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Tampa Bay history.
n Vol. 12, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 1990).
p (Download Complete Issue Adobe PDF version)
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b Dept. of History, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Florida.
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University of South Florida.
Dept. of History.
t Tampa Bay History.
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FALL/WINTER 1990 VOLUME 12, NUMBER 2 CONTENTS Acknowledgements 3 From the Editors 4 ARTICLES The "Sarrazota, or Runaway Negro Plantations": Tampa Bay's First Black Community, 1812-1821 .....................................................Canter Brown, Jr. 5 Odet Philippe: From Charleston to Tampa Bay ...................................J. Allison DeFoor,II 20 Brandon, Florida, 1890-1990: A Photographic Essay ........................................................................Lisa W. Rodriguez 31 NOTES AND DOCUMENTS The Florida Peninsular's View of Slavery, 1855-1861 ....................................................................................R. Wade Wetherington 4 6 BOOK REVIEWS Davis, Public Faces Private Lives, Women in South Florida1870-1910s .............................................................................................By Ellen J. Babb 72 Dunn, Back Home: A History of Citrus County, Florida .........................................................................................By Mary Lou Harkness 73 Miller and Pozzetta, Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race and the Urban South .................................................................By Robert Kerstein 76 Announcements 77 Notes on Contributors 78 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest 79 Copyright 1990 by the University of South Florida Typography and composition by RAM Printing by RALARD PRINTING, Dade City, Florida This public document was promulgated at an annual cost of $5,840.00 1 or $7.35 per copy, including preparation, printing, and distribution, to I disseminate historical information related to the service area of the University of South Florida. (91-15)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The editors extend their appreciation to the following people who have made special contributions to TAMPA BAY HISTORY. PATRONS SUSTAINERS Nancy and Ira Gouterman J. S. Baillie George N. Johnson, Jr. Joe Byars Mark Orr Mrs. B. W. Council Bill Wagner Russell Hughes Marvin L. Ivey Bruce M. Klay William E. Rumph R. J. Taylor, Jr. Yarbrough & Tench, CPA's FRIENDS Mary Wyatt Allen Robin Krivanek Norma Lopez Bean Robert F. Landstra, M.D. James W. Belcher Robin Lewis Joan F. Berry Betty Harrison Liles Henry J. Binder W. S. McKeithen Bertha P. Bobbitt Susan Northcutt Guy E. Burnette Mrs. Lester Olson Irene Cattell Solon F. O'Neal, Jr. Selma Cohen Lois Paradise Richard Cole, M.D. Harley E. Riedell, II Lawrence C. Cottrell R. James Robbins H. L. Crowder Roland Rodriguez Dr. Martin Denker Jane Ryan C. Fred Deuel Arsenio Sanchez Dr. Charles K. Donegan Dr. Paul J. Schmidt John C. Egan Sandra Serrano Charles W. Emerson Sheldon J. Shalett John M. Fitzgibbons R. E. Shoemaker Howard L. Garrett Arthur W. Singleton Joseph Garrison Mr. and Mrs. Dick Stowers William H. Gates Hugh Stribling Sam Gibbons Maynard F. Swanson John M. Hamilton, M.D. Mr. & Mrs. Charlton W. Tebeau Leon R. Hammock Keith Templeton William N. Hayes Mary J. Van der Ancher Raymond Horn Curtis Vanlandingham Jr. George Howell Mr. & Mrs. David E. Ward John Arthur Jones Mrs. John D. Ware
Thomas H. Jones Myrtice S. Watson Thomas A. Kearns Mr. & Mrs. C. L. Williamson
FROM THE EDITORS United States history is perceived by many Europeans as a contradiction in terms. How, they ask, could a nation so young have a history? One wonders what such people would say about Tampa Bay history. Continuous recorded history is not only relatively short for this area but also difficult to document since the original native inhabitants were wiped out by European diseases and the early period of European and American colonization was characterized by a small number of settlers living under frontier conditions. Rather than a restatement or reinterpretation of known facts, much of nineteenth-century Florida history is a search for evidence of what actually occurred, especially in isolated regions, such as south Florida. As a result, the articles published in Tampa Bay History often cover more accessible twentieth-century topics. This issue focuses on unknown or little known events of the nineteenth century. Indeed, the first article, "The 'Sarrazota, or Runaway Negro Plantations': Tampa Bay's First Black Community, 1812-1821," documents a previously missing chapter of Tampa Bay history. From a variety of original sources, historian Canter Brown, Jr., has discovered the existence of a community of runaway slaves that long escaped the attention of historians. Although the community was destroyed in 1821, it briefly provided refuge for runaway slaves and, as a result, captured the attention of leading Americans, such as Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun. Another historical detective, J. Allison DeFoor, has pieced together more information about Odet Philippe, one of Tampa Bay's earliest non-native settlers. In "Odet Philippe: From Charleston to Tampa Bay," DeFoor documents Philippe's life in South Carolina during the 1820s and speculates about the mysterious origins of this legendary figure. The photo essay by Lisa W. Rodriguez traces the history of Brandon, an unincorporated area of Hillsborough County that recently celebrated its centennial. Previously unpublished photographs give a graphic sense of life in this community before and after the turn of the century. The article by R. Wade Wetherington documents "The Florida Peninsular's View of Slavery, 1855-1861," by reproducing a selection of articles and advertisements from Tampa's only surviving newspaper of the period. These pieces provide dramatic insight into the institution of slavery and some attitudes toward it. The editors are pleased to announce that the 1990 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest was won by James A. Schnur. His entry, which examines the desegregation of Pinellas County schools, will be published in the next issue of Tampa Bay History
THE SARRAZOTA, OR RUNAWAY NEGRO PLANTATIONS: TAMPA BAY'S FIRST BLACK COMMUNITY, 1812-1821 by Canter Brown, Jr. In April 1822 a resident of St. Augustine penned a lengthly account of recent events in the new Territory of Florida for the readers of a Boston newspaper. In so doing he hinted at an intriguing tale of enterprise, courage, and tragedy which occurred in the Tampa Bay area early in the nineteenth century. That tale, still largely unreported and almost forgotten, involved hundreds of black men, women, and children who yearned for the freedom afforded them by the relatively uninhabited lower Gulf coast. It also included southern slaveholders anxious for the enslavement of those blacks, and it featured bands of Coweta Creek Indians, desirous of the rewards that the favor of those slaveholders could provide. The St. Augustine resident, Charles Vignoles, wrote in 1822: The indians and negroes have been lately so connected with events in Florida, that a few observations, so far as they have been concerned, may perhaps be not unnecessary. The latter wars made by the Indians upon the United States having compelled the government to coercive measures, ending in the total defeat of Creeks, Choctaws, Alabamas and other hostile nations, many of the chiefs, most prominent in their depredations, fled away, and traversing the Seminole nation, settled themselves about Tampa Bay, Charlotte Harbor and their waters. The remnant of the black and colored people, who had served with Col. Nichols during the war, fugitive slaves from all the southern states, as well as from the Spanish plantations in Florida, followed up the steps of the Indians and formed considerable settlements on the waters of Tampa Bay. When the Indians went in pursuit of these negroes, such as escaped made their way down to Cape Florida and the Reef, where they were collected, within a year past, to the number of three hundred. Numbers of them have, at different times since, been carried off by the Bahama wreckers to Nassau; but the British authorities having invariably refused to allow them to be landed, they have been smuggled into remoter islands, and at this period large numbers of them are to be found on St. Andrews Island and the Biminis.1 The beginning of the tale touched upon by Charles Vignoles in the 1820s can be traced to the final months of 1812. Spanish Florida, at least its northeast corner, was embroiled in what has come to be known as the Patriot War. That struggle involved an attempt by Georgians and American-born residents of Florida to liberate East Florida from Spanish rule.2 A major incident of the war occurred on September 27, 1812, when a volunteer force of Georgians under Colonel Daniel Newnan engaged a party of Seminoles and their black allies under King Payne near present-day Gainesville. After an indecisive day-long battle and several anxious days of waiting, *The author wishes to express his appreciation to James W. Covington and to Leland Hawes for their kind assistance in the preparation of this article.
Newnans volunteers were compelled slowly and painfully to withdraw to the St. Johns River.3 In the aftermath of Newnans encounter, Creek Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins passed on to his superiors an interesting report. King Payne had died of wounds, Hawkins noted, and the hostiles had removed deep into the Florida peninsula. Such of their stock as they could command, the report continued, had been driven in that direction, and he [Hawkins informant] believed the negroes were going the same way.4 Within a few months Hawkins information had become more specific. After meeting with a deputation of twenty chiefs, he informed Georgias governor, They told me the negroes were now separated and at a distance from the Indians on the Hammocks or the Hammoc not far from Tampa bay.5 As survivors of the Patriot War fled to the Tampa Bay area, other events had been set in motion which soon added to the areas refugee population. Most immediately, in the summer of 1813 civil war erupted in the Creek Nation in Alabama and western Georgia. In that conflict Red Stick Upper Creeks, inspired by Tecumseh and led by the Tallahassee (or Tallassee) chief Peter McQueen, battled Lower Creeks under the leadership of the Coweta chief, William McIntosh. Late in the year Andrew Jackson, in command of several thousand Tennessee volunteers, entered the fray against the Red Sticks, and on March 27, 1814, his and McIntoshs combined forces decisively defeated their foes at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.6 The only Red Stick chief to surrender in the battles aftermath, however, was McQueens ally, William Weatherford, who was taken under Jacksons protection.7 McQueen and approximately 1,000 of his followers escaped into Spanish West Florida.8 Awaiting McQueen and his followers in West Florida were two men who represented an additional conflict then underway. English Colonel Edward Nicolls and his subordinate, Captain George Woodbine, were desirous of enlisting Red Sticks into the British forces contesting the War of 1812. Nicolls and Woodbines efforts proved successful among the refugees of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, as they also had among some East Florida Seminoles. Additionally, the English welcomed four hundred black men into their ranks, most of whom were slaves of the Indians, slaves liberated by the British at Spanish Pensacola, or else runaways from the southern slave states.9 Nicolls forces had no greater success than the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend. On January 8, 1815, American forces, again commanded by Andrew Jackson, turned back the British from the key port city of New Orleans. Nicolls and his men thereafter found protection in a fortress the Englishman had erected at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River. Shortly after his arrival on that river Nicolls received orders to withdraw from Spanish Florida. Before doing so, however, he turned over the fort, together with its supplies and armaments, to his black troops. Thereafter, it was known as the Negro Fort.10 Not all of Nicolls black troops remained at the Negro Fort. Captain Woodbine appears either to have felt a special responsibility for his black recruits or to have seen in them a potential asset to be protected until they could be utilized in his own or Britains interest. At some point in 1815 likely with Nicolls encouragement and, perhaps, with his sponsorship Woodbine departed with a number of them for Tampa Bay.11 One source vaguely suggests that the party of blacks numbered approximately eighty.12
The area of Tampa Bay in the 1810s certainly held attractions for Woodbine and his party. It was remote from centers of American authority as well as from eager southern slavecatchers. As has been seen, black survivors of the Patriot War already were located there. The locale was easily accessible from the sea, thus making practicable the resupply of the settlement from the British Bahamas. Tampa Bay also provided a magnificent harbor which afforded desperately needed protection from the hazards of nature for ocean-going vessels. Underscoring these points, at least as early as 1812 Spanish fisherman had erected a rancho on the Oyster River, a tributary of nearby Sarasota Bay.13 Just where was the black refuge at Tampa Bay? The answer to that question was provided by one of Floridas early historians. John Lee Williams visited the lower Gulf coast in 1828. Nine years later in The Territory of Florida Williams reported: A stream that enters the bay joining the entrance of Oyster River, on the S. W. was ascended about six miles. It was forty yards wide, and six feet deep, but full of islands. At four miles from the mouth, a grass plain rises gradually from the west side to the height of fifteen feet, and skirted on the west with hammock land, that William Weatherford surrendering to General Andrew Jackson after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Photograph from McIntosh and Weatherford by Benjamin W. Griffith.
extended north and south as far as the eye could reach. Continuing, he added: The point between these two rivers is called Negro Point. The famous Arbuthnot and Ambrister had at one time a plantation here cultivated by two hundred negroes. The ruins of their cabins, and domestic utensils are still seen on the old fields.14 Williams confused George Woodbine with two other Englishmen, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert C. Ambrister, who later became involved with affairs at Tampa Bay, but his description of the site of the black refuge remains helpful. Williams also provided additional clues by including in his book a detailed map of Florida. Illustrated quite clearly on Sarasota Bay is the Oyster R. The adjacent lands to the south and east are marked Old Spanish Fields, suggesting the areas agricultural heritage.15 The description of an earlier map which has not survived, but which was drawn in 1821 by a member of a south Florida exploratory expedition, substantiates Williams assertion. The chart was entitled, A draft of Sarrazota, or Runaway Negro Plantations, with its Bays, Clams, and Palms Islands.16 Once established, the negro plantation at or near Sarasota Bay proved a magnet over the next several years for other black refugees. When the Negro Fort on the Apalachicola River was destroyed by American forces in 1816, for example, the displaced blacks built villages all the way to Tampa Bay.17 The following year Woodbine convinced a would-be liberator of Florida, Gregor MacGregor, to base his invasion of the province at Tampa Bay, where blacks and Indians easily could be assembled for an attack across the peninsula upon St. Augustine. As an outgrowth of the ill-fated plan, MacGregor dispatched Robert Christie Ambrister to the area with orders to found a settlement. Ambrister, who arrived in March 1818, seems to have confined his activities principally to seizing a schooner owned by Nassau merchant Alexander Arbuthnot and, perhaps, to destroying a store previously erected there by Arbuthnot. No doubt the Nassau merchant had been catering to the trade of the black plantation at Sarasota Bay, as well as that of nearby Indian villages.18 The month after Ambristers arrival in Tampa, the First Seminole War which had flared in November 1817 culminated in Andrew Jacksons defeat of a combined force of Seminoles, Red Stick Creeks, and their black allies at Bowlegs Town on the Suwannee River. As the Red Sticks and Seminoles fled from Jackson and his Indian allies again commanded by William McIntosh, three hundred black warriors fought a delaying action on the rivers west bank to permit their families to retreat.19 Though outnumbered three or four to one, they proved sufficient to the task, and they and their loved ones melted away to the south and east of the Suwannee. By August 1818 Jacksons aide, Captain James Gadsden, reported to his superior: The bay of Tampa is the last rallying spot of the disaffected negroes and Indians and the only favorable point from whence a communication can be had with Spanish and European emissaries. Nicholas [sic] it is reported has an establishment in that neighborhood and the negroes and Indians driven from Micosukey and Suwaney towns have directed their march to that quarter.20 Gadsdens reference to Colonel Nicolls reflects a continuing involvement by the British officer in the affairs of the black plantation at Sarasota Bay, an involvement which appears to have continued until at least June 1821.21 A fear of such British presence, combined with the threat posed by a large colony of armed blacks on the lower Gulf coast, and other factors, prompted
Gadsden to recommend the construction of a military post on Tampa Bay.22 Jackson concurred with the recommendation, and in November 1818 he requested approval of the scheme from the Secretary of War. The troops detached to the bay of Tampa, Jackson advised the secretary, having constructed and garrisoned a suitable work [and] having reconnoitered the neighboring country then would be in a position to destroy Woodbines negro establishment.23 For the time being, however, Jacksons proposal was ignored. As Jackson planned his military post and campaign at Tampa Bay, the areas residents old and new undertook a feverish diplomatic campaign. In 1819 five parties of Indians from the Tampa area, presumably including Sarasota Bay blacks, visited Havana. The following year four additional parties made the trip from the bay area, one of the groups numbering 112 individuals.24 Access to Spanish officialdom was not the only goal of the travelers. The British, too, were called upon to honor their commitments. One party of twenty-eight Indians arrived at Nassau in late September 1819 with documentary proof of British commitments and demanded that those commitments be met.25 The diplomatic campaign apparently met with some early successes. By October 1818 an English trading vessel had slipped into Tampa Bay to relieve the privations of the refugees, and in the following month ten pack-horse loads of ammunition had arrived from St. Augustine.26 The later missions proved not so encouraging, however. One Floridian noted in 1822: The chiefs of the outcast Indians, who had found a mode of communication with the Governor of Nassau, once or twice went over, but were very cooly treated. On their last visit, they were imprisoned for a time and then sent back without presents, and the ship masters were forbidden, under heavy penalties, to bring them over again.27 One reason that the later visits proved so unavailing was that the demands had changed in 1819. Visits and contacts the previous year surely had centered around the urgent need for food and ammunition. Those needs were satisfied by late 1818. However, circumstances radically altered the next February when representatives of the Kingdom of Spain agreed at Washington, D.C., to the cession of Florida to the United States.28 Actual transfer of the territory to American suzerainty was delayed for over two years, and in the meantime Indians and blacks would have taken every possible step to demand that their British and Spanish allies protect them. Such certainly was the case at Nassau in late 1819. The Florida Indians eloquently pleaded there for protection and assistance. They represent themselves, one report noted, as driven from their homes, and hunted as wild Deer: that there are about two thousand of them, and that their greatest enemies are the Cowetas, a nation like themselves, who having made terms with the Americans are set on by them to harass and annihilate their tribe. Unwilling to risk the enmity of a United States soon to be in full possession of nearby Florida, British officials declined to intervene on behalf of either Indians or their black allies. Rejected, the natives determined to appeal to higher authority. They are desirous of getting to Jamaica, it was reported, but their visit there can be to as little effect as it is here.29 The Florida refugees thus were left essentially or, as will be seen, at least officially to their own devices.
Map of Florida, with an arrow added to indicate the location of the Old spanish Fields near Sarazota Bay. Photograph from The Territory of Florida (1837) by John Lee Williams.
Though the blacks and Indians clustered at or near Tampa Bay in the aftermath of the First Seminole War and the purchase of Florida by the United States may have lacked the official support of their friends and allies, they did not escape the attention of their enemies. Even before the announcement of the purchase, talk was rife of a complete forced removal of the Seminoles, Red Stick Creeks, and other Florida Indians into the Creek Nation.30 On October 2, 1818, Creek leaders, including the Coweta chief William McIntosh, gathered near Milledgeville, Georgia, at the home of Indian Agent and former Georgia Governor David B. Mitchell to discuss the implications of such an action. A part of the discourse later was summarized by Mitchell. In the event of their removal [from Florida] he wrote, I have it in contemplation to Send McIntosh with a Party of warriors to capture and bring away all the Negroes.31 The delay in the formal transfer of possession of Florida to the United States forestalled for a time any forced removal of the Indians, but thoughts of armed free blacks clustered near Tampa Bay remained alive, particularly among white Georgians. In December 1820, commissioners of that state treated with representatives of the Creek Nation at Indian Springs. The commissioners official talk had this to say about the blacks: As to the Negroes now remaining among the Seminoles, belonging to the white people, we consider these people [the Seminoles] a part of the Creek Nation; and we look to the chiefs of the Creek Nation to cause the people there to do justice.32 On behalf of the Nation William McIntosh replied, If the President admits that Two Seminole chiefs captured by General Andrew Jacksons forces at St. Marks in 1818. Photograph courtesy of the Florida State Archives.
country [Florida] to belong to the Creek nation, I will go down with my warriors and bring back all the Negroes I can get, and deliver them Up.33 The treaty negotiated in January 1821, in the words of one historian, legitimized slave hunting by both Creeks and whites.34 President James Monroe presented the Treaty of Indian Springs to the United States Senate on January 26, 1821.35 Two days previously his Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, had offered the governorship of East and West Florida to Andrew Jackson.36 At Nashville, Tennessee, on April 2 Jackson acknowledged to Adams the receipt of his commission of office and then inquired of one subject, which at this early period, I wish thro you, to call the attention of the President to, & receive your instructions thereon. Jacksons one subject was his authority with regard to the Red Stick Creeks and their black allies. Are these Indians to be ordered up to the Creek Country, there to settle themselves, or are they to be protected in their new settlement?, he asked. Whatever may be the Presidents Instructions upon this subject shall be strictly obeyed, he assured Adams, and likewise in relation to the negroes who have run away from the States & inhabit this country and are protected by the Indians.37 At the time Jacksons letter was received at Washington the President and the Secretary of State were reluctant to respond. Instead, the request for instructions was referred to Secretary of General Andrew Jackson in a portrait (c. 1815) by Ralph E. W. Earl. Photograph courtesy of the Florida State Archives. James Gadsden, aide de camp to General Jackson in 1818. Photograph courtesy of the Florida State Archives.
War John C. Calhoun.38 That officer on May 1 directed Jackson to take no immediate measures with respect to the subject of his inquiry.39 As of the date of receipt of that letter at Nashville or shortly thereafter, the fate of the Sarasota Bay black plantation despite the official wishes of the United States government was sealed. A personal account, either first-hand or derived from a participant, of the events which ensued during the late spring and early summer of 1821 appeared late that year in the Charleston, South Carolina, City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser It graphically detailed the terror which resulted in the destruction of the black refuge at Sarasota Bay. That account read, in part: Towards the end of the month of April last, some men of influence and fortune, residing somewhere in the western country, thought of making a speculation in order to obtain Slaves for a trifle. For this purpose, they hired Charles Miller, William Weatherford, Adam, alias Allamonchee, all half breed Indians, and Daniel Perimaus a mulatto, and under these chief [sic], were engaged about two hundred Cowetas Indians. They were ordered to proceed along the western coast of East Florida, southerly, and there take, in the name of the United States, and make prisoners of all the men of colour, including women and children, they would be able to find, and bring them all, well secured, to a certain place, which had been kept a secret. The expedition took place, under the chief command of Charles Miller. They arrived at Sazazota, surprised and captured about 300 of them, plundered their plantations, set on fire all their houses, and then proceeding southerly captured several others; and on the 17th day of June, arrived at the Spanish Ranches, in Pointerrass Key, in Carlos Bay, where not finding as many Negroes as they expected, they plundered the Spanish fishermen of more than 2000 dollars worth of property, besides committing the greatest excess; with their plunder and prisoners, they returned to the place appointed for the deposit of both. But the terror thus spread along the Western Coast of East Florida, broke all the establishments of both blacks and Indians, who fled in great consternation. The blacks principally, thought they could not save their lives but by abandoning the country; therefore, they, by small parties and in their Indian canoes, doubled Cape Sable and arrived at Key Taviniere, which is the general place of rendezvous for all the English wreckers, from Nassau Providence; an agreement was soon entered into between them, and about 250 of these negroes were by the wreckers carried to Nassau and clandestinely landed. On the 7th of Oct. last, about 40 more were at Key Taviniere, ready to take their departure for Nassau; these were the stragglers who had found it difficult to make their escape, and had remained concealed in the forests.40 While the City Gazette's correspondent provided a great deal of information about the Coweta raid, he omitted certain facts necessary for an understanding of the event. For one thing, Colonel Charles Miller was so closely identified with Creek chief William McIntosh, who since 1818 had held a commission as brigadier general in the United States Army, that many early reports of the raid asserted that the party was commanded by McIntosh.41 The intimate
Coweta Chief William McIntosh in a portrait by Charles Bird King. Photograph from McIntosh and Weatherford by Benjamin W. Griffith Jr.
association between McIntosh and Andrew Jackson had been well-known in the South since the Creek Civil War of 1813-14. Perhaps almost as well known as the connection between Jackson and McIntosh was that between Jackson and the former Red Stick chief, William Weatherford or Red Eagle. Weatherford was the hostile chief who had surrendered to Jackson following the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. After the conclusion of the war Weatherford, according to one early account, returned with Jackson to the latters plantation, the Hermitage, near Nashville. He remained there for nearly a year. Upon his departure Jackson reportedly presented Weatherford with two fine horses, one of them a splendid blooded animal, as a token of their friendship.42 Thomas Woodward, who knew both men, wrote of their relationship, General Jackson, as if by intuition, seemed to know that Weatherford was no savage and much more than an ordinary man by nature, and treated him very kindly indeed.43 In addition to the detailed account in the City Gazette which linked the 1821 raid to associates of Andrew Jackson, another source pointed to the presence of his old British enemy, Colonel Edward Nicolls. Early in 1822, David Mitchells successor as Creek Indian Agent, John Crowell, informed Secretary of War Calhoun: Special orders were given to Col. Miller not to interrupt the person or property of any Indian or white man & he declares that he did not take from the possession of either red or white person a single negro except one from a vessel belonging to the celebrated Nichols, lying at anchor in Tampy Bay.44 Thus, it would appear not only that the raiders presumed to attack an English vessel lying in Tampa Bay, but also that Colonel Nicolls, despite his governments official refusal to aid the blacks at Sarasota Bay and their nearby Indian allies, had not abandoned the personal commitments he had made as early as 1814. Whatever the omissions from the City Gazettes account, its author was quite correct in stating that terror thus spread along the Western Coast of East Florida. As the St. Augustine resident quoted at the beginning of this article suggested, the Sarasota Bay blacks, such as escaped made their way down to Cape Florida and the Reef, where they were collected, within a year past, to the number of three hundred. A visitor at Cape Florida saw them and some of their Indian allies there in August. We have found a great many Indians from the Bay of Tampa, he wrote. I have [had] a talk with them, he continued, they were driven away be McKintosh together with the black men, to the number of 110 whom the English wreckers have transported to Nassau Providence and Several Indian Chiefs are now there to see what the British Government is willing to do for them.45 As already indicated, the British Government did essentially nothing for the refugee blacks and Indians. The British attitude was clearly expressed by the Nassau Royal Gazette and Bahama Advertiser in March 1822: It is reported that some of the wreckers had carried off from the Florida Keys several Negroes, said to be deserters from the Southern States. From what has been stated here, there is little doubt but a number of black persons have been landed on some of the islands to leeward of this; very improperly however, although the pretext for it is, that they were found in nearly a famishing state, on some of the Florida Keys. Such persons are not wanted here, and the country would be better rid of them.46
The natives who had lived near Tampa and Sarasota bays prior to the raid were not the only ones to suffer from it. A small party of Seminoles, described as a wretched, miserable Set, arrived at St. Augustine on July 16, 1821. They reported to officials there that a party of Indians (Cawetus) Said to be headed by McIntosh came into their neighbourhood and had taken off a Considerable number of negros and some Indians. They added fearfully, that the commander of the party had sent them information that in a short time he should return and drive all the Indians off.47 A visitor to the site of Chocachatti, an Indian town in the Big Hammock near modern Brooksville, recorded in 1823, This neighborhood was the seat of the Seminole Nation not more than two years ago, but has since been broken up by the incursions of the Cowetas, who carried off or dispersed about 60 Negro Slaves and a large stock of cattle & horses.48 Despite their assurances to the contrary, the raiders apparently had seized or attempted to destroy just about everything that crossed their path. Although their efforts proved quite lucrative, the raiders actions ended in controversy. Upon hearing of the foray, Secretary of War Calhoun thundered, The expedition to Florida was entirely unknown to this Department and I have to express my concern at, and most decided [dis] approbation of, the conduct of the chiefs; that they should seize upon the very moment when that country was about to pass from the possession of Spain to that of the United States, and when everything was in confusion, to use the superior force of the Creek nation over the weakness of the Seminoles, to impose on and plunder them. Calhoun followed up by ordering the Creek Indian agent to make an itemized report of the disposition of each captured black.49 Creek Agent Crowell made his report to Calhoun on January 22, 1822. Fifty-nine blacks had been brought into the Creek nation, ten of whom later escaped. Thirty-three captives were delivered to owners claiming them by the Indian detachment, under the command of Col. Wm. Miller, on their march from Florida to Fort Mitchell [Alabama]. One free man was set a liberty.50 Ninety-three of perhaps blacks seized in Florida thus were accounted for.51 None of the cattle, horses, or other property seized was mentioned by Crowell. The Charleston City Gazettes corresp ondent inquired in December 1821, [W]ho are those speculative gentlemen who now hold their [Southern planters] Negroes? It is a question still unanswered. Abraham, a black Seminole interpreter in the 1830's, showed how some blacks continued to survive outside slavery in Florida. Photograph from The Florida Wars by Virginia Bergman Peters.
The presence near Sarasota Bay of a colony of free blacks from 1812 to 1821 was a reality only dimly remembered by succeeding generations of Floridians. The story of their lives in south Florida, however, deserves preservation and commemoration. They formed the first known black community in the Tampa Bay area, although the possibility of earlier black settlements in the area cannot be precluded. Nevertheless, the tale of their hard-won freedom and the destruction of their plantations adds a new chapter to the early history of the Tampa Bay area. It also sheds new and perhaps critical light upon the careers of individuals, such as Andrew Jackson and William McIntosh, who prominently contributed to the development and history of the United States. 1 The identification of the articles author as Charles Vignoles was made by Jean P. Waterbury and John Griffin, both of St. Augustine. Compare, for example, the language quoted with that found in Vignoles Observations Upon the Floridas (New York: E. Bliss & E. White, 1823), 135-36. Boston Patriot and Daily Merchantile Advertiser August 20, 1822; Jean P. Waterbury to author, November 2, 1986. 2 Rembert W. Patrick, Florida Fiasco: Rampant Rebels on the Georgia-Florida Border 1810-1815 (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1954). 3 Ibid., 201-06. 4 American State Papers: Indian Affairs 2 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1832-34), I,838. 5 Hawkins to D.B. Mitchell, May 31, 1813, in Louise Frederick Hays, Letters of Benjamin Hawkins, 1797-1815 (Atlanta, 1939, typescript), 198-200, Georgia Department of Archives and History, Atlanta. 6 Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, 1767-1821 (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 191-92, 214-16. 7 Ibid., 218-19. 8 Edwin C. McReynolds, The Seminoles (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma, Press, 1957), 62. 9 J. Leitch Wright, Jr., A Note on the First Seminole War as Seen by the Indians, Negroes, and Their British Advisers, Journal of Southern History 34 (November 1968): 567; James W. Covington, The Negro Fort, Gulf Coast Historical Review 5 (Spring, 1990): 80. 10 Wright, A Note on the First Seminole War, 565-69; Covington, The Negro Fort, 79-91; Leland Hawes, Cannonball exploded blacks rallying point, Tampa Tribune March 19, 1989. 11 Wright, A Note on the First Seminole War, 570-71; Karl H. Grismer, Tampa: A History of the City of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Region of Florida (St. Petersburg, Florida: St. Petersburg Printing Co., 1950), 48; William S. Coker and Thomas D. Watson, Indian Traders of the Southeastern Spanish Borderland: Panton, Leslie & Company and John Forbes & Company, 1783-1847 (Pensacola, Florida: University of West Florida Press, 1986), 301-02, 309, 320. 12 Eighty slaves were with Woodbine at St. A ugustine in 1815 and left that city with him upon his departure. Coker and Watson, Indian Traders 301. 13 Janet Snyder Matthews, Edge of Wilderness: A Settlement History of Manatee River and Sarasota Bay 1528-1885 (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Caprine Press, 1983), 71. 14 John Lee Williams, The Territory of Florida (New York: A. T. Goodrich, 1837; reprint ed., Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 1962), 299-300.
15 Ibid., Map of Florida. 16 The expedition was that of the East Florida Coffee Land Association, under the command of Peter Stephen Chazotte. Washington Gazette April 27, 1822. The specific location of the black plantations is open to question. Bradenton attorney Dewey A. Dye, Jr., an authority on the topography of the area, believes that John Lee Williams confused the Oyster River with the Manatee River. Dye further has concluded that Negro Point lay at the confluence of the Manatee with the Braden River. Dewey A. Dye, Jr., to author, June 29, 1990, collection of the author. 17 Virginia Bergman Peters, The Florida Wars (Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1979), 26; Coker and Watson, IndianTraders 309. 18 T Frederick Davis, MacGregors Invasion of Florida, 1817, Florida Historical Quarterly 7 (July 1928): 66-67; Grismer, Tampa 49-50; Coker and Watson, IndianTraders 320. 19 Peters, The Florida Wars 49-53. 20 The Defences of the Floridas: A Report of Captain James Gadsden, Aide-de-Camp to General Andrew Jackson, Florida Historical Quarterly 15 (April 1937): 248. 21 John Crowell to Secretary of War, January 22, 1822, in T. J. Peddy, Creek Letters 1820-1824 (Atlanta, n.d., typescript), 22.2.22.C.C., Georgia Department of Archives and History, Atlanta. 22 The Defences of the Floridas, 248. 23 American State Papers: Military Affairs 7 vols. (Washington, 1832-1860), I, 752. 24 William C. Sturtevant, Chakaika and the Spanish Indians: Documentary Sources Compared With Seminole Tradition, Tequesta 13 (1953): 38-39. 25 Nassau Royal Gazette and Bahama Advertiser October 2, 1819. 26 American State Papers: Military Affairs I, 752. 27 Boston Patriot and Daily Merchantile Advertiser ., August 20, 1822. 28 Charlton W. Tebeau, A History of Florida (Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1971), 114. 29 Nassau Royal Gazette and Bahama Advertiser October 2, 1819. 30 Benjamin W. Griffith, Jr., McIntosh and Weatherford, Creek Indian Leaders (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 1988), 204-05. 31 James F. Doster, Creek Indians: The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands, 1740-1823 2 vols. (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1974), II, 231. 32 Quoted in Griffith, McIntosh and Weatherford, 208. 33 McReynolds, The Seminoles 91. 34 Peters, The Florida Wars 67. 35 McReynolds, The Seminoles 91. 36 Peters, The Florida Wars 64.
37 Jackson to Adams, April 2, 1821, in Clarence E. Carter, ed., Territorial Papers of the United States vols. XXII-XXVI: Florida Territory (Washington, D. C, 1956-1962), XXII, 28-29. 38 Ibid., XXII, 57. 39 Ibid., XXII, 40. 40 Charleston City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser quoted in the Philadelphia National Gazette and Literary Register December 3, 1821. 41 Creek Nation historian James F. Doster believed McIntosh did lead the raid, joining the larger party of Cowetas south of the Florida line. John R. Bell to Secretary of War, July 17, 1821, in Carter, Territorial Papers XXII, 125-26; Doster, Creek Indians II, 253. 42 A. B. Meek, Romantic Passages in Southwestern History: Including Orations, Sketches, and Essays (New York: S.H. Goetzel & Co., 1857), 289. 43 Quoted in Griffith, McIntosh and Weatherford, 155. 44 Crowell to Secretary of War, January 22, 1822, in Peddy, Creek Letters 1822-1824 22.1.22.C.C. 45 Peter Stephen Chazotte to Captain Bell, August 18, 1821, Letters Received by the Secretary of War, Registered Series, 1801-1860, Record Group 107, M-22 1, roll #92, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 46 For clues as to the fates of the refugee blacks, see: Kenneth W. Porter, Notes on Seminole Negroes In The Bahamas, Florida Historical Quarterly 24 (July 1945): 56-60; John M. Goggin, The Seminole Negroes of Andros Island, Bahamas, Florida Historical Quarterly 24 (January 1946): 210-26; and Harry A. Kersey, Jr., The Seminole Negroes of Andros Island Revisited: Some New Pieces to an Old Puzzle, Florida Anthropologist 34 (December 1981): 169-76. Nassau Royal Gazette and Bahama Advertiser March 20, 1822. 47 Bell to Secretary of War, July 17, 1821, in Carter, Territorial Papers XXII, 125-27. 48 Mark F. Boyd, Horatio S. Dexter and Events Leading to the Treaty of Moultrie Creek With the Seminole Indians, Florida Anthropologist 11 (September 1958), 89. 49 Calhoun to Crowell, September 29, 1821, in Peddy, Creek Letters 1820-1824 21.9.29.C.C. 50 Interestingly, one of the blacks seized was described as a forty-year-old man named Jim who was owned by the Estate of General Washington. Crowell to Calhoun, January 22, 1822, ibid., 22.1.22.C.C. 51 Charleston City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser quoted in Philadelphia National Gazette and Literary Register December 3, 1821.
ODET PHILIPPE: FROM CHARLESTON TO TAMPA BAY by J. Allison DeFoor, II Odet Philippe was the earliest permanent, non-native settler on the Pinellas peninsula and a key figure in the early development of Tampa Bay. Stories of his life and times have reached mythical proportions, with Philippe attributed to be member of French royalty, a boyhood schoolmate of Napoleon Bonaparte and surgeon paroled to the New World after the Battle of Trafalgar. A previous article explored part of Philippes background and revealed his extensive involvement in South Florida and Key West during a period from 1829 through 1856. The article cast doubt upon connections to Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars, but established Philippe as a leading figure in the development of South Florida before the Civil War, with extensive commercial and familial ties throughout the state.1 This article traces Philippes background to South Carolina, his residence prior to his relocation in Florida. The records of that state show a variety of commercial efforts and failures, which compelled his removal to the frontier of territorial Florida. Finally, a tantalizing hint is also found to suggest a point of origin quite different from the France of legend. The mythical Philippe was perhaps entirely too good to be entirely true. The story of how the self-proclaimed French surgeon and count supposedly arrived at Tampa Bay has been often repeated.2 According to legend, Philippe and his family were intercepted on their vessel, Ney by the pirate Gomez and taken prisoner while on a voyage in Florida waters. Gomez learned that Philippe was a surgeon and enlisted his services in the treatment of the pirate and his crew. The grateful pirate allegedly gave Philippe a chest of treasure, a letter of protection directed to other pirates and a map indicating Old Tampa Bay. Gomez described Tampa Bay to the doctor in glowing terms, calling it the most beautiful body of water in the world, with the possible exception of the Bay of Naples.3 Unlike the legend for which no historical documents exist, records show that Philippe established his homestead of Saint Helena at the head of Old Tampa Bay. The site of Saint Helena today is Philippe Park in Safety Harbor, Florida. The exact date of Philippes arrival in the Tampa Bay region has always been shrouded in mystery. Some histories give a date as early as 1823 based upon old family records.4 The plaque in Philippe Park credits the year 1842, presumably because he received title to his plantation under the Armed Occupation Act of 1842.5 However, the census of 1840 already listed him as a resident of Hillsborough County, which then included Pinellas.6 In addition to cultivating citrus fruits and raising cattle on his Hillsborough County plantation, Philippe engaged in commercial activity in the recently established village at Tampa. Early records reflect a variety of activities, dating from the late 1830s.7 By 1842, he owned two billiard parlors in Tampa, a ten-pin alley and oyster house, his residence at Saint Helena, two other residences, two slaves (John and Anthony), four horses, one colt, four mules, five cows, six calves and an assortment of hogs, hunting dogs and wagons. On December 6, 1842, he placed all of this property into trust for the benefit of his second wife, Marie Charlotte Florence Fontaine.8
After spending the Civil War inland in what is now Pasco County, Philippe returned to Saint Helena with his family and lived there until his death in 1869.9 The traditional story of Philippes activities prior to his arrival in Tampa Bay was as sweeping as the story of his capture by the pirate Gomez. It was said that he was raised as a nobleman in Lyons, France, and studied with Napoleon Bonaparte. He supposedly completed medical school and became a surgeon who was subsequently appointed by his friend Napoleon to a position of rank in the French navy. He was said to have been captured in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and sent to England as a prisoner of war. He then allegedly made arrangements to leave England for the New World, paroled on the promise never to return to France. Released in the Bahamas, he made his way to Charleston, South Carolina, a city of great culture and influence with a French population of significance.10 By 1830, Philippe had moved to South Florida. The reasons for his leaving the sophistication of Charleston for the frontier of peninsular Florida were reportedly due to business reverses. One Philippe Park in Safety Harbor contains this plaque from the 1940s which repeats much of the misinformation about Odet Philippe. Photograph courtesy of the Florida State Archives.
story charitably related that he had signed for the debt of another and when the obligation came due, it bankrupted him, causing his departure.11 The records of Monroe County, Florida, reveal that Philippe had an extensive involvement in South Florida at both New River (todays Ft. Lauderdale) and Key West, before he relocated in the Tampa Bay area.12 It is clear that Philippe left Charleston for Key West early in 1829. This date is established by a citizenship declaration which was acted upon in the District Court of South Carolina at Charleston in January 1829, following a six-year waiting period from the time of his original notice of intention to become an American citizen.13 A minimum five-year waiting period was required by law.14 Philippe filed the declaration upon arrival in Key West with the district court there, presumably to make clear his status as an American citizen.15 This document casts doubt upon any ties to Napoleon or the Napoleonic Wars, because it established Philippes date of birth as 1788 in Lyons, France. This date would have made it impossible for him to have studied with Bonaparte who had gone to France from Corsica in 1778 to attend military school and was commissioned into the artillery at the age of sixteen in 1785. The birthdate of 1788 also would make it highly unlikely that Philippe was a surgeon at the age of seventeen in 1805, when he was supposedly captured in the Battle of Trafalgar. Whatever his origins, Odet Philippe did reside in Charleston, South Carolina, prior to living in Florida. The records of that city show a variety of transactions which indicate that he was an active businessman in his day. He apparently arrived in Charleston between 1810 and 1820. He was listed as a resident of the city in the census of 1820 under the name Audet, but his name did not appear in the census of 1810.16 A researcher twenty years ago showed that Philippe did not practice medicine in Charleston which had an organized and active medical society. Rather, he was listed in the city directories of 1819 and 1822 as a Segar maker on East Bay Street.17 Philippe engaged in several transactions regarding slaves in Charleston, the earliest in 1818. At least one historian has suggested that Philippe may have engaged in the international slave trade, even though it had been banned in 1807.18 Whether or not he engaged in the illicit trading of African slaves, he legally bought and sold at least nine slaves during the period of 1818 through 1833. As was the custom, these commercial transactions were recorded using commonly printed forms, onto which one inserted the names of the purchaser and the seller, together with details such as the name and age of the slave to be sold. However, frequent errors of spelling occurred. The first of these transactions by Philippe involved the purchase of a slave from John Aberigg on September 24, 1818, which was recorded October 17, 1818. The purchase indicated that Aberigg was a Charleston watchmaker who sold a slave to Odet Philippe of said City, Segar maker. The price was $850 for A Negro man Boy named Sanno about Sixteen years of Age.19 On September 25, 1818, the day after this purchase, Philippe transferred ownership of Sanno to Duthe de Desmottes of said City.20 The transfer makes no reference to Dorothee de Desmottes being Philippes wife. The price of $850 was the same as Philippes purchase price. In 1831, Philippe transferred Sanno to Alexis Galliot for the sum of $500. The price suggests that this was a bargain or perhaps a forced sale. The transaction was actually executed not by Philippe but rather by his attorney-in-fact, C. Fontain.21 This reference to Philippes second wife implies that she executed the document in Philippes absence, perhaps while he was in South Florida.
There is no recorded transfer of the slave Sanno from Desmottes back to Philippe, though presumably upon her death the slave had passed through her estate to Philippe. Also in the year 1818, Philippe had transferred to Louis Cabeuil Reynaud one Negro wench named Jenny and her two Mulatto boys named Daniel aged three years and (no name given) aged one month with her future issue. This reportedly occurred on December 19, but the date may be in error because it was recorded in January 1818.22 The source of the slaves was not recorded. In 1821, Philippe made several additional purchases of slaves. He first bought a young man named Charles about Eighteen years of age who is sober, honest and no runaway said now delivered in good health/and sound. This young man was purchased from Henry Gleise of the City of Charleston (physician). The price was $220.23 Philippe also bought a Negro Boy named Peter about Twelve years of age from the firm of John Austin and Samuel Woolfolks of Augusta, Georgia. The price was $400, and the deed referred to the purchaser as Odet Philip of the City of Charleston, tobacconist.24 Six years later, Philippe transferred ownership of Peter to Odet Philippes tombstone in Philippe Park has an air of simplicity and honesty, but each line contains doubtful information, including the reference to Dr., the place of birth as Lyon, the birthdate of 1785, and the concluding inscription, Head Surgeon in Napoleons Army. Photograph courtesy of the Florida State Archives.
Charlotte Fontaine for the sum of $350. Again, this transfer omitted any reference to whether or not Fontaine was, at the time, his spouse.25 A final handwritten transfer of slaves was recorded in Charleston but executed by Philippe in Monroe County, Florida, during 1833. The document was witnessed by Thomas Easton and George P. Washington. The latter had married Philippes daughter, Mary Elizabeth Octavia, earlier that year.26 The handwritten document transferred ownership of a slave, Nelly, together with her infant and two other children, Julia and Madelaine, to Edward Chandler. However, Chandler was to hold this property in trust... and to the sole and only use, benefit and behalf of Marie Charlotte Florence Philippe, the present Wife of the Said Odet Philippe. The document was executed on September 6, 1833, in Monroe County and was recorded in Key West, on December 7, 1833, and subsequently recorded in Charleston. The document referred to the physical location of the slaves as being now in Charleston.27 Thus, although Philippe had moved to Florida, he still had business ties to Charleston, and the document implies that his wife may have still been there. One further reference to slave holdings of Philippe is found in Charleston. This is his tax return for property in the parish of Christ Church in the district of Charleston for the year of 1824, filed in 1825. The document declares that Philippe owned Negroes who were taxed at the rate of 75 cents each, producing a tax of $4.50. It also shows his ownership of sixty-seven acres of land in the parish.28 If the frequent buying and selling of slaves reflects a modicum of prosperity, the land and litigation involving it proved his undoing in Charleston. Real property transactions by Philippe are found first in records of 1822. In that year Lewis Cabeuil Reynaud, who had earlier purchased a slave and her two children from Philippe, sold to Philippe a tract of land situate lying and being in the Parish of Christ Church. .containing Sixty Seven acres more or less. The purchase price was $2,000.29 Also executed and recorded at the same time were subsidiary documents which show that a note and mortgage accompanied the purchase of the property. These documents were prepared by the law firm of Dajley and Legare. The first document was a note from Philippe to Lewis C. Reynaud. The note bears the face amount of $1,800, but payable only upon default of payment of $900, together with interest at the rate of seven percent per year, which was due and payable on March 4, 1824.30 Thus, it appears that of the $2,000 purchase price for his plantation, $900 was financed by a note from the seller. A confession of judgment, a legal device designed to hasten foreclosure, accompanied the note. Indeed, the transaction was structured in part as a suit with judgment deferred until 1824 and payment.31 A mortgage from Philippe to Reynaud was also executed by Philippes wife, Dorothee Desmottes, and separately recorded.32 Further, a deed from Philippe to Reynaud was recorded in December 1822, conveying back to Reynaud a life estate on a piece of the property originally sold by Reynaud to Philippe. The parcel consisted of the land lying and being in Christ Church Parish bounded on One Side by Land of William Mathews and on other Sides by Land of the Said Odet Philippe Measuring in front One Hundred and Twenty-five feet wide and in One Hundred and Fifteen Feet.33
A separate rogue (or mavarick) deed exists to the Christ Church tract. The deed purports to transfer the property from Philippe to John Moisson as trustee for his wife, Dorothee Desmottes Philippe, and their children.34 This was a device which he used on other occasions to transfer property and was doubtlessly an attempt to elude his creditors. The transfer of the Christ Church land was not mentioned in any subsequent litigation or transfers, and it appears to have been a nullity. The next reference to this property is found in the records of South Carolina when Philippe filed suit in the month before the note was due. On February 7, 1824, Philippe applied to the South Carolina Court, Southern Circuit in Equity, for an injunction seeking to prevent Reynaud his agents and counsellors, the Sheriff of Charleston District and all others thereon in concurrence from proceeding against Philippe and his property, based upon the belief that Reynaud was about to execute the previously recorded confession of judgment, as well as call in the mortgage and note. In his petition which was verified under oath, Philippe contended that he had been defrauded. Philippes claim was that an encumbrance existed upon his plantation in the form of a reservation of a family cemetery for the family of Joseph LeSerne in the center of the plantation together with rights of passage. Philippe claimed to have had no knowledge of the reservation when he had originally purchased the property. Thus, he argued, the title had no value, and the value of the land was greatly deteriorated by the proximity of the burial yard to the house located on the property. He dubbed the action of Reynaud a fraudulent inducement to his execution of note, mortgage, confession and the like.35 The documents, however, proved otherwise. Contained in the file is an extract from the original 1822 contract which refers to a previous deed from Joseph LeSerne and Ann LeSerne to Reynaud. This extract reserved to the LeSernes the right of the burial ground which is now enclosed and used for that purpose. Therefore, the chancellor and equity judge declared Phillipes claim unfounded: The injunction prayed for in this case cannot be granted. The. preceding deed is too distinct to have left any doubt. If the party was really uninformed, it was his own fault and if he is entitled to [relief], he can have it elsewhere.36 With the failure of his bid to have the equity courts forestall the imminent mortgage foreclosure, Philippe was left with no choice but payment or default. Philippe satisfied the debt, as shown in a document dated June 4, 1824, and prepared by Reynauds attorneys, Dajley and Legare.37 The source of the funds for that payment led to further litigation. Philippe had turned to William Mathews, his neighbor, for the source of money to liquidate his debt to Reynaud. On May 28, 1824, Philippe borrowed $1,100 from Mathews and secured it with a mortgage on his plantation in Christ Church Parish. The sixty-seven acres was described with greater specificity than in previous documents as being bounded to the north by land belonging to Mathews, to the east by land belonging to Theophilus Elsworth, to the south by marshlands, and to the west by land belonging to Prince, with no first name indicated. The mortgage referred to Philippe of Christ Church Parish, so it is clear that he was at that time resident at that place.38 The note was for sixty days. Astonishingly, court records of Charleston reveal that no interest was paid upon the note, and yet foreclosure was not sought until 1831. The report of James W. Grey, Commissioner in Equity
in the Fourth Circuit Court in Equity, dated May 11, 1831, found Philippe to be delinquent in interest payments for six years.39 The amount due was $522.74 in interest, making a total obligation of $1,622.74. A later report by Commissioner Grey indicated that public notice was given by newspaper of a foreclosure auction which occurred on August 5, 1831. At the auction, the high bidder was William Mathews for $200, from which $63.87 was deducted as costs of the sale. Thus, Mathews acquired the property in question, foreclosed Philippes interests and expanded the size of his own domain. The foreclosure report itself was not filed until 1832.40 In the foreclosure suit Philippe had to be notified publicly by newspaper presumably because he had already left for Florida. Indeed, an order contained in the South Carolina records noted the court's finding that Odet Philippe, the defendant, .is without the limits of the State. The publication was ordered to be printed in the Charleston Courier, once a fort-night for three months.41 In addition to the foregoing transactions in slaves and land, Philippe had miscellaneous transactions which were recorded in documents in Charleston. In 1827, Philippe transferred to Charlotte Fontaine, without reference to her being his spouse, a number of items of personal property for an alleged total of $210. The items included sixteen dozen red pans and eight sheet iron red pans ($51), a young shed horse ($30), head wagon ($12), four coins ($60), four dozen glasses ($20), a quantity of tobacco ($24) and a Marin colt ($50).42 In a final lawsuit over a debt, Philippe was sued in 1831 by Louise Moisson, executrix of the last will and testament of John Moisson. This is the same John Moisson who had held the property at Christ Church in trust for Philippes wife and children in 1823. The suit alleged that on July 20, 1831, Moisson had loaned Philippe the sum of $565. Refering to Philippe as absent from and without the limits of this state, the suit claimed that he had made many promises to Moisson concerning payment of the debt, but that Philippe was contriving and fraudulently intending, craftily and subtly to deceive. As a result of this suit, a writ was issued to attach all of the property of Philippe which could be found in the state of South Carolina. In December 1831, the writ was served attaching all of the money, goods, chattel, debts, books of account, also Lands, leasehold estates and chattels real of the within named Odet Phillippe in the hand, custody and possession of Benj. F. Hunt.43 The suit had a happy ending for Philippe because when it finally went to trial in January 1834, Louise Moisson failed to appear. The nature of the delay is unknown, but Benjamin F. Hunt, acting as counsel for Philippe, recovered from Louise Moisson the sum of $27 for the cost of his defense. It is unlikely that Philippe personally appeared in court since the record referred to his having been represented by his said attorney.44 The records of South Carolina show that Odet Philippe had a colorful and tumultuous background while living in Charleston. It is clear that business reverses of a less honorable nature than previously recorded inspired him to leave the sophistication and civility of Charleston for the then rugged frontier of peninsular Florida.
More interesting to contemplate is where Philippe had lived before arriving in Charleston. His legendary origins are in France, but his alleged training as a French surgeon and a boyhood A drawing said to depict Odet Philippe. Photograph courtesy of the Florida State Archives.
acquaintance with Napoleon Bonaparte have been clearly disproven. Moreover, his noble origins are suspect. A tantalizing alternative explanation appeared in correspondence from an Alabamian who toured Florida in 1851, seeking to regain his health. Clement Claiborne Clay (1816-1886) was the son of Governor Clement Comer Clay of Alabama. A lawyer by profession, he was serving in 1851 as a county judge. He subsequently was elected to the United States Senate and later served in the Confederate Senate. Suffering from a bronchial condition, he toured Florida in 1851 and kept an active correspondence concerning what he found. At one point, he referred to an attempt to cross Tampa Bay which was prevented by bad weather. Clay then wrote: So, I was disappointed in not seeing the head bluffs of Olde Tampa and the orange groves of Mons. Philippi, a Frenchman and native of St. Domingo about the color of Alfred who was anxious to extend to us his hospitality.45 Alfred was Clays house slave in Alabama. The clear suggestion is that Philippes true origins may have been in Santo Domingo, or more properly St. Dominigue, the French half of the island of Hispaniola. Todays Haiti, St. Dominigue was an area of great sophistication at the end of the eighteenth century, and it produced enormous wealth for France. The colony consisted of a half million black African slaves governed by about 40,000 white colonists. Between these poles lay a large group of free mulattos, affranchis who were almost equal in number to the whites. The free mulattos exercised largely the same rights as whites, and by 1789 they possessed one-third of the landed wealth and one-quarter of the slaves of the colony. The affranchis were a rich and powerful class, with many educated in Europe. Beginning in 1790 they began agitation for liberty, inspired by the French Revolution. The spirit of revolt spread to the slaves of St. Domingue, who rose up and succeeded in winning their independence with the proclamation of the Republic of Haiti in 1803. During the thirteen-year struggle, a large number of the governing class of whites, as well as those of mixed race, were killed or fled to safer environments in the face of a paroxysm of violence.46 Whether Clays passing reference finally explains Philippes true origins has not yet been verified. Previous suggestions of ties to piracy and the slave trade have surrounded Philippe.47 Whether the trail leads to St. Domingue or France, much research will be needed before this mystery can be resolved. In any event, Philippe represents the best of immigrants who have always been drawn to Florida. Severing his roots and bearing little beyond his wits, he helped carve out of a wilderness the foundations of the present state of Florida. 1 J. Allison DeFoor, II, Odet Philippe in South Florida, Tampa Bay History 8 (1986): 28-37. 2 The story has been told by numerous historians, but none better than by D. B. McKay, Pioneer Florida (Tampa: Southern Publishing Company, 1959), II, 299. This is the source of the narrative herein. Much of the romanticism surrounding Philippe can be traced to two seminal articles originally published in local newspapers: Maxwell Hunter, Dr. Odet Philippe was Pinellas Peninsulas First White Settler, St. Petersburg Times December 20, 1936, 29; Mrs. George W. Booth, Romantic Story of Dr. Philippe Safety Harbors First Settler, Tampa Sunday Tribune May 1, 1921, 1. 3 McKay, Pioneer Florida II, 299. 4 Ibid., 301.
5 The act provided for a grant of 160 areas of land to any head of family or single man who would arm himself, defend the property, occupy it and cultivate at least five acres. James W. Covington, The Story of Southwest Florida (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1957), 106, and Appendix B, 422. 6 Florida Census, 1840, Hillsboro ugh County. Hillsborough County was created in 1834; statehood came to Florida in 1845. See generally Evelyn C. Bash, Profiles of Early Pioneers on the Pinellas Peninsula, Tampa Bay History 5 (Spring/ Summer 1983): 82-84. 7 Philippe purchased three lots on Tampa Street near Whiting Street on February 5, 1839, from A ugustus Steele for $100. On April 25, 1839, Philippe purchased a lot from Cason E. Cooper for $50. The lot was located on the west side of the Hillsborough River at its mouth and was traversed by a small stream. On April 4, 1839, Philippe joined with Manuel Olivella on a bond in the amount of $500 covering Olivellas service as a notary public. The bond was witnessed by John C. Casey, captain of Ft. Brooke. Three red cows branded OP were certified as Philippes on May 1, 1839, by Captain Casey. Official Records, Hillsboro ugh County, Day Book, vol. 1, pp. 109, 124, 139, 179. 8 Ibid., vol. II, p. 352. This transfer of property was doubtlessly an attempt to dodge creditors, and the property later reverted to him as much of it was listed in his will upon his death in 1869. McKay, Pioneer Florida II, 302. 9 Anthony P. Pizzo, Tampa Town: The Cracker Village with a Latin Accent (Miami: Hurricane House, 1969), 8; McKay, Pioneer Florida II, 302. 10 McKay, Pioneer Florida II, 301. 11 Ibid., 299; William M. Straight, Odet Philippe: Friend of Napoleon, Naval Surgeon and Pinellas Pioneer, Journal of the Florida Medical Society 53 (1966): 705. 12 DeFoor, Odet Philippe, 31-34. 13 According to records of the United States District Court in Charleston, South Carolina, Odet Phillippe declared his intention to become an American citizen on December 3, 1822, when he was thirty-four years old. The clerk of the court acted upon the request on January 7, 1829. Philippes 1829 declaration stated: I Odet Phillippe [sic] a native of France born in Lyon now aged Forty one years Do Solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and I do absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foheran [sic] Prince Potentate State or Sovereignty whatsoever and particularly Charles the tenth the King of France so help me God (signed) Odet Philippe. An orginal copy of this document was filed in the federal courts in Key West in 1829. Given the controversy over the years regarding the spelling of his name, it is interesting to note that the body of the declaration appears to be in different writing than the signature and, indeed, spells the name differently. 14 Act of March 22, 1816, Vol. 3, Statutes at Large 358. This provision has survived over the years and is now found at 8 U.S.C. 1427. 15 The document was surrendered, along with other such documents, by the courts to the Monroe County Library for safekeeping, and it remains there today. Packet 1829, Sheet #1, Document from United States Circuit Court (Charleston), Citizenship Oath of Odet Philippe. 16 South Carolina Census, 1820, p. 46. 17 Straight, Odet Philippe, 705. 18 Pizzo, Tampa Town 7. 19 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 4P, p. 316, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S.C. (Microfilm Roll #W.K. 2026-2027). 20 Ibid., p. 317.
21 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 5K, p. 482 (Microfilm Roll #W.K. 2029-2030). 22 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 4P, p. 40 (Microfilm Roll #W.K. 2026-2027). 23 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 4V, p. 257 (Microfilm Roll #W.K. 2027-2028). 24 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 4V, p. 267 (Microfilm Roll #W.K. 2027-2028). 25 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 5D, p. 387 (Microfilm Roll #W.K. 2028-2029). 26 Official Records of Monroe County, Book B, 11-12. 27 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. 5N, p. 370-71 (Microfilm Roll# W.K. 2011-2012); Official Records of Monroe County, Book B, 11-12. 28 Comptroller General, 1824 Tax Returns #216, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S.C. 29 Charleston District Deeds, vol. L-9, p. 115-17; South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S.C. (Microfilm Roll #54). 30 Lewis C. Reynaud v. Odet Philippe, Charleston District Court of Common Pleas Judgment Rolls, 1822, #360A, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S.C. 31 Ibid. 32 Charleston District Deeds, vol K-91 pp. 429-32. 33 Ibid. 34 Charleston District Deeds, vol. M-9, pp. 56-59. 35 Charleston District Court of Equity, Bills 1824, #48, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, S.C. (Microfilm Roll #L.H. 3786-3787). 36 Ibid. 37 Lewis C. Reynaud v. Odet Philippe, Charleston District Court of Common Pleas Judgment Rolls, 1822, #360A. 38 Charleston District Deeds, vol. P-9, p. 113-14. 39 William Mathews v. Odet Philippe, Charleston District Court of Equity Reports, 1831, #76. 40 William Mathews v. Odet Philippe, Charleston District Court of Equity Reports, 1832, #87. 41 William Mathews v. Odet Philippe, Charleston District Court of Equity Reports, 1832, #50. 42 Misc. Records (Bills of Sale), vol. SE, pp. 70-71 (Microfilm Roll #W.K.2009-2010). 43 Louise Moisson, Executrix, v. Odet Philippe, Charleston District Court of Common Pleas Judgment Rolls, 1834, #218A. 44 Ibid. 45 Olin Norwood, Letters From Florida in 1851, Florida Historical Quarterly 29 (April 1951): 273-74.
46 Robert Debs Heinl and Nancy Gordon Heinl, Written in Blood: The Story of the Haitian People, 1492-1976 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978), 35-37; George F. Tyson, Jr., Toussaint LOuverture (Inglewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1973), 4. 47 DeFoor, Philippe in South Florida, 35; Pizzo, Tampa Town 7.
BRANDON, FLORIDA, 1890-1990: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY by Lisa W. Rodriguez The year 1990 marks the celebration of Brandons centennial, but the rich history of this Hillsborough County community dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. On January 20, 1857, John Brandon and his wife Martha Carson, a cousin of the famous Kit Carson, arrived in Tampa with six of their children and all their earthly possessions. Originally from Tishomingo County, Mississippi, they had traveled over 700 miles on a two-year journey through the wilderness. The Brandon family did not stay long in Tampa. Shortly after arriving, they moved to the Seffner area, about twelve miles east of Tampa, and settled there for approximately one year. Then, in August 1858, John Brandon purchased forty acres of land, just south of Seffner, in what later became the community of Brandon. He and his family built a log cabin and farmed the land until tragedy struck with the death of his wife Martha in 1867. Once more, John gathered his belongings and moved his family to Bartow, where he met Victoria Seward Varn, a Civil War widow with two children. Married on September 17, 1868, John and Victoria made their home in Fort Meade and had three children of their own. Six years later John moved his enlarged family back to Brandon, which was then known as New Hope, where he homesteaded 160 acres and fathered two more children. The origins of the name New Hope remain unclear, but John Brandon quickly became a leading citizen and benefactor of the community that now bears his name. In 1878 he donated five acres to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, for a church building and the New Hope Cemetery. John Brandon died in 1886 and was buried in the Brandon Family Cemetery, located today at Brandon Boulevard (State Road 60) and Pinewood Avenue. During the late nineteenth century, the small settlement of New Hope became Brandon and grew along with the surrounding communities of Limona, Mango, Seffner, Valrico, Durant, Knowles and Bloomingdale. With the completion of the Florida Central & Peninsular Railroad in 1890, the community began to concentrate near the railroad tracks. Victoria Brandon asked civil engineer C.S. Noble to survey about forty acres and lay out streets for a townsite which was named Brandon in memory of her husband John. (The right-of-way to the streets was deeded to Hillsborough County.) The center of town was located at Victoria Street and Moon Avenue, where settlers built a train depot on the north side of the tracks. On September 15, 1890, the Brandon Post Office was established with Victoria serving as the first postmaster. Residents in and around Brandon largely depended on the land to earn their living. In addition to raising cattle, pioneering families grew citrus, rice and sugar cane for market. They also farmed, fished and hunted to sustain themselves. The abundance of yellow longleaf pine trees brought sawmills and turpentine stills into the area. Early settlers often relied on their own skills as carpenters, masons, blacksmiths, and cobblers. Women labored in and around the home, preparing meals, sewing clothing and furnishings, canning fruits and vegetables and making lye soap and candles of beeswax and tallow. By the end of the century, local businesses included Galvin's General Store and Varns Packing House, which handled citrus.
Like much of rural Florida, the Brandon area progressed slowly. At the turn of the century Brandon Boulevard was still a dirt road, known as Hopewell Road. The community boasted several oneroom schoolhouses, which stressed the three Rs but also taught history, botany, physiology and geography. During World War I, the Brandon School (now McLane Junior High School) was built to consolidate the one-room schools. The new schools auditorium provided a place for town meetings and social gatherings, such as plays, movies and dances. Activities also centered around the communitys many churches which commonly held Sunday afternoon picnics. Other festivities that brought people together included sugar cane grindings, watermelon parties and overnight outings to the beach at the mouth of the Alafia River on Tampa Bay. During the first half of the twentieth century, Brandon changed little. According to a 1910 census, only 573 people lived in the immediate area. With the paving of Hopewell Road, a few new businesses sprang up. However, as late as the 1940s, the hub of Brandon was still in the vicinity of Victoria Street and Moon Avenue, and the community had fewer than fifteen businesses. All of this has changed dramatically in the last thirty years. In the mid-1950s Hopewell Road, todays Brandon Boulevard, was connected to Adamo Drive, which gave direct and easy access to Tampa and vice versa. With the flood of new residents into Florida, the Brandon area became a desirable suburb for people working in Tampa. By the mid-1970s Brandon ranked among the fastest growing communities in the state. Although still unincorporated, Brandon today has a population in excess of 109,000.
James Henry Brandon, son of early settler John Brandon and his wife Martha, became a prosperous citrus grove owner. In 1876 James built this large, two-story frame home for his wife Johanna Cavacevich Brandon and their seven children. Photograph courtesy of Dick and Raymetta Stowers. A present-day view of the old Brandon house which still stands on Brandon Boulevard (State Road 60). In 1960 Dick Stowers purchased the residence and converted it into a funeral home, preserving the original facade and basic floor plan. Photograph courtesy of Dick and Raymetta Stowers.
Pioneer settler Joseph Brooker came to Brandon from Georgia. He is shown here in 1880 at the age of twentyone in a new buggy on what is believed to be Hopewell Road, todays Brandon Boulevard. Photograph courtesy of Albert Brooker. A view of Kings Avenue in the 1930s shows how little Brandon changed during the early twentieth century. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
John Weeks and his son Levy leading a logging team of oxen in 1896. The Weeks family engaged in logging in the Limona-Brandon area. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. The Weeks home in 1896 had a cabin with a clay and stick chimney. Other structures included sheds and a well with a roof over it. Bed linen is airing on the wooden fence. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
The Coe-Draper House, built in 1882-83, is one of the few remaining Brandon examples of a spacious vernacular home, which is largely unaltered. Originally from Elgin, Illinois, Joel Lymon Coe and his family were involved in the lumber business and citrus groves. Located at the west end of Victoria Street, the Coe house was later sold to H. C. Draper. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. Percy Coe, son of Joel Lymon Coe, established this Brandon sawmill, which was a local landmark. Eight yoke of oxen were needed to draw the heavy logging wagon loaded with large virgin pine. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
Buckhorn Springs, located south of Bloomingdale Avenue between Kings Avenue and Providence Road, as it looked in 1907. Shown from left to right: Melly Browne, a visitor from Connecticut, Anna Elizabeth Coe and Percy Coe. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. The Galvin-Jaudon House was built in 1898 by Dan Galvin who moved to the Brandon area from nearby Bloomingdale. He opened Brandons first general store, which was located on the corner of Moon Avenue and Victoria Street, and he also operated a sawmill. The Galvin home was sold to Fondus Murrell and later to the Roy Jaudon family, its present owners. Photograph courtesy of the Jaudon family.
A citrus grove owner in the 1890s posed with his seedlings on newly cleared land which had a wooden fence, shown in the background, to keep out cattle. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. Arthur Scranton (left) and Walter Graves (right) in a grove near Telfair Road in Limona. Scranton was a Connecticut selectman who spent summers in Florida. The two men are sorting fruit gathered in the baskets in front of the homemade table. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
The Thomas Lake home, shown at the turn of the century, stood on the corner of Bates and Mead Roads in Limona. Lake, an influential businessman, dealt in real estate, handling a good deal of orange grove property. The Lake family was from Connecticut, and the Limona area was their summer home. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. The Limona Packing House, built by Thomas Lake, was the first of several packing houses which processed citrus in the area. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
Henry Marion Knowles came from Alabama with his family in 1865, at the age of nine. He later homesteaded and had a post office in his home from 1902 to 1911. The areas name was originally Oaklawn, but it became Knowles due to all the residents with that name. Shown here are Henrys sons (from left to right), Ed, Allen and Tom. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. A typical funeral scene in the Limona-Brandon area shows the dress common during the early twentieth century. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
A turn-of-the-century road with ruts made in the sand by wagons and carts. Taken in the Durant area in 1909, this photograph shows Mrs. Maude S. Pierce, daughter of Arthur and Rose Scranton. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
The general store at Limona also served as a post office. Shown here in 1915 is Robert Delbridge, storekeeper and postmaster. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. Bud Gameling and other cowmen on a cattle drive, about 1917, when local cattle were rounded up either for Lykes Brothers packing plant or for the drive to Punta Rassa (near Fort Myers) and shipment to Cuba. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
The Limona Civic Building was built in 1915, but this original structure burned down. A second building, constructed in 1926 and known as the Limona Improvement Association, is still in use today. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. The Brandon Grade School was built during World War I and was expanded to the twelfth grade in 1923, when four seniors graduated. The north building on the right had an auditorium on the second floor which was used for school and community events. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
Shown here on opening day in 1928, the Brandon Womans Club was built in 1927 and has served many purposes. It was Brandons first library, staffed by club members from 1960 until 1968. Located at 129 Moon Avenue, it is still in use. Photograph courtesy of Joanne Kearney. The Brandon Masonic Lodge No. 114, F. & A. M., as it looked in the 1920s. Chartered on January 22,1890, the lodge was first organized in Seffner, but it moved in 1924 to the Brandon site on land donated by Mrs. E. B. Linsley at the corner of Morgan and Moon Avenue. This two-story structure served as a center for community activities until 1974 when the present building replaced it at the same location. Photograph courtesy of Brandon Masonic Lodge.
A memorable 1931 train crash in Brandon wrecked several boxcars loaded with canned goods. The Brandon depot, shown in the upper center, was located north of the tracks on Moon Avenue and Victoria Street. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. Webers Tavern in Valrico, shown in the 1930s, was originally built in 1915 as the first garage between Tampa and Plant City. Photograph courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association.
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Brandon, Mark Z., Jr. Videotaped interview, September 9, 1983. Copy in Hillsboro ugh Community College Library, Brandon Campus. Brooker, William C. The History of Brandon As We Saw It N.p., n.d. Dinnis, Paul E. The Early Days of New Hope Church Brandon, Florida: First Methodist Church, 1976. Gunn, Donald and Francis Lumsden. Oral interview by author. March 16, 1988. Hanna, James Scott. The Brandon Family of Southwest Florida Texas: Washington Press, 1968. McKay, D. B. Pioneer Florida Tampa, Southern Florida Publishing Company, 1959.
THE FLORIDA PENINSULARS VIEW OF SLAVERY, 1855-1861 by R. Wade Wetherington Black-white relations have long figured prominently in American society. Prior to 1865, slavery largely defined white attitudes toward blacks, especially in the South where the institution prevailed. Even in relatively isolated areas, such as south Florida, slavery was an everyday reality, as well as a topic of political discussion. In 1855, Hillsborough County had a population of 3,103, consisting of 2,261 whites, 746 slaves and 6 free blacks. These slaves, representing one-quarter of the population, accounted for a large percentage of Hillsborough County's wealth. In 1850 the countys slaves were valued at $425,000, whereas buildings were assessed at $97,000 and land at $144,000. Although only about one-quarter of the countys farm operators owned any slaves, the institution of slavery undoubtedly colored the attitudes of all whites.1 Nevertheless, the exact nature of slavery and white attitudes toward it are difficult to reconstruct. Other than census reports, one of the few surviving local sources is the Florida Peninsular Tampas hometown newspaper. The Florida Peninsular was published weekly from 1855 until May 25, 1861, when it suspended publication because of the Civil War. The Peninsular was filled with national news reprinted from other sources, humorous anecdotes and stories, and advertisements. The national news and stories filled two pages of the newspaper, and the remaining two pages carried advertisements for products and services and classified advertisements much like today. The Peninsular contained very little local news. It did not cover local or state politics in any detail, and it omitted items taken for granted in newspapers today, such as births, deaths, and marriages. Most of the news was boilerplate, supplied by a news association in Savannah, Georgia.2 During the years 1855-1861, the Peninsular contained numerous references to slavery. These provide an insight into white attitudes toward slavery and show the dominant relationship that existed between blacks and whites. In addition to the articles and other pieces regarding slavery in the Peninsular the newspaper also printed occasional anecdotes about blacks and slavery.3 These articles, advertisements, and anecdotes all conveyed the fact that whites considered slaves inferior and held them in low esteem. It is apparent that the feelings of slaves were of no consequence. Slave families were separated, and groups of slaves who may have been related were sold and separated.4 Slaves had few if any rights. They were bought and sold and tracked as if they were cattle. As with other livestock, the proprietor of the female slave became the owner of her offspring, and as the owner of a horse might use force in breeding the horse to harness, so the master of a slave might coerce him into submission. A runaway slave was like a stray horse, to be seized, impounded, advertised, and reclaimed by his owner upon payment for services rendered and expenses incurred. A slave could not own property unless by sanction of his owner, nor could he make a contract without his master's approval. His mating was mere concubinage in law, and the rape of a female slave was not a crime, but a mere trespass upon the owners property. A bill of sale for a slave guaranteed that he had no mental or physical defects. Slaves, either individually or in groups, were used as collateral for loans. When a slaveowner encountered bad economic
times, a forced sale at public auction was often the result. Deaths of slaveowners also caused sales of slaves.5 The articles and advertisements related to slavery in the Florida Peninsular fall into a number of categories and can be separated as follows: A. Sales of slaves B. Renting of slaves C. Runaway slaves D. Slave crimes and punishment E. The defense of slavery. A. SALES OF SLAVES The advertisements in the Peninsular dealt frequently with the sale of slaves, either through a sale by the sheriff or through an estate sale. The reader can imagine the real-life drama that took place behind the advertisements. Because of the unique nature of the advertisements, what follows is a verbatim reproduction of most of them from the years 1855-60. SHERIFFS SALE BY VIRTUE of a fi. fa. issued out of the Circuit Court for the Southern Circuit of the State of Florida. I have levied on and will expose to public sale, on the first Monday in May next, the following described property to wit: Dick, Van, Peter, Field slaves working on a sugar plantation somewhere in the South. Photograph from The Slave Community by John W. Blassingame.
Robert, Horace, Male slaves, Mary, Nancy, Adeline, Eugenia Betsy, Females, levied on as the property of Wm. H. McDonald6, to satisfy an execution in favor of Littleton J. McDonald & John McPherson Berrien McDonald. Sale between the usual hours. E. T. KENDRICK, Sheriff.7 Tampa, March 17, '55 April 7,1855 (page 3, column 4) ADMINISTRATORS SALE BY VIRTUE of a decree from the Circuit Court of the Southern Circuit of Florida, sitting for Hernando County, I will sell at public outcry on the first Monday of October next, before the Court House door, at De Soto, eighty acres of land, belonging to the estate of Joshua Platt, deceased. JOHN PLATT, Admr. April 14th 1855 At the same time and place I will also sell four negro slaves of the said deceased, to wit: Winny and her child, Simon, Ned and Tom. The terms of the above sales will be 15 months credit, bonds and approved security will be required of purchasers and deeds at purchasers costs. JOHN PLATT, Admr. April 14th 1855. April 14, 1855 (page 2, column 6) SHERIFFS SALE BY VIRTUE of Authority vested in me by Law, I have this day Levied on, and will offer for Sale, at public outcry, on the 1st Monday of February next, in front of the Court House Door in Tampa, Hillsborough County, the following property to-wit: Lot No. (4) four, of Lot No. (9) nine, in the Town of Tampa; also one negro girl named Adeline, about (13) thirteen years old, taken as the mortgaged Property of William D. Freeman & William H. McDonald, defendants, to satisfy an Execution issued from the Circuit Court of Hillsborough County, in favor of William W. Tucker, plaintiff. HENRY PARKER, Sheriff8 Dec. 11th A.D. 1855 December 15,1855 (page 2, column 5) NOTICE Will be sold to the highest bidder, before courthouse in Tampa, on 15th of November next, one negro woman age about 35 years, good house or field hand-also with her, a boy about 5 years old-very smart healthy child-will be sold together, as boy is her child. Estate of Alderman Carlton9 for benefit of heirs. J.M. Hayman, Admr10 10/3/56 October 4, 1856 (page 2, column 6)
PUBLIC SALE I will sell at the old courthouse, in Hernando County, on the first Monday in January 1857, five negroes, to wit: two likely young men, one girl and two children; being the estate of Joshua Platt, late of Hernando County. John Platt, Admr. November 1, 1856 (page 3, column 3) NOTICE I WILL, in pursuance of an order of the Honorable Court of Probates of Hernando County and State of Florida, on the sixth day of April next, offer at public auction, in front of the courthouse, in the City of Tampa, a certain negro slave named Cudgjo, as the property of the estate of Hopkins M. Wilder, deceased, and William Wilder, of Hillsborough County and State aforesaid. THOMAS M. WILDER, ADMR March 7, 1857 March 21, 1857 (page 3, column 2) Notice Of Sale A slave family on the auction block. Photograph from The Slave Community by John W. Blassingame.
I will offer, at public auction, on the 11th day of April, 1857, at the usual hours, at the County Cite of Manatee County, one negro man, Alfred. To be sold to satisfy demands against the Estate of James Hudson, late of said County, deceased. WM. M. WHITAKER Feb. 7, 1857 Sheriff & exofficio Admr April 25, 1857 (page 3, column 6) BY VIRTUE OF AUTHORITY, vested in me by law, I have this day levied upon and will offer for sale, in front of the Court House door, in Tampa, on the first Monday (6th day) of December, next, the following property to wit: One negro man (slave) named John, levied upon as the property of John Mercer11, to satisfy an execution in favor of Aaron Turner, Administrator of the estate of Moses Turner12 deceased. The said property was pointed out by Plaintiff Attorney. WM. S. SPENCER, SHFF13 Oct. 16th 1858 October 17, 1858 (page 3, column 4) BY VIRTUE OF AUTHORITY vested in me by law, I have this day levied upon and will offer for sale, at public outcry, in front of the courthouse door, in Tampa, on the first Monday (6th day) in December next, the following property, to wit: A Negro woman (slave) named Charlotte taken as the property of Joshua Stafford14 to satisfy an execution in favor of James Stephens and others. WM. S SPENCER, Oct. 16, 1858 Sheriff. October 17, 1858 (page 3, column 4) SALE OF NEGROES ON THE 17th day of February next, at Brooksville, Hernando County, I will sell three Negro Slaves belonging to the Estate of Rebecca Murden, decd. One Woman and child, and Boy. The terms of sale will be credit until the first day of January next with two approved securities bearing 8 per cent interest from date of sale. A.B.MONDEN, Admr Jan. 19th, 1859 January 22, 1859 (page 3, column 1) NEGROES For Sale! THE SUBSCRIBER will offer for sale, at OCALA, Florida, on the 28th day of November, 1859, EIGHT LIKELY NEGROES, to wit: One Man, about twenty-eight years old; one Woman about thirty-two years old; one Woman, eighteen years old, and five Children, from six years old and under.
Terms Cash. ALLEN M. MUNDEN November 19th, 1859 November 19, 1859 (page 3, column 1) NEGRO FOR SALE ON MONDAY, the 6th day of February next, I will offer for sale, at public auction, in front of the courthouse door, in the City of Tampa, a Negro man named William-aged about 35 years-the property of the late James Stephens, deceased. Terms made known on day of sale. ELLEN STEPHENS Admx Estate James Stephens January 7th, 1860 January 14, 1860 (page 3, column 2) SHERIFF SALE ON the first Monday in March, 1860, 1 will offer the following property for sale, to wit: One negro man named Sam, age about 45 years; and One negro woman, named Amy, age about 40 years. Levied upon as the property of Kennedy & Brown, and Thos. P. Kennedy,15 to satisfy an Execution in favor of E. T. Kendrick. Wm. S. SPENCER, Sheriff February 11, 1860 Advertisement from the Florida Peninsular November 19,1859.
February 11, 1860 (page 3, column 1) U.S. MARSHAL SALE By virtue of a Fi. Fa., issued out of the United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, I have levied upon, and will offer for sale in front of the courthouse door in the City of Tampa, on the first Monday (7th day) of May next, the following property, to wit: One Negro woman named Charlotte, and twentythree head of Cattle, (more or less) branded with a spur; levied upon as the property of Isaac J. Carter to satisfy an Execution in favor of Richard Gay. N.B. Terms of sale, Cash in specie E.E. BLACKBURN, U.S.M. By W.S. SPENCER, Deputy. March 24th, 1860 March 24, 1860 (page 2, column 6) Sale of Negroes at Auction Will be sold at public auction, in front of the court-house door in Tampa, on Monday, the 10th day of September, 1860, One NEGRO WOMAN, aged about 30 years-a good house-servant; also, one NEGRO BOY, aged about 16 years. Said A house servant. Photograph from The Slave Community by Johm W. Blassingame.
Negroes are valuable servants in any capacity; they will be sold for cash on the day specified. JOHN J. McARTHUR Lxr Est. Jas. McLeod Tampa Sept. 1st., 1860 Sept 1, 1860 (page 2, column 6) B. RENTING OR HIRING OF SLAVES The Peninsular also carried occasional advertisements for the renting or hiring of slaves: Notice, I HAVE two negro women to hire for the remainder of the year. S. W. JOHN Tampa Mar. 31 April 7, 1855 (page 3, column 3) NOTICE Will offer at late residence of J.W. Brookbank, decd, on Whiting Street, in the town of Tampa, to rent for I year, the late residence aforesaid, consisting in 1 house and lot, to the highest bidder, also at same time and place, one negro man to lease for the same length of time. Branch & Getting Exrs Estate of J.W. Brookbank, decd. 12/29/55 December 29, 1855 (page 2, column 6) FOR SALE The Negro Woman AMY, commonly known as Fat Amy. If not sold before the first day of Jan next, she will be for hire, for the yr 1861. Apply to the undersigned. KENNEDY & DARLING16 Tampa Dec. 15, 1860 December 15, 1860 (page 3, column 3) C. RUNAWAY SLAVES The Peninsular carried many advertisements regarding runaway slaves. Often, runaway slaves would be caught and brought to the Tampa jail and held for their owner. If the owner did not claim them, they were sold. The slaveowner usually offered a reward for the recovery of his property. The Peninsular advertisements indicate that slaves not uncommonly sought to escape. Still, the number of runaways appears small when compared to the total number of slaves in the Tampa Bay area. The small number of runaways may have been the result of limited options available to slaves who were not able to travel alone without passes; moreover, running away required abandonment of family, extreme danger, and the inability to make a living. Human drama and
tragedy are played out in the following advertisements, which represent most of the notices of runaways slaves, except for duplicates in successive issues of the Peninsular. Notice I have traded for the boy Smart that Dr. Jones sold to Mr. Galligo, any person taking him and delivering him to the undersigned or the Jailor of this county will be liberally rewarded as he is runaway at this time. H.D. Kendrick17 August 18, 1855 (page 3, column 2) Coroners Notice Was found, drowned on the 21st, ult, in the Withlacoochee, near Monroes Ferry, colored man believed to be named Smart, complexion black, about five six in height, wide built, beard long on the chin, about 30 yrs of age, had a black thin coat, white drawers, shoes somewhat rundown, black wool hat, had with him a bundle containing clothing, such as pants, shirts, one thin coat, stock cravat, hatchet, pocket knife, two passes, from which it appears the boy was named Smart and had belonged to one John Gallagher18 of Ichepucksassa.19 Can claim prop and info. Wm. M. Mein, J.P. ex officio cor The pursuit of a runaway slave. Photograph from The Slave Community by John W. Blassingame.
Hernando 8/15/55 October 13, 1855 (page 2, column 4) Brought to Tampa Jail On the 13th Jan., 1856, by Mr. C.G. Simmons, of Hillsborough Co., Fla., a Negro man who says his name is Bazzell and says he belongs to Mr. Fettis Bolin, near Palatka, Fla., and that he has been runaway about two months. Said boy is black, five 7 high with full eyes he is about 45 or 50 yrs of age, has on an old black wool hat, a pair of black cloth or cassimere pants, a home-spun cotton shirt, dyed, one of his upper front teeth a little decayed. Owner come forward prove property pay charges and take him away. C.F. Fitchett, Jailor February 2, 1856 (page 3, column 2) $150 Reward Ran away from the subscriber in Leon County, on the 26th ult., three negro men, to-wit: LEWIS, aged 40, hair a little grey, six feet or upwards in height, high cheek bones, low forehead, clumsy in gait. NICHOLAS, aged 40 or upwards, 5 feet 10 or 11 inches high. TOM, aged about 30, low in stature, features long, light built. Tom and Lewis are not as black as Nicholas. They will either lurk in the vicinity of Tallahassee or endeavor to make their way to Manatee River or South Florida, where they formerly lived. I will give twenty-five dollars each for said Negroes if t a Advertisement from the Florida Peninsular November7,1857.
ken in the counties of Leon or Jefferson thirty dollars each if taken in Madison, and fifty dollars each, if taken beyond the Suwannee, and delivered to me or secured in jail so that I can get them. GEO. T. WARD Tallahassee, Oct. 3, 1857 November 7, 1857 (page 3, column 3) Lodged in Jail Brought to Tampa Jailed, on the 11th inst., a negro boy, who says his name is Tom, and that he belongs to Maj. Geo. T. Ward of Tallahassee. Said boy is about 30 years of age, and five feet eight or ten inches in height. The owner can secure property by paying charges & c. WM. S. SPENCER, Jailor Tampa, Dec. 12, 1857 December 12, 1857 (page 3, column 1) $50 Reward The above reward will be paid for the apprehension of one negro man, to-wit; AMOS, a dark mulatto about 40 years of age, and about 5 feet 8 inches high. This negro has been run away and at large at Manatee and in that neighborhood for two years, and is well known in that settlement. GEO. T. WARD Tallahassee, Oct. 29, 1857 December 12, 1857 (page 3, column 3) RUNAWAYS!! RAN AWAY from the subscriber, on Tuesday, 29th December, 1857, two negro men, property of Mrs. Annie B. Lancaster, widow of the Hon. Joseph B. Lancaster20, deceased to wit: JACK, about 22 years of age, medium size, about 5 feet 6 inches high, dark copper color, quick spoken, and rather intelligent; LEWIS, about 17 years of age, heavy set, about 5 feet 5 inches high, not so intelligent as Jack, and generally leaves his comrade to answer questions. These boys were seen on the first of January this side the Withlacoochee Bridge; had no tickets, but said they were sent by a Mr. John to a Mr. Bell, near Ocala. It is supposed they are making their way to Savannah. The above negroes were sometime in September or October, '57, purchased by Mr. Montmolen in Savannah, Ga., for Mrs. Lancaster, and sent to me to hire as her Agent; they arrived on the 8th of Dec., and ran away as above. A liberal reward will be paid for their delivery to me or lodgement in jail. J.T. MACBEE, Agent21 Tampa, Jan. 4th, 1858. January 9, 1858 (page 2, column 6) $15 REWARD.
RANAWAY from the subscriber, on the 29th of December last his boy BEN Said boy is 20 years old, black, stout built, about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches in height, of pleasing countenance when spoken to: when he left had on cotton canaburg pants, and an old dark colored coat with no sleeves, but, as he had other clothes it is probable he has changed his dress. The above reward of fifteen dollars, together with all reasonable expenses, will be paid to any person who will deliver said boy to me, at my residence in Sumter County, Florida, or safely lodge him in jail. Fifty dollars will be given for the detection and conviction of any white man who may have enticed said slave away, or in [any] way been the means of keeping him out of my employ. R.L. COLVERT Jan. 2, 1858 January 16, 1858 (page 2, column 6) $20 REWARD Run away from my residence in Manatee, Fla., on the 6th inst., my boy Prince, aged about 26 years, about 5 foot 5 inches in height, very black, stout built, with broad shoulders supposed to be endeavoring to get to Columbus, Ga., where his wife recently went. The above reward will be paid to any person who will deliver him to me, or $15 if lodged in any jail, where I can get him. JOSIAH GATES Manatee, April 20, 1858 April 24, 1858 (page 3, column 2) COMMITTED TO JAIL ON SATURDAY, 5th inst., a Negro man, who says his name is Moses, and that he belongs to Mr. Wm. B. Reynolds, who resides near Ocala, Fla., said negro is about 22 years of age, 5 feet, 2 or 3 inches high, weighs about 120 pounds, has 2 scars on his forhead (sic), and is coal-black. The owner can recover the above property on application and payment of fees. WM. S. SPENCER, Jailor Advertisement from the Florida Peninsular March12,1859.
Tampa, March 12, 1859 March 12, 1859 (page 2, column 6) $10 REWARD RUNAWAY, from the subscriber, on the 29th day of March 1859, a negro man named CHARLES, about 22 years of age 4 feet, 4 or 5 inches high, weighs about 150 pounds, is coal black, and has a scar (done with a knife) above the small of his back. The above reward will be paid for the delivery of said negro to me, or lodgment in any jail so that I may get him. F.M. DURRANCE22 Peas Creek, Fla., April 2, 1859. April 23, 1859 (page 3, column 1) BROUGHT TO JAIL ON WEDNESDAY, the 6th instant, a negro man, who says his name is Jack, and that he belongs to the estate of Washington Gigger, late Micanopy, deceased. Said negro is about 50 years of age, 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high. The owner can secure the above property by complying with requirements of the law in such cases. WM. S. SPENCER Sheriff, Hillsborough co. Tampa, Fla., July 9, 1859 July 9, 1859 (page 3, column 2) $300 REWARD THE ABOVE REWARD will be given for the apprehension and detention of one SAMUEL E. EDWARDS. Said Edwards is 6 feet in height, 40 years of age; the sight of one eye is gone; it having a white appearance; weighs about 175 pounds; loves to gamble, to loaf about a grocery and talk big; sandy hair and beard rather heavy. The said named Edwards, alias S.E. Shell, stole a negro from the undersigned, in Columbia County, Arkansas, on the 3d day of October, 1859. The negro has been recovered, but the thief thus far has battled pursuit. All information in regard to the thief should be directed to the subscriber at Falcon, Columbia County, Ark. A.M. McCOLLUM March 10th, 1860 March 17, 1860 (page 2, column 6) Two negro boys, says the Mariana Patriot, were recently decoyed, from Gadsden Co., by some white scoundrel, who has made his escape. The Negroes have been recovered. October 6, 1860 (page 2, column 2) $25 REWARD
My Boy, NIMROD, formerly owned by Dr. F. Branch, having runaway from my plantation on the Hillsborough River, I offer the above reward of twenty-five dollars to any person who will return him to me, or safely lodge him in jail and inform me of the fact, so that I may get him into my possession. Nimrod is stout built, of low stature, having a downcast countenance, and a muttering way of speaking. He has a very large foot and hand for a person of his age, being about fifteen or sixteen years old. His color is that of a dark mulatto. EDWARD JONES Oct. 17, 1860 November 17, 1860 (page 3, column 1) $25 REWARD!! The above Reward will be paid for the delivery of my Negro man, ALICK, who ranaway the first of January. ALICK is about 25 years of age, slightly cooper-colored-about 6 feet high-very likely, has an intelligent look-is very quick spoken. He is one that would be classed as a No. 1 negro. He is supposed to be in the neighborhood of Tampa, in company with o ne of Mr. James Turners boys. The above reward will be paid for his delivery to me on Orange Lake, Marion County, or $15 if confined in any Jail that I can get him. JOHN M. PAYNE, M.D. Flemington, P.O., Marion Co., Fla. March 30th, 1861 May 11, 1861 (page 3, column 3) $50 REWARD My Boy, NIMROD, formerly owned by Dr. F. Branch23, having runaway from my plantation. FIFTY DOLLARS to any person who will return him, or safely lodge him in jail and inform me of the fact so that I may get him into my possession. Nimrod is stout built; of low stature, having a downcast countenance, and a muttering way of speaking. He has a very large foot and hand for a person of his age, being about fifteen or sixteen years old. His color is that of a dark mulatto. EDMUND JONES Tampa, Nov. 17, 1860 May 26, 1861 (page 3, column 3) D. SLAVE CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT The Florida Peninsular printed many articles involving slaves committing heinous crimes, usually the murder of some white person. These articles probably played to the fears of whites that the enslaved would throw off their bonds and attack slaveowners. Interestingly, the only articles reporting whites killing blacks appeared when retribution was sought for the death of a white. However, these were not the only circumstances under which whites killed blacks. Rather,
the death of a black at the hands of a white was probably not considered either a crime or newsworthy.24 The articles reproduced here include only those with some connection to Florida. Many articles appeared relating to slave crimes in other states. HORRIBLE TRAGEDY! A Man Murdered by his own Negro!! The Murderer Escaped. We are called upon this week to record one of the most heartrending tragedies that ever occured in this State: On Tuesday night, the 30th ultimo, Mr. WILLIAM PEARCE, residing about five miles from this place whilst he was eating supper, told one of his negro men, who had been guilty of some misdemeanor, that so soon as he was through he would give him a flogging. Accordingly, when he got up from the table, he went out into the back yard and called the fellow out of the kitchen, and told him to come to him. Manifesting a great deal of submission, he obeyed; but so soon as he got within striking distance, drew an axe, which he had concealed and split in twain the head of his master scattering the brains in every direction. We are not aware he survived a minute. The negro instantly fled and up to this time (noon Friday) has not been captured. Mr. PEARCE was a good citizen, a kind husband, father, and master, and was beloved by all who knew him. His melancholy fate has cast a pall of gloom over our whole community. The negro, beyond doubt, will be captured before many hours. If he is, although we admire submission to the course pointed out by the law of the land, in this case, so much of the brute has been manifested, we would be glad to see our citizens rise in mass, and avail themselves of Lynch Law hang the rascal without court or jury. Madison Messenger November 15, 1856 (page 2, column 3) John Raybon, and the negro, Hall, sentenced by Judge Baker, were hung at Madison, on Friday the 12th instant. December 20, 1856 (page 3, column 3) Daring Attempt at Murder. A most daring attempt was made in this place on Tuesday night last, by a negro, to take the life of one of our citizens, Mr. H.O. Bassett. Mr. B. Had retired about 9 oclock and was lying in bed, preparing to read before going to sleep, and hearing a noise of some one in the room, asked who it was. On turning round, he discovered a negro man named Washington, belonging to Col. C.C. Young, of this place, standing at the bed, with an axe upraised, in the act of striking him. Mr. Bassett rolled out of bed in time to prevent the blow and grappled the negro. They scuffled for awhile and the boy finding that Mr. B. was
too strong for him let go the axe, and Mr. B. struck at him; the boy dodged the blow and the axe stuck in the floor, making a deep indention. Hearing someone coming the boy escaped through one door, and Mr. B. started through another to head him, but could not find him. Returning, to his room, Mr. B. discovered the boy there, who escaped through the back door, to the yard. Some persons hearing the difficulty came to the assistance of Mr. B. and half an hour afterwards they walked out into the yard, thinking the negro may have secreted himself somewhere, when a pistol was fired from under the kitchen, the ball missing Mr. Bassett, but passing through the clothing of one of the party. The premises were then searched but without success. The negro was caught yesterday, near St. Andrews, having stolen a horse from Mr. Benj. Hollden, and brought to jail in this place. Mariana Patriot September 18, 1858 (page 2, column 5) Committed to Jail The examination of the negro man, Adam, on Saturday last, on the charge of murdering Luke Moore, resulted in his commitment to jail to await his trial at the October term of our Circuit Court. The evidence elicited on the examination was all circumstantial, but of such a nature as to leave but little room to doubt the guilt of the accused. September 17, 1859 (page 2, column 1) The Circuit Court for this County, held over during the present week. In the case of the State vs. Adam, (a negro man) charged with murdering Like Moore, the Jury returned a verdict of guilty, after about two hours deliberation. The trial was long and tedious consuming several days. Greater ability was displayed by Messrs. Hart & Taylor, Attys for the defense, and also by the talented Solicitor, H.L. Mitchell, Esqr .25 The verdict gave general satisfaction. October 29, 1859 (page 2, column 1) Circuit Court, For the county of Hillsborough, Hon. Thos. F. King, presiding, commenced its session on Monday, the 17th ult. Four days of the 1st week were occupied in the trial of Adam, a mulatto slave, the property of J.C. Green, for the murder of Luke Moore. A large number of witnesses were examined, pro and con. He was found guilty. In connection with this murder, in a future number, we have a few remarks to make on the subject of negroes hiring their own time. On Monday of the 2nd week, George M. Buckley was tried for the murder of his father-in-law, George W. Goodwin. There were but few witnesses and the case was so patent, that it took but one day. He was also found guilty. On Monday of the third week, the Judge pronounced the sentence of Death on Adam, and on Tuesday of the same week, on to Buckley, both to be hanged on Friday, the 16th day of December next.
His Honor in the case of Buckley, before pronouncing the awful sentence of the Law, made a few preliminary remarks so feelingly and forcibly as to bring tears from many a hardy son of toil. In next weeks issue we will lay before the public the substance of those remarks, and we trust they will produce a good effect on all but more specially on such as habitually have no respect for the laws of either God or Man... November 5, 1859 (page 2, column 2) THE HANGING OF ADAM. George M. Buckley, who it will be remembered, killed his father-in-law about a year ago was hanged at Tampa Bay on the 16th instant. A negro boy [Adam] belonging to a Mr. Green was also hung on the same day and on the same gallows. It seems that the boy was supposed to have been connected with the murder, but no proof of the fact was adduced, and notwithstanding a writ of error in his case had been issued by the Supreme Court and a certified copy of the same placed in the hands of the Sheriff of Hillsborough County, he was violently taken from his custody and hung by a mob. If all the facts in his case which have been related to us by true, this proceeding on the part of mob was an open violation of the law and deserves the condemnation of every law and order abiding citizen of the State. Jacksonville Republican We propose making a few comments on the article taken from the Jacksonville Republican, of the 24th ult., concerning the hanging of Adam. The first gross error, or willful misrepresentation, consists in this, that there was no supposition at all of Adams having been connected with Buckley in the murder of Goodwin, for which murder Buckley was hung. Adam was tried, condemned and hung for the murder of Dr. Luke Moore. The two cases were entirely separate and distinct. We are to infer the remarks of the Editor that his informant stated there as no proof of the murder, and that he was hung by a mob. We say that if there was ever a great array of circumstantial evidence upon which verdicts of guilty have been predicated, it has never been our lot to witness them; and we assert that, pending the four days the trial lasted, the jury exhibited a patience worthy of all praise. His Honor Judge King, in order to elicit the whole truth, gave (as we thought) ample scope in the examination of all the witnesses. For several years past we have witnessed Col. O.B. Harts pleading at the Bar, and we think that, in the defense of Adam, he exhibited an industry in bringing forward testimony, a tact in the examination of the witnesses, and a zeal in his eloquent and pathetic appeal to the Jury, that, had it not been for damning proof, strong as holy writ, must have procured an acquittal. Moreover, the valuable assistance in the conducting of the case particularly in the examination of the witnesses by J.M. Taylor, Esq., was manifest to every spectator. Now if the relator to the Republican related the facts as of his own knowledge, being a witness of the trial, we say he lied; and Webster defines a lie to be a false statement uttered to deceive. Had relator said no efforts were made to obtain a writ
of error for a penniless white man, but, for a quibble or an informality, a slave worth $1500 could have anothe r chance for his life by the laws delay, he doubtless would have spoken knowingly and, perhaps, feelingly. And as Adam was tried by as honest a jury of twelve men, after as fair and patient a trial as was ever witnessed in a court of justice, and sentenced by an upright and impartial Judge, so, in pursuance thereof, he was hung! The relator says he was hung by a mob. Webster defined the word mob, tumultuous crowd, and tumultuous is defined disorderly, turbulent, noisy, lawless. If Webster is correct, relator lied, and we defy him to make his word good under his own signature. As well might Verres return to Sicily, as that same relator make tracks in the County of Hillsborough.26 January 21, 1860 (page 2, column 1) Doctor W.J. Keitt Brutally Murdered On Sunday morning last, our community was thrown into a state of intense excitement by the announcement of the death of Dr. W.J. Keitt, one of the most talented citizens of Florida, and our Senator in the State Legislature. He had been living by himself, on his pleasant plantation, about 3 miles from Ocala, and had been in ill health for some time past. Early in the morning, one of his servants who had waited on him during his illness, came into town and stated that as he went into his masters room to build a fire; he found him lying on the floor, dead. At first it was supposed that he had died suddenly, from an affliction of the heart; but, on visiting his house, his body was found bathed in blood, and his throat cut from ear to ear. An inquest was soon held, and it was found that he had been most brutally murdered by one or more of his own negroes. The most positive evidence was obtained against one of the negroes, and a disposition was manifested to hang him at once; but, with the view of obtaining proof against others who were supposed to be implicated, he was brought to jail with three others on whom suspicion rests. The matter is undergoing further investigation, as we go to press, and we are therefore unable to give the result. Dr. Keitt was a native of South Carolina, and a brother of HON. L.M. Keitt, the brilliant Senator of that State who has so nobly battled for the rights of the South in the halls of congress. The deceased moved to this State about six years ago, and had so identified himself with her interests as to rendered his death a public calamity. Ocala Companion 21st. Inst. February 25, 1860 (page 2, column 3) Mr. Matthew D. Griffin, an overseer, was brutally murdered by three negroes under his charge, near Madison, FLA., on the 4th inst. He was knocked from his horse by one of the negroes, with an axe, and then beat to death by the gang. They then took the body to Pine Lake, and after attaching to it a heavy weight sank it in fifteen feet water, where it was found a few days subsequent. One of the murders has made a full and free confession of the whole affair.
March 17, 1860 (page 2, column 1) The Ocala Companion of the 20th inst., says: In accordance with the decision of the Jury, in the case mentioned last week, Allen, one of the negroes sentenced, was hung on Wednesday last, after having made a full confession of his guilt. Israels sentence was commuted to banishment from the State. The other negroes, John Zelius, and Melvina, received from 25 to 50 stripes a day, for ten consecutive days, Sundays excepted. March 24, 1860 (page 2, column 1) Broke Jail The six negroes, belonging to Maj. J.B. Watts, who were confined in the Madison (Fla.) jail, under sentence of death for the murder of their overseer, Mr. M.D. Griffin, made their escape on Monday night, the 16th ult. May 5, 1860 (page 2, column 3) Three negroes were hung at Madison on Friday the 4th, (in accordance with the sentence of the Court, recently held in that town,) for the murder of M.D. Griffin. The other three implicated remain in jail, awaiting the decision of our next Supreme Court. May 26, 1860 (page 2, column 2) Murder Will Out We learned that citizens of Hernando County of Saturday last, hung Hemp a slave belonging to the estate of Albert Clarke, for being the immediate cause of the death of his master. The negro confessed that he was promised $200 by James Boyd (a step-son of the deceased) and Mrs. Clarke (decedent's wife) $100, as a compensation for taking the life of his master and that he committed the murder (as stated last week,) accordingly. Boyd and Mrs. Clarke are now in charge of the people, closely guarded; and it is to be hoped, evidence will be found sufficient to convict them by law as accessories; the conviction of their guilt, with the people, is already a fixed fact. October 20, 1860 (page 2, column 4) From Hernando we learn that the murder of Albert Clarke is undergoing a judicial investigation. We are not yet advised of its termination. October 27, 1860 (page 2, column 1) The investigation of the circumstances attending the recent murder of A. Clarke, in Hernando County, which terminated last week, resulted in the commitment of James Boyd, a step-son of the deceased. November 3, 1860 (page 2, column 1)
E. THE DEFENSE OF SLAVERY The national stories carried by the Peninsular offered a defense of slavery, even to the extent that some stories were couched in terms of the supposed benefits of slavery to blacks. Although it may be beyond proof, the editors of the Peninsular likely had a selection of national stories from which to choose, and they selected those which reflected the sentiment of Tampas white populace, or were intended to shape that sentiment. The stories that follow are only a portion of those defending slavery that appeared in the Peninsular Space constraints have required that many not be included. However, the articles reproduced here are representative of those published in the Peninsular The newspaper did not publish any articles commending blacks or reporting positive news about blacks. Voluntary Enslavement Elizabeth Blokley, a free girl of color, aged about 22 years, voluntarily went into slavery at the present term of the Abingdon Circuit Court. She was bought by Capt. Samuel Sinner, Sheriff of that county. This is the first instance of this kind we have heard of, says the Abingdon Democrat in this end of the State. The woman is very intelligent, and was fully aware that a kind master was better able to provide and care for her than she was herself. This is a nut for Yankee philosophy to crack. November 7, 1857 (page 4, column 1) Louisiana on the Slave Trade27 The following bill relative to the purchase of slaves by the people of Louisiana, has been introduced into the Legislature of that State, and referred to the Committee on Federal Relations; Whereas The Federal Government has no power to prohibit the buying of negro slaves by the citizens of this State: and whereas, the right of the people of Louisiana to purchase slave property in any market, whether domestic or foreign, where negroes are sold, has never been aliented from her sovernity, or granted to the control of the Federal Government; Therefore be it enacted, &c. That any citizens or association of citizens of this State be and they are hereby authorized to purchase negro slaves from Cuba. Brazil, and Africa, and to bring the said slaves so purchased into this State; and to hold the same in full right and title, for their proper use, benefit and behoof; provided said slaves are purchased and imported into this State, shall be subject to the same regulations and tariff for duties as other species of foreign property or imports. February 26, 1859 (page 2, column 6) Slave Trade We are not mealy-mouthed or sentimental in relation to the African slave trade, nor do we avow ourselves in favor of re-opening it. We believe, however, that the cause of philanthropy and Christianity would be best subserved by taking the black cannibles and savages from their native jungles and subjecting them to the elevating, humanizing and Christianizing influences of
Southern slavery; for no where on the surface of the globe has the African race so much improved as in the slaveholding commonwealth of the South. And by way of answer to Puritanic cavilers, we would ask them if the African slave trade between the States be wrong, is not the slave trade between the States wrong in itself, also! This is a question we have often thought deserved more serious consideration than has ever been bestowed upon it. N. O. Crescent May 14, 1859 (page 3, column 1), SLAVE TRADE AND PIRACY. We copy the following sensible remarks on this subject from the New Orleans Crescent every word of which we endorse. It states, in a concise manner, the position all conservative Southerns must occupy: A correspondent of the Galveston News writing from Artesian Springs, Mississippi, near which place there are sixteen Africans of one of the late importations, argues thus: There are some men in the South who buy Virginia slaves every year, and yet brand as a pirate one who buys an African. Now, does the lex loci make it moral or immoral right or wrong? If no, the laws of Virginia and Africa are the same; both recognize the right to hold a slave and to sell him. A master, then in Virginia, has no more right to sell me a slave that the African owner. If the African owner has the right, the Virginia owner has it as well: and vice versa, if the Virginia owner has the right to sell me a slave, so has the African owner. Now we recognize the right to buy a slave from Virginia, why not from Africa? Where is the piracy? If it is not piracy there, is it piracy here? The view taken above is, in all essential respects, a correct one. It is a like logical and incontrovertible. It cannot be met by argument, overwhelmed by facts, or refuted by history. It states all the main features of the issue plainly and unmistakeably, and demonstrates in a few words, that if the African slave trade is wrong, the slave-trade between the States is wrong also. On this particular point the wholesale opponents of the African slave trade are not only putting themselves in the wrong, but they are imperilling the very institution of slavery as known and conducted among us itself; for if that institution cannot be defended on moral and christian grounds the period of its existence only rests upon a thread which will be severed by the strong hand of power just as soon as the world can supply itself with a single product from other quarters. We have never declared ourselves in favor of re-opening the African slave trade. With that important question many interests are intwined; and we know that thousands, having no conscientious scruples on the subject, looking at it in a purely business light think it expedient and unwise. On this point there is a multitude of honest differences of opinion. But there is little or no difference when the matter is viewed with exclusive reference to its moral, Christian and philanthropic aspects. The three million and a half of civilized, Christianized, happy and well cared for Africans in the Southern States, the product of whose labor, constitutes the
keystone of the commercial and financial ____(illegible) of Christendom, bear witness to the good and wholesome fruits that have sprung from the much-abused slave trade. Had not their ancestors slaves in Africa, slaves of ____(illegible), barbarian, blood thirsty canibal masters been purchased and brought to this country, they would now be the slaves of the most horrid system that exist anywhere on earth, instead of the happiest and best provided for class of laborers on the surface of the globe. July 23, 1859 (page 2, column 6) Free Negroes in the North. The N Y Herald, of last Thursday, devotes a column to an inquiry into the constantly depressing condition of the ____(illegible) pauperism, and winds up with the following: The logical deduction from these facts is, that the Northern States will return to the enactment of the laws establishing negro slavery, and sell all the free negroes into family servitude. Humanity will demand this to preserve them from being reduced to a state of degradation terrible to contemplate, by the increasing competition of the white race. Policy will require it to save the community from the burden of hundreds of thousands of able-bodied paupers which can make no headway of themselves. The negro himself will ask it, in order that he may be restored to that consideration in society to which he is entitled as a man. They will then be absorbed into our families again as servants, mechanics and husbandmen, and will be relieved from that social ban which now attends them in consequence of their doubtful position and long lasting degradation. Startling as the prediction may appear, remarks the Macon Telegraph, it could find its practical fulfillment in many of the Northern towns without any change in their laws or customs. As paupers the negroes could be and probably are, annually sold to who ever will accept their services and maintain them at the lowest cost to the town: and the misfortune of the negroes in this case, would be a liability to a change of masters every year. The Heralds proposition for a permanent ownership is much more humane. Savannah News August 6, 1859 (page 1, column 6) CONCLUSION The practices and attitudes depicted in the Florida Peninsular appear shocking today. Nevertheless, the people named in articles and advertisements and the people who published the newspaper included many of Tampas leading citizens. Regardless of how much we may wish to disassociate ourselves from Tampa of the 1850s or to disclaim that society, it provided the foundation for modern Tampa. Only by understanding the reality of black-white relations under slavery can we hope to comprehend its legacy. 1 Gary R. Mormino and Anthony P. Pizzo, Tampa, The Treasure City (Tulsa: Continental Heritage Press, 1983), 60. 2 The Spencer family was prominent in the Tampa community and active in the publication of the Peninsular William Samuel Spencer and his wife, Emily Amanda Kendrick, had eight children, and three of their sons engaged
in newspaper publishing in Tampa. William James Spencer began working for the Peninsular in 1855, and in late 1858 at the age of nineteen, he purchased the Peninsular He continued as publisher until the war caused suspension of publication. William, who enlisted in the Confederate Army immediately after suspending publication, was stricken with typhoid fever in Kentucky and died in 1862. His brothers, John Edward and Thomas K., resumed publication of the paper in April 1866. John died shortly thereafter, but Thomas continued as publisher until 1872 when he sold the newspaper. Four years later, in March 1876, Thomas founded the Sunland Tribune and in March 1883 changed its name to the Tampa Tribune Karl H. Grismer, Tampa: a History of the City of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Region of Florida (St. Petersburg, Florida: St. Petersburg Printing Company, 1950),122:318. 3 A clear indication of how whites thought of blacks is contained in the anecdotes printed by the Peninsular Told in stereotypical dialect, these stories were designed to demonstrate qualities that supposedly made blacks inferior. The following anecdotes are typical examples of racist humor found in the Peninsula Sambo, yous larned in de law; can you say, if de devil was to loose his tail, whar would he go to find another one? Why, to de grocery, ob course, you ignorant nigger dats de only place I knows of whar dey re-tail bad spirits. February 23, 1856 (page 4, column 2). A negro was brought up before the Mayor of Philadelphia for stealing chickens. Theft conclusively proved. Well, Toby, said his honor, what have you got to say for yourself? Nuffin by dis, boss. I was crazy as a bed bug when I stole dat pullet, coz I might hab stole the big rooster and neber done it. Dat shows clusively to my mind dat I was laboring under de delirum tremendus September 11, 1858 (page 4, column 1). 4 See, for example, advertisements and in Florida Peninsular April 7, 14, and December 15, 1855, November 1, 1856, January 22, and November 19, 1859, February 11, and September 1, 1860. 5 Ulrich B. Phillips, Life and Labor in the Old South (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1963), 162; Julia Floyd Smith, Slavery and Plantation Growth, in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1860 (Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 1973). 6 William H. McDonald was born in 1822 in Georgia and died in Hillsboro ugh County in 1870. He and his wife were the owners of five slaves in 1850. Julius J. Gordon, Biographical Census of Hillsboro ugh County, Florida, 1850 (Tampa 1989), 396. 7 Edward Tatnell Kendrick built the first watermill ever constructed in Hillsborough County, on Flint Creek, the outlet of Lake Thonotosassa. Later, he leased the mill and enlisted in the Mexican War. At the end of the war, he returned to Tampa and was elected sheriff of Hillsborough County. At the expiration of his term as sheriff, he enlisted in the Third Seminole War of the 1850's. Charles E. Harrison, Genealogical Records of the Pioneers of Florida and Some Who Came After Them (Tampa: E.W.B. Wiley, 1915),103-08. 8 Henry Parker may well be a misnomer for John B. Parker who became guardian of Henry Parker of Columbia County, Florida, who was born May 24, 1842. John B. Parker was born in 1818 in North Carolina and applied for and obtained a land grant of 160 acres at Simmons Hammock settlement near Seffner in 1842. He became the sheriff of Hillsborough County in 1855 and moved to Manatee County in 1856. Gordon, BiographicalCensus, 466-69. 9 Alderman Carlton was born January 4, 1803, in North Carolina. He moved to Georgia in 1829 and then to Florida in 1843. He settled in Hillsboro ugh County and under the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 received 160 acres of land. The United States Census of 1850 indicates that he was living in the Alafia settlement area. During the Third Seminole Indian War, Alderman Carlton enlisted as Second Lieutenant in the Florida Mounted Volunteers and was killed in action at the homestead of Willoughby Tillis on June 14, 1856. Ibid., 75. 10 J.M. Hayman served as a deputy county clerk of Hillsborough County. Ibid., 139-60. 11 John W. Mercer was born in 1818 in Winchester, Virginia, and came to Florida in 1830. The 1860 Hillsboro ugh County Census indicated that his wife Sara Mercer was a widow. Ibid., 412.
12 Moses Turner was born in 1782 in South Carolina. He married in Hillsboro ugh County in 1846 and was the owner of two slaves in 1850. The relationship of Moses Turner and Aaron Turner is not clear. Ibid., 603. 13 William Samuel Spencer the father of William James Spencer who became owner of the Florida Peninsular was born May 23, 1811, in Savannah, Georgia. William Samuel Spencer and his wife had moved to Tampa in 1845 and raised eight children. Harrison, Genealogical Records 36-38. 14 Joshua Stafford, Sr., was born in 1794 in Georgia, and he owned thirty-one slaves in 1850 in Hillsboro ugh County according to census records. Gordon, Biographical Census, 557. 15 Thomas Pugh Kennedy was born December 12, 1812, in Philadelphia. He came to St. A ugustine, Florida, in 1828 and spent the next twelve years in various parts of Florida. He finally settled in Tampa in 1840 and established the first trading post with the Indians in this area, as well as one at Charlotte Harbor. Mr. Kennedy became one of the wealthiest and most honored men in south Florida. At the time of his death in 1858, he was an extensive property holder throughout the state, particularly in Tampa and Hillsborough County. The first entry in the Clerks Office in Hillsborough County was a deed from E.T. Kendrick and his wife to Thomas P. Kennedy recorded in March 1846. Harrison, Genealogical Records 100-02. 16 Kennedy & Darling ran a forwarding and commission house at the corner of Tampa and Whiting Streets, opposite the United States garrison. Kennedy & Darling advertised that they would receive provisions from New Orleans by steamer and were prepared to purchase, advance upon, or chip, cotton, hides, deer-skins, et cetera, upon liberal terms. Kennedy & Darling was a partnership of Thomas P. Kennedy (see footnote 15) and John Darling. The latter was born in 1808 in Vermont. He enlisted in the Unites States Army and arrived at Fort Brooke in Tampa about 1835 as ordinance sergeant. He was discharged in 1847 and became one of Tampas leading businessmen. Ernest L. Robinson, History of Hillsborough County of Florida (Tampa: The Record Company, 1928),37; Gordon, Biographical Census 142-43. 17 Hardy D. Kendrick moved to Tampa with his mother, his three brothers, and his sister about 1840. William H. Kendrick, Hardys brother, was one of the most widely known citizens of Florida. He served two terms in the Florida Senate, and the town of Kendrick in Marion County takes it name from him. Another brother, Edward T. Kendrick, served as Sheriff of Hillsborough County (see footnote 7). 18 John Gallagher was born August 1, 1821, in Dublin, Ireland, and died in December 1900. He was a farmer in the Cork, Florida, area where he owned a notable orange grove and had two slaves in 1862 valued at $1,200.00. Gordon, Biographical Census, 189. 19 Theodore Lesley, eminent Hillsboro ugh County historian, once wrote: A unique claim for distinction, that of never having its community, and later post office, name spelled in the same manner twice by map-makers and its own citizens alike, is credited to Ichepuckesassa, the farming area of central Hillsborough County, now known as the Plant City region. Quintilla Geer Bruton and David E. Bailey, Jr., Plant City, Its Origin and History (Valkyrie Press, 1977) 18-19. 20 Judge Joseph B. Lancaster served as mayor of Tampa until his death in November 1856. Gordon, Biographical Census, 147; Robinson, History of Hillsborough County 21 J.T. Magbee undoubtedly refers to James T. Magby, who was born in 1820 in Georgia and came to Tampa in the late 1840s. He was a lawyer by profession, and in A ugust 1868 Governor Harrison Reed appointed him judge of the Sixth Circuit Court. As a Republican official during Reconstruction, he often aroused public wrath by compelling white men to serve on the same juries with blacks. Judge Magby resigned his office in 1874 after impeachment proceedings were brought against him in the Florida Legislature. Gordon, Biographical Census, 363. 22 Captain Francis M. Durrance commanded a company of Florida Mounted Volunteers during the Third Seminole Indian War between December 1855 and December 1857. Ibid., 82.
23 Dr. Franklin Branch was born in 1802 in Orwell, Vermont, and graduated from medical school in Vermont in 1825. He moved to Florida just prior to 1850 and settled at first in the Manatee district of Hillsboro ugh County. He later moved to Tampa where he established a drugstore on the south side of Washington Street near Florida Avenue. He was also an ordained minister of the Methodist Church. The United States Census Slave Schedule for 1850 listed Branch as owning ten slaves. In 1861 he owed five slaves with a value of $3,000. Ibid. 53. 24 Occasionally, a state intervened to prosecute an overseer for killing or maiming a slave. Most of these cases, however, never reached the courts, as the owner dealt with the problem himself. Kenneth M. Stampp, Southern Negro Slavery: To Make Them Stand in Fear, in Allen Weinstein and Frank Otto Gatell, eds., American Negro Slavery (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968), 80-82. 25 Henry Laurens Mitchell was born in 1831 in Alabama. He moved to Tampa in 1854 and began practicing law. He later served as Governor of Florida from 1892 to 1897. Gordon, Biographical Census, 419. 26 The trial and execution of the slave Adam was unusual, because, of course, slaves were seen as valuable property. Slave owners, for the most part, handled the discipline of slaves privately. They devised a great variety of penalties, including demoting unfaithful domestics, foremen and drivers to field labor and denying passes to incorrigibles or excluding them from participating in Saturday night dances. Owners forced malingerers to work on Sundays and holidays and at night. Recalcitrant slaves were sold away from their families and friends. A few slaveowners built private jails on their farms, but the whip was the most common form of punishment. It became the emblem of the owner's authority. Nearly every owner used it, and few grown slaves escaped it entirely. Stampp, Southern Negro Slavery, 80-82. 27 A federal law prohibited the importation of slaves from other countries after 1807, but in the 1850s some Southerners called (unsuccessfully) for re-opening the international slave trade to permit the purchase of slaves from Africa and Latin America. Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Anti-Bellum South (New York: Random House, 1956), 251-56.
BOOK REVIEWS Public Faces-Private Lives, Women in South Florida 1870s-1910s By Karen Davis. Miami, Florida. 1990. Pickering Press. Pp. vii, 195. Photographs. Bibliography. Index. Paper. $12.95. Karen Davis offers a refreshing new perspective of Florida history. Her book, Public Faces-Private Lives gives long overdue recognition to the women who settled the south Florida wilderness in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The heroines are ordinary women: wives and mothers who left secure northern homes to begin new lives with their families in palmetto-thatched huts and bug-infested swamps; young girls who grew up far from friends, stores and schools; and seasonal residents who escaped the harsh northern winters to bask in the balmy Florida climate. In chronicling the daily lives of these women, Davis paints a vivid picture of family life and the pioneer experience on one of America's last frontiers. With an objective eye, Davis skillfully brings the women of south Florida to life. Utilizing oral testimonies, personal papers, diaries and letters, she allows her subjects to tell their own stories in their own words. Secondary materials, census records and nineteenth-century regional publications, such as the Lake Worth Historian put these stories into historical context. Davis leads the reader through an alternating pattern of temporal and topical chapters, which include a generous offering of photographs. Topics range from pioneer life to Victorian stereotypes, including the development of new survival skills, women and work and the formation of womens, organizations. Living under rugged conditions, often miles from a post office, store or neighbor, many families relied on jettisoned packets from ship-wrecks to provide them with food and other essentials. Women gave primary concern to family survival. Using old skills and learning new ones, Davis argues, women not only adapted but also in many cases altered their frontier environment into comfortable, middle-class communities. At the same time, many women of the region struggled against Victorian expectations. In one chapter, Davis reveals that struggle in the intimate correspondence of four young friends living near Key Biscayne in the 1890s. Full of energy and spirit, the letters of Alice Oxar show great dissatisfaction with the genteel behavior that her parents expected. In her adolescence, Alice complained about life at home. Papa wont let me go nowhere, she wrote. I get so mad sometimes that I don't know what to do. They say I am a tom boy and a flirt. Alices contemporaries, Della and Delia Storman Keen, shared similar frustrations when faced with rigid Victorian dictates regarding their roles as daughters, wives and mothers. Della was unusually candid in her comments on birth control and childbirth, claiming she would rether be ded than have another child (p. 159). (In fact, Della bore at least three more children.) These individual and arresting personal sketches, drawn by the women themselves, are what bring Public Faces-Private Lives to life. The book has few shortcomings. Davis readily concedes that she is able to give voice primarily to middleand upper-class white women, while remaining largely silent on the lives of
Seminoles, blacks and poor whites. As she points ou t, these groups generally had neither the time nor the skills to leave behind a written record (p. 5). She has done a great deal of research, however, and does an excellent job of bringing her sources together in a fluid and engaging narrative. Davis, a journalist by profession, has principally chronicled the past. From a historians point of view, the study lacks in-depth interpretation. This may be unfair criticism of a book that is intended to bring light to a mostly unexplored topic. This Davis does with skill, and she deserves accolades for her achievement. Public Faces-Private Lives is an important source for anyone wishing to learn more about women's history, Victorian family life or the pioneer experience in Florida. Ellen J. Babb Back Home: A History of Citrus County, Florida By Hampton Dunn. Inverness, Florida. 1989 [second printing]. Citrus County Historical Society. Pp. viii, 506. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $35.00. Hampton Dunn wrote this book as part of the 1976 Bicentennial celebration; it has been reprinted with no changes, additions, or deletions. As he states in the preface, writing the history of the county where he was born and raised (in Floral City) was a true labor of love. The love and pride are evident in many personal anecdotes. The Murray family posed at the turn of the century in front of their palmetto-thatched packing shed in Boynton, Florida. Photograph from Public Faces-Private Lives by Karen Davis.
Hampton Dunn and his twin sister Hazel were born in the Citrus County town of Floral City in 1916. Photograph from Back Home: A History of Citrus County by Hampton Dunn.
The book is arranged chronologically beginning with the early European explorers in the sixteenth century but with reference to the archeological discoveries which indicate the presence of animals during the Ice Age and of Indians not long after. The twenty-one chapters bring the history up to 1976, the year of publication. The author has assembled a tremendous number of facts, reminiscences, and anecdotes such a number that the volume serves better as a reference book than a smoothly flowing narrative. He mentions so many people who were Citrus County residents for all or part of their lives that the reader comes to believe that no citizen of the county has been omitted. This impression is supported by the twenty-four page index which is mostly comprised of names and which adds, of course, to its value as reference. A valuable and delightful addition to the book are the 188 pages of illustrations, including maps, sketches, studio portraits, and snapshots. These pictures tell their own story of Citrus County as it moved from the days of stiffly posed families to the era of photo-journalism. Although the book's greatest appeal is to Citrus County residents and others who have a personal concern in the region, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Florida history. Mary Lou Harkness Author Hampton Dunn in front of the home where he was born in Floral City. Photograph from Back Home: A History of Citrus County by Hampton Dunn.
Shades of the Sunbelt: Essays on Ethnicity, Race and the Urban South Edited by Randall M. Miller and George E. Pozzetta. Boca Raton. 1989. Florida Atlantic University Press. 1989. Pp. xvii, 229. Maps. Bibliography. Index. Paper. $16.95. Miller and Pozzetta have compiled a useful collection of essays on ethnicity, race and gender in the urban south. The articles cover a wide range of topics. For example, Robert Harney discusses Canadian migration to Florida, Deborah Dash Moore analyzes Jewish migration to the sunbelt and Julie Kirk Blackwelder focuses upon the roles of gender, ethnicity and race in southern cities. Although most of the articles are relatively unconnected to any overriding theme in the entire collection, Millers initial overview essay on the development of the urban south provides a good context for the essays that follow, and Pozzettas concluding piece on future research possibilities does a useful job of tying the different articles together. As is the case for practically any collection of essays, readers will find different articles more appealing, based largely on their own interests and concerns. In addition to Millers and Pozzettas pieces, this reader found most valuable the articles by Christopher Silver on neighborhood changes in Memphis and Richmond, by Raymond Mohl on ethnic politics in Miami, by Ronald Baynor on political change in four southern cities, and by Raymond Arsenault and Gary Mormino on demographic and cultural changes in Florida. Each of these articles focuses on important dynamics that influence contemporary urban southern environments. Silver contends that although there still is little emphasis in either Richmond or Memphis on planning neighborhood change to accommodate the working and lower classes, the neighborhood planning process in both cities has become more open to competing groups. Mohls examination of ethnic politics in Miami from 1960 to 1986 shows that ethnicity has played an increasingly important role in structuring the citys political conflict. It has been a factor, for example, in the conflict over the structure of local government and in the city governments personnel policies. Baynors study of race and ethnicity in Atlanta, Miami, San Antonio and Houston suggests that both factors have contributed to significant changes in the nature of urban politics since the 1970s. Arsenault and Mormino trace changing demographic, cultural and political trends in Florida from 1880 to 1980 and emphasize that this states urban areas are now facing political, economic and environmental instability. The overwhelming impression that these articles leave upon the reader is that during the past decade political conflict has intensified in many southern cities. The commercial and industrial elite which dominated many cities for decades is being challenged by different forces, including mobilized ethnic and racial groups. When one adds environmental and neighborhood groups into the equation, one can expect continued volatility in southern, urban political alignments during the 1990s. Robert Kerstein
ANNOUNCEMENTS "PILOTS IN THE SUN" The Lakeland Public Library has developed a traveling photographic exhibition, entitled "Pilots in the Sun: Primary Pilot Training Schools in Lakeland and Avon Park, Florida, 1940-1945." The exhibit coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Lodwick School of Aeronautics in Lakeland. The school was one of the nine original schools in the Civilian-Army Air Force Pilot Training Program, which was significant in building the country's air strength and helping win World War II. The Lakeland and Avon Park schools trained over 10,000 pilots, 1,200 of whom were British. Supported by a grant from the Florida Endowment for the Humanities, the exhibit opened to the public in September 1990. It will be on display at the Avon Park Public Library from November 20, 1990 to January 20, 1991. In addition to framed photographs, the project includes a catalog with a brief history of the aviation schools, as well oral histories of former pilots, instructors and other personnel. Copies of the 47-page illustrated catalog are available for a voluntary contribution of $5 to cover printing and mailing costs. Make checks payable to "Friends of the Lakeland Public Library" and mail Hal Hubener, Project Director, Lakeland Public Library, 100 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland, Florida, 33801. For more information call the Lakeland Public Library at 813-686-2168. "BOATING AND FISHING" The Fort Myers Historical Museum has opened a major exhibition, entitled "Boating and Fishing." The exhibit traces the important role played by boating and fishing in the development of the Fort Myers area from the time of prehistoric natives 5000 years ago to Spanish fishermen in the 1700s and commercial fishing and tourism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Funded by grants from the Florida Division of Historical Resources, the Fort Myers Historical Museum Advisory Board and the Gannett Foundation, the exhibit will be on display until September 1991 at the Fort Myers Historical Museum, located in the former ACL Railroad Depot at Peck and Jackson Streets in downtown Fort Myers. The museum is open Monday through Fri-day from 9 to 4:30, and Sunday from 1 to 5. Admission is $2 for adults and 50 cents for children under 12. Group tours are available by reservation. For more information, call the museum at 813-332-5955.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS ELLEN J. BABB is Curator of Education at Heritage Park (Pinellas County Historical Museum) in Largo. CANTER BROWN, JR., a doctoral student in history at the University of Florida, received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Florida State University. His book, Florida's Peace River Frontier will be published by the University of Central Florida Press in 1991. J. ALLISON DeFOOR, II, a graduate of the University of South Florida and Stetson University Law School, is Monroe County Sheriff. MARY LOU HARKNESS is Director Emeritus and University Librarian at the University of South Florida Library. ROBERT KERSTEIN is Professor of Political Science and Urban Studies at the University of Tampa. LISA W. RODRIGUEZ, a graduate of Hillsborough Community College, is President of Adco Agency, Inc., and a member of the Brandon Centennial Steering Committee of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce. R. WADE WETHERINGTON, a Tampa attorney with the firm of Gibbons, Smith, Cohn & Arnett, has published in the Catholic University Law Review and in Florida Appellant Practice.
TAMPA BAY HISTORY Published Semi-annually by The Department -of History College of Arts and 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 ...............................................................................................JANET M. HAL L Administrative Assistant .......................................................................................SYLVIA WOOD Production Coordinator ....................................................................................LYNDALL W. LEE SPONSOR COLLEGE OF ARTS AND 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. 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: This candid photograph (c. 1907-13) shows residents of the Brandon area. (Photography courtesy of Center Place Fine Arts & Civic Association.) See "Brandon, Florida, 1890-1990," page 31.
BOARD OF ADVISORS DONALD BALDWIN ................................................................................Modern Media Institute PATRICIA BARTLETT .................................................................Fort Myers Historical Museum HAMPTON DUNN ...........................................................................................................Histori an MICHEL EMMANUEL .....................................................................................................Attorney KENDRICK FORD .................................................................Pinellas County Historical Museum LELAND HAWES ...................................................................................................Tampa Tribune HARRIS H. MULLEN .........................................................................................Ybor Square Ltd. TRAVIS J. NORTHCUTT, JR..............................................................Human Resources Institute, University of South Florida ANTHONY PIZZO ............................................................................................................Histo rian SAM RAMPELLO ..................................................................Hillsborough County School Board CARL RIGGS .....................................................................Center for Excellence in Mathematics, University of South Florida WALLACE RUSSELL .........................................................................Department of Psychology, 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 ............................................................................Troped Communications, Inc. JACKIE WATSON ...................................................................................Pioneer Florida Museum