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SPRING/SUMMER 1979 VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1 CONTENTS From the Editors 3 ARTICLES The Tampa Bay Area from the Aborigines to the Spanish By Charles W. Arnade 5 Bootleggers in the Backwoods: Prohibition and the Depression in Hernando County By Richard Cofer 17 Trails to Tampa Bay: A Photo Essay By J. B. Dobkin 24 Manatee Village Historical Park By Janet Snyder Matthews 31 ORAL HISTORY Civil Rights Protests in Tampa: Oral Memoirs of Conflict and Accommodation 37 NOTES AND DOCUMENTS The Attack on Braden Castle: Robert Gamble's Account By Paul Eugen Camp 55 Black Company Town: A Peculiar Institution in Pierce, Florida By Joseph G. Mannard 61 GENEALOGY Please Don't Bury the Records By Jean Allin 67 The History and Purpose of the Florida Society for Genealogical Research, Inc.
By Mary M. Kitchen and Dorothy M. Boyer 76 BOOK REVIEWS Jahoda, Florida by Frank Laumer -------------------------------------------------------------------78 Newell, The Trouble Of It Is by Patricia Waterman -----------------------------------------------79 Flynt, Cracker Messiah by Charlton W. Tebeau --------------------------------------------------80 Bass and DeVries, The Transformation of Southern Politics by Darryl Paulson ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------81 Marth, Yesterday's Sarasota by Richard Glendinning -------------------------------------------83 Announcements ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------85 Notes on Contributors ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------87 Copyright 1979 by the University of South Florida Printed by Rinaldi Printing Co., Tampa, Florida
FROM THE EDITORS Does the world need another history journal? We asked ourselves this question and answered with a qualified "yes." If a new journal fills a vacuum in the field, it can be justified. We hope Tampa Bay History fills one such void. In terms of the area covered, Tampa Bay History is designed to fit between local journals, such as the Sunland Tribune published by the Tampa Historical Society, and the major statewide publication, Florida Historical Quarterly Our purview is the region encompassed by the Tampa Bay area and its environs, including the fifteen counties (Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hardee, De Soto, Highlands, Hendry and Glades), served by the University of South Florida. Some of you in the far reaches of this region may not think of yourselves as part of the Tampa Bay area, but if you can identify with a Tampa Bay football team, why not with a history journal? In short, we plan to cover the region of west central and southwest Florida that encompasses a number of bays, ports and harbors, as well as landlocked communities. But, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we have our headquarters near Tampa Bay, and we intend to draw our support from, and dedicate our efforts to, a much larger area. The first issue of Tampa Bay History contains material on at least seven different counties in addition to information of a more regional nature. Only the limits of space prevented us from covering more communities. So please do not judge the journal's balance on the basis of any single issue. With sufficient time, space and publishable material, we will give every locality its due, although we also want articles that examine larger themes (exploration, transportation, economic developments) in the region as a whole. Another gap we hope to fill is the one that often separates academic and community historians. The first issue of Tampa Bay History draws on the talents of both groups. Our primary instruction to contributors was that academics write so that nonprofessionals could read and enjoy their work and that nonacademic historians meet scholarly standards of documentation. Although Tampa Bay History is directed primarily at interested lay readers, it needs to maintain professional standards so that it will win the recognition and acceptance of a broader national audience outside the immediate area. Indeed, we want the journal to become a permanent addition to major libraries across the country. As this inaugural issue shows, we plan to publish many types of historical material. In addition to the usual articles and book reviews, Tampa Bay History will include oral history interviews, photographic essays, original documents and genealogy. The genealogy section will publish articles dealing with original documents and records, family and personal records, research techniques, and holdings of libraries and associations. The announcements section of the journal will publish news about upcoming events related to local history, but these items must reach the editors at least two months before the publication date of June 1st or December 1st to appear in the next issue. In future issues, we will also add a section of "letters to the editors," which will give readers the opportunity to respond to the journal.
The success of Tampa Bay History will depend largely on two groups subscribers and contributors. The USF College of Social and Behavioral Sciences agreed to sponsor establishment of the journal with the understanding that it would become self-sufficient in the near future. We have been gratified by the initial response of historical societies, institutions and members of the larger Tampa Bay area, and we hope the journal will continue to expand its support in the community. All the subscribers in the world could not keep afloat a magazine with nothing to publish. We, therefore, invite the submission of original articles, documents, interviews, photographs or any other material related to the history of the region. As editors, we are prepared to help potential contributors put their material in publishable form. Needless to say, the opinions expressed by contributors are their own and not necessarily those of the editors or anyone associated with publication of Tampa Bay History A number of people have made Tampa Bay History possible. Although we could not begin to mention all of them by name, we feel obligated to thank some of the people, in addition to the contributors, most responsible for helping launch the journal. First and foremost, Travis J. Northcutt, Jr., a friend of history and Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at USF, has supported Tampa Bay History from its inception. Without him, there would be no Tampa Bay History Louis A. Perez, Jr., chairman of the Department of History at USF, should be singled out for helping develop the concept of the journal and for providing the editors with counsel, moral support, and anything else we asked of him. Peggy Cornett's title of "Administrative Coordinator" scarcely does justice to her painstaking efforts at keeping track of the many details involved in publishing a new journal. The following people at the University of South Florida came to our rescue in a variety of ways in preparation of this inaugural issue: Kathy Allen, Joyce Bland, Paul Camp, Irma Campbell, Vic Cuyar, J. B. Dobkin, Pam Eubank, Robin Kester, Doris Martin, Frank Spear and Susan Stoudinger.
THE TAMPA BAY AREA FROM THE ABORIGINES TO THE SPANISH By Charles W. Arnade The history of the extended Tampa Bay area, ranging from Citrus County through Sarasota County and including the inland counties of Sumter, Polk, Hardee, DeSoto, and possibly Highland, has not been completely told or even well summarized. Maybe it cannot yet be written because much primary research still remains to be done. Furthermore, the amount of misinformation, including unsubstantiated legends, is great and continues to be repeated in spite of new historical evidence. This is aggravated by the presence in the area of a great number of retirees who, in their search for a hobby, take to amateur anthropology, archaeology, history, and even geology. Amateurs can be most helpful if they know the guidelines and techniques of professionals. A prime example of a first-rate historical production by a nonacademic is Frank Laumer's Massacre! about the Seminole War in today's Sumter County.1 However, we have innumerable publications by amateurs usually printed by vanity presses which add nothing to better knowledge of our past, but rather detract from efforts to further good history. The emergence of the legend of Jose Gaspar can be traced to one publication lacking elementary features of professionalism. It even contains fabricated data.2 Conceivably, one of the reasons for trumped-up information is frustration over the emptiness of human history in the Florida peninsula, especially west central Florida. Institutionalized history does not really start in the Tampa Bay area until the early nineteenth century, many years after the beginning of the American period. From prehistoric times until the Seminole War in the 1830s, this area had hardly any population and no continuity, which is a criterion for the presence of civilization. From the Mesozoic and early Tertiary periods until the nineteenth century, it was a realm of nature rather than man. Although Homo sapiens arrived in the area about 10,000 years ago, their numbers were small until recently. The total population of the greater Tampa Bay area at any time was, for example, far less than today's student body at the University of South Florida. In the absence of adequate data, it would not be unrealistic to guess that at any given period before 1800, there were less than two thousand people in the area. While study of the pre-Columbian periods and the early Spanish occupation was begun seriously in this century, it did not achieve momentum until after World War II and now has entered a phase of intense research, adding new data every year. The main reason is the development of underwater archaeology with better diving equipment and techniques. It must be recalled that Florida was under water in certain periods and that Florida's inhabitants in the peninsula were always near water.3 Also, the establishment since World War II of anthropology departments at the state universities in Florida, with dynamic research-oriented professors, and the ever ambitious Florida State Museum at the University of Florida, has stimulated the gathering of much new data about prehistory. To these must be added recent research in the geological period, coming also from the state universities. An example is the excellent. book edited by University of Florida Professor David Webb entitled Pleistocene Mammals of Florida a necessity for understanding the prehistory of Florida.4 Finally, the publications of the University Presses of Florida, located in Gainesville, have given greater attention to Florida material in the last two decades.
Despite all the new data, we still lack concise knowledge. Basically, we have not altered much of our historical knowledge, and some of the main questions still remain unanswered. We have a greater variety of information and more details, but we have no single discovery that has radically changed our view of the past. For example, we still do not know precisely when the first inhabitants came to the peninsula or to the Tampa Bay area. We still lack better geographical boundaries for the various areas inhabited by the different aboriginal groups of the peninsula. In addition, we do not know the exact relationships of the various groups or tribes which we generally divide linguistically. Futhermore, these linguistic classifications are controversial. It is doubtful that we can specify the density of early inhabitants of the peninsula. We can say only that the population of peninsular Florida was very sparse. It is time to accept the fact that this sparse occupation by human beings continued through the first centuries of European presence in Florida. The Spanish and English failed to occupy west central Florida permanently. The aborigines' population declined, and the Seminoles did not arrive until almost the nineteenth century. Transients came to and through the area, but we need more data for generalizations. Clarification of the early history of west central Florida, with its majestic bay, remains a challenge. When did Florida's central gulf coast emerge; when did Homo sapiens first appear in this region? The answer is probably in the Pleistocene period when present Florida was shaped. Sometime in Holocene Florida, human beings made their appearance. From the Paleozoic (100 million years ago) to the Holocene (postglacial, beginning 25,000 years ago), Florida was first covered by water. It surfaced as a land mass much larger than today, only to submerge again partially before sections of it emerged again to give it today's shape. This left a large continental shelf, narrow on the east coast and wide on the west coast.5 What is now Tampa Bay was at one time deep in the interior of a much larger peninsula. The changing size of the land did not matter to man because he was probably not there. However, there were animals which were different from those of today. They were the prehistoric fauna, including the Pleistocene mammals. Some of these animals still existed in Florida when the peninsula arrived at its present shape and when man arrived in Florida. Prehistoric animals overlapped for only a short period with Homo sapiens in the Florida peninsula. This is conclusive. The prehistoric animals, including larger mammals, became extinct less than 10,000 years ago. Since man hunted them, he must have been here at least 10,000 years ago. Professor Webb's study has identified a few prehistoric fauna sites in Citrus, Sumter, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, and Highland Counties. Was man on these sites?6 When the Spanish arrived in Florida, followed soon after by the French, they recorded that Florida had about 25,000 aborigines. This is repeated in most of the popular texts of Florida history, but it is not a fixed number. It is simply a "scientific guess." Many claim that the Florida population at the time of the conquest was less than the estimated 25,000. What was the population of the Tampa Bay area? Probably not less than 1,000, but hardly more than 2,000. We know little of the earliest inhabitants who hunted the big animals, and we might never know enough to satisfy our curiosity. Killing these animals provided most of their necessities, such as food, clothing, materials for shelter, and bones for their tools. Their spears had
distinctive stone points, which have been located with the bones of the extinct animals. Known as Suwanee points, they have been found in the twelve-county area.7 The earliest cultural tradition of prehistoric man in Florida, starting about 8,000 to 7,000 B.C. (some claim 12,000 B.C.), is called "Paleo-Indian" and is followed by the "Archaic" tradition, which ends about 700 to 800 A.D. However, cultural traditions do not coincide with archaeological divisions. While Professor Goggin's cultural tradition reaches to 700 A.D., Professor Bullen's archaeological Archaic division ended in 2,000 B.C., followed by other periods in the Tampa gulf coast area: Deptford, Swift Creek, Weedon Island I and Weedon Island II, which reach to about 800 A.D.8 This is confusing to many and is of importance solely for detailed technical discussions. What matters to the historian is the fact that the life of the people at the end of the Archaic, be it 2,000 B.C. or 700 A.D., was not radically different from that of the big animal hunters. Prehistoric man, Paleo-Indian or Archaic, was basically nomadic hunting, gathering, and fishing. Eventually, however, fishing or gathering shellfish became more important than hunting for meat. This produced some change in their life-style. The native became more sedentary or semi-nomadic. This transformation occurred sometime in the cultural Archaic period, and the new way of life continued through the arrival of the Europeans. As the aborigines became more sedentary they did cultivate the soil. They also improved their pottery. The Archaic tradition was slowly becoming semi-sedentary from as early as 7,000 B.C. Where man was located in central Florida cannot be defined exactly, but he existed in the twelve-county region. He had a primitive culture. Goggin concluded that his backwardness is evidenced by the absence of "a cult dedicated to the dead." Wyman, writing in 1875, claimed that Archaic man even practiced "non-ceremonial cannibalism."9 We still do not know if this is true. Pottery at the beginning of the Archaic period was absent. It appeared in the archaeological preceramic period, surely by 5,000 B.C., and was undecorated. Most of the available evidence of the Paleo-Indian and early Archaic cultural traditions is not in the twelve-county area, but rather on the east coast and in the St. John's basin. The Tampa Bay region is only marginal to these cultural traditions, but this conclusion may change as archaeological research increases over the next decade. Hunting and especially fishing were easier in the eastern part with more lakes and lagoons which are abundant in shellfish. Some confusion exists about cultural and archaeological traditions or periods since there is little agreement among archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, and historians. This is especially true for the expanded Tampa Bay area. Archaeological periods are more clear-cut and defined in time, but not in area. The twelve-county area includes several archaeological regions. In Willey's classical study of 1949, these are all in the area called Florida gulf coast that goes from Escambia County to Charlotte Harbor.10 Florida archaeologists have subdivided this area. They are well defined on the coast, but Piper and Piper tell us that inland boundaries are "ill defined."11 The one called Manatee (southern Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, some of Hardee, and De Soto Counties) has some good finds of prehistoric people. The same is true for the Glades and Kissimmee areas (part of Highland, Hardee, and De Soto Counties). Of more importance is the region called Central Gulf (Pinellas, part of Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, part of Sumter, and Polk). Here in the transitional ceramic archaeological time period, which ended about the time of Christ, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and Pasco County are two
of six major centers in Florida for transitional period pottery. There is evidence of improved pottery not only from "chalky" to "fiber-tempered," but also to some "elementary decorations." The Tampa site had "sand tempered pottery." The Pasco find had "inturned rims" and "linear punctuations."12 Archaeology has not provided necessary cultural data. We still know little about the population. This might be due, as Harry and Jacquelyn Piper say, to "a lack of scientifically controlled excavations and systematically conducted surveys, coupled with a paucity of reported and published data" in the past. To them, "Cultural /temporal periods are defined primarily upon the basis of differences in the artifact assemblages." We are "lacking a clear comprehension of the dynamics of cultural change in these regions." This means that what is provided is a "series of static time units."13 There is more clarity from about 850 A.D. to the arrival of the Spanish. This time span has two defined archaeological traditions (Weedon Island II and Safety Harbor). Bullen claimed that pottery, burial mounds, and points all improved. The Tampa Bay area brought good results for the modern-day professional archaeologist investigating this period. There was a more sedentary life and natives lived in semi-permanent structures in what archaeologists call a "midden area" (a midden is a pile of shellfish refuse). There was a type of central plaza that was clean of refuse and which was next to a ceremonial mound that was flattopped. This population cluster also had burial mounds. People still mainly fished, gathered mostly shellfish, and did some hunting, but there was not much cultivation. They had not embraced the agricultural revolution which had made its appearance in northwest Florida by the time of the European discovery in the sixteenth century. This type of life-style continued until the arrival of the Spaniards.14 Indian mounds were the most visible remains left by the early inhabitants of the Tampa Bay area. This one in St. Petersburg, shown in a 1895 photograph, was subsequently destroyed as were most others. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Library.
In 1513, continuous recorded history began for Florida, when Juan Ponce de Leon arrived on the east and then on the west coast. He probably did not go further north than Charlotte Harbor. Most scholars assume that previous to 1513, some Europeans had reached Florida and we possess reliable circumstantial evidence. It is doubtful that these men reached the Tampa Bay area.15 From Ponce de Leon's arrival on the lower gulf coast through the various Spanish landings in the first decades of the sixteenth century, nearly all attempts to integrate the natives into Christian ways of life failed. The Tampa Bay area was the favorite spot of early Spanish penetration. This period of history and Indian contacts is better known than other periods in prehistory or colonial times, but it also has been the source of large amounts of misinformation. The natives of Florida at the time of the discovery are divided into several groups, and the greater Tampa Bay area was within the jurisdiction of the Timucuans. The southwestern Calusas are often said to have been occupants of the Tampa area. This is now considered erroneous, but unfortunately is still repeated. Probably the original mistake of assigning Tampa Bay to the Calusas goes back to Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda's memoirs of 1575, which gave the possible Calusa word Tanpa (not Tampa) probably a Calusa village in another area to Tampa Bay.16 From then on it was assumed that Tampa was Calusa territory. The late Bullen has convincingly demonstrated that on the west coast the Timucuan/Calusa border was Charlotte Harbor, rather than Tampa Bay.17 Recent archaeological findings show that this is correct. It is harder to define borders of these native groups in the interior of the peninsula. For example, Polk (especially the eastern part) and Highland (the southern part), Hardee and DeSoto Counties are difficult to assign to specific native areas. Goggin and Sturtevant, among Florida's foremost authorities on prehistory, even gave a question mark to the coastal area from Bradenton to Charlotte Harbor.18 Juan Ponce de Leon (cl460-1521)
One might ask what these tribal differences mean. What difference is there between a Timucuan and a Calusa? There is very little except linguistically. Even here their languages have a relationship and probably come from a common origin. The best way to describe this to the layman is to compare Spanish with Italian. Cultural differences too were rather minor. Most attention is given to the Timucuans, the aborigines of our area, because we have more data, they are the largest group in terms of area and population, and we know their language. Subdivisions have been made of the Timucuans by leading anthropologists, such as the venerable Swanton. But reevaluations of these subdivisions are taking place.19 The Tampa Bay area is located in the Tocobaga subdivision. Ripley Bullen, in one of his last publications, said that "tocobaga is a generic term for the aboriginal people inhabiting the Florida gulf coast from Tarpon Springs to Sarasota at the time of European contact." However, he felt that new archaeological evidence tends to show that Tocobaga reached from coastal Charlotte Harbor north to the panhandle gulf coast.20 Still, nonarchaeologists would like a better definition of subdivisions of the Timucuans Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, a French artist, participated in the ill-fated French attempt to colonize Florida. His Brevis Narratio was published in 1591 and includes his drawings that vividly portray the life of Timucuan Indians.
or even divisions among the main tribes. They are hard to come by. For example, exactly what is meant by "generic term"? The initial Spanish sources, including de Escalante Fontaneda, tell us that Tocobaga was the name of either a Timucuan village or a Timucuan chief, or both, located at Tampa Bay. It was possibly the largest village, with the most important chief, in a cluster of villages or locations. As far as we know, Tocobaga was not a dialect of the Timucuan language. Again, it is far more difficult to pinpoint subtribal identities in the interior of the peninsula in the twelve-county area. Some good Tocobaga archaeology has been located in Arcadia, less in other inland locations.21 Timucuans have been repeatedly described in easily accessible publications, but the descriptions are based mainly on French and Spanish sources derived from contacts on the upper east coast. The Tocobaga subgroup is less known, and we have confusion in the Spanish sources that did not separate the Calusas from the Tocobaga Timucuans. In a posthumous publication, Bullen has given the best summary description of the Tocobagas.22 Even after much historical and archaeological research, he admits that "information about the Tocobaga Indian[s] is meager." They lived in small villages with "a midden paralleling the shore," and they had temple and burial mounds. These structures formed a sort of plaza "kept clean of rubbish." The headman or chief lived on the plaza and presided over a village of as little as ten and hardly more than twenty houses. It is believed that the largest and perhaps main village, where Chief Tocobaga resided, was located where Safety Harbor stands today. Because positive excavations have located this village, archaeologists call this period (1350-1513) and this Timucuan subdivision the "Safety Harbor Culture," which has been found all over our twelve-county area.23 It represents a good synchronization of a cultural and an archaeological tradition coordinated with linguistic information. Florida alligator hunt from Le Moyne, Brevis Narratio. Timucuans drying meat, fish and other game in a drawing by Le Moyne in Brevis Narratio.
Recorded Spanish contacts are adequate in number and have been thoroughly used by historians and anthropologists, but they lack the more precise information needed to define the aboriginal groups, tribes, or subgroups. Still, the Spanish records are our basic material. Some are most useful, such as the Spanish-Timucuan dictionary given us by the Franciscan priest, Francisco Pareja.24 Other material adds to confusion and mystery. For example, in the Tampa Bay area the De Soto expedition noted the Ocito and Mococo natives, apparently located in today's Hillsborough County. According to Swanton, we know hardly anything about them except that Mococo was either "a province or tribe at the inner end of Hillsboro Bay" whose chief had a castaway Spaniard by the name of Juan Ortiz who served as De Soto's chief translator. After this we know nothing of them. The Ocita or Ucita was apparently a tribe near the entrance of Tampa Bay in 1539, when De Soto landed in its territory. One of its principal towns was seized by the Spaniards as their headquarters, and, it is "believed that this was Terra Ceia Island." Again this name vanishes. Most probably these were Timucuan villages with subchiefs, just as Tocobaga was.25 Having adequate archaeological data about Tocobaga, we apply this name today to historical writings. This situation shows that cultural, linguistic, archaeological, geographical, and historical definitions regarding Florida peninsular prehistory, as well as the period of the Age of Discovery, are not correlated and require much more research and coordination. Nevertheless, the natives of this area were decentralized into subgroups or villages which acted rather independently, each under the rule of a village chief. They were semi-sedentary at the time of European contacts and lived near water, gathering shellfish for food. They also hunted for meat and gathered and grew some roots, vegetables, and fruits. Political and religious institutions were rather primitive. Contacts with Europeans were intermittent and produced no permanent relationships. Some chiefs were more friendly than others, but basically the natives rejected European dominance. Apparently, some natives had initially met European castaways. Others discovered European materials in the debris of shipwrecks. When the first official Spaniards arrived, these natives had already been subjected to elements of Western culture.26 From 1513 to 1565, when the first permanent European settlement was established with the founding of St. Augustine, many attempts were made by the Spaniards and French to settle Florida. All of them failed. The Tampa Bay area was a favorite landing place for inland expeditions. The De Soto and Narvaez expeditions are well-known and have caused rather tiresome controversies about their landing spots and routes. The arguments are of little importance. It suffices to say that the whole Tampa Bay area from Sarasota to Hernando County was the target region for some of these expeditions and provided the first official and recorded contacts between natives and Spaniards. What is less known, and must be emphasized, is the abandonment of most of the peninsula, including our twelve-county area, by the Spaniards after around 1570. Tampa Bay had to be rediscovered over two hundred years later. Incidentally, the same happened with Pensacola Bay, although somewhat earlier.
The so-called, rediscovery of Tampa Bay was really an attempt at a "fullscale reconnaissance with the most modern methods" undertaken by the Spanish naval forces. It reached success with the Celi expedition of 1757, which furnished a beautiful and competent map of Tampa Bay, as well as a detailed report. Although the Celi map was indirectly known, I located it in 1965 in the Naval Museum of Madrid, and a few days later I also found the Celi report in the same depository. Interpretations of the Celi documentation were done by Professor Holmes, the late Captain Ware (a Tampa, Bay harbor pilot), and myself. Today the Celi manuscripts and map are "unquestionably a key document in Florida history" and basic for a study of Tampa Bay's past.27 The Celi expedition was preceded in 1756 by a more limited exploratory expedition from Havana, sponsored by the naval arsenal of Havana under Juan Baptist Franco, a draftsman of this shipyard.28 Later, Franco accompanied Celi. The Franco and Celi reports were very positive; Holmes calls them "glowing reports." We are not yet too sure what were the main motivating reasons for these expeditions. Sea communication from Havana to St. Augustine suffered because of bad currents, storms, and the inadequate harbor of the latter. The route to Tampa Bay proved a safer voyage. In the eighteenth century, the Spaniards still believed that there was a waterway from Tampa Bay to the upper east coast. The timber resources of Tampa were attractive and were an incentive for the Franco expedition. Elsewhere in Florida, foreign threats prompted the reoccupation of Pensacola Bay in response to the French establishment of Louisiana. Also, explorations flourished since the mid-eighteenth century was part of the scientific enlightenment, and Spain had dozens of naval expeditions all over the world (including Alaska). One of their duties was to collect scientific data. Celi's recommendations could not be implemented as soon afterwards Florida passed into English hands. When Spain reacquired Florida in 1783, another Spanish naval expedition, led by Jose Antonio de Evia, came to Tampa Bay and then continued up the coast. The explorers ran Hernando De Soto (c1500-1542) Pedro Menendez de Aviles (1519-1574) was Adelantado of Florida. In 1567 Menendez established a military post at Tocobaga. The settlement of twentyfour houses was wiped out by the Indians in 1568, marking the end o f Spain's connection with the Tampa Bay area for the following two centuries.
into a storm at Tampa Bay, where they were forced to stay for awhile. Here they encountered "Indians" who had come on a five-day trip by horse "to hunt around Tampa Bay." They had brought with them "peltries" to exchange for "firearms," thinking that the English were still in possession of Florida.29 In the end, the Franco, Celi, and Evia reports were generally ignored, but their charts and maps have become important historical documents. The Celi map, beautifully adorned, is an artistic creation and constitutes one of the greatest Florida historical documents. From De Soto to Celi is a long time, and since the area reverted to a non-European status in the interim, we really know very little of its true history. There is probably more to it than we are aware of. We do know that the bay area was used by transients, mostly from Cuba, from as early as 1600 to the Seminole War or around 1840. Cuban fishermen, among others, came to the gulf coast because it contained a bountiful supply of edible fish. The season started about early September and lasted to the end of March. During this time these men stayed in camps.30 We also know now that the natives of Florida, using their canoes, traveled from the peninsula to Cuba, usually departing from the southern part of the Atlantic coast. As Cuba became settled by the Spaniards and Havana became an important town, these aborigines traveled to Havana carrying "fish, ambergris, tree barks, fruit, hides, and other goods in demand." One author even claims they carried rare birds to sell to the sailors in port, who would take them home to Spain.31 It is possible, although evidence is scanty, that natives from the gulf coast also made it to Havana. Exactly who these natives were the original aborigines or the newcomers eventually called Seminoles is not clearly determined. We do know that for nearly 250 years there was The Celi map. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Library
commerce between the lower gulf bays (mainly Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay) and Cuba by Cubans and Indians.32 The transient Cuban fishermen established temporary "ranchos" and apparently Tampa Bay was dotted with them in the late eighteenth century. Some of these ranchos might have become permanent with changing occupants. The Cubans traded with the natives, and we have evidence that the fishermen mated with native women. The offspring of these unions became either mestizo Cubans or Florida Indians. Negro blood from runaway slaves became part of this unusual society. One story tells of a nearly ninety-year-old fishing patriarch who ruled with an iron hand over some ranchos, most of which were occupied by his extended family. For years he did not return to Cuba, and he finished his life at Tampa Bay.33 Such people led a truly free life, obedient to no other authority, except when they returned to Cuba. This fascinating phase of Tampa Bay history came to an end with the Seminole War when the presence of American military authority signaled the beginning of the permanent and continuous history of the area. From the aborigines of nearly 12,000 years ago to the Tocobaga-Timucuans, the arrival of the Spaniards, the Celi period, and the Cuban fishermen constitutes a sweeping time span which is colorful but sketchy, filled with possible misinformation. Too little research has been done, and many points remain unknown. There is room for original research to fill the gaps of the long unrecorded periods.
1 Frank Laumer, Massacre! (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1968). 2 See Charles W. Arnade, "Jose Gaspar," and J. W. Covington, "Jose Gaspar. A Character From Fiction," Quarterly Journal of the Museum of Science and Natural History (Tampa), 5 (1966): 6-14. 3 See especially "Florida Emerges," in Erwin Raisz and John R. Dunkle, Atlas of Florida (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1964), Chart No, 6. 4 University of Florida Press, 1974. 5 Wythe C. Cooke, Geology of Florida (Gainesville: Florida Geological Survey Bulletin, No. 29, 1945). 6 Webb, Pleistocene Mammals pp. 6,21. 7 The best and most accessible survey is by Ripley P. Bullen, "Florida's Prehistory," in Charlton W. Tebeau, et al ., Florida From Indian Trail to Space Age (Delray Beach: Southern Publishing, 1965), Vol. 1, pp. 305-16. 8 John M. Goggin, "Cultural Tradition in Florida Prehistory," in John W. Griffin, editor, The Florida Indian and His Neighbors (Winter Park: Rollins College, 1949), pp. 13-44; Bullen, "Florida's Prehistory," p. 306. See also Goggin, "An Introductory Outline of Timucuan Archaeology," Southeastern Archaeological Conference, Newsletter 3 (1953) : 4-17. 9 Jeffries Wyman, "Fresh-Water Shell Mounds of the St. Johns River, Florida," Memoir: Peabody Academy of Science No. 4 (1875): 67-71. 10 Gordon R. Willey, Archaeology of the Florida Gulf Coast (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 113, 1949). 11 Goggin, "Cultural Tradition," p. 14; Harry and Jacquelyn Piper, "A Summary of Regional Prehistory," in Archaeological Survey of the Urban Redevelopment Program Areas of the City of St. Petersburg, Florida (St. Petersburg: City of St. Petersburg, 1978), p. 12. 12 Bullen, "Prehistory," p. 308. 13 Piper and Piper, "Regional Prehistory," p. 13. See also John M. Goggin, "A Preliminary Definition of Archaeological Areas and Periods in Florida," American Antiquity 13 (1947) : 114-27. 14 Bullen, "Prehistory," p. 314; Hale G. Smith, The European and the Indian (Gainesville: Florida Anthropological Society Publications, No. 4, 1956). 15 David 0. True, "Some Early Maps Relating to Florida, Imago Mundi 11 (1954): 73-84. 16 David 0. True, editor and translator, Memoir of D. d'Escalante Fontaneda Respecting Florida (Miami: University of Miami Press, 1944). 17 Ripley P. Bullen, "Southern Limits of Timucua Territory," Florida Historical Quarterly 30 (1969) : 414-19. 18 John M. Goggin and William C. Sturtevant, "The Calusa: A Stratified Non-agricultural Society," in Ward H. Goodeno ugh, editor, Explorations in Cultural Anthropology: Essays in Honor of George Peter Murdock (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), p. 181. 19 John R. Swanton, The Indians of the Southeastern United States (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin, No. 173, 1946) ; Swanton, Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors
(Washington; D.C.: Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin No. 73, 1922) ; Jerald T. Milanieh, "The Western Timucua: Patterns of Acculturation and Change," and Kathleen A. Deagan, "Cultures in Transition: Fusion and Assimilation Among Eastern Timucua," in Jerald Milanich and Samuel Proctor, editors, Tacachale (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1978), pp. 59-119. 20 Ripley P. Bullen, "Tocobaga Indians and the Safety Harbor Culture," in Milanich and Proctor, Tacachale pp. 50-58. 21 Thelma H. Bull, Anthropological Bibliography of Aboriginal Florida (Clearwater: 1978). 22 Bullen, "Tocobaga Indians." 23 John W. Griffin and Ripley P. Bullen, The Safety Harbor Site, Pinellas County, Florida (Gainesville: Florida Anthropological Society Publications, No. 2, 1950). 24 See especially Jerald T. Milanich and William Sturtevant, Francisco Pareja's 1613 Confessionario: A Documentary Source for Timucuan Ethnography (Tallahassee: Florida Division of Archives, 1972). 25 Swanton, Indians of the Southeastern United States pp. 151, 165, 195-96. 26 William C. Sturtevant, "Spanish-Indian Relations in Southeastern North America," Ethnohistory 9 (1962) : 41-94. 27 Charles W. Arnade, "Three Early Spanish Tampa Bay Maps," Tequesta 25 (1965): 83-96; Charles W. Arnade, "Celi's Expedition to Tampa Bay," and John D. Ware, "A View of Celi's Journal of Surveys and Chart of 1757," Florida Historical Quarterly 47 (1968-69) : 1-7, 8-24; Jack D. L. Holmes and John D. Ware, "Juan Baptista Franco and Tampa Bay, 1756," Tequesta 28 (1968): 91-97; Jack D. L. Holmes, "Two Spanish Expeditions to Southwest Florida, 1783-1793," Tequesta 25 (1965): 97-107. 28 Charles W. Arnade, "The Juan Baptista Franco Document of Tampa Bay, 1756," Tequesta 28 (1968): 99-101. 29 Holmes "Two Spanish Expeditions," pp. 102-03. 30 James Covington, "Trade Relations Between Southwestern Florida and Cuba, 16001840," Florida Historical Quarterly 38 (1959-60) : 114-28. 31 Bernard Romans, A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida (facsimile edition; Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1962), pp. 185-88. 32 William N. Thurston, "A Study of Maritime Activity in Florida in the Nineteenth Century" (Ph.D. dissertation, Florida State University, 1972), pp. 3, 10-15, 76-77, 148, 175-77. 33 Dorothy Dodd, "Captain Bunce's Tampa Bay Fisheries, 1835-1840," Florida Historical Quarterly 25 (1946-47) : 246-56.
BOOTLEGGERS IN THE BACKWOODS: PROHIBITION AND THE DEPRESSION IN HERNANDO COUNTY By Richard Cofer The popular image of the Prohibition era consists of gangsters with tommy guns racing around city streets in big cars. In fact, it seems that much of the historical literature on the 1920s centers on large urban areas and the organized crime element. However, Prohibition also provided rural Americans with an opportunity to make money in the illegal effort to quench the great thirst for alcohol. As one study of Prohibition points out, "Prohibition brought some prosperity to the backwoods. Sharecroppers, tenant farmers, fishermen of the bayous, dwellers on the mud banks of the Mississippi, all found the tending of stills or the sailing of rumrunners more profitable than the cultivation of the overworked soil.... The illicit liquor trade became almost decent as well as profitable."1 Hernando County, Florida, was one backwoods area that benefited fom rumrunning, especially after the onset of the Great Depression. Florida was made to order for bootleggers. The state has large tracts of dense forests, a long coastline with many inlets, and a close proximity to Cuba and the British West Indies, where alcohol was readily available. Summarizing the attitude of many Floridians toward Prohibition, state historian Charlton Tebeau observed: "Local authorities proved indifferent if not outright hostile to enforcement, which was left to federal agents of whom there were never enough. Floridians resented federal interference with individual freedom and feared that enforcement would harm the tourist industry." The state's economic life became deeply involved in taking advantage of the dry laws. In frustration, one Coast Guard man charged with patroling Florida's coast exclaimed, Floridians "would stagger to the polls and vote Dry.2 Hernando County lies on the Gulf coast midway up the state, some forty miles north of Tampa. In the 1920s and 1930s, the county's natural appearance had not altered much since the first settlers had arrived. The coastal region was predominantly marshland, laced with hundreds of bays, bayous, creeks, and rivers. The coastal region was accessible from the Gulf through a small fishing community, Bayport, which had a relatively deep water channel and a road leading inland. The county seat, and indeed the only community with enough size to be called a town, was Brooksville, located in the countys center. The rest of the county was covered with hardwood forest, sand hill scrubs, and swamps. The natural thickness of the vegetation, combined with a tough, independent, pioneer-like population, gave the county the right character for the illicit liquor trade. A post-Prohibition tour guide of Florida made special note of the region's many moonshiners in the Volstead era.3
In many ways Prohibition proved a boon to Hernando County. The county had no points of interest to maintain a tourist trade. Real estate speculation had fallen from boom to bust. There was no other source of economic stimulation. By the mid-twenties the logging industry had depleted itself, the citrus industry was small, the rock mining industry had not yet been developed, and truck farming was minimal. Interviews with people who resided in Hernando County at the time confirm that there was not much money available, and many transactions were made in the form of bartering. There were two kinds of illegal liquor activity in Hernando County during Prohibition. Residents engaged both in the manufacture of local moonshine and in the importation of foreign liquor along the coastal regions. According to one local citizen, whiskey was made in "nearly every other house." Another resident recalled: "There were so damn many moonshiners in Hernando County they had to sell to each other to stay in business." The entire county's social and political structure was infused with the illegal liquor trade. An eye witness related: Everybody, damn near everybody in Hernando County had a hand in it. I don't care who they were or who they are now. They were my friends and all, but I say nearly everybody. The game warden would come down to get his hand out, the sheriff, the deputy sheriff, everybody would come down to get a handout. People you wouldn't think about. Why I could go to town [Brooksville] and say, "Sheriff I need a drink." He would tell me, or sometimes go with me, to go to the drug store and get an empty bottle and go on down to his house. His wife would go in the pantry and fill that bottle up.4 Raymond Cofer, the author's grandfather pictured in the early 1920s, recalls the rumr unning era. James Cofer, the author's father shown in a 1930s picture, remembers the period.
Cooperation between shiners and local law enforcement officers was typical. "The law, from judges on down, was inclined to look the other way where Prohibition enforcement was concerned. It was a situation made to order." Not only did law enforcement officers collect payoff money, but they actively frustrated the efforts of federal Prohibition agents. Charlton Tebeau claimed that "Federal agents frequently found themselves hauled into court, and though never convicted, they often suffered considerable embarrassment." In Hernando County whenever federal agents would make an appearance or plan a raid, "The sheriff would notify moonshiners to move, to get out, and 'the revenooers' would come in and maybe tear up the still but find nobody there," according to one resident. The local paper in the county, the Brooksville Journal provided a typical account of this kind of tip-off. In April, 1930, the paper reported the capture and destruction of a large still between Sparkman Lake and Gold Lake. The still had been captured after several weeks of labor by agents, but the raiders "failed to catch the operators of the place and no arrests have as yet been made."5 In examining newspaper reports of court cases in the county, one becomes aware of what is noticeably missing. Surveying the Journal's coverage of local courts for the years 1929-1933, attention was paid to the published records of the County Grand Jury, the County Court, and the Circuit Court, but there was little activity found related to enforcing Prohibition. On October 19, 1933, the Journal reported that a man appearing before the Hernando County Grand Jury confessed to the possession of liquor and was subsequently sentenced to one year of hard labor at the state prison in Raiford. In the four years under examination this was the only A moonshine still in the Tampa area, 1920. Photograph courtesy of Florida Photographic Archives, Flor i daStateUn i vers i tyL i brary,andTampa H i llsboroughCountyPubl i cL i brarySystem
liquor case found on the grand jury's docket. And it should be noted that within a month of this fellow's conviction, the State of Florida voted to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment. Only once was this lack of activity by the Grand Jury exposed. During the March, 1929, Grand Jury meeting, County Judge Willis M. Russell was absent due to illness. However, the judge released his charge to the Grand Jury, which read in part: It has indeed become of the most serious importance in the enforcement of these laws, when boys of the tender age of 14 and 15 years are able to purchase all of the moonshine liquor they want from mercenary and unprincipled bootleggers. On many occasions the liquor is taken into cars driven by these youths, who have as their companions the girls of our county. Under conditions like these it is only a question of time when the chastity of our girls will be threatened and the manhood of our boys will be destroyed. I am sure that with the support of the law-abiding citizens of our community this condition can be stamped out, and with this support you can rest assured that you will obtain the wholehearted enforcement by the officers of the law. Despite this plea, the Grand Jury found very little to investigate, and it soon adjourned for the term without bringing forth any indictments whatsoever.6 The Circuit Court was little more effective at enforcing laws related to liquor. During the period 1929-1933, the Brooksville Journal reported no convictions in the Circuit Court. In fact, there was only one mention of Prohibition by the Circuit Court. In its spring term of 1930, the court reported: It has been brought forcibly to the attention of this body by the personal observation of some of its members that great and needless damage is being done to the person and property of our citizens, and the lives of our people are needlessly and seriously endangered by the reckless operation of automobiles by drunken drivers. We desire to recommend in strongest terms that the officers of the law as well as the proper courts take such steps as may be necessary to abate this nuisance, and punish all persons caught operating automobiles while under the influence of liquor. In all other matters excepted as above stated, the enforcement of our laws since our last session appears to have been unusually good.7 What the Circuit Court failed to mention is of interest. Driving while intoxicated could only be a problem when several other illegal activities were taking place, such as the manufacture and sale of liquor. Only the County Court made any measurable attempts to enforce dry laws, but these could only be considered halfhearted at best. For example, in 1929, four liquor-related cases were tried before the County Court. One defendant charged with driving while intoxicated was found guilty. A possession charge ended in a mistrial. A person accused with the possession of materials to manufacture liquor (corn mash) was found not guilty. A man accused of possession
was found guilty, but his conviction was overturned in 1930. The man convicted of driving while intoxicated faced a fate typical of those convicted on liquor charges before the County Court. He was fined and given a light probation.8 The smuggling operation on the Gulf coast of Hernando County involved considerable efforts by individuals outside of the county. It was organized and run by men from Tampa. The leader was a man named "Sam." His last name cannot be remembered by local residents, but he was considered a gangster. Just what his real role was in organized crime is uncertain, but it is clear that to Hernando County residents he was a "big shot." Rumrunning followed a set pattern. As often as several nights a week, Cuban fishing boats would stand off the coast, outside U.S. territorial waters. If all was clear, signals would be flashed to them from offshore. Even today several landmarks, such as Beacon Rock and Lantern Rack, are known by their rumrunning names. After an exchange of signals, the fishing boats would close toward shore, and the whiskey would be unloaded onto barges. The barges were then hidden behind the dozens of marsh islands scattered along the coast. One such island is still named Drunkard's Rest. The barges were then brought to the small fishing village of Bayport where they were unloaded. The bottles were wrapped in an arrangement called "hams." Herbert Asbury describes these as "a package containing six strawjacketed bottles, three on the bottom layer, two in the middle, and one on top. The bottles were sewed tightly in burlap. Liquor packed in this way required a third less space in the hole of a vessel than when shipped in the ordinary, bulky, wooden boxes."9 In October, 1931, the Coast Guard was reported by the Brooksville Journal as having captured the Sadell with $40,000 worth of liquor off Bayport. The crew escaped in a small boat. It was assumed that the Sadell was heading for Bayport.10 According to residents of the area, the leading Bayport resident involved in whiskey smuggling was a man named Henry. "Henry got two dollars a case for every case that landed at Bayport," claimed one Bayport resident who was active in the smuggling. Henry organized the local people, mostly fishermen and relatives, to run the barges, signal the Cuban boats, and unload the A rumrunner burning in the Gulf of Mexico. A woman loading liquor on a rumrunner in Nassau.
liquor. "Old Henry kept a pile of palmetto brush piled up, and you couldn't go into Bayport at night without him stopping you. If the wrong ones was coming, he would put a match in them palm fans to give the warning. They could see the light of the fire and get out and hide." Another local resident added: "They would haul that whiskey away from here in Planters peanut trucks. Planters didn't know they owned those trucks, but that's what they had painted on them." The account is picked up again by a man who worked for Henry and, Sam: They had it piled up there in the cemetery, the Bayport cemetery, two or three truck loads piled. Work for about 10 or 15 minutes and they would give you a ten dollar bill. They would give you all the liquor you wanted to drink. They would give me a drink and say, "Tex, that was the big shot from Tampa, Sam. Tex now listen. Anytime you want a drink there is a quart sitting where you can see it. You can drink all you want to, but don't take a drop with you. It's watched with a high powered rifle."11 The flow of contraband and the desire to protect illegal income erupted into violence on several occasions. "Nearly everybody was into liquor somehow or another, and my God they would do away with you," recalled one resident. The most spectacular murder was the killing of the Brooksville City Attorney, Herbert Smithson, on October 12, 1931. The story is recounted by someone who was a young man at the time. Smithson practiced law. He lived in Brooksville though he wasn't from around here. The government was using him as an agent. He dug up all of this evidence on these local people. Everybody in the county was in on it, well damn near everybody was getting a cut out of liquor. Smithson had arranged a meeting in Brooksville at the Tangerine Hotel, with all of his evidence. He was going to try to get indictments. He left his briefcase in his car. When he went out to his car to get the brief case someone drove by in an old Model T Ford touring car, with the top down, and shot his head off with a shotgun. Smithson's murder occurred on the main street of Brooksville in broad daylight. However, no one was ever convicted for the murder despite the fact that Smithson's family posted a $1900 reward for information leading to the capture of his murderers. Three men, including a deputy sheriff, were eventually indicted for the murder. The charges were dropped, however, for the three men maintained good alibies.12 The other known murder victim was a trapper remembered only by his last name, Bannaman. While trapping the Gulf region for furs and hides, Bannaman came across the smuggling operations, and he was killed by Sam and the boys from Tampa. A local resident gave this account: Bannaman might have stole whiskey, but they got it into their heads that he was giving the federal men information. So they [the Tampa people] got a Cuban in here to kill him. That's what they would do if they wanted to kill somebody, they would send a Cuban over on a liquor boat. He would do the dirty work and then go back to Cuba. The Cuban killed Bannaman up Jenkins Creek, where Bannaman ran a trap line. Shot him with a ten gauge shotgun. Shot him right out of his boat.13
With the end of Prohibition in 1933, a source of income dried up. When coupled with the economic crisis of the Depression, Prohibition had created an opportunity which some people in Hernando County were quick to take advantage of. Money from bootlegging flowed into many pockets. In a poor, rural area it becomes easily explainable why the manufacture, smuggling, and sale of illegal liquor became such an economic force. In Hernando County, to quote Ring Lardner, Prohibition had "sure been a godsend in a whole lot of ways." 14 The main street of Brooksville, 1926. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
1 Andrew Sinclair, Era of Excess (New York: Harper & Row, 1964), p. 289. 2 Charlton W. Tebeau, A History of Florida (Coral Gables: University of Miami Press, 1971), p. 390; Harold Waters, Smugglers of Spirits (New York: Hastings House, 1971), p. 167. 3 Federal Writers' Project, Florida, A Guide to the Southernmost State (New York: Oxford, 1939), p. 390. 4 Interviews with Raymond Cofer and James Cofer, April 1977, Brooksville, Florida. 5 Waters, Smugglers of Spirits pp. 166-67; Tebeau, A History of Florida p. 390; interview with Raymond Cofer; Brooksville Journal April 17, 1930. 6 Brooksville Journal March 14, 21, 1929. 7 Ibid ., March 13 1930. 8 Ibid ., 1929-30. 9 Herbert Asbury, The Great Illusion (Garden City: Doubleday, 1950), p. 248. 10 Brooksville Journal October 8, 1931. 11 Interview with Raymond Cofer. 12 Interviews with Raymond Cofer and James Cofer; Brooksville Journal December 17, 1931, March 24, 1932. 13 Interview with James Cofer. 14 Ring Lardner quoted in Sinclair, Era of Excess p. 331.
TRAILS TO TAMPA BAY: A PHOTO ESSAY By J. B. Dobkin The Tampa Bay region is one of the best known and most popular tourist destinations in the world today, and we tend to take very much for granted the ease with which we traverse the interstate highways from any point in the nation or jet smoothly into Tampa's efficient and humane airport. I feel somewhat ancient when I recall a rainy weather trip taken in the late 1920s in my grandfather's 1926 Franklin, between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Daytona Beach, Florida. Engraved in my childhood memory are hours of slipping and sliding on Carolina's red mud where long stretches of main highway were not yet paved. Like many Floridians in the 1920s, my first sea voyage came on the Clyde Mallory Line steamers out of Jacksonville bound for New York City, with a brief stop in Charleston, South Carolina. The ship I remember best was the Cherokee, and its upper decks were a convenient mode of travel for many of the more elegant tourists of the boom-and-bust era in Florida. We ignored the many laborers and seekers after new lives who were crammed into the lower decks, but I still can recall happy music drifting up the companion ways. Mallory ships called at Tampa and provided a link with both East Coast and Gulf ports from 1908 on. Travel was adventure and not merely routine, and all of us had plenty of incidents to recount when those long and tiring, but usually exciting, journeys ended. Except for a slim trickle of hardy souls, the tourist industry of southwest Florida did not exist before the advent of the railroad in this area. Few indeed were the overland travelers in the pre-railroad days. While we have no specific numbers to cite, we know that facilities did not exist to accommodate more than a handful of winter visitors prior to 1880 in the Tampa Bay region. Most of these early "snowbirds" came by ship at least a part of the way. After 1865, it was possible for a northern visitor to reach Cedar Key by train and then transfer to ship for the final leg of the trip to Tampa. Visitors of note were seldom seen in the early days of the region, but at least one visitor who came to Tampa in 1876 was a celebrity and literate as well. Sidney Lanier arrived in Tampa on December 21, 1876, after an eleven day journey from Philadelphia by train and steamer. The final leg of the trip was made on the steam vessel Valley City from Cedar Key. From 1866 until the coming of the railway in 1883, stages ran overland to Tampa. At the time of Lanier's trip, it took two days and a night to come the 134 mile distance from Gainesville; a jolting, swaying journey it was. While Lanier first described Tampa as "the most forlorn collection of one-story houses imaginable," he soon changed his tune and spent three months in Tampa under "the liberal friendship of the sun." Tourists and facilities to accommodate them became a major Tampa Bay feature in the early 1880s. After a decade of falling population and stagnation, which saw Tampa's business section of 1880 looking much as it had in Civil War days, a metamorphosis began with the arrival of the railroad in this area. Through rail service with connections to the north dates from September, 1885, and by September, 1886, all of the track was standard gauge. Because of H. B. Plant, and his railway, Tampa, grew more in the three years from 1883 to 1886 than it had in its first sixty years following the establishment of Fort Brooke. From a somnolent 722 in 1880, Tampa's population more than tripled to a bustling 2,376 in 1885. The railways did much to popularize Florida as a tourist destination in the 1890s and early decades of the twentieth century. By pamphlets and advertisements in national magazines and major northern papers, the delights of Florida were extolled to a wondering populace. The glamour of yacht travel was
touted highly in a series of books on Florida and the West Indies. Many of these mentioned Tampa Bay and the Gulf coast. While drawings of this area conveyed an artist's impression, it remained to the photographer to capture a semblance of reality aided by the skilled brush of the retoucher. By the time automobiles became a major factor in the area in the first decade of the twentieth century, photography and the promotion of tourism in the Bay area were firmly joined. The auto era arrived in Tampa with a bang and clash of cymbals on November 23, 1909, with the running of an endurance race to Jacksonville and back. Eighteen attempted the 543 mile course, and the winning driver averaged just over ten miles an hour. The importance of the race lies in the fact that it marks the birth of the "Good Roads" movement in Florida and the first embrace in Floridas lingering love affair with automobiles. In 1914 the first major hard surfaced roads in Hillsborough County were constructed. During that year seventy-five miles of' brick-paved roadway were built in rural areas, and eighty-five miles of city streets were paved. Though much of the paving was only nine feet wide, some of its brick surface is still visible today in Tampa after sixty-five years. At the same time, another new form of transportation helped publicize the Tampa Bay area. The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line established in 1914 was the first commercial airline in the world and a great advertising gimmick in its day. The automobile and the prosperity of the nation after World War I made possible the first great tourist invasion of Florida. The winter of 1919-20 marked the arrival of the so-called Tin Can Tourists. Cars from all over the North headed to Florida piled high with bedding, tents, and boxes of canned food. In no time at all the highways leading south were crowded, and the Tin Canners swarmed over the south Florida landscape. Tampa, much to its credit, provided the best facilities available at that time at a location in De Soto Park, on the shores of Tampa Bay. Camp sites were free, as was nightly entertainment. There was plumbing with hot and cold running water available, and for only fifty cents weekly, children from the camp could attend school in the Hillsborough County system. These Tin Canners were the harbingers of the wild speculation of the boom years. By 1922 there were 30,000 members of the Tin Can Tourists of the World, which was formed in Tampa. Tampa itself had a total population of only 51,608 in 1920, and the impact of masses of tourists spurred the fantastic speculation of the era. To illustrate the various means of transportation that enabled tourism to flourish in this area, we have chosen a number of engravings, postcard views, and photographs taken from the collections of the University of South Florida and the Florida Historical Society. BIBLIOGRAPHY Barbour, George M. Florida for Tourists, Invalids and Settlers New York: Appleton, 1883. Cash, W. T. The Story of Florida New York: American Historical Society, 1938. Covington, James W. The Story of Southwestern Florida New York: Lewis, 1957. Dovell, J. E. Florida Historic, Dramatic, Contemporary New York: Lewis, 1952. Grismer, Karl H. Tampa St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Printing, 1950. Lanier, Sidney. Florida: Its Scenery, Climate and History Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1875. Pettengill, George Warren. The Story of the Florida Railroads, 1834-1903 Boston: Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, 1952. Rerick, Rowland H. Memoirs of Florida Atlanta: Southern Historical Association, 1902. Tebeau, Charlton W. Florida From Indian Trail to Space Age Delray Beach: Southern Publishing, 1965. Winter, Nevin O. Florida, Land of Enchantment Boston: Page, 1918.
Tampa Bay from the mouth of the Hillsborough River in 1885 shows a number of sail boats and a single vessel under steam arriving in Tampa. Tampa Bay from the mouth of the Hillsborough River, circa 1905, shows the Taking in the Florida Sights is the caption on this original photograph circa 1895. The main street of St. Petersburg looking out on Tampa Bay in 1895. The deep ruts in the sand show the marks of horse-drawn wagons like the one in the picture. The tower in the left-center of the photograph is the Hotel Detroit.
This 1909 postcard view of the Tampa Bay Hotel across the Hillsborough River also shows a sign in the lower left corner indicating the landing for the launch to Sulphur Springs, a swimming and picnic area just north of Tampa on the Hillsborough River. The steamer William Howard on the Ocklawaha River in 1905. River boats on the Palatlakaha River in 1895. Street scene in an unnamed south Florida town shows the importance of the railroad. The drawing appears in an 1885 pamphlet published by the Hillsborough County Real Estate A g enc y
Original 1895 photograph labeled "Excursion Steamer." Ships like this traveled between cities in the Tampa Bay area. The Orange Belt, the first railway to reach St. Petersburg, was built between 1885 and 1889. Although the company was reorganized as the Sanford & St. Petersburg Railway in 1893, the locomotive in this 1895 photograph still carries the old name. The St. Petersburg wharf in 1895. The railroad line ran out to deep water enabling large sailing vessels to load and unload with ease. The fishing costumes of the period are far from modern ideas of Florida clothes. Original photograph (circa 1895) o f Sutherland (now Palm Harbor) in Pinellas County. This view shows the rail tracks leading from the bay front to the hotel which later became the home of Florida Southern College prior to its removal to Lakeland.
The bridge across Boca Ciega Bay from St. Petersburg to Pass-A-Grille, shown in a 1923 photograph. The automobile era had arrived by the early 1920s when a postcard captured this view of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
MANATEE VILLAGE HISTORICAL PARK By Janet Snyder Matthews It was two hours past noon on the national Bicentennial, July 4, 1976. Pealing bell tones vibrated over a southern city. Below the belfry, a man rhythmically tugged a rope. Standing there with a few others, he was as glad as the sounds he powered. Together, bell and man signaled a preservation dream come true. Because of that dream, a quiet corner of old Manatee Village became an historical park. Inside a brick enclosure stand the Manatee United Methodist Church (1889) and the original county courthouse (1859) which once housed judicial business for all of Florida lying between Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor, from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee a space of about 5,000 square miles, nearly a tenth of Florida's total land mass. The two buildings which now constitute a heritage for seven counties, nearly 400,000 Florida residents, were all but lost five years ago when the long road to their preservation had its doubtful beginnings. A familiar story was repeated here in the 1970s when "progress" seemed to dictate destruction of the old and the unsightly. The 1889 Methodist Church had become too small. The very land on which it stood was coveted for a bigger, newer sanctuary to house the contemporary equivalent of a frontier congregation established in the 1840s. Behind the church stood a one story frame building, once used as the church (1886-1889), then the parsonage, then a private residence. More important, this historic treasure was the original courthouse of Manatee County. In the church meetings held to consider alternatives, the voices for preservation were often outnumbered, their volume diminished by a growing impatience for action. Out of that debate was born a group which would, with others, accomplish the complex task of preserving the buildings. Called "H.O.M.E.," Heritage of Manatee's Environment, the group was composed of church members and other citizens. During the 1974 Christmas holidays, they teamed up with the Manatee County Historical Commission, newly constituted and directed by Ken Dierks, Mrs. Thurmond Smith, Warren Johnson, Mrs. James Tellum, and Dewey Dye, Jr.1 "We knew it was a tough job, but no one member gave up until it was accomplished," said Johnson, who has been chairman of the Historical Commission, is currently president of' the Manatee County Historical Society, and was one of those who faced every task from stripping walls to sleuthing out the locations of original furnishings.2 Funding, the eternal problem, came up right after the basic question of saving or demolishing. The preservationists started immediately to plan a conceptual park to include several structures within a setting functional for meetings and celebrations. "We concluded that if we could get something started, it would be a lot easier to raise the money," remembers Johnson. Twenty months and $80,000 later, their hopes would be nearly realized after a series of pitfalls and setbacks. Two thousand dollars in seed money came from the Elizabeth Eaton Fund. The Manatee Methodist Church congregation offered $6,000 to purchase the old courthouse and deed it to the Historical Commission.
A host of barriers emerged but were scaled by the efforts of multiple agencies and friends of preservation. There were rezonings, permits, contracts, termites, time delays, and the money problem. Techniques of the contemporary world combined to rescue the historic: the mailing of 15,000 brochures, a Silver Tea, benefits, and personal calls for solicitation. Contributions from the brochure mail ranged from 25 to $500 and included several "sick" letters. The personal approach brought donations from $180 to $2,000. Overall totals were adequate by August, 1975, to fund the moving of the church and courthouse to a site set aside for that purpose by the City of Bradenton. Support from agencies included the Bicentennial Commission with $12,500, Manatee County Commission with $6,000 and $1,500 in administration, Sarasota County Commission with $750, and two C.E.T.A. workers from Manatee County's Parks and Recreation Department. Funds evaporated quickly in the face of expenses. Moving costs alone were $20,000 for the church and $3,000 for the courthouse. One cold December night in 1975, a year after the first joint meeting of H.O.M.E. and the Historical Commission, the old courthouse started slowly down Fifteenth Street followed by the church. They moved a block and a half between disconnected power lines through midnight darkness broken by camera flashes and spotlights. On they went to the corner of Fifteenth Street East and Seventh Avenue that was to become Manatee Village Historical Park. It was an eight-hour job ended at eight o'clock in the morning. At that point, both buildings appeared deformed. The church needed a new roof and was missing two sides. The courthouse was sporting twentieth-century windows and doors, witness to its years as a residence. Gaping holes testified to additions and connectors freshly removed. Both would require new foundations in keeping with architectural origins. A period of restoration obviously lay ahead, and Colonel Johnson became supervisor.3 The 1889 Manatee Methodist Church being moved in December, 1975. Photograph courtesy of Manatee County Historical Commission The Original Manatee County Courthouse as it appeared (with additions) when used as a residence. Photograph courtesy of Manatee County Historical Commission
The history of the structures was about to be reconstructed. Spearheaders had always known the historical significance of the buildings, and now it was time to make them look as old as they were, to remove the architectural intrusions and return the structures to their original integrity, and to interpret through them the frontier era of south Florida. The church and courthouse represented two distinct frontier eras, but their functions were intertwined. The courthouse (1859) coincided with Manatee County's origins. Under contract with Ezekial Glazier, it was constructed adjacent to land donated in 1850 as "the old burying ground" by Josiah and Mary Gates, credited as Manatee's first settlers under Armed Occupation. That era's pioneers regularly doubled their duties. Glazier, the contractor, was also the first elected judge of probate and the community coffin maker. Gates was treasurer and founding father, giving another parcel in 1860 for the courthouse and the county seat on land he had platted by surveyor John Jackson, who also laid out the Village of Tampa.4 The courthouse, built in 1859-60, was "a neat one story frame building, and a credit to the county at that time," according to Joseph Simpson, chronicler of Manatee history.5 The structure served the vast county and its tiny population of less than a thousand roughly one person for every five square miles. In the first county election for Congress, 56 total votes were cast; the sheriff's race was decided by a vote of 25 to 23; only 46 voters comprised the county seat precinct at Manatee Village.6 The area was a northern borderland of the Seminole lands when the first settlers came. The Reverend Edward Gates, whose parents had deeded the church and courthouse lots, later reminisced about the settlement era before the last Seminole War. Routine callers to his family's dinner table were Chief Holata Micco, usually known as Billy Bowlegs, and Chief Tiger Tail, who eventually committed suicide at the scene of his tribe's 1857 deportation from the Gulf coast to the Arkansas reservation.7 The Manatee Methodist Church, as successor of the Union Congregation, had its beginnings on that f rontier. The climate, an important factor in today's Florida, was not the prime consideration for those pioneers. Though the climate has not changed, predrainage Florida seasons featured Interior of the restored courthouse. The 1859 Manatee County Courthouse restored at Manatee Village Historical Park.
water-covered land, black clouds of mosquitoes, and poor drinking water. For the few often isolated families, eking out a living was a difficult task, and most of Manatee's earliest settlers raised crops for their family table as well as their economic livelihood. It was the homestead opportunity, the federal government's series of offers of free land for the price of filing, improving, and occupying, which generally brought the claimants. Generally, it was financial necessity and opportunity which enticed men and women to the frontier challenge. Then as now, they counted on an ascending value for their Florida real estate. Indeed, the Manatee pioneers' greatest complaint about Indian Wars was that they held down property values. The very location of the Manatee frontier brought many without choices, such as soldiers stationed at Tampa's Fort Brooke or passing through during the Mexican War or assigned to south Florida during Indian conflicts. Many of those stayed after discharge or "got sand in their shoes" and were later compelled to return. Much early Manatee land was acquired from the federal land office by use of military bounty land warrants, given to soldiers as added incentives for voluntary enlistment in the unpopular 1846-48 war with Mexico. The recent immigrant was often lured into the army. In 1849, Fort Hamer on the Manatee was populated in two out of three cases by immigrant enlistees. It was a true frontier, a refuge, a hiding place. The little Manatee courthouse was the scene of pioneer cases over land and mortgages, and during its construction year, the setting for a case against a German-immigrant settler, Joseph Atzeroth, charged with harboring a runaway slave, a fugitive from an upstate owner.8 The first preacher noted in the church register was Frank Stewart, 1847-48, described by Edward Gates as "a young man in his first year of his ministry, his mission field extended from Newnansville to Manatee." For one year's preaching, Stewart received four dollars, according to a receipt dated 1852, in the Manatee County Historical Society archives.9 A string of circuit riders, including Leroy G. Lesley of Tampa, filled the pulpit in early years. The first wedding registered was in 1851, that of William H. Whitaker, Sarasota Bay pioneer fisherman and cattleman, and Mary Jane Wyatt, daughter of William Wyatt, who had pioneered earlier in the Tallahassee capital and rose to territorial power as the state's Whig leader before coming to Manatee to plant sugar and claim land under Armed Occupation.10 At the close of the Civil War, the county seat was moved to Pine Level, a flat pine forest nearly in the center of the county and forty miles from Manatee. Pine Level, a town created far from southern control, was barely accessible even by frontier standards. Most trips to court from anywhere in Manatee County required at least one overnight camp. The little Manatee Village courthouse was replaced at Pine Level by one described by Simpson as constructed "of small peeled unhewed logs" later followed by a two story frame structure which "never was ceiled or plastered.... There were a few inches of sawdust put on the floor of the courtroom and the suffering the people had to endure from fleas ... was almost unbearable! It was said to be the worst courthouse in Florida."11
Succeeded by such buildings, the original courthouse was auctioned by Manatee County and purchased by the congregation, becoming the Manatee Methodist Church. Twenty years afterward it was moved a little to the east to make room for the 1889 church on the same spot. The Manatee Methodist Church relocated in Manatee Village Historical Park. Photograph courtesy of Greg Oliver
The courthouse-turned-church then became the parsonage until 1906, and afterward a private residence. Public recognition of the 1859 courthouse and the 1889 church has come in the recent past. Both buildings received historical markers from the Historical Society in 1966. When the preservation move matured in 1974, Manateeans came up with many artifacts of the buildings the old bell, pews, and furnishings. About that time in 1976, Rodney Little, Florida's historic preservationist, who was appointed State Historic Preservation Officer for Maryland in 1978, wrote to County Commissioner Ken Dierks, current research indicates that the old Manatee County Courthouse is the oldest surviving building constructed expressly for use as a county courthouse with its nearest contenders dating from the 1870s."12 In spite of its having been moved, an exception to the general rule was made when the "Original Manatee County Courthouse" was added to the National Register of Historic Places in September of the Bicentennial year, following nomination by Rita Anderson of the Historical Commission.13 On that Bicentennial day, when the old bell rang out across Manatee's River and lands and its tones resounded once again from ancient oaks and summer blossoms, it symbolized a constancy, a modern-day determination to preserve a frontier heritage. The fate of the old church and courthouse was no longer in question. They would be saved for the future. To visit the courthouse and church, go toward the south banks of the Manatee River and find Manatee Village Historical Park at Bradenton's Fifteenth Street East and Seventh Avenue, open weekdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sundays, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is a pleasant place, a successful preservation project, and a rare opportunity to revisit frontier Florida.
1 G. Warren Johnson, Jr., "Restoration of Church and Courthouse," unpublished paper, February, 1979. 2 Interview with Johnson, March 3, 1979, Bradenton, Florida. 3 Johnson, "Restoration." 4 Rita E. Anderson, "Old. Village of Manatee Historical District," nomination to National Register of Historic Places February 4, 1976; Johnson and Anderson, "Summary" addendum to National Register nomination; Initial meeting, March 10, 1856, Book 1, Manatee County Commissioners Minutes, 1856-69, Manatee County Courthouse; Joseph Herman Simpson, "History of Manatee County, Florida," published serially, The Herald (Bradenton), initial date, June 15, 1915; Carl D. King, "Visit to Old Manatee Historical Park," Manatee County Historical Society, May 18,1977. 5 Simpson, Chapter XV, "Court Houses of the Original Manatee County." 6 Election certification, Manatee, October 9, 1856, Manatee Election Returns, 1856-64, Secretary of State Papers, Florida State Archives, Tallahassee; 1860 U.S. Census, National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C. 7 Simpson, "History of Manatee County." 8 Docket Book, on file, original Manatee County Courthouse, Manatee Village Historical Park; U.S. Census, 1850, 19th Division, Hillsborough County, Manatee Settlement, p. 265, National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D.C. 9 E. F. Gates, "Some Interesting Florida History," a paper read at the dedication of the Manatee Methodist Church, June 31, 1897, records of Manatee Methodist Church, Bradenton; Negative 752A, Manatee County Historical Society archival negatives, Manatee County Public Library. 10 Church Register, records of Manatee Methodist Church, Bradenton. 11 Simpson, Chapter XV. 12 J. Rodney Little to Ken Dierks, August 26, 1975, records of Manatee County Historical Commission, Manatee Village Historical Park, Bradenton. 13 Robert Williams to A. K. Leach, September 20, 1976, ibid
CIVIL RIGHTS PROTESTS IN TAMPA: ORAL MEMOIRS OF CONFLICT AND ACCOMMODATION Nineteen years ago, Jim Crow's grip on racial segregation in Tampa began to loosen. A direct blow for equal opportunity was struck when the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organized demonstrations to integrate downtown lunch counter facilities in the "Cigar City." On February 29, 1960, Clarence Fort, a twenty-one-year-old barber and president of the NAACP Youth Council, led a group of about sixty students to Woolworth's where they sat-in peacefully. However, the management refused to serve them food, although the black students were free to spend their money purchasing other items in the store. The dispute was mediated by Tampa's Biracial Committee, an agency formed a year earlier by Mayor Julian Lane. The group included blacks such as Reverend A. Leon Lowry, president of the Florida NAACP and a Tampa resident, and Perry Harvey, head of the city's longshoremen's union local. Joining them were white leaders such as Cody Fowler, a well-known attorney, and Robert Thomas, a port developer. After seven months of unpublicized negotiations, the committee worked out an agreement with the black activists and the Merchants Association that successfully eliminated the "white only" eating policy at the stores. Subsequently, the committee helped to desegregate municipal facilities and movie theatres. The interviews which follow recall the struggles from two different vantage points: the protestor's and the mayor's. The conversations took place on January 16 and 29, 1978. Clarence Fort in the early 1960s. Cody Fowler, a member of Tampas Biracial Committee Reverend A. Leon Lowry, a member of Tampas Biracial Committee. Julian Lane, former mayor who helped desegregate local p ublic facilities. Woolworths in Tampa where Clarence Fort led a sit-in demonstration in 1960. Tampas municipal beach which was integrated in the early 1960s.
Interview with Clarence Fort: Q. The first questions that I want to ask you are for background where you were born, when, education, how you got to Tampa Fort: Well, the first thing, I was born in Orange Park, which is in Alachua County, twelve miles east of Gainesville in 1938, March of '38. I attended grade school in Waldo for six years, and then I went to Hawthorne High School, which is the senior high school in Hawthorne, through 1956 when I graduated from there. Upon graduating from there I went to Orlando. I worked a year there at Morrison's Cafeteria as a waiter and from there I went to Tyler Barber and Business College in Tyler, Texas for a year. At the time I thought I wanted to be a barber; well I did want to be. There just weren't many things you could be along in there, because of the job opportunities and so forth, and my father was sick at the time so I couldn't go to a four-year institution. So, after finishing barber college, I originally planned to go to St. Petersburg where they would place you with a job I had a job with a barber in St. Petersburg, but I had an uncle living here in Tampa. So I stopped over here for a few weeks till I could get myself together in St. Pete and find a place. So while I was here my uncle knew a guy who was cutting hair here, who had cut his hair. This man's name is Melvin Stone. He had a barber shop on 29th Street, so I took my apprenticeship under him for eighteen months and got my master's license. Then I worked under him for about, I guess three years. Q. This is happening in the late 1950s? Fort: Right, I went to school in '57 and came out in '58. Q. The barber shop, is it a segregated clientele an all black clientele? Fort: Yeah, it's all black. Q. And it was in the black section of Tampa at that time Fort: Right. Q. When did you first get involved with the NAACP and its Youth Council? Fort: One night my wife and I went to a meeting, now just how I got there or who invited me, I dont know. I don't remember now; I've been trying to think of it all day. But we went to a regular meeting on Central Avenue at the Central Life Insurance Company, and this meeting, I think we were the only two young people there. I wasn't married at the time, we were dating then. They talked to us about forming a Youth Council then, and that's how it all got started. I went out and spoke with some friends of mine who attended my church, and we got two or three people together and we started f rom there. Q. Do you remember who was in charge of the NAACP and asked you at the time? Fort: I know Robert Saunders was the field secretary at the time, but the President's name was Charles DeValt. Q. What year was that, do you remember? Fort: This was in 1959, if I'm not mistaken. Q. What was the role of the Youth Council, what kind of things did the Youth Council do? Fort: Well what we were doing then was trying to help kids and find out encourage them to go to college and stuff like this. We were also talking about, even then, discrimination and the things that we couldn't do, you know. And out of this, this is how the idea came about for the sit-ins. Q. How many young people were in the Youth Council at that time? Fort: I think at that time we had about ten. Q. What were their ages?
Fort: The ages ranged from, I'd say, fifteen to eighteen. Q. And you were about eighteen at the time? Fort: I was twenty-one. Q. You were older Were the others in school? You were the only one who wasn't in school? Fort: I was the only one who wasn't in school, right. And my wife was in Junior College. Well, my date then, we got married later. She was in her sophomore year at Gibbs Community College. Q. And the others were high school students? Fort: High school students, right. Q. You'd have regular meetings? Fort: We had meetings once a week. Q. And they'd do what at those meetings, discussion meetings? Fort: Right. We discussed various things. Well, we were aware of prejudice then and segregation policies then, and we would discuss them. Q. How did the idea of the sit-ins here in Tampa at the lunch counters first come about? Fort: As a result of the one in North Carolina. Q. You were aware of the one in Greensboro then? Fort: Right. I was aware of that. The fellow I was working with, Melvin Stone, he decided one day to go down to the branch office, which is Robert Saunders, field secretary, and we told him, we said "look, they're doing it, why can't we do it in Tampa?" And at the time he said "we cannot venture out." Now it has always been NAACP policy not to go into something like this. Now they would back you up if you got into it, but they were a little afraid then, you know, said, "hey, we ain't going to be responsible for you kids to go right out." So we had a series of meetings, and after having a series of meetings I started talking so strongly about it. And the youths that we were with became so strongly involved in it that it was almost impossible then to hold it back. So after we said we were going to do it, we were really going to do it then they said, "well we'll see what we can do, we'll back you up." Q. You were planning this for about a month? Fort: Right. Q. What kind of things went through your mind in the planning of this? Did you do the planning pretty much on your own in that month? Fort: Right, right. We did. We didn't know how we were going to come out. We didn't know this, but we mapped out our plans. What I did, I went around to the schools because we didn't have enough people. So I went and talked to the president of the student council at Middleton, a black high school, and to the president of the student council at Blake high school, two black high schools. And these two guys let me meet with their councils. I met with their student councils and told them what we were planning to do. And from that they started to recruit people. And we tried to select people who were pretty level-headed, we thought, that could go in and present themselves, represent themselves in an orderly manner. And then they in turn got with these people, and they started coming to the meetings. And that's how we built up our council. I think we got over sixty people. And we mapped out our strategy on what we would do. Q. Did you ever have any problem with the principals at Blake and Middleton? Did they cooperate, did they know what you were doing?
Fort: No. I wouldn't say they did. I don't think so. I don't think they did. I just contacted the guys. I went out to the schools, and I did go by the office and ask to speak to the president of the student council. Probably, the president of the student council told the principal. I'm sure he was closer to him than I was and he probably had to do it. Q. Now that you've recruited the Middleton and Blake students, and having your meetings, what are your plans? What are you mapping out to do? Fort: Okay, we told them that we were going to go down. We set a date. We had two groups; we split the groups up. I led a group, and the other fellow with me was Melvin Stone. He wasn't the leader of a group, but he went along with the other group. Now I think I got the president of Middleton student council to lead the other group. Now we'd sit at Woolworth's, and I think we went down to W. T. Grant's if I'm not mistaken and we told them we'd sit there. Well we didn't know what to expect because we didn't know what the stores were going to do, we didn't know what the police were going to do, we didn't know what was going to happen. Q. You hadn't contacted the police Fort: We hadn't contacted anybody at all. No one knew anything about it except these people, and they didn't know the date. In other words, I told the guy "I'll get back with you." We planned it all, but we kept the date secret right up until the last day. Q. Had you read, on your own, anything that Martin Luther King had written at that time or any other people in the civil rights movement that would have given you any theoretical background for what you were trying to do? Fort: No, no. It was spontaneous. I hadn't read anything on that at all. Q. The only thing you knew was that at Greensboro some students had tried it and you were going to do it here Fort: Right. Q. Did you tell, in advance, Reverend A. Leon Lowry that you were going downtown and try to integrate? Fort: Rev. Lowry knew. Let me see, now, let me think for a minute, if he knew. Q. According to newspaper articles Rev. Lowry showed up downtown Now I don't know if he was called up at the end or you had told him in advance because he was there Fort: I'll say this. Rev. Lowry knew we were going to do it, but he didn't know when. I'll put it like this, I won't say that he knew when, but evidently they knew that we were meeting. They knew that we were planning something like this. Like I said we kept it a secret, and we didn't want anyone to know because we didn't want it to hit the papers. In fact, the papers didn't know it. They didn't know it in advance. So evidently he was standing by, because he had a series of meetings to attend as state president of the NAACP at the time, and he wouldn't leave town because he knew we were planning it. Q. But you had not told him specifically when you were going to do it Fort: No. I didn't tell him. Robert Saunders might, have. He might have tipped him off and said, "hey, I think they're going to go down and they're going to start these sit-ins here in Tampa." Q. Had you been in contact at all with Francisco Rodriguez, because he was the NAACP legal counsel? Fort: No, I had, not. The senior branch might have contacted him. But I had not. I didn't have any dealings with him. I knew him. But I'm sure that once they knew that we were going to go down they started mapping their strategy. Yes, they did that, they mapped out strat-
egy. We talked about what would happen if we were arrested and who would put up the bail. Q. Whom did you talk to? Fort: Well, it was the president of the adult council, I think Robert Saunders, he handled most of it because he was the field secretary. This was done in his office. It was not a regular meeting of the Youth Council. Q. Saunders knew that you were going to go downtown? Fort: Well, I think he knew. He had an idea because well, he had to have an idea because we had discussed the plans. Q. And you don't remember if Rev. Lowry was in on those ... Fort: He wasn't in on it, no. Q. So Saunders was handling it and mapping out what would happen if you got into trouble? Fort: Well, we were really playing it by ear, but Rodriguez, I imagine that's the reason he was down in the area too. He would act as our legal counsel, and would try to get us out on bail. Q. But you didn't encounter any trouble Fort: No, we didn't. Q. What was the experience like during this? Fort: Well, I feel I was a little nervous, I have to admit. I guess every civil rights leader is. You're going into something you don't know what to expect, and after you have gone so far it's too late to turn around, and you're more or less pushed into it whether you want to or not. But I took the first seat, and then the others started following in and it was, well, really it wasn't bad. The first thing that happened was that they started putting signs up that the counter was closed. But it was a shaky experience, I'd say that. Q. Did anyone harass you in any way? Fort: No, not at the time, no. They closed the counter. Q. They closed and you sat in for about fifteen minutes and you went out, then you came back in Now what was the purpose of that? Fort: Because when we left they reopened the counter. So, we had planned this. I told the kids, I said if they close it we're going to leave and when they open it we'll regroup and go back. So that's what happened. We went back when they opened the counter up. Then they roped us off, and then just closed the whole thing down. Q. You were in Woolworth's? Fort: Woolworths, right. Q. And another group was in ... Fort: W. T. Grant's, on the other corner, that's what happened. Q. You left, I guess about 6:00 when the store closed Fort: When it closed, right. Q. What was your strategy next, what were you hoping to do from that point on? Fort: Well we went back to the church; we were meeting at St. Paul's Church. We went back to the church, and I told two leaders that I would get back to them the next day and decide who would go from there. Now the next day Q. Who were the two leaders, who specifically? Fort: Two student council leaders, because they were in control of the kids at the school. Q. Do you remember their names? Fort: Yes.
Q. Can you tell me? Fort: George Edgecomb was student council leader at Middleton, I think you know he came to be a judge. Q. Now at that meeting at the church, did the NAACP leaders join you there? Did people like Saunders and Rev. Lowry appear there? Fort: Right. They all showed up there because by then it had hit the news and everything else and Q. What were they telling you? Were they telling you the same thing or different things? Fort: No, it was basically the same. They didn't try to stop us. They just said, more or less, to act in an orderly manner, be yourself, and stay out of any verbal contact with members of the other race. Don't answer any questions. We had spokesmen set up to answer questions. I think I was the only one who was supposed to really speak. If anyone wanted to know anything they were supposed to get up and come to me, or send their reporters to me. Q. And you decided at that meeting that you would go back the next day? Fort: Yes, right, we would go back the next day. Q. And did you go back the next day? Fort: Right, we went back. Now as a result of this, and after it hit the papers and the TV, another group came out. You probably heard about the other group. Q. Joseph Dasher Fort: Right. He had a group of his own. Q. What kind of group is this? It's not really described in the papers, because Dasher apparently had a juvenile arrest record Fort: Well, we all were being discriminated against you see, and I can see Dasher's point. I guess he only wanted to help out, and that's the only way I can put it. Q. Where did this group come from? Fort: Well he got some people on his own. I guess he just went out in the street and said, "hey, lets go sit, down," you know, that's the only thing I can say. Q. Were they students at Middleton and Blake, do you know? Fort: I can't recall. I don't know if they were students or they were just out of school. Maybe just out of school, who weren't going to college. Q. Did you know Dasher? Fort: I hadn't known him before. Prior to that I had never met him. In fact, I still haven't met him. I've heard about him. Q. When you went in the next day, tell me what happened to you Fort: The second day was the same procedure as the first day. The second day is when we had a mass meeting, if I can recall, that night. And that is when we had to map out strategy what to do about the other group. Because they weren't organized, and they had some trouble with people, and they were pushing people around. Q. Did your groups happen to join together at any point during the day? Fort: No, we didn't. We just met back at the place. We would just march back. We had signs, and we marched back to the church and met back at the church. Q. The people in the restaurant put the closed signs up again? Fort: Right, in fact they even roped it off the second day. They roped everything off they didn't make us move they put the ropes behind us. We sat down, and they roped the whole thing behind us. They roped the whole area off, and they said the store is closed,
the lunch counter is closed. We sat there a while until it was almost closing time and then we left. Q. And you went back to the mass rally at St. Paul's? Fort: Right. Q. And what happened at that mass meeting? Fort: Now, at this meeting we came up with the strategy of wearing signs so that our group would be recognized as the original group. In other words, I think we had blue and white cards, "NAACP Youth Council." We did this to separate ourselves from their group. If I'm not mistaken their group fizzled out someone got to them, you know, and said "hey, if you want to get in it, come join the group." I think this is what happened. But I don't think we had any more trouble out of them. Q. How many are in your particular group at the height of the first two days? Fort: I'd say we had about fifty-five people. Q. And most of them are from Blake and Middleton? Fort: Blake and Middleton students. We might have had a few younger students from one of the junior high schools like Booker T. Washington, but the majority of them were high school students. Now at this time this is what was so good about Tampa, we didn't have any trouble with the police department. The second day they found out about it, and they called. I was doing most of the negotiations, right out of the branch office. I'd go into Saunders' office, and the police department called to find out if we were going, so they could send police protection. And that's the key difference between the other cities and Tampa, the police protection. Now if they had done like some of the cities take it upon themselves and just enforce the law, say "hey, you're not going to demonstrate," but they didn't do that. They didn't let a soul get near us. The second day they went down with us, in fact they directed the traffic. And they stood behind the lunch counter, so no one else could even get there. Q. I want to get back to that mass meeting Because of the trouble that the Dasher group had caused, you decided to put off further sit-ins. Is that right ? Fort: For the time being we did. Q. For the time being? Fort: Right, right. I think the mayor started calling around. And I don't know if he appointed this biracial committee or not then, but I know he appointed one. Q. He appointed it in late 1959 So it already existed Fort: It already existed. Q. It was already there In fact, one of the members was Rev. Lowry Fort: I'd sit in on it, too. Q. Did you? When did you attend? Fort: I started attending the minute we had the sit-ins. At the next meeting I was there. Q. Tell me about it Fort: Well, I take that back, it was the second meeting that they had. Because the first meeting, they didn't know what was going on. And they told them, they said, "look, let's invite the guy in." Q. Who invited you, Rev. Lowry? Fort: Rev. Lowry invited me so we could get to the source of the problem. You see, what had happened, this was a special meeting. They invited all of the managers, the downtown managers I remember most of them Colby Armstrong of the Merchants Association,
Cody Fowler of First Federal, and Robert Thomas, he's a financial man. So they invited all the managers in, and then we began to talk about what we could do to integrate the lunch counters peacefully. That was the first step. Now what happened then, they got to Rev. Lowry, and they told him "hey, if you will tell them to hold off, we will try and work something out. Let us have some meetings and see what we can do." Q. So you think that the biracial committee and its willingness to talk to you was a very crucial point in getting you not to pursue sit-ins for the time being? Fort: Right. Q. Now, at these meetings that you attended, once you called off your sit-ins, what were the discussions like? What were they telling you? What were you telling them? Fort: Well, they were telling us to give them time, and this was hard. This was hard for me because the youths had gotten stirred up then and they were ready, man. Hey, you know, kids. They saw their pictures in the papers and on TV. Well, I don't guess it really occurred to them then, what we were really doing. For the majority of them it didn't, you know. Because it had been a policy so long that we had gone along with you see. And it didn't really occur to them. But once it got started, they became enthused. So they didn't want to wait. So at that first meeting I told them that the biracial committee people were saying "let us work something out, we want to send up to North Carolina and see what they're doing." Well they started to integrate, I think North Carolina started to integrate. I don't know if it took them two weeks, or what. But they wanted to send around to different cities and get other plans and see how they were doing it, and Tampa was going to pattern themselves after that. So I told them, I said, "look, the kids they don't want to wait, they want to do it and they want to go now, and they are tired, you know." They were pressing me, because I was about to lose control of them. The kids said, "hey, we're going to go anyway." So I said it no, I'll tell you what." I said I've been sitting in on the meetings, and I think they're negotiating in good faith. And I said, "take it from me, I'll probably have something to tell you in a week or so." So I think I went to about four or five of their meetings, and I saw that the progress was coming along good enough. I was satisfied with it. Q. Now in these meetings, what kind of discussions are these business leaders that you talked about having? What are they telling you? What kind of pressures are they putting on the merchants, that you remember hearing? What's the kind of arguments that are going back and forth to get these people to allow you to come in and sit at the counters? Fort: Well they just didn't go along with it at first. And they were afraid of the money they were going to lose. Q. The merchants? Fort: Right. They were afraid of the money they were going to lose, and this was something that had just happened, it was something new to them. And they just really were at a loss. They didn't know what to do. And in the meantime I was telling them, "we're going to sit-in some more, and we're going to boycott." See, I was telling them all of this. But I guess it was a debate between the blacks and the whites there. Because there were about six blacks represented there. And they couldn't go against me, even though they were trying to hold me down. But they were telling the merchants that it had been wrong for so long, and you can integrate peacefully. The merchants really wanted to wait. Now they didnt say, "we won't do it." There wasn't a one there that said "we will never do it." But they wanted to go about it, you know, in the way that other stores had done it. And a lot
of them were chain stores, and they had to hear it from their national companies, and they figured they wanted to wait and see if someone else in their chain was doing it, and then they could follow suit on that line. Q. Were you telling them things like, "if you don't do this, we're going to boycott and demonstrate, and this is going to be ultimately bad for your business? This is going to be bad for the image of Tampa, too? You're going to have a Little Rock on your hands?" Fort: That's what I was telling them. I said, "these kids are tired, and they're going to do it." I said, "they might go tomorrow, they might go tonight. If I don't have something concrete to go back and tell them, they're ready to go tomorrow." That's what I kept telling them. But even myself I was trying to stall the kids off because they had really got on the ball then, and they were ready. There was no stopping them then. Q. Did you have the support of the blacks on the committee, like Blythe Andrews, Perry Harvey and Rev. Lowry? Fort: I had it. Q. What were people like Colby Armstrong and Cody Fowler and Bob Thomas saying to the merchants? Fort: They were trying to convince the merchants. Q. They were on your side? Fort: Right, right. Q. How were they trying to convince them? Fort: Well, they were more or less the mediators, I'll put it like that. They were, I guess, in between the two. And they were trying to get them to see what was wrong. They said, "if we can send off and get the plans and see how they're doing it in other cities, and try to initiate it here, would, you be willing to go along with it?" The store managers wouldn't give us a definite answer then, but they said, "let us read them over. And then we'll get back with our national companies or our chains, and then see what they say, and we'll meet back here and discuss it further." Now this went on for a month, or two months. Q. O.K. This went on, and were you under pressure as this went on? Fort: I was still under pressure, right. Q. How were you able to convince the young people? Fort: I just told them, "look, you'll just have to have faith in me, and it's going to come about." In the meantime we were still having mass meetings. At these mass meetings Rev. Lowry would get up, and he could reassure them what I was telling them. The people were so nice, the police department and the mayor and all, and we're trying to work it out, so why don't we go along with it. We've waited this long, and let's do it peacefully. Q. What about older members of the NAACP branch, and perhaps some of the parents of the Blake and Middleton students. Were you getting any trouble from them at the meetings? Fort: Well, they were showing up. But they all had jobs, and they were afraid for their jobs. Now the older members, they went along with it. A lot of them didn't want to be recognized. In fact one parent pulled his son off the counter there. But we had some good speakers, inspiring speeches. Q. Like Rev. Lowry Fort: Right, right. And he told them what we were doing. And I think we more or less reassured them that we weren't going to make any trouble, any harm was going to be done, because of the way the police department handled it, and the mayor. We told them all about that, so they went along with it.
Q. The lunch counters do get integrated in September About the middle of September there are groups of people, men and women, who go into the counters. How was this brought about? Fort: Well this happened after they got the reports in about how it was going along in other cities. We didn't follow suit like they did it, but what we decided to do, the merchants said, instead of having everyone just open up the lunch counters and say, "hey, it's integrated. Everyone's welcome to come eat," we decided to let two people go to each store. We set a target date, and we decided on this date two people would go and sit at the counters. I think we had ten stores in the whole area of Tampa. Two in the morning and two in the afternoon. And we were instructed if anything happened, you see someone trying to make trouble, ask for your check, pay your check, get up and leave, whether you have eaten or not. That's how we started to work it out. We selected people. The people were more or less screened. And we tried to go along with adults. There weren't too many young people involved in this test. In fact, I don't think there were any. I was about the youngest person there. Because at the time, we had another group. The name of that group was The Young Adults for Progressive Action. James Hammond was the leader. And his group was more or less picked to do the testing, because they were older. Q. Older, and they were already in their professions, businessmen, teachers ... Fort: Right, So I did sit in. But I think I was the only one out of the whole Youth Council. Q. Which restaruant did you go into? Fort: It was Walgreens. I went in with a man. I was scheduled to go in with a man, but what happened to me, the guy didn't show up. We were scheduled for 10:00. And I waited, watched my watch, and he didn't show up. So to keep it from being a failure, I said, well, I'll go myself. So I went. I guess I sat down about ten after ten. And, you see the store managers were backing us all the way. They knew what was going to happen, but they were the only ones who knew it. Q. You went by yourself Fort: I was by myself. Now that was a frightening experience. I was too nervous to even eat. And I sat down and I ordered, I think it was grits and eggs. It was early in the morning, with bacon, coffee, and just as I started to butter my toast, two guys came up. Two white guys came up, and they said, "look what we have here, a nigger at the lunch counter." They stood behind me, right behind me. Other people were there; two or three got up and left. But I'd say at least ten remained. So they said, "let's get him, we're not going to let him eat here. Let's get him." So at this time I called the waitress and said, "will you give me my bill and let me pay you." I never touched the food; I had started to butter my toast. So, I paid her, I got up, and I began to walk out of the store. And as I began to leave out of the store they were behind me. I walked around, and I met the manager. And he said "What's the trouble?" And I said, "they're giving me some trouble." You see I knew him because I was in a meeting with him. And he told them then, "look, were not going to have any trouble here, we're not going to have any trouble in my store. We're going to let these people eat here, and I don't want any trouble. You give me any trouble and I'm going to call the police." So, he told me then, "Don't leave the store." So I just walked around, and they followed me all over the store. And he said, "Well, I'll call the police." So, as I was walking around the store I met this barber I was working with, Melvin Stone. So he said, "hey, what's going on?" He didn't even know what was happening, but he knows these guys are behind me. I said, "well these two guys are following me and
they're going to beat me up for sitting here." So he said, "hey, let's get out of here," and I said, "no, I can't leave if I go outside they probably will attack me." So we walked around, and I saw two policemen walk in the door, and that's when I walked out. And the policemen grabbed them then. Q. So the manager had called the police Fort: Right, he had called the police. And the policemen grabbed them and told them to get out of the downtown area, that they didn't want any trouble. Q. So this manager, like the other managers, was fully cooperative Fort: Right, they were fully cooperative, right. Q. And from that moment on you had the opportunity to eat ... Fort: Oh, this went on I guess for about a week before they really opened it up. We were still testing. I think we went there at least four days like this. Q. Reading the news accounts, it said that the people were served generally from about 10:30 A.M. or 11:30 A.M., and then something like about 3:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M., before, it seems to me, the heavy lunch hour and before the evening dinner Was that part of your strategy, to avoid any contact with crowds? Fort: Right, that's what it was. We wanted to get in there and make it as as inconspicuous as possible what we were trying to do. Less fanfare and the least amount of people. Q. After about three or four days of testing, then, you were satisfied that the merchants were going to cooperate Fort. Right, we were satisfied. This was all part of the plan. Interview with Julian Lane. Q. My first question is your background Where you're from, when you were born? Lane: I'm a native of Tampa, born in Seminole Heights, and went to public schools here and the University of Florida. Q. What year were you born? Lane: 1914. Q. You became mayor in 1959 Shortly thereafter, I think, only a few weeks perhaps, you appointed a biracial committee Can you tell me what prompted your appointment of this committee? Lane: Well, civil rights was not an issue in the campaign but it was just starting. We were having some inquiries, you know, about swimming pools and recreational facilities and schools, and we just thought that would be the thing to do. I don't know where we got the idea. I think someone here locally, maybe Dr. Lowry or Jim Hammond suggested it, because we know that our committee was the first in the state and we think it was the first appointed in the South. Of course, it was a great big help to us in solving these problems. And they faced us, as you say, a few weeks after we went in. We often laughed about it the first year I was in office we had two hurricanes, a flood, and integration. Q. You said it was a new idea Where did it come from locally? Lane: I don't recall just where we got the idea offhand. I know that the black community, the leaders were very interested in getting something started along with those in the white community who were interested in our community. I think we more or less got together and said we'd better get us a biracial committee. And it would be a big help to us in meeting these problems. We knew they were coming; there was no question about it.
Q. You mentioned before it was the right thing to do at the time, but obviously there are lots of motivations that go into a particular action In Tampa like most other cities segregation had existed for seventy-eighty years What makes you change or want to change by setting up this committee? Let me ask you this first: what was this committee supposed to do? What did you have in mind? Lane: Well, it was a group that would meet with me, you might call them, "dissidents" if you want to call them that the black community that wanted integration. And we figured, I figured, that many heads were better than one. And as I say they were a great help to us. Now we had, I think, the best racial relations of any city in Florida, and maybe the South. We just didn't have any problems because we would work together. I know, and I might be getting ahead of myself, but for example we integrated our Ben T. Davis beach. We built it. It didn't cost us a lot of money, and I know that they came to our committee and said, "look, we're going out and integrate it." And I said, "go ahead. But I want to tell you this, if you violate the law, we'll arrest you." The Ku Klux Klan came to us, and I said, "you can go, we'll give you a permit to go out there, but if you violate the law we're going to put you in jail." And they both went out, and they went swimming, integrated, and we had no problems. We had a small crew of police stationed there and we had some in reserve. Q. What year was that do you remember? Lane: This was about '61, and, oh I could tell you some stories about some of our stuff. Q. Let me hear some of those Lane: The problem, I guess at first was the integration of our parks and recreation facilities. I remember one day, I guess school had just let out, and we had just built a new swimming pool at Seminole Heights. It was out on Central Avenue. Then I got a call about 3:00 in the afternoon from the manager out there. He says, "the blacks are out here wanting to go swimming." I said, "well let them go." He said, "well, they'll be back!" I said, "that doesn't make any difference, they're entitled to it." And so he let them go. We never had a bit of trouble at all. And the blacks never did go back to that one. Of course, it's kind of out of the way. Now the pool built in West Tampa was in a neighborhood about half white and black in those days, and it was no problem. They went in there and we had no demonstrations. They went in there and mingled there'd be about half black, sometimes more than half black in there with the whites. There were no problems at all. The same way in Ybor City. It was a very smooth integration all the way through. However, there were people in Tampa, in certain sections of the city that just weren't ready for it. Probably that's what defeated me in 1963. Because where I was born and raised in Seminole Heights, that section in the 1959 election gave me an overwhelming majority. Well, I lost that in 1963, and I lost the Sulphur Springs area and the Belmont Heights area, Oak Park out in the interbay; the downtown area we carried. On school integration, I remember we worked very closely with the superintendent, and we had really no demonstrations, no problems. On the lunch counters, we had oh, I guess a little objection, but nothing insofar as organized resistance. Most of the merchants worked with us fine. We also had a merchant's association downtown. They were a great help because with Maas Brothers and Wolf Brothers and the big chains, they also set up programs to integrate with the encouragement of our biracial committee. But, I think that one of the most important things during all of this integration we were going through was the news media. Now, I'm a great believer in freedom of the press. But we met down in my office with the biracial
committee, we had the publishers of the Tribune which you know controlled both of the newspapers, and Channel 8, Channel 13, we had nearly all of the radio stations, and we talked this thing over and said, "hey, how about, let's just don't give any publicity to what we're doing." And we got complete agreement out of them. Q. Why didn't you want any publicity? Lane: Well we knew if we had publicity that these rednecks would show up. I think that's one of the main reasons even though with all the planning that we did, we never had any problems. Because those who were big objectors didn't know about it, so they didn't show up. I tell you, we had no problems at all until they had the riots in 1967. Q. If you didn't have any publicity, how did you hope to convince the general public that what you were doing was right? Lane: I think the general public knew that was the Christian thing to do. You couldn't discriminate. Q. How did you go about initially choosing the members of the biracial committee? Lane: We tried to get the leaders in the black community that we knew were interested and that the blacks respected. I did the same thing in the white community. People who were, you know, more or less conservative, they weren't radical, but who could see what we needed to do. And with their guidance and counsel we moved right along. I think it was the smartest thing I ever did, myself. Q. What was your own philosophy about race relations after all, you lived in a segregated community all your life? And now it seems from what you're telling me you believed in integration What were you hoping for? Lane: Well, I wasn't hoping for anything except a smooth integration of our community, without any demonstrations, or any fighting or rioting. I knew it was inevitable, that we had to do it, and as I say, I think it was the Christian thing to do, the right, thing to do. If I had to do it again, I'd do it again. I'd go right to it. The same way I might speed it up a little bit. Q. You appointed some business men and civic leaders, both black and white to the committee Cody Fowler, former president of the American Bar Association was a member And your administration seems to coincide, with the beginning push, to make Tampa into a showcase city of the South. The Chamber of Commerce was earnestly striving to bring industry down here, and downtown urban renewal was beginning Did that fit in with your view, with your image of what race relations should be like in Tampa? To put it bluntly, bad race relations, as in Little Rock, would be bad for the city economically Lane: Well, we of course thought about all those things too. We knew we were trying to create a good image economically. We just felt that it was the right thing to do, and it would help us to create a good impression upon industry. You know we had teams going up north interviewing all these folks. The industrial park was already in existence, and I think we had already landed Budweiser and Schlitz, and there were a few more, but we were developing. Tampa had slowed down considerably, and we just knew we had to expand. In fact, more industry had to come in here, because Tampa is geographically located in a good position. We're kind of the hub and serve as a trading center, distribution point for this whole west coast area of Florida. It all kind of blends in together. You couldn't just say, "Well we're going to integrate," and not work on something else. Let me tell you one little thing that happened. The toilets, for example, in City Hall were separate "White" and "Black". So, one day I told the custodian, one
afternoon late, I said "take those signs down." For six months, I don't think anybody noticed that the signs had been taken down. We had a committee come up and see us from the black community, and one of the things that they wanted to do was to take the signs down from the toilets. I said, "well those signs have been down for six months." Q. So you were forward looking in bringing integration to the city government ... Lane: (laugh) You think people are going to object, and I don't think I heard an objection. Q. That seems to be one of the problems, I think, that some of the merchants felt during the lunch counter episode that if they integrated their lunch counters they would lose a lot of business Tell me what you remember about the negotiations with the committee and yourself and the lunch counter merchants during that time Lane: Well, as far as the lunch counters go, they worked with us. Now some of the smaller restaurants and lunch counters, they objected bitterly, but still we had really no big problem with them. But it was, going down and meeting with them, and saying, "look, this is how we're going to do it." And most of the time they came around. They didn't lose any business. I mean the first week or two business might have dropped off some, but I didn't hear any complaints about it. You know, the young people, they were the ones that were doing these things. They would say, "look, we're going down to these counters we're going to try, say, Kress this morning," and so we would let the store know that they're coming and say, "now look, we don't want any trouble." And we had a special task force in our police department. Of course, they would be in the vicinity, but they aren't where they could create any scenes or anything. But if something did happen, they could take care of it. So we had, I guess, a lot of criticism from the rednecks, but we really didn't have any demonstrations. Q. What were some of the arguments against integrating the lunch counters ? Lane: Well, the main thing was they thought they'd lose business. Q. How did you convince them? Lane: We told them to just try. And I think they finally realized that they weren't going to lose business. Q. Do you think the fact that having a mayor involved in this issue and a biracial committee made up of prominent citizens was very persuasive? Lane: Yes, I think it helped. You've got to have somebody to take the leadership, to take the blame and the praise, too. We were doing that. Q. What about restaurants? Lane: I think that just kind of came along. The main thing that the blacks were interested in, of course, was the lunch counters, and we worked out those programs. The restaurants, you know, they were expensive; even in those days, there weren't many blacks that could afford them. And, I guess, just through the progress of integration the downtown restaurants accepted it. Q. Tell me about the movie theatres Lane: We never had any real riots or anything like that but we had problems with the owners. You know of course these theatres were all owned by the main office in Jacksonville. And we called them, and I couldn't get them to return the call. It was all over the state on this particular thing. They had, the theatres all over the state. And it was an awful job. Finally, I guess it took us a month to get the officials from the Florida State Theatres to meet with us. And we finally got them in, and I remember meeting with them. What the blacks wanted was just to be able to say, "I can go there." And the first meeting we had
with them, I remember Perry Harvey asked the manager after we got him down here, "How much does it cost for those who attend the theatre?" I'd say in those days it was about $1.50 to $2.00. So Perry says, "You don't need to worry about my people, they can't afford to go. And it was about the truth. We did have an organized effort by the young blacks to get in to them. And again, we told them that we wanted them to be orderly and on their best behavior, and not create any incident at all, and they did. It worked beautifully. I think they probably did go down there and demonstrate one or two times before we really got them admission. But it was all orderly, no fighting. Our special police force was in the vicinity, and of course, we had them take care of anybody, white or black, who created any disturbance. Q. Were you and the biracial committee in negotiation with the theatres before the picketing, or did the picketing prompt you to go into negotiations Lane: It was during this picketing, you see. I think this was one reason we got them to meet with us. Dr. Lowry and myself met several times with the young blacks. We would meet with them, go over the plans, and tell them what we thought they ought to do, and give them the procedure. And they were peaceful when they'd go down, and I think that really helped getting the meeting with the officials of the theatre chains. And after we completed all these things, there was no problem there. Q. But you really didn't want them to do a lot of picketing? Lane: No, we figured if they did that then we were going to have some demonstrations and rioting and battles. And we wanted to keep away from that if possible. Which we were able to do in all phases. There were a lot of elements in there. Our committee was, of course, I think the strongest element we had, but the news media were a big help too. And it's just, all the people the store owners and the Merchants Association working together and cooperating. Q. How about the Chamber of Commerce? Were they at all active? Lane: They were helpful, but they stayed in the background. But it was, I think, a great spirit of cooperation between all segments of the population business, industry and everything. Q. Was your overall strategy trying to avoid demonstrations, picketing, trying to do this quietly? Was that your top priority? Lane: That's right, thats right. We had seen what had taken place in other parts of the country. Q. There was one part of the country where violence took place Jacksonville There was a riot in 1961 There was a rivalry between Jacksonville and Tampa for this "New South" image Why do you suppose Tampa was able to handle its problems quietly, and Jacksonville wasn't? Lane: Well, probably in seeing what other communities had the problems they had run into. The mayor in Jacksonville was opposed to integration; here, I wasn't opposed to it. I just knew that we had to do it. And then we contacted the business community and the Merchants Association and the leadership in the black community. We just mapped out this plan and were hopeful that we could do it, and we were successful. And it was, I think, the great cooperation with everybody concerned. I think they realized the image it would have created if we had started having riots.
THE ATTACK ON BRADEN CASTLE: ROBERT GAMBLE'S ACCOUNT By Paul Eugen Camp Fast becoming one of the leading tourist centers on Florida's west coast, Bradenton is nationally known as "the Friendly City." In 1856, however, the area that is now metropolitan Bradenton hardly qualified for that name. In March of that year the Third Seminole War was at its height, and the attire of the well-dressed citizen of Manatee ("Braidentown" did not come along until 1878) usually included a loaded gun. Families in settlers' cabins and plantation manors alike sat down to meals with rifles by their sides. On March 31, 1856, the community's fears were justified when a raiding party of seven Seminole Indians attacked Braden Castle, home of Dr. J. A. Braden, the man for whom modern Bradenton is named. A manuscript account of this attack was later written by Braden's neighbor, Major Robert Gamble.1 Major Gamble's account, now in the collection of the Florida Historical Society in Tampa, provides an enlightening link with this minor but colorful incident in Manatee County's past. In the 1850s the area around Bradenton was a place of curious contrasts. After the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842, white settlers had moved into the region south of Tampa Bay and set to work incorporating it into the plantation economy of the Old South. Rather than King Cotton, however, sugar was the root of Manatee's prosperity. During the 1840s several large scale sugar plantations were developed in the area. In spite of its stately mansions, however, Manatee was still very much of a frontier settlement. The large plantations and humbler farms were surrounded by an almost virgin wilderness. Indians were a familiar sight on the streets of Manatee. Billy Bowlegs, paramount leader of the Seminoles, visited the area on several occasions.2 With the outbreak of the Third Seminole War on December 17, 1855, the planters and settlers of the Manatee region found themselves on the front lines of an Indian uprising. Virginia-born Dr. Joseph Addison Braden owned one of the Manatee region's largest plantations. He came to the area from Tallahassee in 1843, settling on a 1,100 acre plantation near the confluence of Braden Creek (now Braden River) and the Manatee. In 1845 construction began on the centerpiece of his enterprise, an impressive mansion that became known locally as "Braden Castle." In spite of its name, Braden Castle was a gracious residence rather than a crenellated fortress. Braden's "castle" was a two-story structure measuring about a hundred feet on each side.3 Its massive, twenty-inch thick walls were made of "tabby," a concrete-like mixture composed of sand, lime, and crushed shell in equal proportions. Local shell provided both lime and fill for the castle, while most of its timbers came from the surrounding forest. Numerous holes were left in the castle walls during construction, giving rise to much modern speculation. The favorite theory advanced is that they were gun-ports to be used in repelling Indian attacks. Unfortunately for such romantic notions, the mysterious holes were actually left by wooden forms or braces used in constructing the walls.4
When completed in 1851, the castle had four rooms on each of its two floors, grouped around spacious central hallways running front-to-back. All eight rooms were of the same dimensions, twenty feet square. The castle also boasted four chimneys and eight fireplaces.5 To pioneers used to the doublepen pine log cabins standard on the Florida frontier, Braden's masterpiece must have seemed a castle indeed. Early on the morning of April 1, 1856, a runner brought startling news to Manatee. The note which he carried from Dr. Braden reported that hostile Indians had attacked Braden Castle during the night, and it asked that aid be sent immediately. Word of the attack sent a hastily mustered body of militiamen on the marauders' trail and brought settlers scurrying to improvise forts. The main place of refuge was Dr. Franklin Branch's fortified home. Although pursuers caught up with the Indian raiders, killing several and recovering Dr. Braden's stolen property, the shock of the raid and others that followed kept Manatee's citizens huddled in their forts for around nine months. When the stockaded home of Dr. Branch at Manatee became inadequate to hold the number of refugees, the substantial walls of Braden Castle were pressed into service as a place of refuge.6 The unit that successfully pursued the Indian attackers was composed of local volunteers led by Captain John Addison. They caught up with the raiders on the south bank of Big Charley Apopka Creek.7 The Indians had stopped for a meal of barbecued beef and were caught totally by surprise. The Seminole band, seven strong, seems to have lost at least two and possibly as many as four men killed. Leading this raiding party was Oscen Tustenuggee, one of the principal Seminole war chiefs. Though he lost his pony, he managed to escape by swimming the creek.8 Recaptured were seven slaves, three mules, and a good deal of miscellaneous loot, along with a pony. One of the two Indians killed was first wounded and then fatally shot when he proved unable to march with the militia column. Both dead Indians were scalped, and "one scalp was sent to Manatee with the party who conveyed the stolen property to its owners and the other was Picnic party at Braden Castle in the 1890s. Photograph courtesy of Manatee County Historical Society
sent to Captain Hooker, at this place Tampa. The later [ sic ] has been exhibited to all persons having the curiosity to examine it."9 Although both the state of Florida and the United States Army put vastly superior forces in the field, the small band of Seminole warriors led by Billy Bowlegs fought a guerilla-type war that dragged on for nearly two years. Only when the Seminole leader and most of his surviving fighters surrendered in the spring of 1858 was the fear of massacre removed from the South Florida frontier. During the financial depression of 1857, Braden was financially ruined. Florida financier, Daniel Ladd, foreclosed the mortgage on Braden's plantation, but he did not evict him from the property. Although a party from the Federal schooner Stonewall raided the area on August 3, 1864, Braden Castle survived the Civil War unharmed. In the same year Dr. Braden left the Manatee area for Texas. Following the war the Braden Plantation was sold to Mrs. Mary Pelot for $2,000. She in turn sold Braden Castle and 320 acres surrounding it to her father, General James G. Cooper. The general made several improvements to the building, adding a wooden cupola or lookout to the roof. During his life the castle figured actively in the social life of the community. After his death on June 20, 1876, however, the building was abandoned and began to deteriorate. It was gutted by a woods fire in 1903, leaving only the concrete walls standing. In a few years they crumbled to picturesque ruins. In 1924 the castle and its surrounding land were sold to the Camping Tourists of America.10 The historic ruins of Braden Castle are located at the corner of Plaza Street and Braden Castle Drive in Bradenton. The walls of the old castle are protected by a fence, but they are easily seen from the barrier. They are an interesting link with a very colorful epoch in Bradenton's past and are well worth a visit. In 1856, Major Robert Gamble was Dr. Braden's neighbor across the Manatee River. His 3,500 acre sugar plantation was the largest in the region and was centered around a stately, columned mansion (now Gamble Plantation State Historic Site). Worked by up to 300 slaves, Gamble's Ruins of Braden Castle, circa 1907. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Library Braden Castle as it looks today. Photograph courtesy of Hampton Dunn
plantation produced as much as 1,500 hogsheads of sugar annually.11 Gamble was an interested observer of the events surrounding the attack of his neighbor's residence in 1856. Since it was the nine-shot repeating rifle he had loaned Dr. Braden that the good doctor used in repelling the attack, Gamble doubtlessly got the story from Braden when the gun was returned. In writing some reminiscences of the Seminole Wars years later, Gamble included in his manuscript the tale of the attack on Braden Castle. This undated manuscript now forms part of the Richard Keith Call Papers housed in the library of the Florida Historical Society at the University of South Florida.12 Entitled "Some recollections of the Seminole Chief Arpioka Bowlegs and his war with the States," Gamble's manuscript sheds an interesting light on the Braden Castle attack. After a brief, somewhat muddled passage relating to the Harney massacre during the Second Seminole War, Gamble turned to the attack on Braden Castle. Arpioka, prior to these events, visited the settlement on the Manitee [ sic ] river, where I had established a sugar plantation.13 He was a very handsome man somewhat above the medium stature, strong and active, bright, cheerful and pleasing in manner and at that time in his prime, about 35 years old. After living in fortified houses during the long 7 years war on the Middle Florida frontier,14 I was again compelled to the same anxious and trying life, and being strongly prepared and with arms for my Negroe [ sic ] men I was not disturbed by the enemy. Not so with my neighbor Dr. Braden. Dr. J. A. Braden lived on the oposite [ sic ] side of the river in a large concrete building of two stories. A wide hall ran through the house from front to rear, dividing the rooms on both stories; the pine forest sparsely timbered, reaching to his door. The dining room was on the front facing the forest, and the windows opened upon an open porch raised some three feet from the ground, the door opening on the central-hall. One lovely moonlight night, the family had just seated themselves at the supper table.15 In the hall in the upper story a servant woman was sitting looking out upon the grassy glades of the open forest; her mind preoccupied, she was scarcely conscious of the landscape. She noticed unheedingly several dark objects in the distance, appearing and disappearing at intervals, but apparently slowly approaching the house; she deemed them to be calves or cattle belonging to the household. Presently her attention was aroused by seeing the figure of a man dart from the cover of a tree to another. Instantly divining the truth, she rose quietly, descended to the lower hall, now quite alight with the moon, and in full view of the advancing Indians, she leisurely reached the door, entered, and reaching the table, blew out the light, and whispered to the Doctor the single word "Indians." The Indians supposing they had not been discovered, had softly reached the porch and were approaching the open windows. At the sudden extinction of the light, the sound of several men jumping from the porch was distinctly heard. The Doctor and his little son, seized their guns, the Indians fired in at the windows and their fire was returned. Fortunately I had let the Doctor have a gun of' mine, a rifle of peculiar construction, capable of delivering nine charges in rapid succession.16 He thus discharged it, and the number of shots delivered in so short a period evidently impressed the Indians with the belief that there were many men in the house, and after some desultory firing they retreated and going to the plantation a mile away plundered some cabins and carried off the Negroes.17 A small party hastily assembled, took the trail at daylight, pursuing all day and the following night, and at sunrise of the second day came suddenly in view of the camp of the Seminoles. The captive Negroes discovered their approach, and came running to them. The Indians thus made
aware, fled, plunging into a deep creek on the bank of which they were encamped. The whites delivered their fire, killing one or two of the Indians, who sank in the deep water, others escaping to the scrub beyond.
1 Major Robert Gamble is often confused with his uncle and first cousin of the same name. Although Robert Gamble of Gamble Mansion fame was the son of John Gratton Gamble, he was known during the lifetime of his uncle as Robert Gamble, Jr., even in legal documents. His first cousin Robert H. Gamble served in the Confederate Army and fought at the battle of Olustee. He also lived in Leon County, which compounds the problem of keeping things straight. He died in the 1880s. The Major Robert Gamble of Manatee County, writer of the account of the attack on Braden Castle, served as an aide to General R. K. Call during the Second Seminole War, fighting with distinction at the Battle of the Withlacoochee on December 31, 1835. For his outstanding services, he was later granted a pension by the United States government. After the failure of his Manatee enterprise, he returned to Tallahassee where he was a prominent citizen for the remainder of his life. He died in Tallahassee at the age of 95 and is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery. Biographical information relative to Gamble and the Gamble family may be found in "The Gamble Mansion," a pamphlet published by the F1orida Board of Parks. 2 Lille B. McDuffee, The Lures of Manatee (2nd ed. Bradenton: Manatee County Historical Society, 1961), pp. 88-89. 3 Thelma Gray, "Braden Castle," Florida Historical Quarterly 15 (April 1937): 252-53. 4 "Tabby" construction was used widely throughout the Southeast. A concise description of tabby construction appears in Albert C. Manucy, The Houses of St. Augustine (St. Augustine: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1962), p. 164. A sketch illustrating how a tabby wall was built appears on page 32 of Manucy's book. This sketch illustrates the origin of the puzzling holes in Braden Castle's walls. 5 Gray, "Braden Castle," p. 253. 6 McDuffee, The Lures of Manatee, p. 95. 7 McDuffee identifies this as Joshua Creek (p. 93). Another historian tentatively identifies it with "Charlo-Popka-Hatchee-Chee, or Payne's Creek." James W. Covington, "An Episode in the Third Seminole War," Florida Historical Quarterly 45 (July 1966): 52. 8 Covington, "An Episode," p. 52; Florida Peninsular April 12, 1856. 9 Florida Peninsular April 12, 1856. 10 Gray, "Braden Castle," p. 254. 11 Jean Miller, "Mansion Houses Memories of Early Days," St. Petersburg Times July 6, 1975, pp. 1F-2F. 12 Richard Keith Call was territorial governor of Florida in 1836 and again in 1841. Gamble was well acquainted with Call during his years of residence in Tallahassee. Call's daughter, Ellen Call Long, was well known for her interest in, and writings of, Florida history, and she was probably responsible for the presence of the Gamble manuscript in the Call Papers. 13 Gamble confuses the Seminole leader Arpieka (Sam Jones) with Holatter Micco (Billy Bowlegs). By the 1850s Arpieka's influence among the Seminoles had waned due to his advanced age, and he was replaced as paramount leader of the Seminoles by the much younger Billy Bowlegs. For a concise history of the Third Seminole War, see James W. Covington's "An Episode in the Third Seminole War," Florida Historical Quarterly 45 (July 1966) : 45-59. 14 Gamble was a prominent citizen of Tallahassee during the Second Seminole War. Other sections of his manuscript deal with his experiences during that period.
15 Although Gamble does not mention it in his account, Braden had as his guests on the evening of the attack two prominent citizens of Tallahassee, the Reverend T. T. Sealey and Mr. Furman Chaires. McDuffee, The Lures of Manatee p. 91. 16 While repeating handguns were relatively common in the early 1850s, effective multishot longarms had not yet been developed. Thus, there are few candidates for Gamble's "rifle of peculiar construction" that played such a significant role in repelling the attack. Of the repeating rifles available, most can be ruled out as holding either too many or too few charges (most held from 5 to 8 shots). The most likely candidates would be either the Cochran nine-shot turret rifle (patented 1837) or the 1851 Porter turret rifle. These weapons were certainly of "peculiar construction," having disk-shaped revolving breech blocks with chambers radiating from a central pivot. As the breech block revolved, the chambers lined up successively with the barrel as in a regular revolver like the Colt. Turret rifles did not gain wide popularity, as an accidental multiple discharge (a not unlikely occurrence in cap-and-ball weapons) would spray balls in all directions, including directly back at the firer. See James E. Serven, ed., The Collecting of Guns (Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1964), for a description of these weapons. 17 McDuffee gives the number of blacks carried, off by the raiders as seven, six belonging to Dr. Braden and one to H. Wyatt. McDuffee, The Lures of Manatee p. 91.
BLACK COMPANY TOWN: A PECULIAR INSTITUTION IN PIERCE, FLORIDA By Joseph G. Mannard The Great Depression supplied an unexpected impetus to the study of local history and culture. In 1935, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), one of the myriad agencies created by New Deal legislation to effect relief, recovery, and reform, established a program known as the Federal Writers' Project (FWP). The FWP was implemented to provide employment for out-of-work writers by having them contribute to The American Guide Series a geographical, social, and historical survey of the nation, encompassing the state and local levels. Although lambasted by critics as another government boondoggle, the FWP eventually proved itself one of the most successful and worthwhile of the WPA projects. The awakening interest of the Roosevelt Administration in the plight of black Americans fostered the formation of an Office of Negro Affairs within the FWP with Sterling A. Brown, a black professor of English at Howard University, as its head. Significantly, black writers took an active part in the research in many Southern states, especially Virginia, Louisiana, and Florida. It was common policy to deploy segregated writer units, and the amount of racial discrimination encountered by the black researchers appears to have varied from place to place. The principal contribution of the FWP investigations into Negro history and culture has been a compilation of narratives based on interviews with over 2,000 former slaves. The initial stimulus for this research resulted from the example and efforts of the Florida Writers' Project directed by Carita Dorsett Corse. This massive collection of slave narratives, recently published under the editorship of George P. Rawick, portrays slavery from the perspective of the slave and constitutes an invaluable source about the "peculiar institution." Less use has been made of the FWP findings on black society and institutions during the 1930s. A full list of the information covered cannot be given here, but categories of inquiry in Florida included: art, celebrations, education, games, labor unions, language, folklore, literature, plays, music and songs, newspapers and periodicals, occupations, religion, superstitions and the supernatural, and towns. Professor Brown ultimately had hoped to use this material and the ex-slave narratives to produce a separate series of works on Afro-American life. The withdrawal of' federal funding in 1939, however, sounded the death knell for the FWP. As a result, only one state study, the highly praised The Negro in Virginia subsequently emerged. Although the proposed volume for this state, The Negro in Florida never attained fruition, the gathered data rests on file in the Florida Collection in the University of South Florida Library. The material remains chiefly in its rough form, as the document below illustrates. In this essay the black author, in general, offers a highly favorable account of a company town of black phosphate workers. He indicates that the Pierce community provided a better standard of living for blacks than was the national norm. In fact, in many places this report reads like a sale brochure exulting the benefits of model community living: "mostly comfortably furnished"
homes "with plenty of space between them, very healthy" children, "very tidy" and "well-equipped" schoolrooms, a "well-surfaced basketball court," a commissary with fair prices and the "best brands," and "automobiles of the latest makes." Some questions immediately arise when one evaluates the accuracy of this account. Was the author influenced by the company to present conditions in a favorable light? The security measures cited reveal the strict control by the company of many aspects of its employees' lives. Consequently, one wonders how free the workers and teachers would have felt to relate possible complaints or grievances. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that the writer was a Negro assisted him in gaining their confidence and obtaining valid testimony from them. Such, at least, was the case with regard to the success of black writers in questioning former slaves some of the latter having been reluctant to express themselves to white interviewers. Even should one admit that Pierce represented a "model" black community by the standards of the time, the report still refers to problems which reflect a less than idyllic situation. For example, the use of newspapers on the walls as a form of insulation hardly suggests a healthy atmosphere, while the mention of deaths from brawls alludes to a lack of harmony resulting from cramped living conditions. Occupations of blacks remained limited to manual labor, implying the A Polk County phosphate mine, circa 1907. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Library
existence of few opportunities for advancement. And though one worker showed a biweekly net savings of $5.17, it should be noted that his hourly wage fell well below the 40 cents minimum prescribed by the Fair Labor Standards Act passed earlier that year. Their working conditions were part of a racial caste system. In 1938, segregation formed a pattern of life taken for granted by a majority of both races. For a later generation, however, the description of a "high wire fence" surrounding a compound in which one race lived forcibly isolated from another evokes an ugly image of similar, though admittedly far more deplorable, conditions existing contemporaneously in Nazi Germany. The document reprinted below suggests the complex nature of race relations in Florida and the South. Those readers who seek further information about this topic and related themes are directed to the following material: Escott, Paul D. Slavery Remembered: A Record of Twentieth-Century Slave Narratives Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1978. Mangione, Jerre Gerlando. The Dream and the Deal; the Federal Writers Project, 1935-1943 Boston: Little, Brown, 1972. Penkower, Monty N. The Federal Writers' Project: A Study in Governmental Patronage of the Arts Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1977. Rawick, George P. (ed.) The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Co., 1976. Woodward, C. Vann. "History From Slave Sources." American Historical Review 79 (April 1974), 470-481. Yetman, Norman R. "The Background of the Slave Narrative Collection." American Quarterly 19 (Fall 1967), 536-553. Federal Writers' Project Paul Diggs Lakeland, Florida December 2, 1938 A NEGRO COMMUNITY -PIERCE, FLORIDA A visit to this community called "Pierce" located 15 miles South of Lakeland, Florida in Polk County. The American Agricultural Chemical Company is located here and there is a well planned, "Negro Community" that is a part of the development of this organization. Enroute you pass through towering beds of phosphate which have been worked and now stand like little mountains along the road, and in places the excavations have developed into many small lakes where fish [are] in abundance. A phosphate mine in Polk County, circa 1907. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Library On through Mulberry, passing the famous Mulberry Tree that stands now beside the railroad station. This tree was the only station known to this settlement before the real station was built. Any freight that was routed to this settlement was known to be thrown off at the Mulberry Tree. Today it still stands with its spreading branches old in years and strength. It bears many a scar. Four miles beyond this tree through a winding road that is also flanked on each side with mounds thrown up by the phosphate mining you enter the town of Pierce.
As you enter Pierce you pass a railroad station that is erected beside a beautiful lake on the West side of the town. Adjacent to this station is the colored section. It is surrounded with a high wire fence with large signs posted at the entrance stating, "No peddlers, collectors, and insurance agents allowed on these premises unless they have permission from the manager of the Phosphate Company." The quarters are located in a [place] where the oaks served as a natural park with their outstretching limbs. This collection of oaks gives this quarters a picturesque scene. The streets are layed off parallel to each other, with the avenues crossing. Here will be found seventy-five houses of wooden structure, and painted red with white trimming. Their external appearance is very good, and the interior of the homes mostly were comfortably furnished. The interiors were not [sealed]. Many of the homes have newspaper on the wall, which protects them from the cold. The grounds were kept in good shape with many garden plots growing vegetables. There is a penalty of $5.00 against any one of the tenants found throwing paper on these grounds. The houses contain from one to four rooms, and the average number in them ranges from the single men to families of two to ten. There [are] two long wooden sheds built for the storage of the cars owned by the employees. One of the highlights of these houses is that they are built with plenty of space between them. So as to give the families some outlet. At the extreme end of the quarters there stands a model rural school, it is not very modern in construction, but in its planning. The principal and two teachers are in charge. Their average enrollment is 95 daily. The children were found to be very healthy. There is a rule made by this Phosphate company that all employees who work for them must take a blood test. The teachers reported that they very seldom have children to remain out from school due to illness, and the natural death rate was very low. Some deaths result from the usual brawls that occur in small quarters. The interior of the school classrooms [was] very tidy. They have a well equipped Home Economics classroom where the course is given to the upper grades. This is considered unusual for an eight grade school. [Another] project is the garden planted by the various grades in the rear of the school. There vegetables can be seen growing. The front lawn was beautified, and a well surfaced basketball court stands in front of the school building. This is their major recreation for both boys and girls. Larger recreational facilities [have] been provided for their use on the North side of the main highway. Their major sport is baseball. It was reported that last season their team played fifty games and only lost three. The adult recreation comes through the church clubs and the organizations created in the school. The type of work the colored workers do is manual labor, in and around the phosphate works. Here they are paid by the hour and a very definite check is made on each worker. An example of one of the worker's pay check is as follows: In settlement of wages due 83 hours in settlement of wages due bi-weekly. 83 at 29; equal $24.07 [ Deductions]
Christmas $ Doctor $ 1.00 Ins. Syn $ G.A.L. Ins $ Pan American Ins $ Rent $ 1.33 E.B.A. Group Ins $ .30 Total fixed $ 2.63 Commissary $12.50 Dairy $ .53 Tel & Tel $ F.O.A.B. $ .24 Miseel $ 3.00 Total $18.90 Bal. due 5.17 No. 4-822 Period ending November 17, 1938 Through this system each worker is checked. In an interview with one of the workers in regard to the prices in the commissary, they revealed that they find very little variation in those in the central shopping centers of the adjoining towns. After they have purchased oil and gas it amounts to about just the same. This commissary is known to handle the best brands of goods. The moral standard must be upheld as stated by the management. They have to abide strictly by the [company's] rules, and any one of the workers found unreliable, and becomes objectionable in the quarters, he is blacklisted and never can obtain another job in the mines. The outstanding accomplishments in setting this model community aside from the rest is that the standards are highly maintained, particularly in health, morals and recreation. It was observed that most of the employees had automobiles of the latest makes, showing that through steady employment thrift existed among them. Some have started with the company over thirty year's ago. For example one of the older employees has educated his daughter through the earnings obtained from working in the phosphate mine. Johnnie Jean Davis was educated through the community school, Summerfield High School, Bartow, Florida, and Bethune Cookman College, Daytona, Florida. Receiving her graduate certificate, she was given a position in the school of her girlhood days. Today she commands a respectful place in her own community, and is trying to lead her people to higher standards. (Reference from the management of the American Agricultural Chemical Company, teachers, and workers.)
PLEASE DON'T BURY THE RECORDS By Jean Allin Public records are being burned, buried, and shredded in many County courthouses. Citizens interested in preserving these records for genealogical and historical research have become vitally concerned at the needless waste of such records. Jean Allin of Bradenton, Florida, teaches genealogy research at Manatee Junior College. In March, 1977, Mrs. Allin and her students, shocked at the proposed destruction of the old records of Manatee County, decided to do something about it. The following excerpts taken from the daily journal of Mrs. Allin describe in detail the inside story of how one group saved county records. March 29, 1977 Tuesday: The genealogy class of thirty-two students from Manatee Junior College chartered a bus for a trip to the Mormon Stake Library in Tampa. Barbara Dalby, the librarian, presented a film on using the library facilities. We had a marvelous time reading microfilms and books and then jotting the helpful information in our notebooks. Chartering a bus was an excellent idea, providing time for companionship and the exchange of ideas. It has been a long but rewarding day. For tomorrow's trip, thirty-seven students will be leaving Bradenton at 6:30 A.M. March 30, 1977 Wednesday: Back to the Mormon Library again today. More microfilms and books to read. Another long day, but we had lots of fun. The trip ended on a slightly hysterical note. At a dinner party last night, a remark was made regarding some old records that are stored in two rooms above an abstract company in a building across the street from the Manatee County courthouse. It seems as if the newly elected county clerk is cleaning house, and these records are to be buried in the Lena landfill Saturday morning. As we returned home from the library on the bus, I expressed my concern over the destruction of records of historical and genealogical value. Cries of outrage filled the bus. Dr. William S. Hatt, Sarasota physician, suggested we do something like lying down in front of the trucks when the county employees come to move the records. Someone else wanted to organize a protest and picket the courthouse. The air was heavy with plot and counterplot. I suggested calling the county clerk to ask if this rumor were true; if so, then we could take effective action to stop the destruction of the records. March 31,1977 Thursday: Busy today with shopping, decorating the church for the fashion show tomorrow night, and trying to clean house; therefore, I almost forgot to call the county clerk to ask about the proposed destruction of the old records. I called Mr. Richard "Chips" Shore, County Clerk of Manatee County, about 3:00 P.M. He was angry! Not only did my students call him, but they had their friends call also. Mr. Shore said that his phone had been ringing all day. Furthermore, he said that we should have checked our facts before we began complaining. He added, "There are no records of historical or genealogical value scheduled to be destroyed. Only county bids, inter-office memos, and vouchers are destined for the Lena landfill. And did you know that Dr. Hatt had called the newspapers?"
"He didn't!" I replied. "Now what about those records in that building across the street from the courthouse?" "Who told you about those?" he asked. "Who told me is not important. Is it true? Are there probate and other records in that building?" Mr. Shore said that yes there are such records. But all have been microfilmed, and he has received permission from the State Archives to destroy them. The owners of the building need the space, and the records must be moved. "Would you consider giving them to the Genealogy Society?" I asked. "Microfilm can deteriorate over a period of time. I should hate to see the originals unavailable when the films become unreadable." Mr. Shore said that he would be glad to give the records to the Society, but that it would be necessary to obtain permission from the State Archives as it is against the law to give public records to private individuals or groups. Furthermore, we would have to move the records by Saturday. I told Mr. Shore I would call Dr. Hatt who is President of the Manatee Genealogy Society, and advise him of our discussion. We would prepare to receive the records as soon as he gave us an OK. I called Dr. Hatt. I repeated my conversation with Mr. Shore, and then suggested that we formulate a plan to obtain a building, moving trucks, and manpower so that we would be ready if Mr. Shore receives permission to release the records to the Society. Dr. Hatt was elated but still a little distrustful. He had placed a call to the Governor and thought that I should call someone at the State Archives. Well, why not! I placed the call, but everyone was in a meeting. I explained our problem to a very nice secretary. She promised to have someone call as soon as possible. I called Dr. Hatt again and reported my lack of progress. In the meantime he had arranged to rent trucks for moving the records, a barn to temporarily store them in, and manpower. No problem, I can call all my students! Back to Mr. Shore again to confirm our agreement. He had also been unable to talk with anyone at the State Archives. But he promised he would keep trying, and he would give us the records if he could receive permission. "And did you know that Dr. Hatt had called the Governor?" he asked. "He didn't!" I replied.
April 1, 1977 Friday: I changed my beauty shop appointment from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. I cancelled my dentist appointment and just barely made my committee meeting at church, all because of those old records. However, I do not regret a minute of this hectic day. Mr. Shore called at nine o'clock this morning. He wanted me to come to the courthouse, to see the records that were to be destroyed. I could evaluate them to be sure the Genealogy Society really wanted to proceed with the task of moving, reassembling and finding a place for them. I called the State Archives again still in a meeting. I advised the secretary that I would be at the courthouse for a few hours, but I would call again as soon as I returned home. Mr. Shore graciously received me in his office; he introduced me to Mr. Ed Garrison, who probably knows more about the records in the Manatee County courthouse than anyone else. Mr. Shore instructed Mr. Garrison "to take her around and show her all the records. We were preparing to leave Mr. Shore's office when the phone rang; it was the State Archives calling. Mr. Shore spoke for a second; then with a surprised expression on his face, he handed the phone to me saying, "It's for you." I certinly did not expect a call. However, after I explained our plans for the records, Mr. John Gaches agreed to help us. He put a "stop order" on the destruction of the records until decisions could be made by his department as to the proper procedure for handling our request. Mr. Shore also agreed to assist us in our efforts to save the records of Manatee County. Mr. Garrison showed me the records that were to be destroyed. Boxes and barrels stuffed with all sorts of records lined the hallways of the basement. Most of them did not contain papers of genealogical or historical value, but the two rooms in the building across the street "a whole new ballgame!" Loose pages are scattered knee-deep; several large ledger books are piled in one corner. Cobwebs dangle from the ceiling, and a blanket of dust covers everything. In the whispery stillness of time, I hear the faint murmur of long-gone voices. What stories could be told! I kneel and pick a page at random. It is the indenture of a young female, indentured as a servant until she reached the age of eighteen. She is to be trained as a house servant and a ladies' maid. She is to be taught to read and write as befitted her station. She can not leave nor marry until her indenture is completed. At that time she will receive a new set of clothes and a blanket. April 2, 1977 Saturday: A genealogy seminar was held at Manatee Junior College. Everyone expressed interest in our efforts to save the old records of Manatee County. I took the names of volunteers willing to help reassemble the records as soon as we get them from the county. Our efforts to save the records have received good publicity in both the Bradenton and Sarasota newspapers. We also were mentioned on the 6:00 P.M. and the 11:00 P.M. news broadcasts on T.V.
April 6, 1977 Wednesday: Dr. Hatt has appointed me Director for the Preservation of the Records of Manatee County. It is a special challenge, exciting and worthwhile. The project is to be spearheaded by the Manatee Genealogy Society, and we have invited other interested organizations to join us. We have received commitments from the following groups: Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, Manatee County Historical Society, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Mayflower Descendents, and the Historical Commission. I have chosen Frances Carter as Co-Director; Virginia Davis, Marta McMaster, Lucile Trimble, and Catherine Ramsey as Supervisors. Beatrice Overbeck will be Chairman of the Telephone Committee, and Virginia Cancro has offered to head the Finance Committee. A supervisor will be in charge each day. Volunteers can come and go at times convenient to them. By requiring each one to log in and log out, we will be able to keep a record of the hours and number of people involved in this project. Bea Overbeck can, from my list of volunteers, call and recruit daily help. April 7, 1977 Thursday: I drew a floor plan of the two rooms where the records are stored, and then I divided the plan into squares, giving each square a number. I will give a corresponding number to each box used in packing the records. I believe that someone has carelessly gone through the records, and flung each page over his shoulder as he finished. At least from the state of the records it looks as if this is what has happened. Perhaps the records that belong together could have fallen together or at least close to one another. If this is so, by numbering the floor plan and the boxes with corresponding numbers, we can more easily reassemble the records. We received word from Mr. Shore that we will get the records. They will be put on indefinite loan through the County Historical Commission. Still a few details to be worked out, but we will be able to begin work soon. Must find a suitable building to house the records while we reassemble them. April 8, 1977 Friday: Warren Johnson, Raymond Carter, Marta McMaster, and I looked at several buildings, trying to find a suitable one. We finally decided on one owned by Wyman-Green and Balock. It is the old Zale's building, and it is perfect for our needs. It has shelves on two walls and counters running the length of the building. We'll need both for sorting and filing records. The price is right rent free for a month. Frances Carter and I cleaned it this afternoon. We expect to begin moving records Monday. April 11, 1977 Monday: I kept my dentist appointment this morning, and then walked down the street to the courthouse. I picked up a letter from Mr. Shore that he had written to Dr. Hatt, authorizing the Genealogy Society to reassemble the old records and pledging his support to get the "records transferred to the Division of Archives, to then be put on permanent loan to the Manatee County Historical Commission"
He also stated that "the records were transferred from Judge Rickey in 1956 to the abstract building after they were microfilmed. They were stored there by mutual consent of the abstract company and the County Judge, and the rent for the storage space was paid by the three local abstract companies. The records were then left in a state of disarray as they were pulled from the books in the course of use." As the saying goes, "It gets curiouser and curiouser." Marta McMaster and Mattie Lou Wooten helped me pack the records into the numbered boxes. Donald Countryman, William Wager, Ed Garrison, Henry Tipp, and I loaded boxes in my pickup and Henry's van. I appreciated Henry's help. He is young and strong; he could carry two or three boxes at one trip down two flight of stairs! I lost count of the number of trips I made, but I bet I feel each one tomorrow. Tonight, I need a hot bath and a bottle of liniment. To make my day really memorable, while I was loading county records, I got a parking ticket for parking in a loading zone! April 12, 1977 Tuesday: We moved more records today and began sorting and filing. We have found the perfect answer to the lack of filing cabinets chicken boxes. They are free for the asking, and the right size for legal file folders. The numbered floor plan and boxes do make the sorting easier. In some cases we have been able to compile a complete file from one or two boxes. Mr. Shore sent several boxes of used file folders from the courthouse and promised more if we needed them. April 14, 1977 Thursday: A man at the abstract building told us that if we did not get the records moved quickly, he would put a truck in the alley and shovel the records out the back window. Because of the pictures in the newspapers showing the loose papers, he said that the fire marshal would be giving them trouble. I told him those papers had been in that building twelve years, probably in the same condition, so where was the fire marshal all that time? However, Henry Tipp and Mike Murray finisheded moving the records. They also swept out the two rooms. Twenty people worked a total of eighty-nine hours today. Bea is doing a terrific job on the telephone. Not everyone can work a full day, but a few hours from several people add up and the work moves forward. April 17, 1977 Friday: An unusual incident happened this morning. Several of us were sorting records, and I noticed a man searching through the boxes sitting on a table. "Sir, can I help you?" I asked. "No, no!" he answered. But he kept rifling through the boxes. "If you would please tell us what you are looking for, perhaps we could help you. What surname are you interested in?" I insisted.
"No name in particular. I just collect old documents." "Not from these records! If you want a copy of a family record, we'll be glad to help you. But neither you nor anyone else will be allowed to take a single page from these records," I declared. Later I was told that he is one of the more prominent lawyers of this county. I posted our policy regarding the copying of documents: A volunteer and a witness, preferably one of the supervisors, could take the document across the street to a quick-copy machine. Otherwise, not one page of these records could leave this building. Most of these records are originals, and I don't intend to lose any of them. April 17,1977 Sunday: We desperately need several tables and chairs. It is too tiring standing all day trying to sort and file records. Warren has been trying to borrow both the tables and chairs from the Park Department, but with no success. However, we seem to get what we need one way or another. Today at church (Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) our Bishop announced that due to new rulings the kitchen would need to be remodeled; therefore, we would not be having any church dinners until the remodeling was completed. So I borrowed the tables and chairs we needed. April 21, 1977 Thursday: Probate files are interesting. One can find almost any type of record included. One family file contains three oaths of allegiance signed by a Confederate soldier from North Carolina (required by the Federal Government every time one moved from one county to another), a steamboat pilot's license, a land grant, and a map showing the exact location of the property, plus two pages of Bible records, showing birth, marriage, and death dates. Another file, contains several pages of a German genealogy, incluffing pictures of each person listed on the pedigree chart. Still another file contains death and adoption records. We also have found a suicide letter, but at this time have been unable to find the rest of the file. Mattie Lou found her great-grandmother's will and other records of interest. She quickly obtained a copy of that file. May 5, 1977 Friday: Mr. Garrison has brought us the early marriage records from the old Justice of Peace Courts. These records began in 1860 with that year showing only five marriages recorded: 1861, fourteen marriages recorded; 1862, none. Is that because of the Civil War and all the boys who marched off to battle, or do we not have all the records? May 10, 1977 Monday: We are into our second month of work on the records. We are making progress. Considering the fact that none of us has had any experience in putting together such records, it is amazing that we have succeeded in doing so. There is a sweet spirit of cooperation among us. What one can't do, someone else can. The county clerk is sending over other records from the courthouse; he does not dispose of anything before checking with us. Wyman-Green & Balock have extended our occupancy of the Zale's building another month.
I had to teach a class this afternoon, but Frances said that Mr. Shore called to inform her that the county would pay the electric and water bills, and furnish file folders. This is good news, especially for Frances, as she is the newly elected President of the Manatee Genealogy Society. I told her not to worry because I knew something would turn up; the work we are doing is very important. May 18, 1977 Wednesday: A group of young people and their counselors, from the Mormon church, came to help us file records. Tonight was their regular meeting, and they elected to help us. We had several large boxes of records sitting on the floor that needed to be filed in the chicken boxes." They saved us old folks a lot of "stooping and bending." They worked so quickly that they almost finished the lot before they had to leave. We are grateful for their help. May 23, 1977 Monday: Mr. Garrison asked if we have decided what we are going to do with the records after we finish sorting, reassembling, and filing them. "There is no room in the courthouse, and you can't keep them in this building indefinitely," he said. Without thinking I replied, "Organize a record center, of course. We can index the records, and then print the indexes. We can sell the printed indexes to libraries and genealogists. We can staff the record center with volunteers; they can answer inquiries or assist people that want to do their own research. Only a few of us have Floridian ancestry, but we are willing to do the work here in the hope that someone else is doing the same in our own areas of genealogical interest." "What about the old Carnegie Library? It will soon be vacant as the new library is almost ready. I think the city is only asking about a hundred thousand for it." I knew Mr. Garrison was really teasing. No way does he think that we will be able to organize a record center. But I know we will, therefore I thanked him for the suggestion. The Carnegie Library would be perfect. It is close to the courthouse, close to the new public library, and it has parking facilities. There must be some way of getting it for a record center! June 1, 1977 Wednesday: The Rentention Schedule that Mr. Shore submitted to the State Archives lists the following records to be destroyed: Probate and Guardianship Files, 1855 to 1967; Probate and Guardianship Record Books, 1855 to 1967; Probate and Guardianship, Progress Docket Books, 1937 to discontinued; Delayed Birth Certificates, 1943 through 1974; Marriage License Applications 1894 through 1974; Incompetency and Restoration Record Books, 1898 through 1975. We have inventoried the records that we reassembled, and the records just listed are included. In addition, we also found four Criminal Docket Books: B, C, D, and E, and three Civil Docket Books: A, B, C, and one book simply called Docket Book. It covers a time period from 1915 to 1917. Plus two Tax Assessment Roll Books: 1962 and 1964. Interesting! I wonder why these books were in that building. I can't imagine what they would have to do with abstracts. The first recorded crime in Criminal Docket Book B is: Occupying same room together in nighttime. A month later the warrants are returned, defendants marry. Year: 1904.
Another entry: Fine $5.00 and court costs for gambling. Year: 1905. Still another entry: Fined $5.00 and 30 days in jail for "Publicly Using Profane Language." June 2, 1977 Thursday: The banner on the wall reads: "We Did It! With a Lot of Help From Our Friends!" We really did; we finished sorting, reassembling, and filing the old records of Manatee County. Seventy-six people worked 1,192 hours. The loose pages have been filed in the proper folder, the folders filed in proper order in the "chicken boxes," the ledgers reassembled and placed in the proper binder. We are holding open house tomorrow. I ordered a cake; cookies and punch will be provided by several of the volunteers. Invitations have been sent to county and city officials. We issued an invitation to the public via newspapers and radio. We want everyone to see, what we have done. It has been a tremendous job-tedious, hot and dusty, but also exciting and stimulating. In my opinion, a wonderful way to learn history. June 3, 1977 Friday: The open house party was a great success. The cake was beautiful; it was decorated with the same slogan that was on the banner. There were plenty of cookies and punch, and an enthusiastic response from the public as many people came to view the records and express their appreciation. We asked everyone to autograph the banner. Mr. Shore presented a letter of commendation from the county to Frances Carter, President of the Manatee Genealogy Society, in recognition of the heroic efforts of the Society in the restoration of the old records of Manatee County. We had an excellent coverage by the news media. Don Stober, reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune wrote a feature article. T.V. Channel 40 reported today's party on the news program. June 4, 1977 Saturday: Bearl (my husband) helped me put the lids on the "chicken boxes" this morning. Then we stacked the boxes in the center of the room and the ledger books next to the boxes. We loaded the tables and chairs in our truck and returned them to the church (the kitchen remodeling had just been completed and the first dinner scheduled for next Friday). Afterwards we swept the floors and emptied the wastebaskets. Mr. Shore advised us the records will be stored for the present, but I haven't given up the idea of a record center for this county. October 3, 1977 Monday: To express our appreciation for his efforts in helping us save the records I have decided to research Mr. Shore's ancestors for five generations. I also believe that if he is presented with documentation birth, death, and marriage certificates of his own ancestors, then he might become motivated to help us establish a record center. Catherine Ramsey has offered to help me. She can get the basic information from his mother. We have almost a month before the genealogy seminar in November. Mr. Doug Denison from Manatee Junior College has invited Mr. Shore to speak on county records. We will keep the research a surprise, and if we are successful, then we can present it to him at the seminar. November 5, 1977 Saturday: There was a large crowd at the seminar today. Mr. Shore brought a mini-computer and his staff to discuss county records. Before he presented his
program, we presented him with a Book of Remembrance containing pedigree charts, family group sheets, pictures, and documentations of birth, marriage, and death dates of several of his ancestors. Mr. Shore was overwhelmed and very surprised. Quoting from the presentation speech, "Mr. Shore's lineage is a very interesting one, with both a French and a Polish Count. We enjoyed researching his line, and we hope that this documented information will please him. We also hope, as Clerk of Manatee County, that it will motivate him to help us to continue to preserve and make accessible this same type of documentation to others interested in genealogical and historical research in Manatee County." February 20, 1978 Monday: I received a letter from Mr. Shore. He has leased the old Carnegie Library and intends to make it into a historical records' library. Mr. Frank Perkins will head this department. A record center at last! May 4, 1978 Thursday: Several of us attended a County Commissioners' meeting and petitioned for funds to operate the Historical Records' Preservation and Library (record center). Carnegie Library in Bradenton.
The Commissioners agreed to allocate $25,000 to the Library. This will be used to remodel, restore, and buy supplies. The Carnegie Library has been in continuous use as a Library since its opening in October 1918. After the restoration is completed, we will try to place it on the National Historical Register. May 11, 1978 Thursday: Today is the first day of actual work in our own record center. We checked duplicates against the originals, something we didn't have time to do before. The next step is indexing within each category. Then we can print the indexes and sell them, thereby providing funds for the Historical Library and a needed service for researchers in many states. March 2, 1979 Friday: Mr. Shore has announced that the Historical Library will be open to the public June 1. It has been almost two years since we finished assembling and filing the old records, but our work has just begun. The importance of preserving our heritage through county records cannot be emphasized too strongly. The future generations must have the opportunity to study the lives of their forefathers. It has been said, "If a man knoweth not where he has been, how will he knoweth where he is going?"
THE HISTORY AND PURPOSE OF THE FLORIDA SOCIETY FOR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH, INC. By Mary M. Kitchen and Dorothy M. Boyer Seven years ago, on May 27, 1972, a group of persons interested in genealogy met at the Pinellas Park Public Library to exchange some ideas and thoughts on forming a new genealogical society. The feeling was high, and those attending were ready to start a society immediately. Colonel Leonard H. Smith, Jr., was appointed acting chairman and Mrs. William M. Boyer recording secretary. Articles of incorporation, creating the Florida Society for Genealogical Research, Inc., were drawn and filed with the State of Florida. A general discussion followed to determine the type of work and the future functions of the Society. On June 16, 1972, the first meeting of the board of directors was held, in Pinellas Park, and the following officers were elected: President, Leonard H. Smith, Jr.; Vice President, Mrs. Jocelyn Elkes; Recording Secretary, Mrs. William M. Boyer; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Jimmie Morrow; Treasurer, Mrs. George B. Jones; and Trustees, Mrs. Leo D. Hazel and Mrs. Richard H. Thompson. On June 24, the Florida Society for Genealogical Research, Inc., held, its first general meeting at the St. Petersburg Public Library. All persons interested in genealogy, beginner to professional, were invited to attend the sessions. Colonel Smith conducted a panel program on "Exploiting Your Own Resources." During the next few years the Society suffered the usual growing pains of a new group. Finding a regular meeting place was the first obstacle, as the St. Petersburg Public Library would not allow groups to hold frequent regular meetings there. Nor was the Library interested in housing the Society's genealogical book collection. Society officers were told "genealogists are too demanding." The Pinellas Park Public Library was willing to accommodate, but was too small to house a book collection, and public transportation from St. Petersburg was nonexistent. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) offered use of their facilities in St. Petersburg to the Society, and although the Society has no formal connection with the Church, it accepted the offer and does meet there each month. The Society's growing genealogical collection has been placed in the Church's library on permanent loan. Mrs. William M. Boyer served as the second president of the Society for two terms. Currently she is the editor of the quarterly publication of the Society, The Florida Society for Genealogical Research Quarterly New equipment purchased by the Society has made it possible to produce a quarterly and other printed material needed for the Society. Volunteers are so important to any functioning group, and they are really working for the Florida Society for Genealogical Research, Inc. Through their efforts, the Society operates the library housed at the LDS St. Petersburg Church Building located at 570 62nd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mrs. Leo D. Hazel, library director,
supervises the services of these volunteers. Volunteers have also copied some cemetery records of Pinellas County and have collected unpublished Bible, probate and land records from all over the country. The Society's interest is not only Florida and the Pinellas area, but other parts of the country as well. Although the membership includes three or four people with Florida ancestry, the rest have roots in other states, and the Society caters to these interests as well. The meetings are held the fourth Saturday of each month with guest speakers presenting slides and sharing valuable research experiences on various genealogical topics. Other meetings are to explain research techniques. Four meetings, three in the summer and one in December, are book-sharing sessions. The summer workshops are held in the Pinellas Park Public Library, and many books are ordered from the Florida State Library on inter-library loan for these workshops. The December workshop is held in the usual meeting place. It is an all-day session complemented with the use of the three microfiche readers, the Computer File Index from the LDS Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Society's book collection, and books the members bring to share with others. The monthly meetings have proven to be highly successful. Presentations have been given on Heritage Park, the Florida State Archives, interlibrary loan, journal records, and techniques of research around the country. It is said that those interested in genealogy are like fishermen or hunters-fair weather or foul, they are always ready to talk "family history." The nearly 200 members range in ages from young adults to young seniors. The Society appeals to male and female, single and married couples, those gainfully employed and those retired, the beginner and the professional, the family historian and the serious researcher, all of whom make a very sound and active society. The Florida Society for Genealogical Research has set its fundamental goals as sharing genealogical experiences, providing instructional programs, promoting the recording of family histories, and publishing through the Quarterly unpublished primary records such as death records, bible records, baptismal records, and birth records. Last year the Society began a project of recording cemeteries. St. Petersburg's Sunny Side Cemetery has been completed. This information will be printed in the Quarterly We plan to continue recording cemetery data this year to include the Lone Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Seminole, McMullen Cemetery for Clearwater, and Harn Cemetery in Clearwater. Visitors are welcome. The Society brings people together to help each other discover their family heritage.
BOOK REVIEWS Florida: A Bicentennial History By Gloria Jahoda. (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1976. xi, 210 pp. Illustrations, $8.85) This is one in a series of fifty-one volumes that attempt to sum up, state by state, the nation's history. The editor of the series, James Norton Smith "asked authors not for comprehensive chronicles, nor for research monographs or new data for scholars. Bibliographies and footnotes are minimal. We have asked each author for a summing up interpretive, sensitive, thoughtful, individual, even personal of what seems significant about his or her state's history ... What has it come to now?" A big order. An author so asked might decide to turn in a hack job, a patch-up of quotations from a travel guide and a fourth grade history glued together with Sunday supplement prose. Mrs. Jahoda did not take the easy way out. The book is comprehensive without being a chronology. Subjects peculiar to this state are treated chapter by chapter; the weather ("It's Snowing in Akron, Ohio!"), the Second Seminole War ("On the Banks of the We-wa-thlock-O"), the citrus industry ("The a Almighty Orange") to the present problems and pleasures of Florida ("When You Wish Upon a Mouse"). Each chapter is such a compendium of facts that only the skill and taste of the author saves this work from reading like an encyclopedia. From page to page the reader is led up and down the time scale of history, back and forth from event to event, entertained, amused, bewildered by the unfolding story and occasionally irritated by the seeming aimlessness at times. But this is not the sort of book one gives up on and, having finished it, one is surprised to find not only a good feeling about the book and the state, but more important, a good feeling about oneself. The truth is that this is not a book simply about a geopolitical location known as Florida but a book about the ways of man. The ways of man are of course mostly deplorable, in Florida as elsewhere. As Jahoda says, "Florida, like the rest of the earth, suffers from human tenancy ." Yet through her deeply humanistic viewpoint she conveys the feeling that just often enough one of us, black, red or white, reaches a moment of decency and selflessness that can give us all hope that there are human goals (and the effort to reach them) that perhaps justify our survival. This is not a hope easily found. Since this book is presented as a "Bicentennial History" it would be unfair to ignore a few errors of fact presented. The author implies that Osceola killed Wiley Thompson prior to the 23rd of December, 1835 and then decapitated the body. All sources known to this reviewer indicate that the head was scalped, not removed. These same sources do not equivocate concerning the date, December 28th. This is the same date as the defeat of Francis Dade's command about which the author says, "Only one man survived." There are many ways to count "survivors" of this battle (all but a very few Seminole Indians, for instance; the Negro interpreter Louis Pacheco, etc.). But assuming she refers only to white surviviors one must consider Edwin Osceola
De Courcy (killed the day after the battle); and Joseph Sprague (who also made it back to Fort Brooke), in addition to the one survivor presumably referred to, Ransom Clarke. But these are nits being picked. This is a fine book written by a fine historian and a compassionate person. Mr. Smith (and the reader) get more than their money's worth. Frank Laumer ______________________________________________________________________________ The Trouble Of It Is By David M. Newell. (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1978. ix, 272 pp. Illustrations by Mark Livingston, $8.95.) Readers familiar with Mr. Newell's If Nothing Don't Happen (Knopf, 1975) will be pleased to know that Mr. Billy Driggers of the Withlacoochee Driggerses is back with more tales of Cracker life in backwoods Gulf Hammock, Florida, Readers, old and new, are in for what narrator Billy would call "a real stomped down good time." The sound and feel of regional rural life are captured in these stories with an exactness and sympathy reminiscent of Zora Neale Hurston's classic writings of Florida earlier in the century. Fictionalized ethnography, folklore, ethnic history whatever the proper category of such writing, it is based on an accurate ear for local usage and an understanding of the grass roots culture. Unstereotyped, humorous and often moving, the real people are here. Thirty-seven chapters give some scope to Billy's "heap of memories." We are told the history of the Driggers family who had been "Florida Crackers since before the gator bellered" (Jim Driggers who married an Epps from the Carolina Mountains, son Billy and his wife Loofy and their seven children, Aunt Effy and Uncle Wint Epps), and of their homestead on one hundred and sixty acres of virgin land along the River. In narrative which covers the years from the first decade of the century to the present, their life is described in rich detail. What emerges is no parochial, limited community but a set of intricate social networks; teacher, preacher, doctor, sheriff, local recluse, visiting Yankee, kin and stranger, companion and enemy form parts of the pattern. From among the themes woven into these stories, there are three which emerge consistently clear. First, these are a people with an intimate knowledge and love of the Florida land, its sloughs and creeks, palmettos and cypress and pines, wild animals and birds. There is a respect and passion for the skills of hunting and fishing. Shark, gator, bear, possum, deer, big cat, each has its own habit and character: Ch. 6, The Hammock-Talkin' Turkey is a comment on gobbler shooting as good as any in print. Second, there is a toughness in this culture which expresses itself in a variety of ways: a resiliency in the face of personal tragedy, a strength of religion, and an independence of thought and behavior as an ideal. Fighting, drinking, and loving express this core: Ch. 36, Blood Will Tell and Does observes the outlaw son in these terms. Third, there is a humor expressed in puns, jokes, memorate, local legends, descriptions of the ridiculous and various genres of folk speech which is evident in every episode and which is one of the delights of the book. Many are variants of wide-spread types but represent authentic local forms. The author has been editor-in-chief of Field and Stream roving editor of Sports Afield special correspondent for the New York Times a published author, and contributor in several capacities (actor, writer, narrator and producer) to films and television programs. He has lived for sixty-
seven years fifty miles east of Gulf Hammock. Mr. Newell is a careful observer and has recorded a segment of Florida life with accuracy and respect and humor. We hope there is more to come. Patricia Waterman ______________________________________________________________________________ Cracker Messiah: Governor Sidney J. Catts of Florida By Wayne Flynt. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977. xiv, 359 pp. Illustrations $20.00.) In 1911, Sidney Johnston Catts, a forty-eight-year-old Alabama Baptist preacher, accepted a call to a small Baptist church in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. He resigned three years later and began to sell insurance. Two years later, in 1916, he was elected governor of Florida. How can the meteoric rise of Catts in Florida politics be accounted for? There is so much controversy, so much contradiction, so much rhetoric, and often so little substance that the task is difficult. The records of the Catts' administration were destroyed, and Professor Flynt has had to range f ar and wide f or his evidence, much of it in prejudiced sources. The book was required writing for someone. Students of Florida history are fortunate that he undertook it. How much of the explanation lies in what Catts brought with him; how much in what he found in Florida? How did the two come together? Catts was no ignorant country bumpkin. He came from a small but successful planter family who survived the rigors of Reconstruction in good financial position. He had all the college education he wished, a year at what is now Auburn University, a year at Howard College, and a law degree from Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1882. He remained an avid reader throughout his life, particularly the classics, history and languages. He practiced law and assisted in the management of the family estate until 1886 when he was converted and became a Baptist preacher. Though relatively successful he did not rise in the ranks of his calling and became dissatisfied with it. He was without a pastorate in 1911 when he accepted the call in Florida. He had shown a concern for the unfortunate and the young that was sincere. He really feared the power of the Roman Catholic Church as did many other Protestants in the region. He also was an ardent prohibitionist. His short temper and a willingness to champion unpopular causes often got him into difficulty. In rural and small town Florida he found a neglected and sleeping electorate which he galvanized into action. They were awaiting just such a catalyst. In the fishing villages there was deep resentment of state efforts to regulate the shellfish industry. Farmers and small tradesmen felt hopeless in the face of forces they could not control, railroads that charged too much, banks that were not interested in their needs at any price, and new people moving into Florida who seemed a threat to their way of life. He found also a nativism coupled with deepseated anti-Catholicism that could be used to arouse them and stir them to action. The Catts platform was mildly progressive and not all that different from the other Democrats. His campaign was a highly emotional attack on Catholicism, ardent support of state prohibition, Sidney J. Catts
and rousing nativism. It would not have been enough to win except that the State Democratic Executive Committee sought to defuse the violent anti-Catholicism and succeeded only in making it appear it was intended to exclude Catts and his followers. When it appeared that he had won the nomination and was then reduced to second place in a recount, he charged that the party's old guard had counted him out. He ran independently as a candidate of the Prohibition Party and won conclusively which might be accepted as vindication for him. The Democratic leadership would not forgive him for refusing to accept the results of the primary and for his campaign tactics. Both houses of the legislature and the elected cabinet with which he had to work opposed him. His administration was by no means a failure but he came out of it frustrated and cynical. He ran for the U. S. Senate in 1920 and for the governorship in 1924 and 1928, still a major factor in state politics. True to his principles in 1928 he opposed the nomination of Alfred E. Smith by the Democrats because he was wet and Catholic. The book is the story of a man and a time coming together, a story told with judgment and insight. Charlton W. Tebeau ______________________________________________________________________________ The Transformation of Southern Politics By Jack Bass and Walter DeVries. (New York: Basic Books, 1976. 527 pp. Illustrations, $15.95 hardcover, $5.95 paperback.) Although almost every book on Southern politics faces the burden of comparison to V. O. Key's 1949 classic, Southern Politics Jack Bass and Walter DeVries admit their conscious attempt to replicate Key. In their introduction the authors state: "Our book was written in the belief that the changes in the South since Key completed his classic work were such that only a similar approach, using his basic methodology of extensive interviewing in all eleven states, could present a comprehensive political portrait of the region as it enters the last quarter of the twentieth century." For the most part, the authors succeeded in achieving their goal. The book begins with three introductory chapters. The chapters are useful in summarizing the major developments in Southern politics in recent years, but Bass and DeVries barely mention the school desegregation movement and the protest movement led by CORE, SNCC, SCLC and the NAACP which was so instrumental in shaping Southern politics. Chapter two discusses the emergence of two party politics in the South, but ignores a large body of scholarly literature on partisan change in the region. Instead, the authors rest their arguments on the commentaries of party activists and journalists. Finally, the chapter on black politics is overly saturated with the comments of Andrew Young, one of the 360 persons interviewed for the book, while other Southern black politicians are overlooked. Too much emphasis is also placed on the number of blacks holding office in the South, and not enough on the consequences of this development. The three introductory chapters are followed by eleven chapters, one on each of the states of the Confederacy. Bass and DeVries discuss Florida politics in chapter six. The authors dwell on the distinctiveness of Florida in comparison with other Southern states, because of its rapid population growth and high percentage of non-natives. Much of the chapter is devoted to the governmental reform that has helped Florida stand out from its Southern counterparts. Bass and DeVries give high praise to Florida for pioneering the sunshine laws, financial disclosure by
public officials, and laws regulating campaign expenditures. These governmental reforms were facilitated by a strong capitol press corps which "no state in the South and perhaps none in the nation can match." Special praise is given to the St. Petersburg Times for its fine coverage of legislative action in Tallahassee and its investigative reporting which "may be unmatched in the country." Of particular interest to residents of the Tampa Bay area is Bass and DeVries' description of the role played by William C. Cramer and Pinellas County in the growth of the state Republican party. Cramer took over control of the county Republican party in 1950, and in 1954 became the first Republican Congressman elected from the state since 1875. Also of interest to Tampa Bay residents is the coverage of Tampa's Latin community, although Bass and DeVries' treatment is somewhat superficial. The last three chapters of the book examine the "fading revolt" by Southerners in the U. S. Congress, the "unrealized potential" of organized labor, and a concluding chapter on the future of Southern politics. The chapter on labor is only four pages long, and the authors would have been better off had they developed the chapter more or left t it completely out. The concluding chapter is merely a repetition of the other chapters in the book, and there is little attempt to forecast future trends. Only the chapter on Congress provides useful information in describing the loss of regional distinctiveness among Southern Congressmen. Although the book provides an incomplete treatment of some issues and, while in some places it is too anecdotal and in other places it ignores important scholarly works, Bass and DeVries have written a book that will have a lasting place in the literature of the South. The authors succeed in detailing the major transformation in Southern politics and, for the most part, they succeed in providing a vivid economic, historical, and sociological portrait of the region. There has been no better book on Southern politics in decades than The Transformation of Southern Politics and it will undoubtedly be a long time before anyone else can match the effort of Bass and DeVries. Darryl Paulson ______________________________________________________________________________ Yesterday's Sarasota By Del Marth. (Miami: Seemann Publishing, Inc., 1977. 160 pp. Illustrations and photographs. $7.95.) Let it be freely admitted from the start that this review of the recently released paperback edition of Del Marth's Yesterday's Sarasota narrowly misses being a conflict of interest. That needs explaining. When the hard-cover edition of the book was in its planning stage about six years ago, Marth came to the Sarasota County Historical Commission, of which the reviewer was then chairman, and asked for help. He wanted to make use of old photos and historical data from the commission's files, and he hoped we might lead him to sources of information he might have otherwise missed in his extensive research.
We were delighted to oblige; it was one of the functions for which the facility had been created in the first place. And when the book came out, we felt we were able to applaud it with reasonable impartiality. Nothing in that earlier edition has been cut or changed in bringing out the new one except the softer cover and the lower price. It opens with a straight, narrative chapter of roughly 5000 words, in which the pre-photographic history of the area is stressed. But the bulk of Sarasota's story in the 160-page book is told through the long, fact-packed cutlines that accompany about 250 black-and-white pictures. In those fascinating views and their skillfully written captions, Marth traces Sarasota's bumpy course from a sleepy fishing village of modest pretensions to one of middle-class sophistication. For all its growth in fits and starts, Sarasota is shown to be not yet a big city but threatened with all the disadvantages of one if it and its environs let loose the fierce grip on the quieter, simpler ways of an earlier day. The story is revealed with warmth and charm, tenderness and compassion. If the community is shown with some of its warts, Marth allows them to be worn with dignity. The arrogantly proud pose of John Ringling surveying his domain; the pleasure of the small boy standing in his calf-drawn cart in 1906; the self-consciousness of the gusseted ladies crossing a muddy street; the smiling triumph of the fisherman with his catch. All these and so many more Marth brings to us with affection and humor. The book is not without fault. It lacks an index, for one thing. For another, factual errors have crept in, just as they have crept into every regional history ever published. Regionals are primarily the stories of individuals in their day-to-day activities, not of broad movements on a perpetual calendar, and there is frequently no written documentation to pin down dates, people and events. When the recorder of local happenings must rely on shaky memories, unintentional bias or editing and the fuzziness that develops in chronicles passed from one generation to the next, it is a wonder that there are not more errors than the three or four spotted in Yesterday's Sarasota. Time was when publishers shunned regional histories because of their limited sale. Invaluable local histories would never have seen the light of day if dedicated citizens had not dug deep to pay for them. But those times are changing, particularly in fast-growing Florida. Thousands of newcomers, who know where they moved from, are now anxious to know more about the place to which they have come. The result is a broader market for regional history. It is rare when a history for the layman is not only informative but is fun to read; yet that is what Del Marth has achieved, with grace and professionalism, in Yesterday's Sarasota Richard Glendinning
ANNOUNCEMENTS NOTE: The editors will gladly publish announcements of upcoming events related to local history, but these items must reach the editors at least two months before the publication dates of June 1st and December 1st. The Dunedin Historical Society has expanded its Railroad Station Museum to include a Transportation Section in April. However, the Museum is closed during July and August except tours by appointment. The Museum is open Tuesday and Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon, and Sunday, 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Tours for groups may be arranged by calling 733-1291 or 733-4957. The address is 94 Diane Drive, Dunedin, Florida 33528. The annual meeting of the Society is held in November, exact date to be announced. All meetings are open to the public. The Society has recently published Dunedin ... through the years a history of Dunedin 1850-1978, authored by William L. Davidson for the Society. Since 1967, Mr. A. K. Whitaker of the Manatee County Historical Society has been collecting and copying old photographs of the Manatee-Sarasota County area. Some 7,000 archival negatives are now the property of the Manatee County Central Library, where they are kept in the Eaton Florida History Room. A subject catalog to the negatives is available. Each entry contains the full descriptive information for the negative. Most cards also carry a one-square inch print from the negative. The 70 subject headings include: 1 Aerials and Panoramas, Bradenton Area 2 Agriculture and Citrus 3 Anna Maria Island Area 4 Bayshore Gardens Area 5 Braden Castle Area 6 Bradenton Homes 7 Business and Industry 8 Cemeteries 9 Churches and Church Groups 10 Cortez Area 11 Courthouse Square Bradenton 12 Documents 13 Egmont Key Area 14 Fogartyville Area 15 Gamble Mansion 16 Hotels, Bradenton Area 17 Main Street and Manatee Avenue Bradenton 18 Musical and Entertainment Groups 19 Old Automobiles and Races 20 Old Manatee Area
21 Oneco Area 22 Palma Sola Area 23 Palmetto Area 24 People 25 Railroads 26 River Scenes and Boats 27 Sarasota Area Reproductions from these negatives may also be obtained through the Eaton Florida History Room. The Eaton Room is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 to 5. The Manatee County Central Library is located at 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. West in downtown Bradenton (across from the City Pier) or call us at (813) 748-5555. The Pioneer Florida Museum in Dade City houses a permanent exhibit of The First Ladies of Florida in Miniature with a slide presentation on advance request. This is a carefully researched approach to Florida history through the wife or official hostess of each governor serving Florida. Additional slide presentations in the museum's media library are 1. History of Pasco County 2. "As Long As Leo's Able," cane syrup making in Pasco County by Loretta VanWinkle, oral historian. September 3, 1979, is the date of the annual Pioneer Florida Day. This one-day festival is a tribute to the pioneer settlers of Florida expressed through the museum's historical resources, demonstrations of folk ways and crafts, historical exhibits, traditional music and story telling, "Cracker" foods and slide presentations on aspects of local history and pioneer life. In addition to the museum building housing artifacts in room settings, the outbuildings include a 100-year-old Enterprise Methodist Church., an early one-room school, Trilby Depot originally constructed in 1896, a 1921 American LaFrance fire engine and a 100-year-old, two-story farm house. The Trilby Depot is presently being restored and will become a museum of early Florida Railroading. The farm house awaits adequate funds.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS JEAN ALLIN, a Bradenton resident, teaches genealogical research at Manatee Junior College. She is also a genealogical records consultant for the Manatee County Clerk. A native of Texas, her own ancestry research is primarily in southern states from North Carolina to Texas. CHARLES W. ARNADE is professor of international studies and history at the University of South Florida. His fields of specialization include colonial Latin American history, and he teaches Florida history. Among his publications are Florida on Trial in 1602 and The Siege in St. Augustine of 1702 DOROTHY M. BOYER is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Mayflower Society, the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Huguenot Society. She is a former two-term president of the Florida Society for Genealogical Research, Inc. PAUL EUGEN CAMP is associate special collections librarian at the University of South Florida, working primarily with the library's Florida Collection. Since 1973, he has also served as assistant to the executive secretary of the Florida Historical Society. He is compiler of The Florida Historical Directory RICHARD COFER is a history teacher at Springstead High School in Hernando County. His family dates back to pre-Civil War Florida, and he was born and raised in Hernando County. After attending Central Florida Community College and Florida State University, he graduated from the University of South Florida in 1977. J.B. DOBKIN is special collections librarian at the University of South Florida. Since 1974, he has served as executive secretary and librarian for the Florida Historical Society. He is also general secretary of the Florida Confederation of Historical Societies, Museums and Agencies. RICHARD GLENDINNING, a free-lance author, has been a, resident of Sarasota for thirty years. His published works include short stories, articles, novels of suspense for adults and non-fiction for young readers, primarily in the fields of the American frontier and the American circus. MARY M. KITCHEN is an instructor of genealogy at the Clearwater and Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg Junior College. She is also president of the Florida Society for Genealogical Research, Inc. FRANK LAUMER is an author and resident of Dade City. His publications include Massacre! a study of the Seminole War. JOSEPH G. MANNARD is completing a master's degree in U.S. history at the University of South Florida. In the f all he will begin work on a Ph.D. in history at the University of Maryland. JANET SNYDER MATTHEWS, a Sarasota resident, is a free-lance writer. She has contributed numerous articles on local history to publications, including Sarasota Town & Country
Magazine Manatee and the Bradenton Herald She is also president of the Sarasota County Historical and Natural Science Center, Inc., and a director of the Florida Historical Society. DARRYL PAULSON is assistant professor of political science at the Bayboro Campus of the University of South Florida. His field of specialization is southern politics, and he has published articles on the Florida Klan and the St. Petersburg sanitation strike of 1968. CHARLTON W. TEBEAU is professor emeritus of history at the University of Miami and author of a number of works about Florida, including A History of Florida PATRICIA WATERMAN is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her special interest is folklore, and she is a member of the Tampa/Hillsborough County Preservation Board, the board of the Institute for Florida Folklife, and the board of advisors to Foxfire Fund, Inc.
TAMPA BAY HISTORY Published Semi-annually by The Department of History, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida Managing Editor STEVEN F. LAWSON Associate Editor JOHN J. BERTALAN Associate Editor ROBERT P. INGALLS Associate Editor GARY R. MORMINO Administrative Coordinator PEGGY CORNETT SPONSOR COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, University of South Florida Correspondence concerning subscriptions, contributions, books for review, and all other editorial matters should be sent to the Managing Editor, Tampa Bay History Department of History, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620. (Telephone: 813-974-2807.) Manuscripts from potential contributors should be typed and double-spaced with footnotes, also double-spaced, placed at the end and prepared in conformity with the style used, by the journal. Manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope with enough. postage. The subscription rate is $10 for one year and $18 for two years. Single issues and back files are available. Tampa Bay History disclaims responsibility for statements made by contributors. Printed semi-annually in the spring/summer and fall/winter. Programs, activities, and facilities of the University of South Florida are available to all on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, or handicap. The University is an affirmative action Equal Opportunity Employer.
Cover: St. Petersburg wharf in 1895. See J. B. Dobkin, "Trails to Tampa Bay: A Photo Essay," pp. 24-30.
BOONDOGGLE IN OLD TAMPA? "The purchase of two fire engines by the city council is another of the acts by that body that meets with the emphatic disapproval of the taxpayers $6,000 for a purchase so glaringly unnecessary! Why enlarge the burden of debt? Why increase the taxes of a people so already overburdened? Shall they be taxridden, made to stand and deliver merely to gratify a whim or exploit the caprice of a grossly incompetent municipal body? Is there is no end to the extravagance of this administration?" Tampa Morning Tribune January 3, 1895.
MODERNIZATION "The streets of St. Petersburg are to be paved with pebble. Paved streets would give Tampa an air of prosperity." Tampa Morning Tribune May 5, 1897.
ENOUGH SAID "DEAR FOLKS: Getting ready, thinking of Fla. agin what the use of thinking if you dont act. pack up if your broke when you get here I will take care of you, if your willing to trust me, and buy a cheap lot at $500. i'll pick out the best I have NUF SED Dan Morris St. Petersburg Fla." Advertisement in Suniland: The Magazine of Florida August, 1925. THE NEW SOUTH "If the growlers and croakers, who never see anything encouraging in the South, will lift up their eyes and see large syndicates from the west, coming down here and buying immense tracts of wild timberland, on which they can feed their saw mills and factories, to be established at no distant day, they will be surprised at the prospect of industry, which is to employ 1000s of operatives, many of whom are to come with them. If these growlers will look west and see immigrants coming into Florida, Georgia and Alabama in search of homes they will clap their hands in joy and say the South, redemption draweth nigh. Yes, for the first time in the history of our country, the dear old Southland is a choice spot of the immigrant, farmer and timber cutter.... In less than ten years, the whir of the loom, the ring of the anvil and the whistle of the engine will break the silence of centuries." Tampa Morning Tribune February 12, 1895. TAMPA IN 1895 COWTOWN? "Two cows belonging to L. Armwood were put in the pound yesterday for trespassing on private flower gardens and front yards." Tampa Morning Tribune August 21, 1895.
POLLUTION "City fathers, discussed at last night's council meeting details of a new law prohibiting the throwing of dead animals into the bay." Tampa Morning Tribune August 16, 1895. URBAN RIVALRY "Some of the citizens of Kissimmee are up in arms protesting against putting Bartow clay on the sidewalks of the streets of that town." Tampa Morning Tribune May 19, 1897. THE NEW WOMAN "The New Woman is the distinguishing characteristic of the fin de siecle The very prettiness of her title defines her.... She wants to vote and in places, she does ... and by her last enactment, she has managed, somehow to debase the noble order of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and turned into political channels one of the noblest organizations of social reform that good men and women counted in their economy.... "The New Woman, with her trivialities, her fads, her pretensions and her denials of the social function, has but a small place, thank God, in Tampa society The Tribune abhors this thing because it is essentially bad. It teaches a degradation of women to an equality with men and forbids that reverence from which we are accustomed to draw our daily inspiration. ... Women make the home. They have made the very word sacred in our language. Prove to us the New Woman is competent to discharge her home and political functions in harmony." Tampa Morning Tribune May 4, 1895.
BOARD OF ADVISORS OTIS ANTHONY ------------------------------------------------------------------Black History Project/ Hillsborough Community College THOMAS LEWIS BROWN --------------------------------------------St. Petersburg Junior College DAVID CARR --------------------------------------Department of History, St. Petersburg Campus, University of South Florida W. SCOTT CHRISTOPHER ------------------------------------------------------University of Tampa DORIS DAVIS ---------------------------------------------------------------Sarasota County Historian HELEN GORDON DAVIS ---------------------------------------State Representative, 70th District HAMPTON DUNN ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Historian ROBERT C. HARRIS --------------------------------------------Pinellas County Historical Museum LELAND HAWES ------------------------------------------------------------------------Tampa Tribune FRANK LAUMER -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Historian MORRIS W. MILTON ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Attorney HARRIS H. MULLEN ---------------------------------------------------------------Trend Publications LOUIS A. PEREZ, JR ---------------------------------------------------------Department of History, University of South Florida ANTHONY PIZZO ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Historian SAM RAMPELLO ------------------------------------------------Hillsborough County School Board CHARLTON W.TEBEAU ---------------------------------------------------------University of Miami R013ERT G. WATT ----------------------------------------------------------Sarasota Herald-Tribune