History of Early Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE BOARD OF TRADE
At the meeting of the Board of Governors of the
Jacksonville Board of Trade held this date the
generous offer of the compiler of this work, Mr.
Thomas Frederick Davis, to turn over the publica-
tion of and revenue from this work to this orga-
nization was unanimously accepted and a vote of
thanks was tendered to him for his patriotic labors
in the interest of the City of Jacksonville in the
gathering together of its most interesting history.
Francis P. Conroy,
H. H. Richardson,
July 28th, 1911.
BEING AN AUTHENTIC RECORD OF EVENTS
FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO AND
INCLUDING THE CIVIL WAR
Thomas Frederick Davis
THE H. & W. B. drew COMPANY
CopyrigMed 1911 by
THOMAS rEEDEKICK DAVIS
(All rights reserved)
TO THE MEMORY OF
MRS. SUSAN A. HARTRIDGE
ONE OP THE FOUNDERS OF DANIEL MEMORIAL ORPHANAGE
AND HOME FOR THE FRIENDLESS, AND TWENTY-SIX YEARS ITS
PRESIDENT; ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL, AND
FOR MANY YEARS ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN THE WORK OF MAIN-
TAINING THAT INSTITUTION; WHOSE RESIDENCE IN JACKSONVILLE
OF FIFTY-SEVEN YEARS WAS CHARACTERIZED BY GIVING AID TO
THE SUFFERING AND THE NEEDY; AND WHOSE INFLUENCE FOR
GOOD IN THIS COMMUNITY WAS SUCH THAT IN RESPECT TO HER
MEMORY THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE CLOSED ITS DEPARTMENTS
DURING THE HOUR OF HER FUNERAL, AND THE MAYOR. BY PROC-
LAMATION, REQUESTED THE BUSINESS HOUSES TO DO LIKEWISE.
In the preparation of this work every effort
has been made to use only reliable, authentic data.
Eeferences are given whenever possible, and
where 'the reference work is thoroughly indexed,
only the title is named. A considerable portion of
the matter has never been published before, being
the recollections of old citizens, to whom the thanks
of the author, and others finding pleasure or profit
in these pages, are due; and especially to Mrs.
William M. Bostwick, who has given much data
and most valuable assistance in the preparation of
this book. Some years ago, it was the custom of
several of the oldest residents to meet and talk
over '^ early days." Many of these old timers
have since passed away, but Mrs. Bostwick
possesses notes made at the meetings, and much of
this matter appears in this book.
The author is in no way connected with the sale
of this book and receives no remuneration there-
from, he being content with the privilege of thus
placing in permanent form what is believed to be
an authentic history of our city during a period
for which data are now scarce and becoming more
difficult to obtain with the passing of every year.
Thomas Frederick Davis.
Jacksonville, Fla., July, 1911.
CHAPTER I— EARLY HISTORY OF THE LOWER
Discovery of the St. Johns by the French Hugue-
nots — Erection of Fort Caroline — Capture of Fort
Caroline by the Spanish and destruction of the
French colony — Re-capture of Fort Caroline by
the French and retribution of De Gourgues —
Location of Fort Caroline — Fort San Nicholas —
The St. Johns River. Pages 1 to 12
CHAPTER II— THE COW FORD:
Indian name — The King's Road — English land
grants — John H. Mcintosh — Spanish land grants —
First settlement on site of Jacksonville — The
Patriot war in Florida. Pages 13 to 20
CHAPTER III— PERMANENT SETTLEMENTS ON
SITE OF JACKSONVILLE:
Lewis Zachariah Hogans — The Taylor grant — Juan
Maestre — East Jacksonville — Springfield — River-
side — Talleyrand. Pages 21 to 28
CHAPTER IV— THE FOUNDING OF JACKSON-
First hotel — John Brady — First store — Dawson &
Buckles — Isaiah David Hart — Increasing travel —
Jacksonville surveyed — Streets named — Lots
sold — The founder of Jacksonville. Pages .... 29 to 38
CHAPTER V— ORGANIZATION OF LAW AND
Courts established — First grand jury — First civil
case — First lawyer — Public buildings erected — ■
First mills — Local conditions — Ferry across the
St. Johns River — The early mail — Incorporation
of Jacksonville and copy of charter — List of
mayors — The Peninsular and Jacksonville Rail-
road — Newspaper started — Organization of Bank
of Jacksonville — Great freeze of 1835 and complete
list of severe freezes subsequently. Pages .... 39 to 62
CHAPTER VI— THE SEMINOLE WAE PEEIOD:
Opening of the Seminole war and conditions at-
tending — The old block house — Attacks by the
Indians — Attack on the Johns family — Panic of
1837 — Spectacular effort of Bank of Jacksonville
to weather the panic — Osceola Nikkanoochee —
Mulberry and silk worm culture — Dr. Abel Sey-
mour Baldwin. Pages 63 to 78
CHAPTER VII— THE EARLY CHURCHES:
Founding and early history of the Methodist,
Protestant Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Baptist,
and Presbyterian churches at Jacksonville. Pages 79 to 91
CHAPTER VIII— IN THE FORTIES:
Population of Jacksonville and rate of increase —
Early newspapers — Great storm of 1846 — Excite-
ment in the quiet town — Local conditions during
this period — First epidemic. Pages 92 to 96
CHAPTER IX— THE EARLY RIVER STEAMERS:
History and romance of steam navigation on the
St. Johns River — Jacksonville-Savannah steamers
— Jacksonville-Charleston steamers — Jacksonville-
New York steamers. Pages 97 to 103
CHAPTER X— JACKSONVILLE ABOUT 1850:
Describing the location of practically every house
in the town with the names of those who occupied
them (Much local history and tradition is given
in this chapter). Pages 104 to 116
CHAPTER XI— 1850 to 1855:
Rapid growth of the town — Business — Curfew and
crime — Relation between master and slave — Trans-
portation — The plank road — Small-pox epidemic of
1853 — Local conditions of this period — Property
valuation — Great fire of 1854 — Scarlet fever epi-
demic of 1854 — Real shot-gun quarantine — Re-
building the town — The Judson Hotel — Hotel
history — Trade and commerce. Pages ..... .117 to 138
CHAPTER XII— 1855 to 1860:
Continued growth — Fire of 1856 — Jacksonville
Light Infantry — Yellow fever epidemic of 1857 —
General town improvement — Gas works — Tele-
graph — Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Central Rail-
road — Town bonded for $50,000 — Ceremonies at-
tending completion of railroad — Aurora of 1859 —
Conditions prevailing just prior to the civil war.
Pages 139 to 149
CHAPTER XIII— LIFE IN JACKSONVILLE BE-
FORE THE WAR:
Character, pleasures, and pastimes of the people
of Jacksonville ''in the happy days before the
war.'' Pages 150 to 155
CHAPTER XIV— THE CIVIL WAR:
Organization of local troops — Fort Steele erected
at mouth of the St. Johns — Troops depart for the
front — News of the contemplated Federal occu-
pation of Jacksonville received — Mayor's procla-
mation to the citizens — Flight of the residents —
First Federal occupation — Proclamation of the
' ' loyal ' ' citizens of the United States — Skirmishes
and first blood of the war near Jacksonville —
Orders and reports of the Federal and the Con-
federate ofl&cers — The evacuation — Capture of the
Confederate batteries on the St. Johns below
Jacksonville — Second Federal occupation of Jack-
sonville — Federal gunboats go in search of river
steamers — The evacuation — Third Federal occu-
pation of Jacksonville — Town fortified against
attack — Reports of Confederate and Federal
ofiieers — Skirmishes — Lieutenant Buckman's rail-
road battery — Events during the occupation — The
evacuation and burning of the town — Fourth Fed-
eral occupation of Jacksonville — Reasons therefor
— Return of the Federal army after defeat at
Olustee — Arrival of reinforcements — Confederate
fortifications at McGirt's Creek — Skirmishing —
Torpedoes placed in the river near Mandarin by '
CHAPTER XIV— Continued
the Confederates, and destruction of three Federal
transports at that point — Draughts made on
Federal and Confederate armies near Jacksonville —
Only small detachment of Confederate cavalry
left in front of Jacksonville — Wonderful achieve-
ments of this remnant — Federal raiding parties-
Evacuation of Camp Milton by the Confederates —
Close of the war. Pages 156 to 192
CHAPTER XV— AFTER THE WAR:
Return of the old residents and conditions that
confronted them — Military and civil city govern-
ments — Riot of the United States troops — Perma-
nent withdrawal of the United States troops from
Jacksonville. Pages 193 to 197
History of Early Jacksonville
THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE LOWER
Authentic history of the lower St. Johns River
begins with May 1st, 1562, when Jean Ribault*
and his French Huguenot colonists, sailing along
the coast of Florida, came to the mouth of a large
river, which they named the River May, in com-
memoration of the day on which the discovery
was made. Crossing the bar in one of his smaller
boats, Ribault landed on the northern side of the
river and exchanged friendly greetings with the
natives that had assembled to meet the strange
white men; but after giving the Indians a few
presents, he crossed the river and on a knoll near
the shore he erected a stone column bearing the
arms of France. The French then returned to
their vessels outside the bar and sailed away to
the north, eventually establishing the unfortunate
colony of Charles Fort, on the coast of what is
now South Carolina.
About two years later, in 1564, Rene de
•^Some historians spell the name Bibaut.
2 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Laudonniere, who was with Ribault on the former
expedition, and who, with Eibault, had in the
mean time gone back to France, returned to the
Eiver May. With him came another colony of
Huguenots, these people preferring the unknown
dangers of the new country to the religious perse-
cutions of the old world. Laudonniere landed and
was directed to the monument left by Eibault,
around which the Indians had placed wreaths in
token of friendship, and baskets of fruit and grain
as a peace-offering to the new-comers. The
Frenchmen went up the river a short distance to
observe the country, then boarded their vessels
and coasted as far as Amelia Island; but they
decided to return to the Eiver May and establish
their colony on the southern bank, near a high
bluff that they had previously examined. This
was in June, 1564. The French at once began to
fortify the place, by building a fort of logs and
staves. It was in the form of a triangle and was
of good size, since the colonists all lived within its
walls. Soon after their arrival, a party of these
Frenchmen sailed up the river twenty leagues,
and it is safe to assume that these were the first
white men to behold the site upon which Jack-
sonville now stands. There is a pleasing tradition
that Ponce de Leon, in searching for the fabled
^'Fountain of Youth", camped for a while on the
ground now occupied by South Jacksonville, but
history does not record the incident with sufficient
clearness to warrant its acceptance as fact.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 3
The story of the colony at Fort Caroline is one
filled with pathos and tragedy. In the beginning,
the French enjoyed amicable relations with the
Indians ; from the red men they drew largely for
their subsistence, themselves neglecting to make
provision for the emergencies that were bound to
come. As a result of this inactivity, misfortunes
began to multiply, and, naturally, discourage-
ment then entered the ranks of the little band. A
serious mutiny followed. Laudonniere, while he
lay ill with fever, was seized and imprisoned on a
vessel in the river, when the conspirators boarded
two other vessels and set out upon a free-booting
expedition along the coast. One of these vessels,
after an eventful voyage, eventually returned to
Fort Caroline, where four of the leaders met with
summary punishment at the hands of Laudon-
niere, being hanged upon gibbets at the mouth
of the river.
After a while, the Indians refused to share fur-
ther of their stores, partly because their own stock
of provisions was running low, and partly from
the fact that nothing was given in exchange, the
French by this time having exhausted their supply
of exchangeable articles. The colonists were on
the verge of famine. Laudonniere was persuaded
to seize the great Indian Olata-Utina, chief of the
country, and hold him as ransom for supplies.
This scheme resulted disastrously to the French,
inasmuch as little benefit was derived from it,
while the enmity of their Indian allies and friends
4 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
was incurred. Thoroughly disheartened, they
decided at last to return to France. On August 4,
1565, Sir John Hawkins, returning from an expedi-
tion to the West Indies, unexpectedly appeared at
the mouth of the River May. He visited Laudon-
niere, and seeing the plight of the Frenchmen, he
supplied their immediate needs and sold them a
vessel in which to make the voyage to France, tak-
ing in payment therefor a number of cannon from
Fort Caroline. After the departure of the Eng-
lish, Laudonniere hurried his preparations for
leaving Florida. When all was ready for the de-
parture, Ribault, with seven vessels and more
than 500 men, dropped anchor at the mouth of the
river. Laudonniere was not aware that this ex-
pedition had been dispatched for his relief, and its
arrival, near the end of August, 1565, caused him
to change his plans.
CAPTUKE OF FORT CAROLINE BY THE SPANISH.
News of the French colony in Florida had
already reached Spain. The Spanish king claimed
the country by right of discovery, and this settle-
ment at Fort Caroline incensed him to no small
degree. Consequently, he fitted out an expedition
and placed it in command of Pedro Menendez de
Aviles, with instructions to drive the French from
the shores of Florida. It was a peculiar coinci-
dence that Menendez reached Florida in the
vicinity of the present St. Augustine on the same
day that Ribault 's relief expedition arrived at the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 5
mouth of the River May, each unaware of the
presence of the other. Menendez was not long,
however, in learning from the Indians that Fort
Caroline was not far away, and immediately he
sent his vessels to reconnoiter. Several of
Ribault^s ships were at anchor outside the bar, but
when the Frenchmen saw these strange vessels of
war approaching, not knowing their intent, they
slipped their cables and sailed away. And well
for them that they did, as the Spaniards opened
fire upon them and gave chase. After a pursuit
lasting several hours, the chase was given up. A
French ship followed the Spaniards at a distance,
observed their landing, and then hastened to re-
port the facts to Ribault. Ribault and Menendez
made their plans simultaneously: the French
sailed to attack the Spaniards, while the Spaniards
marched to take Fort Caroline. Ribault 's fleet
encountered a tropical hurricane and was wrecked
on the coast between Matanzas and Mosquito
Inlet; yet the same fateful storm contributed to
the success of Menendez. On account of the tem-
pest, the vigilance at Fort Caroline had been
temporarily relaxed, and the Spanish forces ex-
perienced little difficulty in entering the fort and
surprising the garrison, most of which was yet
asleep. The assault was made about dawn, and
after a feeble resistance the fort was captured.
Concerning the massacre at Fort Caroline many
historians claim that there was an indiscriminate
slaughter of the French, regardless of sex and age
6 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
and only those persons who sought safety in flight,
60 in number, escaped the butchery of the
Spaniards. Also, that Menendez caused his cap-
tives to be led out and hanged from the limbs of
near-by trees. The garrison at Fort Caroline
after the departure of Ribault consisted of 240 per-
sons, mostly women and children.
The Spanish historians say that Menendez was
not present at the fort when the massacre began,
that he was in the rear collecting the stragglers of
his force as they came up ; but hearing the clamor,
he came running to the fort. When he perceived
that his soldiers gave no quarter, he shouted in a
loud voice, ^^At the peril of your lives neither kill
nor wound any woman, cripple, or child under fif-
teen years of age ' \ by which it is claimed 70 per-
sons were saved, the rest having already perished.
Likewise, there are two versions as to the cor-
rectness of the narrative regarding the hanging
of the Huguenots. Some historians give it that
Menendez erected on the spot a tablet bearing the
inscription, "Not as Frenchmen, but as Luther-
ans''. Others disclaim this altogether, and the
question probably never will be settled to the satis-
faction of all.
Menendez took possession of Fort Caroline,
changed its name to San Mateo, and garrisoned it
with 300 soldiers. With his remaining force of
about 50 men he returned to St. Augustine.
Laudonniere and 25 of his followers that man-
aged to escape from Fort Caroline, waded the saw-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 7
grass marshes and after terrible hardships
boarded two small vessels left by Eibault at the
mouth of the Eiver May. They hastily set sail for
France. A perilous voyage carried one of these
ships to the coast of France, while the other, with
Laudonniere aboard, landed at a port in Wales.
Laudonniere returned to France and made a full
report of the massacre at Fort Caroline; but the
news was received with stolid indifference at the
French court, the anti-Huguenot party being then
in power. Very little is known about the other
survivors ; most of them probably spent their lives
among the Indians.
BETEIBUTION OF DOMINIC DE GOUEGUES.
One Dominic de Gourgues, observing that this
slaughter of his countrymen would likely go un-
avenged and believing that the honor of his coun-
try (France) demanded a retributive measure,
took upon himself the responsibiltiy of equipping
a private expedition against the Spaniards in
Florida. In this enterprise he exhausted his own
fortune and that of some of his friends; but at
last he succeeded in procuring three vessels and
250 picked men. He sailed from France in August,
1567. After loitering and refitting in the West
Indies, he sailed for Florida and arrived at Amelia
Island in the spring of 1568. Menendez had
erected two small forts at the mouth of the River
May, now called the River San Mateo, after the
capture of Fort Caroline, one on Batten Island and
8 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
one on the opposite side of the river. As De
Gourgues sailed by these forts, their garrisons
saluted him with their guns, supposing his vessels
to be Spanish ; the Frenchmen returned the salute
to confirm the error. iVfter enlisting the services
of a large number of Indians, who, it appears, had
turned against the Spaniards, De Gourgues and
his allies crossed to Fort George Island at low
tide, waded the intervening marsh, and fell upon
the fort at Batten Island at day-break. When
within 200 yards of the post they were discovered
by the sentinel, who fired his culverin twice before
he was killed. The garrison rushed out pell-mell,
endeavoring to escape, but all perished on the spot,
except fifteen ; these were taken prisoners and re-
served for another purpose. De Gourgues had
ordered one of his vessels to come up the river at
the proper time, to convey his men across. In this
way he crossed over, his Indian allies swimming
alongside in great numbers.
The garrison in the fort on the south side of the
river made no attempt at resistance and fled
ingloriously toward Fort San Mateo. Few of them
made their escape, nearly all being slain by the
Indians. De Gourgues marched as rapidly as pos-
sible toward Fort San Mateo, capturing on the way
a reconnoitering party of 60 Spaniards. He de-
ployed his force skillfully so that every avenue of
escape was closed, and most of the garrison fell
into the hands of the Indians and perished. The
prisoners that had been captured were led out.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 9
De Gourgues lectured them, reciting the circum-
stances under which his countrymen had been
slain. They were then hanged as ''Traitors,
thieves, and murderers''.
Having now avenged what he believed to be the
wanton slaughter of his countrymen, De Gourgues
embarked for France early in May, 1568. Menen-
dez had gone to Spain and was there while these
events were taking place in Florida, but he set
sail for St. Augustine about the time De Gourgues
sailed for France ; somewhere on the broad Atlan-
tic they passed each other, one sailing westward
and the other sailing eastward. When Menendez
arrived at St. Augustine and learned what had
transpired during his absence his fury can be
conjectured. De Gourgues landed on the coast of
France in June. He immediately reported the
success of his expedition, but he, too, was received
coldly at the French court; in fact, it became
necessary for him to seek safety in concealment.
Later, however, he was appointed admiral in the
LOCATION OF FORT CAROLINE.
All traces of old Fort Caroline have long since
disappeared, but its location seems certainly to
have been at St. Johns bluff, on the south side of
the river a few miles below Jacksonville. Its
location was described precisely by Laudonniere
and others of his time; and Buckingham Smithy
who did a great deal toward clearing up the misty
10 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
early history of the Spaniards in Florida, after a
careful study of the original archives in Spain,
came to the conclusion that the fort was at St.
Johns bluff. It was not on top of the bluff, but
at its base, near the water 's edge — a curious selec-
tion of a site for a fortification. In 1856, a hand-
ful of old Spanish coins cast prior to the year
1555, was found near the supposed site of Fort
The Spaniards repaired and again garrisoned
the forts on the St. Johns after the terrible retri-
bution of De Gourgues, and although mutiny,
desertion, pestilence, and famine followed one an-
other at recurring intervals, these forts were
maintained many years. Other posts were estab-
lished also, among them one called San Nicholas
(St. Nicholas), located near the present site of
South Jacksonville. A long period elapsed, how-
ever, before history again takes up the record of
events having a direct bearing upon this vicinity ;
yet during this period there were numerous forays
toward or from St. Augustine and the Colonies,
and there are good grounds for the belief that
many war parties camped upon a high bluff that
stood at the foot of the present Liberty, Wash-
ington, and Catherine Streets, before crossing the
river for a dash upon St. Augustine, or, returning
tarried here for rest, preparatory for the long
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 11
In 1763, this bluff was described as being very
imposing, and timbered with live oak, palms, and
wild orange ; back from the river a short distance
stood a small Indian village. At the foot of
Liberty street there was a bold spring of clear,
FORT ST. NICHOLAS.
The location of Fort St. Nicholas was about a
mile east of the present South Jacksonville ferry,
back from the river 250 or 300 yards. Around the
fort was a moat, or excavation, 100 feet square,
and surrounding this was a cantonment or settle-
ment, together with offices, quarters, and barracks
for the men. Mr. Hudnall acquired the land upon
which the fort stood, even while a part of the old
fort was still in existence, and he leveled the tim-
bers for use on his farm. He built his house
directly on the east side of the moat, and while
excavating found many Spanish coins*.
Toward the end of the Spanish rule, Fort St.
Nicholas was maintained principally as a post to
THE ST. JOHNS RIVER.
The Indian name for the St. Johns Eiver was
^'Illaka", corrupted into "Welaka'' by the whites.
Buckingham Smith asked an intelligent Indian
what ''Illaka'' signified, and the reply was, ''Dis-
tinct, unusual, different from any other", mean-
ing, as nearly as could be interpreted, that the
12 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
river ran north'. The French called it the Riviere
de Mai, or the River May. By the Spaniards it
was first named San Mateo, in honor of the patron
Saint Matthew, near whose day the capture of
Fort Caroline took place; but later they changed
it to the River San Juan, and from this name we
derive the English St. Johns. John Bartram in
his ''Travels'' speaks of it as the River St. Juan.
BIBLIOGEAPHY, CHAPTEE I.
1 History and Antiquities of St. Augustine; and History of
Florida, George E. Fairbanks.
2 Historical Sketch by J. M. Hawks in Jacksonville City
3 Florida and the South, Brinton.
4 Columbus Drew, in Florida Times-Union, Trade Edition,
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 13
THE COW FOED.
The locality of Jacksonville was first known as
the place where the Indians forded their cattle
across the river, and was called by them ^^Wacca
Pilatka^', signifying the place where cows crossed
or could swim over'. An Indian trail ran from
this place westward across the sand hills to the
Suwanee Eiver, thence to Alapaha, Aucilla,
Micasuki, and Tallahassee, towns of the Apala-
chees. The Spaniards called the ford at the St.
Johns the ^'Pass of San Nicholas '', but it was
known to all English-speaking people as the
^ ' Cow Ford. '''
THE king's road.
The path made by the Indians' cattle and by
the pack-ponies of the traders in the course of time
grew into a trail, then into a beaten track as travel
increased, and culminated finally in the King's
Road, made during the English occupation of
Florida, about 1765. The route of this road was
from the St. Marys River, opposite Colerain, Ga.,
to the Cow Ford, thence to St. Augustine and New
Smyrna'. It met the St. Johns River at the foot of
what is now Liberty Street, and began again on
the other side directly opposite. Nearly all travel
between St. Augustine and the Colonies passed
14 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
over this highway, and therefore through the site
ENGLISH LAND GRANTS.
Soon after Spain ceded Florida to Great
Britain, 1763, the Marquis of Hastings obtained a
grant of 20,000 acres covering most of the land
between Maxton's (now McGirt's) Creek and
Trout Creek, embracing the present site of Jack-
sonville. About the same time the Marquis of
Waterford obtained a grant, also of 20,000 acres,
on the opposite side of the St. Johns, beginning
at Pottsburg Creek'.
Upon the recession of Florida to Spain, all the
British grants reverted to the Spanish crown, but
the British subjects that left the country were re-
munerated for their land'. To obtain grants from
the Spanish government now the practice was
for the applicant to set forth his desires in a
memorial to the governor of the province, asking
for lands corresponding to the number of his
family and his slaves, the location desired being
described in the memorial. To these applications
the usual reply of the governor was, '^Let the
lands asked for be granted, without injury to a
third person ". The fine estates left by the Eng-
lish on the St. Johns remained unoccupied for
some time and became a prey to rapid decline',
but the ease with which grants could now be ob-
tained induced many new settlers to come to the
St. Johns country.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 15
In the spring of 1774, John Bartram, the bota-
nist, visited the Cow Ford', and he mentions the
existence of a public ferry here even at that early
date. He bought a sailboat at an indigo planta-
tion near the ferry, but he does not say from whom,
nor on which side of the river the plantation was
situated. There was a severe frost (freeze) in
northern Florida during that winter, with snow-
fall, which the natives long afterward spoke of
as ^^the extraordinary white rain''.
JOHN H. MCINTOSH.
About the year 1790, one John H. Mcintosh
moved from Georgia into Florida and occupied
lands on the north side of the St. Johns Eiver near
the Cow Ford. Here he was appointed to some
office by the Spanish governor. Mcintosh was a
turbulent man, of a restless and reckless disposi-
tion, and in some way he aroused the suspicion of
the Spaniards, with the result that he was arrested
for intrigue in 1794 and sent to Havana, where he
was confined in Morro Castle for a year.' There,
perhaps, he worked out the plans that afterward
made him a conspicuous figure in the country about
the lower St. Johns.
After his release from prison, Mcintosh re-
turned to Florida with a band of adventurers, and
attacked and destroyed the Spanish post at the
Cow Ford (St. Nicholas), together with the
'^ Boats of the Eoyal Domain" on the river. How
near an international affair this came is not
16 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
recorded ; but he and the Spaniards seem to have
made an amicable settlement, since some years
later he was granted lands in the vicinity of the
Cow Ford, where he became engaged in executing
large contracts for the exportation of lumber, and
incidentally lived like a lord. In the Jacksonville
Sun and Press of August 11, 1877, there was a
signed article written by Eev. J. N. Glenn, who was
sent to St. Augustine in 1823, as a Methodist mis-
sionary. He says: ''General Mcintosh told me
once that he had two boat loads of sea-island cot-
ton he had raised up the St. Johns River, which he
wished to pass the Spanish post at the Cow Ford,
without paying the Spanish duties. Accordingly,
he approached the officer in command of the post
on the subject. Just then the boats hove in sight,
coming down the river. The commander put up
his spy-glass and remarked, 'There is too much
cotton to let it pass\ The General then handed
him a doubloon. He put the coin to one eye and
the spy- glass to the other, and said, 'Too much
yet.' The General gave him another doubloon.
He then put a doubloon to each eye and said, 'I
see no cotton now' ".
This is the same Mcintosh who afterward was
one of the originators and the prime mover in the
"Patriot" war in Florida. That his connection
with this disturbance was the outgrowth of
entanglements with Spanish laws in the execution
of his lumber contracts, supplemented by a desire
for further revenge for his imprisonment at
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 17
Havana, is a plausible surmise never presented
SPANISH LAND GRANTS.
Under date of January 3, 1791, Eobert Pritch-
ard obtained a grant from Governor Queseda, for
450 acres of land on the north side of the St. Johns,
opposite Fort St. Nicholas. A regular survey was
made, and Pritchard took possession immediately,
erected buidings, and planted crops. He died a
few years later, but his heirs, through their autho-
rized agents, continued to cultivate the tract, until
driven away by the troubles about 1812 (Patriot
revolution) . One of these agents was John Joseph
Lain, who cultivated and lived on the land later
granted to Mrs. Purnal Taylor, and afterward
included in the plat of Jacksonville'. THIS WAS
THE FIEST SETTLEMENT ON THE SITE OF
JACKSONVILLE, OF WHICH THERE IS
William Jones, on February 14, 1793, was
granted 216 acres across the river near the present
location of South Jacksonville, in fact, a part of
that town stands on a portion of this tract. Jones
was later accused of being a rebel against His
Catholic Majesty, thereby forfeiting his rights to
the premises. This tract was re-granted to Wil-
liam Hendricks, May 18, 1797'.
In February, 1804, Isaac Hendricks received a
concession embracing a triangular tract of 350
acres, described in 1823 as being bounded south
18 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
by McCoy Creek, east by lands granted to Hogans
(the Taylor grant), and northwest by public lands.
Hendricks built houses and cultivated this tract,
and on September 28, 1816, he received title of
absolute property to the same from Governor
Coppinger. It seems that one John Jones, per-
haps a kinsman of William Jones, claimed title to
this tract, but his claim was set aside by the com-
mission appointed by the United States Congress
to examine titles in connection with Spanish grants
That there was quite a number of bona fide set-
tlers near the Cow Ford prior to the year 1800 is
certain, regardless of the fact that this locality
was then the stamping ground of criminals from
the Colonies, slave catchers, ruffians, and banditti
of every description, resulting in a state of un-
bounded rowdyism that continued more or less
until the end of the "Patriot" rebellion, and in a
modified form for many years afterward.
THE PATKIOT KAID IN FLORIDA.
At the outbreak of the war of 1812, between the
United States and Great Britain, a band of per-
sons calling themselves "Patriots" assembled at
St. Marys, Ga., and marched into Florida, seeking
to seize the country from Spain for the purpose of
establishing a republican form of government.
The country north of the St. Johns River was
"annexed", and a paper government was orga-
nized. John H. Mcintosh was chosen governor
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 19
and director-generaL The "Patriots'' and the
United States fleet acting in concert, frightened
the Spanish commander of Fernandina into sur-
rendering the town. The articles of capitulation
were signed by Don Jose Lopez, for Spain, and
John H. Mcintosh, in the name of the "Patriots''.
The next day the "Patriot" flag was hauled down
and the United States forces took possession of the
place and raised the United States flag over the
fort. The ' ' Patriots ' ', reinforced by a detachment
of United States regulars, now marched to cap-
ture St. Augustine. In this they were unsuccess-
ful, as the Spanish governor put some guns on a
schooner and shelled their camp, compelling them
to fall back. Finding their force insufficient to
take St. Augustine, the "Patriots" returned to the
St. Johns River, and made the Cow Ford their
rendezvous'. Here the "Patriot" and United
States flags were unfurled side by side. The camp
at the Cow Ford comprised 40 calvary, together
with shifting bands of infantry and partisan rang-
ers. These forces pillaged the surrounding
plantations and destroyed an enormous amount of
property, for much of which the United States
government was later held responsible. This state
of affairs continued until the United States forces
were withdrawn in 1813'. , Then the "Patriot"
organization disbanded, and its members returned
whence they came. After their departure, the
plantations along the lower St. Johns presented a
desolate appearance — houses burned and fields
20 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
overgrown with weeds. A few of the former set-
tlers one by one returned, and in two or three
years new settlers began to come.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTER II.
1 Memoirs of Florida, Pleming,
2 Observations on the Floridas, Vignoles.
3 Historical Sketch of Jacksonville, J. M. Hawks, City Direc-
4 Bartram 's ' * Travels ' '.
5 American State Papers, Duff Green, Vol. IV.
6 History of Florida, George R. Fairbanks.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 21
PERMANENT SETTLEMENTS ON THE
SITE OF JACKSONVILLE.
LEWIS ZACHAEIAH HOGANS.*
During the '^ Patriot'^ troubles, a Spanisli sub-
ject by tbe name of Purnal Taylor was killed in a
skirmish with a scouting party of the "Patriot''
army, in the inland passage to Fernandina. His
widow, Mrs. Maria Taylor, petitioned the Spanish
Government and was granted 200 acres of land on
the north side of the St. Johns River, opposite
Fort San Nicholas. Lewis Zachariah Hogans
married Mrs. Taylor, and late in the year 1816,
they moved across the river from the south side,
where before then Mr. Hogans had been living,
and settled upon the land that had been granted
to Mrs. Taylor. Inasmuch as the houses that for-
merly stood on this site were all destroyed by the
''Patriots", Mr. Hogans may be said to have built
the first house in the future metropolis of Florida.
His building stood partly in what is now Forsyth
Street and partly north of it, immediately to the
southwest and west of the Duval Hotel, northwest
corner of Forsyth and Hogan Streets. He
cleared up land and fenced it, and in the following
*The Hoganses signed their names with an ''s" (Hogans) in
the early days; but later the ''s" was dropped, and now
we have Hogan Street and Hogan 's Creek.
22 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
spring, 1817, planted a crop from which he gath-
ered in great abundance'. A copy of the Spanish
grant made to Mrs. Taylor, in part, follows :'
Don Jose Coppinger, lieutenant colonel of the
royal armies, civil and military governor pro tern.,
and chief of the royal finance in the city of St.
Augustine, Florida, and its province:
Whereas by royal order of the 29th of March, 1815,
his majesty has been pleased to approve the gifts
and rewards proposed by my predecessor, the
Brigadier Don Sebastian Kindelan, for the officers
and soldiers both of the line as well as the militia
of the said province, who contributed to the defense
of the same at the time of the rebellion, being one
of said rewards, the partition of lands in proportion
to the number of family each individual may have,
That Dona Maria Suarez, widow of Turnel* Taylor,
having presented herself soliciting the quantity she,
her deceased husband, children and slaves were en-
titled to, on account of the said husband being killed
in the attack made by the enemy upon the river St.
Johns during the insurrection in this province, as she
has proved by certificate, then was granted by my
decree on the 12th of the present month two hun-
dred acres of land on the opposite side of the military
post of St. Nicholas, on the river St. Johns, at the
mouth of the creek known as McCoy's Creek,
bounded on the west by the plantation of John Jones
and on the other sides by vacant lands ; all conf orm-
*Should be Purnal.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 23
able to the regulation established by this govern-
ment for the partition of lands and the number of
persons and slaves her said family is composed of,
as is set forth in the proceedings instituted by the
above-mentioned Dona Maria Suarez, on file in the
government notary's office.***
Given under my hand and seal and countersigned
by the undersigned notary of the government and
royal finance, in the city of St. Augustine, Florida,
September 13, 1816.
By order of his Excellency,
Juan de Entralgo, etc., etc., etc.
In 1823, Zachariali Hogans, by his attorney, A.
Bellamy, entered a claim for title to these 200
acres of land, the tract being described at that
time as being bounded north by public land, south
by the river St. Johns, west by lands formerly
granted to John Jones, and east by lands granted
to Maestro. Hogans's claim for title was con-
firmed April 26, 1824, by the commissioners ap-
pointed by the United States Congress to investi-
gate Spanish grant titles'. I. D. Hart eventually
got hold of all of the Taylor grant, except ten
acres. In 1821, he bought 18 acres in the south-
east section ; on July 10, 1831, he acquired another
portion; May 28, 1834, another; and April 15,
1836, still another portion', altogether amounting
to about 190 acres.
24 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Immediately following the grant to Mrs. Taylor,
Juan Maestre, a "Skipper in the Boats of the
Eoyal Domain'^, representing himself to be in
straitened circumstances, petitioned on Novem-
ber 18, 1816, for "100 acres of vacant hammock
lands on the north side of the river St. Johns, op-
posite the battery of St. Nicholas''. On Decem-
ber 2, 1816, the governor of the province ordered
that Maestre 's petition be granted, which was
done on December 13, 1816. He was granted only
50 acres, however, that being the amount he was
able to locate under the Spanish law; but subse-
quent surveys increased it to about 80 acres'. This
land was bounded east and north by Hogan's
Creek, west by L. Z. Hogans's lands, and south
by the river St. Johns. It was surveyed by G. T.
F. Clarke, February 21, 18ir. Maestre took
possession of his property in 1817, and built his
house upon what is now the center of the north-
east quarter of the square bounded by Forsyth,
Liberty, Bay, and Market Streets. Large spread-
ing live oaks stood around his dwelling. He
cleared up a field and planted it. In the spring of
1818, the Carthagenians, or Venezuelan Patriots,
as they are sometimes called, took possession of
Fernandina. As soon as this became known in
St. Augustine, the Spanish garrison at Fort
St. Nicholas and the "Boats of the Royal Domain"
on the St. Johns River were withdrawn to that
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 25
city. Maestre therefore abandoned his new home,
leaving and losing his crop'. He never returned,
and on Jnne 21, 1820, he conveyed the tract to
John Brady for $200. Brady conveyed it to John
Bellamy January 27, 1823, after Jacksonville had
been laid out and some lots had been sold. I. D.
Hart gained jurisdiction over this tract July 26,
1826, but he did not get a title to it by conveyance
from Bellamy until May 4, 1836. On December
18, 1836, for $1,100, Hart conveyed his right, title,
and interest in the Maestre grant to William J.
Mills, in trust for Mrs. Maria Doggett, wife of
John L. Doggett'.
Under date of March 18, 1817, Daniel Hogans
obtained a concession from Governor Coppinger
of 255 acres, situated on the north bank of the St.
Johns River, nearly opposite the fort at St.
Nicholas, and on the east of Hogan's Creek.
Daniel Hogans conveyed this land to E. Hudnall
November 11, 1818'. This tract comprised the
present East Jacksonville.
On February 11, 1801, Philip Dell obtained a
concession from Governor White of 800 acres
adjoining McCoy's Creek, and embracing what is
now known as Brooklyn and the most of old River-
side. For many years this property was known as
Dell's Bluff. The Dell Bluff tract went into the
26 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
possession of John H. Mcintosh January 11, 1805,
and on October 4, 1823, Mcintosh deeded it to
Francis J. Eoss. Ross gave Joseph B. Lancaster
a quit claim deed to these 800 acres, December 6,
1833, the consideration mentioned being $2,000.
Lancaster held it a little more than ten years, sell-
ing only six acres in the mean time, three of which
were sold to Blanchard and Eider for a mill site
at the mouth of McCoy's Creek. On May 1, 1844,
he deeded the remainder back to Francis I. (J)
Eoss, the consideration mentioned being $2,500.
Francis J. Eoss then conveyed his interest to Wil-
liam B. Eoss, under date of March 24, 1845. W. B.
Eoss sold to James Winter February 6, 1847. Mr.
Winter died in possession of the property and his
estate descended to his heirs. April 23, 1866,
Uriah Bowden purchased an unstated number of
acres from the commissioners of the Winter
estate. Miles Price finally acquired the bulk of the
Winter estate, and on June 8, 1868, he conveyed
500 acres to E. M. Cheney, in trust to be conveyed
to John M. Forbes, for $10,000 in gold. The prop-
erty was platted for Forbes into lots February 1,
1869, provision being made for a park of 14 acres,
now Eiverside park'.
E. M. Cheney was editor of the Florida Union
at Jacksonville when he negotiated the purchase
for John M. Forbes, a Boston Millionaire. Mr.
Cheney gave the name of "Riverside" to the sub-
division, most of which was an old corn field at that
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 27
During the latter part of the year 1820, John E.
Hogans settled on lands north of Hogan's Creek,
and under the Donation Act, received title to 640
acres. Hogans conveyed these 640 acres to W. G.
Dawson July 24, 1823^ I. D. Hart, ex officio Ad-
ministrator of W. G. Dawson, deceased, to John
Warren, February 3, 1829 ; John Warren to Isaiah
D. Hart, October 25, 1829 ; I. D. Hart to Thomas G.
Saunders in 1846 ; Thomas G. Saunders and wife,
to Adeline Jones, September 9, 1847. On August 4,
1849, Thomas W. Jones and wife, Adeline, sold 50
acres to E. A. DeCottes', for $50, or $1 an acre ; this
is now Hansontown. In 1867, 4 acres of the same
tract, west of Hogan's Creek, were sold to Frank
Franklin, a colored man, for $25 an acre; this is
now called Franklmtown. With these exceptions,
the tract descended to Eliza Jones, now Mrs. W. M.
Bostwick, and it was not subdivided until 1882'.
Hogans 's Donation comprised what is commonly
called old Springfield. John Middleton bought it
in 1847, for his daughter, Adeline Jones, for the
insignificant sum of $450 in gold. About 1870, it
was named Springfield, by C. L. Eobinson, the
name being suggested by the existence of a spring
in an old field through which West Fourth Street
would now pass'.
28 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
An impression seems to be prevalent that Duke
de Talleyrand, the famous Frenchman, came to this
vicinity after the wars in Europe and settled at
what is now known as the Old Talleyrand Place,
and that Talleyrand Avenue and other places in the
locality are named for him. This is not correct.
The Duval County records show that Lewis Curtis
on June 9, 1869, deeded 30 acres of land three and
a half miles northeast of Jacksonville, the tract be-
ing then called Millwood, to Elizabeth Marquise de
Talleyrand-Perigord, wife of Charles Maurice
Camille Marquis de Talleyrand-Perigord. The
consideration mentioned was $7,500. The Marquis
was said to be a descendant of the Duke Talley-
rand ; his wife was an American, a New York lady.
They spent several winters here and apparently
lived a life of ease and luxury. He was very fond
of fine horses and always drove about in elegant
style. The Talleyrands sold their property Janu-
ary 28, 1873, to C. A. Lincoln, for $12,000.
BIBLIOGEAPHY, CHAPTER III.
1 History of Florida, Webb.
2 American State Papers, Duff Green, Vol. IV.
3 Florida Reports, Vol. V, p. 216; Vol. VI, p. 483.
4 Fla. Abstract and Title Security Co., June 8, 1892.
5 W. W. Douglass, in Jacksonville Metropolis, Dec. 12, 1908.
6 Florida Reports, Vol. XIV, p. 162.
7 Mrs. W. M. Bostwick.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 29
THE FOUNDING OF JACKSONVILLE.*
THE FIEST HOTEL.
Messrs. L. Z. Hogans and Juan Maestre (known
in English as Masters) were the first settlers in the
immediate vicinity of the Cow Ford, on the north
side of the St. Johns, after the ^'Patriot" troubles.
A year or so afterward, John Brady came and oc-
cupied the house and land vacated by Maestre in
1818, probably under some sort of rental contract,
as Maestre did not formally convey his land to
Brady until June 21, 1820. Brady was generally
spoken of as the third settler. He planted crops
and started to run a ferry from the northern side
of the river, for the accommodation of travelers.
About this time Florida was brought into promi-
nence by the agitation concerning its cession to the
United States, and the tide of immigration had set
in over the King's road to the St. Johns country.
Brady's house came to be the lodging place for
many of these pioneers. Travel in those days was
almost all by horseback, and the constantly increas-
ing number of guests made it necesasry for Brady
to erect other buildings, and stables for the con-
*Some of these facts are taken from unsigned clippings from
unidentified newspapers and magazines, therefore it is impos-
sible to give references in every case, further than to say that
these clippings are, or have been in the hands of the author, and
that only such statements as bear the stamp of authenticity
30 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
venience of those who wished to stop with him.
His place was a kind of inn, although it is not men-
tioned that strong drink was kept there. This,
then, was Jacksonville's first hotel. Mr. Hogans
also entertained travelers, but his house was
more an '^open house" than a hotel.
Among these early travelers were two men from
Georgia, William G. Dawson and Stephen E.
Buckles, who foresaw that some day a town would
be built at this point. They decided to remain and
open a store. They built a large log house near
the King's road (south side of Adams Street,
between Market and Newnan) ; brought a stock of
goods down by sailing vessel from New York, and
opened a mercantile establishment. This was the
first store. Dawson & Buckles did a fine business,
supplying the territory for miles around. Peo-
ple came long distances to trade here, and it was
about as much as the proprietors could do to sup-
ply the demand for goods. At the same time
Brady's boarding house was gaining a reputation,
and was also giving its owner a neat income.
These two places did a great deal toward drawing
settlers to the Cow Ford".
ISAIAH DAVID HABT.
Isaiah David Hart was one of these new-comers.
He had been here before with the ^* Patriots", and
was familiar with the surroundings ; but it was not
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 31
until lie learned how fast Messrs. Brady and Daw-
son & Buckles were making money that he decided
to move from his plantation on the St. Marys
Eiver and settle at the Cow Ford'. The National
Encyclopedia of American Biography says this
was in 1821, which date is doubtless correct; but
the statement made therein, that Ossian B. Hart,
son of I. D. Hart, was born at Jacksonville, Janu-
ary 17, 1821, is without doubt incorrect. It does
not seem probable that 0. B. Hart was born in
Jacksonville then, since it is common knowledge
among the oldest residents here that the distinc-
tion of being the first white child born at Jack-
sonville belonged to Sarah Ann Hogans, daughter
of L. Z. and Maria Hogans, born July 28, 1825.
Sarah Ann Hogans married Uriah Bowden.
On the 12th day of May, 1821, 1. D. Hart bought
18 acres of land from L. Z. Hogans, in the south-
east corner of the Taylor grant, paying $72 for the
18 acres, it is said in cattle. He built a double log
house just west of where the Church Club stands,
south side of Forsyth Street, between Market and
Newnan. He brought his household goods down
the St. Marys Eiver, through the inside passage,
and up the St. Johns to the Cow Ford. His family
and his live stock came across country. I. D. Hart
was numbered all through the early years as the
sixth settler on the site of Jacksonville, and his
brother, Daniel C. Hart, who came with him as the
All along the river at that time from the ferry,
32 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
now the foot of Liberty Street, westward to Mr.
Hogans 's eastern fence, where Laura Street now is,
was dense hammock through which no one ever
passed. Eastward of the ferry, down to Catherine
Street, was open pine land and a good, high bluff ;
and open pine land also extended from the ferry to
Hogan's Creek, and westward north of Forsyth
Street far beyond the present city limits. The
King's road led up north from the river east of
Mr. Brady's house, whence it turned northwest-
ward leading by on the north of the store of Daw-
son & Buckles'.
Occasionally, Mr. Hogans and Mr. Brady had
their houses so filled with guests that they could
not accommodate all who came. When this was the
case, Dawson & Buckles took into their store those
who could not find lodging elsewhere. There was
ample room above the store and when occasion
required, they did not hesitate to cut open a bale of
blankets for the use of these comers. This unsel-
fish and generous conduct brought its reward; it
was told everywhere and drew custom from far
and near. They never failed, either, to sell the
blankets; ^'They are not injured,'' said the pur-
chasers, ' ' by the use you put them to. I would put
them to the same use in my house, if necessary,
and would not consider them injured by it'". It
soon became apparent that something had to be
done to provide more accommodations for travel-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 33
ers at the Cow Ford, so Messrs. Dawson &
Buckles built a large frame house east of their
store (southwest corner of Market and Adams
Streets), for a boarding house. This was the first
frame house built in Jacksonville. When it was
completed, Mrs. Sarah Waterman, a widow then
living at St. Johns bluff, came and kept it. She
had three handsome grown daughters and one not
grown and two younger sons. Joseph Andrews,
brother-in-law of I. D. Hart, came not long after-
ward and built a frame house on what is now the
south side of Adams Street, midway between
Newnan and Ocean'.
The actual change of flags took place at St.
Augustine July 16, 1821, whereby East Florida
formally passed into the possession of the United
States. Then the Cow Ford became a busy place
for a forest settlement. Travel increased wonder-
fully, and at times the houses here could not ac-
commodate all those who wished to stop and view
JACKSONVILLE LAID OUT.
I. D. Hart now conceived the idea of laying otf
a town site at the Cow Ford. He seems to have
had some difficulty in convincing Messrs. L. Z.
Hogans and John Brady of the feasibility of the
plan ; but, finally, they consented to donate a por-
tion of their lands for streets. The town was laid
off in June, 1822, under the supervision of three
commissioners, residents of the neighborhood,
34 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
namely, Francis J. Ross, Benjamin Chaires, and
John Bellamy. The site was surveyed by D. S. H.
Miller, who formerly was connected with the
Spanish post at St. Nicholas with the title of
^'Captain of the Rural Militia of the St. Johns
River, District of St. Nicholas, and Deputy Sur-
veyor." John W. Roberts acted as Clerk'. On
the day the town was laid off a considerable dis-
pute arose between Brady and Hart as to the
dividing line between their lands. It was at last
agreed between them that a tree, claimed by L. Z.
Hogans to be a corner tree, standing on the river
bank at the foot of the present Market Street,
should be the starting point'. The survey began
here and thence north a street was laid out eighty
feet in width, the property owners on each side
donating forty feet. This was Jacksonville's first
street, and corresponded to the present Market
Street, but it was not given that name. It is im-
possible to determine what name the commission-
ers gave to the first street.
It was decided that there should be six lots,
each 105 feet square, in each block, two lots ad-
joining north and south, being 210 feet; and three
lots east and west, 315 feet. The next street laid
off was Bay Street, with a width of seventy feet.
The first square designated and numbered was
east of Market and north of Bay Street, and in
compliment to Brady as the first settler present of
the part now to be surveyed, it was designated
Square No. 1. The next square surveyed was
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 35
across Market Street, west of No. 1, and it was
designated No. 2. The square north of it was
numbered 3, and east of that, 4. Brady's build-
ings, it was found when the survey was being
made, would be in the street on the east of Square
No. 1, if but three lots from west to east were in
it. To avoid this difficulty, another tier of lots
was added on the east side of Square No. 1, mak-
ing this square eight lots, instead of six, which
saved Mr. Brady from living in the middle of the
street. Thus the range of blocks between Liberty
and Market Streets is composed of eight lots'.
The commissioners now surveyed Square No.
5, east of Square No. 1, the King's road leading
north from the river being between. This they
named Liberty Street, although it was often called
Ferry Street, also. The square north of No. 5 was
designated No. 6, north of that No. 8, west of that
No. 7, and west of that No. 9. This was the sur-
veyor's wrong marking and was never corrected
on the original map\
From the survey of Square No. 9, the commis-
sioners came back to Bay Street and ran off Square
No. 10 west of No. 2 ; and north of No. 10, they ran
11 and 12, respectively. Again they came back to
Bay Street, this time east of Washington Street,
and laid off No. 13, east of No. 5, and north of No.
13, they surveyed Nos. 14, 15, and 16 in the order
named. They then turned west and surveyed Nos.
17, 18, 19, and 20. Here they stayed their work and
never resumed it'.
36 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
The original survey comprised the squares be-
tween Catherine and Ocean Streets, and Duval
Street and the River. The naming of Liberty and
Washington Streets indicates the patriotism of
the commissioners. Newnan Street received its
name from Colonel Daniel Newnan, Inspector-
General of Georgia, but who came here with the
^* Patriots'' as a volunteer. Forsyth Street was
named for General Forsyth, of Georgia; Adams
Street, for John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of
State in President Monroe's cabinet, and who was
largely instrumental in bringing about the cession
of Florida ; Monroe Street, for President Monroe ;
and Duval Street, for Governor Duval, of Florida".
Three of Jacksonville's streets bear the names of
L D. Hart's children, namely, Laura, Julia, and
Ocean — Ocean was formerly Ossian.
By unanimous agreement, the newly laid out
town was called Jacksonville, in honor of General
Andrew Jackson, the name being suggested by
John Warren, who had served as a volunteer in
General Jackson's army during the Indian
troubles'. Some accounts have stated that Gen-
eral Jackson was present when the town was laid
out ; but the author has failed to find any authentic
record of the General's ever having visited the
Cow Ford, and certainly not in 1822.
MANY LOTS SOLD.
On the day Jacksonville was surveyed, a good
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 37
many lots were sold by botli Brady and Hart.
John Bellamy bought the northwest corner of
Bay and Liberty Streets, and D. S. H. Miller, the
surveyor, bought all the lots in Square No. 5.
Miller afterward sold these lots out to different
parties. Stephen J. Eubanks bought one of the
south lots in Square No. 2, on Bay Street, includ-
ing the margin to the river, for $12.00. Soon after
the town was surveyed, Brady conveyed to Benja-
min Chaires and Francis J. Eoss, two of the com-
missioners, the lot at the northeast corner of
Forsyth and Market Streets, where the armory
now stands. Messrs Chaires and Ross immedi-
ately gave this lot to the county, for the purpose
of erecting thereon the county court house. The
deed from Brady was not recorded until October
10, 1840. The record of a deed in that day was
regarded as useless, as it was a matter of public
notoriety that the property claimed was sold and
bought, and the title was therefore perfect,
whether the deed was recorded or not'.
John Warren built a large building of the best
materials in the best manner at the northwest cor-
ner of Bay and Newnan Streets. The eastern end
of the lower story was used as a store, and the
western end for a time as a dwelling. The upper
part was one large room, and was used as a court
room until the court house was built, and also as a
dance hall, and when occasion required for hold-
ing religious services'.
An air of business-like activity now took hold of
38 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
the place. The sound of the axe and the crash of
falling trees spoke plainly of the coming of other
permanent residents. Prominent among these
were William J. Mills, an Englishman from
Amelia Island; William Bailey, of Georgia; and
John L. Doggett, of Massachusetts.
THE FOUNDEK OF JACKSONVILLE.
The distinction of being the founder of Jackson-
ville unquestionably belongs to Isaiah D. Hart,
and he lived to see the town develop into a place of
more than 2,000 people. At one time or another,
he owned nearly all the land now known as old
Jacksonville, and also the most of Hogans's Dona-
tion (Springfield). He outlived all the early set-
tlers and died in 1861. He was buried in a vault
on a plot of ground at the northeast corner of
State and Laura Streets, and his resting place
was marked with this queer inscription :
When I am dead and in my grave,
And these bones are all rotten;
When this you see, remember me,
That I may not be forgotten.
After the fire of May 3, 1901, his remains were
removed to Evergreen Cemetery and the old vault
in the city was destroyed.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTEE IV.
1 History of Florida, Webb.
2 Florida Times-Union and Citizen, January 1, 1900.
3 Memoirs of Florida, Fleming.
4 Florida Eeports, Vol. VI, p. 491.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 39
ORGANIZATION OF LAW AND ORDER.
THE FIRST COURT.
Duval County was created August 12, 1822. On
December 16, 1822, the first county court convened
at Jacksonville for the transaction of county busi-
ness. The Justices were Thomas Reynolds, Wil-
liam G. Dawson, Rigdon Brown, and Britton
Knight. Thomas Reynolds was the presiding
Justice, and George Gibbs was clerk of the court.
It was a meeting similar to that of the present
county commissioners, vested with like powers,
and it met for a like purpose. They proceeded to
lay off the county into road districts, apportion
the work of building the roads, and did other busi-
ness of importance. James Dell was the first
sheriff of Duval County, but he moved to Alachua
County after serving less than two years. Daniel
C. Hart was appointed to fill the vacancy thus
made. Hart was afterward appointed U. S.
Deput}^ Marshal, and he held both positions to the
time of his death in 1831. In 1824, county affairs
were placed under the jurisdiction of three local
Judges. The first incumbents under this law were
John L. Doggett, F. Bethune, and John Houston,
appointed December 30, 1824\
40 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
FIKST GRAND JURY.
The first regular court ever held here convened
Monday, December 1, 1823. Hon. Joseph L. Smith
was the Judge. Judge Smith was the father of
General E. Kirby Smith, Confederate General.
The first grand jury was impanelled December 2,
1823, and was composed of the following grand
jurors: John Bellamy, Foreman; Stephen J.
Eubanks, John Houston, Isaac Tucker, Charles
Broward, Seymour Pickett, John Broward, John
Price, James Dell, William Matthews, Cotton
Rawls, A. G. Loper, Llewellyn Williams, Charles
Seton, John D. Braddock, John C. Houston,
Nathaniel Wilds, and Stephen Vanzanf. James
Dell who served on this jury was probably a kins-
man of the Sheriff, James Dell.
FIRST CIVIL CASE.
The first civil case called for trial was that of
Ephraim Harrison vs. John D. Vaughan, and was
disposed of as follows' :
(In Case) This day came the parties aforesaid,
by their attorneys and thereupon came a jury, to
wit : — P. D. McDonnell, Lewis Christopher, Britton
Knight, James Rouse, William Sparkman, John
Higginbotham, David Turner, Matthew H. Philips,
John G. Brown, John G. Rushing, William G. Daw-
son, and Lewis Thigpen, who were sworn well and
truly to try the issue joined between the parties;
and on motion of the plaintiff by his attorney, and
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 41
for reasons appearing satisfactory to the court, it is
ordered that the jury be discharged from rendering
a verdict herein, and that this cause be continued
until the next term, upon the plaintiff paying all
costs of the defendant herein expended.
The cause of this action is not stated.
Abraham Bellamy was the first lawyer to settle
in Jacksonville. He was the son of John Bellamy,
one of the commissioners. He built an office near
Mr. Brady's house, where he did business for all
who came. Most of the early legal papers were
drawn up by him'.
In October, 1823, the County of Duval made an
agreement with John L. Doggett for the erection
of a court house on the lot donated to the county
by Messrs. Chaires and Ross. When the timbers
were laid out and ready for framing, the people of
the county voluntarily gathered and, under the
direction of Seymour Pickett, raised them in two
days. This was in the summer of 1825. The struc-
ture was 40 feet square, two stories high, with a
basement 10 feet in height. It was first supported
by large hewn timbers, built up in squares, but
this arrangement was only a temporary one.
Brick pillars of great size and strength were after-
ward built, and the building was correctly leveled
and the timbers under it removed. The front was
42 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
to the south, facing Forsyth Street. A long, broad
portico, supported also by brick pillars, was be-
fore the building, and broad steps led up from the
ground on the east and the west. A large double
door, perhaps 10 feet high, led in, and broad steps
inside led up on the east and the west to the upper
story. The windows were numerous and of great
size, about 7 feet high and 4 feet wide. To these
double shutters, made of white pine, were pro-
vided, and closed out the wind and rain, and also
the light. They were afterward replaced by sash,
when these could be obtained'. In 1834, the Legis-
lative Council of the Territory of Florida ^ ^ autho-
rized Joseph B. Lancaster, I. D. Hart, and Wil-
liam J. Mills to raise $6,000 by means of lotteries,
to complete the court house at Jacksonville'.^^
The building was sufficiently completed, however,
in the winter of 1825-26 for use. This court house
was known far and wide as the best constructed
building in all this part of the country. It was
burned by Federal troops, March 29, 1863.
The next public building erected after the
court house was a jail ; this was in 1827. Its loca-
tion was on the southwest corner of Duval and
Market Streets. Some years later the building
was burned; then the county built a two-roomed
brick jail in the court house yard'. This, too, was
burned with the court house, in 1863.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 43
Seymour Pickett built a water mill for Charles
F. Sibbald at Six-mile Creek, in 1819. Sibbald
probably owned the first steam saw mill anywhere
in this vicinity. It was at Panama, and was in
operation as early as 1829. There was also a brick
kiln at Panama at that time.
JUDGE F. BETHUNE's DIARY.'
Judge Bethune's diary covers the period 1829-
1833, and contains daily entries, mostly in regard
to the work on his ^^New Ross'' plantation on the
river four miles above Jacksonville. The pages
are seared and yellowed from age, but the hand-
writing is nearly as clear as it was 80 years ago — a
testimonial in favor of the oak-ball ink used then.
The Judge makes frequent mention of going to
the steam mill at Panama, for lumber and bricks.
He was building a sugar mill at his plantation, and
the difficulties he experienced show the vicissi-
tudes attending building operations in those early
days. He hauled the material from Panama in
the brig "Venus,'' a vessel belonging to the port
of Jacksonville. He sent to St. Augustine for a
carpenter, and on September 7, 1829, put his slaves
and hired men (he owned some slaves, but fre-
quently hired outside help) to cutting and hewing
timber. After many delays, the mill was com-
pleted January 1, 1830, about three months after it
was started. He hauled his cane to the mill and
44 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
began grinding, but on the 28tb of January be
noted, ' ' The mill broke ; sent Nero for Carlisle, the
carpenter/' On the 19th of February following
repairs to the mill were completed and he began to
grind cane again. These works could not have
been very extensive.
The crops grown at Judge Bethune's plantation
were, sugar cane, rice (he had a good deal of
trouble with his rice crops on account of the birds,
and he had to keep a man in the field all day to
scare them away), guinea corn, arrow root, sweet
and Irish potatoes, rye, and a varied assortment
of vegetables, but no cotton. There was also a
peach orchard and an orange grove.
On August 11th and 12th, 1831, was the note,
*^The sun had the appearance of the full moon for
half an hour after sunrise; it had a bluish cast,
and the light was that of the full moon''; and on
the 14th, "Saw two large, black spots on the sun,
which still looks like the full moon at sunrise and
nearly an hour afterward."
When his slaves were sick, the Judge sent to
St. Augustine or Jacksonville for a physician.
The Jacksonville physician was a Doctor Hall,
perhaps the first physician here. The method fol-
lowed then seems to have been mostly "bleeding" ;
"Andrew sick; Dr. Hall came and bled him" is a
characteristic note. The kind-heartedness of the
master is indicated in the simple entry, "Dick and
George making Peggy's coffin; buried the old and
faithful servant in the evening. ' '
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 45
FERRY ACROSS THE ST. JOHNS.
The public ferry across the St. Johns River at
the Cow Ford in 1774, mentioned by Bartram, was
no doubt operated from the south side. It has
been persistently published by writers of news-
paper articles, and there seems to be no reason to
doubt it, that William Hendricks or Isaac Hend-
ricks owned and operated a ferry from the south
side as early as 1800. The ferryman could not
have spent much time on the lookout for signals
from the opposite shore and it would be interest-
ing to know just how travelers on this side at-
tracted the attention of the ferryman when they
wished to cross the river. One writer has said
that hours of gesticulating, riding up and
down the bluif, and shooting off guns and pistols
failed to attract his attention. When John Brady
came in 1818, he was not long in coming to the
conclusion that a ferry from the north side was
absolutely necessary, and he therefore established
Soon after Florida came into the possession of
the United States, the matter of a public ferry at
Jacksonville was brought before the Legislative
Council of the Territory and resulted in an act
establishing the ferry, approved December 29,
Act 14, Legislative Council of the Territory of
Florida, approved February 2, 1838, provided
46 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
An act entitled "an act establishing a ferry over
the St. Johns river at Jacksonville", approved De-
cember 29, 1824, be, and the same is hereby revived
and continued in force until the year one thousand,
eight hundred and forty-five.
Act 9, approved February 4, 1837, gave William
Hendricks the monopoly of running a ferry from
the south side of the river, as follows :
1. Be it enacted by the Governor and the Legis-
lative Council of the Territory of Florida, That
William Hendrick be and he is hereby authorized and
vested with the right, and charged with the duty of
keeping a ferry for the term of seven years across
the St. Johns River on the south side, at the Cow
Ford, opposite Jacksonville, in the County of Duval.
2. Be it further enacted. That it shall be the duty
of the said William Hendrick to keep a sufficient
number of boats and flats for the accommodation of
3. Be it further enacted, That it shall be unlaw-
ful for any other person or persons to establish or
keep a ferry within two miles, except it be for his,
her, or their own use, and not for the purpose of
gathering or receiving toll.
4. Be it further enacted. That the rates of
ferriage at said ferry shall be established from time
to time by the county court of said county.
John L. Doggett owned the ferry from the north
side of the river for a great many years. He was
the first licensed ferryman, on this side of the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 47
The mail in the early days was carried on horse-
back to St. Marys and back once a week, and to
St. Angustine and back in the same length of time.
It required ten days for the return trip to Talla-
hassee. When steam navigation became more or
less regular between Charleston and Savannah
and Jacksonville, the mail from the North came
here by vessel, and this method was continued
until the railroads began to operate. The road to
the St. Marys was often in very bad condition, and
during wet weather it was impassable for long dis-
tances. This caused great delays in the mails, so
much so that the Territorial Legislature in 1839,
sent a resolution to the delegate in Congress, ask-
ing for an appropriation of $5,000, for the pur-
pose of repairing the road from Jacksonville to
the St. Marys.'
Albert G. Philips was the first mail carrier be-
tween Jacksonville and Tallahassee. He studied
the language of the Indians and could talk with
them. He slept in the woods while en route and
would often awake in the night and find Indian
braves around his campfire. They would ask for
coffee and tobacco, which would be given them;
then Mr. Philips would go back to sleep, and when
he woke up again they would be gone. They never
molested him, and never took one thing from him;
but, instead, frequently brought him dried venison
and wild honey'. Another of the early mail carri-
48 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
ers was Green Bush, famous as a coon and squirrel
hunter, and generally considered one of the best
shots in the county'.
The first post office was in a store. It was then
moved to a room in the basement of the court
house, where it remained for some time'. The post-
master served practically without compensation,
and it became necessary to move the post office to
a store again, in order to get any one to serve as
postmaster, the store keeper being willing to dis-
tribute the mail in order to obtain the patronage
of those that always collect at a town store when
the keeper is also the postmaster. For years Wil-
liam Grothe was postmaster, jeweler, and watch-
maker in a little 12x12 building that stood at the
northeast corner of Forsyth and Newnan Streets'.
THE INCOKPOKATION OF JACKSONVILLE.
People continued to come to this vicinit}^ Some
settled in Jacksonville and others in the surround-
ing territory. The sons and relatives of wealthy
men in the North and other people of many kinds
came during the winter months. A few of these
stayed and entered into business'. At last the
town reached the stage when incorporation was
Jacksonville was incorporated by Act 70, of the
Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida,
Session of 1832. In many respects the charter
was a remarkable instrument, and is worthy of
careful reading. It follows:
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 49
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Governor and the
Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida,
That all the free white male inhabitants of the age
of twenty one years and over, comprehended within
a line commencing at a point on the South bank of
the river St. Johns, opposite Hogan's creek, on the
north side, running north half a mile up said creek,
thence west one mile and a half to McCoy's creek,
thence south to a point on the south side of the river
St. Johns, opposite to McCoy's creek, thence east to
the point of beginning ; and their successors be, and
are hereby declared to be a body politic and cor-
porate, by the name and style of the Town of Jack-
sonville, with all the rights, liberties, privileges, pow-
ers, and authorities incident to and appertaining to
a corporation, body politic, or a natural person ; and
by the said name and style may sue and be sued,
plead and be impleaded, hold, possess, and enjoy real
estate and personal property; and dispose of and
transfer the same, and so dispose of and manage the
funds of said city, as shall be most beneficial to the
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted that the govern-
ment of said town, shall be vested in a person to be
called a mayor, and four aldermen to compose a coun-
cil for the management of the affairs of the town.
The Mayor and aldermen shall be elected annually,
on the first Monday of April, from among such of
the qualified voters of said town hereby incorporated,
as shall have resided within the limits thereof at least
one month, and shall be housekeepers therein.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the said
Council shall have the power and authority to pass
50 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
all laws and ordinances, that may be necessary and
expedient for the good government of said town, and
the preservation of the public morals ; Provided, that
they are not inconsistent with the constitution and
laws of the United States, and the power hereby
granted. Provided no law or ordinance in this
respect, shall be inconsistent with any law of this
Territory — They shall especially have power to
regulate, improve, alter, and extend the streets, lanes,
avenues, and public squares, and to open new streets,
and to cause encroachments, obstructions, decayed
buildings, and old ruins to be removed; making the
parties injured by any improvement, a just compen-
sation, and charging upon those benefited a reason-
able assessment, to be ascertained in such manner, as
shall be agreed upon by the parties, or by a jury of
twelve men, to be organized in such manner, as, by
ordinance, the said council may provide ; They shall
have power to prevent and abate nuisances, to order
and compel the owners or occupants of lots, upon
which pools of water are, or are likely to accumulate,
to fill them up, to regulate and compel persons by
ordinances or otherwise, to erect and keep in repair
partition fences ; and may pass all laws and ordinan-
ces that may be necessary to preserve the public
health — They shall have authority to guard against
the introduction of infectious or malignant diseases,
and for this purpose, may prohibit or regulate the
ingress, or approach of vessels into the w^aters within
the limits of said corporation, and w^ienever neces-
sary, may compel them under fixed and certain penal-
ties to perform quarantine, and observe such other
rules and regulations, as to the said Council ma}^ seem
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 51
proper by ordinance to establish. They may con-
struct wharves, keys, and docks, and regulate wharf-
age, dockage, and mooring and anchoring vessels,
erect bridges and ferries and establish the rates of
ferriage and tolls ; They may erect all necessary pub-
lic buildings, and dispose of the same as the interests
of the town may require ; and make and sink wells,
erect pumps, dry drains, and do and perform all
such other act or acts, as shall seem necessary, and
be best adapted to the improvement and general inter-
ests of the town, and pass all necessary laws to guard
against fires, and to ensure the sweeping of chimneys ;
they may establish and regulate markets, and require
all persons bringing fresh provisions into the town,
to exhibit them for sale at proper market hours,
establish and regulate the weight and assize of bread,
the inspection of provisions and other produce, being
the growth or manufacture of the Territory, that may
be brought in said town for sale, or which may be
sent from it ; the gauging of liquors, the measuring or
weighing of any articles of produce or merchandise,
and the storing of gunpowder; and all naval and
military stores, not the property of the United States.
They shall have the power to tax auctioneers, and
license and tax retailers of goods, and liquors, hawk-
ers, pedlars, tavern and public boarding house keep-
ers', hackney carriages, carts and drays ; restrain lot-
teries, tippling houses, gaming houses, houses of ill
fame, and theatrical or other public exhibitions, sup-
press riots and disorderly assemblies, and may pro-
vide for the punishment of all persons guilty of
breaches of the peace, within the limits of said to^vn,
by fine and imprisonment ; Provided the fine shall in
52 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
no case exceed five dollars and the imprisonment five
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That the said
Town-council shall further have the power and au-
thority to provide by tax, or otherwise, a fund for the
support of the poor, the infirm, the diseased and in-
sane ; to establish public schools and provide for their
maintenance, and to organize patrols, and provide
for the punishment of negroes and persons of color.
Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That the said
Council shall have the power to assess, levy, and en-
force the collection of all taxes, and other impositions,
as may be necessary for the support of the govern-
ment of said Town, and the improvements thereof —
Provided, that no higher rate of tax shall be levied
upon real estate than one half of one per cent on the
assessed value thereof, to be determined by assessors
chosen in such manner as said council may provide,
and the said taxes to be collected by distress and sale,
after default shall be made in the payment thereof,
in the most convenient and least expensive way, as to
the said mayor and aldermen shall be deemed expedi-
ent — and the said council shall have power further
to provide for the trial of all offenses that may arise
under the ordinance of said town, and shall enforce
the collection of all fines and penalties that may arise
as aforesaid, in such manner as said council by ordi-
nance may provide.
Sec. 6. Be it further enacted. That it shall be the
duty of the mayor to see that the ordinances of the
town are faithfully executed, recommend for ap-
pointment all necessary town officers and report and
cause their removal, whenever by negligence or mis-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 53
conduct the interests of the town may require it— he
shall preside at all meetings of the board, and propose
such measures as he shall think important to the pub-
lic interest, but shall only be entitled to a casting vote,
and shall have power to convene the board whenever
it may be deemed necessary— he shall have, possess,
exercise and enjoy all the powers, duties and privi-
leges and receive the same compensation as a justice
of the peace.
Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That the mayor
and two aldermen shall form a quorum for the trans-
action of all business ; they may compel the attend-
ance of their absent members, under such pains and
penalties as by the rules may be prescribed; judge of
the qualification of members, and of the sufficiency,
correctness, or regularity of election returns; settle
their own rules of proceeding, and upon the recom-
mendation of the mayor, appoint and remove all offi-
cers, and fix their compensation, and establish such
fees' as may or ought to be allowed for such services,
as may be required of them— their meetings shall be
public, and they shall cause a journal of their pro-
ceedings to be kept and regularly authenticated by
the signatures of the mayor and clerk, which shall be
kept open for the inspection of all who may be inter-
ested in the proceedings of said council : The ayes
and noes upon any question, shall be entered upon
their journals upon a call of any two members— they
shall make public all their ordinances and resolutions,
before they shall have force and efficacy, by posting
written copies thereof in two or more public places
in said town.
Sec. 8. Be it further enacted. That all white male
54 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
inhabitants of the age of twenty one years and over,
who shall have resided within the said town, at least
one month immediately preceding the day of election,
shall be entitled to vote for mayor and aldermen, they
being citizens of the United States — All votes shall
be given by ballot.
Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That the elections
shall be conducted by three inspectors, to be appointed
at least two weeks before the day of election, by the
mayor; the said mayor shall also appoint the place
of holding the said election, and give public notice
thereof for the like period of time.
Sec. 10. Be it further enacted. That the said in-
spectors shall be judges of the qualifications of vot-
ers ; and it shall be the duty of them, or any two of
them, on the day appointed by law for holding the
elections, to open the poll for the reception of votes,
and to cause the names of voters to be recorded in a
book to be kept for that purpose, which shall be de-
posited at the close of election amongst the archives
of the corporation ; the polls shall open at nine o 'clock
in the morning, and close at five o'clock in the after-
noon, after which the inspectors shall proceed to count
the votes, and declare the persons elected, as mayor
and aldermen, and make out a written certificate
thereof, at the foot of the poll list, and deliver a copy
to the mayor elect, who, upon receipt thereof, shall
signify his acceptance or refusal.
Sec. 11. Be it further enacted. That if the said
mayor elect shall signify his acceptance of said office,
the former mayor shall as soon as practicable, at any
time within five days, assemble the board, and in
their presence, administer to him the following oath :
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 55
''I, A. B. do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I mil to
the utmost of my power support, advance and defend
the interests, peace and good order of the town of
Jacksonville, and faithfully discharge the duties of
mayor of said Town, during my continuance in office ;
and I do further swear, that I will support the Con-
stitution of the United States ' ' ; and the Mayor elect,
upon being thus qualified, shall then administer the
like oath to the aldermen elect, and thereupon the
duties of the former board shall cease.
Sec. 12. Be it further enacted, That if the Mayor
elect, or any of the Aldermen, shall decline to accept
the office to which he or they may have been elected,
or if accepting any or either of them, shall not qualify,
by taking the prescribed oaths, within five days, that
then the Mayor in office, or any person exercising the
duties thereof, shall by proclamation, direct an elec-
tion to be held for supplying such seats in the board as
may be vacant, giving at least one week 's notice there-
of, designating at the same time, the persons ap-
pointed to superintend and conduct said election.
Sec. 13. Be it further enacted. That if the office
of Mayor, or any Alderman, shall at any time become
vacant, by death, resignation, removal, or otherwise,
it shall be the duty of the Mayor, or the person exer-
cising the duties of mayor, agreeably to this act, in
like manner as is provided in the preceding sec-
tion, to order a new election to fill such vacancy or
Sec. 14. Be it further enacted, That Isaiah D.
Hart, John L. Doggett, and Henry H. Burritt, be
and they, or any two of them, are hereby appointed
inspectors to superintend the election for Mayor and
56 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Councilmen, on the first Monday in April, 1832:
Provided, that nothing hereby enacted shall be con-
strued to exclude the legislature of this Territory
from the right to repeal, alter, or modify this act
as it may deem proper.
Passed Feb. 9, 1832.
Approved Feb. 11, 1832.
An act of the legislature, approved February
10, 1835, made some unimportant changes in the
charter; and Act 3, approved January 27, 1837,
changed the boundaries of the town as follows :
The boundary line of the incorporation of the
Town of Jacksonville shall be extended agreeably to
the following lines : Beginning at the mouth of
McCoy's Creek on the St. Johns River, running
thence up said creek to a point where John W.
Richard's fence joined said creek, thence in a north
course to the first branch north of the King's road
leading to St. Marys, thence down said branch to
Hogan 's Creek, thence down said creek to the mouth
where it empties into the St. Johns River, thence
across said river to the south side, thence up the
south side of the said river to Hendrick's Point,
thence across St. Johns River to the mouth of Mc-
Coy's Creek aforesaid.
Act 44, approved March 2, 1840, repealed all
acts and parts of acts then in force incorporating
the town of Jacksonville, a new charter being
Eight towns in Florida were incorporated prior
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 57
to the incorporation of Jacksonville, namely, St.
Angustine, Pensacola, Fernandina, Key West,
Quincy, Magnolia, Apalachicola, and Ochesee'.
The first election of town officials was held in
accordance with Section 14, of the charter. Wil-
liam J. Mills was elected mayor, and he was, there-
fore, the first mayor of Jacksonville. Unfortu-
nately, no record has been found from which a list
of the early mayors could be obtained. These
gentlemen served in that capacity before the civil
war, but for what period is unknown: F. C Bar-
rett, Oliver Wood, Eodney Dorman, William
Grothe. H. D. Holland was mayor 1852-53 ; Philip
Fraser, 1855-56; F. L Wheaton, 1856-57; H. H.
As a matter of interest, a complete list of the
mayors of Jacksonville since the civil war is her^
1865-66 H. H. Hoeg
1866-67 Holmes Steele
1867-68 John Clark
1868-69 Edward Hopkins
1869-70 Edward Hopkins
1870-71 Peter Jones
1871-72 Peter Jones
1872-73 Peter Jones
1873-74 J. C. Greeley
1874-75 Peter Jones
1875-76 Peter Jones
58 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
W. Stokes Boyd
J. Eamsey Dey
M. A. Dzialynski
M. A. Dzialynski
W. McL. Dancy
W. McL. Dancy
M. C. Rice
J. Q. Burbridge
C. B. Smith
D. U. Fletcher
Wm. M. Bostwick
R. D. Knight
J. E. T. Bowden
D. U. Fletcher
G. M. Nolan
G. M. Nolan***
W. H. Sebring
W. S. Jordan
W. S. Jordan
*Term changed to two years,
^*Appointed by the City Council under the provisions of House
Bill No. 4, which was designed to rid the city of negro
**Died in office; unexpired term filled by W. H. Baker.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 59
During tlie period between the incorporation of
Jacksonville and the outbreak of the Seminole war
in December, 1835, plans were laid for the estab-
lishment of some important enterprises, chief
among which was the organization of a company
to build a railroad from Jacksonville to Talla-
hassee, and later to extend it to some point on the
Gulf coast. This was in 1834. The name of the
railroad was to be the Florida Peninsular and
Jacksonville Eailroad, and the capital stock of the
company was not to exceed $1,000,000. Among the
directors were J. B. Lancaster, I. D. Hart, F.
Bethune, W. Gr. Mills, and Stephen Eddy, of Jack-
sonville. The Bank of Jacksonville was incor-
porated Februar}^ 14, 1835, with a capital of $75,-
000\ In 1835, the Jacksonville Courier sprang
into existence. L. Currier & Co., of Boston were
the publishers and the paper was ably edited by a
Mr. Williams. Williams died that year and the
office changed hands, being carried on by Thomas
D. Dexter, and for a time by O. M. Dorman with a
gentleman named Gregory as editor'. The largest
of the mercantile houses was that of S. L. Burritt
& Co. This firm brought to Jacksonville from
Cuba the first cargo of sugar ever brought here
and greatly overstocked the market in all this part
of the country. This they obtained in exchange
for lumber, barrelled fish, and other things. They
continued to ship and bring back coffee, rum,
60 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
molasses, salt, cigars, fruit, etc'. And so tlie
foundation of the present splendid wholesale trade
was laid way back in the 30 's, when the importa-
tion of goods was by means of sailing vessels only,
a transportation that was slow and uncertain.
At that time Jacksonville was nothing more
than a hamlet of 250 people, or less, far too small
in itself to warrant the establishment of a bank
and a newspaper or the building of a railroad ; but
scattered all around, both up and down the river,
were the plantations of wealthy men, who trans-
acted their commercial and legal business here,
and it was their moral and financial support, as
well as the progressiveness of the citizens of the
town, that inspired these important measures.
THE GREAT FREEZE OF 1835.
February 8th, 1835, was the coldest day in the
history of this section. A temperature of 8 de-
grees Fahrenheit, was observed here, and the ex-
treme temperature was without doubt some lower.
At Fort King, now Ocala, a temperature of 11 de-
grees was noted ; immediately after the freeze the
observer obtained a new thermometer which
averaged two degrees lower than his old one, and
therefore it is a reasonable deduction that the low-
est temperature there on February 8th was 9 in-
stead of 11 degrees. The St. Johns Eiver at Jack-
sonville was frozen several rods from the shore
and afforded the inhabitants a spectacle as new as
it was distressing. Fruit trees were destroyed^
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 61
most of them roots and all ; even some forest trees
were killed by the extreme cold'. In the light of
present knowledge concerning freezes in Florida,
it may be safely stated that there were several
days of extraordinarily cold weather, February
8th being the coldest.
For the purpose of comparison, there is here ap-
pended a table showing the days on which the tem-
perature at Jacksonville fell to 20 degrees, Faht.,
or below', record complete since 1835 :
1835, February 8 8
1845, December 21 20
1852, January 13 20
jggyf January 19 16
I January 20 18
1868, December 25 20
1870, December 24 19
1880, December 30 19
-j^gggj January 11 19
I January 12 15
1894, December 29 14
-j^ggg (February 8 14
I February 9 19
[February 13 10
I February 14 16
1900, February 18 18
1901, December 21 20
1905, January 26 17
1909, December 30 19
62 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
During tlie cold weather of January 13, 1852,
snow fell all the forenoon, and when it ceased the
ground was covered to the depth of half an inch.
In 1899, on the night of February 12-13th, rain
changed to sleet at 9:45 p. m. (12th), and this to
snow at 10:15 p. m. Snow continued during the
night, ceasing before sunrise of the 13th. That
morning the ground was covered with snow to the
depth of 2 inches, with a temperature of 10 de-
grees, and in sheltered places it remained un-
melted for several days'.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTER V.
1 Memoirs of Florida, Fleming.
2 History of Florida, Webb.
3 From Judge Bethune's original diary.
4 Letter from Mrs. M. C. Powers, daughter of Albert G.
5 From an old newspaper clipping.
6 Acts of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida.
7 Records in possession of Weather Bureau.
8 Jacksonville Tri-Weekly Sun, February 19, 1876.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 63
THE SEMINOLE WAR PERIOD/
During the summer of 1835, it was known that
the Indians were on the verge of outbreak, but
every one thought the war would be of short dura-
tion and after a few skirmishes the Indians would
be so badly punished they would be glad to emi-
grate to the West. A prolonged war was simply
out of the question from the view-point of the
whites. Planters went about their farm opera-
tions as usual and trade with the interior con-
tinued unabated. In the fall there were ominous
mutterings of coming trouble, still the popular be-
lief was that it would not last long. Short-time
volunteers were called for to frighten the Indians
into agreeing to emigrate. Several companies
were raised in Nassau and Duval Counties. The
names of Colonel Warren and Major Mills are
mentioned in connection with these commands —
probably John Warren and William J. Mills of
the Jacksonville neighborhood.
The war opened December 29, 1835, when
Osceola and twenty followers shot and killed Gen-
eral Wiley Thompson and others at Fort King,
now Ocala, and Major Dade's command was
massacred in Sumter County, near the present
town of Bushnell, two separate events on the same
day. The news of these disasters spread through
64 HISTOHY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
the country like wild-fire. People everywhere in
the interior abandoned their homes and collected
in the towns for protection. Many of them came
to Black Creek and on to Jacksonville. Trade with
the interior gradually ceased, and although it was
expected that hostilities would be confined to the
middle portion of the peninsula, the stoppage of
trade with the interior, a large portion of which
was handled through Jacksonville, was perceptibly
felt in business circles here.
THE BLOCK HOUSE.
The Governor of Florida issued a proclamation
to the people advising them to build block houses
in every community, as a means of protection
against the Indians. One was built in Jackson-
ville, probably in 1836, at the northeast corner of
Ocean and Monroe Streets. This structure was
one of the famous buildings here and is mentioned
in nearly every account of the early town. It was
a structure of logs — a large square room raised
high above the ground on a pedestal-like base. It
was entered through a door in the floor, by means
of a ladder. In the event of attack, the ladder
would be drawn up and the opening closed. Port-
holes were provided on all sides, and also in the
floor, through which to shoot. The object of the
overhanging construction was to prevent its being
set on fire, since in trying to fire the house an
Indian could be shot from overhead. The block-
house stood at what was then the frontier of the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 65
town. All north and west of it was barren waste.
Every rumor of Indians in this section caused the
timid residents to seek its protection at dark.
Sentries did guard duty at night and ''many an
amusing scene could they relate, caused by the
electric imagination of the weak-nerved when it
came their turn to go on post'\' The Coy House
was built on this site in the winter of 1851-52.
During its fifteen years of existence the old block
house served the community well, first as a fort
and then as a place for holding religious services.
Jacksonville was a supply depot during the war,
sub-commissary to the chief post at Middleburg.
The government built a long one- story wooden
building on the south side of Bay Street, between
Main and Laura, near Laura, as a storage for sup-
plies. This was popularly called the ' 'government
building". It was built high above the marsh — for
that region was then nothing more than marsh
land over which the tide frequently came — and
along the Bay Street side a raised sidewalk fur-
nished an entrance. This building stood for many
ATTACKS BY THE INDIANS.
In the summer of 1836, the Indians attacked
and destroyed several plantations along the lower
St. Johns, among them those of Colonel tiallowes
and Mr. Travers. They also appeared here and
there in Western Florida, between the Suwanee
Eiver and Tallahassee. The settlements in the
66 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Black Creek country and on the east side of the
St. Johns above Jacksonville had, many of them,
been broken up, although a few planters who had
been kind to the Seminoles, remained on their
farms and were never molested.
On September 15, 1836, a band of Indians at-
tacked the house of a Mr. Higginbotham seven
miles west of Jacksonville, but they were driven
off by members of the household, who barricaded
themselves in the house and fired at the Indians
with shot and ball. After the Indians left, Mr.
Higginbotham rode post-haste to Jacksonville to
give the alarm, and Major Hart and twelve men
immediately went in pursuit. Major Hart's party
found all well at the Higginbotham home and
pushed on down the trail toward the Tallahassee
road. When they reached the Johns farm they
found the house a heap of smoking ruins in which
were the charred remains of Mr. Johns. Several
miles farther on, at Mr. Sparkman's, they found
Mrs. Johns, severely wounded, but still alive. Mr.
and Mrs. Johns were attacked at 10 o 'clock in the
forenoon, while they were in the yard of their
home, and although Mr. Johns was shot through
the chest, both he and his wife managed to reach
the house and close the door. The Indians soon
broke open the door and shot Mr. Johns dead.
They dragged his wife to the door and told her to
go, but at that moment an Indian shot her through
the arm and neck. She fell through the doorway,
but they dragged her back into the house and with
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 67
a large butcher knife fiendishly skinned all the
hair off of her head. They then plundered the
house and set fire to it. Mrs. Johns, though
greatly weakened from loss of blood, managed to
crawl out of the burning house after the Indians
left. Fainting from weakness at frequent inter-
vals, she at last reached a nearby swamp, got some
water, and laid down to die. Here searchers
found her at 2 p. m. They took her on a horse and
conveyed her to a neighbor's, Mr. Sparkman's,
several miles away. She was later removed to
Jacksonville and placed in a comfortable board-
ing house, where medical attendance and humane
attentions soon relieved her of much of her physi-
cal suffering and she finally recovered'.
The year 1836 closed with the Indians holding
their own everywhere. They overran the country,
killing express riders, attacking wagon trains, and
burning farm houses, and as a result no operations,
except those of a military nature, were carried on
in the country districts. The comparatively ex-
tensive trade that Jacksonville had enjoyed with
the interior was entirely destroyed; the Courier
ceased publication, and on account of the public
unrest such enterprises as were contemplated
were abandoned. Instead of being a small affair
that would terminate with a display of force and a
few volleys from the troops, the war wore on for
seven years, furnishing the most wonderful ex-
ample of Indian warfare in the history of the
United States. As time went by, however, the
68 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
field of operations receded from this section and
went farther and farther southward.
PANIC OF 1837 AND THE BANK OF JACKSONVILLE.
In 1830, there began an era of extravagant
speculation and reckless enterprise in the United
States. Population was increasing and produc-
tion was increasing even faster than population.
As the means of communication between producer
and consumer were decidedly inadequate, a uni-
versal need was felt for transportation facilities
that would insure quick delivery at moderate
prices. The popular demand for railroad and
canal construction became so great that conserva-
tism and good judgment were swept aside. States,
cities, and towns all over the country were drawn
into the whirl of enthusiasm, and many of them
made large bond issues to carry on the work of
construction. Naturally business in all lines be-
came inflated, and when such is the case a crisis is
inevitable. An over production in the cotton crop
of 1836 caused a drop in prices and hastened the
panic that had its beginning in 1837. During the
hard times that followed many of the States had
to resort to extraordinary measures to pay the in-
terest on their debts, and some, including Florida,
actually repudiated their debts and refused to pay.
The States had issued bonds in the aid of the con-
struction of railroads and canals, and in the South
especially subscribed to bank stock for the pur-
chase of which they also issued bonds. Therefore,
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 69
many bank failures occurred when the crash came,
culminating with the failure of the Bank of Penn-
sylvania in 1840, when every bank south of Phila-
delphia suspended payment'. Florida had a better
excuse for repudiating her debts than the other
states, because she was not only caught in the
money panic, but at the same time had been and
was even then undergoing a disastrous war with
the Seminole Indians.
The Bank of Jacksonville made a spectacular
effort to weather the storm, by increasing its capi-
tal from $75,000 to $100,000. It sent a petition to
the Legislative Council asking for permission to
open its books for the subscription of stock, and
this permission was granted by Act 19, approved
February 12, 1837, as follows :
^^That the books for receiving subscription of
stock in said bank (Bank of Jacksonville) on giv-
ing thirty days previous notice thereof, shall be
opened on or before the first of October next, in
the town of Jacksonville, under the superinten-
dence of William G. ( J) Mills, James Dell, Joseph
B. Lancaster, William Rider, John L. Doggett, and
Hardy H. Philips; and said books shall be kept
open for one year, unless said stock shall sooner be
subscribed for.'' Assuming that the books were
opened on October 1, 1837, it required but four
months to raise the necessary $25,000, regardless
of the hard times. An act. No. 10, approved on the
30th of January, 1838, provided :
70 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Governor and the
Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, That
the Directors of the Bank of Jacksonville be, and
they are hereby authorized, whenever they shall
deem it expedient, to increase the capital stock of
said bank to one hundred thousand dollars : And the
directors of said bank be, and they are hereby autho-
rized to receive subscriptions for the increase of
stock at the banking house of said corporation, or
at such places, and at such times, and in such man-
ner, as they, or a majority of them may direct.
Sec. 2, Be it further enacted, That no person
but a stockholder, citizen of the United States, or of
this Territory and a resident of this Territory, shall
be a director of said bank.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That the Presi-
dent and directors shall not be authorized at any
time, to issue a greater amount of bills than twice
the amount of capital stock actually paid in.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted. That the notes of
the bank shall be redeemable at the banking house,
during banking hours on demand, in gold or silver,
and that the said corporation shall never refuse, or
suspend such payment on lawful demand being
made ; the bearer of any such bill, note, or obligation
shall be entitled to recover interest at the rate of
ten per centum per annum until they shall make
payment, or tender payment thereof with interest as
It will be noted that Section 1 not only provided
for the increase of capital to $100,000, the amount
of which was then in hand, but at the same time
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 71
authorized the Bank of Jacksonville ' ' at such times
and in such manner" as the directors may elect, to
further increase its capital stock. No subsequent
record has been found, and a logical inference is,
that it struggled along until 1840, and went out of
existence together with the other banks with the
failure of the Bank of Pennsylvania.
During the progress of the war our troops cap-
tured a little Indian boy on one of their trips to
the interior. An Englishman by the name of Dr.
Welsh, residing at Jacksonville, took a fancy to
the boy and was allowed to care for him in his own
family. It developed that this young Indian was
a nephew of the great Osceola, his mother being a
sister of the chief. Dr. Welsh later purchased an
estate near the mouth of the St. Johns Eiver,
where he retired with his protege. He took great
pains and pleasure in bringing up his charge in
civilized ways, teaching him to read and write
among other accomplishments. In 1840, the Doc-
tor returned to England, taking young Osceola
with him. In the following year he published a
book relating to his adopted son, the preface of
which stated the object, ''To record all events
relating to the life and capture of my protege with
which I am acquainted in order that in the event of
my death the manuscript might inform him of his
origin and history and at the same time remind
him of one who loved him with the fondness of a
72 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
father.'' An effort was made to trace little
Osceola's history in London after 1842, but with-
out successful results*. This Indian boy played
with the white children in Jacksonville, joining
with them in their childish games. Sometimes he
would become very angry, because they teased him,
and on one occasion he tried to stab a little girl in
the foot, whereupon he was given a sound thrash-
ing by her brother*.
It has been said that Jacksonville's growth be-
gan with the Indian war, because people from the
country districts moved here for protection. This
is true to a limited extent and a few permanent
residents no doubt did come in that way, but the
real cause was directly traceable to the effects of
the panic, together with the favorable representa-
tions of the country and climate made by the army
officers that had been here in connection with the
Indian war. The letters of J. P. Belknap', written
from Mandarin, Florida, throw some light upon
the conditions prevailing in this section about
that time; the following are excerpts from these
Mandarin, March 13, 1839.
*'**But I must broach the all absorbing, all exciting
theme — the mulberry. I thought when at New York
I had made a good contract, but it has proved far
otherwise, for I found much to my surprise that the
*Silk-worm propagation caused the mulberry rage referred to
• in these letters.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 73
fever was raging higher here than at Hartford or
New York, for not only had some of the mulberry-
planters returned from travelling at the North, but
several Northern men had come here to buy mul-
berry and plant here to avail themselves of our
climate ; so instead of finding plenty of opportunities
for buying cheap, as I had every reason to expect, I
found only buyers riding through the country in
search of it. This was a double disappointment, for
in the first place I had formed a plan * * * to pur-
chase up all the mulberry in my neighborhood as
soon as I arrived and with my own take it to New
York and make quite a speculation with it * * *. I
have barely time to say that I have sold what I could
spare and reserved enough to make a great number
this season, but such was my fear that something
might occur to reduce the price * =^ * that I sold
them too soon and did not get more than half as much
as I might soon after, for such is the rage for plant-
ing that they have risen to the enormous price of
3 cents an eye for cuttings. The Davenports have
shipped a great quantity. One lot of trees at St.
Augustine sold for $50,000.
Mandarin, July 10, 1840.
***The unaccountable or rather abominable cir-
cumstance of the war, keeping me out of the posses-
sion of my place and the total failure of the mul-
berry market, deprives me of all resources for the
present. * * * Neither can I do anything at improv-
ing my orange grove without exposing myself to
danger, for Indians are bolder than ever. They have
dispersed themselves into small parties and prowl
74 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
about like wild beasts. They have committed mur-
ders near us upon the public roads that have been
travelled in safety until this season and the prospect
never has been darker than the present for its termi-
nation. There is no way to account for this state of
things, but by the political condition of our country,
being on the eve of a presidential election. * * *
(Near) Mandarin, Jan'y. 1, 1842.
**#You will doubtless think I had some cause for
melancholly reflections when I tell you that I was but
little better than a guard for protection — the Indians
came into the very neighborhood of Mandarin,
murdered one family and plundered and burnt out
three, and that I had just gotten settled at my place
again after spending 2 or 3 months' time and some
money. This is the third time I have been obliged
to abandon my place and sacrifice time, money, and
everything but my life. * * * In all former wars
with the Indians they never were known to come into
Mandarin settlement before. And during this war
of more than six years they never have come nearer
than Julington Creek (to my neighbor, Mott, adjoin-
ing me) ; therefore at this late period when this part
of the country had been so long quiet the inhabitants
of Mandarin thought no more of Indians than if
there were none in the Territory, but now their
fears are as great or greater than at any time since
the war broke out. It had been long reported and
was generally believed that the troops had gotten
almost all the Indians out of the Territory and that
the war would soon be terminated. But alas! we
have just experienced another cruel disappointment
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 75
and there is no more security or prospect for its
termination than at its commencement.*** I have
barely room to say that the creeping, skulking
Indians never would have ventured into Mandarin
settlement but that there are no troops within 100
miles (20 or 30 except) ; they were all taken south in
pursuit of Sam Jones and his warriors. I hear that
troops are on their way to be stationed near us for
our protection. If so I may return to my place, for
all that return to reoccupy their places are now fur-
nished with provisions till the next crop season.***
Florida was open to great possibilities and de-
velopment, and as there is something about bor-
der life that always lures, many people, desirable
citizens and adventurers alike, wearied of the
hard times in the North, sought this Territory for
relief. The adventurers did not settle and left
when peace was at last restored, but many good
people stayed and a number settled in Jackson-
ville. Business increased with their coming and
the town began a slow but permanent growth.
Church membership increased, the period 1839-
1840 being marked by the organization and incor-
poration of religious bodies here. During the last
stages of the war, the zone of hostilities had moved
so far from Jacksonville that the town returned
to almost normal conditions, and despite the fact
that attacks were occasionally made by roving
bands of Indians near here, trade with nearby
points was resumed and gradually extended into
76 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Among those who came to Jacksonville from
the North during the Indian war was a man who
unselfishly gave his best efforts to the advance-
ment of this town, and whose influence was a pow-
erful factor in the progress of the place. This
man was :
DK. ABEL SEYMOUR BALDWIN*.
Dr. A. S. Baldwin was born near Fulton, Oswego
County, New York, March 19, 1811. He was
adopted by an uncle living* near Perryville, New
York; had private tutors, and went to Cazanovia
Seminary and later to Hobart College, Geneva,
New York. Soon after completing his education,
he went with a surveying party to Michigan as
botanist. On his return from this trip, he decided
to go South, in a government ship. He stopped
at Charleston for a time, and then came on to
Jacksonville. This was in 1839.
Dr. Baldwin was a very accomplished man, in
whom were combined two qualities seldom met
with together, namely, science and practicality.
He was a botanist, and thoroughly understood
plant growth and plant life. As a meteorologist,
he stood high in the estimation of the officials of
the Smithsonian Institution. In his prime, he was
considered the best medical practitioner in East
Florida. He played on several musical instru-
ments, and his carving on wood and ivory was
*This biography was written by the author from reliable
data; it is absolutely unbiased and without favoritism.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 77
said to have been very fine. He was Senior War-
den of St. John's Episcopal church for a great
number of years. He was profoundly attached to
Jacksonville, and his long and useful life was de-
voted to the advancement of the interests of this
place. So far as known, his first public act was
the setting out of the beautiful shade trees that
lined our streets before the fire of 1901. He fore-
saw the necessity of obtaining deeper water at the
bar, before Jacksonville could make any claim
upon marine interests. A citizen committee sent
him to Washington in 1852, to present his ideas to
Congress, the result of which was an appropria-
tion for improving the bar. Thus the first steps in
harbor improvement were taken as a result of his
efforts; and it was largely through his influence
that the question of deeper water to the sea was
kept alive after the war. He took the most promi-
nent part in the Legislature fighting for the rail-
road for Jacksonville, as against the road from
Fernandina to Cedar Keys projected by Senator
Yulee. And finally, when a railroad for this place
was assured, he was elected its first President. He
entered the Confederate service and was ap-
pointed chief surgeon of the hospitals at Lake City.
Dr. Baldwin was an active man, but he never
sought public office. With an unselfish interest in
this town, there was no contemplated improve-
ment that he was not prominently identified with.
It has been repeatedly said that he did more for
Jacksonville when the place needed a guiding and
78 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
helping hand, than any other man, and some day,
when this becomes a ^'City of Retrospect,'' we
may see a monument in one of onr parks erected
to the memory of Abel Seymour Baldwin, died
December 10, 1898, in his 88th year.
BIBLIOGEAPHY, CHAPTER VI.
1 See the histories of Fairbanks, Williams, Sprague, and Coe
in relation to the Seminole war.
2 History of Florida, Webb.
3 Florida, Williams.
4 Red Patriots, Coe.
5 Mrs. M. C. Powers.
6 C. Drew, in Times-Union, Trade Edition, January, 1890.
7 New International Encyclopaedia, see REPUDIATION,
8 Letters and papers of J. P. Belknap in possession of M. A.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 79
THE EARLY CHURCHES.
So far as known, religious services were first
held in Jacksonville over the store built by John
Warren at the northwest corner of Bay and New-
nan Streets; this was prior to 1825, and the ser-
vices were general rather than denominational.
Services were held irregularly at one place and
another, and occasionally at the court house, until
the block house was built, when that seems to have
become the place for general worship, except by
the Episcopalians, who continued to use the court
house. Early in the 40 's the several denomina-
tions took steps to provide for themselves sepa-
rate houses of worship. The first church building
erected in the town was built by the Baptists, on
the east side of the lot at the northeast corner of
Duval and Newnan Streets, in 1840. The exact
location of the building is occupied now by the
The Methodists seem to have been the pioneers
in organized church work in Jacksonville. In
1823 or 1824, several missionaries were sent to
East Florida with headquarters at St. Augustine,
among them Rev. John Jerry. Jacksonville was
on Mr. Jerry's circuit. "From St. Augustine to
80 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
the Cow Ford lie traveled on horseback, carrjdng
his change of clothing, hooks, lunch, and sack of
corn to feed his horse' ^'.
The following extracts taken from the diary of
Eev. Isaac Boring' indicate that there was a
regularly organized Methodist society in Jack-
sonville in 1829 :
"Sunday, March 8, 1829. Preached at Jackson-
ville and dined with Mrs. Hart, and heard that
some members of our church had been dancing. ' '
^ ' Sunday, April 19, 1829. Preached at Jackson-
ville, filling all the appointments of the week.'^
*' Sunday, May 17, 1829. Preached at Jackson-
ville. For the first time I was allowed to preach
in the court house. During divine services, a
drunken man made so much noise that Mr. Hart
very politely led him out of the house. After
preaching I met the Society, filling all the appoint-
ments of the week."
Very little data are obtainable regarding the
Methodist congregation from this time till 1840;
but without doubt it held together, worshipping
in different buildings until the block house was
built. When the Baptists built their chapel at the
northeast corner of Duval and Newnan Streets in
1840, the Methodists worshipped with them, but
the two congregations holding services in the
same building was not a satisfactory arrange-
ment. The Methodists bought the property from
the Baptists' in 1846 for the sum of $600\
The custom in that day was to separate the con-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 81
gregation, the right hand side of the building be-
ing reserved for the women and the left for the
men. The pulpit was raised and was several feet in
length, with candle sticks on each end. The pastor
sat behind the pulpit and was screened from the
congregation. Old English pews having doors that
could be locked were used ; these doors were later
removed. There were cross seats on each side of
the pulpit, called ^'amen pews'', because they were
usually occupied by the faithful, prayerful mem-
bers. Instrumental music was not permitted, as it
was considered a sinful practice. Congregational
singing was fervent and emotional, someone act-
ing as leader pitching the tunes*.
The congregation grew and became too large for
the little chapel. There being space enough on the
corner a larger building was erected about 1858,
and was called St. Paul's. It was a wooden build-
ing and went safely through the war, being used
until 1889, when it was sold to the Roman Catholics
for $500, including pews, pulpit, and bell. It was
moved away and used by the Catholics as a parish
Rev. Raymond A. Henderson, missionary at St.
Augustine held the first service of the Episcopal
church in Jacksonville April 12, 1829 ; in 1834, the
Parish was organized, under the general act of the
Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida for
the incorporation of religious bodies'. The Epis-
82 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
copal congregation was incorporated by Act 28, of
tlie Legislative Council, approved February 23,
1839, which provided as follows :
Be it enacted by the Governor and the Legislative
Council of the territory of Florida, That William J.
Mills, Samuel L. Burritt, and Robert Biglow, War-
dens, and Harrison R. Blanchard and such others as
were elected Vestrymen of the Episcopal Congrega-
tion at Jacksonville, and their successors in office,
shall be, and they are hereby declared to be a body
corporate, by the name and style of the Church
Wardens and Vestrymen of St. John's Church at
The congregation now began to raise funds for
the erection of a church edifice. The ladies of the
church added materially to the building fund by
means of a sewing society, over which Mrs.
Thomas Douglas presided for a long time. Two
lots on Duval Street were deeded to the Church by
Mrs. Maria Doggett, September 17, 1842, as a do-
nation from herself and her husband. Judge John
L. Doggett, and these are the same lots on which
St. John's Church stands today.' The other two
lots, on Church Street, were purchased at a later
The corner stone of the church was laid Sunday,
April 24th, 1842, by Et. Eev. Christopher Edwards
Gadsden, Bishop of South Carolina. The struc-
ture was soon up and services were held in it ; but
it was not entirely completed until 1851, when it
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 83
was consecrated by Et. Rev. Stephen Elliott,
Bishop of Georgia'. The building was burned by
Federal troops March 29th, 1863.
In building the first church, every person who
contributed a certain sum of money was given a
deed to a pew in his own right, and the same was
entailed to his heirs. The early choir was com-
posed as follows : Dr. A. S. Baldwin, leader, base
viol ; J. W. Bryant, first flute ; William Lancaster,
second flute. The singers were, Mrs. A. M. Reed,
who also played on a melodeon which a servant
carried on his shoulders to the church for each
service; Miss Eliza Lancaster, and Mrs. William
Douglas. The communion service consisted of
two small waiters and two silver cups — family
silver loaned by Mrs. Susan L'Engle. A burial
plot was provided in the church yard for members
of the congregation, and the ashes of some of
Jacksonville's early residents still occupy their
original graves, although most of the bodies were
removed many years ago to the old city cemetery
on East Union Street*.
Mr. Henderson continued to hold occasional ser-
vices in Jacksonville until the summer of 1834;
in the fall of that year he was succeeded by a
regular rector. Rev. David Brown. Mr. Brown
remained for more than ten years, he being suc-
ceeded in May, 1845, by Rev. John Freeman
Young. Mr. Young was followed by Rev. Isaac
Swart, in 1848, and Mr. Swart by Rev. W. D.
Harlow in 1854. Rev. W. W. Bours became the
84 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
rector in 1855. Mr. Bours died of yellow fever in
1857. In the following year, Eev. S. L. Kerr
(pronounced Carr) came. Mr. Kerr was followed
in 1861, by Rev. H. H. Hewett. Mr. Hewett was a
Northern man and he went away with the Federal
squadron in 1862, and the parish remained vacant
nntil after the war'.
The Roman Catholic Parish of JacksonviUe was
not established until 1857. Previously, the Roman
Catholic residents of the town, few in number, re-
ceived the ministrations of visiting priests from
St. Augustine and Savannah. The names of some
of these priests are preserved in the parish rec-
ords of those cities. Worthy of note among them,
for their zealous and arduous work, were Fathers
Claude Rampon and Patrick Hackett, who resided
at St. Augustine and visited Jacksonville at
regular intervals from 1836 to 1843 ; and Fathers
Benedict Madeore and Edmund Aubriel, who like-
wise resided at St. Augustine and visited Jack-
sonville from 1843 to 1858.
During the pioneer years, religious services
were conducted at the home of some one of the
church members. The first purchase by the
church was the northwest corner of Duval and
Newnan Streets from I. D. Hart (probably in
1848), the deed being made to Bishop G-artland, of
Savannah, and the consideration mentioned be-
ing ''one penny." The precise date of erection of
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 85
the first cliurcli, which was built through the
efforts of Father Aubriel, is not known with cer-
tainty*. According to the testimony of living wit-
nesses (Henry Clark and Mrs. William M. Bost-
wick) there was a church building at the northwest
corner of Newnan and Duval Streets as early as
1851; here religious ceremonies were carried out
with regularity and according to the established
rules of the Church. It is an interesting fact to
note that if the church was originally dedicated to
the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, as seems
to have been the case, the time was several years
before that dogma was defined as an article of
Faith by Pope Pius IX, in 1854.
A beautiful painting of the Immaculate Concep-
tion, said to have been a gift from the French
government, was placed behind the altar. This
painting was saved from destruction, when the
church was burned by Federal troops March 28,
1863 ; but its history is not traced further."
In 1857, the former territory of East Florida,
which had been included hitherto within the
diocese of Savannah was constituted a separate
ecclesiastical jurisdiction as Vicariate-Apostolic,
with Bishop Verot in charge. The first resident
pastor at Jacksonville was Rev. William Hamil-
ton, who came from Savannah. He was a man of
remarkable organizing and executive ability, at
*Well-founded tradition says the first Eoman Catholic
church in Jacksonville was built about 1848, at the northwest
corner of Newnan and Duval Streets.
86 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
the same time possessing amiable and social quali-
ties that endeared him to all, irrespective of creed.
After establishing the Church at Jacksonville on
a solid basis, he was transferred, in 1861, to a more
important field of work in the diocese of Mobile,
where he died in a few years. His successor in
Jacksonville was Rev. M. Penough, who remained
until 1864. After the civil war. Father Chambon
and the Very Rev. Father Clavreal, the present
vicar-general of the diocese, had charge of all the
missions in Florida for several years, Jacksonville
being their headquarters.
A description of the burning of the church
March 28, 1863, will be found on page 182 of this
The Baptist denomination was established in
Jacksonville in July, 1838, by Rev. James Mc-
Donald and Rev. Ryan Frier. Mr. Frier was the
State Missionary at that time. There were six
charter members, namely, Rev. James McDonald
and wife, Elias G. Jaudon and wife, and two
colored persons — Peggy, a slave of Elias G.
Jaudon, and Bacchus, a slave of William Edwards.
Rev. James McDonald was the first pastor, and
Elias G. Jaudon the first deacon'.
The congregation increased, and in 1840, pur-
chased the northeast corner at Duval and Newnan
Streets, where a small chapel was erected^ This
was the first church building erected in Jackson-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 87
ville. It was a small wooden structure, with a
seating capacity for about 100 persons. It bad a
square tower-like steeple in wbicb was a bell. In
front was a small piazza; there was but one
entrance door. The Baptists sold this property to
the Methodists in 1846', and then bought a plot of
ground two miles west of the court house (Myrtle
Avenue, between Adams and Duval Streets), on
which they erected a small brick church'. This
building was partially wrecked during the civil
war, as it was the scene of nearly all the fighting
that occurred near Jacksonville. The little brick
church had a war history. Pickets and out-posts
were stationed there whenever Jacksonville was
occupied by the Federal troops and near it the
first blood of the war in this vicinity was shed.
Sentinel-like, it witnessed scenes that have never
found a place in print.
A few years after the little brick church was
built, Elias G. Jaudon bought a piece of ground
adjoining the church property and donated it to
the church for a burial ground. Finding them-
selves too far from the center of the city, it was
decided to make yet another change in location,
and again Deacon Jaudon came to the assistance
of the church, by buying and donating a lot on
Church Street, between Julia and Hogan. Here
a house of worship was erected, and dedicated
February 23, 1861. Soon after this the civil war
came on and disrupted the congregation. After
the battle of Olustee, the building was taken pos-
S8 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
session of by the Federal army and used as a
hospital for wounded soldiers, and from this time
until the close of the war it was used as a military
hospital. The building was left in a deplorable
condition, scarcely a pane of glass remaining in
the windows and very little plastering on the
The cemetery that was attached to the "little
brick church" still remains, and is the property of
the First Baptist Church. After the war, there
was a division in the membership of the Baptist
Church, the whites bming out the interest of the
colored members in the property, renaming their
church Tabernacle, while the colored branch re-
tained the original name, Bethel Baptist. Taber-
nacle was later changed to First Baptist.
Eev. James McDonald was pastor from 1838 to
1846. From 1846 to 1850, there were several un-
important short pastorates, in which the church
seems to have been unfortunate in obtaining un-
worthy or incompetent men. In 1850, Eev. Joseph
S. Baker became pastor and served four years, dur-
ing which time the church and Sunday-School pros-
pered. In 1859, Eev. E. W. Dennison was called.
At this time the membership was 40 white and
The first record of the Presbyterian congrega-
tion at Jacksonville was an act by the Legislative
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 89
Council of the Territory (No. 51, approved March
2d, 1840), which, in part, was as follows:
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Governor and
Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, That
from and after the approval of this act, the Presby-
terian congregation at Jacksonville, in East Florida,
shall be incorporated and be a body politic, by the
name and style of the Presbyterian Church of Jack-
sonville, and by that name shall be capable and liable
in law to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded,
defend and be defended, and to have, hold, possess,
and enjoy real and personal estate ;***
Section 2. Be it further enacted, That for the
better government of said incorporation, 0. Congar,
0. M. Dorman, Harrison R. Blanchard, Stephen
Eddy, and L. D. ]\Iiller, be, and they are hereby ap-
pointed Trustees of ''The Presbj^terian Church of
Sec 3. Be it further enacted, That all the white
members of said church shall be deemed qualified
electors at any and every election for trustees of
It will be noted that Harrison E. Blanchard
named here as a Trustee, was mentioned as a
Vestryman of St. John's when the Episcopal
Church was incorporated in 1839.
The following data were furnished by Eev. W.
H. Dodge, who was pastor of the Newnan Street
Presbyterian Church in this city for 26 years :
The Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville was
organized by a committee from the Presbytery of
90 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Florida, which belonged to the synod of South
Carolina and Georgia. The first place of meeting
for the Church was a small school house erected
probably on the southeast corner of Ocean and
Monroe Streets, and it is stated that Mr. Congar
often conducted the services. The first church
building was erected about 1857 or 1859, the money
being obtained first through the earnest efforts of
Miss Phoebe Swart, who gave the first $100 to-
ward the fund and afterward purchased and gave
to the church a lot on Duval Street near Laura, for
a Manse. Eev. A. W. Sproull served the Church
during 1857-8, and visited the Churches in South-
ern cities from which places he obtained much of
the money collected. Eev. J. H. Myers, who
preached at St. Augustine from 1835 to 1859, oc-
casionally preached for the Jacksonville Church
also. The Pastor at Jacksonville when the civil
war began was Eev. James Little. He enlisted in
the service of the Confederate army, and did not
resume his pastorate after the war. After the war
the Church had a checkered career for a few years.
A number of ministerial brethren from the North-
occupied the pulpit and then arose a desire among
the members of the Church who were originally
Northern people to change the ecclesiastical rela-
tions of the Church and transfer it from the Pres-
bytery of Florida of the Southern Assembly to
that of Philadelphia of the Northern Assembly.
The Southern element of the Church was opposed
to this movement and when it prevailed nine
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 91
Southern members withdrew on March 16, 1867,
elected new officers, and continued to exist as the
original Church of Jacksonville. The church
building and other property was held by the
Northern members, but the little band of nine
members soon increased to sixteen and on June 30,
1867, Eev. W. B. Telford preached to them in the
building of the Methodist Episcopal Church South,
then called St. Paul's. After worshipping for a
few years in a hired hall, a lot was purchased at
the southeast corner of Newnan and Monroe
Streets, where a small frame building was erected.
The two Churches remained separated until May,
1900 when there was a consolidation under the
name of the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville.
BIBLIOGEAPHY, CHAPTEE VII.
1 Fifty-two Years in Florida, Ley.
2 History of Florida, Webb. ,
3 Annual of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, 1909.
4 Data collected by Mrs. W. M. Bostwick.
5 Historical Sketches of the Church in Florida, J. J. Daniel.
6 Father J. Veale.
92 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
IN THE FORTIES.
With the ending of the Seminole war, and the
recovery of the country from the hard times that
had prevailed for ^ye years, since 1837, Jackson-
ville began a steady growth in population. Colum-
bus Drew, Sr., states that in 1842, the population
was 450, and in 1847, it was 750, an increase in five
years of 67 per cent. The United States Census
Bureau made returns separately for Jackson-
ville beginning with 1850 ; the census of 1850 gave
1,045 inhabitants within the corporate limits. If
the estimate of 450 in 1842 was accurate, then in
eight years the town had increased 132 per cent in
population. The following table shows the growth
of Jacksonville, as told by figures:
250 per cent gain.
**Corporate limits extended in the mean time.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 93
The failure of the Courier left Jacksonville with-
out a newspaper until about 1842, when Gr. M.
Grovard, of Washington, D. C, came here and es-
tablished the Tropical Plant. Soon afterward the
Courier (no connection with the former paper of
that name) was established, and about the time
that Florida was admitted as a State (1845), the
Florida News was removed from St. Augustine to
Jacksonville. The News was Democratic in poli-
tics and held the political field until 1848, when a
Whig paper, called the Eepublican was estab-
lished, with Columbus Drew as editor for many
years. The News and the Eepublican did the
newspaper fighting of the State for their respec-
tive parties', and judging from the few copies that
the Author has seen, the fighting was certainly of
a sensational character.
The plants of both the News and the Eepublican
were destroyed by fire in April, 1854, but in time
the papers were re-established. Owners changed,
however, and so did the names of the papers. The
Eepublican became the St. Johns Mirror. Just
before the war, the Southern Eights entered the
journalistic field in Jacksonville, being for a time
conducted by Messrs. Steele and Doggett\
THE GEEAT STOEM OF 1846.
Several years ago there were still living in Jack-
sonville persons who remembered the great
94 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
gale of October 12, 1846, during wliich the brig
^'Virginia,'' owned by Captain Willey, dragged
her anchors and was driven from Market Street
into the foot of Ocean Street, her bow-sprit extend-
ing almost across Bay. The water from the river
backed np nearly across Forsyth Street and was
two feet deep in the stores on the north side of
Bay. This disaster led to the bulkheading of the
river front from Ocean to Pine (now Main).
Hewn logs were placed one above the other and
were fastened together by chains and an occasional
staple. This was called a "buttmenf and it
proved effectual until wharves were built at that
LOCAL CONDITIONS IN THE EARLY FORTIES.
With an exception here and there, the dwellings
were cheaply built one-story wooden structures.
The stores were rough buildings with rude fittings.
A slab wharf, small and rickety, answered for ves-
sels. A small steamer made weekly trips to
Savannah and a still smaller one ran once a week
to and from Enterprise. There was not a
wheeled vehicle in the town. Row boats took the
place of carriages; otherwise, the people rode
horse-back or walked'.
Primitive as the appearance of the town was,
there was yet a good trade and the merchants did
comparatively a large business. A great deal of
cotton was grown in those days on the plantations
hereabout*, and while Jacksonville could not then
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 95
boast of being an export point, nevertheless the
money derived from the sale of this staple was
brought here and spent at home.
Denied the advantages of rapid locomotion, with
but one steamer arrival a week and only a weekly
mail from the North, the residents of the town
must have had little to excite their every-day lives.
Therefore, we may safely assume that the com-
munity was shaken from center to circumference
when one day a volley of shots resounded through
the streets and when the smoke of the fusillade
had cleared away, it was found that a citizen had
been killed in one of the stores on Bay Street.
Two prominent men were arrested for doing the
shooting, and were taken to Tallahassee and con-
fined in the jail there. There are residents living
here now that remember hearing their fathers talk
about this affair; how a lady visited one of the
prisoners in jail at Tallahassee; but instead of
leaving, she remained and out to liberty walked the
prisoner, dressed in women's clothes. He escaped
to Georgia, and neither of the men was ever
brought to trial, and both in time came back to
In 1849, there was an epidemic of disease in
Jacksonville, called the broken-bone fever. It was
so general that in many families every grown per-
son would be in bed with it at the same time, leav-
ing the administration of affairs to the children of
96 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
the household. Fortunately, the period of the dis-
ease was of short duration and no deaths occurred
as a result of the visitation'. The exact nature of
the sickness cannot be determined now ; while the
symptoms were those of the modern LaGrippe, the
period of duration was too short for it to have been
Less has been published concerning the period
1840-1850 than of any other decade in Jackson-
ville's history, and it is, accordingly, the most diffi-
cult for which to obtain data. There were no set-
backs of serious consequence, however, and the
town's growth continued, while the way was paved
for the establishment of the enormous lumber in-
dustry that followed in the early 50 's, when the
really rapid growth commenced.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTER VIII.
1 Florida Times-Union, February 8, 1883.
2 Mrs. W. M. Bostwick. (See Author's Preface).
3 Florida Union (Jacksonville), March, 1881.
4 History of Florida, Webb.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 97
EARLY RIVER STEAMERS.
The first steamer to ply the waters of the St.
Johns River was the Greorge Washington, in
1830\ The Essayon carried troops and supplies
up and down the river during the Seminole War',
and steamers were running irregularly between
the St. Johns and Savannah as early as 1839'.
Along in the 40 's, the Sarah Spaulding plied be-
tween Jacksonville and Lake Monroe. This was
a high-pressure boat and she made a fearful noise
while in operation. She was often used for near-
by excursions on the river, and occasionally went
to Fernandina by the inside route. Her ac-
commodations comprised eight berths, four on
each side, opening into the saloon, but provided
with curtains that could be drawn as a means of
separation*. Then the Thorn made her appear-
ance on the river, running to Palatka.
The Darlington came in 1852 or 1853, and up to
the time of the civil war was the regular boat be-
tween Jacksonville and Enterprise. The Darling-
ton was perhaps the best known of the early river
boats. She was built in South Carolina in 1849,
and for a time ran up the Pedee River into
Darlington District, hence her name'. During the
war she was captured by the United States forces
at the draw-bridge in Fernandina, in 1862, and
98 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
remained in their possession until the close of
the war, being used most of the time as a trans-
port vessel'. She began running on the river
again after the war and continued in this service
until she became the pioneer boat on the St. Johns.
In 1857, the steamers Hattie Brock and William
Barnett began running as up-river boats. The
William Barnett met with disaster in about a
year, when her boiler exploded, killing her cap-
tain and a number of other persons'. The Hattie
Brock was captured far up the river by a Federal
gunboat in 1864; she was confiscated, and sold in
1866, but after the war she ran on the river as one
of the Brock Line.
THE SAVANNAH STEAMERS.
The steamer General Clinch made trips to
Savannah as early as 1842, and about 1845, a
regular line between the St. Johns and Savannah
was inaugurated. The pioneer vessels of this
service were the Ocmulgee, St. Matthews, and
William Gaston'. The William Gaston was taken
ofP this run in 1854, and was then used as a river
boat. She towed many rafts up and down the
river, and it was a peculiarity of her captain,
Charles Willey, as soon as he rounded Commo-
dore's Point or Grassy Point, which was usually
late in the night, to begin to sound his steam whis-
tle and keep it blowing until he had reached his
landing, to the great annoyance of midnight
sleepers in Jacksonville'.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 99
In 1851, two new steamers were put on the
Savannah run — the Welaka and the Magnolia.
The Magnolia ran only a short time, when her
boiler exploded while she was off St. Simon's
Island, Ga., killing her captain, William T. Mc-
Nelty. A few years later, the Welaka was
wrecked on the St. Johns bar. These vessels were
replaced by the Seminole and the St. Johns, both
of which likewise met with disaster, each in turn
being burned at her dock in Jacksonville. The
hull of the St. Johns was raised and rebuilt, and
she ran on the same route until 1862; after the
war she ran under the name of Helen Getty'.
The last of the early boats built for this line was
the St. Marys, in 1857.' In February, 1864, the St.
Marys, while loading with cotton, was blockaded
in McGirt's Creek by the Federal gunboat Nor-
wich, and to prevent capture, was sunk there by
her crew'. She had escaped capture on a previous
occasion by dodging into Trout Creek just as the
United States gunboat that was looking for her
came up the river. The St. Marys then came out,
went down the river, and out to sea, bound for
Nassau, N. P.' The St. Marys lay buried in Mc-
Girt's Creek until March, 1865, when she was
raised, rebuilt', and eventually placed on her old
run under the name of Nick King.
THE CHAKLESTON STEAMERS.
In 1851, the Florida began running regularly
between Palatka, Jacksonville, and Charleston.
100 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Two years later the Carolina was put on, and in
1857, the Everglade, then the Cecile, and a short
time before the war, the Gordon and the Calhoun.
The Gordon became famous as the vessel on which
the Confederate commissioners ran the blockade
at Charleston and proceeded to Havana'. After
the war, the steamer service to Charleston was re-
sumed and continued until the New York-Charles-
ton-Jacksonville Clyde service began, in 1886.
The first steamer of the Clyde Line to arrive in
Jacksonville was the Cherokee, on Thanksgiving
Day, November 25, 1886, and the event was cele-
brated in an elaborate manner here.
NEW YORK STEAMERS.
In 1860, a party of Jacksonville people bought a
steamer with the intention of starting a line be-
tween Jacksonville and New York. This vessel,
the Flambeau, was bought in the North. She was
put on the ways for repairs, but the war came on
and the enterprise was abandoned, the stock-
holders losing what they had put into if. A
Federal gunboat by this name operated in South-
ern waters during the war' and it is not improb-
able that she was the same vessel that the Jack-
sonville people had bought in 1860.
In the fall of 1865, the D. H. Mount started run-
ning between Jacksonville and New York, but on
her second voyage from New Y^ork she was lost,
presumably off Hatteras on October 23, 1865.
There were twenty-three persons on board bound
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 101
for Florida, among them some prominent Jack-
sonville people, including S. L. Burritt, Mrs. J. C.
Greeley and son, and others. Nothing was ever
heard of the Mount and ail of her passengers
In the early days, the steamers burned light-
wood knots for fuel, and great volumes of dense
black smoke were emitted from their stacks.
Some idle person was generally on the lookout,
and when the smoke of a steamer was seen, he
would start the cry, ' ' Steamboat, steamboat, com-
ing round the point,'' when the inhabitants would
collect at the wharf, to hear the latest news. The
arrival of a steamer in those days was an event of
much importance'. And later, we read, ''Hun-
dreds of people go to the wharves to see the steam-
boats off. High up from their stacks pile huge
banks of dense black smoke. Strains of music fill
the air, and all is hurry and bustle. Just as the
minute hand of the clock reaches the hour of de-
parture, they are off ; the music grows fainter and
fainter as it recedes, and the crowds return to the
fashionable promenade on Bay Street, to assem-
ble at the wharf again the next day." Captain
H. D. DeGrove, for many years connected with
the river traffic here, says :
i i rj\^Q j.g^| beginning of modern and active com-
merce upon the St. Johns dates from about 1876,
when the steamer Hampton began the daily ser-
vice between Jacksonville and Palatka. At that
time there were no railroads south of Jackson-
102 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
ville, except a little piece of railroad running from
Tocoi to St. Augustine. The tourist hotels were
in the towns scattered along the banks of the St.
Johns — Green Cove Springs, Palatka, Sanford,
and Enterprise — and up-river boats stopped at
those places to land tourists; during the winter
months the passenger traffic was very heavy.
About this period the orange groves set out after
the war came into full bearing, affording a lucra-
tive freight business for the various lines. The
river fairly swarmed with steamers of every de-
scription, from the antiquated vessels to the then
modern side-wheeler. But strangest of all were
the Oklawaha Eiver steamboats, built especially
for navigation on that erratic stream. They had
a small recess wheel built in the stern to protect it
from snags, and it is probable that such craft were
never used anywhere else in the world.
i i There was great rivalry among the lines own-
ing the fastest boats. Some of them had the same
schedule, and several of the boats were so evenly
matched that they would often make the final
round-up from Palatka not more than fifteen
minutes apart. These races were thoroughly
enjoyed by the tourists, who would always enter
into the spirit of the fun with a vim. The crews,
too, sometimes became very much excited, and
upon landing they would occasionally doff their
coats and ^ fight it out' right on the wharf, so
great was their enthusiasm. The steamboats
were met by the busmen from the various hotels.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 103
calling 'St. James', 'Carleton', 'Nationar, etc.,
familiar names to the old-timers of thirty years
''Mile by mile the railroads were built and one
by one the steamboats were taken off. Some were
sold and went to other waters. Those of light
draft were taken to the Indian Eiver, then an
almost unknown stream; but navigation on that
river was never satisfactory, owing to its shallow
depth and the large number of oyster banks. The
railroad soon followed, to sound the death-knell of
the steamers there. Not a few of the old steamers
went to the 'marine graveyard,' i. e., laid up
BIBLIOGEAPHY, CHAPTEE IX.
1 Historical sketch, J. M, Hawks, City Directory, 1870.
2 Memoirs of Florida, Flemiiig.
3 A Winter in Florida, By An Invalid.
4 Mrs. W. M. Bostwick. (See Author's Preface).
5 War of the Eebellion, Official Eecords, etc.
6 O. L. Keene.
7 Dr. John C. L'Engle.
8 J. C. Greeley.
104 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE -
JACKSONVILLE ABOUT 1850.*
Tlie built-up portion of the town was bounded
by Washington Street on the east, Laura on the
west, Duval on the north, and the river on the
BAY STKEET, SOUTH SIDE.
There were no wharves or stores on the south
side of Bay Street between Ocean and Laura, ex-
cept a long one-story, wooden building near
Laura, called the ''government building," built
by the United States government during the
Seminole Indian war as a commissary for sup-
plies. Just west of Pine (Main), on the river
front stood a saw mill operated by Mr. J. B.
Barbee. Fire destroyed it at an early date, con-
suming with it a human being, one of the sorrow-
ful events of those early times.
Across Ocean Street on the south side of Bay,
east. General Thomas Ledwith had a store and a
wharf; he was succeeded by Alsop & Bours.
Several other stores occupied this block, among
them Gunby & Fernandez, later Fernandez &
Bisbee, and later still Bisbee & Canova. East of
this store was that of S. N. Williams, and near the
*Eeminiseenees of Mrs. W. M. Bostwick. (See Author's
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 105
corner of Newnan was McRory^s book store. The
first brick building built in Jacksonville adjoined
the Ledwith store and was occupied by C. D. Oak,
jeweler and watchmaker; this was about 1850.
A building stood on the southeast corner of
Newnan and Bay and was occupied from the earli-
est times, by different parties. Finegan & Bel-
chasse are among the first recalled; later Dr. T.
Hartridge. Next to this store was that of Bel-
lows; then Santo. The United States mail was
first delivered from this locality. Next to Santo
was Morris Keil, a small store, tailoring done by
husband and the store kept by the wife. Captain
Charles Willey had a dwelling on the corner of
Market, and a wharf from which he ran a line of
sailing vessels to Charleston and another to Key
West. These names are remembered in connec-
tion with this dwelling: Mrs. Libby, mother of
Mrs. Willey; Frances Yale, daughter of Captain
Willey. Afterward Columbus Drew, Sr., occupied
this house and issued from here a Whig paper
called the ' ^ Republican ' \ At the foot of Market
Street a fish market stood over the water. This
was the first market in the town, and Market
Street derives its name from this fact. Later a
beef market was built over the water at the foot
of Ocean Street ; but the two were finally consoli-
dated, the old market being then used as a town,
jail, popularly called ^^The Jug."
East of Market Street the entire block was
vacant. At the foot of Liberty Street there was a
106 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
ferry, owned by Judge J. L. Doggett, and operated
to connect with the road to St. Augustine. A
garrison was kept at Fort San Marco at that time
and cattle were forded at this ferry and driven to
St. Augustine to furnish beef for the soldiers.
Lighters conveyed passengers, vehicles, and
freight across the river.
The block east of Liberty Street contained a
fine grove of trees. Public, out-of-door functions,
such as barbecues, Fourth of July celebrations,
etc., were generally held here. There was only one
small building on the block — a carpenter's shop
near the water's edge.
East of Washington Street, the river bank was
very much higher, affording a steep sand hill that
the children of the neighborhood used as an amuse-
ment place, rolling and jumping in the soft, white
sand. Beyond this hill E. A. DeCottes had a
dwelling, and on the corner of Bay and Catherine,
Stephen Vandergrift and family lived.
The next block was vacant, except a small
machine shop near the middle of the block, where
the Merrill-Stevens plant is now. There was noth-
ing east of this to Hogan's Creek. Finegan's
saw mill was on the river front on the east side of
the creek, and his family resided there, including
Constantia, Dora, and Martha Travis, daughters
of Mrs. Finegan by a former marriage.
BAY STKEET, NORTH SIDE.
On the north side of Bay Street, westward from
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 107
Hogan's Creek to Catherine Street was a corn field
until the early 50 's, when a grist mill was built
near the creek. From Catherine to Washington
was unoccupied until Tony Canova built a resi-
dence at the northeast corner of Washington.
At the northwest corner of Washington Street
stood the Merrick House, famous as the ' ' haunted
house '\ Peculiar noises were often heard within,
yet no ghosts appeared. Some of the less super-
stitious said there was an underground river at
that point that caused the noises. All was vacant
thence to Liberty Street until 1851 or 1852, when
J. C. Hemming built a residence on the northeast
corner of Liberty.
A store house stood on the northwest corner of
Bay and Liberty Streets, used for storing freight
awaiting ferriage across the river, and later as a
school house. The Burritt homestead stood near
the northeast corner of Bay and Market, and it
was the most pretentious house in the town.
There were large grounds, with stables, servants'
quarters, and Mr. Burritt 's law offices. The
vacant lots on the river front, also Burritt prop-
erty, abounding in shrubbery and shade trees, gave
At the northwest corner of Bay and Market
Streets, I. D. Hart owned a boarding house, which
was kept successively by Mr. Hart, Mrs. Hatch,
Mrs. Flotard, Mrs. Maxey, and Mrs. Taylor, the
ownership passing to Mrs. Taylor's daughter,
Mrs. Hedrick, in 1853. West of this building was
108 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
iuelosed, but imoccupied — owned by Mrs. Philip
Frazer, inherited from her first husband, Captain
Zeb Willey. Dr. Byrne built two stores between
this inclosure and the corner, probably in 1852.
Across Newnan Street, the entire block to Ocean
was occupied by business houses. On the north-
west corner of Newnan and Bay, names not re-
membered until occupied by Paul Canova. Next
to the corner was the firm of Miller & Blackwood,
wines and liquors ; thence west in order were : Dr.
Foreman, general merchandise, afterward Gunby ;
Barnard «S: Farrer, general store, later Moss &
Ambler, later still. Ambler & Hoeg; Rosenthal,
the first Hebrew merchant in town; Goff, tailor;
and on the corner of Ocean, Mr. Cutter, afterward
Morris Keil. The three last stores were owned by
Thomas W. Jones.
On the northwest corner of Ocean and Bay
Streets, A. M. Reed had a store — groceries and drj^
goods. West of this was Calvin Oak, gunsmith.
From here to Pine Street was unoccupied, in fact
Bay Street was almost impassable at this point. A
pond of water north of Duval Street drained
downward through Pine Street, making a quag-
mire at its lower end, over which bridges were
built across Pine at Bay and at Forsyth Streets.
An attempt was made to improve the approaches
to the bridges by laying logs lengthways -across
the street; this "corduroy" construction was very
Across Pine Street Dr. Baldwin owned two lots,
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 109
the corner being a garden very much in need of
drainage. Dr. Baldwin 's dwelling was on the next
lot; also his office. West of that was a dwelling
occupied successively by A. M. Reed, Walter Kipp,
Mrs. Herbert, Captain L'Engle, George Powers,
and finally by Judge Rodney Dorman. Cyrus Bis-
bee owned a dwelling on the northeast corner of
Bay and Laura, where he lived many years. This
was the western boundary of the town for a long
time. Later Mr. Kipp built a residence on the
northwest corner of Bay and Laura. Captain
L'Engle then lived close to the river across from
Beyond Laura Street there was nothing more
until a small creek was crossed where Julia Street
is now. Mr. Boulter owned a mill and a dwelling
on the west side of this creek ; the mill was burned,
and the dwelling was afterward occupied by Hal
Sadler. Thence to McCoy's Creek everything was
woods. A rude bridge crossed McCoy's Creek
near the foot of the present Bridge Street, and to
the west of this bridge, on the creek was a small
house occupied by the Curry family. Across the
creek was P. Moody's saw mill and dwelling, and
beyond was the Lancaster place, called ^^Lancas-
ter's Point". Then the plantation of Elias
Jaudon, reaching to McGirt's Creek, and across
the creek, now Ortega, was the Sadler plantation.
FOKSYTH STREET, SOUTH SIDE.
At the southeast corner of Laura and Forsyth,
110 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
I. D. Hart lived in a large two-story house. Thence
to Pine Street was vacant, until Dr. Foreman built
on the corner of Pine.
The southeast corner of Pine and Forsyth was
owned by the Douglas and Reed families. Stables
occupied the corner, with a garden beyond, and a
dwelling on the corner of Forsyth and Ocean,
where A. M. Reed lived, then Thomas Douglas.
On the southeast corner of Forsyth and Ocean
was a very old dwelling, known as the Mills house ;
it was occupied by different families, among
others, Mrs. Bowman, and then J. W. Bryant. Be-
tween Forsyth and Bay, on Ocean Street, Thomas
W. Jones and family lived on the east side of the
street. Next to the Mills house, east on Forsyth,
William Douglas lived as early as 1847, and after-
ward a Ross family. This yard was large and here,
under a tent, a traveling daguerreotj^ist took
some fine pictures, a few of which are still in exis-
tence, in perfect condition after sixty years or
more. This was probably the first artist to come
to Jacksonville. Captain Armstrong lived on the
southwest corner of Forsyth and Newnan ; he had
no family. Between Forsyth and Bay on Newnan
there were a few small shops. On the west side
were: Captain John Middleton, small store; Dr.
Rex, an office; and Henry Houston, colored
barber shop. On the opposite side of the street
was a large building used for offices.
On the southeast corner of Forsyth and Newnan,
Judge J. C. Cooper lived. East of this was the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 111
Zeb Willey property, known afterward as the
Philip Frazer house. Dr. J. D. Mitchell bought
here later. Then Mr. Harrison built on the south-
west corner of Forsyth and Market, where the law
exchange now stands.
Across Market Street were S. L. Burritt's office
and grounds, occupying half the block. Judge J.
L. Doggett owned the other, or east half of this
block, on which were two houses. The Doggett
residence was near the southwest corner of For-
syth and Liberty.
In the middle of the block between Liberty and
Washington, the Watermans lived, afterward the
Hickmans, and later Dr. Murdock. This was one
of the oldest houses in the town. On the southeast
corner of Forsyth and Washington was another
old house in which Mr. Adams lived, afterward
Mr. Gillett, and later the Mooneys. For a long
time nothing but a corn field was east of here to
FOKSYTH STKEET, NOKTH SIDE.
On the north side of Forsyth Street, west from
Hogan's Creek, there was nothing to Washington
Street, until Felix Livingston built on the north-
east corner of Washington about 1850.
At the northeast corner of Forsyth and Liberty
Streets was a very old house of peculiar construc-
tion. The foundation was of stone, perhaps six
feet high, and on top of this wall was a one-story
wooden structure with a piazza on three sides.
112 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Tradition said it was the abode of a sea captain, a
buccaneer, who, being too old to follow the sea,
amused himself with a spy-glass watching the river
above and below. Dr. Theodore Hartridge built
on this corner in 1853, at the same time building a
smaller house on the northwest corner of Forsyth
and Washington for his mother, Mrs. Hobb}^
Across Liberty Street Mr. Barbee owned and
lived many years. The next lot was owned by Jolm.
Pons, where also lived his son-in-law, Jack Butler,
a lively jovial Irishman so pleasantly remembered
by many. A small house west of this was occupied
by different ones, the first remembered being Mrs.
Herbert, a school teacher. On the northeast cor-
ner of Forsyth and Market stood the court house,
and in the court house yard, back from the Street,
was the jail. The jail was inclosed by a high brick
wall, on top of which was a barbette of broken
Across Market Street, on the northwest corner,
was, as now, the Clerk 's Office. Next was the dwell-
ing of Mrs. Maxey. On the northeast corner of
Forsyth and Newnan was a small building used by
William Grothe as a jewelry shop. The post office
was in this building for a long time also.
Dr. H. D. Holland's residence was on the op-
posite corner, stables on the Forsyth Street side
and his office on Newnan. A small house stood on
the lot west of Dr. Holland's residence, where Wil-
liam Grothe lived, and next to this was a large
two-story house occupied at different times by the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 113
Barnards, Crabtrees, Gregorys, Allisons, Hearns,
Suttons, and Crespos. On the corner was a dwell-
ing house occupied successively by the Kipps,
Flotards, Traceys, Hallidays, and Sandersons.
On the northwest corner of Forsyth and Ocean
Mrs. Dewees lived in a large two-story house, and
back of her, between Forsyth and Adams, her
daughter, Mrs. Poinsett lived, afterward the
Kipps, and later the Keils. There were no other
houses on Forsyth to Pine Street.
On the northwest corner of Forsyth and Pine
was a house occupied by the Donaldsons, later the
Thebauts. A small house stood in the middle of
the block back from the street, where Jane and
Dick, servants of Mrs. Douglas lived. West of
here was a fine grove of trees, where barbecues and
celebrations of different kinds were sometimes
held. Near the northwest corner of Forsyth and
the present Hogan Streets was the site of the old
ADAMS STREET, SOUTH SIDE.
Thomas W. Jones built a two-story dwelling on
the southeast corner of Adams and Laura in 1850.
In 1851, Judge F. Bethune moved from his planta-
tion a few miles up the river and bought this house
for a residence. East of this, in the middle of the
block, was a smaller house occupied by the Myers
family. The southwest corner of Adams and Pine
was vacant many years.
The Turknetts lived on the southeast corner of
114 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Adams and Pine. A small house, used principally
as a servants' house, stood on the next lot. There
was nothing on the southwest corner until after the
fire of 1854.
The southeast corner of Adams and Ocean was
vacant a long time, the Crespos later building a
boarding house at that point. Two houses owned
by Mr. Crespo stood here ; the first was burned. In
the middle of the block were out-buildings used by
the Buffington House, which occupied the south-
west corner facing Newnan.
Across Newnan, Stephen Fernandez and family
lived ; afterward Dr. R. P. Daniel. Next was the
dwelling of S. N. Williams. There was nothing on
the southwest corner of Market for many years.
The Odd Fellows owned the southeast corner of
Adams and Market, but the lodge building was on
the inside of the lot facing Market. The lower
story of this building was used as a school room,
the upper story for the lodge. A favorite amuse-
ment of the children was listening for the foot-
steps and bleat of the goat said to live up-stairs,
and used by the Odd Fellows for initiation pur-
poses; also, inventing marvelous stories concern-
ing the actions of this goat, the child telling the
biggest story being considered the heroine of the
day. The corner was inclosed and was used by the
children as a play ground. Thence to the south-
west corner of Adams and Washington was
vacant; here Mr. Pons built at an early date.
There was nothing east of this to Hogan's Creek.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 115
ADAMS STKEET, NORTH SIDE.
Eeturning west on Adams Street there was
nothing between Hogan's Creek and the north-
east corner of Market, where Mr. Fennimore lived.
Mrs. Fennimore was the dressmaker for all the
belles of that day.
Across Market were the Flemings; next Cap-
tain William Ross, and on the corner of Newnan
was a boarding house.
On the northwest corner of Adams and New-
nan were the Buffington Honse stables, afterward
converted into a boarding honse, called the Cali-
fornia House. The weather-boarding on this
building was placed up and down — an innovation
at that day. Next, the Gibsons, man and wife,
lived. An unfortunate mistake disrupted this
family. A large boarding house in the town
burned and Mr. Gibson was accused of setting it
on fire. He was threatened with a coat of tar and
feathers unless he left the town. He left and
never returned. In later years it developed that
a careless servant had placed hot ashes too near
the building, causing it to catch on fire. Mr.
Cougar lived on the northeast corner of Ocean
The Ledwiths lived across from the Cougars,
on the northwest corner, not quite on the corner,
as that was a fine plum orchard. Next to the
Ledwiths was a Spanish family by the name of
Ximanes, whose income was derived from fishing,
116 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
and the sale of mocking birds to tlie northern
tourists that came here during the winter. The
corner of Pine was not occupied, as the land was
low and damp.
Columbus Drew, Sr., was really a pioneer when
he built his house at the corner of Monroe and
Laura in 1851. East of this there were no build-
ings to the northeast corner of Ocean, the site of
the old block house. Here stood a large building
used as a hotel, and conducted successively by
Mrs. Coy, Creighton, and Mattair. In the oppo-
site block, south side of Monroe Street, inside
from the corner, the Presbyterians had a small
meeting house, where weekly prayer meetings
were held. Judge Lancaster resided on the south-
west corner of Monroe and Market, afterwards
the Hearns, Buttons, and Garnies.
The Episcopal church occupied its present site
at the head of Market Street. One of the early
residences was built at the southeast corner of
Duval and Market, and was occupied at different
times by J. W. Bryant, Judge Daniel, and others.
There were two other churches on Duval Street,
one near the northeast corner of Newnan, and
the other across the street on the northwest cor-
ner. Back of this, north, were the homes of the
free negroes, mostly west of Ocean Street. These
negroes occupied land belonging to I. D. Hart;
this quarter was called ^' Negro HilP\
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 117
The first event of importance transpiring after
the beginning of the half-century had in view the
ultimate beautifying of the city, as it was early in
1850 that the fine oak trees which lined the streets
of Jacksonville before the fire of May 3, 1901,
were planted. An old negro, April Suarez, set
them out under the direction of Dr. A. S. Baldwin
and General Thomas Ledwith". In later years
these trees were the pride of the city and added
wonderfully to its attractiveness.
In 1850, the first circular saw mill ever built in
East Florida was erected at the mouth of Potts-
burg Creek, and in the following year John Clark
built the second circular saw mill, on East Bay
Street, near Hogan's Creek. Mr. Clark then
added a planing mill, the first in East Florida, and
his first large order for planed lumber was for
building the Judson House. About 1853-54, there
were ^ve or six saw mills at Jacksonville, and as
many more in the immediate vicinity. The lum-
ber industry was the principal one here then. A
great quantity of live oak timber was exported
annually, for use in the construction of vessels'.
Considerable cotton was brought here for ship-
ment, also, Jacksonville being the shipping point
for quite a large territory tributary to the St.
118 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Johns Eiver. These industries put into circula-
tion much money that naturally found its way into
all lines of business. Nearly all the merchants
were well-to-do, gauged by the standard of that
early time. Business was conducted without
rancor and with the utmost integrity. Salaries
were not what would now be called large, but the
cost of living comfortably was within the reach of
all — a condition having an important bearing
upon the community. Abject poverty was a state
unknown, and seldom was a door locked or a win-
dow closed out of fear of petty thieving.'
A marshal constituted the police force during
the day, and at night two citizens were selected
to serve as town watchmen, called the Patrol, cor-
rupted ^' Pat-role '\ The duties of the Patrol
were principally to arrest negroes found without
passes on the streets after 9 p. m. The fire bell
was rung promptly at 9 o^clock every night, to
notify the negroes to go to their quarters, and if
found out after that hour without a written pass,
signed by their owners, granting them permission
to stay out until a later hour, the hour being
always designated, they were locked up for the
night and the next morning were taken before
the mayor for trial. The negroes corrupted patrol
into ^'patteroller" and in mocking they would
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 119
Eiin, nigger, run, the patteroller^ll ketch yer,
Run, nigger, run, 'tis ahnost day;
I run, an' I run, till I los' my way.
Then I run, an' I run, an' I run my bes',
Till I run my head in a hornet's nes'.
A citizen could be excused from patrol duty
upon the payment of $2, but not twice in succes-
sion. Every citizen of age, except those specially
exempt, such as clergymen, doctors, etc., was sub-
ject to this duty. Midnight usually found the
patrol slumbering serenely in his home'.
As punishment for those negroes who were con-
victed of serious offenses, the whipping post was
now and then resorted to with good effect. At
rare intervals, the Pillory and Stocks was success-
fully used for white thieves, and no offender thus
punished was ever known to stay in this com-
RE]*ATI0N BETWEEN MASTER AND SERVANT.
The question of master and slave was seldom
referred to. The master considered it his duty
to protect those who served him, and the servant
felt that he was accountable for his master's social
position and other responsibilities. The slaves
were treated with a consideration and trust with-
out a parallel at this day. The children loved
their colored ^^ mammies," and the mammies felt
that they were responsible for the obedience of
the children, "manners" being held at a premium
and duty the first consideration.
120 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
The relation between master and slave differed
little from that prevailing in other portions of the
South before the war — a sincere and confiding
affection on one side, and on the other a kind and
considerate regulation of the simple lives reposed
in the white owner's care. When an entertain-
ment was given by the colored people, it was not
at all unusual for the mistress to lend her jewelry
to her maid for the occasion, showing plainly the
interest taken in the pleasure of the slaves; and
in sickness they were provided for and given the
best attention. There were, of course, exceptions
in both cases'.
This advertisement, appearing in the Florida
News, a local newspaper, is interesting, indicating
as it does one method of recovering runaway
TWENTY-PrVHE DOLLARS REWARD.
RUNAWAY in November last my negro woman
HANNAH. She is about 5 ft., 7 or 8 inches high,
black, no front teeth and about 40 years of age.
Hannah has a mother in Newnansville or Tallahassee
known by the name of Mary Ann Sanchez, formerly
the property of Roman Sanchez of Newnansville.
The above reward will be given upon her being lodged
in any jail where I can get her or upon being de-
livered to me at Palatka or Jacksonville.
Jacksonville, June 5, 1852.
The Tallahassee papers will please copy and send
their bills to this office.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 121
This same paper contained another item of in-
terest, one that would indicate that the Town
Council was composed of citizens serving for the
best interest of the community:
PROCEEDINGS OF THE TOWN COUNCIL
Council Chamber, August 6, 1852.
Council Met: — Present, His Honor, Henry D.
Holland, Intendant* ; Messrs. Buffington, Cooper,
and Canova, Councilmen.
Mr. Townsend, elected a Councilman to fill the
vacancy created by the resignation of Wm. Alsop, ap-
peared for the purpose of taking the oath of office,
which was objected to by Councilman Buffington, on
the ground of his not possessing the requisite qualifi-
cations for the performance of the duties of the
Attest, F. C. Barrett, Clerk.
Eailroads and the telegraph had not yet come to
Jacksonville. Steam packets ran to Savannah
and Charleston, and sailing vessels communicated
with the more distant cities and the West Indies.
It was almost as customary to talk about Hayti
and Martinique then as it is about New York
Communication with the interior of the State
was by means of a stage line to Tallahassee and
122 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
intermediate points. It was a three days' trip,
avoided as much as possible, except at court ses-
sions and when the Legislature met. The Central
Stage Line ran this advertisement in the Jackson-
ville paper during the summer of 1852 :
CENTRAL STAGE LINE
From Jacksonville to Tallahassee Semi-Weekly.
The proprietor takes pleasure in announcing to
the public that he has just placed upon the route a
new and splendid FOUR HORSE COACH and that
he is prepared to convey passengers through in the
shortest possible time. He has relays of the best
horses at different points, so that no more time is lost
than is necessary for their change. The stage leaves
Jacksonville every Sunday and Wednesday after-
noon, immediately after the arrival of the steamers
from Savannah and returns in time to connect with
them on their return trips. These steamers connect
with others at Savannah for Charleston and New
York, thus affording the travelers from the North and
others visiting Tallahassee or interior to^Tis of
Florida a speedy transit. A coach connects with this
line to and from the White Sulphur Springs in
Fernandez, Bisbee & Co., Agents.
Gr. E. Fairbanks describes the stage trip as one
of ^'ups and downs, jolts and bumps; roots lying
on the surface, the impact with which would send
the unprepared passenger up against the top, or
with a painful jerk against the standards. The
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 123
weary drag during the long, dark nights, for the
hacks kept on night and day, was an experience
to be long remembered". To modify these dis-
comforts, a plank road was projected to Alligator
(Lake City), eight miles of which was completed.
The plank road began at the intersection of Bay
and Newnan Streets, ran north to Monroe, thence
to Laura, to Ashley, then west in the direction of
^'Cracker Swamp," L D. Hart's plantation. The
road was hailed with delight by the citizens, as it
furnished the only good drive anywhere near
Jacksonville'. The people, always suiting some
set expression to every innovation, started the
slogan, ''Two-forty on a plank"'. When the rail-
road was assured, the plank road construction was
abandoned, leaving the stockholders of the enter-
prise responsible for debts that brought forth
many law suits'.
Jacksonville experienced an epidemic of small-
pox during the summer of 1853. J. W. Bryant,
one of the foremost lawyers in the town, con-
tracted the disease at some place in Georgia, where
he had gone on legal business. Upon his return,
he was taken sick at the Buffington House, then
the fashionable hotel of Jacksonville. Numerous
friends visited him before the case was diagnosed
as one of small-pox, and therefore the epidemic
started among the best people. Those at the
Buffington House were the first to take the disease,
124 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
and soon afterward sporadic cases began to
develop until, finally, the epidemic became general
among both white and colored. It was severe and
a good many deaths resulted, while those who re-
covered were in many cases badly pitted^
LOCAL CONDITIONS IN THE EAKLY FIFTIES.
It is said that some of the merchants were very
fond of playing cards, and even during business
hours would gather at some retreat for a quiet
game. Should a customer appear, a sentinel
placed on watch would report, "Mr. So-and-so,
some body is going in your store ' \ whereupon the
game would be temporarily '^called''. Whenever
children or servants were the purchasers, the
store keeper usually gave them a small present,
such as a sweet cracker or a piece of candy; this
was called "coontra". It has been impossible to
trace the derivation of this word, but the custom
doubtless originated from the fact that the money
divisions in those days were in fractions of a cent,
and the small present was given, rather than to
consider the fractions in carrying accounts. The
silver dollar was the standard, but it was reck-
oned eight bits, instead of one hundred cents.
There were half bits, 6% ; bits, 12% ; two bits,
25 cents, and so on. If ' ' coontra ' ^ was not given to
the negroes it was always asked for by them, but
the white children were forbidden by their parents
to do so, as it was not considered "good
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 125
There were no soda fountains in those days, and
it was seldom that ice could be obtained. Ice was
brought here from the North in sailing vessels.
Lemonade and tamarind water were the most
popular ^^soff drinks. The tamarind is a species
of bean that grows in the West Indies, and from
it a sticky substance exudes. The beans were put
into a pitcher and hot water poured over them;
this concoction was allowed to cool, when the drink
was ready for use. It had a semi-acid taste, and
was considered very healthful. Drinking water
came from wells and cisterns. Rain water, when
filtered through an earthern vessel called a
*^ monkey", was considered a great luxury^
A whole lot on Bay Street, 105 feet frontage,
could be bought for little more than what a front
foot of the same property would sell for now. In
the spring of 1846, Captain John L'Engle bought
for $300 the square bounded on the north by Bay
Street, east by Laura, west by Hogan, and south
by the river. In August, 1877, William Astor
bought the west 52% feet of this block, running
from Bay Street to the river, for $10,000, and the
entire block, exclusive of the buildings, is now
(1911) worth more than $600,000, the least valu-
able half lot of the block of three lots having
recently sold for $100,000. In 1853, the north-
west corner lot at Bay and Market Streets, includ-
ing a two-story boarding house, was purchased for
$2,500 ; and A. Judson Day, of Maine, bought half
the block, west half, between Julia and Hogan
126 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Streets from Fors^^tli through to the river for
$3,000. A year or so later, the northeast corner
of Bay and Ocean, where the Guaranty Trust and
Savings Bank and other buildings now stand, was
sold to Ambler & Hoeg for $3,000. Residence lots
a few blocks back from Bay Street that would now
bring way up in the thousands sold then for less
than $100. Springfield was a wilderness and
Riverside a corn field. Between Duval and
Beaver Streets, west of Main, was a large pond
where flocks of wild ducks congregated in the win-
ter time and furnished good shooting for the
sportsmen of Jacksonville. Northwest of Hem-
ming Park, between Forsyth and Church, Clay and
Jefferson Streets was a dense swamp, where in
places the water stood several feet deep. LaVilla
was an island, owing to the course of several small
streams that have since been filled in'.
For the purpose of furnishing water to fight
fires with, public wells were dug at the intersection
of certain streets. One was located at the inter-
section of Washington and Forsyth; another at
the intersection of Forsyth and Newnan, and a
third at Newnan and Adams Streets. Bay Street
received its supply from the river. At the ringing
of the fire bell, which hung from a tripod over the
well at Newnan and Adams Streets, the citizens
rushed out and formed into line to pass buckets
of water from the nearest well to the burning
building. Ladders were kept in rude sheds built
on the side of the street near the wells. Usually
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 127
one man gave orders. Later, the town bought a
sort of fire pump, a crude affair worked by handles
on each side, negroes furnishing the motive power.
The building material used in Jacksonville at that
time was mostly pitch pine', very inflammable, and
as there was no adequate way of controlling large
fires, it was but a question of time when the town
would suffer a general conflagration. It came on
April 5, 1854.
THE GEEAT FIEE OF 1854.
A description of this destructive fire was pub-
lished on the following day in an ^' Extra" gotten
out by the Florida Republican, a copy of which
follows, except that in one or two instances proper
names have been corrected' :
FLORIDA REPUBLICAN, EXTRA.
Jacksonville, Florida, April 6, 1854.
GREAT AND DISASTROUS CONFLAGRATION
Jacksonville in Ruins.
Seventy Houses Consumed.
Loss over $300,000.
Two printing offices destroyed.
Yesterday at 1 o'clock p. m., the alarm of fire was
given in this town and in four hours afterwards all
the business portion of the town was in ruins. The
128 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
fire originated in S. N. Williams' hay shed, on the
wharf, communicated, as is supposed, by a spark
from the Charleston steamer "Florida". It ex-
tended with astonishing rapidity in every direction,
spreading first along the block of stores on the south
side of Bay street, between Newnan and Ocean
streets; thence communicating with the square op-
posite on the north which was all consumed; thence
with the store of A. M. Reed and the Bank agency
adjoining on the west side of Ocean street, which
were both destroyed; thence with the square east of
Newnan street and fronting on Bay, w^hich contained
the large and handsome block known as Byrne's
building; nearly the whole square being consumed;
at the same time with the buildings on Bay street east
of the point at which the fire originated, and of
Newnan street, which was at once swept away.
This was principally the course of and the area
which has been devastated by the devouring element.
The wind was blowing strongly at the time, and
caused the course of the fire, at first, to be to the
westward by which several private dwellings at the
extreme west end of the town, and several stores,
Moody's, Holmes's, and Fairbank's mills, and the
new hotel of Messrs. Day, were set on fire, but extin-
guished before any material damage was sustained.
Still, the intense heat from the first block was so great
that that of itself ignited the squares on the opposite
side, and on the east, and the immense amount of
goods thrown from the stores along the whole of
Bay street, formed from the same cause an immense
conflagration of spirits, oil, paints, etc.
By this fire seventy buildings were entirely de-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 129
stroyed. Of these, twenty-three were stores, of the
following persons, viz: F. Waver & Co., provisions;
C. D. Oak, and Wm. Grothe, jewelers ; S. N. Williams,
grocer; J. P. Sanderson, dry goods and provisions;
Bloodgood & Bouse, do; H. Timanus, do; T. Hart-
ridge, do; J. Mode, dry goods; James Hanham,
grocer; Mr. Hernandez, tobacconist; C. DeWaal,
auctioneer; L. Capella, fruit store; J. Santo, do; A.
M. Reed, dry goods and provisions; M. Keil, do; A.
B. Hussey, grocer; Mr. Moore, fruit store; J. L.
Hogarth, tinner ; Ambler & Hoeg, dry goods and pro-
visions; J. L. Ripley, clothing; J. C. Brown, fruit
store; L. B. Amerman, dry goods; T. McMillan,
druggist; T. G. Myers, grocer; A. C. Acosta, fruit
store; J. B. Howell, grocer; Joseph Hernandez,
tailor; C. DeWaal, bakery; Geo. Flagg, jeweler; R.
H. Darby, tailor; C. Poetting, boot and shoe maker.
The law offices of Geo. W. Call and G. W. Hawkins
and the office of F. C. Barrett, Notary Public, etc., in
the Byrne block, were also destroyed, a portion only
of their legal and official documents being saved.
The office and warehouse of Mr. Joseph Finegan
and the furniture store of L. M. Fulsom, destroyed.
McRory's Insurance Agency, office in the Sammis
Block, also went by the board, together with a por-
tion of his papers. The Custom-house, Mr. Mc-
intosh's Law office, Capt. Willey's residence, J.
Hanham 's store and residence, J. Mode's store and
elegant residence, as also the law office of P. Frazer,
Esq., we note among other buildings destroyed.
The two and only printing offices of the place — the
Republican and the News, were consumed, the latter
entirely, and but enough of the Republican material
130 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
has been gleaned from the harvest of the terrible
Reaper to furnish this Extra! We shall order new
type and a press however, by the mail for the north
tomorrow morning, and hope to be ''fully on our
feet ' ' again in the course of a month ; and in the mean
time shall endeavor to issue copies enough of our
paper for our exchanges on a foolscap sheet, on an
improvised press — our two iron hand presses being
utterly wrecked. We therefore throw ourselves upon
the indulgence of our advertising and reading
patrons "for a little while," being determined not
to desert the ''burning ship" — being utterly op-
posed to any species of "ratting". As we are doing
advertising for merchants in Charleston and Savan-
nah, we request our contemporaries in those cities to
note our situation.
The steamer "Florida" was lying at her wharf at
the time of the fire, and drew off into the stream as
it progressed; the "Seminole" from Savannah
bringing the mail (the Gaston being taken off the
line) had passed up the river. Every exertion was
made by the citizens, firemen, and even the ladies,
who were found here and there lending assistance,
to arrest the fire, the negroes also laboring faithfully
to do their utmost. But the fire became unman-
ageable, and as the intense heat extended itself, con-
fusion and exhaustion rendered human exertion less
efficient. A portion of the fire apparatus unfortu-
nately fell into a situation which brought it in con-
tact with the flames, and it was lost.
Upon the amount of property lost, it is estimated
that one-half is insured, some in New York and New
England offices, and some in Georgia. The two
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 131
printing offices were insured, our own for a little
more than half its value. "We lost all the printing
paper, and a large quantity of letter, which we had
on hand for jobbing. Our ''set up" forms have run
into a molten mass.
Mr. Andres Canova was severely burnt and is dis-
abled, and Mr. J. C. Hemming was severely stunned
and for some time hurt, but he is now better. We
regret also that the family of Mr. Philip Frazer, who
were ill, were forced to remove.
SCAELET FEVER EPIDEMIC.
This was a period of misfortune for Jackson-
ville, as a severe epidemic of scarlet fever raged
in the town when the fire occurred. There were
two versions as to how the fever started here. One
is that the infection was introduced by means of a
letter written by a lady while holding a baby sick
with scarlet fever in her lap'. The other is that
the nurse one day took little Ally Dell, daughter
of Philip Dell, down to the boat yard and it is sup-
posed that the child played with sailors from a
vessel lying at the wharf and on which there was
a case of scarlet fever. In a few days she was
taken desperately ill. Mrs. Mary Turknett nursed
this child and it died in her lap. This was in
February, 1854. The attending physician diag-
nosed the case simply as one of fever, but when
the little corpse was prepared for burial, scarlet
fever symptoms were noticed in the peeling skin.
Mrs. Turknett shrouded the body, at the time
132 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
wearing a black woolen skirt. When she returned
to her home she hung the skirt up in a closet and
did not wear it again for nearly a month. Then
she wore it, and in a few days scarlet fever broke
out in the family.
The disease spread through the town and the
type was most malignant. Numbers of persons
died, the Turknett family in particular being
afiflicted, five grown sons dying within a space of
eight days, April 2 to 10, two of them on the same
day and were buried from the same bier.
REAL SHOT-GUN QUARANTINE.
Thus twice had Jacksonville suffered from dis-
eases introduced from outside sources, so when
the yellow fever broke out in Savannah in the
summer of 1854, the citizens determined to keep it
from coming to this place at all hazards. The
authorities prohibited the Savannah steamers
stopping or even passing by on their way up the
river, as it was thought that the yellow fever
might be introduced in that way. Captain Nick
King, of the Savannah steamer, carried the mail,
and he laughed at the proclamation of the citizens
prohibiting the passage of steamers by Jackson-
ville, and passed by heedless of the warning. A
party of citizens then got an old condemned can-
non, took it to the river bank at the foot of Cath-
erine Street, and loaded it with a 32-pound shot.
About dark the steamer hove in sight coming up
the river, close in on the opposite side. When in
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 133
line with the pointed cannon, the gun was fired,
the ball passing through the forward gang-way
of the vessel. The gun was rapidly loaded again,
this time with a 6-pound shot, and fired ; the ball
passed through the cabin, just grazing the neck of
a negro who was in the act of lighting a lamp.
When it is considered that the muzzle of the gun
was kept in place and moved by a hand spike, this
was marvelous shooting. The steamer made no
more trips until the epidemic at Savannah was de-
clared at an end*, and the determination thus dis-
played by the citizens of Jacksonville in all
probability prevented the introduction of the fever
in that year.
REBUILDING THE TOWN.
The country at large went through a money
panic in 1854. Its effects were felt quite per-
ceptibly in the lumber industry here; but trade
was maintained and there was not a failure in
business. Amid all the recent set-backs, the peo-
ple with wonderful energy and a profound faith in
the future of Jacksonville set about rebuilding
their stores, destroyed in the fire of April 5th.
Better buildings were erected, and in many in-
stances substantial brick structures occupied the
sites of former wooden shanties. The Judson
House was completed in the fall and opened for
the accommodation of guests. This was the first
really large hotel in Jacksonville.
134 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
THE JUDSON HOUSE.
A Judson Day, of Maine, came here and in 1853,
decided to erect a first-class hotel. He bought the
west half of the block between Hogan and Julia
Streets, from Forsyth to the river from J. P.
Sanderson for $3,000. He brought mechanics and
builders down from Maine, gave the contract for
lumber to a local mill, and set to work building the
hotel. It was opened in November, 1854, and oc-
cupied the site of the present Everett Hotel. It
was a wooden building, four stories high, and
fronted 136 feet on Bay and 136 feet on Julia;
there were 110 guest rooms, spacious parlors,
and a dining room 80 feet in length. Broad
piazzas ran along the sides. The hotel complete
and ready for business cost $125,000. It was
burned March 11, 1862, by a mob of men whose
identity was never made known. The destruction
of the Judson House left Jacksonville without a
regular hotel until the St. James was opened on
January 1, 1869.
From the earliest time, Jacksonville was what is
called '^a hotel town.'^ Its fame as a health re-
sort was not long in reaching all parts of the coun-
try; people came to spend the winter and ac-
commodations had to be provided for them. John
Brady, as we have seen, was the pioneer in the
hotel business here. Then Dawson & Buckles
entered the field, followed by Joseph Andrews,
brother-in-law of I. D. Hart. I. D. Hart built a
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 135
large boarding liouse at the northwest corner of
Bay and Market, and this remained a hotel site
until the fire of May 3, 1901, the United States
Hotel, formerly the Carleton, occupying that cor-
ner. Others, too, built houses for the purpose of
keeping boarders, but it was not until some time
in the 40 's, that Jacksonville could boast of a
regular hotel. It was erected at the southwest
corner of Adams and Newnan Streets, facing
Newnan, and was called "Wood^s Hotel, taking the
name of its owner, Oliver Wood. The hotel
changed hands in the early 50 's, being bought by
Samuel Buffington, when its name was changed to
the Buffington House. The new owner improved
the property and made additions, so that finally it
was a house of nearly a hundred rooms. The
Buffington House burned in 1859, and was never
rebuilt. There were two other hotels here as early
as 1852, much smaller than the Buffington, but
they were classed as hotels then. They were the
Crespo House, southeast corner of Adams and
Ocean, and the Coy House, occupying the site of
the old block house, northeast corner of Monroe
and Ocean. The Crespo burned, but was rebuilt
upon the same site. These hotels and the numer-
ous boarding houses furnished accommodations
for the tourists until the Judson House was built.
Local trade was maintained largely by furnish-
ing supplies to the mills and loggers; but there
136 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
was also an extensive river and back country trade.
The river trade was by means of cypress boats
and dug-outs. The country trade came in the well-
known country cart, sometimes from distances of
60, and occasionally 100 miles, bringing cotton,
sugar, syrup, and exchanging for goods*. Trains
of six-mule teams were maintained regularly be-
tween Alligator (Lake City) and Jasper and
In 1855, the property valuation in Jacksonville
was $450,000. The annual exportation of lumber
was 25 million feet, but with the exception of the
saw mills and stores, and Biggs 's blacksmith shop
and foundry, there were no very important indus-
tries here. There were few sidewalks and the
streets were deep sand. Many of the dwellings
were unplastered and some had no glass windows.
There were a few pianos in the town, but no stoves,
and of course none of the modern conveniences.
In the winter time when it was cold, fires were
kindled in front of the stores; here the men col-
lected and cracked jokes and discussed the ques-
tions of the day. Milk was scarce and ice was
scarcer. There was a small market house with
one stall, open in the early morning. Fish were
brought in boats to the shore near the market. The
fishermen gave due notice of their arrival by ring-
ing the market bell, when the people would rush
down to purchase. Beef sold at 4 to 8 cents a
pound and pork at 8 to 10 cents a pound. Vege-
tables were scarcely ever seen, except collards and
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 137
The only banking house in the town was an
agency of the Bank of Charleston, A. M. Eeed,
agent. Afterward, the Bank of St. Johns was
organized at Jacksonville, and at the close of 1860
was one of the two banks in the state doing busi-
ness under the general banking law".
Not much attention was given to flower gardens
and grass lawns; most of the residents cut the
grass down to the sand to keep snakes from getting
into the yards. One of the few places that had a
grass lawn in the early days was that of General
Thomas Ledwith, corner of Ocean and Adams
Streets. It was Bermuda, and certainly looked
refreshing in its sandy surroundings. There were
very few orange trees in and around the yards, in
fact the people gave little attention to them, as
they were so thoroughly frozen out in 1835, that
every one was disgusted'.
The schooners that came here then were very
small in comparison with those that come now. A
cargo of 100,000 feet was considered tremendous.
Vessels could not pass over St. Johns bar, even at
high tide, drawing more than 10 feet. There were
only two mails a week from the North, both by
boat, one from Charleston and the other from
138 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTEE XL
1 Jacksonville Metropolis, December 12, 1908.
2 History of Florida, Webb.
3 Mrs. W. M. Bostwick. (See Author's Preface).
4 Reminiscences of an old citizen, Jacksonville Tri-Weekly
Sun, January 22-February 1, 1876.
5 O. L. Keene in Jacksonville Metropolis, December 12, 1908.
6 See Florida Reports,
7 This data comes from various sources, all reliable.
8 The author possesses a copy of this ''Extra".
9 Mrs. George S. Wilson.
10 Memoirs of Florida, Fleming.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 139
Two years after the eventful year 1854, found
Jacksonville undergoing a steady improvement.
Small steamers for the upper St. Johns, and tug
boats for towing had been placed on the river.
The railroad to western Florida was now assured.
Most of the capital invested in these enterprises
was subscribed by the citizens. The people were
united, and everything that promised to advance
the interests of the town was liberally advocated
and pushed forward. Building, business, and
valuation increased, and a general prosperity was
evident everywhere. Travel came both from the
State and abroad and school and church member-
ship increased'. In the book entitled ^ ' History and
Antiquities of St. Augustine '', published in 1856,
was an advertisement by the Jacksonville Board
of Trade, of which Dr. Theodore Hartridge was
President, setting forth the advantages of Jack-
sonville and inviting people to come here to live.
That we had a Board of Trade prior to the civil
war is not generally known ; the organization was
probably kept up until the beginning of the war.
On November 15, 1856, at 4 :30 a. m., fire broke
out in a block of wooden buildings on the south side
of Bay Street between Pine (Main) and Laura,
and was quite destructive. The volunteer firemen
140 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
had a difficult time confining the flames to the south
side of Bay Street'.
January 19 and 20, 1857, were the coldest days
since the great freeze of 1835. Temperatures of
16 and 18 degrees, respectively, were noted from
ordinary thermometers, and if self-registering in-
struments could have been used, a much lower tem-
perature in all probability would have been re-
corded. Ice two inches in thickness formed on
pools and along the margin of the St. Johns River.
People could be seen sliding and trying to skate on
JACKSONVILLE LIGHT INFANTRY.
The Jacksonville Light Infantry was organized
April 30, 1857, with the following members :'
Captain — Holmes Steele.
Lieutenants — F. C. Sollee, George Flagg, J. C.
Sergeants — William Grothe, S. B. Flinn, Wil-
liam Houston, H. W. Fitch, A. W. DaCosta.
Corporals — T. R. Webb, S. Buffington, Jr., C.
H. Collins, L. Warrock.
Privates — P. Brennan, W. E. Livingston, Wat-
son Ashurst, Byron E. Oak, J. C. Houston, R. R.
Rushing, William Caulk, S. Forbes Doggett, Frank
Smith, D. P. Smith, L. I. Fleming, J. G. Butler, E.
Aubert, W. Haddock, P. H. Talle, C. C. Aberle,
W. A. DuPont, F. Depue, J. I. Winter, 0. L.
Keene, E. A. Oak, J. D. M. Shad, F. B. Papy, H.
M. Moody, Aristides Doggett, J. Y. Wilson, A. A.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 141
Oclms, F. G. Hirtler, W. W. Moore, J. Burkheim.
Soon after the organization, J. J. Daniel, T. E.
Buckman, and others joined the company. The
first street parade was held July 4, 1859, when the
company marched to East Jacksonville about
where Florida Avenue is now, and had target prac-
tice for two hours. The armory was then in a
hall in a frame building that stood on the north
side of Bay Street, between Hogan and Julia. O.
L. Keene, one of the charter members, said: ^^We
had handsome uniforms — coats of blue cloth with
three rows of brass buttons down the front, high
caps with pon-pons, pants of blue cloth, and white
pants for warm weather. In May, 1860, the ladies
of the town presented us with a silk flag, made by
themselves, and we paraded the streets, as we felt
very proud of our beautiful new flag. ' '
The company served through the war as Com-
pany A., Third Florida Infantry, mostly with
the Army of the Tennessee; it surrendered with
General Johnston's army. At the surrender the
company was disbanded. Afterwards, July 30,
1875, there was an attempt to reorganize it, but
not a great deal of enthusiasm was manifested,
and it was not until 1880, when a strikers' riot
broke out at Clark's mill and the men were called
out to put it down, that a thorough re-organization
took place. The Jacksonville Light Infantry was
re-organized September 20, 1880, with W. B.
Young as captain*.
142 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC OF 1857.
In the early part of the summer of 1857, an epi-
demic of yellow fever raged at St. Marys, Ga., and
from that place it was brought to Jacksonville in
Angust, it was said later by Nathan Vaught. Mr.
Vanght's house stood on a bluff just east of the
intersection of Bay and Bridge Streets, and it
was there that the epidemic started'. That locality
was never considered very healthful; McCoy's
Creek near-by was a dirty, stagnant stream, and
much of the land in the vicinity was low, marsh
land. The summer was described as hot and
murky, with frequent rains and much decaying
vegetable matter. It is a noted fact that three
crops of weeds grew during the season, and some
people tried to connect this unusual circumstance
with the spread of the fever'. In these surround-
ings the disease gained a foot-hold. The McFalls
lived near the Vaughts and soon took the fever;
then it spread to the Currys living close by on the
bank of McCoy's Creek. In the mean time some
of the other residents, both men and ladies, hear-
ing of the distress out there (that section was con-
sidered out of town then) went to nurse the sicF.
In this way the contagion spread through the town.
Most of the people left, and there was an entire
suspension of business. But one store remained
open — a drug store conducted by Dr. E. P. Web-
ster. Dr. Webster kept his store open all during
the epidemic and dispensed medicines gratuitously
to those who did not have the means to pay\
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 143
During the period of the disease the streets
were deserted and grew up in grass. The steam-
ers did not stop here and the town was isolated
from the rest of the world. Doctors and clergy-
men courageously remained and those of the resi-
dents that stayed ministered to and nursed the
sick night and day and buried the dead. Clothing
and food were freely dispensed to those in need.
Never were a people more sympathetic and gen-
erous. Fortunately there came an early frost (on
October 26th, and on November 20th the tempera-
ture fell to freezing). There were 127 deaths, a
fearful death rate, when it is considered that not
more than 600 people had the fever'. An idea of
the malignity of the disease may be gained from
the mortality in the Mott family, composed of
twelve members, eleven of whom died, only the old
grandmother surviving. The Turknett family,
that had suffered so severely in the scarlet fever
epidemic of 1854, lost two more members by yel-
low fever. Numbers of our best citizens met death
upon the altar of brotherly love. The grave stones
in the old city cemetery bear mute witness to the
Some of the ignorant persons looked upon the
spread of the disease with reverential fear and
considered it a visitation of The Almighty'.
Others thought it was due to the excavation being
made for the railroad through wet and marshy
land, thus exposing the freshly dug soil to the
hot and sultry weather, thereby causing a malari-
144 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
ous atmosphere. Still others advanced the idea
that it might have originated at the old market,
and cautioned the authorities to permit nothing
that might be detrimental to the public health to
exist there, especially in hot weather. But there
was a pathetic feeling of dread and doubt common
to all in regard to the proper treatment of the
fever and the best method by which to combat its
GEN^EKAL TOWN IMPEOVEMENTS.
With the cold weather, the residents began to
return, and in the course of time the conditions
that had existed before the epidemic were re-
sumed. During the three following years, trade
and commerce increased. The lumber industry
had thoroughly recovered from the depression of
1857, and a succession of good crop years placed
every thing upon the high-road of prosperity'.
In 1858, there were built here a large barque,
called the American Eagle, and a schooner, the
Martha. The Martha was lost at sea in May, 1876.
"What became of the American Eagle is not known .
New wharves and business houses were built, as
were residences of a better class than had previ-
ously existed. Streets were opened and extended,
and there was a general improvement in walks and
roads. The city was governed without paid offi-
cials, only the marshal receiving fees for his ser-
vices, and taxation was not burdensome'.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 145
In 1859, the first gas works were built on East
Bay Street, near Hogan's Creek. A Mr. Water-
house, of New Jersey, was the originator and
prime mover of the enterprise. The gas was made
of resin, and fulfilled all the requirements of that
day'. After the civil war, H. H. Hoeg conducted
the gas works, the price of gas at that time being
$8 a thousand. Out of this organization grew the
present Jacksonville Gas Company.
The first telegraph line from Jacksonville was
built in 1859, to Baldwin, where it connected with
the Cuban line and with the North'.
A book could be written on the subject of the
early railroad projects in Florida ; how a few pro-
gressive and far-seeing men labored with the
Legislature, both Territorial and State, for the
passage of railroad legislation; how laws were
made, repealed, and made again; about the land
grant inducements for railroad construction ; how
seemingly insurmountable obstacles were met with
and overcome; and finally, when construction
actually commenced, how slowly it progressed,
inches on the map representing years of difficulty.
All this collated and published would make
146 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
In the 40 's, a survey was made for a railroad
from Jacksonville to Cedar Keys, and another
from Jacksonville to the Snwanee River. With
this matters were allowed to rest, and in the mean
time powerful opposition developed with the orga-
nization of a company, of which David Levy Yulee
was the acknowledged head, to build a railroad
from Fernandina to Cedar Keys. Yulee success-
fully carried out his plans, and the road proposed
from Jacksonville to Cedar Keys was abandoned'.
The citizens of Jacksonville were not the kind to
become discouraged, however, and in 1852, largely
through the efforts of Dr. A. S. Baldwin, a com-
pany was organized to build a railroad from Jack-
sonville to Lake City, then called Alligator.'
Jacksonville's fikst bonds.
To carry on the work of building the railroad,
the town was bonded in 1857, for $50,000. These
were the first bonds issued by the town of Jack-
sonville. After the war many cities and towns in
the South, finding it impossible to meet their
obligations, sought to evade them by repudiation.
This question came up in Jacksonville in connec-
tion with the railroad bonds of 1857, but the
citizens, impoverished as they were, elected to
carry the issue.
The name of the railroad was the Florida, At-
lantic and Gulf Central. Grading began at this
end of the line during the summer of 1857, and the
road was completed to Alligator March 13, 1860.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 147
On the 15tli of that month, the railroad gave the
people of Jacksonville an excursion to Alligator.
The locomotive that pulled the train was called
'' Jacksonville ''. Many people took advantage of
the opportunity, and some of them for the first
time in their lives rode on a railroad train. The
Lake City people gave them a barbecue and a good
time in general. On the 21st of March, an excur-
sion came here from Lake City. The visitors were
hospitably welcomed with speeches, and a barbecue
prepared in what was then a fine oak grove where
the Barnett National Bank now stands, corner
Forsyth and Laura Streets. A pleasing ceremony
also took place at the Judson House, when Miss
Louisa Holland, of Jacksonville, and Miss Ives, of
Lake City, with pitchers mingled the waters of the
St. Johns Kiver with those of Lake DeSoto', near
A railroad engine was a new thing to most of
the people here, and when it first came to Jack-
sonville a large crowd assembled to examine its
mechanism and to discuss its merits pro and con.
The engineer, having a keen sense of humor, sud-
denly released the escape valve and pulled the
whistle cord. Instantly there was a wild scramble,
many believing that the engine was about to blow
up. The incident caused much merriment and was
discussed for quite a while afterward'.
The civil war played havoc with the railroad.
Sections of the track between Jacksonville and
Baldwin were torn up and replaced, alternately,
148 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
by the Confederates and the Federals. Some of
that old railroad iron found its way to the ship-
yards and was used in the construction of iron-
AUKORA OF 1859.
On September 2, 1859, from midnight to 4 a. m.,
a fine auroral display was observed by the citizens
of Jacksonville. At times it was very bright and
red, occupying the northern heavens from north-
west around to northeast and east. Streamers
would be sent up from different points almost to
the zenith, then fade away and flicker up again.
At 3 a. m, the whole heavens shone with a brilliant
red light, even the south was quite red. The more
ignorant people were very much frightened, and
many amusing incidents were told of how the
negroes began to pray, thinking that the end of
the world was at hand'.
There appears to have been a period of special
auroral frequency from 1870 to 1882. More or less
pronounced auroral displays were observed in
Jacksonville on September 24 and October 14 and
25, 1870 ; February 4, 1872 ; June 4, 1877 ; and on
November 17, 1882, there was a well-marked dis-
play that attracted general attention.
JUST PKIOE TO THE WAK.
In the years 1850 to 1860, the town doubled its
population; the census of 1860 gave more than
2,000 inhabitants. During 1860, there was no
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 149
cessation of business. Travel and the mails in-
creased ; likewise the telegraph business. Steam-
ers and other vessels came and departed regularly.
But with the mutterings of the coming trouble a
nervous tension found its way into every occupa-
tion. The public mind drifted into political, rather
than into commercial channels. Groups of men
would collect on the streets and discuss the grave
questions of the day. News of the attack on Fort
Sumter at once suspended all business with the
North and the mills, with one exception, closed
down. Then the mails ceased coming, and the
town began gradually to subside into inactivity ,
only soon to be drawn into the whirlpool of war.
BIBLIOGRAPHY, CHAPTEE XIL
1 Eeminiscences of an old citizen, Tri-Weekly Sun, Feb 1, 1876
2 Records of Dr. A. S. Baldwin.
3 Newspaper clipping.
4 History of Florida, Webb.
5 Mrs. George S. Wilson.
6 Dr. W. M. Bostwiek.
7 These remarks are based upon reliable data.
8 Memoirs of Florida, Fleming.
9 O. L. Keene.
150 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
LIFE IN JACKSONVILLE BEFORE THE
A large percentage of the citizens were men of
ability and fine education, some of them being
specialists in their professional lines. Given to
entertaining among themselves, and the ^Sstrang-
ers within their gates ' \ they formed a distinct set
where culture and refinement were the dominant
characteristics, thus creating a social condition
that was morally healthful and uplifting. Cook-
ing and serving were done entirely at home, by
servants trained in the art for generations. Do-
mestic service was then free from nomadic annoy-
ance; therefore the ease and pleasures of enter-
taining were far greater than at the present day.
The chief amusements were dinner parties,
cards, and dancing. Besides the old-fashioned
square dances, reels, etc., graceful Spanish dances
and gliding waltzes were indulged in. All danced,
the matron as well as the maid; grandmothers
could be seen dancing with their grandsons. No
dance was ever given without the patronage of
married people — this was a strict social require-
ment. Marcellini, an old Spanish negro, was the
chief functionary at all the dances, as it was his
*A composite description, as given by prominent old
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 151
^'fiddle and bow^' that furnished the music, the
mention of which caused one lady to exclaim,
^ ' Sweet memories of happy days are revived with
the thought of Marcellini and his dancing fiddle ' ',
while another says in verse :
I see him yet, his rolling eyes, his scanty woolen hair,
His swaying form, his conscious pride, his almost
"When all the white folks waiting stood, till he would
draw his bow;
* * * *
And when he touched the familiar notes, the sober
and the staid.
Just felt the music in their heels, when Marcellini
Picnics in the summer-time and oyster roasts in
the winter were pleasures that all could partake
of. Camping for several days on the river bank,
called '^marooning'', was a popular pastime. A
period of moonlight nights was generally selected
for marooning, so that moonlight water parties
might be an attendant feature. Music was on
hand to be sure, and the soft, mellow notes of the
guitar were certain to be heard out on the river as
some youth sang the popular ballad of that day:
Lightly row, lightly row, as o'er the dancing waves
Smoothly glide, smoothly glide, out on the silent
152 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Let the winds and waters be, mingled with our
Lightly row, lightly row, for music's voice is low.
Gently with the sea-bird's note, let our dying music
Lightly row, 1-i-g-h-t-l-y r-o-w.
There was serenading by groups of young men,
who would visit the home of some popular person
and with music and songs entertain the house-
hold for half an hour or so, those within in the
mean time preparing refreshments for the
serenaders. Frequently the presence of some
^'love-sick'' person would be evinced by the
notes of his guitar, as he stood singing softly out-
side the home of his '^ lady-love". More boister-
ous was the custom of charivari, or ' ' shiveree, ' ' a
hideous clamor of tin pans, horns, whistles, and
other disagreeable noises, indulged in outside the
home of a newly married widow or widower. The
hilarious amusement always provoked anger on
the part of the groom, but it would not cease until
the participants were refreshed with cake and
This lightness, vivacity, love of pleasure, marks
clearly the impress of the Spanish character upon
The English occupation also left some of its
staunch, staid customs, such as strict attendance
upon the church services; financial provision for
the future; propriety the requirement of society's
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 153
inner circle ; and a rigid obedience to set customs, a
disregard of them being considered an evidence of
All forms of affliction met with the profoundest
sympathy. Notice of funerals was written on a
sheet of letter paper through which a wide black
ribbon was inserted, and taken from house to house
by a servant, attendance being considered a mark
of respect for the living, as well as for the dead.
There were no trained nurses and it devolved upon
some member of the family, usually the mother or
oldest daughter, to perform such duties in case of
sickness. When members of a household were un-
able to provide the necessary attention for its sick,
neighbors volunteered. It was nothing out of the
ordinary for those occupying the highest social
position to nurse the lowly and humble night and
day, or to shroud the dead. Sorrow and sickness
obliterated the social boundary line and affliction
became public property. No hearse and under-
taker were in the town then, but Sam Eeed, a vener-
able colored man, and his mule, John, performed
the duties of burying the dead, in addition to do-
ing all the draying for Jacksonville.
Public out-of-door functions, barbecues, patri-
otic celebrations, and the like were of frequent oc-
currence. Every town improvement, or the
inauguration of anything that had as its object the
public weal, met with immediate popular favor,
and the occasion was usually made one of public
celebration, with speech-making and a grand, good
154 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
time for all. Such a thing as a circus coming to
town was sufficient to cause unbounded enthu-
siasm, and the songs and jokes could be heard on
the streets long after its departure. ^^I bet my
money on the bob-tail nag, somebody bet on the
bay", was a circus echo that lingered a long time.
Another phase of life in Jacksonville before the
war was a modified form of its border-day exis-
tence, for in connection with the liking for fun and
frolic was also a liking for strong drink. The grog-
shop center was at the northwest corner of Bay
and Newnan Streets, then the business center of
the town. Could the history of that localit}^ in
those days be written, the record would not be
free from bar-room brawls, with now and then an
altercation of a more serious character. These
troubles were not confined to the turbulent element
of the community, for often young men of the
very best families would be implicated. Whether
the wave of religious enthusiasm that swept over
Jacksonville in the 50 's was brought about by this
state of wildness is not recorded, but it is a fact
that protracted religious meetings were held day
and night for weeks, when fervent prayers were
offered for the salvation of the '^sinful wine
The reckless, romantic sort of life led by the
young men was but a natural condition of those
times ; but they were gentlemen with it all. That
species of ruffian that stands on the street corners
and with impudent familiarity seeks to attract the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 155
attention of girls and ladies was unknown before
the war, for these tactics would then have brought
a coat of tar and feathers. Men seldom spoke dis-
paragingly of ladies, as to do so meant serious
consequences. Personal bravery was a dominant
characteristic, and an insult was sure to result in
trouble. Cursing had not become so popular, and
profanity was seldom heard. When the old peo-
ple talk about those times forever gone, they make
it plain that many of the corroding influences of
modern life had no counterpart in the '^ happy
days before the war'\
In general, the people were kind-hearted, gen-
erous, and hospitable. They were happy and con-
tented, with a profound fondness for recreation
and pleasure; yet they were sympathetic and
patient under affliction, and at all times were
united in the interest of the town's improvement.
The community was prosperous, and the citizens
were possessed of a business judgment and
sagacity that enabled them to overcome seemingly
insurmountable obstacles, and to provide bounti-
fully for the present, as well as to accumulate for
156 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
THE CIVIL WAR.
Florida seceded from the Union January 10,
1861, whereupon the Jacksonville Light Infantry,
Captain Holmes Steele, offered its services to the
Governor of Florida, and was the first company
accepted by the State'. It was ordered to the
mouth of the St. Johns River, to erect fortifica-
tions at that point. A detachment was sent to St.
Augustine for four 32-pound guns at old Fort San
Marco. These cannon were put on log carts and
hauled to the beach below Mayport, to a high sand
dune at the mouth of the "run", where they were
placed in a fortification constructed by the com-
pany under the direction of Captain John L 'Engle,
a retired United States army officer. This fort
was named Fort Steele, in honor of Captain Steele.
The Jacksonville Light Infantry was ordered to
Fort Steele in detachments until April, when all
were ordered there'.
The "long roll" was sounded but once at Fort
Steele. One night the sentinel observed an object
coming in that he thought was a launch from a
Federal gunboat. He gave the alarm, and the com-
pany was hastily drawn up on the beach to repel
the invader, but it proved to be a pile of brush
floating in with the tide'.
When the Jacksonville Light Infantry was mus-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 157
tered into the Confederate service the following
August, the post at the mouth of the river was
The Second Florida Infantry was mustered into
the Confederate service at Jacksonville, July 13,
1861. Among the companies comprising this regi-
ment was the St. Johns Grays, of Duval County,
commanded by Captain J. J. Daniel. This regi-
ment with the First Florida Infantry filled the
first call of the Confederate government from
Florida. It left Jacksonville for Virginia by rail,
July 15, 1861, and was accorded ovations at many
places along the route, especially at Savannah and
Petersburg. An authority says: ^^They were
watched, as they departed, with a strange exalta-
tion of soul, and the tears of affection were min-
gled with the proud anticipation of martial honors.
Flowers were showered upon them by fair hands
at many places on the way; banners waved, and
the cheers of ardent patriotism helped assuage
the pain of the recent farewell to home and kin-
dred"'. The Second Florida participated in most
of the battles of the Army of Northern Virginia,
fought bravely, and was frequently complimented
by the generals of the army.
In response to a call for two additional regi-
ments, the Third and the Fourth Florida Infantry
were mustered in, the Third Florida, including the
Jacksonville Light Infantry, Captain Holmes
Steele, on August 10, 1861; ten companies com-
prised the regiment'. The Third Florida served
158 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
through the war, and fought with distinction,
mostly with the Army of the Tennessee; it sur-
rendered with General Joseph E. Johnston's army
at the close of the war.
Early in March, 1862, rumors reached Jackson-
ville that a Federal expedition, with a large num-
ber of troops, was about to embark for the occupa-
tion of this town. The mayor then published this
proclamation, for the information of the citizens' :
TO THE CITIZENS OF JACKSONVILLE.
In the present trying crisis, much thought and
anxious inquiry have been devoted by the City
Council, the citizens, and several of our friends from
the country, including Gen. S. R. Pyles and Staff, to
ascertain and determine what, under all the circum-
stances, is best to be done, and will best promote the
safety, comfort, and happiness of the people.
On yesterday evening, a portion of the City
Council held an interview with Gen. Pyles and his
Staff, and after full discussion and patient delibera-
tion, it was unanimously determined that in-
asmuch as all the Confederate troops, arms, and
munitions of war upon the St. Johns river and in
East and South Florida generally are to be aban-
doned, it is useless to attempt a defense of the City
of Jacksonville, and therefore upon the approach of
the enemy it should be surrendered. This having
been decided upon as the sound and proper course
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 159
to be pursued, Col. M. Whit Smith suggested that
the Mayor should make it known to the citizens by
proclamation and this suggestion being fully con-
curred in by all present,
I therefore, in conformity thereto, make known
to you that all defenses will be immediately with-
drawn from the city and the St. Johns river and no
military force will be kept on duty, except for Police
purposes, and such force will be supplied by details
drawn from our citizens.
I advise and earnestly admonish our citizens to
remain at their homes and pursue their usual avoca-
tions, and I call upon all good citizens to give their
aid and counsel for the preservation of good order
throughout the entire community. It is the opinion
of our most experienced and intelligent citizens
(and I think a correct one) that if the enemy meet
with no resistance, private property will be re-
spected, and unarmed citizens will be allowed to
pursue their usual occupations. I trust, therefore,
that our whole population will act with becoming
prudence, and that no unnecessary provocation may
be given that may furnish a reason for violence from
any quarter; and if after we have offered no resis-
tance and given no just provocation, violence should
be committed, the whole blame will rest on the
aggressors. Every citizen able to perform police
duty is hereby required to hold himself in readiness
to go on duty, upon receiving notice from the Chief
H. H. HoEG,
March 7, 1862.
160 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
This proclamation not only did not produce the
desired effect, but on the other hand greatly in-
tensified the alarm. The residents were panic-
stricken, and two or three days later, when news
was received that Fernandina had been occupied
by Federal troops, all the Southern sympathizers
who could go away left Jacksonville. Business
along all lines was entirely suspended. The one
railroad out of the town was taxed to its utmost
capacity, carrying refuges to Lake City and other
points in the interior of Florida. Others left with
their belongings in wagons, some of them, women
and children, having no destination and guided
and protected only by faithful servants. A recital
of the hardships that many of these women and
children suffered during the next few years would
soften the most callous heart. Numbers of them
found refuge with relatives or friends in the in-
terior, but there were some who suffered terrible
hardships and were subjected to all the horrors
incident to war*.
When the city offices were closed the city and
county records were secretly buried for safe-keep-
ing. After the war, when these records were ex-
humed, it was found that they were practically
worthless because of illegibility due to decay'.
FIRST FEDERAL OCCUPATION^
Four Federal gunboats, Seneca, Pembina,
Ottawa, and Isaac Smith, and two transports of
Commodore DuPont's squadron, crossed St. Johns
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 161
bar March 11, 1862, and anchored in the river. On
the same day the Confederates came to Jackson-
ville, and nnder orders from the commander of the
district. General Trapier, burned all the mills, ex-
cept one (Scott's), and 4,000,000 feet of lumber.
Mr. Scott saved his mill by raising tliQ British flag
over it. They also burned the foundry, and a gun-
boat on the ways. But this was not all. That night
a mob of men composed of refugees from Fernan-
dina and Jacksonville came in and from pure
malignity fired the Judson House and two or three
other buildings in the town'.
The next day, March 12th, the Federal squadron
came up the river and anchored off Jacksonville.
The capitulation of the town is described by a resi-
dent, Frederick Lueders, in the Immigration
Edition of the Industrial Record (Jacksonville) of
July, 1907, as follows :
^'One day (March 12th), as I was standing on
the river bank at the foot of Laura Street, I saw
four gunboats come steaming up the river and
drop anchor off the foot of Pine (Main) Street.
I was getting pretty well scared, when the thought
flashed through my head, ^If they bombard Jack-
sonville, it will be nothing short of murder \ At
that time I happened to have a stick in my hand,
and noting the guns were turned toward Jack-
sonville, I took out my handkerchief, tied it to
the stick, and waved it vigorously over my head.
The commander of the fleet saw the peace signal
and with his aides came ashore. Upon landing.
162 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
I told him the existing circumstances and begged
him not to open tire upon the town. He said he
would not, and for me to go on board. After I
had explained that I was the only officer in the
town (he was sheriff) he requested me to sign the
surrender papers, which I did. He said his mis-
sion here was one of peace and that he hoped
Florida would not suffer the havoc of war. Upon
my return I found to my surprise that troops had
been landed and pickets were out'\
It was six companies of the Fourth New Hamp-
shire Regiment, under the command of Colonel T.
J. Whipple, that Mr. Lueders found in possession
of Jacksonville. The occupation was quietly per-
formed on March 12th. The Confederate troops
were encamped in the vicinity of Baldwin, but they
were more or less disorganized and poorly
equipped, and they made no attempt at contesting
the landing of the Federal forces here.
The original plan of the Federal expedition was
to occupy Jacksonville for only a few hours, for
the purpose of reconnaissance ; but the representa-
tions of the ''loyaP' residents of the town caused
Colonel Whipple to abandon the idea of immediate
evacuation. Pickets were stationed and the troops
went into camp or were quartered in the vacant
buildings. On March 19th, General T. W. Sher-
man* (U. S. A.), commander of the department,
arrived. He came for the purpose of personally
*Do not confound witli W. T. Sherman.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 163
acquainting himself with the situation here, and in
his report he stated that the act of Colonel
Whipple in regularly occupying Jacksonville was
a wise one.
In the mean time, the Confederate troops in the
vicinity of Baldwin, under the command of Colonel
W. S. Dilworth, were recruiting and otherwise
preparing to resist any attempt of the Federals
to march into the interior of the State.
PKOCLAMATION OF THE LOYAL CITIZENS.
As soon as Jacksonville was thoroughly in the
hands of the Union army, a meeting of the ' ' Loyal
Citizens of the United States '^ was held, at 10:30
a. m., March 20, 1862, C. L. Robinson, chairman;
0. L. Keene, secretary; John S. Sammis, S. F.
Halliday, John W. Price, Philip Frazer, and
Paran Moody, being the committee appointed to
draft resolutions to lay before said meeting.
The following is a true copy of these resolutions* :
We, the people of the city of Jacksonville and its
vicinity, in the county of Duval, and the State of
Florida, embraced within the territory and jurisdic-
tion of the United States of America, do hereby set
forth our declaration of rights and our solemn pro-
test against the abrogation of the same by any pre-
tended State or other authority.
First. We hold that government is a contract, in
which protection is the price of allegiance ; that when
*War of the Eebellion — Official Eecords of the Union and
Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. VI, Page 251-252.
164 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
protection is denied, through weakness or design,
allegiance is no longer due.
Second. We hold that an established form of gov-
ernment cannot be changed or abrogated except by
the will of the people, intelligently and willingly
expressed and fairly ratified.
Third. We hold that no State of the United
States has any legal or constitutional right to sepa-
rate itself from the government and jurisdiction of
the United States.
Fourth. We hold that the act of the Convention
of the State of Florida commonly known as the ordi-
nance of secession, is void, being in direct conflict
with the Constitution of the United States, in never
having been submitted to the people for ratification.
Fifth. We hold that the State of Florida is an
integral part of the United States, subject to the
constitutional jurisdiction of the same, and we
have reason to believe that thousands of her citizens
would hail with joy the restoration of the Govern-
ment, bringing deliverance from the terrors of un-
restrained popular and military despotism. We
solemnly protest against all the acts and ordinances
of the Convention of the State of Florida, which
were designed to deprive us of our rights as citizens
of the United States. We protest against the
despotism fostered by the State and other authori-
ties claiming jurisdiction over us, which has denied
us the rights most dear to freemen — freedom of
speech and a free press. We protest against the
exactions which have been imposed upon us — forced
contributions of money, property, and labor; enlist-
ments for military service procured by threats and
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 165
misrepresentations. We protest against the tyranny
which demands of us as a measure of revolutionary
policy abandonment of our homes and property and
exposure of our wives and children to sickness,
destitution, gaunt famine, innumerable and untold
miseries and sorrows. We protest against that mad
and barbarous policy which has punished us for re-
maining in our own homes by sending a brutal and
unrestrained soldiery to pillage and burn our prop-
erty, threaten and destroy our lives. We protest
against the denunciation of the governor, who
threatens to hang us because we do not tamely sub-
mit to such indignities and "lick the hand just raised
to shed our blood." From such a despotism and
from such dangers and indignities we have been re-
leased by the restoration of the Government of the
United States, with the benign principles of the
Constitution. The reign of terror is past. Law and
order prevail in our midst.
It belongs now to the citizens of the State who
hold to their allegiance to the United States to raise
up a State government according to those provisions
of the State which are not in conflict with or repug-
nant to the provisions of the United States :
Be it therefore resolved, That we adopt the fore-
going protest and declaration of rights, and recom-
mend that a convention of all loyal citizens be called
forthwith, for the purpose of organizing a State
government of the State of Florida.
Be it further resolved, That the chief of the
military department of the United States be re-
quested to retain at this place a sufficient force to
166 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
maintain order and protect the people in their per-
sons and property.
Philip Frazer, Chairman.
A true copy of the resohitions as passed at said
meeting and adopted as their o\\ti act.
C. L. Robinson,
0. L. Keene,
On the same day, General Sherman issued a
proclamation to the ^^ Loyal People of East
Florida", confirming and commending the fore-
going resolutions and stating that the troops of
the United States ''had come amongst you to
protect loyal citizens and their property from
further molestation by the creatures of a rebel
and usurped authority, and to enable you to
resuscitate a Government which they have ruth-
lessly endeavored to destroy", etc. Another meet-
ing of the loyal citizens was held on the 24th of
March and a committee of five was appointed to
take steps toward obtaining the co-operation of
other counties in the State in the effort to orga-
nize a state government under the jurisdiction of
the United States. To this end a convention was
called to meet at Jacksonville on April 10, 1862.
In the afternoon of March 24th, General H. G.
Wright and the 97th Pennsylvania regiment ar-
rived. General Wright assuming command of the
troops in Jacksonville. The Confederates had
by this time moved nearer the town and occupied
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 167
a position at McGirt's Creek, about 10 miles west
in the direction of Baldwin. On the night of
March 24th, a Federal picket of two men that had
gone beyond the lines was captured, and at 3 a.
m. March 25th, the Confederates attacked a
picket at the old brick yard in West LaVilla, kill-
ing four and capturing three of them. Lieutenant
Strange (C. S. A.) was mortally wounded here.
This evidently was the first blood of the war
spilled in this vicinity.
On the night of March 27th, a Federal picket
fired upon a party approaching them in what they
conceived a suspicious manner, and of the two in
advance, one was killed and the other wounded.
They proved to be a party of negroes that had
escaped from their masters at Lake City. The
next day. General Wright, hearing that the Con-
federates were contemplating an attack upon
Jacksonville, sent to Fernandina for two sections
of Hamilton's battery. Its arrival brought the
Federal force in Jacksonville up to 1,400 men.
No attack was made, however, and a few days later
the evacuation of the town was ordered.
General Wright, in his official report, describes
the evacuation as follows:
On the 7th (April, 1862) preparations for with-
drawing were begun by embarking the public stores,
and on the 8th, at 12 noon, the troops were marched
168 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
on board and the embarkation was completed by 2
p. m. the same day. Owing to the heavy wind which
had sprung up during the morning, it was impos-
sible to get all the transports clear of the wharf until
near sunset — too late to move safely very far down
the intricate channel of the river that night — and
it was therefore determined to lay off the town until
morning. This I was more willing to do, as it took
from our movement all appearance of a hasty re-
treat. At 6 a. m. of the 9th, the transports, con-
voyed by the gunboats, proceeded down the river.
It is said that General Wright notified the Con-
federates of the intended evacuation and re-
quested them to resume their occupation of the
town, whereupon a detachment of the First Florida
calvary rode in and stood on the wharf watching
the gunboats sail away.
The evacuation of Jacksonville by the Federal
forces was unfortunate for *4oyaP' citizens, the
bona-fide ones as well as for those who, supposing
the occupation would be permanent, sought to
further their personal interests by disclaiming all
connection with the Southern cause and remained
within the Union lines. When it became known
that the town was to be evacuated, the greatest
excitement prevailed among the people; their
principal desire now was to get out of Jackson-
ville, for fear of vengeance. The morning of
April 8th was very hot. There was the greatest
confusion, as the people hurriedly tried to get
their goods, furniture, and valuables on board of
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 169
the transports'. They embarked with the Federal
fleet and were carried to Fernandina and quar-
tered in the vacant buildings there. Most of them
had to rely on rations issued from the United
Just before the evacuation, General Wright was
directed by the general commanding the depart-
ment, T. W. Sherman, to issue the following
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE.
Jacksonville, Fla., April 7, 1862.
(NOTICE). In accordance with an order issued by
the general commanding the Department of the
South the troops will be withdrawn from this place,
and I am directed by him to notify the people of
Jacksonville that it is his intention to have all the
aid and protection afforded the loyal inhabitants
of the interior of Florida that is practicable for the
security of their persons and property, and for the
punishment of outrages, and that he holds all per-
sons in that vicinity responsible for the preservation
of order and quiet, being fully determined that any
outrages upon persons or property contrary to the
laws and usages of war shall be visited fourfold upon
the inhabitants of disloyal or doubtful character
nearest the scenes of any such wrongs, when the
actual or known perpetrators cannot be discovered.
The undersigned trusts that inasmuch as the un-
offending citizens of this place have been treated
with the utmost forbearance by our forces, it will
170 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
not be necessary to carry out the intention in the
last clause of the above notice.
H. G. Wright,
General Wright himself was a gentleman as well
as a soldier. His correspondence with Colonel
W. G. M. Davis (C. S. A.) indicates this, when he
The policy of removal from Jacksonville of such
persons as may desire to leave our lines to join their
families or to reside in the interior of the State will
be continued and on application to these headquar-
ters such permission will be granted as will carry
them safely beyond our lines. We do not propose
to wage Avar upon women and children, nor upon
quiet unoffending citizens, but on the contrary have
done all in our power for the protection of their
persons and property. In announcing this policy I
have to express the hope that it will be reciprocated
by yourself in permitting the free return to Jack-
sonville of such persons as may desire to come back
to their homes. I desire further to say that the
forces under my command are instructed to carry
on all operations according to the rules of civilized
warfare, and that any outrages upon unarmed or
unoffending citizens will be punished to the full ex-
tent of the law. From the representations made to
me of your character as an officer and a gentleman, I
am sure you will be governed by a similar spirit.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 171
General Wriglit had been in Jacksonville be-
fore. It was he that made the survey of St. Johns
bar in 1853, and advanced the idea of overcoming
the difficulties by means of a single pier or jetty
across the bar. We may assume that he knew
many of our citizens personally, and when, as a
war measure, he was in military control of the
town, that property here did not suffer during his
The following is the report of Colonel W. S. Dil-
worth (C. S. A.) commanding the district of East
and Middle Florida, dated April 15, 1862, regard-
ing the operations of the Confederate troops in
front of Jacksonville during the occupation of
the town by the Federal forces:
When the enemy first occupied Jacksonville and
while all the Florida troops were retreating in con-
fusion and disorder, I, as colonel of the Third Regi-
ment Florida Volunteers, ordered a part of my regi-
ment to advance in the direction of Jacksonville and
take a position within ten miles of the city, with
only 250 effective men. Soon I had eight companies
of my regiment with me. After making a thorough
reconnaissance of the city, I became convinced that
I could not attack the city without heavy loss and
could be driven out by the enemy 's gunboats. I then
determined to commence a system of annoyances,
by attacking their pickets, foraging parties, etc. I
made a successful attack on the picket near the
city of Jacksonville, killing four and taking three
prisoners, when I was ordered to take command of
' 172 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
the district. Colonel Davis was then ordered to the
command of the forces near Jacksonville, and has
most successfully carried on the system which I com-
menced and which has resulted in their evacuation
of the place. I have further to report that after the
evacuation the enemy returned under a flag of truce
and were permitted to land 52 negroes, which were
taken in charge by the commander of the post.
Jacksonville was not regularly occupied after-
ward by Confederate troops, such an attempt be-
ing useless as long as the river remained open to
the Federal gunboats. Confederate detachments
occasionally came into town, however, just to see
how things were getting along, but after a short
SECOND FEDEKAL OCCUPATION.'
In the summer of 1862, batteries were erected by
the Confederates on the St. Johns river below
Jacksonville, at Yellow Bluff and St. Johns BlufP,
on opposite sides of the river. For some time
these batteries kept the Federal squadron, com-
prising the gunboats Paul Jones, Cimarron,
Water Witch, Hale, Uncas, and Patroon, from
coming up the river. The ineffectual effort of the
gunboats to reduce these batteries, resulted in an
expedition of four transports, carrying 1,573 men,
which left Hilton Head, S. C, on September 30th,
for the purpose of co-operating with the fleet.
This expedition landed near Mayport Mills dur-
ing the afternoon and evening of October 1st.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 173
Colonel C. F. Hopkins, commanding the battery
at St. Johns Bluff immediately requested rein-
forcements, and the garrison at Yellow Bluff
crossed over to reinforce him, bringing his avail-
able force up to about 500 men. The next day
the Federal forces, increased by men from the gun-
boats, began a movement by land against St.
Johns Bluff, the fleet co-operating with the land
forces. Late that afternoon. Colonel Hopkins had
a conference with his officers, at which it was de-
cided that his force was insufficient to hold the
position. It was therefore quietly abandoned at
9 p. m., October 2d. All the guns and a consider-
able amount of ammunition fell into the hands of
the Union forces. Colonel Hopkins was severely
criticised by General Finegan for abandoning the
post, but a court of inquiry later found that he
acted with good judgment in giving up the posi-
tion under the circumstances.
On October 3d, the Paul Jones steamed up to
Jacksonville, for the purpose of destroying all
boats and otherwise intercepting the passage of
the Confederate troops across the river. In this
it was unsuccessful and returned the next morn-
ing to join the fleet anchored off St. Johns Bluff.
On October 5th, Jacksonville was occupied the
second time by the Federal army. A small Con-
federate force was stationed in the outskirts of
the town, for the purpose of observation, but re-
tired when the gunboat Cimarron opened a fire of
174 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
shell upon them. The landing of the troops was
completed in the afternoon of the 5th, and the next
morning the gunboats went in search of Con-
federate steamers which rumor said were secreted
in the creeks up the river. The fleet returned on
the 9th, with the steamer Governor Milton, cap-
tured in a creek near Enterprise in a disabled con-
dition, her boilers being entirely worn out. Jack-
sonville was evacuated on the afternoon of the
9th, after an occupation of just four days.
General J. M. Brannan, commander of the
Federal expedition, said in his report of October
13, 1862 :
On the 5th (October) I proceeded up the river as
far as Jacksonville in the transport Ben DeFord,
with 785 infantry. I observed a large quantity of
corn and other crops on the banks of the river which
it was at first my intention either to remove or de-
stroy. This purpose I afterward abandoned as im-
practicable. Jacksonville I found to be nearly
deserted, there being but a small portion of its in-
habitants left — chiefly old men, women and children.
From this town and neighborhood I bring with me
several refugees and about 276 contrabands, includ-
ing men, women and children.
The purpose of this expedition was not men-
tioned in the reports, but, evidently, it was to keep
the St. Johns river open up to Jacksonville.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 175
THIKD FEDEKAL OCCUPATION."
Jacksonville was occupied by Federal troops the
third time March 10th, 1863, this time by negro
troops commanded by white officers, namely. First
Eegiment of South Carolina Volunteers (negro).
Colonel T. W. Higginson, and a portion of the
Second Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers
(negro). Colonel Montgomery. These troops were
later reinforced by two white regiments. Eighth
Maine and Sixth Connecticut.
On March 13th, General Finegan (C. S. A.),
commanding near Jacksonville, issued the follow-
ing proclamation :
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF EAST FLORIDA.
Camp near Jacksonville, March 13, 1863.
I feel it my duty as brigadier-general commanding
this district to inform the people of the district and
of the State that our unscrupulous enemy has
landed a large force of negroes, under command of
white officers, at Jacksonville, under cover of gun-
boats. He is attempting to fortify the place so as to
make it secure against attacks. The purpose of this
movement is obvious and need not be mentioned in
direct terms. It is sufficient to inspire the whole
body of the people with a renewed and sterner pur-
pose of resistance. I therefore call on such of the
citizens as can possibly leave their homes to arm and
organize themselves into companies without delay
and report to me.***
176 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Whether General Finegan was correct in his
supposition, hinted at in his proclamation, is an-
swered in the report of General R. Saxton (U. S.
A.), dated March 14, 1863, as follows:
The object of this expedition was to occupy Jack-
sonville and make it the base of operations for the
arming of negroes and securing in this way posses-
sion of the entire state of Florida. It gives me
pleasure to report that so far the objects of the ex-
pedition have been fully accomplished. The town is
completely in our possession and many prisoners. ^'**
It is my belief that scarcely an incident in this war
has caused a greater panic throughout the whole
southern coast than this raid of the colored troops in
Florida. The negroes are collecting at Jacksonville
from all quarters.
Immediately upon landing the Federals began
to erect fortifications as though for permanent oc-
cupation. To guard the terminus of the railroad
where it entered the town. Colonel Higginson
caused two forts to be erected, one on the right of
the railroad, named Fort Montgomery, and one on
the left. Fort Higginson. The gunboats, being
provided with heavy guns of long range, com-
manded the country for several miles around. The
Confederate troops, under General Finegan, were
stationed a few miles west of Jacksonville. They
consisted principally of cavalry, or mounted in-
fantry, and were poorly provided with artillery.
Skirmishing began on the day following the
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 177
landing of the Federal troops, and continued
more or less until Jacksonville was evacuated.
General Finegan made no general attack upon the
town, but confined his operations to a system some-
what similar to that followed during the first oc-
cupation — attacking outposts, pickets, foraging
parties, etc. There was some loss of life on both
sides. Surgeon Meredith (C. S. A.) was killed on
On March 17th, Colonel McCormick (C. S. A.),
by direction of General Finegan, notified Colonel
Higginson to remove the women and children
from Jacksonville within 24 hours, or that after
that time they would remain in the town on his
( Higginson 's) responsibility. Colonel Higgin-
son immediately ordered his wagons to convey all
those who wished to leave to the brick yard church,
where they were met under a flag of truce by a
Confederate escort. Thus all the women and
children, except a few families, were removed
from Jacksonville and sent to Lake City.
March 22d and 23d two white regiments arrived.
Eighth Maine, Colonel John D. Rust, and the
Sixth Connecticut, Colonel John L. Chatfield.
Colonel Rust being the ranking officer took com-
mand of the troops here.
Henceforth, skirmishing became more frequent
and heavier. About this time. Lieutenant Thomas
E. Buckman (C. S. A.) devised a plan that made
him very celebrated. He mounted a rifled 64-
pound cannon on a flat car, coupled on a locomo-
178 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
tive, and backed the gun down the track toward
Jacksonville. A well directed fire from this gun
caused consternation in the Federal camp. Up
and down the track it went, driving back skirmish-
ing parties of the enemy, at the same time drawing
the concentrated fire of the gunboats and batteries.
On one of these occasions a shell from this gun
passed through a platoon of the Eighth Maine,
killing two men instantly and wounding four
others. Finally Colonel Rust sent out a strong
force to destroy the railroad bridge about 3 miles
from town, and tear up the track to prevent fur-
ther damage from this railroad battery. Lieuten-
ant Buckman and Private Francis Soule (Sollee)
were commended in the highest terms for bravery
and skill in serving this gun.
EVACUATION AND BURNING OF JACKSONVILLE.
The Federal troops were withdrawn from Jack-
sonville for the purpose of taking part in the
operations against Charleston and Savannah.
The evacuation was described by a correspondent
of the New York Tribune, writing from Jackson-
ville, March 29, 1863. As much of what he says is
verified by the official reports of both the Confed-
erate and Union officers prepared afterward, it is
believed that the conditions mentioned and which
are not included in the reports, are likewise ac-
curate. He said:
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 179
Before entering upon the details of this lamentable
destruction of property, allow me to return to Hilton
Head, which place I left last Thursday morning. At
that time at an early hour, it was whispered around
headquarters, although the utmost secrecy had been
enjoined, that Jacksonville was to be evacuated by
the soldiers of the National army, w^ho had promised
the loyal inhabitants protection and had assured
them that the city would be held by our troops dur-
ing the war. Desiring to visit this portion of the
Department of the South before the grand expedition
set sail, and also to witness the evacuation, I took
passage on the steamer Boston and arrived here with
the accompanying transports, the Convoy, the Dela-
ware, the Cossack, and the Tillie, on Friday evening.
At Hilton Head much surprise, indeed much indig-
nation had been expressed the moment it was made
known that we were to abandon this important point ;
not perhaps so much because it was important, but
because so many loyal people would be utterly
ruined by the movement. Arriving at Jacksonville,
I called upon the leading officers and found that
they, too, could scarcely restrain their indignation.
It is an outrage, it is villainous, it will injure our
cause terribly, were the most frequent expressions.
It was in vain that one tried to demonstrate that it
w^as of the greatest importance at this moment that
all the troops in this department should be concen-
trated for the grand conflict in Charleston or Savan-
nah harbors. Either of these important cities taken,
the whole state of Florida would be, as it were,
flanked and the enemy compelled to abandon it in-
180 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Jacksonville was occupied on the lOtli of March
by a negro brigade, under the command of Colonel
Higginson. What they achieved, and how admirably,
I have already written you, up to as late a date as
the 25th instant. Before alluding to the events of
today, it remains for me to fill up the interval from
the 25th to the 29th. Ten days ago General Hunter,
upon representations made to him, not by Colonel
Higginson, but by several loyal men of much influ-
ence, long residents of Florida, decided to reinforce
Colonel Higginson with two regiments of white in-
fantry — the Eighth Maine, Colonel Rust, and the
Sixth Connecticut, Colonel Chatfield. Colonel Rust,
outranking Colonel Higginson, took command of all
the forces in Jacksonville. Colonel Higginson had,
by the severest labor his black troops could endure,
so strengthened his position that he deemed himself
sufficiently strong to hold Jacksonville against all
the forces the rebel General Finegan could bring to
bear against it.
The natural defenses of Jacksonville are very con-
siderable. The only weak point was on the south-
west, or in that portion of the city where the rail-
road enters it. To guard this point. Colonel Higgin-
son erected two forts. To give range to the guns
from these forts, a large forest of pine and oak trees
had to be cut down and about fifty dwellings, mostly
of an inferior class, destroyed. Fort Higginson not
only commands the left of the railroad, but the ap-
proach on the South to Jacksonville, by the St.
Johns River. All the work upon these forts was done
by the black troops. I have seen about all the earth-
works in Virginia, and do not hesitate to say that
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 181
these hastily constructed works compare very favor-
ably with the best ever thrown up by the Army of the
After Colonel Rust had taken command of the
forces here he projected a reconnaissance of the
enemy's stronghold, about ten miles distant in the
direction of Tallahassee. In this little affair black
and white troops marched together. Four companies
of the Sixth Connecticut formed the right, six com-
panies of the First South Carolina the center, and
four companies of the Eighth Maine the left. About
four miles out the enemy's pickets were reached,
driven in, and the ground near where the rebel
General Finegan's brigade was encamped was
closely observed. At this distance a railroad bridge
was destroyed, much track torn up, and other ob-
structions placed in the way of a rebel advance.
Having accomplished all he desired, Colonel Rust
ordered a return, but just at that moment a platform
car was seen coming down the road, with three pieces
of artillery on board. At the instant it was observed
a brisk fire from a 64-pound rifle gun and two 12-
pound Howitzers was opened. One shot passed
directly through a platoon of the Eighth Maine,
killing two and wounding four. No other casualties
occurred, although the long gun kept up a brisk fire
on the return.***
I am now writing on the deck of the fine transport
ship, Boston. From this upper deck the scene pre-
sented to the spectator is one of most fearful magni-
ficence. On every side dense clouds of black smoke are
seen. A fine south wind is blowing immense blazing
cinders right into the heart of the city. The beauti-
182 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
ful Spanish moss, drooping so gracefully from the
long avenues of splendid oaks has caught fire, and as
far as the eye can reach, through these once pleasant
streets, nothing but sheets of flame can be seen, run-
ning up with the rapidity of lightning to the tops
of the trees and then darting off to the smallest
branches. The whole city is being lapped up and de-
voured by this fiery blast*. One solitary woman, a
horse tied to a fence between two fires, and a lean,
half-starved dog are the only living inhabitants to be
seen on the streets. Is this not war, vindictive, un-
relenting war? Have we gotten up to the European
Yesterday (March 28th) the beautiful little cot-
tage used as the Catholic parsonage, together with
the church, was fired by some of the soldiers, and in
a short time burned to the ground. Before the flames
had fairly reached the church, the soldiers had burst
open the doors and commenced sacking it of every-
thing of value. The organ was in a moment torn to
strips, and almost every soldier who came out
seemed to be celebrating the occasion by blowing
through an organ pipe.
Today the same spectacle has been repeated upon
a much grander scale. There must have been some
understanding among the incendiaries with regard
to the conflagration. At 8 o'clock the flames burst
from several buildings in different parts of the city,
and at a later hour still more were fired. The wind
*From his position on the river, this correspondent quite
naturally obtained an exaggerated view of the fire. Fortunately,
it was not as extensive as it appeared to him.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 183
then rose to a stiff gale and the torch of the incendiary
became unnecessary to increase the fire.
It gives me pleasure to report that the negro troops
took no part whatever in the perpetration of this
vandalism. They had nothing whatever to do with
it, and were simply silent spectators of the silent but
sad spectacle. The Sixth Connecticut charge it upon
the Eighth Maine and the Eighth Maine hurl it back
upon the Sixth Connecticut.
Six o'clock p. m. Mouth of the St. Johns — A
fierce northeast storm is raging upon the ocean.
Gunboats and transports are lying here in safety
waiting until it abates. Again we are witnessing a
conflagration. Some of the soldiers have gone ashore
and found a fine steam saw mill at Mayport Mills,
said to belong to a Union man in Maine. Much in-
dignation is expressed on board. The white soldiers
are again the criminals. The blacks have not been
off the transports.
The official reports of the Federal officers do not
deal extensively with the burning of Jacksonville.
The author has talked with Union officers who
came to Jacksonville soon after the war, and they
said that there was a persistent rumor that the
burning of the town came about in this way :
One of the white regiments was a Roman
Catholic regiment, while the other was strongly
Protestant. For reasons unknown, dislike and
hatred existed between them to such an extent that
vandals in the Protestant regiment set the
Catholic church on fire, and in retaliation, the Epis-
184 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
copal clmrcli was burned by members of the
Catholic regiment. From this other buildings
caught, and the fire spread. The mania for burn-
ing was rampant in the town, and new centers were
started by persons unknown.
From the best accounts, the fire does not seem
to have been as extensive as one would suppose.
About six blocks was the area burned over, de-
stroying in the neighborhood of 25 buildings, in-
cluding the Episcopal Church and the Court
House. While reconnoitering from a position on
the river, General Finegan saw that Jacksonville
was on fire in several places and that the trans-
ports were being loaded with troops. He pushed
on into the town, arriving just after the departure
of the last gunboat, but in time to extinguish the
fire in some valuable buildings.
FOUETH FEDEKAL OCCUPATIOl^.'"
On January 13, 1864, President Lincoln wrote
General Q. A. Gillmore (U. S. A.), commanding
the Department of the South as follows: *'I
understand an effort is being made by some
worthy gentlemen to reconstruct a loyal State gov-
ernment in Florida. I have given Mr. Hay a com-
mission of major and sent him to you with some
blank books and other blanks to aid in the recon-
Elaborate plans were made, and an expedition
of more than 20 vessels, gunboats and transports,
carrying in the neighborhood of 7,000 troops,
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 185
under the command of General T. Seymour, left
Hilton Head, S. C, for Jacksonville before day-
break, February 6, 1864. TMs expedition arrived
at the mouth of the St. Johns River early on the
morning of the next day, crossed the bar and pro-
ceeded up the river to Jacksonville. The trans-
port Maple Leaf was the first vessel to reach the
dock, and at 3 :40 p. m. (7th) began landing troops.
In a short time the other transports came up.
There was a small Confederate picket, 20 men, in
the town and they fired into the Hunter, one of the
transports, and killed one man, but were im-
mediately forced to retire by a cavalry company
that had been hastily landed from the Maple Leaf.
Later in the afternoon, the U. S. gunboat Norwich
went up to McGirt's Creek to capture the St.
Marys, a river steamer being loaded with cotton
consigned to Nassau, N. P. Finding himself hem-
med in, the commander of the St. Marys sank his
vessel in McGirt's Creek, and two days later it
fell into the hands of the Federals. There was
considerable friction between the United States
army and navy officials as to who should claim
the prize, the army or the navy ; the official reports
do not indicate how the question was settled.
In his official report. General Gillmore states
that the object of this expedition to Florida was :
1. To procure an outlet for cotton, lumber, tim-
ber, turpentine and other products of the state of
186 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
2. To cut off one of the sources of supplies for
3. To obtain recruits for his colored regiments.
4. To inaugurate measures for the speedy
restoration of the state to her allegiance.
For the purpose of carrying out these plans, the
bulk of the Union army set out on the afternoon
and evening of February 8th, on the march west-
ward to Baldwin and finally on to Lake City. This
movement culminated on February 20th, in the
famous battle of Olustee, or Ocean Pond, where
General Seymour was defeated by the Con-
federates under Generals Colquitt and Finegan.
Thus it seems that two clauses of General Gill-
more 's plans, namely 2d and 4th, were practically
annulled in the very beginning, General Seymour
having reported a day or so before that '*I am
convinced that what has been said of the desire of
Florida to come back now is a delusion."
After its defeat at Olustee, the Union army re-
turned to Jacksonville. The churches and some
of the largest houses were used as temporary
hospitals. The floors were strewn with hay and
on this the wounded soldiers were placed in rows,
white and black side by side, as they were brought
in from the front".
Fortifications were erected to strengthen the
town against attack, and soon the arrival of rein-
forcements brought General Se^nnour's army up
to 12,000 men, splendidly equipped in every depart-
ment. Among these troops were at least six negro
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 187
The Confederate forces on February 26tli oc-
cupied a position on McGirt's Creek at a point
where the wagon road and the railroad crossed the
Creek, ten or twelve miles west of Jacksonville.
They were now under the command of General
W. M. Gardner, who, outranking General Finegan,
took command after the battle of Olustee. Breast-
works and stockades were erected at McGirt's
Creek, the post being named Camp Milton. After-
ward, when the Confederates abandoned these
works, the Union officers spoke of them as mag-
nificently constructed fortifications, beautiful in
detail. March 6th, General J. Patton Anderson
assumed command of the Confederate army near
Jacksonville. At that time it numbered about
8,000 men, some of them poorly equipped.
On March 1, 1864, General Henry (U. S. A.),
with 500 cavalry and 2 pieces of artillery, left Jack-
sonville for the purpose of making a reconnais-
sance in the direction of Camp Milton. The move-
ment developed into quite a skirmish at Cedar
Creek,* six miles west of Jacksonville, lasting from
10 a. m. until 3 p. m. The Union loss was 1 killed,
4 wounded, and 5 prisoners. The Confederates
lost Captain Winston Stevens, killed ; other casual-
ties not reported.
During March, Palatka was occupied by a strong
force sent from Jacksonville, estimated by General
Anderson at 1,500 men. St. Augustine and the
*There are several creeks near Jacksonville called Cedar
Creek. The one here mentiond is a branch of McGirt's Creek.
188 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
eastern side of the St. Johns were also in posses-
sion of the Union army, together with the north
side of the river below Jacksonville, with a battery
at Yellow Blutf . There was constant and uninter-
rupted communication between these posts and the
base at Jacksonville until the navigation of the St.
Johns Eiver was made extremely hazardous by the
Confederates, who, on the night of March 30,
1864, placed 12 torpedoes, each containing 70
pounds of small-grain powder, in the river channel
near Mandarin Point.
At 4 a. m., April 1st, the U. S. transport Maple
Leaf, returning to Jacksonville from Palatka with
the camp equipment of three regiments, struck
one of these torpedoes and sank in seven minutes.
The Confederates then boarded her and burned
her to the water's edge. On April 16th, the
Hunter, another U. S. transport, returning
from Picolata with quartermaster stores, struck
a torpedo and sank immediately, near the wreck
of the Maple Leaf. One man was drowned.
Again, on May 9th, the U. S. armed transport
Harriet A. Weed, was destroyed at the same place
by one of these torpedoes, with the loss of five men.
Thus within 40 days three vessels were destroyed
at this point, with 9 torpedoes still in the river.
Not far from Mandarin Point, at a place called
Horse Landing, Lieutenant Letford, of Captain
Dickison's command, captured and burned the
TJ. S. steamer Columbine, killing 25 and capturing
7 commissioned officers, 9 seamen, and 47 enlisted
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 189
negroes, liimself sustaining no loss whatever.
On April 2, 1864, General Henry made another
reconnaissance in the direction of Cedar Creek,
and in the skirmishing that followed had 8 men
wounded. The Confederate casualties were not
given in the reports.
These forces, the greatest number mobilized in
Florida during the war, remained facing each
other until the middle of April, when heavy drafts
were made on both the Federal and Confederate
armies in this vicinity, for service in the armies
of Sherman and Grant, Lee and Johnston. Be-
ginning with the 8th of April and continuing there-
after until the middle of May, transports loaded
with Federal troops left Jacksonville almost daily.
The Union forces in this vicinity were finally re-
duced to about 2,500 or 3,000 men, largely negroes,
the bulk of which occupied Jacksonville. After-
ward, reinforcements came, but did not remain
long. The Confederate troops began leaving April
14th, for assignment elsewhere, until only one
regiment and two battalions of cavalry and three
companies of artillery remained in East Florida.
General Anderson then changed his headquarters
to Lake City, leaving in front of Jacksonville the
Second Florida Cavalry and four companies of
the Fifth Battalion Florida Cavalry, to oppose the
overwhelming force in the strongly fortified posi-
tion at Jacksonville.
On the night of May 31-June 1, a force of 2,459
Federal troops left Jacksonville in two columns,
190 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
to attack Camp Milton. The small Confederate
detachment occupying the post at that time was
surprised and driven from Cedar Creek and Camp
Milton back upon Baldwin. A portion of the
works at Camp Milton was burned or otherwise de-
stroyed, but the next day the Confederates ad-
vanced, skirmishing with the advance guard of
the enemy, and reoccupied Camp Milton.
Overwhelmingly outnumbered, this remnant of
Florida cavalry performed miracles. It met and
defeated raiding parties, one of which was almost
annihilated in the streets of Gainesville by
Dickison and his men, aided by citizens of the
town ; attacked and captured outposts and pickets ;
threatened the Federal communications on the St.
Johns Eiver, and was nearly successful in the
attempt to obstruct the navigation of the river be-
low Jacksonville, in the vicinity of Yellow Bluff, by
placing torpedoes and mines in the channel. That
these harassing tactics came near causing the
evacuation of Jacksonville by the Federal army is
indicated in the following communication from
Federal headquarters at Hilton Head to General
William Birney, commanding at Jacksonville,
dated July 16, 1864, to-wit :
I am instructed by the major-general command-
ing to inform you that the number of troops now in
your command is considerably greater than that sec-
tion of the department demands in a military point
of view. If you cannot properly guard the St.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 191
Johns River you must prepare to make St. Augustine
your base, keeping Jacksonville and Picolata as ad-
vanced posts, if practicable. In case of immediate
danger of the St. Johns River being rendered im-
practicable for navigation by reason of the enemy
gaining possession of points along the banks or by
reason of their planting a great number of torpedoes
in the river, the communication from Jacksonville to
St. Augustine must be by ferry across the river,
which you must provide in season, and by land across
All of this was in face of the fact that Jackson-
ville at that time was protected by inclosed works,
redoubts and lunettes, connected by rifle pits and
manned with eight batteries of the most improved
There was considerable skirmishing during the
latter half of July in the neighborhood of Trout
Creek, and near Baldwin and Camp Milton, which
the Confederates again evacuated and reoccupied.
By this time they had dwindled to 216 cavalry, 40
mounted infantry, and a battery of 4 guns. When
a force comprising 3 negro regiments and 1 white
regiment of infantry, 1 cavalry regiment, and 4
pieces of artillery was sent out from Jacksonville
against Camp Milton, the remnant of Florida
troops permanently evacuated that post ; this was
on July 26th, 1864. Insofar as armed opposition
was concerned, this ended the war in the vicinity
of Jacksonville, but occasional Federal raiding
192 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
parties continued to be sent down the State until
the surrender in the spring of 1865.
In the mean time, the question of Florida ^s re-
turn to the Union was revived, although nothing
ever came of it further than the calling of a con-
vention by Unionists within the Union lines, to be
held in Jacksonville in May, 1864, for the purpose
of selecting delegates to the national convention
soon to be held in Baltimore. Two delegates were
appointed from St. Augustine, one from Fernan-
dina, and three from Jacksonville. The Jackson-
ville delegation was : John W. Price, Paran Moody,
and John S. Sammis'. It will be remembered that
a convention somewhat similar to this one was
called during the first Federal occupation, and that
these men were of the committee that issued the
drastic ^^declaration of rights'' at that time.
BIBLIOGEAPHY, CHAPTER XIV.
1 Memoirs of Florida, Fleming,
2 O. L. Keene, in Florida Times-Union, September 26, 1908.
3 Records of the Florida Historical Society.
4 So stated by old residents.
5 Book of Jacksonville, Brown.
6 War of the Rebellion — Ofi&cial Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. VI.
7 Reminiscences of an old citizen, Jacksonville Tri-Weekly
Sun, January 27, 1876.
8 Unidentified newspaper clipping.
9 War of the Rebellion, etc., Series 1, Vol. XIV.
10 War of the Rebellion, etc., Series 1, Vol. XXXV.
11 Florida Gazetteer, 1871, J. M. Hawks.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 193
AFTEE THE WAR.*
The news of General Lee's surrender quickly
spread throughout the State. The different orga-
nizations of Confederates were disbanded and the
members that had enlisted from Jackson-
ville and their families began to return. The rail-
road from Baldwin to this city had been torn up
and from that point most of the returning citizens
had to walk, ladies as well as men.
To those returning directly after the restoration
of peace, Jacksonville presented a melancholy
sight, as the desolating effects of the war were ap-
parent on every side. The old ruins of burned
buildings; neglected yards in which the weeds
grew waist high; broken-down fences; the dingy
appearance of once neatly painted dwellings, all
were depressing to those who sought their former
homes. But worst of all, many of the people found
their property confiscated and sold, and in some
cases purchased by their former neighbors and
false friends. A few of those who had thus lost
their homes soon bought them back, but the most
of them did not have the means to do so. Many of
the best and largest houses were occupied by
United States officers or troops, and when the
*A composite description from published accounts by old
194 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
rightful owners applied for possession it was
"usually refused. So these people, who had enjoyed
luxuries before the war, now set to work building
rude cheap shelters for themselves and their fami-
lies. Patiently they bore the taunts and sneers of
their former slaves and servants. Strange as it
may seem, it is nevertheless a fact that the negro
women were the most insulting. Galling as the
situation was, the people bore the burden patiently
and bravely; to a people less brave the changed
conditions would have produced a state of crush-
Most of the stores and warehouses on Bay
Street were occupied for army purposes by United
States troops. There was but one store in the
town besides the suttlers' stores occupying a few
rude shanties on the north side of Bay Street. One
small saw mill furnished all the lumber, at very
high prices. For the first few months not much
was done to revive former conditions, but in the
fall improvements and repairing commenced and
gradually a few of the old merchants brought in
goods and opened stores.
The city was under military government. A
provost marshal and guard in command handled
all cases, civil and criminal. This system did not
last long, however, and was replaced by a munici-
pal government, with a new charter, and a mayor
and council elected. In 1867, the military govern-
ment was resumed, and General John T. Sprague
was put in command with headquarters at Jack-
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 195
sonville. General Sprague was a gentleman with
pleasant manners and of conservative views.
Though invested with military power, he sought no
opportunity to exercise it in a harsh or oppres-
sive manner. He courteously received all callers
and heard them patiently. General Sprague had
been in Florida for several years thirty years be-
fore, during the Seminole war; he knew our peo-
ple and did all in his power to aid them.
Most of the old residents by this time had re-
turned and resumed business. New mills and
wharves were erected and the river began to look
like former times, with vessels coming and going.
A continuous row of low wooden buildings was put
up on the north side of Bay Street running west
from Julia, and was occupied as stores and shops.
When better stores were built, ''Rotten Eow,'' as
it came to be called, was vacated by these mer-
chants, and it then degenerated into a place where
vice and crime originated and was for many years
a menace to the community.
In 1868, under the new reconstruction law, elec-
tions were held, military rule ceased, and the city
became civilian in all departments. Nearly every
week prior to the election political meetings were
held at the northwest corner of Laura and Forsyth,
where a crowd, almost wholly negroes, assembled
at the sound of fife and drum, and white and col-
ored speakers spoke loudly and long. At the elec-
tion the political managers made but one precinct
and the voting continued until 10 o 'clock at night.
196 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
Election day was one of confusion and riot. Under
the new charter, the city officials received salaries
and then began an increase in the city's expenses
The military occupation of Jacksonville was con-
tinuous for four years after the close of the war.
At first the troops were principally colored, hav-
ing their posts and squads surrounding the town.
Out near the old brick yard in West LaVilla was
an earth fort garrisoned by a negro guard. These
negroes were very zealous and pompous in chal-
lenging all comers that had to have passes, but
their education was limited and an old Confederate
pass or paper would after a wise scrutiny pass
muster. There was a large garrison at the south-
western edge of Brooklyn, and companies of sol-
diers were also stationed in the city. Grradually,
company after company of the colored troops was
withdrawn, leaving principally white troops to
patrol the city. The white soldiers were not only
not disposed to annoy or irritate the Southern peo-
ple, but in time seemed to have engendered a
hatred for the '^colored citizens'' of the town.
On the night of February 26, 1869,* the white
troops divided into squads, under sergeants and
corporals. They came into the town and made a
determined war upon all negro men seen on the
streets, and whenever one was seen, the com-
mand, ' ' Halt, ready, aim, fire ' ' was given. Within
*Date furnished by the IT. S. War Department.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 197
an hour the volleys could be heard all over the
then small city. The frightened and fleeing
negroes took refuge wherever possible.
The patrolling and shooting caused intense ex-
citement. The troops seemed to enjoy it and said
their cartridges were blanks and would not hurt
the negroes. The streets during the remainder of
the night and the next day were bare of ' ' colored
citizens '\ A negro was found dead on the side
walk on West Bay Street, near the corner of
Hogan, but the soldiers denied killing him. Sen-
sational accounts were sent North and a great ado
was made about the affair. Soon afterward, the
military occupation of Jacksonville ceased for all
time, the last of the United States troops being
withdrawn April 6, 1869.*
^Date furnished by the U. S. War Department.
198 HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE
The following authorities have been consulted
in the preparation of this work :
Abstracts of the Florida Abstract and Title Security
Acts of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida,
1822 to 1840, except 1828 to 1831.
American State Papers, Duff Green, 1823.
Ancient, Colonial and Modern Florida, J. H. Welsh, 1895.
Annual of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, 1909.
A Winter in Florida, By An Invalid, 1839.
Bartram's ^'Travels", 1792.
Biography of Ossian B. Hart, 1901.
Book of Jacksonville, Paul Brown, 1895.
Diary of Judge F. Bethune, 1829-1833.
Fifty-two Years in Florida, John C. Ley, 1899.
Florida and the South, Brinton, 1869.
Florida Eeports, Vols. V, VI, and XIV.
Florida Gazetteer, J. M. Hawks, 1871.
Florida Magazine, G. D. Ackerly, 1900-1903.
Florida News, published at Jacksonville, August 7, 1852.
Florida, Its Scenery, Climate and History, Sidney Lanier,
Historical Contributions to Local Press by C. Drew, Sr.
Historical Sketch, Jacksonville City Directory, J. M. Hawks,
History and Antiquities of St. Augustine, G. E. Fairbanks,
History of Florida, G. E. Fairbanks, 1871.
History of Florida, W. S. Webb, 1885.
Letters and Papers of J. P. Belknap, 1839-1842.
Memoirs of Florida, F. P. Fleming, 1902.
National Encyclopaedia of American Biography.
New International Encyclopaedia.
Newspaper Files, Local:
Tri- Weekly Union, January to December, 1874; Tri-
Weekly Sun, January to July, 1876; Sun and Press,
June, 1877, to May, 1878; Daily Times, November,
1881, to February, 1888; Florida Times-Union;
Ilorida Times-Union and Citizen; Evening Metro-
Observations on the Floridas, Vignoles, 1823.
Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Seminole War,
John T. Sprague, 1847.
Eecords of Dr. A. S. Baldwin.
Eecords in possession of Florida Historical Society.
HISTORY OF EARLY JACKSONVILLE 199
Eecords of the U. S. Weather Bureau.
Reminiscences of an old citizen, published in Jacksonville
Tri- Weekly Sun, January 22 to February 1, 1876.
Red Patriots, Charles H. Coe, 1898.
Territory of Florida, Williams, 1837.
War of the Rebellion — OflEicial Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vols. VI, XIV, XXXV.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to those who
assisted the author in one way or another, namely :
Ambler, D. G., Litchfield, Conn.
Ball, Willis M., Jacksonville, Fla.
Bostwick, W. M., Jacksonville, ila.
Bostwick, Mrs. W. M., Jacksonville, Fla.
Brown, M. A., JacksonAdlle, Fla.
Carter, W. R., Jacksonville, Fla.
Davis, Horatio, Gainesville, Fla.
DeGrove, H. D., Jacksonville, Fla.
Dodge, Rev. W. H., Ocala, Fla.
Greeley, J. C, Jacksonville, Fla.
Haile, Evans, Gainesville, Fla.
*Hartridge, Mrs. Susan A., Jacksonville, Fla.
Hartridge, John E., Jacksonville, Jb'la.
Hobson, Rev. W. A., Jacksonville, Fla.
*Keene, O. L., Jacksonville, Fla.
L'Engle, John C, Jacksonville, Fla.
Long, Miss Elizabeth V., Jacksonville, Fla.
Parramore, Ray W., Jacksonville, Fla.
Philips, Mrs. Ellen, South Jacksonville, Fla.
Powers, Mrs. M. C, Baltimore, Md.
Rinehart, C, D,, Jacksonville, Fla.
Scarlett, Mrs. Elizabeth A., Jacksonville, Fla.
Shields, Rev. V. W., Jacksonville, Fla.
Utley, G. B., Chicago, 111.
Veale, Father J., Jacksonville, Fla.
Weed, Rt. Rev. Edwin G., Jacksonville, Fla.
*Wells, Mrs. Jennie, Jacksonville, Fla.
Wilson, Mrs. George C, Jacksonville, Fla.
One copy del. to Cat. Div.
DF(! fi 191 «
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