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When Miami lighthouse was a blazing chimney
h [electronic resource] /
by Hamtpon Dunn.
1 online resource (2 p.) :
Title from caption on PDF of p.1 (viewed July 14, 2010).
At head of title: Photouring Florida.
Typescript of Photouring Florida column that describes John W.B. Thompson's efforts to keep the lighthouse at Cape Florida on Key Biscayne lighted during the Seminole Wars.
Thompson, John W. B.
Key Biscayne (Fla.)
Key Biscayne (Fla.)
Description and travel.
t Hampton Dunn Photouring Florida collection.
e06 WHEN MIAMI LIGHTHOUSE WAS A BLAZING CHIMNEY By HAMPTON DUNN MIAMI -In South Florida, where there were few white set tlers, the Indians had the upper hand during the savage Seminole Wars. In mid 1836, the settlers fled to populated Key West for protecti on while the red men were on the warpath. At Cape Florida on Key Biscayne here, even the lighthouse keeper had deserted his post because he was allergic to Indians. Not so, his brave and devoted assistant, John W. B. Thompson, who decided to stay at his p ost, come what may. A Negro helper Henry also elect ed to stand by. At 4 P.M. on that hot July 23, 1836, the rampaging Indians struck. Thompson and Henry scooted inside the structure. They fired from the windows and staved off the attackers until dark. Th e Reds broke open the door and set fire to the stairway. Oil drums caught fire. The guards made their way to the top. In a final desperate attempt to halt the Indians, Thompson heaved over a box of ammunition below. It exploded and set off a furious blast, turning the light house into a blazing cannon. The Negro helper was killed during the fracas. Thompson was rescued a day later by sailors from the U.S. schooner Motto. The Cape Florida lighthouse is the oldest structure in South Florida. After that disas trous day in 1836, the government rebuilt Cape Florida in 1837. The lenses and illumination equipment were de stroyed by pirates in 1861. Dape Florida was dis established in 1878. Today it is a new State park.