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FALL/WINTER 1987 VOLUME 9, NUMBER 2 CONTENTS From the Editors 3 ARTICLES The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Creation of the Myakka River State Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By John J. Sullivan 4 Army Life in Tampa during the Spanish-American War: A Photographic Essay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Paul Eugen Camp 17 NOTES AND DOCUMENTS From Strikes to Scourge: Tampa in 1887 . . . . . . . . . . . . From the Tampa Journal and Tampa Tribune 29 Documenting the Struggle for Civil Rights: The Papers of Robert and Helen Saunders . . . . . . . . . . By David L. Chapman 47 BOOK REVIEWS Favata and Fernndez, eds., La Relacin o Naufragios de Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Paul E. Hoffmann 55 Greenbaum, Afro-Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By L. Glenn Westfall 56 Rogers, Outposts on the Gulf: Saint George Island & Apalachicola from Early Exploration to World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Georg H. Kleine 57 Cabrera Infante, Holy Smoke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Louis A. Prez, Jr. 58 Announcements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Notes on Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Copyright 1987 by the University of South Florida Typography and composition by Meritype Studio, Bayonet Point, Florida Printing by Consolidated Press, Tampa, Florida.
This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of $5,300 or $6.63 per copy, including preparation, printing, and distribution, to disseminate historical information related to the service area of the University of South Florida. [88-24]
FROM THE EDITORS Anniversaries usually provide an occasion for much celebration and some reflection. This year the United States has observed the bicentennial of the Constitution with both festivities and debate over the meaning of the document. Several groups, notably blacks and women, have reminded us their predecessors were long excluded from the Constitution. Blacks, of course, only recently won the rights of full citizenship. Robert and Helen Saunders of Florida both participated in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and they recently donated their personal papers to the University of South Florida Library. In this issue of Tampa Bay History David L. Chapman describes the Saunders' activities and provides a list of their papers, "Documenting the Struggle for Civil Rights," that are now available to researchers. Another recent acquisition of the Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Library provides a glimpse of "Army Life in Tampa during the Spanish-American War." This view is revealed in a collection of candid photographs taken by one of the soldiers stationed in Tampa. As explained by Paul Eugen Camp, these pictures had long been in private hands and are now published for the first time, beginning with the cover of this issue and continuing in the photographic essay. Tampa is observing a centennial this year, as a result of the adoption of a new city charter in 1887. Although Tampa had been first incorporated as a municipality thirty years earlier, the 1880s marked Tampa's arrival as a real city in name and fact. In an effort to recapture the spirit of the times, the editors have selected some excerpts from 1887 newspapers that describe events "From Strikes to Scourge." The lead article in this issue relates the story of "The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Creation of the Myakka River State Park." John L. Sullivan's depiction of the successful effort to preserve this wilderness area in Sarasota and Manatee counties will interest readers who are unfamiliar with this park or are curious about its history. As Tampa Bay History prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary, we remind readers that they can help assure continuation of the journal by renewing subscriptions, encouraging others to subscribe and offering gift subscriptions. We depend on subscribers to sustain this nonprofit effort to preserve and illuminate the history of southwest Florida.
THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS AND THE CREATION OF THE MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK by John J. Sullivan On March 4, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the oath of office to begin his first term as President of the United States. As he addressed the chilled crowd below the Capitol, uncertainty and confusion gripped the nation. Despite the Presidents memorable phrase, there was much to fear besides fear itself. The economic and social fabric of the nation was disintegrating. Looking to European precedents, some observers forecast violent upheavals leading to a Fascist or Communist seizure of power. Capitalism floundered as banks and factories padlocked their doors. Farm foreclosures brought deep suffering and unrest to the nations rural communities. One-quarter of the American labor force was unemployed. Private and public mechanisms to provide food and shelter were collapsing. Local government services, including schools, faced shutdowns as tax receipts dropped alarmingly.1 During the next few months Roosevelt demonstrated the leadership necessary for coping with a national crisis. Assisted by widespread public agreement that the national emergency demanded extraordinary remedies, Roosevelt and Congress cooperated to establish a remarkable number of programs to combat the depression and provide relief for the unemployed.2 Roosevelts favorite emergency program came to be known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He wanted to recruit young, unemployed men and put them to work in the nations forests, thereby salvaging both the youths and the land. It was the dream of a dedicated, long-standing conservationist, who believed that every young person would benefit in mind and body from hard work in the wilderness.3 The President asked Congress for speedy approval of legislation authorizing the CCC. He wanted the young men working in the forests before the end of summer. With haste rarely seen in democratic government, Congress approved a program which put 250,000 men to work in over 1,300 camps before the end of July 1933. The youths were selected by the Department of Labor from the ranks of needy, unemployed men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. They were transported to camps organized by the War Department and put to work on projects planned and supervised by the Departments of Interior or Agriculture.4 The Army deserves a major share of the credit for the rapid, smooth start of the CCC program. It provided medical and dental care, transportation, physical conditioning, housing, orientation, clothing, food and discipline. Each camp housed approximately 200 enrollees, commanded by an Army officer, assisted by three commissioned officers from the Army reserve, a noncommissioned officer, a mess sergeant, a supply sergeant and an enlisted cook. The actual conservation work was supervised by a project superintendent assisted by ten civilian foremen.5
The foremen gave an essential professional competence to the conservation work. They were selected on the basis of proven ability in woodcraft and other skills needed by the CCC. Their recruitment from communities near the camps helped insure local support. The young, inexperienced enrollees also needed the guidance of such skilled craftsmen.6 CCC men tackled an enormous number of jobs WRXJKMREVRIWHQLQVLWXD tions of hardship and privation. Danger was a part of many tasks. The young men of the CCC planted trees, made reservoirs and fish ponds, built check dams, dug diversion ditches, raised bridges and fire towers, fought forest blights, restored historical battlefields and cleared beaches and camp grounds. In a multitude of ways they protected and improved parks, forest, watersheds and recreational areas. The CCC was popular, almost immune from criticism.7 Community leaders pleaded for CCC camps, and Sarasota was no exception. Arthur B. Edwards, a native of Sarasota and a local developer, led the campaign for a park and CCC company in the Myakka River valley. He had held many political offices in Sarasota, including two terms as mayor during the 1910s. His experience proved invaluable in the effort to establish a state park.8 Edwards loved the Myakka valley where he had often worked, hunted and fished. It was natural for him to favor this region for a national forest, wildlife preserve or state park. He employed his exceptional political skills, energy, knowledge and patience to the task of finding a way to preserve the precious natural resources of the Myakka valley, preferably with the help of a CCC company. Many times in the hectic months of 1934, he must have felt like one of the jugglers at the nearby Sarasota circus grounds as he mobilized the many people and agencies whose support was needed to accomplish his goal. His contacts in government and knowledge of bureaucratic procedures eased the task, but the obstacles were formidable. First, either the state or federal government had to acquire the land for a park. Support for a national park came from Florida Congressman J. Hardin Peterson. In April 1934 he wrote Edwards: In connection with your plan for establishing a national park and wild life reservation in the Myakka River valleys, we have this matter up both with the biological survey Mr. and Mrs. Arthur B. Edwards. Photography courtesy of the author.
and the park service. I would like to suggest that if the property could be acquired, it would be possible to use workers of the Civilian Conservation Corps to put it in order.9 Edwards was in complete agreement about using the CCC, but he worried about the most desirable Myakka valley land falling into the hands of exploitative commercial interests. Writing to Peterson, he warned: Time is a very important element in this proposition, for it is likely that unless the State or Federal Government takes this area over for a public park. .it will be taken over by some private interest or sportsmen for hunting and fishing.10 The prospect of a national park in the region dimmed as the federal government cut expenditures, and Edwards explored other alternatives. Without any firm commitments of land but with unbounded optimism, Edwards contacted Floridas state forester about the possibility of a state park and CCC camp in the Myakka River valley. Federal authorities always consulted state governments about placement of CCC camps, and this made State Forester Harry Lee Baker a key figure in the process. Baker, a man with much of Edwards forceful spirit, made a startling offer to Edwards in 1934. My final recommendations for park camps will be prepared in this office Monday, June 4. If by that time you have made sufficient progress to be able to state that the land will be deeded to the State if acceptable to the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund, I might feel justified in recommending a Civilian Conservation Corps camp.11 Edwards responded promptly that the State has already foreclosed the tax liens against approximately six thousand acres of what is locally known as the Curry lands and the title is now vested in the I.I. Board. .[and] you are justified in recommending that this area be dedicated for a State Park and Game Refuge and the establishment thereon of a C.C.C. Camp.12 The land breezily cited by Edwards as foreclosed land available for a state park was in fact tangled in legalities. State officials were leery of expropriating foreclosed land in those depression days, and it was a difficult and lengthy process.13 Besides the Curry lands, Edwards fixed his attention on another large parcel in the Myakka valley that might be acquired by the state for a park. It was part of the vast holdings formerly owned by the late Sarasota rancher, Bertha Honor Palmer, and left by her in trust to her brother, Adrian C. Honor, who was also deceased. The land, in receivership by 1934, consisted of 17,000 acres, including the entire Upper Myakka Lake, and much land to the south and east of it. On June 4, 1934 Edwards reported that the state forester had recommended a state park and game refuge for the Myakka River valley. The State has already foreclosed the tax liens against approximately. 6,500 acres in the Lower Lake region and tentative agreements have been reached for acquiring the A.C. Honor Estate lands on 17,000 acres at .35 [sic] per acre subject to the accrued taxes.14 The purchase by the state of the A.C. Honor land marked a major step in the path to a Myakka River State Park. This momentous acquisition was completed in June 1934. By that time Edwards was pursuing another important tract. He had learned that the sons of Bertha Honor Palmer would consider giving land for a state park as a memorial to their mother.
With his unrivaled knowledge of the region, Edwards knew they could give a parcel known as the Old Picnic Grounds, an especially desirable property. In July he informed State Forester Baker: For your confidential information, I am informed by a representative of the Palmer interests that Messrs. Honor and Potter Palmer, Trustees of the Potter Palmer Estate, have agreed to convey to the State for park purposes, 1,920 acres of very beautiful forest land, which tract is very important in connecting up the A.C. Honor Estate lands and the lands now held by the I.I. Board. This tract is very beautiful property and you might say, the key to the whole layout. . .[I]t is only because the Palmers are in sympathy with the State Park and Game Refuge proposition that this property is available for that purpose.15 As the end of the summer of 1934 approached, a remarkable number of people and agencies were rushing headlong to establish a state park in the Myakka River valley with a CCC company to develop it. Army officers arrived to look for a suitable location for the camp. They expressed concern about the danger of malaria. With a smoothness acquired from decades of boosting Map by William M. Murray
Sarasota real estate, Edwards assured them that during ten months of the year the Myakka River valley was practically free from mosquitoes.16 The state engineer started a survey of park land, and a landscape engineer from the Department of the Interior began to study the layout. The Army was ready to bring a CCC company to the park. Edwards urged the Palmers to persevere through the tedious negotiations leading to the grant of land the CCC preferred for the camp site. Finally, on October 3, 1934, Honor and Potter Palmer deeded 1,920 acres of land to the state for a park, upon the express condition as a covenant running with the land that the premises conveyed shall be used only as a state park and/or game preserve and for no other purpose and upon ceasing to be so used in whole or in par this conveyance becomes and remains void.17 An advance party of the CCC company arrived on October 17, 1934, and set up tents. Edwards continued to involve himself in the project. He advised the Florida Forest Department about proper park development in words that betrayed the soul of a naturalist: The location you have in mind in Section 6 is very beautiful and lends itself well to park purposes, but it is my idea that all that area bordering on and lying south of the lower lake should be held in its primitive state as much as possible, as it is the natural habitat for wild life, especially high land game, as well as for the propagation of fresh water fish.18 The main party of the CCC company arrived on November 2, 1934. They saw a land of stunning beauty with hammocks, pine woods, palmetto undergrowth and open prairie. Cattle had grazed in the region for many decades. Sportsmen loved the area which was a favorite site for picnics. The CCC superintendent, Earl Porter, soon reported conditions in tents are very unsatisfactory with outdoor kitchen, no tent floors, and rattlesnakes being found on camp site and even in tents.19 Some of the men fell victim to malaria, and some deserted, perhaps shocked by the primitive conditions. With resilience of the young, the work got underway. Portable barracks arrived, and soon the men were comfortable, sprucing up the campsite, as was a universal practice in the CCC. A normal day began at 6 a.m. with fifteen minutes of calisthenics before breakfast. At 8 a.m. teams headed out to work sites. Lunch was brought to the men at noon. They returned to their barracks at about 4 p.m. with supper starting at five oclock, Enrollees used the evening hours for a variety of activities including educational classes. Recreation emphasized athletics, although dances were often held on Saturday evenings.20 In February 1935 Acting Superintendent A.D. Lawson carefully summed up the companys achievements. We have had ideal working weather; very little rain; and at present time dry weather is doing quite a bit of damage to the one hundred thousand Pine seedlings recently planted. Lawson also listed some of the accomplishments of the men: 9.5 miles of telephone line 212 lineal feet of 2.5' x 4' culverts 32 feet of truck trail bridges
18 feet of combination bridge and cattle gap 30 feet of cattle gap and bridge crossings 5.94 miles of all-weather truck trail 38.43 miles of 16' plowed boundary line fire break 50 miles of 8' plowed, random fire break 108 miles of 8' plowed lines for tree planting 3/4 miles of truck trail.21 Forest fires worried the CCC administrators. Cattlemen in the region customarily burned their pastures to promote better grazing conditions. From the beginning of the camp, we have only had four fires, Lawson reported. The total amount burned over was approximately one hundred sixty acres. Practically all the surrounding lands have been burned over.22 Lawsons reports dealt extensively with buildings erected by the CCC. The craft work gave the men and supervisors great satisfaction. A construction foreman, J. Fred Chapman, described some of the projects. The buildings now under construction are designed to blend perfectly with the general landscape and especially with the trees and shrubs surrounding them. .at least 80% of all materials used in their construction has been secured directly from the park or adjacent properties. .[except] stone used in the foundation walls and piers which was purchased outside the park area and the walls laid up from this stone to-day reminds one of the type of construction used 50 and 75 years ago. All the wood, with the exception of the floor joints and roof rafters, used in the buildings came from the property and is what is known as lighter. This is the native pine trees that has been killed by destructive fires. . The fire burns off the outside. . of the tree leaving the center or heart of it in perfect condition. .hand-hewn timbers were made for the inside frame work of all buildings here. .necessarily a heavy frame due to the fact that the outside or walls of the buildings are logs cut from the native cabbage palm tree. These logs are put in place by hand and held firmly to the inside frame by heavy wire, thus eliminating the old-fashioned method of saddle notching the ends of the logs. The space between the logs instead of being filled with clay or cement, will be chunked with an asphalt sawdust mixture. .which will be more permanent as it will not crack and fall out as would the old-fashioned materials. Shingles for the roof and gable ends of the buildings are hand-riven from cypress and. .it should not be necessary to replace roofing materials for some years to come. In completing the general type of old-fashioned log cabin, a beautiful stone chimney and fire place is of course a part of these buildings. .When these cabins are completed, it is hoped that they will be much in use by the camping public.23 In June 1935 Lawson reported steady progress. A building for communal activities, called the Pavilion, was the companys glory. Service wings on each of two sides. .give grace and distinction to its appearance. Stone was carefully sawed to fit into a lovely floor.24
In light of todays knowledge and ecological priorities, some of the CCC activities damaged the natural balance of the environment. The present park manager, Robert Dye, explained some of the problems: Fire suppression was a primary goal of the CCC at Myakka River. Their hundreds of miles of firebreaks are still much in evidence. . It was not known, in the 1930s, that pinelands, marsh, and the unique dry prairie are dependent upon fire for their existence. Many animals that inhabit these areas are also dependent on fires shaping the plant communities to maintain specific types of habitats. . By suppressing fire the CCC and others which followed them, permitted changes in plant constituents which led to the reduction in numbers of some animal species as well as loss of both plant and animal diversity. . Fire ecology is very complex and I am simplifying greatly but the crux of this issue is that fire suppression means the demise of those natural communities which have evolved with dependency on frequent burns. . Other CCC actions were also CCC workers constructing a building with outside walls made of logs cut from cabbage palms. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives and Records Service.
counterproductive. They constru cted dams, seined the river and lake to destroy rough fish and turtles, and actively killed all the venomous snakes encountered.25 During the 1930s, a major source of controversy involved the use of black recruits in the CCC. In August 1935 rumors spread rapidly through Sarasota County that the CCC intended to replace the company of white youths with a company of Negro enrollees. A party of fifty blacks arrived to prepare the site for the rest of their company. Sarasota's representative in the state legislature warned that either the negroes would be placed in the park or the camp would be abandoned.26 Superintendent Lawson spoke out forcefully in favor of accepting the black enrollees, but opposition to the proposed Negro company increased in the community. A public meeting was called for August 23 to permit expressions of opinion, and A.B. Edwards called on state officials to come to Sarasota to explain the need for the change.27 This controversy over Myakka River State Parks CCC company was not unusual. Throughout the country blacks were kept in segregated CCC companies which could not be established outside the state of origin. Many communities in all parts of the United States, especially in New CCC men chuncking the spaces between logs with an asphalt and sawdust mixture. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives and Records Service.
York, objected to Negro CCC companies.28 At the time of the local protest against a Negro company at Myakka River State Park, national CCC policy dictated that twenty-five additional Negro companies had to be established in the Fourth Corps area which included Sarasota. Nine such units were backed up, waiting on military reservations due to local hostility to their assignment.29 In the Fourth Corps area a policy had developed for the placement of black companies. If opposition led to official protest, the governor would be asked to designate a camp site currently occupied by a white company which would be replaced by a black company. If the governor refused, or the designated community protested, the Army would close the camp. It was believed that the prospect of losing an existing camp would spur the state to solve the problem.30 Despite such pressures, whites in the Sarasota area, or at least a vocal portion of them, protested the change. A vote at the public meeting on August 23 favored rejection of the Negro company.31 Moving swiftly, the CCC closed the camp at Myakka River State Park. Buildings were locked, equipment moved, and the black company sent to an Army base.32 The Pavilion under construction during 1936. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives and Records Service.
Realization of the loss suffered by the region caused widespread soulsearching. A local newspaper soon reported considerable reversal of sentiments among the merchants.33 Less than a month after the closing of the camp, negotiations started which led to its reopening. The Negro company, which had been marking time at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, returned to Myakka River State Park.34 In a report made in January 1936, Superintendent Lawson summed up the situation: This project was reorganized in October after a series of set-backs which included transfer of the original Junior White Company, with change to a (newly organized) Junior Colored; discontinuance for a time because of local objection to a colored camp; floods over the camp site in late summer; loss of some experienced technical personnel . .the colored boys make honest efforts; they try hard to please and do their work; they expend more physical force, over longer periods, than a similar group of white youths. . The prejudice existent in the town of Sarasota against the colored company in this location has been entirely overcome.35 The Pavilion, as it looks today. Photograph courtesy of the author.
The CCC company remained at Myakka River State Park until World War II. Its personnel changed frequently since the normal tour of duty for the CCC enrollees was six months. The young men and their leaders helped develop a permanent public resource of priceless value, one which is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Most of the buildings the CCC built are still in use at Myakka River State Park. Although repaired and altered over the years, they remain a lasting tribute to the high quality of work performed by the CCC.36 Myakka River State Park was officially dedicated on February 28, 1941. A.B. Edwards was an honored guest at the dedication ceremonies. A prominent historical monument at the park includes his name in a list of people who worked to establish t he park. Edwards hopes for the Myakka River valley were realized. Today a 7,500-acre wilderness preserve is maintained in the land around Lower Myakka Lake. The Myakka River flows through this area, widening to form the lake. The river is bordered by marshes, and the marshes are bordered by hammocks. Pine flatwoods with scattered grass ponds make up most of the preserve. Deer, turkeys and waterfowl are abundant during the winter. Sandhill cranes, wood storks, roseate spoonbills, otters and One of the log cabins built by the CCC, as it looks today. Photograph courtesy of the author.
bobcats live there. Bald eagles and osprey are seen occasionally. The area largely resembles Florida as it looked before the arrival of Europeans.37 1 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Coming of the New Deal (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1959), 1-3; Bradenton Herald September 25, 1934. 2 Schlesinger, Coming of the New Deal 20. 3 John A. Salmond, The Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-42: A New Deal Case Study (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1967), 43. 4 James J. McEntee, Now They Are Men: The Story of the CCC (Washington, D.C.: National Home Library Foundation, 1939), 26. 5 Salmond, Civilian Conservation Corps 45. 6 Ibid., 34. 7 Schlesinger, Coming of the New Deal 338. 8 Karl H. Grismer, The Story of Sarasota (Sarasota: M.E. Russell, 1946), 301. 9 Peterson to Edwards, April 12, 1934, Arthur Britton Edwards Papers, Sarasota County Historical Archives, Sarasota, Florida. 10 Edwards to Peterson, May 28, 1934, ibid. 11 Baker to Edwards, June 1, 1934, ibid. 12 Edwards to Baker, June 4, 1934, ibid. 13 Edwards to C.H. Schaeffer, October 18, 1934, ibid. 14 Edwards to J.A. McLeod, June 4,1934, ibid. 15 Edwards to Baker, July 12, 1934, ibid. 16 Edwards to J.W.B. Shaw, August 14, 1934, ibid. 17 Trustees Deed 129, pp. 156-58, numbered 71480, Sarasota County Courthouse, Sarasota, Florida. 18 Edwards to C.H. Schaeffer, November 1, 1934, Edwards Papers. 19 Porter to the State Park Division of the National Park Service, November 26, 1934, Records of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Record Group 35, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 20 Perry H. Merrill, Roosevelts Forest Army (Montpelier, Vt.: P.H. Merrill, n.d.), 10. 21 Lawson to the State Park Division of the National Park Service, February 4,1935, Records of the U.S. Department of the Interior. 22 Ibid. 23 Ibid. 24 Lawson to the State Park Division of the National Park Service, June 1935, ibid.
25 Dye to author, March 17, 1986. 26 Sarasota Herald August 21, 1935. 27 Ibid., August 22, 1935. 28 Charles Johnson, The Army, the Negro and the Civilian Conservation Corps: 1933-42, Military Affairs 36 (October 1972): 83. 29 Minutes of the Advisory Council of the Emergency Conservation Work, September 9, 1935, Records of the U.S. Department of the Interior. 30 Johnson, The Negro and the CCC, 83. 31 Sarasota Herald August 23, 1935. 32 Lawson Report, January 1936, Records of the U.S. Department of the Interior. 33 Sarasota Herald August 26, 1935. 34 Fourth Corps Pictorial History of Civilian Conservation Corps Companies, 1937 (n.p., n.d.), 107, located in Military History Institute Archives, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. 35 Lawson Report, January 1936. 36 Robert Dye to John P. Sommers, May 23,1985, Dye Files, Myakka River State Park. (This memorandum gives detailed descriptions of the structures still existing that were constructed by the CCC.) 37 Grismer, Story of Sarasota 268; Myakka River State Park Wilderness Preserve, pamphlet available from park office.
ARMY LIFE IN TAMPA DURING THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY by Paul Eugen Camp In January 1898, the city of Tampa was a small southern community of approximately 10,000 inhabitants, known to outsiders chiefly for the fine cigars produced by its Cuban, Spanish and Italian craftsmen. The destruction of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor on the night of February 15, 1898, however, started the United States on the road to a war with Spain, a splendid little war that would splash the name of Tampa across the front pages of newspapers throughout the nation as the embarkation base of the army assembled for the invasion of Spains Cuban colony. During the hectic, exciting spring and summer of 1898, the name of the small city on Tampa Bay became a houseold word for millions who had never heard of the place before. The Spanish-American War (April to December, 1898) had its roots in the struggle of the Cuban people for independence from Spain. After the 1870s the turmoil created by this struggle drove Cuban cigarmakers from Havana to Tampa and other U.S. cities, where they formed vocal and effective centers of support for Cuban revolutionary activities. The war for freedom from Spanish domination that broke out in Cuba in 1895 generated a growing sympathy in the United States, together with increasing sentiment for U.S. intervention. As a result of rising tensions between the United States and Spain over the issue of Cuba, the U.S. Congress declared on April 25, 1989, that a state of war existed between the United States and the Kingdom of Spain. Tampas selection as the assembly and embarkation port for the army gathered for the invasion of Cuba was due to Henry Bradley Plant, the railroad magnate. As war became increasingly likely, Plant brought his immense influence to bear to ensure that his Port Tampa rail and harbor facilities would play a major role. The decision to send troops to Tampa was made on April 14 during a conference at the White House. Initially, it was planned to send only seven regiments (roughly 3,000 men). As the invasion plans became more grandiose, however, more and more troops were ordered to Tampa. By May 25, five cavalry and sixteen infantry regiments, together with two battalions of artillery and ten regiments of volunteers, had assembled in vast tent cities surrounding Tampa and Port Tampa. In addition to the 23,220 troops, hundreds of newspapermen converged on Tampa, together with thousands of civilian tourists, totalling as many as 20,000 in a single weekend, who gathered to view the invasion force. Five major camps were established for the troops in Tampa. Located at Port Tampa, DeSoto Park, Tampa Heights (about where Robles Park is today), Fort Brooke, and West Tampa (near the site of Fort Homer Hesterly Armory), the sites contained acres of tents, minimal latrine facilities and crude kitchens, all of which were intended to shelter the invasion force for the short time anticipated to assemble and sail for Cuba. Instead, the departure was continually postponed for one reason or another from mid-May until June 14, when the transports finally sailed. In the interim the bored, frustrated troops had to live in the unsanitary camps for seven weeks. With the coming of the spring rains, several of the camp sites were flooded, notably the Port Tampa
encampment. Thousands of troops also remained in the camps long after the invasion force sailed. Indeed, the last soldiers did not leave Tampa until August 1898. With troops outnumbering inhabitants by more than two to one and more soldiers, newsmen and tourists pouring in daily, Tampa in 1898 was hectic, chaotic, frustrating and, at least for the citys merchants, exceedingly profitable. With military balls and concerts at the Tampa Bay Hotel (serving as headquarters for the Army) and thousands of troopers slogging through the citys sand streets in search of diversion in saloons, bordellos and gambling joints, the local citizens were somewhat overwhelmed. Although most of the troops were well enough behaved, brawling between northern and southern regiments, drunken troopers shooting up the town, and a rash of robberies, assaults and rapes caused Tampans to view their free-spending visitors as a decidedly mixed blessing. When war had loomed on the horizon in early 1898, the U.S. government realized that the nations small regular Army of professional soldiers would be grossly inadequate for an international conflict. On April 22, Congress approved the raising of a large force of volunteers, with each state assigned a quota of troops. Thus, many of the soldiers that converged on Tampa were young citizen-soldiers, unused to Army discipline and often away from home for the first time. One of the volunteer units sent to Tampa was the 157th Indiana Volunteer, regiment, nicknamed The Tigers. Serving in the ranks of this regiment was a patriotic young citizen-soldier named Othar Cortland Wamsley. While encamped in Tampa (initially at the County Fairgrounds near the Tampa Bay Hotel and later at Port Tampa), Wamsley photographed the daily life of his regiment while it awaited transportation to Cuba. Wamsley himself never did make it to Cuba. Like so many other soldiers in the Spanish-American War, he contracted malaria in the fever-ridden military camps of Tampa and was discharged without ever having seen a hostile Spaniard. In September 1966, a collection of thirty-nine of Wamsley's 1898 photographs was donated to the University of South Florida Library by his grandson, Gerald F. Borch of Charlotte, North Carolina. The pictures comprising this photographic essay were selected from the Wamsley Collection, with captions taken from Wamsley's contemporary notes on the originals.
Regimental Headquarters at Port Tampa City, 1st Camp.
This is 1st Sergeants Call at Camp. Port Tampa City. (Wamsley identified himself as the man facing the camera in the group on the right.) This is a Raw Recruit being initiated at Camp No. 1, Port Tampa City.
Regiment Band in front of Regimental Headquarters, Port Tampa City. This is a picture of our cook shanty at our Second Camp at Port Tampa City, fronting west in the middle of Company Street. .Four in Company are detailed out of the Company each week to cook. No previous experience.
Cook shanty at Port Tampa City. Cooking [at] State Fair Grounds [near the Tampa Bay Hotel]. Center figure died of fever at Port Tampa City.
Wash Day. Port Tampa City. This is wash day, Camp No. 2. Port Tampa City.
Company H on drill. Port Tampa City. Rail Road Disaster in the yards [at] Port Tampa City. Killed one man.
Daily exercise. Street in Tampa.
Burning of a gambling Den at Port Tampa. We like to claim credit. Green Goose Saloon in Background A Refuge for Outlaws and Tough Characters. Coal transports lying in the harbor at Port Tampa City.
Officers cabin on the captured Spanish Boat Pedro Balboa. [Photograph] taken while being at thedockhere.Iwasonher. First strikeing camp. Port Tampa.
Breaking Camp at Port Tampa City.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Bean, Mabel C. My Service in the Spanish-American War, 1898 Tampa: Historical Records Survey, 1937. Conway, Charles. Therell Be a Hot Time in the Ol Town Tonight. In Ybor Citys Tomorrow Dawns Today Tampa: Changing Scenes, Inc., 1978. Grismer, Karl H. Tampa St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Publishing Co., 1950. Jahoda, Gloria. River of the Golden Ibis New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1973. Schellings, William John. The Role of Florida in the Spanish American War, 1898 Ph.D. dissertation. Gainesville: University of Florida, 1958. Schellings, William John. Tampa, Florida: Its Role in the Spanish American War, 1898 M.A. thesis. Coral Gables: University of Miami, 1954. Wamsley Collection. Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library, Tampa.
FROM STRIKES TO SCOURGE: TAMPA IN 1887 Editors Note: In 1887 Tampa was in the midst of a boom. Fueled by the recent arrival of the first cigar factories in the new town of Ybor City, Tampas growth was spectacular. From less than 1,000 in 1882, its population surged to over 5,000 by 1890. New residents included Cuban and Spanish cigarworkers who flocked to the factories built in neighboring Ybor City by Vicente Martnez Ybor and the firm of Snchez and Haya. Wages from the cigar industry flowed into the stream of Tampa commerce which included everything from haberdasheries to saloons. The expanding prosperity of downtown Tampa was reflected in the new brick buildings and in the glare of the city's first electric street lights. Life, however, was not all sweetness and light for either old or new residents. Living conditions were still primitive and even dangerous. Growth also brought social conflict and unexpected crises during 1887. The year began with a series of strikes by cigarworkers who were members of the Knights of Labor, a large national union. By the end of the year, Tampans faced the scourge of a yellow fever epidemic that took some one hundred lives. In an effort to improve control over both health and safety, Tampans adopted a new city charger under which Ybor City was annexed during the year. This event provides the basis for the current centennial celebration. A variety of surviving sources, including minutes of the city council, document life in Tampa during 1887, but newspapers reveal the most about daily events. The Tampa press covered everything from local business and political news to society and personal items. From todays perspective the selection of material to print in editions ranging from four to eight pages appears random and even arbitrary, often reflecting the interests and biases of the editor who did most of the writing with little effort to distinguish between fact and opinion. At the time the city boasted two weekly newspapers, the Tampa Journal and the Tampa Tribune The former first appeared in late 1886, and it had several different owner/editors during 1887. The Tampa Tribune had a longer history, but no connection with the current paper of that name. Although both papers were openly Democratic, they differed on a number of local issues, especially temperance. The debate over the prohibition of alcohol was excited during 1887 by a public referendum in Hillsboro ugh County which then included all of todays Pinellas County. The following excerpts from the Journal and the Tribune give some insight into local events that dominated the Tampa press during 1887. The lighter side of the news from that year can be found in the extracts that appear as fillers throughout this issue of Tampa Bay History Microfilm copies of both newspapers are located in the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. Tampa Tribune January 22, 1887 COWARDLY AMBUSH The Strike at Ybor Followed by a Fusillade in the Dark-Five Men Shot-Two Arrested Trouble broke out last Monday at the factory of Martinez Ybor & Co., a portion of the workmen taking it into their heads to run the institution in a way at which the others rebelled. It seems that a feeling of ill will had been brewing for some time. Several months ago the employes struck against the foreman of the factory and the principals pacified them by sending the
obnoxious man away, substituting for him Santos Benitez, a Knight of Labor on whom all hands settled as their choice. Lately there have been signs of dissatisfaction and much murmuring on the part of those employes who are Knights of Labor against this very Benitez, they charging that he has been unfaithful to their interests in several respects. On Thursday the trouble culminated in a demand by the dissatisfied men, about one-third of the whole number employed, that Benitez should be discharged. On the other hand; the larger portion of the men are in favor of his retention. The firm, under the circumstances, left the rival factions to settle the matter among themselves. Meanwhile work is suspended, but it is to be hoped that the trouble will all be over to-day and that work will be resumed at the latest by Monday. After the above was written on Thursday the strike culminated in a cowardly ambush in which five men were wounded, one very seriously. The last mentioned is at present in a very precarious condition and expected to die at any moment. A meeting of the Knights of Labor was called for 7:30 p.m. Thursday in which fifteen persons participated, five of whom were Americans from Tampa Lodge, five Spaniards and five Cubans from the Ybor lodge. They had met as an arbitration committee and were consulting with Santos Benitez, the foreman referred to above as the one about which the factory difficulty centered. A party of unknown persons ambushed the Mascotte saloon, over which the meeting was being held, and fired some fifteen or twenty shots into the room. . The town is all excitement this morning, very few of the men are at work. They are gathered in little groups all over the streets discussing the situation with more anxiety than is usual for them. What the outcome will be is not known but more trouble is expected. Tampa Journal January 26, 1887 That very great and cowardly crimes were committed last week at Ybor City is patent to all. For the reputation of the people generally, both Cubans and Spaniards, the instigators and perpetrators of these crimes should be detected and punished, and it is clearly the duty of all good people, of whatever nationality, to lend every assistance possible towards such purpose. The Journal does not know nor pretend to say who the villains are, but it does say, let no guilty man escape. And we further urge upon the Cubans and Spaniards to stop their foolishness and curb their prejudices, shun the advice of all men who desire to prompt further antagonism and strife, stop all agitation of political questions and engage only in legitimate avocations. Do this and you will prosper. Continue in your present excited state, and you will only succeed in heaping trouble and sorrow upon your families and the indignation of all good people upon yourselves. Tampa Journal February 9, 1887 The Journal is pleased to announce that peace, quiet and work has been fully resumed at Ybor City. There are but few, if any, idle people there now. Those who did not leave the place have returned to work in the cigar factory and everything is running smoothly again. . Mr. Ybor is now master of the situation in his factory and proposes to run his own business in the future. Business in Tampa is getting better since the strike ended.
Tampa Tribune March 12,1887 THE TROUBLE AT YBOR The Dove of Peace has once more stretched its wings over our Cuban suburb and quiet again reigns. For some weeks past a gang of bandits and dynamiters have by their threats and actions done much to terrorize the proprietors of the cigar factories and the law-abiding citizens who reside there. This state of affairs has been going on ever since the strike which occurred a few weeks ago until at last the proprietors of the cigar factories at Ybor City appealed earnestly to the citizens of Tampa for aid in ridding their town of these characters. A special meeting of the Tampa Board of Trade was called last Tuesday for the purpose of taking such steps as might be necessary to rid our sister community of its lawless element, and its prompt action in calling a mass meeting of our citizens and placing them in possession of all the facts which had come to their knowledge served effectively to put a quietus on matters at Ybor and will no doubt have a The first factory building of Snchez & Haya, where Tampas first clear Havana cigars were produced in 1886. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
most salutary effect upon any other Cuban citizens of anarchial [sic] tendencies who may still be lurking in our midst. A committee representing some of our most prominent citizens was appointed at the citizens meeting and without delay they waited upon the outlaws at their supposed headquarters and notified them to leave at once. . There were in all eleven of these suspects. Tampa Journal March 12,1887 We all breathe easier now since this disturbing element have left our midst; business has been resumed with increased earnestness at Ybor City and we doubt if the tactics resorted to by the departed agitators will be again repeated. And the committee [members] deserve the thanks of every law abiding citizen for the prompt, effective and successful manner in which they executed their instructions. Tampa Tribune April 22, 1887 EXTENSION OF CITY LIMITS The extension of our city limits is a matter of prime necessity to insure better law and order and the enforcement of proper sanitary regulations in our suburbs. While it is a matter of pride as well as interest to the city proper, it is of more vital importance to the outlying sections proposed to be incorporated. Tampa Journal May 5,1887 The temperance movement in Tampa is represented by sixty regular members of the W.C.T.U. [Wo mens Christian Temperance Union], and twenty-four members of the Y.W.C.T.U., and one hundred and twenty-four of the Juvenile Legion of Honor, which makes a grand total of two hundred and sixty-eight earnest workers, and the number is being certainly increased by new recruits. The purposes of these people are noble, and their responsibilities great. The Journal wishes these workers success in their battle for God, home and native land. Tampa Journal May 12,1887 If the Journal is not wrongly informed and very greatly mistaken more than one of Tampas saloons are doing a lively Sunday business through the side and back doors. It is also noticeable that the saloon men are becoming more bold and reckless in the manner in which their houses are run. Drunkenness and disorder are on the increase. The sidewalk along the saloon row is nearly always crowded with reeling wrecks, loud and vulgar mouthed negroes and whites, who make it disagreeable for decent men, much less ladies, to pass along on that side of the street.
The Journal desires to warn the proprietors of the saloons that there is a probability of their running the business too far. They can only claim the tolerance of the people and the protection of the law so long as they keep within the bounds of the law, and by overreaching their rights they do a great injustice and harm to the community. We hope this temperate allusion to this matter will serve as a check to the increasing irregularities of the traffic, and that the saloons will be run as orderly as possible. Tampa Journal May 26, 1887 The latest report from Key West is assuring that there will be no further spread of yellow fever. However, the precautions taken at Tampa have been wise, and will be of great benefit to the community. Tampa Journal June 9, 1887 TO THE PEOPLE OF TAMPA There will be found in every community, an element of alarmists, people who become excited and frightened almost out of their wits on the slightest excuse. Unfortunately Tampa has quite a number of this nervous and excitable class, and they succeed in creating no little amount of sensation and uneasiness throughout the city and community by their constant talk about yellow fever. Reports and rumors are frequently started that have not the least foundation on facts, and even some of the most improbable stories are often believed. The people of Tampa want to keep cool and free from excitement: we are in no immediate danger from yellow fever; while it is possible, it is not probable that the disease will make its appearance in Tampa at all. Keep your premises and persons clean; do not gorge your stomachs with unwholesome food; permit the warm sun to shine into your sitting and sleeping apartments a few hours each day; listen not to the excitable and improbable reports of alarmists, and above all do not repeat them. The public can depend upon the Journal to report any case of yellow fever that should appear in the city, or to warn them of any impending danger, by an extra edition that will be promptly issued if occasion should demand it. Tampa Journal June 9, 1887 Tampas new charter, creating it a city and extending the corporate limits, marks another era in our rapid strides on the road to greatness. The fact that the new charter provides for an election of city officers on the second Tuesday in July is of serious moment to our interests. Candidates for various offices are coming forward. The Journal suggests that a public meeting of citizens be held in due time and a full ticket be nominated. It should be composed throughout of our best and most progressive citizens-men who will do their duty to the public interests without fear or favor. Tampa Journal June 9, 1887
Tampa will require a Mayor next year of the highest qualifications, character and dignity. . The salary should be increased to an amount adequate to the work to be performed, and a man of energy, liberality, honesty and ability be selected. Tampa Journal June 16, 1887 The yellow fever scare is rapidly dying out in Tampa: the subject is seldom mentioned now on the streets, and the people are laughing at their own foolishness. . Of course there is a possibility that yellow fever may reach the mainland of Florida. There is also a possibility that we all may be wiped from the face of the earth by a tornado. Tampa Journal June 16, 1887 TAMPA'S NEW CITY CHARTER Elsewhere in this issue of the Journal can be found the new City Charter printed in full. There are contained in it many good features and with the exception of the boundary lines and one or two other sections, the document will give general satisfaction. Tampa Tribune June 24, 1887 Candidates for the various municipal offices of our city are as thick as leaves in Valambrosa. The idea cannot be too often or too forcibly impressed upon the minds of our people of the great importance of the coming election. Tampa is in a growing condition that demands men of business, energy, foresight and responsibility at the head of her affairs. We don't want men who will recklessly tax the people for questionable improvements and throw our money away without adequate results. Neither do we want men who are too conservative in their views, and would be so contracted in their ideas that at the end of their term of office they could point to no work of public good or permanent improvement made or inaugurated by them. Let us have men of liberal business capacity and responsible property holders-men who are interested in the future of Tampa, who know her wants and feel a pride in her growth, and will thrive in her prosperity. Such men are needed to keep our town on its steady march of progress. . Tampa Tribune July 15, 1887
Our city election on last Tuesday was probably the most exciting one that ever took place in our town, and the result shows one of the most closely contested. The old ring cry was raised against the successful ticket, but it was like the cry of stop thief, intended to divert the eyes of the tax payers from schemes that certain parties were interested in carrying through if the proper ticket had been elected. The people of Tampa can now rest assured that with the present Mayor and City Council that there will be no unloading of unprofitable stock upon them, no taxes for experimental water works, no expensive and useless improvements simply for the purpose of making expenditures, no extravigantly [sic] high salaried City Attorney or officials. The tax payers will be protected, and the best interests of the city looked after. . Tampa Journal July 21, 1887 Tampa is now ready to do something, and there is certainly much to be done. Too long already has much important work been neglected. It is now a city in name, but it is highly important that it shall be a city in fact. We believe that the new council will be equal to its responsibility and duty. Chief among the enterprises that demand early consideration are a system of water works, building a bridge across the Hillsborough river, improving the streets, and intelligent and efficient system of sanitation. These are all matters of the utmost importance. These are crying needs. Let the council do its whole duty, and thereby give Tampa such a solid boom that her future greatness will be put beyond cavil forever. Tampa Journal August 4, 1887 Franklin Street, the center of Tampa, as it looked in 1885. Photograph courtesy of Florida State Archives.
TAMPA SCORCHED Thirty Business Houses and Residences Burned Estimated Loss $50,000 1R,QVXUDQFH About two oclock this morning a fire broke out near the center of what is known as Rotten Row, composed entirely of one and two story wooden buildings, and occupied mostly by small tradesmen such as fruit stalls, retail groceries, barber shops, etc. on one side of the street, and principally by saloons on the the other. The fire seems to have originated either in Coles restaurant or Thomas barber shop, the flames spreading rapidly each way from the starting point and soon enveloping the entire block in flames. It was some time before any kind of effort could be made to control the fire, and for a time it looked as though the whole business part of the city must surely go, and the absence of any wind was probably what saved the best portion of it. The fire department, however, soon got down to business, and by the almost superhuman efforts of the firemen the flames were prevented from being communicated to the buildings across Hillsborough Countys first courthouse, built at Florida Avenue and Madison Street in 1855, as it looked in 1886. Photograph from Yesterdays Tampa by Hampton Dunn.
Lafayette street, extending north, thus saving the Operahous e, Gunn & Seckingers large grocery store and other valuable business blocks. . It was the prevailing opinion that nothing could be done to save the buildings on either side of Franklin street between Lafayette and the ditch, and all the efforts of the firemen were directed to preventing the spread of the flames to the adjoining blocks, and that they were successful in this measure was certainly not due to the completeness of our water works system, but to the untiring efforts of the people. The old hand engine did good service as long as water could be had, when bucket brigades were formed and the sides of the buildings kept thoroughly drenched. . By 4:30 oclock the two blocks above mentioned were burned to the ground, very little of the contents being saved, although the utmost good will prevailed, and everybody did what they could to assist their more unfortunate neighbors. Tampa Journal August 4, 1887 THE FIRE The Journal deeply sympathizes with all who lost their property in last nights conflagration. . But aside from the hardship entailed upon those who directly suffered loss, the effect upon the city can not fail to be otherwise than beneficial. Two of the finest business blocks in the city are now open for substantial and valuable improvement. The real value of these blocks this morning is greater than it was yesterday; and we believe that within one year from this date, instead of the former shanties that stood yesterday [as an]. . eyesore to the citizens of Tampa, will tower magnificent brick blocks. Tampa Journal August 11, 1887 Tampa has more than once or twice or thrice shown the solid metal of which her people are made. . Her cigar factories have achieved an international reputation. She has eight new brick blocks, a national bank, which occupies its own handsome brick building, an opera-house lighted by electricity, two kinds of electric lights; three weekly papers, unsurpassed in point of literary and typographical merit, and one daily; street-cars impelled by steam, and will soon have a thorough system of water-works. Her stores and other buildings would be an honor to Jacksonville or any other city, whatever its size; while from her beautiful bay go out regular lines of ocean steamers to Pennsacola, Mobile, New Orleans, Havana, Bermuda, Key West and other points. Her importance as a commercial city is patent from the fact that she is also a port of entry. Tampa is the terminus of the South Florida railway, and will soon be of the F. R. & N. system; besides other roads have been projected and surveyed to the same point. She is now entering upon a new era; old-timers and new-comers work together in harmony, and many new improvements have been recently inaugurated. Tampa has long been regarded as a legal center, her bar ranking with the most eminent in the country. Her new Mayor, G. B. Sparkman, Esq., is a well-known attorney, and a decendant of one of the first families in Florida. Tampas Board of Trade is composed of her most prominent and eminent citizens PHQZKRUHDOL]HWKDWOLIHPHDQVUHDOHDUQHVWZRUN DQGRWKHUFLWLHVLQ
Florida which have entered the lists of friendly rivalry must look to their laurals or Tampa will bear away the larger share. Tampa Tribune August 11, 1887 WET OR DRY The Board of County Commissioners, upon the petition of one-fourth of the registered voters of the county, has appointed Tuesday, September [30th], to hold an election. .to determine whether license shall be granted in this county to sell intoxicating liquors. While we feel satisfied that a majority of the voters of Hillsborough county are opposed to prohibition on principle, they are willing to give the experiment a trial, and they will vote dry. Tampa Journal September 15, 1987 THE GREAT ISSUE Tampas first brick building, the Bank of Tampa, was built in 1886 at the southwest corner of Franklin and Washington streets. Photograph from Yes terdays Tampa by Hampton Dunn.
The Journal does not view the present agitated state of the public mind in Tampa and Hillsborough county on the temperance question with as much alarm as seems to have taken hold of a number of our citizens. . We have faith in the intelligence of the voters of Hillsborough county, and believe that they are capable of weighing argument and of deciding on the side of right. The temperance side of the issue has nothing to fear from a fair and full discussion of the question now before the people. . We believe that the suppression of the liquor traffic in Tampa and Hillsborough county will save several thousand dollars annually to the tax-payers; we believe that its suppression will elevate the status of the rising as well as the present generation of our people; we believe that its successful and permanent suppression will attract and bring into our borders the very best class of people from other sections of the country who are seeking homes in our favored and fair Florida. For these reasons the Journal supports the prohibition of the sale of liquor. . We do not believe that the closing of the saloons will drive any desirable citizen from our midst. It is our opinion that Messrs.Ybor & Co. view with unnecessary alarm the result upon their business. There is nothing in the Prohibition law that prevents the importation for private use, and the drinking of wines and liquors; the sale of it in saloons and drug stores is what is prohibited. We are also informed that quite a temperance sentiment is developing among the Cubans, and that a temperance society has been organized among them. If there were no saloons in Tampa and Ybor City it might prove that they would have less trouble with their operators. . But the Journal has faith in the future of Tampa and Hillsborough county whether it goes wet or dry on the 30th of September, and those men who are predicting such dire results to our city if the county goes dry will have to eat their own words in less than a year. Tampa Tribune September 15, 1887 BUSINESS IS BUSINESS What has [ sic ] the cigar factories done for us? This is an important inquiry and deserves careful consideration. They have turned about two hundred acres of almost worthless land into improved and valuable tax-paying real estate, worth hundreds of dollars per acre. They have erected nearly half a million dollars worth of buildings, giving employment to hundreds of mechanics and laborers and saw-mills. They have built a city of three-thousand inhabitants, adding this much to the population to our town, our county and our State. They help maintain our Steamship line to the West Indies, which adds so much importance to our port, and advertises us throughout the Union, and brings hundreds, if not thousands, of visitors to our city. In addition to the thousands of dollars invested here and the improvements of real estate, with its enhanced values, which helps pay our State and county taxes, they have caused an advance in
value of all surrounding real estate, including the whole of the city of Tampa, of from fifty to one thousand per cent, adding thus indirectly thousands of dollars to the taxable values of our county. They distribute from $8,000 to $10,000 weekly among their employees in the shape of wages. This money is spent among our merchants and people for clothing, food, fuel, etc. These people have to be fed, and they make a market for our beef, and for everything our farmers can raise. They make possible a progress and improvement we could not make without them and we can scarcely estimate their value to our town and county. Drive these factories away from here and we would have to depend for our money upon the crop of winter visitors. The merchant would miss them, the farmers' truck garden would be worthless without them, all would feel their loss. The more factories we have, the greater our progress and greater the benefits to be derived from them. Let Tampa and Hillsborough county do everything possible to encourage those we have, and to add more to their number. In this connection we would call attention to the following correspondence. Let every one read it and give it the consideration it deserves: . Tampa, Fla., Sept. 13,1887 Dear Sir :HKDYHEHIRUHXV\RXUOHWWHURIWKLVGDWHLQZKLFK\RXDVNXVRXURSLQLRQDVWRWKH probable effect of the prohibition movement, if successful, upon our business interest. We briefly state in reply that if prohibition means to deprive our workmen of the facilities to get, at the restaurants and other places, the light wines which they have been accustomed to use in their meals from their childhood, the effect would be in our opinion a general exodus to other shores where people are not dictated to as to how they are to dress and what they are to eat or to drink. Yours respectfully, V. MARTINEZ YBOR & Co. Tampa Journal September 29, 1887 PROHIBITION vs. ANTI-PROHIBITION Perhaps the largest crowd that ever assembled in Branchs Opera house was there last Monday night to hear the joint discussion on the Prohibition question.
Tampa Journal October 5, 1887 A GREAT BATTLE The County Goes Wet by Twenty-five Majority The oldest inhabitants tell us that never in the history of Tampa has there been an election like the one held yesterday. The people were awakened at 5 oclock in the morning by the ringing of church bells which was a signal for a congregation of the women and children who were to give their work and influence on the side of Prohibition during the day at the polls. By 7 oclock the women were on the court-house square putting up banners and preparing for the contest. Later about fifty children came marching down Franklin street with flags and banners flying, and making the air ring with temperance songs. Men were at work raising a large tent, preparing tables, etc. The white and colored bands, employed by the Antis were soon on the ground, and for a time the wildest confusion and almost deafening noise prevailed. The women went to work early, pinning dry badges upon the coats of Prohibition voters and distributing tickets. The Antis marshaled their forces and for a time the court house square was a regular pandemonium. Branchs Opera House was a three-story building on Franklin Street. It opened in 1884 and was used for both cultural and political events. Photograph from Tampa: A Pictorial History by Hampton Dunn.
But it was soon evident tha t the women and children had come to stay and were prepared to brave any amount of indignity that they might be called upon to encounter. At 8 oclock the polls opened and both sides got down to business. Tampa Journal October 5, 1887 THE LATEST The County Commissioners met on Tuesday and canvassed the vote of the county and declared the results below: PRECINCTS WET DRY 1. Pinellas 30 38 2. Johns Pass 17 12 3. Taylors School House 65 68 4. Curlew 5 81 5. Hermitage 19 24 6. Tampa 367 251 7. Peru 52 29 8. Moodys School House 0 19 9. Alafia 27 31 10. Thonotosassa 59 39 11. Cork 33 27 12. Little Manatee 7 3 13. Hurrah 15 12 14. Tarpon Springs 6 43 15. New Hope 39 72 16. Sidney 19 37 17. Keysville 8 24 18. Keystone Park 10 12 19. Plant City 57 153 20. Ybor City 229 61 1064 1036 Tampa Tribune October 13, 1887 THE SITUATION The appearance of things at this place, looked at calmly and rationally, is not half as alarming as some people think. Out of a population of 7,000 in a period of five or six weeks there have been forty cases of sickness, counting everything that could come under that head, from a bad cold to yellow fever, and seven deaths. Of the forty cases of sickness at least one-third have entirely recovered and are now out attending to business, and a great many of the balance are in a fair way to recover.
%XVLQHVVKDVUHFHLYHGDVHYHUHFKHFN LQIDFWIRUDZKLOHLVSDUD lyzed, and our city is desolate and distressfully quiet. Nearly all the business houses have closed and at first some people complained of a difficulty in securing even the necessaries of life, but no trouble is experienced on that account now. . In the past day or two things have assumed a decidedly more hopeful aspect, and the few people left here are more cheerful. Tampa Journal October 20, 1887 There is no reason why this disease [of yellow fever] can not be stamped out entirely within three weeks. There is but one reason why it has not been stamped out by this time, and that is because the officials have been slow and derelict in doing their duty. For a whole week after the epidemic first started simply nothing was done. Tampa Journal October 27, 1887 Unquestionably a great scourge has been resting upon the city of Tampa for nearly four weeks, causing the greatest suffering, the most intense anxiety and the most fearful consequences. It is a source of congratulation, however, that so many will have lived to tell the tale, that comparatively so few have been forced to surrender to the ruthless demands of the dread monster [of yellow fever]. . To live upon yellow fever for a month or six weeks; to sleep with it; to be plied with questions from early morn till dewy eve: How many new cases? Whos dead? Who is expected to die? To think of it by day; to dream of it by night; to realize that millions of microbes inhabit the blood of your veins; to feel that each day is one mile post passed and that each night is two, is enough to quake the courage of any ordinary mortal, and he who goes through this trying ordeal must be a man of iron nerves and brass-lined stomach. Tampa Journal November 10, 1887 Our citizens, who fled at the outbreak of the epidemic, and only remember Tampa with its bustling, business activity, its crowded streets, its happy, hopeful and prosperous people, will never fully appreciate and understand the gloom that has hung like a pall over the city for the past six long weeks. Franklin street, with its former bright electric lights in street and stores, has been the gloomiest place of all. After sunset the policemans solemn tread has been the only sound to break upon the deep stillness, save the old town clock, when it struck the long lonely hours; not even the watchman's familiar alls well followed. The only ray of light to be seen was reflected from the dim lamp that hung in the undertakers window. Not unfrequently was the sound of the funeral hearse heard as it bore some poor victim to the silent city of the dead. But the worst is over; the death clouds of danger are dispersing; the bright sunlight of hope is dawning upon us once more; but the sad picture that Tampa has presented to those who have looked upon it, has made impressions that will long remain in the memories of us all.
Tampa Journal November 24, 1887 FAIR WARNING Our absent citizens must not be allowed to return yet, even if we have to quarantine against them. No doubt many of them think that the frost Monday put an end to all danger EXWVXFKLV NOT THE CASE. A few mild cases still exist and in a few days, if no material appears for the fever to feed on, we will be entirely free of the pest. But if any more unacclimated persons come to town now it is likely to hang on indefinitely. Tampa Tribune December 1, 1887 LOOK AHEAD Two months ago no town in the State was growing more rapidly or had better prospects for the future than Tampa. Everything gave promise of a winter of unusual prosperity in every branch of trade and business RXUWRZQZDVRQDERRP7KHVFRXUJHVWUXFNXVDQGIRUVL[ZHHNVLQD business point of view, we have been a dead town. Our citizens have been scattered, our stores closed and nothing done. Our town, thank God, will in a few days be once more free from infection and the wheels of business again unloosed ready to move forward. The question for us to meet now is shall we look backward and mourn over the might have beens or shall we courageously look to the front at the shall be? It is only too true that we have met with a great calamity, but it is not irreparable, if we meet it with courage and energy. The same conditions that raised us up from a small hamlet to one of the most important and prosperous cities of the State are still in existence, and will still carry us forward in the march of progress if we but use the same energy in the future that has characterized our people in the past. . Tampa Journal December 29, 1887 THE OLD AND THE NEW Ere another issue of the Journal will have been made, the year 1887, with its record of good and bad and its freight of success and failures, of joys and sorrows, will have passed away, and 1888, freighted with its responsibilities and duties, its hopes and fears, will have been ushered upon us. . Coming down nearer home, to Tampa, fair Queen of the Gulf, to many of us a spot most dear, the year 1887 will long linger in our minds. Just as we had budded into cityhood, just when our people were preparing to garner the fruit of a seasons hard labor, a cruel enemy invaded our borders and for three long, dreadful months has it been the monarch of the field, inflicting untold suffering upon our people, disturbing our peace and prosperity and remorselessly destroying the lives of many of our fellow citizens. Christmas was not so merry with our people as it might
have been, and the New Year will not dawn upon many so brightly and so happily as it would have done had the cruel monster called y.f. come either earlier or later, or had departed sooner, or had passed us by altogether. But there seems to be something appropriate in the coincidence that the scourge dies with the dying year. The sighs that follow in its wake are not sighs of sadness, but of thankfulness and joy. Sleep on, thou ruthless monster, Sleep on, and may thy resurrection come not. But the year 1887 has not been all dark and dreary. During the first nine months Tampa flourished. Business of every kind prospered and her people were courageous and happy. New avenues to wealth were opened; her population steadily increased; commodious brick blocks were constructed, and to use a familiar term, Tampa boomed. And notwithstanding the fact that Tampa has received a temporary check, yet, there is much in the situation to inspire a renewal of confidence and courage. The possibilities of 1888 are hardly limited. . Tampa, located as it is, in such a fine and fair section of the country, the capitatal [ sic ] of one of the richest and best counties in the State, with its favorable and promising possibilities of being the great commercial metropolis of South Florida, with its energetic, enterprising and intelligent population, can not fail to attain the goal of its loftiest ambitions, and to realize the dream of its most sanguine admirers.
DOCUMENTING THE STRUGGLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS: THE PAPERS OF ROBERT AND HELEN SAUNDERS by David L. Chapman The recent acquisition of the Robert and Helen Saunders papers by the University of South Florida Library has made it easier for scholars and students to research an important, though often overlooked aspect of history. This collection contains correspondence, documents and publications covering the civil rights years from 1952-1966. It also contains correspondence and documents from 1966-1978, c overing Robert Saunders years as an Equal Opportunity Officer and Helen Saunders' year as president of the Tampa Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Robert W. Saunders was born in Tampa, Florida, in 1921 and he attended several local schools, graduating from Middleton High School in 1940. Saunders then attended Bethune-Cookman Robert W. Saunders in 1952. Photograph courtesy of U.S.F. Special Collections
College for two years before being drafted into the Army in 1942. He spent the war years as an enlisted man at Tuskegee Army Airfield, which had been set up by the U.S. Army as a segregated facility to train Negro pilots. In 1946, Saunders returned to Tampa where he worked for the city's weekly black newspaper, the Florida Sentinal Bulletin Saunders left for Detroit in 1947 to attend the Detroit Institute of Technology where he earned his bache lors degree. Upon graduation, Saunders was accepted by the University of Detroit School of Law, but he interrupted his program of study to join the staff of Detroits NAACP Branch as a volunteer engaged in voter registration. In 1952, following the murder of Harry T. Moore, president of the Florida NAACP Branches, Saunders was recruited to succeed him and become field secretary of the Florida NAACP during the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement from 1952 until 1966. In 1966 Saunders accepted a position as chief of the Civil Rights Division for the southeastern region of the Office of Equal Opportunity. He served in that capacity from 1966 to 1976 and was deeply involved in the federal governments War on Poverty Program. In 1976, he left federal service and accepted a position as chief of the Equal Opportunity Office for Hillsborough Helen Saunders (left) and Mazie Braxton, office secretary, in front of the Tampa Branch office on Harrison Street in the mid-1950s. Photograph courtesy of U.S.F. Special Collections.
County, the position that he currently occupies. Since his return to Tampa in 1976, Saunders has remained active in the Tampa NAACP Branch. Helen Strickland Saunders was born in Mims (Brevard County), Florida. The fifth of eight children, she attended public schools in Mims and Titusville, graduating from Titusville High School as the class valedictorian. After high school, she attended Bethune-Cookman College before choosing a career in the life insurance business. She was employed by the Central Life Insurance Company of Florida, where she served as a registrar and supervisor. H elen Saunders participation in the NAACP first began in Mims with the NAACP Youth Council. She was influenced by the leadership of Harry T. Moore of the NAACP who had also been one of her teachers. In 1964, she became secretary of the Tampa Branch of the NAACP, a position she held until she was elected as president of the branch in 1976. It was under her leadership of the Tampa Branch that a voter registration drive was initiated that was heralded as the most effective in the nation. In recognition of this accomplishment the Tampa Branch won the Thalheimer Award, the highest honor that a branch can achieve. Helen Saunders accepted the award at the 1980 NAACP national convention in Miami. Since leaving office in 1981, Helen Saunders has remained active in the Tampa Branch of the NAACP, serving on various committees. Located in the Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Library, the papers of Robert and Helen Saunders are open to researchers. Most of the records have been catalogued. Normally an archivist maintains a collection of personal papers as they were organized by the donor. This was not possible with Robert Saunders papers because they were completely intermingled and evidenced little logical progression. To complicate matters further, his papers had been stored in large cardboard boxes in his garage, and many of the documents had been water damaged and partially eaten by rodents. The condition of his papers necessitated a complete reorganization of the major portion of the collection. However, the organization of Helen Saunders papers has been maintained as she had originally kept them. The only thing that was done to her papers was to remove any duplicate documents. Due to the size and scope of this collection, it has been broken down into four series, the first three covering the career of Robert Saunders from 1952 to the present. The fourth series covers Helen Saunders' tenure with the Tampa branch of the NAACP. The first series of this collection covers Robert Saunders years from 1952 to 1966 as Field Secretary for the Florida NAACP. All of the files in this series are in alphabetical order, and all of the documents within the files are in chronological order with undated documents at the front of each file. This segment of Saunders career with the NAACP parallels the years of the civil rights movement. The Florida NAACP joined the battle in the early 1950s to desegregate schools and to end Jim Crow practices throughout the state. This included the much publicized Tallahassee bus boycott and the St. Augustine sit-ins. In direct response to the perceived threat from the NAACP, State Senator Charley Johns, in a proclaimed effort to search for Communists, ordered the Florida NAACP to turn over its membership lists to his Legislature Investigative Committee. The Florida NAACP in order to avoid complying with the Johns Committee sent many of its records to the national office, and these are now part of the NAACP collection in the Library of Congress.
The second ser ies, as yet unorganized, covers Robert Saunders years in Atlanta with the Office of Equal Opportunity from 1966 to 1976. Mr. Saunders has said that he believes that this segment of his records to be the most important of the entire collection. This series contains documents and correspondence on the federal governments War on Poverty. These records are valuable because they provide a regional look at the poverty program. This period covers the rise of Black Power and the destructive riots that swept most of the major cities in the country. It is also the period of black struggle for equal economic parity and the federal government's initiation of affirmative action. The third series of this collection contains records, still to be processed, of Robert Saunders service with the Hillsborough County Equal Opportunity Office from 1976 to the present. This series is important because it provides a look at how far the local black population of Hillsborough County has progressed towards economic equality with local whites. These documents will become a valuable tool to local historians in providing a detailed look at the economic status of blacks in the 1970s and 1980s. The fourth series of this collection encompasses the papers of Helen Saunders while she was president of the Tampa Branch of the NAACP. Although not yet catalogued, this series covers the late 1970s and early 1980s and complements the papers of Robert Saunders service with the Hillsborough County Equal Opportunity Office. These papers reflect the concerns of local blacks in their dealings with local governments and business interests. The records provide a look at the extent of political participation by blacks and the relationship between the NAACP and local authorities. The University of South Florida Library has also recently acquired the papers of Ruth W. Perry to supplement the Robert and Helen Saunders Collection. The Perry papers (partially organized) contain letters, documents and articles from the files of the Miami Branch NAACP relating to the Johns Committee. These documents were saved from the Miami Branch files by Ruth Perry who served as the secretary of the branch during the 1950s and early 1960s. This collection also contains copies of Ruth Perrys articles written for the Miami Times a black newspaper. The Ruth Perry Collection is important because it contains documents that are no longer in local NAACP files due to the Johns Committees demand for access to those records. These documents were culled from the Miami Branch NAACP files by Ruth Perry and kept in her home until they were donated this year to the University of South Florida Library. The following is a shelf list of the Robert and Helen papers. SERIES #1 Robert W. Saunders, 1952-1966: Florida Field Secretary of the NAACP. All files in this series are in alphabetical order within the boxes, and all documents are in chronological order in each of the files with undated documents at the front. Box #1 File #1 Activities Reports of the Florida Field Secretary File #2 Address and Appointment Books of R. Saunders
File #3 Alfred Lewis Baker File File #4 Awards made to R. Saunders File #5 Correspondence File #6 &RUUHVSRQGHQFH File #7 &RUUHVSRQGHQFH File #8 &RUUHVSRQGHQFH File #9 &RUUHVSRQGHQFH Box #2 File #1 &RUUHVSRQGHQFH File #2 &RUUHVSRQGHQFH File #3 Court Decisions and Laws Collected by R. Saunders File #4 Desegregation Misc. File #5 Desegregation of Public Facilities File #6 Desegregation of Schools File #7 Discrimination by Police and Courts File #8 Election of NAACP Officers and Officer Listings File #9 Equal Employment Opportunity and Job Discrimination Box #3 File #1 Fair Housing and Urban Renewal File #2 Finances: Misc. Expenses File #3 Finances: NAACP Financial Reports File #4 Finances: NAACP Legal Expenses File #5 Finances: NAACP Membership Dues and Donations File #6 Finances: NAACP Operating Expenses File #7 Finances: Travel Expenses of R. Saunders File #8 Johns Committee File #9 MacDill AFB and Military Discrimination File #10 Miami Branch NAACP Box #4 File #1 Minutes of Meetings for NAACP Staff File #2 Misc. Letters and memos from NAACP National and Regional Office File #3 Misc. Letters to R. Saunders File #4 NAACP Annual Conferences File #5 NAACP Chapter Formations File #6 NAACP Committee Reports File #7 NAACP Conference Statements File #8 NAACP and General Publications Collected by R. Saunders File #9 NAACP Membership File
Box #5 File #1 NAACP Youth Council File #2 Newspaper Clippings Collected by R. Saunders File #3 Press Releases, Editorials, and Announcements File #4 Speakers Bureau File #5 Speeches made by R. Saunders File #6 Speeches Collected by R. Saunders File #7 St. Augustine File File #8 Tallahassee File File #9 Tampa Branch NAACP File #10 Voter Registration File #11 Ybor City File SERIES #2 Robert W. Saunders, 1966-76: Chief of Civil Rights Division, Southeastern Regional District for the Office of Equal Opportunity. All files are arranged in alphabetical order, and all of the documents in each file are in chronological order with undated documents at the front. Box #1 File #1 Affirmative Action Plans & Programs File #2 Consultants & Legal Aid Societies File #3 Correspondence: 4/66-6/66 File #4 Correspondence: 7/66-9/66 File #5 Correspondence: 10/66-12/66 File #6 Correspondence: 1/67-6/67 (Note: Correspondence from 6/67-12/67 is missing.) Box #2 File #1 Correspondence: 1/68-3/68 File #2 Correspondence: 4/68-6/68 File #3 Correspondence: 7/68-9/68 File #4 Correspondence: 10/68-12/68 File #5 Correspondence: 1/69-6/69 (Note: Many of the letters in this file were partially eaten by insects.) Box #3 File #1 Correspondence: 7/69-12/69 File #2 Correspondence: 1/70-3/70 File #3 Correspondence: 4/70-6/70 File #4 Correspondence: 7/70-9/70 File #5 Correspondence: 10/70-12/70 File #6 Correspondence: 1/71-3/71
Box #4 File #1 Correspondence: 4/71-6/71 (Note: Correspondence mostly missing after 6/71.) File #2 Correspondence: 6/72-7/76 File #3 Court Decisions & Laws collected by R. Saunders File #4 EEO Complaints File #5 Federal Executive Board File #6 Letter to R. Saunders File #7 Memos from Office of Equal Opportunity Box #5 File #1 NAACP Records collected by R. Saunders File #2 Newspaper Articles collected by R. Saunders File #3 Office of Equal Opportunity Position Statements File #4 Personnel: Promotion, Personnel Policies, & other misc. papers File #5 Personnel: R. Saunders Employee Records File #6 Personnel: Employee Evaluations by R. Saunders &RQILGHQWLDO QRWWREHXVHGZLWKRXWWKHH[SUHVVSHUPLVVLRQRI Robert W. Saunders File #7 Position and Research Papers collected by R. Saunders File #8 Press Releases (Note: not in any specific order) Box #6 File #1 Reports on the White House Conference: To Fulfill These Rights. File #2 Speeches by R. Saunders File #3 Speeches, Addresses, and Statements collected by R. Saunders File #4 Training Policies and Requests File #5 Training Materials File #6 Travel Expenses and Records of R. Saunders SERIES #3 Robert W. Saunders, 1976-present: Chief of Hillsborough Countys Equal Opportunity Office. All files in this series are in alphabetical order within the boxes, and all documents in the files are in chronological order in each of the files with undated documents toward the front. Box #1 File #1 Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity File #2 Awards and Certificates of R. Saunders File #3 Correspondence: 1976-1981 File #4 Court Decisions and Laws collected by R. Saunders File #5 Haitian Refugees File #6 Letters to R. Saunders
File #7 Memos from Hillsborough County Equal Opportunity Office File #8 NAACP: Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity File #9 NAACP: Conferences and Conventions Box #2 File #1 NAACP: Correspondence 11/79-2/85 File #2 NAACP: Directories and Officer Listings File #3 NAACP: Election of Officers File #4 NAACP: Executive Committee Florida State Conference of Branches File #5 NAACP: Finances File #6 NAACP: Internal Investigations File #7 NAACP: John G. Ripley Foundation File #8 NAACP: Letters to R. Saunders File #9 NAACP: Membership and Freedom Fund File #10 NAACP: Misc. Banquets and Dinners Box #3 File #1 NAACP: Misc. Materials File #2 NAACP: Political Action Committee and Voter Registration File #3 NAACP: Tampa Branch File #4 NAACP: Youth Council File #5 Newspaper Clippings Collected by R. Saunders: 4/76-12/79 File #6 Newspaper Clippings Collected by R. Saunders: 1/80-10/83 File #7 Speeches by R. Saunders File #8 Speeches, Addresses, and Interviews Collected by R. Saunders File #9 Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council SERIES #4: Helen, S. Saunders Papers (uncatalogued).
BOOK REVIEWS La Relacin o Naufragios de Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca Eds. Martin A. Favata and Jos B. Fernndez. Potomic, Maryland. Scripta Humanistica, vol. 21. 1986. Bibliography. Index. Pp. xix, 172. Cloth. $27.50. Alvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca was one of the premier story tellers of the mid-sixteenth century. His first best seller was the tale of his wanderings in Texas and Northern Mexico from 1529 to 1536. This romance, as some recent critics have called it, saw print in 1542. It was followed by a second account, this time of his adventures in the Rio de la Plata, to which he went as governor from 1540 to 1545. This second story was printed along with the first, somewhat corrected, in 1555. This edition of the Spanish text of Cabeza de Vacas Florida story is based on the 1555 edition, with passages that vary from that text in the 1542 edition printed in italics. An appendix lists the readings of the two texts in parallel columns for readers curious to see how Cabeza, or his printer, changed the text. In the majority of cases, the changes are unimportant, serving more to clarify than to change meaning. Besides indicating the differences between the texts, the editors (in their introduction) provide a handy summary of the various editions of Cabeza de Vacas tale, and they interject occasional notes to explain what they take to be obscure points in the text. In addition, they have modernized the spelling, a liberty that some purists will find objectionable but that the average reader of modern Spanish will welcome. The lack of any additional critical apparatus in the form of a more extended commentary on the text, or even a bibliography of selected works about Cabeza de Vaca and his wanderings, makes this work less useful than it might have been for both specialist and novice. For example, readers of this journal will no doubt want to know the state of scholarly opinion on where Cabeza and his fellow conquistadores landed on the west coast of Florida. However, that form of presentation apparently is not what the series seeks to achieve, and so this text omits all but the most necessary of scholarly apparatus. In sum, this is a fine reproduction of the texts of both editions of Cabezas tale, with minimal scholarly apparatus. Persons reading Spanish will want to add this volume to their Floridiana libraries. Paul E. Hoffman Afro-Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History By Susan D. Greenbaum. Tampa. 1986. Tampa Printing. Photographs. Notes. Pp. 37. Paper. $4.00
A long-awaited missing link in the ethnohistory of Tampa has at last been documented thanks to anthropologist Susan Greenbaum. Afro-Cubans in Ybor City: A Centennial History combines research and interpretation with oral histories and a superb collection of previously unpublished photographs. This book provides the first thorough study of Tampas Afro-Cubans. In line with her quote of Fernando Ortiz, Sin el negro no seria Cuba (Without the Negro there would be no Cuba), so too, without her contribution, our local historical perspective would be incomplete. Dr. Greenbaum introduces the reader to the historical experience of blacks in Cuba, where a less restrictive racial attitude allowed the retention of numerous African cultural traits. Unlike the more repressive form of slavery in the United States, Cuban slavery did not isolate Africans as completely from whites, thereby allowing African cultural characteristics to be absorbed into the overall society. The emergence of cigar factories in Cubas urban centers resulted in the employment of Afro-Cubans, and some became integral parts of the emerging Cuban middle class. They were also involved as political activitists in the Cuban Ten Years War (1868-1878) and the Spanish American War. As a result of Spanish repression, particularly after 1878, Afro-Cubans joined the exiles who Red to Key West and later Tampa, bringing their cultural heritage with them. The social and The original building of La Union Mart-Maceo in Ybor City. Photography courtesy of U.S.F. Special Collections.
cultural differences between black and white Cubans expanded in the U.S., influenced, according to Dr. Greenbaum, by Florida's segregation laws. One result was that Afro-Cubans in Tampa retained their cultural heritage. In the early 1900s, they established the cornerstone of local AfroCuban identity, La Unin Mart-Maceo. Throughout the twentieth century, Afro-Cubans faced the same problems of unemployment (due to the decline in the cigar industry), the depression and the destruction of their community by urban renewal which eroded the cohesiveness of other ethnic groups in Tampa. Yet the Afro-Cubans not only survived but also extended their influence in Ybor City, West Tampa, and A Tampa cigar label. Photography courtesy of Thomas Vance and L. Glenn Westfall.
Tampa proper. La Unon Mart-Maceo member Silvia Grian, for example, was the first black teacher to integrate Tampa schools. Other members of the community, such as Francisco A. Rodriguez, Laureano Diaz, Rogelio Alfonso, and Juan Casallas, became community leaders who proudly retained their cultural identity. During the past two decades, the revitalization of Ybor City has addressed the issue of ethnic identity, but not until Dr. Greenbaums study has the role of Afro-Cubans been properly assessed. The papers of La Unon Mart-Maceo, recently made a part of the holdings of the Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Library, are now accessible to researchers, thanks to the efforts of club members and Dr. Greenbaum. She deserves the kudos of her fellow professionals and members of the Tampa community for her significant contribution to the history of Tampas ethnic heritage. L. Glenn Westfall Outposts on the Gulf Saint George Island & Apalachicola from Early Exploration to World War II By William Warren Rogers. Pensacola, Florida. 1987. University of West Florida Press. Pp. 297. Illustrations. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $28.95. During their final weeks in office, Governor Bob Graham and his cabinet sorted through the history of sewage treatment plans on Saint George Island. Governor Bob Martinez had barely taken over when a controversial state purchase on the island appeared on the cabinets agenda, not to vanish for a while. Franklin County issues are popular in the capital; Tallahassee views the county's land and water as an important state concern. While Apalachicolans fear that their city may be turned into a living museum, Franklin County wonders why this pristine region must be preserved at the expense of those who can least afford to forego growth. On February 26, 1987, the Apalachicola Times lamented that in modern Florida never have so few been asked to sacrifice so much for so many in the name of statesmanship. For much of the nineteenth century, Apalachicola developed as the cotton city for Georgia and Alabama, far ahead of other Florida towns. Decades before the discovery of the Sanibels and Sand Keys, Saint George Island brochures stirred investors dreams. Yet today the passing traveler may mistake the county seat for a ghost town, and on the island developers continue to go bankrupt. Although lumbering, oystering and shrimping took up some of the slack when cotton shipping came to an end after the post-Civil War boom, Franklins economy was never truly diversified, and agriculture never took hold. It remains one of Floridas poorest counties. Still, those and other handicaps, such as a badly neglected port and inadequate communication (Apalachicola Bay received its first bridge as late as 1935!), failed to discourage the settlement of what Professor Rogers calls a tolerant and cosmopolitan society not common to the rest of the South (p. 93). The author, however, does not spend much time explaining the ways and the whims of the people of Franklin County. Rather, almost half of the book is devoted to an outsider, a promoter from Kentucky who was easily the equal of Miami's frenetic developers (p. 156). The oyster magnate William Lee Popham (1885-1953) was as successful as the developer Popham was a colorful fraud. Saint George Island at that time aspired to become another Hot Springs,
Arkansas, with the additional attraction of manufacturing plants that turned dolphin hides into shoestrings. While Professor Rogers hero always blended the future with the present (p. 211), many others in Franklin County were (and are) far more cautious. The author does not ask why Apalachicola Bay remains an unmined treasure, but a promised second volume, carrying the story to the present, may fill the gap. Fortunately, many people who shaped more recent developments (like Captain George Kirvin, a latter-day oyster-Popham) are still around to help Rogers update the countys history. For what is often a plodding, meticulously documented but minutely detailed picture, one wishes for a lighter touch and a broader stroke throughout. The bewildering and trivial sequence of owners of Saint George Island is treated with the same seriousness as is the interesting episode of Civil War blockade running. Nevertheless, the people of Apalachicola and Franklin County are very fortunate to have found a historian of Professor Rogers congeniality and scholarly qualifications to satisfy their remarkable historical pride and curiosity. At the book signing, they demonstrated their appreciation: almost three hundred showed up, and many had to be sent home without their own copies. This superbly produced study is truly one to treasure, as the University Presses of Florida spared no effort to make Outposts on the Gulf a very handsome book. Georg H. Kleine Holy Smoke By G. Cabrera Infante. New York, 1985. Harper & Row. Pp. 329. Cloth. $16.95 This book has little to do with the Tampa Bay area, but a serious student of the history of the region would be well served by a careful reading of Holy Smoke The book is about cigar smoking: its history, its impact on Western culture and its mystique in the popular imagination. The, book, in short, serves as a sociocultural treatise on the appeal of the cigar, from which one can arrive at some understanding about the sources of the vitality of the cigar industry in Tampa. The Cuban-born writer, now living in exile in England, approaches the subject of the cigar with the eye of a novelist and the range of a scholar. His inquiry allows him to display his wit and the range of his erudition, and the result is a highly readable and entertaining book. The reader learns how tobacco is grown, where it is cultivated, how cigars are made, the characteristics of the varieties of shapes and lengths and the rites and rituals of proper cigar smoking. Cabrera Infante elaborates on the art and form of smoking a cigar: when to smoke (the evening. .is the hour of the cigar), where to smoke (smoke indoors always, never take your cigar with you outdoors) DQGKRZORQJWRVPRNHDJRRGFLJDUVKRXOGODVWIRUHYHU RUDIHZVHFRQGV,QRQHRIWKH more interesting sections of the book, Cabrera Infante deals cleverly but with sociological insight with the symbolic aspects of cigars in the culture: the use of cigars in literature, art and film to denote variously corruption, wealth, and power. Cigarettes are effete, cigars are macho. In sum, this is required background reading for anyone who seeks to understand how the economy of Tampa could at one time have been sustained by principally cigar manufacturing. Cigars were big business, finding connoisseurs from among such a diverse range of people, heroes and anti-heroes alike, such as Mark Twain and Edward G. Robinson, Winston Churchill and W.C. Fields, Bertolt Brecht and Groucho Marx. For as little as five cents, everyone else could light up and be transported to the place of his fantasy.
Louis A. Prez, Jr.
ANNOUNCEMENTS The sales ledgers of C.P. Frank, a Fort Myers realtor who developed Lincoln Park in the 1920s and 1930s, have been donated to the Fort Myers Historical Museum. Frank, one of the first developers in what is now Dunbar Park, sold lots for $90-$125. He was one of the first developers in the area to sell property to blacks, and his ledgers record sales from 1925 to 1944. Some buyers paid as little as $2 a week or $5 a month for their property. Payments which filled 25 ledger pages in 1925 were reduced to just seven lines for all of 1931. Frank's record books are displayed in the Sanders room at the Fort Myers Historical Museum, 2300 Peck Street. The museum is open Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Admission is two dollars for adults, and fifty cents for children under 12. For more information, call the museum at 813-332-5955. The Florida Historical Society annually awards three literary prizes for original work done in Florida history. These awards were announced at the 1987 meeting held in St. Augustine on May 8-9. The Arthur W. Thompson Memorial Prize in Florida History for 1986-1987 went to Dr. Harry Kersey, Jr., Florida Atlantic University, for his article, "Florida Seminoles in the Depression and New Deal, 1933-1942: An Indian Perspective," which appeared in the October 1986 issue of the Florida Historical Quarterly The Rembert W. Patrick Memorial Book Award was presented to Dr. William S. Coker, University of West Florida, and Dr. Thomas D. Watson, McNeese State University (Lake Charles, LA), for their book Indian Raders of the Southeastern Spanish Borderlands: Panton, Leslie & Company and John Forbes & Company, 1783-1847 This volume was published by the University of Florida Press. The Charlton W. Tebeau Junior Book Award went to The Tomorrow Star written by Dorothy Francis, Marshalltown, Iowa. Her book was published by Weekly Reader Books, Middletown, Connecticut.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS PAUL EUGEN CAMP is an Associate Librarian in the Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Library. DAVID L. CHAPMAN is a graduate student in history at the University of South Florida. PAUL E. HOFFMAN is an Associate Professor of History at Louisiana State University. GEORG H. KLEINE is an Associate Professor of History at the University of South Florida and a frequent visitor to Saint George Island. LOUIS A. PEREZ, JR., is a Graduate Research Professor at the University of South Florida and the author of numerous books on Cuban history. JOHN J. SULLIVAN, a former New York educator, did graduate work in history at New York University. He currently operates a farm in Sarasota County. L. GLENN WESTFALL is a Professor of Social Sciences at the Brandon campus of Hillsborough Community College and the author of Key West: Cigar City, U.S.A.
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 ROBERT P. INGALLS Associate Editor STEVEN F. LAWSON Associate Editor NANCY A. HEWITT Administrative Editor PEGGY CORNETT Editorial Assistant SANDRA SERRANO Administrative Assistant SYLVIA WOOD Production Coordinator LYNDALL W. LEE 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). ISSN: 0272-1406. 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 $15 for one year. Single issues and back files are available. Printed semi-annually, in the spring/summer and fall/winter. Tampa Bay History disclaims responsibility for statements made by contributors. Tampa Bay History is indexed in Historical Abstracts, America: History and Life
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: U.S. troops, who "slept this way to keep above water," at Port Tampa in 1898. See photographic essay, page 17.
BOARD OF ADVISORS DONALD BALDWIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Modern Media Institute PATRICIA BARTLETT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fort Myers Historical Museum BERYL BOWDEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Publisher Emeritus, Clewiston News HAMPTON DUNN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historian MITCH EMMANUEL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Attorney KENDRICK FORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pinellas County Historical Museum MARION B. GODOWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historian LELAND HAWES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tampa Tribune HARRIS H. MULLEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ybor Square Ltd. TRAVIS J. NORTHCUTT, JR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human Resources Institute, University of South Florida ANTHONY PIZZO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Historian SAM RAMPELLO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hillsborough County School Board CARL RIGGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Center for Excellence in Mathematics, University of South Florida WALLACE RUSSELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Academic Affairs, University of South Florida ROBERT SAUNDERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hillsborough County Office of Equal Opportunity Affairs CATHY SLUSSER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Manatee Village Historical Park TERRY A. SMILJANICH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Attorney CHERIE TROPED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roped Communications, Inc. JACKIE WATSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pioneer Florida Museum
"EMANCIPATION CELEBRATION" "The colored people in this section celebrated the anniversary of their freedom last week with great eclat. Their numbers in Tampa were largely augmented by several train loads of excursionists from points on the South Florida. Games of ball, balls, parties and other amusements were the order of the day, the day previous to the celebration. While all of our colored fellow citizens seemed to be enthused as much as they possibly could, there was nothing disorderly or boisterous in their demonstration. The committee of arrangements had perfected a program which was successfully carried out; and great credit is due the committee for their excellent management. The procession through the streets was preceded by the Tampa colored band which discoursed lively music. On arriving at the garrison the Rev. T. Thompson delivered the opening address. After singing and prayer, which was followed by the introduction of the Goddess of Liberty, the Queen of May, the King and Sunday school children, refreshments were then served, after which speeches were delivered. . Tampa Journal May 26, 1887.
"PHILHARMONIC CONCERT" "The Philharmonic Society gave their closing concert of the season on Tuesday evening ... at Branch's opera house, the subject being Williams' Cantata 'Christ the Lord.' The hall was profusely decorated with the choicest flowers, which showed by their pleasing arrangement that the artistic taste of the ladies of the Society does not confine itself to the realms of song. The audience, though small, was brilliant and cultured, and the music rendered, which was undoubtedly of a high character, was evidently greatly appreciated by them. This was in a great measure due to the exact and skillful manner in which the different choruses were performed. We have always thought that a society like the present Philharmonic, of which every member is a trained and able musician, will give greater pleasure and satisfaction to themselves and others than a large chorus overburdened with a number of rough and unmanagable voices, depending more on the sound of the piano and on one another, than on the conductor's baton. Certainly choruses better executed as to time, modulation, crispness, etc., we never heard." Tampa Journal June 16, 1887.
"EXHORBITANT SALARIES" "The City Council as a whole did right in arresting the proposition of the Finance Committee to pay the city's officials exhorbitant salaries. Had the recommendation of $600 and one-third of the fees for the Mayor been adopted, he would have received fully $1,500 for his year's services, and the amount paid other officials would have been in proportion." Tampa Journal July 21, 1887.
"THE ELECTRIC LIGHT" "Tampa was illuminated with electric light last Monday night for the first time. The company has been delayed considerably and were a few weeks behind the time they at first expected to be ready. The machinery is not yet perfectly regulated, but the light produced was very fine and promises to prove perfectly satisfactory. This enterprise marks another epoch in the progress of Tampa. Let us take courage and press on. The big hotel, water works and the streets paved are needs that must be secured during the year 1887." Tampa Journal April 28, 1887.
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Tampa Bay history.
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