F C ^ estA THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
1 ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Editor: Dr. Charlton W. Tebeau
Advisory Editorial Board
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Dr. Robert E. McNicoll
Gaines R. Wilson Leonard R. Muller
Beginnings in Dade County, F. M. Hudson 1
The Florida Indians in the Seventeenth Century 36
Charles M. Andrews
Pioneer Women of Dade County, Mary Barr Monroe 49
The Administrative System in the Floridas, 1783-1821, II 57
Duvon Clough Corbitt
COPYRIGHTED 1943 BY THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
=Cf)UtC, is published annually by the Historical Association of Southern Florida
and the University of Miami as a bulletin of the University. Subscrip-
tion, $1.00. Communications should be addressed to the editor at the University of Miami.
Neither the Association nor the University assumes responsibility for statements of fact
or of opinion made by the contributors.
VOLUME ONE JULY, 1943 NUMBER THREE
Beginnings in Dade County'
by F. M. HUDSON
S HORTLY AFTER Florida was ceded by Spain to the United States,
General Andrew Jackson, acting under the enabling act of Congress,
by an ordinance dated July 21, 1821, divided the newly acquired
territory into two counties, Escambia, comprising the former Spanish
Province of West Florida; and St. Johns, comprising the former East
In 1823 the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida created
ten counties out of the original two. Among these was the County of
Monroe, embracing all of that part of the Territory and adjacent islands
ORIGINAL STATE RECORDS:
Journals of the House, cited as House Journal
Journals of the Senate, cited as Senate Journal
Journal of the Legislative Council cited as J.L.C.
ORIGINAL DADE COUNTY RECORDS, NOW IN THE COURTHOUSE, ALL CITED BY NAME:
County Commissioners Record (the first record book) and County Commissioners'
Minute Books (subsequent records), in the office of County Commissioners,
Minutes of the Circuit Court, Miscellaneous Record A and Deed Books, in the office
of the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Register of Wills, in office of County Judge.
Acts of the Legislative Council, the General Assembly and the Legislature, cited as Acts
Judge Jefferson B. Browne's "Key West, The Old and the New," cited as Brovmne
W. T. Cash's History of Florida, cited as Cash
Cowgill's "Journal of the Constitutional Convention," cited as J.C.C.
William Watson Davis' "The Civil War and Reconstruction," cited as Davis
Florida Historical Quarterly, cited as F.H.Q.
Judge James B. Whitfield's Historical Introduction to the Compiled General Laws of
Florida 1927, cited as Whitfield
Knauss' "Territorial Florida Journalism," cited as Knaust
2. Whitfield, 85
lying south of an irregular line which may be described as running from
Charlotte Harbor on the Gulf to Lake Macaco, and around its northern
boundary to its most eastern limits; thence to the waters of Potomac
(Hillsboro) River and down that river to the Atlantic Ocean.3 Within
the new County of Monroe were Key West, Indian Key and Key Biscayne.
When the Legislative Council met January 4, 1836, there was not a
quorum present and the body adjourned until the next day. Tuesday,
January 5, 1836, the Council met "and Mr. Richard Fitzpatrick, member
elect from Monroe County, having appeared, a quorum was formed.
... On motion of Mr. Blount, Mr. Richard Fitzpatrick was nominated
and duly elected President of the Legislative Council."4
The appearance of Mr. Fitzpatrick has more than casual interest for
us, because among the agenda of the session was a plan for the creation
of a new county to be formed from a part of the territory of Monroe.
The new county was established and named Dade, with no vote recorded
From these facts we may assume that the plan was attributable to Mr.
Fitzpatrick, because we know enough of "senatorial courtesy" and of
human nature to be convinced that the dismemberment of Monroe would
not have been permitted without the approval of her representative. We
may, therefore, with a good show of reason, acclaim Richard Fitzpatrick
as the Father of Dade County.
The name of of the new county must have come spontaneously to every
tongue, for only seven days before the session convened, on December 28,
1835, had occurred the catastrophe known to us as the Dade Massacre.
Appropriately the Legislative Council, in creating the new county, made
it a memorial to Major Dade. The act was approved by the Governor
January 28, 1836.5
The portion of Monroe County assigned to the new county was that
part lying north of a direct line running from the west end of Bahia
Honda Key to Cape Sable and east of a line running directly from Cape
Sable to Lake Macaco. The county seat was located temporarily at
Indian Key, but there was a provision that the county court should also
be held yearly at Cape Florida.
Possibly there were those who charged Mr. Fitzpatrick with a selfish
motive because he lived, at least in after years, in the new county. He
3. Act, 1823, p. 141
4. J.L.C., 3, 70.
5. Acts, 1836, p. 19, Ch. 937.
F. M. HUDSON
had represented Monroe County in the Legislative Council in the earlier
sessions of 1831, 1832 and 1835.6
Mr. Fitzpatrick was a member of the Constitutiofial Convention which
met December 4, 1838 and framed the Constitution under which Florida
was finally admitted into the Union in 1845. In that convention he was
quite active. He introduced a resolution to proceed to the formation of
a Constitution and his views finally prevailed;7 but not without oppo-
sition.8 The opponents reflected the sentiment of St. Augustine and North-
east Florida in favor of a division into two territories, leaving St. Augustine
as the capitol of East Florida. The opposition was continued actively
and acrimoniously after the submission of the Constitution and its rati-
fication at an election in May, 1839. Among the assaults then made on
the proposed constitution was the charge that the favorable majority of
only 119 was obtained by fraud. These contentions undoubtedly con-
tributed to the postponement of statehood until 1845.
On this subject, see an interesting article by Walter Martin in the
Florida Historical Quarterly, January, 1942.
As Chairman of the Committee on Relations with the General Govern-
ment,9 Mr. Fitzpatrick presented in the convention a resolution urging:
That a memorial be sent to Florida's Delegate in Congress claiming admission to
That two members be sent to Washington to present the memorial;
That the Delegate in Congress be requested to urge admission "at the present session
The bone of contention in the Convention was the proposed article
with reference to banking.'0 The occasion for that controversy was the
fact that Florida was then suffering from the collapse of a boom (not
the last, unfortunately), attributed by many to the unscientific conduct
of banking under laws which permitted the issuance of bonds of the
Territory to guarantee the obligations of banks." The division was
mainly on party lines, the Whigs favoring, and the Democrats opposing,
the banking interests.
The contest in the Convention was foreshadowed in the session of the
Legislative Council at which the act calling the Constitutional Convention
6. Compiled List in State Library.
7. Knauss, 139.
8. Knauss, 143.
9. Knauss, 164-167.
10. F.H.Q., Oct. 1937, p. 107.
11. 1 Cash, 323 et seq.
was passed, February, 1838. In the Apalachicola Gazette of February 19,
1838, appeared the following comment on the selection of a meeting place
for the Convention:
"The selection of St. Joseph resulted from a log-rolling compromise between the
East and the West. Says Fizzy to Peter, 'scratch my back and I'll tickle your elbow'.
The Proposition suited the fancy of both parties. So Peter scratched the Banks, and
Fizzy tickled the Town"12 (St. Joseph).
Fizzy was Richard Fitzpatrick, then a member of the Council, and Peter
was Peter W. Gautier, Jr., a leading citizen and editor of St. Joseph, soon
to be United States Marshall, and later speaker of the House in the Legis-
When the Convention assembled, the vote for President was a test of
strength between the friends and foes of the banks. The latter won by a
vote of 27 to 26, Mr. Fitzpatrick with the minority.'4
January 12, 1839, Mr. Fitzpatrick in a discussion of a "resolution upon
banking", "hoped that the resolutions, and article would now be taken
up, as he desired to offer a substitute for all the propositions, which he
thought would satisfy all the gentlemen, and remove the difficulties which
seemed to surround the vexed question."15
But the subject was postponed.
The article on banking, among other provisions, forbade the General
Assembly to "pledge the faith and credit of the State to raise funds in
aid of any corporation whatsoever"; and empowered the General Assem-
bly "to regulate, restrain and control, all associations claiming to exer-
cise corporate privileges".'6 Other restrictions were more drastic.
Toward the end of the Convention, Mr. Fitzpatrick on two occasions
protested against the inclusion of the Article on Banking, on the ground
that it was adopted in the absence of a quorum.17
On the final vote upon the adoption of the Constitution as framed, Mr.
Fitzpatrick alone voted "Nay", and his name does not appear among
12. F.H.Q., July 1937, p. 37.
13. F.H.Q., April 1942, p. 380, Oct. 1938, p. 102.
Gautier was not a member of the Convention. His activities were largely directed
to advancing the development of the young town of St. Joseph. It is said that he
removed later to Texas. His father, Rev. Peter W. Gautier, who acted as Chaplain
of the Convention, was an ancestor of the Gautiers of Miami.
14. F.H.Q., Oct. 1937, pp. 101-102.
15. J.C.C., 113; Knauss, 187, 190.
16. Whitfield, 120; F.H.Q., Oct. 1937, p. 108.
F. M. HUDSON
those of the signers of the document.18 However, an indication that he
became reconciled is found in the fact that his county voted unanimously
Later Mr. Fitzpatrick appears in another role. In purusuance of an ap-
pointment by Governor Call, he proceeded "to the Island of Cuba to pur-
chase bloodhounds for the purpose of employing them against the
He sailed from St. Marks in a chartered sloop November 27, 1839,
arrived at Matanzas December 6, remained four days in quarantine,
finally landed; but could get no information about bloodhounds. At the
suggestion of an acquaintance whom he happened to meet, he went on to
"Madruga on the south side of Cuba". There he found dogs, but had
great difficulty finding men competent to train and manage them, and who
were willing to accompany him to Florida for that purpose. No one knew
on what part of the globe Florida was situated. They knew no English,
were influenced by the prejudices of religion, were strongly against our
government and were terrified by their notions of Indian warfare.
Finally he reached Matanzas and sailed with 33 bloodhounds and five
Spaniards (including one named Batista) to serve as valets to the dogs.
After weathering heavy gales, with his vessel "very near being wrecked",
he was obliged to put in at Cedar Keys for repairs, food and water. He
received every attention from the army officers there and arrived at St.
Marks January 7, 1840.
His report to Governor Robert Raymond Reid, successor to Governor
Call, is full of interesting details, from which the foregoing is abstracted.
The report is accompanied by a statement of account showing, inter alia:
Cost of 33 bloodhounds $2,733.00
Charter of sloop 600.00
Another interesting character, less illustrious than Fitzpatrick, but
notorious in his own right, was Jacob Houseman. When Dade County was
established, Houseman was in possession of Indian Key, claiming to be
the owner, by virtue of squatters' rights which he had purchased from
two men, Fletcher and Prince, who had located on that Key about 1823
or 1824. Houseman had erected certain improvements and developed a
thriving business of its kind.
18. F.H.Q., April 1938, p. 243.
19. F.H.Q., Oct. 1938, p. 104.
20. J.L.C., p. 8 et seq.
An intimation of the nature of Houseman's business appears in con-
nection with an application, in 1838, for the establishment of a Port of
Entry at Indian Key?. It was shown that there were four families on the
Key, including that of the inspector of customs. "The others are the
proprietor's and persons in his employ." The total number of white
persons was 21 and the total number of blacks 26.
The application was signed
"W. A. WHITEHEAD22
In behalf of merchants and others at Key West"
"New York December r838"
But there was a back-fire. Other citizens of Key West protested, and
Mr. Whitehead in the spirit of fairness presented the protest in which
it was recited:"2 "Dade County has been set off from Monroe, and Indian
Key is in the new county of Dade, which does not possess men enough in
its entire population to form a grand and petit jury. Mr. Houseman
combines in himself the legislative, judicial and executive authority as
lord of his insular proprietory." Therefore "Indian Key, by the legislation
of our territorial Council, and on the application of Mr. Houseman, has
been, for the last three years, and still is, placed beyond the reach and
protection of the ordinary operation of law."
As further appeared from the protest, Houseman had been found in
admiralty to have been guilty of fraud and embezzlement, fraudulent col-
lection of "salvage," etc. A decree had been entered against him at Talla-
hassee for $8,600.00 obtained by him as fraudulent salvage by connivance
with the Captain of a certain vessel.
The protestants prevailed.
Pertinent to the accusations of Houseman's adversaries, it may be en-
lightening to insert some figures taken from a report made to the Legis-
lature in 1872,24 which was based on the records of the Admiralty Court
at Key West and covered the years 1848 to 1859.
Total number of vessels partially wrecked 618
Total value $22,043,327.00
Salvage adjudicated 1,595,101.00
"Total expenses incurred by vessels adjudicated upon" 2,666,388.00
21. Senate Documents, 3rd Session, 25th Congress, p. .
22. William A. Whitehead had lived at Key West and engaged in newspaper work.
He had distinguished himself as a writer and had served as Collector of the Port
and as Mayor. At the time of this incident he had just left Key West and moved
to New York. Later in New Jersey he was active in educational, scientific and
financial circles. See Browne, 200.
23. Executive Documents, 25th Cong., 3d Session-H.R. Document 41-Dec. 1838.
24. House Journal 1872, pp. 894-895.
F. M. HUDSON
The report also states: "The total wrecks south of Cape Canaveral
unadjudicated are probably equal to the same amount." Evidently wreck-
ing was big business.
In fairness, however, it should be said that the current estimate of
"wrecking" as a wholly nefarious trade must be modified. In the absence
of adequate governmental protection, vessels engaged in coast-wise navi-
gation were subject to dangers that are unknown today, and wrecks on
the coast of Florida and on the Bahamas were of frequent occurrence.
The stranded ships could look to no source of help but the "wreckers,"
whose vessels, adapted to the purpose, constituted a sort of volunteer
coast guard. As their compensation for services rendered to ships in
distress, admiralty law allowed salvage, and the claims of the salvors
were adjudicated by the courts of the United States, usually by the
Court at Key West.
Certainly many of the wreckers were engaged in legitimate business
and conducted it in good faith, as is indicated by the fact that in 1847,
the Congress of the United States enacted a law, applicable only to the
Florida coast, restricting the right to engage in wrecking to vessels and
masters licensed by the district court. Among the conditions for the
issuance of such licenses, it was required that the vessel must be sea-
worthy and properly equipped and that the master must be trustworthy
and innocent of fraud or misconduct in the conduct of his business.
But the enactment of this law was a recognition of the fact that fraud
and misconduct on the part of wreckers were not unknown. The oppor-
tunity was too great and the temptation too strong to be always resisted;
but usually the most flagrant instances of abuse were partly "inside jobs,"
by collusion between a crooked wrecker and a crooked master for the
purpose of collecting insurance or dividing the salvage of a "rescued"
In 1835, of twenty vessels listed as employed in wrecking on the
Florida reefs, four were from the home port of Indian Key and two
from Key Vaccas, presently to be embraced in Dade County."
In a lawsuit of comparatively recent date, the bill of complaint recites
that about 1840 the reputed owners of the Mary Ann Davis Grant on
the south end of Key Biscayne agreed to colonize the tract. A part of
their plan (involving a subtle classification of wreckers) was to get,
pmong others, "respectable wreckers, with substantial vessels, to bring
25. Browne, 162, 224.
their goods to the island and make it their homes, and their vessels to
hail from the Town of Key Biscayne."
Returning to Indian Key, then the County Seat of Dade County, and
to Jacob Houseman, we find a remarkably high estimate placed by some
on Houseman's prowess, as witness the following from the proceedings
of the Legislative Council, February 17, 1840:26
"The Committee on the State of the Territory, to whom was referred the memorial
of Jacob Houseman, presented the following preamble and resolution:
"... And whereas Jacob Houseman, of the Island of Indian Key, in South Florida,
has presented his memorial to this Legislative Council, setting forth and proposing, that
he will contract to catch or kill all the Indians in said South Florida and in the
neighborhood of the Everglades, for the sum of two hundred dollars for each Indian
he shall so catch or kill. And whereas in the opinion of this Legislative Council, it
offers the most economical and effective mode of ridding the country of these lawless
banditti, and is at the same time more calculated to effect the objects of the Govern-
ment in relation to the Indians:
"Be it therefore Resolved by the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida,
That our Delegate in Congress be requested to urge upon the President of the United
States the expediency of contracting with the said Jacob Houseman, in accordance with
the proposals offered in his said memorial."
"Which was read."
We know nothing further of Houseman's proposal, but we do know
that within four months, on August 7, 1840, the tragedy of Indian Key
was enacted. We usually think of that catastrophe chiefly in connection
with the death of Doctor Henry Perrine. In the last number of Tequesta
is an informative article by T. Ralph Robinson which gives us a very
clear picture of Dr. Perrine's work and vividly portrays the slaughter
and desolation wrought by the Indians.27
Four days after the attack on Indian Key, Lieutenant J. T. Mc-
Laughlin made a report from which the following excerpts are taken.2'
"United States Schooner Flirt
"That the Indians were conducted to this attack by some person or persons acquainted
with the localities of the Key, cannot be doubted. Their landing was effected on the
outside of the Key, at a point most remote from their approach, yet at a corner of the
town uninhabited, whilst every consideration, if ignorant of the fact, would have
induced them to have landed at a point directly opposite . Again negroes were seen
among them, who, with others, were heard to speak English, and these last not in the
dialect of the negro . Lieutenant Commander Rogers, in the Wave, had left there
26. J.L.C., 1840, p. 117.
27. Tequesta, Aug. 1942, p. 16.
28. U.S.H.R. Committee Report, pp. 8-9 (1848).
F. M. HUDSON
but the day before for Cape Roman, carrying with him from Tea Table Key every
man, capable of doing service but five. That his departure was communicated to or
looked for by the Indians, there can not be a doubt . Dr. Perrine, Mr. Motte, his
wife and two young children and a lad named Turdy were killed; the latter drowned
in a cistern in which he had concealed himself. . The widow and family of Dr.
Perrine have taken shelter in this vessel, awaiting transportation to the north."
Dr. Perrine was buried on Lower Matecumbe Key; but many years
later his remains were removed and interred in the family lot in Palmyra,
N.Y. His monument is of granite, representing a cocoanut palm, on
which is a tablet with a short narrative of the Indian Key Massacre.29
In this connection it would not be fitting to pass over a document
bearing the signature of Dr. Perrine.10 It may have been published here-
tofore, but, if so, it has not come to the attention of this writer.
To his Excellency the Governor and to the Honorable the Legislative Council of Florida
The Memorial of Henry Perrine, Doctor of Medicine and Counsul of the U.S.A. for
Campeachy and adjacent Ports in Mexico
That your Petitioner is a native american citizen who has resided several years in
the Mexican States of Yucatan and Tabasco which abound in tropical vegetables of
great importance to Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce.
That from the date of the arrival of your Petitioner, in his Consular District his
education, profession, and general habits directed his attention to the most celebrated
plants of that region; that by the Circular of the Treasury Department of the 6th
September 1827 he was officially invoked to aid in introducing into the United States
such foreign trees and plants of whatever nature as may give promise, under proper
cultivation, of flourishing and becoming useful; and that in obedience to the wishes
of the general government thus manifested he has ever since that period dedicated his
time, services, and funds to promote the objects therein expressed.
That the obstacles to enquiry and observation interposed by the character of that
country and of its inhabitants are so great and so numerous as to be scarcely credited
by the residents of our happy confederation; yet that your Petitioner without appro-
priation from Government, or gains from his office, but with his profession was enabled
by the gratuitous and politic distribution of his medical services to purchase much
valuable intelligence concerning the vegetable productions of that Section of Mexico.
That a reference to the communications from your Petitioner now on file in the
Treasury Department of the United States with the dates of January 1st 1829, Jan-
uary 1st 1830 and November 8th 1831 will show the entent of the information thus
transmitted and the amount of money sacrificed by him in his endeavors to fulfill the
desires of the aforesaid Circular.
That although the labors of your Petitioner have been hitherto productive of com-
paratively little utility to. his country on account of the difficulties and disappointments
connected with his repeated transmission of living vegetables, yet he is still firmly
29. Browne, 89.
30. Original document in custody of the Secretary of State.
persuaded that various tropical plants may be successfully domesticated in the United
States with great private emolument and still greater public utility.
That your Petitioner believes that the introduction alone of the fibrous species prin-
cipally belonging to the Genus Agave, will constitute an epoca as memorable in our
agricultural and manufacturing annals as the invention of the cotton gin; that the
extensive cultivation of merely those varieties of the Agave Sisalana whose leaves
produce the substance known in commerce by the name of Sisal Hemp, will form a
great staple of prosperity to the Planters of the South while it furnishes a new material
to the Manufacturers of the North; and that although the benefits of their domestication
must be more immediately enjoyed by our Southern States, their value will soon be
experienced by the country at large.
That in the opinion of your Petitioner the southern part of the Peninsula of East
Florida, in climate, soil, and geographical position affords the highest advantages for
the commencement of the great enterprise of introducing and domesticating tropical
plants in the United Statesi and that in his belief he possesses sufficient information on
this subject to attract the Capital and Associates necessary to accomplish this most
important portion of the views of the aforesaid Treasury Circular.
That he therefore respectfully asks an act of incorporation for himself and his asso-
ciates to form a Company for the more convenient execution and success of the enter-
prise to introduce into said Peninsula such tropical vegetables as may be useful to the
That he also respectfully solicits the approbation of the Government of Florida to
an application to the General Government for a grant of land to himself and his
Associates, to be by themselves selected and appropriated to the objects of their in-
To explain with greater precision the views and the wishes of your Petitioner, he
refers to an extract from his letter to the Secretary of the Treasury published in the
Washington Globe of the 19th Nov. last-a copy of which is subjoined, and also to
the Draft of the Bill or Charter which is hereunto annexed.
New York z7th December r831. HENRY PERRINE
This memorial was presented to the Territorial Council in January,
1832, and laid on the table;31 but action was to be taken later.
Manifestly Dr. Perrine had selected Florida as the field of his valuable
scientific experiments soon after he began his career of plant development
in Mexico. The importance of his work was recognized in 1838, when by
an act approved February 8,32 the Legislative Council incorporated the
Tropical Plant Company of Florida with Henry Perrine, James Webb and
Charles Howe,3 as directors. In July, 1838, the Congress of the United
31. From an endorsement on the document.
32. Acts, 1838.
33. Charles Howe was Inspector of the Port and Postmaster at Indian Key and a
survivor of the Massacre.
James Webb, a Georgian, was the first Judge of the Superior Court at Key West.
In April, 1838, he retired from office, moved to the Republic of Texas and became
Secretary of State.
F. M. HUDSON
States passed an act granting to "Dr. Henry Perrine and his associates
* * a township of land * in the southern extremity in the peninsula
of East Florida to be located in one body".
The location was tentatively made by Dr. Perrine, but was not officially
made until after his death. This tract of land was confirmed to Dr. Per-
rine's widow and heirs, but their title was not perfected by patent until
This and a grant to General Lafayette of a township adjacent to Talla-
hassee are probably the only Florida grants of like extent made in recog-
nition of public services.
By the efforts of Dr. Perrine's son, Henry E. Perrine, who escaped at
the time of the massacre, and Charles Howe, 36 families from the Bahamas
were induced, about 1848, to establish homes on the Perrine Grant, as it is
now called; but for fear of the Indians they soon abandoned the
In a letter dated "Indian Key, Novr. 8th, 1840", Charles Howe wrote
of Captain Houseman in terms that could not be construed as partial or
flattering, and says that he "has cleared out for good".3 But this last
statement turned out to be neither good history nor good prophecy.
July 25, 1848, we find a committee of the House of Representatives of
the United States reporting upon a claim of Jacob Houseman)' The
substance of the claim, as set forth in the report, was as follows:
Houseman represented that "upon August 7, 1840, he was in possession
of an island on the coast of Florida called Indian Key"; that he had
"erected upon the island quite a village"; had "cut out in the rock * *
several cisterns of large dimensions, to catch and contain water"; that
on August 7, 1840, the Indians "attacked the island, murdered some of
the inhabitants and carried away all the property", after burning the
buildings and much personal property. He estimated his loss at
Just why the Government should be held responsible is not made
entirely clear, but apparently the claimant tried to make it appear that
his business was carried on for the benefit of the army and that the army
failed to protect him. Judge Jefferson B. Browne, in his account of the
Indian Key Massacre, gives some countenance to this view of the matter.
34. Many of the data concerning the Perrine Grant are taken from an opinion on the
title to the Grant prepared many years ago by the late George M. Robbins of
Titusville, Florida, in his day the outstanding lawyer of the East Coast, and who
practised in Dade as well as other counties.
35. F.H.Q., Oct. 1941, p. 197.
36. Executive Documents-Report 798 to U.S.H.R., July 25, 1848.
The Committee refused to recognize that contention and held, to the
contrary, that Houseman was engaged in a private business largely
dependent on the army for support. The Committee also reported
adversely on the claim and found, as a fatal defect, that Houseman had
no title to the land; that the island was the property of the United
States and that Houseman occupied by permission of the Government.
The report takes special notice of "the remarkable fact that some
fifteen or sixteen thousand dollars of this claim is for the burning of
cisterns cut in the solid rock of the island, and they filled with water at
the time. True that climate has the warmth of a southern sun, but how
this was done is not perfectly plain to this Committee,"
The allegation of those who opposed the establishment of a Port of
Entry at Indian Key, to the effect that the new county was not self-
sufficient governmentally, finds support in two acts of the Legislative
Council passed in 1837 and 1840. The first of these37 directed the Judge
of the Superior Court of the Southern District to hold court at Indian
Key on the first Monday in December of each year "until the county
seat shall be established"; but the act approved March 2, 1840,"3
evidently passed to facilitate the administration of justice in Dade
County, provided that the Superior Courts of Dade and Monroe should
have authority to summon, for service in each of those counties, jurors
from both of the counties.
By an act of February 25, 1841, the jurisdiction of the Superior Court
of Monroe was enlarged to give that court "original and exclusive juris-
diction over all crimes committed in the County of Dade and over all
civil causes not coming within the jurisdition of Justices of the Peace
and the County Court of said county, from and after the passage of this
act until the same shall be repealed".39
From the spoliation of Indian Key, the destruction of the County Seat,
Dade County's tide was on the ebb. An interesting sketch of conditions
is to be found in the following report to the Governor, made by W. C.
Maloney, "Acting Clerk" of the County Court of Dade County in 1843:40
"The undersigned encloses copies of the Election returns as made to him of the
result of the Election held on the 6th November 1843 in Dade County; and assigns as
reasons why the law has not been complied with"
"ist That it is inapplicable to Dade County from the fact of the county seat being
37. Acts, 1817, p. 6.
33. Acts, 1840, p. 39.
39. Acts, 1841, p. 23.
40. Document in State Library.
F. M. HUDSON
totally deserted since its destruction by the Seminoles on the 9th August, 1840)
and further that the nearest settlement is 25 miles from the County Seat, Key
Vaccas on the one side and Cape Florida 100 miles on the other."
"2nd That the distance has to be travelled by water. Consequently the Clerk cannot
get to persons competent to canvass votes or they to him under 10 or 12 days.
Even provided the weather is good."
"3rd That in consequence of the destruction of the County Seat and the total abandon-
ment of the County (until within a few months past) the Clerk has not deemed
it safe to reside in that County."
"4th That not more than one in Ten at the nearest settlement is competent to canvass
the votes as will be seen by reference to the certificate enclosed. The referees
having to X for their names."
"Under these disadvantages (for the truth of which reference is made to
Senators English and Smith) copies of the returns made to the Acting Clerk
are forwarded to his Excellency the Governor, with the hope that they may
reach him in time to elicit such remarks thereon as will convey to the Legisla-
tive Council a just idea of the impediments in the way of complying with the
Law on Elections of 1843. Especially in Dade County."
"The Clerk for his justification would inform His Excellency that since the
destruction of Indian Key (the Co. site) and his residence at Key West he has
ordered a Special Election to fill the place vacated by his removal. And also
another Election was ordered at the stated time in 1842 for the same office.
No candidate appeared, nor was there a vote given for such an officer. And the
only reason given for not appointing him a successor was that there was not in
the whole county a competent person to fill the office. The Acting Clerk was in
possession of the Seal, the only thing left by the Indians whereby to recognize the
County Court of Dade, and as a matter of accommodation to the former residents
he has at his own costs procurred a Book and recorded such papers as he has been
requested to record and has made all former returns of Elections, simply because
no one else would do it-as no Emolument is derived therefrom."
"The undersigned Acting Clerk of Dade County, believing that the past election
will be the subject of scrutiny before the House of Representatives as regards the
number of votes legally Polled, and the Qualification of the Candidates has made
the returns directly to the Governor, as they cannot be returned agreeable to Law
to the Secretary of the Territory."
"He will also make a communication directly to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and will furnish any further information to the Governor in the
meantime that may be deemed necessary."
"W. C. MALONEY
Actg. Clerk Dade Co. Ct."
Mr. Maloney's report followed an election held November 6, 1843;
and promptly thereafter, March 6, 1844, the Legislative Council met the
situation by passing
"An Act to Legalize the Acts of the Acting Clerk of Dade County."'4
"Whereas, since the depopulation, or abandonment of Dade County, caused by
41. Acts, 1344, p. 15.
Indians in 1840, the citizens have failed to elect a Clerk for said County, and the then
Clerk has acted in said capacity, and performed all the functions of Clerk of the
County Court of said County. Therefore.
"Be it enacted by the Governor and Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida,
That all proceedings had under, and acts done by, the Acting Clerk of the County
Court of Dade, be, and the same are hereby legalized, and declared valid and good, as
fully and completely as if the law had been complied with."
Only three days after the approval of the foregoing validating act, there
was a sign of rejuvenation. On March 9, 1844, it was enacted. "That the
County Site for the County of Dade shall hereafter be at Miami, on the
South side of Miami River, where it empties into Bescaino Bay."42 That
act furthermore repealed the act of February 25, 1841, which had sub-
jected Dade County to the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of Monroe.
Possibly this legislation was in anticipation of statehood, which was
attained in 1845.
But even with Miami as its new Capitol, and with its participation in
statehood, the administration of justice seems to have been unsatisfactory,
as is indicated by the petition of twenty-four citizens which was sub-
mitted to the General Assembly of the New State at a date when the
times were out of joint, though the exact time is uncertain.
"To the Senate & House of Representatives of the General Assembly of Florida
"The undersigned citizens of Dade County show to your Honorable body that the
County of Dade has a very small population scattered over a large section of country.
That owing to these causes they have no officers, nor have they a prospect for a long
period hence, that there will be a sufficient population to induce persons to hold office.
That owing to this want of officers inconvenience has occurred & great inconvenience
may yet occur to the citizens of said County from the want of proper tribunals for the
administration of Justice & the settlement of estates & other business pertaining to a
Court of Ordinary.
"Wherefore your Petitioners pray that the County of Dade may be united to the
County of Monroe for all judicial purposes & that they may have the right of resorting
to the Circuit Court, the justice Courts & the Probate Court of the County of Monroe,
the people of Dade being allowed to vote for all the officers elected by the people,
constituting or pertaining to said Courts."43
Doubtless that petition was one of the factors which contributed to the
passage, December 11, 1850, of an act of the General Assembly by which
Dade and Monroe were consolidated as one Court District, with the
provision that Court should be held at Key West and should exercise
42. Acts, 1844, p. 17.
43. Original Document in custody of the Secretary of State.
F. M. HUDSON IS
jurisdiction over both counties, and that the jurisdiction of Justices of
the Peace should extend over Dade.44
Other provisions of the act were:
Section 2. "All dockets and records and files belonging to the Circuit Court of Dade
County shall be transferred to the Clerk of Monroe," who was required to keep a
separate book and record all Dade County instruments separately.
Section 5. When "proper officers of Dade shall have duly qualified for the discharge
of their respective duties, this act shall cease and be void, so far as relates to civil
causes," but not as to criminal causes "and the Clerk of Monroe County shall thereupon
transfer to the Clerk of Dade County whatever records and papers he may have, dis-
connected with the criminal causes of said Dade County.'
Thus, as to the administration of justice, Dade was made the ward of
Some slight signs of life are found in a resolution of 1848 and a statute
of 1850, passed by the Legislative Council. The resolution called on the
Senators and Representatives in Congress to have a mail line extended
from New Smyrna to Ft. Pierce and Cape Florida.45 The statute appro-
priated one thousand dollars for the opening of a road from Miami to
For the near-abondonment and continued lethargy of Dade County,
the primary cause was the Seminole War. The first six years of the
infancy of the County were the years of that conflict.
The Dade Massacre was the Seminoles' declaration of war. The sav-
ages of Pearl Harbor had their prototype in the savages of Florida.
When Major Dade entered Florida and began his march that was to
end so disastrously, there had been no general hostilities. The troops
came supposedly for a sort of police duty, to render aid in carrying out
the treaty of removal to the West. It was still contemplated that the
removal would be accomplished without resort to arms. These conditions
doubtless contributed to the success of the Indians in their attack.
From December 28, 1835, the war was on. On the day before Mr.
Fitzpatrick appeared in the Legislative Council, bringing his plan for a
new county, the day on which the Council assembled and adjourned for
lack of a quorum, the unborn county felt the first stroke of the war. A
mother and her three children, with the children's tutor, were murdered
by Indians at New River.
Alarmed by this outbreak, the inhabitants between New River and
44. Acts, 1850, Ch. 400, p. 140.
45. Acas, 1848, p. 127.
46. Acts, 1850, Ch. 334, p. 95.
Cape Florida, about two hundred in number, fled to Key West. The
keepers of the Cape Florida light fled from an attack and the light was
In the same year, on the twenty-third of July came the attack on Cape
Florida, in which the lighthouse was burned, the keeper was wounded and
almost roasted and his negro helper was killed. An account of this trag-
edy, written by Mr. John W. B. Thompson, the keeper of the light, is
published by Mr. J. N. Lummus in his interesting booklet, "The Miracle
of Miami Beach", and also in Tracy Hollingsworth's History of Dade
A later stroke was the Indian Key Massacre in 1840, followed in
October by the capture, dismantling, and attempted burning, of a
schooner belonging to Mr. Charles Howe, who had remained at Indian
Key, and the slaughter of the vessel's crew, as recounted by Mr. Howe
in the letter above mentioned. Mr. Howe also said: "The Indians are
lurking all around us", using the boats captured from Indian Key on the
night of the attack.48
These conditions were certainly not conductive to the development of
the new county, and it is not remarkable that Mr. W. C. Maloney in the
document quoted above should have felt justified in reporting the
There are some indications that the Indians in the Dade County area
were not actively united with those who were conducting the war against
the white men in the regions further North, and that hostilities in this
territory were due to local causes.
If any significance is to be attached to the reference which appears
in Mr. Robinson's article in Tequesta, August, 1942, which designates
the band of Indians who attacked Indian Key as "Spanish Indians",
there might be cause to suppose that they would not have been dominated
by the Seminoles.
There is a tradition that the attack on the Cape Florida lighthouse was
provoked by atrocities committed by two white men, men with white
skins rather. They came in a boat from Key West and robbed the shacks
of absent Indians of all the hides and furs to be found. When the Indians
of the New River settlement heard what was going on, one of their chief
men went to investigate. He found the marauders and demanded the
return of their loot within two weeks. On his return at the end of that
47. Browne, 84-85.
48. F.H.Q., Oct. 1941, p. 197.
F. M. HUDSON
time he met a friendly reception from the two thieves and indulged in the
"Wyomee" they offered. When the Indian was thoroughly inebriated, his
hosts murdered him and burned his body in a log heap. The attack on
the lighthouse was to avenge this murder. Unfortunately the guilty
escaped and the innocent suffered.
Mr. Lummus gives a side light on the massacre at Indian Key. He
says that at Houseman's store the Indians were accustomed to buy "fire
water". On one occasion they drank freely and became unruly. Houseman
arrested them and detained them in an improvised jail, but, anticipating
trouble, fled with his family to Key West. Spoliation and murder were
the red men's answer.
However one may regard these two stories, we know that the Indian
was not without provocation.
Another tradition is that, by the promptings of certain white men, the
Indians were aroused against Dr. Perrine, whom they had come to
consider, because of his land grant, as the leader of an organized move-
ment to deprive them of their remaining lands.
From time to time the legislative body in Florida has been designated
Prior to statehood, as the Legislative Council,
From 1845 to 1868, as the General Assembly;
From 1868 to the present time, as the Legislature.
Prior to 1840, the Legislative Council consisted of one House and the
sessions were annual. After 1840 and under all the State constitutions,
the legislative body has been bi-cameral. The first constitution of the
State provided for annual elections and annual sessions of the General
Assembly, but by an amendment effective in 1847, elections and sessions
were made bi-ennial. That provision has been retained; but in the earlier
days there were many special and adjourned sessions.
From the creation of Dade County until 1869, the evidence of official
activity is somewhat meagre. At many sessions of the Legislative Council,
and later of the General Assembly, no representative for this county ap-
peared at the opening, but sometimes they straggled in later. Since the
journals of the legislative bodies are not indexed and in some of them
the pages are not numbered, only a meticulous search, page by page,
could be relied on to determine whether Dade was represented or drew
Such a search has been made for the years of the territorial government
by Miss Dorothy Dodd, of the State Library, and the list for those years
is complete. Miss Dodd has aided greatly in locating data for this article
and in portions of it the author might properly be said to be ghost-writing
for her, but without her consent.
Apparently in those early days the county offices were often vacant. At
the legislative session of 1836, three justices of the peace and three
auctioneers, and Charles Howe as notary public, were nominated for Dade
County and Charles Howard (Howe?) was appointed County Judge.49
Among others who are known to have served were:
W. C. Maloney, Clerk, 1839, 1840
Charles Gyles, Sheriff, 1844
R. R. Fletcher, Clerk, 1844 46
S. B. Hill, County Judge. 1845
W. H. Hilliard, County Judge, 1850
Charles W. Lee, Clerk, 1851
George P. De Medicis,
William McCullough, William
H. Mears and Henry Could,
County Commissioners, 1850
The lawmakers who are known to have represented Dade in the
legislative halls to and including 1868 are:50
Richard Fitzpatrick, Representative, 1831, 1832, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1838, 1839 and 1840;
William F. English, Senator, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1843 and 1844;
Temple Pent, Representative, 1841, 1842, 1843, and Senator 1845;51
John P. Baldwin, Representative, 1844,
Robert R. Fletcher, Representative, 1846, 1847;
Theodore Bissell, Representative, 1858, 1859, 1860.
Robert R. Fletcher also represented Dade County in the Constitutional
Convention of 1865.52
Dade was in a senatorial district which embraced other counties, and
some of the senators who represented the district came from those
counties. No attempt has been made to include them in the foregoing list.
In 1866, there were radical changes in the boundaries of Dade
County." Indian Key was left out and the south line was established as
49. J.L.C., pp. 114, 123.
50 Compiled List in.State Library. Senate and House Journals, passim.
51. Temple Pent seems to have been the "Old Squire" of the Young County. He
appears frequently in the records as a Justice of the Peace. Some of his descendants
are still in the County. Among them is his granddaughter, Mrs. C. H. Perry, from
whom we learn that he was a native of New York and came to Florida during the
days of Spanish occupancy.
52. Whitfield, 163.
53. Acts, 1866, Ch. 1592, p. 62.
F. M. HUDSON
it now is. The north line was placed approximately at the St. Lucie River
instead of the Hillsboro River, thus including Lake Worth (Palm Beach)
One noticeable item in the new description is the reference to Lake
Okeechobee, which had been referred to in the earlier acts as Lake Macaco.
One of the earliest evidences of the adoption of the new name is a
frontispiece map, dated "Dec. 1841-Jan. 1842," in Sprague's "Florida
War," on which the Lake is designated at Okee-cho-bee. That map shows
Miami River, Ft. Dallas, Key Biscayenne and Ft. Lauderdale.
An indication of the confusion of the two names is found on a map of
1838. The cartographer attempted to delineate the boundaries of the
new County of Dade, and to do so he must (on paper) locate Lake
Macaco. What he actually did was to place Lake Okeechobee approxi-
mately in its proper place and make a Lake Macaco all his own, lying a
considerable distance south of Okeechobee.
He was not quite so far afield as another confused map maker, who
located Dade County on the Gulf coast about where it would take in
the scene of the Dade Massacre.
In 1874, there was further legislation which corrected certain very in-
definite references in the boundary description of 1866, but made no
material changes. These boundaries remained unchanged until 1909, but
it is not necessary to consider the creation of three new counties out of
the northern part of the Dade of 1874.
So far as this record will show, Dade County's next appearance in the
legislative halls was in 1868, when the Senate met, pursuant to adjourn-
ment, July 6, "the permanent president Lt. Gov. Wm. H. Gleason in the
chair."" He was from Dade County. William H. Hunt was senator from
1868 to 1872.5" Isaiah Hall was representative in 1868 and 1869, but for
the latter year drew no pay, a sufficient evidence that he did not attend.
Again in 1871, 1872, 1873 and 1874, Mr. Gleason appeared in the House
as Dade's representative.56 E. T. Sturtevant was senator from 1872 to
54. Senate Journal 1868, p. 650.
55. Prior to 1874, the names of legislators can be found by careful examination of the
Journals of the Senate and House, sometimes in the record of the proceedings of
the first day of the session but frequently they did not appear until a later day.
See House Journals 1871, p. 667i 1872, p. 820. In the House Journals of 1873
and 1874, the pages are not numbered.
Other sources of information are the early Record Books of the County Commis-
sioners and Miscellaneous Record A.
56. In the Acts of 1874 and all subsequent acts, the names of the legislators appear in
the prefatory pages of the published volumes.
1876, and in 1875 W. W. Hicks was representative. Dade's member of
the House for 1877 was John J. Brown; but in the roster of senators for
that year, Dade's district is shown: "21st
Thereafter the following legislators represented Dade County:
Senators, all from Brevard County:
W. H. Sharpe, 1879, 1881, 1883;
H. S. Williams, 1885, 1887;
Gardner S. Hardee, 1889, 1891.
J. W. Ewan of Miami, 1879, 18855
R. B. Potter of Biscayne, 1881l
John H. Brelsford of Lake Worth, 1883;
James Wood Davidson of Figulus, 1887;
W. D. Albury of Miami, 18895
E. N. Dimick of Palm Beach, 1891.
In the mean time the County had begun to sense the value of taxes and
the necessity of fiscal management. The first record, now to be found, of
meetings of County Commissioners is dated September 6, 1869.57 The
commissioners present at this first recorded meeting were Andrew Price,
Francis Infinger and John A. Addison. In 1871, the commissioners were
George Sears, Samuel Jenkins, A. Price and Michael Ziairs.5"
At the meeting of October 30, 1874, the Commissioners decided a
grave question of constitutional law with perfect aplomb. In revising the
poll list of the County, as they were required to do, they struck a number
of names, noting in each instance the cause, such as "Dead," "removed
from the county," etc. In one instance the name of a prominent citizen,
who was neither dead nor removed nor an Ex-Confederate, was followed
by the notation: "Renounced his allegiance to the United States.""
Nevertheless, this man without a country, at an election held three days
later, was a candidate for office and received more than a third as many
votes as his successful opponent.60
It is not practicable to include the names of all County Commissioners,
but the records from 1869 to the present time are reasonably complete
and contain, in the jury lists and poll lists, an approximately complete
enumeration of adult male inhabitants prior to 1890.
57. County Com. Record, p. 1.
58. Idem. p. 5.
59. Idrm. p. 14.
60. Misc. Record A, p. 31.
F. M. HUDSON
Among the other officers who served during that era were:61
E. T. Sturtevant,* 1872;
William H. Hunt, 1874;
David Brown, 1876-1877;
Tavernier W. Faulkner, 1877,1886i
John Adams, 1880;
A. E. Heyser, 1888, and many years thereafter
CLERK OF THE COURT
E. D. Beasley, 1869;
William H. Gleason, 1870-1874;
Richard B. Potter, 1877-1878
T. W. Faulkner, 1881-1882, 1885, 1886;
Henry T. Priest, 1888,
A. F. Quimby, 1889.
Francis Infinger, 18701
William J. Smith, 1874, 1876;
John T. Peacock, 1877;
William M. Mettair, 1885, 1886, 1887;
John F. Highsmith, 1890.
COLLECTORS OF REVENUE AND ASSESSORS OF TAXES
Adam C. Richards, 1877;
John T. Peacock, 1882.
J. W. Ewan, 1882;
E. L. White, 1890.
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
W. H. Benest.
In the legislative sessions from 1868 to 1872, Mr. Gleason of Dade
did much to relieve the monotony because of a feud between him and
Governor Harrison Reed, both members of the Reconstruction regime,
which then had control of the State.
Less than six months after he took office, Governor Reed called the
Legislature to meet in Special Session November 3, 1868. On the appointed
day the House met, with a quorum present; but the Senate lacked a
61. Co. Com. Record and Minute Books, passim,
*Mr. Sturtevant was the father of Mrs. Julia D. Tuttle and appears to have been
her advance agent. His will, not dated, but probably executed about 1870, when
he was departing for the wilds of Dade County, carries this solemn preface: "Being
about to leave home on a long journey by land and sea, and aware of the liabilities
to accident and danger in such cases."
1 Register of Wills, p. 16.
quorum. Exactly half of the senators were present. The House promptly
adopted articles of impeachment against the Governor and presented
them to the rump senate. The next day, November 7, the Senate adjourned,
still without a quorum, and without attempting to act on the impeach-
Thereupon Lieutenant Governor Gleason, who was admittedly a party
to the impeachment proceedings, relying on a provision of the constitu-
tion to the effect that an officer under impeachment should be automati-
cally suspended from office, assumed the role of Acting Governor. But
Reed still held physical possession.
On November 9, Reed applied to the Supreme Court for an opinion
as to his status. Gleason, as "Lieutenant and Acting Governor," also
addressed the Court, denying their power to render an opinion on the
subject. On the 24th of November, the Court rendered their opinion,
That there could be no lawful session of the Legislature without a quorum of both
That because there was no quorum of the Senate, the session was abortive;
That articles of impeachment can be effective only after they have been duly
presented to the Senate;
That there was no presentation to the Senate because the Senate was not there
And that consequently there had been no impeachment.,2
But Reed was not through." On November 19 his Attorney General
filed a proceeding to oust Gleason from his office of Lieutenant Governor,
on the ground that Gleason had not been, when elected, a citizen of
Florida for three years, as required by the constitution.
Gleason correctly attributed this proceeding to Reed and one revealing
allegation was that in his candidacy for the office he had had the active
support of Reed, who then knew of Gleason's ineligibility.
The account of this proceeding abounds in interesting details, but it is
enough to say that Gleason was ousted. According to Gleason, Reed was
robbing the State, and Reed's version was that he had refused to agree
with Gleason on a scheme of joint spoilation and division of the spoils,
and had thereby incurred Gleason's enmity.64
In 1869 and 1870 there were a second and a third attempt to impeach
Governor Reed, but the House refused in each instance to vote impeach-
62. 12 Florida Reports (of the Supreme Court) pp. 654, 657, 659, 660, 667, 674,
683, 685. 1 Cash, 479 et seq.
63. 12 Florida Reports, 190 to 271.
64. 1 Cash, 480.
F. M. HUDSON
ment.65 In 1872, Gleason and his colleagues voted unanimously for a
committee of seven to conduct an impeachment of Reed. Three days
later the committee reported articles of impeachment, accusing the Gov-
ernor, in many counts, of the fraudulent issuance of State bonds, mis-
appropriation of funds and substituting depleted securities for cash in
the State Treasury. Mr. Gleason moved the adoption of the articles as
a whole and the motion prevailed. The articles of impeachment were
presented to the senate with due formality, but were finally dismissed by
However, during these years Dade's representative was not devoting
all of his time to controversy. His hand is often seen in constructive legis-
lation and in the reports from departmental offices. Those reports contain
data as to Dade County and some of them are expressly credited to Mr.
Gleason. In a report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, sub-
mitted to the Legislature in 1870, appears the following with reference
to Dade County:
"Board of Public Instruction appointed July 2z, z869. Organized December 6,
,869. Octaivius Aimar, Chairman; Win. H. Benest",
"By the census returns there are only 27 youths between 4 and 21 years in this
County. It was the wish of the principal property holders that a tax of one percent
should be levied to build a school house and employ a teacher for the children; but no
organization of the board could be had in time.
"The few settlers in this county are determined to establish a good school for their
children, and wish it understood that immigrants will have ample school privileges
The session of 1872 reveals two items of interest.
The Committee on Equalization reported to the Legislature as to Dade
No. of acres of land 35,375.00
Value per acre .60
Aggregate value $21,225.00
Aggregate value of personal $7,350.00
(This appraisal was not made by the Miami Realty Board)
In the report of the Commissioner of Lands and Immigration is one of
those morsels which are still found palatable, on
65. Davis, 614, 615.
66. House Journal 1872, Feb. 7; Feb. 10 (Vol. not paged). Davis, 631, 632. 1 Cash,
67. House Journal 1870, pp. 575, 588.
68. House Journal 1872, p. 878.
"CLIMATE OF SOUTH FLORIDA"69
"Observations taken during Indian War"
AT FT. DALLAS
AT FT. MEYERS
How tenuous was the County's hold on life during the lean years is
indicated by a glance at a few poll lists and election returns, as shown
by the following very incomplete table:70
Miami and New River
The pulse shown by the census record is not much stronger.7
Year 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1885 1890 1895
Population 146 159 83 85 527 333 861 3322
October 30, 1874, the County Commissioners "Ordered that there be
69. House Journal 1872, p. 902.
70. Election Returns in State Library. Election Returns in custody of Secretary of State.
County Cor. Record, passim.
71. Com. of Agriculture's Report of Sixth Census of Florida, p. 10.
F. M. HUDSON
three precincts opened in this county on the third day of November One
at the House of Michael Sairs on Biscayne Bay, Township 53 Range 42,
one at the House of H. D. Pierce, Hypoluxo on Lake Worth . and
one at Jupiter Light House."72
The voters of the Miami area cast their ballots at the "House of Michael
Sairs," which was near Biscayne Bay and not far North of the Buena
Vista section. This Michael Sairs had more than his share of aliases (not
of his making). His name appears in the records as Sairs, Sears, Zairs,
Ziairs, Zahrs, etc.; but when he executed his will he signed "Michael
The jury list, of forty-one names, selected by the County Commission-
ers in 1880, was prefaced by: "The following persons, being the largest
number possible, are selected to serve as Grand and Petit Jurors."74
The conduct of elections was decidedly unconventional. The rules of
the game were quite lax. Candidates for office were often election officers.
Pluralism was an offense not in their catalogue. Two offices for one man
were not considered burdensome. Catch as catch can was the general
Here is an illustration. Two citizens, who may be designated as Alpha
and Omicron, were candidates, the one for Senator, the other for Repre-
sentative, at a regular election, and had opposition. The result of the
election, certified by Alpha and two others as Inspectors of Election,
and by Omicron as Clerk of Election, showed 14 votes for Alpha, 16 for
his opponent; 14 votes for Omicron and 16 for.his opponent.
Omicron contested the election alleging in his petition to the "Board
of County Canvassers," of whom he was one and Alpha was another,
"that great injustice has been done by the Inspectors of Election," of
whom he was one and Alpha was another, . "the constitution and the
laws of Florida having bqen grossly violated by the Board of Inspectors
in their allowing citizens of foreign birth to vote" without presenting
their naturalization papers.
The contest was successful. A new certificate was filed, showing 14
votes for Alpha, 12 for his opponent; 14 votes for Omicron and 12 for his
opponent. The officials who signed the new certificate were-guess who!
Alpha as County Judge and Omicron, by his deputy, as County Clerk.75
72. Co. Corn. Record, p. 14.
73. 1 Register of Wills, p. 1.
74. Co. Corn. Record, p. 51.
75. Misc. Record A, pp. 20, 22-30.
Be it said, however, that from the evidence adduced, the conclusion was
The election of 1876 requires special notice. The poll list showed
seventy-five registered voters. Of these fifty-five voted for presidential
electors, twenty-three for the Democrats and thirty-two for the Repub-
licans. Not so many voted on any other contest. A tabulation of the
votes for Representative in the Legislature, for which office the candi-
dates were William H. Gleason, Republican, and John J. Brown, Demo-
GLEASON BROWN TOTAL
Jupiter Precinct 4 4
Lake Worth 3 4 7
"Sears" Precinct 17 23 40
Total for the County 24 27 51
The election was held November 7. Gleason filed a contest, charging
gross irregularities at "Sears" precinct. The contestant alleged as grounds
of his contest:
One vote was cast after sundown and by lamplight; Two persons of foreign birth
were permitted to vote without producing naturalization papers After all ballots were
removed from the box, the Democratic ballots and split tickets were returned to the
box; but the Republican ballots, left lying on a table, fell, or were knocked, to the
floor and were gathered up by many persons, including bystanders, and some false
ballots were substituted.
Affidavits of election officers and voters, dated November 14, 15 and
16, were presented in support of the contest. The petition of contest
demanded that the Canvassers ascertain the true vote cast, or, if that
were impossible that votes from the "Sears" precinct be thrown out.
On the seventeenth of November, the Board of Canvassers for the
county prepared their certificate showing that the total vote of the county
for presidential electors was fourteen, nine Republican and five Demo-
cratic; that the vote of the County for Representative was:
For Gleason ---....--._... _-- 7
For Brown -_ --- -. 4
Total _. --I..__i- 11
The canvassers did not, in their certificate, refer to the contest; but
the figures show clearly that the votes from "Sears" precinct were not
counted.7' After all the contest came to naught. At the next session of
76. Misc. Record A, pp. 40, 41, 43, 45, 47-50.
F. M. HUDSON
the Legislature, Brown was seated and served as the representative from
The affidavits filed in the contest reveal the political affiliation of
about all the voters. They also show that some of the Democrats, among
them J. William Ewan and John Addison, voted for Gleason, their
The election of 1876 ended the reign of the Reconstructionists in
Florida and Mr. Gleason had made his last appearance in politics.
A glimpse of realities in 1876 is given us by Commodore Ralph M.
"Shortly after our arrival at Brickell's there was held on his place a meeting of the
Dade County Commissioners and we were invited to attend. As the commissioners and
others began arriving on boats and canoes, we noticed that many of them were armed
to the teeth, .... At my suggestion, in view of the Key West tales, Demarest and I
took seats close by the door. But my partner from the far West after a few minutes'
inspection whispered to me -'perfectly harmless, Ralph, perfectly harmless!' and so it
proved, notwithstanding the political tension and the fiery reputations.
"There was also a fair proportion of well-balanced, progressive folk, genuine
pioneers of civilization, who were trying to get a foothold against great odds. The
political troubles alluded to were the result of the reconstruction period following the
Civil War, commonly called the Carpet-bag Regime. Plans had evidently been laid to
absorb everything possible in the way of lands and offices, and they might have suc-
ceeded had it not been for the aforesaid real settlers who proceeded to put a kink in
the operations and in the end prevailed."
Mr. Gleason's continued activities in the County were not confined to
politics. His landed interests were extensive. At one time he claimed to
own 640 acres of land bounded on the South by the Sweetwater (Miami)
River and on the East by Bay Biscayne. This tract of land, embracing
all of the business section of the present City of Miami, was known as
the James Hagan Donation. Briefly, the history of this Donation is as
In 1808, the Spanish Government made a grant of land "situated on
the Sweetwater River on Biscayne Bay" to John Egan (pronounced Agan
by him and Hagan by the Conchs).
After the cession of Florida to the United States, James Egan, son of
John, secured the allowance of the claim, which was confirmed by an act
of Congress, but in the proceedings, the name of James Egan was officially
transmuted into James Hagan. No patent was issued. This opened the
way for the heirs of one who rightfully possessed the name James F.
Hagan to lay a false claim to the land. William H. Gleason procured
77. The Commodore's Story, 99-100.
from those heirs quitclaim deeds conveying their alleged interests tp his
wife, and then procured from Washington the issuance of a patent to
James F. Hagan, which gave Mrs. Gleason the ostensible title.
Later the depositions of witnesses who knew the facts established the
validity of the Egan claim and the fatal weakness of Mrs. Gleason's title.
She conveyed her interest for a consideration.
Another tract of land, 620 acres, embracing Brickell Hammock, has a
In 1831 and 1833, these two tracts of land were conveyed to Richard
Fitzpatrick.7 He made extensive clearings in the hammock, planted
tropical fruit trees and cultivated cotton and sugar cane with slave labor
until 1837, when he was forced by the exigencies of war to abandon the
enterprise. Fort Dallas had been established on his land and many of his
plantings were rendered valueless by occupation of the Army. After many
years his heirs recovered from the United States an award of $12,000.00
for damage done to his property by the military occupation.79
On August 7, 1843, Fitzpatrick conveyed his holdings to William F.
English,0O who in turn undertook the cultivation of the fields, then known
as the English plantation. An Englishman visiting Miami in 1874, wrote
regarding the Hagan tract:
"The estate formerly belonged to a gentleman who had employed some two
hundred slaves in raising sugar, cotton and fruit . Traces of this remain in the
ruined houses, the groves of cocoa palms, which he planted on the left bank of the
Miami River, and the wilderness of fruit trees fast becoming jungle.""8
That there was some exaggeration as to the number of slaves may be
inferred from Dade's census figures, which, at the time referred to,
showed a total population of less than two hundred.
Thus two men prominent in the earlier history of Dade County are
shown to have been proprietors of the greater part of the City of Miami.
Fitzpatrick was a South Carolinian. His holdings around Miami were
mortgaged to Mrs. Harriet English of Columbia, South Carolina."' She
was his sister and was the mother of William F. English. Fitzpatrick,
while living in Key West prior to 1832, was engaged on a large scale in
the operation of salt works. A street in Key West was named for him.
William F. English also is said to have moved from Key West to
78. Deed Book E, 510. Deed Book B, 216.
79. 2 Cash, 783.
o0. Deed Book 0, 194,
81. 1 Cash, 485.
82. Deed Book A, 269.
F. M. HUDSON
Miami, though he may have first moved from Key West to Indian Key.
The article on Henry Perrine by T. Ralph Robinson, in the August,
1942, number of Tequesta, contains on page 20 a "Ground plan of Indian
Key In 1840"; and that sketch shows "State Senator English's house
The first deed in Deed Book "A," the oldest deed record now in Dade
County, is from William F. English. It was executed August 8, 1844,
and conveyed a "piece of land" 160 feet square on the North side of
April 5, 1845, he executed two deeds conveying Lots 97 and 98 in the
"Town of Miami," and in January, 1846 he executed a contract to con-
vey in "Village of Miami," Lots 93, 94, 95 and 96; also a tract of 10
acres on the Miami River, designated Lot 2 (which was more particularly
described by metes and bounds, showing this tract to have been South of
Miami River)." Evidently he had platted a town, but the plat has never
been found of record. Indications are that the platted town was on the
south side of Miami River.
Senator English left Florida for California in 1851 or 1852, sailing on
the "Commodore Stockton," evidently a belated "forty-niner." On that
voyage he declared his intention "to make a million in the mines . .
then go back to Biscayne Bay and build up a city on his land there." But
his dream was not to come true. About 1855 or 1856, he accidently shot
himself, while dismounting from his horse, and died at Grass Valley,
California. He had never married and died intestate. His mother and a
brother inherited his holdings in Dade County."
Other claimants disputed the title derived through the English family.
One of these claimants was Dr. Jeptha V. Harris, who resided on the
land from 1870 to 1873, claiming also in opposition to Gleason. Finally
he and Gleason sold out to a group who organized a business corporation,
probably the first in Dade County, the Biscayne Bay Company, and
conveyed their title to it. The president of that company was Joseph H.
Day, of Augusta, Georgia, whose name was familiar to Miamians of a
later day. His widow lived until recent years.
The Biscayne Bay Company brought to Miami agents who, in suc-
83. Deed Book A, 57, 58.
84. For the foregoing data as to the James Hagan Donation, we are indebted to an
analysis of Mrs. Julia D. Tuttle's title, made by Robbins, Graham and Chilling-
worth. It is based on documents of record in Dade County and on independent
See also 2 Cash, 485, 783.
cession, held possession of the disputed lands for many years. These
agents became residents of the county and had their part in its affairs.
Two of them, W. W. Hicks and J. W. Ewan, represented the County in
the Legislature. The others were J. N. Whitner and J. C. Lovelace. Mr.
Ewan was the last. His agency ended in 1891, when he surrendered
possession of the James Hagan Donation to Mrs. Julia D. Tuttle, the
interests of all contenders for lands on both sides of Miami River having
been acquired by Mrs. Tuttle and Mrs. Mary Brickell, from whom so
many Miamians of the present have derived title to their lands.
Another body of land with an interesting title history is the Mary
Ann Davis Grant, about 175 acres on the south end of Key Biscayne.
This claim, based on a Spanish grant, was recognized by the Board of
Land Commissioners, and by an Act of Congress, March 3, 1823, was
confirmed to Mary Ann Davis, wife of William G. Davis, a deputy
United States Marshal at St. Augustine.8
In 1827, Mr. and Mrs. Davis conveyed to the United States three acres
of land, on which the lighthouse stood. Evidently they had ambitious
plans of development. In 1839, they conveyed to "Lt. Col. W. S. Hamey
of United States Army" two lots in the "Town of Key Biscayne, Cape
Florida," which were described as bounded by Washington and Jefferson
Streets (running East and West) and Jackson Street (running North
and South).86 No map of this town has been found of record.
A later pioneer, whose name appears in the public records, was
Andrew Barr, who acquired from the United States, in 1882, a tract of
land on the Miami River which embraced all of the present Grove Park.
Another was W. H. Benest, an early owner of the tract later developed
The private ownership of lands in the Miami Beach area goes back to
1870. The pioneers in that portion of the County were Henry B. and
Charles H. Lum, Ezra A. Osborn, Elnathan T. Field and, later, John
S. Collins. Their activities are described in Mr. Lummus' excellent booklet.
Among Nature's benefactions to Dade County, the coontie (commonly
called "cumptie") plant deserves a high rank. It grew wild and was
poisonous in its natural state, but properly processed it yields arrow root,
an edible starch which was once greatly in demand. The production of
arrow root, which found a ready market through Key West, was among
the more important industries of the young county.
85. Patent was issued by the United States, but not until 1896. See Records of General
Land Office (Washington), Vol. 19, pp. 589, 593.
36. Deed Book C, 237.
F. M. HUDSON
For a close-up of life in the early days, probably no illustration is
more to the point than that to be found in a deed, executed in 1851,
from George W. Ferguson "of Dade County, Florida" to Thomas J.
Ferguson.87 It conveyed:
"All that certain arrow root mill and premises now occupied by the
said party of the first part ... at the head of Miami River . ., consisting
of mill and water power Drying house work shop and Kitchen and one
small dwelling house with all other improvements, Machinery and Uten-
sils . one small mare formerly owned by R. R. Fletcher . entire
stock of hogs-about 60 now running about aforesaid premises ... a flat
bottom sail boat . all arrow root now on hand . and appurtenances
thereunto belonging." Among the all-inclusive "appurtenances" was the
smell, as is well known by all who were in the county early enough to
have personal acquaintance with an arrow root mill.
The relative importance of arrow root as a product of the county was
undiminished as late as 1886, as appears from the following, quoted by
Mr. Cash from a Florida directory of that year;
"Addison, John A., starch mfr.
Albury, W. D., county commissioner.
Axer, M., starch mfr.88
Brickell, Miss A. A., postmistress.
Brickell, W. B., gen. mdse.
Clark, D., starch mfr.
Ewan, J. W., notary public.
Faulkner, T. W., Co. clerk and agt., Florida Land and Mortgage Co.
Filer, H., county commissioner.
Frow, J. W., starch mfr. and county commissioner.
Fuzzard, William, prop. the Biscayne Starch Factory and gen. mdse.
Lickwallier, A., naturalist.
Peacock, C., justice of the peace and collector of revenue.
Sanders, John, starch mfr.
Wagner, Wm., starch mfr. and county commissioner.
White, E. L., county surveyor.
Zairs, N., starch mfr."
In this listing, six persons appear in official capacity only. Ten are
shown as engaged in business, and of those ten, seven are "in starch."
The store of William B. Brickell was the emporium of the community.
There he conducted a thriving local business with Indians and Whites
and dealt with outside markets, particularly Key West.
87. Deed Book A, 612.
88. This name should have been Oxer. Nearly all of the names in this list are familiar
to older present-day residents of Miami.
Two momentoes of the Indian Wars are Fort Dallas and Fort Lauder-
dale. As to these we have the following information, procured by the
Honorable W. T. Cash, State Librarian, from the National Archives:
"The exact date of the establishment of Fort Dallas, Florida, is not indicated. The
earliest reference to Fort Dallas is that it was occupied on February 5, 1839, by
Company B, 3rd U.S. Artillery, under the command of Captain John R. Vinton. These
troops were withdrawn shortly afterward and the fort was not reoccupied until October
22, 1839, when Company I, 3rd U.S. Artillery, commanded by Captain Martin Burke,
was ordered to duty there. In the post return prepared by Captain Burke for October
1839 is this notation: 'Capt. Mayo, U.S.N., had a party of men previous to Capt.
Burke's arrival at this post but the name having previously existed in orders the same
was adopted by Capt. Burke.' The post was continuously occupied until February I,
1842, when by Special Orders No. 16, Army of Florida, the 'troops were withdrawn
from Ft. Dallas and that Post together with Key Biscayne delivered over to the Naval
force under Capt. McLaughlin.' The fort was again occupied from October 20, 1849,
through December 1850. It was reoccupied January 3, 1855, and was finally abandoned
on May 28, 1858, by Special Orders No. 37, Department of Florida.
"We have been unable to determine the exact date of the establishment of Fort
Lauderdale, Florida, from the records of the War Department in The National
Archives. However, the records indicate that the post was established sometime prior
to March 16, 1838. In Orders No. 74, Army of the South, March 16, 1838, it is
stated that 'The new Post lately established on New River by the Tennessee Battalion
of volunteers and Co. D, 3rd Artillery will be called Fort Lauderdale.' The post
apparently was abandoned shortly after its establishment, but was reoccupied on
February 14, 1839, by Company K, 3rd U.S. Artillery, under the command of Captain
William B. Davidson. From September 1839 to February 1840, a detachment of
sailors under the command of Lieutenant J. A. Davis, U.S. Navy, was associated with
the garrison at the post. On February 1, 1842, in accordance with Special Orders No.
16, Army of Florida, Fort Lauderdale was abandoned."
During the years of obscurity, Miami suffered not only from anemia
and general debility, but even amnesia. She appears to have forgot her
name. In the official legislative records of 1868, Miami is given as the ad-
dress of Lt. Gov. Gleason and the Senator from Dade; but in 1874 the ad-
dress given for both the senator and representative is Key Biscayne. In
1875, the same senator's address is Biscayne Bay. In 1877, the representa-
tive uses Miami as his address, but as late as 1881, the representative hails
from Biscayne. A writer in 1871, referring to Dade County, says, "Bis-
cayne formerly called .Miami, is the County Seat."89
This author gives us a glimpse of Miami, as he calls it this time,
mentioning, among objects of interest, the "Punch Bowl; the falls of
Miami River; Biscayne Key; Lighthouse; Arch Creek" and "Wagner's
Coontie mill." He expresses the opinion that the region is "the healthiest
89. F.H.Q., Oct. 1939, pp. 106, 112.
F. M. HUDSON
portion of the United States." He concludes with: "Nothing is too great
to be predicted of this country."
Dr. Alfred J. Hanna in his excellent "Flight Into Oblivion," describing
an incident in the flight of General Breckinridge, in 1865, reveals Ft.
Dallas as a rendezvous of "deserters from the army and navy of both
sides," of whom one of the General's companions wrote: "A more motley
and villainous-looking crew never trod the deck of one of Captain Kidd's
ships." The author gives, in the language of a participant, an account of
a battle of wits and some gun fire between the desperadoes and the fleeing
Confederates, which resulted in a truce and an exchange of gold for
supplies, supplies which saved the fugitives from semi-starvation.
Another article apropos to our subject is "The Tekesta Indians of
Southern Florida" by John Mann Goggin.90
After long years of waiting for release from the domination of Monroe
County which was ordained by the Act of 1850, the residents of Dade
arrived in 1886 (and not until then, we may tentatively assume) at the
time prescribed by that statute, when "the proper officers of Dade shall
have duly qualified for the discharge of their respective duties," upon
which the statute was to "cease and be void." For the inference that the
time had not arrived before 1886, confirmation is found in the first entry
which appears in the oldest Minute Book of the Circuit Court now in
the Clerk's office at Miami." That entry is:
"In the name of the State of Florida. In the 7th Judicial Circuit, State of Florida.
It appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that a court should be held in Dade
County: It is hereby ordered that a Special Term of Court for the County of Dade
S.. be held at the Court House at Miami .. on the first Monday in May, 1886 . .
Done and ordered in Chambers this 27th day of March A.D. 1886.
EL.EAzR K. FosTr
Judge 7th Judicial Circuit
State of Florida"
When the Court convened on the day named, no jury was called,
"owing to the failure of the County Commissioners to revise the list of
jurors and there being no regularly commissioned sheriff."
Since that time the record of the Circuit Court is continuous although
several terms were adjourned by the Clerk because of the Judge's inability
to attend. On two of those occasions, 1887 and 1888, the attendance of
the Judge was prevented by quarantine against yellow fever established
by Key West, which was on the only available route to Miami. In
90. F.H.Q., April 1940, p. 274.
91. Circuit Court Minute Book 1, p. 1.
December 1890, the Court was adjourned for one day because the steam-
boat with Judge Broome and members of the Bar aboard had run
aground and could not reach Jupiter on the appointed day.
Why Jupiter? Thereby hangs a tale. A memorandum entered of record
by County Judge A. E. Heyser tells the story.92
"Change of County Seat
From Miami to Juno"
"On the 19th of February 188893 an Election was held in Dade County for a
change of County site which resulted in a considerable majority in favor of Juno, which
is situated at the extreme North end of Lake Worth and which was the point at which
all passengers and freight from Jupiter and points North was changed for points on
Lake Worth. At this time the 'Jupiter and Lake Worth Rail Road' was graded from
Jupiter but no track was laid and all traffic was handled by hacks and wagons, con-
necting at Jupiter with the fine Steamboats of 'Indian River Steamboat Company' and
at Juno with the Steamer 'Lake Worth' and numerous sailboats which distribute this
traffic to Lake Worth landings. Juno was thus the terminus of the most Southern Rail-
road in the United States, and the most accessible place in the County for the majority
of its citizens. It was the distributing point of Lake Worth and promised soon to
become a place of importance.
"Henry T. Priest was at this time Clerk of the Court. Patrick Lennon was author-
ized by the County Commissioners to remove the County Records from Miami which
had been the County seat from the earliest existence of Dade County. These records
were removed from their time honored home sometime in the month of March, 1888,9
by the Everglades route in an Indian Canoe and deposited at the building provided at
Juno without particular incident."
"A. E. HEYSER, County Judge"
"Recorded December 24, 1890"
The record also contains a memorandum headed "The Ceremony of
Laying the Corner Stone of the First Court House in Dade County."
This took place at Juno April 19, 1890, and is pictured as a general
Then, by way of final precaution, an inquest was held and the corpse
(Miami) was pronounced dead. This took the form of a legislative act
passed in 1891.
"Whereas some doubts have been raised as to the legality of an election held Feb-
ruary 19, 1889, to select a county seat in Dade County, Florida . .
"BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA:
Section 1. That the county seat of Dade County having been located at Juno . .
92. Misc. Record A, 153.
93. Error. The election was in 1889, Co. Corn. Minute Book A, p. 28.
F. M. HUDSON
by an election held February 19, 1889, at which there was a full and fair vote by the
voters of Dade County, it is hereby declared to be in all respects legally located.""
Though it goes beyond the purview of this article, it seems appropriate,
rather than leave Dade's capital at Juno, to record the fact that the
glories of Juno soon departed. As soon as permitted by the statute of
Florida, which forbids the holding of county seat elections more fre-
quently than ten years apart, another election was held and the county
seat was restored to Miami. The completion of the Florida East Coast
Railway destroyed the patronage of the Indian River steamers, the rail-
road from Jupiter to Juno, the Celestial Railroad, as it was sometimes
called, was abandoned and the budding towns on its line, Venus, Neptune
and Mars, as well as metropolitan Juno, became a dim memory. Jupiter
is the only one of the planets that now remains, and it is no longer in
It is not within the scope of this article to treat of Dade County in her
modern dress. That subject has been covered by more extended publica-
tions.9 Many latter day pioneers who helped to lay the foundations for
the great development of which the Dade County of today is the best
evidence, and who might appropriately be mentioned, have been omitted
because their activities and achievements place them more fittingly
among the moderns.
Interesting stories of the twilight zone are to be found in "The Com-
modore's Story" by Commodore Ralph Middleton Munroe; and the
publication of the diary and letters of the late Kirk Munroe would add
greatly to our knowledge of those years.
The terminus of this article should be on the dividing line between
the ancient and the modern in Dade County. We have reached that line,
which, to the mind of this writer, was marked when the title to the
James Hagan Donation was acquired by Mrs. Julia D. Tuttle, the fore-
runner of Ingraham and Flagler, and the one who, above all others,
should be proclaimed the Founder of Miami.
94. Acts 1891, Ch. 4063, 102.
95. E. V. Blackman's "Miami and Dade County, Florida."
Isidor Cohen's "Historical Sketches and Side Lights of Miami, Florida."
John Sewell's "Memoirs and History of Miami, Florida."
The Florida Indians
in the Seventeenth Century
by CHARLES M. ANDREWS
T HE Indian tribes of Florida in the seventeenth century (not
including the Apalache) may be classified conveniently under
five principal heads, each of which includes a number of smaller
tribes, dominated by local caciques and all more or less racially and
linguistically related. Southernmost of all were the Tegesta or Tequesta,
a name, variously spelled, that seems to be associated with a cacique, a
village, and a group of tribes. As a group of tribes the Tequesta were a,
savage people, scattered up and down the eastern seaboard, in what is
given on early maps as "Tegesta Province," extending from the Keys to
the northern limits of old Dade County, which in 1846 were determined
by a line drawn from Lake Okeechobee to Hillsborough Inlet, 26* 20'
northern latitude. At that time the country did not extend to the neigh-
borhood of St. Lucie Inlet, as it did later, when it comprised the present
Broward and Palm Beach counties, that had been cut out of the old
Brevard County which included nearly the whole of the Indian River
The Tequesta had been the object of a proselyting movement in the
sixteenth century, when the Jesuits established a fortified mission on the
site of the present Miami on Biscayne Bay, 1565-1572, a mission that
was abandoned in the latter year and not revived until the Franciscans
renewed the attempt in 1743. Among the Tequesta tribes were the Vis-
caynos, from whom the name Key Biscayne and Biscayne Bay are sup-
posed to be derived. Powerful in the seventeenth century these tribes rap-
idly dwindled in numbers under the attacks of the Lower Creeks, who be-
gan their advance into Florida soon after the invasion of the peninsula by
Captain James Moore of South Carolina in 1702 and 1703, and they were
eventually absorbed, such of them as remained in southern Florida, into
the Lower Creek group, all taking the name of Seminoles (the "Wild
People") somewhere about the middle or end of the eighteenth century.
Whereas in Sanson's French map of 1657 the name "Tegesta Province"
CHARLES M. ANDREWS
is given to the region from Cape Cafiaveral to Miami (repeated in a
Dutch map of 1696) it later appears as a much more restricted area,
for in 1794 (on Laurie and Whittle's map of that year) "Old Tegesta"
is limited to the region lying below the 260 of northern latitude. Still
later the name disappears altogether as designating a separate geograph-
West and southwest of the Tequesta, from the southernmost point of
Florida to the vicinity of Tampa Bay on the west coast, were the Caloosa
tribes, so called from their sixteenth century cacique, Carlos, who sup-
posedly took his name from that of the emperor Charles V, King of
Spain. Carlos and his son of the same name had their seat at San Antonio
(Cape of Carlos, Bay of Carlos, Charlotte Bay) and there it was that
Captain Pedro Menindez de Avils, the Adelantado, visited him, had
prolonged and intimate dealings with him (though each was mutually
suspicious of the other), and eventually took his sister to wife, sending
her off to Havana to be educated as a Christian. Carlos ruled over many
lesser caciques and levied tribute from them, though he frequently had
difficulty in maintaining his superior lordship over them. He was hostile
to the Tequesta, who seem to have been friendly to the Spaniards, as
Carlos was not, and though he had political dealings with the cacique at
Biscayne Bay, whose name and village are said to have been the same
as that of the tribe, the relations were never permanent, even though it
is stated that at one time Tequesta was Carlos's vassal.
As with other Florida tribes the Caloosa soon ceased to exist as a
separate people. In the eighteenth century they were gradually driven
south to the more remote Keys and so reduced in numbers and importance
that by 1835 (at the opening of the second Seminole War) there was
but a remnant left, and this remnant, as well as the remnant of the
Tequesta, was merged in the Seminoles, who had been driven from the
north by the invading white settlers, and a part of the region once occupied
by them became the southern reservation of the mixed-blood Seminole
Indians. Of the language of the Caloosa nothing has survived beyond the
names of some of their villages, though the name Caloosa is to be found
in the Caloosahatchie, a river, the chief outlet of Lake Okeechobee,
which flows into Charlotte Bay. There are no certain remains of their
occupancy, except perhaps a few true kitchen middins, resulting from
the gradual accumulation of refuse through many years of possession.
North of the Tequesta were the Indians with whom the Dickinson
company, as narrated in God's Protecting Providence, during its distress-
ing journey from Jupiter Inlet to St. Augustine, came into contact. The
identification of these Indians, who by some writers are classed among
the Tequesta (just as the latter, as well as the Ais, are rated by other
writers as part of the Caloosa group), is far from certain as to either
name or territory. Little is known about them to the student of the
Indian ethnology of Florida, for no information, as far as the seventeenth
century is concerned, can be obtained from Spanish sources and the
Dickinson narrative is the only reliance. All of those tribes lying between
Biscayne Bay and Cape Cafiaveral were loosely scattered, living chiefly
along the coastal regions on the east, on the narrow islands behind the
sand reefs, generally near the mouths of rivers, creeks, and inlets, for the
interior was in many parts encumbered with tangled undergrowth, man-
grove swamps, and salt marshes. The region from the Keys north to the
lands south of Cape Cafiaveral was, geologically speaking, in all ways
West Indian, similar in structure to the Bahamas themselves. There was
no occupied back country in this part of Florida, just as there was none
in the Bahama Islands. Life was centered in the lands back from the
beaches, where were the Indian villages and where the Indians found in
the sea and the inflowing rivers the scene of their chief activity. We know
from the Dickinson narrative that the Indians possessed sea-going canoes,
one of which had two masts and two sails, and from earlier accounts we
learn of Indian canoes capable of holding thirty men. With these the
Indians could go measurable distances out from the land into the ocean,
from which they obtained an important part of their food supply. Despite
their nearness to the coast and avoidance of the interior as unsuitable
even for Indian use, it is probable that their villages and towns were, as
a rule, invisible from the water. Jece, where the shipwrecked company
lived for more than a month, was half a mile from the sea, lying within
the land along the sound and surrounded by a mangrove swamp, which
hid the town from observation.
The tribes thus located north of the Tequesta were the Jobeses and two
other tribes, to all of which has been given the name Jeaga, a name which
may have come from Rio Jega, found on a Spanish map of the period
at a point represented today.by Lake Worth Inlet. North of the Jeaga were
Ais, to whom some writers have thought the Jeaga belonged, just as
others have classed the Jobeses as the northernmost of the Tequesta
tribes. Exactness and reliability in locating and labeling these Indian
tribes is not possible in all cases, for the connections and relationships
seem to have ebbed and flowed in such confusing fashion as to lead some
anthropologists to adopt the practice of grouping together adjacent and
apparently related tribes when the information was insufficient to make
CHARLES M. ANDREWS
their separations clearly indicated. The Ais, whose name is well estab-
lished, controlled the territory from St. Lucie Inlet to the waters back
of Cape Caiiaveral.
North of the Ais were the Timucuas extending from Cape Caiiaveral
to St. Augustine and beyond to the St. Mary's River. North of the
Timucuas were the Guale, a small group living not in Florida but on
the islands and part of the mainland of southeastern Georgia. The Guale
have been classed as a subordinate tribe of the Yemassee, the Indians of
South Carolina, with whom the English fought a bitter war in 1715, a
war brought on not by the Indians but by the iniquities of the white
traders. Probably there was a blood and language relationship between
the Timucuas on the one hand and the Guale and the Yemassee on the
other. Though the Dickinson narrative has mention of the Yemassee it
says nothing of the Guale and contains no hint of their existence, unless
we are to suppose, as was probably the case, that the company con-
sidered the Guale merely a Yemassee tribe.
The Indians that seized and maltreated the shipwrecked party were
the Jobeses or dwellers on the Rio Jobe, as the Spaniards called what
later came to be known as Grenville or Jupiter River. The name appears
as Rio Jobbe on French and Spanish maps of the eighteenth century,
while the term Grenville persisted for many years, in conjunction with
Jupiter, certainly until 1838. The name Jupiter was in use long before
the "Celestial Railroad" came into existence. It may be that the Olym-
pian names of the stations on this railroad-Neptune, Venus, Mars,
and Juno-owe their origin to the pre-existing example of Jupiter,
though that leaves the origin of the name Jupiter still in doubt. Has it
any connection with the Spanish Jobe by way of an English rendering?
Excellent authorities think that it has, for on a Spanish map of 1742 we
find the River Jobe entered as "Jove." (Piano dela Costa dela Florida ...
Leventado . por Juan de Ligura . 742." Madrid, Depot de la
Guerra." Photostat in the Library of Congress). Just when the transition
from Jove to Jupiter took place cannot certainly be ascertained, but it
must have been before 1769, when the name appears on De Brahm's map as
Jupiter. or Grenville Inlet, and the change was probably due to the
ingress of the English land-seekers, after the cession of Florida to Great
Britain in 1763. Owing to the Englishman's propensity to Anglicize
proper names wherever found "Jove" might easily have become "Jupiter."
The name Grenville was that of a large landowner in the neighborhood,
who probably obtained his grant directly from the British Crown, and
upon which he bestowed his own name "Grenville." The name Hoe-Bay
that Dickinson gave to the chief village of the Jobeses is merely an
Englishman's pronunciation of the Spanish word Jobe. Thus the names
Jobe, Hoe-Bay, and Jobeses, given to river, village, and tribe are all
The narrative portrays the Jobeses as a brutal, truculent, and san-
guinary people, who received the Dickinson company with demonstra-
tions of intense anger and hostility. In this respect they were like the
Tequesta, with whom they may have been connected both racially and
linguistically. The term Jeaga, if it were ever used, can be applied at
most to but three or four tribes, one of which may have been South of the
Jobeses, each with its village, for in addition to Hoe-Bay there are only
two other Indian villages mentioned by Dickinson as lying between the
River Jobe and St. Lucie Inlet. That the Rio Jobe (later Jupiter Inlet
but entering the ocean at a more southerly point) was open in Dickin-
son's day to boats of small draft, sufficiently so to allow the passage not
only of canoes but even of the ship's longboat, is evident from the fact
that Dickinson and a few others, instead of rowing up the sound or inland
river (now Hobe Sound), went outside along the shore in the ship's boat,
which had been brought from the place of shipwreck across the bar into
the inlet, and that too with the boat heavily loaded.
That the Jobeses, with all their ferocity, were an inferior and subor-
dinate group of Indians is shown not only from the fact that the more
aggressive cacique at Ais was able to wrest from the cacique at Hoe-Bay
a part at least of the plunder from the shipwrecked vessel, but also from
the further fact that the Hoe-Bay village followed a more primitive
pattern of protective construction than did the town of Ais. It was made
up of small wigwams, framed with poles set in the ground, bent so as to
form an arch, and covered with a thatch of small palmetto leaves. This
was the simplest type of an Indian tepee, and as with all Indian dwell-
ings of this kind was not designed for prolonged or permanent occupation.
As was true of all Indians south of Cape Cafiaveral, the Jobeses were
not an agricultural people. This clearly appears from the character of
their wigwams and their manner of life. They were not tillers of the soil,
neither sowing nor reaping, as Dickinson says, but were dependent on
whatever nature provided for sustenance. They obtained their food from
the fish which they speared, freely in the daytime and with the aid of
torches at night, from oysters, clams, crabs, and crawfish, from the starch
pith of the coontie root (one reads of "Koontie and Hunting Grounds"
in southern Florida and knows that coontie starch-making later became
a profitable industry), from aquatic plants and berries-the last named
CHARLES M. ANDREWS
chiefly sea-grapes, prickly pears, coco plums (white and pink), and
pigeon plums-and from the hearts and berries of the palmetto, all of
which were eaten both fresh and dried and in either form were thoroughly
disliked by the Dickinson company. Unlike the Timucuas to the north,
the Jobeses seem to have made little use of meat, for they rejected the
beef and pork that the Reformation carried. Though the fruiting season
lasted well into October, most of the berries were gone by that time and
the Indians were dependent, until spring came again, on fish, oysters,
and roots, and possibly on such animal flesh as they could bludgeon or
kill with bows and arrows. They were greedily fond of tobacco, as Dick-
inson tells us, thus confirming what Hawkins had said of the Timucuas
a century before, but whether they found it growing wild or smoked a
dried herb of a similar nature is equally uncertain, though the avidity
with which they took tobacco from the white man makes it doubtful if
they had any of their own. They drank a liquor called Casseena. Dick-
inson has a description of the method of its manufacture, though he does
not tell us the name of the leaves from which the liquor was brewed
or distilled. The name may be Spanish, but whether applied to the
shrub from which the leaves were obtained or to the drink itself is not
clear. Oddly enough, the Indians seems to have had no desire to try the
strong drink of the English and ignored it when looting the cargo.
North of the Jobeses and the two or three related tribes, which we
have agreed to call the Jeaga, were the Ais or Ays, a warlike people,
whose chief town was Ais, which may have given its name to the Inlet of
Ais ("Escudo de Aix," as Sanson's map of 1657 has it) or vice versa,
though the inlet, which is mentioned on a map as late as 1777, is not
certainly identical with St. Lucie Inlet. This town of Ais may tentatively
be identified with the Jece of the narrative, where the company remained
for more than a month. The town was two leagues north of Indian River
Inlet and some little distance away from the coast. The Province of Ais
was well-known to the Spaniards and had been at one time under their
control, and the River of Ais is the same as what is now known as Indian
River. The exact location of the town is not yet certainly established,
despite recent archaeological attempts to discover its site. It was more
substantially built than was the village of Hoe-Bay, though even so it
did not prove very resistant to the weather, as in the storm that occurred
while Dickinson was there some of the houses were much injured, lying
knee deep in water, while others were blown away by the wind. But
whatever differences may have existed between the tepees of Hoe-Bay
and the wooden houses of Ais there was but little difference between the
two groups of Indians themselves. They were both at bottom a cowardly,
tricky and belligerent people, even though Dickinson does give evidence
of a measure of kindliness and humane feeling among them, notably
among the caciques and their wives and occasionally among the people
Though these central Florida Indians of Dickinson's day were but
little touched in their lives by direct Spanish influence, they as well as
the Tequesta had a marked respect for the Spaniards and stood in fear
of them, a fear undoubtedly due to a traditional knowledge of Spanish
weapons of war and of Spain's military strength. This fear may have
been increased by occasional contacts, however rare these may have been.
A Jesuit mission had existed at Santa Lucea or St. Lucie (the name dis-
closes the Spanish connection) in the sixteenth century, though it had
long since been abandoned. The labors of the Franciscans, confined in
Dickinson's day to the north and west of St. Augustine, could easily
have become matters of distant repute, for the Jesuits of the sixteenth
century and the friars later made many efforts to convert the natives
wherever found-on Biscayne Bay, at the town of Carlos, at Santa
Lucea, and in the north. These efforts could hardly have been forgotten
among a people dependent on mouth to mouth communication. Menendez
had gone on foot with a few companions from St. Augustine to Ais in
1565, suffering much from hunger and fatigue, and had remained there
a few days before departing for Cuba. Remembrance of this exploit could
well have remained deeply imbedded in the Indian mind. Military
officials had penetrated among the Indians to the southward of St. Augus-
tine, had interviewed their caciques, and at time had engaged in punitive
expeditions, followed by conferences and peace. But whatever the results
may have been there is no reason to believe that the Indians of Hoe-Bay
knew much about either Englishmen or Spaniards, from personal associa-
tion, for all the evidence goes to show that in the early seventeenth cen-
tury they had had few opportunities to meet the white man. It is worthy
of note that Dickinson, though saying that one of the Indians whom he
met north of Hoe-Bay spoke a little Spanish, records no contact with
any Spaniards until more than five weeks had passed, and then only with
a Spanish coast patrol that had come from the north summoned by
one of the party, Solomon Cresson, who had been sent to obtain assis-
tance. It must be remembered that by 1696 Spanish control in Florida
had shrunk to but a small part of the vast domain originally claimed by
the crown and occupied by its missionaries and soldiers. In that year
there was but one established sentry post south of Matanzas Inlet and
CHARLES M. ANDREWS
no missionaries except in the neighborhood of St. Augustine.
The questions naturally arise as to why in the seventeenth century
these Florida Indians entertained such strong sentiments of hostility
toward the English and so wholesome a respect for the Spaniards; and
further why it was that the Dickinson party, made up largely of English
people, should have been received by the Spaniards themselves with such
manifestations of friendship and good will. It is not difficult to find
answers to each of these questions. As to the first it will be recalled that
in the first sixty years of the seventeenth century an intense bitterness
of feeling existed between England and Spain, an abiding hostility that
must have been known to the Indians and have made a deep impression
upon their imagination, and less than forty years had passed since the
English had attacked Hispaniola (Santo Domingo) and had conquered
Jamaica, incidents in Cromwell's famous Western Expedition of 1654.
This naval and military exploit was designed to drive out the Spaniards
from the colonies that Spain possessed in the Caribbean and to convert
as many of them as possible into English Protestant dependencies. The
fact that Cromwell did not declare war before sending out his expedition
aroused great indignation at the time among the Spaniards, who charged
the English with conduct that placed them in the class of pirates and
robbers and beyond the rules of civilized warfare. On the English side
there existed an equally enduring enmity for Spain, based partly on
religious differences and partly on the wrongs, injuries, and even cruelties
which the English claimed had been inflicted upon English colonists and
seamen in the New World. This knowledge of an old-time animosity
between the two countries may well have come to the Indians either
from the Spanish in Florida, whose antipathy can be traced back to the
English attack on St. Augustine in the sixteenth century, or by way of
Cuba, where efforts to recover Jamaica continued for some years after
the conquest. Familiarity with such a situation could easily have become
an Indian obsession, created by a remembrance of things past and
strengthened by rumor filtering down from the Spanish in Florida and,
passing from tribe to tribe, have become an established conviction. Dick-
inson speaks of reports thus running from Indian town to Indian town.
This being the case how are we to answer the second question and
explain the kind reception which the members of the Dickinson party
experienced at the hands of the Spanish coast patrol sent to assist them
and afterward from the Spanish governor at St. Augustine? Though the
latter, soon after their arrival, warned them to be careful in going about
the city, as there still existed many who "did not affect our nation" (the
English), he himself did everything in his power to make them com-
fortable and to relieve their wants. I believe that this change of mind
was due to the terms of the important treaty signed at Madrid between
England and Spain in 1670. This treaty was distinctly favorable to
England and disadvantageous to Spain, largely because of the fact that
Spanish strength and influence had greatly declined since the treaty of
the Pyrenees in 1659 between France and Spain, which closed the after-
math of the Thirty Years' War. Spain was in no position to resist the
English demands. This treaty brought to the two countries a temporary
peace based on the acceptance by each of the colonial possessions actually
held at the time by the other. It guaranteed kind entertainment in Span-
ish colonial ports for English vessels in distress and for English subjects
in distress also, in which category the Dickinson party certainly found
itself. The Spanish governor at St. Augustine would have received the
terms of this treaty, as a matter of course, through official channels as a
part of his instructions, but of the change which had taken place in the
relations between the two countries the Indians of central Florida could
hardly have had an inkling. To them the English were still the enemies
of Spain. Their memories would be tenacious of the old hostility, which
antedated the treaty of 1670, the terms of which they could not have
understood, even if they had known of them. As far as the main body
of the Indians was concerned there was no way in which information of
this kind could have been imparted, and even the caciques themselves
could not have had news of the treaty before the arrival of Sebastian
Lopez and his soldiers at Jece, while Dickinson was there. The latter on
that occasion speaks of the Spaniards as "extraordinarily kind to us"
and of Lopez as "looking over a paper often, which we supposed was the
governor's order and instructions to him." It is not difficult to believe
that this "order and instructions" had some connection with the terms of
the treaty of 1670.
The Indians had a word "Espania," which to their minds connoted the
whole quintessence of Spanish mightiness and stood significantly opposed
to the word "Nickaleer," which contrarywise stood for the English as the
enemies of Spain. As far as we know their acquaintance with the English
themselves had been confined to such mariners as were cast upon their
shores and had fallen victims to their rapacity. On the other hand, of
the Spaniards, they knew a good deal though remotely. They had heard
of Havana and St. Augustine and were aware of the direction in which
each lay. They readily distinguished between the two peoples in the
matter of hair and complexion. Some of them apparently could recog-
CHARLES M. ANDREWS
nize an occasional Spanish word, and a few could use enough words to
be understood. Dickinson speaks of the cacique at Jece as an ancient
man, his beard and hair grey, who could use the language "better than
any we had met with yet." Santa Lucea had been a Jesuit mission and
the Franciscans never stopped in their endeavor to learn the Indian
language, and in the effort must have let drop at least a minimum of
Spanish words. The northern Timucuas spoke Spanish and could identify
Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Spaniards from their speech and contrasting
appearances. The Jobeses had Spanish knives, which they might, it is
true, have obtained from the spoils of English and Dutch vessels, and
pistareens are reported to have been found along the beach near Jupiter
Inlet. They knew something of a Spanish ceremony and their caciques
had a sense of the value of money, the hard money of Spain, and coveted
the contents of trunks, chests, and boxes, which contained for them
varieties of cloths, hatchets, knives, and other implements, some of which
could be utilized in Indian warfare. This covetousness is shown by their
eagerness to filch what they wanted of the goods strewn along their
shores. Just what they could do with the money and with the clothing
which they so greedily seized from the wreckage or tore off the bodies
of the unfortunate people who fell among them is not clear, for their own
attire and the equipment of their villages show an extreme paucity of
covering and adornment. Possibly the caciques had an eye to decoration,
for we read elsewhere of one of them as wearing a torque of gold, and
early explorers speak of gold ornaments and of gold and silver which
Indians willingly exchanged for tobacco and the like, but where the gold
came from and how it was worked up we do not certainly know. It may
have come from the wrecks of the Spanish galleons or those of the buc-
caneers whou frequented the coast and as a malleable metal it may have
been shaped by hammering. As a rule Indian ornamentation was con-
fined to shells and other easily obtainable trinkets.
The Province of Ais extended north to the waters lying back of Cape
Cafiaveral, where it abutted on the land of the Surruque (Sorroches ac-
cording to Le Moyne, the southernmost of the tribes of the Timucuas. The
latter Indian people occupied the land from Cape Cafiaveral north to the
present Florida-Georgia line and westward toward the Gulf of Mexico,
where they met the Apalache. Unlike the lands of the Jobeses and the
Ais, the territory occupied by the Timucuas was not limited to the east-
ern coast, but extended across the peninsula, with its center of authority
at Santa F6, where were a Franciscan mission and a presidio. Their most
populous settlements were along the St. Johns River, from its mouth in-
land. The Dickinson narrative tells us of the Timucuan town of St. Wans,
situated on an island at the mouth of the river, where was a Franciscan
friar and a "worshipping house", and where the company remained for
two days, "well fed" and living in an Indians "warehouse."
In the sixteenth century the Timucuas had been a powerful people,
made up of at least seven independent tribes, with seven separate but
related dialects, the customs and manners of which are portrayed by the
French Huguenot Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, who came over with
Laudonniere and was the first artist to visit America. His work consists
of a series of drawings, depicting the outward appearance of the Timu-
cuas, their towns, their ceremonials, and their methods of warfare. These
drawings, of which but one original is known to exist (discovered in a
French chateau in 1901) were engraved (and somewhat embellished) by
Theodore de Bry and published at Frankfort in 1591, under the title the
Timucuan Indians of r564. Le Moyne was a forerunner of John White
who, because of Raleigh's interest in both men, was influenced by Le
Moyne's example. Twenty -three of White's drawings of the Virginia In-
dians, of which sixty-three originals are still extant, were also engraved
by De Bry and published at Frankfort in 1590. Le Moyne's drawings, ac-
companied by a map and descriptive texts-the latter oddly enough in
Italian for the benefit of the Italian members of the French court of
Charles IX-bring to life a vanished Indian people.
The best account of the sixteenth century Timucuas is to be found in
the narrative of a voyage by John Hawkins, who visited the St. Johns
River, while Laudonni6re was there, and had dealings with him on the
spot. Hawkins describes the land as "wooded", with growths of cedar,
cypress, and other varieties of trees, mentions the cultivation of maize,
the preparation of meal, the raising of grapes, the care of "fowls" and
other poultry, the hunting of deer and "divers other beasts", the use of
herbs in great variety, one of which was dried and smoked by the Indians
in an earthenware cup with a long cane, a practice similar to that des-
cribed by Dickinson. He speaks also of meadows and pastures. The Timu-
cuan houses, he states, were well built, in strength like an English house,
with stanchions and rafters of whole trees covered with palmetto leaves.
Both he and Laudonni6re had found the Bahama Channel "dangerous,"
because of "sundry banks", and he comments on the "masts which were
the wracks of Spaniards coming from Mexico," and to these wrackss"
he ascribes the presence of gold and silver among the Indians, which the
latter used to buy what they wanted from the Frenchmen. He calls
special attention to the size of their canoes.
CHARLES M. ANDREWS
During the wars in which the Timucuas were engaged from 1518 to
1687 with the French and Spanish, they were gradually reduced to the
status of mission Indians, and later, remaining loyal to Spain, were de-
feated by the English and their Yemassee allies from South Carolina in
the years from 1702 to 1706. Santa F6 was destroyed in 1702, and con-
tinued attacks completed the ruin and dispersion of the tribes. Retreating
to the headwaters of the St. Johns River, they gradually lost their identity
as a separate Indian people and have since that time entirely disappeared
The Timucuas lived in a region that was semi-tropical and well tim-
bered, occupying towns, ten of which lay between Ais and St. Augustine,
some being called by Dickinson "large towns." These towns, as Hawkins
describes them, and they could not have been different a century later,
were manifestly more substantially built than were those of the Tequesta,
the Jobeses, and the Ais. They were often fortified places, circular in form
and surrounded by tree trunks twice the height of a man. Within the
stockade were the dwellings, also circular and built of tree trunks, with
an opening, the doorway, and a conical palmetto thatched roof. Their
caciques, as was also the case with the caciques of Hoe-Bay and Ais, had
their own separate houses, which were more solidly put together than the
others, rectangular in shape, placed in the center of the town, conveniently
located as a place of general meeting. The greater structural strength of
the buildings, particularly those lying north and west of St. Augustine,
was due, in part at least, to the wooded character of that country where,
as Hawkins noted, were trees of considerable size, pine, cypress, cedar,
oak, and hickory. No such building material existed in the lands farther
south, where as a rule trees were small and scarce.
Another important difference between the Timucuas and the Indians
to the southward is mentioned by Dickinson and is corroborated from
other sources. The Timucuas were cultivators of the soil. Dickinson was
struck by the fact that on entering the Timucuan country he found the
Indians raising pumpkins and other vegetables. In his further account he
makes it clear that as the members of the company advanced northward
they were able to obtain a greater variety of food and at one sentry's
house, where they were kindly received, they had "such a mess of victuals",
as they "had not had in a long time before, which was very pleasant",
says Dickinson, "to our hunger-starved stomachs." They met for the first
time in their Florida experience with Indians raising maize or Indian corn,
the cereal that represents the first Indian step toward an agricultural
economy, because marking the beginning of a cultivation of the soil. That
the Caloosa had already taken the step appears from references to festi-
vals held by them at the first corn planting and again at harvest time.
There is nothing to show that the Jobeses had reached that stage of
development. But the Timucuas had not only reached it but had passed
well beyond it. At St. Augustine Dickinson and the others were treated
to a "plentiful supper." At some of the towns he came to the chief diet
seems to have been composed of "hominy, herbs, and pompions", but in
the more northerly places, such as St. Croix and St. Mary's (the largest
of all, of which Dickinson gives a detailed description) we read of "plenty
of oranges, lemons, citrons, limes, figs, and peaches," which show the
presence of groves and orchards. There were also beef, pork, and venison,
savored with salt, garlic, and long pepper, thus furnishing a regime quite
different from the fish, roots, and berries of the Tequesta, the Jobeses, and
the Ais. In the cultivation of the soil and the raising of citrus and other
fruits credit must probably be given not only to the more northerly
latitude but also to the teaching of the Spaniards-friars, officials, and
soldiers-who may well have played an important part in instructing
North of the Timucuas were the Guale and the Yemassee. Of the former
there is no mention by name in the Dickinson journal, but of the
Yemassee-here called both the "Yemassee" and the "Carolina Indians"
-we get a few glimpses: once of a party in canoes going hunting; once
of a group which had come to St. Mary's to trade for deer skins; and
once of a family, made up of man, wife, and children, equipped with
dogs and hunting implements, out for a winter to be spent in the woods,
who consented, at the request of the Spanish captain accompanying the
Dickinson party, to carry letters to the governor of South Carolina.
These incidental meetings, together with the presence of the Timucuan
Indians who went with them on their journey north from St. Augustine
and an encounter with a party of four Indians laden with skins, who
were probably Yemassee (as they ran away fearing the Spaniards), were
the last of the contacts which members of the Dickinson company had
with the seventeenth century Indians of Florida and the adjacent lands
of Georgia and South Carolina. In many ways Dickinson's description
of these Indians is, with all its deficiencies and omissions, singularly
satisfying and complete.
Pioneer Women of Dade County
by MARY BARR MONROE*
M ARY BARR MONROE was born in i852 in Glasgow, Scotland, the
child of Robert and Amelia Barr. When she was two years old, the family
emigrated to America, arriving in Galveston, Texas, in r854. Robert Barr
died of yellow fever in 1857. His three sons also died and Amelia Barr
had to find some means of earning a livelihood for herself and daughter.
She decided to go to New York, where opportunities were greater. Teach-
ing seemed to be the only pursuit open to women in that day. She secured
private pupils and in her spare moments began writing novels. Her first
book was published in 1869, and she soon became one of the favorite, and
most prolific, writers for the masses. Sixty novels in all are credited
to her facile pen. Her dominant personality rather overshadowed that of
her daughter, and Mary's personality and character were not, therefore,
fully appreciated until after her marriage on September 15, 1883, to Kirk
Monroe,the well known author of books for boys. Immediately after their
marriage they left for South Florida, and established a home the
"Scrububs", in Coconut Grove just South of Commodore Ralph Munroe's
place. Although Mary Barr Monroe undoubtedly had literary talent, she
contented herself in her companionship with her husband and her devo-
tion to his interests. They were much interested in the welfare of the
Seminole Indians. Seldom did the Seminoles on their trading trips fail
to stop to see the Monroe's. Mrs. Monroe was a zealot in furthering the
preservation of wild life, particularly the birds. She would not hesitate
to speak sharply to any woman wearing feathers in her hair or on her
hat, especially the plumes of the egret. The story goes that on one oc-
casion she forcibly removed an egret plume from the hat of an unwary
visitor to the Housekeepers Club (the oldest Club in South Florida), of
which she was a charter member. She was the first president, and later
was made honorary life president of the Dade County Federation of
Woman's Clubs. She died in Coconut Grove in November, 1922.
* Written for the Miami Metropolis, July 3, 1909, and read before the society by
Mrs. Henry J. Egger at the spring meeting in 1942. Footnotes and the biographical
sketch of Mary Barr Monroe are supplied by Mrs. Win. L. Freeland.
APIONEER is a title that any man or woman is proud of, for it at
once places a person above the ordinary and marks the individual
as having had interesting experiences. So the Pioneer is always a
hero in whatever company he finds himself, especially in the eyes of the
"You came here 25 years ago," said a girl to me the other day, "how
did you dare?" Well, it did not take such a lot of courage, looking back
on it now.
Pioneer life, as we know, is always hardest on a woman, but one of
the wonderful things about it is a woman's ever willingness to follow
the man of her choice. Old or young, the wilderness has no terrors for
her like being left behind or having Him go alone.
I wonder how many women in Dade County today would have come
here of their own will, or from choice. In many cases the men have come
first and such glorious accounts of wonderful weather, delicious fruits,
and the ease and freedom of a life in the wilderness (all too true) has
tempted many a woman, who came rejoicing so, at the joy of her man,
that she has never murmured at her thousand and one little trials that
beset the pioneer woman's life day and night causing many a tear and
backward glance for the comforts of a civilized home.
I know one woman who wore a sun bonnet all day both in and out of
the house for the first month she was at Cocoanut Grove so that her
husband should not see her crying. Today she is very happy in the home
he gave her as we all are after a few months of "settling down," but it
is hard for a man to realize what it means to a woman to give up family,
friends, church, doctor and a comfortable house and sleep in a tent,
while the first house is being built, which is usually spoken of as the
future packing house, or chicken house, when the grove comes into
bearing. They do not realize the fear the women have at finding out that
crawling creatures of the earth are so near to them, or the pain that
comes with the hardening of soft hands in doing the daily housework of
pioneer life. No, and women will seldom let them know. So the men
are not to blame.
I know several college girls who left homes in the north full of en-
thusiasm and joy at the prospect of a life among orange groves and who
have bravely met and overcome difficulties that if related faithfully
would hardly be believed.
In 1874 the total number of Dade County votes was thirty; the names
of seventeen of the women of that time are still remembered, although
MARY BARR MONROE
only four of the women are still here, Mrs. Martha Peacock,' Mrs. Isabella
Peacock,2 Mrs. Matilda Pent3 and Mrs. Euphema Frow.4 The early work
of those women did much to cause others to come and too much cannot
be said in praise of their bravery, hospitality and the good principle of
life they stood and worked for.
One of them told me that once being very ill, her husband got a friend
who owned a boat to take her to Key West, where a doctor could be
consulted, and that while she was away the men folks of her family
thinking to save her extra washing on her return carefully folded away
all the sheets and pillow cases of the beds, using only the blankets, and
when she did get home she had not only the blankets but the bed ticking
of both mattresses and pillows to wash. I asked her what she said to
them; "Oh, nothing, dear me, I was only too glad to get back and
proud to feel that they had thought of me," but she added, with a twinkle
in her eye, "it took me a month to get things straight again."
The first housekeeper of Cocoanut Grove that we have any record of
was a Mrs. Beasley. Her husband was the first settler here having come
in 1835. The Beasley cabin was built of logs and thatched with palmettq
leaves, and the ruins of the stone chimney may still be found on the
grounds of the Ransom school while the old parts of the Beasley starch
mill5 are on Mr. Kirk Monroe's place. Everyone who came to the Grove,
at that time called "Little Hunting Ground," of course stopped at the
Beasley home. Beasley was a Connecticut man, therefore he built a stone
fireplace for his cabin and Mrs. Beasley seems to have done her cooking
inside her cabin contrary to the custom prevailing in the southern wilder-
ness of cooking outside over a chip fire, and there is a story told by an
old settler, that one day his father was taking dinner at the Beasley
1. Wife of John Thomas Peacock, better known as "Jack". The site of the David
Eairchild estate was in the early days known as "Jack's Bight". He was the first
of the Peacocks to settle in Florida. Martha Peacock came here from North Florida
during the Civil War.
2. Wife of Charles Peacock, a brother of Jack Peacock. Isabella Sanders Peacock
came to Coconut Grove in 1875. Sometimes called the "Mother of Coconut Grove",
she was Eunice Peacock (Mrs. Geo. E.) Merrick's paternal grandmother. Charles
Peacock and his sons built the famous Peacock Inn, then known as Bay View House.
3. Wife of John Pent, lighthouse keeper at Cape Florida in the Hurricane of 1876.
4. Mother of Charles Frow, Mrs. Alfred Peacock and Mrs. Grace Harris. She was
Eunice Peacock Merrick's maternal grandmother.
5. Starchmaking was an important local industry. Almost every family had its small
mill. It was made from the root of a small palm-like plant called coontie or comptie,
somewhat similar to arrow root, that grew in the cracks in the rock formations in
the pine woods. The plant grew very slowly and all attempts to grow it commer-
cially failed. When the original supply was exhausted it gradually disappeared
from the locality.
house, and happening to glance toward the fireplace where Mrs. Beasley
was cooking a coon for dinner, he saw the head of a big rattlesnake
sticking through a hole in the stone of the fireplace watching Mrs.
Beasley; and that reminds me that one day just after we settled here I
found a snake curled up among my tea cups in a corner of the dining
room closet but like Mrs. Beasley's snake he had just dined on a rat,
and was too full to move, so was easily killed.
The next housekeeper was Mrs. John Pent, "Aunt Tilley" as everyone
called her. Her home was the first wooden house at the Grove, for in the
early days nearly all the homes were made of palmetto leaves, thatched
over a frame. She is a grand-daughter-in-law of old Squire Pent who was
Commodore Porter's pilot off the reef in 1820. Mrs. Pent herself comes
of a fine old Charleston family, and, in spite of many years of genuine
pioneer life, has not lost the refinement and graciousness of her birth.
The hospitality of her home is famous.
Mrs. Rosa Richards was one of Miami's pioneer homemakers, and
there are few women in the country that can tell as interesting stories of
the old days especially of the Indian women who were her friends and to
whom she taught many useful things.
Cocoanut Grove remembers her as once having resided there and at the
time the Housekeepers' Club was started she became a member, often
walking three miles from her home to attend the club meetings and do
her share of the club work.
The great loneliness of the early days seems always to be the thing re-
membered by the women: they longed for other women from the great
outside world. I do not think anyone ever had differences in those days
and they all seemed to have been good cooks, and when one remembers
that most of that work was done out of doors over wood fires it is inter-
esting to hear of the dinners those pioneer women prepared for families
and guests. There are wonderful stories of Johnny cake, "sweet and
plenty of it," stewed venison, ash baked sweet potatoes, boiled Seminole
squash, corn pones, roast wild hog, and wild turkey, coontie pudding,6
and coontie pancake, Indian Sofkie,7 Gypsy Stew,* Reef Bean soup, turtle
fry, and fried chicken. I can remember having a gift of six eggs at a
Christmas tree that was considered a precious remembrance.
6. Made from the coontie or comptie starch.
7. Or Sofkey, a thin sour corn meal gruel. Pounded nuts and marrow were some-
times added for flavor. It is said to be a typical Indian dish even today.
8. Made from "whatever was at hand". The meat base was usually wild hog, gopher,
MARY BARR MONROE
In fact a study of the cooking in those days is an extremely interesting
thing. There was very little cultivated fruit, if any, beyond guavas, limes,
sapodillas and pomegranates but the pioneer women of that time made use
of all the wild fruits and found them good. The Hog plum, the cocoa
plum, huckleberries, sea grape, wild grape, custard apple, paw paw,
ground goose-berry and Indian possomon. There were but 6 orange trees
in the whole county, and they were here.
Flour, sugar, coffee, salt and grits were all brought from Key West, or
obtained at times from the one store, Mr. Brickell's south of Jupiter Inlet.
The first winter we were here two of my women friends asked me to let
them have a can of condensed milk as their children had never seen milk.
One of the women had been born and brought up on the West Coast in the
cattle country, so of course, she knew what it was, but her children had
never seen a cow. The other had come here when young and could not re-
member ever having tasted milk although she was certain her father had
owned three cows. Guava syrup was the principal sweetening for pies
and cakes, and it was good.
I fancy reading was mostly from newspapers, although I can tell of one
pioneer woman's husband who had, and read many of the standard books,
which he obtained from wrecked vessels. A wreck was the most wished
for and thoroughly enjoyed thing that could happen, provided no lives
were lost, and that seldom occurred. The men all went to the wreck when-
ever "Providence, bad machinery and worse navigation sent us one," and
then it was that the women had a good holiday inasmuch as they all got
together for company while the men were "off wrecking."
If the wreck was a general cargo, such as canned foods, dry goods,
household furniture, and baby carriages then there was great rejoicing.
Of course that was long ago before the Revenue cutter, an old side-wheeler
at that time could get here, or the wreck could be reported at Key West,
and as there were no telegraph lines then, it was always quite a while
before a wrecked vessel could be reported.
I remember only two such wrecks, and also a wine wreck, when the
beach was strewn with wine. Then a ship came ashore loaded with olives
stuffed and salted. That cargo was a great disappointment, as so few of
us cared for olives, especially in such quantities. But a wreck of ready-
made clothing, sewing machines, bolts of cloth, kitchen utensils, candles
and furniture was something like, and everybody was happy.
It is scarcely as long ago as a quarter of a century since whenever any
of us wanted anything very much that it could not be picked up over on
the beach at Cape Florida, or something that would answer as well.
"Beach combing" was a fascinating occupation, and I have seen all sorts
of odd things found. One day one of my young friends wanted a cradle
for her first-born (a strapping young man of 23 now) and said to her
husband, "I wish you would go over to the Cape and see if you can't find
He did go and came back with a cradle. It was a little the worse for
having come from a wreck and laid on the beach for a while, but when
it had been painted a French gray and neatly put together, it proved
all it should be.
Many a good boat has been picked up, and at one time there was not
a house here that did not boast of at least one piece of ship furniture. But
those were the early days, when Christmas tree gifts were a bushel of
Irish potatoes, a dozen eggs, a fancy cake pan, and when an eggbeater
was unknown. When Sunday school was attended by every man, woman,
baby and dog in the place and always ended in a social gathering; when
every woman did her own work, including her washing, and when a social
gathering was one in every sense of the word.
Way back, twenty-five years ago, Cocoanut Grove had but six houses,
and that number included the Bay View House, afterward the Peacock
Inn, and now the Lake Placid School quarters. Miami at that time had
but three houses. Mrs. Charles Peacock, lovingly known as "Aunt Bella"
and whom Mr. Flagler called the Mother of Cocoanut Grove did all the
work of the Bay, in that she managed everything. She was doctor, judge,
minister, and friend to all including the Indians.
Mail reached us twice a month if there was no wreck on the reef, and
when it came, the whole settlement stopped work to attend to it. Now if
it does not come once a day and on time, Postmaster Budge's minutes are
made uncomfortable for him.
When a schooner came in from Key West, everyone turned out to see
who had come, what they had come for, and how long they were going to
Should any strange woman arrive from the North, as they sometimes
did, with a particularly attractively cut collar or trimming or new fash-
ion skirt, Mrs. Peacock always managed in some way to get a pattern of
the article, so that we could all make one like it, and the way in which
New York fashions were imitated in 5 cent calicos was interesting to say
The Peacock Inn was the great gathering place for all occasions-poli-
tical meetings, church services, Christmas trees, weddings, and club meet-
ings, for not only the Housekeepers' Club met there, but the Biscayne Bay
MARY BARR MONROE
Yacht Club held its first regatta from the Peacock wharf, and gave its
first entertainment, a dinner, at the Peacock Inn, then called the Bay
View House. Mrs. Peacock taught us all how to make bread from home-
made yeast, preserve pineapples and guavas and do the family washing.
Then the commissions I used to have from my neighbors when we went
North, all the way from a box of hairpins to a ready-made gown. These
same women now dress far better than I do, and if they do not go north
they know perfectly well how to wear the gowns and hats that the Ladies'
Wear Shop selects for them.
One of my neighbors at that time who cooked over an open fire in her
back yard for years, and whose best gown was a striped lawn which her
husband brought her from Key West, and which she wished had been a
"morning glory pink stripe instead of a black stripe," now rides in an
auto and could wear a "morning glory pink silk" if she wished, but she is
just the same dear friend as of old.
The founder9 of the Housekeepers' Club was Coconut Grove's first
school teacher. She was also the first woman to homestead land in Dade
County. The Cocoanut Grove railroad station is on her land, and very
near where her little one-room house stood. One morning a friend took a
picture of her standing on the tiny piazza in front for her house with a
broom in her hand, and surrounded by household articles of various
kinds. A few years ago she happened to go to an illustrated lecture on
"Life in the Wilderness," and then all of a sudden her little homestead
cabin with herself and broom appeared on the canvass, entitled "A
Pioneer Home in Florida."
She was here when the first carriage arrived. Mr. William Fuzzard who
then lived at Cutler, then called "The Hunting Grounds" brought one
to the bay and cleared out a road between Cutler and the Grove, so as to
use the carriage, to which he harnessed the only mule here at that time,
a big white animal called Sampson, who was just as much of a character
as any of us. Well, Mr. Fuzzard appeared with his carriage and Sampson,
and we all made a rush for it, he let the women and children have a ride
around the hotel grounds. Now auto cars go to Cutler from Miami and
back every day.
All of this does not make us as old as at first appears, for civilization
9. Miss Flora MacFarlane. She came to Florida with Mrs. Thomas Monroe (mother
of Kirk Monroe) to spend the winter in 1886. She returned in 1889. She helped
to found the Housekeepers' Club. She taught private pupils at first and later taught
the first public school opened in Coconut Grove. The land she homesteaded is
located at the intersection of LeJeune Road and U.S. Highway No. 1, in Coconut
came to the Bay very quickly after it was discovered by Mr. Flagler,
through a bunch of lime blossoms shown to him by Mr. Ingraham,
who had gathered them on Mrs. Tuttle's place, when northern Florida
had been frozen, but that's another story. Mrs. Tuttle was a wonderful
woman and her perseverance gained southern Florida for us many years
sooner than it would have been.
Pioneer life in Florida today is very different from that of yesterday
as it were, for almost everything is possible and getable today, even in
the Cape Sable country, as never before of course, in many sections it is
rough there, but the necessities of life are all possible and a great many
luxuries, even in the pinewoods miles from the railroad. But it was not
so 25 years ago. The coming of the railroad has brought to the pioneer
women comforts that were a long way off at one time, and women that
never expected to get beyond a wood stove are now using gas ranges, go
to town in the latest auto runabouts, and are club members.
I remember how disappointed some strangers were a few years back
because when they asked for a drink of water, my maid handed them ice
water in a thin glass served on a silver tray. "Why" they said, "we thought
we would get it in a country gourd."
It is scarcely 2 years since I was asked by a big western farmer's wife,
how I managed not to be eaten alive by snakes and alligators, and if I
was not scared to death half the time, and how I kept from burning up in
the summer time, and only last year, I was asked "what was the use
of living down here in the wilderness in anything but a tent" and yet we
think we are quite up-to-date.
Pioneer days are wonderful days, and there is one thing certain, they
bring out all there is in a man and woman. They teach forbearance, on a
big scale, and there is another wonderful thing, no one ever regrets them.
There is a big recompense someway for women are just as ready today
to go into the wilderness without the comforts of life. In fact to learn
life all over again as they ever were, and Dade county, Florida has had
and has her share of these brave-hearted women, and her men are proud
The Administrative System
in the Floridas, 1783-1821, II
by DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT
The Government of East Florida, 1783-1821
The King has conferred on Your Exellency the Government and Captaincy
General of the City of St. Augustine and the Provinces of Florida, with an
Annual Salary of four thousand pesos (for the present) payable from the Royal
Treasury, and the Rank of Brigadier in the Royal Armies, authorizing you to
act as proprietary Governor until the necessary orders to that effect are issued.
May the Lord Preserve Your Exellency many years, San Lorenso, October 3i,
1783 Joseph de Gilvez Seflor Don Vincente Manuel de Zespedes.1
So runs the first document concerned with the organization of the
government of East Florida during the second Spanish period. Z6s-
pedes, however, was not the first Spanish official on the ground. Be-
fore going to take over the province from the British, the new governor
dispatched his secretary, Captain Carlos Howard of the Irish Infantry
Regiment, to prepare the Anglo-American residents of the province for a
change of masters.2 The task of forerunner was a delicate one, for the
East Floridians were incensed at being sold down the river. But Howard
evoked praise from the governor for his mastery of the situation:
He [Howard] proved himself to be a zealous servant of the king by coming to this
place three months before I arrived, in order to inform the English governor that His
Majestiy's forces were being prepared to come and take over the province. In that inter-
val, by the use of spirit, skill and prudence, he succeeded in destroying the very open
machinations of an English gentleman named Mr. John Cruden,3 who, as is well
known, secretly aided by the British governor, tried to arouse the inhabitants to oppose
the transfer of the country by force of arms.4
Zespedes arrived in St. Augustine in June, 1784. In the meantime the
home government had been trying to work out a permanent administrative
system for the province. It was only natural that the plan in use there
1, A.N.C., Floridas legajo 10, no. 6.
2. Ibid., legajo 6, no. 3. Howard was made secretary on March 3, 1784, being as-
signed a bonus of five hundred pesos above his annual salary as captain, which
rank he was allowed to retain. His regiment was on duty in Havana at the time
of his appointment.
3. Whitaker, Documents Relating to the Spanish Commercial Policy in the Floridas
(Deland: 1931), footnote 56.
during the first Spanish period should be taken into consideration. A
request was, therefore, sent to Mexico City for Antonio Jos6 L6pez de
Toledo, a man versed in the previous system, to prepare a regulation for
East Florida. That gentleman recommended a governor captain general,
a sergeant major of the plaza, an adjutant of the plaza, a commander of
the castle, a treasurer, a major official and two assistants for the account-
ing office, besides warehouse guards, priests, boatmen, pilots and other
minor employees 5
When these suggestions arrived in Spain the question of the Floridas
was in a state of flux. Young Galvez was at Court receiving the rewards
for his conquests. Created count and appointed captain general of Cuba
with the promise of the viceroyalty of New Spain when that post should
become vacant, he was also permitted to keep his captaincy general of
Louisiana and West Florida to which was added East Florida. Gilvez's
return to America, his short stay in Cuba, and the receiving of the news
of his father's death have already been recounted. The preparation of the
regulation for East Florida, as recommended by the ministry, was left in
the hands of Juan Ignacio de Urriza, the Cuban intendant, who fell sick
soon afterward and carried his unfinished work with him to Spain.6
Meanwhile East Florida was struggling along under an unsatisfactory
provisional administration under the leadership of Governor Z6spedes
and his secretary. Along with the first Spanish troops sent to St. Augustine
went the newly appointed accountant, Gonzalo de Zamorano, who was
also commissioned to act provisionally as treasurer.7 He was soon relieved
of the responsibilities of the latter office by the arrival of the permanent
incumbent, Pasqual VAguez y Marcos." There were clerks and other
subordinates, but the number was so limited that Zamorano complained
to the governor, and was informed that all would be made right when
the expected regulation arrived.' December, 1788 came, however, without
any regulation, so Zamorano repeated his complaint:
With the greatest fatigue have I tried to work, aided only by the said Offcial and
Escribiente, in order that the service of His Majesty be not delayed, and at times have
worked alone because they were ill, hoping from one month to the next that the regula-
tion for the Presidio would arrive.10
5. A copy of this regulation, dated May 25, 1784, is in A.N.C., Floridas, legajo 11,
no. 60. It was delivered to Gilvez January 30, 1785.
6. Gilvez to Urriza, April 11, 1785, ibid., legajo 14, no. 90.
7. Ibid., legajo 11, no. 1.
8. Viguez's appointment was confirmed on August 4, 1785, ibid., legajo 13, no. i.
9. Zamorano to Z6spedes, September 22, 1786 and Zespedes to Zamorano, September
23, 1786, ibid., legajo 14, no. 90.
10. Ibid., legajo 14, no. 90.
DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT
Z6spedes had informed Zamorano on several occasions that the said
regulation was expected daily, and now he could only write to Spain, en-
closing his correspondence with the accountant. The regulation had re-
mained incomplete just as taken to Spain by Urriza who was now
instructed by Antonio Vald6s, minister of the Indies, to send the finished
plan to Domingo Hernani, the Cuban intendant, as a model to work from.
At the same time Vald6s informed the intendant that Bartolom6 Benitez,
former intendant of Illocas in the Philippines, was appointed to succeed
Viguez as treasurer. The salary (rare ideal) was to be 3,000 pesos per
year (the same he had received in the intendancy), whereas VAguez had
been paid only eight hundred I 1
The permanent regulation for East Florida was not completed by
Hernani until February 17, 1791, at which time Juan Nepomuceno de
Quesada, in Havana on his way from Comayagua in Honduras to become
governor of East Florida, took part in making the final draft. No radical
change was made in the system already in operation, but a number of
minor employees were added to the pay roll. In the department of
government were the governor, an adjutant major who was to discharge
the duties of sergeant major in the pre-1763 system, a second adjutant,
the secretary of government, one official de secretaria, an escribano de
gobierno and a captain attached to the staff. In the treasury department
were the cotador de ejrcito, who also functioned as comisario de guerra
y encargado del despacho de aduana, a treasurer, an official de contaduria,
an escribiente for the same, as well as one for the treasury, two custom-
house guards, five warehouse guards and a couple of laborers. In the
construction and repair department there were a carpenter, a blacksmith,
a wheelwright, a cooper, a ship-carpenter and a calker under the direction
of a supervisor of royal works. On the hospital staff were a comptroleer,
a comisario de entradas, a superintendent, a chaplain, a physician, a
surgeon, two pharmacists with an assistant, six practitioners in medicine
and surgery, four ward supervisors, a baker, a supply steward, a clothier,
a cook and eight servants. For the parish church there were two priests,
two religiosos and a sacristan. For the school there was a lay teacher
of arithmetic and writing, assisted by one of the priests who taught
doctrine and letras. To man the four gunboats in the port of St. Augustine
and the pilot boats and official launches there were five masters, a boat-
swain, a ship-carpenter, sixteen sailors, two pilots, a cabin boy and
twenty-two oarsmen. There was also a master of the fleet of boats
destined tb haul wood and other supplies to the city. On these boats
11. Ibid., legajo 13, no. 4 and legajo 14-, no. 90.
prisoners served as oarsmen. Another master was assigned to the fleet
that was used to ferry Indians, the latter serving as oarsmen. Two other
masters and eight oarsmen were assigned to the St. Johns and St. Marys
Rivers. Finally there were two Indian interpreters and a comisionado
al zelo de las fronteras Americanas, the latter officer serving for a short
time only before the position was abolished.12
An auditor de guerra, or legal adviser to the governor, was added to
the staff some time later. The governor was advised on matters of finance
by this official, together with the accountant and the treasurer, the group
being called the junta de hacienda. The governor, of course, presided.13
Other changes were made from time to time, as for instance the addition
of a surveyor general of the province, but for the most part only em-
ployees of lesser importance were involved. Some slaves were also im-
ported for use on public works.14 Outside of St. Augustine there were
other additions and removals that will be discussed later.
It has been pointed out that an intendancy was suggested on at least
two occasions, one of which coincided with the agitation about the per-
manent regulation, but the home government consistently refused its
approbation. The nearest approach was the governor's appointment as
sub-delegado of the Havana intendancy, which came as a result of the
argument over the superintendency of the Floridas."' Throughout the
entire period the governor of East Florida, unlike his brother officer in
West Florida, directed the financial, political, judicial, military, and
even ecclesiastical branches, except during the two short constitutional
Local government in St. Augustine was the immediate responsibility
of the governor. After the organization of the three militia companies
there in 1791, however, he chose to delegate much of this work to the
captains of the companies. These men came to make up an advisory
council for city government; in fact, it became customary to call them
regidores, a word ordinarily used to designate city councilors. But this
should not be construed to indicate that St. Augustine had municipal
government. The captains received their commissions from the captain
12. The regulation, annotated to show modifications to 1808, is in the Archivo Nacional
de Cuba along with an auto of February 3, 1791 summarizing the history of the
regulation. These documents have just come to light and have not yet been
assigned to a legajo.
13. Ibid. See also A.N.C., Floridas, legajo 2, no. 38 and legajo 18, no. 122.
14. Ibid., legajo 18, no. 13 and legajo 16, no. 43. See also the regulation cited in
footnote 12. Many appointments of lesser employees appear among the royal orders
in A.N.C., Floridas.
15. See the section on the intendancy.
DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT
general in Havana and were responsible to him and to the governor of
East Florida,'6 although leading citizens of the capital made their in-
fluence felt in their selection.
St. Augustine did not have true municipal government until the appli-
cation to East Florida of the Constitution of 1812. The city government
then consisted of an alcalde, four councilmen, and a sindico-procurador.
The governor, in his new capacity of jefe politico, presided over the
council meetings. A hired secretary took the minutes and kept the
records. This system obtained during the two constitutional periods."
The white population outside of the capital consisted of a few hundred
persons scattered along the St. Johns, Nassau and St. Marys rivers,
governed by commanders of small detachments of troops stationed in
the territory. Such detachments were sent to Amelia Island and the
St. Johns River immediately after the re6cupation of the province by
Spain. Except the district attached to St. Augustine, all the other rural
territory of East Florida was finally embraced in the two partidos of
Fernandina and St. Johns. Civilians were early sent to these posts to
look after supplies and finances, and physicians were added later. The
boatmen employed have already been mentioned." In 1817 the civilians
other than the boatmen were as follows: at Fernandina, an administrator
de rentas, a fiel interventor y vista tasador, a warehouse guard and a
physician; at San NicholAs on the St. Johns, a warehouse guard and a
physician." Before that date, however, civil administration had effective-
ly passed out of the hands of the commandants.
The St. Marys -St. Johns territory was removed temporarily from
Spanish control in 1812 and 1813 by a rebellion of the residents sup-
ported by United States troops. President Madison, however, ordered
the territory returned to Spain, and in June of 1813 General Thomas
Pinckney turned it over to Governor SebastiAn KindelAn who went up
from St. Augustine to Fernandina for the purpose of receiving it.
The recovery of this territory constituted a new problem of administra-
tion. By all rights the Fernandina district should have been organized
as a municipality under the Consitiution of 1812, but to have done this
would have been to hand over the government to the very rebels them-
selves. Governor KindelAn, therefore, adopted a plan which had been
used in Cuba since its introduction by the Conde de Ricia (captain general
from 1763 to 1765), who, finding it difficult to make his authority felt
16. Minutes of the council of St. Augustine, January 18, 1815.
17. Ibid., passim.
s1. A.N.C., Floridas, legajo 13, no. 9.
19. Ibid., legajo 13, no. 24.
in rural districts and in towns without military garrisons, chose men from
these same areas and delegated to them some of his police and judicial
powers. These representatives came to be known as capitanes de partido
and jueces peddneos, terms used interchangeably in Cuba and East Flor-
ida. Such deputies of the central authority performed functions roughly
equivalent to those of our constables and justices of the peace.
In applying this system of local government to the inhabited areas of
East Florida, KindelAn20 selected men identified with the districts they
were to govern, which were three: Fernandina, Upper St. Johns and
Lower St. Johns. The first was composed of Amelia Island, Talbot Island,
Tiger Island, both banks of the Nassau River and the south bank of the
St. Marys; Upper St. Johns included everything along that river "be-
tween Hollingsworth's House and that of Buena-Vista, both included,
with the plantations on the opposite bank from that of Creighton to that
of Fleming, and the rest lie on that line;" Lower St. Johns, according to
Kindelan, took in everything from "the plantation of SAnchez to that of
Maxey, both included, with those on the opposite bank from Morrison
to Fitz-patrick, and San Pablo Inlet and the Island of Fort George."
Philip Robert Yonge was selected to rule the Fernandina district, Fran-
cisco Facio that of Upper St. Johns, and Farquahar Bethune the Lower
The three captains were men who had remained loyal to Spain during
the recent uprising. They were instructed to act as far as possible as con-
ciliators, but if that failed, to hear cases of civil and criminal nature of
small import. The military commandants of neighboring posts were to
furnish troops to make necessary arrests and to enforce the verbal deci-
sions of the capitanes de partido. Decisions were appealable to the gover-
The resentment of the Spanish element in St. Augustine was aroused
by the Protestant Anglo-American influence in the province, but a pro-
test from the alcalde of the capital to Havana may have been colored
also by a personal dislike of Governor Kindelin who was held responsible
for this state of affairs. Furthermore, the claim that all of East Florida
belonged to the municipality of St. Augustine was sustained. This claim
was based on the Spanish idea that all rural land lies within some munici-
pality. The protest, however, went unheeded, and the city government was
abolished the next year.21
20. Kindelin had served in Cuba before going to Florida. Francisco Calcagno, Diccion-
ario biogrdfico cubano (New York), p. 361.
21. D. C. Corbitt, "The Return of Spanish Rule to the St. Marys and the St. Johns,
1813-1821," Florida Historical Quarterly, XX No. 1 (July, 1941).
DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT
The aversion to foreigners did not die out and in 1820 it recurred in
connection with the restored city council. At the session of November
13 of that year the governor was requested to remove from the office of
capitdn de partido of the St. Johns district Don Solomon Miller, about
whom there was some complaint, and to appoint in his place "Don
Francisco Ram6n SAnchez a native of this province." The same complaint
had been made in 1813 about a member of the council itself, Francisco
Facio. Governor Jos6 Coppinger, unlike Governor Kindelan, listened to
the protest and ordered that Miller be removed.22
The KindelAn system lasted on the St. Johns until the end of Spanish
rule in Florida, but not so in the Nassau-St. Marys territory where the
trouble, begun in 1813, continued until 1816, when George J. F. Clarke
"proposed a plan of reconciliation and re-establishment of order." Clarke,
Zephaniah Kingsley, and Henry Yonge met with forty men at Mill's
Ferry to discuss it and to call for a general meeting of the male inhabi-
tants of the area at Waterman's Bluff within three weeks. At this latter
assembly there was drawn up to be submitted to Governor Coppinger a
set of laws and regulations which called for dividing the area into three
districts Nassau, Upper St. Marys and Lower St. Marys with a
magistrate's court and a company of militia in each, officers to be elected
from the district. Coppinger approved the plan with the specification
that Amelia Island be excluded, because the commandant stationed at
Fernandina "had plenty of leisure to attend to the complaints of
According to Clarke, testimony to the success of the system was the
fact that, during the five years it was in operation, there was but one
appeal and one complaint to the superior authorities in St. Augustine.23
The essential difference between the Clarke plan and that of Kindelin
lay in the election of the magistrates and militia officers. Kindelan, how-
ever, was governed by the recommendations of the leading inhabitants
in making his choices of capitanes de partido. The selection of foreigners
as late as 1820, in spite of contrary sentiment in the capital, indicates
that his successors were also disposed to listen to the persons to be
governed before making appointments.
With the return of the second constitutional period the question of the
jurisdiction of the city council of St. Augustine over all of East Florida
was renewed. The inhabitants of the St. Johns-St. Marys districts opposed
22. Minutes of the Council of St. Augustine, November 13, 1820 and January s, 1821.
23. See Clarke's letters to Captain John R. Bell, Florida Historical Quarterly July, 1925
pp. 31-42. A study of Clarke's activities by Mrs. Louise Biles Hill is in preparation.
to this a demand for a municipality of their own, a constitutional right
belonging to districts with a population of one thousand or more. Gov-
ernor Coppinger referred the request to the Diputacidn Provincial in
Havana, but before the decision was returned, Florida had been ceded
to the United States.24
Agencies for Handling Indian Affairs
INSTEAD of a race of aborigines in a state of servitude, so common in
the Spanish colonies, in Louisiana and the Floridas Spain was con-
fronted with proud, warlike nations whom it was necessary to appease
with thousands of dollars worth of presents annually, and whose leaders,
in some cases mestizos of diplomatic talent, the Spanish governors were
forced to treat as equals. The aggressive attitude of the Americans to
the North and East, and of the English with bases in the West Indies,
gave opportunity for the display of diplomatic abilities. It is a remarkable
fact that Spain was able to scrap her age-old Indian policy and win con-
siderable success in the battle waged for the friendship of the savages.
Bernardo de GAlvez was fully aware of the necessity of gaining and
holding the friendship of the Indian neighbors, and experience had shown
him that a satisfactory trade was necessary to achieve these ends. He
came to realize, furthermore, that Spanish goods would not satisfy the
Indians who had long been accustomed to French articles, and that Spain
could not furnish a market for the peltries that were the savages' only
marketable product. For these reasons, he dispatched Gilbert Antoine de
St. Maxent to Spain in 1781 to lay before the court a plan for holding
the allegiance of the Indians of Louisiana, and for winning and holding
that of those in the territory which was fast being reconquered from
The Gilvez-St. Maxent plan called for freedom of commerce between
France and Louisiana and the appointment of St. Maxent to the super-
vision of Indian affairs with a monopoly of the Indian trade. St. Maxent
had many considerations in his favor: he was the brother-in-law of
Governor Bernardo de Gilvez, belonged to one of the best families of
Louisiana, had come to the aid of the treasury on several occasions, and
had served with distinction in the attack on the British in West Florida.'
24. D. C. Corbitt, "The Return of Spanish Rule to the St. Marys and the St. Johns."
Florida Historical Quarterly, XX, No. 1 (July, 1941).
1. For a list of his services see A.N.C., Reales Ordenes, VII, pp. 215-224. See also
Pezuela, Diccionario, II, 382.
DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT
The outcome of his mission to Spain and the recommendations of his
brother-in-law, was St. Maxent's appointment on October 31, 1781, as
"lieutenant of the governor and captain general of West Florida in all
matters concerning the Indian nations that dwell in it." He was given,
besides, a monopoly of the Indian trade and some financial support to
make the initial purchases. For these privileges he agreed to send to
Louisiana goods to the value of 80,000 pesos for presents to the Indians
who should aid in the attacks on the British, another 200,000 pesos worth
to supply the Indian traders, and a reserve stock valued at one hundred
The contract with St. Maxent obligated him to visit the principal
factories in Spain with a view to purchasing Indian goods although there
was little hope that he would be able to obtain them there. He was
empowered to go to France for what he could not obtain in the Peninsula
-a break in the time-honored Spanish policy which was given a wider
application on January 22 of the next year in a cidula authorizing direct
commerce between New Orleans and Pensacola and French ports.3
St. Maxent was destined never to exercise his extensive powers as
lieutenant governor for Indian affairs. Although his goods were shipped
out through Ostend, British cruisers intercepted them and shunted them
into Jamaica, together with their owner, who, with some difficulty,
extricated his person from that island, only to be beset with other mis-
fortunes and financial reverses. For a year and a half his brother-in-law
hoped that he might serve his appointment, and issued instructions4 for
his conduct, particularly with respect to the Indian congresses then
projected, but it was necessary at last for the Spanish officials to obtain
from British firms the presents for the savages who attended the con-
gresses in Pensacola' and Mobile in the spring and summer of 1784.
For the Pensacola meeting with the Creeks (May-June, 1784) goods
were bought from Panton, Leslie and Company's store in St. Marks.
Mather and Strother of New Orleans supplied presents for the Choctaws
and Chickasaws who went to Mobile in July. Alexander McGillivray of
the Creeks worked hard at Pensacola to secure the trade of his nation
to Panton, Leslie and Company, in which he was interested, but suc-
2. A. P. Whitaker, Documents Relating to Spanisk Commercial Policy in the Flori~as
(Deland: 1931), pp. XXVII-XXVIII. A.N.C., Floridas, Reales Ordenes, VII, pp.
215-224 given the account with St. Maxent, dated November 1, 1781.
3. The cidula is printed with an English translation in Whitaker, op. cit., pp.
It is also found in Revista de Administracidn, II (Havana, 1887), 202-204.
4. The instructions are found in A.N.C., Floridas, legajo 2, no. 2. See also Whitaker,
of. cit., p. 225.
ceeded only in obtaining a permit for the company to continue operating
in East Florida (which at the time included St. Marks). Mir6 and
Navarro were for giving the West Florida trade (through Mobile and
Pensacola) to Mather and Strother. The latter company, however, was
able to supply only Mobile, so Panton secured a temporary concession
for Pensacola. This permit was renewed periodically and finally became
permanent. In the meantime Mather and Strother lost ground and in
1788 had to surrender the Mobile trade to Panton whose superior
resources enabled him to stand the strain of the long term credits neces-
sary in the Indian trade. Thereafter he enjoyed a monopoly of Spain's
Indian commerce east of the Mississippi and became the corner stone
of the Indian administration. By 1795 the company's stores extended from
St. Augustine through St. Marks, Pensacola, Mobile, and up the Missis-
sippi to Walnut Hills (Vicksburg) and Fort San Fernando de las Barran-
Through the traders, mostly of British extraction, and the connection
with the masterful McGillivray, Panton's company was a powerful in-
fluence in the affairs of the Old Southwest, and, until the Treaty of San
Lorenzo in 1795, he chose to use this influence to further Spanish ex-
pansion. Disillusioned by Spain's action in ceding her claims to most of
the Indian country, Panton thereafter entered into more friendly relations
with the Americans against whom he had formerly tried to turn the red
men'; nevertheless, Spain was unable to dispense with the company's
services in supplying the Indians, although she had long entertained the
hope of finding a Spaniard that could handle the trade. Panton and his
successor, Forbes and Company, kept the monopoly until 1817.
The other pillar of the Spanish Indian policy in the Floridas was Alex-
ander McGillivray, made commissioner or commissary to the Indians at
the Pensacola congress (1784); salary fifty dollars a month. With Spanish
backing, the wily chief built up a powerful confederation of Creeks,
Cherokees, Choctaws and Chickasaws, and waged a long and bloody war
on the American frontier. Spanish confidence in him wavered after 1787-
88, however, when he bid for British support through the adventurer
William Augustus Bowles during a temporary slackening of Spanish
assistance. His signing of the Treaty of New York in 1790 increased the
misgivings of the Spanish authorities, and his failure to act energetically
5. J. W. Caughey, McGillivray of the Creeks (Norman: 1893). See especially pp.
22-57. Documents on the subject are found in Georgia Historical Quarterly, Decem-
ber 1936 to June, 1941 and East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 1937
DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT
against Bowles in 1792, during the latter's second attack on the Spanish
domain, played havoc with the confidence of the government. A Spanish
agent was then dispatched by Governor Carondelet of Louisiana to
reside at Little Tallassee and keep an eye on McGillivray. After Mc-
Gillivray's death in 1793 Pedro Olivier, the Spanish agent, took over
all of the duties of commissary. Thereafter, Spaniards rather than Indians
acted as agents in the nations, seconded, of course, by Panton and his
associates. This policy was used from the beginning in dealing with the
Chickasaws and Choctaws. In 1787 Juan de Villebeuvre went on a special
mission to hold assemblies in those nations, and five years later he became
permanent commissary to them.
In addition to the commissaries, or superintendents, a number of the
traders in the nations were given special commissions from time to time,
as, for example, John McDonald who, on the recommendation of Panton,
was delegated in 1792 to win the Cherokees over to Spanish influence,8
and Ben James who was sent on a special mission to the Chickasaws
the next year.9
In a sense every officer in Florida was a part of the Indian establish-
ment. Pensacola, Mobile, St. Marks and even St. Augustine were little
more than forts in the Indian country, whose commandants and gover-
nors were occupied much of their time in dealing with the red men or
with whites who came in contact with them. A familiar sight in each of
the above mentioned places was the visiting Indian, for whose entertain-
ment the attention of all officers from governor to warehouse guard was
required. Official and private correspondence, and the Indian inter-
preters to be found at each post were further testimonies of Indian
7. Excellent treatises on the subject are Caughey, op. cit., and A. P. Whitaker, The
Spanish American Frontier, 1783-1795 (Boston: 1927), Documentary material is
found in the former and in the magazines cited in footnote 5.
8. McDonald to Panton, October 6, 1792, Georgia Historical Quarterly, June, 1939,
pp. 196-198. Panton to Carondelet, October 15, 1793, ibid., December, 1939, pp.
9. Ibid., p. 384. James went on the mission at the suggestion of Panton but was paid
from Spanish funds.
10. For correspondence see Caughey op. cit. and the numbers of the magazines men-
tioned in footnote 5.
This Page Blank in Original
CHARLES M. ANDREWS, the eminent American historian needs no recital
of his qualifications, contributions, and honors, to introduce him to our
readers. His interest in the Indians of Florida dates back to the time of
his researches for his writings in American Colonial history. For some
years he has maintained a winter home at Jupiter, Florida, and has done
additional research on the subject. He has also travelled extensively in
Florida and the adjacent regions.
DUVON CLOUGH CORBITT, Ph.D., is a professor in Candler College,
Havana, Cuba. Part I of The Administrative System in the Floridas, 1783-
I821 appeared in Tequesta, 1942.
FREDERICK M. HUDsoN, has been a resident of Florida since 1900 and
of Miami and Dade County since 1905. He has played a prominent part
in the political and legal history of Dade County and of the entire state
of Florida. He was State Senator from 1905 to 1917 and was president of
the Senate in 1909. He writes of early Dade County out of wide exper-
ience as well as familiarity with legal and legislative records. He was
president of this society in 1942.
EDIToR'S NOTE: The war has affected the activities of the Historical
Association of Southern Florida much as it has all other civilian activities.
The editor has been on leave of absence since February 1, from his work
at the University of Miami. Scarcity and high cost of materials have com-
pelled us to cut down the number of pages in this issue. Our good friend
Watt M. Marchman who was contributing what was to be our annual
feature, Florida in History and Literature, was called into the Army and
we are forced to omit that service to students of Florida History.