BY SILVIA SUNSHINE.
A FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION
OF THE 1880 EDITION
INTRODUCTION AND INDEX
BY Richard A. Martin.
A University of Florida Book.
The University Presses of Florida.
THE BICENTENNIAL FLORIDIANA FACSIMILE SERIES published under the sponsorship of the
BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION OF FLORIDA,
SAMUEL PROCTOR, General Editor.
A FACSIMILE REPRODUCTION OF THE 1880 EDITION WITH PREFATORY MATERIAL, INTRODUCTION, AND INDEx ADDED.
NEW MATERIAL COPYRIGHT @ 1976
BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA.
All rights reserved.
PRINTED IN FLORIDA.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Brooks, Abbie M.
Petals plucked from sunny climes.
(Bicentennial Floridiana facsimile series)
"A University of Florida book."
Photoreprint ed. of the ed. printed for the author by Southern Methodist Pub. House, Nashville.
Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
1. Florida-Description and travel-1865-1950.
2. Cuba-Description and travel. I. Title. II. Series. F316.B872 1976 917.59'04'6 76-10700 ISBN 0-8130-0414-4
Governor Reubin O'D. Askew, Honorary Chairman Lieutenant Governor J. H. Williams, Chairman Harold W. Stayman, Jr., Vice Chairman William R. Adams, Executive Director
Dick J. Batchelor, Orlando Johnnie Ruth Clarke, St. Petersburg A. H. "Gus" Craig, St. Augustine James J. Gardener, Fort Lauderdale Jim Glisson, Tavares Mattox Hair, Jacksonville Thomas L. Hazouri, Jacksonville Ney C. Landrum, Tallahassee Mrs. Raymond Mason, Jacksonville Carl C. Mertins, Jr., Pensacola Charles E. Perry, Miami W. E. Potter, Orlando F. Blair Reeves, Gainesville Richard R. Renick, Coral Gables Jane W. Robinson, Cocoa Mrs. Robert L. Shevin, Tallahassee Don Shoemaker, Miami Mary L. Singleton, Jacksonville Bruce A. Smathers, Tallahassee Alan Trask, Fort Meade
vi Bicentennial Commission.
Edward J. Trombetta, Tallahassee Ralph D. Turlington, Tallahassee William S. Turnbull, Orlando Robert Williams, Tallahassee Lori Wilson, Merritt Island
GENERAL EDITOR'S PREFACE.
A NONYMITY seems to have been almost a fetish
with Abbie M. Brooks, alias Silvia Sunshine, authoress of Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, which is being published as one of the volumes in the Bicentennial Floridiana Facsimile Series. So complete is the mystery of her background and the incidents of her life, that Richard A. Martin, who has written the introduction to this facsimile edition, after much diligent research was able to find almost nothing at all about Abbie M. Brooks. It is not known whether she was a professional writer or a journalist, where she was born, or anything about her education or her personal life. The wall of mystery which she built in the nineteenth century remains intact to the present time. That she was something of a traveler is suggested by her writing; she obviously spent time both in Cuba and in Spain. She worked in the Archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain, where she studied original documents covering Florida history from the 1500s to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Assisted by an archives employee, she translated many of these documents, and later published some of these in a book entitled The Unwritten History of Old St. Augustine. Many of Miss Brooks' original transcripts are in the Library of Congress.
Obviously Abbie Brooks lived and worked in Florida, and traveled throughout the state. How else could sbe have written a travel book as comprehensive as Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes without having visited the scenes which she describes? She could not have written so personally about people without observation. Petals conducts the reader on a tour of Florida, from Fernandina south to Key West, and then along the Gulf Coast into the Florida Panhandle and on to Pensacola. Miss Brooks obviously had charted this route herself. How she traveled or when is not known. Whether it was one continuous trip, or whether she had visited different places at different times is not revealed. There is no mystery about the fact that Miss Brooks saw the places which she describes, and she observed the people whom she writes about. She had an eye for the colorful and the unusual; she visited out-of-the-way places like cracker cabins and a cigar factory in Key West; she obviously had sailed on an Oklawaha River steamboat. Miss Brooks lived for a time in St. Augustine; her book is filled with many descriptive passages of that ancient city.
If we do not know very much of Miss Brooks as a person, we do know her as a writer. In his introduction, Richard Martin notes, "though she does not always wield an incisive pen, she frequently demonstrates a journalist's mastery for observing detail and communicating the sense of it with a minimum of words." According to him, Petals has Oct enduring value"; Martin ranks it "among the classics of its kind in Florida literature.*"' It was one of the many travel books about Florida published during the second half of the nineteenth century, particularly
in the years after the Civil War. The New South had come into being during the postwar era. This was also the time when Florida was "rediscovered." The new discoverers were for the most part wealthy northerners who looked upon Florida as a new kind of Eden-sunshiny days, blue skies, tropical fruits and flowers, white sand beaches, and lush scenery. Even before the Civil War, at a time when tuberculosis and consumption claimed many lives, affluent northerners came to Florida, hoping to regain their health and prolong their lives. Jacksonville and St. Augustine were the Meccas for these visitors.
Celebrities like Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Presidents Chester Arthur and Grover Cleveland toured Florida. Harriet Beecher Stowe lived with her family in Mandarin on the St. Johns River, not far from Jacksonville, and she described the years in Florida as among the happiest of her life. Later, millionaires like Henry Morrison Flagler, using both wealth and creative genius, built great resorts like Palm Beach, with lavish hotels and private residences for visitors. Travel and guide books were in demand. Some, such as Florida: Its Scenery, Climate, and History, by Sidney Lanier, were commissioned by a railroad. Others, like Rufus King Sewall's Sketches of St. Augustine, were subsidized by owners of popular tourist hotels. Besides the railroad companies, promoters, and developers, who sent out printed matter designed to sell land to prospective settlers, many books, such as Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, appeared under private auspices. Interest in Florida was widespread and growing, and the sales of these books, pamphlets, and descriptive articles were
good. Americans had expressed a curiosity about Florida; writers like Abbie Brooks helped to fulfill that need.
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes is one of the twentyfive, rare, out-of-print volumes being republished by the Florida Bicentennial Commission. This series of facsimiles, covering all periods of Florida's long and rich history, is part of the Commission's research and publications program. Each of the facsimile volumes includes an introduction written by a well-known authority in Florida history. These facsimiles, published by the University Presses of Florida, Gainesville, are available at moderate prices for libraries, scholars, researchers, and all those interested in Florida's past.
The twenty-seven-member Florida Bicentennial Commission was created by the state legislature in 1970 to plan Florida's participation in the celebration of the two hundredth anniversary of the American Revolution. Governor Reubin O'D. Askew serves as honorary chairman of the Commission. Members of the legislature, representatives of state agencies, and ten public members appointed by the governor make up the Commission. Executive offices are in Tallahassee.
Richard A. Martin, a native of New York, was a graduate of the University of Florida and a former teacher in Marion County public schools. He has written several books on Jacksonville and Florida. These include The City Makers; St. Luke's Hospital: A Century of Service; Eternal Spring: Man's 10,000 Years of History at Florida's Silver Springs; and Consolidation: JacksonvilleDuval County: The Dynamics of Urban Political Reform.
He edited the University of Florida'50s quadricentennial
Pref ace. xi
edition of T. Frederick Davis' History of Jacksonville. He recently completed a history of Jacksonville in the antebellum and Civil War period. Mr. Martin's articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and professional and scholarly journals. He was- the recipient, in 1974, of the Arthur W. Thompson Memorial Prize in Florida history for an article on Jacksonville during the Civil War, published that year in the Florida Historical Quarterly.
General Editor of the
University of Florida.
A MONG the many travel books written about Florida in the decades immediately following the Civil War, Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes is perhaps one of the most unusual, both for its own sake and for what it tells us about its mysterious author, Miss Abbie M. Brooks, who attempted to conceal her'identity behind the pseudonym of Silvia Sunshine. This clearly tonguein-cheek pen name might seem appropriate for a book of this kind, but it also is likely that Miss Brooks used it for serious reasons of her own related to a love of anonymity that continues to protect her privacy even to this day. Consequently, although this volume should be regarded on its own merit as a delightful and informative reading experience, let it be noted at the outset that one of its most intriguing aspects relates to the author and her later writing career. For Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes was to have far more impact on its author than on the readers of her day, who carried it by demand only as far as a second edition. In preparing this volume, Miss Brooks passed over a personal threshold that changed the course of her life and led her into the production of her greatest work as a pioneer of notable achievement in the field of Florida historiography. But more about these
things later. For the moment, let us consider the book at hand.
In the pages of her book Miss Brooks conducts the reader on an itinerary that begins at Fernandina on Amelia Island and makes a circuit of the peninsula and the Panhandle, touching most of the important cities and towns before moving overseas to Cuba. Although this is an itinerary she may have taken several years to cover on her own, she presents it as a single journey for the reader, and her entertaining prose makes the trip seem all too short in retrospect. One comes to enjoy vicariously, through her gifted pen, that fascinating Florida of a century ago in the colorful period immediately following the Reconstruction Era when the state was entering what might be called its Golden Age of Tourism. Most interesting of all, perhaps, is the manner in which Miss Brooks leads one on to adventure-for she was a traveler in time as well as space; and as he relaxes and gives himself up to the pleasant tour she conducts, he soon realizes that she is guiding him through two dimensions: Florida past and Florida present-Florida from the time of its discovery to the Florida she explored more than 350 years later during the 1870s.
Although this was not a journey without pitfalls for Miss Brooks-she made the same errors of fact and oversight common to authors of similar books written during the period-her "ramble into the Early History of Florida" emerges as better than most attempts, and is redeemed by an obvious infatuation for the subject which expresses itself in passages that are both colorful and inspired.' Best of all, Abbie Brooks is a good storyteller.
She has the gift of 'helping one see and hear the sights and sounds she experienced; and she has a flair for blending with her facts an occasionally humorous and always interesting mixture of local lore and legend. As the reader will discover, the petalsl" Silvia Sunshine plucks are from a garden of Florida anecdotes-some honeyed with humor, others colored with drama, most still sparkling with the nectar of life.
Is there anything in Florida literature to compare with the story of Matt Driggers and what might be called "The Great Mastodon Hunt," as told by Abbie Brooks (84-86)? And what about the Indian legend of Silver Springs Miss Brooks culls from another publication but uses so effectively to embellish her own? Here are all the elements of romantic tragedy in the tale of the handsome young Indian chief, Chuleotah, and the beautiful Indian princess, Wecnonah, who died tragically for their love and whose spirits not only haunt Silver Springs, but, in the best tradition of Indian legends, account for their present beauty: "'Now, mark those long, green filaments of moss swaying to and fro to the motion of the waves; these are the loosened braids of Weenonah's hair, whose coronet gives us such beautiful coruscations, sparkling and luminous, like diamonds of the deep. ... These relics of the devoted Indian girl are the charm of Silver Springs"' (72-75).
When Miss Brooks describes the places she visits and the people she encounters, her pages often come to life with the clarity of photographic impressions. Though she does not always wield an incisive pen, she frequently demonstrates a journalist's mastery for observing detail
and communicating the sense of it with a minimum of words. In fact, it is the journalist in Abbie Brooks, and not the storyteller or historian-no matter how inspiredwhich lends this volume its enduring value and ranks it among classics of its kind in Florida literature.
For example, the steamboat wharf at Jacksonville springs into being as Miss Brooks describes her experience in stepping ashore: "We are importuned and jostled on every side by black boys, dray and carriage- drivers, who worry us for our baggage, raising their whips with the imperious movement of a major-general, and suddenly lowering them at half-mast when we say, No! Then the officious hotel-runners, who scream in our ears to patronize the houses that employ them, until we are on the verge of desperation, and feel as though the plagues of Egypt could not have been worse" (36). Again, Miss Brooks manages to convey an unmistakable and colorful impression of the cosmopolitan city Jacksonville had become, using just a few sentences and phrases applied like brush strokes by a master artist: "No costumes, however peculiar, appear out of style. ... Celebrities or millionaires walk the streets without creating any sensation. The Mormon, with his four or fourteen wives, can come from Salt Lake City, take rooms at the St. James, enter all the frequented resorts with the same fear from molestation that a genuine Floridian feels of being Ku-Kluxed. Any strong-minded market-woman can don the Bloomer costume and peddle vegetables verdant as the idea which prompted her to forsake the flowing robes of her fair sisters, and assume the half masculine attire of the sterner sex, without attracting any more attention than the lazy loungers in the market-
house. The citizens are so accustomed to sight-seeing that nothing would astonish them but an honest politician" (42-43).
In a happily lengthy passage comparing northern and southern varieties of poor folk, Miss Brooks opts for the southern cracker because he "has a hearty welcome for the stranger, which puts the blush of contempt upon those claiming a much higher degree of civilization. Everything the house contains is free to visitors. Chickens are always killed for company, without counting the number of Christmas holidays they have seen. Your plate is piled with sweet potatoes and corn-dodger bread, or ash-cake, to be washed down with strong coffee. The old folks are very attentive; but where are the children? Run away like wild rabbits. They are out taking a view of the company. Watch, and you will soon see curious little eyes looking through the cracks, or slipping around the corners" (64-65).
Visiting a cigar factory in Key West, Miss Brooks can speak volumes in a few sentences: "Upon the first floor are seated eighty females, engaged in stripping tobacco from the stems. Here mother and daughter work side by side, the daughter earning five dollars per week on account of her more nimble fingers, and the mother three. The daughter puffs a delicate cigarette, while the mother smokes a huge cigar, it being considered a disgrace for the young ladies to use-only cigarettes. Two hundred and fifty men are occupied in one room upon the second floor, all forming those cylindrical tubes through which is to be drawn so much enjoyment in the present, while a perfect abandon of all anxiety for the future is felt. These operatives employ a reader, who reads aloud from
newspapers printed in Spanish, while they are working, for which luxury each one bears his proportion of the expense. When any news favoring the cause of the [Cuban] insurgents is read, the house echoes with shouting and stamping of feet" (321).
One walks the sands of North Beach outside St. Augustine, the streets of Pensacola and Havana; he is jostled by the same tourists who crowd with her at the rails of an Oklawaha River steamer, staring at Negro deckhands leaping through the forest along the shore carrying burning brands to light the way for the vessel through the pitch-black night. He bumps over rutted trails in a stage coach, gets a first-hand view of seamen at work hauling lines and canvas aboard a schooner bound for Cuba, pokes through churches and cathedrals from Jacksonville and St. Augustine to Cienfuegos and Havana.
Miss Brooks provides her readers with a glimpse of the celebrated Harriet Beecher Stowe nodding off to sleep in a Jacksonville church, while her husband, Dr. Calvin Stowe, preaches a sermon. One shares her amusement at the false fire alarm raised by a visiting Catholic bishop at St. Augustine, who, on rising early one Sabbath and finding no one present at the cathedral to attend mass, rang mightly on the bell with the result that the streets were soon filled with people in various stages of dress and undress. The reader tours a marmalade factory, witnesses a cockfight, digs through ancient Indian mounds, explores mighty forts, visits aging cemeteries, looks into schools and classrooms of a century ago-and all along the way hears stories dredged from local lore embellished by the tidbits of early Florida history which so fascinate this guide.
Although she has an occasional word of advice for tourists who might follow in her footsteps, Miss Brooks makes few concessions in this direction. In fact, she does not seem to be very much in sympathy with the travelers she meets along her way. At St. Augustine, for example, she admires "what is left of the city gates, the most interesting relic that remains from a walled city," describes the architecture of the now gateless pillars as "arabesque surmounted by a carved pomegranate," and observes that "if a protection is not built around these pillars, the hand of vandalism will soon have them destroyed, as so many careless visitors are constantly chipping off fragments" ( 198-99).
Her occasional description of tourists shows how little human nature and the style of this particularly distinctive class of travelers has changed, and at one point Miss Brooks pauses to classify them as "the defiant, the enthusiastic, and the indifferent." Elaborating on these definitions, Miss Brooks reserves her scom for the latter: "The indifferent tourist is an anomaly to everybody. Why he ever thought of leaving home to travel, when with his undemonstrative nature he appears so oblivious to all scenes and sights around him, is an unsolved problem. He maintains an unbroken reticence on every occasion, the mantle of silence being thrown about all his movements, while his general appearance evinces the same amount of refinement as a polar bear, his perceptive powers the acuteness of an oyster, his stupidity greater than Balaam's saddle-animal" (209).
It becomes obvious, as one travels with Miss Brooks, that her interest in the Florida of the tourist comes into early conflict with the Florida of history. Not far into
her text Miss Brooks observes that "The early history of Florida Territory being written in characters of blood for years, it is considered both appropriate and interesting to intersperse a sprinkling of historical facts in this work, to the authenticity of which some now living can testify" (90). But later she notes that "Many writers who come to Florida [merely] copy an abstract of the most interesting portions contained in the guide-books, besides what they can hear, afterward filling up the interstices from their imaginations" (154). As for herself, she pauses while in St. Augustine to wonder at those who inquire, "How do you kill time in that ancient city?" Her answer: "To the historian, there is no spot so well adapted to meditation on the past. ." (208). Somewhere amidst these statements the reader senses a growing interest in Florida history that seems to be developing beyond the ordinary, and is not surprised to see her delving beneath the superficial and bringing forth source documents as her infatuation with the past begins to assume a perhaps greater importance than she originally intended. "We look to the old Spaniards for information, but alas! they are like the swamp cypress which the gray moss has gathered over until its vitality has been absorbed-age has taken away their vigor," she reports at one point (154). And, as one will see from what is known of her work after the publication of Petals, she was to do more than merely complain about the "lacuna of a century and a half" which she discovered in the Spanish source documents relating to early Florida history. 2
Two periods of this history appealed most to Miss Brooks. The first was the period of exploration and early development and the events surrounding the founding
of Spanish St. Augustine and French Fort Caroline. The second was the Seminole War. In treating the former, Miss Brooks pauses frequently on her journey to highlight relevant developments from earliest times and relate them meaningfully to the places she is visiting. This use of the remote past to illustrate Florida present, as she saw it a century ago, tended to invest the state with an antiquity most of her contemporaries were scarcely familiar with, since Florida was then still largely a wilderness. Her final "Ramble into the Early History of Florida" summarized all she had learned of this early period and was as good an introduction to the subject as any then available. This interest is reflected in Miss Brooks" treatment of St. Augustine, to which she devotes more effort and space than any other single subject or place. In fact, her concentration on so many aspects of St. Augustine as she observed it during the late 1870s accounts in large part for this book's enduring value and interest. There can be no doubt that it was the early Spanish influence in the ancient city as she saw it-its Spanishspeaking natives and traditions and its Old World architecture-that inspired her abiding interest in the larger history of Florida.
Also developing as a major theme in this volume is the Seminole War and the character of the Indians who fought it. The author's fascination for Florida's Indians is obvious throughout, and may relate to the fact that she saw some western Indians at Fort Marion. Apparently she was also present at an Indian festival at St. Augustine in 1876. Describing her own thoughts on the latter occasion, Miss Brooks says that during "the grand wardance of the season [which] came off after dark, when
prisoners were captured and treated with sham hostilities ... the mind of the imaginative could portray what would be done in reality to a helpless captive in their power" (192). Unfortunately, it is this darker side of the Indian character Miss Brooks concentrates on most, sprinkling her text with accounts of Seminole War murders, massacres, and atrocities (see 49-50, 99-100, 141-43, 24143,1 334-38).
Equally as intriguing to Miss Brooks was the sometimes enigmatic character of Indian leaders like Osceola and Coacoochee or Wild Cat, whose eloquence seemed to transcend and contradict their reputed savagery. Though she repeats the usual stories concerning these celebrated Seminole chieftains, she succeeds in presenting them favorably as individuals, using their own words to achieve a sympathetic effect. She quotes Osceola reacting to the Treaty of Payne's Landing: "There is little more to be said. The people have agreed in council ... it is truth, and must not be broken. I speak; what I say I will do; there remains nothing worthy of words. If the hail rattles, let the flowers be crushed" (96). Again, when Osceola is arrested, Miss Brooks savors his "native eloquence," sharing with her readers the Indian's defiance: "The sun is overhead, I shall remember the hour; the [Indian] Agent has his day, I will have mine" (97). As for Coacoochee, the Wild Cat, she excuses his sins against the white man with the observation that "war to him was only a source of recreation" (151). But she also gives his eloquence free rein, allowing him to speak at length, as if pleading for all of his kind while he recounts his bewilderment over the white man's duplicity and the relentlessness of his encroachments (291-93). Finally,
Miss Brooks reveals her admiration for the audacity and courage of the Indians, even in the midst of one of their bloodiest excursions, the one against Indian Key, which she rates as "among the boldest feats of the [Seminole] war'. (243).
As has been noted, despite her preoccupation with such subjects, it was the personalities and events surrounding the founding and development of St. Augustine which appealed most to Miss Brooks, and which claimed her primary attention. The reasons for this seem to relate to an almost mystical empathy she developed for St. Augustine and its blend of Old World and New, as well as the frustrations she experienced on discovering that "lacuna of a century and a half in its early history" which obscured much that she wanted to know .3 In her introductory chapter on St. Augustine Miss Brooks observes: "This point appears to be a favored place for the stimulus of thought [and] inspiration. Daily we are more impressed with the fact how treacherous are the links which connect the chain of tradition in a. country where its earliest history is mingled with a record wonderful as the champions of knight-errantry who figured in the pages of romance" (154). Warming to her subject she conveys most clearly the mingled awe and frustration she experienced in her enjoyment of the ancient city and her initial exploration of its past:
We feel as though, in trying to describe this place, we were hovering on the brink of uncertainty, and drifting along its shores, not knowing where to land, that we might find the stand-point to commence our task. It is here we realize a kind of traditional flickering between the forgotten and neglected past, shrouded in awful obscurity. Before the
forest-trees which covered the grounds upon which New York City now stands were felled, St. Augustine was the seat of power. .. It is here, as in no other place, that two forms of civilization find a foothold. .. This city is like ancient Rome, with which many found fault while there, but, from some kind of fascination, they always returned again. During the Spanish rule, it was a place of importance as a military post, being the Government head-quarters.... What a strange sensation steals over us to be awakened just before the old cathedral bells have chimed twelve by the sound of musical instruments, accompanied with singing, in a foreign tongue, a song which has echoed through the same town for more than three centuries! .. The language spoken by [some of the oldest inhabitants] is supposed to have been identical with that used in the Court of Spain before the days of Ferdinand and Isabella. It has the terseness of the French, without the grandiloquence of the Spanish, being derived directly from the Latin. The religion here is that which sprang into existence during the Middle Ages. What a host of past memories rise before us on every side as we walk its narrow streets, overshadowed by mid-air balconies (159-66)!
It was that "brink of uncertainty,"" that "neglected past, shrouded in awful obscurity," which led Abbie Brooks into her most important work following publication of Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. And this brings us, at last, to one of the most intriguing aspects of this bookthe mystery surrounding Miss Brooks herself.
Who was Abbie M. Brooks? Where was she born and educated? What kind of background did she come from? What happened to her later in life? Unfortunately, some of the answers to these and other questions still evade the researcher. But one has learned enough about Miss Brooks to place her life and work in some kind of perspective for the reader-enough to hope that republica-
lion of this volume will stimulate a new interest in her, possibly promoting the continuation of this tentative research toward a more satisfactory conclusion. For, as will be seen, the life and labors of Miss Brooks, particularly in the field of Florida historiography, deserve at least a definitive monograph.
The reader gets his first clue to the author's background in the preface to this volume, which suggests that she may have been a professional writer, quite possibly a journalist. Indeed, certain elements of her style strongly suggest the latter. Thee preface shows also that Miss Brooks probably came to Florida for reasons of health, and that during the course of writing Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes she was interrupted by occasional lapses of illness. The text itself provides additional information-for example, the fact that Miss Brooks launched her journey into Florida from Atlanta, although whether she was living and working there, or merely passing through from some other point of origin, cannot be ascertained (17). It cannot be judged with any certainty when Miss Brooks made her journey to Florida, or, for that matter, whether Petals was the product of one or several journeys. Nor can one say when she may have first visited the state or when she became interested in i ts history, although she suggests herself that it was an interest which developed in the course of her work on this book. The book itself provides some leads for answering these questions in the way Miss Brooks used occasional contemporary dates. Some are presented like entries from a diary and the text following them is not enclosed in quotation marks, whereas datelines from articles Miss Brooks uses are set in quotations. This sug-
gests that the diary-like entries are from her own notes, and because they are dated between 1876 and 1878, it is assumed this was the period when Miss Brooks first visited Florida and did most of the work on her book (see 209, 228). The final manuscript probably was submitted to her printer in 1879, the year of her copyright, and this, of course, was followed by publication of the first edition in 1880 (3, 4). A second and final edition followed in 1885.~
When this investigation of Miss Brooks's background first began there was reason to believe that some of her papers were located either in the North Carolina Collection or in the Southern Historical Collection in the University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill. But an examination of these facilities yielded "no trace of Ms. Brooks" and not even a copy of her book, save on microcards.5 Investigation of standard sources, including the Library of Congress, revealed only one source mentioning Miss Brooks, and that simply a brief identification of her as "an American writer, of the South."
One other question occurred: did Miss Brooks have any connection with Nashville or Tennessee? Was she born or raised there; had she lived or worked in Nashville where many periodicals and publishing houses were located? Surely she had some link with that city, since she chose to have her book privately printed there at the Southern Methodist Publishing House. But neither the records nor a history of that institution yielded any evidence, and the Tennessee State Library and Archives could offer no information either.7
Miss Brook's extensive travels in Florida, combined with her voyage to Cuba and leisurely exploration of that
island, leads one to wonder whether she might have been independently wealthy-a question which occurs also in respect to her later travels and apparently lengthy visits in Spain. It appears that by the time Miss Brooks completed the manuscript for this volume her interest in early Florida history had transcended the ordinary. What the volume at hand does not reveal, however, is how this interest came to dominate her life, so much so that she became a pioneer in Florida historiography and "the first person since Buckingham Smith" to reproduce from the originals in Spain documents especially pertinent to the history of Florida."
It was an impressive accomplishment, but like her work in Florida for Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, it is not known when she began her research into the original documents, how long she labored at it, or when she finished. It is known that she did go to the Archives of the Indies at Seville, Spain, and remained there long enough to make a study of original documents comprehensive enough to produce a substantial body of material covering Florida history from 1500 to 1810. In this formidable and time-consuming undertaking she was assisted by Sr. Don Antonio Sualrez, an employee of the archives, who was "especially familiar with the documentary history of Florida."'0 Additional research may also have been conducted in the archives at Madrid." According to Woodbury Lowery, a later scholar in the field who discussed the project with both Miss Brooks and Suarez, the latter told him that the work in Seville was carried out with Miss Brooks making transcriptions of the original documents in her own hand "at the dictation of Sr. Sua'rez,. who read from the originals."'2
These transcriptions were of documents which dealt exclusively with Florida affairs, and, according to Lowery
-who examined them-were "entirely trustworthy, and
*..accurate transcription of the originals."1
As finally compiled, the collection of transcripts consisted of five volumes, covering the following periods: I, 1500-1580; 11, 1581-1620; 111, 1621-1689; IV, 1690-1740; and V, 1741-1810. 14 On completion of this remarkable work, Miss Brooks returned to the United States and, in 1899, she was living in St. Augustine and preparing to publish a book based on the documents she had unearthed. 15 What she did was to select representative documents from the period 1565 to 1784, and with the assistance of a Mrs. Annie Averette as translator, organize these into a volume which was privately printed under the title of The Unwritten History of Old St. Augustine. But once again, as was the case with Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, Miss Brooks's penchant for personal anonymity makes it difficult to learn much about the circumstances surrounding the later publication. The Unwritten History carries neither the imprint of the printer nor the place and date of publication! Miss Brooks merely allows her readers the information on the title page that The Unwritten History is based on documents "Copied from the Spanish Archives in Seville, by Miss A. M. Brooks and Translated by Mrs. Annie Averette." The only evidence for a publication date is through a presentation copy given to the Library of Congress by the St. Augustine Institute of Science and Historical Society, on February 20, 1909, which bears the legend, "Presented by the Author Miss A. M. Brooks," presumably written in her own hand.' However, several years earlier,
April 4, 1901, Miss Brooks sold her original transcripts to the Library of Congress for three hundred dollars, under accession number 134, 17 although as early as 1893 advanced sheets of the books were published as columns in the Florida Times-Union.'-8 There is still another clue in the files of the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, "a reference to 'a scrapbook of the 1900's' which contained a translation sent from Spain by Miss Amanda [sic] Brooks and printed in the [St. Augustine] News of January 1902."19 This scanty and often conflicting evidence suggests that The Unwritten History was in preparation from 1899, and that it was published sometime after 1901, when Miss Brooks sold her collection of transcriptions, and prior to 1909, when the autographed copy of the book was presented to the Library of Congress.
Unlike Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, which provided at least a few leads concerning the author, The Unwritten History yields absolutely nothing about her, save what is stated in a brief preface:
We [Abbie Brooks and Annie Averette] take pleasure in presenting to our readers information connected with St. Augustine never before published. It is comprised largely of reports and letters to the King of Spain, much of it written by Pedro Menendez himself, and contains decrees and letters from the King to the Governor, Generals, and Officers having charge of the Florida Provinces. It has been buried for over three centuries in Seville, Spain. It is reliable, having been written in old Spanish and guarded with care. It contains facts for which many have sought in vain. The style in which it is written is clear and comprehensive, without being diffuse or overdrawn. It is the true history of our country.
Unfortunately, The Unwritten History contains no supplementary commentary to bridge the various selections and place them in some kind of historical perspective. Annotations citing the location of the selections in the Spanish archives are also omitted, as are the original Spanish texts, thereby limiting the value of the work to scholars .20 But Miss Brooks apparently intended the volume for general readership, made no claim to scholarship, and sought no special recognition for her work.
The Unwritten History opens with a royal decree of King Philip 11 of Spain, authorizing certain expenditures and procedures for the further settlement of Florida, and is signed from "Bosque de Segovia, August 15, 1565." A letter follows to the king from Pedro Menendez de Avile's, dated October 15, 1565, which describes the march against Fort Caroline and the massacre of the French garrison. The letter is especially interesting for the details Menendez includes concerning his personal leadership and the part he played in the assault upon the fort.2 The final documents include correspondence between the king at Madrid, written to the bishop of Cuba, Santiago Jose', dated August 4, 1773; and letters to the king posted in 1784 from the governor of St. Augustine and Nicholas Grenier, a commander of troops in Florida. The two latter letters relate to military operations in northeast Florida, between Fernandina and Jacksonville, against outlaw bands who were reported to consist of 44men who have neither God nor law. ... who are capable of the greatest atrocities."2
Despite the reservations among scholars initially, Miss Brooks's original transcripts and her published selections in The Unwritten History achieved their purpose. They
bridged that lacuna of a century and a half which she had found when she first explored Florida history in the late 1870s, and they shed light at last on that "neglected past, shrouded in awful obscurity" which had frustrated her so during the preparation of Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes (159). As one authority in the field observed: "In a day when few such materials had been transcribed, hers was a notable achievement, although her work did not begin to compare either in quantity or in quality with [Buckingham] Smith's. Miss Brooks did succeed, however, in giving a suggestion of the continuity of the Spanish colony [in Florida] by making public this series of papers covering the years from the founding to the late eighteenth century. In the absence of any substantial, scholarly printed materials on the Spanish regime as a whole, this questionable collection served as a noteworthy addition to the historical literature of Florida."123 It was this kind of academic reservation which led Woodbury Lowery to examine the transcripts and translations and to authenticate their accuracy and reliability "in justice to Miss Brooks' work and in order to remove any suspicions which their appearance might at first awaken."2
In the sources the given name of Miss Brooks is given variously as Abbie M., Amanda M., and Mary A.2 She moved to St. Augustine in the late 1890s, she purchased property at number 84 or 85 Charlotte Street, she lived there until 1903 or 1904 and possibly longer.2 But even this brief information concludes on a note of uncertainty, and after that all traces of her vanish. Whatever her beginning or her end, this much is certain. Florida made a lasting impression on Abbie M. Brooks when she visited
the state to write Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, and she in turn has made an impact on the literature of Florida and on its history. As the custodians of her original transcripts at the Library of Congress noted in reference to her work, she was, indeed, "the remarkable Miss Brooks."2 Now one may hope that her own neglected past, shrouded in obscurity, will one day be illuminated by a scholar who will be as equal to the challenge she left behind as she was to the one she accepted and triumphed over in her own time.
RICHARD A. MARTIN.
1. Silvia Sunshine (Abbie M. Brooks), Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes, p. 16. Future citations to this facsimile will be by page numbers inside parentheses within the text.
2. Woodbury Lowery, "The Spanish Settlements within the Present Limits of the United States" (original MS), vol. 1, 15131561, introduction (microfilm no. 141-A, P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida, Gainesville.)
3. Lowery quotes Miss Brooks on this point in "The Spanish Settlements."
4. This edition was also published privately, using the same printer, Southern Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, Tenn.
5. H. G. Jones to Richard A. Martin, August 7, 1974. Mrs. R. Royall Rice of Durham, N.C., also attempted to find some trace of Miss Brooks in the Carolinas, without success.
6. Robert H. Land, chief, Reference Department, General Reference and Bibliography Division, Library of Congress, to Richard A. Martin, October. 3, 1974. The reference is from William Cushing, Initials and Pseudonyms: A Dictionary of Literary Disguises (New York, Crowell, 1885), p. 366.
7. Mrs. Maxine Carnahan, assistant reference librarian, Tennessee State Librarv and Archives, to Richard A. Martin, March 251 1975; Since M-9: The Story of the Methodist Publishing House (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1964); Charles Allen Madison, Book Publishing in America (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1966). The Methodist Publishing House conducted a search of its records, but found no mention of Miss Brooks.
8. Buckingham Smith, born in 1810 on Cumberland Island, reared at St. Augustine, educated at Harvard, was a Florida legislater who held diplomatic posts in Mexico and Spain during the 1850s, which enabled him to devote himself to "the passion of his life, the study of archeology and Indian philology," and to conduct important research into the colonial history of Louisiana and Florida. Among his published works, most of them privately printed in limited editions, were translations of de Vaca and de Soto, as well as numerous monographs bearing on Indian philology and the history of the early Spanish periods in Mexico and Florida. See the biographical sketch in Rowland H. Merrick, Memoirs of Florida (Atlanta, 1902), p.,683.
9. Ray E. Held, "Spanish Florida in American Historiography, 1821-1921.11 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, 1955), p. 218.
10. Lowery, "The Spanish Settlements."
11. Jacqueline Bearden, St. Augustine Historical Society, to Richard A. Martin, September 20, 1974. Miss Bearden reports several clippings from the Florida Times-Union in the Society's possession, which reproduce some of these transcriptions in translation, with the editorial note that they are "as copied from the 'Spanish archives of San Augustin' at Seville and Madrid [italics added] by Miss A. M. Brooks and furnished from her compilations for the Times-Union." This is the only mention of Madrid in the sources. Unfortunately, only one of the clippings reported had a date penned on it-January 8, 1893. This appears to be an error, however, since a careful search of the paper on that and surrounding dates, and other years, failed to locate any of the columns. As for the amount of time Miss Brooks may have spent on her researches in Spain, the sources are silent. We do not learn whether she conducted the research continuously, possibly while living temporarily in Spain, or whether the work was accomplished over a period of many years during any number of visits abroad. This much is certain: merely searching through the archives at Seville and Madrid for documents related exclusively to Florida in the period 1500-1810 would have consumed a great deal of time, to say nothing of the work of transcribing these documents by the tedious method described by Lowery.
12. Lowery, "The Spanish Settlements."
14. Held, "Spanish Florida in American Historiography," p. 219.
15. Bearden to Martin, September 20, 1974.
16. John G. Broderick, assistant chief, Library of Congress Manuscript Division, to Richard A. Martin, September 24, 1974.
17. Ibid. The original transcripts are now housed "unbound, in two manuscript containers," at the Library of Congress, according to Broderick.
18. Bearden to Martin, September 20, 1974. As reported in note 11, 1893 may not be the correct date.
19. Broderick to Martin, September 24, 1974. It was not possible to trace this article, and the whereabouts of the scrapbook, if it still exists, is not known.
20. The original Brooks transcripts, now in the Library of Congress, are chronologically arranged with a transcript of each document filed with its translation.
21. Unwritten History, pp. 1-15.
22. Ibid., pp. 226-31.
23. Held, "Spanish Florida in American Historiography," pp. 219-20.
24. Lowery, "The Spanish Settlements."
25. Abbie is the most commonly used. The Library of Congress reports Amanda once, and Lowery refers to the "Mary A. Brooks Collection" of transcripts.
26. Bearden to Martin, September 20, 1974, states: "In the 1899 St. Augustine Directory, Miss A. Brooks is listed as living at 85 Charlotte Street. Miss Brooks once owned the property where our Library now stands at 271 Charlotte Street. She bought it from a Dr. C. P. Carver. We are not sure of the date but Dr. Carver bought it in 1884. Miss Brooks probably bought it sometime after 1899. In 1903 Miss Brooks sold the property to William Murray. In the 1904 Directory Miss A. Brooks is listed as living at 84 Charlotte Street [but] the address may be in error also since it is [listed as number] 85 [in the 1899 Directory].... These listings may not be Abbie M. "Although all this seems rather uncertain, the Society reports definitely that 9C we have a photograph of Miss Brooks circa 1900."
27. Broderick to Martin, September 24, 1974.
--- ---------. . .
FouNDiiNG OF ST. AuGUSTINIC BY PEDRO MELENDICZ, SEPTEMBER 1565.
BY SILVIA SUNSHINE.
SOUTHERN METHODIST PUBLISHING HOUSE.
PRINTED 'GR TIYE AUTtIOR.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by THE AUTHOR,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
ALL THE FLORIDA SETTLERS,
THOSE WHO WISH IT
A BRIGHT AND PROSPEROUS FUTURE,
THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY
N"EW MAP OF FLORD, 89
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T HIS hook contains a brief account of the early settlement of Florida, and some of its Indian conflicts, together with many amusing incidents connected with its present history; also a new illustration, prepared expressly for this work-the whole being a collection of travels, and what is to be seen in various portions of Florida, Key West, and Cuba; with a Gazetteer and Florida Guide-book attached, designed for the use of tourists and settlers.
W RITING, like other employments, furnishes a reward
to those who are fond of it-elevates the mind to a higher and happier state of enjoyment than merely grasping for earthly treasure, a desire to discover something beautiful in our surroundings, a nobility of character in mankind, a grandeur in all God's works.
My travels, both in Florida and Cuba, when not suffering from sickness, were an uninterrupted source of pleasure and entertainment, made thus by the smiles of friendship, intercourse among kind-hearted people, combined with the luscious fruits and delightful scenery by which I was almost constantly surrounded.
In arranging the historical portion of this work, I have endeavored to sift conflicting events, at all times retaining those which were the most tangible, and rejecting many which have been received by superficial observers as consistent truths.
I shall feel amply rewarded if any sad, sensitive heart, wounded in life's struggles, is cheered even for awhile in perusing these pages, or the consumptive invalid entertained with a pleasanter potion than his cod-liver and gloomy forebodings of future ill.
CHAPTER I ............ .............17
Adieu to Atlanta and arrival in Macon-Early settlement of Savannah by General Oglethorpe-Met by the Yamacraw Indians with presents-Death of Count Pulaski-Bonaventure Cemetery-The inland route to Florida-Pass St. Simon's Island-Wesley visits Frederica to establish his faith-Cumberland Is-land, the home of Nathanael Greene Olives- The scuppernong vine- Dungenness, the burialplace of Light-Horse Harry Lee-General Robert E. Lee visits the grave of his father-Amelia Island-Taken by filibusters-Their surrender- Fine beach and light-house The turtle Sea-shellsGod's treasures-A resting-place for the weary.
CHAPTER II ......................................... 28
Fate of the Spanish galleons-St. John's Bar and River-General remarks on Florida-Lumeber-m ills-Jacksonville-Grumblers-The invalid-Churches-Dr. Stowe preaches in the Methodist church-Mrs. Harriet Stowe goes to sleep-Sermon by a colored brudder-Journalism-Moncrief Springs-The invincibility of boarding-house keepersThe cemetery-Too much delay with invalids before coming to Florida.
C HAPTER III ........................................... 46
Jacksonville Agricultural Association, and its advantages-Exhibits of wine, perfume, and fruits-Industries of the ladies-Yachts-General Spinner-Steamer Dictator-Nimbus on the river-MandarinEmployment of its inhabitants-Murder of Mr. Hartley by IndiansWeariness of war by the settlers-Fanciful names given to townsHibernia and Magnolia-Green Cove Springs-Fort at Picolata-Pilatha--Putnam House-The Herald, edited by Alligator Pratt-Colonel hiarte's orange-grove-The Catholic Bishop as sexton-Ocklawaha River.
CHAPTER IV ........................................ 55
No fossilized Spaniards on the Ocklawaha-Scenery on its banksThick growth of timber-Passengers amuse themselves killing alligators-Clim bing asters-Air-plants-Water-lily-An affectionate meeting at Orange Springs-The deaf lady-Pleasure-riding in a crackercart-Northern and Southern cra ckers-March of improvement-Make fastl-Wooding up-Passengers take a walk-Night on the waterSurrounded by thickets-Our flame-lit craft moves on with its pillar of fire-Who I-Plutonic regions-Pyrotechnic displays.
CHAPTERV ........................................ 69
Incident as we enter Silver Springs-A gentleman loses his grinders
-The Mirror of DiantL-Sunset-A beautiful legend of the Princess
Weenonah-A scientific description by Prof. J. Le Conte-Vicinity of the springs-Improvements-Description of Ocala-Impressions of De Soto-Public Square-Contented, hospitablepeople-Marion county the back-bone of the State-Matt. Driggers andhis neighbors go on a mastodon hunt-Lakes and long prairie-grass above Silver Springs-The man who wanted a sheriff to marry him-Leesburg and its insprovements-A dredging-boat mistaken or a cook-stove--Indian trails
-Hitoric relics-Lake Dunhain-Okahumkee-The Ocklawaha historic ground.
CHAPTER VI ........................................ 90
Florida during the Indian war-Cumbersome movements of the troops
-Cause of the war-Treaty of Payne's Landing-Birthplace of Osceola-Lives with his mother in Okefinokee Swamp-Afterward in the Big Swamp-Osceola expresses opposition to the treaty "-Jumper unwilling to go West-Charlie Emaltha-Plea for remaining-Indian S)oetry-Appearance of Osceola-Hostility toward the survey forceoes not favor immigrating-Decision of Micanopy-Osceola in irons at Fort King-Sullen, then penitent-First hostile demonisti-ation from the Indians-Murder of Private Dalton-Killing of Charlie Emaltha- Osceola seeks revenge in the assassination of General Thompson-Dade Massacre-Micanopy fires the first gun-More than one hundred whites killed-Depredations of daily occurrence-Battle of Withlacoochee-Captain Ellis, of Gainesville-Capture of Osceola by General Jessup-Imprisoned first in Fort Marion, afterward sent to Fort Moultrie-His death-Chechotar, his wife-Poetry by a friend
-Sisters of Osceola now living in the West.
CHAPTER VII ............................... 105
Shores of the upper St. John's, where various kinds of timber grow, anti bony stock range-Mounds and their contents-Their obscure origin-The chasm not vet bridged-Belief in the immortality of the soul-The mounds a shrine-Conduct of the Spanish invaders-Ancestral veneration-Articles for use deposited with the body-Unanswered questions-History of mound-building in its infancy-Found in Europe- Uses or mounds- Monumental mounds-The mystery shrouding their structure-Intrusive burial-The growth on Florida mounds, and the distinguishable feature of mound-builders-Mound near New Smyrna- Mounds in South Florida- The large one at Cedar Keys-Mounds for sacrifice-Description of a victim-Pyramid of Cholula-Mexican teocalli-Pyramids for kiigs-Mounts of' ordinance-Sacred fires-Indians worshiped high places "-The temple at Espiritu Santo-Residence of King Philip-Lake Jessup moundCopper weapons-Indians worship the sun and moon-Burial urns-Pearls a heavenly product-The Indian empress a prisoner-Manufacture of beads from conch-shells-Pearls of' no value found on the coast of Florida-Who were these architects?-A veil obscures our vision in trying to discover the engineers of these mounds-The key never found- Tumuli, mounds, and plateaus, all objects of interest.
CHAPTER VIII ....................................... 121
A description of the animals and birds seen on the St. John's a century since-Lovely landscape-The happy family-Lake George-Enterprise-Mellonville-Sulphur Springs-Lake Iarney anmsd Salt Lake
-Indian River-Settlers discouraged on account of the Indians-An order for blood-hounds-Battle of Caloosahatchee-Fam shed soldiers, and fidelity of the dog-Big Cypress Swamp-Locality of the chiefsWhat the Indians cultivate-Their babies never cry-The Prophet, and his influence as a medicine man-Wild Cat in command of Fort Mellon-Speech of Sam Jones-Hanging of Chekika-Major Belknap takes his command into the Big Cypress-Country developed by war
-Indian River after the war the sportsman's heaven-Game, oysters, and fish-Scientific theory on the formation of coquina-Fine products of the Indian River country-A resort for consumptives-Camp-cooking-Soothing influences from the surroundings-Coming down the St. John's-The sick man-Stewardess and 'gaitors"-Curious people with curious things-The chameleon-The fawn-The crane-The bug-hunter and his treasures-The many old people in Florida-The sportsman.
CHAPTER IX ....................................... 139
Stop at Tocoi for St. Augustine-Scenery along the route-Stage-contractor's notice-Murder of Dr. Weedman-Cloth houses-Two mailcarriers murdered-The blood-hounds-Mr. Francis Medicis and four others shot-Remarks by a resident on witnessing the scene-Wild Cat the leader of this atrocity-The theatricals fill their engagement
-Coacoochee admires himself in the glass, also one of General Hernandez's beautiful daughters-His capture and escape-His twin sister and her pearls-Returns, dressed in theatricals, for a parley with the whites-Starts West, and dies on the way.
CHAPTER X ..................... ... 154
St. Augustine described in rhyme-The old Spaniards-A place for stimulus of thought-Treachery of legends-Early settlers lured by tales of wealth-Historical antiquity-Astonished Seloes-Capture by Sir Francis Drake-St. Augustine, 1764-French privateers-Rory McIntosh the Don Quixote of the times-American flag raised in 1821-Freedom to worship God-St. Augustine archives-Dr.Mc.Wh ir the founder of Presbyterianism in Florida-Appearance in 1834-The frost-Every thing shrouded in a kind of tradition-Fromajardis, or Garden Feast-Matanzas River-Nuns-Escribanio, or St. Mary's Convent-The ancient city sleeps all summer-The dear old folks from their Northern homes, and the young ones too-CuriositiesCrafts of all kinds-Gayety of the winter-Remarkable memory of the natives-Peaceful days-No welcome for adventurers-St. Augustine supposed to have been the residence of the Peri-Expressing an unfavorable opinion about Florida not popular here.
CHAPTER X I .......................................... 173
The cathedral-Regular attendance of its worshipers-Harsh tones of the church chime-Early mass-Cathedral finished in 1793-Material employed-Moorish belfry-Irreverent visitors-Religion of the natives a part of their existence-The bishop regarded as a vicegerent
-Mistaken conclusions of outsiders -Peculiar frescoes representing death-Christmas Eve-Ceremonial conducted by Bishop Verot-Administration of the sacrament-Tolemato Cemetery-Its custodianMurder of Father Corpa by the Indians-Chapel dedicated to Father Varela-Tablet-inscriptions erased by time-A medallion supposed to have been worn by Father Corpa, which was brought from Rome.
CHAPTER X Ir ........................................ 183
Castle San Marco-Indestructibility of the material employed-Commenced in 1565-Completed by Montiano, 1756, with the aid of Mexican convicts -Attacked by Oglethorpe -Appearance in 1740- Improper change of names-Description of Fort Marion-Its resemblance to Scott's Garde Douloreuse-The chapel and its holy mysteries-Iron cages-Caving in of the bastion-No cages sent to the Smithsonian Institute-The wooden machine-The old sergeant-Hu'man bones not unusual in other ruins-Spaniards branded with the cruelties of the Inquisition-True version of the iron cages from Sefior B. Oliveros-No nation exempt from cruelties during some period of their history-The Western Indians retained as hostages in the fort.
CHAPTER X III ....................................... 198
The sea-wnll-when commenced-Material employed-Boulevard of the city-City gates and vandal visitors-Tapoquoi village-Murder of Father Rodriguez-La Sylphide rose-Fine pulpit talent- Sabbath in January-The Presbyterian Church-Flowers from the gardens of Messrs. Alexander and Atwood-Gushing young men-Dr. Daniel F. March and his words of comfort-A description of the Episcopal church-A curious question about disputed grounds-Dr. Root, the clergyman-A peculiar man and his dog, that walked into the church from habit-St. Augustine a restorer to both health and reason-Public reading-room-Circulating library-What shall we eat?-Ships constantly coining in with supplies-Fresh vegetables-OrangesHotels and fine boarding-houses-Growlers-Gratuitous hospitality now obsolete-The most eligible houses-Summner resort-Pleasant people found by the sea.
CHAPTER X IV ....................................... 214
How they spend their time in the ancient city-A slight departure into history-Different kinds of visitors-Grand opening of the Lunchbasket on the North Beach-Music and moonlight on the water-The Indian buffalo-hunt near the old fort-Dancing inside by the Indian prisoners-Preparation for a gala day, March, 1877-Post-bandacht-race-A jockey-race-The hurdle-A foot-race by the Indians
-Wheelbarrow contest-Victor and greelibacks-Ham and moneyThe cat a musical animal-St. Augustine Hotel, where music is made from their sinews.
CHAPTER X V ........................................ 224
Longevity in St. Augustine-Manufacture of orange marmalade and wine-" El Pavo Real "-Genovar &Brother, wine -makers-Visitors leaving-A page from unwritten history-Tolling the bells for the pope-Grand illumination by the Yacht Club-The ignes-fatui boats
-String-band and dancing-Capricious weather a comfort to growlers
-A change to balmy air and waving palms-The Indians leave-They have no use for Government clothes on the plains-Mrs. Black Horse and Mochi dressed in hats and plumes-The Indians leave their Moody & Sankey song-books-A picture-written letter from the squaw of Minimic-These Indians differ from novel-writer characters-The strain of civilization during their stay being too great they mutiny, headed by White Horse-A squad of soldiers from the barracks search
and iron four of them-Fort closed to visitors-They pine for home, the aristocracy of their nature scorning restraint-Money made by polishing sea-beans, etc.-Description of St. Anastasia Island-Ponies feeding on marsh-grass-Attack of General Oglethorpe in 1740-The old light-house built by the Spanish, and used as a fortress-Fresh water in mid-ocean caused from lime-sinks-Treaty of Fort Moultrie
-Origin of the Seminoles.
CHAPTER X V I ....................................... 235
Burning of the Spanish Governor's son by the Indians over a century since-The Great Spirit as arbiter-Fort Matanzas-Its age, use, present appearance-Entered by an escalade-New Smyrna settled by Dr. Turnbull with his Greek colony-They at first engage in the culture of indigo, which soon fails-Great dissatisfaction among the colonists, who are finally released, and retire to St. Augustine-The Douglass Dummit Plantation-Indian Key Massacre, August 15, 1840-Murmurings of the citizens.
CHAPTER XVII ................................. 245
The Everglades Expedition, under Colonel Harney, 1841-Preparations-Spanish Indians-Leave Fort Dallas, arriving at Chitto's Island
-The bird flown-Sam Jones's Island, containing villages and pleasure-grounds-The soldiers greatly annoyed by roaches and musquitoes
-Prophet's Island-Discovery by Indians-Sergeant Searles mortally wounded-Arrival at New River-Fort DalIas-General appearance and extent of the Everglades-Manilla hemp and the cotton-plant indigenous-Return of Colonel Harney-Grand ovation in St. Augustine-Sorrowful reflection on the situation-Prcsent inhabitants of the Everglades-Old Tiger Tail-Intrenches himself in .Mexico as brigand, afterward makes his way to Florida, and becomes chief of the Seminoles-Father Dufau goes to the Everglades as a missionary
-" Two squaws no good "-Dress of the Indians-Everglade alligators and moccasins no respecters of persons-Primeval condition of the country, with its trees, birds, and native growth.
CHAPTER XVIII .................................... 260
From Jacksonville to Cedar Keys-The Florida Central-BaldwinAlligators and moccasins-West India Tran sfer Railroad-Piney Woods
-Trail Ridge-Lawtey-Starke-Turpentine distillery-SerenadesWaldo-Alachua county-Hummock-lands and phosphates-The indignant Boston lady-Alachua settled in 1750 by an Indian named Secoffe-Juggs or sinks-Approach to Gainesville-This town named for General E. P. Gaines-Accommodations for visitors- Tillandsia and its uses-Orange Lake the natural home of the orange-Budded trees-Eucalyptus-tree for malarial districts-Information on the subject of lands-Orange City, Ariedondo, Albion, and other prospective cities-Bronson-Its good settlers-Otter Creek-"Great Gulf Hummock "-Its tropical growth.
CHAPTER XIX ....................................... 270
Cedar Keys, the terminus of the West India Transit Railway-Extortion-Dr. Mclvaine's Hotel-Fourth of July toasts, 1843-Steamers from Cedar Keys to Manatee-Early settlement of Clear Water Harbor-The unfortunate Narvaez-Inaccessibility of South Florida-
Manatee-Its dwellings embowered among orange- trees-Tenacity of contesting Indians-Their independence subdued by association-The cactus pear eaten by Indians- Present population-Church privileges for worship-Schools -Good physicians -Sowing before reapingBoarding-houses kept as sanitariums-Pantry supplies-Fine fishAn Elysium for rheumatics-No starving-The grape-culture suggested
-Also wine-making-A variety of crops-Sugar-cane ratooning for six years-Old-fashioned bees in gums-This locality a fine resort for those who wish to avoid cold-The sunny-side of nature turned out in February-Oleander and orange-buds bursting their pink and white petals-The banana-Spring flowers, etc.-Zephyr breezes-The rose-"A child of summer "-Historic records-Hon. Judah P. Benjamin-Remains of the mastodon and megatherium,
CHAPTER X X ........................................ 285
Tampa-Undisturbed slumbers-First settlement by Narvaez-Poor Juan Ortiz 1-His vigils among the dead-Espiritu Santo Bay-De Soto and his festive soldiers-Billy Bowlegs-Cedar and pine lumber-mills in Tampa-A school and its teacher-Old Tampa-Uses of the cabbage palm-Fort Brooke-Appeal of General Worth to the vanity of Coa, coochee, which finally results in his band being sent West-An invocation to the Great Spirit during a storm.
CHAPTER XXI ........... ........... .296
Marooning from Tampa to Key West-Drum-fish-Loons-Acrobat fleas-Roaches-Bilge-water-The Methodist preacher and his children-Sailor's fare-Lnnding lady-passengers-Terrasilla Island and its products-Madam Joe-The romantic young couple-Sarasota Bay
-Stock-raising- Health Mangrove thickets Perpetual verdurePalmetto houses-Striking for fish-Varied amusements for visitorsHunting deer-Bugs and butterflies-Egmont Key-Rare shells and a rarer Spiritualist, with his toothless wife-Professor Agassiz-Buccaneers-Jean Lafitte-Sunset at sea-Isles of the sea-Boca GrandeFelippe the Spaniard, and his Indian concubines-Polly goes West for money-Punta Rassa, the terminus of the International Telegraph.
CHAPTER XXII ..................................... 313
Alone with God and the stars-Phosphorescent waves-Reefs and coral formation-Key West-Cocoa-trees-Chief of the Everglades-Dwellings-Inhabitants-Early settlers-Conchs-Their origin and occupation-Court of Admiral ty-Wrecking-The International Telegraph Survey-Public schools-The sisters-Cigar-makers-Reading while working-Monkey-jugs and their use-Cochineal--Sponge and spongers-Fort Taylor and other fortifications-Curiosity-shop-Captain Dixon its Greek keeper.
CHAPTER XXIII ...................................327
Middle Florida and South Georgia-Jealousy between Middle and East Florida-Good landed titles in Middle Florida-Disappointment the result of overestimation-No spot with every thing desirable-Diseased people tinctured with a sullen melancholy-Lake City-Derivation of the name-The citizens-Style of architecture adapted to the climate-Products-Atmosphere for asthmatics-Monticello-Its peo-
pie-Former wealth evidenced by the numerous freedmen-Good hotel here-The festive frogs: great variety, some with loud-sounding voices
-The "pretty frog" that went to England-The singing-wasp-Tallahassee, where De Soto spends his first winter, 1539-The Spanish soldiers and their armor-Town incorporated, 1825-Corner-stone of the capitol laid, 1826-Situation of Tallahassee--Governor Reed's message, 1840-Blood-hounds and leash-men from Cuba-Two Indians caught by them-Bounties on heads-Indian scare-Only a goat-Indians attack wagons, relieving negroes of their clothing-Former wealth and culture in Tallahassee-Colonel Murat and his mother come to America-Visit the Catholic Bishop, but not in regal styleThe neighbors are disappointed in a king s son-Birthplace, home, and early associations of the gifted authoress, Mrs. Mary E. BryanWakulla Spring, with a beautiful description by Bartram-Chattahoochee-State penitentiary-Montgomery and Eufaula route to Florida
-Town of Quincy-Mountain-streams with a musical cadence-Cuban tobacco and scuppernong grapes grown here-Stage communication between Quincy and Bainbridge-Cherokee rose-hedges-Bainbridge
-Its decline on account of railway communication-ThomasvilleMitchell House-Gulf House-Embowered dwellings-Brisk tradeNewspapers-Female college-Churches-Former wealth of Thomas county-Colored politicians prefer speaking by proxy-No water communication from Thomasville-Wire-grass country-Quitman-Homelike hotels-Cotton factory-Valdosta-Pine-trees-Plenty to eatValdosta editor-Crowds on public days-Trip on the Gulf road-The light-wood fires an epitome of the Arabian Nights' Entertainment.
CHAPTER XXIV ................................. 355
Pensacola musings-Its early settlement and capacious harbor-Origin of the name-The soil contains clay for brick and pottery-Casa Blanca
-The city conquered by the Spaniards-Causes for its not competing with other Gulf cities-Description of Fort Barrancas-It is supposed to contain a dungeon-Fort Pickens-Fort St. Michael and Fort St. Bernard-Ten dollars offered for the scalps of colonists-General movements of General Andrew Jackson--Governor Callavea in the calaboose-Description of the old plaza-Present appearance of Pensacola
-It contains no fabled fountains-A plank walk on which sailors reel like drunken elephants-Prosperity of the place dependent on the demand for lumber-Commotion on the arrival of a ship-Resinous wood and its light accompaniments-The Indians hated to leave it-Ferdinand Park and its rural scenery-The market-house-The singing fishermen-The proud fishermen with their big fish-An oxhorn announces the sales-Fresh-water wells-Drawers of water lose their vocation-Porpoises-Tropical fruit-culture not very successful here-The washing bayou and its water-nymphs-Florida huntersThe fleet-footed fawn a past record-The yellow-fever visitor-Perdido, or Lost Bay-Escambia Bay--The alligator: her nest, and her young-Churches-Free schools-Catholic schools-Episcopal school, and its founder, Mrs. Dr. Scott.
ClAPTER X XV ...................................... 378
Leaving Pensacola-Contentment in our moving habitation-A calm
-Physalia utriculus-A genuine nor'-wester and its accompaniments
-A moment of terror-Morning at last-Isle of Pines and its products
-Pirates-Water-spouts-Early history of Cuba-The Spaniards burn an Indian-Cienfuegos-The fort on the bay-Cuban houses-Clothing of the children-Cruelty to northern seamen-Mother Carey and her unlucky chickens-The fate of the insurgents, and their numerical strength-"' La Purisima Conception "-Neglect of ceremonial dutiesThe church inside-Its lady-attendants furnish their seats-The slave receives a gentle admonition-The largest plaza on the island-The beautiful senoritas and the band-music.
CHAPTER XXVI .................................... 399
Distances from Cienfuegos to Havana-Railroads-Three classes of p assenger-cars-Smoking-Rain-drops-Harvest-Lo! the poor oxoads-Sugar-cane in bloom- Cattle-herders- The war- Arabiau stock of horses-Devastations by the insurgents-Vegetation and variety-De pots and drinking-Flowers -Fences from vegetation-Royal palm and its uses-Slaves gathering palm-fruit--Great variety of growth-Cactus family-Sugar and sugar-makers-Negro slaves and coolies-Their miserable quarters-Chicken-fighting-Inhuman treatment of the poor fowls-Matanzas-A Pentecostal illustration-" English and French spoken "-Dinner and its condiments-Matanzas Bay at night-The tough old tars-Their families on shore-The phosphorescent lights on the water-The plaza and hotel--Our French valet de chambre-Sieta--My caf-El volante-Up the mountain-side
-El Cueva de IBellamar, being a remarkable subterranean templeStalactites and stalagmites-Names given to the different formations inside the cave-Return to Matanzas.
CHAPTER XXVII ................... 424
From Matanzas to Havana-Buzzards-Description of El Moro Castle, A.D. 1519-Captured, 1619, by Sir George Pocock-El Moro like the Venetian "Bridge of Sighs "-Havana a century since-Its harbor and fleet of ships-Architecture of the houses-Narrow streets-A view from El San Carlos Hotel-Beautiful moonlight on the bay-El Paseo-French coaches-Residence of the Captain-general--Ladies shopping in volantes-Market-house-Mules, panniers, etc.-Working-class receive an early supply of grace-No Sabbath here-" Lot-' tera "-Beggars-Description of the c thedral-Bishop-AcolytesOrgan-Tomb of Columbus-Santo Christobal-His life and mission as Christ-bearer-Cemetario de Espeda--Its walls, vaults, tablets, inscriptions-Three bodies for sepulture-The poor without coffins-The Protestant dead not admitted in Catholic grounds--Fragility of promises in Cuba.
A Ramble into the Early History of Florida ....... 439
Florida Gazetteer, etc .....................481
" et It tuched from *unln (Iirnt1.
TRIP to Florida during the winter season is now the popular move for everybody, whether invalid or not, which those living in so close proximity as Atlanta find difficult to resist.
Atlanta is a delightful summer resort, situated a thousand feet above sea-level, visited by healthful mountain breezes in summer, besides being blessed with the purest of freestone and chalybeate water ill the world. The night passenger train leaves at 10 P.M. for Macon, one hundred and five miles distant.
We arrive in Macon about 7 A.M., where, after being fortified with a good breakfast at the Brown House, the train departs for Savannah-Macon being the commencement of the mountain-slope which continues to the sea-shore. Many pleasant little towns are passed through on the route, most of which have never recovered from the devastating effects of the war.
Savannah is at last reached, one hundred and ninety-two miles from Macon. To say that Savan2 (17)
18 Petals Plucked from Snny Climes.
na1h is a pleasant place conveys .an indefinite idea of its attractiveness. Many persons stop to remain only a night, but are so much pleased they tarry a month before proceeding flhrther South.
The present site of Savannah is where General Oglethorpe was met, in 1733, by the Yamacraw Indians, who, after lie had landed, presented him with a buffalo-skin, on the inside of which was painted the plumafge of an eagle, acconip(,inied with the following address: "The feathers of the eagle," said the chief, "are soft, and signify love ; the buffalo-skin is warm, the emblem of protection; therefore love and protect our families." Oglethorpe, in coming to America, was stimulated with the desire of finding a home for the oppressed Protestants and bankrupt gentlemen of England. Upon the adjustment of terms with the Indians he proceeded to lay out the city of Savannah with the greatest regularity. It then contained ten public squares of two acres each, in which were trees, walks, and a pump. The number of squares has now been increased to twenty-four-the walks all being paved with granite, and swept daily. Forsyth Park is on a more extended plan than these small squares, containing a large fountain, fine flowers, magnolia grandiflora trees, a small zoological collection-all objects of interest, displaying the taste and refinement of a well-cultured people. Pulaski Square is named for Count Pulaski, who was mortally wounded during the American Revolution while in an engagement on the ground where the Central Depot now stands. Ile died on board the brig Wasp as she was leaving
A Sok1.IC IN FORSYTH PARK, SAVANNAH.
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 19
Tybee for Charleston, when his body was consigned to the sea. The citizens of Georgia, through their munificent bequests, have erected in Monterey Square a monument to Count Pulaski, the cornerstone of which was laid when General La Fayette visited America for the last time.
Savannah has made another fine exhibit of her discriminating powers in selecting a retired and lovely spot, made sacred to them by depositing all that remains of the loved ones who have crossed the river a little before. They have christened it Bonaventure, derived from the Spanish, signifying, Coming good. Here rest, in the unyielding embrace of death, those whose warfare in life has ended, where the huge live-oaks, with overlapping limbs, entwine with their companions, forming natural triumphal archways, while the somber-hanging gray moss clings lovingly to its outstretched arms, waving in the winds like some weird fancy that lingers only on the brink of uncertainty. These beautiful grounds were once the home of the Tatnall family, but have now been purchased and devoted to the dwelling of the dead, whither the living can come and contemplate the change which awaits them all.
Travelers, in leaving Savannah for Florida, can go outside by sea, or the inland route, many preferring the latter on account of avoiding sea-sickness, the passage being made between sounds, inlets, and islands, before Fernandina is reached. The inland steamers are first-class in every respect, and the long marsh-grass contains many of those colossal lizards called alligators. They crawl about fear-
20 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
lessly in their hiding-places, while the swamp blackbird whistles very sweetly for us as we pass along so quietly most of the time that we are not exactly certain of any movement, but ten. miles an hour is the pro rata of speed.
We are now close to St. Simon's Island, where General Oglethorpe commenced another settlement in 1736, called Frederica. On this equable-tempered island they laid out a town, built a fort with four bastions to protect their palmetto cabins, which, as the historian describes them, appeared like a camp with bowers, being covered with leaves of a pleasing color." Natural paths and arbors were found here by the English, as if formed by the hand of art, with the ripe grapes hanging in festoons of a royal purple hue. The settlements made by Oglethorpe in this portion of the country were the first formed in the true spirit of improvement and colonization.
With him came the great founder of Methodism in America, Wesley, who planted his standard onl this island, and mentions their object in the following manner: "It is not to gain riches and honor, but to live wholly to the glory of God, as we have come in the serene hour of peace, when the floods of controversy have subsided, to sow the gospel seeds."
John Bartram visited St. Simon's Island in 1744, and makes the following record of his repast with a friend: "Our rural table was spread under the shadow of oaks, palms, and sweet-bays, fanned by the lively, salubrious breezes, wafted from the spicy groves. Our music was the responsive love-lays of
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 21
the painted nonpareil and the alert, gay mockingbird, while the brilliant humming-bird darted through the flowery groves, suspended in air, drinking nectar from the blooms of the yellow jasmine, lonicera, andromeda, and azalea."
As we approach Fernandina we are nearing historic grou nd-Dungenness, once a most charming and attractive place, located near the southern extremity of Cumberland Island, the former home of Nathanael Greene, of revolutionary fame, where his last days were spent peacefully, of which pleasant period he thus speaks: "The mocking-birds that sing around me morning and evening, the mild and balmy atmosphere, with the exercise which I find in my garden culture." This locality seemed to have constituted a happy close to his eventful career.
The English planted an olive-grove on this island that succeeded well, as though the trees were indigenous. They used the fruit in making pickles, which were considered very fine. Is it not the olive-tree which the Christian should love and venerate, even to the "hoary dimness of its delicate foliage, subdued and faint of hue, as though the ashes of the Gethsemane agony had been cast upon it forever?" It was at the foot of the Mount of Olives, beneath the shadow of the trees from which it derives its name, that was selected for the most mournful of scenes"The Saviour's Passion.." The good and the wild olive-tree will flourish in this climate. It was these trees which furnished the Apostle Paul with one of his most powerful allegories. The wild olive blooms in March, producing a profusion of pink-tinted,
22 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
white, star-shaped flowers, while its polished, evergreen verdure, remains all the year, affording a compact and beautiful shade.
On this island, before the late war, was seen a scuppernong grape-vine, nearly three hundred years old, supposed to have been planted by the Spanish missionaries. It was then pronounced a prolific bearer, producing two thousand pounds of fruit per annum, and covering nearly three acres of ground. Here rests all that remains of Light-Horse Harry Lee, the gifted and honored dead. "Here his lamp of life flickered before being extinguished." Ie died March 25, 1818. The decaying marks of time, and the more ruthless destruction of war, have fearfully invaded and devastated this once revered retreat. "Silent though it be, there are memories lingering still vocal amid the mutations of fortune and the desolations of war-memories which carry the heart back to happy days and peculiar excellences which come not again."
When General R. E. Lee last visited Savannah the burial-place of his illustrious parent was not forgotten. It was the only tribute of respect which his great feeling heart could bestow, the last mission of love he was able to perform. Did he think before spring should return again, decked in her gay robes, flinging ten thousand odors upon its balmy breath, that his grave would then be visited by weeping friends, and that loving hands should twine fresh flowers for his remains?
How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
By all-their country's honors blest!
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 23
We next pass the mouth of St. Mary's River, the source of which is a vast lake, where dwelt the fhrfamed beautiful women, or Daughters of the Sun. These were the last of the Yemassee tribe, who had intrenched themselves here for protection, all efforts to pursue them being like the enchanted lands, which receded as they were approached.
Fernandina is situated on Amelia Island, which is eighteen miles in length and two in width. Vessels can approach the harbor any time without fear from shoals, as the water on the bar will always furnish an average of nineteen feet. Its first settlers, as of many other places in Florida, were Spaniards, a few of whom are remaining. During the movements of the Embargo War, together with the privateers and slavers, three h und red square-rigged vessels have been seen in this harbor at one time. Another settler mentions the mounds When the country was first explored by the Spaniards.
General Oglethorpe, like other explorers in America, was impressed with the coast of Florida, and thus speaks of Amelia Island: "The sea-shore, covered with myrtle and peach-trees, orange-trees and vines in the wild woods, where echoed the sound of melody from the turtle-doves, nonpareils, red-birds, and mocking-birds." Different nationalities looked upon Amelia Island with longing eyes for many years, coveting it for their possession.
In 1817, Gregor McGregor, a Scottish baronetan enthusiast on the subject of contest-came, with only fifty followers, making proclamations and issuing edicts, of more magnitude than plans for their
24 Petals Phcked from Sunny Climes.
execution, but soon retired to the quieter quarters of his Highland bhome.
Afterward came Commodore Aury, with one hundred.and fifty men, on a filibustering expedition, and overpowered the Spanish troops. At this time it would have been a difficult task to find a more motley, medley crowd of residents in any country than upon Amelia Island, composed of English. adventurers, Irish and French refugees, Scotch, Mexicans, Spaniards, privateers, natives, and negroes. Factions of such varied dispositions and inclinations were not designed to promote harmony in any comnunity; consequently, riots and disturbances were of frequent occurrence.
Previous to this movement by Aury, negotiations had been pending between the United States and the Spanish Government for Florida; consequently, President Monroe and his Cabinet looked upon the disputed property, in a manner, as their own possessions. These Spaniards, being unable to expel the privateering adventurers, President Monroe sent United States troops, which took possession of Fernandina without resistance, ii the name of His Catholic Majesty of Spain. This event happened in the spring of 1g18.
On Amelia Island is situated a light-house, which exhibits a flash-light, one hundred feet above the level of the sea, visible sixteen miles. The tower is built upon a promontory which overlooks the surrounding country and the Atlantic as far as the eye can extend.
At Fernandina the Atlantic Gulf and West India
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 25
Transit Railroad commences, where the gentlemanly officers connected with and in charge of the road reside. The obliging superintendent is always in readiness here to give information upon the peculiar facilities resulting from living on this route, as a health-location, besides being so closely connected by steam-ships with all parts of the world. It now contains a population of about th'ee thousand inhabitants, and, on account of the fine sea air, has been a resort for rany years during the summer season by persons from. the interior of the State.
The misfortunes of our late war fell heavily on Fernandina, crippling its energies and crushing its present prospects for a time. The real estate of its residents was confiscated and sold fot' taxes. Some of it has been redeemed, and the remainder Is passing through a series of lengthy litigations, which, when settled, are designed to decide the validity ot tax-sales generally throughout the entire State. The present condition of affairs places the inhabitants in rather a Micawber-like condition, waiting for something to turn up in the future.
As a resort far away from-the busy, bustling cares of life, this place seems peculiarly fine. The island being entirely surrounded by salt-water, a delightful. breeze visits the inhabitants at, all seasons of the year-in sumnmer, zephyry as the vale of Cashmere, or the soft winds which bore the silver-oared barge of Cleopatra through the Cydnus. The most attractive feature of all-in this-locality is the beautiful beach, connected with the town by a good shell-road two miles in IY'igth, bordering, the isiand-fo- twenty-
26 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
one miles, and over two hundred yards in width. It is this unsurpassed drive about which the inhabitants love to entertain you at all times, until you can see it in you," dreams. A good livery-stable is kept here, well filled with fine, fast horses, trained to trot, or wade in the surf, allowing visitors to admire the wonderful vastness of the most beautiful expanse of waters which wash the Atlantic shores. At ebb-tide the imagination cannot conceive of a finer place, the beach being so firm that a pair of horses and carriage scarcely make an indentation on the surface in passing over it. The pavement is God's own workmanship, being composed of white sand, occasionally interspersed with shells, many of them the tiniest in existence. Here the happy sea-birds ride on the silvery fam, or flit across the breezy water; the seagulls and pelicans luxuriate and flap their wings in peaceful quietude, while the sand-crab takes his walks, standing upright like a pigmy of the human species, presenting arms in a soldier-like manner, and never turnil)g his back, however hotly pursued. These are in reality very curious little creatures, reminding us of the Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels. Here the turtle comes to deposit her eggs beyond high-water mark, and when they are hatched returns to escort a family of one hundred and fifty babies to her home in the sea. Here the bright moonbeams dance upon the surface of the water, in silence and solitude, until it resembles the surface of a silver mirror,, Maii pretty shells are found on this beach, of various sizes and designs, with occasionallv l.0air.lble cabinet specimens, xhich are
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 27
thrown out wlhen the waters become much agitated. This is the spot for the jilted lover to forget his idol, and the disconsolate lady her imaginary devotee; for those fretted by the rough edges of corroding care to retire and find a respite from their struggles; the bankrupt who has been conquered in the battles of brokerage, to visit and be reminded God has given us more treasures to delight us than the dross which passes from our grasp like a shadow, but which all are struggling and striving to win ; the store-house of the fathomless deep, where we can contemplate that great image of eternity, "the invisible, boundless, endless, and sublime."
28 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
. N leaving Fernandina we come out Amelia River, which is formed by the tide-water from the Atlantic. We pass Old Town, one mile from Fernandina, which has a look-out for pilots who take vessels across the bar, besides a few houses, the residence of Spaniiiards. Fort Clinch is the last noticeable point before ve reach the St. John's River bar.
It is the month of January-a bland breeze greets us, when our thoughts revert to the early settlement of this country, when the Spanish galleonsa strain ge- looking craft-navigatcfd these waters; also ponderous old ships, with sailing figures of various devices carved on their prows, and high-peaked sterns, the timber used being mahogany and cedar, many of which were driven to pieces in a most merciless manner among the breakers, thus scattering their treasures of silver and gold on the strand, to tempt and satisfy the cupidity of those who found them. Vessels dread this bar, as those drawing only six feet of water are oftentimes detained when going'"I and returning with their cargoes of lumber. The white caps wave their snowy plumes, as a warning, when. the wind blows, which sends terror to the hearts of the timid, but the more daring exclaim, It looks grand!
Petals Plucked from Snny Climes. 29
As we cross the bar we are in sight of two resorts
-Mayport and Fort George Island-both places arranged for the accommodation of summer and wintervisitors. Fishermen also live in these dimin utive towns, and are engaged, like the apostles when their Saviour called them, in mending their nets. Shadfishing is very profitable here during the season. Shad abounds in this river, and being a delicious lfish, it is much sought after.
Tle various descriptions published from the pens ,of those who visit Florida now are read by persons looking to this locality as a w inter'-resort, or in search of new homes and health, as items of unsurpassed interest. For this reason writers should be reliable in their statements. In many tourists the emotional current is created so far from the surface that it is a difficult matter for them to be impressed with external objects. For this cause we meet with.a multitude of fault-finders.
Settlers living in remote localities from the St. John's River complain because visitors resort there in preference to all other parts of the State. If the facilities and inducements were the same elsewhere, the desire to go would be equal; but it requires the fortitude of a Livingstone to commence a trip into many of the most attractive parts of Florida, with the indistinct prospect how they are to get away wben inclined to make a change. The Americans are a restless, roving people, fond of varied scenery, and when confined where they cannot get away, manifest very much the disposition of caged captives.
Laudonniere thus speaks of the St. John's River:
30 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
"The place is so pleasant that those who are melancholy would be forced to change their humor." This stream, with its tributaries, is the great artery of the State, where the savage roamed at will for nearly three hundred years after its settlement by the Spaniards, who cane in search of hidden treasures, its former history being a page in the past. Here this river glides before us, with its dark, coffee-colored waters, and no perceptible current except where the tide comes in, it being a remarkable stream, unlike any other in North America. The coloring matter it contains is not precipitated by standing, and for this reason is attributed to a colored earth through which it passes from the upper lakes, together with the different kinds of vegetation that environ it. It varies in width from one to three miles, and is thought by many to be an estuary. From the mouth of the St. John's to Pilatka there are numerous bluffs, some of them ten or twelve feet in height, with an under-stratum of shells, on which elevations the pine-tree flourishes. The cypress, ash, and cabbage-palmetto grow or the banks above Pilatka. The weeping cypress, with its leafless, conical excrescences, called knees, and dropsical feet, loves to be alole. It gives a friendly greeting to the gray moss, which lives and swings from its tallest limbs to the lowest twigs, furnishing a complete mantle of grace to the naked-appearing trees. This moss has no affinity for the pine or palm, which thrives in close proximity, colonizing and fraternizing in groups, oftentimes solitary, sighing or rustling as the sea-breeze comes to meet and
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 31
kiss its feathery crowns and perennial foliage. A fer of the trees are deciduous, as the swamp-oak, ash, and poplar; most of the others are persistent, the change of foliage occurring so quietly it is scarcely observed. The mistletoe, with its green, tufted foliage, fastens on the oal, and is a regular parasite-a thief-for it deprives the tree of vitality. The mistletoe seeds are used as an article of food by the birds, and, being thus transported to the foresttrees, adhere by means of a gluten until germ ination comm ences.
The change of flags in 1821 produced a change with many of the citizens, when much local information connected with the history of Florida was lost. This province, when ceded to the United States, was divided in two parts, called East and West Florida. Petitions were then frequently forwarded to Washington, with a request to have it remain divided, as it was inconveniently large. During the war which soon followed, many new explorations were made in the hidden hummocks and intricate recesses of the State.
The drinking-water used in Florida does not come from mountain-streans or arctic regions, but in summer, mixed with sugar and lemon-juice, or sour orange, forms a most palatable and healthful mixture.
Land-snakes are not plentiful, as many have supposed, there being very few but water-snakes, which can be easily accounted for, as the intense heat from the fires which sweep through the long grass every year destroy them; then there are no rocks for their
832 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
hiding-places, where they could rear patriarchal families.
Musqqitoes abound in some places on the coast, and to the dwellers in tents the impression bas, nio doubt, been received that the air was made of these insects. There is a due proportion of fleas in portions of Florida, but not more than in the sandy soil of other countries.
The climate is constantly tempered by the Gulf Stream, that conducts away the tropical heat, returning in a submarine current, the cooler waters from the North thus producing. an atmosphere of salubrious influences and life-renewing properties.
No month is without its fresh products and fruits, while every warm day the mocking-bird sings above our heads on some airy perch.
Many theories have been advanced in regard to the formation of terra firma on our continent, the one most generally received being that it was all once submerged under water-as a proof of which shells and other marine fossils have been found in elevated positions, which only could have been placed there by the sea overflowing the land, and afterward receding. When this conclusion is attained, Florida cannot be included, as every year the land augments from the combined efforts of the coral insect, limulus, and barnacles, together with the debris which is deposited upon them afterward. If the disturbing influences along the shores were less, the increase of land would be much greater, as winds and waves are as destructive to the prosperity of these subterranean architects as tornadoes and
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 33
cyclones to th.e growth of fine forest-trees. The coral insect is constantly working in his briny bed, makingmasonry which resists the action of the element in which it is placed, thus laying the foundation for islands atnd continents. It is the work of these mIadrepores and polyps that form reefs which wreck so many vessels on its coast, thuis making fortunes. for those who follow salvage entirely for a support.
The fact of Florida. as a health-resort. has long been established, the proof being furnished by the length of time consumptives who come for the purpose of lingering a little longer than they otherwise could North, and living in the enjoyment of sufficiently good health to pursue any lucrative vocation their tastes may decide, is sufficient evidence of the efficacy of the climate for pulm(mnic complaints. Exposure iii Florida, as in other places, has its penalties affixed. Near bodies of water a chilliness pervades the air as soon as the sun sets, which is plainly perceptible to all delicate persons. No barometer was ever more sensitive to. atmospheric variations than the feelings of a sick person; no magnet was ever attracted to steel nore suddenly than their nervous sensibilities to an agreeable or disagreeable object. This prescribing invariable rules for every disease is all a humbug; the patient is usually the best judge. The resort for invalids, when the dew and shades of night are falling on the face of nature, is before a pleasant light-wood fire, surrounded by cheerful companions-remembering that an interview of the internal emotions frequently for the sick
84 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
is not beneficial. Try and keep from thinking how badly off you really are, as much as practicable. Many have lived for years with only oie lung. All sudden changes from heat to cold should be avoided: when you are cold, get warm as soon as possible, and when you are tired, stop-your life depends upon it. All invalids should select a locality which best suits their malady; then settle dowvn, with the determination to extract all the sweets of contentment in store for them which the world contains, keeping their bodies comfortable in every respect, their minds free from all exciting or unpleasant thoughts, their hearts purified while living, and, if death comes, prepared to meet their Maker.
About ten miles from the mouth of the St. John's Laudonniere established his Hugueniot colony, building his fortification on a hill of "mean height,' naming it Caroline, from their sovereign, Charles IX., of France, now known as St. John's Bluff. The former site of Fort Caroline can be traced with. some degree of accuracy, from the fact of this being the first point on the river IbAbove its month where its banks are approached by the stream, besides being the only elevated spot where a fort could be built. between the St. John's Bluff and the mouth of the river. As Fort Carolinie was constructed more than three hundred years ago, from materials of so perishable a nature- being pine-logs and sandnone of it remains to be seen at the present day.
The first lumber-mills on the St. John's are located nea' the estate of Marquis do Talleyrand, eight miles from Jacksonville. The busy hum of
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 35
industry now echoes from the shores, where pinelogs are being sawed into material for making houses, not only in Florida, but in Boston and other Northern cities. Mr. Clark's mill, in East Jacksonville, received an order, after the big Boston fire, for a million feet at one time. These mills, besides being a source of revenue to the owners, furnish work for the poor, and the refuse pieces fuel, while in cold weather the big fires that consume the slabs afford a free lodging for benighted travelers; also for those who have no good houses, and would be unwelcome visitors in almost any place.
Twenty-five miles from the sea, on the banks of the St. John's, once stood an insignificant place, known as Cow Ford, but now the fine, thriving city of Jacl
A combination of singular emotions here seizes the Northern visitor, after being transported in midwinter from his frozen home to a clime where every thing is fresh and blooming, where the market is furnished with cabbages, sweet potatoes, lettuce, turnips, green peas, and radishes, just gathered, besides strawberries red as the blush of morn, with bouquets of rose-buds, upon which still lingers the morning dew-drop.
Many persons come here with unhappy tempera-
86 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
ments, to whom peace and contentment in any place, or under all circumstances, has been deficient, but always vainly expecting to find happiness hanging on every new object they meet, waiting for them to pluck; but, unfortunately, it hangs so high they can never reach it-when they commence abusing every thing with which they come in contact. We hear them constantly exclaiming, "Too much sand! too little to eat! too high prices for things!" Nothing can please them. Their faces are drawn up in disgust, and their tongues ready to strike with the venom of contempt, at every person who has a good word to say in favor of Florida.
The unbroken quiet which has been with us, since we left Savannah is interrupted as soon as the steamer touches the Jacksonville wharf. We are importuned and jostled on every side by black boys, dray and carriage-drivers, who worry us for our baggage, raising their whips with the imperious movement of a major-general, and suddenly lowering them at half-mast when we say, Nol Then the officious lotel-runners, who scream in our ears to patronize the houses that employ them, until we are on the verge of desperation, and feel as though the plagues of Egypt could not have been worse. Most ot these public criers are dirty, ragged, and lazy, having no legitimate vocation, except what they can make from visitors, or in drunming for boardinghouses. This city has fine accommodations, and tbr that reason receives more envy than admiration from other Florida towns. It can fu rnish more than one hundred good places of entertainment, among
Petals Placked from Sanny Climes. 37
which may be found several colossal hotels, capable of containing two or three hundred guests, also boarding houses of less pretentious dimensions, where, no doubt, a nearer approximation to the acknowledgment for value received is oftener realized. Selections can be made where money may be expended rapidly or slowly, according to the inclination of the visitor. Here, as in other places, we meet with boarding-house complainers. This class of grumblers must remember that hotel-keepers stand fault-finding as quietly as a delinquent schoolboy his deserved punishment; they are used to it; they expect it, and would be disappointed if they did not get it.
The influx of visitors commences sooner some seasons than others. The first cold blast from the North sends the feeble invalid South to bask in the summer sunshine of a milder atmosphere, and when spring comes he returns home like the migratory birds.
Jacksonville and its adjacent towns number a population of over twelve thousand inhabitants, the whole area being three miles long and about two wide. The different names given to this small space of country looks larger on the map than in reality. These corporations are distinguished from each other by the names of Jacksonville, East Jacksonville, Brooklyn, La Villa, Riverside, Springfield, Hansom Town, etc.-each town containing from fifty to fifteen hundred houses. The inhabitants say they were laid out into lots and named, with the expectation of a large increase of persons; conse-
38 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
quently there are desirable building-spots in these surveyed sites for growing cities, for sale at all times upon moderate terms.
Jacksonville makes a display of architectural skill, in which are seen the improvements of the nineteenth century. Yards and lawns are laid out fronting many of the residences, where the beauties of landscape gardening may be found blending in harmony with the artistically-arranged walks and pleasure promenades. The sidewalks are made of plank and brick, shaded aind overhung with liveoaks, forming archways of inviting appearance, from which swings pendant moss, presenting a perennial, picturesque scene of nature's grandeur. There are over twenty church-edifices in and around the city, where both white and colored people come to worship in crowds. We are happy to state these statistics find the inhabitants in a much better spiritual condition than has been represented. However, we have no partiality for many of the doctrines preached by itinerant refbrmers who come here. We prefer our old orthodox faith, which made us contented while we lived, and carried us to heaven when we died. But these new isms, such as Spiritualism, Liberalism, Free-loveism, and every other species of modernized infidelity that is now gaining ground and receiving accessions from our Sunny South, are designed only to delude and drown the souls of their followers in eternal misery. The Churches here are representatives of various creeds and beliefs- Methodist, Presbyterian, Protestant Episcopalian, and Roman Catholic.
Petals Plucked fom Sunny Climes. 39
The Sabbath dawns in Florida with its recreations and steam boat. excursions, well patronized by Northern visitors, as very few appear to bring their religion when they come South.
Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe is here to-day from her home in Mandarin, for the purpose of attending g church. Dr. Stowe, her husband, accompanies her as he preaches. When they both entered the Southern Methodist church a slight rustle was heard in the congregation, and a few persons left the house. Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Ton were more than a Sabbath (lose. for some of the Jacksonville community. liarriet B. has no resemblance to a perpetrator of discord or scandal, or one who has swayed the diviningrod of Abolitionism with sufficient potency to iimortalize herself for many coming generations, or probed the private life of a man who, during the period of his checkered existence, never carved out virtue for his shrine. The three snowy curls on each side of her face give her a matronly look, and her stout-built frame, well covered with flesh, a substantial appearance.
The service was opened by a very long prayer from Dr. Stowe, after which he preached a purely orthodox sermon on the subject of godliness. Mrs. Harriet had confidence in the ability of her husband; she knew the discourse would be right without her vigilant eye, and she went to sleep. Like other sleepers, she nodded naturally; her digits were concealed beneath kid covers, and thrusting at no one. She looked the picture of content, and was no doubt dreaming of that far-off beautiful
40 Petals Placked from Sunny Climes.
country, where those who create dissensions and stir up strife can never enter.
Places of worship have had an existence for both colors throughout the entire South since the country was settled, the negroes being naturally inclined to religion more than the whites. The African Church has always been a full-developed institution, attended with its peculiarities and noisy accompaniments, where the colored zealots could always give vent to their religious enthusiasm by howling their emotional feelings among others equally excited. The preacher usually leads the singing with his loud, soul-stirring strains, manifesting much fervor, sometimes improvising a strain or two with his own invention, if the rhyme and tune do not measure equal.
The following is a correct copy of an original sermon delivered by a very black Baptist. brother to a Jacksonville colored congregation a short time previous to the Freedmen's Bank explosion, which appears prophetic in regard to that swindling institution. The text was, "Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven":
"MY DEAR BREDREN:-De Lord is here to-day, goin' from de African to de white folks church, ridin' on a milk-white steed in de air. He knows all yer hearts, and what you're thinkin' about. Ef yer hearts are not right, dey must all undergo a radical change until dey are made good. De Lord taught his disciples on de lake of Genesis, and I'm now telling you all de way do do. I 'spec you all cum to de house of de Lord.just kase yer friends
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 41
are here. While yer preacher is tryin' to permulgate de gospel, you is lookin' down de street to see what is coming and den you're thinkin' about what you will wear to-night when you come to preachin', paying' no attention to me, who is tryin' to save yer souls.
"0 my bredren, dis is a fine new meetiri'-house, but we should all seek a house whose builder and maker is de great Lord! Labor-not for de perishin', spilin' meat!
"Last night was Saturday, and you have spent most of yer week's wages and earnin's, dun put de rest in de Freedmen Savin' Bank, and you do n't know as you'll ever see it any more in dis world! Somebody may git it, or you may die, and den you will leave it. How much did you bring here for de Lord? 0 my bredren, when dem jerudic angels come you will be sorry you have n't done more for de Lord! When dey come, ef you has n't dun nothin' for yer blessed Jesus, den dey will not say, 'Come, ye blessed, home!'
"You must do nothin' wrong ef yer want ter git up by dat great white throne among dem snowwhite angels, and be one yerselves. You must never cuss or drink any whisky. Paul told Timothy his son to drink some wine when he had de stumak-ake. My bredren, do n't think yer sufferin' when yer not, jest for an excuse to git a dram. Old Master in heaven knows when yer sure enuff sick! Can't fool him about nothin'!" Journalism in Jacksonville is commencing to rest on a firmer basis than heretofore. The present pop3
42 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
ulation demand more knowledge on the subject of the country, consequently papers and periodicals published in the interest of the State are much sought after. The Semi-tropical, a monthly established here, will be found to contain both readable and reliable articles on the climate and various products of Florida. The Sun and Press is a daily democratic paper, unswerving in its efforts to inculcate correct principles among those in power. There were other organs whose politics was gauged for the season, and since the war until now have been on the winning side, the Republicans being in the majority. The ephemeral existence of newspapers has passed away here, and'the morning news, fresh and well printed, containing the latest telegrams, are found lying on the breakfast-table, furnishing a potent auxiliary to the peace and happiness of the household.
The privilege of doing as one pleases is not to be overlooked in Jacksonville. No costumes, however peculiar, appear out of style, or the wearers, as in some other places, obliged to seek protection from the police. Celebrities or millionaires walk the streets without creating any sensation. The Mormon, with his four or fourteen wives, can come from Salt Lake City, take rooms at the St. James, enter all the frequented resorts with the same fear from molestation that a genuine Floridian feels of being Ku- Kluxed. Any strong mitided marketwoman can don the Bloomer costume, make and sell sugar, brown as her own bun-colored face, and peddle vegetables verdant as the idea which prompt-
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 43
ed her to forsake the flowing robes of her fair sisters, and assume the half masculine attire of the sterner sex, without attracting any more attention than the lazy loungers in the market-house. The citizens are so accustomed to sight-seeing that nothing would astonish them but an honest politician.
Unfortunately for all parties concerned, this winter there is a large influx of men in search of employment, fifty looking for situations with only one vacancy. It is well to come prepared for all exigencies, and bring a tent to stop in, provided nothing better presents itself. The woods, waters, and oyster-bars are free to all; but boarding-house keepers, from the pressure of surrounding circumstances, have a peculiarly persistent way of watching strangers closely and interviewing them frequently, particularly if there is a suspicion that funds are running low with them. Camping in the open air in this genial clime is pleasanter than would be imagined by persons not accustomed to it, and is accompanied with more peace of mind than being dunned for board-bills without money to pay them.
Pleasant places of resort are springing up in the vicinity of Jacksonville, which furnish lovely drives behind some of the teams kept in the city. Moncrief Springs, four miles distant, now appears to be the most popular resort. Here the orange marmalade factory may be visited-a recently-developed branch of industry making use of the wild oranges which flourish so abundantly throughout the State without culture. Many other improvements have been made at this place-bath-houses,
44 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
bowling-alley, dancing-saloon, and restaurant-all of which contribute much to the diversion of strangers.
Visitors always form an idea of the cultivation or ignorance of a locality by the manner in which the dead are cared for, together with the various styles of monuments, inscriptions upon the tablets, neatniess and taste displayed in the surroundings. Upon this hypothesis a favorable conclusion would be formed in regard to the Jacksonville cemetery, which last resting-place of its citizens is pleasantly located on a slightly elevated piece of ground beyond the city. It was on the Sabbath we visited it, when all kinds of people were present. Some of them were much stricken with -grief, while others came for recreation. It is really very surprising why so many persons of exceedingly low morals resort to grave-yards for the sole purpose of enjoyment, and the indulgence of obscene conduct and conversation. Certainly rude sounds must jar very inharmoniously upon the feelings of those who come to visit and weep over the remains of their departed friends.
Too many invalids, before coming to Florida, wait until they have already felt the downy flappings from the wings of the unrelenting destroyer, and heard the voices from a spirit-land calling them, but come too late to be benefited and take a new lease on life. The climate should not be blamed because the sick will stay away until death claims them. Those who do not wait derive the same benefit in remaining that flowers receive from gentle rains in
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 45
spring-time-the atmosphere being a tranquillizer, the pure sea-breeze on the coast a lotion and tonic to the lungs. God grant that the genial air which visits this peninsula may restore the health-seeking invalids to vigor, strength, and usefulness, that their presence may again gladden the hearts of those left at home, now saddened by their absence!
46 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
VERY year, during the month of February,
Jacksonville has an exhibit of industries, from all portions of the State, thus furnishing visitors an opportunity for seeing specimens of the best Florida products for themselves, before purchasing. Another advantage is the exchange of experience in growing the same things, besides receiving new suggestions in regard to those which may have failed, and, finally, it keeps up a friendly intercourse with old acquaintances, also enabling new immigrants to form pleasant associations, in the absence of those whom they have left behind-thus promoting harmony, not only in a community, but throughout the entire State.
The weather--that important auxiliary-this year was unpropitious a greater portion of the week. Nature put on a wild, damp face, which chilled the ardor of many who had intended coming. However, the exhibit was very good, in every department. All kinds of send-tropical fruits, from the most perfect pine-apple that has flourished in any clime, to the sweetest orange, whose cheek had been kissed by a golden sunbeam. Pure wines were not wanting to complete the conviviality of the occasion, or perfumes distilled from Florida leaves and flowers, to waft odors around us, sweet as the mem-
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 47
ory of a first love. The industrious ladies sent their needle-work, some of which looked as if wrought by fairy fingers, more than real flesh and blood.
Each succeeding year this organization gathers strength as the State becomes more populous, and the necessity of comparing the products from different latitudes is made a criterion for those who wish to examine the local products of a country. In addition to what has already been done, there is much room for improvement, which will be accomplished as the necessities demand, until the Agricultural Florida Fair shall be numbered among the permanent institutions, where the ingathering harvest of tropical fruits every year will be a fixed fact, where immense crowds shall come to look, wondering at its magnitude, and silent with admiration before the grandeur of its extensive proportions. The future of the Fair, like that of the State, has not been attained.
Another source of entertainment with many who come here is yachting. The white-winged little crafts are constantly flitting about the Jacksonville wharves, like summer songsters in a clear sky. The boats, in reality, have become quite indispensable to the excitement of visitors. Those that draw the least water, and make the best time, or with a fair wind can sail on a heavy dew, are the class of craft most in demand. General Spinner, formerly of the United States Treasury, has a fine little yacht, in which he takes pleasure-excursions, looking much happier than when the responsibility of a nation's finances rested on his movements.
48 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
Our stay in Jacksonville has been very pleasant; but its surroundings furnish a poor criterion for the fertile lands lying in other parts of the State.
The ocean steamer Dictator is waiting at the wharf for passengers, and we will be among the happy number to embark on this reliable-running craft. Her former efficient commander, Captain Coxetter, has gone where bars or rough waters never imperil his safety. However, his place has been supplied by a skillful seaman, thus placing the Dictator at the head of the list for palatial accommodations and attentive officers.
The St. John's to-day appears overspread with a kind of semi-transparent mist, through which the sun shines with a nimbus of golden sheen, that fills the air and sky. Imagination could not paint the River of Life more beautiful. How smoothly we glide on its peaceful bosom, while fleecy clouds of unrivaled purity float over us like airy forms, which leave an indefinable idea of an invisible presence hovering near.
The first noticeable landing, after we leave Jacksonville, is Mandarin, fifteen miles distant-the winter residence of Harriet Beecher Stowe- at which point many stop, as though she was expected to furnish a gratuitous exhibition of herself, designed for the benefit of those who walk her domains. Visitors come here thinking they are at the same liberty to inspect her person as though she were connected with a menagerie, and obligated to present herself for their entertainment. Very curious ones open her window-blinds if they cannot see her
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 49
in any other way. These impudent violations of etiquette do not meet with her approval, while those indulging in them must take the consequences, remembering that although patience is a virtue, it is not always exercised.
Mandarin is quite unpretentious in its general appearance. The inhabitants raise fine sweet oranges and other produce, which they bring down in little boats to market; this is the most perceptible stir made by any of its residents. Like many other localities in the State, historic records of tragic events, extending back to the Indian wars, are yet remembered by some of its old citizens. The following.is dated December 25, 1841:
"For some time the settlers in this section of the country had been lulled into apparent security, under the belief that there was no danger to be apprehended, since the notorious Wild Cat and his party were shipped to the West.
"On Monday a band of twenty-one Indians approached the settlement of Mandarin, when, after capturing an old negro belonging to Mr. William Hartley, lay by until night, when they attacked the house of Mr. H., who was absent hunting. They murdered his wife and child, also Messrs. Domingo Acosta and William Molpus. These savages, after committing this foul deed, plundered the house and applied the torch. They then proceeded to the plantations of Nathan and George Hartley, and as the inmates had fled, they destroyed their homes. The Indians camped near until morning, when they released the old negro, and fled. Captain lIurry, of
50 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
Mandarin, and a few other citizens, followed their trail the next day for some distance, but finally lost it."
The settlers then gave expression to their feelings: "We, the citizens of Mandarin, cannot too strongly urge upon Col. Worth the propriety of keeping in this vicinity a force sufficiently strong to render to our citizens that protection to which they are justly entitled. Many of them had returned to their abandoned places, others making preparations for that purpose; but their plans are now frustrated, as there can be no possible security until the last Indian is hunted out of Florida; while our troops are operating in the South, they are murdering in our .unprotected settlements. This is the seventh Christmasday we have witnessed since the Indian war has been raging in our territory, it being now our pailnful duty to record it is far from being ended. The blood of our citizens is still warm upon the hillocks and turfs of Florida, and the wily savage roams undismayed, with his thirst for the blood of fresh victirns unquenched."
One noticeable feature in traveling through Florida is the fanciful names we hear given to unimportant places-the name being the most prominent point, the towns so diminutive that it is difficult to locate them with any degree of certainty. The first highsounding ones, after Mandarin, are Hibernia and Magnolia, both little stopping- places, considered quite exclusive in their associations with the world in general and themselves in particular, where guests are so well contented they think the tabled land for
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 51
which the Spaniards searched so long is at last reached.
Green Cove Mineral Springs, thirty miles above Jacksonville, is a noted resort for those afflicted with rheumatism--the temperature of the water always being warm enough in winter to stimulate the system and give relief to pain. Many other diseases are also greatly mitigated. Very happy faces come down here to look at us, which is, no doubt, attributable to the exhilarating influences of the water and fine fare at the hotels.
Picolata, forty-five miles above Jacksonville, on. the east bank of the river, is more famous for what it has been than for what it is now, its former greatness having departed, leaving scarcely a shadow to guide us. This was formerly the stage terminus from St. Augustine, eighteen miles distant, and of some importance as a commercial point, with a weekly stage running to Tallahassee and St. Mark's. During Spanish times this place was called Fort Picolata, where once stood a very ancient fortress. The following is a description of its dimensions, written over one hundred years since. "It was constructed with a high wall, without bastions, about breast-high on the inside, with loop-holes, and surrounded by a deep ditch. The upper story was open on each side, with battlements supporting a cupola, or roof. These parapets were formerly mounted with eight four-pounders-two on each side. The works were built with hewn stone, cemented in lime. The shell-rock from which it was constructed was cut out of quarries on St. Anastasia Island, op-
52 Petals Plucked fr'om Sunny Climes.
posite St. Augustine." The object of this fort was to guard the passage of the river, and preserve communication with St. Mark's and Pensacola.
As we propose describing Tocoi on our return, we will now proceed to Pilatka, the county-seat of Putnam, with a population of fifteen hundred inhabitants. The land on which the town stands is high, the soil being mixed with shells. The accommodations here for visitors are fine, where many come to stay all winter, in preference to any other place. The Putnam House is well kept, being refreshingly neat, and the whole premises in perfect order. It is now February, and the garden is producing peas, lettuce, radishes, Irish potatoes, and many other vegetables, from which the house is supplied. The tables groan with good things, while the proprietor tries to make everybody welcome. The politeness of the servants reminds us of the palmy days of the past, when they were trained for use, and not permitted to roam, as many do now, like untamed beasts, seeking something which they can kill and eat, or steal, and trade for money. The citizens are very industrious and law-abiding-the town having been settled thirty years-and never had a county jail until recently; but, in keeping with the improvements of the age, they have one now which is equal to any emergency. Among the various other buildings, we notice a court-house, several churches, and many boarding-houses. The principal industries are a moss-factory, sea-island cotton-gin, a steam grist-mill and saw-mill, also a guano fish-oil factory. Shad-fishing is profitable here in March,
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 53
when large quantities are shipped. One paper-the Pilatka Herald-publishes all the news. The editor is called "Alligator" Pratt-he having obtained his title by giving descriptions of the immense numbers of alligators which frequented the streams, as recorded by the early settlers, but bringing it down to the present time, as a visible fact, which is not true, nor ever will be again, while so many are being killed every year. When we visited the Herald office, two lads, sons of the proprietor, were working like busy bees, the youngest being thirteen, and the oldest seventeen, years of age. They said their father was in Tallahassee, and they were "getting out the paper." Such enterprise is commendable.
Many of the tropical fruits are cultivated here, some of which grow to perfection, while others are experimental, but at present very flourishing. Ripe strawberries, luscious and sweet, are now ready for market, on Col. Hart's place-the fertilizer used being river-muck, which is inexhaustible. The weather is milder here than in other localities of the same latitude, not on the river, which is accounted for by the waters of the St. John's flowing from a milder clime, thus checking any proposed invasion from Jack Frost.
A very amusing circumstance happened here this morning. The Catholic bishop from St. Augustine being in town, according to his usual custom, proposed to have early morning mass. On repairing to the church, and finding none of his members in attendance, and not being inclined to say mass for the repose of their souls and bodies while in bed, as a
54 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
gentle reminder of their duties he commenced pulling vigorously at the bell-rope. The jingling at so early an hour caused a consternation among the inhabitants, who supposed it to be a fire-alarm, and, thinking the safety of their dwellings in danger, rushed from every street in hasty-made toilets, looking for the conflagration. However, on quiet being restored, the affair was considered a good joke.
Pilatka is the head of navigation for ocean steamers, the river narrowing so rapidly soon after leaving here that they cannot run any farther. Parties going up the Ocklawaha must always stop at this point, as steamers made for no other purpose leave here daily. No Florida tour would be complete without a trip up this narrow, tortuous stream, which turns its course so often the wonder is that it does not forget which way it was going to run.
The name of our boat is Okahumkee, which bears a slight resemblance to the pictures designed to represent Noah's ark, but only in shape, not in size or age. On account of the obstacles she has to meet in navigation, there can be no surplus-work or embellishment on her; but she is clean and comfortable, the fare good as ol any river-craft. The propelling power is at the sterni, and sends the steamer ahead at the rate of eight miles an hour. The owner, Col. Hart, is a man of undaunted energies, whose pioneer movements in navigating this river will ever remain a monument worthy of emulation.
Twenty-five miles above Pilatka the Ocklawaha comes in, which name signifies boggy river, or turgid water, so called by the Indians.
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 55
+ Ii ILE in Florida, if tourists wish for a variety, let them travel up the meandering course of that peculiar stream, the Ocklawaha. There is no signaling here, as at other rivers in the State, for fossilized Spaniards to take us over the barge. After describing a triangle, we enter its dark waters without obstacle or interruption, when our steamer glides along easily, if not quickly, as a Florida sun behind the horizon.
The Ocklawaha is the largest tributary of the much-admired St. John's River. It is only from fifty to seventy-five feet in width at any point, and navigable all seasons of the year. Its banks are lined with "forests primeval," while its crooked course can only be traced by a seat upon the decks of its steamers. The banks are low, with an occasional bluff, accompanied by a wildness of scenery not so unvaried as to become monotonous. The river runs through heavily-timbered lands, consisting of sweet-gum, sweet-bay, and live-oak, from which hangs a drapery of long moss so dense it is only visited by zephyr breezes. The swaying of this pendant growth appears like the movements of magic, preparing a revelation from the secret abodes of wood-nymphs, or a debut from the veird form of some dark-eyed Indian maid.
56 Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.
The cypress-trees grow here to the height of two hundred feet, some of them being twenty-four in circumference, and eight feet through at the base. From this kind of timber spars for vessels are made, which excel in durability any other in use.
The trees on the banks are set closely as a cane thicket, thus obscuring all view of the surrounding country as effectually as if it were a thousand miles distant. It is to this point the sportsman resorts to indulge his propen-sity for killing birds, which sing songs of joy as we pass; but when wounded, their helpless bodies fall into the turbid waters-the last that is seen of them being a fluttering pinion, signaling their sinking condition, with no one to pity or rescue. The click of the rifle is heard on every side from the hands of passengers, with the exciting remark: "0 there is another alligator! Sight him quick! Kill him!" Although this seems to be great sport for the huntsman, it is not always death to the game.
As we approach the source of the river the scenery is constantly changing, like a kaleidoscopic view, and although it is mid-winter the river-banks are lined with flowers in full bloom, as though Jack Frost was not abroad with his withering breath, and had killed many of their companions far away, and buried them under his white covering, bound with icy fetters.
Among the most conspicuous plants which we see now is the aster, climbing twenty or thirty feet, forming bowers filled with blooms, supported by woody stems, sending forth their fragrance to glad-
Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes. 57
den the senses of those who love perfumery made in nature's laboratory.
The water-lily, enthroned on her emerald seat, sits like a queen, spreading a snowy crown in every quiet corner of the stream; while the air-plants, with a more ambitious turn, are clinging to the trees, with their pink petals bursting into bloom, as the wild oranges and scarlet berries combined form a panorama which creates new-born emotions of happiness in the minds of all who look on their beauties and retain in imagination their charms.
Captain Rice, who has charge of the steamer Okahumkee, is the alpha and omega of the inhabitants on this river. Ie supplies all their wants, makes all their contracts, and sells all their produce. The men expect him to furnish them with whatever they need, from a sugar-mill to a plug of tobacco. From this portion of the country are shipped seaisland cotton, moss, oranges, vanilla, chickens, and eggs. These are sold in Jacksonville to obtain their family supplies. The Captain goes shopping for the young ladies, buys their pin-backs, tilters, face-powder, and sometimes snuff-for their mothers only! For these numerous services he rarely ever receives any thing but a smile! No wonder the man looks thin, fed on such intangible substance!
Orange Springs, thirty-five miles from the mouth of the river, is our first landing-place. This was formerly a resort for invalids, on account of the mineral properties contained in the water. Here we witnessed an affectionate meeting between a husband and wife. The lady had just returned from