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Title: A Guide-Book of Florida and the South for Tourists, Invalids and Emigrants
Author: Brinton, Daniel G. (Daniel Garrison)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Guide-Book of Florida and the South for Tourists, Invalids and Emigrants" ***

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                   [Illustration: Map of St. John River]




                          FLORIDA AND THE SOUTH,


                       TOURISTS, INVALIDS AND EMIGRANTS,

                       WITH A MAP OF THE ST. JOHN RIVER,

                     BY DANIEL G. BRINTON, A. M., M. D.,

                     GEORGE MACLEAN, 719 SANSOM STREET.

                          JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA:

                              COLUMBUS DREW.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

PHILADELPHIA, _August, 1869_.



Preface                                                              iii

Contents                                                              iv


1. Season for Southern Travel                                          9

2. Preparations for the Journey                                       10


1. Steamship Lines                                                    13

2. Washington to Richmond                                             14

3. Richmond to Charleston                                             18

4. Aiken, S. C., and the Southern Highlands                           22

5. Charleston to Savannah                                             26

6. Savannah to Jacksonville                                           29


1. Historical                                                         32

2. Books and Maps                                                     35

3. Physical Geography of Florida. 1. Geographical Formation.
   2. Soil and Crops. 3. Climate and Health.
   4. Vegetable and Animal Life                                          37

4. The St. John River and St. Augustine (Indian River,)               52

5. Jacksonville to Tallahassee, Quincy, and St. Marks                 81

6. The Oklawaha River and the Silver Spring                           88

7. Fernandina to Cedar Keys                                           93

8. Key West, the Florida Keys and the Gulf Coast                      97

9. The Western Coast (Tampa, Apalachicola, Pensacola,
Mobile)                                                              106


I.     When is a change of climate advisable?                        115

II.   What climate shall be chosen?                                  120

III. Where is the best Southern winter climate?                      128

IV. Some hints to Health-Seekers                                     130




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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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


Distance, 130 miles; time 7.30 hours.

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

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

Beyond Fredericksburg a number of stations are passed--none of any size.
The distance to Richmond is 60 miles.


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

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

_Telegraph Offices_ in Spottswood and Exchange Hotels.

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

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

_Booksellers._--West & Johnson, 1006 Main St., (Brinton’s _Guide-Book_.)

_Churches_ of all denominations.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

_Hotels._--Griswold Hotel, Gregory’s Hotel, both $3 per day.

_Boarding House_ by Mrs Tompkins, $2 per day.

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

_Hotels._--Purcell House, $4 per day; Fulton House, $3 per day.

_Boarding Houses._--McRea House, Brock’s Exchange, about $2 per day,
$40.00 per month.

_Newspapers._--_Post_, republican, _Journal_, democratic.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

_Telegraph Office_, on Broad near Church Street; branch office in
Charleston Hotel.

_Post Office_, on Hazel Street, near Meeting.

_Churches._--Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Huguenot, Methodist, &c.

_Theatre_, at the corner of King and Market Streets.

_Bathing Houses._--One of salt water near the battery; two, with water
of the artesian well, one at the well, the other in the Charleston

_Livery Stable_, 21 Pinckney Street, connected with the Charleston

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

_Physician._--Dr. Geo. Caulier, 158 Meeting Street.

_Newspapers._--The Daily _Courier_, the Daily _News_.

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

_Bookseller._--John Russell, 288 King street. (Brinton’s _Guide-Book_.)

_Libraries._--Charleston library, 30,000 vols.; Apprentices’ library,
12,000 vols.

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

One of the best known and most eligible is


Distance from Charleston, by the South Carolina Railroad, 120 miles.
Time 8 hours. Two trains daily. Fare $6.

_Hotels._--The Aiken Hotel, H. Smyser, proprietor. Engage rooms a week
ahead. Fare, $3.00 per day. A Sanitarium is in process of construction
on a beautiful eminence west of the town.

_Boarding_ can be obtained in a number of private families.

_Telegraph_ station at the depot.

_Livery Stables_, two. Horse and buggy, $4.00 per day; saddle horse,
$2.50 per day.

_Churches._--Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist.

The town has about 1,500 inhabitants, though the passing traveler would
not think so, as the railroad passes through a deep cut, which conceals
most of the houses. Whites and blacks are about equal in number. The
streets are wide, sandy, and not very neat.

The site is on the ridge which divides the valleys of the Edisto and
Savannah rivers. At this point the elevation is 600 feet above sea
level. The loose soil of siliceous sand and red clay, and the rapid
declivities, insure an excellent drainage. The water is clear, and
contains some traces of iron and magnesia, rather beneficial than

The climate is agreeable in both winter and summer. The mean temperature
of the year is 62 degrees Fahrenheit; of the three winter months 46.5,
45 and 50 degrees. The thermometer rarely registers under 20 degrees.
Rain falls to the depth of 37 inches annually, the wettest season being
in summer. Frosts commence about the middle of November, and cease about
the last of March. The prevailing winds are southerly in summer,
easterly and northerly in winter. The dew point is always low,
indicating a dry atmosphere. Malarial diseases are asserted to be
entirely unknown.

The soil is lauded, and with justness, for its fitness for fruit
culture. Orchards, vineyards and garden plots are exceedingly
productive, but the more staple crops do not correspond in excellence.
The wines of Aiken have long been known in commerce. Though not high
flavored, with none of the _bouquet_ which lends such value to the
vintages of the Upper Rhine, they are a pure and healthy beverage. It
must be remembered that agriculture, in the sense of the word in
Pennsylvania and New York, is almost an unknown art in this part of the

Except its advantages in connection with health, Aiken offers little to
attract the tourist. In the stone quarries near the railroad the
geologist can collect some very good specimens of fossil shells and
corals from the tertiary limestone. The buhr mill-stone abounds in this
region, and has been successfully tried in mills. Prof. Tuomey in a
report on the geology of the State pronounces these equal to the best
French stones. They have, however, never been put in the market with

The wine cellars, especially that of Mr. Walker, will have attractions
for those who delight to please the pallet with the juice of the grape.
And the porcelain works near by, where stone ware is manufactured from
the kaolin clay, may form the objective point of a pleasant excursion.
If one’s inclinations are to sport, a ride of a few miles from town in
any direction will bring one to good partridge cover, while the numerous
streams in the vicinity are fairly stocked with trout, jack, bream and
perch. Pic-nics in the pine woods, and excursions over the hills always
supply ladies with means of inhaling the healthful air and enjoying
invigorating exercise.


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

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

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

_Bathing House_ on Alabama street, near U. S. Hotel.

_Circulating Library_ at the Young Men’s Library Association on Broad

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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


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

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


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

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

_Post Office and Telegraph Office_ on Bay street, near the Pulaski

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

_Livery Stables_ are connected with all the hotels.

_Restaurants._--The best is the Restaurant Francais, in Whitaker Street,
between Bay and Bryan Streets.

_Newspapers._--Daily _Savannah News_, Daily _Morning News_.

_Bookstores._--J. Schreiner & Co., near the Pulaski House. (Brinton’s
_Guide-Book_, _Historical Record of Savannah_.)

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

       *       *       *       *       *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Excursions._--Several days can be passed extremely pleasantly in short
excursions from the city. One of the most interesting of these will be

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




Long before Columbus saw

    “the dashing,
      Surges of San Salvador,”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

PARKMAN, _Pioneers of France in the New World_. This contains an
admirably written account of the Huguenot colony on the St. John.

FAIRBANKS, _The Spaniards in Florida_. (Published by Columbus Drew,
Jacksonville, Florida.) An excellent historical account of the Spanish

SPRAGUE, _History of the Florida War_. This is a correct and vivid
narrative of the struggle with the Seminoles. The book is now rarely met
with in the trade.

GEN. GEORGE A. MCCALL, _Letters from the Frontiers_. (Lippincott & Co.,
Philadelphia, 1868.) These letters are mostly from Florida, and contain
many interesting pictures of army life and natural scenery there.

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

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

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

_On the Antiquities of the Peninsula._ Prof. Jeffries Wyman, of Harvard
College, published, not long since, a very excellent article in the
second volume of the _American Naturalist_.

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                KAROLUS ET JOANNA RE.

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

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

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

A few miles beyond the bluff the boat stops at


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

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


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

_Boarding Houses._--Mrs. Freeland, Mrs. Hodgson, Mrs. Alderman opposite
the Taylor House, and many others.

_Newspapers._ The _Florida Union_, repub.; _Mercury and Floridian_;
_Florida Land Register_.

_Bookseller._--COLUMBUS DREW, publisher of _Brinton’s Guide-Book of
Florida and the South_. Mr. Drew makes a specialty of keeping works on

_Churches_ of all the principal denominations.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

Three miles above Hibernia is


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

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


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

12 miles above green Cove on the left bank is


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


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


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

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

_Billiard Saloon_, at Delot’s Restaurant.

_Post Office_ on the Plaza, mail tri-weekly. Telegraph office near the
market house on the Plaza.

_Newspaper_--_St. Augustine Examiner_, weekly. _Reading Room_ at the
editor’s office, 25 cts. a week.

_Drug Store_--Dr. J. P. Mackay.

_Military Music_--On the Plaza every other night.

_Churches_--Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist chapel
opposite the Magnolia House, Colored Baptist.

_Bathing-House_, on Bay Street, white flag for ladies, red flag for
gentlemen, on alternate days. Season ticket $5.00.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

                    _Sancte Joseph,
                     Ora pro Nobis.
                      A. D., 1682._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Beyond this are _Goodman_ station, (fourteen miles), _Aucilla_, (seven
miles), and the _Junction_ (seven miles). At the latter a railway four
miles in length diverges to


The county seat of Jefferson county.

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

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

Leaving the Junction, the train stops at _Lloyd’s_ (nine miles),
_Chavies_, (six miles), and finally at


_Hotels._--City Hotel, Hagner house, about $3.00 a day.

_Newspapers._--The _Floridian and Journal_, Democrat, an old established
and ably conducted paper; the _Tallahassee Sentinel_, Republican,
likewise well edited.

_Churches_ of most denominations.

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

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


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

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

_Boarding House._--*Mrs. Ann Innes; same prices.

_Churches._--Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist.

_Newspaper._--The _Quincy Monitor_, a well conducted Journal.

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Twelve miles from the mouth the boat passes


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

Seventeen miles above Davenport’s Bluff are the


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

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


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

Twelve miles above is


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Silver Spring stages meet the boat for


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Twelve miles beyond Waldo is


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

_Newspaper._--The _New Era_, (Democrat).

_Two Livery Stables._

_Churches._--Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

_Churches._--Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Baptist, and Methodist.

_Bookseller._--R. P. Campbell, Duval Street, (northern weeklies,
Brinton’s _Guide-Book_).

_Newspaper._--Key West _Dispatch_, weekly, well edited. The Key West
Literary Association has a reading-room.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


_Hotels._--*Florida House, Orange Grove Hotel, both $2.00 per day,
$35.00 to $40.00 per month.

_Boarding Houses._--Several in number, from $5.00 to $10.00 per week.

_Mails._--By steamer, twice weekly; to Brookville, weekly.

_Churches._--Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic.

_Newspapers._--_The True Southerner_, republican; the _Florida
Peninsular_, democratic, both weekly.

_Sailboats and Horses_, about $1.00 per day.

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

_Newspapers._--The Pensacola _Observer_, tri-weekly; the West Florida
_Commercial_, weekly. Reading room for gentlemen at the “Gem”

_Churches._--Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist.

_Physicians._--Drs. Hargis, Lee.

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

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

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

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


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

_Hotels._--Eagle and City Hotel, $2.25 a day in each.

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

After leaving Pensacola, the next stopping place of the steamer is


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

_Post Office._--In Custom House, opposite the Battle House. Telegraph
and Express offices near by.

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

_Restaurant._--Jenkins’, on Royal street, opposite the Battle House, is
the best.

_Bookseller._--Putnam & Co., 52 Dauphin street.

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

_Newspapers._--The _Daily Register_; the _Daily Tribune_.

_Physician._--Dr. T. S. Scales, 128 Dauphin street.

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

_Theaters._--Mobile Theater, Variety Theater, both on Royal street.

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is especially true of southeastern Florida. Portions of our army
were stationed there during all seasons, for a number of years, and the
testimony of the army surgeons is unanimous and most favorable. And let
me here remind the reader that the surgeons of the United States Army
are thoroughly educated physicians, of unequaled experience in all the
variety of climate which our country presents, and who, having no
quarter sections to sell, or other axe to grind, give their evidence
with the utmost impartiality. Here is one quotation from a report to the
Surgeon General, dated at Fort Pierce, on Indian river: “This post has a
climate, in every respect, perhaps, unsurpassed by any in the world.”
And these are the words of Dr. R. F. Simpson, U. S. A., writing about
Fort Dallas, on the Miami, the very spot I have been maintaining
approaches nearest the model climate for consumptives: “I have been on
duty at most of the posts in Florida, but _none compare_ with this for

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

Jacksonville to Tallahasse=> Jacksonville to Tallahassee {pg v}

Neverthless, two years afterwards=> Nevertheless, two years afterwards
{pg 27}

the northen counties=> the northern counties {pg 43}

Newpapers=> Newspapers {pg 57}

undergrowth of palmetto give same=> undergrowth of palmetto gives same
{pg 58}

associated with the atroicities=> associated with the atrocities {pg 59}

can accomodate comfortably=> can accommodate comfortably {pg 60}

the form of a trapezuim=> the form of a trapezium {pg 69}

give them a chancesto=> give them a chance to {pg 74}

the Kissimnee river=> the Kissimmee river {pg 77}

here for India river=> here for Indian river {pg 78}

the difficultyof access=> the difficulty of access {pg 79}


carried from St. Augutine=> carried from St. Augustine {pg 80}

Talahassee Sentinel=> Tallahassee Sentinel {pg 84}

at eighty-eighty feet=> at eighty-eighty feet {pg 87}

Six miles beyond Lage Griffin=> Six miles beyond Lake Griffin {pg 92}

the name Oklawha=> the name Oklawaha {pg 92}

leaves Gainsville for Micanopy=> leaves Gainesville for Micanopy {pg 95}

touch at Ceder Keys=> touch at Cedar Keys {pg 96}

such insignificant altitutde=> such insignificant altitude {pg 98}

of Hillsborouh river=> of Hillsborough river {pg 108}

near the the town=> near the town {pg 108}

more particuularly=> more particularly {pg 123}

guavas, pomegrantes=> guavas, pomegranates {pg 129}

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Guide-Book of Florida and the South for Tourists, Invalids and Emigrants" ***

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