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Title: Sketches of St. Augustine
Author: Sewall, R. K.
Language: English
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                [Illustration: BAY ST. AUGUSTINE E.F.]



                               SKETCHES
                                  OF
                            ST. AUGUSTINE.

                          WITH A VIEW OF ITS
                        HISTORY AND ADVANTAGES
                                 AS A
                         RESORT FOR INVALIDS.

                                  BY
                             R. K. SEWALL.

                               NEW-YORK:
                      PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR BY
                    GEORGE P. PUTNAM, 155 BROADWAY.
                                 1848.


      Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by
                           GEORGE P. PUTNAM,
 in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court for the Southern District
                             of New-York.


                         LEAVITT, TROW & CO.,
                     _Printers and Stereotypers_,
                         49 Ann-street, N. Y.



INTRODUCTION.


This brief account of one of the most interesting towns in this country,
in many historical points of view, has been prepared to meet the wants
of those who may desire to learn something of the place in view of a
sojourn, or who may already have come hither in search of health.

The work makes no pretension to fullness of detail, nor to absolute
perfection in any particular. It is rather a glimpse at, than a full
history of, the place, though it gives such a connected view of the
course of events, as to satisfy the curiosity of such as come among us,
(and which every sojourner feels the want of,) so far as the lights we
now have can aid us in a knowledge of the past.

I have availed myself of such helps, in the few works written, as I
could find, which speak of the place.

But the field of historical researched upon which I have entered, I find
too extensive to be compressed in all its interesting particulars into a
work of this sort. The gleanings, therefore, must for the present
suffice.

     THE AUTHOR.

_St. Augustine, June 20, 1848._



CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER I.

 .....PAGE.

 Location--Description--Antiquity--Distant Appearance--Public
 Places--Public Works of the City.....7


 CHAPTER II.

 Early Settlement--Founder--The Objects of his Voyage from
 Spain--Character--Entrance into the Harbor--Name--Massacre of the
 Huguenot Protestants--Slaughter at Matanzas--Drake’s Attack--Indian
 Assault--Contribution laid on the City by Davis, the Bucanier--The
 Bucaniers--Expedition of Gov. Moore of South Carolina--Causes of
 the same--Col. Palmer’s Attack--Oglethorp’s Invasion--Minorcan
 Inhabitants--Patriot War--Purchase of Florida by the United
 States--Change of Flags--Frost of 1835--Orange Trade and Groves--Fruit
 Growing in East Florida--Tropical Luxuries produced--Inducements to
 Agriculturists from the North.....18


 CHAPTER III.

 Climate of Florida--Testimony of Physicians--Coast Climate--Its
 Advantages--Class of Diseases favorably affected by a Residence
 in the Climate--St. Augustine as a Place of Resort for
 Invalids--Accommodations--Society--Tables of Temperature of the
 Climate, exhibiting the Degree of Changes during the Month and Year,
 as compared with Foreign Places of Resort--Customs--Conveyances to the
 City....49



                               SKETCHES.



CHAPTER I

LOCATION.


This city, the ancient metropolis of the Spanish Province of East
Florida, is situated near the Atlantic coast, little south of the 30th
parallel of north latitude. The southern point of a narrow peninsula,
formed by the confluence of the waters of the St. Sebastian River and
the sea, which here is backed in behind Anastatia Island, through the
inlets of North River and Matanzas bar, is the site on which the city
stands.

The island, behind which takes place an expansion of these waters into a
beautiful harbor, accessible to all classes of vessels drawing nine
feet, which is the depth on the bar at low water, is a long, low, and
narrow body of sand and coquina, or shell rock, which is covered with
various shrubbery; and though it affords a barrier to the surf of the
Atlantic, it does not obstruct the cooling sea-breeze, nor indeed a
prospect of the ocean from elevated stations.


PECULIARITIES.

The town is nearly surrounded with salt water. The face of the country,
skirting on the seaboard, from Cape Hatteras hither, is low, level, and
sandy. This feature prevails southward to near Cape Florida; when the
rock-bound shore, the rudiments of which begin with the coquina
formation opposite the city, again is made the barrier against the
encroachments of the sea, and continues until it is broken up among the
keys of the Florida archipelago.

The country around the city, is a plain of sandy shell soil, termed
“pine barren.” With this the city is joined, on the west, by a
substantial bridge over the St. Sebastian River; and on the north, in a
neck of land over a stone causeway. Egress at this point is made from
the city by a thoroughfare, once commanded by a fortified trench and
gateway. On the east, are the harbor and bay, which open in a beautiful
sheet of water, over which, towering above the sand hills, on the
adjacent island, is seen the light-house, originally a fortified
“look-out,” where the Spanish sentry watched against danger.

The peninsula on which the city stands is said to have been originally a
“shell hammock.” The soil consists of shell and sand, with an
intermixture of vegetable mould. The surface has but a slight elevation
above the level of the surrounding water. Both these circumstances are
favorable. In wet weather, the texture of the soil is favorable to a
rapid extraction of the super-abundant moisture from the surface; and in
dry weather, the slight elevation of the land above the sea, enables it
to withstand drought,--the waters percolating through the soil, refresh
vegetation.

These things conspire to promote the health of the city, inclosed as it
is by the arms of the sea, to whose salubrious and refreshing breezes it
is entirely open.


DESCRIPTION OF THE CITY.

The city of St. Augustine is built in the style of an ancient Spanish
military town. The plan of the city is a parallelogram, traversed
longitudinally by two principal streets the whole length. These are
intersected at right angles, transversely, by several cross streets,
which divide the city into squares. Though not larger than many of our
New England villages, the city is nevertheless regularly laid out, as it
was intended to be compactly built, each square having more or less
space, once occupied with groves of the orange, which a few years since
were the glory and wealth of the place. Indeed, it was once a forest of
sturdy orange trees, in whose rich foliage of deep green, variegated
with golden fruit, the buildings of the city were embosomed; and whose
fragrance filled the body of the surrounding atmosphere so as to attract
the notice of passers by on the sea; and whose delicious fruit was the
great staple of export.

The harbor fronts on the east, and is furnished with good wharves. The
sandy beach of the St. Sebastian brings up the rear on the west,
affording space for a delightful drive around the city; while a once
thrifty but now ruinous suburb--the bubble of speculation in “morus
multicaulus” times--called the North City, fills the background on the
north.


BUILDINGS.

The coquina rock, a concretion of sand and shell formed on the
neighboring sea-beach on the south side of the bar and on the
island--the upper extremity of which opens in sheets, ready for
quarrying, and on which quarries are now extensively worked--is the
principal building material. The streets are excessively narrow, and are
furnished with neither side-walks nor pavements. The houses are usually
two-story buildings, generally crowded into the streets; and are built
without much regard to architectural style or ornamental beauties.

Not unfrequently a piazza projects from the base of the second story,
which in some cases is inclosed with movable Venetian shutters, so as to
control the draft of air, and increase or abate it at pleasure.

These appendages, though they add greatly to the comfort of the
occupants, nevertheless disfigure the buildings by impairing their
symmetrical proportions. The piazza, especially, awakens a sensation of
peril, as one passes for the first time on horseback through the
streets, particularly if he has been accustomed to the broad
thoroughfares and elevated structures of a northern Anglo-American city.
The contrast is great.


GREAT ANTIQUITY OF THE CITY.

In all its outlines and main features, this city is deeply traced with
the furrows of age. It also wears a foreign aspect to the eye of an
American. Ruinous buildings, of antique and foreign model, vacant lots,
broken inclosures, and a rough, tasteless exterior, scarred by the
ravages of fire and time, awaken a sense of discomfort and desolation in
the mind of a stranger.


APPEARANCE.

From the sea, as you enter the inlet from the harbor, the city presents
a fine view. Any distant prospect is decidedly pleasing. Its
deformities--the narrow streets--dilapidated buildings, with their
projecting piazzas--are lost to the eye in the distance; in which, also,
unity of effect is produced by the regularity of the plan on which the
city is built; which effect is heightened greatly by the ornamental
trees, whose foliage screens many of the houses--the overshadowing pride
of India--and the vigorous “morus multicaulus.” There is, however, much
to relieve the first unfavorable impressions of a stranger. Its
comfortless appearance is the effect of first impressions, which of
course are superficial, and often delusive. The blighted stocks of
desolate orange groves--the tokens of decay--the obvious lack of
industry and taste, and the consequent want of thrift--on a close
inspection, are relieved by a constant succession of images of the past,
illustrative of the character of Castilian mind in a heroic and
barbarous age. Moreover, there is a rapid transition in progress. This
ancient city is being transformed into American features, both in its
external appearance, and in the habits and customs of the people.

Many of its recent edifices are in the neat, attractive style of
American village architecture. Especially is this the case in the
neighborhood of the Magnolia House.


PUBLIC PLACES.

The city has a public square, or inclosed common. In the centre, a
monument some sixteen or eighteen feet high, has been erected. It
commemorates the giving of a constitutional basis to the Spanish
government. On its fronts, the following Spanish sentence is
engraved:--“Plaza de la Constitution.”

The three sides of this square, or plaza, are now bounded by as many
streets, fronting on which are the public buildings. The Government
House, now used as a hall of justice, and for public offices, stands on
the west front. On the east, near to the water, are the market
buildings. The Roman Catholic Cathedral, surmounted with the vertical
section of a bell-shaped pyramid, which supports a chime of bells, and
which terminates in a small cross, stands on the north; and on the
opposite south front is the Episcopal Church, a neat, well-proportioned
Gothic edifice, having a spire and bell.

The Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, the former north and the latter
south from the common, on the same street, are well-built, substantial
houses of worship, of

[Illustration: CATHOLIC CHURCH, ST. AUGUSTINE E.F.]

[Illustration: FORT MARION, ST. AUGUSTINE. E.F.]

simple Grecian style of architecture and neat American finish.


PUBLIC WORKS.

St. Francis Barracks, on the southern extreme of the city; Fort Marion,
on the north, with its water-battery and the sea-wall, are among the
objects of historical and military interest within the city.

The sea-wall is erected of the native coquina rock. The upper stratum is
granite flagging stone. This important work is more than a mile in
extent, and of sufficient width for two to walk on it abreast. As a
public promenade, as well as a fortification against the encroachments
of the sea, it is of great use; and it is also a place of universal and
of delightful resort.

This wall incloses two beautiful basins, furnished also with stone
steps. These are the points of embarkation and of debarkation for the
numerous boatmen who navigate the neighboring waters for pleasure and
for profit.

The Castle is a fortress of great strength, covering several acres, and
built entirely of stone from the neighboring coquina quarries, and
according to the most approved principles of military science. It is
said to be a “good specimen of military architecture.”

Its walls are twenty-one feet high, terminating in four bastioned
angles, at the several corners, each of which is surmounted with towers
corresponding. “The whole is casemated and bomb-proof.” This work is
inclosed in a wide and deep ditch, with perpendicular walls of
mason-work, over which is thrown a bridge, originally protected by a
draw.

Within its massive walls are numerous cells. On the north side, opposite
the main entrance, is one fitted up as a Romish church. It has now
become converted into a storehouse for military fixtures. These rooms
are at best dark, dungeon-like abodes; and, by natural association, they
revive the recollection of scenes characteristic of a dark and cruel
age.

Some of these gloomy retreats, though like Bunyan’s giant Despair they
now can only grin in ghastly silence at the Pilgrim stranger, yet look
as if they were once the strong-holds of despotic power. With this
character the gossip of common fame also charges them.

The Castle commands the entrance to the harbor. Its water battery is
furnished with a complement of Paixhan guns of heavy caliber. These are
in a state of readiness to be mounted.

The Castle is a place of chief and universal attraction to the curious
stranger. On approaching the main entrance, through the principal
gateway, the first object of interest is a Spanish inscription, engraved
on the solid rock immediately over head, and under the arms of Spain,
and is as follows, viz.:[1] “Reynando en Espana el son Don Fernando
Sexto y Sierdo Governador y Capitan General di esta Plaza de San
Augustine de Florida y su Provincia el Moriscal de Campo Dn. Alonzo
Fernandez de Herida se conduyo este Castello el ano de 1756 dirigendo
las abras et Capitan ynginero Don Pedro de Brazas y Garay.”

On reaching the interior of the Fort, the several apartments may be
explored, except those where the magazine is found, and those which are
used as cells for prisoners--the State being permitted to confine its
prisoners therein.

Within the bastion of the northeast angle, far under ground, is a dark,
dungeon-like recess, constructed of solid mason-work. Before entering
here, the guide will furnish himself with a torchlight of pitch-wood.

This place was accidentally discovered soon after the work fell into the
hands of the American army. It was then walled up, and was not before
known to have had an existence. Of this concealed retreat, Rumor has
whispered strange things.

A human skeleton, with the fragments of a pair of boots and an empty mug
for water, it is alleged were discovered within. As to the history of
the place--whether it was once an inquisitorial chamber, or the scene of
vengeance, where bigotry invoked the secular arm to silence heretical
tongues, and suppress heretical thoughts; and as to the name, character,
standing, guilt or innocence, pleasures or pains, of the poor
unfortunate to whom the boots and bones belonged, there is silence.
Either Fame has been unable to catch the echo through the lapse of
time, or shame bids her be silent, or horror has paralyzed her tongue.

By these, and like rumors, either truth or fiction has succeeded in
investing this place with mysterious and melancholy interest to an
American citizen.

The Barracks occupy a spot on which were the ruins of an ancient monkish
retreat, near the south end. The main building is a substantial
structure, of large dimensions and neat appearance. The prospect from
it, of the harbor, bar, ocean, and neighboring country, is delightful.
Its location is one of the most eligible in the city. A large space is
inclosed in rear of the main building, for a garden; the southern
extremity of which is occupied as a military burial ground, where repose
the ashes of the major part of the regular force of the United States,
who fell in battle during the recent bloody Seminole war. Chaste and
beautiful monuments with appropriate inscriptions, mark the spot where
sleep the gory dead.

Here, beneath two pyramids, together in one bed repose the ashes of one
hundred and seven men--the gallant Major Dade and his intrepid
warriors--a sacrifice to the vengeance of the brave and warlike
Seminole, who with the Indian agent were the first fruits of the
terrible threat of Osceola, who having indignantly rejected all
overtures on the part of the government to leave the graves of his
fathers, on closing his intercourse with the government agent, being
refused the right of purchasing powder, thus addressed himself to Gen.
Thompson: “Am I a negro? a slave? My skin is dark, but not black. I am
an Indian--a Seminole. The

[Illustration: MILITARY BURIAL GROUND, ST. AUGUSTINE E.F.]

white man shall not make me black! I will make the white man red with
blood; and then blacken him in the sun and rain, where the wolf shall
smell his bones, and the buzzard live upon his flesh!”[2] The extreme
point of the peninsula, south, on which the city is located, is occupied
with the outlines of an ancient breastwork, in a ruinous condition, and
the United States Arsenal buildings.

On the whole, it will be seen, from the facts above stated, that this
city is not without its interest to the antiquary and to the historian.
If not old Spain in miniature, it is a chip of the block of the old in
the new world, a relic of the past interwoven with the texture of the
present age.



CHAPTER II.

HISTORY--EARLY SETTLEMENT.


This city is by forty years the oldest town within the limits of the
United States of America. It was the offspring of the religious bigotry,
fanaticism, and jealousy, of a barbarous but heroic age.

On the 8th of September, 1565, at noonday, on the celebration of a
religious festival in honor of Mary, the virgin goddess of Papal homage
and superstitious reverence, a creature of the Spanish government, Pedro
Melendez by name, who had recently crossed from the old world, entered
this harbor, debarked, and taking formal possession of the country,
proclaimed Philip II king of North America, had the service of Mass
performed, and the foundations of the town immediately laid.


THE ORIGINAL FOUNDER.

Pedro Melendez was a man of blood. His bigotry had been nourished, says
the historian, in the wars against the Protestants of Holland. He had
also acquired wealth and notoriety in the conquests of Spanish America.

But there he had been guilty of such excesses, and pursued a course of
such rapacity, that his conduct had provoked inquiry. It ended in his
arrest and conviction. The king confirmed sentence against him. To
recover the favor of his sovereign, retrieve his character, if not to
atone for his crimes, Melendez devised the scheme of conquering,
colonizing, and converting to the faith of Papacy, the Province of
Florida. He agreed also to import five hundred negro slaves.

In the meanwhile, a company of French Huguenots, in their flight from
the bloodhounds of persecution, let loose upon them from the
strong-holds of the Romish church, had found an asylum in the wilds of
America, and as they supposed, on the banks of the St. John’s River in
East Florida. Thither they had fled and planted their colony. Amid the
desert wilds and pestilential vapors of the morasses of Florida, they
fondly hoped to enjoy “freedom to worship God.”

Delusive hope! Where could a poor Protestant hide from the wrath of the
“great red Dragon,” breathing out fire and death to worry and destroy
the saints, if the dens and caves of the earth could afford him no
shelter in Europe?

Melendez, whose piety had been fed on the blood of Protestants till it
had become bloated with bigotry, smelling the scent of prey from afar,
“collected a force of more than twenty-five hundred persons:--soldiers,
sailors, priests, Jesuits, married men with their families, laborers and
mechanics.”[3] With this company he embarked, not merely to found, but
to root up and destroy a peaceful colony, solely because it was made up
of the followers of Calvin, and not of the Pope!

In traversing the Atlantic he encountered a storm. His ships were by it
scattered; so that only one third of the number he embarked with from
Spain reached the coast of Florida.

It was on a day consecrated to the memory of St. Augustine, a venerable
and pious father of the early ages of Christianity, that he came in
sight of the coast of Florida. Four days he sailed along this coast; and
on the fifth he landed, having discovered a fine haven and harbor.


TRANSACTIONS AT THE MOUTH OF THE ST. JOHN’S.

Learning from the natives, the place where the French Huguenot colony
had established itself, and the position of Fort Caroline on the banks
of the St. John’s, and having named the harbor and haven here, where he
first set foot on shore, St. Augustine, Melendez immediately sailed
northward in quest of the infant Protestant community.

Landonnier had conducted the expedition which had sought the shores of
Florida, to find an asylum for the persecuted Protestants of France.
Under the patronage of Admiral Coligni, he had on the 30th of June, in
1564, settled the mouth of the River St. John’s with Protestant
refugees, and erected Fort Caroline. This place Ribaut had reached on a
return voyage from France, a few days prior to the appearance of
Melendez. Melendez purposed to seize by treachery the French shipping,
which, however, by suddenly running to sea, eluded his grasp, and was
soon after wrecked; being driven by a storm on the coast below, while
menacing this place.

The appearance of the Spanish fleet foreboded evil. The circumstances
excited the fears of the Protestant colonists. They inquired the name
and objects of the Spanish commander. To the deputation he answered: “I
am Melendez of Spain, sent with orders from my king to gibbet and behead
all the Protestants in this region. Frenchmen who are Catholics I will
spare--every heretic shall die!”

Thus did he announce his mission to be one of blood with unblushing
boldness. Melendez now returned to this place, to prepare for, and put
it effectually into execution. Here his forces were collected, his plans
laid: and from the newly laid foundations of this--the first town within
the United States of America--even while they were wet in the holy water
of the Mother Church--armed with the blessing of her priesthood,
Melendez led a chosen band to the execution of his bloody mission. He
marched through the wilderness with eight days’ provisions, and reached
the forests and hammocks on the banks of the St. John’s near to Fort
Caroline, where the Protestant colony reposed, unconscious of the evil
impending. He now prepared himself and his followers for their work of
human butchery, “by kneeling and praying for success.”[4] All was
silence, save the calm voice of nature, whose soft whispers were wafted
through the branches of the gray old trees and sturdy oaks, that stood
round about and cast their protecting shade over the heads of a peaceful
colony. These, perhaps, sighed at what they saw, and against which they
could not warn. From prayers Melendez rose up to the slaughter. The
blood of the mother and of her innocent babe mingled in the same pool!
Helpless woman and decrepit age bowed together in death and violence!
The citizen and the soldier met the same fate! A scene of carnage and of
cruelty was enacted, unparalleled in the annals of human butchery!

Some eighty-six persons, whose only crime was their Calvinism, fell
victims to the barbarity of a savage Popish bigot. But few escaped. Of
these, such as were afterwards taken were hung on the limbs of the next
tree, where their bodies became food to hungry birds of prey; and to
mark the spot, Melendez erected a monument of stone, on which he
engraved, in extenuation of his crime, “Not as Frenchmen, but as
heretics.”[5]

Having executed his avowed mission of death to Protestantism in Florida,
he retraced his steps to the place where he had laid out his new town,
the work of the erection of which he was prepared to complete on the
foundations he had now consecrated with hands reeking in Protestant
blood, as well as with holy water. Here “Melendez was hailed as a
conqueror by a procession of priests and people who went out to meet
him.” “Te Deum was solemnly chanted!”[6]

But the sacrifice offered could not satiate the thirst for blood which
inflamed the desires of this persecutor, whose life had been steeped in
atrocities. Perhaps he felt that a life of crime such as his, could have
its guilt washed out only in the blood of poor innocents, who presumed
to avow their purpose to worship God according to the dictates of their
own consciences. The taste of Protestant blood he had just sipped seemed
but to quicken his appetite.

“Angry,” says Bancroft, “that any should have escaped, the Spaniards
insulted the corpses of the dead with wanton barbarity;” and having
celebrated mass, and reared a cross on the spot, and chosen for the site
of a church the ground still smoking with the blood of a peaceful
colony, Melendez went in pursuit of the shipwrecked fugitives, who were
now the only survivors of the French Protestant settlement in East
Florida. They had been cast upon the sands south of this city. In their
wandering along the beach, they had reached the inlet of the Matanzas.
Here they were found, a company of famished and forlorn men. To secure
the destruction of these men more effectually, the cowardly assassin,
Melendez, first contrived to obtain their confidence in his humanity, a
virtue of which this creature in human shape was utterly incapable.

They surrendered by capitulation, though a few, suspicious of treachery,
distrusted the integrity of Melendez, and fled into the interior. The
major part being secured, the captives, in successive bands, were
ferried over the river and received among the Spaniards. On reaching the
opposite shore, each man’s hands were pinioned behind him; and thus,
like sheep to the slaughter, they were driven toward St. Augustine. But,
as the company approached the fort, “a signal was made.”[7] Thereupon,
the man in whose perfidious honor and humanity they had
confided--(acting, it may be fairly presumed, on the principle that no
faith was to be kept with heretics--a principle worthy of the Romish
church, and which had been baptized and sanctified in oceans of
Protestant blood)--this man, I say, amid a flourish of trumpets and
drums, cut the throats of the whole company, not as “Frenchmen, but as
heretics.”[8]

Though the government of France looked on this thrilling scene of
horror, in the destruction of her own peaceful subjects, unmoved, yet,
adds the historian, “history has been more faithful, and has assisted
humanity by giving to the crime of Melendez an infamous notoriety.”


RETRIBUTION.

The site of the Huguenot colony was named Fort Caroline. De Gourgas was
a Roman Catholic and a Frenchman. He had been distinguished in public
life, but had retired to the enjoyment of his repose, when, on learning
the barbarous atrocities with which his countrymen on the St. John’s had
been sacrificed to Spanish bigotry, he emerged from private life--again
buckled on his armor for vengeance. At his own risk, he got up and
fitted out an expedition. He sailed from France, with a chosen band of
followers, to avenge the blood of his slaughtered countrymen. Between
the years 1569 and ’74 he reached the coast of Florida--debarked his
forces at the mouth of the St. John’s--carried several outworks--and
finally inclosed the Fort, now occupied by a Spanish colony. He entered
it, and the first sight that greeted his eyes, was the horrible vision
of the skeleton forms of his murdered countrymen, their bones and sinews
dangling from the limbs of the surrounding trees. Here too was the stone
set up by Melendez, with its inscription. The bones and relics of the
slaughtered Huguenots De Gourgas ordered to be buried. He then fell upon
the Spaniards. Hardly one escaped; and their bodies he ordered to be
hung in the places where those of his countrymen had been before
suspended, and underneath De Gourgas wrote this inscription--“_Not as
Spaniards, but as murderers._” He immediately returned to France.

Thus the light of Protestantism, which had been first kindled by the
fugitive Huguenots of France on the coast of Florida, in the southern
extreme of these United States, was put out in the blood of those, who,
as pioneers, were the torch-bearers of religious liberty, which was not
to be again rekindled until it shot up from Puritan altars, and burst
forth in the frozen north, where it was cherished and protected by
chilling snows and frosts in those wintry wilds, till it had acquired
force and intensity sufficient to spread its beams over the whole land.

Such is the connection of this city and its founders, in its early
history, with the early Protestant institutions of the republic! It can
hardly be credible to an American citizen, that there is within the
bounds of these United States a nook or corner so dark and
blood-stained!

Melendez, for twelve years, presided over the destinies of this town,
directing his attention mainly to the subjection, and conversion to
papal superstitions, of the aboriginal inhabitants, aided by the
Franciscans, an order of monks. Their missions were established
throughout the interior. An ancient monkish retreat, occupying the
present site of the United States Barracks, was the head-quarters of the
order in this city. A number of the missionaries, while on their passage
from Cuba to this place, were wrecked on the bar at the entrance of this
harbor, and in full view of their convent, and, with the crew of the
vessel, were drowned.


INCIDENTS IN THE SUBSEQUENT HISTORY.

Some twenty-one years had elapsed since the founding of this city and
the massacre of the neighboring Protestant colony, when Drake, as he
coasted along the shore, discovered the “Look-out,” a tower on the
adjacent island. This led him to suspect a settlement inland. He ordered
his boats to be lowered and manned, to make a reconnoisance on the
shore. He landed on an island. In the exploration he perceived, across
the water, a town built of wood. Soon after, a French fifer deserted
from the Spanish forces--crossed the lagoon in a canoe, playing an
English air, the march of the Prince of Orange. This circumstance
recommended him to the favor of the English admiral--for Drake now
sailed as an admiral of the royal navy. The Frenchman described his
situation to be that of a captive. He probably told also of the recent
massacre, and described its horrors; and was himself, undoubtedly, one
of the fugitives from that scene, who had been spared for some reason.

Elizabeth of England was a Protestant queen; Drake, her representative,
was a Protestant in his sympathies. Moreover, Spain and England were on
terms of hostility at this time. His marine force was disembarked, under
the command of Carlisle, his subordinate; the intervening sound was
crossed; and, notwithstanding the greatest caution had been observed in
all these movements, the reconnoitering officer was discovered by the
Spaniards. A cannon was fired, and thereupon they all fled to town. This
took place at an outpost. This work was immediately taken possession of
by the reconnoitering party under Carlisle. It was a fort built of
timber, mounting fourteen pieces of brass cannon. Drake then plundered
the garrison of a chest of silver, and next day marched for the town. As
he approached, he encountered the Spaniards. An action commenced; but at
the first fire of the invading force, the Spaniards fled, and the
inhabitants evacuated the town, which fell into the hands of Drake, who
burnt and plundered it; and then sailed for England, where he arrived in
July of the same year, 1586.[9]

Twenty-five years[10] passed away before any other tragedy was enacted
within the precinct of this then new city. But vengeance did not slumber
long. The natives of Florida--a brave, warlike, and cruel, as well as
numerous band of savage men--assaulted, captured, and burned the city to
ashes. The details of this terrific scene of savage barbarity, and the
immediate causes thereof, we have not at hand.

1665. In a quarter of a century more, Davis, the Bucanier, discovered
this Spanish retreat. He entered on a piratical expedition against it;
invested it with an armed band of freebooters; captured, and plundered
it. The circumstances of this movement, the details of the attack and
plunder of the town, are not to be found.


THE BUCANIERS.

The Florida archipelago, and the neighboring keys and islands of the
West Indian seas, have been the resort of freebooters from an early
period. The security they afforded, as a place of retreat from
discovery, gave these points great eminence, as the centre of operations
for a large, bold, and ruthless band of sea-rovers. Their piratical
expeditions swarmed over the adjacent waters, and desolated the
neighboring coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Spanish West Indies.
This brotherhood of outlaws were termed Bucaniers. They hailed from
France, England, and Holland. They led a life of plunder; and reduced
piracy to a profession, regulated by its own laws and customs, which had
all the force of martial law among themselves.

The existence of these desperate men as a class was owing to the
exclusive and arbitrary measures of the Spanish government, through
which, they endeavored to secure and maintain the exclusive control of
the commercial resources of the New World.

In war, the Bucaniers preyed on commerce as commissioned privateers; in
peace, they resorted to hunting wild cattle, and contraband trade
against the Spanish. Finally, they entered upon a course of open piracy
and plunder. They are said to have originated on this wise. Soon after
the Spanish conquests on the Main had secured the fertile plains of
Mexico and extended over it the Spanish power, the island of Cuba was
nearly depopulated by a tide of emigration setting into the newly
acquired territory. The emigrants left their cattle behind. These, in
course of time, multiplied prodigiously. The hills and valleys of the
island of Cuba were at length covered with herds of wild cattle; and it
was soon found profitable to hunt them for their hides and tallow alone.
The first who engaged in this business were French. The distinctive term
applied to these men, had its origin in their customs. Bucanier is
supposed to be a derivative of the Carib word “boucan,” by which the
Indians designated flesh prepared for food by its being smoked and dried
slowly in the sun. The hunters prepared the flesh of the slaughtered
cattle for food in this way. From this circumstance, the term “Bucanier”
was first applied to the hunters; and subsequently, it was used to
designate all such as followed a contraband trade, or were engaged in a
predatory life upon the sea or shore.

The Bucaniers, at first, made the island of Tortuga their head-quarters.
But the settlement being obnoxious to the Spaniards, they seized the
first opportunity to destroy it. This dispersed the company, who sought
other places of refuge; and from thence they worried the Spanish
settlements, actuated by motives of revenge. Several places and Spanish
towns were compelled to submit to the degradation of purchasing the
forbearance of the Bucaniers, by paying them contributions, equivalent
to black-mail levied by the banditti of Scotland.

Being driven from their original retreat on the island of Tortuga, the
Bucaniers retired to the Keys. No doubt the inlets and islands of the
southern peninsula of Florida attracted their bands. Not only the towns
and settlements on the Spanish islands and on the Main became objects of
plunder, but the commerce of every nation also.

It is not till within a few years, that the remnants of this desperate
class of men, who have long infested the waters in the neighborhood of
the West India islands, have been driven from their haunts, and hunted
down, by the American Navy. The Bucanier was terrible in his appearance,
as well as in his profession.

His dress consisted of a shirt dipped in the blood of cattle--trousers
prepared in the same manner--buskins without stockings--a cap with a
small front, and a leathern girdle, into which were stuck around his
body, knives, sabres and pistols. Such was the filthy and terrific garb
of the Bucanier in full costume.

Such was Davis, who laid this city under contribution some eighty years
after it was founded by Melendez. At this period, the Bucaniers seem to
have regarded the whole Spanish race as their natural enemies, and their
commerce and their cities as lawful objects of plunder.


CAUSES OF BORDER TROUBLES.

At the close of the seventeenth and in the beginning of the eighteen
century, the English settlements of Carolina had acquired permanency and
importance. But Spain had proclaimed her exclusive right to American
possessions. By a permit from the Roman Pontiff, she had already seized
and subdued a greater part of the New World, and left the prints of her
bloody hand upon the rights and treasures of the aboriginal inhabitants.

In the face of the civilized world, Spain, then one of the richest and
most powerful states on earth, having asserted a claim to and planted
her foot upon the soil of North America, how could she forego the
exclusive control of the same? How could she endure the presence, or
divide the occupancy of the soil with a rival state? She had already
acquired the proud title in her sovereign, of “Defender of the Faith,”
for the ardor and fidelity with which she supported the arrogant
pretensions of the See of Rome, having given her strength to the
extension of its interests, even to the prostitution of her civil power
to ecclesiastical domination. How then could Spain consent that the
Protestant religion should gain a foothold in North America? Had she not
already extinguished it on the coasts of Florida? Were not the English
colonies still in their infancy, as well as within the reach of her
arms? It required but a single well directed stroke, and the Anglo-Saxon
race and the hated Protestant faith would perish together.

We have glanced at the barbarous scenes with which Spain opened her
schemes of colonization in North America. The same malign purposes and
bigoted spirit moved all her subsequent counsels, and hung like a dark
and portentous cloud over the future peace and prosperity of her border
settlements.

In her efforts to make good her pretensions, a series of petty
jealousies and strife between the English and Spanish races ensued.
Distrust and jealousy were fostered. These feelings led to mutual
hostile demonstrations. Mutual depredations were perpetrated; and thus
the seeds of open war were sown. The struggle was maintained till
English blood and the Protestant faith acquired permanent ascendency in
the Floridas.


EXPEDITION OF GOV. MOORE.

The Spaniards and Indians, stimulated by the bigoted and rapacious
spirit of the mother country, perpetrated acts of wanton barbarity on
the colonial settlements of Carolina and Georgia. Provoked to
retaliation by these depredations, Governor Moore, A. D. 1702, projected
an invasion of Florida, by the forces of South Carolina. In the month of
September, with an army of twelve hundred men, he embarked on an
expedition for the reduction of St. Augustine, which was esteemed the
centre of the predatory operations against the English settlers.

Col. Daniel was ordered to scour the country inland, and penetrate to
the city by the route of the St. John’s River. An officer of
distinguished military skill and enterprise, Col. Daniel, with great
promptitude and success, marched through the country, captured and
plundered the city, and shut its inhabitants up within the walls of
their Castle. Such was the position of affairs when Gov. Moore reached
the scene of his military operations before St. Augustine. A regular
siege was advised. The Fort was invested. But the artillery of the
besieging army was too light, and no impression could be made on the
fortified works.

Col. Daniel was despatched to procure guns of a larger caliber and more
effective powers. In the meanwhile, a Spanish naval armament made its
appearance off the coast. Governor Moore, in a panic, appalled at this
demonstration, raised the siege, abandoned his ships and stores, and
fled back to Carolina by the nearest inland route.


PALMER’S EXPEDITION.

The original causes of disquietude were in nowise removed or abated.
They became, indeed, more and more active and aggravated, till they
ripened into further hostile demonstrations.

The Spanish charged the English with intrusion. The grounds of complaint
were mutual.

The English, on the other hand, charged the Spaniards with enticing away
their colored servants, and with exciting the Indians to murder and
depopulate their frontier towns. The Spanish governor not only justified
himself in these things, but immediately fitted out an expedition from
Augustine and marched into Georgia, laying waste the country, sparing
neither age nor sex.

These provocations occurred twenty years after Gov. Moore had invaded
the Floridas.

The tribe of the Yamasee Indians had been made the tools of Spanish
barbarity in their recent hostile operations against the English
colonies of Georgia and Carolina.

The intrepid Col. Palmer immediately raised a force of militia and
friendly Indians, with which he marched into Florida to retaliate the
injuries of his countrymen. He pushed at once to the very gates of the
city, laying waste nearly every settlement. The citizens fled and
entrenched themselves within the city fortifications, leaving the poor
natives, their allies, to the mercy of the invaders; and the power of
the Yamasee tribe was broken under the walls of the city, being nearly
all killed or made prisoners by the English.

All was destroyed but what lay within range and protection of the guns
of the Fort.

The Georgians, in their fury, seized on the Papal Church of “Nostra
Seniora de Lache,” plundering and burning it to the ground, from which
they took the gold and silver ornaments for booty, and also an image
baby, which they found in the arms of the image of a woman, the Virgin
Mary, with which the church was adorned.

This place of worship occupied a position a little without the city
gates. The point of land back from the old steam mill is alleged to have
been its site, the ruins of which, it is alleged, are still to be found
there.

Palmer, with his Georgians, having taken ample vengeance, and being
unable to reduce the city without heavier ordnance than he then had at
command, gathered all the booty within his reach, which was
considerable, and retired to Georgia, leaving the Spaniards to obtain
satisfaction as best they could.


OGLETHORP’S INVASION, A. D. 1740.

During the next fifteen years, no considerable overt act of hostility
was perpetrated, though the spirit and embers of war still glowed in the
hearts of the border colonists. The Georgians were still plundered of
their property. Their negroes were enticed and spirited away into the
wilds of Florida; and this was justified by the Governor of St.
Augustine, on the pretence that the Spaniards “were bound in conscience
to draw to themselves as many negroes as they could, in order to convert
them to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church.” Moreover, “a plot was
discovered, which contemplated the utter extinction of the English
settlements. A German Jesuit--one Christian Priben--a resident among the
Cherokees, was the master spirit in this conspiracy. He was taken by the
English traders. Upon his person was found his private journal,
revealing his design to bring about a confederation of all the southern
Indians, and to effect a new social and civil organization. He had noted
his expectations of assistance in the execution of his original design
from the French, and from another nation, whose name was left a blank.
Among his papers were found letters for the Florida and Spanish
governors, demanding their protection and countenance. Also, there were
found among his papers the plan and regulations for a new town.

Many rights and privileges were enumerated, marriage was abolished, a
community of women and all kinds of licentiousness were to be allowed.

In addition, the Spaniards had just made an abortive attempt to
dispossess the Georgian colonists of Amelia Island.

At this juncture, Oglethorp appeared on the stage of action. He had been
recently appointed to the office of governor of the colony.

The salvation of the English settlements required prompt and vigorous
measures.

Oglethorp solicited and secured the co-operation of South Carolina, in a
combined effort to insure the safety of the English settlement.

The invasion of Florida, and the reduction of St. Augustine, as the nest
where were hatched the broils and perils of a border serife, and from
whence swarmed the savage hordes which overran and devastated the land,
were determined upon.

South Carolina promptly responded to the call of Oglethorp. Carolina
raised a regiment of five hundred men, and equipped one vessel of war,
carrying ten carriage guns and sixteen swivels, with a crew of fifty
men. Two hundred men enlisted as a volunteer force. In addition,
Oglethorp had his own regiment of five hundred men, two troops of
Highland and English rangers, and two companies of Highland and English
foot.”[11] His plan was to take the city by surprise. This however
failed.

With a select force, he entered East Florida, invested and reduced Fort
Diego, situated some twenty-five miles north of St. Augustine. Having
left here a garrison force, and completed his arrangements, he marched
direct for St. Augustine and occupied Fort Mosa. This work he destroyed;
and then advanced to reconnoitre the city. The result of the
reconnoisance was disheartening. The town was strongly fortified. The
Spanish force within the intrenched city and castle, amounted to seven
hundred regulars, two troops of horse, with armed negroes, militia, and
Indians.[12]

At the outset an oversight had been committed, in neglecting to blockade
the harbor, on account of which, supplies were thrown into the city, and
additional means of resistance. Oglethorp, however, soon afterward
enforced a blockade. The ships were moored across the entrance of the
bar; and lines of investment were drawn around the town on the land.
Col. Palmer, with a company of Highlanders and a small force of Indians,
occupied the old Fort Mosa, with orders to scour the country. A small
battery was planted on Point Quartele; while Oglethorp with his own
regiment erected and occupied field works on the northern extremity of
Anastatia Island, opposite the Castle. The ruins of these works are
marked by a clump of shrubbery and a slight elevation on the point.

The arrangements being perfected, a bombardment of the town and Castle
was attempted. Oglethorp opened his batteries with a hot fire of shell
and shot, a great number of which were thrown into the town. The fire
was returned with spirit from the Castle, and from galleys in the
harbor; but the distance was too great for either party to do much
execution. The shallow water of the bar prevented any co-operation of
the English naval force with that of the land. The fire of the besieging
army at length abated. A counsel of war was held. In the meanwhile a
sortie was made by the besieged; and Col. Palmer, with his entire force,
were surprised in sleep, and all cut off at Fort Mosa, except a few who
escaped by a small boat, and crossed to Point Quartele, where the
Carolina regiment was stationed. The Indian allies soon grew impatient,
and left in disgust. The blockade of the inlet at Matanzas was raised,
and provisions and other supplies were thrown into the town, through
this approach to the city. The English troops became enfeebled by
disease, dispirited, and filled with discontent, and many deserted. The
naval force became short of provisions, and the hurricane season was at
hand. Oglethorp was taken down with fever, and the flux raged among his
troops. The siege was thereupon raised, and the army withdrawn into
Georgia. Thus the expedition became abortive, though the face and angles
of the Castle, fronting the harbor, bear the mark of Oglethorp’s storm
of shot and shells to this day.

A counter invasion of Georgia was projected from this city, two years
after. But though the preparations were made on a scale of unusual
magnitude, and the expedition was well supported by competent naval
power, the Spaniards were whipped and frightened off from the
settlements of Georgia. They related, on their return, as an excuse for
their disgraceful and cowardly behavior, that, “the deep morasses and
thickets were so lined with wild Indians and fierce Highlanders, that
the devil could not penetrate to the strong-holds of the Georgians.”
Retaliation was, of course, the natural result. The very next year,
Oglethorp again visited Augustine, captured a fort in the vicinage of
the city; but being frustrated in some of his plans, retired again to
his province, without further molestation to the enemy. These
hostilities and differences continued to distract this city, till A.D.
1763, when the peace of Paris gave the Floridas into possession of the
government of Great Britain. For the twenty years that Florida remained
in possession of Great Britain, great improvements were made,
flourishing settlements begun; and the prosperity which industry and
skill insure began to show itself on every side. In 1784, the Floridas
were retroceded to Spain. The Anglo-Saxon race forsook their fields and
villages, and retired under the shield of British law and the Protestant
faith.


MINORCAN POPULATION.

Says the historian, “A military government succeeded, together with a
sparse population, who barely subsisted on their pay, who neglected
improvements,--who suffered their gardens and fields to grow up with
weeds, their fences and houses to rot down, or be burned for fuel.”

The Minorcan population, however, it is alleged, were an exception.
Their industry furnished fish and vegetables to the market. This is a
peculiar people, and they compose a large proportion of the population
of the city. The present race were of servile extraction. By the
duplicity and avarice of one Turnbull, they were seduced from their
homes in the Mediterranean--located at Smyrna--and forced to till the
lands of the proprietor, who had brought them into Florida for that
purpose. After enduring great privation, toil, and suffering, under the
most trying circumstances of a servile state, they revolted in a body,
reclaimed their rights, and maintained them under English law, by a
decision of the king’s court at Augustine, whither they had fled from
their oppressor, under the conduct of one of their number, a man by the
name of Palbicier. A location was assigned them in the north of this
city, which they occupy in the persons of their descendants to this day.
Their women are distinguished for their taste, neatness, and industry, a
peculiar light olive shade of complexion, and a dark, full eye. The
males are less favored, both by nature and habit. They lack enterprise.
Most of them are without education. Their canoes, fishing lines, and
hunting guns, are their main sources of subsistence. The rising
generation is, however, in a state of rapid transition. The spirit of
American institutions, and the reflex influence of an association with
Anglo-American society, are working an assimilating change in the whole
social structure of the native population of this city; the present
population of which is estimated at from 1800 to 2000 souls.

From the time of the retrocession of the Floridas, till the disturbances
growing out of the late war with England, there was a state of
comparative quiet in the border settlements. But ancient jealousies and
the seeds of former dissensions, differences of religion, and the
remembrance of past injuries, had not been altogether eradicated.
Moreover, the occupants of lands on the line between the American and
Spanish nations found those within the Spanish domain who strongly
sympathized with the free and liberal spirit of American institutions,
as seen in contrast with the despotic features of a military government
under the control of an intolerant and bigoted hierarchy.

A patriot war ensued.[13] A neutral territory was erected. Spanish
authority was rejected. Augustine was again invaded. But the American
government interposed, restored quiet, and immediately entered upon
negotiations with the king of Spain for the purchase of the Floridas.

These negotiations were at length crowned with success; and on the 17th
of June, 1821, the “stars and stripes” of the United States of America
floated from the Castle, and St. Augustine became an Anglo-American
town, under the government of the American general, Andrew Jackson.[14]
Protected by the shadow of the American eagle, for the first time, the
genius of the American institutions called together her sons and
daughters in the old Government House, for the exercise of a right which
had been watered with Protestant blood in the soil of Florida centuries
before--“_freedom to worship God_.” On Friday, the 11th of June, 1824,
was organized the Presbyterian church. Subsequently, the Protestant and
Methodist Episcopal churches were established. Thus Protestant influence
and institutions gained a firm foothold in the ancient Spanish capital
of East Florida.

It is related,[15] that immediately on the exchange of flags a strange
sight was seen in the city. A Methodist itinerant was observed, wending
his way from street to street and from house to house on a religious
mission, distributing Protestant religious books, and otherwise
intruding himself among the sons and daughters of the mother church.

The circumstance, so unusual, and the great presumption of the stranger,
of course alarmed the Romish ecclesiastical authority. The priest could
not brook such intrusion. He went in pursuit of the presumptuous man in
black, and when he had overtaken him, menaced him with the indignation
of his ghostly power if he did not at once desist.

The itinerant surveyed him for a moment in silence, as if measuring with
his eye the capacity of his power, and then, with the most imperturbable
coolness, and an impudent though significant movement of the eye,
pointed the wrathy shadow of the Pope to the “stars and stripes,” which
now proudly floated over the battlements of the Castle--when it
vanished, and left the Methodist minister to prosecute his favorite work
among the people as he listed.

This, undoubtedly, was the first time that prelacy had been taught a
lesson of forbearance here, or to consider the nature of the change
which had come over the scene of its former undisputed sway, and to
understand, that under the flag of the United States of America man was
protected in the enjoyment of his high prerogative--“freedom to worship
God.”


DESTRUCTION OF THE ORANGE GROVES.

Prior to February, 1835, groves of the sweet orange had for many years,
and with great care, been brought into a thrifty and productive state.
Then St. Augustine was one immense orange orchard, and appeared, says an
eye-witness, “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 limbs and imbibed
health from the fragrant air.” Much attention was given to the rearing
of orange orchards, and large investments had been made in planting out
nurseries of fruit trees, which, indeed, could hardly supply the demand
for the young trees.

The season prior to February, 1835, was very productive. Some of the
orange groves paid from _one_ to _three thousand dollars_. I have been
informed, that twelve years ago the income to the city was some $72,000
per annum. Mature, thrifty trees sometimes produced 6000 oranges; and
the average product per annum of a single tree was 500 oranges.

In the vigor and thrift of the orange business, the annual export of
oranges was between 2 and 3,000,000 per annum from this city.

The trade was brisk, and a source of revenue and profit to the place of
great value. In the orange season, the harbor was enlivened with a fleet
of fruit vessels, that thronged the city for the purchase and
transportation of oranges to the northern market.

But on the night of the fatal month of February, 1835, a frost cut down
the entire species of the orange tribe, some of the trees rivaling in
stature the sturdy forest oak. At one fell stroke, the labor and profit
of years of toil--the inheritance of many generations--the little all of
many families, were swept away! The resources of the city were dried up!
Many were hurled in a night from the seat of affluence, into the lap of
poverty and distress!

To this day, the city has not recovered from the blight of that dire
stroke. Shoots from the withered stocks of the old trees have indeed
sprung up, and been struggling for life ever since, but under the
pressure of disease; and all efforts to resuscitate the tree have been
rendered abortive by the ravages of insignificant animalculæ, which prey
on the life and vigor of the young shoots, and perpetuate the influence
of the frost of 1835.


TROPICAL FRUIT CULTURE OF EAST FLORIDA.

There are important facts relative to these agricultural products and
resources of East Florida, which ought to be better understood by those,
who, on account of constitutional delicacy, consumptive habits, or other
causes, at the north, are disposed to seek other and more congenial
latitudes. On the east coast of South Florida the lands are productive,
and healthy in location. On the St. Lucie River and Sound, the banks are
high shell bluff, and exceedingly fertile for high lands. Though north
of the tropical latitude, yet the _climate is so genial_, that it
nourishes with luxuriance, in the open air, most of the fruits of
tropical climes. The cocoa, orange, lemon, lime, guava, citron,
pine-apple, banana, and other like products, together with the
semi-tropical fruits, the grape, fig, olive, &c., and garden vegetables,
the cabbage, potato, beet, onion, with various species of the melon
kind, grow with great luxuriance. Orange orchards, pine-apple fields,
banana and cocoa-nut groves, are now in process of cultivation by
settlers, many of whom are from the north, and have begun to clear their
lands within the last few years.

Industry and perseverance are the chief investments of capital required,
in order to reap ample remuneration. Northern men, with their own hands,
are now thus engaged. It is no longer an experiment. On the banks of the
Indian River and St. Lucie Sound fruiteries are being raised. Fruit
groves and cane fields are being planted, which will probably ere long
furnish for northern markets the delicious products of tropical climes,
in a more perfect condition and of better quality than can be elsewhere
found.

The lands of tropical Florida on the east coast, in the region of the
Indian River, appear to be of an older formation, and are on a higher
level above the sea, than those in this neighborhood. The landscape is
finer. The climate is more salubrious. Its attractions for those who
wish to make their own labor their capital, from which they shall be
enabled to draw a support for themselves and families, are great. The
orange, pine-apple, and sugar lands of South Florida are worthy more
attention from agriculturists, capitalists, and emigrants, than they
have received; and the day is not far distant, when their rich resources
will begin to be developed, and will excite interest.

[Illustration: _Bromelia Ananas._

PINE APPLE

_Lith. of F. Michelin 111 Nassau St. N.Y._]

The orange culture has been proved to be a source of great profit. It
will be again, whenever in this country groves can be reared. The
culture of the pine-apple will be found to be of equal worth with that
of the orange.

The pine is said to mature its fruit from the slips, when they are well
set out, in about eighteen months, and their stocks will continue to
bear for several years. One acre of land will produce some 40,000 pines,
and the sale of this fruit is made in market at say from _ten to
eighteen dollars per hundred_.

Moreover, the fruit from the pine plants of South Florida need not be
plucked till it has matured on its stock. It will therefore come into
market in a more mature condition, and of finer flavor than any that can
elsewhere be grown. It will bring the highest market prices; and the
fruit of this kind that has already been grown, by competent judges is
said to be of the best quality.

The lands which are adapted to this culture are, indeed, of limited
extent; but there are sufficient to supply the home market.

These facts, together with the salubrity of the fruit-growing region,
must ere long attract attention from the public. Thousands, in that mild
and equable climate, might there live and labor, and enjoy a ripe old
age, who must soon die, amid the vicissitudes of the climate in the
north.

Admitting that the pine-apple, on account of risks in transportation and
cost in getting to market, should be worth only about one-half the
market price in the field, yet an acre of thrifty, well cultivated
pines will yield from $1500 to $2000 per annum. At five cents each, the
product of an acre of pine-fruit would be $2000.

These calculations show the great value of the pine lands and other
fruit soil of Tropical Florida. These facts have but to be known, to be
understood and appreciated. They indicate the great resources of South
Florida, in the soil of its tropical fruit lands, which is a region of
country lying some forty miles south of Cape Carnavaral.



CHAPTER III.

ST. AUGUSTINE AS A PLACE OF RESORT FOR INVALIDS.


ADVANTAGES OF CLIMATE.

This city enjoys many advantages in respect to climate, which are
peculiar. The same may be true of the climate of the Florida peninsula
in general. An intelligent correspondent of the Army and Navy Chronicle,
in an interesting article, thus writes of the climate of Florida:

“Florida, from its position, lying just north of the Tropic of Cancer,
and being nearly surrounded by water, would be judged to possess one of
the blandest and most equable climates in the world. And such, in fact,
for several months in the year, is found to be the case.

“In the interior and upper portions, the variations in the annual
temperature are considerable--80 and 90 degrees. The diurnal variations
are considerable. On the sea-coast and in the lower part of the
territory, where regular trade-winds prevail, the temperature is so much
less variable, that the islands about capes Florida and Sable are in
this respect unexcelled perhaps by any other region of the globe.”

Dr. Forry,[16] U. S. A., thus writes of the climate of this
region:--“Among the various systems of climate presented in the United
States, that of the peninsula of Florida is wholly peculiar. Possessing
an insular temperature, not less equable and salubrious in winter than
that afforded by the south of Europe, it will be seen that invalids
requiring a mild winter residence, have gone to foreign lands in search
of what might have been found at home. Florida therefore merits the
attention of physicians at the north; for here the pulmonary invalid may
exchange for the inclement seasons of the north, or the deteriorated
atmosphere of a room to which he may be confined, the mild, equable
temperature, the soft, balmy breezes of an evergreen land.”

“For many years,” says Dr. Wardeman, “afflicted with phthisis, and
compelled to pass the last seven winters in the West Indies and the
southern parts of Florida, we have been necessarily placed in
communication with numerous invalids similarly affected, many of whom
were under our professional care; and from personal experience and the
observation of others, we have had ample opportunities for comparing the
effects of different climates on the disease. Premising that we have
passed five winters in Cuba, one at Key West, and one at Enterprise,
East Florida. Florida has the advantage over Italy, in having no
mountain ranges covered during winter with snows; the cold blasts from
the Apennines and the Jura mountains, rendering a large portion of Italy
and southern France unfit for invalids unable to bear a sudden and great
increase of temperature.”

Dr. Bernard Byrne thus writes of the climate of Florida (see the
National Intelligencer of May 18th, 1843): “Taking it the year round,
the climate of East Florida is much more agreeable than any other in the
United States, or even than that of Italy. In the southern portion of
the peninsula frost is never (rarely) felt; even so far north as the
Suwanee River, there are generally but three or four nights in a whole
winter that ice as thick as a quarter of a dollar is formed. The winter
weather is delightful in East Florida, beyond description. It very much
resembles that season which in the Middle States is termed “Indian
Summer;” except that in Florida the sky is perfectly clear, and the
atmosphere more dry and elastic.”

We now will consider the climate of St. Augustine in particular. There
is circulated a sentiment prejudicial to the virtue of the climate of
St. Augustine, as a resort for invalids in search of health. This may be
all very natural, when the interest north of this city, served by the
traveling public, is considered; but it is not just. Experience usually
contradicts this sentiment. It is encountered under various exaggerated
forms of statement, all along the southern inland route. In the face of
declarations designed to forestall opinion against the place, however,
many have persevered, and found experience the wisest counselor.

Says a correspondent to the Florida Herald, 1848: “I have occasionally
been in the interior. In every instance, however, I have found the
climate of this city preferable on the whole. The same is true of every
place I have visited south, if I except the climate of south or tropical
Florida, which I believe to be without a parallel.”

These remarks on the nature of the climate, exhibiting its advantages,
are founded on the experience and observation of individuals who have
thoroughly tested its virtues, and who were capable of forming and of
expressing an intelligent opinion--many of these writers being called,
in the course of professional duty, to analyze and study the nature and
effects of climate.

Let me suggest certain peculiarities, which impart to the climate of St.
Augustine peculiar advantages over any interior or more northern
locality, and which are properties peculiarly favorable to a restoration
of impaired health.

During the winter months, the extremes of temperature, though the
transitions are somewhat more sudden, are nevertheless not so great here
as in the interior. This peculiarity follows a law of climate, which,
both north and south, causes it to be _warmer in the neighborhood of the
sea in winter_, than in regions remote therefrom. It is also cooler in
summer.

The east winds here are far different from the east winds at the north.
Though somewhat raw and gusty, they are nevertheless shorn of their
intensity, and greatly modified, in their passage across and along the
Gulf stream. They thus lose very much of their asperity, and would
hardly be recognized by a New Englander, being usually unattended with
rain. In summer, the air is neither so hot nor as sultry as it is
inland, where respiration is attended with a suffocating sensation. The
atmosphere of the sea-coast is not so highly rarefied. The process of
evaporation, which is perpetually going on, tends to equalize
temperature, and so to adapt the atmosphere to the action of the
respiratory organs, that one breathes freely and easily. By the same
process, the intensity of the heat is greatly abated. The afternoons and
evenings are invariably cool and refreshing.

The atmosphere exhilarates. On one’s energies and spirits, it acts as a
stimulus, so that one does not suffer from lassitude here, as is usual
at the north. The nights are refreshing in the hottest season. This
remark is true, I believe, only of the atmosphere in the neighborhood of
the sea, amid the coast climate. Indeed, the whole body of the
atmosphere on the coast is more pure and healthful than in the interior;
and is believed also to be medicinal in its effects. The various
chemical ingredients of the atmosphere on the coast, are powerful
disinfecting agents, which are perpetually elaborated, from the
prodigious evaporation and other chemical combinations of the mineral
waters of the sea, whose grand elements are _soda_ and _chlorine_. These
impart to the atmosphere healing power and medicinal virtue. The sea and
the sun are laboratories of healthful energy and influence, which are
projected into this atmosphere from natural resources, and which are
taken into the system by the ordinary process of respiration. For _these
reasons_, invalids have often experienced as great, if not greater
benefit, from a summer residence here, than from a winter sojourn.
Disease, taken in its incipient stages, may be eradicated, under the
influence of the climate alone, aided by the “_vis medicatrix naturæ_.”
Air and exercise are the chief medicines required.


CLASS OF DISEASES REACHED AND FAVORABLY AFFECTED BY THIS CLIMATE.

In relation to this interesting point of inquiry, the opinions and
reasoning of Dr. Samuel Forry (in the Journal of Medical Science, in the
year 1841) are full and explicit. _Bronchitis._--“The advantage of a
winter residence in a more southern latitude, as respects this disease,
becomes at once apparent.

“If the invalid can avoid the transition of the seasons, that
meteorological condition of the atmosphere which stands first among the
causes that induce catarrhal lesions, he will do much towards
controlling the malady.

“As regards the change of climate, it will be observed that in the
advantages enumerated, reference is made only to _chronic bronchitis_.

“The climate of Florida has been found beneficial in cases of incipient
pulmonary consumption, and those threatened with disease from hereditary
or acquired indisposition. It is in _chronic bronchial_ affections more
particularly that it speedily manifests its salutary tendency.

“But there are other forms of disease, in which such a climate as that
of East Florida is not unfrequently of decided advantage. To this class
belongs _asthma_.

“In chronic disorders of the digestive organs, where no inflammation
exists, or structural changes have supervened in viscera important to
life, but the indication is merely to remove disease of a functional
character, a winter’s residence promises great benefit; but exercise in
the open air, aided by a _proper regimen_, are indispensable adjuncts.

“In many of those obscure affections called nervous, unconnected with
inflammation, exercise and traveling in this climate, are frequently
powerful and efficient remedies.

“_Chronic rheumatism_, though apparently much less under the influence
of meteorological causes than pulmonic affections, will be often
benefited by a winter residence in Florida. As these cases often resist
the best directed efforts of medicines, it is the only remedy which the
northern physician can recommend with a reasonable prospect of success.

“When there exists a general delicacy of the constitution in
_childhood_, often the rubeola, or scarlatina manifesting itself by
symptoms indicative of a scrofulous disposition, a winter residence in a
warm climate frequently produces the most salutary effects.

“Another form of disease remains to be alluded to, in which change of
climate promises healing power, viz.: _premature decay_ of the
_constitution_, characterized by general evidence of deteriorated
health, whilst some tissue or organ important to life commonly manifests
symptoms of abnormal action. This remarkable change occurs without any
obvious cause, and is not unappropriately termed in common parlance, ‘a
breaking up of the constitution.’ In treating of the climate of Florida,
the primary object held in view, is to direct attention to its fitness
as a winter residence for northern invalids.

“A comparison with the most favored situation on the continent of Europe
and the islands held in the highest estimation for mildness and
equability of climate, affords results in no way disparaging. A
comparison of the mean temperature of winter and summer, that of the
coldest and warmest months and seasons, furnishes results generally in
favor of the Peninsula of Florida.

“On the coast of Florida, the average number of fair days, is about 250;
while in the Northern States, the average number of fair days per annum,
is about 120. Though climate is one of the most powerful remedial
agents, and one, too, which in many cases will admit no substitute, yet
much permanent advantage will not result, either from traveling or
change of climate, unless the invalid adheres strictly to such regimen
as his case may require.

“The attention of many persons suffering with pulmonary diseases having
been directed to the southern section of the United States, as a
temporary residence for the benefit of their health, and there being
much diversity of sentiment as to the location most proper for attaining
this desirable end, I propose to offer to the public some facts derived
from personal observation. Having in the early part of last year been
the subject of an attack, that threatened a rapid termination in
consumption, the unanimous opinions of several of my medical friends
concurred with my own judgment, to induce me to avoid the vicissitudes
of the approaching winter in our varying climate; and I felt compelled
to make an effort, which to every appearance was to decide the event of
my disease.

“St. Augustine in East Florida, was the place to which my views had been
directed, and I arrived there soon after the commencement of the present
year. A few days’ residence convinced me of the efficacy of the climate
in promoting my own health; and from the observations I was continually
enabled to make, in reference to the invalids who had resorted there,
from motives similar to my own, I became assured of the excellent
effects of the climate: and am fully satisfied, that although prudence
would have dictated a removal two months earlier in the season, the
present great improvement of my health is to be attributed almost wholly
to having substituted for the variations of our own latitude, the
mildness of that favored region. St. Augustine is the most southern
location[17] _on our_ extensive seaboard to which a valetudinarian can
resort, with any prospect of obtaining the attentions and comforts
requisite for the improvement of health.

“The climate of St. Augustine, seems peculiarly adapted to the
improvement of patients with consumptive chronic affections of the
lungs, asthma, spitting of blood, rheumatism, and dyspepsia. It is a
fact worthy of remark, that though it is universally acknowledged the
advanced stages of pulmonary consumption are often beyond the power of
medical skill to produce restoration, yet most of those who resort to a
change of climate for cure, reject the advantages to be derived from the
removal, until the disease shall have made such extensive ravages as to
render hopeless every prospect of renovation.

“Many cases of this nature I had an opportunity of observing during the
last winter; and, in some instances, the patients seemed to have
hastened from their homes whilst the last glimmerings of life only
remained.

“The benefit of the climate of St. Augustine will be particularly
evident in the incipient stages of those affections, for the cure of
which it has been celebrated; and those invalids who contemplate a
removal thither, ought not to allow the commencement of winter to
surprise them whilst preparing for departure.

“The glowing, and even exaggerated reports of this climate, that have
been given by some persons of lively imagination, have occasioned
disappointment to a few whose expectations had been greatly excited.
Nevertheless, I am persuaded, generally, a residence there during the
winter season will contribute much to the advantage of every stage of
pulmonary affections.” _Extracts from a Circular published in
Philadelphia, 1830, by James Cox, M. D._

TEMPERATURE.

TABLES OF THE COMPARATIVE AND ABSOLUTE TEMPERATURE OF THIS CITY.

TABLE I.

_Exhibiting a Comparison between the Mean Temperature of the most
favorite Resorts for Health in other Countries and that of St.
Augustine--Fahrenheit’s Thermometer._

      MEAN DIFFERENCE OF THE       | MEAN ANNUAL RANGE.
        SUCCESSIVE MONTHS.         |
                                   |
                           deg.    |                deg.
    Pisa,                  5.75    |Naples,          64
    Nice,                  4.74    |Nice,            60
    Rome,                  4.39    |Rome,            62
    Penzance, Eng.,        3.5     |Penzance,        49
    Madeira,               2.41    |Madeira,         --
    St. Augustine, Flor.,  3.55    |St. Augustine,   59


TABLE II.

_Exhibition of the Mean Temperature of each Month at St. Augustine, East
Florida--Years 1825, 1828, 1830._

                    deg.
    January,       62.15
    February,      64.97
    March,         66.53
    April,         68.68
    May,           76.44
    June,          81.12
    July,          82.36
    August,        82.68
    September,     77.55
    October,       73.61
    November,      67.47
    December,      61.31


TABLE III.

_Exhibition of the Mean Annual Monthly Range for the same Years._

Annual range, 59°.

                  deg.
    January,       35
    February,      30
    March,         25
    April,         31
    May,           20
    June,          17
    July,          14
    August,        12
    September,     14
    October,       22
    November,      22
    December,      36

TABLE IV.

TROPICAL FLORIDA.

_Northern Limits of the Tropical Fruit-growing Region--Fort Pierce,
Indian River Inlet._[18]


ABSTRACT FOR ONE YEAR.

From Meteorological Reports on file in the Surgeon General’s Office.

June 16th, 1848.

                           |Hot-|Cold-
                           |test|est |                   WINDS.              |
  MONTHS     THERMOMETER   |day.|day.|                                       |
           ----------------+----+----+---------------------------------------+
  1840     High-|Low-|Mean |Mean|Mean| N. |N.W.|N.E.| E. |S.E.| S. |S.W.| W. |
            est°|est°|     | T. | T. |d’ys|d’ys|d’ys|d’ys|d’ys|d’ys|d’ys|d’ys|
  ==============+====+=====+====+====+====+====+====+====+====+====+====+====+
  April,     86 | 68 |74.07| 78 | 69 |  8 | -  |  3 |  4 |  2 | 10 |  2 |  1 |
  May,       90 | 65 |76.43| 82 | 70 |  5 | -  |  3 |  7 |  8 |  2 |  6 |  - |
  June,      90 | 70 |78.61| 82 | 74 |  2 | -  |  7 |  2 |  9 |  4 |  3 |  3 |
  July,      88 | 72 |79.61| 81+| 76+|  - | -  |  1 | 13 |  6½|  2 |  - |  8½|
  August,    88 | 72 |78.95| 83 | 75+|  - | -  |  1½|  5½| 13½|  6 |  1 |  3½|
  September, 90 | 72 |78.65| 82 | 75+|  - | -  | 13½|  9½|  6 |  ½ |  ½ |  - |
  October,   80 | 62 |75.88| 78 | 64 |  ½ | 3½ |  8 |  9½|  3 |  3½|  1 |  2 |
  November,  73 | 44 |64.40| 70 | 51+|  2 | 7  |  8 |  2 |  9½|  1½|  - |  - |
  December,  72 | 46 |61.51| 68 | 48 |  - | 4  | 15½|  1½|  6½|  2 |  - |  ½ |
  January,   84 | 38 |66.13| 76 | 47+|  ½ | 3½ |  3 |  6 | 14½|  - |  - |  3½|
  February,  82 | 32 |63.18| 76 | 41+|  3½| 3  |  4½|  4½| 13 |  1 |  - |  1½|
  March,     80 | 48 |67.19| 74+| 54+|  4 | 4  |  4½|  9 |  5½|  ½ |  1 |  2½|


                |      WEATHER.        | Rain.
  MONTHS        |                      |
                +----------------------+-------
  1840          |Fair|Cl’dy|Rain.|Sn’w.|
                |d’ys|d’ys.|d’ys.|d’ys.|Inches.
  ==============+====+=====+=====+=====+=======
  April,        | 25 |  1  |  4  |  -  |No instrument
  May,          | 26 |  -  |  5  |  -  |to measure rain.
  June,         | 25 |  -  |  5  |  -  |
  July,         | 26 |  5  |  -  |  -  |
  August,       | 20½| 10½ |  -  |  -  |
  September,    | 19½| 10½ |  -  |  -  |
  October,      | 24½|  6½ |  -  |  -  |
  November,     | 18 | 12  |  -  |  -  |
  December,     | 15 | 16  |  -  |  -  |
  January,      | 24½|  6½ |  -  |  -  |
  February,     | 25½|  2½ |  -  |  -  |
  March,        | 26 |  5  |  -  |  -  |

[Illustration: MAGNOLIA HOUSE, ST. AUGUSTINE E.F.]


ADVANTAGES OF ACCOMMODATION.

The accommodations for invalids, in this city, are comparable with any
that can be furnished in this region, and will be ample.

There are four public houses, two of which, in regard to style,
convenience, and comfort, will compare well with any like
establishments.

The “Magnolia House,” erected by B. E. Carr, is a spacious and
attractive resort. Its style of architecture is neat; its grounds are
laid out with taste; its location is eligible. Its host was trained in
one of the best establishments of the city of New-York, and of course
understands well how both to _satisfy_ and _please_ those who make his
house the home of their sojourn. The Magnolia House, though recently
opened for public accommodation, it has been found necessary
considerably to enlarge. This work its enterprising proprietor is now
engaged upon. It will be also modified so as to suit the convenience and
meet the wants of the public, by affording many comforts and
conveniences not generally attached to a hotel. Seventeen additional
rooms, with a new and spacious dining hall, are to be added, which in
many respects will make it one of the most desirable places of sojourn
for families and travelers in this city, as well as for invalids.

The “Planters’ Hotel” is a spacious and convenient public house, well
adapted to the accommodation of the public. This large establishment is
to be opened the ensuing fall, under the supervision of its present
proprietor, Mr. Loring. The “Florida House,” on the side opposite, is a
large, well-kept establishment, belonging to Mr. Cole; the “City Hotel,”
under Mr. Bridier, is also open.

There are several neat private residences, where strangers and
sojourners can be accommodated, at reasonable prices. The boarding
establishment of Mrs. Reid is an attractive establishment, capable of
accommodating many persons, both families and single.

The residence of Mrs. Dr. Anderson is conspicuous on the avenue leading
over the bridge near the St. Sebastian River. It is built of the native
coquina rock, and was embosomed in a grove of young orange trees, of
which the decaying stumps and sickly shoots are all that remain,
together with the hedge of Spanish bayonet, which inclosed it. These
suffice to designate “Markland,” though shorn of its glory--which is
partially supplied by a grove of olive trees now in bearing.

“Yallaha” is the neat cottage residence of P. B. Dunnas. It is the
Indian word for orange. Yallaha is situated on the river St. Sebastian,
and is distinguished for the beauty and healthfulness of its position,
and also for the delicious strawberries which enrich its blushing
gardens in the month of March.

It was in orange times the site of a beautiful and extensive grove of
trees, variegated with green foliage and golden fruit and fragrant
blossoms.

It is the purpose of the proprietor to erect on his grounds commodious
boarding establishments.


RECREATION AND AMUSEMENT.

This city contains a small circle of intelligent and cultivated society.
It is not as yet deformed with the arts and moral conveniences of more
fashionable circles, in the higher walks of life. It needs not the
blandishments--it dreads not the encroachments which, if tolerated in
higher circles, would dissipate the fictitious colors that glow to
deceive around fashionable intercourse. Its very simplicity is at once
its greatest charm and surest defence against impertinent intrusion. The
city affords comfortable, if not elegant homes, to the invalid
sojourner, both in public houses and private families, through which he
will have a more or less direct connection with the avenues to the
Anglo-American society. Excellent medical aid can here be commanded,
from resident members of the profession; and the institutions of
religion can be enjoyed under the several forms of the Episcopal,
Presbyterian, Methodist, and Roman Catholic churches. The invalid will
here find a home in his sojourn, where he will meet with some of the
advantages which distinguish the more cultivated circles of northern
society.

The sportsman, with his line and gun, can satisfy his largest desires in
the way of game and angling. The boatman has a spacious harbor and the
broad Atlantic open to him for health and pleasure, though it must be
confessed that _good boats_ are in great demand without a supply.

The active, agile “_Indian Pony_,” is a luxury to those who seek health
in horsemanship. In the neighborhood, on the estate of Capt. Hanham, of
the ordnance department, are springs, which are alleged to contain
mineral waters; and to which invalids sometimes ride in a conveyance the
proprietor has had fitted up, and runs for that purpose.

And then pleasure excursions over the beach are frequent. A boatman with
his crew are secured the day beforehand, a party having been made up for
such an expedition.

The boatman and crew are usually negroes. The party having provided
themselves with a lunch, apparatus for making coffee, knives and forks,
and other necessary and useful articles for an oyster pic-nic, embark in
the morning. They wend their way across the harbor, debark, and arrange
matters so as that the scattered fragments of the expedition shall be
gathered at the proper time and place, to partake of the refreshments,
and then disperse,--some for the light-house, and others for the
quarry--while the boat’s crew are left to collect oysters, and gather
fuel for the roast on the beach.

When the repast has been finished, the party return, loaded with
specimens of rocks and natural history, fatigued, indeed, but gratified
and benefited. This excursion is both pleasant and useful; and should
the resort to this watering place for health increase as it has been
doing, there doubtless will be afforded greater facilities for more
extended and healthful water excursions: such expeditions, whether for
shell or fish, in this climate being healthful and pleasant. Ordinarily,
exposure does not induce colds, and may be taken without risk.

The moonlight walks, are truly delightful beyond description. Those who
reside at the north, and have never beheld, can have no adequate
conception of a moonlight scene on the coast of Florida. A recent writer
thus speaks of it: “The nocturnal aspect of the heavens differs from a
northern one, in the same manner that two paintings may differ, the
warmth and richness of the one contrasting with the coldness and poverty
of the other.” It is no unusual thing for ladies to appear abroad on the
public promenade, in their light, loose, flowing dresses, without shawl
or bonnet, with denuded neck and arms, till near midnight, and not
suffer the least risk or inconvenience. Nature, in silence, majesty, and
beauty, invites her children to enjoy her moonlight luxuries. She fans
them with soft and fragrant breezes. She allures them into the open air,
and charms them with the gorgeous magnificence of the nocturnal scene,
in which every object, earth, sea, and sky, are made to glow in rich and
pure effulgence. Who can restrain himself from the enjoyment of health
and exercise, amid such attractions? and that, too, without peril from
evening dews and tainted atmosphere?

The maiden and her lover, the matron and her spouse, the youth and
children, alike participate in the enjoyment of these natural luxuries;
and make the welkin ring at midnight often, with the merry peal of joy
and life, or with the notes of music, accompanied with the soft
mellifluous strains of the guitar and viol.

There are various customs, relics of Popish superstition and Spanish
practice, yet prevalent in the city.


CARNIVAL.

Carnival is here observed, though not with its ancient excess of folly.
This is a religious festival, observed in Roman Catholic countries, as a
season of feasting, by which another religious festival called Lent is
introduced. It is usually celebrated “by feasts, operas, balls,
concerts, &c.” In this city it is celebrated by masquerade dances by
night, idle and frivolous street sport, in processions of vagrant men
and boys, disguised in masks and grotesque array by daylight.

A most ridiculous burlesque is exhibited in honor of St. Peter, the
fisherman of Galilee, by which his professional skill in the use of the
net is attempted to be illustrated. This is the closing farce of the
feast of carnival. The description of this, as it passed under the eye
of the author at the very last carnival, may suffice to give a stranger
some idea of its folly.

As I passed along one of the narrow streets of the city, my attention
was arrested by the various exclamations and boisterous cries of a
motley crowd of black and white, who thronged the street, occasionally
surging to the right hand and left.

I was at first at a loss to account for it. On a nearer approach, I
perceived two half-grown men heading a rabble of boys and others, with
the face masked and concealed, and the person attired in a coarse,
shabby fisher’s dress. Over the shoulder of each was flung a common
Spanish net. Whenever a boy black or white came within range of a cast,
the net was suddenly spread, and thrown over the lad’s head so as to
inclose his person. There was seldom more than one throw of the net; and
if it were not successful, it was seldom repeated on the same
individual. Thus the streets were beset till the farce--the solemn
farce--in illustration of the call of Peter to become a “fisher of men”
was ended.


SHERIVAREE.

On an evening after the celebration of the nuptials of an inhabitant of
the city, who has been before married, and thus emerges from a state of
widowhood, the welkin is made to ring with a most discordant concert of
voices, horns, tin pans, and other boisterous sounds. It is an
excessively annoying exhibition, to say nothing of its ill-manners, and
gross violation of the peace and good order of society. The whole city
is usually disturbed by such riot and confusion, as in any orderly
community would consign the perpetrators to a guardhouse, or prison,
till they had taken some practical lessons in decency. This is what is
here termed Sherivaree. The residence of the newly married pair is beset
by the rabble in some cases, till it is bought off with money, or
whisky.

There are some other customs and practices growing out of the foreign
extraction of the city, and connected with religious festivals, and
which are the relics of the past, that are now passing rapidly away.


FACILITIES OF COMMUNICATION.

There are two routes, by which invalid strangers from the north may
reach this city.

The one is direct by sea, from either Charleston or New-York; the other
is by the inland steam and stage route. The former is occasional; the
latter is always available, though there is some prospect that a direct
communication will be opened, and sustained between this city and
Charleston ere long.

The voyage from New-York, by sailing or steam-packet, through to
Charleston or Savannah, is the most reliable and expeditious. Twice a
week, steamboats connect between Savannah and the St. John’s River, at
Picolata. The distance from Picolata to St. Augustine, is over land, and
about eighteen miles. This distance is overcome by stage-coach, and a
new and convenient omnibus the present proprietor of the line, Mr.
Bridier, has just had completed for that route. Passengers are met by
these conveyances, and usually reach St. Augustine by 4 o’clock P. M.,
and often about noon. There is an inland steam connection between
Charleston, S. C., and Savannah, Ga., with which the Florida boats
connect twice in a week.

The most expeditious and economical route to Florida is that by which
the traveler takes passage direct from New-York to Savannah, where he
will be received by the steamer, with his baggage, and brought into
Florida and landed within eighteen miles of St. Augustine; the distance
to which, from Savannah, is 218 miles.

The passage from Savannah, especially over the waters of the noble river
of the St. John’s, is pleasant and instructive. The lover of nature--the
curious stranger--may each be gratified. In passing along this route,
the traveler will get a “bird’s-eye view” of a considerable portion of
the southern country, on the seaboard. The plantations--marshes--and
peculiar varieties of trees, among which the noted cabbage-tree will be
conspicuous--creeks--inlets--and the various specimens of natural
history--the alligator--and peculiar species of water-fowl met with--and
the various contrasts between northern and southern habits, as presented
in agricultural life--will be novelties, more or less interesting and
instructive to the curious traveler. Many prejudices will be
dissipated--many errors will be corrected--many contrasts will be
presented.

FINIS.

       *       *       *       *       *


FOOTNOTES:

 [1] TRANSLATION.--“Don Ferdinand the Sixth being King of
 Spain, and the Field Marshal, Don Alonzo Fernandos de Herida being
 Governor and Captain General of this place, St. Augustine of Florida
 and its province, this fortress was finished in the year 1756. The
 works were directed by the Capt. Engineer, Don Pedro de Brazas y
 Garay.”--_See Williams’s Hist. Flor._

 [2] Sprague’s Hist. War in Florida.

 [3] Bauer.

 [4] Johnson’s Life of General Green.

 [5] As there are some slight variations among historians in respect
 to the order of the events in the destruction and overthrow of the
 colony on the St. John’s and of this massacre, I have inclined to the
 numerical preponderance of historical proof, inclining to Bancroft,
 reconciling the several particulars.

 [6] Williams.

 [7] Bancroft’s Hist. U. S. A.

 [8] Ibid.

 [9] Family Library.

 [10] Cohen.

 [11] Stephen’s Hist. Geo., art. in Southern Quarterly; April No. 1848.

 [12] Spanish accounts say less than this.

 [13] It is more than probable that the American government connived
 at, if it did not encourage, these transactions.--EDITOR.

 [14] It is well known that the Spanish governor of West Florida
 attempted to withhold from the United States the public papers,
 and that Governor Jackson was under the necessity of resorting to
 compulsory measures to obtain them.

 The same disposition was exhibited by the governor of the East.
 Captain Hanham had been appointed sheriff of East Florida, and was
 dispatched for St. Augustine, and required to be there in seventeen
 days. He arrived within the given time, and applied to Governor
 Coppinger for the public records. The governor declined, and gave him
 to understand that he should resist his authority. Understanding that
 a vessel lay in the offing ready to receive the papers and convey them
 to Cuba, Hanham forced his way into the governor’s room. There he
 found the papers nearly all packed in eleven strong boxes. He seized
 them all, and delivered them over into the hands of the collector
 of the United States. It was afterwards found that the papers thus
 rescued were of the greatest importance to the United States.

 These summary proceedings created an excitement at the time, which
 however soon passed away.

 [15] This was told the author as coming from the lips of the man who
 was the subject of this anecdote, who still lives.

 [16] Author of a standard work on climate, and of the highest
 professional authority.

 [17] There are now points in South Florida in a tropical climate,
 where preparations are being made for the accommodation of invalid
 strangers. The banks of the Indian River, St. Lucia Sound, and the
 Miami, possess advantages over any other place in this country.

 [18] The region of fruit of tropical growth is clearly defined by the
 appearance and change in the vegetable kingdom, especially by the
 mangrove tree.

 The eye will detect the line of demarcation, as one sails along Indian
 River northward. The Table No. IV. indicates the temperature of the
 climate where this region begins.





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