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Southern District of JVerv-York, ss. 

BE IT REMEMnEREI), that on the firstday of March, in the forty-seventh 
year of the InHependence of the United States of America, Chahlus VrouoLBs, 
of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof 
he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit : 

" Observations upon the Floridas. By Charles Vignoles, Civil and Topographical 

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, " An act 
for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, 
to the authors and projjrietors of sucli copies, during the times therein mentioned ;" 
and also to an act, entitled, " An act supplementary to an act, entitled, an act for the 
encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the 
authors and proprietors of such copies, daring the time therein mentioned, and ex- 
tending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical 
and other prints." 

Clerk of the Southern District of New-York, 

G. L. Biroh, Printer, 99 P'ulton-street, Brooklyn. 



Introductory Observations, - . ^ 7 

Historical Observations, - - - - 17 

Topographical Observations, - - - 35 
Observations upon the Soil and its natural 

growth, 86 

Observations upon the appropriate articles 

of culture, 95 

Observations upon the temperature and climate, 109 
Observations upon the Florida Keys and 

Wreckers, 117 

Observations upon the Indians, - - 129 

Observations upon the Land Titles, - - 138 

Appendix, 155 






The newly acquired territory of Florida has ad* 
vanced the soil of the Union to the very verge of the 
tropics, and by placing the ports from the mouths of 
the Mississippi round to Amelia island, under the 
American flag, has hermetically closed all approaches 
to our interior. The various political advantages 
arising from the cession have been often set forth, and 
are too well appreciated to require enumeration in a 
pamphlet of topographical details. The country has 
singularities and advantages in various points of view, 
which, at a remoter period, may be estimated with 
impartiality, and found to be of importance. 

The following observations upon the Floridas have 
been collected, during a residence in the country ; in 


which period several extensive journeys were made, 
with a view of obtaining materials for the construction 
of a new map, and for the purpose now brought forward. 
Some reports sent to the Indian department, at the 
seat of government, copies of which appeared in one of 
the Boston papers, contain a few of the results of the 
author's personal observations, and make the basis of 
these notes, though now modified, and in several parts 
changed, from the acquisition of better information. 
Those who may peruse these pages must not expect 
the glowing narrative of an agreeable excursion, 
through regions comparable to a paradise. The sub- 
sequent relation has only truth to recommend it, and 
from the very nature of the work, must appear dry and 
tedious to all not immediately interested in the re- 
sources of the territory. It will be observed that a 
fuller account is given of the Atlantic border than of 
the Mexican shore ; its evident pre-importance, on 
some accounts, led naturally to the earliest examina- 
tion, and the many excellencies it possesses encoura- 
ged investigation, which the nature of the coast, and 
its nearer vicinity to recourses, rendered more practi- 
cable ; added to which the author's domicile at St. 
Augustine, and the total ignorance of a country so 
comparatively near the capital, induced him to ex- 
plore and remark personally ; and in consequence it 
may be noted, that on the map almost the whole sea- 


coast from St. Mary's river to cape Florida, is from 
his own actual survey; the names of places are set down 
as best known to the very few residents in the vicini- 
ty, and the traveller or shipwrecked mariner may rely 
upon the general accuracy of the detail. The fabu- 
lous reports of the inland bays, lakes and waters, 
which have heretofore existed, respecting the south- 
ern part of the Florida peninsula, will be readily ac- 
counted for, on a view of the map, and a glance at 
the description of what is there actually to be found. 
It is lamented that no account sufficiently satisfac- 
tory could be procured upon West Florida ; the com- 
plete separation of the two divisions of the territory 
from all communication with each other, and the total 
impracticability of the author's extending his enquiries 
to that portion of the country, have been the occasion 
of this defect. Enough, however, is to be gleaned 
from former accounts to infer, that the soil and climate 
is not materially diflferent from the adjacent lands in 
the Mississippi and Alabama territories. The able 
editor of the paper published at Pensacola, laments 
himself the dearth of topographical and statistical in- 
formation, and has made his appeal to the few scat- 
tered inhabitants to supply the defect; but it has 
not been ascertained whether if with any and what 
success, the appeal has been answered. Called by 
his professional duties, it was not in the author's pow- 



er to make an actual inspection of all the points he 
attempts to describe ; but he is under the conviction 
that his authorities are respectable, and he has not 
relied, except upon concurrent testimony, from more 
than one creditable source. 

In sketching the civilhistory of the province for the 
few years preceding the cession to the United States, 
the author is almost wholly indebted to the valua, 
ble manuscripts of George I. F.Clarke, Esq. surveyor 
general of East Florida, and lieutenant-governor 
of the northern district of that province, while under 
the dominion of Spain. This gentleman, whose in- 
formation on this and every other subject connected 
with the country, is very extensive, furnished with a 
peculiar urbanity every assistance ; and likewise some 
of the remarks on the Indians. The friendly assistance 
and judicious hints afforded by N. A. Ware, Esq. one 
of the commissioners of land claims, call for especial 
acknowledgments ; indeed the present map and pam- 
phlet were first put into a train of publication at his 
suggestion, and by his striking out the general ideas 
upon it. In the observations on the keys and reefs 
of the Florida point, the information of the resident 
pilots at the cape, have been chiefly rClied on, as 
they were corroborated by the accounts of several 
masters of vessels, particularly Captain Snyder of 
New-York, who have navigated among them, and do 
not differ from the directions of Romans, De Brahm 


and their co-temporaries, who have been fully consult- 
ed and abstracted, as far as they were considered 

It had always been a particular wish of the author 
to have given a list of all the grants upon record, but 
not having been able to obtain permission to search 
the archives, after the departure to Pensacola of the 
honourable Edmund Law, who had previous to that 
period the charge of them, he must confine himself to 
general accounts. He has located upon the map as 
many of the large grants as have come within his 
knowledge, but as he has no official information on 
the subject of any of them, they must be understood 
as having been laid down, solely with a view of grati- 
fying the general existing desire of knowing, where 
the larger concessions lay, and their relative position 
to each other. 

In constructing the map of Florida, the author has 
availed himself of all the existing charts and maps, 
both domestic and foreign of ail nations, as well as of 
various manuscript draughts. Among those consulted, 
were Romans' chart of Florida, the British nautical 
survey of West Florida, from the mouths of tlie Mis- 
sissippi to the embouchure of the Suwanee, the roy- 
al Spanish chart of the ij;ulf of iVlexico, from the ma- 
rine depot at Madrid, and various other Spanish maps, 
Ellicott's map attached to his journal, while running 


the Florida line, Gault's survey of the Florida keys, 
and a variety of other charts of the coast. Amons 
the manuscripts made use of were ; Sketches of the ri- 
ver Saint John, partly from the author's own drawing, 
and the rest furnished by Peter Mitchel, Esq. correct- 
ed by a sight of Capt. Le Conte's accurate survey of the 
whole of that interesting river from its mouth up to the 
the very head lake, and a very correct British manu- 
script chart of St. John's river, from the bar to the Cow- 
ford ; the author's own survey of the coast from St. Au- 
gustine to cape Florida, extending to the heads of all 
the waters on the Atlantic border ; but his best assist- 
ance more particularly for the interior of West Florida, 
"was from the manuscript map drawn by the late Jos. 
Purcell, Esq. formerly of S. Carolina, which is now in 
the topographical bureau at Washington, to which, with 
a liberality and attention never to be forgotten, the au- 
thor was allowed access for the purposes of his map; 
this document contained the results of all that was 
known to the British government up to the time of the 
re-cession of the Floridas by Great Britain to Spain- 
The boundary line as lately run by Georgia, was fur- 
nished me by the politeness of the Surveyor General 
of that state ; Saint Mary's River, from the manuscript 
survey of Zephaniah Kingsley, Esq. an enlightened 
and valuable citizen of Florida; Nassau river and 
Dunn's lake, from surveys made under the direction 


of Mr. Turnbull, a great proprietor in the Territory. 
The author's journeys in the interior, assisted by the 
valuable notes and information of Peter Mitchell, Esq. 
enabled him to fill up the detail from the old path to 
fort St. Marks, to the head waters of Tampa bay and 
across, along that parallel to the Atlantic. The re- 
mainder is filled in by the information derived from 
Lewis, Hegan and Pent, respectable pilots at cape 
Florida, who mentioned the names of various persons, 
still living in the Bahamas, who had travelled there- 
in, and by the unanimous testimony of everj^indian 
and indian negro consulted on the subject. Mr. Lew- 
is, his father and family, lived for many years on va- 
rious parts of the western coast, from the mouth of the 
Suwanee, down to Cape Romano, and he afforded me 
much local information. 

After all, 1 am aware the map is not perfect, but it 
concentrates all that is at present known of the terri- 
tory ; and if, where information was wholly unattain- 
able, no directions can be given to the traveller or 
new settler, yet he may be assured that where the 
detail is laid down, that it is accurate and will not 
mislead him. Sensible of all possible respect for the 
opinions of an enlightened public, the work is offered 
to them, with all its imperfections on its head ; but 
conscious that some account was desirable of Florida, 
the author has in the following pages, and upon the 


map, used his humble endeavors to collect facts and 
describe realities. Should his attempt to afford a bet- 
ter knowledge of this new cfountry fail, he hopes the 
candor ot his judges will attribute it to any thing but 
want of exertions, and pardon a futile essay, which 
was at least founded on good intentions. 

Since the manuscript of this work was completed, 
the accolints from East Florida, respecting the sugar 
cane, have been uncommonly favorable: several 
large estabhshments are about to be erected, and 
considerable investments are making for the ex- 
press purpose of raising the cane. It is a matter of 
infinite satisfaction, that the certainty of sugar beco- 
ming the staple of Florida is already established : let 
us hope that the success in this article, will induce 
other not less certain sources of wealth to be explo- 
red. The olive, the grape, the silk-worm, and many 
more which are detailed under their proper head, 
are equally worthy the attention of the agriculturist. 

On the subject of the territorial government we 
have reason to believe, that by the exertions of the de- 
legate irom Florida, Joseph M. Hernandez, Esq. the 
east and west divisions will be placed under separate 
administrations and a separate board of commission- 


ers, appointed for each province ; by which means 
all existing difficulties will be smoothed and the hold- 
ers of titles enabled without difficulty or expense to 
establish their claims, and settlers will pour in from all 
parts of the union to enjoy the advantages so liberal- 
ly bestowed by nature upon Florida, 

The map of Florida which is published at the same 
time with this book, by the author, will for the accom- 
modation of the public, be sold, either bound up with 
it, or separately in sheets, done up in cases or mount- 
ed and varnished, with roller, colored or uncolore{; 
as required. 


Florida was discovered in the year 1407, by Cabot ; but it does 
iiot appear that the country was either named or explored until 
fifteen years afterwards, when Don Juan Ponce de Leon landed, 
in April, 1512, and finding the earth covered with a luxuriant 
vegetation, in Jlom-er, he styled the new region Florida, or Florida 
Blanca. It was visited a few years afterwards by Narvaez, and 
many other adventurers ; and in 1638, Ferdinand de Soto, so cele- / 

brated in antient books of travels, disembarked an army in Spirito 
Santo Bay, and marched through the interior, fighting the Indians 
and destroying his troops, without gaining a single point ; and after 
traversing round to the Missisippi, died at the end of three or four 
years, near the mouth of the Red river. His narrative throws but 
little light on the real state of the country, and at present is looked 
upon as a mere historical romance ; for though he doubtless actually 
passed through the places he describes, yet with a view to palliate 
his lavish waste of life to the Spanish government, he has interwo- 
ven fabulous accounts of gold, pearls and treasures, which never 
existed. The first colony in Florida was planted in 1562, by 
Ribaultj a Frenchman, near the mouth of the river Saint John j 



but the unfortunate Protestants, who had fled from persecution in: 
Europe, found the vindictive spirit of bigotry follow, and in 15G4, 
Menendez exterminated them with a demoniac malignity, unequal- 
led by the horrors of the fatal festival of Saint Bartholomew in their 
own country. Dominique de Gorgues, in 1568, took ample re- 
venge, and hung the murderers on the same branches from which 
depended the bleached skeletons of his compatriots. 

Saint Augustine appears to have been built about 1565, and is 
undoubtedly the oldest town on the continent of North America, 
except the Mexican settlements. At the time this town was eva- 
cuated in J763, by the Spaniards, one at least of the original houses 
remained, with the date of 1571 upon the front, and all were with- 
out chimnies or glass windows. Sir Francis Drake, in 1586, pilla- 
ged the town; a ceremony repeated by the Indians in 1611 : and 
in 1665 Captain Davis, in the piratical spirit of the times, once 
more desolated the place, which, from these checks, and other 
causes, does not appear to have much advanced in size or popula- 
tion. Governor Moore of South Carolina, made a fruitless attack 
upon the fort at Saint Augustine in 1702 ; and in 1725, Colonel 
Palmer of Georgia, was equally unsuccessful. General Ogelthorpe, 
•with a large force from Savannah, was completely repulsed in 1740, 
and retreated in disorder. At length the peace of 1763 gave the 
Floridas to Great Britain, and- for the subsequent twenty years 
Saint Augustine appears greatly, to have improved. The author 
has conversed with many persons who were there in June 1784, 
■when it again reverted to Spain, and has heard them speak highly 
of the beauty of the gardens, the neatness of the houses, and the 
air of cheerfulness and comfort that seemed, during that preceding 
period, to have been thrown over the town. Neglect antl conse- 
quent decay, attended this interesting town during its occupancy by 
the Spaniards ; where time or equinoctial storms damaged any 
buildings, public or private, the hand of repair never came, and at 


the period of the cession, this onca elegant place appeared ruinous, 
dirty, and unprepossessing. 

Pensacola appears to have been founded some time previous to 
1G9G ; it was in that year taken from the French by Riola, and in 
iG99, Monsieur D'lberville failed in his attempt to retake it. In 
1719, it was three times taken and retaken, and at length retained 
by France ; but in 1722 was restored to Spain. The prosperity of 
Pensacola and decay seems to have been somewhat similar to its sis- 
ter city. The history of Florida is not the subject of tins publication, 
and the preceding paragraphs have merely been drawn out to re- 
fresh the memory of the reader, who will find in various modern 
publications more minute information ; but as some interest has 
been excited to learn the real state of affairs as connected with East 
Florida, for a few years previous, and at the time of the cession, the 
author is happy in being able to gratify the public wish. Sometime in 
the summer of IGl 1, general Mathews appears, in consequence of 
an act of congress passed ia the preceding session, to have been au- 
thorised by the executive to proceed to the frontiers of Georgia, to 
accept possession of East Florida from the local authorities, or to 
take it against the attempt of a foreign power to occupy it, holding 
it in either case subject to future and friendly negotiation. This 
act appears to have been passed in consequence of the revolution 
which had just broken out in the northern district of East Florida. 
This official appearance of American interference, alarmed the go- 
vernment of St. Augustine, who ai)pear to have appealed to the Bri- 
tish minister at Washington, who accordingly expostulated with Mr. 
Monroe, then secretary of state. General Mathews appears in his 
zeal to carry the orders of the executive into effect, to have exceed- 
ed his powers, indeed it has been confidently asserted that the in- 
surrection was fostered-by his appearance. His taking possession of 
Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida, was officially blamed, 
and his commission revoked in April, 1812, and the governor of 


Georgia was commissioned in his place, in consequence, as the offi- 
cial letter states, of general Mathews having employed the troops 
of the United States, to dispossess the Spanish authorities by force : 
ordering a restoration of Amelia Island and other parts to the Spa- 
nish authorities — ^^stipulating for the protection of such inhabitants 
as had joined the Americans from the anger of the Spanish govern- 
ment. A later letter states, that if the troops are to be withdrawn 
that governor Mitchell is not to interfere, to compel the patriots to 
deliver the country to the Spanish authorities. 

The following letters will carry a true idea of the general history 
of that part of the country. 


St. Augustine, 25th July, 1821. 
Capt. John R. Bell, Commanding the province of East Florida. 

The following is intended to comply with your desire of infor- 
mation on the northern division of this province ; and in order to 
your comprehending the true state of that section, and the charac- 
ter of its inhabitants, to whom, as the officer that presided over 
them for the last five years, I feel grateful for their confidence, 
their devotion, and their support, permit me to recapitulate a part 
of its history ; and first to premise : that it is bounded on the 
north by Camden county, Georgia, the southernmost part of the 
Atlantic states ; the river St. Mary, the line of demarcation, and 
a very narrow one, has long been the "jumping place" of a large 
portion of the bad characters who gradually sift through the whole 
southwardly : warm climates are congenial to bad habits. Second, 
that, unfortunately for Florida, the laws of both governments had the 
effect of making each country the asylum of the bad men of the other ; 
consequently, Florida must have received, we will suppose, twenty 
of those for one it returned to Georgia. This must be the result, on 
taking only a numerical view of the population of the two countries. 


And thirdly, that by the orders of the Spanish court, prohibiting 
citizens of the United States from being received as settlers in Flori- 
da, the only part from whence it was ever to expect a population 
sufficiently large to make it respectable, the good were prevented 
from coming in, while the bad must come. The result of an obser- 
vation, perhaps inadvertent, made in congress long since, Florida 
must ultimately be ours, if only from emigration, and loudly comment- 
ed on by the Spanish minister. 

The revolution, commenced in March, 1812, had spread general 
desolation and ruin over the whole province ; the dust of a siege 
had been thirteen months snuffed within the walls of St. Augustine. 
On the 6th May, 1813, the assailants were withdrawn, and the town 
of Fernandina was restored to the Spanish authorities. 

The Spanish government had published a general pardon to its 
subjects, but, unfortunately, had limited it to three months, a time 
too short for the ebullitions of individual feelings to subside. Many, 
and those of the most energetic and influential character, would 
not trust themselves among the opposite party. The time expired, 
and those were consequently left out. And in August, of the same 
year, hostilities re-commenced ; more sanguinary scenes ensued ; 
and the insurgents aided by bands of idlers from Georgia, took and 
kept possession of all the territory lying to the west and north of St. 
John's river. Fernandina having become too weak for offence, and 
St. Augustine not being willing to let out all its troops, to hunt " bush 
fighters," the newly styled Republic of Florida, over which the in- 
fluence of order had not been felt since March, 1812, and having 
now no compulsive inducement to union among its members, soon 
fell into the most wretched state of anarchy and licentiousness ; even 
the honest were compelled to knavery m their own defence, and 
thus continued until August, 1816 — while the most rancorous feel- 
jngs were bandied between the " Pat-Kiots" of the main, and the 
•' damo'd Spaniards" of Amelia island. 


At that period preparations were making on the Maine foradc' 
scent on Fernandina, then too weak to stand even on the defensive, 
and no succors were to be expected from our friends, nor was there 
any thing like good quarters to be looked for from our enemies. 
Governor Coppinger had lately received the command of the pro- 
vince. I knew his energetic and benevolent character ; that his 
discretionary powers were very great, but his want of means, deplo- 
rable ; and I personally knew the people of the main, and had had 
in other days, influence among them. I proposed a plan of recon' 
ciliation and re-establishment of order. It was patronized by the 
governor, and I received orders to proceed according to circum- 
stances. Messrs. Zephaniah Kingsley and Henry Yonge went with 
me up St. Mary's river to Mills' ferry, and met about forty of them, 
and after much debate an agreement for a general meeting at Wa- 
terman's Bluff in three weeks, was concluded on. 

The day of meeting arrived, and none others but the gentlemen I 
have mentioned veould leave Fernandina. We knew that nothing 
short of an election of officers would subdue those people, even 
should they be willing to submit to order at all ; and that was a 
course opposite to the principles of the Spanish government. How- 
ever, extraordinary cases require extraordinary remedies ; and 
circumstances authorising a long stride, I provided several copies 
of a set of laws adapted to their circumstances, blank commissions, 
instructions, Sec. A gathering of several hundred, besides a crowd 
of spectators from Georgia, met us at the place appointed, a mere 
mob without head or leader. I tendered them a distribution into 
three districts of all the territory lying between St. John's river and 
St. Mary's, with a magistrate's court and a company of militia in 
each ; and those to be called Nassau, Upper and Lower St. Mary's ; 
.in election of officers from the mass of the people of each, without 
allowLrg the candidates to offer themselves ; that the officers to be 
elected should be immediately commissioned to enter on the func- 


tions of their offices ; and that all the past should be buried in total 
oblivion. These were received by a general expression of satis- 
faction ; a table vras brought out on the green, and in a few hours 
a territory containing about one half of the population of East Flo- 
rida was brought to order ; three oiagistrates and nine officers of 
tnilitia elected, commissioned, instructed and provided with laws. 
Every demonstration of satisfaction ensued ; they took up th^ir offi- 
cers on their shoulders, hailed by the shouts of hundreds. A plen- 
tiful feast and many interesting scenes of friendship and mirth closed 
the important day. 

His excellency approved of the proceedings, and tendered me a 
superintending jurisdiction on the whole, which I admitted, on 4)is 
consenting to strike out Amelia island : that had a commandant who 
had a plenty of leisure to attend to the complaints of Fernandina, 
and I have ever since allowed them the election of officers in filling 
up vacancies. 

Such has been the confidence and resignation of those people, that 
all complaints and appeals that should have gone before the supe- 
rior courts at St. Augustine, have been referred to me for an opi- 
nion, and those opinions have ever been voluntarily conclusive, to 
any amount. And such their devotion to the government, that at the 
shortest notice, any part or the whole force of the three districts 
have met me at the place appointed, mounted, armed and victualled, 
each at his own expense. 

Three facts speak volumes in favor of those inhabitants : — First, 
that in five years there has not been one appeal and but one com- 
plaint to the superior authorities, in St. AuguStine, although the 
highroad to both has all the while been open. Second, that Geor- 
gians prefer suing Floridians in that part of Florida to suing them 
in Georgia. Third, that the credit of Floridians stands higher in 
Georgia than ever it did before, from whence they get all their sup- 
plies. Such is the deplorable state of hum^n nature, that a rob- 


bery or a murder will occur in the best regulated societies ; witliiisf 
a fortification ; but I can venture to assert, that in no part of the 
civilized world do fewer irregularities occur among so many inha- 
bitants, than in the northern division of this province. 

I would caution, that when the people of Florida are spoken of 
with censure, some regard would be paid to the person speaking, 
as to who he is, or from whence he gets his information ; to the pe- 
riod to which reference is had, and the part of Florida alluded to. 
I am aware that the time has been when these were censurable, for 
they were above four years in a state of anarchy ; the broadside of 
their country open to the idle and vicious of Georgia ; and even af- 
ter they were called to order, in 1816, some time was required for 
purification, by compelling many to decamp, and others to mend 
their manners. And on the other side of St. John's river, under an- 
other local jurisdiction, many who were hunted out from the north- 
ern division found toleration. 

We knew that a practice called Lynch's law had done more good 
in Georgia in a few months, before Florida was found to be an asy- 
lum for the vicious, than the civil authority could have done in as 
many years in that part of the country ; and we were aware that 
some such energetic measure was indispensible to accelerate our 
purification. Fines, floggings and banishment, therefore, became 
the penalties for all wilful injury committed on the property of an- 
other, not as a law of Spain, but as a special compact of the people. 
A man who stole his neighbor's cow, was tried by a congress of from 
twenty to thirty persons of his district, summoned for the purpose, 
and on being clearly convicted, he was sentenced to receive, tied to 
a pine tree, from ten to thirty-nine lasties ; and that was executed 
on the spot, by each giving him two lashes, to the amount of his sen- 
tence ; and the second offence of the same class was punished by 
flogging and banishment from those districts. A few such examples 
firmly managed, and executed under the rifles selected from a com- 


pany, drawn up for the purpose, (and but few were required) did us 
more good than a board of lawyers, and a whole wheel-barrow 
of law books could have done. 

A mere remonstrance was sufficient to reduce to a small amounts 
on our side of St. Mary's river, the very grievous evil of parties of 
Floridians and Georgians combined, going frequently to the indian 
country of Florida to plunder cattle ; a lucrative practice that had 
been going on for years, and was carried to such excess, that large 
gangs of cattle could be purchased along that river, at the low price of 
from two to three dollars per head. Efforts to suppress it altogether, 
we found to be in vain, .without a suitable coincidence on the Geor- 
gia side ; and experience had shown that the civil authority was too 
heavy booted to make much impression on those " moggasin boys." 
I then wrote to general Floyd, who commanded a part of the Geor- 
gia militia, and his prompt and efficient aid soon enabled us to put u 
finishing stroke to a practice replete with the worst of evils. 

When general M'Gregorgot possession of Fernandina, he was in 
the belief that he had conquered Florida to the walls of St. Augus- 
tine, and that there was nothing more to be done, as related to these 
people, but display his standard, fill up his ranks, and march to the 
possession ; and under that impression he brought several sets of 
officers. But neither the offers, threats nor intrigues of himself and 
his successors, Irvin, Hubbard and Aury, and their many friends in 
many places, could bring one of them to his flag. Whereas, when 
a call was made for volunteers to commence in advance the expe- 
dition formed in St. Augustine, for the re-capture of Amdiaisland, 
every man turned out, well equipped, not excepting the superannua- 
ted. We got possession of all Amelia island to the very town of Fer- 
nandina, and kept it for several dnys awaiting the troops from St. Au- 
gustine. During that time twenty-seven of these men sought for, 
gave battle to, drove from the field, and pursued to within the range 
of the guns of Fernandina, above one hundred of M'Gregor's men. 



with the loss of seven killed and fourteen wounded, and without ha- 
ving lost one drop of blood on our side ; leaving us to bury their 
dead. The reverses that afterwards attended that expedition were 
wholly to be attributed to the conduct of the commanding officer 
ivho arrived from St. Augustine. 

When the constitutional government was ordered in Florida, a few 
months since, some small alteration were made in the laws of those 
districts. They were but small, for the laws handed them in 181G 
were principally bottomed on the same constitutional government, 
which had been in force in this province in 1813 and 14. But the 
administration of St. Augustine having been pleased to form the 
whole province, about fifty thousand square miles, into one parish, 
making that city the centre, so far defalcated what those people 
conceived their constitutional rights, that they petitioned govern- 
ment ; and not getting what they expected, they had in meditation 
to send a representative to the captain-general of Cuba, and further 
should it be necessary, when the near approach of the surrender of 
the province to the United States levelled all dissentions. 

Those three districts contain about one half of the population of 
East Florida, say about fifteen hundred souls, and embrace three 
fourths of the agricultural interest of the whole province. They 
are very thinly settled, and form one of the most inferior sections of 
Florida, as relates to good lands, and indeed many other natural 
advantages. The causes that have congregated so large a portion 
of the industrious part of the population into one of the least delec- 
table sections, are these : Its vicinity to Georgia, a populous coun- 
try, bordering on the river St. Mary, a near and ready market for 
their produce and their supplies, and the facility of avoiding duties 
of exports and imports ; the occupancy or neighborhood of Indians 
in better sections ; the want of protections ; the want of a popula- 
tion sufficient to protect itself ; and revolutionary broils with go- 
vernment, forced upon us by foreigners in their over-strained assi 


iiuity for our welfare, gagging us with freedom, the most free, civili- 
zed people perhaps in the world, and would fain lately have put 
it down our throats with negroes' bayonets. [Vide the Jenett, the 
Bfathews, and the McGregor invasions, in 1794, 1812, and 1817.] 

East Florida was literally evacuated by the British, when deliver- 
ed to the Spanish authorities in 1784. Perhaps no such other ge- 
neral emigration of the inhabitants of a country, amicably transferred 
to another government, ever occurred. Spain allowed it many ex- 
traordinary privileges, such as were not enjoyed by any othey part 
of her dominions, and continued augmenting them ever since. In 
1792, Florida was opened to a general emigration, without excep- 
tion of country or creed ; and it was rapidly progressing to impor- 
tance, when the report of the Spanish minister I have mentioned, 
closed the gates against American citizens, some time about 1804, 
and virtually shut us in from the world as to a large population. 

The decline of this province must be dated from that period, ia 
which a very large portion of the convulsions of Europe necessarily 
fell to the share of Spain, from her contiguity to imperial France, 
and which called her attentions and resources to objects of more 
consideration. But that decline was graduated by the nature of 
tilings to a slow progression, and we had other fair prospects in our 
favour, notwithstanding the prohibition of a population from the Uni- 
ted States, when the troubles of 1812 spread, in one year, universal 
ruin. The war between the United States and Great Britain, and 
the visit of McGregor, following in close succession, almost every 
one, who had the means of migrating, abandoned a country so much 
and so unmeritedly affected. ' 

Your obedient servant, 



Circular to the oncers and people of the northern division of East 

St. Mary's, Florida, 13th August, 1821. 
John Low, Esq. Magistrate of the lower district of St. Mary^s. 
Dear Sir, 

I take the earliest opportunity afforded me since my return from 
St. Augustine, to communicate the following : 

The authorities of the United States having received possession 
of this province, on the 10th of last month, my functions as super- 
intending officer of the northern division of East Florida, and those of 
surveyor-general of the province, have ceased ; and my claims on 
the Spanish government do not permit my receiving, at present, of- 
ficial charges under the present government. I have not however 
taken my leave of you all, nor of my former residence : a recipro- 
city of grateful feelings, happily experienced for the last five years, 
forbid my doing so. I have therefore promised captain Bell, who 
now commands this province, who has your welfare warmly at heart, 
and with whose amiable disposition you will be well pleased, that 
ray every aid and assistance, ex-officio, shall be cheerfully employ^ 
ed for your good. 

While in St. Augustine, I laid before captain Bell, a long and 
candid statement of these districts ; a character of these people that 
1 trust will ensure them the consideration of their new government ; 
copies of which will be transmitted to the executive of the United 
States, to general Jackson, and remain in Florida as a record of their 

It was to me a pleasing task ; a tribute due to their devotion to 
their country, and to the confidence and support 1 have all along ex- 
perienced from them. Where but in this division of Florida can it 
be said, that no part o{ half the population of a provmce have, in five 
years, made an appeal, or a complaint, to superior authority resi- 


ding at hand, and the high road for both always open ? Where but 
in the same division can it be said, that foreigners prefer suing the 
people of the country in their own courts, to suing them in theirs, 
where they have them frequently in their power ? Where but in 
this meritorious division can it be said, that any part of, or the whole 
physical force of three districts, have never failed to meet, at the 
earliest notice, and that cheerfully, to execute any orders given, ar- 
med, mounted and victualled, each at his own expense, and without 

An active, brave, hardy, and hospitable pGople. A people, who 
having been compromised and thrown into ^narchy and confusion, by 
foreign bayonets, and rernained afterwards above four years in a 
state of licentiousness, all came into order in one day ; and which 
government they have steadily supported with their person and pro- 
perty ever since, now five years ! A people, who not 9II the offers, 
threats, or intrigues of McGregor himself, nor those of his suc- 
cessors, Irvin, Hubbard, and Aury, nor the craft and influence of 
many others at Fernandina and elsewhere, could bring over one of 
them from their fidelity to the Spanish governmept. A people, 
seven and twenty of whom sought for, gave battle to, and drove from 
the field above one hundred of McGregor's men, in a body, com- 
manded by Irvin, in sight of their own quarters, without losing one 
drop of blood ! 

The representation I have handed in, as a record in their favour, 
is too long for insertion here ; but a copy remains in my hands, 
and I trust will be read with general satisfaction. All papers laying 
in my possession, and appertaining to individuals of these districts, 
will be carefully distributed to their owners, as soon as leisure will 
permit me to attend to them. 

Captain Bell has authorized, according to the proclamation of ge- 
neral Jackson, a continuance of all your offices and former functions, 
until laws are formed by higher authority for the government of the- 



province. He recommends that the judiciary should be confined to 
such cases and matters as do not admit of, or require appeals beyond 
the exclusive jurisdiction of these magistrate courts ; that all others 
should lay over until farther orders. And he s;iys, that all heinous 
invaders of the public peace will find safe keeping in the hands of 
the mihtary at Fernandina if sent there. 

Yours sincerely, 
(Signed) GEORGE I. F. CLARKE. 

The proceedings of the United States in West Florida having 
been conducted by general Jackson, and repeatedly laid before the 
public, do not need repetition here. It would be an invidious task 
to detail the events that have occurred in East Florida since the ex- 
change of flags. The variety of perplexing circumstances, the con- 
flexion of laws,and the embarrassments arising from the great distance 
from the place whence orders emanated, which have successfully 
been the fate of St. Augustine, will, by the wisdom of con- 
gress, have entirely been removed, and forgotten before this book 
issues from the press. The only circumstance of much interest 
arose from the circumstance of the secretary of the province having 
a day or two after the cession, found it necessary in the absolute want 
of all law regulation, police, or magistracy, to exercise his au- 
thority upon the occurrence of some peculiar circumstances, re- 
specting the carrying off of slaves, to confine for a very short ti me 
one of the citizens in the fort of Saint Augustine : five months af- 
terwards, upon a trial before the county court, damages were awar- 
ded ao-ainst captain Bell, when the inhabitants, by an unanimous re- 
solution made up the fine by subscription, and the following letters 
were written to and from that gentleman, which having never been 
made generally known; are now hid before the public. 


John R. Bell, Esg. Captain of the United States Artillery. 

St. Augustine, December 21, 1822. 
When a people receives from its rulers the protection due to the 
persons and property of the individuals who compose it, when such 
rulers cause the laws to be observed, and when their actions are 
guided by the general good, so that their fulfilment of their august 
charge, is consonant with the duties imposed on them by societ}', 
they make themselves at the same time, worthy of the esteem and 
gratitude of that community over whom they have presided. 

The Floridians call to mind with pleasure the short but satisfacto- 
ry period, when in you sir were united the civil and military com- 
mand of this province, wherein we are aware you acted as far as 
was practicable for the public welfare, in the administration of jus- 
tice ; and consequently it was not with an ear of indifference that 
the sentence given by the court of this county was heard, amercing 
you in the sum of three hun>lred and seventeen dollars and four 
reals, for a proceeding, in which your sense of equity could not al- 
low you to act otherwise than you did. It is not to be understood 
however, that the award of the court is called arbitrary or unjust ; the 
people are too well aware of the respect due to all tribunals to at- 
tempt to trench upon their prerogatives : but they however know, 
that under the circumstances in which you gave the order, in conse- 
quence of which this fine has been laid, such a measure was 
necessary for the tranquillity of this place. In a country recently 
taken possession of by another government different in its laws, lan- 
guage and customs, wherein the new authorities have no definite 
knowledge of its inhabitants, its necessities, in a word of any thing, 
there must naturally result in the changes from one administration to 
the other ^some defects, which are consequeaces of the confusion 


reigning upon the establishment of a new system. What a vast field 
was there not opened for felons to commit in this state every species 
of crime ; and who is there that doubts the propriety of rigorous 
measures being adopted against them in the very outset? 

Under these views, the inhabitants and the proprietors of this city 
have been pleased to appoint us the subscribers to express to you 
their sentiments ; and we therefore, have the satisfaction of being 
their organs, for the purpose of offering the just tribute of gratitude 
to merit ; and they beg that you sir, will condescend to allow, that 
the damages be paid by them, we being authorised to deliver th^ 
amount immediately. 

This is a general wish of a people, who can duly appreciate men, 
who, like yourself, have gained the esteem of many adherents, 
among whom are ranked, 

Your most obedient and affectionate servants, 
[Signed] GAB. G. PERPALL, 

St. AcGUSTiNE, 22d December, 1821, 



I received your letter of this morning. The various emotions it 
has excited it is impossible for me to express. The language of 
feeling is brief; and I must reply to it with the bUmtness and since- 
rity of my profession. 

I was called upon to exercise the undefined and dangerous pow* 


srs entrusted to me by the governor of the Floridas. I would wil- 
lingly have evaded this invidious trust, but I was commanded, and it 
was my duty to obey. I was not promised, have not expected, nor 
have I received any benefit for my services. I found myself called 
upon to protect a virtuous and industrious people, from the rapacit}' 
and violence of adventurers from every part of the world who looked 
for redemption from punishment, from the absence, as they suppo- 
sed, of all law and government. I was actuated by a sincere desire 
of protecting the rights of the citizens of Florida, committed to my 
charge, without any regard to their being Spanish or American. I 
did not think it necessary to ascertain with legal precision, whether 
my powers were to be measured by the limits imposed by the old or 
new constitution of Spain. The good of all, the peace of the whole 
community were my only rule of conduct. I had no antipathies to 
indulge in, no resentments to satisfy. I was a stranger to all. If I 
have erred, if the verdict of a jury of my countrymen should at 
some future period, be brought up in array against me when 
circumstances are forgotten, I will powerfully appeal for my acquittal 
to your affectionate letter, and challenge the world to pronounce the 
person guilty of tyranny and oppression, who has received so unani- 
mous a testimonial of approbation of his administration, from a peo- 
ple so feelingly alive to a sense of injustice, so warm hearted and so 
generous. I cannot therefore decline your offer. 

The time is not far distant, when under the favoring influence of 
the American constitution, the virtues of the antient inhabitants and 
proprietors of Florida will be duly appreciated, when they will have 
to claim and will assert their right to the exercise of government, 
and when the base individuals, who now endeavour to set one por 
tion of the community in array against the other, will receive due 

Be pleased to present my affectionate regard to the gentlemen 
whose sentimeuts of approbation you have conveyed, and for yonr- 



selves, receive the gratitude for the feeling language in which it ha? 
been expressed. 

I remain your affectionate servant. 

[Signed] JNO. R. BELL. 

To Messrs. Perpall, Hernandez, Sjuith, Arredondo, Segui and 
On the part of the inhabitants and proprietors of the cityj of St. Au- 

Now that Florida is about to be governed by the wholesome laws 
of a republic, and that the shackles which have hitherto impeded 
her improvement are taken off, we may rationally look forward to 
read in the page of her future annals prosperity, happiness and in- 
dependence. When the real superiority of our territory is duly 
appreciated, it will be found pre-eminent in agricultural importance; 
and when an extensive, industrious and respectable population send 
their representatives to congress, Florida will be confessedly ac- 
knowledged not wanting in intellectual endowments ; and the pre- 
sent humble recorder of her resources looks forward to the time 
when her future glory will be transmitted to after times^by the ele- 
gant pens of native historians 



The river Saint Mary, which is part of the northern boundary of 
Florida,Wiis formerly supposed to have originated in the Oke-fin-o-cau 
swamp ; but this appears to be an error, as there is a high pine 
ridge between the source of the stream and the swamp. This cir- 
cumstance was communicated to the author several years since 
by major-general Gaines, who had himself ascertained the fact. 
The upper branches of this river partake very much of the charac- 
ter of those of the Edisto and Combahee rivers, in South Carolina. 
There are a few saw mills erected there, and more probably might 
be built with advantage ; lower down the lands may be made capa- 
ble of the cultivation of rice. The bar of Saint Mary's river has 
from 20 to 28 feet water. There are two entrances bold and safe ; 
the light-house is on the northern side of the entrance oh Cumberland 
island ; Amelia island at the mouth of St. Mary's river, is well set- 
tled ; considerable quantities of fine live oak have been obtained from 
this island at various periods, but it is now almost gone, at least all 
the timber fit for large vessels of war. At the north end of Amelia 
island is the small town of Fernandina, which sprung up during the 
embargo in 1808, and the subsequent war. At present it droops , 


but the excellence of the anchorage opposite the place, v,ill doubt' 
less in due time make it more resorted to, and the town will again 

An inland navigation exists through the narrows between Ame- 
lia island and the main land. After passing the straits, Nassau 
river discharges itself between Amelia and Talbot islands. This 
river is supplied by many branches, and is navigable a considerable 
distance up ; the lands are rich, but subject to inundations. Rice 
plantations may certainly be established here, and made profitable. 
Talbot and Fort George islands are seperated from the main by na- 
vigable creeks, and are fine cotton islands. These passed, the 
mouth of the river St. John presents itself. Passing it by f«r the 
present, we may proceed up Pablo creek, immediately opposite the 
mouth of the branch separating Fort George island from the main. 
The lands in the vicinity of Pablo are excellent, and in cultivation. 
The sugar has been successfully tried for two years back by Major 
Chairs. Pablo creek heads in Diego plains, as does also the North 
river, which leads down to the harbor of Saint Augustine. A short 
canal of a few miles in length would complete the inland navigation 
from hence to Charleston. There is no iulei between the cnti'ance 
to Saint John's river, and Saint Augustine. The latter harbour is 
good, but only affording 12 or 13 feet water, is very detrimental to 
its increase as a commercial town. Leaving a description of the 
town for another place, we shall at present follow the outline of the 

The navigation from the harbour of St. Augustine to the bar of 
Watanzas, along what is termed Matanzas river, though intricate, af- 
fords water for such vessels as can pass the latter entrance. The 
St. Sebastian river, which forms the southern and western bounda- 
ries of the city, is of some width at its junction with Matanzas river ; 
but owes its size chiefly to the influence of tide water : the head of 
navigation, including all the windings of the stream, is scarcely ten 


miles from its mouth, and merely serves to bring a little fire wood 
into the town : It heads in two or three prongs, one of which, called 
the Red-house branch, is a narrow but deep and rapid creek, afford- 
ing scites for saw-mills, to be erected at some future time : Moultrie 
creek has its mouth covered vvith several islands, and a long reef of 
oyster banks and mud flats extend for some distance, forming a se- 
ries of shoals, at which the tides from the respective inlets of St. 
Augustine and Matanzas meet : Moses's creek fall into the river a 
few miles north of the latter bar, joining it where the marsh on the 
main side is wide, and intersected by a labyrinth of small channels, 
mostly dry at low water. Matanzas river in its whole extent is only 
separated from the Atlantic by Anastatia or Fish's island, which, at 
the southern extremity, is very narrow, being little more than a sand 
bank : upon a small island formed by the Matanzas' entrance on the 
south, and a creek navigable for boats on the north, and terminating 
Anastatia island, stands the eld tower of Matanzas : the marshes here 
are wide, but the water course very narrow, particularly in pro- 
ceeding towards what was called the little bar ; the only access to 
which, and to the creeks southwardly, is through an artificial vent 
or canal, dug by the Spanish soldiers and Havana negroes by permis- 
sion of the late government, a voluntary subscription having been 
raised by three or four planters to pay them : on the site of this 
was some short time back a natural creek, but a violent gale, com- 
pleting the gradual accumulation of sand at the mouth of the little 
bar (barra chica), filled that entrance at last and stopped the passage 
of the waters toward* the great Bar also : although the canal aiTords 
a boat communication, yet it is insufficient to carry off the great body 
of fresh water coming down from two large swamps, and the marsh- 
es on each side are completely overflown at present, more particu- 
larly on account of the heavy rains during the preceding season ; 
The water in its efforts to escape has already traced a channel to- 
wards the narrow sand bank which rises from the beach, and it is pro- 


bable that in a few years the Barra Cliica will be again opened near 
the outlet. The planters have also resolved to dig across the beach 
and complete the opening of the inlet, the fresh waters having de- 
stroyed their oyster banks and prevented the sea fish from com- 
ing up. Passing the narrows the course of the creek or channel 
meanders through the extensive marshes to the junction of Hernan- 
dez's and Pellicer's creeks, about six or seven miles from the bar 
of Matanzas and two miles less from the Barra Chica. The former 
stream twelve miles further south heads in Graham's swamp : the 
latter is navigable some miles beyond Pellicer's house to where the 
King's road formerly crossed it on a bridge, long since destroyed, and 
heads far back in the pine lands : in Sawmill swamp, three or four 
miles from Pellicer's point it receives a large addition from the drain 
of Cawcaw swamp, wherein Moses's creek lately mentioned also 
takes its rise. The character of almost all the land between St. 
Augustine and Pellicer's is indifferent : narrow skirts of hammock 
fringe the borders of the creeks, and every spot of good land is co- 
vered by some title or other, many tracts having been successively 
owned and abandoned by the unlucky and ignorant attempters at cul- 
tivation. The plantations of Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Perpall, and 
Mr. Pellicer are good, and the marsh and savanna lands in their vi- 
cinity when banked and drained would produce fine crops of sugar if 
their vicinity to St. Augustine should tempt any one to undertake the 
great labour. The grounds planted by Mr. Hernandez, are 
the northern point of a long narrow hammock called Graham's 
swamp, extending as lar as the Tomoca ferry (about thirty miles :) 
its average breadth is scarcely three fourths of a mile. Colonel Bu- 
low, a rich planter of South Carolina has made extensive purchases 
upon this swamp, and is preparing with a large force to establish 
considerable sugar plantations. On its east side scrub lands and 
saw palmettos extend to the Atlantic : On its west immense 
tracts of pine land spread to the river St. John : parallel and 

THE FLGRll)AS. 39 

ixt a short distance therefrom runs the main road southwardly 
which is in general good, and has been lately cleared out and made 
passable for a waggon, being one of the only three roads in the pro- 
vince which affords practicable travelling for any mode of conveyance 
but horses : Eight miles beyond Pellicer's creek is a considerable 
run of water, with the remains of a stupenduous mill-dam, construct- 
ed formerly by a Mr. Bernardino Sanchez : approaching Tomoca 
one or two other creeks intervene, being the head waters of Smith's 
and Ormond's jpreeks. All the good land with one or two excep- 
tions has already been taken up. Upon Tomoca river was former- 
ly an old ferry and the road to the town of New Smyrna proceeded on: 
it is now quite grown up. Haul-over creek and Tomoca river form 
the head of Halifax river or Mosquito north lagoon : The junction 
of the two latter forms an acute promotory called Mount Oswald : 
Haul-over creek proceeeds northerly, its western branch or Smith's 
creek heads in Graham's awamp, near which it receives Ormond's 
creek, and another tributary water : the eastern branch skirts the 
sea and near its head is scarce a furlong from it across which boats 
are hauled by the fishermen : this haul-over is only fifteen miles from 
the bar of Matanzas. 

From Mount Oswald, Halifax river runs straight for upwards of 
sixteen miles two points to the eastward of south : its average 
breadth is about three quarters of a mile as far as Snake island and 
Orange grove : here a low marshy projection denominated the isl- 
and encroaches from the main upon the uniformity of the river's 
width reducing it to less than half a mile at this northern point of a 
bay ; within which is a stone house, being the last permanent inhab- 
ited building on the coast between St. Augustine and cape Florida : 
it is occupied by a poor couple who seem to live in much poverty : 
Mr. Anderson an enterprising planter from South Caroliaa has 40 or 
50 hands employed in raising cotton at the Orange Grove plantation, 
four miles south of this are the Pelican islands, from whence the ri- 
ver loses its open character, and winds among an innumerable clus- 


ter of mangrove islands down to the bar of Mosquito, hugijing the At- 
lantic shore : next the naain are a variety of intricate passages con- 
necting with each other and indenting the land : three separate 
creeks penetrate the interior a little way, all being in some 
measure connected with Spruce creek: some considerable quantity 
of good land lies scattered about these waters, but too low for cul- 
tivation without much labour. The whole of the land fit for 
agriculture, from Tomoca to Sprute creek, has been grafted away : 
the main body of it consists in a hammock which appears to be a 
continuation of Graham's swamp, running parallel to Halifax river 
a mile or two back, and one or two eligible tracts on the river above 
the Pelican islands : the narrow skirt of land between the river and 
the ocean is totally useless. 

Mosquito or New Smyrna entrance is narrow, but affords water 
for vessels drawing ten feet : the anchorage is good inside and on 
the south shore a vessel may lay alongside and make fast to the man- 
groves within a mile of the bar. The scite of the abandoned town 
of New Smyrna is five miles from the inlet, but presents no bluff or 
elevation on the river, and is shut out from the sea breeze by the 
cluster of mangrove islands in front. These islands are thickly 
spread between the narrow beach and the main land over a space 
from two to five miles in width : one channel on the west keeps 
next the main : the eastern one after a very crooked course conducts 
to Turtle Mount or Mount Tucker, the summit of which is about 80 
feet above the level of Hillsborough river, as the channel is called. 
It is a vast collection of shells chiefly oysters which appear to be the 
work of Indians of other days. Three miles further south is a beau- 
tiful body of hammock land called the Cigeras, which is perhaps un- 
equalled by any in Florida : there appears to be about one thousand 
acres in a body. A few miles further south conduct to the entrance 
of Mos quite south lagoon, where the western passage also enters. 
This piece of water appears to average eight or ten miles in width,. 


and nearly thirty in length : with the exception of a few scattering 
tnangrove islands on the Atlantic side it is quite open : halfway down 
on the western side it is separated from Indian river by a narrow 
isthmus which is only 1980 feet wide, called the Haulover, across 
which canoes and boats are continually hauled. A canal could be 
made here at an expense not exceeding one thousand dollars, which 
would thereby complete a good inland navigation for upwards of 
two hundred miles. Nearly all the good lands between this place 
and Spruce creek northerly have bqen granted away, but the loca- 
tion of them is not so certain : from the nature of the ground the 
tracts lie in two parallel lines ; the front on Hillsborough river and 
Mosquito Lagoon forming one range, and TurnbuH's back swamp 
the other : this latter is situated back a few miles, extending from 
Spruce creek and gradually shaping its course to the head of Indian 
river. The main stream of the last water has one of ils sources in 
this swamp ; the other one called the North-west branch comes 
from the N. N. W. and has a large body of good land about it, upon 
which claims by grants exist, but the location is very doubtful. 
There appears but little doubt that the head of this N. W. branch 
of Indian river and the head lake of St. John's river, approach each 
other very near heading in the same savanna or marsh : there has 
always been a tradition of an existing communication betweenr 
these two, which an inspection of the map will explain. From the 
union of this branch with the main river along the western shore, as 
f-ir down as eight miles below the Haulover the land is rich, but 
encumbered with grants of some kind, many of which however there 
is reason to believe are unlocated. 

Indian river is a beautiful sheet of water : at the Haulover, it is 
three or four miles wide, and so continues a long distance north- 
ward : in a southern direction it expands on the eastern side, and a 
collection of mangrove islands skirt the shores as far as cape Cana- 
veral. Fifteen miles from the Haulover i? the north end of Meritt'ii 


island, which stands in the centre of the Lagoon parallel to the shores, 
with abroad stream each side. For more than forty miles it divides 
the river, which averages three miles in breadth. On the main or 
western side is the proper channel : the eastern branch is shallow 
and its upper end spreads with flats and mangrove islands, confusing 
the navigator and impeding the passage of all but small canoes. The 
average extent across Meritt's island is two miles at least, which 
gives upwards of 60,000 acres ; this is said to have been granted to 
Mr. Mcintosh of Georgia, and tiow belongs to Colonel Clinch of the 
United States army. The quality of the land on the main is various 
but in general good and improving as progress is made towards the 
south ; the shores beginning to present an elevated appearance : 
bluffs of shell rock rear themselves close on the river ; tlie flatness 
visible over all the preceding country begins to disappear : the 
foundation is rock under vegetable mould ; upon the surface is 
shell stone ; limestone and slate is found in detached spots, and all 
the geological signs indicate an approach to a higher and more 
healthy region. Indeed after arriving at Meritt's island, there can 
be but little doubt that the country is upon the river free from 
those causes which produce bilious and intermittent complaints. 
The grants here are less close to each other : the principal one is 
to a Mr. Delespine, which was regularly made previous to the pe- 
riod stipulated in the treaty in return for supplies furnished the gar- 
rison at various periods : it has been regularly located and the 
lines distinctly marked out by blazed trees. It is upon the back of 
this and the adjoining tracts that was discovered an immense savan- 
na through which the waters supplying the source of the river St. 
John apparently flow. At a perpendicular distance of something 
less than three miles from the bank of Indian river, its eastern side 
is struck, and it presents a breadth of at least twelve miles. From 
the top of the high pine trees on the margin, the course of waters 
may be traced apparently a few miles distant, nearest the west 


boundaries of the great prairie, beyond which the pine woods raise 
their heads. On Indian river some of the best hammocks in the 
Floridas are to be met with, healthy and elevated : the occasioned 
breaks of pine bluffs are rather advantageous than otherwise as pre- 
senting better scites for settlements. During the last twenty miles 
of the extent of Meritt's island, the west branch of Indian river is 
not more than from one and a half to two miles wide, being at the 
northern end six or seven : immediately opposite the south of the 
island which is a narrow point of rock and mangroves, is St. Anto- 
nio river or Elbow creek : a low rocky shore on each side orna- 
mented with tufts of hammocks and a large entrance cove give it an 
handsome appearance : but immediately behind the hammock and 
pine lands, the stream is only to be navigated back two or three 
miles when it heads in a swamp, beyond which is a savanna. 

The south entrance to the east channel of Indian river is scarce- 
ly 400 yards wide ; the banks a mile up however recede towards 
the beach, and it afterwards..becomes near three miles across, to 
within ten miles of cape Canaveral, where it is buta trifling distance 
over the beach to the sea. Somewhat beyond, a promontory divides the 
water into two prongs ; the westward continues on till the channel is 
lost in the archipelago of mangrove keys at the north end of Me= 
ritt's island ; the other comes immediately behind the cape, between 
which and the south side of the Mosquito lagoon is a large lake of 
fresh water. The navigation on this east side of the island is ex- 
tremely confused, and many shipwrecked persons attempting with 
their crafts to find an inland passage have lost their course, and be- 
ing compelled to abandon their boats, have endeavored to trayel 
along the beach, upon which they have been known to expire in 
the agonies of thirst, while the pond just alluded to was near them, 
and when a hole scratched on the sands but a few inches above the 
reach of the waves would have produced them excellent fresh wa- 
ter ; which may be also thus procured along every part of the Flo- 


rida coast, both on the sea beach and the Lagoon banks ; but in ma- 
ny unfortunate cases it has been unknown. 

Two miles south of St. Antonio river is Crane creek, of which 
none of the persons who have previously navigated Indian river 
were aware ; its mouth is almost covered by a point of land, lap- 
ping over, leaving a small narrow entrance on the south, not twen- 
ty yards across. Crane creek for half a mile up is wide, but it is 
soon confined in a narrow run, through a strip of marsh bordered by 
pine lands and heading in a piece of swamp ; the sloping banks how- 
ever in general are high, with fine tall pitch pine trees at large dis- 
tances, the undergrowth grass with scattering shrubs, presenting in 
sailing up a handsome appearance resembling a European park. 
Game of all kinds is abundant, and as in all the other waters there 
appears great plenty offish. This remark upon the pine lands here 
is applicable to many spots. 

Two miles south St. Andre's river or Turkey creek empties into 
the lagoon ; its right bank is altagi^Uer pine ; on the left for a 
very short way some hammock scrub and spruce is to be found ; it 
is but a small distance up that it separates into two springs, soon 
terminating in little swamps, having passed through high pine land. 
Immediately beyond the mouth of this creek are the Turkey 
bluffs, of rich yellow sand and forty feet in height, extending a mile 
in length ; this terminates the general low rocky shore which was 
predominant from within about twenty miles of the Haulover ; a 
trifling distance further on the bluff is of shells with a scrub ham- 
mock, the northern sand bluff being covered with pines, and having 
a luxuriant under brush of oak and hickory scrub. The Turkey 
bluffs present one of the most healthy and beautiful spots to be met 
with on the eastern coast ofFlorida for houses ; they are supposed 
to be the same as the hills marked in most of the charts, " Las Tor- 
tolas.^^ Pelican island is a small mangrove key eight miles south of 
Turkey creek, nearest the west shore ; the beach from Meritt's 


island is bare of tall growth with only one tuft of tall pines, and 
one of cabbage trees, and no mangrove trees or bushes until thus 
far when they recommence. Five miles below is the mouth of St. 
Sebastian river, distant altogether eighteen miles from the south 
end of Meritt's island, and distinguished by a high red sand bluff on 
the south point of entrance. This stream like the three preceding 
ones has pine lands alone on its banks, which are in general very 
high bluffs of light colored sand. It comes from the S. S. E. in a 
very serpentine course, having its head among the flats, savannas 
and ponds which lie parallel to the Indian river narrows, there ex- 
tending southwardly. 

The whole western shore from some miles north of Elbow creek, 
past St Sebastian river, and down to the vicinicy of the narrows which 
are eleven miles beyond St. Sebastian, is in general pine land, but 
elevated and healthy with the opposite beach free from mangrove 
bushes, and therefore receiving the full action of the breeze from 
the sea, the shore of which is in general four miles distant, three of 
which are occupied by the breadth of Indian river. 

Passing the narrows which are three miles through, and something 
more than a quarter wide, the pine lands recede from the west front 
of the Lagoon which is covered by fine marshes half a mile wide, 
beyond which is a low hammock of rich growth, and the character is 
retained as far as opposite to the bar of the river, a distance of thir- 
teen miles : upon the beach side near the narrows are occasional 
pieces of good hammock, but the east bank of the river thence is 
fringed with mangroves and a line of islands of the same to the out- 
let, which is approached through a narrow channel two miles through 
among thick mangrove keys. The marshes are covered with the 
plant called pursley, and contain almost a solid body of clay : they 
are several feet above the surface of the water. The whole of this 
pine extent may contain about eight thousand acres, being one of 
the largest bodies of good soil to be met with. Fine hammocks with 


in general elevated scites, are found along from Indian river bar to 
the mouth of St. Lucie river ; but like all the others observed on or 
near the water courses of East Florida, their breadth seems limited 
to half a mile. The bay is several miles wide in this extent, with 

occasionally on the beach patches of good hammock land, among 
some of which are to be traced old fields and other indications of 
former settlements : the Gap sixteen miles from the bar is remarka- 
ble, giving at sea the appearance of an inlet : on the sea shore are 
the rocks of St. Lucie directly fronting the mouth of that river, indi- 
cating its position, and chiefly to be noted from the adjoining strand 
being called the money bank : a vessel with dollars having been lost 
here, coin has occasionally been found on the beach,^ and the tradi- 
tion has sent many to search this mine, which however like many 
similar expeditions seems only to end in disappointment. 

The majestic appearance of St. Lucie river affords at first sight 
the greatest expectations : disembogueing, bj' a mouth nearly a mile 
in width, its volume of waters into a wide and extensive bay, it gives 
the idea of its having traversed along region from the west, perhaps 
originating in the much talked of lake Mayaco, which like the foun- 
tain of youth has never yet been found. The view of the first few 
miles of ascent is imposing ; on the north, a high rocky hiil binding 
u rich vegetable soil, extending some distance back fVom the shore 
and six or seven miles along it ; a fine hammock growth of heavy 
timber presenting a beautiful appearance ; on the opposite .tide the 
bank is equally high, but covered with pine growth mixed with oak 
and hickory scrub ; between them a river whose breadth admitting a 
free circulation of sea air, at once convinces the traveller that on such 
a place health must reside. 

At the forks ten miles from the mouth, the perspective is remarkably 
striking ; from the points of land three large sheets of water spread to- 
wards different points, and though pine is the prevalent growth of the 
viver banks, yet it is of a good quality and affords a variety of places 


where fruit culture would succeed; a fact which may no doubt hereaf- 
ter populate this country with a race of industrious whites whom the 
heaUhiness of the spot may allure hither. The south branch of St. 
Lucie extends only about four miles when it stops suddenly and a 
narrow creek covered with a green mantle of water plants alone re- 
mains, heading in a small swamp ; the northern branch may continue 
ten or twelve miles in a N.W. direction, when it also suddenly, con- 
tracts in a similar manner and heads in a swamp beyond which sa- 
vannas and ponds run parallel to the sea shore towards the head of 
St. Sebastian river. The banks every where except the large ham- 
mocks at the mouth are covered with pines : two or three miles S. 
W. of the forks is a body of hammock, and pine lands beyond that 
again to the borders of a flat savanna country. 

Proceeding to trace the inland navigation southwardly, some miles 
beyond St. Lucie river are found Jupiter narrows, connecting the 
sound or bay of Indian river with that of Jupiter or Hobe ; they 
are eight or ten miles in length, with several narrow channels 
through a body of mangrove islands lying between the sea beach and 
the main land, on which latter are to be found small pieces of low 
hammock well adapted for sugar. 

The western shore of Jupiter sound presents a series of ve- 
ry high sand hills with undulating tops covered with forests of low 
spruce pines ; one swell of high ground rising above the rest is call- 
ed on marine charts the Bleach-yard, from the large spots of land un- 
covered by vegetation, presenting to the coasting mariner the ap- 
pearance of linen spread out on the hills upon the side next the beach; 
a beautiful piece of land reaches from the mouth of the narrows four 
miles, with a low rocky bluff generally on the river ; it may contain 
about 1000 acres of first rate hammock, a part of which v/as cultivated 
many years since by an old Spaniard named Padre Torre, and more re- 
cently was planted by one Hutchinson, with cocoa nuts, limes, plan- 
tains, bananas, oranges. &.c, which are said by the pilots to be still in 


good bearing, though the place has been many years quite abandoned 
and grown up in thick bush. From this hammock is four miles to Jupi- 
ter inlet which is now closed. 

Three large rivers coming altogether through a pine country, 
discharge into Grenville sound immediately at the south end ot 
Jupiter bay, but the large body of water has too sluggish a current 
to force open the inlet which is closed by the sand, though opened 
occasionally by accidental circumstances. The three streams are 
distinguished as Grenville river on the north, Middle river, and Ju- 
piter creek on the south ; the latter as well as Fresh-water creek 
near the bar, have some connexion with the fresh water lake 
which approaches within four miles of Jupiter, by means of la- 
goons and marshes, through which a channel might easily be dug ; 
thereby with another short cut on the south, makmg a complete 
though intricate communication practicable at least for boats, from 
cape Florida and the keys to within forty miles of St. Augustme ; as 
will appear by the subsequent parts of this report, and a reference 
to the map now publishing. 

This lake is thirty-tive or forty miles in length, with marshes at 
its south end, which contain a body of such fine sugar land, that it will 
not be long ere it is brought into cultivation, and the canal that is 
made to drain it will finish the only remaining part of the inland navi- 
gation, connecting the south end of fresh water lake with the north 
end of Rio Seco ; which spot is indicated by an orange grove near 
the beach, to which from Jupiter inlet the present mode of access, is 
by hauling the boat or canoe across at both places, the intiermediate 
distance of forty-five miles being run along the coast at sea. 

The Rio Seco winds in a very serpentine course through a body 
of marsh at first, and latterly mangrove islands to its mouth, which 
is closed at present like that of Jupiter ; the place where the outlet 
was is also called Boca Ratone and Dry inlet ; patches of hammock 
are occasionally to be found on the main side, but the chief growth 


is pine ; a mile or two west in the woods is the large lake which 
gives rise to Jupiter creek. 

Boca Ratone sound receives also from the south another creek, 
heading in large niarsh flats, but with deep water ; the whole of 
which together with that from the Rio Seco, unable to discharge 
itself over the dry inlet, has forced itself by a natural canal through 
a neck of high land into the Middle river at the place where 
a stream called the Potomac runs into it ; the rush of the wa- 
ter through this narrow channel is very great, the current driving 
with a velocity capable of giving motion to the largest wheels,and upon 
it several saw-mills might work with advantage, should the Florida 
pitch pine which is abundantly supplied by the adjacent woods, ever 
become in sufficient demand as lumber. The Potomac river, as the 
few occasional visitors here have named it, is merely the head of 
Middle river, its course is through a pine country of good quality, 
heading in swamps and savannas, and connected with the Great Glade 
which will be described. 

The outlet of Middle river is now better known as Hillsborouo-h, 
and a precisely similar communication exists from hence to New ri- 
ver, as the north route to Boca Ratone. New river and all the 
branches discharging through its bar originate in the Great Glade, 
running through pine lands and heading in cypress swamps, which 
have previously been inundated from the Glade : the inland com- 
munication from New river to cape Florida, is from the head of New 
river to the head of the Rio Ratones through the Glade. On the form- 
er are some occasional spots of good land, with elevated pine lands 
healthy and of good quality. The Ratones discharge into the head 
of the Bay of Key Biscayne, somewhat as delineated in the latest 
charts of the Florida coast, but no good land is to be found except 
immediately behind Cape Florida, where a small piece of hammock 
exists on the high rocky front generally, as upon Key Biscayne Bank : 
a little further south, strips of similar growth are occasionally to be 



IbuncI, bnt beyond all are pine lands and mangroves, as far as tb^ 
vicinity of cape Sable, and even tbere but in very small quantities. 
From cape Sable to cape Romano, the land is low with mangrove 
bushes, closing the banks of small streams draining from the Great 
Glade, with small pieces of hammock and long necks of pine land 
intermixed. Forests of pine are known to extend on the coast froni 
cape Romano to Charlotte harbour, intermixed with excellent pie- 
ces of hammock, but beyond that it is not pretended to make any 
statement in this report. 

The Glade, or as it is emphatically termed the Never Glade, appears 
to occupy almost the whole interior from about the parallel of Jupi- 
ter inlet to cape Florida, thence round to cape Sable to which 
point it approaches very near, and northwardly as far as the Dela- 
ware river discharging into Charlotte bay : its general appearance 
is a flat sandy surface mixed in the large stones and rocks, with from 
six inches to two feet of water lying upon it, in which is a growth of 
saw, and other water grasses, so thick as to impede the passage of 
boats where there is no current. Over this are a number of islands 
and promontories, many of which are altogether of hammock growth, 
with mixtures of pine and cabbage tree land, each spot doubtless 
capable in some degree of cultivation ; but deteriorated by being pla- 
ced in a situation so difficult of access, and exhibiting so forbidding an 
aspect, that for the present the attempts to penetrate across have 
been repelled, and the dissatisfied traveller has been sent back una- 
ble to complete the object of his mission, and confused in his effort to 
tread the mazes of this labyrinth of morasses. Towards its northern 
end however it contracts considerably, and then changes somewhat 
of its character by assuming the appearance of an open cypress 
pond, which extends to the great swamp and savanna at the head of 
the river St. John and Ocklawaha, and here is a passage across ; for 
it is a well ascertained fact, corroborated particularly in the author's 
last voyage undertaken on the Peninsula, that the crossing place of 


ike Indians is made In a direction west of Jupiter inlet, and in their 
travels from the nation, by crossing the Haflfiia or Manatee river, 
and journeying in a S, E. course along the edge of the savanna 
swamp or morass to the narrowest spot, the passage over which oc- 
cupies three days continued travel in water. 

The determination of the circumstance of this immense body o* 
low land occupying the whole southern interior of East Florida, easi- 
ly affords an explanation of those delineations upon antient maps, re- 
presenting it as cut up by rivers and lagoons, communicating with 
each other and the sea ; and it is by no means improbable that the 
knowledge of its existence, prevented the late government from com- 
ciencing settlements in a country of so little promise, for had the re- 
gions boasted of as equal to Cuba existed here, there is enough of 
speculation in that island, to have improved the land of promise long 
before this period. 

On looking back over the preceding pages the reader must be 
struck with the reflection, that the sources from whence the various 
water courses of the Eastern coast of Florida originate, are not the 
pure springs of a hilly region, but a sevies of connected reservoirs, 
from whence exude in languid streams their vast collections of wa- 
ters, a circumstance which under the almost tropical sun of this 
country might produce eternal diseases, had not the provident hand 
of nature raised a border of high lands nearly all around upon the 
sea coast of considerable breadth, and sent the never failing eastern 
wind to drive back the miasmae to the interior : this belt appears to 
average five or six miles across including varieties of soil ; and while 
the future settlers upon the east coast of Florida, may be assured of 
no sickness assailing them from the marsh behind, they are protect- 
ed from the encroachments of, and inconveniences attendant on a 
direct exposure to the ocean, by a narrow strip of land intervening 
between the sea and the long lagoons, that run in a parallel direction 


to the coast, on its whole extent nearly, affording an inland navigation 
almost uninterrupted and which cannot but soon be fully perfected. 

The Florida reef and chain of keys commence at Key Biscayne or 
cape Florida. They are sufficiently interesting to be made the 
subject of a separate section, and therefore we go at once to cape 
Sable, the southern promontory on the side of the gulf of Mexico. 

The advantages on this western side are not so equal, as in general 
from cape Sable to punta Largo, the land is low and covered with man- 
groves ; north of the latter promontory the belt around the central 
marsli is wider, and a succession of high pine lands with rich ham- 
mocks thickly intermixed, and a similar coast to that upon the Atlan- 
tic, make the extent as far as Tampa bay on a level with it in most 

Immediately off cape Sable within musket shot of the shore, is a 
safe anchorage at all times in nine feet water. At Cape Sable 
or punta Tancha there are actually three capes, at the middle one 
of which are fresh water wells : these wells are distinguished by a 
tuft of button trees or white mangroves, being the only trees on 
the point. « 

The land at these capes and for some miles eastwardly is very 
good ; of a rich grey soil thickly mixed in with broken shells, pre- 
senting an even surface like a meadow, without a bush : this was 
called many years ago the Yamasee old field, but there appears 
every reason to suppose it a natural prairie. Behind this strip of 
land which is but narrow, rise hammocks of the usual width, 
and beyond a boundless savanna, the soil of which is richly alluvial 
and perfectly dry for a great distance ; but mingling at length with 
the Ever Glades. Among the numerous tropical productions in the 
hammocks are a few trees called Huava, of the palm family, from 
the leaves of which the fine straw Havana hats are made : some 
live oaks and vines of an amazing size. If coffee can be produced 


at all in Florida, this is the spot where it may be expecteil to suc- 

Cape Sable creek, immediately north of punta Tancha runs up in 
about an E. N. E. course through mangrove islands, marsh and 
clusters of hammocks, among the growth of which are cedar and 
small mahogany ; it spreads occasionally into lakes, and heads like 
all the other streams in the Eternal Glades. 

The bight between cape Sable and punta Largo, or cape Romano, 
is called the bay of Juan Ponce de Leon, the upper or northern 
part being known as Chatham bay : here the Delaware or Gallivan's 
river discharges itself over a bar of eight feet water. This is a beau- 
tiful stream, and its high banks present most eligible scites for a town ; 
the lands on each side are represented as rich and luxuriant ; it 
heads in lake Macaco, or at all events in large lagoons in the re- 
cesses of the Ever Glade morass. 

Immediately under cape Romano is anchorage for vessels of ten 
feet : from the cape to bay Carlos the coast is low, with forests o 
pine coming almost down to the edge of the sea. The river Coo 
lasahatchie is the only stream of importance between these places 

Charlotte harbour has four inlets formed by a chain of islands 
upon the bar of the largest entrance is sixteen feet water. The bay 
within is spacious and sheltered ; it receives the waters of Charlotte 
river, a large and powerful stream with several large branches, and 
heading in lake Macaco. Although this lake is laid down on the 
map, yet its existence does not appear to have been actually ascer- 
tained by recent observations : so many former accounts however 
speak of it, giving it a location, that it has not been thought proper 
to omit it altogether, for there must be various collections of water 
in the Ever Glades, which to the eye of a hasty traveller might well 
appear as lakes and lagoons. Between Charlotte harbour and 
Tampa bay the land is double, that is, an inland navigation is afforded 
between the ocean and the main land by a chain of islands : this is 


not quite complete, but the coast partakes more of the characteF 
of the Atlantic seaboard than it has hitherto done. 

Spirito Santo or Tampa bay is a spacious harbour, admitting vessels 
of twenty-four feet draught of water : it penetrates the coast in 
nearly an easterly direction, being some miles in width ; at its upper 
end it divides ; the north-western is called Tampa bay proper, the 
north-eastern takes the designation of Hillsborough bay. Tampa 
bay proper is only a shallow lagoon which receives no tributary 
waters ; two or three rivers discharge into Hillsborough bay. The 
various contradictory names given to them at different times, render 
it difficult to determine what are their respective true appellations. 
The lands upon Spirito Santo bay are low, but immediately back to 
the north-east they rise into beautiful undulations to the east and 
south-east. The plains of the Haffia are fertile, extensive and pleas- 
ing. There appears but little doubt that the savannas and low 
grounds at the head of this river extend to and connect with those, 
whence emanate the Ocklawaha and St. John's rivers, a circum 
stance that will be more apparent when the interior of the country 
is described. 

From Tampa bay to the mouth of the Amisura river the coast is 
low, and the entrance to that stream is very shallow and extremely 
difficult to find : it is much to be lamented that so fine a water 
should have so shallow an outlet ; it forks a few miles up, the N. E. 
branch heading up the near skirts of what is known as the Alachua 
country ; the S. E. branches receive the waters from the large 
bodies of hammock and other rich land, lying near the present Indian 
towns, meandering through a beautiful region. A very wide and 
shallow bay extends from the mouth of the Amisura to that of the 
Suwanee : the coast is low and broken, and clusters of small keys 
are spread along. Several minor streams fdl into the northern part 
of this large indentation, which receives the particular denomina- 
tion of Vacasassy bay, from an antient Indian village in that vicinity. 


The Suvvanee, formerly called the San Juan, and corrupted by the 
Indian negroes to its present appellation, is a magnificent river ; 
by the quantity of mud and sand from the fresh water brought 
down, a large bar has been formed at the mouth, and the land ap- 
pears like the Missisippi, by the alluvial depositions, to have en- 
croached upon the sea. A low coast covered with cabbage trees 
intervenes to the entrance of the Chattahatchie or Saint Pedro river, 
which comes from the northward, heading about the Georgia lines, 
near the place where antient Spanish settlements once existed. 
Some miles further west the Ausilly, a handsome stream, falls into 
the bay of Appalachie ; its source is in the western parts of Georgia ; 
heavy inundations in the rainy seasons cover the banks of these wa- 
ters for many miles, and render a circuitous route to fort St. Marks 
absolutely necessary. 

The estuary at the head of the Bay of Appalachie receives two 
small rivers, at the junction of which is placed the small fortifica- 
tion of St. Marks : this post has never increased beyond a military 
position, to which the troops were generally confined : a trading house 
for the Indians has generally been established here. St. Mark's ri- 
ver heads some few miles to the N. E. at the Mickasukee towns, and 
the Wackhulla or Tagabona at the Talahassie hammocks near the 
scite of the old settlements of St. Louis. The Ocklockonne Bay re- 
ceives the waters of the river of that name and of several smaller 
streams ; and there is an inland navigation to New river which is 
continued along St. George's sound to the mouth of the Appalachico- 
la river, which is the true boundary of East and West Florida. 

The lower parts of the rivers are subject to very deep and an- 
nualinundations, but the whole country from the Georgia line, many 
miles south from the bluff on the Appalachicola to the banks of the 
Suvvanee is covered with fine rich hammocks, which have a great 
reputation for fertility. It is upon all the ungranted lands between 
these two latter rivers, that a project has been made, and probably 


will be executed for the purpose of concentrating all the Indians of 
both Floridas. 

St. Joseph's bay and inlet is the first harbour in West Florida 
after doubling cape St. Bias ; it may be used as a shelter from hur- 
ricanesi or violent gales with much advantage for small vessels, as 
may also St. Andrew's bay, which is a deep estuary with several 
arms receiving the waters of Ekanfinna river. 

Santa Rosa inlet, thirty miles further to the westward, conducts 
to tlie bay of that name, which is of very great extent. The Choc- 
tawhatchie river, and all its tributary streams discharge into the east- 
ern end of this bay ; and near the western end a number of small 
boggy creeks drain the valiies of the adjacent pine lands. 

An inland navigation behind Santa Rosa Island conducts to the ce- 
lebrated harbour of Pensacola, which spreading two large arms 
deep into the interior collects the Yellow water river, Middle ri- 
ver and its numerous branches ; the Escambia and its labyrinth of 
adjacent waters, and several smaller and less important streams. 

Upon a dry healthy point of land and fronting the ocean is built 
the town of Pensacola, which only wants the hand of protection ap- 
plied, and the spirit of enterprise diffused over it to cause its in- 
crease and prosperity : possessing a deep entrance and notwith- 
standing its recent severe affliction, having every assurance of health, 
it might become the depot for all those productions which are now 
placed at Mobile : a very small canal would unite the two bays, 
and thus open the channel for the tide of commerce : but th 3 can 
only be expected by the union of both towns under the same state 

Before proceeding to a description of the interior of the provinces, 
the author claims the privilege of introducing a few remarks on the 
political connexion between East and West Florida, which have 
arisen from a review of the attendant circumstances, and as it con- 
tains the concurrent opinions of many well wishers to both provin- 
ces, he offers it respectfully to the public. 


West Florida has been gradually pared down to the present rem- 
nant ; the large portions of country which have successively fallen 
to the share of Louisiana, Missisippi and Alabama have left bnt a 
narrow strip of land between the Perdido and Appalachicola rivers : 
and deprived of its original ports of New-Orleans and Mobile, West 
Florida must, like Poland, be distributed among the adjoining states : 
it will disappear from the map of America, by the ultimate ann xa- 
tion of Pensacola and the remaining portion of territory to Alabama, 
a step called for by reason and polity. 

That such a course must be highly desirable for East Florida, 
will be readily acknowledged on a consideration of the subject: and 
it can easily be conceded, that it will not in an} wise interfere 
with the national question of the entrance of another state into the 

From their more geographical juxta-position, East and West Flo- 
rida have been perhaps considered by those at a distance as integral- 
ly united : that this is by no means the case is but too well known to 
their inhabitants ; for sodissimilar are their opinions, that even in this 
early stage of their independent existence, dissensions and discor- 
dance have sprung up, which a separate administration instead of 
conciliating appears rather to have tended to foster, and the dispute 
as to the seat of territorial government has already assumed a deci- 
ded shape. 

The eligible intended location of the Florida Indians between 
the Appalachicola and Suwanee rivers, will in addition to the present 
obstructed communication, place an Indian country between East 
and West Florida, and thvas consummate the separation, which will 
then only want the fiat of Congress to render politically permanent. 

The annexation of West Florida to Alabama will not add another 
representative in Congress to the latter commonwealth, nor will it 
prevent Florida from assuming its place in the Federal Union in 
dne timo, by abstracting so much population ; for it is towards East 



Florida alone that the great mass of emigration will roll ; the warm- 
er latitudes ot the peninsula hold out anticipations of more lucrative 
productions than West Florida : that country not extending heyond 
the parallel already tried by our citizens, cannot present attractions 
superior to the region between lake Borgne and Mobile, where is 
found a soil at all events equal to any in West Florida. 

Why should the Federal Government be burtbened at present 
with a double set of officers ? Or why shuuld the members of the 
territorial legislature, be alternately condemned to emigrate as it 
were to each extreme of the country. At present while the popula- 
tion of West Florida is but few, it can be but a matter of indifference 
to any but the residents of Pensacola, whether they obey the laws 
of Alabamnor Florida ; their rights are in either case equal ; and the 
views of those who look for the aggrandizement of Pensacola, by the 
disunion of the trade of the interior from the bay of Mobile to that 
of the former place, can only be realized by an annexation to Ala- 
bama. Pensacola can never be the seat of government ; and while 
its citizens claim an imaginary honor, by seeking to keep it under its 
antient rules, they prevent the very advantages they sigh for. 

On casting a view over the map of the United States, the most un- 
reflecting observer must be struck with the mere geographical pro- 
priety of the annexation ; a step that would relieve the general go- 
vernment of a contribution, accelerate the organization of West Flo- 
rida, diminish the coming taxes, and take a dead weight from off the 
remaining part of the territory. 

As a matter of general interest to both provinces, it may be re- 
marked that under the present organization, the governor cannot give 
his attention to one section without detriment to the other, and where 
the laws of Congress require certain oaths and formalities to be made 
before him by the territorial officers, months may elapse and the 
public interests suffer ere it can be done. 

In thus hastily marking a few of the principle reasons for the an- 


tiexation, the author deprecates the idea of being supposed to ad- 
vocate the interests of East, at the expense of those of West Florida : 
he is perfectl}' convinced that it would be to their mutual advantage 
in every respect, and appeals to their own good sense to confirm that 
such is the case. 

Having in the preceding pages briefly sketched an outline of the 
coast, we may proceed to examine the interior by counties, into 
which it has lately been divided by the legislative council of 

Escambia County comprehends all tliat part of West Florida lying 
between the Perdido and Appalachicola rivers, with Pensacola as the 
seat of justice. In the immediate neighbourhood of this city the 
character of the land is dry and sandy, its scite having been chosen 
for health. The good lands on the Coenecuh and Escambia rivers 
do not begin until their forks at Miller's, the lower parts being sub- 
ject to be overflown ; the same holds good of the other waters dis- 
charging into the bay of Pensacola. Immense ridges of pine lands 
fill up the space from the banks of the Yellow Water to the Choc- 
tawhatchie, but on the head branches of both these rivers, near the 
northern line of the province, good lands are to be found, which will 
doubtless repay the labour of the industrious planter. 

There are many Indian paths through this county, one particu- 
larly leading from near the mouths of the Choctawhatchie, all along 
the sea beach to the Signal tower at the entrance of Pensacola 
harbour : another traverses the pine ridges from the Coosada old 
town to the east point opposite the city of Pensacola : another leads 
from the same place, going round the heads of the branches of the 
Yellow-water, Middle and Coenecuh rivers. This latter river is 
navigable for small craft to the northward of the dividing line of the 
31st degree of north latitude between Florida and Alabama, though 
the tide flows up but a few miles. The Choctawhatchie and its 


principal tributary branches are likewise navigable as far up as tKe 
Coosada old town nearly, and the produce will readily tind its way 
to Pensacola, by way of Santa Rosa sound. 

The former harbour abounds with tine scale and shell fish, but a 
vessel lying in its waters not coppered would be ruined in two 
months by the ivorms : craft obliged to remain there ought to be 
hove down, cleaned and payed once in five or six weeks. 

It is more than probable that the northern parts of this and the 
adjacent counties of Jackson and Duval, are subject in the autumn 
to those bilious intermittent disorders known commonly at the south 
as the country fevers. So entirely continental is their situation 
that it cannot be expected they are different ; but the deep indenta- 
tion of the salt waters of I'ensacola and Santa Rosa bays, with the 
high sandy ridges in their vicinities, induce an expectation of health. 
The last summer has most unfortunately desolated the town of Pen- 
sacola, but this is the first time such a calamity has been known 
there, and without attempting to enter into the doctrine of importa- 
tion or local generation of yellow fever, we may naturally infer that 
the origin of that fatal disorder was in this instance far from being 

Respecting the culture most favourable for the soil of Escambia 
county, the trials in the neighbourhood of Mobile will best decide : 
it is certainly a fact that there is a greater degree of cold in this 
part of Florida than on the same parallel on the Atlantic coast, 
though not so much more as to prevent the cultivation of the sugar 
cane on favourable spots ; but it appears undoubted that the varie- 
ties of the grape may be introduced, and by a judicious culture be 
made much more profitable than can be expected from cotton, whose 
daily declining price forcibly tells us that the growth is far beyond 
the demand, and no alteration is apparently to take place for some 
time. It cannot however be disguised that fertihty is by no means 


the general characteristic of Escambia county, although many spots 
are to be found equal to the most favoured situations in the southern 

Jackson County comprehends the remainder of West Florida, to 
.which in order as it were to amalgamate the two provinces, a large 
section from East Florida has been annexed, extending as far as the 

The characteristics of the seaboard of this county are similar io 
those of Escambia, as far at least as cape St. Bias : the line of dis- 
tinction between the upper and lower parts of the district thus far is 
distinctly traced by a chain of hilly lands of a romantic character. 
Over the Ekantinna river is a natural bridge of rocks, a singularity 
,which distinguishes several parts of Florida. 

North of the Weemico and in the forks between the Chamiooly 
and Appilachicola rivers, are extensive tracts of fertile land : over 
the Chamiooly is another natural bridge, and a series of small Indian 
towns, one built on the right bank of the latter as far up almost as 
the Alabama line • this region is extremely well watered, but from 
its geographical position must be subject to the annual endemics of 
the adjacent territories. 

The Appalachicola river has near its mouth, many channels to 
discharge the vast volumes of water brought down ; upon these 
islands rich crops of rice and sugar may doubtless be raised, as well 
as upon the adjacent banks. The town of Colinton is laid off on 
Prospect bluff, where fort Gadsden, better known as the Negro fort 
once stood : it was here that a large body of refugee slaves took a 
desperate stand, and were almost wholly annihilated by the blowing 
up of their magazine when attacked by the troops of the United 
States. This town will probably become a commercial place, 
though the bar here having but twelve feet water, will prove as in 
some other parts of Florida, a serious drawback. 

The large region between the Appalachicola and St. Mark's rivers, 


bounded northwardly by the old Indian path from the Spanish bluffs 
to that fort, is the purchase made by the house of Panton, Leslie 
and Co. which is now known under the firm of John Forbes &. Co. 
of Matanzas in the island of Cuba; it is commonly called Forbes's pur- 
chase, having been bought by that house from the Indians under the 
sanction of the Spanish government, for vast debts due by the va- 
rious Indians at the respective trading houses of the firm in Florida, 
of which they had an exclusive monopoly ; the northern parts of this 
purchase are very fine lands, which character extends to the Geor- 
gia boundar3\ There are of course large tracts of pine, but these 
are by no means of the worst quality. A variety of rich grounds 
stretch in a N. E. direction from this tract to the Mikasukie towns, 
and at the banks of the Ocklockonne commence that series, of old 
settlements, which extend along the main path to St. John's river. 
The traditions concerning these places are that they were peopled 
by small colonies of Spaniards, but when, is lost in the lap&e of ages ; 
yet the numerous Spanish names which still exist, though corrupt- 
ed, seem to corroborate the assertion. The period of this coloniza- 
tion must have been some time in the seventeenth century : Romans 
states that there was in his time a church bell lying in the old fields 
near the Santafe, or as it is now called the Santaffy river. 

Two principal paths lead through Jackson county ; one running 
parallel with the sea coast from the White Kings town on the Suwa- 
nee to fort St. Marks, often impassable by inundations ; thence tra- 
versing Forbes's purchase, crossing the Appalachicola at the Span- 
ish bluffs, and after traversing the Ekanfinna over the natural bridge, 
proceeds to the head of Santa Rosa bay. The other road leaves the 
Suawanee many miles higher up, and passing through Mikasukie and 
by fort Scott on the frontiers of Georgia, crosses Chattahootchie and 
Flint rivers above their junction. Here the road branches, one pass- 
ing the Chamiooly over a natural bridge, and joining the southern 
road near the head of St. Andrew's bay ; the other continues near- 


ly parallel to the Alabama line to the Coosada old town. In commti- 
nicating between Pensacolaand St. Augustine neither of these roads 
are used, as the fords and ferries are scarcely ever practicable, and 
there are no accoaimodations, and scarcely inhabitants. The jour- 
ney is performed by a circuitous route through Georgia and Alaba- 
ma ; nor is this great inconvenience likely to be soon remedied, as 
the travelling will be long too limited to induce persons to establish 
regular places of rest along so solitary a route ; and even should the 
Indians not be concentrated here as has been proposed, several 
years must elapse before United States' sales can be effected, and 
population come in ; and except Forbes's purchase, it is believed 
that no concessions have been made in this section. 

The Suwanee river divides Jackson and Duval counties, and as 
well as some of its chief tributary waters take rise in Georgia. The 
Outhlacuchy has long ramifications and comes from the N. W. 

The Alapapaha to which name the title Suwanee gives place above 
its junction with the Little Suwanee, has two equal branches which 
come from the north, after watertug a large extent of land in Geor- 
gia. The little Suwanee or little St. John's river heads in the cele- 
brated Oke-fin-o-cau swamp, and is almost the only drain that large 
tract of low land has The recent surveys of the new counties of 
Georgia have demonstrated the size of the Oke-fin-o-cau to be very 
much less than was originally supposed : some of the earlier maps 
have represented it as occupying half the distance to the Flint and 
Chattahootchie rivers. 

Too little is known of the general interior of Jackson county to 
give such minute topographical detail as is desirable, and unable to 
speak decidedly on many points, the author has judged it more advi- 
sable to be silent, than to swell his pages with mere speculative ob- 
servations on an unexplored territory. 

Duval county lies north of a line, dravfn from the Cowford upon 
St. John's river to the moutU of Suwanee, and is naturally subdivi- 


ded into two districts of different sizes : which Brandy creek falling 
into the St. Mary's, seems to separate the western subdivision : be- 
tween the Georgia boundary and the head branches of the north 
arm of the Santafly river, are pine lands which are mostly low : on 
the left bank of the Suwanee, and on New river, as well as the little 
St. John's, fertile lands are to be met with : but the general appear, 
ance is unprepossessing, although in the centre a ridge of more ele- 
vated country spreads along, dividing the waters that flow into the 
opposite seas. But around the Santaffy and all its streams, an undu- 
lating pleasing landscape and rich productive lands commence, giving 
indications of a material change being about to be observed, and we 
enter a region which will be more minutely described presently. 

We pause an instant here to mention the singular circumstances 
of the Santaffy river, some considerable distance from itsjunction 
with the Suwanee, sinking into the earth and rising again at a distance 
of three miles : this space is called the Natural bridge, and here an 
Indian path crosses : it is stated that in times of high freshets, the 
space above the subterraneous channel is inundated, and that on those 
occasions a parallel current runs over it : Weechatomoka creek, 
a branch of the Santaffy. has a similar singularity, sinking precisely 
in the same manner for half a mile. A few miles below the White 
Kings old town on the Suwanee, upon the left bank, is the spring 
mentioned by the younger Bartram in his travels, wherein the mana- 
tee or sea-cow is often seen and sometimes caught. 

The easterner maritime district of Duval county contains Nassau 
river and its numerous prongs, and little St. Mary's river : the lands 
upon all these waters are in general very fine and peculiarly well 
adapted for the cultivation of sea-island cotton. A large body of 
population are concentrated here, which was the northern district of 
East Florida alluded to in a former part of these observations. 

Deep marshes fringe the lower part of St. Mary's and Nassau 
rivers, and the connecting inland navigation. A large road, formerly 


kept in excellent repair leads from the Cowford on St. John's river, 
to Coleraine and camp Pinckney on the St. Mary's : it is part of 
what was once called the King's road, and is the only direct outlet 
by land from St. Augustine. After passing the head svVamps of Nas- 
sau river, a path leads down to Waterman's bluff, on Belle river, 
nearly opposite the town of St. Mary's : near Coleraine another path 
diverges southwardly leading to the Alachua country, and an old 
trail exists from the Cowford ferry, crossing the high hills that di- 
vide the waters of Black creek from those of St. Mary's river, and 
leading round the head branches of the Santaffy to Suwanee river. 

It is along the King's road that the mail should come to St. Augus- 
tine : Jefferson in Georgia being made the distributing post office, 
instead of St. Mary's ; whence at present it is sent by water as far as 
Pablo creek at the mouth of the St. John's river ; much time, dis- 
tance and inconvenience would be saved by this arrangement, and 
a semi-weekly instead of a weekly post, be established to the capital 
of East Florida. 

Probably Duval county will receive the first impressions of an in- 
flux of population, which must speedily be spread over the country : 
it presents many attractions, and its vicinity to Georgia may induce 
the inhabitants of that state, who are already very favorably impres- 
sed with Florida, to make it their abode. Not many grants are in 
the western district, though probably the maritime portion is nearly 
all covered with larger or smaller concessions. 

Saint John's county includes the remainder of the peninsula of 
East Florida, south of the line drawn from the Cowford ferry, on St. 
John's river, to the mouth of the Suwanee. It is from this division 
of the new territory, that greater expectations are formed on account 
of its extending into tropical regions : in order to treat of it more sys- 
tematically, it will be adviseable to distribute the country into cer- 
tain subdivisions : making all to the eastward of St. John's river the 
subject of one, and all to the westward of another ; the tvyenty-eighth 



degree of latitude being the southern line of these two : and again 
below that parallel, considering the chain of low lands as a division 
between the Atlantic and Mexican districts of the rest of Florida. 

The first of these subdivisions is the extent upon which almost all 
the previous elfortsof its European possessors were lavished, to bring 
it forward in civilization and agricultural improvement : within 
this narrow neck of land, with the exception of the maritime part of 
Dnval county, all the white population of East Florida has been 
concentrated, and in the Spanish regime absolutely confined, for 
few if any ventured to cross the river St. John above Black creek, 
deterred by the hostile attitude of the Indians. 

The general characteristic of this portion of Florida is flat, and 
unprepossessing : but there are upon ii many fertile tracts which 
will, when the hand of industry is judicially applied yield profitable 
returns. It is remarkable that this part of the new country, which 
had once made large advances in. the path of civilization, should have 
so retrograted and have become in many parts as great a wilderness 
as in its primitive state : the withering influence of the old system 
of Spanish government perhaps occasioned this, by hitherto casting 
its blight around, and for forty years impeding the natural advantages 
of the country from being improved, by those willing and capable of 
the task. 

In all the accounts which have appeared respecting the peninsula 
of East Florida, it has been a customary and primary remark that 
the river St. John was the most prominent feature ; the observation 
must be reiterated ; that majestic flow of water occupying so remark- 
able a place on the map, the appearance of the channel of its course 
being so varied, and the magnificent growth of timber clothing its 
banks, gives it at once to the eye of a traveller the importance assign- 
ed to it by all writers. Hitherto its source has been considered as 
undetermined ; but the late exploring and surveying expedition of 
captain Le Conte of the United States' Topographical Engineers has 


set that question at rest : indeed the elder Bartram fifty years 
since, pursued the same route and arrived at the identical head lake, 
which terminated captain Le Conte's expedition. 

Tracing it back from its mouth, we find that lying in latitude 30° 
18' N. with twelve feet water on the bar at^rdinary tides : the dis- 
tance between the nearest points of land is about one mile ; the first 
remarkable place after parsing the mouth of Pablo creek is Kingsley's 
bluff, six or seven miles from the entrance on the right bank ; it is 
about twenty-five feet high, with a table land of some extent, pre- 
senting an eligible scite for a town, which it is the intention of the 
proprietor to lay out. The ship-yard on the same blufl", is well 
adapted for the purposes which its name indicates. 

The Cowford or pass St. Nicholas, twenty eight miles from the 
bar, is distinguished by its narrowness, being scarcely one thousand 
yards across, contrasting with the other reaches of the stream which 
are very wide. The high road laid out by the British and kept up 
by them and still called the King's road, crosses here. 

The line of the river which thus far has been perpendicular to 
the trend of the sea coast, here suddenly forms a right angle beco- 
ming parallel thereto, and for the next thirty or forty miles dilates 
into succession of lakes or deep bays, never less than three and some- 
times exceeding six miles in breadth. At one of the widest parts, 
a few miles above the Cowford, is the mouth of Black creek, naviga- 
ble fifteen miles for large vessels to the forks. A few miles above 
the mouth of Black creek stands the old block house of Picolati : no- 
thing remains of it except two of the shattered walls, through which 
loop holes and meiUrieres are pierced : it stands on a low bluff and 
half concealed by the luxuriant branches of surrounding trees, it 
reminds the visitor who views it from the river, of the desarlpci cas- 
tellated residence of some anlient feudal lord. On the opposite 
or west side of the St. John's was fort Poppa, of which scarce a ves- 
tage remains. 


At the old Bueiia Vista station the river begins to wind in reach- 
es, its general direction being still parallel to the ocean. The Ala- 
chua ferry is only one mile across. The stream after passing the 
Devil's Elbow widens again, and receives by several mouths the wa- 
ters of Dunn's lake : passing Buffalo bluff, a beautiful and fertile 
spot, its character is slightly varied by a chain of swamp islands, of 
which Bartram makes mention and accurately describes in the third 
chapter of his travels : At the mouth of the Ocklavvaha, the river ex- 
pands into a little lake and continues in that character to lake George 
•whose entrance is covered by Drayton's island. After crossing this 
beautiful piece of water, which is about eighteen miles in length and 
eight or nine in breadth, the St. John's may be rightly designated as 
a river. 

The western banks of lake George are almost wholly pine : two 
beautiful streams called the Salt and Silver springs empty on this 
side : behind the pine ridges, extensive tracts of scrub land occupy 
almost the whole neck between lake George and the Ocklawaha 
river, extending southwardly in long prongs for many miles. The 
eastern banks have several orange groves, but the hammocks are 
not deep ; indeed' the isthmus between lake George and Dunn's 
lake is chiefly pine lands. 

A bar at the south >vard of lake George, prevents the passage of 
vessels drawing more than live feet water, up the river : a few miles 
beyond is the Volusia settlement, on the east side of the St. John's, a 
flourishing and well settled plantation, where the sugar cane has this 
last year been raised with the most flattering prospects, having ri- 
pened nearly six feet by the middle of November. Hope kill esta- 
Wishment, a little higher up, is also a good tract of land, and settling 
with much enterprise. 

Spring-garden branch comes through a tract of rich land, and aug- 
ments the volume of the St. John's, which here begins to wind and 
pursue a tortuous course, driving almost in a S. E. direction : Alex- 


ander's creek comes in near a small lake, on the banks of which is 
an old settlement called Beresford's cowpen : beyond this the 
stream grows narrow, and at length heads in a lake of about ten 
miles in perimeter, beyond which there is no visible progress. The 
latitude of this place is about 28° 40' N. according to captain Le 
Conte's observations. 

From Alexander's creek upwards the St. John's meanders through 
extensive fresh marshes, dotted with islets of orange and live oak 
growth. At the head lake the water is several feet deep, and flows 
through the thick saw grass, flags and rushes, with some considera'- 
ble current ; and as far as the eye can reach the marsh or savanna 
appears to be interminable : its extent cannot be accurately defined, 
but from the circumstance of the impracticability of even Indians tra- 
velling in certain directions, it would appear that it has several 
branches, one of which undoubtedly connects with the head of the 
N. W. branch of Indian river ; another continues parallel to the 
coast, and is the same which has been found only three miles back 
from Indian river at the parallel of cape Canaveral : a third prong 
joins the marshes from whence the Ocklawaha river takes its rise, 
while the main branch loses itself in the deep cypress swamps and 
lagoons that extend to the Ever-Glade morass, an arm leading most 
undoubtedly to the source of the Hafiia or Manatee river, which 
originates also in a similar marsh, and flows into Spirito Santo bay. 

The lands immediately on the borders of Dunn's lake are not of 
the first quality, but Haw creek and its numerous ramifications 
which are the chief supply of the lake, come through extensive 
savannas, which promise to be future sugar fields, and appear ca- 
pable of being brought into cultivation when properly drained. 

The number of settlements that once adorned the banks of St. 
John's river have disappeared, in consequence of the Indian wars 
and other causes before alluded to ; and in sailing up that majestic 


stream an air of stillness impresses the beholder with the idea that 
he is navigating the waters of an uninhabited and new country. 

The future prospects we may consider as more flattering ; for 
in estimating the value of our new territory, we have accounted up- 
on what it will be when fully settled, rather than what it now is. 

Above lake George the lands though in general low, may be con- 
sidered as capable of producing various lucrative articles, for the 
rise of the river is not of that sudden or great nature as to inundate 
and destroy ; and it may by trifling embankments be, easily alto- 
gether prevented from flowing on the soil. 

The lands on the margin of St. John's river below lake George, 
are hammock and swamp of all qualities, seldom more than half a 
mile wide ; behind this all are pjne lands, both between the river 
and the hammocks and swamps, that run parallel to and at a small 
distance from the Atlantic ocean. The Twelve-mile swamp, and a 
few veins of good land on the large tributary creeks on each side of 
the river are exceptions. 

The Diego plains, the hammocks and swamps of Pablo creek, 
North river and Guana creek, are very good lands and convenient 
lo market. To the southward of St. yVugustine, rich fertile ham- 
mocks and swamps are found on the margin of Matanzas, Halifax, 
Mosquito, and Indian rivers or lagoons, and upon the creeks that 
empty into them. 

Great quantities of live oak of the largest size were once to be 
found, but the timber fit for the first rate vessels of war is already 
scarce, and so far back from navigable waters as to render its trans- 
poffttion nearly impracticable. It is no longer to be found to any 
considerable extent on the St. John's river or its tributary creeks. 
Some small portions yet remain on the banks of the North river, and 
on Diego plains, but it is feared that until a canal is made that the 
wood is scarcely accessible at the latter place. On Dunn's lake 
there is but very little ; the present supply is obtained only from the 


hammocks on Pablo creek and Halifax river. At the head of Indian 
river and its branches, there is some live oak timber, but it is too 
remote. Cedar is very scarce and but little to be found, except 
upon one or two creeks on the west side of St. John's river. 

Much false expectation has been raised respecting the quantity of 
live oak and cedar in Florida, and these observations are thrown 
out, more with a view,of guarding the unexperienced from indulging 
in this supposition, than pretending to state with precision the real 
extent of resources in this respect. 

There are many roads or paths through this eastern subdivision 
of St. John's county, but only two or three practicable for wheel 
carriages. The King's road from the Cowford to St. Augustine, 
and thence southwardly to the Tomoca settlements at the head of 
Halifax river, is now reopened by the exertions of the inhabitants 
residing in the neighbourhood ; and the road to the mouth of Pab'lo 
creek is at present the mail route, and generally used by visitors to 
St. Augustine. A carriage road also leads from the town to a land- 
ing upon the Six- mile creek, whose mouth is at Picolati, and from 
which landing a short canal might be made to the head of navigation 
on St. Sebastian's river, which flows into the harbour of St. Augus- 
tine. Were this done, which is perfectly practicable, the waters 
of the St. John's being thus connected with an established port, 
much produce would be transported to St. Augustine, whose bar at 
least equals that of St. John's, and a dangerous boat navigation 
through lake Valdez and the bay of Black creek, as well as the other 
wide parts of the river, would be avoided. 

Roads diverge from St. Augustine to various points of the St. 
John's, particularly Kingsley's bluff, Julington creek, Picolati, Buena 
Vista old and new, RoUestown, Dunn's lake, Buffalo bluff, Volusia 
Spring Garden and Beresford's ; and to the settlements at Matan- 
zas, and on the creeks discharging there : these however at present 
are only bridle paths : obscure trails lead from the Tomoca and 


Volusia settlements over the head of the N. W. branch of Indiae 
river, and thence in a southwardly course parallel to that stream. 
A road also goes along the sea beach from opposite to St. Augus- 
tine to the mouth of St. John's. 

The Tvpelve-mile swamp near St. Augustine is equal to any body 
of land in the southern states for fertility : it appears to have been 
first cultivated in 1770, but since the occupancy of Florida by the 
Spaniards scarcely any agricultural operation there was attended to. 
Graham's swamp, between Matanzas inlet and Tomoca, is also a rich 
soil, and the fresh marshes adjacent thereto are very eligible for 
sugar, &c. Colonel Bulovv of South Carolina and some other enter- 
prising planters are forming settlements in and near this place, 
which will doubtless give atone to the undertakings in the country. 

The chain of good lands extends parallel to Halifax river and Mo- 
squito south lagoon down to the head of Indian river. At Ross' old 
settlement on Mosquito lagoon sugar was formerly raised in large 
quantities : as also at the town of New-Smyrna ; to which a body of 
redemptioners from the islands of the Mediterranean were almost kid- 
napped ; and forced to labour until the impositions exercised upon 
them, compelled the unhappy bondsmen to rise on their oppressors, 
and they settled in St. Augustine ; where their descendants form a 
numerous, industrious and virtuous body of people, distinct alike 
from the indolent character of the Spaniard and the rapacious habits 
of some of the strangers who have visited that city since the ex- 
change of flags. In their duties as small farmers, hunters, fisher- 
men, and other laborious but useful occupations, they contribute 
more to the real stability of society than any other class of people : 
generally temperate in their mode of life, and strict in their moral in- 
tegrity, they do not yield the palm to the denizens of the land of 
steady habits : crime is almost unknown among them ; speaking 
their native tongue, they move about distinguished by a primitive 
simplicity and honesty, as remarkable as their speech. 


©f RoUestown, once an equally important settlement, not a vestige 
IS left except a few pits which once were the foundations of large 
buildings, and a long avenue yet distinctly to be traced through the 
forests, the commencement of a grand highway to St. Augustine : 
the object of the founder was singular, in one respect, which con- 
templated the practicability of reforming the morals of a certain 
class of unhappy females, by transplanting them from the purlieus 
of Drury-lane to the solitudes of Florida. 

The planters upon Tomoca river and its vicinity are almost whol- 
ly English settlers from the Bahamas, who quitting those sterile 
rocks, came hither to avail themselves of a better soil : all of them 
have prospered, and several have become very rich by raising sea- 
island cotton, which for some years previous to this period well re- 
paid their labours. 

As the river St. John inclines considerably to the Atlantic shore, 
the country to the westward of it is much wider than the eastern 
subdivision which has been treated of, and is perhaps under all cir- 
cumstances the most interesting part of Florida. The Ocklawaha 
river, which is the principal branch of the St. John's, the Amasura 
discharging into the Gulf of Mexico, most of the streams that empty 
into Spirito Santo bay, Black creek a large tributary of St. John's 
river, all water this district, as also the eastern branches of the 
Santa fly. 

The dividing ridge oC the waters of the Atlantic ocean and the 
gulf of Mexico, is very irregular in its elevation ; at some places it 
scarcely rises into small undulations, in others it swells to considera- 
ble hills : it may perhaps more correctly be designated as a plateau 
of land ; one spur leading from the old Suwanee town, on the river 
of that name, runs parallel to the coast close on the west of the great 
Alachua savanna, where it meets another arm coming from the 
north-cast, running between the sources of Santilasky and Tslachlio- 
saw creeks, and stretching towards the St. John's : the^e united 



proceed in a south-east course, and divide the Ocklawaha and Ami- 
sura rivers, and expanding very considerably have a se;ies of In- 
dian ^iUages planted on them, until as they approach the vast sa' 
vannas in the south they gradually sink down to their level : branch- 
es of this ridge lie on both sides of the Amisura river, and on the 
north west of Spirito Santo bay. A very hilly region is also found 
on the neck which separates the St. John's from the Ocklawaha, 
and bordering close on the latter river. 

The extent, from the waters of the Santaffy in the direction of the 
ridge, and extending on each side, including the Alachua territory, 
down to the head of Spirito Santo bay ; and on the forks of the Ami- 
sura, and other rivers, is a beautiful undulating fertile country, 
containing large bodies of hammock and oak and hickory land, with 
pine lands of a rich soil based on limestone : over this portion of the 
country as in many parts of West Florida nature has scattered a 
number of wells, holes and ponds of ail sizes and various depths, 
many of them sullicient with the protecting shade of the surround- 
ing trees or bushes, to resist the exhausting evaporations produced 
by the fervid glow of the summer sun ; becoming reservoirs of wa- 
ter, cool in the warmest day. Some of these have their banks of 
such a slope as to allow cattle to descend to the water : others are 
of so perpendicular a descent as to require the use of a rope and 
bucket, and all are distinguished by a tuft of hammock trees grow- 
ing around even the smallest, giving a pleasing variety to the mono- 
tony of the pine woods. 

Handsome streams of water are found in almost all the hammocks, 
which on the plateau generally discharge into some pond or lake : 
many of these rivulets afford for two thirds of the year sufficient 
water to drive mills. 

Besides the smaller ponds, a larger kind are often met with, some 
of which are even romantic in their appearance, particularly lake 
Ware, a beautiful sheet of water three miles wide and about five in 


length. In this lake is a beautiful island abounding with groves of 
the bitter-sweet or Seville orange : this was the favourite retreat 
of one of the antient chiefs of the aboriginal inhabitants. Lake 
Pithlachucco and Orange lake are in many parts deep ; most of 
these large waters are in tempestuous weather agitated like a sea. 

The ^reat savannas are also remarkable : after periods of heavy 
falls of rain, they are inundated to the depth of several feet ; but 
when the warm seasons have evaporated this deluge, they often be- 
come so entirely dry that the tire runs over them, and sweeps down 
the tall grass which has sprung up over them to a great height. 

The great Alachua savanna is the most considerable, being but 
seldom entirely free from water. Many curious stories are circula- 
ted among the Indians respecting a whirlpool, where a subterraneous 
discharge of water is said to take place ; but the author has not been 
able to ascertain the fict. A communication exists by a narrow 
cypress swamp, from the Alachua savanna to the head of Orange 
lake : this latter terminates at its eastern extremity in a thick 
swamp, through which its waters gradually oozing, form at length a 
creek, raj»id and deep, but narrow and very circuitous, and abound- 
ing with logs and sand bars : this watef course proceeding in a 
north-east direction, joins the Ocklawaha river. Ockawilla and 
Chicuchaty savannas are very considerable, particularly tlie latter. 

In speaking of the hammocks it should be observed, t'.iat they 
in general surround the large lakes and savannas, though also 
found scattered over the whole face of the country like islets : 
within them however a pond or lake is generally found, and often 
their size is regulated by the extent of this watery nucleus. 
On the exterior of the hammocks the black oak and hickory land is 
disposed and gradually spreads to the pine ridges, on which the hick- 
ory is often found. The pine lands however are not all of the same 
elevated character : many of them being flat and covered with gall 
berry and buckle berry bushes : and sometimes interspersed with 


cypress ponds and bay galls : these however are always In the vicin- 
ity of the sources of the streams, and are but rarely found on the 
plateau; but nevertheless like all the pine ranges, they afford excellent 
pasturage for cattle, and if sown with the artificial grasses would pro- 
cure abundant crops. 

It may be here remarked of the pine lands in general of Florida, 
that they are fertile ; a character strictly applicable, although they 
seem to the superficial view unfit for agriculture, particularly to the 
eye of a northern farmer who from early association of ideas, consid- 
ers pine lands and barrenness as terms synonymous. Luxuriant 
pasture ranges are found every where, and millions of horned cattle 
may be raised with no other trouble than herding and periodically 
burning the grass, which quickly grows again, the tender shoots im- 
parting by their succulency and fragrance, a flavour to the flesh not 
always found in the stall-fed beeves of a city. The chief sup- 
port of the antient Indian population was derived from their countless 
herds of cattle, which a succession of invasions from hostile tribes 
and lawless borderers have now almost wholly exterminated. 

The Amanina river is a beautiful stream, and flows through a tract 
equal to any in these parts ; and but for the impediment of the shal- 
lows at its mouth, would afford a great outlet for produce ; as it is, 
small craft will convey the exports to the great emporium of Spirito 
Santo bay. 

The Ocklawaha river takes its rise in lake Eustis, which like the 
head lagoon of St. John's river, is formed by the accumulation of 
vpaters from the great southern marshes. Its course is parallel to 
the St. John's, and it occasionally expands into lakes as flowing 
Ihrougl) the alluvial soil on its banks. As its course diverges to the 
east to fall into the St. Johns, the vast volumes of water brought with 
rapidity down its narrow channel overflow the low lands, and a la- 
byrinth of islands intervene, from where the Orange lake creek 
joins it, to its junction with the principal stream some miles below 


lake George. These islands are covered with a luxuriant growth 
of tall swamp trees, but so entirely inundated as to make their re- 
demption for cultivation a Herculean task : but which once ef- 
fectually accomplished, would make them mines of wealth, unequal- 
led perhaps by the best Missisippi sugar fields. 

The high lands between the St. John's and Ocklawaha rivers, south 
of the path from the V-olunia to the Indian crossing places, are of the 
same character with those of the p/aieau on the western side of the lat- 
ter stream. North of the above path, large veins of scrubs extend to 
lake George and chiefly fill up the neck. These scrubs and undu- 
lating grounds, consist of a sand of a very small and ferruginous 
grain, producing an infinite variety of dwarf oaks and a number of 
parasitical plants ; where the land swells to a considerable elevation, 
there is generally to be seen a growth of small spruce pines, most of 
which however seem to die, after springing up to the height of 
twei;ityor thirty feet. The wythes and other creeping shrubs which 
interweave with the humble species of oaks, renders a passage very 
difficult, and the paths which are so directed as to cross the scrubs in 
the narrowest part, wind so to take advantage of the intervals be- 
tween the patches of bushes. Water is very scarce here, and only 
found in a few sinks or ponds similar to those in the pine lands, but 
without trees around them. Another kind of land, are the ridges of 
white sand covered with the small black or post oak, commonly call- 
ed black jacks. These are sometimes so thick as to exclude the 
pines, and when this is the case there is scarcely any grass found on 
the sand hills. 

On the southwestern part of the Alachua territory, and extend- 
ing between the Amasura river and the Mexican gulf is a remarka- 
ble tract of country, which presents a curious appearance : the 
whole of the pine lands, which are remarkably handsome from 
their undulating surfaces, were burnt some thirty years since ; 
'ustead of the clear open woods generally seen, masses of young 


pine saplings are thickly spread over the rocky ground, which 
is strewn with half burnt light wood logs, that have not been destroy- 
ed by the action of the air for so many years, wiiile numerous still 
more hardy pieces of timber remain erect though dead, firm as ada- 
mant pillars. Here and there a solitary green pine remains that 
escaped the ravage? of the original fire, which succeeded by almost 
annual ones, have kept the woods in a state of continual undergrowth. 
It is supposed that a space of nearly three hundred square miles 
have been thus devastated, and nothing can be more desolate than 
the situation ofa traveller who bewildered in this labyrinth, roams 
without end over mossy rocks and shaking morasses, impeded at 
every step by the black shapeless logs ; at every eminence he sees 
the same scene repeated, and no end appears to this very remarka- 
ble desert. 

Here and in many other neighboring parts of the extensive 
plateau, rocks are found upon the surface, of every size ; sometimes 
loose, or disposed in curious ridges that to a fonciful imagination, 
wive the idea of the irregular rootings of mammoth swine : these 
rocks and stones consist ofa sileceous nucleus, enveloped in success- 
ive lamina of different formations of lime-stone : there are even occa- 
sionally met with something resembling mill or burr-stones, well 
adapted for sharpening tools and grinding corn. Clay too is found 
here and in thany other parts of these western pine lands. The 
general soil may be deiscribed as consisisting ofa light but rich loam}^ 

It may be mentioned here, being omitted inadvertently in its 
proper place, that a similar scene of devastation exists on the main 
path from the old Suwanee to the Mikasukie towns, though produced 
by a different cause. Many years since, a tornado passed over the 
lands there and prostrated for leagues every tree : so sudden and 
so universal was the effect of the ruin, that immense numbers of the 
deer and other wild animals were crushed to death, besides herds 


of cattle : the Indians and Indian negroes state that the bones of 
the beasts thus suddenly destroyed are to be seen scattered in every 
direction, and it has been asserted, that it is only within latter years 
that the trees have rotted away sufficiently, to allow horses to travel 
along the paths which are thus incumbered. 

It is within the subdivision of St. John's county now under descrip- 
tion, that a large number of the grants and patents issued since 1812 
are ordered to be located : the great Alachua grant to Arredondo 
and Sons of the Havana, and several other extensive patents are 
here : and apart of the purchase of Hackley under the Duke of Ala- 
gon is included in this ; more particular notice of which and the 
other, will be taken in another part of the work. 

The paths through this portion of Florida are numerous : the 
main routes from the Suwanee meet in the centre of the Alachua at 
the town of Micanopy, on the northern bank of Taskavvilla lake ; 
from hence which was the antient capital of the Indian nation, the 
tracts diverge in all directions to Dlack creek, Picolali, Vibrilia 
and Buffalo bluff on the central parts of St. John's river : routes also 
go down to Tampa bay through the chain of Indian villages and set- 
tlements, and to the lower crossing places over the Ocklawaha by 
way of lake Ware, and hence a path leads to Volusia on the St. 
John's above lake George. It is by this latter course that the mail is 
said to have been ordered to travel from Pensacola ; but why it 
should be sent nearly one hundred miles from the straight direction it 
is difhcult to determine : after crossing the Suwanee river it ought to 
pass through Micanopy, and thence either to Vibrilia and new Buena 
Vista on the St. John's, where there is a good ferry established, and 
on to St. Augestine : or from Micanopy to Picolati lower down the 
river. The former route would at present be better, as the stages 
would be more regularly divided ; though in either case, three days 
easy journey, without travelling by night, would bring the mail from 
the Suwanee to St. Augustine. 


Several roads from the eastward and northward meet at Chicuchu" 
ty. and thence go down to the falls on the Haffia, In the northern 
part, paths proceed from Black creek, Picolati, and the Cowford, di- 
rect to the upper part of the Suwanee. 

It is across this part of Florida that at some no distant time a com- 
munication will be established for travellers to New-Orleans. Steam 
boats coming direct from the large northern cities, will enter the 
St. John's and proceed up to some eligible landing, and the passen- 
gers taking stages to the banks of the Suwanee near its mouth, will 
again embark in these ambulating hotels, and proceed along the shores 
of the Gulf of Mexico to New-Orleans : by this route a voyage from 
New-York to the former city may be easily completed in ten days. 

Connecting the waters of Black creek and Santafify rivers by a 
navigable canal of thirty or forty miles a route may be opened, that 
will afford many facilities for bringing the produce that comes down 
to Appalachie bay, to the Atlantic markets, and of conveying the re- 
turns : independent of the fruits of the plantations for many miles 
around the canal. 

The junction of the Ocklawaha and Amisura rivers would require 
a shorter cut, but from the high lands is impracticable in such a 
country : the former river however is navigable almost to its very 
source, and will serve as a channel of exportation of all the agricul- 
tural productions that do not find their outlet by Spirit© Santo bay, 
or the St. John's. 

This portion of Florida which the author has endeavoured to de- 
lineate, contains nearly all the most valuable lands in the territory, 
and may be accounted healthy in almost every spot : the general 
elevation of the land and the openness of the w oods, allows a free 
circulation of the air, set in motion by the winds from either side of 
the peninsula, and uncontaminated by the exhalations from intermin- 
able swamps, and endless bodies of low land. 


We now proceed to examine the remaining two subdivisions, into 
which the county of St. John has been distributed in relation to our 
subject, being all the lands lying below the parallel of the twenty- 
eighth degree of latitude, considering as before mentioned, the chain 
of low lands as a division between the Atlantic and Mexican districts, 
commencing near the head of St. John's river and terminating at the 
mouth of Shark river or cape Sable creek. 

The western part of this descriptive subdivision is exclusively oc- 
cupied by the remainder of the purchase of Hackley from the Duke 
of Alagon alluded to a {"ew pages back : included within these limits 
are the three spacious and celebrated harbors of Tampa, Charlotte 
and Chatham bays, besides a variety of rivers the mouths of which af- 
ford inlets for small coasting vessels. Tampa or more properly Spi- 
rito Santo bay has been described in a former part of these topogra- 
phical observations : it may be remarked in addition here that there 
are two other inlets besides the principle one, each affording from 
twelve to eighteen feet at low water. The coast generally between 
Spirito Santo bay and Charlotte harbor is composed of flat islands in 
front of high forests of pine, behind which there is reason to believe 
the country is chequered with the small masses of hammock disposed 
over an undulating region of fertile pine lands as are found upon the 
plateau in the north and western parts of this country : the authsr 
however has not been able with all diligent research to find any ex- 
isting record of a description of this tract : and consequently no de- 
tail is laid down of it, and but few watercourses appear on the map, 
but when minute information can be procured, it will undoubtedly be 
found well supplied in that respect. The banks of Asternal and 
Charlotte rivers as well as those of the Coolasahfitchie and Delaware 
are well wooded with excellent timber. 

All along this coast down to cape Romano or Punta Larga, the tide 

ebbs and flows only once in twenty four hours with a rise of but 

'three feet : this is increased or diminished according to the prera' 



lence of the winds in the gulf of Mexico : in dry seasons the tide ri- 
ses high in the fresh water rivers being perceptible at some distance 
from the sea. In Chatham bay the tide ebbs and flows what is called 
tide and half tide : that is three hours flood and three hours ebb : 
then nine hours flood and nine hours ebb : the current of the tide is 
very rapid, and the rise is seven feet as far as the point of cape Ro- 
mano, beyond which its influence is not felt. 

From the head of Chatham bay to cape Sable creek, numbers of 
small islands and keys line the coast and several small streams empty. 
Pavilion keys and Lostman's keys are the principal, and like the rest 
as well as the generality of the land on the main, consist of drowned 
mangrove swamps. 

On the margin of some of the small waters, are hills of a rich 
soil which rise among these dreary mangroves, and from the tra- 
ces of antient cultivation yet visible on many of them, were probably 
the last retreats of the Coloosa nation of Indians which has long been 
extinct, having been gradually driven from the country by other 
tribes. The pine lands behind these swamps are computed to be 
at a distance of ten miles from the coast across the mangroves, and 
beyond the narrow ridge they occupy, comes the great Ever-glade 

Scarcely any paths through this subdivision are known except the 
one leading from the falls of the Haflia or Manatee : these falls are 
merely rapids over a bed of secondary limestone rocks, determining 
the head of navigation of that river. This path inclines in a south 
east direction, and traverses the great chain of low lands and the prongs 
of the glades at the narrow parts, known only to a few of the most 
wandering of the Indians ; after many days travelling in water, du- 
ring which they carry witli them prepared provisions and stakes to 
raise them above the level of the inundation while resting, they find 
their way to the Atlantic coast somewhere about Jupiter inlet. 

The vast bodies of low lands that lie south of this trail and fill up 


the interior of the southern extremitj- of the Florida peninsula,appears 
to have scattered over it many tracts of firm land in the form of 
islands and promontories, and though at present a communication 
across appears impracticable, and the accounts from Indians, negroes 
and refugee whites, place it in the worst possible point of view, yet it 
is by no means improbable there is a passage from island to island, over 
the several branches of the morass which are not always of a breadth 
to deter the attempt : nay the author is more inclined to believe, that 
from the general exaggeration human nature is prone to, it may be bet- 
ter than supposed, and that if the dis^couraging accounts do not deter 
a sectional survey, it is by no means problematical but the expense 
would be amply repaid by the discovery of many rich pieces of land 
in detached spots : how far admitting them to be found, settlers would 
be induced to purchase on supposed unhealthy situations need scarce- 
ly be discussed : where the profits are proportionate every risk has 
been and will continue to be hazarded, by the spirit of enterprise 
which in this country is so predominant ; which leads the hunter to 
seek his valuable skins in the frozen mountain of the north west, and 
sends the agriculturist and merchant to the remotest and most unheal- 
thy places. 

The Atlantic subdivision of the southern part of St. John's coun- 
ty has almost wholly been described while treating on the general 
outline of the Florida coast, for nothing is known of the interior ex- 
cept what has been stated in that place ; the rivers along the whole 
length from north to south, appearing to head in the Ever-glade mo- 
rass or branches connected with it. Some difference exists between 
St. Lucie as it was found by the author, and the description given by 
Romans, who states that he went up the N. W. branch that appearing 
the principal, for twenty-four miles reckoning direct distance ; that 
there the river became narrow and partly on account of the obstruc- 
tion of the logs, partly on account of the rapidity of the stream, he 
left the vessel and going up by land found the river at last to run 


through a vast plain, the bank of the stream being fringed with a few 
trees. When this account is compared with what was observed by the 
writer and stated in a former part of this work, he is tempted to con- 
sider with Sir Walter Raleigh, that if the same place and circum- 
stances is viewed by different persons under such contrary aspects, 
that he had better burn his book and avoid the risk of being consid- 
ered the narrator of untruths. That however there is some great 
reservoir of water is certain, from the profusion of fresh water which 
the rirer St. Lucie pours down : such is the immense quantity that 
the whole sound is often made fresh through its vast extent and deep 

The rapid current of the gulf stream sweeping close along this part 
of the Florida coast has the effect of closing the bars of the inlets, 
particularly Jupiter, through which so immense a volume of water 
seeks to discharge itself, that nothing but the continued throwing up 
of the loose sea shells prevents the streams from forcing it open : 
they even sometimes prevail : Jupiter inlet after a heavy freshet in 
the spring of 1769 was opened and so remained for three or four 
years. On Indian river inlet the freshets sometimes make ten feet 
•water and at other periods there are not three : the general quanti- 
ty found is five feet. The bar of Rio Seco is similarly closed to Ju- 
piter, and also a small inlet called Indian creek near cape Florida. 

Cayo Largo though ranked among the Florida keys is no more than 
a promontory from the main land about half distance between capes 
Florida and Sable, and connected by a very narrow isthmus : the 
whole however is rather a cluster of mangroves than solid land, ex- 
cept where the gulf washes up a sandy beach on the exterior. 
Sound point or Cayo Largo was formerly called cape Florida, but 
that name is now applied to the eastern part of key Biscayne. 

The topographical observations on the continental part of Florida, 
as far as correct information has been procured, being thus conclu- 
ded we should proceed to the subject of the keys and banks, known 


under the designation of the general Florida reef, but as their capa- 
bilities are confined to maritime concerns, and an interesting account 
of the wrecking system and other similar points are closely interwo- 
ven with them, we shall defer entering on this branch of our subject 
for the present. 

flt^ A-t^t^ ><^^>-^^ ^ /fe; ^«-*#-».</^^-itf<t,-^e::& yu 



The general character of the Florida lands is light : sands of dif- 
ferent granui liion-, and sandy loams based upon limestone or clay 
at a variety of depth, are what chiefly are found ; and from this 
lightness they are perhaps not capable of bearing a succession of 
exhausting crops ; but nevertheless the land when thrown into 
old fields soon renovates itself, from a fertilizing principle which per- 
vades the air, and subsides to the earth : this principle is undoubted- 
ly generated by tne saline particles, w'hich are carfted fPbm each 
sea'pn 1-0 the lands. , i" .. - ^ »' • 

The ditTerfnt qualities of land in the Floridas, may be divided de- 
cidedly inft),''«uiadef.t'he ton^js^g^pamei : 

^1 ^ ^^Flab^ine lands 

.Undn rating pine lands 
iiOw hammock 
High hammock 
Oak and hickory lands 
Scrub lands 

Pine land savannas 
Hammock savannas 
River swamps 
Cypress swamps 
Fresh marshes 
Salt marshes 


The Jlat pine lands are of themselves of two kinds : the one sort 
covered with a thick and luxuriant growth of berry bushes, dwarf 
bays and laurels, with grass only in patches, and the pine trees 
sparsely scattered over the ground : the other kind has little or no 
undergrowth: being thickly covered with savannas and cypress ponds 
and galls, it is often overflown from them and on the least fall of rain 
becomes drowned ; the herbage however is generally plentiful. It is 
with these two sorts of low piny land, that a great portion of this 
space between the sea and St. John's river is covered, mixed in how- 
ever often with the other descriptions of soil, but giving on the first 
view an unfavorable idea to the new comer ; a great number of 
branches and runs of water take their rise among these low grounds ; 
and wherever these low pine lands are found they may be consid- 
ered as the head of some river or creek. 

The elevated and undulating pine lands are healthy and beautiful ; 
the timber is taller, straighter and of a better quality than on the 
low grounds : their appearance in the western part of the 
country has been already described, and wherever they are met 
with partake more or less of that nature : they abound with succu- 
lent herbage : the Saw palmetto bushes are very rarely found in these 
high pine lands, they being confined to a middling description of 
ground not so low as to be liable to frequent inundations, nor 
high enough to foster a different species of undergrowth. 

The loxv hanmincks are the richest kind of lands in Florida, and 
capable of producing for many successive years rich crops of 
sugar, corn, hemp, or other equally exhausting productions : they 
are however clothed with so heavy a growth of timber and under- 
wood, that the task of clearing them is appalling, and they require 
ditching and banking to guard them from extraordinary floods and 

Graham^s sxvamp, between Matanzas and Tomoco, is chiefly lew 
hammock. The upper parts of both sides of Indian river and 


its north- tvest branch are of this quality of soil, as alsot he marging 
of the river St. John from Volusia to Beresford's old cowpen, though 
narrow and perhaps somewhat too low. Many fine tracts of low 
hammock are scattered over the western parts of the peninsula, 
about the heads of the Santaffy and other rivers, and on the banks 
of Alligator creek and many of the smaller tributary streams ; also 
in the upper part of the region between the Suwanee and Appala- 
chicola rivers. 

Here and elsewhere. West Florida proper is scarcely mentioned ; 
for confined between the Perdido and the Appalachicola rivers, it is 
so comparatively small and but little known, that it has not been 
taken into consideration. It is true that to magnify its importance, a 
" monstrous cantle" has been carved out of East Florida ; but in the 
subsequent pages of this book, it should be understood that East 
Florida comprehends all to the f^ast of the Appalachicola river, in- 
cluding in fact seven eighths of the whole territory. 

The growth of timber usual on these low hammocks is principally 
the cabbage tree, (of which it may be observed in passing, that none 
are found west of the Ocklockonne river) ash, mulberry, dogwood, 
Spanish oak, live oak, white oak, swamp hickory, sweet bay, sassa- 
fras, cedar, magnolia, wild fig, wild orange, zantoxyhim or prickley 
ash, and a vast number of other kinds, with varieties of all : in the 
more southern latitudes the torch tree is found, also the gum guia- 
cum, mastic, wild tamarind, red stopper, pigeon plum, cocoa plum, 
sea grape, tiswood, &.c. &c. A thick vegetable mould of from one 
to two feet in depth, covers the surface of the ground in these low 
hammocks, below which black coarse sand is found, gradually be- 
coming paler as the depth increases, until the clay or limestone is 
struck. > 

The high hammocks are if possible more dense in their growth 
than the others, but the coat of vegetable matter is thin, and the 
white sand Ues within a foot or eighteen inches of the surface '. 


they are said to be notwithstanding very productive for years, with- 
out any mannre, which indeed is never thought of being applied. 

In addition to most of the trees found in the low hammocks, we 
meet laurel, led oak, chestnut oak, chinquopine, beech, persimmon, 
cinnamon-laurel, bastard-ash, myrtle, locust, and a numerous list of 
other trees : great varieties of the cane and reed are in both des- 
criptions of hammocks : countless parasitical plants interweave and 
fold round the trees ; the wild vine shoots up to a most surprising 
height, and the stalk is commonl^,^f^und seven and eight inches in 

The oak and hickory lands produce almost exclusively those two 
kinds of forest trees, with occasionally gigantic pines : the under- 
brush is generally composed of sucker saplings of the oak and 
hickory ; this description of land is generally disposed on the ex- 
terior edges of the high hammocks, and separate them from the pine 
lands. The black oak is the species most general here ; the soil a 
rich deep yellow sandy loam. 

The scrub lands have been particularly described before in pao-e 
68 : they vary but very little in their general appearance wherever 
found, and are of too forbidding an aspect to lead the farmer to ex- 
pect from them any advantage, except perhaps that of raising ho<'-s, 
for which they are peculiarly well adapted, from the abundance of 
acorns on the dwarf oaks, and a number of curious roots to the 
sandy plants. 

The pine land savannas have a very black and rich appearance, 
but notwithstanding they contain only white sands, though the clay 
beneath is perhaps nearer the surface ; they are merely sinks or 
drains to the higher grounds, their low situation preventin'^ the 
growth of pines. Most of the roads in the vicinity of St. Augustine 
are unfortunately obliged to traverse very extensive regions of this 
sort, and consequently in wet seasons they ara scarcely passable, 
and greatly disgust the transient visitor. 



The hammock savaimas have a more fertile soil ; fossil broken 
shells, are embedded in the mould which is rich and black, and of 
some depth : the clay is often within a foot of the surface of the 
earth. The great Alachua savanna, the savannas on the borders of 
Haw creek and its prongs, and the large savannas west of and paral- 
lel to Indian river, are of this description : deep ditching and high 
banking will be however requisite, to guard them from the inunda- 
tions their low position naturally exposes them to. Pasturage of 
the most luxuriant kind is afforded by these savannas, which are 
valuable features in the territory. 

The word swamp is, in the signification now adopted, peculiar to 
America ; by it is understood a tract of land lying low, but with a 
sound bottom, covered in rainy seasons and high waters with that 
element. Almost all forest trees, pines excepted, thrive best in 
the swamps, where the soil is rich, and when capable of being clear- 
ed and drained they are proper for the growth of rice, sugar, corn, 
hemp, indigo, &c. &c. 

The river swamps are annually overflown, and require judicious 
and indefatigable attention to their embankments when in a state of 
cultivation. The growth common in these swamps are the swamp 
oak, willow oak, swamp maple, tupelo, elder, willow, swamp mag- 
nolia, black birch, sumac, cypress, black and white poplar, Florida 
holly, sycamore, hawthorn, &.c. &.c. Sometimes the land immedi- 
ately on the river banks is rather higher than the grounds a little 
behind, which are then called back swamps ; these are nearly con- 
stantly full of water, and have chiefly tupelo growth, and no under- 

Cypress swamps are mostly near the heads of rivers, and in a con- 
tinued state of inundation ; little or no underbrush, but only crowds 
of the cypress shoots or knees, which point up like small pyramids. 
In the river St. John many of the swamps and islands are of this 
kind, as also in the lower parts of the Ocklawaha ; they are like- 
wise bordering on the great southern mora'ses in every direction. 


While we are on the subject of wooded low lands it may be ob- 
served, that in the pine lands, the early courses of the creeks and 
streams are through two sorts of channels, hay galls and cypress galls. 
The bay galls are spongy, boggy, and treacherous to the foot, with 
a coat of matted vegetable fibres : the loblolly bays spread their 
roots, and the saw palmetto crawls on the ground, making them al- 
together unpleasant and even dangerous to cross : the water in 
these bay galls is strongly impregnated with pyroligneous acid. The 
cypress galls have firm sandy bottoms, and are only troublesome 
from the multitude of the sprouting knees. Clay is often found in 
both these kinds of galls, which are sometimes very narrow and 
sometimes dilate into large morasses. 

The fresh water marshes are of two kinds, liard and soft ; the hard 
marsh is made up of a kind of marly clay whose soil has too much 
solidity for the water to disunite its particles : and therefore, being 
also generally higher above the water, may be with little trouble 
adapted to proper cultivation : the soft jnarshes lie lower and are 
more subject to overflow and require in the embankments, earth 
from the highland to make them substantial, and consequently are 
more expensive in their redemption ; but this once accomplished 
they are undoubtedly the most fruitful ; affording in the dry culture 
means of raising sugar, hemp, corn, cotton and indigo. 

The salt marshes are likewise of two kinds, hard and soft, from 
the same causes that effect the fresh marsh : the hard salt marshes 
however are often altogether clay, and like those in Indian river are 
covered with purslain : these when fully embanked and redeemed, 
and freshened by the cultivation of cotton or hemp for a year or two, 
would undoubtedly become the finest sugar fields : that hard kind of 
salt marsh upon which fresh water occasionally flows and known com- 
monly as rush land, is extremely eligible when properly prepared 
for agricultural purposes. 

The soft salt 7narshes are totally useless except as manure ; in the 


part of the peniasiihi south of Musquito, the mangrove takes the 
place of the marsh grass and reeds, and by its interlacing roots give a 
greater consistence to the soil : when the main stem of a mangrove 
bush or tree gains a little height it sends down to the water a new 
shoot or root, and each horizontal branch as it puts forth, does the 
same, by which the parent trunk is surrounded, like the East In- 
dian Banyan tree : these downward shoots as they approach tlie wa- 
ter branch into several points, which again subdivide almost ad ivUni- 
tum, until the fimily of roots are twice as numerous as the upper 
branches, thickly set together, extending in all directions, and closely 
interwoven with the similar ramifications from the surrounding trees 
or bushes, often causing the growing tip of the channel of a narrow 
creek, whose waters in times of freshets and floods ooze through 
their roots as through a thousand miniature arches. 

It may be observed generally of the soil of Florida, that there are 
four strata : the upper tract of vegetable mould or earth : below sand ; 
beyond that marl or clay; and lowest of all indurations of shell and lime- 
stone rocks. This arrangement is however by no means constant; there 
are frequent bluffs on the St. John's, particularly at Volusia, which 
are high and covered deep with a rich loamy black sand thickly 
overspread and mingled with broken fossil, and periwinkle shells in 
every state of perfection, and below this is only sand : other varie- 
ties from the general rule are continually found. However this 
may partially be, it seems certain, that the two harder substrata re- 
tain the moisture from oozing through the sands, and thus become 
another cause of fertility. 

It has been a matter of some question whether the orange is an in- 
digene of Florida, but after a due consideration of the question it 
would appear it is not ; for although now found in almost every 
swamp and hammock, yet it is only where the wandering Indians may 
have scattered the seeds : in those places where they have not been 
at all seasons of the year, though far soutli, the orange is seldom if 


ever found ; where man has not penetrated with the fruit in his hand 
it is unknown. The kind of orange most common in the Florida woods 
is the sour and bitter-sweet : of these latter some are almost as free 
from acid as a China orange, and retain only enough of the aromatic 
bitter, to make them in the taste of many superior to the sweet orange 
itself. A most delicious wine is made in England of the Seville 
orange, which appears to be the same that is called the bitter-sweet : 
the numerous groves of this fruit in Florida will one day when the 
sugar is plentiful, induce the farmer to adopt orange wine as a 
pleasant, healthful and economical domestic beverage. 

The wild grapes of Florida when duly trained and cultivated, will 
afford another simple fermented drink : let us hope that the dreadful 
practice of drinking ardent spirits may be checked in our new terri- 
tory, and that the more sober juice of the grape and orange may su- 
persede the use of those intoxicating draughts, which in many parts of 
our union threaten almost to brutalize the human being and degrade 
him beyond redemption. 

The myrtle wax shrub is found in every part of the Floridas ; the 
berries are gathered in a vessel and bruised and then boiled : the 
wax is skimmed off and when cold is of a dull green : from this can- 
dles are made : it may however be bleached by various simple 
chemical processes ; in many parts of Carolina and Georgia the 
planters use lights of this wax altogether. 

The gall nuts which in our druggist shops bear a high price, are 
commonly found on the dwarf oaks among the scrublands in every 
part of the country. 

Hops are said by Romans to be indigenous in Florida, but the au- 
thor did not meet with any. In Sweden formerly a strong cloth was 
made from the stalks of hops, which required however a much lon- 
ger time to be steeped in water than flax. 

The starry aniseed or somo, or skimmi of Japan and China has 
been found indigenous in Florida : and many other plants of that 


country are also natives here : whence we may infer that others, 
productive in commerce, may be profitably introduced. 

Almost all the natural vegetable productions of Florida may be 
advantageously turned to account by the industrious, and time will 
develope the mode in which it is to be done : at present we can 
only point out those more immediately prominent, and proceed to 
another division of our subject, having in this one merely aimed at 
giving a stranger a more distinct idea of the soil and growth of our 
territory and enabling him to judge for himself. Again however it 
is deemed incumbent to warn those who are unacquainted with the 
subject, from condemning the vast tracts of pine lands in Florida to 
neglect, for in the end they will be found to yield perhaps the most 
satisfactory returns : it may be said " do not visit Florida with high 
raised expectations of fertility or you will be disappointed" : but it 
must be added, ^' and on the contrary, do not suppose every pine 
tract a barren, or that sterility is a consequent attendant on ou? 
Hght soils and sandy regions." 



The great expectations which have been raised respecting Flori- 
da, have included within their range a hope of introducing many if 
not all of the richest of the West India productions, particularly 
coflfee, and it even lead to the projected formation of a company in 
Philadelphia for that purpose, who fitted out an expedition in July 
1821 to explore the country and select eligible spots for the future 
cultivation of the coffee plant : the results of this expedition have 
never been published, but reports of a nature most favorable to the 
scheme were afloat twelve months since : they have however gradu- 
ally died away, and if the project has not been abandoned, it waits 
at least a more auspicious moment for completion, congress having 
refused to grant a peremptive right of purchase to a company, of 
lands stated to be eligible for the purposes intended. 

From the preceding pages the reader has not perhaps been im- 
pressed with such sanguine expectations respecting the coffee plant, 
and the author without pretending to negative the assertion of the 
practicability of raising this berry, does not think it can be recom 


mended as a safe speculation, for reasons stated in other places. 
Sea Island cotton, Cuba tobacco, sugar and a numerous list of fruits, 
marketable both in a green and preserved stale, surely are produc- 
tions in themselves sufficiently lucrative to draw the attention of the 
planter, and to these will he confined what follows on the suhjpct of 
cultures appropriate to Florida. 

Respecting cotton, it has been so profitable to every Florida plan- 
ter who has raised and prepared it for market, as done in the south- 
ern states, that it may only be slightly mentioned. The resident 
gentlemen on Amelia, Talbot and fort George islands, at Pablo, at 
Matanzas and at Tomoco have cultivated it for many years, and iheir 
brands have ever commanded the first prices in the markets of Sa- 
vannah and Charleston, particularly those of our respected dele- 
gate Joseph M. Hernandez, Esq. from his planlation Alala Compra 
at MatanZcis ; of which, by the bye, it may be remarked, that the soil 
(high hammock) is now as white and as sandy as the beach of the 
Atlantic, and yet most luxuriant crops are annually produced. Here 
and at other plantations exists a practice of cutting down the old 
cotton stalks and suffering the shoots therefrom to spring up, which 
yield with but little trouble a cotton no ways inferior to the first 
crop : this is called ratoon cotton. Many of the fields at Tomoco 
are equally white and equally fertile with those of Mala Compra, 
and this singular appearance is found in very many other parts of 
Florida, where the original growth has been almost exclusively 
live oak. 

Respecting sugar, the recent successful trials that have been made 
upon it, have determined the curious fact that it will grow in almost 
any of the soils of Florid i, south of the mouth of St. John's river : 
the great length of summer, or period of absolute elevation of the 
thermometer above the freezing point, allows the cane to ripen 
much higher than in Louisiana : it is perhaps the fact that the ex- 
hausting vegetation of this article may not allow a profitable planting 


of it upon the same lands more than two or three years in succes- 
sion, yet as it may be raised on the pine lands, a change of fields is 
easy, and attended with but little comparative trouble ; and by suffer- 
ing the lands to lie fcdlow, or by a judicious succession of crops, it 
will not require a very extensive tract to establish a sugar plantation. 
Perhaps it may be thought that Florida presents but little to tempt 
the large sugar planter: granted, but it is undoubted that if the 
culture of the cane should be adopted on a small scale, by the same 
proportionate number of cultivators that are in the habit of raising 
cotton in Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, their labour would be 
amply repaid, and a source of wealth be opened, particularly should 
some public spirited and enterprising individuals establish, on cen- 
tral and eligible points sugar mills to receive the small crops, pre- 
cisely on the same principle that cotton gins and rice mills exist in 
the southern states. This would augment the population and in- 
crease the resources of the country sooner, and better perhaps, 
than any other mode. A race of independent respectable farmers 
would create society and happiness among themselves, and prove 
the back-bone of the new territory. 

The fruit culture of every kind will in time become general, but 
although highly eligible and certainly lucrative, it will require the 
success of a few capitalists to give the tone to the general opinion on 
this head. The necessity of waiting four or live years before re- 
turns upon the principal can be made, will deter many from attend- 
ing to this important branch. 

It is upon the poorest spots of land, unfit for almost any thing 
else, that many of the numerous subsequent list of fruits may be 
brought into cultivation : this mode is one that requires little hard 
labour and exjjosure to noontide suns ; it can and will be adopted 
by a large number of the poorer class of persons, who now inhabit 
the middle country in Georgia and North and South Carolina : these 
industrious people, who are obliged to toil incessantly to r^iise a 



few stalks of cotton, the produce of which barely supplies half their 
winter clothing, will find in the warmer latitudes of Florida a plea- 
sant employment, that will more than triple their returns in their 
present state of living. 

Another concomitant advantage attendant on the raising and cul- 
tivation of fruit will be the circumstance of being able to do it with- 
out slaves. If this be properly fostered, we shall only find negroes 
wanted by the planter of sugar, cotton and tobacco, while a genera- 
tion of industrious whites will grow up whose simple manners and^ 
virtuous habits will resemble the vine cutters and olive dressers of 
France and Spain ; but free as the air, their unshackled independ- 
ence will render them doubly happier than those almost still feudal 
peasants ; and as a body they will prevent the possibility of those 
commotions which have lately threatened more than one slavehold- 
ing state. 

It is a well known fact that in West Florida the French govern- 
ment ordered a suppression of the vineyards, lest their success might 
injure those in France ; and we learn that similar restrictions as to 
the olive, and perhaps the grape, were imposed by the Spaniards 
over the Florida colonies. Although these decrees are antient, and 
have perhaps long become dead letters, yet they must have prevent- 
ed the spirit of enterprise, that in the first instance suggested such 
establishments, which once quenched, was not easily revived. 

The native grape of Florida is so very luxuriant, and circum - 
stances shewing the practicability of planting vineyards with suc- 
cess, let us hope an effort may be made to introduce with judgment 
some of the most approved foreign grapes, which may be tried by 
graft, by sucker, or by seed. 

The Corinthian grape, (yitis apijrena) or the grocers' currants of 
the stores, is an article of great consumption, and flourishing in 
(he Levant, must infallibly succeed in Florida. 

The great demand for dried raisins, both in boxes and jars, can 



surely be supplied from our own territory. We will not in the first 
instance pretend to rival the wines of the Rhine, the Rhone, the 
Loire or the Garonne ; to supersede the produce of Oporto, Xeres, 
Sicily or Madeira, but at least we can, after furnishing the deserts 
for the table of the opulent, provide a pleasant beverage for those 
who do not choose the products* of such expensive vintages, and who 
will not be dissatisfied to exchange French brandy, New-England 
rum, or apple whiskey, for the less exciting but more palatable wines 
of their own country : North Carolina has proved that from their 
native grapes a delicious wine may be prepared, and can we doubt 
our success in a still more genial climate ? 

The following list of productions capable of being raised in 
Florida, has been made out with some pains, and it is believed all 
these stated are profitable and practicable articles. 

China orange 

Madarin orange 

Maltese orange 

St. Michael orange 

Myrtle orange 





Mango e 




Sweet almond 

Bitter almond 




The olive 

The Vine in ail its varieties 

Corinthian grape, or 

Zante currants 

Pine apple 





Bread fruit 

Arrow root 

Gall nuts 

Dolichos, or Soy bean 


True rhubarb 


Gum gleni 

Gum guiacum 






Sago palm 

Red pepper 


Jesuits bark 

Benne oil 

Palma christi oil 



Cuba tobacco 




Cork oak 

Chesnut tree 




Balsam tree 




Turkey madder 

True opium poppy 

Camphire tree 

Balm of Gilead tree 



doves, Pepper 


Leechee plant of China 

Liquid amber 

These and a number of other articles particularly the gums, may 
be produced in most parts of the peninsula ; and upon looking over 
the list it cannot be denied that if but a little were introduced how 
much should we gain and how advantageous would be our prospects. 
Having spoken already of the vine and cotton, let us in turn consider 
each staple article of importance. 

The Cuba tobacco has already been raised in the neighborhood of 
St. Augustine from seeds supplied from the Havana : the second 
year it however degenerates : this appears no obstacle since the 
seed can be procured with the greatest facility, it being very small 
and light : and in the lower latitudes the plant may be cultivated 
without such frequent renewal. If we can produce in Florida by 
these means a tobacco equal to the best from Cuba, it will be a great 
desideratum. To perfect the fragrance of the leaf, the vanilla 
■which is found indigenous all over the country lends its ready aid, and 


should segar smoking still contiaue in fashion, the Florida weed may 
in time be thought equally good with the best Cabanas. 

It is to the olive that the patriot, the merchant and the agriculturist 
%vill look for permanent and substantial advantages to result to Flori- 
da ; the olive, favorite of Minerva, fertilized the plains of Attica, and 
saw young Freedom thrive beneath its shade : from the earliest time to 
the present eventful era, the olive has brought plenty to the regions 
where it was fostered, and when even liberty had passed away, re- 
mained to support and comfort the unhappy enslaved beings, whose 
ancestors had planted it in happier times. 

It is not necessary here to describe the olive tree and its fruit, the 
process by which the pulp yields its oil, or the mode of preserving 
the drupe : the inquisitive reader is referred to Michaux's North 
American Sylva, where under the head Olive, he will find an elegant 
description from the classical pen of Augustus Hillhouse, an enlight- 
ened citizen of the United States, whose residence in the country 
of its cultivation and his literary researches, have enabled him to de- 
scribe all its usefulness : a few slight abstracts are made from his 
pamphlet, published in Paris, that are considered interesting. 

There are more than thirty varieties of the European olive tree, 
distinguished by their temperament as to soil and climate and the 
qualities of the fruit Some of their varieties, like those of the vine, 
owe their characteristic properties to the scene in which they are 
reared : Among the principal are. 

The weeping olive, endurant of cold rather than of drought ; its 
branches are pendent like those of the weeping willow : its fruit 
and oil are pure and good. 

The round olive is also hardy, requiring a moist good soil ; its oil 
is of a superior quality. 

The small round olive requires dry and elevated grounds. 

The picholine olive yields the most celebrated pickled olives : this 
Tariety is not delicate in the choice of soil and climate. 


The olives should for Florida, be raised from the seed sown in the 
spring : in a year they will have attained to a height of two or three 
feet : in the third spring with proper attention they will be four or 
five feet in height and half an inch in diameter, with a tap root of 
thirty inches : they should then be transplanted and placed three feet 
apart ; and at the end of five years may be permanently placed in the 
olive grove, at a distance of about forty feet : the young olives begin 
to yield fruit the tenth year and are fully productive about the twen- 
ty or twenty-fifth. The olive arrived to an advanced age may be 
transplanted in the same manner as the young tree. 

This mode of raising the olive may be censured and rejected : the 
length of time which must elapse before they begin to reward the 
labor of the planter seem to forbid the adoption, more particularly 
by an American, who however he may persevere in an object once 
undertaken, would probably droop, did he foresee that he must not 
expect to reap the fruit of his own labours : an American particu- 
larly in a new country labors for himself and not for his son, whom 
he expects when arrived at maturity will equally labor : this prin- 
ciple is to be lamented, and may prevent the planting of other fruits 
as well as the olive ; but as respects the latter, could this objection 
to obtaining plants from the seed be overcome, it is doubtless the 
most eligible practice, as the plants thus reared begin a new life, 
they are more vigorous, of longer duration, and better adapted to a 
new climate than offsets from an old tree : they form also a perpen- 
dicular root which penetrates deeply and secures them from the dan- 
ger of suffering by drought. 

With the nicest economy in the process the weight of the expres- 
sed oil is equal to about one third of the ripe fruit : the mean pro- 
duce of a tree in Florida may be assumed at thirty pounds weight 
of oil : though in fruitful years in Italy three hundred weight have 
been known to be obtained from a single tree. 

The constant breezes which traverse the Florida peninsula would 


refresh the languid oUve tree through the sultry summer, while ia 
these southern latitudes they would be secure in the winter. Let 
us then hope that the olive may ere long be as much the emblem of 
Florida, as it has been of her mother country, from whose trammels 
she is at length freed. 

While the olive trees are young and yet unbearing, the attention of 
the farmer will be directed to the Benne plant from which and from the 
poppy a fine table oil is procured nearly equalling that from the olive; 
it grows in almost any kind of soil ; the peculiar advantages of the 
benne and its history and productions, have been set forth at length 
in the publications upon Florida, which are already before the com- 
munity and it is not necessary here to repeat them. 

Oranges, lemons and limes are already in full bearing in many pla- 
ces, and their extensive introduction will one day supersede any im- 
ports from abroad : the plantain';and banana will also in time prove 
lucrative to those who raise them. Preserves from the citron, shad- 
dock, mango, pawpaw, tamarind, &c. may and ere long will be made 
in Florida equal to the most delicate kinds from the Antilles. The 
pine apple and the bread fruit will in the lower latitudes form elegant 
articles of culture, to be shipped to the northern cities, where they 
are always in request. 

The fig is a native of the country, and the dried fruit is a profita- 
ble article of commerce. 

The spices, gums, dye woods, and medicinal articles, may form the 
minor objects in the nursery, and fill up the time not employed in 
attending to those things which are cultivated in larger quantities. 

The palma christi or castor oil is planted by many gentlemen in 
Georgia and South Carolina, who obtain from nine to twelve dollars 
per dozen bottles for the expressed oil ; the luxuriance with 
which this plant vegetates in Florida will cause it not to be neglected : 
it is an article of the materia medica, in much request, and perhap 
but too little planted. 


The dolichos or soy bean is said to produce in China, four crops 
annually : from this kidney bean is prepared the soy or Indian cat- 
sup. In the south of Spain and many parts of the Mediterranean 
this bean, or a variety of it, forms a large portion of the food of the 
lower class of people : it is there called caravances : as an article of 
subsistence for negro slaves this is nutritious, and apparently raised 
in the greatest abundance with facility. 

Rice of course can readily be grown in the usual low situations ; 
but it is probable that all the lands fit for this grain, will be found to 
be more profitably devoted to the sugar cane. 

A most important branch has yet to be treated of ; the breeding 
of the silk worm, which in this country is so easy : it would afford 
an employment to the children of the poor white settler who other- 
wise might be idle, useless, and contractive of indolent and bad habits : 
by introducing into every family the fashion of attending to these val- 
uable insects, as much as to the poultry yard, the quantity of raw silk 
would be great enough, to form in no long time one of the staple com- 
modities of Florida : this combined with the fruit cultures would 
complete the circle of small, quiet, domestic occupation, which is 
so desirable to form in every family that comes to reside in the ter- 
ritory. A remark on the best mode of rearing the mulberry trees on 
which the silk worms altogether subsist, may not be here improper- 
ly introdcced. 

The white mulberry is the best, and it should be sown by seed so 
as to spring up in the form of wide hedges often feet in breadth, lea- 
ving a lane between each : in this mode the leaves may very readi- 
ly be gathered by a pair of sheers, or even by hand if it is thought 
proper to form the hedge of less width. The hand of taste will na- 
turally place these hedges, so as to combine with the exterior fence 
of the garden; and take away the monotony of the uniform wooden 
palings, which usually enclose the flower plots or vegetable beds of 
our southern plantation gardens. Respecting the treatment of the 


worms and the methods used to reel off the silk, any Encyclopedia 
mil explain them. 

Hemp will flourish in this country : how far the introduction of it 
is eligible, is unknown, but it is thought that it might be profitable. 
There are a number of varieties of the palmetto, from whence the 
inhabitants and even the Indians form ropes : much of the small tack- 
ling of the fishing boats is made of this grass, which is rather the bet- 
ter for being kept wet, as it is apt to crack like rushes when dry : 
we also find in the country that palmetto, from whence the rigging, 
cordage and cables of most of the West India small craft are made. 

The cork oak (quercus suber) being of quick growth might advan- 
tageously be planted, and would cause another foreign production to 
be dispensed with. The Spanish chesnut not only yields a harvest 
of remarkable dry fruit, but by the elegance of its foliage and the 
depth of its shade would form a beautiful ornament to the grounds of 
a plantation. 

Indian corn, buckwheat and guinea corn are among the most im- 
portant bread stuffs, and constitute natural objects of cultivation : the 
latter grain is preferred by the West India negroes to the Indian 
corn, and is thought to be even more nutritive : it is also perhaps 
better adapted to the warm soil of Florida, producing most abundant 
l-eturns : this as well as millet is peculiarly fit for fattening poultry. 
The sweet potatoe in its fine varieties need scarcely be mentioned, 
that and every esculent grows almost spontaneously and with a ra- 
pidity scarcely credible. 

The dog grass of South Carolina or annual meadow grass has been 
recommended as the best adapted to be sown in Florida, where 't 
succeeds in the very meanest soil. The clover and other foreign 
grasses probably require favorable spots, though the author has seen 
occasionally a few clover blades in the western pine lands, which in- 
dicate at least that they would live in soil n9t the richest. The 
scud or scots grass might also be tried. 



Rye and orits succeed well and grow with great rapidity : as food 
for working horses the latter is certainly preferable even to the soft 
gold seed corn. 

We hare not yet made mention of the tea plant : that the latitude 
of Florida is sufficiently genial for its production there can be no 
doubt ; but whether the soil would answer, or if so whether it can 
be grown as cheap as the present importations from China, are ques- 
tions that have not been considered. By obtaining the seeds in 
Canton and sowing them in tubs, young sprouts may with care and 
attention be safely brought over : the experiment is certainly worth 
trying, although many mny sneer at the suggestion ; but this was also 
the case when cotton was first tried, and will always attend what 
are considered innovations : it is to be hoped that there are in the 
union, men of enterprise who will not be easily discouraged from es- 
saying : the profit if successful would amply repay : the trouble and 
disappointment would be small, and the expense not to be men- 

Remarks on the raising of stock do not come precisely under this 
head of the work, but as most other objects of the attention of the 
agriculturist have been treated of we may include all points relative 
to a nursery, farm or plantation. 

Certainly one of the mosteligible employs in Florida will be that of 
breeding- large herds of cattle : the rains and dews create a luxuriant 
vegetation all the year, requiring only a regular and successive burn- 
ing of the grass, to allow the young shoots to sprout : in other pla- 
ces mention has been made of the excellencies of the country for 
this object, and we can only repeat here the great advantages of this 
plan. Already the hides and tallow from South America are scarce, 
and it has been demonstrated by writers on political economy that 
the demand for leather in the world is greater than the annual sup- 
ply and expedients are of course made : in the south the skin of the 
alligator is formed into water proof covering for the feet, and for sad- 


die seats, and experiments are making to find other siicccdaneums. 
The cattle require no winter fodder ; the few wild aninaals will 
soon be extirpated and a single herdsman n)ay attend to large 

Sheep may also be bred in numerous flocks : when the success 
of our manufactories have driven foreign broadcloths and woollen 
stuffs from the market, the demand for the fleeces will be great : the 
climate of Florida will tend to improve the texture of the wool and 
supplies of a superior quality will be sent to the northern marts. 

The Angola goats may be brought into the country where they 
would find a temperature congenial to the one they inhabit, and the 
mohair would add another article to the long list of Florida produc 

The critical reader must not imagine that the discussion, of what 
are considered appropriate objects of agricultural attention, are 
merely Utopian : the country is capable of producing all, if the en- 
ergies and skill of man are combined to attend to them : and can we 
doubt it? Can we suppose that so many sources of wealth will re- 
main unvisited, unexplored and rejected ? Certainly we must answer. 
No. The adoption of all wilt not come at once : each successful ex- 
periment will induce the trial of something new, until the resources 
of the country are fully developed, th-^ territory thickly peopled and 
the tide of agricultnre and commerce at the full. 

It is doubtful whether a happier man will be found than a respecta- 
ble independent planter, who fixed in a salubrious spot in Florida, 
finds on his farm every luxury that is so dearly purchased by the cit- 
izens of a crowded city : his sugar, tea, fruit, preserves, animal and 
vegetable food will be the produce ofhis own fields or firm j'ard : the 
rivers supply the most delicious shell and scale fish : the wild fowl 
are excellent and numerous : his vineyard, olive and orange grovr-s 
will offer their unstinted products ; his orchards and his garden supply 
all to tempt and gratify the appetite : except for a few article? ofwear= 


ing apparel, which if necessary could be supplied at home, he will 
be wholly independent oi the world, while he will send out his 
cargoes of superfluous productions to supply the wants of his less 
fortunate fellow-citizens in more northern climes. Such will be at a 
future day the situation of the Florida planter who by a judicious ar- 
rangement of his capital and industry, shall turn the silent forests in« 
to SffiiliDg fields and flourishing plantations? 



The climate of the whole of Florida during eight months of the 
year, from October to June, is delightful, and almost one continued 
spring ; as the range of the thermometer in the hot months of sum- 
mer is only from 84° to 88'' of Fahrenheit, and constantly cooled 
by the sea breeze, they are by no means so oppressive as in Caro- 
lina or Georgia, and such intense sultry weather as marks the north- 
ern dog-days, is seldom if ever felt. On the Atlantic side the winds 
from the south and south-west make a thick heavy atmosphere, and 
impeding the airs from the ocean, cause an oppression and heat that 
create the only unpleasant sensations experienced during the Florida 

Generally speaking the springs and summers are dry, and Ihe 
autumns changeable : the winters are mild and even serene ; snow 
is scarcely seen at St. Augustine twice in a century, but the black 
frost is an occasional visitant ; though at the severest times the ice 
has never been formed thicker than the sixteenth part of an inch ; 
ite action has never extended eouth of cape Canaveral, and but very 


rarely reaches Mosquito inlet. The nipping of the white frost oc- 
casionally is fell so far as the extreme capes of Florida, though not 
an annual visitant. The duration of the frost or cold of any kind 
never lasts but a few hours, and seldom occurs more than once or 
twice in January, which is the severest month. The cold winds 
are always from the north-west. 

In the peninsula of Florida rain is foretold one or two days be- 
fore, either by an immoderate dew, or by the total absence of the 
dews on a calm night ; the winds from the north-east are cool and 
moist, and cause the frequent showers by which the sand of this 
climate is endued with a prodigious vegetative power : almost inva- 
riably when the rain has ceased, the sky does not continue over- 
cast, but the clouds pass away, the horizon clears up, the sun again 
makes his appearance, and the breeze which brought the shower 
blows free and unsurcharged with moisture. 

The rains and dews, without being troublesome, create at most 
seasons such a luxuriant vegetation, that the surface of the earth is 
never without good verdure. The long absence of the sun, the days 
and nights being nearly equal, gives the ground time to cool and re- 
cover from the daily evaporations. 

Another pleasant consequence of this, is the very delightful fresh- 
ness of the nights in the sultriest period of the year, by which the 
body is refreshed, the sleep sound, and the natural faculties restored 
to vigour. 

As a precaution, a sheet of clean writing paper or a-silk handker- 
chief placed in the hat keeps the head cool, when necessity requires 
an exposure to the summer sun : this is more needful, as light straw 
hats are generally worn. 

Saint Augustine has always been healthy until the summer of 1821, 
when it was visited by the yellow fever which proved fatal to many 
strangers : we shall endeavour presently to account for this pesti- 
lence, and to show that its return is not to be dreaded, and that it 


is not an attendant either on this town or upon any part of Florida. 
No opportunity of information has been afforded respecting a similar 
scourge at Pensacola the last year, but that city having ever been 
free hitherto from such fatal fevers, similar causes to those in St. 
Augustine may have operated there. 

That not only St. Augustine, but such parts of East Florida as 
have been occupied are healthy, is to be clearly inferred from the 
fact of the ninth regiment of British infantry having been stationed 
during the revolutionary war in detachments at St. Augustine, Ma- 
tanzas, Picolati, and St. Marks on Apalachie, and during a period of 
twenty months not losing a single man by natural death. 

That. the climate is good for patients of a consumptive habit is 
notorious, several persons during the last winter and spring from 
Carolina and elsewhere having recovered their health ; and that the 
air is not at any season hurtful, is equally known from the circum- 
stance of the native and foreign ladies walking till late in the moon- 
light on summer and autumn evenings, with only tl e slight co- 
verings on their heads of their lace veils or mantillas, and many 
even without these. Medical men have stated that dampness or dis- 
colouring of plaister, soon moulding of bread, moistness of sponge, 
dissolution of loaf sugar, and rusting of metals, are marks of bad air : 
now all these are remarked in St. Augustine, and notwithstanding it 
is very healthy ; this dampness is occasioned by the saline particles 
which arising from the sea, by no means occasion sicknesss. 

And for the salubrity of West Florida we have the authority of 
Romans, who tells of an old man of eighty-three, who had very du- 
tifully gone five miles on foot to catch fish for his mother^ who had 
taken a fancy to a dish of that food, and in the meantime was busied 
at home in preparing a batch of bread. 

The fashion of sending invalids from the north, on an expensive 
journey to the south of France and Italy, may perhaps be superseded, 
if the physicians could be induced to recommend a winter at St. 


Augustine to their patients, who would thus, instead of being te- 
moved, perhaps to die in a foreign climate, be near their friends 
and within a few days' sail of their homes : admitting for one instant 
that the summer months are unhealthy, no one can doubt the salu- 
brity of the rest of the year. The geniality of the climate, the 
beauty of the orange groves, the vicinity of the ocean, and the quie- 
tude of the place, would contribute greatly towards the restoration 
of health to consumptive persons. Without entertaining any preju- 
dice in favour of St. Augustine, the attention of the faculty is seri- 
ously entreated by the author to this subject, and to the propriety 
of ordering their debilitated patients to try the salubrious air of 
Florida, which has in one remarkable instance restored along crip- 
pled gentleman of New-York to the use of his limbs, a fact well 
known to all his acquaintance, who came in ivonder to visit him 
on his return in full activity to New-York. 

But although the sea coast, and the elevated lands in the interior 
are undoubtedly healthy, it is by no means certain that the banks of 
the large fresh water rivers are free from those miasms which 
generate intermittent fevers, agues, and the disorder known at the 
southward as country fever : in the tall of the year, when that sea- 
son is rainy, these complaints do occasionally appear, but they are 
confined to the immediate borders of the water courses, and do not 
extend to the high lands in the vicinity. Upon the salt waters, such 
as Matanzag, Halifax, and Indian rivers, no such disorders exist, and 
hence the planters at Tomoco, Mosquito, &c. are perfectly free 
from sickness. 

In proceeding to give a probable account of the rise of the yellow 
fever in St. Augustine, it must be prefaced by a sketch of tlie local 
situation of the town, in which brevity will be studied : the writer 
also begs leave to request that his theory must not be too fiercely 
assailed by gentlemen of the medical profession, who in the present 
era of discussion on so mysterious a subject, may differ as widely 


from the author as from each other : the conclusions attempted to be 
drawn from facts, appear natural ones, and are submitted for con- 
sideration in the study, not put forth as dogmas to the public. 

The town of St. Augustine is situated on a neck of land, formed 
by the river Matanzas which is the harbour, on the east, and St. 
Sebastian's creek emptying thereinto, on the south and west ; on 
the north an entrenchment extends from the glacis of fort St. Mark, 
which is at the north end of the town upon the harbour, to the 
marshes of St. Sebastian's creek. This neck of land is divided into 
two peninsulas by a small stream called Mari-Sanchez creek, run- 
ning parallel to the harbour, but heading in some low lands withia 
the lines : it is on the eastern peninsula alone that the town is built, 
the western one being occupied "by kitchen gardens, corn-fields, 
orange groves, and pasture grounds. 

Somewhat more than half way between the fort and the south 
end of the western peninsula, a stone causeway and wooden bridge 
crosses Mari-Sanchez creek, and connects the two portions of the 
precincts of the town, and it is to the north of this causeway that 
the principal part of the buildings are placed, forming a parallelo- 
gram somewhat more than a quarter of a mile wide from east to 
west, and three quarters in length from north to south. 

The houses on the side of the harbour are chiefly of stone, hav- 
ing only one story above the ground floor : these latter are invaria- 
bly laid with a coat of tabbia, a mixture of sand and shells well 
known in our southern states, and are scarcely ever used but as 
store rooms, the families livini: in the upper story. 

The dwellings with few exceptions, on the back streets, parti- 
cularly in the north-west quarter, have but the ground floor ; and 
are generally built of wood, though stone ones are common, butal« 
most all are laid with a tabbia flooring. 

The undeviating salubrity of St. Augustine, while under the Bri- 
tish flag, was certainly augmented by the perfect cleanliness and 



neatness, which was the characteristic of the town during that 
epoch ; and that it continued so, while the buildings crumbled into 
ruins over the heads of the indolent Spaniards, and the dirt and nui- 
sance augmented in every lot, is an additional proof of the natural 
healthiness of the place. 

St. Augustine owed a large portion of its inhabitants to the many 
dependants on the Spanish government who held numerous small 
posts, the salaries of which were perhaps not punctually paid, but 
the daily allowance of rations in kind, enabled the holders to exist in 
their various shattered habitations which they were unable to re- 
pair, and in many instances only half occupied : and thus it was at 
the exchange of flags in July, 1821. 

At this period, and for some tiine before and after, these families 
dependant on the government, and many others, emigrated to Cuba 
and left their houses and lots uncleaned and shut up ; the breaks in 
the dwellings however, open to the heavy rains which fell at that 
period, the waters of which of course stagnated where they fell. 

The casemates of the fort had also many of the rooms disused and 
shut up, from a variety of causes, not the least of which were the 
leaks in the tabbia pavement of the platform. 

The author lately heard it stated by a medical gentleman of high 
attainments, and now one of the first characters in Congress, who 
had honoured him with his friendship and acquaintance ; that a ves- 
sel whose hold was clean and empty, which should remain at anchor 
in any southern port during the hot summer months, would have the 
infectious miasmae, which generates what is called yellow fever, 
collected in her hold, to which all going into it were exposed. 
Thus were endangered crowds of adventurers, mostly in a state of 
poverty, who flocked to St. Augustine and were pent in numbers in 
the common boarding houses that were opened in many of the 
tenements which had so long been closed. 

The fever broke out in the back streets in isolated houses, and 


each case was independent of the other : neither contagion nor in- 
fection were in any one case perceptible ; the foul air that genera- 
ted disease was confined to each dwelling. Some of the most deci- 
ded cases arose, when late in October there was hired for the occu- 
l)ation of the officers a house, that had been closed all the summer ; 
it was in a close part of the town, but no sickness was near: three 
or four of the officers fell almost immediate victims. 

It is true that many died from the effects ©f inordinate indulgen- 
cies, great exposure to the hot sun and heavy rains, and a few cases 
could not be traced to satisfactory causes, but in general explana- 
tions could be given. Three or four vessels also came from the 
Havana laden with fruit, which performed little or no quarantine ; 
one had on her voyage lost the captnin and all the crew ; and one lay 
close along the wharf, aground at low water ; several cases were 
clearly traceable to these vessels : but each nucleus of infection 
does not appear to have expanded, nor was there any actual infecteil 
district. The author and many of his friends were continually call- 
ed on to visit and even nurse the sick, without having any appre- 
hension of incurring any danger. 

The humanity, the attention, and tlie friendly unremitted good 
offices of the Spanish ladies, towards the sick strangers, will ever be 
remembered with admiration by those who saw their efforts, and 
with gratitude by those who experienced them. It is in woman's 
bosom that all the virtues take a deeper root, and flourish as in a 
more genial soil. The author has seen from these amiable females 
a tenderness bestowed on the dying man, that would not have been 
exceeded by the patient's own family, and the pillow of disease has 
been propped, and the bed of death smoothed by the most maternal 
and sisterly cares. 

From what has preceded it is inferred that with a proper venti- 
lation and a due attention to cleanliness and sobriety, St. Augustine 
will never again be visited by so sweeping a pestilence, and we may 


argue in proof thereof its remarkable salubrity this past year, not a 
single fatal case of fever having occurred in the space of the last 
fourteen months. 

The very judicious arrangements which have been made lately, 
by the municipality of St. Augustine, will soon reproduce that per- 
fect neatness and propriety, which formerly distinguished this town : 
its reputation for health established, we may hope that it will be a 
retreat in summer for the Carolinian and Georgian, and a shelter to 
the inhabitant of more northern states, from the rigor of their severe 

A society will thus be gradually formed, that may tempt the invalid 
to renew his visit annually, and induce many to join the colony which 
■will be planted ia the Montpelier of America. 



The general Florida reef commences at cape Florida, on the 
eastern coast in about latitude 25° 38' N. and trends about southwest 
to bay Honda, twenty-five or thirty miles south ofcape Sable, whence 
it sweeps nearly west until terminated by the Tortugas bank. 

The edge of soundings, which are chiefly one hundred fathoms, 
are nearly parallel to the outer edge of the reef; within which, be- 
tween the banks and the keys is a channel, where about fifteen feet 
may be carried all through : the general rule for sailing within the 
reef is, to have a careful man at the mast head to look out ; from 
the transparency of the blue water he will see all the heads and 
shoals a good way off, in a clear day at least a mile, and thus making 
the eye the pilot, and keeping a middle channel, this dangerous navi- 
gation is passed. 

Key BiscAYNE has been styled and is now called Cape Florida, 
though there is not actually any decided headland, and hence the un- 
certainty of the latitude : at the south end are wells : the inlet at the 
north end called Bear Cut, admits craft of six feet water into the bay 


behind where are the settlements : and the channel at the soutii the 

Soldier^s Key is six or seven miles to the southward/containing on- 
ly a few roods of land. 

Elliott's key next below, is eight miles in length and about half 
a mile wide : there is a harbor here with eight feet water, and an 
inlet over the reef of two fathoms nearly opposite : there is also an 
anchorage often feet under the lee of the island. Upon this key is 
a small quantity of land fit for vegetation and light productions. 

Saunder^s Cut, is to the north ofEUioiCs key and the inlet known as 
Black CcEsar'^s creek'is to the south, dividing it from Jenning's island 
a small spot, with two keys at its south end forming an inlet known 
by the name oi Angel-Jish creek. Here commences the long irregu- 
lar land called Key Largo, about the middle of which is the pro- 
montory o{ Sound point. 

Sound point, is the only spot that may be said to form a true pro- 
montory, from the Rocky springs a little south of Jupiter inlet. Thi^ 
point has sometimes been named cape Florida, but the Spaniards hav- 
ing designated the southern end of key Biscayne by that name, their 
appellation has prevailed. It is on Sound point, that is on the ex- 
tensive reef before it, that almost every vessel that is cast away 
meets her fate. The north point of that reef [Carysfort) extends a? 
far as Angel-Jish creek and its south point which is dry, marks a deep 
channel to go in towards Key Tavernier. The people who watch the 
misfortunes of navigators, to make a benefit of them (the wreckers) 
know so well how much ships are exposed in approaching this reef, 
that they station themselves a little south of the point, from whence 
they can with certainty wait for the sight of any ship, that is so unfor- 
tunate as to be driven ashore : hence Key Tavernier has become for 
the last fifty years the general rendezvous of the little fleet of small 
(jraft, which are annually fitted out for wrecking, of which more notice 
will be taken presently. 


Caj/o Largo, Long key or Sound point key. Is actually a peninsula. 
!n 17G9 captain Bernard Romans with great labor, fatigue, inconven- 
ience from musquitos, and a total want of fresh water for four or five 
days, explored its inside waters. He was stimulated to this enter- 
prise by the reports of the Providence and Spanish fishermen, who 
told him unanimously, that they had often tried to enter at Angel-fish 
creek and to come out at Boca Herrera, the creek oppposite to key 
Tavernier ; or the contrary way, but always in vain, nor did any of 
them know an instance of its having been done. Captain Romans 
then went in at Angel-fish creek, and after a great deal of time spent 
in Sandwich gulf, no passage was found : he afterwards entered into 
Grant's lake, by drawing the boat over dry ground for above six times 
her own length. Out of this lake he found his way, by a very nar- 
row passage at the south end : but as no part of key Largo yields 
any fresh water, and after he got into Grant's lake all the ground 
round him being mangrove swamp, he was unable to find any : two of 
his people were nearly exhausted by thirst, which it was impossible 
to alleviate till he reached the watering place at Matacombe. This 
is stated by way of caution if any stranger should get there : for 
though he will find abundance of fresh water on every other part of 
the coast, he ought not to venture to be for any purpose, within this 
peninsula oikey Largo, without a store of that invaluable necessary. 
Key Largo formerly abounded with mastic, lignum vitae and maho- 
gany, but the most valuable has been long cut down, and there is none 
now but very young timber. A portion of good rich land is on this 
key, among the principal growth of which is found the wild cinna- 
mon, wild olive, Sic. : in most places where capable of cultivation, 
the soil is a rich black mould of considerable depth : the larger 
growth heavy, but the under brush not so thick as usual in the ordi~ 
nary hammocks. Key Largo has no living animals on it except ra- 
coons and insects. The south end oikey Largo is determined by a 
small creek scarce a rausquet shot wide, admitting only boats and 


called by the Spaniards Boca Herrera. The bay within abounds 
with fish, turtle, and lobsters. 

Key Tavernier has little or no high ground, affording only sand 
crabs and some few doves and other birds. There is here a small 
harbor within a reef where ihe wreckers usually lie. Nearly east 
from this key lies the southern point oi Carysfort ree/'makinga wide 
channel called Pahnestm in and outlet : this south point is dry, but in 
the channel is four and five fathoms, and ships in distress may find 
shelter under the point. 

From key Largo passing by BulVs island with a little key at its 
south end, the navigator proceeds to Young Matacombe, which 
is four miles long with a well of good fresh water at the east end : 
abreast of this key is a clump of sunken rocks called the Hen and 

Next to the south west is the island of Old Maticombe remarkable 
for being the most convenient and the best watering place on all this 
coast : on its east end are fine wells in the solid rock, said to have 
been cut by the Indians, but which appear to be natural chasms, 
similar to those found on many parts of the peninsula of Florida ; 
they yield excellent water in abundance as do likewise some ponds 
near them. This island was one of the last habitations of the In- 
dians of the Coloosa nation. There are some good rich lands upon it 
capable of cultivation. About a mile towards its north east end lies 
a small bushy gravelly key, on the extremity of a reef: it is called 
Malanza, that is slaughter, from the catastrophe of a French crew, 
said to have amounted to near three hundred men, who were unfor- 
tunate enough to fall into the hands of the Coloosas, by whom they 
were to a man murdered on this spot. Matanza key is the leading 
mark for finding the watering place on Matacombe, in the channel to 
which is ten feet water. 

East from old Matacombe is the south point of Matanza reef and 
Spencer in and outlet : from which the Great rc^begins to be divided 


into smaller spots; the channel within them is likewise deeper and 
wider, but there is less smooth water than from key Biscayne to key 

Key Vivora is the next key, beyond which is Cayos Vacas or Cow 
keys, on the largest and westernmost of which is tolerable water 
plenty of deer. 

The next islands are called Bay Honda keys, extending some 
leagues westwardly. Beyond these is Newfound Harbor, due south 
from which, and four miles off is key Looe, a little sandy bar or island 
which takes its tiame from the British ship of war Looe having been 
lost there. To the east of key Looe is Dartmouth iti and outlet, 
through which all vessels generally pass that go from St. Augustine 
to the Havana. A few miles further westward is the island called 
by the Spaniards Cayo Huesso (fione key) and by the English key 
WtsT ; since the cession of the Floridas to the United Slates it has 
received the name of Thompson's island. — It extends east and west 
for six or seven miles, having a shallow bank before it : at the north- 
cast end i& a small anchorage ground called Spa7iish Harbor ; the 
principal harbor or roadstead is at the west end ; but it is considered 
unsafe in northern and western gales. There is about twenty-four 
feet v?ater, and the way in is to keep close on board the west side of 
the small key which lies some miles to the south-east of the west 
point of Thompson's island : draw close enough alongside this key 
to chuck a biscuit on shore : then steer about N. W. by N. to the 
point of the island. 

Key West is perhaps two miles acrpss in the very widest place ; 
and is naturally divided into two parts differing materially from each 
other : the west end offers a considerable body of rich dark mould 
interspersed with loose limestones ; the timber growing on it is 
neither high nor large, but the underbrush is very thick : at this end i 
fresh water is found in abundance and of good quality. The eastern 
half has very little good soil upon it : the salt ponds of which so much 



has been spoken, extend nearly all through it ; they are separated 
from each other and from the inlets and bays formed by the sea, by 
solid rocks and loose stones almost destitute of vegetation. The wa- 
ter iu them, as they now are in a state of nature, is about two feet 
deep pretty uniformly, and extremely salt: the ponds are generally 
allowed to be of the very best kind, and of an extent suflicient when 
properly attended, to supply the United States ; it is singular that 
no other of the Florida keys contatn such natural ponds, though pos 
sibly artificial ones might be constructed on them in favorable situa- 

Deer are extremely abundant, as well as a variety of birds : indeed 
almost all the adjacent keys are well supplied in this respect, if they 
yield fresh water. The tide ebbs and flows here regularly six feet, 
and the time of high water at the full and change is eight o'clock. 
The Havana bears from hence S. 6 degrees, W. twenty-five leagues, 
but vessels steer higher up on account of the currents. 

Key West was granted to Don Juan P. Salas, the private secretary 
to governor Coppinger of East Florida, but it is at present claimed 
by general John Geddes of Charleston, S. C. and by Mr. Symington^ 
both of whom have establishments upon the island, and are both in 
possession. The title of the former gentlemen has been pronounced by 
the attorney general of the United States as clear and indisputable : 
Mr. Symington has also obtained some first rate legal opinions deci- 
dedly in his favor. 

At key West terminates what was formerly called by the British 
Hawke channel, but which is now known as the passage through the 
keys ; from this passage there are several channels into the Gulf 
of Mexico : the first of these passages is to the west end of old Maia- 
combe island, but will admit no vessel of above six feet draught of 
water : it is called Onslow passage, passing near Cayo Axi or Sandy 
key, off cape Sable : the second passage is at the south west end of 
Vivora island with nine feet water: the third or Gordon's passage 


has eight and a half feet water : the fourth has the name of North 
passage : it opens at the west end of the southernmost of the bay Hon- 
da keys, and goes along the north east side of the largest of the Mar- 
tyrs : its depth of water is seven feet, but it is narrow and difficult. 
None of these passages are now much in use, except by the fisher- 
men and turtlers. 

The fifth passage called by the Spaniards Boca C/iJca, lies between 
key West and Mule keys: vessels from the southward in the stream 
should stand in through key West channel or in coming down through 
the keys ; after clearing the south point of kky West, steer in, keeping 
close on board the shore within thirty or forty yards, then laying 
N. N. W, until all shoals are cleared : the lowest soundings are four- 
teen feet. To the westward of key West channel are two others, 
one between Mule key and Marquis bank, called Boca Grande : the 
other lies between that bank and the dry Tortugas shoals and is the 
westernmost and broadest of all. 

The Martyr keys lying back between bay Honda and key West 
may be divided into two classes : the high, and the low or drowned 
islands. The high islands are based upon grey, white or black hard 
rocks ; the low or mangrove islands are founded on coral rocks, co- 
vered with a rich but wet soil. The high islands are heaped in pla- 
ces with sand on which little or nothing grows : in other parts they 
have a stratum of bluish marl, on which flourish in great abundance 
and in a most agreeable temperature, a large variety of tropical trees, 
shrubs and plants. None of the islands are inhabited. The quant- 
ity of fish, and loggerhead, hawsbill and green turtle found here is 
almost incredible, particularly about bay Honda : among the long 
catalogue of fishes is a remarkable species of prawn which in a for- 
mer page has been improperly noticed as a lobster : it wants in fact 
the two claws : it is found, sometimes weighing several pounds, in 
the holes of the coral rocks, beautifully spotted with red, yellow,, 
blue, green, grey, and a little black, but all change into one red color 


in boiling : the other fish are excellent in their kind, and may like 
all other fish caught on the Florida shore, be eaten with safety, which 
is not the case always in the Bahamas. From the promontory of 
key Largo the chain of the Florida keys on the south, and the coast 
of the main down to cape Sable on the north, from what was forroer- 
]}■ called /i/c/i mo«rf bay: this is very shallow and full of grass and 
mud banks : and a labyrinth of small keys intervene behind the 
principal ones already described from the Martyr'' s \okey Largo. 

The Marquis bank and keys and the Mule keys extend for a 
long distance westwardly from Thompson's island, having no reef in 
front. Hence to the duy Tortugas bank and keys is twelve leagues 
terminating the general Florida reef. 

It has more than once been a matter of discussion respecting the 
most eligible places for naval and military stations on the keys ; from 
all the information that has been collected, it would seem that key 
West or Thompson'' s island is the best as a naval depots but probably 
vessels of small draught might advantageously be placed at old Mata- 
combe, or key Tavernier, as cruisers : at Matacombe a military post 
might be established equally advantageously as at cape Florida or 
key West, and it would be mid-way between both : an establishment for 
the purposes to be mentioned presently might also be made at Ma- 
tacombe, which besides its central situation and fine water, has a pro- 
portion of good land fit for agricultural or at least horticultural pur- 
poses. It would scarcely be worth the expense or trouble to erect 
permanent forts at any of these places, and a due consideration of the 
purposes required to be effected by military and naval posts, will 
quickly determine which of the three is the most eligible. 

In the event of a war, various stations for cruizers would be ap- 
pointed along the extensive general reef, where every vessel bound 
northward might be watched : the abundance of fish, turtle, and 
game in and among the keys would prove a constant source of re- 
freshment ; from hence also the pirates might be watched, when 


driven from their haunts and hiding places in the various obscure 
haunts around the island of Cuba and the Bahama banks. 

The wreckers have been more than once mentioned and a slight 
notice of these people may not be unacceptable. For many years 
wrecking has beeen reduced to a perfect system, and upon the coast 
of Florida has been engrossed by the inhabitants of the Bahama 
islands, and principally by those of the island of New-Providence. 
The usual custom in fitting out these small craft on a wrecking and 
turtling voyage (for they are generally combined) is upon shares : the 
merchants of Nassau are chiefly the proprietors of the vessels, into 
which a few barrels of pork and buscuit are put, the crews being 
supposed able to subsist themselves by fishing and hunting, and these 
crews are composed of the pilots and fishermen of the islands. 

Forty or fifty wreckers have often made their rendezvous at Key 
Tavernier, which has before been noted as a central position for 
their purposes, and at these times one or two vessels have been se- 
lected to fish for the others, in which case they always had a share 
of any booty. 

On returning to Nassau, the government duties, admiralty fees, 
the tythe to the resident governor, and a variety of other colonial 
charges, took on an average thirty-five per cent., from the gross 
amount of the sales of the property brought in by the wreckers : 
one moiety of the nett proceeds then fell to the owner and fitter out 
of the craft ; the other half was divided among the captain and crew 
in certain shares and portions of shares, as agreed upon previous to 
the commencement of the expedition. 

It has been estimated that the duties to the British government 
alone produced an annual revenue of fifteen thousand pounds 
sterling from this curious source ; besides keeping a numerous body 
of hardy and enterprising subjects in employ, and repaying with 
great profit the speculations of the merchants. It is also a notorious 
fact that since the termination of the late war, the town of Nassan 


has been almost supported by the wreckers, who are so sensible of 
the advantages derived from their employment, that they have open- 
ly declared they will never leave the reef, until driven off by armed 
force, and seem to consider themselves possessed of a right in the 
wrecking ground as their own individual property, independent of 
any change of government. 

The great effect of gales of wind upon the Florida or gulf stream, 
the uncertainty of the line of the eddy, and the numerous baffling 
currents continually drive the mariner upon the reefs : the unex- 
perienced navigator too is sometimes by light winds and unknown 
sets of the gulf accidentally carried within side the reef, through 
some of the inlets, and when he has got out an anchor, he see's 
through the clear water, that he is surrounded by rocks and shoals, 
which are more appalling to the eye than dangerous in reality, often 
lying in deep places. It is then that the wrecker makes his appear- 
ance, and the frightened master of a rich laden vessel, is compelled 
to accede to the terms of the only pilots who can take him safely 
out, for which in many instances two and three thousand dollars 
have been paid : there is seldom any competition, for by a point of 
honour among them no wrecker interferes with the one who first 
linds the bewildered vessel. 

The variety of the modes of gain, and the different kinds of im- 
position, smuggling, S:c. would fill a volume ; but on the other hand 
by trusting too much to the captain of the rescued vessel, it has 
more than once occurred that he has given bills of exchange which 
have never been paid, and made engagements and promises, which 
unless fulfilled before the extrication of his vessel, have been bro- 
ken without a scruple when he found himself once more safe in the 
open sea. 

Injustice to the wreckers among the Florida keys, it must be re- 
marked that much of the abuse which has been thrown upon them 
rs very undeserved, and that where in one instance they are accused 


of extortion, there are many more where they have been ill treat- 
ed for their services. 

The idle tales which have been told of their making false lights on 
the coast, all who have resided in those parts, assure to be un- 
truths. Those fires are occasioned by the hunters and Indians 
who burn the forests to clear them of underbrush, and to procure 
fresh pasture for the deer. Lightning also often sets fire to trees, 
and it is not very uncommon, in dry seasons, to see spontaneous 
flames arise in marshy places. But after all, what business has a 
mariner who knows there are no harbours or light-houses on this 
coast, to follow a light out of his course ? and would it not be ad- 
viseable for all passing along this coast, upon seeing a light to the 
westward, to look out for breakers if he stands in for that quarter ? 
We understand that lately a considerable number of small craft, 
have been sent down from various Atlantic ports upon voyages ot 
wrecking and turtling, but they should be protected in some mode 
by the American government, and measures taken to prevent the 
interference of foreigners with their lawful pursuits. 

An establishment at Old Matacombe would be very convenient, 
where some authorised persons could reside to regulate by rule and 
law, to determine upon the rates of pilotage in extreme cases, and 
prevent imposition on the one hand and the want of a sufficient re- 
muneration on the other. A revenue vessel of light draught of wa- 
ter would be a preventive to many disorders and keep off the 
Providence wreckers, who might shun an armed cutter when they 
would laugh at any regulations that were not supported by compe- 
tent strength, and put into effect by force of arms. 

Sources of considerable profit in various respects are to be found 
upon the Florida reef, and among the archipelago of keys ; the 
quantity of wrecked property annually thrown here is very great, 
and can only be fully known to those who have long been in the 
habit of wrecking ; the number of vessels fitted out from Nassau is 


the greatest proof. Turtle shell and drift logwood and mahogany 
are no small branches of emolument ; the quantity of turtle taken 
is vast : a gentleman in Nassau has amassed a very large fortune 
lately by purchasing all the turtle not wanted for the consumption 
of the Bahamas, with which he makes very large quantities of 
turtle soup: this after being boiled to a hard jelly is preserved 
in cases perfectly air tight and sent to London, by which the soup 
in that city can be afforded to be sold at nearly one half the former 
prices. Would not a similar supply be acceptable to our northern 
cities ? 

No attempt has been made by the author to introduce any sailing 
directions through this intricate navigation : he refers the navigator 
to the gulf pilot by captain Bernard Romans, De Brahm, k.c. from 
which many of the preceding observations have been abstracted, 
and which contain minute directions ; the eye is however chiefly 
recommended, the clearness of the water shewing all dangers. 

In closing the remarks upon the Florida keys, it is with satisAic- 
tion we find that a minute exploration of them is about to take place 
under the orders of the general government, and we may shortly 
expect to find many facts brought to light and many errors correct- 
ed : we may hope that the minuteness and accuracy of the new 
charts may enable the navigator to avoid many of the dangers, and 
that a familiarity with the passages, may teach him to pass this long 
dreaded coast in comparative safety. 

When a few years shall have induced a trade from the harbours 
on the western coast of the Florida peninsula, a knowledge of the 
passes through the keys into the gulf of Mexico will be requisite for 
the shipmaster to shorten his voyage, and it is not impossible but an 
intimate knowledge of the navigation may lead to the laying down of 
some rules for the hitherto dubious courses through the reef. 



The Indians were formerly very numerous in the Floridas, per- 
Iiaps as much so as in Mexico : the histories of Ferdinand de Soto 
and other early travellers assure us of this fact, and the vestiges 
that remain to the present day attest it. From various causes how- 
ever, they have gradually, and vvithin the last forty years rapidly 
disappeared, particularly from East Florida ; and the numerous 
tribes are reduced to some small bands and a few ruinous villages 
of indolent dirty vagabonds, wholly unlike the bold character of 
American Indians. 

The Floridas having almost constantly belonged to Spain, their 
mode of considering the rights of the Indians is perhaps the one to 
be referred to, when that question shall be agitated : and this, be- 
cause their relations with the aborigines of America have been very 
different to those of most other nations. 

Having obtained a grant from his holiness the pope, " he who 
kept the keys of heaven," to all those parts of the western hemis- 
phere they should discover, they made a lodgment on a spot of a 
province or kingdom, and having fortitied it, entered into treaties 



of incorporation with the nearest tribes, and thus gradually advanc- 
ed to those more remote. Cortez varied in Mexico a part of this 
mode of process, but not the principle : be went straight to the 
capital, but after becoming firmly footed there, carried on the sys- 
tem of incorporation. 

The pope made those grants in order to extend the Catholic re- 
ligion, founded no doubt on the credence of those days in his bound- 
less powers, and on the immensity of good in the object ; and per- 
haps these were as good data ot primitive territorial rights, as those 
of most other nations : he gave what was not his, and others have 
taken what was not theirs. 

However this incorporating system may have been abused in 
practice, as very many of the intentions of all governments are, 
when acted upon far from horne, it must be allowed that it intimate- 
ly combined benevolence in its leading principles ; that in practice, 
it exhibited a perpetual reciprocity of interests, and that the depo- 
pulation of the aborigmes under this system, has been much less ra- 
pid than in other parts, even where the purchasing system has been 
preferred. In New Spain but a small defalcation comparatively 
exists of the Indians, and that may be traced to the amalgamation 
with the whites ; but where alas I are the tribes that once inhabited 
the territory between the Floridas and the St. Lawrence ? We re- 
fer here only to the Spanish continental settlements, for on the 
islands it would appear that extermination had been the order of the 
day, and that the after plans of incorporation had grown out of the 
horrors of those. 

People of all countries from a remarkable effect of habit, are 
prone to suppose their method of managing, to be the best and only 
means by which a desired end can be effected. This doubtless in- 
duced the British government to discontinue the Spanish system of 
incorporation, upon their obtaining possession of Florida at the 
peace of 17G3 ; for soon after, treaties were held with the Indians. 


and a line of demarcation was established ; pointing out decidedly 
the lands of the white and red nations respectively : according to 
the words of the treaty the British government retained the lands, 
" all round the sea shore back as far as the tide rises ; all the lands 
on the east side of the river St. John, from its source until it runs 
into the sea ; all the lands to the westward of the river St. John, 
that are situated between the sea and a line drawn from tlie place 
tvhere the Ocklawaha creek falls into the said river, near Spald- 
ing's old upper trading house, to the forks of the Black creek at 
Colwill's plantation, and from thence to that part of the river St. 
Mary which is intersected by a continuation of the line to the en- 
trance of Turkey creek into the Alatamaha ;" which place upon 
the river St. Mary is at or near Coleraine in Georgia. 

The existence of this line, which was actually marked through 
the woods, has been doubted, but the evidence of its having been 
fixed remains in the records of East Florida : the older Indians 
have a distinct idea of it, and the author has heard them allude to it, 
and they are under the strong impression that it is by that line of 
demarcation their lands are now to be meted. This treaty was made 
in 1769 by governor Tonjn. 

In 1784 we learn that the Spanish government of East and West 
Florida, met the Talahassy and Seminole Indians in a body, who held 
those districts with their celebrated warrior McGillivray at their 
head, and formed and executed a treaty of incorporation, (or rather 
reformed and re-executed the treaty which the British occupancy 
and treaty had rendered obsolete) which completely made the In- 
dians of Spain coequal with the whites, and put the sovereignty into 
the hands of his catholic majesty. That treaty stipulates that the 
sovereignt}', rights and jurisdiction of his majesty, go alike through 
all parts of these provinces. And this the United States virtually 
acknowledged in treating with Spain, and Spain only, on the boun- 
dary line between the Floridas and Georgia, and which line was 


moreover run under a military force, expressly to guartl against in- 
terference on the part of the Indians. The same treaty says, that 
should the Indians be dispossessed of their lands (for they had a 
ric;ht to lands individually but none nationally) his majesty will re- 
munerate them in other parts of his territory. Each Indian had a 
right to land, as well as and on the same footing with white, free 
black and coloured siilijer.ts, in any part of the province. 

However this might have been understood by the Spanish gov- 
ernment, the Indians themselves have always entertained the idea 
that their boundaries remained as fixed by the British, and their op- 
position to, and tinal stoppage of the running of the Florida line, de- 
monstrates this, as well as their hostility to any whites who crossed 
the line. It is a matter of notoriety that no Spaniard, previous to 
the exchange of flags, dared to cross the river St. John above Buena 
Vista, and the Spanish governors in their talks from time to time, 
seem to have tacitly consented to this assumption of the Indians. 

The history of a purchase made from the Indians, under per- 
mission from and ratified by the Spanish government, proves on the 
other hand that the Indians could not make sales without their sanc- 
tion, and goes far towards the interence that it should rather be 
considered as a grant from Spain. 

The house of Panton, Leslie &. Co. stands identified with the his- 
tory of the Florida Indians. Spain having received back the Flori- 
das from Great Britain, neglected no step to assuage the regret of 
the red people, at parting with their friends the British, and to con- 
ciliate their good will. In the earliest meeting, the Indians request- 
ed to be supplied with English goods and by English merchants ; and 
having been desired by the government, to point out the commercial 
house most to their satisfaction, among the many with whom they 
had traded, they chose that of Panton, Leslie i^ Co. This advantage 
gained and carefully improved by the principals of that house, men 
of the first rate talents, information and address, it soon became the 


monitor of the Indians, the guardian of the tranquillity of the pro- 
vince, and a favorite vt^ith the court of Spain. They had several 
trading establishments in each province, and were allowed to import 
articles of commerce ofevery description free of duties, when foreign 
goods were so strictly forbidden, that to be detected introducing a 
single piece of linen, would have subjected by the laws of Spain, any 
other persons, to the penalty of working in the mines for life. They 
became the sole suppliers of all articles wanted by the government, 
garrisons, inhabitants and Indians of East and West Florida, 

During this lucrative range of political and civil importance, the 
firm had credited generally and largely the Indians of both provinces, 
at that time a numerous body : for tribes, afterwards shut into Geor- 
gia, then traded to their stores ; and preferring, as a matter of ac- 
commodation to all concerned to receive a body of land, as a general 
extinction of those debts, rather than urge individual payments, they 
obtained permission from the Spanish court to treat with the Indians 
on that head. A total extinction of debts so easily obtained, was of 
course pleasing to the Indians, and not injurious to Spain, who held 
lands only to give to those ia whose possession they might become 
nationally beneficial ; a treaty was concluded between that house 
and their debtors, and Spain ratified the treaty ; thereby virtually 
ceding to the house of Panton, Leslie & Co. a territory of about 
twelve hundred thousand acres for the purposes of discharging the 
debts of her Indian subjects. These lands which descended to the 
firm of John Forbes & Co. of Matanzas in the island of Cuba as the 
surviving partners of the house of Panton, Leslie U Co. are situa- 
ted between the Appalachie and Appalachicola rivers, and are gener- 
ally known as Forbes' purchase. 

So much would not have been stated on this subject, did it not in- 
volve a curious and important question relative to Florida lands and 
grants : if the line of demarcation laid down by the British, was con- 
liisive against the Spanish government and recognised by them, all 


the grants made by the governors, within the Indian territory, and 
they constitute a large portion of the whole, may be considered as 
ab initio void, and the United States may be compelled to obtain the 
Indian lands, within this line, by treaty and purchase : and on the 
other hand, should the principle of the Spanish sovereignty over the 
whole country be adopted, it will naturally follow that all the bona 
fide grants made within the Indian territory are binding on the Uni- 
ted States, who are likewise bound to protect and provide other 
lands for their Indian subjects, should those they occupy be wanted. 
The Indians of East Florida are supposed not to exceed one thou- 
sand souls ; or upon the widest calculation fifteen hundred : they 
consist generally of tribes of the Seminole nation, but there are among 
them many refugees from the Creeks, Choctvvas, Alabama?, and other 
hostile tribes, the scattered renmants ot those who in 1818 broke up 
the Seminole settlements. The first disorganization of the Florida 
Indians arose, upon the breaking up and retirement of the trading 
houses of Panton, Leslie & Co. : then came the irruption of the 
Georgia borderers in 1812, when the Alachua settlements were de- 
stroyed, and their king and chief, Payne, received his death wound in 
the field : his brother Boa7fg5 died soon after of a broken heart and 
the Indians remaining without a chief of talent or enterprise, order 
was lost among them : their defeats in 1818 completely broke them 
up, and they are now dispersed in small squads and single families all 
over the country : a few still inhabit the small villages between Ala- 
chua and Tampa bay ; mingled with parties of their foes many have 
come to the waters on the eastern side of the peninsula ; and others 
emaciated and naked supply wood to the city of St. Augustine, car- 
ried in bundles on their backs. Among the wanderers are a familj' 
of the Euchee nation. The whole of them will no doubt submit 
to any system that will ameliorate their life which at present is very 
wretched : they are humbled to the dust. The author was last year 
a witness to the raost absolute state of starvation they were reduced 


to, from the loss of their crops in 1821 ; at the period when the at- 
tention of themselves and their negro slaves were directed to the 
cultivation of their crops, a few worthless wretches from St. Augus- 
tine, for the purpose of alarming the Indians, and inducing them to 
sell their slaves for almost nothing, a practice of imposition that had 
often before been practiced, went into the nation and spread reports 
that two thousand American troops under the command of General 
Jackson were coming down to expel them from their lands and carry 
awaj their slaves and cattle. The Indians upon this abandoned their 
crops and sold many of their slaves, by which the avarice of the 
speculators was gratified. It has been reported that a similar expe- 
riment was about to have been tried the last summer, but fortunately 
it miscarried in its birth. 

Many of the emigrant Creeks and others who had got down to 
Tampa bay, and its waters launched their canoes there, and tempted 
by the smoothness of the summer ocean, ventured along the coast as 
far as cape Sable, when they became acquainted with the Bahama 
wreckers, who employed them to hunt on the cape and adja- 
cent keys, in return for bread stuffs and trifling presents ; the game 
beginning to grow scarce, the wreckers carried a few of them through 
the reef to the woods immediately west of cape Florida ; large bo- 
dies soon followed and these refugees quickly spread along the east 
coast as far north as Jupiter inlet. 

The remnant of the black and colored people who had served with 
colonel Nichols during the late war, fugitive slaves from all the 
southern section of the union, as well as from the Spanish planta- 
tions in Florida and from St. Augustine followed upon the steps of 
the Indians, and formed considerable settlements on the waters of 
Tampa bay. When the Indians went in pursuit of these negroes, 
such as escaped made their way down to cape Florida and the reef, 
about which they were collected within a year and a half past to up- 
wards of three hundred : vast numbers of them have been at differ- 


ent times since carried off by the Bahama wreckers to Nassau, but 
the British authorities, having invariably refused to allow them to be 
landed, they have been smuggled into the remoter islands, and at this 
period, large numbers have been found on St. Andrews and the Bi- 

The chiefs of the outcast Indians who had by means of the wreck- 
ers found a mode of communicating with the governor of Nassau, 
once or twice went over, but were coolly treated. On the last vi- 
sit they were imprisoned for awhile, and then sent back without pre- 
sents, and the shipmasters forbidden under heavy penalties to bring 
them over again. For several years past they have been very trou- 
blesome on the coast, plundering the wrecks and destroying the game, 
and at cape Florida have been made the instruments in the hands of 
one designing individual, of oppressing the very few settlers on that 
point. At the present time the greater portion of these Indians are 
about Charlotte harbour ; not more than fifty were on the east coast 
lately, and were preparing to join their countrymen, on the conclu- 
sion of the hunting season. No greater proof need be adduced of the 
impassable state of the country, than the fact of these Indians com- 
municating with Charlotte harbour by coasting round the peninsula, 
instead of striking directly across, a course which they all unite in 
stating they have attempted from both sides in vain, being always 
stopped by the waters of the Never Glade. 

Whatever steps the United States government may adopt respect- 
ing the Indians, they will doubtless be founded on principles of jus- 
tice and humanity ; and their efforts will be directed to their im- 
provement and civilization. On this head the author must quote the 
v/ords of George I. F. Clarke, Esq, of Florida, to whom he is chiefly 
indebted for the materials of the preceding part of this article. 

" The hand of aid and instructioft properly extended, will make 
the Indians serviceable ; they will learn to labor, and our good ex- 
ample will wear out their former propensities. I know that there 


ure some u'ho will smile with contempt at the iJea of taming Indians ; 
but I trust that their number and influence are very small. Mow 
limited must be the conception, how illiberal the mind to the contra- 
ry ! how little or how partially must they have studied human ' - 
ture ! Are we not all the children of habit, the mere reflectio; cf 
education and manners ? and why should tliese be incorrigible ? It is 
evident, that the only difference in man, laying aside his color, is the 
difference of opinion ; and that difference of opinion arises from the 
difference of education. Let the sceptical in this part of the philo- 
sophy of human nature turn his eyes to the city of Mexico, and see 
there the examples of talents natural and acquired, in the line arts 
and belles lettres, manifest among Indians ; let him look into the Hava- 
na and see the many finished workmen in the useful and elegant crafts, 
to be found there among the Africans ; let him view man in all parts 
of the world, where he has had opportunities for his improvement, 
110 matter where born or by whom begot and then let him declare if 
lie is not always the master-piece of Nature's works and the only 
master ol arts. And after thus seeing what he has acquired, will the 
caviller attempt to say what bounds have been prescribed to his ac- 
quirements by his country or his color ?"' 




The liiadi which have been granted in both Floridas, under the 
administration of Great Britain and Spain, are not in their gross 
amount very considerable, with the exception of the few large con- 
cessions. The questions that are likely to arise upon them, will not 
probably involve the point of validity except in certain cases, but 
•will turn on the location ; as much of the valuable ground is covered 
by conflicting grants : this will particularly be the case should the 
old British concessions be admitted to proof, for the lands taken up 
by them being in general of fine quality, were petitioned for by and 
allotted to Spanish subjects, and many of the grants for services 
are located upon these grounds. 

When Great Britain withdrew from Florida, all her subjects who 
left the country were renumerated for their lands, excepting it is be- 
lieved, those who remained in the United States or in the Floridas, 
and the claimants under these circumstances alone can pretend to set 
up a title. 

Towards the close of the existence of the Spanish government in 
the Floridas, and perhaps for ten years previous to the signing of the 


treaty, the inhabitants foresaw that these provinces must unevitably 
become an integral part of the United States : They could not but 
perceive that strangers to their habits, manners, customs and religion 
would ere long rule the country ; and did they not possess some in- 
herent right in the soil, they judged, and not without reason, that 
they might be lost in the current of the new population. Their lands 
therefore were to become an indispensible property, and unconnect- 
ed with a government which then supported them, they must obtain 
tracts either to dispose of at an advantageous opportunity, or for the 
purpose of bending themselves 'o t!ie laboi's of agriculture. With 
this prospect, ;;11 those entitled to them solicited grants for services, 
and obtained them by virtue of certain special ordinances from the 
court of Spain. It was their right so to do, and their motive was as- 
suredl}' praiseworthy and justiliable : they were prompted by the 
same sacred instigation that induces the actions of all mankind, in ma- 
king a provision for their offspring. 

Hence the number of concessions made in the latter years of the 
government of Spain in Florida, compared with those of the earlier 
periods : but the circumstance of the 24th of January, 1813, having 
been fixed upon by the treaty as the date, posterior to which no grant 
is to be recognized by the American government, will if strictly en- 
forced, cut ofi'a large number of meritorious concessions, which were 
issued as a reward for services, by virtue of the royal orders before 
mentioned, particularly the one dated in 1815. The effect of these 
orders being to remunerate riltizens for beneficial acts done to the 
government, it would seem almost proper to infer that all, who might 
thenceafter make out their right of reward and the previous non-re- 
muneration, had an inchoate title created to their respective quotas 
from the very date of the order, although they happened to apply 
for them after a certain day which was not finally determined on until 
twslve months from it had elapsed : hence two equally deserving in- 
dividuals having applied for their several bounties, earned painfully 


bv their blood a-r.d I oil, on the 23d and 25lh of January, 1818, respect- 
ively ; the one would have a good title, and the other be excluded 
by the treaty and be deprived of his reward. There was no time 
fixed for the inhabitants to come in and claim their concessions, and 
many delayed from that assurance, and from a want of means to pay 
the foes upon their preliminary titles. 

Upon the subject of the date of the 24th of January, 1818, exten- 
sive legal opinions from American and Spanish jurists hiive been gi- 
ven, which go the length to state, that by the constitution of Spain ; 
(which was promulgated at Cadiz on the 19th March, 1812, and af- 
ter a bloodless revolution was on the 7th March, 1820, adopted as it 
was originally made, and then sworn to by Ferdinand the seventh) 
the king had not the power to do any act, which took away property 
from a Spanish subject ; and the eighth article of the treaty "which 
did so, by the act of fixing the date, was not confirmed by the Cortes, 
but only the second and third articles, which transferred the sover- 
eignty and the public lands to the United States. 

As we are not lawyers we quit this subject, having ventured upon 
it but for a moment, to plead something on behalf of those Floridians 
whose titles are destroyed by the treaty, without any fault alleged 
or implied of their own. 

The investigation of the various intricate claims in Upper and 
Lower Louisania, have brought to light a variety of the usages pf 
theSp,mi?h government, respecting the mode of granting and taking 
up lands ; and from the statements made in Congress, and more par- 
ticularly the learned elucidation aflbrded by Messrs. Barton and Ben- 
son, much of the mystery thrown around them has been cleared up. 

It is now admitted, that the tact of an actual survey or location, is 
by no means to be assumed as any criterion of the validity of a claim : 
it would be a rule indiscrimiate in its character, and not distinguish- 
ing between valid and invalid concessions. If a concession be good 
or bad, it is so from causes and facts anterior to the fact of survey or 


Jocation, and whoUj independent of it ; it is so from causes co-eval 
or co-existent with the issuing of the concession or warrant itself; 
it is either good or bad then, and the subsequent location or survey 
happening sometime after, and dependant on circumstances of per- 
sonal convenience or personal influence, is wholly immaterial to the 
intrinsic merits of the concession. 

In fuller corroboration of this fact it must be mentioned, that in 
Florida when the unconditional grants for civil or military services 
were made, the petitioner often named a place which was specially 
stated in the grant ; but when upon examination, the spot he had 
chosen was found to have been already taken up, he was allowed to 
locate elsewhere, and the survey and plat returned accordingly ; up- 
on the well recognized principle that the grant, being made without 
prejudice to a third person, held good against the government when 
once issued, to be located elsewhere, when the specified spot was oc- 

Among the various modes in which lands are occupied in Florida, 
some are by grants from the crown of Spain direct : others from the 
governor general of Cuba, but the most from the colonial governors : 
some are held by a written permission for certain purposes, such as 
erecting mills or bridges ; and in some instances land is occupied, 
the original tenure to which was from the verbal permission of the 
governor. This practice was always countenanced by the Spanish 
government, in order that poor persons when they found themselves 
a little at their ease, might at their own conveniency apply for and 
obtain complete titles : in the meantime such imperfect rights were 
suffered by the government to descend by inheritance, and even to be 
transferred by private contract : when requisite they have been sei- 
zed by judicial authority, and sold for thq payment of debts. 

In making the grants for services it was not contemplated either 
by the authorities or by the individuals, that these lands were to be 
actually occupied : most of the grantees were in some capacity or 


other holders of offices under the government, and resided in St, 
Augustine, and wished to continue there : the Spaniard is diflerent 
from the American in all his habits, and more particularly as a set- 
tler ; he is fond of society, and could not exist on a remote farm se- 
veral leagues from a neighbour, passing the greater part of his time 
within his own domestic circle. Like the French the Spaniards are 
social beings, and love towns and villages and groups of habitations. 
The plantations in Florida were with few exceptions cultivated by 
English settlers, or by those Spanish subjects who by an intercourse 
with Georgia, had adopted the American customs. 

In anticipation of the exchange of flags, during the last two years 
of tlie Spanish government, those who had money or influence pro- 
cured their surveys, such as they are ; but ail could not be accom- 
modated, nor was it material to the validity of their concessions by 
the laws and usages then existing. The returns of these surveys 
were by an authorised surveyor, who deposited his plat in the no- 
tarial ofiice, being sworn previous to each location to the due per- 
formance of his duty. 

With respect to the powers of the governors to make grants, it 
seems doubtful whether they had any other limit than the discre- 
tion of the confirming tribunals : although the author has taken 
much trouble, he has not been able to find whether they were limit- 
ed to any extent in granting. Stoddard in his interesting sketches 
of Louisiana expresses an opinion, that the powers of the lieutenant- 
governors or sub-delegafes were discretionary ; but from other 
sources we know, that about 1801 the governor of Louisiana was 
restricted in the extent of his grants, particularly to new settlers. 
From the best sources of information we find, that the governors of 
Florida were authorised fcom time to time to grant lands, by virtue 
of certain royal orders direct from the court of Madrid, to new set- 
tlers who became Spanish subjects, and the quantity granted was in 
proportion to the family and slaves held by the applicant. Grants 


to a large amount have been thus made by the governors, condi- 
tioned for the confirmation in proportion to the number of settlers 
or slaves brought in ; upon due proof of which, the number of acres 
pro rata were patented to the colonist with a royal title. 

Any inhabitant or new comer could also obtain a grant for lands, 
on condition of his occupying, planting and cultivating the same for 
ten years, erecting buildings, &c, ; at the expiration of the time, 
upon sufficient proof, the royal title of full concession was made out 
to him : but many of the inhabitants who held lands under similar 
conditions, which had long been complied with, neglected to take 
out their royal or confirmatory titles, which under the Spanish gov- 
ernment was not obligatory upon them, and besides the fees were 
somewhat expensive ; but upon the knowledge of the cession, num- 
bers crowded to prove the fulfilment of their grants ; and most of 
the records from 1818 to 1821 are filled with royal titles predicated 
upon former conditional grants, the articles of which had been com- 
plied with. 

The titles made by Spain, being held by the treaty binding on the 
United States, to the same extent that they would have been valid 
under the dominion of the former, will smooth all difficulties arising 
under patents dated previous to the 24th of January, 1818 ; but the 
many claims posterior to that period, which will be clamorously 
urged, will cause the treaty of cession to be brought up at a future 
day for construction, before the supreme court of the United States ; 
yet the question will never be fully set at rest, until Congress have 
invested the judicial departments of the government with authority 
to try and investigate it. 

The boards of commissioners with their limited powers, are good 
enough for the purposes for which they were created ; to ascer- 
tain the quantity claimed under Spain, and to confirm their plain 
fonccssions : but they have not power, nor can Congress give 


power to Commissioners as such, to adjudicate conclusively against 
the individuals. 

Let us hope that the long contests in Louisiana and Missouri 
respecting land claims, may not be repeated in the case of Florida ; 
and that prompt and efficient measores may be laid, for the conclu- 
sive adjustment of all the titles in the territory : until this is done 
all population, all settlement will be withheld ; nor would the in- 
troduction of the public lands to the market tend to smooth difficul- 
ties : on the contrary it would only transfer the law suits to the 
purchasers. Disputes between the United States and a portion of 
the citizens of Missouri have existed nearly twenty years, origina- 
ting in grants made by France and Spain. 

The general proposition tiiat a citizen should have a remedy to 
determine his rights, where the same subject happens to be claim- 
ed by both the government and the individual, appears too obvious- 
ly just and necessary to require illustration in any ordinary case. 
In the determination of these claims Floridais materially interested : 
they are interspersed through a large portion of the territory, in ail 
directions. The disputes that may and will arise on some or all of 
these claims, unless immediately adjusted, will have a tendency to 
prevent emigration, at least to the central parts, and to throw the 
population into distant detached settlements ; and will prevent some 
ofthebestof the province from being brought into the market, 
peopled and cultivated. 

The first years of the Spanish government after re-occupying the 
Floridas, seem to have passed away without many grants being 
made ; except confirming in their possessions, such of the British 
subjects who chose to remain upon their lands or lots. In the year 
1793 a royal order came out from the Spanish court, authorising- 
the governors to make grants to new settlers or inhabitants, condi. 
ti&ned for the performance of some acts of public utility or for the 
complete settlement of the lands 


Another ten years rolled away, and about 1C03 a new order ar- 
rived, under which considerable tracts of land were granted : in 
1809 a royal cedula appears to iiave authorised the issuing of grants 
as rewards for civil or military services ; and in 1815 another onan- 
date from the king of Spain, authorised the governors to make con- 
cessions for similar services ; this latter order berng issued upon 
the special representations made to the Spanish government, of the 
losses sustained by the inhabitants from the revolutionary proceed- 
ings of 1812. It is not distinctly understood to what amount the 
governors were limited ; probably the quantuitL was left to be deci- 
ded upon by themselves, in proportion to the merits of the several 
applicants : in the list of grants issued as a reward for civil and mi- 
litary services, the largest quantity does not exceed tifty thousand 
acres, except in one instance, viz. the grant made on the 19th ot 
November, 1810 by governor White, to Don Pedro Miranda, as a 
reward for his various services expressed in the concession. 

The several orders to the governors or sub-dslegates of Florida 
coming direct from Madrid, and regulating the mode of making 
grants in certain cases, do not appear to have interfered with the 
general standing instructions to these officers, for issuing conces- 
sions in the ordinary routine ; nor with the power of the governor- 
general and intendant of the island of Cuba, to order concessions to 
such persons as he judged proper: in virtue of this authority, the 
governor-general granted to the commercial house of Don Fernan- 
do de la Maza Arredondo and Son of the Havana, on the 17th of 
December, 1817, a large tract of country situated around the old 
Indian town of Alachua, upon the fulfilment of certain conditions. 
This immense concession has been surveyed, and Messrs. Arre- 
dondo and Son having sold out to various persons, settlements have 
been established upon it, and measures taken for the compliance 
with the terms of the grant, the period for which is extended by the 
terms of the treaty. Several companies have been formed for the 



purpose of colonizing here ; one among the farmers of New-Jersey, 
another in New-York known as the Florida Association, kc. The 
settlers upon tliis tract will form a centre for a population in the 
very heart of the country, should the measures of the government 
not be prejudicial to their intentions. 

A recapitulation of the places upon which concessions have been 
made, will put into one view their extent. 

The neck of land between the rivers St. Mary and St. John on 
the north and south, the Atlantic ocean on the east, and the King's 
road from the Cowford ferry to Coleraine on the west, is entirely 
covered by grants in occupancy and cultivation : this is the northern 
division mentioned in the historical observatious. 

South of this division the grants extend on both sides of the river 
St. John, as far almost as the head lake : upon Dunn's lake and Haw 
creek, and upon most of the other tributaries of St. John, particu- 
larly Pablo and Black creeks : over the plains of San Diego, and 
upon each branch of the North river : almost entirely through the 
Twelve-mile swamp and its ramifications : the principal part of all, 
and the entire of the choice lands southwardly, from St. Augustine 
to Tomoca river, east of the main road, besides the banks of all the 
small water courses. 

The concessions are close together upon the front of Halifax ri- 
ver to Mosquito bar, and the deserted town of New Smyrna ; thence 
in a similar way to Mosquito south lagoon to the Haul-over isthmus ; 
and also occupy the rich hammocks or swamps running parallel to 
the coast, a mile or two west of the front water courses. The banks 
of Indian river and its north-west branch, northwardly from the 
Haul-over are likewise occupied ; likewise southwardly, though 
not without some vacant spots to St. Sebastian river. 

Thus far the concessions have been made without the old Indian 
boundary line ; whereby the peninsula from the head of St. John's 
river, and between the right bank of that stream and the Atlantic 


ocean, may be considered as almost entirely covered by various 
grants ; and it is a matter of question whether the federal govern- 
ment should or should not be at the expense of sectioning this and 
the preceding northern divisions of the territory : the surplus lands 
would invariably be of inferior quality and could never repay the 
expenses of the survey. On the other hand, if an act of Congress 
relative to this matter be carried into effect, it will be the means of 
settling the boundaries of numerous concessions which otherwise 
may long remain in suspense. This act provides that the public 
surveyors are to mark oifeach claim as allowed by the commission- 
ers or otherwise, from the loose mode of surveying generally hith- 
erto used in Florida, but a very small number of the few lines ac- 
tually marked through the woods are distinct, and therefore almost 
all the located as well as the unlocated grants will require to be 
marked out ; which if done otherwise than by the government sur- 
veyors, at the contract price of four dollars per lineal mile, will put 
the proprietors to an enormous expense, which they are at present 
unable to afford : moreover if they are left to regulate their own 
surveys, litigations will unavoidably arise, which would be avoided 
were the location made by impartial persons, as the government 
surveyors cannot but be. 

The application of the universal system of sectioning, would fur- 
ther produce an intimate topographical knowledge of the country, 
so highly desirable, that should the United States not carry it into 
effect, the author considers it a subject proper for the consideration 
of the territorial legislature : the local contribution, raised among 
the proprietors and claimants of the land within the district treated 
of, would be infinitely less to each individual, than the amount they 
would have to pay to their private surveyors ; and the country- 
would at once be accurately known, the boundaries of each tract 
conclusively fixed, and general satisfaction would be produced. 

Upon the western side of St. John's river the grants are much 


less numerous, but are disposed over a large portion of country ; 
many are placed upon the shores of the Ocklawaha river, and not a 
few through an imaginary hammock which was supposed to extend 
from that stream to the Alachua territory : no such hammock is 
known to exist ; but the creek which tlows from the eastern end of 
Orange lake into Ocklawaha river, called Orange lake creek, has a 
narrow skirt of thick swamp on each side which the claimants of 
the lands may probably not find so desirable as the rich luxuriant 
hammock which they had been taught to expect. 

Several large concessions are in the heart of the peninsula ; 
among which particularly is the one upon AHigator creek of eight 
miles square ; and the great Alachua grant before mentioned made 
to Arredondo and Sons ; the Miranda grant, upon the waters of 
Tampa and Hillsborough bays ; a grant upon the Coolasahatchie, 
and some others. 

During the period of the invasion of the Indian territory from 
Georgia, a great number of tracts of land were run out in the Alachua 
district for the conquerors, by surveyors whom they brought in their 
train, of which plats were made ; the persons employed on these 
surveys seem to have taken some pains to define the respective al- 
lotments, for in traversing through the district, the lines are occa- 
sionally seen very distinct ; so that should the claimants come for- 
ward they will have much less ditTiculty in finding their lands than 
many who have obtained grants under more peaceable circum- 
stances. The author has been informed that copies of most of the 
plats are in the hands of a gentleman in Georgia. 

We shall conclude the account of the various grants of land made 
in the Floridas, by giving the boundaries of the three celebrated 
grants made to the Duke of Alagon, the Count of Punon Rostro, and 
to Don Pedro de Vargas, respectively. The two latter individuals 
received compensation for what they were deprived of by the 
treaty, but the Duke of Alagon having fallen into disgrace, received 


not the equivalent he was entitled to by the new constitution of 
Spain, and it is said that his remonstrance upon the stretch of power 
used by Ferdinand the seventh in depriving him of his lands, caused 
his banishment. Whatever was the cause of his losing the smiles 
of his royal master, it is well known that he is now in exile in one 
of the Italian states, and under the surveillance of the Spanish mi- 
nister. How precarious is the tenure by which a courtier holds 
his unenviable situation I 


This grant appears to have been made upon the t7th of Decem- 
ber, 1817, in consequence of the Duke's application made on the 
12th of July preceding : Letters patent were issued on the 6th of 
February, 1818, to the governor of Cuba and the council of Indies 
to give effect to the grant and on the 26th of June of the same year 
formal possession of the lands was delivered to the Duke's agent by 
the governor of East Florida. These lands according to the words 
of the concession include — " All the uncultivated land not ceded in 
EastFlorida, which lies between the rivers Saint Lucie and St. John, 
as far as the mouths by which they empty themselves into the sea 
and the coast of the gulf of Florida, and the adjacent islands, with the 
mouth of the river Hijuelos in the 26th degree of latitude, following 
the left bank up to its source ; drawing a line from lake Macaco, 
then descending by the way of the river St. John to the lake Valdez, 
crossing by another line from the extreme north of the said lake to 
the source of the river Amanina, following its right bank as far as its 
mouth in the 28th deg. 26th min. of north latitude, and running along 
the sea coast, with all the adjacent islands up to the mouth of the 
river Hijuelos." 

Of this large concession the Duke of Alagon after the confirma- 
tion of the treaty by the United States in 1819, but before the ex- 
planatory ratification by the kin§ which annulled his grant, conveyed 


the western portion to Richard S. Hackley an American citizen and 
formerly consul from the United States at Cadiz : the extent of the 
lands held by Mr. Hackley is marked upon the map of Florida. 


This grant was also made on the 7th December, 1817, upon the 
same day with the concession to the duke of Alagon, in consequence 
of a petition presented by the count upon the 3d day of November 
preceding : this grant does not appear to have been perfected : it 
includes — "All the vacant lands not heretofore ceded in Florida, ly- 
ing between the river Perdido, westward of the gulf of Mexico and 
the rivers Amanina and St. John, from Poppa* to the point where it 
empties into the ocean for the eastern limits ; and for the northern, 
the boundary line of the United States ; and to the south by the gulf 
of Mexico, including the desert islands on the coast." 

It has been said that the count of Punon Rostro was indemnified for 
the loss of this concession, by a large grant of crown lands in the 
heart of old Spain ; which to him was doubtless no disagreeable ex- 
change : besides he appears never to have taken possession of the 
lands, or done any other act of ownership. 

The petition for this grant was not made until the 25th January, 
1818, and the concession issued on the 2(1 of February : the gift be- 
stowed upon this favored courtier is described as being " The pro- 
perty of the land which lies comprised within the followtng limits, 
that is to say : from the mouth of the river Perdido and its bay in the 
gulf of 3Iexico following the sea coast, to ascend by the bay of Buen 

* Poppa is the name of nn antient Spanish fortification on the west bank of St. 
.John's river opi)Osite to Picolati,\vhcve there was a ferry : these two forts are situa- 
ted at the norlii end of a lai'ge bay of the river, which extends south as far as the 
old fort of Jiuena Vista: this bav wasformerlv called Lake Valdez. 


Socorro and of Mobile, continuing by the river Mobile until it touches 
the northern line of the United States, and descending by that in a 
right line to the source of the river Perdido, and following the said 
river Perdido in its lower part, and the bay of that name returns by 
the sea coast towards the west, comprehending all the creeks, entries 
and the islands adjacent, which may belong to Spain at the present 
time till it reaches the west line of the United States, then returning 
by th ir northern line, comprehending all the vacant lands which be- 
long or may belong to Spain, and are in dispute or reclamation with 
the United States according to the tenor of the treaties : and also all 
the vacant lands not ceded to any other individual which are between 
the river Ilijuelos in East Florida and the river St. Lucie, drawing a 
line from the source of one river to the source of the other, and fol- 
lowing by the coast of the gulf of Mexico from the mouth of the Hi- 
juelos to the point of Tancha, and doubling this by the coast of the 
gulf of Florida to the mouth of the river St. Lucie with the islands 
and keys adjacent." The equivalent given to Don Pedro de Vargas 
for the annulment of this grant was according to report an extensive 
monopoly in certain branches of commerce in the Spanish colonies ; 
which upon reflecting that the principal part of this immense concession 
(comprehending all the counties of Escambia, Jackson and Dural, and 
large parts of St. John's county together with the lads in dispute now 
part of Alabama) is after all dubious both as to right of granting and 
good quality, and point of time, wasamost superabundant remunera- 

In the early grants the amount of land conceded appears to have 
been computed in cavallerias and sometimes in ■pconias. The esti- 
mation of the former in Florida is that it contains thirty-three and 
one-third American acres: of the latter the relative value is one 
fourth of the former. 

By the law of the Indies {Recopilacion de las leyes de los Indios) 
published at Madrid in 1776, a work similar to a digest of the statute* 


of one of our states, z peonia is described to be "a lot of fifty feel 
wide and one hundred deep : cultivatable ground for one hundred 
bushels (fanegas) of wheat (trigo) or barley (cebuda) ; for ten of 
Indian corn : two roods (Jiucbras) of land for a kitchen garden (/iu- 
erta) ; and eight for saplings of fruit trees {arholes de sccackil) : 
pasture land for ten breeding sows (^puercas de vientre) : twenty cow9 
and five mares {ijeguas ; one hundred sheep and twenty goats." By 
the same statute a cavalleria is defined as containing a lot of one hun- 
dred feet wide and two hundred deep, and in all other respects equal 
to five Peonias. 

In the island of Cuba the lands are granted in a circular form : 
the location being determined by fixing upon a known spot as a cen- 
tre, and the terms of the concession are so much lineal distance upon 
each point of the compass (^sobre cada viento.) These circles are 
supposed to be tangential, and the spaces between them are called 
tierras realengas, (vacant or royal lands.) But as they actually in- 
tersect each other in almost every instance, endless lawsuits, dis- 
putes and contentions arise. Probably to obviate this, or perhaps 
to comply vvith the usual mode of laying out lands in Florida, the 
very few grants which have been made in this mode specify that 
they are to be equal to a grant of so far sobre cadaviento, but to bs 
laid out in a square form.* 

In concluding these observations upon the Floridas, and their va- 
rious resources, which have been drawn up from a variety of docu- 
ments published and unpublished, as well as from the numerous 

* The author in tlie first part of these observ.itlons upon Ian J titles, dei-ived much 
assistance from the interesting speech made bv Mr Barbour in the house of repre- 
sentatives in congress, when treating of the Louisiana land claims ; the circumstan- 
ces were so vcrv applicable to Florida tliat many of the remarks have been closely 
copied. This ought to have been acknowledged in the Introduction. 


notes taken by the author and his friends in the territory, he re- 
spectfully entreats that the public will discriminate between what 
he has stated as actually nozv to be found in Florida, and the infe- 
rences he has drawn as to what it is capable of being made. 

So many false lights are held out upon the opening of a new coun- 
try to induce emigration thither, that he feels a natural anxiety lest 
what he has pointed out as the probable future, may be interpreted 
as the existing present. In dividing his remarks he has endeavour- 
ed to obviate this impression, and he momentarily intrudes to re- 
move it. 

Florida is now a republic; unshackled by the restrictions of a 
monarch, or the despotic sway of an inquisitorial governor, who in 
many instances united the legislative, judicial and executive powers^ 
it will soon develope the real extent of its capabilities. 

The sanguine disposition of some may carry them in their enter- 
prises beyond the bounds of prudence, and their failure in certain 
cases may be quoted against the country : caution and prejudice may 
withhold numbers from joining the population or embarking in any 
but certain undertakings ; but enough will be found whose enter- 
prise, energy, and perseverance, will place things in their proper 
light and prove the general truth of the propositions which have 
been advanced in favour of the Floridas, 

With a superficial extent larger than the state of New-York, with 
a climate in most parts as salubrious as the rest of the United States, 
with a soil capable of producing more than one lucrative staple, it is 
surely no visionary hope that we indulge when we look forward be- 
yond the few years tliat are to intervene before Florida takes her 
natural post of importance in the Federal Union. 






Saturday, February 27, 1819. — The foUowing message was re- 
ceived from the President of the United States. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States. 

The treaty of amity, settlement and limits, between the United 
States and his Catholic Majesty, having been on the part of the 
United States, ratified, by and with the advice and consent of the 
Senate, copies of it are now transmitted to Congress. As the rati- 
fication on the part of Spain may be expected to take place during 
the recess of congress, I recommend to their consideration the adop- 
tion of such legislative measures, contingent upon the exchange of 
ratifications, as may be necessary or expedient for carrying the 
treaty into effect, in the interval between the cession, and until 
congress at their nest session, may think fit to make further provi- 
sion on the subject. 


Februarv 2Gth. 1810, 

156 ATPENDl^C. 

Exiracis from the JVational hitelligenccr of February 25, 

and of March 2d, 1819. 

" It is announced in the account of the proceechngs in the House 

of Representatives that the President has officially communicated to 

Congress the treaty with Spain, which has heen solemnly ratified on 

our part." 

" The treaty was read in the Houge of Piepresentatives with open 
doors, but it is not to be published in extenso, the usage in such 
cases requiring it should not be promulgated until formally ratitied." 
[March 2d.] 

" The treaty though ratified on our part, will not be promulgated 
officially until it has also been ratified by the sovereignty of Spain." 
[February 26.] 



Whereas a treaty af amity, settlement and limits, between the 
United States of America and his Catholic Majesty, was concluded 
and signed between their Plenipotentiaries in this city on the 22d 
day of February, 1819, which treaty, word for word, is as follows : 
TREATY of amity, settlement and limits, between the United States 
of America and his Catholic Majesty. 

The United States of America and his Catholic Majesty desiring to 
consolidate on a permanent basis, the friendship and good correspon- 
dence which happily prevails between the two parties have deter- 
mined to settle and terminate all their differences and pretensions by 
a treaty, which shall designate with precision, the limits ol their re- 
spective bordering territories in North America. 

With this intention, the President of the United States has fur- 
nished with their full powers, John Quincy Adams, secretary of 
State of the United States ; and his Catholic Majesty has appointed 
the most excellent lord Don Lcis De Onis, Gonsalez, Lopez y Vara, 


lord of the town of Ray aces, perpetual Regidor of the corporation of 
the city of Salamanca, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal American 
Order of Isabella the Catholic, decorated with the Lys of La Ven- 
dee, Knight Pensioner of the Royal and distinguished Spanish Or- 
der of Charles the Third, member of the Supreme Assembly of the 
said Royal Order of the Council of his Catholic Majesty, his Secreta- 
ry, with Exercise of Decrees, and his Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary near the United States of America. 

And the said Plenipotentiaries, after having exchanged their pow- 
ers, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles. 
There shall be a firm and inviolable peace, and sincere friendship 
between the United States and their citizens, and his Catholic Majes- 
ty, his successors and subjects, without exception of persons Or 

His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full properly 
and sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him situated to 
the eastward of the Missisippi, known by the name of East and West 
Florida ; the adjacent islands dependent on said provinces, all pub- 
lic lots and squares, vacant lands, public edifices, fortitications, bar- 
racks, and other buildings which are not private property, archives 
and documents which relate directly to the property and sovereign- 
ty of said provinces are included in this article. The said archives 
and documents shall be left in possession of the commissaries or offi- 
cers of the United States, duly authorised to receive them, 
The boundary line between the two count-ries, west of the Missi- 
sippi, shall begin on the gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the rivev 
Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of that 
river to the 32d degree of latitude ; thence by a line due north, to 
the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Natchitoches 
or Red river ; then following the course of the Rio Roxo westward, 
to the degree of longitude 100 west from London, and 23 from Wash- 
ington ; then crossing the said Red river, and running thence by a 
line due north, to the river Arkansas ; thence following the course 
of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its source, in latitude 42 
north ; and thence by that parallel of latit'ide to the sonfh sea. Thf- 


whole being as laid down in Melish's map of the United States, 
published at Philadelphia, improved to the first of January, 1818. 
But, if the source of the Arkansas river shall be found to fall north or 
south of latitude 42, then the line shall run from the said source due 
south or north as the case may be, till it meets the said parallel of 
latitude 42, and thence along the said parallel to the South sea : all 
the islands in the Sabine, and the said Red and Arkansas rivers, 
throughout the course thus described, to belong to the United States ; 
but the use of the waters and the navigation of the Sabine to the 
sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and Arkansas, throughout the extent 
of the said boundary, on their respective banks, shall be common to 
the respective inhabitants of both nations. 

The two high contracting parties agree to cede and renounce all 
their rights, claims, and pretensions, to the territories described by 
the said line, that is to say, " The United States hereby cede to his 
Catholic Majesty, and renounce for ever, all their rights, claims, and 
pretensions, to the territories lying west and south of the above de- 
scribed line; and in like manner, his Catholic Majesty cedes to the 
said United States all his rights, claims, and pretensions, to any ter- 
ritories east and north of the said line, and for himself, his heirs and 
successors, renounces all claim to the said territories for ever. 
To fix this line with more precision, and to place the land marks 
which shall designate exactly the limits of both nations, each of the 
contracting parties shall appoint a commissioner and a surveyor, who 
shall meet before the termination of one year, from the date of the 
ratification of this treaty, at Natchitoches, on the Red river, and pro- 
ceed to run and mark the said line, from the mouth of the Sabine to 
the Red river, and from the Red river to the river Arkansas, and to 
ascertain the latitude of the source of the said river Arkansas, in con- 
formity to what is above agreed upon and stipulated, and the line of 
latitude 42 degress to the South sea ; they shall make out plans and 
keep journals of their proceedings, and the result agreed upon by 
them shall be considered as part of this treaty, and shall, have the 
same force as if it were inserted therein. The two governments 
will amicably agree respecting the necessary articles to be furnished 
to those persons, and also as to their respective escorts, should such 
be deemed necessary. 



The inhabitants of the ceded territories shall be secured in the 
free exercise of their religion without any restriction, and all those 
who may desire to remove to the Spanish dominions, shall be permit- 
ted to sell or export their effects at any time whatever, without be- 
ing subject, in either case, to duties. 


The inhabitants of the territories which his Catholic Majesty 
cedes to the United States, by this treaty, shall be incorporated in the 
Union of the United States, as soon as may be consistent with the 
principles of the Federal Constitution, and admitted to the enjoy- 
ment of all the privileges, rights and immunities, of the citizens of 
the United States. 


The officers and troops of his Catholic Majesty, in the territories 
hereby ceded by him to the United States, shall be withdrawn, and 
possession of the places occupied by them shall be given within six 
months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, or sooner 
if possible, by the officers of his Catholic Majesty to the commission- 
ers or officers of the United States, duly appointed to receive them : 
and the United States shall furnish the transports and escort neces- 
sary to convey the Spanish officers and troops, and their baggage to 
the Havana. 


All the grants of land made before the 24th of January, 1818, by 
his Catholic Majesty, or by his lawful authorities in the said territo- 
ries, ceded by his majesty to the United States, shall be ratified and 
confirmed to the persons in possession of the lands, to the same ex- 
tent that the same grants would be valid, if the territories had re- 
mained under the dominion of his Catholic Majesty. But the own- 
ers in possession of such lands, who by reason of the recent circum- 
stances of the Spanish nation, and the revolutions in Europe, have 
been prevented from fulfilling all the conditions of their grants, shall 
complete them within the terms limited in the same, respectively, 
from the date of this treaty ; in default of which, the said grants 
shall be null and void. All grants made since the said 24th of Janua- 
ry, 1818, when the first proposal on the part of his Catholic Majesty 


for the cession of the Floridas was made, are hereby declared, and 
agreed to be, null and void. 


The two high contracting parties, animated with the most ear- 
nest desire of conciliation, and with the object of putting an end to 
all the differences which have existed between them, and of con- 
firming the good understanding which they wish to be for ever main- 
tained between them, reciprocally renounce all claims for damriges 
or injuries, which they themselves, as well as their respective citi- 
zens and subjects may have suffered, until the time of signing this 

The renunciation of the United States will extend to all the inju- 
ries mentioned in the convention of the 11th of August, 1802. 

2. To all claims on account of prizes made by French privatpers, 
and condemned by French consuls, within tlie territory and juris- 
diction of Spain. 

3. To all claims of indemnities on account of the suspension of 
the right of deposit at New-Orleans, in 1802. 

4. To all claims of citizens of the United Stfites upon the govern- 
ment of Spain, arising from the unlawful seizures at sea, aijd in the 
ports and territories of Spain, or the Spanish colonies. 

5. To all claims of citizens of the United States upon the Spanish 
government, statements of which, soliciting the interposition of the 
government of the United States, have been presented to the de- 
partment of state, or to the minister of the United States, in Spain, 
since the date of the convention of 1802, and until the signature of 
this treaty. 

The renunciation of his Catholic Majesty extends : 

1. To all the injuries mentioned in the convention of the 1 1th of 
August, 1802. 

2. To the sums which his Catholic Majesty advanced for the re- 
turn of Captain Pike from the Provincias Internas. 

3. To all injuries caused by the expedition of Miranda, that was 
fitted out and equipped at New-York. 

4. To all claims of Spanish subjects upon the Government of the 
United States, arising from unlawful seizures at sea, or within tiie 
ports and territorialjurisdiction of the United States. 


Finally, lo all tlie claims of subjects of his Ciilliolic M;ije?ty upon 
the government of the United States, in wiiich the interposition of 
his Catholic Majesty's government has been solicited before the 
date of this treaty, and since the date ot the convention of 1802, or 
which may have been made to the department of Foreign Affairs of 
his Majesty, or to his minister in the United States. 

And the high contracting parties, respectively renounce all claims 
to indemnities for any of the recent events or transaction? of their 
respective commanders and officers in the Floridas. 

The United States will cause satisfaction to be made for the injuries, 
if any, which, by process of law, shall be established to have been 
suffered by the Spanish officers and individual Spanish inhabitants, 
by the late operations of the American army in Florida. 

The convention entered into between the two governments, on the 
11th of August, 1802, the ratifications of which were exchanged the 
2lst December, 1818, is annulled. 


The United States, exonerating Spain from all demands in future, 
on account of the claims of their citizens to which the renunciations 
herein contained extend, and considering them entirely cancelled, 
undertake to make satisfaction for the same, to an amount not ex- 
ceeding tive millions of dollars. To ascertain the full amount and 
validity of those claims, a commission, to consist of three commis- 
sioners, citizens of the United States, shall be appointed by the Pre- 
sident, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, which 
commission shall meet at the city of Washington, and, within the 
space of three years from the time of their first meeting, shall re- 
ceive, examine, and decide upon the amount and validity of all the 
claims included within the descriptions above mentioned. The 
said commissioners shall take an oath, or affirmation, to be entered 
on the record of their proceedings, for the faithful and diligent dis- 
charge of their duties ; and in case of the death, sickness, or neces- 
sary absence, of any such commissioner, his place may be supplied 
by the appointment as aforesaid, or by the President of the United 
States, during the recess of the Senate, of another commissioner in 
iis stead. The said commi'=sioners shall bp ;\uthori?ed to hear and 



examine, on oath, every question relative to the suid claims, and to 
receive all suitable, authentic testimony concerning the same. And^ 
the Spanish government shall furnish all such documents and eluci- 
dations as may be in their possession, for the adjustment of the said 
claims, according to the principles of justice, the laws of nations, 
and the stipulations of the treaty between the two parties, of 27th 
October, 1795 ; the said documents to be specified when demanded 
at the instance of the said commissioners. 

The payment of such claims as may be admitted and adjusted by 
the said commissioners, or the major part of them, to an amount not 
exceeding five milhons of dollars, shall be made by the United 
States, either immediately at their treasury, or by the creation of 
stock, bearing an interest of six per cent, per annum, payable from 
the proceeds of sales of public lands within the territories hereby 
ceded to the United States, or in such other manner as the Congress 
of the United States may prescribe by law. 

The records of the proceedings of the said commissioners, toge- 
ther with the vouchers and documents produced before them, rela- 
tive to the claims to be adjusted and decided upon by them, shall, 
after the close of their transactions, be deposited in the department 
of state of the United States ; and copies of them, or any part of 
them, shall be furnished to the Spanish government, if required, at 
the demand of the Spanish minister in the United States. 

The treaty of limits and navigation, of 1795, remains confirmed 
in all and each one of its articles, excepting the 2d, 3d, 4th, 21st, and 
the second clause of the 22d article, which having been altered by 
this treaty, or having received their entire execution, are no longer 

With respect to the 15th article of the same treaty of friendship, 
limits and navigation, of 1795, in which it is stipulated that the flag 
shall cover the property, the two high contracting parties agree that 
this shall be so understood with respect to those powers who recog- 
nize this principle ; but if either of the two contracting parties shall 
be at war with a third party, and the other neutral, the flag of the 
neutral shall cover the property of enemies, whose government ac 
knowledge this principle, ami not of others. 



Both contracting parties, wishing to favour their mutual com- 
inerce, by affording in their ports every necessary assistance to their 
respective merchant vessels, have agreed, that the sailors who shall 
desert from their vessels in the ports of the other, shall be arrested 
and delivered up, at the instance of the consul, who shall prove, 
nevertheless, that the deserters belonged to the vessels that claim 
them, exhibiting the document that is customary in their nation ; 
that is to say, the American consul in a Spanish port shall exhibit 
the document known by the name of articles ; and the Spanish con- 
sul in American ports, the roll of the vessel ; and if the name of the 
deserter, or deserters who are claimed, shall appear in the one or 
the other, they shall be arrested, held in custody, and delivered to 
the vessel to which they shall belong. 


The United States hereby certify, that they have not received 
any compensation from France, for the injuries they suffered from 
her privateers, consuls, and tribunals on the coasts, and in the ports 
of Spain, for the satisfaction of which provision is made by this trea- 
ty ; and they will present an authentic statement of the prizes made, 
and of their true value, that Spain may avail herself of the same, in 
5uch manner as she may deem just and proper. 

The United States to give to his Catholic Majesty a proof of their 
desire to cement the relations of amity subsisting between the two 
nations, and to favour the commerce of the subjects of his Catholic 
Majesty, agree that Spanish vessels, coming laden only with produc- 
tions of Spanish growth or manufactures directly from the ports of 
Spain or of her colonies, shall be admitted, for the term of twelve 
years, to the ports of Pensacola and St. Augustine, in the Floridas, 
without paying other or higher duties on their cargoes, or of ton- 
nage, than will be paid by the vessels of the United States. During 
the said term, no other nation shall enjoy the same privileges within 
the ceded territories. The twelve years shall commence three 
months after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty. 

The present treaty shall be ratified in due form by the contract- 

164 APPExVDlX. 

ing pnrties, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six months 
from this time, or sooner, if possible. 

In witness whereof, we, the underwritten Plenipotentiaries of the 
United States ot America, and of his Catholic Majesty, have signed, 
by virtue of our powers, the present treaty of amity, settlement and 
limits, and have thereunto affixed our seals, respectively. 

Done at Washington, this 22d day of February, one thousand eight 
hundred and nineteen. 


(Seal.) LUIS DE ONIS. 

And, whereas, his said Catholic Majesty, did on the twenty-fourth 
day of October, in the ye;ir of our Lord, one thousand eight hun- 
dred and twenty, ratify and confirm the said treaty, which ratifica- 
tion is in the words, and of the tenor following : 


«' Ferdinand the Seventh, by the grace of God, and by the constitu- 
tion of the Spanish Monarchy, King of the Spains. 

" Whereas, on the 22d day of February, of the year one thou- 
sand eight hundred and nineteen last past, a treaty was concluded 
and signed in the city of Washington, between Don Luis D? Onis, 
my Envoy extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, and John 
Quincy Adams, Esq. Secretary of State of the United States of Ame- 
rica, competently authorised by both parties, consisting of sixteen 
articles, which had for their object the arrangement of differences, 
and of limits between both governments and their respective territg. 
ries ; which are of the following form and literal tenor. 

(Here foUov^s the above treaty, word for word.) 

" Therefore, having seen and examined the sixteen articles afore- 
said, and having first obtained the consent and authority of the ge- 
neral Cortes oi the nation with respect to the decision mentioned 
and stipulated in the 2d and 3d articles, I approve and ratify all and 
every one of the articles referred to, and the clauses which are con- 
tained in them ; and, in virtue of these presents, I approve and rati- 
fy them ; promising, on the faith and word of a king, to execute 


and observe them, and cause them to be executed and observed en- 
tirely as if 1 myself had signed them : and that the circumstance of 
having exceeded the term of six months, fixed for the exchange of 
the ratifications in the 16th article may afford no obstacle in any 
manner, it is my deliberate will that the present ratification be as 
vahd and firm, and produce the same effects, as if it had been done 
within the determined period. Desirous at the same time of avoid- 
ing any doubt or ambiguity concerning the meaning of the 8th article 
of the said treaty, in respect to the date which is pointed out in it as 
Vhe period for the confirmation of the grants of land& in the Floridas, 
made by me, or by the competent authorities in my royal name, 
whl^'h point of date was fixed in the positive understanding of the 
three grants of land made in favor of the Duke of Alagon, the Count 
of Punonrostro, and Don Pedro de Vargas, being annulled by its 
tenor, I think proper to declare that the said three grants have re- 
mained and do remain entirely annulled and invalid ; and that nei- 
ther the three individuals mentioned, nor those who may have title 
or interest through them, can avail themselves of the said grants at 
any time, or in any manner ; under which explicit declaration the 
said 8th article is to be understood as ratified. In the faith of all 
which I have commanded to despatch these presents. Signed by my 
band, sealed with my secret seal, and countersigned by the under- 
written my Secretary of Despatch of State. 

" Given at Madrid, the 24th of October, one thousand eight hun- 
dred and twenty. 

(Signed) " FERNANDO. 

(Countersigned) " EVARISTO PEREZ DE CASTRO." 

And, whereas, the Senate of the United States did, on the nine- 
teenth day of the present month, advise and consent to the ratifica- 
tion, on the part of these United States, of the said treaty, in the fol- 
lowing words : 

" In Senate of the United States, 

February 19f/i, 1821. 
" Resolved, txeo-lhirds of the Senators present concurring therein. 
That the Senate, having examined the treaty of amity, settlement, 


and limits, between the United States of America and his Catholic 
Majesty, made and concluded on the twenty-second of February, 
one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, and seen and considered 
the ratification thereof made by his said Catholic Majesty, on the 
twenty -fourth day of October, one thousand eight hundred and twen- 
ty, do consent to, and advise the President of the United States to 
ratify the same." 

And, whereas, in pursuance of the said advice and consent of the 
Senate of the United States, I have ratified and copfirmed the said 
treaty, in the words following, viz : 

" Now, therefore, I, James Monroe, President of the United 
States of America, having seen and considered the treaty above reci- 
ted, together with the ratification of his Catholic Majesty thereof 
do, in pursuance of the aforesaid advice and consent of the Senate of 
the United States, by these presents accept, ratify, and confirm the 
said treaty, and every clause and article thereof, as the same are 
herein before set forth. 

In faith whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States to be 
hereto affixed. 

Given under my hand at the city of Washington, the twenty-se- 
cond day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight 
hundred and twenty one, and of the Independence of the United 
States the forty-fifth. 


By the President : 

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, Secretary of Stated 

And, whereas, the said ratifications on the part of the United 
States, and ofhis Catholic Majesty, have been this day duly exchan- 
ged, at Washington, by John Q,uincy -Adams, Secretary of State ol 
the United States, and by General Don Francisco Dionisio Vives, 
Envoy extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of his Catholic 
Majesty : Now, therefore, to the end that the treaty may be obser- 
ved and performed with good faith, on the part of the United States, 
1 have caused the premises to be made public ; and I do hereby en- 
join and require all persons bearing office, civil or military, within 
■he United States, and all others, citizens of inhabitants thereof, c-r 


being within the same, faithfully to observe and fulfil the said treaty, 
and every clause and article thereof. 

IN TESTIMONY whereof, I have caused the Seal of the United 
States to be affixed to these presents, and signed the same with my 

Done at the city of Washington, the twenty -second day of 
February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand 
eight hundred and twenty-one, and of the so- 
vereignty and independence of the United 
States the forty-fifth. 
By the President : JAMES MONROE. 

JOHN QUINGY ADAUS, Secretary of State. 

4 . 


May 23, 1821. The Cortes, by an act or resolution of this date, 
directed the publication of the treaty in Spain, in the following 
terms : 

"The Cortes having examined the proposition of his Majesty, that 
as it has been promulgated in the territory of the United States, 
solemn publication might in like manner be given as a law of the 
State, of the treaty for the cession of the Floridas, made with the 
Republic of the United States, ratified by his majesty in virtue of the 
special authority of the Cortes, and by the government of the said 
United States, which ratifications are now exchanged, have approved 
of the same : Therefore, to the end that the Spanish authorities, 
tribunals and subjects, being thoroughly informed of the contents of 
its articles, may fulfil them, and cause them to be fulfilled, in those 
respects which severally appertain to them, the solemn publication 
of the treaty referred to shall be proceeded on. adopting for that 


purpose the following form : Don Fernando the seventh, &c. Lc- 
Know all men, that in virtue of the powers given to me by the con- 
stitution, and the previous authority of the Cortes for the cession of 
territory, I have thought proper to ratify the treaty made with the 
Republic of the United States of America, of the 22d February, 
1819, the tenor of which is the following : [Here follows the treaty] 
Therefore, we command, &.c. &c. 

" Madrid, 23d May, 1821." 

Signed, ANTONia de la Cucsta y Torre, President. 

Francisco Ferjjandez Gasco, Secretary. 

Juan de Valle, Deputy Secretary. 


Copy of the paper in the English language, signed by the Covimissioner 
on the part of the United States, and the Commissioner on the part of 
his Catholic Majesty, upon the delivery of possession of the province 
of East Florida to the United Slates. 

In the place of St. Augustine, on the 10th day of July, 1821, Don 
Jose Coppinger, Colonel of the national armies, and commissioner, 
appointed by his excellency the Captain General of the island of 
Cuba, to make a formal delivery of this said place and province of 
East Florida, to the government of the United States of America 
by virtue of the treaty of cession, concluded at Washington on the 
22d of February, 1819, and the royal schedule of delivery of the 
24th of October, of the last year, annexed to the documents men- 
tioned in the certificate that form a heading to these instruments in 
testimony thereof, and the adjutant general of the southern division 
of said states, Colonel Don Robert ButJcr. duly authorised by ttie 


aforesaid government to receive the same : we having had several 
Conferences in order to carry into effect our respective commis- 
sions, as will appear by our official communications : and having re- 
ceived, by the latter, the documents, inventories, and plans, apper- 
taining to the sovereignty of the Spanish nation, held in this pro- 
vince and its adjacent islands depending thereon, with the sites, 
public squares, vacant lands, public edKices, fortifications and other 
works, not being private property, and the same having been pre- 
ceded by the arrangements and formalities that, for the greater so- 
lemnity of this important act, they have judged proper, there has 
been verified, at four o'clock of the evening of this day, the com- 
plete and personal delivery of the fortifications, and all else of this 
aforesaid province, to the commissioner, ofTicers, and troops of the 
United States : and, in consequence thereof, having embarked for 
the Havana the military, and civil officers, and Spanish troops, in the 
American transports provided for this purpose, the Spanish author- 
ities having this moment ceased the exercise of their functions, and 
those appointed by the American government having began theirs : 
duly noting that we have transmitted to our governments the doubts 
occurring whether the artillery ought to be comprehended in the 
fortifications, and if the public archives, rehUing to private pro- 
perfy, ought to remain and be delivered to the American govern- 
ment by vi,rtue of the cession, and that there remain in the forti- 
fications, until the aforesaid resolution is made, the artillery, mu- 
nitions and implements, specified in a particular inventory, awaiting, 
on these points and the other appearing in question in our corres- 
pondence, the superior decision of our res|)ective governments, and 
which is to have, whatever may be the result, the most religious 
compliance, at any time it may arrive, and in which the possession 
that at present appears given shall not serve as an obstacle. 

In testimony of which, and that this may at all times serve as 
an expressive and formal receipt in this act, we, the sub- 
scribing commissioners, sign four instruments of this same 
tenor, in the Fnglis-h and Spanish languages, at the above- 
mentioned place, and said day, month and year. 

■''■^Signed) JOSE COPPIVGEH. 



[To the original act there is a certificate, in the Spanish language, 
of which the following is a translation.] 

" In faith whereof, I certify that the preceding act was executed 
in the presence of the illustrious Ayuntamiento and various private 
persons assembled, and also of various military and naval officers of 
the government of the United States of America. 
St. Augustine, 10th July, 1821. 


Notary of the Government and Secretary of the Cabildo. 

Copy of the paper in the English language, signed by the Commissioner 
on the part of the United States, and the Commissioner on the part 
of his Catholic Majesty, upon the delivery of possession of the pro- 
vince of West Florida to the United States. 

The undersigned major-general Andrew Jackson, of the state 
of Tennessee, Commissioner of the United States, in pursuance 
of the full powers received by him frcfm James Monroe, Presi- 
dent of the United States of America, of the date of the 10th 
of BI arch, 1821, and of the 45th of the Independence of the United 
States of America, attested by John Quincy Adams, Secretary of 
State ; and Don Jose Callava, commandant of the province of West 
Florida, and Commissioner for the delivery in the name of his 
Catholic Majesty, of the country, territories and dependencies of 
West Florida to the Commissioner of the United States, in conformi- 
tv with the powers, commission, and special mandate, received by 
him trom the captain-general of the island of Cuba, of the date of 
the 5th of May, 1821, imparting to him therein the royal order of 
the 24th of October, 1820, issued and signed by his Catholic Ma- 
jesty, Ferdinand the seventh, and attested by the Secretary of State, 
Don Evaristo Perez de Castro : 

Do certify by these presents, that on the 17th day of July, 1821, 
of the Christian era, and forty-sixth of the Independence of the 
United States, having met in the court room of the government 
house in the town of Pensacola, accompanied on either part by the 
chiefs and officers of the army and navy, and a number of the citi- 
zens of the respective nations, the said Andrew Jackson, major- 


general and commissioner, has delivered to the said colonel com- 
mandant Don Jose Callara, his before-mentioned powers ; whereby 
he recognizes him to have received full power and authority to take 
possession of, and to occupy the territories ceded by Spain to the 
United States, by the treaty concluded at Washington, on I he 22d 
day of February, 1819, and for that purpose to repair to said terri- 
tories, and there to execute and to perform all such acts and things 
touching the premises, as may be necessary for fulfilling his appoint- 
ment conformably to the said treaty and the laws of the United 
States, with authority likewise to appoint any person or persons, 
in his stead, to receive the possession of any part of the said ceded 
territories, according to the stipulations of said treaty : Wherefore 
the colonel commandant Don Jose CaHava immediately declared,- 
that in virtue and in performauce of the power, commission, and 
special mandate, dated at Havana on the 5th of May, 1821, he 
thenceforth, and from that moment, placed the said commissioner 
of the United States in possession of the country, territories, and 
dependencies of West Florida, including the fortress of St. Mark, 
with the adjacent islands dependent upon said province, all public 
lots and squares, vacant lands, public edifices, fortifications, barracks, 
and other buildings which are not private property, according to 
and in the manner set forth by the inventories and schedules which 
he has signed and delivered, with the archives and documents direct- 
ly relating to the property and sovereignty of the said territory of 
West Florida, including the fortress of St. Mark, and situated to the 
east of the Missisippi river, the whole in conformity with the second 
article of the treaty of cession concluded at Washington the 22d of 
February, 1819, between Spain and the United States, by Don Luis 
de Onis, Minister Plenipotentiary of his Catholic Majesty, and John 
Quincy Adams, Secretary of State of the United States, both provi- 
ded with full powers, which treaty has been ratified on the one part 
by his Catholic Majesty, Ferdinand the seventh, and the President 
of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate of 
the United States, on the other part ; which ratifications have been 
duly exchanged at Washington on the 22d day of February, 1821, 
and the forty-fifth year of the Independence of the United States of 
America, by General Don Dyonisius Vives, Minister Plenipotentia- 
ry of his Catholic Majesty, and John Quincy Adam?, Secretary of 


State of the United States, according to the instrument signed on the 
same day : and the present dehvery of the country is made, in or- 
der that, in execution of the said treaty, the sovereignty and the 
property of that province of West Florida, including the fortress of 
St. Mark, shall pass to the United States, under the stipulations 
therein expressed. 

And the said colonel commandant Don Jose Callava has, in conse- 
quence, at this present time, made to the Commissioner of the Uni- 
ted States, major-general Andrew Jackson, in this public cession, a 
delivery of the keys of the town of Pensacola, of the archives, docur 
ments, and other articles, in the inventories before mentioned ; de- 
claring that he releases from their oath of allegiance to Spain, the 
citizens and inhabitants of West Florida who may choose to remain 
under the dominion of the United States. 

And that this important and solemn act may be in' perpetual 

memor}', the within named have signed ihe same> and 

have sealed with their respective seals, and caused to be 

f attested by their Secretaries of Concession the day and 

year aforesaid. 
(Signed) (Signed) 


By order of the Commissioner For mando de su senoria el 

■on the part of the United States. Coronel Comisario del Gobierno 

de Espana. 
(Signed) R. K. Call, El Segretario de la Comision 

Secretary of the CQinmission. (Signed) Jose Y. Cruzat. 


By Major General .Andrew Jackson, Governor of the provinces of the 
Floridas, exercising the poicers of the Captain General and of the 
Intendant of the island of Cuba, over the said provinces, and of the 
Governors of said provinces, respectively. 

Whereas, by the treaty concluded between the United States and 
Spain, on the 22d day of February, 1819, and duly ratified, the 
provinces of the Floridas were ceded by Spfijn to tl^e United States, 


and the possession of the said provinces is now in the United 
States : 

And whereas, the Congress of the United States, on the 3d of 
March, in the present year, did enact, that, until the end of the first 
session of the seventeenth Congress, unless provision for the tem- 
porary government of said provinces be sooner made by Congress, 
all the military, civil and judicial powers exercised by the officers 
of the existing government of the said provinces, shall be vested in 
such persons and shall be exercised in such manner, as the Presi- 
dent of the United States shall direct, for the maintaining the inhab- 
itants of said territories in the free enjoyment of their liberty, pro- 
perty and religion : and the President of the United States has, by 
his commission, bearing date the 10th day of said March, invested 
me with all the powers, and charged me with the several duties, 
heretofore held and exercised by the Captain General, Intendant, 
and Governors aforesaid : 

I have, therefore, thought fit to issue my proclamation, making 
known the premises, and to declare that the government hereto- 
fore exercised over the said provinces, under the authority of Spain, 
has ceased, and that that of the United States of America is estab- 
lished over the same : that the inhabitants thereof will be incorpo- 
rated in the Union of the United States, as soon as may be consist- 
ent with the principles of the federal constitution, and admitted to 
the enjoyment of all the privileges, rights, and immunities, of the 
citizens of the United States ; that in the mean time they shall be 
protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the 
religion they profess, that all laws and municipal regulations which 
were in existence at the cessation of the late government, remain in 
full force : and all civil officers, charged with their execution, ex- 
cept those whose powers have been specially vested in me, and ex- 
cept, also, such officers as have been entrusted with the collection 
of the revenue, are continued in their functions during the pleasure 
of the governor for the time being or until provision shall other- 
wise be made. 

And I do hereby exhort and enjoin all the inhabitants and other 
persons within the said provinces, to be faithful and true in their 
allegiance to the United States, and obedient to the laws and author- 
ities of the same, under full assurance thai their just rights will be 


under the guardianship of the United States, and will be maintained 
from all force and violence from without or within. 

Given at Pensacola this [tenth day of July for East Florida, and 
seventeenth day of July for West Florida] one thousand eight 
hundred and twenty-one. 


By the Governor : 

(Signed) R. K. CALL, Acting Secretary of ike Floridas. 

Saint Augustine, East Florida, July 10, 1821. 

By the Governor : 
(Signed) ROBERT BUTLER, Lniieci 5/aics Commisstoner. 


[edition at MADRID. 1776.] 

Vol. 2. Fol. 103. Tit. 12. Book 4. Law 7. 6th April, 1588. 

2. 103. 12. 4. 9. 11th June, 1594. [1646. 

2. 103. 12. 4. 16, 17 & 18. 30th June, 

2d April, 1592. 
65. 12. 6. 8, { 19th February, 1606. 

>6th April, 1627. 




1. An act regulating civil proceedings. 

2. An act to regulate the counties and establish inferior courts. 

3. An act regulating letters of administration, letters testamentary, 
and the duties of administrators, executors and guardians. 

4. An act concerning improvements made on public roads. 

5. An act concerning soldiers and seamen in the service of the 
United States. 

6. An act to authorise a loan for the immediate contingencies of 
the government. 

7. An act to authorise appointment of justices of the peace, and 
defining their powers, and establishing county courts. 

8. An act for the apprehension of criminals and the punishment of 
crimes-and misdemeanors. 

9. An act to provide for the publication of the laws. 

10. An act for the punishment of slaves for resolutions of the pe- 
nal laws of this territory. 

11. An act regulating the mode of proceedings on attachment. 

12. An act concerning estrays. 

13. An act concerning usury and regulating the rate of interest. 

14. An act concerning wills. 

15. An act to prevent frauds and perjuries. 

16. An act concerning marriage license. • 

17. An act to giv6 legal effect to deeds, wills and mortgages. 

18. An act to provide for alimony. 

19. An act concerning notaries public. 

20. An act organizing the militia of Florida. 

21. An act allowing certain fees of office to the secretary and 

22. An act providing for the appointment of pilots. 

23. An act supplementary to an act providing for the election of 
a delegate to Congress. 

24. An act supplementary to an act to incorporate the city of 

25. An act concerning seamen in the merchant service. 

26. An act for the admission of attorneys at law. 


27. Ad act fixing the place of the next session of the legislative 

28. An act appointing commissioners to view a road from Pensa- 
cola to Cahawba. 

29. An act concerning guardians and wards, masters and appren- 

30. An act regulating conveyances. 

31. An act to provide against the introduction of contagious dis- 
ease and for the establishment of boards of health. 

32. An act to raise a revenue. 

33. An act to incorporate the city of St. Augustine. 

34. An act to provide for the appointment of surveyors. 

35. An act authorising the appointment of coroners. 

36. An act requiring an additional term of the Superior court in 
West Florida. 

37. An act supplementary to an act to regulate the counties, and 
establish inferior courts in the territory of Florida. 

38. An act concerning dov?er and jointure in lands and slaves of 

39. An act concerning roads, highways and ferries. 

40. An act concerning limitation of actions. 

41. An act for the appointment of keepers of the public archives. 

42. An act supplementary to an act to raise a revenue. 

43. An act concerning forcible entry and detainer. 

44. An act regulating executions. 

45. An act regulating proceedings in chancery. 

46. An act concerning awards and arbitrations. 

47. An act to provide against unlawful gaming. 

48. An act providing for the compensation of the clerks, &c. of 
the council. 

49. An act establishing fees of certain ofBcers. 

50. An act providing for the adoption of the common law and cer- 
tain statutes of Great Britain and lor repealing the laws and ordinan- 
ces now in force. 

51. An act regulating descents. 

52. An act providing for the election of Delegates to Congress. 

53. An act authorising the assignment of bonds and notes. 

54. An act regulating Habeas Corpu? 

APPENDIX. • 17'5' 


Chap, 9. _ An act for the preservation of the timber of the United 
States, in Florida. 

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the Uiiiied States of America ^in Congress assembled. That the President 
of the United States be, and hereby is empowered to employ so 
much of the land and naval forces ot the United States as may be ne- 
cessary effectually to prevent the felling, cutting down, or other de- 
struction of the timber of the United States in Florida : and also to 
prevent the transportation or carrying away any such timber as may 
be already felled or cut down, and to take such otlier and further 
measures as may be deemed adviseable for the preservation of the 
timber of the United States in Florida. 

[Approved, 23d February, 1822,] 

Chap. 13. An act for the establishment of a territorial government 

in Florida. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America, in Congress assembled, That all that territory ceded 
by Spain to the United States, known by the name of East and ^Vest 
Florida, shall constitute a territory of the United States, under the 
name of the territory of Florida, the government whereof shall be 
organized and administered as follows : 

Sec, 2. And be it further enacted, That the executive power 
shall be vested in a governor, who shall reside in the said territory, 
and hold his office during the term of tbree years, unless sooner re- 
moved by the President of the United States, He shall be commander 
in chief of the militia of the said . territory, and bo, ex-oificio, super- 
intendent of Indian affairs, and shall have power to grant pardons for 
offences against the said territory, and reprieves for those against 
the United States, until the decision of the President of the United 
States thereon shall be ma^e known ; and to ap[)oint and commission 
all officer?, civil, ?i"d of the militia, v/hose appointments are not here 


in otherwise provided for, and which shall he established by law ; 
he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. 

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted. That a secretary of the territo- 
ry shall also be appointed, who shall hold his office during the term 
of four years, unless sooner removed by the President of the United 
States, whose duty it shall be, under the direction of the governor, 
to record and preserve all the papers and proceedings of the execu- 
tive, and all the acts of the governor and legislative council, and 
transmit authentic copies of the proceedings of the governor, in his 
executive department, every six months to the President of the 
United States. 

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That in case of the death, rcmo- 
•val, resignation, or necessary absence of the governor of the said ter- 
ritory, the secretary thereof shall be, and he is hereby authorized 
and required, to execute all the powers, and perform all the duties 
of the governor, during the vacancy occasioned by the removal, re- 
signation, or necessary absence, of the said governor. 

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the legislative power shall 
be vested in the governor, and in tliirteen of the most fit and dis- 
creet persons of the territory, to be called the legislative council, 
Avho shall be appointed nnnually, by the President of the United 
States, from among the citizens of the United States residing there. 
The governor, by and with the advice and consent of the said legis- 
lative council, or a majority of them, shall have power to alter, mo- 
dify, or repeal the laws which may be in force at the commencement 
of this act. Their legislative powers shall also extend to all the 
rightful subjects of legislation ; but no law shall be valid which is 
inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States, or 
which shall lay any person under restraint, burthen, or disability, on 
account of his religious opinions, professions, or worship ; in all 
■which he shall be free to maintain his own, and not burthened with 
those of another. The governor s'nall publish, throughout the said 
territory, all the laws which shall be taade, and shall, on or before 
the first day of December in each year, rtport the same to the Pre- 
sident of the United States, to be laid before Congress, which, if 
disapproved by Congress, shall thencefo^;th be of no force. The 
governor and legislative council shall have no powp,r over the pri- 


inary disposal of the soil, nor to tax the lands of the United States, 
nor to interfere with the claims to lands witliin the said territory : 
the legislative council shall hold a session once in each year, com- 
mencing its first session on the second Monday of June next, at Pen- 
sacola, and continue in session not longer than two months ; and 
thereafter on the lirst Monday in May in each and every year, but 
shall not continue longer in session than four weeks, to be held at 
such place in said territory as the governor and council shall direct : 
Itshallbe the duty of the governor to obtain all the information in 
his power in relation to the customs, habits, and dispositions of the 
inhabitants of the said territory, and communicate the same, from 
time to time, to the President of the United States. 

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, Thatthe judicial power shall be 
vested in two superior courts, and in such inferior courts and justices 
of the peace, as the legislative council of the territory may, from 
time to time, establish. There shall be a superior court for that 
part of the territory known as east Florida, to consist of one judge ; 
he shall hold a court on the first Monday in January, April, July and 
October, in each year, at St. Augustine, and at such other times and 
places as the legislative council shall direct. There shall be a supe- 
x-ior court for that part of the territory known as West Elorida, to 
consist of one judge ; he shall hold a court at Pensacola on the first 
Blondays in January, April, July, and October, in each year, and at 
such other times and places as the legislative council shall direct. 
Within its limit*, herein described, each court shall have jurisdiction 
in all criminal cases, and exclusive jurisdiction in all capital cases, 
and ori(;inal jurisdiction in all civil cases of the value of on»^ hundred 
dollars, arising under, and cognizable by, the laws of the territory, 
now of force therein, or which may, at any time, be enacted by the 
legislative council thereof. Each judge shall appoi:::t a clerk for his 
respective court, who shall reside, respectively, at St. Augustine 
and Pensacola, and they shall keep the records there. Each clerk 
shall receive for his services, iu all cases arising under the territorial 
laws, such fees as may be established by the legislative council. 

Sec. 7. Jlnd be it further enacted. That each of the said superior 
courts shall moreover have and exercise the same jurisdiction within 
its limits, in all cases arising under the laws and the constitution of ihe 
United States, which, by an act to establish the judicial power of the 


United States, approveJ the twenty-fourth day of September, one 
thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine : and an act in addition to 
the act, entitled " An act to estabhsh the judicial courts of the Uni- 
ted States," approved the second day of March, one thousand seven 
hundred and ninety-three, was vested in the court of the Kentucky 
district. And writs of error and appeal from the decisions in the 
said superior courts, authorized by this section of this act, shall 
be made to the supreme court of the United States, in the same ca- 
ses, and under the same regulations as from the circuit courts of the 
United States. The clerks, respectively, shall keep the records at 
the places where the courts are held, and shall receive, in all cases 
arising under the laws and constitution of the United States, the same 
fees which the clerk of the Kentucky district received for similar 
services, whilst that court exercised the powers of the circuit and 
district courts. There shall be appointed, in the said territory, two 
persons learned in the law, to act as attorneys for the United States 
as well as for the territory ; one for that part of the territory known 
as East Florida, the other for that part of the territory known as 
West Florida. To each of whom, in addition to his stated fees, shall 
be paid annually two hundred dollars, as a full compensation for all 
extra services. There shall also be appointed two marshals, one 
for each of the said superior courts, who shall each perform the 
the same duties, be subject to the same regulations and penalties, and 
be entitled to the same fees to which marshals in other districts are en- 
titled for similar services ; and shall in addition, be paid the sum of 
two hundred dollars annually, as a compensation for all extra ser« 

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted. That the governor, secretary, 
judges of the superior courts, district attorneys, marshals, and all ge- 
neral officers of the militia, shall be appointed by the President of 
the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 
All judicial officers shall hold their offices for the termof f®ur years, 
and no longer. The governor, secretary, judges, members of the 
legislative council, justices of the peace, and all other officers, civil 
and of the militia, before they enter upon the duties of their respec- 
tive offices, shall take an oath or affirmation to support the constitu- 
tion of the United States, and for the faithful discbarge of the duties 

APPENDIXo - 181 

of their office ; the governor, before the President of the United 
States, or before a judge of the supreme or district court of the Uni- 
ted States, or before such other person as the President of the Uni- 
ted States shall authorize to administer the same ; the secretary, 
judges, and members of the legislative council, before the governor ; 
and all other officers, before such persons as the governor shall di- 
rect. The governor shall receive an annual salary of two thousand 
five hundred dollars ; the secretary one thousand five hundred dol- 
lars ; and the judges, of one thousand five hundred dollars each, to 
be paid quarter 3'early, out of the treasury of the United States. 
The members of the legislative council shall receive three dollars 
each per day, during their attendance in council, and three dollars 
for every twenty miles in going to, and returning from, any meeting 
of the legislative council, once in each session, and no more. The 
members of the legislative council shall be privileged from arrest, 
except in cases of treason, felony, and breach of the peace, during 
their going to, attendance at, and returning from, each session of said 

Sec. 9. AuA be it further enacted, That the following acts, that is 
to Say : 

" An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United 
States, approved April thirtieth, one thousand seven hundred and 
ninety, and all acts in addition, or supplementary thereto, which 
are now in force :" 

*' An act to provide for the punishment of crimes and ofiences 
committed within the Indian boundaries, approved March third, one 
thousand eight hundred and seventeen :" 

" An act in addition to the act for the punishment of certain 
crimes against the United States, and to repeal the acts therein 
mentioned, approved April twentieth, one thousand eight hundred 
and eighteen :" 

'.' An act for the punishment of crimes therein specified, approv- 
ed January thirtieth, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine :" 
" An act respecting fugitives from justice, and persons escaping 
from the service of their masters, approved twelfth February, one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety-three :" 

" An act to prohibit the carrying on the slave trade from the 


United States to any foreign place or country, approved March 
twenty-second, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine :" 

" An act in addition to the act, entitled an act to prohibit the car- 
rying on the slave trade from the United States to any foreign place 
or country, approved May tenth, one thousand eight hundred :" 

*' The act to prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or 
place within the jurisdiction of the United States, from and after the 
first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and eight, approved March second, one thousand eight 
hundred and seven :" 

" An act to prevent settlements being made on lands ceded to the 
United States, until authorised by law, approved March third, on6 
thousand eight hundred and seven : 

" An act in addition to an act to prohibit the importation of slaves 
into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States, 
from and after the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one 
thousand eight hundred and eight, and to repeal certain parts of the 
same, approved April twentieth, one thousand eight hundred and 
eighteen :" 

" An act in addition to the acts prohibiting the slave trade, ap-: 
proved March third, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen :" 

" An act to establish the post-office of the United States :" 

" An act further to alter and establish certain post roads, and for 
the more secure carriage of the mail of the United States :" 

" An act for the more general promulgation of the laws of the 
United States :" 

" An act in addition to an act, entitled an act for the more gene- 
ral promulgation of the laws of the United States :" 

" An act to provide for the publication of the laws of the United 
States, and for other purposes :" 

" An act to promote the progress of useful arts, and to repeal 
the act heretofore made for that purpose :" 

" An act to extend the privilege of obtaining patents for useful 
discoveries and inventions to certain persons therein mentioned, 
and to enlarge and define the penalties for violating the rights of 
patentees :" 

" An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the co- 


pies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of 
such copies, during the time therein mentioned :" 

" The act supplementary thereto, and for extending the benefits 
thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical 
and other prints :" 

*' An act to prescribe the mode in which the public acts, records 
and judicial proceedings in each state shall be authenticated, so as 
to take effect in any other state :" 

*' An act supplementary to the act, entitled an act to prescribe 
the mode in which the public acts, records, and judicial proceed- 
ings in each state shall be acknowledged, so as to take effect in any 
other state :" 

" An act for establishing trading-houses with the Indian tribes, 
and the sev^eral acts continuing the same ;" 

" An act making provision relative to rations for Indians, and their 
visits to the seat of government :" 

" And the laws of the United States relating to the revenue and 
its collection, subject (o the modification stipulated by the fifteenth 
article of the treaty of the twenty-second February, one thousand 
eight hundred and nine, in favour of Spanish vessels and their car- 
goes, and all other public laws of the United States which are not 
repugnant to the provisions of this act, shall extend to, and have 
full force and effect in, the territory aforesaid. 

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That, to the end that the in- 
habitants may be protected in their liberty, property, and the exer- 
cise of their religion, no law shall ever be valid which shall impair 
or in any way restrain the freedom of religious opinions, profes- 
sions, or worship. They shall be entitled to the benefit of the writ 
of habeas corpus. They shall be bailable in all cases, except for 
capital offences where the proof is evident or the presum|)tion great. 
All fines shall be moderate and proportioned to the offence ; and 
excessive bail shall not be required, nor cruel or unusual punish- 
ments inflicted. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obliga- 
tion of contracts, shall ever be passed ; nor shall private property 
be taken for public uses without just compensation. 

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That all free male white per- 
sons, who are housekeepers, and who shall have resided one year. 

1 84 Appexdix. 

at least, in the said territory, shall be quaHfied to act as grand and 
petit jurors, in the courts of the said territory ; and they shall, un- 
til the legislature thereof shall otherwise direct, be selected in such 
manner as the judges of the said courts shall respectively prescribe, 
so as to be most conducive to an impartial trial, and to be least bur- 
thensome to the inhabitants of the said territory. 

Sec. 12. And be it further enacted. That it shall not be lawful for 
any person or persons to import, or bring into the said territory, 
from any port or place without the limits of the United States, or 
cause or procure to be so imported or brought, or knowingly to aid 
or assist in so importing or bringing, any slave or slaves. And 
every person, so offending, and being thereof convicted bef)re any 
court within the said territory, having competent jurisdiction, shall 
forfeit and pay, for each and every slave so imported or brought, 
the sum of three hundred dollars, one moiety for the use of the 
United States, and the other moiety for the use of the person or 
persons who shall sue for the same ; and every slave so imported or 
brought, shall thereupon become entitled to, and receive his or her 

Sec* 13. And be it further enacted. That the laws in force in the 
said territory, at the commencemeat of this act, and not inconsistent 
with the provisions thereof, shall continue in force until altered, 
modified or repealed, by the legislature. 

Sec. 14. And be it further enacted. That the citizens of the said 
territory, shall be entitled to one delegate to Congress, for the said 
territory, who shall pdssess the same powers heretofore granted to 
the delegates from the several territories of the United States. The 
said delegate shall be elected by such description of persons, at such 
times, and under such regulations, as the governor and legislative 
council may, from time to time, ordain and direct. 

[Approved. March 30, 1822.] 

Chap. 16. An act concerning the Commerce and Navigation of 

Beit enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Uni- 
ted States of America in Congress assembled, That any ship or vessel 
possessed of, and sailing under a Spanish register, on the tenth day 


of July, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, belonging, nnd 
continuing to belon?;, \vhol13' to a citizen or citizens of the L nititd 
States then residing within the territories ceded to the Unite*! Stntes 
by the treaty of the twenty-second of February, one thousand eight 
hundred and nineteen, between the United States and the king of 
Spain, the ratifications of which were exchanged on the twenty-second 
of February, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, or to any 
person or persons being on tlie said tenth day of July, an inhabitant 
or inhabitants of the said ceded territory, and who continue to reside 
the'ein, and of which the master is a citizen of the United States, 
or an inhabitant as aforesaid, may be registered, enrolled, and licen- 
sed in the manner prescribed by law ; and being so registered, 
enrolled, and licensed, shall be deemed and denominated a ship or 
vessel of the United States, and entitled to the same privileges and 
bsnetits : Provided, That it shall be lawful f tr the collector to 
whom application shall be made for a certificate of registry, enrol- 
ment, or license, by any citizen or inhabitant as aforesaid, to make 
such variations in the Ibrms of the oaths, certificates, and lie 'n««'S, 
as shall render them applicable to the cases her in intendin to be 
provided for : Andprovided a!sn, 'I'hat t very sucli inhabitant, ap- 
plying as aforesaid, shall, prior to his bein .; entitled to receive such 
certificate of registry, enrolment, or license, deposit, with the col- 
lector, the register and other papers, under which such ship or ves- 
sel had beta navigated ; and also take and siimcribe. before the col- 
lector, ^who is hereby authorized to administer the same,) the fol- 
lowing oath : — 

" I, \. B. do swcRr, [or affirm] tliat I will bt- ftitliful nud !)ear true allegiance to 
the United States of America, and that I do entirely renounce and abjure all alle- 
giance and fidelity to every foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovcreiijnty, whatevfer, 
and particularly to the king of Spain. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, Tliat the !n!tal)itants of said ce- 
ded territory, who were residents thereof on the said tenth day of 
July, and who shall take the said oath, and who continue to reside 
therein, or citizens of the United States resident therein, shall be 
entitled to all the benefits and privileges of owning ships or vessels of 
the United States, to all intents and purpose?, as if they were resi- 
dent citizens of the Ignited Slates. 



Sec. 3. ^ind be it further enacted, Tliat during the term of twelve 
years, to commence three months after the 22d day of February, 
one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, being the day of the ex- 
change of the ratifications of said treaty, Spanish ships or vessels, 
coming hiden only with the productions of the Spanish growth, or ' 
manuficture, directly from the ports of Spain or her colonies, shall 
be admitted into the ports of Pensacola and St. Augustine, in the said 
ceded territory, in the same manner as ships and vessels of the Uni- 
ted States, and without paying any other or higher duties on their 
cargoes than by law now are, or shall, at the time be made payable 
by citizens of the United States, on similar articles imported into 
said Pensacola or St. Augustine, in ships and vessels of the United 
States, from any of the ports or places of Spain or her colonies, and 
without paying any higher tonnage duty than by law now is, or at the 
time shall be laid on any ship or vessel of the United States, coming 
from any port or place of Spain or any of her colonies, to said ports 
of Pensacola or St. Augustine. 

[Approved March 30, 1823.] 

Chap. G2. An act to provide for the collection of Duties on Im- 
ports and Tonnage in Florida, and tor other purposes. 

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled. That all the ports, 
harbours, waters, and siiores, of all that part of the main land of 
Florida lying between the collection district of St. Mary's, in Geor- 
gia, and the river Nassau, with all the ports, harbours, waters, and 
shores, of all islands opposite and nearest thereto, be, and hereby 
are, annexed to, and made and constituted a part of the collection 
district of St. Mary's, in Georgia. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted. That all the ports, harbours, 
shores, and waters, of the main land of Florida, and of the islands 
opposite and nearest thereto, be, and the same are hereby estab- 
lished a collection district, by the name of the district of St. Augus- 
tine, whereof St. Augustine shall be the only port of entry. 

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, 'J hat all the ports, harbours, 
shores, and waters, of the main land of Florida, and of the islands 
opposite and nearest thereto, extending from cape Sable to Char- 


jotte bay, be, and tlie same are, established a collection district, by 
the name of the district of Key West, and a port of entry may be 
established in said district, at such place as the President of the 
United States may designate : Provided, that until the President of 
the United States shall deem it expedient to establish a port of en- 
try in the district of Key West, and a collector shall be appointed 
for said district, the same district is annexed to, and shall be part of, 
the district of Apalachicola. 

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted. That all the ports, harbour:;, 
shores and waters of the m;iin land of said Florida, and of the 
islands opposite ;\nd nearest thereto, extending from Charlotte bay 
to cape St. Bias, be, and hereby are, established a collection dis- 
trict, by the name of the district of Apalachicola ; and a port of en- 
try shall be established for said district, at such place as the Presi- 
dent of the United States may designate. 

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted , That all the residue of the ports, 
harbours, waters, and shores, of said Florida, and of the islands 
thereof, be, and the saoie are, established a collection district, by 
the name of the district of Pensacola, whereof Pensacola shall be 
the only port of entry. 

Sec. 6. And be it fiirtrcr enacted. That the President of the United 
States be, and he is hereby authorized to establish such ports of 
delivery in each of said districts, and also in that portion of said ter- 
ritory annexed to the district of St. Mary's, as he may deem expe- 

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United 
States, with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint a 
collector for each district, to reside at the port of entry, and a sur- 
veyor for the district of Pensacola, and a surveyor for, and to reside 
at, each port of dehvery authorized by this act : but the President, 
in the recess of the Senate, may make temporary appointment of 
any such collector or surveyor, whose commission shall expire in 
forty days from the commencement of the next session of Congress 

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted. That each collector and sur- 
veyor authorized by this act, shall give bond for the true and faith- 
ful discharge of his duties, in such sum a? the President of the Uni- 

188 APPExVDlX. 

ted St; tes may direct and prescribe ; and the collector (or the dis- 
tric oi Pcnsacola shall, in addition to the fees and emoluments allow- 
ed b^ law, receive three per cent, commissions, and no more, on all 
monies received and paid by him on account of the dudes on goods, 
wares and merchandise, and on the tonnage of vessels ; and each 
othei- collector shall, in addition to the fees and emoluments allow- 
ed by law, receive an annual salary of five hundred dollars, and 
three per cent, commirsions, and no more, on all monies receiv ed 
and paid by him on account of the duties on goods, wares and mer- 
chandise, imported i r.o his district, and on the tonnage of vessels ; 
and each surveyor authorized by this act shall, in addition to the 
fees and emoluments allowed by law, receive an annual salary of 
three hundred dollars ; and each such collector and surveyor shall 
exercise the same powers, be subject to the same duties, and be 
entitled to the same privileges and immunities as other collectors 
and surveyors of the customs of the United States. 

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That ships or vessels arriving 
from and after the thirtieth day of June next, from the cape of Good 
Hope, or from any place beyond the same shall be admitted to make 
entry at the port of entry at Pensacola, and at no other port or place 
in Florida. 

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That all laws which impose 
any duties on the importation of any goods, wares and merchandise, 
into said territory of Florida, or on the exportation of any goods, 
wares and merchandise, from said territory, or on the tonnage of 
vessels, or which allows any drawback on exportation of any good^, 
wares or merchandise, other than such duties or drawbacks as are 
paid or allowed in other territories or places in the United States, 
are hereby rejiealed : Provided, that nothing in this act contained 
shall authorize the allowing of drawbacks on the exportation of-any 
goods, wares and merchandise, from any port or place of said terri- 
tory other than on those which shall have been imported directly 
into the same from a foreign port or place : and no drawback shall 
be allowed on any goods, wares or merchandise, exported from any 
port of Florida, wbich shall have been imported before the tenth 
day of July, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-one. 

Sec. 1 1. And be it further enacted, That the first section of an act 


passed on the second day of March, one thousand eight hundred and 
nineteen, entitled " An act supplementary to the acts concerning 
the coasting trade," be so far altered and amended, that the sea coasts 
and navigable rivers of the United Slates be, and the same are here- 
by divided into three great districts, the first and second to be and 
rem:iin as therein described, and the third to include all the ports, 
harbours, sea coasts, and navigable rivers between the southern 
limits of Georgia and the river Perdido : and the said third great 
district, so established, shall be subject to all the regulations and 
provisions of said act. 

[Approved 7th May, 1822.] 

Chap. 86. An act to relieve the people of Florida from the ope- 
ration of certain ordinances. 

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That an ordi- 
nance numbered three, made and passed on the eighteenth day of Ju- 
ly, eighteen hundred and twenty-one, by Major General Andrew 
Jackson, governor of the provinces of the Florida?, entitled, "' A71 
ordinance providing for the naturalization of the inhabitants of the 
ceded territories,'''' and an ordinance passed by the City Council of 
St. Augustine on the seventeenth of October, eighteen hundred and 
twenty-one, imposing and laying certain taxes on the inhabitants, and 
all other law?, ordinances or resolves, so far as they enforce or con- 
firm the same, be, and the same are hereby, repealed and declared 
null and void. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted. That if any person shall attempt 
to enforce any of said laws, ordinances or resolves, by demanding and 
receiving any tax, imposition, or assessment, authorized or prescri- 
bed thereby, such person shall, on conviction thereof, be punished 
by fine, not exceeding two hundred dollars, or by imprisonment not 
exceeding six months, either or both of said punishments. 

Sec. 3 And be it further enacted, That the President of the Uni- 
ted States shall, in such manner and under such regulations as he may 
direct and prescribe, cause to be refunded to any person any sum of 
money which he may have paid under or by virtue of either of said 
lawSi ordinances or resolves. 



Sec. 4. And be it further enacted. That tliis act shall be in force 
from and after the first day of June next. 
[Approved 7th May, 1822.] 

Chap. 129. An act for ascertaining claims and titles to land within the 
territory of Florida. 

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That, for the pur- 
pose of ascertaining the claims and titles to lands within the territory 
of Florida, as acquired by the treaty of the twenty-second of Feb- 
ruary, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen, there shall be ap- 
pointed, by the President of the United States, by and with the ad- 
vice and consent of the Senate, three commissioners who shall re- 
ceive, as compensation for the duties enjoined by the provisions of 
this act, two thousand dollars each, to be paid quarterly from the 
treasury : who shall open an office for the adjudication of claims, at 
Pensacola, in the territory of West Florida, and St. Augustine, in 
East Florida, under the rules, regulations, and conditions, hereinafter 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of said 
commissioners to appoint a suitable and well qualifie.-l secretary, who 
shall record, in a well bound book, all and every their acts and pro- 
ceedings, the claims admitted, with those rejected, and the reason of 
their admission or rejection. He shall receive as a compensation 
for his services, one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars, to be 
paid quarterly, from the treasury. He shall be acquainted with the 
Spanish language ; and before entering on the discharge of the duties 
of his office, shall take and subscribe an oath, before some authority 
competent to administer it, that he will raell, and truly, and faithfully 
discharge the duties assigned him, and translate all papers that may be 
required of him by the Commissioners. 

Sec. 3. And be itfurther enacted, That said Commissioners, pre- 
viously to entering on a discharge of the duties assigned them, shall, 
before the judge of the territorial court at Pensacola, or some other 
apiI>ority in his absence, competent to administer it, take an oath, 
faithfully to discharge the duties of their q/fices, and shall commence 
:ind hold their sessions on or before the first Monday of July next^ 


at Pensacola, and on the first Monday of January thereafter, at St. 
Augustine, for the ascertaining and determining of all claims to land 
within said territories : notice of which shall be given, by said Com- 
missioners, in some newspaper printed at each place, or, if their be 
no newspaper, at the most public places in the said cities, respect- 
ively, of the time at which their sessions will commence, requiring 
all persons to bring forward their claims, with evidence necessary 
to support them. The session at St. Augustine shall terminate on 
the thirtieth of June, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-three, 
when said commissioners shall forward to the Secretary of the Trea- 
sury, to be submitted to Congress, a detail of all they have done, and 
deliver over to the Surveyor all the archives, documents, and pa- 
pers, that may be in their possession. 

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted. That every person, or the heirs 
or representatives of such persons, claiming title to lands under any 
patent, grant, concession, or order of survey, dated previous to the 
twenty-fourth day of January, one thousand eight hundred and 
eighteen, which were valid under the Spanish government, or by 
the law of nations, and which are not rejected by the treaty ceding 
the territory of East and West Florida to the United States, shall 
file, before the Commissioners, his, her, or their claim, setting 
forth, particularly, its situation and boundaries, if to be ascertained, 
with the deraignment of title, where they are not the grantees or 
original claimants ; which shall be recorded by the Secretary, and 
who, for his services, shall be entitled to demand from the claimants 
ten cents, for each hundred words contained in said papers so re- 
corded : he shall also be entitled to twenty-five cents for each sub- 
poena issued : Provided, That if the amount so received shall ex- 
ceed one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars, which is hereby 
declared the compensation for his services, the excess shall be re- 
ported to the Commissioners, and be subject to their disposition : 
and said commissioners shall proceed to examine and determine on 
the validity of said patents, grants, concessions, and orders of sur- 
vey, agreeably to the laws and ordinances heretofore existing of the 
governments making the grants respectively, having due regard, in 
all Spanish claims, to the conditions and stipulations contained ia 
the eighth article of a treaty concluded at Washington, between bis 


Catholic Miijestj and the United States, on the twenty-second of 
February, one thousand eight hundred and nineteen ; but any 
claim not fded previous to the thirty-first day of May, one thou- 
sand eight hundred and twenty-three, shall be deemed and held 
to be void and of none effect : Provided, nevertheless, and he 
■it further enacted, That in all claims submitted to the decision 
of the Commissioners, where the same land, or any part there- 
of, is claimed by titles emanating both from the British and Spanish 
governments, the Commissioners shall not decide the same but shall 
report all such cases, with an abstract of the evidence, to the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury. 

Sec. 5. And be it fu.thcr enacted. That the commissioners shall 
have power to enquire into the justice and validity of the claims 
tiled with them ; and shall be, and areliereby, authorized to admin- 
ister oaths, to compel the attendance of witnesses by subpoenas is- 
sued by the Secretary ; and the adduction of such testimony as 
may be wanted : they shall have access to all papers and records of 
a public nature relative to any land titles within said provinces, and 
to make transcripts thereof. They shall examine into claim? ari- 
sing under patents, grants, concessions, and orders of survey, where 
the survey has been actuilly made previous to the twenty-fourth 
of January, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, wbether they 
are founded upon conditions, and how far those conditions have been 
complied with : and if derived from the British government, hoW 
far they have been considered valid under the Spanish government, 
and if satisfied that said claims be correct and valid, shall give confir- 
mation to theni : Provided, That such confirm-ition sbnl! only ope- 
rate as a release of any interest which the United States may have, 
and shall not be considered as -.ifiecting the rights of thifd persons : 
and provided, That they shall not have power to confirm any claim 
or part thereof where the amount claimed is undefined in quantity, 
or shall exceed one thousand acres ; but in all such cases shall re- 
port the testimony, with their opinions, to tlie Secretary of the Trea- 
sury, to be laid before Congress for their determination. Every 
witness attending any process from the Commissioners, shall be al- 
lowed one dolhir a day, and one dollar for every twenty miles tra- 
vel : to be paid by the party summoning him : Provided, nevcrthe- 


iess, That the Commissioners shall not act on, or take into conside- 
ration, any British grant, patent, Avarrant, or order of survey, but 
those which are bonajide claimed and owned by citizens of the Uni- 
ted States, and which have never been compensated for by the Bri- 
ish government. 

Sec. 6. Jind be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed 
by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate, a surveyor, who shall possess the power and 
authority, and receive the same salary, as by law appertains to the 
surveyor south of the state of Tennessee : but his duties shall not 
commence until the Commissioners shall have examined and decided 
upon the claims of West Florida, who shall thereupon furnish the 
surveyor with a list of those admitted, and he shall thereupon pro- 
ceed to survey the country, taking care to have surveyed, and mark- 
ed, and laid down, upon a general plan, to be kept in his office, the 
metes and bounds of the claims so admitted : causing the same to be 
surveyed at the expense of the claimants, the price whereof shall be 
the same as is paid for surveying the public lands : but no surveyor 
shall charge for any line except such as may be actually run, nor for 
any line not necessary to be run. lie shall appoint a suitable num- 
ber of deputies, and shall tix and determine their fees : Provided, 
That the whole cost of surveying shall not exceed four dollars a 
mile : And providtd also, That none other th;in township lines sha)l 
be run where the land is deemed unfit for cultivation : said survey- 
or shall reside nt cued piaco as tho Proeidcnt of the United States 
may direct, and shall keep his office there, and may charge the fol- 
lowing fees, to wit: for recording the plat and surveys of private 
claims made by any of his deputies, twenty-five cents for each mile 
contained in the boundary of such survey, and twenty-five cents for 
any copy certified from the books of his office. 

fApproved 8th May, 1822.] 



Extract from the Treaty of Versailles of 20th January, 1783- 


*' His Britannic Majesty shall cede to his Catholic Majesty East 
Florida, and his Catholic Majesty shall keep East Florida, it being 
well understood that there shall be granted to the subjects of his 
Britannic Majesty, who are established, as well in the island of Mi- 
norca as in the two Floridas, the term of eighteen months, which 
shall be counted from thp dny of thp ratifiration of the definitive trea- 
ty, to sell their property, recover their debts, and transport their 
effects and persons, without molestation on account of their religion, 
or under any other pretext whatsoever, excepting that of debts or 
criminal causes : and his Britannic Majesty shall have the power 
of causing to be transported from East Florida all the effects which 
may belong to him, whether artillery or any others whatsoever." 

Ratified at St. Udefonso, the twelfth of September, one thousand 
seven hundred and eighty-three. 


In consequence of what I have intimated to your excellency in the 
letter of the twenty-fourth of January last, the king has been pleased 


to prolong, by four months, the eighteen, stipulated in the definitive 
article of peace for the emigration of the English subjects who may 
be in West Florida. I communicate to your excellency this royal 
determination, that its fulfilment may be provided for. God preserve 
your excellency many years. The Pardo, seventh of February, one 
thousand seven hundred and eighty-five. Don Jose de Galvez. Se- 
nor count de Galvez. God preserve you many years. Havanna 
the nineteenth of May, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five. 
I kiss your hands and am your most obedient servant, Bernardo 
Froncoso. Senor Don V^icente Manual de Zerpedcs. Florida. 


Conformable to the copies of their originals which are collected 
for the process instituted in the year one thousand seven hundred 
and ninety, upon the sale of houses and lands which were abandoned, 
and returned into the royal patrimony in consequence of their Eng- 
lish owners having emigrated, which process is in the archive under 
my charge, to which I refer; I sign and seal these presents at St. 
Augustine, of Florida, the eighteenth of February, onet housand 
eight hundred and twenty. Signed, Juan de Entralgo, Notary of 


Of this date I communicate to the captain general of both Flori- 
das, count Je Galvcc, the fullowiuj^ »^j'»l uider : At a council of the 
board of state, and upon a view of what your excellency has express- 
ed in a former letter, number fifty-six, and of the contents of the 
copy enclosed from the governor of Louisiana, Don Estevan Miro, 
respecting the difficulties which occur that the English and American 
families established at Baton Rouge. Mobile, Pensacola and Natchez, 
may go from said provinces, agreeably to the last treaty of peace, 
the king has been pleased to approve of the provision which your ex- 
cellency has made with the said governor, that no novelty should 
take place towards the said families ; it being his royal will that the 
permission be continued to them of dwelling where they are esta- 
blished, on the condition that, for the present, and as indispensable 
'circumstances, they take a solemn oath of fidelity and obedience to 


his Majesty, and that tliey go not out of the hmils wherein they are 
actually situated without the power of going to other parts, not bav- 
in"' an express license of the government. That those who shall not 
complv with these just conditions, depart by sea for the colonies of 
North America, at their expense, or in defect of that, at the expense 
of the king, who shall be reimbursed from their effects as far as pos- 
sible. That this same concession be extended to the inhabitants of 
East Florida as far a? it may be adapted to it ; and that in Natchez 
and other places of both Floridas where it is convenient, parishes of 
Irish clergy be established in order to bring said colonists and their 
children and families to our religion, with the sweetness and mild- 
ness which it advises. Such is the order of his Majesty for the pur- 
poses therein expressed. God preserve you many years. The 
Pardo, tifth of April, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-six. 
The Marquis of Sonora. To the Governor of St. Augustine of 


' It is agreeable to its original which is in the Secretary's office of 
this government, to which 1 refer. I seal and sign the present tes- 
timony at St. Augustine, of Florida, the eighteenth of February, one 
thousand eight hundred and tvvent3^ Sealed. Juan de Entralgo,. 
Notary of Government. 

FOURTH Ar.,TICLc ui' ii^ii-. tuiui' oi' (io«ju ituv t-RKfliENT. 

The King, our Lord, by Royal order of the fifth of April, one- 
thousand seven hundred and eighty-six, grants to all the foreigners 
who may have been inhabitants of this province at the time of the 
English authority, that they may remain in it, protected in the pos- 
sesi^ion of their land, and effects, under the indispensable conditions 
of taking the oath of fidelity, of not augmenting the said lands, nor 
transferring themselves to any others. Consequently, all those who 
have not conformed, and do not conform, to the said conditions, with- 
in thirty days positively, by proceeding to show me their dispositions 
in person, or, if absent, by letters, to do what is proper, shall de- 
part from this province aforesaid. 

This is agreeable to the fourth article of the Edict of good govern- 


ment, which is in the Bureau of War, and was published in tWs place 
with the usuul formalities, on the second of September, one thousand 
seven hundred and ninety, by order of the Political and Military 
Government thereof, as appears from the Book of Edicts, which is 
in the archive under my charge, to which I refer ; and, in fulfilment 
of orders, I seal and sign these presents at St. Augustine, of Florida, 
the eighteenth of February, one thousand eight hundred and twenty. 

Notary of Government , 


'age 8. 

line 23, 





» 17. 







„ 19, 






previous to. 

„ 20, 







„ 22, 







„ 30, 







„ 30, 







„ 32, 







„ fl. 







„ 42, 







» 45, 






» 45, 







„ 50, 




there but. 


there the hammocks are 

„ 50, 






clothing. [but. 

„ ^5, 

• , 






„ 58, 







>, 59, 






,. 61, 

and other 




» 62, 


; 16, 





r should read asfollotos 

• .• different sizes which Brandy 

„ 64,at the top, 

•< creek falling into the St. \ 

Mary's seems to separate : 

'the western subdivision between, &c. 

„ 66, 

line 29, 


• gives, 


1 give. 

„ 69, 







„ 75, 







„ 75, 







» 77, 







„ 78, 






„ 80, 







„ 81, 






„ 81, 




the small. 



s, 87, 



The auxiliary verbs should be in the plural number. 

» 89, 



for 68, 

read 77. 

„ 92, 







„ 95, 







„ 100, 







„ 105. 






„ 105, 






„ 106, 







„ 110, 







„ 112, 







„ 120, 







„ 124, 






„ 124, 






„ 125, 







„ 127, 






any one. 

„ 137, 







„ 146, 



lagoon to. 


lagoon and. 

>, 147, 




otherwise, from 

9 99 

otherwise : from 

„ 151, 














„ 152, 

. in 

the note ,, 





H 47- 79 



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DEC 73 

INDIANA 46962 



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