THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
Ireo ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Editor: Charlton W. Tebeau
The Cruise of the Bonton
By Charles William Pierce
Ornithology of "The Cruise of the Bonton"
By William B. Robertson, Jr.
The Association's Historical Marker Program
The Treasurer's Report
List of Members
List of Officers
COPYRIGHT 1962 BY THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHF.RN FLORIDA
( r 4l # *t/ is published annually by the Historical Association of Southern Florida
t and the University of Miami. Communications should be addressed to
the Corresponding Secretary of the Society, 2010 North Bayshore Drive, Miami 37,
Florida. Neither the Association nor the University assumes responsibility for statements
of fact or opinion made by contributors.
This Page Blank in Original
The Cruise of the Bonton
By CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
The sun was slowly sinking down behind the pine woods on the western
shore of Lake Worth, and its last long golden rays were caressing the tops
of the white crested breakers, creating a myriad of miniature rainbows in the
feathery foam, as each on rushing breaker flung itself madly against the
rocky headland whose high grim sides defied the onslaught of the sea. Each
breaker seemed to rush in with some definite mission, only to be vanquished
with a resounding roar, and a great upflinging of salt spray.
High above the reach of the pounding breakers sat four small dark
figures in various attitudes of rest, gazing thoughtfully out to sea. These boys,
for boys they were, though they sat so still they seemed a part of the rocky
shore, were strong sturdy looking fellows, sun burned and tanned by the
semi-tropical sun until they were almost the color of the native Seminole.
For nearly an hour they had sat thus, drinking in the beauties of the scene
which, though old to them never lost its charm.
Suddenly the silence was broken by one of the larger boys. "Boys,"
he said, after a long sigh, "The game is getting just awful scarce now days.
The trouble is the country is getting all settled up. Too much civilization
for good hunting any more." "Yes," responded the boy next to him, a boy
about his own age, "It's getting so now you have to hunt and hunt to find
anything to shoot at. I just wish we could go on a long trip some place where
there is plenty of all kinds of game. Some place outside of civilization
where there are no hunters or settlements to scare the game."
For a while the group was silent, each young mind working over the
picture of a hunters paradise that had been laid before him. After a few
minutes, the boy that had spoken first, leaped up with a radiant face and
exclaimed, "I have it. Lets make a trip to the Thousand Islands over on the
He was greeted by a chorus of; "Gee, that would be fine," "Bet there's
lots of game there" "Nobody over there but plume hunters too."
"But we are too young to go, and our folks won't let us," said the other
larger boy, and again their faces fell.
"Well, Roz, I have a proposition to make to you," the first fellow said
again, "We're both fourteen and in seven years we will be twenty one. Lets
you and I make an agreement to take that trip the year we are twenty one."
"You bet we will, Charlie," said Roz, and they shook hands very
solemnly. As far as those two boys were concerned, the trip was as good as
started, and they straight way began to plan eagerly all the necessary details.
I was the boy who suggested the trip to the Thousand Islands, and during
the following six years, when I was busy growing to manhood, I never forgot
the agreement, and when ever I was alone, which was a good part of the
time, I would plan and replan, going over all the details of the long antici-
pated trip. Sometimes I would get out the map of Florida and lay out the
course we would take; down the coast to Cape Florida, around the Fla. Keys,
over the Bay of Florida to Cape Sable, and up the Gulf to the Thousand
Islands. Many nights I would lay awake and figure just how we could over-
come the many difficulties, would draw plans of the small boats we should
have, until finally I knew that I would never be satisfied until I did go to
the Thousand Islands, even if I had to make the trip without my friend Roz.
Time passed and six years later my father was appointed keeper of the
Biscayne House of Refuge for shipwrecked sailors. This Life Saving Station
was located on the ocean beach near the head of Biscayne Bay, and of course
our family moved there to stay while my father was keeper.
Some time after moving down there I got a letter from an uncle of mine
who was manager of the Titus House at Titusville on Indian River telling
me that his sloop Banton needed a captain and care taker, asking me to come
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
and get her and use her for any kind of business that I might find to do.
This was just what I wanted, a good cabin yacht of 28 feet long and seven
feet beam. But getting her was some job; first I had to walk up the ocean
beach to Hypoluxo, and there get my friends Louie and Guy Bradley to take
me in their small sail boat another one hundred and sixty miles up Indian
River to Titusville. Well that was what I did, sailing the Bonton back to
Lake Worth in company with Louie and Guy in their boat the Nautilus.
When I started from Lake Worth down the coast to Miami, I picked up
an Irish peddler named Pat Murphy that wanted to go with me to Miami,
and I wanted him for company. Well we made Miami after a very stormy
trip of two days and one night on old ocean. When within a few miles of
Biscayne Bay we were struck by a heavy squall from the northeast. I took
in the mainsail and run before it under the jib alone. The sea kicked up in
a few minutes and Pat got scared, he said, "This old boat will be your
coffin yet." But we run into smooth water inside just after dark all safe in
spite of Pat's prophecy. We could not see to get over the flats so lay at
anchor all night. Next morning I landed Pat at Miami and went on to my
home at the Biscayne House of Refuge.
I had heard a great deal about an old Frenchman, M. Le Chevelier, a
taxidermist, collector of bird skins and plumes, who was living up the Miami
river with a family named Wagner. One day my father came home and told
me he had met M. Chevelier in Miami, and he said he had heard of me and
my boat, The Bonton. M. Le Chevelier was contemplating a trip for the
purpose of collecting bird skins and plumes, around the keys and on up the
west coast to the Thousand Islands, and perhaps beyond. He wanted to
charter the Bonton with my services for the trip.
This was my chance to make the long planned trip. I lost no time in
seeing M. Chevelier and a week later had agreed to take him and his party
on the long hunting trip around the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of south Florida.
At last my dream was going to be realized. My friend Roz was in Illinois,
and so that left me to take the trip without him. Many times I wished he
could be there and see our boyhood plans materialize. M. Chevelier did not
want to start on his trip until April 15 so there was plenty of time for me to
make preparations. In the first place I needed a small boat and would have
to build it if I got one just to my notion. Meantime my father resigned his
position as keeper of the House of Refuge, and in February I moved my
mother and sister back to our old home on Hypoluxo Island, together with all
our household goods. My father was to follow us later in his boat the Bonito.
After all the details of moving were over, and we were settled in our
old home I started in to build my canoe or small boat which I named the
Falcon. Meantime I had persuaded my chums, Louie and Guy to make a plume
hunting trip with me as far as Biscayne Bay starting about March 12th which
would give us a months hunting together before I started with M. Chevelier
from Miami. They built a boat for the trip and called it the Ibis.
So that is how and why I finally accomplished what was once almost
a dream, My Trip To The Thousand Isles, by way of the Florida Keys, and
I called my record of the trip
"The Cruise of the Bonton."
Editor's Note: An entire issue of Tequesta has never been devoted to a single topic.
Ordinarily it is not good practice to do so. But "The Cruise of the Bonton" is a rarely
good piece of natural history, ornithology and human history. Together with the ornithol-
ogy notes by Dr. Robertson it is one of the most significant items we have published.
It will appear to some readers that the proper form of the boat's name may be the
Bon Ton. The manuscript was prepared by the owner of the boat and we have elected not
to change it.
CRUISE OF THE SLOOP BONTON
IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER OF 1885
After saying "good bye" to my folkes I hoisted sail on the Bonton and
sailed over to Bradleys place, and anchored while getting Louie and Guy on
board with all their things. I had my boat the Falcon on the stern deck so
we towed the Ibis she was too large and heavy to take on deck, then got under
way for Palm Beach. Stopped at Dr. Potter's place to get some medicine, got
laudnum and quinine, then went on to the Brelsford's store and bought some
kerosene, vinegar, cocoa, onions, and fish hooks, then went over to uncle
Robert's to tell them good bye. Underway for the inlet about three o'clock in
the afternoon. We stopped at the post office to get a bottle to put my vinegar
Just before dark we passed the schooner yacht Decoy that had a large
hunting party on board. They had been on a bear hunt at the inlet. They
waved to us a good bye. Come to anchor near the inlet about half an hour
after dark. Ate our supper and turned in for the night. We have all got hard
colds or influenza.
You should have heard the noise in the cabin last night. We were all
coughing and sneezing, and making a great racket. As the wind and weather
was not favorable for a trip down the coast and we had to wait until it was,
we did not lift our anchor today. After breakfast we got into our small
boats, and went hunting on west shore of the Lake. Louie killed a night heron
and an egret. Guy killed a white heron. I killed a blue heron, a duck and a
purple grackel. After dinner Louie took one of the small boats and went back
to the store at Palm IBeach to get some things he had forgotten to get yesterday.
He did not get back until after dark.
When we got up this morning found there was a fine west wind blowing
and the sea smooth, so after breakfast we hoisted our sails, weighed anchor,
and out we went on to old ocean with our bowsprit pointing south down the
coast, our nearest harbor in that direction being Hillsborough River, forty
miles away. As we passed Mr. Chas Lane's place at Lake Worth he saw us,
and run up his flag, and saluted us. We answered with our flag from the
When we were off the Farrell trail (14 miles from Lake Worth Inlet)
the wind shifted to the southwest then southeast. As the southeast wind
was right ahead we had to start tacking or beating to windward which was
slow work with the tide against us. When off Hypoluxo the wind shifted
to the west again and we made better time while it lasted. When off the
Orange Grove House of Refuge eight miles farther on it all died out to a dead
calm. We had to anchor to keep the Gulf Stream from taking us back up the
coast. In about an hour the wind breezed up right from the south, we hoisted
sail and commenced to beat down the coast, it now got quite dark. In a short
time the wind shifted again the the west, and we were all right.
Arrived at Hillsborough Inlet about two hours before daylight. We came
to an anchor outside as it was too dark to see the channel over the bar. The
tide was high and ocean very smooth, so I took the Ibis and paddled into
the inlet to find the channel. I found it all right by sounding with an oar
as it was pitch dark and I could not see anywhere. I went back to the Bonton
and we poled her inside, and up the river aways and anchored; then all
hands turned in.
On getting up this morning we found the schooner Neff at anchor near
us, her captain being an old friend of mine, we went to call on him. He had
killed a deer the day before, and gave us a ham which was fine eating. While
breakfast was cooking we got under way to go up the river. The tide turned
against us and we did not get very far. Come to an anchor, and in a short
time the Bonton was hard aground, so was compelled to wait for flood tide
before we could go on. When the tide turned in the afternoon we sailed a long
way up the river, and tied up along side of a very high bank. Ate our supper
and went to bed. Louie and Guy made their bed on shore while I slept in the
We could not go much farther with Bonton, so after breakfast we started
out in our canoes to hunt for a place to leave her in while we are hunting
up the river. I found a good place not very far off, a side channel that run
up between high mangroves that hid the Bonton completely all but her
topmast. After finding this good hiding place we went back to the Bonton
for dinner. After dinner we began to fix our things to put in our canoes for
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
our long trip up the river. This kept us at work until supper time. After
supper we poled the Bonton into the channel I had found where we are to-
We awoke quite early this morning, and commenced loading our canoes
right after breakfast. We left the Bonton about eleven o'clock. Rowed up the
river, because it was too deep to pole, until we come to the place where the
river branched in every direction. The first channel we went into ended
after we had gone a little way. The next, and the next one did the same way.
The next channel went a long way but came to an end at last so we had to
turn back again. It now commenced to rain so we had to stop and put up
the tents on our canoes. It rained about half an hour, when it let up we
started on and found another channel that proved to be the right one. The
part of the river we are in now is very pretty. It is full of small islands
covered with a heavy growth of bay and maple trees. Late in the afternoon
we began to look for a camping place. We found one about three o'clock a
high spruce1 bluff on north side of river. We made our camp on top and
called it Look Out Bluff.
It rained nearly all night. The morning came in bright and clear with
a cool west wind. Louie and Guy thought their boat was not loaded right, as
everything they wanted first was stored where they had to move everything
out before they could get at it, so after breakfast they went back down the
river, to where they had seen a nice low grassy bank the day before on our
way up, to restow their load. Meantime while waiting for them I went fishing.
Caught a fair size black bass, and although I had breakfast I was still some
hungry so went on shore and built a fire, and cooked and ate my fish before
the boys came back from down the river. We continued on our way up the
river. About noon we come to where the river got very narrow and swift,
here I killed a wood ibis or gannet. The river kept getting more and more
narrow as we went along, and at last ended in a large saw grass swamp. We
are camped tonight in a big hammock on the east side of this swamp, and
have named it Camp Gannet.
Started on north this morning, following a small channel through the
saw grass and lily pads. About ten oclock Louie and Guy said there was not
1 Probably = sand pine, Pinus clause, the principal tree of the Florida "scrub", origi-
nally found along the Atlantic Coast south as far as Northern Dade County and
sometimes known locally as "spruce pine" or "spruce".-WBR
any use of going farther as all signs of a channel had vanished, and we might
as well turn back. I told them they could stay where they were and I would
go to the end wherever that might be. I had the advantage of them in shallow
water as my boat is made of canvas, and does not draw over two inches
of water. So on I went. The wind was west, I put up my sail which helped me a
lot in pushing through grass patches and water moss. About noon I come to
the end of navigation for the Falcon. Beyond me as far as I could see to the
north and west was shallow marsh and flat woods, to the east was high land
covered with spruce trees. I turned back. The wind changed to the north-
west and my sail pushed me along at a good rate, soon I was back with the
boys. Ate our dinner and started back down the river. On coming to a
shallow part of the river we found a ten foot alligator that did not intend,
for some reason known only to him, to let us pass. Every time we started past
him he would charge us with mouth wide open. At last seeing there was no
other way for us to get by, I killed him. We are camped tonight on island
not far from "Lookout Bluff". It is a pretty place, short green grass shaded
with large water oaks. Guy killed a purple grackel, Louie also killed one.
I killed two and caught a bull head, also speared a small leather back turtle.2
A beautiful clear morning with a cool north west wind, and birds singing
all around us. After breakfast as I was cleaning my gun in the boat, I dropped
a loaded paper shell overboard, and at first could not find it; after searching
in the moss and grass for about ten minutes I at last found it. I thought such
a long time in the water would spoil it, but to my surprise it fired all right.
Feeling a little fish hungry this morning we went fishing. Louie caught one
brim and a black bass. Guy caught two brim, and I four brim. This fishing
was too slow so we continued on down the river. Having a fair wind our
sails were a great help we only used the oars on head wind reaches, and very
narrow places. We did not stop at the Bonton, but came right on. We saw the
tip of her topmast as we passed her hiding place. Arrived at the Inlet about
three in the afternoon, and turned in to Cypress Creek. Went up the creek
for about a mile and a half when we come to a kind of open swamp, the
creek was just a narrow channel through this swamp. About half an hour
before sundown we commenced to look for a camping place as the country
is entirely unknown to us, and we did not want night to catch us without a
place to camp on. About sundown we found a place we thought would do,
in fact had to do as there was nothing better in sight. The place we selected
2 Trionyx jerox, more commonly known as the soft-shelled turtle.-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
was a small grove of cabbage palms about two hundred yards east of the
creek, and we had to wade through mud up to our knees to get there. How-
ever it was a good camp when we got to it, but such a time as we had getting
our things from the boats to camp. On account of the mud here we have
named it, Camp-Stick-in-the-Mud.
Broke camp and started on again early this morning, creek very narrow
and shallow. At noon we came to saw grass, the channel very narrow and
full of lily pads. We had to get overboard and drag our boats along with
water up to our waists; while we were at this work I stepped on an alligator.
The gator gave a furious wriggle and I nearly fell on my back trying to get
away from him. He came to the top and tried to bite my canoe, I then grabbed
up my gun and killed him.
Late in the afternoon we reached a small lake that I had heard of some
years before. It is called "Lettuce Lake", so named from a queer water plant
that grows on the surface of the water.3 This plant stands about six inches
above the water, has rounded leaves something like lettuce, but thick and
very rough, these plants float around on the surface like water hyacinths.
Most of the lake was open water, and we made our way around the north
shore where we found a high bank covered with spruce trees and saw
palmetto. Here we camped for the night.
Did not get up very early this morning being tired from yesterday's
strenuous work. After breakfast we packed up and was on our way at nine
o'clock. We had not gone half a mile when we found our way blocked by a
large floating island that reached from shore to shore, and was at least
fifty feet wide. The creek here is twenty feet deep, and about three hundred
feet wide. Beyond the floating island the surface of the creek was a solid
mass of floating lettuce as far as we could see. We then unloaded our canoes,
hauled them over the island, and launched them-into lettuce-solid lettuce
a foot deep, and twenty feet of water underneath. A miniature "Sudd of the
Nile." My canoe actually sat on top of the lettuce without touching water
a The plant referred to is water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes. The comparison to water
hyacinth may be an anachronism indicating later revision of the diary, because most
accounts state that water hyacinth is an introduced plant that first appeared in
Florida about 1890 (See: Penfound, Wm. T. and T. T. Earle. 1948. The biology of
the water hyacinth. Ecological Monographs, 18:447-472). Some botanists however,
(e.g., Small, John K. 1933. Manual of the Southeastern Flora, p. 267) have sug-
gested that the plant may be native to Florida.-WBR
until I put the load in her. As soon as loaded we tried to move on. We did not
have a pole, only six foot oars. It was a case of row, paddle, or nothing
doing. The lettuce would roll up two feet high ahead of the boats, we would
then get on the bow of our boats and with our hands pull the lettuce out of
the way, then force the boats ahead until another bunch rolled up. Finding
we could not make any headway at this we worked our way into the shore
which was covered with saw grass, and to our delight we found it was
floating, so by standing on it it would sink until there was water enough to
float our boats, we would then push them ahead. Kept this up until near
sunset, and only got half a mile from the floating island. Completely tired
out we stopped for the night intending to sleep in our boats, and ate a cold
lunch for supper as there is not a bit of ground to build a fire on, and there
is not a bit of dry land that we can see within half a mile, and none that we
can get to tonight. Just before dark the plume birds began to fly on their
way to some nesting place up the creek. Louie killed two herons, one white,
and one Louisiana. Guy killed one Louisiana heron, and a grey curlew. I
killed two white, one Louisiana, and one little blue heron, but only got one
white heron, the others having dropped back in the swamp where a man
could not go.
After a makeshift breakfast we kept on our laborious way up the creek.
Some time near noon we reached open water, and oh what a relief to get out
of that lettuce. Here the creek banks are lined with tall and stately cypress
trees, some of them as much as seven feet thick at the base; growing very
close together, and all covered with a heavy drapery of gray spanish moss.
It was the wildest, loneliest, and at the same time the most beautiful sight we
had seen on any of our hunting trips.
The creek here is about seventy five feet wide, and seven or eight feet
deep, and on account of muddy bottom, black in color. The trees on each
side are so tall and heavy covered with moss the sun seldom shines on the
water, and in consequence the creek is entirely free of water lilies, lettuce,
moss or grass. But alligators, we see them at every turn. Evidently they have
not seen man often as they do not appear to fear us in the least.
Around the first bend we came upon a small island that had a few
nesting plume birds on it, the first we had seen since leaving home. We
immediately went into it and commenced to shoot the birds. About three
o'clock we had cleaned it up. Louie killed seven white herons. Guy killed
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
two and a gannet or wood Ibis. Wood ibis is the correct name, but we always
call them by the local name of gannet, some times called iron head, so
called on account of its head, the top of which is bare bone. We kill them
for their tails which make beautiful fans, and we also eat them. I killed six
white herons and one egret. After killing the last bird we continued on our
way up the creek. At sunset the birds began to fly over going west up the
creek, and we commenced to shoot them. Louie killed three white herons and
one little blue. Guy killed one white heron and a peckit bird. What we call
a peckit bird is a year old blue heron, white in color, without plume, and not
good for anything. I killed seven little blue herons, one white heron and one
gannet. By this time it was quite dark and not any place to camp so we made
preparations to sleep in our boats. First we put up our tents that entirely
covered the open part of the boat, then spread our blankets on the false bottom
which made comfortable beds secure from dew, rain, or mosquitoes. We had
not turned in more than half an hour when something began to splash and
crunch alongside of my canoe. I raised the edge of my tent and looked out,
there was a big alligator within a foot of my boat eating the bodies of the
birds we had thrown away after taking the plumes. Louie started to get up and
shoot him he heard us talking, and left; do not think he came back, anyway
I was soon asleep, and was not disturbed again that night.
A fine clear morning with a light west wind blowing. After breakfast
we continued on our way up the creek. About ten o'clock we reached the end
of navigation, also the first dry land we had seen since leaving Lettuce Lake.
The creek from here on is full of large cypress trees, too close together for
our boats to pass. Here the north bank is about three feet above the creek,
and for a short distance covered with grass only back to a grove of palmetto
trees. In between the trees we set up our tents, unloaded our boats, and made
preparations for a stay of some days, depending on the number of birds we
find in the woods and swamps to the west of camp.
It sure feels good to walk on dry ground once more. After getting our
camp in shape we cooked our dinner. I was sitting on the bank a short
distance from the tents, eating; I happened to look back of me and there
about three feet from me was a ground rattlesnake, coiled up, shaking his
4 Sistrurus miliarius, also known as pigmy rattlesnake. Notably, the narrative does not
mention the large diamond-backed rattlesnake, encounters with which figure prom-
inently in most early accounts of natural history exploration in Southern Florida.
tail and running out his tongue at me. Of course I lost no time in fixing
Mr. snake. Louie and I speared a leather back turtle.
After dinner Guy and I walked over to where the government road crosses
the creek. There was a lot of birds there. Guy killed a white curlew. I killed
two gannets and one egret. Just before dark we went down the creek to a
roosting place. I killed one little blue heron and one white heron. It was
now so dark we returned to camp.
The flight of birds follow the creek to the west, we think there must be
a large nesting place of them somewhere west of us, and as we cannot go
any farther with the boats we have decided to take a few things in a pack on
our backs, and travel over land on the north side of the creek to find it if
we can. Guy is not at all well and I expect we will have to wait for him to
rest on the way.
Left camp with our packs on our backs about eight o'clock, sun very
hot, and not much wind. We had walked only a short distance when I saw a
turkey, shot at it twice, it flew off a ways and fell, but we could not find it.
About every half mile or so we would have to stop for Guy to rest. At
noon we rested and ate our dinner. While Guy rested Louie and I went in
to the cypress to the south of us to see if we could see any sign of the creek.
It was a fearful place, dense masses of ferns, briars, and immense cypress
trees. Some of the cypress trees were at least ten feet through at the base.
We soon got enough of this place, went back picked up our packs and tramped
on. Late in the afternoon we found ourselves cut off from farther travel
west, by a large cypress swamp that reached to the north as far as we could
see. The woods on the border of this swamp are open flat woods. As it was
late in the day we camped for the night. Saw plume birds going down in
the cypress west of us at dark.
Set up our tents this morning and fixed up for a stay of a day or so,
then went to look for the place where we saw the birds going to roost last
night. We tramped around in the swamp most of the forenoon but failed
to find any nesting place or anything that looked like one. I killed a little
blue heron and a gator. Went back to camp and cooked dinner. While we were
eating dinner we heard a queer noise to the northeast of us, and could not
make out what it was, none of us had heard anything like it before. After a
while I happened to look up and saw a large turkey gobbler looking at us. I
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
grabbed up my gun and crawled until I was close to him then let him
have both barrels. He tumbled down then jumped up and run off towards
the swamp. I after him with an empty gun in my hands having forgot to take
some extra shells with me. I also had on a pair of heavy top boots, and in
consequence was not in good running trim. I got within about six feet of the
old fellow and could not get any closer the best I could do. The turkey
plunged into the swamp and I after him. The turkey was giving out fast,
and so was I.
Soon as we struck mud and water my boots filled up which made them
so heavy I could hardly lift one foot after the other, still I was keeping up
with Mr. turkey. Finally he turned towards camp, and in trying to run through
some briars caught his foot in them and fell, I fell on top of him, got hold
of his neck and settled the business for him right there. The boys in camp
watching us, and laughing so they could hardly stand. They said it was a fine
race. Went out before dark to look for birds, say one turkey, two white herons,
and a flock of gannets. I killed one white heron. Turkey for supper.
Weather turned cold last night, and as we are traveling light with only
one blanket each, I was very cold all night; too sleepy to get up and build
a fire so stayed in bed and shivered until morning. Just after getting up I
heard a noise off in the woods, went to see what it was. I found a large slough
full of birds. There were plume birds of all kinds, and gannets, feeding. Shot
eight times and killed three white herons and one gannet. We broke camp
after breakfast and started north. Went about a mile and made camp again.
After dinner went to look for birds, found a large slough full of them, and
sat down to watch them when they go to roost. They all went about north-
east. Guy heard a turkey gobble and Louie killed a gannet.
We heard two turkeys gobbling this morning. Louie started out to try and
kill one, but could not find them. After breakfast we left our tents standing
and started out to look for the nesting place that we believe is in the swamp
somewhere to the north of us. We penetrated the swamp for some miles, and
it was one of the worst we had ever been in. Mud and water up to our knees
all the time and some times up to our waists. Away out in there we run across
a small nesting place of little blue herons, but it was in such bad hole of a
place we did not bother them. About noon we gave up finding any rookery of
plume birds, and started back for dry land which we reached in about two
hours. We found a small patch of huckleberries while on our way back to
camp, and stopped to pick some of them. While at this we flushed a large
turkey that got out of range before we could get our guns which we had left
leaning against a pine tree while we picked berries. I left Louie and Guy eating
berries, and went back to camp. My feet were so sore I could hardly walk,
these old boots I am wearing are too heavy and not fit for this kind of work.
Had been in camp but a short time when I heard the boys shoot four times.
Just before sundown they came into camp with one curlew and one white
We have named this little camp, "Camp Rice", because we have had
nothing else to eat but rice since we have been here excepting what game we
have killed. Our ammunition was so heavy we could not carry much grub
which is all gone now but rice. Packed up and got away early on our return
to our boats. Thoughts of the good things to eat there, hastened our steps, and
Guy not yet feeling well, could not keep up with us, we had to stop every little
way for him to rest. When we were within a mile and a half of the camp on
the creek, we told Guy to go on ahead and take his time and when he got tired
to sit down and rest and we would overtake him, meantime we would stay
where we were for a time to give him a good start. So he went on while we
rested in the shade of some bushes. In about half an hour Louie and I started
on, soon we heard Guy shoot away ahead of us, we hurried up to over take
him, thinking he fired his gun to call us. But we did not overtake him and
were getting anxious about him when the white tents of our camp came in
view. As we dashed into camp there sat Mr. Guy with a grin on his face,
and a dead hen turkey lying at his feet. It was his first turkey, and he left
very proud of what he had done, so we named the camp "Camp Hen."
We were sure hungry for something sweet, and all hands started cooking.
I made some pancakes, mixed them same as flapjacks, but put in plenty of
sugar and condensed milk. I tell you they tasted mighty fine. Shortly after
dinner I shot a Cock-of-the-woods or pileated woodpecker near camp. We
went out for a short hunt just before dark, along the creek bottom to the west.
Saw five turkeys but could not get a good shot at any of them. One of them
had gone to roost in a tall cypress tree, we saw it when it was about seventy
five yards off, and it was watching us so we could not change our positions
without scaring it, there was a bunch of moss hanging down between us and
the turkey. We thought if all would shoot at the same time we would sure
kill it, so at the word fire, we let drive, three ounces of shot driven by ten
drams of powder. The shot shook the moss, the turkey shook his feathers,
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
and flew away unhurt. We returned to camp to get our supper and go to
bed pretty well tired out.
Arose at sunrise and went to look for turkeys. Did not find any although
I heard a number of them gobbling around me. Killed two white herons, one
egret, and one great blue heron. When I got up this morning Louie and Guy
were sound asleep. I slipped out very quiet, they did not know anything about
me being gone until my shooting at the creek ford awakened them. When I
returned to camp they jumped on me for, as they claimed, sneaking out just
to get ahead of them. They did not like it very much. I told them I thought
they would rather finish their sleep than go hunting, so did not wake them.
A short distance above our camp the creek is open again for a little ways.
In this part of the creek I found the remains of a burned Indian canoe that
I could navigate by standing in the unburned end. In this part of the creek
the water is very shallow. After breakfast I went to explore this part of the
creek in the old piece of a canoe. I had fifteen shells with me, all loaded with
No. 9 shot, the size we use for plume bird shooting. I ran into a bunch of
alligators, there must have been fifty of them, perhaps more. The water too
shallow for them to hide, and they did not know what to do when I appeared
on the scene in the old canoe. Because gators eat wounded plume birds we
have always made a practice of killing them whenever we get a chance, and
here was a chance too good to let pass. Although my shot was too small for
good work on gators, I opened fire on them, and kept it up until my fifteen
shells were gone. I don't know how many I killed for as soon as my shells
were used up I got out of there soon as possible. There were too many gators
there still alive when my gun was empty.
When I reached camp found the boys somewhat excited, they could not
imagine what I had run up against, said it sounded like a battle going on
down in the creek among the cypress. Finished up the day by washing our
Got out early this morning and went over on the south side of creek to
hunt. I saw four turkeys, got a shot at one of them, wounded it, but it escaped
into the bushes and got clean away. It was an off day for me. Shot five times
at birds and missed all of them. Lay around camp and took it easy the rest
of the day.
Left Camp Hen this morning and started west on south side of creek on
another overland trip with our camp outfit on our backs, still hunting for
that large rookery that we have failed to find so far. After walking about
a mile we came up on a flock of egrets. I killed one and wounded another.
A short distance farther on we stopped to rest, and while sitting there talking
I happened to look at the cypress to the northwest of us just as a flock of
Paroquets came flying out of them and flew west, keeping on in this
direction until they were out of sight. We all jumped to our feet and grabbed
our guns when we first sighted them, wishing they would come our way as
they were the first wild ones we had ever seen. Last year Louie and I were
hunting up Snook Creek, which is about two miles south of here, and one
afternoon as we were pushing along through a narrow creek, I happened to
look up over head and there I saw two scarlet ibis going to the Everglades.
They were away out of reach of our guns so all we could do was to admire
their beauty and watch them go. Soon after the Paroquets went out of sight
we saw a large hawk that was new to us, tried to kill it but missed because of
distance. It now commenced to rain so hard we hastly put up our tent for
shelter. The rain kept up until dark so of course we had to stay there all night,
and it is not the best place in the country for a camp. On starting to cook our
supper discovered we had forgot to bring our salt, everything for supper
was very fresh. Have named this camp, "Camp-forgot-the-salt."
A clear sky and bright sunshine this morning. After breakfast we con-
tinued our westerly tramp until we come to a cypress swamp reaching away
off to the south. Stopped here and set up our tent, left our packs and went
into the cypress. Soon we were in water up to our waists and getting deeper
all the time. We had to turn back. Did not see any birds at all in the swamp.
On our way back to camp I was walking ahead, Louie and Guy following
Indian file, when Louie called out, "Look look;" I thinking only of plume
birds, looked up in the air, but did not see a thing, "Where?" I asked. "Aw, it's
gone now", he answered. "What was it?" I asked again. "A deer was right in
front of us, why didn't you look ahead instead of up in the air," he answered.
"Well," said I, "I was thinking and looking for plume birds and supposed
that was what was in your mind too." As it is the first of April it will have
to pass as an April fool". Louie killed a Florida mallard which we roasted
for dinner, it was fine. Having cooked an over supply of flapjacks they
spoiled on us, so before packing up we amused ourselves by throwing them
around to see them sail through the air. On this account we named the camp,
"Camp Flapjacks-all-around." After dinner we packed up and started back,
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
and by making a forced march we reached "Camp Hen" a little before dark.
On the way I killed a jack snipe.
First thing we heard when we woke up this morning was the patter of
rain on the tent roof. Rained so hard we could not build a fire to cook break-
fast, so had to eat some cold things left over from supper last night. It rained
hard most of the forenoon. When it let up Louie went hunting, Guy went
fishing, and I stayed in camp to make a shelter to cook under. Our failure
to cook our breakfast this morning on account of the rain put me in mind
of a shelter for our camp fire, when this was finished I patched some holes
in my pants. When I was finishing my tailor job, Louie come back from his
hunting trip empty handed, then we all went fishing. We only caught brim.
Louie got fifteen, Guy got fifteen, and I seven. For some reason I was not
much of a fisherman today. Went down the creek in the afternoon. Guy
killed a gator and I killed a white heron that did not have a plume. A possum
got in my plume box last night and destroyed two blue plumes.
Went down to the nesting place that we shot out on our way up, we
found the birds nearly all gone. I managed to kill one. Guy killed an
alligator on the way down. On our way back we stopped to fish for brim.
Louie and Guy caught forty five and I seventeen, they were very small,
otherwise we would have had more fish than we could eat. On our return
to camp we commenced to load our boats and get things ready to leave for
the Bonton in the morning.
Got an early start this morning. We had a very hard time in the lettuce
and did not get to Camp Lettuce until after dark. By the time we had made
camp and cooked supper it was quite late. Beds were hastily made and we
tumbled in, very tired after our hard days work pushing through that lettuce.
Today is Sunday, and we slept late not intending to move on today,
but rest and clean up. Stayed in camp all day, washed our clothes, picked
some huckleberries and made sauce with them. It was a calm clear day, not a
bit of wind in the forenoon. I saw an alligator about a quarter of a mile
west of camp and of course in the lake. I commenced to call it by making a
noise like a young gator. It came right up to us and Guy killed it. Soon after
this we saw another, called it up and killed it, kep this up until Guy had
killed three and I two, making five in all that came up to us to be killed.
I ate all of my huckleberries sauce for supper. Louie and Guy saved theirs
for next day. I cooked some flapjacks to have for breakfast so we can get
an early start in the morning. After we had turned in I heard something rattle
a spoon among my dishes, got up to see what it was, found a possum had been
eating my flapjacks, and ate up all of the boys' sauce, and they never had a
taste of it. Will not repeat what they said when they found their sauce was
gone. Almost forgot to say Louie killed three coots, and I killed one. After
running the possum off we went back to bed, and slept good the rest of the
Up and off early this morning on our return journey to the Bonton.
Had another hard time of it. We thought to better ourselves and took a new
channel that did not pan out. Had to get out and haul our boats a long way.
We got into the main channel about noon, and arrived at the Bonton at
three oclock. Found everything all right on board of her. The tide was low and
not water enough to float her over a sand bar in the channel. We'll have to
wait for high water tomorrow before we can get her out of the creek into the
Hillsborough river. Our bunks felt good after such a long time in the swamps
and woods. Three weeks today since we left the Bonton on this hunt in the
When the tide came up today we poled the Boanton out into the river,
come to an anchor to eat our dinner. After dinner, as the river is too narrow
to sail with a head wind, we got under way again with our poles, and made
about one and a half miles down river when the tide went so low we run
hard and fast aground in mid channel, so there was nothing to do but wait
for high water. Rigged up our canoes and went sailing for fun, and we had
plenty for the wind was fresh, and the water shallow so we were not afraid of
a capsize. The tide not coming up until some time in the night we wait for
high water tomorrow.
Bonton hard aground water not coming up enough at high tide to float
her. Went down to the inlet in our canoes. It was quite rough outside, and we
thought it would be fun to go out in the surf with the boats just to see how
much they could stand. We had a fine time jumping around out there. My
canoe shipped one sea and wet me all over. Louie got his back wet and some
water in his boat. Come back inside and went fishing in the mouth of cypress
creek. Caught thirteen mangrove snapper, three sea bass or red fish, and
one jewfish, returned to the Bonton, and had fish stew for supper. The
Bonton is hard aground at bed time.
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
It begins to look as if the water would never come up enough to float
the Bonton again, she is still hard and fast on the bottom today. Went down
to the inlet today. The sea was very smooth. Went out on the bar where I
speared a large baracuda which was four or five feet long. He put up a pretty
strong fight, and bled quite freely from the spear wound. Soon as I had it
in the boat a bunch of sharks, smelling the blood came rushing around; I
slapped on the water with my spear to scare them away, as I thought one of
them might take a notion to bite through the canvas bottom of my canoe.
One of the sharks rushed up and grabbed the spear. When he felt the steel
on his teeth he dropped it quick and made for the open sea as fast as he
could go; in less than three minutes there was not a shark in sight. After this
little excitement we went down a long shallow bay or sort of sound south
of the inlet, and in the south end on the land side we found a lot of the
finest oysters we had ever seen. One was extremely large, and after taking
the oysters out of the shell I asked Guy to try his foot in it. It fit nicely, and
Guy had a fair sized foot for a boy of sixteen. On our return to the Bonton
found her afloat at last. We at once got out our poles and pushed her down
to the inlet where there is water enough to float her at all times. We had a
grand oyster stew for supper, nothing else but oysters, and we did not feel the
least bit hungry at bed time.
Up early this morning to see what the chances were for a trip down the
coast to Miami. The chance was good, a fine northwest wind was blowing,
and the sea smooth. After breakfast we hauled the Falcon on board, and
lashed her down, gave the Ibis more towline, and made everything as secure
as possible on board the Bonton. At nine oclock we hoisted the sails of the
Bonton and sailed out the inlet on to old ocean. Passed Fort Lauderdale
House of Refuge at eleven oclock, and New River Inlet shortly after. When
off Baker's Haulover at the head of Biscayne Bay, Louie discovered the Ibis
was nearly a mile astern of us, drifting out to sea. She had broken her towline,
and we had not noticed it. We of course had to come about and go back and
pick her up which delayed us quite a bit. Passed Biscayne House of Refuge
at three oclock. When within three miles of Norris Cut we were struck by
a heavy squall from the south and southwest. Close reefed the mainsail and
come to an anchor near the shore. We rode out the storm all right and after
it had passed the wind was light, but the sea rather rough. Set full sail and
made for the inlet which we reached a little after dark. I knew the way in
however, having crossed this bar twenty two times to date, but we could not
get in Biscayne Bay except by daylight so we anchored for the night in the
inlet. We trolled down the coast and caught a king fish and a baracuda.
When we got up this morning the tide was running out and was getting
lower all the time. We have to have high water to get over the flats into the
bay. The tide would not be high until afternoon so we took things easy and
loafed on board. Got underway about two o'clock with a very light wind,
run over to Miami a distance of about four miles. When we arrived found the
schooner Neff anchored in the river. Guy and myself went up to Wagner's
place, which is three miles up the Miami river, to see when Mr. Chevelier
wants to start on our cruise to the Keys and Gulf Coast. Mr. Chevelier said
he thought he would be ready to start next week. When Guy and I returned
to the Bonton we talked the matter over with Louie. We did not want to lie
around doing nothing, so decided to go up the river into the Everglades, and
hunt for plume birds. Although in the Indian part of the glades we believed
we could find a few. Before going to bed we called on Dennis O'Neil, captain
of the schooner Neff.
Sunday and of course we were not in any hurry to get out of bed this
morning. Just after breakfast a small steam boat went by going up the river,
her name was Chimo. About ten o'clock we got underway up the river to
Wagner's where we soon arrived and tied up to their little dock on the north
side of the river. After dinner we made a call on Wagners which consists of
father and mother, son and grandson. Mr Wagner is an old German, his wife
a French creole. William the son is about twenty seven years old. Henry the
grandson is seventeen. William and Henry are going with us on our coast
trip. William will be man-of-all-work, and cook. Henry is the taxidermist. Mr.
Chevelier is French and cannot talk good English. All his talk is a sort of
Pigeon English which is very amusing to listen to. He had an accident last
fall. His gun went off and shot a hole through the middle of his right hand,
he has only two fingers and a thumb left on that hand. The hand is still sore
and he cannot use it. He shoots by resting his gun over his right elbow. When
we start down the coast from here, Louie and Guy will go in company with
us part of the way in their own boat the Ibis, and when they think they have
gone far enough they will return home in her, while I will continue the cruise
with my new people. I do not expect to get home before the last of summer.
Mr. LeChevelier is a naturalist and we are going on a bird collecting trip.
Pelican skins are the main object of the trip, plumes next, also cormorant
skins, in fact all kinds of birds. Mr. Chevelier has a market for all of them
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
in Paris. He gets fifty cents for the pelican skins, twenty five cents for sea
swallows or least tern, $10. for great white heron, and $25. for flamingo
skins. Great white herons are scarce, and flamingos more so. If it was not for
that we would soon make the old man rich.
Did not do anything today except get ready for our trip to the Ever-
glades tomorrow. I have promised to return here at the end of five days when
Mr. Chevelier expects to be ready to start on our cruise. William and Henry
are to pilot us a mile or so into the glades. And although they have lived
here all their lives, they know nothing about them farther than this.
Started up river early this morning. William and Henry in company with
us in an Indian canoe. In a short time we arrived at the falls or rapids.
There is a fall of about six feet in fifty at this place. The water rushing down
to the river from the glades over a rock bottom. The only way we could get
our boats up the rapids was by getting out on the rocky bank and hauling
them up by hand. A tough pull we had of it too. By hard work we soon had
all the boats in the calm waters of the Everglades. About a mile west from the
rapids William and Henry turned back saying, they did not know the way
any farther, and could not help us any by going on.
There was a fine east wind, and as we were going in a general westerly
direction the wind was directly behind us most of the time. The Ibis had
two leg-o-mutton sails while the Falcon carried a large lateen, the yard of
which was fifteen feet long. Soon as the Wagners left us, we hoisted sails and
bore away to the west, into the great Everglades, nothing but water, saw
grass, and small swampy islands in every direction, except behind us,
farther than we could see, in fact the glades at this point reach almost to the
waters of the gulf of Mexico. We had a good deal of dodging about on our
journey west. The Falcon was a little the fastest on account of her large sail
and light draft. After a time I came upon a long heavy bank of saw grass
barring my way to the west, but plenty of open water north and south. I
come into the wind and drifted until the Ibis come up. We decided to run
south along the saw grass looking for a channel leading to the next open
s This adds another interesting eye-witness report to the several existing accounts of
the rapids of the Miami River. The rapids were located just west of the present
N. W. 27th Avenue bridge. They were destroyed in 1910 during early stages of the
dredging of the Miami Canal (See: Parker, Garald G., et al. 1955. Water resources
of Southeastern Florida. U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1255, pp. 581-
584, and figure 166).-WBR
water, which we could see by standing on our decks. So we filled away to
the south keeping a sharp lookout under our lea. Soon I spied a small burn
where the grass had been fired not many days before, and headed for it.
When we come up to the burn, found it marked a narrow channel leading
through to open water beyond. We found later on that all the channels we
came to through these saw grass banks were marked by a burn, done no
doubt by the Indians to mark them. With only a short stop for dinner, we kept
on our way to the west. About three o'clock I had left the Ibis far behind and
out of sight, and on sailing around a point of saw grass found a large
floating Island blocking the channel. It was composed of mud and rotten lily
roots. The wind was blowing fresh and the Falcon making good time so I
thought by sailing right at it and with a little help with the oars the boat
would go through all right, but I did not dream how quickly it would happen.
When the boat hit the island she slipped out on top of those rotten and
slippery roots, and fairly flew over them into the open water on the other
side. I sailed on a ways and waited, under the lea of a saw grass point, for
the boys to catch up with me. Well I waited for nearly an hour and was on
the point of lowering my sail and poling back to hunt for them when they
came sailing along around the point. When they come up I asked, "What in
the world kept you so long?" Doggone you," said Louie, "it was your fault,
we come to that floating Island, saw your boat track over it, and thought
we could go where you did, but stuck right in the middle of it. We could
not get overboard, and when we tried to push with the oars they would go
right through into deep water underneath. We were over half an hour
getting over that darned floating island."a
Late in the afternoon the pine woods on dry land behind us was a faint
blue line on the horizon. Near sunset we come to a small nesting place. Louie
killed two white herons, I killed five and one Louisiana heron. Guy was sick
and did not try to shoot. As it was supper time we looked around for a place
1 Mention in this section of floating islands, deep water, and the absence of any dry
land to camp on in the southeastern Everglades in the second week of April, 1885,
shows better than any statistics how profound were the changes caused by drainage.
At the same season in even the wettest of recent years this area has had little
remaining surface water. More commonly, it has been completely dry and swept by
wild fires much earlier in the winter. The few existing data (Fla. Division of Water
Survey and Research. 1948. Observed rainfall in Florida. Water Surv. and Res. Paper
No. 1) suggest that the peninsula had about average rainfall in the period May 1,
1884-May 1, 1885, and no hurricanes are known to have affected Florida in the
1884 season (See: Dunn, Gordon E. and Banner I. Miller. 1960. Atlantic Hurricanes.
Table 29, p. 298).-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
to build a fire so far we had not seen any. Went into the best looking
island, and found the ground a regular bog. We managed to build a fire and
cook our supper by laying green bushes on the mud and building our fire
on them. Just after sunset the sky become overcast with heavy black clouds,
and by the time we had finished supper it began to rain. We rigged up the
tents on our boats, and crawled in for the night.
Clear and bright about this morning. After breakfast we went into the
rookery. Louie killed four white herons and I killed three. I also killed a
cormorant and speared a leather back turtle. Guy still sick. I gave him ten
drops of laudanum, he slept so long, and hard I was scared about him for a
time, but when he awoke about dark he was much better. We stayed by the
rookery most of the day until we found there was not any more birds to
kill, so moved on south about a mile and tied up for the night alongside of
a small Island, sleeping in our boats of course for I do not believe there is a
bit of dry land nearer than the main land fifteen miles away.
Starting east this morning, but not having the fine fair wind we come
out with we are not moving near so fast, and too, over an entirely different
route, so that we have to hunt our way as we go along the best we can.
Sometimes we feel certain we are in the right channel, only after going
perhaps half a mile to find that ends in a regular cul-de-sac, and then have
to turn around, and go all the way back to start anew. About noon we come to
a fine nesting place, or in other words, a series of nesting places. There were
four or five islands well filled with birds and nests, in fact more birds than
we had yet seen this year. We poled up to the nearest island, and as usual all
the birds flew away. We hid in the bushes waiting for them to return, but
they would not come. They appeared to know we stood there ready to shoot
them. I suggested that Guy take the boats away about a quarter of a mile
saying, "I do not believe the birds can count, and will think we have left the
island, and will then return to their nests." Sure enough as soon as Guy was
a good distance away with the boats, here they come back, and what was
strange, they did not appear to be frightened but very little by the noise of the
guns. When we shot they would fly away a short distance and immediately
return. Louie killed seven and I killed nine. By the time we had done this it
was late in the afternoon, and as we had to fix the skins, and plumes in a
special manner to suit Mr. Chevelier, it took quite a time to prepare them
in that way, so we signaled Guy to return and take us off the island. We went
to another island about half a mile away, so the birds would not be afraid
of us, and fixed our plumes.
The way Mr. Chevelier wanted us to do was this, commence about half
way up the neck and skin down to the tail, taking all the skin of the body,
and out to the first joint of the wing, then rub the skin with corn meal and
stretch them with small sticks until dry. The skins would dry in a few
minutes, but it took much longer to prepare them than our way, which was
to skin the back where the plume was only, and let it lie in the sun without
stretching until dry, in fact our old way was much after the Indians manner
of scalping a man to a certain extent. That night we found an old bay tree
stump, on the island, that was enough out of water to build a fire on and
cook our supper. After supper we put up our boat tents and turned in.
After a late getup this morning, and a later breakfast, we went back to
the rookery for more plumes. Guy was feeling so much better he also took a
hand in the shooting. I was sitting in the bushes waiting for the birds to
come, when one settled in the bush not more than ten feet above me, it
stretched its neck to get a better look at me, I shot at the neck and cut it clean
off, the head fell on the mud at my feet. Louie killed eleven birds, Guy killed
eight, and I killed nineteen. It took us all the rest of the day to prepare the
skins and dry them. We would like to stay here until we have killed all the
birds, but I have promised to be back at Wagner's at the end of five days,
and that will be tomorrow night so we will have to start early in the morning
in order to get there on time.
Underway soon this morning headed east for the Miami river. While
on the way Louie caught two terrapin, and I caught one and a leather back
turtle. Had quite a fight with the leatherback and had to use my big hunting
knife on him. After the "scrap" I left the knife on the stern deck of my canoe
to dry, that was the last I saw of it, suppose the grass brushed it overboard
while going through some narrow channel. We did not return down the
Miami river by way of the Rapids, but took the south fork called Wilsons
Creek. It was good dark when we ran alongside of the Bonton at Wagner's
landing. Found everything all right on board of her.
We certainly enjoyed our supper and beds on the Bonton last night.
As today is Sunday it is wash day with us. Spent the first part of the fore-
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
noon in washing and cleaning up generally. Tried fishing alongside the
Bonton. Caught a few brim and catfish. The catfish we killed and threw
overboard, they are an awful nuisance to the fisherman. Mr. Chevelier and
Henry came down to inspect the Bonton this morning. They were well pleased
with the looks of what will be their home for the next three months or more.
After supper all hands went up to the house and spent the evening talking
over our plans for the trip. We all look forward with much pleasure to this
trip among the Florida Keys and the Ten Thousand Isles of the west coast,
except Louie and Guy, they, poor fellows, will soon have to return home in
the Ibis, and it will be a long and rather dangerous trip for them in that
little boat. Seventy miles on the broad Atlantic, with only two harbors, New
River, and Hillsborough Inlets. However they can run on the beach at any
time if the sea gets too rough. We cannot start from here until the mail boat
comes in from Key West as Mr. Chevelier expects some important mail on
her. There is a heavy north easter blowing, and we expect the boat will be
late in consequence.
Louie and Guy took their belongings from the Bonton this morning and
stored them in the Ibis, then went down the river to Miami expecting to
precede us down Biscayne Bay. I felt lonesome after the boys left, and went
to work so that I would not think about being alone. Put everything in first
class order for the trip, or at least for a start as they will have to be put in
shape many times before we get home again. Two Indians passed by on their
way to Brickell's store at Miami, asked them how many plumes they had, one
said he had twenty five, the other Indian said he had not found any. As
there is but very little fresh water to be got on the keys, and sometimes a
long distance to go to get it, we had to increase our water carrying facilities
in addition to the kegs we have been using, so William procured a good sized
cask which we installed today, making a cradle for it to lie on, and then
lashing it to the floor. I killed a cormorant this morning.
William walked down to Miami this morning and returned with the
discouraging news, "The mail boat has not arrived," and our trip again
delayed. Henry and I went cormorant shooting, shooting them as they fly by
to and from the Bay by way of the river. Henry killed seven and I killed
seven. I made a stew out of two of them, and let me tell you right here, I
don't like cormorant as a food. Louie and Guy returned from Miami today.
The wind was too heavy, and the Bay too rough for them to venture on it.
As there was nothing else for us to do today, we amused ourselves by
shooting cormorants or rather by shooting at them. There was, Louie and Guy,
William and Henry, Adam Richards, William's Brother-in-law, and myself.
The birds were wild and flew high. The whole bunch of us only killed two.
William went to Miami again and returned with the long looked for mail.
We leave tomorrow sure. Louie and Guy pulled out this afternoon. They want
a good start of us as the Ibis does not sail near as fast as the Bonton.
Started at last. Left Wagner's at nine oclock this morning. The wind was
right ahead, and the river too narrow to beat to windward, so we poled nearly
all the way to Miami. Managed to sail a little on some of the bends. Come
to anchor in mouth of river. Mr. Chevelier, William, and Henry, went on
shore to Brickell's store to say good bye and get some things we were in need
of. As soon as they came back on board, we weighed anchor and sailed out
on to Biscayne Bay headed south for Black Point fifteen miles away. As we
passed out the river Edith (Alice) Brickell was standing on the south shore,
and called to me, "Do you want me to send your mail to Key West?" Of
course I did. We expect to find cormorants nesting at Black Point, also Louie
and Guy will meet us there, at least they said they would wait there for us.
The wind was still very fresh, from northeast, and the Bonton carried a
"Big Bone in her teeth". We arrived at the Point at two o'clock. As we rounded
into smooth water behind the Point, there was Louie and Guy waiting for us
in the Ibis, also a small rookery of cormorants. After letting go our anchor
and making everything snug for the night, we got into the small boats and
went into the rookery, Henry killed eighteen, William six, Mr. Chevelier
seven, and I twelve. We returned to the Bonton at dark. Louie and Guy
made the Ibis fast to the Bonton and spent the night with us. Mr. Chevelier
did not want to sleep in the cabin, so I hoisted the main boom about four
feet above the cabin top, and put up my large tent under it, made his bed
inside with the cabin deck for a mattress, just a quilt between him and the
boards. When he crawled in to go to bed he said, "My bed commence very
tough this time." He uses the word "tough" when he means, hard.
Louie and Guy left us this morning, going they do not know where
except they are headed south looking for plume birds, we don't know when
we shall see them again. After breakfast bird skinning commenced on the
birds killed last night. Henry had a folding table that was mounted on the
forward deck, and on this he did the skinning, and Mr. Chevelier helped him
by holding the bird with his well hand. Meantime William placed some
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
1 x 12 boards on top of the cabin, then mixed some lime and water in a
gallon can. Soon as the bird was skinned, William placed the skin on the
boards, feather side down and stretched it with nails, nailing it down to
the boards, then with a paint brush painted it with the lime water. They soon
dried in the sun, and then were stowed away under the forward deck to remain
until we reach Key West when they will be taken out, packed in a box and
shipped to Paris. After the skins dried and were stowed away, we got under-
way and run down to the eastern key of the Arsnicker Keys. We could see
the birds sitting on the mangroves on the north side of the key. Run up as
close as we could go in the Bonton, and that was about half a mile from the
key, the rest of the distance was a soft mud bank covered with about six
inches of water. Before we got within shooting distance all the birds flew
away. I managed to kill a Louisiana heron. Just before sundown we went
back to the key again, saw a lot of man-of-war birds and cormorants on the
western key. We went over there, Henry killed a pelican and a man-of-war
bird, as there was not any more birds we went back to the other key where
I killed a redish egret. It was now nearly dark so we returned to the Bonton
where we found Louie and Guy. They had not found any plume birds, and
as there was not any dry land on the keys to camp on, they come to spend
the night with us. The weather today has been of the finest kind.
Underway soon this morning and run over to the western key. All
hands except Mr. Chevelier went on the key to shoot birds. The Bonton was
anchored directly in front of us, about a quarter of a mile distant. After
we had shot a few times Mr. Chevelier called to us, we looked and saw him
standing holding his hat, and pointing at it saying, "The best you lookoot,
some shot come str-r-aight on my hat." We had been shooting up, and some
of the shot had fallen on his hat. After two or three hours in the mangroves
we returned on board. Henry had killed two cormorants, Louie three, Guy
four, and I four. The birds were skinned after dinner. Late in the afternoon
we went back to the key. Louie and Guy killed two cormorants, and three
Louisiana herons, Henry killed four cormorants, and one Louisiana heron.
I killed six cormorants and three Louisiana herons. When we returned on
board it was dark so we remained at anchor all night.
After breakfast we got under way for the south, having killed the most
of the birds here. The wind was very light from the east, and the mud bank
on the south of us stretched away to the east as far as we could see, so we
hauled on the wind, and commenced beating to windward, looking for a
channel through the bank into Card Sound. I went up the mast to the cross-
trees, and standing on them looked hard for some kind of a channel through
the bank. After beating about two miles I discovered a very narrow and
crooked channel that I thought would take us through. The entrance was in
the shape of a letter "U", starting in in a northeast direction and then
turning around to southwest. It was so narrow we had to pole through this
bend when the turn of the channel gave us a fair wind the rest of the way,
and we soon entered Card Sound which is a beautiful expanse of the clearest
blue water, about five miles wide and twelve miles long, not over ten feet
deep in the deepest places. Not many fish out in the sound, but sponges, sea
fans, and sea feathers growing on the bottom everywhere. Around the shores
of the keys, and under the overhanging mangroves, a good many fish can
be found, mostly mangrove snapper, baracuda, bone fish, and sometimes
crayfish, or crawfish as they are called here, can be got with a spear. We
sailed right through the middle of the sound, with a good breeze over the port
quarter, and making about seven miles an hour.
The bright sunshine, the sparkling waves, and the white clouds passing
over head their under sides tinged with green, reflected color from the water
of the sound, made a picture never to be forgotten.
As we sailed along Mr. Chevelier talked about France, and gave us a
short lesson in French, said he, "The time a man see Paree, tis ready to die."
A little later I sighted tall stakes ahead, and soon after saw a band that
reached clear across the sound. The stakes marked a channel which was very
deep, and full of fish, mostly all mangrove snapper. After passing through
this channel we were again in deep water for about a mile when we ran into
a shallow place full of grassy bumps. This shallow reached out from a point
on Key Largo. Soon after passing this point of shoals we sighted a lot of
cormorants and man-of-war birds flying over a small mangrove island away
to the southwest. We run over there, and anchored near by the rookery
which was on the end of a point reaching away out into the sound from the
northwest. We found only cormorants nesting here, we killed twenty of
them, and one man-of-war bird. Henry and I went fish spearing, he got a
grouper and I a baracuda.
Skinned the cormorants and dried the skins this morning. Not a bit of
wind, and sun very hot. Louie and Guy left us, going on ahead still looking for
plume birds. Near noon Henry and I went into the rookery again. He killed
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
seven cormorants and I killed six. Later on I speared a drum fish, and
shot at an eagle but did not hit it. Henry also killed two gulls. After
dinner Mr. Chevelier asked me if there was fresh water enough to last
two days. I sounded the water cask, and found there was barely enough to
last one day. We at once hoisted sail for Little River, a small fresh water
creek on the main land west of the Arsnicker Keys in Biscayne Bay. A little
after dark we anchored off the mouth of the creek.
A dead calm this morning. Just after sunrise William served coffee
and bread to us, then we up anchor and poled into Little River, and up the
stream about half a mile. The tide was low and we soon reached fresh water,
filled up everything that would hold water, then poled out of the river. Kept
poling for about five miles before the wind come enough for us to sail. The
water in this part of the bay is not more than three feet deep at low water,
and this morning was as clear and smooth as a piece of glass. When the wind
come it was right ahead for us, in other words, from the southeast. We had
to beat all the way back to the rookery where we started from yesterday,
arrived there a little before dark. William and Henry went to shoot cormor-
ants while I cooked supper. They returned at dark with two. Weather is still
of the very best, no mosquitoes yet.
Went into the rookery again this morning. William killed two, Henry
ten, and I eleven. Henry also killed a Louisiana heron. Brought the birds on
board, Henry went to skinning them with Mr. Chevelier's help. William and
I returned to shoot some more. William killed three and I killed five. After
this we got under way and run over to the mouth of Jewfish Creek. Wind and
tide both ahead strong. Come to an anchor to wait for a change in one or
both. Just after we had made everything snug and shipshape for the night,
here came the Ibis out of the creek. Louie and Guy were on their way home
at last. They came alongside, and stopped all night with us. They had been as
far south as Pigeon Key, and had made a stop on Key Largo at Mr Low's
place, here they saw their first wild flamingo. It was flying high out of
range of their guns, but they had a fine view of the beautiful bird as it
passed over the key going west. Henry and I took a little trip around the
mouth of the creek in the Falcon. Henry killed a green heron, and speared a
baracuda and a sheephead. I killed a pelican.
Louie and Guy left us right after breakfast. We will not see them again
this trip as they are going as straight home as the weather will permit. Soon
as they had left us we up anchor and poled through the creek. There was not
a bit of wind. When we reached Black Water Bay we kept on poling until
we come to a rock shore on the east side. We landed here, William made a
fire on shore and cooked our breakfast. Meantime Henry went after crawfish
with a spear. He was gone but a short time when he returned with four
crawfish, one of them the largest I ever saw. Its tail alone would have weighed
at least a pound. After breakfast the wind come up from the south. We sailed
nearly due west across Black Water Bay, and through a narrow channel into
Barnes Sound7 where it was, "Water water everywhere and not a drop fit to
drink," light green in color except where the tide or fish have roiled it, then
it is milk white. All the mud around the keys is pure white, looks and feels
like white lead. Little green islands everywhere, some close together others
miles apart, some of them a mere speck in the green distance for every-
thing here is green in calm weather, even the under side of the white clouds
are green, reflected from the water. In windy weather the color changes to
white, everything white except the trees on the islands. Owing to its shallow
water, and long roundabout way to the ocean, and Gulf, the water of Barnes
Sound is very salt which is caused by extreme evaporation in the hot sun8,
and I can tell you the sun is hot here in a calm in mid summer. Have seen
a small fish lying on the deck, cook perfectly soft in a short time by the
sun. We have to keep throwing water on the decks to keep them from cracking
open, they get so hot we cannot walk on them with bare feet unless we keep
them wet, and we all go barefooted on board. Shoes are a bother on a small
craft like the Bonton, especially in hot weather. We only put them on when
we go on shore.
Soon as we were in Barnes Sound we hauled on the wind, and beat up to
two small islands- that a lot of birds were flying around. On going on the
islands we found cormorants, man-of-war birds, and Louisiana herons nesting
there. William killed sixteen, Henry four, and I killed twelve cormorants, one
Louisiana heron, one redish egret, and two man-of-war birds. We found one
* The "narrow channel" referred to apparently is the pass at the middle west side of
Blackwater Sound now called "The Boggles" and the larger body of water entered
was Northeastern Florida Bay, not the present Barnes Sound (See: U. S. Coast and
Geodetic Survey Chart 1249, "Fowey Rocks to Alligator Reef").-WBR
This passage testifies to the author's acute observation. Recent studies (by Robert
N. Ginsburg, et al.) have shown that the salinity of the enclosed northeastern section
of Florida Bay is subject to wide fluctuation, and at times may exceed normal sea
Ornithological details suggest that this locality probably was Porjoe Key, although
only one island exists in the area at present.-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
nest of eggs of the man-of-war bird. Heard a lot of shooting to the southeast
of us. We remained here all night at anchor. No mosquitoes, weather fine.
Wind S.S.W. clear and fair. Heard guns again to the southwest. Put in
the forenoon taking care of the birds we killed yesterday. Had every one
cured and stowed away by dinner time. Underway again in the afternoon
for Pigeon Key. Passed a small sloop bound north, they hailed us and wanted
to know how far it was to Miami, we told them about fifty miles. Was doing
some guessing at that as we did not know for sure just how far it was. Saw a
small sharpie away to the westward, she heading northwest.
Arrive at Pigeon Key a little before sundown, and anchored off the
north side of the key. We took a turn around the key in the Falcon before
dark. William killed two cormorants, two Louisiana herons, and one green
heron. I killed three Louisiana herons. A small squall struck us a little after
dark, and we dragged anchor about a hundred yards when the anchor fluke
caught in a hole in the rock and held. The bottom is smooth rock, and an
anchor will not hold unless the fluke catches in a hole. The water is about
six feet deep where we are tonight. Fine weather and no mosquitoes so far.
Calm and hot at sunrise. There is a nice sand beach on the northeast
side of the key, so we took our cooking outfit on shore and cooked our
breakfast there. After breakfast we carried everything on board again, then
with guns in hand went on the key to see what we could kill. Henry killed
two red wing blackbirds, I killed one red wing and two white eyed blackbirds.
These two kinds of blackbirds, and a great gray flycatcher are the only birds
to be found on the key at this time. Later in the season a large blue pigeon
with a white crest comes here to nest, they are called Key West pigeons by
the people living on the keys, although the pigeons come here from the
Island of Barbados during the summer to raise their young. In the afternoon
Henry and I made another trip on and around the key. Henry killed three
flycatchers, and I killed five. On returning to the Bonton the birds were
skinned, skins prepared and stored away. Supper cooked and "also stored
away", then all hands turned in for the night. In good weather and calm
nights I make my bed on the forward deck, tying the corners of my mosquito
bar to the rigging. Mr. Chevelier has slept on the cabin top ever since we
started on the trip. The weather is calm, clear and warm tonight.
A fine breeze from the north this morning. After coffee and hard tack
we got under way and said good bye to Pigeon Key not to see it again for
many weeks. Sailed about one mile south, discovered a mud bank in our
way, stretching out in front of us from southeast to northwest as far as we
could see.xo There were two large flocks of flamingoes on the bank, but they
took wing when we were at least a half mile from them, and did not give
us any chance for a shot at them. Still no channel through the bank in sight.
We hauled on the wind to the northwest along the bank, looking for a chance
to get through. William took the tiller, and I went up the mast and stood
on the cross trees. At last I saw a shallow channel through the bank and
called to William to head for it. The channel was small and very shallow,
we bumped and scraped the bottom but did not stick, and were soon in deep
water on the other side.
Our fine breeze now began to give out on us. About one o'clock Indian
Key came in sight right ahead of us, a small island with a few tall cocoanut
trees growing on it. We now entered a wide deep channel with a swift current
as the tide was on the ebb running into the Atlantic between upper and lower
Matecumbe Keys, and to the north and east of Indian Key that lies a little
outside of the regular line of keys. Soon we were on the out side or Atlantic
side of the keys, but we did not want to stay there as our water supply was
getting low, and Mr. Chevelier said there was a well on the upper end of
Lower Matecumbe where we could "fill up." So into the next channel, that
run along the north shore of Indian Key, we went with the full force of the
ebb tide against us now as this channel comes from the Bay of Florida,
passes Lignum Vitae on the south and west, and close along the upper end
of lower Matecumbe Key. The wind kept getting lighter all the time and we
just managed to reach our anchoring place before it gave out altogether.
The tide was dead low, and we could not get near the well with the small
boat, so William rolled the barrel over the mud flat to the well, and filled
it while I cooked supper on the shore. I went on shore to cook to save the
wood we carried on the Bonton, but it was tough work as there was too many
mosquitoes. They are bad here tonight. After filling the water cask we left
it at the well, and will get it in the morning when the water is high."
o10 Upper Cross Bank.-WBR
n The wells on Lower Matecumbe seem to have been known from the earliest times. In
his sailing directions, Bernard Romans (1775. A Concise Natural History of East and
West Florida. Appendix, p. XXXLV) writes "Next is Old Matacombe, remarkable
for being the most handy and best watering place on all this coast, on its east end
are 5 wells in the solid rock, said to be cut by savages, but to me they appear natural
chasms, they yield excellent water in abundance". This area has been much modified
by dredging and the exact site is no longer identifiable.-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
After breakfast we got our water cask on board, hoisted sail and started
for some keys that are about half way to Cape Sable, they are called on our
map Arsnicker Keys. We had a head tide and a light wind so we did not
get along very fast. Near Lignum Vitea Key we overhauled a small cat boat
with one man sailing her. We asked him where he was bound, and he answered,
"Cape Sable and the west coast." He also told us he was collecting
"Crustacea" for the Smithsonion Institute. He kept company with us the rest
of the day. Very light wind all the morning which was ahead for us, and
of course made very slow going. About noon we come to a key that had some
pelicans nesting on it. We come to an anchor in a sort or harbor with mud
banks on three sides of us. Outside of the two little keys near us there is
no other dry land within miles of us on any side, but the mud banks and
shallows keep it from being dangerous for small boats in bad weather. Cat
boat anchored near us. After dinner all hands went on shore in the small
boat. There was only a few nests, but a good many birds of various kinds
flying around and roosting on the mangroves. Henry killed nine pelicans
and one man-of-war bird. William two pelicans, and Mr. Chevelier two. I
killed fifteen pelicans, and one great white heron. The little Falcon carried
us four with our guns and the thirty dead birds at one trip. When we arrived
on board the Bonton it was too late to skin the birds, so we turned to and
cooked supper after which we went to bed.
The cat boat left us this morning, sailing on towards Cape Sable, we
never saw the boat or its captain again. First thing after breakfast Mr.
Chevelier, Henry and William went to work on the birds killed yesterday.
I am not feeling well today. While the rest worked on the skinning job I went
on the key looking for something to shoot, but last night's shooting was too
much for the birds, they had all gone to other islands. I killed the only one
I saw, a purple galinule. About sundown William took Henry and I to a key
which is about a quarter of a mile north of the one we had been shooting on.
When we got there found there was a lot of Louisiana herons nesting there
also some redish egrets, and white herons. Henry killed a great white heron,
and four redish egrets. William killed one egret. I killed seven redish egrets,
and one great blue heron.
There is one thing I can't understand about redish egrets, and Mr.
Chevelier could not explain it either. There are two kinds of birds called
redish egrets. One is a dark slate blue with redish brown feathers on neck
and head, the other is pure white all over. Both kinds are just alike in every
way except color. Found both kinds nesting and the young of both kinds
same color as the old birds.
The forenoon was spent in preparing and stowing away the skins of birds
killed yesterday. Mr. Chevelier seldom skins birds the same day they are
killed. If kept until the next day the blood does not run, and soil the feathers.
While eating our dinner we noticed the birds had come back to the key,
so soon as we had finished eating, and had washed the dishes, made another
try for them. They were quite wild and although we spent all the afternoon
on the key we only killed seventeen birds, as follows: Henry five pelicans,
William one cormorant and I ten pelicans and one cormorant.
About eight o'clock that night, after we bad gone to bed, a heavy squall
came down on us. In the middle of the rain, wind and darkness, one corner
of Mr. Chevelier's tent broke adrift. I jumped out and yelled to him, "Come
in the cabin out of the rain." But he was so frightened he could not under-
stand what I was saying. He sat up in bed with the rain blowing all over
him, and kept on yelling at me, "Look ot for your hot, look ot for your bot"
(Lookout for your boat). The squall was soon over, we fixed the tent in a
few minutes, and Mr. C crawled back to bed. Before turning in he found one
of his shoes had blown overboard during the squall.
First thing this morning we hunted for Mr. Chevelier's shoe that was
lost in the squall last night. Found it on the bottom near the stern of the
Bonton. Skins all prepared and stored away under forward deck by dinner
time. Late in the afternoon Henry, William, and I went after Louisiana
herons at their nesting place on the northern key. Henry killed eight, and I
killed eight. Returned to the Bonton at dark. As this place is about shot out,
we will continue on our journey to the Arsnicker Keys and Man-of-war
Underway early this morning, and arrived at the Arsnicker Keys about
noon. Our stay there short as there was not any birds of any kind on these
keys. We hoisted sail, and headed for Man-of-war Key just in sight to the
north of us. We arrived late in the afternoon and anchored for the night on
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
the southeast side of the key. Again we are disappointed in finding birds,
none here. Cape Sable and Sandy Key in sight from here2.
Hoisted all sail and underway early this morning for Long Key on the
other side of the Bay of Florida. Arrived off the lower end of the key late
in the afternoon. As our fresh water was getting low we went on shore to a
house that we saw had a large cistern. When we reached the house found it
locked and nailed up, and of course not any one around that we could ask
for water, but we had to have it if we had to take it without permission, in
other words, steal it. So over to the cistern tank we went only to find that
there was not any way to draw it. I managed with the help of William and
a pole, to climb to the top, and look in. It was nearly full. There I had to sit
until William went back to the Bonton for a pail and a piece of rope. When
he returned with the outfit one end of the rope was tied to the pail and the
other end thrown up to me. I filled the pail and lowered it down to William
who poured the water in the cask.
From my perch on the cistern rim I could see the wreck of a steamship
out on the reef. It appeared to have been there some time as it was a complete
wreck. We remained at anchor all night at this place.
Underway soon this morning with a light fair wind. Started across
Bahia Honda about ten o'clock not much wind, and very hot. About a mile
west of Knight's Key we passed the sharpie Zypher, Captain Richards of
Eden Indian River. This makes only the second boat that we have passed
since leaving Miami seventeen days ago. About two o'clock we come to a
little flat key, covered with grass and a few small bushes, on the west side
of Bahia, here we anchored for the balance of the day and night. Went
on the key and found quite a number of clapper rails running around in the
grass. I managed to kill one of them.
Underway with a light fair wind again this morning. Sailed down the
channel between Little and Big Pine Keys, and rounded the north end of
Torch Key. Stopped at a house on Torch Key and asked the people there
if they had a well where we could get some water. They said, "Yes, but it
12 Failure of the voyagers to find birds at Arsenicker and Man-O-War Keys suggests
that the more accessible outer islands of Florida Bay had already been subject to
raids by plume hunters. Both these keys today harbor large nesting aggregations of
Brown Pelicans, cormorants, and herons.-WBR
is full of Apes". We were much astonished at the answer to our question.
I asked the man over again thinking I had not understood him at first. "Yes"
he said, "but the well is full of Apes." I said, "Come on boys lets see what
these apes look like." When we come to the well there we saw the apes,
about a hundred large green bull frogs13. The water however was all right,
and we took enough to fill our cask, then on our way again.
About four o'clock we anchored at Johnsons Key Mangroves. Went
around the mangroves in the small boat. Mr. C killed two yellow crowned
night herons, one redish egret, and one clapper rail. William killed two
Louisiana herons, and one gull. I killed three yellow crowns, and one Key
West Pigeon, the first one I had ever killed and the first of the trip.
We passed eight sloops today, all outward bound from Key West. They
are in the stovewood and charcoal trade with the Island City.14 Johnsons Key
Mangroves,1 called by the Conchs, "Johnsonskey Mangus" are low mangrove
islands that flood at high tide, lying close to the large key called Johnsons
Key, hence the name. Mangus being short for mangroves. Nearly all the
large keys have one or more of these small mangrove islands near them, that
are always named after the large key, but instead of calling them island or
keys, they call them "Mangus."
Left Johnsons Key "Mangus" with a light head wind that changed to fair
late in the afternoon, but continued very light. We are on what is called
the inside channel from Bahia Honda to Key West. There are islands or
keys on every hand, and we have to keep a good look out all the time as we
work our way through narrow channels between mud banks and reefs of
The mud here is composed of powdered coral, and of course is very
white. When the anchor is pulled up, chunks of this mud stick to it, looking
13 Probably the leopard frog, Rana pipiens, which has been collected in such situations
on various of Lower Florida Keys, including Little Torch Key (Duellman, Win. E.
and Albert Schwartz. 1958. Amphibians and reptiles of Southern Florida. Bull. Fla.
State Museum, 3 (5): pp. 258-259.)-WBR
14 The effects upon the vegetation of the Florida Keys and lower Gulf Coast that must
have resulted from nearly a century of wood-cutting to supply the Key West charcoal
trade have been little appreciated by present-day students of the plant ecology of
is Johnston Key and Johnston Key Mangroves of present charts (See: U. S. C. and
G. S. Chart 1251).-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
very much like white lead, and is about as hard to wash off as white lead
would be. When there is any wind to stir up this mud the water becomes
as white as milk, and is very hard on the eyes.
Came in sight of Key West about four o'clock and anchored off John
Lowe's dock just before dark. As we were sailing in towards the channel
through the reef east of the harbor, I heard a bunch of boys, that were in
bathing, talking about us. Said one, "That boat has been here before."
Another asked, "How do you know that?" "Why" he answered, "Don't you
see she is headed right for that channel through the reef." But that boy was
partly mistaken, for I and the Bonton had never been here before. Mr.
Chevelier had however, and was telling me where to go. A squall in the
northwest made everything dark and gloomy, and a church bell kept
tolling as we sailed slowly in towards the harbor. As soon as we had anchored,
Mr. Chevelier who was very anxious to get his mail, went on shore for it,
but found the post office closed. After supper he went up town to see some
French friends of his. William and Henry went with him, while I remained
on board to keep ship.
Nothing doing today, kept ship all day while Mr. Chevelier looked after
his business, and William and Henry ran around town. I was disappointed
in not getting any mail. Thought sure I would hear from home, have been
out now over two months, and not heard a word from home. Heard the band
playing up town tonight.
Went up town with William about ten o'clock this morning. Went to L. W.
Pierce's dry goods store, and bought an outfit of clothes, black suit, shirts,
ties and underwear.
The mail schooner and the sloop Ada from Miami arrived today. Late
in the day there was a heavy squall from the east. The Ada dragged anchor
and went broadside on the sponge dock. I thought she was going to smash
as the seas were large and going clear over her, but the squall let up in time
to save her damage. A calm, cool night after the storm, but plenty of mosqui-
Keeping ship all day while the rest of the crew are on shore. William
and Henry came on board at supper time, and I took a row around the
harbor in the Falcon, when I returned to the Bonton William and Henry
went up town again. William has a girl up town named Caroline S, that is
the attraction for him, while Henry goes along to see the sights. This is the
first town or city that Henry has ever seen, having lived in the country near
Miami all of his seventeen years up to now.
The Mallory line steamer Lampassas docked this morning. Henry and I
went over to have a close by look at her. On our return to the Bonton Mr.
Chevelier wanted some goods from Cash's store, so Henry and I went back for
them. Went on shore with William tonight. Went to a restaurant and ordered
a steak, and although it was a tough Florida round, it tasted good to me as
it was the first fresh beef I had tasted in years. After washing this down with
a bottle of lemon pop we returned to the boat. On our way back we heard a
Cuban serenade that sounded good to me.
Sunday, William and Henry rigged out in their best went to church.
They are Catholic and of course went to that church. When they returned for
dinner they told me about the fine music they heard there, and about the big
pipe organ. Late in the afternoon Mr. C came on board and said he was
going to keep ship so that I could go and hear the music at the church. So
after supper William, Henry, and I went to the Catholic church. The music
was sure fine, the best singing I had ever heard, although it was in Latin and
of course we could not understand a word, but it was fine just the same.
And the organ was great, when on the deep bass notes, the old church would
shiver from top to bottom. We returned to the boat at about ten o'clock and
Our preparations are about complete for our trip up the Gulf Coast,
but some important mail that Mr. Chevelier is looking for has not arrived
so we are going on a short hunting cruise of a week or so through the keys
as far as Bahia Honda. By that time we hope everything will be ready for us
to sail for the west coast.
Underway about nine this morning. Stopped at Captain Cary's place,
which is just out of town on the east. Mr. Chevelier had some business with
him. Then underway again for "Johnsonkey Mangus"ie where we arrived
about noon. After dinner we got into the Falcon and went around the man-
groves looking for birds. William killed six Louisiana herons. Henry killed
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
one night heron, and I killed one also six Louisiana herons. This about
cleaned up the birds at this place. Mr. Chevelier and Henry skinned the birds
before supper. Lay here at anchor all night.
Underway again after breakfast. Sailed about four miles to the east-
ward, came to a small key that had birds nesting on it. Anchored, launched
the small boat and went after the birds. William killed seven yellow crowned
night herons and one great white heron. Henry killed two night herons, and
Mr. C killed four. I killed five herons, and four Louisiana herons.
After breakfast next morning, skinned and prepared all the skins of birds
killed yesterday, then got underway again and run over to Torch Key man-
groves where we could see birds flying in and out. There is a wide mud flat
around these mangrove islands, about two hundred yards wide at this place,
with only about a foot of water on it at half tide which was the condition
when we got there. Around all these islands there is a deep channel close
to the bushes so I made the attempt to sail over the mud to the deep water
near the bushes. There was a good wind blowing, and the old boat never
stopped, although very near it at times, until ue reached the deep water.
Mr. Chevelier said, "The Bong Tong the best ah boat in Florida." We lowered
sail and dropped anchor close to the bushes. Some would say, we should
anchor first and then lower sail. But in this case we would not as there was
not room to round up to the wind. Made everything snug as we intend to
spend the night here. After dinner went on the island. Henry killed four
pelicans, three egrets, and one night heron. William killed two pelicans,
one egret, one Louisiana heron, three night herons, one green heron, and
one Key West pigeon. I killed three redish egrets, five yellow crowned night
herons, two Louisiana herons, and five pelicans. By this time it was so dark
we had to stop and go back to the boat, then supper and bed.
After "coffee" this morning we went back to the "mangus" for more
birds. William killed seven Louisiana herons, and one pelican. Henry killed
one pelican, three cormorants, two Louisiana herons, and one night heron.
Mr. Chevelier killed three night herons. I killed two pelicans, two Louisiana
herons, and ten cormorants. Afternoon spent in skinning and preparing the
skins of birds killed yesterday.
Coffee first thing this morning, then work on the skins of birds killed
yesterday. After breakfast (which happens about ten o'clock) Mr. Chevelier,
Henry, and I went to see if there were any birds left on the island. Mr. C
killed three mangrove cookoos, and two Key West pigeons. Henry and I did
not get a shot.
On our return to the Bonton found the tide was high so we got underway
and sailed over the mud bank all right without sticking. Anchored off the
northern end of Big Pine Key, and went on shore and filled our water cask
at a well we found there. The water is not good and not very fresh but is
the best we can get here. We sailed on and anchored for the night under the
lea of Big Spanish Key. No birds worth while on this key. We did not find
anything to shoot.
May 23rd. Just one month today from Miami. After coffee and hard
tack we up anchor and started over to another key that lies well out in the
Bay of Florida. We saw twelve great white herons on this key, but they were
very wild and we did not get a shot, so we sailed back to another small
mangrove island that had a lot of small herons nesting in it.1e As the pros-
pect was good at this island for a good many birds, we anchored in a good
place to spend the rest of the day and night. Rigged up Mr. Chevelier's tent
on top of the cabin, and then had breakfast, after which we went on the
island to shoot. Henry killed three Louisiana herons. I killed one pigeon,
four little blues, two Louisana herons, and one night heron. Mr. C and
William stayed on board the Bonton while Henry and I was shooting. When
dinner was ready William shouted, "Come to grub." And of course we "come"
at once. After dinner all hands went shooting on the island. William killed
six Louisiana and little blue herons, four pigeons, and three green herons.
Henry killed one pigeon and ten herons. Mr. C killed three night herons, one
Louisiana and one little blue heron. I killed two green herons, two pigeons,
and fourteen night herons.
All of the forenoon today was spent in fixing the skins of the birds
killed yesterday afternoon. Went on the island after dinner. William killed
nine herons and five pigeons. Mr. C killed five herons. Henry killed twelve
and I killed thirteen.
A heavy rain and wind started this morning during which there was
nothing for us to do but sit in the cabin and watch it. We could not skin the
:o Islands referred to aren't clearly identifiable. Possibly East Bahia Honda Key and
West Bahia Honda Key.-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
birds killed yesterday because we had to have sunshine to dry them soon
as skinned. Weather cleared up about dinner time, and after that and the
bird skinning, we went bird shooting again in the nesting place. Tide was
high and we had to do most of our shooting from the boat as the island was
nearly all covered with water. Henry killed two Louisiana herons, one night
heron, and one green heron. William killed three night herons. I killed four
night herons, three Louisiana herons, and one great white heron. Weather
rather bad and squally.
After cleaning up yesterday's work we up anchor and run back to Torch
Key mangroves. We did not try to cross the mud bank this time as the
mosquitoes have got quite bad, and we do not want to get near the woods,
so anchored off in the channel some distance from the mangroves. This
place is cleaned up now, we saw very few birds. William killed one night
heron. I killed one and Mr. Chevelier killed a cormorant.
While we were cleaning up this morning William took a little trip around
the mangroves by himself. He was not gone long and brought back two night
herons. Soon after William returned we got underway and started back
towards Key West, keeping a little farther south than we did on our trip
up. About one o'clock we came to a small island that is high land. Wood
cutters have cut all the trees, and the island is nearly bare. Just a few low
bushes and scattering grass. We were first attracted to this little island by
seeing sea swallows flying around a sand point on the east side. We anchored
on the windward side of this islet, and late in the afternoon the Bonton was
full of mosquitoes. I could see them flying up to the boat at the stern then
come in over the stern deck into the cabin. After this I shall always anchor
under the lea of the keys where the mosquitoes cannot smell us. When we
went on the island we found a flock of long bill brown snipe, all three of us
opened fire on them, and killed twenty four. Mr. C killed eight sea swallows,
William nine, Henry one, and I six. The snipe was not any use except to eat.
We had a fine stew made of them for supper.
Went after sea swallows again this morning. Mr. C killed five, Henry
three, William four, and I six. William also killed a clapper rail. Captain
Cary came along and stopped to visit us. He gave us two green cocoanuts,
and two kegs of very bad water to help out our supply which was getting
low. But it was not much help. It was yellow in color, brackish and bitter.
We could not drink it, only used it in cooking which took out most of the
bad taste. Went on shore again in the afternoon. Henry killed six swallows,
and two royal terns. William killed two swallows, and one royal tern.
I killed eight swallows, one clapper rail, and four royal terns. This shooting
lasted until sundown.
Spent the forenoon today in skinning and curing skins of birds killed
yesterday. Went on the island again late in the afternoon. I killed four
swallows, William one and Henry one each. This finishes the birds on this
Got underway early this morning. About nine o'clock anchored near a
small key to cook breakfast. We cook on a small affair that is called a
furnace such as is used on most sponging and fishing boats around these
keys, and burn wood in it. We were out of wood, and had to go on shore to
get some, so while at anchor we cooked our breakfast. While the cooking was
going on, Henry and I went around the island in the small boat. I killed a
night heron. After breakfast we got underway and run over to Tarpon Key
where Henry and I went on shore and killed a white heron. I also killed
one night heron and a Louisana heron. This was late in the afternoon so we
remained at anchor, besides we expect to get more birds tomorrow.
Went on shore again this morning. William killed two sea swallows, one
black head gull, one Louisiana heron and one night heron. Henry killed two
Louisiana herons, one night heron and one green heron. I killed three
night herons and two pigeons. Spent the rest of the day in taking care of the
Saw large flocks of man-of-war birds flying over the Three Sister
Islands,17 some distance from us, so we got underway and sailed over to
them. We went into the islands and killed seven man-of-war birds. As we
were all shooting at once from the small boat, we could not tell the number
each one killed. We picked up one of the birds that was not yet dead, and
I noticed it was shot through both eyes, and supposed it would die in a few
minutes, so I placed it on the forward deck, when all at once it stood up
stretched its wings and flew away. We watched it disappear in the flock of
birds flying over the islands, and never saw it again. There are a big lot of
birds here, man-of-war birds, cormorants, pelicans, and great white herons,
but are all very wild and are not nesting.
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
We are within five miles of Key West, and the city is in plain sight as
it is open water all the way there from us.
We came in here yesterday at high tide, and run over the mud bank to
deep water around the islands, so we had to wait for high water today before
we could leave. It rained all night last night and nearly all day today. When
the tide came up we got underway and run over to Captain Cary's landing
on the east end of town. Mr. Chevelier went on shore and said he would meet
us in town, so we up sail and run down to Sam Low's wharf and anchored.
William and Henry went up town after supper while I kept ship. Mr.
Chevelier did not come on board tonight but spent the night with his French
friends the Grillions.
Mr. Chevelier gave us a feast today and we rather over did the eating
part. He gave us two bottles of ginger pop each, and two watermelons, also
cake pie and fresh beef stew for dinner. Right after supper William went up
town and got a fifteen cent package of ice cream for each of us which was
at once put down on the already overloaded stomachs. Results about eleven
o'clock that night all that William and I had swallowed came back and was
given to the little fishes. We were sure bad sick the rest of the night.
William and I are on the sick list this morning, not eating a thing. I was
sick all day. We had a good beef stew for supper, I managed to eat a little
of it. Rained nearly all day.
Raining and squally all day. Gave Henry a quarter to buy a harmonica
while he was up town today. He sure got cheated as the thing he brought me
is not worth a cent. Got soft brass screw rings to fix Mr. Chevelier's tent.
I have had my violin with me, kept it in a water tight box I had made it
thinking it would keep it from the damp, but the dampness of the last week
has been too much for it, found today that it was coming apart, so decided
to send it to Chas W. Story, 26 Central Street, Boston, Mass., and have him
put it in good shape.
Fixed the tent this morning then took my violin to the express office.
An Englishman named Ball runs an express business to New York, and
calls it Ball's Express. So I sent the violin by Ball's Express to Boston via
New York. On my way back to the boat I stopped at Cash's store and bought
a new block and main sheet for the Bonton. The United States sloop of war
Powhatan is in port at the Government Dock. Her bowsprit runs clear over
the nearby buildings. I also bought a bottle of red ink. What I wanted red for
I do not know.
Sunday. This afternoon William, Henry, and I went for a walk around
town. Went around to the Custom House and had a good look at the Powhatan,
her commander died last night, and her flags were at half mast. Went back
to the Bonton, and after supper William and Henry went to church while
I kept ship.
We expect to get away sometime today for the west coast. Mr. Chevelier
came to the boat with his gun, and went up town again to finish up the
business of leaving. He sent a large barrel of hard bread to the boat, it was
hot from the bakery when it came on board. Weather very hot and not much
wind. It was near sundown when everything was ready. We hoisted sail and
headed up the coast away from the city. Only got about three miles when
dark overtook us, and we anchored for the night.
Sailed all day and anchored for the night a short distance past Big
A stiff breeze blowing today. Anchored at the Arsnicker Keys late in
the afternoon. Beat a schooner that had two miles the start of us. After
looking around the keys for birds and not finding any, we turned in for the
Got underway and run over to the Twin Keys where we had found a good
many birds on our way down a few weeks ago. Nothing doing, birds all
gone. I killed one Louisiana heron, and found the nest of a red bellied wood-
pecker. On our return we got under way and started for a key called Man-
of-War Bush, We did not go far when we had to anchor, the wind having
left us with a head tide. In about two hours the wind came up, and we sailed
on until dark. Anchored in a small deep channel in a bank. Lay here all
night. Heavy squalls over the main land which is in plain sight.
As Man-of-War Bush's is in plain sight this morning, and we cannot see
any birds flying around it, we are not going there. Got underway and sailed
is Man-of-War Bush has washed away although it is still shown on present charts of
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
over the Oyster Keys near Cape Sable. We could see birds on these keys, so
we anchored and went after them. Henry killed a pelican and I killed one.
We returned to the Bonton to wait for sunset as the birds are not nesting on
these islands. Near dark a big lot of egrets, white herons, Louisiana herons,
and curlew came to sleep on the key. We went after them, William killed one
egret, Henry killed five, and I killed twelve, and one white heron. A big
squall this afternoon, and mosquitoes awful thick.
After skinning the birds killed yesterday we got underway and run over
to Sandy Key which is well named as it is not much more than a sand bank
with some beach grass growing on it, and a few mangroves on the inside
shore.10 Only a few birds here. Mr. C killed one white heron and one small
blue heron. I killed a clapper rail. Then we sailed over to Cape Sable and
anchored in front of a house. Went and asked the people there if they had
a well that we might fill our water cask. They said they did not have a well,
but we could get all the water we wanted at Palm Point or Middle Cape, a
few miles to the west. We up anchor and sailed along the coast to Palm
Point, and anchored for the night. No harbor here at all but as the weather
is calm think it will be all right to lay here all night tonight. There is another
house here with a Key West family living in it. The man is in charge of a
young cocoanut grove that is being planted by a Key West Company. The man
came down to the beach and asked us to spend the evening with them which
we did. Mosquitoes awful thick.
When we got up this morning the boat was a solid mass of mosquitoes,
and we said, "Don't talk to us any more about mosquitoes we know all about
them now, they cannot get any thicker." One day later we changed our mind.
After filling our water cask we sailed up along the coast rounded North
West Cape into the Gulf of Mexico. Just beyond the Cape we saw what we
thought was the mouth of a channel leading into White Water Bay and sailed
into it. The tide was with us and soon the channel took the form and
appearance of a good sized river. Having wind and tide with us we kept
going, we did not know where. The place looked wild and lonely. About
three o'clock it seemed to get on Henry's nerves, and we saw that he was
crying, he would not tell us why, he was just plain scared. About this time
the tide turned against us, and as we would have to wait until tomorrow's
19 In recent years (considerably damaged by Hurricane Donna), Sandy Key has sup-
ported more extensive and varied vegetation than is described here, including a strip
of back hammock and several mangrove ponds.-WBR
flood to go on, Mr. C thought best we go back with the tide to the Gulf and
at same time relieve Henry's feelings. There was not much to do to get back,
just let her drift, as the tide kept getting stronger all the time. The river is
narrow and deep, the mangroves on either bank growing about sixty feet
high and very thick so the wind did not get to us, only a little puff now and
then. On looking at our map found that we were in Shark River. Arrived
back in the Gulf at dark, and anchored about one and a half miles from
land, in about six feet of water. I never saw mosquitoes so thick before,
worse than this morning at Cape Sable.
Dead calm all night, and this morning. When we got out from under our
mosquito bars there was not a spot as large as a pin head on that boat
from the water line to the tip of the mast that did not have a mosquito on it.
We fought them for about two hours before we could stop to make coffee.
While among the keys we had gathered quite a lot of sea feathers, that grow
on the rock bottom there, to take home to show our folks. We had to use
them this morning to kill mosquitoes. They made fine mosquito brushes but
when we got through with them they were not much use as a sea specimen.
While we were at it there was a string of dead mosquitoes floating astern of
us on the ebb tide. Don't know what we would have done if it had not been
for those sea feathers. A fresh southeast wind came up about nine o'clock,
and we made good time up the Gulf. Took a heavy squall off the southern
end of the Thousand Isles. About two hours before sundown we run hard
aground on a mud bank. Had to get overboard and work long and hard to
get afloat again. We came to anchor for the night inside of Pavilion Key.
Henry and I went on the key to try to kill some pink curlews we saw there
together with a lot of egrets, white herons, gannetts, and white pelicans. These
are the first white pelicans we have seen on this trip. We could not get near
enough for a shot as they were on a bank too far from cover. The mosquitoes
however got us a plenty.
Saw a small boat going up the coast this morning. After coffee and
hard tack got underway and sailed up the coast until we came to a small
island out in the Gulf that had a lot of pelicans nesting on it."0 Came to an
anchor got out our guns with a good supply of shells and went after them.
William killed six, Henry killed seven. Mr. C four, and I twenty. A heavy
20 Bird (or Pelican) Key at entrance to Sandfly Pass; still a Brown Pelican rookery.
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
thunder storm came up late in the afternoon, during which the Bonton broke
her cable, and went adrift. I let go the spare anchor, and after the storm went
hunting for the lost one, which we found at last after a long hard hunt. There
was a large lot of pelicans come to roost on the island tonight.
When I got up this morning found that one of my eyes was badly swelled
and sore, don't know what caused it. I remained on board while the rest went
on shore to finish skinning the pelicans killed yesterday. When I had break-
fast cooked I signaled them to come on board. After breakfast we all went
on shore, I killed three pelicans. While the rest were skinning the birds and
stretching the skins. I was walking around the pelican nests, and looking at
them I heard William yell something, looked and saw the small boat was
adrift and going fast from the island, and if she was not caught we would
be in a bad fix as the Bonton was anchored near half a mile from the island.
Some might say. "That is not much of a swim", but when you stop to consider
these waters are infested with sharks some of them are of largest size, it was
a little more than any of us care to undertake. I realized this as I started
running, and the thought increased my speed until I was hitting only the
high places. Out in the water I dashed, and got my hands on her as the water
reached my arms.
A big squall came on while we were at dinner, and kicked up a big
sea in a short time. Mr. Chevelier sat in the cabin eating and looking at the
big seas as they rushed by. All at once he said, "Dinnee on board Bong
Tong, time one largah squall." After dinner he was smoking his pipe with a
far away look in his eyes when he remarked, "My tobac tast a leet more
better good the time make the large lot the skin." Went on the island again
near night, and got caught in a big rain storm. Henry killed eleven pelicans,
William two and I one.
Underway this morning, and sailed up the coast until we came to an
island that had a pelmetto shack on it where lived an old Portugue named
Gomez with his old cracker wife.-1 Mr. Chevelier had known Gomez some
years before, and I had met him at Cedar Keys when I was a small boy
about thirteen years before. Gomez and his wife did not know me until I
told them who I was, and then the old lady almost ate me up. Henry stayed
on board and cooked supper while we were on this visit to the old Portuguese.
A heavy squall late today. Lay at anchor here all night.
21 Panther Key.-WBR
Got underway this morning after breakfast, and sailed up to a creek
looking for birds. Gomez was our pilot, but he did not find the birds for us.
Saw some pink curlews but did not get a shot at them. Turned back and
when off Gomez place set him on shore and continued on our way towards
Marco. Passed a regular house on the point of an island, and run into a small
creek where the tide was very swift. Just before sundown we came to small
bay full of small islands, two of them were as full of birds as they could
stick, there were white curlew, egrets, white and Louisiana herons. We anchored
and went to shoot them. Henry killed one egret, Mr. C three, I killed seven
egrets and three curlew. Returned to the Bonton at dark mosquitoes very bad.
After coffee, Mr. C, Henry and I got in the Falcon and went to look for
birds, William remained on board to cook breakfast. Just beyond the islands
where we shot birds last night, we found the mouth of a small fresh water
creek. We went up it quite a distance. Did not find any birds, saw a small
clearing where someone had a garden in season just passed. Went on shore
and found a number of very small cabbage growing on the end of stalks
about two feet high. We cut enough for dinner. I shot an alligator. We then
returned to the Bonton and ate our breakfast, after which we got underway
and went back to where we had seen the house on the point of the island called,
Goodland Point. Anchored here and I went on shore to ask the way to Marco.
Went up to the house and knocked at the door, a woman came in answer to
my knock. I asked her if she could tell us which was the channel that would
take us to Marco. She told us where to go, and also told us her name was
Roberts, and that her husband was away in his schooner. We got underway
and took the first channel to the left, and got along all right after that. We
arrived at Marco Inlet late in. the afternoon, and anchored for the night. A
man named Collier lives here and has a nice place. William went on shore,
Mr. Collier gave him some egg plant. We had cabbage and egg plant for
supper, and I can tell you it tasted good to us. We have been living mostly
on bread, hard bread and coffee for the past four weeks.
Underway soon this morning and sailed up to Little Marco Inlet on the
inside channel. Went out through the inlet into the Gulf and sailed along
the coast until near sundown when we went into a small inlet called Ferguson
Pass2 for the night. We had very bad weather all day, squalls, calms, and
22 Not exactly identifiable on available maps. Most probably it's Wiggins Pass and the
river mentioned later is the Cocohatchee (Horse Creek). However, Little Hickory
Pass and Imperial River will fit the context just about as well.-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
heat. Saw lots of egrets along shore also three small inlets. After anchoring
and making things snug for the night, we went on shore and walked up the
beach where we found two turtle nests and a few shells.
Went on shore this morning to shoot sea swallows. There are a lot of
them nesting on the sand points of the inlet. Henry killed five, William killed
two and one egret, Mr. C killed three egrets and a shearwater. After breakfast
I took the small boat and went up the river alone. About a half a mile from
the Bonton I saw an old clearing in a hammock on the north shore of the
river. Went on shore there to see if I could find something good to eat.
Found one small watermelon and as it was not large enough to go around
our crew I ate it right there. Went on a little farther and found the water
in the river was fresh, so returned to the Bonton for our water pail and jug,
went back up river and filled them with river water. This will help our
supply in the cask which is getting low. After dinner we went after the
little sea swallow again on the shores of the inlet. William killed two, Henry
killed seven and I killed seven. Just at dark I killed a shearwater. Henry
killed one and caught a mullet. After dark I took a hand fish line, and went
to the point of the inlet to try my luck at fishing. I soon landed a large snook
or sargent fish, and a sea trout.
We had an awful hot night last night and did not sleep at all well, and
of course do not feel lively this morning. A small sail boat came inside and
anchored near us last night, and left early this morning. They did not have
anything to say to us, and did not appear to care for company. Most people
we meet on this coast seem to look on us with suspicion. Water cask about
empty so we took it in the Falcon and went up river to fresh water and
filled it. I killed another gator on the trip. After dinner went shooting sea
swallows. Henry killed three and I killed ten. Went again late in the after-
noon. William killed five, I killed six, Henry killed three and one egret.
When we returned to the Bonton I went to the cask for a drink and found the
water too salty to use, so I took the cask up river again and filled it, this
time with good fresh water. Took a walk on the beach by moonlight and
turned a turtle. It was so hot on the Bonton we made our beds on the sand
beach and slept good all night.
Three small sail boats came in the inlet last night. This forenoon Henry
killed eleven sea swallows, William one and I eight. In the afternoon Henry
killed five and I killed four.
While the others were at work on the birds killed yesterday I went to
see how many I could shoot. I killed thirteen. When I got back to the Bonton
we got underway and sailed up the coast to what we thought was Big Hickory
Pass, one of the outlets to Estero Bay. When we came to anchor inside, we
saw a sloop about half a mile from us, hard aground on the inside beach,
evidently placed there to clean bottom at low tide. Henry and I went to have
a look at her. Her captain was an old Italian, and he had a cracker boy with
him a boy of about ten years old, as cook and helper. The boy started to
make coffee, and sat the coffee pot on top of a pile of burning sticks and
left it, to do something else. When the sticks burned down, over went the
coffee pot, and all the coffee was lost. You should have heard the old man
go for that boy, he said, "Jaskassfoolmonkeybabboon donn you know better
than that?" The old man told us that the pass we were in was not Big
Hickory, that Big Hickory was two miles farther back, and we had passed
it on our way up. The old mans sloop was the Rena Jenkins, a boat that I
saw when it was being built by Wash Jenkins at the Fort Lauderdale House of
Refuge, when I was 14 years old, when on my first trip down the Atlantic
Coast to Miami with my father and Ross Brown in our sloop Creole. That
night we took our bedding and put up our mosquito bars on the beach, but
the sand flies got so, bad they drove us back to the Bonton.
Underway this morning and run back to Big Hickory. Went in through
the inlet to Estero Bay. Found a large nesting place of pelicans on some
islands on the north side of the Bay. Henry and I went to shoot some of them.
He killed five and I killed twenty one. Afternoon spent in taking care of the
twenty six skins of birds we had killed.
Henry and I went to the nesting place early this morning. We killed
seventeen, then back to the Bonton. I cooked breakfast while the rest went on
shore to skin pelicans. While I was watching the cooking I saw a man coming
in a skiff. When within about 100 feet of the Bonton, he turned his boat
around so that he could look right at me and at same time be headed in the
right direction if things did not go right and he wanted to get away right
quick. He said he saw we were shooting birds, and had come to tell us he
had heard a law had been passed against shooting birds in nesting places, and
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
he thought we had better stop.23 I told him we had just come from the County
Seat (Key West) where Mr. Chevelier had looked into the matter and there
was not any law then against shooting any place we cared to. However we
would look into the matter further before we done any more shooting in the
rookery. He talked a little while longer and then returned to his home, a
palmetto shack on one of the islands out in the Bay. After dinner we got
underway and run over to Big Hickory pass, went outside and sailed up the
coast to the pass that we went in on the 25th and anchored for the night.
We are going straight onto Punta Rassa. Mr. Chevelier wants to find out for
certain if there is a law against shooting birds in rookeries.-4
Underway before sunrise and sailed along the coast for some distance,
then anchored and went on shore to dry skins of birds killed yesterday.
When the skins were dry we got up sail and arrived at Punta Rassa early in
the afternoon. We anchored in mid channel. Mr. Chevelier and William went
on shore for the mail. I did not get any. We found that there was not any law
against shooting birds in the rookeries or any where else. That cracker Frank
Johnson wanted to run us off so he could have the birds for himself. Punta
Rassa consists of two houses, one of which is the post office, telegraph and
cable station, and a large wharf which is used mostly for loading vessels
with cattle for Havana, Cuba. Remained at anchor all night.
Left Punta Rassa this morning with a small sail boat going ahead of us
for a pilot, that is this boat is going up the Caloosahatchee river to Fort
Myers and we will follow her as we do not know the channel. Arrived at Fort
Myers about one o'clock. This is a nice looking town from the river, and
quite large for this part of the country. Must have a population of about
seven hundred. This part of the Caloosahatchee river is wide and straight
for about twelve miles, and Fort Myers is located on the east bank. Mr. C went
for the mail. I got two letters from home, one from my mother and one
from Ned Brown. Ned tells me in his letter that he has a repeating shot gun.
That is something new to us, in fact we did not know there was such a thing
23 By remarkable happenstance, this incident is corroborated by W. E. D. Scott (1887
Auk, 4 (3), pp. 216-218) who relates it as told to him by Mr. Frank Johnson at
Punta Rassa, May 12, 1886. The two accounts agree in detail except that Scott's
version from Johnson doesn't mention that the pelican shoot was interrupted by a
trip to Punta Rassa to see about the alleged new law.-WBR
24 Probably the large rookery at the north entrance to Matlacha Pass mentioned by
Scott (op. cit., p. 214). It had been plundered again by plume hunters shortly before
Scott's visit on May 8, 1886.-WBR
made. The river here is quite fresh, so we filled up everything that would
hold water as we don't know when we will have another chance to get all we
Underway for down river this morning. Heavy wind blowing from
W.S.W. About eleven o'clock we had to anchor, wind blowing so hard we
could not carry the close reefed main sail alone. Late in the afternoon the
wind let up and we started on again. Anchored at Cape Blanco for the
night. There was not any mosquitoes when bed time came, on account of the
fresh wind blowing, so we did not put up our mosquito bars. Just got to
sleep when the wind let up and the SKEETS came, had to get up and put
up our bars. I made my bed on the forward deck because it was so hot in the
cabin. Had just got to sleep when down came a rain squall. I had to jerk
down that bar and gather up my blankets in a hurry. Had just got to sleep
again, this time in my bunk in the cabin, when Mr. Chevelier called me to
fix his tent on deck, one corner of which had broke loose and was flapping
in the wind. Altogether I did not get a great deal of sleep.
Underway soon this morning and run over to Pine Island, found a small
nesting place of pelicans there. Had just come to an anchor when we saw a
small sloop coming, she came alongside and a man named Goodwin came on
board and asked us to take him to the camp of Chas. Hopkins, C.E. on Pine
Island some place, we did not know its location, and Mr. Goodwin could not
tell us. We sailed away up the sound, could not see anything that looked like
it, so we came back again and went on shore. Found the camp all right after
a while, but it was deserted, no one there, so there was nothing to do but
take Mr. Goodwin back to Punta Rassa which we did. Arrived back at the
nesting place a little before sundown. Henry killed six pelicans, and I killed
Had a heavy rain last night. Went shooting this morning. Henry killed
one pelican, I killed six. Had just returned on board when Mr. Goodwin
came along in a skiff. He came on board to visit with us for about half an
hour. Went on shore again late in the afternoon. Birds all gone. I killed
one pelican and three fish. I also speared a mullet.
Soon this morning we were underway headed for Charlotte Harbor by
way of channel inside of Pine Island. Met the mail carrier in a small sail
boat on his way to Punta Rassa with the mail. He told us where there was a
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
large nesting place farther on. We came to it late in the afternoon. There was
thousands of curlew nesting there, also cormorants, Louisiana herons, redish
egrets, white egrets, and a number of other kinds of birds. This is by far
the largest nesting place we have seen.-4 We all got in the Falcon and went
around the island and as we went along the birds kept flying up until the
air was so full of birds we could not see through them, all kind mixed up
together. As we did not want the curlew, had a time picking out the plume
birds in the flying mass over our heads. Mr. Chevelier just sat there and
pointed his gun first one way and then another for about five minutes without
firing a shot, at last he laid his gun down and said "Mine God, tis too much
bird on this contrie, I can not shoot." I killed two night herons, two Louisiana
herons, and sixteen redish egrets. The boys let me do the shooting, there was
too many kinds of birds for them. By this time it was dark so we returned to
I went on the island early this morning to kill some curlew to eat. I
killed seven and gathered thirty seven curlew eggs. William cooked the eggs
for breakfast and when we started to eat them found that only nine were
good, the rest were too far on their way towards hatching, Henry and I went
on the island again after breakfast, Henry killed a water turkey, one egret,
one white heron, one Louisiana heron, and two redish egrets. I killed two
white herons with good plumes. This looked strange to me as on the east
coast the whites drop their plumes by the first of May and this is the fourth
of July. In the middle of the island is a water hole. I was standing on some
mangrove roots, looking up through the tree tops watching for birds, when
I heard a noise in the water hole just in front of me. I looked down and
there within a few feet of me was about the largest gator I ever saw. It was
all of twelve feet long and very large in every way. I only had No. 8 shot
with me but I let him have it just the same. It did not kill him but took some
of the "Sass" out of him and he went under the water with a plunge. I did
not see him again although I went to look for him in the afternoon, this
time had Buck shot but the gator was not to be seen. When Henry and I went
to dinner William told us how an old man came rowing along in a skiff and
stopped in front of that part of the island where we were shooting. The old
man yelled at us, "You had better come out of that." William said just then
both of us shot close together. The old man seemed to take our shots as an
answer to his hail, shipped his oars and got away from there fast as he
could. He did not come back again. Went after birds in the afternoon. Henry
killed two white herons, one egret, and four redish egrets. I killed four
redish egrets and one white heron. We gathered one hundred and four curlew
As the plume birds are about gone there is not enough to pay us to
stay here longer. The curlews are here yet by the thousands. Underway soon
this morning, and sailed to the west into Charlotte Harbor, and around the
western end of Pine Island. As we came about in Boca Grande Pass I lost
my hat overboard. We were now headed back towards home which will be
getting nearer each day as we sail along down the coast. Come to an anchor
near a small island that had some pelicans nesting on it. I have a bad cold
in my head and feel bum. Do not see where I got this grippe, as I have not
been on shore where people live but once since leaving Cape Sable.
This morning Mr. Chevelier said he thought we had better go to Punta
Rassa for the mail and come back for the pelicans later. I do not think we
will come back as all are getting tired of the trip, and want to start for home.
After coffee we started for Punta Rassa. Saw a number of pelican rookeries
as we sailed down the sound to the eastward. Arrived at Punta Rassa early
in the afternoon.
Remained at anchor all day today, and spent the time in writing letters,
and boxing the bird skins for shipment from this place. Mr. Chevelier said
to us today. "Everybody commence very tired this time, the best we go
back to Miami." So when we leave here tomorrow we will be on our way
home for true, and I sure will be glad. A large schooner, the Alice Vain, came
in today, and commenced to load cattle for Havana, Cuba.
Started out this morning, wind and tide ahead. When near the light house
on Sanibel Island, the bobstay and jib stay gave way. We had to come to and
anchor to repair them. The wind got very light almost a calm. The tide
turned out and we went drifting out into the Gulf. Not wind enough to sail
towards shore so there was nothing to do but wait for the wind and let her
drift with the tide. Meantime we were drifting out to sea at the rate of about
four miles an hour. When about five miles from land I tried to work the
boat in shore, but the wind was so light and the tide so strong we could not
make any headway in that direction. The Alice Vain passed us on her way
out. After a while a heavy black cloud commenced to make up in the east
which was dead ahead for us, and soon a fearful thunder storm was rushing
up the coast right at us, and against a heavy ebb tide which would soon
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
kick up an awful sea We lowered all sail, put in a close reef in the mainsail
so we would have it ready when we need it most, then stowed and lashed down
both sails, and with the help of a large steering oar turned the Bonton around
to it, and waited for it to strike us. The Alice Vain was about a mile south-
west of us, hove to under the peak of her foresail. The wind struck us with
hurricane force, I never saw it blow any harded. It just picked the water up
and blowed it along in a white spray that looked like steam. Mr. Chevelier
asked me, "What same? Look same the smoke." I answered, "The wind bring
the water, Mr. Chevelier". He only said, "Ah mine God". The sea rose until
it was half as high as the mast. I had William at the tiller while I had out
the long steering oar, and it was all the two of us could do to keep her
straight before it when on the crest of those big seas. A school of porpoise
were having a big time coasting on the top of the big seas as they came
rolling down on us. They would play and jump around us and appeared to be
having lots of fun, but we could not see the fun of it, in fact we were all
pretty badly scared. I lost my hat when the storm first struck us, and a
number of heavy boards on top of the cabin, that we used to stretch skins on,
went flying through the air ahead of us like feathers, never to be seen again
by us. A small ensign that was flying at the mast head was whipped into
ribbons. I now saw that the wind was taking us up the Coast and I would have
to get some sail on her or we would not get back into San Terris Bay,25 I
first run up just the peak of the mainsail, and managed to haul in more
towards the mouth of the Bay. In about half an hour the wind began to let
up a little and we got all of the close reefed mainsail on her and hauled
more on the wind. We did not want to go back in San Terris Bay if we could
help it now the storm was letting up, and as the wind got lighter we hauled
more to the east, heading for one of the inlets leading into Estero Bay. Mr.
C was still much excited, two or three times during the storm he tried to
come out of the cabin into the cockpit and each time William would put his
hand on the old mans head and push him back in the cabin. Now he came
out and went to the water cask for a drink. A little later William went in the
cabin for something and called out to me that there was two inches of water
on the cabin floor. At first I thought sure we had sprung a leak, but when
William said the water was warm I thought of the cask, and when we looked
at it, sure enough there it was running away. Mr. Chevelier had forgot to shut
it off when he got his drink, he was so excited. We lost about half of our
a- San Carlos Bay.-WBR
water supply. Anchored for the night in the inlet. Mr. Chevelier does not want
to go on the Gulf any more than we can help so we will go through Estero
Underway early this morning, run into Estero Bay came to a curlew
nesting place and anchored. William, Mr. C and myself went around the
island. I killed one Louisiana heron. Went around the island again in the
afternoon, I killed a pink curlew, then went alone and killed six Louisiana
herons, one white heron, and one yellow crowned night heron.
Up anchor and went over to Collier Pass-6 and found a well on north
side of pass where we filled our water cask, then went over to the south
side and anchored. The old Italian "Monkeybaboon" we call him, came to
see us and gave us a short talk on religion as he saw it. He said, "God is
like the wind, you can feel it, you know it is there yet you cannot see it."
And said he, "It is the same with God you can feel him and you know he is
there yet you cannot see him." Just at dark Mr. C killed a shearwater. The
shearwater always feed around the inlets near dark. We do not see them in the
middle of the day.
Mr. Chevelier killed twenty sea swallows today and I killed eighteen.
William found a nice Panama shell. Moved the Bonton a little farther up
I went on shore and killed thirteen sea swallows, this morning. Mr. C
killed eight, we then got underway and sailed over to the next pass and
anchored. I took the spear and went on shore to see if I could get some
fish. Got a redfish or sea bass as some call them.
Mr. C went on shore this morning and killed twelve sea swallows then
I went and killed thirteen. In the afternoon Mr. C killed eight, and I killed
Very bad squally weather, we remained at anchor. Mr. C killed twelve
sea swallows. I speared two snappers and a whip ray.
I went on shore this morning and killed sixteen sea swallows, and one
egret. In the afternoon Henry and I went after sea swallows, Henry killed
2s Not certainly identifiable. From the context probably Big Carlos Pass or Little Carlos
Pass, both entrances to Estero Bay.-WBR
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
nine, I killed ten and two black sea swallows the first I have seen. I feel
today as if I would like to go home. The first time I have been homesick on
July 16th, 1885 Twenty one years old today, and a long ways from home.
Wind fresh from the south, clear sky. Went on shore this morning. Henry
killed three sea swallows and I killed four. In the afternoon I killed six and
Henry killed six. Near sundown we went after fish but did not get any.
Got underway and run over to "Monkeybaboon's" well and filled our
water cask then sailed over to the pelican nesting place-' and anchored for
the night. Had a very heavy squall tonight. In the worst of the storm I asked
Mr. Chevelier how he would like to be out at No. 1 buoy off Punta Rassa at
that time, he said, "Tis not be at No. 1 this time for one thousand the dollar."
After coffee this morning Henry and I went to shoot pelicans Henry
killed twelve and I killed twelve. Then took Henry and the dead birds to
the skinning place on shore. Went back to the nesting place alone and killed
sixteen took them over to the skinners and went back and killed ten more
which made fifty birds today, all we can take care of in one day. We have to
have the skins cured and stowed away by two o'clock on account of the rain
squalls which come every afternoon. I speared a bass this morning.
First thing this morning Henry and I went to shoot pelicans, Henry
killed ten and I killed fifteen, then took Henry and the birds to the skinning
place and went back alone and killed nine. It commenced to rain and we all
got wet before we got back to the Bonton. After the rain Henry and I went
after fish. Henry speared a mullet and two jewfish. I speared three mullet.
I killed twenty three pelicans this morning. They make one hundred and
one we have killed at this place. We are going to start for Miami in the
morning, and will stop at Ferguson Pass to scrape the Bonton's bottom which
has got very foul with barnacles and moss. I speared a bass and a mullet.
Near sundown we up anchor and poled the Bonton over to the channel near
the Pass, and anchored for the night.
Left Big Hickory early this morning with a head wind. Got within half
a mile of Ferguson Pass when the wind gave out so William and I went
27 Located by Scott (op. cit., p. 218) as near Mound Key, Estero Bay.-WBR
overboard and towed the Bonton into the Pass. The tide was running out,
and we had a hard time getting in against it. I went up the beach and found
a turtle nest. When I returned we put up the tent on shore for Mr. C to
sleep in while we have the Bonton on the beach cleaning bottom.
Put the Bonton on the beach at high tide, and when the tide was low
we scraped the shore side of the bottom, and as we can only clean one side
at a time, wil have to wait until tomorrow to clean the other side. Had a big
squall this afternoon. I speared a large sting ray and another carried off
my hook when fishing with a hand line. I also caught a snooker sargent
fish, and made a pudding. Henry killed eleven sea swallows and one oyster
catcher. I killed a paradise tern the first I have seen. It is a little larger
than the sea swallow and has a very much longer tail. White except top of
head which is black, the breast is nearly white with a faint tinge of rose pink.
The above is the last daily record in my diary of this trip. We were so
busy getting ready for the return trip home and excited over the prospect
that I did not think of writing things in my diary. The next day we finished
cleaning bottom, and got things in shape again for a long trip, as we do not
intend to stop to shoot birds at any place, but are going as straight to Miami
as we can, and as there are so many squalls in the day time, we are going to
leave here tonight in order to avoid them.
We started out after dark with a light off shore wind, and sailed all
night, taking turns at sleeping and steering, that is William and I did.
Henry and Mr. C did not know how to sail and of course that let them out
of that part of the work.
In the morning we were off the Chokoloskee Islands. The day came in
with calm and squalls. We anchored for the night off the northern end of
the Ten Thousand Islands. William and I were so sleepy we did not care to
sit up another night sailing.
When we made coffee this morning found we had miscalculated on
our water supply in some way, and had only enough for that morning. Here
we were in a fix sure enough. The nearest place to get water that we know of
is Middle Cape Sable, and that is a long way off. There was nothing to do
however but to get underway at once for that place, hoping the wind will
stay fair and fresh until we get there. By ten o'clock the sun was awful hot.
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
The wind while fair was light, and we were very thirsty. Knowing that there
was not any water to drink we kept thinking about it all the time, and that
made matters worse. Like the "Ancient Mariner," there was "Water water
everywhere but not a drop to drink." We reached Northwest Cape about
noon. I sailed the Bonton close to shore in hopes we might see a fresh water
stream, and soon saw the mouth of a small creek- that might mean fresh
water if we went up it far enough. So we anchored. William and I got in
the small boat and went up the creek about two miles. We had to give it up
at last as the water was blue salt water all the way, and we had wasted
nearly two hours, besides we were getting thirstier all the time. While up the
creek I killed two curlew that I intend to stew for supper if we get to water
by that time.
When we got back to the Bonton, a big thunder storm was making up in
the northwest, heavy and black. We at once up anchor and sails and started
on. Soon the wind came from the squall which was right behind us. In spite
of the risk I kept all sail on the old boat hoping to reach Middle Cape
before the wind gave out on us. We had not had a drink since morning, and
were getting awful thirsty as the day had been one of the hotest. After we
had sailed a few miles I saw the squall was not going to overtake us and as
the wind began to let up, I rigged up my canoe sail as a flying-gaff-topsail
that helped us along wonderfully.
We arrived at Middle Cape about half an hour before sundown, and as
soon as we could get on shore all hands made a bee line for the well. Seemed
as if we could never get enough. We filled up everything on that boat that
would hold water, and made soup with the curlew for supper. It was so calm
we laid the Bonton along side the beach where we could step from her deck
on to dry land. We did not finish supper until away after dark. The night was
fine, not a breath of wind and the moon shining bright as day, and for some
unknown reason not many mosquitoes.
Middle Cape was not a very good place to spend the night in case the
weather got squally before morning, and as we had a good fair tide, we
started on with the tide under pole power. William and I poling while
Henry steered. We run in behind a mud bank east of Cape Sable, anchored
as Little Sable Creek.-WBR
and turned in for the night, pretty well tired out, but we are now as William
said when he crawled under his mosquito bar, "Back in God's Country once
While having coffee next morning we talked over the question of which
was the quickest and best route for us to take, the way we came around by
Sand Key and over to Long Key, or right on up the coast from Cape Sable.
Of course none of us had ever been up along the main land, but we had been
finding our way so long through unknown waters I thought I could take her
through all right, so we started with a fair wind and made pretty good head-
way until we got into a large sort of sound that had mud banks all around
it. We could not find any way out except the way we came in, so I told the
boys I thought we could jump the bank ahead of us, which was only about
200 wide, and as the bank was very soft mud I thought the boat would
go right on over. She would have done it too if the wind had kept up, but luck
was against us this time. Just as we reached the middle of the bank the
wind suddenly left us, and there we were in the middle of a mud bank
stuck hard and fast. The wind went down with the sun so there was nothing
we could do but get our supper and go to bed, hoping for a good fair wind
in the morning.
All the next morning was a dead calm, and when the wind did spring
up about noon, it came dead ahead. Mr. C kept watching a little mangrove all
the morning, the top of which was just out of water, he was watching to see
if the tide was raising. At noon he said, "The best somebody go bring same
letla bushon, tis watch same all day, the water no move." And such was the
case, we were so far behind so many banks, there was not any rise and fall
of the tides.
We put the small boat overboard and piled into her all the heavy things
on board, then we placed two boards on the mud along side to stand on and
push the Bonton. Still we could only move her a very little. Then I told the
boys that there was only one way we would be able to get through, and that
was to dig a channel with our hands, and push the Bonton into it. This we
did and by hard work digging and pushing we got over into deep water late
in the afternoon. We at once got underway, and as we sailed away from the
mud bank Mr. C looking back said, "Pierce's Channel."
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE
We anchored near Pigeon Key that night, and arrived at Miami the next
night, going up to Wagner's place next morning. Everything was taken ashore
at Wagner's except my own things. I went up to the house that afternoon, and
there was William sitting on the porch all dressed up, tilted back in his
chair, smoking his pipe and looking happy. The next day I said "good bye"
to my shipmates and companions of many weeks and sailed alone down the
Miami river to Miami, and tied up for the night at Ewing's landing on the
north side of the river. I was sure lonesome that night, all by myself after
having the others with me so long, and again I dreaded that sixty mile trip
up the coast alone in the month of August.
Started out next morning, and sailed out through Norris Cut onto the
Atlantic, and arrived off New River Inlet in the afternoon. I thought by the
way the weather looked it would be best for me to go into New River and
wait until next day, perhaps the weather would be better.
So in I went, and sailed up the river to the House of Refuge landing
and anchored the Bonton and went on shore with the small boat intending
to spend the night with the keeper of the House of Refuge, Chas. Coman,
who was a friend of mine. When I got to the station there I found in addition
to the keeper, my old friend and hunting companion Louie Bradley. His father
had taken the contract to carry the U. S. mail from Palm Beach to Miami,
which would have to be done on foot down the beach. Louie had been down
to see about boats for crossing the inlets and Biscayne Bay. Louie was on his
way back to Hypoluxo walking on the beach. I do not know when I was as
glad to see anyone as I was to see him, and I did not have to talk very
much to persuade him to come and help me with the Bonton for the run to
Lake Worth Inlet.
We went to sea next morning, and had to put into Hillsborough Inlet
on account of bad weather, and remained there all night.
Smooth sea and a fair wind next morning, so we went out on the first
of the tide, and run into Lake Worth Inlet about three o'clock in the after-
noon. Arrived at Palm Beach just before sundown, and tied up at my uncle's
Reached my home next day at noon August 12th.
Five months in Swamp and Glade, River and Bay, Gulf and Ocean.
This Page Blank in Original
"The Cruise of the Bonton"
By William B. Robertson, Jr.
The Bonton's cruise having been undertaken for the specific purpose of
collecting plumes and bird specimens, it is not surprising that observations
of birds comprise the most interesting and significant biological data in the
narrative. Although the narrator uses some common names that are no longer
current, the specific identity of most of the birds he mentions is plain. Only
the few referred to by such general terms as "duck", "gull", and "heron"
are not identifiable. The narrative's general agreement with ornithological
information from other contemporary sources provides ample evidence that
Pierce was a keen and accurate observer. It is likely, however, that some of
the more detailed comments, such as those concerning the Reddish Egret,
draw heavily upon the opinions of Chevelier.
In all, 42 species of birds can be recognized from "The Cruise of the
Bonton". The list below pairs the present technical and vernacular names1
of these species with the names used in the narrative. Records of special
interest are briefly annotated. Figures in parenthesis are the total number
of each species killed during the trip.
WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
The observation-near Pavilion Key, Monroe Co., about 14 June 1885-
provides one of the earliest definite records of the summering of this species
in southern Florida. As is now well known, small numbers of non-breeding
individuals regularly summer along the Gulf Coast.
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga)
"water turkey" (1).
The fact that this species was encountered but once agrees entirely with its
present occurrence. Except when forced into such habitat by severe drought,
Anhingas are seldom found at the coast or on offshore keys.
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATE-BIRD (Fregata magnificens)
"Man-of-war bird" (12).
It must be presumed that the author is mistaken in his belief that a nest of
the Frigate-bird was found on a key in northeastern Florida Bay. Although
Audubon stated that the species nested on the Florida Keyst and various
later writers- have made similar assertions, no generally satisfactory evidence
has been presented. Large summer roosts are still to be found at many of the
places where the Bonton party shot Frigate-birds.
GREAT WHITE HERON (Ardea occidentalis)
"Great White Heron" (4).
The apparent scarcity of Great White Herons is somewhat surprising, because
the Bonton traveled most of the present Florida range and the party col-
lected at a number of keys that today are important nesting sites. Presumably
the population had been greatly reduced by hunting prior to 1885.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
"blue heron" and "great blue heron" (3).
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
"green heron" (10).
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Florida caerulea)
"little blue heron", "small blue heron", and "peckit bird" (the white
REDDISH EGRET (Dichromanassa rufescens)
"Redish egret" (43).
Other writers have reported that this species was formerly much more
abundant in Florida, and that the breeding range (now limited to Florida
Bay) then extended well northward along the Gulf Coast. These points are
fully corroborated by the present account. Whether it was original with
Pierce, or (as seems more likely) the opinion of Chevelier, the recognition
of the two color phases of the Reddish Egret shows perception beyond that
of many ornithologists of the day. At that time, some still held to Audubon's
belief that the white individuals were immatures. Others, such as Maynard,4
were as firmly convinced that they represented a distinct species, the so-
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, JR.
called "Peale's Egret". The mode of color inheritance in the Reddish Egret
remains poorly known. The statement here that the young are invariably of
the same color as the parent birds, however, disagrees with Florida observa-
tions cited by Scott," and by Baird, Brewer, and Ridgway.6 It is to be
regretted that the Bonton narrative includes no record of the number killed
of each color phase.
COMMON EGRET (Casmerodius albus)
"white heron" (57).
SNOWY EGRET (Leucophoyx thula)
This and the preceding species were, of course, the plume birds most sought
LOUISIANA HERON (Hydranassa tricolor)
"Louisiana heron" (96).
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
"yellow-crowned night heron" (18).
Judging from the localities visited, it is probable that most the birds
referred to merely as "night herons" (60) also were this species. No clear
reference to the Black-crowned Night Heron appears.
WOOD IBIS (Mycteria americana)
"wood Ibis", "Gannet", and "gannett" (7).
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albums)
"white curlew", "grey curlew" (the immature birds), and "curlew" (15).
SCARLET IBIS (Eudocimus ruber)
This species has only a slender claim to a place in the list of birds that
have occurred naturally in Florida. The history of several specimens alleged
to have been collected in the state in early years is somewhat obscure.- The
present observation is evidence about as substantial as other sightings men-
tioned by Scott8 and Sprunt,9 but some reason exists to suspect that these
reports may relate to the Glossy Ibis, a species then little known in Florida.
The numerous undoubted records of Scarlet Ibis in southern Florida since
about 1954 all refer to introduced birds or escaped captives.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Ajaia ajaja)
"Pink Curlew" (1).
The scarcity of Spoonbills evident from the Bonton narrative agrees with
Scott's report'0 that plume hunters virtually extirpated this species on the
Florida Gulf Coast soon after 1880.
AMERICAN FLAMINGO (Phoenicopterus ruber)
This interesting record-Upper Cross Bank, Florida Bay, 3 May 1885-
is consistent with other observations summarized by Allen.= As he points
out, until shortly after 1900 Flamingos, probably from nesting colonies in
northwestern Andros, Bahamas, performed a regular migration into Florida
Bay in summer to molt. The species was often alleged to breed in Florida,
but no satisfactory proof of this is known.
MOTTLED DUCK (Anas fulvigida)
"Florida mallard" (1).
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
An eyrie active in recent years is located near the point of this observation.
It seems remarkable that the Bonton narrative records no other sightings
of Bald Eagles and none of Ospreys.
TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)
CLAPPER RAIL (Rallus longirostris)
"Clapper rail" (5).
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrula martinica)
"Purple Galunel" (1).
This interesting record-Twin Keys, Florida Bay, about 5 May 1885-
doubtless relates to a spring migrant.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)
COMMON SNIPE (Capella gallinago)
"jack snipe" (1).
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, JR.
DOWITCHER (Limnodromus species)
"long bill brown snipe" (24).
LAUGHING GULL (Larus atricilla)
"black head gull" (1).
ROSEATE TERN (Sterna dougallii)
"Paradise Tern" (1).
Pierce's description leaves little doubt that the bird was this species. It
apparently was uncommon along the Gulf Coast then, as now.
LEAST TERN (Sterna albifrons)
"Sea Swallow" and "Least Tern" (326).
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
"Royal tern" (7).
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger)
"black sea swallow" (2).
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops nigra)
WHITE-CROWNED PIGEON (Columba leucocephala)
"Key West Pigeon" (13).
CAROLINA PARAKEET (Conuropsis carolinensis)
Cypress Creek, Broward (?) County, 31 March 1885. The major decline of
this species in southeastern Florida seems to have occurred in the 1890's.
This observation agrees with others suggesting that Parakeets were locally
common in the 80's, but few acceptable reports are known from this section
of the state after 1900.
MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor)
"mangrove Cookoo" (3).
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus)
"Cock-of-the-woods or pilated woodpecker" (1).
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Centurus carolinus)
This is an interesting observation, because the species is not now known
to nest on the outer keys in Florida Bay.
GRAY KINGBIRD (Tyrannus dominicensis)
"great gray flycatcher" (8).
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
"red wing blackbird" (3).
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
"purple grackel" and "white eyed blackbird" (7).
In addition to the above, the party also shot 103 "herons" (or "birds",
with heron being clear from the context), 3 "gulls", and 1 "duck", the total
recorded kill for the cruise, plus the two side trips made by Pierce and the
Bradleys beforehand, amounting to at least 1397 individuals of at least
36 bird species.
The published results of the work of C. J. Maynard, W. E. D. Scott,
and J. W. Atkins have provided a relatively complete record of the bird
life of the Florida Keys and Gulf Coast in the 1870's and 80's. The Bonton
narrative, limited as it is to the larger and more conspicuous birds, adds
little to the overall ornithological record. In some cases, however, the
additional data are welcome corroborative evidence. They also allow infer-
ences concerning the status particularly of wading bird populations at many
localities not specifically mentioned in previous literature.
Similarly, although the Bonton narrative is valuable historically as one
of the few first-hand accounts of plume-hunting, it adds only minor detail
to the picture presented in Scott's classic paper, "The Present Condition
of Some of the Bird Rookeries of the Gulf Coast of Florida.1
Rather unexpectedly, the chief ornithological value of the narrative is
found in what it reveals of the expedition's leader, Mr. Chevelier. The
Bonton account prompted me to search out other scattered data which in
sum suggest that Chevelier was a scientific collector of considerable impor-
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, JR.
Heretofore, he has been known to south Florida history at large as an
eccentric naturalist, often referred to merely as "the old Frenchman", who
lived during the late 80's and 90's at Possum Key in the mangrove wilderness
southeast of Chokoloskee. He is believed to have died there about 1895.
Chevelier Bay at the head of Chatham River takes its name from him. To
latter-day Florida ornithology, Chevelier has been unknown. The most
detailed account of the development of the science in Florida" does not
mention him. His name appears in Howell's definitive Florida Bird Life
but once (p. 319, as "A Lechevallier"), as the collector of a specimen listed.
The present narrative is somewhat ambiguous regarding Chevelier as a
scientific collector. Pierce states that he was a collector as well as a plume
hunter, but the Bonton party's concentration upon the birds of greatest
demand in the feather trade makes it clear that plume hunting was the
major activity of this trip. Pierce remarks that some birds, White Ibis
and "long bill brown snipe", were of no value to them except as food. By
way of seemingly contrary evidence, Chevelier's more careful method of
preparing skins suggests that the birds collected may have been usable as
scientific specimens. In addition, it's difficult to believe that such species
as the Common Grackle and Clapper Rail can have had much value for
their feathers. Neither of these points, however, is conclusive. Scott-' de-
scribed a "flat skin" preparation technique of plume hunters similar to that
used by Chevelier. The Bonton narrative is silent on a critical point,
whether the head and feet were left attached to the skins. The great variety
of birds taken apparently was typical of some segments of the feather trade
as is mentioned in material cited by Covington.1a A description of the plume-
hunting operations of J. H. Batty as Scott observed them at Big Gasparilla
Pass in May, 1886, is particularly revealing on this point.
In the morning I went on the beach with Mr. Batty, and we shot
Knots, Black-bellied Sandpipers, Sanderlings, and Turnstones over
decoys, all these species being used by Mr. Batty in his feather
business. At the same time two of Mr. Batty's men were killing Wil-
son's Plovers, Least Terns, Boat-tailed Blackbirds, Gray Kingbirds,
and any other small species that came in their way. The Least Terns
are particularly in demand in the hat business, and Mr. Batty paid
for such small birds as I have enumerated ten or fifteen cents each
in the flesh. All Owls, and particularly the Barred Owl, are desir-
able. The feathers of these, as well as of Hawks, are bleached by
processes that Mr. Batty described to me, and used for hats and
other decoration. One of Mr. Batty's employees told me that they
had left a party at the pass below, where they were killing the same
kind of birds, and that Mr. Batty was constantly purchasing and
trading with native and other gunners for plumes and round and
flat skins of all the desirable birds of the region. Not less than
sixty men were working on the Gulf Coast for Mr. Batty in this
From the Bonton account alone it could not be concluded with any
certainty that Chevelier was a scientific collector. Pierce's narrative did
suggest this possibility strongly enough to spur a re-examination of what
was known of the man from other sources.
Several residents of Everglades and Chokoloskee to whom Dr. Tebeau
talked in connection with his study of the history of the southwest coast
had been acquainted with Chevelier. Although plume-hunting still flourished
in the region at that time, they remembered him only as a naturalist and
collector. One, who as a boy had lived for some time at Possum Key,
recalled that Chevelier kept three guns for shooting birds of different sizes,
and that he had a field camp on Gopher Key where he did much of his
collecting. It seems certain, as well, that Chevelier was "the Frenchman"
for whom Bill House worked as a guide and assistant collecting eggs of
A check of the contemporary ornithological literature soon revealed
that Chevelier had been known on the Gulf Coast as both plume hunter and
collector, and that he had a longer history in southern Florida than had been
suspected. The following from Scott is the earliest definite reference to him
so far found.
When I previously visited this point* A. Lechevallier had located
on the mainland about three-quarters of a mile away; here he had
built a house and was killing birds on the island for the feather
market. He or his assistants had been there a little over a year, and
I am told by persons living near, whom I have every reason to
believe, that it took these men five breeding seasons to break up,
by killing and frightening the birds away, this once incomparable
* Maximo Rookery, located on an island off Pinellas Point in the south end of Boca
Ciega Bay. Scott's previous visit occurred in the late winter or early spring of 1880.1o
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, IR.
breeding resort. Of course there were other plume hunters who
aided in the slaughter, but the old Frenchman and his assistants
are mainly responsible for the wanton destruction. He regarded this
as his particular preserve, and went so far as to order outsiders,
who came to kill Herons and other birds, off the ground. The rookery
being destroyed, he had now given up his residence here.20
This passage identifies Chevelier as perhaps the first large-scale plume
hunter to operate on the Gulf Coast. If Scott's information was correct,
Chevelier must have left the Tampa Bay area only a few months before
the Bonton account places him in Miami. Besides other references to Chevelier
at Maximo, Scott's 1887 paper also mentions hearsay accounts of a plume-
hunting expedition led by Chevelier to Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor
in 1885 that can only have been the cruise of the Bonton.
Scott's references to Chevelier in the 1887 paper suggest that the two
were not personally acquainted. Scott evidently did not know then that the
blackest figure in his gallery of plume-hunting rogues was also an ornitholog-
ical collector. Contact with this side of Chevelier's activities seems to date
from Scott's acquaintance with J. W. Atkins, whom he met for the first time
at Punta Rassa on May 19, 1886.21
Atkins was a telegrapher by profession and a self-taught ornithologist.
He came to Punta Rassa probably in 1883-3 and was stationed at Key West
for many years after 1887.23 Before he met Scott, Atkins had made a small
collection of local birds at Punta Rassa. Apparently as a result of their
meeting, he became a much more active collector, particularly during his
early years at Key West. Atkins published little, but Scott, in a series of
papers published in The Auk in the years 1887-1890, refers continually to
specimens and notes sent to him by Atkins. Taken together these data
represent a major contribution to knowledge of southern Florida birds. Of
particular importance is the fact that Atkins was a resident ornithologist.
Scott, as so many of the writers on Florida natural history before and since,
was a winter visitor from the North.
In the publications mentioned above, Scott specifically refers to seven
bird skins as having been collected by "A. Lechevallier." Scott's notes make
it plain that information about all of these came to him through Atkins.
The seven specimens are listed below in order of published mention. Locality
and date of collection are included where known.
Short-tailed Hawk, near Cape Romano, 15 December 1886.24
5" Chatham Bay, 12 November 1888.25
Miami, 11 October 1883.-
Chatham Bay, 2 February 1889.2
Swallow-tailed Kite, near Miami, (no date).2o
White-tailed Kite, below Cape Romano, (no date) ."
Scisor-tailed Flycatcher, Miami, (no date).""
The second, third, fourth, and sixth specimens above are stated to be
in Scott's collection bearing his catalog numbers 3216, 3215, 3225, and
3218. The close spacing of the catalog numbers suggests that all were in-
cluded in the lot of bird skins that Atkins "kindly secured for me from A.
Lechevallier".' The first specimen above is noted as having been sent for
identification by Atkins to Scott and by Scott to J. A. Allen.-I Presumably
it was part of Atkins' collection, as was the above Swallow-tailed Kite. Of
the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Scott notes28 "Mr. Atkins writes me that he
has examined a single bird of this kind, taken at Miami by A. Lechevallier."
It appears that this specimen may have remained in Chevelier's possession.
The birds known to have been collected by Chevelier all are records
of considerable interest. The Short-tailed Hawks were among the earliest
Florida specimens to come to scientific attention, and were of critical
importance to Scott in his study of the color phases of that species. Scott's
later references to Chevelier are noticeably more restrained than those to
"the old Frenchman" who destroyed Maximo Rookery.
Nothing is known of Atkins' association with Chevelier beyond what
may be gleaned from Scott's comments on the specimens. The acquaintance,
however, apparently persisted for at least several years. It seems probable
that they would have met during the Bonton's visits to Punta Rassa, if not
acquainted before that time.
Several things combine to suggest that Chevelier was a much more active
ornithological collector than is evident from the scanty published record.
The box of birds received by Scott through Atkins" apparently included
specimens other than those cited. It is likely that additional specimens col-
lected by Chevelier will be found in the museums that acquired the collections
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, JR.
of Scott and Atkins. Chevelier may also have been in contact with other
collectors. Perhaps the most likely possibility is J. H. Batty, another who
combined plume hunting and scientific collecting on the Florida Gulf Coast
in the 1880's"3. Specimens mentioned at various places in the ornithological
literature of Florida couple locality names such as Chatham Bay, Chatham
Bend, Chatham River, Turner's River, Maximo Point, Marco Island, Cape
Romano, and Ten Thousand Islands with dates from 1880 to 1895. From
what is known of the itineraries of other collectors of the day, it is probable
that a number of these specimens trace back to Chevelier.
Any other of his specimens that are accompanied by collection data will
add to historical knowledge of Chevelier's career in southern Florida. Such
specimens, if in U. S. museums, are less likely to be of ornithological interest.
One tends to presume, at least, that Howell or other compilers found and
examined them, and that the data they bear have entered the published record
of south Florida birds.
Ornithological curiosity is more attracted by specimens that Chevelier
may have shipped to Europe. He is known to have collected birds in southern
Florida over a span of nearly 12 years. Even if most of the presently doubt-
ful specimens known to the literature of Florida birds prove actually to be
Chevelier's, their number is still too few to indicate more than casual attention
to scientific collecting. Bird skins in the collections of two U.S. museums,
however, prove that Chevelier did indeed send scientific specimens to Europe.
While checking Florida birds at the American Museum of Natural His-
tory in 1958 and at the United States National Museum in 1961, I found the
(AMNH No. 501469) Common Crow-"Chatham Bay, Florida, 12
February 1888. Collected by A. Lechevallier."
(USNM Nos. 146854 and 146855) Swallow-tailed Kite-Both "Flor-
ida", no date. Collector's name given on the tags as "Chevalier" and "Le
I am indebted to Wesley A. Lanyon and John W. Aldrich for information
about the acquisition of these specimens.
The crow was from the collection assembled by Lord Rothschild at
Tring, England, and purchased by the American Museum in 19313'. The two
kites were among specimens donated to the U. S. National Museum by
M. Adolphe Boucard=3. Both Dr. Lanyon and Dr. Aldrich stated that the
acquisitions in question may well include other birds collected by Chevelier.
A thorough check of the above collections should give an idea of the
number of bird specimens from Florida that Chevelier sent to Europe. It
seems probable that the material was distributed among the more active
European collections of the time. It may since have become still more widely
dispersed, as is suggested by the following from a notice of the death of
"To the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle at Paris he is stated to have
given the greater part of his large series of books and birds, while
he distributed the duplicates to the U. S. National Museum and the
Royal Museums of Madrid and Lisbon."33
From present information it appears possible that the "The Cruise of
the Bonton" may lead by devious channels to knowledge of an important and
previously overlooked early collection of birds from southern Florida.
American Ornithologists' Union, Check-list of North American Birds, Fifth Edition.
a J. J. Audubon, Ornithological Biography, Vol. 3, p. 496. 1835.
a E.g., C. J. Maynard, Birds of Eastern North America, p. 472. 1881; H. H. Bailey, The
Birds of Florida, p. 19. 1925.
Maynard, op. cit., p. 410.
a W. E. D. Scott, "Supplementary Notes from the Gulf Coast of Florida, etc.," The Auk,
Vol. 5 (April, 1888), p. 184.
6 S. F. Baird, T. M. Brewer, and R. Ridgway, The Water Birds of North America, Vol.
1, p. 37. 1884.
7 A. H. Howell, Florida Bird Life, p. 119. 1932.
W. E. D. Scott, "A Summary of Observations on the Birds of the Gulf Coast of
Florida," The Auk, Vol. 6 (January, 1889), p. 15.
o A. Sprunt, Jr., Florida Bird Life, p. 47. 1954.
to W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1889), p. 14.
IL R. P. Allen, The Flamingos: Their Life History and Survival, Research Report No. 5,
National Audubon Society, pp. 39-45. 1956.
i2 Summarized by Howell, op. cit., p. 284. 1932.
13 W. E. D. Scott, The Auk, Vol. 4 (April, July, and October, 1887), pp. 135-144, 213-222,
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, JR.
ia "History of Florida Ornithology," pp. 6-37, in Howell, op. cit. 1932.
1. W. E. D. Scott, op. cit, (1887), p. 141.
1s J. W. Covington, The Story of Southwestern Florida, Vol. 1, p. 179. 1957.
17 W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1887), pp. 276-277.
is Ivan D. Sutton, "Nesting of the Swallow-tailed Kite", Everglades Natural History, Vol.
3 (June, 1955), p. 74.
i9 W. E. D. Scott, "On Birds Observed in Sumpter, Levy, and Hillsboro Counties, Flor-
ida," Bull. Nuttall Ornithological Club, Vol. 6 (January, 1881), pp. 14-21.
so W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1887), p. 282.
21 W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1887), p. 221.
22 See, "Notes and News," The Auk, Vol. 5 (January, 1888), p. 128. The letter in ques-
tion is not signed, but internal evidence suggests that it was written by Atkins.
23 The date of Atkins' move to Key West is somewhat uncertain. The latest date on which
he is known to have been in Punta Rassa is 1 September 1887. For a brief biography
of Atkins see, T. S. Palmer, "John Wyley Atkins," The Auk, Vol. 50 (January, 1933),
2* W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1888), p. 185.
as W. E. D. Scott, "On the Specific Identity of Buteo brachyurus and Buteo fuliginosus,
with Additional Records of Their Occurrence in Florida," The Auk, Vol. 6 (July,
1889A), p. 244.
so W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1889), p. 246.
27 W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1889), p. 247.
zs W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1889), p. 318.
29 W. E. D. Scott, op. cit. (1889A), p. 243.
3o For a brief biography of Batty, see J. A. Allen, "Mr. J. H. Batty," The Auk, Vol. 23
(July, 1906), pp. 356-357.
1i W. E. Lanyon, in litt., 26 October 1962.
sz J. W. Aldrich, in litt., 2 November 1962. Because nothing is known of Chevelier before
about 1879, it is of interest to note Dr. Aldrich's mention that the donor's file of the
U. S. National Museum includes note of four bird specimens (from Labrador!)
donated by a "Lechevallier" in 1869.
as The Ibis, Vol. 5 (8th Series, 1906), p. 300.
CHARLES WILLIAM PIERCE the only son of Hannibal Dillingham Pierce
and Margaret Moore was born in Waukegan, Illinois, July 16, 1864. His
father came originally from Maine where he had gone to sea as a whaler.
His mother was a school teacher in the Chicago area.
The family moved to Florida in 1872, coming by sailboat down the
Mississippi and across to Cedar Keys and by railroad to Jacksonville and
shortly thereafter settled on Lake Worth where they homesteaded the lower
end of Hypoluxo Island, located in the south end of that lake.
His boyhood and young manhood were spent in the great outdoors of
this primeval area. Although never having had the advantage of a formal
education, his mother was careful to give him a real background of basic
knowledge. This coupled with an avid desire to read and learn developed
him into a man with a great depth of knowledge of places and things.
He married Yallahs Lizette Wallack in Lemon City in 1895 and moved
to the town of Boynton which was just being settled. There he remained
the balance of his life. He was the town's first postmaster and at the time
of his death on July 10, 1937 had the longest tenure of office of any Post-
master in South Florida. He was active in the civic life of Boynton and
served eight years as President of the Bank of Boynton.
Always a lover of the outdoors and southeast Florida, by reason of his
early environment, he wrote a number of articles based on various trips
and cruises. During the last ten years of his life he spent his spare time
recounting his life and experiences on the lower east coast of Florida from
1872 to 1925. This account of the Cruise of the Bonton, based on the log
of that journey over forty years earlier, was completed just before his
He is survived by a son, Charles L. Pierce of Fort Lauderdale and a
sister Mrs. F. C, Voss of Boynton Beach.
By Charles L. Pierce
CHARLES L. PIERCE who prepared the biographical sketch of his father, is
a retired banker in Fort Lauderdale who also has a great interest in local
history about which he is frequently asked to speak.
WILLIAM B. ROBERTSON, JR., who prepared the footnotes and the orni-
thological notes is Park Biologist for the Southeastern Region, National
Park Service, with an office at the Everglades National Park Headquarters.
He has made an intensive five year study of birds of the region.
The Association's Historical Marker Program
On January 20, 1962 in ceremonies at Homestead and Key West the
Association dedicated two historical markers "The Railroad That Went to
Sea" and "Southern Terminus of Overseas Railway." Sponsored by the Home-
stead-Redlands District Chamber of Commerce, the commemoration of the
50th anniversary of the completion of the Overseas Railway began with a
breakfast at eight o'clock in the Homestead National Guard armory. Mrs.
Jean Louise Flagler Mook, granddaughter of Henry M. Flagler, and William
H. Krome of Homestead, son of William J. Krome, chief construction
engineer on the project, unveiled the marker in Citizen Soldier Wayside Park
on U. S. Highway 1. Homestead. David C. Eldredge delivered the address.
THE RAILROAD THAT WENT TO SEA
Here began the world-famed "Overseas Railway" which for
twenty-three years-from 1912 to 1935-carried trains of the
Florida East Coast Railway across the Everglades and over the
Florida Keys to Key West. Financed entirely by Henry M. Flagler,
Florida's Bold Empire Builder, the construction of this unique sea-
going railroad was one of the notable engineering feats of the 20th
century. Hurricane damage in September 1935 led to its abandon-
ment as a railroad and its acquisition by the State of Florida. In
1938 it was converted to the Overseas Highway.
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.-1962
The Association's Historical Marker Program
A motorcade then moved south over what had been the railroad grade
and bridges to Key West. At four o'clock in the afternoon the second dedi-
cation, sponsored by Holiday Inn of Key West marked the southern terminus
of the railroad. Mrs. Mook and Mrs. Nora K. Smiley, sister of William J.
Krome and author with Louise V. White of Hurricane Road a book dealing
with the building of the railroad, unveiled the marker and William B.
Thompson, Jr., President of the Florida East Coast Railway, gave the dedi-
SOUTHERN TERMINUS OF THE OVERSEAS RAILWAY
Here on January 22, 1912, the "Flagler Special" the first
passenger Train ever to arrive in Key West, came to a halt and
Henry M. Flagler, Florida's Empire Builder, was tumultuously
welcomed by the largest outpouring of citizens in the city's history.
The Train's arrival marked the completion of one of the world's
most remarkable railroads. For twenty three years-from 1912 to
1935-passenger trains were operated on daily schedule from Key
West and New York and car ferries were operated between Key
West and Havana. In 1938 the railroad was converted to the Over-
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.-1962
The Association's Historical Marker Program
On Saturday October 13, 1962, officers and members of the Association
joined with citizens of Fort Myers and visitors to commemorate October as
the "Month of Achievement" in the life of Thomas A. Edison by dedicating
a marker at his home, sponsored by the City of Fort Myers. The day's events
began with a luncheon at the Royal Palm Yacht Club. At 2:30 P. M. Charles
Edison Poyer, a nephew of Edison and Robert C. Halgrim, manager of the
Edison estate unveiled the marker. Robert H. Fite, President of the Florida
Power and Light Company delivered the address. A reception on the estate
grounds and a complimentary tour of the home and laboratory followed the
"Seminole Lodge", winter home and laboratory of famed in-
ventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) who came to Fort Myers
in 1884 for the first of a long series of "working vacations." Here
he spent countless hours with co-workers to perfect earlier in-
ventions such as the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph,
moving picture camera and storage battery, and to explore new
ideas. (1097 U. S. Patents) He also developed here one of the
most extensive tropical botanical gardens in the United States.
On a miniature rubber plantation he found Florida goldenrod
the most promising native plant to produce natural rubber. Mrs.
Edison, before her death in 1947, gave the estate to the City of Fort
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.--1962
STATEMENT OF CASH RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED AUGUST 31, 1962
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.
CASH- SEPTEMBER 1, 1961 ------.------------------------ $18,601.01
Dues Collected ---------------------------- $5,838.53
Contributions to Museum Fund ----------------- 81.00
Interest on Savings Account -------------------- 483.34
Dividends on Securities --------------------- 100.95
Sale of Publications ------------------------- 931.55
Sale of Prior Tequestas- ---------- 45.00
Marker Fund Income ------------------- 300.00
Other Income ------------------ 185.14
Sales Tax Collections Less Payments ------ 3.72
Employee's Taxes Withheld Less Payments -------... 6212
TOTAL RECEIPTS -------------------------------------- 8,031.35
TOTAL CASH AVAILABLE ------------------------------- $26,632.36
Salaries ------------------------------------- $1,733.36
Office Supplies and Printing ------------------- 383.41
Tequestas Publication Costs -------------------- 967.06
Newsletter Publication Costs --- --------------- 450.62
Other Publication Costs ----------------------- 180.00
Meetings Expense ----------------------------- 536.27
Library ---------------------------------- 93.87
Marker Fund Expense ------------------------- 865.37
Purchase of Books for Resale ------------------ 567.95
Executive Secretary's Expenses ----------------- 68.00
Other Expenses --------------------------- 604.86
Building and Grounds Maintenance and Repairs-- 1,296.79
Interest on Mortgage ------------------------- 1,416.24
Insurance ----------------------------------- 266.86
F.I.C.A. Taxes ---------------------------- 27.09
Purchase of Furnishings and Equipment ---------.. 359.39
Building Improvements ---------------------- 49.90
Payments on Mortgage Principal ------------- 1,283.76
TOTAL DISBURSEMENTS -------------------------- ------- 11,150.80
CASH AUGUST 31, 1962 ----------------------------------------- $15,481.56
J. FLOYD MONK, Treasurer
COMPARATIVE STATEMENT OF ASSOCIATION EQUITY
AS OF AUGUST 31, 1962 AND AUGUST 31, 1961
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.
August 31, August 31,
Cash in Bank:
Checking Account ---------------------------- $ 1,002.41 $ 2,861.00
Savings Account ------------------------ 14,429.15 15,740.01
Petty Cash Fund ------------------------------------- 50.00 -0-
TOTAL CASH --------------------------------- 5.481.56 18601.01
SECURITIES (at Market Value) -----------------------$ 3,103.87 $ 3,487.88
Tequestas on Hand $---- -------- --------- 1,019.00 $ 867.00
Non-Association Publications on Hand ---------- 490.46 591.04
Utility Deposit ------------------------------------- 50.00 50.00
TOTAL OTHER ASSETS ----------------------$ 1,559.46 $ 1,508.04
FIXED ASSETS (AT COST)
Land $---------------------------------------15,000.00 $15.000.00
Building ------------------ 25,749.44 25,749.44
Building Improvements --------------- 8,403.55 8,353.65
Furnishings and Equipment ------------ 1,174.99 815.60
Total ----------------------$50,327.98 $49,918.69
Less Balance Due on Mortgage --------------------22,902.62 24,186.38
Net Equity in Museum ---------- $27,425.36 $25,732.31
Audio Visual Equipment ------------------ 1,240.61 1,240.61
TOTAL FIXED ASSETS ------------- $28,665.97 $26,972.92
TOTAL ASSETS --- --------------------------------$48,810.86 $50,569.85
Employee Withholding Taxes ------------ 62.12 -0-
TOTAL NET WORTH -----------------------------$48,748.74
LIST OF MEMBERS
EXPLANATORY NOTE: The Association provides several classes of membership.
"Sustaining" members who pay five dollars a year make up the basic member-
ship. For those who wish to contribute more for the promotion of the Associa-
tion's work the other classes of membership provide the opportunity, and the
publication of their names in the proper category of membership is a means of
recognition. "Patrons" pay ten dollars a year, "Donors" pay twenty-five dollars
a year, "Contributors" pay fifty dollars a year, "Sponsors" pay one hundred
dollars a year, and "Benefactors" pay two hundred and fifty or more dollars
This printed roster is made up of the names of those persons and institutions
that have paid dues in 1961, or in 1962 before September 30 when this material
must go to the press. Those joining after this date in 1962 will have their names
included in the 1962 roster. The symbol ** indicates founding member and
symbol indicates charter member.
Adams, Adam G., Coral Gables
Albertson Public Library, Orlando
Aldridge, Miss Daisy, Miami
Allen, Joe, Key West
Allen, Stewart D., Miami
Allison, Mrs. John D., Miami
American Museum of Natural History
Anderson, Mrs. Nils E., Miami
Anderson, Robert H., Miami
Anthony, Roscoe T., Palm Beach
Arbogast, Keith, Miami
Archer, Ben, Homestead
Archer, Marjorie, Homestead
Arnold, Mrs. Roger Williams, Miami
Atkins, C. Clyde, Miami
Auerbach, Allen S., Hollywood
Avery, George N., Big Pine Key
Axelson, Ivar, Miami
Bartow Public Library
Baskin, M. A., Coral Gables
Bassett, Rex, Jr., Ft. Lauderdale
Bathe, Greville, St. Augustine
Beal, K. Malcolm, Miami*
Beare, Mrs. Richard, Miami
Beck, Mrs. Alfred., Ft. Lauderdale*
Beckham, W. H., Jr., Coral Gables
Beyer, Dr. R. C., Miami
Bills, Mrs. John T., Miami
Bingham, Mrs. Millicent T.,
Washington, D. C.
Bishop, Edwin G., Miami*
Blanton, Judge W. F., Miami
Blassingame, Wyatt, Anna Maria
Blouvelt, Mrs. Arthur M., Coral Gables
Bose, John II, Miami
Bowman, Rt. Rev. Marion, St. Leo
Bozeman, R. E., Washington, D. C.
Boyd, Dr. Mark F., Tallahassee*
Brady, Mrs. H. R., Key Biscayne
Brannen, H. S., Miami Springs
Brantner, Mrs. Wilma, Marathon
Brigham, Miss Florence S., Miami
Brignolo, Joseph B., Miami
Brook, John Jr., Miami
Brookfield, Charles M., Miami*
Brooks, J. R., Homestead
Brooks, Marvin J., Miami
Brown, Daniel M., Jr., Miami
Brown University Library
Brown, T. 0., Frostproof
Bruce, Mrs. Betty, Key West
Bullen, Ripley P., Gainesville
Burghard, August, Ft. Lauderdale
Burkett, Mrs. Charles W., Jr., Miami Beach
Burns, Edward B., Hialeah
Burton, Mrs. Robert A.*
Bush, Mrs. Franklin C., Coral Gables*
Bush, James D., Jr., South Miami
Bush, Lewis M., South Miami
Busse, Raymond J., Main
Byrd, Mrs. J. Wade, Miami
Cahill, J. F., Wonder Lake, 1ll.
Caldwell, Thomas P., Coral Gables**
Caldwell, Mrs. Thomas P., Coral Gables*
Campbell, Park H., South Miami*
Capron, Louis, West Palm Beach
Carnine, Miss Helen M., Coral Gables
Carson, Mrs. Ruby Leach, Miami**
Cartee, Mrs. Horace L, Coral Gables
Carter, Mrs. George deLain, Coral Gables
Carter, Kenneth W.,
Grosse Point Woods, Mich.
Catlow, Mrs. William R., Jr.,
Westfield, New Jersey**
Central Florida Museum, Orlando
Chance, Michael, Naples
Cheetham, Joseph M., Miami
Close, Kenneth, Coral Gables
Coconut Grove Library
Comerford, Miss Nora A., Coral Gables
Connolly, William D., Jr., Miami
Cook, John B., Miami
Cooper, Mrs. Myers Y., Coral Gables
Coral Gables High School
Coral Gables Public Library*
Corley, Miss Pauline. Miami**
Coslow, George R., Miami
Covington, Dr. James W., Tampa
Cowden, George E., Naples
Crain Engineering Company, Miami
Criswell, Col. Grover C.,
Culpepper, Mrs. Kay M., Miami
Cummings, Rev. George W., Venice
Cushman, The School, Miami*
Darrow, Miss Dorothy, Coral Gables
Dalrymple, Ernest C., Hollywood
Davis, Bernard, Miami
Davis, Hal D., Coral Gables
Davis, Sidney, Ft. Myers
De Boe, Mrs. Mizpah Otto, Coral Gables
Deedmeyer, George J., Miami*
Deedmeyer, Mrs. George J., Miami
de Lamorton, Fred, Tampa
De Nies, Charles F., Hudson, Mich.
Dilullo, Mrs. Luedith, Downey, Calif.
Dismukes, Dr. Wm. Paul, Coral Gables*
Dodd, Miss Dorothy, Tallahassee*
Dorn, Harold W., South Miami
Dorn, Mrs. Mabel W., South Miami
Dorothy, Mrs. Caroline, Coral Gables*
DuBois, Mrs. J. R., Jupiter
Dunaway, Mrs. Carl Ellis, Miami*
Duncan, Marvin L., Miami
Elder, Dr. S. F., Miami*
Emerson, Dr. William C., Rome, N. Y.
Englehardt, Leo, Ft. Myers
Everglades Natural History
Fenn, Abbott T., Williamstown, Mass.
Fite, Robert H., Miami
Fitzgerald, Dr. Joseph H., Miami
Fitzpatrick, Monsignor John J., Hollywood
Florida Southern College, Lakeland
Florida State Library, Tallahassee
Fortner, Ed., Ocala
Foss, George B., Jr., St. Petersburg
Freeland, Mrs. William L, Miami**
Feeling, J. S., Miami
Freeling, Mrs. J. S., Miami
Freeman, Mrs. Ethel C., Morristown, N. J.
Freeman, Harley L, Ormond Beach
Fuchs, Richard W., Florida City
Fullerton, R. C., Coral Gables
Fuzzard, Miss Jessie M., Miami*
Gannaway, Mrs. K. C., Miami
Gautier, Thomas N., Miami
Gibson, Mrs. Walter C., Miami*
Godfrey, Clyde, Miami
Griffen, F. S., Miami
Griggs, Mrs. Nelson W., Miami Shores
Griswold, Oliver, Miami
Halgrim, Robert C., Ft. Myers
Hall, Willis E., Coral Gables
Halstead, W. L., Miami
Hampton, Mrs. John, Sparks, Md.*
Hancock, Mrs. J. T., Okeechobee
Handler, Frances Clark, Miami
Harding, Col. Read B., Arcadia
Harllee, J. William, Miami
Harlow, Rev. Frank E., Coral Gables
Harlow, Mrs. Frank E., Coral Gables
Harrington, Frederick H., Hialeah
Hart, Mrs. Reginald, Coral Gables
Hartnett, Fred B., Coral Gables*
Harvard College Library
Havee, Justine P., Miami
Havee, Mrs. Kathryn, Miami
Hellier, Walter R., Ft. Pierce
Hendry, Judge Norman, Miami
Herin, Thomas D., Miami
Herin, Judge William A., Miami*
Hess, Mrs. E. L., Miami
Hill, Mrs. A. Judson, Miami
Hills, Lee, Miami
Hillsborough County Historical
Hodsden, Mrs. Harry, Miami
Holcomb, Lyle D., Miami
Holcomb, Lyle D., Jr., Miami
Holland, Hon. Spessard L.,
Washington, D. C.
Holmdale, Mrs. A. G., Miami
Hubbell, Willard, Miami
Humphreys, Mrs. D. M., Ft. Lauderdale
Huntington, Henry E., San Marino, Calif.
Jacksonville Free Public Library
Jacobstein, Mrs. Helen L., Coral Gables
Jamaica Inn, Key Biscayne
Johns, Dr. Robert, Coral Gables
Johnson, S/Sgt. George W., Orlando
Jones, Mrs. L. A., Miami*
Jones, Mrs. Mary A., Miami
Kelley, Mrs. Floy W., West Palm Beach
Kendall, Harold E., Goulds
Kent, Selden G., Miami
Kenyon, Alfred, Ft. Lauderdale
Key West Art & Historical Society
King, Dr. C. Harold, Miami
Kirk, C., Ft. Lauderdale
Kistler, The C. W. Company, Miami
Klingler, Mrs. Harry S., Coral Gables
Knight, Telfair, Coral Gables
Knott, Judge James R., West Palm Beach
TEQU E STA
Knowles, Mrs. J. H., Miami
Kohl, Mrs. Lavenia B., Palm Beach
Lake Worth Public Library
Laxon, Dan D., Hialeah
Lemon City Library & Improvement
Leon County Public Library
Lewis, Miss Carlotta, Coral Gables
Leyden, Mrs. Charles S., Coral Gables
Limmiatis, Ernest, Miami
Lindsey Hopkins Vocational School, Miami
Lindsley, A. R., Miami Beach
Littlefield, Miss Helena, South Miami
Longshore, Frank, Miami
Lummus, Tom J., Miami
Lyell, Dr. Robert 0., Miami
Lyell, Mrs. Robert 0., Miami
Lynch, Sylvester John, Sarasota*
MacDonald, Miss Barbara, Miami
MacDonald, Miss Betty, Miami
MacDonald, Duncan, Miami*
Mangels, Dr. Celia C., Miami Shores
Mangels, Henry E., Jr., Miami
Manley, Miss Marion I., Miami
Manly, Albert B., Homestead
Manly, Charles W., Miami
Manning, Mrs. Wm. S., Jacksonville
Marchman, Watt P., Fremont, Ohio*
Marks, Henry S., Hollywood
Martin, Mrs. Kirby A., New York, N. Y.
Martin, Melbourne L., Coral Gables
Martin, Mrs. Paul C., Miami
Martin County Historical Society, Stuart
Mason, Mrs. Joe J., Miami
Mason, Dr. Walter Scott, Jr., South Miami*
May, Philip S., Jacksonville
McDonald, Mrs. John, Miami Beach
McGoff, Daniel J., Miami Beach
McGregor, Angus H., Miami
McKim, Mrs. L. H., Montreal, Canada
McLin, C. H., Coral Gables
McNeill, Robert E., Jr., New York, N. Y.
Merrick, Mrs. Eunice P., Coral Gables
Merritt, Dr. Webster, Jacksonville
Miami Public Library*
Miami Senior High School
Miami Springs Memorial Public Library
Mickler, Mrs. Georgine J., Orlando
Mileo Photo Supply Inc., Coral Gables
Miller, Raymond M., Miami*
Minshew, Rev. A. P., Ft. Myers
Mission of Nombre de Dios, St. Augustine
Mitchell, C. J., Stonington, Conn.
Molt, Fawdrey, Key Biscayne
Monk, J. Floyd, Miami
Monroe County Public Library, Key West
Morris, Allen C., Tallahassee
Moulds, Andrew J., Coral Gables
Moulds, Mrs. Andrew J., Coral Gables
Muir, William, Miami
Muller, Dr. Leonard R., Miami*
Mullin, Thomas J., Miami
Munroe, Wirth M., Miami
Murtha, Miss Mary, Miami
Nelson, Mrs. Winifred H., Miami
Neumann, Robert E., Miami
Newberry Library, Chicago, Ill.
Newman, Mrs. Anna Pearl, Vero Beach
Nordt, Mrs. John C., Miami
Norris, Hardgrove, Miami
North Miami High School Library
Otto, Mrs. Thomas Osgood, Miami Beach
Pace, Rev. Johnson Hagood, Jr.,
Padgett, Inman, Coral Gables
Padrick, George P., Miami Springs
Paget, Richard L, Miami
Palm Beach County Historical Society
Pancoast, Lester C., Miami
Pardo, Mrs. Ramiro V., Miami
Parker, Alfred B., Miami
Parker, Theodore R., Grand Bahama Island
Parmalee, Dean, Miami
Patrick, Dr. Rembert W., Gainesville
Pearce, Mrs. Dixon, Miami
Pedersen, George C., Perrine
Peirce, Gertrude C., Miami
Pendleton, Robert S., Ft. Lauderdale
Peters, Mrs. Thelma, Miami*
Pierce, C. L., Ft. Lauderdale
Platt, T. Beach, Miami
Porter, Jack E., Miami
Prahl, William, Miami
Prevatt, Preston G., Miami
Price, Gaylord L, Miami
Quigley, Ellen N., Miami Beach
Rasmussen, Dr. Edwin L., Ft. Myers**
Reed, Miss Elizabeth Ann, Delray Beach
Reynolds, Mrs. H. Jarvis, Coral Gables
Richmond, Charles M., Miami
Riviera Beach Library, Riviera Beach
Robertson, Mrs. L. B., Miami
Rollins College Library
Ross, Mrs. Richard F., Boca Raton
Santanello, M. C., Kendall
Sapp, Alfred E., Miami
Saunders, Dr. Lewis M., Miami
Sawyer, Clifton A., Warwick, R. I.
Schmidt, Stephen, Stuart
Schubert, Wenzel J., Miami
Schug, John W., Miami
Seley, Ray B., Jr., Miami
Sells, Arthur M., Miami
Sessa, Dr. Frank B., Miami
Sevelius, E. A., Miami
Shappee, Dr. Nathan D., Miami
Shaw, G. N., Miami
Shaw, Henry 0., Miami
Shaw, Miss Luelle, Miami*
Simmons, Glen, Homestead
Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine
Skill, Pearl T., Homestead
Slaughter, Dr. Frank G., Jacksonville
Smith, Gilbert B., Coral Gables
Snodgrass, Miss Dena, Jacksonville
Soubiran, Dorothy, Miami
Southern Illinois University Libraries,
Sparks, Mrs. Charles, Fortville, Ind.
Speer, H. L., Starke
Spence, Sam, Miami
Spinks, Mrs. Elizabeth J., Miami*
State University of Iowa Libraries
State Historical Society of Wisconsin
Steel, Win. C., Miami
Steinecker, Herbert E., Miami
Stern, David S., Miami
Stevens, Mrs. T. T., Miami
Stranaham, Mrs. Frank, Fort Lauderdale*
Stripling Insurance Agency, Hialeah
Strong, Clarence E., South Miami*
Stuart, Mrs. Jack F., Miami
Talley, Howard J., Miami
Tampa Public Library
Taylor, Henry H., Jr., Miami
Teachers' Professional Library, Miami
Tebeau, Dr. Charlton W., Coral Gables*
Tebeau, Mrs. Violet H., Coral Gables
Ten Eick, Mrs. M. Nunez, Tampa*
Tennessee State Library and Archives
Tharp, Dr. Charles Doren, South Miami*
Thrift, Dr. Charles T., Jr., Lakeland
Tietze, Robert A., Coral Gables
Tietze, Mrs. Robert A., Coral Gables
Turner, Vernon W., Homestead
Tussey, Mrs. Ethel Wayt, Miami
Ullman, John, Jr., Fort Lauderdale
Adams, Wilton L., Coral Gables
Ansley, J. A., Ft. Myers
Ayars, Erling E., Miami
Baber, Adin, Kansas, Il.*
Bailey, Mrs. Ernest H., Coral Gables
Baker, Charles H., Jr., Miami*
Barge, Dr. Hubert A., Miami
Barton, Alfred I., Surfside
Baum, Dr. Earl L, Naples
Beardsley, Jim E., Clewiston
Bellous, C. M., Sr., Opa-Locka
Bischoff, William Dixon, Miami
Blackburn, Elmer E., Miami
Bradfield, E. S., Miami Beach**
University of Florida, Gainesville
University of Miami, Coral Gables
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
University of South Florida, Tampa
University of Tampa Library
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Van Buren, Mrs. Sarah T., Memphis, Tenn.
Vance, Mrs. Herbert 0., Coral Gables*
Walsh, Mrs. Charles H., Winter Haven
Walters, Mrs. Walter M., Coral Gables
Waters, Fred M., Jr., Coral Gables
Warner, William C., Miami
Warner, Mrs, William C., Miami
Wellman, Wayne E., Miami
Wenner, Henry S., Jr., Miami
Wentworth, T. T., Jr., Pensacola
West India Reference Library,
Wheeler, B. B., Lake Placid
White, Richard M., Miami
Whyte, A. N., Coral Gables
Wight, William S., Coral Gables
Wilkinson, Warren H., Jacksonville Beach
Williams, Dr. H. Franklin, Coral Gables*
Wilson, Albert B., Miami
Wilson, Gaines R., Miami**
Wilson, Mrs. Gaines R., Miami
Wilson, Peyton L., Miami*
Wilson, Miss Virginia, Miami
Wipprecht, Mrs. Marion H., Coral Gables
Withers, James G., Coral Gables
Withers, Wayne E., Coral Gables
Wittichen, Mrs. Murray F., Coral Gables
Wolf, Fred, Sr., Hallandale
Wolfe, Thomas L., Miami
Woodman, Jim Geneva, Switzerland
Woore, A. Meredith, Miami*
Wright, Mrs. Victor A., Miami Shores
Wylie, W. Gill, Jr., Palm Beach
Yonge, Julien C., Pensacola
Brody, Mrs. Margaret E., Key Biscayne
Brown, William J., Miami
Brown, Mrs. William J., Miami
Brunstetter, Roscoe, Coral Gables
Buhler, Mrs. J. E., Miami
Cameron, D. Pierre G., Miami
Chase, Randall II, Sanford
Clark, Mrs. Flournoy B., Coral Gables
Clark, George T., Miami
Coachman, Mrs. Minette K., Miami
Coachman, Richard A., Miami
Cole, R. B., Miami
Combs, Walter H., Jr., Miami*
Combs, Mrs. Walter H., Sr., Miami*
Corliss, C. J., Washington, D. C.
Cotton, E. L., Miami
Cowell, Dr. Edward H., Coral Gables
Craighead, Dr. F. C., Homestead
Crane, Francis V., Marathon
Crane, Mrs. Francis V., Marathon
Crow, Mrs. Lon Worth, Miami*
Dalenberg, George R., Miami
Dee, William V., Miami*
Dorn, H. Lewis, South Miami
Dykes, Robert J., Miami
Fascell, Dante B., Coral Gables
Feibelman, Herbert U., Miami
Ferendino, Andrew J., Miami
Field, Dr. Henry, Miami
Fitzgerald-Bosh, Capt. F. S., Opa-Locka
Florence, Robert S., Miami
Flynn, Stephen J., Coral Gables
Freeman, Edison S., Miami
Frohock, Mrs. Jack, North Miami
Fuller, Walter P., Clearwater
Fussell, Carroll W., Bushnell
Gardner, Jack R., Miami
Gardner, Mrs. R. C., Miami*
Gibson, Henry C., Jenkintown, Pa.
Gifford, Mrs. John C., Miami*
Goldstein, Charles, Miami
Goldweber, S., Perrine
Graham, Ernest R., Hialeah
Graham, William A., Miami Springs
Hancock, E. M., Miami Beach
Hanks, Mr. Bryan, Ft. Worth, Texas*
Harris, Miss Julia Fillmore, Stuart*
Haycock, Ira C., Miami
Head-Beckham Ins. Agency, Inc., Miami
Heffernan, Judge D. J., Coral Gables
Helliwell, Paul L E., Miami
Herren, Norman A., Everglades
Hogan, Francis L., Miami
Hopkins, Dr. Oliver B., Miami
Houser, Roosevelt C., Miami
Howard, Lee, Miami Beach
Hudson, Senator F. M., Miami**
Hughes, Mrs. Fleda V., Miami
Johnson, Rovert V., Miami
Johnson, Thos. McE., Miami
Kent, Mrs. Frederick A., Miami
Kerr, James Benj., Ft. Lauderdale*
King, Mrs. Otis S., Miami
Kislak, Jay I., Miami
Kofoed, Jack, Miami
Krome, Mrs. Win. J., Homestead*
Lindgren, Mrs. M. E., Miami
Lipp, Morris N., Miami Beach
Malone, E. B., Hialeah
Martyn, Charles P., Jupiter
Mayes, Mrs. C. R., Jr., Pompano Beach
McCarthy, Don L., Nassau, Bahamas
McKibben, Dr. William W., Coral Gables
McNair, Angus K., Coral Gables
McSwain, Dr. Gordon H., Arcadia
Mead, D. Richard, Miami
Meisel, Max, Miami Beach
Melrose, Mary Jane, Miami
Memorial Library of the Palm Beaches
Merritt, Robert M., Miami
Mershon, M. L., Miami
Miami Beach Public Library
Miami Edison Senior Library
Modisette, Col. Welton M., Coral Gables
Morison, Horace, Boston, Mass.
Moseley, Albert B., Daytona Beach
Moylan, E. B., Jr., Miami
Mudd, Dr. Richard D., Saginaw, Mich.
Oglesby, R. M., Bartow
Pace, Mrs. Johnson H., Miami*
Pancoast, Russell T., Miami
Pendergast, Mrs. Eleanor L., Miami*
Pepper, Claude, Miami Beach
Philbrick, W. L., Miami
Pitt, Gerard, Miami*
Plowden, Gene, Miami
Polk County Historical Library, Bartow
Preston, J. E. Ted, Miami
Raap, Dr. Gerard, Miami
Rader, Earle M., Miami
Roberts, R, B., Jr., Miami
Rosner, George W., Coral Gables*
Schuberth, Andrew F., Jr., Miami
Scott, Paul R., Miami
Shank, H. W., Coral Gables
Smiley, Mrs. Nora K., Key West
Smith, Charles H., Miami
Smith, McGregor, Miami
Snyder, Dr. Clifford C., Coral Gables
Sokola, Anton, Miami
Spaulding, Mrs. E. E., Miami
St. Augustine Historical Society,
Stiles, Wade, South Miami
Taylor, Paul C., Bal Harbour
Thomas, Arden H., South Miami
Thomas, Wayne, Plant City
Town, Miss Eleanor F., Coral Gables
Towne, Robert R., Delray Beach
Tritton, Mrs. James, Opa-Locka
Underwood, Edwin H., Jr., Miami
Vanderpool, Fred W., Miami*
Van Orsdel, C. D., Coral Gables
Watson, W. Cecil, Coral Gables
Weaver, Mrs. Frances B., Ft. Lauderdale
West, William M., Miami
White, Mrs. Louise V., Key West
Whitten, George E., Miami
Wolfe, Miss Rosalie L., Miami
Zimmerman, Percy, Miami
Ashe, Mrs. Bowman F., Coral Gables
Baggs, William C., Miami
Beverley, John R., Coral Gables
Bickel, Karl A., Sarasota
Buker, Charles E., Sr., Coral Gables
Burdine, William M., Miami
Clinch, Duncan L, Miami
Cooper, George H., Princeton
Coral Gables Federal Savings and
Dickey, Dr. Robert F., Miami
Dohrman, Howard I., Miami
Emerson, Hugh P., Miami
Fee, David M., Fort Pierce
Fuchs Baking Company, South Miami
Gardner, Dick B., Miami
Gearhart, Ernest G., Jr., Miami
Gegenschatz, E. R., Miami
Giffin, John S., Miami
Highleyman, Daly, Miami
Holland, Judge John W., Coral Gables*
Holmer, Carl, Jr., Miami
Ahlenius, Stig, Miami
Keyes, Kenneth S., Miami
Florida Power & Light Co., Miami
Geiger, Mrs. August, Miami Beach*
Gondas Corporation, Miami
Link, Edwin A., Binghamton, N. Y.
Hughes, Mrs. Helene, Miami
Jaudon, Mrs. James F., Miami*
Knight, John S., Miami
Leffler, Miss Cornelia, Miami**
Lloyd, J. Harlan, Miami
Lummus, J. N., Jr., Miami
Mallory, Philip R., New York, N. Y.
McKey, Robert M., Miami
Orr, John B., Jr., Miami Beach
Palm Beach Art League, West Palm Beach
Parker Art Printing Association,
Poyer, Charles E., Miami Beach
Read, Emerson B., Coral Gables
Ross, Donald, Benton Harbor, Mich.
Saye, Roland A., Jr., Miami Beach
Shipe, Paul E., Miami
Thord-Gray, General I., Coral Gables
Wallace, George R., Miami Beach
Will, Lawrence E., Belle Glade
Wilson, D. Earl, Miami
Wolfson, Col. Mitchell, Miami
Mook, Mrs. Roger G., Rye, N. Y.
Withers Van Lines of Miami, Inc.
Orr, Joseph J., Jr., Miami
Pan American World Airways, Miami
Peninsular Armature Works, Miami
Baron de Hirsch Meyer Foundation, Crane, Mrs. Raymond E., Miami Beach
Miami Beach University of Miami, Coral Gables
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA, INC.
FOUNDED 1940-INCORPORATED 1941
Wayne E. Withers
Charlton W. Tebeau
Editor of Tequesta
Roland A. Saye, Jr.
Justin P. Havee
Miss Virginia Wilson
J. Floyd Monk
Jack E. Porter
Karl A. Bickel
Dr. James W. Covington
David M. Fee
Mrs. James T. Hancock
Mrs. Ruby Leach Carson
George H. Cooper
George J. Deedmeyer
Robert J. Dykes
Hugh P. Emerson
Mrs. William L. Freeland
Ernest G. Gearhart, Jr.
E. R. Gegenschatz
Kenneth S. Keyes
Norman A. Herren
Judge James R. Knott
West Palm Beach
Dr. Charles T. Thrift, Jr.
Mrs. Louise V. White
Mrs. Andrew J. Moulds
Wirth M. Munroe
John B. Orr, Jr.
Dr. Jay F. W. Pearson
Gaylord L. Price
George W. Rosner
Mrs. Frank Stranahan
Mrs. Herbert 0. Vance
Gaines R. Wilson