New Smyrna, Florida, its history and antiquities

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New Smyrna, Florida, its history and antiquities
Sweett, Zelia Wilson
Place of Publication:
[Deland Fla
E.O. Painter printing co.]
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
55, [1] p. : ilncl. front., illus. ; 17cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
New Smyrna, Fla ( lcsh )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
[by] Zelia Wilson Sweett and the Rev. J.C. Marsden, B.A.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
029060884 ( ALEPH )
01814445 ( OCLC )
AAQ4068 ( NOTIS )
25015955 ( LCCN )

Full Text

Photo by Van de Sande













Preface ------- -------- 7
The Florida Indians --.----------- 9
Ponce de Leon ------------------- 12
Indian Shell and Sand Mounds near New
Smyrna --.. ------- ----- 13
Turtle Mound --------- 14
The Sams Collection of Indian Relics 17
The Spanish Mission,
.iLu9I* de JortOiu-_La....------- 21
rThe Old Fort ------------------- 25
Doctor Andrew Turnbull's Settlement at
New Smyrna -------- ----- 26
New Smyrna after ISoo.
The Martins, Murrays, and Sheldons 35
Interesting Facts ---------------- 44
The Attractions of New Smyrna ---- 48
Chronology --------------- 53
Places to be Visited --------------- 55


Cathedral Oaks ---------- Frontispiece
Turtle Mound -- ---------------1 5
The Sams Collection --- ---------- 8
Mission of atOtlipl de Jororo _"' 22
The Old Fort _---------------- 24
The Turnbull Canal ---------- ----27
The King's Highway ----------- 34
The Rock House -------- ------ 38


N offering this History to the Public, the
authors wish to say:
Mrs. S. J. Sweett is a native daughter, and
boasts great-grandparents who were pioneers
of New Smyrna. For many years.,she has
taken great pride in gathering the historical
facts and information contained herein, and
the utmost care has been taken that it may be
as nearly correct as possible.
It was then the part of the Rev. J. Cyril
Marsden, who is a graduate of Oxford Uni-
versity, England, and Rector of the Episco-
pal Church in New Smyrna, to cast Mrs.
Sweett's notes into the shape which appears
in the following pages; in which we trust the
reader will find matter of great historic inter-
est in a palatable form.
* We desire to record our most appreciative
gratitude to Dr. Amos W. Butler, Mrs. D. P.
Smith, Mr. R. S. Sheldon, Jeanette Thurber
Connor (Mrs. Washington E. Connor), and
others; who by their kindly assistance in fur-
nishing invaluable data have made this pub-
lication possible.
June, 1925.
New Smyrna.


The Florida Indians

T HE first inhabitants.: dt, the Eastern
coast of Florida were an earlier race
of Indians than those found- by the
Europeans who came he5r in the sixteenth
century. This fact is demonstrated by the ex-
cavations which have been made in the past,
*and by the present important work of the
Smithsonian Institution.
The earliest known names of the Florida
Indian tribes are those of the great race of
the Timucua, wvith its many ramifications,
who inhabited northern and central Florida;
the Apalache, west of them; the Carlos In-
dians, on the west coast; the Tegesta or Tequ-
esta, on the east coast, in the region of the
modern city of Miami; the Ays Indians, be-
low Cape Canaveral; and finally, smaller
local tribes in the vicinity of the site of New
Smyrna: The Nocoroco, whose territory ex-
tended from the Tomoka River to an Indian
village called Caparaca; and the Surruque,
from Caparaca to the Haulover. Caparaca,
on the boundary line between the Nocoroco
and Surruque, was a small settlement; and the
only one definitely known to have been on the

site of New Smyrna until the advent of Dr.
Andrew Turnbull in 1768, with the exception
of a small colony of Bahamian settlers who
were attracted to this region by the fine live
oak trees in 1766; some of whom Turnbull
found here on his arrival.
In 1598, the Surruque Indians were treated
with great cruelty by an expedition sent
against them as the result of charges made
by the Spanish governor at St. Augustine
(Gonzalo Mendez de Canco), that they had
murdered shipwrecked sailors cast on their
coast; and that they had a hand in the killing
of a Spanish interpreter.
By the latter half of the seventeenth cen-
tury, the Surruque and Nocoroco Indians are
no longer heard of; the only tribe in our lo-
cality mentioned in Spanish records is that
of the Jororo, who lived between the St.
Johns and Indian Rivers, Matanzas Inlet,
and the Haulover.*
Governor Moore, of South Carolina, be-
seiged St. Augustine from November, 1702,
to January, 1703, and failed to capture it;
but in r704 and 1706 he undertook to destroy

*Information concerning the local Indians, and also the
Franciscan Missions, comes from articles and speeches ot
Jeannette Thurber Conner, Vice-President of the Florida
State Historical Society; who, owing to the agitation for
the preservation of Turtle Mound, allowed certain previously
unknown facts from her collection to be used before they
were published in her Colonial Records of Spanish Florida.

most of the Florida Missions organized by
the Franciscan Friars to christianize the In-
dians; and in these campaigns of stupid wick-
edness he succeeded. The remnants of the
original Indian tribes' afterwards removed to
the shores of what is now the Halifax River,
where they had a village long known as the
Pueblo de Atimucas, not far from the pres-
ent Daytona.
Among the many authors who have written
on the Indians of Florida, there are two fa-
vorites: Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues,t the
painter of Laudonniere's expedition to Flor-
ida in 1564; and Jonathan Dickenson, a Phil-
adelphia Quaker, who was shipwrecked near
Jupiter Inlet in July, 1696.4
He and his wife and baby, with several
friends and companions, made their way pain-
fully up the coast to St. Augustine, where they
arrived in September of that year. Dicken-
son gives a graphic account of their exoeri-
ences with the natives, and curious details as
to the manner of living and the dress of the
Indians. The men wore a loin-cloth made
of deerskin, ornamented with what Dicken-
son refers td as a "horse-tail," but which the
pictures, of the Frenchman Le Moyne show
t See his Brevis Narratio, in T. de Bry's Americas, x591;
translated as Narrative of Le ,hyne, Boston. 1875.
$ See Dickenson's book. God'd Protecting Providence, first
published in Philadelphia in 1699.
I 11

clearly enough to have been really the tails of
raccoons. The women were attired in skirts
made of the moss which grows so profusely
on the trees in this district.
They were simple in their food, but were
expert fishermen; and fish, with oysters and
clams, all of which they found in abundance,
formed their staple subsistence. They were
great hunters; and also cultivated beans,
pumpkins, and maize or Indian Corn. To-
bacco they prized very highly, although they
obtained it from the Spaniards instead of
growing it themselves. They also had a fa-
mous beverage, known as the cassina, or,
"black drink," mentioned by nearly all the
ancient French, English, and Spanish writ-,
ers. They brewed the leaves of the cassina
plant like tea, and drank it very hot. The
Indian Chief or "cacique" drank first from
the bowl, and then it was passed around to the
principal men present, It was not only used
as a stimulant, but the drinking of cassina
before going to war was used as an impressive
semi-religious ceremony.

While there is yet an unsettled controversy
as to where Ponce de Leon first landed on
his voyage to Florida in 1513 in search of the
Fountain of Youth, there seems no doubt

among historians that he did not land at the
site of St. Augustine.
After cruising, among the Bahamas and
failing to find the object of his search, he
sailed toward the northwest. According to
Herrera, the region of the coast where he
landed to take possession must have been in
the neighborhood of the St. Johns River. On
his way down ihe coast he stopped at a river
which he named the Rio de la Cruz and
which the historian Lowrey thinks may have
been our Mosquito Inlet. Here he went
ashore to obtain wood and water. He encoun-
tered Indians and a severe battle ensued, pre-
sumably to the disadvantage of the Spaniards,
for they soon re-embarked and continued
down the coast.

The Indians have left visible evidences of
their presence in Florida in the form of a
large number of mounds, either of shell or
sand. Scattered between Daytona and the lo-
cality just south of Oak Hill, twenty-two large
shell mounds have been studied.* It is in these

* Amos W. Butler; "Observations on Some Shell Mounds of
the Eastern Coast of Florida," in Proceedings of the 19th
International Congress of Americanists; Washington, D. C.,
December, I915.

sand and shell mounds that most of the ob-
jects connected with Indian life have been
Readers of "Innocents Abroad" will re-
member that Mark Twain was very much in-
terested in a shell mound he saw at Smyrna
in Asia Minor. Travelers in Florida's New
Smyrna have likewise been mystified by the
shell-mounds in this region; yet their origin
reveals its secret to anyone who examines a
vertical cross-section of a typical shell mound.
There the strata of shells, bones, ashes, char-
coal and humus are plain; and occasional dis-
coveries are made of Indian tools,, utensils,
and pottery. These are as unmistakable
specimens of the work of primitive Man as
are the shell-heaps of Maine or the "Kitchen-
Middens" of Denmark.
The Sand Mounds, which in somrreplaces
are at no great distance from those of Shell,
were used for the purpose of burial; and it
is naturally in these that human relics are
found. It is only in very exceptional cases
that any human remains or evidences of burial
have been discovered in a Shell Mound.

Eight miles south of New Smyrna, near
the Indian River, on a narrow strip of scrub
palmetto about six hundred feet wide which





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; "It~di~~
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separates it from the Atlantic Ocean, stands
Turtle Mound-remarkable for its appeal
to the past, its height, shape, situation, and,
its rugged, wild beauty It appears, under
different names, on practically all the-impor-
tant maps of Florida, both ancient and mod-
ern." Being one dof the highest points on the
coast, it has been a prominentlandmark for
navigators, and even appears at the present
day on the charts intended for the use of avia-
tors. At itsfoot was a harbor where.the In-
dians kept their canoes, and from which they
started on their predatory and other expedi-
tions. The Mounds at Port Orange, New'
Smyrna, and Oak Hill are now no longer in
existence; but Turtle Mound still remains,
after a narrow escape from destruction. Some
seventeen years ago Dr. Amos W. Butler be-
gan an agitation for the preservation of the
Mound. Time went by, and no more was
heard of the movement until three years
since; when the need of shell for the rough
road leading from Coronado past Turtle
Mound to Eldora threatened to deprive the
State of one of its most notable landmarks.
A body of public-spirited persons became
roused to action, and they have since then
raised and given the amount of money nec-
essary to buy the Mound. Chief among them
are the Commissioners of Volusia County;
Mrs. C. M. Wilder, of Daytona; Judge-Isaac

A. Stewart, of.DeLanrd; J. J. Birch, of New
Smyrna'; S. A.. Wood, of DeLand,; Mrs.
Washington E, Connoi, of New York and
New Smyrna; and John B. Stetson, Jr., pf
Philadelphia' and DeLand, the two last being
officials of the Florida State Historical So-
ciety, to which organization the-Mound has.
now been safely deeded, and its preservation
is assured.

This collection was started in 1896 by Mrs.
Frank W. Sams (Zelia Sheldon);' who, hav-
ing been born near Oak Hill and reared here,
found an interest in all things in and about
New Smyrna.
Whether in a boat, on a horse, in the for-
est'with her gun, or in her own kitchen, she
was equally at home, and equally an expert;
and many stories are told of her personal
For some, years she had picked up odd
pieces of pottery ind had given them to
friends interested in our ancient Indians. A
number of these articles were given to the
Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D. C.,
where they can be found bearing her name.
But, finding these things of so much interest,
she began to save them; and soon there was


quite a cabinet in the Ocean House lobby to
attract the attention of all who came there.
The first of these pieces were surface-finds,
picked up on walks about the Mounds, and
brought in by Mr. and Mrs. Sams and their
children. Then the "Old Fort" was dug
into, in order to furnish shell for the streets.
This disclosed many more relics; the most no-
table of which are an earthen water-jar with
rounded base and narrow neck, a huge cook-
ingpot thirteen inches in diameter, roughly
made and bearing paddle or stamp-marks,
and a smaller pot of black glaze, having a
peculiar oblong shape.
The "Rock House" Mound began to be
destroyed about 1906; and here a great many
pieces were found-celts, arrow-heads, bone
implements, plummets, etc. Later on, the
Oak Hill Mound was removed for road-
material. The immense Port Orange Mound
and a part of Riverside Mound followed; and
from all these came more material for the
The author iremeibers a day when she had
been out digging around the place, and was
returning with her apron full of old bones,
and feeling very "big," when one of her
uncles walked out of the house and asked
what she had. She knows he could hardly
hear her speak when she had to say, "Just old
bones I"-which he promptly made her throw

out. She does not know if this "collecting
proclivity" (as Bill Nye calls it) had any-
thing to do with what follows; but it was to
her that Grandmother Sams gave the collec-
tion when she was about twelve years old.
Then came Dr. Butler; and he soon had her
numbering and cataloguing the specimens:,
with all the information about each piece.
Since then she has added many things-
mostly given to her by the uncles who had
charge of removing the Mounds; though
some have been bought and some given by
friends. She is still adding treasures now and
then, as she finds them on some trip about
the Mounds. The Museum of the American
Indian in New York City has offered to buy
the Collection and several other Institutions
.would very much like to have it; and al-
though the writer has not looked into the mat-
ter herself, several well-known men have said
that this is one of the best privately-owned
Collections in Florida.
There are a number of food-bowls or pots;
from the largest of about thirteen inches in
diameter to just a little larger than an or-
dinary pipe; of varying shapes, some shallow,
some deep, for every use. None of these show
much decoration, though some are of red or
black glaze. Then come a pipe, a few-bone
and clay beads, arrow-heads, needles or pins
of bone and one beautifully cut and tapered

spear-head. Several celts, one very large, and
of a dark northern stone. Plummets of bone,
pumice-stone, clay, shell, stone, and even of
ivory (probably manatee-rib). Scrapers of
shell, and several conchs showing where
scrapers had been cut out; and one somewhat
cut, but with the portion unremoved. The
conch centers show worn ends from some use
not yet ascertained. And, finally, several
drinking-cups of hollowed-out conch. Each
of these, to a student of Indian lore, tells its
own individual story.

All histories of Florida pay tribute to the
singleness of purpose and great personal brav-
ery of the Franciscan Friars, the missionaries
who were sentefrom Spain to convert the na-
tives to Christianity. Their efforts were at-
tended with success, and many mission sta-
tions were established in the region now
known as Florida and Georgia. The, it was
all included in Florida. Most of these sta-
tions were built after the Georgia Indians'
rebellion in r 96-7.
It is worthy of note that the Florida-Mis-
sions antedate those of California by more






than a century. In 1634 there were forty-
four; but the incursions of the English from
South Carolina and Georgia gradually caused
their number to diminish.
In 1704. nearly all of the missions of the in-
terior were burned in the second invasion of
Florida by Governor Moore of South Carolina
and his Creek Indians. In 1706 they de-
stroyed the new Jororo Missions of the East
Coast. The ruins of three of these are in
our vicinity; The Mission of San Joseph near
Flagler Beach, that of Tissimi near Sunset
Park and the Tomoka River, and the Mission of
Atocuimi near New Smyrna. The buildings
were well and solidly constructed of coquina,
so that their remains are still visible; and those
of the Mission of Atocuimi near New Smyrna
are particularly beautiful and interesting. This
was one of the last built before Governor
Moore's time, and was constructed about the
year 1696. It was a center of evangelization
for the tribe called the Jororo. Some of its
fine arches can still be admired.
At the time of the English ownership of
Florida, (1763-1783), and in the first part of
the nineteenth century, many of the deserted
mission buildings along the coast were used
as sugar-mills. At the outbreak of the Semi-
nole War in 1835. Thomas Stamps had the
sugar-engine for his mill in the chapel of the


- C

Mission of A~tOW which had previously
'been used for the same purpose by Cruger and
De Peyster. The property was destroyed by
the Indians, and, years later, it passed into the
hands of Captain E. J. Matthews.
In 1880, the latter planted a small vege-
table-garden in the Mission. While prepar-
ing the ground, he brought to light the frag-
ments of three candlesticks. When, in 1894,
Mr. Washington E. Connor bought the Mis-
sion from the widow of Captain Matthews, he
had one complete candlestick reconstructed
from the pieces of the three, and presented
it to the Florida Historical Society; in whose
possession it remains.

A question to be determined has been as to
whether the partially uncovered' ruins on the
mound north of the Ocean House are those of
a Fort, or of some other building; and, if they
be those of a Fort, whether it was constructed
by the Spaniards or the English.
There can, however, be little doubt that
the building was intended for a Fort, as it is
too substantially constructed ever to have been
meant for any other purpose; although it may
never have been finished, or may have been
used only for a short time. It has four well-

defined bastions like most of the Spanish forts
of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth
centuries, and has all the characteristics of
being Spanish.
Now Pedro Menendez lived in the six-
teenth century (he died in Spain in 1574);
and at that time all the primitive Florida
forts were triangular, and built of wood;
whereas this structure is of solid coquina
throughout, and coquina was not discovered
on Anastasia Island, opposite St. Augustine,
until 1583.
On the other hand, the "Popple Map" of
1727 (in the British Museum) shows the
Franciscan Missions and the Chaoels under
their heads in this vicinity, and includes our
"fort;" which surely places the date of its
erection before that of the Turnbull settle-

In 1763, Florida became a colony of Great
Britain. Plans were formed for its devel-
opment, and took shape the following year,
when the British Government offered a
bounty for the production of silk, cotton, and
indigo; also promising large grants of land
to any who would take up the venture.






The first to do so was a Scotch physician,
Dr. Andrew Turnbull, who had spent many
years in Asia Minor, and had married the
daughter of a Greek merchant of Smyrna.
He felt confident that a successful colony
could be formed in Florida by people who
came from the Mediterranean countries, and
was able to convince a number of his influen-
tial and wealthy friends that the proposal was
a sound one.
On April 2, 1767, an agreement was signed
for forming the colony by Andrew Turnbull,
Sir William Duncan, and Sir Richard Tem-
ple. Each of the three had already obtained
from the Government a grant of 20,000 acres;
these were to be worked for seven years at a
joint expense, and then to be divided among
the partners.
Two other very important and familiar fig-
ures connected with the new colony were
Lords Halifax and Hillsborough. The Hal-
ifax River it named after the former, and the
stretch of water to the southward of Mosquito
Inlet was formerly named the Hillsborough
River, in honor of the latter. It was, how-
ever, subsequently discovered that this made
no less than three Hillsborough Rivers in
Florida; and the name was finally changed to
the Indian River North, and so it remains

Turnbull and his family went first to St.
Augustine, and took up their quarters in that
city. While there, the Doctor made the ac-
quaintance of Governor Grant, who became
his loyal and lifelong friend. Thence he went
to Mosquito Inlet, and sailed through it,
choosing a spot about four miles farther south
for the location of his colony. As a compli-
ment to his wife, and in remembrance of her
birthplace, he gave it the name of New
Having returned to England and obtained
a grant of money for the transportation of
the colonists and the starting of the settle-
ment, the next thing was to find the people.
Turnbull therefore made a voyage to the
Mediterranean, and brought away with him
200 mountain tribesmen from Greece, I1o
Italians from Leghorn, and, about 1190 Mi-
norcans; so that when he finally sailed for
Florida, his eight ships carried, about I Coo
persons. All arrived safely at New Smyrna,
where huts for shelter and four months' sup-
ply of food had been placed in readiness for
them by Governor Grant. By August, 1768,
they were all settled, each on his own land,
and work began in earnest. It is worthy of
note that this was the largest number of col-
onists ever to come to America in one com-
pany, being three times the size of the Vir-
ginia Colony.

The settlers brought with them to this coun-
try orange, fig, and olive-cuttings, also indigo.
They had in addition cochineal for making
scarlet dye, and raised crops of maize, sugar,
cotton, and rice. They collected seaweed and
made barilla, also cultivating grape-vines,
and growing mulberry-trees to feed silk-
Turnbull secured some of his overseers
from the northern colonies, on account of
their expert knowledge of the work he had
in hand. These overseers, unfortunately, had
always had to deal with negro laborers on
the plantations whence' they came. In the
first place, they were not able to speak the
language of the Italians, Greeks, and Minor-
cans. In the second place, they had and used
a certain harshness of manner towards the
settlers, which made them very unpopular.
At the same time, it must be remembered that
a strict discipline was very necessary.
As a result, an Italian overseer called Carlo
Forni rebelled; declaring that he, with the
Greeks and Italians, would seize a ship and
go to Havana. The consequent mutiny was of
serious proportions; and when the Minorcans
refused to join, the mutineers treated them
shamefully. Troops arrived from St. Aug-
ustine to quell the mutiny, and were just in
time to stop the rebels setting sail. All were
returned to New Smyrna except thirty-five,

who escaped in a small boat; these were found
later, suffering dreadful privations on the
Florida Keys. They were brought back, tried,
and two were executed. The rest were par-
doned, and thenceforth behaved well.
By the beginning of 1769, the settlement
was in a very prosperous condition; but fi-
nancial troubles began because the colony
had grown too fast. Another calamity over-
took it at this time also, in the resignation of
Governor Grant. It was desired to have
Turnbull for his successor; but as the affairs
of New Smyrna required his constant pres-
ence there, his acceptance of the office was
put of the question. So the choice fell on a
Mr. Moultrie, who was not friendly to Turn-
bull. This gentleman was appointed Lieuten-
ant-Governor; and from the time of his tak-
ing office, all help from the British Govern-
ment to the New Smyrna colony was discon-
However, Moultrie reported in 1773 that
the settlement was in magnificent shape. A
fine system of irrigation and drainage was
made, in the form of several canals. One of
these canals runs through the main street of
the present city of New Smyrna, which is ac-
cordingly named Canal Street. This canal
has now been covered in to make room for
the widening of, the street and the construc-
tion of a side-walk; and so is not now visible

except at its west end. It was in use in 1835
as a means of transportation for the sugar and
molasses made west of the town. The goods
were placed on flat-bottomed boats and
floated down to the river, and there trans-
ferred to vessels for shipment.
Another necessary work accomplished was
the building of a road. Portions of what is
known as the "King's Highway" can still be
found; in fact, it is near this road that the
ruins of the Spanish Mission stand. It started
from the old stone wharf near which were the
warehouses belonging to Turnbull's colony.
The road is said to have been thirty feet wide;
and, having been made through dense forest,
represents a work of no mean engineering
Lieutenant-Governor Moultrie had not the
strength of character necessary for his posi-
tion; and in 1774 the administration was taken
over by Colonel Tonyn. The latter seems to
have been a person of mean and spiteful na-
ture, with an exaggerated sense of his own
imrtportance which was not justified by his
capability for carrying out his duties. Moul-

* The trail of the Old King's Highway was first laid by the
Spanish in 1632. In 1768, under Governor Grant, the English
built the real road. It ran from St. Augustine north to St.
Nicholas on the St. John's River, and King's Ferry on the
St. Mary's. South from St. Augustine to New Smyrna.
Later, it was made on to Fort Pierce and thence west across
the State, to the Gulf.

trie, on being succeeded by Tonyn, prejudiced
the latter against Turnbull; and the whole
history of their subsequent relations is one
long story of systematic persecution of Turn-
bull by his sworn enemy, the Governor.
Nine years after the founding of New
Smyrna, the hardships of life in Turnbull's
colony, and continual tyranny on the part of
the overseers, had reduced the number of the
settlers from fifteen hundred to six hundred.
The Government investigated conditions;
and all the Minorcans, as the whole of the
colonists had come to be called, were released
from their contracts with the Company.
They moved to St. Augustine, where land was
given them in the northern section of the city,
and where some of their descendants are now
Turnbull had been absent in England, and
knew nothing of what was going on till his
return to Florida in 1777; and his bitter sor-
row can be better imagined than described
when he found his colonists in St. Augustine,
and the New Smyrna settlement, with the
crops and property, in a state of irretrievable
Florida was again ceded to Spain in 1783;
and the English landowners were placed in
such a position that they must sell their large
grants of land to any Spaniards who could
or would make an offer for them. After

Photo by Van de Sande

this, Turnbull, completely ruined, moved to
Charleston, S. C.; where, after all his troub-
les, he lived in peace until his death in 1792.
Turnbull has generally been represented as
a monster of iniquity and brutality, but that
is far from being the truth. His was a char-
acter of outstanding worthiness; and had he
received the support which was his due, in-
stead of persecution and neglect, the planta-
tions at New Smyrna would never have been
allowed to be swallowed up and wiped out
by forest and wilderness.*

After the extinction of the Turnbull col-
ony, the land around New Smyrna remained
uncared-for until 1803; when, as records
show, two families made their residence on
the spot. In that year a grant of land just
south of the Rock House was made to Henry
Martin.t He and his family continued in

* Readers who desire fuller knowledge of Turnbull and his
colony are referred to an admirable book on the subject by
Carita Doggett-Doctor Andrew Turnbull and the New
Smyrna Colony of Florida. Jacksonville. 1919.
t The "Rock House" was an interesting stone building situ-
ated on top of a large shell mound west of the Inlet. From
it a watch could be kept on that passage. The Mound was
known as "Rock House Mound." and was destroyed about

possession till I8o8, when the house was
burned and the plantation destroyed by In-
dians. Martin could get no protection from
the Spanish Government, and the Indians
continued their depredations; so he was
forced to abandon his holding. Later, he in-
duced his father-in-law to enter into occupa-
tion of the property; where, "with uncommon
patience and suffering," he remained till 1812,
when, owing to famine and other causes, he
was obliged to leave it. He, however, left
a tenant in charge; and this tenant was still
living in the Rock House (which had pre-
sumably been repaired), in 1821. The inter-
est of this statement lies in the fact that it has
been elsewhere said that in 1821 this was
the last inhabited house south of St. Augus-
tine. What happened to the rest is not known;
and the reader, unless he can advance a more
satisfactory explanation, is left to suppose
that the Seminole Indians destroyed the other
habitations and massacred or drove out the
The other family which took advantage of
the Spanish offer to give land to those who
would come to live in Florida, was that of
George Murray. Mr. Murray, although an
engraver by profession, preferred to own and
run a vessel, which traded between St. -Aug-
ustine and the West Indies. He had a home
in St. Augustine and was very successful until

his ship was wrecked on the bar at that place,
and he lost everything except his home. The
following account of subsequent events is
taken from the reminiscences of his daughter,
Jane Murray, who later became the wife of
John Dwight Sheldon.
"In 1803, Mr. Murray formed a colony and
came to Florida, where he settled on a tract of
land four miles south of New Smyrna, but,
owing to Indian raids, they were only able to
stay for a short time. In i805 the family
moved to St Augustine, and thence to Phil-
adelphia. There Mr. Murray took up his old
business of engraving, in which he was so ex-
pert that he was employed to engrave the first
banknotes issued by the United States.* In
1835, Mrs. Murray, with her daughter and
son-in-law (Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon), came
back to New Smyrna, where Mr. ,Sheldon
was placed in charge of the large sugar and
indigo plantations then owned by Messrs.
Cruger and De Peyster.t One mile to the

* He alJo began the first American Encyclopoedia in 41 vol-
umes; but died before completing it.
t There were approximately 3,oo acres of cane on this
plantation. It is a matter of record that the bulk of the
Indigo of the world came from New Smyrna at the time
of the Revolutionary War. The oldest aweet-orange grove
was set out by John Sheldon, who found the trees growing
wild in the Turnbull Hammock. Wild oranges were found
here by Bartra about r763. See Travels tkroeuh North
and Smth Caroliu. Georgia, East amd Wt* Pftoida; by
William Bartram, London, 1792.




c~r I


north of this was another plantation owned
by Messrs. Stamps and Hunter. On Decem-
ber 23, 1835, Mrs. Sheldon's servant went to
a dance at Mr. Hunter's place, and the fol-
lowing morning the girl told her mistress that
there had been present nine Indians in war-
paint, which was a very bad sign. The ill
news was soon confirmed by Mr. Hunter
himself. Everyone therefore escaped as
quickly as possible across the river to the res-
idence of Captain Dummitt. During the fol-
lowing night a large band of Indians came
into New Smyrna and burned all the houses.
They presently crossed the river, capturing
and destroying all the possessions the refu-
gees had been able to bring away, so these
poor souls were left utterly destitute. The
Captain of a schooner which happened to be
in the Inlet took them aboard and fed them,
after which they started up the Halifax River
in a small boat, hoping to reach St. Augustine.
The Indians, however, were out destroying
everything on the mainland. Later, the refu-
gees, arriving at Bulow's landing, met all the
people who had lived along the Halifax
River, and had been obliged to flee from the
Indians. They were afraid to go any farther
without protection, and sent to St. Augustine
for an escort, but being unable to get any as-
sistance, the troops being elsewhere, they had
to shift for themselves. On January 18, 1836,

an attempt to secure food from Dunlawton,
near Port Orange, was frustrated by a savage
attack from the Indians, whose fire wounded
nearly every member of the party. This
meant that St. Augustine had to be reached
as soon as possible;' and, after many priva-
tions, they arrived there in safety, only two of
the wounded having died.
During 1837, many Indians were deported
to western reservations. Among them were
brought into the fort at St. Augustine some
negro slaves of Cruger and De Peyster; and
it was found that they had hidden the Indians
about the place, aiding in the outbreak., But
they were overjoyed to get awtav. as the In-
dians had afterwards treated them with ,reat
During 1835 it also happened that a French
schooner was wrecked on the beach about
half way between New Smyrna and Cape
Canaveral. The survivors, eight or ten in
number, started to walk northwards to reach
St. Augustine. Mosquito Inlet, however,
barred their way; and being unable to cross
it, they walked back on the river side to a
bluff just north of the "Douglas Place." Here
they gathered logs and driftwood to make -
raft; but the tide was then on the ebb, and
they would have been carried out to sea- So
they camped where they were, to wait for the
morning and a favorable tide. Having made

a fire, they thus attracted the attention of
some Indians on the mainland, who crossed
the river and massacred the entire party o'
French. The spot where this occurred is still
known as "Massacre Bluff."
The Sheldon family presently returned to
New Smyrna, and lived on the original Mur-
ray grant-later owned by Mr. Packwood
and called the "Packwood Place." About
1842 New Smyrna was made a Port of Entry,
and remained so till a number, of years after
the Civil War. Captain D. D.' Dummitt was
first Collector of Customs.*
The Seminole War, which began in 18.5,
is supposed officially to have ceased in 1842,
and the country was regarded as pacified.
But in -1849 there was another Indian raid
on Fort Capron, near the mouth of the Indian
After this event, Mr.. Sheldon decided that
it was unsafe to continue to live on the Mur-
ray Grant. Having been appointed Deputy
Collector of Customs, he purchased Mr.
Stamps' house on the Fort Mound, nearer
the Inlet, and made it his home. The Pack-
wood place was rented to a Mr. Shive from
Philadelphia. On December 23, 1856, the

* The exports of New Smyrna were sugar, molasses, oranges;
turtles, red cedar and cow-hides. The Swift brothers were
located here in 1842 and 1848. They cut and shipped live-
oak for ship-building under a United States Navy contract.

Indians burned their house, brutally mur-
dering Mr. Shive, with his wife and children,
and mutilating their bodies. This was the
last Indian raid.
On March 24, 1862, the sound of the Civil
War was heard in New Smyrna. The vicin-
ity contained a number of salt-works which
supplied many Confederate soldiers and their
families. Flour and starch were also made
from Coontie (or Compte).* The Port was
a very convenient one for bringing in arms
and supplies for the Southern forces. Nu-
merous small boats (the capacity of some.was
only one bale of cotton), ran the blockade to
Nassau and Cuba, taking the cotton to be ex-
changed for quinine, needles, coffee, piece-
cloth and other articles.
The Port was accordingly blockaded by
two Federal vessels, the Penguin and Henry
Andrews; and these captured several boats
trying to get in. Eventually this led to a fray
at Turnbull's old stone wharf. The schoon-
ers Kate and Cecile had succeeded in running
the blockade;t and the cargoes of arms, am-
munition, and general stores had been un-
A native plant having a large root much resembling a
sweet potato; which, though it has a poisonous peel, when
properly prepared makes an excellent flour and starch.
t An attempt was made to bring a three or four ton cannon
from the St. John's to protect these supplies. The shells
were actually brought over, but the gun itself proved too
heavy to manage, and never arrived.

loaded at the wharf. Six small boats under
the command of Captain Mather and Lieuten-
ant Budd were seen coming from the blockad-
ing ships; so soldiers of the Third Florida
Regiment, under Captain Strain, formed an
ambush. The boats proceeded up the river
for several miles, until they found and de-
stroyed some salt-works. Returning in the
evening, they attempted to land at the Stone
Wharf, but were fired on and driven off with
loss. Eight were killed, while seven were
wounded and taken prisoners by the Confed-
In July, 1863, two Federal vessels suddenly
appeared off the Fort Mound-the Oleander
and an armed schooner-and without notice
began to bombard the house occupied by the
Sheldons. The family was just sitting down
to dinner, when a shell screamed over the
roof, and another struck an old oak-tree in
the grounds, making a great hole which
can still be plainly seen. Dinner was left
abruptly; the whole family fled precipitately
into the woods. They halted under a huge
live-oak tree about a mile from town, and
kindled a fire; but the smoke betrayed their
whereabouts, and soon shells began again to
fall around them. So they fled once more,
and went on through the hammock until they
were out of range. The house on the hill was
completely destroyed, and for the second time

Mrs. Sheldon's home was a heap of smoking
It is worthy of note that a contemporary
diary (that of E. Kirby Lowd) mentions that
New Smyrna was bombarded three separate
times: July 9, July ii, and July 26, 1863.

The oldest building now standing in New
Smyrna is the Ocean House. It was built a
little after the Civil War, about 1867. In
later years additions were made to the origi-
nal edifice. It is full of the memories of Cap-
tain and Mrs. Sams' delightful hospitality.
The first school house was built in Febru-
ary, I872; and Miss Delia Stowe was the first
The first church was the "Union Church,"
which has been remodelled and is now the
Baptist Church. It was completed April 18,
1875, and was built by the "donation labor"
of the men of New Smyrna, the land having
been given by Mrs. Jane Sheldon.
The bell to be seen in the side yard came
from the Belle of Texas, a Mississippi River
steamboat which was wrecked on the beach
just north of Turtle Mound. It was bought.
and presented to the church by Mrs. Sheldon.
The first newspaper was published by

Charles William Coe* in 1877. It was
printed in the old building which stood on
the Shell Mound, and contained the printing-
office, a shoe shop, general store, Port Col-
lector's Office, Post Office, and dwelling.
The town was incorporated in .887, with
J. A. Bell as mayor. Water then, as now,
formed the natural and easiest method of
transportation. Florida's many rivers and
lakes were early considered for this purpose;
and the first important canal was that of the
Florida East Coast from Jacksonville to
Miami, connecting the St. Johns, Matanzas,
Halifax, and Indian Rivers. It cost over
$3,500,000. The work was begun in 1888 and
finished in 1908. Dr. John Westcutt and
Colonel Isaac Coryell were its chief promot-
New Smyrna's first railroad was built in
1884. It corresponded to the present Orange
City branch of the F. E. C., and was called
the "Blue Springs, Orange City, and Atlan-
tic." It connected New Smyrna with boats
running on the St. Johns River. The station
stood on Lytle Avenue, near where Shyrock's
store now stands. This road was later bought
by the Florida East Coast road, which was
built into New Smyrna in 1892.

'Also author of The Red Patriots; a story of the Seminole

Washington Everett Connor is remembered
as the town's principal philanthropist. He
came to Florida as a very young man; and,
having been introduced to New Smyrna,
eventually became the owner of nearly 3,000
acres, 450 of which he cultivated with or-
anges, the famous Ronnoc Grove.
Being a lover of natural beauty, he planted
a large number of trees along the new and old
roads; and he also took great pride in the Ca.
thedral Oaks on the Dixie Highway, which
have now, unfortunately, be sacrificed.
It is to Mr. Connor that the city owes the
preservation of the ruins of the Spanish Mis-
sion, he having bought the property for this
He built and equipped the New Smyrna
Public Library, maintained it for a long time,
and finally donated it to the city. He also
built the New Smyrna-Coronado Bridge, and
supported it for a great number of years when
its income was insufficient to pay its running
expenses. This bridge, which has been the
cause of the development of Coronado Beach,
was recently sold to the county.
Mr. Connor always gave generously to
every worthy object, and his faith in the pos-
sibilities of New Smyrna is now being justi-
The Mosquito Lighthouse, one of the prin-
cipal landmarks of New Smyrna, was built

in 1887. The conical tower, located at Ponce
Park, one mile from Mosquito Inlet, is con-
structed of red brick; it is 168 feet in height,
and may lay claim to being one of the tallest
on the east coast of the United States. A very
enjoyable excursion may be made to this spot.
Before the light was erected, this was a
dangerous coast for shipping, and there were
many wrecks during stormy weather. Conse-
quently, nearly everything imaginable has at
one time or another been picked up in the vi-
cinity, from kegs of lard to boxes of shoes and
bolts of silk. Several houses in New Smyrna
were built from mahogany and other mate-
rial which was gathered in large quantities on
the beach, either from wrecks or driftwood.*
An amusing story is told of the time when
two pilots, Captains Cook and McClain,
lived on the peninsula to bring vessels into
the Inlet. One day they were at dinner, when
a ship came in, and signalled for a pilot. The
negro cook, Fanny by name, saw the vessel;
and, thinking the gentlemen would appreciate
being undisturbed till after their meal,
walked of her own accord to the beach to
hoist the answering flag. After dinner, she
told the Captains what she had done. They

The largest wrecks were the Swedish barque Elam, with a
cargo of mahogany; the Ladona, general cargo, bound from
New York for Galveston, and the Vera Crus, with general
cargo, from New York to Vera Cruz.

came out, gave one glance at the ship and one
at the flag, and began to say words which may
or may not have been justified by the occa-
sion. They then rushed for the beach, and
made for the flag-pole. Fanny had indeed
hoisted the flag; but it was upside down and
half-mast! And to the day of her death she
never understood why the gentlemen were so
upset about it.
In 186I, before the introduction of the reg-
ular issue of the Confederate stamps, each city
printed its own stamps. New Smyrna had a
stamp in circulation at that period, a five-
cent stamp with a ten-cent surcharge over it.
Any of these old "provisional" stamps, as
they are called, are now, of course, very rare.
There is but one other stamp of the early
Confederacy having a higher value.

The present City of New Smyrna is located
on the Dixie Highway, 128 miles south of
Jacksonville, 15 miles south of Daytona, and
251 miles north of Miami. It has long been
noted for its wonderful hunting and fishing-
grounds. Before the Civil War it was the
Mecca of the titled English sportsman. And,

though many things have changed since then,
the sportsman still abounds.
The hunter may go for wild turkey and
squirrels, with an occasional 'coon, 'possum,
or deer as an object if he chooses; or he may
go to the pine-woods for quail, and to the
marshes for snipe and duck.
The fisherman has the whole index from
which to make his choice. The lakes and in-
land rivers furnish fresh-water fishing or an
alligator hunt. The Indian River will yield
almost anything from crabs, shrimp, clams
and oysters, to turtle, jewfish, and manatee.
One may catch drum, sheepshead, whiting,
trout, flounder, jack, tarpon, and numerous
other fish. The ocean affords surf-fishing;
sea-bass, pompano, shark, and saw-fish are
found here.
The botanist. will be delighted with the
abundance of wild flowers and the many va-
rieties of trees in the neighborhood; though
perhaps the greatest attraction is the bird-life,
eighty different kinds of water-birds having
been noted here.
By act of the Presidentpf the United States
a Federal Bird Reservation some twenty miles
long has been established. Its purpose is to
protect the large number of interesting and
beautiful birds which make this region their
home. The Reservation (established in 19o8),
is in charge of a United States Warden. The

waterways at New Smyrna are included
within it.
New Smyrna and the surrounding country
present a great opportunity for the farmer, as
produce of almost any variety can be success-
fully raised. Potatoes form the principal
crop; but celery, lettuce, cabbage, beans, corn,
sugar-cane, tomatoes and other vegetables are
grown in quantities. This section is also
known for its citrus fruits; the celebrated In-
dian River oranges and grapefruit, lemons,
tangerines and kumquats.
The drives to Daytona and Ormond on the-
Dixie Highway, or along the Ocean beach,
or over the "prairie" to DeLand on the Tri-
angle Highway, are beautiful; but the most in-
teresting drives are those on the country roads.
Take the old King's Highway; though one
may find a few ruts, the time spent on this
drive will not be regretted. Within a range
of three miles there are acres of beautiful oaks
and palmettos, which, in time, will provide
residences for those who like to live among
these trees, and such places will become thriv-
ing suburbs of the city.
As an instance of the foregoing, there lies
three miles south of New Smyrna a town
which formerly was known as Hawks' Park;
so named after one of its first residents, Dr.
Hawks. The scenery along the river-front
and across the river at this point is surpass-

ingly beautiful; and here also are oranges in
great plenty.
This locality has progressed so rapidly in
late years that it has recently been incorpo-
rated as a city; changing its name to one
which the residents considered better-sound-
ing and more appropriate-Edgewater.
New Smyrna, in recent years, has seen
many changes; but most of its charm still re-
mains. The city has grown and is growing;
and as those who come and realize its attrac-
tions go on buying and building; it will con-
tinue to grow. Above all, the visitor will
find in New Smyrna what' is the inalienable
heritage of all places which have historical
associations reaching far back into the past-
something of that indefinable spirit of ancient
times which, added to natural beauty, weaves
a spell over the hearts and minds of those who
come in contact with it, and makes one reluc-
tant to leave the home of so many and varied



Florida discovered by Ponce de Leon ----.M rch 27, 1513
Expedition to Florida of-
Diego Miruelo ....--------------------------- 1x6
Fernandez de Cordova ---------- ---- 1517
Pineda ......-------------------------- -* 119
De Ayllon .------------------------------- 1520
Gomez .---.--- --------- -- 1524
De Narvaez entered Tampa Bay ------------April 15, 1528
De Soto landed at Tampa Bay -------------..May 25, 1539
Don Tristan de Luna landed near Pensacola -------- 1559
Jean. Ribault discovered St. John's River ------.. May i, x562
Rene de Laudonniere Colony on St. John's River; built
Fort Caroline -------------------- ----------- 1564
Menendez founded St. Augustine -------- September I565
Massacre at Fort Caroline of French by the Spanish 1565
De Gourgues' Revenge on Spanish Forts ------------ 1567
Sir Francis Drake burns St. Augustine -------------- 586
Pensacola founded by d'Arriola ..------------------- 1696
Moore's First Invasion of Florida --------------- 1702-3
War with England --------. --------------------- 1739
Fort at St. Augustine finished --------------------- 1756
French and Indian War -----------------------1 754-63
Florida exchanged for Havana (Spain to England) .. 1763
Turnbull Colony at New Smyrna ---------------- 1767
Revolutionary War. (Florida remained loyal to Eng-
land) ---------------------------------------- 1775
Spanish Conquest of Florida ----- --------------- 779
Florida ceded back to Spain in exchange fbr the
SBahama Islands -------------------.September 3, 1783
War of x812

Pensacola taken by Jackson ...-------...... ----- 814
Treaty with Spain-Florida bought by the United
States --------------------------------------- Juy, 182
Seminole War ..------..--------------------------- 1835
Dunlawton Fight ....---- -----.. -------J....anuary 18, 18.36
Dade Massacre ----------------------------December 1835
Capture of Osceola and Coacoochee --------------- 1837
Indians Deported -----------.------------------- 1841
Florida Admitted to the Union -------------...March 3, 1845
Indian Outbreaks ------------------- ---------1849-1857
Civil War ..--------------... --------------------- 1861
Battle of Natural Bridge -----..----------.---March 1865
End of War -------------------------------------- 865
Spanish War ------------------------------------ 1898


At New Smyrna- Miles
Old. Spanish Mission ----------------...---------- IV
South Canal built by Turnbull .-----------.....---- I
Main Canal.
Old Fort, Ancient Wells, Battle Oak.
Ocean House.
Sams Collection of Indian Relics.
Old Stone Wharf and Well Near by.
Site of Rock House Mound ._--..--.------------- 2
Large Sand Mound, and Indigo Vats Near by.
Orange Groves at Edgewater -------------------- I
At Coronado-
The Beach and Inlet -------------------------- 3
Artesian Well, flowing only at high tide.
Community Club --..---------------------------.
Turtle Mound, down the Beach --.---------------- 8
Massacre Bluff ---------.--------------------- 2
At Oak Hill-
Shell Mounds ..--------.--------------------- 122
Packwood Place ------------ --------- 6
E. Day Company Groves and Packing Houses.
At Port Orange-------------------------- --- so
Site of the Dunlawton Fight.
Old Sugar Mill.
Large Alligator at West End of Bridge.
At Ponce Park-
Mosquito Light House (via Port Orange).-------.. t6
Bird Islands.
Pelican Colony -- -------------------- -----
Green Mound at Wilbur-by-the-Sea -------------- 12