Title Page
 Title Page
 Table of illustrations
 The opening of our history
 The Cow Ford
 Spanish land grants
 Jacksonville founded
 County affairs
 Development of Jacksonville
 The Seminole war period
 In the forties
 Jacksonville in the early...
 Social life before the war
 Front Matter
 The war between the states...
 Reorganization and reconstruct...
 Revival of business (1865-1875...
 Chronological record 1876...
 Municipal government
 Public improvements
 The railroads
 River navigation
 Urban transportation
 The port of Jacksonville
 Parent churches and denominati...
 The schools
 Pioneer organizations
 Jacksonville newspapers
 Local military organizations
 Local banking institutions
 Hotel history
 Climate and health


History of Jacksonville, Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00103019/00001
Finding Guide: T. Frederick Davis Papers
 Material Information
Title: History of Jacksonville, Florida
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Davis, T. Frederick ( Thomas Frederick ), 1877-1946
Publisher: University of Florida Press
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Copyright Date: 1964
 Record Information
Source Institution: University Press of Florida
Holding Location: University Press of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 1534648
lccn - 64019156
System ID: UF00103019:00001

Table of Contents
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page xxv
        Page xxvi
        Page xxvii
        Page xxviii
        Page xxix
        Page xxx
        Page xxxi
        Page xxxii
    Title Page
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
    Table of illustrations
        Page xxxvi
        Page xxxvii
        Page xxxviii
        Page xxxix
        Page xl
    The opening of our history
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
        Page 12b
        Page 12c
        Page 12d
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 16b
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    The Cow Ford
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Spanish land grants
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Jacksonville founded
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 54a
        Page 54b
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    County affairs
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64a
        Page 64b
        Page 64c
        Page 64d
        Page 65
    Development of Jacksonville
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    The Seminole war period
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
    In the forties
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 86a
        Page 86b
        Page 86c
        Page 86d
    Jacksonville in the early fifties
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    Social life before the war
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 114a
        Page 114b
        Page 114c
        Page 114d
        Page 115
    Front Matter
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    The war between the states (1861-1865)
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Reorganization and reconstruction
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 140a
        Page 140b
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Revival of business (1865-1875)
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
    Chronological record 1876 to 1924
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 172a
        Page 172b
        Page 172c
        Page 172d
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 192a
        Page 192b
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 218a
        Page 218b
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 224a
        Page 224b
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 244a
        Page 244b
        Page 244c
        Page 244d
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 284a
        Page 284b
        Page 284c
        Page 284d
        Page 285
        Page 286
    Municipal government
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
    Public improvements
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 332a
        Page 332b
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
    The railroads
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 356a
        Page 356b
        Page 357
    River navigation
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
    Urban transportation
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 378a
        Page 378b
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
    The port of Jacksonville
        Page 383
        Page 384
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
    Parent churches and denominations
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
        Page 401
        Page 402
        Page 403
        Page 404
        Page 405
        Page 406
        Page 407
        Page 408
        Page 409
        Page 410
        Page 411
        Page 412
        Page 413
        Page 414
    The schools
        Page 415
        Page 416
        Page 417
        Page 418
        Page 419
        Page 420
        Page 421
        Page 422
        Page 423
    Pioneer organizations
        Page 424
        Page 425
        Page 426
        Page 427
        Page 428
        Page 429
        Page 430
        Page 431
        Page 432
        Page 433
        Page 434
        Page 435
        Page 436
        Page 437
        Page 438
        Page 439
        Page 440
        Page 441
        Page 442
        Page 443
        Page 444
        Page 445
        Page 446
        Page 447
    Jacksonville newspapers
        Page 448
        Page 449
        Page 450
        Page 451
        Page 452
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Page 455
        Page 456
    Local military organizations
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
        Page 462
        Page 463
        Page 464
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Page 467
        Page 468
        Page 469
        Page 470
        Page 471
        Page 472
        Page 473
        Page 474
        Page 474a
        Page 474b
    Local banking institutions
        Page 475
        Page 476
        Page 477
        Page 478
        Page 479
        Page 480
        Page 481
        Page 482
        Page 483
        Page 484
        Page 485
    Hotel history
        Page 486
        Page 486a
        Page 486b
        Page 487
        Page 488
        Page 489
        Page 490
        Page 491
        Page 492
        Page 493
        Page 494
        Page 495
    Climate and health
        Page 496
        Page 497
        Page 498
        Page 499
        Page 500
        Page 501
        Page 502
        Page 503
        Page 504
        Page 505
        Page 506
        Page 507
        Page 508
        Page 509
        Page 510
        Page 511
        Page 512
        Page 513
        Page 514
Full Text

and Vicinity
1513 to 1924

of the
State of Plorida

1961 -1965

Carl Sandburg has said: "Books say Yes to life. Or they say
No." The twelve volumes commemorating the Quadricenten-
nial of Florida say Yes. They unfold a story so adventurous
and thrilling, so colorful and dramatic, that it would pass for
fiction were the events not solidly rooted in historical fact.
Five varying cultures have shaped the character of Florida
and endowed her with the pride and wisdom that come from
full knowledge and abiding understanding. Let us enjoy with
deepening gratitude Florida's magnetic natural endowments
of sun and surf and sky. Let us also recognize in her unique
cultural heritage the pattern of energy and dedication that
will spur us to face the challenges of today and tomorrow
with confidence.
I am grateful for the privilege of sharing these volumes
with you.



and Vicinity
1513 to 1924


of the 1925 EDITION

of the

University of Florida Press

of the


of the 1925 EDITION




Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 64-19]156



The renascence of interest in local history is a recent phenom-
enon. During the early colonial era all American history was local
history, since St. Augustine, Jamestown, Plymouth, and other sea-
board settlements were the only ones in existence. As the country
expanded, locality yielded primacy to the state and then the state
to the nation. State and local studies were left to amateur historians
and members of societies who listened to their speeches or read
their writings. The man with literary ability and the pedantic col-
lege professor found greater rewards in national than in local his-
tory. But in recent decades locality has again become respectable.
While local history still suffers from intellectual discrimination, the
best national historians do admit that it is important. The state and
nation are no more than the extended arms of many local communi-
ties, and the study of man's activities in these areas is basic to an
understanding of the larger communities.
The lay or amateur historian who kept local history alive when
it was scorned by the professional was a dedicated individual. Fre-
quently he spent more of his energy on what he found to be an
interesting avocation than on his vocation. Neither financial reward
from the sale of his books nor academic promotion from the results
of his writing was expected or received. He found satisfaction in
collecting source material, in securing facts and anecdotes, and in
writing pioneer histories. Most of these lay historians were anti-
quarians who recorded more myth than fact and never saw the
broad implications of historical study.
Among the amateurs, however, were a few who have just claim
to stature. T. Frederick Davis of Jacksonville was one of these.
The residents of his adopted state of Florida and his adopted city
are indebted to him for his books, monographs, and articles. The
entire field of Florida history was his domain, but his most com-

prehensive book was on Jacksonville. In it he described and ex-
plained events from the French explorations of 1562 to the climax
of the Florida Boom in 1925. During this period the Indian cow
ford near the mouth of the St. Johns River was renamed Jackson-
ville, to honor Andrew Jackson. For many decades Jacksonville
was a small river town, but in the 1890's it became the largest city
in Florida, and the gateway to other places in the state. For a few
months during the height of the Florida Boom, the.Jacksonville rail-
way station served more passengers than any other depot in the
United States.
The middle year of the 1920's was the terminal date for Davis'
history of Jacksonville. Since then the city has suffered recession
and enjoyed growth. Although it lost to Miami the distinction of
being the state's largest city, Jacksonville and its suburban areas
have experienced tremendous development. The city needs a his-
torian of the caliber of Davis to record and interpret its recent
Former school teacher and present editor of the Editorial Page of
the lacksonville journal, Richard Martin recognizes the contribu-
tions of Davis as a historian. But Martin does not commit the com-
mon error of the eulogist who commends his subject and repels the
reader with excessive praise. During his lifetime T. Frederick Davis
longed for the opportunity to revise his history--to correct mistakes
and to make additions. Like all good historians, he erred now and
then, but overall his pioneer history of Jacksonville is an outstand-
ing example of good local history.
The University of Florida Press is grateful to Mr. Edward A.
Koester, Jr., of Jacksonville, for permitting his copy of the History
of Jacksonville to be used in making this facsimile reproduction.
University of Florida General Editor of the

Thomas Frederick Davis and Pleasant Daniel Gold, the two major
historians of Jacksonville and its vicinity, shared a common chagrin
in the realization that this history which so enchanted them was by
others largely ignored and little known. Davis, who admitted to an
occasional editorial aside in his History of Jacksonville, Florida,
and Vicinity, could hardly wait to express his feelings on the mat-
ter. On page 23, at the conclusion of his first chapter, he paused in
his historical narrative to ask the question "Why are we sleeping?"
and followed with a full-blown editorial: "From Maine to California
in the schools of every city and hamlet of the nation where Ameri-
can history is taught, children recite in a word or two the events
that occurred in the vicinity of St. Johns Bluff recorded in this
chapter. They know that perhaps the destiny of a continent was
settled somewhere in Florida, but they do not know that it was any-
where near Jacksonville, nor that here the first white women and
children landed in the territory now the United States in the first
really substantial attempt at permanent colonization, and that here
according to a record inference the first white child was born--the
first Protestant white child born in North America. They do not
know that the first battle in North America between white races
was fought at Fort Caroline. But they do know all about James-
town and Plymouth Rock and a good deal about the missions of
California. .. ."
When Gold published his History of Duval County, F~lorida, in
1929, he added on page 7 this footnote to Davis' comments: "In
1564, forty-three years before the English landed at Jamestown,
more than a half century before the Dutch built their fort on Man-
hattan Island, and fifty-six years before the Mayflower arrived at
Plymouth, the territory now comprising Duval County was called
New France, and a colony of French Huguenots was established


therein. Here in 1565 was fought the first battle between white men
within the present limits of the United States."
It is rather ironic that even today, almost forty years after publi-
cation of Davis' history, the events in and around Jacksonville of
four centuries ago are not much better known to the nation's school
children than they were in Davis' time. Just why this is so is difficult
to understand, since Davis' history was well received and came to
the attention of readers throughout the nation and even abroad.2
Gold's History of Duval County, following so soon after Davis'
volume, was a hopeful sign that the history of Jacksonville and
vicinity at last was to receive the attention and recognition it de-
served. The two books coming so close together (Davis' in 1925,
Gold's in 1929) seemed to indicate that Jacksonville's colorful and
dramatic past, so long ignored by serious historians, was to enjoy a
belated investigation and popularization at last. But such was not to
be the case.
Only one other truly significant historical work followed in the
wake of the Davis and Gold histories. This was Dr. Webster Mer-
ritt's A Century of Medicine in lacksonville and Duval County.
Published in 1949, Dr. Merritt's book proved to be one of the most
interesting and best written of all Jacksonville histories. It is far
more entertaining and informative than the lay reader might sup-
pose from its title. The book contains social history, colorful anec-
dotes, and many thumbnail biographical sketches that make it a
delight even to the casual reader. These three volumes, Davis, Gold,
and Merritt, can be said to form the hard core of historical litera-
ture devoted to Jacksonville and Duval County. But none of these
works contained the key needed to open the door on public apathy
and stimulate the popular imagination to a greater interest in Jack-
sonville's past.
Just as Davis and Gold had done before him, Dr. Merritt be-
moaned the sad state of Jacksonville history and took personal
offense at the cruel treatment time and public apathy inflicted on
the city's great men of an earlier day. In one instance, discussing
the colorful career of Dr. Holmes Steele, Dr. Merritt wrote: "Physi-
cian, state senator, thrice mayor of Jacksonville, editor, captain of
the Jacksonville Light Infantry, and colorful figure during the War
Between the States, Dr. Steele today is unhonored and almost
The history of Jacksonville from the time it became a permanent

settlement as an incorporated Florida community goes back only
to the last century. In 1821 when I. D. Hart, described by Davis
as the founder of Jacksonville, arrived on the scene, there were only
two other permanent settlers in the area. In the four decades re-
maining before the Civil War, Jacksonville grew to become a thriv-
ing community, and already had begun building a reputation as a
resort city when secession came. In those years between 1821 and
1861 a great many exciting events took place. It was a time of
firsts: the first settlers, the first stores, public buildings, businesses,
streets, and roads; a time when a few hardy pioneers carved a com-
munity out of a dense and often hostile wilderness. There were In-
dian wars in the 1830's and 1840's, and a blockhouse built in 1836
at the site of what is now the northeast corner of Ocean and Monroe
streets dominated Jacksonville for fifteen years. Even as late as
1885 trees in Jacksonville still bore the scars of bullet holes from
an early Indian encounter.4 Families living on the outskirts of Jack-
sonville were massacred, their homes burned. Plantations in the
vicinity were attacked and vandalized or burned by marauding
hands of Indians. In the 1850's the first of what were to be many
epidemics ravaged the population, and in this same decade the first
spectacular fire set the precedent for even bigger and more destruc-
tive blazes that periodically leveled large sections of the city.
During the Civil War, Jacksonville was occupied four different
times by invading Federal armies. In the course of the war much of
ante-bellum Jacksonville was destroyed when, on different occasions,
both Confederates and Federals put the city to the torch, each side
doing so for its own reasons. The immediate postwar decades
brought a new kind of politics and put the stamp of Reconstruction
on the city. This era, from 1865 through 1876, is perhaps one of
the most exciting and dramatic in all of the city's history. The
tragedy of these years gave way to the gaiety of the 1880's and
1890's when Jacksonville became a gathering place for Northern
visitors during the winter months. Men of high office, the titled, the -
wealthy, and the famous flocked to Jacksonville each year to enjoy
in its fabulous hotels all the luxury and comforts that money could
buy. This was a time of fairs and expositions, of souvenir shops and
bawdy houses, gambling dens and wide-open saloons, a time when
rivermen, backwoods farmers, and toughs in from the lumber camps
found in the city every vice to cater to their tastes. It was a time,
also, when virtue clashed openly with that vice, when local political

elections were at once the best entertainment and the most serious
business in town. It was a time when every grocery store sold
whiskey from open barrels and nearly a dozen temperance societies
waged open war on John Barleycorn. Mammoth and splendidly
furnished hotels brought the most genteel entertainments and exotic-
foods and services to the wealthy tourists of the day, while in con-
trast those same hotels rose from streets where cattle ran wild, pigs_
rooted through open piles of garbage, and, on holidays such as
Christmas, men on horseback rode madly through the town, shoot-
ing their pistols and rifles into the air in the best Wild West tradi-
tion." These were the years when Florida was young and wild and
flexing its muscles--and iri those years Jacksonville wuas Florida.-
Then came the terrible yellow fever epidemic of 1888, decimat--
ing the population, laying the city under siege, driving away the
inhabitants in a mass exodus reminiscent of the Civil War years---
and worse, driving away the tourists. The epidemic of 1888 was a
turning point in Jacksonville's development. It came at the high-
water mark of that gay, glittering era when the luxury hotels domi--
nated the city's skyline. The railroads began pushing southward and
the tourists followed. The epidemic hastened this southward trend
and contributed to a decline in Jacksonville's popularity among-
these wealthy classes. Then, in 1901, a devastating fire ate the heart -
out of the city, sweeping over 466 acres and destroying 2,368 build-
ings. It was Jacksonville's fate, in short, to advance, suffer catas-
trophe, fall back, and push on again. Over and over the cycle was
repeated, and in the fumings and fulminations of men and events a
wonderful and inspiring and poignant history of a great city was
written and punctuated by tears, sighs of despair, and shouts of
victory. Great men were made and unmade; villains and murderers,
swashbucklers and martyrs came and went, some in a burst of
glory, others in an explosion of violence or scandal. The pages of
Jacksonville's history are rich with the fullness of human character
struggling against adversity and rising above it.
With such a history literally begging for chroniclers, why have
so few good books been written about Jacksonville? There are sev-
eral reasons, among them the traditional obstacle confronting local
historians in the attitudes of old and established families who are
reluctant for various reasons to have the past aired. Then there is
the fact that so many of the usual sources relied upon by historians
are missing. There are no official Jacksonville city records for the

period before the Civil War. Those records were buried for safe-
keeping by officials evidently making a hasty departure from the
city at some point during the war. Whoever buried the records did
not take the time to find proper containers to preserve them under-
ground. When the records were exhumed after the war they were
found to have been "wholly decayed."" The fire of 1901, consuming
most of downtown Jacksonville, destroyed still more valuable docu-
ments. The letters, diaries, and legal and other documents of a great
many older Jacksonville families went up in smoke. As a matter of
fact, a series of rather costly fires over a period of a half-century,
beginning in the 1850's, destroyed most of Jacksonville's public
records for the 1800's, many newspaper files, and the personal
papers of numerous Jacksonville families, the lack of which makes
research into Jacksonville history extremely difficult.
Some families, of course, have retained valuable collections of
personal papers, and in a few instances these have been edited and
published. For example, the L'Engle family papers served as the
basis for a two-volume history of that family written and privately
published by Miss Gertrude M. L'Engle in 1949 and 1951. But
generally the lack of primary sources has inhibited serious research
into Jacksonville's history because the task confronting the would-
be historian is seen at the outset to be so formidable. Since the
writing of local history rarely is profitable and probably never
justifies, in terms of monetary return, the amount of time and labor
that must go into it, this has tended to discourage those who might
otherwise have turned their attention to Jacksonville's past. In any
event, not one comprehensive history of the city existed when Davis
began his research, and the few published works on the subject
available to him generally tended to be fragmentary, superficial, or
Interestingly, both Davis and Merritt state that it was precisely
because this condition existed that they became intrigued with
Jacksonville's history and determined to dig out the city's past. Dr.
Merritt noted that "the dearth of records owing to the fire of 1901
whetted this interest [~in the medical history of Northeast Florida]
into genuine enthusiasm. .." And he added that despite the ob-
stacle to research, "the task of collecting and assembling the
material and of constructing the record has been fascinating, never
laborious."' Davis, on the other hand, was drawn to study Jackson-
ville's history by the anecdotes and stories he heard so frequently

xviii 1


among the circle of his wife's friends and relatives, many of whom
came from families that traced their origins back to the earliest
times in local history. Mrs. Davis recalls that Jacksonville's history
"grew on him, became a hobby and then a compulsion." The more
Davis learned, the more he grew to love its history. It depressed
and disappointed him that the city's people knew so little.of their
own origins and background."
Much of Davis' information came from the files of the local news-
papers. These papers were difficult to handle and read in the days
before microfilm records and viewers. The bulky files had to be
taken from their musty storage places and handled with extreme
care to prevent the breaking or tearing of the fragile and time-
brittled paper. Reading the darkened and faded pages strained the
eyes and fatigued the mind. It was a tedious job at best. And it
took Davis twenty years! According to Mrs. Davis, he spent as
much time at the offices of the local newspapers as he did at his
own office or at home. On any given afternoon he might spend
three or four hours toiling over the old and yellowed back issues.
On his arrival home he would be covered with the yellow dust of
old newsprint, his shirts black with ink and dirt. Mrs. Davis' solu-
tion was to supply her husband with special aprons to protect his
clothing. His work absorbed him so completely it tended to isolate
him from his family. (The Davises had two daughters: Leah Hart-
ridge Davis, now Mrs. Donald Merritt, and Parke Cabell Davis,
now Mrs. Winston H. Jervis.) When he returned home, invariably
he retired to his study to pore over his notes or to write into the
early hours of the morning.
Why did he maintain this grind for so many years, especially
since he had little hope of any personal gain for the investment of
time and labor involved? To understand this facet of Davis' person-
ality we must go back, briefly, into his own history.
Thomas Frederick Davis was born on April 24, 1877, at Chat-
ham, Virginia, the son of Judge Horatio Davis of Wilmington,
North Carolina, and the former Parke Carter Miller of Belle Vue
Plantation, Virginia. Judge Davis moved his family to Cedar Key,
Florida, in 1886, later settling in Gainesville where he was mayor
for several years. Young Davis completed his formal education at
the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, one of the predecessors
of the present University of Florida.9
In 1899 Davis was offered and accepted a job with the United

States Weather Bureau as a meteorologist. He served in Galveston,
Texas, and then at the Jacksonville office from 1899 to 1901, when
he went to Curagao in the Dutch West Indies as chief meteorologist
for the United States Weather Bureau there. Probably his first pub-
lished works were the daily weather forecasts which appeared over
his name in the English-language Curagao newspaper.lo The culture
of this island fascinated Davis and he wrote occasional articles and
sent them home for publication in the Gainesville newspapers."l
The climate of Curagao, however, did not agree with him, and an
attack of yellow fever forced him to resign the island post in 1902.
On June 14, in that year, the Gainesville Daily Sun carried a
lengthy article reporting his return home and giving an account of
some of his experiences. Only a few days after this, the Gainesville
News published a long article headlined "Island of Curagao: Fred
Davis Tells of the Country and Customs."12
"(I became an author," Davis wrote later. "This tickled my pride
and led to a typewritten History of Curagao, compiled in 1902--
my first history-writing effort."l
Late in 1902 Davis accepted a new assignment to the central
office of the Weather Bureau at Washington. He remained at that
post until 1905 when he was transferred to Jacksonville after his
marriage. He had met Annie Clarkson of Jacksonville before his
assignment to Curagao, and they were married on March 1, 1905.
Davis continued as a Jacksonville meteorologist until 1914, then
retired to enter the insurance business.
Soon after Davis' transfer to Jacksonville he conceived the idea
of compiling a climatological history of the city and vicinity. He
worked on this project in his spare time for a period of about five
years. The result was a 15-page monograph, Climatology of Jack-
sonville, Florida, and Vicinity. Two more monographs followed in
1909, both devoted to Florida weather. Davis attributed his in-
terest in Jacksonville history to the research involved in producing
these meteorological papers. "I presume that while searching for
weather data in the old records, the Florida history bug bit me,"
he wrote later. This rather amazed him when he looked back on
his life many years afterward, since, by his own admission, he
"hated" history in his school days and as a boy came to the con-
clusion that "as it was taught to us, there was apparently nothing
in the past worth preserving except the record of politics and its
child, war; no human or humane side of life. It was a subject for

recitation simply to procure, as I saw it, a rating for graduation,
to be banished forever in after life."l4
There was more behind Davis' interest in Jacksonville's history
than what he found in the musty and rather drab old files of the
weather bureau. Actually, it was marriage to Miss Annie Clarkson
and introduction to her circle of friends and relatives that inspired
his initial interest in the city's past.
Annie Clarkson was born in Jacksonville, the daughter of Walter
Bernard and Leah Ann (Hartridge) Clarkson. Her father was a
graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, became principal of the
high school at St. Augustine, then principal of Duval High School
in Jacksonville, entered the real estate field, and later studied law.
Admitted to the bar, he practiced in Jacksonville for a time, be-
came professor of law at Yale University, then resumed his law
practice at Jacksonville, and eventually entered city politics. He
served on the Jacksonville city council and was chairman of the
Duval County- school board. The Hartridges, from whom Mrs. Davis
was descended on her mother's side, were a long-established and
prominent Jacksonville family. Dr. Theodore Hartridge, her grand-
father, was president of Jacksonville's first Board of Trade in 1856
and held many public offices. Dr. Hartridge's wife was a commu-
nity leader in her own right. She was one of a dynamic group of
Jacksonville women who organized and operated the Relief Asso-
ciation of Jacksonville and the St. Luke's Hospital Association, out
of which grew the present St. Luke's Hospital."s
Annie Clarkson, as might be expected, displayed a keen interest
in history, even as a child.'" She joined enthusiastically into con-
versations about local history, while her husband hung onto every
word, fascinated. Annie was a help to her husband by encourag-
ing his interest and introducing him to various older residents who
were knowledgeable in local history. The stories Davis heard in-
spired him to such an extent that he began considering the possibil-
ity of writing a history of Jacksonville. Actual work along these
lines probably started between 1905 and 1907, while Davis was
working on his Climatology. In the earliest stages his interest in
Jacksonville history was more of a hobby than anything else. But
somewhere along the line of these early years he began taking
notes, made his initial investigation of local historical sources and
records, and entertained for the first time the idea of writing seri-
ously on the subject. Before long Davis was hard at work on his

first book, the History of Early lacksonville, Florida, published in
1911 by the Jacksonville Board of Trade (Chamber of Commerce).
This work was printed by the Drew Press of Jacksonville in an edi-
tion of 1,000 copies. The reception of the history, while quite
limited by the small number of published copies, was immensely
pleasing to Davis. He was accorded recognition and earned some
small fame as a historian. Occasional letters began coming to his
home from various parts of the state and nation as scholars began
seeking his advice and historians working on other books began ask-
ing his help in tracing material on Jacksonville and Florida. Jack-
sonville readers who bought and enjoyed his book, meanwhile,
began urging him to enlarge and update the early history (it cov-
ered events only to 1869).
If Davis had been writing for money he never would have suc-
cumbed to these appeals and influences. The only way he managed
to get his early history published was by signing away to the Jack-
sonville Board of Trade all revenue from the sale of the book."
He could not afford to publish it himself, nor were there publishers
in Jacksonville sufficiently interested in local history or convinced
of its marketability. It is fortunate, then, that Davis had no interest
in making money or even' in acquiring fame through his writings.
His sole object, in all of his historical writings, was to make the <-
past accessible to the present and future and to interest people in
their origins and in the men and events that had shaped their city
and their lives. At any rate, after the appearance of his first book,
Davis could no longer have entertained any illusions, if he ever did
so, as to the nature of the task involved in producing a relatively
complete, general history of Jacksonville. Only a man genuinely in
love with the subject could have gone on at that point.
Not in Davis' time, and not since, has any attempt been made
to complete a bibliography of published materials about Jackson-
ville, nor has any attempt been made, beyond the most rudimentary,
to collect such materials in one place. Davis knew that it would
take many months, perhaps years, to trace all such sources. Where
the local newspaper files were concerned, he knew that gaps of sev-
eral years existed, rendering those files incomplete in certain crucial
eras. He was aware, also, that newspaper correspondents had written
much for Northern papers about Federal military operations in and
around Jacksonville during the Civil War, and that no attempt had
ever been made to trace and obtain copies of these writings for

filing in Jacksonville and state libraries. Jacksonville, in addition,
was of some national interest before the Civil War, and various
writers had published accounts of the city and its environs in the
popular magazines of the day. A great deal of promotional litera-
ture also was published, beginning in the 1870's, which could have
shed light on the late nineteenth century period of Jacksonville's
development for which official records were missing.
It was impossible for Davis even to consider tracking down all
of this material. Of course he did obtain published and unpublished
writings, but only such as came to his attention within the confines
of research limited in and around the city of Jacksonville. Beyond
the published articles, pamphlets, and books on the subject, there
was to be found a treasure of letters, diaries, and unpublished
manuscripts in the possession of various families still in the city or
settled elsewhere. To do justice to Jacksonville's history, these
materials would have to be sought out and copies obtained where
Let alone the twenty years he did spend working on his lackcson-
ville and Vicinity, Davis could have spent fifty years working in
his spare time to thoroughly research available publications and
trace potentially useful materials. The scope of the task was fright-
ening and depressing. Davis made the only decision he could. He
confined the search for materials within the limits of the city and
state. Even this, he knew, would take many years of effort, search-
ing old newspaper files, rummaging through the local libraries,
interviewing local citizens, and sifting through collections of family
papers when he was invited to do so.
Despite these necessary and self-imposed limitations, Davis' job,
as he began work on his enlarged history, was no easy one. No one
had ever attempted to write a history of Jacksonville on the scale
he proposed, a fact that rendered his work even more difficult. He
had no pattern, no precedent to follow.
It can be said, therefore, that Davis was the pioneer in the field
of serious research into Jacksonville's history. When he came upon
the scene the standard histories were very few in number, and
tended to repeat each other. Foremost among these were S. Paul
Brown, The Book of lacksonzville, 1895; Wanton S. Webb, Histori-
cal, Industrial and Biographical Florida, 1885; C. A. Rohrabacher,
Live Towns and Progressive Men of Florida, 1887; and James
Esgate, lacksonville: the Metropolis of Florida, 1885. These books



are little more than detailed sketches of the city's history or collec-
tions of capsule biographies, usually written to promote and finance
a publication. Several general works on Florida included consider-
able information about Jacksonville, and of these Davis leaned
heavily on Rowland H. Rerick's two-volume Memoirs of Florida
(edited by Francis P. Fleming), 1902; and G. R. Fairbanks, His-
tory of Florida, 1871. Other books or pamphlets dealing specifically
with Jacksonville did not pretend to contain any more than histori-
cal sketches, or were addressed to limited subjects. In this category
were such works as the Report of the lacksonville Auxiliary Sani-
tary Association, edited by Charles S. Adams, 1889 (not so much
a formal history as a record, or source book, on the work of the.
association during the yellow fever epidemic of 1888); Benjamin
Harrison, Acres of Ashes, 1902 (dealing with the fire of 1901);
and Elihu Burritt, Experiences in a Stricken City, 1889, also de-
voted to the yellow fever epidemic. The newspapers contained a
large amount of historical material, such as the reminiscenses of
an old citizen published anonymously in the lacksonville Tri- Weekly
Sun, January 22 through February 1, 1876. Other volumes, includ-
ing various city directories, some with a few pages, others with
whole sections treating Jacksonville history, could be cited here
and were used by Davis. But none of these works, in fact, not even
all of them together, did more than scratch the surface qf Jackson-
ville's history. Davis, therefore, had to rely heavily on the files of
local newspapers to establish his basic chronology of events, using
the material gathered in his interviews with old citizens to fill in
the gaps. The newspaper files begin in 1864E and run to the present;
but unbroken continuity goes back only to 1881.
This background will help explain why Davis' history is con-
structed in three parts, the first being a narrative, the second a
chronological outline of events, and the third a potpourri of in-
formation under various headings.
In Part I, the narrative history, Davis turns to standard works on
early Florida history for reference, but here he also makes his most
original contributions, based on personal interviews with Jackson-
ville residents and on family papers. This section actually is an
enlarged version of his Early lacksonville, published in 1911. In
the Foreword to this earlier book, Davis wrote: "A considerable
portion of the matter has never been published before, being the
recollections of old citizens, to whom the thanks of the author, and



others finding pleasure or profit in these pages, are due; and
especially to Mrs. William M. Bostwick, who has given much data
and most valuable assistance in the preparation of this book. Some
years ago, it was the custom of several of the oldest residents to
meet and talk over 'early days.' Many of these old timers have
since passed away, but Mrs. Bostwick possesses notes made at the
meetings, and much of this matter appears in this book."
In writing this early history, Davis was at his best as an organ-
izer of material and as a writer. This version of what was to be-
come the History of Jacksonville, Florida, and Vicinity, runs to
only 197 pages and includes certain touches of color and anecdotes
that were not carried over to the enlarged history because of space
limitations. The earlier work is superior to the later version in an-
other important sense: it was better annotated. It also included a
The most frustrating aspect of Davis as a historian, particularly
in the volume at hand, is his citation of the sources of his informa-
tion only in a most general manner. Just why he did this is difficult
to understand, since it was his intention that lacksonville and Vicin-
ity should be a source history and not in itself a definitive work.'H
In his Foreword Davis himself refers to the work as a "reference
The serious student of Jacksonville history, turning to this vol-
ume, finds such footnotes as these: "reliable data from various
sources"; "old newspaper clipping"; "from accounts published in
early local newspapers"; "newspaper account"; "local press of the
period"; and "from various published sources."'" Even where Davis
cites a specific source, he does not give a page number or even a
chapter heading to guide a reader or student who may want to go
to the original for further information.
Part II of Jacksonville and Vicinity is based on newspaper files,
with but one or two exceptions. This is the chronology of events,
and in it Davis shows the same gaps in his information as those
in the files of the local newspapers. For example, there are no
Jacksonville newspapers on file for the years 1879 and 1880 and so
Davis bridges this gap by falling back, briefly, on a narrative style.
His narrative for these periods is based partly on information
gleaned from historical articles in earlier or later editions of these
same newspapers. Davis does not cite his other sources, as, for ex-
ample, where he got the details of the mill riot of 1880; the reader



must assume that in such cases the material comes from his inter-
views with local citizens.
Part III of the history is the best annotated and at the same time
the section in which Davis relies most heavily on published works,
including newspapers. In this section, as throughout the book,
material is sometimes used without indication that it is not Davis'
own work. An example of this can be seen on page 424 where
Davis relates the history of St. Luke's Hospital. The first para-
graph, beginning "In the autumn of 1872," is a direct quotation
from a news story quoting a speech by Judge Thomas Settle at the
dedication of the hospital."" A great many examples of this kind
could be cited. Some of the catchiest phrases in Davis, quoted
again and again by other writers,.were not his to begin with.
Davis' history, generally, is without major error, but does tend
to err factually in specific details. Here and there, for example,
dates are wrong, places confused, names misspelled or coupled with
wrong initials, and similar slips. A look at Davis' personal copy of
lacksonville and Vicinity, containing corrections in his own hand,21
reveals that some of these errors were typographical in nature and
probably were not in the original manuscript. In some cases Davis
makes erroneous statements or assumptions based on the informa-
tion he had at hand at the time of publication in 1925. Thus he
supposed, within the limits of his research, that it was not until the
winter of 1878-79 that Jacksonville obtained its first free public
reading room.22 BUt aS a matter of fact, a free public reading -room
was opened in the city in 1874, and there are traces of various
literary societies going back to 1865.23 There are scores of errors
of this kind, but they are redeemed by the fact that in context none
is important enough to do serious damage to the validity of Davis'
general theme.
Davis, of course, had to be selective in using the vast amount of
material uncovered by his research over a period of two decades.
In some instances his judgment can be challenged. For example,
he does not mention at all in his chronology for 1882 the sinking
of the steamship "City of Sanford." This was one of the most
spectacular and serious of steamboat catastrophes in the vicinity
of Jacksonville. The ship burst into flames early on the morning of
April 24, 1882, while only five miles out of Jacksonville at the be-
ginning of a voyage to Sanford. Nine passengers were burned to
death or drowned, and many were injured in the panic that fol-



lowed. The Florida Daily Times, predecessor of the Florida Times-
Union, printed an extra edition devoted solely to the tragedy--the
first extra in the newspaper's history, complete with rare woodcuts
of the ill-fated stern-wheel steamer. A coroner's jury conducted a
week-long investigation of the disaster, and during that time the
sinking and all details relating to it remained front-page news.
Davis does not mention this event at all among the important events
of 1882, yet he was aware of the sinking, since he devoted a sen-
tence to it on page 369 in a special section dealing with the "Fate
of Some of the St. Johns River Boats."
On page 164 of his text Davis assumes that outbreaks of yellow
fever, followed by the establishment of quarantine restrictions
against Jacksonville, were responsible for a shortage of building
materials in the city during a minor construction boom in 1882.
The fact was, according to newspaper sources Davis had access to,
that the shortage came about as the result of a statewide building
boom which exhausted builders' supplies. An editorial of the day
chastised owners of brickyards and planing mills for putting aside
such a short reserve of building supplies and having so little faith
in Florida's future.24 On page 174 Davis mentions the organization
of the first regular baseball club in Jacksonville on May 13, 1886.
Davis missed the mark here by twelve years. The first regular base-
ball teams in Jacksonville were organized in 1874 when a baseball
craze swept over the city and state. In that year at least half a
dozen teams were formed in Jacksonville, among them the Robert
E. Lees who won the city and state championships. This team
played the Garden City team of Tallahassee for the state champion-
ship, won the first game, lost the second, and claimed to win the
championship by default when the Garden Citys refused to play
the final game in a three-game series. The R. E. Lees, as they were
popularly called, had their own baseball park at Moncrief Springs
in the suburbs of Jacksonville. Thousands of spectators attended the
championship game played in Jacksonville on August 27, 1874."'
These are minor errors or oversights, to be sure, but there are
enough of them to warrant recognition.
It should be noted on Davis' behalf that there was a limit to what
one man could do. He must have realized, early in the preparation
of this volume, that no matter how much research he did, new facts
always would be turning up that would either alter completely his
previous findings or change his interpretation of specific events.


Somewhere he had to draw a line, establish his limitations, and
hope for the best. In his Foreword Davis wrote, "No attempt has
been made to discuss the merits of any incident, but only to pre-
sent the facts, just as they were and just as they are, from the
records and sources indicated." Davis pretty well carried out this
intention. He managed to do this by avoiding personalities and
controversies. He avoided mentioning names or giving credit to
individuals except where absolutely necessary. Very few of Jackson-
ville's past leaders--or rogues, for that matter--come to life on the
pages of this volume. In the same way, Davis reported only in
skeleton detail such things as political elections and the controver-
sies surrounding them. He was forced into this both by space limita-
tions and by the limitations of his own research.
The general reader, regardless of all this, can peruse Davis con-
fident that the larger theme and the general sweeping narrative and
chronology are accurate and reasonably without error. The scholar
or writer turning to Davis, however, must check his facts or face
the possibility of constructing a theme based on isolated facts that
are not final and may tend to be misleading. The fact that Davis
has been consulted frequently over the years by writers of news-
paper feature articles has, for example, tended to perpetuate cer-
tain of his errors, even minor errors. When those errors are central
in a feature article, however, they tend to undermine the validity of
such an article.
All things considered, Davis' history is a creditable monument
to his memory and a most worth-while object for serious considera-
tion by the posterity he chose to serve. Today, as this volume once
again comes to press, his history stands as the best on the subject
and must be considered an impressive achievement for the work
that went into it and the personal sacrifice of its author. As he did
with his first history, Davis signed away all monetary rights to his
second and final work on Jacksonville and its vicinity. The book
was published by the Florida Historical Society and printed in
1925 by the Record Company of St. Augustine. According to Mrs.
Davis, Arthur T. Williams, then president of the Society, under-
wrote the cost of the book for the Society, else even that organiza-
tion might not have been able to publish it.
This sheds some light on a supreme irony in Davis' career as a
writer-historian. In the early stages of his research into Jacksonville
history, Davis expressed amazement and chagrin at how little was




known, generally, about that history. It was the object of his life-
time career as a historian to change this. He believed that the lack
of interest in Jacksonville history was attributable to the fact that
no worth-while books dealing with the subject had been published.
He was to find that the explanation went beyond this. The people
of Jacksonville just were not interested in their own history. The
1,000 copies of Davis' second history were many years in selling,
and as late as the 1940's one local bookseller was known to have
accumulated scores of the volumes which could not find buyers.
If Davis ever entertained any secret hopes of realizing some
profit from his vast labors, those hopes were grievously disap-
pointed. He was not paid, even, for a series of columns written
for the Florida Tirnes-Union between 1938 and 1942.'" Davis was
not disappointed, however, in the hope that his history would be
of help to other scholars and a pleasure to casual readers. In his
own lifetime he was satisfied in the knowledge that his books were
well received by other historians, and he took great pleasure in the
numbers of callers who came to his home for advice or information,
and in the letters he received commenting on his work or seeking
his assistance. He went on to write continually in the field of gen-
eral Florida history. He was most proud of his Digest of the Flor-
ida Material in Niles' Register, 1811-1849, a 250-page volume
typewritten and bound by the author in five copies, one of which is
stored in the rare-book room of the Library of Congress. Hezekiah
Niles' Register was a periodical published in Washington and now
regarded as "a continuous, contemporaneous and semi-official his-
tory of the United States for the years of its publication, 1811-
184E9. In his spare time, Davis, over two years, extracted all the
Florida historical material from the seventy-six volumes of the
Register into a single volume."27 COpies of this volume, so labori-
ously prepared by Davis himself, were presented to the University
of Florida Library, Florida State College for Women Library (now
Florida State University), and the historical library of Julien C.
Yonge at Pensacola (now the University of Florida's P. K. Yonge
Memorial Library of Florida History). Davis' other writings include
a great many articles for the Florida Historical Quarterly. Twenty-
two of these were published between 1924 and 1943. Among these
Davis considered his most important works to be MacGregor's In-
vasion of Florida, 1817, and History of luan Ponce de Leon's Voy-
ages to Florida, Source Records. Both of these monographs were



published in limited hard-cover editions, ten copies of the former,
an unknown number of the latter, for distribution among selected
In recognition of his long association with and loyalty to the
Florida Historical Society, Davis was granted an honorary mem-
bership, the only person so honored in his lifetime. He also was
a member of the Florida Academy of Sciences. He continued writ-
ing and was engaged in historical research almost to the day of his
death on October 17, 1946.28 Perhaps the recognition that would
have pleased Davis most, however, comes now in the inclusion of
his volume in the outstanding Floridiana Series of Facsimile and
Reprint Editions of rare books of Florida, published by the Univer-
sity of Florida Press under the editorship of Dr. Rembert W. Pat-
rick. It is a commentary of another sort, however, that Davis' book
is considered rare less than forty years after its publication, and
that no demand generated before this time among the people of
Jacksonville that would have justified additional editions of his


1. See the last paragraph of Davis' Foreword to this volume.
2. According to Mrs. T. Frederick Davis, who lives in Jacksonville, Davis con-
ducted an extensive correspondence with persons in the country and abroad. An
occasional letter still comes to the Davis home, asking information or advice. Mrs.
Davis answers all of these queries.
3. Merritt, A Century of Medicine in Jacksonville and Du~val County, Gaines-
ville, University of Florida Press, 194~9, 69.
4. Florida Times-Union, Feb. 25, 1885. In an article headed "Historical Trees,"
the paper editorialized: "It is with a feeling of keen pain we note the destruction
of our historical landmarks. Within the last weeks two trees which, in any New
England town would have long ago been enclosed with an iron fence, and would
have constituted one of the attractions and prides of the place, have been need-
lessly and ruthlessly sacrificed. We refer to the noble old oaks in the street before
the Ely Block, near the corner of Forsyth and Laura Streets. These old trees


marked the spot where stood the house of Mr. J. N. Hart, who is popularly sup-
posed to be the first settler of Jacksonville. He was, in point of fact, the seventh
settler. His house stood almost on the site of Mr. Caulk's stable, and the trees just
destroyed stood, one at the corner, the other in front of his porch. One of these
trees was battered and cut with bullet holes in an early Indian encounter, and had
become hollow from the injuries received.
"We, of the South, are lacking in this jealous guarding of local histories. Many
a scene as thrilling as the scalping of Jane McCrea, or the escape of the Dunstan
family, has occurred at our very doors, and we are fast losing even the faint tradi-
tions. We may burlesque the Boston 'culchaw' and egotism, but we have need of
Longfellow and historical societies to rescue from oblivion our Miles Standish
and our Cotton Mathers and preserve our Plymouth Rocks and Faneuil Halls."
Davis might well have written this himself; certainly he was in complete accord
with these sentiments.
5. Florida Times-Union, Dec. 25, 1956, article based on an original letter writ-
ten in 1885 by Eugene Carpenter, a transient worker at the St. James Hotel: "The
Fourth of July up home is nothing compared to Christmas down here [Jackson-
ville]. .. A lot of fellows get together here on horse back and run their horses
through the streets, and they keep loading and firing their guns as fast as they
can.. "
6. Ibid., Sept. 9, 1885.
7. Merritt, vii.
8. Interview with Mrs. T. Frederick Davis, March, 1964.
9. Encyclopedia of American Biography, New Series, New York, American His-
torical Company, 1949, 44-46.
10. Copies of old Curagao newspapers, bearing the daily U. S. Weather Bureau
forecasts over Davis' name, are in the Davis Family Papers.
11. Gainesville Daily Sun, Nov. 24, 1901, copy in Davis Family Papers.
12. June 17, 1902, copy in Davis Family Papers.
13. "Autobiographical Fragment and Bibliography of the Works of T. Frederick
Davis," unpublished, in Davis Family Papers.
14. Ibid.
15. Merritt mentions Dr. Hartridge frequently; see pp. 76, 118-20. Key stories
relating to Mrs. Hartridge's public life and the founding of St. Luke's Hospital
can be found in the Tri- Weekly Florida Union, Oct. 21, 1873, and the Daily Union,
July 24, 1876. There are traces of at least three Boards of Trade, or Chambers of
Commerce, in Jacksonville history. The first was a pre-Civil-War organization
founded by Dr. A. S. Baldwin. Little is known about it. The second, founded in
1866, died of apathy in 1874. The third, founded in 1884 as the Jacksonville Board
of Trade, continues to the present as the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Baldwin wrote a brief sketch of the earlier organizations which was published
in the Times-Union on Feb. 1, 1884.
16. While a sixth grader, she won a prize offered by the Daughters of the
American Revolution for the best essay on U. S. history written by a Jacksonville
grade-school student.
17. Early Jacksonville: "At the meeting of the Board of Governors of the Jack-
sonville Board of Trade .. the generous offer of the compiler of this work, Mr.
Thomas Frederick Davis, to turn over the publication of and revenue from this

NOTES xxxi

work to this organization was unanimously accepted and a vote of thanks was
tendered to him for his patriotic labors in the interest of the City of Jacksonville
in the gathering together of its most interesting history"--note facing the Frontis-
18. Interview with Mrs. Davis.
19. Respectively, pp. 103, 111, 137, 154, 414.
20. Reported in the lacksonville Sun & Press, Feb. 25, 1878.
21. In the possession of Mrs. Davis. Some of Davis' unpublished corrections,
which would have come out in any revised edition of his history, are based on the
results of his own later research. For example, in his own volume of this history
the opening paragraph has a notation beside it: "Amended-see 'Voyages of Ponce
de Leon' by the author, Florida Historical Society, 1935." Obviously, Davis in-
tended to rewrite the section dealing with Ponce de Le~n. Davis did not have
access to certain materials dealing with events at Fort Caroline, materials that
were available only in the archives of foreign countries during his lifetime, but
which have since been made available in this country. In addition, some of the
works Davis referred to, particularly in respect to the early history of Duval
County, have since been outdated by more recent research. One must add here
that Davis should be credited for popularizing the history of Fort Caroline, and
the earliest history of Jacksonville and vicinity.
22. Pp. 428-29.
23. Florida Union, March 11, 1865, reported the organization of a Beneficial
and Library Society by "the young gentlemen of the Catholic Church." In 1866 a
Young Men's Literary Society was formed and in the early 1870's this organization
sponsored a free public reading room. The Board of Trade also opened a public
reading room in 1868 (Florida Union, Nov. 28, 1868). The temperance societies
of Jacksonville opened still another reading room in 1874 ( Tri- Weekly Union,
April 25, 1874~). About the same time the Duval County Agricultural Reading
Rooms were opened and advertised as "free to all" (Tri- Weekly Union, Aug. 8,
1874); and in January of 1878 the YMCA opened a free public reading room
(Sun & Press, Jan. 30, 1878) There was a circulating library in the city as early
as 1874 (Tri-W~eekly Union, March 14, June 2, 1874).
24. Florida Daily Times, May 25, 1882.
25. Tri- W/eekly Union, Aug. 29, 1874; also June 13, July 7, 18, Aug. 1, 4, 6, 18,
20, etc.
26. Some 150 of these columns, or short essays, were published on the paper's
editorial page. Davis compiled these in a book (unpublished) titled Florida
Events of History. Six copies were made by Davis himself. Five of these were sent
to the Library of Congress, Florida Historical Society, University of Florida
Library, Rollins College Library and Julien C. Yonge.
27. Florida Historical Quarterly, XXXV (Jan., 1947), 279-80.
28. Interview with Mrs. Davis; Encyclopedia of American Biography.

_._ I

I: -- -



and Vicinity

1513 to '1924


Author of
"History of Early Jacksonville"

Published by

Copyright 1925
All Rights Reserved
ISee last paragraph of Foreword)

Press of
The Record Company, St. Augustine, Florida


Two times there was a wholesale destruction of Jackson-
ville's official records--in the War Between the States and
by the fire of May 3, 1901. The author's effort in this work
was to collect all of the available authentic matter for per-
manent preservation in book form. The record closes as of
December 31, 1924.
The record is derived from many sources--long forgotten
books and pamphlets; old letters and diaries that have been
stored away as family memorials of the past; newspapers
beginning with the St. Augustine Herald in 1822 (on file at the
Congressional Library at Washington) fragmentary for the
early years, but extremely valuable for historical research;
almost a complete file of local newspapers from 1875 to date;
from the unpublished statements of old residents of condi-
tions and outstanding events within the period of their clear
recollection; and from a multitude of other sources of reli-
ability. The search through the highways and the byways
for local history was in the spare moments of the author
stretching over a period of a score of years, a pastime
"hobby" with no idea of making money out of it. No attempt
has been made to discuss the merits of any incident, but
only to present the facts, just as they were and just as they
are, from the records and sources indicated.
It is an unwritten law of copyright to give credit for the
use of another's record or research in any publication. Such
acknowledgment is made herein by connecting marks in the
text leading to footnotes and to the bibliographies found at
the end of each chapter. The use of the single asterisk (*)
is reserved to indicate observations or remarks by the author
of this history thrown into the text as little sidelights con-
nected with the subject. This publication is fully protected
under copyright with all rights reserved by the author; how-
ever it is not his desire to restrict its use as a reference his-
tory, and the courtesy of the unwritten law referred to above
is extended to those who may find use for it.


Jacksonville, Florida.

(Face page noted)

Mbaps Page
St. Johns River, Jacksonville to the ocean.. .. .. .. ... 1
Fort Caroline and vicinity. ................... ...... 18
-K~ings Road through site of Jacksonville. ........... 26
Jacksonville as originally surveyed in 1822........... 55
Child's map of Jacksonville, 1847. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. 85
Built-up portion of Jacksonvile in the 1860's. ... .. .. 87
Map of Jacksonville, 1859. ................... ...... 115
Railroad map of Jacksonville, 1884. ... .. ... .. .. .. 356
Map of area burned in 1891 ................... ..... 193
Map of area burned in 1901. ................... ..... 225

Where the "Vale of Laudonniere" used to be. .. .. ... 12
Hug~uenot ring found in an Indian mound........ ..... 17
Dwellings of the log-cabin period. ... ...... ...... .... 68
Vicinity of Forsyth and Main Streets in 1874.. .. .. .. 141
Freedmen's Bank building................,, ...... 141
Saloon of a St. Johns River steamboat, 1885. .. .. .. .. 363
Bird's-eye view of Jacksonville, 1886. . ... .. .. .. .. 172
Seal of Jacksonville.............................. 293
- First factory-made automobile in Florida. .. .. .. .. .. 379
--Fire burning Jacksonville in 1901. ................... 219
Jacksonville in ashes, 1901, panorama view.. .. .. .. .. 244
St. James Hotel, burned in 1901 ................... .. 487
City Hall burned in 1901.. ................... ...... 332
County Courthouse, burned in 1901. ................. 64
County Clerk's Office, burned in 1901 ................ 65
County Armory, burned in 1901.. .. .. .. .. .. . 474
Sky-line of Jacksonville in 1908. .. .. .. .. .. ... ... 244
SFlag of Jacksonville. ................... ........... 422
SBlock plan of St. Luke's Hospital. ... .. .. ... .. .. .. 426
Sky-line of Jacksonville, 1914-1924. ... .. .. ... ... 244
Airplane view of modern Jacksonvile. ............... 284








March 27, 1513, was Easter Sunday, Pascua Florida in
the language of the Spaniard. Along the stretch that we
now call the Florida east coast north of Canaveral the
weather was stormy and the sea was running high. Off shore
three caravels lingered with sails reefed down, for land had
been sighted that day and the adventurers aboard, wishing
to investigate, hove to for the weather to calm. They loi-
tered northerly along the coast a week; then they headed in,
and in the night, April 2, came to anchor near the beach.
Here the commander with his principal officers formally
landed, probably at sunrise of April 3d. Throwing the royal
banner of Spain to the breeze they declared allegiance to t~he
crown and proclaimed possession of the country, which they
supposed was an island, in the name of Ferdinand, their king.
Following the custom of that day to commemorate impor-
tant events with the names of feast days or patron Saints,
in this case, because the discovery was made on Easter Sun-
day, they named the new land Florida.
This scene on the beach was the landing of Juan Ponce
de Leon and the opening of the positive history of the white
man in North America. Fortunately, Ponce de Leon recorded
the location of his landing and as it is the only record the
observation 30 degrees and 8 minutes latitude must forever
designate the locality where he first landed on the soil of
Florida. Laid down on the map today, the location is about
11 miles south of the pier at Pablo Beach and within 25 miles-
of Jacksonville straight away.
It would appear that the existence of flowers here had
nothing to do with naming the country. The native flora of
the coastal beach section is there today, and one would wonder
what Ponce de Leon, coming from verdant Porto Rico, could
have seen to cause the enthusiasm attributed to him by history
writers. The embellishment of the record to the effect that


"the land was fresh in the bloom of Spring and the fields were
covered with flowers" is pretty and pleasing, but it does not
conform to the circumstances as we know them now in the
early part of April even in the mildest season.

There is no record that Ponce de Leon explored the coun-
try away from the coast. He found nothing here to lead him
to suspect the existence of gold and precious metals in the
country; and incidentally, no spring the waters of which
possessed the qualities of restoring health and vigor, that
tradition said existed somewhere in this part of the world.
He did not tarry long. Boarding his vessels on the 8th of
April, he soon turned back, struggling against the currents
of the gulf stream in his progress southward.
From the top of the sand dunes in that locality the eye
rests upon what appear to be refreshing woodlands. They
are the oases hiding from view that stretch of marsh behind the
dunes known as "The Guana," beginning seven miles below
Pablo Beach and extending south toward the mouth of the
North River at St. Augustine. Those who have been in "The
Guana" duck hunting and waded the mud flats and network of
marsh creeks there know from experience why Ponce de Leon
remained on the beach near his vessels and did not attenipt to
penetrate the interior at this point.

Indians of That Dayt
The natives of the Florida peninsula in Columbian times
comprised a number of tribes, each governed by a different
chief. They did not live in constant peace and harmony with
one another and sometimes were engaged in bitter tribal
wars. This part of Florida was occupied by the Timuqua or
Timucua tribe, whose domain reached from the St. Marys
River to the headwaters of the St. Johns, but principally
along the lower St. Johns.
The costumes of the Timuquas were scanty, being scarce-
ly more than a loin-cloth of buckskin for the men and for the
women a fringe of Spanish moss tied around the waist. Both
men and women painted their bodies in fantastic fashion;
both wore heavy stone ornaments suspended from the lobes
of their ears which they pierced for the purpose. The men
wore their hair drawn to a peak at the top of their heads and

t Barletin et U. 8. Burea of Ethn~olOsr.


tied like a topknot. The women wore no head decoration and
left their hair flowing, except in cases of the death of a rela-
tive or friend they "bobbed" their hair as a token of distress.
A chief or headman decorated himself with the tail of a
raccoon or a fox drooping from the peak at the top of his
head; deer-hoof rattles dangled from his loin-cloth, while
suspended from his neck on a buckskin string a large shell
dise six inches or more in diameter was sometimes worn.
These Indians were tall of stature, muscular and very
strong. They were an agricultural people, raising crops of
maize and vegetables and tilling their fields with implements
of wood and shell. Tobacco was known to them and they
used it as an emetic in cases of sickness. Among their cere-
monials was the "Busk Ceremony," sometimes referred to
as the "Green Corn Dance," which lasted several days with
a distinct ritual for each day. It was a harvest festival
and celebration, but included ceremonials of penitence for
crime within the tribe, as well as supplication for protection
against injury from without. Their war ceremonies and cele-
brations of victory were on the order of those of the early
Creek Indians and doubtless originated in a common source.
These were the people in possession of this part of Flor-
ida when Ponce de Leon arrived. They were not the Semi-
noles of a later day.
It may safely be assumed that the visit of Ponce de Leon
left a lasting impression on the minds of the natives and
that long afterward when they were in sight of the ocean
they would look out to sea for the strange objects that
brought the pale-face to their shore. A generation was born,
grew up, and passed into middle age, yet these had not re-
turned. Reports had now and then sifted through from the
lower coasts that the white man had been down there, or
from the direction of the setting sun that he had passed that
way; they had heard of pale-faced people held captive by
neighboring tribes, and had knowledge of one even among
themselves several days' journey away; but it was not until
the approach of the 50th annual harvest after Ponce de
'Leon's time that runners announced the return of the white
man's vessels to this coast of Florida.


The French Arrive
Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France and champion of
the cause of the Huguenots, visualized the new land across
the sea as a place where his unhappy countrymen might live
according to their own ideals and at the same time build up
a new dominion by colonization, thereby extending the pos-
sessions of France. It was a dream of colonization upon the
republican principle of freedom of thought; but in it also
was another idea that of conquest. Coligny had already
attempted to plant such a colony in South America, in the
harbor of Rio Janeiro, but it had perished. However, he
did not despair, and early in 1562 he despatched another ex-
pedition of two vessels from Havre de Grace to seek a place
of settlement for the colony that was to follow. The com-
mand of these vessels was given to Jean Ribault, a native of-
Dieppe and a Huguenot.
Ribault's name was spelled in different ways by the
historians of the 16th and 17th centuries. French--Ribauldus
(rare), Ribauld, Ribault, Ribaut; the form with the "1" is the
older. Spanish--Ribao. English--Ribault.

Second in command of this expedition was Rene Goulaine
de Laudonniere, likewise a Huguenot. Ribault steered a new
course across the Atlantic north of the West Indies and came
in sight of the Florida coast near the present site of St. Au-
gustine on the last day of April. The weather being favor-
able he sailed northward and just before sunset came to the
mouth of a large river (the St. Johns), but did not enter it:--
He anchored outside the bar.
At dawn the next day, which was May 1, 1562, Ribault
and several officers and soldiers crossed the bar in their
shallops (large rowboats with a number of oarsmen) for the
purpose of exploring the river. They soon saw natives com-
ing down to the bank of the river in a friendly manner, even
pointing out to them the best place to land. Ribault and his
party went ashore. An Indian approached and Ribault gave
him a looking-glass. He ran with it to his chief, who took off
his girdle and sent it to Ribault as a token of friendship. The
two parties now approached each other. The natives greeted
the white men with dignity and without indication of fear.
After the greeting, the Frenchmen retired a short distance,


prostrated themselves, and gave thanks to God for their safe
This was the first Protestant prayer said within the
limits of the United States; it cannot be positively stated that
it was the first in North America, since there might have been
Protestants with Roberval in Canada twenty years before. It
was certainly not the first in the new world, for Coligny
planted a Huguenot colony in the harbor of Rio de Janeiro in
1555, seven years before, and in 1557 sent out 4 Protestant
ministers to preach there. The South American colony existed
until 1560.

The natives watched the ceremony of the Frenchmen in
perfect silence. When it was over, Ribault pointed his finger
upward to indicate to them that the white man worshipped
a Supreme Being. The chief, supposing that he meant the
sun, pointed two fingers upward signifying worship of both
sun and moon by them.
Captain Ribault was much.pleased with the manners and
appearance of these natives. He says of them, "They be of
goodly stature, mighty, fair, and as well shapen and propor-
tioned of body as any people in the world; very gentle, cour-
teous, and of good nature. The forepart of their body be
painted with pretty devised works, of azure, red, and black,
so well and so properly as the best painter of Europe could
not amend it. The women have their bodies painted, too,
and wear a certain herb like unto moss, whereof the cedar
and all other trees be almost covered. The men for pleasure
do trim themselves therewith, after sundry fashions."
It has been said that the Spanish or gray moss is not
native here, but the foregoing description is strong evidence
that it is.

These ceremonies took place on the north side of the
river, where Ribault spent the forenoon. Distributing pres-
ents among the natives and receiving in exchange fresh fish,
which the Indians skillfully caught in reed nets, the French-
men crossed over to the south side. The natives of the south
side met Ribault in a friendly manner and offered fruit; but
they seemed more suspicious than those of the north side,
as they did not bring their women with them and had with
them their bows and arrows. A few presents satisfied them,


however, and the Frenchmen were allowed to go about un-
Ribault was greatly impressed with the natural growth
on this side of the river. Trees, shrubs, plants and vines all
excited his interest and wonder. His relation mentions
grapes "of surpassing goodness" and vines that grew to the
top of the tallest oaks; palms, cedar, cypress and bay trees.
The Frenchmen spent the afternoon wandering over the
high land near the mouth of the river. Toward sundown they
again entered their shallops and returned to the ships out-
side the bar.

Ribault` Proclaims Possession
The next day (May 2d) the small boats were manned and
Ribault, his officers and gentlemen again entered the river
and brought with them a "pillar or column of hard stone
with the King's arms engraven thereon, to plant and set the
same at the entry of the port, in some place, where it might -
be easily seen" (from boats entering the river). Coming to
land on the south side, they selected a suitable spot on a little
hill; here with appropriate ceremonies the monument was
erected, and possession was taken of the country in the name
of the king of France.
Shore-line and channel conditions at the mouth of the
river have changed greatly since that day. The oldest maps
show a projection on the south side of the mouth of the river
like a protruding underlip. These primitive dunes were even-
tually washed away. A part of the lip evidently was where the
sand field is making up on the left as you approach the south
jetty on the beach, and according to many lines of reasoning
this is where the monument was set up. Le Moyne's drawing
indicates a sand dune location.

The monument was erected before any Indians appeared;
but soon they came, viewed the stone for a time in silence,
and then retired without touching it or speaking a word.
Ribault named the river the Riviere de Mai, or River May,--
because his tour of exploration was made on the first day of
May. This is the only name that he bestowed at the River
The day passed very much as the preceding one, except
that the Frenchmen became greatly excited when they
noticed that some of the natives were wearing ornaments of


gold and silver. Ribault concluded from their signs that the
country abounded in gold and that the rivers, and harbors
contained pearls of great magnitude.
*It afterward developed that these ornaments came from
the treasure ships of Spain that were wrecked on the lower
Florida coast on their voyage home from Mexico. By trade
and war the gold and other metals became scattered among
the Indian tribes elsewhere, furnishing a lure that never failed
to lead the white adventurer on.

Ribault spent the day on the south side and returned to
the ships toward sundown The next day (May 3d) he pro-
ceeded northward and after investigating the rivers and
harbors along the way, finally reached the coast of what is
now South Carolina, where it was decided to leave a post
called Charlesfort, composed of 26 men. Ribault and Lau-
donniere then set sail for France.
It is almost unbelievable that Ribault could have sup-
posed this handful of men left in the wilderness at the mercy
of the Indians had a chance to survive.

Ribault arrived at Dieppe late in July and found civil war
raging in France. The anti-Huguenot party was in control
of the government and amidst the distraction that over-
whelmed the nation a delay of nearly two years was experi-
enced in getting another expedition together.
Meantime the garrison at Charleafort abandoned the post
and embarked in a frail craft for home. Fortunately they
were picked up by an English vessel, but not before they
had been reduced to the horrible extremity of human
sacrifice for subsistence.

Laudonniere's Expedition
The Eizabeth of Honfleur, 120 tons; the Petit Breton, 100
tons, and the Falcon, 60 tons, with officers, soldiers, mariners,
artisans, and titled gentlemen adventurers aboard, under the
command of Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere, left France in
April, 1564, on a voyage across the Atlantie to Florida. These
vessels came upon the coast in the vicinity of the present St.
Augustine June 22d and entered the River May three days
later. Laudonniere was entertained by the same chief that
he met on the former voyage with Ribault. The stone column
was still standing and appeared to be an object of great rev-


erence to the Indians. Seeing the French approaching, as a
token of friendship, they wrapped flowering vines (appar-
ently the sea morning-glory) and wreaths of bay leaves
around the pillar, while at its base were placed baskets of
fruit and grain, together with a bow and quiver of arrows,
symbolizing welcome and peace. When the greetings were
over, Laudonniere made a short excursion up the river at
least as far as St. Johns Bluff in order to observe the coun-
try. Then he returned to the ships waiting outside and
coasted as far north as Amelia Island. He was in that vi-
cinity two or three days and held a consultation with his
officers as to the best place to make a settlement. They de-
cided to return to the River May and plant the settlement in
a "pleasant vale" on the south side of the river at the base
of the "mountain" (St. Johns Bluff) that they had already
examined, situated 21/2 French leagues (approximately six
miles) above the mouth.
Laudonniere does not mention the men left at Charles-
fort two years before, and his seeming neglect of them is not
accounted for in history.

Fort Caroline
At the break of day on June 30, 1564, Laudonniere com-
manded the trumpet to be sounded. When all were assembled,
he says, "We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, be-
seeching Him that it would please Him of His Grace to con-
tinue His accustomed Goodness towards us. The prayer
ended, every man began to take courage." After measuring
off a piece of ground in the form of a triangle, all became
engaged in some duty--some cleared land, some cut fagots,
others brought earth, "for there was not a man that had not
either a shovel, or cutting hook, or hatchet, as for the build-
ing of the fort, which we did hasten with such cheerfulness
that within a few days the effect of our diligence was ap-
parent." Paracoussy (chief) Saturioua, on whose land the
fort was built, came with his two sons and a great number
of men to help.
.Fort Caroline was built in the form of a triangle, its base-
along the river front and its apex drawing toward the south.
The westerly side was enclosed by a trench and raised by
trusses made in the form of a battlement nine feet high. The
portcullis was on this side. The southeastern side was a kind


of bastion; while the northern, or river side, was enclosed
with a palisade of planks of timber. The houses were built
inside the fort. The oven was placed outside some distance
away "because the houses be of palm leaves, which will soon
be burnt after the fire catches hold of them." Laudonniere
named the fort "Caroline, in honor of our prince, King
Charles," who at that time was only a boy. At this crude
work took place some of the most tragic incidents of Amer-
ican history.
When first known to the white man St. Johns Bluff
sloped down westerly into a little plain that occupied the
cove between the present point of the bluff and Fulton. This
plain was called by the French the "Vale of Laudonniere," and
there, at the water's edge, Fort Caroline was built in order to
get water for the moat. The plain has been washed away by
the river, mainly since the jetties were built, and ships now
pass over the precise site of Fort Caroline.

In about a month Laudonniere sent the Elizabeth of
Honfleur back to France with despatches for Coligny, retain-
ing the smaller barks for use on the river.
c~ -The story of the French at Fort Caroline is one filled with
pathos and tragedy. In the beginning all went well; they
enjoyed amicable relations with the Indians and from them
drew largely for their subsistence, themselves neglecting to
make provision for the emergencies that were bound to come
to those in such a situation. As time went on misfortunes
began to multiply as a result of this inactivity, and, nat-
urally, discontent then entered the ranks of the little band.
Serious mutinies followed On one occasion the conspirators
seized a vessel belonging to the port and set out upon a free-
booting expedition against the Spaniards in the West Indies.
Some of the mutineers finally found their way back to the
River May, where Laudonniere had four of the ringleaders
executed. The others were captured by the Spaniards and
taken to Havana.
-~--After awhile the Indians refused to share further of
their stores, partly because their own stock was low and
partly from the fact that nothing was given in exchange, the
French by this time having exhausted the supply of ex-
changeable articles. Being reduced to the verge of famine,
Laudonniere was induced, let it be said against his will, to
seize the great Indian Olata Utina (head chief ) and hold him


as ransom for supplies. This scheme resulted disastrously
for the French, since a number of them were killed in cap-
turing the chief, while the enmity of the natives was raised
to the highest pitch. Thoroughly disheartened, they at last
decided to build a suitable vessel and return to France.

English Sea-Rover Visits Fort Caroline
Demolishing several houses and tearing away a part of
the fort for timber, work was started on the vessel designed
to take the colonists home. The construction progressed
under many difficulties, as several of the most experienced
carpenters had been killed by the Indians. Amidst these
preparations, Sir John Hawkins, returning from a slave-sell-
ing expedition along the Spanish Main, unexpectedly ap-
peared at the mouth of the River May, August 4, 1565, hav-
ing been guided along the coast by a Frenchman, who was
with Ribault on the first voyage to Florida. They were
seeking the colony at Charleafort, but when they reached
the River May they saw two pinnaces and learned of the
circumstances and condition of Fort Caroline two English
leagues up the river. Hawkins paid a visit to the fort and
supplied the French with meat and other provisions. He sold
Laudonniere one of his vessels, taking some of the ordnance
of Fort Caroline in payment therefore. Laudonniere says,
"Moreover, for as much as he saw my soldiers go barefoot,
he offered me fifty pairs of shoes, which I accepted and
agreed of a price with him, for which until this present I am
indebted to him; for particularly he bestowed upon myself
a great far of oil, a jar of vinegar, a barrel of olives, a great
quantity of rice and a barrel of white biscuit. Besides he
gave divers presents to the principal officers of my company,
according to their qualities; so that I may say, that we
received as many courtesies of the General as it was possible
to receive of any man."
After the departure of Hawkins, the French hurried
their preparations for leaving Florida. By the 15th of
August (1565) everything was in readiness, and they waited
only a fair wind to hoist the sails. In this state of anxious
suspense they were detained till the 28th, when the wind
and tide became favorable and they were on the point of de-
parting; but just at that moment the sails of several vessels
were discovered at sea approaching the coast. Ribault had


Ribault's Second Voyage
The settlement on the River May had not been forgotten
by Coligny. At the first opportunity, during a lull in the
civil war in France, he secured a royal commission for Cap-
tain Ribault to command an expedition to America. The full
quota of soldiers and volunteers was quickly brought to-
gether. Some of the men embarked with their wives and
children. The total number of emigrants was about six
The fleet of seven vessels sailed from Dieppe in May,
1565. Experiencing adverse weather it put into several ports
and was delayed in reaching the River May until August
28th, the day that Laudonniere was preparing to leave.
Three of the vessels entered the river and proceeded to the
fort, but the four largest could not cross the bar and re-
mained at anchor outside. All of the colonists had landed and
the disembarking of supplies had been in progress several
days, when at night five Spanish ships came up from the
south and anchored near the four French ships at the mouth
of the river. The Spaniards claimed to be friendly, but the
French trusting nothing, made ready for sailing. Their
suspicions were soon verified and they cut their cables and
sailed for the open sea, with the Spanish ships in pursuit.
The chase continued until after sunrise, but the French out-
sailed their pursuers, who turned back and were in turn fol-
lowed by a French ship. Observing that the Spaniards were
landing soldiers and provisions (at St. Augustine), the
French vessel hastened to the River May to notify Ribault,
who was at Fort Caroline while all of this was going on.
When the facts were related, Ribault immediately held a
council of war. He favored attacking the Spaniards by sea
immediately, but Laudonniere opposed the plan on the
ground that it was the season of sudden storms and he
thought it would be wiser to repair the fort and await an
attack by the Spaniards. Most of the officers agreed with
Laudonniere. Ribault, however, held to his decision and
ordered the ships prepared for battle. The largest ship, the
Trinity, flagship of the fleet, having outsailed the rest had
not yet returned to the river and the attack was to be made
without her. All of the fighting men that had just arrived
together with the able-bodied of Laudonniere's force were
ordered aboard. On September 10th, the fleet sailed from the


River May on the mission of a sudden attack upon the
Spaniards. Laudonniere remained at Fort Caroline.
Ribault's fleet soon arrived off St. Augustine, having been
joined by the Trinity in the meantime. While the decks were
being cleared for action the wind died down into a complete
calm--it was the calm before a hurricane. When the wind
came again it grew rapidly into a gale from the northeast
and Ribault's ships were driven southward and scattered
down the coast.

Spaniards Plan Attack
Rumors of a French settlement in Florida reached Spain
through the court of France. These rumors were verified by
a report from Havana in an account of the mutineers from
Fort Caroline that were captured, who in order to save them-
selves divulged the secrets of the French fort on the River-
Spain claimed Florida by right of discovery and ex-
ploration and she seems to have had a good title to it through
Ponce de Leon, Narvaez, De Soto and other voyagers. This
settlement on the River May incensed the Spanish king as a
foreign settlement within his dominions and he determined to
get rid of it. France and Spain at that time were not at war.
Religion furnished a good pretext and a safety-valve for the
Spanish king to act and still keep official peace with France.

-,A royal decree was granted Pedro Menendez to fit out,
mostly at his own initial expense, an expedition designed to
destroy the French colony or drive the Frenchmen from the
shores of Florida. Such an expedition could not have been
placed in better hands for its success, as Menendez had
shown before that he was fully capable of performing the
acts with which he was charged the brutality that the
spirit of the age in which he lived characterized as the high-
est order of heroism and religious duty.
It was a peculiar coincidence that Menendez arrived in
sight of the Florida coast on the same day that Ribault's
fleet dropped anchor at the mouth of the River May, and
the same day, too, that Laudonniere was hoisting sail to
leave the shores of Florida. Menendez sailed along the coast
and anchored off what is now St. Augustine. Here he learned
from the Indians of the situation of the French; but to
satisfy himself he went with five of his ships up the coast

S Freder~k' Davis
Map drawn from zlurvly hy T~. Hulrd Knokerr, C. E.


r~r ~t

~1L ~L~LL ~L \~

\ ~L~~CT~. \_r

~~L ~L
\\ ~Zr ~a'
\cl~?Y ~~
,,,, :

R~ M --


OC La u P O ~ Pt


/ha deciated the~',i

p,,/orio~'/ a was


SEPTEZMBER 20, /363.
JCALE 4/n. = /m//e.




These two views joined end to end, with the point of St. Johns Bluff on the left and the hamlet of Fulton on the right, give a com-
plete panorama of the present shore line, and the cove where Laudonniere's valley used to be.


a. %


Photographed for this history.

Courtesy of C. H. Brown

The position on the hill whence Menendez swept down upon Fort Caroline is indicated. The face of St. Johns Bluff, rising precipi-
tously 70 feet above tide water, is around the point in the upper view, facing the mouth of the river; there has been no erosion on
that side.


to reconnoiter. These were the ships that chased the French
out to sea. He had set about fortifying the place, which he
called St. Augustine, and was so engaged when Ribault's
fleet appeared off the harbor. He saw the French ships
driven southward and speculated as to their return. He
called his officers in council and laid before them a plan to
attack the French fort by land before the French vessels
should return. His officers, as in the case of Ribault, opposed
the plan; but Menendez was determined, and on the 16th of
September he marched with a force of 500 men to attack
Fort Caroline. Indians did not take part in this further than
acting as guides. The tempest had not ceased; rain fell in
torrents, and it was only after the severest hardships that
the Spaniards reached the vicinity of Fort Caroline after
sunset of the 19th. Coming: to a pine grove, they camped at
a low, wet place one-quarter of a league from the fort; here
Menendez assembled his captains in council. Drenched and
hungry with their powder wet and useless the Spaniards
debated the advisability of making an attack on the French
fort. Menendez was practically alone in an unswerving
desire to attack the fort, his captains opposing it and sug-
g~esting the return to St. Augustine and the abandonment of
the expedition. The council lasted until the early morning
hours, and the will of Menendez prevailed.
The place where the Spaniards camped that night and
the fate of Florida was sealed is easily recognized today. The
road skirts it just before the climb to St. Johns Bluff com-
mences. It is a natural depression surrounded by hmbs, about
three-fourths of a mile (approximately one-fourth of league)
southeast of the site of Fort Caroline--the only situation of
that kind anywhere in the locality.

Before dawn, September 20th, the Spaniards began to
move closer to the fort. They had marched only a few hun-
dred yards when amidst the rain and tempest, and the tangled
underbrush, the columns became separated and Menendez
called a halt. He interrogated a Frenchman (one of Laudon-
niere's mutineers) whom he had brought with him. The
Frenchman told him that "right over there, down below,
three arquebus shots away, was the fort, one side of which
was washed by the waters of the river." Nothing could be
clearer than this description recorded by Meras, which con-


tirms all of the other eye-witness descriptions that the fort
was at the water's edge.

Fort Caroline Captured
At dawn -the Spaniards were on the high ground over-
Looking Fort Caroline. The break of day revealed no activity
of any sort; Fort Caroline was sleeping, 240 people, less than
thirty of whom knew the use of arms. Women and children,
the sick and the weak, artisans and servants these were
the people that remained with Laudonniere when Ribault's
fleet departed.
The damage done the fort in anticipation of its abandon-
ment had not been fully repaired. The Spaniards rushed
down the slope into the fort and committed an indiscrinv=
inate slaughter. Some of the French were slain in their beds;
others half awake and bewildered met the same fate upon
reaching the courtyard. Women as they knelt in supplica-
tion and prayer, and little children were put to death. In the
confusion a few Frenchmen escaped and among these was
The deed was finished in less than an hour and not a
Spaniard had been killed and only one slightly wounded.
Menendez, it seems, was not at the fort when the carnage
commenced, having remained on top of the hill; but hearing
the commotion at the fort he ran down to it and observing
that his soldiers gave no quarter he ordered them in a loud
voice to kill or wound no woman, or boy under 15 years of
age, by which order 70 persons were saved.
About a month after the capture of Fort Caroline, Menen-
dez reported to the King that he still held these captives and
that it caused him deep sorrow to see them among his people.
Their ultimate fate is unknown.

Laudonniere, Le Moyne (an artist), and Challeaux, with
23 others, after suffering untold hardships in the marshes
as they tried to reach the mouth of the river, were finally
rescued by two small vessels belonging to the French, the
Pearl and the Grayhound. In these they hastily set sail for
France. The Pearl arrived in France, but the Grayhournd
with Laudonniere aboard reached port at a place in Wales.
Thence Laudonniere went to France and reported fully re-
garding the destruction of Fort Caroline, but the news was
received with indifference at the French court.


"Not as Frenchmen, But as Lutherans."
The familiar statement that Menendez hanged a num-
ber of Frenchmen and placarded them with a sign signifying
that he hanged them not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans, is
omitted here as history. So far as known no eye-witness re-
corded the incident of the placard. The account first appeared
in print in 1566 and apparently originated in France as prop-
aganda to arouse the feelings of Protestants in connection
with an effort to raise funds for the support of the widows and
orphans of Huguenots murdered by Menendez in Florida.
That some of the Huguenots were hanged is true, for Menen-
dez mentions the fact, in his report to the king,t and along
with them two Englishmen that Hawkins had left at Fort
Caroline to assist Laudonniere; but he does not mention the
placard nor does Meras who recorded the details of the affair
with a candor that would certainly have included this incident
had it occurred.

Fate of Ribault
Ribault's fleet was buffeted by the tempest and then
wrecked along the coast above Canaveral. Practically all of
the Frenchmen reached the shore in safety, where they seem
to have gotten together in three separate parties. The two
farthest north attempted to reach Fort Caroline by march-
ing overland; but that farthest down the coast decided to
fortify and await developments.
Three days after the capture of Fort Caroline, Menendez,
leaving a garrison of 300 men there, returned to St. Augus-
tine with the balance of his force. Soon after his arrival the
Indians came in with reports of the wrecks below. He knew
that they were the F'rench and he set out to finish the job
begun at Fort Caroline. A party of the French had marched
to Matanzas Inlet, where their progress was stopped. Me-
nendez appeared on the opposite side. A parley ensued and
the French surrendered, understanding that their lives
would be spared.
On the pretext that he had but few soldiers with him and
these might easily be overpowered, Menendez required the
French to cross the shallow body of water in a small boat in
parties of ten. As each came over its was marched back into
the palmetcto scrub out of sight. There, September 29, 1565,
the shipwrecked and defenseless Frenchmen were tied to-

tllenendez to the K~ing: "Unwritten H~istory of Old St. Augustine." Brooks and


gether in pairs with their hands behind their backs and
fiendishly put to death with axe, halberd or sword. After it
was over Menendez returned to St. Augustine.
On October 12th, Menendez was at the same spot on the
same mission, as reports had reached him through the
Indians that another party of Frenchmen was there. Ribault
was with this party. Precisely the same procedure as in the
former instance was carried out. Ribault was among the last
to come over; he was struck in the back with a dagger and
fell to the ground, where two or three blows ended his life.
Meras, brother-in-law of Menendez, was an eye-witness and
he recorded the details of this horrible butchery; there is
evidence that he, personally, delivered the dagger thrust in-
to the back of Ribault.
Menendez in time reached the last party down the coast.
Upon his approach some of these Frenchmen fled to the
Indians and their ultimate fate is not clear. Of those that
surrendered, a few were taken to St. Augustine as slaves.

Huguenot Ring
The following letter from Mrs. W~. H. Adams, of Atlantic
Beach, Fla., gives the circumstances of the recovery of an
extremely valuable relic connected with Fort Caroline, found
in an Indian mound near Pablo Beach a few years ago by
Elbridge Gerry Adams:
Atlantic Beach, Fla., December 12, 1924.
Mr. T. Frederick Davis,
Jacksonville, Fla.
My dear Mr. Davis:
In reply to your note regarding the old ring in my possession, the
circumstances connected with finding the ring were these:
My son, Gerry, found the ring while digging in an Indian mound
near Pablo Beach about 1911. He, in company with several other boys,
was digging for pottery and such things. They had been digging in a
large mound, when Ger~ry found a small mound nearby and began
digging into one side of it. It was here that he found the old gold ring.
I kept the ring, but did not pay much attention to it until the Ribault
monument was unveiled by the D. A. R. near Mayport last spring,
when I recognized the similarity of the markings on the monument
shield to those on the ring. I would be glad to show you the ring
should you care to see it. Very sincerely,
Juliette Holt Adams.

History of Jacksonvzille,
By T. Frederick Da~vis.


(:reatly enlarged from an original negative.


The ring is a band of about 10-kt. gold of uniform thick-
ness throughout. Measured by~the modern jewelers' scale
the size is 61AL, which is the size for a medium finger; the
weight is 1 dwt. The emblems are apparently hand-carved.
The single fleurs-de-lis are simply cut into the band, while
the figures in the medallions stand out upon a battered
sunken field within the oval. The accompanying illustration
shows the emblems on the ring, which appear uniformly all
the way around the band. There is no inscription inside the
The certain authenticity of this fmnd makes it at once a
most interesting subject, and being a ring the imagination nat-
urally drifts into all kinds of romance about it. There is of
course no record of how the Indian gained possession of the
ring. It may have been given to him as a present. Maybe it
was taken from the finger of a Frenchman slain at Fort Caro-
line, or from that of one of Ribault's men as he lay upon the
blood-soaked sands of Matanzas. But that it originally be-
longed to a Huguenot of Fort Caroline there is scarcely a
doubt, for the fleur-de-lis, emblem of France when the Hu-
guenots came to Florida indelibly connects it with the time
when the Lily of France was banished from Florida by the
Lion of Spain in their struggle for supremacy.S

San Mateo Fort and River

The capture of Fort Caroline having been achieved at the
time of the festival of Saint Matthew, Menendez renamed
the fort San Mateo and the river Rio de San Mateo. The
contingency, fire, that Laudonniere had so carefully guarded
against happened to the Spaniards eight days after they had
captured the fort. Through the carelessness of a soldier all
of the houses and the wooden part of the fort were burned.
The fort was rebuilt on the same site. Menendez afterward
built two small forts or observation posts on opposite sides
of the river below the great fort, as San Mateo was called.
There is evidence that Menendez soon attempted to force
the removal of Chief Saturious to the north side of the river
on account of which it is not surprising that he incurred the
enmity of the neighboring Indian tribes. About this time a
missionary, Don Martinez, and three attendants were mur-
dered by the Indians when they landed on Fort George Island.
$The Huguenot Bag bore three golden fleanr-delHe, frequently referred to as the Lllies
of France. 't'he Spanish flap of the period was quartered, showing in sold the Castle
of Castile and in red the Lion of Leon.


Menendez led a detachment of 70 men against this chief, but
without success. The soldiers could not now venture far
beyond the protection of the forts without being harassed
by the Indians and within a year fifty or more, including a
number of officers, were killed.
The same spirit of mutiny that took hold of the French
arose among the Spanish garrisons. On one occasion all but
twenty of those in the forts on the San Mateo determined to
leave and were aboard a vessel ready to sail when Menendez
arrived from St. Augustine. He induced thirty of them to
remain, put them on a boat and ordered them to St. AugusJ-
tine; but on the way they were attacked by the Indians and
most of them killed. The mutineers sailed and were wrecked
on the lower Florida coast where they fell into the hands of
the Indians of that section.
At the end of 18 months conditions in Florida' were grow-
ing from bad to worse; supplies and recruits were slow in
coming from the West Indies and the dissension of the
colonists was growing. Menendez therefore decided to go to
Spain and make a personal report in the interest of the
Florida colony. He sailed in the spring of 1567, and remained
in Spain a year. During his absence there occurred at the
mouth of the River San Mateo (St. Johns) the most spec-
tacular incident of them all.

Retribution of Dominic de Gourgues
The court of France, anti-Hugueziot in sentiment, ignored
the popular clamor for retribution for the outrages perpe-
trated against Frenchmen in Florida. Observing that the
slaughter of his countrymen would likely go unavenged and
believing that the honor of France demanded a retributive
measure, Dominic de Gourgues, a soldier of fortune, took up
on himself the responsibility of a private enterprise against
the Spaniards in Florida.
Selling his own estate and borrowing from his friends,
De Gourgues managed to finance the building of three
vessels especially equipped for the enterprise. His fighting
force comprised about 100 soldiers armed with arquebusses
and 80 mariners with cross-bows and pikes; there were also
a number of persons unskilled in arms, but seeking adven-


De Gourgues left France August 22, 1567, sailed to
Africa, thence to the West Indies, and reached the River
May (St. Johns) at Eastertide, 1568. In passing by the
mouth of the river he received the salute of the Spanish
posts and returned it to keep his identity secret. He came to
anchor in the St. Marys River, called the Somme by the
French. The Indians soon gathered and an alliance was
quickly made with them for an attack upon the Spanish
forts. Several days were required to perfect the plans. A
youth, Pierre Debre, who had escaped from Fort Caroline
and was afterward found and kindly treated by the Indians,
was brought in and his services as interpreter were invalu-
able. On the Saturday morning following Easter, De
Gourgues with his whole force, except 20 left to guard the
vessels in the St. Marys River, and a great number of Indians
were concentrated in the woods behind the fort on the north
side of the river.
Circumstances point almost without the slightest doubt
to Pilot Town as the location of this fort.

The attack was made in the forenoon. Captain Cazenove
with a company was ordered to set fire to the gate, while the
main forces attacked from the rear. A guard happened to
mount a platform just at this moment, noticed the French
and sounded the alarm. He fired a culverin twice and was
loading it for a third shot when he was killed by an Indian.
By this time the French and the Indians were inside the
fort. Not a Spaniard escaped; of the 60 in the fort, 45 were
killed, and 15 captured and reserved for another fate.
The garrison in the fort across the river, seeing the com-
motion, opened a cannonade, which the French replied to by
turning the guns of the captured fort to bear upon the other.
Haste was necessary to intercept the garrison on the south
side of the river before it should reach the great fort San
Mateo (at St. Johns Bluff). Captain De Gourgues with 80
soldiers entered a boat that had come around into the river
by prearranged plan and crossed over to the south side below
the second fort. The Indians swam across in great numbers,
holding their bows and arrows above their heads with one
hand and swimming with the other. The garrison fled, but
not in time to escape, for when they got to the woods they
found themselves cut off and partly surrounded. All were
slain except 15 reserved as before.


*The second fort was on the point where the river turns
at Mayport. The Spaniards evidently held back for a time
before leaving the fort, which gave De Gourgues time to cross
the river and station himself in the woods around the property
known as "WKonderwood."

The French removed the articles of value from this fort
and sent them across the river. Then they crossed over
themselves, with their captives and their Indian allies. De
Gourgues wished to obtain more accurate information about
the great fort before attacking it. He learned from one of
the prisoners that it contained about 250 men, well armed
and supplied, and this information was substantiated by a
spy sent from the great fort, who had been captured by the.
Indians and brought in. De Gourgues decided to make the
attack at once, although it could not be made as a surprise,
for the Spaniards had already gotten wind of the attacks
on the small forts. In the night he sent the Indians to con-
ceal themselves in the woods behind the great fort and await
the signal for attack. Early the next morning he crossed the
river with all of his force, except a few left to guard the
prisoners, and finally attained the eminence (St. Johns
Bluff) overlooking the fort--the same position from which
Mlenendez on that fatal morning two and a half years before;-
observed Fort Caroline.
De Gourgues saw a reconnoitering party of 60 Spaniards
leave the fort and march toward his position, whereupon he
sent Captain Cazenove around to come up in their rear and
cut off their retreat. This maneuver was carried out un-
observed by the Spaniards, who continued toward De
Gourgues' position on the hill. When they were close, De
Gourgues advanced with his whole force. The Spaniards
broke and fled, but Cazenove had cut off their retreat and
all were slain without quarter.
The balance of the garrison in the fort got a glimpse of
what was taking place in the woods on the slope of St. Johns
Bluff and in their consternation the number of the French
was greatly magnified. Becoming demoralized they sought
escape through the woods behind the fort; here they ran in-
to the Indians, who attacked them with the greatest fury.
The French soon joined the Indians in the work of extermina-
tion. Only a few Spaniards escaped; most of them were slain


on the spot, but some were captured and held for a specific
De Gourgues marched his prisoners to a suitable spot,
where he lectured them, reciting the details of the slaughter
of his countrymen by Menendez. Then they were hanged
from nearby trees. On a tablet of firwood he wrote with a
searing iron, "I do not this as unto Spaniards nor Mariners,
but as unto Thieves, Traitors, and Murderers," and placed
the placard beneath the victims as a message to the
Spaniards that he knew would come from St. Augustine
after his departure.
Menendez was in Spain at this time. Had he been in
Florida it is possible that he might have been on a visit to
San Mateo and fallen into the hands of the Frenchman, in
which event the history of that Spaniard's life without a doubt
would have closed right there. The Indians would have found
a great deal of pleasure in it too, for, as Bancroft says, they
unquestionably enjoyed seeing their enemies butcher each

The necessity of destroying the fort was now explained
to the Indians and they set about the work with such seal
that San Mateo was razed in one day. The French removed
the cannon and small arms to two boats that lay off the fort,
but the ammunition was lost as the result of an accident. An
Indian while boiling his fish set fire to a train of powder
laid by the Spaniards, by which the ammunition house was
blown up; from this other houses caught fire on their
thatched roofs and were quickly destroyed.
With the demolition of the other forts and the hanging
of the prisoners held at the first fort, De Gourgues consid-
ered his object accomplished. He sent the ordnance taken
from the forts around by boat and set out with his diminu-
tive army over the route by which he came. He found his
vessels on the St. Marya in order and on May 3d hoisted sail
and headed for home, where he arrived at Rochelle on the
6th of June, 1568.
News of the disaster in Florida reached Spain while De
Gourgues was still at Rochelle receiving the congratulations
of his admirers and friends. A Spanish squadron was sent
to capture him there, but he moved to another port~before
its arrival. A price was put upon his head. The Spanish king
made representations to the French court and De Gourgues

was forced to seek safety in concealment; he remained in
retirement ten or twelve years, idolized by a large portion of
the French people.
The account of this expedition to Florida given in Champ-
lain's "Voyages" closes in these terms:
A generous enterprise, undertaken by a gentleman, and executed at
his own cost, for honor's sake alone, without any other expectation;
and one which resulted in obtaining for him a glory far more valuable
than all the treasures of the world.

Dominic de Gourgues was easily the most spectacular
figure in Florida's early history.
*De Gourgues' life was filled with wild adventure staged
in the remote parts of the world as known in his time. He
was in the armies of different princes for many years. He
was in command of a company that was cut to pieces near
Sienna and was there captured by the Spaniards. They put
him in a galley as a galley slave, and while serving in this
capacity he was captured by the Turks and so used by them
on the Mediterranean. The galley in which he was serving
was eventually restored to the French and De Gourgues re-
turned to France. He then made a voyage to Africa, Brazil,
and the South Seas, from which it is said he returned with
considerable wealth. Upon his return from this voyage he
learned of the massacre of the Huguenots in Florida. There
had been published in France a tract entitled "Supplication of
the Widows and Children of those Massacred in Florida", cal-
culated to rouse feeling to a high pitch. As a patriot De
Gourgues felt the honor of his country was at stake, and as a
man his fiery nature burned for an opportunity for revenge
for the ignoble treatment of himself by the Spaniards. These
united motives urged him to the chivalrous undertaking
against the Spaniards in Florida-un-Christian it may have
been, but intensely dramatic. Religion, however, played no
part in it, for De Gourgues himself was a Catholic. He
emerged from the retirement following the Florida enterprise
to accept appointment as commander of the high seas fleet; on
his way to assume command he contracted a sickness from
which he never recovered. He died in 1582.

The history of a city includes the record of the locality
before the city was founded and these stirring scenes at the
mouth of the St. Johns River therefore are properly in-
eluded as the first chapter of Jacksonville's history.


Why Are We Sleeping?
From Maine to California in the schools of every city
and hamlet of the nation where American history is taught,
children recite in a word or two the events that occurred in
the vicinity of St. Johns'Bluff recorded in this chapter. They
know that perhaps the destiny of a continent was settled
somewhere in Florida, but they do not know that it was any-
where near Jacksonville, nor that here the first white women
and children landed in the territory now the United States in
the first really substantial attempt at permanent coloniza-
tion, and that here according to a record inference the first
white child was born--the first Protestant white child born
in North America. They do not know that the first battle in
North America between white races was fought at Fort Caro-
line. But they do know all about Jamestown and Plymouth
rock and a good deal about the missions of California. Thou-
sands of people visit those places every year for no other
reason in the world than for their historic interest.
The Daughters of the American Revolution, on May 1,
1924, unveiled near Mayport an enlarged copy of the marker
placed by Ribault at the mouth of the river in 1562, and which
was undoubtedly destroyed by the Spaniards upon the capture
of Fort Caroline in 1565. This is the only effort that has been
made to commemorate any of the events of history along the
St. Johns River between Jacksonville and the sea.

Bibiography, Chapter I
Ribault and Laudonniere both described their first voyage to Florida. Their ac-
counto have been preserved in English translations, the best of which perhaps is Jared
Sparks's "Life of Ribault" (1848).
Laudonniere, Le~orne (an artist), and Challeaux, all of whom escaped from Fort
Caroline when it was captured by the Spaniards, wrote of that affair. Meras, brother-
In-law of Menende7., likewise an eye-witness, recorded the massacre of the Huguenots
in minute detail: the full translation of his memorial will be found in Jeannette T.
Connor's work, "MenendeE de Aviles" (1923).
De Gourgues left a manuscript description of his voyage to Florida. The American
historian Baneroft had an authentic copy of it.
English translations from source material were made by Hakluyt and published
during the closing years of the 16th century. Ternaux-Compans preserved them for
the French in the Ramle way, 1841. The Virginia Historical Society in its "Earrly
Voyages to Amerlea" (1848) condenses much of this matter.
Le Moyne's forty-odd drawings visualize a great deal around Fort Caroline not
gained from the written sources.
Chapter I of this history is based on these sources, with observations by the
author (indicatedl), who made a careful personal survey of the topographical features
in relation to the record accounts. The illustrations of this chapter were prepared
especially for this history.




Menendez left Spain on his return voyage to Florida
about the time De Gourgues sailed out of the St. Marys and
headed for home; they passed somewhere on the broad At-
lantic, one sailing westward and the other eastward. It is
not difficult to imagine the fury that shook the frame of
Menendez when he arrived at St. Augustine and learned
what had taken place at the mouth of the San Mateo during
his absence. Nevertheless, he set to work rebuilding the
large fort and again garrisoned it, but never afterward with
as many men as were there at the time of the Frenchman's
attack. The small forts destroyed by De Gourgues do not
seem to have been rebuilt, though maps of a later day show
other posts along the river.
;,Following the tragic scenes when French and Spanish
fought for the possession of Florida, a long period elapsed
before events having a direct bearing on't~his immediate
vicinity again shaped themselves to become recorded his-
tory. It was a sort of inactive interim in local history, be-
tween the long ago and the beginning of development attend-
ing the actual English occupation in 1764. However, during
this period there were occasional forays between St. Augus-
tine and the English settlements to the north in which
English, Spanish and Indians took part. War parties now
and then camped for awhile on the bluff that sloped down to
the river at the foot of our present Liberty and Washington
Streets. In Spanish times this bluff was described as impos-
ing and timbered with live-oak, palm (palmetto), and wild
orange. At the foot of Liberty Street there was a rather
bold spring of clear, good water," (an outcropping, perhaps,
of the stream that is known at the present day to underlie
the surface in that section of the city). Back from the river
a short distance stood a small Indian village."
One of the earliest Sparnish maps shows an Indian
village here called Ossachite. This liquid Indian name, Os-sa-
chi-te is the earliest record of a name applying to the local-
ity of Jacksonville. It was a Timuqua village of probably not
more than half a dozen houses thatched in the Timuqua style,
as shown by Le Moyne's drawings.


Indian Fords and Trails
The Indians had fording places at different points along --
the river. It is not known what they originally called these
fords, but with the introduction of cattle into the country
the name "Waces Pilatka" was applied, signifying a ford -
or place where the cows crossed over. The first English name
for the vicinity of Jacksonville was "Cow Ford," and it was -
often referred to by that name even long after Jacksonville
was founded.
One of the most popular fords along the St. Johns was
at this point--from the foot of our present Liberty Street
to a point on the south side of the river directly opposite.
A Timuqua trail led up from the lower east coast through
the New Smyrna district, on to St. Augustine and thence to
the Cow Ford (South Jacksonville and Jacksonville). On this
side of the river it took a northwesterly course through a
black-jack ridge where Hemming Park is now and there
branched, one trail leading northwesterly and the other on
toward the west.b
The westerly trail crossed the sand hills (for a long time
called Trail Ridge) that divide the waters of Black Creek
from those of the St. Mazrys River; leading around the head
branches of the San-ta-fee; joined the old De Soto trail near
where the railroad crosses the Olustee, which led to the
Suwanee; near the upper mineral springs, and westward to
Alapaha, Aucilla, Micasuki, and Tallahassee, towns of the
Apalachees. The Jacksonville-Lake City highway follows
closely the route of this trail.b
The northwesterly branch led to the St. Marys River to
a point opposite where Colerain, Ga., afterward stood.b
In the course of time these Indian trails grew into a
beaten track through the forest. The pack-ponies of the
traders followed them; then came the ox-carts of a later day,
following the course of least resistance. Thus a kind of high-
way evolved as a natural consequence of the matchless judg-
ment of the Indian in picking the easiest route.

Great Britain Acquires Florida
The English captured Havana from Spain in 1762. By
the treaty in 1763 England acquired Florida in exchange for-
Havana. The English took actual possession in 1764, when -
practically the entire Spanish population departed.


English Land Grants
About 1765, the Marquis of Hastings sekcured a British
grant on the north side of the St. Johns comprising 20,000
acres along the river from Trout Creek to the mouth of
Maxtons (McGirts) Creek, including the present site of Jack-
sonville. There is no record of a settlement on this land dur-
ing the English occupation. The Marquis of Waterford
secured a grant, also of 20,000 acres, on the opposite side of
the river between Pottsburg Creek and Julington Creek, in-`
cluding the site of South Jacksonville.* This tract was de-
veloped in the vicinity of the ford. Bartram visited the Cow
Ford in 1774, and he noted in his book that a ferry for cross-
ing the river was in operation (for travelers) and near it
was an indigo plantation from which he procured a sailboat
for a trip up the river.
The St. Johns country was highly advertised in England
for a time, stress being placed on the profitable cultivation
of the indigo plant here. There were several English planta-
tions along the river above the Cow Ford. What we now call
Ortega was settled by Abraham Jones under an English
patent of January 12, 1770, granting him 2,000 acres of land
"in our province of East Florida, situation the neck or point
of land between St. Johns River and Maxtons Creek, known
by the name of Maxtons Creek Island. Bounded South and
Southeast by vacant lands; West and Northwest by Maxtons
Creek, and Eastwardly by St. Johns River." Jones built his
house half a mile above where Maxtons Creek emptied into
the river. About the year 1780, Colonel Daniel McGirts was
living on this tract, which was then called McGirts Place and
Maxtons Creek was called McGirts Creek.c

Kings Road
The English had not been long in Florida when they set
to work making a highway out of the old trail leading to the
St. Marys River. They started at New Smyrna; thence to St.
Augustine; to the Cow Ford; to the St. Marys at Colerain,'
and on into Georgia. All land travel between the northern
Colonies and East Florida came down over this route and
consequently through the sites of Jacksonville and South
Jacksonville. Kings Road today follows the original route.

a~ x~c~cric4 ~n vis ~--~-ST JaHni~ R/ vrR S~~F- ~C~ ~~1
-V-V----L~- CI
L D. aut.Dr.~ a 8ldnln. nd otfi~r urL rttlu~ Idt nl~utr dc~eriDtlolu oi tbs root ol th K1~1~ Bod thro~h Jckroarinr

I jr I


The Spaniards Return
Interest in Florida by England waned when the tide
turned against her in the war of the Colonies for independ-~
ence, in which Florida did not join. In 1783, England ceded
Florida back to Spain, in a ridiculous exchange for several
unimportant islands. The Spaniards returned to Florida in
1784, and practically all of the English left. The British land
grants reverted to the Spanish crown, but the agreement in-
cluded a provision that the British settlers should be remu-
nerated for their lands. The English estates on the St. Johns
were abandoned and remained vacant for some years, falling
into rapid decay.d

McIntosh and the Spaniards
About the year 1790, John H. Melntosh, of Georgia,
arrived in the vicinity of the Cow Ford. Here he was ap-
pointed to some office by the Spanish governor, but he does
not seem to have obtained an actual grant of land. McIntosh
apparently was a turbulent man of restless and reckless dis-
position and it is not surprising that he and the Spaniards
eventually clashed. The result was that he was arrested for
intrigue in 1794 and sent to Havana, where he was confined
for a year in Morro Castle. After his release from prison, he
returned to Georgia, gathered together a band of adventur-
ers, and swept down upon the Spanish post (San Nicholas)
at the Cow Ford. This he destroyed, together with the
"Boats of the Royal Domain" on the river.e McIntosh and
the Spaniards seem to have patched up their differences,
however, for some years later he was again living in the
vicinity of the Cow Ford engaged in the exportation of
lumber on a large scale and incidentally living like a lord.
Prior to 1800, there were bona-fide settlers in the vicinity
of the Cow Ford, regardless of the fact that this locality had
by that time become the stamping ground of many undesir-
ables---criminals from the States, slave catchers, ruffians,
and banditti of varied kind. This was a condition that gave
the Spanish governors a world of trouble and there were fr>
quent exchanges of charges and counter-charges by Span-
lards and Georgians which resulted in a sentiment that
awaited only a pretext for an armed invasion of Florida. It
came inl 1812.


Patriot Revolution
Prior to the declaration of war between the United
States and Great Britain in 1812, the United States Congress
in secret sessions as early as January, 1811, considered seri-
ously the question of seizing Florida although it was a pos-
session of Spain, on the pretext that in the event of war the
English might use it as a base of operations. There followed
a chain of correspondence between the United States Secre-
tary of State and the Governor of Georgia on the subject and
instructions were finally issued by the government,. with the
consent of the President (Madison), for emissaries to proceed
to Florida and try to procure its cession to the United States
by peaceable means if possible, and failing in this they were
to use their own judgment in the matter.t The outcome was
an armed invasion of East Florida by Georgians "un--
officially" supported by United States regulars, accompanied
by an uprising of Americans living in northern Florida. This
armed attack upon the Spaniards is usually referred to in
history as the "Patriot Revolution" in Florida.
General Matthews, of Georgia, to whom this delicate task
of taking Florida, over had been entrusted, found no difficulty
in enlisting volunteers for an invasion of Florida. The first
attack was upon Fernandina, which they captured without
bloodshed. Eight armed United States sloops co-operated,
and on the following day United States forces took posses-
sion of Fernandina and raised the American flag over the
fort. This was in March, 1812, and war with Great Britain
was not declared until the following June. Without the pre-
liminaries usual to the establishment of governments, the
Patriots at once set to work organizing a government of
their own for Northern Florida, elected John H. McIntosh
(the same McIntosh of Cow Ford fame) director-general, ap-
pointed judges and established a legislature.f It proved to
be a paper government and never functioned.
The next move of the Patriots was against St. Augus-
tine, the Spanish capital of East Florida. They marched 300
strong to a point near the town and encamped. Here they
were joined by a detachment of United States regulars. The
Spaniards mounted some cannon on a schooner and shelled
the camp, forcing the Americans to retreat. The Patriots
retreated to the Cow Ford and established their camp. The
United States troops remained in the vicinity of St. Augus-


tine until a detachment was attacked near twelve-mile
swamp by a body of negroes sent out from St. Augustine
and several killed, when they too retreated, first to a block-
house near where Bayard is now and then to the St. Johns.,
An outstanding feature of the Patriot invasion was a
campaign against the Indians of central Florida by Colonel
Daniel Newnan and a battalion of Georgia volunteers. The
experience of this battalion was remarkably similar to that
of Major Dade's command 23 years later, except that Major
Dade's perished and Colonel N\ewnan's escaped. Considerable
history is given in Colonel Newnan's offcial report of this
expedition and for that reason is here published in full.r The
report was addressed to the governor of Georgia. The parts
in parentheses are explanatory insertions by the author:
New-Hope, St. Johns, Oct. 19, 1812.
Dear Sir: I have now the honor of transmitting to your excellency
an account of the several engagements which have taken place between
the Lotchaway and Alligator Indians, and the detachment of Georgia
volunteers under my command. As the object of this expedition, and
the views of the persons engaged in it, have been misconstrued, and
misstatements, relative to its protraction circulated, I ask the indul-
gence of your excellency to detail every transaction from its commence-
ment to its termination.
I arrived upon (the) St. Johns, in obedience to your orders, about
the 15th of August (1812) with the whole of my detachment, consist-
ing, including officers, of about 250 men, and with few on the sick
report. I immediately waited on Col. Smith (U. S. A.) before St. Au-
gustine, and received orders dated the 21st of August, to proceed
immediately against the hostile Indians within the province of East
Florida, and destroy their towns, provisions and settlements. I then
returned to the detachment upon the St. Johns, and made every prep-
aration to comply with my orders, by dispatching parties to procure
horses from the few inhabitants that had not fled from the province,
in preparing packs and provisions, and taking every step which I
deemed necessary to insure success to the enterprise. In consequence
of the sickness of myself and nearly one-half of the detachment, the
period of our marching was delayed until the 24th of September
(1812); and when just upon the eve of departing, an express arrived
from Col. Smith informing me that his provision wagons and the
escort was attacked by a body of Negroes and Indians, and ordering
me to join him immediately with 90 men, and bring all the horses and
carriages (any wheeled vehicle) I could command, for the removal of
his baggage, field-pieces, and sick, he having only 70 men fit for duty.
I marched to the relief of the colonel with 130 men and 25 horses, and
assisted him in removing to the block-house upon Davis's creek (near


Bayard). This service delayed for a few days our expedition to the
(Indian) nation; and when the detachment again assembled upon the
St. Johns, and were about to. commence to march, the men had but six
or seven days to serve. About this time I received a letter from Col.
Smith, advising me to propose to the detachment an extension of their
service for 15 or 20 days longer, as the time for which they were
engaged was deemed insufficient to accomplish any object of the ex-
pedition. This measure I had contemplated, and its sanction by the
colonel met with my most hearty approbation; for I was unwilling to
proceed to the enemy's country with a single man, who would declare
that, in any event, he would not serve a day longer than the time for
which he had originally volunteered. I accordingly assembled the
detachment, and after stating the necessity of a tender of further
service, proposed that the men should volunteer for three weeks longer;
when 84 men, including officers, stepped out and were enrolled, which,
with the addition of 23 volunteer militia sent to my aid by Col. Smith,
and 9 patriots under the command of Capt. Cone, made my whole force
amount to 117. With this small body, provided with four days' provi-
sions and 12 horses, I was determined to proceed to the (Indian) nation
and give those merciless savages at least one battle; and I was embold-
ened in this determination by the strong expectation of being succored
by a body of cavalry from St. M~ary's, and which it has since appeared
did assemble at Colerain (Ga.), but proceeded no farther.
On the evening of the 24th of September (1812) we left the St.
Johns, marching in Indian file, Capt. Humphrey's company of riflemen
in front, Capt. Fort's company, under the command of Lieut. Fannin,
in the center, and Capt. Coleman's company, with Cone's detachment,
under the command of Lieut. Broadnax, in the rear. A small party
marched in front of the main body, and another in the rear, the open-
ness of the country, except in particular places, rendered it unnecessary
to employ men upon the right and left. Our encampment at nights,
there being three companies, was in the form of a triangle, with the
baggage in the center, the men with their clothes on, lying with their
feet pointing outwards, and their firelocks in their arms. In case of
attack, the officers were instructed to bring up their companies upon
the right and left of the company fronting the enemy, and attend to
the Indian mode of fighting until ordered to charge. In case of meeting
thre enemy upon our march, Humphrey's company was instructed to
file off to the right, Fort's company to advance and form to the front
in single rank, and Coleman's company to file off to the left; the whole
then to advance in the form of a crescent, and endeavor to encircle the
On the morning of the fourth day of our march, when within six
or seven miles of the Lotchaway towns (near Newnan's Lake, Alachua
County), our advance party discovered a party of Indians marching
along the path meeting us, and at the same moment they appeared to
have discovered us. As soon as I was informed of it, I lost no time la


giving the necessary directions for the companies to advance, and obey
the instructions which had been previously given to them, and which
appeared exactly suited to the situation in which we found the enemy.
As soon as Fort's company, at the head of which I had placed myself,
had advanced to the proper ground, I discovered the Indians falling
back, and making every preparation for battle, by unslinging their
packs, trimming their rifles, and each man taking his place. We con-
tinued to advance, taking advantage of the trees in our progress, until
we were within 130 yards of the Indians, when many of them fired, and
I immediately ordered the charge, which drove them from behind the
trees, and caused them to retire with the greatest precipitation; our
men all the while firing at them, slew several, and by repeated charges
drove them half a mile, when they took shelter in the swamp. It unfor-
tunately happened, I presume through inadvertence, that Humphrey's
company in filing to the right took too great a circuit, got a small
swamp between them and the enemy, and thereby rendered the victory
less decisive than it would have been had the whole charged together,
and before the Indians had dispersed themselves and extended their
force, which they soon did, nearly half a mile up and down the swamp.
The company, however, was of service afterwards in preventing the
enemy, after their dispersion, from entering our camp, retaking their
baggage and provisions, all of which fell into our hands, or falling
upon the wounded, that had been sent to the rear. The action, including
the skirmishing upon the flanks, lasted two hours and a half, the Indians
frequently attempting to outflank us and get in our rear, but~ were
repulsed by the companies extending to the right and left. We had
one man killed and nine wounded, two of which have since died of theirttttt
wounds. The loss of the enemy must have been considerable. I saw
seven fall to the ground with my own eyes, among whom was their
king, Payne; two of them fell near the swamp, the rest our men had
the curiosity to scalp. The rifle company on the right and Broadnax's
on the left, speak of killing several near the swamp, who were borne
off by their comrades, it being a principle among the savages to carry
off their dead at the risk of their lives.
We remained on the battle ground watching the movements of the
Indians, who were near the swamp painting themselves, and appeared
to be in consultation, all of which indicated an intention to renew the
combat. Accordingly a half an hour before sunset, having obtained a
considerable reinforcement of Negroes and Indians, from their towns,
they commenced the most horrid yells imaginable, imitating the cries
and noise of almost every animal of the forest, their chiefs advancing
in front in a stooping serpentine manner, and making the most wild
and frantic gestures, until they approached within two hundred yards
of us, when they halted and commenced firing. Our men were not to
be alarmed by their noise and yells, but as instructed, remained per-
fectly still and steady behind logs and trees until the enemy by this
forbearance. had approached somewhat nearer, when a brisk and well-


directed fire from our line soon drove them back to their original ground.
I would now have ordered the charge, but being under the necessity,
from the extension of the enemy's line, of detaching nearly one-half of
my force to protect our camp and wounded, the assailing of which is
a great object with Indians, I was left to contend with a force three
times as numerous as my own. The action lasted until eight o'clock
(in the evening), when the enemy was completely repulsed in every
attempt whether made upon our centre or flanks. We had two men
killed and one wounded; the enemy carried off several of their men
before it was dark--after which all firing, of course random, was at
the spot from whence the flash arose.
After fighting and fasting the whole day, we had to work through-
out the night, and at daylight had a tolerable breastwork of logs and
earth, with port holes, on the ground on which the battle was fought.
We were reduced to this necessity, for in dispatching Capt. Whutaker
about dark to the St. Johns for a reinforcement, six more men took the
liberty to accompany him, taking with them our best horses; our pilot
and surgeon, who was sick, was among the number.
The two days succeeding the battle, we neither saw nor heard
anything of the enemy, but on the evening of the third day they com-
menced tiring at our work at a long distance, and renewed it every
day for five or six days, but without kulling or wounding any of our men.
After killing two or three of them through our port holes they seldom
came witfun gunshot. Seven or eight days had now elapsed since our
express had left us, hunger was staring us in the face, and we were
now reduced to the necessity of eating one of our horses; we had no
surgeon to dress the wounded, and apprehensions were entertained that
the enemy would receive reinforcements from Augustine or the M~aka-
sukie Indians. Expecting relief every hour, I was unwilling to leave
our breastworks while we had a horse to eat, but I understood from
some of my officers that a certain captain was determined to leave us
with his company, and that many of the men, giving up all hopes of
relief, talked of deserting in the night rather than perish, or fall a
sacrifice to the merciless N~egroes and Indians, whom they were taught
to believe would surround us in great numbers in a few days. In this
trying situation, when our few remaining horses were shot down by
them (the Indians), and the number of our sick daily increasing, I
reluctantly assented to leave our works that night, and directed the
litters to be prepared to carry the wounded.
About 9 o'clock we commenced our distressing march, carrying
five wounded men in litters and supporting two or three more. We
had not proceeded more than eight miles, when the men became per-
fectly exhausted from hunger and fatigue, and were unable to carry
the wounded any farther. About two horrs after we left our breast-
works, 25 horsemen, with provisions, arrived to our relief, on a different
road from the one we had taken, but, from motives best known to
themselves, instead of following. us, returned to the St. Johns, and we


were left to encounter new difficulties, two men that I had dispatched
on the path the horsemen came, by some means or other missing them.
We again constructed a place of defense, and I dispatched Sergeant-
major Reese with one private to Picolata, to learn what had occasioned
the delay of our expected supplies, and told him I should remain where
I was until I could hear from him, and endeavored to procure cattle,
as we discovered signs of their being near us.
The evil genius of Captain -- again prevailed, and I have since
learned from Captain Cone, that this person instigated not only him,
but many of the privates to urge a departure from our works even in
the day time, when I was convinced that the Indians knowing our weak
situation would endeavor to ambuscade. This gentleman, if innocent,
will have an opportunity of proving himself so before a court-martial.
With a burning fever on me and scarcely able to walk, the march was
ordered about three o'clock in the afternoon. I had directed the adjutant,
Captain Hardin, to march in front, to avoid all places where there could
be an ambuscade, and the litters should be distributed among the dif-
ferent companies. Being extremely weak, I marched in the rear with
Captain --, who carried my firelock, Lieut. F'annin, and about fif-
teen or twenty privates. We had scarcely marched five miles before
the front of the detachment discovered the heads of several Indians on
both sides of the path, from among several pine trees that were laid
prostrate by the hurricane; the same instant, the enemy fired upon our
advanced party, and shot down four of them, one, a Spaniard, died on
the spot, and two survived a few days; my negro boy was one of them.
TIhe moment I heard the firing I ordered the detachment to charge, and
the Indians were completely defeated in fifteen minutes, many of them
dropping their guns, and the whole running off without ever attempting
to rally. Four were left dead on the field, and I am convinced from the
constant fire we kept up, that many more must have been slain, but
were hid from our view by the thick and high palmetto bushes.
We lay on the battle ground all night, and started next day at
10 o'clock, marched five miles and again threw up breastworks between
two ponds, living upon gophers, alligators and palmetto stocks, until
Sergeant-major Reese arrived with provisions and 14 horses, when we
were enabled to proceed to the St. Johns with all our sick and wounded,
where a gun-boat (schooner) by the direction of Colonel Smith was in
waiting for us, which conveyed us to his camp, where we met with
every attention that humanity or benevolence could bestow.
I cannot refrain from expressing the high sense I have of the
care and anxiety which Colonel Smith has manifested for the detach-
ment under my command, and his promptitude in affording every aid
in his power, when apprised of our situation. My pen can scarcely do
justice to the merits of the brave officers and men under my command,
their fortitude under all their privations and distresses never forsak-
ing them. Captain Hamilton, who volunteered as a private, his com-
pany having left him at the expiration of their time; Lieutenant Fannin,


Ensign Hamilton, and Adjutant Hardin distinguished themselves in
a particular manner, being always among the first to charge, and first
in pursuit; Sergeants Holt and Attaway likewise acted very bravely,
and E olkr's company in general, being always near me, and under my
immediate view, advanced to the charge with the steadiness of veterans.
Lieutenant Broadnax showed a great deal of courage and presence of
mind, and Ensign Mann who was wounded in the first action fought
well. Captain Cone who was wounded in the head early in the action
behaved well and Lieutenant Williams did himself great honor in every
action, but particularly in the bold and manly stand he made in the
night engagement. Sergeant Hawkins and Corporal Neil of Coleman's
company acted like soldiers, and Sergeant-major Reese's activity was
only surpassed by his courage; he was everywhere and always brave.
Captain Humphrey's company acted bravely, particularly Lieutenant
Reed, Sergeant h~elds, Sergeant Cowan, Sergeant Denmark and many
of the privates. I can only speak of Captain Humphrey from the report
of some of his men, who say he acted well; it so happening he never
met my eye during either of the engagements, while the conduct of
every other person that I have mentioned, except one or two, came
under my personal observation.
The number of Indians in the first engagement, from every cir-
cumstance that appeared, must have been from seventy-five to a hun-
dred; in the second engagement, their number, including Negroes who
were their best soldiers, was double ours, and in the third engagement
there appeared to be fifty, which was nearly equal our force, after
deducting the sick and wounded. From every circumstance, I am in-
duced to believe that the number killed and wounded among the Indians
must be at least fifty.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient
His excellency David B. Mitchell.

The star of fortune shone over Colonel Newnan's battal-
ion, for its escape was miraculous. There are some interest-
ing inferences in this report besides the fighting: What is
meant by "scalping the Indians out of curiosity" is not clear;
maybe it was a custom, for in a later private letter Colonel
Newnan stated that Zephaniah Kingfsley's house on Fort
George Island was "handsomely decorated with Indians'
scalps."/ *
The flag of the United States flew by the side of the
Patriot flag on Spanish soil for a year. When the U. S. troops
were withdrawn in the Spring of 1813, the Patriot bands
disintegrated rapidly, but not before they had pillaged and
destroyed a great amount of property in this section.


The Patriot Bannert
*The design of the Patriot flag was: Field, white; figure,
a soldier in the act of charging bayonet; inscription, "Salus
populi lex supreme" (Safety the supreme law of the people).
Thus another banner was added to the array of flags signify-
ing actual or attempted possession that have flown in Florida
in times past.

The country between the St. Johns and the St. Marys
Rivers did not enjoy a lengthy peace after the departure of
the "Patriots." A peculiar chapter in Florida's varied his-
tory was written here when an attempt was made to organize
the "Republic of Florida" based on the American system, but
under the jurisdiction of the Spaniards--a form of compro-
mise between the Spaniards and the settlers in this section.
The republic functioned under this system for a year or two
and really bore the imprint of law and order. Trouble again
arose, however, when M'Gregor and his so-called "Cartha-
genians" or "Venezuelan Patriots" took possession of Fer-
nandina and turmoil continued until the negotiations of the
United States for the acquisition of Florida were begun.

Fort San Nicholas
An early Spanish map indicates a block-house or a Span-
ish post on the south side of the river in the vicinity of the
present South Jacksonville. Thenceforth its history is lost,
but it was probably the parent of the post that later became
known as San Nicholas.
There is no record to indicate that the English had a
garrisoned post at this point. When the Spaniards returned
in 1784, they reestablished the military post under the name
San Nicholas.
The history of Fort San Nicholas was an exciting one.
McIntosh destroyed it in 1796, and the Patriots doubtless did
likewise in 1812. The post was temporarily abandoned in
1817 out of fear of an attack by the "Carthagenians", who
held Fernandina. During the last years of its existence it
was maintained principally for the purpose of preventing
smuggling, although the commanders seem not always wide-
awake in this respect, according to an article written by Rev.

tDescribed by G. L. F. Clarke In a letter written from Fernandina 19th March, 1812.
--Fla.IL it.Society.


J. N. Glenn (a Methodist missionary at St. Augustine in
1823), as follows:
"General (John H.) McIntosh told me once that he had
two boatloads of cotton that he had raised up the St. Johns
River (probably at Ortega) that he wished to pass the Span-
ish post at Cow Ford without paying the Spanish duties.
Accordingly he approached the officer in command on the
subject. Just then the boats hove in sight coming down the
river. The commander put up his spy-glass and remarked,
heree is too much cotton to let it pass'. The General gave
him a doubloon. He put the coin to one eye and the spy-glass
to the other and said, 'Too much yet'. The General gave him
another doubloon. He then put a doubloon to each eye and
said, 'I see no cotton now'."g
(Francis S.) Hudnall acquired the land on which the old
fort stood, even while a part of it was still in existence. He
leveled the timbers for use on his farm.t The fort was en-
closed by an excavation 100 feet square. Mr. Hudnall built
his house directly on the east.side of the moat, and while
excavating found a number of Spanish coins.k

The St. Johns River
The Indian name for the St. Johns River as interpreted
by the early Spaniards was "Illaka", meaning unusual, dif-
ferent from any other, moves along with the south wind.'
The French interpretation was "Welaka", a chain of lakes.
The former seems more in unison with the characteristic
reasoning of an Indian.
Ribault first saw the river on the afternoon of April 30,
1562, but he did not enter it until the following day, May 1st.
From this fact he named it Riviere de Mai--the River May.
The destruction of Fort Caroline by Menendez took place
within a day of the festival of St. Matthew and in celebra-
tion of the "victory" he named both the fort and the river
San Mateo. The Spaniards later changed the name of the
river to San Juan, and the English retained it as St. Johns.

tThe exact site of Fort San Nicholas was on the property used by Merrill~tevn
as a war-time shipbuilding plant, back from the river about 250 yards.


Bibllography, Chapter II.
aHistorical sketch in Jacksonville City Directory 1870, J. M. Hawks.
historical sketch in Jaceksonville City Directory 1871, D. G. Ambler.
cFrom the records at Tallahassee.
dFairbanks' History of Florida.
eMemoirs of Florida, Fleming.
fNiles' Register. Baltimore, Vol. III, 1812-13.
gJacksonville Sun and Press, Aug. 11, 1877.
hColumbus Drew in Fla. 'limes-Union, January, 1890.
iFlorida and the South, Brinton, 1869.




In the 198 years that Spain governed Florida prior to the
English occupation she made no attempt whatever to induce
settlement from the outside; but following its re-possession
in 1783, the Spaniards inaugurated an entirely different
policy in this particular. Under Royal Decree of 1790, it
became only necessary for the applicant to set forth his de-
sires in a memorial to the governor asking for lands to the
amount permitted according to the number of his family and
his slaves, the location desired being named in the memorial.
The usual reply of the governor to these applications was:
"(Let the lands asked for be granted without injury to a third
person."l It was done in one of two ways: By Grant, which
gave title of absolute property to the petitioner; or by Con-
cession, the terms of which included a provision of some sort,
such as requiring the land to be kept under cultivation
usually for a period of time designated by Spanish law.
The treaty for the transfer of Florida by Spain to the -
United States was ratified in February, 1819, and the actual
change of flags took place in July, 1821; grants of land made
during this interval under the Donation Acts of the U. S.
Congress were designated Donations.
*The acquisition of Florida by the United States was not
through direct purchase from Spain. The treaty was drawn
around a claim clause of the United States and its citizens
against the Spanish government for alleged damages for vari-
ous reasons. The United States agreed to cancel its claims
and assume the payment of those of its citizens to not exceed-
ing $5,000,000, in consideration of which Spain ceded Florida.
The interest accumulating upon these claims eventually
amounted to $1,489,768. Therefore Florida cost the United
States $6,489-,768, but Spain did not get a dollar of it.

After the formal transfer of Florida in 1821, Congress
passed what were known as the "Land-Grant Acts", provid-
ing for the appointment of commissioners to investigate and
confirm legitimate claims for title under Spanish grants and
concessions. These commissioners were usually called the
land-grant commissioners and will be referred to by that


name hereafter. Those for East Florida sat as a Board at
St. Augustine, and the records indicate that their proceed-
ings were painstaking and thorough; their awards are upheld
by the courts of this State and are the base titles to property

Robert Pritchard, 1791.
Robert Pritchard on January 3, 1791, procured a conces-
sion from Governor Queseda of 450 acres of land situated on
the north side of the River San Juan opposite the post of San
Nicholas. A regular survey was made and Pritchard took
possession immediately, erected buildings and planted crops.
He died a few years later, but his heirs, through authorized
agents, continued the cultivation of the tract. One of these
agents was John Joseph Lain, who' cultivated and lived on
the land afterward granted to Mrs. Purnal Taylor and which
is now included in the plat of Jacksonville." When the "Pa-
triots" arrived in 1812, the Pritchard lands were permanently
Robers Pritchard was the first white settler on the site of larck

John Mc~ueen, 1792.
A survey was made of "San Juan Nepomuceno" by Pedro
Marrot on January 14, 1792, for John McQueen, to whom it
had been conceded by the Spanish governor. The survey
comprised 3,274 acres lying along both sides of McGirts
Creek (including all of Ortega and the west side of McGirts
Creek nearly to Big Fishweir Creek). On February 27, 1804,
John Mc~ueen received title of absolute property to this
tract and in March of the same year (1804) he made a sale
to John H. McIntosh, which was duly authorized and re-
corded. The land-grant commissioners confirmed the title
to McIntosh.*
In an agreement (May 26, 1836) among the heirs of John
H. McIntosh, Sr., his daughter, Catherine A. Sadler, was
awarded "McGirts Point", which at that time was called
"Ostego". From Mrs. Sadler the title next appears in Austin
D. Moore and Asa Moore. The executors of the estate of


Austin D. Moore with Asa Moore transferred the tract (De-
cember 9, 1857) to John P. Sanderson. The heirs of John P.
Sanderson (February 26, 1902) through a New York trust
company transferred it, excepting one or two small parcels,
to the Jacksonville Ortega Town Company, a New Jersey
corporation headed by Wilkinson Call, for $40,000. The Jack-
sonville Ortega Town Company (February 20, 1906) trans-
ferred these holdings to J. R. Dunn. J. R. Dunn (March 15,
1906) to D. H. McMillan, Trustee; D. H. McMillan, Trustee,
etc. (May 10, 1906) to Ortega Company, a Florida corpora-
tion headed by J. N. C. Stockton,c by whom the tract was
platted and put on the market as building lots.

William Jones, 1793--William Hendricks, 1797.
(South Jacksonvile)
One William Jones, February 14, 1793, obtained a Spanish
grant comprising 216 acres situated on the south side of the
River San Juan at the Cow Ford. South Jacksonville now
occupies this tract. Jones's land was confiscated for rebellion
against His Spanish Majesty.o It is not known with cer-
tainty what the trouble was, but we may make a pretty safe
guess that when McIntosh made his raid on Fort San Nich-
olas and the Boats of the Royal Domain about 1796, William
Jones, living nearby, was involved in that affair, and if so,
the Spaniards had a perfect right to confiscate his land.
On May 18, 1797, this land was re-granted to William
Hendrix (Hendricks) of North Carolina. Isaac Hendricks,
son of William Hendricks, came down and occupied it, built
houses and cultivated the tract for many years. It was con-
firmed to Isaac Hendricks by the land-grant commissioners.
On February 11, 1823, Isaac Hendricks conveyed the tract
to his son, William I. Hendricks, as a "Gift of Love and
Affection". William I. Hendricks transferred it to his
mother-in-law, Elizabeth (Hudnall) Hendricks, April 27,
1852, except 10 acres that had been sold to Sadler and Halli-
day and 71/2 acres sold to George Stone.c
After the War Between the States Harrison Reed bought
a considerable portion of the old Hendricks plantation and
platted it as South Jacksonville. The remainder was platted
in 1882 by Elizabeth Hendricks and named Oklahoma.


Philip Dell, 1801.
(Brooklyn and Riverside)
On February 11, 1801, Philip Dell secured a concession
from Governor White of 800 acres, extending along the river-
front from the mouth of McCoys Creek to a point about half
way between Barrs and King Streets--the bend in Riverside
Avenue between these streets is where the line cuts through.
It embraced the present Brooklyn and Riverside sections.
For many years the tract was known as "Dell's Bluff" and
was often referred to in the records by that name.
The Dell Bluff tract was acquired' by John H. McIntosh
January 11, 1805. Title was confirmed to him by the land-
grant commissioners." John H. McIntosh on October 4, 1823,
deeded it to Francis J. Ross. Ross gave Joseph B. Lancaster
a quitclaim deed to these 800 acres, December 6, 1833, the
consideration mentioned being $2,000. Lancaster held it a
little more than ten years, selling only six acres in the mean-
time, three of which were sold to Blanchard & Rider for a mill
site at the mouth of McCoys Creek; on May 1, 1844, he deeded
the remainder back to Francis I. (J.) Ross, the consideration
being $2,500. Francis J. Ross conveyed it to William B. Ross
March 24, 1845, and William B. Ross sold it to James Winter
February 6, 1847. Winter died in possession of the property
and his estate descended to his heirs. On April 23, 1866,
Uriah Bowden bought a portion of these lands from the com-
missioners of the Winter estate. Miles Price finally acquired
the bulk of the Winter estate, and on June 8, 186,8, he con-
veyed 500 acres to E. M. Cheneye in trust to be conveyed to
John M. Forbes (a Boston millionaire) for $10,000 in gold.i
The property was platted for Forbes into lots February 1,
1869, and named "Riverside", provision being made for a
park of 14 acres, now Riverside Park.c

John Jones, 1801--Isaaa Hendricks, 1804.

Under date of February 11, 1801, John Jones obtained a
concession of 350 acres in a triangular tract on the north
side of the River San Juan beginning at the mouth of McCoys
Creek and lying north of it. Jones seems to have forfeited
his title to this tract, for it was re-ceded to Isaac Hendricks
by the Spanish governor in February, 1804, and on Septem-


ber 28, 1816, Isaac Hendricks received title of absolute prop-
erty to the same from Governor Coppinger. In presenting
his claim to the land-grant commissioners Isaac Hendricks
exhibited the original patent to Jones and also produced a
deed from Jones's heirs to himself. The commissioners con-
firmed the title to Hendricks. Isaac Hendricks had in the
meantime given the property to his wife, Catherine Hen-
dricks, by a Deed of Gift. The confirmation was for 500 acres,
bounded south by McCoys Creek, East by the Taylor Grant,
Northwest by public lands.a
After Mrs. Hendricks, the title appears in Rebecca Jones
(who later married Calvin.Reed). Rebecca Jones on October
21, 1831, sold the east half of the tract, 250 acres, afterward
known as East LaVilla, to John W. Richard. Richard on July
26, 1836, deeded an undivided one-half interest in 249 acres of
this tract to Adin Waterman, Trustee for Lydia V. Pinkston,
wife of Milo K. Pinkston, in accordance with a pre-marriage
agreement between Lydia Waterman and Milo Pinkston,
whereby certain property was required to be placed in trust
for the sole and separate use of Lydia. Then began a series of
amusing transfers and inter-transfers, and after traveling
around for several years the title came back to Adin Water-
man, Trustee for Lydia V. Pinkston, safe and sound; and in
another chain also the half interest of John W. Richard,
amounting in all to 225 acres. Adin Waterman, Trustee, etc.,
under power of attorney from Lydia V. and Milo K. Pinkston,
transferred the property on January 15, 1842, to Rev. James
McDonald,c who was then the pastor of the Baptist Church
in Jacksonville.
The chain of title to West LaVilla was not so complicated.
Calvin and Rebecca Reed deeded the 250 acres July 29, 1839,
to J. W. Richard. Three days afterward (August 1, 1839)
Richard quit-claimed to John Warren. On March 19, 1842,
John Warren deeded these 250 acres to James McDonalde
Rev. McDonald had acquired East LaVilla the previous Janu-
ary and thus nearly all of the original grant was brought
together under single ownership.
Mr. McDonald disposed of these holdings in 1851. On Jan-
nary 28, 1851, he sold 350 acres to Samuel Spencer, and the
remainder February 1, 1851, to Rev. Joseph S. Baker, who
had succeeded Rev. McDonald as the Baptist pastor in Jack-
sonville. Mr. Baker acquired Samuel Spencer's interest June


9, 1851, and the property was again brought together under
one ownership.c Rev. Joseph S. Baker held the tract until
after the war when he sold the bulk of his estate to F. F.
L'Engle and others and the property was subdivided and
much of it incorporated in the Town of LaVilla.
It has been published that when Mr. Baker bought the
McDonald farm his son, J. McRobert Baker, remodeled the
McDonald home and named the plantation LaVilla. He built
a school house on the land and named it LaVilla Institute.
This school continued until the beginning of the War Between
the States/t

Robert Hutcheson, 1815.
(Willowbrook Park Section and Ingleside)
Robert Hutcheson (often spelled Hutchinson in the ree-
ords) on December 12, 1815, obtained a Spanish grant com-
prising 150 acres on the northwest side of the River San
Juan, described by surveyors' measurements." The tract
was nearly square and had a river frontage extending from a
point between James and Cherry Streets to about Donald
Street. It lacked only a few hundred feet of adjoining the
Dell tract on the east. Robert Hutcheson died in possession
of the property. His widow, as administratrix, sold the land
(together with the Hutcheson concession adjoining on the
southwest;, see page 48) to Dr. Whipple Aldrich, October 25,
1830. Dr. Aldrich conveyed to William McKay March 19,
1836. Mr. McKay died in possession, and in settlement of
his estate, this property was sold, his heirs joining in quit-
claim deeds, to Francis D. Scarlett March 2, 1850.' Francis
D. Scarlett sold it April 11, 1850, to Elias G. Jaudon. Elias
G. Jaudon sold a part of the original grant; (it is the grant
and not the Hutcheson concession that we are tracing here),
lying mostly east of Willow Brook to Ewell Jamison. Elias
G. Jaudon and wife on May 15, 1869, deeded the remaining
part of the grant south of Willow Brook (and a narrow strip
of a few acres of the concession joining on the south) to
Sarah J. McKinlay, their daughter, as her proportion of the
estate.' This "Gift of Love and Affection" to Mrs. McKinlay
is now Ingleside and Pinehurst.
The records do not indicate why the narrow strip of a
few acres was included. Maybe some interesting little cir-
cumstance was involved, possibly of a topographical nature.


George Atkinson, 1816.
(Shadow Lawn, Arden, Fishweir Park)
George Atkinson, on February 22, 1816, obtained a con-
cession from Governor Coppinger of a tract of land lying
along but mostly north of Fishware (Big Fishweir) Creek.
Two years later Robert Hutcheson obtained a concession
embracing lands adjoining his (Hutcheson's) grant. When
the survey of the Hutcheson concession was made it was
found that it included lands claimed by Atkinson. A con-
troversy arose between Hutcheson and Atkinson in regard
to the "over-lap" and it was taken to the courts. The land-
grant commissioners confirmed the over-lap to Hutcheson,*
and a court decree in December, 1829, did likewise and estab-
lished the line. There was no question about the other lines
of the Atkinson concession and the land commissioners con-
firmed to him that portion outside of the over-lap. Accord-
ing to the survey it contained 219 acres.
*From the decision of the commissioners and the court,
Atkinson had no legal claim to the over-lap. If he really needed
more land the opportunity for securing it was knocking at his
southern door, for there was an unclaimed stretch along the
riverfront between his land and that of MCcQueen (McIntosh)
equal in size if not greater than the part in controversy that
he no doubt could easily have acquired under the Donation Act.
The controversy between Hutcheson and Atkinson started in
Spanish times.

Atkinson owned the tract for a great many years and died
in possession. It was deeded to Fannie L. Fehrenbach No-
vember 25, 1881, by Henry Young, executor of the estate of
George Atkinson. Mrs. Fehrenbach platted the property in
1882c and put it on the market in acreage tracts. This is now
Shadow Lawn, Arden, and Fishweir Park.

Maria Taylor, 1816.
(Jacksonvile, west of Market Street)
During the "Patriot" troubles a Spanish subject named
Purnal Taylor was killed in a skirmish with a scouting party
of the "Patriot" army in the inland passage to Fernandina.
His widow, Mrs. Maria Taylor, afterward petitioned the Span-
ish governor and was granted 200 acres of vacant land on the


north side of the River San Juan, opposite Fort San Nicholas.
A copy of the land-grant to Mrs. Taylor follows:o

Don Jose Coppinger, lieutenant colonel of the royal armies, civil
and military governor pro tem., and chief of the royal finance in the
city of St. Augustine, Florida, and its province:
Whereas by royal order of the 29th of March, 1815, his majesty
has been pleased to approve the gifts and rewards proposed by my
predecessor, the Brigadier Don Sebastian K~indelan, for the officers and
soldiers both of the line as well as the militia of the said province, who
contributed to the defense of the same at the time of the rebellion,
being one of said rewards, the partition of lands in proportion to the
number of family each individual may have, That Dona Maria Suarezl,
widow of Turnel (Purnal) Taylor, having presented herself soliciting
the quantity she, her deceased husband, children and slaves were en-
titled to, on account of the said husband being killed in the attack made
by the enemy upon the river St. Johns during the insurrection in this
province, as she has proven by certificate, then was granted by my decree
on the 12th of the present month two hundred acres of land on the
opposite side of the military post of St. Nicholas, on the river St.
Johns, at the mouth of the creek known as McCoy's Creek, bounded
on the west by the plantation of John Jones and on the other sides by
vacant lands; all conformable to the regulation established by this gov-
ernment for the partition of lands and the number of persons and slaves
her said family is composed of, as is set forth in the proceedings insti-
tuted by the above-mentioned Dona Mlaria Suarez, on file in the govern-
ment notary's offce.
Given under my hand and seal and countersigned by the under-
signed notary of the government and royal finance, in the city of St.
Augustine, f lorida, September 13, 1816.
By order of his Excellency,
Juan de Entralgo, etc., etc., etc.

The award of the land-grant commissioners confirming
the original title in Hogans (Taylor) was made April 26,
1824,11 almost two years after the town of Jacksonville had
been surveyed and founded. I. D. Hart eventually got hold
of all of the Taylor grant, excepting ten acres. In 1821 he
bought 18 acres in the southeast corner nearest the ford;
this tract was later included in the original survey of Jack-
sonville. On July 10, 1831, he acquired another section of
the Taylor grant; May 28, 1834, another; and April 15, 1836,
all of the remaining portion,'^ except the ten acres referred to
above. The boundaries of the Taylor grant as filed with the


land-commissioners were: North by public land; South by
River St. Johns; West by lands formerly granted to John
Jones (the Hendricks grant); East by lands granted to
Juan Maestre, 1816
(Jacksonville, east of Market Street)
Juan Maestre (referred to in English as John Masters),
a "Skipper in the Boats of the Royal Domain", representing
himself as being in straitened circumstances, petitioned on
November 18, 1816, for 100 acres of "vacant hammock lands
on the north side of the river St. Johns, opposite the battery
of St. Nicholas". The Spanish governor ordered that
Maestre's petition be granted and it was done on December
13, 1816. He was granted only 50 acres, however, as that
was all he was entitled to under the Spanish law,* but the
land actually granted was increased by subsequent surveys
to about 80 acres.h His land was bounded East and North
by Hogans Creek, West by the Maria Taylor grant, and
South by the River St. Johns. It was surveyed February 21,
1817, by George I. F. Clarke.*
On June 21, 1820, Maestre sold the tract to John Brady
for $200. Brady conveyed it John Bellamy January 27, 1823,
after Jacksonville had been founded and some lots had been
sold. I. D. Hart got control of John Bellamy's interest July
26, 1826, but he did not get title by conveyance from Bellamy
until May 4, 1836. On December 18, 1836, for $1100, I. D.
Hart conveyed his right, title and interest in this property
to William J. Mills, in trust for Mrs. Maria Doggett.E

Daniel Hogans, 1817
(East Jacksonville, Fairfield)
Daniel Hogans, under date of March 18, 1817, obtained a
concession from Governor Coppinger of 255 acres, situated
on the north bank of the St. Johns River, nearly opposite the
battery of San Nicholas, and east of Hogans Creek.
Daniel Hogans conveyed this land to E. Hudnall November
11, 1818, the consideration named being $330.* On May 10,
1838, Elizabeth Hendricks (widow), formerly the widow of
E. Hudnall and holder of the title to the Daniel Hogans
tract, conveyed the property to Rev. David Brown (who at
that time was rector of St. Johns Church in Jackrrsoville,


and editor of the Jacksonville Courier newspaper); the con-
sideration named in this transfer was $700. David Brown,
on October 18, 1849, sold to John Brantly and Mrs. P. W.
Bryant (afterward Mrs. George Houston), jointly, for $500.t
Mr. Brown seems to have lost money in this deal, if the con-
sideration given in the deed, $500, was the full selling price.
John Brantly and Mrs. George Houston in January, 1850,
reached an agreement for the division of the property, the
transaction being properly drawn up and recorded. Both
Brantly and Houston began to sell parcels to different par-
ties, some for saw-mill sites and others for other purposes.6

Robert Hutcheson, 1818
(Avondale, Ribault Place, Ingleside Heights)
Robert Hutcheson (often spelled Hutchinson in the ree-
ords) on January 9, 1818, obtained a concession from Gover-
nor Coppinger of 350 acres bounded Northerly by his
(Hutcheson's) grant of 1815, Easterly by St. Johns River,
Southerly by George Atkinson's lands, Westerly by vacant
land. (This is the property involved in the "over-lap" con-
troversy described on page 44.) The land-grant commis-
sioners approved Hutcheson's claim to this property June
17, 1824.* Robert Hutcheson died in possession, and Eliza-
beth Hutcheson, his widow, executrix under his will, sold
both the grant and the concession to Dr. Whipple Aldrich,
October 25, 1830. Grant and concession both trace through
the same chain to Elias G. Jaudon, namely, Whipple Aldrich
to William McKay, March 19, 1836; to Francis D. Scarlett,
March 2, 1850; to Elias G. Jaudon, April 11, 1850.e
Elias G. Jaudon died in possession of the concession in
1871, except the narrow strip along the northeasterly line
previously deeded to his daughter Sarah J. McKinlay. His
will provided that the property, then known'as "Magnolia
Plantation", be divided equally among his wife~ and four
children, naming them. This was done March 10, 1872, by
three regularly appointed commissioners. The division was
platted as Lots 1 to 5 inclusive, and assignment made:r
Lot 1, Jane I. Jaudon; Lot 2, Laura A. Weeks; Lot 8,
Mary E. Duffie. Avondale and Ribault Place are subdi-
visions of these lots. Lot 4, Thomas H. Jaudon. Ingleside
Heights is a part of Lot 4. Lot 5, Ella L. Jaudon, now subdi-
vided into building lota.


John R.Hogans, 1820
During the latter part of the year 1820, John R. Hogans
settled on land north of Hogans Creek, and under the Dona-
tion Act received title to 640 acres. This is called Hogans's
Donation. He conveyed these 640 acres to W. G. Dawson
July 24, 1823.0 On February 3, 1829, ~I. D. Hart, ex-officio
administrator of the estate of W. G. Dawson, deceased, con-
veyed the tract to John Warren. John Warren conveyed it
to I. D. Hart October 25, 1829. Hart sold it to Thomas G.
Saunders in 1846. On September 9, 1847, Thomas G. Saun-
ders conveyed it to Adeline Jones.6
*Adeline Jones was the daughter of John Mdiddleton and
Captain M~iddleton bought this property for her for $450 in
gold. On August 4, 1849, Adeline and husband sold 50 acres
for $50 to E. A. DeCottes; this is now Haansontown. In 1887,
4 acres were sold to Frank Franklin colorede) for $100; now
called Franklintownar

With the above exceptions Hogans's Donation descended
to Eliza Jones (afterward Mrs. W. M. Bostwick), daughter
of Thomas W. and Adeline Jones. The bulk of it was sold to
the Springfield Company in 1882, and by that company
platted into lots.P
The name Springfield was given to the section north of
Hogans Creek about 1869, it is said by C. L. Robinson, and
the name was really suggested by a spring of good water
located in a field through which West Fourth Street would
now pass.r
Along the Riverfront
When the United States acquired Florida (1821) the en-
tire riverfront on the north side from Commodore's Point
to Ortega was held under Spanish grants or concessions, ex-
cept for two little breaks. There was a gap about as wide
as a city block at the foot of King Street where the Dell and
the Hutcheson lands failed to meet; and another of a few
hundred yards south of Fishweir Creek between the Atkin-
son and McIntosh (McQueen) lines. Elsewhere in this locali-
ty on both sides of the river and in the back country were
other grants and concessions and donations, but those traced
here have the most important bearing on the built-up por-


tion of the city. The chain of title to these is remarkably
complete, especially for the early times, when the filing of
a deed was considered a matter of no vital importance, as a
transfer of land then became a matter of public knowledge.
Sometimes deeds were held for years before they were re-

asuLLsrasr, ch.,sn m
aAmerican state Papers, Publte Lands, Vol. IV: bBill of Complaint In suit to quiet
title: cTitle absntrat: fRewspaper accounts gMrs. W. M. Bostwickt: AFlorida Reports,
VeL V. p. 318; Vol. VI p. 488: v Ve. XI, 15.




First Settlers

Robert Pritchard, as has been noted, was the first white -
settler on the site of Jacksonville when he established him- -
self here in 1791. Whether the overseers cultivating the
land for the Pritchard heirs joined the Patriots in 1812 or
were driven off by them is~not known.
The grant made to Mrs. Maria Taylor in 1816 comprised
a part of the land formerly occupied by Pritchard. Mrs.
Taylor married Lewis Zachariah Hogans shortly after she
procured the grant, and they at once began building a home.
About Christmas time (1816) they moved across from the
south side of the river and occupied their new home. The
house was built of logs, but it was larger and more carefully
constructed than the usual log cabins of that day. It stood
near the northwest corner of Hogan and Forsyth Streets,
partly in Forsyth Street, immediately west of the present
Duval Hotel. Hogans cleared a field east of his house and
fenced it; his eastern fence ran alongside a swamp, about
where Laura Street is now. In the spring of 1817 he planted
a crop from which he gathered in great abundance.o The old
Hogans well, situated where the U. S. Government building
now stands, was a landmark remembered by citizens up to
a few years ago. The log cabin gave way to a better house
(frame) before the War Between the States.
*L. Z. Hogans laid down his life in the Spring of 1837 in
the war with the Seminoles. He left practically no estate.

The grant made to Juan Maestre, also in 1816, joined the
Maria Taylor grant at what is now Market Street. Maestre
took possession of his land in 1817 and built his cabin at what
is now the southwest corner of Forsyth and Liberty Streets.*
It was a typical one-room log cabin. Maestre cleared a
field and put in a crop in the spring of 1817, but he never
gathered it. The "Carthagenians" took possession of Fer-
nandina about that time, and fearing a repetition of the
Patriot troubles, the Spanish garrison at San Nicholas and


the Boats of the Royal Domain to which Maestre was at-
tached, were withdrawn to St. Augustine. He therefore was
taken away from his new home and lost his crop. Maestre
never returned to the St. Johns.*
John Brady arrived at the Cow Ford in the summer or
fall of 1818, arid occupied Maestre's cabin, probably under
some sort of rental contract, until June 21, 1820,when he ob-
tained title to the grant by conveyance from 14aestre. Brady
fixed the cabin up, built an addition to it and erected a shed
for a stable. He bought a dugout for the purpose of sculling
passengers across the river, as he no doubt saw the need of
a ferry and figured that it would increase his income.* The
cabin was on the side of the road near the ferry and travelers
usually rested here and fed their horses, furnishing another
means of revenue for the pioneer.k
*John Brady moved to Alabama in February, 1828.

The First Store
Among the early travelers to the St. Johns country were
two men from Georgia, William G. Dawson and Stephen E.
Buckles, who foresaw that some day a town might be built
at this point. They decided to remain and open a store; this
was probably in 1819. They built a log house near the K~ing's
Road (south side of Adams Street, about 150 feet from the
southwest corner of Market) ; brought down a stock of goods
by sailing vessel from New York, and opened a mercantile
establishment.B This was the first store in this section of the
country, and Dawson & Buckles worked up a good business.
It was not what we usually picture as a general country
store carrying all kinds of small articles; the stock comprised
such goods as blankets, saddles and bridles, farming imple-
ments, buckets, and the like. Sometimes the proprietors
sold out of goods entirely, for transportation by sailing ves-
sel was slow and uncertain, prohibiting the regulation of
supply and demand.6
*Stephen E. Buckles returned to~ Georgia probably in 1822.
William G. Dawson died in Jacksonville October 19, 1826;
he was prominent as a man of affairs, and at his death owned
the 640 acres now known as Springfield and other property of
considerable value.


Isafah David Hart was the next settler at the Cow Ford;
he came in January, 1821. Hart was not a stranger to this
locality, for he was a Patriot of 1812. Accounts of the store
that had been opened at the Cow Ford reached him while he
was living on his farm near the St. Marys River; hearing
of Dawson & Buckles' success and that John Brady was
doing well, he decided to move here and locate permanently.t
On May .12, 1821, I. D. Hart bought 18 acres from L. Z.
Hogans (bounded east by Market Street and south by the
river), paying $72 for the 18 acres, it is said in cattle. He
built a double log cabin (about where the Church club now
stands, on the south side of Forsyth Street between Market
and Newnan) ;brought his household goods here by boat and
his family across country. Daniel C. Hart, his brother,
came at the same time.*

First Hotel
Up to this time, the traveler wishing to spend the night
in the future metropolis of Florida, had a miserable exper-
ience ahead of him.b JOhn Brady was kind-hearted and of-
fered such as he had, but his cabin afforded little that was
inviting, and his guests usually slept under the trees with
a saddle for a pillow. Often Dawson & Buckles came to the
rescue by offering the use of the attic above the store, and
occasionally in special cases spread stock blankets on the
store-house floor for the comfort of some visitor. Dawson
&~ Buckles were the first to see the need of better accommo-
dations for those who wished to stay and see the country,
and they built a frame house east of their store (at the south-
west corner of Adams and Market Streets) for a boarding
house. It was constructed of lumber sawed in a sawpit and
was the first frame house in this section of the country.
Upon its completion in 1821, its owners sent down to St.
Johns Bluff for Mrs. Sarah Waterman to come and take
charge. Upon her arrival the population of the settlement
increased one hundred per cent, as she brought her four
daughters and two young sons with her.*
*They were Helen; Ann (married Joshua Hickrman);
Louisa (married Wm. H. Burritt); Lydia (married Milo Pinks-
ton); Adin. The name of the other son is not known. Mrs
Waterman died Sept. 4, 1830. Adin and Lydia Agured in the
LaVilla land titles.


Mrs. Waterman's boarding house, called the "Inn", was
frequently mentioned in the newspaper (St. Augustine) ac-
counts of the early court days in Jacksonville. A young bar-
rister writing for the St. Augustine paper stated that he was
glad to sit down to supper "at which a good-looking girl pre-
Joseph Andrews, brother-in-law of I. D. Hart, was the
next settler to arrive at the Cow Ford. He built a frame
house on what is now the south side of Adams Street, mid-
way between Newnan and Ocean Streets."
This was the resident population when Jacksonville was
founded. All resided within the limits of the town as later
surveyed, except L. Z. Hogans.

Jacksonvile Founded, 1822
When the actual transfer of Florida to the United States
was accomplished in July, 1821, travel from the States in-
creased, and most of the land travel to East Florida came
down over the Kings road and, consequently, to the settle-
ment at the Cow Ford. I. D. Hart had not been here long when
he conceived the idea of laying off a townsite. He experienced
considerable difficulty in convincing his neighbor, John
Brady, of the possibility of developing a town here; but
finally, though not enthusiastic about the matter, Brady con-
sented to donate the land necessary for the streets.) When
all was in readiness for the survey, a question arose that
nearly broke up the plan, for Brady and Hart could not agree-
as to the dividing line between their lands from which the
survey was to begin. After considerable dispute they at last
agreed to accept the claim of L. Z. Hogans that the corner
tree stood on the river bank at the foot of the present Market
Street, and the survey should start from there.*
*There is a note in an old abstract that i have examined
stating that this tree was a fine old bay. The naming of Bay
Street may have been influenced by this fact.

The town was surveyed in June, 1822, under the super--
vision of three commissioners, residents of the neighbor-
hood, namely Francis J. Ross, Benjamin Chaires and John
Bellamy. The surveyor was D. S. H. Miller, who formerly
was connected with the Spanish post San Nicholas as "Cap-
tain of the Rural Militia of the St. Johns River, District of


12 V 77

i I1 1 1I I

~~~~,y~~~~I IF~~/Y 0Y:~- ~ -



San Nicholas, and Deputy Surveyor". John W. Roberts
acted as Clerk.,
It was decided that there should be six lots, each 105 feet
square, in each block---two lots adjoining north and qouth
(210 feet), and three lots east and west (315 feet). The sur-
vey began at the corner tree agreed upon and thence north-
erly a street was surveyed, eighty feet in width, the proper-~
ty owners on each side donating 40 feet. This was Jackson-
ville's first street and was given the name Market Street,*
but why it was so named seems to have become a lost record.
The next street laid off was Bay Street with a width of
seventy feet. The first square designated and numbered was
east of Market and north of Bay, and in compliment to Brady
as the first settler present upon the land in that part of the
survey, it was designated Square No. 1. The next square
was across Market Street west of No. 1, and it was desig-
nated No. 2. The square north of it was numbered 8; and
east of that, 4. When the survey was being made of Square
No. 1, it was found that Brady's house would be in the street,
according to the original plan; so another tier of lots was
added on the east side of Square No. 1, making this square
eight lots instead of six, but saving Brady from living in the
middle of the street.* Thus the tier of blocks between Liber-
ty and Market Streets is composed of eight lots instead of
The survey was then extended to Square No. 5 east of No.
1, the Kings road leading north from the river between them.
The street was named Liberty Street, but in the old records
it seemed to have been occasionally called Ferry Street also.
The square north of No. 5 was designated No. 6; north of
that, No. 8; west of that, No. 7; and west of No. 7, No. 9.
This was the surveyor's wrong marking and was not cor-
rected on the original plat.,
From the survey of Square No. 9, the commissioners came
back to Bay Street and ran off Square No. 10 west of No. 2;
and north of No. 10, they surveyed Nos. 11 and 12, respee-
tively. Again they came back to Bay Street east of Wash-
ing~ton Street and laid off Square No. 13 east of No. 5; and
north of No. 13, they surveyed Nos. 14, 15, 16 in the order
named. Then they turned west and surveyed Nos. 17, 18,
19, and 20. Here they stayed their work and never resumed


Town Named
By unanimous agreement the town was named Jackson--
ville, in honor of General Andrew Jackson, popular idol of
that day in Florida. The name was suggested by John War-
ren, a resident of the locality, but not of the town; he harld
served, as a volunteer in the army of General Jackson during
the Indian troubles in West Florida.e General Jackson was
not present when the town was surveyed, as some accounts
have stated; in fact, there is no authentic record that he ever
visited this part of Florida at all.
Street Names
The streets named by the commissioners in 1822 still beer
their original names. Market and Bay cannot be definitely
traced as to their meaning. Liberty and Washington indi-'
cate the patriotism of the commissioners. N~ewnan wars-
named for Col. Daniel Newnan, here with the Patriots and
who made the famous campaign against the Indian King
Payne in central Florida; and afterward was Inspector-Gen-
erarl of Georgia. Forsyth was named for General John For-
syth, U. S. Minister to Spain, who conducted the negotiations
for the acquisition of Florida. Adams Street was named for
John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State in President
Monroe's cabinet, and who had a great deal to do with the -
cession of Florida; Monroe Street for President James Mon-
roe; and Duval Street for Governor William P. Duval, ~frst
civil governor of Florida.

First Realty Transfer
At the time Jacksonvile was platted and named the town-
site was in St. Johns County. Duval County was not created
until two months afterward, or on August 12, 1822. Conse-
quently, the first deeds specify St. Johns County in their
The first transfer of a lot in the town of Jacksonville was
from John Brady to Stephen Eubanks, conveying Lot 2,
Square 1, including the margin to the river, for $12.00. The
deed was dated July 1, 1822, and described the lot as follows:s
One quarter acre of land lying in St. Johns County, in Jacksonville,
on the St. Johns River, in the front street leading from the ferry, to-
gether with the margin below ad. lot on the river side, to H~art's land-
ing, 8d lot from ad. ferry.


The margin on the river mentioned is now Water Lot No.
22, between Market and Liberty Streets in front of the Clyde
Line piers.
D. S. H. Miller, the surveyor, acquired several lots in
Square 5, maybe in payment for his services as surveyor of
the townsite. John Bellamy bought the northwest corner
of Liberty and Bay Streets, and John Warren bought lots
in different locations. Conveyances of lots were made at in-
tervals during the next few months at prices ranging from
$10 to $25 a lot;p

Jacksonvile's Situation
The original survey extended to Catherine Street on the
east, Duval Street on the north, Ocean Street on the west,
and St. Johns River on the south. All along the river from
the foot of Liberty Street westward to L. Z. Hogans's east-
ern fence (Laura Street) was a hammock through which no
one ever passed; the present Main Street south of Duval was
a swamp. Eastward of the ferry (Liberty Street to Catherine
Street) was a high bluff; east of Catherine Street was, low
marsh land. North of Forsyth Street was open pine land ex-
tending back almost to Hogans Creek. The Kings road led
in from the northwest, passing in front of Dawson's store
and the "Inn", thence to Liberty Street east of Brady's
cabin, where it turned down Liberty Street to the old Cow
Ford. Amidst these surroundings, and with this artery of
travel leading to the outside world by land and the St. Johns
River by water, Jacksonville was launched upon its career.

The Founder of Jacksonvile
When I. D. Hart arrived at the Cow Ford in January, 1821,--
there were already here a store and two settlers. It is said
that upon arrival he pitched a tent at the foot of Liberty
Street and lived there until he built his cabin and brought
his family here from the St. Marys. The next year, 1822,
the town was surveyed after the arrival of several other
settlers. I. D. Hart was the originator of the idea and de-
serves the credit of being Jacksonville's founder. He lived
to see the settlement develop into a town of two thousand`
inhabitants. At one time or another he owned nearly all the
land now known as the old city, and the most of Springfield.


He also owned a farm near the present settlement of Mariet-
ta; this place he called '"Cracker Swamp", and he seems to
have cultivated it to a certain extent with slaves and free
labor. His homestead was in Jacksonville, first in his log-
cabin; then at the northwest corner of Bay and Market
Streets, and finally, for many years, at the southeast corner
of Laura and Forsyth Streets.
I. D. Hart outlived all of the early settlers. Both he and
his wife, Nancy, died in 1861, and were buried in a vault
that had already been erected by him for his family, located
on a plot of ground on the east side of Laura Street between
State and Orange, back from the Laura Street line about 100
feet. His tomb bore this queer inscription:
When I am dead and in my grave,
And these bones are all rotten;
When this you see, remember me,
That I may not be forgotten.

In 1896, the Hart vault was broken into by vandals who
removed everything of value, including the silver name-
plates. This led to an investigation by a reporter for a local
newspaper, who published the fact that there were evidences
that nine bodies bad been placed in the vault, namely, I. D.
Hart, his wife and children, and Mary E. Hart, a favorite
*The children of I. D. and Nancy Hart were: Ossian,
Lodusky, Laura, Daniel, Julia, and Nancy. Nancy was an in-
valid and met the sad fate of being burned to death. Laura
and Julia Streets are named for two of these children. It has
been said that Ocean was formerly Ossian Street, but the Child
map of 1847 designates it as Ocean.

The fire of 1901 greatly damaged the old Hart vault and
instead of rebuilding it, the remains it contained were moved
to a lot in Evergreen cemetery and the vault in the city de-

Biiognraphy, Chapter IV
sHistory of Florlds, Webb ; bD~eecritiv~e article in East Florida HeraldE (S.Autua-
e.2,1825 cFlorida Tie-nion and Citizen, Jan. 1, 1900 :datFord
~Id (St. Augutine, April 14, 1826; : Florida Reports, Vol. VI, p. 491: fl~emoirs of
bFleming~c p County (Archibald) records; hEarly newspaper accounts.