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Title: Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes
Author: Sunshine, Sylvia
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images available at The Internet Archive)



[Illustration: FOUNDING OF ST. AUGUSTINE BY PEDRO MELENDEZ, SEPTEMBER 8,
1565.]



                            PETALS PLUCKED
                                 FROM
                             SUNNY CLIMES.

                          BY SILVIA SUNSHINE.

                          With Illustrations.

                           NASHVILLE, TENN.:
                 SOUTHERN METHODIST PUBLISHING HOUSE.
                        PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR.
                                 1880.



      Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by

                              THE AUTHOR,

      in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

[Illustration: text decoration]



INTRODUCTORY NOTE.


This book contains a brief account of the early settlement of Florida,
and some of its Indian conflicts, together with many amusing incidents
connected with its present history; also a new illustration, prepared
expressly for this work--the whole being a collection of travels, and
what is to be seen in various portions of Florida, Key West, and Cuba;
with a Gazetteer and Florida Guide-book attached, designed for the use
of tourists and settlers.

[Illustration: text decoration]

[Illustration: text decoration]

[Illustration: text decoration]



PREFACE.


Writing, like other employments, furnishes a reward to those who are
fond of it--elevates the mind to a higher and happier state of enjoyment
than merely grasping for earthly treasure, a desire to discover
something beautiful in our surroundings, a nobility of character in
mankind, a grandeur in all God's works.

My travels, both in Florida and Cuba, when not suffering from sickness,
were an uninterrupted source of pleasure and entertainment, made thus by
the smiles of friendship, intercourse among kind-hearted people,
combined with the luscious fruits and delightful scenery by which I was
almost constantly surrounded.

In arranging the historical portion of this work, I have endeavored to
sift conflicting events, at all times retaining those which were the
most tangible, and rejecting many which have been received by
superficial observers as consistent truths.

I shall feel amply rewarded if any sad, sensitive heart, wounded in
life's struggles, is cheered even for awhile in perusing these pages, or
the consumptive invalid entertained with a pleasanter potion than his
cod-liver and gloomy forebodings of future ill.

[Illustration: text decoration]

[Illustration: text decoration]



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.....17

Adieu to Atlanta and arrival in Macon--Early settlement of Savannah by
General Oglethorpe--Met by the Yamacraw Indians with presents--Death of
Count Pulaski--Bonaventure Cemetery--The inland route to Florida--Pass
St. Simon's Island--Wesley visits Frederica to establish his
faith--Cumberland Island, the home of Nathanael Greene--Olives--The
scuppernong vine--Dungenness, the burial-place of Light-Horse Harry
Lee--General Robert E. Lee visits the grave of his father--Amelia
Island--Taken by filibusters--Their surrender--Fine beach and
light-house--The turtle--Sea-shells--God's treasures--A resting-place
for the weary.

CHAPTER II.....28

Fate of the Spanish galleons--St. John's Bar and River--General remarks
on Florida--Lumber-mills--Jacksonville--Grumblers--The
invalid--Churches--Dr. Stowe preaches in the Methodist church--Mrs.
Harriet Stowe goes to sleep--Sermon by a colored
brudder--Journalism--Moncrief Springs--The invincibility of
boarding-housekeepers--The cemetery--Too much delay with invalids before
coming to Florida.

CHAPTER III.....46

Jacksonville Agricultural Association, and its advantages--Exhibits of
wine, perfume, and fruits--Industries of the ladies--Yachts--General
Spinner--Steamer Dictator--Nimbus on the river--Mandarin--Employment of
its inhabitants--Murder of Mr. Hartley by Indians--Weariness of war by
the settlers--Fanciful names given to towns--Hibernia and
Magnolia--Green Cove Springs--Fort at Picolata--Pilatka--Putnam
House--The _Herald_, edited by Alligator Pratt--Colonel Harte's
orange-grove--The Catholic Bishop as sexton--Ocklawaha River.

CHAPTER IV.....55

No fossilized Spaniards on the Ocklawaha--Scenery on its banks--Thick
growth of timber--Passengers amuse themselves killing
alligators--Climbing asters--Air-plants--Water-lily--An affectionate
meeting at Orange Springs--The deaf lady--Pleasure-riding in a
cracker-cart--Northern and Southern crackers--March of improvement--Make
fast!--Wooding up--Passengers take a walk--Night on the
water--Surrounded by thickets--Our flame-lit craft moves on with its
pillar of fire--Who!--Plutonic regions--Pyrotechnic displays.

CHAPTER V.....69

Incident as we enter Silver Springs--A gentleman loses his grinders--The
Mirror of Diana--Sunset--A beautiful legend of the Princess Weenonah--A
scientific description by Prof. J. Le Conte--Vicinity of the
springs--Improvements--Description of Ocala--Impressions of
DeSoto--Public Square--Contented, hospitable people--Marion county the
back-bone of the State--Matt. Driggers and his neighbors go on a
mastodon hunt--Lakes and long prairie-grass above Silver Springs--The
man who wanted a sheriff to marry him--Leesburg and its improvements--A
dredging-boat mistaken for a cook-stove--Indian trails--Historic
relics--Lake Dunham--Okahumkee--The Ocklawaha historic ground.

CHAPTER VI.....90

Florida during the Indian war--Cumbersome movements of the troops--Cause
of the war--Treaty of Payne's Landing--Birthplace of Osceola--Lives with
his mother in Okefinokee Swamp--Afterward in the Big Swamp--Osceola
expresses opposition to the "treaty"--Jumper unwilling to go
West--Charlie Emaltha--Plea for remaining--Indian poetry--Appearance of
Osceola--Hostility toward the survey force--Does not favor
immigrating--Decision of Micanopy--Osceola in irons at Fort
King--Sullen, then penitent--First hostile demonstration from the
Indians--Murder of Private Dalton--Killing of Charlie Emaltha--Osceola
seeks revenge in the assassination of General Thompson--Dade
Massacre--Micanopy fires the first gun--More than one hundred whites
killed--Depredations of daily occurrence--Battle of Withlacoochee--Captain
Ellis, of Gainesville--Capture of Osceola by General Jessup--Imprisoned
first in Fort Marion, afterward sent to Fort Moultrie--His
death--Chechotar, his wife--Poetry by a friend--Sisters of Osceola now
living in the West.

CHAPTER VII.....105

Shores of the upper St. John's, where various kinds of timber grow, and
bony stock range--Mounds and their contents--Their obscure origin--The
chasm not yet bridged--Belief in the immortality of the soul--The mounds
a shrine--Conduct of the Spanish invaders--Ancestral veneration--Articles
for use deposited with the body--Unanswered questions--History of
mound-building in its infancy--Found in Europe--Uses of
mounds--Monumental mounds--The mystery shrouding their
structure--Intrusive burial--The growth on Florida mounds, and the
distinguishable feature of mound-builders--Mound near New Smyrna--Mounds
in South Florida--The large one at Cedar Keys--Mounds for
sacrifice--Description of a victim--Pyramid of Cholula--Mexican
teocalli--Pyramids for kings--Mounts of ordinance--Sacred fires--Indians
worshiped "high places"--The temple at Espiritu Santo--Residence of King
Philip--Lake Jessup mound--Copper weapons--Indians worship the sun and
moon--Burial urns--Pearls a heavenly product--The Indian empress a
prisoner--Manufacture of beads from conch-shells--Pearls of no value
found on the coast of Florida--Who were these architects?--A veil
obscures our vision in trying to discover the engineers of these
mounds--The key never found--_Tumuli_, mounds, and plateaus, all objects
of interest.

CHAPTER VIII.....121

A description of the animals and birds seen on the St. John's a century
since--Lovely landscape--The happy family--Lake
George--Enterprise--Mellouville--Sulphur Springs--Lake Harney and Salt
Lake--Indian River--Settlers discouraged on account of the Indians--An
order for blood-hounds--Battle of Caloosahatchee--Famished soldiers, and
fidelity of the dog--Big Cypress Swamp--Locality of the chiefs--What the
Indians cultivate--Their babies never cry--The Prophet, and his
influence as a medicine man--Wild Cat in command of Fort Mellon--Speech
of Sam Jones--Hanging of Chekika--Major Belknap takes his command into
the Big Cypress--Country developed by war--Indian River after the war
the sportsman's heaven--Game, oysters, and fish--Scientific theory on
the formation of coquina--Fine products of the Indian River country--A
resort for consumptives--Camp-cooking--Soothing influences from the
surroundings--Coming down the St. John's--The sick man--Stewardess and
"'gaitors"--Curious people with curious things--The chameleon--The
fawn--The crane--The bug-hunter and his treasures--The many old people
in Florida--The sportsman.

CHAPTER IX.....139

Stop at Tocoi for St. Augustine--Scenery along the
route--Stage-contractor's notice--Murder of Dr. Weedman--Cloth
houses--Two mail-carriers murdered--The blood-hounds--Mr. Francis
Medicis and four others shot--Remarks by a resident on witnessing the
scene--Wild Cat the leader of this atrocity--The theatricals fill their
engagement--Coacoochee admires himself in the glass, also one of General
Hernandez's beautiful daughters--His capture and escape--His twin sister
and her pearls--Returns, dressed in theatricals, for a parley with the
whites--Starts West, and dies on the way.

CHAPTER X.....154

St. Augustine described in rhyme--The old Spaniards--A place for
stimulus of thought--Treachery of legends--Early settlers lured by tales
of wealth--Historical antiquity--Astonished Seloes--Capture by Sir
Francis Drake--St. Augustine, 1764--French privateers--Rory McIntosh the
Don Quixote of the times--American flag raised in 1821--Freedom to
worship God--St. Augustine archives--Dr. McWhir the founder of
Presbyterianism in Florida--Appearance in 1834--The frost--Every thing
shrouded in a kind of tradition--Fromajardis, or Garden Feast--Matanzas
River--Nuns--Escribanio, or St. Mary's Convent--The ancient city sleeps
all summer--The dear old folks from their Northern homes, and the young
ones too--Curiosities--Crafts of all kinds--Gayety of the
winter--Remarkable memory of the natives--Peaceful days--No welcome for
adventurers--St. Augustine supposed to have been the residence of the
Peri--Expressing an unfavorable opinion about Florida not popular here.

CHAPTER XI.....173

The cathedral--Regular attendance of its worshipers--Harsh tones of the
church chime--Early mass--Cathedral finished in 1793--Material
employed--Moorish belfry--Irreverent visitors--Religion of the natives a
part of their existence--The bishop regarded as a vicegerent--Mistaken
conclusions of outsiders--Peculiar frescoes representing death--Christmas
Eve--Ceremonial conducted by Bishop Verot--Administration of the
sacrament--Tolemato Cemetery--Its custodian--Murder of Father Corpa by
the Indians--Chapel dedicated to Father Varela--Tablet-inscriptions
erased by time--A medallion supposed to have been worn by Father Corpa,
which was brought from Rome.

CHAPTER XII.....183

Castle San Marco--Indestructibility of the material employed--Commenced
in 1565--Completed by Montiano, 1756, with the aid of Mexican
convicts--Attacked by Oglethorpe--Appearance in 1740--Improper change of
names--Description of Fort Marion--Its resemblance to Scott's Garde
Douloreuse--The chapel and its holy mysteries--Iron cages--Caving in of
the bastion--No cages sent to the Smithsonian Institute--The wooden
machine--The old sergeant--Human bones not unusual in other
ruins--Spaniards branded with the cruelties of the Inquisition--True
version of the iron cages from Señor B. Oliveros--No nation exempt from
cruelties during some period of their history--The Western Indians
retained as hostages in the fort.

CHAPTER XIII.....198

The sea-wall--when commenced--Material employed--Boulevard of the
city--City gates and vandal visitors--Tapoquoi village--Murder of Father
Rodriguez--La Sylphide rose--Fine pulpit talent--Sabbath in January--The
Presbyterian Church--Flowers from the gardens of Messrs. Alexander and
Atwood--Gushing young men--Dr. Daniel F. March and his words of
comfort--A description of the Episcopal church--A curious question about
disputed grounds--Dr. Root, the clergyman--A peculiar man and his dog,
that walked into the church from habit--St. Augustine a restorer to both
health and reason--Public reading-room--Circulating library--What shall
we eat?--Ships constantly coming in with supplies--Fresh
vegetables--Oranges--Hotels and fine boarding-houses--Growlers--Gratuitous
hospitality now obsolete--The most eligible houses--Summer
resort--Pleasant people found by the sea.

CHAPTER XIV.....214

How they spend their time in the ancient city--A slight departure into
history--Different kinds of visitors--Grand opening of the Lunch-basket
on the North Beach--Music and moonlight on the water--The Indian
buffalo-hunt near the old fort--Dancing inside by the Indian
prisoners--Preparation for a gala day, March,
1877--Post-band--Yacht-race--A jockey-race--The hurdle--A foot-race by
the Indians--Wheelbarrow contest--Victor and greenbacks--Ham and
money--The cat a musical animal--St. Augustine Hotel, where music is
made from their sinews.

CHAPTER XV.....224

Longevity in St. Augustine--Manufacture of orange marmalade and
wine--"El Pavo Real"--Genovar & Brother, wine-makers--Visitors
leaving--A page from unwritten history--Tolling the bells for the
pope--Grand illumination by the Yacht Club--The _ignes-fatui_
boats--String-band and dancing--Capricious weather a comfort to
growlers--A change to balmy air and waving palms--The Indians
leave--They have no use for Government clothes on the plains--Mrs. Black
Horse and Mochi dressed in hats and plumes--The Indians leave their
Moody & Sankey song-books--A picture written letter from the squaw of
Minimic--These Indians differ from novel-writer characters--The strain
of civilization during their stay being too great they mutiny, headed by
White Horse--A squad of soldiers from the barracks search and iron four
of them--Fort closed to visitors--They pine for home, the aristocracy of
their nature scorning restraint--Money made by polishing sea-beans,
etc.--Description of St. Anastasia Island--Ponies feeding on
marsh-grass--Attack of General Oglethorpe in 1740--The old light-house
built by the Spanish, and used as a fortress--Fresh water in mid-ocean
caused from lime-sinks--Treaty of Fort Moultrie--Origin of the
Seminoies.

CHAPTER XVI.....235

Burning of the Spanish Governor's son by the Indians over a century
since--The Great Spirit as arbiter--Fort Matanzas--Its age, use, present
appearance--Entered by an escalade--New Smyrna settled by Dr. Turnbull
with his Greek colony--They at first engage in the culture of indigo,
which soon fails--Great dissatisfaction among the colonists, who are
finally released, and retire to St. Augustine--The Douglass Dummit
Plantation--Indian Key Massacre, August 15, 1840--Murmurings of the
citizens.

CHAPTER XVII.....245

The Everglades Expedition, under Colonel Harney,
1841--Preparations--Spanish Indians--Leave Fort Dallas, arriving at
Chitto's Island--The bird flown--Sam Jones's Island, containing villages
and pleasure-grounds--The soldiers greatly annoyed by roaches and
musquitoes--Prophet's Island--Discovery by Indians--Sergeant Searles
mortally wounded--Arrival at New River--Fort Dallas--General appearance
and extent of the Everglades--Manilla hemp and the cotton-plant
indigenous--Return of Colonel Harney--Grand ovation in St.
Augustine--Sorrowful reflection on the situation--Present inhabitants of
the Everglades--Old Tiger Tail--Intrenches himself in Mexico as brigand,
afterward makes his way to Florida, and becomes chief of the
Seminoles--Father Dufau goes to the Everglades as a missionary--"Two
squaws no good"--Dress of the Indians--Everglade alligators and
moccasins no respecters of persons--Primeval condition of the country,
with its trees, birds, and native growth.

CHAPTER XVIII.....260

From Jacksonville to Cedar Keys--The Florida
Central--Baldwin--Alligators and moccasins--West India Transfer
Railroad--Piney Woods--Trail Ridge--Lawtey--Starke--Turpentine
distillery--Serenades--Waldo--Alachua county--Hummock-lands and
phosphates--The indignant Boston lady--Alachua settled in 1750 by an
Indian named Secoffe--Juggs or sinks--Approach to Gainesville--This town
named for General E. P. Gaines--Accommodations for visitors--Tillandsia
and its uses--Orange Lake the natural home of the orange--Budded
trees--Eucalyptus-tree for malarial districts--Information on the
subject of lands--Orange City, Arredondo, Albion, and other prospective
cities--Bronson--Its good settlers--Otter Creek--"Great Gulf
Hummock"--Its tropical growth.

CHAPTER XIX.....270

Cedar Keys, the terminus of the West India Transit
Railway--Extortion--Dr. McIlvaine's Hotel--Fourth of July toasts,
1843--Steamers from Cedar Keys to Manatee--Early settlement of Clear
Water Harbor--The unfortunate Narvaez--Inaccessibility of South
Florida--Manatee--Its dwellings embowered among orange trees--Tenacity
of contesting Indians--Their independence subdued by association--The
cactus pear eaten by Indians--Present population--Church privileges for
worship--Schools--Good physicians--Sowing before reaping--Boarding-Houses
kept as sanitariums--Pantry supplies--Fine fish--An Elysium for
rheumatics--No starving--The grape-culture suggested--Also
wine-making--A variety of crops--Sugar-cane ratooning for six
years--Old-fashioned bees in gums--This locality a fine resort for those
who wish to avoid cold--The sunny-side of nature turned out in
February--Oleander and orange-buds bursting their pink and white
petals--The banana--Spring flowers, etc.--Zephyr breezes--The rose--"A
child of summer"--Historic records--Hon. Judah P. Benjamin--Remains of
the mastodon and megatherium.

CHAPTER XX.....285

Tampa--Undisturbed slumbers--First settlement by Narvaez--Poor Juan
Ortiz!--His vigils among the dead--Espiritu Santo Bay--De Soto and his
festive soldiers--Billy Bowlegs--Cedar and pine lumber-mills in Tampa--A
school and its teacher--Old Tampa--Uses of the cabbage palm--Fort
Brooke--Appeal of General Worth to the vanity of Coacoochee, which
finally results in his band being sent West--An invocation to the Great
Spirit during a storm.

CHAPTER XXI.....296

Marooning from Tampa to Key West--Drum-fish--Loons--Acrobat
fleas--Roaches--Bilge-water--The Methodist preacher and his
children--Sailor's fare--Landing lady-passengers--Terrasilla Island and
its products--Madam Joe--The romantic young couple--Sarasota
Bay--Stock-raising--Health--Mangrove thickets--Perpetual
verdure--Palmetta houses--Striking for fish--Varied amusements for
visitors--Hunting deer--Bugs and butterflies--Egmont Key--Rare shells
and a rarer Spiritualist, with his toothless wife--Professor
Agassiz--Buccaneers--Jean Lafitte--Sunset at sea--Isles of the sea--Boca
Grande--Felippe the Spaniard, and his Indian concubines--Polly goes West
for money--Punta Rassa, the terminus of the International Telegraph.

CHAPTER XXII.....313

Alone with God and the stars--Phosphorescent waves--Reefs and coral
formation--Key West--Cocoa-trees--Chief of the
Everglades--Dwellings--Inhabitants--Early settlers--Conchs--Their origin
and occupation--Court of Admiralty--Wrecking--The International
Telegraph Survey--Public schools--The sisters--Cigar-makers--Reading
while working--Monkey-jugs and their use--Cochineal--Sponge and
spongers--Fort Taylor and other fortifications--Curiosity-shop--Captain
Dixon its Greek keeper.

CHAPTER XXIII.....327

Middle Florida and South Georgia--Jealousy between Middle, and East
Florida--Good landed titles in Middle Florida--Disappointment the result
of overestimation--No spot with every thing desirable--Diseased people
tinctured with a sullen melancholy--Lake City--Derivation of the
name--The citizens--Style of architecture adapted to the
climate--Products--Atmosphere for asthmatics--Monticello--Its
people--Former wealth evidenced by the numerous freedmen--Good hotel
here--The festive frogs: great variety, some with loud-sounding
voices--The "pretty frog" that went to England--The
singing-wasp--Tallahassee, where De Soto spends his first winter,
1539--The Spanish soldiers and their armor--Town incorporated,
1825--Corner-stone of the capitol laid, 1826--Situation of
Tallahassee--Governor Reed's message, 1840--Blood-hounds and leash-men
from Cuba--Two Indians caught by them--Bounties on heads--Indian
scare--Only a goat--Indians attack wagons, relieving negroes of their
clothing--Former wealth and culture in Tallahassee--Colonel Murat and
his mother come to America--Visit the Catholic Bishop, but not in regal
style--The neighbors are disappointed in a king's son--Birthplace, home,
and early associations of the gifted authoress, Mrs. Mary E.
Bryan--Wakulla Spring, with a beautiful description by
Bartram--Chattahoochee--State penitentiary--Montgomery and Eufaula route
to Florida--Town of Quincy--Mountain-streams with a musical
cadence--Cuban tobacco and scuppernong grapes grown here--Stage
communication between Quincy and Bainbridge--Cherokee
rose-hedges--Bainbridge--Its decline on account of railway
communication--Thomasville--Mitchell House--Gulf House--Embowered
dwellings--Brisk trade--Newspapers--Female college--Churches--Former
wealth of Thomas county--Colored politicians prefer speaking by
proxy--No water communication from Thomasville--Wire grass
country--Quitman--Home-like hotels--Cotton
factory--Valdosta--Pine-trees--Plenty to eat--Valdosta editor--Crowds on
public days--Trip on the Gulf road--The light-wood fires an epitome of
the Arabian Nights' Entertainment.

CHAPTER XXIV.....355

Pensacola musings--Its early settlement and capacious harbor--Origin of
the name--The soil contains clay for brick and pottery--Casa Blanca--The
city conquered by the Spaniards--Causes for its not competing with other
Gulf cities--Description of Fort Barrancas--It is supposed to contain a
dungeon--Fort Pickens--Fort St. Michael and Fort St. Bernard--Ten
dollars offered for the scalps of colonists--General movements of
General Andrew Jackson--Governor Callavea in the calaboose--Description
of the old plaza--Present appearance of Pensacola--It contains no fabled
fountains--A plank walk on which sailors reel like drunken
elephants--Prosperity of the place dependent on the demand for
lumber--Commotion on the arrival of a ship--Resinous wood and its light
accompaniments--The Indians hated to leave it--Ferdinand Park and its
rural scenery--The market-house--The singing fishermen--The proud
fishermen with their big fish--An ox-horn announces the
sales--Fresh-water wells--Drawers of water lose their
vocation--Porpoises--Tropical fruit-culture not very successful
here--The washing bayou and its water-nymphs--Florida hunters--The
fleet-footed fawn a past record--The yellow-fever visitor--Perdido, or
Lost Bay--Escambia Bay--The alligator: her nest, and her
young--Churches--Free schools--Catholic schools--Episcopal school, and
its founder, Mrs. Dr. Scott.

CHAPTER XXV.....378

Leaving Pensacola--Contentment in our moving habitation--A
calm--_Physalia utriculus_--A genuine nor'-wester and its
accompaniments--A moment of terror--Morning at last--Isle of Pines and
its products--Pirates--Water-spouts--Early history of Cuba--The
Spaniards burn an Indian--Cienfuegos--The fort on the bay--Cuban
houses--Clothing of the children--Cruelty to northern seamen--Mother
Carey and her unlucky chickens--The fate of the insurgents, and their
numerical strength--"La Purisima Conception"--Neglect of ceremonial
duties--The church inside--Its lady-attendants furnish their seats--The
slave receives a gentle admonition--The largest plaza on the island--The
beautiful señoritas and the band-music.

CHAPTER XXVI.....399

Distances from Cienfuegos to Havana--Railroads--Three classes of
passenger-cars--Smoking--Rain-drops--Harvest--Lo! the poor
ox--Goads--Sugar-cane in bloom--Cattle-herders--The war--Arabian stock
of horses--Devastations by the insurgents--Vegetation and
variety--Depots and drinking--Flowers--Fences from vegetation--Royal
palm and its uses--Slaves gathering palm-fruit--Great variety of
growth--Cactus family--Sugar and sugar-makers--Negro slaves and
coolies--Their miserable quarters--Chicken-fighting--Inhuman treatment
of the poor fowls--Matanzas--A Pentecostal illustration--"English and
French spoken"--Dinner and its condiments--Matanzas Bay at night--The
tough old tars--Their families on shore--The phosphorescent lights on
the water--The plaza and hotel--Our French _valet de
chambre_--_Siesta_--My _café_--_El volante_--Up the mountain-side--_El
Cueva de Bellamar_, being a remarkable subterranean temple--Stalactites
and stalagmites--Names given to the different formations inside the
cave--Return to Matanzas.

CHAPTER XXVII.....424

From Matanzas to Havana--Buzzards--Description of El Moro Castle, A.D.
1519--Captured, 1619, by Sir George Pocock--El Moro like the Venetian
"Bridge of Sighs"--Havana a century since--Its harbor and fleet of
ships--Architecture of the houses--Narrow streets--A view from El San
Carlos Hotel--Beautiful moonlight on the bay--El Paseo--French
coaches--Residence of the Captain-general--Ladies shopping in
_volantes_--Market-house--Mules, panniers, etc.--Working-class receive
an early supply of grace--No Sabbath here--"Lottera"--Beggars--Description
of the cathedral--Bishop--Acolytes--Organ--Tomb of Columbus--Santo
Christobal--His life and mission as Christ-bearer--Cemetario de
Espeda--Its walls, vaults, tablets, inscriptions--Three bodies for
sepulture--The poor without coffins--The Protestant dead not admitted in
Catholic grounds--Fragility of promises in Cuba.

A Ramble into the Early History of Florida.....439

Florida Gazetteer, etc.....481



Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes.



CHAPTER I.


A trip to Florida during the winter season is now the popular move for
everybody, whether invalid or not, which those living in so close
proximity as Atlanta find difficult to resist.

Atlanta is a delightful summer resort, situated a thousand feet above
sea-level, visited by healthful mountain breezes in summer, besides
being blessed with the purest of freestone and chalybeate water in the
world. The night passenger train leaves at 10 P.M. for Macon, one
hundred and five miles distant.

We arrive in Macon about 7 A.M., where, after being fortified with a
good breakfast at the Brown House, the train departs for Savannah--Macon
being the commencement of the mountain-slope which continues to the
sea-shore. Many pleasant little towns are passed through on the route,
most of which have never recovered from the devastating effects of the
war.

Savannah is at last reached, one hundred and ninety-two miles from
Macon. To say that Savannah is a pleasant place conveys an indefinite
idea of its attractiveness. Many persons stop to remain only a night,
but are so much pleased they tarry a month before proceeding further
South.

The present site of Savannah is where General Oglethorpe was met, in
1733, by the Yamacraw Indians, who, after he had landed, presented him
with a buffalo-skin, on the inside of which was painted the plumage of
an eagle, accompanied with the following address: "The feathers of the
eagle," said the chief, "are soft, and signify love; the buffalo-skin is
warm, the emblem of protection; therefore love and protect our
families." Oglethorpe, in coming to America, was stimulated with the
desire of finding a home for the oppressed Protestants and bankrupt
gentlemen of England. Upon the adjustment of terms with the Indians he
proceeded to lay out the city of Savannah with the greatest regularity.
It then contained ten public squares of two acres each, in which were
trees, walks, and a pump. The number of squares has now been increased
to twenty-four--the walks all being paved with granite, and swept daily.
Forsyth Park is on a more extended plan than these small squares,
containing a large fountain, fine flowers, magnolia grandiflora trees, a
small zoölogical collection--all objects of interest, displaying the
taste and refinement of a well-cultured people. Pulaski Square is named
for Count Pulaski, who was mortally wounded during the American
Revolution while in an engagement on the ground where the Central Depot
now stands. He died on board the brig Wasp as she was leaving

[Illustration: A SCENE IN FORSYTH PARK, SAVANNAH.]

Tybee for Charleston, when his body was consigned to the sea. The
citizens of Georgia, through their munificent bequests, have erected in
Monterey Square a monument to Count Pulaski, the corner-stone of which
was laid when General La Fayette visited America for the last time.

Savannah has made another fine exhibit of her discriminating powers in
selecting a retired and lovely spot, made sacred to them by depositing
all that remains of the loved ones who have crossed the river a little
before. They have christened it Bonaventure, derived from the Spanish,
signifying, _Coming good_. Here rest, in the unyielding embrace of
death, those whose warfare in life has ended, where the huge live-oaks,
with overlapping limbs, entwine with their companions, forming natural
triumphal archways, while the somber-hanging gray moss clings lovingly
to its outstretched arms, waving in the winds like some weird fancy that
lingers only on the brink of uncertainty. These beautiful grounds were
once the home of the Tatnall family, but have now been purchased and
devoted to the dwelling of the dead, whither the living can come and
contemplate the change which awaits them all.

Travelers, in leaving Savannah for Florida, can go outside by sea, or
the inland route, many preferring the latter on account of avoiding
sea-sickness, the passage being made between sounds, inlets, and
islands, before Fernandina is reached. The inland steamers are
first-class in every respect, and the long marsh-grass contains many of
those colossal lizards called alligators. They crawl about fearlessly
in their hiding-places, while the swamp blackbird whistles very sweetly
for us as we pass along so quietly most of the time that we are not
exactly certain of any movement, but ten miles an hour is the _pro rata_
of speed.

We are now close to St. Simon's Island, where General Oglethorpe
commenced another settlement in 1736, called Frederica. On this
equable-tempered island they laid out a town, built a fort with four
bastions to protect their palmetto cabins, which, as the historian
describes them, appeared like a camp with bowers, "being covered with
leaves of a pleasing color." Natural paths and arbors were found here by
the English, as if formed by the hand of art, with the ripe grapes
hanging in festoons of a royal purple hue. The settlements made by
Oglethorpe in this portion of the country were the first formed in the
true spirit of improvement and colonization.

With him came the great founder of Methodism in America, Wesley, who
planted his standard on this island, and mentions their object in the
following manner: "It is not to gain riches and honor, but to live
wholly to the glory of God, as we have come in the serene hour of peace,
when the floods of controversy have subsided, to sow the gospel seeds."

John Bartram visited St. Simon's Island in 1744, and makes the following
record of his repast with a friend: "Our rural table was spread under
the shadow of oaks, palms, and sweet-bays, fanned by the lively,
salubrious breezes, wafted from the spicy groves. Our music was the
responsive love-lays of the painted nonpareil and the alert, gay
mocking-bird, while the brilliant humming-bird darted through the
flowery groves, suspended in air, drinking nectar from the blooms of the
yellow jasmine, lonicera, andromeda, and azalea."

As we approach Fernandina we are nearing historic ground--Dungenness,
once a most charming and attractive place, located near the southern
extremity of Cumberland Island, the former home of Nathanael Greene, of
revolutionary fame, where his last days were spent peacefully, of which
pleasant period he thus speaks: "The mocking-birds that sing around me
morning and evening, the mild and balmy atmosphere, with the exercise
which I find in my garden culture." This locality seemed to have
constituted a happy close to his eventful career.

The English planted an olive-grove on this island that succeeded well,
as though the trees were indigenous. They used the fruit in making
pickles, which were considered very fine. Is it not the olive-tree which
the Christian should love and venerate, even to the "hoary dimness of
its delicate foliage, subdued and faint of hue, as though the ashes of
the Gethsemane agony had been cast upon it forever?" It was at the foot
of the Mount of Olives, beneath the shadow of the trees from which it
derives its name, that was selected for the most mournful of
scenes--"The Saviour's Passion." The good and the wild olive-tree will
flourish in this climate. It was these trees which furnished the Apostle
Paul with one of his most powerful allegories. The wild olive blooms in
March, producing a profusion of pink-tinted, white, star-shaped
flowers, while its polished, evergreen verdure, remains all the year,
affording a compact and beautiful shade.

On this island, before the late war, was seen a scuppernong grape-vine,
nearly three hundred years old, supposed to have been planted by the
Spanish missionaries. It was then pronounced a prolific bearer,
producing two thousand pounds of fruit per annum, and covering nearly
three acres of ground. Here rests all that remains of Light-Horse Harry
Lee, the gifted and honored dead. "Here his lamp of life flickered
before being extinguished." He died March 25, 1818. The decaying marks
of time, and the more ruthless destruction of war, have fearfully
invaded and devastated this once revered retreat. "Silent though it be,
there are memories lingering still vocal amid the mutations of fortune
and the desolations of war--memories which carry the heart back to happy
days and peculiar excellences which come not again."

When General R. E. Lee last visited Savannah the burial-place of his
illustrious parent was not forgotten. It was the only tribute of respect
which his great feeling heart could bestow, the last mission of love he
was able to perform. Did he think before spring should return again,
decked in her gay robes, flinging ten thousand odors upon its balmy
breath, that his grave would then be visited by weeping friends, and
that loving hands should twine fresh flowers for his remains?

    How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
    By all their country's honors blest!

We next pass the mouth of St. Mary's River, the source of which is a
vast lake, where dwelt the far-famed beautiful women, or Daughters of
the Sun. These were the last of the Yemassee tribe, who had intrenched
themselves here for protection, all efforts to pursue them being like
the enchanted lands, which receded as they were approached.

Fernandina is situated on Amelia Island, which is eighteen miles in
length and two in width. Vessels can approach the harbor any time
without fear from shoals, as the water on the bar will always furnish an
average of nineteen feet. Its first settlers, as of many other places in
Florida, were Spaniards, a few of whom are remaining. During the
movements of the Embargo War, together with the privateers and slavers,
three hundred square-rigged vessels have been seen in this harbor at one
time. Another settler mentions the mounds when the country was first
explored by the Spaniards.

General Oglethorpe, like other explorers in America, was impressed with
the coast of Florida, and thus speaks of Amelia Island: "The sea-shore,
covered with myrtle and peach-trees, orange-trees and vines in the wild
woods, where echoed the sound of melody from the turtle-doves,
nonpareils, red-birds, and mocking-birds." Different nationalities
looked upon Amelia Island with longing eyes for many years, coveting it
for their possession.

In 1817, Gregor McGregor, a Scottish baronet--an enthusiast on the
subject of contest--came, with only fifty followers, making
proclamations and issuing edicts, of more magnitude than plans for
their execution, but soon retired to the quieter quarters of his
Highland home.

Afterward came Commodore Aury, with one hundred and fifty men, on a
filibustering expedition, and overpowered the Spanish troops. At this
time it would have been a difficult task to find a more motley, medley
crowd of residents in any country than upon Amelia Island, composed of
English adventurers, Irish and French refugees, Scotch, Mexicans,
Spaniards, privateers, natives, and negroes. Factions of such varied
dispositions and inclinations were not designed to promote harmony in
any community; consequently, riots and disturbances were of frequent
occurrence.

Previous to this movement by Aury, negotiations had been pending between
the United States and the Spanish Government for Florida; consequently,
President Monroe and his Cabinet looked upon the disputed property, in a
manner, as their own possessions. These Spaniards, being unable to expel
the privateering adventurers, President Monroe sent United States
troops, which took possession of Fernandina without resistance, in the
name of His Catholic Majesty of Spain. This event happened in the spring
of 1818.

On Amelia Island is situated a light-house, which exhibits a
flash-light, one hundred feet above the level of the sea, visible
sixteen miles. The tower is built upon a promontory which overlooks the
surrounding country and the Atlantic as far as the eye can extend.

At Fernandina the Atlantic Gulf and West India Transit Railroad
commences, where the gentlemanly officers connected with and in charge
of the road reside. The obliging superintendent is always in readiness
here to give information upon the peculiar facilities resulting from
living on this route, as a health-location, besides being so closely
connected by steam-ships with all parts of the world. It now contains a
population of about three thousand inhabitants, and, on account of the
fine sea air, has been a resort for many years during the summer season
by persons from the interior of the State.

The misfortunes of our late war fell heavily on Fernandina, crippling
its energies and crushing its present prospects for a time. The real
estate of its residents was confiscated and sold for taxes. Some of it
has been redeemed, and the remainder is passing through a series of
lengthy litigations, which, when settled, are designed to decide the
validity of tax-sales generally throughout the entire State. The present
condition of affairs places the inhabitants in rather a Micawber-like
condition, waiting for something to turn up in the future.

As a resort far away from the busy, bustling cares of life, this place
seems peculiarly fine. The island being entirely surrounded by
salt-water, a delightful breeze visits the inhabitants at all seasons of
the year--in summer, zephyry as the vale of Cashmere, or the soft winds
which bore the silver-oared barge of Cleopatra through the Cydnus. The
most attractive feature of all in this locality is the beautiful beach,
connected with the town by a good shell-road two miles in length,
bordering the island for twenty-one miles, and over two hundred yards
in width. It is this unsurpassed drive about which the inhabitants love
to entertain you at all times, until you can see it in your dreams. A
good livery-stable is kept here, well filled with fine, fast horses,
trained to trot, or wade in the surf, allowing visitors to admire the
wonderful vastness of the most beautiful expanse of waters which wash
the Atlantic shores. At ebb-tide the imagination cannot conceive of a
finer place, the beach being so firm that a pair of horses and carriage
scarcely make an indentation on the surface in passing over it. The
pavement is God's own workmanship, being composed of white sand,
occasionally interspersed with shells, many of them the tiniest in
existence. Here the happy sea-birds ride on the silvery foam, or flit
across the breezy water; the seagulls and pelicans luxuriate and flap
their wings in peaceful quietude, while the sand-crab takes his walks,
standing upright like a pigmy of the human species, presenting arms in a
soldier-like manner, and never turning his back, however hotly pursued.
These are in reality very curious little creatures, reminding us of the
Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels. Here the turtle comes to deposit her
eggs beyond high-water mark, and when they are hatched returns to escort
a family of one hundred and fifty babies to her home in the sea. Here
the bright moonbeams dance upon the surface of the water, in silence and
solitude, until it resembles the surface of a silver mirror. Many pretty
shells are found on this beach, of various sizes and designs, with
occasionally desirable cabinet specimens, which are thrown out when the
waters become much agitated. This is the spot for the jilted lover to
forget his idol, and the disconsolate lady her imaginary devotee; for
those fretted by the rough edges of corroding care to retire and find a
respite from their struggles; the bankrupt who has been conquered in the
battles of brokerage, to visit and be reminded God has given us more
treasures to delight us than the dross which passes from our grasp like
a shadow, but which all are struggling and striving to win; the
store-house of the fathomless deep, where we can contemplate that great
image of eternity, "the invisible, boundless, endless, and sublime."

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER II.


In leaving Fernandina we come out Amelia River, which is formed by the
tide-water from the Atlantic. We pass Old Town, one mile from
Fernandina, which has a look-out for pilots who take vessels across the
bar, besides a few houses, the residence of Spaniards. Fort Clinch is
the last noticeable point before we reach the St. John's River bar.

It is the month of January--a bland breeze greets us, when our thoughts
revert to the early settlement of this country, when the Spanish
galleons--a strange-looking craft--navigated these waters; also
ponderous old ships, with sailing figures of various devices carved on
their prows, and high-peaked sterns, the timber used being mahogany and
cedar, many of which were driven to pieces in a most merciless manner
among the breakers, thus scattering their treasures of silver and gold
on the strand, to tempt and satisfy the cupidity of those who found
them. Vessels dread this bar, as those drawing only six feet of water
are oftentimes detained when going and returning with their cargoes of
lumber. The white caps wave their snowy plumes, as a warning, when the
wind blows, which sends terror to the hearts of the timid, but the more
daring exclaim, It looks grand!

As we cross the bar we are in sight of two resorts--Mayport and Fort
George Island--both places arranged for the accommodation of summer and
winter visitors. Fishermen also live in these diminutive towns, and are
engaged, like the apostles when their Saviour called them, in mending
their nets. Shad-fishing is very profitable here during the season. Shad
abounds in this river, and being a delicious fish, it is much sought
after.

The various descriptions published from the pens of those who visit
Florida now are read by persons looking to this locality as a
winter-resort, or in search of new homes and health, as items of
unsurpassed interest. For this reason writers should be reliable in
their statements. In many tourists the emotional current is created so
far from the surface that it is a difficult matter for them to be
impressed with external objects. For this cause we meet with a multitude
of fault-finders.

Settlers living in remote localities from the St. John's River complain
because visitors resort there in preference to all other parts of the
State. If the facilities and inducements were the same elsewhere, the
desire to go would be equal; but it requires the fortitude of a
Livingstone to commence a trip into many of the most attractive parts of
Florida, with the indistinct prospect how they are to get away when
inclined to make a change. The Americans are a restless, roving people,
fond of varied scenery, and when confined where they cannot get away,
manifest very much the disposition of caged captives.

Laudonnière thus speaks of the St. John's River: "The place is so
pleasant that those who are melancholy would be forced to change their
humor." This stream, with its tributaries, is the great artery of the
State, where the savage roamed at will for nearly three hundred years
after its settlement by the Spaniards, who came in search of hidden
treasures, its former history being a page in the past. Here this river
glides before us, with its dark, coffee-colored waters, and no
perceptible current except where the tide comes in, it being a
remarkable stream, unlike any other in North America. The coloring
matter it contains is not precipitated by standing, and for this reason
is attributed to a colored earth through which it passes from the upper
lakes, together with the different kinds of vegetation that environ it.
It varies in width from one to three miles, and is thought by many to be
an estuary. From the mouth of the St. John's to Pilatka there are
numerous bluffs, some of them ten or twelve feet in height, with an
under-stratum of shells, on which elevations the pine-tree flourishes.
The cypress, ash, and cabbage-palmetto grow on the banks above Pilatka.
The weeping cypress, with its leafless, conical excrescences, called
knees, and dropsical feet, loves to be alone. It gives a friendly
erecting to the gray moss, which lives and swings from its tallest limbs
to the lowest twigs, furnishing a complete mantle of grace to the
naked-appearing trees. This moss has no affinity for the pine or palm,
which thrives in close proximity, colonizing and fraternizing in groups,
oftentimes solitary, sighing or rustling as the sea-breeze comes to meet
and kiss its feathery crowns and perennial foliage. A few of the trees
are deciduous, as the swamp-oak, ash, and poplar; most of the others are
persistent, the change of foliage occurring so quietly it is scarcely
observed. The mistletoe, with its green, tufted foliage, fastens on the
oak, and is a regular parasite--a thief--for it deprives the tree of
vitality. The mistletoe seeds are used as an article of food by the
birds, and, being thus transported to the forest-trees, adhere by means
of a gluten until germination commences.

The change of flags in 1821 produced a change with many of the citizens,
when much local information connected with the history of Florida was
lost. This province, when ceded to the United States, was divided in two
parts, called East and West Florida. Petitions were then frequently
forwarded to Washington, with a request to have it remain divided, as it
was inconveniently large. During the war which soon followed, many new
explorations were made in the hidden hummocks and intricate recesses of
the State.

The drinking-water used in Florida does not come from mountain-streams
or arctic regions, but in summer, mixed with sugar and lemon-juice, or
sour orange, forms a most palatable and healthful mixture.

Land-snakes are not plentiful, as many have supposed, there being very
few but water-snakes, which can be easily accounted for, as the intense
heat from the fires which sweep through the long grass every year
destroy them; then there are no rocks for their hiding-places, where
they could rear patriarchal families.

Musquitoes abound in some places on the coast, and to the dwellers in
tents the impression has, no doubt, been received that the air was made
of these insects. There is a due proportion of fleas in portions of
Florida, but not more than in the sandy soil of other countries.

The climate is constantly tempered by the Gulf Stream, that conducts
away the tropical heat, returning in a submarine current, the cooler
waters from the North thus producing an atmosphere of salubrious
influences and life-renewing properties.

No month is without its fresh products and fruits, while every warm day
the mocking-bird sings above our heads on some airy perch.

Many theories have been advanced in regard to the formation of _terra
firma_ on our continent, the one most generally received being that it
was all once submerged under water--as a proof of which shells and other
marine fossils have been found in elevated positions, which only could
have been placed there by the sea overflowing the land, and afterward
receding. When this conclusion is attained, Florida cannot be included,
as every year the land augments from the combined efforts of the coral
insect, _limulus_, and barnacles, together with the _débris_ which is
deposited upon them afterward. If the disturbing influences along the
shores were less, the increase of land would be much greater, as winds
and waves are as destructive to the prosperity of these subterranean
architects as tornadoes and cyclones to the growth of fine
forest-trees. The coral insect is constantly working in his briny bed,
making masonry which resists the action of the element in which it is
placed, thus laying the foundation for islands and continents. It is the
work of these madrepores and polyps that form reefs which wreck so many
vessels on its coast, thus making fortunes for those who follow salvage
entirely for a support.

The fact of Florida as a health-resort has long been established, the
proof being furnished by the length of time consumptives who come for
the purpose of lingering a little longer than they otherwise could
North, and living in the enjoyment of sufficiently good health to pursue
any lucrative vocation their tastes may decide, is sufficient evidence
of the efficacy of the climate for pulmonic complaints. Exposure in
Florida, as in other places, has its penalties affixed. Near bodies of
water a chilliness pervades the air as soon as the sun sets, which is
plainly perceptible to all delicate persons. No barometer was ever more
sensitive to atmospheric variations than the feelings of a sick person;
no magnet was ever attracted to steel more suddenly than their nervous
sensibilities to an agreeable or disagreeable object. This prescribing
invariable rules for every disease is all a humbug; the patient is
usually the best judge. The resort for invalids, when the dew and shades
of night are falling on the face of nature, is before a pleasant
light-wood fire, surrounded by cheerful companions--remembering that an
interview of the internal emotions frequently for the sick is not
beneficial. Try and keep from thinking how badly off you really are, as
much as practicable. Many have lived for years with only one lung. All
sudden changes from heat to cold should be avoided: when you are cold,
get warm as soon as possible, and when you are tired, stop--your life
depends upon it. All invalids should select a locality which best suits
their malady; then settle down, with the determination to extract all
the sweets of contentment in store for them which the world contains,
keeping their bodies comfortable in every respect, their minds free from
all exciting or unpleasant thoughts, their hearts purified while living,
and, if death comes, prepared to meet their Maker.

About ten miles from the mouth of the St. John's Laudonnière established
his Huguenot colony, building his fortification on a hill of "mean
height," naming it Caroline, from their sovereign, Charles IX., of
France, now known as St. John's Bluff. The former site of Fort Caroline
can be traced with some degree of accuracy, from the fact of this being
the first point on the river above its mouth where its banks are
approached by the stream, besides being the only elevated spot where a
fort could be built between the St. John's Bluff and the mouth of the
river. As Fort Caroline was constructed more than three hundred years
ago, from materials of so perishable a nature--being pine-logs and
sand--none of it remains to be seen at the present day.

The first lumber-mills on the St. John's are located near the estate of
Marquis de Talleyrand, eight miles from Jacksonville. The busy hum of
industry now echoes from the shores, where pine-logs are being sawed
into material for making houses, not only in Florida, but in Boston and
other Northern cities. Mr. Clark's mill, in East Jacksonville, received
an order, after the big Boston fire, for a million feet at one time.
These mills, besides being a source of revenue to the owners, furnish
work for the poor, and the refuse pieces fuel, while in cold weather the
big fires that consume the slabs afford a free lodging for benighted
travelers; also for those who have no good houses, and would be
unwelcome visitors in almost any place.

Twenty-five miles from the sea, on the banks of the St. John's, once
stood an insignificant place, known as Cow Ford, but now the line,
thriving city of Jacksonville, named in honor of General Andrew Jackson.
This city is the head-center of Florida, where visitors can come, and
stay, with no prospect of starving, and from which place they can
migrate when and where they please, with ample facilities furnished them
at all times for the furtherance of their plans.

A combination of singular emotions here seizes the Northern visitor,
after being transported in midwinter from his frozen home to a clime
where every thing is fresh and blooming, where the market is furnished
with cabbages, sweet potatoes, lettuce, turnips, green peas, and
radishes, just gathered, besides strawberries red as the blush of morn,
with bouquets of rose-buds, upon which still lingers the morning
dew-drop.

Many persons come here with unhappy temperaments, to whom peace and
contentment in any place, or under all circumstances, has been
deficient, but always vainly expecting to find happiness hanging on
every new object they meet, waiting for them to pluck; but,
unfortunately, it hangs so high they can never reach it--when they
commence abusing every thing with which they come in contact. We hear
them constantly exclaiming, "Too much sand! too little to eat! too high
prices for things!" Nothing can please them. Their faces are drawn up in
disgust, and their tongues ready to strike with the venom of contempt,
at every person who has a good word to say in favor of Florida.

The unbroken quiet which has been with us since we left Savannah is
interrupted as soon as the steamer touches the Jacksonville wharf. We
are importuned and jostled on every side by black boys, dray and
carriage-drivers, who worry us for our baggage, raising their whips with
the imperious movement of a major-general, and suddenly lowering them at
half mast when we say, No! Then the officious hotel-runners, who scream
in our ears to patronize the houses that employ them, until we are on
the verge of desperation, and feel as though the plagues of Egypt could
not have been worse. Most of these public criers are dirty, ragged, and
lazy, having no legitimate vocation, except what they can make from
visitors, or in drumming for boarding-houses. This city has fine
accommodations, and for that reason receives more envy than admiration
from other Florida towns. It can furnish more than one hundred good
places of entertainment, among which may be found several colossal
hotels, capable of containing two or three hundred guests, also
boarding-houses of less pretentious dimensions, where, no doubt, a
nearer approximation to the acknowledgment for value received is oftener
realized. Selections can be made where money may be expended rapidly or
slowly, according to the inclination of the visitor. Here, as in other
places, we meet with boarding-house complainers. This class of grumblers
must remember that hotel-keepers stand fault-finding as quietly as a
delinquent schoolboy his deserved punishment; they are used to it; they
expect it, and would be disappointed if they did not get it.

The influx of visitors commences sooner some seasons than others. The
first cold blast from the North sends the feeble invalid South to bask
in the summer sunshine of a milder atmosphere, and when spring comes he
returns home like the migratory birds.

Jacksonville and its adjacent towns number a population of over twelve
thousand inhabitants, the whole area being three miles long and about
two wide. The different names given to this small space of country looks
larger on the map than in reality. These corporations are distinguished
from each other by the names of Jacksonville, East Jacksonville,
Brooklyn, La Villa, Riverside, Springfield, Hansom Town, etc.--each town
containing, from fifty to fifteen hundred houses. The inhabitants say
they were laid out into lots and named, with the expectation of a large
increase of persons; consequently there are desirable building-spots in
these surveyed sites for growing cities, for sale at all times upon
moderate terms.

Jacksonville makes a display of architectural skill, in which are seen
the improvements of the nineteenth century. Yards and lawns are laid out
fronting many of the residences, where the beauties of landscape
gardening may be found blending in harmony with the
artistically-arranged walks and pleasure promenades. The sidewalks are
made of plank and brick, shaded and overhung with live-oaks, forming
archways of inviting appearance, from which swings pendant moss,
presenting a perennial, picturesque scene of nature's grandeur. There
are over twenty church-edifices in and around the city, where both white
and colored people come to worship in crowds. We are happy to state
these statistics find the inhabitants in a much better spiritual
condition than has been represented. However, we have no partiality for
many of the doctrines preached by itinerant reformers who come here. We
prefer our old orthodox faith, which made us contented while we lived,
and carried us to heaven when we died. But these new isms, such as
Spiritualism, Liberalism, Free-loveism, and every other species of
modernized infidelity that is now gaining ground and receiving
accessions from our Sunny South, are designed only to delude and drown
the souls of their followers in eternal misery. The Churches here are
representatives of various creeds and beliefs--Methodist, Presbyterian,
Protestant Episcopalian, and Roman Catholic.

The Sabbath dawns in Florida with its recreations and steam-boat
excursions, well patronized by Northern visitors, as very few appear to
bring their religion when they come South.

Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe is here to-day from her home in Mandarin, for
the purpose of attending church. Dr. Stowe, her husband, accompanies her
as he preaches. When they both entered the Southern Methodist church a
slight rustle was heard in the congregation, and a few persons left the
house. Mr. and Mrs. Uncle Tom were more than a Sabbath dose for some of
the Jacksonville community. Harriet B. has no resemblance to a
perpetrator of discord or scandal, or one who has swayed the
divining-rod of Abolitionism with sufficient potency to immortalize
herself for many coming generations, or probed the private life of a man
who, during the period of his checkered existence, never carved out
virtue for his shrine. The three snowy curls on each side of her face
give her a matronly look, and her stout-built frame, well covered with
flesh, a substantial appearance.

The service was opened by a very long prayer from Dr. Stowe, after which
he preached a purely orthodox sermon on the subject of godliness. Mrs.
Harriet had confidence in the ability of her husband; she knew the
discourse would be right without her vigilant eye, and she went to
sleep. Like other sleepers, she nodded naturally; her digits were
concealed beneath kid covers, and thrusting at no one. She looked the
picture of content, and was no doubt dreaming of that far-off,
beautiful country, where those who create dissensions and stir up
strife can never enter.

Places of worship have had an existence for both colors throughout the
entire South since the country was settled, the negroes being naturally
inclined to religion more than the whites. The African Church has always
been a full-developed institution, attended with its peculiarities and
noisy accompaniments, where the colored zealots could always give vent
to their religious enthusiasm by howling their emotional feelings among
others equally excited. The preacher usually leads the singing with his
loud, soul-stirring strains, manifesting much fervor, sometimes
improvising a strain or two with his own invention, if the rhyme and
tune do not measure equal.

The following is a correct copy of an original sermon delivered by a
very black Baptist brother to a Jacksonville colored congregation a
short time previous to the Freedmen's Bank explosion, which appears
prophetic in regard to that swindling institution. The text was, "Lay up
for yourselves treasure in heaven":

"MY DEAR BREDREN:--De Lord is here to-day, goin' from de African to de
white folks church, ridin' on a milk-white steed in de air. He knows all
yer hearts, and what you're thinkin' about. Ef yer hearts are not right,
dey must all undergo a radical change until dey are made good. De Lord
taught his disciples on de lake of Genesis, and I'm now telling you all
de way do do. I 'spec you all cum to de house of de Lord just kase yer
friends are here. While yer preacher is tryin' to permulgate de gospel,
you is lookin' down de street to see what is comin', and den you're
thinkin' about what you will wear to-night when you come to preachin',
payin' no attention to me, who is tryin' to save yer souls.

"O my bredren, dis is a fine new meetin'-house, but we should all seek a
house whose builder and maker is de great Lord! Labor not for de
perishin', spilin' meat!

"Last night was Saturday, and you have spent most of yer week's wages
and earnin's, dun put de rest in de Freedmen Savin' Bank, and you don't
know as you'll ever see it any more in dis world! Somebody may git it,
or you may die, and den you will leave it. How much did you bring here
for de Lord? O my bredren, when dem jerudic angels come you will be
sorry you haven't done more for de Lord! When dey come, ef you hasn't
dun nothin' for yer blessed Jesus, den dey will not say, 'Come, ye
blessed, home!'

"You must do nothin' wrong ef yer want ter git up by dat great white
throne among dem snow-white angels, and be one yerselves. You must never
cuss or drink any whisky. Paul told Timothy his son to drink some wine
when he had de stumak-ake. My bredren, don't think yer sufferin' when
yer not, jest for an excuse to git a dram. Old Master in heaven knows
when yer sure enuff sick! Can't fool him about nothin'!"

Journalism in Jacksonville is commencing to rest on a firmer basis than
heretofore. The present population demand more knowledge on the subject
of the country, consequently papers and periodicals published in the
interest of the State are much sought after. The _Semi-tropical_, a
monthly established here, will be found to contain both readable and
reliable articles on the climate and various products of Florida. The
_Sun and Press_ is a daily democratic paper, unswerving in its efforts
to inculcate correct principles among those in power. There were other
organs whose politics was gauged for the season, and since the war until
now have been on the winning side, the Republicans being in the
majority. The ephemeral existence of newspapers has passed away here,
and the morning news, fresh and well printed, containing the latest
telegrams, are found lying on the breakfast-table, furnishing a potent
auxiliary to the peace and happiness of the household.

The privilege of doing as one pleases is not to be overlooked in
Jacksonville. No costumes, however peculiar, appear out of style, or the
wearers, as in some other places, obliged to seek protection from the
police. Celebrities or millionaires walk the streets without creating
any sensation. The Mormon, with his four or fourteen wives, can come
from Salt Lake City, take rooms at the St. James, enter all the
frequented resorts with the same fear from molestation that a genuine
Floridian feels of being Ku-Kluxed. Any strong-minded market-woman can
don the Bloomer costume, make and sell sugar, brown as her own
bun-colored face, and peddle vegetables verdant as the idea which
prompted her to forsake the flowing robes of her fair sisters, and
assume the half masculine attire of the sterner sex, without attracting
any more attention than the lazy loungers in the market-house. The
citizens are so accustomed to sight-seeing that nothing would astonish
them but an honest politician.

Unfortunately for all parties concerned, this winter there is a large
influx of men in search of employment, fifty looking for situations with
only one vacancy. It is well to come prepared for all exigencies, and
bring a tent to stop in, provided nothing better presents itself. The
woods, waters, and oyster-bars are free to all; but boarding-house
keepers, from the pressure of surrounding circumstances, have a
peculiarly persistent way of watching strangers closely and
_interviewing_ them frequently, particularly if there is a suspicion
that funds are running low with them. Camping in the open air in this
genial clime is pleasanter than would be imagined by persons not
accustomed to it, and is accompanied with more peace of mind than being
dunned for board-bills without money to pay them.

Pleasant places of resort are springing up in the vicinity of
Jacksonville, which furnish lovely drives behind some of the teams kept
in the city. Moncrief Springs, four miles distant, now appears to be the
most popular resort. Here the orange marmalade factory may be visited--a
recently-developed branch of industry--making use of the wild oranges
which flourish so abundantly throughout the State without culture. Many
other improvements have been made at this place--bath-houses,
bowling-alley, dancing-saloon, and restaurant--all of which contribute
much to the diversion of strangers.

Visitors always form an idea of the cultivation or ignorance of a
locality by the manner in which the dead are cared for, together with
the various styles of monuments, inscriptions upon the tablets, neatness
and taste displayed in the surroundings. Upon this hypothesis a
favorable conclusion would be formed in regard to the Jacksonville
cemetery, which last resting-place of its citizens is pleasantly located
on a slightly elevated piece of ground beyond the city. It was on the
Sabbath we visited it, when all kinds of people were present. Some of
them were much stricken with grief, while others came for recreation. It
is really very surprising why so many persons of exceedingly low morals
resort to grave-yards for the sole purpose of enjoyment, and the
indulgence of obscene conduct and conversation. Certainly rude sounds
must jar very inharmoniously upon the feelings of those who come to
visit and weep over the remains of their departed friends.

Too many invalids, before coming to Florida, wait until they have
already felt the downy flappings from the wings of the unrelenting
destroyer, and heard the voices from a spirit-land calling them, but
come too late to be benefited and take a new lease on life. The climate
should not be blamed because the sick will stay away until death claims
them. Those who do not wait derive the same benefit in remaining that
flowers receive from gentle rains in spring-time--the atmosphere being
a tranquillizer, the pure sea-breeze on the coast a lotion and tonic to
the lungs. God grant that the genial air which visits this peninsula may
restore the health-seeking invalids to vigor, strength, and usefulness,
that their presence may again gladden the hearts of those left at home,
now saddened by their absence!

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER III.


Every year, during the month of February, Jacksonville has an exhibit of
industries, from all portions of the State, thus furnishing visitors an
opportunity for seeing specimens of the best Florida products for
themselves, before purchasing. Another advantage is the exchange of
experience in growing the same things, besides receiving new suggestions
in regard to those which may have failed, and, finally, it keeps up a
friendly intercourse with old acquaintances, also enabling new
immigrants to form pleasant associations, in the absence of those whom
they have left behind--thus promoting harmony, not only in a community,
but throughout the entire State.

The weather--that important auxiliary--this year was unpropitious a
greater portion of the week. Nature put on a wild, damp face, which
chilled the ardor of many who had intended coming. However, the exhibit
was very good, in every department. All kinds of semi-tropical fruits,
from the most perfect pine-apple that has flourished in any clime, to
the sweetest orange, whose cheek had been kissed by a golden sunbeam.
Pure wines were not wanting to complete the conviviality of the
occasion, or perfumes distilled from Florida leaves and flowers, to waft
odors around us, sweet as the memory of a first love. The industrious
ladies sent their needle-work, some of which looked as if wrought by
fairy fingers, more than real flesh and blood.

Each succeeding year this organization gathers strength as the State
becomes more populous, and the necessity of comparing the products from
different latitudes is made a criterion for those who wish to examine
the local products of a country. In addition to what has already been
done, there is much room for improvement, which will be accomplished as
the necessities demand, until the Agricultural Florida Fair shall be
numbered among the permanent institutions, where the ingathering harvest
of tropical fruits every year will be a fixed fact, where immense crowds
shall come to look, wondering at its magnitude, and silent with
admiration before the grandeur of its extensive proportions. The future
of the Fair, like that of the State, has not been attained.

Another source of entertainment with many who come here is yachting. The
white-winged little crafts are constantly flitting about the
Jacksonville wharves, like summer songsters in a clear sky. The boats,
in reality, have become quite indispensable to the excitement of
visitors. Those that draw the least water, and make the best time, or
with a fair wind can sail on a heavy dew, are the class of craft most in
demand. General Spinner, formerly of the United States Treasury, has a
fine little yacht, in which he takes pleasure-excursions, looking much
happier than when the responsibility of a nation's finances rested on
his movements.

Our stay in Jacksonville has been very pleasant; but its surroundings
furnish a poor criterion for the fertile lands lying in other parts of
the State.

The ocean steamer Dictator is waiting at the wharf for passengers, and
we will be among the happy number to embark on this reliable-running
craft. Her former efficient commander, Captain Coxetter, has gone where
bars or rough waters never imperil his safety. However, his place has
been supplied by a skillful seaman, thus placing the Dictator at the
head of the list for palatial accommodations and attentive officers.

The St. John's to-day appears overspread with a kind of semi-transparent
mist, through which the sun shines with a nimbus of golden sheen, that
fills the air and sky. Imagination could not paint the River of Life
more beautiful. How smoothly we glide on its peaceful bosom, while
fleecy clouds of unrivaled purity float over us like airy forms, which
leave an indefinable idea of an invisible presence hovering near.

The first noticeable landing, after we leave Jacksonville, is Mandarin,
fifteen miles distant--the winter residence of Harriet Beecher Stowe--at
which point many stop, as though she was expected to furnish a
gratuitous exhibition of herself, designed for the benefit of those who
walk her domains. Visitors come here thinking they are at the same
liberty to inspect her person as though she were connected with a
menagerie, and obligated to present herself for their entertainment.
Very curious ones open her window-blinds if they cannot see her in any
other way. These impudent violations of etiquette do not meet with her
approval, while those indulging in them must take the consequences,
remembering that although patience is a virtue, it is not always
exercised.

Mandarin is quite unpretentious in its general appearance. The
inhabitants raise fine sweet oranges and other produce, which they bring
down in little boats to market; this is the most perceptible stir made
by any of its residents. Like many other localities in the State,
historic records of tragic events, extending back to the Indian wars,
are yet remembered by some of its old citizens. The following is dated
December 25, 1841:

"For some time the settlers in this section of the country had been
lulled into apparent security, under the belief that there was no danger
to be apprehended, since the notorious Wild Cat and his party were
shipped to the West.

"On Monday a band of twenty-one Indians approached the settlement of
Mandarin, when, after capturing an old negro belonging to Mr. William
Hartley, lay by until night, when they attacked the house of Mr. H., who
was absent hunting. They murdered his wife and child, also Messrs.
Domingo Acosta and William Molpus. These savages, after committing this
foul deed, plundered the house and applied the torch. They then
proceeded to the plantations of Nathan and George Hartley, and as the
inmates had fled, they destroyed their homes. The Indians camped near
until morning, when they released the old negro, and fled. Captain
Hurry, of Mandarin, and a few other citizens, followed their trail the
next day for some distance, but finally lost it."

The settlers then gave expression to their feelings:

"We, the citizens of Mandarin, cannot too strongly urge upon Col. Worth
the propriety of keeping in this vicinity a force sufficiently strong to
render to our citizens that protection to which they are justly
entitled. Many of them had returned to their abandoned places, others
making preparations for that purpose; but their plans are now
frustrated, as there can be no possible security until the last Indian
is hunted out of Florida; while our troops are operating in the South,
they are murdering in our unprotected settlements. This is the seventh
Christmas-day we have witnessed since the Indian war has been raging in
our territory, it being now our painful duty to record it is far from
being ended. The blood of our citizens is still warm upon the hillocks
and turfs of Florida, and the wily savage roams undismayed, with his
thirst for the blood of fresh victims unquenched."

One noticeable feature in traveling through Florida is the fanciful
names we hear given to unimportant places--the name being the most
prominent point, the towns so diminutive that it is difficult to locate
them with any degree of certainty. The first high-sounding ones, after
Mandarin, are Hibernia and Magnolia, both little stopping-places,
considered quite exclusive in their associations with the world in
general and themselves in particular, where guests are so well contented
they think the fabled land for which the Spaniards searched so long is
at last reached.

Green Cove Mineral Springs, thirty miles above Jacksonville, is a noted
resort for those afflicted with rheumatism--the temperature of the water
always being warm enough in winter to stimulate the system and give
relief to pain. Many other diseases are also greatly mitigated. Very
happy faces come down here to look at us, which is, no doubt,
attributable to the exhilarating influences of the water and fine fare
at the hotels.

Picolata, forty-five miles above Jacksonville, on the east bank of the
river, is more famous for what it has been than for what it is now, its
former greatness having departed, leaving scarcely a shadow to guide us.
This was formerly the stage terminus from St. Augustine, eighteen miles
distant, and of some importance as a commercial point, with a weekly
stage running to Tallahassee and St. Mark's. During Spanish times this
place was called Fort Picolata, where once stood a very ancient
fortress. The following is a description of its dimensions, written over
one hundred years since: "It was constructed with a high wall, without
bastions, about breast-high on the inside, with loop-holes, and
surrounded by a deep ditch. The upper story was open on each side, with
battlements supporting a cupola, or roof. These parapets were formerly
mounted with eight four-pounders--two on each side. The works were built
with hewn stone, cemented in lime. The shell-rock from which it was
constructed was cut out of quarries on St. Anastasia Island, opposite
St. Augustine." The object of this fort was to guard the passage of the
river, and preserve communication with St. Mark's and Pensacola.

As we propose describing Tocoi on our return, we will now proceed to
Pilatka, the county-seat of Putnam, with a population of fifteen hundred
inhabitants. The land on which the town stands is high, the soil being
mixed with shells. The accommodations here for visitors are fine, where
many come to stay all winter, in preference to any other place. The
Putnam House is well kept, being refreshingly neat, and the whole
premises in perfect order. It is now February, and the garden is
producing peas, lettuce, radishes, Irish potatoes, and many other
vegetables, from which the house is supplied. The tables groan with good
things, while the proprietor tries to make everybody welcome. The
politeness of the servants reminds us of the palmy days of the past,
when they were trained for use, and not permitted to roam, as many do
now, like untamed beasts, seeking something which they can kill and eat,
or steal, and trade for money. The citizens are very industrious and
law-abiding--the town having been settled thirty years--and never had a
county jail until recently; but, in keeping with the improvements of the
age, they have one now which is equal to any emergency. Among the
various other buildings, we notice a court-house, several churches, and
many boarding-houses. The principal industries are a moss-factory,
sea-island cotton-gin, a steam grist-mill and saw-mill, also a guano
fish-oil factory. Shad-fishing is profitable here in March, when large
quantities are shipped. One paper--the _Pilatka Herald_--publishes all
the news. The editor is called "Alligator" Pratt--he having obtained his
title by giving descriptions of the immense numbers of alligators which
frequented the streams, as recorded by the early settlers, but bringing
it down to the present time, as a visible fact, which is not true, nor
ever will be again, while so many are being killed every year. When we
visited the _Herald_ office, two lads, sons of the proprietor, were
working like busy bees, the youngest being thirteen, and the oldest
seventeen, years of age. They said their father was in Tallahassee, and
they were "getting out the paper." Such enterprise is commendable.

Many of the tropical fruits are cultivated here, some of which grow to
perfection, while others are experimental, but at present very
flourishing. Ripe strawberries, luscious and sweet, are now ready for
market, on Col. Hart's place--the fertilizer used being river-muck,
which is inexhaustible. The weather is milder here than in other
localities of the same latitude, not on the river, which is accounted
for by the waters of the St. John's flowing from a milder clime, thus
checking any proposed invasion from Jack Frost.

A very amusing circumstance happened here this morning. The Catholic
bishop from St. Augustine being in town, according to his usual custom,
proposed to have early morning mass. On repairing to the church, and
finding none of his members in attendance, and not being inclined to say
mass for the repose of their souls and bodies while in bed, as a gentle
reminder of their duties he commenced pulling vigorously at the
bell-rope. The jingling at so early an hour caused a consternation among
the inhabitants, who supposed it to be a fire-alarm, and, thinking the
safety of their dwellings in danger, rushed from every street in
hasty-made toilets, looking for the conflagration. However, on quiet
being restored, the affair was considered a good joke.

Pilatka is the head of navigation for ocean steamers, the river
narrowing so rapidly soon after leaving here that they cannot run any
farther. Parties going up the Ocklawaha must always stop at this point,
as steamers made, for no other purpose leave here daily. No Florida tour
would be complete without a trip up this narrow, tortuous stream, which
turns its course so often the wonder is that it does not forget which
way it was going to run.

The name of our boat is Okahumkee, which bears a slight resemblance to
the pictures designed to represent Noah's ark, but only in shape, not in
size or age. On account of the obstacles she has to meet in navigation,
there can be no surplus work or embellishment on her; but she is clean
and comfortable, the fare good as on any river-craft. The propelling
power is at the stern, and sends the steamer ahead at the rate of eight
miles an hour. The owner, Col. Hart, is a man of undaunted energies,
whose pioneer movements in navigating this river will ever remain a
monument worthy of emulation.

Twenty-five miles above Pilatka the Ocklawaha comes in, which name
signifies boggy river, or turgid water, so called by the Indians.



CHAPTER IV.


While in Florida, if tourists wish for a variety, let them travel up the
meandering course of that peculiar stream, the Ocklawaha. There is no
signaling here, as at other rivers in the State, for fossilized
Spaniards to take us over the bars. After describing a triangle, we
enter its dark waters without obstacle or interruption, when our steamer
glides along easily, if not quickly, as a Florida sun behind the
horizon.

The Ocklawaha is the largest tributary of the much-admired St. John's
River. It is only from fifty to seventy-five feet in width at any point,
and navigable all seasons of the year. Its banks are lined with "forests
primeval," while its crooked course can only be traced by a seat upon
the decks of its steamers. The banks are low, with an occasional bluff,
accompanied by a wildness of scenery not so unvaried as to become
monotonous. The river runs through heavily-timbered lands, consisting of
sweet-gum, sweet-bay, and live-oak, from which hangs a drapery of long
moss so dense it is only visited by zephyr breezes. The swaying of this
pendant growth appears like the movements of magic, preparing a
revelation from the secret abodes of wood-nymphs, or a _début_ from the
weird form of some dark-eyed Indian maid.

The cypress-trees grow here to the height of two hundred feet, some of
them being twenty-four in circumference, and eight feet through at the
base. From this kind of timber spars for vessels are made, which excel
in durability any other in use.

The trees on the banks are set closely as a cane thicket, thus obscuring
all view of the surrounding country as effectually as if it were a
thousand miles distant. It is to this point the sportsman resorts to
indulge his propensity for killing birds, which sing songs of joy as we
pass; but when wounded, their helpless bodies fall into the turbid
waters--the last that is seen of them being a fluttering pinion,
signaling their sinking condition, with no one to pity or rescue. The
click of the rifle is heard on every side from the hands of passengers,
with the exciting remark: "O there is another alligator! Sight him
quick! Kill him!" Although this seems to be great sport for the
huntsman, it is not always death to the game.

As we approach the source of the river the scenery is constantly
changing, like a kaleidoscopic view, and although it is mid-winter the
river-banks are lined with flowers in full bloom, as though Jack Frost
was not abroad with his withering breath, and had killed many of their
companions far away, and buried them under his white covering, bound
with icy fetters.

Among the most conspicuous plants which we see now is the aster,
climbing twenty or thirty feet, forming bowers filled with blooms,
supported by woody stems, sending forth their fragrance to gladden the
senses of those who love perfumery made in nature's laboratory.

The water-lily, enthroned on her emerald seat, sits like a queen,
spreading a snowy crown in every quiet corner of the stream; while the
air-plants, with a more ambitious turn, are clinging to the trees, with
their pink petals bursting into bloom, as the wild oranges and scarlet
berries combined form a panorama which creates new-born emotions of
happiness in the minds of all who look on their beauties and retain in
imagination their charms.

Captain Rice, who has charge of the steamer Okahumkee, is the alpha and
omega of the inhabitants on this river. He supplies all their wants,
makes all their contracts, and sells all their produce. The men expect
him to furnish them with whatever they need, from a sugar-mill to a plug
of tobacco. From this portion of the country are shipped sea-island
cotton, moss, oranges, vanilla, chickens, and eggs. These are sold in
Jacksonville to obtain their family supplies. The Captain goes shopping
for the young ladies, buys their pin-backs, tilters, face-powder, and
sometimes snuff--for their mothers only! For these numerous services he
rarely ever receives any thing but a smile! No wonder the man looks
thin, fed on such intangible substance!

Orange Springs, thirty-five miles from the mouth of the river, is our
first landing-place. This was formerly a resort for invalids, on account
of the mineral properties contained in the water. Here we witnessed an
affectionate meeting between a husband and wife. The lady had just
returned from Jacksonville on the steamer. When she stepped on shore,
and saw her husband waiting for her, she threw her arms around his neck
and cried. Some of the experienced passengers said she wept because she
thought of all that old fat bacon she would have to eat after feasting
so high in Jacksonville.

A log is something which our boat appears to understand. It leaps over
at a single bound, then goes crashing against the large limbs, which
sounds like the rattling of musketry, or crashing of a cyclone.

We met a lady on board who, since her last visit up the Ocklawaha, has
been deprived of her hearing. Not aware of the great change through
which she had passed, she quietly inquired if the obstructions had not
all been removed from the river. The sound, then, of big limbs rasping
across the boat, which had been crushed by coming in contact with it,
resembled thunder. The Captain changed his seat very suddenly to go
forward, while the passengers were all busy looking after birds and
alligators; but no one asserted that navigation was without impediments,
so far as last heard from. "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be
wise."

On this river is the home of the genuine crackers. You can see them come
to the steamer when it lands; and clever people they are, too. They
appear to come from nowhere, their first appearance being on a _bateau_,
or little platform, by the river-banks, where are seen standing
specimens of humanity so thin a musquito would be doing a bad business
in trying to obtain sustenance from their bloodless bodies.

Hoping that the mind of the public may be relieved of the impression
that a kind of hybrid bipeds circulate through the South entirely
unknown in other localities, called crackers, I herewith append a
description of the Northern crackers, in connection with our Southern
product, taken from my own observation.

[Illustration: PLEASURE-RIDING IN A CRACKER CART.]

From the Alleghany Mountains of Pennsylvania to the sands of Florida
there exists a certain class of the _genus homo_, defined by different
names, but possessing traits of character nearly allied, called in the
North "the lower class," in the South "crackers." In the Northern States
these poor, uneducated creatures ruminate without restraint. The
localities they prefer are removed from the principal towns and cities.
During the summer they spend a portion of the season in raising a little
corn and potatoes, together with other "garden sass," which is consumed
by their numerous families to sustain them during the cold winter
weather. The little attention this crop receives is when they are not
working out as the hired help, in assisting their neighbors through
"hayin' and harvestin', or diggin' taters." Many of them never "hire
out," but subsist entirely by hunting, fishing, or gathering berries,
for which pursuits their wild natures and unsettled habits well adapt
them. They excel in the piscatorial profession, studying the habits of
the finny tribe during their various stages, together with their times
of ascending and descending the streams. Sometimes the city folks come
out to spend a few days with tent and reels, which movement these
self-constituted sovereigns of the soil regard as a direct innovation of
their rights; and if the supposed intruders escape without their tent
being burned, or their clothes stolen, during the day when they are
absent, it may be regarded as a fortunate circumstance. Many of these
"lower class" specimens of humanity cannot read or write, while those
who can do not often imbibe orthodox opinions in their religious
belief, but embrace theories mapped out by New England fanatics, upon
which they try to make an improvement during the cold winter days when
they cannot be "stirrin' out doors." If a thaw comes they hunt deer and
other wild game, which is bartered for groceries. Hogs with them, as
most other people, are an important item for winter food. These animals
manage to live tolerably well during the summer on grass, besides
occasionally breaking into a neighbor's field of corn or potatoes, and
fattening in the autumn on wild mast, which is plentiful.

This "lower class" have never been credited with being strictly honest,
and frequently a stray sheep, calf, or turkey, makes an important
addition to the family larder, which is eaten by all without any
scruples, no questions being asked. Generosity cannot be classed among
their virtues. If a benevolent impulse ever forces its way into their
stingy souls, it is soon frozen out for want of sustenance. Never a
weary wanderer rests upon their beds, or is fed from their table, unless
pay is expected for it, nor a drop of milk given to pleasure-excursionists
without collection on delivery. Their clothes are made mostly of wool,
it being a home product, and the winters so severe they are obliged to
be protected. The "wimmen folks" weave the cloth, then color it blue or
red, and when the garments are made they are worn through all
seasons--in winter to keep out the cold, and in summer the heat. There
is no changing of raiment, nor any record kept of the time each garment
is worn, it being only removed when patching becomes necessary, and a
Joseph's coat among them is not an uncommon sight. They are not
remarkable for their powers of articulation, but communicate with a
peculiar twang through their noses, as though that was the design of the
organ. Cow is pronounced as though it was spelled "keow;" how, "heow."
"Awful" is their principal adjective, upon which they ring changes at
all times: "Awful mean!" "Awful good!" Conversation through the nose for
the old women is a difficult experiment, as they deposit large
quantities of snuff in that organ, whether for disease, or to fill a
vacuum in their _crania_, has never been determined, but it is really a
most disgusting and filthy practice to witness.

The above is a correct description of the Northern crackers, of which
some scribblers seem to have lost sight in their unfeeling efforts to
abuse the South, and impress the world with the idea that crackers and
poor whites are entirely of Southern origin, and only found in that
locality, they being the outgrowth of a slave oligarchy.

That indigenous class of persons called Southern crackers receive names
according to their locality. In South Carolina and South Georgia they
are called "Poor Buckra," and in Florida "Sand Lappers," or "Crackers."
The Florida crackers are supposed to be named from the facility with
which they eat corn, it being their chief article of diet, while some
few contract the habit of dirt-eating, and have been named "Sand
Lappers."

The true derivation of cracker, notwithstanding all the evidence given
before on the subject, is the original word for Quaker, which in Spanish
is _cuacero_, first changed into _cuaker_ by the English, and again into
cracker. From this we may learn that neither cattle-whips nor
corn-cracking had any thing to do with the naming of these people.

These crackers have few local attachments; moving twice in a year does
not inconvenience them; indeed, no earthly state of existence can be
imagined freer from care and less fraught with toil than the one they
lead. When settled, they are not fastidious about their habitations, as
the mild climate does not require close quarters; a good shelter will
subserve their purpose. Like birds of the air, they only want a
roosting-place when night overtakes them. Their houses are mostly made
of logs, notched to fit at the corners, the floors being oftentimes of
earth, but usually boards sawed by hand. These tenements are scoured
once a week, when the beds are sunned, and every thing turned out. The
men are not always dressed in "store-clothes," with a corresponding
outfit, but usually country-made cotton home-spun. The genuine cracker
wears a broad-brimmed hat, braided from palmetto, a brown-jean coat and
breeches, a deer-skin vest with the fur left on, and a pair of stout,
useful cow-skin boots, or shoes. He supports a very unkempt mustache and
whiskers, before which a Broadway dandy would shrink with the most
intense disgust. This natural growth obscures a mouth well filled with
teeth, which were nature's gift, and the handiwork of no dentist--from
whence is kept a constant ejecting of tobacco juice. He always has a
body-guard of dogs whenever and wherever you find him, the number
varying according to his condition in life--the poorer the man, the
larger the number of canines. These animals are very thin, whether from
a deficiency in their master's larder, or the constant rambling life
they lead, has not been exactly determined. Around his master's neck is
suspended a flask of shot and powder-horn, while in his hands is a rifle
named "Sure-fire," which he says was never known to flicker, warranted
to bring down any game within a range of two hundred yards, running or
flying. These people, like the patriarchs of old, have large families,
which require about the same attention as puppies or kittens. When night
comes the children curl up in almost any corner to sleep, and at dawn of
day, when the early songsters dash the dew-drops from the grass and
flowers, they are out hunting for berries, or watching the birds
building their nests, that they may know where to find the eggs, in
which enterprise they are experts.

The cracker has a hearty welcome for the stranger, which puts the blush
of contempt upon those claiming a much higher degree of civilization.
Every thing the house contains is free to visitors. Although the bill of
fare bears no resemblance to the St. James Hotel or Carleton House in
Jacksonville, yet quantity will make up for quality. Chickens are always
killed for company, without counting the number of Christmas holidays
they have seen. Your plate is piled with sweet potatoes and corndodger
bread, or ash-cake, to be washed down with strong coffee, which they
always manage to keep on hand for special occasions. The old folks are
very attentive; but where are the children? Run away like wild rabbits.
They are out taking a view of the company. Watch, and you will soon see
curious little eyes looking through the cracks, or slipping around the
corners. These crackers are a very communicative class of persons,
always full of information pertaining to Florida, and as ready to talk
as a freshly-wound, well-regulated Yankee clock to keep time. The father
of the family is called "dad," the mother "mam." The husband speaks of
his wife as "the old woman," the wife says "old man," while the children
are always called girls and boys. Women among no class of people in the
South, however poor, are ever called "heifers," as one Northern writer
has represented, unless by their conduct they are lost both to virtue
and shame. The cracker exercises his prudential care by always keeping
hogs. It is the main support of the family; and these razor-backed
tourists are constantly going on voyages of discovery, either by land or
sea. They often excite the sympathies of visitors on account of their
thin bodies, but they possess more self-sustaining qualities than those
who are sorry for them, showing what hogs can do as well as people, when
thrown on their own resources. The sea-shore swine, which receive
sustenance from the beach, can feed twice in twenty-four hours, when the
tide recedes, and no depleted stores tell the amount of fish, oysters,
and other marine morsels, which are deposited within their bony frames.

The above is a true statement in regard to the Southern crackers, which
excites the commiseration of so many people who know nothing about them,
and would, no doubt, be greatly benefited by reserving their concern for
themselves, remembering, "Where little is given, little is required."

Civilization has commenced making its mark on the Ocklawaha, and the
march of improvement, which never tires in its efforts, is leaving its
foot-prints here. These new developments are visible from the various
landings which the steamer makes, as it advances through the rapid
current. In order to effect a landing, the bow of the craft is run
against the shore, when the command is given by the Captain, with as
much authority as though a ship from England had arrived on foreign
shores, "Make fast!" This order is executed by putting a hawser an inch
in circumference around a stake driven in the ground. Here are two cords
of wood waiting to be loaded, called in cracker vernacular "light-wood,"
filled with turpentine, from which the article of commerce is
manufactured. The vender of this commodity is on shore, waiting for an
opportunity to dispose of his pile when "the charcoal sketches" commence
"wooding-up."

Nearly all the passengers improve the time by taking a walk on shore to
see the country while the hands on board are working. A countryman is
trying to sell a bear-skin to some of the crowd. These Floridians always
ask more than they can get, to see what visitors will stand.

The sun has set, and we are now entering upon a night of darkness, in a
wilderness of leaves and blooms, on the water, near thickets where the
hungry wolf lurks for his prey, and the bear growls from his covert of
security; where the wild deer nips the grass and feasts from herbage
green, frequenting haunts where the hounds lose their trail, and the
foot of the civilized hunter has never trod. A bright blaze, made from
light-wood knots, is placed in a frame on the bow of our craft, and,
like the "pillar of fire" which preceded the Israelites through the
wilderness, is our guide. Here, encircled by trees whose long limbs
overlap each other so thickly that only a glimmer of dawn is seen
through the small openings, our flame-lit craft winds up the serpentine
stream, and our night-fires send out a glare which illumines the
darkness far as the eye can see, while on the boughs above our heads in
silence sits the owl, with only an occasional "Who!" to let us know
vitality is not entirely extinct in these wilds.

[Illustration: WHO!]

The queer, dusky-looking figures, moving about with their pine torches,
flashing through the darkness, and yelling at each other in cases of
emergency, when our boat appears trying to climb a tree, remind us of
the historic plutonian regions. As we glide along, our pathway is marked
by volumes of pyrotechnic showers more numerous and brilliant than can
be conceived, which burst from the smoke-stacks, and fall on the water
before they are extinguished. Phantom-like we move, while weird forms
retire before us, but still clinging to our boat as the connecting-link
between civilized and savage life, a thoughtless move from it in any
direction being a dangerous and hazardous experiment.

Every landing has its name, kept up as a mark of distinction by the
boatmen and settlers, but unknown to history.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER V.


Many incidents of travel are related by different _savants_, and those
of humbler pretensions, who circulate through the country for various
purposes; but the following stands without a parallel as a genuine fact,
so far as last heard from, in the wilds of Florida.

As we entered the famous Silver Springs this morning, about 4 o'clock,
on the steamer Okahumkee, another boat that had arrived slightly in
advance of us was anchored very near our stopping-place. Upon the bows
of each were burning large light-wood fires, the reflection on the water
being only comparable to the magic movements of enchantment, while the
shore, encircled with tall forest-trees, embowered the whole in a sylvan
retreat, where Diana herself might repose, and be refreshed for the more
exciting amusements of the chase. One of our gentlemen-passengers, upon
being suddenly aroused from his sound slumbers, opened his blind for the
purpose of taking observations of the outside world. At the same instant
a very fresh morning breeze fanned his brow, causing him to make a most
convulsive sneeze--which effort being too much for his artificial
superstructure, all his upper teeth were ejected from his mouth into
the water. Upon the return of his wandering thoughts from the vision of
beauty before him, he was again apprised of the stern realities which
would have to be met and faced without the valuable accessories for
administering to his comfort--particularly in the mastication of Florida
beef--teeth. Soon as day dawned, sympathetic friends gathered around him
with words of condolence, while the services of all experts in the art
of descending into the watery fluid, without being drowned, were called
into requisition. They all went down repeatedly, and returned without
the lost treasures. Poles were spliced, armed with instruments of
various designs, with which they raked and dredged for hours, with
toothless success. Large rewards were offered, while hope in the heart
of the owner sunk below zero, and expectation stimulated the movements
of only one artisan, who finally succeeded in securing the truant
grinders by fastening a tin scoop on the end of a forty-foot pole, and
bringing them out, amid the congratulations of friends and the great joy
of the owner, who gave the persevering negro his proffered reward--ten
dollars. The first investment made by the colored individual was two
bits for tobacco, which he could chew without the aid of foreign
intervention.

The most noticeable point on the Ocklawaha is the Mirror of Diana, or
Silver Springs, which is the source of this river, where, from the
depths of some invisible cavern, boils up a large body of water,
gathered from far away, forming a succession of springs nine miles in
length, with an average depth of thirty-five feet. These waters rise
from the subterranean depths of the earth, with their crystal streams
pure as an angel, clear as the noonday sun, bright and beautiful as the
radiance of heavenly light. This spring is to the campers and movers who
travel through the country what Jacob's Well was to the land of Samaria.
It is entirely surrounded by trees, forming columns unknown to drafts or
plans of architectural skill, except the great Architect of the
universe. More than thirty years since, the land around this spring was
entered as a homestead by a relative of that memorable martyr, John
Rogers. Mr. Rogers, with whom we had the pleasure of conversing, said
its present appearance was the same as when he first saw it--the water
being so clear that looking down in it appeared like the sky above it:
he could see no difference in depths, look which way he would, up or
down. The basin is lined with a grayish limestone, which lies in ledges
on the bottom, from under the crevices of which dart out patriarchal
fish of immense size; but no hook, however delicately baited and
concealed, can lure them to bite. They are occasionally captured with
lines by striking, which custom was practiced by the Indians, "while
graceful poised they threw the spear." At midday the sunbeams kiss the
placid surface of this crystal fluid, while they are reflected by the
transparent waters, which tremble and shimmer with resplendent glories.

A sunset viewed from this Mirror of Diana fills the imagination with
emotions of grandeur, to be remembered as past joys, where descriptive
powers are inadequate to the task. The parting rays of old Sol shine
upon the vast forest of tall trees, draped with Spanish moss suspended
in mid-air, resembling the fragile texture of some fairy realm more than
a tangible substance; or when twilight deepens, then the stars raise
their eyelids, and peep into the depths of this land-locked mystery,
which reveals nothing of its past history, age, or origin.

The following legend, which appeared in the _National Repository_, seems
so much in keeping with what might have been a reality, we have copied
it for the benefit of those who are fond of legendary tales:

"A long time ago, when Okahumkee was king over the tribes of Indians who
roamed and hunted around the South-western lakes, an event occurred
which filled many hearts with sorrow. The king had a daughter named
Weenonah, whose rare beauty was the pride of the old man's life.
Weenonah was exceedingly graceful and symmetrical in figure. Her face
was of an olive complexion, tinged with light brown, her skin finely
transparent, exquisitely clear. It was easy to see the red blood beneath
the surface, and often it blushed in response to the impulses of a warm
and generous nature. Her eye was the crystal of the soul--clear and
liquid, or flashing and defiant, according to her mood. But the hair was
the glory of the woman. Dark as the raven's plume, but shot with gleams
of sacred arrows, the large masses, when free, rolled in tresses of rich
abundance. The silken drapery of that splendid hair fell about her
'like some royal cloak dropped from the cloud-land's rare and radiant
loom.' Weenonah was, in truth, a forest-belle--an idol of the
braves--and many were the eloquent things said of her by the red men,
when they rested at noon, or smoked around the evening fires. She was a
coveted prize, while chiefs and warriors vied with each other as to who
should present the most valuable gift, when her hand was sought from the
king, her father. But the daughter had already seen and loved Chuleotah,
the renowned chief of a tribe which dwelt among the wild groves near
Silver Springs.

"The personal appearance of Chuleotah, as described by the hieroglyphics
of that day, could be no other than prepossessing. He was arrayed in a
style suitable to the dignity of a chief. Bold, handsome,
well-developed, he was to an Indian maiden the very ideal of manly
vigor. But it was a sad truth that between the old chief and the young,
and their tribes, there had long been a deadly feud. They were enemies.
When Okahumkee learned that Chuleotah had gained the affections of his
beloved child, he at once declared his purpose of revenge. A war of
passion was soon opened, and carried on without much regard to
international amenities; nor had many weeks passed away before the noble
Chuleotah was slain--slain, too, by the father of Weenonah.

"Dead! Her lover dead! Poor Weenonah! Will she return to the paternal
lodge, and dwell among her people, while her father's hand is stained
with the drippings of her lover's scalp? No; she hurries away to the
well-known fountain. Her heart is there; for it is a favorite spot, and
was a trysting-place, where herself and Chuleotah met. Its associations
are all made sacred by the memories of the past, while on the glassy
bosom of the spring the pale ghost of Chuleotah stands beckoning her to
come. 'Yes, my own, my beloved one, I come. I will follow where thou
leadest, to the green and flowery land.' Thus spake the will, if not the
lips, of the maiden. It is not a mere common suicide which she now
contemplates; it is not despair, nor a broken heart, nor the loss of
reason; it is not because she is sick of the world, or tired of life.
Her faith is, that by an act of self-immolation she will join her lover
on that spirit-plain, whose far-off, strange glory has now for her such
an irresistible attraction.

"The red clouds of sunset had passed away from the western skies. Gray
mists came stealing on, but they soon melted and disappeared, as the
stars shone through the airy blue. The moon came out with more than
common brilliancy, and her light silvered the fountain. All was still,
save the night-winds, that sighed and moaned through the lofty pines.
Then came Weenonah to the side of the spring, where, gazing down, she
could see on the bottom the clear, green shelves of limestone, sloping
into sharp hollows, opening here and there into still profounder depths.
Forty feet below, on the mass of rock, was her bed of death--easy enough
for her, as before she could reach it the spirit must have fled. The
jagged rocks on the floor could therefore produce no pain in that
beautiful form. For a moment she paused on the edge of the spring, then
met her palms above her head, and with a wild leap she fell into the
whelming waves.

"Down there in the spring are shells, finely polished by the attrition
of the waters. They shine with purple and crimson, mingled with white
irradiations, as if beams of the Aurora, or clouds of a tropical sunset,
had been broken and scattered among them. Now, mark those long, green
filaments of moss, or fresh-water algæ, swaying to and fro to the motion
of the waves; these are the loosened braids of Weenonah's hair, whose
coronet gives us such beautiful coruscations, sparkling and luminous,
like diamonds of the deep, when in the phosphorescence of night the
ocean waves are tipped with fire. These relics of the devoted Indian
girl are the charm of Silver Springs. But as to Weenonah herself--the
real woman who could think and feel, with her affections and memory--she
has gone to one of those enchanted isles far out in the western sea,
where the maiden and her lover are united, and where both have found
another Silver Spring, amid the rosy bowers of love eternal."

Thus runs the Indian legend of Silver Springs, in Florida.

The following description of Silver Spring, written by Prof. John Le
Conte, although entirely divested of myth and mystery, contains truthful
facts that continue to invest it with a charm which stirs the current of
our thoughts as no other natural scenery in the State:

"This remarkable spring is situated near the center of Marion county, in
the State of Florida, in latitude 29° 15´ north, and longitude 82° 20´
west. It is about five miles north-east of Ocala, the county-seat, and
nearly in the axis of the peninsula, being equally distant from the
Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Its waters are discharged by a short stream
bearing the same name, which, after running about six miles, unites with
the Ocklawaha, a tributary of the St. John's River. The stream takes its
origin in a deep pool, or head-basin, which is called the Silver Spring.
This basin is nearly circular in shape, about two hundred feet in
diameter, and surrounded by hills covered with live-oaks, magnolias,
sweet-bays, and other gigantic evergreens. The amount of water
discharged is so large that small steamers and barges readily navigate
the Silver Spring, up to the pool, or head-spring, where there is a
landing for the shipment of cotton, sugar, and other produce. These
steamers and barges make regular trips between the Spring and Pilatka,
on the St. John's. The boatmen informed me that at its junction with the
Ocklawaha more than one-half the water is contributed by the Silver
Spring stream. This stream, for about two miles from its source, varies
in breadth from forty-five to one hundred feet, and its depth in the
shallowest parts from ten to fifteen feet, its average velocity being
about two miles per hour. The fluctuations of water-level in this spring
seem to be connected with the season of rains, but never varying more
than two feet. The commencement of the rainy season changes from the
15th of June to the 15th of July. The waters of the spring begin to
rise about the middle of the season of summer rains, and attain their
maximum height about its termination. The maximum depth of water in the
basin constituting the head of the spring was found to be not more than
thirty-six feet in the deepest crevice from which the water boils up;
the general depth in the central and deep parts of the basin was found
to be about thirty feet. Inasmuch as accurate quantitative
determinations, however easily applied, are seldom resorted to by the
unscientific, we need not be surprised that its real depth falls very
far short of its reputed depth. In South Carolina, the reported depth
was variously stated at from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and
fifty feet, while the smallest estimate in the vicinity of the spring
was forty-five feet! This affords an illustration of the general law,
that the accuracy of popular statements bears an inverse proportion to
the distance from the point of observation--probably, like all
emanations from centers, following the law of inverse squares.

"Doubtless, the greater portion of the water which flows in the Silver
Spring River is furnished by this principal or head-spring; but there
are several tributary springs of similar character along the course of
the stream, which contribute more or less to the volume of water. These
usually occur in deep basins, or coves, along the margin of the stream.
The depth of one of these coves, situated about two hundred yards below
the head-spring, was found to be thirty-two feet in the crevice in the
limestone bottom from which the water boiled; in other deep parts of
the basin the depth was about twenty-four feet. The 'Bone-yard,' from
which several specimens of mastodon bones have been taken, is situated
two miles below the head-spring, it being a cove, or basin, measuring
twenty-six feet.

"The most remarkable and really interesting phenomenon presented by this
spring is the truly extraordinary transparency of the water--in this
respect surpassing any thing which can be imagined. All of the intrinsic
beauties which invest it, as well as the wonderful optical properties
which popular reports have ascribed to its waters, are directly or
indirectly referable to their almost perfect diaphaneity. On a clear and
calm day, after the sun has attained sufficient altitude, the view from
the side of a small boat floating on the surface of the water, near the
center of the head-spring, is beautiful beyond description, and well
calculated to produce a powerful impression upon the imagination. Every
feature and configuration of the bottom of this gigantic basin is as
distinctly visible as if the water was removed, and the atmosphere
substituted in its place.

"A large portion of the bottom of this pool is covered with a luxuriant
growth of water-grass and gigantic moss-like plants, or fresh-water
algæ, which attain a height of three or four feet. The latter are found
in the deepest parts of the basin. Without doubt, the development of so
vigorous a vegetation at such depths is attributable to the large amount
of solar light which penetrates these waters. Some parts are devoid of
vegetation; these are composed of limestone rock and sand, presenting a
white appearance. The water boils up from fissures in the limestone;
these crevices being filled with sand and comminuted limestone, indicate
the ascending currents of water by the local milk-like appearance
produced by the agitation of their contents.

"These observations were made about noon, during the month of
December--the sunlight illumining the sides and bottom of this
remarkable pool, brilliantly, as if nothing obstructed the light. The
shadows of our little boat, of our hanging heads and hats, of projecting
crags and logs, of the surrounding forest, and of the vegetation at the
bottom, were distinctly and sharply defined; while the constant waving
of the slender and delicate moss-like _alga_, by means of the currents
created by the boiling up of the water, and the swimming of numerous
fish above this miniature subaqueous forest, imparted a living reality
to the scene which can never be forgotten. If we add to this picture,
already sufficiently striking, that objects beneath the surface of the
water, when viewed obliquely, were fringed with the prismatic hues, we
shall cease to be surprised at the mysterious phenomena with which vivid
imaginations have invested this enchanting spring, besides the
inaccuracies which have been perpetuated in relation to the wonderful
properties of its waters. On a bright day the beholder seems to be
looking down from some lofty air-point on a truly fairy scene in the
immense basin beneath him--a scene whose beauty and magical effect is
vastly enhanced by the chromatic tints with which it is inclosed.

"Popular opinion has ascribed to these waters remarkable magnifying
power. In confirmation of this, it is commonly reported that the _New
York Herald_ can be read at the deepest parts of the pool. It is almost
needless to state that the waters do not possess this magnifying power;
that it is only the large capitals constituting the heading of this
paper which can be read at the bottom, and that the extraordinary
transparency of the water is abundantly sufficient to account for all
analogous facts. A variety of careful experiments were made, with a view
of testing this point, by securing printed cards to a brick attached to
a fathoming-line, and observing at what depth the words could be read
when seen vertically. Of course, when looked at obliquely, the letters
were distorted and colored by refraction. Numerous comparative
experiments were likewise executed in relation to the distances at which
the same cards could be read in the air. The results of these
experiments may be announced in a few words--namely, that when the
letters are of considerable size--say a quarter of an inch or more in
length--on a clear, bright day, they could be read at about as great a
vertical distance beneath the surface of the water as they could in the
atmosphere. In some instances cards were read by those ignorant of the
contents at depths varying from six to thirty feet. The comparative
experiments in reading the cards in air and water serve to convey a more
distinct idea of the wonderful diaphanous properties of the latter than
any verbal description.

"Some have thought there was something mysterious in the fact that
objects beneath the surface of the water, when viewed obliquely, are
fringed with prismatic hues. It is unnecessary to remind the physicist
that such a phenomenon is a direct physical consequence of the laws of
dispersion of light by refraction. Observation has proved that white
objects on a dark ground were fringed with blue at the top, with orange
and red at the bottom, while the color of the fringing was reversed for
dark objects on a white ground--this being exactly in accordance with
recognized optical principles. In the present case, the phenomenon is
remarkably striking and conspicuous, probably from two causes: first,
because the extraordinary transparency of the water rendered subaqueous
objects highly luminous; and secondly, because the gigantic evergreens
which fringed the pool cut off most of the surface reflection, which
would otherwise have impaired the visual impression produced by the more
feeble refracted and dispersed rays proceeding from the objects--the
shadow of the surrounding forest forming a dark background, analogous to
the black cloud on which a rainbow is projected."

The land improvements near the springs are not particularly fascinating.
There are two landings about one-half mile distant from each other,
called Upper and Lower. At the Lower Landing is a large turpentine
distillery, the property of Messrs. Agnew & Co., where thirty barrels of
turpentine and one hundred of rosin are manufactured monthly. The Upper
Landing has a large ware-house, usually well filled with goods from
steamers, to furnish the back country, together with produce for
shipment to New York and many other points.

Mrs. F. A. House has a dry-goods store in the vicinity, and a small
orange grove of very promising appearance. A boarding-house is kept open
in the winter, but we are unable to state what benefit could be derived
in drinking the strong limestone water from the spring, unless the
scenery would compensate for the lack of life-giving properties in the
transparent fluid. A bar-room is kept here by a man with much-inflamed
eyes, which are, no doubt, caused by imbibing his villainous compounds
too freely, in the absence of better-paying customers.

Tourists wishing to visit Ocala can be accommodated with a conveyance on
reasonable terms. Ocala is a nice little town, six miles distant,
nestled among the hummocks, embowered in a growth of grand water-oaks,
orange-trees, and ornamental shrubbery. It is the capital of Marion
county. A good hotel is kept here by Mr. E. J. Harris, where about forty
boarders can be accommodated. In the center of the park stands a very
creditable court-house, while churches of various creeds are located in
the suburbs. It is a central business resort for the country people many
miles around.

This locality is described by De Soto as being "a fertile region of
country where maize is abundant, also acorns, grapes, and plums." Near
here the Spaniards entered upon the territory of a chief called
Vitachuco, who received them with demonstrations of hostility; "where a
bloody battle was fought between two lakes on a level plain, when two
hundred warriors plunged into the water, and there remained without
touching land for twenty-four hours." Ocala has a population of several
hundred inhabitants, which have more the appearance of enjoyment than
those of any other town in the State. The climate being so mild, no
arrangements are made in the stores and offices for warming;
consequently when a cool morning comes, little camp-fires are built
around the public square, before which are gathered many happy,
contented-looking faces, of all professions, accepting things as they
find them, taking a cool breeze with the firmness of a Stoic, knowing it
is only of short duration--a kind of Northern aggression, which the warm
sunshine will soon waft away. As the fragments of lost fortunes float by
them, they do not settle into apathy and despair over the wreck, but all
seem resigned to their fate, trying to be as happy as the force of
circumstances will permit. They are mostly persons of fine mental
culture, besides being the best, most hospitable people in existence;
indeed, their society seems like an oasis in the desert of this cold,
selfish world.

The lands around are gently undulating, with an abundance of rolling
hummock and first-class pine. It was formerly considered the most
productive county in the State, containing the best orange groves, and
before the war raising the largest amount of sea-island cotton, besides
oranges, sugar, and sirup in abundance. Many planters became discouraged
during the late war on account of inability to work their large
plantations, and abandoned them. These fertile tracts are for sale now
in lots to suit colonists, or accommodate single settlers. An average of
two thousand pounds of sugar to the acre can be produced here. The soil
is dark, alluvial, and porous, containing phosphate of lime and other
fertilizers, which possess the power of recuperation when not being
cultivated. Lime-rock abounds, covering the earth in the form of
bowlders and drifts, indicating a clay soil. Good lands can be purchased
at from five to ten dollars per acre.

Marion county is called the back-bone of the State--it being the center
from which the waters recede on each side, until what was the ocean's
bed is now cultivated land. This theory is confirmed from the fact of
numerous fossil remains to be seen on the surface, consisting of fish,
birds, alligators'-shells, oysters, together with the bones of an animal
unknown to the present generation; but if his voice was proportionate to
his body, he must have made the earth tremble with sound. The following
amusing story is related in reference to this mammoth animal during the
pioneer movements of boats which first navigated the Ocklawaha River:

One morning early, as the gray dawn was stealing through the shades of
night, the inhabitants were aroused from their slumbers by an unusual
noise. An old hunter named Matt. Driggers, whose ear was ever on the
alert for the scream of the wild cat, the howl of the wolf, the yell of
the panther, or the growl of the bear, rushed out, exclaiming, "What on
airth is that?" The sound was repeated, when Matt. convulsively grasped
his hunting-horn, and blew a blast from his stentorian lungs which
echoed through a vast extent of country. His faithful hounds came
whining about him, anxious for the hunt. Taking down his rifle "Dead
Shot" from the hooks, he mounted his lank steed, and rode with haste to
the nearest neighbor, Pat Kennedy. "Hellow, Pat! you in thar asleep, and
the devil unchained in the swamp! Hark! now don't you hear him?" "O
Matt., that's nothin' but one of those old masterdons! You know we dun
seed his bones where he was drowned in the Wakulla Spring." "I dunno,
may be so; one thing sartain, he's a mighty big varmint, an' his voice
is curoser than any thing I ever hearn afore in my time." "But," says
Pat, "one thing sure: there is nothing ranges these parts but what my
dogs and 'Kill Quick' can bring down." Summoning all his dogs, he was
soon on his way with Matt. Driggers to the house of the next
frontiersman. Attracted by the baying of hounds and the blowing of
horns, the excitement ran like wild-fire throughout the entire
neighborhood, until all the settlers were collected.

After reviewing his comrades and counting his dogs, Matt. Driggers,
confident that the full force of the country was mustered, then rode
bravely through bushes and swamps, fording creeks and swimming lagoons,
in pursuit of the great "varmint." When he imagined they were
sufficiently near, he ordered the dogs to be put on the trail.
Simultaneous with this movement came another shrill echo from the
supposed huge monster, which sent the dogs cowering to their masters,
at the same time unnerving the courage of the bravest hunter. A look of
superstitious awe was depicted upon every countenance, and none dared
advance a step farther except Matt. Driggers, who, bolder than the rest,
led the way, saying, "Come, boys; if the dogs are scared, we will follow
by the sound!"

Winding their course cautiously through the valley, they followed in the
direction of the strange sound, until they reached the basin of Silver
Springs, where they found a curious-looking craft discharging cargo. The
hunters commenced making inquiries if they had heard that great monster
while passing through the valley, at the same time describing, and
trying to imitate, its voice to the best of their ability. The Captain,
to their great satisfaction, then told and illustrated to them that the
great noise about which they were so much excited was only a _steam-boat
whistle_!

Sometimes, the water being too low for steamers above Silver Springs,
visitors are deprived of a great pleasure in not seeing this portion of
the country, barges and slow coaches being the only medium of
communication. However, this inconvenience will soon be overcome by a
contemplated railroad. Large portions of the country in this locality
are yet open to homestead settlers, where all good people will receive a
hearty welcome.

As we leave the river and springs, the scenery changes from trees and
foliage to fertile prairies and long marsh-grass, which sways in the
breeze like troubled waves. Here the huge alligators luxuriate and
crawl about in peaceful security, swallowing their light-wood knots
before commencing to hibernate in winter, which precaution is said to be
necessary, that their diaphragms may not contract during this torpid
state.

In these wilds the palmetto rears its crowned head in solitude, and the
wild orange matures its golden fruit, kissed by an eternal spring-time.
This is the home of the curlew, plume-crane, blue heron, fish-hawk,
royal king-fisher, mocking-bird, paroquet, red-bird, blue-peter,
water-turkey, limkin, and duck--all of them God's free birds.

Our steamer has now commenced making its pathway through wide, deep
lakes, and we are one hundred and fifty miles above Pilatka. In these
waters are found a great variety of fish--pike, trout, bream, perch;
while in the surrounding country live the black bear, wild cat, deer,
gray fox, squirrels of all kinds, and wild hogs.

The first body of water is Lake Griffin, twelve miles long; Lake
Eustace, of less dimensions; then Lake Harris, fifteen miles in length,
seven miles wide, with an average of water thirty feet in depth. The
tide of immigration is concentrating on this lake very rapidly.

The following incident is related as having occurred among the primitive
inhabitants in this portion of the country, when priests were not always
waiting in the church to administer the rites of matrimony to willing
lovers:

A devoted suitor, having made the preliminary arrangements for the
celebration of his nuptials, set out in search of an official to
perform the ceremony. He, never having been initiated into the mysteries
of matrimony before, ignorantly inquired of the first person he met
where he could find a sheriff. The man replied there was no sheriff
nearer than Pilatka. "Why do you wish for him?" "I'm going to be
married, sir." "O you want the squire, or preacher." "Do you know where
a preacher lives, then? I thought the sheriff would do as well." "The
preacher has gone on the circuit." Knowing a good deacon lived near, he
repaired thither as a last resort. Finding the deacon at home, he
related to him, in tremulous tones, his disagreeable condition. The
deacon informed him that marrying did not come within the pale of his
jurisdiction. "But I must be married," replied the intended bridegroom.
The deacon replied, "Impossible, sir!" "Well, deacon, can't you marry us
just a little till the preacher comes home?"

Leesburg, fronting partly on Lake Harris, is a thriving town; has a
post-office, court-house, Masonic hall, hotel, private boarding-houses,
church, steam cotton-gin, grist-mill, lumber dressing machine, etc. A
sugar-cane mill is in operation, connected with which is a centrifugal
sugar-dryer, the only one in the State. This mill can turn out fifteen
barrels per day. Every thing produced here finds a ready market, as
boats pass almost daily, which enables the settlers to change all their
surplus into money, from a bale of cotton or moss to a dozen eggs.

When Colonel Hart's little open boat and engine first came up to dredge
out the barnets and swamp-grass, the natives gathered around him,
thinking it was a cook-stove.

The Indians traveled through these swamps by wading in the water, and
using a cow-hide fastened at the ends to transport their provisions,
women, and children, which they drew after them, thus making a trail
that lasted several days, which enabled their friends or foes to follow
them.

In this vicinity we find historical relics, and approach tragic grounds.
A portion of the cypress log mentioned by De Soto in his travels through
Florida is still to be seen; also an artificial causeway, several
hundred yards in length, made of shells from which the Indians extracted
food and pearls, near which yet remains a portion of one of those
immense mounds, supposed to be the residence of the Cazique.

Lake Dunham is the last in the chain of these inland waters, upon which
is situated Okahumkee, two hundred and twenty-five miles above Pilatka.
It is the terminus of navigation.

The Ocklawaha River was the memorable place where the Payne's Treaty
Landing was drawn up, and between the terminus of this chain of lakes
and the Withlacoochee River are located the tragic grounds of General
Thompson's murder and the Dade Massacre.



CHAPTER VI.


The early history of Florida Territory, soon after it came into the
possession of the United States, being written in characters of blood
for years, it is considered both appropriate and interesting to
intersperse a sprinkling of historical facts in this work, to the
authenticity of which some now living can testify.

The Indians were intensely opposed to emigrating West, as that country
offered them no such means of idleness as Florida, where they lived with
as little solicitude as the buzzards that lazily flew above their
heads--while in Arkansas they would have to work. They were a race of
hunters and fishermen, with no habits of industry, gliding on the
surface of lakes and rivers, with as little idea of locating as the
watery inhabitants they captured.

The movements of the Indians and American troops, encumbered with their
wagons, or a field-piece, compared unfavorably with the agile foe they
had to meet in warfare, who could swim the streams and leap over the
logs of the wide forest, and vanish, like the whooping crane, that made
its nest at night far from the spot where it dashed the dew from the
flowers and grass in the morning.

One of the occasions of the Seminole war, like our own late struggle,
was on account of the fugitive slaves, which the Indians harbored,
instead of returning to their owners, or permitting their masters to
come and get them.

The following is a correct copy of an interesting document, to which
frequent reference was made during the Florida war, as a compact which
had been violated. We have transferred it as an item of interest. As the
whites found the Indians becoming troublesome neighbors, this treaty was
drawn up in order to rid the country of them--its violation the true
cause of the war:



    _Treaty of Payne's Landing, concluded May 9, 1832, and ratified
                           April 12, 1834._

     ARTICLE I. That the Seminole Indians relinquish to the United
     States all claim to the lands they at present occupy in the
     Territory of Florida, and agree to immigrate to the country
     assigned to the Creeks, west of the Mississippi River--it being
     understood that an additional extent of territory, proportioned to
     their numbers, will be added to the Creek country, and that the
     Seminoles will be received as a constituent part of the Creek
     Nation, and be reädmitted to all the privileges as a member of the
     same.

     ART. II. For and in consideration of the relinquishment of claim in
     the first article of this agreement, and in full compensation for
     all the improvements which may have been made on the lands thereby
     ceded, the United States stipulate to pay to the Seminole Indians
     fifteen thousand dollars, to be divided among the chiefs and
     warriors of the several towns, in a ratio proportioned to their
     population, the respective portions of each to be paid on their
     arrival in the country they consent to move to: it being understood
     their faithful interpreters, Abraham and Cudjo, shall receive two
     hundred dollars each of the above sum, in full remuneration for the
     improvements to be abandoned, now cultivated by them.

     ART. III. The United States agree to distribute, as they arrive at
     their homes in the Creek Territory, west of the Mississippi River,
     a blanket and home-spun frock to each warrior, women and children,
     of the Seminole tribe of Indians.

     ART. IV. The United States agree to extend the annuity for the
     support of a blacksmith, provided for in the sixth article of the
     treaty at Camp Moultrie, for ten years beyond the period therein
     stipulated; and in addition to the other annuities secured under
     that treaty, the United States agree to pay three thousand dollars
     a year for fifteen years, commencing after the removal of the whole
     tribe--these sums to be added to the Creek annuities, and the whole
     sum to be divided, that the chiefs and warriors of the Seminole
     Indians may receive their equitable portion of the same, as members
     of the Creek Confederation.

     ART. V. The United States will take the cattle belonging to the
     Seminoles, at the valuation of some discreet person appointed by
     the President, and the same shall be paid for in money to the
     respective owners, after their arrival at their new homes; or other
     cattle, such as may be desired, will be furnished them, notice
     being given through their agent of their wishes on this subject,
     before their removal, that time may be afforded to supply the
     demand.

     ART. VI. The Seminoles being anxious to be relieved from certain
     vexatious demands for slaves and other property, alleged to have
     been stolen and destroyed by them, so that they may remove
     unembarrassed to their new homes, the United States stipulate to
     have the same property investigated, and to liquidate such as may
     be satisfactorily established, provided the amount does not exceed
     seven thousand dollars.

     ART. VII. The Seminole Indians will remove in three years after the
     ratification of this agreement, and the expenses of their removal
     shall be paid by the United States; and such subsistence shall also
     be furnished for a term not exceeding twelve months after their
     arrival at their new residence, as in the opinion of the President
     their numbers may require, the emigration to commence early as
     practicable in A.D. 1833, and with those Indians at present
     occupying the Big Swamp and other parts of the country beyond, as
     defined in the second article of the treaty concluded at Camp
     Moultrie Creek, so that the whole of that proportion of Seminoles
     may be removed within the year aforesaid, and the remainder of the
     tribe, in about equal proportions, during the subsequent years 1834
     and 1835.

     Done at Camp at Payne's Landing, on the Ocklawaha River, in the
     Territory of Florida, May 9, 1832.

JAMES GADSDEN, Commissioner, [L. S.]
and fifteen Chiefs.



Osceola figured very conspicuously during the early history of our
Florida troubles; indeed, we consider the following statements connected
with his movements as items of unsurpassed interest to those who are
more fond of facts without fiction than the wondrous legends of any
day-dreamer.

The mother of Osceola belonged to the Red Stick tribe of Indians, a
branch of the Creeks. She was married to Powell, who was an English
trader among the Indians for twenty years, and for this reason he is
sometimes called Powell instead of Osceola. He was born in the State of
Georgia, on the Tallapoosa River, about the year 1800. In 1808 a quarrel
occurred among the Indians of the Creek tribe, when the mother of
Osceola left, taking him with her, and retiring to the Okefinokee Swamp.
Powell remained in Georgia, with his two daughters, and emigrated to the
West with them.

In 1817 Osceola retreated before General Jackson, with a small party,
and settled on Pease Creek. A few years afterward he removed to the Big
Swamp, in the neighborhood of Fort King, uniting himself with the
Micosukees. The greater portion of his life was spent in disquietude,
when there was neither peace nor war, but depredating in various ways.
He was opposed to the Payne Treaty, declaring he would fight before
signing it, or kill any of his followers who made a move toward its
ratification.

When the Indians held a council at Fort King, consisting of thirteen
chiefs, only eight of them were willing to leave for the West. Hoithlee
Mattee, or Jumper, a sworn enemy of the whites, who was called in their
language "The Lawyer," and for whom General Jackson had offered a reward
of five hundred dollars, rose in their council, with all the dignity of
a Roman orator, after which he announced his intention in thundering
tones: "I say there is no good feeling between Jumper and the white man.
Every branch he hews from a tree on our soil is a limb lopped from
Hoithlee's body. Every drop of water that a white man drinks from our
springs is so much blood from Hoithlee's heart."

After the return of Charlie Emaltha from the West, who was the most
intelligent of their chiefs, he met with the whites in council, that he
might give expression to his opinion: "Remain with us here," said he to
the whites, "and be our father; the relation of parent and child to each
other is peace--it is gentle as arrow-root and honey. The disorderly
among us have committed some depredations, but no blood has been
spilled. We have agreed that if we met a brother's blood on the road, or
even found his dead body, we should not believe it was by human
violence, but that he had snagged his foot, or that a tree had fallen
upon him; that if blood was spilled by either, the offender should
answer for it."

Previous to this period the Indians were lords of the soil, and
considered themselves located in a land of undisputed titles, as
entirely their own property, by right of possession, as though they held
registered deeds.

The following is an effort at Indian poetry, descriptive of their
condition previous to hostile demonstrations:

    We were a happy people then,
      Rejoicing in our hunter mood;
    No footsteps of the pale-faced men
      Had marred our solitude.

Osceola was not tall, but of fine figure and splendid _physique_, his
head being always encircled with a blue turban, surmounted by the waving
_tafa luste_, or black-eagle plumes, with a red sash around his waist.
He was a time-server, a self-constituted agent, and a dangerous enemy
when enraged. In 1834 the United States survey corps, while camping at
Fort King, was visited by Osceola, Fred L. Ming being the captain.
Indians always show their friendship by eating with their friends. On
this occasion he refused all solicitations to partake of their
hospitality, and sat in silence, the foam of rage resting in the corners
of his mouth. Finally he rose to retire, at the same time assuming a
menacing manner, and, seizing the surveyor's chain, said: "If you cross
my land I will break this chain in as many pieces as there are links in
it, and then throw the pins so far you can never get them again." Like
most of his race, he was possessed of a native eloquence, the following
of which is a specimen, after the Payne's Landing Treaty was framed and
signed by some of the chiefs: "There is little more to be said. The
people have agreed in council; by their chiefs they have uttered it; it
is well; it is truth, and must not be broken. I speak; what I say I will
do; there remains nothing worthy of words. If the hail rattles, let the
flowers be crushed; the stately oak of the forest will lift its head to
the sky and the storms, towering and unscathed."

The whites continued urging the stipulations of the treaty to be
enforced, while the Indians continued opposing it in every way. It is a
law of our nature that the weak should suspect the strong; for this
reason the Seminoles did not regard the Creeks as their friends, but
feared them. Captain Wiley Thompson, the Agent, kept reminding the
Indians that they had made a promise to leave for the West. Messages
were also sent to Micanopy, who, after much debating, said he would not
go. Some time afterward General Thompson ordered Osceola to come up and
sign the emigration list, which request moved the indignation of this
savage to the highest pitch of desperation, and he replied, "I will
not." General Thompson then told him he had talked with the Big Chief,
in Washington, who would teach him better. He replied, "I care no more
for Jackson than for you," and, rushing up to the emigration treaty, as
if to make his mark, stuck his knife through the paper. For this act of
contempt he was seized, manacled, and confined in Fort King. When Col.
Fanning arrested him he was heard to mutter, "The sun is overhead, I
shall remember the hour; the Agent has his day, I will have mine." After
he was first imprisoned he became sullen, but soon manifested signs of
penitence, and called the interpreter, promising, if his irons were
taken off, to come back when the sun was high overhead, and bring with
him one hundred warriors to sign the paper--which promise was fulfilled.
The great mistake was made in releasing him from Fort King. If he had
then been sent West, much blood and treasure would have been spared. He
had one talk for the white man, and another for the red--being a strange
compound of duplicity and superiority. After his release he commanded
his warriors to have their knives in readiness, their rifles in order,
with plenty of powder in their pouches, and commenced collecting a
strong force, not eating or sleeping until it was done.

The first direct demonstration of hostility was on June 19, 1835, near
what was called the Hogg's Town settlement, at which time one Indian was
killed, another fatally injured; also three whites wounded. The fray
commenced by some whites whipping a party of five Indians, whom they had
caught in the act of stealing. Private Dalton, a dispatch-rider, was
killed August 11, 1835, while carrying the mail from Fort Brooke to Fort
King. This was an act of revenge for an Indian killed in a former
encounter. Dalton was found twenty miles from Fort King with his body
cut open and sunk in a pond. The Indians commenced snapping their guns
in the face of the Government, at the same time expressing their
contempt for the laws, and threatening the country with bloodshed if any
force should be used to restrain them. November 30, 1835, the following
order was issued by the Agent: "The citizens are warned to consult their
safety by guarding against Indian depredations." Hostilities were soon
inaugurated in a most shocking manner, with a tragedy of deep
import--the killing of Charlie Emaltha, November 26, 1835--which act was
only a cold-blooded murder, Osceola heading this band of savages.
Charlie Emaltha was shot because he favored immigration, and was
preparing to move West.

Osceola afterward selected ten of his boldest warriors, which were to
wreak vengeance on General Thompson. The General was then camping at
Fort King, little dreaming that the hour of his dissolution was so near,
or that Osceola was lying in wait to murder him. Although a messenger
was sent to tell Osceola of the Wahoo Swamp engagement being in
readiness, no laurels won on other fields had any charms for him until
Thompson should be victimized by his revengeful machinations. After
lingering about for seven days, the opportune moment presented itself,
when Thompson was invited away from the fort. On the afternoon of
December 28, 1836, as he and Lieutenant Smith, who had dined out that
day, were unguardedly walking toward the sutler's store, about a mile
from the post, the savages discovered them. Osceola said, "Leave the
Agent for me; I will manage him." They were immediately attacked by
these warriors, when they both received the full fire of the enemy, and
fell dead. Thompson was perforated with fourteen bullet-holes, and Smith
with five. The Indians then proceeded to the store, where they shot
Rogers and four others. After the murder they robbed the store and set
fire to the building. The smoke gave the alarm, but the garrison at Fort
King being small, no assistance could be rendered them.

On the same day (December 28), and nearly the same hour, Major F. L.
Dade, when five miles from Wahoo Swamp, was attacked while on his way
from Fort Brooke to Fort King. The Indians were headed by Jumper, who
had previously warned those who were cowards not to join him. Micanopy,
their chief, who was celebrated for his gluttony, like the Trojan
heroes, could eat a whole calf or lamb, and then coil up in a snake-like
manner for digestion. On a previous occasion, when an appeal was made to
him by the argument of bullet-force, he replied, "I will show you," and
afterward stationed himself behind a pine-tree, awaiting the arrival of
the Fort Brooke force, while his warriors lay concealed in the high
grass around him. When Major Dade arrived opposite where the chief and
his men were ambushed, Micanopy, in honor of his position as top chief,
leveled his rifle and killed him instantly. Major Dade was shot through
the heart, and died apparently without a struggle. The savages rushed
from their coverts, when Captain Frazier was their next victim, together
with more than a hundred of his companions. The suddenness of the
attack, the natural situation of the country, with its prairies of tall
grass, each palmetto thicket being a fortress of security from which
they could hurl their death-dealing weapons, were all formidable foes
with which the whites had to contend. Within a few hours' march of Fort
King, under the noonday splendor of a Florida sun, were one hundred and
seven lifeless bodies, which had been surprised, murdered, and scalped,
with no quarter, and far from the sound of human sympathy.

The night after the "Dade Massacre" the Indians returned to Wahoo Swamp
with the warm life-current dripping from the scalps of those they had
slain. These scalps were given to Hadjo, their Medicine Man, who placed
them on a pole ten feet high, around which they all danced, after
smearing their faces with the blood of their foes, and drinking freely
of "_fire-water_." One instance is mentioned worthy of remark, in regard
to finding Major Dade's men with their personal property untouched.
Breast-pins of the officers were on their breasts, watches in their
places, and silver money in their pockets. They took the military coat
of Major Dade, and some clothing from his men, with all the arms and
ammunition, which proved they were not fighting for spoils, but their
homes. The "Bloody Eight Hundred," after they had committed the murder,
left the bodies unburied, and without mutilation, except from scalping.
They were buried by the command of Major-general Gaines, who also named
this tragic ground "Field of the Dead."

Fights now followed each other in rapid succession. Long-impending
hostilities burst upon the white settlers, who in turn sought every
opportunity of gratifying their revenge for outrages committed. No
person was safe; death lurked in every place, and there was security in
none. Acts of fiendish barbarity were of common occurrence; houses
burned--the labor of years gone forever--while many of the missing were
consumed in the flames of their own dwellings, the savages dancing
around the funeral-pile. The Indians appeared seized with a kind of
desperation which knew no quarter, and asked for none, constantly
posting themselves in the most frequented highways, with the intention
of slaying or being slain.

On the 31st of December, same year, the Indians, receiving information
that the troops under General Clinch were approaching, and would cross
the Withlacoochee, posted themselves at the usual fording-place for the
purpose of intercepting them. General Clinch was surprised by them, as
they had greatly the advantage, being among the trees, while the troops
were in an open space, with only an old leaky canoe to cross in, under
constant fire of the enemy, some of them being obliged to swim. The
soldiers accustomed to Indian warfare never forded twice in the same
place. Captain Ellis, now a worthy citizen of Gainesville, Florida, who
commanded a company during the Seminole war, being present when this
attack was made, says: "I was so much afraid the war would be over
before I had a chance to be in a fight, I was glad when I saw the
Indians coming, but I got enough fighting before it was through with."
When he saw the savages at the commencement of this engagement, not
knowing of the "Massacre," he said, "Boys, the Indians have been killing
our men, for they have got on their coats."

Osceola was the prime leader in this first battle of Withlacoochee, and
although whole platoons were leveled at him, from behind the tree where
he was stationed he brought down his man every fire to the number of
forty, while he ordered his warriors not to run from the pale faces, but
to fight. The contest was a close one, but General Clinch held his
ground. After the Indians retreated the troops buried their dead, and
built log-fires over their remains to keep the enemy from digging them
up and scalping them.

During September, 1837, Osceola sent in negotiations of peace to General
Hernandez through an envoy, accompanied with presents of a bead pipe and
white plume, as an assurance that the path of the pale face was peaceful
and safe. General Hernandez, with the sanction of General Jessup,
returned presents and friendly messages, requesting the presence of
Osceola, with the distinct understanding that it was for the purpose of
making arrangements for the immigration of his people. The messenger
returned in accordance to his previous contract, reporting that Osceola
was then on his way to St. Augustine with one hundred warriors. Osceola
had never heretofore regarded the sacredness of a flag of truce as
binding, besides being engaged in the abduction of Micanopy and others,
who would otherwise have complied with the terms of the treaty. General
Jessup intended before his arrival to have him detained. General
Hernandez, who was the soul of honor, remonstrated with him, when he
replied, "I am your superior; it is your duty to obey." General
Hernandez met them at Fort Peyton, near Pelicier Creek, about seven
miles south-west of St. Augustine. From the inquiries of General
Hernandez in regard to the other chiefs and their locality, Osceola soon
comprehended the situation; and when asked for replies to the General's
questions, he said to the interpreter, "I feel choked; you must speak
for me." The place where they were assembled for parley being surrounded
by a detachment of dragoons, they closed in on them, capturing the whole
band without firing a gun.

This strategy in taking Osceola did not tarnish the laurels of General
Jessup in the least; a much greater blunder was committed in turning him
loose after his first capture. Those who have condemned him must think
of the anxiety by day and horrors at night through which these poor
settlers struggled, when time passed like a bewildering dream of
terrors, improvement of all kinds languishing with a sickly growth,
while the dragon of war sowed the seeds of discord, and desecrated the
golden fleece of the harvest with a bloody hand.

When Osceola was first captured he was imprisoned in Fort Marion, but
was afterward removed to Sullivan's Island, where his wife and child
accompanied him. He was a sad prisoner--never known to laugh during his
confinement, but often heard to sigh. During his last illness he had the
best medical attention from Charleston, whose skill he refused,
believing they intended poisoning him. To one of his wives he was much
attached, and his spirit passed away while leaning on her bosom. He died
in 1838, from an inflammation of the throat.

    The eagle plumes droop o'er his piercing eyes,
      The fire of youth was there!

Osceola had always lived among the Seminoles, and regarded their lot as
his. The name of his wife was Chécho-ter, or Morning Dew. She was a
Creek, and their family consisted of four children. The following lines
were composed after his death by one of his friends in Charleston:

    The rich blue sky is o'er,
      Around are tall green trees,
    And the jasmine's breath from the everglades
      Is borne on the wand'ring breeze.

    On the mingled grass and flowers
      Is a fierce and threat'ning form,
    That looks like an eagle when pluming his wing
      To brave the gath'ring storm.

We recently conversed with a missionary from the Creek Nation, who had
been preaching among the Indians in that locality, who says Osceola has
two sisters living there, both exemplary Christians, upon whom the
serpent's trail had evidently rested very lightly.



CHAPTER VII.


As we approach the upper shores of the St. John's River, extensive
swamp-lands, overgrown with various kinds of timber, are seen, where
very bony-looking stock eke out a spare subsistence during a portion of
the year, but commence recruiting as soon as the grass begins to grow,
in February. Habitations are not frequent, the only variations being
mounds, or bluffs, as they are usually termed. Many of these voiceless
monuments of the mute past, around which cluster records of deep import,
are found scattered throughout various portions of Florida, as in many
other localities, furnishing food for the thoughtful, and conjecture for
the inquiring mind. All efforts heretofore made to enlighten the world,
or explain these curious structures, are founded upon the diversity of
opinion and research of the different writers. Their appearance sheds
sufficient light on the subject for us to know they are the cemeteries
of an early, though partial, civilization--probably a relic of the
Mexican race--from which we may derive illustrations of the habits,
manners, and ideas of a people, "on whose graves the firmly-rooted oak
has so long kept its dominion that it seems to the Indian supplanters to
have been the first occupant of the soil."

Although we have no means left us of determining the cause by which the
change was produced, the day dawned on them not less abruptly than that
of the Aztecs of Mexico, or the Incas of Peru, when their sacred fires
were extinguished, their altars desecrated, and the "primeval forest
slowly resumed its sway over the deserted temples and silent cities of
the dead," thus leaving glimpses of an unwritten history, full of
interest, even in a tantalizing form. The remains of the American
mound-builders are replete with surprise for us, which the magnificence
of Montezuma's capital throws in the shade; and, while reading with
implicit faith the narrative of the conqueror, we cannot but think the
age of America's infancy lies buried in these older mounds. The chasm
between these monumental mounts and the present time has never been
bridged by any historian, however well versed in archæological records,
or chronological _data_--except their belief in the resurrection of the
body, which may be inferred from the careful manner in which they
disposed of their friends after death.

It is within the remembrance of some persons still living that tribes of
Indians now extinct have been seen passing through the country on
pilgrimages to the graves of their sires, where they regard the earth
that entombs the dust of their friends as too sacred for any thing but a
shrine. When the Spanish invaders came to conquer Mexico, they
disinterred the bones from the mounds, when the Indians entreated them
to desist, "as their owners would not find them together when they
returned." "Ancestral veneration was a peculiar trait belonging to the
aborigines, which is shadowed with an air of melancholy."

In these _tumuli_ were deposited all the implements which the departed
were supposed to require on their entrance into the unexplored regions.
Here we find the ax upon which months and years had been expended in
reducing to useful proportions, attrition being the only means employed;
also the mortar and pestle, to pound their maize; the stone spear and
arrow-head, to kill game; the bone fish-hook, to seize the astonished
finny tribe as they swam though the purling streams of the newly-found
paradise; the calumet, to be used while communing face to face with the
Great Spirit; the pearl ornaments, to deck their persons in a becoming
manner for their new position; the essential wampum, that no reflections
could be cast as to their former condition in life, as lacking the
important requisite to become a member of the _élite_ society in the
"long-fancied mild and beautiful hunting-grounds."

Mausoleums reared with many hands, inscriptionless monuments, tombs
without epitaphs! Whose ashes rest beneath your storm-beaten,
time-scarred surfaces? what prowess could you boast beyond your peers?
was it the hand of violence or disease that severed the silver cord, and
ushered you into the presence of the Great Spirit? We may continue to
question, but the locked secrets of by-gone deeds will be borne on no
zephyr, however soft, to gratify the longings of those who try to lift
the misty veil of obscurity. When searching for a record of the
architects of these pyramidal structures, we find our mind drifting upon
the quicksands of instability. That the archæological history of the
mound-builders in America is in its infancy cannot be doubted, although
some imagine they have probed it to the foundation, as they have stood
where a few bones, beads, and pottery were thrown out. Mounds are not
limited to America, but are found in Europe and Asia, although dignified
by different titles--as barrows, moat-hills, and cairns--all belonging
to the same family as our earth-mounds. The Indians say that before the
"pale faces" scattered them, they had mounds erected for different
purposes--for sepulture, for sacrifice, for signals, for refuge in war,
and the residence of the cazique. The first and most frequent of these
was for sepulture. Homer and Hesiod both speak of monumental mounds over
the graves of heroes.

While surveying these colossal works, reared by hands of clay, a wonder
seizes our minds how the almost nude aborigines, with so limited a
number of implements, could collect so much material, and fashion it
into any form adapted to their necessities. It is true, they had some
knowledge of the manner in which stone could be utilized, as chert and
flint have both been found in the oldest earth-works, several feet below
the surface--from which also can be deduced facts with reference to
their roving habits of life, as this formation does not exist naturally
in Florida.

The strong argument against Florida not having been the first location
of the inhabitants who built these earth-works, is their tendency
toward the West, not being found on the Atlantic coast, showing the
course of emigration to have been from the West to the South. These
structures also indicate strength, and not the hasty work of a nomadic
tribe, having once been the site of a vast population.

The Florida mounds, unlike those of the Mexicans, bear no marks of
magnificence or grandeur, but are of gigantic proportions, in
consideration of the appliances with which they had to work, not having
either plow or draft animals. They are the only records left us for
determining the habits, occupation, and manner of living, of its former
residents, which, if more enduring, are scarcely less satisfactory than
a foot-print in the sand, as a guide to the pursuits and inclinations of
its owner.

Intrusive burial has, without doubt, been practiced in Florida, as
mounds which have been fully excavated furnish evident marks of burial
at different periods, the lower strata having hardly a vestige of
ossified substance, with only a few shells or stone implements
remaining. The forest-growth on these mounds dates farther back than the
earliest settlement of America, but anterior to that leaves us sailing
upon the sea of conjecture. Whatever may be said in regard to the
aborigines manifesting a natural instinctive downward tendency in the
erection of earth and shell, they developed a different direction--that
of elevating their residences while living, and having their remains
above a common level after death. Here may not the question be asked, If
the pyramids of the East, erected to the memory of kings, and those of
America have not a connection, or common origin? A distinguishable
feature has been observed in regard to the ancient mound-builders,
different from the other Indians, in having their skulls flattened--only
one of which has ever been exhumed whole.

The largest sepulchral mound of which we have any knowledge, on the
upper St. John's, is located in the vicinity of New Smyrna, containing
the remains of the Yemassees, who were slain by the Creeks--a fierce,
warlike tribe--they being driven into a point of land, where they became
an easy prey to their enemies. Thirty of these burial-mounds were seen
here by Bartram, more than a century since, covering an area of two or
three acres. Their form was oblong, being twenty feet in length, and ten
or twelve in width, varying from three to four in height, covered with a
heavy growth of laurels, red-bays, magnolias, and live-oaks--all
composing a dark and solemn shade.

Many burial-mounds, three or four feet in height, can be seen now in
South Florida, as we have been present when excavations were made in the
vicinity of Tampa and Manatee, where beads, pottery, and well-preserved
_tibia_ of both sexes, were dug out. These bodies had been buried with
their heads all toward a common center, with the greatest regularity.
The cranium seems to crumble more than any other ossified portion of the
body--the jaw-bones being very perfect, teeth much worn, having belonged
to old persons in whose service they had been employed for many years.
Firmly-rooted oaks of ancient date were resting on these graves, and
spreading a mantle of green for several feet around them.

The large mound at Cedar Keys, about which so much has been said, has
trees growing on it of immense size, which the winds and tempests of
that boisterous coast have rocked for five centuries; but no one,
however shrewd or learned, has ever been able to elicit a single
historical event from them, during that lapse of years, their age only
being determined from the rings, or exogenous growth, of their trunks.
This mound is taller than most of those found in Florida, no doubt
produced in part by the action of the tides and waves which have washed
the earth away from the base. Solid mounds have been opened which
contained no bones, and, on account of their peculiar structure, were no
doubt used for sacrifice, where human beings had been offered, their
enemies being the victims.

The following is a record taken from an ancient Spanish author in regard
to the manner of sacrifice by an extinct tribe of Indians: "They laid
him on a great mound of earth, with the sacred fire burning at his head,
in a large vessel of baked clay, formed with a nice art by the savages,
on the outside of which was painted the mystic figure, with the bloody
hand. His garments were removed, and his limbs fastened separately to
stakes driven in places about the mound. Thus were his hands and legs,
his body, and his very neck, made fast, so that whatever might be the
deed done upon him, he was unable to oppose it, even in the smallest
measure."

The stupendous sacrificial pyramid of Cholula, bearing a resemblance to
the Egyptian structures, but larger, is probably the most remarkable
specimen extant. Its form, like that of the other Mexican teocalli, was
a truncated cone. The following description, taken from Prescott, will
enable us to form an idea of its gigantic proportions: "Its greatest
perpendicular is one hundred and seventy-seven feet, the base one
thousand four hundred and twenty-three feet--twice the length of the
Cheops pyramid--this temple being dedicated to the god of the air." High
over all rose this grand structure, with its undying fires, flinging
their radiance far and wide around the capital, thus proclaiming to the
nations that there was the mystic worship. It covered forty-four acres
at its base, and the platform on its summit more than one acre. The
effect, when the sun shone on these dazzling splendors with such bright
effulgence, was the eclipsing of every other object but the reflection
of the grand luminary--which caused a saying among the Indians, that
"gold was the tears wept by the sun." On these altars horrid deeds of
darkness were perpetrated, inhuman butcheries enacted, to appease the
war-god of the Aztecs, who was supposed to delight in offerings of human
hearts, torn fresh from the helpless victims, guilty of no crime but
self-defense against blood-thirsty persecutors.

The teocalli found in the City of Mexico was unsurpassed in grandeur,
but of less dimensions, being three hundred feet square and one hundred
in height, on the summit of which was an altar for human sacrifices.
They ascended by flights of steps on the outside, each flight extending
to a platform, which reached quite around the structure--the exhibition
of pageant on State occasions being terribly imposing, conducted by
priests and victims, marching around their temple, rising higher on the
sides as the place of inhuman sacrifice was reached, amid the shouts of
a gazing and excited throng. Before each of these altars burned the
undying flame, the vestal lamp, whose pale, constant light boded good
while burning, but ill when extinguished.

In other parts of Mexico Cortez found monuments dedicated to the sun and
moon, with lesser ones to the stars. For many years it had been supposed
all pyramids were hollow, but discoveries have been made of some with
only a small opening, which, like the one in Egypt, no doubt contained
the bones of a king.

Another class of mounds held in much veneration by the early tribes of
Florida Indians were the sacred mounds, or mounts of ordinance, only
used on certain occasions, when the Medicine Man, after ablutions
similar to those practiced by the Rabbis before entering the temple to
offer sacrifices for sin, ascended to commune with the Great Spirit,
like Moses, the lawgiver, on Sinai. He was always accompanied by a few
of his warriors, whom he took to witness the descent of sacred fire
which he invoked and they obtained by vigorous efforts with flint and
steel. This ceremony was conducted during the month of July, when the
maize, being in the milk, the heavenly fire was procured for cooking
that product, it being held in high esteem as their chief article of
sustenance. The Peruvians procured these fires by the use of a concave
mirror of polished metal, the sacred flame being afterward intrusted to
the Virgins of the Sun.

It was a natural feeling with the Indians to worship on "high places;"
for this reason temples were built over their dead, where they might
come to give expression to the reverence with which they regarded the
departed ones. Images for worship were sometimes placed on the pinnacle
of these temples, as the one mentioned by De Soto near Espiritu Santo
Bay, upon which was found a painted wooden fowl with gilded eyes,
containing choice pearls.

Near the outlet of Lake Harney was located the residence of King Philip,
a Seminole cazique, on a shell plateau in rear of which is a
burial-mount, twelve feet high, surrounded by a trench. The following
graphic description, taken from Professor Wyman, will enable us to form
an idea of its extent:

"This shell-mound is about four hundred and fifty feet in length, with
an average of one hundred and twenty in breadth. It stretches nearly at
right angles to the river, borders a lagoon on the south, and on the
north merges into cultivated fields, over which its materials have
become somewhat scattered--its greatest height being about eight feet.
Fragments of pottery may be found anywhere on the surface, and with
these the bones of various edible animals. Excavations were made at
many points, from a few inches to several feet in depth, to ascertain if
similar objects were within its interior. The most unequivocal evidence
that this mound, while in process of erection, had been occupied by the
aborigines was obtained from a pit four or five feet in diameter, and
from five to six feet deep, which was dug near the center. Not only were
fragments of pots and bones found at all depths, but at the distance of
three feet the remains of an old fire-place were uncovered, consisting
of a horizontal layer of charcoal, beneath which were perfectly calcined
shells, and near these others more or less blackened with heat. Still
farther off were fragments of the bones of deer, birds, turtle, and
fish--all just as they would naturally have been left around a fire
where cooking had been done for some time. In addition it may be
mentioned, as a matter of negative evidence, that not a single article
was discovered which could have been attributed to the white man."

Near the outlet of Lake Jessup are the remains of a mound nine hundred
feet in length, with an average width of one hundred to one hundred and
fifty feet. This structure has been much wasted by the river, but
originally it must have been among the largest in the State. That the
Indians confined their encampments, or at all events their cooking,
almost entirely to these mounds, is proved by the fact that fragments of
pots were found in large quantities along the shore wherever the shells
are seen in the bank, and not elsewhere, though careful search was made
for them. Fragments of deer-bones, turtle, and alligator, were also
seen. The shells forming these mounds were chiefly _paludinas_, or
fresh-water snails, although _unios_ and _apellarias_ are met with also.

Mounds on the sea-shore are composed entirely of marine shells, also
containing clay-ware, ashes, and charcoal. On the St. John's, at
different times, and by various naturalists, over fifty mounds have been
explored, in some of which were seen human bones having the appearance
of violence. As so few remains were found during these excavations that
had the appearance of being subjects of regular interment, the question
is suggested, What disposition was made of their dead, unless all the
numerous vessels seen, which could not have subserved for cooking,
contained the ashes of their friends which had been cremated?

Mounds have been opened in various portions of the State abounding in
fluviatic muscles and clams, the inference being that they contained
pearls, and for that reason had been opened. These mounds can be
accounted for in two ways--the first and most important: they consumed
the contents of these shells, of which they were very fond; the last was
the necessity for elevated plateaus to protect them from the sudden
inundation of streams when they were traveling through the country
camping, consequently they utilized the _débris_ as a prevention against
accidents. In their journeyings they depended entirely upon the products
of the forest and streams for sustenance, and for this reason followed
the water-courses, stopping, like the migratory birds, wherever night
overtook them.

Many copper weapons of warfare have been discovered in these
earth-works, the metal of which was brought from the mines of Lake
Superior, when the Indians followed the great river to the sea, three
thousand years ago. These faint traces of mechanical and architectural
skill favor the idea of a more enlightened race than that which
possessed the soil when first discovered by the Spaniards--a society
which, no doubt, sank amid storms, overthrown and shattered by
unavoidable catastrophes. In Florida no discoveries have been made which
evidence marks of a great nation, while in Mexico and on the Pacific
coast, south, they increase.

The Creeks, Cherokees, and Seminoles all agree in attributing the mounds
of Florida to a race anterior to their own, as their traditions are
handed down "that they were here when their ancestors took possession of
the country." It is also asserted that the Florida Indians formerly
worshiped the sun, which fact has been ascertained by their heraldic
devices; also the location of their temples in such a manner that the
first morning ray from this rising luminary would flash upon their
sacred edifice--the Medicine Man, or High-priest, being in attendance to
present his invocations with symbolic gestures, whose mysteries were a
sealed book to all those around him, but supposed to be well understood
by the Great Spirit, whose favor they wished to obtain. The Everglade
Indians now venerate the moon, which can be seen from the silver
crescent ornamental emblems with which they deck their persons. Like
the ancient Greeks, they deposited the remains of their dead in burial
urns, the difference being that the Greeks always prepared the bodies by
cineration, when the ashes only were entombed, while the entire bodies
of Indian children have been discovered in clay vases in the Florida
_tumuli_. In sepulchral mounds about Tampa were discovered large
quantities of the heaven-born product called pearls, which created much
interest and more cupidity among the Spanish settlers than we could well
imagine. It is Pliny who tells us that dew-drops distilled from the
heavens, or falling into the mouths of oysters, in certain localities,
were converted into pearls. The Florida coast was looked upon by the
adventurers who first landed here as the long-sought-for country which
contained these treasures. After the arrival of De Soto on the coast of
Espiritu Santo they were welcomed by the Empress, who presented them
with pearls as the most costly offering from her domains, for which
kindness these cruel creatures dragged her about as a hostage for their
own security. However, when an opportune moment presented itself, she
succeeded in making her escape, at the same time recovering large
quantities of imperforate pearls which the Indians through fear had
permitted them to rob from their dead. However much evanescent
satisfaction these newly-found treasures supplied them with, history
makes no mention of Spanish officials being enriched by the discovery.
The enormous size which the fertile imagination of those explorers
mention them does not come within the present limits of these precious
gems of commerce.

The Indians understood the method of making beads from the conch-shells,
their novelty and delicate color attracting the Spaniards--the size
being equal to an acorn, and larger. The natives persisted in boring the
pearls with a heated copper spindle, that they might be worn as
ornaments for the neck, arms, and ankles, which rendered them valueless
for other purposes.

Pearls are frequently found now on the south coast of Florida the size
of an English pea, and less. Some of these are taken from clam-shells of
immense size, weighing two or three pounds; also found in the oyster.
These are all opaque, some of them slightly pink, a dull white, or the
usual pearl color. Those examined by connoisseurs have never been
considered of any positive value in the manufacture of jewelry. Both
from study and observation we are led to the conclusion that, whatever
might have been the impression received by the overwrought imaginations
of the Castilian explorers, no pearls of great price, fed by heavenly
dews, have ever existed or been discovered on the Florida coast.

Let us now pause and inquire, Who were the architects of these
earth-works? What was their fate? and whither did they flee when
overpowered? We have only proof that a nation has perished, leaving no
record or history but these monuments. They must have had some knowledge
of engineering, or they never could have reared such enduring,
well-proportioned structures. While the subject furnishes food for
reflection, the dark curtain drawn over their obscure presence has never
been raised; however great the effort made by those who have desired to
penetrate their unyielding secrets, the key to open these hidden
mysteries has never been found. Whether called _tumuli_, plateaus, or
mounds, they are objects of interest, in whatever locality they may be
seen, of sufficient importance to engage the attention of the scientist
when generations yet unborn shall walk the earth, and vainly try to
pierce the portals of the silent past.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER VIII.


The upper St. John's commences after we pass Welaka, opposite the mouth
of the Ocklawaha. Steamers leave the wharf at Jacksonville daily for
this attractive portion of the country. An early traveler thus speaks of
the wild animals he saw in this portion of the State, also the birds:

"The buffalo, the deer, the puma, and the wild cat; the bear, the wolf,
the fox, the wandering otter, the beaver, the raccoon, the opossum, and
many smaller animals; large flocks of water-fowl, the white and great
blue herons, and their allied species, in large numbers standing along
the shores; the wary turkey with his brilliant plumage; the roseate
spoon-bill, sometimes seen, and the flamingo, once a rare visitor, but
now no longer found; the wood ibis, the whooping crane, whose resonant
notes are heard far and wide; the stupid and unwary courlan, disturbing
sleep with its night-long cry; the loathsome buzzard, circling, at
times, gracefully among nobler birds, or, oftener and truer to its
nature, quarreling with its kind as it gluts itself over disgusting
food; also the snake-bird, of peculiar make and habit; the fish-hawk,
whose massive nests of sticks and moss crown many a dead and shattered
cypress; the bald eagle, soaring in the upper atmosphere, or robbing,
in mid-air, the fish-hawk of its prize; the migratory birds, collecting
in thousands for their journey northward; the alligator, drifting lazily
with the current, or lying in his muddy wallow, basking in the sun."

[Illustration: THE SAURIAN.]

All of these were seen during the visit of Bartram the elder, which must
have made the St. John's one of the most beautiful and remarkable rivers
in America.

It is now February, and a soft, blue mist frequently fringes the distant
landscape, diffusing itself through the atmosphere, subduing the
dazzling sunlight, when the sky and water appear to blend in one grand
archway, like a half-veiled beauty whose charms are then most lovely.

A very happy family is on board to-day, and the lady has just remarked,
"O we have a house on the steamer, taking it up to Mellonville for us
all to live in!" She was a genuine Florida settler, who could look at
the sand and say, If it can grow such immense trees and big weeds, it
can produce food for us all to eat.

On our way we pass Lake George, eighteen miles long and ten miles wide,
which the Indians called "Little Ocean," on account of the high, swift
waves that are frequently seen here, attributable to the open country by
which it is surrounded.

Many other interesting places, where new settlers are constantly making
improvements, are seen before we arrive at Enterprise, the terminus of
navigation proper on the river, two hundred and thirty miles from St.
John's Bar. A good hotel is kept here, while sportsmen find the vicinity
attractive on account of the game and good fishing. Mellonville, on the
right bank of Lake Monroe, was named for the brave Captain Mellon, who
was killed here while at his post of duty during the Seminole war. He
was buried with the only tribute he could then receive: "A soldier's
tears and a soldier's grave."

Sulphur springs are numerous on the upper St. John's; one in the
vicinity of Lake Monroe, several hundred yards in length, while at its
source the water bubbles up like a fountain--a strong sulphurous odor
being perceptible for some distance. The frightened alligators that
retire here from their pursuers make terrible dives to hide, while in
the transparent waters fish are seen distinctly as though going through
the air. All of these upper lakes contain clear water, but none of it
very deep.

The next waters are Lake Harney and Salt Lake. These are not the
head-waters of the St. John's, but its source is farther on, down deep
in some unexplored marsh or subterranean fountain. It requires a little
patience to reach Indian River, either by rowing or overland, but
hundreds of people are going there every year. During the Florida war
the vicinity of Cypress Swamp and this river were some of the
lurking-places in which the savages intrenched themselves, and from this
point kept making incursions on the white settlements, which filled
them with constant terror for their safety. In 1839 the citizens living
in Florida prayed for peace, looked and hoped for it. They wanted rest,
that favorite position of the Grecian sculptor's statuary, and when they
thought it nearest then it receded again, flitting on the margin of
their expectations like the _ignis-fatuus_ which glimmered through the
marsh. The Everglades furnished a natural fortress for the Indians, who
were said to have been left there by General Jessup, as though one
general was more to blame than another for their presence and murderous
conduct. No confidence could be placed in the Indian promises; no
security that the settlers could sow and harvest; all pledges given by
them had been violated, and where should the line of their banishment be
drawn, which would not be crossed by the murderous Seminoles, thirsting
for human gore? Every person was indignant at the farce enacted by
General Macomb, swallowing it as a sickening dose, or an amnesty with a
cage of tigers. All projects for terminating the Indian war had failed,
and the wail of woe went through the land, while the blood of murdered
fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters, cried for vengeance. As a
supposed last resort, the bloodhounds, which had terminated the Jamaica
war, were now sent for to Cuba by order of General Call. The Indians
waged a warfare accompanied with so many irregularities that no
tactician could designate or describe its method of attacks or retreats.
To be always in danger of falling, but not on the field, and then being
devoured by vultures, was not sought for by those who had dreamed of
gory battle-fields, as there was glory in that. Affairs with the
settlers had assumed so formidable an appearance that they did not think
it necessary to be very scrupulous about the mode by which the warfare
should be carried on against the Seminoles. Great horror was expressed
in different portions of the States on account of the bloodhounds, which
were going to "eat the papooses and squaws--then taking the 'breechless
knaves,' whose tougher fibers would only be a last resort."

In August, 1839, a battle was fought on the Caloosahatchee River,
between Colonel Harney and the Indians. All of the troops were killed
but the colonel and fourteen men. Seventeen days afterward a detachment
was sent out by General Taylor to bury the dead, when two of the missing
troops were found alive. After the fight they remained concealed during
the day in a mangrove thicket, and at night crawled to the margin of the
river and ate sea-fiddlers. They died soon after being discovered. An
Irish greyhound was also found, barely alive, which belonged to Colonel
Harney. He had stayed to watch over the remains of Major Dallam, whose
body was untouched, although the rest were much mutilated.

The following statement in regard to the Big Cypress Swamp and its
occupants in 1841 will, no doubt, be an item of unsurpassed interest to
those wishing to penetrate the Everglades, whether in imagination or
reality:

The commencement of this swamp is thirty or forty miles south of the
Caloosahatchee, extending within twenty miles of Lake Okachobee to the
Gulf. On approaching the lake it terminates in thick mangrove bushes,
uninhabitable for Indians. Between the Caloosahatchee the country is wet
pine barren, with occasionally dry islands. On the south it is bounded
by the Everglades, through which the Indians pass in canoes to the great
cooutie-grounds on the Atlantic, south of the Miami River. This is a
belt from five to eight miles in width and twenty miles long. To travel
directly through the swamp to the Everglades from Fort Keas, which is
upon the north margin, the distance is about thirty miles. Directly
south of the fort, in the heart of the swamp, is the council-ground.
South-east and south-west from this are the towns of the principal
chiefs, Sam Jones living twenty-five miles and the Prophet within two
miles of him. Trails communicate with their towns, but none with Fort
Keas, the Indians knowing that would be the first point to which the
whites would come. The entrance from the pine barrens to the swamp is
twenty miles farther south-east. Within the swamps are many high pine
islands, upon which the villages are located, being susceptible of
cultivation. Between them is a cypress swamp, with water two or three
feet deep. Many have cultivated outside toward Lake Thompson, as the
fertility of soil and sun-exposure insured better crops.

The first reliance of the Indians is on their crop--peas, pumpkins,
corn, and beans; next, roots, cooutie, and berries. They are now, in a
measure, deprived of game, the powder being retained in the hands of
their chiefs for defensive movements.

When troops are in the vicinity, they reveal their hiding-place by
firing guns, which, in a country so marshy, can be heard a great
distance. Their babies never cry when the whites are near, but, as if by
instinct, crawl away and hide in the long grass like partridges. Fish,
when the streams on the coast can be reached, afford them subsistence,
but the movements of the troops deprive them of this luxury. Among them
are a large number of horses, ponies, some hogs, and a few cattle.

The dry goods obtained from the massacre of Colonel Harney's men, and
bartered by others who obtained a large quantity, clothe them richly as
they desire. The specie has been sold, and manufactured into head-bands,
breast-plates, or gorgets and bracelets. Among those Indians I have seen
more rich ornaments than among any other Indians in Florida. Even in
this murderous and lamentable massacre, when they all stood by each
other, shoulder to shoulder, the same avarice and selfishness governed
their actions. No feeling of friendship binds them to each other but the
feudatory of Sam Jones and the necromancy of the Prophet.

There is, no doubt, much cause of dissatisfaction among them, from which
they cannot escape. Their imperious laws, if violated, is followed by
instant death, without the benefit of judge or jury. If one of their
number evinces kindness toward the whites, the Prophet visits him or
her, and, by various tricks with roots, a blow-pipe, and water,
proclaims the designs of the individual. In some cases instant death has
followed.

The Prophet is a runaway Creek, not fifty years of age. He escaped from
the Creek country six years ago, and relates a long story of bad
treatment from the whites. He has great influence over those around him,
caused by his making known the approach of troops, healing the sick,
finding game, and controlling the seasons. It is doubtful whether he has
ever been in battle. In a garrison so well regulated as the one over
which he presides, he must be of vast service, not only on account of
his pretended ability to commune with the Great Spirit who controls
their destinies, but for his happy talent as staff-officer, frequently
feeding his followers on _faith in his necromancy_, when other troops,
under similar circumstances, might demand "a more substantial article of
diet." He has sufficient tact, as a Medicine Man, to convince his
followers that he is, of necessity, a non-combatant.

Sam Jones is a distinguished Medicine Man, belonging to the Mikasukie
tribe. He has numbered four-score years, and, for his age, is strong and
active. He has great influence over his adherents, who respect his acts
and obey his mandates with a religious sense of duty. His venerable
appearance and bitter hostility to the whites have a tendency to elevate
him in the estimation of his tribe. He plans attacks, fires the first
gun, and retires to attend the wounded, leaving the head-warrior to
fight the battle. He instigated the attack on Fort Mellon, performed his
duty as head-man, and retired to execute the kind offices of his
profession. The command devolved upon Wild Cat, who continued to fight
until obliged to retire for want of ammunition.

Sam Jones says he is advanced in years; that his hair is white; that
Florida belongs to his kindred; beneath its sands lie the bones of his
people. The earth to him is consecrated; he has hallowed it with the
best blood of his braves, and while his heart beats he will maintain his
present position. His people were once numerous as the trees of the
forest; they received and welcomed the white man, who, in return for
kindness, have, it is true, extended the apparent hand of friendship,
but within its grasp the glittering blade is clutched; dark stains are
upon it, dyed by the blood of his children, who are now roaming abroad
in the land of the Great Spirit, calling upon him to avenge them. "I am
now old; in a few more moons I shall set out on the long journey; but I
will not desert the land of my fathers. Here I was born, and here I will
die!"

The hanging of Chekika and other Indians by Colonel Harney aroused the
anger of the chiefs, who have declared hostility and savage brutality to
any white man that came within their reach. Chekika was captured after
being pursued through the grass-water until exhausted. He was six feet
high, and weighed over two hundred pounds; considered the strongest man
of his tribe. "We," said Sam Jones, "give them a decent death. We shoot
them, or quietly beat out their brains with a pine-knot; never hanging
them like dogs." The Indians which Colonel Harney's men left suspended
were taken down by Sam Jones's men and buried.

The Cypress band is composed of the reckless, unbending spirits of the
Seminoles, Mikasukie, and Creek tribes. The Mikasukie are the most
numerous. They now mingle more harmoniously than at any previous period
of their history, and willingly accept all others who will subscribe to
their laws, and believe in Sam Jones as a wise man, doctor, and
prophet--one who holds communion with invisible things, and controls
their destinies. He is a skillful navigator of the Everglades; goes from
the Cypress to the Atlantic in four days; knows all the great passages,
and cultivates in their vicinity. He bestows blessings similar to the
patriarchs. He has about one hundred and fifty warriors.

Persons prowling through the Big Cypress Swamp in search of pleasure
will have some conception of the perils through which soldiers in search
of Indians had to pass.

"_Dec. 23, 1841._--The command under Major Belknap has just returned
from a scout of seven days' duration in the swamps of the Big Cypress.
The column was attacked by the foe on the 20th, who ambuscaded the trail
on which it was advancing, in a cypress swamp two feet deep with water,
when two men of the advance-guard were instantly killed. The Indians, as
usual, fled immediately beyond our reach. The camps of the hostiles were
near, and still smoking with their fires. They would, no doubt, have
been surprised and captured, but for the stupidity of a flanker, who,
being lost a few hours before, discharged his musket repeatedly--thus
alarming the enemy, only two or three miles distant. The result of this
scout has been, however, most important, in pointing out the hitherto
mysterious position of the Prophet and his party, which enables us to
entertain hopes that our forces may yet scour that country, so as to
render their submission certain, even if they should fail in any attempt
to surprise them. They have been trailed to their most favorite and
secret fastnesses, and should now be soon harassed into submission. It
is the belief of all, including some who have seen the most arduous
service in Florida, that no march in this Territory has been attended
with equal, or, at least, greater, severity than this. All pack-mules
being left behind, officers as well as men carried their rations on
their backs. The movements of the troops were amphibious rather than
otherwise--marching in mud and water more than knee-deep from morning
till night. The character given to this marvelous region of country has
not been exaggerated, so far as the condition of its swamps is
concerned. It is difficult to conceive of a region more admirably
calculated for concealment than such a mass of dense hummocks and
seemingly impenetrable swamps. Some of these waters have a perceptible
current, thus being the heads of streams rather than swamps. The ax of
the pioneer would never be attracted to this wet and mud-encircled
region, and it may be fairly presumed that, so far as a knowledge of its
topography is concerned, war has done more to expose it to our gaze than
civilization would have accomplished in a century."

_Indian River._--The following letter, dated Indian River, July 3, 1843,
will give an idea of the impressions received by tourists from this
river over thirty years since--coming to this place then being an
enterprise of too much magnitude for any one to undertake but well-armed
soldiers:

"This noble sheet of water is now constantly whitened by the sail of the
emigrant in pursuit of land, and the stillness of its solitude broken by
the splash of the oar, echoed by the merry songs of boatmen. At night
the camp-fires of the adventurers are kindled on its banks, after which
preparation is made for the evening repast, when, amid conversation and
laughing, the toils of the day are lost in sleep. Refreshment ensues,
and the morning finds them on their way, vigorous in frame and sanguine
in spirit. Game abounds on its banks--the deer break through the thick
growth on the margin of the river, and gaze with wonder at the visitors;
the curlews give their short whistle and wing their way from the near
approach of the intruders; the wild ducks, quietly feasting on the
grass, take note of your approach, perhaps, to a place of greater
security. Splash, splash goes the water. That's a mullet jumping at the
prospect of being caught by us, or perhaps exerting its utmost activity
to escape a hungry bass. If you are furnished with a harpoon or barbed
piece of iron, you can have a fine supply of fresh fish every day during
your voyage. Oysters are the staple of the stream, the banks being as
numerous as though an improvident Legislature had created them,
although they never suspend payment or protest a draft for want of
funds. The lands north and south of Fort Pierce are rapidly filling up,
and thus far, with the exposure of boating, felling timber, planting,
and the thousand troubles of an emigrant's life, the best of health is
enjoyed by all. Doctors are at a discount, and among the least useful
things on the river."

Among other local peculiarities found near the Indian River is a kind of
shell-sand, which hardens by exposure. The following is an interesting
statement, made by a member of the engineer corps, who visited there in
1858: "While we were surveying a point between the St. John's, near Lake
Harney, and Indian River, when watching the excavation of one of these
pits, I carefully rolled a ball together from what appeared to be sand
taken from the pit, and then threw it on the grass. Upon examination a
few hours afterward, it was found to be extremely hard, and the surface
covered with those minute shells, which is the principal component of
the coquina-rock. Between Musquito Lagoon and Indian River there is a
small artificial canal cut through the coquina, the portion exposed
being very hard, while the submerged part is crumbling into sand."

It is an established fact that certain localities on the coast of
Florida contain sand which concretes when exposed to the atmosphere.
What the component parts of this cement contain no one has
satisfactorily determined. It is certain all localities do not possess
the same kinds of sand.

The lands in the vicinity of Indian River will produce bananas,
pine-apples, oranges, sugar-cane, lemons, limes, strawberries,
blackberries, grass, corn, indigo, sweet potatoes, garden vegetables,
and tomato-vines that bear for three years, and bird pepper-plants which
will grow into little trees, bearing all the time.

Hunters live well here on the wild game, while those in the first stages
of consumption almost invariably fatten and recover on the diet and
atmosphere combined. The following is a favorite dish: Take a fresh
fish, without dressing; wrap in a damp paper; then place in the hot
ashes; when cooked, pull off the skin while warm; season and eat. It is
better than cod-liver oil, and can be swallowed without any winding up
of the courage whatever, previous to making the attack.

Is it not pleasant for those who can, whether invalids or not, to spend
a part of their winters, at least, in this portion of the State, where
we are surrounded by trees clothed in perpetual verdure, loaded with
native fruits, to refresh us when wearied with sight-seeing, and sated
with tales of the marvelous, with which this country abounds? It is from
association with scenes like these that a new impulse is given to our
thoughts, which confinement within brick walls, with the smoke and
changing temperature of coal-fires, cannot furnish. There is nothing
like the soothing influences connected with letting our thoughts wander
away with our eyes among the light, vapory clouds, that flit across the
sky like floating islands, while we are inhaling an atmosphere soft as
the dream of childhood's innocence, that can warm and stimulate
vegetation into maturity at all seasons.

Tourists who go up the St. John's River, on returning always bring back
something in accordance with their varied tastes. Imagine yourself a
passenger on the Hattie Barker, a steamer of somewhat smaller dimensions
than the Great Eastern, which can do more traveling in the way of making
a fuss than any boat on the river, her progress being never less than
four miles an hour. All kinds of travelers are returning from the upper
St. John's--those who have trodden the wine-press of bitterness with
suffering, and some who have sailed over the summer sea of life without
a ripple. Prompted by the impulses which induce all tourists to bring
something back when they return home, a quantity of curiosities
sufficient to start a small museum has been obtained. No small steamer
could ever have contained a larger number of tourists, with a greater
diversity of tastes. Here is the sick man, with his nervous system,
sensitive as the mimosa, who shrinks at the slightest harsh sound, and
continues scolding about "such a crowd on the boat," as though some of
them should have remained that he might have more room to fret and scold
at his patient wife. Then there come the father and mother, with four
little boys and two girls, besides the tiny baby and two nurses. How
they rush about their limited boundaries! What a restless family of
children, with the ruddy glow of health, keeping the parents and nurses
in a constant state of trepidation for fear they will fall into the
water! This family has no curiosities. With a long journey to their
home in Canada before them, their hearts are full without other
incumbrances. Two ladies sitting near us have a chameleon in a
pickle-jar; one of them is catching flies for its dinner. What a
pleasure it appears to give them when, darting out its coral-colored
tongue, and winking its bright eyes, it gobbles them up so quickly!
There is a lad, with two young alligators, who persists in taking water
from the ice-cooler, to pour on them for fear they might die. The
stewardess is on the alert to thwart his movements, by telling him, "Dat
cooler-water is for de folks, and not dem ole black 'gaitors." The lad
retorts by saying the water isn't clean. The stewardess says, "Yes, 'tis
only a few settlements in de bottom." A sound comes from one of the
staterooms, which is unmistakably made by young turkeys going North, in
March. How the keen winds up there will pierce their downy coats! They
had better save their voices for the cries they will have to utter then.
The ornithologist is also represented, with his stuffed birds, having a
flamingo, a plume-crane, an owl, eagle, and living red-bird. Another has
paroquets, which he imagines, by some mysterious manipulations, can be
made to talk like a South American parrot. One man, from Indian River,
has an immense pelican, with an enormous flat bill, below which is a
pouch attached, containing its rations. Some of the anxious mothers have
heard it eats children. What terrible looks they give this poor fellow
with the big bird, who appears so happy in the possession of his
newly-found treasure, because to him it is so remarkably curious!
Another has a blue crane, belonging to the order _Grus cinerea_,
standing erect on its stilts, showing fight. How it snaps every thing
which approaches it, like some crabbed people in the world! A young man
has a slender, not grown, animal, which he informs us is a _Cervus
Virginius_, or fawn, that he proposes taking to a friend. Among the
number is an archæologist, who has been exploring the mounds of Florida,
and procured a trophy from the recesses of a long-since departed
Indian's grave. It is a stone hatchet, which was designed to hew trees
and make boats, that the deceased might move not only with unrestrained
freedom through the lands of the Great Spirit, but also across his pure
streams. The most entertaining and original tourist of all is an
unmistakable Dutchman, from Indiana, born on the River Rhine. He is a
"bugologist," or beetle-gatherer. Hard-backed bugs and fresh-water
shells are his hobby. He has collected and sent a barrel of specimens
home in advance of him, and now he is carrying a big box, strapped
tightly with the same care as a returned miner would his nuggets of
gold. For our amusement he opened his treasure-box. The toilet articles
of no lady were ever arranged with more care. Shells odorous with the
remains of their former tenants, wrapped in cotton and tissue-paper,
bugs and beetles with alcohol on them, or fastened to a card with long,
tiny pins made for that purpose, and, last of all, a quinine-bottle in
his pocket, in readiness to capture any stray bug that might happen to
be out on an excursion. Numerous cages, containing young mocking-birds
and red-birds, are sitting around, while the tables are piled with
palmetto, air-plants, and American pitcher-plants. Every available space
is occupied--baskets stuffed with oranges, lemons, and grape-fruit,
while gray moss fills the interstices.

Many of the best people in our country are found traveling over Florida
during the winter--some looking for homes, and others only
pleasure-seeking, a few for health.

The number of old people with whom we meet while traveling here is quite
remarkable. Some have sweet, sunny faces; others look as though life had
been a continued struggle with them until now, when their solicitude was
on the _qui vive_ for fear they should get in behind time, or some
impending danger might befall them, they do not exactly know what.

The indefatigable sportsman in Florida is ubiquitous: With gun in hand,
he is constantly watching for game. If many a bird at which he aims
flies away unharmed, the excitement of shooting with unrestrained
freedom appears to give satisfaction, if nothing is killed.



CHAPTER IX.


In coming down the river, we land on the east bank at Tocoi, for St.
Augustine. There are no hotels here, as the cars always make close
connection with the daily line of boats for the ancient city. Much ink
and paper has been wasted about this unpretentious town on account of
its unattractive appearance; but it is only a starting-point for St.
Augustine, this point being more on an air-line than any other place on
the river.

The distance to St. Augustine is fifteen miles, the scenery along the
route varied, being interspersed with long-leafed pines, hummock-lands,
with its heavy undergrowth, live-oaks, and wild orange-trees; the
cypress, trimmed with its crisping, curling, waving gray whiskers,
swinging and dancing in the sunlight of noonday, or resting in the
somber shades of night, thus giving that grace and beauty to the
landscape which is only seen in our Sunny South.

A short ride on the railroad enables us to see the country; and what
mistakes some settlers make in planting orange-trees on hummock-lands
without proper drainage, where the poor strangers, being neither
amphibious nor aquatic, droop and die from wet feet!

Travelers, who imagine themselves greatly inconvenienced, and have so
much to complain about for more profitable employment, after riding in
the pleasant steam-cars from Tocoi to St. Augustine, will peruse the
following, from which they can form some idea of the contrast within
forty years in Florida:

"December, 1840--Notice to Travelers--St. Augustine and Picolata
Stage.--The subscriber has commenced running a comfortable carriage
between St. Augustine and Picolata twice a week. A military escort will
always accompany the stage going and returning. Fare each way five
dollars. The subscriber assures those who may patronize this undertaking
that his horses are strong and sound, his carriages commodious and
comfortable; that none but careful and sober drivers will be employed;
also every attention paid to their comfort and convenience. Passengers
will be called for when the escort is about leaving the city."

We have selected from among the many, one of the atrocious acts of
violence committed by the savages previous to this arrangement, upon a
worthy and respected citizen, Dr. Philip Weedman, whose three most
estimable daughters are still living in St. Augustine:

"November 25, 1839.--Shortly after the mail-wagon left the city, Dr.
Philip Weedman, sr., accompanied by his little son, a lad about twelve
years of age, both in an open wagon, with Mr. H. Groves on horseback,
left also for the purpose of visiting his former residence, now occupied
as a garrison by a part of Captain Mickler's company. On arriving at
the commencement of Long Swamp, without any previous warning, he was
tired upon and killed, having received two balls in his breast; his
little son was wounded in the head, baring his brain; also cut with a
knife. The mutilated youth, with the remains of the dead father, were
brought in town to-day. The express, returning for medical aid, caused
the Indians to run, as the wagon containing the mail was fired into,
wounding Captain Searle, and killing a Polander who was riding
horseback."

"Tuesday, November 26, 1839.--The funeral of Dr. Philip Weedman took
place to-day, attended by all of our citizens, who sympathize deeply
with his numerous family."

The Polander, Mr. Possenantzky, was buried the same day according to the
Hebrew form. The Indians continued firing on the covered wagon-trains,
calling them "cloth houses," their object being to obtain supplies, when
a proposition was made to have fortified wagons. Hostile Indians were
something which could not be worked by any rules; they were the
exceptions.

On Saturday, February 15, 1840, we find a record of two mail-carriers
having been murdered, one seven and the other nine miles distant--G. W.
Walton, from South Carolina, while on his way to Jacksonville, and Mr.
J. Garcias, near Live Oak Camp. The letters were undisturbed, although
carried some distance. Both of the murdered young men were buried in St.
Augustine. Afterward the mail was accompanied by an escort of five men.

We have tried to hold up some cause with the semblance of a shade to
delude us into the belief that the Indians have less activity and
enterprise than the white men, but facts stand forward in bold relief
denying us even the poor consolation which such delusions might afford
us. The lifeless bodies of our brethren speak trumpet-tongued in favor
of their removal, and the wail of hearts blighted by their successes is
stronger and more piercing than the fictitious surroundings of excited
fancies.

Here is another thrust at the bloodhounds:

"These distinguished auxiliaries have received more attention than their
services deserve, while great apprehension fills the minds of many for
fear they should perchance bite a Seminole. We would state as a quietus
that a competent tooth-drawer will accompany them, entering upon his
dental duties very soon."

Another shocking murder occurred between Picolata and St. Augustine,
before the St. John's Railroad was surveyed between Tocoi and St.
Augustine.

"May 29, 1840.--On Friday last a carriage and wagon had been obtained to
proceed to Picolata, for the purpose of bringing in some baggage and
gentlemen connected with the theatrical company of W. C. Forbes, from
Savannah. Leaving Picolata on Saturday morning, May 23, in addition to
their own party they were joined by Messrs. D. G. Vose, of New York, and
Miller, of Brunswick, who all reached the eleven-mile military post in
safety. When within seven miles of St. Augustine they were fired upon by
Indians, severely wounding Vose, Miller, and Wigger, a young German
musician. While this work of death was going on, a wagon which had left
the barracks that morning was seen approaching. It contained three
persons besides the driver--Mr. Francis Medicis, of St. Augustine, Mr.
A. Ball, and Mr. Beaufort. The Indians fired upon them near the six-mile
post, when Mr. Beaufort and the driver escaped. The mules ran away with
the wagon. The firing being heard at the little garrison of seven men,
they turned out, when they saw distinctly twenty Indians. News having
been received in town by a lad coming in on one of the horses, a party
of gentlemen repaired thither. On reaching the ground, there lay Mr.
Ball dead, while farther on was the body of Mr. Medicis, lying on his
side, his hands clenched, as if in the attitude of supplication, his
right shirt-sleeve burned with powder, and his face covered with blood.
Mr. Francis Medicis was murdered the 23d of May, 1840, between the hours
of eleven and twelve o'clock. The bodies of Messrs. Medicis, Ball, Vose,
and Miller, were brought in at dusk, that of Mr. Miller about nine
o'clock. The bodies of the strangers were placed in the Council Chamber.
Mr. Forbes and his company passed over the Picolata road on the 22d of
May, except Messrs. Wigger, German, and Thomas A. Line. Mr. Wigger was
murdered. Thomas A. Line hid himself in a swamp, sinking up to his neck,
and covering his face with a barnet-leaf, which he raised, to the great
surprise of his companions, when they were searching for the survivors
and gathering up the wounded."

The old citizens in St. Augustine now say that when Mr. German,
vocalist, one of the theatricals, arrived in the city after his escape,
his hair was standing perfectly erect on his head, and in twenty-four
hours turned entirely white. As the Indians rifled the baggage-wagon,
they carried off a considerable portion of the stage-dresses and other
paraphernalia.

Now, we can peruse these tragic events as the vision of some wild
romancer, or relate them to children as nursery tales, partaking enough
of the terrible to excite a desire for the wonderful. Wearied with
waiting, and heart-sick of bloody murders, we find the following piece
of composition written on this solemn occasion:

"How long shall the earth drink the blood of our women and children, and
the soil be dyed with the ebbing life of manhood? Could they have looked
with us upon the mangled corpses of Indian wrath, as they were laid upon
the public highway, or gone to the council-room and surveyed on its
table, where side by side the marble forms of four men lay, who a few
hours before were looking to the future as filled with bright enjoyment,
they would then have whistled their philanthropy to the winds, and cried
aloud for vengeance. That was a sight never to be forgotten. We have
seen men killed in battle, and perish by disease on the ocean, but amid
the many affecting and unpleasant incidents that have met our gaze we
have never seen a spectacle like that. Here in the rigidity of death lay
the youthful German, on whom manhood had just dawned: also the compact
forms of muscular health, with the less vigorous frames of more advanced
years. A casual glance might mistake it for a mimic scene, where Art had
exhausted her powers in its production. But there was the pallid hue of
faces; there was the gash the knife had made in its course to the heart;
the cleft forehead parted by the tomahawk in its descent to the brain;
and there the silent drop, dropping of crimson fluid to the floor--while
our Secretary, with his usual imbecility, issues orders to 'muzzle the
bloodhounds.' The funerals of these unfortunate victims took place on
Sunday, attended by a large concourse of people, who expressed the
keenest indignation at the repetition of such a scene so near our city.
Wild Cat was the leader of this band, as he stopped afterward at the
plantation of E. S. Jenckes, Esq., and told the servants he had
committed the murder."

The troupe filled their engagement at St. Augustine, as only a musician
had been killed from their number. History says, "The sterling comedy of
'The Honeymoon' was performed to a crowded house." Afterward the
following notice appeared: "During the winter months we have no doubt
that a troupe, embodying the same amount of talent which the present
company possess, would find it profitable to spend a month with us each
season."

Coacoochee, or Wild Cat, was captured with Osceola in 1836, and
afterward made his escape, or he never would have been permitted to
commit such a series of appalling atrocities as those which we have
recorded. Wild Cat frequently visited the residence of General
Hernandez, who lived on Charlotte Street. He also very much admired one
of his beautiful daughters, and, like lovers at the present day, wanted
an excuse for returning; consequently, on going away he would leave one
of his silver crescents, which he wore on his breast as a defense and
for ornament, to be polished, and when he returned, take the one he left
before, and leave another. He delighted to stand in front of a large
mirror which General Hernandez had in his parlor, and admire his person.
He said if Miss Kitty Hernandez would be his wife, she should never work
any more, but always ride on a pony, wherever she went; that Sukey, his
present wife, should wait on her, but Miss Kitty would be queen. He
frequently made assertions of his friendship for the family. When on one
occasion some of them remarked that he would kill them as quick as
anybody if he should find them in the Indian nation, he replied: "Yes, I
would; for you had better to die by the hand of a friend than an enemy."

The following is an account of Coacoochee's escape and recapture: In all
ages of the world there have lived those who laugh at iron bars, and
defy prison doors--among whom we find the Seminole, Wild Cat, who
appeared to be proof against bullets, with a body no dungeon could hold.
He was very indignant on account of his imprisonment, denouncing his
persecutors in no measured terms. He said the white man had given one
hand in friendship, while in the other he carried a snake, with which he
lied, and stung the red man. While in Fort Marion he planned his escape
in a most remarkable manner. He complained of illness, at the same time
manifesting signs of indisposition, and made a request that he might be
permitted to go in search of a curative agency. Accompanied with a
guard, he was again permitted to breathe the pure air of his native
home, but not in freedom. This movement furnished him with an
opportunity for reconnoitering, and measuring with his eye the distance,
outside the fort, from the loop-hole of his cell. After his return he
resorted to the use of his herbs, and abstained from food, which had the
effect of materially reducing his size. He selected a stormy night for
the undertaking, when his keepers would be the least inclined to
vigilance, and commenced making preparations by tearing his blankets
into ropes, which he made fast inside his cell, and, by working a knife
into the masonry, formed a step. This, with the aid of his companion's
shoulders, enabled him to reach the embrasure--a distance of eighteen
feet--through which he escaped by taking a swinging leap of fifty feet
into the ditch, skinning his back and chest effectually. His companion,
Talums Hadjo, was less fortunate than himself. After a desperate effort
to get through, he lost his hold, and fell the whole way to the ground.
Wild Cat thought him dead; but his ankle was only sprained, and, after
enlisting the services of a mule grazing in the vicinity, he was soon
far away from bolts and bars, which could restrain his wild, free-born
movements.

Wild Cat had a twin sister, to whom he was much attached. He said she
visited him after her death, in a white cloud, and thus relates her
appearance: "Her long black hair, that I had often braided, hung down
her back. With one hand she gave me a string of white pearls; in the
other she held a cup sparkling with pure water, which she said came from
the fountain of the Great Spirit, and if I would drink of it I should
return and live forever. As I drank she sung the peace-song of the
Seminoles, while white wings danced around me. She then took me by the
hand, and said, 'All is peace here.' After this she stepped into the
cloud again, waved her hand, and was gone. The pearls she gave me were
stolen after I was imprisoned in St. Augustine. During certain times in
the moon, when I had them, I could commune with the spirit of my sister.
I may be buried in the earth, or sunk in the water, but I shall go to
her, and there live. Where my sister lives game is abundant, and the
white man is never seen."

This chieftain was afterward induced to come in for a parley, to a depot
established on the head-waters of Pease Creek. The following is a
description of his appearance on that occasion:

About midday on March 5, 1841, Wild Cat was announced as approaching the
encampment, preceded by friendly Indians, and followed by seven trusty
warriors. He came within the chain of sentinels, boldly and fearlessly,
decorated, as were his companions, in the most fantastic manner. Parts
of the wardrobe plundered from the theatrical troupe the year previous
were wrapped about their persons in the most ludicrous and grotesque
style. The nodding plumes of the haughty Dane, as personated in the sock
and buskin, boasting of his ancestry and revenge, now decorated the brow
of the unyielding savage, whose ferocity had desolated the country by
blood, and whose ancestors had bequeathed the soil now consecrated with
their ashes, which he had defended with unswerving fidelity. He claimed
no rights or inheritance but those he was prepared to defend. Modestly
by his side walked a friend wound up in the simple garb of Horatio,
while in the rear was Richard III., judging from his royal purple and
ermine, combined with the hideousness of a dark, distorted, revengeful
visage. Others were ornamented with the crimson vest and spangles,
according to fancy. He entered the tent of Colonel Worth, who was
prepared to receive him, and shook hands with the officers all around,
undisturbed in manner or language. His speech was modest and fluent. His
child, aged twelve years, which the troops had captured at Fort Mellon
during the fight, now rushed into his arms. Tears seldom give utterance
to the impulse of an Indian's heart; but when he found the innate
enemies of his race the protectors of his child, he wept. With accuracy
and feeling he detailed the occurrences of the past four years. He said
the whites had dealt unjustly by him. "I came to them; they deceived me.
The land I was upon I loved; my body is made of its sands. The Great
Spirit gave me legs to walk it, hands to help myself, eyes to see its
ponds, rivers, forests, and game; then a head with which to think. The
sun, which is warm and bright, as my feelings are now, shines to warm us
and bring forth our crops, and the moon brings back the spirit of our
warriors, our fathers, wives, and children." Wild Cat admitted the
necessity of his leaving the country, hard as it was. After remaining
four days, he returned, with his child, to his tribe.

General Worth commanded the army in Florida at this time. He established
the head-quarters of his command in the saddle--only asking his troops
to follow where he should lead.

Wild Cat had a subtle, cunning disposition, which gave the whites much
trouble. They had deceived him, and his confidence in the pale faces was
much shaken; but, being induced by General Worth, he was prevailed upon
to meet in council. The General made a direct appeal to his vanity, by
telling him he had the power to end the war if he chose, as they were
all tired of fighting. Wild Cat was finally captured during the month of
June. His camp was thirty-five miles from Fort Pierce, on the Okachobee
Swamp. He had abandoned the idea of emigration, and his name was a
terror to all the white settlers. He agreed to leave with the Seminole
and Mikasukie tribes, who elected him their leader. His parting address,
as he stood upon the deck, was as follows: "I am looking at the last
pine-tree of my native land; I am leaving Florida forever. To part from
it is like the separation of kindred; but I have thrown away my rifle. I
have shaken hands with the white man, and to him I look for
protection." Wild Cat, after being sent to New Orleans, was brought back
to Tampa, that he might have a talk with his band, who numbered one
hundred and sixty, including negroes. He was too proud to come from the
vessel with his shackles, but when they were removed he talked freely
with his people, and wanted all to be sent West without delay. He died
on the way to Arkansas, and was buried on the bank of the Mississippi
River. War to him was only a source of recreation.

The following spicy letter was written thirty-eight years since,
contrasting the seasons in New York City with those in St. Augustine;
also, a comparison can be drawn between the entertainments of the two
places. In Florida Indian massacres were realities, and in New York they
dramatized them for the amusement of pleasure-seekers and idlers:

"December, 1841.--A winter here in New York, and one with you, are very
different matters; and were you disposed to question the orthodox
character of my position, you need only make an attempt to promenade in
Broadway now with thin breeches, to have this general relation of fact
converted into a self-evident axiom. The wind searches you, sharp as the
gaze of a jealous politician--every defect in your wardrobe--and, with a
freedom which the other must sigh to attain, blows upon your person its
icy breath, until the warm current of life feels almost frozen in its
citadel, and your legs are scarcely able to perform the duties of their
creation. Such is the difference of temperature with you and in this
metropolis."

The same correspondent describes the manner of dramatizing the Florida
Indian murders. _Scene_--Capture and killing of the mail-rider and wife
in Florida:

"Having at one time witnessed some of the handicraft of our red
brethren, I thought I would step in, and lo! the room was filled with
some three hundred persons, anxious to behold this scene of blood. The
Indians were veritable, stout, murderous-looking rascals; the
mail-rider, a six-foot youth--oiled locks, beautifully parted,
elegantly-combed mustache, white pantaloons, straps, and boots. This was
the grandest specimen of a mail-rider ever seen in Florida. He might
have personated some of those fictitious pretenders of gentility which
sometimes visit you--but for a letter-carrier--Heaven save the mark! The
wife was a pretty, plump, well-fed girl of sixteen, dressed in all the
simplicity of girlhood, before fashion had desecrated its pure feeling
with _tournures_, converting the human form divine into a monstrosity.
Well, the chase was interesting; our six-footer stretched his legs and
black coat-tails with effect. When fairly caught by his pursuers, he was
bound, and his wife was likewise brought in captive. Then rose the loud
and fierce yells of these demi-devils. The mimic scene was one of
intense interest, and the quick dispatch of life argued something in
favor of the captors, until the process of scalping commenced, when the
blood rushed in gushes on the bosom of the girl, as her tresses were
held up amidst the fiendish hurrahs of the Indians. Here there was a
pause; the imagination had been wound up to the highest pitch, when
something of a less gloomy character was furnished the audience."

It was then the Florida settlers prayed for the peace we now enjoy--when
their streams should have the dreary solitude broken by the splash of
the oar, and their moss-covered banks send back the song of the
contented boatmen--when their tranquil surface should be rippled by the
freighted bark, with white canvas bending before the breeze, sailing out
to the ocean--when the watch-fires of their foes should be extinct, and
the yell of murder give place to the melody of grateful hearts, as their
songs of praise should rise from the hummocks and plains; that the land
might be indeed the home of the Christian, the abiding-place of
happiness and contentment.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER X.

    Far in ether stars above thee
      Ever beam with purest light,
    Birds of richest music love thee,
      Flowers than Eden's hues more bright,
    And love--young love, so fresh and fair--
    Fills with his breath thy gentle air.


Many writers who come to Florida copy an abstract of the most
interesting portions contained in the guide-books, besides what they can
hear, afterward filling up the interstices from their imaginations. We
look to the old Spaniards for information, but, alas! they are like the
swamp cypress which the gray moss has gathered over until its vitality
has been absorbed--age has taken away their vigor.

This point appears to be a favored place for the stimulus of thought,
where inspiration can be gathered from atmospheric influences, and not
the heat of youth or the vapor of strong drink. Daily we are more
impressed with the fact how treacherous are the links which connect the
chain of tradition in a country where its earliest history is mingled
with a record wonderful as the champions of knight-errantry who figured
in the pages of romance.

The early settlers were lured here by legends of a fairy realm, where
youth and beauty held perpetual sway, and mountains of gold reared
their shining peaks. (See Frontispiece.)

From the 28th of August, 1565, when Pedro Melendez planted the broad
banner of Spain with its castellated towers in the lonely settlement of
Seloe, beside the waters which our Huguenots had previously dignified
with the title, "River of Dolphins," to the present time, imagination
has been on the alert to penetrate the past history of this country. On
the site of the present plaza was celebrated the first mass in America
by Mendoza, the priest, assisted by his acolytes.

The minds of the Seloes were much exercised with the appearance of their
new visitors, the impression being received that they were immortal,
with their steel-covered bodies and bonnets, which flashed like meteors
in the sunlight, while music, more enchanting than any which had ever
filled their most fanciful imaginations, floated on the silent air.

During the early history of St. Augustine it appeared to be disputed
ground for all explorers--French, Spanish, and English. Sir Francis
Drake in 1586 drove the Spaniards from here during the war with Spain,
the Spanish retiring so hastily they left fourteen brass cannon, besides
a mahogany chest containing two thousand pounds in the castle. During
1665, Davis, the buccaneer, captured the town again. In 1762 a writer
describes it as being at the foot of a hill, shaded with trees, the town
laid out in the form of an oblong square, the streets cutting each other
at right angles.

In 1764 the Spanish left the town, and the English took possession, when
we find this graphic account, from which observant visitors can note the
changes:

"All the houses are built of masonry, their entrances being shaded by
piazzas, supported by Tuscan pillars, or pilasters, against the south
sun. The houses have to the east windows projecting sixteen or eighteen
inches into the street, very wide and proportionally high. On the west
side their windows are commonly very small, and no opening of any kind
to the north, on which side they have double walls six or eight feet
asunder, forming a kind of gallery, which answers for cellars and
pantries. Before most of the entrances were arbors of vines, producing
plenty and very good grapes. No house has any chimney for a fire-place;
the Spaniards made use of stone urns, filled them with coals, left them
in the kitchens in the afternoon, and set them at sunset in their
bedrooms, to defend themselves against those winter seasons which
required such care. The governor's residence has both sides piazzas, a
double one to the south, and a single one to the north; also a Belvidere
and a grand portico decorated with Doric pillars and entablatures.

"The roofs are commonly flat. The number of houses in the town are about
nine hundred. The streets are narrow on account of shade. In a few
places they are wide enough to permit two carriages to pass abreast.
They were not originally intended for carriages, many of them being
floored with artificial stone, composed of shells and mortar, which in
this climate takes and keeps the hardness of rock, no other vehicle than
a hand-barrow being allowed to pass over them. In some places you see
remnants of this ancient pavement, but for the most part it has been
ground into dust under the wheels of the carts and carriages introduced
by the new inhabitants. The old houses are built of a kind of stone
which is seemingly a pure concretion of small shells, which overhang the
streets with their wooden balconies; and the gardens between the houses
are fenced on the side of the street with high walls of stone. Peeping
over these walls you see branches of the pomegranate and of the
orange-tree now fragrant with flowers, and rising yet higher the leaning
boughs of the fig with its broad, luxuriant leaves. Occasionally you
pass the ruins of houses--walls of stone, with arches and stair-cases of
the same material, which once belonged to stately dwellings. You meet in
the streets with men of swarthy complexions and foreign physiognomy, and
you hear them speaking to each other in a strange language. These are
the remains of the Spanish dominion inhabitants, speaking the language
of their country."

In 1757 no vessel could approach the coast of St. Augustine without
running the risk of being taken by the French privateers. It has not
always been the home of Spanish Dons and guitar-playing, as in 1777.
Captain Rory McIntosh, the Don Quixote of the country, lived here, and
paraded the streets in true Scottish style, dressed in the Highland
costume. His home was with Mr. Archibald Lundy, then a merchant of St.
Augustine. He was present at the taking of Fort Moosa, under command of
General Oglethorpe, and mentions his share in the fight with
characteristic bravado: "I am a scoundrel, sir! At Fort Moosa a captain
of Spanish Grenadiers was charging at the head of his company, and, like
a varmint, sir, I lay in the bushes and shot the gallant fellow."

On June 17, 1821, the American flag first floated from Castle San Marco.
A meeting was afterward held in the governor's palace, where the
exercising of a right was declared which had banished the Huguenots from
the soil centuries before: "Freedom to worship God according to the
dictates of one's own conscience."

The archives of St. Augustine were said to have been delivered to the
United States Collector. They were sealed in eleven strong boxes, for
the purpose of being sent to Cuba, but detained by Captain Hanhan, and
afterward forwarded to Washington.

Dr. McWhir, an Irish Presbyterian preacher, visited Florida in 1823 and
1824, preaching at St. Augustine and Mandarin. He organized the first
Presbyterian Church in the State, located at Mandarin. It was also
mainly through his influence that the Church in St. Augustine was
founded.

In 1834 St. Augustine answered to the following description: "Situated
like a rustic village, with its white houses peeping from among the
clustered boughs and golden fruit of the favorite tree, beneath whose
shade the invalid cooled his fevered brow and imbibed health from the
fragrant air." It was, indeed, a forest of sturdy orange-trees, whose
rich foliage of deep green, variegated with golden fruit, in which the
buildings of the city were embowered, and whose fragrance filled the
body of the surrounding atmosphere so as to attract the attention of
those passing by in ships at sea, and whose delicious fruit was the
great staple of export. The plaza then contained many orange-trees, one
of which was over a century old, producing, in a single season, twelve
thousand oranges--more than eight thousand being nothing unusual for
many of the trees in a year.

However, in 1835 there came a change over the dreams of these
independent, happy people, when their source of income was gone in a
single night--a calamity caused by a cold, heartless invader from the
North, King Frost, which made them a brief visit, and froze the trees to
the ground. From an income of more than seventy thousand dollars per
annum, the amount was decreased to nothing. Their trees, being well
matured, had produced an average of five hundred oranges annually.

We feel as though, in trying to describe this place, we were hovering on
the brink of uncertainty, and drifting along its shores, not knowing
where to land, that we might find the stand-point to commence our task.
It is here we realize a kind of traditional flickering between the
forgotten and neglected past, shrouded in awful obscurity, with an
intervening veil of myth and mystery--a pilgrim shrine for those wanting
relics to visit, where many times large drafts are drawn upon the bank
of their credulity, which look genuine if not honored with credence, or
added to the store-house of useful information. Here we see more objects
tottering upon the verge of existence and nonentity than at any other
point in the State. The most venerable houses are built of tabby and
coquina. Tabby, or concrete, is composed of two parts lime and coquina
six parts, thoroughly mixed, and then placed in position between two
planks, held together by iron bolts until dry. Walls of this kind were
used as a means for defense in the days of Hannibal and Scipio, they
being sufficiently strong to withstand the ancient battering weapons
used in warfare.

Before the forest-trees which covered the grounds upon which New York
City now stands were felled, St. Augustine was the seat of power. The
streams of wealth, and vast fortunes to be made as if by magic, had
induced the adventurer to leave his home, and the pampered sons of power
to pass the dangers of the deep. It is here, as in no other place, that
two forms of civilization find a foothold--the Spanish dwellings of over
a century, with the modern Mansard-roofs of recent date, all subserving
the purpose of substantial residences. Many of the early settlers came
like wandering sea-birds, wearied with their night, and looking for
rest.

This city is like ancient Rome, with which many found fault while there,
but, from some kind of fascination, they always returned again. The
inhabitants residing in other portions of the State formerly resorted
to St. Augustine during the months of July, August, and September, that
they might avoid malaria from the marshes. The fresh sea-breeze which
comes out every morning they called "The Doctor," whose presence was
hailed on account of its healthful influences. Its fine climate and
orange-groves have always rendered it celebrated, although it has no
fertile back country.

The powerful chemical ingredients, which exist in the atmosphere on the
sea-coast, act as a neutralizer to disease. The chloride of sodium,
compounded in the laboratory of the great saline aquarium and respired
without effort, is freighted with the germs of health, which are
productive of beneficial effect in many forms of pulmonic complaints.

During the Spanish rule, it was a place of importance as a military
post, being the Government head-quarters, then containing a population
of five thousand inhabitants.

As we look upon these old Spaniards our thoughts go back to the days of
their sires, whose minds were ever on the alert in search of some new
sources from which would flow fresh streams of amusement. Their manners,
habits, and customs were once varied as their origin--having descended
from the Spanish, Italians, Corsicans, Arabs, and French, possessing the
peculiar traits of these nationalities. The carnivals, posy balls, and
many other amusements in which they formerly indulged, have now in a
great measure been absorbed by the Yankee element. The holiday
processions no longer march around the plaza, bearing their bright
banners and escutcheons blazoned with the ensigns of their kings, or
with the names of their favorite patron saints.

The night before Easter in St. Augustine the observance of a peculiar
custom is still retained, which the early settlers brought from Spain
with them: it is that of the young men going around to the houses of
their friends singing a song called Fromajardis. What a strange
sensation steals over us to be awakened just before the old cathedral
bells have chimed twelve by the sound of musical instruments,
accompanied with singing, in a foreign tongue, a song which has echoed
through the same town for more than three centuries! It indicates that
the Lenten season is now over, and the young men are anxious to
participate in feasting. Although it is customary, they are not always
invited to partake of a bountiful collation after their song is
finished, but are prepared to do so when the opportunity presents
itself. The extreme poverty of the old citizens now renders it
impossible for them to conform to the customs of palmier days, when
large amounts of money were received from Cuba by the soldiery, and the
labor of slaves furnished many with a genteel support. From these people
we can see with what tenacity they cling to their home associations;
although misfortune has crushed their spirits, and poverty lessened
their desire for enjoyment, yet in their hearts still lingers the memory
of a festive past, which now cheers them on through adverse fortune, and
lightens life of half its burdens.

Most of the old inhabitants are persons of very moderate means,
moderate ability, and moderate their wishes by surrounding
circumstances--who apparently live and grow old, ripen and die, with as
little effort toward great designs or grand projects as the sweet potato
in the hill. Many of them live seventy or eighty years, are born and die
in the same house without forming any foreign attachments or
associations--the machinery of their human frames not being moved with
as much rapidity here as North.

On account of their early training being impregnated with superstition,
the imaginary ghost that moves gloomily around at midnight is always
their terror. The tongue or pen of critics is never prostrated when in
search of material for feasts of fault-finding--a multitude of remarks
being made with reference to the apparent indolence of the natives, not
thinking that the atmosphere by which they are surrounded is in no way
conducive to great physical exertion. The inhabitants follow hunting and
fishing, besides cultivating their gardens, while some of them have
cow-pens for their cattle, and land outside the city, which they till.
They are a quiet, frugal people, retiring in their manners, and simple
in their ways--the very opposite in every respect of the grasping,
bustling, overreaching Yankee--devoted Catholics, warm in their
friendship, but timid toward strangers. The young girls in the community
have a type of feminine beauty which can be seen at no other place,
except on the shores of the Mediterranean, or in the Madonnas of the
Italian masters--in short, St. Augustine is an Italian town on the
shores of America, and in that respect differs from any on the Western
Continent.

The language spoken by their progenitors is supposed to have been
identical with that used in the Court of Spain before the days of
Ferdinand and Isabella. It has the terseness of the French, without the
grandiloquence of the Spanish, being derived directly from the Latin.

There is nothing now remaining of courtly splendors. A few only of the
ancient tenements are left, some of them tumbling down by degrees; those
having occupants are a class of persons struggling for an existence,
with adverse circumstances surrounding them which cannot be overcome,
but must be borne in silent submission. Our imagination before visiting
declining architecture is always to conceive that they have an air of
the picturesque--a softness reflected on them by moonlight, or a
panorama with dulcet strains floating somewhere in our fanciful dreams.
All visitors come with an object, well or ill defined--the student to
look, the historian to gather dates and make records, while the restless
spirit that roves everywhere is here in search of something new or
wonderful for his eyes to rest on a brief period of time. At this place
there is an unchanging serenity of sky, a clear and harmonious blending
of two colors--white and blue--with a soft shading, and the line of
distinction lightly drawn. Long level stretches of sandy country lie
before us on the beach, covered by the canopy of heaven, and lighted by
the luminary of day. The Matanzas River is ever in view, and, like other
waters, has its moods, with its surface sometimes smooth as the downy
cheek of infancy, then wrinkled as the brow of age, or stirred like the
impulses of an enraged partisan in a political contest. Every morning
the same sun rises over Anastasia Light-house, and beams across the
waters like burnished steel; the curtain of nature rises on the same
scene, the early dawn brings the same worshipers; the priests read the
sacred service, and we find it an easy task to banish bad thoughts, and
become purer and better, if only for the time being.

A procession of nuns from St. Joseph's Academy, conducted by the Mother
Superior, passes along daily, silently as the flight of a feather
through the air. They have charge of two schools in St. Augustine for
both white and colored pupils, which are well patronized, where much
instruction, like the Jews of old, is given in the ceremonials of the
ritualistic law. Their new coquina convent is pleasant, and the display
of fine laces, made by their busy fingers, incomparable. The little
chapel within the convent is very neat, containing a statue of their
patron, St. Joseph, watching over it. They exhibited to us a shred of
the Virgin Mary's dress, also a piece of the cross on which the Saviour
was hung; but it required a greater stretch of our imagination than we
were able to command to perceive the resemblance, particularly as we had
never seen the original, or had any description of it.

The religion here is that which sprang into existence during the Middle
Ages, when the minds of the people were unable to comprehend a
disembodied spirit, an intangible, ideal substance somewhere; for this
reason images were introduced to address their supplications. It is now
the pomp of pontifical splendor, and not the strength of persuasive
eloquence, that overawes the assembled multitudes--a scenic display
metamorphosed into a religious drama, where "monks and priests are only
players."

St. Augustine, unlike the European cities, bears no record of great
prosperity or vanished splendors in the display of colossal buildings,
or fine scientific skill, as the present period boasts of more fine
houses than at any time anterior to this. What a host of past memories
rise before us on every side as we walk its narrow streets, overshadowed
by mid-air balconies! Here are the old palace-grounds, where the Dons
from Spain paraded their troops, and exhibited them, with burnished
armor and crimson sashes, before a queenly array of beauty seated on the
verandas of the old Spanish governor's head-quarters. It is here the
fierce and warlike Seminoles made furious assaults, and were held in
check until the women and children could take refuge in the castle.

The Seminole Indians lurked in the vicinity of St. Augustine during all
the seven-years' struggle, but never, except as prisoners or to make
purchases, did they enter it, which was quite different from other
settlements which they depopulated and then destroyed. It is for this
reason we see so many older buildings here than in other Florida towns,
among the most ancient of which is the Escribanio, now called St. Mary's
Convent, west of the cathedral. It was built for and occupied as El
Escribanio, or business department of the governor. It was built of
coquina and concrete, with a tile floor, much of the material used being
brought from Cuba, and of the most durable quality. All business
connected with the Government was transacted here. It was the annex
building of the palace, but afterward occupied as a private residence
until 1852, when it became church-property, being then purchased by
Father Aubril. In 1858 Bishop Verot took charge of it, and then it was
used only temporarily as a convent by the Sisters of Mercy, an order of
French nuns.

The tale that is told of hard floors being for penance, where nuns had
kneeled until the brick was worn away, is only a fabrication. The floor,
like all those laid in Cuba, was the best burnt tiles. Also, that the
groans of unhappy nuns who had died here from too much abstinence had
been heard echoing through the arches at unseasonable hours, when
spiritual visitants are supposed to be moving around, is another
intangible story with which visitors are entertained who hanker after
the mysterious. No nuns died in that convent, as the time they occupied
it was too brief for any marked mortality.

This silent old town appears to sleep all summer, with an occasional
lucid moment, when an excursion comes in for a day's recreation, until
winter, when every thing is brought into requisition, with which a dime
or a dollar can be turned from a visitor's pocket. It is then the dear
old folks from a colder clime come to sit and sun themselves on the
sea-wall, or balconies, while the young people walk, ride horseback,
take moonlight strolls, and sail on the quiet bay or restless sea,
talking, laughing, and singing as they go.

The hotel-keepers look cheerful again, the Spanish señoras smile sweetly
as they exhibit their palmetto hats and grasses, while an orange stick
and an alligator are the aspiration of the lads--the latter being a
marvel to Northern visitors. When a genuine, live alligator cannot be
obtained, a photograph has to suffice, taken after the animal has been
captured and tied, to be made to sit for his picture.

It is true, many complain of the manner in which they are annoyed by all
kinds of professions, from the boot-black--who screams in your ears,
"Shine, sah!" until you feel like elevating him somewhere among the
shining orbs, from which point he would not soon return--to the hotel
bills. "Four dollars a day, sir; if no baggage, in advance." Then the
carriages--"Ride, sir? take a nice ride?" The pleasure-yachts come in
for their share of attention--"Take an excursion over on the beach? I
takes over pleasure-parties."

These all swoop down on the defenseless travelers, like birds of prey
over a fallen carcass, to the amusement of some, and the annoyance of
many more. There is no lack of attention from interested parties, if you
have the money to spend.

During the winter the old wharf, which shakes as though it had the palsy
whenever a dog trots over it, has men and boys throwing out lines with a
simple hook, and others with elaborate reels and silver hooks, amusing
themselves; while the old Spaniards bask in the sunshine, on the
sea-wall, resting from their night of toil in fishing on the rolling
waves, as a means of support, like the apostles of old.

A good cart was formerly the highest ambition of the natives, while now
elegant carriages, with liveried drivers, roll around the streets,
decked with the trappings of wealth and show of fashion.

It is very amusing, many times, to hear the uncultured youths, reared in
St. Augustine, make remarks in regard to the appearance and dress of
visitors, frequently mocking them when they are speaking, particularly
if the language is a little more refined than that to which they have
been accustomed; but the most astonishing thing of all is the mysterious
manner with which the natives come in possession of your name, the facts
connected with your movements, where you stay, and, more than all, if
you have any money. If you are not flush and free with funds, you can
rest from any annoyances, except boarding-house keepers, who have
adopted the motto, "Pay as you go, or go away."

The celebrated Florida curiosities are a great source of traffic, from
the June-bugs to the head of a Jew-fish, including stuffed baby
alligators that neither breathe nor eat, tusks from the grown ones,
mounted with gold; birds of beautiful and varied plumage, relieved by
the taxidermist of every thing but their coat of feathers and the
epidermis, looking at you from out glass windows, through glass eyes;
screech-owl tails and wings; pink and white curlew-feathers; saws from
sword-fish of fabulous length; sharks' heads; sea-beans, supposed to
have grown on Anastasia Island, but drifted from the West Indies; and
the palm, wrought in so many varied and fanciful forms of imaginary and
practical utility as scarcely to be identified as a native of the
Florida wilds, whose rough and jagged stalks seem to defy an assault
from the hand of the most expert explorer, being upheld by its roots of
inexplicable size and length.

Most visitors think their tour incomplete without a palmetto hat; but
who of the many that purchase asks, or cares, where these home-made
articles were produced--what thoughts were woven by the light-hearted
workers--what fancies flitted through the brain of the dark-eyed maiden,
in whose veins flows the blood of a foreign clime.

The Florida pampas-grass, gathered from the surrounding swamps, is much
used in ornamenting China vases and ladies' hats, together with the
excrescent growths from the tall cypress-trees. Each countryman's cart
has a marsh-hen, blue crane, or a box of live alligators, seeking to
make money and divert the attention of curiosity-seeking persons.

All visitors will, no doubt, be solicited, freely and frequently, by the
different crafts, to make an investment; but it is all nothing.
Everybody has to make a support in some way--as the little boy replied
to the Northerner who asked him how the people all lived down here in
this sandy country. The lad replied, "Off from sweet taters and sick
Yankees."

It has hitherto been a prolific source of entertainment for those who
have been here to listen to the narrations of old settlers. The tide of
memory never fails them. They can relate things that occurred long
anterior to the current of their existence, with the same unbroken
connection of circumstances as though they were among the events of
yesterday. Most of the old settlers are dead now; but the legends live
with the younger ones--the legendary transfer having been made without
any apparent diminution of the marvelous.

Our days here pass in peaceful quietude, the time moving on with
imperceptible speed; but the daily records would not fill a page in
history, or supply material for a romance. An incident occasionally
takes place, which stirs the under-current of life a little--as the
capsizing of a yacht, catching a big fish, shark, or alligator.

Adventurers who come here seeking employment do not receive a hearty
welcome. The natives look upon that class of persons as a kind of
interlopers, who want to suck the sweets from their oranges, and lick
the sirup from their bread, without paying them for it.

Persons here from Northern climes are expected to spend the winter in
breathing the balmy air, canopied with skies clothed in the softest
radiance of a summer sun, and praising every thing they see. If they
have any doubt in regard to what they hear, let them lock it in secret,
and keep silent until they leave; for the inhabitants think that this
was once the paradise of the Peri, which will some day be restored to
its pristine loveliness.

Visitors who are always ventilating their prejudices and preferences too
freely, in any place, make enemies. Let none presume to tread upon the
dangerous ground of expressing an adverse opinion with reference to what
they see, in any of the small settlements with which Florida is filled,
or in the larger towns either, if they wish to be fanned by the breath
of popular favor. Always take the spirit of volatile indifference with
you, to waft you through all the little inconveniences which you may
have to encounter, resolving to accept and submit to every thing just as
you find it, or fold up your blanket and steal quietly away where you
can regulate things to your liking.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XI.


The old St. Augustine inhabitants are very regular in their attendance
at the cathedral exercises, which, during the Holy Days, appear to be
their sole employment. The first sound that greets us in the morning is
bells for mass. How those harsh tones, jingling like fire-bells run mad,
break in upon our soft repose! The alarming speed with which they are
rung attracts no attention, this being all the excitement we have in the
way of a noise. The earliest sunbeams shine upon groups of worshipers
going to offer oblations, while the shades of twilight deepen before
vespers are over, and the throng of satisfied penitents move to the
quietude of their homes. The most devoted are said "to live in the
church." Surely their lives must pass peacefully, "Mid counted beads and
countless prayers."

The cathedral is an object of interest on account of its ancient
architecture more than age, having been commenced in 1793. The church in
use previous to its erection was located on the west side of St. George
Street. The engineers and officers belonging to the Government--Don
Mariana and Don P. Berrio--directed the work, it being completed at a
cost of over sixteen thousand dollars. During the many improvements
made in the city, the main part of the cathedral has remained the same
for nearly the past century, while time has touched it lightly--thus
forming a link with the present in a useful state of preservation. The
walls are built of coquina of no modern thickness, but as if designed to
resist a siege. Its Moorish belfry with four bells, and the town-clock,
form a complete cross. One of these bells was taken from Tolemato
Chapel, it having been originally brought from Rome, as the lettering
indicates. It bears the following date and inscription: "_Sancte Joseph,
Ora pro nobis, 1682_." The cathedral also contains a crucifix, which is
brought into requisition once every year on Good Friday, it being a
relic from "_Nuestro Cano de la Leche_," which is all that remains. The
front doors of the cathedral are now kept locked, as it has been a
resort for so many inconsiderate persons, who went there smoking and
talking in loud, irreverent tones, as though it was a theater, where
some kind of daylight drama was being enacted, instead of a house
devoted to worship, and entered with purity of feeling, if not according
to prescribed rules, which the faith of everybody induces them to adopt.

To the minds of these Church-devotees all other pageant fades into
insignificance before the festivities and solemnities of the Holy Days
connected with their Church-services, and the veneration due to their
patron saints. Whatever vicissitudes or changes may take place with them
in other respects, their religion remains the same; it is, indeed, a
part of their being, without which their lives would be considered
incomplete, their existence blank as the brutes, which die that others
may live. Some of the worshipers rush to the cathedral with the rapidity
of an opera-goer, who is afraid the seats will all be taken before he
arrives, but enter with the same degree of veneration as the pilgrims
who visit and kiss the statue of St. Peter--still clinging to their
catechism and creeds firmly, as a part of their life, while their
well-learned prayers are repeated as a talisman against temptation and
violent death. These old cathedral walls have witnessed stately
ceremonials, heard the prayers and confessions of many penitents, whose
troubled consciences and sin-burdened hearts could find no relief except
at the confessional.

The bishop is regarded by the Catholics as the Vicegerent of Heaven. He
lives in the greatest seclusion and simplicity--never appearing in
public except amid the glitter and grandeur of a ceremonial, but always
accessible to those wishing the administration of Church-rites.

Many outsiders regard the adoration rendered to the priesthood as homage
to man. This conclusion is incorrect--"all this effort at splendor and
magnificence being wholly and purely a tribute of man to honor the
religion which God in his love and mercy has given, and no part of it
designed for man's honor." As evidence of this, none of the priesthood
ever approach the tabernacle, or other holy symbols, except with marked
demonstrations of the most profound reverence and uncovered head--thus
rendering the same veneration to Christ which he requires from the
people.

With an utter disregard for the fitness of things, on exhibition in this
cathedral are two frescoes--one representing the "Death of the Wicked,"
the other the "Death of the Good." The good man appears perfectly
composed, as though he were about to survey one of his Father's
mansions, well prepared for the coming change, only waiting for the
gates of glory to be opened for his entrance, when the words of welcome
would resound through the peaceful abodes of the just made perfect,
"Enter into the joy of thy Lord." "The Death of the Wicked!" Where the
idea of so much that is horrible could have been conceived is difficult
to be accurately determined. It has been conceded by all that there is
nothing like it in Rome or the Vatican. Dante, with his vision of
demoniac spirits, is not a rival. How these devils grin! How they stare
at the distorted features of the poor, dying man, who anticipates soon
taking a leap into the dark abode of these exultant beings, who are
delighted at the prospect of having one more victim to slake their
sleepless thirst, or on which to experiment with some newly-suggested
torture!

Travelers, in coming here, must not imagine they can regulate the
standard of religion in all climates by their own.

The old, time-honored custom, in Catholic countries, of spending a
portion of Christmas Eve in prayer and praise to God for the unspeakable
gift of his Son Jesus Christ, is still observed here with all the
accompanying ceremonies of ancient times pertaining to the Holy Order of
St. Augustine, transmitted, through the priesthood, to the present
generation.

The high windows, which are nearer the roof than any other part of the
building, will never draw wandering thoughts from their devotions, as
their altitude would preclude any but angel eyes from looking through
them. The modernized, cushioned, upholstered seats, upon which
registered Church-members, with gilt-edged hymn-books in their hands,
expect to slide from into the portals of glory, are not found here, but
the genuine, old-time wooden benches, with a thick plank to sit on, and
another to support the shoulders. No velvet foot-stool to kneel upon,
but the bare floor for penitents to bend in their devotions, and the
sin-stricken to derive comfort and seek forgiveness for their misdeeds.
Outside the chancel, on the right of the altar, in a niche, is a statue
of the Madonna, life size, with the God-child standing beside her, both
looking very benignly. Beneath the niche is a representation of the
lamb, of which our Saviour is the antitype. On an altar below this was a
miniature stable, with an inside exposure, containing figures of the
infant Jesus in a manger with Mary and Joseph, the whole surrounded by
oxen, beasts of burden, and other things connected with the humble
furnishings of a stable, while bending in front of all were the wise men
worshiping.

In rear and above the grand "high altar" stands the figure of St.
Augustine, dressed in all the insignia of rank belonging to his holy
order, decked in azure, with gilt trimmings, above which is inscribed,
"_Sancte Augustine. Ora Pro Nobis!_" On each side of this are two other
saints with the same petition over them. The altars were all dressed in
an appropriate manner, with evergreens and flowers that never fade. The
choir made a fine exhibit of their musical skill, singing "_Miserere
Nobis_," "_Gloria in Excelsis_," very finely, with the organ
accompaniment. On this Christmas the cathedral was filled with a
remarkably quiet, well-deported audience, composed of citizens and
strangers. The services were conducted by Bishop Verot, who has
ministered to them in holy things for nearly twenty years. At this time
he was dressed with more than usual display, it being the crowning day
of all holy days--Christmas. His sacerdotal robes were of costly
materials, over which was worn the chasuble, elaborately embroidered
with designs of the finest needle-work, wrought in gold, and
interspersed with numerous precious stones, while upon his head rested a
miter of corresponding elegance; in his hand he held a crozier of costly
and curious pattern. He was assisted in the service connected with the
ceremonies by two other priests, also twelve acolytes. Bishop Verot made
some very appropriate remarks upon charity and the Redeemer's birth. He
said that no earthly king had ever made his appearance in so humble a
manner, and he was greater than all kings or princes in the world.

Softly fell the rays of light from six tall wax candles, supported by
metal of ancient date, surrounded by many lesser ones that lent their
luster to reflect the solemnity of the scene. Heavenly thoughts should
visit us when associated with so many holy emblems. Amid the stillness
of midnight, surrounded by the symbols of this most fascinating
religion, before the grand altar kneeled twelve nuns, draped and veiled
with the sable-hued garments, indicating their abandonment of all
worldly display. Before the tabernacle stood Bishop Verot, with a
massive golden chalice in his hand, while slowly and distinctly from his
lips were echoed the solemn words of the Lord Jesus, "_Hoc est enim
corpus meum_," as each communicant received the blessed wafer.

A visit to Tolemato Cemetery, situated at the north end of Tolemato
Street, is in reality going to a "garden of graves," on account of the
large number of interments which have been made there. It was the
Sabbath when we went, and, contrary to the usual custom in most towns
and cities, there were no loafers prowling about the grounds, or sitting
on the tablets reading novels, thus committing an act which in itself
partakes so much of daring desecration. The custodian of the gate was a
lizard, that lives in the lock, and crawls with astonishing rapidity to
his hiding-place on application of the key. When the gates are open we
enter "God's acre," where rest the remains of those who have lived and
died for the past three centuries--priests and people, all sleeping side
by side, awaiting that summons of which Gabriel will be the herald.
Since the settlement of St. Augustine this cemetery has been the scene
of a tragic event, which occurred in 1567, when Father Corpa,
influenced by a desire to rescue the souls of the savages from the lurid
flames which he imagined would hover around the delinquents in
purgatory, rebuked them for their hostile and polygamic customs. His
pearls were cast before swine, as the untamed red men had no prescribed
rules from the Great Spirit in regard to their conduct. They could not
adopt this new _régime_, and the propagator must be silenced. A council
was called--the Sanhedrim of the savage--when a yell of triumph which
penetrated the portals of prayer rang out upon the stillness of
midnight. It was then the edict went forth, irrevocable and sanguinary
as the laws of Draco, Father Corpa must die; and who should strike the
fatal blow? Whose unflinching arm can rid us of this our
peace-destroyer? The athlete of his tribe replied, "It is I!" Stealthily
and silently they stole into Tolemato Chapel, where, kneeling before the
altar, with a lone taper, whose feeble rays served as a guide, was
Father Corpa. A single flash from the warrior's steel gleamed through
the darkness; a single stroke sufficed.

Tolemato Cemetery now marks the spot where this act was perpetrated,
baptized with the blood of its first missionary. The remains of this
chapel have long since disappeared, except the bell, which hangs in St.
Augustine cathedral.

Another chapel stands within the cemetery now, erected to the memory of
Father Varela by his beloved pupils in Cuba. The architecture is
Corinthian, while above the doorway is the following inscription:
"_Beati mortui qui in Domino morientur_." This vault, when opened, is
in reality a dark, chilly, awe-inspiring place, where service is held on
"All Souls' Day," when Catholic devotees are assembled to repeat prayers
for the repose of the souls whose bodies lie buried here. The following
Spanish register is made upon the marble tablet which covers his
remains: "ESTA CAPILLA, FUE, EREGIDA, POR, LOS, CUBANOS, EL ANO 1853,
PARA, CONSERVAR, LAS CENIZAS DEL PADRE VARELA." Hanging over the
emblematical representations standing upon the mahogany altar is a copy
from Raphael's sublime painting, "The Ascension." The ravages of time
have destroyed all the inscriptions upon the tombs which were placed
here previous to 1821. One of the tablets being moved back from the top
of the vault, a portion of the coffin was exposed. We concluded it might
be the perpetuation of a time-honored superstition, which favored the
idea that the soul visited the body, and watched over it after death.
"_Vida Robles_"--a life of troubles--was inscribed on another tablet.
From this epitaph a stranger would naturally suppose life had very few
charms for the body deposited beneath it, and death a welcome messenger,
that gave the care-worn frame a blessed rest.

A few years since, some workmen being employed to dig among the ruins
where Tolemato Chapel once stood, discovered a medal, or medallion, in
_basso-rilievo_, bearing the inscription, "_Roma_." This sacred relic is
supposed to have been attached to the rosary worn by the priest at the
time when he was victimized before the altar. On one side of this medal
is a kneeling figure, with an infant in his arms, around which is
engraved, "SANCTUS JOANNES DE DEO"--St. John of God. C--who was born in
1495, a founder of the Order of Charity, and father of the eminent
saints that flourished in Spain during the sixteenth century. His motto
was, "Lord, thy thorns are my roses, and thy sufferings my paradise." On
the opposite side is engraved "S. CHRISTOFORUS"--St. Christopher--represented
bearing the Christ-child. This ancient relic comes to us blessed by the
Pope, and in a remarkable state of preservation.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XII.

    Can volume, pillar, pile, preserve thee great?
    Or must these trust tradition's simple tongue?


The ancient fortress of Castle San Marco, the name of which has been
improperly changed to Fort Marion, is considered one of the most
attractive and interesting objects in St. Augustine. It was constructed
in the style of the strong castles in Europe during the Middle Ages,
after the design of military engineering employed by Vauban. In 1762 it
was called St. John's Fort, or San Juan de Piños, afterward San Marco,
which name it retained until the change of flags in 1821, when it
received the title of Fort Marion, in honor of General Marion, of
Revolutionary fame. Its form is that of a quadrilateral, or trapezium,
with bastions at each corner, the wall being twenty-one feet in height.
Its extreme age, together with the durability of material employed,
would be a subject of more interest to ancient architects, could they
return, than to any of the present generation.

The battery is the boulevard of the city, where we can come and listen
to the sea beating its great heart against the rocks, and see the snowy
sails that glide so swiftly out to the solemn seas, while the white
clouds float gracefully in their blue vault over our heads, like doves
through the air, as the clear waters from the inlet flash in the bright
sunlight, like burnished armor for a gala-day parade, and a pensiveness
steals over our senses, which makes all earthly scenes vanish, like
shadows in the distance at breaking of day.

We also find this a favored place for receiving serious
impressions--this structure, formed by long-forgotten hands, which was a
fortress of strength for the defenseless, a prison for treacherous
captives, where they could pine and die far from the sound of human
sympathy, with the gates of mercy forever sealed to them.

The mind embalms pleasant memories from this peculiar spot, when the
skies are bright, bursting upon our vision like that day of which we
read, whose "morning will dawn without clouds."

This structure was commenced in 1565, by the Spaniards, as a defense
against the Indians. In 1732 Don Manuel Montiano, being appointed
Governor of Florida, made application to the Captain General of Cuba for
means to strengthen the fort, also more artillerymen, which were
granted, the work being done under the direction of Don Antonio de
Arredonda, a competent engineering official. In response to his request,
two hundred convicts from Mexico being furnished him, six casemates were
finished, of which there are eighteen in all, the remainder having been
completed in 1756.

The impress of two eighteen-pound shot, low down on the eastern curtain,
are now to be seen,

[Illustration: LAND APPROACH TO FORT MARION.]

made from a battery placed on Anastasia Island by General Oglethorpe,
who attempted by a regular siege to take the city. The bombardment was
continued twenty days; but, on account of the lightness of the guns, and
the distance, little damage was done. The siege lasted thirty-eight
days, when the Americans withdrew their troops, and returned to Georgia.

General Oglethorpe returned two years after this, taking Fort Moosa,
four miles distant, upon a broad river flowing under the fort; then
advanced to the gates of St. Augustine, where he gave the garrison an
invitation to march out and fight, which they declined.

In 1740 the castle is described as "being built of soft stone, with four
bastions, the curtains sixty yards in length, the parapet nine feet
thick, the rampart twenty feet high, casemated underneath for lodgings,
arched over and newly made bomb-proof; and they have for some time past
been working on a new covert way, which is nearly finished. The ordnance
consisted of fifty pieces of cannon, sixteen of which were brass
twenty-four-pounders. Thirteen hundred regular troops composed the
garrison, also militia and Spanish Indians. In addition to this, the
town was intrenched with ten salient angles, on each of which were
cannon."

In 1769 it is again described as being completed "according to the
modern taste of military architecture, and might be justly deemed the
prettiest fort in the king's domain. It is regularly fortified with
bastions, half-bastions, and a ditch; has also several rows of Spanish
bayonet along the ditch, forming so close a _chevaux-de-frise_ with
their pointed leaves as to be impregnable. The southern bastions were
built of stone."

The fort now, as then, is situated in the north-eastern extremity of the
old town, directly fronting the entrance to the harbor. On the west side
is a broad and deep trench, or moat, connected with the moat around the
castle extending across the town to the St. Sebastian River. This trench
was used to flood the moat around the fortress, from the St. Sebastian
River, and also to be filled with water when required, in order to
obstruct the approach of assailants from the southern direction. On the
south side of this trench very strong earth-works were erected,
continuous with portions of massive walls on each side the city gate,
which is now the best relic that exists in Europe or America--thus
acknowledged by tourists who have visited St. Augustine. The form of the
work is a polygon, consisting of four equal curtains, on the salient
angles, on three of which are bastions, or turrets, the one at the
north-east corner having disappeared. The moat around the castle is
inclosed by the internal barrier, a massive wall of coquina, which also
extends around the barbacan, following its entrant and reëntrant angles.
An outer barrier extends around the inner, following in parallel lines
the various flexures. Although a mound of earth is now raised against
this outer barrier, inclosing the fort, there is little doubt, from
observation of the remains, that the approaches to the castle were
guarded, as in the Middle Ages, by an abatis, scarp and counter-scarp,
frise, and all the defenses then employed, the traces of which are still
extant. The barbacan in front of the entrance--called in modern
phraseology the sally-port--is the only remaining specimen of a
defensive work of the kind in this country, and to the present time has
been an enigma to all visitors, which some tourists have committed the
blunder of calling a demi-lune. This particular will be recalled by a
reference to Scott's "Betrothed," which describes the castle of the
"Garde Douloreuse." Traces of the "outer barrier gate" remain, also the
draw-bridges, and machinery by which they were worked. Every thing is
preserved but the "Warder's Tower" over the gate; the steps remain to
prove the former existence of the tower. The draw-bridge, and even the
pulleys by which it was raised, are there; also the ponderous
portcullis, as an illustrated monument of Sir Walter Scott's description
in regard to ancient castles.

The following Spanish inscription is to be seen over the sally-port in
_alto-rilievo_:

                     REYNANDO EN ESPANA EL SEN^{R}
                      DON FERNANDO SEXTO Y SIENDO
         GOV^{OR} Y CAP^{N} DE ES^{A} C^{D} S^{AN} AUG^{N} DE
                 LA FLORIDA Y SUS PROV^{A} EL MARISCAL
                DE CAMPO D^{N} ALONZO FERN^{DO} HEREDA
                   ASI CONCLUIO ESTE CASTILLO EL AN
                   OD 1756 DIRI^{G}ENDO LAS OBRAS EL
                   CAP. INGN^{RO} DN PEDRO DE BROZAS
                               Y GARAY.

     _Translation._--Don Ferdinand VI. being King of Spain, and the
     Field Marshal Don Alonzo Fernando Hereda being Governor and Captain
     General of this place, St. Augustine, of Florida, and its Province.
     This fort was finished in the year 1756. The works were directed by
     the Captain Engineer, Don Pedro de Brazos y Garay.

Every year hundreds of visitors rush into Fort Marion, and then the
dungeon, with an awe-stricken feeling, as though the imaginary groans
which are said to have been uttered here centuries since were ready to
burst through the rocks and echo again, like the words of Plato, which
his friends said froze in the winter, but on the return of spring thawed
out again.

Several years after the cession of Florida to the United States the
north-east bastion of this fortress caved in, immediately under the
highest tower, disclosing a dungeon fourteen feet square. On the same
day was made the discovery of a square rock, cemented in an opening
similar to those in the casemates, only much less, which was undoubtedly
the entrance.

    A tempest there you scarce could hear,
      So massive were the walls.

Some human bones and hair were then discovered and seen by volunteers
from the ship Dolphin--a published account of which was forwarded to
Washington, and deposited in the Congressional Library. The Smithsonian
Institute has no knowledge of these cages, bones, or any thing
pertaining to them ever having been placed there--which forever
silences all inquiries in that direction. They told us, while in
Washington, that when visitors came to the Institute asking information
about them, the Professors were at a loss to know what they implied by
their interrogations.

It has long been a demonstrated fact that some of the St. Augustine
natives have a way of answering questions asked about them in accordance
with their impressions, regardless of dates or historic records. The
following description of the old fort mysteries is a change from the
iron cages--the writer having visited the dungeon before the cage tale
had been invented: "We were taken into the ancient prisons of the
fort-dungeons, one of which was dimly lighted by a grated window, the
other entirely without light, and by the flame of a torch we were shown
the half-obliterated inscriptions scratched on the walls long ago by
prisoners. But in another corner of the fort we were taken to look at
the secret cells which were discovered a few years since in consequence
of the sinking of the earth over a narrow apartment between them. These
cells are deep under ground, vaulted over head, and without windows. In
one of them a wooden machine was found, which some supposed might have
been a rack, and in the other a quantity of human bones. The doors of
these cells had been walled up, and concealed with stucco, before the
fort passed into the hands of the Americans."

Many things, when related about it far away, sound tame, but have an
awe-inspiring effect if surrounded by its grim walls, listening to the
grating of rusty bolts, or the clanking of iron chains, and looking
through the uncertain glare of the old sergeant's candles as he finishes
his well-learned tale of horrors, in subdued tones, with the final
paragraph, "_It may be so, or it may not; I cannot tell_."

That human bones have been discovered in the ruins of old churches and
structures of various other kinds, placed there for sepulture, is a
well-authenticated fact. While constructing the wall around the
light-house at St. Mark's, Florida, in tearing down the old Spanish
fort, a tomb was found beneath a tablet, containing a single body of
much greater size than any living in the country at the present day. In
the walls of the State-house, at Nashville, Tennessee, a niche was
planned by the architect to contain his body, where his bones are now
sealed in.

The iron cages about which so much has been said and written have come
before the public with the enormous cruelties of the Inquisition and the
mysteries of an almost-forgotten past. Many statements have been made
and published in regard to them, without the shadow of truth for a
basis. There are old citizens now living in St. Augustine, between
eighty and ninety years of age, who saw those cages when discovered, and
heard their parents state where they first saw them.

The following is, no doubt, the true version of the man-cages, direct
from a most authentic source: About sixty years since, while some
workmen were engaged outside the city gates in making post-holes for a
butcher-pen, when in the act of digging, they struck a hard substance
resembling iron, which excited their curiosity. They continued working
until they uncovered two cages, made of wrought iron, welded together in
a manner somewhat resembling the human form, and containing a few
decomposed human bones. None of the New Smyrna refugees were then
living, but there are those alive now who remember having heard their
parents say that "two cages containing the remains of some pirates were
hanging outside the city gates when they came to St. Augustine from
Smyrna, after the English left it, and buried them just in the manner
they were found by the butchers."

Although many inhuman acts have been committed by the Spaniards, they
are not chargeable with all the atrocities perpetrated in the world.
Señor B. Oliveros thus relates what he saw on the day they were dug out:
"One evening, a little before sunset, I noticed a number of persons
collected around the city gates, and proceeded there to ascertain the
cause of so many people, when I spied the two cages standing against the
city gate-posts." He, being a gunsmith, succeeded in obtaining one,
which he said was most excellent wrought iron, of which he made good
use. The other cage was taken in charge by the Spanish officers, and
locked in the fort for safe keeping until it could be sent to Spain as a
relic, where old persons now living here saw it with feelings of
terror--they then being children. Thus, instead of being exhibited as a
relic of the Spanish Inquisition at Washington, as has been represented
so frequently, it is retained in Madrid as a specimen of English
barbarity. The cages were no worse punishment than that of the old
English law for aggravated offenses: "That the perpetrator be drawn and
quartered alive." And who can number those that have perished in the
English pillories?

No nation of people in the world can wash their hands entirely from
cruel conduct, or show a clear record for the humane deportment of all
its ancestry, remembering infallibility has left its impress nowhere
except on the works and ways of God.

Some of those people usually designated as Indians, whose isolated
existence is concealed in mystery, are here in Fort Marion, fettered
with the forms of civilization, to which their adaptability of character
conforms them with as good a grace as the circumstances will permit.
That these tawny-skinned creatures have constitutions of iron there is
no doubt, as their general appearance indicates a life of fatigue to
which ease is a stranger. They are subjected to much exposure in
pursuing the wild herds that rush with the precipitancy and speed of the
mountain torrent, together with the days and weeks they spend with only
the canopy of heaven for a covering, which increases their powers of
endurance. Many times they retire supperless, and, when game is
abundant, gorge themselves to gluttony, after which, like the stupid
anaconda, they roll up for digestion, to supplant the place of more
moderation. It is the testimony of all those who have lived among the
Indians, that there exists a natural feeling of opposition to
civilization, when not weakened by wars, or overpowered with superior
numbers.

Did it ever occur to us highly enlightened people, while looking at the
native dress of these savages, wrapped in their blankets, that clothing
for the lower limbs was of but recent origin? Trousers were never worn
by the Hebrews, Greeks, or Romans. The idea is said to have originated
with the Gauls, the source from which our fashions are now received. The
garment worn by the ancients was woven in one piece, about twelve feet
in length and half the width, fastened on the right shoulder. It was
secured with a girdle in folds at the waist when they started on long
journeys, which was termed "girding the loins." This seamless coat was
never out of fashion, and worn, if no accident happened to it, for
generations. Think of a young man now wearing his father's coat, to say
nothing of his great-grandfather's! It would be regarded as a synonym of
extreme poverty, however rich the fabric from which it was formed might
be woven.

The locality from which these Indians were brought was formerly
designated The American Desert, located beyond the Arkansas River; but,
as no remarkable barren country has been found there, the name was
changed to Plains. The aborigines first found on the discovery of
America, and those roaming through the Western wilds, are of quite
different material. Those on the Atlantic coast were planters--cultivators
of the soil. The Western Indians range through an area of two thousand
miles in extent, with no abiding-place but the camp-fires, around which
they gather at night to rest, after shooting during the day the buffalo
that supplies all their necessities--clothing, tent-covers, shoes, and
strings for their bows; also an article of commerce for trafficking with
the whites. An attempt at a treaty with these children of nature would
have never been productive of any good. The most feasible plan for the
present has been adopted--to capture a portion of them, which will have
a tendency to awe the remainder. Force is the only weapon to be used.
They are the Ishmaelites of the West. The names of the tribes
represented here are the Cheyennes, Comanches, Kiowas, and Arapahoes.
The Comanches are the most numerous of any tribe now existing, and have
for many years been a terror to Texas and frontier settlers. Entire
districts have been depopulated by them. While they exert a sleepless
vigilance over their own possessions, they are constantly making
predatory incursions upon their neighbors. The Texas Rangers acquired
the great skill, of which we saw such frequent exhibits during the war,
in spending a portion of each day skirmishing with these Indians. They
are bold and warlike, with a home on the grassy plains, whose kingdom is
conquest, their throne a horse, upon which, when once seated, with their
arrows and lasso, they acknowledge no umpire but death. More than three
hundred years since, when first discovered, they had dogs for beasts of
burden--horses never having been used among them. Plunder is what they
live for, and trophies what they fight for--it is considered
disgraceful for them to return to camps empty-handed: no glory then
awaits them, or words of kindness.

The Cheyennes have a rude system of representing their ideas by
picture-writing, which may be traced up to the highest type of
communicating thought by letter-writing. In this manner they have
preserved legends, written history, and recorded songs.

The pantomimic movements of these Indians are all the language of signs.
Each yelp has its import, by which means they can converse with one
another, although their dialect may differ. Riding with the tails of
their ponies braided is a key-note to hostilities. It is a remarkable
peculiarity, in regard to their language, that they have retained it,
however much associated with other tribes, which is illustrated by the
Arapahoes and Cheyennes living in close proximity, indulging in freaks
of fighting and friendship, as their inclination dictates, communicating
with each other only by gestures or interpreters. They inhabit the
valley of the Platte River, always ready to receive presents, talk in
good faith of peace, but hardly have the words ceased to echo from their
lips before they are holding a council of war, and making preparations
for a descent upon any thing of value they may have discovered during
their parley. They eat the flesh of canines with a relish that places
all Government rations at a discount. Their visitors are expected to
partake with them as a mark of friendship.

The Kiowa and Arapahoe tribes appear to have oratorical powers not
possessed by the others, and their native eloquence has never been
improved by education. Sa-tan-ta, a former chief of the Kiowas, when
taken by the Government for numberless depredations, pleaded his own
cause with such powerful effect he was dubbed "The Orator of the
Plains." There is no doubt that the patriarchs among them prefer peace,
but the young warriors are fond of fighting. With them it is an inborn
instinct, like a bird for the air.

No life can be imagined fraught with greater dangers and privations than
that of soldiers in search of Indians, to be found lurking with their
missiles of destruction behind trees, grass-blades, or in any covert
from which they can discharge these death-dealing weapons, in real or
fancied security. The wild animals, driven by necessity, are always in
readiness to pluck the bones of the first object they see, whether man
or beast. Then the terrible thirst the poor soldiers endure, to be
slaked with bitter waters, which destroy instead of refreshing them; the
starving mules and horses of uncertain ages, whose flesh they have
devoured like hungry dogs; the frosted limbs upon which they have limped
until life seemed a burden. The fate of those who have preceded them is
constantly in view; their companions are found lying near the last
Indian trail with their bones bleaching, or their bodies filled with
arrows, according to the number present when they were killed--no
warrior is satisfied until he has pierced his bleeding, quivering flesh
with a barbed point. Many of the arrows used have been poisoned by
dipping them in the decayed hearts and livers of the buffaloes they have
killed and then dried--a wound from one of them being equally as fatal
in its effects as the virus from a dissecting knife.

During the stay of these red men efforts have been made to teach them
the use of boots and breeches, but the practical utility of either is of
little import to them. Their first movement on returning West will no
doubt be to drop their Government clothes, and resume the blanket and
leggins.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XIII.


During the year 1690, after the appointment of Don Quiroga Loada as
Governor of Florida, the water was discovered to be making encroachments
from the bay into the town. A proposition was then made to the residents
that a wall should be constructed from the castle to the plaza. At this
time the sum of eight thousand dollars was raised, and a wall of coquina
built, a portion of which can yet be seen. The present sea-wall, which
is nearly a mile in length, extending below the barracks, was commenced
in 1837, completed in 1843, at an expense of one hundred thousand
dollars, the entire foundation being of coquina, mounted with a coping
of granite, four feet wide. It is here young lovers delight to promenade
in mid-winter, breathing words of tenderness and love, while the bright
moonbeams silver the waves beneath their feet.

On the north side of the town, near the fort, stands what is left of the
city gates, the most interesting relic that remains from a walled city.
The gates are gone, the architecture of the two towers, or pillars,
remaining being purely arabesque, surmounted by a carved pomegranate.
Like the relics at Mount Vernon, if a protection is not built around
these pillars, the hand of vandalism will soon have

[Illustration: REMAINS OF THE ST. AUGUSTINE CITY GATEWAY.]

them destroyed, as so many careless visitors are constantly chipping off
fragments. The sentry-boxes are much defaced, their foundation being a
cement, the art of making it now being lost.

North of the fort, about one-quarter of a mile, on a slightly elevated
plat of ground, there stood over three hundred years ago an Indian
village, called Tapoquoi. Upon this spot now remains the foundation of a
church, known as "_Nuestra Señora de la Leche_." Two hundred and
seventy-five years since a most inhuman act was committed here by the
Indians. Father Blas de Rodriguez, a Franciscan friar, having
administered reproof to a young chieftain for indulging in practices
which did not belong to his profession, was warned in a menacing manner
to prepare for death. He remonstrated with the Indians, trying to
dissuade them from their wicked designs. However, all his tears and
entreaties were unavailing. Finally, as a last request, he asked the
privilege of celebrating mass before being forced to try the realities
of another world. His fiendish, blood-thirsty persecutors crouched
during the service like beasts of prey, waiting for an opportune moment
to seize their innocent victim. Hardly had the words of supplication
ceased for his enemies, before his murderers, as if impatient for the
sacrifice, rushed upon him with their war-clubs, crashing him in a most
shocking manner, bespattering the altar with his blood, while streams of
his life's-gore covered his snowy vestments. They threw his mutilated
remains into the field, but nothing disturbed them until a Christian
Indian gave them sepulture. An emotion of sadness is produced in the
mind of the sensitive visitor while surveying the ruins of this
chapel--"fragments of stone, reared by hands of clay"--isolated from
human habitation, where no sounds now break the silence but sighing
winds and surging waves from a restless sea.

The fact has long since been demonstrated beyond a doubt that St.
Augustine is the home of the rose as well as the orange, which can be
seen from the following description of one called "La Sylphide," which
grew in the yard of Señor Oliveros, on St. George's Street: "This
remarkable rose-tree before its death attained to the height of about
twenty feet, the main stalk being fifteen inches in circumference and
five inches in diameter, the whole covering an area of seventeen feet,
yielding annually between four and five thousand beautiful buds. But its
glory has now departed. While crowds gathered to admire it, a worm was
eating at the heart, thus withering its creamy petals, blighting the
tender buds, which never opened their velvet coverings to greet the
sunlight, or kiss the morning breeze, as it came from its home in the
sea."

Many who have never spent a winter in Florida think there is no
religion, or churches either, which is quite the reverse, as the finest
pulpit-talent in the North visit St. Augustine during the winter to rest
and prepare for the arduous and responsible duties which await them on
their return. The change of scenery and surroundings give these
clergymen inspiration, when visitors often listen to some heavenly
sermons. Imagine a Sabbath here in January, pleasant as a June holiday,
North, among the roses, with a soft air floating through the house,
which much resembles a new-born spring.

The Presbyterian church is a good, old-fashioned, well-preserved
specimen of coquina walls. Many pleasant faces, whose homes are far away
in icy regions, worship here every Sabbath. The table in front of the
pulpit has a tall vase filled with the most beautiful flowers that ever
bloomed in any clime--rose-buds, tinted like the sunset sky,
orange-blooms, pomegranates, and snowy jasmines, all fresh from their
bath in the morning dew, exhaling their sweet odors, mingled with the
pæans of God's people--thus giving a holy peace to this blessed hour.
The flowers are from the gardens of Messrs. Atwood and Alexander, who
both have a cultivated taste for the beautiful. Two young men have just
walked in, who are obliged to talk, whether they say any thing of
importance or not. One of them remarked, "I think flowers in a church
look too gushing!" This house, which is capable of containing over four
hundred people, is filled nearly every Sabbath.

Dr. Daniel F. March, the author of "Night Scenes in the Bible," preached
to-day. He always tells us something sweet to think of during the week,
to lighten life of half its burden, that we can take along and travel
its rough, rugged paths, singing instead of sighing. While associated
with so much that is pleasant, the earth appears like a purified
pedestal to a higher life, rather than a vale of wickedness. Dr. March
has given a dissertation to-day upon small matters, which make up the
great sum of life. He says: "Thousands of homes in our land might be
made heaven by kind words. One little pleasant sentence spoken in the
morning will ring all day in a sensitive heart like the song of a
seraphim."

The Episcopal church, situated on the plaza, is a neat Gothic structure,
with stained glass windows of exquisite design, which resemble the inner
furnishing of an elegant city church more than a little chapel down by
the sea. It was commenced in 1827, and consecrated in 1833, by Bishop
Bowen, of South Carolina. This church owns beautiful grounds, filled
with a tropical growth, adjoining it, on the south-west side of the
plaza. The land formerly belonged to the Spanish Government, whose claim
ceased when the province was ceded to the United States. This property,
then, by a special act of Congress, was given to the Church, to be under
the control and management of the wardens and vestry, the act being
confirmed February 8, 1827, when, in 1857, it was leased to a private
party for the term of twenty-five years. It is a piece of property that
involves a curious question--the Spanish or English measurement of a few
feet of ground, which takes in or leaves out the veranda from the front
of the most desirable residence in the city, formerly owned by Dr.
Bronson. The question has never been decided who owns the veranda, but
the Church, having no use for it, has never issued a possessory warrant.
Dr. Root, a venerable and most exemplary clergyman, is their pastor
now, who ministers to them in holy things.

At no place in the world can a greater variety of peculiar people be
seen during the winter, with their idiosyncrasies and eccentricities
cropping out, for the amusement of some, and the annoyance of others,
than at St. Augustine. One of these peculiar folks, of the masculine
gender, can be seen every Sabbath morning in one of the churches. His
devotions during the service are profound--his spiritual nature appears
absorbed in humble confessions. At his side, on the cushion, reclines
his constant companion--a little, black, shaggy dog, fastened to the
seat. His master, having an aversion to strangers sitting by him, places
his dog there as a protection against intruders. At the close of the
service, the dog and master both leave the church with a regularity that
has been remarked by all those who attend this place of worship. It was
one Sabbath morning in March of 1878, while the orange-blossoms were
exhaling their fragrance, the birds singing their songs of joy, combined
with the perfection of a day which increased the desire for a stroll to
the woods, and far away, that this dog and his master were seen
approaching. The dog turned into the church, when the master stopped,
beckoned, and tried to call him out, but all in vain--no effort could
dissuade the dog from his regular custom of church-going, and the master
had to attend church also, but against his own inclination on this
occasion. This man is one of those harmless eccentrics whose freaks no
one would think of interfering with, or trying to deprive him of, more
than the crutch of the aged, or the spar from a drowning man. The most
remarkable part of this story is yet to be told. His acquaintances in
the North, who, seven years since, knew that he was an inmate of a
lunatic asylum in New York, and supposing him there now, could scarcely
credit the statement that he had been spending seven delightful winters
in St. Augustine, chaperoning the ladies, with whom he is a great
favorite, although the current of his matrimonial felicity has been
stirred to the foundation, and never yet settled.

From the above facts, it can be seen that St. Augustine was not only
supposed to contain the fountain of youth, but has, in reality, by its
equable atmospheric influences, deprived the lunatic of his madness.

Among other attractions, St. Augustine contains a Public Reading-room
and Circulating Library, both being the enterprise of kind-hearted,
benevolent citizens and visitors, among the most prominent of whom we
find the name of J. L. Wilson, Esq. The Reading-room is furnished with
daily and weekly papers, together with periodicals from all parts of the
United States, where time can be passed very pleasantly in obtaining a
knowledge of the events taking place in the outside world. The Library
contains about two thousand judiciously-selected volumes--most of them
being late and standard works, from the best authors, in both Europe and
America. Library-books are lent to responsible persons, who will return
them within a prescribed time without injury. All contributions, either
in books or money, will be thankfully received and properly used.

[Illustration: A SEA-CRAB.]

The important question with most visitors wherever they go is, What do
we have to eat? as though the sole object of their lives was
gormandizing. The market in St. Augustine is well supplied with
eatables. Vessels from New York arrive weekly with groceries consigned
to one or more of the various firms of Messrs. Hamlin & Co., Genovar &
Brother, Lyon & Co., large wholesale and retail dealers, which are
furnished to their customers on more reasonable terms than purchasers
would think possible. During most of the winter months fresh
strawberries, cabbage, and lettuce, sparkling with the morning dew, are
sold on the streets, besides celery, turnips, sweet and Irish potatoes,
wild turkeys and ducks, together with plenty of venison and beef. It is
a treat to visit the fish-market at early dawn, and see the boats come
in with their live fish of various kinds--drum, mullet, flounder,
sheep-head, red bass, crabs, etc.

Fine Matanzar oysters are kept for sale in or out of the shell, as the
purchaser may choose. If any appearance of starvation has ever faced
visitors here, no one has perished here from hunger. It is true, there
have been times when the demand for certain articles has exceeded the
supply a day or two only, but now good, palatable, life-sustaining food
can be obtained; also fresh milk, as some of the citizens are making
dairies a specialty. Very sweet oranges are sold from Dr. Anderson's
grove by the cart-load, while some others have almost every variety
produced, including the Lisbon, Chinese, Maltese, Tangerine, Seville,
and Mandarin, or Clove orange.

Hotels here, with high-sounding names and inviting appearance, are well
kept. The St. Augustine, Magnolia, and Florida Houses, have the most
rooms, while the Sunnyside has taken a front seat for first-class
accommodations with all its patrons. Nearly every house rents rooms or
takes boarders, and many of them feed well--among whom we find the names
of Mr. George Greeno, Mr. Medicis, and Miss Lucy Abbott, as extremely
popular.

Some who visit Florida expect gratuitous offerings from the residents
for the great favor shown them in coming, and when they find every thing
is cash on delivery, a general fault-finding is commenced on
extortion--this exercise being the only escape-valve for their bottled
wrath. The far-famed hospitality of the Southern people is a record of
the past, from the force of surrounding circumstances, now obsolete, as
Webster says with regard to some of his Dictionary words: with most of
them it is a question of bread, and whatever produce or fruit of any
kind is raised--from a ground-pea to a ripe sweet orange--the question
is asked, How can I turn it into something by which my family may be
supported? The South has now neither wealth nor much leisure to spend
without value received. The inhospitality in not giving fruits is only
one of the many sources of complaint--the boarding-houses and hotels
being the most prolific cause for disagreeable remarks. The most
eligible houses of entertainment, with scarcely an exception, are kept
by Northern people, who have charged two dollars for a dinner with the
most unblushing effrontery, while the Floridian is satisfied with fifty
cents for a square meal. There are also those reared here who ask
whatever they think visitors will stand, regardless of principle, but
they always bear brow-beating, when they come down to prices within
range of any ordinary purse.

Many speak of this favorably as a summer-resort, but when the season
advances into May, the winter-visitors all leave. Then a painful silence
pervades every thing, unbroken only by an occasional yawn from the
residents, who are tired doing nothing. These demonstrations sound sad,
as if from the tomb, and where the echoes cease to reverberate we have
never been able to determine. The climate, from its insular exposure, is
said to be lovely even in August.

We are now enjoying moonlight nights, about which so many have so much
rhapsodized. There is no doubt that the nocturnal appearance of the
heavens in this latitude contrasts with a Northern one in the same
manner that two paintings differ--the warmth, richness, and brilliancy
of the one being in opposition to the poverty and indistinctness of the
other. On account of the latitude, there is no twilight--the "fairy web
of day is never hung out"--but from blazing sunshine into darkness we
are at once precipitated--no witchery or poetry to be found between the
magic hours intervening.

Every season finds a large number of nice people at this place, who
require a change of climate, from the severity of cold, piercing winds,
to the blandness of an Indian summer. The care-worn come to rest,
writers to find inspiration; for here, fanned by the sea-breeze, does
not "light-winged fancy" travel at a swifter pace in the daylight? and
when night comes, lulled by the surf, we can listen to the "great sea
calling from its secret depths."

The inquiry is often made by those who have never visited here, How do
you kill time in that ancient city? To the historian, there is no spot
so well adapted to meditation on the past, where associations are
awakened with greater rapidity, when the Indians held undisputed sway,
only dreaming of plenty and the happy hunting-grounds beyond; but,
suddenly as the Montezuma monarch, their territory was wrested from them
by the Spaniards, whom these unlettered savages at first regarded as
children of the Great Spirit; but when the ensigns of authority were
unfurled, their country overran by myrmidons, and the power of their
cazique sneered at, then the illusion vanished--the truth dawning that
they were only sojourners whose presence did not add to the happiness of
the newly self-constituted sovereigns of their country.

Three distinct classes of visitors come here--the defiant, the
enthusiastic, and the indifferent. The defiant spend their time in
assailing, "with vehement irony," every thing with which they are placed
in contact, ringing changes upon any thing disagreeable to them, until
their companions are wearied beyond measure. The enthusiastic rise more
or less on the wings of their fertile imagination, when exaggerated
accounts, highly colored, are written about Florida as it appeared to
them--the change from the North to a land clothed in the perpetual
verdure of spring-time being so great, they were enraptured in a manner
that others of less delicate susceptibilities have failed to realize.
The indifferent tourist is an anomaly to everybody. Why he ever thought
of leaving home to travel, when with his undemonstrative nature he
appears so oblivious to all scenes and sights around him, is an unsolved
problem. He maintains an unbroken reticence on every occasion, the
mantle of silence being thrown about all his movements, while his
general appearance evinces the same amount of refinement as a polar
bear, his perceptive powers the acuteness of an oyster, his stupidity
greater than Balaam's saddle-animal.

_St. Augustine_, 1876.--The minds of the citizens and visitors in the
city have been on the _qui vive_ for several days, in anticipation of
witnessing the realities, in miniature, connected with a buffalo-chase
on the prairies, in which princes from Europe have participated,
regarding it as the crowning feat of their exploits in the New World.
For days previous ladies were discussing the propriety of their
presence, as the animal might be so unmanageable as to imperil their
safety; very brave lads, who have been sufficiently courageous to fire a
pistol at an alligator while in Florida, thought they might be safe in
the fort if they were to climb upon the walls, and very small boys
concluded their fathers would keep the buffalo from hurting them.

Long before 3 o'clock the fort was enlivened by those bent on
sight-seeing. Here were the richly-dressed ladies and their escorts,
with New-York-style mustaches, where only a restricted smile ever
rested, gazing through their eye-glasses toward every thing that came
near enough for them to take sight at, as though a fixed stare through
optical instruments was more excusable and allowable than with the naked
eye. Children of all sizes and colors came in crowds. There were more
old people present, whose silvery hair looked like a "crown of glory,"
than could be seen in any other town at once in the United States. Like
Ponce de Leon, they visit St. Augustine in search of the famous waters
which would give back their youth, restore and strengthen their feeble
limbs with renewed vigor, that would be perpetual as the verdure and
beauty by which they are surrounded. Nor are they disappointed in all
respects; for if they do not grow younger, they prolong their days to
enjoy more of God's pure air and sunlight, mingled with the perfume of
flowers and singing of sweet birds, than they would in their own homes.

As the time for the chase approached, painted Indians peered from every
part of the fort, most of them dressed in full costume, their heads
trimmed with feathers from birds of varied plumage, the most conspicuous
of which was the American turkey-tail. They were wrapped in
gaily-colored blankets, profusely trimmed with beads, all of which
trailed in a very _negligee_ manner, while they seemed as much excited
with the surroundings as any of the spectators. The Indians regard death
with much less terror than do the whites. They say that if in hunting a
horse falls and kills them, they will go where game is abundant, always
living there--thus, like the Christian, making death the golden gate to
glory.

No bugle echoed through the woodlands wild as a signal for the chase to
commence, nor well-trained dogs, with the lead-hound barking fiercely
from the excitement of a fresh trail which indicated a near approach to
game. Their captain, to whom real buffalo-hunts on the boundless
prairies are no novelty, led the van, followed by four painted,
gaily-dressed, full-rigged Indians. They all rode as though their homes
were in the saddle, and swiftly as if bright visions of fleet-footed
game were feeding in green fields, only waiting to be captured by being
shot at with their well-aimed arrows. They made some fine exhibitions of
horsemanship, peculiar to their methods of warfare and hunting. In
riding, they described circles, as if surrounding a foe in ambush, at
the same time discharging their arrows, at a distance of two hundred
yards, with great accuracy, while their horses were running at full
speed. Their arrows perforated a small building, which they used as a
target, penetrating so far they could not be removed without being
broken. Gathered in groups outside the fort, near the hunting-ground,
were many boys and young men of the more daring class, who displayed
their bravery by a foot-race which put Weston, or any other walker, in
the shade, whenever the buffalo looked toward them. Every thing was a
success, except the buffalo, which was a small steer, that would not
scare on any account. He was entirely too gentle for the fever-heat of
excitement to which the feelings and imagination of the crowd had been
wrought up. He shook his head once or twice, and started as though he
might create a sensation, but would not keep far enough ahead for the
hunters to make any thing like a good charge on him. Finally an arrow,
sped from the bow of White Horse, pierced his vitals to the depth of
four or five inches, killing him instantly. His throat was then cut,
after which he was dressed and hauled into the fort, where ample
preparations were made for his reception, with immense fires and kettles
of hot water. Some of the Indians ate the heart and liver raw, which
process did not look very appetizing to a delicate stomach. They always
cook their food before eating it when in their native wilds, except the
heart and liver, which they sometimes consume as a medicine. At a given
signal among themselves, those not engaged in cooking commenced dancing.
In their movements the poetry of music, or motion, has no votaries; but
a slight approach toward it is made, as they all take the Grecian bend,
and keep it, while going through their gyrations. When weary they group
together around the fires, turning their right foot on the side, and
seating themselves with an ease no studied art could teach them, and
then they rest more free from care than the heart that beats beneath
ermine, or reclines on velvet cushions. When their meat was cooked they
terminated the day's exercise with a feast, which they all seemed to
enjoy very much, each Indian consuming about four pounds of flesh, with
a greedy gusto before which an epicure would retire in disgust. The
grand war-dance of the season came off after dark, when prisoners were
captured and treated with sham hostilities. The mind of the imaginative
could portray what would be done in reality to a helpless captive in
their power.

We regard these poor savages as only a connecting link between the herd
that roams the "verdant waste"--who see the Great Spirit in clouds, and
hear him in the crashing storms--and ourselves. May we not inquire if
their condition cannot be improved, and their voices, which only shout
for conquest over a vanquished enemy, or in the chase while victimizing
the huge buffalo with bleeding, gaping wounds, be taught to sing the
songs of redeeming grace for a ransomed world?



CHAPTER XIV.


At no other town in the State is the entertainment for visitors more of
a success than here, and one of those pleasant occasions brought a large
number of happy hearts together, to witness a grand opening of the
Lunch-basket on the North Beach.

Many have been the devices, in all ages of the world, by every nation
peopling the habitable globe, for a relaxation from the sterner duties
of life. Among the first to which persons of various tastes have
resorted is archery, which was practiced by that wild outcast, Ishmael,
"whose hand was against every man, and every man's hand against him." We
also read in the Pentateuch of a great and mighty hunter named Nimrod;
while conspicuously prominent among the biblical characters Job poetizes
upon drawing large finny monsters from the deep waters, and at a later
date in the same profession of the apostles.

Many monks of the Middle Ages in France are said to have delighted more
in the chase at times than the "trumpet of the gospel." Bull-fights, as
an amusement, are supposed to have originated with the Moors, and are
still practiced by the Spaniards, many of them being of Moorish origin.
Grounds in the vicinity of St. Augustine have been located, beyond a
doubt, where this cruel and barbarous custom was indulged in by early
Spanish settlers. Archery has been the most popular pastime here this
season. The Indians have made the bows and arrows for compensation and
employment--more arrows having been thrown by the "sons of the forest"
than hurled from the shafts of Cupid.

We can produce, as patrons of the hook-and-line art, prophets and
apostles in ancient times, kings of more recent date, and Izaak Walton,
who lived nearly two hundred years ago, down to the truant boy that
throws his bent pin, baited with an innocent worm, or fly, into the
clear running brook, at which an old fish looks, as if about to nibble,
then wags his tail and sails away in search of something that he can
take in without being taken himself.

A very worthy divine, Bishop Hall, has wisely remarked: "Recreation to
the mind is like whetting to the scythe. The mind that is always mowing
becomes dull for the sharpening which relaxation affords it; so the
blade that is always cutting is blunted for the want of an edge that
grinding can give."

The above remarks on recreation were suggested by an attendance upon the
opening of the Lunch-basket on the North Beach, opposite Anastasia
Island, at a place called by the classic name of Parathina, from Homer's
"Iliad": _Eban kerukes para thina tou poluphloisboio thalassees_--"The
heralds went to the beach of the high-sounding sea." A long-looked-for
and much-needed means of conveyance--a nice little steamer, called the
Mayflower--has made us happy already by its presence and
business-dispatching movements. She is a light-running little craft,
that glides gracefully as a swan. Sailing and rowing are now lost sight
of by visitors wishing to take a little ride on the water, as the wind
never dies out and leaves them, or the oar-hands grow weary, on a
steamer. The two first trips she carried over seventy passengers, which
made the day pay very well.

Mr. J. F. Whitney, who, like all the editorial fraternity, is ever busy
in trying to suggest something for either mind or body, being the prime
mover in this undertaking, has erected four pavilions, and a cook-room,
with a range. One of the smaller pavilions is carpeted, supplied with
periodicals, rocking-chairs, and a bed for the sick to rest. The largest
pavilion is nearly two hundred feet in length, and over twenty feet
wide; in front is an extended view of the beach, beyond which the
restless sea is rolling up new-born waves at every influx of its waters.
Here are also detached dining-tables for the accommodation of parties
coming together. The floor is level and smooth as it can be made, where,
it has already been whispered,

           ---- youth and pleasure meet,
    To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.

The bill of fare for the occasion was equal to any New York restaurant.
Broiled oysters vanished with the ejaculation, "Splendid!" All eatables
shared a similar fate, with a superlative adjective attached, as the
only one which could express the gratification of the guests.
Champagne-bottles were relieved of their sparkling contents in a brief
period of time. Ice-cream and pound-cake were soon reckoned among past
pleasures, while everybody was eloquent on the subject of the
surroundings.

The North Beach has now more attractions and amusements than any other
point in the State, and when the arrangements are completed with a stud
of riding and driving horses, it may well be styled the Newport of the
South. Like Scipio the Great, after the repast many wandered by the
"murmuring sea," and gathered shells to take home with them as mementoes
of pleasant memories in a sunny clime.

When refined hearts and well-cultivated minds meet in a spot made grand
by the great Maker of all things, and rendered comfortable to our wants
by the hand of Art, where only God and his heavenly wonders have dwelt
in solitude for so many years, may we not say Scripture is being
fulfilled--that "the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad?"
Yes, glad with happy voices in congenial companionship, and joyous with
the sweets of social intercourse. It is, indeed, "a well in the
desert"--a place provided, where persons in the pursuit of pleasure can
assemble and forget all adverse religious tenets, political differences,
or personal animosities--where secret and selfish purposes in life are
lost sight of--whether gold is up or down, what are the last figures on
the bulletin-boards of the "bulls and bears," the fractional variations
of upland or sea-island cotton, being among the subjects absorbed in the
enjoyment of the hour.

[Illustration: FLORIDA RAY-FISH, OR SKATE.]

Among others came the never-tiring fisherman, with reel and fancy bait,
who appeared much delighted with an opportunity of having sea-room for
the exhibition of his skill. He did not have to follow the old rule of
"fishing inch by inch," with an indefinite idea of when he would have a
nibble. Here is an illustration of his first bite, which caused him to
retire, dragging his prize to shore, thinking, perhaps, he might have
captured some Pythagorean metamorphosis, as it resembled neither fish
nor flesh. Upon summoning those present to his relief, the following
decision was rendered: A ray-fish, or skate, having a cartilaginous
body, of nearly a white color, with pectoral fins largely developed, the
caudal extremity being elongated into a whip-like form, armed with
spine, which makes it an ugly customer for collision. The female, being
oviparous, is provided with parchment-like cases, forming an extension,
called by seamen "sailor's purses."

The moon rose that night and looked down upon a joyous crowd seated on
the Mayflower, with a fine band from the St. Augustine Hotel. Music on
the water--who can describe its enchanting influences! It was high tide
when we arrived on the North Beach, when planks were put out for the
party to walk on, while the gentlemen and steamer-crew assisted them to
the shore. One lady remarked, in crossing, "Sometimes I take a black
hand, and then a white one." We were not particular about color then; it
was strong hands we wanted to keep us from falling in the water, as the
waves were washing over our feet. The band played sweetly, the dancing
was graceful, the refreshments abundant. When returning, the last trip,
the steamer grounded on a sand-bar, as it was ebb-tide, when the Captain
of the Bache Survey steamer kindly sent his long-boat and brought us all
to the wharf.

_St. Augustine_, March, 1877.--The work of enlivening the old town, for
the delectation of visitors and excursionists from other points, was
undertaken here to-day. Everybody was merry, and it was almost
incredible to see the number of dignified persons, on other occasions,
so completely carried along with the tide of simple sight. All,
apparently, had their laugh set on trigger, ready to go off with the
slightest vibration in the air. The streets and sea-wall of St.
Augustine, together with the balconies, windows, and doors, in the
vicinity, were the scene of preparation for a grand gala-day of
sight-seeing. The vessels in the harbor were dressed in flags of every
nationality, and waved free as the winds that tossed them to and fro.
The post-band played stirring strains, containing more sound than
sweetness, to quicken the impulses of the occasion. At a given signal,
cannons were fired, when a fleet of snowy sails shot out from the wharf,
resembling a flock of sea-gulls. The yacht-racing opened the day's
sport. They all sailed swiftly when first under way, but one after
another kept falling off and dropping behind, until the Wanderer and
Seminole were left alone to decide the contest. They moved like
something possessed with life, more than canvas spread to the breeze for
power to propel them. Finally the Wanderer won, amid the wildest shouts
of joy from every side, and many congratulations for the owner. The
cannons fired with as much demonstration as though a great battle had
just been decided. A horse-race was announced as the next excitement.
Eight jockey-dressed men and boys of different hues, mounted on
bare-backed horses of undistinguishable pedigree, but marsh tackey
predominant, were ready for the curriculum. They darted off with the
speed of a Grecian hippodrome, when they imitated the gait of almost
every untrained quadruped. On the home-stretch two of the riders rolled
off easily, as though it was a portion of the programme for which they
were prepared. Then came the hurdle-race, with the hurdles woven from
cedar and scantling. The running was sport, but the jumping was without
comparison. One of the horses caught his feet and plunged over, rider
and horse together, but, neither being hurt, everybody shouted with
glee. Another of the Arabian steeds carried the hurdles off victorious
with his hind feet, but did not fall. A foot-race by the Indians was
then declared with as much gravity as though a Grecian contestant, after
all the abstinence and training of an ancient athlete, proposed to try
his strength and speed for a victor's crown. Three or four big Indians,
dressed with fancy caps and moccasins, walked to the pedestrian
race-grounds, after which one started to run, but fell. The crowd was
too big for them, and the reward too small. Two of the natives took
their places, and made very good time, but not quite equal to a
professional walker. Then came the hand-barrow race, with that
unhistoric vehicle about which poets never sing. Ten black boys, with
ten bright bandages over their eyes, started to run a race across the
east side of the plaza. They all commenced at the word three, the band
played, the people shouted, while the boys ran; the wheel-barrows were
running a race, and so was everybody else. One boy went into the
river-basin before he could be stopped; another rushed against a
carriage, and set the horses to kicking and the ladies to screaming; a
man was knocked down and run over--he was a prim, particular bachelor,
with fine estates, whose birthday is best known to himself--it required
the combined efforts of two servants to brush the sand from his clothes
and place him in presentable trim again. Everybody in the vicinity was
liable to be under moving orders without a moment's warning. Finally the
race ended, and the victor crowned with greenbacks, which he could
appreciate more highly than the laureate wreath of a conqueror, fresh
from the goal with his coronet of fading glories.

The last performance was the greasy pole, with a fat ham on the top of
it, placed in the center of the plaza. What a climbing, scrambling, and
tumbling down, amid exclamations from the boys: "Bob, what made you let
go?" "Tom, go up, and I will hold you!" "Put on more sand, and then we
can climb!" The plaza was crowded with spectators--scores of
grandparents, all clapping their hands and laughing--large families,
with all their children, were there. The scene before them required no
explanation. Finally, after a struggle of two hours, the ham and money
were won, when all retired from the varied and innocent sports of the
day.

St. Augustine demonstrates the fact, beyond a doubt, that the cat is a
musical animal. They sit under your windows, climb on the neighboring
roofs, scream in any strain, from the lowest bass to the loudest
soprano, and never tire until the stars pale in the sky; do not become
dismayed because a few pieces of coquina are thrown at them, glass
bottles, or old boots--that only causes a change of position, when the
voice rises an octave higher, on account of the escape from a little
adventure. Here they congregate in crowds; they rehearse their exploits
in excited strains, with untiring assiduity, for the entertainment of
visitors, to prevent their receiving the impression that _St. Augustine
is a dull old place_. Then the digestive organs of the departed are
manufactured, and made to imitate the same dulcet tones in the halls of
mirth, where so many derive pleasure, by turning themselves into more
shapes than a captured sea-eel. At the St. Augustine Hotel they swallow
all kinds of condiments to the sounds coming from these membranous
strings, stretched beyond all marks of their former identity. With a
satisfied smile, and no fears from indigestion, the invalid or
consumptive consumes every variety of food, whether from land or sea,
compounded into the latest styles of the _cuisine_, to the music of "_Il
Bachio_," or "A place in thy memory, dearest!" while ice-cream vanishes
like dew to the melody, "Thou art so near, and yet so far!" or "Some one
to love me!"



CHAPTER XV.


The longevity for which the inhabitants of St. Augustine have been
remarkable is a proof of its healthfulness; indeed, the tenacity with
which they cling to life, as well as the uncomplaining manner in which
they endure every thing, is really wonderful. Several years since, an
aged lady, who had been helpless for years before her death, remarked
that Death seemed to have forgotten her--she remained here so long.

Some who have heretofore imagined that St. Augustine had no attractions
but its antiquity must remember that new industries are constantly being
developed, among the most recent of which is the manufacture of
marmalade and wine from the native wild orange fruit. We had the
pleasure of visiting both these enterprising establishments--first the
marmalade factory, in charge of Señor S. B. Valls, a Cuban exile. His
father, Señor Jose Valls, under the well-known brand of "El Pavo Real,
Fabricada de Dulces," or Sweetmeat and Guava Jelly-maker, in Havana, has
won a world-wide reputation, having received the Paris Exposition medal,
1867. His method is original, and his sweetmeats better adapted to the
American taste than those of Scotch make. The enterprise has met with
great success, the demand always exceeding the supply, and the moderate
charges being also an attractive feature. He preserves lemons, limes,
and figs in such a manner that they will keep for years. He makes an
orange-bloom cordial, which must be, without doubt, the original nectar
of the gods; for certainly there is nothing like it, the flavor
perfectly resembling the odor of the orange-blossom; the sensation
produced in swallowing it is like sailing on a summer sea.

The orange-wine manufactured by Genovar & Brother well deserves to
supplant the miserable, adulterated, yeasty preparations which are sold
and drunk daily by those whose minds are afterward in a constant state
of doubt as to the amount of harm incurred by the potion imbibed.

It is April, and the season has arrived when visitors commence leaving;
all amusements in which they delighted have become stale--even the
yacht-races, which contributed so largely to the entertainment of those
fond of boating; while outsiders are constantly under the impression
that the boats are trying to tack for another course, making an effort
to anchor, or turning in for a nap.

The Southern Indians imprisoned here for the past three years have been
a subject of comment and amusement for most of the visitors, while their
presence in the city was any thing but desirable to certain aggrieved
persons, who succeeded in obtaining an escape-valve for their feelings
by the following expressions, printed in the _Savannah Morning News_,
entitled, "A Page from the Unwritten History of the Ancient City":

"_St. Augustine, Fla._, March 4, 1878.--While the prominent points in
St. Augustine, which present themselves to visitors, are written
threadbare, there is an undercurrent, although felt by the suffering,
that has never been stirred by the anxious inquirers after information.
It is God's poor--those reduced by circumstances over which they have no
control. Many exclaim, Lo! the poor Indian; but none consider the
avenues to employment which the presence of these scalping, murdering,
human heart-eaters, are causing in this water-locked city by the sea.
When teaching the Indian to appreciate the value of a Government which
proposes to protect them, at the same time enabling them to participate
in all the privileges of an enlightened organization, why cannot they be
made self-sustaining, and hired out, as other convicts? What heroic
deeds of greatness have they ever achieved, that they should be treated
like prisoners of State, instead of inhuman fiends, at whose record of
crime Satan would grin with delight? Many of them are permitted to roam
with freedom, not only in every portion of the city, but in the country
around, thus terrifying timid citizens with their presence, causing them
to change their habitations to the town for protection. While they are
fed and clothed by the Government, free, they hire themselves out at
lower wages than poor laborers can work for, and be sustained. This has
become a great source of grievance to the community, which they desire
to have redressed by their removal. Much of the money they make is only
to buy food for a pampered taste, which has been acquired since they
came here, and not to sustain their existence. If labor has to compete
with crime, the hand of industry with the bloody hand, where is the hope
on which honesty is to hinge and work its way through the world? The
whole can be told in a few words: While these sixty savages are here
being employed in every department of manual labor, thus taking the
bread from the mouths of dependent women and children, it is productive
of suffering in our midst, whilst those advanced in life look in vain
for a support to their sons, whose hands are tied by these savage
oppressors."

Two weeks after the news of the pope's death had been received in other
cities, and the drapery of mourning become dusty, the cathedral bells
here commenced tolling at sunrise, and continued the entire day until
dusk. The chimes in Rome were never struck with more regularity, and
when the sun sank to his home in the west a sigh of relief was felt,
that every thing has an end. If the day was spent by the Catholics in
mourning for the pope, the night was spent by the visitors in giving
expression to the most jubilant demonstrations of joy--the festivities
being gotten up by the Yacht Club, which appears to be the only central
live-figure head-light in the city now. On this occasion the Yacht House
was illuminated with Chinese lanterns, which encircled it over the
water's edge; calcium lights blazed with overpowering brilliancy, and
the most dazzling rockets shot through the air like meteors, while the
brass band discoursed very loud, stirring strains, and the little boats
glided about on the bay, like _ignes-fatui_, with lights suspended on
their masts or on their bows, glittering through the darkness,
resembling a distant constellation. With the freedom of uncaged birds,
fresh from bondage, every one appeared buoyant, giving themselves up to
the pleasure of the hour with a kind of _abandon_ as if, after all, it
might be a panoramic view produced by some Eastern Magi. After the
illumination on the water was ended, the string-band commenced playing,
when busy feet kept time to the harp and viol, without a thought of the
confessional which would have to be met before the next sacrament.

For a few days past the weather has been rather capricious, the sunshine
hidden behind damp clouds, and the wind more boisterous than
sight-seekers enjoy. We imagine some of the tourists' note-books are
full enough of complaints. The weather is delicious now, the air all
balm, the sky all blue, the bananas waving in the gentlest of breezes,
the sea heaving softly under the sunlight. We shall miss this changeful
sea at St. Augustine, the reviving air, the lovely palms, the
mocking-bird upon whose happiness the day closed too soon, as from his
perch in a neighboring orange-tree he trills his song of joy until the
night is far spent.

_St. Augustine_, April, 1878.--The Indians have gone! Yes, the pets of
some and the pests of others have left St. Augustine amidst the
sympathetic demonstrations of a crowd, followed by the best wishes of
all, that they may arrive safely at their points of destination. The
marks of improvement are evident on the outside of them; but none need
nurse the delusion that it has struck in. On being asked what they were
going to do with their clothes when they went West, they replied, with a
symbolic jerk, "Tear them off, and throw them away!" Think of Mrs. Black
Horse and Mochi, with their heads dressed in fashionable Mother Goose
hats, with plumes and white tissue veils, that had been given them by
lady-visitors, their bodies rolled up in a buffalo-skin, before a
campfire, after a long march in the rain, or fresh from a war-dance,
with the dripping scalps of white men hung from their waists as trophies
of bloody triumphs! They were delighted at the prospect of freedom;
beating against rock walls and prison-bars was too much pressure for
them--to which they yielded in sullen despair. They left their
literature--religious picture-books and buffalo-hunts not being in
harmony--"Moody and Sankey" song-books suddenly losing all charm for
them, "Hold the Fort" being changed to "Leave the Fort." They said, "Me
man, no school." Some of them could speak Spanish, and while here
learned a little English. They corresponded with their kindred on the
plains by picture-writing. A lady-visitor wished Minimic, or Eagle's
Head, to give her a letter written him by his wife, when he replied,
"What white squaw do with my squaw's letter?" The poetry of the idea was
evidently lost on him.

The "noble red man" of the novel-writer and these coarse savages, whose
rough nature repels all polish, are quite different. Three of these
Indians, who have taken to the customs of the whites more kindly than
the others, are to be sent North and educated, the expense incurred
being the enterprise of private individuals.

A year previous to their departure, while the work of civilization was
supposed to be progressing very rapidly, in the midst of untiring
efforts on the part of Church-missionaries to convert them, one of the
tribes was discovered plotting mutiny. They could not endure the strain
of civilization--it was too much for them. White Horse, chief of the
Kiowas, reckoning the number of moons long past since he had the promise
of freedom, excited an insurrectionary movement among the Kiowas,
twenty-four in number. When their intentions were manifested by
insubordination, a squad of armed soldiers were ordered from the
barracks to seize them after they had entered their mess-room in the
casemate. The Indians were marched out in pairs, and searched, to which
they submitted without resistance. A number of barbed, steel-pointed
arrows, and pistols, were found on their persons. They did not intend a
general massacre; only those who opposed them in their efforts to escape
were to be murdered. The fort was closed for a day or two only, when
White Horse and his principal accomplices--Lone Wolf, Woman's Heart, and
To-Zance--were put in irons. These Indians pined for their homes; their
lofty, aristocratic natures revolted against the discipline to which
they were subjected, as unmanly and unsuited to the dignity of a
warrior, who had roamed with unrestrained movements over the plains,
free as the herd which he killed. Most of the Indians, while here,
employed their time in making bows and arrows, and polishing sea-beans,
while the women worked over old bead moccasins, and freshened them up
with new soles and buckskin linings, all of which were bartered to
visitors--thus making their bondage more endurable, besides furnishing
themselves with pocket-money.

As in time past, the old fort, that has lifted its turrets unmoved for
centuries to the fierce gales which visit the coast, will again become
the home of the lizard, a resort for bats, the abode of the owl, whose
shrill screechings and weird movements make the darkness of night more
suggestive of a ghoul-haunted castle, where unhappy spirits are supposed
to assemble, when "coarser spirits wrapped in clay" are snoring to the
ascending and descending scale of unwritten sounds.

Opposite St. Augustine is situated St. Anastasia Island, which was named
for a celebrated saint in the Roman calendar of favorites. On this
island is found the coquina, or shell-rock, from which the fort and many
of the houses were built; here also roam the fleet-footed deer,
catamount, and wild hog. At low tide the ponies and marsh-cows resort
here to feed upon the long grass which grows so luxuriantly at all
seasons. The cattle, while in pursuit of it, frequently become bogged,
and die; but the horses, when reared here, are not so unfortunate, being
lighter and more nimble-footed; when they get beyond their depth, and
are sinking, they throw themselves on their sides, and commence
floundering and rolling until they find a surface sufficiently solid to
sustain their weight, when they rise and quietly resume eating, as
though nothing had occurred. Like all other places in this vicinity, it
has historic records. It was here, in 1740, General Oglethorpe erected a
battery of five pieces, four of which were eighteen-pounders. When he
had made the preparations necessary for an attack on St. Augustine, he
gave the Spanish Governor an invitation to surrender. General Oglethorpe
received the reply that he would "be glad to shake hands with him in the
castle."

The new light-house stands on this island--being constructed because the
old one was found to be undermining by the action of the waves. The old
coquina light-house was designed to subserve the double purpose of a
fortress and a beacon, having strong walls and loop-holes, with a cannon
on its summit, to be fired as a signal on the approach of a vessel. At
night a light-wood fire was kept burning, which could be seen by vessels
at sea for several miles.

On the coast below St. Augustine, surrounded by the briny waves, some
distance from shore, bursts up a fresh-water spring, from which ships
can obtain their supplies before going to sea. This remarkable fountain
of fresh water is produced from one of those subterranean currents so
frequent throughout the State, north of the Everglades, coming to the
surface only when they reach a point considerably below the level of
their sources, sometimes forming lakes, and at others channeling their
way to the sea.

The coral reefs, so abundant in Florida, are the

[Illustration: FLORIDA REEF CORAL.]

work of a tiny insect which operates only under water, after which the
water deposits the lime that constitutes the limestone of Florida--many
portions of the State having been subject to upheaval since the deposit
of lime between the coral reefs. This lime formation being undoubtedly
very recent, and having little solidity, is entered by the
surface-water, which forms channels through it; thus, by the force of
accumulated waters, it reaches the sea, these channels being constantly
enlarged by the lime combining with the water, together with the
abrading action of the currents; and when the rock is so weakened as to
be unable to support the weight above, it falls, and the lime-sink is
formed, or fresh-water springs, with no feeders on the surface, but
supplied from below, burst up in mid-ocean, with sufficient force to
displace the denser salt-water, or change the position of a vessel.

About sixty miles below St. Augustine, at Fort Moultrie, a council was
held by the whites, in 1823, for the purpose of limiting the movements
of the Seminoles to the southern portion of the State, thus interposing
a white element between them and the Georgia Indians, to prevent an
alliance in the event of war.

The Indians were the Nimrods of our country; they did not require large
bodies of land for culture. The murder of McIntosh, in Georgia, caused
many of the Indians to leave that State for Florida. Here they were
called Seminoles, or runaways, being only refugees and fugitives,
without a country or language. They adopted a dialect resembling the
four Southern Indian tongues of which they formed a part--it being still
retained by the remnant of the tribe inhabiting the Everglades.



CHAPTER XVI.


From the following account we can imagine under what difficulties young
men went on hunting-excursions a century since in Florida:

"The Spanish Governor's son, living in St. Augustine, together with two
other young men, arranged a trip on the coast for the purpose of hunting
and fishing. Being provided with a convenient bark, ammunition,
fishing-tackle, etc., they set sail, directing their course south,
toward the point of Florida, putting in to shore and sailing up rivers,
as a conveniency or the prospect of game invited them. The pleasing
rural and diversified scenes of the Florida coast imperceptibly allured
them far to the south beyond the fortified post. Unfortunate youths!
regardless of the advice of their parents and friends, they entered a
harbor at evening, with a view of chasing the roebuck, and hunting up
the sturdy bear, or solacing themselves with delicious fruits, and
reposing under aromatic shades, when, alas! cruel and unexpected
event--in the beatific moments of their slumbers they are surrounded,
arrested, and carried off by a band of predatory Creek Indians, who are
proud to capture so rich a prize. They are hurried into bondage, being
conducted, by devious paths through dreary swamps and boundless
savannahs, to the Nation."

It was at this time the Indians were at furious war with the
Spaniards--scarcely any bounds set to their cruelties on either side; in
short, the youths were condemned to be burnt. An attempt was made to
rescue them, by some English traders, from their unrelenting
persecutors, who petitioned the Indians in their behalf, offering a
great ransom for their release, acquainting them, at the same time, that
they were young men of high rank, and one of them the governor's son.
Upon this the head-men or chiefs of the whole Nation were convened, and,
after solemn and mature deliberation, they returned the traders their
final answer and determination, which was as follows:

"Brothers and Friends:--We have been considering upon this business
concerning the captives, and that under the eye and fear of the Great
Spirit. You know that these people are our cruel enemies; they save no
lives of us red men who fall in their power. You say that the youth is
the son of the Spanish Governor. We believe it--we are sorry he has
fallen into our hands, but he is our enemy. The two young men are
equally our enemies--we are sorry to see them here, but we know no
difference in their flesh and blood; they are equally our enemies. If we
save one, we must save all three; but we cannot do it. The red men
require their blood to appease the spirits of their slain relatives;
they have intrusted us with the guardianship of our laws and rights--we
cannot betray them. However, we have a sacred prescription relative to
this affair, which allows us to extend mercy to a certain degree: a
third is saved by lot. The Great Spirit allows us to put it to that
decision; he is no respecter of persons."

The lots are cast. The governor's son was taken and burnt.

Hunters now go on excursions down the Florida coast as a pleasant
pastime, with no fear from human foes, and no inconvenience, save a few
musquitoes and sand-flies, which furnish a feast of merriment for their
friends when they relate their adventures after returning. There is a
decided difference between coming here in 1774 and 1874.

Matanzas is situated eighteen miles below St. Augustine, at the mouth of
the Bloody Matanzas River. In the vicinity a boarding-house has recently
been erected, for the accommodation of visitors. The echoes from busy
life are so faint and far away, and so long in reaching us here, that we
feel as though we were in another state of existence--the outside world
only affecting us like a spent wave, as it dies away on the shore. The
fishing-boats steal slowly by with nets and lines; the fishermen are
silent, although their lives are not sad; but they snare the voiceless
dwellers of the deep, which have peculiar habits to be studied, and
baited for with cautious movements, before they can be captured. There
is no crowding, no jostling, no dust--all is peace, and the pure air is
life. An occasional schooner approaches from New York; it comes like a
good angel on a mission of mercy, laden with stores for the sustenance
of citizens and strangers.

Fort Matanzas, although cracked and seamed from turret to foundation,
is ever redolent of past memories. It is about twenty feet in height,
and formerly had brass cannon mounted on the ramparts, designed to
command Matanzas Bar. During the Spanish rule of 1800, to the time of
its cession to the United States, it was occupied by a company of
soldiers, who guarded the entrance to St. Augustine; also for the
punishment of officers or soldiers who had been drunk, or wandering from
the path of duty in any way. Its last commander was Captain Christobal
Bravo, whose son, bearing the same name, is now a worthy citizen of St.
Augustine, and can relate incidents which occurred during the time his
father was stationed there. This fortress, inferring from facts
furnished by the old French records, is, no doubt, the one commenced by
the two hundred who escaped the night previous to the fatal massacre by
Melendez. It never had a portcullis, or sally-port, but was entered by
an escalade from the outside, after which the ladder was drawn up and
dropped down inside, where were casemates for the soldiers' quarters and
rations, also an ordnance department, and lock-up for delinquents to
cool off from their potions and meditate upon the uncertainties of all
earthly pleasures--particularly that of taking a glass too much! It is
partly concealed by vines and foliage--reminding us that Nature, when
not interrupted, comes to close the yawning gaps of busy-fingered Time,
planting a twining ivy, a hardy cactus, or a climbing rose, covered with
blooms and verdure--thus teaching us the lesson of resignation, which
clothes our misfortunes in the garments of grace, producing the flowers
of fragrance, although the jagged edges of rough, rugged paths surround
us. Here we have a fine view of the sea, where the sun rises fresh every
morning as the day after its creation; and we can imagine Aurora
scattering flowers before his chariot as the fleecy clouds, decked with
the purity of the day-dawn, burst upon our delighted vision.

NEW SMYRNA.--Dr. Turnbull obtained a grant from the English Government
for settling a Greek colony in Florida, which had been ceded to them by
Spain in 1763. He sailed to Peloponnesus, and obtained permission from
the Governor of Modon, for a consideration, to convey to Florida a large
number of Greek families. In 1767 he sailed with one small vessel from
Modon; putting in at the islands of Corsica and Minorca, he recruited
his numbers to fifteen hundred. He agreed to give them a free passage,
furnish them in good provisions and clothing; at the end of three years'
service to give each family fifty acres of land, and in six months after
their arrival, if they were discontented, to send them back. Many of the
old people died during the voyage of four months. Sixty thousand acres
were granted them by the Governor of Florida. As it was then winter,
they built huts of palmetto to shelter them, and the following spring
commenced planting their gardens. This settlement was about sixty miles
south of St. Augustine--they named it New Smyrna, for a Grecian city
from which they came, in Peloponnesus, where they all contended Homer
was born, but, unlike its namesake--being ten times destroyed, always
rose from her ruins--it has never been rebuilt since the indigo
speculation proved a failure. The first year they engaged in the culture
of indigo, when the crop amounted to nearly forty thousand dollars, but
the price declining so rapidly, it was soon abandoned. Turnbull did not
treat them kindly; he appointed drivers from the Italians, reducing them
to the lowest slavery, when they were assigned tasks and drew weekly
rations. When the clothes they had brought with them were worn out, they
were furnished with a suit of osnaburgs, giving the men shoes, but the
women none, although many of them were accustomed to affluence in their
own country. This servitude continued for nine years. The cruelties
exercised over them were equal to those of the Spaniards of St. Domingo.
For the most trifling offense they were cruelly beaten, negroes being
chosen mediums for this torture. If they ran away, they were brought
back, the one who returned them receiving a reward. At the termination
of nine years, only six hundred remained of the fifteen hundred brought
over. Finally three of them escaped, and, after swimming the Matanzas
River, arrived in St. Augustine, when they made known their business to
Colonel Yonge, the Attorney-general of the Province, who gave them
protection. A change of governors had taken place, Grant being
superseded by Tonyn. Grant was supposed to have been connected with
Turnbull in the speculation. Tonyn interfered in their behalf, setting
them at liberty. Mr. Pallicier was chosen their leader when they
marched out of bondage, like the children of Israel, from what to them
had been an Egypt. The governor treated them kindly on their arrival in
St. Augustine, giving them lands in the north part of the city, where
they built houses and cultivated gardens, which are occupied by their
children to this day.

Not far from this we find the Halifax River country, near which is
Daytonia and other settlements, said to be remarkable for the selectness
of its settlers, no rough adventurers having drifted in there. Below New
Smyrna is the famous Colonel Douglass Dummit plantation, from which, a
half century since, he raised and manufactured two hundred barrels of
sugar in one season, which he sent to the city of Boston, Mass., and
sold for eleven cents per pound. It was only rich planters, then, who
could afford to buy seed and pay three or four thousand dollars for an
engine to make sugar. An acre of cane here has been made to produce
three thousand pounds of sugar in one year.

INDIAN KEY MASSACRE.--Adjectives expressive of the horrible were
exhausted in Florida during the Indian war. Some of the contemporaries
of the Indian Key murder are still surviving in St. Augustine, and to
hear them relate its terrors produces a chilliness which to us is quite
overpowering.

_August 15, 1840._--The steamer Santee arrived on Wednesday--Captain
Poinsett commanding--bringing the family of Dr. Perine. They were living
on Indian Key, a small spot not over seven acres in extent, situated
near Matacomba Key, about thirty miles from the mainland, on the
Southern Atlantic coast. When the attack was made by the savages, seven
of its inhabitants were murdered, the island plundered, and its
buildings burned. About three o'clock on the morning of the 7th instant
a Mr. Glass, in the employ of Mr. Houseman, happening to be up, saw
boats approaching, after which, on closer inspection, it was discovered
they were Indians. They immediately commenced firing on the residences
of Mr. Houseman and Dr. Perine, the former of whom, with his family, and
that of Charles Howe and family, succeeded in escaping to boats and
crossing over to Teable Key. The family of Dr. Perine passed through a
trap-door into their bathing-room, from whence they got into the
turtle-crawl, and by great effort removed the logs, and secreted
themselves among the rocks. The bathing-house above them was set on fire
by these fiends, when with the greatest efforts only they were kept from
being roasted alive by putting mud on their heads and cheeks. Mr. Motte
and wife, and Mrs. Johnson, a lady seventy years of age, fled into an
out-house, from whence Mrs. Motte was dragged by an Indian, and while in
the act of calling on her husband, "John, save me!" was killed. Mr.
Motte shared the same fate, and was scalped. The old lady, as she was
dragged forth, suddenly broke his hold, and escaped under the house. Her
granddaughter, a child of Mrs. Motte, aged eleven years, was then killed
with a club--the infant strangled and thrown into the water. This was
seen by Mrs. Johnson from her hiding-place; but the Indians fired this
building, when she was again obliged to flee, escaping to Maloney's
wharf, where she secreted herself until she was finally rescued. Joseph
Sturdy, a boy twelve years of age, concealed himself in the cistern
under the residence of Mr. Houseman, and was scalded to death by the
burning building heating the water. The remains of an adult skeleton
were found among the ruins of Dr. Perine's house, supposed to be the
doctor--also a child, thought to have been a slave of Mr. Houseman. The
perpetrators of this deed were Spanish Indians, headed by Chekika, the
same who made the attack on the Caloosahatchee. They obtained a great
amount of plunder from the houses and stores, and whilst engaged in
obtaining these articles Mrs. Perine, with her two daughters and little
son, reached a boat partially loaded, and put off to the schooner
Medium, lying at some distance. On Mr. Houseman reaching Teable Key,
Midshipman Murray, U. S. N., started with his only available force of
five men and two swivels, hoping to cut off the boats, and thus prevent
the escape of the Indians. On the second fire of his guns they recoiled
overboard, when the Indians commenced firing on his boat from a
six-pounder belonging to Mr. Houseman, charged with musket-balls,
driving back the officer. Dispatches were sent to Key Biscayne, but the
Indians had retreated, after holding possession of the island twelve
hours, carrying off large quantities of powder and other things, besides
laying a little settlement in ashes.

This act was regarded as among the boldest feats of the war--that a
force of seventeen canoes, with five Indians in each, should make a
voyage thirty miles from the mainland, plunder, murder, and retire in
perfect safety! Dr. Perine was a man of learning, a botanist, whose
observations and notes on Florida will be a great loss. We see daily in
our streets armed men in the employ of the Government, we hear of
company after company being formed, and why are not operations commenced
against the enemy?

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XVII.


The Indians inhabiting the Everglades before the Seminole war had been
driven there from the adjacent islands by conquest. They did not belong
to this tribe. They spoke Spanish, and many of them had been baptized in
Havana. Their pursuits were quite different--they fished and followed
the sea as a means of support, having never been ten miles from the
shore. No account has ever been written by modern explorers in that
region which gives the reader as correct an idea of the topography of
the country as the one given by the engineer who accompanied Colonel
Harney, Jan. 1, 1841. Those who visit there now and return, appear to
have a commingling of scenery--the flowers, the grass, and water, all
being blended, the quantity of each not designated. This grass-water
country is said to be like no other place in the world--a sea of water
filled with grass and green trees, that can only be approached by
canoes, which must be pulled through the mud and saw-grass, and then
paddled when the water is of sufficient depth, with a black soil of
measureless extent.

The following interesting extracts will enable us to form an idea of the
energy and enterprise required during the Seminole war to penetrate the
fastness of a country where the foes intrenched themselves, and from
which they made sallies upon the unwary more to be dreaded than any
disease which visited them. The expedition was conducted by Colonel W.
S. Harney. His forces were distributed in four or five large canoes,
carrying from six to ten men each; the greater number went in boats made
for the purpose, containing five men each. Orders were given that every
man should be provided with twenty days' rations, sixty rounds of ball
and cartridge, with the necessary blankets, etc. The most perfect
silence was to be observed by all; orders communicated by
signal-whistles, with which the officers were supplied; the boats moving
in single file, twenty paces apart, every man ready to drop his paddle
and seize his gun at a moment's notice. The dragoons were armed with
Colt's repeating rifles, and, being under command of Colonel Harney,
formed a well-tried band of experienced Indian-fighters. Half an hour
after sunset, and during a shower of rain, the command left Fort Dallas,
which is situated on the bay at the mouth of Indian River, eight miles
above Kev Biscayne--Colonel Harney in advance, with Mico as guide, and
negro John as interpreter, the army next, and the navy in the rear.
After passing up the bay seven miles, they entered the mouth of Little
River, a tortuous and extremely rapid outlet from the Everglades, where
they struggled against the current until after midnight, when they
reached their first resting-place--the site of an old plantation--where
they landed.

_January 2._--The guide says that by not starting from here until toward
night, we will reach Chitto--Tustenuggee's Island--an hour or two before
daybreak to-morrow; we therefore retained our position as much as
possible in the grass and thickets until 4 P.M., when we started, but in
reversed order--the colonel in advance, the navy next, and the army in
the rear. After passing up a few miles of swift rapids, we entered the
Everglades at sunset, and, skirting along a projecting elbow of the pine
barren for two miles, lay concealed behind the point of it until quite
dark. We then moved forward swiftly and noiselessly, at one time
following the course of serpentine channels opening out occasionally
into beautiful lagoons, at another forcing our way through barriers of
saw-grass. After several hours of hard paddling, we came in sight of
Chitto's Island, when the signal was passed "to close up." Moving
cautiously, we took our positions around the island, and lay in anxious
expectation of the signal to move up and effect a landing. An
advance-guard, having been sent in to reconnoiter, after some time
reported that the enemy had left the island, and, in a tone of bitter
disappointment, the colonel gave the word, "Move up and land; the
Indians have escaped."

_January 3._--Chitto--Tustenuggee's, or Snake Warrior's Island--is a
most beautiful spot, containing from eighteen to twenty acres; the soil
is extremely rich, and about two feet deep, with a basis of rotten
limestone. The center is cleared, but the circumference is well
protected by immense live-oak and wild fig-trees, with an almost
impenetrable thicket of wild mangroves. There are two towns, two
dancing-grounds, and one council-lodge, on this island. With the
exception of the dancing-ground and a small patch of fine Cuba tobacco,
the whole clearing is overrun with pumpkin, squash, and melon vines,
with occasionally Lima beans in great luxuriance, and of a most
excellent quality. The Indians have been gone at least two weeks, having
left behind them all useless articles, such as war-dance masks,
supernumerary baskets, kettles, fishing-spears, etc. At 11 o'clock the
colonel dispatched a small force to reconnoiter Tuconee's Island, which
lies about three miles west of us. They returned at 4 P.M., reporting
recent signs of a woman and child. The only trophies they obtained were
some ears of green corn and a few stalks of sugar-cane.

_January 4._--Started this morning for Sam Jones's Island. He is said to
hold a strong position, having seventy warriors with him; the only fear
entertained by officers or men is that he may have left the island and
gone to Big Cypress. After paddling until 3 P.M., we reached a small
cluster of trees, from the tops of which the guide said that Sam Jones's
camp was visible; he was accordingly sent aloft to make an observation,
and soon pronounced the place deserted. This information changed the
colonel's programme, and, instead of waiting until night should conceal
his movements, he advanced immediately toward the island; however, not
omitting to send out flanking parties, and an advance-guard to
reconnoiter. Before sunset we had all landed, and were enjoying our
biscuit and bacon, in the midst of an Indian village.

_January 5._--Sam Jones's possessions consist of a group of several
islands, differing in size and separated by narrow sluices. Upon the
largest of these, which is about one hundred and fifty yards in width
and half a mile in length, are three villages and dancing-grounds, the
general features being the same as Chitto's Island, but the soil sandy.
There are no villages on the other islands, but they have been cleared
in the center and planted with pumpkins, melons, and corn, which were
all destroyed. Our greatest annoyance at this place was the immense
number of fleas, cockroaches, and musquitoes. Every thing you
touched--even the ground--was alive with the former, which, with the
musquitoes, attacked our persons, while the roaches luxuriated on our
provisions. The whole group of islands, called Army and Navy Group, is
nearly a mile and a half in length, and presented no recent signs of
Indians.

_January 6._--At 8 A.M. passed over three miles to the Pine Keys, and
scoured the whole extent; returned at night, hungry and fatigued, to Sam
Jones's camp. Started early the next morning for the Prophet's Island,
which, according to Mico, is two suns from there. At 11 A.M. stopped and
destroyed a flourishing crop of young corn. At 3 P.M. came to another
small island uncleared: upon sending John up a tree to look out, he
reported two Indians in canoes, two miles distant, approaching us.
Orders were given to lie close, as they were evidently coming to the
island. In a few minutes John reported they had seen us, and were going
back. The colonel gave chase, but, finding there was not water enough
for his large canoe, transferred the guide to Captain McLaughlin's boat,
and directed him to move on in pursuit--the light-boats of the artillery
to accompany the captain and his command. The colonel, with the large
canoes, returned to the island, and sent up a lookout, who reported the
Indians not visible, but our boats still going at speed, and rapidly
nearing a small island about three miles distant. Colonel H., becoming
impatient, and feeling confident that he could find a passage across
without any guide, left for the other island, and reached it just as
some of the advance boats flushed a party consisting of four warriors,
five squaws, and two children; each warrior had a separate canoe,
containing his family and worldly possessions. They left the boats to
the care of the women, and took to the grass-water, loading and firing
as they ran. Three of the warriors were soon shot, three squaws and one
child taken, and the other drowned by its mother to prevent its cries
leading to her detection. Night approaching, one warrior and two squaws,
favored by the darkness, escaped. Only one soldier was slightly wounded
in this enterprise. Early this morning Colonel H. sent out a small force
to follow the trail of the other warrior, and endeavor, if possible, to
take him alive, as he had ascertained from the squaws it was Chia, one
of the best guides in the whole Territory. After following the trail
five miles, they came up with a squaw (Chia's wife), and took her; a few
yards farther beyond, on hearing a rustling in the grass, several of the
men leaped into the water, when one of the marines, in the act of
springing from the boat, was shot in the side by the Indian, who ran a
few paces, reloading his rifle, and, as Sergeant Searles, of the Third
Artillery, rushed toward him, he turned and fired at only five paces,
wounding the sergeant mortally, who, however, did not retreat. Chia then
struck at him with his rifle; but, blinded and fainting as he was, from
loss of blood, he quickly rallied for a last effort, and threw himself
upon the Indian's neck, crying, "I have him!" Chia then drew his knife,
and was about to stab his captor, when a soldier arrested his murderous
hand. After securing the captive, the sergeant was lifted into a canoe
and brought back to the island, where his wounds were examined and
dressed by the medical officer. The ball was found to have passed
through the right arm, entered the right side, breaking a rib, opening
the right lung, and passing into the liver.

_January 9._--Last night we were obliged to sleep in our boats, and, in
addition to this discomfort, it rained hard, with a cold south wind all
night. Chia says that Sam Jones, on hearing of Colonel Harney's first
expedition, had sent over to the Seminoles for powder and lead, saying
that he would go into the Big Cypress, where, if pursued, he would fight
until death. Chia and his party were going to join him, and he (with a
gallows in prospective, should he prove false) promises faithfully to
guide us thither. In consequence of this information we returned to Sam
Jones's Island, which we reached at noon.

_January 10._--The description given of Sam Jones's present position is
such as would intimidate almost anybody from attempting to dislodge them
but Colonel Harney. At 8 A.M. we started for the head-waters of New
River, which we reached at sunset, and passed down the stream to Fort
Lauderdale, where we arrived at midnight.

_January 11._--Having disposed of the wounded men and female prisoners,
we left Lauderdale at sunset, and ascended the New River, entering the
Everglades by the right-hand branch, an hour before sunrise.

_January 12._--After allowing the men two hours' rest, we moved to a
group of keys, lying between the expanse of the Everglades and the edge
of the Big Cypress. It was here that Chia expected to find the main body
of the enemy; but, upon examination of the signs, he pronounced that
they had gone on to Okee-cho-bee. With a heart full of disappointment,
Colonel Harney found his schemes thwarted by the cowardice of the
Indians, who had fled panic-stricken upon hearing of Chai-kai-kee's
fate, and deserted their inaccessible retreats. At noon the navy left
us, taking with them Mico and negro John as guides across the
Everglades, in the direction of the first expedition. After dinner we
bore away for Lauderdale, and, aided by the swift current of New River,
reached our destination at 8 P.M.

_January 13._--Colonel Harney this morning started with twenty men to
search for a reported passage from the New River into the Hillsboro
Inlet; the low stage of the water proving an insurmountable obstacle, he
returned at sundown, giving orders to prepare for moving homeward
to-morrow.

_January 15._--At early dawn the canoes were hauled over from the beach
into the bay, when, in passing down it, we reached Fort Dallas at noon.
The Pay-hai-o-kee (grass-water, or Everglades) comprises a large portion
of Southern Florida, lying south of the twenty-seventh degree of
latitude, and separated from the Atlantic, or Gulf of Mexico, by a pine
barren, varying in width from five to twenty or more miles. There are a
number of outlets on the eastern, or Atlantic coast, while on the
western, or Gulf coast, there is only one, now named after its first
navigator, Harney River. The appearance presented upon entering the
Everglades is that of an immense prairie, stretching farther than the
eye can reach, covered by thick saw-grass, rising six feet above the
surface of the water, which it conceals--the monotony varied by numerous
snake-like channels and verdant islands, scattered few and far
between--the average depth of water over the whole extent being from two
to four feet. The channels vary in width from ten to twenty feet above
the usual water-level, though, no doubt, in very wet seasons
occasionally overflowed--the water all being clear and wholesome--and
even where no current was perceptible there was no appearance of
stagnation.

The results of this expedition, although apparently not very brilliant,
have only been surpassed in usefulness by those of the first Everglade
expedition, undertaken and prosecuted with such untiring energy and
eminent success by Colonel Harney. The knowledge acquired of the nature
of the country, the localities of the lands, and strength of the
positions, occupied by two of the most formidable chiefs, is of itself
ample reward for the privations and sufferings necessarily encountered
during a movement in open boats, with no tents, a limited supply of
blankets and provisions, exposed to the sun by day and the dew at night,
to the drenching rain and chilly blast, but rarely allowed the luxury of
fires, and eating food which it required a strong appetite to relish.

The Everglades extend from the head of the St. John's, on the north, to
within ten or fifteen miles of Cape Florida, on the south. This land is
believed to be twenty or thirty feet above the level of tide-water, and
is susceptible of being rendered perfectly dry by deepening and widening
the various outlets or rivers that flow through it, from the lakes to
the sea. The lakes near the center of the Everglades are deep and
navigable, connecting with one another throughout the entire distance.

The tropical region of the peninsula reaches from Cape Florida about two
hundred miles north. The soil of the country has been pronounced by all
explorers very rich, it being only covered with water in the rainy
season. When the resources of this tropical region are utilized, the
importance of Florida can hardly be appreciated too highly. Besides the
growth of cultured fruits, the Manilla hemp is one of the indigenous
products of the soil; the Indians used it in making ropes and mats, and
formerly supplied the Spaniards with halters, lines, and bed-cords, at
cheap rates--it was called grass-rope. The cotton-plant found here is
the same as that raised on plantations, differing only in the smallness
of the leaf and pod, length and fineness of the fibers--it produces two
or three years without being replanted.

_January_, 1841.--Colonel Harney has been on two expeditions in the
Everglades; captured thirty-nine Indians; pressed into service a slave,
formerly the property of Doctor Cruise, as a guide, he having been in
the hands of the enemy. He conducted the colonel to a camp where the
Indians were assembled, who fought, but were soon overpowered, when
Colonel Harney hung ten of the warriors, Chekika among the number, who
led the attack on Indian Key.

_St. Augustine_, January, 1841.--An ovation was given to General Harney,
after his return from the Everglade expedition, when the St. Augustine
Market-house was brilliantly illumined. A large transparency bore the
inscriptions, "Lieutenant-colonel W. S. Harney, Everglades!" "No more
Treaties!" "Remember Caloosahatchee!" "War to the Rope!" with the device
of an Indian suspended from a tree. A band of music played in the plaza,
cannon were fired, together with many other loud demonstrations of joy
at the prospect of peace.

The few may have smiled, but the many wept in tears of blood, and wailed
in sackcloth and ashes, over the long train of evils that followed the
Treaty of Payne's Landing--a compact of which many had never heard until
they began to suffer under the ineffectual attempts to carry it into
execution. What a tale of sorrow could the poor, suffering soldiers
unfold, who had to march through the saw-grass and saw-palmetto, with
their serrated edges, which seized their clothes and flesh as they
passed, marking their pathway with tatters and blood!

In South Florida, bounded on the north by Lake Ogeechubee--the largest
body of water in the State, it being fifty miles in length, and twenty
in width--is a tract of country known as the Everglades, comprising an
area of six hundred miles. Here dwells the remnant of a race of men
which required more time to subdue, and cost the Government more money,
than the Colonial war with Great Britain. They are ruled by chiefs,
according to their ancient patriarchal custom, the royal line being
transmitted from parent to child, as in monarchical governments.

Old and young Tiger Tail are both living now, the senior chief being
almost a century of age. It was his father that built an Indian village
where Tallahassee now stands, and in which place he first saw the light.

Old Tiger Tail murdered his sister, who favored emigration, to which he
was opposed. After going to the West he became much dissatisfied, when
he made his way to the wilds of Mexico, where he intrenched himself in
the natural fastness among the mountains. From this fortress he made
frequent sallies upon the inhabitants, killing when he met resistance,
and carrying away whatever plunder of value he could seize upon. He was
joined by others, who were living as outlaws in their own country, thus
combining the cunning of the Indian with the brigand spirit of the
Mexican, forming an alliance more to be dreaded than the wily movements
of the Chieftain Osceola. He is a battle-scarred warrior, and can relate
with much accuracy every different engagement where he was wounded. He
is friendly with some visitors; has a summer and winter home, where he
camps each season.

The Indians visit Fort Pierce, on the Indian River, as a trading-point,
when they bring buckskins, potatoes, pumpkins, and honey, to sell. The
wild honey brought to market from all parts of the State is a sufficient
proof of its adaptability to the production of that commodity for
settlers to engage in the enterprise of bee-culture. In addition to the
blossoms of annuals and orange-trees, a honey-dew exudes from some of
the trees at certain seasons--the magnolia, poplar, wahoo, and
sweet-gum--from which the bees can gather largely.

Father Dufau recently visited the Everglades as a missionary, but,
meeting with poor encouragement, returned. He does not bring favorable
reports in regard to their mental or spiritual improvement. The Indians
regard the "pale faces" with suspicion and distrust. They have been
duped so often by the whites that their chief forbids the females
speaking to them. They have no forms of religion, but worship the Great
Spirit and planets, wearing devices of the moon. Father Dufau had a pair
of silver ear-rings, made by them, the pendant portion resembling a
crescent. These were formerly owned and worn by Tiger Tail, who sold
them for whisky.

Slaves are still regarded as property with them, the difference in caste
between master and servant not being distinguishable. Polygamy is
becoming unpopular with them now. Tiger Tail has two wives; but the
oldest squaw claims priority, causing the stream of harmony to flow in
divided currents. She says, "Two squaws no good." The soil teems with
verdure all the year, and they live without solicitude, either
temporally or spiritually. In hunting, they require neither guns nor
dogs, but imitate whatever beast or bird they propose to capture, and
when their prey approaches near enough, shoot it with arrows. The water
found in the Everglades is very clear, thus enabling them to fish
without hooks or nets, by shooting the fish, which they do with great
skill.

The men dress in deerskin breeches, wearing calico coats, with long
skirts, and various patterns sewed on them. The squaws are all clothed
like our cracker country females--the younger ones displaying their
fondness for beads by wearing four pounds around their necks. The
funniest of all is how they received that irrational style of having
their hair _banged_ like white girls, and surprises visitors very much.
Some of the younger warriors expressed a desire to be taught to read,
measure, and weigh. They speak little English, but communicate mostly by
signs.

Father Dufau had to walk wherever he went, after leaving Key Biscayne
Bay, his speed at times being accelerated more than was agreeable by
water-moccasins and alligators.

The Everglades still retain their primeval state, guarded with ample
care by towering live-oaks, the majestic grandiflora, and the aromatic
bay, from which the yellow jasmine swings her airy bowers, and where the
polyglot bird trills his joyful notes, the velvet-plumaged paroquet
chatters to his mate, and the red-bird whistles shrill sounds of joy,
while high above all, swinging in mid-air, the golden oriole is
listening from her pendent bower for the first sounds of vitality which
will echo from her nestlings. The foot of man, in his march of progress,
has never penetrated these wilds of natural beauty--a solitude tempered
by sea-breezes, unvisited by wintry winds, where moonbeams sleep on
glassy waters, unmoved by the tempest's roar or the trident of Neptune.



CHAPTER XVIII.


In leaving Jacksonville for Cedar Keys, we first take the Florida
Central Road, which is thought by some to ride very rough, but the
controlling element which had it in charge treated it rougher than any
jolt which passengers receive in riding over it. Soon as the road can
recover from the raids upon its earnings, preparations will be made to
accommodate the traveling public so well that they will always prefer
riding on the Florida Central from choice. Baldwin is the first
noticeable station on the road, twenty miles from Jacksonville. We
arrive here in time for breakfast, which the vigorous ringing of bells
indicate--the Berger Family is nowhere in comparison to the noise they
make. As we had no free feeds, we are not obligated to puff the
eating-houses; but the moderate charges and fine fare constitute an
attractive feature to the hungry traveler. The depot and
telegraph-office windows are said to furnish amusement for the agent and
operator, where they can spend their leisure in fishing.

The attractive alligators and moccasins are hibernating now, as it is
February; occasionally a stray one comes out, like Noah's dove, to see
if winter has gone. The junction of roads is what makes the town--the A.
G. & W. I. T. Co. Road is taken here, in order that the Mexican Gulf,
one hundred and seven miles distant, may be reached. Northern passengers
complain of the snail-pace by which the trains are propelled, but no
accident ever occurs to endanger life or limb. The piney-woods scenery
predominates, which gives the country a very unpicturesque appearance;
and the land, that in some places appears poor enough to make squirrels
sad, changes as we advance toward the Gulf.

Trail Ridge is noticeable for its high location, being over two hundred
feet above sea-level, always celebrated for its healthfulness and pure
water. Lawtey, four miles from Trail Ridge, has recently received a
large accession of immigrants from Chicago. The lands are considered
among the best in the interior of the State. One great advantage in
living on the Transit Road is free transportation for self and family,
together with the superior facilities for sending produce to market.
Starke, seventy-three miles from Fernandina, is a place of some
importance, containing a lumber-mill, turpentine distillery, and several
stores, besides boarding-houses. What a multitude of disagreeable sounds
break upon our morning slumbers in these plank habitations! The cats,
which have been vigorous in their serenading during the night, now
prepare to quit the field by a final contest, which Dinah interrupts
with the broom. The pigs, that lay piled in the yard so quietly during
the night, are calling for their rations, while the chickens have been
cackling a chorus in advance of the supplies which they will furnish for
hungry visitors. Never, apparently, did dinner-pots require such a vast
amount of scraping. Then the old coffee-mill sounds like a
ten-horsepower flouring-mill. These little innovations upon our morning
nap are soon forgotten after we have eaten our breakfast, and witnessed
what a beautiful day is before us.

Waldo now appears to be settling more rapidly than Starke. A large
hotel, called the Waldo House, has been built here, which is well kept.
Croquet-grounds are laid out, shade-trees planted, in a tasteful manner,
presenting an inviting appearance to travelers as they approach the
town. This station is destined to be a place of prominence. A canal is
in process of construction to Lake Santa Fe, four miles distant, thus
connecting it with the main artery of communication in the State. This
region of country is attracting no small amount of attention at present,
the high ground it occupies being one of its most desirable
features--which fact is demonstrated by the waters, instead of settling,
flowing east and west, then emptying into the Atlantic and Gulf of
Mexico. This lake contains nearly thirty square miles of water, being
about nine miles in length, its greatest width four miles. The depth of
the water is from twenty to sixty feet, being pure freestone, palatable
all the year with a little ice. Superior inducements are offered to
those who wish to come as actual settlers, fine lake-sites being very
reasonable, and the present inhabitants the best of people.

We next come to Alachua county, the richest and now the most important
on the route, containing hummock-lands, covered with phosphates,
indicating a fertility of soil, where the long staple will flourish, and
silken cotton-bolls open their tributes of wealth to reward the
industrious planter. Tiny floating islands are visible on each side of
the track, while the lily rises from the dusky waters of the morass, as
though upheld by some invisible hand. Long-legged Florida cattle are
grazing upon the fresh grass, while the yearlings run races with the
cars, to the annoyance of all concerned. Visible signs of impatience are
manifested by the lady-passengers, when the following colloquy takes
place between a Bostonian and a very black train-hand:

_Lady_--"Say, sir! are there no refreshments coming in soon?"

_Negro_--"What is dem, Miss?"

_Lady_--"Why, something to eat."

_Negro_--"I reckin dar'll be some groun'-peas gwine 'roun' 'fore bery
long, or some cane-stalks."

_Lady_ (very indignant)--"I wish you to comprehend I came from _Boston_;
we don't eat such things up there in our part of the country!"

During the year 1750 a Creek chief retired from his nation, named
Secoffe, and settled in Alachua, he being attracted by the game and
natural fertility of soil. He was a sworn enemy of the Spaniards, but a
friend to the English up to 1784. He visited St. Augustine on hearing
that Florida had been sold to the English, at which time, not thinking
himself treated with due deference to his rank in life, he returned,
swearing vengeance to all the whites. He died soon afterward, which
frustrated his projects of revenge. Before dying he called his two
sons, Payne and Bowlegs, to whom he intrusted the mission of killing
fourteen Spaniards, which, added to eighty-six--the number already
killed by himself--would make one hundred--the requisite amount which
the Great Spirit had revealed to him would insure happiness to his soul.
His sons, not being of a revengeful spirit, lived in peace with the
Spaniards, and died much respected. Another band came in 1808, under
Micco Hadjo, settling near Tallahassee--from this date the Florida
Indians were called Seminoles, or Runaways.

This county contains a great sink, called by some a lake, in which
congregate during the dry weather large quantities of alligators,
together with fish of all sizes, that cannot escape into the
subterranean rocky passage. This sink is situated in a savanna about
fifteen miles in length. The Indians formerly had a town near this
locality, which they moved on account of the stench from decayed fish in
summer, that had been driven there by the alligators. These Indian
settlers were busy during the war, like their companions. The following
are some of the fruits of their conduct: "The Rev. McRae, a Methodist
preacher, and two other persons, while riding from Waccahootee to
Micanopy, when at the Juggs, within three miles of the fort, were fired
upon by a party of fifteen or twenty Indians. Mr. McRae's horse was
wounded and fell, when he was overtaken and scalped by the Indians, but
his scalp was left on the ground. The others escaped with four balls in
their clothes. In five more days a citizen and soldier were murdered
within four miles of Fort Micanopy, their hearts taken out, and their
bodies horribly mangled." June 5, 1839, on the Newnansville road, Mr.
Ostein, Mr. Dell, and Miss Ostein, were killed. After this tragic event,
the following notice speaks in trumpet tones:

"The injuries of the citizens of Alachna and Columbia counties have been
of a nature that can never be forgotten or forgiven. The white man and
the Indian can no longer occupy the same territory in peace; one or the
other must be removed or annihilated, and the General Government will
justly decide the question.

FRANCIS R. SANCHEZ."

During this year all flags of truce and peace movements were lost sight
of, as Indian murders were every day occurring. At this time two
volunteers were killed near Micanopy, their bodies much mutilated, and
their tongues cut out. General Jackson at this time estimated a force
"of four hundred Indians, which could be whipped out by a battalion of
women armed with broomsticks."

The approach from the depot to Gainesville is very unattractive,
particularly in the winter season, having the appearance of being
inaccessible either by land or water. Black, marshy-looking places,
containing a muddy fluid, fail to give travelers a pleasant impression,
and for this reason draining should be commenced by building causeways
to the city and the frequented places in the vicinity. They have not put
the best side out here. Gainesville was named for General Edmund P.
Gaines, a Florida Indian-war veteran. Mrs. Myra Clark Gaines, who for
many years has been litigating for a portion of the ground on which New
Orleans stands, was his wife, who by a special act of Congress receives
a pension, whether married again or remaining his widow.

Many invalids have a preference for Gainesville, on account of its even
temperature, over localities on the bays, rivers, or lakes. It has fine
accommodations, containing two good hotels, besides comfortable
boarding-houses of various dimensions. The Arlington House is
first-class in every respect, being new, while Oak Hall, for good
eating, cannot be outdone. The dining-room serving-man has waited here
for twenty years, which is very remarkable in consideration of the
various vicissitudes through which that race has passed. The quiet of
country life is found in this locality; the sound of wheels is hushed in
the streets, the sand being so deep it has no echo when wheels pass over
it. Protestant Churches are well represented in numbers and houses of
worship. The Presbyterian pastor, the Rev. Mr. McCormick, has ministered
to his people for a quarter of a century. Through what numerous changes
has he passed! What sad memories linger around his ministrations, but
sometimes mingled with joy when a sinner for whom he had long been
solicitous has been born into the kingdom!

More of the _Tillandasia_, or hanging moss, which sometimes grows ten or
fifteen feet in length, is found here than in most other portions of the
State. Two moss-factories, preparing it for commerce, are doing a
thriving business. It closely resembles horse-hair when properly
cleaned and curled--is quite elastic and inodorous. It is used
extensively in upholstering, and is quite profitable to those engaged in
the enterprise.

Dry-goods stores, groceries, and drug-stores all do a lucrative business
with the people living in the back country. Lands lying in the vicinity
of Gainesville are very fine, one acre of ground being capable of
producing fifteen hundred pounds of sugar and three hundred gallons of
sirup.

By taking the stage at Gainesville, Orange Lake, "the natural home of
the orange," is easily reached. This lake is a vast lime-sink, draining
a large extent of country, having no visible outlet. The inducements and
facilities for orange-culture are probably unsurpassed in any other
locality. One man owns over a hundred thousand budded trees, and a
million more yet remain in a state of nature. The native orange-growth
has been a source of wonder to all modern explorers. Nothing can be
imagined more beautiful than one of these natural groves in March--the
golden orbs in a setting of green, while creamy blossoms, like clouds of
incense, rise in overpowering sweetness to welcome us with their
choicest oblation. The whole forest has a tropical luxuriance, the
abundant vegetation being well sustained by a rich soil of sandy loam,
with a layer of marl and decomposed shells. Besides the orange, we see
the live-oak, magnolia, hickory, bay-tree, and many other native woods,
interspersed with grape-vines measuring three feet in circumference,
climbing to the tops of the tallest trees, forming a dense shade, where
sunbeams can rarely or ever penetrate. As we walk between its stately
colonnades, our minds revert to the silence of "God's first temple." It
is in this vicinity lime-sinks abound, which are formed from
subterranean streams of water constantly flowing, thus washing away the
sand, which causes the coral formation supported by it to fall,
frequently exposing large lakes of immense depth, many of them
containing fish.

Malaria is said to prevail here sometimes, "although it is perfectly
healthy." Let settlers plant the _Eucalyptus_-tree, which is no
experiment, but a success, in other places, being a powerful absorbent
of miasm, converting sickly, malarious localities into healthful, happy
homes. A seedling orange-tree is considered the most hardy, and will
produce in five years, while a budded tree bears in two or three years.
It is well to have both kinds, in order to fully realize the golden
dreams of a successful investment. The manufacture of citric acid from
the wild orange has been attempted here several times, without any great
results as yet, but marmalade is a decided success. All information on
the subject of groves in this locality can be obtained by addressing
John F. Dunn, Ocala, Marion county, Florida. There are many homesteads
in all parts of the State. For particulars address United States Land
Agent, Gainesville, Florida.

After leaving Gainesville, before reaching the Gulf, several places are
passed, bearing important names, their locality and present appearance
of thrift now giving promise of future prosperity. Cities in the
prospective: Orange City, Arredondo, Battons, Archer, and Albion--all
stopping-points and new settlements. Albion has been settled mostly by
young Englishmen, who have come here to engage in grape-culture--these
being the first invoice of a large colony from Europe. Bronson appears
to have a larger population than any of the other towns, except
Gainesville. It is the county-seat of Levy, where can be found among the
actual settlers energetic Christian people. A diversity of crops can be
obtained from this soil, much of the land inclining to an undulating
surface.

Otter Creek, one hundred and thirty-four miles from Fernandina, is the
dinner-station, kept by a most worthy gentleman--Captain Mason, formerly
of the United States Army Indian war service. We are now entering the
great Gulf Hummock, the vegetation changing from a semi-tropical to an
entirely tropical character. Here the cabbage-palmetto and hard-wood
trees rear their tops high in the air--a characteristic of the rich
hummock soil. We see no trailing vines killed every winter by frost, but
giant climbers twining around tree-trunks so closely they appear like a
portion of them. This heavy growth converts the route here into an
interminable forest, where only occasional spots or fragments of
sunshine peep through slight openings, that appear to be at no greater
distance than the tree-tops over our heads. These fertile lands are
awaiting the muscular development which has been productive of such
marked results in almost every portion of the State.



CHAPTER XIX.


Cedar Keys is the terminus of the West India Transfer Railroad--that
comfortless, unlovely, much-abused sand and water place--where people
always heretofore have paid a big price for a small equivalent. There is
life in the old town yet. She supports a newspaper now, and has a good
hotel, kept by Dr. McIlvaine, who knows how to serve the traveling
public, without robbing them, when they are in his power. The memory of
the fresh fried fish, they can serve up so fresh and hot, will make
visitors who go once have a desire to return. Then, to think of oysters
twenty-one times in a week! Consider on it, those who never ate enough
fine, first-class bivalves in their lives. Visitors who come here will
find sailing and fishing very fine amusement. Cedar Keys is going to
have a big hotel--then everybody will want to come, if they can only
regulate the prices according to the amount of accommodation. There is,
no doubt, a bright future before her yet.

For the benefit of those who imagine Cedar Keys never had a citizen in
it with an idea much above an oyster, I have copied the following, which
is a specimen of the toasts drunk by the patriotic to the military, July
4, 1843. They contain something so genuine, in the way of
word-selecting find arranging, that it really reads refreshing in these
days, when such a surfeit of fulsome flattery is considered the only
current coin of the day:

"Mr. Speaker. Freedom's Anniversary: The wilds of Florida, where echoed
the Indian's war-whoop and the revengeful battle-strife, to-day bring
forth their festive offering. We celebrate a new jubilee.

"By Mr. Thompson. The champions of Florida's restoration from the
desolations of war--Generals Jessup and Worth.

"By Mr. Brown. Colonel Belknap: The red man's friend in peace--the
terror of the savage in war.

"By William Cooley. Colonel Wm. S. Harney: The brave and gallant avenger
of savage atrocity and barbarity.

"By Augustus Steele, Esq. General Worth: The peaceful fields we till,
the quiet roads we travel in happy security, the waving corn and lowing
herds that gladden our senses, bespeak our remembrance and admiration of
the skill and intrepidity, also the indomitable perseverance which,
under difficulties little less than insurmountable, have secured us
these blessings."

The "moving impulse" from Cedar Keys for a long time was in a weak
condition, the H. Cool being the only craft to convey passengers from
here to Manatee and Tampa. However, now two regular steamers, with good
accommodations, are to be had, without the prospect of a dive beneath
the briny waves.

Many imagine that a trip to South Florida is an enterprise which would
require the fortitude of a Stanley to undertake. It is true, the
inaccessible position of some localities in this portion of the State
would be rather impracticable for feeble invalids; but what more could
craving humanity demand than a climate where the thermometer never rises
over ninety, and rarely descends lower than sixty? By taking a
creditable steamer at Cedar Keys, we can reach Manatee, the point of our
destination. Sometimes the gulf is a little rough, but very often smooth
as a mill-pond, when we glide along gently as a sail across a summer
sea.

Clear Water Harbor, the last point before Manatee, was first explored by
Narvaez, whom the Indians received without demonstrations of fear or
hostility. After the Spaniards landed, they were attracted by the gold
worn upon the persons of the Indians, which they said came from the far
North. These Spaniards, being both sailors and soldiers, wearied with
maritime pursuits and fighting, now resolved to try their fortunes on
land. They started with three hundred men, in a north-west course, to
search for the mountains of gold. In their travels they discovered
nothing but fatigue, privation, disappointment, and death, wherever they
went. But four of the number survived, who became medicine men among the
Indians--finally making their way to Mexico, after an absence of six or
seven years.

Nothing of particular interest occurs to break the monotony during our
voyage to Manatee, one hundred miles distant from Cedar Keys. It is
situated on a river of the same name, fifteen miles from the gulf. It
was named from the sea-cow, which was found there, and used as an
article of food. Visitors or immigrants may have the fondest dream of
their imagination realized in finding here all the natural
accompaniments for a pleasant home.

The view of Manatee, as we approach the town, is not particularly
imposing--the houses being scattered in every direction, like the forces
of a retreating army, while each settler appears to have taken
possession of what land he could cultivate as he came. The dwellings are
embowered in orange-trees, which in March freight the air with a perfume
that permeates our very existence, producing a kind of luxurious rest,
when time and all objects around us move as though in dreamland.

Perennial spring-time keeps vegetation growing all winter. The _Palma
Christi_, in this locality, becomes a large tree, yielding its beans
perfectly every year; while tomato-vines grow to an immense size,
twining into shady bowers, fruiting, without cessation, until three
years old, when the tomato has a strong flavor, resembling the vine. The
guava, from which the jelly of commerce is manufactured, grows
spontaneously, and it is said the mamma of all in South Florida still
flourishes at this place. The lands in the vicinity are pine, hummock,
and prairie. The pine-land requires fertilizing--the hummock, clearing
and ditching--when two hogsheads of sugar and seventy five gallons of
sirup are the average product of an acre, which, to those who never in
their lives had as much sugar as they could eat, is a sweet item.

The prairie-lands furnish sustenance for the lowing herds, which are
wild as deer. They are captured by a song the "cow-boys" sing,
resembling nothing else in the world. Where it originated, none can
tell; but the cattle gather from afar whenever it is sung, and are then
driven at will by those long rawhide lashes that pop like pistols, many
times cutting out pieces of quivering flesh, at which the sight of
humanity would shrink.

The lusciousness of oranges produced here is incomparable, particularly
when contrasted with those sour, stringy products of commerce. We have
tasted this fruit from every clime, but never have the Manatee oranges
been excelled. How ripe and delicious they grow on those tall trees,
where they hang constantly exposed to the rays of a tropical sun until
March! Messrs. Gates, Whittaker & Lee have old bearing groves, while
hundreds of others are coming on.

When we reflect upon the superabundance of natural products that
flourish in this locality, with which to supply the necessities of life,
can we wonder why one of the wrecks of once powerful tribes so long
resisted the encroachments of white settlers, contesting for territory
until nearly extinct, many of them suffering with the calmness of
Christian martyrs, or the bravery of Roman heroes--thus regarding death
with a lofty disdain? The Indians, like the wild beasts in whose skins
they were clad, have been driven, by the march of civilization, farther
and farther into the grass-water country, where, like a lion deprived of
his claws, resentment has died for want of strength to assert its
prowess, while, by contact with an enlightened race, their original
independence has been brought into a state of subjugation.

In this portion of Florida the cactus-pear grows to an immense size.
History mentions a peculiar tribe of Indians who once lived here with as
little solicitude for their support as the birds of passage, especially
in the pear-season, which was hailed by them as a period of
feasting--their only labor being to obtain the pears, which they
afterward peeled and roasted for present use, or dried and packed like
figs, to eat on their journeys, while the remaining portion of their
time was passed in the observance of their various festivals and
dancing--their houses being made of palm-matting, which they carried on
their backs--thus moving their habitations, every three or four days,
without the slightest inconvenience.

The inducements for immigration here are equal to any in the State.
Adventurers do not flourish on this soil, the residents, taken as a
mass, being the best that can be found. Many of them from the Southern
States, uprooted from their old homes by the reverses of war, but not
disheartened, have come down here to take root and thrive again. Church
privileges are enjoyed, in a church where quiet Christian people
assemble for worship. Also three well-taught schools in the town and
vicinity. Two good resident physicians, but dependent on visitors for a
support--one of them from a malarious country, who came here to escape
death. Here, as in other localities, settlers have to sow before they
can reap, but the natural growth in the hummocks evidences great
fertility of soil.

The Manatee boarding-houses are sanitariums, where more trouble is taken
to please visitors, at less expense, than at almost any other place in
the State. The tables are supplied with food visitors can eat, that will
nourish them--not what the host chooses to furnish. I well remember with
what a troubled look Mrs. Gates took me into the larder one day after
having dined on lemonade. There was a quantity of provisions to gladden
the hungry: almost an entire roasted wild turkey, stuffed quarter of
venison, fresh-baked fish, home-made light-bread and biscuits,
pound-cake, rich lemon pies--any of which would tempt an epicurean
taste. "You are eating nothing hardly," said she; "now, whenever you
wish, come and help yourself."

The remoteness of this point from the principal resorts is the only
objection. Every one who comes says the climate is perfect. The streams
and gulf swarm with fish. Visitors sit on the wharf and recreate in
catching twenty-pound snappers, while at low-tide the rheumatic old men
wade about in the warm salt-water, happy as boys just entering their
teens. Let all those who dream of sand-hills, and only starvation
staring them in the face while in Florida, come to Manatee. A pure
sea-breeze pervades the whole surrounding country, the evenness of
temperature producing a very genial and happy influence in pulmonic
diseases, more than all the drugs compounded by any pharmaceutist in the
world. The moon here shines with a clear, luminous light of two common
moons--an indescribable brilliancy that transforms the darkness of night
almost into a continued day, which has a tendency to bewilder, and make
us think we are in a land of fabled beauty, more than a troubled world,
to be tossed again by the tempests incident to life. This appears to be
the native home of the grape-vine, where all varieties flourish finely.
Think of the money that is expended every year in sending to foreign
countries for the one article of wine, and what a miserable, adulterated
mixture is brought over, only dashed a little with pure grape-juice,
while the drugs introduced would cause any one with delicate
sensibilities to shrink from the thought of swallowing! If a reliable
firm were to come here and undertake the culture of vineyards,
manufacturing pure wines, it would be found more remunerative than
orange-growing, the risk being not half so great, as the wine is
improving with age, while fresh fruits decay very rapidly, when being
transferred. Invalids, in coming to Florida, bring their wines; whereas,
if they could be furnished with a better article at much less rates,
they would soon find it more advantageous to patronize a home-product,
the compounding of which they knew to be genuine as the far-famed
vintage of the Rhine. Wine has always been in use from the days of Noah
to the present time, although brigades of men and women-crusaders have
screamed themselves hoarse in proclaiming its evils and wicked
influences. If the manufacture of wines from pure grape-juice was
encouraged, this beastly drunkenness from strychnine whisky would very
soon be abandoned.

Sometimes here, as in other places, the laborer is not rewarded in his
efforts to raise a good crop, which, in this far-famed country for
fertility and productiveness, is pronounced a fraud practiced by
somebody in holding out inducements for them to come to Florida and
starve. No person has ever been known to suffer for food in this portion
of the State--as an illustration of which, one man has lived in the
vicinity nearly thirty years, reared a large family, and none can
testify to his having done a whole day's work during that time. The safe
way is to cultivate a variety of vegetables and fruits--something will
thrive. Sweet potatoes are indigenous, and never fail, making fine food
for man and beast. Sugar-cane is a sure crop, ratooning without
replanting for six years, if properly cultivated, and, as it is never
injured by frost, blooms and perfects seed.

Bees can be successfully kept, on account of the mild climate, as they
can work all the year. Much wild honey has been taken from trees, which
is a proof of their adaptation to this place. Patent hives have not been
introduced, or perhaps these old-fashioned bees would not fancy so many
apartments in their palaces; but it would, no doubt, be worth the
experiment to try them. Bee-gums made from a hollow log, set flat on the
ground, are principally in use. A good swarm is said to yield
seventy-five pounds of honey in a season. No apiarian societies have
been yet established, and very little attention is given to the bee
industry in any way. Some planters have twenty-five or fifty colonies.
Bee-culture will be introduced as the industry of the country is
developed, and the sweet tastes of the people demand it. "When you are
asked by the Floridians if you will take "long sweetenin'" or "short
sweetenin'" in your coffee, remember the "long sweetenin'" is honey, and
the "short" sugar.

Let all those who wish to avoid the long, dreary, drizzly days during
March and April, in more Northern latitudes, when the warm current of
life is almost chilled into frigidity, come to South Florida, and roam
by the river-side, or glide across the quiet lakes in light canoes; ply
the oar at night, when the bright moonbeams kiss the parting waves, or
while the iridescent rays of dancing sunbeams shimmer under the
brightness of a tropical sky.

It is now the last of February, and the sunny side of nature is beaming
upon the oleanders that are bursting their pink petals, while the
orange-trees are sending forth fresh leaves that envelop the germs of
the far-famed Hesperidean fruit. The wild orange is in bloom, which
freights the air with delicious odors, although the fruit is only used
for making beverages and marmalade. The banana, which is cultivated as
corn is farther North, has commenced putting up fresh shoots, whose
leaves are to take the place of those rent in shreds by the rude winds
that have spent their fury on this coast during the Northern winters.

The air is now soft as a sleeping zephyr on a summer sea, while the
earth is covered with a fresh carpet of green, mingled with white and
blue violets, the tiny forget-me-not, the wild verbena, the purple and
yellow crocus, and other flowers of less humble growth, and more varied
hues than can be described, deck the landscape with beauty, gemming the
wild woods with loveliness, and filling our hearts with delight. Sounds
of melody echo from sunlit bowers, where birds of song flit on airy
wings, and the gentle cries of fledglings arouse the maternal instincts
to greater exertion.

Every settler is busy gathering oranges, which will be ruined if left on
the trees when they commence blooming, as the juice is required to
perfect the future blooms. Young trees are being transplanted,
palmettoes dug out, cows penned for milking, calves caught and
marked--as no one can recover the value of a stolen animal not branded.
Poets have called the rose "a child of summer." Those rhyme-writers
never visited Manatee, where new-born roses open every day, and summer
lingers all the year. This vicinity, like most other places, has its
historic record of various _data_. It is here the pirates Ambroister and
Arbuthnot were captured, and afterward hanged by order of General
Jackson. These lands were once the hunting-grounds of Billy Bowlegs, who
defeated General Taylor at Ocheechobe Lake, during the Seminole war.
When Bowlegs was being taken through the Capitol-building in Washington,
he gave only a stupid stare or grunt at all other objects except an
oil-painting, where, among other figures, was General Z. Taylor, at
which he grinned with a look of satisfaction, exclaiming, "Me whip!" The
old chieftain was a great hunter. When expostulated with for hunting
game on Sunday, he very promptly replied, "White man have good book to
read, and he work on Sunday."

From this place Hon. Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of the Confederate
States, now Solicitor-general for the Queen of England, made his escape.
Here he remained six months under an assumed name, with the pretext of
desiring to purchase hummock-lands. During his stay newspapers were
shown him by his friends, in which were large rewards offered for his
capture; but his protectors scorned treachery for gold. He left Manatee,
disguised as a cook, on board a sloop. Before they reached Key West
their little craft was overhauled by a United States revenue-cutter. The
powerless foe for whom they were searching, not being recognized in his
galley disguise, ran the gauntlet in safety. While on his way to Nassau
the schooner in which he was sailing, not being able to resist the heavy
seas that it had to encounter, sunk, when he was shipwrecked, losing all
his personal effects, and was rescued from drowning only by escaping to
a small boat, from which he was afterward picked up by an English
vessel. He was recently solicited to write an account of his adventures
before escaping to Europe, but replied, "It is too soon."

In this portion of Florida have been discovered bones of immense size,
belonging to an order of animals now extinct--these being fragments of
the

[Illustration: MASTODON GIGANTICUS.]

mammiferous mastodon and megatherium, which furnish material for study
that takes us back to the earliest history of the world, before giants
lived, or Adam was made out of the red clay, to enter Eden and
participate in its primeval glories. When those creatures, that now only
excite our wonder, walked the earth, covered with their piles of flesh,
moving with majestic tread the uninhabited globe, the sloth was then the
size of an ox, the bear as large as a horse. Portions of vertebræ
belonging to the mastodon _giganticus_--a race of elephants that lived
during the tertiary period--have been discovered here, measuring eleven
feet in height, with a body seventeen feet in length, and a huge tail
over six feet long. The bones of this animal, when exhumed, were found
in marl-pits, or salt-licks containing saline matter, to which may be
attributed their remarkable preservation. Their grinding-teeth were
adapted to a much coarser article of diet than that consumed by
elephants of the present period. They have also been called "the hairy
elephant." Was it not the mammoth megatherium that furnished the
aborigines with material for pointing their spears and manufacturing
their bone implements, the remains of which are now frequently found
beneath the _tumuli_ of Florida? The megatherium was a contemporary of
the mastodon--a few bones having been exhumed in South Florida; but
Skiddaway, on the coast of Georgia, has furnished remains of the most
perfect and interesting specimens of this animal ever found in North
America, discovered in 1855. This herbivorous creature belonged to an
extinct species of sloth, which had ribs measuring more than three
inches in width, and teeth nine inches long, its thigh-bones being three
times the thickness of those of the largest elephant, with fore-feet
one yard in length, a body eighteen feet long, and its massive tail two
feet in diameter, which enabled the animal to balance its body while
feeding, and also use it as a weapon of defense. The weight of its
hind-legs and tail prevented it from somersaulting while cutting down
trees with its teeth.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XX.


Forty miles from Manatee is to be seen the remains of Tampa. Your
morning slumbers will not be interrupted here by the hammers of rude
workmen, who are usually so inconsiderate for the comfort of others in
their noisy movements. During the Florida war this town boasted more
prosperity than at any subsequent period. It was then a military station
for the soldiers, and depot for army supplies; also a kind of central
point for this portion of the State. Here the Indians were ordered to
report before being sent West. Its early settlement was commenced under
difficulties by Navaraez, who, in 1828, landed at Tampa Bay, and, after
penetrating some portions of the interior, returned and sailed for Cuba,
leaving one of his companions--Juan Ortiz--whom the Indians had captured
without his knowledge. The extreme youth of Ortiz excited sympathy among
the Indian women, who rescued him from being burned, but the men made
him feel the bitterness of bondage, until his life became a burden. They
required him during their festal-days to run the gauntlet for their
amusement, his celerity on these occasions saving him from death. As a
variety in his servitude, he was employed to watch through long,
wearisome nights in the graveyard. The Indians then buried their dead
above ground in boxes, placing only a rock on the lid--the bodies being
frequently dragged out by animals. Poor Ortiz had been so miserable
while among the living that he now looked to the dead for an
amelioration of his condition. Armed with his bow and arrow, he stood as
sentry over the silent slumberers, when, unfortunately, one night he
sunk into a somnambulistic state himself. The body of an infant was
missing, the falling lid awakening him. Ortiz followed in the direction
of the retreating footsteps, when he discovered a panther, which he
instantly shot, and secured the corpse. For this act of bravery he was
taken into favor by the Indians, and soon afterward rescued from their
caprices and cruelties by De Soto, who landed in 1539, he having sailed
from Cuba. He came with more display of pageantry than America had ever
seen before, entering the waters of Tampa Bay on Whitsunday--hence he
named it Espiritu Santo. The geography of the country fought against
those who tried to penetrate its recesses--passing through morasses
below sea-level was accompanied with greater difficulties than they had
imagined before trying the experiment. After their arrival, most of
their time was spent in feasting and rioting, more becoming a returning
triumph than an entrance into a new country. The Indians made a descent
on them one night after a bacchanalian revel, wounding three of their
number, notwithstanding the heavy armor in which their bodies were
incased. De Soto soon left this country in search of other conquests and
greater treasures than awaited him here. On account of the remoteness
of Tampa from the other early settlements in the State, it was occupied
almost entirely by Indians until during the Florida war. Billy Bowlegs
was chief of the tribe here, but lived near Manatee. His last visit to
the commander was performed under great difficulties, the army
head-quarters being in Tampa. He was permitted to remain in the
territory, on account of his peaceable inclinations, after his tribe had
been ordered to the West. Such was the desire and anxiety of this aged
chieftain to see the military commandant face to face, and give him
renewed assurances of fidelity to his engagements, in hope of silencing
the clamors of white alarmists, a report of which had reached him, that
the weight of infirmities under which he was laboring was insufficient
to stop him, the journey being performed under circumstances that gave
conclusive evidence of his peaceful intentions. So great, indeed, was
his decrepitude, that during his last days--being wholly unable to
travel, even on horseback--he was borne on a litter on the shoulders of
his men.

In consideration of the fine timber which surrounds Tampa, two mills are
employed--one in sawing cedar, the other pine. The cedar here is of much
finer quality than the upland, containing more oil. At the mill it is
sawed into pencil-lengths, after which it is packed in boxes, and
shipped to New York, and other points, for making pencils. The
cabbage-palm grows in the vicinity, and is much used in building
wharves--it not being effected by the sea-water, and resisting the
attacks of the _Teredo Navalis_, which destroys the hulls of vessels
when made of any other timber but this, which it never molests.

The schools here are not considered by many as important institutions,
consequently are in rather an embryo condition. We visited one taught in
the court-house. This structure, not unlike many others in the vicinity,
is among the things that lack symmetry and sound timbers. The present
incumbent in charge of this school is a genuine specimen of the Illinois
backwoods race. His visage looked blank as the door before which he sat
chewing the Virginia weed, and firing jets of juice, evidently making a
bigger effort with his jaws than his brains. His pupils were undergoing
a heavy cramming process. Meaningless, incomprehensible words were being
wedged into their heads so tightly they never could be got out, either
for use or ornament. How those bright-eyed little boys were martyring
auxiliary perfect passive participles and verbs! One fact was evident:
if they had a better auxiliary to instruct them, they would have a more
luxuriant growth of intellect than they were obtaining under the present
regimen.

We do not take leave of this place as of a dear friend. Its deep sandy
sidewalks are any thing but inviting for promenaders. The decaying
structures and dilapidated fences remind us of old age, "when the
keepers of the house shall tremble." The place looks discouraged from
sheer weariness in trying to be a town. The hotel-keepers are wishing
for a few guests which they could relieve of three dollars _per diem_.
The merchants appear anxious, as though they wanted somebody to come and
make purchases. They are of that class which look at everybody with an
eye to business, wondering how much money they can grind out of each
customer in a given space of time.

Old Tampa, many years ago, was considered a famous resort for
consumptives. Persons advanced in life, from all parts, now speak in
glowing terms of the uniform temperature of its atmosphere. But
indifferent houses of entertainment, charging exorbitant rates, will
soon ruin the popularity of any place. Fort Brooke, of Indian fame, is
found here. It was originally designed as a means of defense during the
Florida wars. It is now a desolate, tumble-down old place. The fine site
it occupies, together with some ancient-looking water-oaks, standing
like sentinels, is all that is to be seen in the least degree
attractive. The Federal Government has been paying eighteen hundred
dollars per annum to keep the place from being destroyed, while no one
would be willing to make an investment of that amount for the entire
contents, land and all.

When Coacoochee was captured the last time, he was brought to Tampa.
General Worth, on receiving the information that Wild Cat was a
prisoner, visited him, with a number of his officers, for the purpose of
an interview. The general, with his staff, appeared in full uniform,
that the scene might not be lacking in pageant. They met upon the deck
of the vessel, and, taking the chief by the hand, General Worth spoke as
follows:

"Coacoochee, I take you by the hand as a warrior and a brave man. You
love your home as we do; it is sacred to you; the ashes of your
countrymen are dear to you and the Seminole. These feelings have caused
much bloodshed, distress, and horrid murders: it is time now the Indian
felt the power of the white man. Like the oak, you may bear up for many
years against the strong winds, but the time comes when it must fall--it
has now arrived. You have withstood the blasts of five winters, and the
storms of thunder, and lightning, and wind, for five summers; the
branches have fallen, and the tree burnt at the roots is prostrate.
Coacoochee, I am your friend; so is your Great Father at Washington.
What I say to you is true. My tongue is not forked like a snake's. My
word is for the happiness of the red man. You are a great warrior; the
Indians throughout the country look to you as a leader; by your counsels
they have been governed. Much innocent blood has been shed. You have
made the ground and your hands red with the blood of innocent women and
children. This war must end now, and you are the man to do it. I sent
for you, that through the exertions of yourself and your men you might
induce your entire band to emigrate. I wish you to state how many days
it will take to effect an interview with the Indians in the woods. You
can select three or five of these men to carry your talk: name the time,
it shall be granted. But I tell you, as I wish your friends told, that
unless they fulfill your demands, yourself and these warriors now
seated before us shall be hung to the yards of this vessel when the sun
sets on the appointed day, with the irons upon your hands and feet. I
tell you this, that we may well understand each other. I do not wish to
frighten you; you are too brave a man for that; but I say what I mean,
and I will do it. It is for the benefit of the white and red man. _The
war must end, and you must end it!_"

A profound silence pervaded the company after the general ceased
speaking, when Coacoochee arose and replied in a feeling tone:

"I was once a boy; then I saw the pale face afar off. I hunted in these
woods first with a bow and arrow, then with a rifle. I saw the white
man, and was told he was my enemy. I could not shoot him as a wolf or
bear; yet, like these, he came upon me: horses, cattle, and fields, he
took from me. He said he was my friend; he abused our women and
children, and then told us to leave the land. Still he gave me his hand
in friendship; we took it; while taking it he had a snake in the other;
his tongue was forked; he lied and stung us. I asked but for a small
piece of these lands--enough to plant and live upon, far south--a spot
where I could place the ashes of my kindred, a spot only sufficient
where I could lay my wife and child. This was not granted me. I was put
in prison; I escaped. I have been again taken; you have brought me back;
I am here; I feel the irons in my heart. I have listened to your talk.
You and your officers have taken us by the hand in friendship. I thank
you for bringing me back. I can now see my warriors, my women and
children; the Great Spirit thanks you--the heart of the poor Indian
thanks you. We know but little; we have no books which tell us all
things, but we have the Great Spirit, moon and stars--these told me last
night you would be our friend. I give you my word; it is the word of a
warrior, a chief, a brave; it is the word of Coacoochee. It is true I
have fought like a man--so have my warriors--but the whites are too
strong for us. I wish now to have my band around me, and go to Arkansas.
You say I must end the war! Look at these irons! Can I go to my
warriors? Coacoochee chained! No; do not ask me to see them. I never
wish to tread upon my land unless I am free. If I can go to them
_unchained_, they will follow me in; but I fear they will not obey me
when I talk to them in irons. They will say my heart is weak--I am
afraid. Could I go free, they will surrender and emigrate."

General Worth then informed him that he could not be set at liberty, nor
would his irons be removed, until his entire band had surrendered; but
that he might select three or five prisoners, who should be liberated
and permitted to carry his talk, with a respite of thirty or fifty days,
if necessary. "Lastly, I say if the band does not submit to your last
wish, the sun, as it goes down on the last day appointed for their
appearance, will shine upon your bodies hanging in the wind."

Coacoochee selected five of his warriors to carry this message to his
band, making the following appeal to them:

"My feet are chained, but the head and heart of Coacoochee reaches you.
The great white chief will be kind to us. He says when my band comes in
I shall again walk my land free with them around me. He has given you
forty days to do this business in; if you want more, say so--I will ask
for more; if not, be true to the time. Take these sticks; here are
thirty-nine--one for each day; this, much larger than the rest, with
blood upon it, is the fortieth. When the others are thrown away, and
this only remains, say to my people that with the setting sun Coacoochee
hangs like a dog, with none but white men to hear his last words. Come,
then, come by the stars, as I have led you to battle. Come, for the
voice of Coacoochee speaks to you."

The five Indians selected were started on their mission, accompanied by
old Micco. Before the month expired, seventy-eight warriors, sixty-four
women, and forty-seven children were brought in. Coacoochee was relieved
when told his band had arrived. "Take off my irons," said he, "that I
may once more meet my warriors like a man." Upon the removal of his
irons, he gave one wild whoop, and rushed on shore. "The rifle is hid,"
said he, "and the white and red man are friends. I have given my word
for you; then let my word be true. I am done."

The appeal of General Worth to the vanity of Coacoochee was more
efficient in closing the war than all other moves from its
commencement. Wild Cat was more cunning than brave--strategic than bold
and daring; but a vulnerable chord had been struck, and he responded
with apparent alacrity.

Many Seminole Indians were shipped from here to the West at the close of
the war. The following anecdote is related of Wild Cat after he left
Fort Brooke, to be banished forever from his home in Florida: The
steamer James Adams encountered rough weather as soon as she was outside
the bay. The waves of the sea rose to a great height, the steamer
labored much, and four feet of water was reported in her hold. Every
thing that was on deck was cut loose and cast into the sea. The faces of
the crew became paler than usual. Wild Cat was on deck, an attentive
observer of the increasing consternation of the white men, when suddenly
he accosted the officer in these words: "Be not afraid. The Great Spirit
will not suffer me to die with the pale faces in the manner you now
apprehend. Tell me from what quarter you wish the wind to blow, in order
that the big water may become quiet and the fire-canoe paddle on." The
officer, although attaching little importance to what the chief said,
complied with his request to keep him quiet. He was taken to the
binnacle and shown the compass, by which means he was made to understand
from what quarter the wind must blow in order to produce a calmer sea.
Thereupon, Wild Cat commenced making signs in the air, and other
demonstrations. Fifteen or twenty minutes elapsed, when, to the
astonishment of all the whites, the storm abated, the winds hushed and
almost lulled. The exertions of the crew stopped the leaks, and enabled
the boat to proceed in safety. We do not ask you to believe in the power
of Wild Cat to control the elements; but this anecdote shows at least
self-possession, and the desire of distinction, and reverence for the
Great Spirit, to be prominent traits in the savage character, where
others would only think of the peril before their eyes.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XXI.

    Meantime the steady wind serenely blew,
    And fast and falcon-like the vessel flew.


Does any one know what a sailing-voyage, in a coasting-vessel, from
Tampa to Key West--a distance of two hundred and fifty miles--implies?
Some may suppose it to be a kind of flying motion through the air, or
skimming swiftly over the waters, like a sea-gull in rough weather; but
those who have tried the experiment find it quite the reverse. It means
a little good sailing, an occasional fine breeze thrown in, with many
disagreeable things to be encountered and forgotten as soon as possible.
For instance, the first night after leaving, under favorable
appearances, the wind dies out, the mainsail hangs flabby as a beggar's
rags in a thunder-shower; the sailors lower the canvas, put out the
anchor, and all retire. Numerous drum-fish select the hull of the vessel
as their camping-ground, where they serenade us all night with a
peculiar drumming noise, while the loon from the shore catches the
refrain, and utters its unearthly screams, which disturb our repose,
mingling with dreams of hideous mien. The mattress is hard as Pharaoh's
heart. Bilge-water keeps the cabin supplied with an odor resembling
sulphur-spring surroundings. Fleas enter the list of perplexities, to
draw rations from our perishable nature, run races, and practice
acrobatic movements on our bodies, with astonishing facility. Roaches as
long as your little finger look at us as if meditating a fierce attack,
which, if executed, must result in our annihilation. Three small
children lying close by are screaming alternately, from interrupted
slumbers, caused by advances from the insect tribe. Their father, who is
a Methodist preacher, applies hand-plasters, which silence the batteries
temporarily. This will be found a charming place for the exercise of
patience, without the fortitude of Job to endure trials. Day dawns, and
with it comes breakfast. Strong coffee, seasoned with highly-colored
sugar, the mixture stirred with a table-knife, and drunk from a tin cup,
together with well-salted meat, fried eggs, and hard-tack, furnish the
repast. Unpalatable as this food appears to an epicurean taste, the
sailors devour it with a relish, as it gives them strength to endure
many hardships. The morning wind is fair, although light, and we are
sailing again toward Terrasilla Bay, which is a portion of Tampa,
bearing another name. The sugar-crop is waiting for shipment to Key
West, and our invoice not being full, we stop for freight. Numerous bars
line this bay, where oysters of a delicious flavor, and clams of immense
size--some of them weighing three pounds, with the shell--are obtained
at low tide without dredging.

For the benefit of those lady-passengers who, perchance, may travel this
way, and have never been borne in arms since they were children, we can
tell you there are no wharves here, no throwing out of planks, no
stopping-places for ladies, between water and land. The vessel sails as
near the shore as possible without grounding, and then the passengers on
board are carried to _terra firma_. This is done by two sailors, who
make a kind of seat by clasping their hands together, after which they
receive the living freight. You put out each arm, and clasp your
improvised sedan around their necks, to keep from falling. Sometimes one
of the sailors is as black as tar; but it makes no difference--"civil
rights" is not the question at issue now. You cannot wade, or wet your
feet, and they will carry you safely, this being a portion of their
duties, for which they are paid.

Terrasilla Island is one of those charming spots which all admire, but
none can describe. The principal inhabitant is Madam Joe, a German lady,
celebrated for her hospitality. Here she came, with her husband, after
the Florida war, to occupy lands given them by the Government. An
adventure of some kind was then of daily occurrence. Nature poured forth
her beauties in solitude, and from the dark recesses of the primitive
forest-wilderness were echoed and reëchoed the war-whoop of the Indian,
the howl of the jaguar, the scream of the catamount, and the threatening
growl of old bruin. The rough hands, stalwart frame, and nut-brown face
of this lady, indicate a life to which ease and idleness are unknown.
Her home is now transformed from a wilderness to a place which recalls
our youthful images of fairy-land. Here you constantly feel as though
you were having a beautiful dream, which may be dissipated by some
external irruption, and the spell broken. How delightful to any one who
has a constant warfare with life to keep himself master of the situation
is a visit to this beautiful island, where only the winds and waves
strive for victory, and the excesses practiced in refined society are
unknown! where orange-trees grow as tall as Lombardy poplars, and are
laden with fruit hanging in luxuriant loveliness, designed to delight
all those who partake. It is now February; new Irish potatoes, tomatoes,
with green peas, and egg-plants, are abundant. Fresh flowers are in
their bloom and beauty; the earth is enameled with the white petals of
the forget-me-not, in lieu of the snow-banks which cover the ground
farther North. Roses of immense size are open, together with verbenas of
varied hues, geraniums, salvias, periwinkles, and corkwood-trees, all
exhaling their fragrance in the open air. Here in this beauteous bower
Madam Joe, after her day's duties are done, walks, with the bright
moonbeams shining on her pathway, singing those German patriotic
melodies so dear to the heart of every wanderer from the historic shores
and vine-clad hills of the River Rhine--thus forming a symphony with the
ebbing tide of briny waters by which her home is surrounded.

A young couple from Alabama are staying here, who have come with the
intention of settling. Romance has never written any thing more rural,
nor the imagination of a poet conceived thoughts which savor more of
poesy, than the real life which they lead. He lost an arm while battling
for his country, but his courage has never failed him. With a little
assistance he has built a palmetto and pole house, which subserves the
purpose of sitting-room and bed-room. The white sand blows in sometimes,
during the day, from the beach, falling on the bed, converting the
pillows into friction-brushes, and the young wife's temper into an
irritated condition. She cooks their food under rustling palms, while he
reads to her from some interesting book. She accompanies him in his
hunting expeditions, to carry home the game, which is their principal
subsistence. Adam and Eve, when first placed in the garden of Eden, were
not less solicitous for a support than this couple appear in their
rustic home. The land bordering on Sarasota Bay contains some portions
of country as uncivilized as when the savage glided across its green
waters, or his voice rang through its uncultured forests. The climate is
delightful beyond description--the air "soft as the memory of buried
love." Here, in appearance, must be located the Enchanted Isles, where
cold, heat, or hunger were unknown, where roamed the white deer, which
the red man worshiped as a god, that lived and fed from the delicate
mosses, silken as a mermaid's hair, slender and feathery as a pencil of
light when it first reaches the earth at the early blush of morn. Some
old fogies, who have lived here for many years, express opposition to
new settlements being made, and say "it will spile their cattle-range."
Stock-raising has been the only money-making employment of the
population since they lived here. They are not informed with regard to
other branches of industry, or their successful prosecution. Broad
acres, with pastures green, on which range the wild herds, have been the
standard of their wealth heretofore. Persons wishing to settle in a
country always inquire about its healthfulness. There exists no malaria,
or disease of any kind. The settlers live mostly on the bay, where, from
constant evaporation, the waters are more briny than the Atlantic. The
land is interspersed with rich hummock, underlying which is a stratum of
marl. A great variety of wild fruits are found in the woods, the
principal kinds being the fox-grape, octagonal cactus that produces a
delicious fruit, tamarinds, sugar-apples, poporea, and sea-grape--all
indigenous. The Lima bean bears during the entire year. The pine-apple
culture has proved a success. The _Palma Christi_ and bird-pepper grow
into perennial plants, living and producing many years. The change of
seasons in South Florida is imperceptible, while in more Northern
clinics autumn, with stately tread and Tyrian-dyed train, assumes her
sway, bearing fruits of scarlet and gold, that are gathered in haste,
for fear the rude blasts will freeze out their luscious, juicy
qualities; but here there is no suspense of vegetation. Many times
during the winter months a soft haze, accompanied by a more tender and
less glaring light, over-spreads the land and sea, when the sun shines
as it shines in the Northern Indian summer. It is during these halcyon
days, when nature appears transfigured for a time into an abode fit for
angels, that we love to sit and muse upon this lovely scene, with
feelings too sacred for confidants, too pure for earth. Many tourists,
in traveling, expect all their schemes to roll on electric wheels,
without rocks or ruts in the roads, or any hilly eminences to impede
them; but we must all remember that patience is a plant which flourishes
in a pure atmosphere, with its petals fanned by the breath of heaven,
while its roots are nourished by the great moral principles that radiate
from a pure heart. As the motive-power that takes visitors through and
about this country bears no resemblance to a "lightning express," many
exclamations are made by those who have to endure these irregularities
incident to a new country that would read badly in print.

Off the shore of Sarasota Bay fishing-smacks are engaged at all seasons
in obtaining supplies for the Havana market. These little vessels
contain a well where the water can be changed, and the fish kept alive
until sold. The most delicious fish of all found in these waters is the
pompano, which resembles the California salmon, both in color and
flavor. It is only taken at night by striking with a harpoon. In some
portions of the bay the finest oysters grow that are found on any coast.

Mangrove-thickets also abound, which in some places form an almost
impassable barrier to navigation. This tree resembles the banyan of
India, in throwing out stolons, besides the leaf-bearing limbs, that
incline downward, thus taking root, and producing other plants, which
grow into trees. They are only natives of a tropical shore, where they
root in the mud and form a dense thicket to the verge of the ocean.
Oyster-shells and sea-urchins attach themselves, hanging in clusters,
which form an unapproachable defense.

New settlers are frequently found here, living in palmetto-houses. Think
of a family composed of ten persons staying in a house made of leaves,
with a finely surf-beaten shell-floor, the whole structure nearly fifty
feet long, twelve feet high, divided into rooms by pieces of sail-cloth,
the roof impervious to water, and no rude winds to blow on them. We have
wandered far to find the home of contentment, and here it dwells. How
heartily they all eat fish, clams, and oysters! How soundly they sleep
on their mossy beds! How happy they appear, building boats or
cultivating their lands! How merry they whistle when starting out to
fish, or strike in their little canoes! They look exceedingly
picturesque gliding about with their torches in the bow of the boat,
resembling _ignes-fatui_ more than tangible substance. When they
approach the shore the hogs, dogs, and cats all run to meet them,
knowing their supplies are coming. Hogs are fattened on fish, and penned
a month before killing, when they are given other food to prevent the
meat having a fishy flavor. Here conchologists, and persons fond of
shell-hunting, can be gratified. After you pass the keys which abound in
this bay, you come to a wide beach of snowy whiteness, formed from the
_débris_ of shells and coral, worn by the waves which open to the Gulf
of Mexico. There is no place in Florida which has such a variety of rare
and beautiful shells. Here are also numerous layers of rock, extending
into the water, very nearly resembling the St. Augustine coquina, which
is used in building chimneys, also house-foundations.

All visitors that come to Florida, who are not confirmed invalids, have
their hobby, or favorite amusement, with which they propose to be
entertained during their stay. Some love to fish, and require choice
morsels to tempt their prey. No rivulet, however remote, if a minnow
moves in its sluggish waters, is proof against their explorations. The
crabs are pulled out with a celerity that astonishes their crustaceous
lordships. The sea-fiddlers cannot come from their holes for a quiet
dance on the beach without being jerked up to a tune they never heard
before. These are all used for bait, which delights the silly fish very
much, until he finds himself a captive in an element which relieves him
of vitality. Others are fond of capturing alligators, and many an
unfortunate animal is found lying on his back, with his teeth drawn out,
his head cut off, and skin missing. The deer-hunter is in for his share
of amusement: he loves to camp at night, and, when he can "shine the
eyes" of the unsuspecting animal, send a bullet with unfailing certainty
through his head.

The most indefatigable, persistent, unrelenting, and unyielding, to any
obstacle, is the naturalist. No mire or mud, filled with shapes however
monstrous or ugly, is proof against his encroachments. The eagle in her
eyrie, with a nest built on the tallest pines, is reached with ropes,
the young eaglets captured, to be cut in pieces, their wings measured
from tip to tip, feathers counted, and bodies embalmed. Mr. and Mrs.
Snake have no privileges, except in their dens, but that of being
gobbled up in a very unceremonious manner, their striped hides taken off
and stuffed, then carried to the Smithsonian, or some other museum of
less celebrity. The ugliest and most repulsive-looking worms have no
chance to measure their length outside their dark places of repose with
the prospect of ever returning. No butterfly, if discovered, is
permitted to pass through its transitions in freedom, for oftentimes,
before its wings are spread to the breeze, it becomes a helpless,
hopeless prisoner, where in its captivity it can metamorphose much as it
pleases, and then yield its life a sacrifice to science. The bugs, with
their various shapes and sizes, cannot try the strength of their wings,
or compare their green, velvety jackets, with their more plainly-dressed
neighbors, without being seized like culprits, and pinned to pasteboard.

Sailing and stopping, how care is lightened of its burden in the life we
are now pursuing! There is nothing expected of us, but we are
anticipating a great deal of pleasure from the trip. We are now landing
at Egmont Key, which is an insular domain--a kingdom bounded by deep
waters--a residence among turtles and birds of varied notes. This island
is five miles in circumference, and seven from the mainland, commanding
the entrance to Tampa Bay. Latitude--north, 27° 36´; longitude--west
from Greenwich, 82° 45´. A light-house was erected upon this island in
1848. It is built of brick, and is eighty-six feet above sea-level--lens
of the fourth order--the light being a fixture, visible twelve miles.
The high tower looks as though it was trying to reach the sky, which
overhangs its solitary turret. In this retired spot the ocean-birds
resort to build their nests, or rest their pinions for longer flights;
and the turtle comes to deposit her eggs, to be fostered by sunbeams,
and afterward caressed in emerald waves, when their maternal shells are
broken. Here the most frequent sounds are from sighing waves and heavy
seas; but, when the weather is calm, feathered songsters of varied notes
come from their coverts of safety to sing songs of joy.

Naturalists from every State visit this point--among the number the late
lamented Professor Agassiz ranked as the most distinguished. Among the
many marines with whose habits we have become conversant, the
hermit-crab, also called the soldier-crab, appears the most peculiar. At
low tide we saw a large mollusk-shell traveling toward the shore, and
wondered why such unaccustomed speed in its movements. We soon
discovered crab-claws projecting from its shell, and recognized it as a
hermit-crab, an original freebooter. How strangely he looked, with his
confiscated house on his back, moving about like a sailor in his boat,
using his claws for oars! When the shell he is occupying gets too small
for him, like a land-liver he goes house-hunting. If he finds one
tenanted which will answer his purpose, he pulls out the occupant with
as little ceremony as a fellow-man kicks his drunken brother into the
street. He then darts into the shell with great speed, leaving his
companion, bruised and homeless, to die at his leisure, or secure
another, if he is able.

In this favored spot the eagle teaches her eaglets to face the sun and
soar from sight, while the seagulls flap their wings in silence, the
cormorant gorges himself to gluttony, and the pelican takes on her cargo
of fish, which she carries to a platform raised in front of her nest,
that the fledglings may draw their rations without leaving their downy
beds, where they remain until they are grown.

[Illustration: A FISH-HAWK FORAGING FROM A PELICAN.]

Rare sea-shells are found on this beach, and rarer birds; but the rarest
of all that is seen on this island is the light-house-keeper, Captain
Coons, who is a Spiritualist, a curiosity, a mixture of singularities
combined, an enigma of the human species. His presence reminds one of a
moving panorama, or kaleidoscope, with a great variety of coloring and
adaptations, always changing, and designed to please the crowd before
which it is placed. He has much versatility of talent--can scrape almost
any old-fashioned tune out of catgut, blow plaintive notes from a flute,
and draw "Yankee Doodle" from that unclassic instrument upon which we
never read of David the son of Jesse having performed--an accordion.
Spirits of persons that have been drowned in the vast deep are said to
visit this island more than others: perhaps the proximity favors their
coming; and sailors, never remarkable for their piety, while wandering
in darkness, and weary of the gnashing teeth in their unhappy abodes, if
they do come, it is only seeking rest.

This point is the best for spiritual circles that could be imagined--no
affinities that are inharmonious to come in, and prevent those mystic
rappers which have been promising to benefit the world so wonderfully
for more than twenty years, but never, as yet, developed any important
truths.

The united family live here. The spirits have revealed to the husband
that in another world "they will be married, as in this." He says "he
never wants another wife but the one he has got." His well-chosen
consort has lost nearly all her teeth, and the spirits which she has
interviewed on the subject of dentistry have promised her a "new set"
when she commences her spiritual life. If all the toothless people in
the world were to wait for a new supply of grinders until they arrived
in another world, the dentists would soon starve out in this.

No part of the world furnishes a greater variety of the finny tribe than
this coast, and fisheries are being established in the vicinity. Sharks,
sixteen or eighteen feet in length, make their appearance in company
with devil-fish of enormous size. Jew-fish, weighing three or four
hundred pounds, together with tarpons of one hundred and fifty or two
hundred pounds, are quite common. Schools of mullet swarm in these
waters, constituting an article of commerce. Green and loggerhead turtle
are taken, and form a lucrative traffic.

An old Spanish sailor on duty tells us he can remember when the
buccaneers landed on this island with their stolen goods and secreted
them. This class of people were descended from the French, and subsisted
upon a kind of smoked meat called boucan, from which they derived their
name.

These buccaneers assumed martial names, known only among themselves.
Their clothing was of a most repulsive character, consisting of a filthy
shirt, colored with the blood of animals they had killed, belted with a
leather-thong over trousers to match, while hung to their belts were
Dutch knives and a saber; a brimless hat and hog-skin shoes completed
their toilet. They never attacked vessels on their way to America, but
on their return, grappling the largest and firing into their port-holes
with such accuracy the gunners were unable to return the fire. They
cherished a great antipathy to the Spaniards, because they had captured
the portion of country from them that they claimed. They were a terror
to all commercial enterprises in the Spanish Colonies, also crippling
the agricultural prospects. Jean Lafitte, their leader, died at
Appalachicola, where his body lay in state several days, when it was
visited by many people from long distances.

The breeze is now freshening a little: raise the foresail, mainsail, and
jib, when we are moving at the rapid rate of a mile in two hours. Even
in midwinter, at noonday, the merry sunshine comes beaming down in this
latitude with intense fervor. Finally a dead calm ensues, and we are
prisoners on the high seas. The zephyrs are nooning in their sylvan
bowers, while the heat has to be endured peaceably as possible--like all
other things, it terminates. The great orb of day has performed his duty
well--resembling a successful conqueror, he descends triumphantly, in
his chariot of fire, beneath the briny waves--a golden train of glory is
left behind him, while the charming blue sky and sunset are mirrored
upon the sea, each alternate wave being a reflection from the sunbeams.
Poets may sing, "Beautiful isles of the sea," but before they had spent
much time in this desolate spot, it would be, "Lonely isles of the sea,
when shall I be where the face of human beings will gladden my heart,
and the smiles of friendship beam upon my pathway again?"

We are hopeful yet, as Boca Grande is reached--the entrance to Charlotte
Harbor--then Point Blanco, afterward Point Kautivo, where a poor
preacher was captured and murdered for money. Now we are sailing through
seas once the hiding-place of pirates, where much gold is said to be
buried which was captured from a frigate on her passage to France.

One of these numerous islands is now the residence of a professional
privateer in by-gone days, but who has since returned to private life,
pursuing a civilized vocation. On another island in the vicinity lived
Felippe, a Spaniard, with his three Indian wives. After the close of the
last Seminole war, when orders were issued by the Federal Government for
the savages to leave Florida, his wives, belonging to the tribe, were
included in the edict. The Federal officers induced Felippe to leave
home, that they might rob him of his concubines and fourteen children.
After his departure all were more easily persuaded than Polly, his last
love, whom he had seduced from an Indian guide. However, after much
persuasion, she was reconciled by a purse being made up for her benefit.
When Felippe returned he was perfectly inconsolable for the loss of his
wives and children, and, on being informed Polly was prevailed upon to
go by giving her money, he replied, "O Polly go to hell for money!"

Punta Rassa, our landing-place now, is situated over one hundred miles
from Key West, and twenty-two miles from Fort Myres, opposite Synabel
Island. The waters of the gulf here, being confined in a small compass,
rush with fearful rapidity during a gale. The Federal Post was destroyed
in 1844. From this point also were collected and shipped, during the
Florida war, many of the wives and children of the Seminoles. Here the
land part of the International Telegraph Line terminates--the wire
leaping from mid-air into the Gulf of Mexico, to remain in old Neptune's
bed, undisturbed by winds or waves, and only agitated by the most
important events taking place in the world. There is but one house here
of any size, built by the Government during the late war for commissary
stores, and now occupied by the telegraph company. The musquitoes are so
thick the clerks have an operating-room, partitioned off in the center
of the building with thin domestic, containing their apparatus. These
insects being of such gigantic proportions, and making such vigorous
moves, netting would offer no obstruction to their blood-thirsty
operations. They can jump through an ordinary net as easily as a frog
breaks a spider-web. Here is a signal-station, the agent stopping in a
tent. All that induces any of the operators to remain is the high wages
they receive, which compensates them in a manner for the deprivations
they suffer in the loss of society.

From this point large quantities of cattle are annually shipped to Cuba,
the facilities for loading being superior to any on the coast.



CHAPTER XXII.

    The sun now rose upon the right--
      Out of the sea came he,
    Still hid in mist, and on the left
      Went down into the sea.


We have been sailing near land since we left Tampa Bay, but now we are
in water sixty fathoms deep, and past wading or swimming out, let what
will happen to us. We leave Ten Thousand Islands and Cape Roman without
landing, as they are uninhabited, and so lonely it seems God alone
visits them. A night on the water alone with God and the stars, who can
describe it? The sun has left his sentinel, Venus, soon to descend, with
her evening charms, after delighting her admirers only a short while.
The atmosphere at sea being so pure, this planet looks as though it had
silver steps leading to its portals, upon which fancy might climb
without wings, or the Muses catch inspiration without effort. What a
grand sight to watch those far-off worlds, as they silently rise before
our unobstructed vision, gemming the canopy of heaven with their grand
glories for a few hours, and then retiring, while others take their
places to dispel the darkness with their continuous rays!

We read of golden waves, and silver waves, but phosphorescent waves
exceed all. When the salt-waters of the Gulf are much agitated, and the
vessel plows the "breaking foam," it appears surrounded with a sea of
most brilliantly-lighted waves, extending far as the agitation reaches.
The lead and line, when dropped in the water, is followed by a flash
resembling electricity from the clouds. The luminous particles which
compose this light are found floating in the water when it is dipped up
in buckets, and adheres to the sides of any vessel in which the water is
placed. It is produced from a species of animalcule called _arethusa
plegica_, and when collected in large masses resembles flashes from an
electric body, or balls of fire. Sailors regard the passing of these
lights under the hull as ominous of adverse winds, and danger of being
swamped from heavy seas. We are nearing Sand Key Light, seven miles from
Key West, and sixty from Cape Sable. From Punta Rassa to this place
nothing breaks the monotony of our movements but the sea-monsters
darting under and around our vessel--sometimes a whale, spouting water;
a dolphin, playing hide and seek with his companions--all enjoying the
freedom of their native element near the surface, as though the great
luminary and smooth waters had charms for these voiceless denizens of
the deep as well as ourselves.

Here we see the Southern Cross just above the horizon, although many
suppose it visible only south of the equator. The principal stars
composing it are very bright and unmistakable as the constellation of
Ursa Major. The coral formations in these waters are what make sailing
dangerous and shipwrecks frequent. Many a vessel in sight of port, with
golden prospects before them when they should anchor in the harbor, and
reap a rich reward for their toil, has sunk or stranded here, and then
been robbed by men unsympathizing as Hottentots. The early records of
Key West say that it was inhabited by a different tribe of Indians from
those on the mainland, in evidence of which human bones of a larger size
than those belonging to the present race of red men have been discovered
here in ancient fortifications and mounds. The Indians living on these
islands and along the coast visited the mainland for the purpose of
hunting, when a dispute arose between them, which resulted in war. The
Indians on the mainland, being the most numerous, pursued those from the
islands, until they were obliged to take refuge on Key West. Here they
were compelled to make a stand, where they had a battle which nearly
exterminated them--a few only escaping to Cuba in boats, and it is said
were seen there during the early settlement of the island. As the
conquerors did not remain to bury their enemies, the ground was strewn
with bones; hence the Spanish name _Cayo Hueso_, rendered by the
Americans Key West. It is called the "Gem of the Sea," and distant from
Cuba ninety-seven miles--latitude, 24° 32´ north.

The lands are of coral formation, consequently very sterile, although
presenting a verdant appearance, caused by artificial fertilizers.
Tropical fruits grow the entire year without interruption. Here we find
the sugar-apple, alligator-pear, sapodilla-guava, limes, lemons,
tamarinds, bananas, and plantain--the cocoa-nut tree, with her
tessellated leaves, fanned by the breath of eternal spring-time, and
ripening its refreshing fruits to nourish the thirsty residents, who
would languish were they not supplied with the juices from fruits. The
cocoa sheds its fruit when ripe, endangering the heads of those passing.
Parents having children who play under the trees are constantly uneasy,
as a full-grown cocoa-nut, falling forty feet, would nearly annihilate a
child. They are gathered by means of long poles, attached to the end of
which is an iron hook--sometimes with ladders and ropes.

To a person who has never visited this island it is almost impossible to
imagine that only sixty-five miles from the mainland of Florida is a
city so nearly in appearance resembling the Spanish dominions of the Old
World--where hardly a sentence of English is heard, business
transactions conducted in a foreign language, produce bought and sold,
together with fruits from the adjacent islands cried in Spanish by the
auctioneers. The wharf is a busy place. Here are vessels from various
ports, with the ensigns of different nationalities--schooners, ships,
and steamers, carrying from ten tons to many thousand, loaded
principally with provisions and lumber.

The chief of the Seminoles is among the traders, from his Everglade
home, inhabited by the deer, which leaves its "delicate foot-prints" on
the margin of the streams, or the "slow-paced bear," which drinks and
then leaps across the lagoons in search of prey, or to be captured by
his savage enemies. Tiger Tail has come to market with sweet potatoes,
pumpkins, cabbages, venison, honey, and buckskins. The honey is in one
of nature's own receptacles--a deer skin, taken from the animal whole,
one of the fore-legs being used as a mouth for this natural bottle,
containing the captured sweets. He does not cultivate the soil in
person. His wives, together with his two negro women, who have never
heard of the "Emancipation Act," raise the vegetables, while he and his
warriors engage in combat with the untamed beasts that roam in their
native wilds, or wage destruction upon the finny inhabitants of the
dark, sluggish waters.

The population of Key West numbers seven or eight thousand. The streets
indicate a populous place--the number of inhabitants having been greatly
increased since the insurrectionary movements in Cuba. Cleanliness is a
prevailing characteristic of the streets, there being no deposits of
_débris_ permitted. As there are few vehicles, and no sidewalks,
pedestrians use the center of the street for promenading. The ladies do
not wear covering for their heads, except a few, who use thin black lace
veils: all wear their dresses trailing a long distance behind them,
presenting a most _dolce far niente_ appearance walking about in the
golden sunlight, fearless of its burning rays as the eagle which gazes
upon its dazzling splendors. Many new houses are in process of erection
upon the island, and the march of improvement is making rapid strides
among the vacant lots. The architectural style of these buildings is
adapted only to the necessities of a tropical clime--a shelter from the
heat and rain. They have no chimneys, consequently no bright, cheerful
firesides, with their fanciful shapes described in the curling smoke,
leaping flames, or expiring coals, about which poets love to write and
dream. Conchs were the original English settlers of this place, who came
here from New Providence and the adjacent islands of the Bahama group.
"Conch" is not, as many suppose, a term of contempt, but a local
distinction. When the first regiment of colonial militia was organized
at Nassau, they adopted the figure of a coach-shell in gold, with a blue
field, for their regimental colors, thereby declaring the protection of
their natural position; from this the term is applied more particularly
to those from that city. They are a temperate, frugal, industrious class
of persons, accustomed for generations to procuring a living from the
sea; but many of them on this island have turned their talents in other
directions, controlling a large part of the commercial business of the
place. The greater portion of them are engaged in wrecking, sponging, or
fishing for the Havana market, many owning fine vessels, and being men
of respectability, although belonging to those classes whose names, to
one not acquainted with them, appear an equivalent to buccaneers or
pirates.

Wrecking was conducted for many years at Key West in a most ungenerous
manner, with the old adage, "Freight is the mother of wages." Wholesome
laws have since been enacted for the protection of the unfortunate
owners who are stranded; also for compensation of wreckers who come to
the rescue. Many of these accidents occurred from preconcerted action
between the sailing-master and the wreckers, or carelessness in crossing
the reefs, together with the changing currents. Now, a forfeiture of
license for frauds in accounting for goods, embezzling, or bad sailing,
has produced a stringency which precludes dishonesty.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
holds its sessions here, and is constantly open for the adjudication of
cases in Admiralty. Scarcely a week passes but its services are called
for in deciding the claims of some salvor against property which has
been rescued from peril. Over seven hundred cases in Admiralty have been
heard and decided within the last year. Judge Locke, who wears the
ermine gracefully, is the presiding official in these courts, dealing
out justice according to the judicial requirements of the applicants.

The International Telegraph has its principal head-quarters at this
point. Among the many facilities for the union of interests, and the
transmission of news, this route is considered the most important. The
survey was commenced from Jacksonville to Miami, from Miami to Key West,
inside of the reef; afterward from Gainesville to Cape Roman found the
route to Punta Rassa the best, following far as known the Washington
meridian. The cable from Havana to Punta Rassa _via_ Kev West was laid
in August and September, 1867. In 1869 a second was laid. During May,
1871, one of the working cables failed between Key West and Havana. In
attempting to pick up the end in five hundred fathoms of water, they
caught the working cable and broke it, after which the International
Company had a dispatch-steamer running regularly, carrying messages to
and from Havana. Several efforts have been made to pick up and repair
the broken cable, spending over $150,000 without success. A new cable
now, however, obviates all difficulties. This connects the United States
with Cuba, running to all the West India Islands. There are also other
cables laid along the south coast, by which means the United States
Government communicates with its vessels of war and consular agents in
the West Indies, also Spain and the colonies. The "Conchs" heretofore
have not been interested in general education; but recently a desire for
the knowledge of something besides reefs, keys, sponges, and turtles,
has rapidly increased, while general intelligence and "book-learning"
are now considered as among the essential requisites. The public-school
system has been introduced with excellent results, and two flourishing
schools are continued for ten months each year, where the common and
higher English branches are taught, and Latin. There are other schools
of lower grades, besides several private schools, and the Sisters of
Mary and Joseph.

Cigar-making is extensively carried on in Key West, thus giving
employment to hundreds of exiled Cubans. The establishment of
Seidenberg & Co. is the largest in the city, employing six hundred
operatives. Upon the first floor are seated eighty females, engaged in
stripping tobacco from the stems. Here mother and daughter work side by
side, the daughter earning five dollars per week on account of her more
nimble fingers, and the mother three. The daughter puffs a delicate
cigarette, while the mother smokes a huge cigar, it being considered a
disgrace for the young ladies to use--only cigarettes. Two hundred and
fifty men are occupied in one room upon the second floor, all forming
those cylindrical tubes through which is to be drawn so much enjoyment
in the present, while a perfect _abandon_ of all anxiety for the future
is felt. These operatives employ a reader, who reads aloud from
newspapers printed in Spanish, while they are working, for which luxury
each one bears his proportion of the expense. When any news favoring the
cause of the insurgents is read, the house echoes with shouting and
stamping of feet. The remaining laborers are employed in assorting and
packing the cigars for market. Only the choicest tobacco is used in this
factory--each first-class cigar made here being warranted equal to any
Havana brand. Thirty-five thousand cigars are manufactured daily,
consuming thirty thousand pounds of tobacco monthly. The most amusing
sight of all is to see these workmen drink water: it is contained in a
kind of earthenware vessel which they call a "monkey-jug," made from a
porous earth obtained in Cuba, and shaped something like our American
gallon-jug, only the orifice is on the side. These jugs are suspended by
a cord in some cool place, where the air circulates most freely, a
slight percolation constantly taking place from the water inside. When
they drink, the vessel is raised to an angle of twelve degrees above
their mouths, and, after setting their heads back on their shoulders,
with their months wide open, they turn the water down their throats,
without any perceptible act of deglutition. After they have finished
drinking, they close their mouths with a peculiar "umph," at the same
instant exclaiming "_Ave Maria!_" to indicate the act is finished, and
returning thanks to the Virgin for the privilege.

The cochineal insect is indigenous here, and is found upon the _Cactus
opuntia_. In appearance it resembles a tiny ball of cotton attached to
the plant; but, on being pressed, a scarlet fluid exudes, which is the
life-blood of the insect, produced by the colored cactus-fruit upon
which it feeds. This furnishes the beautiful dye of commerce, for which
it yields its life.

Sponging is another important branch of industry centering here--the
entire coast being composed of reefs and keys. The numerous sounds and
inlets abound with sponges of an excellent quality, one class of which
has won an established reputation in commerce, being known as the
"Florida Sheep's wool." The cheaper qualities are the "Yellow-boat,"
"Glove," and "Grass"--the last two being the kinds used particularly by
the American Sponge Company, very extensively, in the manufacture of
upholstery. Many tons of these sponges are shipped annually for that
purpose. This product of the sea is found growing in water from ten to
twenty-five feet deep. It is detached from the bottom, and brought to
the surface by means of iron hooks fastened to long poles. When first
found they are solid, and resemble a jelly-fish. They are then thrown on
the deck of the vessel until they die, when they are beaten, washed and
wrung out, leaving, as it were, but the skeleton of the original
article--this constitutes the sponge of commerce. The amount realized
from the sale of sponges gathered and sold at this place, yearly,
exceeds one hundred thousand dollars, which costs nothing but the labor
of gathering, cleaning, drying, and packing. The rough life these people
lead does not make them appear as though they had been fed on
mountain-dew, or nurtured on the wings of love; however, they are
kind-hearted creatures to their friends.

Key West being the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico, it is well fortified
by Fort Taylor, thus using every precautionary measure for its
protection. Here stands this fort, with its frowning battlements, upon
which are mounted the most formidable artillery used in modern warfare.
The construction of this fortress was commenced in 1845, and it now
protects an important harbor and naval depot. It is built entirely of
brick, with two tiers of casemates, and one in barbette. The most
exposed and weaker parts of the walls have been strengthened by making
them twelve feet thick--solid masonry--which has prepared it to resist
any thing but a continued bombardment. There are now mounted for action
one hundred and thirty guns; three three-hundred-pound Parrot, thirty
ten-inch Rodman, and two fifteen-inch Rodman guns have been placed in
position on the barbette tier, in the form of a trapezoid, with bastions
at the four angles. The remaining; guns are of smaller caliber. The
defenses have recently been increased by two land-batteries, exterior to
the fort, commanding the western and northern approaches. One of these
batteries mounts twelve, and the other seventeen, fifteen-inch Rodman
guns, with magazine traverses. There are also two towers, with casemated
batteries, in which are twelve ten-inch guns, to prevent boats landing.
All these works are under the supervision of a most accomplished
engineer--Colonel Blount, of the United States Navy.

Key West is also fortified with a Curiosity Shop, in the event of an
attack from curious people in search of something to gratify their
tastes in that direction. The name was adopted from Dickens--the
difference being that one existed in the imagination of the writer, and
the other is a reality. Here we find the _fac-simile_ of the veritable
clock which ticked the hours away, mentioned by Dickens. In appearance,
it has size enough to be a "bed by night and clock by day." May it not
have the misfortune of its namesake to time the sheriff's entrance, and
keep tally to the auctioneer's hammer! Also a pair of andirons, said to
have been used by George Washington. Imagine him and Martha in front of
these grotesquely-patterned fire-supporters, the general just returned
from Yorktown, Virginia, and relating the news of the capitulation of
Lord Cornwallis. The sword of General La Fayette graces the rubbish of
this curious medley, instead of a brave general's side; pistols a
century old; cannon of four-pound caliber, which were used anciently to
announce the Fourth of July; flint-lock muskets, of Revolutionary fame;
flags that have floated over victories, and surrendered with defeat;
silver coin made in 1799; gold coins of 1803, together with coins of all
nations and dates, from Julius Cæsar down; Russian signal-lanterns; a
model of the steamer Sumter; a bird-cage, Gothic style, containing
nearly five thousand pieces; turbot-skins; horned frogs; chicken-spurs,
the property of a warrior never beaten; skeletons of sea-horses and
sea-cows; sharks' teeth; books two hundred years old; a parrot speaking
Spanish; the devil in a bottle, besides a thousand other things too
numerous to mention. When you survey all you can see, and don't discover
what you want, call for the owner, John Dixon, who is more of a
curiosity than any thing his shop contains. He is a genuine Greek, born
on an island of Greece. Is it an impossibility that the same crimson
current which courses through his veins may not have descended from
Solon or Socrates? Perhaps his ancestors might have been among the brave
number who opposed Xerxes in his efforts to subjugate Greece--may be a
relative of the cynic philosopher, Diogenes, whom he more nearly
resembles in his peculiarity of independence and contempt for common
things in general, or any thing which is not extremely old or curious.
He has for a sign a full-sized ship's figure-head of the Virgin Mary, on
which the gilding is much defaced, it having been washed ashore many
years since from the wreck of a Spanish ship.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XXIII.

    Soft the shadows slowly creeping
      Through thy dim and spectral pines;
    Pure thy lakelets, calmly sleeping,
      Save a few light rippling lines,
    When the water-lilies move,
    And fairies chant their early love.


After leaving the St. John's River and traveling westward, we approach
what is called Middle Florida, fanned by the gulf breezes, and protected
from the northern blasts with heavily-timbered lands. The first town of
importance through which we pass is Lake City, fifty-four miles from
Jacksonville, this being the county-site of Columbia. This city was
named from the beautiful sheets of water by which it is surrounded,
where naiads and fairies could come to dwell, and lovers do resort to
whisper. These lakes are distinguished by the names of De Soto,
Isabella, Hamburg, and Indian. The waters abound in fish, while
alligators are daily seen, plunging about in them, as happy persons are
rowing in light canoes upon their smooth surfaces. The population
numbers about two thousand. It has eight churches of various
denominations, a creditable court-house, and three hotels--the Thrasher
House being the most agreeable and roomy in every respect. A weekly
paper is published here. It is also the terminus of the submarine
telegraph, and contains an "old probability" office. The citizens are
refined, intelligent, and friendly toward strangers.

The architectural style of dwellings in Lake City are more truly
Southern summer-residences than any other city in the State. They are
built up from the ground, with a wide passage separating the two
apartments--the floors being made of pine plank, which the combined
efforts of woolly artisans with shucks and sand manage to keep
invitingly clean. This style of structure, to an artistic taste
accustomed to the modern cottages, dormer-windows, and pigeon-like
apartments, covered with slate-roofing, thus converting the upper story
into a fiery furnace after a hot day, suggests a kind of rudeness,
characteristic of the locality, which is quite the reverse: like the
whispering gallery, they are made to catch the slightest agitation in
the atmosphere, it being duplicated, within this long receptacle, into a
most grateful breeze. However, here, as in other tropical climes, it is
observable at noon, each day, that the softest winds are lulled to rest,
when a general stagnation steals over every thing, from the house-dog to
the tallest pine, with its green plumes kissing the midday sunbeams; but
after the day commences to decline, a breeze springs up, which enables
us to appreciate its presence and survive better during its absence. The
soil in the vicinity is fertile--thus enabling the inhabitants to engage
largely in the culture of early vegetables and strawberries, which are
shipped North. Oranges weighing a pound are not uncommon. Many invalids
find the atmosphere of Middle Florida exceedingly conducive to their
comfort, as the temperature is less variable than many other points in
the State, and for this reason fine for asthmatics, who say they can
sleep all night here, while in most other places day dawns with no
perceptible transition into a somnambulic state. The strong scent of
resin from the pineries, after we leave Lake City, is quite perceptible,
it being a fine lotion for weak lungs. Malaria visits some portions of
Middle Florida, where, anterior to the recent immigration, it was almost
unknown. This has been the history of all newly-settled countries--the
decomposition of much vegetable matter producing chills and fever.

West of the Suwanee is usually designated as Middle Florida, it formerly
being more densely populated than now, evidence of which is furnished us
from the ruins of buildings. For many years a jealousy existed between
the settlers of East and Middle Florida, in regard to their landed
estates. The commissioners in East Florida were more interested in
selling than settling the country--the lands in Middle Florida being
considered superior for agricultural purposes, and the titles good,
which is more than can be said of all the East Florida lands even now.

Some have looked upon this portion of the State as a kind of lottery,
the value of which would be realized after the drawing had occurred,
while there are those who come to stay, and when they find the visionary
ideal dream in which they have indulged is not realized to its fullest
extent, then they are ready to say, "We have been inveigled here." These
should remember, "There is no spot which combines every desirable
characteristic, with the absence of all that is undesirable. It not
unfrequently occurs in life, when unhappy spirits, chained in diseased
bodies, which cause them to settle into a sullen melancholy, whose
presence would discolor the face of all nature, and tinge with a sickly
hue the flowers of paradise, or the glories of the eternal throne."

After leaving Lake City, the next town of note before Tallahassee is
Monticello, one hundred and thirty-eight miles from Jacksonville,
situated at the terminus of the Monticello Branch Road, four miles
distant from the main line. It is the county-site of Jefferson,
surrounded by fertile farming-lands, this being the head-center of
traffic for a large extent of country. A population of not quite two
thousand inhabitants reside here, with every appearance of content. Good
churches of various creeds are well attended when open for service. The
former wealth of this county cannot fail to impress visitors who happen
here on Saturday, when great numbers of freedmen, formerly owned in this
locality, from habit leave their work and come to town for a holiday.
They go marching about the streets orderly as a procession, or file into
the stores until there is scarcely standing-room, getting on very
quietly until late in the day, when some of them, while under the
influence of badly-adulterated whisky, become noisy and
obstreperous--thus ending their day's frolic in the lock-up. A good
hotel is kept here, where bountiful tables, well patronized by
appreciative guests, daily attest its merits.

[Illustration: MIDDLE FLORIDA MUSICIANS!]

After sunset the frogs will be found the most demonstrative inhabitants,
at times, on the route to Tallahassee, which, strange as it may seem,
almost drown the car-whistle with their croakings--thus reminding us
that happiness, with some creatures, is not yet extinct in the world.
Probably no place can furnish a greater variety of frogs belonging to
the same genera, among which we find the bell-frog, speckled frog, green
frog, some of them being nine inches in length, measuring from the tip
of the nose to the terminus of the hind-foot toe, which amphibious
quadruped, when full grown, will weigh over a pound. The bell-frog is
supposed to have been named from the voice, which is fancied to be
exactly like a loud cow-bell. The following statement from a naturalist
on frogs will give us an idea of his impressions: "The bell-frogs being
very numerous, and uttering their voices in companies, or by large
districts, when one begins another answers--thus the sound is caught and
repeated from one to another a great distance, causing a surprising
noise for a few minutes, rising and sinking with the winds, then nearly
dying away, or is softly kept up by distant districts--thus the noise is
repeated continually, and as one becomes familiarized to it, the sound
is not unmusical, though at first, to strangers, it seems clamorous and
disgusting." Englishmen sent them home, more than a century since, as
Florida curiosities. The following is taken from the record of one's
arrival: "The pretty frog came safe and well, being now very brisk. Some
more of these innocent creatures would not be amiss. But pray send no
more mud-turtles--one is enough. The water-turtle is a pretty
species--came very well." Here is what Bartram wrote about our
dirt-daubers, which build their nests in the crevices and corners of
every neglected tenement: "I have sent you a variety of the clay cells
which the singing wasps built last summer, that I consider very
curious." All tourists have made Florida a point of scientific research,
in various ways, for many years.

    Far in ether, stars above thee
      Ever beam with purest light;
    Birds of richest music love thee,
      Flowers than Eden's hues more bright;
    And love, young love, so fresh and fair,
    Fills with his breath thy gentle air.

Tallahassee cannot be pointed out as the place where great literary
works first saw the light--such as the Commentaries of Cæsar, or where
Cicero rounded his periods, or Horace gave the last polish to his Odes,
or Milton conceived the grand idea of his Paradise Lost; but from its
choice shrubbery the golden oriole trills its melody, and the
mocking-bird warbles in the sky and on the house-tops, or fills the air
with song from neighboring trees at night.

De Soto, after discovering Espiritu Santo Bay in 1539, came through the
country to an Indian village called Auhayca, now the site of
Tallahassee--the name signifying "old field "--where, with his army, he
spent the winter. While here he secured the services of an Indian guide,
who proved to be "a most elaborate liar on various occasions," in regard
to gold-mines which only existed in his imagination. The Spanish
soldiers accompanying De Soto were encased with armor, which creates a
wonder in the minds of all who have seen it, how they were able to march
through a country offering so many obstacles, with such an immense
weight on their bodies. One winter's sojourn in this locality was
sufficient to satisfy De Soto that no treasures could be discovered
hidden away in the hills around Tallahassee; consequently, the following
spring he left.

Tallahassee is situated in the center of the State. The first house
erected after the cession of Florida to the United States was in 1824,
the Legislature convening there the following winter. In 1825 it became
an incorporated town. In January, 1826, the corner-stone of the
State-house was laid, and one wing of the building erected during the
year. The growth of this town, after its incorporation, equaled any in
America. It was situated on an eminence which commanded a fine view of
the surrounding country, with picturesque scenery, and on a stream of
water fed by bold springs. The State Governor speaks of its early
American settlement as a place "where the emigrants crowded, the rising
walls of the capitol being the attraction"--"the woods yielding their
shade to the saw, and their silence to the hammer"--the vicinity rapidly
changing from native forest-land to well-cultured fields.

On account of being situated twenty miles from the Gulf, the prospect of
its ever becoming an important commercial point for business was not
anticipated. The surface of the country around Tallahassee changes from
the flat lands of Florida to an elevated and undulating country, and
from sand to red clay. A gentleman-passenger who had retired to sleep
during the night where the land was level, on awaking in the morning,
and noticing the change in the surface of the country, called out to the
conductor, "Look here, boss! haven't you got this machine turned around,
and taking us back into Georgia?"

Persons perusing the following will be enabled to see the material of
which Governors' messages were made, in the Executive Department, during
the Indian war in Florida:

"_Tallahassee_, February, 1840.--Since you have been in session a number
of our people--among them a woman and children--have literally been
butchered by the Indians, many of whom occupy the swamps and other
fastnesses of Florida, from the Appalachicola to the Suwanee, while in
East Florida the murder of the mail-carriers within a few miles of St.
Augustine, proves how unavailing has been every effort to restrain the
enemy in that quarter. Indeed, it would seem that the cruelties of these
wild beasts--for so they deserve to be regarded, and their thirst for
blood places them beyond the pale of humanity--are becoming more and
more audacious, their deeds of horror rather accumulating than
diminishing. They venture to assail houses, and appear in our public
roads in the open day; they press beyond military posts to perpetrate
their murderous purposes, starting up like evil spirits when least
expected to appear, destroying the brave, virtuous, and innocent. Their
numbers can only be conjectured: it is not doubted that some sent to the
West have returned; but be the number great or small, every thicket and
deep forest is liable to be occupied by them; they elude pursuit;
driving them from one place to another is impracticable, as within the
past year they have planted near military posts. Our situation is
desperate; men sleep with arms under their pillows; a sense of
insecurity accompanies the traveler in his journey on the highway; every
neighborhood has its tale of blood, and those in authority look around
them in pain and distress, because they are powerless to afford an
adequate remedy for the evils thronging around them in every direction.
This is no exaggerated picture of our present condition. Romance lags
for behind the realities we daily witness, and it becomes our duty to
consider what shall be done for the relief of the country. No occasion
has yet occurred for testing the usefulness of the dogs brought from
Cuba. It is still believed, however, that they may be used with effect;
and why should they not be used? If robbers and assassins assail us, may
we not defend our property and our lives, even with bloodhounds? Shall
we look upon our ruined dwellings--upon the murdered and mangled remains
of men, women, and children--then meekly say, 'The poor Indians have
done this; we must be merciful and humane to them; we will not set our
dogs upon them. O no! that would be more horrible than these
butcheries.' Those who are safe from Indian alarms, in distant cities
and peaceful lands, may indulge in gentle strains of humanity and
brotherly love--were they dwellers in the log-cabins of Florida, they
would attune their notes to harsher measures. Let these men, in whose
hearts there is such a gush of the milk of human kindness, consider
attentively a scene recently exhibited upon the Appalachicola. Mr.
Harlan's dwelling was burned, and his family murdered, in the afternoon
of the 20th of last January. Mr. H. was absent, and the following is
from an eye-witness: 'On arriving at the spot, we found every house
reduced to ashes--at the kitchen-door the bones of a human being, nearly
consumed. Upon examination, we saw the track of the moccasin. On the
trail, not far off, we saw articles of clothing, potatoes, and papers,
dropped. Soon afterward about twenty-one armed persons arrived from
Iola, among them Mr. Harlan, who in a wretched state of feeling
proceeded to examine the burnt bones, believing them to be the remains
of his wife and son, whose knife he found amongst them. One of the men,
in searching behind a tree about one hundred yards distant, called out,
"Come here, Harlan! here is your wife." Joy sprang to my bosom as I ran
to see the dead come to life; but there was Mrs. H., with her throat
cut, a ball shot through her arm, one in her back, and a fatal shot
through her head. Her youngest son, eight years of age, lay near her
side, with his skull fractured by a pine-knot. He exhibited signs of
life, and I had him carried to a shelter, water given him, and his feet,
which were cold, bathed in warm water; slight hopes are entertained of
his recovery. Had you witnessed the heart-rending sight--the father
embracing and calling his son, "Buddie! Buddie!" with the solemn sound
of parental affection, sunk to the lowest ebb of dejection, and then
running to his wife, with his arms around her, shrieking, "My wife! my
wife!"--I know your feelings would have given way, as mine did. I had
heretofore felt a sympathy for these savages, but my mind then assumed a
stern fortitude foreign to its nature, and I felt not like leaving an
Indian foot to make a track in the desolation they had caused.' Who can
witness such atrocities without admitting it to be lawful to use
blood-hounds against such hell-hounds? It is my solemn conviction that
the only mode of conquering the Indians is to hunt and pursue them, in
every direction, with a competent force of brave and hardy men devoted
to the service, and generously rewarded by their country for the perils
and privations they endure.

R. R. REED, _Governor_."

"GENUINE BLOOD-HOUNDS.--_Tallahassee_, January, 1840. The blood-hounds,
with their twenty leash-men, have arrived from Cuba, and are landed in
Tallahassee. They have been tried, and follow a trail with accuracy
twenty-four hours old."

"_November_, 1840.--On last Monday one more of these animals arrived
from Cuba. He is mouse-colored, strong-limbed, and with a nose that
could scent the trail of a butterfly. He was whelped and raised in the
mountains on one of the sugar-estates, and is known to be of the best
pedigree. His propensities for blood are of the highest order, having
slain and eaten two negroes entire, besides one-third of his own tail--a
mistake which has somewhat marred the beauty of the graceful appendage.
Two Indians were caught in the neighborhood of Tallahassee with the
blood-hounds. They, no doubt, have not had a fair trial."

The poor blood-hounds were ridiculed on every side--read the following:
"Seven peace-hounds left Black Creek for the Ocklawaha on Thursday."

The whole country at this time was in a state of trepidation; the
feelings of the people could not be described; but an order was
republished which had been issued during a similar exigence, in the year
1764, by. William Penn:

"BOUNTIES ON HEADS.--Whereas the Six Nations of Indians have been at
amity with Great Britain, but now, having broken their most solemn
treaties," etc., "for the scalps of every male Indian, above the age of
ten years, produced as evidence of their having been killed, one hundred
and thirty-four pieces of eight, or Spanish dollars. God save the king!"

Some amusing incidents are related in connection with the Florida war,
as well as those not so very ludicrous. In Tallahassee they were
subjected to frequent scares from the Indians. The approach of the foe
was to be announced by the ringing of the Planter's Hotel bell, the only
one then in the town. This bell was the tocsin for an instant assembling
in the market-house of the Home Guards, let the hour be midnight or
noonday. These Guards held a convocation every night at 8 o'clock, to
receive orders and be detailed for duty--each sentry to stand guard four
hours, being at his post by 9 o'clock, and a corporal appointed to go on
a tour of inspection, to see if the men on duty were not asleep. Each
object that moved or breathed was magnified into a wily Indian. A gentle
William-goat could not graze in peace after nightfall without being in
danger of receiving a bullet for his temerity. The following incident is
the most stupendous scare of the war: Mr. T. Barnard, being on duty one
night, saw a dark object approaching, which, from its cautious tread, he
was certain could be nothing but the long-looked-for and much-dreaded
savage. According to a previous arrangement, the enemy's approach was to
be announced by the firing of a gun. He fired, then followed a terrible
tramping, which he considered unmistakable evidence of a retreating foe.
When day dawned the citizens were in a state of great fear, which was
much increased after a moccasin track had been seen marked with blood.
Armed men patroled the streets, while women, children, and servants,
were rushing, in the wildest confusion, to the State-house, as the only
place of safety. When the truth became known, and the facts explained,
everybody had a good laugh over their fright. The sentinel, having lost
his shoe the night before in his encounter with a goat, returned to
search for it, when he saw the track made by himself in the soft sand
while in his sock-feet, the impress resembling an Indian moccasin, the
ground having been stained by a lame mule in cropping the herbage.

Besides the constant state of alarm in which the citizens lived, there
were tragic occurrences happening in their midst too true for jesting,
and too shocking for sensitive nerves to hear related, without
shuddering for their own safety. We find this one, among others, bearing
date January 22, 1842:

"On Sabbath a band of Indians, supposed to number thirty-five or forty,
attacked two wagons loaded with salt, whisky, etc. They stripped the
negroes of their clothes, except their shirts, taking every thing from
the wagons. Whilst engaged in their work of plunder, Mr. Solomon Mather
rode up, when the Indians pursued him, firing five or six times,
wounding him slightly in the shoulder. In the meanwhile the negroes put
whip to their mules and escaped. This affair took place at the Flat
Branch, on the Magnolia Road, about fourteen miles from Tallahassee,
near the residence of Mr. J. H. Byrd."

The lands lying around Tallahassee evince marks of taste, having been
inclosed by the Cherokee rose, which forms a fine hedge, whose evergreen
foliage lives all the year, while its snow-white blooms crown it with
beauty in their season. The magnolia grandiflora, queen of the forest,
with its smooth, glossy, green leaves and immense flowers, grows without
culture; while the sickly, dwarfed oleander and cape jasmine, of
Northern culture, is used here to shade the avenues of pleasure-grounds.
The fine brick residences, of extensive proportions, add testimony in
confirmation of its past prosperity. Churches of different
denominations, substantially built, speak for the morals of the
community, while the kind-hearted people can speak for themselves. The
installation of the first Presbyterian minister in Florida took place on
the 28th of March, 1841, in Tallahassee. Although many persons have
lived here who were, no doubt, celebrated, in their own estimation, yet
none of royal blood has ever been traced with certainty but Colonel
Napoleon Achilles Murat, whose last residence was about one and a
quarter miles from town--the place now being owned by ex-Governor
Bloxham. He was a son of Joachin Murat, King of Naples, who was shot in
Castle Pizzo for insurrection. When required to meet his doom, a chair
was offered him, and a bandage for his eyes, to which he replied, "I
have braved death long enough now to face it with my eyes open and
standing." Achilles Murat, with his mother, came to America in 1821,
settling near Monticello, Florida, naming his plantation Liponia, but
afterward retired to Bellevue, near Tallahassee, where he lived several
years, with his wife, who was a relative of General Washington. Having
witnessed the vanity of pomp and display in his youth, he assumed very
little style during the last days of his life. A short time previous to
his death, the bishop from Mobile made a visit to Tallahassee, he being
apprised of the fact that upon a certain day Colonel Murat would make
him a visit, dressed in his robes of State, to receive princely blood,
as officers of both Church and State are entitled to a certain amount of
consideration, from each other, in keeping with the dignity of their
position. The morning advanced until nearly midday, with no appearance
of Colonel Murat, when finally a thin, bony old horse, with a thinner,
more shadowy old man on his back, was seen approaching the avenue to Dr.
Barnard's residence, accompanied by his body-guard, a very black negro
named William, who was walking. The colonel was attired in country
home-spun, known as brown jean, in Southern vernacular. His hat and
shoes both indicated marks of wear, while age had robbed him of all
desire for pageant, as the day had dawned when priests and princes were
alike, in his estimation. After a long interview with the bishop,
Colonel Murat retired to his rural home. Mrs. Murat was much annoyed
with the irregularities and eccentricities of his conduct during the
last years of his life, which, in common people, would have been termed
craziness, but in royalty, or genius, it is relieved with a border, and
termed peculiarities, or idiosyncrasies. Many amusing anecdotes are
related in regard to the common people who lived near Colonel Murat.
Having been informed that a king's son lived not for from them, they
often went purposely to see him, relating the object of their mission as
soon as they arrived. When they found the colonel dressed in country
clothes and cowhide boots, his rustic visitors were unable to discover
any apparent marks of royalty, and invariably, after entering his
domains, asked to see Prince Murat. On being told that he was the man,
they would respond, "Why, you don't look like a king." Colonel Murat
died suddenly, April 15, 1847, on his plantation, and was buried near
Tallahassee, in the cemetery, without ceremony. His wife survived him
several years, living in town.

In Leon county, sixteen miles from Tallahassee, Mrs. Mary E. Bryan, one
of our best Southern writers, was born. She was the daughter of Major
John D. Edwards, one of Florida's first and most honored members of the
Legislature. Her father, being a man of wealth, wished every thing in
keeping with his position; for this reason he reared a mansion, known as
"Castle Folly," on account of its immense size and costly material, the
woodwork inside being of solid mahogany, its location almost isolated
from all other residences even of humbler pretensions. Her early life
was not spent in a wicked city, where the morning papers teemed with sad
tales from the depths of depravity, fished up from the slums of vice,
which keep high carnival under cover of darkness, hiding their foul
forms in the glare of sunlight, and holding their fetid breaths when the
dewy freshness of morn wafts its odors on the new-born day; but where
the gay pomegranate glistened, with its pendant flaming bells, and the
snowy tribute of cape jasmine, loaded with its perfume of overpowering
sweetness; while, like a shower of heavenly blessings upon every zephyr,
was borne the fragrant treasures from the orange-blooms, gentle as a
pure spirit in a holy trance, which leaves our minds in a blissful,
dreamy state, as though we were floating in mid-air. Her home was one
around which childhood loves to linger, environed by primeval forests,
where the placid waters of the land-locked lakes reflected the fitful
shadows of the towering pine, or wide-spreading live-oak, where the
graceful vine hung in festoons, or the gray, swaying moss hung from its
drooping limbs, and danced to the music of the soft-sighing winds, as
they swept through the evergreen foliage and died away in the dense
thickets. It was when, from one of those crystal lakes, she saw the
evening star, as it stole through the gleam of the dying day, reflecting
its pale, trembling light alone, that she felt the throbbings of unrest
stirring the depths of her soul. In these placid waters the virgin
lilies bathed their beautiful heads, while the golden gates of day were
closed, and the voices of night whispered themselves to rest on the
balmy breezes. Many of her happy girlhood-days were spent in
"Salubrity," the home of her aunt, Mrs. Julia McBride, whose many
Christian virtues and philanthropic acts still live in the memory of
those who knew her. However, the longings of her thirsty soul were never
satisfied until she had held communion with the spirits of those whose
grand thoughts she found recorded in the volumes of her uncle's library.
It was while reading from the pages of classic lore, or the more
enchanting strains of poetic rhythm, during the absence of Colonel R. B.
Houghton, her mother's brother, that a happiness unknown to coarser clay
was realized, and her spirit found repose. Mrs. Bryan is one of those
flexible, trusting spirits, equal to any emergency in the struggles of
life, which sorrows, however deep, may bend for a time, but, like the
flower too much freighted with rain-drops, only bows its head until the
sunshine comes with its welcome beams to kiss away the moisture, when
its bright petals open, and again it looks heavenward. A presence
diffuses itself in all her writings sweet as the perfume by which she
was surrounded in her own lovely home, pure as the heavenly-lustered
orbs that overshadowed her pathway. At twilight, when

    Venus, robed in clouds of rosy hue,
    Flings from her golden urn the vesper dew,

she rises on the wings of fancy, and the rich, mellow streams of thought
flow freely, buoyed up by visions which shadow no tumultuous cares, or
sounds of woe, the fires of genius burning brightly on the altar of
thought, as the blazing meteor which, at God's command, guided the
wandering Israelites to their promised rest. The versatility of talent
she exemplifies so remarkably is really wonderful, while she may be
classed among that gifted number who, in spite of prejudice or
criticism, fastens the minds of her readers, taking them captive at
will. She is now the star of the _Sunny South_, published in Atlanta,
Georgia, from whose columns her pure thoughts are sparkling every week,
to illumine the home circles of many Southern families. All her writings
are characterized by that chaste freshness of originality, that
earnestness of feeling, emanating from a truly pure heart, which have
been poetically and truthfully described in the following lines:

    Bryan! hers the words that glisten,
      Opal gems of sunlit rain!
    So much the woman, you may listen,
      Heart-beats pulsing in her brain!

About sixteen miles from Tallahassee has been discovered another of
those remarkable springs found in Florida. In order to reach it, we take
the St. Mark's train, sending a carriage in advance to meet us at Oil
Station, six miles from Wakulla Spring. Few objects of interest are seen
on the way; but here, where the woodman's ax and the turpentine still
are not silencing the sounds that have echoed through the airy forms of
these forest-trees, which have stood as sentinels for centuries, we can
listen to the music among the pines--a strange, unearthly moaning,
vibrating movement of lanceolate leaves, the sound produced being
attributable to the loose manner in which they are attached to the bark
of their stems.

    You may as well forbid the mountain-pines
    To wag their high tops, and to make no noise
    When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven.

The spring is reached at last, where we can feast our eyes with its
pearly hues and changing, shimmering waters, dancing in the sunlight. It
is about seventy-five yards wide and sixty in length, its greatest depth
being one hundred and twenty-five feet. The water is blue limestone, but
looks green from reflection, and very cold, said to produce a numbing
effect upon those who try bathing in its transparent depths. It is the
head-waters of Wakulla River, forming a bold stream at a single bound
from its subterranean home. The following description of this spring, by
a writer who visited it over a hundred years since, will give the reader
a more correct idea than any recently-published articles, although many
who visit it now think they have the keys of all knowledge in
delineation, and a vast amount of wisdom will cease to illumine the
world when their existence is extinguished:

"This charming nympheum is the product of primitive nature, not to be
imitated, much less equaled, by the united effort of human power and
ingenuity. As we approach it by water the mind of the inquiring traveler
is previously entertained, and gradually led on to a greater
discovery--first, by a view of the sublime dark grove, lifted up on
shore by a range or curved chain of hills at a short distance from the
lively green verge of the river on the east banks, as we gently descend
floating fields of the nymphea in lumbo, with vistas of the live-oak,
which cover a bay or cove of the river opposite the circular woodland
hills. It is amazing and almost incredible what troops and bands of fish
and other watery inhabitants are now in sight, all peaceable, and in
what a variety of gay colors and forms, constantly ascending and
descending, roving and figuring among one another, yet every tribe
associating separately. We now ascended the crystal stream, the current
swift; we entered the grand fountain, the expansive circular basin, the
source of which rises from under the base of the high woodland hills,
near half encircling it, the ebullition being astonishing and continual,
though its greatest force or fury intermits regularly for the space of
thirty seconds of time--the ebullition is perpendicular, upward, from a
vast rugged orifice, through a bed of rocks a great depth below the
common surface of the basin, throwing up small particles or pieces of
white shells, which subside with the waters at the moment of
intermission, gently settling down about the orifice, forming a vast
funnel. After those moments when the waters rush upward the surface of
the basin is greatly swollen, and then it is impossible to keep the
boat, or any other floating vessel, over the fountain; but the
ebullition quickly subsides--yet, before the surface becomes quite even,
the waters rise again, and so on perpetually. The basin is mostly
circular, sending out a constant stream into the river fifteen yards
wide, and ten or twelve in depth. The basin and stream are both peopled
with prodigious numbers and variety of fish and other animals, as the
alligator, manatee, or sea-cow, in the winter season: part of the
skeleton of one, which the Indians had killed last winter, lay upon the
banks of the spring; the grinding teeth were about an inch in diameter,
the ribs eighteen inches in length, and two inches and a half in
thickness, bending with a gentle curve--these bones being esteemed equal
to ivory. The flesh of this creature is considered wholesome and
pleasant food. The hills and groves environing this admirable fountain
afford amusing subjects of inquiry."

At this time it was called by the Indians Manatee Spring.

Twenty miles west from Tallahassee on the railroad we arrive at the town
of Quincy, situated on a hill commanding a fine view of the surrounding
country. The population numbers about twelve hundred; the houses are
built of wood, painted very white, which gives them a refreshingly-neat
appearance. The citizens have a welcome for visitors which is home-like.
On account of the undulating surface of the lands a diversity of scenery
is found here not seen in other portions of the State--numerous streams,
which flow with a musical cadence from their homes under the hillsides,
running far away to swell the streams that are soon lost in the great
gulf below them. During the early settlement of this portion of the
State cotton-planters were not attracted to it, as the broken lands were
not as favorable for its culture as the more level--for this reason: we
find an independent class of settlers who raised what they consumed,
never buying meat or bread from abroad. Those who have tried growing
cotton were successful, the long staple producing very well. Before the
war Cuban tobacco was cultivated with a rich reward, as they supplied
dealers from New York, also a foreign commerce. The scuppernong grape is
commencing to receive attention, for which enterprise the adaptability
of the soil is favorable--wine having been produced here equal to the
famous California product.

Twenty miles west from Quincy, situated on a river of the same name, is
the town of Chattahoochee, this being the terminus of the Mobile &
Pensacola Railroad. The State Penitentiary is located here, but the
convicts are farmed out. The rough condition of the railroad has been a
barrier to travelers going there much since the war; but a prospective
change, when effected, will make it more agreeable for all parties
concerned. The region of country below contains some fine orange groves.
Those shipping oranges say they prefer Columbus or Atlanta to New York,
on account of more rapid transit and less expense.

The route through Eufaula and Montgomery, North, taking a steamer at
Chattahoochee, is becoming more popular every year, as tourists are fond
of variety. A line of stages connecting Quincy with Bainbridge, a short
day's ride, enables those desirous of locating to see the country to
better advantage. The overland passage appears robbed of its monotony
by the long hedges of Cherokee rosebushes, crowned with their pink and
white petals, which lend a brilliancy to the country through which we
pass, not soon forgotten. Yards, gardens, and avenues, dressed in floral
robes, are frequent; but miles of roses who can describe! The lands on
our route are diversified, also the timber, but the yellow pine
predominates.

Bainbridge is at last reached, when a wonder fills our minds. What made
this town so big? It was once the center of trade for a large, fertile
country around the Appalachicola River, this place being the medium of
communication where fine steamers could be seen loading the wealth of a
prosperous people. The war came and robbed them of their labor--the
railroads then turned the tide of communication in another direction,
leaving them above high-water mark. However, the trade is now reviving,
as proof of which it is a favorite resort for commercial tourists of all
kinds.

Thomasville, about twenty-five miles west of Bainbridge, is a
pleasantly-located town, where visitors can be accommodated with most of
the modern improvements in hotel-keeping; also palatable, toothsome
dishes, which finely-pampered appetites require. The Mitchell House
makes Florida tourists a specialty, this being a point where they can
come to inhale the healing, balsamic odors from the surrounding pines,
and refresh their perishing natures with the good things raised from the
best of lands by a most excellent people. The Gulf House has an old and
honored reputation for fine fare, also a kind-hearted host, who
anticipates the wishes of his guests. The town is substantially
built--laid out tastefully and elegantly--the dwellings being models of
neatness and culture, embowered in emerald retreats of perennial
foliage, which, seen from the cleanly sidewalks, cause many strangers to
sigh for a welcome which they could not expect while far from home. The
yards teem with flowers in mid-winter, blooming from rockeries, mounds,
and twining vines, where occasionally an artificial fountain, with its
sparkling silver veil, echoes its cooling voice as it falls into the
reservoir below. Trade is brisk here--large stores, well filled with
costly goods, find ready purchasers from a well-to-do people living in
the town and country. The town can boast two newspapers and one
periodical--indeed, we have heard it whispered that some of these
writers think they have the keys of knowledge on certain facts
pertaining to agriculture, etc. A female college has been established in
this vicinity for many years, which has sent from its halls of learning
many creditable scholars, who are now filling important stations in the
spheres allotted them. Several tall-spired churches of various
denominations have been erected in this community, where gifted heralds
of the cross proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to large, attentive
audiences, which is a good key-note to their spiritual condition. Thomas
county made an exhibit of its former wealth immediately after the war,
in a representation entirely of colored members--the white population
being so greatly in the minority they could not elect one of their own
color. But the ambition of colored politicians in this section is
visibly on the decline, most of them having such thick lips, and, like
Moses, "slow of speech," they now prefer speaking by proxy in the
legislative halls. Thomasville has no facilities for water communication
with the outside world, but, being located on the Atlantic and Gulf
Road, should therewith be content, as a few hours' ride will furnish
them an opportunity of taking a steamship for England or any part of the
world.

As we leave Thomasville going east, we pass through the wire-grass
country of South Georgia, containing towns, if not of great importance
in external appearance, contain the best of citizens with the kindest of
hearts. Quitman comes first, with its plank walks, shaded by live-oaks,
its home-like hotels, and hospitable, law-abiding people. A paper is
published here which would do credit to a place of more note. A cotton
factory is in operation; indeed, every thing in the town moves around
with the vivacity of college-students out taking their first holiday.
Valadosta is the last town of any size before Savannah. The soil looks
so sandy, the grass so wiry, the pine-trees so tall, with such mournful
music sighing through their airy forms, awakened by the slightest zephyr
that passes, which produces a kind of melancholy in our minds as to
whether we should have any thing to eat or not if we stopped. All fear
of starving can be dispelled, as the country in the vicinity produces
well, which can be proven by the immense sweet potatoes on which we are
fed, and the well-grown sugar-cane for sale, from which sirup and sugar
are made. A very newsy weekly is published in Valadosta, the editor
being the author of the Okafinokee Swamp Expedition, which trip has
furnished him with material to fill out many an interesting column in
his inimitable paper. On public days such a crowd comes to town, the
mystery is, Where do they all stay? In pleasant homes scattered through
the country, where happy hearts beat with much less struggling than
those in higher life, boasting greater attainments.

A trip on this road at night is not unpleasant, as so many light-wood
fires are burning bright near the track, kept up by the lumbermen and
signals for the switch-tenders. Collisions from sudden curves never
occur on this road, it being built so much on the air-line that the
head-light can be seen in many places over twenty miles distant.
Frequent repetition with familiar surroundings blunts the accuracy of
the perceptive powers; but the first time I traveled this route it
appeared like a kind of unreal scene, as the moon shone with an
apparently unwonted brilliancy that changed all external objects into an
epitome of the "Arabian Nights' Entertainment."



CHAPTER XXIV.


Many other places may possess their varied amusements, but Pensacola can
be reckoned among the cities having attractions sufficient to render a
sojourn very agreeable. It is here the sun gently declines, leaving a
train of glory behind. The clouds then loom up lazily in serried ranks,
and the breakers from Fort Pickens roar in the distance, like unhappy
spirits of strife, when a swift breeze comes from the surrounding
forest, and warns the sails to come to their moorings for safety. While
we are impressed with the thought that this has been a spot around which
many historic records have clustered--that the days of its departed
grandeur are forever gone--still an invisible presence encircles it,
which appears sacred, while a solemn echo comes from the remembrance of
past pomp, that reminds us of the perishable nature of all earthly
pageant.

Pensacola was first explored, and a settlement commenced, by De Luna, in
1561, who landed on the bay as it now appears, naming it Santa Maria.
This feeble colony, on account of hardships, became discouraged and
returned home. The first permanent settlement was made by the French in
1691.

The present city of Pensacola stands on a bay of the same name, which
contains a safe and capacious harbor, where vessels drawing twenty-one
feet of water can enter at low-tide, and find shelter and fine
facilities for anchorage. It was formerly named Ochusa, from a tribe of
Indians who lived here. Where the city is now built it is fine siliceous
sand, supported by an understratum of clay, which is of varied colors.
This clay is manufactured into brick, from which some of the houses are
built, also pottery, and the monkey-jug, or water-cooler, so much used
among the Spaniards in Cuba and Key West. The present plan of the city
was laid out by the English in 1763, after they took possession of it.
The streets cross each other at right angles, making squares of two
hundred and fifty by four hundred feet, with a bay front of nearly a
thousand feet. Many fine buildings were erected at that time--among
which might be mentioned Casa Blanca, the residence of the Governor. The
gardens attached to the city lots, the strong fortifications, and the
edifices of different designs which graced the streets and squares, were
the pride of Florida. The Governor rode in his chariot, making
pleasure-trips to his landed estates, six miles from town, escorted by
his postilions, and surrounded by his companions in authority, thus
deporting himself like a genuine scion of royalty. During these days of
prosperity Pensacola was attacked and conquered by the Spaniards under
Count Galvez, in 1781. The place was defended by General Campbell; but
the magazine at Fort St. Michael being blown up, resistance was useless,
and the town surrendered. This event marked the commencement of its
decline; the work of twenty years was blighted, and the prosperity of
the city waned. When Florida was ceded by Spain to the United States,
St. Augustine in East Florida, and Pensacola in West Florida, were the
only towns of any importance in the State. The country about the city
was poor, the good lands of the interior being occupied by the Indians;
besides, the original settlers were not as enterprising a class of
people as those in East Florida. The above considerations, together with
disease, fierce contests with foes of other nations, its
inaccessibility, and no large water-course connecting it with the
interior fertile cotton-lands, are the combined reasons why Pensacola is
not equal in size to any town on the Gulf.

Fort Don Carlos de Barrancas--the word Barrancas signifying _broken
ground_--was so named on account of the rugged appearance of the site on
which the fort stands. The first fortification is supposed to have been
built by a commander named Auriola, in 1687, as a defense against the
French. It was a square, with bastions, situated near the site of the
present Fort Barrancas. What remains of the ancient fort was built by
the Spaniards--it being a tetragon, with salient angles at each corner,
and formerly had a tower one story higher than the curtains, which
served as a point for reconnoisance. It has an outer scarp, or glacis,
surrounded by a barbette twenty-two feet wide. It contains an embrasure,
the firing being done from the loop-holes and parapets with flank
defenses. The barbette is overgrown with weeds and cactus, all armed
with projectiles more to be dreaded than any other weapons of warfare
in position here now. A deep dry-well is visible near one corner of this
barbette, supposed to contain the buried treasure of the Spanish
Governor, and for which it is said he ordered three of his men to be
killed to prevent their divulging the secret. No guns are mounted on the
parapet but two Rodmans of one hundred pounds caliber. The entrance to
the old fort is through a scarp gallery several hundred feet in length.
At the terminus are three arched rooms, the arches constructed without
nails, from native pine boards, the grooves being fitted to each other.
Here was the Governor's chamber for council, the ordnance department,
and barracks. The materials employed for the walls were only brick and
mortar, both in the old part built by the Spaniards, and the new
constructed by the Americans. From the form and thickness of one part of
the fort, it is supposed to contain a dungeon, but no efforts have yet
been made at excavation, to explore its hidden secrets. The entire
fortress, both ancient and modern, is surrounded by a dry moat, the main
entrance having a portcullis.

The present fortification of Fort Pickens was built in 1830. It is
situated on a strip of land fifty miles in length, and only one-half
mile in width, called Santa Rosa Island. This ground has been the scene
of various conflicts during its early settlement, of which we have a
record for nearly two centuries. The contests between the Spanish and
French were always severe, the victor destroying the forts and
devastating every thing within reach--which accounts for the
disappearance of the ancient landmarks.

Fort St. Michael and Fort St. Bernard were other works of defense built
in the rear of Pensacola, but designed originally to protect the town
and harbor, and also to serve as a safeguard against the Indians. The
principal fort, St. Michael, was attacked in 1781 by Don Galvez, when a
bomb-shell struck the eastern glacis of Fort St. Bernard, and, in
rebounding, blew up the magazine, destroying the principal redoubt,
which compelled the garrison to surrender by capitulation.

It is but little more than half a century since Colonel Nichols, a
British officer, came to Pensacola, and issued his proclamation,
offering a reward of ten dollars each for the scalps of colonists.
However, the career of this bold usurper and ambitious adventurer was
soon terminated by General Andrew Jackson and his brave men, who marched
into the town, then defended by a fleet of seven armed vessels, three
forts, block-houses, and batteries of cannon defending the streets. The
center column of Jackson's army was composed of regulars, and presented
as formidable a front in appearance and strength as the ancient Grecian
phalanx. The battery was stormed by Captain Laval, who, although
severely wounded in the engagement, afterward recovered from his
injuries. The Spanish Governor, Marinquez, met the American forces, and
begged that quarter might be shown the citizens. To this proposition
General Jackson acceded, protecting individual property as far as
possible. At this time Fort Barrancas was blown up, all the guns being
spiked but two. This enabled Colonel Nichols to escape with his fleet.
All the fortifications being now destroyed, General Jackson left, after
holding the place two days. The Spaniards then commenced building Fort
Barrancas, when Colonel Nichols proffered his aid; but the Governor
refused, telling him his friend General Jackson would do better.

In 1818 Jackson received information that the Spanish would not permit
supplies for his troops to ascend the Escambia Bay, while the Indians
were supplied from Spanish stores. The Governor warned General Jackson
against making an attack, saying he would be opposed by all their
forces; but, with his usual go-ahead zeal, he marched in and took
possession of the town without opposition. The Governor had taken refuge
in Fort Barrancas, whither Jackson proceeded during the night, and
commenced erecting breastworks. The Spaniards fired upon them, which was
returned with good effect by a howitzer. In a few hours the fortress
surrendered, and, by the terms of capitulation, the garrison was sent to
Havana. Soon after Jackson came into possession of Pensacola, he was
told that the Spanish Governor, Callavea, was in the act of sending
papers relating to land-titles away to Cuba, in direct violation of the
treaty. General Jackson demanded these documents, and, upon being
refused, he ordered Callavea into the calaboose, but released him on the
papers and boxes being returned. Afterward several of the Spanish
officers, suffering from outraged feelings, sent a remonstrance to
General Jackson on account of this unheard of indignity toward the
Spanish Governor. For this movement twelve of them were banished, thus
establishing the authority of Old Hickory beyond a doubt. The old
camping-ground of General Jackson is still pointed out as historic
ground. It was situated on what was known as the Blakely Road, which
passes the old sites of St. Bernard and St. Michael.

Pensacola once contained a plaza, which was an ornament to the city and
the admiration of all visitors. The grounds were in a high state of
cultivation where flourished the orange, lemon, olive, banana, guava,
and Japan plum-trees, ornamented with pleasure-walks, where the gay
cavaliers promenaded and made love to the beautiful señoritas, where the
delicate nonpareil displayed her painted plumage, the gay mocking-bird
sang her songs of joy, and the humming-bird sipped honey from nectarine
flowers, whose petals perfumed the air with fragrance. But stern want,
whose decrees are as unyielding as the Medean and Persian edicts, was
staring the Spanish garrison in the face at this time, and the
commissary stores being exhausted, the largest portion of these
beautiful grounds were sold to furnish the army with supplies. All that
remain vacant are the extremities of the old plaza, which form two
squares, known as Ferdinand and Seville, that are as barren of ornament
as the municipality of means to appropriate for its embellishment.

It is singular that a country whose original settlers were celebrated
for their chivalric daring and romance should preserve no vestige of
their former characteristics or peculiar nationalities. It is thus with
the present appearance of Pensacola. One portion indicates the march of
improvement, while the other, near the bay, has a faded appearance of
weather-beaten plank, except out on the wharves, where may be seen many
new buildings used for various purposes connected with shipping
operations. There are no fine blocks of elegant stores among the number,
but many one-story houses, some containing two, and a few three.

The old houses now standing are decidedly of Spanish architecture, with
the long verandas in front, accessible only at the ends by steps, the
jail-like double doors being made of wood, riveted with iron bolts, not
designed to look beautiful, but to be very substantial, or resist a
siege of small arms. The dormer-windows are frequent, while a few old
roofs are covered with tiles. A wide, substantial walk is built through
a portion of the town, stopping at no place in particular, but a
favorite promenade for ungallant sailors, where they reel like drunken
elephants, seven abreast, sometimes elbowing other pedestrians into the
marsh. A few brick pavements have been made, but the bricks present
their edges and ends uppermost as often as the flat sides, while
sand-wading, in many places, is the only alternative, street-crossings
being an unknown luxury. Pensacola is almost the only town in Florida
where no fabled fount is supposed or represented to exist, whose waters
heal all infirmities and rejuvenate declining years--where no tales are
told of elysian elegance to fascinate visitors into their houses of
entertainment, or invitations given to take strolls on the beach, and
breathe the sea-air with its breezy freshness, always warranted more
beneficial to the invalid than all other atmospheres that ever fanned a
hectic cheek, or had been inhaled by consumptives, that will enable them
to recover sooner than any other influence by which they could be
surrounded. The principal employment of persons here is maritime, from
the fisherman, who spreads his tiny sail and dances on the waves,
fearless as a sea-gull, in his bateau that looks only a speck on the
waters deep and wide, to the full-rigged ship which plows the angry
waves, and "thrills the wanderers of that trackless way." The prosperity
of this place is dependent upon the adventitious condition of the
changing and fluctuating trade in other places, together with a demand
for their only commodity--lumber. No appearance of pomp in fine turnouts
is seen--no matched spans or grand phaetons. Those who ride go in
one-horse vehicles, which move noiseless as the midnight assassin,
through sandy streets of an uncertain depth. A majority of the people
are both plain and practical in all their movements. Their misfortunes
seem to have soured them, embittered their lives and saddened their
hearts, making them sullen, while others converse as though they had
settled into an apathetic despair, mingled with clouds of darkness, and
peopled by phantoms of pinching want. This season business is terribly
dull. Stevedores without employment are as abundant as plank without
purchasers, and uneasy as a mullet out of water. The profession of
gambling is well filled, which can be seen by the glare of diamonds and
watch-chains on suspicious-looking men, with no vocation but to come
here and prey on the hard earnings of poor, unsuspecting sailors. A ship
coming in the bay creates as much commotion as a big wreck in Key West.
Unoccupied boarding-houses for workingmen are numerous. What is lacking
in accommodations can be supplied in charges. There are one or two
boarding-houses, called hotels, designed for the better class, charging
three dollars _per diem_. Visitors, or persons of leisure, do not often
come here to remain long, consequently no grand hotels for their
entertainment. But there is one attractive feature in Pensacola even
now, and that is the bountiful supply of rich pine. "What a beautiful
fire!" we hear every one exclaim, as the boarders take their seats in
the recently-illumined parlor after supper, when all without is dark and
drear. Then they give us wood in our rooms, where any one can make a
fire in a minute, when sickness drives away sleep. How it lights up the
pale faces of our friends, as though the glow of health had suddenly
wafted her magic touch over them, dispelling the pallor of disease and
marks of suffering! How it softens the gloom of night and diverts our
minds with its cheerful blaze, as it permeates every thing like the
visit of a bright messenger, when the winds howl as if they were demons
from the realms of Erebus! What a cheerful greeting it gives us from the
old fire-place, with its burnished massive fender and brass andirons!
Then it flashes and faints on the wall, or in the corners, hides in the
curtains, to be replaced with another flash, followed by a report like
the distant roar of artillery. The Indians loved to dance around its
bright light in celebrating their fiendish orgies, or howl their rude
songs of welcome for the return of harvest, as the well-filled ears of
maize roasted before their camp-fires of resinous wood. With what
lingering looks of sadness did they see the last spark waft its tiny ray
into the heavens, as the morning dawned and the night-shades fled away,
on which they were to bid farewell to the happy home of their birth they
loved so well, and relinquished with such reluctance, when they thought
of the grand old _lightwood_ fires which had glistened away the gloom of
dense forests, or rendered powerless the malaria of swamps, and kept the
approach of wild beasts at bay!

All day constantly before our eyes is Ferdinand Park, which manifests
visible signs of a decline. Four old Spanish pieces of artillery are
planted in the center, and fastened with ropes, to balance the
standard-bearer of a powerful nation, and place in position, high in
mid-air, a pole, on which to unfurl the ensign of a great country. The
park-inclosure is dropping down as quietly as a rose-leaf in May. Here
stock ramble to graze with their bells on, presenting a rural landscape
of rustic life, and tired, bony old horses stray for sustenance; hogs,
with very thin sides and bristling backs, root about for herbage, or
roam through the streets, gathering, with eager haste, any thing like a
decayed apple or potato, of which some kind-hearted huckster has
relieved his stall or cart; while the cows wander in front of dry-goods
stores, trying to replenish the well-springs of vitality with stray
wisps of straw, bits of paper, or pasteboard, which have been swept out.
The lacteals of the poor brutes receive a small amount of sustenance
from such an uncertain source of nutritive matter--for that cause nearly
everybody in this region uses condensed milk. The William-goats
promenade with unrestrained freedom, giving concerts with their loud
treble voices, while the refrain is echoed by the young ones, resembling
the cries of a baby. If these sights and sounds, with variations, do not
always give pleasure to visitors, they break the monotony and furnish a
variety.

This town boasts a very substantially-built market-house, the material
used being brick. Only a few of the stalls are occupied, as the produce
is hauled about the streets in huckster-carts and sold, or kept in
stores by provision-dealers. During the lenten season, fishermen go out
soon in the morning, and, when they are successful, return singing, by
which means those wishing supplies can come and buy; but when they have
taken nothing, they row silently to shore, looking as though they had
toiled in vain. Sometimes the fish are too large to be conveyed whole,
when they are cut up and sold by the pound. Frequently two fishermen are
seen carrying a fish suspended between them, a portion of it trailing on
the ground. What a triumphal entry they make! What a proud look they
have, as they find themselves "the observed of all observers!" They
could not be induced to change places with the governor. Smaller fish
are carried in tubs, swung on a pole suspended between the shoulders of
two very brawny-looking men. They announce their approach by blowing a
large ox-horn, which is heard in the streets on Sabbath as other days.
The minister, invoking a blessing on his worshiping congregation, is
liable to have the interludes filled with the echo of trafficking
trumpets. Common fish are cheap. The pompano and red snapper, being the
choicest, are held at high prices. Beef and venison are plentiful, but
the beef is of rather a sinuous texture. Most vegetables would flourish
here during the winter, but, from a lack of enterprise, they are not
much cultivated. The only dream of prosperity ever indulged by these
people is ships coming in from foreign parts for lumber. One thousand
feet from low-water mark in Pensacola Bay is found fresh water, which is
obtained by boring or driving iron tubing through the salt water and
several strata of earthy deposit. The upper stratum is composed of
sediment, the second of quicksand, the third of blue clay, the fourth of
coral, the fifth of gravel, in which is found pure freestone water,
unadulterated with foreign matter, and clear as crystal. This water is
obtained at a distance of seventy feet below the surface of the earth.
These fresh-water fountains are of recent date, having made their
appearance among other improvements which are constantly being
discovered in this progressive age. These wells possess many advantages
over the old custom of hauling water from the springs in barrels through
the streets by hand, which furnished a means of support for those
employed to deliver water on the wharves for sale to ships, it being
their only vocation. The barrel was prepared by inserting a piece of
wood outside the head, in which were placed iron pivots. Two iron rings
were attached to the end of a rope that revolved upon these pivots. The
water-hauler threw the rope over his head and shoulders, then marched
along with the speed of an Andalusian pony--the barrel following like a
cart. A few water-barrels are to be seen rolling about the streets now,
but it constitutes only a precarious means of support to the "drawers of
water," when compared with the past.

Porpoises--belonging to the class _Phocoeena_--abound in the vicinity
of Pensacola. They range with other monsters of the deep, sporting in
the shoals, and playing around vessels anchored near the wharf, at times
approaching the shore gentle as cats. They are said to take their prey
by strategy, darting under an unsuspecting school of fish, and with one
stroke of their tail stunning enough to furnish them a fine repast. The
astonished fish is soon swallowed by the porpoise, without perceiving
the change that has taken place in his existence, when, instead of
searching for nourishment himself, he has commenced to sustain another.
Porpoise-oil contains the same properties as sperm, but porpoises are
not killed here, they being very harmless, and are said to act as a
protection against sharks to persons who bathe or fall in the bay.

The culture of tropical fruits has never been a success in Pensacola,
since so much of the timber has been destroyed. The few orange-trees
here have a stinted appearance in comparison with those in other
portions of the State. A constant strife is going on between the
north-west and trade-winds, the former sweeping down from the Rocky
Mountains, freighted with frost, which destroys the fruit and foliage of
the orange-trees. However, a suitably-arranged grove, with only a
southern exposure, would bear under ordinary treatment. Persons now
owning bearing-trees say they have been killed down three or four times.
The winds are too rude for the banana--it grows here only in summer,
with winter sheltering.

A little stream, called the "Washing Bayou," winds its way through the
town, gurgling as it rushes among the bushes, and noiseless as the
flight of an arrow when it glides over the snowy sands. Tiny fishes live
here unmolested, sporting in its clear waters, until they leave the
quiet home of their birth and go into the great sea, where many of them
are eaten by the big fishes that are constantly on the alert. Besides
the poetry in this musical stream, there is much practical utility
connected with its presence, as it subserves the purpose of city
laundry, where most of the soiled clothes are cleansed. More than a
hundred barefooted women can be seen at one time here, with short
dresses, standing in the water, their wide tables in front of them,
battling with unclean linen. After the garments are washed in this
water, which is said to possess peculiar cleansing properties, they are
spread on the green grass and bleached. No ordinary agitation affects
the stream, or makes the waters turbid, while it remains clear and warm
during the whole winter. Here Spanish, French, Creole, and _L'Africane_,
all combine together, working in harmony. Patrons to this branch of
industry can have their apparel manipulated in such language as they
prefer, or whatever shade of color belonging to the human species they
hold in the highest esteem. Hunters resort to this portion of the
country, where they spend weeks in camping and killing game. Every one
who comes to Florida imagines the supply of fish and flesh
inexhaustible, notwithstanding the heavy drafts that are made every
year. Complaint was made by the Indians of game becoming scarce within
certain localities during 1835, and the wonder is now that any thing
remains to be killed.

Ribaut, while describing his travels in this State, mentions the waters
of a great river as "boiling and roaring through the multitudes of all
kinds of fishes." Thoughtless persons having heretofore caused such a
wanton destruction of deer, laws have now been passed for their
protection. The method adopted mostly among hunters of running game with
hounds until exhausted, has a tendency to terrify the poor scared
animals, thus making them more shy, and retire farther into the
fastnesses of a country to a place of greater security. Old hunters say
they would just as soon eat a piece of dog-meat as deer killed when
overheated. The Indians resorted usually to still-hunting, taking the
stag-heads and hides to conceal themselves, and, with the use of their
imitative powers, induced many a thoughtless animal to approach them,
when the well-aimed arrow secured the victim as a prize to their skill.
The murderous guns now in use will soon destroy all the wild game in
Florida, as in other old-settled places, when stories of the
nimble-footed fawn, that gamboled with the calves and cattle while
feeding side by side, will be related as tales of the past history of
this country. Several times since Pensacola has been in possession of
the United States, that malignant form of disease known as yellow fever
has made it some unwelcome visits. During 1822 it was terribly fatal,
taking whole families and streets. It spread at this time like
wild-fire, and was supposed to have originated from a cargo of spoiled
cod-fish! In 1853, 1866, 1873, and 1874, it returned. Its last
appearance--in 1874--took them all by surprise. It commenced in August,
and continued until December. Different reasons have been assigned for
its last calamitous visit in 1874. Some say it was brought from Cuba;
others, that it was occasioned by the removal of a hospital from the
navy-yard, where yellow-fever patients had been sick. It was no
respecter of persons. The boatman in his bateau, the guard at his post
of duty, the soldier on drill, the colonel commanding, or the commodore
with his floating navy, all yielded to the fell destroyer. Three Sisters
of Mercy died in one day, the highest number of deaths during the space
of twenty-four hours in the city being ten. Persons who occupied houses
that had been closed and vacant during the fever, sickened and died
after the disease had subsided. The quarantine regulations now are
inefficient, while filth from every street and alley lies undisturbed,
thus inviting disease. The municipal authority is now thoroughly
Africanized, consisting of mayor, aldermen, and police force, while a
negro postmaster bears unblushingly the honors and emoluments connected
with his position. Before the last war (1861) many orange and fig-trees
were growing in private yards; but the Federal forces destroyed nearly
all of them, together with many of the houses and fences. The
squares--most of them--are now grown with opopanax, yapon, scrub, and
live-oak, while the twining grape-vine, climbing above its evergreen
foliage, produces a nearer resemblance to hummocks than the surroundings
of civilization which characterize refined life.

Perdido, or Lost Bay (so called from the bar at its entrance being
closed by quicksands), is thirty miles in length--the main tributary of
this bay being a river of the same name, whose banks are covered with
inexhaustible pine forests. This river furnishes excellent communication
with Perdido Bay, upon which are built several fine lumber-mills. These
mills are a recent enterprise, having been in operation only about four
years, thus giving employment to many operatives, and furnishing an
article of commerce to every part of the world. During the winter of
1873 one hundred and fifty square-rigged vessels could be counted
loading with lumber, also spars over one hundred feet in length, to
assist in floating ships from every part of the world. Wild game is
abundant in the forests about Perdido River, such as panthers, deer,
black bears, wild ducks, and turkeys.

Escambia Bay is another of the beautiful sheets of water by which
Pensacola is surrounded. It is eleven miles in length, and four in
width. It has a tributary of the same name, which courses through rich
hummock-lands, until it reaches the clear waters of the bay. The lagoons
and marshes that lie near this river abound in the remarkable amphibious
animals called alligators. The roaring of these creatures in spring-time
is deafening. They are of slow growth, but eventually attain an immense
size--a full-grown one being fifteen or twenty feet in length, with an
upper jaw, which moves, three feet long, the lower jaw remaining
stationary. Their skin is impenetrable to a ball, the whole body being
covered with a kind of horny plates, but the head and under the
fore-legs is vulnerable, and not bullet-proof. They build nests in the
form of a cone, three or four feet high, and five feet at the base. They
commence these nests by making a floor upon which they deposit a layer
of eggs, then a stratum of mortar, seven or eight inches in thickness,
then another layer of eggs, until the whole, superstructure is
completed. They are said to deposit over one hundred eggs in a nest.
These are hatched by the heat of the sun, together with the fermentation
of vegetable matter produced in the hillock. The mother-alligator
watches near during the period of incubation, and has been known to
attack persons who interrupted her embryo. When her young are hatched
she marches them out like a hen with her brood, leading and protecting
them, while they whine and bark around her like young puppies. Their
mother belongs to the cannibal species, eating up her young in their
babyhood, which precludes but few of them attaining their full size.
They move rapidly in water, although clumsy on land, wallowing in
mud-holes like a hog.

There are five churches in Pensacola for public worship--Presbyterian,
Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Episcopal. No other
town in the State can produce so large a number of old members as the
Catholics in Pensacola. During the early history of this country the
devotees of this faith made pilgrimages to the Convent of St. Helena, a
religious order established by the Franciscan Friars. They spent weeks
in performing the journey to St. Helena, in St. Augustine. It was to
them what Jerusalem was to the Jews, or Mecca to the Mohammedans--their
holy city, their revered shrine for worship, where the "_Ego te
absolvo_" gave solace to the troubled conscience, and comfort to the
sin-burdened heart.

The demand for schools in the Pensacola market has hitherto been
limited; consequently the quality is not always of a superior kind. The
free schools are avoided by all who can do better. They are now under
the supervision of George W. Lindsley, county superintendent. He belongs
to the African class of humanity, and acquired his education while
acting in the capacity of body-servant to Judge Plantz, of the First
Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida. Four schools are supported
here by the public fund--two for each sex and color. The one for white
boys is taught by an old man who has evidently lost his temper and
outlived his days of usefulness as an instructor. His pupils looked
spiritless and indifferent to any thing like mental effort. They recited
badly, and appeared stupid. The female department is taught by a lady of
youthful and humble appearance. The timid little girls came to recite
with the admonition, "Now, if you don't know this lesson, I will switch
you." Numerous rods were lying about the floor, as though warfare had
been progressing, with weapons of very ancient date, recommended by
Solomon. The rooms occupied for the schools are two apartments in an old
private residence, the building in about as waning a condition as the
popularity of the institutions. Fifty children, all told, comprise the
number in this metamorphic condition. The citizens say they are taxed
beyond endurance to support schools, but never know what becomes of the
money. Perhaps they never try to ascertain in the right place, or at the
proper time, what disposition is made of the funds. Two colored schools
here are supported by the public funds. The building in which they are
taught was erected for the purpose--light, airy, and roomy--more
provision being made for the education of the colored race, all over the
State of Florida, than for the white. The great difficulty now is to
have the negroes brought up to the standard of appreciation. Only a few
can be prevailed upon to attend the schools provided for them, and they
belong mostly to a class of numskulls whose heads are so thick that an
idea could not get into their brains unless it was shot there with
bullet-force. Both the male and female schools have colored teachers.
The copy-books were handed me for inspection. Here is a specimen of the
copies: "Virtue is the persute," etc.; "Do a good child tell stories?"
The chirography was unmistakably original and inimitable, but the
spelling was not from Webster, nor the grammar of Butler's approval. The
pupils were in tolerable order--the secret of which, no doubt, lay on
the table, in the form of a huge leather strap--that relic of barbarism
revived--and a piece of plank for the more incorrigible cases.

The Catholics have two separate schools for the education of males and
females, besides a mixed school for colored children. The female school,
containing about sixty pupils, is under the direction of the Dominican
sisterhood. The children all arose and bowed politely when I visited
them; but no opportunity was offered for ascertaining their method of
teaching, or the proficiency of the young ladies, although I politely
asked to hear them recite. These wimpled teachers veil their movements
also. The Catholic school for boys is under the tutorage of an old
gentleman of the Irish style, whose looks resemble the description given
by Goldsmith of the "village school-master." The children were talking
aloud, caricaturing on slates, and exhibiting it to their companions,
whistling, and shaking their fists behind the teacher's back, these
employments being the principal exercises during my visit. The teacher
was energetic in his efforts to preserve order and hear the recitation.
He placed one offender on his knees for penance, and struck some more
of them with an immense ferule which he carried in his hand. When the
din and confusion drowned his voice, he resorted to jingling a bell and
screaming "Silence!" He evidently had a bigger contract than he knew how
to manage. The Pensacola boys are said to be very bad, whether from
association or the original sin born in them, has not been
decided--probably a combination of both.

Let no one imagine that in all this dross there is no pure gold. Mrs.
Scott, wife of the present rector of Christ Church, teaches a parochial
school, patronized by all, irrespective of creeds or forms of worship,
being always open to inspection for the friends of education. The pupils
exhibited a thoroughly progressive knowledge of all the branches which
they were studying. This school is governed by a direct appeal to the
elevating and moral qualities of the heart and soul, which lead the mind
upward, thus restraining their natural impulses. The pupils evinced a
surprising familiarity with blank verse, by transposing and parsing
lines from Paradise Lost--the work of that colossal mind whose soul,
illumined with inward light, soared beyond the star-lit domes of space,
to commune with chaos and the great mysteries of its unrevealed depths.



CHAPTER XXV.


To walk upon the beach and see the bright golden waves rolling beneath
our feet on a sunny day, and hear the gentle surge moving like the soft
cadence of dying echoes, creates in us a desire to be wafted into other
climes, where we can see untold wonders, and be regaled with something
new to feast our senses. It was from the promptings of a restless spirit
that we embarked on a fine sailing vessel for Cuba as the morning tide
was receding. An escort of sea-gulls, with their white pinions and
unwearied wings, followed us far from land, as messengers of peace,
wishing us a _bon voyage_.

We soon commenced to feel contented in our isolated moving habitation,
with its strong canvas buoying us up in the breeze, like a huge bird of
passage in its aërial flight, and we looked out on the "waste of waters"
as only an untried experiment, about which very fearful things had been
said, but not so bad after all. While we were watching for new wonders,
the sun sunk into the sea, and the stars came out one by one from their
canopied homes in the blue sky, the larger, brighter ones rising first,
like the stronger spirits in life, which leave their beds with the dawn,
to make preparation for the feebler little footsteps that now open their
eyes

[Illustration: PORTUGUESE MAN-OF-WAR]

timidly on the great world into whose magnitude and mysteries they are
just entering. The monotony of a sea-voyage is always broken by the
daily revolutions of the earth on its axis, if not more stirring events.
Our second morning at sea the winds and waves were hushed quietly as the
calm which pervades a sinner's sensibilities when the angel of peace
first speaks comfort to his sin-burdened soul. Our sails hang loosely as
a gambler's conscience, while the surge swings us around freely without
taking us forward. The spars squeak, twist, and groan, as though in
distress at our condition. The sailors are busy tying up ropes, mending
sails, and climbing about in the rigging like cats. A kind of sea-polyp,
_Physalia utriculus_, or Portuguese men-of-war, which move passively on
the surface of the water, have been in sight all day, with their bubble
sails of rainbow hue, supported by emerald hulls, with their anchors
steadying them in their swift, uncertain voyage over the sea. How
fragile and ethereal they look! These little creatures only trim their
sails in fine weather, but when the wind blows they descend into more
quiet quarters. The sailors look with suspicion upon their movements, as
they say their appearance indicates foul weather. They present a concave
surface above the water of three or four inches that is guided by purple
rudder-bands, which descend about two feet into the sea. These filaments
are very poisonous when handled--the sailors, while in bathing, being
sometimes stung by them, which is accompanied with a very painful
burning sensation, like the nettle. They may be classed among the many
other curious and wonderful beings that inhabit the great deep, of which
we know but little or nothing.

The old tars have been singing to-day,

    Mackerel skies and mares' tails
    Make lofty ships take in their sails.

Last night, as we were retiring, the sky was banking up black clouds,
which indicates a nor'-wester. Now, when we look across the crested
surface of the deep, dark sea, our thoughts are too sacred for
bosom-confidants, and too serious to bear much sounding by ourselves,
being shadowed by forebodings, not unmixed with melancholy, when we
think on the fate of many who have sailed before us. Our rough old
captain, who commences his day's duties before sunrise by giving the
steward a cursing for what he has done or left undone, as a kind of
recreation when he is drinking his coffee, has been giving his oracle,
the barometer, some mysterious looks all day.

The sun has gone to her home in the west, and we now feel that a night
of darkness--it may be destruction--has drawn her deepest shadows over
us. The wind is blowing a gale, above which is heard at the wheel aft
the same cross old captain screaming his orders through the
storm-trumpet, which sound dismal as death: "Lower the foresail!" "Take
down the topsails!" "Put out a watch!" "Let her drive before the wind!"
Old Neptune has commenced his fearful frolics in earnest, rolling the
white caps in every direction. The vessel has commenced plunging
through a trackless pathway, while the sea boils like a pot.

    And whistling o'er the bending mast,
    Loud sings the fresh'ning blast.

It is when messengers from the realms of King Storm are abroad in the
land--when the sea rises at his call, and the winds meet from their
hidden coverts, to exercise their strength and contend for victory--that
the poetry of sailing on deep water vanishes, and we look stern reality
in the face, and feel the danger of being swallowed up, which
overbalances all the adventurous spirit for sight-seeing.

The tempest which was now shrieking and howling in its fury bore no
resemblance to any thing disagreeable enough by which a comparison could
be made, except falling clods upon the coffin of an only friend and
protector, or the click of a pistol that sends a soul into eternity. In
imagination I could hear the gnashing teeth of fighting fiends, in
reality the roaring thunders, threatening with their stunning proximity,
while torrents of water were descending--thus bringing a yawning abyss
before us under circumstances of appalling nearness, when the sea, in
its fiercest moments of fury, has often plunged the ship and mariners
into an open chasm, with cold, cruel waves for a winding-sheet, while
the winds sung a requiem. It was an epoch in the history of my life,
when I felt my grasp upon tangible substance weakening, and at any
moment that I might be hurled into that shoreless, fathomless depth,
from whose uncertain soundings and unexplored domains there would be no
return. As the wind increased the sea commenced washing over decks,
which movement would not be mistaken, for purling streams meandering
through green lawns and "flowery meads." The pantry contributed its
share to the general din--the plates all falling down, the tumblers,
cups, and bowls, never ceasing to roll over--at the same instant a big
wave coming in washed the tinware from the galley, while the cook-stove,
with its legs nailed fast to the floor, remained a mute spectator. The
chairs gathered in groups and skated across the oil-cloth at each lurch
of the vessel. Nothing revealed those terrible troughs in the sea before
us but the vivid lightning, which also enabled the sailors to see the
spars, and keep a portion of the sails reefed. The deep waters resembled
liquid mountains piled in pyramidal forms, dissolving like dew with
every wind that passed, at which we were not dismayed while the vessel
could leap over them. Meanwhile there came a heavy sea that shipped down
the gangway and commenced washing out the cabin--at the same instant a
gust extinguished the binnacle lamp. As a precautionary movement, to
keep the mast from being jerked out, the foresheet was secured. The
beating billows, rattling chains, and inky darkness, combined, were
suggestive of a passage contained in the Epistle of Jude, where the
fallen spirits are spoken of as "reserved in everlasting chains under
darkness unto the judgment of the great day." The hour of midnight, when
the clock shall have struck twelve, is looked for with much solicitude
during a gale. How the men worked! How the pumps groaned! Our vessel
was only a toy with which the waves were playing as a pastime, whose
angry waves we were willing to appease by a promise that we would come
no more, if only spared from a dive beneath their surface. Storms and
adversity are both great levelers in life. How all social barriers of
distinction vanish as we feel our dependence upon the roughest tar that
climbs the mast at sea, or rolls like a swine in the gutter on shore!
With what eagerness we notice every movement of the officers in times of
peril, and listen for their foot-fall on deck, or the rustle of their
rough-weather tarpaulins, as they walk through the cabin, watching to
see that fire does not break out from the lamps, or spontaneous
combustion take place in the hold, which then severs the last gleam of
hope, except that which awaits us beyond a grave in the sea when we sink
beneath the waves, where all is peace! While we are certain a commander,
in times of danger, will do all in his power to save the lives of those
on board, is it not then we should lean on that One all-powerful to aid,
and feel for the Hand "that holds the waters in its hollow?" A little
after midnight the captain, worn out with his duties, "had turned in."
The winds seemed to lull, and except very heavy seas, a fair prospect of
peace overshadowed us. However, we soon afterward found we had been
nursing a delusion, as a little before 2 A.M. the breeze freshened; it
came in gusts, increasing in severity, and the vessel becoming
unmanageable, the captain was called on deck, while the mate rushed
forward to take in sail. He had proceeded but a short distance when a
heavy sea struck the ship, and the bow-hatches were five feet under
water, with the mate swimming against the deck-railings, and the
trumpet-toned commands issued to a powerless crew. It was a fearful
moment, never to be forgotten in the history of a lifetime, when all
hopes, joys, sorrows, and past recollections, are merged into an instant
of time, to be swept away by a breath.

A little after daybreak we sighted an English vessel on her course for
South America. She sailed swiftly, never stopping to tell us the danger
she had passed, as a chopped sea was running, which denoted the expiring
struggle through which it was passing in trying to calm its fury. The
sun rose at last, and our rent sails were all that told the perils we
had encountered; for the same Voice that could command "the winds and
the sea" to obey was with us, and we were saved.

About midday we passed the Isle of Pines, whose proximity our quadrant
indicated before we saw it. In making for the south side of Cuba, this
land is all we see during the passage. It is said rain falls here when
the weather is pleasant in every other place--to which is attributable
its unusual appearance of verdure and its fine streams of fresh water,
which first attracted the attention of the early Spanish settlers. The
large amount of rain which falls here is accounted for by the
trade-winds in these seas blowing from the north-east. Marble and jasper
of various colors are found on this island. It was formerly frequented
by pirates, the last of whom was Bernardo del Soto, who was a Spaniard,
and commanded the band. They named their cruising-ship the "Pinta,"
which in Spanish implies a point. Their closing exploit was robbing and
destroying the brig Mexican, near Cape San Antonio. All the crew were
murdered except two, who were spared on condition they would join the
pirates. These two unfortunate survivors afterward escaped to the United
States, when they gave information in regard to their companions who had
been so cruelly murdered, and also the rendezvous of these high-sea
pirates, which led to their capture by the brig Summers. The buccaneers
were taken to Boston, and tried for murder, of which they were all
convicted and executed, except the commander, whose wife came from Cuba
and interceded with President Van Buren, that the life of her husband
might be spared. Her entreaties were not unavailing, and his existence
was prolonged, only to reward her solicitude by murdering her in a fit
of passion, for which crime he soon atoned with his life.

_Mexican Gulf._--Soon after dinner we noticed an unusual appearance in
the sky, like fog and mist. The sailors, with a terrified look, were
standing in a group together on deck, while the captain took the helm. A
storm on ship-board, strange as it may appear, develops more profanity
than reverence among sailors; but water-spouts are something with which
they never presume to trifle. Two of these were plainly visible. One
passed aft the vessel, missing it about fifteen feet; the other
presented a most peculiar phenomenon, which is said to be caused by the
reciprocal attraction of the cloud above and the sea beneath. The water
rises toward the cloud, which elongates itself in the form of a tube to
meet and receive the fluid below--this ascending column resembling in
form a speaking-trumpet, with its base uppermost. They were called
_presters_ by the ancients, which word in the Greek denotes an igneous
fluid--the more singular on account of those who applied the term having
no knowledge of electricity. These terrible missiles of destruction
often annihilate every thing in their pathway, although only a few drops
of water reached us from these. They are fearful objects, unlike most
others which come clothed in darkness, they being only veiled in thin
mist, rising like a mysterious presence from the depths of the sea to
join the forces in the air, thus making the combined influences doubly
formidable. The ship had been tacked to port side just as the
water-spouts had been discovered, and we were sailing southward away
from them. They may be properly termed "sea-cyclones, carrying up drops
of water which they have separated from the surface of the waves." The
beauty, terror, and grandeur accompanying these visitants can never be
imagined by one who has not witnessed them, much less definitely
described by a terrified spectator. The sun shone brightly during the
time, as though the storm-fiend was not abroad in his chariot, riding
swiftly on wings of wind, ready to hurl the missiles of death at any
hapless mariner who crossed its pathway. Ever shall I remember how
utterly undone those poor sin-hardened, rough sailors appeared while
waiting for orders that would give expression to their feelings, no
words coming from those uncultured lips which could furnish any
conception of their mental agitation.

_Cuba_, February 28.--The most precious jewel of the Antilles is the
Isle of Cuba, which we are now approaching. It is about seven hundred
and ninety miles in length, its greatest width being one hundred and
seven miles. The mountains add beauty and boldness to its scenery, the
highest elevation on the island being about eight thousand feet. It was
first discovered by the famous Columbus, in 1492, but not conquered from
the Indians until 1511, at which time the Spaniards killed nearly five
hundred thousand of the natives. From the following well-authenticated
account we may be enabled to form some idea of the barbarity which
characterized these movements: "One morning, as the Spaniards were tying
an Indian cazique to the stake for the purpose of burning him alive, a
Franciscan Friar approached, and informed him that if he would embrace
their religion he should go to heaven, but if not he must burn in hell
forever. The prince then asked him if there were any Spaniards in
heaven. The friar responded in the affirmative--to which he replied, 'If
that be so, I would rather be with the demons in hell than the Spaniards
in heaven; for their cruelty is such that none can be more miserable
than where they are.'" The cause of the Indians being so cruelly
destroyed by the Spaniards was their covetous wish to possess the entire
island, with its supposed wealth in silver and gold. Unfortunately,
after they had murdered the Indians, their visionary dreams of vast
fortunes were never realized, as very little precious metal was
discovered, which many have supposed was a judgment on them for their
cruelty.

The soil in Cuba is itself a mine of wealth, on which can be produced
from five to seven crops yearly, spring-time and harvest continuing all
the season. There are mines of copper ore here, from which the early
settlers made their cannon.

About two hundred miles from Cape San Antonio Light, upon the south side
of Cuba, is an entrance called Fernandina Del Jauga Bay, the coast being
lined with rocks of a coral formation. Ten miles from the Mexican Gulf,
at the head of this bay, surrounded by a country of unsurpassed
fertility, is the city of Cienfuegos, named in honor of the general to
whom its present prosperity is in a great measure attributable. The fort
which guards the entrance to this town impresses us with its entire
inefficiency to resist an attack from our modernized implements of
warfare, or to even make a show of strength for any length of time
during a siege. One lone sentinel rushes upon the parapet, and presents
arms, when a vessel approaches, as though he had a hundred-pound ball,
which could be sent with sufficient force to sink any ship that should
make an attempt to enter the port. The harbor upon which the town is
situated is commodious and safe. Two gun-boats are anchored here, which,
judging from their shape and size, look as though they would require
assistance to advance, but are said to make six miles an hour when
under full headway. They are not regarded as formidable by military men.
The report from the guns would, no doubt, be more demoralizing than the
effect. The houses in the city are built mostly of brick and concrete.
They have no yards in front, the walls of the residences being even with
the streets, only a narrow sidewalk sometimes intervening. The buildings
are painted blue or green, straw-color, and white--the doors being
differently colored from the houses. The windows have no glass, as it
would make the dwellings warmer, and the ladies could not look from the
folds of their curtains into the streets so easily without being seen as
they do now. The windows are protected by iron rods and bars, which give
them a cage-like appearance--the houses have no chimneys or fire-places,
and the apartments are furnished in a very simple manner. The floors are
made of marble and tiles--the carpet is only a large rug in the center
of the room, upon each side of which are placed two rows of chairs, most
of them being willow-work rocking chairs; also a center-table and sofa,
with a willow back and seat, sometimes a piano, embrace the list of
parlor fixtures. At night the doors and windows are thrown open for
ventilation, the rooms being lighted by gas chandeliers--every thing can
be seen, even to the beds on which the family sleep. The bedsteads are
made of iron, and are very light, upon which is placed a wooden frame
with a piece of canvas tacked across it. There are no mattresses or
feather-beds used. A sheet of Canton-flannel is the first appearance of
bedding, over which are spread linen sheets of snowy whiteness, pillows
filled with cotton or moss--the whole being overhung with pink and
white-lace curtains, to keep out the musquitoes, that never leave on
account of climatic changes. But few of the dwellings are more than one
story high. If the ancient Spanish custom were to be observed here--that
the rent of the first floor was for the king--there would be no income
left to the owners. Many of these structures have ceilings twenty feet
in height. They build them as airy as possible, and afterward dedicate
them to the god of the winds, whose presence is many times oftener
invoked than received. However, the land-breeze at night, and the
sea-breeze during the day, render the climate more delightful than can
be imagined by one who has never visited here. In this locality days and
weeks steal imperceptibly away, leaving no visible impress except a
feeling of repose, as though earth had no cares or pains which would
ever torture our minds again with their unwelcome visitations. The great
amount of leisure every one appears to command is really surprising. The
rich enjoy their condition to the fullest extent of the term--no titled
lords or ladies have more courtly grace and elegant manners. The poor
ape the rich in their movements, as though it were undignified to be
brisk, or manifest any haste, going about quietly as though at peace
with all the world. Every thing in their houses is exceedingly neat, the
lower part being stuccoed several feet from the base with designs, no
doubt intended as the escutcheons of royalty. The floors are also laid
in tiles, ornamented with flowers of sapphire color, being connected
with each other by patterns which, when in position, are plainly seen.
May not these be identified with the sapphire foundations of which the
Prophet Isaiah speaks? Among the recent discoveries made in the Moorish
ruins of Italy are also found similar floors.

It is a novelty to look in the houses and see the family circles
gathered in their homes, all smoking and talking but the babies. The
cares of life apparently rest very lightly on them, while their clothing
is more airy than all--the little baby-girls with only a pair of
ear-rings, the boys dressed in the shadow of the nurse, or night falling
softly on them. What a multitude of unformed thoughts enter our minds as
we look at the novel sights appearing before us, where only a foreign
language is sounding in our ears! They all speak the Spanish, which is
derived mostly from the Latin, and resembles it, except some words from
the Arabic, which came into use with them after Spain was conquered by
the Moors. The pantomimic efforts made by salesmen and servants, in
trying to make us comprehend that they would like to be attentive and
please us, is very amusing. The marketer explains the price of his
fruits by showing us a corresponding piece of silver. If we shake our
heads, he reduces the amount, and writes it down in figures. Although we
can feast our eyes on the various scenes which come before us while in
Cuba, we must remember the natives are looking at us, uttering a jargon
of words, not much of which we can comprehend, except _Americano_ and
_sombrero_, which implies that we are Americans, and wear hats. The
Spanish ladies wear veils, the men only wearing hats.

Cruelty to seamen while in Cuban ports is an evil which needs reforming.
The vessels in whose service they are engaged are mostly from a frozen
clime, that return loaded with cargoes of sugar and molasses. The change
of climate to a person of leisure is very perceptible, but when required
to perform the heaviest of labor under a tropical sun, it is too
overpowering--it is cruelty! The sailor is frequently sent aloft to
grease the mast at midday, when he is overpowered by heat, and drops on
the decks, gasps once, and is gone! Poor fellow! Only a man! There is an
Irishwoman living in Cienfuegos, called by the sailors "Mother Carey,"
and the duped sailors her chickens. She is married to a Spaniard, and
keeps a Sailor's Home, or saloon. She employs runners to inveigle
mariners into her shop, and then for fifty cents' worth of whisky will
take a good pair of boots, or any kind of clothing, from the stupid
wretches. After robbing them in this unfeeling manner she turns them
out, to find their way back to the ship as best they can. The sailor has
few inducements for doing right, but the avenues for his destruction are
never closed night or day.

Cuba has been on the altar for sacrifice several years. The United
States have been looking for some time toward the event of its severance
from Spain, when it would gravitate toward her for protection. The
present movement is being made because the people have no voice in their
own government; they are overburdened with taxes to support declining
royalty from Spain, for the purpose of making laws and administering
them. Would an embassy of Americans, with authority from Washington, be
more acceptable to the Cubans than their present rulers? Does our
administration now evince that efficiency, justice, and prowess to
protect the unprotected, and strengthen the weak, which would encourage
a feeble foreign principality to seek an asylum beneath the "stars and
stripes," where a shelter free from discord and contention could be
furnished as a refuge in times of danger? Does not the successful
warfare in which it has been engaged for a number of years indicate the
first fundamental principles of self-government and defense? How
terrible the fate of all insurgents when captured, at the sight of which
humanity sickens! and yet they neither appear intimidated nor appalled.
The victim for execution is led out at the dawn of day, with no escort
but the priest and executioner. Upon his bended knees he repeats his
prayers after the padre. The condemned man is then shot in the back, his
head cut off, his body thrown in a cart, and carried to a pit, where it
is tumbled in and left. No words of extenuation, no excuse or quarter,
is tolerated for an instant.

Within twenty miles of Cienfuegos, among the mountains, there has
numbered a force of rebels somewhere in the vicinity of twelve thousand.
Their movements show both strategy and strength--their mode of warfare
the guerilla. Over a month since four hundred troops were landed here
from Spain, and shortly afterward ordered into an engagement, or to make
an attack upon the insurgents. They were not regulars--some of them
beardless youths. When the fray was over, it is said but one escaped,
because he had a better horse than his pursuers. The destruction of this
force was only a before-breakfast pastime for the rebels. They are now
constantly making incursions upon the planters, firing fields of cane,
sugar-mills, and, before the work of destruction is half finished, they
are miles away, strewing desolation wherever they pass. The Cuban
rebellion is no longer of infantile growth; the entire inefficiency of
the volunteers, who go racing about the country, is plainly to be seen.
Every thing pertaining to military movements is shrouded with an air of
mystery. When the wounded and dying are brought in on the cars, guards
are placed at the doors--no person but surgeons admitted, no questions
answered, or satisfaction given to outsiders. It is shocking to see a
country of such luxuriance and beauty fall a prey to the unrelenting
hand of war, which gluts itself with human gore, and is only satiated
when the fiend of destruction has no more blood to shed, or conquests to
make.

"La Purisima Conception" is the name of the only church in the city. It
has two towers and ten bells. The tallest tower was erected to contain a
clock, and afterward the church was built around it, thus rendering the
style of architecture any thing but imposing. The materials used are
stone and brick, with marble floors. It is singular to see a people
among whose progenitors in Spain the Christian religion was first
planted by the apostles themselves, cherish so little zeal in regard to
the observance of its ordinances in any way. The congregation outside is
larger than the number of worshipers inside, on Sabbath morning. The men
stand about the entrance, and make remarks about those going into
church, as though they were engaged in the path of duty. Their conduct
is a reminder that the chivalric days of elegant address and lordly
demeanor are passing away from the Spanish people who reside this side
of the water. At 8 o'clock A.M. the best society residents come out to
worship. In a population of ten thousand souls a goodly number might be
expected to witness the imposing ceremonial of a high mass on Sabbath
morning. The church has an elegant interior, the architecture being
Doric, the arched roof supported by numerous pilasters. At the terminus
of the nave is placed the grand altar, ornamented with images of
dazzling brightness and golden candlesticks of gigantic proportions,
containing immense wax candles, which, when lighted, shed a star-like
luster. There are also eight other altars of less dimensions, where the
more humble kneel to receive consolation. The priest looks as ancient as
the religion he represents, and chants mass with an intonation that
would be creditable to one less in years. With fine music, choice
paintings from Spanish and Italian masters, representing saints preceded
by a record of unsullied purity, upon which were beaming subdued rays of
light through stained glass of rare design and workmanship, besides all
that could be attractive in a church and service combined, there were
only about fifty persons present, including white and black. The edifice
was designed to seat only a few of the congregation. A noticeable
peculiarity in attending worship here is that each lady-worshiper is
accompanied by a servant, who carries a low cane-seated chair for her
mistress to occupy during service, and an elegant rug made of long, soft
cashmere goat's hair, beautifully dyed, which is placed in front of the
chair. On this mat the mistress kneels to repeat her devotional
exercises, with an ease which would have been considered quite
sacrilegious by St. Francis, or any of those old hair-shirt-wearing
friars. The servant in attendance, if young, kneels by the side of her
mistress upon the marble tiles, where she is expected to repeat all the
prayers connected with the ritual. If she is seen gazing about, as an
admonition to give attention to her religious duties, she receives a tap
on the head from her mistress's hand, which causes her lips to move
again, and her eyes to cease their voyages of discovery. Old servants
kneel behind their mistress, and go through the forms of worship as a
religious duty and safeguard against sin. At 11 o'clock A.M. the poor
people attend church in the same place; the heat is too fervent for the
rich to venture out then. Spiritual consolation is a commodity not much
sought after in this market by rich or poor, if the numbers in
attendance are any criterion. What few are assembled go through the
service in a hurried, business-like manner, which has no soul in it.

The plaza in Cienfuegos is the largest on the island. It is kept in
order by the coolies--a race of people brought from the mountains of
Asia, which forms the most numerous servile population in the country.
At night it is the scene of a grand display, or military parade. The
band comes from the barracks, surrounded by a military escort, near
which no one is permitted to pass. The guards are all extremely tall,
dark, well-formed men, being of Moorish origin. While on duty they stand
as mute and motionless as statuary, with their guns pointing upward, but
ready for instant action at the word of command. It is here the chill
winds never come, and drape the foliage in somber hues--the flowers are
always blooming, sweet as dreams borne on angels' wings. To this plaza,
at night, the entire population of the city resort for recreation, and
to breathe the fresh air. The grounds are divided into parterres, laid
out at right angles, through which are wide avenues, paved with flat
rocks. In the center is a fountain and grotto, near which are four
marble statues representing the seasons. No fabled habitation of the
genii, or enchanting description of the Isle of Calypso, could fill the
imagination with more delightful emotions than the real scene before us.
The bright moonbeams come stealing softly through the scarlet hibiscus,
and feathery palms wave their graceful wands above our heads, while the
most gentle zephyrs fan our brows with their blandest breeze, and every
thing seems tipped with silver sheen, and too unreal for earth. The gay
and beautiful señoritas soon commence promenading, many of them dressed
in white, with long, starched trains to their robes, and skirts that
swept over the paved boulevards with a rushing sound, like the waves
plashing against a vessel, although the accompaniment of shuffling
sandals and slip-shod slippers of the men make a grinding noise nothing
suggestive of grace or elegance. The music soon struck up, with its most
fascinating strains; everybody seemed to partake of its harmonious
cadence, and commenced moving about with the grace of sylphs. The
soldiers and police, with their _brusquiere_ movements, were the only
ones present not given up to the most perfect _abandon_ for enjoyment.
Among other choice and beautiful pieces, the band played _Il Trovatore_.
The melody seemed intensified by the same pathos that seized the mind of
the great composer when he wrote it; and as its sounds died away among
the moonbeams and perennial foliage, while its echoes lingered in the
air, the surroundings appeared too beautiful for any thing but the
culmination of all on earth that might be termed grand.



CHAPTER XXVI.


Seeking information with reference to distances while in Cuba will be
found an adventurous enterprise. The answer you receive is, "Far as the
voice of a countryman, or the crowing of a cock," which you find after
traveling two or three leagues just beyond. The following are the
correct distances across the island by railway: From Cienfuegos to
Cruces, nineteen miles; from Cruces to Santo Domingo, twenty-four miles;
from Santo Domingo to Matanzas, eighty miles; from Matanzas to Havana,
sixty-six miles. Many suppose Cuba has no railroads, except some on
which an attempt to ride would imperil their safety, which is a great
mistake. The roads are in the hands of the Government, being well built,
and the speed all that could be desired. Three kinds of passenger-cars
are placed at the disposal of travelers--first, second, and third class.
The first class are not cushioned, but have willow-wrought backs and
seats to make them cool. Few, except foreigners, ride in them. The
second class have cushioned seats, and more passengers. The soldiers
also ride in these. The third class cars have seats without backs or
cushions on them. The majority of Cubans have no pride in regard to
their mode of traveling. These uncomfortable cars are literally packed.
Here we see the elegantly-dressed lady, with her crape shawl and
embroidered veil--gentlemen-planters, coolies, the blackest slaves on
the island--all listening to the blind musician playing on his guitar,
while his wife and he are singing their Spanish melodies and gathering
up the _dinero_ which the kind-hearted people give them.

The smell of garlic and tobacco are two odorous substances with which
travelers in Cuba must become accustomed. Passengers all smoke in every
car--the interrogation never being used, Is smoking offensive? Everybody
seems trying to pull the greatest possible amount of pleasure from the
Havana weed. A vast number of cigars and cigarettes vanish in a short
space of time.

As the train started from Cruces, a quiet shower distilled itself. It
rains in Cuba without threatening skies or any visible preparation.
There is no rolling up of squadrons into threatening ranks, the moisture
appearing to come from nowhere. The shower was like beauty blushing
through tears, the skies were so lovely, and the rain-drops very gentle.
It is harvest-time now on the island. Every thing is hurry and rush,
while both men and beasts are, many of them, driven to death. When we
stopped at the first station it was early in the morning, and day was
breaking. Carts, drawn by oxen and loaded with sugar-hogsheads which had
come from miles away, were standing there. Poor brutes! What a look of
subjugation they all have, with an immense ring through their noses, and
no yoke around their necks but a small one fastened to their heads and
horns, by which the loads are drawn! These oxen are of immense size,
with tremendously long horns. They are not the Florida stock of cattle,
but brought from Mexico. They drive them with goads, or sharpened pieces
of iron, which are very severe. Nothing is treated so badly here as the
patient ox, the mortality among them being greater than all the other
animals combined. Acres of sugar-hogsheads now cover the grounds around
the depots. The wealth of the country--that before which all other
products sink into insignificance--is the rich sugar-cane, supplying
more than half the world with its saccharine deposits. The cane raised
here is three per cent. richer than that raised in the Southern States.
It grows from four to eight feet in height, according to the fertility
of the soil. It is now March, and the summit of the cane is crowned with
its useful blooms, which are gathered and dried for upholstering
purposes, while the leaves are cut and used for the sustenance of stock,
which are herded, watched, and fed, night and day, when not working. In
passing through the country we frequently see, remote from any dwelling,
small tents stretched over a cot-bed. Here is where the coolie
cattle-herder sleeps. The heavy dews, with the hot sunshine at midday,
to which they are exposed, must finish out the existence of these poor
wretches very soon.

The mornings being a little airy now, the agents come out, on the
arrival of the train, dressed in the _capa parada_, or long brown cloth
cloaks, with capes which hang over their shoulders. Below is seen a
pair of legs dressed in white, supported by a pair of feet covered with
their birthday stockings and leather sandals. This constitutes the
uniform of both agents and loafers, worn by them when making their
_début_ from a hasty morning toilet. Travelers, in going through the
country now, pass the day in varied vicissitudes of thought and
feelings. It is no secret that a war is progressing in Cuba which may
end in a Santo Domingo massacre, or, like the Kilkenny cats, continue
fighting until they destroy each other. More soldiers are traveling on
the trains than citizens--their uniforms being made of light-blue
striped linen, with scarlet cuffs, and their hats of Panama, turned up
on the left side, on which is fastened a red and yellow cockade. This
style of dress seems to be intended as a mark of loyalty to the Spanish
Government, used more for a badge of their principles than a uniform
designed for those in actual service, as it is worn by men too old for
duty, and boys too young for enlistment. The men are all armed with
guns, knives, and pistols, until they look like moving arsenals,
Barracks are stationed on the railroad at every town of any size, while
cavalry soldiers, armed with carbines, go dashing about in all
directions. The Cuban saddle-horses are evidently related to the Arabian
stock brought from Spain; they are pretty, graceful, docile, easy-gaited
creatures. The cavalry braid their horses' tails, then tie them to the
saddles with red and yellow ribbons. When they ride up to a store or
hotel, they hitch them under the front veranda. A Spaniard told me "that
it was because they were too lazy to walk, and they rode into the
house."

The insurgents are more to be dreaded, in the adoption of their present
tactics, than regularly organized troops. They are acquainted with every
portion of the country--all its defiles and elevations--with their
methods and places for secure retreat always selected. They dart about
like sunbeams, dealing destruction to every thing in their reach with
the celerity of hurricanes. The regular vocations of life are
interrupted--all the energies of the nation being expended on arms, and
not on arts, which has already sounded the death-knell to their national
prosperity. Many Spaniards are now nursing the delusion of peace, but it
is only a shadow, evanescent as the gorgeous hues which deck their
evening skies. Foreigners, as they pass through the country, feel some
anxiety for their safety when they approach the track of the insurgents
so close as to see the smoking ruins of burning sugar-houses. Strangers
who visit here now, with proper passports and correct deportment, will
be protected. Persons who either cannot or will not give any account of
themselves are regarded with suspicion, which is the same in all
countries that are in a state of insurrection.

In traveling two hundred miles we change cars four times. On the trains
we have none of those insinuating, untiring, vigilant, prize-candy boys,
to thrust their wares in our faces, just as our nerves are settling from
the last jolt, to worry us until we have to make an investment in their
sweet flour-paste and brass jewelry, to be rid of them. The coolies
seem to do the peddling at the stopping-places. They have for sale
sponge-cakes, peeled oranges, bananas, goat's-milk cheese, and
guava-jelly. What a medley of all nations is seen when we halt! There is
something in the atmosphere opposed to silence, yet everybody keeps in a
good humor. When the train stops there is no hurry or bustle--all the
ladies sit down, while the men walk up to the bar for a drink. The
favorite beverage is made from the _penalis_, or "_long kiss_"--a
hollow-shaped banana, molded from sugar, mixed with wine and water.
There is no drinking behind screens--it is all public, in a large room,
with seats for passengers to sit on. The Cubans drink small quantities
each time, yet no one gets drunk, the wines being so light and pure.
Each departure of the train is announced by the ringing of a large
dinner-bell held in the hands of a negro. The coolies are employed on
the cars, both as firemen and brakemen. Our coolie brakeman went to
sleep between each stopping-place, but never was behind time when the
engine whistled down brakes. The depots are not large; but each one has
a flower-yard, or garden, attached, arranged with taste, where the
scarlet hibiscus blooms with its showy petals, that flame like "mimic
suns." They gave us flowers freely when we motioned for them; but they
gave us looks too, as the inhabitants in the center of the island are
not much accustomed to seeing foreigners. Although it is only the first
day of March, every thing has on a midsummer dress--all the flowers,
like the national colors, are of the grandest hues. The favorite
shade-tree is the orange, of which nearly every cabin, however humble,
has a few. One arbor had tomato-vines trained over it, hanging full of
scarlet fruit, forming a fine contrast with the green leaves. Miles of
banana-trees are passed on every side, maturing rapidly. Immense fields
of corn give promise of an abundant harvest. The plantations are
inclosed by hedges of Campeachy and Brazil wood, besides sessile hemp,
Spanish bayonet, and cactus, while some have rock walls. The hedges
formed from vegetation are constantly clothed with verdure and flowers:
any attempt to penetrate them would be a hazardous enterprise for man or
beast, as well as a damaging encounter for all fleshly or furry
coverings. The tropical atmosphere which pervades this island is
favorable to the growth of plants of various species from all parts of
the world. The royal palm, with its curling plumes, rearing its lofty
head two hundred feet in the air, stands in rows on each side of the
avenues that lead to the dwellings. Its leaves are used in thatching
houses, its fruit in fattening hogs, and its stately trunk for troughs.
By means of ropes these immense trees are climbed by the natives, with
the celerity of monkeys. The acacia-tree also sheds its fragrance in the
woods and cultured gardens. The virgin forests are teeming with such a
superabundance of vegetation, it has no room for development. The trunks
of the trees are covered with moss, ferns, and parasitic plants, which
perfume the air, and delight us with the most exquisite odors, while
above

[Illustration: NATIVES GATHERING PALM-FRUIT.]

all climbs the convolvulus to dizzy heights, interweaving and forming
arches to crown the rank growth with its perpetual-blooming,
campanulated flowers. Here the cactus family, with its collaterals,
assume immense proportions, armed with weapons, the appearance of which
is sufficient to fill the mind of any explorer with terror. The old
man's beard, with its swinging pendants hanging from the tall trees at
the mercy of the winds, flourishes as though its resting-place was
something more substantial than the caprice of every fickle breeze.
There are no large streams of water flowing through the country; but
springs abound, some of which are supposed to possess curative
properties. The most airy tales emanating from the pen of the wildest
romancer have never equaled the real beauties of this modern Eden. It
seems to have been designed as a haunt for the Muses, or a resting-place
for ethereal messengers, where they could meet and hold converse before
proceeding on their missions of mercy, in administering comfort to the
afflicted. The residents of such a land, instead of destroying each
other, and manifesting the unfeeling, restless disposition which we see
here, should be as contented as crickets, to feed upon dew-drops and
bask in sunbeams.

That slave-labor is employed here, and slavery exists, we have
sufficient proof in traveling through the country. Negroes being
naturally a discontented race, they run away whenever an opportunity
presents itself. One planter left us with a black slave at Colon. She
had a rope tied around her waist, with which her master was leading her.
She was well dressed, had some bundles in her arms, and looked very
indifferent, generally. The laws forbid their being whipped; but the
plantation-drivers all have huge lashes, which, when popped, sound like
the distant report of fire-arms. The slaves are formed into ranks when
they go to and return from their work; sometimes a hundred are seen in
a drove, composed of both sexes. They are now employed in cutting cane,
and load from thirty to fifty wagons at once before they move them to
the mills for grinding and boiling. The mules grind the cane with veiled
faces and sour looks for such sweet work. Cane only requires renewing
here once in five or ten years; consequently, but few are planting or
plowing. We visited one plantation for the purpose of seeing them work.
Every thing was in a rush. Some had on chains for bad conduct; but their
tasks had to be performed all the same. One coolie was pointed out as
having been run away two years, hidden out at work with the colliers in
the mountains. He was kept in the stocks at night, and made to work with
his chains on during the day, of which he complained to the overseer's
wife. She replied, "If they give you liberty you will go away again." He
responded, "I will." The slaves were never treated with half the
severity in the States which they receive here. Their quarters are
miserable thatched huts, with earth floors, furnished with only an
inclined plank for a bed, sick or well. Their principal food is rice and
cassava-root, ground and baked in thin cakes. Slave-property has
depreciated very much in Cuba since the insurrectionary movements, and
at present none appear anxious to make investments in such precarious
property. The importation of more coolies has been forbidden. Negroes
from Africa have been landed here this winter. The coolies cannot learn
to speak English well, but catch the Spanish language directly. Small
negroes are plentiful; they all come around us, with their rude, naked,
black bodies and woolly heads, to steal a sly glance at the strangers,
and then run away. Many traveling monkeys look brighter, and manifest
more signs of intelligence, than these creatures. As soon as they can
walk they receive about the same attention as puppies--upon which they
thrive very well. There is no Sunday on sugar-plantations, and all the
slaves look as though they did not have sense to comprehend it, if any
one should tell them they had a soul. They are only taught to work, and
if they refuse, the stocks and chains are ready for them, and other
punishments too, although the laws make a pretense of redressing their
wrongs and ameliorating their condition.

Chicken-fighting is practiced in Cuba as a means of subsistence. When a
young man forsakes the paternal roof in the States, to engage in games
of chance, he usually carries a pack of playing-cards in his pocket,
which are not seen. The young Cuban leaves home attired in his best
clothes, with a thorough-bred fighting-cock under his arm, from the body
of which all the feathers have been plucked, his wings and tail-plumage
only remaining. These chickens are carried with an evident feeling of
pride, and for the purpose of display, as an American jockey would show
a fine horse. The owners have an ear of corn in their pocket, with which
they feed them. When the cars stop they always crow, as if trying to
challenge a champion for fight. These fights are not considered
disgraceful here, as in other countries, and hundreds of dollars are bet
on a single chicken. The Cubans laugh when any thing is said about
cruelty to chickens, and reply, "No law has yet been passed here for the
prevention of cruelty to animals." When Bergh visits Cuba, no doubt, his
first and warmest sympathies will be enlisted in behalf of the poor
chickens, with their bare backs deprived of the natural covering to
prevent others with which they fight from holding them by their
feathers. The Spaniards, being a nation of strong passions, require
something more than mental exhilaration to stimulate and satisfy
them--hence the resort to chicken and bull-fights.

Matanzas is situated on the north-west coast of Cuba, latitude 23°
north, and sixty-six miles from Havana. The sea-approach to Matanzas Bay
is indicated by two singularly shaped hills, called The Pan of Matanzas,
which appear to stand like sentinels guarding the entrance. The harbor
is fine, affording protection from all winds but the north-east. The
surrounding elevations of land give the city the appearance of an
amphitheater, or half circle. The soil in the vicinity is the richest in
Cuba. The range of mountains here evidences marks of convulsions in
nature, and they have, no doubt, been the seat of volcanic action. The
rocks forming the basis of these mountains are limestone--some of them
containing caves, one of which is said to extend under the town. As we
approach the depot, what a medley we see! A regular Pentecostal
illustration of olden times, where every one hears his own tongue
spoken! We noticed an official on duty whose services are much needed in
many places. It was a man with a moderate-sized rod, which he used in
clearing the car-shed of idle boys and lazy servants--making porters,
carrying bundles, move with accelerated velocity. A subordinate race
here has no show for the development of their slothful proclivities; the
authorities arrest them when discovered, and, without any appeal, send
them to work, miles away, on the sugar-plantations--vagrancy and
vagabondism being dangerous experiments in Cuban cities.

I am unable to explain the cause, but all the Cuban men wear visages as
though their bodies were the abode of numerous pains, which distorted
their facial nerves, while their attenuated limbs look like the home of
rheumatics, whose frequent twitchings had absorbed the flesh, leaving
only a little parchment-covered bone and muscle, resembling a has-been
foundation of an aristocratic family. No smile sleeps or wakes on their
faces; if one should, perchance, light on them, it soon leaves, for want
of encouragement. The ladies all look plump and well kept as any scions
of royal blood. Care rests lightly on them as their clothing, which
entire outfit resembles the lace and gauzy drapery for the more
substantial ornamenting of an American lady's toilet.

Here we see the coolies engaged in all kinds of servitude--cooking,
waiting on tables, attending in sleeping-apartments--always moving in
that snail-pace which, apparently, nothing less than a tornado would
cause them to vary. What a sad, solitary, sullen-looking race they are,
with a cloud of discontent always hanging over their faces, rarely, if
ever, engaging in pleasantries with their companions but always
creeping around with a shadowy frown, which resembles a
graveyard-parting more than any thing with which we are familiar! A
pleasant look on their features would be as foreign to them as a ray of
sunshine to their hearts.

When we pass the gateway through which all passengers are required to
enter and surrender their tickets, how reviving the prospect to
strangers the notice, "English and French spoken," which enables them
again to hold intelligent communication with the outside world, after
spending a whole day in a crowd, with only their own thoughts and
suppositions on subjects and novel sights, surrounded by a Babel of
unmeaning sounds! The above direction, designating the languages spoken,
is the only requisite sign for a hotel. As we enter, a reception is
given us by the proprietor, who is a keen, sharp, smiling French Creole,
with the clearest of ideas in regard to the amount of funds he can
extract from every guest. A lovely and refreshing breeze passes through
the house, coming from both mountains and sea. Here it meets us like a
welcome friend, to fan the warm and refresh the weary traveler with its
combined influences. Let all the contracts of those who come to Cuba be
made in advance; it will save much unpleasantness, as the proprietors
charge in proportion to their avarice, if no previous terms have been
agreed upon by both parties. Four dollars per day, in gold, will give a
guest the full benefit of all accommodations furnished, including wine
for dinner. You can receive your attentions in Spanish, French, or
English. Dinner commences at 4 P.M., of which we will now avail
ourselves at a later hour. The table is spread with a white linen cloth
and damask napkins. The little ants have been inspecting the premises,
and many of them are still exploring the precincts. Some have selected
the caster as the most prominent point for reconnoitering, where they
are still taking observations. These are all soon brushed away by the
waiter without ceremony, and then comes the repast. The cooking is on
the French restaurant order. The savory odor of onions and garlic
exhales from soup and meat on every side--chickens cooked in all styles
that a connoisseur could invent--beef, mutton, Irish potatoes, tomatoes,
and squashes, besides other vegetables of all kinds. After having our
plate changed ten times, the meats are all removed for dessert, which
consists of cheese, guava jelly, cocoa-nut grated and cooked in
sirup--the meal concluding with a cup of _café noir_. The Cubans laugh
at the Americans for mixing flour and sugar into pies and sweet-cakes.

After dinner we went to visit some friends on the bark Adelaide,
anchored in Matanzas Bay. The process of being pulled on board from a
small boat would be a hazardous experiment for those whose arms were not
well fastened. It makes a consequential person feel very diminutive, as
though he were about the same size and importance as any other fish,
dangling at the end of a line, previous to being taken in and served up
for chowder.

Over eighty vessels are anchored in the bay--all waiting for cargoes of
sugar and molasses. The captains are complaining on account of the low
bids made for freights. Every day fifty of them can be seen in the
consigning-office of Mr. Sanchez. They all have an anxious, care-worn
look, and some of them so old, seasoned, and toughened, by hardships and
exposure, that, if they were to fall overboard, the shark that would
have the temerity or skill to seize them, would never survive a similar
experiment, unless a Jonah miracle were wrought in him. Each captain, as
he arrives, gives the morning salutation by asking his companions in
turn, "Is your vessel entered?" "Are you chartered?" "Where you going to
sail for?" Most of the vessels are from Maine and Massachusetts. Strange
as it may appear, many of these captains have their entire families with
them. The ladies, while in port, extract some sweets, despite the rough
life they lead, in making calls, visits, and even giving dinners and
concerts--all the invitations being limited to their maritime
acquaintances from the four quarters of the globe. Then they take little
excursions, in their long-boats, up the beautiful and historic valley of
Yumori, or walk to the city in crowds of fifteen or twenty, accompanied
by all the children who are not too small to go with them. Batteries of
black eyes are leveled at them, as they pass, from every side. No
hippodrome, in making its grand entree, was ever scrutinized more
closely. Clerks leave their counters to gaze at them; servants forget
their business; pack-mules endanger the wares of their owners; coolies
drop their cakes of ice in the river when unloading vessels, as the
foreigners cross the bridge, while idle boys and girls follow them, to
take a good look! The gratification is mutual--each gazer is happy, and,
apparently, satisfied in the enjoyment of sight-seeing. Some of these
ladies have sailed with their husbands for years, under stormy skies, or
crossing polar seas. A few of them have learned how to compute latitude
and longitude by the quadrant. They speak of wrecks as we would heavy
thunder-showers on land.

The time for leaving the bay soon arrived. Nature had veiled her face,
like the Cuban beauties, with a tissue so transparent that, instead of
concealing her charms, they were only increased. The darkness seemed
like a mist, produced by the enchanting movements of some invisible
spirit, more than the shades of night in other places. The lights beamed
from the shore in the distance. All the ships had their signals, of
varied hues, burning brightly, while the stars shone with, the same
unfading, brilliant luster as when their first song echoed through the
ethereal vaults of heaven, and "all the sons of God shouted for joy."
The process of being returned into the little boat, at night, appears
like a leap in the dark, as I stepped backward down a rope-ladder until
the pilot says, "Let go," when my hands unclasp; at the same instant a
very uncertain hold is taken, with my feet on something that moves, but
I am safe. Before us lies a scene in which our imagination has reached
its culminating point, where enthusiasm gains the ascendency, when an
approach is made toward extravagance in the use of language--the barge
of Cleopatra, borne on the placid Cydnus--which, in musical cadence,
echoed no more sweetly than the plash of our oars with the brilliant
phosphorescent light by which each stroke was followed, and the train of
silvery waves that marked our movements through the illumined waters of
Matanzas Bay. Near the wharf we obtained a carriage, without difficulty,
that conveyed us to the plaza, and, afterward, to the hotel. The plaza
resembled a panoramic view, drafted from the imagination by some skilled
artist--the beautiful señoritas, with no dull, meditative moods in their
eyes, but merry flashes of the sunshine, in which they spend their
lives, reflected back to beautify the world in which they live. Decked
in their pink and creamy robes, floating through the avenues among
gorgeous flowering plants, they resembled a festival in fairy-land more
than the enjoyments incident to real life.

Our hotel is soon reached, where quiet rules the hour, all the inmates
having gone to the plaza, or slumbering in the arms of tired repose, but
the majoral and a few of his assistants. A tall, ebony-colored servant
conducts us to our apartments, and turns on the gas, which, in the
jail-like rooms, is much needed. I commenced speaking English to the
_valet de chambre_, when he looked at me as if in distress, and said,
"_Pourquoi ne vous me parlais en Francais!_" "_Vous parlez Francais!_" I
relieved his anxiety by giving all our orders in French, to which he
responded with much alacrity. The bolting of blinds and doors, combined
with the high, substantial brick and mortar walls which surround us,
savors very much of captivity--all the oxygen we have at night passing
through a small square made in the apertures of the blinds. The
canvas-framed stretchers, designed for reclining, and the accommodation
of only one person, are canopied over with beautifully-wrought lace,
looking both clean, cool, and inviting, to our weary frames. The
atmosphere at this place is said to be conducive of sleep. Every thing
sleeps, no difference when or where. The driver nods on his cabriolet,
which might be attended with direful consequences, but the poor brutes
are so jaded they are sleepy too. The salesman snores on his stall,
sometimes stretched out full length. The cooly nods over his chopsticks
and rice, after he has eaten his dinner, while the more elegant matron
inclines her head gracefully, saying, _Siesta_. Morning dawns, leaving
no marks of intervening space, but every thing is full of life and
business. The butler's voice is heard above the din of dishes and
kettles, giving orders, while his busy hands are preparing delicate
loin-steaks, mutton-chops, and veal-cutlets, for broiling, and 9 o'clock
train from Havana. The coffee is prepared on a separate range near the
dining-tables, close to the call of every new applicant for the
delightful beverage; it comes steaming out into the big China cups, the
servant holding in one hand a kettle of boiling milk, and one of coffee
in the other, furnishing us milk and coffee, or _vice versa_. "_Mi
café_," at six or seven in the morning, accompanied with a small French
roll, fortifies the inhabitants for any movements which they wish to
make until breakfast-time. While drinking our coffee the porter, hat in
hand, announces _El Volante_, which we had ordered the night before for
the purpose of visiting the cave. All efforts to describe that curious
conveyance must fail, when compared to the reality of riding in one--it
being a vehicle of Cuban origin, not in general use on the island now,
except in the country. It is drawn by two horses, one placed between the
shafts, the other on the left in rear of the first, upon which a booted,
liveried postilion, called a _calesero_, is seated in a diminutive
saddle. The center of gravity is nowhere in a _volante_, while it swings
and vibrates along softly as a boat on smooth water. When the wheels
strike a rock it is accompanied with no unpleasant jolts, like our
American carriages. Fancy could not conceive of spirits borne on the
wings of an ethereal messenger being wafted more gently. As I was
carried through clouds, illumined by the morning sun, which ascended
sweetly as incense from the altar of devotion, I was seized with
indescribable sensations, elevating emotions, comparable to
nothing--partaking of no other event of which history has any record,
except the transit of a perfect man, who passed beyond the realms of
space, and never returned. It is materialized enjoyment, the realization
of momentary happiness, at peace with all the world; our feelings are
pure like the air that surrounds us, which comes direct from its
heavenly home on cloud-like wings. If permitted to live longer, I feel
prepared to tread paths of life with fortified strength, meeting ing
its exigencies "with a more calm and virtuous majesty." If the angel of
death were to come, he would find me ready in feelings--the mowing-blade
of Time could cut me down and swing me off without a pang. Every sound
appears harmonious, from the bird-orchestra, tuned by the voice of God,
to the cricket that chirps from the rock-wall as we pass.

That remarkable cavern of _El Cueva de Bellamar_ was discovered over
twenty years since, under the following circumstances: A slave, having
been engaged in the preparation of a lime-kiln, accidentally dropped one
of his tools in a cavity near the place where he had been collecting
rock. Hoping soon to recover it, for fear of punishment, he commenced
reaching where he had last seen it. All his efforts proved useless. He
then threw in rocks, which were a long time finding soundings. The next
day excavations were made, which revealed a cave over two hundred feet
perpendicular below the surface of the earth, and a mile in length. This
remarkable subterranean passage has, no doubt, been the work of
centuries, the water dripping on the lime-rock, which dissolved it--all
these beautiful transformations taking place in midnight darkness, under
the guidance of the great Architect whose omnipotent hand formed all
things, whether above or under the earth. While descending the steps
which lead into the cave, a singular phenomenon is observable. It is an
intense, stifling heat, which increases as we advance, and oppresses us
until we become accustomed to it. This descent may be compared to an
approach into the lower regions--the torches in the hands of our guides
flickering and snapping like fiery serpents. Any fears of having found
the realm of his Satanic majesty are soon dispelled by the prismatic
view presented to us. As we enter the cave two avenues describing a
triangle are seen, it being the commencement of an apex with converging
lines, which terminate not in regions _inferno_, but the "Devil's
Gorge," near which stands _El Organ_, with its silent pipes reaching to
the dome. We come in contact with rough edges on every side, while
narrow passes almost obstruct our progress, when suddenly we are ushered
into _El Cathedro_, forty feet in height, and nearly the same in length,
with a variable width of twenty feet. Here is found the basin of holy
water, blessed by no earthly priest, fed by a fountain whose innermost
recesses have never been penetrated, or measureless depths fathomed. The
palace halls of princely dwellings, decked with costly gems of priceless
value, shine with no more dazzling luster than the icicle-shaped
pendants of snowy whiteness hanging from the arch and sides of this
remarkable underground temple. The stalactites in many places form solid
columns of transparent crystals, which meet the stalagmites, and extend
to the earth. Oyster-shells and sea-urchins of immense size are found
imbedded in the rocks, which demonstrate that this has been the home of
the restless sea, where old Neptune combed his "hoary locks," and beat
his foaming billows. To enter this subterranean cavern seems like
standing on the brink of a volcano, our only hope of escape, being a
fickle flame extinguished by a breath, looking into the domains of
futurity, not knowing how soon we might be called upon to try its
realities. No one can conceive the period of time which has been
consumed in the production of this remarkable formation--a drop of
water, containing the fractional part of a grain of lime, leaving an
imperceptible deposit in its downward course, thus forming the
stalactites and stalagmites of fantastic forms and delicate proportions,
which the ingenuity of no human hand, however skillful, can imitate. A
kind of awe-inspiring sensation seizes our minds while surrounded by the
oppressive stillness in these depths, where mighty forces are fulfilling
their great purposes in producing mountains by infinitesimal accessions.

As we approach the lake, the atmosphere becomes cooler, when a virgin
sheet of water presents itself, on whose surface no heavenly zephyr has
ever danced, or rude winds plunged into maddening strife. Here,
stretched before us, is a body of water nearly two hundred feet long,
thirty feet in width, and eighteen feet in depth; while firmly attached
to its bed are blooms perennial as the plants of paradise, resembling
double dahlias, not less than eight inches in circumference, with
variegated petals of delicate pink, violet, and straw color--the
coloring attributable, no doubt, to the mineral deposit contained in the
waters which trickle from above. As we gaze into its pearly depths, we
are impressed with the thought that here all is peace. Many visitors
who come here have the grasping relic-hunting propensity so strongly
developed for wanting every thing attractive which they see, that they
can only be restrained from breaking the finest stalactites by the
guides threatening to extinguish the lights, which is sufficient to
terrify into submission the stoutest sea captain that ever walked the
quarter-deck of a vessel, or any of his _attachés_. As in other explored
caverns, names have been given by the natives to the different
formations found here, which so nearly resemble English that they can be
readily translated. The resemblance of these curious figures to the
objects indicated by the names they bear are sufficiently striking to
produce an increased emotion of admiration:

"Cathedral de San Pablo."

"Manto de la Virgen."

"La Sagua bordado."

"El Organ."

"El baño de la Americana."

"Los Apostles."

"El Altar de la Virgen."

"El Confessionario."

"La Boca del Diablo."

The almost overpowering glare of sunshine, accompanied with other
unpleasant sensations, resulting from a return to the outside world, was
a disagreeable reminder that I had not been translated, or presented
with a new body which never ached, or a heart that always beat in
harmonic measures to the tasks imposed on it. Persons must never imagine
that no rough places are to be gone over, or fatigue endured, when
exploring the recesses of this wonderful cavern; but all slight
obstacles overcome will amply repay those who make this cave a visit. It
is about a league distant from Matanzas, accessible by land or water.

We will now have to descend upon our light wings of ecstatic admiration
and delight to the plainer realities of earth. The bay, like a restless
spirit, always in motion, rolls up its deposits of seaweed and shells
almost under the _volante_ wheels as we pass, while the golden waves of
borrowed brightness, reflected from the shining orb of day, rise to
recede again, and keep time to the evolutions of the great universe, of
which they form a part.

[Illustration: text decoration]



CHAPTER XXVII.


We departed from Matanzas shortly after our return from the cave. The
scenery along the route to Havana leaves the impression that the country
is declining. The buzzards fly close to the train, apparently gentle
escorts, and sufficiently numerous to be the national emblem--a heavy
fine being the penalty for injuring one of these scavengers. They are
styled the red-crested vultures of Cuba, for grandeur.

The island is surrounded by a chain of keys, reefs, and shoals, which
make it inaccessible except to the experienced pilot. Havana was
permanently settled by Velasquez, and named in 1519. At the point of
entrance to the bay is a rock on which stands El Moro, or Castellos de
los Santos Reyes, the light-house, and signal-station, where an
excellent, revolving light can be seen from a distance of more than
twenty miles. The following description is given of Moro Castle when it
was first built: "It was of triangular shape, containing some heavy
pieces of ordnance, which produced a perceptible quaking in the vicinity
when fired." Forty pieces of cannon, of twenty-four pounds each, were
mounted on the parapet. From the main castle there runs a line, or wall,
mounted with twelve very long pieces of cannon, lying almost level with
the water. These are all thirty-six-pounders, and most of them brass,
being called "The Twelve Apostles" by way of eminence. At the point
between this castle and the sea stands a tower having a round lantern at
the top, where a sentinel is constantly on duty to see what ships are
approaching the harbor, of which he signals by hoisting as many flags as
they are in number. In 1691 the whole fort was surrounded by a moat
filled with water, when it was captured and destroyed by an English
fleet under Sir George Pocock, after a siege of twenty-nine days, at
which time a thousand Spaniards were killed. The present Castle del Moro
guards the bay on the east side, and is able to resist all attacks by
sea, having two bastions toward the water, and two on the land side.
Around this old structure lingers as many unpleasant memories as the
Venetian Bridge of Sighs, which led from the palace to the prison--it
being the prevailing opinion that whoever crossed it never returned.
Those against whom any accusation can be brought of sufficient magnitude
to thrust them in the Moro will find the chances greatly against their
ever seeing the outside world again, or enjoying their freedom. Another
castle, built opposite this, is called El Punta. This communicates with
the city, and is usually well filled with soldiery. It has four regular
bastions, and a platform mounted with sixty pieces of brass cannon.

The city of Havana, a hundred years since, was the most important port
in America for the Spanish commerce, where a thousand ships could anchor
in nearly forty feet of water, it then being a rendezvous for other
fleets when coming from the Spanish possessions of the Western
Continent. All the Spanish galleons and merchant-ships met at this point
every year, in September, to obtain supplies and water, that they might
return to Spain together. They held a kind of carnival during their
stay, which lasted until a proclamation from the governor was issued,
forbidding any who belonged to the ships remaining in the city on pain
of death, and at a given signal they all retired on board. This fleet
was regarded the richest in the world, carrying several million pounds
sterling. They came from Spain laden with merchandise, and were
frequently attacked by pirates and buccaneers. These galleons were only
factors for the other countries among which this wealth was distributed
when they made a successful voyage. In 1796 the Santo Domingo massacre
drove twelve thousand families to Havana, which now has a population of
two hundred thousand. The dwellings are built entirely of rock, or
brick, which is furnished from the island. The substantial manner in
which the most common tenements are constructed is really remarkable,
looking as though they were designed to last forever. The style of
architecture now in use was originally of Moorish origin. The windows
descend from the ceiling to the floor, with iron rods extending the
whole length, more nearly resembling cages for wild beasts, but are
retreats from which beauty casts many sly glances. In private residences
curtains are drawn during the day, but in stores and market-houses the
windows and doors are closed only at night, thus exposing the inside
movements of the occupants all day. The dwellings for private
residences have only one entrance for man or beast. The mistress and
_volante_ come in together, when the horse is stabled on the first
floor, and the lady walks up-stairs to her parlor. The narrow streets
and narrower sidewalks keep the minds of visitors in a constant state of
trepidation for fear of seeing some one crushed under the fast-moving
vehicles. The mules, while waiting for a load, turn their heads from
instinct, to let conveyances pass. Gradually the city proper has crossed
the old wall boundaries, and now the outside is more attractive in
appearance than inside. Soldiers are seen all about the city, but they
are very peaceable. A censorship is kept over the newspapers, and
letters from way-stations are delivered into the hands of the mail
agent, instead of bags, while a dark veil conceals its politics and
movements, in every way cherishing with jealous care the condition of
all its internal troubles.

El San Carlos is situated nearest the bay, and most convenient for
travelers. This hotel is four stories high, commanding a fine view of
the city and Moro, where we are now promenading for the purpose of
sight-seeing. The roofs of the houses are mostly flat, and a favorite
resort after sunset. The surrounding scenes entertain us. Children and
chickens are seen in close proximity on the neighboring house-tops,
where they live and sport apparently happy and hearty in their
contracted boundaries. This resort being protected by a high wall around
the outside, which prevents any accident to the occupants, whole
families resort here to smoke and talk, it being more private than any
fresh-air resort on the premises. The rear of all the residences is a
kind of labyrinthian retreat of avenues, accessible by an indescribable
variety of movements, together with flights of steps of different
altitudes. In these coverts swarms of human beings are born, live, and
die, in this condensed condition, regardless of comforts. At night, when
the curtains are raised, heads are seen in these tenements as thick as
rows of pins in a paper. Neither stoves nor fire-places are used in
Havana: the cooking is done on a furnace in the back-yard--charcoal,
made by the colliers in the mountains, being the only fuel required.

The firing of heavy cannon from the English man-of-war anchored in the
bay, and echoed by the Moro guns, agitate our thoughts and break the
quiet of the dying day. The panorama before us is changing. An invisible
hand behind the scene has dropped a shadow over the light of day draped
in its brilliant and gorgeous glories. When the curtain rises again, the
Queen of Night, more lovely than any queen of kingdoms, arrayed in her
robes of royalty--for God has dressed her with the glories of
heaven--appears, reflecting her full orb in the water, when an unbroken
trail of silvery light apparently connects the two worlds. El Paseo,
where the wealth and fashion of the city come at the close of the day
for an airing, where are seen the beautiful señoritas, their eyes
sparkling with the bright thoughts of their hearts, giving signals to
their friends and lovers with their fans, which are readily comprehended
and returned, although not a word has been spoken. The liveried
postilions, with jack-boots, bare legs, brass buttons, and blue coats,
accompany the Cuban _volantes_ in which they ride. This vehicle has been
superseded to a considerable extent by a lighter conveyance known as "El
Coche," or the French coach. This coach is capable of containing two
persons with ease; sometimes three are seen riding in it. A screen of
canvas, buttoned to the back of the driver's high seat, and then
fastened to the top of the conveyance, excludes the rude gaze of the
vulgar, gaping throngs, through which we are driven. The residence of
the Captain-general is situated on the edge of El Paseo Militaire. Here,
amid the song of birds from the aviary, the falling waters of the
cascade, cooling echoes from the numerous _jets d'eau_ and fountains,
the sweet odors that freight the air from the flowers, and the
picturesque landscape over which the royal palms watch with their waving
wands, we should expect to find the home of happy hearts. It is quite
the reverse: the general has a care-worn visage, beneath which beats a
troubled heart. He rides in a fine coach drawn by matched iron-grays,
and guarded by armed postilions. He walks with an escort, for his
kingdom is filled with insurrection. He is invested with almost
unlimited power, being in command of the civil, military, and religious
authorities, and from his decision there is no appeal.

Many tourists appear desirous of getting over the greatest amount of
space in the least possible time. It was that class of persons composed
our party in visiting this object of interest. How they rushed about as
though a policeman was on their track, in hot pursuit, and they could
not stop to look at any thing! "O supper will be ready!" they kept
constantly exclaiming, as though eating was the sole object of their
existence. El Salle de los Mercaderes is the street on which the banks
are located, the ladies resorting there only in their _volantes_ and
coaches for the purpose of shopping. They never display their charms by
alighting; it would be considered immodest: all goods which they wish to
examine are brought to them while seated in their conveyances. The
prevailing religion here is Catholic. Several years since this city
contained more priests than people, more holidays than working
ones--this kind of government basis requiring indulgence in order to
insure allegiance. The scenes enacted on Sunday in the market-house are
the same as on other days. The cobbler, seated on his bench at the door,
made fun of us as we entered, thinking we could not comprehend him.
"_Sombreros Americanos!_" said he. I looked at him, repeating the words,
"_Vaya usted_"--Begone! when, as if taken aback, he ceased his impudence
and commenced sewing. What a profusion of fruits is seen here! bushels
of oranges, immense bunches of bananas, cocoa-nuts by the wagon-load,
plantains--until we wonder what will be done with them all--but when
fried they form an important article of diet among the Cubans--besides
many fruits for which we cannot find a name or use. Meats of any kind
were not exposed in quantities, but much fish, among which the gar
appeared most abundant. Much of this produce is brought here in panniers
on the backs of mules or horses, while long lines of moving

[Illustration: A CUBAN ORANGE-MARKETER.]

bundles come filing in, with the animals that bear them invisible,
except their legs. These pack-mules are more used than wagons, on
account of the narrow streets, the danger in passing being less than
with loaded vehicles. The amount sold to each purchaser appears small: a
piece of meat wrapped in a paper, and a little fruit tied up in a
handkerchief, is all. When a purchase is made a present is expected,
which they call _cuntra_. In proceeding to the cathedral we pass the
stores and shops, all of which are open. The tailor sits, with his legs
crossed, sewing as earnestly as though he was repeating his
_Paternoster_. They are all Roman Catholics, who have already been to
receive the supposed requisite supply of grace for the week, and have
now returned to their business vocations. The drinking-saloons are open,
with their patrons in full view, seated at the marble-topped tables,
chatting with their friends, their favorite beverages in front of them,
while the blind beggar, with his wife, stands outside singing Spanish
ballads. The drays and wagons are not running, which is all the contrast
between work-days and Sunday in Havana. The proximity between wealth and
misery here is close, and the contrast so visibly marked that the
impression received is more lasting than in America. Beggars
expostulate and importune us until our hearts sicken with the sight of
our surroundings. "_Lottera!_" is cried on every side by
miserable-looking men and women selling tickets, which may be blanks or
prizes, to be tested in the great Havana Lottery.

The cathedral occupies a fine position in the city, being located in the
_Calle del Ignacio_. It has stood so long, and withstood so much, that
it has become an historic record, uniting the past and present. Here
happy hearts have plighted their vows, and many times the last tribute
of tenderness rendered to loved ones. Here the faithful follower of this
religion has counted her beads, while the penitent knelt, confessing his
crimes, and tarried for absolution. It contains numerous altars devoted
to different saints. In rear of the cathedral is a monastery for the
Padres. The cathedral, with its mystical scenes, causes our thoughts to
revert to the times of Aaron, when, with his priestly vestments trimmed
with tinkling bells and pomegranates, he stood before the altar and
burned incense as an oblation for the sins of the people. The plate and
ornaments of the main altar are silver and gold. The candelabra are of
the most curious workmanship--some of them weighing nearly a hundred
pounds. The bishop, assisted by twenty-four fathers and acolytes,
conducted the service. Mass was read in Latin, the acolytes composed the
choir, the members responding audibly. Worship, like other things in
Cuba, is conducted with a zest. The number of worshipers in attendance
was small. Those who came assumed the most devotional of attitudes,
kneeling, during the entire service, in a promiscuous manner, on the
hard tiles, if they had not provided themselves with soft rugs for the
occasion. I could not determine where the line of distinction in color
was drawn--white and black all supplicating together. The most
elaborately-dressed señoras and señoritas bend before the confessional.
A poorly-dressed Cuban woman, among the number, kept prostrating herself
lower and lower until she kissed the marble tiling, when she rose with a
look of satisfaction, as though the act of humiliation had unburdened
her soul. The organ sent forth its thundering tones from behind the
colossal pillars, playing the "_Te Deum_" and "_Miserere_"--thus
enabling us to comprehend, to a certain extent, the grandeur of the
music at St. Peter's Church in Rome.

On the right of the main altar is a tablet, on which is engraved the
following inscription: "_O restos è y imagen del grande Colon! Mil
siglos duraran guardados en la urna y en la remembranza de nuestra
nacion._" "O ashes and image of the great Columbus! You will be guarded
for a thousand centuries in the tomb and in the heart of our nation."
The great injustice done him while living cannot be atoned for now when
dead by dragging his remains about the world. He died in Valladolid,
Spain, where he was buried. His body was exhumed and taken to Seville,
then to Santo Domingo--afterward, with great ceremony, to Cuba, and
deposited in the cathedral, where it will, no doubt, be kept until some
other idea seizes the minds of his impulsive countrymen. The cathedral
walls are hung with the choicest of peaceful, benign portraits, of their
glorified saints, looking with calmness upon us. Among the number is a
life-size, finely-executed painting of St. Christopher, or Santo
Christobal, who flourished during the third century A.D., and is the
guardian saint of Havana. Immense statues of St. Christopher are still
to be seen in many cathedrals. He is always represented as girded, with
staff in hand, for a journey, which gives expression to his allegoric
wanderings through the sea of tribulation, by which the faithful
intended to signify the many sufferings passed before he arrived at the
Eternal Gate.

This saint was formerly implored against pestilential misfortunes or
distempers. He adopted the name of St. Christopher as an inestimable
treasure. His martyrdom is commemorated on the 9th of May. Many
paradoxical things are related of him: "That he was a giant with a dog's
head, and devoured men, but a transformation occurred when he believed
on Christ. He is said to have been instructed from heaven in the way of
right; that he was baptized by the moisture in a cloud which came from
the sky, an invisible voice uttering the sacramental words." He is
related as having had numerous contentions with Satan--his majesty's
presence only being kept at bay by crossing himself. He was advised by a
hermit, as an act of penance, to pray. "That I cannot do," he replied.
"Then you must carry travelers over deep rivers." While performing his
assigned tasks a child applied to him, to whom, when seated, he said,
"You seem heavy as the whole world." The child replied, "I created the
world, I redeemed the world, I bear the sins of the world." Then
Christopher saw that he had borne Christ over the river, and for this
reason he is always represented with the infant Jesus on his shoulders.
It was common, during the Middle Ages, to place effigies of him in
statuary outside the gates of a city, as he who looked on this figure of
St. Christopher was safe from sudden death that day. The following
inscription accompanies the figure of St. Christopher:

    Christophori sancti faciem quicumque tuetur.
    Illa nempe die non morte male morietur.

Monday morning I ordered a coach for the purpose of visiting Cemetario
de Espeda, named for an ancient bishop in Havana. The entrance to this
cemetery is through a fine rock archway, designed only for pedestrians,
and not carriages. The office has to be passed, and money handed in,
before any corpse has a Christian burial in these consecrated grounds.
Whatever might have been their virtues while living, the dead one here
is to have wealth to take the body into a vault and the soul through
purgatory. This cemetery contains not less than fifty acres of ground,
around which is built a rock wall eight feet in height and about the
same thickness. These walls are made of well-dressed rock, in which are
vaults for interment. Inside the main inclosure are built other high
walls for the same purpose. Paved walks cross each other through the
grounds, covered with square-cut rock, which give a hollow echo when
stepped upon, and, no doubt, contain other tombs. Vaults of sufficient
size to admit a coffin are made in all these walls, which are afterward
sealed, then a tablet of marble is fitted in, being secured with mortar,
on which is placed the inscription, chiseled in Spanish. This tablet is
arranged in accordance with the taste of the friends of those deceased
who survive them. Some contain glass cases, with pictures of the Virgin;
others, wreaths of black beads strung on wire, hung over the tomb. In
one I saw a chameleon cozily ensconced, as though the wreath was made
for him. Lizards were crawling in all directions; harmless little
creatures, they liked the retirement of death's victims! The
inscriptions were mostly very simple. Here are two of them: "A NUESTRO
QUERIDO, HIJO TOM." "To our beloved son Thomas." "HIJA, MIA." "My
beloved daughter." No mounds of earth mark the resting-place of any.
Many birds of varied plumage were singing their songs among the roses,
cape jasmines, pride of China, and mimosa trees.

As we alighted, two bodies had just preceded us into the cemetery for
deposit--a rich and a poor man, distinguishable by distinctions in death
as in life. The rich man was in a fine casket, with his name engraved on
the lid, and six silver handles, borne by liveried attendants, dressed
in black clothes, trimmed with wide white stripes. No women were
present, but a large number of dignified-looking Spanish gentlemen. The
casket was placed in a vault, after which workmen, with brick and
mortar, commenced closing up the orifice, which was witnessed by those
in attendance until it was finished, when they retired with the same
manifestations of grief as though a dead leaf had dropped from a tree.
The poor man was borne on the shoulders of four rough-looking fellows,
who grunted as though the body might have weighed a ton. They trotted
away into a corner with the bones, and no mourners, as if it were a log,
instead of a human being, where once dwelt the breath and likeness of
the Eternal God.

A hundred dollars is considered a remuneration for the use of a vault
twenty years--at the expiration of which time, if there is no renewal of
funds, the remains are taken out and thrown into a common pit, or
potter's-field, where the poor are buried without coffins. The corpse of
a pretty little girl, dressed in white, her head wreathed in flowers,
was brought in a coffin with no cover, accompanied by a few poor, sad
friends, when a rock tablet was raised by means of ropes drawn through
iron rings, and the child's body thrown into a deep pit--the coffin
being taken away, which could be used again in bringing many more poor
children for burial. Protestants are not permitted sepulture here, on
any consideration, if the fact is known to those in charge. We retired
from this "garden of slumberers" to the entrance, where sat the Padres,
one of whom smiled and called _el coche_ with a peculiar p-s-t-s-c-h,
which sound goes whizzing through the air like a rocket.

There are persons with whom we meet in life whose smile means mischief,
whose friendly grasp is a covering for treachery, which fact is, alas!
true in regard to the Cubans, for they rarely mean what they say to you.
Ah! it was only a promise. Then there is so little manifestation of
repentance with them, if you are disappointed. They pile up excuses for
all untoward acts until you are led to believe it was not a
reality--only a mistaken idea of your imagination.

It is thus in Havana. Orders are given to be called in time for the
early train. Soon after retiring, peaceful slumbers possess your body
and pleasant dreams your mind, until finally, on awakening, you come to
realize the facts that too much time has passed, the train gone, and a
day longer before you, where the thought of remaining had not crossed
your mind. It appears to be a preconcerted plan, on the part of
landlords, to retain paying patrons. Persons having a large amount of
patience will find frequent exercise for it while traveling in Cuba.



A Ramble into the Early History of Florida.


In trying to ascertain the distribution of tribes during the early
explorations of the Florida settlers, we feel as though the veil of
obscurity had never been lifted. However, three divisions have been
traced, with some degree of certainty, after the extinction of the
original Caribs, or Cannibals, whose works are seen so extensively on
the St. John's and sea-coast of Florida. In the northern part lived the
Temuncas, on the eastern coast the Ais, and the Cobooras on the
south-western. It was these Indians who were found occupying the soil
when the Spanish and French explorers first landed on the new continent.
Their presence in this country was, and still continues to be, an
unsolved mystery. Different tribes have their peculiar legends, which
date back for centuries. Some of them say their ancestors walked out
from a cave; others, that they came from the clouds, consequently were
of heavenly origin.

Whatever may have formerly been the difference of opinion in regard to
the first discoverer of Florida, the honor is now awarded to Sebastian
Cabot, who was born in Bristol, England, A.D. 1477. He was the son of
John Cabot, a Venetian pilot, who in the pursuit of his vocation spent a
portion of his time in Italy, but his home was in England; hence the
erroneous statement made by writers that he was a Venetian. The fact has
been well authenticated that the continent of America was discovered by
Cabot, 1497, although Columbus first landed on some of the islands.
England poorly requited Cabot for the great discovery of the New World.
Henry VII.--whose ruling passion was parsimony--then being king, could
not comprehend the magnificent prize which lay within his grasp by right
of discovery. It is stated Cabot died about 1557, aged eighty years.
During his last illness, just before his spirit took its flight, his
mind being illumined with the radiance of another existence, he remarked
that "Divine revelation was an infallible method of ascertaining the
longitude he could then disclose to no one." After this great discovery
of Cabot the adventurers returned with tales of the wonderful, before
which fiction paled into insignificance. They all thirsted for riches,
and the wildest fantasies of the imagination could not keep pace with
their golden dreams, to be realized in this far-away El Dorado. The
sojourners at home seized upon the information with the same avidity as
the explorers.

The discovery of Florida has usually been given to a companion of
Columbus, Ponce de Leon, a daring cavalier, whom fortune had favored in
all his undertakings. Having been promoted to the highest official
position on the island of Porto Rico, his declining strength was a
bitter potion, which remained in the cup of his closing life. Failing
in the realization of his golden dreams in the new country, he afterward
heard of an immortal fountain toward the setting sun, called Bimini,
whose waters not only gave youth and beauty, but a perennial existence.
It was before this much-coveted prize the glory of all earthly honors
faded into shadows. The traditions of these wonderful rejuvenating
waters had lived among the Carib Indians for many years, and from the
fact that those who journeyed thither had never returned, the conclusion
was inferred that they were roaming through the newly-found Elysian
Fields, so delighted they did not wish to leave their new home, never
imagining they could have perished by the hand of violence. Ponce do
Leon had no difficulty in obtaining companions for this visionary
voyage. He fitted out three vessels for the expedition, which sailed
from the port of St. Germain, March, 1512, when, steering westward, they
landed a little to the north of St. Augustine, March 27, 1512, on Palm
Sunday, naming the country _Pascua Floridas_, which it still retains.
Ponce was much charmed with the general appearance of every thing he
saw. The number of streams which he drank from is unknown, but as none
of the fabled waters imparted fresh vigor to his worn, battered body,
made thus from age and toil, he returned home, if no younger, wiser on
the subject of adventurous enterprise. After his arrival in Cuba he
reported his discovery to Ferdinand, who conferred on him the title of
_Adelantado_, which would immortalize him on the records of history
after death, if no rejuvenating waters could affect him while living.
Hardly had he returned and recovered from the toils of his discovery
before information was received that the Caribs were encroaching upon
the island of Porto Rico, capturing the Spaniards and carrying them
away, and, as they were never seen afterward, it was inferred they had
been eaten by these cannibals. An expedition was soon sent out to
conquer them, commanded by Ponce de Leon. He landed first on the island
of Guadalupe, when he sent his men on shore for wood, and the women to
wash their clothes. The hostile Indians made a descent on them, killing
the men, and carrying off the women prisoners to the mountains. This
movement was a heavy blow to the ambitious Ponce, whose health and
spirits both commenced declining. The squadron, on his return from Porto
Rico, was taken charge of by one of his captains. After remaining on the
island for several years, still retaining the office of governor, he was
told the land he had discovered was not an island, but portion of a
large unknown country. The fame of Cortez, who was then winning laurels
in the conquest of Mexico, reached the ears of Ponce de Leon, who, not
wishing to be considered the least among the conquerors, fitted out
another expedition of two ships at his own expense, which sailed from
Porto Rico, 1521, for the purpose of making farther explorations in the
new continent. A bird of ill omen appeared to perch on his pennons from
the time he left port. Heavy seas assailed him on every side, tossing
his frail bark like a feather on their creamy crests, threatening
destruction at every moment. He finally landed at the nearest point on
the coast of Florida, being in the vicinity of St. Augustine, where he
proclaimed himself governor and possessor of the soil. The Caribs,
thinking themselves unauthorized in the recognition of any power outside
of their own race, met him with fierce opposition, showering their
arrows upon the astonished Spaniards, killing several of them, and
mortally wounding Ponce de Leon. He was carried to the ship in a
helpless condition, and from thence to Cuba. A Spanish writer makes the
following remark upon the visionary scheme in which this unfortunate
adventurer had embarked: "Thus fate delights to reverse the schemes of
men. The discovery that Juan Ponce flattered himself was to be the means
of perpetuating his life, had the ultimate effect of hastening his
death." The last undertaking closed his earthly career, and found for
him a grave on the island of Cuba. The following is a correct copy of
the epitaph placed upon his tomb, translated into Spanish by Castellano:

    Aequeste lugar estrecho
    Es sepulchro del varon
    Que en el nombre fue Leon,
    Y mucho mas en el hecho.

When rendered into English, means, In this sepulcher rest the bones of a
man who was a lion by name, and still more by nature.

The failure of Ponce de Leon did not deter other explorers, thirsting
for glory and gain, from trying their fortunes in this unexplored
paradise. These, like many settlers in a new country the present day,
had miscalculated the toils and privations to be endured, the dangers to
be faced, the labors performed, the foes, whose cunning in the use of
death-dealing missiles would take their lives with the same freedom they
did the snake that sung the siren song of death to the thoughtless
victim that crossed his pathway. The names of De Ayllon, Miruello,
Cordova, Alaminos, Verazzano, Pamfilo de Narvaez, and Cabeca de Vaca,
all come to us covered with defeat and loss of life while attempting to
inhabit a country so uncivilized that they had never been able to
imagine even its real condition. Mountains of gold, mines of silver, and
rivers of pearls, was the Aladdin's dream that lured them from home, and
left them to perish on the sands of an inhospitable shore. Nearly twenty
years had elapsed since the demise of Ponce de Leon, when Hernando de
Soto, an officer second in rank to Pizarro the Conqueror, having
accompanied him during his Peruvian conquests, had entered the temples
of the Incas, whose brightness was only eclipsed by the great luminary
of day, while the Aztecs rendered him the honor that belonged to their
gods. De Soto still thirsted for conquest, and Florida was a new field
for the gratification of his adventurous schemes and visionary
enterprises. He consumed much time on the island of Cuba in recruiting
soldiers and sailors who were willing to serve under him, and follow
where he would lead. Finally, after his preparations were completed, he
sailed, on the 15th of May, 1539, under the ensign, "Possunt quia posse
videntur" (They are able, because they seem to be able), arriving at
Espiritu Santo Bay on Whitsunday, May 25, with a larger fleet, than had
ever landed on the shores of Florida before. De Soto was certain he had
found "the richest country in the world," where the cupidity of his
companions could be gratified to satiety; where precious metals lined
the temples, and more precious gems sparkled from their high altars,
before which the priests, clad in robes of royal purple, chanted their
orisons in the presence of worshiping crowds who, free from solicitude
for all worldly possessions, poured their surplus riches from their
well-filled coffers into the store-house of the Great Spirit, as an
expiatory offering for their misdeeds. It cannot but be conceded that a
more industrious, ubiquitous traveler than De Soto ever entered Florida.
We are certain, if the courage of his men was unfailing, that their
fine, costly apparel, becoming the knighthood of a chivalric age and
people, was much shorn of its distinguished ensigns; also, the
richly-caparisoned horses of their gaudy trappings, while exploring the
wilds of Florida. Each day their hopes were renewed by something they
saw, or heard from the Indians, who, being anxious to get rid of their
troublesome intruders, entertained them with tales of unexplored
territory containing vast treasures just beyond them. Thus they traveled
from Tampa to Ocala, thence to Tallahassee, Rome, Georgia, the
Cumberland, in Tennessee, finally crossing the Mississippi River near
Memphis. Worn out with wandering, disappointed in not finding the El
Dorado of his ambition, he calmly met and faced his last foe on the
banks of the great Father of Waters, as one writer has remarked,
"finding nothing so wonderful as his own grave." Thus ended the career
of a man, representing himself to be a child of the sun, in search of
the fairest land in the world, and himself the greatest lord that ruled
this unexplored region.

The Indians had become wearied with these children of the sun, whose
presence had given them neither peace nor plenty, as they had killed all
who opposed them; besides, these celestial visitants appropriated all
their stores for the sustenance of themselves, thus leaving them only
the prospect of extra exertion, to which their heretofore easy, idle
habits of living had rendered them averse. With the recollection of
these events, the natives, fresh from their former experience, could
hardly be expected, when the messengers of peace came to Florida, as
they saw no difference in their external appearance and that of their
predecessors, besides being goaded with the memory of their wrongs, that
they would be prepared to give them any thing but a cruel reception. For
this reason the beautiful bay of Espiritu Santo, which years before had
witnessed the pageant of a far-famed conquering general among peaceful
people, now saw the war-clubs descend with fearful force upon the
defenseless heralds of the cross, who had come in good faith to convert
them. Afterward appeared Señor Don Tristan de Luna, from Mexico, landing
at Santa Maria, or Pensacola Bay. The only remaining record of his
exploits is the fact of a Spanish settlement having been established on
the shores of Pensacola Bay, in 1561, and that numerous explorations
were made through the country at the same time, as they remained four
years, but became discouraged and left the country, which had been to
them only a scene of reverses, and returned to more friendly climes,
leaving the glory of establishing the first permanent settlement on the
shores of America to another.

During the religious differences which harassed the Huguenots in the
reign of Charles the IX. of France, Coligny, a convert, conceived the
project of seeking an asylum in the New World, where God could be
worshiped in accordance with their received opinions of his attributes.
King Charles required no importuning for the furtherance of this plan,
it being a matter of indifference to him whether they succeeded or
failed, as he would be rid of these troublesome Protestant subjects,
whom he both feared and hated. Jean Ribaut sailed from France in
February, 1562, landing first on the south side of Anastasia Island,
near the present site of St. Augustine, naming the inlet River of
Dolphins, which they could not cross with their large ships because of
the bar at its mouth. The river is now called Matanzas. They then sailed
in a northerly direction from this point, naming the present St. John's
May River, from the month in which they first discovered it. The French
historian thus glowingly describes their impressions of the country:
"The weather being fair, we viewed the lands as we passed, sparkling
with flowers and verdure, the vast forests, the unknown birds, the game
which appeared at the entrance of the glades and stood fearlessly gazing
at the apparition of man." They entered a large inlet, ninety leagues
north from Dolphin River, which Ribaut named Port Royal. On a small
island they built a fort, and named it, Charles, or Carolus, in honor of
the French king. For three years this colony existed through hardships,
but without persecution. However, unfortunately, the material they had
enlisted to found a Reformed Church on foreign shores was mixed with
dross--men without character or principle, whose vices were not improved
by transplanting. Thus, the first endeavors made by persecuted men to
seek an asylum in the New World, were attended with events too true to
be disputed, and almost too tragical to receive credence. They present a
striking instance of the chivalrous spirit which animated the reformers
of that day, also the sanguinary disposition with which they were
harassed by religious bigotry. After Ribaut had settled this colony,
consisting of twenty-five men, in charge of Captain Albert, he sailed
for France, to relate his discoveries and receive assistance. The
captain, being on friendly terms with the Indians, went on expeditions
through the country, one of which was to Onade, or Savannah River, where
the Indians gave him pearls, gold, and crystals in which the ore was
found. They also informed him that it was ten days' journey distant to
these treasures, which were no doubt the mountains of Georgia now, then
a portion of Florida. Ribaut was detained on his voyage to France by
alternate storms and calms, until his ship-stores became exhausted,
when they resorted to leather as a means of subsistence, and finally
sacrificed one of their number to sustain life in the surviving ones.
When he arrived in France, a civil war being in progress between the
Catholics and Huguenots, no opportunity presented itself for fitting out
an expedition, or sending relief to the little band at Port Royal. In
consequence of this neglect they built themselves a mere shallop, in
which they started for home. On the voyage they mutinied, killing their
commander, and were finally, in a starving, sinking condition, taken on
board an English vessel. A portion of them were landed in France, and
the remainder on the shores of England. Those in the English dominions
were brought before the king, where they related their adventures in the
New World, which narration first turned the attention of the English to
this country.

The command of the second expedition was given to one of Ribaut's
companions, Laudonnière. They again landed south of the River May; but
having received the news that Port Royal was abandoned, and being
saddened from old associations, they determined to settle near the mouth
of May River, it having presented the most attractions to them on a
former visit, as here they had been supplied with more corn and grain,
besides gold and silver, than at any other place. In the month of June,
1564, they commenced building a fort, felling trees, clearing away
undergrowth, hewing timbers, and throwing up intrenchments. The form of
this palisade was triangular, on two sides of which were a trench and
walls of earth, with retreating angles and platforms for admitting four
cannons; the other side was constructed of heavy timbers locked
together. This structure was built on the present site of St. John's
Bluff, the land being claimed by an Indian chief who rendered them good
service in its construction, also in erecting their store-houses and
buildings. The Indians were easily remunerated for their labor, being
satisfied with a few trinkets, toys, or hatchets. The roofs were of
palm-leaves, ingeniously woven together after the Indian method. The
French took possession of the country in the name of King Charles, their
sovereign, calling their new fort Caroline also. The Indians entertained
their visitors with marvelous tales of "a nation who covered their
bodies with gold and silver plates when they fought, which protected
them from the arrows of their enemies, shot from the largest bows." This
information inflamed the ambition of the Frenchmen so much that, as soon
as the fort furnished a defense for them, the ships departed for France,
leaving supplies with the colony for nine months. The new settlers again
became restless, not hearing from those who had sailed, receiving no
assistance from France, and as provisions were failing also, they
commenced building a vessel for their return. In this extremity they
were visited by Captain Hawkins, who had sailed from the West
Indies--his object in entering the river being to obtain a supply of
fresh water. Seeing what would be the result of their undertaking, he
dissuaded them from going to sea in their dangerous craft; he also sold
them a vessel and provisions, which produced a reconciliation in their
ranks. A fleet of seven vessels sailed from the port of Dieppe, May 22,
1565, landing, three months from that date, on the coast of Florida.
Laudonnière, at first, thought them his enemies, who had mutinied and
left for France, where they had been circulating evil reports in regard
to his judicial character, but was much pleased to find Ribaut had
returned, who then took command of Fort Caroline, and Laudonnière
commenced making preparations for sailing to France, where he had been
ordered. In the meantime information had been received by the Spanish
monarch of a Huguenot settlement on the coast of Florida. It was the
religious, and not the political, zeal of the Spaniards, as
circumstances go to prove, that moved them to plan the destruction of
this infant colony. Pedro Melendez de Avilez, a marine officer in the
time of Philip II. of Spain, importuned the king, on account of his
desire for worldly honors, to be sent to the then wilds of Florida. For
the furtherance of his plans he made the following plea as the
philanthropic design of his unselfish motives: "Such grief seizes me
when I behold this multitude of wretched Indians, that I should choose
the conquest and settling of Florida above all commands, or offices and
dignities which your majesty might see proper to bestow." His commission
was received without difficulty, when he adopted the motto, "Plunder
from heretics is good for the soul as well as the purse." On the 4th of
September, 1565, six vessels were seen coming from the sea, which
dropped anchor near the four large vessels of Ribaut. They were
recognized as Spanish galleons, and the French were hailed to know "what
they were doing in the dominions of King Philip." No other
demonstrations were then made, except that he was their enemy. The
enterprise of Melendez had now assumed an appearance of more dignity; it
became a crusade, and the eager impulse of ambition was stimulated by
all the usual arguments in favor of a religious war. The extirpation of
heresy was an object equally grateful to the legitimates both of France
and Spain, Charles IX. cheerfully yielding up his Protestant subjects in
Florida to the tender mercies of Spanish propagandists. Melendez came to
Florida as a conqueror, and to convert the Indians. In consideration of
his bearing a greater portion of the expense, he was styled the
Adelantado of the Floridas. During the voyage they encountered storms
which decreased their numbers nearly one-third. Having heard of the
colony being reënforced, doubts were entertained of their strength to
attack it, and Melendez appealed to them in the following manner: "The
Almighty has thus reduced our force, that his own right arm might
achieve the work." The French were unprepared for the rapidity of the
progress made by the Spaniards, and when the galleons anchored Ribaut
was at La Caroline. Fortunately, they did not reach May River until near
night, when darkness prevented an attack, which was the occasion of
their civility. They lowered sail, cast anchor, and forbore all
offensive demonstrations. But one circumstance confirmed the
apprehensions of the Frenchmen: in the brief conversation which ensued
between the parties on the arrival of the Spaniards, was their inquiries
after the chief captains and leaders of the French fleet, calling them
by their names and surnames, thus betraying an intimate knowledge of
matters which had been judiciously kept secret as possible in France,
showing conclusively that before Melendez left Spain he was thoroughly
informed, by those who knew, of the condition, movements, and strength
of Ribaut's armament. Why this information, unless there were some
designs for acting upon it? The French officers compared notes that
night, in respect to these communications, concurring in the belief that
they stood in danger of an assault. They accordingly made preparations
to leave with the dawn. At an early hour the Spaniards begun to draw
near the French, but the sails of these were already hoisted to the
breeze. Their cables severed at the first sign of hostility, when the
chase begun with the greatest animation. If the Huguenots were deficient
in force, they had the advantage in swift sailing. They suffered nothing
from the distant cannonading, although the chase lasted all day. At the
approach of night the Spaniards tacked ship and stood for the River
Selooe, named by the French Dolphin, a distance overland of but eight or
ten leagues from La Caroline. Finding they had the advantage of their
enemies fleetness, the French vessels came about also, following at a
respectful distance. After having made all the discoveries possible,
they returned to May River, when Ribaut came aboard. They reported to
him that the great ship of the Spaniards, called "The Trinity," still
kept the sea--that two ships had entered Dolphin River, and three
remained at its mouth, while the Spaniards had evidently employed
themselves in putting soldiers, with arms, munitions, and provisions,
upon shore. Emoloa, one of the Indian kings in amity with the French,
sent them word "that the Spaniards had gone on shore in great numbers,
and that they had deprived the natives of their houses at that village."
Generals Patino and Vicente had taken control of a huge barn-like
structure, formerly occupied by the Indian Cazique, which was
constructed from the trunks of large trees, and thatched over with
palmetto. They begun work on this newly-captured fortification by
intrenching with sand, employing the negroes they had brought with them,
this being the first introduction of slave-labor into the United States.
This Indian council-house, used as a fortification by Melendez, was
destroyed by fire. Twenty years afterward another structure of logs was
reared on the same spot, in the form of an octagon. It was finished in
1722, the design being to impress strangers and frighten savages. It was
christened San Juan de Pinas. After some preliminaries, preparatory to a
formal reception, the Spaniards took possession of the country amid the
firing of cannons, flourishing of trumpets, and flinging of banners to
the breeze. The priest Mendoza, with his acolytes, met Melendez with all
the pomp of a conquering prince, chanting the "_Te Deum Laudamus_," when
the Adelantado and his companions kneeled, kissing the crucifix, while
the Indians assembled, gazing in silent wonder, as the solemn mass of
"Our Lady" was performed, and the foundation of St. Augustine laid. Thus
was planted by Pedro Melendez the broad banner of Spain, with its
castellated towers, in the lonely Indian village of Selooe, beside the
river which the Huguenots had previously dignified with the title of "La
Riviere des Dolphins." It was on the 28th of August, 1565, the day on
which the Spaniards celebrate the Feast of St. Augustine, that the
Adelantado entered the mouth of the Selooe River, being attracted by the
general appearance of the country, and resolved to establish a town and
fortress. Having previously come on shore with a portion of his forces,
he found himself welcomed by the savages, whom he treated kindly, and
who requited him with the assurances of friendship. Mendoza, the priest
who accompanied the Adelantado, kept a journal of their movements both
on the voyage and after landing in America. If he had been a man of more
intelligence, posterity would now be greatly benefited by his records,
as they are so closely connected with the birth of our great republic.
Ribaut, concluding that the Spaniards designed to assail the settlement
of La Caroline from this point, with a view of exterminating the
colonists from the country, boldly conceived a move for taking the
initiative in the war. He first assembled his chief captains in the
chamber of Laudonnière, that official being ill. He compared the
relative condition of their own and the enemy's strength, concluding
that he could embark with all his forces and seek the fleet of the
Spaniards, particularly at a moment when it was somewhat
scattered--with only one great ship at sea, and the rest not
conditioned to support each other in the event of a sudden attack, as
the troops of the Adelantado, with a portion on shore and the remainder
on board their vessels, would not be ready for immediate action.
Laudonnière was entirely opposed to the scheme of Ribaut, representing
the defenseless condition of the fortress and the dangers of a fleet at
sea, particularly during a season distinguished for storms and
hurricanes. Ribaut, being an old soldier and sea-captain, was too eager
for an engagement to heed any arguments that partook of cowardice. He
ordered all the soldiers subject to his command to board their vessels.
Not satisfied with this force, he lessened the strength of the garrison
by taking a detachment of its best men, leaving few to keep the post but
invalids. On the 8th of September, 1565, he left in pursuit of the
Spaniards, and Laudonnière never saw him again. Nature put on her
wildest moods, and the skies were swallowed up in tempests. The storm
continued so long that Laudonnière mustered his command and proceeded to
put the fortress in the best possible condition for defense. Work
advanced slowly in consequence of the continued bad weather. The whole
force left in the garrison consisted of but eighty-six men capable of
bearing arms. Ribaut, relying upon the impression that he should find
his enemy at sea in full force, stripped the garrison of its strength.
His vessels being swifter than those of the Spaniards, he was certain
that if any demonstration should be made against La Caroline, he could
interpose. He made no calculation for the caprices of the weather and
cool prudence of Pedro Melendez. He intended first to destroy the fleet
of the enemy, and then make a descent upon the troops on land before
they could fortify their camps, thus overcoming them with his superior
and unembarrassed forces. The condition of things at La Caroline when
Ribaut took his departure was deplorable enough, but rendered still more
so by a scanty supply of food for the helpless who remained. Laudonnière
proceeded to assume the defensive attitude in the event of an attack;
but at the recurrence of stormy weather they ceased work, supposing the
Spaniards would not expose themselves during the severity of an
equinoctial gale.

While Melendez was busy with the preliminaries incident to founding a
new settlement, having celebrated the divine mysteries in a manner both
solemn and ostentatious, the fleet of Ribaut made its appearance at the
mouth of the inlet. His extreme caution in sounding the bar to which his
vessels were approaching lost him two precious hours, but for which his
conquest must have been certain. Had the two remaining vessels been
captured, and Melendez made prisoner, then a descent upon the dismayed
troops on shore, not yet intrenched, when the annihilation of the
settlement must have ensued: thus the whole destiny of Florida would
have been changed, the Huguenot colonies established upon the soil, a
firm possession of the land given to the French, that might have kept
the _fleur-de-lis_ waving from its summit to this day. At the very
instant when the hands of Ribaut were stretched to seize his prize, the
sudden force of the hurricane parted them--the trembling ships gradually
disappearing with their white wings in the distance and darkness, like
feeble birds borne onward in the wild fury of the tempest. Meanwhile the
mind of Melendez was not idle; a bright thought had flashed across his
pathway which opened daring exploits. His officers were summoned to a
council of solemn debate and deliberate action in regard to their future
movements. It was midnight when the assemblage of the Spanish captains
took place in the great council-house of the savages of Selooe. Rude
logs strewn about the building, even as they had been employed by the
Indians, furnished seats for the Spanish officers. They surrounded a
great fire of resinous pine, which now blazed brightly in the apartment.
Silently the Castilian noblemen took their seats. Melendez encouraged an
immediate attack on Fort Caroline while weakened by the absence of
Ribaut and his forces. His arguments and inflexible will silenced
opposition, when all the council gradually became of his mind--the whole
scene closing with a benediction from Father Salvandi. Every preparation
being completed, Melendez, with five hundred picked men, commenced an
overland march to Fort Caroline. It was on the night of the 19th of
September, 1565, Monsieur de La Vigne, being appointed to keep guard,
with his company, and having a tender heart for the men in bad weather,
pitied the guards so much he permitted them to retire to their lodgings,
and also went himself. Foul weather appeared to agree with the
Spaniards, who enjoyed the showers from which the French retired so
willingly, and that night found them in readiness for an attack on the
Huguenot colony. The surprise being complete, all show of resistance was
useless. "Slay! smite! and spare not!" was the dreadful command of
Melendez. "The groans of the heretic make music in the ears of Heaven!"
Laudonnière, with eighteen of his companions, succeeded in escaping.
Among this number was the celebrated painter Le Moyne, whom we owe much
for illustrations of Floridian scenery, lineaments, and costumes,
preserved in De Bry and other collections. These sailed out the River
May, and, after numerous adventures and detentions, arrived on the coast
of England. The most cruel portion of this drama is the last act in
regard to the fate of the wretched Huguenots taken at the capture of La
Caroline, and the dark deed by which the Spanish chief tarnished the
record which might have immortalized his name. All resistance having
ceased on the part of the Huguenots at Caroline, the standard of Castile
was unrolled from its battlements, instead of the white folds and the
smiling lilies of France. The name of the fortress was solemnly changed
to San Matheo--the day on which they found themselves in its possession
being dedicated to the honor of that saint. The arms of France, and also
of Coligny, which surmounted the gateways of the fort, were erased, and
those of Spain graven instead. The keeping of the fortress was assigned
to a garrison of three hundred men, under the command of Gonzalo de
Villaroel. These services occupied but little time, not interfering
with other performances of the Adelantado, which he thought not the less
conspicuous among the duties required at his hands. The surviving
prisoners were brought before him, among whom were many women and
children. Besides those rescued by Laudonnière, several had fled to the
forests, taking shelter with the tribes of neighboring Indians, who in
some instances were protected by them with fidelity, but in the greater
number of cases, terrified by the sudden appearance and strength of the
Spaniards, they yielded up the fugitives at the fierce demand of the
Adelantado. Others of the unfortunate Huguenots, warned by the Indians
that they could no longer harbor them, were shot down by their pursuers
as they fled through the forests. The sight of weeping and trembling
women and children, of naked captives, worn, exhausted, enfeebled by
years, by disease, and cruel wounds, all pleading for his mercy, only
seemed to strengthen him in his most cruel resolutions. "Separate these
women from the other prisoners!" This was done. "Now, detach from these
last all children under fifteen years." His command was obeyed. The
women and children thus set apart were consigned to slavery: the younger
ones were more readily persuaded to the Catholic altars, and thus
finally achieved their deliverance. The more stubborn perished in their
bonds, passing through various grades of degradation. With reference to
the remainder history is terribly definite. Fixing his cold, dark eye
upon the male captives, of whose fate he had said nothing, he demanded:
"Is there any among ye who profess the faith of the Roman Catholic
Church?" Two of the prisoners replied in the affirmative. "Take these
Christians away, and let their bonds be removed. The holy Father
Salvandi will examine them in the faith of the Mother Church. For the
rest, are there any among ye, seeing the error of your faith, will
renounce the heresy of Luther, and seek once more communion with the
only true Church?" A dread calm ensued, the captives looking mournfully
at each other and the Adelantado, in whose face there was no
encouragement, and nothing but despair in the appearance of their
companions. "Be warned!" continued the Adelantado. "To those who seek
the blessings of the true Church, she generously openeth her arms; to
those who turn away indifferently, or in scorn, are decreed death, both
temporal and eternal. Hear ye, and now say!" The silence was unbroken.
"Are ye obdurate? or do ye not comprehend that your lives rest upon your
speech? Either ye embrace the safety which the Church offers, by an
instant renunciation of that of the foul heretic, Luther, or ye die by
the halter!" One sturdy soldier advanced from the group--a bold,
high-souled fellow--his brows lifted proudly with the conscious impulse
which worked within his soul. "Pedro Melendez, we are in your power. You
are master of our mortal bodies; but with the death before us that you
threaten, know that we are members of the Reformed Church of Christ,
which ye name to be of Luther, and, holding it good to live in this
faith, we deem it not amiss to die in it." Then the speaker looked
around him into the face of his fellows, as they lightened up with a
glow of cheerfulness and pride, though no word was spoken. "Speak this
man for the rest of ye?" demanded Melendez. For a moment there was
silence. Finally a _matelot_ advanced--a common sailor--a man before the
mast. "Aye, aye, captain! What he says we say, and there's no use for
more palaver. Let there be an end of it. We are of the Church of
Monsieur Luther, and no other. If death's the word, we're not the men at
the end of the reckoning to belie the whole voyage!" "Be it even as ye
say!" answered Melendez, coldly but sternly, and without change of
action or show of passion. "Take them forth, and let them be hung to
yonder tree!"

The air was rent with the shrieks of women and cries of children--women
endeavoring to save their husbands, and children clinging to the knees
of their doomed sires, all of which produced no relentings--the parties
being separated by a strong hand, and the doomed men hurried to the
fatal tree, the priest standing ready to receive their recantations.
Exhortations were not spared--soldier and sailor had equally spoken for
the martyrdom of the whole--the reverend father preaching and promising
all in vain. Amid cries and shrieks, the victims were run up to the
wide-spreading branches of a mighty oak, disgraced in its employment for
such a purpose, where they perished with fidelity to the faith which
they professed. Their bodies were left hanging in the sun and wind,
destined equally as trophies of the victor and warnings to the heretic.
Melendez caused a monument to be raised beneath the tree, upon which
was printed, in large characters, "These do not suffer thus as
Frenchmen, but as heretics and enemies to God." Melendez thus became
master of Fort Caroline, wresting a country from the Huguenots which
they had acquired through so many vicissitudes. Before leaving he
lingered to review the garrison, and founded with his own bloody hands a
church dedicated to the God of mercy. He then departed with a small body
of troops, arriving at his camp in safety. He was received as the
vanquisher of heretics. After this slaughter the victors entered St.
Augustine in solemn procession, with four priests in front, chanting the
_Te Deum_ in triumph. However, his victory was not without its
disquietude, having heard of Ribaut somewhere on the coast, and his own
shipping destroyed. The unfortunate Ribaut, driven before the hurricane,
had been wrecked with all his squadron upon the bleak, unfriendly shores
of Cape Cannaveral, his troops being saved, but the crew drowned.

On the 28th of September, when the weary Adelantado was taking his
_siesta_ under the sylvan roof of a Seloy, a band of Indians came in
with news that quickly roused him from his slumbers: "A French vessel
had been wrecked on the coast toward the south. Those who escaped from
her were some four leagues off, on the banks of a river, or arm of the
sea, which they could not cross. Melendez immediately sent a detachment
of men to reconnoiter. They rowed along the channel between Anastasia
Island and the main shore. After landing they struck across the island
on foot, traversing plains and marshes, reaching the sea toward night.
Craftily concealing his troops on the opposite shore, he climbed a tree
for the purpose of reconnoitering. From this point he saw the dismayed
band of Frenchmen grouped together, about two hundred strong, and, on
account of rough waters, were unable to cross in a raft they had
constructed."

We have now seen how, when Jean Ribaut was making an attack on the
Spaniards, his plans were thwarted by a storm of strange fury. One of
the ships was wrecked at a point farther northward than the rest, and it
was her company whose camp-fires were seen by the Spaniards at their
bivouac among the sands of Anastasia Island. They were attempting to
reach Fort Caroline, in regard to whose fate they knew nothing, while
Ribaut, with the remainder, was farther southward, struggling through
the wilderness toward the same goal. Of the fate of the former party
there is no French record. Solis, the priest and brother-in-law to
Melendez, was eye-witness to the following scenes, a report of which was
sent to Spain:

When the Adelantado saw the French fires at a distance, he dressed in
the garb of a common sailor, and rowed toward the shipwrecked men, the
better to learn their condition. A bold Gascon succeeded in making the
passage by swimming, when Melendez demanded, "Who are you?" The
Frenchman replied, "We are the people of Ribaut, Captain-general of
Florida." "Are you Lutherans?" "We are Lutherans." "Gentlemen,"
continued Melendez, "your fort is taken, and all in it put to the
sword, save the women and children under fifteen years of age." In proof
of which he caused articles of plunder from Fort Caroline to be shown to
the unhappy Frenchmen.

He then left and went to breakfast with his officers, first ordering
food to be set before his petitioners. Having eaten, he returned to
them. "Are you convinced, now, that what I have told you is true?" The
French captain assented. "But assist us to leave--that is, in truth,
what we demand." "Demand nothing of me, for I tell you, as a gentleman
and an officer, holding a high commission from the Court of Spain, that,
if the heavens were to mingle before my eyes, the resolution I once make
I never change. If you were Catholics, and I had ships, I would help
you, but I have none."

The supplicants expressed a hope that they would be allowed to remain
with the Spaniards till ships could be sent to their relief, since there
was peace between the two nations, whose kings were friends and
brothers. "We are men made equally in the image of Deity, and serve the
same God, if not at the same altars." "If you will give up your arms and
banners, and place yourselves at my mercy, you may do so, and I will act
toward you as God shall give me grace. Do as you will, for other than
this you can have neither truce nor friendship with me."

One of the Frenchmen recrossed to consult with his companions. After two
hours he returned, offering a large amount for their lives, which was
not accepted. Privations had demoralized these starving Frenchmen, who
then gave credence to vain hopes which they would not have entertained
from an enemy at any other time. They had no other resource but to yield
themselves to his mercy. The boat was again sent across the river, and
returned laden with their banners and weapons of warfare. The Adelantado
ordered twenty of his men to bring over ten Frenchmen at a time. He then
took the French officers aside, and, with a semblance of courtesy on his
lips and murder in his heart, he said: "Gentlemen, I have but few men,
and you are so many, that, if you were free, it would be easy for you to
take your satisfaction on us for the people we killed when we took your
fort; therefore it is necessary that you should go to my camp, four
leagues distant from this place, with your hands tied." Accordingly, as
each party advanced, they were led out of sight behind the sand-hills,
and their hands tied behind them with the match-cord of the arquebuses,
though not before they had been supplied with food. Twelve Breton
sailors professed themselves Catholics, together with four carpenters
and calkers, "of whom," writes Melendez, "I was in great need," who were
put on a boat and sent to St. Augustine. The remainder were ordered to
march thither by land. The Adelantado walked in advance until he came to
a lonely spot not far distant among the bush-covered hills. Here he
stopped and drew a line in the sand with his cane. Not one of this
wretched company, not being Catholics, was allowed to cross, and the
whole two hundred perished.

Again Melendez returned to St. Augustine, gloating over his success.
Great as had been his victory, he still had cause for anxiety, as Ribaut
could not be far off. On the next day Indians came with the tidings that
on the spot where the first party of the shipwrecked Frenchmen had been
found was now another still larger party. The murder-loving race looked
with great respect on Melendez, for his wholesale butchery of the night
before was an exploit rarely equaled in their own annals of massacre.
Melendez doubted not that Ribaut was at hand. He started on a march
thither immediately with one hundred and fifty men, reaching the inlet
at midnight, when, like a skulking savage, he intrenched himself on the
bank. After daybreak flags of truce were displayed on both sides, when
La Caille, Ribaut's sergeant-major, informed Melendez that the French
were three hundred and fifty in number, on their way to Fort Caroline,
and, like the former party, begged for boats to aid them in crossing the
river. Melendez gave them assurances of safety, and sent for Ribaut and
six of his companions. On their arrival he met them courteously, caused
wine and preserved fruits to be placed before them, and next led Ribaut
to the reeking Golgotha, where, in heaps upon the sand, lay the corpses
of his slaughtered followers; but he would not believe Fort Caroline had
been taken until part of the plunder was shown him. Ribaut then urged
that the kings of Spain and France were brothers and close friends, and
begged that the Spaniards would aid him in carrying his followers home.
Melendez gave the same unequivocal answer as before to the other party.
Ribaut, after three hours' absence, came back in the canoe, and told the
Adelantado that some of his people were willing to surrender, at
discretion, but many refused. "They can do as they please," was the
reply of Melendez. Ribaut offered large rewards for those who had
surrendered. Melendez replied, "I have great need of the money," which
gave the French encouragement, when they asked permission to cross the
river. In the morning he returned, and reported that two hundred of his
men had retreated from the spot, but the remaining one hundred and fifty
would surrender. At the same time he gave into the hands of Melendez the
royal standard and other flags, his sword, dagger, helmet, and the
official seal given him by Coligny.

Melendez entered the boat and directed his officers to bring over the
French by tens. He next led Ribaut among the bushes behind the
neighboring sand-hills, when he ordered his hands to be bound fast. Then
the scales fell from his eyes, and face to face his fate rose up before
him. The day wore on, and, as band after band of prisoners were brought
over, they were conducted behind the sand-hills, out of sight from the
farther shore, like their general. "Are you Catholics or Lutherans? and
are there any among you who will go to confession?" asked Melendez.
Ribaut answered, "I and all here are of the Reformed faith," at the same
time intoning the psalm, "_Memento, Domine._" A few were spared. "I
saved," writes Melendez, "the lives of two young gentlemen about
eighteen years of age, besides the fifer, the drummer, and trumpeter;
but I caused Jean Ribaut, with all the rest, to be put to the
sword--judging this to be expedient for the service of God our Lord and
your majesty."

As each successive party landed, their hands were bound fast behind
their backs, when they were driven, like cattle, toward the fort. At a
signal from drums and trumpets the Spaniards fell upon them, striking
them down with swords, pikes, and halberds. Ribaut vainly called on the
Adelantado to remember his oath. By his order, a soldier plunged a
dagger into the French commander's heart, when Ottigny, who stood near,
met a similar fate. The head of Ribaut was then hewn into four pieces,
one part of which was displayed on the point of a lance at each corner
of the fort in St. Augustine. Great fires were kindled, and the bodies
of the murdered burned to ashes. At night, when the Adelantado again
entered St. Augustine, there were some who blamed his cruelty, but many
applauded. A few days after, the remainder of the shipwrecked Frenchmen
were discovered by the Indians, who again informed Melendez. In all
haste he dispatched messengers for a reënforcement of one hundred and
fifty men from Fort Caroline. On the 2d of November he set forth with
such merciless energy that some of his men dropped dead with fatigue.
When, from their frail defenses, the French saw the Spanish pikes, they
fled, panic-stricken, taking refuge among the sand-hills. Melendez sent
a trumpeter, summoning them, also pledging his honor for their safety.
Some of them sent word they "would rather be eaten by savages than trust
themselves to Spaniards," and, escaping, fled to the Indian towns. The
rest surrendered, and Melendez kept his word. Those of high birth ate at
the Adelantado's table. The captives' fate may be learned from a reply
to one of Melendez's dispatches. "Say to him," writes Philip the Second,
"that, as to those he has killed, he has done well, and, as to those he
has saved, they shall be sent to the galleys." Melendez, although
victorious over the unfortunate Frenchmen, had other troubles to contend
with at St. Augustine and San Mateo. The Spaniards became restless,
mutinied, and deserted, leaving his forces much weakened. In addition to
this, a hostile cazique lived between the two forts--thus cutting off
all communication by land between them. Melendez made an attack on this
chief, in which he was repulsed--thus compelling him to act on the
defensive. As these improvident Spaniards consumed every thing, and
raised nothing, the Indians became weary feeding them without any
reward: for this cause Melendez was forced to sail for Cuba to obtain
supplies. During his absence a Spanish fleet arrived, bringing both men
and provisions, which gave them much encouragement. The missionaries
heretofore meeting with such rough treatment, some time had elapsed
since any new arrivals. However, three Jesuit priests were discovered
off the coast, near the mouth of San Mateo River, making inquiries for
the fort. These were the first of that Order that had ever come to
America, the others being Franciscans. One party of Indians directed
them, while afterward they were murdered by another on St. George's
Island, at the entrance of San Mateo River. Melendez now sailed for
Spain, to interest the crown in behalf of his colony. After a prosperous
voyage across the sea, he landed on the shores of Spain, where he was
received with a great display of empty honors, which did not satisfy the
cravings of his ambition. It was money he wanted, to strengthen his
newly-acquired territory, build up his dominions, and with them a great
name for himself. He was also impatient and apprehensive in regard to a
threatened revenge which the French had proposed taking into their own
hands. In vain had petitions been sent by the relatives of the slain,
but never, until a new Cavalier entered the field, as contestant, in the
person of the daring Chevalier de Gourgues, did injured humanity find an
avenger, or outraged France a champion. De Gourgues, being of gentle
birth, according to the chivalrous custom in those days, was educated to
the profession of arms. He entered upon his duties as a private, but was
soon promoted on account of laurels won in battle, being afterward
commissioned to an office of distinction, as captain in the regular
army. He was given the command of a fortress, which, being attacked by a
greatly superior number of Spaniards, compelled him to surrender; his
men were all killed, and himself made prisoner and condemned to
servitude on the galleys. Fortunately for himself, the vessel on which
he worked was shortly afterward captured by the Turks, which enabled him
to obtain his liberty. Activity being his motto, he sailed on an
expedition to Brazil, from which enterprise he realized a considerable
fortune. On the return of De Gourgues to France, and hearing of the
cruelties committed against his countrymen, the iron of revenge was
driven deep into his soul, not only for their mistreatment, but the
indignity he had suffered from the Spaniards himself. He accordingly
fitted out two vessels and a tender, obtaining a charter without
difficulty, under the pretext of going to Africa and bringing back
slaves. He communicated his plans to no person, but secured the services
of one of Laudonnière's men, who had remained in Florida long enough to
have some knowledge of the country and the language of the natives. He
also enlisted the services of one hundred and fifty picked men, and set
sail from Bordeaux August 2, 1567. In order to better conceal his plans,
he first landed on the coast of Africa, where he encountered some of the
natives, whom he repulsed--afterward, sailing westward, he came in port
for repairs and supplies at Santo Domingo. When he reached this point he
revealed to his crew the design of his long and perilous voyage. He
depicted, in glowing colors, the wrongs sustained by their countrymen,
which yet remained unavenged. The crew, with one voice, replied that
they would sustain him in the undertaking. The voyage was soon
completed, and so entirely unsuspecting were the Spaniards of an attack
that, on passing Fort Caroline--now Fort San Mateo--De Gourgues was
honored with a salute of two cannon, supposing them to be of their own
nation. He entered the mouth of the Altamaha, and, as his galleys drew
but little water, and were provided with oars, he had no difficulty in
ascending that river. The natives received them kindly, and the soldiers
of Laudonnière being recognized, their mission was not regarded as a
friendly one.

Immediate preparations were made to attack the fort, as one of the
officers had reconnoitered its strength. These works had been much
improved by the Spaniards, to which were added two other forts, the
whole garrison consisting of four hundred men. Its present condition was
their boast. The priest, Mendoza, said, "Not half of France could take
it." De Gourgues formed an encampment twelve miles north of the mouth of
a small river. The whole affair was conducted in a most skillful and
secret manner, he using the Indians as valuable accessions in the
enterprise, they being no friends to the Spaniards. The French
approached the fort at dawn, but remained concealed until the tide
receded, that they might reach the island on which it stood. They made
the attack at midday, when the two small forts were carried by direct
assault, killing nearly all the men, about sixty in number, while the
avenues of escape loading from Fort Mateo were guarded by the Indians.
Fort San Mateo alone remained, which was three miles above. Among the
prisoners saved was a sergeant, who knew the heights of the ramparts,
and could draw a plan of the fort. While ladders were being prepared to
scale the works, the garrison precipitated its fate by a sally,
afterward making an attempt to gain the woods. The thickets were filled
with exasperated Indians, and not one Spaniard escaped. A few prisoners
were taken, which De Gourgues suspended on the same tree that had borne
his countrymen; and for the monument and inscription of Melendez was
substituted a pine plank with this inscription: "Not as Spaniards, or
mariners, but as traitors, robbers, and murderers." To render this work
of destruction more complete, they entirely demolished the forts. When
returning to his ships, he exclaimed, "All that we have done was for the
service of the king, and for the honor of the country!" His soldiers,
flushed with victory, proposed an attack on St. Augustine, but De
Gourgues felt that his resources were insufficient. For some time
subsequent to this period the Spaniards retained Florida, although their
forts had been destroyed on San Mateo River. After the arrival of De
Gourgues in his own country the French Government persecuted him, and
the Spanish pursued him until his death. He died deeply involved from
the expense connected with his expedition. Thus terminated all dispute
in regard to French Florida--the question then to be decided was between
the British and Spaniards. Melendez, after making other efforts to
Christianize the Indians, having brought over more missionaries, which
they murdered without distinction, regarding the priests and people as
sworn enemies, abandoned the enterprise, and turned his attention
entirely to arms. However, in the midst of his career, he was cut down
by death, at Santander, a town situated on the northern coast of Spain,
A.D. 1574, after having received the appointment of Captain-general over
a Spanish armada of three hundred vessels.

From the above history it will be seen that Florida remained for many
years disputed ground, the scene of numerous conflicts from different
sources. Whether the priest with his cross, or the warrior with his
sword, they all came to vie with each other in the establishment of
creeds and division of spoils. It was in 1564 Sir Walter Raleigh, who,
being present when the men from Fort Caroline, or Port Royal, were
received by the queen, was thus stimulated with a desire to visit this
newly-explored country. This feeling was increased by De Morgues, the
companion and artist who came with Laudonnière, and had furnished them
with beautiful drawings of his travels in these far-off lands. It was
the intention of Sir Walter, besides making discoveries, to capture
Spanish galleons, which would satisfy his desire for gain. This
plundering policy, which had been pursued so extensively by all the
adventurers, was in no way designed to promote the welfare of a new
settlement. Under the auspices of the English throne an expedition was
sent, commanded by Sir Walter Raleigh, which landed on the coast of
Florida, as the division of the country was then recognized. After his
arrival he thus mentions the Indians: "These people were most loving and
faithful, such as lived after the golden age." He was also much
impressed with the land along the shores as they passed. "The
fragrance," he says, "was as if they had been in the midst of some
delicate garden, with all kinds of odoriferous flowers." Raleigh also
visited the Indies, and on his return succeeded in capturing a ship
richly laden with Spanish treasures, after which he sailed for England,
where a warm welcome awaited him. Contrary to his expectations, on his
arrival he became too much occupied with affairs of a different nature
to visit America again. However, other expeditions were fitted out,
which settled in different parts of the country. It was in 1586 that Sir
Francis Drake, the English adventurer, while coming from the West
Indies, discovered the lookout at Anastasia Island, which commanded the
approach to St. Augustine harbor. He landed, bringing a piece of
ordnance, from which, after planting, he fired two shots, one of them
damaging the Spanish standard, and the other striking the castle. The
next day they renewed the attack, with no return of hostilities from the
shore, and on landing found the town deserted. In the fort they
discovered the mahogany treasury-chest, containing two thousand pounds
sterling, designed for paying the troops, which Sir Francis confiscated.
The castle at this time was the foundation of the Selooe defense,
repaired by Melendez. It was constructed from the trunks of pine-trees
planted upright, similar to our stockades of the present day, without
ditches. Trunks of trees were laid across the whole structure, after
which it was covered with earth. The works, being unfinished, were
incapable of resisting a naval attack. An English officer, while
pursuing the Spaniards, was shot, for which act the English sacked and
then burned St. Augustine. It is said this town then contained a
monastery, church, and hall of justice--certainly very little to tempt
the cupidity of a West Indies privateer. Sir Francis made this
expedition on the ground that Spain had damaged the English commerce
during their troubles. In 1603, more than a hundred years from the
discovery of Cabot, and twenty years from the time Raleigh sent out his
first expedition, not an Englishman remained in the New World. In 1702,
Spain and England not being friendly, Governor Moore, of South Carolina,
proposed an expedition against St. Augustine, for the purpose of
displaying his military prowess, capturing Indians, or enriching himself
with plunder. Colonel Daniel took charge of the land portion of the
enterprise, which ascended the St. John's, crossed over the country from
Picolata, entered the town without resistance, and sacked it. The
inhabitants, being warned of their intentions, had supplied themselves
with four months' rations, and taken refuge, with their gold and
valuables, in the castle, from which place they could not be dislodged.
When Governor Moore landed and saw their position, he sent to Jamaica
for cannon and mortars. Before their arrival the Spaniards received
assistance by a fleet coming from Havana. On their appearance Governor
Moore became panic-stricken, left his vessels, and fled by land to
Carolina. On the return of Colonel Daniel, he, not knowing the siege had
been raised, narrowly escaped falling into the hands of his enemies.
The besieged prisoners now came from the castle, after a stay of three
months, to find their pleasant homes destroyed.

During 1715 Florida received a new accession from the Yemassees. These
Indians were found in Florida when the Spaniards first landed, but
deserted the country on account of efforts being made to convert them to
Christianity. They took refuge in Carolina, where, after remaining
awhile, they massacred some of the English colonists, and then retreated
to St. Augustine for protection. Here they were received with marked
demonstrations of kindness, accompanied by the ringing of bells and
firing of cannon. The Spaniards in Florida, having had a respite from
troublesome invaders for some time, were progressing prosperously, until
after the arrival of General Oglethorpe from England. In 1737,
hostilities having commenced between Spain and England, Oglethorpe,
fearing an attack from the Spaniards, planted a battery on Cumberland
Island as a defense. This movement was productive of dissension among
the settlers. England claimed as far as the St. John's, on account of
discoveries made by Sir Walter Raleigh, while the Spanish sent a
commissioner for the English to abandon all the territory south of St.
Helena's Sound, which they refused to relinquish. When the Spanish
ascertained that Oglethorpe had taken command of the English forces, a
party from St. Augustine garrison advanced as far as Amelia Island,
killed two Highlanders, and then cut off their heads. The English
pursued them to San Mateo, on the St. John's, drove in the Spanish
guards, and then sailed up the river as far as Cavallas. After the
return of Oglethorpe he commenced recruiting from the Creek and Cherokee
Indians, thus making active preparations for blockading St. Augustine
before men and supplies could arrive from Havana. Don Manuel being
governor then, he was ready for defense. General Oglethorpe did not
succeed in capturing the town, although he invested three
fortifications, advancing with his forces to its gates, killing several
Spanish troops under the walls of the fort. Fort Diego, twenty-five
miles from St. Augustine, Fort Francis de Pupa, seventeen miles, and
Fort Moosa, two miles north, commonly called Negro Fort, where the
runaway slaves were harbored, all surrendered. In 1748 a treaty of peace
was concluded between Spain and England, which left Florida in the quiet
possession of the Spaniards for many years.

[Illustration: text decoration]



FLORIDA GAZETTEER OF THE MOST IMPORTANT

POINTS IN THE STATE.


     ABE'S SPRING.--The county-seat of Calhoun, 104 miles south-west
     from Tallahassee.

     ADAMSVILLE.--A small settlement in Sumter county, 5 miles west of
     Leesburg, containing a post-office.

     ALACHUA COUNTY.--County-seat, Gainesville.

     ALAFIA.--A settlement on Alafia River, in Hillsboro county,
     containing a post-office.

     ALIQUA.--Settlement on a river of the same name, in Walton county,
     West Florida, where, it is said, the houses were forty miles apart.

     ALMIRANTE.--Walton county, West Florida, near the Alabama line.

     ANCLOTE RIVER.--A tributary of Clear Water Harbor, in Hillsboro
     county.

     ANDERSON.--In Santa Rosa county, West Florida.

     APOPKA.--Near Lake Apopka, in Orange county, containing a
     post-office. The name implies "Potato-eating Town."

     APPALACHICOLA.--Contains a post-office, and is situated at the
     mouth of a river of the same name. It was formerly a prosperous
     city, but, on account of the cotton being taken by the railroads,
     has declined.

     ARCHER.--Post-office. A town in Alachua county, 41 miles from Cedar
     Keys.

     ARLINGTON.--In Duval county, opposite Jacksonville.

     ARREDONDO.--Post-office. A station 54 miles from Cedar Keys, in
     Alachua county.

     ASPALAGA.--In Gadsden county, on Appalachicola River.

     AUCILLA.--Jefferson county, on the Pensacola and Mobile Railroad.

     AUGUSTA.--On the hack-line from Gainesville to Tampa.

     BAGDAD.--On Pensacola Bay, Santa Rosa county, West Florida.

     BAKER COUNTY.--Celebrated for its timber, turpentine, and
     agricultural productions. In East Florida.

     BALDWIN.--Post-office and telegraph-station, 20 miles from
     Jacksonville, on the Pensacola and Mobile Railroad.

     BANANA RIVER.--A branch of the Indian River.

     BARRANCAS.--A fort commanding the entrance to Pensacola Bay.

     BARRSVILLE.--In Columbia county, south of Lake City. Post-office.

     BARTOW.--County-seat of Polk county, South Florida.

     BATTON.--A station on the West India Transit Railroad.

     BAYPORT.--Post-office. A town in Hernando county.

     BEAR CREEK.--Near St. Andrew's Bay.

     BEECHER.--A steamboat-landing in Putnam county, on the east bank of
     the St. John's.

     BELLVILLE.--Post-office. A settlement in Hamilton county.

     BENELLA.--On the St. John's River, 120 miles above Jacksonville.

     BENTON.--Post-office, in Columbia county, on the upper waters of
     Suwanee River.

     BISCAYNE.--County-seat of Dade county, formerly called Miami.

     BLACK CREEK.--A tributary of the St. John's River, near Magnolia.

     BLACK POINT.--A steamboat-landing, 10 miles above Jacksonville.

     BLACKWATER RIVER.--A tributary of Pensacola Bay, in Santa Rosa
     county, West Florida.

     BLOUNT'S FERRY.--On the Suwanee River, in Columbia county.
     Post-office.

     BLUE CREEK.--Liberty county, near Gadsden.

     BLUE SPRING.--Jackson county, west of Marianna.

     BLUE SPRING.--Post-office, Volusia county.

     BLUNT'S TOWN.--Calhoun county, West Florida.

     BRADFORD COUNTY.--On the West India Transit Company Railroad.
     County-seat, Lake Butler.

     BREVARD COUNTY.--Lies on both sides of the Indian River. Fort
     Pierce, the county-seat.

     BRISTOL.--County-seat of Liberty county. Post-office.

     BRONSON.--County-seat of Levy county. Post-office. On the West
     India Transit Railroad. 12 miles from here is a bed of iron ore.

     BROOKLYN.--A town near Jacksonville. Rather prospective.

     BROOKSVILLE.--County-seat of Hernando county. Post-office. On the
     Tampa stage-line.

     BROTHER'S RIVER.--In Calhoun county, West Florida.

     BUFFALO BLUFF.--On the west bank of the St. John's, in Putnam
     county. Post-office.

     BULOW'S CREEK.--In Volusia county.

     BUNKER HILL.--Near Lake Miccosukee, Leon county.

     BURRIN.--Bradford county. On the West India Transit Railroad.

     CABBAGE BLUFF.--On the east bank of the St. John's, 162 miles above
     Jacksonville. Post-office.

     CALHOUN COUNTY.--West Florida. County-seat, Abe's Spring Bluff.

     CALLAHAN.--On the West India Transit Railroad, 27 miles from
     Fernandina. Post-office.

     CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER.--A navigable stream which empties into
     Charlotte Harbor.

     CAMPBELLTON.--A settlement in Jackson county.

     CAMP IZARD.--In Marion county, on the Withlacoochee River.
     Post-office.

     CEDAR KEYS.--In Levy county. Terminus of the West India Transit
     Railroad. Post-office.

     CEDAR TREE.--In Hernando county, south of Brooksville.

     CENTERVILLE.--Near Tallahassee, Leon county. Post-office.

     CERRO GORDO.--The county-seat of Holmes county. Post-office.

     CHALK SPRING.--Santa Rosa county, West Florida. Post-office.

     CHARLES FERRY.--On Suwanee River, in Suwanee county.

     CHATTAHOOCHEE.--The terminus of the Jacksonville, Pensacola, and
     Mobile Railroad. In Gadsden county. Post-office, Penitentiary,
     Lunatic Asylum.

     CHIPOLA RIVER.--A tributary of the Appalachicola River.

     CHOCTAWHATCHEE RIVER.--Flows into a bay of the same name, in West
     Florida.

     CIRCLE HILL.--Near Marianna, Jackson county. Post-office.

     CLAY COUNTY.--County-seat, Green Cove Spring, on the St. John's.

     CLAY LANDING.--In Levy county, on the east bank of the Suwanee,
     near its mouth.

     CLEAR WATER.--Post-office. On the Gulf coast, Hillsboro county.

     CLIFTON.--A town in Madison county.

     COCOANUT GROVE.--In Dade county.

     COLUMBIA COUNTY.--County-seat, Lake City.

     COOK'S FERRY.--A landing on Lake Harney, 224 miles above
     Jacksonville.

     CORK.--In Hillsboro county. Post-office.

     CORKSCREW RIVER.--Monroe county, South Florida.

     COTTON PLANT.--A settlement west of Ocala, Marion county.
     Post-office.

     CRAWFORDSVILLE.--County-seat of Wakulla county. Post-office.

     CRESWELL.--In Leon county.

     CRYSTAL RIVER.--A clear stream of water flowing through Hernando
     county, emptying into the Gulf.

     DADE COUNTY.--County-seat, Key Biscayne.

     DANCEY'S PLACE.--A landing on the St. John's, 65 miles above
     Jacksonville. Post-office.

     DANIEL.--A settlement near the mouth of Suwanee River, in Levy
     county.

     DARBYVILLE.--Near Baldwin, Baker county. Post-office.

     DAVIS.--A station on the railroad, near Chattahoochee.

     DAYTONIA.--A settlement on Halifax River, in Volusia county. In
     very flourishing condition.

     DEEP CREEK.--A tributary of Lake Harney.

     DELK'S BLUFF.--A steamboat-landing on the Ocklawaha River, 100
     miles from its mouth.

     DRAYTON ISLAND.--On the St. John's, in Lake George, Marion county.

     DUMMITT'S GROVE.--A noted orange-grove, in Volusia county, on the
     northern end of Indian River.

     DUNN LAWTON.--A portion of the Turnbull Swamp, in Volusia county.

     DUNN'S LAKE.--A small settlement in Volusia county. Post-office.

     DURISOE.--A steamboat-landing, 89 miles above the mouth of the
     Ocklawaha River.

     DUTTON.--A station 32 miles from Fernandina, on the West India
     Transit Railroad.

     DUVAL COUNTY.--On the St. John's. County-seat, Jacksonville.

     EAU CLAIRE.--A colony from Wisconsin, near Mellonville, Orange
     county.

     EAU GALLIE.--On Indian River, in Brevard county, near Lake
     Washington. Post-office.

     ECONFINA.--In Washington county, West Florida, on a river of the
     same name. Post-office.

     EGMONT ISLAND.--Situated in the Gulf of Mexico, at the entrance of
     Espiritu Santo Bay.

     ELBOW CREEK.--Rises in the swamps near Lake Washington.

     ELLAVILLE.--A station on the Jacksonville, Pensacola, and Mobile
     Railroad, 95 miles from Jacksonville.

     ELLISVILLE.--A place without much celebrity at present, in Columbia
     county.

     EMANUELS.--A landing-place on the St. John's, 184 miles above
     Jacksonville.

     ENTERPRISE.--The county-seat of Volusia county since 1854. Situated
     205 miles beyond Jacksonville. Post-office.

     ESCAMBIA COUNTY.--Situated in West Florida, bordering on the Gulf.
     This county was first incorporated by order of General Jackson,
     July, 1821.

     ESCAMBIA RIVER.--A tributary of Escambia Bay, West Florida.

     EUREKA.--Two points in Florida bear this popular name. One is on
     the Ocklawaha, 60 miles above its mouth, in Marion county; the
     other, on the upper St. John's, in Orange county.

     FEDERAL POINT.--Situated on the east bank of the St. John's, 60
     miles above Jacksonville, in Putnam county.

     FLEMINGTON.--Post-office. A small town on the Gainesville
     stage-route.

     FORT BROOKS.--A steamboat-landing on the Ocklawaha River, near
     Orange Springs.

     FORT GATES.--A steamboat-landing, 110 miles from Jacksonville, on
     the St. John's River, in Putnam county.

     FORT GEORGE ISLAND.--Situated near the mouth of the St. John's
     River. Contains a good hotel, with accommodations for winter and
     summer visitors.

     FORT MEAD.--On Pease Creek, 80 miles above its mouth. In Polk
     county. Cattle-sales are its principal commerce.

     FORT PIERCE.--Situated on Indian River. County-seat of Brevard
     county.

     FORT REID.--Post-office. An enterprising, growing town, in the
     neighborhood of Mellonville, on the St. John's.

     FORT TAYLOR.--Post-office. In Hernando county.

     FRANKLIN COUNTY.--Near the mouth of Appalachicola River.
     County-seat, Appalachicola.

     FREEPORT.--Post-office. Located in Walton county, West Florida.

     GADSDEN COUNTY.--County-seat, Quincy.

     GAINESVILLE.--A large, flourishing town on the West India Transit
     Railroad. Post-office, churches, good boarding-houses.

     GEORGETOWN.--A steam beat-landing on the east bank of the St.
     John's, in Putnam county, 117 miles above Jacksonville.
     Post-office.

     GORDON.--The terminus of the semi-weekly hack-line from
     Gainesville. In Alachua county.

     GORES.--A landing on the Ocklawaha River, 83 miles above its mouth.

     GRAHAM.--On the Ocklawaha, 84 miles above its mouth.

     GREEN COVE SPRINGS.--A noted resort on the west bank of the St.
     John's, 30 miles above Jacksonville. County-seat of Clay county.
     Post-office.

     GREENWOOD.--A town in Jackson county, near Marianna. Post-office.

     HALIFAX RIVER.--In Volusia county. It is formed by the junction of
     the Haulover and Bulow Creeks, and the Tomoka River. It is a mile
     wide, and 30 miles in length, running nearly parallel with the
     coast.

     HATCHEE RIVER.--Rises in Manatee county, and flows into Charlotte
     Harbor.

     HAMBURG.--A town of small note, near Madison, Madison county.

     HAMILTON COUNTY.--On the Georgia line. Contains an area of about
     400 square acres.

     HAMOSASSA.--A settlement in Hernando county, near the Gulf coast.

     HANSON TOWN.--Named from the late Surgeon Hanson. Located in the
     vicinity of Jacksonville.

     HATCH'S BEND.--Settlement near the Santa Fe River, in La Fayette
     county. Post-office.

     HAULOVER CREEK.--A branch of Halifax River, in Volusia county.

     HAWKINSVILLE.--A landing on the west bank of the St. John's, 160
     miles from Jacksonville, in Orange county.

     HAW CREEK.--A tributary of Dunn's Lake, Volusia county.

     HAYWOOD'S LANDING.--On Chattahoochee River, Jackson county.

     HERNANDO COUNTY.--County-seat, Brooksville.

     HIBERNIA.--A pleasant stopping-place, in Clay county, on the St.
     John's, 22 miles above Jacksonville. Post-office.

     HICKORY HILL.--Near Marianna, Washington county, West Fla.

     HILLSBORO COUNTY.--Celebrated for cattle-raising. Tampa is the
     county-seat.

     HILLSBORO RIVER.--A favorite name for rivers in Florida--the first
     Hillsboro being a tributary of Tampa Bay; the second, Hillsboro
     River in Dade county, on the Atlantic coast; the third, a lagoon in
     Volusia county.

     HOGARTH'S LANDING.--On the east bank of the St. John's, 36 miles
     above Jacksonville. Post-office.

     HOLMES COUNTY.--Near the Alabama line. County-seat, Cerro Gordo.

     HORSE LANDING.--On the St. John's River, 94 miles above
     Jacksonville, in Putnam county.

     HOUSTON.--On the Jacksonville and Pensacola Railroad, in Suwanee
     county. Post-office.

     IAMONIA.--In Leon county, on a lake of the same name. Post-office.

     INDIAN RIVER.--A body of salt-water 100 miles in length--more
     properly a bay, as it has no current except when agitated by the
     wind.

     IOLA.--The name of two places--one in Calhoun county, containing a
     post-office--the other, on the Ocklawaha River, 50 miles above its
     mouth.

     ISTEEN HATCHEE RIVER.--In La Fayette county.

     JACKSON COUNTY.--Located in West Florida. County-seat, Marianna.

     JACKSONVILLE.--The commercial mart, or great _entrepôt_, of
     Florida. In Duval county, on the St. John's River.

     JASPER--County-seat of Hamilton county. Post-office.

     JEFFERSON COUNTY.--County-seat, Monticello.

     JENNINGS.--In Hamilton county, near the Georgia line. Post-office.

     JUPITER NARROWS.--On the Atlantic coast, near New Smyrna.

     KEY LARGO.--The longest on the coast of Florida.

     KEY WEST.--County-seat of Monroe county. Post-office.

     KEY BISCAYNE.--Small settlement. County-seat of Dade county.
     Post-office.

     KING'S ROAD.--Built by Governor Grant, from New Smyrna to St.
     Mary's, _via_ St. Augustine and Jacksonville.

     KISSIME RIVER.--In Brevard county.

     KNOX HILL.--A Scotch settlement in West Florida. Post-office.

     LA FAYETTE COUNTY.--In South Florida, bounded by the Suwanee River.
     County-seat, New Troy.

     LAKE BUTLER.--County-seat of Bradford county.

     LAKE CITY.--A place of resort for asthmatics. County-seat of
     Columbia county. Post-office.

     LAKE EUSTIS.--In Orange county. Post-office.

     LAKE GRIFFIN.--Near Leesburg, on Lake Griffin. Rapidly improving.
     Post-office.

     LAKE HARNEY.--A resort in midwinter for excursionists, located
     partly in Volusia and Orange counties. It is 225 miles above
     Jacksonville.

     LAKE OKEECHOBEE.--The largest lake in Florida, extending over an
     area of more than 65 square miles.

     LAKE VIEW.--On the east bank of Lake George. Post-office.

     LAKE WORTH.--Near the Atlantic coast, north of Miami River.

     LAWTEY.--Near Trail Bridge. The Chicago Colony has located here,
     established a hotel, built many residences, planted orange-groves
     and other fruits.

     LA VILLA.--A suburban town near Jacksonville.

     LEESBURG.--County-seat of Sumter county. A fine, thrifty, growing
     place.

     LEON COUNTY.--County-seat, Tallahassee.

     LEVY COUNTY.--Borders on the Gulf. County-seat, Bronson.

     LEVYVILLE.--In Levy county, west of Bronson.

     LIBERTY.--In Hamilton county, near the Georgia Line.

     LIBERTY COUNTY.--A tract of land known as the Forbes Purchase,
     bounded west by the Appalachicola River.

     LITTLE RIVER.--In Gadsden county.

     LIVE OAK.--In Suwanee county, its principal importance being
     attributable to the junction of railroads. Post-office,
     telegraph-station.

     LOTUS.--In Jackson county, south of Marianna.

     LOWER WHITE SPRING.--On the Suwanee River, in Hamilton county.
     Remarkable for its medicinal properties in curing gout and
     rheumatism.

     MADISON.--County-seat of Madison county. Post-office,
     telegraph-station, good accommodations.

     MADISON COUNTY.--Belongs to the undulating portion of the State.
     County-seat, Madison.

     MAGNOLIA.--A winter-resort on the St. John's, 28 miles above
     Jacksonville. In Clay county.

     MANATEE.--A very nice, flourishing town, on the Gulf coast, in
     Manatee county. Post-office.

     MANATEE COUNTY.--County-seat, Pine Level. Celebrated for its
     extensive cattle-ranges.

     MANATEE RIVER.--A short, navigable stream, in Manatee county.

     MANDARIN.--Located on the east bank of the St. John's, 15 miles
     above Jacksonville. Post-office.

     MARIANNA.--County-seat of Jackson county, 30 miles west of the
     Chattahoochee River.

     MARION COUNTY.--One of the central counties of East Florida. Noted
     for its fertility of soil and superabundance of hummock-lands.

     MAYPORT.--Situated at the mouth of St. John's River. It was named
     from May River, so called by the French.

     MARY ESTHER.--Small settlement in Santa Rosa county, West Florida.
     Post-office.

     MATANZAS INLET.--A body of water separating Anastasia Island from
     the main-land.

     MELLONVILLE.--On the St. John's River (here called Lake Monroe),
     200 miles above Jacksonville.

     MERRITT'S ISLAND.--In Volusia county, and remarkable for the
     mildness of its climate.

     MIAMI RIVER.--In Dade county. Has its source in the Everglades, and
     empties into Biscayne Bay.

     MICANOPY.--On the back-line, 15 miles from Gainesville, in Alachua
     county. Supposed to occupy the site of the ancient village,
     Cuscowilla.

     MICCOSUKEE.--Situated in Leon county, near a lake of the same name.

     MIDWAY.--A lumber port in Gadsden county, West Florida.
     Post-office.

     MILLWOOD.--On the Chattahoochee River, in Jackson county.

     MILTON.--County-seat of Santa Rosa county. Post-office. Fine
     facilities for loading ships with lumber.

     MITCHELL.--In Escambia county, near the Alabama line.

     MOLINA.--Situated on the Escambia River, West Florida. Post-office.

     MONROE COUNTY.--County-seat, Key West, Gulf of Mexico.

     MONTICELLO.--County-seat of Jefferson county. Post-office,
     telegraph-station. Near this town was located the old Murat
     plantation, called "Liponia."

     MONTICELLO JUNCTION.--Where a branch road connects with the
     Jacksonville and Pensacola Railroad.

     MOSS BLUFF.--A landing on the Ocklawaha River, 140 miles from its
     mouth.

     MOUNT ROYAL.--A landing on the east bank of the St. John's, 109
     miles above Jacksonville.

     MOUNT VERNON.--At the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee
     Rivers, in Jackson county.

     MULBERRY GROVE.--In Duval county, 11 miles above Jacksonville, on
     the St. John's River.

     MUSQUITO INLET.--Near Indian River, in Volusia county.

     MYAKKA.--A small stream of water in Manatee county, South Florida.

     NASSAU COUNTY.--Includes Amelia Island, on which is located
     Fernandina.

     NEAL'S LANDING.--A commercial point on the Chattahoochee River.
     Post-office.

     NEWNANSVILLE.--An old settled town in Alachua county. Stage-line
     from Gainesville. Post-office.

     NEWPORT.--In former times a trading-point, 3 miles from Wakulla
     Spring.

     NEW RIVER, or SANTA FE.--Rises in Santa Fe Lake. It forms a natural
     bridge by sinking into the earth and rising again.

     NEW SMYRNA.--On the Halifax River, in Volusia county. Post-office.

     NEW TROY.--A small settlement on the Suwanee River, and county-seat
     of La Fayette county. Post-office.

     NORTH RIVER.--An inlet forming a part of the harbor at St.
     Augustine.

     OAK BLUFF.--Near Leesburg, Orange county. Post-office.

     OAKFIELD.--In Escambia county, West Florida, on the Florida and
     Alabama Railroad.

     OCALA.--Near the old Indian settlement of Ocali, mentioned by De
     Soto. County-seat of Marion county. Post-office.

     OCKLAWAHA RIVER.--A narrow stream formed from springs and lakes,
     which discharges its waters into the St. John's, 25 miles above
     Pilatka.

     OKAHUMKEE.--The terminus of navigation on the Ocklawaha River, 275
     miles above Pilatka. Post-office.

     OLD TOWN.--A settlement in La Fayette county, on Suwanee River.
     Post-office.

     OLUSTEE.--In Baker county, on the railroad. Post-office. In 1864 a
     battle was fought here between the Federals and Confederates,
     resulting in the defeat and loss of 1,200 Union troops.

     ORANGE BLUFF.--A landing on the St. John's, 140 miles above
     Jacksonville.

     ORANGE COUNTY.--County-seat, Orlando. It is situated partly on Lake
     Monroe.

     ORANGE MILLS.--A landing on the east bank of the St. John's, in
     Putnam county, 64 miles above Jacksonville. Post-office.

     ORANGE POINT.--In Putnam county, on the St. John's, 103 miles above
     Jacksonville.

     ORANGE SPRING.--A sulphur spring in Marion county, on the Ocklawaha
     River, 35 miles above its mouth--formerly a resort for the
     afflicted. Post-office.

     ORLANDO.--County-seat of Orange county. Post-office.

     OTTER CREEK.--Station and eating-house on the West India Transit
     Railroad, 19 miles from Cedar Keys. Post-office.

     PALMETTO.--A station on the West India Transit Railroad, Levy
     county.

     PALMETTO LANDING.--On the Ocklawaha River, 78 miles above its
     mouth.

     PEASE CREEK.--A large, navigable stream, flowing into Charlotte
     Harbor, on the Gulf coast.

     PENSACOLA.--County-seat of Escambia county. Post-office.

     PERDIDO MILLS.--A new settlement in the pine-woods, which promises
     to be the finest lumber-mart in the South.

     PERDIDO RIVER.--A tributary of Perdido Bay, in West Florida.

     PICOLATA.--A landing on the St. John's River, 45 miles above its
     mouth. Post-office.

     PILATKA.--On the west bank of the St. John's River, 75 miles above
     its mouth. County-seat of Putnam county. Post-office.

     PINE LEVEL.--County-seat of Manatee county. Post-office.

     POLK COUNTY.--County-seat, Bartow.

     PORT ORANGE.--In Volusia county, between Halifax River and the
     Atlantic Ocean. Post-office.

     PORT WASHINGTON.--In Walton county, on the south side of
     Choctawhatchee Bay.

     POWELLTON.--Station on the Florida Railroad, Escambia county, West
     Florida. Post-office.

     PUNTA RASSA.--On the Gulf coast, in Monroe county. Post-office and
     submarine-telegraph station.

     PUTNAM COUNTY.--County-seat, Pilatka, through which the St. John's
     River flows.

     QUINCY.--County-seat of Gadsden county, where a case of hydrophobia
     has never been known, nor an instance of sun-stroke occurred.
     Post-office and telegraph-station.

     REMINGTON PARK.--A resort on the east bank of the St. John's, 25
     miles above Jacksonville. Post-office.

     RIVERSIDE.--A finely-located, prospective city, on the St. John's,
     near Jacksonville.

     ROSE HEAD.--Located in Taylor county. Post-office.

     ROSEWOOD.--On the West India Transit Railroad, 10 miles from Cedar
     Keys. Post-office.

     SALLIE'S CAMP.--Landing on the upper St. John's, 229 miles from
     Jacksonville.

     SANDERSON.--County-seat of Baker county. Post-office,
     telegraph-station.

     SANDY BLUFF.--Landing on the Ocklawaha River, 68 miles above its
     mouth.

     SAND POINT.--Seven miles from Salt Lake, on the St. John's, and 30
     miles from Canaveral Light-house.

     SANFORD.--It is 199 miles from Jacksonville. Contains a sanitarium,
     besides all necessary comforts for the sick and well. Post-office.

     SAN MATEO.--In Putnam county, on the St. John's, 80 miles above
     Jacksonville. Post-office.

     ST. SEBASTIAN RIVER.--An estuary which is crossed in going from the
     depot to St. Augustine.

     SANTA FE.--A settlement in Bradford county, near Starke.
     Post-office.

     SANTA FE RIVER.--A tributary of the Suwanee River.

     SANTA ROSA COUNTY.--County-seat, Milton. Contains large milling
     interests.

     SARASOTA.--In Manatee county, on the Gulf coast, 12 miles from
     Manatee, South Florida.

     SHADY GROVE.--A settlement in Taylor county. Post-office.

     SHARP'S FERRY.--Landing on the Ocklawaha River, 114 miles above its
     mouth.

     SHELL BANK.--Landing on the St. John's, 193 miles above
     Jacksonville.

     SHOAL RIVER.--A stream of water in Walton county, which empties
     into Pensacola Bay.

     SILVER SPRING.--A most remarkable phenomenon in nature--the
     principal source of the Ocklawaha River, 100 miles from its mouth.
     In Marion county. Post-office.

     SOPCHOPPY.--In Wakulla county. Post-office.

     SPRING HILL.--In Hernando county, west of Brooksville.

     SPRUCE CREEK.--In Volusia county, 8 miles from Smyrna.

     STARKE.--In Bradford county, 73 miles from Fernandina, on the West
     India Transit Railroad. Post-office.

     STARK'S LANDING.--On the Ocklawaha River, 155 miles above its
     mouth, in Sumter county.

     ST. AUGUSTINE.--In St. John's county. Remarkable for being the
     first settled town in the United States. Post-office.

     ST. JOHN'S COUNTY.--County-seat, St. Augustine. Bounded on the west
     by the St. John's River.

     ST. JOHN'S RIVER.--A remarkable stream of water, which has its
     source in the Everglades of South Florida. It is about 350 miles in
     length, flowing north to Jacksonville, where it makes an abrupt
     turn to the east, and discharges into the Atlantic Ocean.

     ST. JOSEPH'S.--In Calhoun county, West Florida.

     ST. LUCIE SOUND.--A name given to a portion of Indian River, in
     Brevard county.

     ST. MARK'S.--Terminus of the Pensacola and Mobile (St. Mark's
     Branch) Railroad. It is in Wakulla county, at the head of
     Appalachee Bay. Post-office.

     ST. MARK'S RIVER.--Considered by most persons to be the
     reäppearance of Lake Miccosukee which loses itself in the earth.

     ST. MARY'S RIVER.--Rises in the enchanted land of the Yemassee
     Indians, forming a short boundary-line between Georgia and Florida.

     SUWANEE COUNTY.--County-seat, Live Oak. Well timbered with pine.
     Has marl shell-beds and white clay. In the center of the county is
     a white stone, soft when dug, but hardening on exposure to the
     air--used for chimney-backs and furnaces.

     SUWANEE RIVER.--Rises in Southern Georgia, and empties into the
     Gulf, near Cedar Keys; navigable for small steamers as far as Troy.

     SUWANEE SHOALS.--In Columbia county. Post-office.

     TALLAHASSEE.--Capital of the State. County-seat of Leon county.
     Located by Governor Walton, and named by his daughter Octavia. The
     State-house and Court-house were built by the United States
     Government.

     TAMPA.--County-seat of Hillsboro county. On Tampa Bay. Terminus of
     the tri-weekly hack-line from Gainesville.

     TAYLOR COUNTY.--On the Gulf coast, south of Madison.

     TEMPLE.--Station on the West India Transit Railroad, 78 miles from
     Fernandina.

     TITUSVILLE.--A flourishing settlement in Volusia county, on the
     west bank of Indian River. It contains a fine sanitarium for
     invalids. Post-office.

     TRAIL RIDGE.--The highest point on the West India Railroad, 62
     miles from Fernandina.

     TOCOI.--Landing on the east bank of the St. John's, 52 miles above
     Jacksonville. Post-office.

     UCHEEANNA.--County-seat of Walton county, West Florida.
     Post-office.

     UCHEE VALLEY.--Named from the Uchee tribe of Indians, who formerly
     occupied it. In Walton county.

     VALLOMBROSA.--Settlement in Washington county, West Florida.

     VERNON.--County-seat of Washington county, West Florida.
     Post-office.

     VOLUSIA.--Landing on the east bank of the St. John's, 137 miles
     above Jacksonville. In Volusia county. Post-office.

     VOLUSIA COUNTY.--County-seat, Enterprise.

     WACAHOOLA.--A settlement near Flemington, Marion county.
     Post-office.

     WACASSA RIVER.--Meaning "Cow Range River"--a corruption of Indian
     and Spanish. In Levy county.

     WACASSA RIVER.--A stream flowing through Jefferson county, and
     emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

     WAKULLA COUNTY.--In this county is the celebrated Wakulla Spring.
     The principal settlements are St. Mark's, Crawfordsville, and
     Sopchoppy.

     WAKULLA RIVER.--Rises in Wakulla Spring, and flows into the Gulf,
     near St. Mark's.

     WALDO.--On the West India Transit Railroad, in Alachua county, 12
     miles from Gainesville. Post-office.

     WALTON COUNTY.--County-seat, Ucheeanna, West Florida.

     WARRINGTON.--On Escambia Bay, 7 miles from Pensacola. Post-office.

     WASHINGTON COUNTY.--County-seat, Vernon, West Florida.

     WAUKEENAH.--Settlement in Jefferson county.

     WEBBVILLE.--A settlement in Jackson county, near Marianna.

     WEELAUNEE.--Located in Jefferson county. Post-office.

     WEKIVA.--Settlement in the Sanford Grant, on the upper St. John's.
     Post-office.

     WEKIVA RIVER.--A stream in Orange county, flowing into the St.
     John's.

     WELAKA.--Landing on the east bank of the St. John's, 100 miles
     above Jacksonville, opposite the mouth of the Ocklawaha River.
     Post-office.

     WELLBORN.--On the Jacksonville, Pensacola, and Mobile Railroad, 94
     miles from Tallahassee. Post-office.

     WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.--Rises in Sumter county, and empties into the
     Gulf, near Cedar Keys.

     WOODLAND.--In Putnam county, on Dunn's Lake. Post-office.

     WOOLSEY.--A settlement on Escambia Bay, in Escambia county.

     WYOMING.--A suburb of Jacksonville, Duval county. Unimportant.

     YELLOW RIVER.--Rises in Walton county, and empties into Pensacola
     Bay, near Milton, West Florida.

                               THE END.

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

changeful sea at St. Agustine=> changeful sea at St. Augustine {pg 228}

in which they are are taught=> in which they are taught {pg 375}

El bano de la Americana=> El baño de la Americana {pg 422}

rescued by Laudonnèire=> rescued by Laudonnière {pg 460}





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