Title Page
 Front Matter
 General editor's preface
 From the late discoveries by the...

Group Title: Bicentennial Floridiana facsimile series
Title: The Atlantic pilot
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00103092/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Atlantic pilot
Series Title: Bicentennial Floridiana facsimile series
Physical Description: lxvii, viii, 25, 6 p. : 3 fold. maps. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: De Brahm, John Gerar William, 1717-ca. 1799
Publisher: University Presses of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Subject: Pilot guides -- Florida, Straits of   ( lcsh )
Nautical charts -- Florida -- Florida Keys -- Early works to 1800   ( lcsh )
Navigation -- Early works to 1800   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
atlas   ( marcgt )
Early works to 1800   ( lcsh )
Statement of Responsibility: A facsim. reproduction of the 1772 ed. with introd. and index by Louis De Vorsey, Jr.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Reprint of the ed. printed by T. Spilsbury, London.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00103092
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 00737067
lccn - 73018036
isbn - 0813003660

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Front Matter
        Page iii
        Page iv
    General editor's preface
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        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
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
        Page xxxvi
        Page xxxvii
        Page xxxviii
        Page xxxix
        Page xl
        Page xli
        Page xlii
        Page xliii
        Page xliv
        Page xlv
        Page xlvi
        Page xlvii
        Page xlviii
        Page xlix
        Page l
        Page li
        Page lii
        Page liii
        Page liv
        Page lv
        Page lvi
        Page lvii
        Page lviii
        Page lix
        Page lx
        Page lxi
        Page lxii
        Page lxiii
        Page lxiv
        Page lxv
        Page lxvi
        Page A-iii
        Page A-iv
        Page A-v
        Page A-vi
        Page A-vii
        Page A-viii
    From the late discoveries by the Atlantic pilot
        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 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Index 1
        Index 2
        Index 3
        Index 4
        Index 5
        Index 6
Full Text






A University of Florida Book.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

De Brahm, John Gerar William, 1717-ca. 1799.
The Atlantic pilot.

(Bicentennial Floridiana facsimile series)
Reprint of the ed. printed by T. Spilsbury, London.
1. Pilot guides-Florida Strait. 2. Nautical
charts-Florida Keys-To 1800. 3. Navigation-Early
works to 1800. I. Title. II. Series.
G1317.F5D4 1973 623.89'2 73-18036
ISBN 0-8130-0366-0


/ published under the sponsorship of the

SAMUEL PROCTOR, General Editor.







Governor Reubin O'D. Askew, Honorary Chair-
Lieutenant Governor Tom Adams, Chairman
Pat Dodson, Vice Chairman
Shelton Kemp, Executive Director
George I. Baumgartner, North Miami Beach
Floyd T. Christian, Tallahassee
Johnnie Ruth Clarke, St. Petersburg
A. H. Craig, St. Augustine
Henry Dartigalongue, Jacksonville
Jack D. Gordon, Miami Beach
Warren S. Henderson, Sarasota
Richard S. Hodes, Tampa
Joe Lang Kershaw, Miami

[ iv ]
Ney C. Landrum, Tallahassee
Mrs. E. D. Pearce, Miami
Charles E. Perry, Miami
W. E. Potter, Lake Buena Vista
Samuel Proctor, Gainesville
Ted Randell, Fort Myers
F. Blair Reeves, Gainesville
George E. Saunders, Winter Park
Don Shoemaker, Miami
Harold W. Stayman, Jr., Tampa
Richard Stone, Tallahassee
Alan Trask, Fort Meade
W. Robert Williams, Tallahassee
Lori Wilson, Merritt Island
Sherman S. Winn, Bal Harbour


FLORIDA was terra incognita to England
when her officials arrived in 1763 to claim
her newly acquired territory. The Earl of Egre-
mont, Britain's Secretary of State for the
Southern Department, called on the Board of
Trade for information as to climate, soil, and
available harbors. Geographic data were almost
nonexistent, and the crude maps drawn by the
Spanish who had occupied Florida for almost
200 years were inadequate. Samuel Holland, a
military surveyor and cartographer of note,
was appointed surveyor general for the North-
ern Department. To fill the office of surveyor
general for the Southern Department, the
Board of Trade recommended William Gerard
De Brahm who was then employed as a sur-

[ viii ]
Boundary and the Southern Colonies, 1763-
1775. His articles and essays have appeared in
books and in scholarly and professional jour-
nals. He read a paper at the first annual Bi-
centennial Symposium sponsored by the Flor-
ida Bicentennial Commission at the University
of Florida in May 1972. He is an expert on
eighteenth-century surveying and mapping.
The Florida Bicentennial Commission, cre-
ated by the legislature in 1971, is responsible
for the planning of the state's participation in
the country's two-hundredth birthday. As it
seeks to recall Florida's heritage, the Bicenten-
nial Commission, in cooperation with the Uni-
versity of Florida Press, is publishing twenty-
five rare, out-of-print books on the state's
450-year history. Each facsimile volume will
carry a scholarly introduction by a noted au-
thority. There will also be an index to the book
and the introduction.
The Florida Bicentennial Commission is also
sponsoring a heritage trail, archeological ex-
plorations, and traveling exhibits as part of a
broad commemorative program. The commis-
sion's twenty-seven members represent the leg-
islature, pertinent state commissions and divi-
sions, and the general public.
General Editor of the

University of Florida


HE author of this small yet valuable book
was one of Florida's most colorful and con-
troversial personages during the period of Brit-
ish rule over the region. He was an eccentric
but immensely productive scientist and sur-
veyor who studied and charted the face of
eastern Florida in the decade preceding the
outbreak of the American Revolution. His
writings and maps form a large and lucid
corpus of primary evidence which is invaluable
for anyone wishing to know about the state's
eighteenth-century past. In The Atlantic Pilot,
William Gerard De Brahm provided the scien-
tific and maritime communities of his day with
a fund of information concerning southern
Florida, as well as the first printed map and
empirically supported theoretical explanation
of one of the great physical phenomena of our
planet-the Gulf Stream.1
William Gerard De Brahm had been sent to
the new British colony of East Florida to
serve as one of the principal officers in the
newly established royal government. East Flor-

[ x ]
ida was one of the two colonies created from
the Spanish and French territories on the
southern fringe of eastern North America and
acquired by Britain as a prize of war in the
treaty negotiations ratified by the Peace of
Paris of February 10, 1763. The vast peninsula,
which had been known as La Florida by its
former Spanish possessors, was terra incog-
nita to its new British claimants. Royal ad-
visors and administrators were immediately
aware of the pressing need for accurate maps
and geographic information as they began to
grapple with the awesome task of organizing
and developing George III's new southern do-
main. In a communication to the King early in
1764,2 the august Board of Trade admitted,
"we find ourselves under the greatest difficulties
arising from the want of exact surveys of these
countries in America, many parts of which
have never been surveyed at all and others so
imperfectly that the charts and maps thereof
are not to be depended upon." The King's chief
advisory panel for overseas colonies concluded
that "in this situation we are reduced to the
necessity of making Representation to Your
Majesty, founded upon little or no information,
or of delaying the important service of settling
these parts of Your Majesty's Dominions." This
was, of course, an intolerable condition. To
remedy it, the board recommended "in the
strongest manner that no time should be lost
in obtaining accurate Surveys of all Your Maj-
esty's North American Dominions, but more
especially of such parts as from their natural
advantages require our immediate attention."

[ xi ]
Not altogether surprising is the fact that East
Florida ranked high among these last named
To carry out these much needed surveys, the
Board of Trade established two new adminis-
trative units in North America. These were the
Northern and Southern General Survey Dis-
tricts which were to be divided by the Potomac
River.3 Captain Samuel Holland, based in Que-
bec, was appointed and served a long tenure as
the surveyor general for the Northern District.
To fill the other post, the Board of Trade chose
one of Georgia's two provincial surveyors, Wil-
liam Gerard De Brahm. In June 1764, De
Brahm's tenure as a surveyor general for Geor-
gia was terminated and he was appointed sur-
veyor general of the new colony of East Flor-
ida and surveyor general for the newly created
Southern District.
The royal commissions and instructions for
his new offices did not reach De Brahm until
November 3, 1764. In the lengthy letter ac-
quainting him with the nature and scope of
his new duties, De Brahm learned that he was
to be responsible for the surveying and map-
ping of "all His Majesty's territories on the
continent of North America, which lye to the
south of Potomac River, and of a line drawn
due west from the Head of the main branch
of that River as far as His Majesty's Domin-
ions extend."4 Within this vast area, first
priority was placed on "that part of the Prov-
ince of East Florida which lyes to the South of
St. Augustine, as far as the Cape of Florida,
particularly of the lands lying near the sea

[ xii ]
coast of the great promontory, [which] appears
. . to be of the most pressing expediency, in
order to accelerate the different Establishments
which have been proposed to be made in that
part of the country." De Brahm was thus
ordered to concentrate his efforts in East Flor-
ida. His surveys were "to be in great measure
the guide, by which His Majesty and his serv-
ants are to form their judgements upon the
different proposals that shall be offered for
making settlements upon these coasts."5
De Brahm left Georgia on January 22, 1765,
for his new life in East Florida, ten weeks
after receiving his commission and instructions.
In view of the usually leisurely pace followed
by eighteenth-century officialdom, this was real
alacrity. His entrance into St. Augustine was
delayed by adverse winds encountered at the
harbor bar. From the twenty-fifth through the
twenty-ninth of that stormy January, he had
a foretaste of the contrary weather which was
often to vex and sometimes to endanger him
as he pursued his survey of Florida's coasts,
islands, and estuaries.6 In describing the sea
approach to St. Augustine, De Brahm first
mentioned the influence of the Gulf Stream.
This phenomenon was to concern him fre-
quently in the months and years ahead.
Once ashore, he quickly set to work and
"settled the office and set in motion the land
business for this province." He lost no time in
fixing by astronomic means the position of
East Florida's metropolis, his new base of
operations. At this time De Brahm observed the
latitude of St. Augustine to be 290 37' 25"

[ xiii ]
North.' A year later he corrected this position
by 50' to make it 290 38' 15" N. In accounting
for this change, De Brahm wrote of "the differ-
ence in the quadrants I used; for last year I
observed with a mahogany quadrant graduated
by 3,600 seconds per inch and this year with
a brass quadrant by ten degrees per inch."'
Before reviewing De Brahm's manifold ac-
tivities in East Florida, some mention of his
early life and career is necessary. This is essen-
tial since both Carita Doggett Corse and
Charles L. Mowat made serious errors concern-
ing his early life in their articles which appear-
ed in the Florida Historical Quarterly.9 Wilbur
H. Siebert similarly erred in his frequently cited
book, Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to 1785.10
All of these authorities, along with others who
have published biographical data concerning
De Brahm, have incorrectly named Holland as
his birthplace. There is no documentary sup-
port for fixing his birthplace in the Low Coun-
tries. On the contrary, the records show that
De Brahm was born in Koblenz, Germany, on
August 20, 1718.11
While the exact locations of De Brahm's
childhood home and early training in Germany
remain uncertain, it is clear that he received an
excellent education. His adult literary and
professional performances exhibit a rich back-
ground derived from a serious study of lan-
guages (both classical and modern), mathe-
matics, history, geography, literature, biblical
studies, philosophy, and the burgeoning ex-
perimental sciences which were influencing the
continent of Europe so profoundly in the wake

[ xiv ]
of the Renaissance. Professor Mowat drew
attention to these attainments when he de-
scribed De Brahm as "a man whose versatil-
ity of genius went beyond even that of the
typical eighteenth-century dilettante: a sur-
veyor, engineer, botanist, astronomer, meteor-
ologist, student of ocean currents, alchemist,
sociologist, historian, and mystical philoso-
De Brahm's family belonged to the lesser
nobility and his father held the position of
court musician to the Elector of Trier. It is
not surprising, therefore, to find that William
had risen to the rank of Captain Engineer in
the imperial army and married a titled heiress
with a large estate before he left Germany for
Georgia.13 De Brahm alluded to his aristocratic
background in 1752, the year after his arrival
when he signed his first map of Georgia as
follows: "William Noble of Brahm Late Captain
Ingenier unter his Imperial Majesty Charles
the VII."'" In the published obituary of
his third wife, who survived him, it was stated
that De Brahm "bore the title in Germany . .
of Lord John William Gerard de Brahm."15
This anonymous chronicler also observed that
the title had been relinquished, along with his
army commission, when De Brahm emigrated
to Georgia, but this seems doubtful since his
title was hereditary.
In 1748, at the age of thirty, De Brahm re-
signed his commission as a Captain Engineer
in the Emperor's army. He had found a military
outlet for his scientific and engineering talents
through eleven campaigns waged in Germany,

[ xvi ]
engineering and fortification design, as well
as his personal qualities of leadership and good
These were the very qualities which were
almost immediately perceived by the leaders of
Georgia, Britain's most youthful and most
southern American colony at that date. James
Habersham, who later served in the role of
royal governor in Georgia, wrote in December
1751 of De Brahm, "The Trustees, I believe
are not mistaken in Mr. von Brahm's abilities.
He has been at a great deal of pains to view
the country to fix on a settlement and has taken
plans of all places he has visited, and I look
upon him to be one of the most intelligent men
I have ever met with, and will, I doubt not,
make a very useful colonist."19
De Brahm's skill as a surveyor and cartog-
rapher was quickly recognized and appreci-
ated by his contemporaries in colonial America.
In more recent years, workers in historical car-
tography and historical geography have come
to share this appreciation of his talents. He
was not content merely to survey the metes
and bounds of a plot of land and draw a rough
sketch or plat of it as was the common practice
of his day. He betrayed the essential qualities
of a geographer in his approach to exploring
and surveying, being more interested in the
larger regional whole of which the separate
land parcels were only portions. De Brahm's
keen mind was ever searching for broad pat-
terns in nature. He observed and commented on
regional variations in such patterns as those
formed by landforms, flora and fauna, soils,

[ xvii ]
climate, and human activities in the colonial
Southeast. As early as March 24, 1752, he pre-
sented Georgia's government with "a map of
that part of Georgia, which I have had an op-
portunity of Surveying since my arrival here;
which I flatter myself will speak in my behalf,
and be more satisfactory and agreeable than
anything I could say in a long and tedious let-
ter."20 Like a true geographer, De Brahm ap-
preciated the potential eloquence of well-con-
structed maps as graphic documents.
It was not long before De Brahm's attain-
ments and reputation attracted attention in
neighboring South Carolina. James Glen, that
colony's energetic governor, was deeply con-
cerned with efforts aimed at improving the
badly dilapidated defenses of Charles Towne,
the capital. He invited De Brahm (who had by
this time dropped the Germanic prefix "von"
from his surname in favor of the adopted "De"
which he retained to his death) to design a
comprehensive system of fortifications for the
Carolina metropolis. The death of the prov-
ince's surveyor general during the summer of
1755 created a vacancy which Governor Glen
filled by issuing De Brahm an interim appoint-
ment to the post until such time as a royal
appointee should appear.21 In 1756, when the
opportunity arose to construct a British fort
in the heart of the Overhill Cherokee coreland,
De Brahm was selected to design and supervise
its construction. This was the famous, but ill-
fated, Fort Loudoun, Carolina's trans-montane
outpost located in what is now Monroe County,

[ xviii ]
During 1754, De Brahm and Henry Yonge
had been appointed as Georgia's joint Surveyors
General of Lands. The governor of Georgia, like
his counterpart in South Carolina, had recog-
nized De Brahm's prowess as a military
engineer and strategist and called upon him to
assist in devising a comprehensive scheme of
fortification for the defense of the vulnerable
younger colony. The records clearly show that
the immigrant German quickly rose to a posi-
tion of considerable influence and responsibility
in his adopted Georgia homeland. He served
the colony as a military engineer, justice of
the peace, official cartographer, tax collector,
and commissioner for the repair and construc-
tion of fortifications, in addition to his princi-
pal role as joint surveyor general. Prior to his
move to East Florida, he had enjoyed thir-
teen successful and productive years as an in-
fluential citizen and civil servant in Georgia
and South Carolina.
In January 1765, when De Brahm first
arrived, St. Augustine was doubtlessly the scene
of much activity. In 1763, Spain had, through
the Treaty of Paris, given up her control of
La Florida to the British, and the last large
convoy of St. Augustine Spaniards had de-
parted in January 1764. Under the vigorous
leadership of East Florida's first royal gover-
nor, James Grant, the new possessors of penin-
sular Florida were urgently striving to attract
suitable immigrants to fill its empty spaces and
exploit its latent resources. As mentioned, the
British were profoundly ignorant of the geog-
raphy and potential resources of their new

[ xix ]
southern colony. Information concerning the
nature and location of arable land suitable for
occupation was desperately needed, as were
the services of a skillful provincial surveyor
general who could establish a corps of deputy
surveyors and get on with the business of
marking and platting royal land grants. In his
dual role of East Florida's provincial surveyor
general of lands and Surveyor General of the
Southern District, De Brahm was immediately
placed in the center of the colony's major pre-
occupations and activities. Governor James
Grant, the imperious hero of the recent Chero-
kee War in Carolina, was, above all, dedicated
to the creation of a viable British colony in
East Florida, and he spared no energy in for-
warding this goal. De Brahm, as the colony's
surveyor general of lands, occupied a partic-
ularly strategic and sensitive position in
Grant's administration, though he was not
Grant's appointee. Between these two peculiarly
gifted and strong-willed Floridians, friction
and controversy seemed almost predictable. De
Brahm, the brilliant but eccentric scientist, was
frequently at odds with other royal officers in
the colonies, inevitably so when they were
military men.
De Brahm brought his German wife and
daughter to St. Augustine in 1765. On June 22
of that year, the council of East Florida issued
him the necessary warrants allowing him to
acquire "Town Lots in St. Augustine." Later
he acquired a five-acre garden lot adjoining the
town and a 1,000-acre tract fronting on the
St. Johns River. An extract from the March 14,

[ xx ]
1771, edition of the South Carolina Gazette
describes a portion of De Brahm's real and
other property holdings in East Florida: "To
built HOUSE, with a Garden containing an
Acre of Land abounding with China Orange,
Lime, Lemon, and Citron Trees, in ST. AU-
GUSTINE. Also, three Valuable Tracts, two
contiguous, five Miles distant from Town, con-
taining together 250 Acres of Land, known by
the name of Fountain-Hall, the other consisting
of 1000 Acres, called Christinaburg, situated
on the East Side of St. Juan's River, about 35
miles from said Town; formerly part of the
Esq; but now the property of the Subscriber.
He offers a Premium of Ten per Cent, to any
person who will INSURE his vessel, the
WREN, and two Negro Sailors, also lately the
Property of said William-Gerard De Brahm,
and left by him, to assist Surveying the Coast
of East Florida... 'ANDREW HIBBEN.' If
the data revealed in a recently published study
of property transactions in British East Flor-
ida are reliable, De Brahm was one of the
"fewer than forty individuals" who "owned all
the real estate of St. Augustine" in 1765.23
Sometime following the death of De Brahm's
German wife on September 1, 1765, a contro-
versy began between him and Grant. The gover-
nor had employed the engineer-surveyor James
Moncrief to conduct surveys and prepare maps
prior to De Brahm's arrival in East Florida.2
De Brahm stated that "it was publicly said,
the Governor intended to get Mr. Moncrief

[ xxi ]
appointed in the Surveyor General's place."25
As time passed, the rift between De Brahm and
Grant grew and their antagonism became more
bitter. Shortly after his arrival and establish-
ment of office in St. Augustine, De Brahm had
received a set of very specific instructions con-
cerning his duties and responsibilities as East
Florida's surveyor general of lands.26 De
Brahm, however, was the proud possessor of a
royal commission to this provincial post which
was couched in phrases very like those in his
commission to the office of Surveyor General
of the Southern District. He construed himself
to be directly under the authority of the Crown,
Treasury, and Board of Trade in London,
rather than the royal governor in St. Augustine.
As a result, conditions between Governor Grant
and his unyielding German surveyor general
were frequently strained.
One of De Brahm's responsibilities was to
appoint qualified deputy surveyors, who would
in turn get on with surveying the tracts of land
desired by the many holders of provincial
warrants of survey. Warrants were issued by
the governor and council to deserving grantees
who met the requirements. Upon the completion
of a survey, the warrant and a surveyor's de-
scription sketch or "plat" of the property were
returned to the council for ratification of the
grant. De Brahm was at liberty to conduct sur-
veys in the field and thus augment his regular
income by the fees which otherwise would have
gone to a deputy surveyor, to the great annoy-
ance of Governor Grant who complained bit-
terly in a letter to Lord Hillsborough that De

[ xxii ]
Brahm "from a covetous disposition . has
always been troublesome and irregular." He
continued, "but the love of money which seems
to grow upon him, has lately carried him such
lengths that it is impossible in justice to the
Public to overlook the Impropriety of conduct
any longer."27
Other equally rancorous arguments marked
De Brahm's relationship with Grant during
this period. When De Brahm decided to go to
Charleston to purchase a schooner rather than
employ one of Grant's "Particular Favorites"
named Branton to build one, the governor, ac-
cording to De Brahm, "flew in a vehement
passion and with menaces hindered the Sur-
veyor General from going that time to Charles-
ton to purchase said Vessel."28 As the intensity
of their disputes increased, De Brahm went
so far as to allege that the governor had
suggested that his wife, the second Mrs. De
Brahm, might do well to "prove her Husband a
In June 1767, De Brahm refused to issue a
precept to empower two deputy surveyors to
undertake the survey of a 5,000-acre grant for
Thomas Wooldridge. According to Grant, De
Brahm insisted on issuing the precept to "Seton
Wedderburn Row his new Brother-in-Law, a
Boy unacquainted with the Country, who had
never surveyed an acre of land in the province
and who had only been admitted as Deputy
Surveyor two days before."30 Wooldridge, the
provost of East Florida, complained to the
governor. Grant sent David Yeats, the colony's
clerk of the council, to inform De Brahm "that

[ xxiii ]
he was in the wrong to Mr. Wooldridge.""31 De
Brahm characteristically refused to admit of
any error in his behavior and stoutly main-
tained his authority to name whomsoever he
chose in a precept. Grant, on the other hand,
saw his action as a clear case of nepotism and
not in the best interest of the colony.
An uneasy peace was finally achieved be-
tween Grant and De Brahm but the governor
was far from being pleased with the state of
affairs in this crucial area of his colony's ad-
ministration. On January 4, 1768, he and his
council addressed to De Brahm a set of regula-
tions on the conduct of the surveyor general's
department. As a result, a particularly bitter
confrontation between the surveyor general
and governor took place in the presence of
Fredrick Haldimand, commanding officer of
the royal brigade, then stationed in St. Augus-
tine. De Brahm protested that the governor had
exceeded his legal authority by imposing regula-
tions on him in the conduct of his office. He
must have enraged the testy Grant when he
told him "that the Governor exceeded his power
by assuming diametrically in Opposition to His
Majesty's Commission to enforce upon him [De
Brahm] his verbal and written order, only
suiting the Governor's private interest." In a
rage, Grant "indecently stroke with his hand
His Majesty's Commission from him and almost
out of the Surveyor General's Hand.""2 All of
this, in the presence of Florida's military com-
mander, must have formed a memorable scene.
Matters came to a climax during the spring
of 1770, when Grant wrote to Lord Hillsborough

[ xxiv ]
to present a detailed statement of De Brahm's
malpractices and abuses of office as he per-
ceived them.33 Grant's case against De Brahm
was well articulated and thoroughly docu-
mented. It was clearly designed to have De
Brahm suspended or removed from his office in
the colony. This is borne out by the fact that
the governor, in his letter to Hillsborough, pro-
ceeded to "recommend Frederick George Mul-
caster (who is married to Mr. De Brahm's
Daughter, an only child)," as successor to the
provincial office of surveyor of lands in East
Florida.34 This was especially invidious since
his daughter had married Mulcaster over De
Brahm's vigorous opposition. With respect to
De Brahm's son-in-law, Governor Grant added,
"Mr. Mulcaster served at the Reduction of
Goree and Martinique and is Godson to the
late Prince of Wales, was brought into the
army, under the immediate protection of the
Royal Family, and has the honor to be known
to the King, His Majesty will recollect him
if your Lordship is pleased to mention his
Grant lost no opportunity in his campaign
to unseat his recalcitrant surveyor general of
lands. He officially suspended De Brahm on
October 9, 1770, "til His Majesty's Pleasure is
known."35 On the same day, Mulcaster was
given an interim appointment to act in his
father-in-law's place. Hillsborough endorsed
Grant's actions, and De Brahm was subse-
quently ordered to London during the summer
of 1771 to reply personally to Grant's charges
and allegations.

[ xxvi ]
three years in London were not wasted by De
Brahm. With customary energy De Brahm
refined and organized his rough field notes and
sketches into a finished and elegant manuscript,
"Report of the General Survey in the Southern
District of North America," which he person-
ally presented to George III.40 In addition to
this report and a number of large-scale manu-
script maps of East Florida, De Brahm devoted
himself to several scientific publication ven-
tures while he resided in London. The first and
most significant of these efforts was his first
published book, The Atlantic Pilot, which ap-
peared in 1772. Rare until now, this work was
printed by T. Spilsbury, in Cook's Court, Carey
Street, and was sold by L. Leacroft, "Opposite
Spring-Gardens, Charing Cross."
At about this time, the Earl of Dartmouth
succeeded Lord Hillsborough in the office of
Secretary of State for the Southern Depart-
ment. De Brahm had begun a correspondence
with the influential and scientifically curious
Dartmouth three years earlier. Dartmouth had
a deep personal interest in American affairs,
particularly Florida land development and
colonization schemes.41 Added to these mundane
commercial interests was Dartmouth's fascina-
tion with scientific and metaphysical studies.
When these three areas of common interest-
Florida, science, and metaphysics-are consid-
ered, it is not surprising to find that De Brahm
became closely associated with Dartmouth. Nor
is it at all surprising that De Brahm found in
him a patron and protector. An eloquent insight
into the relationship existing between these two

[ xxvii ]
important figures in Florida's British period
was provided by De Brahm in a letter to Dart-
mouth on August 4, 1774: "The 28th of July
I was ordered to answer before a full Board of
His Majesty's Treasury upon the Several Com-
plaints of Governor Grant, which I did in the
simplest manner offering to produce my per-
sonal Evidences, office books and other original
papers, which however was not desired, but
Lord North was pleased to declare myself rein-
stated into provincial office of East Florida; the
whole transaction lasted but 15 minutes, an
event for which I am indebted to your Lord-
ship's patronage which will continue forever
in grateful remembrance before me."42
Through his relationship with Lord Dart-
mouth, De Brahm was exposed to the scientific
avant-garde of eighteenth-century London.
Dartmouth, possessed of a most active and
questing mentality, was a member of the Royal
Society. One of the new areas of research and
discovery being reported to the society in 1774
concerned the use of the mercurial barometer
in the determination of terrestrial elevations.
The results of experiments conducted by J. A.
De Luc had been published in Geneva in 1772.
De Luc provided detailed instructions for the
construction of height-finding barometers and
rules for their accurate use. His formulae for
relating pressure with elevation by compensat-
ing for temperature and meteorological effects
were to enable surveyors to obtain heights
rapidly by releasing them from a reliance on
laborious trigonometrical methods.43 Nevil
Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, and Samuel

[ xxviii ]
Horsley, a clergyman astronomer, both pub-
lished papers which made De Luc's findings and
techniques available in the English language
during 1774.44 In view of De Brahm's ability
with languages, it is probable that he was able
to work directly from De Luc's publication
without awaiting these English translations.
On April 28, 1774, before either translation
had appeared, De Brahm wrote Dartmouth,
mentioning that he had already forwarded his
"Physical System of the Variation in the Mer-
cury in the Barometer." He requested that
Dartmouth present his "twenty-two para-
graphs" to the Royal Society so "that their
opinion may accelerate the establishing of those
laws now preparing under the hand of Mr.
Horsley in Crosby Row Newington."45
De Brahm carried forward his work with
the barometer during the summer of 1774,
sending Dartmouth on August 4 a copy of his
"Atmospherical Tables" which had just been
printed.46 Concerning their publication, De
Brahm observed that "considering the precari-
ousness which I have too often experienced by
setting out on extensive surveys with a single
set of mathematical apparatus, I concluded it
equally as dangerous to depend on a manu-
script of Tables, which I have calculated with
unwearied and uninterrupted application, I
have therefore thought it prudent to have of
so tedious elaborations [a] few copys made
in print of my Atmospherical Tables." These
"Atmospherical Tables" formed De Brahm's
second publication, produced in London by T.
Spilsbury, the printer of The Atlantic Pilot.47

[ xxix ]
An inscribed copy of The Levelling Balance and
Counter-Balance, as this rare book is titled,
was presented to the Royal Society by De
Brahm and is now found in its library.48
In the same letter to Dartmouth, De Brahm
mentioned still another project that was in
preparation for the printer, "Calculations for
the Northern and Southern 25 climates con-
sisting of 804 meridians and as many parallels
each laid down with all its degrees, minutes
and seconds in 68 Tables." These tables ap-
peared from T. Spilsbury's busy press in 1774,
under the title of De Brahm's Zonical Tables,
For the Twenty-five Northern and Southern
Climates. Like The Levelling Balance and Coun-
ter-Balance, this work was probably printed in
limited numbers and is now rare.
At least these three works were published
by De Brahm during this productive period of
three years during which he prepared his de-
fense against Governor Grant's charges. During
this time he was also completing several large-
scale maps of Florida and his "Report of the
General Survey in the Southern District of
North America." Not content with such pro-
ductivity, De Brahm chafed at the administra-
tive delays which kept him from returning to
continue his exploration and surveys of Florida.
As mentioned, Lord Dartmouth had become
his active patron and champion during this
period. Not surprisingly, De Brahm, early in
1774, presented an official memorial to the
Board of Trade; it included a request for a
survey vessel, as well as an allowance for the
purchase of surveying equipment, to allow him

[ xxxi ]
hoped that this facsimile reproduction of his
book The Atlantic Pilot may be followed by
the publication of this heretofore little-known
manuscript. The appearance of these two efforts
in print would add greatly to a general ap-
preciation of De Brahm as well as a better
understanding of the history of scientific ocean-
ography in America. De Brahm will then
doubtlessly be ranked with Benjamin Franklin
as a pioneer in this area of scientific endeavor.
After an eventful voyage punctuated by a
hurricane, land was sighted to the north of
Charleston early on the morning of September
7, 1775. Shortly before reaching the city, the
ailing Mrs. De Brahm died while still on board
the Cherokee. De Brahm, himself sick with
"a violent fever," did not disembark until Sep-
tember 9 to see his wife buried. He found
Charleston seething in insurrection. The Chero-
kee was commandeered for more urgent mili-
tary duties and the beached De Brahm was
treated as a prisoner-at-large by the revolution-
aries who assumed control of the city. Even
then, De Brahm continued to identify himself
as the surveyor general of the Southern Dis-
trict and fashioned his residence in Charleston
rather grandly as the "Royal Observatory."
On February 18, 1776, he married "Mrs. Mary
Fenwick, widow of the late Hon. Edwarde
Fenwicke Esq. deceased."5' The third Mrs. De
Brahm was to survive her husband when he
died in 1799.
De Brahm remained in Charleston until June
27, 1777, when he was allowed to sail for France
aboard the American ship Hancock and Adams,

[ xxxii ]
having become persona non grata in the eyes
of the South Carolinians for steadfastly re-
fusing to abjure his allegiance to the king.
Ever the surveyor general, he reported that "I
concluded to make on this tract a third survey
of the Atlantic in order to increase the number
of observations for better establishing the sys-
tem of Current, Counter Currents, variations
of the Compass, their bearings and how far
parallel with the line of Variation, which on a
distance of 900 miles bearing N. 540 17' 20" W.
I have passed and repassed six times."52
Following his arrival in England, from 1778
until 1784, De Brahm was, in his own words,
"for the most part an invalid." Added to his
sufferings from poor health was the termina-
tion in 1779 of his position as Surveyor General.
His provincial post as surveyor of lands for
East Florida also disappeared when Britain
retroceded the colony to Spain in 1783. After
many futile attempts to receive a pension from
a bureaucracy now cold toward him, De Brahm
and his wife returned to Charleston. The next
several years were devoted to attempts to re-
gain his and his wife's broken estates which
had suffered badly through the vicissitudes
brought about by the American Revolution.
Eventually the aging couple found their way
to Philadelphia, where De Brahm, by this time
a practicing Quaker, spent his final years im-
mersed in religiosity. During this period, from
1791 until 1799, he published several books de-
voted to mystical themes well-larded with
biblical references.
The first of these was published by the Phila-

[ xxxiii ]
delphia printer Zachariah Poulson, Jr., in 1791.
It was entitled Time An Apparition of Eter-
nity. Poulson also printed De Brahm's Voice
of the Everlasting Gospel in 1792. The press of
Salomon Mayer of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, pro-
duced his Zeite Rechenschaft in 1794, and, in
1795, Francis and Robert Bailey of Philadel-
phia published Apocalyptic Gnomon Points Out
Eternity's Divisibility Rated With Time Point-
ed At by Gnomon Siderealis. This last volume
was referred to by an anonymous biblio-
biographer as a "very curious and madly mys-
tical book."53 De Brahm's book Sum of Testi-
monies of Truth appeared from an unidentified
press in this same year. Upon reading it, a
Quaker contemporary of De Brahm wrote that
he was "An honest minded man, and of course
a good hearted man . and a sensible man; yet
there are few in my opinion beside himself,
who can make out or comprehend these testi-
monies; some would say that they believed he
did not understand them himself."54
It seems clear that sometime after his return
to England in late 1777, De Brahm ceased his
scientific pursuits and became increasingly de-
voted to metaphysics. Certainly all of his activi-
ties in Philadelphia and its environs bore this
stamp, as witnessed by the publications men-
tioned. He spent the last three years of his
long life at the estate known as "Clearfield"
which he purchased from Henry Drinker, a
well-known Quaker. This property was located
in Bristol Township on the Old York Road out
of Philadelphia. According to the account of
one local historian, De Brahm lived there in a

[ xxxiv ]
genteel and colorful manner. Writing in 1890,
Anne D. Mears reported that "from what I
have heard my grandparents say of D' Brahmes,
they were social and kind persons, given to
much hospitality, like all Frenchmen with edu-
cation and refinement."55 The Charleston-bred
Mrs. De Brahm was described as "a most
agreeable and refined woman," by the same
authority. While it is difficult to authenticate
Mrs. Mears' hearsay accounts of De Brahm's
terminal years, it does appear that metaphysi-
cal and religious preoccupations had succeeded
in leading him to a greater degree of content-
ment than his scientific endeavors ever had. In
his will, De Brahm described himself in 1796
as being "late of the City of Philadelphia but
now of Bristol Township in the County of
Philadelphia in the Commonwealth of Pennsyl-
vania being in a weak state of bodily health,
but of sound mind, Memory and Understand-
ing."56 He died sometime during the early sum-
mer of 1799, since the will was affirmed and
recorded on July 3 of that year.


De Brahm dedicated his book, The Atlantic
Pilot, to Wills Hill, the Earl of Hillsborough,
who served as the President of the Board of
Trade and Secretary of State for the Colonies
until 1772 when he was replaced by the Earl
of Dartmouth. In his role as surveyor general
for the Southern District, De Brahm frequently
reported directly to the influential Hillsborough,

[ xxxV ]
so it is not surprising to find his first book dedi-
cated in this manner. In a letter to Hills-
borough, dated St. Augustine, April 29, 1770,
De Brahm requested permission to publish
some of his Florida maps and surveys so that
"the Navigators (who are much wishing to
have copys) may furnish themselves."57 He
went on to indicate that he planned to use
whatever profits he might realize from the ven-
ture "towards paying off the expenses" of the
general survey, which seemed consistently to
exceed the 700 which Parliament annually
allowed for it.
Both the text and maps comprising The
Atlantic Pilot were taken from De Brahm's
much larger and more comprehensive manu-
script "Report" which he personally delivered
to the king in 1772. Chapter 7 of the East
Florida section of the "Report" is headed "Nec-
essary Directions for Navigation in the Florida
Stream, from the Gulf of Mexico, upon the
Eastern Coast of East Florida, Georgia and
South Carolina, etc. or the Atlantic Pilot."58 In
addition to the text and maps comprising The
Atlantic Pilot as printed, the "Report" includes
a few additional pages and a fascinating sketch
of a "Pharus," a huge lighthouse. De Brahm
urged that two Pharuses be built on "the low
Promontory of East Florida, which shews no
land-mark in the highest places at a greater
Offing than four leagues, at which distance
Vessels in Danger are generally passed all
Remedies." Since the description of these pro-
jected Pharuses might well have become a part
of an enlarged Atlantic Pilot, had De Brahm

[ xxxvi ]
ever published a second edition, it seems ap-
propriate to include it here. De Brahm pro-

. .. each Pharus to be provided with a sloop and
Barge; on each of these Pharus's Fire be enter-
tained day and night, so that its smoak may be
an Object for the Day, and its Light, with a
Sky Rocket lighted every half hour, for the
Night; the Construction of these Pharus's
should be an octagonal Case-matte of two
Stories, 74 feet diameter, its Walls to be 10
feet at the Bottom, 4 feet thick at the Top, and
36 feet high with Rooms suitable for a hot cli-
mate to accommodate for its Defence 100 and
upon Occasion 450 Men, 24 pieces of Cannon,
Provision and Ammunition in proportion with
great Convenience; on and in this Casematte is
raised an Obelisk of Carpenter's Work 214 feet
high, its Center contains the Stairs of 500 Steps
which leads to the Top on which is to be railed
in a platform with a large Iron or Brick Stove,
contrived in a manner so as to conceal Fuel
against Wind and Weather, send up its Smoak
and Flame without Obstruction and Danger to
the Obelisk to give Signals for Navigators.

In concluding this graphic description, De
Brahm went on to observe:

Construction of such kind would not only pro-
cure infallible Means for judging of Currents,
for accounting of Longitude, keeping a proper
Offing and getting proper Pilots through this
Passage but would also be an effectual As-
sistance and Relief from the Sloops and Barges
of either or both Pharuses, besides saving half

[ xxviii ]
to the reader of this facsimile edition as they
were to the reading public of two centuries
ago. The July 1772 edition of the London jour-
nal The Critical Review included one.62 The
anonymous author of this favorable review
drew attention to The Atlantic Pilot which he
termed a "small but elegant performance." He
went on to commend De Brahm's abilities as
both a surveyor and able navigator, which he
demonstrated for his readers by quoting ver-
batim the two paragraphs which together com-
prise practically the whole of page 15 of The
Atlantic Pilot.
An even more favorable review appeared in
The Monthly Review or Literary Journal during
the first half of 1772. The author of this item
identified himself only as "R. S."63 These are
the initials of one of the central figures of
London's map and chart trade of that day,
Robert Sayer. Further evidence would be re-
quired to link Sayer conclusively with this
review of The Atlantic Pilot. It is, however, an
excellent review, and as such it is quoted here
in full:

The Atlantic Pilot.

This little treatise, with three charts which
accompany it, is very properly entitled the
Atlantic Pilot, and cannot fail to be of use to
those who traverse the Western Ocean; that
part of it especially which lies towards the
'New Bahama Channel, and the mouth of the
Gulph of Mexico, opposite the island of Cuba,
on the Martiere rocky reefs and sand banks,'
where the navigation is particularly dangerous.

[ xxxix ]
The Author (Mr. Gerard de Brahm, his Maj-
esty's Surveyor-general of the southern district
of North America) received orders, in 1764 for
making discoveries with regard to those seas,
and for carrying on a regular survey of the
countries to which they set bounds; and he
seems to have executed his commission with
great fidelity, accuracy, and diligence.
The Atlantic Pilot is particularly calculated 'for
the safer conduct of ships in their navigation
of the Gulph of Mexico along Cuba and the
Martieres, through the New Bahama Channel
to the northern part of his majesty's dominions
upon the continent of North America, and from
thence to Europe.' It contains several surveys
and observations not altogether uninteresting
to the natural historian, but peculiarly impor-
tant to the seaman, with respect to those coasts
and tracts of country, which were the immedi-
ate objects of the Author's commission.
One of these charts is of the ancient Tegesta,
now called the promontory of East Florida.
There is another chart of the South-end of East
Florida and Martiers. The third is an hydro-
graphic map of the Atlantic Ocean, extending
from the southernmost part of North America
to Europe; shewing the different variations of
the compass setting an changes of the currents
in the Ocean, &c. The Author has annexed to
this small treatise a table of loxodromy and
observations from which the last of these maps
is laid down; together with another table,
shewing the several variations of the compass
from 810W. long. from London, and 26050'N.
Lat. to 12030' long. and 49045' Lat.
R. S.

[ xl ]

Page 1: The "Cape Florida" referred to by De
Brahm coincides with the southern tip of pres-
ent-day Miami Beach. In an earlier map and
survey description he placed Cape Florida at
the southeastern extremity of Key Biscayne
where present-day maps and charts show it."/
Bernard Romans fiercely criticized De Brahm
for placing Cape Florida on Miami Beach. Ro-
mans states that "South of Boca Ratones about
5 miles, is the south point of an island which
has sillily been called Cape Florida, but since
has acquired the name of Fools Cape. ."6
Romans himself placed Cape Florida at latitude
250 11' N. on what he termed Sound Point. This
placement can be seen on the well-known large
engraved map of Florida which accompanied
his book A Concise Natural History of East
and West Florida.66 Romans' Sound Point would
probably coincide with present-day Upper
Sound Point on Rattlesnake Key just off the
eastern shore of Key Largo.67
It would appear that De Brahm originally
conceived of Key Biscayne as forming a de-
tached portion of the mainland. Here, in The
Atlantic Pilot, he indicates that he changed his
opinion on this matter and now includes Key
Biscayne, or as he terms it "Biskaino," with
the chain of islands known as the Florida Keys.
This change indicates that he developed his
innovative "Ancient Tegesta" hypothesis some-
time between 1765, when he conducted his first

[ xli ]
surveys in the area, and 1772, when he pub-
lished The Atlantic Pilot.
Pages 2-3: De Brahm's map entitled "The
Ancient Tegesta, now Promontory of East
Florida," illustrating his hypothesis concerning
the formation of the Florida Keys and reefs,
should be ranked among the important carto-
graphic innovations of the late eighteenth cen-
tury. His dual employment of this cartographic
depiction of the Ancient Tegesta hypothesis,
both to explain the evolution of the Florida Keys
and reefs and to delineate more clearly the im-
portant navigation channel found between
them, is also noteworthy. His "Hawke Channel"
is still clearly shown as Hawk Channel on the
United States Coast and Geodetic Survey
Charts of the Florida Keys.68
De Brahm was not the first cartographer to
use the name "Tegesta" or, as it is variously
spelled, "Tequesta" for the southern portion
of the peninsula of Florida. The nineteenth-
century historical geographer Johann Georg
Kohl provided the following observation on the
Other names for the whole Peninsula still
grew out as it were from its root, or from its
southern point. At the time of the Spanish
Governor Don Pedro Menedez, in the year 1566
the Spaniards discovered near the Cape of
Florida an Indian village, called "Tequesta" or,
"Teguesta", also written Tegesta. This often
spoken of village, the mapmakers put down on
their maps, and changed it to a "Provincia de
Tegesta." Some authors applied this name to
the whole peninsula of Florida.6

[ xliii ]
ing, this was a surprisingly accurate fix. Ber-
nard Romans places the same point, called by
him Fools Cape, at approximately 250 43' N.
790 36' W. on his already mentioned large
In speaking of the "sun's and magnetical
amplitudes" De Brahm explains how he deter-
mined the magnetic declination shown on his
"Chart of the South End of East Florida and
Martiers." The position of true north was ob-
tained by observing the sun's passage of his
local meridian. This sort of observation was
best made on shore and away from the heaving
deck of a small ship. In his official correspond-
ence and reports he frequently mentioned going
ashore to perform this task with greater accu-
racy. Once he had fixed the direction of true
north, he observed the angular difference from
what his compass indicated as north. This
angular difference or the magnetic declination
in the Cape Florida (Miami Beach) area is
shown as 6 30' east on his chart included here.
In other words, his compass needle pointed
six and one half degrees to the east of true
north in this area during the period of his
surveys. At the present time this condition has
altered considerably. Recent nautical charts
indicate that the declination in the area of
Miami Beach was 10 west in 1972.3
Pages 4-5: What De Brahm identifies as
Grant's Lake has come to be known as Florida
Bay.7 In his choice of a name for this broad
area of shallow waters De Brahm was honor-
ing East Florida's first royal governor, James
Grant. He frequently applied the names of

[ xliv ]
British political figures to major geographic
features and areas as he surveyed and mapped
the colony. This predilection was criticized by
Bernard Romans who derisively referred to De
Brahm as an "elegant Lexiphanes."75
Romans stressed, as De Brahm does, the fact
that Key Largo was joined to the mainland.
He stated that until 1769, Key Largo was
"always taken for an island."76 It may well
have been an island during earlier periods of
Florida's history. Today the isthmuses which
connect it to the adjacent mainland are man-
grove covered and broken in places by tidal
De Brahm presents a fascinating catalog of
names for the Florida Keys, including many
which are no longer found on maps. Writing
almost a century after De Brahm, Kohl made
the following observation on southern Florida

The greater part of the names of the Florida
Keys, reefs, shoals, canals, harbours and inlets
are local. They have not been given at great
occasions by famous navigators and hydrog-
raphers. . The French and English buca-
neers, who used them as hiding places for their
expeditions against the Mexican fleets, the
turtlers and wreckers from Providence who
were constantly navigating those dangerous
seas, the Spanish fisherman from Havana and
Cuba, who came often over to the northern
side of the Florida Gulf imparted those names
at different occasions, of which we have no
record at all."

[ xlv ]

Since several of the thirty-nine names which
De Brahm lists here for the Florida Keys have
undergone considerable change through the two
centuries since he published The Atlantic Pilot,
it would be valuable to match his names with
those of today.


De Brahm

Los Paradizos
Matacombe la Mosa
Matance (Massacre)
Matacombe la Viega

U.S.C. & G.S.

Key Biscayne
Soldier Key
Soldier Key
Ragged Keys
Ragged Keys
Ragged Keys
Ragged Keys
Sands Key
Elliot Key
Old Rhodes Key
Rodriguez Key
Tavernier Key
Plantation Key
Windley Key
Upper Matecumbe Key
Teatable Key
Indian Key
Shell Key
Lignumvitae Key
Peterson Keys
Buchanan Keys
Sandy Key
Lower Matecumbe Key
Long Key
Duck Key
Grassy Key
Vaca Key
Big Pine Key
Bahia Honda Key
West Summerland Key
S. Big Pine Key
Ramrod Key
Cudjoe Key

[ xlvii ]
be added that Henry Stommel and Margaret
Deacon, present-day chroniclers of the histori-
cal development of oceanography, also fail to
acknowledge De Brahm's original contribution
to this branch of science.82 There can be no
doubt that De Brahm's first-hand observations
of the Gulf Stream and empirically based
theories concerning its origin and role in the
general Atlantic circulatory system deserve
more recognition than they have had in the
His description of the stream should be read
with his "Hydrographical Map of the Atlantic
Ocean" at hand. Unfortunately, this engraved
map, which is included in The Atlantic Pilot,
covers somewhat less area than De Brahm's
original manuscript version. The manuscript
original is included in his "Report of the Gen-
eral Survey in the Southern District of North
America" which was presented to George III
in 1773.83 In this manuscript map, De Brahm
shows the Florida or Gulf Stream entering the
Gulf of Mexico south of Cuba. In the printed
version of the map included here, this portion
of the stream has been omitted, perhaps by the
engraver P. Andrews.
Pages 8-9: De Brahm's remarks concerning
the effects of winds on the course of the Gulf or
Florida Stream in the vicinity of the peninsula
are of considerable current interest. This is be-
cause a portion of the modern state of Florida's
legal boundary is fixed by the edge of the
stream off the east coast. In the litigation
"United States of America, Plaintiff, v. State
of Florida, Defendant, No. 52, Original" now

[ 15 1
250 40', which is neareft Cape Florida, and
to the north of all reefs, they need no
offing, provided they fee no land to the
Many veffels, bound through the New
Bahama channel, were loft in fair wea-
ther: unacquainted with the iream'
eddy, and of foundings being under
blue water, they were fwept infenfibly by
the eddy to the westward; and when
they found by their calculations that they
had a good offing eaft of Cape Flo-
rida, food north, and in lieu of enter-
ing the New Bahama channel, run ftrit
upon a reef.
As the meridian observations fouth of
latitude 25 4o0 are no direfion,
and the morning or evening observations
ufelefs, as loig as the variations of the
compafs on the different places of the
promontory have not been heretofore
known; I have therefore, with the
greatest care, taken the variations on
Cape Florida, the Matance, and Huefo,
by morning amplitudes, which on this
promontory are the furet ; for the
evening observations, as I have experi-
enced on places where I could have
both in one day and on one fxot, do
not fo nearly agree with a meridional
operation, (I make ufe of at times which,
though very tedious, is however infallible.

[ 24 ]
channel. The fouth-wefternmoft point of
Huefo is remarkable by the rocks thereon,
mostly above water: veffels from the
fouthward in the stream ftand in through
Holbure inlet; as alfo veffels coming
down Hawke channel, after clearing the
faid rocky point in Huefo, ftand in due
north half a mile to the weft of Huefo,
and run up until they bring the faid
rocky point to bear S.S.E. a-ftern,
then lay N.N.W. and purfue that course
until the floals both of Huefo and Tor-
tugas are cleared; from which time they
will foon increase their water, as they
advance in Richmond bay: veffels again
coming from the northward of the gulf
may fee the faid rocky point, when within
:16-1 feet foundings before the Tortuga
and Huefo banks draw up both fides of the
channel,whence they bring the rocky point
in a S.S.E. direction a-head, and follow
that courfe consultingg eye and lead) un-
til they fhut up the two points of the
firft fmall bay on the north fide of Huefo
then come to a fafe anchor, or ftand
due fouth out through Holburne outlet
into the ftream, with which they will
meet after four knots run, provided
they chufe the outside of the fhoals
and reefs of the Martiers ; but in care
they chufe the inside of the fhoals and
reefs through Hawke channel, then

[ 25 1
clear the rocky point with a fouth course
of a full half-mile's run, and draw up
E.b.S. along the fouth chores of the
iflands Huefo, Fitzherbert, &c. farther
keeping an offing, from the flands in ge-
neral, of a league parallel to the range
of them all, consultingg eye and lead)
will meet with the beft water to anchor
every evening, and to proceed as far
as Bifkaino ifland, where without diffi-
culty, if the wind is wefterly or fouth-
erly, they may run into the Florida
ftream, which is there in fight. Before
I conclude, I think it neceffary to ob-
ferve, that flood and ebb keep equal
tides upon the Atlantic coaft as far fouth
as Ofwald, Laurence, Paradizos, Sol-
diers, Knox, and Pollock iflands, where
it floods even hours and ebbs even,
after which it floods five hours and ebbs
five: at the Matance ifland, or Spencer
inlet, it never keeps any regularity; and
fo on as far as Huefo.


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