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Tampa Bay history.
n Vol. 13, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 1991).
p (Download Complete Issue Adobe PDF version)
Tampa, Fla. :
b Dept. of History, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of South Florida.
c Fall/Winter 1991
Tampa Bay Region (Fla.)
Tampa Region (Fla.)
University of South Florida.
Dept. of History.
t Tampa Bay History.
FALL/WINTER 1991 VOLUME 13, NUMBER 2 CONTENTS Acknowledgements 3 From the Editors 4 ARTICLES George Meade, John Pemberton, and A. P. Hill: Army Relationships during the Florida Crisis of 1849-1850 ........................................... by Canter Brown, Jr. 5 The Smugglers' Blues: Drug and Alien Traffic in Tampa during the 1920s .........................................................................by Frank Alduino 27 Farm Labor in Florida: A Photographic Essay ................................... by Phyllis A. Hunter 40 NOTES AND DOCUMENTS "The Missions of Tampa": Excerpts from the Diary of Father Clavreul, 1866-1873 ....................................................... Edited and Annotated by Julius J. Gordon 57 BOOK REVIEWS West and Kling (trans), Libro de las profecias of Christopher Columbus ....................................................................... by Robert H. Fuson 69 Brown, Florida's Peace River Frontier ................................................. by Frank L. Snyder 70 Griffin, Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788 ........................................................................... by Nancy Marie White 72 Book Notes 74 Notes on Contributors 75 Tampa Bay History Essay Contest 76 Copyright 1991 by the University of South Florida Typography and composition by RAM Printing by RALARD PRINTING, Dade City, Florida. (904) 588-2800
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We extend our appreciation to the following people who have made special contributions to TAMPA BAY HISTORY. PATRONS SUSTAINERS Mrs. B. W. Council Mary Wyatt Allen Mark Orr James Apthorp Bill Wagner George Howell Marvin L. Ivey Bruce M. Klay Robin Lewis Dr. Joseph H. McNinch Sheldon J. Shalett R. J. Taylor Thomas Touchton Yarbrough & Tench, CPA's FRIENDS Joseph Aprile John Arthur Jones Lucille Arlington Robert Kerstein Norma Lopez Bean Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. King James W. Belcher Robin Krivanek Joan Berry Dr. Robert F. Landstra Donald Buchanan W. S. McKeithen Guy E. Burnette Richard Ira Matthews S. J. Carter Dr. Mahon Myers William Casey Mr. and Mrs. Sam Militello Warren Cason Owen and Elvira Niles U.S. Cleveland Mrs. Lester Olson Selma Cohen Lois Paradise Dr. Richard Cole Harley E. Riedel, II H. L. Crowder R. James Robbins John C. Egan Fred T. Rodgers Charles W. Emerson Roland Rodriguez Represenative Mary Figg William E. Rumph John M. Fitzgibbons Jane Ryan Nancy T. Ford Arsenio Sanchez Howard L. Garrett Sandra Serrrano Joseph Garrison R. E. Shoemaker Congressman Sam Gibbons Maynard F. Swanson Dr. John M. Hamilton Charlton W. Tebeau William N. Hayes Dr. Jamie Torner James V. Hodnett, Jr. Mary J. Van der Ancker George Howell Curtis L. Vanlandingham, Jr.
Jose V. Suarez Hoyos Mr. & Mrs. Ted E. Wade Edward Hughes, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. David E. Ward Eric Jarvis Wilbert Wichers George N. Johnson, Jr. G. Pierce Wood
FROM THE EDITORS The year 1992 marks the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first landing in the Americas. The resulting encounter between the peoples of the so-called old world and the new world produced a series of mutual discoveries that historians are still trying to comprehend fully. The Quincentenary has sparked a lively debate over the meaning of the contacts that began in 1492. For Florida the encounter between peoples of the old world and the new has special meaning. Not only did numerous Spanish explorers land on the peninsula after 1492, but the "discovery" of Florida by outsiders has continued down to this day. Indeed, given the eventual disappearance of the native tribes that inhabited Florida in 1492, Florida's population is today composed of a mixture of peoples who are descendants of displaced Indians, African slaves, Anglo homesteaders, European immigrants, Asian refugees, Latin American exiles, and countless others who discovered and re-discovered the peninsula over the past 500 years. Each new arrival encountered Florida for the first time, and their stories tell much of the history of the state. The voyages and explorations of Pnfilo de Narvez and Hernando de Soto demonstrated that Tampa Bay was a pathway to North America. The articles in this issue of Tampa Bay History show that the region continued as a point of entry for Indian refugees, the U.S. army, illicit drugs, and illegal aliens. In "George Meade, John Pemberton, and A.P. Hill: Army Relationships during the Florida Crisis of 1849-1850," Canter Brown, Jr., uses diaries and letters from the period to describe the lives of army officers who served in central Florida. In the process they also developed personal relationships that Brown argues increased in significance when they later fought on opposite sides in the Civil War. Frank Alduino's article, "The Smugglers' Blues: Drug and Alien Traffic in Tampa during the 1920s," utilizes newspapers to document the smuggling of illegal aliens into the state. The scattered evidence only hints at the conflicting emotions of hope, fear, and terror that must have gripped these desperate aliens when they first encountered Florida. Similarly, one can only guess at the meaning of Florida for agricultural laborers whose work is permanently recorded in the photographs that appear in the photo essay, "Farm Labor in Florida," by Phyllis A. Hunter. Finally, the document edited and annotated by Julius J. Gordon provides insight into the activities of one old-world institution that dates its presence in the new world from 1492 the Catholic Church. Near Tampa Bay as early as 1549, Fray Luis Cancer de Barbastro celebrated the first mass on what would become the United States mainland. The diary of Father Clavreul, a French-born priest who visited the Tampa Bay area during the years 1866-73, reveals a wealth of information about local residents after the Civil War. At a minimum, the festivities surrounding the Quincentenary should encourage each of us to reflect on our own first encounter with this area. In addition, the editors hope Tampa Bay History will continue to serve as a means of enriching your understanding of other encounters in the past. Toward this end, the editors extend their continued gratitude to subscribers, especially those listed on page 3 who have made additional contributions to sustain Tampa Bay History
GEORGE MEADE, JOHN PEMBERTON, AND A. P. HILL: ARMY RELATIONSHIPS DURING THE FLORIDA CRISIS OF 1849-1850 by Canter Brown, Jr. During the closing months of 1849 and the early months of 1850, the United States was deeply enmeshed in a sectional crisis that threatened the breakup of the Union. Stemming primarily from the issue of slavery in territories recently gained from Mexico, the crisis produced calls for secession of slave states and resulted in a bitter struggle within the Congress. Although the issue temporarily was resolved by the adoption of the Compromise of 1850, the preceding national debate served as a prelude to the secession crisis of 1860-1861 and the resulting Civil War.1 As the nation dealt with its secession crisis in 1849 and 1850, Florida grappled with a crisis of a different nature. An Indian attack upon two isolated civilian outposts deep in the states peninsula provoked fears of an all-out Indian war and brought calls for the expulsion of the several hundred Seminoles, Mikasukies, and Tallahassees remaining in and near the Everglades. During the year following the July 1849 attack, almost 2,000 regular soldiers of the United States Army served in the state, together with a score or more of officers who would, within fifteen years, become general officers in the Civil War.2 An examination of the service of several of those officers in Florida during the Indian scare illustrates the importance of pre-Civil War army relationships and may help to explain the later actions of Union and Confederate officers. For instance, a question such as George Meades reluctance to pursue Robert E. Lees forces in the aftermath of the battle at Gettysburg may take on a different coloration when viewed within the context of Meades personal assessment, gained over decades of Army service, of such fellow officers as John Gibbon, Abner Doubleday, George Washington Getty, Darius Nash Couch, William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks, and William W. Morris, or his knowledge of such opponents as Ambrose Powell Hill and Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox. Likewise, a more complete understanding of the action of Meades friend and fellow Philadelphian, John Clifford Pemberton, in surrendering Confederate forces at Vicksburg may be gained through a clarification of his previous relationships with Joseph Eggleston Johnston, Theophilus Hunter Holmes, Braxton Bragg, and William Whann Mackall. All of these individuals and numerous others who undertook vital roles in the Civil War served in Florida in the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the Indian scare of 1849-1850, or both.3 The role of Florida service in the development of the army and of the talents of its officers is a subject upon which much work remains to be done. Yet, clearly Florida experiences served as important catalysts in molding the army and its officers in the pre-Civil War era. As one historian has pointed out, 10,169 individuals served in the regular services in Florida during the Second Seminole War. Fourteen percent of that number died there, and seventy-four of the fatalities were commissioned officers. Only in the summer of 1838 was the authorized enlisted strength of the United States Army increased to 11,800 men. As late as April 1842, 5,076 regulars still were on duty in the state.4
Map by Robert Trout.
Although little information on the personal impact of Florida service has been published, two accounts reveal the critical effect Florida relationships and experiences had upon the lives and careers of officers. The first account detailed a series of incidents involving two friends, Thomas J. Jackson and William Henry French, which occurred in 1850 and 1851 at Fort Meade, a post named in 1849, as we shall see, in honor of George Meade. The events led to Stonewall Jacksons arrest for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman, countercharges against French, and, ultimately, Jacksons departure from active service. Jacksons brother-in-law, Daniel Harvey Hill, later hinted that the eventual result came only after Jackson spurned personal attempts by another officer, William Whann Mackall, to arrange some informal, yet mutually agreeable, settlement.5 The second account involved a friendship made, rather than one broken, in south Florida. John M. Schofield, writing late in life about the last days of the Civil War, noted, With the glad tidings from Virginia that peace was near, there came to me in North Carolina the report that Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill had been killed in the last battle at Petersburg. Still feeling the pain many years after the event, Schofield added: A keen pang shot through my heart, for he had not ceased to be esteemed as my kind friend and brother, though for four years numbered among the public enemy. His sense of duty, so false in my judgement, I yet knew to be sincere, because I knew the man. I wish all my fellow-citizens, North and South, East and West, could know each other as well as I knew A. P. Hill.6 Members of the pre-Civil War officer corps easily could know many of their colleagues well, as did John Schofield and Powell Hill. On the eve of the war (December 1860), the actual strength of the army totaled 1,108 officers and 15,259 men. Eleven years previously, at the height of the 1849 Florida Indian scare, the military establishment encompassed a combined total of 10,585, only 945 of whom were officers. Of that number as of November 28, 1849 150 officers and 1,591 men were employed, in suppressing Indian hostilities in Florida. Among those officers were George Gordon Meade, John Clifford Pemberton, and Ambrose Powell Hill.7 The chain of events that brought Meade, Pemberton, and Hill to Florida was set off by two rogue attacks of a small party of renegade Indians. The first occurred July 12, 1849, at Russells Landing on the Indian River, four miles north of Fort Pierce on the Atlantic side of the peninsula. The second attack followed five days later at a recently opened Indian trading store on the Peace River near what is now Bowling Green, ninety miles west of Russells Landing and fifty miles southeast of Tampa. In the first instance, one man was killed and one wounded; in the second, two were killed and two wounded.8 The principal military installation then on the Florida peninsula was Fort Brooke near Tampa Bay. Its commander, Major William W. Morris, responded to news of the attack upon the Peace River Indian store by sending to the scene a detachment under Lieutenant John Gibbon. This officer reported back that he had encountered refugees at an Alafia-area homestead located half the distance to the Peace River and that they had confirmed the attack. Morris immediately notified his Washington superiors who, in turn, directed General David E. Twiggs to Tampa to take charge of the situation. Twiggs was given broad authority to suppress an Indian rebellion if such a rebellion, in fact, was at hand. Eight companies of artillery and the Seventh Infantry
Regiment were ordered to Florida under Twiggss command. On September 12, ten more companies were withdrawn from Atlantic stations and sent to the state.9 Despite the wording of his orders and unknown to General Twiggs at the time, he did not have the final word on Indian affairs in Florida. Instead, that authority lay with Captain John Charles Casey, the Fort Brooke officer in charge of Indian affairs. As so often was and is the case in governmental and military life, Caseys power arose not from the chain of command but from personal relationships. Most prominent among those relationships in 1849 was his tie to President Zachary Taylor. The captain and the President had served together at Fort Brooke during the Second Seminole War, and from August 1847 to May 1848 Casey had acted as Major General Taylors chief of commissariat in Mexico. There, if not before, Casey also had become friends with Taylors son-in-law and future presidential assistant, Lieutenant Colonel William W. R. Bliss.10 For purposes of resolving the Indian scare short of war, Casey first invoked his informal authority on July 23, 1849, in a private letter to Bliss notifying him of the Florida situation. Taylors son-in-law immediately showed the letter to the President and, on August 6, informed its author that Caseys suggestions had been favorably received. Bliss encouraged further Murder warrant issued in Hillsborough County, April 27,1852, for the arrest of Oscen Tustenugget for the murders at Chokonikla in 1849. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection, Florida State Archives.
correspondence, and Casey accepted the offer. Specifically, on September 29 he again contacted Taylor through Bliss and urged the President to oppose any attempt to force Indian removal from Florida. Bliss responded in mid-October assuring Casey that Taylor agreed with his position. The President seems very clear in the determination, Bliss wrote, that if the Indians comply with their obligations by surrendering the murderers, the question of removal is not to be forced upon their decision, that is they are not to have the alternative of removal or extermination.11 General Twiggs thus began his efforts in Florida without a clear knowledge of either his authority or his potential scope of action. The likelihood of Twiggs taking a rash action was slim in any event as he was a cautious man who himself believed in projecting power through the manipulation of individuals and relationships. General Twiggs. ., his aide William W. Mackall recorded at the time, is a chameleon[sic] Social, political and military strictly following St. Pauls Command be all things to all men. As will be seen, Twiggss success in that regard was mixed. John Pemberton felt kindly toward him, while George Meade and George H. Thomas felt themselves to be his enemies.12 The thirty-five-year-old Pemberton, who had been breveted a major two years previously for Gallant and Meritorious Conduct at the Battle of Molino del Rey, Mexico, actually preceded Twiggs to Tampa. He arrived there from Pensacola on August 17 with several companies of the Fourth Artillery. With him on board the steamer Alabama was his young Virginia-born wife, Martha Pattie Thompson, who was pregnant with their first child. The Pembertons arrival was none too auspicious. We were wet thro by a torrent of rain in which we & another couple had been sitting in an open boat for nearly an hour, Pattie informed her mother not long after. Fortunately for the new arrivals, the kindness of Major Morris's wife made the commencement of their stay at Fort Brooke and the tiny village of Tampa more bearable. On arriving here, Mrs. Pemberton continued, we were greeted by a note from the wife of the commanding officer, Mrs. Morris, begging us to come immediately to her house. . I was grateful & glad enough to find a shelter & a hearty welcome waiting us. We remained several days at Major Morris, when the news of the coming of Gen. Twiggs & Staff caused us to seek other refuge, for this post being only large enough for the accommodation of the two companies already occupying it, it was by no means certain that Gen. Twiggs would not immediately seize upon Major Morris quarters.13 General David E. Twiggs. Photograph from The Military Heroes of the War with Mexico: With a Narrative of the War (Philadelphia, 1849) by Charles J. Peterson.
Twiggss arrival followed that of the Pembertons by one week. Among the entourage accompanying him were Major William Whann Mackall (at the time assistant adjutant general for the Western Division of the army), Colonel John L. Gardner, Captain Albion P. Howe, and Lieutenant Gustavus A. DeRussy. Whether Twiggs opted to oust Morris from his quarters is not known, but whatever accommodations the general found were sufficient to share with his protege, Mackall. General Twiggs has asked me to his mess and house, the major wrote his wife on August 26. This [is] very kind of him, he continued giving me also the use of his servants. The result clearly was to Mackalls liking for he added, I pass my time here far more to my satisfaction that I did at Pascagoula.14 Mackalls satisfaction in life at Tampa was enhanced by the presence of his friend, Pemberton. The day of his arrival he noted, The only lady I know here is Mrs. Pemberton. His pleasure in their company was conditioned, however, by a sympathy for the pregnant young wife and what she would have to endure at the isolated outpost. If she has to be left here she will be lonely enough, he related to his own wife, as her husband may be sent into the woods.15 Pembertons departure for the interior was not long in coming. On August 28 he left Tampa with a small detachment for the frontier homestead of Louis Lanier, located on the Alafia River about twenty miles southeast of Fort Brooke. Before departing he had moved Pattie into a little cottage that Captain and Mrs. George Washington Getty had offered to share with them. Despite the kindness of the Gettys, the separation was hard on Pattie. I am grieving now over Johns absence from me, she wrote her mother on September 3. Fortunately, Twiggs assisted the couple. John has permission to visit me every Saturday [and] to return the following day, she reported but then added despairingly, the ride is over bad roads, marked only by blazing the trees & I am almost unwilling to subject him so often to the fatigue.16 The detachment under Pembertons command remained at Alafia until early October. Meanwhile, Twiggs and Casey, with the assistance of Mackall, Gibbon, and Major Gabriel J. Rains, attempted to negotiate a peaceful accommodation with Billy Bowlegs and other Indian leaders. As a result, Bowlegs agreed to hand over the perpetrators of the murders at Indian River and at Peace River. Shortly thereafter, Twiggs apparently still unaware of Caseys correspondence with Colonel Bliss and President Taylor determined upon a plan, preparatory to a movement into the Indian country, to construct a line of posts from the Manatee to the John Clifford Pemberton. Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
Indian River. The plan required an estimated regular-army force of 3,650 men, supplemented by 500 sailors and marines. Twiggs immediately set it in motion.17 Increasing numbers of regular-army troops arrived at Tampa in September and early October, including forces under the command of Major George Andrews, Captain Joseph Roberts, and Lieutenant Abner Doubleday. Despite efforts by many Floridians to portray the Indian scare as the beginnings of a general war, a number of the arriving officers believed the armys presence was a waste of effort. Mrs. Pemberton reflected the sentiments of many when she wrote that the posting of troops along the frontier was more to gratify the people than for any other purpose. From the vantage point of a years service in the state, Major George H. Thomas came to a harsher conclusion. This tour of duty, he wrote his brother, has been the most foolish and utterly useless of any that the Army has ever had to perform within the memory of the oldest officers. Some individuals pitied the Indians. These people, wrote one young lieutenant, have already-Heaven knows suffered injustice enough at our hands. My sympathies are warmly excited in their favor.18 Other officers, far from sensing danger in their assignments, saw their presence in Florida as an opportunity to relax. Reflecting on the weather during one negotiating session held at Charlotte Harbor, Mackall wrote to his wife, You can scarce fancy here in this latitude it can be so cool and pleasant. Continuing, he expressed sentiments shared by many subsequent sojourners in Florida. Since we have been here, he wrote, I have been sitting in the cabin in a cloth coat and I am just as comfortable as I would be in Virginia in May if I only had my wife and children I would ask for nothing more in the way of comfort! One of the young officers is making some tumblers of lemonade one of which I will drink to your health.19 Notwithstanding the relaxed attitude of many of the militarys officers and men, General Twiggs diligently pursued the construction of his cordon of posts from the Manatee River, on the Gulf side of the peninsula, to the Indian River on the Atlantic side. Essential to the plan was the construction of a road sufficient to support heavy military transport wagons during all seasons of the year. In south Florida, where a great deal of the land was swamp, marsh, or periodically flooded, the challenge of locating and building such a road certainly posed problems. To assist him Twiggs applied to the armys Bureau of Topographical Engineers for a qualified officer. The bureau selected George Gordon Meade for the duty and ordered him to report to Twiggs in Tampa.20 When assigned to Florida, George Meade was thirty-three years of age and married. He briefly had served in the army in 1835-1836. Six years later he reentered the service as a second lieutenant of topographical engineers, and in 1849 he held the rank of brevet first lieutenant. According to John Gibbon, who first met Meade in Florida, the latters Mexican War experience had been in a subordinate position and without any special notice. The lieutenants career needed a boost but, as his son later explained, [Meade] did not anticipate a pleasant tour of duty under Twiggs.21 The source of the friction between Twiggs and Meade is unclear, although it stemmed from their Mexican War service. Meades son recalled simply that his father had served with [Twiggs] in the advance of General Taylors army from Corpus Christi to the Rio Grande, in
1846, and owing to some unpleasant passages occurring at that time no good feeling existed between them. Twiggss formality when Meade reported for duty in mid-October underscored the ill feelings. The general bluntly directed Meade to accompany Major Rains and a small detachment on a scout between the Manatee River and the headwaters of the Peace River and to take such notes of the country as may be useful in your future reconnaissances. Reportedly, Meade was allotted a detail of only two men and a mule.22 Though Meade met with a cool reception from Twiggs, he found a warmer welcome with the Pembertons. The two Philadelphians were about the same age and had been together at West Point for several years in the early 1830s. Pemberton invited Meade, whom he characterized as a nice fellow, to share the quarters he and Pattie then were occupying. While we were at Tampa Bay, Pemberton recorded later that fall, George Meade stayed with us for a week. Somewhat embarrassed by the spartan accommodations he had to offer, Pemberton added, We were only able to give him a room & seat at our table, as our amount of furniture was very diminutive. The accommodations, proved sufficient in any event, and Pemberton soon was feeling a great sympathy for his friends predicament. George Meade is laying out roads, & writing reports I suppose, the major noted in November, when in reality he might just as well be in Spruce St., Phila, unless they intend to let him build bridges of other materials than pine trees in the rough, which is the highest point I think his duties can reach to here.23 Though his duties might be onerous, Meade assumed them on October 15 when he reported to Rains and set off on an eleven-day reconnaissance of the territory lying between Tampa and the site of the Indian store on the Peace River. His task was to find the best route for a road from Fort Brooke to a new post on the Manatee River (Fort Hamer), and from there to the site of the Indian store. Near the burned store, another position, Fort Chokonikla, was to be erected. The simple task turned into a far greater challenge, however, when Meade decided that a proper road could not be built in the area. The determination clearly lay at odds with Twiggss announced policy and necessitated an embarrassing relocation of the line of posts substantially to the north.24 Meades anticipation of an unpleasant confrontation with Twiggs was eased by the personal support he enjoyed from certain of his superior officers. His friendship with Mackall was of long standing and could be counted upon. Perhaps more surprisingly for Meade, Major Rains came to Holata Micco or Billy Bowlegs. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection, Florida State Archives.
his assistance, noting in an official report that the lieutenants work entitles him to much credit for its accuracy, and the labor bestowed on its attainment. Captain Casey also easily accepted Meades conclusions, recording in his diary for October 31, This evg Lt. Meade returns with Maj. Rains reports new road from Manatee to Ch Nikla to be 50 or more miles & bad road!25 General Twiggs proved not so easily convinced as Mackall, Rains, and Casey. He had staked his reputation on the line of posts and its success. Rumors circulating within the command suggested that the generals ambitions, buttressed by a major accomplishment in Florida, might propel him into a contest for the presidency with Taylor. As such, Twiggs intended to move cautiously. Rather than accept Meades report, he ordered the lieutenant back into the field to take another look at essentially the same territory. His cold demeanor toward Meade had eased, however, as he began to recognize his need for the mans engineering skills. Reportedly, Twiggs told acting adjutant W. T. H. Brooks after the interview: Meade is doing good work and putting on no staff airs. Order the quartermaster to send him a proper outfit and make him comfortable. For the second reconnaissance Meade was provided with an escort of one noncommissioned officer and ten mounted men.26 As Lieutenant Meade carried out his orders, General Twiggs shifted his base of operations and the headquarters of the Western Division of the Army from Fort Brooke to Fort Chokonikla. There, in mid-November, Meade again reported the inadequacy of the route from the Manatee to the Peace River. This time Twiggs reacted positively and dispatched a detachment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Steptoe to scout the area of Zachary Taylors 1837 Peace River supply depot, Fort Fraser, which lay slightly more than twenty miles north of Chokonikla (near present-day Bartow). With the assistance of Captain Getty and Lieutenant Darius Nash Couch, Steptoe quickly reconnoitered the vicinity of that post. He discovered that, due to flooding, the party could not venture to the east of Fraser even as far as the Kissimmee River.27 Steptoes report no doubt came as a great disappointment to Twiggs. His forces and supplies were concentrating at and near Fort Chokonikla, but he was no closer to finalizing the route of his military road and line of posts than he had been one month before. He turned again to Meade and ordered him to survey the country between Chokonikla and Fraser. The lieutenant complied Captain George Gordon Meade, circa 1859. Photograph courtesy of the U.S. Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
and, in cooperation with Captain Seneca Simmons, laid out a wagon route between the two posts. Once again, though, Meade had bad news to report. On November 30 he informed the general, The crossing place at Ft. Fraser over Pea River is bad. Of the effort necessary to remedy the problem he added, A considerable time must be consumed in the execution of this work.28 For almost two additional weeks Twiggs continued to believe that he could run his military road east of Fort Fraser after all, Zachary Taylor had accomplished the same thing in 1837. By December 13, however, the general was willing to listen to a new suggestion from Meade, who had been spending some of his time interviewing Indian prisoners. They had informed him that the principal Indian ford over the Peace River lay nine miles north of Chokonikla near what, until its destruction by the Army in 1836, had been the Indian town of Talakchopco. Additionally, they told him that to the east of the ford lay good ground there being no swamps or creeks of any size to prevent the construction of a good wagon road. Meade had visited the site on November 28 and understood the importance of what the Indians had said.29 Twiggss increasing respect for Meade and his urgent need for a suitable route across the peninsula sufficed to convince the general to accompany the lieutenant to scout the Indian ford. The party, which also included Casey, Couch and Mackall, left Chokonikla at 6 oclock on the morning of December 13. By noon the group had examined the ford and its vicinity, and Twiggs had discovered that it offered exactly what he needed. Couch later recalled that, thereupon, the General, much pleased, said, Here shall be Fort Meade. Couch added, Lieut. Meade, I know, up to that time had thought that the General was prejudiced against him. Within days Twiggs had ordered the construction of Fort Meade and directed the lieutenant for whom it was named to run the line of the military road from there to the Atlantic. Meades escort was increased to fifty mounted men.30 As the surveying party made its way from Fort Meade to Fort Pierce, John Pemberton recorded significant events in his own life. When Meade originally had left Tampa in mid-October, Pemberton had been ordered to the tiny settlement of Manatee, today known as Bradenton. He and the pregnant Pattie arrived by boat in a driving rainstorm. The discomfort of the occasion had an unpleasant impact on Pemberton, which he focused upon a group of slaves who watched their landing. In a heavy rain, he wrote, [we landed] a part of the company in flats half filled with water with a crowd of lazy plantation negroes, males and females gaping at us with eyes & mouth stretched to their ample capacity.31 Pembertons mood was not improved when he found that the closest accommodations were two miles upriver from the village in the home of a presbyterian minister, his wife[,] an amazing inquisitive child of 4 years, [and]a half idiotic servant woman. Feeling deeply for his wifes comfort he wrote his mother sarcastically, This is charming, delightful for Pattie no society & the last settlement on the river with the chance of a nights repose being interrupted by Indian rifles, if they make up their minds to hostilities our fare is of the pioneer & rustic order mixed & house of log. The crude nature of his surroundings did not lessen Pembertons appreciation for General Twiggss friendship, however. Genl Twiggs kindly sent me here, he later noted, because Pattie is with me.32
The Pembertons spent almost two months together in the relatively tranquil Manatee settlement. We are still domiciled in the most retired, quiet spot on Earth, Pattie wrote in mid-December, amusing ourselves with the Spectator and divers very antiquated volumes. John spent much of his time caring for his wife, rearranging his personal financial affairs, and also reminiscing about his Tampa visit with George Meade. As Patties time of confinement grew closer, her health deteriorated. I have been very poorly, she informed Johns mother, and tho have not the least appearance of any swelling in any part of my body, our physician deemed a copious bleeding necessary for me a week ago. Since then I am taking a very gentle tonic from him. Fortunately, the kindly Mrs. Morris again offered hospitality to Pattie and invited her to Tampa for the final month of her pregnancy. General Twiggs allowed John a leave of absence to be with his wife at the time of the delivery.33 The Pembertons first child was born in Tampa in January 1850. The proud father insisted to his own mother, It is a lovely little thing the only pretty baby... of its age I have ever seen. He had other good news, as well. By the early part of February, he related, we expect to be on our way to St. Louis. During his remaining weeks in Florida, Pemberton spent most of his time, other than what was required for his official duties, either with his wife and child or with his friends, Mackall and Thomas L. Ringgold. According to Mackall, many of their discussions centered on the expense of families wives and children. Reflecting on lighter matters, Mackall recorded in late January: Ringgold & myself had this evening a good laugh on Pemberton. This morning for information I asked if any one could fully explain to me the difference between the philosophy of Bacon & that of Plato and the ancients and particularly in what the philosophy of Bacon consisted. Pemberton quite glibly enlightened me on the subject matter! When I returned from hunting I picked up McCauley and reading along found a sentence beginning thus, The vulgar opinion in relation to Bacon may thus be stated. He went on to give us as this false & vulgar view exactly what P __ had stated to me in the morning. I had scarce finished before P __ came in. I read the section to him, and as you may well suppose we enjoyed a hearty laugh at his expense.34 All was not laughter for Pemberton at Tampa, however. The baby experienced a good deal of cholic[sic], and the majors transfer was delayed. The latter development he blamed on General Winfield Scott. I had been ordered to Jefferson Barracks & should have taken [Pattie] with me there, he wrote on February 11, but Genl. Scott, to favor a particular individual, has interfered to prevent it, & I shall continue in this country for the present. Concerned about his wife and child, Pemberton added, You will be surprised to learn that I am about to send Pattie to Norfolk!. . She will leave here on the next boat for New Orleans. His own departure was delayed until March 14. On that day he and Major Robert Selden Garnett finally sailed on the steamer, Fashion for New Orleans with a party of Indians being transported to the west. Within six years he would return to Florida for service in the final of the three Seminole wars.35 When John Pemberton departed Tampa on the Fashion his friend George Meade had been gone from the state almost a month. The lieutenant had completed his duties in locating the line of General Twiggss military route and returned to Fort Meade by January 9, 1850. Conditions at the new, but increasingly busy, supply depot were hectic. Despite the activity, however, the mood of the officer corps was somber. The generals talk with the Indians had proved a complete failure, and in addition Twiggs had learned that one of his daughters had contracted
yellow fever at Philadelphia. More ominous were anxieties about the fate of the Union. The debate over slavery in the new territories had heightened across the nation. One officer, William T. H. Brooks, wrote from Tampa at the time: We are not a little anxious to know what is going to become of the Union and the Fanatics in Congress. The opinion is strong here, that this will be the last Congress. If such a calamity should befal the country, it will be a pleasant reflection to the crazed Abolitionists I hope that they have caused it. I hope when the throat cutting begins that theirs will be the first cut.36 Despite the gloom, personal matters had taken on a far rosier glow for Lieutenant Meade. His anticipated problems with Twiggs had evaporated as Meade had become indispensable to the generals plans. In addition to having a supply depot and military outpost named in his honor, he had been given sole discretion for the siting of two other army positions. His career prospects thus enhanced, the lieutenant easily accomplished the remainder of his duties in Florida. He first accompanied a detachment, as will be seen, to begin construction of the two forts he had sited. In early February, he traveled with Captain Casey on a cruise from Tampa to Fort Myers for a meeting with several of the Seminole chiefs. Upon his return he received news of the birth of his son, Spencer, at Philadelphia and also learned from a thankful General Twiggs that he had been relieved. The lieutenants new posting was Philadelphia. The following year, though, Meade would return to Florida to construct a series of lighthouses. He remained in Florida more often than not until 1856.37 One relationship shared by George Meade during his 1849-1850 Florida tour remains to be considered. Before leaving the state he made the acquaintance of a twenty-four-year-old second lieutenant named Ambrose Powell Hill. The encounter likely came at Fort Meade upon Meades arrival back from the Atlantic on January 9. Hill had been at the new fort, which he considered a very pretty post, since January 1. He had come to Florida the previous October from Baltimore but had spent his time until mid-December garrisoning outposts near present-day Orlando and Lake Tohopekaliga.38 Neither George Meade nor Powell Hill left an account of their meeting or of the brief time they served together in January 1850. Hill, however, left a diary and several letters that preserve some of the details of his life during the time. From those materials the nature of their relationship and mutual experiences may be inferred. George Meades responsibility was to lead a detachment to the locations he had previously fixed for two forts. The first, Fort Clinch, lay sixteen miles east Major General Darius Nash Couch. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives, Washington, D.C.
of Fort Meade while the second, Fort Arbuckle, was an additional fifteen miles closer to the Kissimmee River. The detachment also was to clear a road and erect necessary bridges and causeways. Lieutenant Hill, in his words, had charge of the pioneer part. As such, the two men worked together closely.39 The detachment that included Hill and Meade left Fort Meade for the site of Fort Clinch early on January 11. Hill and his pioneers and, presumably, engineer Meade were in the vanguard. As the command kept close upon my heels, Hill recorded, the men worked like beavers. The day passed quickly, although the need to construct a causeway through a boggy marsh and the partys approach to Bowlegs Creek limited its progress. While the work was hard, the days main source of irritation for Hill involved a theft. Some scoundrel stole my whiskey from my wagon, he noted, while I was in advance. May it choke him, confound him!40 Beginning on the afternoon of the eleventh, Hill's detachment erected a bridge of Meades design over Bowlegs Creek. Constructed a bridge of palmettoes and pine brush, Hill jotted in his diary, on which after some considerable splashing of mud and miring of mules, crossed the train. The movement of the train was complicated, however. One wiseacre of a lead mule, the lieutenant added, thinking the smooth, deceptive surface more wholesome, ran off and led the team with him he soon brought up all standing, rather all lying, and mired the wagon over the wheels Hitched on two companies, and dragged it out worked hard all day.41 The following day, after bridging yet another swamp, the command arrived at the site of Fort Clinch (near modern Frostproof). Hill was pleased with Meades choice. I find this Post (ours), he wrote, very delightfully located A large fresh water lake in a crescent form, our camp being in the bend of the crescent, on a high pine ridge sloping to the waters edge. As this is to be my dwelling place for some time, shall endeavor to make myself as comfortable as limited means will allow. He added, however, one note of caution. Plenty of rattle snakes, who show considerable indignation at being disturbed in their right to undivided possession.42 On the day of the partys arrival at Fort Clinch half the command was detached and proceeded on east to the site of Fort Arbuckle. Meade most probably accompanied the detachment to the second site and, thus, his short-lived first acquaintance with Hill was concluded. During the several days they had been together, however, each had had ample opportunity to take the measure of the other. Meade had displayed his engineering and command skills under difficult circumstances. Hill had shown a willingness to work, an aptitude for leading men under the constraint of urgent circumstances, and also a sense of humor in the face of it all. Each likely came away from the experience impressed with the abilities of the other. As Meade eventually made his way back to Fort Meade and Tampa, Hill remained on station at Fort Clinch. The routine of garrison duty began to take its toll on his sense of humor. On May 15 he recorded, Still at Fort Clinch and with no present prospect of leaving for U.S. Have sometimes seen very hard service, scouting and then again had but little to do The command mostly employed in constructing a road and bridges between this and Fort Meade. About the same time he expressed to his father a disgust of the armys efforts in the state. We have already been in Florida eight months, he wrote, wintering it in tents, and the season for an active
campaign allowed to pass in inactivity. The time which should have been devoted to forcing the Indians out, has been consumed in trying to talk them out, and the Indians as a matter of course have out-talked us, lying being the chief ingredient in their diplomacy. They have gained time, gathered in all the crops, fortified their fastnesses, and now through the mouth of Billy Bowlegs, they tell 'wont go no how', and snap their fingers at us in derision.43 Hills dissatisfaction with the army prompted him to think of resigning. Writing of the possibilities of army resources being spread even more thinly, he informed his father, I shall go home and maul rails Ask Ma if she can spare me a bed & a seat at the table. When the possibility of secession appeared stronger during the summer, he became even more specific. If the Union is dissolved, the second lieutenant informed his brother, Edward, I shall make tracks for home, and offer my sword to the Governor [of Virginia], and intimate my modest desire for a brigade at least. As it turned out, he remained in the army, and he stayed in Florida.44 Fort Clinch was abandoned June 8, 1850, and Hill was transferred to an outpost on the Alafia River, near the site of John Pembertons assignment in October of the previous year. There he grew ill, a circumstance that may have prompted his transfer a few months later to Key West. The lieutenant stayed at Key West for over a year. After a tour of duty in Texas, he returned to Florida in 1852 and remained until recurrent illness prompted his departure for Virginia in 1855. Traveling with him to his home at Culpeper was Hills Florida-found friend, John M. Schofield.45 The Peace River bridge at Fort Meade, as it looked about 1888. This was the site of the Indian Ford of Peace River and of the first Fort Meade. Photograph courtesy of Vernon Peeples.
For a short time in the closing months of 1849 and the early months of 1850, as sectional crisis gripped the nation, the lives of a number of United States Army officers who soon were to become leaders of importance during the American Civil War were intertwined in frontier south Florida. The relationships and experiences shared on that frontier affected their lives and serve to illustrate the importance of such relationships in understanding those men and their later careers. First Lieutenant Ambrose Powell Hill, circa 1859. Photograph courtesy of the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.
1 Carl N. Degler, The Other South: Southern Dissenters in the Nineteenth Century (New York, 1974), 106-08; Glyndon G. Van Deusen, The Life of Henry Clay (Boston, 1937), 394-413. 2 For information on the Florida Indian scare of 18491850, see: Michael G. Schene, Not a Shot Fired: Fort Chokonikla and the Indian War of 1849-1850, Tequesta 37 (1977): 19-37; James W. Covington, Billy Bowlegs, Sam Jones, and the Crisis of 1849, Florida Historical Quarterly 68 (January 1990): 299-311; Janet Snyder Matthews, Edge of Wilderness: A Settlement History of Manatee River and Sarasota Bay 1528-1885 (Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1983), 181-203; and Canter Brown, Jr., Floridas Peace River Frontier (Orlando, 1991), 75-90. 3 As to the service of Meade, Johnston, Bragg, and Pemberton in the Second Seminole War, see: John K. Mahon, History of the Second Seminole War 1835-1842 (Gainesville, Florida, 1967), 322. Meade, Pemberton, and the others mentioned in the text (though not Johnston and Bragg) served in south Florida in 1849-1850. 4 Mahon, Second Seminole War 267, 292-93, 321-27. 5 Frank E. Vandiver, Mighty Stonewall (New York, 1957), 5670; Daniel H. Hill, The Real Stonewall Jackson, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine 47 (November 1893-April 1894): 624-25. 6 John M. Scholfield, Forty-Six Years in the Army (New York, 1897), 25-26. 7 Thomas H. S. Hamersly, Complete Regular Army Register of the United States: For One Hundred Years, (1779-1879) (Washington, D.C., 1880), 11, 213; Senate Executive Document No. 1, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 189. 8 Covington, Billy Bowlegs, 303-04. 9 Schene, Not a Shot Fired, 22-23; Senate Executive Document No. 1, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 183. Site of Old Fort Meade. The L.A. Morgan home at Fort Meade was likely built as officers housing at the second Fort Meade. Photograph courtesy of the Florida Photographic Collection, Florida State Archives.
10 George Washington Cullum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy... 1802-1890 3 vols. (Boston, 1891), I, 42627. For Taylors service during the Second Seminole War, see: Mahon, Second Seminole War 245-73. Caseys influence with Florida's Indians may have arisen from the time of his and Taylors presence at Fort Brooke when, it was rumored, he had taken as a mistress the sister of the Seminole chief, Billy Bowlegs. Covington, Billy Bowlegs, 304. 11 W. W. R. Bliss to J. C. Casey, August 6, 1849 and October 16,1849, John Charles Casey Papers, Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Taylor quoted in Brown, Floridas Peace River Frontier 86. 12 Sketch of the life of General W. W. Mackall written by his wife in 1890, Manuscript Volume No. 4, 63, William Whann Mackall Papers, Southern Historical Collection; John C. Pemberton to Israel Pemberton, November 19, 1849, Pemberton Family Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade 2 vols. (New York, 1913), I, 201; Wilbur D. Thomas, General George H. Thomas: The Indomitable Warrior (New York, 1964), 101. An additional manuscript copy of the Sketch of the life of General W. W. Mackall is in the collection of Henry C. Mackall, Fairfax, Virginia. Mackall in 1849 was counting on support for his career from the same friend as Casey was counting on for help with the Indian problem. I am still in hopes, he wrote his wife on October 11, that Genl Taylor (the President) will make Bliss his Gen'l, which will put me in a better position for permancy now, I feel almost confident he will do it. Sketch of the Life of General W. W. Mackall, 71. 13 Patricia L. Faust, ed., Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War (New York, 1986), 569; Cullum, Biographical Register I, 684; Notes, 1849-1850, entry of A ugust 17, 1849, Francis Collins Papers, Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas, Austin; Mrs. John C. Pemberton to Dear Mama, September 3, 1849, Pemberton Family Papers. 14 Notes, 1849-1850, entry of A ugust 24, 1849, Francis Collins Papers; William W. Mackall, A Sons Recollections of His Father (New York, 1930), 136. 15 Mackall, A Sons Recollections 136. 16 Notes, 1849-1850, entry of A ugust 28, 1849, Francis Collins Papers; Mrs. John C. Pemberton to Dear Mama, September 3, 1849, and John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, Pemberton Family Papers. 17 Notes, 1849-1850, entries of September 6 and 15, 1849, Francis Collins Papers; Senate Executive Document No. 49, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 62; Schene, Not a Shot Fired, 23-25; Senate Executive Document No. 1, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 126-28. 18 Senate Document No. 1, 31st Cong., 1st sess., 180-82; Notes, 1849-1850, entries of September 13 and 16,1849, and October 23,1849, Francis Collins Papers; Ocala Argus quoted in Philadelphia North American and United States Gazette August 29 and September 12, 1849; Philadelphia North American and United States Gazette September 17, 1849; Mrs. John C. Pemberton to Dear Mama, September 3, 1849, Pemberton Family Papers; George H. Thomas to John W. Thomas, August 15, 1850, formerly in the Florida collection of Charles F. Meroni (xerographic copy in the possession of the author). 19 Sketch of the Life of General W. W. Mackall, 68. 20 Canter Brown, Jr., Moving a Military Road, South Florida History Magazine 2 (Spring 1991): 8-9; Meade, Life and Letters I, 200. 21 Faust, Encyclopedia of the Civil War 482-83; Cullum, Biographical Register I, 601; John Gibbon, An Address on the Unveiling of the Statue of Major-General George G. Meade In Philadelphia, October 18th, 1887 (Philadelphia, 1887), 3; Meade, Life and Letters I, 201.
22 Meade, Life and Letters I, 201; W. W. Mackall to G. Meade, October 15, 1849, George G. Meade Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 23 Faust, Encyclopedia of the Civil War 482, 569; John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, October 26, 1849, and John C. Pemberton to Israel Pemberton, November 19, 1849, Pemberton Family Papers. 24 Journal & Surveyors Notes 1849-1850, entries of October 21 to 31, 1849, Meade Papers; John Charles Casey Diary, 1849, entry of October 31, Casey Papers, U. S. Military Academy, West Point, New York; Brown, Moving a Military Road, 9-10. 25 Meade, Life and Letters I, 201; Rains to Twiggs, November 6, 1849, record group 393, part 1, Western Division and Department, 1820-1854, Letters Received 1849, Box 3, National Archives; John Charles Casey Diary, 1849, entry of October 31, 1849, Casey Papers. 26 New Orleans Daily Picayune January 3, 1850; Journal & Surveyors Notes 1849-1850, entry of November 8,1849, Meade Papers; Meade, Life and Letters I, 201; Orders No. 41, Headquarters Western Division, Tampa Bay, November 7, 1849, Meade Papers. 27 Notes, 1849-1850, entry of November 225, 1849, Francis Collins Papers; Journal & Surveyors Notes 1849-1850, entry of November 16, 1849, Meade Papers; Steptoe to Brooks, Fort Chokonikla, November 22, 1849, record group 393, part 1, Western Division and Department, Letters Received 1849, Box 3, National Archives. 28 Meade to Brooks, November 30, 1849, record group 393, part 1, Western Division and Department, Letters Received 1849, Box 3, National Archives. 29 Meade to Mackall, December 13, 1849, Meade Papers. 30 Journal & Surveyors Notes 1849-1850, entries of November 28 and December 13, 1849, Meade Papers; Meade, Life and Letters I, 202; M. F. Hetherington, History of Polk County Florida (St. Augustine: The Record Company, 1928; reprint ed., Chuluota, Florida: Mickler House, 1971), 74; Mackall to Bainbridge, December 17, 1849, record group 393, part 1, 5th Military Department, Letters, Reports, and Orders Received and Other Records, Box 1, National Archives; Mackall to Meade, December 19, 1849, Meade Papers. 31 John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, October 26, 1849, Pemberton Family Papers. 32 Ibid.; John C. Pemberton to Israel Pemberton, November 19, 1849, Pemberton Papers. The Presbyterian minister was Edmund Lee of Vermont. Lees wife, Electa, also was from Vermont, although their daughter, Sarah, had been born in Florida. Southerner Pattie Pemberton did not take well to Mrs. Lee and wrote of her: Our hostess is too much of a Yankee to please us, & words at table are the only exchanges of civility passing between us. Manuscript returns, Seventh U.S. Decennial Census, Florida, Hillsborough County schedule 1 ( population); Matthews, Edge of Wilderness 214; Mrs. John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, December 12, 1849, Pemberton Family Papers. 33 Mrs. John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, December 12, 1849, and John C. Pemberton to Israel Pemberton, November 19, 1849, Pemberton Papers. 34 John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, January 21, 1850, Pemberton Family Papers; Sketch of the Life of General W. W. Mackall, 78-79. 35 John C. Pemberton to Mrs. R. C. Pemberton, February 11, 1850, Pemberton Family Papers; Notes 1849-1850, entry of March 16, 1850, Francis Collins Papers; Cullum, Biographical Register I, 684. 36 Freeman Cleaves, Meade of Gettysburg (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1960), 47; Journal & Surveyors Notes 1849-1850, entries of December 22, 1849 January 9,1850, Meade Papers; W. T. H. Brooks to [?], December 29,1849, and Brooks to Dear Brother, December 31, 1849, William Thomas Harba ugh Brooks Papers, U. S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
37 Notes, 1849-1850, entry of February 13, 1850, Francis Collins Papers; Meade, Life and Letters I, 202-07; Cleaves, Meade of Gettysburg 47-49. 38 Diary-December 13, 1849-May 15, 1850, entries of December 13, 1849-January 9, 1850, Ambrose Powell Hill Papers, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. 39 Bainbridge to Mackall, January 1, 1850, and Meade to Mackall, January 10, 1849 , record group 393, part 1, Western Division and Department, 1820-1854, Letters Received, Box 4, National Archives; Diary-December 13, 1849-May 15, 1850, entries of January 10 and 11, 1850, Hill Papers. 40 Diary-December 13, 1849-May 15, 1850, entry of January 11, 1850, Hill Papers. 41 Ibid. 42 Ibid., entry of January 12, 1850. 43 Ibid., entry of May 15, 1850; A. P. Hill to Thomas Hill, May 5, 1850, Hill Papers. 44 A. P. Hill to Thomas Hill, May 5,1850, and A. P. Hill to Edward Baptist Hill, A ugust 16, 1850, Hill Papers. 45 Hamersly, Army Register II, 128; A. P. Hill to Edward Baptist Hill, A ugust 16, 1850; James I Robertson, Jr., General A. P. Hill: The Story of a Confederate Warrior (New York: Random House, 1987), 22-25.
THE SMUGGLERS BLUES: DRUG AND ALIEN TRAFFIC IN TAMPA DURING THE 1920s by Frank Alduino The problem of Florida drug trafficking is long standing. Indeed, in 1983 Governor Robert Grahams Governor's Council on Organized Crime found that 70 to 80 percent of all illegal narcotics entering the United States passed through Florida. In recent years the south Florida region has gained the dubious reputation of being the transportation and distribution hub for marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. The Miami-Dade area with its accessible coastline, international airports, numerous abandoned airstrips, and rarely used rural roads has made the importation of illicit narcotics a lucrative and relatively risk-free enterprise. Although drug trafficking has now become one of its leading industries, Miami has not always been the center of the illegal narcotics trade in the United States. In fact, the first drug trafficking network in Florida was found in Tampa during the early 1920s. At that time a loose confederation of smugglers established Tampa as second only to New York as the largest port of entry for unlawful drugs.1 With the adoption of Prohibition in Florida, Tampa and its surrounding areas gained an infamous reputation for smuggling. Because of the region's numerous coastal inlets, hidden coves, and a tradition of lax law enforcement, Tampa immediately became a smugglers paradise. Although early boozerunners made handsome profits, illicit liquor importation became increasingly competitive. To supplement their profits, some gangsters began to smuggle narcotics and aliens in addition to illegal alcohol.2 Historian David F. Musto has called Americans historic addiction to narcotics the American Disease. By 1900 perhaps a quarter million Americans had become addicted to opiates, such as cocaine and morphine. Cocaine was especially feared in the South, argues Musto, because Southerners feared that Negro cocaine users might become oblivious of their prescribed bounds and attack white society.3 In Tampa, the fear of unbridled drug use and its identification with foreign groups and ethnic minorities attracted attention in the early 1900s. The illegal use of narcotics, a worldwide concern in the 1920s, had serious implications for the United States. Although the federal government began to recognize the destructive nature of the drug trade during the early 1920s, the clandestine use of narcotics was not a new phenomenon in American society. As early as 1909 the U.S. prohibited the importation of opium or its derivatives; five years later the federal government broadened its powers to enforce the regulation of illegal drugs with the passage of the Harrison Anti-Narcotics Act.4 The first recorded drug-related incident in Tampa occurred in 1903 in the Fort Brooke area. A notorious collection of jook joints, bordellos, and gambling dens, Fort Brooke was located east of East Street to Tampas Union Station and south to the estuary. Fort Brooke remained a separate incorporated town until 1907. Several opium parlors operated by Chinese and blacks flourished in the city. These precursors of the modern day shooting galleries attracted the lowest segment of Tampas population and became havens for the citys most opprobrious
misanthropes. According to the police, Victims were led into these dens and induced to try an opium pipe. While under the influence they were easily robbed of their valuables.5 From 1900 to 1920, while Tampa was growing from a small coastal town to a modern city, only a handful of individuals were arrested and prosecuted for violating federal narcotic laws. Beginning in the early 1920s, however, drug-related crimes in Tampa drastically increased. Tampa, argued Maurice Helbrant in Narcotics Agent was notorious for drug peddlers, large and small, both as a winter resort and a base of operations, and as an especially lucrative field in itself on account of the great number of vacationing addicts, addicted hotel employees, and addicts who poured into the state to work their rackets on the tourists.6 In 1922 the Tampa Tribune believed the city supported 500 drug addicts, many of whom were resorting to petty larceny or other crimes to sustain their expensive habits. The situation became so alarming that the secretary of the Tampa Police Department estimated that crimes committed by dope fiends cost the city well over $2,000,000 annually. More ominously, by 1920 Tampa had emerged as one of the nations major narcotics distribution points. The Tribune speculated in 1922 that more morphine was sold in Tampa than in Chicago, New Orleans or Philadelphia. Only New York City harbored a greater illegal drug trade than Tampa.7 A rumrunner burning in the Gulf of Mexico during the 1920s. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
The first coordinated municipal and federal attempt to eradicate drug trafficking in Tampa occurred in the summer of 1922. In a rare spirit of cooperation, local police joined forces with federal agents and arrested eight suspected ringleaders of the citys retail drug network. The federal government actively supported this sting operation. In fact, agents from the Narcotics Bureau of the Internal Revenue Service from Atlanta, as well as Prohibition agents from Miami, Pensacola, and Tallahassee, participated in the raids. These well-publicized arrests temporarily curtailed the illicit activities of Tampas drug peddlers; within a few short months, however, narcotics were once again easily accessible in the city. In fact, C. D. Dickerson, a federal narcotics inspector, stated that drugs were so plentiful that the retail value of morphine, cocaine, and heroin was lower in Tampa than in any other city in the country.8 By the mid-1920s, Tampas drug problems began receiving national exposure, especially after Charles McArthur, a reporter for William Randolph Hearsts International Magazine wrote a series of sensational articles on the citys drug trade. The exposs created so much unflattering publicity that city fathers, concerned that the tourist trade would suffer accordingly, wrote scathing editorials in the Tampa Tribune and Tampa Times condemning McArthur and his magazine. Although unpopular, this series of articles mobilized a number of reform-minded individuals to help fight Tampas drug problem. The Florida Federation of Womens Clubs offered volunteers to help drug victims. This coalition of organizations, representing Tampas progressive middle-class women, pressed their state representatives to build a state hospital for drug addicts.9 Another reform-minded member of the community, alarmed at the growing drug menace afflicting the city, was Hillsborough County Judge Julian Hazard. Appalled at the states insensitivity and its lack of adequate facilities for the treatment of drug abusers, the judge told a group of concerned citizens: At least a half dozen drug victims come to me every week and voluntarily ask that they be given treatment to cure them. The state hospital has requested me not to send any more there. Local institutions refuse to accept them and they are left to wander the streets, begging and stealing for money to ease the pain.10 Largely owing to adverse publicity and community outrage, the federal government increased its law enforcement presence in Tampa. The city received much needed support in 1923 when an Internal Revenue agent was permanently stationed in Tampa. Earlier, drug enforcement was the responsibility of the local police, or of federal agents stationed 500 miles away in Atlanta, Georgia. Congress also assisted the war on drug trafficking several years later by passing the Aid to Narcotic Enforcement Bill, allocating money for the purchase of illicit drugs. Before the passage of this act, drug agents had to buy evidence with their own personal funds; in most cases they were eventually reimbursed by the government. This inefficient system allowed large drug peddlers to avoid arrest and prosecution because most narcotic retailers refused to sell small quantities, and officers did not have sufficient funds to make the necessary purchases that could be used as evidence under the Harrison Act.11 This additional federal support seriously disrupted the availability of illegal narcotics in the city. Whereas in 1923 there were over 500 drug addicts in Tampa, four years later that number had dwindled to approximately fifteen or twenty. In order to squeeze the drug retailer and curtail the drug supply, the federal government conducted a series of highly visible raids during the middle and late twenties. One such operation occurred in September 1925. Using undercover
officers, who for six months had successfully penetrated Tampas largest drug network, federal agents arrested nineteen people for violating the Harrison Act and seized over $1,000,000 worth of cocaine and morphine. Among those caught in the dragnet was Joseph Cacciatore, reputed mastermind of the organization and self-professed king of the Ybor City drug traffickers. Only eighteen years old at the time of the arrest, Cacciatore functioned as a traffick manager for the smuggling ring that supplied narcotics to a number of large cities in the Northeast.12 According to police, Cacciatores retailers conducted their transactions from Ybor City, selling their sordid goods from restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and private homes. Even more offensive, these drug peddlers used children in their operations. Throughout Ybor City scores of children, ranging from ages six to fourteen, sold a variety of narcotics to the citys drug-addicted population. Worst of all, according to newspaper reports, drug traffickers often took young girls on joyrides, forcing them to experiment with drugs. Once addicted, they began living low lives as retailers in the citys drug trade.13 The arrest of Cacciatore and his runners received nationwide publicity. Accounts and editorials on their notorious activities were reported in newspapers throughout the Southeast. The harshest commentary on Tampas latest drug round-up, however, appeared in the Mobile Register The Alabama daily told its readers: Such conditions in Tampa cannot be contemplated without a shudder. The debauchery of school children by drug peddlers is not a new thing. There have been frequent reports of the sale of narcotics to school children in larger cities, but the use of mere babies to foster and pander to narcotic addiction is about the limit of depravity.14 The sharp condemnation from within the community, as well as concerted nationwide criticism, probably accounted for Cacciatore's swift conviction and stiff sentence. The young criminal was given three years in federal prison and fined $1,000 on each of his three indictments. Moreover, Judge William Jones, presiding over the sentencing phase of the trial, ordered that the penalties run consecutively, thus increasing his jail term to nine years and his fine to $3,000.15 Perhaps the most sensational drug-related arrest in Tampa's history occurred in 1928 when two of the citys most notorious and flamboyant gangsters Charlie Wall and George Saturday Zarate were accused of violating federal drug laws. Wall, the product of one of Tampas wealthiest and most socially prominent families, was the city's undisputed crime lord for several decades. A former morphine addict with visible needle marks all over his body, Wall not only controlled the incredibly lucrative bolita trade, but also ruled the political precincts in Ybor City and West Tampa; few candidates won election without Wall's support.16 Zarate had left Cuba as a young man and found employment in Tampa as a cigar maker. Apparently bored and disillusioned with his chosen occupation, he turned to a life of crime, quickly becoming one of Tampas most recognized underworld personalities. Saturday operated several bolita parlors and was the owner of Potes Cafe, a huge gambling establishment that featured roulette, dice, and other games of chance.17 Wall and Zarate were both arrested in May 1928 in a massive drug sweep that netted forty-six ounces of various illegal narcotics. Although fifteen people were indicted for violating the
Harrison Act, the federal governments main targets were Wall and Zarate. The case against the two well-known gamblers centered on the testimony of Isabell Knowles, a morphine addict who had met Wall ten years earlier in the Melvill Club where she was employed as a prostitute. According to Knowles, a woman well known in Florida among the gambling and liquor-importing crowd,18 Wall helped her to get morphine by writing a note to Zarate: This party is OK. She will explain her business to you. Ive told her you could get what she wants. By helping her you will oblige Charles W.19 Upon receiving the note, Knowles, who was working as a government informant for the sum of $500 plus expenses, sought out Zarate and induced him to sell three ounces of morphine for $120. A few hours later Zarate sold Knowles and an undercover federal drug agent more morphine.20 In a surprise move, Walls attorneys allowed Tampas crime boss to take the stand in his own defense. The humanitarian-sounding Wall told a shocked courtroom that he had indeed written the note for Knowles, but only to help the woman who was suffering from morphine withdrawal symptoms. The jury after considering the evidence and weighing Wall's testimony deliberated for several hours. When the jury returned, they found Zarate guilty on four counts of selling morphine. Zarates codefendant fared better; the jury was unable to agree on Charlie Walls innocence or guilt.21 Saturday Zarate received a ten-year jail term for his crimes. When imposing punishment, Judge Alexander Akerman sternly turned to the defendant and intoned: In my thirty-three years in and about courts of justice I have never seen the equal of your defiant countenance and demeanor. Your offense. . is a hundred fold worse than murder, for the man who traffics in narcotic drugs destroys the body to a lingering death of physical and mental suffering.22 After receiving his sentence, Zarate, helped by Ralph Reina a member of Tampas elite gambling fraternity, immediately posted a $40,000 bond and waited for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to review his case. Anxious about his impending fate, he fled the United States and returned to Havana. Although Cuban authorities refused to initiate extradition proceedings, Zarate, having received word that the court had upheld his conviction, returned to Tampa. After a perfunctory hearing, he was taken to the federal penitentiary in Atlanta to serve his ten-year sentence. With Zarate on his way to Atlanta, drug agents could relax for a time. But their relaxation was short-lived. Hopeful that Zarate would serve his full sentence, they were Charlie Wall, Tampas long-time gambling czar. Photograph from Sunland Tribune 1990.
soon disappointed. Described as a model prisoner, Zarate somehow managed to obtain a pardon from President Herbert Hoover.23 Paroled after serving only thirty-three months in jail, Saturday immediately reestablished himself as a member of Tampas criminal elite. Unfortunately for Zarate, he returned to the underworld at a very unstable and dangerous time. From the early 1930s and to the mid-1950s, Tampas gangs fought a series of bloody gang wars rivalling those in New York and Chicago. In fact, Zarate was the target of a would-be assassins bullet. While waiting outside the El Pasaje Restaurant, he was shot in the shoulder. Although eventually recovering from his wounds, Saturday Zarate temporarily quit the rackets. Later in the mid-1950s Saturday showed up in New Yorks underworld, becoming one of Lucky Luchianos chief henchman. Zarate, like many organized crime figures, could never retire and enjoy his gangland gains; he mysteriously disappeared before the Kefauver Committee on Organized Crime could question him, never to appear again.24 Charles Wall, unlike Zarate, never spent a day in jail. In November 1930 he was again tried for violating the Harrison Act. The government re-prosecuted its case, and Knowles retold her story. The jury again could not reach a verdict. Tenaciously refusing to concede its case, the federal Located at the southeast corner of 8th Avenue and 14th Street in Ybor City, the El Dorado Gambling Casino featured dice tables, a roulette wheel, and a plush lounge where guests played faro. Customers gathered nightly for the bolita throw. A balcony ran along the interior, from where a machine-gun-toting guard watched events. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
government retried Wall a third time. On December 6, 1931, in a verdict that shocked the city, a Tampa jury finally convicted Charles Wall and sentenced him to serve two years in jail. However, he never went to prison; the appellate court in New Orleans reversed the lower court's decision on the grounds that Judge Ackerman erred in not having informed the jury of the legal question of entrapment.25 Despite his legal difficulties, Wall continued to reign as lord of Tampas underworld. His bolita enterprises and other gambling businesses continued to grow and prosper. His long and notorious career as Tampas crime boss ended in the late 1940s when the Trafficante family gained enough strength to force Wall into retirement. After a brief hiatus in Miami, Charlie Wall, still symbolizing the power and prestige of an older generation of criminals, returned home. Shortly after testifying before the Kefauver Committee on Organized Crime, Wall was found murdered in his home. The murderers slashed Walls throat and next to his bloody body lay a copy of his testimony given before the Kefauver Committee.26 Just as national prohibition had aided drug running, it also went hand-in-hand with alien smuggling. Those participating in the illegal importation of foreigners were also usually engaged in the bootlegging trade. Many seacaptains transported aliens on their liquor-ladened vessels in exchange for quick profits. During the 1920s scores of rumrunners clandestinely delivered an untold number of desperate and brave aliens to Tampa. There they found temporary refuge and protection; however, many unsuspecting foreigners hoping to start a new life in America were exploited, robbed, and even murdered by dangerous and greedy smugglers. One source familiar with alien smuggling described the trade in this manner: The masters of the schooners brought the aliens over, more as cargo than passengers, and a nondescript one at that. Some care is usually devoted to the stowage of cargo, goods of one kind are not mingled with those of another kind, and they are kept clean of spray or bilge water. Not so with the white ivory being brought over. They are kept in smelly holes which a day or so before contained fish or odorous sponges well along decay. The hatches are battened down tightly when the suspicion of a coast guard cutter appears.27 Before 1882 gaining entry into Tampa and the rest of the U.S. was relatively easy for any foreign national. Yet beginning in the mid-1880s a wave of intolerance and a nativistic fervor swept across the nation. The first victims of this intense discrimination were the Chinese, who were used as cheap labor in the American West. Migrating to California to build the great railroads, the Chinese constituted approximately one-ninth of the states entire population by the early 1880s. Unfortunately, the railroad boom quickly ebbed, leaving thousands of Chinese unemployed. Isolated and frightened, many accepted lower salaries, thus undercutting the wages paid to American workers. The inevitable confrontation between American workers and Chinese laborers exacerbated nativistic tendencies, resulting in tough federal immigration restrictions. Responding to pressure from California, Congress in 1882 passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, effectively ending the free flow of Chinese laborers into the United States.28 This exclusionary act seems to have deterred few Orientals determined to live in the U.S. Instead of entering the country legally, thousands of Chinese paid large sums of money and risked unknown dangers to enter the United States illegally. By the mid-1880s most Chinese
nationals entering America came through California; however, a substantial number were also smuggled into the country via the port of Tampa. The smuggling of Chinese and later southern Europeans flourished in Tampa for a number of reasons. First, Tampa was the home of several well-organized criminal groups that quickly realized the moneymaking potential of alien smuggling. Secondly, Tampas unprotected coastline made the importation of aliens, or dummies as customs officials called them, a relatively risk-free enterprise. Finally, Tampa became the hub of illegal immigration in the Southeast because of its close proximity to Cuba. The islands corrupt government and open-door immigration policy attracted a countless number of Chinese and Europeans, who went to Cuba looking for agents willing to smuggle them past American custom officials. Smugglers were usually paid between $750 and $1,000 per alien landed on American Soil.29 Alien running, a serious problem for Tampas custom authorities since the 1880s, intensified with the advent of national Prohibition. For example, in May 1920 officials uncovered a massive alien smuggling operation, calling it international in scope with powerful backing.30 Law enforcement authorities discovered the ring when they seized the Remplazo a Cuban vessel carrying seventeen Chinese, as well as thousands of bottles of cognac, whiskey, and wine valued well over $50,000. The ill-fated ship was captured off Tarpon Springs by the flamboyant prohibition agent Major Frank Williams, later the most controversial police chief in Tampas history. Williams and a customs agent boarded the Remplazo without being recognized and immediately drew their guns. Surprised, and not wanting to be shot, the captain promptly surrendered his vessel. Although Williams and his compatriot expected a short and uneventful journey back to nearby Tampa, local Greek fishermen surrounded the captured ship and fired a volley of shots at them. Luckily for Williams and his partner, a passing Coast Guard cutter dispersed the angry Greeks and towed the Remplazo safely back to Tampa. As with most alien smugglers, those arrested for the crime refused to cooperate with authorities. For example, a crewman aboard the Remplazo told police, You can cut my heart out, but I wont tell you the truth.31 His intransigence, as well as that of others arrested for alien smuggling, prevented authorities from penetrating and crushing the various rings operating in Tampa. The seizure of the Remplazo and the subsequent arrest of its captain and crew members seem to have hardly affected the illegal importation of aliens into Tampa. The trade in human traffic continued unmolested for nearly two years when police finally cracked another gigantic ring operating in the city. In April 1922, federal prohibition agents seized the Etta Mildred which was carrying twenty-nine Chinese. Apparently, the ship was a mere pawn in a complex network that illegally transported Chinese nationals from Cuba to Tampa and then to the Northeast. The capture of the Etta Mildred proved important because it revealed the connection between alien smuggling and Tampa's underworld. This connection was established when authorities arrested Constable Norris McFall, one of Tampas most notorious gambling czars, for conspiring to smuggle Chinese into the U.S. He and his gang were accused of representing a well-organized syndicate that was paid large sums for each Oriental they smuggled past immigration officials. Although the federal government marshalled sufficient evidence for a conviction, McFall was never tried for this particular crime.32
Undaunted by his legal problems, McFall apparently continued his smuggling activities. Within two months he was once again arrested, this time with DeWitt Adams, a career criminal, for breaking U.S. immigration laws. McFall was taken into custody when nineteen Chinese were discovered in. Hillsborough County. Thirteen were found huddled together in a lean-to near the fork of the Doley and Alafia rivers in Plant City, and the rest were apprehended on Second Avenue in Ybor City.33 Once again McFall escaped prosecution. Norris McFall lived a charmed life. Not only did he escape several prison terms, he also made a sizable fortune from the alien trade. This money was invested in several gambling houses and helped to establish McFall as one of Tampas most powerful gambling lords. Yet Constable McFalls luck finally ran out in 1928. Returning after collecting receipts from one of his gambling houses, he was gunned down in front of his Branch Avenue home. Tampa police investigating the homicide suspected Alphonse Capone's hand in the murder; however, gambling rival Charlie Wall may have ordered the hit.34 Following the capture of the Etta Mildred federal authorities monitored Tampas coastline. Not only were they looking for illegal booze and aliens they were also keeping an eye out for illicit drugs, especially since an, excessive amount of narcotics was currently circulating the city. Custom officials realized that morphine and other Asian opium derivatives were brought to Cuba and eventually smuggled into Tampa, along with illegal aliens. After a two-month surviellance, their tenacity paid a major dividend when authorities seized Captain Dorey Rice and his ship, the Success Initially, officials charged Rice with conspiring to smuggle aliens into the U.S. But they later accused him of violating the Harrison Act when large quantities of morphine, which he had dumped overboard, began to wash ashore along Tampa Bay. In order to receive a lighter sentence, Rice exposed the complex and widespread smuggling network that operated in Cuba, Tampa, north Florida, Virginia, Philadelphia, and New York. He also revealed the names of the higher-ups involved in this nefarious trade. Among those Rice implicated were B. H. Sutton, a former sheriff from Okaloosa County; C. D. Moore, a former detective from Crestview; J. H. Givens, a banker; and Charlie Suey, a wealthy Chinese-American from Apalachicola.35 From Rices testimony officials learned that narcotics and aliens were frequently brought from Cuba to Tampa by large schooners and then transferred to small and powerful motorboats. The narcotics usually remained in Tampa, but the Chinese were almost immediately moved out of the city. Smugglers secretly transported the Chinese to designated safe houses in rural north Florida. From there they boarded the Apalachicola Northern Railroad. If all went well, the illegal immigrants arrived at their ultimate destination in the North by truck.36 Beginning in 1922 Chinese nationals were not the only immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. Following World War I, a massive now of Europeans into the United States prompted President Warren G. Harding to call for emergency immigration legislation. The new restrictions imposed by Congress set up a quota system that effectively reduced southern and eastern European immigration into the U.S. to a mere trickle. Few were legally permitted access to American shores. As a result, many prospective Americans were willing to endure unknown hardships and pay as much as $1,000 to professional smugglers. Like the Chinese, many European aliens began their trek to America from Cuban ports.37
According to custom officials familiar with the alien trade, illegal Europeans wishing to enter the U.S. were first transported to the barrier isla nds off Floridas southwest coast. There they were taken by automobile to Tampas Latin quarter, or Tarpon Springs, a heavily populated Greek community. A few aliens preferred to stay in Florida, but most were routed through north Florida and eventually the Northeast, where they were reunited with friends and family. For example, in early January 1923, nineteen Italians found themselves stranded in Carrabelle, a tiny fishing village outside Tallahassee. These aliens, originally believed to be Japanese nationals, raised suspicion when they boarded a train in Sopchoppy and asked the conductor in broken-English for tickets to a destination as far as possible. Suspecting that these foreigners had unlawfully entered the U.S., State Senator H. B. Lindsey from Bonifay, who happened to be on the train, stopped the group and made a citizens arrest. A protracted investigation by the Wakulla County Sheriffs Department discovered that the men Lindsey apprehended were not Japanese, but in fact Italian citizens. Unfortunately, the authorities did not capture all members of this alien party; three Italians were later found dead in Crawfordville. Police theorized that since they were wearing expensive suits, silk shirts, and stylish shoes, these Italians were probably robbed and then murdered by alien smugglers wishing to conceal their crime. The cold-blooded murder of these three Italian nationals in Crawfordville was not an isolated incident. Throughout Prohibition scores of unsolved murders were committed in the desolate areas of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Collier, and Lee counties; many of these individuals were undoubtedly victims of alien smugglers.38 By the mid-1920s the number of alien smuggling cases sky-rocketed in southwest Florida. In 1923 alone, Tampa immigration officials arrested 398 aliens scattered from Tarpon Springs to Naples. A year later that number increased to 540. Although immigration authorities occasionally scored a major victory against smugglers and temporarily disrupted the flow of illegal aliens into Florida, they were clearly outnumbered. At the outset of Prohibition the Department of Labor had only six immigration inspectors in the entire state. The number increased slightly in 1924 when the Secretary of Labor added twenty more immigration agents throughout Florida.39 Much to the delight of underpaid and overworked immigration officials, the alien trade peaked in 1924 and rapidly declined in subsequent years. For example, in Tampa between January and April 1925 not one single individual was arrested for illegal importation of aliens. This trend continued throughout the 1920s. I.F. Wixon, Chief Supervisor of Immigration, reflecting upon this phenomenon wrote, There was a time when smugglers headquarters strongly established in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia for the conduct of alien smuggling operations from Cuba to Florida. Chinese, as well as other classes of aliens. So far as we know, there is no organized smuggling [currently being conducted] in Florida.40 Although few officials were as optimistic as Wixon, the alien trade was seriously hurt by tougher federal legislation and longer prison terms for those convicted of violating the immigration statutes. In summary, Prohibition fostered Tampas drug and alien traffic. Throughout the 1920s the city witnessed a rapid rise in organized crime, especially in the area of illegal drugs and aliens. Because of endemic municipal corruption and public apathy, a loose confederation of drug and alien runners established Tampa as a mecca for the illegal drug and alien trades. Despite the
efforts of reform-minded citizens, these networks grew and prospered. Although law enforcement officials successfully crushed the alien trade in Tampa by 1925, the importation of narcotics remained a serious problem in the city throughout the Roaring Twenties. In fact, as Tampa grew into a major city, so its drug trade became big business; by the 1950s the illegal drug industry had become as sophisticated as the city itself. 1 State of Florida, Governors Council on Organized Crime: 1983 Annual Report (Tallahassee, 1983) 30. 2 Frank Alduino, Prohibition in Tampa, Tampa Bay History 9 (Spring 1986): 17; see Thomas Coffey, The Long Thirst (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975). 3 David F. Musto, The American Disease: Origins of Narcotics Control (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1973), 3-6. 4 W. W. Willoughby, Opium as an International Problem: The Geneva Conference (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1925), 6; William Walker, Drug Control in the Americas (Albuquerque: New Mexico Press, 1981), 15. 5 Tampa Tribune October 10, 1903. 6 Maruice Helbrant, Narcotics Agent (New York: Vanguard Press, 1941), 237. 7 Tampa Tribune June 9, 1922. 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid., April 16, November 7, 1923. 10 Ibid., November 1, 1923. 11 Laurence Schmeckebier, The Bureau of Prohibition: Its History, Activities and Organizations (Baltimore: The Brookings Institute, 1929), 145-47. 12 Tampa Tribune September 22, 1925. 13 Ibid. 14 Mobile Register September 25, 1925. 15 Tampa Tribune October 10, 1926. 16 Ibid., May 6,1928; Harris Mullens, Florida Close-Ups, Florida Trend 8 (March 1976), 49. 17 Oral Interview, Ed Blackburn, Tallahassee, Florida, October 10, 1987. 18 Helbrant, Narcotics Agent 147. 19 Tampa Tribune June 6, 1929. 20 Ibid., June 6, 24, 1929. 21 Ibid., June 29, 1929. 22 Ibid., April 2, 1930. 23 Ibid., May 5, 1930, July 11, 1933.
24 Blackburn Interview; U.S. Senate, Hearing Before a select Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1950-1951), 41-60. 25 Tampa Tribune December 7, 1931, June 28, 1933. 26 Harris Mullen, Close-Ups, 50; Tampa Tribune April 21, 1955. 27 Captain Sweeney, Confessions of an Ex-Rumrunner, Florida Suniland Journal 6 (March 1925): 52. 28 Geoffrey Perrett, America in the Twenties:A History (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1982), 82; Oscar Handlin, The Uprooted (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1951), 287. 29 Tampa Tribune May 23, 1920. 30 Ibid., May 17, 1920. 31 Ibid., May 23, 1920. 32 Ibid., April 29, May 10, 1922. 33 Ibid., June 11, 1922. 34 Ibid., October 11, 1928. 35 Ibid., August 18, 1922. 36 Ibid. 37 Oscar Handlin, Uprooted 292; Tampa Tribune March 5, 1924. 38 Tallahassee Democrat March 1, 13, 1923, March 15, 1924. 39 Tampa Tribune June 17, 1924. 40 Ibid., January 19, 1930.
FARM LABOR IN FLORIDA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY by Phyllis A. Hunter One thing I find: using the cutlass is a skillful trade. It is a dangerous weapon, and if you not skillful you getting hurt all the time. Sometimes when you board the bus and hold it wrong, it cuts you. I sharpen it every single day. You have to be passing the file on it some regular. If it be dull, you feel the cane heavy like, and it break down your physical. Cutting the cane in itself is also a skillful task, you must be skillful at it. When cutting the cane you must have a free mind. You must not be frightened. You must try not to go in a doubt. To the point where you go in a doubt, you will never make your money for that day ... you must go in sure. A sugar cane worker in Florida.1 Agriculture has played a vital role in Floridas economy for over one hundred years. Detailed documents about soil, crops, produce, transportation, and weather are numerous and readily available. In contrast, the written record is strangely silent about the workers, those men and women who have performed the labor necessary to sustain Floridas economy. These photographs offer a dramatic visual reminder of their efforts. Nineteenth-century Florida, like the rest of the Cotton Belt, relied on short staple cotton as the leading cash crop. Farmers grew corn and sweet potatoes for local consumption. Citrus fruit developed rapidly toward the end of the century. By 1899, it provided over one million dollars to the state economy; yet this amounted to less than half of the value of cotton sold in the same year. In the twentieth century, cotton, corn, tobacco, and sweet potatoes continued to support farmers in neighboring states of the Deep South. The spectacular growth of citrus, garden vegetables and nursery business set Florida on its unique path. The citrus industry, as any tourist can quickly observe, now dominates Florida agriculture, producing in 1982, a harvest worth over one billion dollars. Garden vegetables, and nurseries each yielded one-half billion dollars of produce.2 This impressive growth occurred in spite of a marked decline in rural population. At the turn of the century, farmers and country dwellers represented almost 80 percent of the states population. By 1982, the ratio of urban/suburban to rural folk had reversed itself. Surprisingly, the actual number of farmers remained the same. Clearly, mechanization, sophisticated agricultural techniques, and new varieties of vegetables and fruit created an enormous growth in farm productivity.3 Several other products round out the profile of agriculture in the Sunshine State. Following the discovery that Brahman cattle resist tick bites and thrive in a hot climate better than other breeds, Florida has become an important cattle state.4 Recently, sugar cane emerged as the states second most significant crop in terms of acreage and fourth in crop value.5 Sugar cane demands a
tropical climate and therefore can only be planted in the southern part of the state around Lake Okeechobee. Blacks and immigrants perform most of the basic agricultural labor throughout the state of Florida. Many harvesters are migrant laborers; others, like the cane workers return to southern Florida from their homes in the Caribbean to harvest cane year after year. Photographs in this essay speak to the fertile silence of their work and highlight the significance of agriculture in vacationland.
A large crew of laborers picking tomatoes somewhere in central Florida, circa 1893-95. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. Members of the same crew shown above gathered in front of a tomato packing house in the mid-1890s. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
A banana grove in south Florida, circa 1895, with what appears to be the owner on the left and a farm worker to the right. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. A primitive spraying outfit for citrus trees at the turn of the century. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Black and white workers picking oranges, circa 1893-95. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. Black men and women picking and packing oranges in Hillsborough County at the turn of the century. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Team of oxen pulling a wagon loaded with boxes of oranges from the groves of Dr. H.A. Whitford, located in Ozona in Pinellas County, circa 1900. Photograph courtesy of Heritage Park/Pinellas County Historical Museum. The packing house of the Waverly Growers Cooperative in Polk County, photographed in 1915. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Planting citrus groves in the Temple Terrace area (Hillsborough County) in 1921. The equipment included both a power-driven tractor (in the middle) and a mule-driven wagon (to the left). Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. Workers spraying a young grove near Tarpon Springs, circa 1910. Photograph courtesy of Heritage Park/Pinellas County Historical Museum.
Workers picking grapefruit from young trees near Avon Park (Highlands County) in 1921. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. Farm hands picking oranges near Wauchula (Hardee County) in 1920. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
A homemade haystacking device operated in the 1920s by members of Pinellas Countys pioneer McMullen family. Photograph courtesy of Heritage Park/Pinellas County Historical Museum. A farmer and his black field hand in a potato and cabbage field, located in Largo (Pinellas County), circa 1920. Photograph courtesy of Heritage Park/Pinellas County Historical Museum.
Black laborers using a mule to grind sugar cane near Tampa in 1921. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. Children using a mule-driven sugar cane grinder. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Harvesting watermelons at Wilsers Farm in Hillsborough County during the 1920s. Photography courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. Workers loading watermelons on an Atlantic Coast Line freight car in Largo (Pinellas County), circa 1912. Photograph courtesy of Heritage Park/Pinellas County Historical Museum.
Farmworkers, picking cucumbers in 1926. Photograph courtesy of Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System. 2 launderer for migrant vegetable pickers in Lake Harbor (Palm Beach County), shown in 1939 with his scrub tubs, wash table and clothes line. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Seminole Indians herding Florida cattle. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. Brahamin cattle were introduced into Florida because they could withstand the heat. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Ranch hands preparing branding irons. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Ranch hands branding cattle in Florida. Photograph courtesy of USF special collections. Migrant workers weeding and thinning endless rows of celery near Belle Glade (Palm Beach County) in the 1960s. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Farm workers in a tomato field. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. A crew picking beans in Lake Wales (Polk County). Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
Picking strawberries in Hillsborough County. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections. Migrant farm workers living in tents somewhere in Florida during the 1950s 0r 1960s. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
1 A sugar cane worker quoted in Alec Wilkinson, Big Sugar: Seasons in the Cane Fields of Florida (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), 160-61. 2 Anne Shoemyen, ed., 1986 Florida Statistical Abstract, 20th Edition (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1986); United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Twelfth Census of the United States: Agriculture part 1 and 2 (Washington: GPO, 1902); United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States: Agriculture vol. II, part 2 (Washington: GPO, 1922); United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Sixteenth Census of the United States 1940, Agriculture vol. II part 3 (Washington: GPO, 1942); United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1964 United States Census of Agriculture, vol. I part 29 Florida (Washington: GPO, 1967); United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1982 Census of Agriculture, vol. I Geographic Area Series part 9 Florida (Washington: GPO, 1984). 3 Ibid. 4 Ladd Haystead and Gibert C. Fite, Agricultural Regions of the United States (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1955), 137. 5 Bureau of the Census, 1982 Census of Agriculture
THE MISSIONS OF TAMPA: EXCERPTS FROM THE DIARY OF FATHER CLAVREUL, 1866-1873 Edited and Annotated by Julius J. Gordon The Catholic Church in Florida dates from the sixteenth century, but it had little permanent influence on the Tampa Bay area until three centuries later. In 1858, the arrival of Bishop Augustin Verot in St. Augustine marked a turning point in the modern history of the Catholic Church in Florida. At the time Bishop Verot took up his duties in St. Augustine, his vicariate covered all of Florida east of the Apalachicola River. In this area from the Georgia border to Key West, the entire Catholic Church consisted of six churches and chapels, four schools, three priests, and some 3,000 adherents. Bishop Verot soon initiated a movement that by 1870 increased the Churchs presence to nineteen churches and chapels, seven schools, twelve priests, and about 10,000 parishioners. In recognition of the bishops accomplishment, the Vatican in 1870 created the Diocese of St. Augustine, which encompassed the entire peninsula east of the Apalachicola River.1 The results of Verots success were felt in the Tampa Bay area. In 1859 the Church of St. Louis was built in Tampa, and the following year, Father Charles A. Mailley, a twenty-seven-year-old priest recently arrived from France, became Tampas first resident priest. As a French native himself, Bishop Verot had personally recruited seven priests in his homeland. In addition to Mailley, they included Father Henri Pierre Clavreul, who ultimately spent most of the next sixty years in Florida.2 Father Clavreul was born on January 4, 1835, at Le Bourg dIre, a rural parish in the Diocese of Angers, France. He studied at the ecclesiastical seminary of Angers. In 1853 he became a deacon, and on March 19, 1859, he was ordained a priest. Recruited by Bishop Verot, Father Clavreul arrived in St. Augustine in October 1860 and remained there for a year. He then went to nearby Fernandina, where he stayed until February 1862, when he was forced to flee by invading Union troops. Clavreul sought refuge in the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, which had recently come under the leadership of Bishop Verot. During the remaining war years, Father Clavreul ministered to Catholics in Georgia, including Union prisoners of war at the infamous camp located in Andersonville, Georgia. Following the Civil War, Father Clavreul returned to Florida. From 1866 to 1877, he traveled to various missions around the state, including Tampa. In 1877 he was assigned to the Catholic mission at Mandarin, Florida. He remained there until 1902, when he was called to St. Augustine by the new bishop, William J. Kenny. Father Clavreul died in Jacksonville on May 19, 1923, and he was buried in St. Augustine's San Lorenzo cemetery.3 Father Clavreul assured a place in history by keeping a diary, which includes reflections on his activities in the mission field from 1860 to 1875. The original diary appears to be lost, but large fragments of it were published by St. Leos Abbey Press in the 1920s.4
The following excerpts cover his visits to Hillsborough County between 1866 and 1873. At the time Tampa had a small population of well under one thousand residents, and few records survive to document life in the Tampa Bay area following the Civil War Thus, Father Clavreuls diary is an important source for local history. Except for the addition of explanatory notes, the diary remains as it was printed in the 1920s. May 7, 1866: St. Marks. See Mrs. Hance and daughter. Same day leave for Tampa by Steamer, Governor Marvin.5 Captain McKay of Tampa anent, My first visit to Tampa. I here insert what I wrote later for another purpose. It follows: My first visit to Tampa was from May 8 to June 11, 1866. I slept in room next to Sacristy; taking my meals at Mrs. Jackson. The latter was born Quigly,6 related to priests of that name. One of them visiting Tampa once or twice. I do not remember the time she told me Father Quigly came to Tampa. She was married to John Jackson, State or County Surveyor; the latter a convert, I think. It was at their house the first resident priest of Tampa resided. It was Rev. C.A. Maille, a French priest, who accompanied Bishop Verot on a visit the latter made to France in 1859, where he had gone with a view of recruiting priests.7 It was through the efforts of Father Maille that the first church was built at Tampa. An Irishman of the name of Waldon, at the time residing in Cuba, made the acquaintance of Bishop Verot, whom he met in Tampa and donated the sum of $1,000 for the new church. The people contributed also, even the protestants; so that within less than a year the edifice was opened for divine services. It remained as it had been originally built till about 1883, when Father Peterman8 added to the nave wings, and, so that the Church after the addition could seat from 120 to 200 people. About one third more than the original church. It was Father Peterman also who built the belfry. Shortly after the opening of the hostilities, 1862-1863 the Jackson family moved to the country, some 10 or 15 miles from town. Father Maille had ceased to reside at Tampa on account of ill health, but attended missions elsewhere; though he came to Tampa twice in 1864 and 1865. I have no means to ascertain how many catholics were in Tampa when Father Maille arrived in 1860. Bishop Verot. Photograph from The Cross in the Sand by Michael V. Gannon
Six years later, 1866, I visited Tampa, for the first time, and I think the number of catholics in 1860 was about as in 1866. It consisted of some twenty families in Tampa itself and perhaps as many in the missions attended from Tampa; not a few of those catholics by name. Apart of the Jackson family, the great number were families from St. Augustine; The Andrews, Masters, Leonardy, Haskins. Several of them intermarried with outsiders; the Browns, Canepa, Bells. In the Country on the Manatee, we had the Fergusons,9 several of them have apostatized. Those I met in 1866, and later in 1873, whose parents had been baptized in St. Augustine some 70 years before. There were also 3 or 4 French families; the Laurentis,10 who lived on a farm three miles from town; the Bourguardez,11 one of them married to a Canova from St. Augustine, who lived 10 or 12 miles from Tampa. Some Italians, among them: Dominic Ghira,12 who had married one Masters, a native of St. Augustine. In five, some natives of Tampa: the Colliers, one who had married William Haskins, whose mother was a Leonardy of St. Augustine.13 Then some vagrants and tramps.... From May 14-30 1866, visited the Missions of Tampa, then remained in Tampa till June 11, when I went to Key West. The notes are now resumed. May 8, 1866. Whilst at Tampa, occupy a room next to the Sacristy, take my meals at Mrs. Jacksons. May 14,1866. Say Mass at Laurentis farm, four miles from town; wife and two grown sons not practical Catholics. Go in conveyance to Bourguardez, married to Miss Canova, 12 miles from Tampa, my driver is Mr. Jacksons son, Thomas, 14 years old, and the horse and buggy are Mr. Jacksons. May 19, 1866. On the Alafia River, visit Mrs. William Haskins family and sister-in-law, Mrs. Collier. May 21, 1866. Go by water to Manatee with Captain Dominic Ghira. By night stop at an Island where lived a Frenchman, a sort of misanthrope, educated, who at one time did clerical duties at the Libraire of Cosnier Lachaise at Angers, France. He lived alone, and the Island is in the bay some 18 miles from Tampa. The following day stop at another Island not far from there where a Spaniard, Guerro, married to a Dutch woman, with six children14; baptize the three youngest. All John Jackson. Photograph courtesy of author.
the children, even the oldest, aging 15 years, unable to utter intelligibly a single word, the father and mother being ignorant of each others language never spoke, it seems. At Manatee on the same visit see Capt. Frescot,15 a Frenchman, Catholic by name, from Dunkirk, France; also the husband of Mrs. Atzeroth, the latter a Lutheran, who was more interested in the spiritual welfare of the husband than he was himself and she brought him to me that I might hear his confession. Say Mass at Mrs. Atzeroths, 12 miles from Tampa, six receive communion.16 May 28, 1866. See Mrs. Worth,17 whose husband is Lutheran..Later..on my landing from Key West was told of an urgent sick call from the Worth family. I arrived in time to receive Capt. Worth, then on his dying bed, into the church. Mrs. Worth was Irish. May 30, 1866. Back to Tampa. June 11, 1866. From Tampa go to Key West aboard the United States Gunboat, the Mascotte, 200 marines on board, quite a number of them Catholics, hear some confessions. The original frame building of the Church of St. Louis was erected in Tampa in 1859 at the corner of Florida Avenue and Madison Street. Photograph from The Cross in the Sand by Michael V. Gannon.
June 13 to July 26, 1866. In and around Key West. Father OHara,18 stationed before at Augusta, Georgia, but then in charge of Key West, had left May 29, 1866 for parts unknown. In the beginning of July, go to Dry Tortugas, where convicts and others for political offences were kept, on board of a U.S. Revenue Cutter, under the command of Capt. Reynolds, whose kindness, I still remember. During my stay of over a week, I say mass every day, hear some 60 or 70 confessions; all who confessed received Communion; among the convicts was Dr. Mudd19 who was implicated in Mrs. Surrats case20 for the murder of President Lincoln. Jeanette Coller Haskins. Photograph courtesy of Joanne Cimino. William Thomas Haskins. Photograph courtesy of Joanne Cimino.
February 12, 1873. Mother Julia, Sister Mary Bernard, Sister Vincent, Miss Glenn and two orphan girls: Mary Ellen 4 years and elder sister Lizzie Parson, 10 years old, go to Mandarin to start anew the school suspended since June 1868. This journey performed in carts, through the woods, from early morning till late at night, with a colored man, Uncle Jack Mungeon,21 accompanying them. Part of the way through the woods three miles across from King Road to Church, the woods were burning fiercely, the flames licking the carts. August 12, 1873. Leave St. Augustine for Palatka; stop at Dr. Rields. August 14, 1873. Leave Palatka by boat for Okahumpka.22 August 17, 1873. Sunday, after a drive of five miles, for which I had to pay $5.00, reach Sumterville. Go afoot with my paraphenalia the same afternoon to Caruthers,23 a non-catholic married to a catholic, Mrs. Stanleys daughter. Not even asked to take a seat. Spend the night there, however, tired and sick. Go following morning to Mrs. Caruthers mother, Mrs. Stanley (widow Goff), see two of her sons, Michael Goff and Augustus Goff, young men, the eldest had left the house one mile and farther, see another son of Mrs. Stanley by former husband Columbus Goff, married and epileptic. Leave for Tampa, which I reach, August 19, 1873: August 19, 1873, arrive Tampa. August 21, to August 24, 1873. See M. Griffin,24 wife of a convert, and son William, 11 years. See Miss Coyle and sister Mrs. Patten25 husband non-catholic. Bartholomew Fogarty, wife and four children26 John 11 years, Bartholomew 9, Eliza 6, and Mary Loetitia 4 years. John Fogarty, Bartholomew's brother, married to a non-catholic, a free-mason; another brother, William Fogarty, married to Mrs. Dickens,27 whose husband still living. See also an Irish laborer, Smyth,28 who went to his duties; and another, A. Reilly29 who kept away. At Terra Ceia, a small island a few miles from Manatee, see an Irish Catholic woman, who stayed with old Mrs. Joe Atzeroth.30 Constant Bourquardez. Photograph courtesy of Arsenio Sanchez.
July 1871. From Tampa we visit all the Mission around: Point Pinellas, Manatee, Clearwater Harbor, Cedar Keys. The two latter places were visited upon landing the Schooner the Undine, we had taken at Tampa. At Clearwater Harbor, I gave extreme unction to a veteran of the War of 1812 with England, Mr. Manning,31 said to be 100 years old, dying of old age. I could not but admire the tender care given the old man by people who were strangers to him. Note:32 the following excerpt from Captain James McKays letter, anent Father Clavreul will prove of interest to the reader. signed: Father Benedict. My dear Father: The notation referred to in Rev. H. P. Clavreuls Diary mentioned in your letter was the Steamship Governor Marvin, owned by my father, and of which I was master. At that time she was chartered by the United States Government and was used as a transport flying along the Florida coast from New Orleans to Key West and the Tortugas. She was named after the Provisional Governor of Florida who was and had been a true friend of my father long before the Civil War. My father purchased her in New York after the War in 1865, and I lost her in the hurricane of 1872, but got her into the harbor of Key West before she sank. Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas as it looked in the 1940s. Photograph courtesy of USF Special Collections.
She was built to carry cattle from Honduras to Cuba just at the beginning of the war, but was taken by the United States Government, was named Honduras; but when my father purchased her he changed her name to Governor Marvin. signed: James McKay, Jr. Father Clavreul. Photograph from The Cross in the Sand by Michael V. Gannon
1 Michael V. Gannon, The Cross in the Sand (Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press, 1965), xiii, 163, 186. 2 Ibid., 167. 3 Benedict Roth, etc., Brief History of the Churches of the Diocese of St. Augustine, Florida 10 parts (St. Leo, Florida: Abbey Press, 1923-34), part 3, pp. 53-76. 4 Ibid. 5 The steamship Governor Marvin owned by James McKay of Tampa was named in honor of Florida's Governor William Marvin, appointed by President Andrew Johnson in 1865. See the letter from James McKay, Jr., which can be found in the last diary entry excerpted here. 6 Father Edward Quigly was related to Mrs. John (Ellen Maher) Jackson, daughter of Robert Maher and Catherine Quigly, of Tipperary, Ireland. Father Quigly served at the Tampa Catholic mission in 1854 and 1859. Gannon, The Cross in the Sand 159. 7 The spelling of Father Maille's name was anglicized to Mailley. Ibid., 167. 8 Father Charles Peterman, a German-born priest, was pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church in Tampa from 1863 until he died in October 1887 during the yellow fever epidemic. Florida Peninsular November 1887. 9 The Fergusons remained unidentified, but they were possibly descendants of Thomas Henrique Ferguson, who was a resident of St. Augustine in 1799-1813. Spanish Land Grants in Florida, vol. III, 1813. 10 The name Laurenti has not been identified. However, Thomas Llorente (Lorente) and Jose Lorente were recipients of land in St. Augustine. Spanish Land Grants in Florida, Vol. IV, K-9, p. 9 for 1813. The familys relocation in Hillsborough County has not been documented. 11 Constant Bourguardez, who was born March 3, 1824, in Alsace, France, and died September 18, 1884, was married to Jane Canova (1825-1903) in Duval County, Florida, on January 3, 1844. Julius J. Gordon, Biographical Census of Hillsborough County, Florida 1850 (typescript, 1989), 45. 12 Dominic Ghira was born in Rovenio, Austria, on March 19, 1816, and came from Italy to the United States, arriving in Tampa in 1849. He married Domenica Masters of St. A ugustine, in Tampa, in 1850. He died May 22, 1897. C. E. Harrison, Genealogical Records of the Pioneers of Tampa (Tampa, 1915), 134. 13 Colliers refers to the Coller family. Mary Jeanette Coller, who was born September 25, 1841, and died July 29, 1935, married William T. Haskins, November 16, 1858, with Bishop A ugustin Verot officiating. She was the daughter of Levi Coller and Nancy Dixon. Gordon, Biographical Census of Hillsborough County 1850, 105. 14 Miguel Gerroro, born in 1810 on the island of Minorca, was a Spanish fisherman, living on Miguel Island in Manatee County. In 1856, he had married Frederica Kramer, a niece of Madam Joe Atzeroth from Germany. A short time following Father Clavreuls visit, the Gerrero family died from a yellow fever epidemic. Marriage Records, Manatee County, 1856-1881. 15 Capt. Frescot refers to Captain Frederick Tresca, who was born in 1805 in D unkirk, France, and who in 1853 married Louise Ellen (Wyatt Ware) widow of Elbridge Ware and daughter of William H. Wyatt. Gordon, Biographical Census of Hillsborough County 1850, 592. 16 Joe Atzeroth was born in Germany in 1804, and he homesteaded in Terra Ceia in 1843. His wife Julia Hunt was born December 25,1807, in Germany. Ollie Z. Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville (New York: Theo Gaus Sons,
1972), 38. The six receiving communion were probably: Mrs. Atzeroth; Eliza Atzeroth; Mary Ellen Fogarty; and daughters Eliza, Letitia and Kayte Fogarty. 17 Mrs. Frederick (Jeanette Carroll) Worth was born in Ireland in 1829; her husband was born in Germany in 1832. The identity of Capt. Worth is uncertain. United States Census, 1860, Manuscript Roll, Hillsboro ugh County, Florida; Worth Cemetery Records. 18 Father James O'Hara was pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Key West from 1863 to 1866. Gannon, The Cross in the Sand 185. 19 Dr. Samuel Mudd was convicted of conspiring in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Born December 20, 1833 in Charles County, Maryland, he died June 10, 1883. Sentenced by a military court to life at hard labor, he entered Ft. Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, on July 24, 1865. He was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson on March 8, 1869. 20 Mrs. Mary E. (Jenkins) Surratt, of Baltimore, Maryland, was hanged July 9, 1865, for her part in the assassination of President Lincoln. 21 Jack Mungeon probably referred to Jack Nungin, a black who was born in 1825 in South Carolina. United States Census, 1870, Manuscript Roll, Putnam County, Florida, 515. 22 Okahumpka, located in Sumter County in 1873, was near Sumterville. 23 Mrs. William W. (Rebecca) Carruthers was born 1839. Her mother was Mrs. W. Stanley who was born in Georgia and was the widow of Columbus Gough (or Goff). United States Census, 1860, Manuscript Roll, Sumter County, Florida, 811. 24 The husband was Joseph (Job) Griffin of Manatee County, Florida, who was born in 1834 in Ohio. United States Census, 1860, Manuscript Roll, Manatee County, Florida. 25 Miss Rosa Coyle was born in 1851 in Ireland; her sister, Mrs. William (Kate) Patton, was born in 1845 in Ireland. United States Census, 1870, Manuscript Roll, Manatee County, Florida, 158. 26 Bartholomew Fogarty, born June 21, 1839, was the son of Patrick and Elizabeth (Hoolihan) Fogarty of County Cork, Ireland; nicknamed Tole, he arrived in Manatee County in 1865, and he was later joined by his brothers. John Fogarty was married to Mary Ann Bethel, of Indian Key, Florida, on December 5, 1867, in St. Pauls Episcopal Church. She was the daughter of William H. Bethel and Caroline Mott, of Nassau, Bahamas. Bartholomew opened the Fogarty Brothers Shipyard, and founded the village of Fogartyville. Ollie Z. Fogarty, They Called It Fogartyville (New York: Theo Gaus' Sons, 1972), 12, 30; United States Census 1870, Manuscript Roll, Manatee County, Florida. 27 Elizabeth Margaret Atzeroth, born 13 April 1840, in Alsace Lorraine, Germany, was the da ughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Atzeroth. She married Michael H. Dickens, on July 4, 1861, and divorced him in 1867 in Hillsboro ugh County. She married William Henry Fogarty on March 26, 1870. Gordon, Biographical Census of Hillsboro ugh County 1850, 20-21; Chancery Records, Hillsboro ugh County, Florida, 1867. 28 Smyth possibly refers to James M. Smith who was born in 1828 in Ireland. United States Census, 1850, Manuscript Roll, Hillsborough County, Manatee Section. 29 Thomas OReilly, was born in 1828 in Ireland. Ibid. 30 Irish Catholic woman is unidentified, but she is also mentioned in Cathy Bayless Slusser, The Joseph Atzeroth Family: Manatee County Pioneers, Tampa Bay History (1982): 20-44.
31 William Manning, a fisherman born in Ireland in 1769, was 101 years old and resided at the home of Mashielda Sheffield, born in 1828 in Georgia. United States Census, 1870, Manuscript Roll, Hillsboro ugh County, Florida, household 582, p. 148. 32 This Note was appended to Father Clavreuls original diary and signed by James McKay, Jr., at an unknown date.
BOOK REVIEWS The Libro de las profecias of Christopher Columbus. Translation and commentary by Delno C. West and August Kling. Gainesville, Florida. 1991. University of Florida Press. Pp. x, 274. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $49.95. The Libro de las profecias (Book of Prophecies) is a misnomer. Columbus called it a Notebook of sources, statements, opinions and prophecies on the subject of Gods holy city and mountain of Zion, and on the discovery and evangelization of the islands of the Indies and of all other peoples and nations. And that is precisely what the Libro is, taken from the Bible and from ancient and medieval sources. Assembled by Columbus between September 1501 and May 1502, the Libro consists of 164 manuscript pages, written mostly in Latin (by Father Gaspar Gorricio and thirteen-year-old Ferdinand Columbus), small portions penned by an unknown hand, and some parts in Spanish by Christopher. One of the two known examples of Columbuss attempts at written Italian is found in a short note. The collection is addressed to the Sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabela, and includes the famous letter to them from the Admiral. Although the bound holograph is today in the Bilblioteca Columbina in Sevilla, Columbus intended it to be only a rough draft. His ultimate aim was to turn the whole manuscript into a long apocalyptic poem. No one knows when Columbus began to collect prophetic quotations. But marginal notes in books that he possessed indicate that he was keenly aware of them as early as 1487. (The authors erred when they stated that some of the notes are as old as 1481.) By 1492 he was driven to liberate the Holy Land, and a portion of his First Voyage log entry for December 26, 1492, reads: I have already petitioned Your Highnesses to see that all the profits of this, my enterprise, should be spent on the conquest of Jerusalem.... For the great Columbian scholar, John Boyd Thacher, this was a revelation of the ultimate design of the Admiral. If Thacher were correct and West and Kling contend that Columbus believed he had been ordained by God to Christianize the entire planet then missionary zeal, not gold and glory, was the driving force behind Columbus. For this reason, the authors suggest that the Libro has been ignored by scholars because it contradicts the popular notion that the voyages were scientific, intrinsically tied to advancing technology. Even in Columbuss time, the forged Toscanelli correspondence was created to lend a scientific air to the First Voyage. The thesis of West and Kling would have been greatly enhanced if they had discarded that bit of Columbus mythology. By 1501 Columbus had completed three of his four voyages, and by his reckoning (with a little help from St. Augustine), he concluded that the world would end in 155 years. This left very little time to accomplish everything set forth by the prophecies. Columbus felt a sense of urgency to complete the mission. In that same year the conversos (converted Jews) were in a frenzy in Spain; many believed that the Messiah would come in 1503, and some thought that he had arrived in 1502. Columbus began to sign all of his papers Cristo ferens : the one who carries for
the Messiah. He did not sign Cristum ferens or Christ-bearer. (West and Kling missed the subtleties of Latin declension; their translation is wrong on page 2.) The few errors in the book are trivial and seem to be a result of poor proofreading: dal instead of del in Toscanellis name (page 13); Gasper instead of Gaspar (pages 8 and 271); and Milina instead of Milani (page 76). Santo Porto (page 12) should read Porto Santo It is this reviewers opinion that Columbus was never in Ireland (page 12) and that no such person as Canon Martins ever existed (page 14), but these are only opinions. This version of the Libro is a very unusual book, co-authored by two men, Delno C. West and August Kling, who never met. West began his research in 1984 and did not learn of Klings work on the translation until after the latters death in 1986. Dr. Klings widow, Marjory, facilitated an arrangement that allowed West to complete the project, using Klings translation and notes. The Libro de las profecias is an important book, long overdue in an English language edition. Moreover, in addition to the English translation, this edition contains a printed transcription of the handwritten Latin and Spanish of the original on the facing pages. And, to add icing to the cake, this second volume in the University of Floridas Quincentenary Series is a beautiful publication. Robert H. Fuson Floridas Peace River Frontier By Canter Brown, Jr. Orlando, Florida. 1991. University Press of Central Florida. Pp. ix, 483, Illustrations. Maps. Appendices. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $34.95. Can ter Brown, Jr., has written a thoroughly researched narrative of the history of Floridas Peace River area during the nineteenth century. A major objective of the writer was to recreate the happenings of nineteenth-century South Florida described within scholarly conventions and also in such a fashion to reach non-academics who are interested in local history. Appropriately, the narrative begins in the prologue with a geographical explanation of Floridas Peace River and its valley. The publisher could have enhanced the maps, photographs, and graphics, producing better quality and making them more readable. Still, the geography of the region is concise, leaving the reader with an eagerness to know more about the area. The focus of this work is on the people of the Peace River valley. The mixture of races and nationalities encompassed Indian tribal groups, black slaves, runaway slaves, free blacks, and white southerners. Whites played various roles, including frontiersmen and planters, cattlemen and cowboys, farmers and phosphate miners, craftsmen and merchants, militia and professional soldiers, and Unionists and Confederates. The book portrays their impact on the Peace River valley in successive wars and periods of peace, punctuated with recurring frontier violence. Woven into the narrative is the development of churches, schools, postal offices, and the arts. Brown also addresses the impact of commercial development on the economy of the Peace River valley, which featured land speculation, agriculture, phosphate open-pit mining, railroads, and
the establishment of a tourist industry. Browns description of the Peace River valley is not written in the style of statistical cliometrics. Rather, it explores the societal forces that exacted their toll on the region as well as those that benefitted the local economy. Periods of poverty, bankruptcy and boom times are clearly sorted out for the reader, illuminating the material conditions of nineteenth-century Peace River valley inhabitants. The greatest value of this work is its deliberate and thoroughly researched correction of mistaken notions and stereotypes, which have been accepted over the years as historically accurate accounts of circumstances and conditions. Brown has reinterpreted conditions in Florida before, during, and after the Civil War. He has convincingly replaced the traditional viewpoint of a united Florida effort for the Confederacy with a more balanced view of the opposition to the Confederate war effort. The rapid political redemption of the Peace River region from the victorious radical Republicans is examined, along with the effects of the regulators upon free blacks. Through his extensive use of public and private sources, Brown has made a significant contribution to the local history of Floridas Peace River region. Frank L. Snyder Bartows first schoolhouse as it appeared in 1858. Photograph from Floridas Peace River Frontier by Canter Brown, Jr.
Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788 By Patricia C. Griffin. Jacksonville, Florida. 1991. University of North Florida Press. Pp. 219. Illustrations. Tables. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth. $24.95. Paper $14.95. The upcoming Columbus quincentenary has generated many new descriptions and reevaluations of the Spanish entrada and New World colonization. This welcome volume describes a different group of European settlers, the Minorcans of British East Florida. In 1768 Scottish physician Andrew Turnbull brought these indentured workers to an indigo plantation at New Smyrna. The group, which also included Italians and Greeks, left overpopulation and famine. Turnbull thought that white Mediterraneans, used to a warm climate, would be well suited for Florida and cheaper than slaves. After a miserable voyage over 1,250 Minorcans arrived in east Florida, which then had a population of about 2,000. Disease, maltreatment, and terrible living conditions inspired an immediate rebellion. The leaders were hanged and the oppression continued, but for a few years the enterprise made a profit. Then came crop failure, drought, Indian troubles, and the colonists realization that they were not, despite their expectations, soon to be free landholders. While Turnbull was in London in 1777, the colonists deserted, walking seventy-five miles to sanctuary in St. Augustine. These 600 survivors established themselves as farmers, fishers, craftworkers, and tradespeople in the boomtown of British St. Augustine. When Florida was returned to Spain after 1783, most of the Minorcans, culturally closer to the new regime even though nominally British subjects, decided to stay. St. Augustine became a Minorcan capital as they reestablished traditional settlement and subsistence patterns and folkways, and came to prominence in later years. This book vividly details the first twenty years of the colonys existence. It includes personal histories and anecdotes, demographic summaries, reconstructions of physical conditions and diseases, based on biological information and some archaeological data. Griffins writing is filled with vivid images: the colonists departure from their home island is described as a break as clean as death (p. 24); the portrait of Turnbulls wife in a huge feathered hat is said to give the impression of a ship under full sail (p. 78). Unfortunately, most of the photos are not reproduced well, and the book contains no maps of east Florida or the colonists Mediterranean homelands, both critical elements of the story. Nonetheless the author, a cultural anthropologist, constructs colorful tales from letters, census records, and church and government records. She explains cultural conflicts that added to the physical oppression of the colonists. For example, Turnbull operated on the British Protestant single-crop work model, destroying the Minorcans original varied agriculture and kin/community/church-centered life. Moreover, Minorcans valued the Mediterranean patron/ client bond of friendship. Turnbull, however, acted as the distant overlord, forbidding Catholic holiday celebrations and even hunting and fishing, which had been so important in the Mediterranean. These lifeways reemerged in St. Augustine. The books title refers to the rallying cry of the Minorcans, who found mullet to be a familiar fish in the strange wilderness of the New World. The Minorcan adaptability is explored in great depth. They developed a hybrid cuisine, for
example, emphasizing fish, maize, peppers, and especially the gopher tortoise. Griffin examines interrelations among the diverse Mediterraneans lumped together as the Minorcans, explaining kin and godparent ties and original connections of different regions of Minorca. Although the author addresses the role of women, the narrative at times is sparsely documented. One also wishes for more on the colonists' cultural relationships with non-whites. Though Native Americans were said to be hostile to the Minorcans, who looked and sounded like the hated Spaniards, there is little on relationships with them or with African populations (except for the few slave foremen on the plantation), or on the emergence of the mestizo. Still, this work demonstrates the value of the holistic anthropological approach in understanding the historical foundations of Florida. It is also a fascinating and well told story. Nancy Marie White
BOOK NOTES The Log of Christopher Columbus Translated by Robert H Fuson. Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania. 1991. TAB/McGraw-Hill. Pp. xviii, 252. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. Paper. $14.92. As he set sail in 1492 on the voyage that would bring him to the New World, Christopher Columbus resolved to "write down everything that I might do and see and experience on this voyage, from day to day and very carefully." The resulting log of personal entries dates from August 2, 1492, to March 15, 1493, the end of his first voyage. Columbus presented the daily account to Queen Isabela upon his return to Spain in 1493. First published in 1987, this translation is by Robert H. Fuson, Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of South Florida and one of the foremost authorities on Columbus. Reissued in paperback at the quincentenary price of $14.92, this accurate and readable translation/reconstruction of Columbus's first voyage combines sound scholarship with a brilliant ear for the vernacular to create a lively, credible, and moving rendition of the original log. The reader can follow, day by day, in Columbus's wake and share his vivid impressions of the voyage and his first encounter with the New World. The Log was selected by Library Journal as Book of the Year in 1987, and it was awarded the Elliott and Shirley Montroll Special Award by the New York Academy of Sciences. Southern Exposure By Stetson Kennedy. Boca Raton, Florida. 1991. Florida Atlantic University Press. Pp. xiv, 372. illustrations. Index. Paper. $16.95. First published in 1946, Southern Exposure attacks what Stetson Kennedy p called "the Squalid South." A native of Jacksonville, Kennedy took aim at economic, political and social injustices that kept both blacks and poor whites in positions of subservience. Perhaps best know as a crusader against the Ku Klux Klan, Kennedy has devoted his life to working for and writing about human rights and social justice, especially in the South. In a new foreword to this edition, Kennedy confesses that his "unstated goal in writing Southern Exposure had been to 'soften up the South for righteousness'; but righteousness, when it finally came, was due not so much to white repentance as to black insistance." Reading this 1946 classic serves as a reminder of how far the South has come and how much it had to overcome.
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS FRANK ALDUINO holds a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University, and he teaches at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. CANTER BROWN, JR., a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Florida, is the author of Florida's Peace River Frontier published by the University of Central Florida Press. ROBERT H. FUSON, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of South Florida, is the translator of The Log of Christopher Columbus, published by McGraw Hill. JULIUS J. GORDON is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After living for forty-two years in San Antonio, he retired as City Treasurer and now devotes himself to the research and writing of Tampa history. PHYLLIS HUNTER earned an M.A. in history at the University of South Florida and is currently working on a Ph.D. in American Studies at the College of William and Mary. FRANK L. SYNDER is Associate Professor of History at Clearwater Christian College. NANCY MARIE WHITE is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of South Florida.
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 .............................................................................................NANCY A. HEWITT Associate Editor ................................................................................................GARY MORMINO Administrative Editor .......................................................................................PEGGY CORNETT Editorial Assistant .......................................................................................STACY BRAUKMAN Administrative Assistant .......................................................................................SYLVIA WOOD 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 33620-8100. (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: Farm workers harvesting cucumbers near Ruskin, Florida. See "Farm Labor in Florida: A Photographic Essay," page 40.
BOARD OF ADVISORS DONALD BALDWIN ..............................................................Poynter Institute for Media Studies PATRICIA BARTLETT .................................................................Fort Myers Historical Museum HAMPTON DUNN ...........................................................................................................Histori an MICHEL EMMANUEL .....................................................................................................Attorney KENDRICK FORD .................................................................Pinellas County Historical Museum LELAND HAWES ...................................................................................................Tampa Tribune STEVEN F. LAWSON ................................................................................Department of History, University of South Florida HARRIS H. MULLEN ........................................................................................Ybor Square, Ltd. TRAVIS J. NORTHCUTT, JR .............................................................Department of Social Work 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
"THE FAMOUS PENINSULA OF PINELLAS" "During the past year we have many times desired to visit the famous peninsula of Pinellas ... on this occasion we accepted an invitation to go; and accordingly boarded the fleet sailing Matilda Lee commanded by Captain Neeld, and was soon gliding over the waters of Tampa Bay ... we found ourselves safely landed on the beautiful beach of Point Pinellas. "The site and its surroundings are indeed fascinating, and overlooks the beautiful Tampa Bay on the east. Of course development is in a primitive state.... "Through the kindness of Captain William B. Miranda, we had the pleasure of riding to Disston City [Gulfport]. It is located on the beautiful Boca Ciega Bay, which has its outlet directly into the great gulf of Mexico. "No person who has visited the peninsula of Pinellas or carefully surveyed its situation on the map can doubt but that it has a bright future. With the bays on either side its climate is rendered superior, perhaps to any other section. It has better protection, no doubt, against frost than almost any other place .... The only thing that has kept this favored location in the background is its lack of transportation. There has never been any desirable or really safe way to get there...." Tampa Guardian May 5, 1886
ALONG THE GULF COAST, 1887 "The steamer Mary Disston Captain Thomas W. Roberts, carried a large party of excursionists from Clear Water to Tarpon Springs, on Monday last. The day was pleasant, and the entire trip as delightful as any one could wish. The steamer left Mr. Munnerlyn's wharf at 8 o'clock a.m. passed close to the little town of Dunedin, nestling quietly under its bower of leafy willow oaks, for which the place is noted-and then steamed across the bay, nearer the ever-green shore of the island opposite. "This afforded the pleasureseeking throng a nearer view of the more elevated and delightful portion of the upper island, but prevented a closer inspection of the towns of Yellow Bluff [Ozona] and Seaside .... The Captain ... referred to more than one-hundred miles of our coast country in which not a single grog shop is to be found." West Hillsborough Times May 12, 1887
"THE MOST CHARMING WEATHER" "Here [at Fort Brooke] we have the most charming weather imaginable; I should say unparalleled in any part of our country, if indeed, if it is surpassed in any part of the world. Since the third day of October not a drop of rain has fallen, and not twice in a month has a cloud as big as a blanket appeared in the bright canopy above us....It is a paradise for those who love to live in the open air." Lt. George A. McCall December 1, 1827