coral Gables, and one of the founders of the
University of Miami, is a man who has devoted most of his life to the
development of Southern Florida. The following paper, read at the
autumn meeting of the Association, contains the authentic observations
of a man who has lived history, and who knows and loves the subject
on which he writes.
ROMANTIC as the early history of the Spanish occupation of Southern
Florida is, the important history of the region began with the
actual use of the country. The Spanish did not really use their
Florida lands; the actual use of this section and its really valuable history,
from our modern standpoint, began with the home finders, the home
builders- those who came to use the country for homes. Thus I begin
with the West Indian influences, with the Conch colonization on the lower
East coast of Florida.
These Conchs began to come into the lower Peninsula in the early
1800's, and continued this occupation throughout the century, until their
influence reached its peak from 1870 to 1890. The colonization reached
from Key West to Lake Worth, the farthest point north of their occupa-
tion. These Conchs, as they were and as their descendants still are called,
were descendants from American-British Torys who left the coastal parts
of the thirteen colonies toward the end of the 1700's and who went to
the Bahamas; were given grants there by King George III; and became
a sea living, sea-using, sea knowing people.
At that time our region, the Florida keys, and the whole lower East
Coast of Florida was in all essence a part of the Bahamas-almost wholly
West Indian. As these descendants of the English Torys spread through-
out the Bahaman Archipelago, covering over six hundred miles, and
coming to within fifty miles of our Florida keys, they spread naturally
to the Florida keys and on, "up along" (as their saying goes) the shores
of Biscayne Bay, and "up along" to Lake Worth.
If you go today to Andros Island, one of our nearest Bahaman
Islands, its eastern shore will present a true picture of about what the
lower East Coast of Florida was throughout the 1800's and indeed right
down into the 1S90's. On the shore of Andros Island today there are
little villages along the beach. There is no back country, and no roads-
only paths through the bush and the pines. All their living, their work,
and their using is along the beach, and the sea. And that was true also
of our entire lower East Coast throughout the 1800's right down into
the nineties: beach living, and no back country. Nearly all of the hundreds
of islands of the Bahamas are that way today; the inhabitants still live
right along the beach, and are still chiefly sea-using.
These West Indian Conchs, descendants of the American-English
Torys, brought to the lower East Coast country the West Indian customs
and the West Indian fruits which were to have a lasting influence upon
our mainland, planting around their houses many, many fruits that now
are not so common with us, but which then were common with them,
and from which much of their sustenance came. They brought their
peculiarly West Indian vegetables: yams, casava, eddys, pounders, and
benni. They brought their architecture, which was West Indian in all
essence and adaptation: a mixture of West Indian ideas, and of Spanish
and English. The architecture today at Governor's Harbor on Eleuthera
Island, at Spanish Wells, and other old out-island settlements today,
and of the older Key settlements, and of the oldest settlements on
Biscayne Bay, was built by sea people. It reminds one of Nantucket and
of Gloucester. Sea-faring English architecture! But there were in them
smackings of Spanish also, manifested in the prevalent use of pinks and
blues, and in the still common use of jalousies and of interior courts.
There is, too, a mixture of the Spanish and old English in their speech
today, down the keys and among the Conch descendants, such as the
English use of the h's and the English use of the v's-the transposition of
the v's to w's. For instance vine becomes wine. And Duval street is
Duwall The Castilian use of z, as when we say Brazilian, is with them
Brasilian. The Anglo-Saxon roses becomes rosess, and the Anglo-Saxon
Tuesday becomes Toosday. And so on.
The West Indian-like villages of the earlier Key settlements, looking
then just as the Bahaman towns of today; such as those of Governor's
GEORGE E. MERRICK
Harbor and Spanish Wells and all of the present day out-island towns
of the Bahamas, sprang up along the Hawks Channel, along the Keys, in
the middle of the 1800's and after. These villages reached up as far as
Tavernier and Planter on Key Largo, "The Hole" on upper Matecumbe.
Indian Key was a Port of Entry at this time. Then there was Cocoanut
Grove, (with the "a" in it then) and old Cutler, Lemon City, on Biscayne
Bay. Along the ocean shore, "up along" north of Biscayne Bay, there
were the Houses of Refuge which, before the days of the lighthouses, were
built along the lower East Coast and right up around Canaveral to St.
Augustine. From about 1860 continuing through the 90's, the Government
had these Houses of Refuge, each twenty to thirty miles apart, along this
whole East Coast shore which then-on the land-was as unfrequented
as was the West Coast of Africa, or as the East shore of Andros Island
is today. Most of these Houses of Refuge were manned by Conchs. These
later were, and are, lighthouses!
At that time Key West was the capital of the island towns, and of the
Biscayne shore settlements, just as Nassau is the capital of the Bahaman
out-islands today. Hawk's Channel, the inside protected channel, behind
the two hundred mile Outer Reef, was the great highway down which
came the sailing packets, such as "The Island Home"; connecting the
Biscayne Bay settlements, all of the intervening keys, and all of their
West Indian-like villages with Key West, their West Indian-like capital.
All commercial interests, special life, the connections with the outside
world and nation, centered at Key West!
Wrecking, before the day of the establishment of the lower East
Coast lighthouses in the 60's and 70's, was an accepted industry. Salvage
from the wrecks of ships along the reef from Lake Worth to Key West
supplemented much of the needs of the people. Much of the material
from which their West Indian type houses were built, and even of the
Houses of Refuge, came from such salvage. Flour, sewing machines,
organs, all kinds of furniture, baby cribs, wine; all came from the sea!
The Cape Florida lighthouse, built of ancient English brick which still
stands on Biscayne Key, was long called the Spanish Light-indeed the
only lighthouse going back nearly to the days of the Spanish occupation.
This light was not transferred to the present Fowey Rock lighthouse
until 1878. And so it was of comparatively recent time that the wrecking
industry began to fade out. Now sponging had become a great industry.
Key West then became a world sponge market.
Expansive planting of coconuts and of all of these many West Indian
fruits around the homes was customary. There are coconut groves on the
lower keys that are over a hundred years old. The first commercial plant-
ings of that Conch civilization, in a large way, was when the virgin
mahogany and dogwood forests of Key Largo and Elliott's Key gave
place to great fields of pineapples-delicious, huge juicy fruits of finest
flavor-Porto Rico, Abbakka, Queens, Sugar Loaf, and other varieties
almost extinct now! Carried on the heads of Bahaman negroes from the
nearby fields to the beach, these were loaded on sloops and were sailed
directly to Baltimore, New York, and Boston. Conch captains, with names
such as Enos, Bethel, and Saunders, vied in epic clipper-ship runs, made
necessary to get their gragrant cargoes to northern ports before the fruit
became too ripe.
No roads-sea-using; no back country-just as today in most of the
Bahaman Islands. Only jungle trails and beach-front paths. Along Bis-
cayne Bay, the old Indian Trail along the very Bay past Lemon City and
Coconut Grove, past to old Cutler which latter area was first called
"Indian Hunting Grounds." Thus this West Indian life extended from
Key West "up along" to Lake Worth.
About that time there was a distinct English influence on the lower
East Coast, many Englishmen coming directly to Florida. Some came
first to the West Indies-just as they were also at that time coming in
increasing volume to English colonies in the Caribbean, such as Barbados
and Jamaica-and many of these from there drifted to the Florida main-
land. Among those coming directly from England were the Peacocks, who
came in 1870-two brothers, Charles and Jack, one of whom, Jack (with
his sons) began the commercial planting of fruits and vegetables in the
Bay Country. They shipped vegetables by sailing packet to Key West and
from there to the northern markets by Mallory steamers. This shipping
was first done in barrels. The other Peacock brother, Charles Peacock,
started one of the earliest stores, and the Peacock Inn, the first tourist
hostlery on the mainland, south of the older Indian River civilization.
Other early English settlers were: Benest, who settled where now is
Miramar, in Miami; Lord Haigh of Cat Key; the John Ellises; Pickford,
who started the first Biscayne country sawmill; the Reverend James
Bolton, who was one of the first preachers on the Bay. An important
phase of this English influence was the guiding of the social life of the
time by the establishment of the first church on the Bay; the formation
of the Coconut Grove Housekeepers Club; and the other first activities
of the women in social ways. It was due quite largely to this English
influence of the Peacock family and of other English folk that a higher
type of social life than would obtain usually in such an isolated pioneer
GEORGE E. MERRICK
community was to be found along the Lower East Coast of Florida,
especially on the Bay, at this time. FIagler later called Grandmother
Peacock, "the Mother of Cocoanut Grove." Likewise this English influence
stimulated the first commercial planting of groves and of vegetable experi-
mentation for Northern markets.
Now I come to an influence that had a marked effect on the Lower
East Coast-that of the Bahaman negro. Through the 70's, 80's, and right
through the 1890's, they were practically the only available workers-the
Georgia negroes did not come in any volume until after 1900, after the
coming of the Railroad. In this West Indian period all of our heavy
laborers were Bahaman negroes. I believe these Bahaman negroes had a
most distinct and important influence, in that they brought inspiration
to many of the first English, French, Northern and Southern planters;
to all of those early settlers who at first were skeptical of the coral-rocky
country, forbidding and desolate from the planting standpoint. In the
Bahamas there is the same coral rock; and the Bahaman negroes knew
how to plant on it; and how to use it: and they knew too that all kinds
of tropical trees would grow and thrive on this rock. They, too, had a
vital influence upon our civilization in bringing in their own commonly
used trees, vegetables and fruits. Soon these supplemented all those that
had been brought in by the Bahaman whites -the sea-living Conchs.
Such things were introduced as the pigeon pea, soursop, star-apple, sugar
apple, Jamaica apples, and all the anons--caneps, sapotes, and dillies.
These fruits can still be found in best profusion in the Bahaman colored
village in Coconut Grove (which was first called Monrovia, and which
was the first Bahaman negro settlement on the Bay) and also in their
villages at old Lemon City, Cutler, and Perrine. These negroes had built
their homes in their own islands of the Coral rock, and they brought here
their skill in masonry building. Today, some of the oldest buildings in
Coconut Grove and old Cutler are of the same construction which has
been in use for one hundred and fifty years in the Bahamas. Built without
cement with only the native lime mortar, these houses have withstood
the countless hurricanes of the Bahamas! This knowledge of building
with the native coral limestone came with Bahaman negroes, as did so
much other valuable knowledge and experience in the building of walls,
roads, other uses of the cora; and uses of the land, of the sea.
Then there was the French influence about that time. In the eighties
many Frenchmen came in directly from France, just as they were coming
into other West Indian countries, under the influence of the writings of
Lafcadio Hearn, Pierre Loti, and others. Some went to the French colonies
in the Caribbean-Martinique, Guadeloupe, etc. But many came to Lower
South Florida. Among them came Count Hoedeville, Count Nugent, the
Courleys, and, later, the Faudells, Fornels, Brondguests, Le Jeunes. These
had a distinct influence, as did the English, especially on the social life of
the pioneer settlements, and gave a very marked impetus to the commer-
cial planting of groves and fruits.
Now I come to what I call the first "cracker" influence, beginning in
the early 1850's, and running down to the eighties. These were mostly
adventurers coming in from North Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama,
and the Carolinas, drawn by the adventurous tropical life, largely hunters
and trappers, and after the seventies trading at such as the Brickell
Trading Post at the mouth of the Miami River, and Stranahans Indian
Trading center, on the New River. They lived much as did the Indians
themselves, working commercially only in the coontie starch making.
Coontie was one of the main foods of the native Seminole Indians; the
whites found it was good to eat and it became an important part of their
food. They learned how to process it crudely into a very edible starch.
Also it was used for laundry and other uses. It was shipped in barrels
down the Hawk's Channel to Key West and sold there, distributed prin-
cipally in Havana, Tampa, Pensacola, and New Orleans. This industry,
along with the trapping of wild animals for their skins, was what these
more truly frontiersman folk of this first Cracker invasion found to do
in Lower South Florida. They were coast living, however, as much as
the Conchs There was still no back country. They still lived on the
beach, or nearby.
But from their infusion came the first connections to the north, as
opposed to the Conchs' trading route and magnetic pull to Key West!
There came then the first boats sailing northward to connect the Lower
East Coast with the old established Indian River civilization. The stern
wheelers there connected northward to St. Augustine and Jacksonville.
The first mail routes northward were by foot along the beach, along by
the Houses of Refuge, on to Lake Worth, and up to Rockledge on the
Indian River. Sailboat connections from Biscayne Bay, via the inland
bayous, were made at Lake Worth with the "Celestial Railroad" at the
head of the Lake Worth Bayou. The "Celestial Railroad" was a narrow
gauge, portage railroad, connecting, across a long sandy strip, the lower
end of Indian River at Jupiter, with Juno on upper Lake Worth, and
with Neptune in between. (Thus the Celestial name!) Finally, in the
eighties, there was developed a stage coach line over the old Indian, and
the Indian fighters Coast Trail. This stage coach connected the Biscayne
GEORGE E. MERRICK
Bay country with Fort Lauderdale on the New River, and with the
Lake Worth settlements. Thence, passengers went on northward by
Celestial Railroad and by stern wheeler. It saved the arduous sailboat
connection between Biscayne Bay and Lake Worth, which usually had
to be made "on the outside."
We come now to the beginning of the tourist influence, which dates
back distinctly to the establishment of the Peacock Inn by Charles
Peacock and his son, Alfred in about 1880. This was the first tourist
convenience provided south of Rockledge on the mainland, and remained
the only tourist facility for many years. Inspired by some prominent
authors of that time who were writing of this paradise frontier-men like
Sidney Lanier, Audubon, Agassizz, and later Kirk Munro, whose articles
appeared regularly then in Harper's-adventurous tourists began to come
in to the Peacock Inn, at first by sailing packet from Key West, then
later by these other developing transportation routes from the north.
Celebrities came such as Grover Cleveland, Lieutenant DeWilloughby,
Guy Carleton, Joe Jefferson, and many writers who in turn further pub-
licized this tropical frontier. These came, all, to the Peacock Inn. It
became a very famous hostelry in those early days. And it was responsible
for the first beginning of the tourist influx. Of course, for many years
previous there had been tourist facilities in Key West, which then was
a world crossways. But there had been none upon the Keys or the main-
land of Lower South Florida until the Peacocks opened their Inn, with
its delightful English flavor and service.
The earliest agricultural influence of the mainland centered around
the large Spanish slave plantation-the old Fitzpatrick plantation which
was in what is now the Brickell Hammock. This plantation in the nineties
already was legendary. But, then, in the nineties the old stone walls were
still there, to be stumbled over by the first homesteaders. The walls were
overgrown by giant gumbo-limbos and wild rubbers, and dogwood that
looked like virgin growth. Still standing were those old slave-piled walls
of ancient fields of sea-island cotton and indigo. Then, after the Civil
War, there were the plantations of the Gleasons, the Englishes, the
Gilberts, the Dayes, the Evans, whose master was called the "Duke of
Dade," and the Wagners. These older plantings were at the mouth of
the Miami River, at Brickell Hammock, and at what is now known as
old Allapattah. Then there was the land of the Peacocks, down the
Biscayne shore at Coconut Grove, where the first commercial planting of
vegetables began. Later came the commercial fruit groves started by the
English and the French settlers and of such earliest homesteaders as the
Ellises, the Potters, and the Douglases. The first great pineapple planta-
tion of T. V. Moore, who came down from the older Indian River civiliza-
tion and developed pioneer plantings on the Bay was behind Lemon
City and Little River. Finally there was the Rockdale Plantation of
Henry Perrine nearly sixty years before the Flagler Railroad, had
started an ill-fated colonization on Biscayne Bay at what is now Cutler,
bringing in many Bahaman families, and later, northern families. He
also worked in planting experimentation on the Keys. Later, during the
1830-40 Indian War, he was killed by the Seminoles, at Indian Key. Dr.
Perrine was aided by the Government in the introduction and culture of
tropical growths from many other tropical lands. The devotion and
sacrifice which he gave to this work for thirty years, right up to the time
of his death, and the voluminous accounts of his projects, ideas, and
undertakings which he left behind him in his notes and in his articles
sent to the department, contributed in no small measure to the luxuriant
tropical growths-of commercial and beauty value-which characterize
the Lower East Coast today. They served as an impetus and inspiration
to the labors of those who followed him here in this same field. Such men
as Dr. John C. Gifford and Dr. David Fairchild, among others, are making
history in this field of endeavor which has meant so much to our area
and which will inevitably mean so very much more.
I might also mention the first jelly factories of Captain Simmons, of
English James Bolton, and of Carnell, another Englishman. Something,
too, should be said of the first post offices: one at Miami in the fifties,
later closed to be opened again in the eighties; one opened on Lake Worth,
in the seventies; one at Coconut Grove in the fifties, closed, and opened
with Charles Peacock as Postmaster in the eighties. Dade County at that
time extended from Bay of Florida to the St. Lucie River. Nor must we
omit mention of Miss Flora McFarland, who started the first school for
the children of the mainland, a private one, at Coconut Grove; of Mrs.
Caleb Trapp, who in the early eighties, started the first public school, also
at Coconut Grove. The earliest permanent church, on the lower mainland
was a Union Church established in the eighties at Coconut Grove by the
Methodists, and by the Reverend James Bolton for Congregationalists,
and the Reverend Kegwin for the Presbyterians. The first library in
Lower South Florida, on the mainland, was the Coconut Grove Library,
founded in late eighties largely through the efforts of the Munroes. The
Housekeepers Club, the first permanent women's social organization, was
founded in the late eighties by Flora McFarland. The first permanent
GEORGE E. MERRICK
cemetery was the Cocoplum Cemetery, platted in late eighties, and still
existent a half mile southwest of Coco Plum Plaza in Coral Gables.
I will touch but briefly on the wealth of interesting material relating
to those early ones of vision, who foresaw Greater Miami. In the late
70's there was a great plat of Cape Florida by the Davis family of Gal-
veston, showing a city to be, at Cape Florida, on Key Biscayne, the
present great coconut plantation of the Mathesons. The first recorded
city plat in Dade County was of a 200 acre tract, cut into city lots, near
the bay front in Coconut Grove, in early eighties by Joseph T. Frow.
There was Samuel Rhodes' vast grove in the early eighties of the
City of New Biscayne, where now is Coconut Grove and Dinner Key
Airport. And of course it was Julia Tuttle's plat and planning at Fort
Dallas, her vision and devoted efforts, continuing until she was finally
successful in bringing Flagler in to take up her holdings and incorporate
her plans into his larger development, which actually brought "The
Magic City" into being.
Now we come, lastly, to what I call "the great cracker influx." This
was from '84 to '96, and was occasioned by the series of great freezes,
freezing out the extensive groves of north and north-central Florida;
throughout that old flourishing civilization of the St. Johns River Valley,
and even in parts of the old settled Indian River country. Those ruined
grove owners, largely Georgia and North Florida men, came into the
Biscayne Bay Country by ox cart, on muleback, by stage-coach, sailing
boat, stern wheeler. They began taking up the homesteads which had just
been platted and surveyed by the Government. They began pushing back
from the Bay four and five miles and more toward the edge of the great
Glades. And, this at last was the beginning of the back country I The
first permanent steps back from the Bay were being taken. The first
lasting steps away from the sea, away from the long-accustomed West
Indian culture! Now the paths between the homesteads became trails.
The trails became roads. The log-trails to Englishman Pickford's sawmill,
which was sawing out the timber from the snaked-in logs for the first
homesteaders' cabins, became now the first rock paved roads. For now
there were people in the Bay country demanding ruts for the wagon-
wheels, instead of channels for boats
Now there was completed in Dade County and on the lower Florida
peninsula an historic cycle. Here on the shores of Biscayne Bay, English
Conch cousin met English cracker cousin. The one, the Conch cousin,
had started from the coastal territories of the thirteen colonies. He came
by way of the sea; by way of the Bahamas, to the Biscayne shores. The
English Cracker Cousin came, too, from the coastal parts of the thirteen
colonies. He went up into the Appalachians. Then, down the years, down
through rolling Piedmont of Carolinas, down through the flatwoods and
the pinewoods of Georgia and Florida, he had finally come to Biscayne
Bay; and there the English Cracker cousin met the English Conch
cousin! And one knew the sea, and one knew the land! Thus was
brought about the dramatic closing of an historic cycle.
Thus, there came about, before the coming of Flagler and his iron
highway, the founding of our back country. And it inevitably caused to
fade out that life of our first real homefinders and land-users, that most
interesting and romantic period on our lower East Coast of Florida, that
of our West Indian Civilization.
The Caloosa Village Tequesta
A Miami of the Sixteenth Century
by ROBERT E. McNICOLL
Dr. McNicoll, Associate Professor of Latin-American History at the
University of Miami, Co-director of the University of Miami Hispanic-
American Institute, and Co-editor of Hispanic American Studies, has
carried on research in the history of early Spanish South Florida in Peru
in 1936 and again in 1940 at the University of San Marcos. He has con-
tributed articles to World Affairs, The Hispanic-American Historical
Review, Revista Interamericana and has in preparation a volume on the
diplomatic relations between Peru and the United States.
A the time when the Spanish first reached the shores of Florida, the
southern part of the peninsula was the home of two related tribes
of aborigines. All the western part, from Tampa Bay to the Keys,
belonged to a confederation called the Caloosas.1 The chief settlement
of this area was the village of the cacique Carlos, located on what is now
Charlotte Harbor.2 During the early decades of the Spanish contact with
the Caloosas, two caciques named Carlos, father and son, successively
ruled the confederation.3 The east Coast from Capa Cafiaveral to the
Keys, was the domain of several small independent tribes, all racially,
linguistically, and at times, politically connected with the western
The most important of these settlements was Ais, located near Indian
River Inlet. Next in importance was Tequesta, located on Biscayne Bay.4
Tequesta was the term sometimes used to refer to all the East Coast
Caloosas, but more properly referred to the Biscayne settlement and its
chief, who was a relative of Carlos. Less is known of this tribe than of
their northern neighbors, the Timucuas, because the Spanish made no
1. Daniel G. Brinton, Notes on the Florida Peninsula, Its Literary History and Antiqui-
ties (Philadelphia, 1859), pp. 112-13.
2. The Spanish used the same term for the tribe as for the chief on many occasions;
Carlos and Caloosa are related.
3. Andres G. Barcia Caballido y Zilniga, Ensayo eronol6gico pare Ia historic general de
la Florida (Madrid, 1723), p. 295. Barcla tells us that the cacique consented to
"Carlos" as the equivalent of his name when he heard of the greatness of Charles V.
4. John R. Swanton, Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors (Washing-
ton, 1922), p. 331.
direct attempt to colonize their area until 1566. But located as they were,
many contacts resulted with the Spanish in the years between 1512 and
Ponce de Le6n, returning from his voyage to Florida in 1513, dis-
covered the Bahama Channel, which was used by most subsequent expedi-
tions from the South. Ayll6n, in 1524, NarvAez in 1528, and De Soto in
1539, all led expeditions through this passage on voyages of exploration
and conquest in Florida.5 A member of the ill-starred expedition of
Narvaez was captured by the Indians of Tampa Bay region and lived a
captive among them many years, until rescued by De Soto. The latter
began his overland trek in the Tampa Bay section and furnished an
additional contact between the Spanish and the Indians. Laudonni6re,
the French leader, was well enough acquainted with the Tequest4 to leave
us a romantic story of an Indian princess of that tribe.6 So, contacts
were not rare between the Tequesta and Europeans even before the day
of Men6ndez. The storms along the Bahama Channel drove many ships
to destruction and many survivors fell to the mercy of the Caloosas.
In 1565, the Spanish king commissioned the redoubtable Pedro Men6n-
dez de Aviles to drive the French heretics from Florida and colonize the
land for Spain. He vigorously began the first part of his work by setting
up the Spanish forts San Mateo and Santa Elena and attacking the French
in the efficient manner, familiar to readers of Florida history. While the
Adelantado was busy in some of the distant parts of this territory, two
groups of his soldiers, tired of the hardships of building forts, and suffer-
ing from the lack of food, deserted and made their way to the village
Tequesta. The party from San Mateo arrived in canoes, while those from
Santa Elena seized a ship and attempted the voyage to Cuba. They were
forced back to Tequesta, where they met the mutineers from the other
fort, who had been in the village for some time.7 The Indians received
them as friends. The reason for their changed attitude toward the Span-
ish was the alliance the Adelantado had been making, while the soldiers
were toiling on the construction of the new forts.
Menendez was especially anxious to pacify and settle the southern
coast, in order to protect stragglers from the Channel, and to have a port
of refuge in case of storm. Leaving the northern forts in 1566, he cruised
along the coast "to look for a port and a relief point between the Tortugas
and the Mirtires (keys)."' On this search he visited the village of Carlos.
5. John Lee Williams, Territory of Florida (New York, 1837), pp. 152-173.
6. Brinton, p. 117.
7. Barcia, pp. 338-39.
8. Ibid., p. 295
ROBERT E. McNICOLL
The two leaders met with ceremony and feasting and an alliance was
made. Carlos gave the Adelantado his sister as a wife, and promised to
consider becoming a Christian. Menendez was not so well pleased with
Dofia Antonia, the cacique's sister, but acceded to the bargain for state
reasons, sending her off to Havana to be educated as a Christian.
Carlos, however, was always the secret enemy of the Spanish. Men6n-
dez rescued from his power on this first trip the survivors of a shipwreck
on the coast. They had lived among the Caloosas for twenty years, one of
their number being sacrificed each year to the devil.9 Tequesta, the
kinsman of Dofia Antonia Carlos, became the real friend of the Spanish,
even refusing to surrender Christian captives to Carlos, who wished to kill
them.t1 The alliance between Carlos and Menendez continued on a tacit
basis for a long time, each pretending to be ignorant of the underhand
efforts of the other against him.
The Spanish considered the task of colonization as one with that of
Christianization of the Indians. To aid in the latter, Menendez sought
the aid of the Jesuits. As a result of his petition to the king, a royal
cddula was dispatched on March 3, 1566, to the head of the Jesuit order,
asking for monks to be assigned the work in Florida." San Francisco
de Borja, the general of the order, appointed to this task three outstand-
ing men, Father Rogel, a native of Pamplona, and Father Martinez, a
man of previous missionary experience in Africa, and Brother Villareal, a
native of Madrilejos."
After being outfitted at the expense of Menindez, 12 they set sail from
Spain on June 28, 1566. After a stop at Havana, where they could not
find an experienced pilot to guide them to Florida, they went on them-
selves spending a month between Havana and the shore of Florida, where
they arrived in September. Father Martinez, anxious to set foot on
Florida, went ashore in a small boat, in the company of several Spaniards
and the Flemish sailors who manned the ship. A sudden storm arose,
and drove the ship along the coast, so that contact with the landing
party was lost. This party traveled northward overland, and after several
meetings with natives, was set upon by them and the greater number
killed. Father Martinez attained the crown of martyrdom he had so
wished for." The other two Jesuits, hearing of this inauspicious start,
10. Tequesta and Carlos fell out about this matter and were reconciled by Menendez,
acting in his role of relative.
11. P. Antonio Astrain, Historia de la Compaiiia de Jesls (Madrid, 1905) Tono II, 286.
12. In the early colonizations and conquests, every expenditure was charged to the leader
to be taken from later profits.
13. Barcia, p. 366.
decided to return to Havana, to make another attempt under the pro-
tection of the strong arm of Men6ndez.
Men6ndez, returning from Havana with the missionaries, by way of
the village of Carlos, landed in Tequesta in the early part of the year
1567, and established Rogel and Villareal with a fort and a small body
of soldiers on Biscayne Bay. Brother Villareal while in Havana had
begun the study of the Caloosa language with some natives brought to
Cuba. He now continued this work in the fort, while Padre Rogel began
the work of expounding the mysteries of true religion. While the natives
of Tequesta were well-disposed towards the Spanish, as shown by their
protection of the refugees from the cacique Carlos, they did not quickly
accept or appreciate the religious teaching. Astrain says: "Rogel had
some corn, which attracted the Indians to him to the extent that they
heard the doctrine, but when the maize was exhausted their attendance
ceased.""4 Some results, however, were attained, as shown by the fact that
when Mendndez visited Tequesta later, all the natives "both great and
small" took part in devotions twice daily in front of the large cross which
was erected in the village.'5
Later the two Jesuits divided forces, Rogel going to the village of
Carlos on the West Coast leaving Brother Villareal in charge of the
Biscayne mission. We have a letter the latter sent the former in January
of 1568. It is most revealing of the situation in the village then at the
fringe of the Spanish colonial empire. This letter was discovered and
transcribed by Father Ruben Vargas Ugarte of Peru who found it in the
Vatican Archives when teaching in the Gregorian University of Rome:16
My reverend Father in Christ:
I never thought your reverence would be so long in coming to hear con-
fession and to visit this poor people. I was expecting you since you told me
Candamo had gone there but it appears my sins merited your non-appearance
or rather kept you away. Certainly I have many things to report to you
some of which I shall take up in this letter leaving others until the time the
Master is pleased to send me there. I failed to write you because I intended
to send you from this fort a little flour for hosts and wine for the mass which
they gave me in Havana but the Indians told me they were afraid to go
there and that ten Indians and two canoes would be necessary for this trip.
I was fearful that I would not arrive with so many people nor had I heard
14. Astrain, p. 292.
15. Eugenio Ruidiaz y Caravia, La Florida. su conquista y colonization por Pedro
Menendez de Aviles (Madrid, 1894), p. 283.
16. Published in English translation in "The First Jesuit Missions in Florida," United
States Catholic Historical Society, Historical Records and Studies, Vol. XXV (1935).
Father P. Ruben Vargas Ugarle publishes it and other letters of the Florida Jesuits
in the original of his book, Los mirtires de la Florida (Lima, Peru, 1940). The writer
had the privilege of studying with Father Vargas during the past summer at the
University of San Marcos at Lima.
ROBERT E. McNICOLL
of the arrival of Candamo. It may be that my negligence has been the
principal cause in which case I hope your reverence will forgive me for the
love of the Saviour.
I and all of us here remain in good health, glory to God who helps us to
endure 'n this land trials which would appear insufferable in another place.
I say this for we have had for the past three months or more a plague of
mosquitoes so bad that I spent several days and nights without being able to
sleep an hour. On top of this we suffered some days for lack of food. I say
no more about this but to add that the only sleep we could obtain was close
to the fire and half smothered in the smoke, otherwise one could not endure
it. At this time the majority of the Indians went to an island a league from
here to eat coconuts and palm grapes. No more than 30 remained here. It
was then I went to Havana and spent some twenty days in going and
coming. I confessed to the priest and took communion. I brought back some
food but very little since there was no boat in which to bring it. I have been
teaching the doctrine to the Indians or up to fifteen years of age, the others
will not come to the lessons although I believe there is none who does not
say he wants to become a Christian but in the matter of learning the doctrine
they find great difficulty and thus do not come to the classes. Those who
attend, most of them, know the four prayers and nearly all the command-
ments. There are many here now because some of the nearby villages have
come in to help in building a house for the chief. They now have food from
the whales they kill and from fish. Before they suffered from hunger for
two or three months so that they failed to attend because they all said they
were hungry and begged that which I had little to give them. With all this
the young chief is very fond of the Christians and it seems he will become
one. He had a sick child and brought it to me saying through the interpreter
that he didn't want them to do witchcraft over it but wanted me to pray and
make the sign of the cross over it. I recited the evangels and made the sign
of the cross over it and in another day it was well, thanks to God. He and
his wife brought me many turtles but I refused to receive them and they
remained very much impressed. Other sick children have got well after hear-
ing the evangels, some of them are very devoted to the cross, I believe they
are continuing to improve. Some of the older people will become Christians
and nearly all the children will be, if it please the Lord.
On Friday the second of January 1568 there was here an old Indian
woman who was very sick and so thin that she was nothing but skin and
bone. I asked her whether she wanted to become a Christian two or three
days before she said yes. In these days I carried her some food and she said
she wished to be a Christian and that she was sorry she had lived in such a
bad sect and that she believed in a single God and in Jesus Christ who had
died for her and the other things the Christians believe. She always affirmed
she was not going to be like another one who had said she wanted to be a
Christian and later changed her mind. Seeing her desire and such good
things I baptised her because she seemed near the end of her days. Monday
on the fifth of the said month she died in my hut because as soon as she was
a Christian we brought her there. She kept saying Jesus, Mary until she
could speak no more. Those who were with her at the end said that she
begged God to pardon her sins.
After this there fell sick a child of four or five months, the grand-
daughter of one of the principal Indians of this town. They brought her to
me so that I might recite prayers over her. I did so and as I saw that she
was very ill I asked the permission of the parents and grandparents and of
the old chief to baptise her a Christian so that they might have no fear if
she died for she would go to heaven. They gave me this permission and I
baptised her in the presence of the captain and the soldiers. As the parents
loved her very much and it seemed that she was not getting better, the
parents later called the witchdoctors in who performed all sorts of rites
squeezing her body till it seemed they would crush her, but as she continued
to get worse the witchdoctors said they might have cured her if I had not
touched her. It was the Lord's will that she die and we buried her in the fort
near a cross where we had previously buried the old woman. I baptised her
on the ninth and she died on the eleventh of January. The interpreter told
me that if we had not been present, according to their old law they would
have sacrificed four other children with her. He also told me that the grand-
father had said since the Christian usages had begun with the child he loved
so much that he wished to leave the old sect and take the law of the Chris-
tians. If he becomes a Christian many will follow him as he is highly
respected here. Afterwards in talking to a witchdoctor who is very old I
told him that he would die and go to hell where he would suffer great tor-
ments if he did not become a Christian. The father of the dead child was
present and spoke up and said he believed this, so they all seem better dis-
posed than before.
I need to have your reverence inform me the manner in which I can
explain to these people the immortality of souls and also the manner I must
use in baptising and whether there are not some doubts or difficulties in
administering this sacrament, also whether I should go and visit them when
they are sick because then they readily consent to become Christians and I
am in doubt whether they do this in fear or in lack of understanding or
whether they do it to get some meal of corn. Your reverence will inform me
on these matters as these Indians take matters with so little seriousness that
I am frightened.
I teach the doctrine in the house of the chief where many adults are
present and I believe they learn it too although they do not recite it like the
children. I think the chief is learning too, I teach them the prayers and com-
mandments and afterwards the credo. They say the words in their language
so they can understand it. I say it in our language and they repeat it in
theirs up to where it says "was conceived by the holy spirit." I live in a
house with a soldier and we get along well, thank God. Morning and night I
commend myself to the Lord, and recite the dictrine. We hold fiestas with
litanies to the cross. we have put on two comedies one on the day of St.
John when we were expecting the governor. This play had to do with the
war between men and the world, the flesh and the devil. The soldiers enjoyed
it very much. Some of them however have resented my not going to Havana
with Candamo to obtain them more supplies. I did not go because so many
Indians were here and I could teach the doctrine to large numbers, there is
another reason which I cannot mention here. I am very doubtful about this
matter on account of the soldiers.
I have tried to make the Indians like me as your reverence commanded
and bought a little corn for this purpose, for as I said I live apart and they
give me a ration little larger than that of the others so that up to now I
have had nothing to give them and when there is nothing to give them I
believe there is little friendship. I shall continue giving them some but seeing
the little there is always in this fort I believe it is of more service to give it
to Christians. I hope to hear from your reverence whether he excuses me
from going to confess. From Tequesta, January 29 of 1568, from your
reverence's unworthy servant in the lord.
ROBERT E. McNICOLL
With all the earnest and naive devotion of Brother Villareal, the
South Florida missions did not progress too well. Another Jesuit, Segura,
was put in charge of the work in the northern part of the Tequesta terri-
tory, but after a few years the Jesuits abandoned the whole field of
Florida. Rogel and Villareal were recalled to Havana where the Order
was establishing a college in which the sons of Indian chiefs were to be
trained. The Jesuits gave up Florida for the more fertile field of New
Spain or Mexico. Yet their efforts, and those of their successors, other
orders of Catholic missionaries, were not without effect. The Caloosas
maintained a political if not a complete spiritual loyalty to the Spanish.
In 1763, two centuries later, when England came into possession of
Florida, eighty families of Tequestans left for Havana, in order to stay
under Spanish rule. This incident has been referred to by Dr. Jorge Roa,
of the University of Havana, as the "first Florida immigration into
Cuba." The Caloosas, who were referred to as "Spanish Indians" kept in
close touch with both Spanish St. Augustine and the West Indian posses-
sions of Spain.
The anthropologists and students of the primitive tribes have never
given a very complete account of the manner of living and customs of
the Tequestans. In the first place no definite idea of the number of in-
habitants of the peninsula has been given. The Spanish gave exaggerated
figures as to the numbers of their conversions and the size of the forces
they fought against, but the population of the whole peninsula probably
never exceeded 10,000.17 Those of the coast were, as their modern suc-
cessors, "great fishers" (grandes pescadores).11
The Spanish governor of Florida, writing in 1598, said the natives of
Southeastern Florida had no settled habitations, as they did not grow
maize, but wandered about in search of fish and roots.'9 Their chief
vegetable diet was palm-berries, cocoplums. and sea-grapes. There were
animals in abundance, such as deer and bear, "and fish they have as
plenty as they please." Accounts are also given of the way they obtained
alligators for food.20 A good description of Tequestan life was written by
Lopez de Velasco. Among other things he says:
17. Brinton, p. 112.
18. Antonio de Herrera, Desde Los Mirtires al Caniaveral in Historia general de los
hechos de los castellanos en las islas i tierra firm del mar ocean (Madrid, 1720),
Dec. IV, lib. IV, Cap. VII.
19. Swanton, p. 387.
20. Ibid., p. 392.
In winter all the Indians go out to sea in their canoes to hunt for sea
cows. One of their number carries three stakes fastened to his girdle, and
a rope on his arm. When he discovers a sea cow, he throws a rope around its
neck, and as the animal sinks under the water, the Indian drives a stake
through one of its nostrils, and no matter how much it may dive, the Indian
never loses it, because he goes on its back. After it has been killed they cut
open its head and take out two large bones, which they place in the coffins
with the bodies of the dead. and worship them.21
The clothing of the Tequestans was as simple as their primitive state
and the tropical nature of the climate demanded. The men wore a simple
breech-clout, made of deer hide and supported by a belt that indicated
the rank, in the case of chiefs. The women wore garments made out of
Spanish moss, which according to Dickenson "at a distance or in the night
looks very neat.""' Fontaneda refers to the Indians of Carlos in a similar
manner; "These Indians possessed neither gold nor silver and still less
clothing, for they go almost naked, wearing only a sort of apron . [the
dress of the women consists] of moss which grows on trees, and somewhat
The best account of these people comes from the pen of a Quaker,
Jonathan Dickenson, who was shipwrecked on this coast in 1699.22 He
spent some time among them before his return to civilization and gives
us interesting information about their religious and political habits. They
had the simple religion of nature worship common to primitive man.
The worshiped the sun and moon. "After successful foray, they elevated
the scalps of their victims on poles decked with garlands, and for three
days and nights danced and sang around them."23
The Caloosas of slightly north of this area held their principal festival
at the first corn-planting. A deer was sacrificed to the sun and its body
elevated on a pole for religious veneration.24
There is evidence of the worship of idols, as Carlos refused to have
certain idols removed even after his sister's marriage to Men6ndez, and
after he had allowed the erection of a cross in his village.25 Carlos had
combined certain spiritual authority with his temporal power. He with-
drew from the village at certain times to perform certain sorceries and
enchantments which were thought to cause the earth to bring forth its
21. Swanton, pp. 387 ff.
22. Jonathan Dickenson, Narrative of a Shipwreck in the Gulph of Florida, Showing
God's Protecting Providence, Man's Surest Help and Defence in Times of Greatest
Difficulties and Most Imminent Danger (Philadelphia, 1720).
23. Rend Laudonnidre, L'bistoire notable de la Floride (Paris, 1586) pp. 8, 101.
24. Brinton, pp. 127 ff.
25. Barcla, p. 395.
ROBERT E. McNICOLL
fruit.26 It was at his order that a Spaniard was sacrificed yearly to the
Combining his spiritual and political power, Carlos was a sort of
emperor over all the Caloosas. He levied tributes on the subsidiary tribes,
even including those that lived on the shores -of the great lake Mayaimi
(Okeechobee).27 The eastern tribes were less under his domination al-
though it was stated that Tequesta had been his vassal.28
The public religious ceremonies of the Tequestans were described in
detail by Dickenson. An important part of the formalities in all such
occasions was the drinking of a beverage made by boiling the leaves of
a certain plant called caseena. The ceremonial drinking of this beverage
as well as smoking accompanied all serious business. The following is a
description of a nocturnal religious ceremony:
Night being come and the moon being up, an Indian who performed their
ceremonies, stood out, looking full at the moon. making a hideous noise, and
crying out, acting like a mad man for the space of half an hour, all the
Indians being silent till he had done; after which they made a fearful noise,
some like the barking of a dog, wolf, and other strange sounds; after this,
one got a log and set himself down holding the log upright on the ground
and several others got about him, making a hideous singing. . At length
their women joined the concert . which they continued till midnight.29
Dancing played a part in many of the religious ceremonies. After
ceremonial painting of the body, the Tequestans put on their belts and
quivers of arrows and waited until the medicine men inaugurated the dance
by shaking rattles and going through a ritual procedure, then they began a
stamping sort of dance which continued for several hours, to the point of
near exhaustion. Then they retired to the hut of the cacique for the
drinking of caseena. The next day, the same procedure was followed, and
also again on the third day. This last day was the crisis of the ceremony
and none of the women could look on the men. If any woman came out
of her house, she had to be veiled with a mat.30 Many symbolical mean-
ings are read into the various ceremonies, but the bare account will serve
to illustrate the type of culture of the Tequestans.
The fact that they could produce fairly seaworthy canoes points to
the possibility of contact with the Bahamas and the islands further south.
Another fact which confirms this, the story of a miraculous spring which
was told Ponce de Le6n, comes from the mystic interpretation of the
26. Laudonnibre, p. 132.
27. Swanton, p. 388.
28. Barcia, p. 374.
29. Swanton, p. 396.
30. Ibid., p. 397.
account of the Florida Indians concerning the beautiful Silver Springs
Although human sacrifice was not unknown among them. their religion
was not especially bloodthirsty. Their political development was quite
advanced, although agriculturally and economically they were very back-
ward. They had very little pity for old age, differing greatly from the
Creeks in this particular. They had peculiar customs of removing the
bones of the caciques to be kept as an object of veneration; in the coffin
of these relics they also put the bones of the seacow's head, the collection
serving as a sort of village lares."
Tequesta was, of course, merely another village in the extensive area
controlled by the Spanish. There does exist, however, a considerable
number of documents referring to it in the collection called Documentos
intditos and Documentos de Ultramar which were selected and published
from the Spanish archives. No doubt much more still exists in those
archives. Only the emergence of the modern Miami has made important
the annals of what was otherwise a typical Indian village on the frontiers
of the far-flung Spanish colonial empire in America.
31. Ibid., p. 389.
Bradish W. Johnson, Master Jrrecker
by VINCENT GILPIN
Mr. Gilpin, long interested in the history of Southern Florida and known
to all of us here as co-author with the late Ralph M. Munroe of The
Commodore's Story, has carried on his investigation of the old-time
wreckers at Key West for many years; as a result he gives us this story,
full of human interest and interesting biographical detail.
U NTIL Florida entered the United States in 1818 the keys were
unknown wilderness islets, scarce visited save by those who landed
from ships wrecked on the great coral reef which borders them.
The only "business" which touched them was wrecking-salvage work on
these ships carried on by Cubans and Bahamans. In 1822 Key West was
bought by four gentlement of wealth and culture, who attracted settlers
of unusual quality for a pioneer town; it grew rapidly, around new
military and naval posts, developing fisheries, including sponges and
turtles, and later many cigar factories. But wrecking was its prime
industry: everyone took part, whatever his daily business, and it remained
the chief source of excitement and profit throughout the 19th century.
The business was well organized, each vessel being licensed and
supervised, and its rewards determined by the courts. There was no coast
guard in early days, and the wreckers had an important function in life-
saving, efforts to that end being recognized by larger salvage. It was a
strenuous and dangerous business, demanding a wild race to the stranded
ship, whatever the weather or time of day, and unremitting, heart-break-
ing toil to save the ship, or if that were impossible, the cargo. The wreck-
ing schooners were sturdy little craft, hard driven by determined men;
none other could have dared the roaring reef in a black northeaster, but
calm or storm, day or night, were all the same to the wreckers when the
cry echoed about town, "Wreck ashore!"
The '50s brought the height of the business. In that decade five
hundred ships went on the reef, valued at over sixteen millions, and
bringing to the town well over a million in salvage, beside a half million
in repairs and port charges. The biggest single salvage bill in this time
was $47,971, on the cargo of the ship America, lost on the Tortugas, much
of which had to be recovered by divers. These awards were divided
among the salvage vessels in accordance with their tonnage; each vessel's
share was divided equally between owner and crew, and the men shared
alike, save for added shares to the officers. On this basis each share on
the America was $150. This was a grand prize; on the other hand, the
wreckers sometimes put in days and nights of toil with small reward.
Much has been said about dishonesty in wrecking, from false beacons
to lure ships onto the reef, down to petty thievery from cargo. Most of
this was undeserved, and may have been a "hangover" from old English
romance. The Key West wreckers were emphatically not criminals; the
job offered endless chances for sharp practise, and naturally some of them
would sail pretty close to the wind-there are tricks in all trades-but by
and large wrecking at Key West was a useful and honorable business.
The outstanding figure of recent years in this most picturesque occu-
pation, true "gentleman adventurer," master wrecker of the Florida Reef,
was Bradish W. Johnson, better known in Key West, the town of nick-
names, as "Hog" Johnson. For years I heard tales of him, and his name
is still familiar to older shipping men of Florida, but it was only recently
that I could follow up his story on his own ground.
Armed with the names of a few who might have knowledge of him,
I sallied forth on a bicycle, which is a favorite means of transport on
the quiet streets of the "Island City," streets named for members of
settlers' families and shaded by strange tropical trees. Thus I quested
up and down, back and forth, until every street was familiar, and my
notebook was almost a city directory.
It was great fun, but just a bit elusive; perhaps one could not expect
detailed memories of so long ago. Even so, many stories progressed well
until they approached some spicy point which might involve conflict with
the law; there they would bog down in failing memory-and it became
evident that the rule of reticence on questionable procedure, however
customary or harmless, was still binding. But the story slowly emerged.
Bradish Johnson came of an old and wealthy Long Island family. His
father, John Dean Johnson, inherited a large fortune, and was a noted
sportsman; he owned thirteen yachts, of which the most famous was the
so-called slave-yacht Wanderer, built by him when Commodore of the
New York Yacht Club. She was a 98-foot schooner, the last word in
seaworthiness, beauty and equipment; after he sold her she had a spec-
tacular career as a slaver, and is still preserved as a relic. In Washington
recently Bradish's sister-in-law, Mrs. Eugene W. Johnson, showed me
one of her set of twenty-four silver goblets. The vessel was paid for in
notes which were lost, and it is said that final settlement was made in
slaves. At the wreck of the bark Elizabeth on Fire Island, when Margaret
Fuller Ossoli was drowned, J. D. Johnson dashed to the rescue at the
height of the gale, with a volunteer crew in another schooner, Twilight,
and saved a number of passengers. His wife was Helen Wederstrandt of
New Orleans, descendant of Edward Lloyd of Wye House on the Eastern
Shore, the "first American yachtsman."
With this background it was natural that Bradish Johnson should
love the sea. He was born November 9, 1846, his parents having settled
in Washington; he was educated at St. Johns College, Annapolis, and
entered the Naval Academy in 1863, appointed from Louisiana through
his mother's relatives, prominent sugar-planters. He soon became war-
rant officer, but he was definitely an individualist, and before his course
was completed the prospect of a life governed by the meticulous elabora-
tion of naval discipline became so distasteful that he resigned in March,
1866. It was not ceremony, but the sea, that called him, and held his
For a time he was mate on a steamer running between New York
and San Francisco (around the Horn, of course) and then went into
partnership with his brother Theodore in the coasting trade, operating
sailing vessels of all sizes. Theodore was threatened with tuberculosis,
and they soon decided that he ought to live at sea. The business was
closed out, and the brother shipped to San Francisco, bought a schooner
and spent three years on board, largely hunting seal and sea-otter, in the
Behring Sea (the family was well supplied with furs!). This was pretty
strenuous in itself, and involved dodging two navies, but there were
plenty of incidental high-lights in their adventures. Among other things,
they carried cargos of arms to Porfirio Diaz, then struggling for power,
and were rewarded, in addition to large profits, by his friendship, the gift
of high office, and especially by one concession which nearly ended the
This was the right to recover $5,000,000 in gold, shipped from San
Francisco in 1850, in the Golden Gate, and sunk off the bar at Port
Angel, two miles off the beach. The wreck could be seen in calm
weather, but no one had been able to recover the treasure. It was an
assignment after the heart of Bradish Johnson, and he organized an
expedition at once, with the help of Felix Diaz, brother of the dictator.
At Port Angel Theodore was left in charge of the schooner, while
Bradish took a party inland, and Felix, with a few men, stayed in the
village. This proved tragic for the latter, for the village was not in
sympathy with the Diaz regime; a band of insurgents suddenly appeared,
siezed him and his men, stood them against a wall and shot them!
They then lay in wait for Bradish's party; it duly fell into their hands,
and was led to the fatal wall to await the formation of a sufficient firing
squad. The sun was hot, and they were thirsty; when a woman passed,
selling a cool drink, Bradish tossed her a silver coin. The startled woman
gave him the drink, but returned the coin, crossing herself, and exclaim-
ing, "I can't take pay from a dead man!"
Meanwhile Theodore was busy. Felix's fate made him marshall his
resources, but the scant remaining crew, armed only with sealing guns,
was no material for a landing party. He was not an American for nothing,
however, and he immediately rigged up a dummy ten-pounder, and had
it trained on the village by the time Bradish was taken. A message that
the village would be destroyed unless his party were released did the
trick, and Bradish was soon on board again! They abandoned the
treasure-even the Johnsons were not ready for combined salvage and
war-and the "dead man" sent the coin to his mother in Washington,
who had it made into a ring.
The Pacific adventure ended in Kona, on Hawaii, for Theodore's
malady developed, he died there, and Bradish brought his body home to
Washington. He later returned to San Francisco (perhaps thinking of the
$5,000,000) and speculated in gold mines until all the remaining profits
of the coasting business were disbursed.
He next got a post under Admiral Perry, and in 1882 they went to
Key West to build a light-house pier. The little Island City evidently
struck the right spot in Bradish's heart-no doubt Hawaii had prepared
him to love its tropical climate, and he had found his place. He settled
down, married "Miss Irene," daughter of one of the chief families, the
Bethels, originally from Nassau, and set out to win a place in the close
corporation of the town's leading citizens, all interested, more or less
directly, in wrecking.
Undoubtedly, in the opinion of the fraternity, there were enough
wreckers in Key West already. That did not bother Johnson; he had
technical training which stood him in good stead, practical ingenuity
which could not be stumped, broad experience of the sea, powerful
physique, indomitable courage, and a staggering audacity which loved
to take incredible chances.
Give a man like this such a colorful opportunity for adventure and
profit as Key West offered in 1882, and almost anything may happen;
actually, almost everything did! His versatility and determination not
only forced his acceptance by the wrecking ring, but quickly made him
one of three or four acknowledged leaders, an important figure in the
complex alliances, rivalries, jealousies and friendships which made up the
texture of Key West life.
In all the stories of wrecking days one is struck by the almost boyish
spirit of the group, which, however keen, was basically friendly. Every
trick and subterfuge might be pushed to the limit to get the prizes of
the game, but there was little vindictiveness, many a joke by the way,
and the losers contented themselves with a good explosion of profanity,
and the resolve to win next time.
So Johnson, after forcing himself in, and taking much of the best
business for twenty-five years (whence his nick-name "Hog") is now
remembered simply as a fine seaman, a smart man, a sober, friendly
associate and neighbor, prompt pay to his employees, faithful and gen-
erous in friendship. I talked with twenty people who knew and worked
with him; they called him water-dog, A-1 sailor, shrewd old gentleman,
good wrecking master, decent, and sometimes Bluebeard. Only the last
needs explanation; it means simply "pirate" -a common gibe in the
mouth of a defeated rival. I visited the home of an army man married
to the charming daughter of Peter T. Knight, clerk of court, United States
marshal (and of course wrecker), in which his quizzical habit of calling
all wreckers pirates is a recurrent prickle to domestic tranquility!
The Johnson home was at the west end of the island, with the shop and
ways which were as much a part of a wrecker's home as a barn is of a
farm. Here he built a 35-ton schooner named Irene for his wife, which
was long used in wrecking and finally sold to a gulf-coast fisherman.
Here centered his varying enterprises for many years, and here he finally
built a large and comfortable home, only to lose it shortly after, when
the government took over the neighborhood as a naval station. He lived
the life of a cultured gentleman, enriched by books and music-"Miss
Irene" was a pianist, and her neice, Jenny Bethel, had a good voice. Fine
furniture, fine clothes, rare decorations and ornaments from the seven
seas (it was the day of ornament!) made the setting for generous hos-
pitality to many friends. It was a strange contrast to his business hours,
spent in the most strenuous and perilous activities, possible only to a
dare-devil lover of the long chance.
He soon left government work for the Baker Wrecking Company.
Captain Ben Baker was the leading wrecker of the '60s and '70s, of
whom Browne's history says: "Tall, gaunt, shrill-voiced, hook-nosed and
hawk-eyed, he was master-wrecker at nearly every wreck upon the Reef."
Incidentally, he was the first to plant pineapples on the keys, for forty
years an important crop, and from his homestead there Plantation Key
was named. Through this connection Bradish Johnson renewed his con-
tact with Diaz in Mexico, which was to bring him more commissions.
Eventually Merritt & Chapman of New York wanted a foothold in
Key West, and bought the Baker Wrecking Company. Johnson then
formed the Key West Wrecking Company, with Peter T. Knight, W. H.
Williams and Alfred Atchison (known as "Bubba Smart") who were the
coming leaders of the profession. That these partners gladly followed
Johnson shows the place he had already made for himself, and the com-
pany took the cream of the business for the next fifteen years. In that
period an average of two or three ships went on the rocks every month,
and each of them brought ten to twenty thousand dollars to the company.
Johnson's share maintained his home lavishly, but there was little look
to the future; easy come, easy go was the word, and when a few weeks
passed without business there was frequent occasion for the decision,
"We'll just let that go till the next wreck I"
But wrecking, exciting though it might be, by no means satisfied Hog
Johnson's devouring urge to adventure. Any job, contract, commission or
speculation which came his way was grist to his mill, so long as it did not
run counter to his personal code of ethics; he was said to have no more
respect for laws which seemed unjust than a red-bloded schoolboy has
for trespass notices.
Cuba was in the turmoil which led to the Spanish war, and the
famous tug Three Friends was running her regular cargoes of arms
to the insurgents.' She was owned by Napoleon Broward (later gover-
nor of Florida) and commanded by his brother Montcalm, and John-
son had many mutually profitable contacts with the brothers. Arms
and ammunition were not, of course, loaded in harbor; they were con-
signed in odd lots to the owners of small craft, who made rendezvous
with the Three Friends well out of range of observers (often offshore in
the Gulf Stream) and here Bradish Johnson was just the man for them.
Naturally this business is not on record; nevertheless "everybody knows"
that many of the tug's cargoes reached her by way of the obviously harm-
less wrecking craft which Johnson kept moving on a multitude of errands.
The Three Friends needed coal as well as cargoes, and here chance
helped, when a Mexican gunboat, on her way north for repairs, went
1. See Ruby Leach Carson, "Florida, Promoter of Cuban Liberty," Florida Historical
Quarterly, XIX, 270-92 (January, 1941).
ashore on the Hen and Chickens, and sank. The underwriters put her
up for sale as she lay; Broward bought her, and consulted Johnson about
raising her. The Key West Wrecking Company took the contract, and set
leisurely to work, with the understanding that there was no hurry about
raising her! A small fleet of tugs, derricks and barges was assembled,
including huge lighters of coal-enough coal, as one observer remarked,
to run a liner all summer. Now, the Hen and Chickens is a lonely reef,
and no one knows just what went on there. Evidently the company had
a difficult task; they made little progress, and they burned much coal.
The summer passed, and the fall-while the big coal barges lay where
the Three Friends could comfortably fill her bunkers, of a dark night,
with no questions asked. The wrecked gunboat was finally repaired,
renamed Biscayne, and is said to be still afloat and going strong.
Another adventurous craft was the Tendejah, originally built in New
York for the Menendez Line, presented to Spain as a Coast Guard boat
(mainly to prevent arms-running), sunk in the Spanish war, bought,
raised and rebuilt by Johnson, taken to Belize, and sold as a gunboat.
The war with Spain was a Roman holiday for Key West. About four
hundred vessels were captured and taken there for adjudication, and the
town hummed with prize-money. An enormous fleet of tugs, lighters and
other wrecking vessels collected, and when the excitement died down,
some of it was removed, and some lay idle. One fine new lighter, worth
$5000, was sent down from Jacksonville, but was not needed; finally she
was laid up in Boca Chica for over a year, and then was found to be full
of water. No one knew just what was wrong, but in the light of the event,
it is reasonable to suppose that the neglected decks had dried out in the
fierce summer sun, and the torrential thunder-squalls had done the rest.
Incidentally, as some time, one bottom plank was knocked off, but this
detail escaped notice at first.
The owner commissioned the Key West Wrecking Company to pump
her out and haul her into shoal water for examination. Accordingly John-
son's powerful wrecking pumps went to work, but could not make an'
impression on the water. After a day, with the lighter as full as ever,
Johnson reported to the owner, suggesting that the worms must have
ruined her bottom. There was still too much rich business going on to be
very fussy about a mere lighter, and few questions were asked. There
was the lighter, her decks and topsides sound, her bottom apparently
gone. There was Johnson, whose business was dealing in everything,
including lumber. It was natural for him to make a nominal offer-$200
-for the materials in the lighter. The owner accepted, finished up his
business, and returned to Jacksonville.
But at this juncture the missing bottom plank was discovered I It was
replaced, the water pumped out, and behold, a perfectly good $5000
lighter. Later on the original owner popped up again in Key West,
recognized his lighter, and bent a penetrating eye on Johnson, who could
only say, "Yes, there she is. The planking wasn't nearly as bad as we
thought, and we repaired her." There was, apparently no adequate
This is a yarn as it stands, but certain details are often added. It is
said that the missing plank was surreptitiously removed by Johnson him-
self, which is out of character with the code of either Johnson or the
wreckers in general. This code winked at many kinds of sharp dealing,
but it did not countenance actual lying, in which it much resembled
the old-time horse-trading code of New England. It is further said that
the $200 offer was not made directly, but through a friend, who actually
paid only $50 for her, and that when the owner reappeared the following
dialogue took place:
Owner: "Say, that looks like my lighter!"
Johnson: "So it is; she wasn't as bad as we thought, so I took her
over and repaired her."
Owner (a bit sour): "Well! You pumped her out, and reported her
unsound-and now you own her. But here's the chap I sold her to (point-
ing to intermediary) -how come? And between you I sold my good
lighter for . "
Friend (hastily, plucking at his coattails and taking him aside):
"Sh-sh! Say $200, and I'll give you another $50!"
No wonder, perhaps, that even their friends called them pirates; and
yet one gets no impression of sordid cheats and liars, but rather of a
contest of wit, accepted by all, and carried out without prejudice. There
was the matter of salvage bills, for example the claims for services
rendered, made out by each skipper for presentation to court. A little
misstatement as to tonnage or crew might well slip in, so rival skippers
sometimes made out their bills, compared them, sealed them, and then
exchanged them, each presenting the other's bill! Whence it has been
said that they not only did not trust each other, but not even themselves!
Individual wrecks in which Johnson had a share are endless in number
and variety. There was the ship Gutenberg, loaded with cotton, which
drove onto the Tortugas in a heavy northwester. Bales covered the
tumultous Gulf Stream for miles, and were fished up by a fleet of wreck-
ers, while many more were dived out of her hold. Then she broke up;
the remaining bales, now water-logged, sank nearby, and a large part of
them was subsequently recovered.
Another good dividend from cotton came from a Mallory boat which
jettisoned hundreds of bales, and so lightened, got off with the tide.
"Captain Dick" Lowe, a spare, gray-haired colored man, told me about
her while he peddled grunts and porgies to housekeepers, at two for a
nickel, out of the well of his ancient sailboat. Many a long day he had
worked with Johnson, and many adventures he remembered. While he
scaled the fish he told me how he tried to sieze a bale, and was pulled
overboard; he clung to the cotton while the sloop sailed a mile, and
finally returned to pick him up. "I never thought of the sharks," said he,
"but another man, Swan, was lost, and later on we picked up his clothes,
One "good" (i.e., profitable) lumber wreck was that of a turret-ship,
or whale-back, carrying heavy deck-loads held only by chains. They just
cut the chains and picked up the timber. Later, when Miami was starting,
Johnson recovered so much heavy lumber from one sailing-ship that he
bought a saw-mill in Jacksonville, set it up on the Miami River and
lived there for two years, turning out house-material for the new town.
Sometimes veritable hulks made good ventures. There was the
Clinton, an ancient side-wheeler, so decrepit that you could "stand below
and look outside-" so said Willy Wickers, when I visited him at his
boatyard at the foot of Simonton Street, where he had done many jobs
for Johnson. "Don't tell anybody," was the word for this adventure,
while he and Johnson, with Bruce Saunders, colored diver, and "a couple
of hobos," patched a few of the worst holes, and towed her to Jackson-
ville. There they found a tramp steamer bound for New York, and
dickered for a "lift." She travelled much too fast for the crumbling old
bones behind her, but the Clinton arrived at last, and was sold for junk,
at a good profit.
One voyage of the schooner Irene showed the variety of life to an
active Key Wester. In a dull season, when the pineapples on the keys
were ready to ship, Johnson made up a party, and loaded pineapples
from Rock Harbor to Elliott's Key. The cargo was completed on a
Saturday in a calm-just air enough to work the boat out into the
Stream. That night, however, a fresh southeaster struck in, putting her
rail under, and there it stayed until they made landfall on Barnegat
Light, on Thursday evening. At New York, Johnson sold the pine-
apples, and loaded coal for Maine; thence he brought ice back to New
York, and there took general cargo for Key West, topped it off with a
deck-load of kerosene in ten-gallon cases. The spring doldrums were now
on, and they were a long time working down into the Straits; as they
finally came abreast of Carysfort Light, they met a two-day calm during
which the Stream swept them quietly back to Brunswick, Georgia-as
not seldom happened to sail craft. In all they were thirty-two days
getting back to Key West, as against their five-day voyage north
There were always pickings, and odd jobs. Much Florida beef, on the
hoof, was shipped to Cuba at this time, usually in schooners, and the
calms of summer often made trouble for them. It paid to take a tug
across the Stream, and many a cargo of bawling cattle Johnson towed to
the Morro at Havana. One unusual task was removing a ship's propeller,
bent on a rock, and mounting her spare, all twelve feet under water. A
small charge of dynamite loosened the old screw, and divers had no
difficulty in keying on the new one; thus a few men, in a day or so,
obviated the need for a long tow to Jacksonville, and heavy docking
charges-a good example of the ingenuity which brought Johnson to the
lead in wrecking.
An important part of the wrecking business was a warehouse. With
Johnson this developed into a gigantic collection of tools, machinery,
parts, materials, general merchandise, and an almost incredible mass of
odds and ends. As Peter Roberts told me, "He was called 'Hog' because
he was into everything. People say 'I wouldn't do this, or that,' and
then when somebody comes along and does it, they call him Hog. He
would pick up anything on the street-an old bolt, a brick-and take it
to his shop. You could get anything there-anything at all."
With this magpie trait, one wrecking side-line was especially attrac-
tive to Johnson-speculation in abandoned hulks, from which wreckers
had already taken all they thought valuable, after which they might lie
untouched for many years. He had equipment and ingenuity to recover
machinery and fittings which others could not handle, but still more
fascinating, apparently, was the chance of finding hidden valuables in
secret lockers, or in odd corners of the ship's timbers-a common means
of safeguarding cash, jewelry, and such items. A good diver, in shoal
water, with modern equipment unhurried by rivalry, could go through a
ship with a fine-toothed comb, and there were always some prizes. John
West did a lot of this for him, and told me about it one warm night, in
his home in Coral Gables-a huge and rugged person, whom years could
not rob of vigor, nor of the tang and savor of many adventures.
Small-boat voyages were also part of the game; one was in a ship's
long-boat, to the Isle of Pines.
"And what was that for?"
"Oh, he carried a load of stuff."
"What kind of stuff?"
"That was a secret I"
On another occasion, attending a wreck-sale at Nassau, he completed
his business before the friend on whose boat he had come, so he borrowed
a dory and sailed it back home, across the Gulf Stream and down the
Reef-a longer and harder route than the Miami-Nassau race, where
crack yachts get the safe-conduct of a coast-guard cutter.
The last really "good" wreck was that of the steamer Alicia, of
Bilbao, on Ajax Reef, in 1906. She had a rich general cargo for Havana
-silks, laces, wines and liquors, household furnishings, pianos, utensils,
provisions, etc., etc.,-a huge general emporium. Within a few hours
the fleet surrounded her, a motley flock of sail craft, many quite small.
We chanced to be lying nearby, and spent the day with them, on the
shining green water that rolled lazily over the Reef from the purple Gulf
Stream. The ship lay on the edge of the coral, with no sign of injury save
a slight heel, but she was bilged and water-logged. On deck two crews
of fifty each manned great tackles, their faces alight with joy, their mel-
low voices ringing out, adrip with glory, as the grand old chanties rolled
across the waves, timing their pull on the cargo-nets. How their eyes
gleamed as each load swung out on deck, and followed every item on its
way to the schooners alongside! How they laughed and joked in the
intervals! How the joy of life fairly lighted up the scene! It was the
fun of wrecking at its best.
There was only one fault to find with Alicia as a wreck; after the
dry cargo was removed, the flooded portion proved unworkable, because
some hundreds of tons of rice had fermented, and the "skin divers" could
not enter. Most of such work was done by naked negroes, who could
work under water for about two minutes; diving armor and compressed
air were comparatively rare. Two large holes were blasted in the sides
of the ship in the hope that tide would flow through and clean out the
foaming, malodorous mess, but much heavy cargo had to be abandoned.
Johnson worked on Alicia, of course. He never saw a richer cargo;
there was nothing approaching her afterward. I talked with John Lopez,
clerk for Curry's big supply house since 1887, who knew Johnson well
throughout his Key West life. He, too, turned a good penny from Alicia,
taking over a quantity of linen and cotton goods, and making his home
into a shop for a couple of years. It was a great wreck, and well
remembered by many still living.
Johnson's last important job was towing; an English cable-boat
needed heavier ways than Key West could offer, and had to go to Havana.
They met bad weather, in which she was too heavy for Johnson's little
tug; fortunately they were convoyed, as a matter of international cour-
tesy, by the light-house tender, under Captain Cosgrove, and the tender
completed the job.
So the heart went out of wrecking. Gleanings, odd jobs, and the bus-
iness of his warehouse with its incredible masses of nautical plunder,
filled Johnson's time. He had grown stout, hirsute, and somewhat slovenly
-his readiness to leap into any task at any moment did not encourage
personal neatness. And so we find him in April, 1914, busy at his ways,
hauling out a schooner. John West, diver and long-time helper, was
working with him, and protested when Johnson leaped into the water
to heave and pull: "Take it easy, now! Don't strain yourself I" He paid
no attention, of course-what did he know of caution? But the warning
was justified, for a few minutes later he fell, in the water. They carried
him ashore, but he never spoke again-and so he died as he would have
wished, with his boots on, and in the sea he loved.
He was a great wrecker-in one way at least the greatest in Key West,
for to him it was the business of life, while to all the rest it was inci-
dental, secondary to their regular work. Action, contest, the spice of
danger, the long chance, the triumph of audacity, made life worth while
to him, and as long as wrecking yarns are told in Key West, his name
will fall from many a tongue.
General Problems of Florida Archaeology
by DORIS STONE
MRS. STONE, of the Middle American Research Institute of Tulane
University and Chairman of the Committee on Archaology of the Florida
Historical Society, is a well known contributor to journals in her field
and author of (monographs) Some Spanish Entradas (1932) and Masters
in Marble (1938). Her present paper lists succinctly the problems open
to us in Southern Florida and suggests some possibilities for their solution.
T HE flat limestone peninsula of Florida has been thrust upward
from the sea, leaving the southeastern portion slightly higher
than the southwestern.' Of all the states in the Union, Florida is
geologically the youngest2 and is the only state whose Flora3 and Fauna4
are related both to the West Indies and to North America. This relation-
ship is particularly evident in southern Florida.
Skirting this limestone peninsula, from Biscayne Key practically into
Tampa Bay, are a host of small islands known popularly as reefs and
keys. Technically, however, the only coral reefs are in the northeast. The
southwestern maze of keys, namely those forming the Ten Thousand
Islands, is what remains of an ancient, large island.5
Archaeological sites in Florida can be divided roughly into three
categories: mounds, keys, and shell heaps. Taken as a whole, they suggest
rather distinct periods of Florida occupation, each type in a measure
revealing the culture of the people who built it. Yet over and through
practically the entire area, sites have been used and reused, thereby
making obvious the penetration of cultural thrusts from divers regions
and at different times. This leaves a confusing, not-so-clearly-defined
Florida mounds, as apart from the shell heaps and the keys, are found
in quantity throughout the northern portion of the state. Although con-
1. Charles Schuchert, Historical Geology of the Antillean-Caribbean Region (New York:
John Wiley & Sons, 1935), p. 243.
2. Ibid., p. 245.
3. Robert Francis Scharff, Distribution and Origin of Life in America (New York:
Macmillan, 1912), p. 167; see also Charles T. Simpson. In Lower Florida Wilds (New
York: Putnam, 1920).
4. Simpson, op. cit. and Florida Plant Life (New York: Macmillan, 1932).
5. Schuchert, p. 256.
tinuing southward, they are fewer in number and appear to be confined
to the relatively scarcer sections of high ground. The mounds are of earth,
and of sand and earth, and come under two classifications, burial and
domiciliary. The domiciliary mound primarily was a foundation mound
to support a building of wood or canes. It is a type commonly called
"pyramidal." They are related in purpose and often in plan to the
Mexican pyramidal mounds, and are held by some to have been built by
the Muskgovian tribes in Florida, and by others to be the result of an
Ohio culture group, the Hopewell. The culture of both the historic Musk-
govian and the extinct Hopewell was more or less an inland one, what
might be classed here as a "highland" culture. This is in contrast with
the culture associated with the low, flat, marshy lands and their essential
waterways which are characteristic of the Gulf coast and peninsula
Florida. The apparent preference of the mound-builders for the highest
available locations is what we might expect to find true of an inland
people, whether or not they were the Hopewell or even the Marksville
builders of the Mississippi valley, or the Muskgovian tribes which were
living in Florida at the time of the Spanish conquest. Pyramidal mounds
similar to the Florida mounds are found also in the rest of the south-
eastern area of the United States.6 The presence of this type of house
mound in Florida leads inevitably, regardless of Hopewell or Muskgovian
relationship, to the question of Mexican influence. Because the whole
archaeological picture of the upper Mississippi or Hopewell culture and
of the Muskgovian peoples is bound up also with the question of whether
these cultures are indigenous to northern United States or to Mexico.7
The burial mounds show, more than any particular archaeological
group, a complexity of influences. There are many types of burials in
Florida, from the rare urn burials which shows a relationship to the
eastern woodlands, to the Antillean custom9 of removing the flesh from
the bones and then burying the bones. In addition to this, mounds, includ-
ing shell heaps, have been used by people later than the actual builders
6. Concerning the mound-building complex in the southeast, see Henry Clyde Shetrone,
The Mound-Builders (New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1936), pp. 477-79; and J. A.
Ford and Gordon Willey, Crooks Site, A Marksville Period Burial Mound in LaSalle
Parish, Louisiana (Louisiana Department of Conservation, Geological Survey. Anthro-
pological Study, No. 3, 1940), p. 139.
7. See Shetrone, pp. 484-88.
8. Ibid., p. 449, fig. 286; also p. 452.
9. David L Bushnell, Jr., Native Cemeteries and Forms of Burial East of the Mississippi
(Smithsonian Institute. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bull. 71, 1920), pp. 95 and
97; and J. Walter Fewkes, Preliminary Arehaeological Explorations at Weeden Island,
Florida (Smithsonlan Miscellaneous Collections, vol. 76, no. 13, 1924), p. 11 ftin. 1.
of the mounds as a place for interment. This, in itself upsets, or at least
makes difficult, the problem of stratigraphy and of chronology.
The key sites are confined to the coast of western Florida. As we have
noted earlier, this region was broken geologically into a maze of small
rises, some scarcely above the encroaching sea even during low tide. The
inhabitants then were forced to build up low terraces and platforms of
conch shells, and to dig shallow canal pathways for essential dugout
canoes. These key sites, dependant as they were on water traffic, the
consequent rise and fall of the sea, the currents, and the winds, may be
supposed quite logically to present a distinct picture from the mainland,
and of necessity to have been used by a people familiar with the sea. This
does not hinder a relationship of such a people with a highland, basically
agricultural group, but it presupposes a coastal unit primarily fishermen
and traders, not dependant upon agriculture for a livelihood.
In truth, the key sites offer a variety of influences, much as at Key
Marco, pointing to Mexico, while some have parallels in the Antilles. This
mixture of traits points to a trader community as distinct from the shell
heap people of simple fisher culture, whom we shall examine later. It
must be borne in mind also that the pre-Columbian Mexicans were far-
famed as traders, and that the coastal region of much of southern Mexico
and Central America had a wide-spread traffic of trading canoes.'0
There is nothing to lead us to believe that Nahua-speaking people
may not also have carried on a similar traffic in the north, whether it be
the result of an actual migration," of a unit which had broken away
from a larger group (for example, in Georgia,'2 the direct outcome of
pre-Columbian trade routes via Mexico. or a basic widespread culture
which centered in Mexico. It should also be remembered that at the time
of the advent of the Spanish to the New World there was active trade
between Florida and the West Indies.'3
The third type of archaeological site in Florida is the shell heap. Shell
heaps are found along the coast, and sometimes continue a little way up
10. Ferdinand Columbus, The History of the Life and Actions of Adm. Christopher
Columbus, and of His Discovery of the West Indies (London: Churchill, 1732), II,
605; Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Historia verdadera do Ia conquista de la Nueva Espafia
(Mexico, Genaro Garcia edition, 1904), II, 306; and Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y
Valdes, Histeria General y Natural de las Indias (Madrid, 1853), Iibr. XXXII, cap.
viii; vol. III, p. 253; see also Diego de Landa, Relation des Choses de Yucatan (Paris,
1864), p. 9.
11. Zelia Nuttall, "Comparison between Etowan, Mexican and Mayan Designs," Etowah
Papers (New Haven: pub. for Phillips Academy by Yale University Press, 1932), p. 144.
12. Doris Stone, "The Relationship of Florida Archaeology to That of Middle America,"
Florida Historical Quarterly, XVII, 3 (January, 1939).
13. Heinrieh Berlin, "Relaclones Precolombinas entire Cuba y YucatAn," Revista Mexicana
de Estudios Antropol6gicos, IV, 1-2 (January-August, 1940), p. 145.
the rivers, clinging for the most part to the available water systems. They
vary in size, and show stratification in that they give evidence of abandon-
ment and reoccupation. The heavy growth on top of many of these heaps
has led to the belief" in the great antiquity of these sites. On the other
hand, the fact that these shell mounds are constructed from all available
shells, not alone the refuse, and that these shells often show signs of
freshness, make the age of the heaps questionable, with a consequently
controversial answer." It is most probable, as we shall see later, that
these shell heaps continued to be erected over a long period, and thus
represent, as a whole, the oldest cultural attribute to be found in Florida.
Unlike the mounds and even the somewhat controversial key sites, the
shell heaps call our attention from the cultural centers of the Mississippi
region, and of Mexico, and point southeastward to the island groups of
the Caribbean. South of Florida lies the sea and the neighboring land-
link of the Antilles, all forming a broken land chain between North and
The oldest people of the West Indies are known as the Ciboney.
Originally associated by scientists with Cuba, they have since been dis-
covered to have extended throughout the Antillean area, and to have
been the people responsible for the so-called "archaic" culture of the
islands. Shell heaps, conch-shell tools, principally conch-shell cups, and
minute amounts of very crude pottery characterize the Ciboney.'6 This
type of culture extends furthermore on the Caribbean coast of Central
America as far west at least as Trujillo in Spanish Honduras.17 Ciboney
culture is known in Florida as the Cautian culture,18 and is a basic
Caribbean complex. It is associated with the shell sites of Florida and
continues northeastward up the Georgia coast" and westward into
Louisiana. The presence of this Cautian complex, whose age is backed by
the age of the Ciboney in Cuba, indicates a longer period of Florida pre-
history than has sometimes been supposed.20 General opinion points also
14. See "Antiquities of Florida." Extract from the Journal of John Bartram of Phila-
delphia. London, 1769, Annual Report, Smithsonian Institution (1874), p. 393.
15. Compare "Antiquities of Florida" with Ales Hrdliika, The Anthropology of Florida
(Deland: Florida State Historical Society, 1922), p. 69.
16. M. R. Harrington, Cuba before Columbus (Indian Notes and Monographs, New York:
Museum of the American Indian, Miscellaneous, No. 17, 1921).
17. Doris Stone, "A Mound and a House-Site," Maya Research, I, 2 (October, 1934), p.
129, and "The Relationship of Florida Archaeology," pp. 215-16.
18. Fewkes, p. 12; and Hrdliika, p. 50. Dr. Hrdlidka does not use the term "Cautlan,"
but prefers to follow the accounts of the historic Indians and uses the name "Caloos-
as" (or "Calusas").
19. Shetrone, pp. 467-68; and Berlin, p. 144.
20. See Hrdlidka, pp. 68-80.
21. Fewkes, p. 25.
to the Cautians as the underlying peoples of the Florida area." The
theory has even been advanced that the Ciboney culture spread from
Florida to Cuba, and not from Cuba to the peninsula. The peoples
responsible for the Mississippi valley traits and the Muskgovian tribes
all belong to a later period of Florida pre-history.
On top of this primary Cautian culture level have come further contacts
with the West Indies. Definite examples of Antillean influence are found,
particularly in eastern Florida among the Yuchi, themselves strangers in
this area.22 The Arawak, a late Antillean people, have traits appearing
in many of the peninsula shell mounds.23
Perhaps the most confusing number of traits in Florida, however, is
to be found in the pottery. Pottery after all might be expected to follow
a set pattern within a given area, but here it shows a great variability in
design and in form. Pottery distribution in Florida tells a story which is
both complex and penetrating. Recent work by Louisiana archaeologists,
for example, shows that the ceramics of the Florida west coast belong to
the later period of Mississippi valley culture. In addition to this, they
have a relationship with the cultural center of Marksville, Louisiana.24
This brings another element into the Florida picture. This is the question
of Marksville, Louisiana, as an influencing culture center, radiating its
own traits, as distinct from upper Mississippi or Hopewell traits.
Weeden Island, on the northwest Florida coast, has yielded, for
example, specimens which might belong either to Marksville or to Hope-
well culture. Again we are faced with the question of the degree of rela-
tionship between the Louisiana and the Ohio culture center, and the
question of priority or age.
More completely under the classification of ceramics is the similarity
existing between the pottery of the northwest Florida coast and that
known as Coles Creek, Louisiana.25 The Coles Creek ware is younger
than that from Marksville. Yet pottery of both types is found in Florida.
This, of course, points to various periods of aboriginal movement, leaving
open the question of the original homesite of each type of ware, and the
region responsible for the whole culture complex. For it is important to
remember, throughout this discussion, that the Mississippi culture centers
are not entirely free of controversial elements themselves. Always the
22. Charlotte D. Gower, "The Northern and Southern Affiliations of Antillean Culture,"
Memoirs of the American Anthropological Association (1927), p. 47.
23. Stone, "The Relationship of Florida Archaeology," p. 216.
24. Ford and Willey, p. 143.
25. J. A. Ford, Ceramic Decoration Sequence at an Old Indian Village Site near Sicily
Island, Louisiana (Louisiana Department of Conservation, Geological Survey, Anthro-
pological Study, No. I, 1935), p. 31.
problem of Middle America raises the question of how much of the
Mississippi valley civilization was indigenous, and how much came from
where, over what routes, and whether or not by trade or actual migration.
So, in the final analysis, Florida archaeology forces us to turn southward
to Middle America. In fact, Middle American traits are scattered over
much of the Florida area, and consist, for the most part-in addition to
the mound complex-of ceremonially broken funerary pots, and caches,
and cranial deformation. Curiously enough, despite the single location of
Key Marco, most of these Middle American traits are particularly absent
from the Florida west coast.26
Why the varying influences, the actual source from whence each came,
and the subsequent routes and methods of the coming? All of this, coupled
with the important element of time, remain concrete, vital problems in
Florida archaeology. They are problems which can be solved only
through careful, scientific excavation, the establishment of stratigraphy,
the delimitation on Florida ceramic areas, and the tying in of these areas
or pottery groups with existing related centers outside of Florida.
26. Shetrone, p. 455.
Pre-Columbian Man in Southern Florida
by KARL SQUIRES
Mr. Squires has for years carried on investigations as a naturalist and
archeologist in Southern Florida, both to enrich his own extensive col-
lections and as a representative of the Smithsonian Institution. In his
present paper he offers a general exposition of the early Indian inhabi-
tants of this district, indicating the opportunities open to us for further
study in this field.
WHEN one thinks of the early Indian races whose members roamed
through the woods and poled their dugout canoes through the
sombre fastnesses of the Everglades and the Cypress swamps of
Florida hundreds of years before the coming of the first white man, the
natural thing has been to associate the name Seminole with all of these
peoples. Scarcely a person but, when asked, will say that the first in-
habitants of Florida were the forebears of the present Indians whose
gaudy costumes, so familiar in South Florida, add another touch of
glamour to an already charming land.
As a matter of fact, the Seminoles were comparatively recent in-
truders and it is doubtful if they reached any part of South Florida much
before the middle of the last century. They were originally of Creek stock
who found the continued advance of the whites into their lands more
than they wished to bear. They moved southward into Northern and
Western Florida where they conquered and either destroyed or absorbed
the races there. The nucleus of the Seminole nation was undoubtedly that
band of Indians that came to Florida first in 1750 from the large Creek
towns along the Chatahoochee river. These bands attacked and destroyed
the Apalachee towns in Northern Florida and gradually spread downward
into the state. The first groups that came were Oconee Indians who were
from the vicinity of Milledgeville, Georgia. Later large numbers of Mus-
kogee Creeks and Hitchiti who were also allied with the Creeks moved
southward. As these bands advanced, they either conquered and destroyed
the races which they encountered or they absorbed them. Renegade whites
and runaway negro slaves found a safe haven among them and so they
became a strong and feared race of more or less mixed blood. They
gradually spread across the entire northern portion of the state and by
the end of the 18th century occupied most of the central part of the
When the Seminoles, hard pressed to hold their villages and towns
near the center of the state, moved southward into the country about Lake
Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee river region, they induced the In-
dians already there to take up arms in their interests. The latter were
called Spanish Indians because of their friendliness towards the Spaniards.
In 1839 Colonel Harney had gone to Charlotte Harbor to establish a
trading post with the natives. Not long after that his camp was attacked
and of the force of 30 men stationed there 18 were killed. In retaliation,
Colonel Harney with a large force attacked the Spanish Indians (Caloos-
as), killed their chief Chekika and a number of his followers. Chekika's
band then went on the warpath and the next year Dr. Perrine, a botanist
who had received a large land grant on the lower East Coast for the
purpose of experimenting with tropical plants, and who, due to the
Indian war had established his home and station on Indian Key, was
killed by them. These marauding Indians as well as the band which in
1836 burned the Cape Florida lighthouse on Biscayne Key were Caloosas
or Tequestas and not Seminoles on whom the blame has usually been
The warlike attitude of the Seminoles toward both red and white men
had long caused friction and finally the famous Seminole Wars, resulting
in the deportation to what is now the state of Oklahoma, of most of the
race. The remainder, undefeated, unconquered, and untamed, retreated
further into the swamps and glades where most of them have remained
until now. When the first Spanish adventurers arrived, searching for the
wealth of the Indies and later when Ponce de Leon came in his quest for
the Fountain of Youth, they found the land inhabited by a people who
for perhaps thousands of years, had a civilization, crude though it was,
which differed in many respects from that of the other portion of this
continent. These people were governed by a loosely bound federation
dominated and controlled by the Caloosas who occupied the southwestern
part of the Gulf coast and inland to Lake Okeechobee, known to them
as Lake Mayamme. Along the lower East coast were the Tequestas and
north of them the Ais and Jaegas. The central part of the peninsula was
inhabited by the Temukas.
Of these several races the most powerful and largest was the Caloosa.
The chief called Calos, later corrupted to Carlos by the Spaniards, was
the controlling power in the federation. The Caloosa metropolis was at or
near Caxambas and Marco. At the time of the Spanish entry into the
country they probably numbered at least 25,000 persons. They were, at
that time however, already a decadent race. Chicken pox introduced by
the Spaniards, and against which they seemed to have no resistance
destroyed them rapidly. One hundred years later they had been so
devastated by disease that but a mere remnant remained.
The Caloosas were a fierce and warlike race, cruel and bloodthirsty.
Their very name means Fierce People. They were large of stature, heavy
set and powerful. The Tequestas who, allied to the Caloosas, lived along
the lower east coast and on the Keys were smiliar to their neighbors in
every way. Their chief was called Tekesta or Tequesta and their metro-
polis was on Biscayne bay at the mouth of the Miami river. On the site
of the old Royal Palm hotel was a very large town and across the river
on the Brickell property was a similar village. There were a number of
other large villages near by. One in particular was at Miami Beach, 96th
street and the Bay. Here a short canal had been dug as a landing for
their canoes and the largest burial mound which has been found in Dade
County was located a short distance to the north of the habitation area
which was nearly a city block in area.
Another site was at Sherwood Forest in Little River. Here was located
also the first and perhaps the only Spanish Mission in this vicinity. This
mission was abandoned not long after it was established as the Indians
did not look with favor on the teachings of the worthy Jesuit Fathers.
There has been some difference in opinion as to the exact location of this
mission, some authorities placing it somewhere in Coconut Grove. How-
ever, there is no doubt that there was such a mission somewhere in Miami.
Other villages of the Tequestas were scattered about the lower East Coast
from Cape Canaveral to Key West. A very large and populous village
was on the west shore of Lake Worth in the town of Riviera. Evidently
the broad reaches of the Everglades with a seemingly endless stretch of
flooded sawgrass prairie which separated the lands of the Tekestas from
the Caloosas did not prevent communication by canoe for the writer has
discovered numbers of both habitation and burial sites on some of the
hammocks far back in the 'Glades. Some of these were perhaps per-
manent villages, others seem to have been camping grounds only.
All these Indians of pre-Columbian times lived on and about large
mounds. This custom, however, was not theirs alone. In various and
widely separated parts of the world these mounds of long departed and
perhaps unknown and forgotten races remain as moments to a past
civilization. Excavation by archeologists in Florida have shown that there
are at least three different kinds of mounds. These were used for widely
different purposes. The most common by far is the habitation mound,
sometimes known as the kitchen midden or midden mound. Here lived
the members of family group or village as the case might be. The local
chief, called the cacique, had his dwelling on the center of the mound.
Grouped about were the houses of the principal men. Other members of
the community placed their houses about the mound on the flat surround-
ing land. The mound itself was built up by the gradual accumulation of
debris, over a period of hundreds of years. This debris was covered, from
time to time, with sand, shells or dirt as the case might be. Excavations
into these mounds have brought to light weapons, tools, utensils and
ornaments which were dropped and eventually buried. All pottery which
has been found in Southern Florida had been broken. Burial mounds,
North and West of the larger Midden Mounds were composed of sand
and contained nothing but human remains. When a person died, the body
was set out usually on a platform of branch. The birds and animals
picked the bones. These were then gathered and placed on the mound
and covered with sand. In time, some of these mounds have become
very large and much higher than the middens. A third type of mound
was used for ceremonies and other official purposes. Such mounds are of
sand, sometimes 25 feet or more in height and in some cases several
hundred feet in length with flattened top.
A very interesting ceremonial mound exists in North Dade county out
several miles in the Everglades. Surrounded for miles by deep black
muck, this mound is constructed entirely of beach sand. It is more than
25 feet high, about 900 feet in length and 300 feet in width. On the east
side three terraces bring the approach gradually down to the level of the
glades. At present the flattened top plateau is covered with a large oak
hammock except for a central clearing on which in recent years the
Seminoles have held festivals. A similar sand mound north of Boca
Raton is at least 30 feet in height and nearly round. Another north of
West Palm Beach is west of the present highway, long and high with a
high narrow causeway leading to the shore of Lake Worth nearly a
quarter of a mile away. Here are the remains of two very large shell and
dirt midden mounds, one on each side of a natural creek which has long
since dried away.
When we consider that Southern Florida itself is a comparatively
recent elevation above the shallow sea which covered it for thousands of
years, it is surprising that any culture could have been established there.
It is true that there are no buried cities, temples or pyramids. In fact
there are but three or four monuments of stone in this part of the state.
KARL SQUIRES 43
Only slight evidence exists that stone was used in construction by the
people who lived, worked, fought and roamed the peninsula a thousand
or more years ago. They did, however, build shell roads, dig canals from
tidewater to their larger cities, and transport enormous quantities of
sand many miles to build large mounds, the use of some of which has
not as yet been determined.
The culture of these early inhabitants, crude and simple at it must
have been, was different from that of the tribes and races who lived con-
temporary with them farther north on the American Continent at the
time of the advent of the white man in the Western Hemisphere. The
life of the people of South Florida was simple. They lived for the most
part in small villages and the sites selected were always on advantageous
high points. They hunted and fished. Their weapons were crude. Deer
bone furnished fishhooks, spear points, bodkins, pins for the hair and
other ornaments. From the larger Conchs and other shells they made
chisels, axes, gorgets and pendants. Stone was not commonly used. In
fact very few pieces of any sort of stone have been found in the mounds.
Sailfish beaks and Stingray tails were used to some extent as barbs and
points. Most of those found so far have come from the Miami Beach
mounds. The pottery used by these people was crude. Some of the pieces
found show evidence that the wheel was used but much of their pots
were just shaped. Evidently each locality had its own designs. In the
heart of the Caloosa land, for example, we find the outside bordered with
a feather-edge design which varies on different pots. Nowhere on the
lower East Coast has the featheredge been used. The smaller pots and
bowls on the Gulf coast were often painted or colored reddish on the
outside. The Tequesta pottery seems to have had a much greater variety
of markings and designs than has so far been discovered on the West
Coast in the Caloosa mounds. A sort of a basket weave design is very
common all along the East Coast. This design covers the entire pot.
The celts which are rather common in all the larger mounds vary
considerably also with location. These chisels, axes and similar instru-
ments and weapons, all of which are known to the ethnologist as celts,
were in almost every case made from the thick lip of the Pink Conch
(Strombus gigas). In the Miami area nearly all the specimens found
have a square cutting edge. At a large mound near Boca Raton in Palm
Beach County and at the mounds excavated around Palm Beach the celts
invariably had rounded edges. Some have straight sides and others are
nearly triangular in shape. Gorgets were made from the columallas or
central cores of the large Gastropod shells, from various small shells of
all sorts and even from the under plate of turtles. Shark teeth and small
shells made necklaces and other ornaments. In the burial mound at upper
Miami Beach was found a fossil shark tooth nearly three inches in
length. This tooth was probably of the miocene age and worn as an orna-
ment since it was drilled with the typical hour-glass hole. As has been
stated, deer bone furnished the people with an endless variety of small
implements, weapons and ornaments. Baskets were made by plaiting
palmetto leaves. Fishing and other lines were made from twisted fibers.
Of their religion we know very little. They lived mainly for the
present and had little or no thought for the future. They had Gods of a
sort, according to the early Spanish writings. According to the narratives,
it would seem that Calos, chief of all the Caloosas and overlord of the
other races which composed the Caloosa federation, had set himself up
long, long ago as being possessed of supernatural powers. These were
passed on through the succeeding generations. Spiritual power was united
with political and social power and the rulers made the most of such
power. The subjects of Calos believed that his charms and sorceries were
the cause of good crops and plentiful harvest. The lesser rulers of the
other allied nations came under this spell for each village and family
group paid annual tribute to him composed of food, weapons, and skins.
Each year at harvest time a solemn ceremony took place. The leaders
attended and after feasting and sacrifices were made the pledge of alleg-
iance was made by what was known as the Black Drink Ceremony. This
was performed by each drinking a very bitter liquid made from berries
and used for this purpose only. Special drinking cups, made from the
shell of the Lightning Conch (Fulgar perverse) were kept for the occa-
sion. Some of the first Spanish writers refer to human sacrifices but this
fact has not been definitely established. It is known, however, that
whenever a Cacique died every servant of his was put to death. Lopez de
Velasco writes that after the death of a Cacique his larger bones were
removed from the body and set up in his house as a shrine. For a month
his followers came daily to the place and worshipped there.
Most of our knowledge of their customs and culture has come to us
from the meagre reports and other writings of the early Spanish Con-
quistadores and one or two Englishmen who were shipwrecked along
the coast and were obliged to make their way northward along the coast
often through the lands of unfriendly natives. Our best information
comes from the journal of Hernando de Escalente Fontenada, a Spaniard
who was shipwrecked on the lower West Coast early in the 16th century.
He was held a captive for seventeen years, although he was allowed the
run of the villages and through most of the Caloosa regions. He spent
most of his time visiting the various towns of the Caloosas and in this
way became very familiar with their culture. His writings have been
preserved in the archives of the Spanish Government and have been made
available to the archeologists in this country.
Another Spaniard, named Garcelaso, a member of one of the early
Spanish expeditions, described the town of Ossachille, which is supposed
to have been somewhere in either Manatee or Sarasota County. This
description may be taken as typical of the villages in this part of the
state at that time. Translated from the original, he writes as follows:
"As many as possible, at least the chief and under lords, had houses built
on the flat of the top mound site, according to the grandeur of the ruler,
accommodating from ten to twenty houses, for the dwellings of the family
and the serving people. On the flat at the foot of the hill (mound) they
make a quadrangle square, according to the size of the village which is
to be located around it."
Up to the time of the Spanish invasion the inhabitants of South
Florida seem to have had little if any trade relations with the races
further north. Excavation of the mounds in the northern part of the
state reveal vast numbers of stone weapons and implements. Many of
these are of material not naturally found within hundreds of miles of the
place where they were discovered. Gold and silver beads and other orna-
ments are not uncommon in the mounds of the upper West Coast of the
The only mound from which were found highly ornamented artifacts
and carved wood have been found was at Marco in 1904. About four
years ago a project sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute of Washing-
ton made extensive excavations at some large mounds near Belle Glade.
Here at a depth of some four feet below the water level a number of
pieces of carved wood and a number of gold beads were found.
The age of the mounds in South Florida has not yet been accurately
determined. It is certain, however, that man lived and roamed along the
higher parts of lower Florida for perhaps several thousands of years. Also
it is rather possible that there was an earlier race perhaps more intellec-
tual and having a higher form of culture than the Caloosas and their
allies. Some of the larger mounds go to much greater depth than others.
Recent excavations at a number of the more important village sites
reveal a most interesting story.
At Miami Beach the lower portions of both the burial and the midden
mounds at the foot of 96th street extend several feet below the present
high water level. Since all the mounds were built on the surface of the
ground and are close to the waters of Biscayne Bay it is evident that the
former inhabitants must have lived there at a time when the land was
far enough above tidewater to insure dry land at all times. The land on
which the mound rests must have settled at least six feet to have made
habitation there possible. Statistics have estimated that there has been
a gradual settlement of the lands in that part of the state at a rate of one
inch to one hundred years. Assuming that to be true, the age of the lowest
strata must be around six thousand years. Mammal bones of long extinct
species have been found among the remains of broken pottery, ashes and
other debris in the habitation part of the mounds. This would also indi-
cate the great age of the earliest settlement.
In the lower levels of the Miami Beach mounds and the larger ones
at Belle Glade there appears to have been a different culture of a more
advanced type. The skeletal remains show a distinct difference and show
* forms which indicate a higher intelligence. This earlier race if it existed
was probably over run and destroyed by the more warlike and hostile
race which followed. The origin of these early races is still in doubt. The
Caloosa and Tequesta groups may have migrated from Asia but their
customs and habits and language differed materially from that of the
Choctaws and Creeks who lived north of them. Excavations of mounds
on a number of the larger Islands in the West Indies has brought to light
hundreds of artifacts from those regions. Since the artifacts from South
Florida are comparable to the former it is quite possible that our early
floridians came from the East rather than from the North. Several hun-
dreds of mounds scattered over the state have not been excavated and
our only hope of more accurate information of these long departed peoples
is that at some future date scientific research may reveal the key to the
ancient civilizations which flourished here so long ago.
The Epispocal Church in South Florida
by EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
Dr. Pennington, Rector of the Church of the Holy Cross in Miami and
Associate Editor of The Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal
Church, is the author of many articles and brochures, chiefly written in
the field of church history. This article by Dr. Pennington is the first in
a series of historical papers written by representatives, of the religious
denominations in this region planned by The Historical Association of
IN 1892, the Diocese of Florida was divided. Since the creation of the
diocese in 1838, it has been coterminous with the boundaries of the
territory and state of Florida; and that vast area, extending from
Pensacola in the northwest, Fernandina in the northeast, and Tampa on
the Gulf of Mexico, to Key West in the extreme south, was under the
supervision of a single bishop. With the growth of population, it was
realized that a division should be made; and so, with the authority of the
governing body of the Protestant Episcopal Church, that portion lying
south of the northern line of Volusia, Lake, Marion, and Citrus counties
-approximately the peninsula of Florida-was erected into the mission-
ary jurisdiction of Southern Florida. The Right Reverend William Crane
Gray, D.D., became its first bishop. Afterwards the missionary jurisdic-
tion achieved sufficient financial independence to gain admission as the
Diocese of South Florida.
During the British occupation, there was only one settlement of con-
sequence in that territory now embraced in the Diocese of South Florida;
and during the seventy-odd years between the acquisition of Florida as a
possession of the United States of America and the division of the diocese,
the peninsula was very thinly settled. Still the Episcopal Church has a
history in that southern portion which parallels that of the more populous
northern section. There were Church of England ministrations in New
Smyrna at the same time that clergymen were active in St. Augustine,
Pensacola, and Mobile; and Key West, in spite of its isolation, was one
of the seven parishes which secured the incorporation of Florida as a
diocese in 1838. It is with the activities of the Anglican communion in
that part of Florida now included in the Diocese of South Florida that
we are concerned.
On the 10th of February, 1763, the King of Spain ceded and guaran-
teed in full ownership to His British Majesty, "Florida, with Fort Saint
Augustine and the Bay of Pensacola, as well as all that Spain possesses
in the continent of North America to the east or southeast of the Missis-
sippi River, and, in general, everything depending on the said countries
and lands."' On the 7th of October, the same year, the boundaries of
East and West Florida were fixed by royal proclamation. East Florida
was bounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Apalachicola River; north by
a line drawn from the junction of the Catahouchee (Chattahochee) and
Flint Rivers to the source of St. Mary's River, and by the course of that
river to the Atlantic Ocean; and east and south by the ocean and the
Gulf of Florida, "including all islands within six leagues of the seacoast."2
At the beginning of the British occupation, the inhabitants of the whole
of Florida numbered scarcely more than seven thousand; and they were
gathered principally in the towns of St. Augustine and Pensacola. They
depended largely on government and military employment. With the
cession, there was a general exodus of Spanish-speaking people; this was
replaced in time by the immigration of English subjects, particularly
from South Carolina as well as from overseas. In 1766, settlers arrived
from the Bermudas. Doctor Andrew Turnbull undertook the develop-
ment of a colony at New Smyrna. After the American Revolution began,
quite a few loyalists took refuge in Florida.
During the time in which East and West Florida were British pro-
vinces, no fewer than nine clergymen were licensed for service by the
Bishop of London, who was the diocesan head of the Church of England
in America. Besides, there were other ministers who held occasional ser-
vices, as well as school-masters. The Society for the Propagation of the
Gospel in Foreign Parts (incorporated in 1701, and the great missionary
agency of the English Church during the colonial period) co-operated
with the Bishop of London to the extent of selecting clergymen for the
Florida posts, investigating their qualifications, and recommending their
appointment; but the Society did not bear the expense of their journey
or contribute to their stipend in either of the Florida provinces. Each
1. British Record Office, State Papers, 108/124.
2. Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politicks, and Literature for the Year
1763 (London, 1705), p. 209.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
regularly licensed clergyman received a royal bounty to defray the cost
of his travel; while his salary, which amounted to 100 a year, was paid
by the British government. The school-masters received a stipend of 50.
Clergymen were appointed for St. Augustine, Pensacola, and Mobile
as early as 1764; but the history of the Anglican communion in the
Florida peninsula begins with the New Smyrna colony. In 1768, some
fourteen hundred Minorcans, a number of Frenchmen, and about seventy-
five Greeks, under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Turnbull, formed a
settlement on the North Hillsborough stream, which was named New
Smyrna. The Reverend John Forbes, priest in charge of the congregation
at St. Augustine and the first Anglican minister in East Florida, made
visits to this colony before the appointment of a regular incumbent.
John Forbes was a man of exemplary qualities, and was destined to
play a prominent part in the administrative and judicial life of the
province as well as in the Church. He was born in Strathdon, Scotland,
in 1740; and took his Master of Arts degree from the University of Aber-
deen in 1758, afterwards attending classes in divinity. There he was a
diligent student and good scholar; and proved of unblameable character.
He enjoyed the friendship and approval of Governor James Grant; and
from the time of his arrival in the province (1764) to his departure and
death in 1783, he was one of the leading men of East Florida. Of his
ministrations to the New Smyrna colonists, practically nothing is known.
The Reverend John Fraser was licensed to East Florida by the Bishop
of London, on the 23rd of March, 1769. It was designed to send Mr.
Fraser to St. Mark's on the Gulf coast. He received the royal bounty to
defray the cost of his passage on April 1st.3 On reaching Florida, how-
ever, he found the prospects of an effective work in that small settlement
hopeless; hence he turned to the more promising Turnbull colony. Thus
Mr. Fraser became the first Anglican clergyman resident in the bounds
of the present Diocese of South Florida, just as New Smyrna became the
first established parish therein. Little is known of Mr. Fraser's services,
although his name is mentioned from time to time in the documents. He
died in 1772; after his death, other Church of England clergymen ad-
ministered to the spiritual needs of the inhabitants.4
Another clergyman arrived in East Florida in the person of the
Reverend John Leadbeater, who received the royal bounty for his pass-
age, May 18th, 1773.5 Though officially licensed to St. Mark's, Mr.
3. Fulham MSS, Missionary Bonds; Fothergill, List of Emigrant Ministers, p. 28.
4. Public Record Office: Colonial Office, 5/550, p. 75; and 5/575, p. 94.
5. Fothergill, p. 40.
Leadbeater repaired to the New Smyrna colony until ill health caused
him to return home, in 1775.6 Sometime afterwards, he secured the
services of a young clergyman, the Reverend John Kennedy, who received
the bounty for his journey, January 1st, 1777. Mr. Kennedy's stay was
short. He was nominated as Mr. Leadbeater's curate in the parish of St.
Mark's; but he probably visited outlying sections and worked at New
Smyrna. A church for English worship had been built in New Smyrna as
early as 1771, when Mr. Fraser was in charge. William Gerard DeBrahm,
surveyor of lands in East Florida, mentions the existence of an English
church as well as one for the Roman Catholics.7
Since East Florida remained loyal to the British Crown throughout
the American Revolution, there was quite an immigration of the dwellers
of the other provinces who had no desire to relinquish their allegiance to
Great Britain, yet found residence in the war-swept colonies unbearable
and precarious. Among the Tory refugees was the Reverend James Sey-
mour, of St. Paul's parish, Augusta, Georgia, who arrived in St. Augus-
tine in 1783, after a distressing experience. A native of Aberdeen and a
graduate of King's College, Aberdeen University, Seymour had been a
school-master prior to his ordination. At the outbreak of the war, his
strong loyalist sympathies created antagonism; and he found himself
deprived of his church and parsonage. In fact, his life was threatened.
On his removal to Florida, he found work at St. Augustine and the sur-
rounding districts. He was a very industrious man. Between the 8th of
June, 1783, and the 14th of February, 1784, he baptised ninety-four
children, married thirty-three couples, and buried forty-seven corpses.8
It is not improbable that Mr. Seymour visited New Smyrna in the course
of his activities.
A solitary province, sparsely inhabited and mostly undeveloped, East
Florida was an unprofitable possession at the close of the Revolution.
About 1783, there were rumours afloat that the mother-country was about
to cede the land back to Spain. Untold anxiety was caused among the
settlers; many of them had staked their entire fortune on the prospect of
a permanent abode in Florida, and had done their best to cultivate the
land and build houses. They had no desire to exchange their holdings
for grants in Nova Scotia or the Bahamas. A petition was, therefore,
drawn up in the hope that the government would consider their case
and retain control of the province. The principal inhabitants of East
6. Public Record Office: Colonial Office, 5/555, pp. 147-150.
7. DeBrahm MSS, original in Harvard College Library; several times reprinted.
8. S. P. G. New Photostats, Florida, in Library of Congress, pp. 302-305.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
Florida signed this petition, which bore the date of June 6, 1783; and
the Reverend John Forbes of St. Augustine was sent to England to
present the appeal in person. It was too late. On the 3rd of September,
1783, Great Britain, by the Treaty signed at Versailles, provided for the
cession of East Florida to Spain. Mr. Forbes himself, who had been in
bad health for some time, died soon after reaching England. A note in the
Public Record Office, of November 10, 1783, speaks of "ye Revd Mr
Forbes lately deceased."9
Thus ended the British rule in Florida. Eighteen months were allowed
to the British subjects, in which to leave the province, sell their effects,
and take up their abode in other territory. With the coming of the
Spaniards, the Church of England dwindled away. The Roman Catholic
religion alone was tolerated. The Minorcans, who resided in the colony,
became Roman Catholics, as far as they paid any attention to religion.'0
On the 19th of February, 1821, Florida passed under the political
control of the United States of America, under the treaty of purchase
which had been signed between the King of Spain and the American
government, February 22, 1819. Thus it became an American territory.
So far as the Episcopal Church was concerned, matters forthwith began
to assume a favourable aspect. Soon after the change of flags, which took
place in July, 1821, the American residents of St. Augustine "determined
on procuring the services of a Protestant clergyman, and agreed that he
should be of the Episcopal Church. Application was made, and the Rev.
Andrew Fowler went there, under the auspices of the Young Men's
Missionary Society of Charleston, S.C."" In the next few years, missions
were established at Pensacola, Tallahassee, and several smaller places in
the northern part of the territory.
In the meantime there was a movement towards parish organisation
in the remote southern extremity of the territory. The earliest recorded
data regarding Key West is to be found in a grant of the island of Cayo
Hueso, August 26, 1815, by Don Juan de Estrada, the Spanish Goverfior
of Florida, to Juan Pablo Salas. Nothing was done by Salas to settle or
improve the island. On the 19th day of January, 1822, Salas sold the
same to Mr. John W. Simonton of Mobile, who proceeded to secure other
purchasers. By this time, several families from South Carolina and other
9. Public Record Office: Colonial Office, No. 12.
0. East Florida Papers, Escrituran, Library of Congress, 1792, p. 559.
1. Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society of the P. E. Church: Periodical Paper, Nov.
1831, pp. 2-4.
states, and from St. Augustine, had taken up residence on the island.12
This remote location had previously been only the resort of pirates,
or of fishermen supplying the market of Havana. The general government
soon proceeded to make it the rendezvous of the squadron engaged in the
suppression of piracy. Commodore David Porter commanded the squad-
ron organised to suppress the pirates of the West Indies, known as the
"Brethren of the Coast." He selected the island of Key West as a base
of operations; and erected a storehouse, workshop; hospital, and quarters
for the men; and gathered a fleet of twenty-one craft, suited for the
work of driving from the sea the "Brethren of the Coast." He captured
and destroyed a number of the buccaneers' vessels; and finally put an
end to piracy in the Caribbean Sea."
Life was very hard in those days. The men were subjected to great
exposure and to the want of many of the necessities and most of the
comforts of living. Sickness made its appearance to a considerable extent
among the inhabitants. Some of the early settlers, however, were men
of fine character. One of them was Mr. William Adee Whitehead (1810-
1884), of New Jersey, the son of Mr. William Whitehead, cashier of the
Newark Banking and Insurance Company, the first bank chartered in
New Jersey. Mr. Whitehead went to Key West in October, 1828, as
assistant to his brother, John Whitehead, who had already taken up resi-
dence on the island. In 1830, he was appointed collector of customs; and
during his ten years' stay at Key West filled several local offices, includ-
ing that of mayor. He founded a newspaper in the town; and it was
there that he began his meteorological observations, which continued for
forty years. In 1838, he moved to New York, where he engaged in
business; he was for several years in Wall Street, and subsequently he
was connected with the New York and Harlem and New Jersey Rail-
roads. In 1876, he was treasurer of a financial institution at Newark.
His leisure hours were principally employed in historical research and
in observing and recording meteorological phenomena for the New York
Daily Advertiser and the Smithsonian Institution. He was actively inter-
ested in education, and served on the Board of Trustees of the State
normal school, and was Vice-president of the New Jersey Board of
Education." His son, Cortlandt Whitehead, became Bishop of Pittsburgh.
It was chiefly through Mr. Whitehead's efforts that the Episcopal
Church of Key West was organised. Up to 1831, the inhabitants of the
12. Jefferson B. Browne, Key West the Old and the New (St. Augustine, 1912), pp. 7-9.
13. Ibid., p. 73.
14. Ibid., p. 200.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
town had neither manifested a desire nor made an effort to obtain the
establishment of a clergyman among them. "The observance of the sab-
bath was unknown, the ordinances of the church generally disregarded,
and immorality and vice were daily and openly visible. Cut off from all
direct communication with their friends, in the various sections of our
country, and subjected to privations which are met with in no other part
of it, the inhabitants of this isolated spot seemed to consider themselves
beyond the pale of the church, and absolved from the ties of morality
and religion. About this period, however, from various causes, but prin-
cipally from the acquisition of a few intelligent families, an improvement
in the morals of the people became apparent; and Mr. W. A. Whitehead,
then a resident here, availed himself of the auspicious movement to
impress upon all reflecting men the advantages to be derived from the
presence of a clergyman. The result of his efforts was a request from the
municipal authorities, that they would adopt immediate measures to
carry his recommendation into effect."'5
On the 7th of March, 1831, a resolution of the town council, proposed
by Mr. William A. Whitehead, called for a public meeting of the citizens
to adopt measures for obtaining the services of a clergyman; and among
the duties required of him was the opening of a school. In pursuance
thereof, a meeting was held on the 9th day of March; and Judge James
Webb, of the United States Court, presided. A committee of six was
appointed, consisting of the Hon. James Webb, of the Hon. David Coffin
Pinkham (judge of the County Court of Monroe County), Mr. William
A. Whitehead (collector of customs of the port of Key West), Col.
Lachland M. Stone (United States marshall for the Southern District of
Florida), Dr. Benjamin B. Strobel (surgeon of the army post), and Dr.
Henry S. Waterhouse (postmaster of Key West), to ascertain as far as
practicable how much could be raised by subscription for the support
of a minister, and the number of children who would attend the school
to be established by him, as well as to communicate with the Bishop of
New York, requesting him to procure and send a clergyman to the
island.16 (Fairbanks says, in his History of Florida, that services had
16. Browne, p. 26.
been held occasionally by clergymen visiting Key West; and Judge
Jefferson B. Browne states that "in the earliest days of the settlement
of Key West, . the people gathered together in the old court house
in Jackson Square and held non-denominational services. Occasionally,
15. Spirit of Missions, VIII (1843), 131-132 (quoting a letter from the wardens and
when some clergyman would be transiently on the island, his services
would be engaged and the islanders worshipped God with no thought of
the denomination of the pastor.""7 But there was no organised or con-
certed effort to secure a resident minister prior to March, 1831).
As a result of the meeting, the committee addressed the following
letter to the Bishop of New York:
To the Right Reverend Benjamin T. Onderdonk, Bishop of the Protestant
Episcopal Church, New York.
The undersigned having been deputed by the citizens of Key West to
address you on the subjects embraced in the second resolution herein en-
closed, and to solicit your attention to them as soon as your convenience will
permit. They have also been directed to state that should the objects con-
templated in that resolution, be attained, it will be in their power to advance
to the gentleman who shall undertake the duties therein specified at least five
hundred dollars for his support during the first year of his ministry, and to
furnish him with schools, the proceeds of which, during the same period, will
add to his income at least five hundred dollars more and to assure him that
a reasonable belief is entertained of the gradual increase of both sums, as
society advances, and the benefits expected to be derived from his labors
shall be developed. The citizens of Key West heretofore have had to submit
to all the inconveniences resulting from the want of an enlightened minister
of the gospel, permanently located with them and a well organized school.
The transient character of a large portion of the population, and other cir-
cumstances beyond their control, have until now prevented their making any
successful attempt to administer to these wants but late accessions of much
worth to their permanent society, and a general state of improvement which
has commenced, and is now progressing on the island, give them assurance
that these conditions have, in a great measure ceased to operate and they
feel it due to themselves, to their posterity, and to the respectability of their
community, that they should avail themselves of the earliest opportunity of
taking such measures as will prevent their being longer deprived of the
advantages which they know must flow from a better system of religious,
moral and scientific instruction than they now possess.
The undersigned have also been instructed to say that a gentleman with
a family would be preferred, if one such, possessing equal qualifications in
other respects, could be induced to reside here upon the terms proposed. So
far as regards the health, enjoyment and comfort of his family, the under-
signed do not hesitate in saying that he has little to apprehend. The society,
both male and female, is rapidly improving and at this time affords the
material for rendering pleasant the time of a gentleman or lady of refine-
ment, taste and education. Should a married gentleman determine to come,
it would not be expected of him to remove to the island before the month of
October, and in that event, he will avoid the exposure which persons of a
habit formed in a northern climate might experience on removing to a
southern one in the summer season; nor will it be required in any year that
he shall spend a greater portion of the months of August and September
here than will be entirely agreeable to himself.
The undersigned respecfully beg leave to request- an answer at the
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
earliest date convenient to you, in order that they may be enabled to com-
municate to those whom they represent the result of this application in time
to take such other steps as shall be found necessary. They also avail them-
selves of this opportunity of tendering to you their high consideration and
DAVID COFFIN PINKHAM
W. A. WHITEHEAD
L. M. STONE
R. B. STROBEL
N. S. WATERHOUSE
This appeal failed to secure the desired supply. On October 13, 1831,
another public meeting was held and the committee reported that they
had communicated with Bishop Onderdonk, and, although the letter
appeared in a religious magazine published by the Episcopal Church in
New York, no person had been appointed, and no reply had been re-
ceived from the bishop. The committee recommended that, their efforts
having failed, a clergyman of some other religious body be invited.19
"The Episcopal Church was the pioneer religious organization in Key
West, and the entire population who desired a church to be established
here, united for the purpose of public devotion under the name of the
Protestant Episcopal Church, and many united with it who had not
previously been of that faith."20
The Reverend Sanson K. Brunot, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who
was still in deacon's orders, arrived in Key West on December 23, 1832.
He had letters of introduction from Bishop Onderdonk of New York,
and Mr. S. J. Whitehead of New Jersey. He was only twenty-four years
old; and had gone to Key West because, of ill health. He was warmly
welcomed on the island, and became the guest of Mr. William A. White-
head. On Christmas day, 1832, he held services. It was after these services
that the first step was taken towards the formation of a parish, by those
present signing an act of association to form a congregation, to be
governed by the rules and canons of the Episcopal Church. The following
named persons were enrolled in the first Episcopal congregation: Mr.
James Webb, Mr. William A. Whitehead, Mr. David C. Pinkham, Mr.
Fielding A. Browne, Mr. Thomas Eastin, Mr. Alexander Patterson, Mr.
A. H. Day, Mr. John W. Simonton, Mr. Adam Gordon, Mr. William H.
Shaw, Mr. J. R. Western, Mr. William H. Wall, Mr. Theodore Owens,
Mr. Eugene Trenor, Mr. L. A. Edmonston, Mr. Henry K. Newcomb, Mr.
18. Ibid.. pp. 202-203.
19. Ibid., p. 26.
20. Ibid., p. 27.
Francis D. Newcomb, Mr. Henry S. Waterhouse, Mr. Amos C. Tift, Mr.
E. Van Evour, Mr. John Whitehead, Mr. Pardon C. Greene, Mr. Oliver
O'Hara, Mr. George E. Weaver, Mr. Philip J. Fontaine, Mr. John J.
Sands, Mr. Stephen R. Mallory, Mr. Francis B. Watlington, Mr. Charles
M. Wells, and Mr. John P. Baldwin. At the first election of wardens and
vestrymen, held April 5, 1833, Mr. James Webb and Colonel Oliver
O'Hara were elected wardens; and Messrs. Fielding A. Browne, Pardon
C. Greene, Alexander Patterson, David Coffin Pinkham, and William A.
Whitehead were elected vestrymen."1
Mr. Brunot's services were well attended; and he was generally liked.
His health was so bad, however, that his ministry soon came to an end.
After officiating only a few times, frequent hemorrhages put a stop to
further public services. Feeling that he should pass his last days in his
old home, he left Key West in May, 1833; and died soon after his
arrival in Pittsburgh.22
Before leaving, Mr. Brunot advised the vestrymen to apply to the
Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal
Church for aid. In January, 1834, that Society received a letter from
the wardens and vestrymen of St. Paul's, Key West, representing the
inability of the inhabitants of that island to maintain a clergyman
unaided. On the 10th of February, the Executive Committee appropriated
$200 for one year. The parish added $500 to that sum. On the 13th of
April, the Reverend Alva Bennett, of Troy, New York, was appointed
missionary there.3 Mr. Bennett arrived in Key West in October, 1834;
but he did not like the climate, and returned north the following April.
On November 16, 1834, during his stay, the Holy Communion was first
celebrated in Key West, in the court-house, in Jackson Square, where
services were held. The wardens and vestrymen testified that "the good
effects" of Mr. Bennett's residence among the people were apparent. "The
moral tone of the whole population was elevated." At that time, the
entire population of Key West, including about forty slaves, did not
exceed 350.24 There was no place set apart for worship; services were
held in the court-house.
Mr. Bennett was succeeded by the Reverend Robert Dyce, also sent
by the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. He arrived in Key
21. Ibid., p. 27.
23. Browne, pp. 27-28; Report of the Rev. Robert Dyce to the Convention of the Diocese
of Florida, 1839.
23. Browne, p. 28; Proceedings of the Board of Directors of the Domestic and Foreign
Missionary Society, May 13-14, 1834 (Philadelphia, 1834), p. 20.
24. Browne, p. 28; Spirit of Missions, VIII, (1843), pp. 131-132.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
West in September, 1836. In 1837, Mr. Dyce made a tour of the country
to solicit funds for the church; he succeeded in raising three thousand
It was during Mr. Dyce's stay at Key West that the Diocese of Florida
came into organic being. The "Primary Convention" of the Church in
Florida met in St. John's Church, Tallahassee, January 17, 1838-"this
being the day and place agreed upon by previous correspondence, for a
meeting of the Clergy and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in
the United States living in Florida, to organize themselves into a Diocese,
to be in union with the General Convention of said Church." The seven
parishes which at that time took step to form a diocese were Christ
Church, Pensacola; Christ Church, Apalachicola; St. John's Church,
Tallahassee; St. John's Church, Jacksonville; St. Joseph's Church, St.
Joseph; Trinity Church, St. Augustine; and St. Paul's Church, Key West.
All seven churches had lay delegates entitled to seats, with the exception
of St. John's, Jacksonville; Judge James Webb was the delegate from
Key West. The only clergymen in attendance at Tallahassee were the
Reverend Robert Dyce (St. Paul's, Key West), the Reverend Joseph H.
Saunders (Christ Church, Pensacola), and the Reverend J. Loring Woart
(St. John's, Tallahassee). Resolutions were adopted, whereby the par-
ishes united themselves into a diocese, and proceeded to obtain union
with the General Convention. A constitution and rules of order were
drawn up.26 On September 7. 1838, at the General Convention, which
met in Philadelphia, the Committee of the House of Deputies recom-
mended concurrence with the House of Bishops in the resolution, "That
the Diocese of Florida be received into union with the General Con-
vention."27 Thus the Episcopal Church in Florida assumed the mature
organisation of a diocese seven years before the territory of Florida
became a state.
On the 5th of May, 1838, Mrs. John William Charles Fleeming, wife
of one of the original proprietors of Key West, gave to the vestry of St.
Paul's Church a tract of land having a frontage of two hundred feet on
the southeast side of Eaton Street, from Duval to Bahama Street, and
extending on Duval and Bahama Streets two hundred feet; "the lot to
be used for church purposes and the pews in the church to be free."2" On
the 10th of July, 1838, the vestry voted to erect a church, the building to
25. Browne, p. 28.
26. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1838.
27. Journal of the General Convention, P. E. Church, Philadelphia, 1838, p. 20.
28. Browne. p. 28.
be constructed of the native coral rock. It was to be forty-six feet long,
thirty-six feet wide, and twenty-two feet high on the inside; and to con-
tain thirty-six pews and a gallery at one end. The vestry proceeded with
their work; and by December 23rd, four hundred and fifty pieces of the
native coral rock had been quarried and placed on the grounds. On the
3rd of March, the church was so far completed that the pews were sold
at auction. The church cost $6,500.29 Mr. Dyce stated at the 1839 Con-
vention of the Diocese of Florida that the vestry had agreed to erect "a
neat and beautiful stone church." He said: "I am sowing the seed; and
though it be upon a hard rock where there is no depth of earth, I am
encouraged by the persuasion that there is a power which can soften
On February 14, 1839, Mr. Dyce resigned the charge of the parish.
He was succeeded by the Reverend A. E. Ford, who left in 1842. It was
reported to the Board of Missions, April 17, 1841, that the church at
Key West had been finished. It was capable of holding two hundred and
fifty people. The pews were all sold, except four, which were reserved as
free seats. From the beginning it was realized that the building was in-
adequate in size, "inasmuch as it is the only place of worship on the Key.
It is, however, our misfortune rather than our fault; our means not allow-
ing us to undertake a larger building."31 The Reverend Mr. Ford was
succeeded by the Rev. J. H. Hanson, who remained in charge until May,
1845, when he resigned.32
In October, 1846, the Reverend Charles Coffin Adams was appointed
missionary by the Board of Missions. He started for Key West by way
of Savannah and St. Augustine; but before leaving St. Augustine, he
learned that the new church had been blown down by the hurricane of
October, 1846. At the suggestion of Bishop Stephen Elliott, of Georgia,
who was trying to exercise episcopal supervision in Florida in addition
to his own diocese, Mr. Adams proceeded to Key West, "to ascertain the
character of the parish and if he found it as being unworthy an effort
to rebuild, to so report to him, and abandon it, otherwise, to go abroad
and beg for funds to rebuild." After arriving in Key West, Mr. Adams
decided on the latter course; but first he received assurance from the
vestry that the new church should be forever free. Having assumed
charge of the parish, he left Key West, January 11, 1847, for the purpose
30. Dircese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1839.
31. Spirit of Missions, VI (1841), p. 168.
32. Browne, p. 28.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
of soliciting and obtaining donations." He returned the following Decem-
ber, having raised about $3,300 towards rebuilding the church. A frame
structure was then erected; and the first service was held in it on July
30, 1848. The church was consecrated January 4, 1851, by the Right
Reverend Christopher Edwards Gadsden, Bishop of South Carolina.4
That the clergyman who worked in so isolated a field should have
felt many discouragements is evinced by the statement of Mr. Adams, as
recorded in the Journal of the Convention of the Diocese of Florida:
Many of our brethren think the days of martyrdom have gone by, and
they have to those who live at ease on comfortbale salaries. But the American
Church as this day and this very hour, has her champions, who, without the
eclat, are suffering the pangs of martyrdom. All along our Southern and
Western frontier in sickly districts they yearly languish and expire. They
scarcely murmur, but every year we read the names of those who die at
Up to 1851, the Diocese of Florida had not had a bishop of its own.
Bishops from nearby states had given such assistance as their time would
permit; but such an arrangement was attended with difficulties. On the
9th of January, 1851, the Reverend Francis Huger Rutledge, rector of
St. John's Church, Tallahassee, was unanimously elected the first Bishop
of Florida. He accepted the duties and responsibilities of his office, ful'y
aware that the episcopal supervision of a frontier state such as Florida
involved little of worldly reward or recognition, but much hard work
and anxiety. The parishes were all feeble, and were still compelled to
struggle against the most adverse circumstances. In fact, the total number
of communicants did not reach more than 260.36 Bishop Rutledge was
consecrated in Augusta, Georgia, October 15, 1851. In his first episcopal
address, January 16, 1852, he spoke of the obstacle which stood in the
Church's path. Florida's wide extent was contrasted with the "very small
portion . as yet occupied as Missionary ground." He dwelt on "the
amount of ignorance, irreligion, error and prejudice to be combated and
overcome-the scattered condition of the population, and the difficulty of
gaining access to many of the settlements." But he urged his hearers to
have courage; and he submitted several practical suggestions for strength-
ening and extending the Church.37
At the 1852 Convention, it was recommended that Ocala be supplied
with the ministrations of the Church. The rector of St. John's, Jackson-
33. Ibid., pp. 28-29.
35. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1847.
36. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1851.
37. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1852.
ville, the Reverend William Davis Harlow, had visited Ocala in Marion
County; and reported that there was "an encouraging field . .open for
the Church, and it is greatly to be hoped that it may soon be supplied
with a missionary." At the same Convention, Mr. Adams of Key West
stated that he had held services once "at Tortugas, an island sixty miles
west; and once at Carysford Reef, one hundred miles northeast from
Key West." This item is of particular interest, because of the military
significance of Dry Tortugas, and because it points to services on an
isolated spot several miles east of the peninula of Florida long before the
southern mainland attracted any attention."
Bishop Rutledge visited Key West on the 13th of May, 1852; and
confirmed eighteen. On the 20th of July, he received canonical notice of
the formation of a new parish at Ocala, to be known as Grace Church.
The Bishop infused new life into the diocese from the outset of his
episcopate. Although he remained rector of St. John's, Tallahassee, he
had an assistant, and was able to visit the difference parts of the state."
His first official visit to Ocala was on the llth and 12th of May, 1854.
There he officiated in the Methodist Church three times, administered
the Holy Communion, and confirmed four. The missionary at Ocala and
vicinity, the Reverend Archibald Falconer Gould, visited Newnansville,
Quincy, and other places; and held a burial at Fort King near Ocala.40
On January 5, 1854, the Key West church declared itself a self-
supporting parish. On April 1, 1855, the Reverend Mr. Adams resigned.
In December, 1856, the Reverend E. O. Herrick was made rector. This
position he occupied until his resignation in January, 1870. He then
accepted an appointment as chaplain in the United States Army. He was
for many years stationed at Fortress Monroe, where he served the church
on the military post of that station. He died at Watertown, New York,
October 1, 1907. In December, 1857, during Mr. Herrick's tenure, the
rectory of St. Paul's parish was built at a cost of $4,500. In 1860, the
church was enlarged at a cost of about $4,000.41
Church interest soon waned in Ocala; but in 1860, activities were
revived there. The Reverend James W. Capen, of western New York, was
engaged as missionary at Gainesville, Orange Lake, and Ocala. He was
soon compelled to resign on account of ill health.42
During the War between the States, the Church suffered considerable
39. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1852.
40. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1854.
41. Browne, p. 29.
42. Diocese of Florida: Convention Journal, 1861.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
backset in Florida. The year after the close of hostilities, Bishop Rutledge
passed away (November 6, 1866). He was a man of great piety, patience,
industry, and benevolence; but he was hampered by poor health. At the
1867 Council of the Diocese of Florida, the Reverend John Freeman
Young was elected as his successor. The new Bishop was born in Pittston,
Maine, October 30, 1820. He studied at Wesleyan University, in Middle-
town, Connecticut, and at the Virginia Theological Seminary. After his
graduation (1845), he served St. John's Church, Jacksonville, for about
two and one-half years. He resigned in 1847; and after working as a
missionary in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana, he became assistant
minister at Trinity Church, New York. On the 25th of July, 1867, he was
consecrated Bishop of Florida, at Trinity, New York. His episcopate was
marked by diligence and expansion.
On February 24, 1868, Bishop Young left his home in Tallahassee, in
order to take the steamer for Key West. He was desirous of visiting the
southern portion of his diocese. To make the trip, his procedure was to
board the ship from New Orleans when it arrived at St. Mark's. Four
days after taking passage, he reached the anchorage of Tampa some five
miles from town. "Though the wind was high and the sea heavy," he tells
us, "and though my fellow passengers remonstrated, I resolved to accom-
pany the mail ashore in the ship's boat." Next day, the Bishop left
Tampa in the morning; but did not reach Key West till Sunday evening
(the next evening), as the bell was ringing for services. The next morning,
after having spent almost a week in arriving at the scene of his visitation,
he was compelled to leave, since the steamer-his sole dependence-made
the trip only twice a month, and it must return. While at Key West, he
learned that "the frequent visitations of this place by yellow fever render
the rector's labors at times very excessive. I was glad to learn that the
dissensions from which this parish suffered during and immediately after
the war, and which arose from political differences, have been of late
When Bishop Young visited Key West a year later, he experienced
some of the difficulty of sea-travel. The following occurs in his diary,
February 26, 1869:
I left Key West with a strong norther blowing, causing a heavy sea.
Though quite unseaworthy, our vessel was loaded to the water's edge with
a cargo of sugar. In crossing the bar she struck twice, and in so doing, broke
the fastenings which secured the engine. At midnight it was feared that the
ship was leaking badly, and though the pumps were immediately set to work,
six or eight hours elapsed before she was cleared of water. With a crippled
43. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal. 1868.
engine, a head wind blowing a gale, and a heavy sea, we did not make Tampa
harbour till nine o'clock Sunday night. I reached Tallahassee on the third
of March, glad to tread upon firm ground, and with a grateful sense of God's
mercy in having guarded us from the danger of the sea.44
In 1869, the Reverend Edward McClure, as missionary on the St.
John's River, extended his labours into the present vicinity of Sanford;
he mentioned holding services at Volusia (south of Lake George) and
Mellonville.45 In December, 1870, Bishop Young visited Sumter County
in the lake region in the centre of the state, at the invitation of a new
colony started on Panasoffkee Lake. He found that the services of the
Church were read there every Sunday.46 This settlement was in a thinly
46. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1871.
settled region, not far from the scene of the massacre of Major Dade and
his command, which was practically the beginning of the long Seminole
Indian War, from 1835 to 1842, which nearly exterminated the existing
settlements in South Florida.
On the 6th of December, 1871, Bishop Young left home for a visita-
tion of the upper St. John's, Indian, and Halifax Rivers. This was the
first episcopal visit to the Florida east coast, south of Palatka. The
Reverend Francis Rader Holeman, "missionary on St. John's River," with
headquarters at Palatka, embraced this territory in his mission. Bishop
Young and Mr. Holeman started out from Palatka together, by steamer.
The narrative of this journey, told in the Bishop's graphic style, is of
interest and historical significance. The region was not served by railway;
and the only inhabitants of the Indian River section dwelt along the
shores. The fertile belt is comparatively narrow; and to the west stretched
what was then a wilderness, hardly explored, and still haunted by the
large game of Florida-bears, panthers, wild cats, and deer. Much of
this region is swampy.
On Saturday, the 9th of December, the two clergymen reached Salt
Lake, in Brevard County, the landing for Sand Point (the future Titus-
ville)-three hundred miles from the mouth of St. John's River. "The
scream of our steam whistle soon brought settlers to the shore. In due
time we effected our landing; and after a ride of nine miles we reached
the residence of Col. Titus, and received a very cordial welcome. Notice
of our coming had been sent on before us, and the information, we were
told, had been well published."
Next morning-Sunday-a congregation of nearly fifty assembled in
the large dining room of the hotel; Mr. Holeman read Morning Prayer,
and the Bishop baptised three children and preached. Afternoon services
44. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1869.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON 63
were appointed for the original Sand Point settlement, five miles back
from the river. Thus a congregation was gathered, as large as the one in
the morning, but made up of different people. At the log school-house,
where services were to be held, the Bishop found a Sunday-school in
operation, which was taught by an earnest young man. He learned that
the sessions were held regularly every Lord's day, "when not only the
children assemble but most of the adults of the neighborhood, who, after
the catechising is over, unite for some time in singing, reading the Holy
Scriptures and prayer, this whole region being totally destitute of min-
isterial services of any denomination, or character, whatsoever."
Such a manner of spending the Lord's day speaks well for the character
of the settlers in this far-off region, and I could not forbear saying to them
before proceeding with my sermon, how much gratified I was at learning
these facts, encouraging them to persevere in their good ways'and bidding
upon them the blessing of God. After service, though our forms were new
and strange to them, they expressed an earnest desire, as had been done
after the Morning Service, that our visit might be soon repeated, and I
promised to do what I could to give them regular services.
On Monday, the Bishop and Mr. Holeman embarked in a large sail-
boat for the settlements on the Mosquito Lagoon and Halifax River. By
noon, they reached the canal uniting the Indian and Mosquito Lagoons,
usually called the "haulover" -the northern part of Brevard County.
Being within four miles of the famous orange grove of Mr. Dummett, and
wishing to call on him, as he belonged to an Episcopalian family, the
clergymen made fast their boat on the canal and started for the grove.
After a brief and pleasant visit, they returned to their boat, and resumed
their voyage, having about ten miles to sail to the River Hotel, where
they proposed to spend the night. The Bishop described his experiences
This we could have done easily before dark with a good breeze, but the
wind, unfortunately, had now died away, though our boatman hoped by the
use of the oar, notwithstanding the size of our boat, to reach our landing by
late bed time. But it was half-past one before he made what he supposed
to be the house for which we were aiming. As the night was nearly freezing
cold, and Mr. Holeman, who had recently recovered from a prolonged sick-
ness, was suffering greatly, we hallooed ourselves hoarse, in trying to arouse
the people to come with a small boat to take us ashore, the water being too
shallow for us to land from our boat; but all the response we could elicit
was the barking of dogs, the crowing of cocks, and the hooting of owls,
though our trying disappointment was somewhat alleviated by our interest
in the gyrations of the fish in every conceivable angle and curve, which, seen
by the phosphorescent light, were like numberless lines of fire in the waters
beneath us. We surrendered ourselves to our fate for the night, and, at
daylight, our boatman perceived that he had stopped before the wrong house
and that our Hotel was some two miles further on. Pushing forward as fast
as possible, we soon went ashore and appreciated the comfort of a good fire.
Finding none of the family at home, we asked for hot coffee only, having a
supply of provisions in our boat. I was gratified as seeing some Prayer Books
lying on a shelf, and, speaking of it, was told by our boatman that the people
were Episcopalians. I then regretted that all were from home.
After getting thoroughly warmed, the Bishop and Mr. Holeman re-
turned to their boat and set sail again. The wind, fresh when they started,
soon died out; and when sunset and dark overtook them, they found
themselves "hopelessly lost in the archipelago, or extensive group of
islands, ten miles below (New) Smyrna. Every channel we tried, for
hours, soon proved to be too shallow to carry our boat, and the rapid
current setting us repeatedly on to sand bars and oyster banks, compelled
our boatman to jump overboard and push her off, which he often did,
quite to our alarm, at first, in the very midst of schools of porpoises and
sharks. As night settled upon us, thus floundering about, swarms of
mosquitoes did also, giving us sensible proof of what we had before been
told, that, in honor of these pests, this Lagoon had been rightly named."
By dint of perseverance, they got into the right channel about nine
o'clock; but as the tide had already run out, they were forced to resign
themselves to another night in the boat. Next morning, when they awoke,
they found that another flood-tide was coming in; so they had to spend
another six hours more "of helplessness and wearied inactivity." They
reached New Smyrna at noon that day, having lived in their boat two
nights and nearly three days, "with boards only to lie on, no possibility
of fire ... no warm food or drink excepting a cup of coffee before spoken
of, and the cold being nearly or quite down to freezing both nights."
After that, the comforts of a really fine hotel at New Smyrna -which
they found Mr. Loud's to be-were duly appreciated. An old churchman
was found at New Smyrna, who welcomed the clergymen cordially. Mr.
Loud's infant son was baptised; and services were scheduled for the
following evening. They were not held, however, as the two missionaries
-for such they were-had an opportunity to accompany a gentleman
who was going by boat to Daytona. As it was difficult to secure con-
veyance, this opportunity could not be declined.
That trip-the matter of a few minutes today-proved one of great
difficulty. We quote Bishop Young's description:
Before we reached the bar, where the waters of Musquito Lagoon and
Halifax river mingle and empty into the sea, the tide turned against us,
which, with a strong head wind, rendered it necessary for our friend to get
overboard and pull the boat by the painter, close to the shore, while Mr.
Holeman and myself did our utmost at pushing with poles. We had to go
nearly out to the breakers in order to get round the long point of land,
formed by the gradual approach of the two rivers, and for more than an
hour we struggled with all our might, before we could get far enough seaward
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
to make our entrance into Halifax river. Perceiving, soon after we had
started, that our friend by his mismanagement, would be sure to capsize us,
with such a squally wind as was then blowing, I courteously admonished him
of the danger, when he at once begged me to take command, adding that he
had never attempted to sail a boat but once before in his life. Having been
accustomed to this when a boy, I consented with pleasure and no little relief
to my fears of our being overturned.
But as we bore away up the Halifax, what a spectacle did we present!
Here we were, three landsmen, in a large whaler's boat, steered, as they
always are, by a huge unwieldy oar with a sail too large for the emergency
and that could not be reefed,-on a broad surface of waters with which we
were unacquainted, frequently dividing into several channels, the wind
blowing a gale in irregular gusts, with the black northeastern horizon in
hoarse mutterings of thunder threatening an increase of the same-the rain
pouring in torrents, as it had been doing for two hours-a dense impene-
trable fog coming down upon us, and we twelve miles from the haven where
we would be! We were the picture of desolation, and stood in mute silence,
offering our ejaculations to Heaven, and watching with solicitude, the in-
crease of the storm, while our mast bent to the gale and our boat buried
herself in the foaming brine.
As I stood at my post, directing the course to be steered and retained
in my hand the sheet, my oppression from a sense of danger and responsi-
bility, holding as I did in my inexperienced hand the lives of us all, was for
a few moments as much as I could bear. Yet onward, nevertheless, were we
helplessly wafted, ploughing the foam with our dauntless barque, careening
often nearly over as stronger gusts struck us, and as quickly righting when
the whole sheet was given out. In half an hour, however, to our great relief,
the storm began to abate, and in an hour more there was a perfect calm.
Thus they found themselves opposite a sawmill, which was the only
place at which they could land until they reached Daytona. They called
to a man whom they heard on shore-it was too dark to see him-and
enquired if they could spend the night there. He replied that they could
camp in a blacksmith's shop, not far distant. Having no wind to bear
them on, and being wet, cold, and weary, they determined to land. Soon
they had some coffee boiling, and their baggage and provisions housed.
This was scarcely accomplished, however, when Mr. Holeman was acutely
seized with lumbago from getting cold after his severe exercise and
wetting, and could not move without ejaculations from pain. They made
the best bed possible for him; the owner of the boat took the ground,
and the Bishop took the work-bench, "which being made of three pieces
of plank of uneven thickness, proved rather a bed of torture than one of
rest." Next morning, the Bishop discovered that paint had been mixed
on the bench, and that his blanket had become fully saturated. By day-
light, they were around their fire eating breakfast; and, having a
"pleasant sail," in due time they reached Daytona.
Daytona was then a new settlement, which was found to consist of
about sixty families, all intelligent, and some having the culture and
education which characterise the best classes. Bishop Young called on
every family; and was agreeably surprised to find that those who were
Episcopalians outnumbered any other class. He intended spending several
days there; but finding insufficient house-room, and that provisions had
run very low by the recent wreck of a vessel bringing new supplies, he
and Mr. Holeman held their service the night of their landing, and left
in the stage on the following day. "Nearly every person in the settlement
was present; and having previously distributed Prayer Books, which he
had carried for the purpose, we had full response and a good rendering
of the Canticles." Evening Prayer was said by Mr. Holeman, and the
Bishop preached. Said the Bishop:
The inaccessibility of the place is the chief obstacle to this, and the
permanence of the settlement depends very much upon the successful open-
ing of communication with the channels of travel and commercial intercourse.
On the 16th of December, the two clergymen left Daytona for Enter-
prise, camping on the ground at night, midway on their journey. The
next afternoon, they reached Enterprise, and soon afterwards took the
steamer across the lake to Mellonville (Sanford-. That night the Bishop
preached at the Hotel. Thus ended the visitation of the upper St. John's,
Indian, and Halifax River section.
Bishop Young was not able to attend the diocesan Council of 1872,
having been detained at Key West a month, awaiting an opportunity to
reach the mainland. "On the 27th of January, I succeeded in getting
away, and on the 31st reached home." The Reverend William T. Saunders
was then in charge of St. Paul's, Key West; his incumbency lasted from
July, 1870, to June, 1872.48
On February 24, 1873, Bishop Young started for a visitation of Tampa
and Manatee. Tampa was still a small city, near the site of Old Fort
Brooke, a United States military post established in 1821, immediately
after the acquisition of the Florida territory. It had been an important
base of supplies during the' Seminole War, and was maintained as a
garrisoned post after the Indians were subjugated. The Reverend Ralph
Williston, who had been appointed missionary to Tallahassee by the
Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in 1827, had reported as
early as 1828 that an Episcopal clergyman might obtain a chaplaincy in
-Tampa, and a compensation for instructing the Indians; and there was
a treaty stipulation, by which the United States agreed to furnish $1000
a year for a teacher at Tampa Bay. The Indians, however, had declined
47. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1872.
48. Browne, p. 29.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
to receive a teacher; and no efforts had been made to further the cause
of the Church in that locality.49 In 1873, Bishop Young reached Tampa
by steamer from Cedar Keys. There he remained a week, and confirmed
eleven. During his stay in Tampa, he visited from house to house. The
Reverend R. A. Simpson was in charge of the Tampa and Manatee work;
in 1873, he reported fifteen communicants at Tampa, and eight com-
municants at Manatee. The latter place was reached by boat from Tampa.
There the Bishop visited the people, preached, and confirmed three.
Returning by vessel to Tampa, he started homeward by the tedious stage
route by way of Brooksville, Sumterville (just north of the present Bush-
nell), and Ocala; "the steamer running to Cedar Keys having been
blown ashore and nearly wrecked in a gale of wind."
Bishop Young was gratified at the good beginning which had been
made in these two west coast towns. "At both places a good proportion
of the best population attend regularly upon our services, and several
others who are attached to other communions desire our prosperity, and
contribute to promote it. A very strong and favorable impression was
made in favor of the Church by the fearless and untiring devotion of our
Missionary to all classes and conditions of the people during the fearless
epidemic of 1871."
The same year, there was reported that "at Sanford-near Mellonville,
on Lake Monroe, a beautiful Church, after designs by Upjohn is nearly
ready for consecration, by the side of which is to be erected a rectory."
The Bishop stated that "on Indian River, an earnest churchman, who is
a graduate of Oxford University, England, and an educator of many
years' experience, has opened a boarding-and-day-school, and by my
authority, is acting as Lay-reader, and doing what he can for the estab-
lishment of our services in that benighted region."50 During the nine-
teenth century, Richard Upjohn was perhaps the greatest single influence
in the designing and building of Episcopal churches. Bishop Young was
a builder of churches; and in a number of towns throughout Florida there
are still standing-and in use-charming wooden churches, planned by
By 1874, the Ocala churchmen had some five hundred dollars in sight
for a building. The Reverend Mr. Holeman was visiting different stations
along the St. John's River; and regular lay services had been established
at Sand Point (Titusville), Orlando, Orange Mills, Federal Point, and
Fore Road. At Mellonville (Sanford), the beautiful little Church of the
49. Letter of the Rev. Horatio N. Gray, April 21, 1829, quoting Gov. W. P. Duval.
50. Diocese of Florida: Journal of Council, 1873.
Holy Cross had been completed; Bishop Young consecrated it on Low
Sunday, 1873. Mr. Francis Eppes was acting as lay reader and catechist
at Orlando, and was making "an impression for good which will be felt
long after he has passed away." Regular lay services were established
at Apopka, the Lodge, and Lake Jesup. Once a month, some thirty or
forty people attended a service at Lake Maitland. Gradually the Episco-
pal Church was securing a foothold in the interior of the state.
Some of the delays and difficulties in travelling, when most of Florida
was unreached by railroad or any sort of highway, and when there were
few ports of entry and only the most irregular passenger service, may be
gathered from the Bishop's accounts.
On the 2d of May (1873) I left home for the visitation of St. Paul's
Church, Key West, and arrived there on the 6th. . .It was my plan, on
setting out on this visitation, to take the same steamer on which I went, on
her return from Havana, and continue on her to New Orleans, in order to
reach Pensacola for the visitation of West Florida. But on reaching Key
West I learned that all vessels from New Orleans were to be quarantined at
Havana twenty days, on account of cholera in New Orleans. As imperative
engagements for the immediate future rendered it impossible for me to
remain there twenty days and then proceed to West Florida, I determined to
take the steamer from New York for New Orleans, but on making further
inquiry as to the time when the next steamer was expected, I was informed
it would be two or three weeks, as the vessel then about due had met with
an accident, and would miss her trip. I have been twice detained for a month
in this island, and once beside for a fortnight, notwithstanding every possible
effort to get away; and as the yellow fever was now becoming epidemic in
Havana, and might break out any day in Key West, and cause the quarantine
of any vessel on which I might depart thence at any port of the United
States, I determined to leave for the main land by the first chance that
offered, and accordingly sailed on the steamer Clyde for New York, where I
arrived on the 18th of May. Thence I proceeded to Fernandina, where I
arrived on the 29th of May, just in time for the examinations and closing
exercises of the school year at the Priory.51
Orlando is a flourishing city to-day; indeed, it contains the Cathedral
of the Diocese of South Florida. But when Bishop Young visited Orange
County in 1875, the Episcopal Church was scarcely known in the whole
section. Mr. Francis Eppes was an active exponent of the Church in
Orlando; and a prominent Church family had recently located at Lake
Maitland. But most of the people in the localities mentioned were un-
acquainted with the service. The Bishop found the Episcopalians in
Orange County exceedingly scattered. No settlement was large enough
to form a nucleus or available standpoint for Church work. "The devoted
and earnest missionary-Rev. Lyman Phelps-who had just then entered
upon his duties in great feebleness of body, comprehended fully . the
51. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1874.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
nature of his work, and from the constant and considerable accessions to
the population of that county during the past year, I hope there may be
formed, ere long, the germs of several parishes within its borders."
The 3rd of December, 1875, the Bishop embarked at Cedar Keys; but
he failed to reach Key West before the 10th, having a week in making
the passage. "At Punta Rasa, where we were obliged to seek shelter from
a terrible gale and furious sea, and where we lay for two days and nights,
I found the gentleman in charge of the telegraph cable to be a Church-
man, and his wife a communicant."
Tampa was supplied by the beginning of 1876, by the Reverend
Harrison Dodge, a deacon; and was coupled with Manatee as a mission-
ary station. Next to Tampa, Bishop Young felt at that time that the
portion of the diocese most demanding attention was the eastern coast,
south of St. Augustine. Since his visit to the Indian and Halifax Rivers,
the population had been gradually though slowly coming in; and he
deemed it important to establish the Church wherever a sufficient nucleus
could be found. The two difficulties which had rendered any effort in that
region impracticable had been, first, the fact that the settlers were
generally isolated and distant from each other, extending along a line of
river margin for some hundreds of miles; and secondly, the want of any
established system of communication and travel between the different
settlements, except such as could be provided by private arrangement
and at great cost. The latter difficulty was being somewhat relieved.52
The visit which Bishop Young paid to Key West in December, 1875,
is of considerable importance in the history of Anglican missions, since
it initiated a movement which has been of considerable dimensions-the
work of the Episcopal Church among the Cubans. It was on this trip that
the Bishop was keenly aroused to the opportunity and challenge provided
by the Cuban natives. A large number had migrated to Florida; and there
were prospects of more. Soon after his arrival in Key West, the mayor of
the city, Mr. Carlos M. de Cespedes, and several other representative
men of the Cubans waited upon the Bishop, and informed him of the very
general desire on the part of their people, now numbering over five
thousand, for the establishment of the Episcopal Church there in the
Spanish language. Accordingly the Bishop proposed a public meeting of
the Cubans, in St. Paul's Church, on the evening of December 20th. The
prominent Cubans present at that meeting included Mayor Cespedes,
Alejandro Rodriguez (afterwards mayor of Havana), and Messrs. Teodoro
52. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1876.
Perez, Joaquin Leon, Juan B. Baez, and others.53 Thus Bishop Young
describes the occasion:
After duly organizing I addressed them for about an hour on the original
independence of the Church of England of the Bishop of Rome, her subse-
quent subjugation by the Papal See, the causes which led to, and the cir-
cumstances which rendered possible the Anglican Reformation, with a
general summary of what was rejected and what was retained by the Re-
formed Church, an explanation of our organic polity, and of our practices
and usages in contradiction to those of the Church of Rome.
Mr. Cespedes translated my remarks, period by period, and, after I had
concluded, addressed the audience at some length, and was followed by Mr.
Baez, who, as well as Mr. Cespedes, spoke earnestly and eloquently. After
these addresses a resolution, embodying an expression of the desire of which
I had been previously informed, as unanimously passed, and largely signed
by those present, and subsequently many who could not be present sought
the provilege of adding their names.
Before leaving Key West, I ordered two hundred Prayer-books in Spanish
to be sent at once to Dr. Steele; appointed Mr. Baez, who had been for some
times a regular attendant and communicant of St. Paul's, lay reader, in-
structing him to commence services as soon as the Prayer-books should be
Mr. Baez evidently found his duties congenial; for on the Fifth
Sunday in Lent, March 20, 1877, he was ordained deacon by Bishop
Young, and on March 3, 1879, he was ordained priest by the Right
Reverend Henry Benjamin Whipple, D.D., Bishop of Minnesota. As
Bishop Young knew no Spanish-speaking priest, whose services he could
obtain, he wrote to New York, inviting the Reverend Mr. dePalma to
spend a month in Key West. Mr. dePalma promised to spend the follow-
ing February there.
While in Key West that memorable week of December, 1875, Bishop
Young took in hand the organisation of the first negro parish in Florida-
a congregation which remained for many years the largest congregation
exclusively composed of negroes in the Diocese. The problem of church-
accomodation had long been a vexing one at Key West. St. Paul's Church
had been built; the population of the city had almost trebled; and one
of the largest elements in the accession of inhabitants had been the
coloured immigration from Nassau and other British West India Islands.
Some sixteen hundred of that class, one-half of whom had been baptised
and reared in the Church of England, settled in Key West within the
space of a few years, in addition to at least a thousand negroes of
American birth, many of whom were likewise Episcopalians. With church
53. Browne, p. 31.
54. Ibid., p. 29. The Reverend J. L. Steele, referred to above, had entered on his duties
as rector of St. Paul's, Key West, in 1874; and continued till October 13, 1878, when
he fell a victim to yellow fever.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
facilities insufficient for the families which had built Key West's original
parish, and this large accession of new residents, requiring unrestricted
and equal Church privileges, yet unwilling to organise a separate parish
and erect a church, lest they should thereby take upon themselves the
stigma of an inferior caste, the situation was embarrassing. Bishop Young
had been apprised of the matter, and had given it more or less thought
for some three years. So, on this visit to Key West, he determined to
have a meeting of those interested in the matter.
Though very doubtful as to the result, I was glad of the opportunity, at
least, of assuring them of my fatherly concern for them, my earnest desire
that they should be provided as soon as practicable with the Church and her
services, under such circumstances as should be most for their edification,
and of my readiness to co-operate with them in any practicable way for the
attainment of that end.
After presenting his views, the Bishop asked for expressions of
opinion. The result was the resolution, "carried, not only unanimously,
but almost by acclamation," to proceed at once to the organisation of a
new parish and the erection of a second church, "it being understood
from the outset that the services were to be chorally conducted through-
out, and with as high a ritual as, in my judgment, should be compatible
with sound Anglican theology." This meeting was held on the 14th of
December, 1875. The title of "St. Peter's Church" was adopted as the
name of the new parish. On a subsequent evening, the organisation was
effected. One of the most eligible lots in Key West, offered by Charles
Tift, Esq., was gratefully accepted. Wardens, vestrymen, and other parish
officers were chosen; and the rectorship was tendered to Dr. Steele, the
rector of St. Paul's. His interest in the negroes and his devoted labours
in their behalf had won all their hearts. Under his care, the work grew
rapidly. Services were held in various rooms and halls, with the celebra-
tion of the sacraments at St. Paul's. After the death of Dr. Steele (1878),
matters stood still for a time; but revived with much energy in April,
1887, when Bishop Weed sent the Reverend C. D. Mack as rector."
In Lent, 1877, Bishop Young visited Key West, where he found a
satisfactory growth among the Cubans and the negro population. Mr.
Baez was ordained to the diaconate on this visitation; thus the Spanish-
speaking people were provided with a clergyman who might minister to
them in their own language. The Bishop visited the new coloured parish;
and took part in the choral services and preached and confirmed ten. The
following Wednesday, he held a visitation of the Cuban mission, at which
55. Browne, pp. 32-33; Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1876.
the services throughout were conducted in Spanish. The Reverend Mr.
Baez preached on the subject of Confirmation and "the more important
differences between us and Rome"; then he presented a Confirmation
class of twenty-nine, who retired after receiving the laying on of hands.
Next, Mr. Baez presented a class of thirty-five, who had been confirmed
in the Church of Rome, but were desirous, "after a year's instruction and
consideration, of renouncing Roman errors, and being received intoo the
Communion of our Church." The Bishop said:
I felt it to be necessary to avoid everything that would tend to unsettle
them by making them feel, in any wise, that they were laying aside the Old
Religion and taking up a new one, and took special care to guard them
against this error, in a somewhat lengthy address, which concluded with
questions demanding renunciations, vows, and promises, covering the whole
ground involved in that solemn transaction. In conclusion I received them
to the Communion of the Church, ratifying the Confirmation they had re-
ceived, and dismissed them with my blessing.
A little more than a year before, St. Peter's was barely organised, and
the Cuban work was first inaugurated. Mr. Baez had been appointed as
lay reader at that time to the people of his tongue, from the Island of
Cuba, "who, with very few exceptions, in the whole five thousands of
Cubans in that city, never at all attended upon the worship of God, or
observed His Holy Day, except as the day for card-playing, cock-fighting,
theatricals, and such like follies and sins." In that short period, there had
been a gratifying increase in the regular attendance upon the worship in
St. Paul's, the coloured parish of St. Peter's was in complete working
order with a resident rector and a rapidly increasing congregation, and
the Cuban mission was developing into the proportions of a parish. "The
contrast preesnted by the present condition of the Church in Key West
compared with what it was at my visitation in March, 1874, has led me
repeatedly, almost involuntarily, to exclaim, 'What hath God wrought!'"
Furthermore, plans were on foot for a parochial school for boys; and
Mr. Baez stood ready to start a mission among the coloured Cubans,
provided it should be practicable.
Of this class, one thousand are resident in Key West, and hitherto could
literally and truthfully say, 'No man careth for my soul.' Mr. Baez is all
ready to take hold of this good work, provided he can be supplied with the
means of support for himself and family. He is entirely willing to continue
at the business he has hitherto pursued for this purpose, but such a course
would demand his whole time, which is all required by the five thousand
Cubans, who mostly look to him for all ministerial services which they re-
quire, to say nothing of the day school and Sunday-school he has to direct,
his preparations for the pulpit and the prosecution of his theological studies
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
in preparing for the priesthood and for greater usefulness in his official life
In 1878, the Bishop reported to the Council of the diocese that Mr.
Baez's Cuban work had held its own beyond expectation. There was a
desire for a church independent of the othre Key West parishes, though
realisation of that hope seemed quite distant. A mission had been organ-
ised among the negro Cubans, and a lay reader named Perez officiated
regularly for their benefit.
The Marion County missionary, the Reverend Robert Lansberger,
held services in 1877 in six different places-Ocala, Millwood, Cabbage
Hammock, Spring Hill, Silver Springs, and Spencer Place. His field em-
braced a territory fifty miles long and twenty-five miles wide. The Orange
County missionary, the Reverend Lyman Phelps, stationed at Sanford,
had eight communicants at Orlando (where he held occasional services);
he visited Maitland also, as well as Fort Reid (where a Sunday-school
had been organised) and Fort Mason (close to the present site of Eustis)
and Zellwood. At Fort Mason-undoubtedly the beginning of the Eustis
work-there was a Sunday-school under the charge of Mr. A. G. Rehrer,
who acted as lay reader. Mr. Phelps made his first visit there, March 31,
1878. The same day, he drove to Zellwood; "and held a service in a pole
school-house, which had sides, a temporary floor, and rafters, and ribs
for the shingle. The service was hearty, and the whole tone was one of a
people whose soul was in the work of the Master." On his return to
Zellwood, April 28, he "found a churchly little building with roof on a
temporary floor"; in it he celebrated the Holy Communion in the morn-
ing, and at the evening service he baptised one adult and three children.
"No people have I met," said Mr. Phelps, "who deserve greater credit
for their faithful and successful efforts to have a Church, than these. Not
five dollars in money has been spent. It has been a labor of love thus far."
In 1877, two clergymen-the Reverend William H. Carter, D.D.,
LL.D., Ph.D., former rector of St. John's Church, Passaic, and the
Reverend H. B. Stuart Martin, rector of St. Mark's, Jersey City-were
appointed conjointly to the mission on the East Coast, embracing the
entire length of the Halifax and Indian rivers. This largely and sparsely
settled territory had been explored by Bishop Young and the Reverend
Mr. Holeman several years previously; it was gradually gaining in
population. Dr. Carter reported in 1878 that services at New Britain and
Holly Hill (stations lying between Ormond and Daytona), at Daytona,
and at Port Orange, and at Titusville, have been held as regularly as the
56. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1877.
weather would permit, "for the rivers, being the highways, were not
always in condition for traveling."
The whole section is opened to the Church, with little or no opposition,
but there is need of everything. There is no surplice, except those belonging
to the Missionaries. At one place a box is covered with a piece of sand-fly
netting, old and discolored. At another the plain table has a newspaper upon
it. At another an ink-stained desk is used. While at still another, a bureau
served as an altar. There is neither a Bible, nor Prayer Book for Chancel
Service in the whole jurisdiction, nor in fact anything which the Church
can call her own, except a few small Prayer Books, which are much the
worse for-not wear, unfortunately-but for sundry dippings, the result of
accidents by the river.
Some land had been promised; but the deeds were not made out. The
whole amount collected was not quite two hundred dollars. Mr. Martin
held services at the same places, alternating with his associate. "The
services have generally been well attended, and increasing interest appears
to be well taken in them at the several stations. . The people are
unable to participate in the services, as the ritual prescribes." He had
made a missionary visit to Titusville and Harveyville on the Indian
River, and to New Smyrna; at all three places there were very good
congregations for the size of the community. He had arranged to repeat
the visits, and to go also to Cleveland on Merritt's Island.7
Bishop Young visited the Indian and Halifax River section the follow-
ing year. He arrived at Port Orange, May 26, 1878. The same day, he
confirmed three at Daytona. The Sunday after Ascension, he officiated
on the Indian River, at the house of a Mr. Cleveland, a former vestryman
of Trinity Church, New Orleans. Settlers from both sides of the river
attended. Dr. Carter assisted. "This was the first visit ever made by a
Church clergyman to that region and we were welcomed heartily." The
Bishop preached and celebrated the Holy Communion; in the afternoon,
services were conducted on the opposite side of the river. "The congrega-
tion were seated in the shade of a fine grove of forest trees, closely sur-
rounding the house, the piazza being occupied as chancel and pulpit by
Dr. Carter, who preached, and myself." This service was held at the
home of a Mr. Hatch, which stood on the site now occupied by the Indian
River Hotel at Rockledge. From this beginning grew the future congre-
gation of St. Mark's, Cocoa-to-day an active and zealous parish. From
that day there was an organised group of churchmen, who assembled
with more or less regularity under the ministrations of Doctor Carter. In
1866-the year after Bishop Young's death--the Cocoa congregation
57, Diocese of Florida: Journal of Council, 1878.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
built a church, which is to a large extent still in use, although considerably
On the 3rd of June, Bishop Young and Dr. Carter proceeded together
down the river to Eau Gallie, to visit some Church families there, "who
were literally as sheep in the wilderness without a shepherd." The next
day, services were held in the house of their hosts; an infant was baptised,
and the Holy Eucharist celebrated. Dr. Carter preached. On June 5th,
said the Bishop, "though sick with fever, I met, by appointment in the
neighborhood in which we officiated on Sunday, those who could sing, to
drill them in the chants, the novelty of the thing attracting a number,
besides, who could not sing."
I was exceedingly pleased on the whole with my visit to Indian River. I
was surprised to find so orderly, moral, intelligent, and respectable a popula-
tion, though almost entirely destitute of religious service and instruction.
Dr. Carter had ten places under his care. "This involves a sail of
nearly two hundred miles in an open boat." There were only about
twenty-five communicants in the whole mission. Two lay readers were
under his direction; and services were held every Sunday at Daytona
In January, 1878, Bishop Young had visited Leesburg for the first
time in nine years, "to ascertain what number of Church people had
settled in that place and the region round about." There he held services
in the union church; the Presbyterian minister and his elders acted as
choir-conductors. He found less of positive Church strength in that
growing town than he expected; but unpropitiouss as was the prospect
. . the congregation was of such an excellent class of people, so appre-
ciative, and of such admirable tone and spirit, that (he) enjoyed the
services in an unusual degree."
Right after Easter, 1878, the Bishop visited Key West; and there
he was encouraged at the process of St. John's congregation a group
composed of Cubans who worshipped in St. Paul's Church. The services
were conducted throughout in Spanish. After a sermon by Mr. Baez,
twelve were confirmed and thirteen received "upon the formal renuncia-
tion of the errors of the Church of Rome." Mr. Baez had organised a
mission among the coloured Cubans, of whom there were some fifteen
hundred. The Bishop found the work at Key West "well sustained and
prosperous, considering the great business depression there." Dr. Steele,
the rector of St. Paul's, who was rector also of St. Peter's coloured parish
58. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1879.
and of St. John's Cuban congregation, had added to his abundant labours
a parish school for boys, which he taught himself without any assistance
whatever. The vestry felt unable to render financial assistance; none the
less Dr. Steele, feeling that the undertaking could no longer be deferred,
added the school to his already crowded program. A layman named Green
chorally conducted the services for the negro congregation and taught a
daily Church-school. "He enters heartily into his self-denying work, has
a strong hold upon the hearts of the people generally."
As the congregation consists entirely of laboring people, the very fore-
most of whom told me, when I was there, that they could not get a day's
work in a month, they are naturally, in all respects, thoroughly depressed.
Many are leaving for Nassau, whence they came, hoping to better them-
selves, while nearly as many are coming from there, seeking the same end
here. This militates against the permanent success of the work, but all is
being done that is possible under the circumstances.
The Bishop commented that Mr. Baez's work among the Cubans
"holds its own beyond my expectation. . It is growing steadily in
strength, and increasing in members and influence. Could he hold services
at a convenient hour, St. Paul's Church, I was told, would be nearly or
The faithful rector of St. Paul's, Key West, died on the 13th of
October, 1878. Bishop Young paid a high tribute to Dr. Steele; and
remarked that "it was mainly owing to his interest in the Cubans, and his
well directed efforts in their behalf, that the work for their benefit was
inaugurated." Mr. Baez, who owed his preparation, largely to that
splendid priest, was ordained to the priesthood the Second Sunday in
Lent, 1879. On the death of Dr. Steele, Mr. Baez held services until the
new incumbent could take charge of St. Paul's. The Reverend Charles
A. Gilbert, who had visited Key West in 1873, was called to the rector-
ship; but his ministry was of short duration. On November 8, 1880, he
died at his post of duty of yellow fever. Only two years and a few days
had intervened between his death and that of his worthy predecessor, who
died in the same rectory of the same disease. The Bishop felt that Mr.
Gilbert's resistance had been lowered by excessive work; he had served
both St. Paul's and St. Peter's parishes, and had assumed the oversight
of the schools.
The cyclone of August 29, 1880 destroyed the church at Sanford;
but steps were promptly taken to rebuild the same. In the meantime, a
church was built at Ocala; the town showed prospects of growth. Bishop
59.Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1878.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
Henry Benjamin Whipple, of Minnesota, had become interested in Mait-
land; and it was through his generosity that the church there was in
process of construction, in 1881. At the Council of 1881, the Reverend
C. W. Ward, missionary in charge of Maitland and adjacent places,
Since taking charge of the work assigned to me January 9, 1881, I have
officiated publicly on forty occasion, thirteen times in Orlando, and the
remaining times in Maitland. My customs having been to officiate twice a
Sunday. . The attendance has averaged, in Orlando, about 45, and in
Maitland, about 70. ... The work of building the new church, which Bishop
Whipple has so generously contributed for, has been undertaken by Mr.
McGuire, a builder from the north, who is now engaged upon the church at
Sanford, and expects to begin ours within a few days, as I am informed.
The cost of this proposed building, when completed, will be $1,800. . In
this connection I would also mention that I have been offered a large church
lot in Orlando for the erection of a building for church services, and have
promised the people that I would lay the matter before you. We are in sad
need of a church in Orlando, all the more because of the filthy and obnoxious
character of the Court House, in which we are compelled at present to wor-
ship. At the same time our number are so small there, and owing to the
many religious divisions and sects which peculiarly drain that portion of my
Mission; the means for church building are likewise so small that a Mission
Church could hardly be built there except by means of considerable aid from
abroad .. There are under my jurisdiction at present in all, 31 communi-
cants, that is, in Maitland 15, in Orlando 13, in Altamente 2. This does not
include some scattering communicants in the remote outlying regions such
as Zellwood and Apopka. I have also, in all, about 71 families, resident
attendants upon the services.60
After the Council, the Bishop left for Orlando to confer with the
people about building a church, and securing a proper site for the same.
On December 30, 1881, he met the few Episcopalians of that town and
neighbourhood; and made certain proposals of aid, provided they did
their utmost to help themselves. Their response exceeded his most
sanguine expectations. "The finest site in or about the town was decided
upon and secured, it being the crown of a ridge, descending to a lake,
within two blocks of the Court-house, and therefore very central and
accessible, and containing one acre of land." The contract for the building
The year 1882 found the church and rectory at Sanford still un-
finished; the Reverend S. B. Carpenter was missionary in charge. The
Reverend H. W. Stuart Martin, who was in full charge of the East Coast
missions after the removal of Dr. Carter to Tallahassee, reported twelve
families of the Episcopal Church at Daytona. Thus he described his work
in Volusia County:
60. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1881.
I took charge middle of June, 1881; have maintained services at Day-
tona, Port Orange and Ormond, three services each Sunday, except one
Sunday a month from August to November, 1881, and in March and April,
1882, when three services have been held in DeLand and Orange City each
Sunday. In DeLand there are 18 Communicants, some of whom reside there
only during the winter. In Orange City there are seven. At Ormond and
Port Orange, I have not felt discouraged, but by the Divine blessing and by
faithful work, it is hoped to recover the two years that were lost by the
relinquishment of Missionary work there. Everything is to be hoped for at
Daytona. There is no advance in one way; but we think that foundations
are being substantially laid. A Chapel is expected to be built and ready for
use by the end of the year. God grant it! A good lot has been secured, the
gift of a Churchman, and three hundred and fifty dollars are in hand for
the building of the Chapel. ... At DeLand, a provisional offer has been made
of an acre of land with eighty orange trees on it set out two years ago.61
On the Fourth Sunday in Lent, 1883, Bishop Young visited the
Church of the Good Shepherd, at Maitland, and confirmed fifteen. "This
beautiful Church, erected at his own expense by the Bishop of Minne-
sota" Dr. Whipple "as a memorial to his son, and which had been
recently completed, was crowded to overflowing, notwithstanding both
the Roman Catholic and Methodist Bishops, by a singular coincidence,
were officiating at the same hour, at their respective places of worship.
This was gratifying as showing the hold which the Church has already
gained upon the major part of that intelligent and interesting commun-
ity." A selection from Handel's "Messiah" was rendered. On March 17,
Bishop Whipple himself consecrated the church.
On St. Mark's day, April 25, 1883, the cornerstone of St. Mary's,
Daytona, was laid; the Reverend H. B. Stuart Martin was missionary
in charge. Sixteen families of Episcopalians were reported at St. Thomas's
Church, Eustis; there were five families at the mission at Manatee River,
and a total of seven persons at the Thonotosassa mission. At St. Andrew's,
Tampa, there were in 1883, six families-a total of twenty-five persons.
A serious impediment in the way of the Church's work at Tampa was
the difficulty of finding a room for worship; at last, lumber was being sent
to the mill.
The Reverend Robert B. Welseley took charge of St. Barnabas's
mission, at Deland, September 24, 1882. For services he had only a
school-house, which he had to share with the Presbyterians and the
Campbellites. By 1883, the building fund amounted to seven hundred
dollars. Mr. Welseley also held services at St. Barnabas's mission, Orange
City, where there were four families. "With the promised supply of a
61. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1882.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
horse and wagon of my own," he said, "I shall be able devote more time
to this Mission; also begin services at Spring Garden, a point six miles
north of Deland, where a few Church families are settled."
The Reverend S. B. Carpenter had twelve families at St. James's
mission, Enterprise; he held services in the hotel, but ground had been
given for a church. There were six families in 1883 in the Zellwood and
Apopka mission. At the Yalaha mission, in Sumter County, there were
ten families-thirty-six persons. By 1883, regular services were begun in
Winter Park. "It is evident that a strong church community is soon to
spring up there. The projectors of the town are predisposed towards the
church, and have offered us every encouragement."62
In 1884, St. Luke's, Orlando, was admitted into union with the
Council of the Diocese of Florida; at the same time two other parishes
fulfilled the canonical requirements St. Mary's, Daytona, and the
Church of our Saviour, at Mandarin in the northern part of the diocese.
At Tampa, by this time, a very neat and commodious church, with seating
capacity for about two hundred, had been completed. The church at
Orlando had been finished, "with exceptionally fine windows," and "with
beautiful church furniture made in New York, with a fine bell over five
hundred pounds weight"; it was already proving too small a structure
for the rapidly increasing population of the town, and contracts were
signed for enlarging it. At Maitland, the windows and furniture (includ-
ing a fine eagle lectern) had been introduced. At Sanford, the church had
been completed. A fine lot had been secured at Enterprise, and a church
built and paid for at a cost of nearly two thousand dollars. The DeLand
church was ready for Easter services (1884); while at Eustis, the church
had been occupied for some months.
During the session of the General Convention, in 1883, a petition with
258 sginatures had been presented to Bishop Young from Mantanzas,
Cuba, praying him to take measures for establishing permanently the
services of the Episcopal Church in that city. In pursuance of that object,
he repaired to New York, and attended the meeting of the Foreign Com-
mittee of the Board of Missions. "But so very disappointing had been
the result of the large appropriation to the work of the Church in Mexico,
that the Committee thought it more prudent to defer action as to any
further grants of funds for Missionary work among the Spanish American
race, till after my contemplated visit to Cuba . and the report of the
actual state of things as I might find them here."
Accordingly, on the 22nd of February, 1884, the Bishop left home for
62. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1883.
a visitation of the missions on the Island of Cuba. On the evening of
Thursday, February 28, he officiated at Mantanzas. After Evening Prayer
in Spanish, and a sermon by the Reverend Mr. Baez of Key West, he
confirmed a class of forty-one. On the Fifth Sunday in Lent, at Man-
tanzas, he celebrated the Holy Eucharist, and confirmed twenty more.
He preached to the congregation; Mr. Baez translated his remarks. On
March 3, he left for Havana, where he officiated twice, and confirmed
fifty-five. He called on the Governor-General of Cuba, meeting a most
polite and cordial reception. From the Governor's palace, he drove to
the house of an American Church family, which had been resident in
Havana twenty years, in order to baptise a child a year old.
At the end of the sessions of the 1884 diocesan Council, Bishop Young
hurried to New York, to attend the May meeting of the Foreign Mission-
ary Committee, so as to secure an appropriation for the work in Cuba.
On reporting the results of his observation, he was greatly surprised and
disappointed at the refusal of the committee to entertain the subject at
all, on the ground of want of jurisdiction. "It was a new field of mission-
ary work," it was said; "and only the Board of Managers have the power
of adopting such." "All very true," was the Bishop's comment; "but
why was this not thought of at the meeting some time before, when I was
given to understand, and others present received the same impression,
that if I reported favorably of the prospect, after visiting Cuba, they
would make an appropriation for carrying on the work?"
Although a whole month would elapse before the meeting of the Board
of Managers, the Bishop resolved to wait in New York for the meeting
of that Board. In the meantime, he issued a special edition of the account
of his visit to Cuba, which he sent to every bishop and clergyman of the
Church in the United States, and to many of the laymen. He also busied
himself in revising the Spanish version of the Book of Common Prayer.
At length he secured a temporary appropriation for the Cuban work, at
the rate of three thousand dollars a year.
Early in 1885, the Bishop started for his second visitation to the
island of Cuba. On February 24, 1885, he reached Havana. The next day,
he confirmed two persons at Jesus del Monte; on the 27th, he confirmed
ten at St. Luke's, Havana; on the 1st of March, he confirmed eighty at
Gethsemane Chapel; on the 3rd, sixty at Jesus Maria y Jose; on the
4th, ninety-six at Guanabacoa; on the 8th, seventy-four at Mantanzas-
in all, 325. The year before he had confirmed 116. There was tangible
evidence that the Episcopal Church was gaining ground in Cuba.
And this result was reached without any increase of laborers, it being
the fruit of the healthy and steady growth of interest in our truly Catholic
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
and Apostolic Church, keeping pace with the increase of knowledge and
respecting her claims, and the blessed privileges which her worship and
sacraments afford to the understanding and edification of all.
Returning from Cuba, Bishop Young officiated at Palma Sola, at the
mouth of the Manatee River. The lower west coast of Florida was no
better than the lower east coast. "Considering that the settlers on that
river are scattered along its banks on both sides for some eight miles
from its mouth, I was quite agreeably surprised to find assembled in the
school-house at Palma Sola a congregation of over a hundred people of
a manifest intelligence and culture that would compare favorably with
the average congregations of our land; and moreover, a good proportion
of them, as was evident from the responses, were Church people." The
Reverend C. S. Williams was general missionary in charge of that section.
Two days after his first service there, Bishop Young, accompanied by
Mr. Williams and a servant, visited the Episcopal families on the south
side of the Manatee River; next day, the kind host (Mr. Warburton
Warner) took them in his steam yacht and visited the Church families
on the north side of the Manatee, for a distance of eight miles. "On a
former visit to Manatee, several years ago," said the Bishop, "there were
only three or four Church families within a radius of ten miles. With the
accession of quite a number of such within the last two or three years,
it now presents a promising and important field for Church work, which I
shall endeavor to have occupied by a faithful worker before next winter."
On the 22nd of March, the Bishop visited St. Andrew's Church, Tampa
-a mission which had grown to nineteen communicants. There he con-
firmed seven. A few days later, while at Sanford, the Bishop became
acquainted with a lady from Connecticut, Mrs. Lucy A. Boardman, who
expressed a desire to contribute the means for the erection of two churches
on the Indian River. In April, accompanied by the Reverend Mr. Car-
penter, the Bishop started on a tour of observation, to decide upon the
best sites. Mrs. Boardman had suggested Melbourne; and there the two
clergymen arrived, April 17. Mr. Carpenter spent the following day in
exploring the neighborhood, visiting the people, and collecting all the
information possible. He learned that the money was in hand for the
purchase of four acres as a site for the church and rectory, and that there
were some twenty communicants within a radius of three or four miles.
On Sunday, April 19, services were held in the hotel at Melbourne; "and,
although the day was rainy and the wind so high and boisterous that one
could not sail an open boat without becoming thoroughly drenched with
sea-water, a congregation of some fifty persons assembled, who proved to
be nearly all Church people." After service and dinner, they sailed for
the residence of Mrs. Stevens, a lady from Detroit who had recently
settled there. The Bishop performed a marriage and baptised a child
while the guest of Mrs. Stevens. Then he and Mr. Carpenter left for
Rockledge; and the day after, returned to Sanford.
In his address to 1885 Council, Bishop Young stressed the financial
difficulties under which the Diocese worked and the probable need of an
assistant bishop. So little had been contributed by the Diocese to the
support of its bishop, he said, that he did not know what assurance it
could give, "in case of the sudden death of the present incumbent, of
any competent support of the one who should be called as his successor."
The geographical area of Florida is more than ten thousand square miles
larger than that of the State of New York, and nearly as large as all New
England. A division of the Diocese, as matters now stand and as indications
now point as to the future development of the State, is out of the question.
The election of an Assistant Bishop, as soon as his support can be provided
for, is the only thing that can be done to meet our necessities. . But why
talk of another Bishop with the disgraceful record of the Diocese as it now
stands as to meeting its pledges and obligations to its present Bishop, as
well as to his successor in office?63
In 1885, the Bishop could look back over eighteen years of service.
He had come in 1867 to a sparsely settled diocese, most of its area un-
explored and inaccessible-a diocese of fewer than a thousand communi-
cants. Disorganised, impoverished, reduced as a result of the recent war,
subject to scourges of yellow fever-the prospect was one of hardship
and self-sacrifice. Here was a man who had spent several years in the
security of the wealthiest parish of America, who had known all the com-
forts and convenience of city life. The challenge called for an heroic
response; and Bishop Young was equal to it. He gave his best; he worked
assiduously; he faced pioneer conditions; he threw in his lot with simple,
primitive people; he was a builder. In 1885, he might have regarded
with satisfaction the number of parishes and missions which had sprung
into life since his arrival, and survey the large areas brought under the
influences of the Church.
In a number of places where the Episcopal Church was entirely un-
known twenty years before, there were in 1885 handsome church-build-
ings, quite a few of which are still in use. Struggling, feeble preaching-
stations had been organised into missions or had assumed the status of
independent parishes. Sanford, DeLand, Daytona, Winter Park, Orlando,
and Tampa--strong and active parishes today--had their beginnings
during the episcopate of Bishop Young. The great orange region of
63. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1885.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
Central Florida was opened to the Church-Leesburg, Longwood, Zell-
wood, Apopka, Eustis, and a number of smaller places. The east coast,
as far south as Melbourne, and the west coast, to the mouth of the
Manatee River, had become a part of the Church's domain. A consider-
able work had been started among the negroes; the Cubans had their own
services, and in their own language; and a great foreign missionary field
was fostered and brought under the patronage of the general Church.
In the meantime, the Bishop had suffered in physical health; and he
had found it increasingly difficult to endure the uncertainties and priva-
tions of his vast rural work. His later reports tell of enforced rests and
periods of recuperation; still he fought a brave fight to the end. On the
15th of November, 1885, he passed away. He is buried in the Old City
Cemetery on East Union Street, in Jacksonville, Florida. His successor,
Bishop Weed, in his first address to the Council of the Diocese of Florida,
paid a beautiful tribute to the late Bishop Young:
It is scarcely nine months since I began my work, so that I have hardly
done more than learn how great were the labours and trials of my predeces-
sor. .. I feel I know him well, for his works speak, though he sleepeth. As
I go over the Diocese, and behold his works, I feel he has written his own
epitaph in the hearts of the people. Laborious and wise; gifted and accom-
plished, faithful and devoted.
Wherever I have been with the convenience of railroads and steamboats,
he went on foot or by horse. When I take into account the labours which his
extensive travel involved, it seems strange that his physical forces were not
exhausted years ago. At Cocoa he went into the woods axe in hand, and
prepared a site for the church. From Key West he passed over to Cuba, and
established twelve congregations on that wretched island. His missionary
labours were enormous. But his labours were not confined to mission work.
Throughout the Diocese I have learned how his care extended to the
minutest details. His taste is to be seen everywhere. I venture to say there
is not a Diocese in the American Church, with as many temples of worship,
constructed with the same reference to the true principles of architecture.
He was not only a wise and educated master-builder, however; his foresight
was markedly shown in the selection of places for the erection of church
buildings. When you consider what a wilderness Florida was when he was
consecrated, and when you consider, also, how the Church has kept ahead
of immigration, and how the population has followed and clustered round
the places which he selected, as centres of worship, we must pay him the
homage due the wise statesman. Not satisfied with planting and establishing
the Church in the most remote districts, he did not rest till he had given the
people a love of true Church music, and had instructed them in the proper
rendering of the ritual.64
At the diocesan Council of 1886, it was reported that an excellent
church had been built at Oak Lawn, on Orange Lake (about eighteen
64. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal. 1887.
miles north of Ocala). Other places were receiving the ministrations of
the Ocala clergyman. A mission had been organised at Brooksville, Her-
nando County. Winter Park had just been organised into a mission;
Kissimmee and Bartow were calling for services. St. James's, Leesburg,
had also become a mission; so had the Church of the Redeemer, Panasoff-
kee. The church in Key West had been destroyed by fire; and this loss
was reported to the Council. The Diocese was asked to give every en-
couragement and assistance to the work in that important city.
In 1886, the Church was gaining ground in the territory recently
opened. The Reverend Mr. Carpenter was holding services at Rockledge,
Tropic, Eau Gallie, and Melbourne, on the Indian River; and at Mait-
land, Winter Park, and Bartow on the South Florida Railway. St. An-
drew's, Tampa, with thirty-six communicants, valued its property at
$2,300. Ormond had a church-lot and seven communicants; Port Orange,
a building fund of four hundred dollars, and ten communicants. St.
Edward's mission, Lane Park-mentioned two years before-reported ten
communicants. It had been organised as a mission; lots had been donated,
and four hundred dollars subscribed for the building.65
The Reverend Edwin Gardner Weed was elected to succeed Bishop
Young in 1886. He was born in Savannah, Georgia, July 23, 1847. While
still a student at the University of Georgia, he enlisted in the Confederate
Army. At the close of the War, he went to Europe and entered the
University of Berlin. After graduating there, he attended the General
Theological Seminary in New York City. He was rector of the Church
of the Good Shepherd, Augusta, Georgia, when he was called to become
head of the Diocese of Florida. On the 11th of August, 1886, he was
consecrated bishop in St. John's Church, Jacksonville. In his first address
to the Council of the Diocese, he paid a beautiful tribute to his noble
predecessor; and declared that he aspired to follow in his footsteps. "Our
diocese is pre-eminently a missionary diocese," he said. "The Church is
constantly finding her way into new fields, and making new advances
into the terra incognita of the southern portion of the state." Within a
year of his consecration, churches were erected at Winter Park, Thono-
tosassa, Cocoa, and Melbourne, besides at places which remained in the
mother diocese after the division five years later. Dunedin and Clear
Water Harbour combined in a subscription of three hundred dollars
towards the stipend of a missionary.66
At the Council of 1888, it was observed that "many material signs of
65. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1886.
66. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1887.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
progress have marked the year. New churches have been built in ten
mission fields, viz.: Clear Water Harbor, Thonotosassa, Tallahassee,
Cocoa, Melbourne, Pable Beach, Fruit Cove, Lane Park, Huntington, and
South Jacksonville. New missions have been regularly organized in
Pinellas, Fort Meade, Clear Water Harbor, Port Orange, Ormond, Carra-
belle, and Courtney. The Bishop has pushed his way into new settlements,
where the Church services have never been heard, and in all of these
places he has been gladly received."67
A movement towards a church-school in southern Florida was made
about that time. The Trustees of Auburndale College held two meetings
during the twelve months preceding the Council of 1888; and determined
to call their college, to be situated at Auburndale, Polk County, "The
Florida Diocesan College." The assets amounted to $16,482.09, of which
less than half was reported in hand; but it was moved that a contract be
let for the building.
On the 27th of September, 1887, Bishop Weed received the applica-
tion of Christ Church, Fort Meade, to be organised into a mission. On
the 27th of November, the same year, he consecrated St. Mary's Church,
Daytona. The church at Key West (St. Paul's) having been rebuilt, the
same was consecrated January 29, 1888. A visit was made to St. James's,
Clear Water Harbor, on the 14th of March. On May 13, the Bishop
visited Sarasota. There he preached and confirmed one person. The next
day, he confirmed three at Bradentown. On the 15th, he celebrated the
Holy Communion and confirmed one at Fayetteville; that evening, he
preached at Palma Sola. He was at Dunedin on the 17th; and confirmed
one. After that, he returned from his visitation into the southern part
of the diocese.
At the 1889 Council, the Reverend Mr. Carpenter reported "much
earnestness and activity" in the Indian River country, but a cry for more
men and for temporal aid to sustain them. His account is very important,
as the scene of his arduous and solitary labours has developed into one
of the most widely known areas in the United States.
At Titusville a beautiful church has been completed, and funds obtained
for the erection of a comfortable rectory. A well ordered Sunday School
has been established, and the young men of the town are manifesting a most
gratifying interest in the work of the Church. . About $400 has been
already pledged toward maintenance of a settled clergyman, and by uniting
this mission with Rockledge and Cocoa below, a permanent clergyman could
be comfortably supported .. .
Opposite Titusville, on the Banana River, is the settlement of Canaveral.
A competent lay reader has been appointed for this point, and there is
67. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1888.
prospect of rapid increase. On Merritt's Island, about fifteen miles below
Titusville, is the mission of Courtney, whose whole history is a continual
record of hardship, self-denial and faith. A comfortable Church building has
been completed at this point, to the great joy of a faithful people, and fre-
quent services are held.
The next point is Cocoa. The work in this attractive mission has been
referred to. A sweet toned bell has been given this mission. a faithful lay
reader holds weekly service . Merritt is a settlement opposite Cocoa. There
are about nine communicants here who attend service in Cocoa when the
wind is suitable. They have already raised somewhat towards a Church of
their own, which can ultimately be served from Rockledge.
Melbourne, with its pretty Church and furnished Rectory, is the next
important point. The Rev. Dr. (William Porcher) DuBose, of the University
of the South, kindly gave his vacation to this point last winter ....
Communicants of the Church are found settled along the whole length
of the river, specially at Micco, St. Sebastian, Fort Paine, Eden and the
Narrows. These are visited by me as often as occasion will permit. Lake
Worth is the last point upon the coast where the Church has a foothold. The
Rev. Mr. Mulford has done efficient work this past winter. A neat Church
has been erected, and by the liberal generosity of Mrs. Lucy Boardman a
comfortable rectory will soon be completed.
Three years ago there was not one place of worship on this whole coast;
now there are five church buildings, with three rectories provided for.68
When Bishop Weed addressed the Council in 1890, he spoke of the
growth which had been manifest in spite of the shortage of clergymen
for the field. A few years ago, it was observed, there was not a single
church-building within many miles of Eustis, in the lake region. In 1890,
there were churches standing at Chetwynd (Fruitland Park), Montclair,
Leesburg, Eustis, Pittman, Lane Park, and ZelIwood-eight in all. A
church had been erected at Brooksville. "The Dean of the Southern Con-
vocation remembers how, a few years ago, he began clearing in the
wilderness. Now in that region, we have churches at Dunedin, Clearwater,
Wilhelmsburg on the Manatee, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Fort Meade, and
Acton. Soon will there be a church at Kissimmee and Bartow." On the
15th of November, 1889, the Bishop accepted the application of Holy
Trinity, Conway, to become a mission; on the 29th of December, he
consecrated the church at Picolata.69
The reports at the Council in Pensacola, May 6-7-8, 1891, indicated
continued progress. A new church-building was available at Merritt, on
the Indian River; a beautiful church had been completed at Kissimmee;
the church of the deserted village of Acton had been transplanted to
Lakeland, where it was in use; a small church was in process of building
at Punta Gorda; Narcoossee had funds nearly sufficient for building a
good church. (The Narcoossee church, constructed on beautiful Gothic
68. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1889.
69. Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1890.
EDGAR LEGARE PENNINGTON
lines, was afterwards removed to St. Cloud). Narcoossee was essentially
an English colony; and there English customs prevailed and prayers for
the Queen and Royal Family were said along with those for the American
civil authority. At that Council, the realisation that the demands of the
whole state were too great for one bishop to fulfil led to the appointment
of a committee on the division of the diocese. The committee recom-
mended the adoption of a memorial to the General Convention of the
Protestant Episcopal Church, fixing the southern boundary on the south
lines of the counties of Levy, Alachua, Putnam, and St. John's. The
territory south of that line was to be ceded to the General Convention
for the creation of a missionary jurisdiction. "It is time that the older
settled portion of the state be occupied with missions," the report de-
clared; "but this cannot be done so long as the necessity of caring for
what has already been established remains so great. . The planting
of the Church in the new field brings with it an increasing care and
On the first day of the General Convention, held in Baltimore, October
5, 1892, Major George R. Fairbanks presented the memorial of the
Diocese of Florida; and the same was referred to the Committee on New
Dioceses. On the eighth day, October 13, the Committee reported favour-
ably. The two Houses concurred. Thus the division of the work of the
Episcopal Church in the state was ratified; and the missionary jurisdic-
tion of Southern Florida came into being.71
When the Diocese of Florida was created, in 1838, there was only one
Episcopal congregation in that whole peninsula area, which later became
the Diocese of South Florida. Most of that vast region was an unexplored
wilderness. At the first Convocation of the new missionary jurisdiction
(February 21, 1893), groups of churchmen were reported at nearly sixty
places. There were five independent parishes; thirty-five organised mis-
sions; and a group of mission stations, where occasional services were
held. The list is as follows:
K ey W est ......................... St. Paul's Ocala ................. .... ........ Grace
Key W est ........................ St. Peter's Orlando ......... ............ St. Luke's
Sanford ............................ H oly Cross
Brooksville ....................... St. John's Leesburg ................... St. James's
Clearwater ....... ................ Ascension Longwood .............................. Christ
Cocoa ..................... ... St. Mark's Maitland ................... Good Shepherd
70, Diocese of Florida: Council Journal, 1891.
71. Journal of the General Convention, Protestant and Episcopal Church, 1892, pp. 176
Conway ....................... Holy Trinity
Courtenay .......................... M mission
Daytona .......................... St. M ary's
DeLand .................... St. Barnabas's
Dunedin .................. Good Shepherd
Eustis .............. ....... St. Thomas's
Fort M eade ............................. Christ
Key West ...................... St. Alban's
Key West ................... St. Cyprian's
Kissimmee ..................... St. John's
Lakeland ....................... All Saints
Lake Buddy ..................... St. Mary's
Lake Worth .... Bethesda-by-the-Sea
Lane Park ............... St. Edward's
Zellw ood ...............
M erritt ................................. Grace
M years ............................. St. Luke's
O coee ................... ............... Grace
Oaklawn .. ........................... Trinity
Ormond ........................ St. James's
Pittman .... ................ St. John's
Port Orange ............. Grace
St. Petersburg .... St. Bartholomew's
Tampa ......................... St. Andrew's
Tampa .................. St. James's
Thonotosassa ............... Trinity
Titusville .................. St. Gabriel's
Wilhelmsburg ................ Christ
Winter Park ............... All Saints
.......... St. Jame's
Arcadia Glen Ethel
St. Edmund King and Martyr Haines City
Chetwynd (Fruitland Park) Lake Mary
Holy Trinity Melbourne
Enterprise ....................... All Saints New Smyrna
Montclair ........................ St. John's Orange City
Narcoossee .................... St. Peter's Pine Island
Bartow Punta Gorda
Cassia Tarpon Springs72
72. Journal of the First Annual Convocation of the Church in the Missionary Jurisdiction
of Southern Florida, 1893.
To Miami, 1890 Style
by MRS. JOHN R. GILPIN
In March, 1890, the Gilpin family "discovered" Palm Beach, an obscure
postoffice with one hotel -"Cap" Dimmick's Cocoanut Grove House,
holding 50 guests. Steam communication had been established thus far,
by Ind'an River steamers to Jupiter, an eight-mile railroad to Juno at
the head of Lake Worth (county seat of Dade County, which then in-
cluded Broward and Palm Beach Counties) and U. D. Hendrickson's
steamboat "Lake Worth," which ran the length of the lake. Most freight
came by small schooners from Jacksonville-"Bessy B.," "Mary B.," and
others. There was no road southward, and county officials reached
Biscayne Bay by sailboat or by walking the beach. Early in April Miss
Elizabeth Marsh, an energetic lady from Chicago, proposed an expedition
into these mysterious wilds on the sharpie "Heron," which was to take
the tax-collector on his annual round. The boat had a low cabin, with two
double bunks forward, separated by curtains, and room for two mattresses
on the floor aft, while the forepeak held oil stoves and room for a man.
There were literally no comforts or "facilities"; we washed, for instance,
in a single hand-basin, with seawater. The party included Miss Marsh,
Mr. and Mrs. Gilpin and son Vincent, Fred S. Dewey, collector, George
Potter, owner and master, and Ben Potter, crew. My mother's diary
tells the story.-Vincent Gilpin
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9: MR. POTTER BRINGS HIS BOAT TO KNOW
whether we can find room in it; we decide that it will be barely
possible to do so. Miss Marsh eager to go, and everyone encour-
ages us to feel that it is a nice trip to make, and a rare chance.
THURSDAY, APRIL IO: GET ABOARD ABOUT 8 P.M., WITH HEARTY GOOD-BYES.
Take on goods at the store; the butter rolls overboard, and is regained
by Ben. A northwest wind takes us up to Lake Worth Inlet beautifully.
Very cold, and we go below, as the prospect is for anchorage here tonight.
(Note: This bore no resemblance to the present dredged inlet. It had
scarcely any water on the bar at low tide, and there were miles of sand
flats with varying channels inside.-V.G.)
Wake at 1 to find the moon risen, and Mr. Potter, Ben and Mr. Dewey
all struggling to get the boat out of the inlet. The tide is running in strong,
and the wind blowing out as strong, which combines with the extremely
narrow channel of 25 feet to make the passage a very difficult one.
Finally we are bumping on the rocks on the north side of the inlet-
bumping and scraping-but fortunately soon get over them with the
help of Ben and George, both of whom get overboard and wade about to
find the channel, and push the boat from side to side. For a little while
it looks extremely dangerous, as if the boat would get a hole stove in it,
but when we are over, the pumps prove no water gaining in the hold, and
the captain thinks no greater damage than holes in his copper sheathing.
Well off, we settle down, after taking a look at the moonlit sand beach
past which we are rapidly scudding, driven by this norther. Too cold to
be comfortable on deck; the men come in with chattering teeth to change
their wet clothing, and take turns in lying down to get warm, without
great success. We sleep and wake alternately, feeling a little of the
FRIDAY, APRIL II: WAKE TO FIND OURSELVES SCUDDING BEFORE A NORTH-
easter, which crosses the seas made by the west wind of yesterday; result,
a choppy, double sea, which proves too much for the inner man of most
of us. Breakfast is eaten with some comfort, though Ben finds cooking
on his two kerosene stoves almost beyond his ability. Mr. Dewey has
his hooks out with the daylight, and soon lands four large kingfish and a
grouper. Kingfish and coffee make a palatable breakfast, but alas, a
choppy sea will not permit us to enjoy their benefits, and while I am
bracing myself in the cabin to write a little, I feel my time has come,
and go quickly on deck to get a comfortable relief there. Vincent is on
the "same boat," at the other end of it; Mr. Dewey is soon after us, and
Miss Marsh, who had been lying down a long time, is out and about the
same business. John very qualmish, but not sea-sick, and feels worse
afterward than we do.
Along the shore is to be seen the same sand beach, and the large pine
trees, coming closer and closer to the shore. The human interests are the
lone mail-carrier from Lake Worth, who carries the mail down the beach,
a distance of 60 miles, once a week, and the three "Houses of Refuge"
built by the government for the relief of ship-wrecked persons on this
beach; a surf-boat is housed, ready for any necessary use by those first
ashore, but no crew is maintained, only a "keeper." As we pass the second
the stars and stripes are strung up as a greeting.
Narres Cut is reached by noon, and we have made the outside trip
MRS. JOHN R. GILPIN
in ten hours-the shortest trip on record. We enter Biscayne Bay, and
find it large, 40 miles long, and 4 or 5 wide. All are quieted at once, and
enjoy the sail across the bay, 6 or 7 miles, to Lemon City, which we
find to be a store, dock, and several houses built back among the pines.
To my delight I see the dock is full of Indians, 30 of them, with
squaws, papooses, and canoes full of camping outfit. (Note: Here fol-
lows a long description of the Indians, and trade with them.-V.G.)
The northeast wind is blowing furiously all day, making us sure we
would have remained in Lake Worth had we not started out just when
we did. Anchor on the ocean side of the bay in quiet water and have a
much-needed good rest during the night.
SATURDAY, APRIL 12: ALL ON BOARD ARISE FEELING MUCH BETTER. AFTER
breakfast sail for the outside peninsula so that Mr. Dewey can see the
House of Refuge keeper about his taxes-dinghy too small to take anyone
else ashore. In half an hour they return with Messrs. Jack Peacock and
Dennis O'Neill, keepers of this House and the one at New River, in a
government life-boat. They came aboard, and we ask them about the
crocodile pond, but they say the crocodiles would not appear on such a
cold day. (Note: This was Indian Creek, now in Miami Beach.-V.G.)
Mr. Peacock is an Englishman, very entertaining in his telling of char-
acteristic stories. Sail back to Lemon City to mail letters for the beach
carrier to take back to Lake Worth. Walk back in the pines, and come
across a settlement made by a German, Matthaus-see the mother and six
children. She is a bright little woman, ready to show us everything about
their three-year-old establishment- pineapples, cotton plants, avocado
pears, etc. They manufacture the comptie starch used for puddings; the
root grows everywhere through the woods, and they dig, wash, grind,
strain, soak, ferment, dry and ship the whitened starch when finished, and
it helps to make a living. This is the industry of the bay, the only thing
at which they can get any money; they get 5c a pound for it, and a man
can get out a barrel or two a week, 230 pounds each. The red juice is
drawn off and made into a fertilizer. They ship egg-plants and tomatoes
to New York via Key West, with varying success.
After dinner sail briskly down the shore past bluff rocks and beautiful
curves to the mouth of the Miami; this is a very pretty spot, with
beautiful cocoanut trees on the point. A Mr. Morse, from Boston, comes
down to the boat, a bright, talkative young fellow, full of jest and history
of the place and doings; has bachelor quarters here. Sail down further to
Cocoanut Grove to anchor for Sunday. Mr. Ralph Munroe comes out to.
speak to us; he is commodore of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, stationed
here. He has a small boat, "Egret," and a large boat, "Presto." Mr.
Thomas Hine has his boat, "Nethla," Mr. Kirk Munroe his boat "Alla-
patta," alligator) and there are several other members. They have leased
the old light-house on Cape Florida; now abandoned, for the B.B.Y.C.
headquarters. The Commodore invites us to come ashore this evening.
He comes over for us, and we are taken to the rooms over his boathouse,
where his mother, and a friend, Miss MacFarlane, have their quarters.
The latter take meals at the Peacock Inn, and the Commodore and Mr.
Dick Carney, of Redbank, New Jersey, live aboard the yacht. The sitting-
room was very snug and homey, and we had a delightful evening there.
Mr. M. photographs most handsomely, and the pictures they show are
SUNDAY, APRIL 13: BEAUTIFUL DAY, STRONG WIND, COOL. WALK THROUGH
Commodore's grove, an old plantation of large trees; is clearing out some
and planting new things-bamboo and royal palms. Go to Mrs. Peacock's
house, and meet a cheery, motherly Englishwoman. Go to the little school-
house, built in the pine woods, where divine service is held by the young
Methodist minister, Mr. Rife. Mrs. Hine plays the organ for them, and
all sing with vim. They have a houseful of hearers, and many young men
among them. On the way back stop to see Mrs. Peacock's new baby, a
grandchild born on Easter Sunday-a week old today. What a life of
isolation and self-dependence-no doctor to call upon short of Key West I
After dinner visit "Nethla," and meet Mr. and Mrs. Hine in their
snug winter quarters-have lived aboard for five months. All is very
comfortable and roomy from cabin to kitchen. They are planting trees
on some of the keys-Long Key, I think, and mainly cocoanuts. Then
Commodore Munroe takes us to his boat, "Presto," and introduces us
to all its snuggeries. Then down to Mr. Kirk Munroe's wharf, and up
to see his flowing springs, walled up, and over his salt water marshes,
which were rather rankly odorous, and up the rocky hill to his house,
which overlooks a long stretch of bay and island and the lighthouse
beyond-a beautiful view. He comes to meet and welcome us, and is
very courteous and cordial. He has one of the Harper children down here
with him now. Supper on board, and I spend a quiet evening reading
and writing; delightfully cool, and no mosquitoes.
MONDAY, APRIL 14: SAIL LAZILY UP TO MIAMI OVER THE TRANSPARENT
waters, and the bottom gardens of sea-weeds and sponges. Meet Mr.
Brickell, who entertains us with vivid accounts of his visits to Japan and
MRS. JOHN R. GILPIN
India and Australia; he is a character in this neighborhood. On this warm
day we can imagine nothing more charming than this location for a whole
season, where one could catch every breeze that blows, and command
innumerable pictures of grand beauty over towards the ocean, and those
of quiet beauty on the other side, up the Miami River. Opposite is the
site of Fort Dallas, built in 1845 by the United States Government during
the Indian war. The cocoa Palms are oldest of all we have seen, so old
as to be broken down frequently by the Atlantic gales. This is the favorite
point for beauty on the whole bay, but is owned with such uncertain title
that no man is willing to buy it, though all want it. The B.B. Yacht Club
wanted it for their clubhouse, but could not buy. Mr. Hine and his
brother bought it, as they supposed, paid their bonus, set the lawyers to
work, and found that the owners refused to give a warranty deed, but
gave a "Georgian Title," which was so unsatisfactory that they gave up
the whole plan.
Next to Mr. Brickell's point up the Miami River is a place called
Mrs. Gilbert's, formerly owned by a lady of that name from New York
City, who was eccentric; she had travelled all over the world, but had
found no place to suit her until she found this. She came down with a
niece, and had an old man to take care of the place. It is filled with fine
large old trees maumee apple trees as large as large magnolias the
first I have ever seen. The place seems now and damp, house going into
decay fast. Mrs. Gilbert is now dead, and it is occupied by a "Judge"
McCrury, who has just brought a bride here from middle Georgia. She,
naturally, expresses herself lonely without her accustomed society, and I
should think she would be.
Opposite is the house remaining of Fort Dallas, and the barracks, all
built of stone-the coraline limestone of the region-very thick walls;
old trees, vines and shrubs; woodwork in a state of general decay every-
where. It is occupied by a Mr. Ewan, a former state senator. Seems to
live here alone, with a man attendant; he is very polite to me, and sends
me away with roses, and the most perfect branch of the of the shell lily
(ginger) that I have seen. Mr. Morse comes aboard to talk, and we invite
him to sup with us, which he does, and chats pleasantly until we are ready
to push off-a wise provision against mosquitoes. Sail down the bay, after
a magnificent sunset picture up the Miami. Anchor out from Cocoanut
Grove. Watch the phosphorescent animals in every phase; hear the chuck-
wills-widow on shore; see the lights of the boat Clubhouse, and the blaze
of an enormous fire in the pine woods southwest of us, that is sending up
immense volumes of smoke.
TUESDAY, APRIL IS: VISIT AND TALK ON SHORE. J. AND I TO PEACOCK'S FOR
a good dinner-spring chicken, etc. Terms quite moderate-$1.50 per day,
$7 to $9 a week, $30 to $35 a month for best rooms; very promising for
a winter's stay, especially if there were ever a chance for a doctor. After
dinner row up the bay to a new stone house built by a Mr. Trapp out of
the rock in front of the site, which he took out in the shape of broad
stone steps in front of the site, looking most imposing. House unfinished,
but under roof, and they are living it it while they finish it. They are
from Iowa, and her brother, a Mr. Rhodes, was one of the first settlers
At five went to Mrs. Munroe's rooms, and five ladies sat down to a
cozy tea, and had a very jolly time of it; laughed so much as to attract
the attention of the gentlemen, who supped on their boats just outside.
After tea the gentlemen all came in and sat with us on the piazza in front
overlooking the bay, and afterward inside, looking over the superb collec-
tion of photographs taken by the Hunroes and Mr. Hine, all experts.
Said goodnight and took to our boat at nine. Commodore followed us
to loan us a water-glass through which we could easily see the bottom
and the sponge growth, with other things we shall be able to see around
WEDNESDAY, APRIL I6: SAIL DOWN THE BAY FIVE MILES TO CUTLER, THE
location of the grant made by the government to Dr. Perrine, 50 years
ago, to establish a botanical garden here. He stopped at Indian Key to
await settlement of the Seminole war before taking possession, but was
killed there by the Indians. Landed and went up to Mr. Fuzzard's house,
a cute little house he built for a new wife from Key West; he has a starch
mill, and raises pineapples. Walk from there through a dense hammock,
a mile long, where we see wonderful growths of air-plants on the live-oaks,
and curious sinks among the rocks, making great caverns, as if the bottom
had sunk. Reach Addison's through his water-melon patch, and get two
ripe melons for dinner (in April!) Met Mrs. A., a gray-haired woman,
who has lived here 24 years, and "has not got used to the loneliness."
They came from near Tallahassee; this place, used for 24 years, looks
forlorn and wretched.
Set sail and eat dinner, bound for Elliott's Key, 15 or 20 miles; beat
with a quiet wind. See Ragged Keys and Sand's Key as we go along. See
sponges and fans and many curious sea growths as we approach the key.
The sea is of varying shades of pale olive green, very beautiful; see all
the coast keys from the lighthouse down to Black Caesar's Creek.
MRS. JOHN R. GILPIN
THURSDAY, APRIL 17: BEAUTIFUL MORNING. FIND OURSELVES ANCHORED
over basket sponges and long purple sea-weeds, some of which V. gets
before breakfast. Sail in to Saunders' landing, and gentlemen go in, but
as pier does not reach to land, ladies decline. They return with a dozen
ripe pineapples, which we greet with exclamations of delight; immediately
pare and eat them, without sugar, just as we would a home apple, rich,
sweet and very juicy, so that as we lean over the side of the boat with
our sleeves rolled up, eating, the juice drips off our elbows! Sail up to
Albury's; all land and search for the house. Walk through strip of trees
to pineapple field, where Miss M. gives out, as there seems to be little
to see, and a very rough walk. I walk to middle of field, and lose direction,
as the men are out of sight; a colored man comes over and pilots me,
telling me about the cultivation of the pines, how the slips are cut off
and planted during the wet season of June or July, in any spot of soil
that can be found for them. A stick is used, thrust in among the rocks
perhaps a dozen times before a spot for the shoot is found. In three years
the field is exhausted. They bring 5c to 12c in New York, and they say
$50,000 worth was shipped from Elliott's last year. Mrs. Albury, a
motherly body of 65 or 70, and her daughter-in-law, greet me most
cordially, and tell me much of their history. They are close to the Atlantic
edge, a mere step from the front of the little mound on which their house
stands. We call at one more house, and then are ready to spread our
"Heron's" wings for Cocoanut Grove, a straight course and a fair wind.
V. got overboard out of the small boat-soaked himself and stopped his
watch. Have a beautiful sail, wing and wing, over the translucent waters
with their bottom gardens and strange growths; past the "Featherbed
Shoals," (mud flats) and into "pockets" (narrow channels) between them.
Soon at anchor, with pleasant greetings, and the happy intelligence
that a batch of letters awaits us! Inexplicable! Find they are forwarded
from Osprey, on the Gulf Coast, where we first intended going, and are
addressed to "Cocoanut Grove House, Dade Co., FIa.," omitting the post-
office, Palm Beach, so that they came here via Key West to Cocoanut
Grove P.O., instead of to "Cap" Dimmick's, and here we are to meet the
straying letters I They are our first since leaving home over a month ago;
happy anticipations of a delightful reading tonight.
FRIDAY, APRIL 18: VERY INTERESTING INTERVIEW WITH "YOUNG TOMMY"
and his family, in to trade at Brickell's (described at length V.G.)
Weather threatens a norther; Mr. Potter thinks we had better go out to
the cut tonight, waiting for a wind tomorrow. Say our goodbyes at
Cocoanut Grove, and fill our barrel out of the pump which Com. Munroe
drove into the bay-one of many boiling springs which are all along this
bay front, coming from the Everglades; they are considerably higher than
the sea, and furnish freely good fresh water. (Note: This ceased, of
course, when the Everglades were drained.-V.G.) Com. Colt is in harbor
on the "Atala"; they are taking everything in the way of provisions from
Mr. Peacock's store that he can spare, and there is a whisper that he
means to charter Mr. Albury's boat to go to Key West for ice and wines!
"Nethla" is unrigged, and the party goes on Monday. Miss MacFarlane
teaches the district school here, which will be over in three weeks, when
she and Mrs. M. will go north also. The evening wind dies down, and
we anchor for the night.
SATURDAY, APRIL 19: GET OUR BREAD OF MR. PEACOCK, AND PREPARE TO GO
over to Florida Cape for a picnic with the ladies and the school-children;
wind ahead for our up-coast trip. Half an hour later we start, and sail
nearly over, when the wind changes to S.E., ahead for the Cape. The men
are anxious to avoid a rough blow, and a norther is still predicted by
the weatherwise, so the Heron changes her flight and steers for Bear's
Cut; on we sail, and out, and our Biscayne cruise is over. I feel much
disappointed at not landing at Cape Florida and the old lighthouse, but
do not want to say a word that will make us regret a stop here. The up-
trip in safety is all-important, and the start is made with the harbor of
New River ahead, if the wind makes a harbor necessary-if not, a night
sail will bring us to Lake Worth. See the Mallory Line steamer "El Paso"
going down to Key West. Beautiful day, east wind, V. steers. Pass New
River at 6:30, and decide to go on-wind east, and strong enough to take
us rapidly. Eat supper comfortably.
As night advances the clouds spread wider and wider, and we meet
rougher and rougher water. Sit quietly on deck watching the darkening
shore, which becomes lighted up by a large fire, how far inland none can
tell. The wind shifts to northeast making progress slower, and as the boat
goes pounding her struggling way we each feel a little doubtful over the
result of our adventure beyond New River, but hopefully go on, calculat-
ing that four in the morning will bring us opposite Lake Worth, and
daylight will help us in. But the sea gets rougher and rougher, the shore
gets dimmer and dimmer, notwithstanding the firelight, and Capt. P. is
cautious enough to steer out occasionally so as to keep off the breakers.
Put the red and green side-lights up, and get out the boat's compass-a
good one, fortunately for our present needs.
MRS. JOHN R. GILPIN
The water has been washing aboard now and then, and has made our
bed a little wet; that, and my own desire to know where we are and what
we are doing keeps me from lying down, but about 11 P.M. I spread the
camp-stools and lounge on them, looking out the windows, and taking one
nap, from which I am roused at 11:30 by a call for help and the hasty
altering of sails above, as a rain-squall strikes us. We sit up, listening
and waiting; the rain pours in torrents, coming through a few seams in
the deck, wetting my improvised lounge, which does not disturb me, as I
am thoroughly roused, and do not want to sleep. There seems to me
trouble ahead. We have passed our last safe harbor, and are certainly
storm-tossed now, outside, in our little five-ton sharpie; the waters grow-
ing rougher, and a most treacherous inlet before us at best, darkness
prevailing, rain pouring, land fires put out, no shore visible, not a star
to be seen, black clouds everywhere, wind at N.E., keeping us back, and
heaving the waters toward us, to pound and batter, and swamp if possible.
I do not want to go to bed.
Presently Mr. Dewey comes down wet to the skin-had no oilskins
on. The Potters had, and stand up, working over tiller and sail, until the
squall is past. I find matches and candle, and sit prepared to give the
needy a light, and see that the sea-water and rain-water which are now
coming in, from above and below and through the centerboard well, do
not soak everything. Mr. D. changes his clothes for dry ones and throws
himself on the floor. I put my head on the foot of Miss M.'s bed and my
feet on the floor, until my shoes are soaked; then I get up to watch the
progress of things, and give an occasional look at my watch, hoping for
daylight, listening to hurrying feet overhead, back and forth, working
with the sails and ropes, hoisting, lowering, reefing and tacking.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20: BETWEEN ONE AND TWO MR. P. CALLS MR. D. UP AGAIN
to meet another squall, and I hear him say "Things are looking very bad
out here." The heavy squall strikes us, sails are quickly lowered, and
the boat drifts, seemingly toward shore; she was very difficult to manage
before the sails were dropped. So the unseen beach is prepared for; the
heavy anchor is dropped, with 100 feet of cable-darkness everywhere
but over the compass, under one of the lanterns, and the boat is drifting
toward the west, and the beach. The anchor does not hold, however, and
hope springs up, for the beach is not near; so sails are reefed, and sailing
resumed, with the bow turned to the eastward to avoid the beach. But
squalls are heavy and very threatening, the waters growing more and
more rough, and no way of knowing where we are. So with one more
squall Mr. P. decides to turn round and go back to New River Inlet for
harbor. It would be impossible to enter Lake Worth were we even there,
it would be so much rougher there than farther south.
Once turned, at 3:30, due south is the course, and with N.E. wind
the "Heron" went scudding before it with reefed mainsail alone. Fear of
the beach leaves us now, and the effort at the tiller is not so great. I
watch for daylight through the clouds. At 4:30 go out and see a little
streak. For an hour the sailors had been looking for the coast, but could
not see it. Steer west until the line of the coast is seen, then carefully
down, so as not to miss the mouth of New River. About 5 I see the dim
outlines of a "House of Refuge"; glad to think it is the New River house,
and we are but 5 miles from harbor. V wakes and comes out, and I go
into take his place to sleep; I sink to sleep immediately, worn out with
my long night's watch. Waken much later, when J. comes in, surprised
that we are not yet in New River. He reports having just sighted the
House of Refuge-the second one! The one I saw was the one about 5
miles south of Lake Worth. We had been up opposite the Lake, and
well out in the Gulf Stream, which would account for the great distance
travelled up the coast, as the current is 4 miles an hour.
It is past 10 when we reach New River; the gallant little boat ceases
to tussle with the waves, and rounds into the inlet beautifully, and we
are, as Capt. Potter says, "at peace," anchored quietly in the river by
the shore of the little peninsula which lies between us and the raging sea
outside; only a step between fear and turbulence, and hope and quiet.
Too sleepy and tired for breakfast, which we eat toward noon, and then
vacate the cabin for the three tired night-workers. Start out for a walk
up the beach-hard walking. The wind is blowing pretty hard, but the
sun is out, and we appreciate the beauty of the wild sea from our safe
position on shore. Find some fine sea-beans and sponges, also a pool where
I wade and V. bathes. Then I observe a heavy rainstorm in the N.E.,
steadily advancing, and we hurry along the yielding sands of the beach, a
much greater distance than I had realized, and reach the boat just in
time to dodge the first drops. Eat supper with appetite, and a very tired
party is soon ready for a night's rest, feeling safe and sound, at least.
MONDAY, APRIL 2 : AWAKE IN OUR SAFE HARBOR TO HEAR THE NORTHEASTER
booming through the rigging, settling the question of further progress
north or south today, so we settle into a marooning party in earnest, and
turn ourselves into beach-combers. Mr. Dewey finds the remnants of a
cook-stove which serve us admirably over a wood fire on shore, behind
MRS. .OHN R. GILPIN
the sand ridge and under the friendly branches of a sea-grape tree. Kero-
sene is short, matches are few, and this fire is a necessity, though not so
comfortable as the stoves because of the furious wind. After breakfast
I fall from a breaking camp-stool and and jerk my head badly-hurts far
down the spine. Lie down with camphor and cold compresses, and sleep
wards off a headache. All look for mail-carrier from Lemon City to
Lake Worth; he passes just here, where he keeps his boat, to cross New
River Inlet. The trip is made weekly, 60 miles each way. Last year a
carrier disappeared at Hillsboro River, crossed in the same way; his
clothes and mail-bag were found-someone had taken his boat, and he
had to swim. As large sharks are common, the supposition is that they
ate him. Since then there is no swimming of the rivers. V. stands on
the point, ready for a swim, but seeing many sharks, he stays out.
I find a curious bird on the beach, a small wader with orange and
crimson beak, irridescent blue breast and ditto green wings-quite fresh.
Prepare to skin it whole; Mr. Potter sits by to help. Get all nicely done
except the head, and before doing that I try to place myself a little more
comfortably on the edge of the boat where I am kneeling at the work.
I am cramped with long stooping, the oars are under me, and I find
myself losing my balance, and to my horror going over into the water.
Mr. P. grasps one hand, and with the other I grasp one of the halyards,
which always hold me when we are sailing; but it was now unfastened,
and Mr. P. could not hold my weight, so down I sat, back first, into the
water, and he jumped down after me, holding on. I struggle to my feet,
mouth full of salt water, and strangle for breath, gasping and choking.
Mr. D. comes out to help, dismayed at the picture. My first thought is
of my watch, and I hand it to Mr. D.; the pocket was quite dry. I am
wet through, Mr. P. to the waist. I go down to change everything, and
back to wash out each garment in this salt water and hang them up to
dry in the high wind-soon accomplished, to my surprise, and they are
left with none of the usual salt-water stickiness. Then I finish my bird's
head. My knife is overboard, and Mr. P.'s also; V. wades and gets mine
-not the other. No mail-man; wind stronger than ever, cold northeaster.
Use all our bed-wraps.
TUESDAY, APRIL 22: WIND SO STRONG THAT WE DO NOT DO MUCH BEACH-
walking. V. and J. try to cross river in small boat, but it is so rough
they ship water and return. Get a lot of milk cocoanuts, very good. Enjoy
our ripe pineapples at intervals. I sort shells and arrange. After dinner
mail-man appears with two companions, and Dennis O'Neill the keeper