The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Guide-Book of Florida and the South for
Tourists, Invalids and Emigrants, by Daniel G. Brinton

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Title: A Guide-Book of Florida and the South for Tourists, Invalids and Emigrants

Author: Daniel G. Brinton

Release Date: September 23, 2016 [EBook #53130]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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G U I D E - B O O K




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States, in
and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.


Inquirer Printing House and Book Bindery, Lancaster, Penn’a.



This unpretending little book is designed to give the visitor to Florida such information as will make his trip more useful and more pleasant. In writing it I have had in mind the excellent European Guide-Books of Karl Bædeker, the best, to my mind, ever published. Though I have not followed his plan very closely, I have done so to the extent the character of our country seems to allow.

I have borrowed from him the use of the asterisk (*) to denote that the object so designated is especially noteworthy, or that the hotel thus distinguished is known to me to be well-kept, either from my own observation or that of friends.

Most of the localities are described from my own notes taken during an extended tour through the peninsula, but for much respecting railroad fare, accommodations, and charges, I am indebted to a large number of tourists and correspondents who have related to me their experience. To all these I express my warmest thanks for their assistance.

As of course such matters are constantly changing, and as I shall be most desirous to correct any errors, and bring the work fully up to the times in future editions, I shall esteem it a particular favor if those who use this book will forward me any notes or observation which will aid me in improving it. Such communications may be addressed “care of the Penn Publishing Co., 710 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Penna.”

The map of the St. John River is based on that drawn by my friend, Mr. H. Lindenkohl, U. S. Coast Survey.

Philadelphia, August, 1869.{6}


Preliminary Hints.
The Season for Southern Travel.
Preparations for The Journey.10
1. Steamship Lines.13
2. Washington to Richmond.14
3. Richmond to Charleston.18
4. Aiken, S. C., and The Southern Highlands.22
5. Charleston to Savannah.26
6. Savannah to Jacksonville.29
1. Historical.32
2. Books and Maps.35
3. Physical Geography Of Florida. 1. Geographical Formation.
2. Soil and Crops. 3. Climate and Health.
4. Vegetable and Animal Life
4. The St. John River, St. Augustine, and Indian River.52
5. Jacksonville to Tallahassee, Quincy and St. Marks.81
6. The Oklawaha River and The Silver Spring.88
7. Fernandina to Cedar Keys.93
8. Key West—the Florida Keys and The Gulf Coast.97
9. The Western Coast. (Tampa, Apalachicola, Pensacola, Mobile)106
I. When Is A Change Of Climate Advisable?115
II. hat Climate Shall Be Chosen?120
III where Is The Best Southern Winter Climate?128
IV. Some Hints to Health Seekers.130



G U I D E - B O O K



The season for Southern travel commences in October and ends in May. After the latter month the periodical rains commence in Florida, and the mid-day heat is relaxing and oppressive. About mid-summer the swamp miasm begins to pervade the low grounds, and spreads around them an invisible poisonous exhalation, into which the traveler ventures at his peril. This increases in violence until September, when it loses its power with the returning cold. When one or two sharp frosts have been felt in New York or Philadelphia, the danger is chiefly past. Nevertheless, for mere considerations of health, November is soon enough to reach the Gulf States. Those who start earlier will do well to linger in some of the many attractive spots on their way through the more Northern States. A congestive chill is a serious matter, and even the lightest attack of fever and ague can destroy the pleasure and annul the benefit of a winter’s tour.{10}


The comfort of a journey is vastly enhanced by a few simple precautions before starting. And if I seem too minute here, it is because I am writing for many to whom the little miseries of traveling are real afflictions.

Before you leave home have your teeth thoroughly set in order by a skilful dentist. If there has been a philosopher who could tranquilly bear a jumping toothache, his name is not on record.

A necessaire containing soap, brushes, and all the etceteras of the toilet is indispensable. It is prudent in many parts of the South to carry your own towels.

Spectacles of plain glass, violet, light green, or light grey, are often a comfort in the sun and in the cars, and if the eyes are weak should not be omitted.

A strong, silk musquito net, with fine meshes, will be highly prized in the autumn nights. A teaspoonful of carbolic acid or camphor, sprinkled in the room, or an ointment of cold cream scented with turpentine, will be found very disagreeable to these insects, and often equally so to the traveler.

One or two air cushions take up but little room, and should be provided for every invalid.

Shoes are preferable for ordinary journeys. In their make, let reason and not fashion rule. They should be double soled, have low and broad heels, lace firmly around the ankle, and fit loosely over the toes. Rubber boots or overshoes should be abolished, especially from the invalid’s outfit. Rubber overcoats are equally objectionable. They are all unwholesome contrivances. A pair of easy slippers must always be remembered.{11}

For ladies a hood, for gentlemen a felt hat, are the proper head-dresses on the route.

In all parts of the South woolen clothing is required in winter, and flannel under-clothing should be worn by every one who goes there in pursuit of health. Next to flannel, cotton is to be recommended. It is more a non-conductor of heat than linen, and thus better protects the body from changes of temperature.

Every person in feeble health—and those who are robust will not find the suggestion amiss—should have with them a few cases of devilled ham, sardines, potted meats, German sausage, or other savory and portable preparations, which, with the assistance of a few crackers or a piece of bread, will make a good lunch. A flask of wine or something similar, helps out such an impromptu meal. Frequently it is much better than to gulp down a badly cooked dinner in the time allowed by the trains.

A strong umbrella, and a stout pocket knife, are indispensable. Guns, ammunition, rods, and fishing tackle should always be provided before starting. They should be well protected from dampness, especially the guns and powder. Florida is the paradise of the sportsman, and those who are able should not omit to have a “camp hunt” while there. Tents, camp equipage, and the greater part of the supplies should be purchased in the North, as they are dearer and not often the best in the Southern cities.

On arriving at a hotel, first see that your baggage is safe; then that your room is well aired, and the sheets on the bed dry.

It is always well in traveling to have baggage enough{12}—always a bother to have too much. A good sized leather traveling-bag will do for the single man; but where a lady is attached, a medium sized leather trunk, which can be expressed or “checked through,” and a light traveling-bag, to be taken into the cars and staterooms, and carried in the hand, are the requisites.

Money can be transmitted so readily by certified check or draft, that a tourist need not carry much with him. He should, however, have a reserve fund about him, so as to be prepared for one of those disagreeable emergencies which nearly every veteran traveler has at some time experienced.

Every one who visits a strange land should strive to interest himself in its condition, resources, history and peculiarities. The invalid, beyond all others, should cultivate an interest in his surroundings. Nothing so well sustains a failing body as an active mind. For that purpose, local histories, maps, etc., should always be purchased. I have indicated, under the different cities, what works there are of this kind in the market, and, in the introductory remarks on Florida, have mentioned several of a more general character, which should be purchased and read before going there. (For further hints see the last chapter of this work.){13}




In visiting the South Atlantic States the tourist from the North has a choice of a number of routes.

Steamers leave New York for Charleston, Savannah, Fernandina, and Key West, advertisements of which, giving days of sailing can be seen in the principal daily papers. Philadelphia has regular steamship lines to Charleston, Savannah, and Key West. From Charleston and Savannah boats run every other day to Fernandina, Jacksonville, and Palatka on the St. John river. The whole or a portion of a journey to Florida can be accomplished by water, and the steamships are decidedly preferable to the cars for those who do not suffer much from sea sickness.

The most direct route by railroad is the “Atlantic Coast Line,” by way of Washington, Acquia Creek, Richmond, Petersburg, Weldon, Wilmington, and Charleston. From Philadelphia to Wilmington the time is 28 hours, fare $21.90; to Charleston 40 hours, fare $24.00; to Savannah, fare $33.00; to Jacksonville, fare $38.65. Through tickets and full information can be obtained in New York at 193 Broadway; Philadelphia 828 Chestnut Street.{14}

It is proposed to establish a direct line of steamers from New York to Jacksonville. It is to be hoped that this will be done promptly, as it will greatly increase trade and travel.


Distance, 130 miles; time 7.30 hours.

Until the tourist leaves Washington, he is on the beaten track of travel, and needs no hints for his guidance; or, if he does, can find them in abundance. Turning his face southward, he may leave our capital either in the cars from the Baltimore depot to Alexandria and Acquia Creek, or, what is to be recommended as the more pleasant alternative, he may go by steamboat to this station, a distance of 55 miles. The banks of the Potomac present an attractive diversity of highland and meadow. A glimpse is caught of Mt. Vernon, and those who desire it can stop and visit those scenes once so dear to him whose memory is dear to us all. The reminiscences, however, which one acquires by a visit to Mount Vernon are rarely satisfactory.

From Acquia Creek landing the railroad passes through a country still betraying the sears and scars of conflict, though, happily, it is recovering in some measure from those sad experiences. Fredericksburg (15 miles; hotel, the Planter’s House, poor,) may have enough of interest to induce some one to “lay over” a train. It is an unattractive spot, except for its historical associations. These are so fresh in the memory of most that it is unnecessary to mention them.

Beyond Fredericksburg a number of stations are passed—none of any size. The distance to Richmond is 60 miles.{15}


Hotels.—Ballard House ($4.00 per day); Spottswood, Exchange (each $2 per day); Ford’s Hotel on Capitol Square ($2.50 per day); St. Charles ($2.00.)

Boarding Houses.—Arlington House, corner Main and 6th street; Valentine House, on Capitol Square; Richmond House, corner Governor and Ross streets; Mrs. Bidgood’s, 61 East Main street; Mrs. Brander, 107 E. Franklin street, (all about $12.00 per week).

Telegraph Offices in Spottswood and Exchange Hotels.

Reading Rooms at the Y.M.C.A. The Virginia State Library was pillaged in 1865, and the Virginia Historical Library burned.

Theatre.—The Richmond Theatre has a respectable stock company, and is visited by most of the stars of the stage.

Booksellers.—West & Johnson, 1006 Main St., (Brinton’s Guide-Book.)

Churches of all denominations.

Richmond derives it name from the ancient burgh of the same name on the Thames. The word is supposed to be a corruption of rotre mont, and applies very well to the modern namesake. Like Rome, it is seated upon seven hills, and if it has never commanded the world, it will be forever famous as the seat of the government of the whilom Confederacy. It is situated at the Great Falls of the James river, on the Richmond and Shoccoe hills, between which flows the Shoccoe creek.

In the early maps of the colony, the site of the present city is marked as “Byrd’s Warehouse,” an ancient trading{16} post, we can imagine, said to have stood where the Exchange hotel is now built. In 1742 the city was established, and has ever since been the chief center of Virginian life.

The capitol is a showy edifice, on Shoccoe hill. The plan was taken from the Maison Quarre, of Nismes, with some modifications, among others the Doric pillars. It stands in the midst of a square of eight acres. In this building the Confederate Congress held its sessions. It contains, among other objects, a well cut statue of Washington, dating from the last century, “fait par Houdin, citoyen Francais,” as we learn from the inscription, and a bust of Lafayette. Two relics of the old colonial times are exhibited—the one a carved chair which once belonged to the house of Burgesses, of Norfolk—the other a huge stove, of singular shape, bearing the colonial arms of Virginia in relief. This latter is the product of a certain Buzaglo. It is eight or ten feet high, and slopes from base to summit. A letter of the inventor is extant, addressed to Lord Botetourt, in which he speaks of it as “excelled anything ever seen of the kind, and a masterpiece not to be excelled in all Europe.”

In the square around the capitol is an* equestrian statue of Gen. George Washington, constructed by Crawford, and erected February 22, 1858. Its total height is sixty feet. Around its base are six pedestals, upon which are figures of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Marshall, Gov. Nelson, George Mason and Andrew Lewis, the latter an Indian fighter, once of celebrity in Western Virginia.

To the left of this is a small statue of Henry Clay,{17} erected by the ladies of Virginia, made by Hart, and inaugurated in 1860.

On the eastern side of the square is the residence of the Governor, and on another side the City Hall, a handsome edifice with Doric columns.

St. John’s Church, on Richmond Hill, is the oldest church edifice in the city. The tower and belfry are, however, a modern addition. From its church-yard, dotted with ancient tombs, one of the most charming views of the city can be obtained. In this church, in 1775, the young and brilliant orator, Patrick Henry, delivered his famous oration before the Virginia Convention, which concludes with the famous words, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”

The Tredegar Iron Works, Libby Prison, at the corner of Thirty-fifth and Main streets, Belle Isle, and Castle Thunder, will be visited by most tourists as objects of interest. *Hollywood cemetery, near the city is a quiet and beautiful spot, well deserving a visit.

In the fire of April 2, 1865, about one thousand buildings were destroyed, but the ravages of that disastrous epoch are now nearly concealed by new and handsome structures.

The Falls of the James are properly rapids, the bed of the river making a descent of only eighty feet in two miles. They furnish a valuable water-power.

*Hollywood Cemetery, one mile from the city, is a spot of great natural beauty. Here lie the remains of Presidents Monroe and Tyler, and other distinguished men, as well as of many thousand Confederate soldiers. A rough granite monument has recently been erected in memory of the latter.{18}

Butler’s Dutch Gap and Drewy’s Bluff, and the famous battle fields near the city, will be visited with interest by many.

Those who would visit the mineral springs of Virginia, will find ample information in Dr. Moorhead’s volume on them, or in that by Mr. Burke. Both can be obtained of West & Johnson, booksellers, Main street.

The Natural Bridge, one of the most remarkable curiosities in the State, is best approached by way of Lynchburg, from which place it is distant 35 miles, by canal.


From Richmond to Petersburg is 32 miles on the Richmond and Petersburg railway. The earthworks and fortifications around the latter town, memorials of our recent conflict, are well worth a visit from those who have not already seen too many such curiosities to care for more.

64 miles beyond Petersburg the train reaches Weldon, on the Roanoke river, a few miles within the boundary of North Carolina (Gouch’s Hotel.)

From Weldon to Goldsboro, the next stopping place of importance, is 78 miles, 7.30 hours. It is a place of about 5000 inhabitants, half white and half colored.

Hotels.—Griswold Hotel, Gregory’s Hotel, both $3 per day.

Boarding House by Mrs Tompkins, $2 per day.

The road here intersects the North Carolina, and Atlantic and North Carolina railways, the latter running to Morehead city and Beaufort, on the coast, (95 miles) and the former to Raleigh, the capitol of the State, (48{19} miles) and interior towns. From Goldsboro to Wilmington is 84 miles.

Hotels.—Purcell House, $4 per day; Fulton House, $3 per day.

Boarding Houses.—McRea House, Brock’s Exchange, about $2 per day, $40.00 per month.

Newspapers.Post, republican, Journal, democratic.

Steamboat Line to Fayetteville, N. C., (130 miles, fare $5.00); to Smithville, at the mouth of Cape Fear, (30 miles, fare $1.50.)

Wilmington (16,000 inhabitants) is on Cape Fear river, 25 miles from the sea. It is well built. The staples are turpentine and resinous products. The vicinity is flat and sandy. At this point the railroad changes from the New York guage, 5 feet, to the Charleston guage, 4 feet 8 inches.

The journey from Richmond to Charleston can also be made by way of Greensboro, Charlotte and Columbia. This route leads through the interior of the country, and, though longer, offers a more diversified scene to the eye.

To Greensboro, on the Richmond & Danville and Piedmont Railways, is 189 miles; thence on the North Carolina Railway to Charlotte, 93 miles; then on the Charlotte & S. Carolina railway to Columbia, S. C., 107 miles (Nickerson’s hotel, $3.00 per day, newly fitted up); thence by the Columbia Branch of the South Carolina Railway to Charleston, 130 miles.

Salisbury, N. C., 150 miles south of Greensboro, is the most convenient point to enter the celebrated mountain regions of North Carolina. A railway runs thence to Morgantown, in the midst of the sublime scenery of the{20} Black mountains, and in close proximity to the beautiful falls of the Catawba. Charlotte (hotel, the Mansion House), is in the center of the gold region of North Carolina, and the site of a United States Branch Mint. It is also the scene of the battle of Guilford Court House, during the revolutionary war.

The capitol, in Columbia, is considered a very handsome building.


Hotels.—*Charleston Hotel, Mills House (newly furnished), both on Meeting Street. Charges, $4.00 per day. *Pavilion Hotel. Mr. Butterfield, proprietor, $3.00 per day, also on Meeting Street. Planter’s Hotel, Church Street, Victoria House, King Street, both $2.50 per day.

Telegraph Office, on Broad near Church Street; branch office in Charleston Hotel.

Post Office, on Hazel Street, near Meeting.

Churches.—Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Huguenot, Methodist, &c.

Theatre, at the corner of King and Market Streets.

Bathing Houses.—One of salt water near the battery; two, with water of the artesian well, one at the well, the other in the Charleston Hotel.

Livery Stable, 21 Pinckney Street, connected with the Charleston Hotel.

Street Cars run on several of the streets; fare, 10 cts., 15 tickets for $1.00. All the hotels have omnibuses waiting at the depots.

Physician.—Dr. Geo. Caulier, 158 Meeting Street.

Newspapers.—The Daily Courier, the Daily News.

Depots.—The depot of the Northeastern R. R. from Wilmington to the north, is at the corner of Chapel{21} and Washington Sts.; that of the road to Savannah is at the foot of Mill street; and that of the S. C. R. R. to Aikin, Augusta, Atlanta, etc., is in Line street, between King and Meeting streets.

Bookseller.—John Russell, 288 King street. (Brinton’s Guide-Book.)

Libraries.—Charleston library, 30,000 vols.; Apprentices’ library, 12,000 vols.

Charleston claims 40,000 inhabitants, the whites and blacks being about equal in number. It is curious that since the war the mortality of the latter has been twice as great as of the whites.

The city is seven miles from the ocean at the junction of the Ashley and Cooper rivers, and has an excellent harbor, surrounded by works of defence. On the sea line is Fort Moultrie; Castle Pinkney stands at the entrance to the city; south of the latter is Fort Ripley, built of palmetto logs; while in the midst of the harbor stands the famous Fort Sumter.

The ravages caused by the terrible events of the late war have yet been only very partially repaired in Charleston. The greater part of the burnt district is deserted and waste.

The history of Charleston, previous to that event, is not of conspicuous interest. The city was first commenced by English settlers, in 1672, and for a long time had a struggling existence. Many of its early inhabitants were Huguenots, who fled thither to escape the persecutions which followed the revocation of the edict of Nantes. A church is still maintained in which their ancient worship is celebrated.{22}

Of public buildings, the ancient church of St. Michael’s, built about 1750, has some claim to architectural beauty.

The fashionable quarter of the city is the Battery. *Magnolia cemetery, on the Cooper river, is well worth a visit. It is one of the most beautiful in the South. It was laid out in 1850, and contains some handsome monuments.

The Custom House is a fine building, of white marble.

Those who wish to visit Fort Sumter, and review the scenes of 1861, can be accommodated by a small sailing vessel, which leaves the wharf every morning at 10.30 o’clock.

In the church-yard of St. Philip’s is the tomb of John C. Calhoun. A slab, bearing the single word “Calhoun,” marks the spot.

The museum of the Medical College is considered one of the finest in the United States.


Within the past ten years the advantages for invalids of a residence in the highlands of the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee have been repeatedly urged on the public. The climate in these localities is dry and mild, exceedingly well adapted, therefore, for such cases as find the severe cold of Minnesota irritating, and the moist warmth of Florida enervating. Aiken, S. C., Atlanta, Ga., Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, East Tennessee, and other localities offer good accommodations, and have almost equal advantages in{23} point of climate. Like other resorts, they do not agree with all invalids, but they are suitable for a large class.

One of the best known and most eligible is


From Aiken to Augusta, 16 miles, $1.00. From Augusta to Atlanta by the Georgia railway, 171 miles, $8.50; 11 hours.

Hotels.—The National, on Peach Tree Street, $4.00 per day; the United States and the American, opposite the depot, $3.00 per day.

Telegraph Office in Kimball’s Opera House. Post Office, corner of Alabama and Broad streets.

Bathing House on Alabama street, near U. S. Hotel.

Circulating Library at the Young Men’s Library Association on Broad street.

Atlanta has about 20,000 inhabitants. The water is pure, the air bracing, and the climate resembles that of Northern Italy. The Walton Springs are in the city, furnishing a strongly chalybeate water, much used, and with great success, as a tonic. The fall and spring months are peculiarly delightful, and the vicinity offers many pleasant excursions.

Communication by rail either to Chattanooga and East Tennessee, or south to Macon, etc., is convenient.{26}


The tourist has the choice of the railway via Coosawhatchie, or via Augusta, Georgia, or the steamers. The first mentioned road was destroyed during the war, and is not yet in running order.

Steamboats also leave Charleston every Thursday and Saturday, direct for Fernandina, Jacksonville and Palatka, and should be chosen by those who do not suffer from seasickness. They are roomy, and the table well supplied.


Hotels.—*Screven House, Pulaski House, both $4.00 a day. *Marshall House, $3.00 per day, $15.00 per week, an excellent table. *Pavilion Hotel, Mr. Noe. Proprietor; a quiet, pleasant house for invalids, $3.00 per day.

Boarding Houses.—Mrs. McAlpin, South Broad street; Mrs. Kollock, South Broad street; Mrs. Savage, Barnard Street; all $3.00 per day, $14.00 per week.

Post Office and Telegraph Office on Bay street, near the Pulaski House.

Street Cars start from the post office to various parts of the city. Fare, 10 cents; 14 tickets for $1.00. Omnibuses meet the various trains, and steamboats will deliver passengers anywhere in the city for 75 cents each.

Livery Stables are connected with all the hotels.

Restaurants.—The best is the Restaurant Francais, in Whitaker Street, between Bay and Bryan Streets.

Newspapers.—Daily Savannah News, Daily Morning News.{27}

Bookstores.—J. Schreiner & Co., near the Pulaski House. (Brinton’s Guide-Book, Historical Record of Savannah.)

Depots.—The Central Railroad depot is in the southwestern part of the city, corner of Liberty and E. Broad Streets. The railroad from Charleston has its terminus here. The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad is in the south-eastern part of the city, corner of Liberty and E. Broad Streets.

Savannah is situated in Chatham county, Ga., on a bluff, about forty feet high, seven miles above the mouth of the river of the same name, on its right bank. Its present population is estimated at 40,000.

The city was founded by Gov. James Oglethorpe, in 1733. It played a conspicuous part during the Revolution. With characteristic loyalty to the cause of freedom the Council of Safety passed a resolution in 1776 to burn the town rather than have it fall into the hands of the British. Nevertheless, two years afterwards the royal troops obtained possession of it by a strategic movement. In the autumn of 1779 the American forces under General Lincoln, and the distinguished Polish patriot, Count Casimir Pulaski, with their French allies under Count d’Estaing, made a desperate but fruitless attempt to regain it by assault. Both the foreign noblemen were wounded in a night assault on the works. Count Pulaski mortally. The spot where he fell is where the Central Railroad depot now stands.

The chief objects of interest are the monuments. The *finest is to the memory of Pulaski. It is in Chipewa square, and is a handsome shaft of marble, surmounted{28} by a statue of Liberty, and supported on a base of granite. Its height is 55 feet; its date of erection 1853.

An older and plainer monument, some fifty feet high, without inscription, stands in Johnson square. It was erected in 1829, and is known as the Greene and Pulaski monument.

The city is beautifully laid out, diversified with numerous small squares, with wide and shady streets. Broad Street and Bay Street have each four rows of those popular southern shade trees known as the Pride of India, or China trees (Melia Azedarach).

A praiseworthy energy has supplied the city with excellent water from public water works; and, in Forsyth Park, at the head of Bull Street, is a fountain of quite elaborate workmanship.

Some of the public buildings are well worth visiting. The Georgia Historical Society has an excellent edifice, on Bryan Street, with a library of 7,500 volumes, among which are said to be a number of valuable manuscripts.

The *Museum, on the northeast corner of Bull and Taylor streets, contains a number of local curiosities.

The Custom House is a handsome fire-proof structure of Quincy granite.

The Exchange building, now used as the Mayor’s office, etc., offers, from its top, the best view of the city.

Excursions.—Several days can be passed extremely pleasantly in short excursions from the city. One of the most interesting of these will be to

*Bonaventure Cemetery.—This is situated 3 miles from the city, on the Warsaw river. A stately grove of live oaks, draped in the sombre weeds by the Spanish moss,{29} cast an appropriate air of pensiveness around this resting place of past generations. A cab holding four persons to this locality costs $8.00.

Thunderbolt, a small town, (two hotels), 4½ miles south-east of the city, on a creek of the same name, is worth visiting, chiefly for the beautiful drive which leads to it. Cab fare for the trip, $8.00.

White Bluff, on the Vernon river, 10 miles from the city has two unpretending hotels, and is a favorite resort of the citizens on account of the excellent shell road which connects it with the city. Cab fare for the trip, $10.00.

Bethesda Orphan House, also 10 miles distant, is erected on the site chosen by the Rev. Mr. Whitfield, very early in the history of the colony. Selina, the pious Countess of Huntington, took a deep interest in its welfare as long as she lived, and it is pleasant to think that now it is established on a permanent footing.

Jasper Spring, 2 miles from the city, is pointed out as the spot where the bold Sergeant Jasper, with one assistant, during the revolutionary war, surprised and captured eight Britishers, and forced them to release a prisoner. The thoughtless guard had stacked arms and proceeded to the spring to drink, when the shrewd Sergeant who, anticipating this very move, was hidden in the bushes near by, rushed forward, seized the muskets, and brought the enemy to instant terms.


The tourist has the choice of three routes for this part of his journey. He can take a sea steamer, and passing out the Savannah river, see no more land until the low shores at the mouth of the St. John River come{30} in sight. Or he can choose one of several small steamboats which ply in the narrow channels between the sea-islands and the main, touching at Brunswick, Darien, St. Catharine, Fernandina, etc., (fare $10.00). Or lastly he has the option of the railroad, which will carry him through to Jacksonville in twelve hours and a half, in a first class sleeping car.

The channel along the coast lies through extensive salt marshes, intersected by numerous brackish creeks and lagoons. The boats are small, or they could not thread the mazes of this net-work of narrow water-courses. The sea-islands, famous all over the world for their long-staple cotton, have a sandy, thin soil, rising in hillocks and covered with a growth of live-oak, water-oak, bay, gum and pine. Between the islands and the main land the grassy marshes extend for several miles. In the distance the western horizon is hedged by a low wall of short-leaved pine. The sea islands are moderately healthy, but the main land is wet, flat and sterile, and its few inhabitants are exposed to the most malignant forms of malarial fever and pneumonia.

On St. Catharine island is the plantation formerly owned by Mr. Pierce Butler, and the scene of Mrs. Francis Kemble Butler’s well-known work, “Life on a Georgia Plantation.” On Cumberland island, the most southern of the sea-islands belonging to Georgia, is the Dungerness estate, 6000 acres in extent, once owned by Gen. Nat. Greene, of Revolutionary fame, and recently bought by Senator Sprague, of Rhode Island, for $10 per acre. With proper cultivation it would yield magnificent crops of sea-island cotton.{31}

Fernandina on Amelia Island, the terminus of the Fernandina and Cedar Keys Railroad, is a town of growing importance (pop. about 2,000; hotels, Virginia House, containing the telegraph office; the Whitfield House, both $3.00 per day; newspaper, the Island City Weekly.) This is one of the old Spanish settlements, and the traces of the indigo fields are still visible over a great part of the island. Fernandina-Oldtown is about a mile north of the present site.

The sub-tropical vegetation is quite marked on the island. Magnificent oleanders, large live oaks, and dense growths of myrtle and palmettos conceal the rather unpromising soil. The olive has been cultivated with success, and there is no reason why a large supply of the best table oil should not be produced here.

A low shell mound covers the beach at Fernandina, and in the interior of the island are several large Indian burial mounds. Several earthworks thrown up during the late war overlook the town and harbor. Fernandina harbor is one of the best in the South Atlantic Coast, landlocked and safe. Its depth is 6½ fathoms, and the water on the bar at low tide is 14 feet. The tide rises from 6 to 7 feet. In spite of what seems its more convenient situation, Fernandina does not seem destined to be a rival of Jacksonville.{32}




Long before Columbus saw

“the dashing,
Surges of San Salvador,”

a rumor was abroad among the natives of the Bahamas, of Cuba, and even of Yucatan and Honduras, that in a land to the north was a fountain of water, whose crystal waves restored health to the sick, and youth to the aged. Many of the credulous islanders, forsaking their homes, ventured in their frail canoes on the currents of the Gulf, and never returning, were supposed to be detained by the delights of that land of perennial youth.

This ancient fame still clings to the peninsula. The tide of wanderers in search of the healing and rejuvenating waters still sets thitherward, and, with better fate than of yore, many an one now returns to his own, restored to vigor and life. Intelligence now endorses what superstition long believed.

The country received its pretty and appropriate name, Terra florida, the Flowery Land, from Juan Ponce de Leon, who also has the credit of being its discoverer.{33} He first saw its shores on Easter Sunday, March 27, 1513—not 1512, as all the text books have it, as on that year Easter Sunday came on April 20th.

At that time it was inhabited by a number of wild tribes, included in two families, the Timucuas, who dwelt on the lower St. John, and the Chahta-Muskokis, who possessed the rest of the country. In later times, the latter were displaced by others of the same stock known as Seminoles (isti semoli, wild men, or strangers). A remnant of these still exist, several hundred in number, living on and around Lake Okee-chobee, in the same state of incorrigible savagery that they ever were, but now undisturbed and peaceful.

The remains of the primitive inhabitants are abundant over the Peninsula. Along the sea shores and water courses are numerous heaps of shells, bones and pottery, vestiges of once populous villages; small piles of earth and “old fields” in the interior still witness to their agricultural character; and large mounds from ten to twenty-five feet in height filled with human bones testify to the pious regard they felt toward their departed relatives, and the care with which, in accordance with the traditions of their race, they preserved the skeletons of the dead. As for those “highways” and “artificial lakes” which the botanist Bartram thought he saw on the St. John river, they have not been visible to less enthusiastic eyes. Mounds of stones, of large size and enigmatic origin, have also been found (Prof. Jeffries Wyman).

For half a century after its discovery, no European power attempted to found a colony in Florida. Then, in 1562, the celebrated French Huguenot, Admiral de{34} Coligny, sent over a number of his own faith and nation, who erected a fort near the mouth of the St. John. As they were upon Spanish territory, to which they had no right, and were peculiarly odious to the Spanish temper by their religion, they met an early and disastrous fate. They were attacked and routed in 1565 by a detatchment of Spaniards under the command of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a soldier of distinction. The circumstance was not characterized by any greater atrocity than was customary on both sides in the religious wars of the sixteenth century, but it has been a text for much bitter writing since, and was revenged a few years after by a similar massacre by a French Protestant, Dominique de Gourgues, and a party of Huguenots.

Pedro Menendez established at once (1565) the city of St. Augustine and showed himself a capable officer. Under the rule of his successors the Spanish sway gradually extended over the islands of the eastern coast, and the region of middle Florida. The towns of St. Marks and Pensacola were founded on the western coast, and several of the native tribes were converted to Christianity.

This prosperity was rudely interrupted in the first decade of the eighteenth century by the inroads of the Creek Indians, instigated and directed by the English settlers of South Carolina. The churches were burned, the converts killed or scattered, the plantations destroyed, and the priests driven to the seaport towns.

The colony languished under the rule of Spain until, in 1763, it was ceded to Great Britain. Some life was then instilled into it. Several colonies were planted on{35} the St. John river and the sea coast, and a small garrison stationed at St. Marks.

In 1770 it reverted once more to Spain, under whose rule it remained in an uneasy condition until 1821, when it was purchased by the United States for the sum of five million dollars. Gen. Andrew Jackson was the first Governor, and treated the old inhabitants in his usual summary manner. In 1824 the seat of government was fixed at Tallahassee, the site of an old Indian town.

At the time of the purchase there were about 4,000 Indians and refugee negroes scattered over the territory. These very soon manifested that jealousy of their rights, and resentment against the whites, which have ever since been their characteristics. From the time of the cession until the out-break of our civil struggle, the soil of Florida was the scene of one almost continual border war. The natives gave ground very slowly, and it was estimated that for every one of them killed or banished beyond the Mississippi by our armies, the general government expended ten thousand dollars.


The facts which I have here sketched in barest outline have been told at length by many able writers. The visitor to the scene of so many interesting incidents should provide himself with some or all of the following works, which will divert and instruct him in many a lagging hour:

Parkman, Pioneers of France in the New World. This contains an admirably written account of the Huguenot colony on the St. John.{36}

Fairbanks, The Spaniards in Florida. (Published by Columbus Drew, Jacksonville, Florida.) An excellent historical account of the Spanish colony.

Sprague, History of the Florida War. This is a correct and vivid narrative of the struggle with the Seminoles. The book is now rarely met with in the trade.

Gen. George A. McCall, Letters from the Frontiers. (Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1868.) These letters are mostly from Florida, and contain many interesting pictures of army life and natural scenery there.

R. M. Bache, The Young Wrecker of the Florida Reef. (Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, Philadelphia, 1869.) This is a “book for boys,” and is interesting for all ages. The author was engaged on the Coast Survey, and describes with great power and accuracy the animal and vegetable life of the Southern coast.

Life of Audubon. (Putnam & Son, 1869.) This contains a number of letters of the great ornithologist while in Florida.

A detailed description of the earlier works on the peninsula can be found in a small work I published some years ago, entitled “The Floridian Peninsula, Its Literary History, Indian Tribes, and Antiquities.” (For sale by the publishers of the present book.)

On the Antiquities of the Peninsula. Prof. Jeffries Wyman, of Harvard College, published, not long since, a very excellent article in the second volume of the American Naturalist.

Every tourist should provide himself with a good State map of Florida. The best extant is that prepared and published by Columbus Drew, of Jacksonville,{37} Florida, in covers, for sale by the publishers of this work. Two very complete partial maps have been issued by the U. S. government, the one from the bureau of the Secretary of War, in 1856, entitled, “A Military Map of the Peninsula of Florida South of Tampa Bay,” on a scale of 1 to 400,000, the other from the U. S. Coast Survey office in 1864, drawn by Mr. H. Lindenkohl, embracing East Florida north of the 29th degree, on a scale of 10 miles to the inch. The latter should be procured by any one who wishes to depart from the usual routes of tourists.


1. Geological Formation.

Florida is a peninsula extending abruptly from the mainland of the continent in a direction a little east of south. It is nearly 400 miles in length, and has an average width of 130 miles. Its formation is peculiar. Every other large peninsula in the world owes its existence to a central mountain chain, which affords a stubborn resistance to the waves. Florida has no such elevation, and mainly a loose, low, sandy soil. Let us study this puzzle.

The Apalachian (usually and incorrectly spelled Appalachian) plain, sloping from the mountains to the Gulf of Mexico, lies on a vast bed of tertiary, limestone and sand rock. About the thirtieth parallel of{38} north latitude this plain sinks to the sea level, except in middle Florida, where it still remains 200 feet and more in height. This elevation gradually decreases and reaches the water level below the 28th parallel, south of Tampa Bay. It forms a ridge or spine about sixty miles in width, composed of a porous limestone somewhat older than the miocene group of the tertiary rocks, a hard blueish limestone, and a friable sand rock.[A] Around this spine the rest of the peninsula has been formed by two distinct agencies.

[A] This “Back-Bone Ridge,” as it has been called, has a rounded and singularly symmetrical form when viewed in cross section. Where the Fernandina and Cedar Keys railroad crosses the peninsula, the highest point, near Gainesville, is 180 feet in elevation, whence there is a gradual slope, east and west.

Between the ridge and the Atlantic ocean is a tract of sandy soil, some forty miles in width, sloping very gently to the north. It is low and flat, and is drained by the St. John river. So little fall has this noble stream that 250 miles from its mouth it is only 12 miles distant from an inlet of the ocean, and only 3 feet 6 inches above tide level, as was demonstrated by the State survey made to construct a canal from Lake Harney to Indian River. A section of the soil usually discloses a thin top layer of vegetable mould, then from 3 to 6 feet of different colored sand, then a mixture of clay, shells, and sand for several feet further, when in many parts a curious conglomerate is reached, called coquina, formed of broken shells and small pebbles cemented together by carbonate of lime, no doubt of recent (post tertiary) formation. The coquina is never found south of Cape Canaveral, nor north of the mouth of the Matanzas river.


For the whole of this distance a glance at the map will show that the coast is lined by long, narrow inlets, separated from the ocean by still narrower strips of land. These inlets are the “lagoons.” The heavy rains wash into them quantities of sediment, and this, with the loose sand blown by the winds from the outer shore, gradually fills up the lagoon, and changes it into a morass, and at last into a low sandy swamp, through which a sluggish stream winds to its remote outlet. Probably the St. John river was at one time a long lagoon, and probably all the land between the ridge described and the eastern sea has been formed by this slow process.

The southern portion of the peninsula is also very low, rarely being more than six feet above sea level, but its slope, instead of being northward, is generally westward. Much of the surface is muddy rather than sandy, and is characterized by two remarkable forms of vegetable life, the Everglades and the Big Cypress.

The Everglades cover an area of about 4,000 square miles, and embrace more than one half of the State south of Lake Okee-chobee. They present to the eye a vast field of coarse saw-grass springing from a soil of quicksand and soft mud, from three to ten feet deep. During the whole year the water rests on this soil from one to four feet in depth, spreading out into lakes, or forming narrow channels. The substratum is a limestone, not tertiary, but modern and coralline. Here and there it rises above the mud, forming “keys” or islands of remarkable fertility, and on the east and south makes a continuous ridge along the ocean, one{40} to four miles wide, and from ten to fifteen feet high, which encloses the interior low basin like a vast crescentic dam-breast.

Lake Okee-chobee, 1,200 square miles in area, with an average depth of twelve feet, is, in fact, only an extension of the Everglades.

South of the Caloosa-hatchie river, between the Everglades and the Gulf, extends the Big Cypress. This is a large swamp, fifty miles long and thirty-five miles broad. Here the saw-grass gives way to groves of cypress trees, with a rank and tangled undergrowth of vines. The soil is either bog or quicksand, generally covered one or two feet deep with stagnant water. The sun’s rays rarely penetrate the dense foliage, and on the surface of the water floats a green slime, which, when disturbed, emits a sickening odor of decay. Crooked pools and sluggish streams traverse it in all directions, growing deeper and wider toward the Gulf shore, where they cut up the soil into numberless segments, called the Thousand Islands.

The whole of this southern portion of the peninsula lies on a modern, coral formation. The crescent-shaped ridge which forms the eastern and southern boundary of the Everglades, commences north of Key Biscayne Bay, and sweeps southwest to Cape Sable. From the same starting point, another broken crescent of coralline limestone, but many miles longer, extends to the Dry Tortugas, forming the Florida Keys. And beyond this again some five or six miles, making a third crescent, is the Florida Reef. Outside of the Reef, the bottom abruptly sinks to a depth of 800 or 900 fathoms. Between the Reef and the Keys is the ship channel, about{41} 6 fathoms in depth; and between the Keys and the main land the water is very shallow, and covers broad flats of white calcareous mud. Between the coast-ridge and Lake Okee-chobee, the “Keys,” which are scattered through the Everglades, are disposed in similar crescentic forms, some seven regular concentric arcs having been observed. They are all formed of the same character of coral rock as the present Reef and Keys, and undoubtedly owe their existence to the same agency. Each of these crescents was at one time a reef, until the industrious coral animals built another reef further out in the water, when the older line was broken up by the waves into small islands. Thus, for countless thousands of years, has this work of construction been going on around the extremity of the tertiary back bone ridge which at first projected but a short distance into the waters.

What, it may be asked, has impressed this peculiar and unusual crescentic shape to the reefs? This is owing to the Gulf Stream. This ocean-river rushes eastward through the Straits of Florida at the rate of five or six miles an hour, yet it does not wash the reef. By some obscure law of motion, an eddy counter-current is produced, moving westward, close to the reef, with a velocity of one or two miles an hour. Off Key West this secondary current is ten miles wide, with a rapidity of two miles per hour. Its waters are constantly whitened by the calcareous sands of the reef—the relics of the endless conflict between the waves and the untiring coral insects. The slowly-built houses of the latter are broken and tossed hither and thither by the billows, until they are ground into powder, and scattered{42} through the waters. After every gale the sea, for miles on either side of the reef, is almost milk-white with the ruins of these coral homes.

But nature is ever ready with some compensation. The impalpable dust taken up by the counter-current is carried westward, and gradually sinks to the bottom of the gulf, close to the northern border of the gulf stream. At length a bank is formed, reaching to within 80 or 90 feet of the surface. At this depth the coral insect can live, and straightway the bank is covered with a multitudinous colony who commence building their branching structures. A similar process originated all the crescent-shaped lines of Keys which traverse the Everglades and Big Cypress.


Much of the soil of Florida is not promising in appearance. The Everglades and Cypress Swamps may be considered at present agriculturally worthless. The ridge of sand and decomposed limestone along the southern shore, from Cape Sable to Indian river, is capable, however, of profitable cultivation, and offers the best field in the United States for the introduction of tropical plants, especially coffee. Its area is estimated at about 7,000,000 acres.

The northern portion of the Peninsula is composed of “scrubs” (dry sterile tracts covered with thickets of black-jack, oak, and spruce), pine lands and hammocks (not hummocks—the latter is a New England word with a different signification). The hammocks are rich river bottoms, densely timbered with live oak, magnolia, palmetto, and other trees. They cannot be surpassed for fertility, and often yield 70 to 80 bushels of corn to{43} the acre with very imperfect tillage. Of course, they are difficult to clear, and often require drainage.

The pine lands, which occupy by far the greater portion of the State, make at first an unfavorable impression on the northern farmer. The sandy pine lands near the St. John, are of deep white siliceous sand, with little or no vegetable mould through it. The greater part of it will not yield, without fertilizing, more than 12 or 15 bushels of corn to the acre. In the interior, on the central ridge, the soil is a siliceous alluvium on beds of argillaceous clay and marl. The limestone rocks crop out in many places, and could readily be employed as fertilizers, as could also the marl. Red clay, suitable for making bricks, is found in the northern counties, and a number of brick yards are in operation. Over this soil a growth of hickory is interspersed with yellow pine, and much of the face of the country is rolling. By mixing the hammock soil with the sand, an admirable loam is formed, suited to raising vegetables and vines.

Persons who visit Florida with a view to farming or gardening, should not expect to find it a land of exhuberant fertility, that will yield immense crops with little labor. East Florida is as a whole not a fertile country in comparison with South Carolina or Illinois, and probably never will be highly cultivated. On the other hand, they must not be discouraged by the first impressions they form on seeing its soil. Labor can do wonders there. The climate favors the growth of vegetables and some staples, but labor, hard work, is just as necessary as in Massachusetts. Middle and West Florida have much better lands.{44}

The leading crops of the State are corn and cotton. Of the latter, the improved short staple varieties are preferred, the long staple nourishing only in East Florida. Some experiments have been tried with Egyptian cotton, but on too small a scale to decide its value. The enemy of the cotton fields is the caterpillar which destroys the whole crop in a very short time. Nor can anything be done to stop its ravages. In the vicinity of Tampa Bay and Indian River the sugar cane is successfully raised, quite as well as in Louisiana. In good seasons it is also a very remunerative crop in the northern counties, as it yields as much as fifteen barrels of first class syrup to the acre, besides the sugar.

Tobacco, which before the war was raised in considerable quantities in Florida, has been much neglected since. Good Cuba seed has been introduced, however, and some of the old attention is paid to it. The character of soil and climate of certain portions of Florida, especially the southeastern portion, is not very unlike that of the famed Vuelta Abajo, and with good seed, and proper care in the cultivation and curing of the leaf, it might be grown of a very superior quality.

The climate is too warm for wheat, but rye and oats yield full crops, though they are but little cultivated.—Sweet potatoes, yams, peas, and groundnuts are unfailing, and of the very best qualities. The vine yields abundantly, and it is stated on good authority that two thousand gallons of wine per acre have been obtained from vineyards of the Scuppernong grape in Leon county.

Apples grow only to a limited extent, some being found in the northern counties. Peaches, pears, apricots, oranges, limes, lemons, etc., are well suited to the{45} soil and climate. The orange has two enemies, the insect called the coccus, and the frost. The former seems disappearing of late years, but the frosts have become more severe and more frequent, so that north of the 28th degree, the orange crop is not dependable.

The tropical plants, such as coffee, indigo, sesal hemp, etc., can undoubtedly be cultivated with success on the southern and southeastern coast, but hitherto, no serious attempt at their introduction has been made. For further particulars under this head, see a pamphlet of 151 pages prepared by Hon. John S. Adams, and published by the State, in 1869, entitled, “Florida, its Climate, its Soil, and Productions.”


In regard to climate, Florida is in some respects unsurpassed by any portion of the United States. The summers are not excessively hot, the average temperature of the months of June, July, and August, being at Tallahassee 79 degrees, Fah.; at St. Augustine, 80 degrees; Cedar Keys, 79 degrees; Tampa, 80 degrees; Miami, 81; and Key West, 82 degrees. The winters are delightful, the temperature of the three winter months averaging as follows: Tallahassee, 57 degrees; St. Augustine, 58 degrees; Cedar Keys, 60 degrees; Tampa, 61 degrees; Miami, 67 degrees, Key West, 70 degrees.

The summer heats are debilitating, especially in the interior. On the coast they are tempered by the sea-breeze, which rises about 10 a. m. No part of the State is entirely free from frosts. In Jacksonville they occur about once a week during the month of January, while at Miami they only happen once in several years.{46} Now and then a severe frost occurs, which destroys the orange groves far to the south. One such in 1767 destroyed all the orange trees at Fernandina and St. Augustine; another in 1835 cut them down as far south as New Smyrna; in December, 1856, ice was noted on the Miami river; and in December, 1868, there was such an unprecedented cold snap that Lake Griffin, on the upper Oklawaha, bore ice one-and-a-half inches thick. The orange crop was destroyed as far up the St. John as Enterprise, and most of the trees ruined. On Indian river, however, the cold was not felt to a damaging extent.

The nights in winter are cool, and in the interior accompanied with heavy dews.

In summer, the prevailing winds are east and south-east, being portions of the great air currents of the trade winds. Thunder storms are frequent. In winter, variable winds from the north, northeast, and north-west prevail. At times they rise to violent gales of several days duration, called northers. These are most frequent on the west coast.

The seasons of Florida are tropical in character, one being the dry and the other the wet season. The annual rain-fall averages from fifty to sixty inches. Three-fourths of this fall between April and October. Sometimes there is nearly as much rain in the month of June as during the six winter months together. Two inches and a-half is a fair average each for the latter. The air is usually well charged with moisture, but owing to the equability of the temperature, this would hardly be suspected. Fogs are almost unknown, the sky is serene, the air clear, and no sensation of dampness is experienced.{47} The hygrometer alone reminds us of how nearly the atmosphere is saturated with warm, watery vapor.

In the concluding chapters of this work I shall discuss at length the adaptation of the climate to invalids, and shall here speak of it chiefly as it affects residents.

The prevailing diseases are of miasmatic origin. Dysentery of mild type, pneumonia and diarrhœa are occasional visitors, but the most common enemy to health is the swamp poison. Intermittent and remittent fevers are common along the fresh water streams. On the sea coast they are rare, and after the month of October they disappear, but in the summer and early autumn they are very prevalent in some portions of the State. They are, however, neither more severe nor more frequent than in the lowlands of all the Gulf States, or in southern Indiana and Illinois.

These complaints are characteristic of new settlements, usually disappearing after the land has been cleared a few years. They can be generally avoided by care in habits of life, and the moderate use of some bitter tonic. All who are exposed should be on their guard, avoiding excesses, over-work, getting chilled, the night dews, damp clothing, etc.

One fall I ascended the Ocklawaha river in a “pole-barge”—a large scow propelled by poles. At night we fastened the boat to a tree, and slept at some neighboring house. The captain and several of the “darkies” had a diurnal shake, with great regularity, and I entered hardly a single house from Palatka to Ocala in which one or more of the family were not complaining of the same disease. I had no quinine with me, and in{48} default of it used as a preventive a strong tincture of the peel of the bitter-sweet orange. Either through its virtues or good luck, I escaped an attack, quite to the surprise of my companions. I repeat, however, that during the winter there is no danger from this source, and even during the sickly season an enlightened observance of the rules of health will generally protect the traveler.


The traveler who, for the first time, visits a southern latitude, has his attention most strongly arrested by the new and strange forms of vegetable life. I shall mention some of those which give the scenery of Florida its most peculiar features.

The most abundant is the saw palmetto, chamærops Adansonii. This vigorous plant is found in all parts of the peninsula, flourishing equally well in the pine barren and the hammock. It throws up its sharp-edged leaves some four or five feet in length, from a large, round root, which is, in fact, a trunk, extending along the surface of the ground. The young shoots and inner pith of the root are edible, and were often eaten by the Indians.

The cabbage palm, another species of Chamærops, is one of the most beautiful of trees. It raises its straight, graceful trunk to a height of 50, 60 and 100 feet, without a branch, and then suddenly bursts into a mass of dark green, pendant fronds. In the center of this mass, enveloped in many folds, is found the tender shoot called the “cabbage.” It tastes like a raw chestnut, and was highly prized by the Indians. This palm is not found{49} north of St. Augustine, and is only seen in perfection about Enterprise, and further south.

The live oak and cypress are the tenants of the low grounds. The former has a massive trunk, much esteemed for ship timber, spreading branches, and small green leaves. It is a perennial, and is not found farther north than South Carolina. The cypress stands in groups. Its symmetrical shaft rises without branches to a considerable height, and then spreads out numerous horizontal limbs, bearing a brown and scanty foliage. The base of the trunk is often enlarged and distorted into strange shapes, while scattered through the swamps are abortive attempts at trees, a foot or two thick and five or six feet in height, ending in a round, smooth top. These are called “cypress knees.”

Two parasitic plants abound in the forests, the mistletoe and the Spanish moss, tillandsia usneoides. The former has bright green leaves and red berries. The latter attaches itself to the cypress and live oak, and hangs in long gray wreaths and ragged masses from every bough in the low lands.

The southern shores and islands are covered with the mangrove, a species of the rhizophora. It is admirably adapted to shore building. The seed grows to a length of five or six inches before it leaves its calyx, when it resembles in form and color an Havana cigar. When it drops into the water it floats about until it strikes a beach, where it rapidly takes root and shoots out branches. Each branch sends down its own root, and soon the shore is covered with a dense growth, which in time rises to a height of twenty or thirty feet, and prevents the sand from any further shifting.{50}

Two varieties of a plant called by the Seminoles koonta, bread, grow luxuriantly in the south. The red koonta, the smilax china of botanists, is a thrifty, briary vine, with roots like a large potato. The white koonta, a species of zamia, has large fern-like leaves and a root like a parsnip. Both were used by the Indians as food, and yield from 25 to 30 per cent. of starch.

At some seasons, dense masses of vegetation form on the lakes and rivers and drift hither and thither with the wind, natural floating islands. They are composed chiefly of a water plant, the pistia spathulata, with the stalks and leaves of the water lily, nymphea nilumbo.

The bitter-sweet orange grows wild in great quantities along the streams. It is supposed to be an exotic which has run wild, as none of the species was found in the New World, and no mention is made of the orange in the early accounts of the peninsula, as undoubtedly would have been the case had it then flourished. The fruit has a taste not unlike the Seville orange, and is freely eaten by the inhabitants.

The cork tree, the sesal hemp, and other tropical plants have been introduced, and no doubt could be successfully cultivated in the extreme south. The coacoanut palm grows vigorously at Key West, and on the adjacent mainland.

The animal life of Florida indicates its proximity to the tropics. Alligators are now scarce in the lower St. John, but are found in great numbers in the interior. They are by no means dangerous. The largest I ever saw was nearly 15 feet in length.

The manatee, or sea cow, an herbivorous cetacean, midway between fish and flesh, once abounded in Florida.{51} When Audubon visited the peninsula, his guide boasted of having killed “hundreds” of them, and their bones are often found as far north as the Suwannee river. The Manatee spring and Manatee river bear record in their names to their former abundance. Now, I think, they are nearly extinct. A few still linger in the extreme south. Two were caught on the Indian river in the commencement of 1869, and exhibited in Jacksonville and Savannah.

The gopher, testudo polyphemus, is a large land turtle found in the pine woods, and is esteemed as an article of diet. The deer, panther, black bear, black and grey wolf are quite common.

Beautiful perroquets, wild turkeys, white and rose-colored curlew, the latter prized for their tinted wings, pelicans, cormorants, herons, fish-crows, and cranes are seen in great numbers.

The moccason and rattle-snake are the only venomous serpents. The former is most feared, but I do not remember to have heard of many deaths from the bite of either. Scorpions, centipedes and tarantulas abound, but are not very poisonous, and never fatally so. The mosquitoes are at times dreadfully annoying, and there is no escape from them. Sand-flies, ticks, and knats also mar the pleasures of camp life, but the true hunter rises superior to such inconveniences.

The best river fish is the trout—not the speckled native of the northern streams, but of good flavor, and “game” when hooked. The mullet—a fish about a foot long—swarms on the coast in incredible numbers. The pompano is considered almost as good as the salmon. Catfish are large and coarse.{52}


The St. John river is about 400 miles in length, and from two to three miles wide, as far up as Lake George. It is, in fact, rather an arm of the sea than a river, and probably is the remains of an ancient lagoon. Its current is about one mile an hour, and the slope of its bed so little that at such a distance from its mouth as at Lake Monroe, a careful survey showed that it was but three feet six inches above sea level. The tides are perceptible as far as Lake George, and its water more or less brackish at least this far. This may be partly owing to several large salt springs which empty into it. Its waters are of a light coffee-color, frequently covered with a perceptible scum. Above Lake George they are pleasant to the taste, but do not easily quench the thirst, apparently owing to the salts of various kinds in solution.

Contrary to all the other large streams in the United States, the St. John flows nearly due south until within fifteen miles of its mouth, when it turns abruptly to the east, entering the Atlantic at 30 degrees 24 seconds, north latitude. For this peculiarity of its course, the Chahtas named it Il-la-ka, corrupted into Welaka by the whites. Mr. Buckingham Smith asked an intelligent native what the word meant. He answered slowly: “It hath its own way, is alone, and contrary to every other.”

The only important tributary it receives is the Oklawaha. They each drain a row of numerous ponds, lakes, and marshes, and are separated by the Thlauhatke, or White Hills, the highest hills in the peninsula, and an elevated sandy ridge, covered with scruboak, known as the “Eteniah scrub.{53}

The St. John was discovered in 1562, by Jean Ribaut, leader of the Huguenot colony of Admiral Coligny. He named it the River May, having entered it in that month. In the Spanish chronicles it is referred to as the Rio de San Matteo (St. Matthew). When it was named San Juan, does not appear, but the English took this name and translated it into the present appellation.

In accordance with the best usage of our geographical writers, I shall omit the possessive sign, and speak of it as the St. John river; and in mentioning localities on the right or left bank, the reader is notified that while geographically these terms are used as if a person were descending the river, for the convenience of the traveler I use them as of one ascending it.

The mouth of the St. John is hardly a mile wide, and is impeded by a shifting sand bar, having rarely more than seven feet of water at low tide. The entrance is by a southerly pass, which leaves the course of the stream concealed by the shore of Baton island, on the north. This island is settled by a number of river pilots with their families, hardy and worthy people. On the southern shore the tourist sees the old and new lighthouses, and a row of brilliantly white sand dunes extending inland a mile or more.

Baton Island passed, an extensive salt marsh is seen to form the northern bank of the river; through this numerous sluggish streams wind their way, forming part of the “inside, passage” to Fernandina. Near the entrance of this passage a number of symmetrical mounds, from 20 to 50 feet in height, strike the eye. These are known as “The Sisters,” or more prosaically{54} as the “Oyster Banks,” as, on examination, they prove to be composed almost exclusively of broken oyster shells, covered with a tangled low shrubbery. No doubt they are relics of the many glorious oyster feasts indulged in by the indigenes in times gone by. I regret that they were not visited by Prof. Jeffries Wyman, who has given us so excellent an account of the “Fresh-Water-Shell-Heaps of the St. John’s River, East Florida,” (Salem, Mass., 1868).

Having passed the bar, the river rapidly widens. About six miles from the entrance the channel runs close along the base of a hill or headland of moderate height, covered with pine, cedar, etc. This is *St. John’s Bluff, and is unquestionably the site of Fort Caroline, the settlement of Coligny’s band of Huguenots in 1562.

A tragic interest surrounds this spot. Here, in 1564, Rene de Laudonniere established the colony of French Protestants, intending to reclaim a portion of this vast wilderness. His action was soon reported at the jealous court of Spain.

Phillip II. at once despatched Pedro Menendez de Aviles, an accomplished soldier and earnest Catholic, to root out the feeble colony. It was done only too well. In the excitement of a surprise, Sept. 19th, 1565, the orders of Menendez to spare the women, the old men, and the children were disregarded by the furious soldiery, and nearly every one was massacred. Laudonniere and a few others escaped by scrambling down the rough and thorn-covered eastern face of the bluff, and wading through the marshes to the mouth of the river, where they reached their ships. They bore the{55} distressing tidings to France. The ruler of that realm, the projector of the massacre of St. Bartholemew, and the son of Catharine de Medicis, was not the one to trouble himself about the death of a few Huguenots who had encroached on foreign soil. But the stain of unavenged blood did not remain on France. A private gentleman, Dominique de Gourgues, fitted out an expedition in 1568. Suddenly appearing before Fort Caroline, then manned by Spanish troops, he attacked and routed the garrison and burned the structure. As it was reported that Menendez had inscribed on a tablet that the massacre of the Huguenots was not done “as to Frenchmen but to heretics;” so De Gourgues returned the grim courtesy, and left an inscription that the dead men around had been slain “not as Spaniards, but as traitors, thieves and murderers.”

In 1856, some copper coins were found near here bearing the inscription:


They were identified by Mr. Buckingham Smith as of the reign of Carlos I. (Charles V.) and Donna Juanna, and therefore date from about 1550.

More recently a coin of about the same period, and from the same spot, but with a different and not fully legible inscription was exhibited to the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia.

During the late civil war the Bluff was fortified by a detachment of Confederate troops, and for some days held against the gunboats of the United States forces. At length they were out-flanked by a party of Union soldiers, who made their way in the rear by the margin of the swamp, and the work was surrendered.{56}

A few miles beyond the bluff the boat stops at


It has a post office and one small boarding-house, ($8.00 per week,) about 40 inhabitants, mostly engaged in fishing. Near by is a small fort, built during the recent war, and on the opposite bank of the river, on a plantation called New Castle, are an Indian mound and the vestiges of an ancient, quadrilateral earthwork of Spanish origin.

Yellow Bluff was first chosen by Col. I. D. Hart as the city which he proposed to build on the St. John, but as he found some marsh land near which he thought might prove disadvantageous to such a large city as he contemplated founding, he passed further up the stream and built his cabin on the spot now known as the “Cow’s Ford,” where the King’s Road in the old days crossed the river and connected St. Augustine with the northern settlements, twenty-five miles above the bar. This spot, then occupied by a few straggling whites and half breeds, is now the site of the flourishing city of


Hotels.—*St. James, on the public square, with airy piazzas, $4.00 a day; *Taylor House, fronts the river; *Price House, close to the railroad depot; St. John’s House, in the center of the city; Howard House; Cowart House; Union House; Florida House; *Rochester House, on the bluff south of the town; from $2.00 to $3.00 a day.

Boarding Houses.—Mrs. Freeland, Mrs. Hodgson, Mrs. Alderman opposite the Taylor House, and many others.{57}

Newspapers. The Florida Union, repub.; Mercury and Floridian; Florida Land Register.

Bookseller.Columbus Drew, publisher of Brinton’s Guide-Book of Florida and the South. Mr. Drew makes a specialty of keeping works on Florida.

Churches of all the principal denominations.

Jacksonville, so named after General Andrew Jackson, has now a population of 7,000 souls, and is rapidly increasing that number. It is destined to be the most important city in Florida, as it is already the largest. It is located between two creeks which fall into the St. John about a mile and a quarter apart. These form the present corporation limits, but several suburbs or additions have been recently formed beyond these streams. Brooklyn and Riverside are on the bank southwest of the town; Scottsville, immediately east of the eastern creek, is the principal location of the large saw mills which constitute one of the most important industries of the city; Wyoming is on the bluff one and a half miles northeast; and finally La Villa is a small suburb on an island to the west.

Many of the residences of Jacksonville are substantially built of brick manufactured from native clay, but wood is the prevailing material. Several handsome residences are conspicuous from the river, and every season a number of elegant cottages are added to the town. It is a favorite residence for invalids during the winter months, on account of its superior accommodations and ease of access. Indeed, too many of them remain here who would be improved by a nearer approach to the extreme south. The sight of so many sick often affects one unfavorably.{58}

The streets of Jacksonville are sandy, and the vicinity only moderately fertile. The health of the city is good at all seasons, miasmatic disease not being common. There was an epidemic of yellow fever in 1857, but it has never since returned.

During the war Jacksonville suffered severely. It was first partially burned by the Confederates, then three separate times occupied by the Union troops, the third time catching fire in the assault. About half a dozen blocks of houses were then burned, including the Catholic and Episcopal churches. Of course the result of these experiences was little short of desolation. Grass grew waist high in the streets, and the few cattle that remained found for themselves stalls in the deserted stores and houses. Now, however, one can hardly credit the fact that such was ever the case.

Steamboats leave Jacksonville for Enterprise (206 miles), about every other day. One line is owned by Capt. Brock, who for many years has run the steamer “Darlington” up and down the river. The accommodations on all the steamers are fair, and no one should omit to make the round trip, even if he does not tarry on the road. Fare to Enterprise, $9.00.

About a mile above this city the river widens once more. The banks are usually 3 or 4 feet high, thickly set with live oak, pine and cypress. Here and there the pine barren cuts across the hammock to the river. In such places the banks are 8 or 10 feet high, and the tall yellow pine with an abundant undergrowth of palmetto gives same variety to the otherwise monotonous view. 15 miles from Jacksonville, on the left (east) hand is the small town of{59}


Post Office. No hotel. Boarding can be had with Mr. Chas. F. Reed, near the landing. Mr. Foote, the postmaster, will give further information about the chance for accommodations in private families. A new School house and church. The name is said to have been derived from the Mandarin or China orange introduced here. This little place has about a dozen houses and a back country three or four miles in extent. The location is pleasing and the soil good. Several flourishing orange groves can be seen from the river. One of them about six acres in extent is owned by Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, who has a pleasant country house here, and visits it every winter. It stands close to the river, on a bluff about 12 feet high. A little higher up the river the Marquis de Talleyrand has laid out handsome grounds.

This is one of the localities associated with the atrocities of border warfare. In December, 1841, the Seminole Indians attacked and burnt the town and massacred the inhabitants almost to the last soul. “For sixteen hours,” says Captain Sprague in his account of the occurrence, “the savages, naked and painted, danced around the corpses of the slain.”

Above Mandarin the river narrows and then again expands, the banks continuing of the same character. Ten miles above, on the right (west) bank is


*Hotel, Mrs. Fleming, one of the best on the river, accommodates about 35 persons, $2.50 per day, $15.00 per week. This very pleasant spot is on an island,{60} about five miles long, immediately north of the entrance of Black Creek. It is separated from the mainland by a body of water known as Doctor’s Lake, which, toward its southern extremity, is lost in a broad marsh. The “river walk” near the boarding house is a delightful promenade about three-fourths of a mile long under the spreading branches of noble live oaks. The hotel is near the landing, which is on the east side of the island. Visitors can readily obtain boats, and the vicinity offers many attractive spots for short excursions, picnics, and fishing parties. Rooms should be engaged by letter.

Three miles above Hibernia is


This large building was erected by Dr. Benedict in 1851 with special reference to the wants of invalids, and their treatment under medical supervision. During the war it was used for various purposes and was much injured, but it has now been thoroughly refitted by a company, and placed under the charge of Dr. Rogers, formerly of Worcester, Mass., a capable and judicious physician, who proposes to continue it as a sanitarium. The building can accommodate comfortably about 50 boarders. The position is agreeable, a majestic oak grove shading the grounds, while at a little distance the pine forest scatters its aromatic odors in the air.

Divided from it by a small creek, but 2 miles above as the river runs, is


Hotels. Green Cove House, by Mr. J. Ramington, and boarding houses by Captain Henderson, and Captain{61} Glinskie, all said to be well kept; fare about $15.00 per week. This spring has been long celebrated for its mineral properties. It is sulphurous, and has been found of value in chronic rheumatism, cutaneous disease and dyspepsia. The temperature is 78 Fah. at all seasons. The basin varies in diameter from 35 to 40 feet at different points. The water rushes up with force forming what is called the “boil.” Recently a portion of the bottom of the spring gave way, and the orifice through which the water rises was covered. But the earth was cleared out, and the “boil” re-instated. Facilities for bathing are afforded, though not to that extent which were desirable.

12 miles above green Cove on the left bank is


Boarding with Mr. T. F. Bridier. This is the station where passengers to St. Augustine land. It is much to be regretted that there is no hotel here, and only poor and insufficient accommodations in the house owned by the stage company. Usually but one line of stages runs to St. Augustine, and they are often densely crowded, and most uncomfortable. A second line was put on in Jan., 1869. The usual fare to St. Augustine is $3.00; distance 18 miles. By competition it has been reduced to $1.00.


the road leads through an open pine country with an undergrowth of palmettoes. Here and there a clump of cypress, with a tangled mass of briars and vines around their trunks, diversifies the scene. The soil is miserably poor, and hardly a dozen houses are passed{62} in the whole distance. Deep white sand obstructs the stage, and not so rarely as one wishes the wheels strike a pine or palmetto root with a most unpleasant effect upon the passengers, especially if they are invalids. After 3½ hours of this torture, the stage is checked by the Sebastian river, over which a miserable ferry boat conveys the exhausted tourist who at length finds himself in St. Augustine.


Hotels: Florida House (dear and poor,) Magnolia House, fine piazza (grounds recently fitted up.) About $4.00 per day, slight reduction by the month.

Boarding Houses: Mrs. Abbot, Mrs. Fatio, Mrs. Gardner, Mrs. Brava, Miss Dummitt. Charges, $15.00 to $20.00 per week. As a rule, the tables of the boarding houses are better kept than those of the hotels. Families can rent houses by the month, and sometimes furnished rooms, and thus live much cheaper. Apply to B. E. Carr, J. L. Phillips, or John Long.

Billiard Saloon, at Delot’s Restaurant.

Post Office on the Plaza, mail tri-weekly. Telegraph office near the market house on the Plaza.

NewspaperSt. Augustine Examiner, weekly. Reading Room at the editor’s office, 25 cts. a week.

Drug Store—Dr. J. P. Mackay.

Military Music—On the Plaza every other night.

Churches—Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist chapel opposite the Magnolia House, Colored Baptist.

Bathing-House, on Bay Street, white flag for ladies, red flag for gentlemen, on alternate days. Season ticket $5.00.{63}

Local Histories.—*Fairbanks, The Spaniards in Florida, (1868, the best, published by Columbus Drew, Jacksonville, Fla.); Sewall, Sketches of St. Augustine, 1848, (illustrated); St. Augustine, Florida, by an English visitor, (1869, by Mrs. Yelverton; inaccurate).

St. Augustine (population 1,200 white, 600 black), the oldest settlement in the United States, was founded in 1565, by Pedro Menendez, a Spanish soldier, born in the city of Aviles. The site originally chosen was south of where the city now stands, but the subsequent year (1566) a fort was erected on the present spot. It received its name because Menendez first saw the coast of Florida on St. Augustine’s day.

Little is known of its early history. In 1586 it was burned by Sir Francis Drake; and in 1665, Captain Davis, an English buccaneer, sacked and plundered it without opposition, the inhabitants, numbering at that time a few hundred, probably fleeing to the fort. This building, which had formerly been of logs, was commenced of stone about 1640.

As it was found that the sea was making inroads upon the town, about the end of the seventeenth century, a sea-wall was commenced by the Spanish Governor, Don Diego de Quiroga y Losada, extending from the Fort to the houses, all of which, at that time, were south of the Plaza. The top of this first sea-wall can still be seen in places along Bay street, occupying nearly the middle of the street.

Early in the last century, the English in Carolina, in alliance with the Creek (Muskoki) Indians commenced a series of attacks on the Spanish settlements. In 1702, Governor Moore made a descent on St. Augustine{64} by land and sea, burnt a portion of the town, and destroyed all the plantations in the vicinity. The inhabitants once more fled to the castle, which, we are told, was surrounded by a very deep and broad moat. But the priests had not time to remove the church plate. This, and much other booty, fell into Gov. Moore’s hands—all of which he kept for himself to the great disgust of his companions in arms.

Again, in 1725, Col. Palmer, of Carolina, at the head of 300 whites and Indians attacked and ravaged the Spanish settlements, completely annihilating their field-husbandry, burning the country houses, and forcing the inhabitants of St. Augustine to flee as usual to the castle.

In 1732, Governor Oglethorpe founded the colony of Georgia, on the Savannah river. Eight years afterwards he made his memorable attack on St. Augustine. At that date the city numbered 2,143 inhabitants, including the garrison (the latter probably about one half the whole number.) The city was intrenched, with salient angles and redoubts, the space enclosed being about half a mile long and quarter of a mile wide. The castle mounted 50 pieces of brass cannon. Its walls were of stone, casemated, with four bastions. The moat was 40 feet wide, and twelve feet deep. Governor Oglethorpe, therefore, undertook a difficult task when he set out in midsummer to besiege a place of this strength. He planted his principal batteries on Anastasia island, where their remains are still distinctly traceable, and bombarded castle and city with considerable vigor for 20 days. He discovered, however, to his mortification, that his shot produced hardly any more effect on the coquina rock of which the walls were{65} built, than on so much sand. After prolonging the siege 38 days, (June 13—July 20, 1740,) he withdrew.

The exterior of the works was finally completed by Don Alonzo Fernando Hereda, in 1756, since which time no alterations of importance have been made.

St. Augustine, always the capital of the province during the Spanish supremacy, changed hands with the whole peninsula in 1763, 1781, and 1821. It had a temporary prosperity during the first Seminole war, when it was used as a military and naval station. In 1862 the naval force of the United States took possession of it, without resistance, and a garrison of New Hampshire volunteers was stationed there.

A large percentage of the natives show traces of Spanish blood. They are usually embraced under the name “Minorcans.”

In 1767 a speculative Englishman, Dr. Turnbull, brought over a colony of about 1200 Greeks, Italians, Corsicans and Minorcans, and settled near New Smyrna. After a few years, wearied with his tyranny, most of those who survived,—not more in all than 600,—removed to St. Augustine. They were a quiet, somewhat industrious, and ignorant people, and many of their descendants much mixed in blood still live in St. Augustine. Their language is fast dying out. The young people speak only English. The following verse from the Fromajardis, or Easter Song, was written down in 1843. The italic e is the neutral vowel.

“Sant Gabiel
Qui portaba la ambasciado
Dee nostro rey del cel,
Estaran vos prenada
Ya omitiada{66}
Tu o vais aqui surventa
Fia del Dieu contenta
Para fe lo que el vol
Disciarem lu dol
Cantarem aub ’alagria
Y n’arem a da
Las pascuas a Maria,
O Maria.”

I have no doubt but that this is somewhat incorrect, as I am informed that the ordinary language of the old natives is comparatively pure Spanish.

St. Augustine is built on a small Peninsula, between the St. Sebastian River, itself an arm of the sea, and the Bay. Its plan is that of an oblong parallelogram, traversed longitudinally by two principal streets, which are intersected at right angles by cross streets. The Isthmus connecting the Peninsula to the main is on the north, and is strengthened by a stone causeway. The ruins of a suburb, called the North City, are visible near it. Most of the streets are narrow, without sidewalks, and shaded by projecting balconies.

On the east is the harbor, a sheet of water about eight fathoms in depth, known as the Matanzas river. It is separated from the ocean by Anastasia, or Fish Island, a narrow tract of land about fourteen miles long. The inlet is variable in depth, but rarely averages over five feet.

The principal buildings are of Coquina rock. This is a concretion of fragments of shells, of recent formation. It extends along the east coast for about a hundred and fifty miles, in some places rising above the surface level, at others covered with several feet of sand. In one spot, near St. Augustine, it rests upon a{67} peat bog. The quarries are on Anastasia Island, and are worth visiting.

Near the center of the town is the *Plaza, or square. In its midst is an unpretending monument, square at the base, and eighteen feet high, on which is inscribed:

Plaza de la Constitucion.

This was erected in 1812, to commemorate the short-lived constitutional form of government then instituted in Spain.

The building on the west side of the square was the residence of the Spanish Governors. It has been rebuilt and much altered since the purchase of the territory, and is now used for the United States Court. On the opposite side, between the Square and the water, is the Market House.

The building on the north side is the Roman Catholic Church. Its quaint belfry has four bells which ring forth the Angelus thrice daily. One of these has the following inscription:

Sancte Joseph,
Ora pro Nobis.
A. D., 1682.

This church was commenced in 1793, and doubtless this bell was brought from the previous church, which was on St. George street. In the interior, the ceiling is painted, the floor of concrete, and there are a few pictures, none of note. Many of its attendants are descendants of Spanish and Minorcan families.

Opposite the Roman Catholic, is the Episcopal church, consecrated in 1833.

The oldest building in the city is supposed to be that at the corner of Green Lane and Bay street. A century{68} ago it was the residence of the English attorney general, and was probably built about 1750. It will be observed that the coquina rock does not wear very well.

At the north end of the town, where the causeway (of modern construction) connects with the main land, is the *City Gate, flanked by two square pillars, with Moorish tops. On either side a dry ditch, and the remains of a wall, mark the fortified limits of the city.

At the southern extremity of the peninsula are the Barracks, built on the foundations of the ancient Franciscan convent. From their top a fine view of the town can be obtained. In the rear of the main building is a Cemetery where the victims of “Dade’s Massacre,” during the 1st Seminole war, were buried, and other members of the U. S. forces.

Still further south are the United States Arsenal and the remains of an ancient breastwork.

The whole east front of the town for more than a mile is occupied by the *sea wall. It was built by the United States (1837-1843) to prevent the encroachment of the waves. The material is coquina stone topped by granite. It is wide enough for two persons to walk abreast upon it, and it is a favorite evening promenade. It encloses two handsome basins, with steps leading to the water.

Fort Marion, or, as it was formerly called, the castle of San Marco, occupies a commanding position on the north of the city. It is considered a fine specimen of military architecture, having been constructed on the principles laid down by the famous engineer Vauban. No fees are required for visitors. The walls are 21 feet high, with bastions at each corner, the whole{69} structure being in the form of a trapezium, and enclosing an area about sixty yds. square. The main entrance is by a drawbridge. Over this is sculptured on a block of stone the Spanish coat of arms, surmounted by the globe and cross, with a Maltese cross and lamb beneath. Immediately under the arms is this inscription:

Reynando en Espana el Senr
Don Fernando Sexto y siendo
Govor. y Capn. de esa. Cd. San. Augn. de
La Florida y sus Prova. el Mariscal
de campos Don Alonzo Ferndo. Hereda
Asi concluio este Castillo el an
OD. 1756. Dirigiendo las obras el
Cap Ingnro. Dn. Pedro de Brozas
y Garay.

“Don Ferdinand VI. being king of Spain, the field marshal, Don Alonzo Fernando Hereda, governor and captain of this city of San Augustin de la Florida and its provinces, finished this castle in the year 1756, the captain of engineers Don Pedro de Brozas y Garay superintending the work.”

From the space in the interior, doors lead to the casemates. Opposite the entrance, in the northern casemate, is the apartment which was formerly used as a chapel. The altar stone is still preserved. In another apartment, the small window is pointed out through which Coacoochee, a distinguished Seminole chieftain, made his escape in the first Seminole war. Under the north east bastion there are subterranean cells, probably used for confining prisoners, in one of which a human skeleton is said to have been found. The curtain on the east side of the fort, still shows the marks of Oglethorpe’s cannon balls.{70}

The vicinity of St. Augustine is uninteresting. A pleasant drive can be taken through the town and along the east bank of the Sebastian river. A sail along Matanzas river has some attractions. Several good sail boats can be hired, some accommodating twenty or twenty-five persons, price $5.00 a day. A few miles south of the city an elevated spot marks the remains of General Moultrie’s (of revolutionary fame) residence. At the southern extremity of Anastasia island the ruins of a Spanish look-out are visible. Rock island, on the north shore of the inlet near this point, has a remarkable Indian mound.

Curlews and snipes afford some good sport along the strand, and in the winter, a brace or two of ducks can always be bagged on Anastasia island, but their flavor is not attractive.

The nearest orange grove is that of Dr. Anderson, on the west side of the town. In going thither, the path should be chosen leading through the pleasant orange walk on the grounds of Mr. Buckingham Smith.

The chief local industry at St. Augustine is the *palmetto work. Hats, baskets, and boxes are very tastefully plaited from the sun-dried leaves of the low variety of that plant. Specimens of this handwork make pleasant mementoes of a visit to this ancient city.

I now return to Picolata on the St. John. About a mile north of the landing, on the bank of the river, lived Col. John Lee Williams, the author of “The Natural and Civil History of Florida,” and “View of West Florida,” and in many ways conspicuous in the early history of the State. He died in 1857, and was buried in his own garden. I had the melancholy satisfaction{71} of visiting his grave the day after his burial, having reached Picolata without learning his death. I was told that the river here had materially altered its course within the memory of those now living. I am certainly unable to account in any other way for the total disappearance of the Spanish fort which, a century ago, existed here. The traveller Bartram describes it as built of coquina stone brought from Anastasia island. The main work, a square tower, thirty feet high, with battlements allowing two guns on each side, was surrounded by a high wall, pierced with loop-holes and a deep exterior ditch. Even at that time he speaks of it as “very ancient.”

On the opposite bank of the river was the fort of St. Francis de Poppa. Its earthworks are still visible, about one mile north of the landing. From St. Francis de Poppa the old Spanish road led across the province to St. Marks on the Gulf. Two small Sulphur Springs are found a short distance from the Picolata landing.

Fifteen miles above Picolata the steamer stops on the right (west) bank at


Hotels.—Putnam House, St. John’s House, charges, $3.50 per day. The Palatka hotels are tolerable, but not so good as those of Jacksonville. Several boarding houses. A large hotel is projected.

This was originally a military post in the Indian war of 1836-’40. The town is built on a sand bluff ten to fifteen feet above the river, a few inches of shells forming the surface soil. There are 800 or 1,000 inhabitants, principally engaged in orange culture and lumbering.{72} Several beautiful orange groves are in the vicinity, and constitute the only attraction of the place. The streets are sandy, and walking is difficult. Steamboats run from here direct to Charleston and Savannah, and also to the lakes of Marion and Alachua counties and up the Oklawaha river to Lake Griffin. A mail stage runs to Tampa.

Above Palatka the river narrows, and the banks become as a rule lower and more swampy. At a point twelve miles above, on the left (east) bank, Buffalo bluff meets the river, a ridge of loose sandrock surmounted by a stratum of shells from six to ten feet in thickness. Five miles beyond, on the same side, is Horse Landing, where a shell and sand mound rises abruptly about eight feet from the water. This has been carefully examined by Prof. Jeffries Wyman, and pronounced to have been built by the ancient possessors of the land. About eighteen miles above Palatka, on the east bank, is the small town of


Large boarding houses were here before the war but were destroyed. A capacious hotel is in process of erection. Three large sulphur springs are in the immediate vicinity, which could doubtless be applied to sanitary purposes. The soil is good, and well adapted to oranges. Eight miles east of Welaka is *Dunn’s Lake, a beautiful sheet of water twelve miles long and three wide, abundantly stocked with fish. Its shores abound in game, and many rich plantations are on and near it. The soil is unsurpassed by any in Florida, and has always borne a high reputation.{73}

Opposite Welaka, the Oklawaha empties into the St. John. The latter river at this point is about 500 yards wide. Half a mile above, it expands to a width of three miles. This is called Little Lake George. Fort Gates landing is at its southern extremity. Twelve miles above Welaka is Lake George proper, a sheet of water about eighteen miles in length, and ten in width. At its southern end a large and fertile island (about 1900 acres), shuts off the view. It is called Rembrandt’s, or Drayton’s Island. According to Bartram, there should be remarkable monuments of the aborigines, mounds, earthworks, and artificial lakes, on this island. The channel lies to its east, and is quite narrow. At the extremity of this entrance there is a landing on the eastern shore, known as Sam’s landing, or Lake George landing. A post office was located here.

Several remarkable mineral springs are around this lake, especially on the western shore. It is an unsafe sea for boats, being exposed to sudden and violent winds.

A mile or two from the western shore, the ground rises into high sand-hills, covered with a dense growth of spruce-pine and blackjack oak. This is the “Eteniah scrub,” which divides the St. John from the Oklawaha, and extends for many miles southwardly. It is a dry and hopeless barren. Sixty-five miles above Palatka, and four miles above the southern entrance of Lake George, on the left (east) bank of the river, is the old settlement of


Good boarding-house by Dr. Langren—price moderate. Little is now seen from the river but a few{74} ruinous houses and the marks of a once extended cultivation in overgrown “old fields,” but the place has a history worth recording.

Soon after the cession of the county to the English crown in 1763, Mr. Denison Rolles, a gentleman of wealth, actuated, it would appear, by a spirit of philanthropy, proposed to transport large numbers of the unfortunate women of the London street to this new country, and there give them a chance to lead a better life. With this object he obtained a grant of 40,000 acres, and located it in this portion of Florida. The manor was called Charlottia, from the queen. Several hundred acres were cleared, a large mansion house erected, a handsome avenue laid out, which was to reach to St. Augustine, and colonists to the number of three hundred brought across. But, as so often happens, unexpected obstacles arose. Supplies failed to come in time, fevers carried off many, the proprietor was accused of parsimony, and finally the settlement broke up, and those who survived went to Carolina and Georgia.

At this point the river is quite narrow, and both banks are occupied by fresh-water shell-bluffs, of artificial origin. On that opposite Volusia stands Fort Butler, a place of some note in the Indian wars. Four miles above Volusia, is Dexter’s Lake, (ten miles long.) It is a famous resort for wild fowls in the fall and winter. It is surrounded by extensive marshes, cypress groves, and hammocks.

A few miles above Lake Dexter the steamer stops at the small place now called Hawkinsville, but which formerly bore the much more euphonious name of the{75} brave Seminole warrior, Osceola, (corruption of asse heholar, sun rising). On the left bank, six miles above, is the remarkable


This is a landing, with post office, but has no hotel. One is (of course) in contemplation. The *spring is a large and beautiful fountain of crystal clear water. It forms a basin one-fourth of a mile long, twenty-five to thirty yards wide, and ten to twenty feet deep. The water is slightly sulphurous and thermal, the temperature reaching, at times, 75 degrees Fahr. This spot was called by the English, Berrisford, and was the most southern settlement made by them while in possession of the country.

Hunting and fishing in this vicinity are remarkably fine. The back country is fertile, and some magnificent orange groves are under cultivation.

The river now narrows to a width of fifty or sixty yds. Meadows of tall grass and maiden-cane, interspersed with clumps of lofty and graceful palms diversify the scene. Through these the stream winds its tortuous channel for thirty miles. At length the steamboat reaches its destination at


On Lake Monroe. *Brock House, kept by Mr. J. Brock, the proprietor of the line of steamers—$3.50 per day. Several boarding-houses in the pine woods near *Watson’s.

Several high shell mounds rise on the east shore of the lake, on one of which the hotel stands. Half a{76} mile south of it is a large sulphur spring of unusual strength, with a basin twenty-five yards in diameter. About 150 yards beyond it is a second sulphur spring of less extent, and near by, also, a source of saline waters. (As yet no provisions are made for the application of their waters to medicinal purposes).

Beyond the springs, a hill of sand and shells rises some thirty or forty feet, surmounted by an old frame building. A luxuriant sweet orange grove extends along the shore, bearing the finest fruit I ever tasted in Florida.

The medicinal waters, the rich fruit, the charming lake, the near pine woods, and the attractive hunting and fishing at this spot, render it one of the most eligible for a large sanitary establishment. But its position should not be directly on the beach, where the dazzling sand tries the eyes, and the evening dampness is painfully felt.

Across Lake Monroe, is Fort Mellon, long used as a Government store-house, and the terminus of one of the military roads which connect with the interior of the country.

Fragments of bog iron ore, and oolitic limestone, are picked up on the shore.

A small steamboat runs about once a week from Enterprise to Lake Harney (thirty miles). The channel is narrow and crooked, running through broad, grassy savannahs and hammocks. The first bluff above Lake Monroe is called Leneer’s. It is on the left bank.

Occasional trips are made to Salt Lake, thirty miles above Lake Harney. Its waters are brackish, rather, I think, from its contiguity to the sea, than from any salt{77} springs. It is only seven miles from Indian river lagoon. Probably this is the only example in the world of a large river, at a distance of nearly 300 miles from its mouth, flowing within seven miles of the ocean into which it empties. When the water is high, small steamers and row-boats have passed beyond Salt Lake, sixty miles to Lake Washington. No settlements are on the river, however, higher up than Lake Harney.

The source of the St. John is unknown. Its head waters probably lose themselves in vast marshes, from which flow sluggish streams northward to it, southward into Lake Okeechobee, and westward into the Kissimmee river. The determination of this geographical point would be interesting, though perhaps of no great practical value. Yet, one cannot help feeling astonished that the sources of this river, on which the first colony north of Mexico was founded, which traverses the oldest settled State of our Union, and which has been alternately possessed by three powerful nations, are more completely unknown and unexplored than those of the Nile or the Niger.


This small settlement of half a dozen houses, is on Musquito lagoon, or Halifax river. It is reached by a rather rough-traveling weekly stage from Enterprise, for the immoderate sum of $8.00 a head. Board can be obtained of Mrs. Sheldon. New Symrna was laid out by Dr. Turnbull, during the English occupancy of Florida, and hither he brought his colony of Greeks, Minorcans, and Italians, as I have previously related. The marks of their faithful industry are still{78} discernible. Turtle Mound, on the west bank of the Lagoon, near the town, is one of the most remarkable shell-mounds, or “Kitchen-middens” in Florida. I have described it in my “Notes on the Floridian Peninsula,” page 178. There are a number of other equally curious remains of a similar character in the vicinity.

A hundred years ago nearly the whole of the bluff along the river, about half a mile wide, and nearly forty in length, was one vast orange grove.

A mail boat leaves here for Indian river every second week.


Persons wishing to visit Indian river for camp hunting, should hire an open boat, guide, and tent, (if the latter is deemed necessary), at Jacksonville, and bring them to Enterprise on the steamer. From that point they can row to Lake Harney in two days, where the boat and tent can be carried across to Sand Point, on Indian river, on an ox team. Col. H. F. Titus has a store and dwelling at Sand Point, and accommodates tourists either with his team or his table. The distance from the Point to Enterprise is forty miles; to Lake Harney twenty-two miles, and to Salt Lake seven miles. A hack sometimes runs to Lake Harney during the winter season (fare $4.00), which delivers the mail at the Point.

Indian river is properly a lagoon, or arm of the sea. Its waters contain about two-thirds as much salt as those of the ocean. In width it varies from one to four miles. Its western shore is marshy, with hammocks. About half a mile from the water runs a ridge, averaging{79} half a mile across, covered with pines, oak, and palmettos. At places this ridge approaches to the water’s edge, and offers first-class camping grounds. It varies in height, one point having been determined at fifty-two feet above tide level by the United States coast survey. That portion known as the Indian Garden, is about forty feet high, and was formerly thoroughly cultivated by the natives and the Spaniards. All the ridge could readily be made extremely productive. The oranges of Indian river are equal to the best brought from Havana. A single orchard is said to return to its owner not less than $20,000 a year.

Here again the difficulty of access meets one. The Fort Pierce channel, the deepest of the outlets of Indian river, has but six or seven feet of water at high tide, and it is so filled with sand and oyster shells that navigation is difficult for vessels drawing over three feet.


One hundred miles below Sand Point, is near the outlet. The intervening shore is very thinly scattered with settlers, but abounds in unequalled hunting and fishing. Santa Lucie is the county seat of Brevard county. It boasts a post office, store, and two or three houses. Mr. Frank Smith is postmaster, and cheerfully gives information or furnishes accommodation to the few tourists who wander thus far from civilized life.


Commences twenty miles further south. It, too, is a salt water lagoon. Formerly a water connection existed between this and Indian river, but now it is closed.{80} Santa Lucie river is principally famous for the numbers, size, and flavor of its turtles. Fort Capron is on its west side. At this point there is a post office, kept by Captain James Payne, who will give any information wished for about the locality.

The mail along this coast is carried from St. Augustine to Jupiter Inlet in boats, and thence ninety miles along the beach to Miami on Key Biscayne Bay by a man on foot. For the whole of this latter distance there is but one house, and no fresh water is to be had for a horse. The messenger is allowed four days for his journey. From Miami, which I shall speak of in a subsequent route, the letters are carried to Key West by schooner.{81}


(Tallahassee, and Pensacola & Georgia, and Florida, Atlanta & Gulf Central railways. Time 14 hours, one train daily.)

The train leaves Jacksonville following the old military road, and soon enters open pine woods. The first station is White House (eleven miles). The next (eight miles) is Baldwin, (Florida House, M. Colding Proprietor). Here the Florida railway connects for Fernandina, Cedar Keys, Gainesville, and other points in East Florida.

Beyond Baldwin the train passes over a swampy country intersected by numerous creeks flowing northward into the St. Mary’s river, which near here makes its South Prong far to the south. Sanderson, (eighteen miles) is an insignificant station. Olustee (ten miles) is a rising village in the midst of a wide level tract, (no hotel; board at private houses $1.50 to $2.00 a day.) Ocean Pond, half a mile from the road (right hand side), is a handsome sheet of water, nearly circular, about four miles in diameter. It is deep, and offers excellent fishing.


(twelve miles; two tolerable hotels, $3.00 per day, $15. per week; newspaper, Lake City Press; telegraph office) is a promising place of several hundred inhabitants. Three miles south of the city is Alligator Lake, a body{82} of water without any visible outlet. In the wet season it is three or four miles across, but in winter it retires into a deep sink hole, and the former bottom is transformed into a grassy meadow.


Is the next stopping place (twelve miles. The Griffin House, and several boarding houses; $1.50 per day, $6.00 per week). It is a prosperous village of 150 inhabitants. The water is good, and the neighborhood healthy. Its height above tide water is 200 feet.

Stages leave Welborn daily for the *White Sulphur Springs, on the Suwannee river, eight miles north of the station (fare $2.00). These springs are a favorite resort for persons suffering from rheumatism and skin diseases. They have been estimated to discharge about three hundred hogsheads a minute. The *hotel, ($3.00 per day, $12.00 per week, $40.00 per month,) accommodating seventy-five guests, stands within a few yards of the Suwannee river, there a pretty stream about fifty yards wide. There is also a private boarding house near by. Dr. A. W. Knight, of Maine, resides at the hotel, and will be found an intelligent physician. There is good fishing in the river, and as the county is but sparsely settled, small game is abundant. Horses can be had for $2.00. The basin of the spring is ten feet deep, and 30 feet in diameter; the stream runs about a hundred yards and then empties into the river.

Leaving Welborn, the train passes Houston, (five miles), and reaches Live Oak (six miles.) Here the morning train stops for dinner. A good table is set by Mr.{83} Conner, who keeps the hotel ($3 per day, $12.50 per week, $30.00 per month. Boarding, Mrs. M. A. McCleran, $25.00 per month, Mrs. Goodbread, $1.00 per day, $20.00 per month; Newspaper, Live Oak Advertizer; Churches, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist.) At this point a connecting railway diverges north to Lawton, Ga., on the main line of the Atlantic and Gulf R. R. Live Oak to Savannah, $9.00. Live Oak has at present about 250 inhabitants, and is a growing place. The country in the vicinity is the usual limestone soil of Middle Florida, covered with pine. Peaches flourish very well, and the soil is reasonably productive.

The Lower Spring, on the banks of the Suwannee river, eight miles north of Live Oak, is reached by trains twice daily on the road to Lawton. Its waters are sulphurous, and it is a favorite resort for certain classes of invalids. The accommodations are passable.

Beyond Live Oak, is Ellaville, (thirteen miles, formerly called Columbus), near the Suwannee. This river is comparatively narrow, and divides at this point into its east and west branches.

The next station (fifteen miles) is Madison, the county seat of Madison county (Madison hotel). The village is half a mile from the depot, located on a plain bordering on a small lake.

Beyond this are Goodman station, (fourteen miles), Aucilla, (seven miles), and the Junction (seven miles). At the latter a railway four miles in length diverges to


The county seat of Jefferson county.

Hotels.—Monticello house, kept by Mrs. Madden, accommodates{84} about thirty guests, $2.00 a day, $30.00 to $40.00 a month; Godfrey House. The village has a population of about 700. It is pleasantly located and regularly laid out, the court house occupying a square in the center of the town. There are four churches, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist. There is an academy of nearly 150 pupils, part of the support of the institution being drawn from the Southern Educational Fund, provided by the banker, Mr. Peabody. A flourishing colored school is also in the vicinity. Lake Mickasukie, an extensive body of fresh water, is about three miles distant.

The climate of this part of Florida is dry and equable, and the soil the very best upland pine. Many invalids would find it a very pleasant and beneficial change from the sea coast or the river side, and immigrants would do well to visit it. Game and fish are abundant, and the sportsman need never be at a loss for occupation.

Leaving the Junction, the train stops at Lloyd’s (nine miles), Chavies, (six miles), and finally at


Hotels.—City Hotel, Hagner house, about $3.00 a day.

Newspapers.—The Floridian and Journal, Democrat, an old established and ably conducted paper; the Tallahassee Sentinel, Republican, likewise well edited.

Churches of most denominations.

The capital of Florida is a city of about 3000 inhabitants, situated on a commanding eminence in the midst of a rolling and productive country. The name is probably a compound of the Greek talofah, town, and hassee, sun. The site was chosen in 1823 by three commissioners,{85} of whom Colonel John Lee Williams, the subsequent historian of Florida, was one. In the following year the first house was erected. A pleasant stream winds along the eastern part of the town, and tumbles over a limestone ledge in a little cataract. The capitol is a brick building, stuccoed, with a handsome center reached by a broad flight of steps, and with spacious wings. It was built by the United States during the territorial government. It stands in the center of the town surrounded by a large open square. The usual chambers for the legislative, judicial, and executive bodies are found here.

In one of the offices a curious piece of antiquity is preserved. It is the fragments of a complete suit of ancient steel armour ploughed up in a field near Monticello. From its appearance it is judged to date from the sixteenth century,


lies twenty-four miles west of Tallahassee, (fare $1.50), the present terminus of the railroad. (Pop. 1,000).

Hotels.—Willard’s, in the centre of the town, and Wood’s, at the railroad depot. Both $2.50 per day—$10.00 a week.

Boarding House.—*Mrs. Ann Innes; same prices.

Churches.—Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist.

Newspaper.—The Quincy Monitor, a well conducted Journal.

The vicinity is a rolling, pine country, with limestone sub-soil. Plenty of marl is found, suitable for fertilizing. Cotton, corn, tobacco, and vines are cultivated with success. There is an agricultural association, of{86} which Judge C. H. Dupont is president. Some caves and other natural curiosities are found in the vicinity.

Stages run from Quincy to Chatahoochee, tri-weekly; fare $5.00—twenty miles—an exhorbitant charge. The boarding house in Chatahoochee, $2.00 per day. The steamer from Columbus and Bainbridge, Ga., touch at Chatahoochee daily; fare to Apalachicola, $5.00.


By St. Marks Railroad—distance twenty-one miles; time, one hour and thirty minutes. There is no hotel at St. Marks, and but one boarding house, that of Mrs. Eliza Barber, $3.50 per day, $12.00 per week. There are excellent hunting and fishing in this vicinity, and boats can be hired at very reasonable prices, but horses are scarce. The town is an old Spanish settlement, and some remains of the ancient fortifications are still visible in the vicinity. It was first settled under the name of San Marcos de Apalache, in 1718, by Don Joseph Primo. At one time it was a port of some promise, but has now fallen into insignificance.

It is situated at the junction of the St. Marks and Wakulla rivers. The latter stream is ten miles in length, and takes its rise in the famous *Wakulla fountain. The name is the Creek word wankulla, (n-nasal) South. It is a remarkable curiosity, and should be visited by those who have the time. The most pleasant—and most expensive—means is to hire a carriage at Tallahassee, from which the spring is seventeen miles distant.

The country in the vicinity is low and flat, covered with dense groves of cypress, liveoak, &c. The spring{87} is oval in shape, about thirty yards in diameter, and quite deep. On the eastern side is a rocky ledge, whence the stream issues. The water is cool, impregnated with lime, and of a marvellous clearness. Troops of fishes can be seen disporting themselves in the transparent depths.

Mr. Wise, of the Coast Survey, found bottom at eighty feet, the lead being plainly visible at that depth. In the same vicinity the Ocilla, Wacilla, and Spring Creek Springs are likewise subterranean streams, which boil up from great depths in fountains of perfect clearness.


A few miles from St. Marks, on the St. Marks river, was at one time a place of considerable summer resort, but is now but little visited. Near by is a natural bridge, over the river, which is esteemed sufficiently curious to attract occasional visitors.{88}


Boats leave Jacksonville and Palatka every Thursday for Lake Griffin. Time from Palatka to Silver Spring, forty hours; fare, $5.00; distance, 100 miles. The boats are necessarily small, and the accommodations limited.

The Oklawaha, so called from one of the seven clans of the Seminoles, falls into the St. John opposite the town of Welaka. It is only within a few years that, at a considerable expenditure, it has been rendered navigable. Its mouth is hardly noticed in ascending the St. John.

At Welaka, leaving the broad, placid bosom of the former river, the little steamer enters a narrow, swift and tortuous stream, overhung by enormous cypresses. Its width is from twenty to forty yards, and its depth from fifteen to twenty feet. Natural, leafy curtains of vines and aquatic plants veil its banks.

Twelve miles from the mouth the boat passes


On the right bank, where there are a few houses. Above this point the “Narrows” commence and extend eight miles. The river is divided into numerous branches, separated by wet cypress islands. Dense, monotonous forests of cypress, curled maple, black and prickly ash, cabbage trees, and loblolly bays shut in the stream on both sides.

Seventeen miles above Davenport’s Bluff are the


These rise in the river itself about four feet from the right bank. They are warmer than the river water,{89} and when seen in the sun’s rays have a dark blue tinge. They have never been analyzed.

Nine miles above these springs the pine woods abut on the river, and there is a settlement on the right hand bank called


This is within two miles of *Orange Spring, a sulphur spring, with strongly impregnated waters, but at present without accommodations for travelers. It is to be hoped that this will not continue, as it is one of the most admirable of the many medicinal springs of Florida.

Twelve miles above is


near where the waters of Orange Lake drain into the river.

One and a half miles beyond is a settlement with the pretty name Iola. A few miles further up “forty foot Bluff” commences, which skirts the river several miles, here and there separated from it by cypress groves.

As the steamer ascends, the banks become higher, pines more frequent along the shore, and cultivated fields more numerous.

At length, at a distance of 100 miles from the mouth of the river, the crystal current of *Silver Spring Run, here as large as the river itself above the junction, pours into the coffee-colored waters of the Oklawaha. The Run is ten miles in length, with extensive savannas{90} on either side, shut in by a distant wall of pines. In the spring months these savannas are covered with thousands of beautiful and fragrant flowers.[B] The stream is rapid, with an average width of 100 feet, and a depth of twenty feet. The water is perfectly clear, so that the bottom is distinctly visible. At places, it is clothed with dark green sedge, swaying to and fro in the current; at others, ridges of grey sand and white shells offer a pleasant contrast.

[B] A good description of Silver Spring is found in Gen. McCall’s Letters from the Frontier, p. 149, and a more scientific one in my Notes on the Floridian Peninsula. Appendix I.

The Spring-head forms an oval basin, 150 yards long, 100 feet wide, and forty feet deep. The water gushes from a large opening about 5 feet high, and fifteen feet long, under a ledge of limestone at the north-eastern extremity. It is free from any unpleasant taste, has a temperature of 73 degrees Fah., and is so transparent that a small coin can be distinctly seen on the bottom of the deepest part of the basin. When the basin is seen with the sunbeams falling upon it at a certain angle their refraction gives the sides and bottom the appearance of being elevated and tinged with the hues of the rainbow.

Some observations I took about a mile below the basin, with a three inch log, at a time when the water was at an average height, show that this fountain throws out about three hundred million gallons every twenty-four hours, or more than twenty times the amount consumed daily by New York city.

At Silver Spring stages meet the boat for


The county seat of Marion co., nine miles distant. The intervening country is rolling, with pine woods{91} and hammocks. Ocala is a neat town, with about 300 inhabitants, two hotels, $1.50 per day, $25.00 per mo.; several boarding houses; two newspapers, East Florida Banner; livery stable; physician, Dr. T. P. Gary; several churches; mail three times a week by stage to Gainesville on the Florida R. R., fare for one passenger to Gainesville, $6.00; mail stage to Tampa.

This portion of the State impresses the visitor favorably, and is well adapted for sugar cane and fruit, but it is cursed with malarial fevers of severe type. A few miles south of the town are the remains of Fort King, a military post in the Seminole war, and six miles south, near the road to Tampa, there is a cave of some size in the limestone rock.

Returning now to the Oklawaha, and pursuing our journey up that river, no change in the monotony of the cypress swamp occurs for about sixteen miles above Silver Spring run. At this distance is the small settlement Cow Ford. Beyond it the cypress disappears, and a savanna covered with dense saw grass stretches on either side for one or two miles from the river. This portion of the river has been but recently cleared and it was not till early in 1868 that the first steamboats could make their trips through this part. The chief difficulty encountered was the floating islands which covered the river, sometimes so thickly that no sign of its course was visible. They were composed mainly of the curious aquatic plant the pistia spathulata. These had to be sawed in pieces and the fragments suffered to float down, or fastened to the shore.

After passing through these savannas some miles the boat enters Lake Griffin, a narrow lake about nine{92} miles long. Several thriving settlements are on its banks, which present a diversity of soil, swamp, hammock, and pine land.

Six miles beyond Lake Griffin is Lake Eustis, a smaller body of water, but more pleasing to the eye. The settlement of Fort Mason is upon its shores.

Beyond Lake Eustis a deep channel a mile and a half long called the Narrows leads to Lake Harris. It is fourteen miles in length and in some parts seven miles wide. Much of the land upon its banks is of the best quality. The Oklawaha enters it at its southwestern extremity.


A small village, passed between Lakes Griffin and Harris, is now the county seat of Sumter county. About five miles above Lake Harris is Lake Dunham, the head of navigation of the Oklawaha. A settlement on this lake bearing the name Oklawaha is the terminus.

All this country south of Silver Spring Run is laid down quite incorrectly on all maps but the last edition of Mr. Drew’s “Map of Florida.{93}


(Florida Railroad; distance 154 miles; time 11 hours, 30 min. Fare $11.00.)

The train, on leaving Fernandina, runs southward on Amelia Island, for about three miles, through a forest of pine and live oak with an undergrowth of myrtle and palmetto. The road then turns westward and crosses the salt marshes, and a narrow arm of the sea, the latter about twenty-five yards wide, which separate the island from the main. Beyond these, it enters the low pine lands of Nassau county. They are unproductive, thinly inhabited, and to the traveler extremely monotonous. The first station is Callahan (27 miles); the next Baldwin (Florida House), where a connection is made with the Pensacola and Georgia Railway for Tallahassee, Jacksonville, etc.

The country gradually rises and improves in quality of soil beyond this point, but houses continue sparse. The station next beyond is Trail Ridge (15 miles). Here the mail is delivered for Middleburg on Black Creek, twelve miles east. (See Route up the St. John.)

Much of the land is swampy, and the road crosses a number of small water courses, tributaries of Black Creek. The traveller is now approaching the Lake country of Central Florida. The succeeding small station, Waldo, (22 miles) is in the midst of a group of ponds, lakes and extensive swamps.

They are known as the Ettini ponds. They are separated by sand hills and stretches of fertile low-lands.

Twelve miles beyond Waldo is{94}


Hotels.—*Exchange hotel, by Messrs. Barnes & Shemwell; the Magnolia house; the Bevill house; charges, $2.50 per day.

Newspaper.—The New Era, (Democrat).

Two Livery Stables.

Churches.—Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian.

Gainesville (pop. 1500) is situated in one of the most fertile regions of Florida. It is on a portion of the old “Arredondo Grant,” which embraced the larger part of the rich Alachua plains, and has been called, not without reason, the garden of the State. The soil is a sandy loam, resting on limestone. The latter is friable, and easily eroded by water. The rains frequently thus undermine the soil, which suddenly gives way, forming so-called “sinks” and “pot holes,” common throughout Alachua and the neighboring counties. One of the largest is the *Devil’s Wash Pot, 200 feet in depth, into which three small streams plunge by a series of leaps. Payne’s Prairie, a rich, level tract, twelve miles in length, enclosing a pretty lake, commences three miles south of Gainesville.

The famous *Orange Grove commences about twelve miles south of Gainesville, and extends nearly around Orange Lake. It is probably the largest natural orange grove in the world, and in the spring when the trees are in blossom, perfumes the whole region.

The Natural Bridge over the Santa Fe river is most readily approached from Gainesville, from which it is about twenty-four miles distant, west of north. The road passes through Newnansville, (the Wilson House,{95} widow Frier’s boarding house, both $2.25 per day,) a place of 200 inhabitants. Near this place is Warren’s Cave, a curiosity of local note. The Natural Bridge marks, in fact, the spot where the river enters an underground channel for three miles of its course. Close to the bridge are the Wellington Springs, a sulphurous source of considerable magnitude, but with no accommodations.

A mail stage with very limited provisions for passengers, leaves Gainesville for Micanopy, Ocala, and Tampa, three times a week. Travelers arriving at Gainesville, on their way to the upper St. John, will do well to hire a private conveyance and go by Payne’s prairie and the Orange Grove to Ocala (thirty-eight miles) and the Silver Spring whence they can take the boats on the Oklawaha. (See page 89.) This trip will show them the most fertile portion of central Florida.

Leaving Gainesville, the train passed over a high, rolling, limestone country, through open forests of pine, hickory, blackjack, and other hardwood trees. The first station, Archer, fifteen miles, (one hotel, $3.00 per day,) is in the midst of such scenery. About ten miles beyond it the surface descends, and cypress and hammock become more frequent.

The next station, Otter Creek, twenty-two miles, is on the western border of the dense Gulf hammock, the part of it which lies in this vicinity being styled the Devil’s hammock.

As it approaches the Gulf, the road crosses a number of small creeks and over several arms of the sea, passing from island to island until it reaches Cedar Key{96} (nineteen miles), where is the terminus. (*Hotel kept by Mr. Willard, $3.00 per day.)

The population of the key is about 400, chiefly engaged in lumbering. Excellent hunting and fishing can be had in the vicinity, and many pretty shells and sea-mosses are found along the shore. A hard sand beach, half a mile in length, is a favorite promenade. There are no horses on the island, but boats, here the only means of transportation, can be hired from $3.00 to $5.00 a day. Remains of the former Indian occupants, such as shell mounds, stone axes, arrowheads, pottery, etc., are very abundant.

Steamers touch at Cedar Keys every day or two, providing ready communication with the principal points on the Gulf. The fares are about as follows: to Tampa, $10.00; Key West, $20.00; Havana, $30.00; St. Marks, $10.00; Apalachicola, $20.00; Pensacola, $30.00; New Orleans, $40.00; Mobile, $20.00.{97}



Hotels.—*Russell House, George Phillips, proprietor, on Duval St.; Florida House, both $2.50 per day, $40.00 to $60.00 per month.

Boarding-Houses.—John Dixon, Whitehead Street; Mrs. E. Armbrister, Duval Street; Mrs. Clarke; from $8.00 to $15.00 per week.

Telegraph to Havana and the north; office in Naval depot building. Post Office opposite the Russell House.

Churches.—Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, and Methodist.

Bookseller.—R. P. Campbell, Duval Street, (northern weeklies, Brinton’s Guide-Book).

Newspaper.—Key West Dispatch, weekly, well edited. The Key West Literary Association has a reading-room.

Steamship Lines.—The Baltimore, Havana, and New Orleans line, semi-monthly, to Baltimore, $50.00, to Havana $10.00, to New Orleans $40.00. The C. H. Mallory & Co., line from New York to Galveston and New Orleans, semi-weekly; to New York $40.00, to Galveston $40.00. The Spofford and Tilson line from New York to Galveston and New Orleans, semi-weekly; to New York $40.00, to New Orleans $40.00. The Alliance, United States mail line, to Fort Jefferson, Tampa, Cedar Keys, St. Marks, Apalachicola, Pensacola, and Mobile, the line for the west coast of Florida.

The name Key West is a corruption of the Spanish Cayo Hueso, Bone Key, the latter word being of Indian origin (Arawack, Kairi, island). Formerly it was called Thompson’s island by the English. It is about six{98} miles long and one mile wide, and is formed of an oolitic coralline limestone. It is the highest point of the Florida Keys, yet of such insignificant altitude that the most elevated point is only fifteen feet above the sea level. The soil is thin, swampy and but little cultivated. It produces, however, a thick jungle-like growth of mangroves, cacti, tamarinds, mastics, gum elemi, and similar tropical bushes from twelve to fifteen feet in height. There is no fresh water except that furnished by the rains. Wells are dug in different parts, and reach water at the depth of a few feet, but brackish and unpalatable. So closely, indeed, are these wells in connection with the surrounding ocean, that the water rises and falls in them as the tides do on the shore, but following after an interval of about three hours.

The town is in latitude 24° 33´. It was incorporated in 1829. The present population is 4,800, of which 1500 are colored. It is situated on the northern part of the western end of the island, and has an excellent harbor. Duval is the principal street. Rows of cocoanut palms line some of the principal avenues, presenting a very picturesque appearance. A fine view of the harbor and town can be had from the cupola of Mr. Charles Tilt, agent of the Baltimore line of steamers.

Many of the residences are neat and attractive. The lower part of the town is known as Conch town. Its inhabitants are called Conches, and are principally engaged in “wrecking,” that is, relieving and rescuing the numerous vessels which are annually cast away or driven ashore on the treacherous Florida reef. The Conches are of English descent, their fathers having migrated from the Bahamas. In spite of the dubious reputation{99} which they have acquired, they are a hard working and sufficiently honest set, and carry on their perilous occupation if not quite for the sake of humanity, yet content with a just salvage. Their favorite vessels are sloops of ten to forty tons, which they manage with extraordinary skill.

Quite a number of Spaniards are domesticated in Key West. The dark eyes, rich tresses, graceful forms, and delicate feet of the ladies frequently greet the eye. Havana is only eighty-four miles distant, with almost daily communication.

Fine oranges, coacoanuts, alligator pears, cigars and other good things for which the Pearl of the Antilles is famous can readily be obtained. The favorite social drink is champerou, a compound of curacoa, eggs, Jamaica spirits and other ingredients. Fish are abundant and finely flavored. A variety of sardine has been found in the waters near, and has been used commercially to a limited extent.

The principal industries are “sponging” and “turtling.” The sponges are collected along the reef and shores of the peninsula. From December, 1868, to March, 1869, 14,000 pounds were received by one merchant. They are all, however, of inferior quality.

The turtles are of four varieties. The green turtle is the most highly prized as food. They are sometimes enormous in size, weighing many hundred pounds. The hawke-bill turtle is the variety from which “tortoise shell” for combs, etc., is obtained. The loggerhead and duck bill are less esteemed.

Extensive salt works have long been in operation here. They produce annually about 30,000 bushels of{100} salt by solar evaporation. Corals and shells of unusual beauty are found among the keys, and can be bought for a trifling amount. Handsome canes made of the Florida crab-tree, are also to be purchased.

Key West is a U. S. naval station for supplying vessels with coal, provisions, etc. There is a Naval Hospital near the town, 100 feet in length, and several other extensive public buildings. As in a military point of view the point is deemed of great importance in protecting our gulf coast, the general government has gone to large expense in fortifying it. Fort Taylor, at the entrance of the harbor, is still in process of construction. When completed, it will mount 200 heavy guns. Besides it there are two large batteries, one on the extreme north part of the island, and one midway between it and Fort Taylor. The Barracks are usually occupied by a company of the 5th U. S. Artillery.

The climate of Key West is the warmest and the most equable in the United States. Even in winter the south winds are frequently oppressive and debilitating. From five to ten “northers” occur every winter, and though they are not agreeable on account of the violence of the wind, they do not reduce the temperature below 40 degrees Fahr.

Though the proximity of the Gulf Stream renders the air very moist, mists and fogs are extremely rare, owing to the equability of the temperature, and though the hygrometer shows that the air is constantly loaded with moisture, this same equability allows the moon and stars to shine with a rare and glorious brilliancy, such as we see elsewhere on dry and elevated plateaux.

Another effect of the Gulf Stream may also be noted.{101} Every evening, shortly after sunset, a cloud-bank rises along the southern horizon in massive, irregular fleeces, dark below and silver gilt above by the rays of the departing sun. This is the cloud-bank over the Gulf Stream, whose vast current of heated waters is rushing silently along, some twelve miles off.


Two steamers of the Alliance line from Key West, touch monthly at the Tortugas. Also, two schooners ply between the two points.

The Dry Tortugas (Sp. Turtle islands), are a group of small coral islands, about a score in number, fifty miles west of Key West. Garden Key is the main island, upon which Fort Jefferson is situated. It is about one mile in circumference, comprising nine acres of ground. The fort is an irregular hexagonal structure, of double circular walls of brick and earth, with a foundation of coral rock. It was commenced in 1846. The entrance is through a handsome and massive *sallyport. Inside, on the right, are the lighthouse and keeper’s residence.

Between the walls the barracks and officers’ quarters are situated. A well-kept walk of cement leads from the sallyport to the latter. Within the inner wall is an open space of about fifteen acres, well set in Bermuda grass, and dotted here and there with cocoanut palms.

There is a good library in the fort. Service every Sunday by an army chaplain.

Nearly a thousand prisoners were confined here during the war. At one time the yellow fever carried{102} off great numbers of them. Sand Key, a barren sand bank of twenty-five acres, is used as a cemetery. Loggerhead Key, some miles west, has a tall and symmetrical lighthouse. Bird Key is a favorite resort of turtles.


Mail Schooner on the 1st and 15th of every month from Key West. Accommodations poor and insufficient. No public house, and few settlers at Miami.

Undoubtedly the finest winter climate in the United States, both in point of temperature and health, is to be found on the south-eastern coast of Florida. It is earnestly to be hoped, for the sake of invalids, that accommodations along the shore at Key Biscayne and at the mouth of the Miami, will, before long, be provided, and that a weekly or semi-weekly steamer be run from Key West thither. In the concluding chapters of this book I shall give in detail my reasons for thinking so highly of that locality, and shall here describe it with some minuteness. One strong argument in its favor I insert here. While it is the very best, it could also be made the most accessible part of the sea coast of Florida, as the whole journey from the north or north-west could be made by water; the only transhipment being at Key West.

On leaving the harbor the schooner takes a southerly course, passing on the left numbers of low keys covered with dense mangrove bushes, quite concealing their shores. Here and there are gleaming ridges of white rocks, over which the breakers tumble in glittering sheets of foam. This is a portion of the dreaded reef,{103} on which unnumbered vessels have met their destruction. These naked islets, uninhabited and surrounded by the interminable moan of the ocean, impressed with an undefined sense of sadness the early Spanish mariners. They therefore called them Los Martires (the Martyrs); “and well they deserve the name,” says the old chronicler, “for many a man, since then, has met a painful death upon them.” (Herrera, Historia de las Indias. Dec. I, Lib. IX, cap. X.)

These are kept within sight until the Cape Florida light comes into view, (latitude 25 degrees, 39 minutes, 56 seconds,) on the extreme southern point of Key Biscayne. On rounding the light, Key Biscayne Bay is entered. This is a body of water about twenty-five miles long, and from two to six miles broad. The settlement of Miami is on the river of that name, a clear, beautiful stream, fringed with mangrove, and marked for some distance with a long line of coacoanut trees, laden with their large, green fruit. At its mouth it is about a hundred yards wide, with an average depth of six feet. There are about a dozen settlers on Key Biscayne Bay. Lieutenant Governor Gleason resides at Miami, and will entertain travelers to the extent that he can.

At this part of the coast, a ridge of loose coralline limestone about four miles in width, and from ten to twenty-five feet in height, extends along the shore between the bay and the Everglades. No ponds of stagnant water are near, and the soil, though not very rich, is a loose, sandy loam, exceedingly well adapted for garden vegetables and fruit. Arrow root (Maranta arundinacea) and the koonta, an allied plant, grow in great{104} abundance, and are highly prized by the Indians as food.

Arch creek empties into Key Biscayne bay ten miles north of the Miami river. It receives its name from a *natural arch of limestone rock, fifty feet wide, which spans the waters of the stream as they flow through a channel a number of feet below.

The *Punch bowl is the name given by the sailors to a curious natural well about one mile south of the mouth of the Miami and close to the shore. It is always filled with good sweet water and is greatly resorted to on that account.

Game, as deer, bear, turkeys, etc., is very abundant in the pine woods which extend along the coast, and fish swarm in countless numbers in the bay. Turtle of the finest kinds can be caught on the islets off shore. Oysters are plentiful, but smaller and not so well flavored as on the gulf coast.

When it is remembered that in addition to these desirable advantages, the temperature of this favored spot is so equable that it does not vary in some years more than 25°, its advantages as a resort for invalids will be evident.

The abundance of game on the shore ridge from Cape Sable to the Miami, led it to be chosen as a favorite spot of resort by the Indians, and it is still known distinctively as the “Hunting Grounds.” Its character is quite uniform. Near the shore is a breadth of rolling prairie land at points quite narrow, at others six miles in width, and elevated from three to eight or ten feet above high water. This is backed by a ridge about{105} one quarter of a mile wide, covered with pines and black mangroves.

Most of the keys are cut by deep lagoons, and the whole of their surfaces are under water at high tide. Only a few have any soil fit for vegetables, and settlements upon them are very scarce. Old and New Matacumba have springs of fresh water, and were one of the last resorts of the ancient Caloosa Indians. Dove and Tea Table Keys are said to have the richest soil, “the best I have seen in Florida,” says Mr. Wainright, of the U. S. Coast Survey.{106}


Steamers from Key West touch at all the principal points on the western or Gulf coast of the peninsula.

This coast is very much the same in character throughout its whole extent. It is an almost continuous belt of marsh, cut by innumerable creeks and bayous, extending from five to fifteen miles into the interior. Thousands of small islands covered with stunted mangroves, and wholly or in part overflowed at high water, conceal the main land. The channels between them are usually shallow, with mud bottoms, and in parts, the slope of the shore is so gradual that low water exposes a mud flat one to two miles wide.

From Key West to St. Marks there are two tides daily, in the twenty-four (lunar) hours, one, the highest, rising from one foot to one foot six inches. From St. Marks to the Mississippi the smaller tide disappears, so there remains but one daily.

Immediately north of Cape Sable, which shows from the sea a sand-beach three feet high, are the Thousand Isles, some few of which were formerly cultivated by Spanish planters. Charlotte Harbor, between latitude 26 degrees 30 seconds and 27 degrees, is entered by the Boca Grande, which has fifteen feet of water at low tide. The bay itself has a depth of three or four fathoms. At its southern extremity it receives the waters of Caloosahatchee river. This stream has a depth of twelve feet for thirty-five or forty miles, and with a little expense could be rendered navigable for steamboats. The lower part of its course is through swamps, but about twenty-five miles up, it flows through high lands covered with palms, oak, pine, and palmetto.{107}

Between Charlotte Harbor and Sarasota Bay the shore forms a straight line of white sand beach several feet in height, and covered with pine and cypress. Sarasota Bay is about twenty miles long, and one to four broad, dotted with numerous mangrove islets. Its depth is about eight feet.

North of Tampa bay are several small rivers, the Pithlo-chas-kotee, or boat-building river, the Chassahowitzka, the Crystal, the Homosassa, and the Wethlocco-chee or Withlacooche. Their banks are low and marshy, producing little of value except a fine variety of cedar. Much of this is exported to France and England for the manufacture of lead pencils.

In the coves where the mud is not too deep oyster banks are numerous, and on almost every little stream the traveler finds the shell heaps left by the aborigines of the country. One of these of unusual size and interest, on the Crystal River, I have described in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for 1866, p. 356.

Sponge reefs also occur at various parts of the coast and many small vessels are employed in collecting these animals and drying them for the market.

The low lands along the coast are often rich, but they are unhealthy. The United States Army Medical Reports pronounce them the most unhealthy parts of the peninsula. This, however, does not apply to the sandy pine tracts south of Tampa Bay, many of which still bear the imprint of an extended cultivation in some past time.{108}


Hotels.—*Florida House, Orange Grove Hotel, both $2.00 per day, $35.00 to $40.00 per month.

Boarding Houses.—Several in number, from $5.00 to $10.00 per week.

Mails.—By steamer, twice weekly; to Brookville, weekly.

Churches.—Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic.

Newspapers.The True Southerner, republican; the Florida Peninsular, democratic, both weekly.

Sailboats and Horses, about $1.00 per day.

Tampa is a town of 600 inhabitants, on the left (east) bank of Hillsborough river, where it empties into Hillsborough bay. It is thirty miles from the light house at the entrance of the harbor. The soil is poor, covered chiefly with pine, red oak and palmettos.

For many years this has been an important military station. Fort Brooke, commenced 1823, stands on the reservation near the town, and additional barracks have recently been erected. Several companies of infantry are here most of the time.

Excellent hunting and fishing can be had in the vicinity of Tampa. The oysters in the bay are as large, abundant and finely flavored as anywhere on the Gulf coast. The orange groves are flourishing and many of the inhabitants raise garden vegetables. Old army officers have learned to regard it as one of the best stations in the United States for providing the mess.

The land in the vicinity is level. A large Indian mound, nearly twenty feet high, stands upon the reservation,{109} close to the town. Last winter (1869) this was opened by a curiosity seeker, and the usual contents of Florida mounds—bones, pottery, ornaments, etc.—taken out. Beautiful specimens of chalcedony and fortification agate, well known in mineralogical cabinets, are found along the shore, washed out from the marl. Above Tampa, on the Hillsborough river, is a Sulphur Spring thirty feet in diameter and twelve feet deep. At the rapids of the Hillsborough river, near the spring, a dark bluish siliceous rock, supposed to be eocene, crops out.


is a small town six miles from the mouth of Manatee river, near the southern entrance of Tampa Bay. There is no hotel, but accommodations can be had with Judge Gates, or other residents. Fine orange groves and sugar plantations are near here. Manatee is a shallow, sluggish stream, two miles wide, with salt water. A weekly mail boat with Tampa is the only regular communication. Historically, Tampa, or Espiritu Santo Bay, as the Spaniards named it, is interesting as the landing place of Hernando de Soto in May, 1539. The precise spot where his soldiers disembarked cannot now be decided. Theodore Irving (Conquest of Florida, p. 58) places it immediately in the village of Tampa, at the extreme head of Hillsborough Bay. Buckingham Smith, whose studies of the old Spanish maps and records of Florida have been most profound, lays it down at the entrance of Tampa Bay, on the south bank, between Manatee river and the Gulf Shore. But he adds: “could I utterly disregard the authority of old maps,{110} and an opinion sanctioned by a long succession of writers, I should judge the landing-place of Soto to be far southward of Tampa.”

After a short stay, the steamer leaves Tampa and heads for Cedar Keys, distant one hundred and sixty miles; fare $10.00; time twenty-four hours. This has already been described. The next point is St. Marks, the terminus of the Tallahassee railroad, which has already been spoken of in a previous route. (Distance 100 miles from Cedar Keys to St. Marks; fare $10.00.) The steamer next stops at


distant sixty miles from St. Marks. This town, once a place of considerable trade, exporting a hundred thousand bales of cotton a year, is now extremely dull. It has a good harbor, and being at the mouth of the Chattahoochee river, has capacities not yet developed. Steamers run from here to Bainbridge, Georgia, and all stations on the river.

After leaving Apalachicola the steamer heads southward, the long, low island, St. George’s, being visible on the left, and St. Vincent’s island and the main land on the right. Once into the Gulf, no more land is seen until the well-fortified entrance to Pensacola harbor comes in sight. The town of Warrenton, where the United States navy yard is situated, is first seen. It is a small place.


No hotel. Boarding houses by Mrs. Davis, on the beach, near the depot; Mrs. Knapp, on Intendencia{111} street; Mrs. Williams, on Palafox, the principal street. Mr. Hoffman, at the depot, has good accommodations for a limited number. Gentlemen can obtain lodging-rooms above Giovanni’s confectionary store, on Palafox street, and meals at the City Restaurant, opposite the square. The charge at the boarding houses is $3.00 per day, $15.00 per week.

A daily mail and telegraph office are now there. Baths and livery stables convenient.

Newspapers.—The Pensacola Observer, tri-weekly; the West Florida Commercial, weekly. Reading room for gentlemen at the “Gem” restaurant.

Churches.—Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist.

Physicians.—Drs. Hargis, Lee.

Pensacola has about 2000 inhabitants, one-third of whom are colored. The bay was discovered in 1559, by Don Tristan de Luna y Arellana, who named it Santa Maria de Galve. He landed with 1500 men and a number of women and children, intending to establish a permanent colony. The neighborhood, however, proved barren, the ships were wrecked, and after two years the few who survived returned to Mexico. In 1696, Don Andres de Arriola made another attempt with more success. He constructed a fort at the entrance of the harbor, and received the title Governor of Pensacola, the name being taken from a small native tribe called Pensocolos, who dwelt in the vicinity. The name is Choctaw, and means “Hairy People.” In 1719, it was captured by the French, under M. de Serigny, who lost and regained it within the year. In 1721, it reverted to Spain, and some attempt was made by that power to lay out a city.{112}

A few old Spanish buildings yet stand, but have nothing about them worthy of note. Half a mile north of the bay is the site of Fort St. Michael, a commanding eminence, with a fine view of the bay and navy yard. About six hundred yards north of St. Michael’s, stood Fort St. Bernard, known as el sombrero, from its resemblance to a hat. Both these edifices are completely demolished, and a few stones, potsherds, and pieces of iron are all that remain to mark their positions.

The climate of Pensacola is bracing in winter, but not at all suited to consumptives. All such should avoid it, as they almost invariably grow worse. The pine lands, twenty or thirty miles north of the city, are much more favorable to such patients.

A railroad is just finished from Pensacola to Montgomery, Ala., which connects this seaport with Louisville and the northern States east of the Mississippi. Doubtless this will give the old town quite an impetus in growth. A pamphlet setting forth its advantages as a seaport and place of residence was published in July of the present year (1869) by A. C. Blount, President of the railroad.


Is a pleasant town of about a thousand inhabitants, thirty miles from Pensacola.

Hotels.—Eagle and City Hotel, $2.25 a day in each.

A daily steamboat line connects the two towns (fare $2) and a tri-weekly line of hacks runs from Milton to Poland, Ala., en the Montgomery & Mobile R. R., thirty-three miles—fare $5.

After leaving Pensacola, the next stopping place of the steamer is{113}


Hotels.—The Battle House, corner Royal and St. Francis streets, $4.00 per day, an old established and well known house; *Gulf City Hotel, corner Water and Conti streets, $3 per day, $17.50 per week, $65 per month, new and good; Roper House, corner Royal and St. Michael streets, same price as Gulf City Hotel, except $50 per month; Girard House, 123 Dauphin street, $2.50 per day; Goff House, Conti street, not first class.

Post Office.—In Custom House, opposite the Battle House. Telegraph and Express offices near by.

Bath Booms.—In Battle House, 50 cents; in Gulf City Hotel, 35 cents, and in a barber shop on St. Francis street, opposite the ladies entrance to the Battle House, 35 cents.

Restaurant.—Jenkins’, on Royal street, opposite the Battle House, is the best.

Bookseller.—Putnam & Co., 52 Dauphin street.

Livery Stable.—Hayden & Meenan, 39 Royal street, near the Roper House; carriage and driver, for half a day, $8.00; buggy, for half a day, $5.

Newspapers.—The Daily Register; the Daily Tribune.

Physician.—Dr. T. S. Scales, 128 Dauphin street.

Omnibusses meet the boats and cars, and street cars run on the principal streets—fare five cents and ten cents.

Theaters.—Mobile Theater, Variety Theater, both on Royal street.

The city (population 35,000) is situated about thirty miles from the Gulf of Mexico, on the west side of Mobile Bay. The bay is shallow and the channel tortuous.{114} The rivals of the city say that the entrance is filling up, and will, before many generations, become little more than a marsh. The site of the town is on a sandy plain, elevated about fifteen feet above high tide, and is, consequently, well drained. The houses extend along the bay nearly three miles.

The city was founded by the French at the commencement of the last century, but remained an insignificant post until 1819, when it was incorporated. Since then it has grown with rapidity, and is now one of the most active cotton ports in the United States. Many of the buildings are handsome, and though the city suffered considerably during the war, it is rapidly regaining its former wealth. An excellent Directory has been published by the Southern Publishing Co.

The Custom House is the finest public edifice. It is constructed of marble.

There is a public square in a central locality, and the abundance of hedges of the Cherokee Rose, a flowering evergreen, gives the streets a pleasant appearance.{115}




In these days when the slow coach of our fathers has long been discarded, and steam and lightning are our draught horses, the advantages to health of a change of climate should be considered by every one. It is an easy, a pleasant, and a sure remedy in many a painful disorder. Need I fortify such an assertion by the dicta of high authorities? One is enough. “It would be difficult,” says Sir James Clark, M.D., whose name is familiar to every physician in connection with this very question, “to point out the chronic complaint, or even the disordered state of health which is not benefitted by a timely and judicious change of climate.”

Let me run over this catalogue of maladies and specify some in which “fresh fields and pastures new” are of especial value. All anticipate the first I mention—pulmonary consumption,—that dreaded scourge which year by year destroys more than did the cholera in its most fatal epidemics. Even those who lay no claim to medical knowledge are well aware how often the consumptive prolongs and saves his life by a timely change of air; they are not aware—few doctors with{116} their diplomas are aware—how much oftener this fortunate result would be obtained were the change made with judgment, and the invalid to lend his own energies in this battle for life which his constitution is waging against disease. How to make this change with judgment, and how to employ these energies, these chapters are intended to inform him.

The watchword of the battle is: Courage. It is, indeed, not rare to see those who should have been left at home to die surrounded by home comforts, exiled by their wearied physician, or dragged by the ignorant solicitude of friends, late in their disease, to some strange land, there to meet their inevitable fate, deprived of the little luxuries so useful to them, served by unsympathizing strangers, far from the old, familiar faces. There are others who go early enough, and are earnest in their efforts to husband their flagging powers. But they have chosen a climate ill-adapted to the form of their complaint, they know not the precautions they should take, they have omitted provisions of essential value, in fine, they “die of medicable wounds.”

These examples should not discourage others. The medical science of to-day gives its strongest endorsement to this maxim: Consumption is cureable, IF TAKEN IN ITS EARLY STAGES. And in its cure, change of climate is an essential element. Nor does science hesitate to go farther. Even when the lungs are decidedly affected, even when the practised ear of the physician detects that ominous gurgling sound in the chest which reveals the presence of a cavity in the lungs, it still says Hope. We know that even then there is a good chance for life in many cases. Often the disease has{117} invaded but a very circumscribed portion of lung and all the remainder is healthy; sometimes having gone thus far it seems to have spent its malignant powers, and rests for years, or disappears altogether; often under the genial influence of appropriate climate and regimen, the ulcer heals and health is restored.

Bronchitis is another complaint which calls for change of air. There are persons who contract a cough regularly at the beginning of every winter, which disappears only with the warm spring days. They hawk, and expectorate, and have pains in the breast, and a sore and tickling throat all the cold months. This is bronchitis, chronic bronchitis. Clergymen are very liable to it from neglect of precautions in using the voice. It is quite common among elderly people, and often paves the way for their final illness. In young persons it portends consumption. Nothing so effectually dispels it as a winter in a warm climate. I speak now from my own experience.

There is a disease not less common, hardly less formidable, often more distressing, more repulsive, than consumption. It is scrofula—that taint in the blood by which the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children unto and beyond the third and fourth generation. It often throws around its victims the charms of a strange beauty and a precocious, spiritual, intelligence. But the wise physician regards with anxious forbodings these signs so prized by loving friends. Here, too, a total change of air, diet, surroundings, is urgently, often imperatively, demanded.

One of the banes of our raw, damp atmosphere is rheumatism. It is painful, it is common, it is dangerous.{118} In recent years we have learned that a fatal complication is alarmingly frequent in this complaint—organic disease of the heart. In examining for life insurance, we enquire particularly if the candidate is rheumatic. If the answer is affirmative, three times out of four we detect some unnatural action in this great centre of life. Now, it is well known how beneficially a warm, equable climate acts on sufferers with this malady. Let them, therefore, be warned in time to seek this means of prolonging life.

There is a complaint which makes us a burden to ourselves, and too often a nuisance to our companions. It is not dangerous, but is most trying. I mean dyspepsia, a hydra-headed disease, wearing alike to mind and body. The habits of our countrymen and countrywomen predispose them to it. In our great cities it is exceedingly prevalent. It, too, is always relieved, often completely cured by traveling—and often nothing but this will cure it.

The same may be said of those states of nervous and mental exhaustion, consequent on the harrassing strain of our American life, our over-active, excitable, national temperament. This exhaustion shows itself in the faltering step, the care-worn expression, the disturbed nutrition, in palpitation, in irritability, in causeless anxiety, and a legion of similar symptoms. Doctors call it paresis, and say that it is a new disease, a visitation of nature upon us for our artificial, unquiet lives.

There is an era in life when no actual disease is present, when the body visibly yields to the slow and certain advance of age. The mind, too, sympathises, and loses the keenness of its faculties. With most, this is{119} about the age of sixty. It has long been noticed how fatal this period is. It is known as “the grand climacteric” in works on life. It has also been noticed that it is the winter months especially that are dangerous to persons at this age. The old Romans had this pregnant expression: “inimicior senibus hyems,”—winter, the foe of the aged. Modern research proves its correctness. An English physician, Dr. Day, calculating from nearly 55,000 cases over sixty years of age, discovered the startling fact that the deaths in January were within a small fraction twice as many as in July! Such an unexpected statement reminds us of that significant expression of another distinguished statistician who had studied closely the relation of mortality and temperature: “Waves of heat are waves of life; and waves of cold are waves of death.” With these, and a hundred similar warnings before us, we are safe in saying that in many cases entire relaxation from business and two or three winters in a warm climate about the age of sixty, will add ten years to life.

I now approach a delicate topic. A warm climate promises aid where medicines are utterly ineffectual. I mean in marriages not blessed by offspring. Most readers know how early females are married in the tropics. Mothers of fourteen and sixteen years are not uncommon. Heat stimulates powerfully the faculty of reproduction. The wives of the French colonists in Algiers are notably more fertile than when in their Northern homes. So we can with every reason recommend to childless couples, without definite cause of sterility, a winter in the south. I have known most happy effects from it.{120}


This is a question of vital importance. An error here is fatal. Every person, every case of the same disease, is not at all suited by the same climate. Many an invalid who would survive for years, if he passed his winters in Florida, is sent to die in the cold, dry air of Minnesota; some who would find health at St. Paul, choose to perish at St. Augustine; there are some whose safety lies in the mountains, others who can find it nowhere but on the sea shore.

Neither patients nor physicians fully appreciate the extreme importance of deciding correctly here, and abiding by the decision. The invalid is apt to go where it is most convenient, or most agreeable for him to go. He goes where he has friends. He goes at his peril.

I have in mind the case of a young priest, the only child of his parents, loved by them as an only child is loved by the warm Irish heart. Before leaving the seminary, unmistakeable signs of consumption showed themselves. By assiduous care, he passed the winter comfortably, and as spring approached, his disease was checked. Every symptom abated. He gained in weight and strength. The cough nearly disappeared; the night sweats left him; his appetite returned. When summer opened, I said to him: “Go to the mountains. Complete restoration awaits you there. Avoid the sea shore. It is death to you.” I heard nothing more from him for two months. Then I was summoned in haste I found him with an irritative fever, with daily chills, with a distressing cough. He had been to the mountains for several weeks, and had improved so rapidly that he thought himself well, and concluded to join some{121} friends on the Atlantic shore. He did so, and the result was before me. I then had the most painful duty of a physician’s life to perform,—that of informing a mother that her only child is beyond human aid.

And here I must say, with all deference to the faculty, that the ignorance and carelessness of physicians in reference to this matter of climate are at most reprehensible. Few of them make any distinction in cases. They send all consumptives to Minnesota, or to Texas, or to Florida, or to Cuba, as if in every instance what is sauce for goose is also sauce for gander. Thus it happens that the most eligible climates gain a bad reputation. They suit many, perhaps most, but they do not suit all. Go to Nice, Naples, the Isle of Pines, you will find invalids who unquestionably, were they at home, would be in a better place. This is chiefly the fault of their physicians. When a doctor recommends a climate, and yet is unable to tell you its temperature, its moisture, its prevailing winds, its seasons, its local diseases, its articles of food, its water, its mineral springs, its accommodations for travellers—beware of him. He is a dangerous counsellor. These facts the physician must know to advise wisely.

There are others which he must learn from the invalid himself. Constitutions are differently affected by climate, and so are cases of the same disease. Some climates are sedative and relaxing, others tonic and bracing; some are moist and soothing, others dry and steeling. Some constitutions are nervous and irritable, others torpid and sluggish; some have plenty of latent force which needs use, in others the vital powers are naturally weak, and must be carefully husbanded. In{122} some cases, the symptoms are of an inflammatory, in others of an atonic character; in some, the secretions are scanty, in others profuse; in some, considerations of diet are of great importance, in others they do not enter; in some, the cough is importunate, in others, hardly annoying—and a hundred other differences might be added. The question is a complicated one. It asks for its solution the utmost care of the physician. It almost demands the trained skill of the specialist.

I repeat, therefore, that no climate can be recommended indiscriminately to all; that the climate must be selected by an intelligent physician who has carefully studied the case; that the locality which brings life to one, brings death to another; and, therefore, that having decided on a change of climate, it is of vital importance to select the right one.

The decision between a warm and a cold climate must be made somehow thus: If you have usually borne cold well, if you have not been subject to cold feet and hands, and disagreeable chilliness; if you are accustomed to out-door exercise in winter; if you are not subject to catarrhs, pneumonia, pleurisy, coughs, irritation of the pharynx; if you are not plethoric; if you are free from rheumatic, neuralgic or gouty pains which become worse as winter approaches; if your throat is anæmic rather than congestive, and your liver torpid; if your health is not already too much reduced to stand the icy winds of the north; if you prefer winter to summer, and the cold to the hot months; if heat oppresses you and enervates you;—then if you want to change your climate, go to Minnesota, to Labrador, or the Canadian highlands. But no, this is not all. Have you a fancy{123} for any particular spot among those famous for salubrity? Is there a pastime or pursuit to which you are addicted? Do you love to boat, fish, hunt, ride, camp out, botanize, photograph? Indulge your taste. Such considerations have quite as much weight as many a medical reason. Then there is the question of money. If you carry the cares of business with you; if you have to pinch and spare on your journey; if you are worried about your expenses, the trip will do you little good, I have tried to give accurate accounts of the cost of living in the South, so that a traveler may know what to expect there.

All these matters have to be weighed, and from them a conclusion reached as to what climate is best. It is a complicated question, and it is not enough that the doctor make his diagnosis and then oracularly pronounces the name of some locality as that best suited for your disease. It is easy for him, but it may turn out hard for you.


In studying this question of climate, more particularly with reference to those who suffer from diseases of the throat and lungs, I have taken some pains to satisfy myself whereabout in the South those of them whom a Southern climate suits will find the most eligible climatic conditions in winter. I shall give the result of my studies, though for reasons which will soon appear, it is of no great use just now. I build for the future.

The model climate for such invalids must satisfy four{124} conditions. It must have an equable temperature, moderate moisture, moderate and regular winds, and freedom from local disease.

First about temperature. Here the mere amount of heat or cold is not so much to be looked at, as what meteorologists call the range. The thermometer should show no great difference in the day and the night, or between one day and another. Sudden changes should not appear on the record. Warmth is desirable because it leads to a life in the open air, prevents chilly and close rooms, and soothes the irritable air passages. Heat above seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit is objectionable, because it is debilitating, and hinders exercise.

In the United States, Key West has the warmest climate and the least range. Its mean annual temperature is 76°.5; its range 52° Fahrenheit. This is rather too hot. Nor is it free from some other objections. The island is small, barren, and uninteresting; there are no rides and drives, and violent winds from the north and northeast occur more or less every winter.

Many have lauded the climate of Texas. It is true that the hottest portions of that State have a mean annual temperature of 73°. But then the winters there are as cold as in Southern Georgia, and the range is nowhere less than 70°, and generally 80° to 90°. Then there are the “northers,” chilling winds from the north, which reduce the temperature 10° to 20° in a few hours. In fine, the climate is much less equable than on the south Atlantic coast. The winter temperature of most of Texas is as low as that of South Carolina.

This is too low. The mean temperature of Charleston, S. C., is 66°, the range nearly 95°. At Savannah{125} the temperature of the year is 65°, the range about 90°. The summers at these points are hot, the winter months often cold, damp, and raw. It is precisely these months, and these only, which interest us just now. To present the matter more fully I extract the following table from the Medical statistics of the U. S. Army. It is based on careful observations extending over many years, and shows the temperature of each of the winter months in a number of places in the South:

Locality. December. January. February.
Aiken, S. C.,  47°   45°   50°
Charleston, 52 51 52
Savannah, 53 52 55
Tallahassee, 55 55 60
Mobile, 52 55 50
Pensacola, 56 54 56
St. Augustine, 57 57 60
New Smyrna, 63 62 64
Cedar Keys, 62 58 58
Tampa Bay, 61 61 63
Ocala, 63 58 58
Miami River, 67 66 67
Key West, 70 69 70
Corpus Christi, 57 56 57

Corpus Christi is the hottest place in Texas; yet its winters are colder than on the eastern coast of Florida, and its annual range is 70 degrees. The highest winter temperature observed anywhere on the mainland of the United States was at Fort Dallas on the Miami river, and at New Smyrna, some miles north of it, both on the east coast of Florida. Furthermore, their range is less than anywhere else. During four years that the army officers watched the thermometer at Fort Dallas, the{126} highest point reached by the mercury was 95 degrees; the lowest 35 degrees; a range, therefore, of 60 degrees in four years.

I conclude therefore that the most equable climate of the United States is on the south-eastern coast of Florida.

I shall dismiss the second condition in a few words. Moist warmth is soothing; dryness is irritating; every one who has worn a poultice knows this. A moist, warm air, moderately charged with vapor, or even approaching a saturated condition, is therefore, as a rule, most agreeable to the air passages, and the general comfort. In winter, all along our southern seaboard the air is moist; it is sufficiently warm and moist both, nowhere but in southeastern Florida, as the table of winter temperatures shows us.

A moist atmosphere is not always a rainy one. A rainy climate, no matter what other conditions it may have, is a detestable one. Southern Florida has a hot and rainy season from May to September. Everything moulds, and drips, and steams. The rainfall averages every year from forty-five to sixty inches. But nearly all of it falls in the summer months. In December, January and February, two, two and a half, and three inches a month are an ordinary average. This means that the weather is much more generally fair than foul.

The third condition is the prevalence of moderate and regular winds. I have already hinted about the Texan “northers.” Similar windstorms occur throughout the Gulf States. I have felt them disagreeably at Key West, though there the tepid waters of the Gulf of Mexico temper their blasts. Sometimes they blow{127} violently for thirty-six or forty-eight hours. On the southeastern coast of Florida they are both warmed by the Gulf, and lessened in violence by the woods of the peninsula. The winds there are in winter usually north, northeast, and northwest. In summer a breeze from the sea sets in about ten A. M., which often reduces the temperature about six degrees in ten minutes, without causing other than a pleasant sensation. At night a land breeze blows off the land.

The occasional cold winds in winter are an objection from which no part of our southern country is wholly free. Moderate winds are essential to the purity of the atmosphere, and these generally prevail along the Gulf.

The fourth condition of climate is a vital one. I have witnessed the results of months of care destroyed by a single attack of intermittent fever. I have already stated that miasmatic fevers are extremely common in the interior of Florida during the summer and early autumn, but they do not occur on the sea coast during the late autumn and winter.

This is especially true of southeastern Florida. Portions of our army were stationed there during all seasons, for a number of years, and the testimony of the army surgeons is unanimous and most favorable. And let me here remind the reader that the surgeons of the United States Army are thoroughly educated physicians, of unequaled experience in all the variety of climate which our country presents, and who, having no quarter sections to sell, or other axe to grind, give their evidence with the utmost impartiality. Here is one quotation from a report to the Surgeon General, dated at Fort Pierce, on Indian river: “This post has a climate,{128} in every respect, perhaps, unsurpassed by any in the world.” And these are the words of Dr. R. F. Simpson, U. S. A., writing about Fort Dallas, on the Miami, the very spot I have been maintaining approaches nearest the model climate for consumptives: “I have been on duty at most of the posts in Florida, but none compare with this for salubrity.”

The sea coast of south-east Florida, therefore, fulfils the four conditions which make up the best climate for a consumptive. I have other testimony about it well worth presenting. It, too, comes from the same unimpeachable source,—the medical statistics of the United States Army. I preface it by a fact of general interest about the whole of Florida. All know how terribly arduous must be campaigning through the swamps and everglades of that State. Yet the yearly mortality from disease of the regular army there, was only twenty-six per thousand men. The average of the army elsewhere was thirty-five per thousand, while in Texas it rose to forty, and on the lower Mississippi to forty-four per thousand.

But the character of disease interests us most just now. We are inquiring particularly about throat and lung complaints. These army statistics are here of immense value. They specify the diseases of each station. I have taken these four: Consumption (phthisis pulmonalis), bronchitis, inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia), and pleurisy; and have ascertained their relative frequency at various points in the South. Here are the results (omitting fractions): In Arkanzas, each year, one man in every sixteen came under the surgeon’s hands, with one or other of these diseases; on{129} the southern frontier of Texas, also one in sixteen; at Baton Rouge, La., one in seventeen; on the western frontier of Texas, one in nineteen; on the west coast of Florida, one in twenty-one; on the east coast of Florida, one in thirty-nine!

This is confirmation strong indeed. Even in the favored northwest, we may look in vain for anything equal to it. The sick reports of St. Paul, Minn., show one in every nineteen, yearly treated for these complaints.

Yet all this avails nothing, so long as there are no accommodations for invalids, in this favored region, none of the conveniences of civilized life, few inhabitants of any kind, hardly any means of getting there. There are bluffs forty feet high and more, on Indian river, beautiful localities along Key Biscayne Bay, in a glorious climate, healthy beyond any in our country, very easy of access from Key West, near the best hunting grounds of Florida, where an abundance of the most delicious tropical fruits could be raised, where fish, sea turtles and oysters abound; all that is needed is a weekly steamer from Key West, and a few plain, well kept, moderate priced hotels, to make it the most eligible spot in the South for the invalid or the tourist.

It has other attractions. I have been told that it is the only part of Florida where the pine apple will grow in the open air. Certainly guavas, pomegranates, dates, alligator pears, (that fruit which it is worth a voyage to the tropics to taste,) sugar apples and most of the other appetizing luxuries of the torrid zone would flourish.

The climate in winter is serene, from two-and-a-half{130} to three inches of rain falling per month. The mean daily marking of the thermometer from November to April is 72°, of the hygrometer 68°. Here is another hint. The arrow root (maranta arundinacea) grows along Key Biscayne in great abundance. It furnishes the very finest form of starch known, a most admirable article of diet for the sick, and a most profitable one to the cultivator. Its wholesale price in our markets is from fifty to seventy-five cents per pound; there is always a demand for it, and tens of thousands of pounds a year could be readily gathered.

I have already detailed at some length the position, soil, etc., of Key Biscayne Bay (ante p. 102). But, as already said, I build for the future, and not the present. It has the best warm climate in the United States for invalids, and it deserves to become a much frequented spot.


In the introductory remarks I have thrown out a number of suggestions which every traveler in the South will do well to heed. I am now going to servir un plat de mon metier—to offer some admonitions to invalids distinctively, and especially those suffering or threatened with pulmonary and bronchial affections. How often does one see invalids abroad deluding themselves with the idea that the climate alone will cure them! Vain hope. Better remain at home and die, if need be, than undertake long and fatiguing journeys with any such expectation. The result in either case is the same.

There are certain rules of personal hygiene and diet which are half the battle, which might win it at home,{131} which will almost surely win it if the right change of climate is made in time. They are not applicable to all, but they must form the basis of every regimen.

And here, once more, I repeat the watchword, Courage. If improvement is not manifest at once, do not become disheartened. Often it is months, often it is not until after the return home that the hoped for change for the better is obvious. The interim is at best wearisome. Make it as cheerful as possible. Valetudinarians should not travel alone. They fall easy victims to Giant Despair, who is still as ready as ever to pounce on unwary travelers, especially on wet days, alone in dull country taverns, with nothing to think of but themselves and their own aches and pains. Go in company and always have a resource for spare hours.

No resource is better than to collect something. There are bugs, and butterflies, and mosses, and fossils, and flowers, and Indian curiosities, and species of woods, and birds’ eggs, and skins, and minerals, the pursuit of either one of which will give healthful exercise in fair weather, and their arrangement interesting occupation when it rains.

I am almost pleased, for the invalid’s sake, to say that as for treasures of art, Florida has none. There are no interminable picture galleries, or cold, damp churches, or belvideres, or other such æsthetic afflictions to visit, the frequency of which in Italy is a serious drawback to the seeker after health. On the other hand, Nature has spread out boundless attractions in the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral worlds, the study of which has ever something soothing and rejuvenating.{132}

Exercise in the open air every day should be taken religiously and regularly. The kind of exercise must depend on circumstances. Rowing develops the chest and arms; walking, the lower limbs; riding is an excellent stimulant of the liver and lungs. When possible, they should be alternated. An hour each morning and afternoon should be consecrated to this purpose. A cheerful companion is an admirable adjunct in any of them.

There is another exercise of the greatest value. No person with a weak chest should neglect to practice every morning and evening, for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, deep inspirations. It is done thus: Stand or sit erect, throw the chest well forward, the arms back, then open the mouth and inhale slowly to the full capacity of the lungs. Retain the air several seconds by an increased effort, and then let it gradually escape. Breathe naturally a few times, then repeat the inspiration. This simple procedure has a wonderful influence. It increases the breathing power of the lungs, it expands the walls of the chest, in the opinion of some learned physicians, Professor Piorry of Paris for example, it is actually curative where tuberculous deposit has already taken place. But whenever else exercise is taken, it is best not to be before breakfast. Another salutary habit is to bathe the whole body every morning with salt and water of the temperature of the room. There is no real difficulty in this, even when traveling. A sponge or a wash towel, and a coarse dry towel for the skin, are all that is required. A plunge bath is as good, but not so convenient. When neither can be taken, the whole person should receive a thorough dry-rubbing. But the salt water bath is most useful to the invalid.{133}

It would give me great pleasure to discuss at length the subject of food. But in fact tourists in most parts of the South must make up their minds to such fare as they can get, not such as they want. For instance, I place in the first line of the bill of fare for consumptives the article milk, fresh rich milk, five or six tumblers of it a day, dashed now and then, if you please, with a trifle of good old cognac or Jamaica spirits. Now milk is precisely the scarcest article at a Florida hotel in winter.

I lived once for a month on a plantation in the extreme south of the peninsula. The proprietor had two hundred head of cattle—many of the cows with calves—yet we actually did not have milk enough for our coffee.

In the next line of my bill of fare I place EGGS; three or four a day, boiled soft, or taken in the guise of a “flip,” with pale sherry. These, too, are not always, nor often, to be had for the asking in this country, where nature has done so much for the invalid and man so little. Fat meat comes next, or, in its place, butter and olive oil may be freely used. Coffee and chocolate are allowable; tea barely permissible. Tobacco, even the tasteless, “washed,” Florida tobacco, absolutely prohibited in every form. Some pure rye or wheat whisky may be taken, well diluted, three times a day, if it causes no unpleasant sensations, but all excess should be shunned. And, here, I advise those who wish pure liquors not to depend on hotel bars, restaurants, or provincial drug stores, but to provide them before leaving home.

Whatever food is taken, should be taken as nearly as{134} possible at regular hours, in moderate quantities, and more frequently than in health. Those who are weak, will find great comfort in having a cup of broth, a glass of milk punch, or some similar food, placed by their bed on retiring, to take during the night. Late suppers, however, should be avoided.

In choosing a residence, see that it is at a distance from stagnant water, not very densely shaded, and not exposed to night fogs. The sleeping room should be on an upper floor, with a southerly or westerly exposure, and with plenty of air, light, and sunshine. The bed should not be in a draft, nor in a recess, nor against the wall. A spring or hair mattress, (cotton, so much used in the South, is not objectionable), is most healthful, and it is of prime importance to those with weak lungs, not to sleep under many covers. The windows may be left open nightly, if the situation is dry.

The question is often asked about exposure to night air. Our distinguished literateur, N. P. Willis, long a sufferer with pulmonary disease, used to maintain that the atmosphere at night was quite as healthful as by day. The nightfall, when at dusk the temperature rapidly lowers, he found most hurtful. The air at night is, as a rule, colder than during the day, and is often saturated with moisture. Certainly, therefore, those who think with Mr. Willis, will do well to protect themselves by extra clothing. The safest plan is to avoid exposure, except on unusually clear, mild, and dry evenings.

The final suggestions I have to make are about medicines. I put them last, because they are, in a certain sense, of secondary importance. Many a patient destroys{135} his digestive powers, and deteriorates his blood by pouring down “stomach bitters,” “cough syrups,” “purging pills,” and even the more appropriate prescriptions of his physician. Cod-liver oil and iron, with perhaps a little syrup of wild cherry at night to allay the cough, are the only drugs of much avail in consumption, and the less one exclusively trusts to these for recovering, the better.

Quinine, prepared in three-grain pills, should be carried. One pill before breakfast should be taken whenever one is exposed to the marsh miasms. I have already suggested a tincture of the peel of the bitter-sweet orange in whiskey, for the same purpose.

Many persons, in traveling, become constipated. This is best avoided by diet. The favorite Southern breakfast dish, “corn grits,” is an admirable laxative. Corn bread with molasses, fruit early in the day, or a glass of saline mineral water where it can be had, will generally be sufficient. If these fail, one of the ordinary compound cathartic pills can be taken before sleep, or one of the following before a meal:

℞.Pulverized rhubarb,    36grains.
 Soap, q. s. Make 12 pills.

A bottle of mild solution of ammonia is useful for application to musquito bites and the stings of insects.

Restlessness at night in strange beds and new surroundings, is quite common. A bath before retiring, or a glass of hot (not warm) water will quiet this nervous excitement. Granules of morphia, ¼ of a grain each, should be carried, but used very sparingly, and only to relieve pain.

The first effect of a warm climate on many constitutions,{136} is to bring on a “bilious” attack. Headache, sick stomach, slight fever and diarrhœa for a few days are the unpleasant symptoms of this first brush of acclimation. It can best be avoided by a sparing diet, by avoiding fatigue, the rays of the sun, and indulgence in fruit. The treatment is perfect rest, some citrate of magnesia or other cooling laxative, and low diet.

Those who go by sea save themselves many annoyances, but in return run the risk of sea-sickness. To avoid this, they should go aboard after a moderate meal, keep on deck whenever the sea is smooth, remain in their births when it is rough, take a little brandy, or, what is better, a glass of champagne, when the nausea comes on, and wear a silk handkerchief or broad girdle tied tightly around the stomach.

By the careful observance of such rules as I have here laid down, and such others as everyone’s good sense will suggest without prompting, those in failing health can anticipate the best results from a winter in the South. The fears which some entertain from the unpleasant feeling toward Northerners, supposed to exist, are entirely groundless. I have the best reason to know that there need not be the slightest anxiety on this score.

So, also, about the alleged dangers of travel over Southern railroads and in Southern steamboats. In point of fact more people are injured on the railroads of New York than of Florida. Moreover it is quite sure, as Thoreau quaintly says in one of his books, “We sit as many risks as we run,” and it is about as safe now-a-days on a railroad or in a steamboat as at one’s own fireside. Such fears need not give a moment’s uneasiness.

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:
Jacksonville to Tallahasse=> Jacksonville to Tallahassee {pg v}
Neverthless, two years afterwards=> Nevertheless, two years afterwards {pg 27}
the northen counties=> the northern counties {pg 43}
Newpapers=> Newspapers {pg 57}
undergrowth of palmetto give same=> undergrowth of palmetto gives same {pg 58}
associated with the atroicities=> associated with the atrocities {pg 59}
can accomodate comfortably=> can accommodate comfortably {pg 60}
the form of a trapezuim=> the form of a trapezium {pg 69}
give them a chancesto=> give them a chance to {pg 74}
the Kissimnee river=> the Kissimmee river {pg 77}
here for India river=> here for Indian river {pg 78}
the difficultyof access=> the difficulty of access {pg 79}
carried from St. Augutine=> carried from St. Augustine {pg 80}
Talahassee Sentinel=> Tallahassee Sentinel {pg 84}
at eighty-eighty feet=> at eighty-eighty feet {pg 87}
Six miles beyond Lage Griffin=> Six miles beyond Lake Griffin {pg 92}
the name Oklawha=> the name Oklawaha {pg 92}
leaves Gainsville for Micanopy=> leaves Gainesville for Micanopy {pg 95}
touch at Ceder Keys=> touch at Cedar Keys {pg 96}
such insignificant altitutde=> such insignificant altitude {pg 98}
of Hillsborouh river=> of Hillsborough river {pg 108}
near the the town=> near the town {pg 108}
more particuularly=> more particularly {pg 123}
guavas, pomegrantes=> guavas, pomegranates {pg 129}

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of A Guide-Book of Florida and the South
for Tourists, Invalids and Emigrants, by Daniel G. Brinton


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