T 14 est *% THE JOURNAL OF THE HISTORICAL
ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
Arva Moore Parks Dr. Thelma P Peters
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 5
By J. Floyd Monk
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 39
By Thelma Peters
History of Pinewood (Cocoplum) Cemetery 63
By Oby Bonawit
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799 72
By Andrew Ellicott
Introduction by Charlton W. Tebeau
List of Members 83
COPYRIGHT 1978 BY THE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA
is published annually by the Historical Association of Southern
tteIeCst'^, Florida. Communications should be addressed to the Corresponding
Secretary of the Society, 3290 South Miami Avenue, Miami, Florida
33129. The Association does not assume responsibility for statements of fact or opinions
made by contributors.
This Page Blank in Original
Historical Association of Southern Florida, Inc.
FOUNDED 1940-INCORPORATED 1941
R. Layton Mank
Marie W. Anderson
First Vice President
Charles P. Munroe
Second Vice President
Stephen A. Lynch, III
Charlton W. Tebeau, Ph.D.
Ms. Arva Moore Parks
Associate Editor Tequesta
Thelma Peters, Ph.D.
Associate Editor Tequesta
Barbara E. Skigen
Randy E Nimnicht
Samuel J. Boldrick
Louis J. Botifoll
William E Brown, Jr.
Mrs. Thomas J. Cogswell
Eugene E. Cohen
Mrs. Douglas Erickson
Joseph H. Fitzgerald, M.D.
Hazel Reeves Grant
John C. Harrison
John C. Harrison, Jr.
Marcia J. Kanner
Harold E. Kendall
Joseph H. Pero, Jr.
Eugene E Provenzo, Jr., Ph.D.
Robert D. Sharbert
William M. Stokes, Ph.D.
lone S. Wright, Ph.D.
This Page Blank in Original
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837
J. Floyd Monk*
Most people with an interest in Florida history are familiar (at least by
name) with John T. Sprague's The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of
the Florida War, published in 1848. Before John Mahon's History of the
Second Seminole War, (1967), Sprague's was the only comprehensive
study of that long and costly struggle: an invaluable compilation of
letters, reports, orders, and the like, its connecting narrative written by
an officer with first-hand knowledge of the country and the conditions
under which the war was fought.
If you have a copy handy, turn to page 203, where will be found
Colonel Zachary Taylor's official report of the Battle of Okeechobee.
The narrative runs on for some ten and a half pages, complete enough, as
such things go. It might be of interest to compare it with the pages to
This report, and particularly the first two paragraphs, has been the
principal and often the only source of information for historians
writing about this fascinating fragment of our past. Rarely is the battle
given more than a single paragraph of its own; and rarely has any writer
gone beyond Sprague in his search for "primary sources."
This seems reasonable. The battle was simply not important enough
for a lot of time to be spent on it only another in a long list of assaults
and defenses, skirmishes, ambushes, and near-battles. It was the only
pitched battle of the war; it did furnish evidence that white soldiers could
meet the Indians on their own ground with some hope of success; it did
introduce many Americans prospective settlers to the new Territory
of Florida; and it was one of Zachary Taylor's first steps up the ladder to
the presidency of the United States.
But, in the overall sweep of history, it was hardly of great signifi-
cance: it was a dubious sort of victory, at best; certainly it did not end the
war. And Sprague was always considered a primary source, close
enough to the contemporary scene to be relied upon. He served in
*J. Floyd Monk is a long time member of the Historical Association of Southern
Florida and a former treasurer of that association.
Florida, and understood military matters. His book, in itself, clearly
shows that he had full access to all of the records.
Historians could, therefore, hurry through such a minor incident,
confident that they were on solid ground since their whole argument was
based (they thought) on the official record. Taylor was there, in com-
mand; he wrote his report within a few days following the battle, while
memories were still fresh; he must have known the facts. And it was all
set out there in black and white, in the pages of Sprague's respected
But much of what those historians have written is wrong due in
part to Taylor's imprecise writing, partly perhaps to the carelessness of
Sprague or his printer, and partly perhaps to insufficient research. For
much of the report (as given in Sprague) is erroneous or incomplete.
The Report begins, "On the 18th ultimo... ." This is the only solid
date in the entire document. Elsewhere, Taylor says only such things as
"on the following day," or "the next afternoon," or something of that
sort- never pinning anything down to any particular day.
It would hardly seem necessary that he should have done so,
however desirable it might be, for we can read the report with care and
come up with the effective dates. Or can we?
Sure we can. Very carefully, follow each "next morning," or
whatever it may be, and you will come up with the answer that Joshua R.
Giddings reached (by perhaps the same line of reasoning) when he was
writing his The Exiles of Florida, (1858). Inexorably, the count of days
leads to December 24, 1837 precisely the date of battle published in
But it is wrong. Every historian knows that the Battle of
Okeechobee took place on Christmas Day, but few if any have ever
questioned Giddings' finding, or bothered to inquire into the curious
reason for it.
But what happened to the lost day? That was one of many
discrepancies that led to the present study.
The Professor would say, at this point, "In case of doubt, go back to
the original records." A reasonable suggestion, except that Taylor's
original report is missing from its place in the National Archives in
Washington. On the roll of microfilm covering the relevant documents
for this month there is a typed notice to the effect that the report cannot
be located. Letters written to the Archives in the hope that something
might have come to light since that microfilm record was made have
produced the same result. Taylor's report is still missing. Can it be (as
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 7
some have suggested) that Captain Sprague "borrowed" the document
while compiling his book, and never returned it?
It is easy to convince ourselves that the loss of this original is
unimportant, since we have the published version. And perhaps it is, in
that "grand overview" of the historian who deals in sweeping themes
rather than niggling little details. But in the interest of accuracy, the
search for truth, the possibility of correcting and even augmenting -
the existing record, let us now examine more closely that published
By good fortune, a diary kept by Lieutenant Robert Christie
Buchanan has survived (FHQ, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, October 1950).
Covering the entire Okeechobee campaign in careful detail, perhaps it
can be correlated with Taylor's report. Immediately, however, we notice
that the Diary dates are not the same as those inferred from the Report as
So the search expands. Surely there must be some record of that lost
original, somewhere. And there is. For the Report, in its entirety, was
submitted to the Congress by Secretary of War Joel R. Poinsett, as
Senate Document No. 227, on February 21, 1838. And at once (as we
compare the two) we are struck by the fact that the third word in the
Report, as published, differs from that in Senate Document No. 227. In
the latter, the narrative begins, "On the 19th ultimo." Not the 18th, as
quoted earlier. That one day shift in time squares Taylor's report with
Buchanan's diary, the battle comes on the right day, and we are on our
way to other problems.
One of them relates closely to that correlation already mentioned. If
Lieutenant Buchanan was present with Taylor's forces from late in
November, 1837, until the return to Fort Brooke (Tampa Bay) in January,
1838, why is his name not mentioned in the Report? It is obvious that
Taylor tried to cite every officer there, for even the slightest action,
knowing as he did that such notice was essential in furthering their
military advancement. But, somehow, he overlooked Buchanan. And
this despite the fact that during the battle, due to heavy casualties among
the officers, Lieutenant Buchanan was actually in command of two
companies in combat. This was far removed from his customary duties
as Adjutant-usually adeskbound job. Surely, such action was worthy of
note in Taylor's list of kudos....
For a while there grew a suspicion that the whole diary was nothing
more than a fabrication. It was not until a photocopy of his manuscript
was acquired that things fell into shape. For, from the same file at the
Maryland Historical Society, a copy of a letter was obtained from
Buchanan to Lieutenant-Colonel William S. Foster, his regimental
commander. In that letter he complained bitterly about the omission; and
Foster immediately fired off a full written report to Taylor pointing it all
out in considerable detail. Too late, of course, to do Buchanan's career
much good, for the record could not be altered. But at least his presence
was solidly confirmed.
In the second paragraph of his report Taylor enumerates the various
units making up his command as he started out from Fort Gardiner. If we
add all of his numbers, we arrive at a total of 1,067 men. As Taylor put it,
"making a force, exclusive of officers, of 1,032 men." Could anything
be more clear, more lucid? If there was a total of 1,067 men, and "1,032
men exclusive of officers," it must follow that there were thirty-five
officers. Too obvious to be questioned. But all wrong.
Let us examine those numbers in their order.
That total force of 1,067 men has been quoted in many history
books and articles. And most of them say or at least imply that this
was the force engaged in the battle. This is demonstrably wrong.
Taylor's report (SD-227) lists only 803 men engaged; and the
inscription on the monument placed near the scene of battle a hundred
years later says "about 800 men." These figures are much closer to
reality: when we study the rosters, the additions and departures, .the
numbers left behind at Fort Bassinger, those out of action due to illness
or other causes, we come up with just about Taylor's reported total. But,
again, writers have been too willing to accept Sprague uncritically: it is
so much easier that way. And Sprague omits the section of the report that
gives this figure! (Sprague also omits the detailed casualty lists a
serious omission for any historian.)
Many writers, too, have fallen into the trap of that second part about
"1,032 men exclusive of officers," and have come right out and said that
thirty-five officers were present at the battle. Wrong again. For a careful
reading of extant documents has produced the names (so far) of at least
forty-two officers who saw duty on that day. And without the slightest
doubt there were many more, as yet unnamed for very few junior grade
officers are listed, and we may be sure there were more of them than
there were majors and captains. For example, in the records so far
discovered, there are no second lieutenants listed in the Fourth Infantry
regiment; and in the First Infantry no officer is listed below the rank of
major! A peculiar situation, indeed. But with the omission of Lieutenant
Buchanan fresh in mind we are prepared to believe that officers junior
even to him were not considered worth the waste of paper and ink.
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 9
Problems assailed us from all sides, but since this paper is intended
to deal (in the main) with the battle itself we shall, with regret, put them
aside. Much background and biographical material has been deleted,
too, to conserve space. Some problems remain unsolved, despite con-
centrated effort, due to conflicting reports or to an utter lack of support-
There is one point, however, of such importance that it deserves
more than casual mention. This is Taylor's brusque dismissal of the First
Regiment of Missouri Volunteers. In his report he says, "They mostly
broke.,. nor could they be again brought into action as a body."
Knowing of Taylor's dislike for militia or "irregular" troops of any
description, we felt that this was perhaps not the full story. In studying
contemporary newspapers and letters and several State and County
histories of Missouri, as well as through correspondence with authorities
in that State, we learned that the Volunteers did not remember it quite as
Taylor told it. Upon publication and wide circulation of the report,
feeling reached such a pitch in Missouri that a special commission was
appointed by the State Legislature to look into the matter. Testimony was
heard from all surviving officers, as well as many enlisted men, and the
consensus was unanimous: Taylor had maligned Missouri manhood
beyond acceptance. In statement after statement, the commission heard
that the Volunteers fought bravely; that Taylor was a liar and a poltroon;
that he slandered citizen soldiers as a class; and that his report was "not
founded on facts as they occurred." The ultimate result was a group of
resolutions, later passed at a full meeting of the legislature, one of which
stated plainly: "A commanding officer who has wantonly misrep-
resented the conduct of men who gallantly sustained him in battle, is
unworthy of a commission in the Army of the United States." The
Governor of Missouri was directed to submit the whole series of resolu-
tions to the President of the United States, with a demand that prompt
disciplinary action be taken.
But nothing ever came of it.
It is interesting to contemplate what the results might have been if
President Van Buren had acted in the matter. Surely, Taylor would have
been unlikely to reach the White House with such a blot on his record.
Earlier it was noted that the Battle of Okeechobee rarely gets more
than a paragraph in the history books. Curiously enough, even Colonel
Taylor himself devoted barely a page of his report to the actual fight!
Sufficient, perhaps, for the record. But not enough to assuage our thirst
for knowledge about what really happened there.
What really happened where? That was an early question. Maps
drawn by military men in the mid-1800's locate the battle site rather well,
on the north shore of the Lake, a few miles east of Taylor Creek. The late
Albert Devane (FHQ, Vol. XXXIX, No. 3, January 1961) places the
location precisely in "Section 31, Township 37 South, Range 36 East;
Section 36, Township 37 South, Range 35 East; and Section 6, Township
38 South, Range 36 East." Comparison with modem large-scale maps
tends to confirm his reckoning: though most of the sawgrass is now gone
and the hammock greatly changed, we can still find terrain that fits the
contemporary descriptions closely enough to be convincing.
With Taylor's report and Buchanan's diary as foundation, we have
added bits of information from dozens of sources in our effort to
synthesize a coherent picture of the battle. Taylor's single page is multip-
lied by many times its length. Every effort has been made to pull
together every scrap of detail found during several years of diligent
While the present paper has been much reduced from the original
manuscript, to fit the space requirements of Tequesta, the reader may
still agree with the specialist who once examined the full study. His
verdict was, "There may be more about this battle than anybody wants or
needs to know." Perhaps he was right, but it seems that the only way to
reconstruct a historical incident is to do it as thoroughly as possible, from
every viewpoint. There cannot be too much, provided the material is
properly presented- there seems to be an irreducible minimum beyond
which we cannot go without losing the spirit of the event.
With this premise in mind we have, in the pages to follow, re-
created the picture of Christmas Day in Florida, 1837. The word "pic-
ture" is used advisedly, for the material has been presented in as visual a
manner as possible. One student of history who has read it reported that
"it would make a great movie." We hope this is the case-that the scenes
"come to life'."
Though the story has been told somewhat informally, every state-
ment of fact has been based upon careful documentation. Footnotes have
been deliberately omitted in order to maintain the uninterrupted flow of
Christmas Day, that traditional day of "peace on earth and good
will toward men,"' dawned clear and cold, with a cutting wind from the
northeast. The heavy rains of the preceding day had worn themselves
out, leaving their marks in many shallow puddles and much fresh mud.
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 11
By full daylight the brigade was on the trail- a clearly defined trail,
now, pounded through the grass and mud by many moccasin-shod feet.
Indian sign was more plentiful than it had ever been before in the two
years of campaigning numerous camps had been discovered, the hides
and bones of many slaughtered cattle, and multitudes of tracks going
hither and thither.
For a long time there had been rumors that the big Lake
Okeechobee region was a prime place for hunting Seminoles but
nobody had been quite certain just where it was. As recently as this very
year of 1837 John Lee Williams did not enter the lake on the map which
accompanied his new book, The Territory of Florida. He commented
that "when I visited Charlotte Bay in 1828 the Indians could not confirm
anything about such a lake. . Not one of the writers has been able to
obtain any certain intelligence relating to this part of the peninsula."
But Lake Okeechobee was there, the soldiers now knew for sure:
there has been too much talk from scouts and captives for them to doubt
it any longer.
After some three miles of marching, mostly through scattered pine
woods, they approached a dense stand of trees, seemingly a branch of a
swamp they had recently left. Expecting attack in a place so favorable
for the Indians, the Sixth Infantry moved forward slowly on the right,
while the Missourians led the advance of the left wing, composed of the
First and Fourth Infantry regiments.
The crossing was completed without incident by about eleven
o'clock, when they entered into another large open prairie, fairly dry, on
which three or four hundred cattle grazed, along with a large number of
Indian ponies. It was perhaps at about this point that one of the scouts
picked up a palmetto leaf on which two rifles had been drawn, muzzle to
muzzle- left there deliberately as a sign of Mickasuki defiance. Earlier,
the Negro Abraham had seen strange signs marked in the sand, supposed
to have been left by Alligator, which he interpreted to mean that the
Indians intended fighting to the death.
The right company of the Fourth was hardly across the swamp
when a young Indian, apparently guarding the cattle and horses, was
seen on horseback, running along "like a good fellow." As soon as he
realized that he had been discovered he raised his hands and moved at a
quick trot toward the head of the column. Without hesitation, he came
forward and surrendered himself he was well-armed and well-
equipped, like others captured earlier. Upon being questioned, he
pointed to a large hammock, not very far away, where he said Sam Jones
had his camp.
F,.DQ T 'A D C.,I't:.Q
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e --_- __- _
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Tayo-L-s -eo ta n o
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Taylor' rou0 0F
Taylor's route from Fort Gardiner to Battle.
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 13
The prisoner identified himself as a brother-in-law of John Cavallo,
that notorious half-breed who had recently escaped (along with Wildcat
and others) from the ancient Spanish fort at St. Augustine. He said that
there were more than two thousand Indians men, women and children
- and a number of Negro slaves in that big hammock. Among them, he
said, were well over two hundred of the best warriors in the Mickasuki
nation, all of them well armed, with good rifles and equipment, at least
as good as the excellent weapon he himself carried- and all of them were
expert in the use of such weapons. Other Seminoles were reported to
have joined with the Mickasukies, with an equal or greater number of
braves. It became certain now, too, that Alligator was there to lead the
Seminoles in person: he had been one of the chief architects of the Dade
ambush, a man of many plans, a shrewd field commander and an
The captive warned that this big force would be found in a very bad
place, where the army would have a hard time getting at them. He talked
freely, taking a certain delight in embroidering the facts to make the
white man's case seen as hopeless as possible. (It should be noted here,
perhaps, that tradition among Seminoles of a later generation told that
this young man allowed himself to be captured, as part of a master plan.
Thus he might direct the troops toward a cleared approach through the
sawgrass, to reach the hammock at the point where the welcoming
The Missouri Volunteers and Spies worked their way ahead, to try
to confirm this new information; and as soon as they returned to report
and the rear guard had cleared the swamp at the edge of the cypresses,
Colonel Taylor called all of the officers together for a council of war. If
we can believe the available records, it was not much of a council, for
Taylor seems already to have made up his mind what he planned to do.
Buchanan states plainly that "Taylor called the officers together and
informed them of the plan of attack;" and Captain Thomas Noel says
that at this meeting "the order of battle was made known to the officers."
But it appears likely that the Colonel, a stickler for form, would
have outlined the situation, furnishing such information as was availa-
ble, and asked for suggestions. Perhaps several ideas were sketchily
outlined, though details in the records are vague; but it seems in fact that
the others were merelywaiting for Taylor to get on with it.
Then Colonel Richard Gentry of Missouri, as the senior officer
present, proposed a flanking attack to the north or south, for in some
unknown manner he had reached the belief that the ground would be
passable for horses in either direction. It was observed that the hammock
in which the Indians were said to be hidden was only three or four
hundred yards long, and Gentry believed the brigade- cavalry as well as
foot could cross the swamp at either extremity and drive the enemy
easily from one end to the other. Carefully, heeding the military maxim
"never attack a position which you can gain by turning,"' he pointed out
that a direct attack across the open swamp would offer too good a target
for the Indians; and that the men, already worn out with their struggle
through the deep mud, would not have enough energy left to fight, once
the hammock was reached.
The question of whether or not such a maneuver was practical was
never really considered, nor were the flanking approaches seriously
reconnoitered. Gentry's proposal seems a sound one, with the benefit of
hindsight at least deserving of a quick scout around the ends of the
enemy position. But the plan had one fatal flaw: it had been offered by a
volunteer. (William Gentry, the Colonel's grandson, even suggests bit-
terly that Taylor might have reached the same conclusion as the Missou-
rian: "Had the suggestion been made by the youngest,.greenest Second
Lieutenant of the Regulars, it would have been praised and adopted, but
coming from a Volunteer, it was ridiculed.") There seems to be no doubt
that Taylor, along with General Jesup and most other Regular officers,
still retained a hearty dislike for volunteers as a class, and refused to
listen to any suggestion from such a source. He was not the kind of man
to resort to devious methods, anyway, when straightforward ones.had a
chance to work.
Colonel Taylor waited for Gentry to complete the outline of his
plan. Then he responded in a manner true to his usual form in dealing
with militia. In a superior and perhaps insulting tone, he brusquely
asked, "Colonel Gentry, are you afraid to attack the center through the
At the words Gentry stiffened as though a blow had been struck.
Though highly incensed at the churlish reception of his proposal, he did
not press the matter. He became at once the taut, rigid military man, the
soldier who follows orders without question. "No, sir," he replied, "if
that is your order, it will be done that way."
As no better proposal was forthcoming, the troops were again put in
motion under the guidance of the new captive; and after a circuitous
route of about a mile more their guide motioned for them to halt.
Pointing ahead, he indicated that in the cypress hammock just before
them was the big camp of Sam Jones and all his party.
Cautiously, the brigade spread out to encircle the cypress head. This
did not look like the "bad place" that the captive had described, but it
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 15
would do no harm to be careful they might even catch old Sam
napping! The advance party moved swiftly into the cypresses, and on
high ground just within their borders came upon a large encampment-
quite deserted. There must have been several hundred Indians there,
within the few minutes just passed, for campfires were still burning, and
large quantities of beef and other provisions lay scattered about the fires
- some still cooking in the big black pots along with other evidence of
a hasty departure. They were really getting close, now!
This was, in fact, the camp of old Sam Jones the Fisherman
himself, even as the captive had said-the most dreaded of them all. Sam
Jones had been preparing to cook some beef when the near approach of
the Federal troops was first discovered by his outposts. He had dropped
the beef, and retreated with his people to the Sand Ridge that runs near
the north shore of Lake Okeechobee. It was hardly a "retreat," really, for
he was simply performing an orderly withdrawal to a strongly prepared
position, all according to plan.
The troops, disposed in battle order, swept through the camp and
the hammock, finding not a living soul to oppose them. This was not a
time for hesitation, no matter how much they would have liked to poke
around in things to see what they could find. Instead, the call soon came
to re-form, outside the hammock.
As they left the camp of Sam Jones most of them "drew their
charges" by firing at random at nearby trees. This was to make sure their
weapons were in good order, undamaged by the dampness. A wise
precaution, indeed, considering the nature of their arms. It is a curious
fact that, although such things as rifling and percussion caps and even
breech-loading were not unknown, most of the men in the brigade
carried muzzle-loading flint-lock muskets, with smooth-bore barrels of
caliber .69. A ball that size could knock a man from a horse, if its aim
could be directed- but without rifling the weapons were highly inaccu-
rate, good only for close combat. To paraphrase novelist C. S. Forester,
"With a musket you might miss a house at fifty yards, but with arifle you
could hit a man at two hundred." Though their merits were well recog-
nized, here not one man in twenty possessed a rifle. On the other hand,
almost every Indian brave had a rifle, of a superior sort, thought to be of
Spanish-Cuban manufacture. Smaller of bore, they were less deadly at
close range; but their accuracy could be far superior.
The brief "fire-works" over and their weapons freshly loaded and
primed, the soldiers could see just before them the hammock where (so
their guide said) the enemy awaited their onslaught. It was a dismal
prospect, for the position chosen by the Indians was perhaps the most
difficult of access in the whole history of the long war. The hammock sat
alone, its right end moored to the swamp through which the brigade had
passed with so much effort that morning a swamp with a deep creek
running through it. The other end hung free, shielded by more mud,
impassable mud, as far as the eye could reach; and, according to the
guide, the Indians' rear ran along the sand ridge of the Lake's north shore.
The Lake itself was perhaps less than a mile farther on- its open beaches
furnishing regular highways for retreat, should Indian retreat become
But it was the front of the position that demonstrated their careful
planning. A swamp about three-quarters of a mile wide and several
miles long separated their position from the nearest solid ground, over
which the troops were now passing. Wide open as it was, there could be
no chance of surprise across that expanse, for the mud and water were
knee-deep and more, with rank sawgrass growing five or six feet high.
Some sources mention a sluggish stream running across the middle of
the swamp, but this does not appear to be confirmed by eye-witness
accounts from those who actually crossed. If it existed, such a stream
would certainly have added to the difficulties.
The swamp was quite impassable for horses, and nearly so for men
on foot, which meant that the advance would be devilishly slow- giving
the enemy plenty of time for careful and accurate fire. And, to make that
fire even more deadly (though these details were unknown at the mo-
ment), the Indians had cleared away all of the low palmettoes and much
of the tall sawgrass within rifle range of their center, leaving a clear field
of fire, removing the last chance of cover; and the big trees along the
fringe of the hammock had been notched to furnish solid support for the
rifles of the best marksmen Sam Jones could find. (The Prophet -
Otolke-Thlocko was just behind the Mickasuki lines, preparing his
magic, singing and dancing to inspire the combatants. His power was
purported to be even greater than that of Sam Jones: gifted in healing,
knowing the uses of herbs and potions, his magic and ritual dancing
infused the Indians and Negroes with a confidence beyond their usual
character. If he followed the pattern of other such medicine-men, he had
convinced them all that his charms made them invulnerable to the white
All of the men were dismounted now, for horses would have been
worse than useless in that muddy swampland bogged to their bellies
after a few steps. Disposition of the troops was made in quick order,
while they were yet on firm ground, and the lines organized and orders
issued. The men were directed to divest themselves of every unneedful
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 17
thing the going would be tough enough without carrying a lot of extra
weight. The horses and all of the baggage were left under a small guard
in some dry pine woods at the rear, out of Indian range. Captain George
W. Allen and a small contingent of seventy-one men were the only ones
retaining their mounts with two companies, Allen was sent to recon-
noiter off to the right. He was to search for hostile in that direction, and
try to drive them off if found. If he encountered no opposition, he was to
return to the baggage dump to join Taylor, if he heard heavy firing.
Instead of the flanking action proposed by Colonel Gentry, Taylor
ordered a direct frontal assualt, although he could not have failed to
recognize its dangers. But there was no hesitation, even though attack
was precisely what the Indians had invited. The decision to send in raw
troops to bear the first brunt of battle, almost' as a sacrifice to open the
way for the Regulars, was just one of those difficult choices that often
face a field commander.
For the first time in the war perhaps the only time the comman-
der knew almost exactly what he was up against. It would be like
storming a medieval fortress, across a moat, and it would be brutal. But
Taylor's plan was basically simple. The Volunteers and Spies would
form the first line, with the second to consist of the Fourth and Sixth
Infantry regiments. The First Infantry would be held in reserve. They
would attack across the swamp, assault the hammock head-on, and
capture the Indians or kill them or drive them out. There was nothing
complicated about it. The units had their orders: all they had to do was to
It was now simply a matter of waiting for the command, and then
going ahead. The muddy swamp was not encouraging, but it could be
crossed. It would be difficult- but it could be crossed. And now, at least,
the waiting was about over.
With the battle lines thus forming according to orders, the army
paused there in the pleasant sunshine, ordering itself for its move into
desperate action a thin wave of armed might, washing forward against
the uncharted reef before it. The sky was washed clean of clouds, and in a
temperature of about sixty-five degrees those kersey uniforms were
beginning to feel uncomfortably warm. The wave was not a powerful
one, by modern standards, but never before in all his twenty-eight years
of service had Zachary Taylor commanded so many soldiers.
The Missourians who were to make up the first assault line had
been directed to cross the swamp, enter the hammock, and engage the
enemy by inviting attack. If they were hard pressed, they were to try to
hold their ground; but if that proved impossible, they were to fall back
behind the second line and re-form, out of reach of enemy fire, and there
await further orders. Following those orders, Colonel Gentry began to
move his men into position.
First, Acting-Major John Sconce led his forty-three Spies off in
column across the swamp, their feet bogging at once deep in the dense
and tenacious muck. Behind them, at a slight interval, came the First
Battalion of Missouri Volunteers under Lieutenant-Colonel John W.
Price, consisting of companies led by Captains James Chiles, Congreve
Jackson and William C. Pollard- Pollard's company, by this time, had
withered away to only sixteen men, from an original muster roll of fifty.
Before them went the flag-bearer, proudly bearing aloft the regiment's
fine silk banner, and buglers to sound the orders. Following immediately
came the Second Battalion commanded by Major Harrison H. Hughes,
comprised of companies under Captains John H. Curd and William
Henry Russell. A total of 153 Volunteers had reached the scene of battle,
but only 132 were actually engaged, for one man out of every eight had
been told off to hold the horses and guard the baggage.
Somewhat less than a quarter of a mile they advanced into the
swamp, still in column, and there they paused briefly. After a few
minutes rest they advanced a few more yards, watching behind them for
the next line to get in motion-but the Regulars had not yet made a start.
Soon they halted again, laboring for breath, legs sore and muscles
twitching this time, they saw the Sixth Infantry begin its move behind
As soon as all of the Spies and Volunteers had resumed their
progress, they broke the column and formed neatly into an extended
skirmish line, spreading to right and left, almost as expertly as Regulars
might have done it.
Colonel Gentry was now in the center, a little ahead of the line with
the flag-bearer. On his right was Colonel Price with the First Battalion;
on his left, Major Hughes with the Second. Still farther to the right were
the forty-three Spies, made up of Captain Sconce's company and Captain
Cornelius Gilliam's small detachment. The extreme right was composed
of some thirty Delaware Indians, who had crossed the bog in their own
fashion, led by Captain Joseph Parks.
As this line thin, stretched out with almost two yards between
men and covering a front of almost three hundred yards got into
position, the Sixth Infantry formed in close order, in two ranks, and
moved into place some fifty yards or so behind them, 175 strong. About
the same distance farther back, 160 men of the Fourth Infantry got into
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 19
their assigned spot and began moving off toward the left of the Sixth,
eventually coming up almost even with them. A hundred yards or more
behind the Fourth rested the First Infantry regiment Taylor's own, with
173 men engaged- held as reserve just on the edge of the swamp. (Only
six companies of the Fourth were to play a part in the main battle, the
others having been detached as part of the horse-and-baggage guard or
assigned to Captain Allen's reconnaissance party.)
Looking up and down the long line of Spies and Volunteers, Gentry
took the salutes of Price and Hughes, at last giving the signal to advance
at about half-past twelve. They had left firm ground just after noon: it
had taken a few minutes to get into place.
Sword held high, Gentry suddenly swept the bright steel forward,
its point toward the dark hammock, and stepped off bravely. (While
drumming up enlistments back home in Boone County he had insisted,
"I'll never say 'go ahead'; I will say 'come on!"' He was living up to that
promise, to the letter.) Bugles rang out sharp and clear in the cool, still
air, sounding the advance. The raw soldiers followed their flag and their
Colonel, maintaining extended order, keeping the skirmish line as
straight and orderly as the difficult terrain would permit. There were
perhaps some bitter glances back toward the stubborn Regular comman-
der who was thus sparing his own troops at their expense, but there was
There was an uncanny stillness as the men floundered ahead in the
pleasant sunshine, half walking and wading, half crawling, their mus-
kets and powder containers held high above their heads to keep them out
of the wet. No matter how hard they peered into the shadows of the
hammock before them, they could see no living creature high over-
head, like dark omens of disaster, a few buzzards circled slowly in the
still air: but there was no life, no movement, among the bearded cypres-
ses. The army itself was strangely silent, as though listening for some
sign-any sign-of Indian activity: only the sloshing of water about their
hips and the sucking of mud on their boots gave sound to the scene. Save
for their opening blasts, even the bugles were mute.
Taking advantage, where they could, of the remaining clumps of
sawgrass roots, the Missourians pulled themselves ahead. Long before
they reached the half-way point there were traces of red in the clear water
- the red of blood from arms, hands, and legs cut and tom by the
sharp-edged sawgrass. Frequently more than waist deep in the slimy
black ooze, they fought their way, a step at a time.... There was nothing
like this in Missouri- absolutely nothing!
Three quarters of a mile is not much of a distance. Under normal
conditions it might be covered in ten minutes without strain. But when
every step required superhuman strength, with sucking mud holding fast
like the very devils of the deep, even so short a way can become a horror.
The thick trees did not seem much closer, although they had struggled
well over half way across the evil swamp. They paused again briefly,just
past the half-way mark, to try once more to catch their breath, recovering
strength for the remaining and even more treacherous part of the cros-
sing. They paused, but not for long for Gentry kept urging them
forward, waving his sword and shouting encouragement. Reluctantly
they moved ahead once more, slowly, slowly....
The eerie silence remained unbroken. Exhausted and fighting for
breath and footing, they wallowed on, interminably on- straight toward
the dark line of shadowy cypresses, where gently swaying Spanish moss
was the only moving thing. Closer and closer they came, almost to the
edge of the hammock, and still the tense silence remained inviolate.
Some began to wonder if perhaps it were not all a bad dream, if perhaps
the Indians had not already vanished.... Only a hundred yards left now
to the edge of the timber.... Seventy-five yards.... on... on... step by
slithering step.... .Only fifty yards more to go now....
Then, almost before they could comprehend what was happening, a
withering fire burst from the shadows, a thunder-clap of sudden noise,
from almost point-blank range little spurts of red-orange and yellow
marking where the Indians lay behind their trees and fallen logs. High in
the tree-tops, too, they saw cottony puffs of smoke, from snipers con-
cealed in the branches. The sharp, ringing reports of the enemy rifles- so
different from the sound of American guns rattled from the trees.
(Indian spies, as well as marksmen, had climbed to the very tops of those
tall trees, carefully concealed, watching every move of the white army,
relaying information to their comrades below.) The sudden hail of lead
seemed to burst simultaneously from everywhere.
In that first fierce volley almost twenty percent of the Missourians
fell, wounded or dead. The remainder threw themselves headlong in the
stinking mud. .. wavered .. stopped. Then, miraculously, still following
orders in reasonably good military fashion, they sought cover and tried
slowly to continue their advance. But cover was scarce, almost non-
existent. They were practically crawling now, crouched as low as the
water would allow; exposed at every move to a galling fire, some were
slithering along on their bellies, in spite of the water. But even the screen
of sparse sawgrass between them and the hammock could not hide them
from the view of those marksmen in the tree-tops, and bullets rained
down upon them. Their ragged line thin and broken, they inched forward
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 21
like big worms, not daring to raise a head above the sharp grass which
was being mowed down all about them by clipping lead.
They had seen their gallant commander, Colonel Gentry, fall with
that first fire. The Missouri Colonel had been struck in the chest in that
sudden volley, and had gone down for a few moments. Quickly he
rallied, regained his feet, and swung over toward the embattled left.
"Come on, boys," he shouted, "we're almost there! Charge on into the
hammock!" He remained on his feet for nearly an hour more, and was
just about to set foot on the firm ground of the hammock when another
burst of fire broke from the shadows directly before him. A second bullet
passed through his abdomen. He fell and did not rise again. Captain
Chiles later recalled hearing his voice, faint and far away, even after he
fell, saying, "Fight on... till the foe retreats!" Gentry's sergeant-major
sorry, still in his teens, had fallen at almost the same instant, with a musket
ball through his arm.
The Missourians could not know, for sure, whether their Colonel
was now dead or only wounded; but like a snake that has lost its head
they slithered around in the mud uncertainly. A few of them rushed
ahead bravely, in spite of the thick-flying lead, to prevent the Indians
from scalping the fallen Colonel for a number of red warriors (the first
hostiless" they had really seen!) had clustered at the edge of the trees,
knives in hand, and were rushing toward the spot where Gentry lay.
After a brief hand-to-hand struggle, the Indians withdrew, back into the
shadows, and the Volunteers gathered protectively about the Colonel.
Gentry was found to be still alive, still fully conscious, still urging
his men to charge. Badly wounded as he was, he refused their efforts to
carry him back out of the line of fire. "Charge! Charge!" he repeated
weakly. "Charge the hammock!" Only when his strength had waned
until further protest was impossible was he taken at last from the field by
a party of loyal men, with Major William McDaniel supervising the grim
and dangerous task. (Gentry still hung on to life, back there in the
medical tent: it is just possible that he might have survived. But the
doctors decided that his wound must be "cleansed." This was done by
pushing a silk scarf through his body with a ram-rod! ... Without
anesthetics, it was too much. Just before midnight Gentry died.)
At Gentry's removal, and because of other casualties, the command
of the Volunteers devolved upon Captain Chiles. He at once sent an
urgent message back to Taylor's reserve unit, still waiting over half a
mile behind, appealing for prompt support. The only encouragement he
got from that quarter was a terse reply that "You must sustain your-
For a few minutes more the Missourians tried to return the enemy
fire blindly, for even yet they could see no targets. They could hear the
fiendish yelling of the Mickasukies amid the roar of the guns, and the
shrilling of their turkey-bone whistles; they could see the flashes from
their rifles and muskets, and smell the acrid smoke from burning gun-
powder; they could hear bullets whining and sizzling about their heads-
but not an enemy was visible. Each man for himself, they rose at random
just high enough for their weapons to clear the sawgrass, firing their
muskets and large-bore "yagers" quickly in the direction ahead not
aiming, simply trying to keep up a steady fire and keep the enemy
occupied. Their bullets for the most part chunked solidly but harmlessly
into the massive tree trunks. Only once in a long while did they see the
sprawling of a dark form, struck by chance, dropping into the thick
But they could not take such punishment for long. Captain Chiles
fell, wounded- as did Lieutenants Charles Rogers and Flanagan and
Hugh Vanlandingham. And Acting-Major Sconce and Lieutenants John
T. Hase and William Gordon, of the Spies, were down. These were all
old friends, from Boone and the neighboring counties of Missouri- and
more familiar figures on every hand were dropping into the mud, not to
rise again. In addition to the seven officers out of action, close to thirty
men had fallen, dead or wounded. And the rest were pinned to the
ground there, helpless, unable to advance another foot under so wicked a
fire. And still the reserve stood motionless. There was to be no help.
At about that moment, when it seemed that things could not get any
worse, things did get worse: the advancing Sixth Infantry began shoot-
ing through the broken line of Volunteers, who, caught between two
fires, became totally demoralized. Some tried to continue. They flopped
down in the water and muck to reload, rising only to fire, then flopping
down again. Few things can be more disconcerting in battle than being
fired on by one's own supporting troops. The shock was beyond bearing
for many of those green Missourians.
For only a few minutes they tried to return the enemy's fire. But
almost untrained militia could hardly be expected long to endure such a
punishing position. Virtually leaderless, many of the raw troops broke
under the pressure. They turned their backs to the enemy, in utter
disorder, crawling and running back toward the high ground that they
had left a seeming lifetime ago. Back through the advancing line of
Regulars they ran, according to orders but then it appears that orders
and all discipline were forgotten. Rather than re-grouping behind the
second line, as directed, those nerve-shattered Volunteers continued
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 23
their precipitate flight, out of the swamp, beyond the waiting First
Infantry, all the way back to where the horses and baggage had been left.
Some were shot in the back during that flight, before they could get out
of range. (One, a private Elihu Stanley, survived, but his name has come
down ingloriously as "shot in the back from a tree." Perhaps he was shot
in place, for those down-ranging bullets could catch a man in the back if
he were lying face down in the mud. Perhaps it would be unjust to accuse
Stanley of being one of those who ran, without further evidence.) Some,
wounded, fell face down in the mud and water, at the risk of drowning: it
is reported that a few did drown, bubbling their lives away, unable to
rise. Men reeled and toppled, unnoted, their comrades powerless to see
or help them in that tall sawgrass and suffocating slime.
This was more than flight. It was a rout. Panic. Sheer panic. Those
untried troops, with but the sketchiest of military training, had been
thrown into one of the most difficult spots in the annals of military
history. And they had broken. Taylor's report says they could not be
rallied. They cowered there with the baggage and horses, many flat on
their bellies with faces pressed to the good solid earth, quivering hands
clawing at the blessed dirt-their weapons and glory lost somewhere out
there in the deathly mud.
Not all of the Volunteers had run. Some of them, perhaps even a
majority (if we can rely at all on the testimony of the survivors), held
their ground, pinned down in the muck as they were, waiting for the
second line to come up to them. There was not much else they could do at
this point but wait- but they lay or crouched firm, still facing the enemy,
still firing an occasional round whenever they could sense a fair open-
The various Missouri histories, as well as the later testimony of
Colonel Price and others- perhaps with more local pride than historical
accuracy- insist that the fall of Colonel Gentry did not dismay or dispirit
the Missourians: they pressed right on and soon entered the hammock
and drove out the savages; they did not relax their exertions, but
continued to fight for several hours longer, until the Indians were
entirely vanquished. It was perhaps not exactly that way: almost cer-
tainly not. But it is true that a few of those who fled shortly recovered
enough to re-enter the battle, perhaps shamed by their rout. Captain
Gilliam had kept together a handful of men, and Lieutenant John C.
Blakey found a few more still ready for action. Partly due to the nature of
the terrain, they had gradually drifted toward the left, to join there with
the right wing of the Regulars, fighting at their side until the battle was
But, as a unit, the Missouri Volunteers were through.
Though survivors were to protest for years the many aspersions cast
against their courage, the record stands just as Taylor wrote it.
In spite of the heavy losses the Volunteers had suffered before their
very eyes, the second line advanced in close order, the men in two ranks,
apparently as cool as though parading on a drill field. But no drill field
was ever like this! They could not really march forward in close order, as
Taylor's report says they did. They could crawl. They could struggle
ahead in the deep mud, already churned to a thick gumbo by the men
ahead. They could advance in a fashion by putting a foot precariously
upon a clump of sawgrass roots and feeling ahead for another such
clump. It would have been virtually impossible for them to maintain
their ranks for long.
But advance they did, in reasonably good order, without hesitation.
Even when the demoralized Missourians came barreling back through
their lines there was no panic: they let the frantic Volunteers pass, and
then closed the gaps in their lines as best they could, to continue the
prescribed maneuver. Past dead men and past men dying, in water
reddened by Missouri blood, the Regulars followed a steady course.
Shoulder almost touching shoulder, they covered a front of only about a
hundred yards, somewhat to left of center of the front line. (From the
rear, Zachary Taylor watched with grim satisfaction. The Volunteers had
broken and run away, as expected; but his Regulars were performing like
a well-adjusted machine .... )
Every man was exhausted, long before the swamp was crossed, by
the simple task of extricating one foot after another from the deep,
sucking mud; but on they went, coolly, efficiently, many of the more
experienced among them holding their fire until it could do some good.
Others, half maddened by the blood-lust of battle, fired ahead as fast as
they could re-load their pieces like the Missourians, they aimed at
nothing in particular, simply keeping up a steady fusillade and a mind-
deadening noise. Some tried to aim for the rare flashes of Indian guns,
but long ago the Indians had learned that trick. Now they had tricks of
their own: after each shot, a brave (if not fully protected behind tree or
log) would screech forth his disconcerting "ho-hoo-hoo-oooeeee!,"
cast himself prone and roll over on his left side, leaving his right arm free
to re-load his weapon. And the seasoned soldiers learned to follow him
aiming, not at the flash itself, but a little below and to the right.
Ahead of the soldiers the hammock became again ominously still.
As before, the Indians patiently held their fire they knew better than to
waste irreplaceable lead and powder.
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 25
There was not quite the same deathly stillness as before, for now an
occasional shot splintered the silence as a sharp-shooter high in a
tree-top took careful aim at one of the white leaders and there was now
the unnerving sound of wounded men, groaning, screaming, crying for
Near the center of the enemy line (though there could be no way for
the soldiers to know it) Alligator himself waited, with his own band of
120 picked warriors. On his left, facing the army's right wing, was
Wildcat with eighty more bitter at what he regarded as the perfidy of
General Jesup, desperate to avenge himself for that vile imprisonment in
the white man's dungeon. The Mickasukies near two hundred of them
- formed the Indians' right. Figures obtained from the Indians some
time after the battle placed the total at 380, though other sources add
another hundred to that number. (And an uncounted number of black
men were joined and intermixed under their respective chiefs.) Alligator
later said that the great and fearsome Sam Jones-the most important and
most dreaded name in all of the army's calculations -had fled at the first
firing, taking his people with him in hurried retreat along the lake shore.
There is here one of those problems which the historian is hard put
to solve, in the final analysis requiring a judgment based wholly on
extraneous material: Sprague says that "Halleck-Tustenuggee rallied
those who threatened to follow him;' but we believe this is in error.
Halleck-Tustenuggee was a chief of some importance, surely important
enough to warrant mention in the narratives of Taylor or Buchanan or
others if he were present. A search of the literature seems to indicate
that he was far away from Okeechobee on December 25th. It seems
more likely that Sprague got two Indian names of some similarity -
confused: Alligator's tribal name was "Halpatter Tustenuggee," close
enough to "Halleck-Tustenuggee" to justify such confusion. It is more
probable that Alligator not Halleck-Tustenuggee whipped his line
back into shape, forging the somewhat disheartened Seminoles again
into a powerful force.
The Sixth Infantry's right wing followed the way which had been
prepared for it: a broad, open trail, wide enough to accommodate a full
company without crowding, leading directly to those concealed defen-
ders. The going was a little easier there, for the brush and much of the
taller sawgrass had been cleared away; and the Sixth advanced a little
ahead of the Fourth, which was still slogging and slipping through the
deeper mud on the left. Still in reasonably close order, the Sixth ap-
proached the hammock where the Indians waited, ready, hidden behind
their logs and notched trees. With bayonets gleaming, the Regulars came
up to the thin line of Volunteers, still pinned down and crouched
immobile in the water, and slowly worked their way ahead their
extreme right wAs about midway of Colonel Price's First Battalion,
leaving part of that unit and all of the Spies and Delawares still unsup-
ported. Those pinned-down Missourians were precisely in front of the
enemy's strongest point: after an hour or more of impotence, frozen in
place, a few of them readily joined with the Sixth in its advance.
A handful of Seminoles, themselves draped in Spanish moss, still
watched invisible from their perches in the moss-shrouded trees, keep-
ing a sharp look-out on every movement, reporting to runners on the
ground for immediate relay to the chiefs. Their best marksmen (other
than those in the trees) had their stations where the "trail" through the
sawgrass met the hammock. Others lay still, to the right and left, behind
fallen logs in the undergrowth at the hammock's edge. All were alert,
rifles at the ready, waiting. Patiently waiting. Fingers tense on triggers.
Eyes squinted into the bright sunshine. Waiting.... (And from the rear,
the sound of The Prophet's drumming and his keening chant carried high
above the slosh of water about the soldiers' knees and waists.)
Still the close-ranked infantry inched forward. That morning, a
little before noon, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander R. Thompson had
called his regiment together for a short and pithy address, preparing
them for what was to come. With his many months in the field in Florida
he knew well what to expect- the effect of the sight of broken men, torn
bodies; the sound of their meanings. And, so far, the facts were living up
to his advance billing.
The Sixth had reached the zone where all of the brush and most of
the sawgrass had been cleared away. Completely without cover, they
moved to within easy rifle range of the hammock. With his usual firm,
cool, and decided manner Thompson led them on, repeatedly cautioning
his men not to throw away their fire. And yet the Indians waited, with
incredible discipline. For what seemed like hours in that slow-moving
pantomime, nothing happened.
But soon the temptation grew too strong for the Indians to resist.
The Sixth Infantry (now considerably in advance of the Fourth) was
within too easy reach: if the Indians could knock off one unit after
another, without the whole brigade reaching them at one time, they had
more than a fair chance of winning the fight. Aiming at the officers and
non-coms (for even without distinctive uniforms they could be recog-
nized, by position and bearing), at a signal the Indians squeezed their
triggers. Another sudden volley exploded from the thickets a stabbing
fire so accurate and so deadly that many soldiers in the front rank were
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 27
literally mowed down, either dead, dying, or disabled. The weight of the
fire was concentrated principally on five companies, which not only
stood firm but continued slowly to advance. But the sudden carnage was
appalling great gaps appeared in the close-ordered line as men fell
That furious burst had caught the Sixth while it was yet in close
formation, the men almost touching one another, shoulder to shoulder.
Such a target would be hard to miss, and the Indians made the most of it.
At once, however, those Regular troops the ones of them still able to
move- spread wide, in extended order, forgot their drill-field precision,
and sought what cover they could find but still they crawled forward
through the mud. Rifle and musket balls whistled and screamed over-
head. Men dropped by twos and threes. A wild screeching and howling
poured from the bushes: commencing with a low growling noise, the
Seminole battle-cry mounted to a fiendish yell that rang through the
forest. Soldiers listened, some unnerved by the clamor. And men fell.
Colonel Thompson had already been struck twice, early in the
assault once through the abdomen to the left, and a second time in the
right breast but he seemed to brush off such wounds as of little
importance. Either of those earlier wounds would have proved fatal (in
the opinion of the doctors later that day) but he had continued to
command, as efficiently as ever. But now a third ball struck him, just as
he was about to reach the edge of the hammock. Ranging in at a
downward slant from high in the tree-tops, it penetrated his chin and
lodged in his neck just above the breast-bone. He was bowled over by
the impact, to a sitting position. He struggled to rise, once more, still
obsessed by duty, but it was beyond his strength. As he fell back he
called out, in a voice already weakening, "Steady, men steady! ..
Charge the hammock!... Remember your regiment!" And so he died, at
about two o'clock or a quarter past two. Lieutenant George H. Griffen
was near him when he fell, and stood by his side until he was carried
from the field on the shoulders of his devoted men.
But Ramsay Thompson did not go friendless to death. Captain
Joseph Van Swearingen, a few steps ahead of his company and already
thrice wounded, took a ball in the lower part of his neck. He spun about,
staggering toward the rear. Clutching at the spouting fountain of blood,
he wavered uncertainly. Suddenly, he raised both hands to his head- his
knees buckled, and he pitched forward on his face. His world, too, had
come to an end.
First Lieutenant John P. Center, adjutant of the Sixth, fell shot
through the head by one of those tree-top snipers. And First Lieutenant
Francis J. Brooke died instantly from a bullet through the heart a
contemporary newspaper reported, curiously, that "he died with a smile
on his face."
Taylor had sent Captain Noel off to the left, during the heat of
battle, to urge the lagging companies there to maintain their line. As he
was passing back down the line to rejoin his own company, Noel was
hailed by Captain Andrews. George Andrews had been badly wounded,
with a shattered wrist, but he had carried on for as long as he could. Now,
loss of blood and the resulting weakness was forcing him to retire. And
Lieutenant William H. T. Walker, not far away, though wounded in
several places, had continued to direct his company until he, too, was cut
down. Lacking any orders from Colonel Taylor, and with Thompson
dead, Noel took charge of the men left leaderless by these losses,
directing the three companies on the left to charge and enter the ham-
mock. This was promptly attempted, under a heavy and-destructive fire,
and the enemy began to give way before them. Making contact with a
part of Colonel Foster's Fourth Infantry, Noel proposed that his men join
with Foster's right, acting under Foster's orders for the rest of the fight.
While the battle still raged, Andrews and Walker were carried from
the field, back to the medical tents, where Walker was found to have
been almost cut to pieces, with at least three rifle balls lodged in his body
- wounded in the neck, left arm, chest, and knee, with a number of other
bullet holes in his clothing. Just graduated from West Point in the
preceding June, Walker's baptism of fire there at Okeechobee was to
earn him a brevet as First Lieutenant "for gallantry in action."
And Sergeant-Major Henry Sleephack, of the Sixth, was shot
through the abdomen a terrible wound. There seemed to be little hope
for his survival.
In sober fact, in those five companies of the Sixth Infantry, every
officer with one exception was killed or wounded; and the non-
commissioned officers suffered almost as heavily. Of the officers in the
whole regiment, only Captains Noel and Dow and Second Lieutenant
Samuel Woods remained untouched. And almost seventy enlisted men
All of the companies making up that butchered right wing were so
cut up and leaderless that they wavered, stopped. They had stuck to the
fight for almost an hour, worked their way up to the line tenuously held
by the Missourians, and a little beyond but further advance seemed
impossible. They were too disorganized, too exhausted, and above all
- too weakened in force by all that killing. Slowly, carefully, they were
compelled to give way. They fell back for a considerable distance,
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 29
Reproduced from the collection ofrhe Library oj Congre.s.
Zachary Taylor at the Battle of Okeechobee, Florida, in 1837.
staggering back out of range of enemy fire, the Volunteers withdrawing
with them- leaving the field of battle fully under Indian control.
Where, they all wondered, was the support they were supposed to
rally behind? Where were the reserves? It was obvious that the First
Infantry had not come up as expected, for none of them had encountered
a fresh man during the withdrawal. It seemed peculiar, but fact, that the
First was now placed far over on the left side of the line, far behind
Foster's Fourth which, as yet, had been but little engaged. So far, the
Missourians and the Sixth Infantry had borne the full weight of that
terrible enemy fire. In later months, when the controversy boiled over,
even the Missourians had nothing but praise for those hard-fighting
Regulars. One of Taylor's most outspoken adversaries wrote, "The Sixth
Infantry behaved gloriously fought bravely; they were a moving
battery of stout hearts, and strong hands; and none but brave men could
march where they did."
But, unlike the Volunteers in their rout, the Sixth fell back only far
enough to reform. Their retrograde movement slowed, halted; the men
rallied. One company Company "K" in gathering itself together,
found only four men untouched by enemy lead. Other companies, too,
had taken heavy losses. A dozen or more men lay dead on the field; and
almost three-score more, wounded, were writhing in agony in the
morass or making their painful way toward the rear. Some of those badly
hit were carried, during that brief respite, back across the swamp to the
baggage dump, where the doctors had set up tents and tables they could
not be left where they fell, for in such a spot they would have drowned,
even if bullets did not finish them off first: no man, weakened by
wounds, could long have held his head above the water and mud.
The able-bodied men, disposing of their burdens, returned
promptly to the fight. Hardly taking time to catch their breath, the
mangled remnants of the Sixth, with a few Volunteers, pulled them-
selves together, formed again in ragged line, and once more moved
forward to paraphrase that Missourian's remark, none but brave men
could willingly have reentered such a battle....
But by that time the main battle had shifted.
The six companies of the Fourth Infantry making up the left of the
line, consisting of 160 men, faced a somewhat less formidable foe. The
Mickasukies there seemed (for the moment, at least) to have lost some of
their will to fight Sam Jones had deserted them, and all of The
Prophet's powerful medicine had not prevented some of them from
dying. The enemy fire on that wing, though still strong and deadly, could
not match the hail of lead that had nearly destroyed the Sixth.
As that battered right wing had slowly withdrawn, Colonel Foster's
Fourth Infantry came at last almost in reach of the hammock. Although
the enemy now opened a heavy fire, the left advanced like a walking
battery, firing, re-loading, methodically firing again, maintaining a
heavy hail of musket-balls against the dark shadows ahead. Foster later
declared that his regiment approached the cypresses virtually as the
"front line," regardless of Taylor's plans, for there were no Volunteers
before him at any stage of the action-neither at the beginning nor during
the actual fighting. He seems to be borne out by statements from the
Missourians themselves, who said that the right of the Sixth reached
only to the center of Colonel Price's line -which would have left Foster's
Fourth dangling far off to the left, far over-reaching the left end of the
They came on steadily as steadily as men could through such an
evil muck. They continued to feel losses. Lieutenant John L. Hooper
took a musket ball through his arm but ignored the wound, continuing to
command until the fighting ceased
As they came closer to the hammock, almost within the shadow of
the big cypress trees, Colonel Foster ordered a charge, on the double,
and the gallant Fourth responded valiantly. They covered those last few
yards on the run as rapid as the sawgrass, mud, and water would
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 31
permit. They entered the hammock in a single thin rank, with the men
about one pace apart.
The Mickasukies had again come to life under Alligator's exhorta-
tions, and their fire increased. As the far left wing entered the hammock,
on the run to keep abreast of the remainder of the regiment, the Mic-
kasukies drove forward with an unexpected flanking attack. Major
William M. Graham and Lieutenant Richard B. Screven, whose com-
panies "B" and "C" formed that extreme left, met the screeching and
howling Indians head-on, breaking the force of the charge, driving them
for a considerable distance until they had crossed a creek that ran
transversely through the thick woods about half a mile on the left.
In spite of continual sniping on their front, the main body of the
Fourth, consisting of four companies, managed to take its own first
tentative steps to penetrate the screen of trees, climbing from the mud up
a low slanting rise to dry ground. Their losses, though moderately heavy,
were few when compared with the massive casualties of the Sixth, which
was now re-forming and coming to join them. Several mighty dis-
charges of concentrated musketry were poured into the trees, sending
many an Indian howling for cover in the denser woods behind them. The
Indian fire, still strong, seemed again to be dwindling a little. Shots were
less frequent, less organized, poorly coordinated but at such close
range the aim was still too good for comfort. Men continued to fall. And
the remaining Indians were still virtually invisible. .. That right seg-
ment of the line moved on, and after its first tentative steps, its four
companies progressing boldly into the dim-lit cypresses, began to drive
the enemy (still for the most part unseen) before it.
It was gloomy dark within the hammock, but as their eyes became
accustomed to the shadows the soldiers could see down long lanes of
tree-trunks, fairly clear of underbrush the thick screen of sun-loving
bush along the hammock's edge seemed like a narrow wall. Beyond that
screen, cattle had grazed away much of the greenery within their reach,
leaving wide stretches of ground relatively open, save where fallen
timbers blocked the view. Here and there a fleeting shadow ducked
behind a tree as the white men surveyed the scene across the sights of
ready muskets. Once in a while a dark form drifted into the line of those
sights, to be picked off by sudden fire.
The two companies of the Sixth that remained fairly intact (Com-
pany "K" under Captain Noel, and "B" Company now commanded by
Second Lieutenant Woods because all of the other officers were out of
action), with remnants of the rest of the broken regiment, were shifting
toward the left. Finding their own front relatively quiet, they moved into
position on Foster's right flank, together with Captain Gilliam and
Lieutenant Blakey and fourteen of the remaining Volunteers. From the
noise they could tell that Indian fire had picked up a little over to the left,
where Major Graham's private little battle was going on, and where
Alligator kept urging on the wild Mickasukies. But where the main body
of the Fourth's right wing had entered the hammock only a random
scatter of shots ping-ed through the air, the fire ragged and uncertain.
This was not rifle country this was a place for bayonets and knives.
Captain Graham's far left wing had by that time managed to push
the Indians on across that little creek; and the other red warriors seemed
to be giving ground, too, before the main part of the army's line. Once
the soldiers had climbed up the gradually sloping ground into the midst
of the thick trees, the double-time had slowed to a cautious walk. Foster
urged his men on: they continued to press forward in line across the
hammock, firing steadily, while the left wing began moving slowly to
There were blood-curdling shouts and yells, from American throats
now, as the men urged one another on in the face of still stubborn
resistance- and those yells were answered and almost overpowered by
the screeching battle-cries of the Indians. One man noted that "the
Seminoles were screaming like insensate brutes, looking like gaunt
wolves thirsting for blood and springing at their prey."
For a short while the fighting became hot and close. Muskets were
clubbed and swung; bayonets ran red with Indian blood drawn in that
close contact. Dark, tawny forms, some clad only in breech-clouts and
paint, others dressed fantastically and fearfully, still filtered from tree to
tree. Their deep black eyes glared from their red-painted faces like the
eyes of demons.
Despite the continued close opposition, the army those in the
hottest action amounting to only about one hundred and eighty-five -
drove the Indians for a while, farther across the hammock. As the Fourth
was thus advancing in a fairly orderly line, combing the bushes as it
went, one of the men farthest to the front ran back to report to Foster that
the great Lake Okeechobee was actually in sight. It was only a few more
But it was not to be so easy.
As the Fourth Infantry had almost completed its sweep across the
hammock, still in rough line and forcing the Indians before it, all eyes
had been strained ahead, along the deep shadowy aisles of the cypresses
and on to the sparkling blue waters of the lake. Intent as they were upon
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 33
the exacting work at hand, the soldiers had almost forgotten the
Seminoles who had cut the Sixth to ribbons. But those Seminoles,
having succeeded in crippling the Sixth to such an extent that it had
temporarily withdrawn, now had full opportunity to turn their attention
to the Fourth.
Due to the severe shortage of officers, Lieutenant Buchanan had
been ordered to take command of two companies of the regiment -
Companies "G" and "I." Usually a desk-bound officer, on that day he
was in the thick of the fighting. By chance he turned, perhaps to urge on
stragglers, and caught a frightening glimpse: a thin wave of Seminole
warriors was pouring onto the rear and right flank! Buchanan yelled to
Colonel Foster, waving his arm frantically toward the advancing horde.
One glance was enough for the Colonel. He immediately ordered a
change of front, by inversion to the right, bringing the main strength of
his regiment face to face with the enemy. It is in maneuvers such as this
that trained military men far outclass any militia: their experience and
training made their response automatic, without hesitation or question-
ing. One flank now rested on the lake shore, the regiment now lying
entirely across the narrow hammock, while the other flank was anchored
to the sawgrass from which they had started. The two re-formed com-
panies of the Sixth Infantry served as pivot for the line there on the
sawgrass side. Muskets and rifles quickly re-loaded, bayonets ready, the
soldiers ducked behind convenient trees or fell behind sheltering logs to
await the charge.
The charge came, with more screeching and howling. Straight
toward the now-ready soldiers. Straight into a heavy fire. Ignoring their
falling comrades, the ragged line of nearly naked men came on, attempt-
ing futilely to drive the whites from the hammock. They came close
enough for the soldiers to smell the sweet stink of greased and sweaty
bodies, and to see the fantastic patterns of their "war medicine" faces
and bodies streaked with bizarre symbols in red and black paint. Naked
savages crept close through the shadows, long knives in hand. Some,
strangely clad in tattered white shirts and turbans and nothing else,
moved from tree to tree. Closer they came. Closer. Now it was hand-to-
hand. Here and there a gun-stock crashed into an Indian skull. Bayonets
darted and pierced, drank deep, ran red with Seminole blood... For a
while the Seminoles tried to sustain the assault, but the fire was too
heavy, the opposition too disciplined, the welter of shouts and shots and
sharp cold steel too demoralizing. The red wave broke, faltered, and
receded. For a scant few moments the woods were almost quiet again.
Then another charge materialized out of the underbrush. And then
occurred one of those strange happenings which can only be called the
"misfortunes of war."
As the new line of Indians came within a few yards of the waiting
soldiers, some of the men thought they recognized familiar faces among
them. They called out, to inquire if they were Delawares- not wanting to
fire on their own allies. Even Foster was uncertain: he hailed the Indians
himself, asking if they were Delawares.
"Yes, Delaware! Delaware!" the answer came promptly back. But
at the same time those tawny bodies continued to slip into position
behind trees and stumps, vanishing from sight...
During that brief interval several men had their muskets at their
shoulders, taking deliberate aim at the oncoming Indians. Lieutenant
Buchanan recalled that at least six of them crossed the bead of his sights
during those few moments. Like others, he brought his weapon down
without firing, thinking that these were indeed the Delaware allies all
of the Indians seemed to look alike. At the same time, Buchanan
motioned to a soldier nearby who was just about to pull his trigger,
ordering him nbt to shoot...
Even as he spoke, a searing volley burst forth from that point-blank
range, tearing through the trees like a scythe. For so few Indians, the fire
was unbelievably heavy. Soldiers fell from sight on every hand, a few
wounded, most simply diving for cover in purely reflex action. The
Seminoles were well concealed, and that one heavy fusillade so
unexpected and so unnecessary- caused more Fourth Infantry casualties
than any other action in the whole battle.
There was no time for orders. It was every man for himself now.
But again, training and experience came to the fore: as soon as they
could orient themselves to this new danger, almost as a body the
embattled infantry rushed forward, straight into the firing, not allowing
time for the enemy to re-load, to close with the Indians in hand-to-hand
combat. Knives and bayonets were again put to their deadly work. The
big horse-pistols of the Volunteers spat flame and heavy lead- with a six
shooter in each hand, those few remaining Missourians poured metal
into the thickets. The Seminoles cared little for such close attention, and
again retired disappearing so suddenly that they could not be effec-
tively pursued. Some of the men, the heat of the battle upon them, rushed
headlong into the undergrowth, but found not an Indian!
Captain Allen and his two mounted companies, sent out earlier to
reconnoiter the right, had encountered no hostiles in that vicinity, and
had found it impractical to try to cross the deep creek and heavy mud
there. By the time of that deadly "accident" the detachment had returned
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 35
to the place where Colonel Taylor stood far out on the sawgrass prairie,
in the mud, in full view of the army, directing operations in a cool and
Allen was at once ordered to advance, his men now dismounted, to
the support of the army's right wing. He moved his men into position
adjacent to Captain Noel's company of the Sixth Infantry, which still
served as "anchor" on the sawgrass side of Foster's right flank.
As soon as those two companies were in motion, Taylor sent
Colonel William Davenport and the fresh First Infantry- until then held
in reserve far to the rear- hurrying off farther to the left, to complete the
flanking and turning of the enemy's right wing.
As that veteran regiment got into position with its 173 fresh men,
firmly pushing the Indians before it, that right flank began to crumple -
but the Seminoles on the army's own right made one more charge. That
third charge was but a weak and puny thing, when compared with their
earlier fury. Their numbers were much reduced; their fire-power almost
vanished. The third attack withered away, almost unnoticed. (Colonel
Foster mentions a fourth charge but it was so feeble that it has not
found mention in any other account of the battle.)
The First Infantry came on from the left, along the length of the
hammock, meeting with little opposition; and Captain Allen's unit
moved in on the right. If they were expecting to have a hand in the
fighting they were doomed to disappointment. For the fighting was
All of the soldiers still able to advance now massed together- the
First, Fourth, and Sixth Infantry regiments, a fair number of Missouri
Volunteers and Spies, and a few Delawares. They pressed forward as the
fleeing Indians scattered in all directions. Out of the woods they forced
them, across the sand ridge, and on to the open sandy beach beyond -
abandoned Indian camps were strewn along the lake shore for more than
By that time, the army was too jaded for any serious thoughts of
pursuit, although Colonel Foster kept a few of his fresher men at the
attempt until almost sundown; and the First Infantry kept beating the
bushes for stragglers. Most of the Sixth and the Volunteers rested where
they could, not joining in any efforts at pursuit- having been engaged in
the battle from its very beginnings, they had had enough. (Captain
Pollard's company, which began the engagement already reduced to
sixteen men, found its strength now cut in half- only eight men left fit
It was after three o'clock in the afternoon when the actual fighting
ended, and many of the soldiers had been in that muddy swamp for
almost three hours, much of that time spent in severe action. They were
utterly exhausted. But the fresh First Infantry continued to move up and
down the length of the hammock, searching, probing- but they made no
real efforts to follow the Indians out onto the open beaches and beyond.
Scattered as the Seminoles were, it would have been futile to try to round
The Battle of Okeechobee was over. There remained now the
difficult task of bringing out the rest of the wounded and giving them
such attention as could be rendered there in the wilderness. The doctors
would have their hands full...
And, too, there remained the melancholy task of burying the dead.
Shortly after the battle Zachary Taylor was breveted Brigadier
General, and on May 15, 1838, succeeded General Jesup as commander
of all the troops in Florida all in recognition of his great victory. But
was it indeed such a great victory?
An authentic victory, traditionally, would result either in severe
enemy casualties, or in the attainment- even at great cost- of some goal
greatly desired. In this case, neither criterion applies.
Taylor admits to finding only ten dead Indians on the field, despite
his statement that "the hostiles probably suffered... equally with our-
selves." His own losses were set at 26 killed and 112 wounded- a highly
disproportionate figure for a victory.
The other major goal, that of terminating the war, was hardly
approached. The war dragged on for almost five more years: it was not
until August 12, 1842 that Colonel William Worth declared the hostilities
at an end.
Christmas Day in Florida, 1837 37
The items listed here, culled from an extensive bibliography, are those
that contributed most directly to the preceding paper.
Alvord, Lt. Benjamin. Address before the Dialectic Society of the Corps of Cadets. New
York: Wiley & Putnam, 1839
Army and Navy Chronicles. Washington: various issues, 1835-1842.
"Battle of Okeechobee," (n.a.) U.S. Magazine. March 1857.
Benton, Thomas Hart. Letter to Richard Gentry, March 10, 1838. Published in Missouri
Historical Review, Vol. 40, October 1945.
Buchanan, Lt. Robert Christie. "A Journal of Lieutenant R. C. Buchanan during the
Seminole War," edited by Frank F. White, Jr. Published in FHQ, Vol. XXIX, No.
2, October 1950.
Letter to Lt. Col. William S. Foster, March 25, 1838. Photocopy from Maryland
Historical Society, Baltimore.
Carter, Clarence Edwin, editor. The Territorial Papers of the United States, Vol. XXV.
Washington: National Archives, 1960.
__ Ibid. Vol. XXVI. 1962.
Chiles, Capt. James. Testimony reported in "Colonel Taylor and the Missouri Volun-
teers." Jefferson Republican, Jefferson City, Missouri, December 8, 1838.
Claude (otherwise unidentified). Letter, April 9,1838, published in Missouri Argus, St.
Louis, Missouri, April 19, 1838.
Coe, Charles H. Red Patriots. Cincinnati: Editor Publishing Co., 1898.
Darrow, Dorothy. "Reminiscences of the Lake Okeechobee Area, 1912-1922."
Tequesta, No. 27, 1967.
DeVane, Albert. Letter to F. B. Searles, Jr., September 29, 1960. FHQ, Vol. XXXIX,
No. 3, January 1961.
Diary of the Weather at Fort Brooke, Florida, 1837. Photocopy from the National
Climatic Center, Asheville, N. C.
Douglas, Marjory Stoneman. The Everglades: River of Grass. New York: Rinehart &
Downey, Fairfax. Indian Wars of the U. S. Army (1776-1865). New York: Doubleday &
Foreman, Grant. Indian Removal. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1953.
Foster, Lt.-Col. William S. Letter to Col. Zachary Taylor, March 25, 1838. Photocopy
from National Archives.
"General Gentry Trained Men Here for Seminole War 87 Years Ago." (n.a.) Columbia
Missourian, Columbia, Missouri, October 2, 1924.
Gentry, William Jr. "Boone Soldiers in Seminole War." Columbia Daily Tribune,
Columbia, Missouri, October 15-16, 1937.
Gentry, William R., Jr. Full Justice. St. Louis: privately printed, 1937.
Gentry, William R., Sr. "The Missouri Soldier One Hundred Years Ago?" Missouri
Historical Review, July 1918.
Giddings, Joshua R. The Exiles of Florida. Columbus: Follett, Foster & Co., 1858.
Hamilton, Holman. Zachary Taylor. New York: Bobbs, Merrill Co., 1941.
"Historians Refight the Battle of Okeechobee"' (n.a.) The Okeechobee News, December
McReynolds, Edwin C. The Seminoles. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957.
Mahon, John K. History of the Second Seminole War. Gainesville: University of Florida
Missouri Histories. Two State and six County histories were consulted. Though gener-
ally repetitious, they added much to the information about the battle, including
names of many participants.
Noel, Captain Thomas. Letter, January 10, 1838, published in Missouri Argus, St.
Louis, Missouri, February 12, 1838.
Pictorial Life of General Taylor. (n.a.) Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston,1847.
Price, Lt. Col. John W. Letter, January 7, 1838, published in Missouri Argus, March 1,
Report from the Secretary of War. 25th Congress, Second Session, Senate Document
227, February 21, 1838. (Contains Taylor's report.)
Satterlee, Dr. Richard S. Letter to Mrs. Thompson, January 5, 1838.
Sprague, John T. The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion ofthe Florida War. Gainesville:
University of Florida Press, 1964.
Taylor, Col. Zachary. Letter to Adjutant General R. Jones, January 4, 1838. (Published in
Sprague; also SD-227.)
Will, Lawrence E. A Cracker History of Okeechobee. St. Petersburg: Great Outdoors
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge
To be shipwrecked, to get ashore safely, and then to die of exposure or
starvation: once this sequence occurred over and over along the wild
Atlantic coast. Though Congress began to provide some assistance for
shipwreck victims in 1847 the program did not get into high gear until the
1870's. By 1880 the United States Life Saving Service was operating
about one hundred stations, or houses of refuge, along the eastern
seaboard, among them five stations on Florida's southeast coast, the
latter at intervals of about every twenty-five miles. The most southern of
'the Florida stations, Number Five, known as the Biscayne House of
Refuge, was on the beach seven miles north of Norris Cut. The house
was so badly damaged in the hurricane of 1926 that it was abandoned.
The Historical Association of Southern Florida has placed a historical
marker in North Shore Park at 72nd Street and Collins Avenue, Miami
Beach, near the original site.
The five South Florida stations built in 1876 were alike: of frame
construction, one story with loft, three main rooms downstairs sur-
rounded by an eight-foot-wide veranda on three sides and a narrow
kitchen on the north side, windows with screens and shutters but no
glass, and a brick chimney in the kitchen for a cook stove. The keeper
and his family lived downstairs; the loft, with a small window in each
end, was equipped with cots for castaways or visitors. In addition to the
main house there was a boathouse for the lifeboat and a large wooden
tank, somewhat elevated, which held rainwater from the roof, the only
source of water at the Biscayne house. Each station cost about $3,000.
The Biscayne station was built on a sand ridge facing the ocean and
with long views up and down the beach. The vegetation of the ridge was
a matted wind-shaped jungle with few if any of the coconut trees later
associated with Miami Beach. To the west the sand ridge gave way to a
dense mangrove swamp and beyond the swamp was upper Biscayne
*Dr. Thelma Peters is a charter member of the Historical Association of Southern
Florida and immediate past president of the Florida Historical Society.
Bay, about two miles wide at this point. A path ran through the jungle
and swamp from the station to a small wooden dock at the outer edge of
the mangroves, a distance of a scant half mile, where the keeper kept his
supply boat. This boat, usually a small sail, was the keeper's contact with
the mainland. The keeper also used the boat to make rescues when boats
capsized or became grounded in the bay.
For many years there was no habitation on the beach except the
station between Norris Cut and the Fort Lauderdale House of Refuge, a
distance of thirty miles. It was a lonely life. Sometimes the keeper and
his family went for days without seeing another person. Turtlers and
beachcomers did sometimes walk the beach but the barefoot mailman
and his "passengers" took to a boat farther up the beach and rarely
stopped in at the station. Miami was about seven miles from the station
landing, across and down the bay, not always an easy run for a small
boat, impossible in a storm. The isolation diminished somewhat as
Miami developed. As early as 1900 excursion boats took tourists from
Miami to the station landing for 50c round trip and gave them two or
three hours to walk across the island to see the House of Refuge and
enjoy the beach. Many private picnic parties came to the station also -
some by way of a boat landing at Crocodile Hole a mile or two south of
Passing ships relieved the monotony, most of them southbound, so
as to avoid the Gulf Stream, and only relatively close to shore, about a
mile away. The log shows the importance of this sea lane along the coast
of Florida. In 1892, for example, the log recorded 2059 passing vessels.
By classification these included 52 barks, 13 brigs, 338 schooners, 1323
steamers and 357 sloops.
The first keeper of Station Five was William J. Smith, an early
Dade County sheriff. He served only a few months, later homesteaded in
the area which became Buena Vista where, in 1892, he built a twelve-
room hotel.1 British-born Edward Barnott, about 37, succeeded Smith as
keeper. In 1877 Barnott married Mary Sullivan, the daughter of Lizzie
Sullivan Oxar. Mary's birth date is uncertain: 1864 by a family record,
1859 by the Census of 1900, in either case she was a teenage bride. In her
old age Mary, then Mrs. John H. Peden, was quoted as saying they had
buried three babies in the dunes near the station.2 We know little about
the years the Barnotts lived at the station. No log kept by Mr. Barnott has
been found though a journal was listed in the inventory of the Biscayne
House of Refuge in 1879.
The first of the logs for the Biscayne station preserved in the
Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland, begins in
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 41
1883. The series is complete until the abandonment of the station in 1927.
In 1915 when America was becoming alarmed by the war in Europe and
felt an urgent need for a better coast patrol the houses of refuge were
placed under the United States Coast Guard. The houses were no longer
occupied by a family but by a crew of men. Discipline became stricter
and modern devices such as power boats, telephones and even beach
patrol motorcycles were used. The log increased from one to two
legal-size pages a day.
The entries given here are from 1883 to August 18, 1900, or prior to
the time the service was placed under the Coast Guard. They give
information about weather and passing ships, record wrecks and other
disasters, pin down some historic dates such as the county site election of
1889, and tie hundreds of individuals to a certain place at a certain time.
A printed form guided the keeper's entries, charts for weather and surf,
temperature and barometer readings, ship classification. Standard ques-
tions included "Is the house thoroughly clean?" and "Is the house in
good repair?" About a third of each page was designated General
Remarks, which some keepers ignored for days at a time, to the regret of
historians, for here lies the meat. Fortunately enough entries were made
throughout the years to make the logs fascinating to read for what is
there, and frustrating for what is not. One aspect of life at a station
almost totally missing is the role of the keeper's wife. She kept house
with almost no conveniences, endured loneliness, tutored her children,
and no doubt often substituted for the keeper, recording weather and
ships in the log, scanning the beach through a glass, tending the ill or
injured who came to the house, and no voice has been raised to give her
any recognition. Only twice in the log was the "work" of a wife
mentioned Mrs. Fulford once repaired a torn sail, and Mrs. Johansen
once kept the station while her husband was away overnight. Children
are as invisible as wives, mentioned only a few times in thirty years.
Keeper Peacock wrote that he had left the station in charge of his "two
eldest sons nearly grown men and physically capable as men." Usually
there is nothing to indicate the presence of a family at the station. Mrs.
Fulford was mentioned twice in ten years by her husband the keeper. We
know she was at the station, however, for she is mentioned quite often in
the Lemon City Locals of the Tropical Sun and the Miami Metropolis
during the 1890's.
The keeper of a house of refuge was paid $400 a year until about
1900 when the compensation went up to $600.
Florida belonged to the Seventh District of the United States Life
Saving Service (later the Eighth District) with headquarters in Charles-
ton, South Carolina. For several years before his death in 1882 the
superintendent for District Seven was William H. Hunt who lived in the
small community of Biscayne across the bay from Station Five. The
superintendent visited each house in his district several times a year to
inspect and pay off. One of Hunt's reports, that of May 3, 1880, is in the
National Archives. Of the Biscayne house he wrote: "Number 5 keeper
home. Government property well cared for, house clean and orderly. No
cause to complain. Without opening packages I examined the provisions
at various houses and can discern no indication that they are not in good
order." He also mentioned that he had borrowed the 22-foot life boat
from Station Five to get to the other stations and found that "it works
The superintendent who succeeded Hunt was Champ H. Spencer of
Daytona, who replaced all the keepers except Steve Andrews of Number
Three. Spencer also hired a crew to repair and paint the houses. The
Edward Barnotts were caught by surprise and had no place to go.
Accordingly they stayed on at Number Five for three months after the
new keeper and his family moved in. The new keeper was Hannibal
Dillingham Pierce who had moved to the east coast of Florida from
Illinois in 1872 and had once been assistant keeper of the Jupiter
lighthouse before becoming the first keeper of Station Three, the Orange
Grove House of Refuge which was near present Delray Beach.
A rare description of life in a house of refuge is given in Pioneer
Life in Southern Florida by Charles W. Pierce, the son of Hannibal
Pierce and eighteen when the family moved to Station Five. The original
Pierce manuscript (the printed version is somewhat abridged) gives
additional insight into the rather strained period when two families
occupied the small station. Pierce said his mother, who was in frail
health, and his young sister, Lillie, who had been born at Station Three,
spent most of the time at the home of Mrs. William Gleason at Biscayne.
Hannibal Pierce was absent for many days, having gone to Lake Worth
for the family possessions. Mr. Barnott went each day across the bay
where he was building a home. This left only Charles, who presumably
was acting keeper, and Mary Bamott at the station. Charles commented
that the days were very lonely, for Mrs. Barnott shut herself away in her
room all day every day.3 Charles may not have known that the shy young
Mary was pregnant. The first Barnott child to live, Edward C. Bamott,
was born a few months later.
This then is the situation at the Biscayne House of Refuge when the
new keeper, on January 28, 1883, opened his journal to make the first
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 43
Lack of space makes it impossible to reproduce the entire log in
Tequesta. Entries are chronological and have been selected with an eye
for historical significance and/or possible reader interest. Misspellings
have been left but an occasional capital or comma has been supplied.
Jan. 28,1883. Is the house in good repair? No. Is the house clean?
No. Contractor repairing house.
Jan. 31, 1883. Supt. Spencer paid Bamott, Jenkins4 and Pierce.
Inspected government property.
Feb. 1, 1883. Supt. left for No. 4 but the wind freshening up and
seas making heavy returned to station.
Feb. 5,1883. Supt. Spencer left station today for Station 4 through
the everglades it being impossible to go outside.
Feb. 24,1883. Measured distance from House at high water mark.
Found it to be about 28 feet.
Mar. 9,1883. March 9th being the day set by Prof. Wiggins 5 for the
commencement of his Great World's Storm, I have thought proper to
note the climatic changes during the day. Commencing at sunrise 6 A.M.
light S.W. wind sea very smooth. 7 A.M. wind fresh S.S W. a very heavy
northerly surf coming in breaking up on the grass. 10 A.M. the fresh
S.S.W. wind has driven back the northerly roll or surf. 12 M. wind still
fresh from South with a heavy bank of clouds from West to North. 2 P.M.
barometer falling rapidly 30.23. 4 PM. barometer still falling, 30.20.
Cloudy, the heavy bank of clouds from the N.W. passing to the S.E.very
fast. 6 PM. barometer 30.18 the lowest point reached since last Sep-
tember. At this point wind very light S.W. The surf from the northerly
swell coming in again with the cession of the wind. 9 P.M. barometer
going up 30.22 the prospect at this point is that Wiggins will be
Mar. 10, 1883. No remarks to make on the second day of Prof.
Wiggins storm. Barometer has remained stationary. Thermometer has
gone up. The day has been all that could be desired.
Mar. 15,1883. Schooner Ilo landed balance of lumber and shingles
to complete repairs on station.
July 28, 1883. Repainted signs on guideposts on Beach from
Virginia Key to Station. Found three posts gone, evidentally maliciously
Aug. 18, 1883. Repaired cots by sewing canvas upon each side
where rusted out and covering iron side pieces with a thin coating of coal
tar which will stop further rusting.
Aug. 27, 1883. A small stem wheel steam boat Yaa Jay showing
American colors'passed South.
Sept. 8, 1883. It is evident that a heavy hurricane passed North to
eastward of Station probably following the east edge of the Gulf Stream.
Sept. 30, 1883. Large steamer steering south was too close in
shore. Set the danger signal of the Life Saving Service when she hauled
Oct. 10,1883. On walking down today from Orange Grove Station
to Lauderdale Station Charles W. Pierce of Biscayne Bay found stuck
upon the beach about two miles north of Hillsborough River a raft
evidentally made from some sinking vessel. It was made of spruce
planks such as are used on vessels, lashed together with ropes. He also
found close by two tent poles, new, marked C. S. Pearce. He examined
carefully to find further traces or marks to see if any one had come on
shore with it but there were none.
Oct. 18,1883. Patrolled Beach from Inlet to six miles north. Found
nothing to indicate any wrecks from the violent wind of last night.
Oct. 21,1883. Rained for eighth day. Country under water. Sighted
with the glass the beach to New River and south to Inlet.
Nov. 21, 1883. A large brig-rigged steamer under all sail steering
south at 2 P.M. ran so close in that if it had been low tide she would have
struck. Set the danger signal as soon as she was near enough to see it,
when she hauled off into deep water. Had she continued the course five
minutes longer she would have taken the bottom and with the sea that is
running today she would have stayed there. Endeavored to ascertain her
nationality but they refused to set their colors.
Nov. 28, 1883. A very heavy surf running going right under the
house. At 1 P.M. sighted a Brig hove to in the Gulfstream making hard
Jan. 17, 1884. One of the Morgan Line Steamers bound south took
the reef about ten miles south of station about 3 P.M. They fired their
cannon until 11 P.M. for assistance without avail. The wind freshening up
in the night brought a heavy sea with it and lifted her so she got off, don't
know whether she received damage or not. The firing was not heard at
April 10,1884. Supt. Spencer arrived at station at 2 P.M. held board
of survey and inspection of station supplies. Left for the North at 6 PM.
Contractors repaired cistern and gutters.
May 7, 1884. Repainted mile posts north to New River and turned
stencils over to keeper of Lauderdale station,
June 10, 1884. A small open boat with two men from Key Largo
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 45
put in to the station out of water. Supplied them and they continued their
July 29,1884. Three men in two small open skiff boats applied for
shelter for the night which was furnished them.
Oct. 12,1884. Forwarded my resignation as keeper of the Biscayne
Bay House of Refuge Life Saving Service to Champ H. Spencer.District
7. Cause assigned: the failing health of Mrs. Pierce makes it necessary
for me to live near a doctor. Resignation to take effect from Dec. 1, 1884
or as soon thereafter as possible.
Dec. 10, 1884. Schooner City of Havana hove to off the station at
eleven A.M. and sent a boat ashore to find out where they were having
lost track of themselves the night before heaving out in the Gulf Stream
about six miles south of the station. When they sighted the station in the
morning they thought it was the Orange Grove Station. They were bound
from Key West to the wreck of the French Bark at the foot of Lake
Worth. when he found out his position he returned to Key West.
Dec. 13, 1884. Received through the revenue cutter, provisions,
medicine chest, marine glasses, and entered same on-Inventory of
Dec. 14, 1884. In looking over cans of Hard Bread just received I
find nine cans imperfectly soldered and one with a nail hole through it. It
will be impossible to keep insects out of the badly soldered ones. Found
hole in can of linseed oil near top, some two or three quarts gone and
while I found wicking lamp shears and oil there was no signal
Dec. 18, 1884. Turned over to Mr. W. A. L. Matherson, acting
keeper, all Government property at station as is carried on inventory and
Receipt and Expenditure Book he receipting the same. H.D. Pierce
Jan. 3,1885. Arrived today in company with Superintendent C. H.
Spencer. After inspecting the station property he left me in charge of the
John Thomas Peacock, late keeper at Ft. Lauderdale [signed].
Jan. 25, 1885. The late keeper, Mr. Pierce, left here in a schooner
bound for Lake Worth.
Feb. 10,1885. Local stranger arrived.6
Feb. 23, 1885. Finished putting new canvas bottoms in the cots.
Schooner Mystery Capt. Hogg delivered lumber and shingles to make
shade over the water tank.
Mar. 25,1885. Sloop Ada passed going north with bales of cotton
on deck which she combed off the beach.
Mar. 26,1885. Schooner Nellie Lowe passed going north cruising
for drift cotton.
May 15, 1885. Picked up current bottle of the U.S. Coast and
Geodetic Survey just arrived in surf abreast of Station 8 A.M. Reported as
May 18,1885. Local men Quimby and Allen left for Indian River.
Aug. 23, 1885. At day break a tug boat was heading straight in for
the station out of the Gulf towing a very large square scow with house on
deck and derrick. When within mile of beach she turned South, run 2
miles then slewed round and went North out of sight.
Oct. 22,1885. A small sloop from Key West bound to Indian River
with one man aboard anchored I and V2 miles South of station on
Wednesday night. During the night she parted her hawser and drifted on
the beach. The man came to the station for assistance. We got her off and
took her back in the Bay for repairs.
Feb. 4,1886. Arrived at sundown Superintendent Frank W. Sams.
He inspected Station property and paid off.
Mar. 9,1886. Local. W. White and brother beached on their way to
Mar. 10, 1886. Local. Monroe and Peacock passed in Sharpie
North. White and brother started from station in dingey for the lake.
Mar. 15,1886. Local. Brickell went up with passenger.
Apr. 7, 1886. Local. Sharpie passed early. Looked like Field and
July 20, 1886. Received by mail 1 set signal halyards from R.A.
Robbins, 141 Chamber St. N.Y.
Sept. 18, 1886. Heavy squalls. Patrolled beach all day no signs of
wreck. Local. Diningroom window burst in and crockery blown off like
chaff on floor and broken.
Oct. 23, 1886. The beach is packed with wreckage and pipes of
wine more or less for 60 miles. The bulk of the wine is salt water
damaged and the best of it of such a low grade that the wreckers don't
think it will pay charges to work it. The vessel or vessels broke up
somewhere and the current brought the drift here. Have notified the
collector of customs at Key West of the facts.
Nov. 4,1886. Local stranger arrived. 7
Mar. 3, 1887. Received from Supt. E W. Sams: 8 bls. beef. 41A
bis. pork. 2 light wire lanterns No. 6. 2 spare burners. 6 globes for same
and received pay.
Aug. 13,1887. The house is in good repair with the exception of the
wire screens to windows. I have been mending them with cloth till now
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 47
they are past mending and as there are mosquitos here all the year round
I'm compelled to repeat my requisition.
Apr. 16, 1888. Received via Key West from R. A. Robbins New
York: 20 pieces wire screening. 1 brass padlock. 1 lb. copper tacks. b
dozen corn brooms.
Apr. 26,1888. C. Lum said the schooners sponged off his place.
May 2,1888. Sent report to Collector of Customs at Key West that
2 Bahama schooners were illegally turtling and sponging around here.
The schooner passed today, appeared to be turtling on Tuesday towards
New River and this morning. Local. 2 small canoe-rigged boats passed
up with strangers.
Aug. 18,1888. Local. H. Smith arrived from Key West. Field and
Burks from Lake.
Nov. 25,1888. Surf broke over ridge and under station house.
Jan. 24, 1889. Mr. Prime and Docker passed to New River early
Feb. 1, 1889. Arrived small boat Assistant Inspector Lieut. C. F.
Shoemaker and proceeded to inspect house and station properly.s
Feb. 19,1889. Election day for county site and prohibition.
Feb. 22,1889. Yacht race at Cocoa Nut Grove.
Feb. 23,1889. Arrive 5 men from Lake with ballot boxes election
returns for county site.
May 18,1889. At sunrise a Spanish steamer ran aground on outer
reef 8 miles south of Station. I started to give information to a licensed
wrecking schooner 12 miles south but soon perceived them making
straight for the steamer. The Capt. of steamer declined their assistance
and lightened up by throwing overboard barrels of cement and fence
wire. He got her off in 12 hours and proceeded.
May 28,1889. Copy of report sent to Collector of Customs at Key
West, Fla.: I beg to call your attention to a serious obstruction in
navigation abreast of Narrows Cut Biscayne Bay, owing to the Spanish
steamer lately aground there throwing overboard barrels of cement and
bundles of fence wire forming an immense pile to the surface of the
water and, as many barrels burst, I think the whole pile will cement
together and form one solid rock. There were logs [?] under the cement.
June 10,1889. Received 20 pieces of brass wire gauze for windows
from Capt. J. H. Merryman.
June 23,1889. Two small 20-foot sloops in sight of station 2 days.
Had drifted with Gulf Stream from the Bahamas unable to make head
way with light baffling winds. I gave them, 5 coloured men, bread, water
and tobacco. They took the shore down towards Key West.
Nov. 9,1889. Arrived in schooner at inside landing Dist. Supt. H.
B. Shaw and made a thorough inspection of Station property.
Nov. 14, 1889. Received by mail boat freight 5 boxes sundries: 1
bdle brick. 1 bide brooms. Contents as follows: 2 match safes. 2
spittoons. 5 gal. boiled linseed oil. 10 lb copper paint. doz brooms
corn. 6 brushes scrubbing. 50 lb soap fresh water. 2 sets fire brick for
Halletts Caboose No. 3. 1 pan frying 14 inch. 1 clock.
Nov. 29,1889. Received by mail boat via Key West one desk in two
pieces slightly damaged.
Jan. 8,1890. Brickell's sloop after lumber.
Apr. 1, 1890. Received by schooner Casinne: 1 brl and I box
containing: 23 1 gal. buckets No. 14 light green paint. 4 1 gal. buckets
No. 76 brown paint. 1 bucket No. 14 broken half leaked out.
Apr. 14,1980. Received by mail 1 bag containing: I ensign U.S. 1
start pennant L.S.S. 1 set code signals (19 flags).
May 14, 1890. At half past 2 A.M. steamer City of Alexander of
New York bound for Havana run aground abreast of station. Gave news
at once to licensed wreckers on Biscayne Bay. They was soon alongside
to render assistance and at once proceeded to lighten her.
May 15, 1890. Steamer still aground. Weather becoming bad to-
wards sundown the wrecker left to make harbour for the night in
May 16,1890. During the night it blew very hard from the S.E. with
frequent rain squalls, surf very heavy. Towards day the steamer began to
throw over cargo consisting of provisions etc. A company of twenty
went into partnership to save goods that drifted into beach and saved a
considerable pile which they will ship the first opportunity to Key West
for salvage. During the [word omitted] the steamer floated off.
May 17, 1890. Early this morning the steamer proceeded on her
way and the goods saved on the beach was put aboard wrecking
schooner and consigned to the U.S. Marshall in Key West.
May 24,1890. It was impossible to keep house thoroughly clean as
bursted sacks of flour lay in piles directly in front of house thrown off
steamer lately aground abreast of station and citizens working to save
property begging shelter from the heavy rain squalls during the week. I
was absent during the week, had to attend court. Left house in charge of
two eldest sons nearly grown men and physically capable as men.
May 26, 1890. Arrived district Supt. Capt. H. B. Shaw. Keeper J.
T. Peacock absent being suddenly called to attend circuit court but got
back to station 2 hours after departure of Supt. so did not get paid off.
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 49
June 28, 1890. Have taken advantage of every chance early in the
morning during the week to paint station. Musketeers lively.
Aug. 4,1890. The large surf boat has become useless and worthless
being rusted out and can't be kept afloat. The small surf boat is too
__ to carry sail. I have 12 miles to go for mail and supplies.
Aug. 5,1890. Arrived Dist. Supt. Capt. H. B. Shaw with the new
keeper Capt. Fulford. Supt. handed me my discharge and paid off.
Myself and Capt. Fulford overhauled the station property and checked
off by the inventory made April 20, 1890 and by the receipt and
expenditure book of goods received since. I took Capt. Fulford's receipt
for stock and turned everything over to his charge. J. Tho. Peacock,
Aug. 6, 1890. Arrived at the station yesterday and this morning
received from the outgoing keeper Mr. J. T. Peacock the House of
Refuge at this place with all of its belongings and find things in a poor
condition, two boats neither of which are fit for use, the House partly
painted, most of the bedding old and worn out. W. H. Fulford9 [signed]
Aug. 9, 1890. Employed during the day in overhauling the large
life boat. Find several holes in her but will make the attempt to mend her
as soon as I procure some rosin. The whole of her bottom seems rusted
out. In the afternoon went for mail to Miami and called at Lemon City on
return. A Mr. Thompson came to the station from Lake Worth, also his
son. Loaned them a boat that was loaned to me to cross to Miami in.
Aug. 10,1890. Employed keeping Sunday.
Aug. 11, 1890. Employed preparing large life boat for painting.
Think I have stopped the leaks. Dennis O'Neil keeper of the Ft. Lauder-
dale House of Refuge in co with a Mr. Nugent came to the station.
Loaned them a boat that was loaned me to cross to Miami.
Aug. 13, 1890. Finished painting the large life boat. In the after-
noon went to Lemon City and returned.
Aug. 16, 1890. Launched the large life boat and find her still
Aug. 18, 1890. Used the large life boat though still leaking badly.
Received 2 axes and handles and 6 spare handles, 25 lb keg of white lead
from sloop mail boat Grey Hound via Lake Worth.
Aug. 19,1890. Hauled up the boat and blocked her up preparatory
to making one more attempt at stopping the leak.
Aug. 24, 1890. Used the boat today. Went to Coco Nut Grove.
Found that I had succeeded in getting her tight.
Oct. 1, 1890. Received a box by mail containing 1 barometer and 1
jar bug poison.
Oct. 30, 1890. Capt. H. B. Shaw superintendent U.S.L.S.S.
arrived at station and inspected and paid off. Left for up the coast.
Received from Capt. Shaw a dozen straight pens and 32 cans paint. At 4
P.M. a Mr. Thomas L. Alderman came to the station exhausted from
walking without water. Put him to bed and was up with him all night he
having very bad cramps.
Oct. 31, 1890. Mr. Alderman who came to the station and was so
sick all night reports that he left his brother exhausted on the Beach.
Established a search, meeting the mail carrier. He reports him at Baker
Haulover four miles north of the station on his way to this station.
Stopped to await results at sun sch [sunken schooner ?] and afterwards
went again to look for him. Could find nothing.
Nov. 1, 1890. Saturday morning William Alderman exhausted and
very sick came to the station. Been 48 hours with no water. Took him in
and put him to bed and gave him medicine and nourishment.
Nov. 2,1890. Gale winds. Barometer 30.5. Thomas L. and William
Alderman still at the station. Unable to leave through bad weather.
Nov. 3,1890. Tho. L. Alderman and William Alderman left station
bound to Lake Worth. Gave them one day provision. At 2 P.M. Mr.
O'Neil and Valentine came to the station from New River going to
Nov. 17, 1890. Came to the station four seamen from a sloop boat
they said had been wind bound at Norris Cut till they got out of
provisions. Gave them some flour and beef hominey for which they
promise to pay. The Capt. was named James Evans, the boat belonged to
Nov. 29, 1890. Heavy squalls. Barometer 29.75. Quite a quantity
of canvas coming ashore. Seemed to have been awnings. So badly
chafed it was useless.
Dec. 15, 1890. At 11 A.M. the crew of the schooner Conne came to
the station and exchanged boats with me, mine being worn out. They
took mine away in tow. The one they left seems a very good boat but she
leaks a little. Will haul her up and tighten her immediately.
Dec. 29, 1890. Received from steamer Harris Brothers from Key
West 6 chairs, a package containing a coil of manilla rope, 2 fire buckets,
a box containing twine, stove blacking, sash tool or brush, 2 hearing
Feb. 23, 1891. Mail carrier and Mr. Morse came to the station.
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 51
Mar. 1, 1891. Keeper went to Lemon City to church at 10 A.M. and
returned at 5 P.M.
Mar. 10,1891. A three masted schooner heavy laden came from the
North and ran in so close that we hoisted the signal that you are standing
into danger, when the schr. hauled off. A Mr. Harp all the way from
Kissimee City through the Everglades came to the station.
Apr. 21,1891. The mail contractor and carrier swamped in the Bay
while on his route to Lemon City, was rescued by Messrs Peding and
Barnot. [John Peden and Edward Bamott] Mail bag left in boat. At 7 P.M.
mail contractor and carrier got to station in nearly exhausted condition.
Put him to bed and made him comfortable.
Apr. 22,1891. At 3 P.M. yacht Attala ran ashore about 5 or 6 miles
north of station. Went with mail carrier, found the boat and made toward
lee shore. Bailed out and went back to station.
Apr. 23,1891. At 4 P.M. one of the crew of yacht Attala came to the
station for help reporting a man aboard very lame and wanting
____ I immediately left for Lemon City procured assistance and
went to the wreck, found her high on the Beach and out of danger. The
wreckers made a contract to get the yacht off and I went back to the
Apr. 24, 1891. Sloop yacht Attala still ashore. Wreckers from
Lemon City at work getting her off.
Apr. 25, 1891. At 10 P.M. the wreckers floated the yacht and she
proceeded on her voyage very little damaged.
Apr. 28,1891. A Mr. Nugent came to the station and left for Coco
Apr. 30, 1891. Sheriff Church came to station and left for Lake
July 5, 1891. I doz. bentwood chairs oak rec. Dec. 30, 1890.
July 21, 1891. Received of Schr Dellie from Key West one dining
table, one kitchen table, one grind stone, one kitchen safe in good order.
July 25,1891. The steam yacht Julia Capt. Pratt came to anchor off
the station in 3 fathoms water. The captain and chief engineer came on
shore and reported being entirely out of fuel. We procured some assis-
tance from the main land and went to work sawing up pine timber with
which the shore abounds and got about four cords of wood.
July 27, 1891. Finished wooding steamer. Yacht Julia at 9:30 A.M.
proceeded for Key West.
Aug. 6,1891. Schr Jenny Lind of and from Key West turtle fishing,
anchored off the station and sent a boat to station and reported being out
of water. Supplied them with one casque full and they proceeded very
thankful as they had lost all of theirs.
Aug. 19, 1891. Mr. Garnett a new mail carrier came to the station
having no boat. I carried him to Lemon City in supply boat and brought
Nov. 2,1891. Sloop yacht Bijou capsized some where south of New
River station. The Capt. and one man clung to the wreck till she drifted
ashore about 6 miles north of this station where I discovered them. One
man walked to the station, the other was so lame I had to go up as far as
Bakers Haulover and get him in my boat. Brought him to the station and
cared for them, both men being weather beaten and sore.
Nov. 3, 1891. The sloop yacht became a total loss, nothing washed
up from her and her hull has gone to pieces. Took the owner and his man
to Miami in my boat.
Nov. 8,1891. Denis Staford [Dennis Stafford] was at station.
Dec. 6, 1891. Large steamer seems to be aground about twelve
miles north of station.
Dec. 8, 1891. Steamer still aground, wreckers around her in small
boats. Have not found out her name. Cargo cotton from Galveston
bound to England.
Feb. 18, 1892. The mail carrier in endeavoring to reach Bakers
Haulover could not make it so he put in to our station very much
exhausted. Gave him shelter and something to eat after which he started
to walk the beach. A party of tourists in trying to cross the Bay swamped
their small boat. I went to their assistance, picked up the boat and
conveyed them all (5) to Lemon City.
Feb. 29, 1892. At high water the sea running under the station
steps. Capt. H. B. Shaw came to station paid off and left the following
articles: One journal, 26 weekly transcripts, 136 sheets of paper. 1 doz.
pen points. One stove (Othello). One box tacks. 2 joints gal. stove pipes,
2 joints black pipe. A bbl cement. 5 screen doors.
May 31, 1892. At one P.M. left station in charge of Mr. Burkhardt
and went to my homestead on Snake Creek five miles away.10
June 1, 1892. Returned to station at 4 P.M. and relieved Mr.
Sept. 12, 1892. The surf boat having sprung a new leak hauled her
up for repairs. Started to Miami but had to turn back the boat leaked so
Dec. 13,1892. A parties of gentlemen and Mr. De Aideville [Jean d'
Hedouville], Dr. Johnson and his wife came to station on acct of rough
weather on the Bay and asked to stay all night which they did.
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 53
Mar. 30, 1893. The most fearful sea running breaking a mile or
more offshore and running up the shore to the station steps and under the
house. The sea having more the appearance of Cape Hatrass or Lookout
Shoals. During a S.E. gale or just after the wind had shifted to a heavy
N.W. gale large pieces of timber washing up on the bank where the
Apr. 10, 1893. Practiced with hearing stick.
May 18, 1893. At sun rise left station in charge of Gerry Niles and
started down the Bay to Elliots Key.
May 19, 1893. Returned to station from Elliotts Key. At 4 past 1
steamer Elsie of Whitby England ran ashore.
May 20,1893. Steamship Elsie of Whitby England floated during
May 31,1893. Keeper left Mr. J. H. Peden in charge of station and
went to his homestead on Snake Creek.
June 1, 1893. Keeper returned to station and relieved Mr. Peden at
June 20, 1893. Received from Schn Harris Brothers of Key West
one box containing crockery for Ft. Lauderdale station and one box soap
and one box containing Tarpaulin, I carpenter's brace, 3 balls twine, 10
lbs. Manilla rope.
Sept. 13, 1893. Capt. H. B. Shaw came to station inspected and
went through flag drill, resuscitation and hearing stick and left for Ft.
Oct. 11, 1893. The sea running over the ridge under the house. At 8
P.M. the sea threw a piece of timber 30 feet long 12 by 12 up on the
platform of the boat house. The sea has leveled all the grass and growth
in front of the station and has now all but a clean run under the house. For
a while things looked very isolated around here.
Oct. 12,1893. Still very rough. No communication between House
and Bay landing without swimming. At about 9:30 a sea threw a large
piece of ship's timber up against the veranda which would have come in
but for the post keeping it out.
Oct. 15,1893. Many people at the House came to see the wash the
sea had made. Wharf at the landing destroyed by gale.
Oct. 29,1893. Thermometer broken and useless.
Dec. 9, 1893. Received of Capt. H. Fozzard a thermometer from
Jacksonville and began entering the readings from this date.
Jan. 12,1894. Came to the station this morning two men from the
wreck of cat boat Rain Bow stranded about two miles south of New
River on Monday morning. Took them in my boat and carried them to
Lemon City where they wanted to go to procure material and help to
repair their boat.
Mar. iU, 1894. Received a case from New York containing the
following articles: 5 lbs manilla rope. 1 yellow baking dish. 20 yards
toweling. 2 cuspidors. 10 lbs 1 inch gal. nails. 10 lbs 1 inch gal. nails.
10 lbs 3 inch gal. nails. 1 padlock brass. 2 wash basins copper 11V
inches. 6 quarts copper paint. 2 buckets cider (water). 6 lbs sapolio. 2
elbows stove pipe. 1 sauce pan enameled. 2 joints stove pipe.
July 24, 1894. Capt. H. B. Shaw came to station and brought
yaul-rigged supply boat for use of this station.
July 29,1894. Started to Lemon City in my new boat. Broke rudder
head and returned.
Aug. 4, 1894. Left station this morning in charge of Mr. J. H.
Peden and embarked outbound Schr Biscayne for Jacksonville for
twenty days vacation.
Aug. 24,1894. This day landed on the Beach at the station and took
charge of station relieving Mr. J. H. Peden temporary keeper.
Aug. 25, 1894. Went to Lemon City in Mr. Peden's boat, my boat
being hauled for repairs. Brought back my wife."
Aug. 27,1894. Mr. Barnott carpenter came and brought new rudder
I had made for the boat and hung it.
Aug. 31,1894. Finished painting and fixing up the hull of the boat
and got ready to launch.
Sept. 34, 1894. Barometer 29.95. At 8 A.M. moved my boat with
two anchors and a good line out to a tree. At noon moved line from tree
to comer of wharf.
Sept. 25,1894. Went down and bailed boat out at 7 A.M. At 9 boat
dragged both anchors and went into mangroves. At sundown the water
from the Bay halfway to the House from the landing. Boats gone, wharf
gone and a most terrific wind raging bursting in both boat house doors.
Rain water flooding the station. A solid breaker comber ten feet of steps.
Sept. 26,1894. Tried to get down to see if I could do anything at the
Landing. Turned back, started along the beach. Could not walk much
against the wind. Turned back.
Sept. 27, 1894. Took a five mile walk to the north in the morning.
At noon went south to Narrows Cut. Saw nothing, no boats from the
mainland, suppose there is no boats to come in. Found my supply boat
up in the mangrove trees, bowsprit gone aftermast gone broken off, stern
stove, foresail and gib badly torn and badly used generally.
Sept. 28, 1894. Got my boat out of the trees brought her to the
landing and bailed her out.
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 55
Sept. 30,1894. Large quantity of wine pipes washing ashore with
wine mixed with salt water. Pieces of wreck also coming ashore all
useless. Mark MARCA
E NRLOUF HUGE Cabida Vendad
Daniel Morris 62
Oct. 1,1894. Went to Lemon City and returned. Brought Mr. Scott
to help me repair boat. News from along the Keys report the crew of
Spanish ship all drowned but three in the late gale. Making frequent
walks along the beach north and south.
Oct. 3,1894. Working on boat with Mr. Scott. Wife helping repair
sails. The sail belonging to the boat hardly worth repairing.
Oct. 6,1894. At noon finished boat and using a temporary sail took
Mr. Scott home to Lemon City. Found that the boat leaked very badly.
Hauled her up for repairs to her bottom.
Oct. 7, 1894. Brought over George Davis 2 to work on boat. News
just received from the Keys is that many drowned men are drifting to
shore on Key Largo and others. Keeping a sharp look out on beach.
Oct. 10, 1894. Took George Davis home to Lemon City at noon
after launching boat.
Oct. 11,1894. Hauled up boat as she leaked very badly.
Oct. 15, 1894. Blowing a gale at NNE, the sea working away the
Beach in front of the station, the bank being now perpendicular and the
Beach low, and ordinary high water washes very badly and is fast
approaching the House and the Boat House.
Oct. 16, 1894. The sea has gained on the House in the last 2 days
four feet, the perpendicular bank is now eight feet from the station steps.
Oct. 22, 1894. Keeper with help overhauling station bedding,
washing mattress covers, pillow slips. Heavy sea washing away bank of
sand near the station.
Oct. 25,1894. Clearing out galley ready to do some paint inside.
Dec. 29,1894. Very Cold, sunrise 30 degrees, noon 35 degrees.13
Jan. 6, 1895. Received from Women Aid Society the following
For men: 7 pairs trousers. 7 shirts. 7 undershirts. 7 pair drawers. 7
caps. 7 pairs hose. 7 pairs shoes. 7 handkerchiefs. 7 cardigan jackets.
For women: 2 undervests. 2 shawls. 2 hoods. 2 pairs drawers. 2
balmorels. 2 pairs stockings. 2 pairs shoes. 2 suits (four pieces).
For children: 2 cardigans. 2 undershirts. 2 pair drawers. I pair
trousers. 2 hose. 1 cap. 1 dress. 1 skirt. 12 pairs shoes. 1 hood.
Miscellaneous: 3 blankets. 4 towels. needles, pins, cotton, thimble.
I pound tea. 1 pound sugar. 2 cans beef extract, reading matter and
Feb. 3, 1895. Capt. H. B. Shaw 7 Dist. Supt. and Capt. Abbey
U.S. Cutter Service and Inspector U.S.L.S.S. came to the station from
Schn Tortugas. Landed on the Beach in front of the station and in-
Mar. 23, 1895. Repairing wharf, used 2 lbs nails 10 pny.
Mar. 31, 1895. Received from New York via Key West and Schn
New Venice one suit of sails for supply boat. Dandy foresail and gib.
May 3, 1895. Two Negroes wading a part of a boat passed the
station at 3 P.M., went as far as Crocodile Hole and launched her over in
the Bay. I then assisted them to get it to Lemon City where they arrived in
July 4,1895. Cat boat Lena Cocoa Nut Grove capsized in the Bay
in about 9 ft. water. I being in the Bay at the time and seeing her went to
her assistance and took from the water Edward Pent and Will Saunders
on board my boat and towed the Lena in shoal water where they could
bail her out. See wreck report. 14
July 31, 1895. Hottest day in five years at this station, 100 degrees
Nov. 16, 1895. Came to the station two men from Schn Ada B
dismasted in the Gave them breakfast and set them over to
Nov. 16,1895. Came to the station a Mr. Morton who capsized his
boat about 5V2 miles from station North. See wreck report. Gave him
two meals and carried him to Lemon City.
Dec. 3,1895. On Nov. 16 there was a rumor that two men, brothers,
Arnold by name, had been lost from Miami by being capsized in a small
boat. I have kept a look out. I was told yesterday while at Miami that two
men had been blown out of the Bay on a raft and had not been heard from
and was requested to make a diligent search for their bodies along the
Dec. 189, 1895. The station now stands on the brink, the bank in
front is perpendicular with the steps.
Dec. 25, 1895. Brought over a new stove that was left at Lemon
City for us from Schn Tortugas Jacksonville.
Dec. 26, 1895. Killed a rattle snake 6 ft 2 inches long in the path
between the House and the landing.
Dec. 31,1895. Putting in new wire screen in safe.
June 3,1896. Left station this morning in charge of Z. T. Merritt to
be gone to homestead for a week.15
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 57
June 21,1896. Paul Mathers [Matthaus] and Charles Pent came to
the station with tank and a man to set it up which he did. We are now
short of water as we had to let the water out of old tank to make room for
July 4,18%. Tank half full or about a thousand gallons. At 10 A.M.
went to the landing to secure the boat. Weather very threatening.
July 9, 18%. Left station this morning in charge of James W.
Robert to be gone 15 days at the homestead.
Aug. 4, 18%. Schn turtling, the crew of which came to station for
water, gave it to them and they proceeded.
Aug. 6, 1896. Supt. inspected station. On examining medicine
chest Supt. ordered the medicine marked suspended which were in bad
condition as follows: 1 bottle aqua amonia, all used bottles broken. 1
bottle carbolic solution all used bottles broken. 1 box Epsom salt nearly
used but spoiled. 1 bottle vaseline extirely expended.
Oct. 23,18%. Left station in charge of Mr. Soop to go to my home.
Oct. 24,1896. Returned to station and returned Mr. Soop.
Nov. 3, 1896. Presidential election today. Went to Lemon City
election and returned.
Jan. 5,1897. Samuel Anderson came over and I hired him to help
me with boat.
Jan. 6, 1897. Hauled up the boat after unhanging center board.
Found both ends of center board trunk badly wormed and leaking.
Jan. 17, 1897. No water in tank. Have dug a well but it is poor stuff
Feb. 5,1897. Blowing a heavy gale from SSE. On this day there has
been very heavy weather and it continues. On making the landing we
missed and had to come to in the bushes where we staid till midnight
before we could get to the landing and get out.
Feb. 25,1897. Went to Lemon City. Received 4 packages of freight
from the Government. 1 scale beam. 1 bde brooms (6). 1 joint of stove
pipe, 1 elbow. 1 gallon turpentine. 15 lbs nails 20 d. 5 lbs boat tacks. 5 lbs
6-thread manilla. 25 lbs 12-thread manilla. 1 vegetable dish. 1 carving
knife. 1 box mustard plasters. 1 dust brush. I bale brick. 2 pails. 50 lbs
soap. 1 monkey wrench.
May 11,1897. At 6 A.M. went to Lemon City after Capt Shaw, Dist.
Supt. Inspected underpinning of station and found most of the uprights
and all of the ground sills rotten. Brought Graham King over to assist in
doing some work about station,
May 12, 1897. At 7 A.M. started for Lemon City and Miami,
purchased cypress lumber and nails, galvanized, and brought to station.
May 13,1897. At 1 P.M. went to Lemon City to get jack screws and
some iron work made. Graham King employed getting lumber from
along the Beach and getting cypress lumber from the landing.
May 16,1897. Graham King working on station underpinning.
May 24,1897. At 11 o'clock went to Lemon City. At 4 P.M. loaded a
lumber scow with lumber and a horse and brought it over to the station
for the underpinning and water fence. Work on scow: 2 men of Knights
IVz hours. Henry Swift I hour. G. W. King. Otto Mathewson [Mat-
May 25, 1897. At 7 A.M. went for doctor for Hugh Latimer'6 a
young man stopping at the station. At 3 P.M. returned with doctor and at
sundown took doctor and Latimer back to Lemon City. Otto Mathers
[Matthaus] and his horse hauling lumber. Henry Swift and G. King at
May 26, 1897. At 10 A.M. started for Lemon City with horse and
Otto Mathews in skiff in tow of supply boat and at 12 noon arrived at
Lemon City. Graham King and Henry Swift at work on breakwater or
water fence. At 5 P.M. returned to station.
May 27, 1897. Keeper with G. King and Henry Swift working on
May 29,1897. A Sunday school picnic.
May 30, 1897. Blowing a gale from SSE. Sea giving the jetty a
good trial. Beach making it in some places.
June 2,1897. Graham King and Henry Swift finished jettys.
June 5, 1897. Graham King working on underpinning. Keeper
went to Lemon City and returned. Graham King got his leg hurt by the
falling of house blocking.
June 8, 1897. King with the assistance of keeper working on
leaders to water tank.
June 14,1897. An officer from the Revenue Cutter Service came to
the station to make inquiry about Cubans being camped on the beach.
Steamer McClain and two U.S. ships in sight.
June 20,1897. A large U.S. man of war passed the station.
July 2, 1897. Graham W. King and myself worked up what mate-
rials we had on the wharf.
Aug. 17, 1897. Sea washing north jetty badly, cutting in the beach.
Heavy beach fire coming dangerously near. Signaled for assistance from
the other side but none came. Could not see signals. Fire went out.
Sept. 30, 1897. Keeper went to Lemon City. The weather came on
with such hard squalls would not attempt to cross the Bay and stayed all
Oct. 12,1897. Overhauling supply boat. Sea washed out one end of
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge 59
2nd jetty from the South and it broke off and went adrift. There is still
forty feet of it left.
Oct. 25,1897. Sea running under station and washing away what it
has gained by the jettys.
Nov. 19,1897. Sea running very heavy taking away jetty piece at a
time and cutting away the Beach that the jettys have collected.
Dec. 9, 1897. Keeper of Lauderdale station came in to our station
for a harbor and spent the night.
Jan. 4,1898. Four masted schn reported total loss all hands saved
off Cape Florida.
Jan. 16,1898. The new steamer Miami to run between Miami and
Nassau passed the station,
Mar. 3, 1898. Heavy squalls SW tore my boat sails so badly that
they are unreparable being so rotten.
Mar. 4,1898. At 2 P.M. got the sails in such shape that I could cross
to Lemon City and mailed urgent requisition for new sails.
Apr. 23,1898. War declared between U.S. and kingdom of Spain.
Apr. 24, 1898. A war sloop nationality unknown passed the sta-
May 15,1898. Received a suit of sails from Chicago.
May 27, 1898. U.S. gun boat passed station going South.
June 3,1898. Left station in care of Capt. Denny O'Neil.
June 26,1898. This day keeper returned to station.
Oct. 9,1898. Cleaned out cistern as we are having plenty of rain.
Oct. 26,1898. Capt. Fromberger and wife came to the station.17
Nov. 3, 1898. Taking bedding from upstairs, shaking it and putting
it out on stoop.
Nov. 8, 1898. Painting sitting room.
Jan. 9, 1899. Took my boat to Lemon City and hauled up on Mr.
Jan. 11, 1899. Boat still on Pierce's ways. Using Mr. Pierce's boat to
get home in.
Feb. 4, 1899. Two men came to station in small boat to get their
position they having sailed from Bimini last night. Aided them and they
May 25, 1899. Heavy hail storm capsized schn. Two Brothers
about eight miles North of station. Two men came to station from abreast
of her where they landed in their boat after the squall had subsided. Gave
them dry clothes, supplied bed and breakfast and took them over to
Lemon City in my supply boat.
June 9,1899. Bought cook stove for which paid $15.00.
June 20,1899. This day gave Denny O'Neil charge of station in my
absence which will be probably 20 days. My address will be Ojus,
Aug. 12,1899. At 4 P.M. Mr. George Brown a Negro camping a half
mile south of station came to station. His tent had blown down and he
was in a bad fix. Took him in and gave him dry clothes.
Aug. 20, 1899. Hauled up supply boat, took sails to the house.
Can't work on her for mosquitos.
Sept. 5,1899. Capt. Shaw inspected station and with the assistance
of Mr. Tagner, my hired man Sam and myself put up the flag staff. With
the addition of top mast making it now about 45 feet above the ground.
Sept. 7, 1899. Braced the flag staff with pieces picked up from
Oct. 25,1899. Heavy gale NNE. The Bay impassable.
Oct. 28,1899. The sea running under the house and washed out in
some places to the ground sills of the piazza.
Oct. 30, 1899. Sea going down and throwing some sand back
covering the ground sills to piazza again.
Jan. 17, 1900. Went to Lemon City and returned. On my way back
my boat broke her mast and I had to return and hire a boatman to carry
Jan. 21, 1900. Large party from Lemon City. All hands keeping
Apr. 2,1900. Keeper of station very sick. No way of communicat-
ing with main land.
Apr. 3,1900. Keeper very sick. Wife set flag on wharf at landing to
attract passing boats. None came.
Apr. 4,1900. Keeper still very sick. No one came.
Apr. 5, 1900. Keeper still very sick. No one came.
Apr. 6, 1900. Keeper still very sick. Wife going to landing many
times a day. No boats in sight. None came.
Apr. 9,1900. Keeper still sick. A Mr. Bradbury from Biscain came
to station. I sent letter to Capt. Shaw Dist. Supt. and a letter to Mr.
Roberts to come to station to assist me.
Apr. 10, 1900. Keeper much better. Feaver broken. Mr. Roberts
came over to stay with me. Keeper went to Lemon City to consult Dr.
Apr. 11, 1900. Mr. Roberts left for his home in Lemon City this
Aug. 5,1900. Ten years ago today I came to the station as keeper.
Aug. 16, 1900. Mr. Ludwig Hovilshrud came to station and re-
The Log of the Biscayne House of Refuge
lived me temporarily. I am unwell and need treatment, previously
Aug. 18,1900. At 11 A.M. keeper left station being unable to do duty
Ludwig H. Hovilsrud [signed] temporary keeper
1. Tropial Sun, Dec. 15,1892.
2. Joseph Faus, "Lemon City: Miami Predecessor," Miami Daily News Sunday
Magazine, Sept. 19, 1948.
3. Charles W. Pierce, Pioneer Life in Southeast Florida. Edited by Donald Walter
Curl. Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1970. Pierce's unabridged
manuscript is in the museum of the Palm Beach Historical Society. See p. 366.
4. Washington Jenkins had recently been replaced as keeper of the Fort Lauderdale
House of Refuge by E. R. Bradley. Pierce, op.. cit. p. 151.
5. Dr. E. Stone Wiggins, weather forecaster of Ottawa, Canada, predicted a world
storm for March 9, 10 and 11, 1883. All life saving stations were alerted to stand watch.
Wiggins made headlines in the New York Times for almost a week. A severe storm did hit
New England and Canada but the rest of the world was spared.
6. Peacock made this entry lightly in pencil at the bottom of the page. This was the
birth of Rafaela, the seventh child of John Thomas and Martha J. (Snipes) Peacock. She
is thought to have been the first white child born on Miami Beach. Genealogical
information from Oby Bonawit.
7. Richard (Dick) G. Peacock, eighth child of the Peacocks. Genealogical informa-
tion, Oby Bonawit.
8. During Lieut. Shoemaker's visit, Feb. 2,1889, he selected the following items to
be destroyed and dropped from the inventory:
8% b1s. salt beef rotten
24 2-lb. cans mutton rotten
41/ bls. salt pork rotten
Pillow covers, spoons and iron pots
The following items were condemned and sold:
92 2-lb. tins beef @ 5c 4.80
25 lb. coffee in cans @ .10 2.50
2 2 lb. cans tea @ .20 .40
37 12-lb. cans pilot bread @(a .30 11.10
10 5-lb. cans sugar @ .20 2.00
9. William Hawkins Fulford, native of North Carolina and a former sea captain,
was 51 years old and had been married for 28 years when he and his wife moved to
Station Five from their home in New Smyrna. (U.S. Census 1900)
10. According to his homestead papers in the National Archives Fulford began to
reside on his homestead in October 1891. In his final papers he claimed that he was absent
from his land "for short intervals for business purposes." According to the log he was
absent from the station only for short intervals. The homestead became the nucleus of an
agricultural and railroad shipping community named Fulford.
11. This is the first mention of Mrs. Fulford though she had been at the House of
Refuge for several years. Her social and church activities at Lemon City are mentioned
repeatedly in the Tropical Sun during the 1890's.
12. George Davis was one of the victims in Lemon City's celebrated Sam Lewis
murder case of 1895. Thelma Peters, Lemon City Pioneering on Biscayne Bay 1850-
1925. Miami, Banyan Books, 1976. pp. 159-160.
13. This was the date of the first of two severe freezes during the winter of
1894-1895 which killed most of the citrus groves in the state and started a migration
southward down the peninsula.
14. Wreck reports are in the main National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.
15. At this time Z. T. Merritt was homesteading land near Lemon City. In 1897 he
became superintendent of Dade County schools. His sister, Ada Merritt, was well known
as an early teacher in Lemon City and Miami. The Merritts and other members of the
family frequently spent vacations at the House of Refuge. During the time of the
Fulfords the station became a kind of hotel for friends and acquaintances. It might be
considered the first hotel on Miami Beach. The Miami Metropolis, Jan. 21, 1898,
reported: "Capt. W. H. Fulford of the House of Refuge has had to refuse a number of
applications for board and his house is full. The jolly captain and his wife make things so
pleasant for their guests they always return."
16. The Miami Metropolis for Feb. 25, 1898, mentioned that Mr. and Mrs. Latimer
(the J. S. Latimers, parents of Hugh Latimer), Dr. and Mrs. Burchard and Mrs. Asten
were spending the season at the House of Refuge.
17. Capt. Jack Fromberger was keeper of Station Number Four.
History of Pinewood (Cocoplum) Cemetery
Until 1897, a year after the City of Miami was incorporated, there were
no official cemeteries in the Miami area. Burials north of the Miami
River were usually on the home place. Neighbors helped in laying out
the body, building a coffin and burying the body. Due to lack of an
undertaker, little time was lost. After the City of Miami Cemetery was
opened, most bodies that had been buried north of the Miami River were
"removed" to that place.
But south of the Miami River, burials were usually made in the area
where Pinewood Cemetery now is. Old timers have said that burials in
that area may have been made as early as 1855. The present cemetery
comprises only four acres, but a builder to the east, and one to the west,
reportedly found bones of humans while digging trenches for house
Adam C. Richards (1849-1937) born Canton, Ohio, came to this
area in 1875 and married Rose Wagner in 1876. Under the Homestead
Act of 1862 he received title in 1895 to the west one half of the northwest
one quarter of Section 32 of Township 54, which was a tract which had
its northwest comer at the present day intersection of the center lines of
Sunset Road and Erwin Road (S.W. 47 Avenue). Erwin Road is a mile
east of Red Road in South Miami.
In October 1896 Adam Richards and his wife deeded the comer
acre to the Dade County School Board and in May 1897 they deeded the
next acre south to Wilson A. Larkins, Arthur F Lang and Arthur E.
Kingsley as Trustees of Pinewood Cemetery. A schoolhouse was built on
the corner lot but was later moved and a private residence sits there
today. The one acre site for the cemetery evidently became inadequate
for in June of 1906 Harley Standt, who had acquired property from
Adam Richards, deeded three more acres along Erwin Road to the
trustees of Pinewood Cemetery. A plat of the four acre cemetery was
*Oby Bonawit is a member of the Historical Association of Southern Florida and
the Genealogical Society of Greater Miami.
filed at the County Court House September 1, 1911 (a copy of the plat can
be seen at the Historical Association). The cemetery is 840 feet north-
south and 210 feet east-west as measured from the center line of Erwin
Road. A deduction of 15 feet for paving and right of way left a platted
width of 195 feet. The cemetery was divided into 268 plots (including
those numbered with letters), plus driveways and a large oval area in the
The area was chosen, it was said, because it was near the trail that
led from the Coconut Grove area through Larkins (now South Miami) to
Perrine. The thin soil made it of little use for farming. Burial holes in the
limestone had to be dug the hard way, but "labor was cheap." Later, said
Mary Dom, she would sometimes hear a dynamite blast and would know
there was going to be another burial. Of the three original trustees,
Arthur Kingsley died in 1899 and was buried in Miami City Cemetery.
His name does not appear on any of the recorded deeds of Pinewood
The names, and sometimes the addresses, of some 109 original
purchasers were written on a copy of the cemetery plat, of which we
have a duplicate. Many of the purchasers lived in Coconut Grove. Only
31 of the original deeds were recorded. An abstract of the property may
be found in the "Pinewood Cemetery" file at the Historical Association
of Southern Florida but it does not include all deeds that were recorded.
Another 13 deeds of resales were recorded. Deeds of original sales were
signed by Arthur F Lang as Chairman of Trustees as late as June 1925.
Arthur Lang died November 23, 1930 and was buried in Pinewood
Cemetery according to his only surviving child, James Lang, now aged
87. Wilson A. Larkins died January 19, 1946 aged 85 and was buried in
Graceland Cemetery. He served as clerk, secretary and treasurer. He did
not sign any deeds that are on file except as witness. We have a copy of a
letter which Wilson Larkins wrote December 3, 1908 to the County
Commissioners in which he tried to reason with them after their failure
to pay for plot number 58 in which paupers had been buried by the
county. He argued that the money was needed to keep up the cemetery.
We do not know if the county ever paid.
Ernest Laesch signed deeds of sale as Chairman of Trustees in 1925,
1928 and 1930. He died in August of 1956 and was buried in Woodlawn
George Crews, who died from a hunting accident in 1899, is the
first person we have been able to list as buried in Pinewood. Grave
stones, since removed by vandals, showed dates of deaths as late as
1944. But no one kept a record of burials as such. An unmarked burial
History of Pinewood Cemetery 65
was made in 1961, and a responsible person said he observed a burial
party enter the cemetery in 1975. The trustees never did have anything to
do with burials. They sold the plots and left it up to the buyers to find
Present law requires cemeteries to be registered at Tallahassee but
they have no record of Pinewood Cemetery there.
Most plots are twenty feet square and sold for ten, fifteen or twenty
dollars. No financial records are known to be in existence. A state law
was passed in 1959 which required operators of cemeteries to set aside
ten percent of sales proceeds for perpetual care, but the law does not
apply to Pinewood.
The cemetery was cleaned up after the 1926 hurricane then, as time
went by, a scattering of trees grew unchecked. Thin brush now grows in
the northern third while brush and tall grasses line Erwin Road and fill
the southern two thirds. There was a time when the cemetery was burned
over from time to time but anti-pollution laws stopped that. Vandalism
has been a major problem. Nearly all grave markers have been carried
off or broken. Owners of several plots in the northern part marked their
plots with little concrete walls or fencing. The Perrys had an engraved
marble slab imbedded in a flat concrete slab. It is good as new. There are
unmarked slabs which may have been bases for monuments. Most
graves are identifiable only by shallow depressions in the ground.
Miss Lulu McClendon of the United Daughters of the Confederacy,
now deceased, urged the Coral Gables Commissioners to take action.
We have minutes of three meetings held in late 1963 which were chaired
by then Commissioner W. L. Philbrick and attended by about a dozen
interested persons. Reports from the Fire and Police Departments were
submitted which stated that "the grounds are unsafe to walk upon, many
tombstones are broken and an unsanitary condition exists at the loca-
tion." Plans were made to try to locate owners of plots.
After the first meeting, the Commissioners of Coral Gables approp-
riated $1575 for clearing. A bulldozer was used to clear and level parts of
the cemetery where such work could be done without disturbing existing
grave stones. One hundred and fifty Boy Scouts gave their services. The
clearing angered one citizen who lived across Erwin Road. He was
trying to sell his house and didn't want prospects to know there was a
Coral Gables spent money on legal fees in an effort to find trustees
of the cemetery, but to no avail. The cemetery was surveyed and a
determination made that it was within the City of Coral Gables.
It was thought that a new Board of Trustees should be established
so, at the third meeting, five members of the group were selected. They
were Dorothy Bush, Preston Prevatt, Pearl Brooke (now deceased),
Lloyd Brooke and William Laesch.
There was a fourth meeting, again chaired by Commissioner Phil-
brick, in November 1965. It was noted that Coral Gables had put up
another $3325 to clear some of the larger growth in the cemetery. Mr.
Philbrick reported that "all efforts had been made to locate the records of
burials and removals, that there is no existing way the Board of Trustees
can comply with the State Statutes."
There were two lasting accomplishments of the meetings. A list
was made of two dozen people who were buried there. (Not all of the
grave markers that were there then are there today). Secondly, survey
points were established on the center line of Erwin Road and at the south
east comer of the cemetery. Today, owners of plots along Erwin Road
could find their plots if they had a plat and understood the survey points
on the road. The Perry plot in the northern section is identifiable and,
with a plat, those plots near it. That part of the cemetery is relatively free
of wild growth.
No doubt there were location markers for the plots originally. The
bulldozer would have destroyed some and others are hidden by brush
and grass. Some 55 per cent of the plots were sold and must be
considered to be privately owned, but very few owners can find their
Mr. Philbrick had put forth a plan whereby the few remaining grave
markers would be removed to the center oval, a new monument would
be erected bearing the names of all those known to be buried there, then
the rest of the cemetery would be cleared and sodded. Thus a park-like
scene would be achieved and maintenance would be reduced to a
minimum by the use of power mowers. The plan was never executed.
It is probable that ownership of some of the plots was abandoned by
buyers who later moved away. The population of Dade County increased
considerably between 1920 and 1930, but the 1926 hurricane and the
beginnings of the great depression caused many people to give up and
return north. On the other hand, there were cases of people who had no
money but were allowed to make burials in plots owned by relatives or
About twenty years ago some individuals advocated removal of all
remains so as to make the site available for other purposes. Heated
opposition arose, even from people who had no relatives buried there.
Several of the latter purchased plots from original owners and recorded
History of Pinewood Cemetery 67
the deeds so they could forestall such a movement. The proposal died but
hostilities and suspicions persist to this day.
Vandalism became worse whenever there was publicity about the
cemetery. Many believe that, for the present at least, it should remain
untouched. Actually, it appears that there is little left to attract vandals.
Philbrick Funeral Homes performed a couple of burials there. The
former Combs Funeral Home performed some and Mr. Bess of Bess-
Combs has the records but they are not available. The W. D. Thurmond
Monument Company of Coral Gables had a map showing perhaps two
hundred or more names and places where monuments were placed but
the map, if it still exists, is in storage and has not been located.
When Coral Gables was incorporated, it included the area east of
Erwin Road where Pinewood Cemetery is located. But the owners of the
lots to the north and east of the cemetery had differences with Coral
Gables and withdrew from its jurisdiction. So Pinewood Cemetery,
though a part of Coral Gables, adjoins it only at the south end. Coral
Gables, in 1968, asked Dade County to annex the site, but the County
Commissioners declined to do so.
The unkept nature of the cemetery has led to misuse by undesire-
able persons for drug parties. To control that problem, the City of Coral
Gables has put up NO TRESPASSING signs along Erwin Road and
nearby residents were asked to call the Coral Gables Police if trespassers
were observed. Anyone planning to enter the property should call the
Coral Gables Police Department before doing so.
There is no operative state law that permits Coral Gables to act.
However, a bill has been filed in each state legislative session since 1968
that would enable governing bodies to deal with abandoned cemeteries.
Coral Gables officials consider Pinewood Cemetery an eyesore that
must be moved against if and when the bill becomes law.
It is noted that, under state law, land once used as a cemetery may
not be used for any other purpose. The law prohibits a part of a cemetery,
even though it be sold, to be used in a way that would desecrate the
remainder. The "integrity" of the cemetery must be preserved.
State Representative Tom Gallagher has filed a bill at Tallahassee -
559.515 Political subdivisions; unmaintained cemeteries.-
(1) Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, any political subdivi-
sion within this state in which an unmaintained cemetery is located may,
after diligent search to locate the owners has failed, maintain said
cemetery and charge the true owners for such services, when found.
(2) If any political subdivision has exercised the authority granted
under subsection (1) above, and said exercise of authority has been
ongoing for more than one year, said political subdivision shall have an
action at law to foreclose on the property for services rendered.
Charles H. Spooner, City Attorney for Coral Gables, stated in a
letter to the City Commission that the major problem is that the entire
grounds are an eyesore within the city. He said:
"I would presume from the proposed legislation that another con-
certed effort could be made to locate the ownership of the individual plots
where people are buried and, after certain newspaper advertising, that the
City could maintain the cemetery. Then after one year of still being unable
to locate the ownership of the property, the city could foreclose and, if
someone else didn't buy it, the City could buy it at the foreclosure sale and
be in the cemetery business."
Should the City gain control of the cemetery there would still be
much to be done. Estimates were made in 1972 of these expenses- hand
clearing of underbrush $9,750, leveling and solid sodding $17,000.
Since some of today's youths have a propensity for driving autos on
private property, further estimates were made as to security for 2066
lineal feet of chain link fence $5,165. Or, for a 4 foot CBS wall and cap
of the same distance $28,924. Then there would be continuing expenses
We might speculate that some responsible person or society might
become interested in the cemetery if a foreclosure comes about. If so,
Coral Gables would be relieved of continuing expenses. Pinewood has 4
acres as compared to 11 acres in the Miami City Cemetery, where over
8,000 burials have been made. Could Pinewood become an active
cemetery again? There are interesting possibilities for Pinewood's fu-
As of this printing no legislative action has been taken in Tallahas-
History of Pinewood Cemetery 69
List of Burials at Pinewood Cemetery
This list is the result of months of effort, of checking names in the phone book
and following a variety of leads. Twenty odd names had been copied from grave
stones in the past. The rest of the list was supplied by persons who had records or
were related to the deceased to such a degree that their statements were credible.
Some leads did not check out and were not included in this list. Only one case
was found of a body being dug up and reburied in another cemetery. This list is
far short of the estimated two hundred burials in Pinewood Cemetery, but was
the best that could be done.
1. Addison, John A., born ca 1830 in Florida, was here in 1870 census.
2. Addison, Mary, wife of John, born ca 1832 in Florida.
3. Anderson, Sgt. Lemuel 0. (18--/1934), was in Spanish American War,
Co. D, 1st Tennessee Infantry.
4. Barnett, Jeremiah C. (1/22/1869-5/1/1925), born Georgia, in S. A.
5. Barnett, Allan Boring (1906-1911), son of Jeremiah and wife Hasen.
6. Barnett, Welburn (1912-1913), son of Jeremiah and Hasen (Roberts).
7. Barnett, Ralph Newton (10/23/1927-1/30/1928), of Coconut Grove.
8. Barnett, Allen, died young ca 1926, son of Newton and Louise.
9. Barnett, Thelma, died 1908, infant of Harry and Rose Barnett.
10. Barrs, William Taylor (1850-3/22/1935), came Aug 10, 1910 from
Lake City, Florida.
11. Mrs. W. T. Barrs (1865-11/15/1929), from Lake City Florida. She was
born Feareby Jane Hodge.
12. Barrs, Mable Viola, died 1911.
13. Barrs, two year old child of Henry and Merial Barrs, of diptheria.
14. Beckham, Franklin (1908-1931), from marker in cemetery.
15. Brady, Tillman, buried twin babies in Anita Pent plot.
16. Branam, Mrs. R. L. (Delia Blythe), died 1908, from marker in cemet-
17. Brinson, Mattie (1854-9/18/1926), unmarried. Dates from marker.
18. Brooke, Dillion Duncan Sr. (1875-1924), came 1913 from Oak Hill,
Fla. Was husband of Jesse Pearl Brooke.
19. Brooke, Virginia (1919-1921), daughter of Dillion and Pearl Brooke.
20. Brown, Lila, died age ca 23, wife of W. A. Brown, dau. of A. Lang.
21. Burtashaw, James C., his remains were removed from Pinewood.
22. Bush, Dorothy Steele.
23. Carters were buried in plots 10 and 11.
24. Crew, George T. (1864-1899) from marker. Had hunting accident.
25. Crews, Martha, died ca 1924, came from North Florida.
26. Crocket, Agnes MacGuffy (1876-1909) wife of Charles D. Crocket Jr.
27. Crofts, Charles Archibald died ca 1911, born Sheffield, England.
28. Crofts, Arthur McDougal (1908-1910) a son of Walter Crofts.
29. Dean, Dewitt C. (1826-1904) from marker in cemetery.
30. Dean, Fidelia L. (1829-1905) from marker in cemetery.
31. Dean, Charles. This could be Dewitt C. Dean.
32. Dowling, Daniel Drew (ca 1880-5/22/1912) born Live Oak, Florida.
33. Dowling, Mary (ca 1886-8/ /1913) 1st wife of John Perry Dowling.
34. Dowling, Corrine died ca 1932, daughter of John Perry and Mary.
35. Edwards, Hiram (ca 1866-1916) came from Key West.
36. Edwards, Leona (ca 1905-1917) daughter of Hiram Edwards.
37. Felkner, Araminta (4/17/1851-4/22/1924) mother of Mrs. Walter
38. Hemdon, Lanta B.
39. Hinson, Mrs. J. J., first wife of county commissioner.
40. Hodge, Ellen (ca 1837-1911).
41. Holland, James Shepard died ca 1910 of injuries from a street car.
42. Laesch,Wm L. (1846-1904) came from Michigan in 1899.
43. Laesch, Katherine (1846-1915) wife of Wm L.
44. Lang, Arthur died 11/23/1930. Was a trustee of Pinewood.
45. Lang, Esther A., wife of Arthur.
46. Larkins, Marshall, son of Wilson Larkins, trustee.
47. McDaniels, Mrs. Docia Williams (ca 1860-ca 1924) from Georgia
48. Medders, Mrs. B. S. (1854-1920) from marker in cemetery.
49. Melton, Everet S. (ca 1891-1938) came from Citra, Florida in 1916.
50. Mundy, Charles.
51. O'Brien, a twin baby boy died in Sept. 1925, son of J. E. O'Brien.
52. Parker, Alvin M (2/12/1881-8/20/1934) was a bachelor.
53. Parker, Margaret (ca 1931-ca 1934)
54. Patrick, a week old baby girl died 1927, a daughter of Dan and Lena
Patrick of Statesboro, Georgia.
55. Patrick, a still born boy died 3/30/1934, a son of Dan G. Patrick.
56. Paupers were buried by the county in 1908 in plot 58.
57., Perkins, Katherine died 3/6/1943. Was daughter of George and Harriet
58. Perkins, Hattie E. (1/31/1894-9/8/1944) unmarried dau. of Katherine.
59. Perry, George Lafayette (10/11/1862-5/15/1911), from Georgia.
60. Perry, Molly E. McWilliams (1/20/1862-12/27/1942), wife of George.
They were parents of Grover C. J. Perry, born Feb. 7, 1893. (Gesu)
61. Perry, George W. died in 1914, father of G. L. Perry. He was a private
in Co. H, 64th Georgia Regiment.
62. Raulerson, Lillian Eva (11/29/1889-8/27/1904), daughter of W. T.
63. Richards, Nelson N. (1885-1906), from marker in cemetery.
64. Richardson, George (ca 1842-10/10/1900), from marker in cemetery.
65. Richardson, Harriet E. or EF (5/24/1850-2/13/1937), wife of George.
History of Pinewood Cemetery 71
66. Roberts, George Livingston (12/9/1855-12/16/1921), came here in
1887. He was born at Manatee, lived Key West, husband of Catherine S. Frow.
67. Roberts, Mary Louise (1908-1908), daughter of George and Catherine.
68. Roberts, Allen died 6/13/1918 as infant, born Coconut Grove.
69. Scott, boy stillborn 1928 to Edgar and Mildred Scott.
70. Steed, baby girl died age 2, daughter of C. D. Steed.
71. Steele, Richard F (1848-1920).
72. Steele, Carrie, died 10/21/1934, wife of Richard.
73. Sweeting, a young boy buried ca 1934.
74. Thorpe, Thomas A. (12/1/1861-12/22/1927) from marker.
75. Walker, Addie died 12/12/1927 age 2, daughter of J. W. and Alethia
76. Walker, Alethia died when 5 days old, daughter J. W. and Alethia
77. Walker, Anneta (1923-1924), daughter J. W. and Alethia Pent Walker.
78. Walls, Ethel Vivian Bailey (ca 1894-9/18/1926), died in hurricane.
79. Walls, Dorothy (ca 1916-9/18/1926), daughter of Alexander and Ethel.
80. Walls, Roy (ca 1915-9/10/1926), son of Alexander and Ethel Walls.
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799
Reprinted from The Journal of Andrew Ellicott .
Philadelphia, Thomas Dodson, at The Stone House,
1803, pp. 244-256, and 271- 272.
With an introduction by Dr. Charlton W. Tebeau.
At the end of the American Revolution it became necessary to establish a
boundary line between the new United States and Florida which had
been returned to Spain after two decades of British rule. A longstanding
dispute ensued when the Spanish discovered a secret agreement between
the United States and England. If England retained Florida the boundary
should begin at the mouth of the Yazoo River, about 32 degrees and 28
minutes of north latitude, run thence to the Flint River and down that
stream to the confluence with the Chattahoochee to form the
Apalachicola, thence to the source of the St. Mary's River and down that
stream to the Atlantic Ocean. But if Florida were to be returned to Spain
the starting point might be the 31st parallel of north latitude.
Until 1795 the Spanish insisted upon the more northerly line. Then,
in the Treaty of San Ildefenso they agreed to the 31st parallel. But when
Andrew Ellicott arrived from the United States with his surveyors and a
military escort the Spanish refused to surrender the forts north of the new
line and let the surveying proceed. Finally, in March 1798 they pulled
back and allowed the work to begin. The surveyors reached the Flint
River in October of the same year. In that region they found the Indians
so hostile they decided to withdraw for the time being, and work at the
survey from the Mouth of the St. Mary's to its source, and then to the
origin of the Apalachicola. This also produced an even longer standing
dispute for it developed that the St. Mary's had three possible sources.
Ellicott decided upon the middle one and raised Ellicott's Mound there to
mark the spot. The State of Georgia insisted upon the southernmost of
the possible sources, which produced a controversy which the State of
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799 73
Florida inherited, and which was not settled until the American Civil
To accomplish the change in procedure Ellicott and his party sailed
down the west coast of Florida to Cape Romano and across Florida Bay
to Key Vaca. From that point they worked their way in somewhat
leisurely fashion up the Atlantic Coast to their task at the St. Mary's
River. Ellicott found considerable activity along the Keys and in the
Biscayne Bay region. He included these observations along with some
comments of a general nature in his report. Between October 29, and
November 15, 1799 while he moved up the east coast he produced the
account which is here reprinted. Since all of the places and people
mentioned are reasonably well known no editorial notes are provided.
The Richter Library at the University of Miami provided a photocopy of
a copy of the Ellicott Journal in its Florida Collection.
Charlton W. Tebeau
FROM THE JOURNAL OF ANDREW ELLICOTT
October 29th. From a meridional altitude of Capella taken after mid-
night, we appeared to be opposite to Punta Larga, (Cape Roman,) and
having a sufficient offing we steered for Cape Sable, the most southern
promontory of east Florida, which was seen from the mast head at noon.
At three o'clock in the afternoon came to an anchor on the west side of
Kayo Ani, or Sandy Key, which is a small island a very short distance
south of the Cape. After coming to an anchor, myself and some of the
crew, took our boat, and went to the island; where in a very few minutes,
we shot about twelve dozen plover. There are some bushes scattered
over the island; but what particularly attracted my attention was the
amazing piles, or stacks, of the prickley pear, opuntiaa a species of the
cactus,) the fruit was large and in. high perfection: we eat very plentifully
of it; but my people were not a little surprised the next morning, on
finding their urine appear as if it had been highly tinged with cochineal;
no inconvenience resulting from it, the fruit was constantly used by the
crew during our continuance among the keys or islands. Though this
island is called Sandy Key, and has certainly the appearance of a body of
sand; it is little more than a heap of broken and pulverised shells, which
were found to effervesce freely with the vitriolic acid, and little or no
quartz was perceptible in the solution.
30th. Weighed anchor and sailed to Key Vaccas, or Cow Island,
and moored in a small harbour among a cluster of little islands. Stormy
all the afternoon. The soundings from Sandy Key, to Key Vaccas, were
regular and generally less than nine feet, and on an horizontal stratum of
stone, similar to that described between the Cedar Keys, and Kayo
31st. Went on shore on Key Vaccas, where our people in a short
time killed four deer, of that small species, common to some of those
islands. They are less than our ordinary breed of goats.
November 1st. Examined a number of the small islands, they all
appeared to be lime-stone, or calcareous rocks, the tops of them were
flat, and elevated but a few feet above the surface of the water, and
covered with a thin stratum of earth. These rocks are evidently a
congeries of petrefactions, in which may be traced a variety of plants,
particularly the roots of the great palmitto, or cabbage tree, (corypha or
palmitto of Walter). The mud in the harbor where we lay was of a fine
white, and resembled lime, or whiting, and was found to effervesce with
the vitriolic acid; from which it is probable, that it is no more than shells,
and other calcareous matter, levigated by the friction of the particles,
produced by the constant motion of the water.
2d. Took some large turtle, and fine fish. Visited by Captain Burns
of New Providence whose vessel lay at the east end of Key Vaccas. He
was on a turtling and wrecking voyage. Wind still from the east and
3d. Killed some more small deer and salted them up. Calm the
4th. A light breeze in the afternoon, got under way, and proceeded
about five miles along the north side of Key Vaccas. Soundings gener-
ally from seven to eight feet; the bottom horizontal rock with a rough
5th. Got under weigh early in the morning, but the wind, being
ahead, come to an anchor under a small Key, a short distance from Duck
Key, Soundings as before. On the small island there was some appear-
ance of a clear field, manned the boat and went to examine it; but had
proceeded but a short distance among the bushes, when I was compelled
to return by the incredible number of musquetoes; on coming to the boat,
I found the men had jumped into the water to avoid the attacks of those
troublesome little animals.
This island is similar to those already described, but surrounded by
a greater number of ragged rocks near the surface of the water.
6th. Got under way at eight o'clock A. M. and beat out into the
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799 75
channel between the Keys and reef, and came to an anchor in a good
harbour at the east end of Viper Key.
7th. Made sail early in the morning, and came to an anchor at one
o'clock P M. in the harbour at the north east end of the old Matacombe,
where we found it necessary to take in wood and water. This island is
noted for affording a greater quantity of good water than any other of the
Keys; on which account it is much frequented by the turtlers, and
wreckers. The water is found in natural wells about four feet deep, which
are no more than cracks or cavities in the rock, and not the effect of art as
some have imagined. This island, like those already mentioned, may be
considered as a large flat calcareous rock, elevated but a few feet above
the water, and covered with a stratum of earth. This is said to have been
the last residence of the Coloosa Indians, the original inhabitants of East
Florida: From whence they were gradually expelled by the Seminoles, or
Wild Creeks. From Matacombe they were taken to the island of Cuba by
the Spaniards, and incorporated with their salves. But this measure does
not appear to have been taken without provocation: these Indians were
remarkable for their cruelty, which they exercised indiscriminately on all
the unfortunate people, who were wrecked within their reach on that
dangerous coast. The island of Matanza, (slaughter,) which lies about
one mile north east from the watering place, was so called from those
Indians massacring about three hundred French, who had collected on it,
after being wrecked on the reef.
On the north east side of Matacombe, there is a beautiful beach,
which has the appearance of whitish sand, but on examination is found to
be broken shells, coral, &c.
8th. Spent in taking in wood and water. In the afternoon the
schooner Shark, late the property of Messrs. Panton, Laslie and Com-
pany, of Pensacola arrived; being a prize to Lieut. Wooldridge and crew,
(of whom mention has already been made), who captured her near St.
George's island on her way to Apalachy. The schooner Shark was loaded
with provisions, and as we had no meat, our commissary Mr. Anderson
made application to the prize master for a barrel of pork; the prize master
Mr. Barnet made no direct answer, but said he would see about it the next
9th. Got under way at nine o'clock A. M. The schooner Shark done
the same. It was previously agreed, that we should anchor together in the
evening at Key Rodriguiz, where the prize master was to furnish us with
a supply of meat, in return for what flour they had from us on St.
George's island. We sailed rather the fastest, and so soon as we came to
an anchor in the harbour, she crouded all her sail, and stood over the reef
for New Providence. Thus were we requited for our favours. Soon after
we came to an anchor, we were joined by Captain Watkins, who
commanded a privateer from New Providence. He behaved with polite-
ness, and furnished me with about five pounds of excellent salt pork.
10th. Wind ahead, were not able to make any way. Our men caught
a number of fine fish.
llth. Calm until about eleven o'clock A. M. when we had a light
breeze and immediately got under way, proceeded to Key Large, and
came to an anchor between the Key and Gulf Stream. At the same time a
sloop that we were meeting, came to an anchor about two leagues from
12th. About two o'clock in the morning, I was called up to see the
shooting of the stars, (as it is vulgarly termed,) the phenomenon was
grand and awful, the whole heavens appeared as if illuminated with
skyrockets, flying in an infinity of directions, and I was in constant
expectation of some of them falling on the vessel. They continued until
put out by the light of the sun after day break. This phenomenon
extended over a large portion of the West India islands, and was ob-
served as far north as St. Mary's, where it appeared as brilliant as with us.
During this singular appearance, the wind shifted from the south to the
north, and the Thermometer which had been at 86 for four days past, fell
Many ingenious theories have been devised to account for those
luminous and fiery meteors, but none of them are so satisfactory to my
mind as the conjecture of that celebrated chemist M. Lavoisier, who
supposes it probable that the terrestial atmosphere consists of several
volumes, or strata of gaz or elastic vapour of different kinds, and that the
lightest and most difficult to mix with the lower atmosphere will be
elevated above it, and form a separate stratum or volume, which he
supposes to be inflammable, and that it is at the point of contact between
those strata that the aurora borealis, and other fiery meteors are pro-
About eight o'clock in the morning, the sloop we saw the preceding
evening passed by our stem, and upon being hailed answered, "it is a
prize," she was then ordered to come to, to which a person answered
"ay," and at about 400 yards from us, hove to, and brought her boat,
which was in tow along side; but contrary to our expectation,it was
immediately taken in, and the sloop with all her sails set, bore away.
Orders were then given to get under way, and give chase, from an idea
that it was an American vessel taken by the French, and if possible to
retake her, several of her people not having the appearance of Americans
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799 77
or Englishmen. As soon as we got under sail, a gun was discharged
towards the sloop, but to which no attention was paid; but in about one
hour we came within rifle shot, when one was discharged, and with such
a direction that convinced the crew their safety depended upon coming
to; which was immediately done, and we passed under her stem. The
master was requested to come to anchor, and bring his papers on board of
us. We anchored about rifle shot from the sloop, after which the request
was repeated, but one of the persons on board the sloop observed, that
the sea was rough, and they had but one oar and a paddle for their boat:
upon which our commissary Mr. Anderson took the boat belonging to
our vessel, and brought the master and his papers on board. The papers
were satisfactory. The vessel and loading were lately Spanish property,
and had been taken about fifteen days before by a New Providence
privateer near the Havannah, and sent on for Nassau; but got becalmed in
the Gulf Stream, which carried her almost to Cape Carnaveral, when the
wind served, the master then kept the Florida coast until we met with
him. He and his people had been seven days on allowance of one biscuit,
and a pint of water each per day, with what fish they could take, which
they had to eat without salt. The master took breakfast with me, and
when he was ready to return, I directed our commissary to furnish him
with a barrel of biscuit, and some salt, upon which he observed, that he
had "never before been so fortunately chased and taken." One half of his
crew consisted of Spaniards taken on board the vessel, and they all
equally had done duty. Immediately after this fruitless adventure, we got
underway, and the wind began to blow with considerable violence,
which gradually increased until we found it necessary to come to anchor,
and were very fortunate in making a harbour near the mouth of Black
13th. The gale continued with violence. Took some fish.
14th. The wind continued very violent until the evening.
15th. The wind violent from the north, until one o'clock R M. when
it shifted in a few minutes, and came from the east; which was the only
wind from which we were not protected by shoals, and which would in a
short time have rendered our situation extremely uneasy. We got under
way as soon as possible, and beat out in order to fall into the northern
channel of Black Ceasar's Creek; but having the wind and a strong
current against us, we did not clear the shoal between the two channels
until a few minutes before sunset, and then took the northern channel,
which is very narrow at the entrance, not exceeding fifteen yards wide,
but gradually widens to more than one hundred, and has between two
and an half, and three fathoms water, except at the entrance where there
is but seven or eight feet. We came to an anchor near the mouth of Black
Ceasar's Creek, which is only the entrance into an extensive sound
between the Keys and main land. The sides of the channel are almost
perpendicular, like those at old Matacombe, and composed of a soft,
whitish mud, which appears to be wholly calcarious.
16th. Capt. Watkins beat up to us; he was the whole day making two
leagues, in a vessel calculated to sail on a wind. He had with him the
crew of the prize before mentioned; the vessel was wrecked by the
violence of the wind the day we left her.
17th. The wind still continued very unfavourable. Took a consider-
able number of fine fish.
18th. The wind was more moderate, and we got under way early in
the morning, and beat along Hawk Channel. In the afternoon were
brought to by a New Providence privateer, commanded by Captain
William Ball, who had been but a short time from Ireland, and who
treated us for some time with a degree of insolence far beyond any thing I
had ever before experienced. But after examining my instructions and
commission, and viewing the signature of President Washington with all
the attention and veneration that would have been paid to a holy relick,
he became more moderate, and made us sufficient compensation for his
insolence, by presenting us with a fine turtle, and after wishing us a
pleasant passage, we parted.
About sunset there was an appearance of a storm, and we came to
an anchor in a small, but excellent harbour, where we were defended by
shoals from the violence of the sea on every side: before midnight the
storm came on.
19th. The storm continued the whole day.
20th. The storm still continued.
21st. Very strong gale from the N. E. Saw a ship early in the
morning, (which had certainly missed her way,) nearly on the reef, and in
very great danger, but she fortunately wore off.
22d. Got under way, and beat along the sound to the mouth of Fresh
Water [Miami] river, which is nearly opposite to the southern part of Key
23d. Went on shore at the mouth of the river, filled our water casks,
and gathered a large quantity of very fine limes: a party of our people
likewide took their rifles, and went into the country, and were uncom-
monly fortunate in killing deer and turkies.
Fresh Water River is said to be no more than the outlet to a large
lake, but a few leagues distance from the coast. At the mouth it is not
more than five or six perches wide, and ten or twelve feet deep, and
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799 79
middling rapid. The sides are nearly perpendicular, and composed of
calcarious stone or rock, similar to that described at Apalachy. This
stratum of stone appeared to be very extensive and horizontal.
Key Biscanio is one of the last islands on the reef, and situated in
lat. 250 37' N.
The Florida reef, (as it is called,) appears to consist of a number of
coral banks on the outer edge of an extensive stratum of calcarious stone,
which extends from the main land, to the edge of the Gulf Stream: the
general position of this stratum is nearly horizontal, and is possibly a
continuation of that observed at Apalachy. If this should be the case, it
may be considered as the base of East Florida, and conform to the
general law observed in the disposition of the strata of stone on our
On this stratum of stone, which serves as a helmet to the southern
promontory of East Florida, and defends it from the violence of the Gulf
Stream, is situated the whole of that cluster of innumerable islands and
shoals, which have been so troublesome and dangerous to navigators.
These islands and shoals, may be viewed as protuberances, (stand-
ing on the surface of this extensive stratum,) gradually formed during a
period of many centuries, by the constant accretion of calcarious matter.
Many of those islands and shoals have evidently had their origin from
coral banks, which not only like those of oysters, are known to increase,
but to surpass them greatly in magnitude: and it is now reduced to a
certainty, that a number of the islands in the South Sea are coral rocks
covered with a stratum of earth. It is likewise well ascertained by
naturalists, that coral is not, as was formerly supposed a vegetable
substance, but a vast collection of small animals which build up those
rocky edifices from the bottom of the ocean!
The navigation between the Gulf Stram and Florida Keys, has at all
times been considered as very difficult and dangerous, which it certainly
is for those not acquainted with it; but with a competent knowledge of
the Keys and reef, added to ordinary caution, I know of none more safe
for coasting vessels, and others drawing not more than nine feet water.
Such vessels as are sailing from the northward into the Gulf of Mexico,
and prefer the passage between the Gulf Stream and Florida coast, after
entering the reef a few miles north of Key Biscanio, should be careful to
give that Key a birth of about one and an half miles, on account of a shoal
that makes out from it: it will likewide be necessary to observe, that
opposite to the south end of the Key, there are but eleven feet water.
After entering the reef, it will be proper for a careful person to be
kept aloft, who will be able for a considerable distance, (at least one
mile,) if the weather should be fair, to discover the coral banks, rocks and
shoals, which in some places are numerous, by which means the danger
may easily be avoided. It will likewise be necessary on coming to an
anchor, which must be done every night while on the reef, to look out for
clear ground, otherwise a cable may be fretted off in a few hours by the
coral rocks, or other protuberances, and the vessel go adrift.
As a knowledge of this navigation is of very great importance to the
mercantile interest of the United States, it is a subject of regret that we
have no charts in common use of the reef and Keys, (or islands,) upon a
scale sufficiently large and accurate, to be useful. Mr. Gauld's survey of
the Dry Tortugas and the Florida reef and Keys, easterly to Key Largo,
made by the direction of the Board of Admiralty of Great Britain, may
justly be considered as one of the most valuable works of the kind extant,
but unfortunately it is little known. From Key Vaccas to Key Largo, I
carefully compared Mr. Gauld's charts with the soundings, and perspec-
tive view of the Keys, and found an agreement which excited my
surprise, and am induced to believe that not a single rock or shoal, so far
as the work extends, has been omitted, and that not an error of three feet
will be found in any of the soundings. If this work had been completed, it
might be esteemed one of the most perfect and useful of the kind. The
copy which I had the good fortune to obtain, (and without which it would
have been very difficult for me, being not only a stranger to the coast, but
no seaman, to have made my way with safety,) I deposited since my
return in the office of the secretary of the navy.
Along the Florida Reef, and among the Keys, a great abundance
and variety of fish may be taken: such as hog-fish, grunts, yellow tails,
black, red, and gray snappers, mullets, bone-fish, amber-fish, margate-
fish, barracoota, cavallos, pompui, groopers, king-fish, siber-fish, por-
gys, turbots, stingrys, black drum, Jew fish, with a prodigious variety of
others, which in our situation we found excellent. Turtle are also to be
had in plenty; those we took were of three kinds: the logger-head,
hawk-bill and green; the two last are much the best. We likewise found a
remarkable species of prawns, which live in great numbers in holes in
the rocks: they frequently weigh two or three pounds a-piece, and are
improperly called lobsters; they want the large claws that lobsters have.
Their meat is harder, and less delicate than that of the lobsters of the
Some of the Keys or Islands, were formerly very well timbered, but
the most valuable kinds, such as lignum vita, fustick and' iron wood,
have generally been cut off by the inhabitants of the Bahama Islands.
Key Biscanio is much frequented by the privateers, wreckers and
From Tampa Bay to Biscayne Bay in 1799 81
turtlers from the Bahama Islands. At the sound end there is an excellent
harbour, and the shore so bold that a vessel not drawing more than ten
feet water may be careened with safety. In that harbour we found several
of those privateers, wreckers and turtlers, by whom we were politely
treated, particularly by a Capt. Johnston, who furnished me with seven
or eight pounds of salt pork.
Having filled our water casks, salted up some fish, and the wind
serving, on the
25th, about noon, we got under way, and proceeded over the reef
into the Gulf Stream. Shortly after we had entered the Stream, we saw a
vessel bearing down upon us, but did not discover that she was a
privateer until she attempted to bring us to by a shot: being determined to
make the best use we could of the first fair, strong breeze we had had
since our arrival at the Keys, we crowded all our sail, and the privateer
did the same, but in two hours she gave up the chase.
I shall now proceed to make a few observations relative to East
East Florida is but little better than a wilderness, the soil is not
superior to that of West Florida, and none of its navigable waters rising
in the United States, it does not appear equally interesting. It is neverthe-
less of immense importance to the United States, being from its pecular
situation, well calculated to give security to the commerce between the
Atlantic and western states, and may be considered one of the main keys
to the trade of the Gulf of Mexico. On the west side, it affords two
remarkably fine harbours: one is known by the name of Hillsborough
Bay, (Bay Tompa, or Spirito Santo.) The latitude is stated to 270 36' N.
and the longitude 83 west from Greenwich. It is very capacious, and
will admit any vessel over the bar not drawing more than twenty-four
The first Englishman who explored, and gave an account of this bay
was a Capt. Braddock, who commanded a privateer from Virginia, and
cruized on the west coast of East Florida, in the years 1744 and 1745: his
survey is yet considered as good as any extant.
The other harbour is called by the Spaniards Boca Grande, and by
the English Charlotte Harbour, and stated to lay in latitude 26 43' N. and
82' 30' west longitude from Greenwich.
The Florida Keys and reef, likewise furnish a great number of
harbours proper for coasting vessels, and advantageous stations for
cruizers; particularly that of Key Biscanio, situated at the northern
entrance of the reef, and capable of commanding the whole coasting
trade which should take that passage. This being the entrance of the reef,
and the most proper place to depart from in sailing northerly, would be
one of the most eligible positions on the whole coast, and perhaps on the
continent for a light house.
But instead of any advantage being derived, either to the United
States or his Catholic Majesty, from those favourable situations, they
serve as dens and hiding places for the privateers and pickaroons of the
Bahama islands, by which the trade of both nations has suffered im-
mensely in spoliations: and extraordinary as it may appear, it is no less
true, that nearly the whole coast of East Florida, as far as maritime
possession gives a right, is under the dominion of the Bahama islands.
The coast and islands being uninhabited even by a single solitary settler
from Apalachy, almost round to St. Augustine! from which the inhabit-
ants of the Bahama islands cut and carry off, without interruption, as
much of the valuable ship timber as they find necessary or convenient.
On the east side of the coast south of St. Augustine, there are a
number of small harbours, proper for coasting vessels; but their posi-
tions are too badly determined to entitle them to attention.
We have not at this time, one chart of the coast of East Florida,
except Mr. Gauld's survey of a part of the keys and reef, entitled to any
confidence. The making a survey of the eastern side of it, was submitted
by the British government, while his Britannic Majesty was in posses-
sion of that country, to M. de Brahm, and the west side to Mr. Gauld; but
the labours of those gentlemen have never been communicated to the
public! An accurate knowledge of the dangerous shoal off Cape Canav-
eral, is of great consequence to the commercial interest of the United
States. It frequently happens that those places, which from the want of a
competent knowledge of them are avoided, when critically examined,
will be found to afford places of safety, and good harbours, for such
vessels as are driven upon them by bad weather. Such was the case with
the Dry Totugas until examined by Mr. Gauld.
LIST OF MEMBERS
Members of the Historical Association of Southern Florida enjoy the
ongoing program of the Association, the special events, meetings,
program series and two publications, the bi-monthly Update and the
annual Tequesta. They have the use of the research library and the
archives located in the Historical Museum.
Membership revenues benefit the public service and educational
programs and projects of the Association.
The roster below is made up of the names of those persons and
institutions that have paid dues since September 30, 1977. Those joining
after September 30, 1978 will have their names on the 1979 roster.
Sustaining members, (Ss) paid ten dollars annually, this category is
"Patron:' single, (P), pay fifteen dollars per year, "Subscriber,"
(Sb), pay a minimum of fifteen dollars, "Donor," (D), twenty-five,
"Contributor," (C), fifty, "Sponsor," (Sp), one hundred, "Benefactor,"
(B), two hundred and fifty or more, "Life," (L), one thousand. Honorary
Life Membership (HL), is voted by the Board of Directors to recognize
special services to the Association. The symbol ** indicates Founding
Member and the symbol indicates Charter Member.
Aberman, Mr. & Mrs. James,
Adams, Mrs. Adam G., Coral
Adams Mrs. Flagner,
Adams, Eugene C., Miami (P)
Adams, Mr. & Mrs. Nate L.
nI, Coral Gables (D)
Adams, Mrs. Richard B.,
Adams, Wilton L., Miami (P)
Adderly, Mrs. Elaine, Miami
Admire, Jack G., Coral
Admire, Mrs. Jack G., Coral
Aguilera, Joseph A., Miami,
Albury, Mrs. Calvin, Key
Albury, Dr. Paul, Nassau,
Alderman, Jewell W., Coral
Aldrich, Mr. & Mrs, Roy L.,
Jr., Miami (P)
Alexander, David T., Sidney,
Alexander, Dr. & Mrs. Julius,
Allen, Mrs. Eugenia, Miami
Allen, Mrs. Leffler, Coral
Allen, Raymond, Miami (P)
Allston, Mrs. William E,
Altmayer, M. S., Miami (P)
Center, Santa Barbara, CA.
American Chariots, Miami
Amerkan, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph,
Coral Gables (D)
Ames, Mrs. Theron W., Coral
Anania, Mr. Francis, Miami
Anderson, Marie, Miami (P)
Anderson, Phillip R., Miami
Anderson, Mrs. W. R., Miami
Angus. Mrs. W. S., Miami (P)
Ansbaugh, Mrs. Fay X.,
Jonesboro, TN (P)
Ansin, Mr. & Mrs. Edmund,
Coral Gables (D)
Apthorp, Mr. & Mrs. James,
Archer, Ben, Homestead (P)
Arel, Mr. & Mrs. Armand G.,
Coral Gables (P)
Aschman, David C., Coral
Ashe, Barbara Rose, Coral
Atherton, Laurine E., Coral
Atkinson, Judge Edith M.,
Atwood, Mrs. Charles E,
Aurell, Mrs. John K., Coral
Ayars, Erling E., Coral Gables
Ayer, John H., Miami (P)
Bachmann, Dr. & Mrs. Albert
E. J., Coral Gables (P)
Bacon, Mrs. Jones, Coral
Baggs, Mrs. John L., Jr.,
Coral Gables (P)
Baker, Charles H., Jr., Naples
Baker, Flora M., Miami (P)
Baldwin, C. Jackson, Miami
Balfe, Mrs. E. Hutchins,
Ball, Mr. & Mrs. Ivan E.,
Miami Shores (D)
Banks, Col. & Mrs. Richard,
Barkdull, Thorns H. Jr.,
Barnes, Col. Francis H.,
Barron, Ida W., Key West (P)
Bartow, Nevett S., Miami (P)
Bates, Franklin W., Miami (P)
Battle, Mr. & Mrs. Benjamin,
Battles, Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas,
Baucom, Mrs. Ruth Kaune,
Ft. Myers (P)
Baya, George J., Esq., Miami
Beal, Mrs. K. Malcolm,
Beare, Nikki, Miami (P)
Beasley, Sa7dra G., Miami
Beaudry, Ralph, Miami (D)
Beckham, Mr. & Mrs. James
K., Coral Gables (P)
Beckham, W. H., Jr., Coral
Beem, Mr. & Mrs. William,
Beeman, Mrs. Charles, Coral
Beilinson, Les D., Miami
Bell, Liselle A., Miami (P)
Bennett, Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher,
Coral Gables (D)
Benton, Nancy Bush, Miami
Beriault, John G., Naples (P)
Berkowitz, Dr. & Mrs.
Samuel, Coral Gables (D)
Berndt, Mrs. Charles F.,
Biedron, Mrs. Stanley, Coral
Biewala, R. A., Miami (P)
Biggane, Mrs. Charles F., Jr.,
Biscayne Park (D)
Biggs, Mrs. Roy, Miami (Ss)
Biglin, Mrs. W. A., Ft.
Bills, Mrs. John T., Miami (P)
Bitter, Mrs. Barbara, Miami
Black, Mrs. Martha Miami
Blackburn, Elmer E., Miami
Blanc, Lodovico, Miami (P)
Blanch, Dr, & Mrs. William,
Bloomberg, Robert L. Miami
Blue, Mrs. R.L., Miami
Blue Lakes Elementary
P.T.A., Miami (Sb)
Blumberg,Mr. & Mrs. David,
Coral Gables (D)
Boccard, Mrs. Mathew L.,
Bohan, Brent Alan, Boynton
Boldrick, Samuel J., Miami
Bolge, Elizabeth S., Ft.
Bonowit, 0. J., Miami (P)
Bookout, Elizabeth, Miami
Botta, Vincent J., South
Bowen, Forest, Miami (P)
Bower, Robert S., North
Miami Beach (P)
Bowker, Mr. & Mrs. Gordon,
Braddock, Mrs. G. Holmes,
Bradford, Mrs. S. A., Coral
Brady, Mary Spencer, Coral
Brandt, Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth,
Brannen, H. S., Miami
Breeze, Mrs. K. W., Miami
Bremer, Barbara, Miami (Ss)
Brimson, Mr. & Mrs.W.G.,
Sr., Coral Gables (D)
Brinker, Richard, Miami (D)
Brock, Wallace D., Glen
Ellen, IL (P)
*Brookfield, Charles, Miami
Brooks, J. R., Tavemrnier (P)
Browder, Dr. Joan A., Miami
Brown, Mrs. Andrew G.,
Brown, Mr. & Mrs. Bowman,
Coral Gables (P)
Brown, Darlene, Tavemier (P)
Brown, Maida F, Miami (D)
Brown, Mrs. Sylvia G.,
Brown University Library,
Providence, RI (Sb)
Brown, Mrs. William, Miami
Bruce,Betty M., Key West (P)
Brunelle, Mrs. Gaylord, A.,
Coral Gables (P)
Brunstetter, Mrs. Roscoe,
Coral Gables (P)
Budenz, Mrs. Margaret R.,
Buhler, Mrs. Jean E., Vero
Buhler, Sylvia, Coral Gables
Buker, Charles E., Sr., Miami
Burger King, Miami (B)
Burglass, Milton, E., M.D.,
Burkart, David P., Coral
Burkett, Mrs. Charles W., Jr.,
Miami Beach (D)
Bumett, Mrs. Robert L., Jr.,
Miami Lakes (P)
Bums, Edward B., Las
Cruces, NM (P)
Burr, Mr. & Mrs. Raymond
O., Miami (D)
Burrus, E. Carter, Jr., Miami
Burt, Al, Hawthorne (P)
Burton, Col.. & Mrs. Robert
A., Jr., Miami (D)
Bush, Mr. & Mrs. Robert,
Byrd, Mrs. David T., Miami
Cadwallader, Florence H.,
Cameron, D. Pierre G., Miami
Cameron, Joanna M.,
Cincinnati, OH (P)
Campbell, Mr. & Mrs. John
W., Miami (D)
Carden, Marguerite, Miami
Carlin, Mrs. Marian Swain,
Carlton, Mrs. Patricia P., Ft.
Carlysle, Mrs. Mae Wagner,
Carr, Mrs. A. Marvin, Miami
Carrol, Mrs. J. Lawrence,
Cartee, Mrs. Horace L., Coral
Casada, Ed, Coral Gables (P)
Cashbaugh, William E., Coral
Caster, Mrs. George B., Coral
Castillo, Robert, Miami (P)
*Catlow, Mr. & Mrs. William
R., Jr., (D)
Cayton, Leona Peacock (P)
Chaille, Joseph H. North
Chaille, Mrs. Josiah, Miami
Chalfant, Helen C., Miami (P)
Chandler, Mrs. Winifred,
Chaplin, Mrs. Katherine D.,
Coral Gables (P)
Chapman, Arthur A., Miami
Chardon, Roland E., Baton
Rouge, LA (D)
Chastain, Mr. & Mrs. R. B.,
Cheatham, Mrs. John H., Jr.,
Coral Gables (P)
Chillis, Mrs. J. Aranha,
Chitty, Ann, Miami (P)
Chowning, John S., Coral
Christensen, Mrs. Charlotte
C., Opa Locka (P)
Clark, Bernal E., Miami (P)
Clark, Betty Carman, Goulds
Clark, Mrs. J. L., Jr., Miami
Clark, Mrs. Mae Knight,
Coral Gables (C)
Clark, Mrs. Sheldon, Miami
Clearwater Public Library,
Coates, Miss Beatrice & Miss
Nelle, Coral Gables (D)
Cobb, Lillian, Miami (P)
Coconut Grove Library, (Sb)
Cogswell, Mr. & Mrs.T. J.,
Coral Gables (D)
Cole, R. B., Miami (D)
Coleman, Mrs. Annie M.,
Coleman, Hannah P., Miami
Collier County Historical
Society, Naples (Sb)
Collier County Museum &
Archives, Naples (Sb)
Collier Free Public Library,
Colsky, Dr. & Mrs. Jacob &
Family, Miami (D)
Colson, Bill, Miami (P)
*Combs, Walter, Miami (P)
Conklin, Miss Dallas M.,
Long Beach, CA (L)
Conlon, Lyndon C.,
Cookston, Dana Clay, Coral
Cool, Stephen E., Cooper City
Cooney, Mrs. Robert E.,
Miami Shores (P)
Cooper, Mr. & Mrs. W. Worth,
Coplan, Dr. Milton M., Coral
*Coral Gables Public Library,
Corliss, Carlton J.,
Cormack, Elroy Calvin, El
Corwin, Dr. William, Coral
Costello, Mrs. Gertrude,
Costello, Mr. James, Miami
Cothron, Pat, Goulds (P)
Covington, Dr. James W.,
List of Members 85
Crane, Raymond E. & Ellen F.
Foundation, Miami (B)
Cranshaw, Mr. & Mrs.
George, Islamorada (P)
Creel, Earl M., Eau Gallie (P)
Creel, Joe, Coral Gables (P)
Criswell, Col. Grover C., Ft.
Cross, J. Alan, Miami (P)
Crow, Lon Worth, Jr., Coral
Crow, Mrs. Mary Graham,
Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Crowder, Mrs. James F. Jr.,
Coral Gables (P)
Crymes, James E., Miami (P)
Cuevas, ElbaJ., Key Biscayne
Culburtson, Mr. & Mrs. W.
W., Miami (P)
Cullom, Mrs. Caryl J., Miami
Culmer, Mrs. John E., Miami
Culpepper, K. M., Miami (P)
Curry, Miss Lamar Louise,
Coral Gables (P)
Curwood, Mr. & Mrs. W. J.,
*Cushman, Dr. Laura, Miami
Dade Heritage Trust, Miami
Dager, H. J., Jr., (C)
Daniel, Mr. & Mrs. W. A., Jr.,
Coral Gables (D)
Danielson, J. Deering, Coral
D.A.R., Coral Gables Chapter
Davenport, Dr. & Mrs. O. W.,
Davidson, Mrs. Robert M.,
Davis, Mrs. Carl H., Miami
Davis, Mr. & Mrs. Frank C.,
Davis, Rubie Thigpen, Miami
Davis, Hal D., Coral Gables
Davis, Jean McArthur
Dean, Kate Stirrup, Miami (D)
DeBoe, Mrs. M. O., Coral
DeBuchanne, J. D.,
DeCarion, George H., Miami
deGarno, Mr. & Mrs.
Kenneth, Miami (D)
DeNies, Charles F, Hudson,
Detroit Public Library,
Detroit, MI (Sb)
Dibble, Dr. Ernest,
Wilmington, DE (P)
Dickey, Dr. Robert, Miami
*Dismukes, William Paul,
Coral Gables (P)
Donovan, James Maitland,
Jr., Miami (P)
Dom, Mrs. Robert, Miami (P)
Dorsey, Mrs. Mary C., Coral
Dotson, Martha Jo, Miami (P)
Dougherty, Mr. & Mrs. Jas.
C., Miami (D)
Stoneman, Miami (P)
Dowdell, Mr. & Mrs. S. H.,
Dowlen, Dr. L. W. Jr., Coral
Downs, Dr. & Mrs. Maurice,
DuBois, Bessie Wilson,
Duffy, Mr. & Mrs. E. Hugh,
Coral Gables (P)
Dugas, Mrs. Faye, Coral
Dumas, Ernest M., Jupiter (P)
Dunan, Mrs. G. V. R., Miami
Dunan, Mrs. Otis F, Coral
Duncan, Marvin L., Miami
Duncan, Norman, Florida City
Dunn, Hampton, Tampa (P)
Dunty, R. P., Jr., Lake Placid
Dunwody, Atwood, Miami
Dupuch, Sir Etienne, OBE,
DuPuis, John G., Jr., Miami
Durkatz, Miss Deya, Miami
Duvall, Mrs. John E., Miami
Echarte, Luis & Glorida,
Coral Gables (D)
Edelen, Ellen, Miami (P)
Edelson, Michele, Miami (P)
Edward, Jim, Boynton Beach
Edwards, Robert V., M.D.,.
Coral Gables (D)
Eggert, Jim C., Miami (P)
Eichmeyer, Ann, Miami (P)
Ellenburg, Mr. & Mrs. James,
Elliot, Donald L., Miami (D)
El Portal Womens Club,
Engel, Mrs. Anne P., Miami
Eppes, William D., Coral
Gables/New York City (P)
Erickson, Douglas, Miami (P)
Erickson, Mrs. Melville A.,
Coral Gables (P)
Erickson, Pauline D., Miami
Everglades Natural History
Assn., Homestead (P)
Ewell, Mrs. A. Travers, South
Eyster, 1. R., Islamorada (P)
Ezell,Mr. & Mrs. Boyce E
Ill, Miami (D)
Farina, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph P.,
Miami Shores (C)
Farrey, F X., Miami (C)
Farrell, John B., Miami (P)
Fascell, Dante B.,
Washington, DC (D)
Feltman, Mrs. Robert, Coral
Fenner, Patricia Larkins,
Ferendino, Andrew J., Coral
Ferguson, Mrs. James C.,
Ferguson, Mrs. Milton,
Boynton Beach (P)
Ferry, Rosemary, Miami (P)
Field, Captain & Mrs.
Benjamin P., Lantana (D)
Field, Mrs. Lamar, Miami (P)
Fields, Mrs. Eddie L., Miami
Filer, Mrs. Frank E., Miami
Finlay, James N., Miami (P)
Firestone, Senator George,
Fisher, Mrs. Ray, Miami (P)
Fitzgerald, Dr. Joseph H.,
Fitzgerald-Bush, Frank S.,
Flattery, Michael J. Jr., Miami
Fleeger, Don R., North Miami
Fleming, Joseph Z., Miami
Flinn, Mrs. Gene, Miami (D)
Florence, Robert S., Miami
Florida Atlantic University,
Boca Raton (Sb)
University, Miami (Sb)
Florida Power & Light (B)
Florida Southern College,
Florida Technical University,
Florida Trend Magazine,
Floyd, Shirley P., Jupiter (P)
Fogg, Mrs. A. S. Jr., Coral
Folsom, Dr. & Mrs. H. Floyd,
Ft. Lauderdale Historical
Society, Ft. Lauderdale
Fortner, Ed, Ocala (P)
Foss, George B., Jr., Esq.,
Foundation of Jewish
Philanthropies, Miami (B)
Fowler, Mrs. Walter H., North
Fox, Chief & Mrs. Kenneth,
Franklin, Mitchell, New
Brunswick, Canada (P)
Franklin, Mrs. Sandra, Miami
Frates, Mr. & Mrs. William,
Coral Gables (D)
Frazer, Col. Fred J., USMC
(ret), Miami (D)
Frederick Mr. John M.,
Freed, Mr. & Mrs. Owen,
Coral Gables (D)
Freiden, Ms. Ellen, Miami (P)
Fricke, Mr. & Mrs. W. F.,
Friend,The Reverend Win.
B., Mobile, AL (P)
Frisbie, Mr. & Mrs. Loyal,
Frohock, Mrs. Jack, North
Frohring, Mr. & Mrs. Paul,
Key Biscayne (D)
Fuchs, Richard W., Naranja
Fullerton, Mr. & Mrs. John P,
Coral Gables (D)
Fussell, Mr. & Mrs. J. E.,
Gabler, Mrs. George E.,
Gaby, Donald, Miami (C)
Gaffney, Charles J., Miami (P)
Gallogly, Ms. Vera, Coral
Gardner, Mrs. Dick B., Miami
Gardner, Mr. & Mrs. Robert
J., Coral Gables (D)
Gart Urban Associates, Coral
Gautier, Redmond Bunn,
Gerace, Mrs. Terence, Coral
German, Mr. & Mrs. Trent,
Geyer, Elizabeth D., Miami
Gibson, John N., Pearsall, TX
*Gifford, Mrs. John C.,
Gillespie, Norman, Coral
Glass, Dr. Stanley, Miami (P)
Godown, Marian B., Ft.
Goldenberg, Marian Graham,
Goldenberg, Robert, Miami
Goldman, Sue S., Miami (P)
Goldstein, Judge Harvey L.,
Goldweber, Mr. & Mrs. S.,
Gooding, Naomi Comell,
Goodlet, Mrs. James H.,
Goodlett, Mr. & Mrs. R. 0.,
Goodlove, Mrs. William,
Coral Gables (P)
Gordon, Mr. & Mrs. Howard,
Coral Gables (P)
Gorman, Ms. Sharon,
Pompano Beach (D)
Gorman, Mr. & Mrs. William
C., Coral Gables (D)
Gottlieb, Julie, Miami (P)
Gould, Patricia Lammus,
Gowin, Dr. & Mrs. Thomas
Skaggs, Miami (Sp)
Goza,William M., Clearwater
Grafton, Mr. & Mrs. Edward,
Coral Gables (C)
Graham Foundation (B)
Graham, D. Robert, Miami
Graham, Dorothy W., Miami
Graham, Mr. & Mrs. William
C., Miami Lakes (D)
Grant, Mrs. Hazel Reeves,
Green,Mrs. Lonsdale B.,
Miami Beach (P)
Green, Lynda, Key Biscayne
Green, Margie, Miami (P)
Greenan, Mr. & Mrs. Gary,
Greer, Mr. & Mrs. Alan, Coral
Griley, Victor P., Jr., Miami
Grose, Esther N., Miami (P)
Gross, Dr. Zade Bernard,
MacKay, Coral Gables (P)
Gubbins, John M., North
Gulfstream Park, Hallandale
Haas, Mr. & Mrs. Ronald,
Coral Gables (P)
Hamilton, Mr. & Mrs.
Clinton, Miami (D)
List of Members 87
Hammond, Betty A., Miami
Hampton, Mrs. John,
Baltimore, MD (P)
Hancock, Eleanor Stone,
Hancock, Eugene A., Jr.,
Hancock, Mrs. James T.,
Jacksonville Beach (P)
Hannau, Dr. Hans & Use,
Miami Beach (D)
Hardie, George B., Jr., South
Hardin, Henry C., Jr., M.D.,
Coral Gables (D)
Harding, Mrs. Henry K.,
Ocean Ridge (P)
Harper, Florence F, Miami (P)
Harrington, Frederick H.,
Harris, Robert, Miami (P)
Harrison, Mrs. Crutcher
Field, Miami (D)
Harrison, John C., Miami (L)
Harrison,Mr. & Mrs. JohnC.,
Jr., Coral Gables (D)
Harrison, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph
R., Jr., Miami (D)
Harrison, Mr. & Mrs. M. R.,
Jr., Miami (D)
Harrison, Mr. & Mrs. Peter,
Harvard College Library,
Cambridge, MA (Sb)
Harwood, Mrs. Manton E.,
Coral Gables (P)
Hatfield, Bruce, Baton Rouge,
Hatfield, Mr. & Mrs. M. H.,
North Miami (D)
Hauser, Mr. & Mrs. Leo A.,
Carrollton, GA (P)
*Rutherford B. Hayes
Library, Freemont, OH
Heatley, Mrs. Timothy K.,
South Miami (P)
Hebrew Academy Elementary
Media Center, Miami
Hebrew Academy PTA,
Miami Beach (P)
Hector, Louis J., Miami (D)
Hector, Mr, & Mrs. Robert C.,
Coral Gables (P)
Hector, Mrs. Robert C., Jr.,
Heinl, Mrs. J. L., III, Miami
Hencenski, Marcia H., Coral
Hendry, Judge Norman,
Hennington, Annie Ruth,
*Herin, Thomas D., Miami
*Herin, Judge William A.,
Herreshoff, Mrs. Rebecca,
Hialeah, Library (Sb)
Hibbard, R. W., Miami (P)
Hicks, Mr. & Mrs. Donald,
Coral Gables (D)
Hicks, William M., Miami (D)
Hiers, J. B., Jr., Miami (P)
Highleyman, Daly, Miami (D)
Highleyman, Katherine D.,
Hildreth, Robert R., Coral
Hill, Herbert, Miami (P)
Hillbauer, Mrs. William C.,
Sr., Miami (P)
Hillbauer, Dr. & Mrs. Wm. C.
Jr., Miami (D)
Hills, Lee, Miami (D)
Historical Society of Palm
Beach County (Sb)
Hictoric Key West
Preservation Board (Sb)
Hodsden, Mrs. Harry E.,
Hoeffel, Mrs. Kenneth, Chevy
Chase, MD (D)
Hoehl, Mr. & Mrs. John R.,
Hoffman, Nancy, Miami (P)
Hofstetter, Mrs. Ronald,
Hogan, Mrs. Thomas D., Ill,
Holcomb, Lyle D., Jr., Coral
Holmberg, Rowland, Miami
Holsenbeck, Mrs. J. M.,
Hoskins, Mrs. Eddie, Miami
Hotelerama Associates Ltd.,
Miami Beach (D)
Houser, Roosevelt C., Coral
Howard, Emily P., Miami (P)
Howe, Mrs. Elden L., Coral
Howell, Mrs. Roland M.,
Hoyt, Robert L., Miami (P)
Hudson, Mr. & Mrs. James
A., Ashville, NC (P)
Hughes, Kenneth, Miami (P)
Hume, Mrs. Charles Lea,
Coral Gables (P)
Hume, David, Miami (D)
Henry E. Huntington Library
& Art Gallery, San Marino,
Huston, Mrs. Tom, Coral
Hutchens, Paul, Boca Raton
Hutchinson, Mrs. Robert,
Coral Gables (P)
Indian River Community
College, Fort Pierce (Sb)
Jackson, Mr. & Mrs. F C.,
James, Carolyne, Miami (P)
James, Mary Crofts, Miami
Johnson, David W., Miami (P)
Johnson, Frederick L., Miami
Johnson, Jane M., Miami (P)
Johnson, Mrs. Myron A. C.,
Johnson, S. H., M.D., Miami
Johnson, Mrs. Westerdahl,
Johnson, Whittington B..,
Johnston, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas
McE., Coral Gables (D)
Jones, A. Tillman, Naranja (P)
Jones, Mrs. Edgar Jr., Coral
Jones, Marie M., Miami (P)
Jones, Thompson V., Miami
Jordan, Mrs. June, Miami (P)
Joyce, Hortense H., Coral
Jude, Dr. James R., Coral
Junck, Mary, Miami (P)
Junkin, Mr. & Mrs. John E.,
III, Coral Gables (D)
Junkin, Mrs. Stella B.,
Jureit, Mrs. L. E., Coral
Kammer, Mrs. Barbara,
Kanner, Mr. & Mrs. Lewis
M., Coral Gables (C)
Kattel, G. Edward, Key
Kaufman, Barbara J., Miami
Keep, Oscar J., Key Largo (P)
Keith, Mr. William V., Ft.
Kelley, John B., Miami (D)
Kellner, Mr. & Mrs. Stewart,
Coral Gables (C)
Kelly, Mr. & Mrs. J. Terrance,
Coral Gables (D)
Kelly, Mr. & Mrs. Loyd G.,
Kelly, Minnie Pierce, Miami
Kemper, Marlyn, Ft.
Kenner, Mrs. Maynard, Coral
Kent, Mrs. Frederick A.,
Coral Gables (D)
Kent, Olga, Coral Gables (P)
Kem, Joe E., Palm Beach (P)
Key West Art & Historical
Kimen, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas,
Jr., Key Biscayne (D)
Kincaid, Gretchen Hand,
Kinsman, George, Miami
Kislak, Jay I., Miami (D)
Kistler, Robert S., Miami (D)
Kleinman, Lou & Joni, Miami
Knight, Mrs. Annie, Miami
Knight, John S., Miami (D)
Kniskern, Kenneth E, Miami
Knott, Judge James R. (ret.),
West Palm Beach (P)
Knotts, Tom, Yankeetown (P)
Kobelin, Joel, Miami (P)
Koger, Grace D.,
Moundridge, KS (P)
Kollish, Mrs. Joseph M.,
Kononoff, Hazel N., Miami
Korray, Mary E., North Miami
Kramer, Ms. Judi, Miami (P)
Kunde, Mr. & Mrs. George,
LaBarbera, Vincent E, Miami
LaCroix, Mrs. Aerial C.,
Lake Worth Public Library
Langley, Wright, Key West (P)
Larkin, Mrs. Daniel F, Coral
LaRoue, Samuel D. Jr.,
Larrabee, Charles, Jr., Miami
Lassman, Mrs. Harold, Miami
Laxson, Dan D., Hialeah (P)
* Leary, Lewis, Chapel Hill,
Leenhouts, Laura N., Miami
Lehman, Js. Joan, Dania (P)
Lehman, Richard L., Dania
Leigh, Mrs. Charles N., Coral
Lenssen, Mrs. I. M., Miami
*Leonardy, Dr. Herberta,
Leslie, Mr. & Mrs. Richard
M., Coral Gables (D)
Lewin, Robert, North Miami
Library of Florida History,
Licht, Dr. Sidney, Coral
Liles, Debra J., Coral Gables
Lindgren, Mrs. M. E., Miami
Lindsey, James B., Miami (P)
Lindsley, Mrs. A. R., Miami
Linehan, Mrs. John, Lantana
Link, E. A., Ft. Pierce (D)
Lipp, Morris N., Miami Beach
Lippert, W. K., Miami (P)
Lipsky, Bernie & Terry, Miami
Livingston, Mr. & Mrs.
Robert, Miami (D)
Lloyd, J. Harlan, Miami (P)
Lomax, Alice, Coral Gables
Longshore, Frank, Miami (D)
Lowell, Mr. & Mrs. John, Jr.,
Society, Jupiter (Sb)
Lummus,J. N., Jr., Miami (D)
Lunsford, Dr. & Mrs. E. C.,
Coral Gables (D)
Lynch, Mr. & Mrs. Stephen
A., III, Coral Gables (D)
Lyons, Eugene, Vero Beach
Mac Intyre, Mr. & Mrs. A. C.,
McAdam, Joanne F, Bal
McAliley, Mr. & Mrs.Thomas
W., Miami (P)
McCabe, Dr. & Mrs. Robert
H., Coral Gables (D)
McCall, Mrs. Howard, Boca
McClelland, Richard P.,
McCorquodale, Mrs. Donald,
Jr., Miami (D)
McCreary, Ms. Jane, Coral
McCrimmon, C.T., South
McGrourty, Kam, Miami (P)
McIntyre, Patricia C., Miami
McKay, John G., Jr., Key
McKeller, Mrs. James D.,
McKenna, Mrs. R. A., Coral
McKey,Mrs. R. M., Coral
McLean, Lenore, Miami (P)
McNaughton, M. D., Miami
McNaughton, Dr. & Mrs.
Robert A., Miami (P)
McNeill, Robert E., Jr.,
List of Members 89
Mahoney, L. T. Jr., Miami (P)
Malafronte, Anthony F,
Malcomb, Mr. & Mrs. John,
Coral Gables (D)
Malone, Randolph A., Coral
Maltby, Mr. & Mrs. L. A.,
Mangels, Dr. Celia C., Miami
Mangum, Mr. & Mrs. A. C.,
Jr., Coral Gables (C)
Mank, Mr. & Mrs. Philip J.,
Sr., Little Switzerland, NC
Mank, Mr. Philip J., Jr., Vero
Mank, Mr. & Mrs. R. Layton,
Coral Gables (Sp)
Manley, Miss Marion I, Miami
Manley, Mr. & Mrs. Robert,
Manly, Grace, Miami (P)
Manning, Mr. & Mrs. J.,
Rosevile, MI (P)
March, Mrs. John, Miami (P)
Marks, Henry S., Huntsville,
Marks, Mr. & Mrs. Paul,
Coral Gables (D)
Martin County Public Library,
Martin, James O., Miami (D)
Martin, Mrs. Kirby A., New
York, NY (D)
Martin, Mrs. Sylva G., South
Mason, Mrs. Joe J., Coral
Matheson, Mr. & Mrs. Finlay
B., Miami (D)
Matheson, Mr. & Mrs. Finlay
L., South Miami (D)
Matheson, James, West Palm
Matheson, Mrs. Michael,
Matheson, R. Hardy, Coral
Matthews, Janet, Sarasota (P)
Mattucci, Mr. Donald,
Matusek, Mrs. Virginia G.,
Maxted, F. J., Jr., Coral
Mead, D. Richard, Miami (D)
Mercer, Mattie J., Miami (P)
Mercy College Library, Miami
*Merrick, Mrs. Eunice P.,
Coral Gables (P)
Merritt, Mrs. Ward, Miami (P)
Mesnekoff, Mr. & Mrs.
David, Miami (C)
Metz, Martha J., North Miami
Miami Central Sr. High
School, Miami (Sb)
Miami Dade Community
College, South, (Sb)
*Miami Public Library, Miami
The Miami Times, Miami (Sb)
Library, Miami (Sb)
Millar, Mrs. Gavin S., Key
Millar, Gloria A., Miami (P)
Millege, Sarah E, Miami (P)
Miller, Miss Bessie, South
Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Dale,
Miller, Mr. & Mrs. Dean R.,
Miller, Mr. William Jay, Key
Minear, Mrs. L. V., Jupiter (P)
Mincy, Mrs. Evlyne, Miami
Mitman, Earl T., Miami (D)
Mizrach, Mr. Larry, Miami
Molinari, Dr. & Mrs. Robert
L., Key Biscayne (D)
Monk, J. Floyd, Miami (P)
Monroe County Public
Library, Key West (Sb)
Montague, Mrs. Charles H.,
North Miami (D)
Monticno, Mrs. Alma, Miami
Moore, Mrs. Jack, North
Moore, Mrs. Lewis, North
Mordant, Mr. & Mrs. Hal,
Coral Gables (D)
Morgan, Betty, Miami (P)
International Bank, Miami
Morris, Mr. & Mrs. C. C.,
Morris, Ms. Thomasine,
Morris, Mr. & Mrs. W. J.,
Coral Gables (P)
Moure, Mrs. Edwin P, Coral
Moylan, E. B., Jr., Miami (P)
Mudd, Dr. Richard D.,
Saginaw, MI (P)
Meuller, Edward A.,
Muir, William T., Miami (P)
Muir, Mr. & Mrs. William
Whalley, Miami (D)
Muller, David E, Miami (P)
Mullins, Joan, Miami (D)
Munroe, Mr. & Mrs. Charles
P., South Miami (D)
Munroe, Mrs. Wirth M.,
Murray, Barbara, Miami (P)
Murray, Miss Mary Ruth,
Coral Gables (D)
Mustard, Alice Isabel, Coral
Mustard, Margaret Jean, Coral
Nance, Judge Clayton, Ft.
Napier, Mr. & Mrs. Harvey,
Coral Gables (D)
National Railroad Historical
Society, Miami Chapter
Nelson, Mr. & Mrs. David,
Coral Gables (D)
Nelson, Theodore R., Miami
Nettleton, Danforth H.,
Newberry Library, Chicago,
Newell, Ms. Barbara T.,
Nicholson, Mr. Don G.,
Nimnicht, Helen, Tallahassee
Nimnicht, Mary Jo, Miami (P)
Nolan, Mr. & Mrs. Vincent
B., Miami (D)
Nordt, Mr. & Mrs. John C.,
Norman, Dr. & Mrs. Harold
G., Jr., Coral Gables (D)
Old Island Restoration
Foundation, Key West (P)
Oliver, Dr. & Mrs. RobertM.,
Jr., Key Biscayne (D)
Olson, Mr. Arthur H., Jupiter
Omni International of Miami
Oren, Dr. & Mrs. Benjamin
G., Miami (P)
Orlando Public Library (Sb)
Orseck, Mrs. Robert, North
Miami Beach (C)
O'Steen, Mrs. Edna, Miami
Ostrenko, Witold, Jr., Miami
Oswald, Mrs. M. J., Miami
Otto, Mrs. Thomas Osgood,
Coral Gables (P)
Outlaw, Mrs. Grace, Miami
Overstreet, Estelle C., Miami
Owens, Mrs. Bradley, Miami
Padgett, Inman, Coral Gables
Pancoast, Alice A., Miami (P)
Pancoast, John Arthur,
Pompano Beach (P)
Pancoast, Katherine French,
Pancoast, Mr. & Mrs. Lester
C., Miami (D)
Pancoast, Peter Russell,
Pappas,Ted & Cal, Miami
Pardo, Mrs. Ramiro V.,
Pardue, Leonard G., Miami
Parker, Alfred B., Miami (P)
Parker, Robin E., Miami (P)
Parks, Merle, Miami (P)
Parks, Mr. & Mrs. Robert L.,
Coral Gables (B)
Pames, Dr. & Mrs. Edmund
I., Miami (D)
Patton, Mrs. Dan 0., Miami
Pawley, Anita, Coral Gables
Payne, Mrs. R. W., Jr., Coral
Peacock, Mrs. Albert, Jr.,
Peacock, Arthur, Jr., Miami
Peacock Foundation, Miami
Peacock, Mr. & Mrs.
Lawrence, Miami (D)
Peacock, Mr. R. C., Miami
Pearce, Mrs. A. Dixon, Miami
Pearce, Dr. Frank H., Coral
Pearson, Mr. Wilbur, Miami
Peckham, Mr. & Mrs.
George, Miami (D)
Pederson, Phillip F, Miami
Peeler, Miss Elizabeth, Coral
Peeples, Vernon, Punta Gorda
Pepper, Senator Claude,
Miami Beach (D)
Perkins, Mr. & Mrs. Daniel
L., Miami (D)
Perkins, Linda C., Miami (P)
Pemer, Mrs. Henry, Hialeah
Pero, Joseph H., Jr., Miami
Perry, Roy A., Miami (P)
Peters, Gordon H., Miami
Peters, John S., Orlando (P)
Peters, John S., Orlando (P)
*Peters, Dr. Thelma, Coral
Peters, Mrs. Wirt, Coral
Peterson, Mr. & Mrs. Albert,
Coral Gables (D)
Peterson, Stuart J., Biscayne
Petrey, Lucy W., Coral Gables
Pettigrew, Richard A.,
Bethesda,, MD (D)
Pfaff, Robert M., Miami (P)
Pfleger, Mr. H. S., Jr., Miami
Philbrick, W. L. Coral Gables
Pichel, Mrs. Clem A., Key
Pierce, Mrs. J. B., Jr., Miami
Pierce, J. E., Miami (D)
Pimm, Mr. & Mrs. Gordon,
Coral Gables (D)
Pinellas County Historical
Museum, Largo (Sb)
Pirie, Mrs. L. M., Miami (P)
Plimpton, Colonel John A.,
Juno Beach (P)
Plummer, Richard B., Miami
Poole, John Lindsley, Miami
Post, Howard M., Miami
Potter, Robert E., Clearwater
Potts, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph,
Potts, Roy V., Miami (P)
Prahl, William, Miami (P)
Preston, J. E., Coral Gables
Proby, Mrs. Lucien, Jr.,
Proenza, Mrs. Morris G.,
Provenza, Dr. Eugene, Miami
Pruitt, Mr. Peter T., Miami (D)
Prunty, Mr. & Mrs. John W.,
Purvis, Mrs. Hugh F., Coral
Quarles, Julian, South Miami
Quesenberry, William F.,
Coral Gabes (D),
Quillian, Dr. Warren Il, Coral
Quinton, Mr. & Mrs. A. E.,
Jr., Miami (D)
Ransom Everglades School,
Rappaport, Edward, Coral
Rash, Mrs. Harold H., Coral
Rasmussen, Geraldine, Ft.
*Rast, Mrs. J. Lawton, Miami
Rast, J. Lawton, Miami (D)
Ratner, Mr. Nat, Miami Beach
Read, Mrs. Albert Cushing,
List of Members 91
Redmon, Trish, Miami
Reed, Miss Elizabeth Ann,
Ocean Ridge (P)
Reed, Richard, Miami (P)
Reid, Dr. & Mrs. Edward L.,
Coral Gables (D)
Reinhardt, Miss Blanche E.,
Renick, Ralph, Miami (P)
Rennell, Dr. & Mrs. Phillip,
Reno, Mrs. Jane, Miami (D)
Reno, Attorney Janet, Miami
Resnick, Larry, Miami (P)
Rice, Sister Eileen, O.P.,
Rice, Mr. & Mrs. Ralph E.,
Key Biscayne (D)
Rice, R. H., Jr., South Miami
Rich, Harry, Miami (B)
Rich, Louise, Miami (D)
Richmond Heights Junior
High School, Miami (Sb)
Rieder, Mrs. William Dustin,
Rieder, W. Thomas, Miami (P)
Riley, Sandra, South Miami
Rivas, Mrs. Mary Jane Tigert,
Rivera, Leslie, Miami (P)
Riviera Beach Public Library
Robbins, Charlene, Coral
Robbins, Mrs. Lawrence J.,
Robbins, Mr. & Mrs. William
R., Jr., Miami (D)
Roberts, Richard E., Hobe
Robson, Mr. & Mrs. Harman
C., Miami (P)
Roca, Pedro L., Miami
Rodgers, John II1, Miami (D)
Rogers, Mrs. Charles 0.,
Rogers, Mrs. Walter S. C.,
Coral Gables (P)
Roller, Mrs. Phillip, Coral
Rollins College, Winter Park
Rosborough, Dr. Melanie R.,
Rosendorf, Mr. & Mrs.
Howard S., Coral Gables
Rosinek, Jeff, Miami (D)
Ross, Mrs. Richard F, Delray
Ross, Rosita, Miami (P)
Ross, Mrs. Stanley E., Coral
Rothra, Mrs. Elizabeth,
Rowell, Donald, Miami (P)
Russell, Ms. Darlene, Miami
Russell, George, Coral Gables
Russell, Sabrina, Miami (P)
Russell, T. Trip, Miami (P)
Ryan, Mrs. J. H., Miami
Ryder, Mr. Ralph, Miami (L)
Ryder Systems Inc., Miami
Ryscamp, Mr. & Mrs.
Kenneth L., Miami (D)
Sacher, Mr. & Mrs. Charles
P., Miami (D)
Sadler, Margaret A., Miami
St. Lucie County Museum, Ft.
Samet, Alvin M., Miami (D)
Samet, Barbara J., Miami (P)
Sander, John, Surfside (P)
Sands, Harry B., Nassau,
Sawyer, Viola, Miami (P)
Scarborough, Mrs. Chaffee,
Schafer, Mr. & Mrs. George,
Coral Gables (P)
Schelberg, Mrs. Richard,
Schley, Reverend Joseph, Jr.,
Schober, Warren, Miami (P)
Schuh, Niles, Panama City (P)
Schultz, Mrs. Lenore, Coral
Schwartz, Judge & Mrs. Alan,
Schwomeyer, Mrs. Ann,
Selby Public Library, Sarasota
Seley, Ray B. Jr., Miami (P)
Serkin, Manuel, Coral Gables
Sharer, Cyrus J., Rosemont,
Sharp, Harry Carter, Miami
Shaw, Henry Overstreet, Coral
*Shaw, Dr. Luelle, Coral
Shaw, Mrs. W. F., South
Shearston, Evelyn R., Miami
Shearston, Misses Helen &
Alice, Miami (P)
Sherman, Mrs. Ethel
Weatherly, Miami (P)
Sherman, John S., Jr., Vero
Sherman, Virginia C., Coral
Shipley, Mr. & Mrs. Vergil,
Coral Gables (D)
Shiver, Otis W., Miami (P)
Shiverick, Mrs. Thomas,
Sibert, Mr. J. D., Miami (D)
Simmonite, Col. Henry G.,
Coral Gables (P)
Simmons, Mr. & Mrs. Glen,
Simms, John G., Jr., Miami
Simon, Mr. & Mrs. Edwin 0.,
Sisselman, Mr. & Mrs,
Murray, North Miami
Skelly, Charles W., Cocoa (P)
Skigen, Dr. & Mrs. Jack,
Slack, Mrs.Ted C., Miami (D)
Slesnick, Mr. & Mrs. Donald,
Coral Gables (D)
Smathers, Frank, Jr., Miami
Smiley, Dr. & Mrs. Karl,
Smiley, Nixon, Miami (P)
Smith, Mrs. Avery C., Jr.,
Smith, Mr. & Mrs. John E.,
Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Linton,
Smith, McGregor, Miami (D)
Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Robert L.,
Smith, Walter P., Miami (P)
Smith, Mr. & Mrs. William
Burford, Miami (D)
Smyser, Michael L., Miami
Snare, Rose Tower, Miami (P)
Snodgrass, Miss Dena,
Snyder, Mrs. Frederick R.,
Sottile, Mr. & Mrs. William,
Coral Gables (C)
Southeast First National Bank
of Miami (B)
Southern Bell Tel. & Tel. Co.,
Southern Illinois University,
Carbondale, IL (Sb)
South Florida Growers
Association, Goulds (D)
Souviron, Dr. R. R., Coral
Spach, Helen Keeler, Miami
*Spinks, Mrs. Elizabeth,
Stafford, Robert C., Miami
Stamey, Ernest M., Hialeah
Slanbach, James C.,
Alexandria, VA (P)
Stanford, Dr. Henry King,
Coral Gables (D)
Stanford University Library,
Statewide Appraisal Services,
Coral Gables (P)
Steams, Frank F, Miami (D)
Steams, Mrs. R. M., Miami
Steel, William C., Miami (D)
Stephens, RADM 1. J., (ret)
Stetson University, Deland
Stevens, Mrs. Elizabeth,
Stevens, Major (ret) & Mrs.
George, Miami (C)
Stevens, Mr. & Mrs. Jack,
Stewart, Mr. & Mrs. Chester
B., Miami (D)
Stewart, Dr. Harris B., Jr.,
Coral Gables (P)
"Stiles, Wade, Palm City (P)
Stimson, Mrs. Miriam M.,
Stokes, Thomas J., Coral
Stone, Mrs. A. J., Miami (P)
Stone, Gary, Miami (P)
Straight, Dr. & Mrs. Jacob,
Straight, Dr. William M.,
Stripling, John R., Miami
Sullivan, Catherine B., Bal
Sutcliffe, William H., Coral
Sutton, Mrs. Norman E.,
Sweeney, Mrs. Edward C.,
Sweet, George H., Miami (D)
Swenson, Dr. & Mrs. E C.,
Coral Gables (D)
Syskind, Mr. & Mrs. Eric,
Tampa Public Library (Sb)
Tardif, Robert G., Coral
Tartak, Mr. & Mrs. N., Coral
Tashiro, Joe, North Miami
Taylor, Mrs. F. A. S., Miami
Taylor, Henry H., Jr., Miami
Taylor, Mrs. Nina, Coral
Teasley, T. H., Coral Gables
*Tebeau, Dr. Charlton W.,
Springfield, GA (HL)
Tebeau, Mrs. Violet H.,
Springfield, GA (C)
Telleria, John Michael, Ill,
Tennessee State Library &
Archives, Nashville, TN
Tennis, Mrs. Ann, Miami (P)
*Tharp, Dr. Charles Doren,
South Miami (P)
Thatcher, John, Miami (P)
Theobold, Elizabeth Dillion,
Thomas, Mr. & Mrs. Lowell,
Thomas, Wayne, Tampa (P)
Thomas,W. Donald, Coral
Thompson, Mr. & Mrs.
Jonathan Miami (D)
Thompson, Mrs. Roberti,
Securities, Miami (Sp)
Thomson, Mrs. Parker, Coral
Thorn, Dale A., Miami (P)
Thorpe, Fran Hutchings,
Thrift, Dr. CharlesT., Jr.,
Todd, Eva, Miami (Ss)
Tongay,Mrs. Betty, Miami (P)
Tottenhoff, Mrs. J. R., Coral
Town, Miss Eleanor E, Coral
Trachman, Pamela B., Miami
Trager, Mr. Joe, Miami (P)
Tractr,Mrs. ZillaP., Miami (P)
Trammell, Mr. & Mrs.
Wilson, Miami (D)
Tranchida, Michael A., North
Traurig, Robert, Miami (B)
Tribble, Byrd B., Miami (D)
Truby, Ms. Ann, Miami (P)
ITurner, Mrs. Lawrence 0., Jr.,
Twing, G. S., Coral Gables
University of Iowa, Iowa City,
University of Miami, Coral
University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA (Sb)
University of South Florida,
University of West Florida,
Upshaw, Mrs. Florence Akin,
Valdex-Fauli, Mr. & Mrs.
Raul,Coral Gables (D>
Van Buren, Michael,
*Vance, Mrs. Herbert 0.,
Coral Gables (Sp)
Van Denend, Mrs. Herbert,
Hawthorne, NJ (D)
List of Members 93
Van Orsdel, C. D., Coral
Vasquez-Bello, Clemente L.,
Veber, Jean Thomas, South
Vergara, Dr. & Mrs. George,
The Villagers, Coral Gables
Wakeman, Mrs. Charles H.,
Jr., Miami (P)
Waldberg, Mr. & Mrs. Abbott
J., Miami (D)
Waldorf, Ms. Robin, Coral
Waldron, Mr. & Mrs. Edward
J., Coral Gables (D)
Walker, Mr. & Mrs. Charles
H., North Miami (D)
Walker, Evan B., Miami (P)
Walker, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas
B., Coral Gables (D)
Ware, Mrs. John D.,Tampa
Washington Federal Savings
& Loan Association,
Miami Beach (C)
Waters, Fred M., Jr., Coral
Waters, Reginald V., Stuart
Watson, Ms. Amber, Fort
Myers Beach (P)
Watson, Miss Hattie, Miami
Weiland, Arthur H., Miami
Weinkle, Julian T., Coral
Weinreb, Ann Henry, Miami
Weintraub, Mrs. Sidney,
Weissenborn, Mr. & Mrs.
Lee, North Miami Beach
Weldon, Mr. & Mrs.
Malcolm, Coral Gables
Welsh, Mrs. C. Harding,
Coral Gables (P)
Wenck, James H., Miami (D)
Wepman, Warren S., Miami
Werson, William, Miami (P)
West, Mr. & Mrs. Everett G.,
Ft. Lauderdale (D)
West, Ms. Patsy, Clearwater
West Palm Beach Public
Whigham, Mrs. Florence R.,
White, Richard M., Miami
White, Mr. & Mrs. Robert E.,
Coral Gables (D)
Whitlock, Mary, Coral Gables
Whitmer, Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth
S., Miami (P)
Whittelsey, Katharine, Miami
Whitten, George E., Miami
Wilkins, Woodrow Wilson,
Wilkinson, Lawrence S.,
Miami Beach (P)
Willey, Reverend Seaver A.,
Williams, Freeman J., Miami
Williams, Gordon L., Miami
Williams, Mark C., North
Miami Beach (P)
Wilson, Mrs. Gaines R.,
Wilson, Nell G., Black
Mountain, NC (Sp)
*Wilson, Peyton L., Miami
Wilson, Robert L., Miami (P)
Wimbish, Paul, Miami Beach
Winebrenner, L. M., Opa
Winkelman, Mr. Nikola J.,
Wipprecht, Mrs. Marion,
Coral Gables (D)
Wirkus, Mr. & Mrs. Leonard
V., Miami (D)
Wisconsin State Historical
Society, Madison, WI (Sb)
Withers, James G., Coral
Withers Van Line of Miami,
Withers, Wayne E., Coral
Wolf, Mr. & Mrs. Gerald L.,
Wolfe, Miss Rosalie, Miami
Wolfe, Thomas L., Coral
Wolfson, Col. Mitchell,
Woodruff, Mrs. W. J., Miami
Woods, Dr. & Mrs. Frank M.,
*Woore, Mrs. A. Meredith,
Wooten,Mr. &Mrs. James S.,
Wright, Mrs. Edward, Miami
Wright, Dr. lone S., Miami
Wright, Janel, Coral Gables
Wulf, Karline, Miami (D)
Yelen, Bruce, Miami (D)
Young, Mary E., Jupiter (P)
Young, Montgomery L.,
Zeller, Mrs. Leila, Miami (P)
Zimmerman, Mr. & Mrs.
Louis, Miami Shores (P)
Zwerner, Mrs. Carl, Miami