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Tampa Bay history.
n Vol. 15, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 1993).
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 1993
Tampa Bay Region (Fla.)
Tampa Region (Fla.)
University of South Florida.
Dept. of History.
t Tampa Bay History.
FALL/WINTER 1993 VOLUME 15, NUMBER 2 CONTENTS Acknowledgements 3 From the Editors 4 ARTICLES From Patriotism to Mutualism: The Early Years of the Centro Espanol de Tampa, 1891-1903 ...........................................by Ana Varela-Lago 5 Punta Gorda in 1890: A Photographic Essay .................................................................................................by Vernon Peeples 24 Pitching for St. Petersburg: Spring Training and Publicity in the Sunshine City, 1914-1918 .........................................................by Melissa L. Keller 35 The Ringlings in Sarasota: A Photographic Essay ..............................................................................................by Susan A. Duckett 54 NOTES AND DOCUMENTS The Civil War Diary of Samuel Pasco ..............................................by Charles Arnade 72 BOOK REVIEWS Cannon, Florida: A Short History ....................................................by Vernon Peeples 82 Covington, The Seminoles of Florida ..........................................by James M. Denham 85 Parker, Idella: Majorie Rawlings' "Perfect Maid" .........................by Phyllis M. Taylor 87 Book Notes 91 Notes on Contributors 93
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We extend our appreciaton to the following people who have made special contributions to TAMPA BAY HISTORY. PATRONS Mrs. B. W. Council Elling O. Eide Ferman Motor Car Company, Inc. Randall Lindberg Mark T. Orr Roger Rodriguez Bill Wagner SUSTAINERS Mary Wyatt Allen James Apthorp Frank DeBenedictis Dr. John M. Hamilton James V. Hodnett, Jr. George Howell Eric Jarvis John and Sally Jones Dr. & Mrs. Robert E. King Bruce M. Klay Robin Krivanek Dr. Joseph H. McNinch Dr. W.B. Magnon Sheldon J. Shalett Maynard F. Swanson R.J. Taylor, Jr. Keith Templeton Blake Whisenant Copyright 1993 by the University of South Florida Typography and composition by RAM Printing by RALARD PRINTING, San Antonio, Florida.
FRIENDS June Alder Raymond Alley, Jr. Marvin Barkin Norma Lopez Bean Joan Berry Peter Billingsley Carolyn Blethen John Bryne Donald Buchanan Selma Cohen H.L. Crowder C. Fred Deuel Dr. Frank M. Edmondson John M. Fitzgibbons Nancy T. Ford Fred Forkel Howard L. Garrett Joseph Garrison Carlos D. Gonzalez Michael J. Grattan Leon R. Hammock William N. Hayes Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Ingalls George N. Johnson, Jr. Thomas H. Jones Robert Kerstein Dr. Robert F. Landstra W.S. McKeithen Lt. Col. George W. McRory Craig M. Massey Dr. Thomas J. Mawn Mr. and Mrs. Sam Militello Dr. Mahon Myers Mr. and Mrs. Owen Niles Mrs. Lester Olson Lois Paradise R. Rex Patrick John F. Pearce John Pearson Mr. & Mrs. Mark A. Prater Harley E. Riedel, II James Robbins Roland and Susan Rodriguez William E. Rumph Jane Ryan
Thomas Rydberg Sandra Serrano R.E. Shoemaker Dick Stowers Tarpon Springs Historical Society Dr. G. Phillips Thomas Dr. Jamie Torner Thomas Touchton Mary J. Van der Ancker Mr. and Mrs. Ted E. Wade Mr. and Mrs. David E. Ward Mrs. John D. Ware Wilbert Wichers G. Pierce Wood Frank W. Zander, Jr.
FROM THE EDITORS Leisure and conspicuous consumption have long characterized modern society, which has featured an expanding middle class with time and money to spend. Outlets for spending have multiplied, encompassing everything from exclusive private clubs and opulent parties to elegant homes and luxury consumer goods. Sociologists point out that such buying serves a variety of purposes, including bestowing a certain status on those able to afford it. To give but one example, cars provide more than transportation, a point driven home by advertising which stresses lifestyles. This issue of Tampa Bay History features articles that show some forms leisure activities have taken in Florida, which is itself largely a product of discretionary spending, as we are constantly reminded. In addition to middleclass families looking for two weeks of sun and fun, the Sunshine State has also long attracted the super rich who have engaged in ostentatious displays of wealth. The latter include "The Ringlings of Sarasota," whose spending in that city is detailed in the photo essay by Susan A. Duckett. Another photo essay by Vernon Peeples, entitled "Punta Gorda in 1890," depicts a place and a period in which wealthy northerners sought good hunting and fishing in Florida. Documenting the experience with one of the first Kodak cameras, a physician from Philadelphia preserved rare photographs of southwest Florida from the time it was first opened to tourists by the railroad. Private clubs featuring everything from secret rituals to golf courses underwent an explosive expansion in late nineteenth-century America. As Ana Varela-Lago emphasizes in her article, "From Patriotism to Mutualism: The Early Years of the Centro Espanol de Tampa, 1891-1903," clubs performed a variety of social and political purposes, including providing a sense of belonging and pride for upwardly mobile immigrants. Despite their modest beginnings, ethnic societies in Tampa soon built palatial clubhouses that were designed in part to reflect the material success of their members. Spectator sports are another pastime that defines leisure in modern America. In "Pitching for St. Petersburg: Spring Training in the Sunshine City, 1914-1918," Melissa L. Keller reminds us that the dream of baseball has preoccupied this area for decades. Finally, in a very different vein, this issue includes an excerpt from a document, "The Civil War Diary of Samuel Pasco," that gives a glimpse of the life and times of the man for whom Pasco County is named. With this issue, Tampa Bay History completes 15 years of publication. This success is due largely to faithful and generous subscribers, a number of whom have made special contributions and are listed in the Acknowledgements on pages 2 and 3.
FROM PATRIOTISM TO MUTUALISM: THE EARLY YEARS OF THE CENTRO ESPAOL DE TAMPA, 1891-1903 by Ana Varela-Lago For eleven years, the Centro Espaol stood alone as the representative of the Spanish colony in Tampa. Then, in 1902, a number of its members decided to organize an affiliate of the Centro Asturiano of Havana. Although many members of the new society were originally from the Spanish region of Asturias, the division of the colony was not based solely on regional loyalties. Rather, it was the culmination of a debate over organizational goals that had begun years earlier. This dispute pitted Spaniards concerned with patriotism and national identity against those seeking mutual aid, especially health care. The formation of Spanish societies in Tampa responded to the hostility of the resurgent Cuban nationalist movement. After the failure of the Union Espaola de Mutua Proteccin y Beneficencia, a short-lived mutual aid society organized by striking cigarworkers in 1890, the Centro Espaol was established in 1891. This time, the Spanish cigar manufacturers played a major role, and mutualism gave way to patriotism as the basis of the organization. The building of a clubhouse became a priority in order to provide a home for the members and a display of Spanish national pride. It also created a center where the leaders of the Anglo community, increasingly sympathetic to the activities of the Cuban nationalists, could be educated on the virtues of the true Spanish character. In the following years, the patriotic goals of the society were called into question. The war in Cuba helped to maintain a precarious unity within the Centro Espaol, but once the war ended in 1898, calls for the transformation of the Centro into a mutual aid society gained strength again. The leadership failed to respond, and in 1902 a number of the members decided to ask the Centro Asturiano in Havana for permission to establish an affiliate in Tampa, which would offer medical assistance to its members. The success of the Centro Asturiano forced the officers of the Centro Espaol to reconsider their position and agree to transform their organization into a mutual aid society. Once this was done, they attempted to obtain the dissolution of the Tampa affiliate of the Centro Asturiano, but they were unsuccessful. By failing to recognize the strength of the idea of mutualism, the officers of the Centro Espaol undermined the patriotic unity they had championed, for the Centro lost its claim to be the sole representative of the Spanish community in Tampa. The Cuban struggle for independence from Spain in the 1890s affected Spaniards living in Tampa in different ways. Although small, the Spanish colony of Tampa was by no means homogeneous. It ranged from prominent cigar manufacturers and successful merchants to salaried workers, from radical anarchists to conservative defenders of Spanish Cuba. Unlike Cubans, Spaniards did not share a common cause which could unite them and overcome political and economic divisions. And, although there was a clear anti-Spanish sentiment at the beginning of the 1890s in the Cuban emigre communities of Tampa and Key West, the Spanish reaction to it was not uniform.
The increasingly strained relations between Cubans and Spaniards in the 1890s were a consequence of the resurgence of Cuban nationalism following the cigarworkers strike of 1889 in Key West. This strike was the culmination of years of conflict within the Cuban migr colony. Cuban workers and their labor leaders, tired of postponing their demands in favor of the cause of Cuba, abandoned the nationalist movement and turned to socialism and anarchism in order to achieve their goals.1 On October 11, 1888, the cigarworkers in Key West had organized a union, the Federacin Local de Tabaqueros, with the help of two prominent leaders of the anarchist trade union of Havana, Alianza Obrera. On February 4, 1889, an agreement was reached between workers and manufacturers to obtain a wage increase of one dollar per thousand cigars and organize a Balance Committee to regulate a schedule of prices for the different brands of cigars being produced. In response to the manufacturers failure to comply with this agreement, a strike was called in October, beginning at the factory of Eduardo Hidalgo Gato and soon spreading throughout the entire industry in Key West.2 Strikers received help from other unions in Tampa and Havana, and even from the Spanish government.3 Soon after the strike began, the Spanish consul at Key West called for ships to transport strikers back to Havana. In one month, more than 2,000 workers had made the trip from Key West to Havana, and several hundred had gone to Tampa.4 In this way, the Spanish government sought to break the Cuban stronghold which had been growing in Key West since the beginning of the Ten Years War in the late 1860s. The industry was almost completely paralyzed for three months, until the manufacturers acceded to the demands of the cigarworkers. Although the Cuban nationalist movement was weakened by the strike, it soon regained force. The Cuban patriots reacted by launching an attack on Spaniards and anarchists on two fronts: discrediting anarchist philosophy in the press, and stopping Spanish immigration to Key West.5 On January 14, 1890, once the strike had ended, Cuban patriots gathered at the San Carlos Theater. They organized a committee to visit the different factories and ask their owners not to hire Spanish workers. A vigilante organization, Partida La Tranca, was formed to patrol the port and make sure no Spaniards set foot on the island. In accordance with this policy, four Information on the Spanish colony in Tampa appeared regularly in Las Novedades a Spanish newspaper published in New York.
Spanish workers were expelled from the factory of Domingo Villamil, and they left for Tampa in search of works.6 The Spaniards arrival in Ybor City coincided with a strike at the factory of Lozano, Pends & Co.7 Informed of the actions of the Cubans against their countrymen in Key West, the Spanish strikers decided to refuse any help coming from the Cuban workers and, on January 22, they organized their own strike relief committee. They also decided to write a protest denouncing the Cuban actions against the Spanish workers in Key West. This document, entitled Al mundo obrero and signed by 108 Spaniards, condemned the decision of Cubans in Key West to restrict admission of Spaniards to the island. Its authors also accused Cuban workers of attacking the pillars of labor solidarity, and reminded them of the support they had received from the workers in Tampa during their recent strike.8 When the strike at Lozano, Pends ended on January 26, the strike committee was dissolved, but the idea remained among Spaniards of organizing a respectable and lasting corporation which would allow us to defend ourselves against possible attacks in the future.9 The three leading signatories of the January 22 protest, Adalberto Ramrez, Modesto Valds, and Constantino Campos, formed a committee with two other Spaniards, and two weeks later, they recommended the creation of a mutual aid society named Union Espaola de Mutua Proteccin y Beneficencia.10 When the recommendation was discussed at a meeting on February 12, some members, primarily the anarchists, opposed the national character of the society. The discussion became so heated that the meeting was finally called off and rescheduled for a week later. On February 19, despite opposition, the recommendation of the committee was approved by the majority of those present. The Union Espaola de Mutua Proteccin y Beneficencia was finally established.11 Little is known of the development of the Union Espaola, but it may well have shared some of the characteristics of the Union Espaola de Beneficencia Mutua, a Spanish mutual aid society founded in New Orleans in 1868. After all, Adalberto Ramrez, one of the organizers of the Unin Espaola in Tampa, had been the secretary of the Union Espaola in New Orleans for several years. The Spanish society in New Orleans offered its members a whole range of medical and death benefits for a basic monthly fee of one dollar, plus a twenty-five cent quarterly supplement.12 The disappearance of the Union Espaola in Tampa in 1890 can be seen as evidence of the divisions within the Spanish colony at that time. The society failed to appeal to two important groups within the Spanish colony: the anarchists and the cigar manufacturers. The anarchists rejected its national character, and there is no evidence that the cigar manufacturers looked favorably on a group committed to workers mutual aid. In fact, Spanish employers may well have viewed it as a threat to El Porvenir, the mutual aid society that Enrique Pends and other cigar manufacturers had founded in 1888.13 During the months following the 1890 strikes, tensions between Cubans and Spaniards increased both in Key West and Tampa. In Key West, the members of the vigilante society La Tranca patrolled the port in search of Spaniards, who, when found, were beaten and forced to
leave the island. Spanish consular representatives complained to the Secretary of State about the inaction of the American authorities, but soon Spanish officials, too, became targets of Cuban attacks.14 In July 1890, the interim Spanish consul in Key West, Oswaldo A. Carr, was threatened with death by friends of an alleged criminal for whom Spain was seeking extradition from the United States.15 The new consul, Francisco de Baguer, arrived in September. But, a month later, following an attack by a Cuban cigarmaker, he closed the consulate, to protest the light fine imposed on the aggressor by the justice of the peace, a Cuban, who had ruled in the case.16 In Tampa, Spaniards also came under a variety of pressures. According to the testimony of Bautista Martnez Balbontn, a successful Spanish merchant, Spanish workers were not employed in certain cigar factories, Spanish merchants were boycotted, and a prominent Spanish cigar manufacturer, Ignacio Haya, was even stoned in the street while strolling with his wife in Ybor City.17 When Spanish anarchists paraded in commemoration of the Haymarket martyrs, on May 1, 1891, they aggravated their Cuban neighbors with their cries of Viva Espaa! The Cubans, in turn, responded with a demonstration of their own, ostensibly to celebrate the fourth anniversary of their arrival in Tampa, to the cries of Viva Cuba Independiente! Days later, two Cuban patriot clubs were formed: Los Independientes de Tampa and Ignacio Agramonte. The latter was instrumental in organizing the visit of Jose Mart to Tampa the following November.18 By April 1891, Spaniards were again discussing the organization of a society. This time, the initiative gained the support of two of the most prominent cigar manufacturers in Tampa Ignacio Haya and Enrique Pends. Their offers of land and money to built the clubhouse did much to energize the colony. On September 7, 1891, the Centro Espaol was established as a Society of Instruction and Recreation, with Ignacio Haya as president, Enrique Pends as treasurer, and Adalberto Ramrez, one of the founders of the Union Espaola, as vice president.19 The Centro Espaol was more a political organization than a national one. Membership was open to Spaniards and non-Spaniards alike, provided they be loyal to Spain and to its prestige in America.20 This was a clear response to the growing anti-Spanish sentiment of the Cuban nationalists, but in Tampa the Centro had to confront the anti-Spanish sentiment of the Americans as well. The presence of Mayor Duff Post and other city officials in the Cuban celebrations of the anniversary of the outbreak of the Ten Years War provoked Spanish outrage. For weeks, the press in Spain reported on anti-Spanish demonstrations in Tampa and pressed the government to ask for an explanation from the United States. Although a Spanish correspondent from Key West minimized the incident, he did complain of the inaction of the American authorities against the fund-raising activities of the different Cuban clubs which openly admitted the funds would be used to start a new revolution against Spain. Anticipating the role Tampa would play as a port of embarkation for filibustering expeditions, the correspondent thought it advisable to elevate the rank of the Spanish diplomatic representation in the city.21 It was in the context of this debate, in a letter to the editor of the Tampa Tribune that a Spaniard mentioned plans for the erection of the Centro Espaol clubhouse and hinted at some of its goals: a Spanish Casino is going to be built here which will prove extremely useful to the Spanish residents, an ornament to the city of Tampa and a useful institution where American visitors can
Ignacio Haya, a cigar manufacturer, was the first president of Tampas Centro Espaol. Photograph courtesy of Thomas Vance and L. Glenn Westfall.
be received, and where they will probably learn to appreciate the Spanish character and their citizenship.22 Days before the formal inauguration of the building in June 1892, the president, Ignacio Haya, explained its purpose to visitors. It was erected firstly to unite the Spanish colony of Tampa, and secondly to create a center for recreation and instruction, Haya declared. It is our intention to have familiar gatherings once a week and classes in the English and Spanish languages. Instruction will be given in the branches of literature and science, so that this may become to its members a temple of learning, wisdom and honor.23 One observer underscored the relevance of the date, 1892, and saw the effort of the Spaniards as evidence of the spirit of the Iberian race, descendants of those heroes who after four hundred years are still the admiration of the world.24 In spite of these bright prospects, a year after the opening of the clubhouse, the Centro Espaol had lost a quarter of its founding members, and it faced a dire economic situation. The financial problems were eased somewhat by the organization, in 1893, of the Spanish Casino Stock Company which became the proprietor of the clubhouse.25 But the Centros difficulty in paying back the debt to the Spanish Casino led to many conflicts between the two institutions during the following years. At the heart of the problem was the failure of the Centro Espaol to increase its membership. Although its intention had been to unite the Spanish colony, it failed to do so, even during the years of the war in Cuba when patriotism ran high. It was during that time that the first attempts were made to broaden the services offered to its members to include medical assistance, initiating the process that would finally divide the society. The first Centro Espaol clubhouse on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City was inaugurated in 1892. Photograph from Centro Espaol de Tampa by Victoriano Manteiga.
The Cuban uprising that began on February 24, 1895, provoked a crisis in the Spanish Government and brought about changes in Spains diplomatic representation in the United States. In order to monitor the activities of the Cuban patriots more effectively, the Spanish consular agency in Tampa was elevated to the rank of consulate in July 1895. At its head was Pedro Sols y Arias, who was named an honorary member and perpetual honorary president of Tampa's Centro Espaol.26 Following the outbreak of the war in Cuba, the patriotic character of the Centro Espaol became increasingly evident. On February 2, 1895, the Centro Espaol had organized a banquet to honor the officers of the warship Nueva Espaa a Spanish torpedo-boat that was patrolling the coast of the Gulf of Mexico after the events in Fernandina had sounded the alarm in Spanish quarters about the imminence of a Cuban insurrection.27 On May 22, 1895, the Centro Espaol sent a petition to the Spanish Secretary of State asking that the diplomatic representation of Spain in Washington (a Plenipotenciary Ministry) be elevated to the rank of Embassy.28 As the Cuban migr communities supported the Cuban fighters, so members of the Centro Espaol united to support their country, though less successfully. In 1896, Spaniards in Mexico established a patriotic subscription to buy ships for the Spanish squadron. They proposed to pay a voluntary tax, for a period of ten years, of at least fifty cents a month. According to their plan, Spanish communities would organize patriotic juntas and send their collections to a central junta instituted in each of their countries of residence. The central juntas, in turn, would forward the collections to a committee representing the patriotic juntas in Madrid. This committee would be in contact with the Spanish government to make use of the money to respond effectively to the needs of the navy.29 The Spanish consular representatives were given the task of encouraging Spaniards to support this project. In March 1896, Pedro Sols addressed the officials of the Centro Espaol who, in turn, took charge of gathering the colony in a meeting at the beginning of April. But it was not until August 4 that a patriotic junta was established in Tampa. The Junta Patritica de la colonia Espaola de Tampa was closely tied to the Centro Espaol. Of the five officials of the juntas board of directors three belonged to the board of directors of the Centro Espaol, and the other two were prominent cigar manufacturers and members of the Centro Espaol, although not office holders at the time.30 The prominence of its officials and the impetus of the first meeting did not guarantee the success of the junta for, on November 12, a new patriotic junta was organized. On that date, a provisional committee gathered the colony at the Centro Espaol and asked for the election of a permanent committee and for the approval of principles to carry out the collection of funds.31 The Comit Patritica Espaol para aumento de la Escuadra, as it was called, voted to organize a weekly collection among its members of at least ten cents each and to deposit the funds in the Citizens Bank. Following the meeting, a collection was made with the encouraging result of $520.32 During the following weeks, the Comit Patritica met several times and organized collections in different factories. It also sent a delegation to raise money in Port Tampa, and it asked for contributions from prominent Spaniards in Tampa, Saint Augustine, and Thomasville.
By December 10, it had gathered the first $1,000 which was sent to the central junta in New York. Five months later, a second remittance, of $1,200, was sent to New York.33 Although larger than those reported by most other Spanish communities in the United States, these amounts could not compare with those gathered by the Cuban migr communities in Florida. Fernando Figueredo, general agent of the Cuban Revolutionary Party in Tampa and mayor of West Tampa, estimated that the Cuban cigarworkers of Key West and Tampa (including Ybor City and West Tampa) were collecting around $50,000 a month for the revolution.34 Aware of the support the revolution received from the Cuban cigarworkers, General Valeriano Weyler, governor general of Cuba, issued a decree in May 1896, banning the export of tobacco leaf from Cuba. This decree was presented in Spanish circles as a defensive measure to protect the industry within Cuba, which was suffering shortages of raw material due to the destruction caused by the war. Outside these circles, the measure was taken to be aimed at stopping the main source of revenue for the Cuban independence movement the wages of the Cuban cigarworkers in the U. S. Leaders of the Centro Espaol were shocked when the Tampa Daily Times reported that the secretary of the society, Jos Fernndez, on behalf of 3,000 Spaniards, had presented a complaint to the Spanish government regarding the Weyler decree. The secretary denied it and explained that, as correspondent of the Spanish newspaper El Heraldo de Madrid he had merely sent a report on the effect of the Weyler decree in Tampa. Although the Centro Espaol initially supported Weyler's policies, by March 1897 the situation was so critical that the society actually considered sending a committee to Cuba to ask the government to revoke the decree.35 General Weyler was named honorary president of the Comit Patritica in August 1897. On November 8, the Comit recorded its last meeting after a new board had been elected.36 Meanwhile, the Spanish prime minister, Antonio Cnovas del Castillo, leader of the Conservative Party, had been assassinated in August by an Italian anarchist. As a result, the leader of the Liberal Party became prime minister. His government named a new governor general, and announced plans to grant Cuba autonomy at the beginning of 1898. Among the measures taken by the new governor general of Cuba was the lifting of the tobacco embargo in January 1898. Relations between Spaniards and Cubans in Tampa during the years of the war in Cuba, although by no means friendly, seemed to have improved since the organization of the Centro Espaol in 1891.37 It was with the support of Cuban votes that Spaniards were elected to the Tampa city council. Among those elected was Adalberto Ramrez, the vice president of the Centro Espaol.38 In 1897, when Ramrez, then president of the Centro Espaol, wrote to Las Novedades to report on the funeral ceremonies in honor of Cnovas del Castillo, he made a point of noting that the Cuban community had respected the Spaniards grief and had not organized any public demonstration of support for the assassins.39 As events developed during 1898, Spaniards in Tampa became nervous. Even though the city council passed a resolution guaranteeing protection to them and their property, Spaniards did not feel secure. One member proposed to the Centro Espaol that the Spanish colony should hire a group of deputy sheriffs for protection.40
On April 14, 1898, the Spanish consul informed the Centro that he would try to obtain a ship to transport those Spaniards who would want to leave, since the outbreak of hostilities with the United States was imminent. The Centro Espaol called a meeting of cigar manufacturers to find out what their response would be if war broke out. Eleven cigar companies pledged to remain open. The Centros officers also asked state authorities to guarantee their protection as the city council had done, and they received encouragement from Floridas governor. Together these assurances had a positive effect. Of the nearly four hundred Spaniards who had registered with the Spanish consul to be repatriated, only one hundred and fifty did eventually leave Tampa. Most of them, according to the Tribune were people with no means of support who planned to enlist in the Spanish army.41 The declaration of war between Spain and the United States caused the departure of Spanish diplomatic representatives.42 When the Spanish consulate in Tampa closed, the Centro Espaol officers decided to close their clubhouse. The president, Adalberto Ramrez, urged members to keep paying their dues in order to maintain the building and pay the salaries of the guards.43 The precautions taken by the board of directors did not prevent American troops from occupying the clubhouse, which had been denounced as a center of conspiracy. The troops left the following day, thanks to the good offices of Tampas mayor and the lawyer M. G. Gibbons, who accompanied Adalberto Ramrez and Bautista M. Balbontn to the Tampa Bay Hotel to talk with General Shafter.44 Although the building was closed, the Centro was represented during the war by a committee of three members, the president, the secretary, and the treasurer, who met once a month. From May to August, the Centro lost 193 members, and its revenues were sharply reduced.45 On August 22, 1898, once the war was over, Adalberto Ramrez addressed the board of directors for the first time since April 23. According to the minutes of the meeting: He explained that the censurable behavior of the numerous members who had dropped out, abandoning the Centro to its fate, in circumstances in which the national honor and the needs of the colony demanded more cohesion and effort, showed that the existence of the society should be guaranteed by more positive bonds than those of recreation and instruction, and that those bonds could be created by broadening the sphere of action of the Centro as an institution of Mutual Aid.46 By proposing to expand the benefits of the Centro Espaol to include medical assistance, he reopened the debate over the transformation of the Centro into a mutual aid society. It was no accident that Adalberto Ramrez was the one to promote mutualism as the basis for the existence of the Centro Espaol. During his residence in New Orleans, he had been a prominent member of the Spanish mutual aid society there, the Unin Espaola de Beneficencia Mutua. Once in Tampa, he had been one of the founders of the Unin Espaola de Mutua Proteccin y Beneficencia in 1890. Within the Centro Espaol, it had been under Ramrezs temporary presidency in 1895 that a relief section was organized and the first cemetery of the Centro Espaol purchased. These initiatives, however, did not find an enthusiastic response among the wealthier members of the society. In the 1896 annual report to the membership, the secretary of the relief section complained of the indifference of many who, given their economic position, could sustain it without making great sacrifices. Given the philanthropic character of this section, he argued, there was no better cause in which a small sum of money could be spent by any member of the Centro Espaol, and even of the colony ... especially by
Adalberto Ramrez, president of Tampas Centro Espaol, advocated transforming the club into a mutual aid society. Photograph from Centro Espaol de Tampa by Victoriano Manteiga.
those of economic standing, who at every occasion spend their money on things that, perhaps, give as little honor as gain.47 Although the new section was an. improvement, there was still no hospital, and those in need of medical treatment had to go to either Cuba or Spain. In March 1896, twenty-seven members petitioned the Centro Espaol to eliminate, for a period of three months, the two dollar entrance fee. This measure was an attempt to bring into our society all Spaniards living in Tampa, which would make it possible, in the future, to build a hospital.48 The elimination of the entrance fee did not have the expected effect on the membership rolls, and the measure was described as disastrous in the annual report written months later.49 Membership increased steadily during the years of the war in Cuba, but, even at its best, it barely surpassed three hundred. As a result, the Centro still struggled to meet payments on the clubhouse to the Spanish Casino Stock Company. The expansion of the benefits of the Centro Espaol to include medical assistance was seen as the best solution for both the growing Spanish immigrant colony in need of health coverage and the inability of the troubled Centro Espaol to pay its debts. The success of this kind of enterprise had been proven in the numerous mutual aid societies in Cuba.50 But, as in the organization of the Centro Espaol itself, the first steps needed the support of the wealthier members of the community. Centro Espaols ornate brick clubhouse opened in 1912. It still stands on Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. Photograph courtesy of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.
Once the war was over in 1898, and the last remnants of Spanish colonialism in America had been lost, the patriotic principles under which the Centro had been organized became an anachronism. Ramrez saw this as the appropriate occasion to close a chapter in the history of the Centro Espanol and begin a new era. His recommendation was discussed and accepted in a general assembly held on September 1, 1898. The first steps were taken to reform the society's by-laws and to reach an agreement with the Spanish mutual aid society El Porvenir. Although El Porvenir rejected a proposed annexation to the Centro, the Centros board of directors worked on the reforms to the by-laws and presented them to a general assembly on September 27. In that vote members rejected the transformation of the society, and this provoked the resignation of the board of directors a week later.51 The fear of embarking on what many had long considered a risky undertaking must have been reinforced by the fact that, as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, the membership of the Centro Espaol was at an all time low of 131. But, despite the very real economic problems, more than the lack of funds explains this caution. After the resignation of Adalberto Ramrez and the other members of the board of directors in October 1898, a new board was elected, headed by Vicente Guerra, a prominent cigar manufacturer. He focused on increasing the membership and reducing costs in order to cancel the debt with the Spanish Casino Stock Company. Not before this was achieved would the reorganization of the Centro receive consideration. In 1901 the Centro Espaol paid the debt. Still, the board of directors responded cautiously to requests presented by some of the members who had loyally waited until the Centro was free of debt to reconsider the expansion of the society.52 As a last resort, some members of the Centro Espaol decided in 1902 to seek help from the Centro Asturiano in Havana to establish an affiliate in Tampa, which would provide its members with medical assistance. The financing of a welfare system of the kind enjoyed by the Spanish immigrants in Cuba was an almost impossible task. There were far fewer Spanish immigrants in Tampa, as compared to those in Havana, and many were of modest means. Without the economic and moral support of the wealthier members of Tampas Spanish colony, the establishment of an affiliate of Havanas Centro Asturiano was the best possible alternative. It also suited the very mobile population of Spanish workers in Tampa, since it allowed them to enjoy the same social and medical benefits in both locations. To the officers of the Centro Espaol, the establishment of an affiliate of the Centro Asturiano seemed to be the solution to the internal divisions within the society over the question of mutualism. Changes in the Centro Espaol would no longer be necessary if its members could obtain medical assistance by joining the Centro Asturiano. But to many members of the Centro Espaol it meant they were now in a stronger position than ever before to negotiate with the officers the transformation of the society. They could now leave the Centro Espaol to join the Centro Asturiano. But, most importantly, they could use the success of the affiliate of the Centro Asturiano as proof of what they had predicted would happen to the Centro Espaol if it expanded its services to include medical assistance. The success of the Centro Asturiano in Tampa forced the leaders of the Centro Espaol to reconsider their position. The Centros president, Vicente Guerra, wrote to the Tampa affiliate of
the Centro Asturiano of Havana in 1903: Our members, who in their immense majority belong to that society [Centro Asturiano], believe there is still something which needs improvement; they insist that the Centro Espaol institute medical assistance for its members, in the best possible conditions, for that will be the best stimulus which our society will offer them in the future, as in the past it was a political one. This [society], understanding that the need has arisen, has decided to satisfy it.53 In their attempts to unite the two societies, the officers of the Centro Espaol offered to eliminate any obstacle that could exist, or rectify any mistake made by our part.54 At the same time, they appealed to the officers of the Centro Asturiano in Havana to support the movement towards unity necessary to prevent the regionalism which, though necessary and useful for the great stimulus and better government of the most vital interests of the immense Spanish contingent of that country [Cuba], would cause in this country undesirable effects given the small numbers and the heterogeneous elements that make up this Colony.55 In conclusion the officers of the Centro Espaol hoped that the Centro Asturiano of Havana ... would not allow itself to interfere in the harmony that this Colony needs to be able to realize in Tampa, in the name of the common fatherland, the task that your meritorious institution had so magnanimously The Sanatorio del Centro Espaol was a hospital built in 1904 to provide medical services to members of Centro Espaol. The members paid a modest weekly fee for comprehensive health coverage. Photograph courtesy of University of South Florida Special Collections.
realized in Havana.56 These proposals for unity effectively meant the dissolution of the Centro Asturiano in Tampa, something its officers, as well as those in Havana, adamantly opposed. In the end, the officers of the Centro Espaol had to yield to the forces that asked for the clubs transformation into a mutual aid society and abandon their claim to be the sole representatives of a united Spanish community. The differences between the Centro Asturiano and the Centro Espaol in Tampa did not lie in the regional origin of their members, but instead were the outcome of the long debate over patriotism and mutualism within the Spanish immigrant community. By 1903, the drive for mutual aid, especially health care, had assumed paramount importance. I wish to thank Tom J. Kemp, Paul E. Camp, and the staff of the Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library, for their assistance while doing research for this article. In addition, I am especially grateful to James P. DEmilio for his valuable comments. 1 Gerald E. Poyo, Wi th All and for the Good of All: The Emergence of Popular Nationalism in the Cuban Communities of the United States, 1848-1898 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1989), 87-94. 2 Gerald E. Poyo, Cuban Emigr Communities in the United States and the Independence of their Homeland, 1852-1895 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, 1983), 262; L. Glenn Westfall, Key West: Cigar City U.S.A. (Key West: The Historic Key West Preservation Board, 1984), 43-45. The failure to carry out the accords signed in Key West on February 4, 1889, was still a cause of strikes in Tampa in later years. Tampa Tribune October 4, 7, 9, 13, 18, 1896. 3 According to the testimony of Fermn Souto, in Tampa all the cigar-makers donated a dollar a week for the relief of the cigarmakers on strike at Key West. Federal Writers Project, History of Ybor City as related by Fermn Souto, Secretary of the Centro Espanol, Social-Ethnic Study of Ybor City, 1935, vol. II, pt. 1, 203, Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library. 4 Poyo, Cuban Emigr Communities, 263-64. 5 Ibid., 320. 6 Ibid., 321; Gerardo G. Castellanos, Motivos de Cayo Hueso. Contribucin a la Historia de las Emigraciones Cubanas en Estados Unidos (Havana: Ucar, Garca y Ca, 1935), 288; Las Novedades (New York), Ingratitud incalificable, January 30, 1890; La guerra Santa, Carta de Tampa, February 20, 1890. Las Novedades was a Spanish newspaper published in New York. It reported regularly on the activities of the Spanish colony in Tampa, through letters from both its correspondent and the Centro Espaol, which were usually published under the heading Carta de Tampa. Although there are some numbers scattered across the United States, the most complete collection is at the Hemeroteca Municipal in Madrid. All translations in this article are by the author. 7 Tampa Journal January 14, 15, 17, 27, 1890; Tampa Tribune January 15, 1890. 8 The entire text was published in Las Novedades Una protesta, February 20, 1890. According to this document, workers in Tampa had sent the strikers in Key West more than $5,000 in cash and over $1,500 in food. They had also helped over 600 strikers who had made the trip to Tampa. 9 Las Novedades Carta de Tampa, February 20, 1890. 10 Ibid., February 20,1890. The other two members of the committee were Fermn Souto and Manuel Prez. Victoriano Manteiga, Centro Espaol de Tampa, Bodas de Oro, 1891-1941. Resea Histrica de Cincuenta Aos (Tampa, 1941), 8. 11 Las Novedades Carta de Tampa, February 20, March 6, 1890.
12 Constitucin y Reglamento de la Sociedad Unin Espaola de Beneficencia Mutua de Nueva Orleans, La. (New Orleans: Imprenta de M. Capo, 1885); Archivo del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores (Madrid), Correspondencia Consular, Nueva Orlens, Legajo 1892. 13 El Porvenir had been organized under the leadership of Enrique Pends, based on the Spanish mutual aid society La Nacional of New York City, to which he had belonged before coming to Tampa. Members paid a steep $6 entrance fee, and $1.25 monthly. El Porvenir provided its members with the services of a physician, but it did not cover hospitalization. Jos C. Otero, Accin Espaola en Tampa. Sus instituciones. Sus hombres. Su industria. Su comercio, etc. (Ybor City: La Polglota, 1912), 7; Durward Long, An Immigrant Co-operative Medicine Program in the South, 1887-1963, Journal of Southern History 31 (November 1965), 424. 14 Las Novedades Carta de Tampa, March 6, 1890. Emilio de Muruaga to James G. Blaine, March 12, 1890, Notes from the Spanish Legation in the United States to the Department of State, 1790-1906, National Archives Microfilm Publications, reel 26. 15 Notes from the Spanish Legation, April 18, May 6, 1889, July 21, 1890. 16 Ibid., December 24, 1890; Las Novedades November 6, 20, 1890. 17 Federal Writers Project, Life History of Mr. B. M. Balbontin, 1939, Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library. 18 Tampa Journal May 7, 1891; Tampa Tribune May 6, 1891; Jos Rivero Muiz, Los cubanos en Tampa, Revista Bimestre Cubana LXXIV (January-June 1958), 47-52. 19 Manteiga, Centro Espaol de Tampa 810. Fermn Souto, the Secretary of the Centro Espanol for more than two decades, referred to February 11, 1890, as the date on which the committee was formed to organize the Centro Espaol. In fact, on that date, he and four other Spaniards (note 10), had organized the Unin Espaola de Mutua Proteccin y Beneficencia. La Gaceta Special Edition, April 27, 1935, in Centro Espaol Papers, Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library. 20 The complete section 7 of the by-laws read: It is required of all applicants that they be Spaniards by birth and by patriotic inclination or that they be loyal to Spain and to its prestige in America. Federal Writers' Project, Social-Ethnic Study of Ybor City, 1935, Vol. II, pt. 1, 148. 21 Tampa Tribune November 26, 1891; Las Novedades Cartas de Madrid, November 26, 1891; Carta de Cayo Hueso, December 10, 1891. 22 Tampa Tribune November 26, 1891. 23 Ibid., June 17, 1892. 24 Las Novedades Carta de Tampa, July 7, 1892. 25 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Memoria que la Junta Directiva, del mismo, presenta a los Sres Socios, de los trabajos llevados a cabo durante el tercer ao social (Tampa: M. D. Cushing, 1893), in Centro Espaol Papers; Manteiga, Centro Espaol de Tampa 16. 26 Notes from the Spanish Legation, May 20, September 7, 1895, Centro Espaol de Tampa, Libro de Actas, May 29, July 22, 1895, Centro Espaol Papers. Sols had been the Spanish vice consul in New Orleans, before being named interim consul in Key West in November 1890, following the attacks on the Spanish consuls there. (See notes 14 to 16) 27 Tampa Tribune February 2, 3, 1895. Fernandina was the place in Florida from which three expeditions were to be sent to Cuba with arms and ammunition to begin the revolution. The plan, designed by Mart, was discovered in January 1895, before it could be put into action.
28 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, May 29, 1895. A draft of the letter is among the Centro Espaol Papers. The petition was in support of an initiative taken by Jose G. Garca, the editor of Las Novedades Garca, a hard-core defender of Spanish rule in Cuba, was involved in various efforts to unite Spaniards in the United States to help Spain. Las Novedades received a subsidy of $750 every three months from the Spanish Legation in Washington. Carlos Garca Barrn, Enrique Dupuy de Lme and the Spanish American War, The Americas XXXVI (July 1979), 56. 29 Las Novedades El patriotismo Espaol en accin, February 13, 1896. The Nueva Espaa itself had been a gift of the Spaniards in Mexico to the Spanish navy. It was the product of a subscription by a patriotic junta organized in the aftermath of the Spanish-German conflict over the Caroline Islands in 1885. Las Novedades February 13, 1888. 30 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, March 31, 1896. The members of the Board of Directors of the Junta Patritica were: Enrique Pendas, president; Vicente Guerra, vice president; Jos Fernndez, secretary; Marcos Urabayen, vice secretary, and Valentin Bustillo, treasurer. At the time, Vicente Guerra was the president of the Centro Espanol, Jose Fernandez, the secretary, and Marcos Urabayen, the treasurer. Junta Patriotica de la colonia Espanola de Tampa, Libro diario de sus acuerdos, August 4, 1896. The minutes of both the Junta Patritica de la colonia Espanola en Tampa and its successor, the Comit Patritica Espanol de Tampa, are in a bound volume which was later reused by the Centro Asturiano as a register book of patients in the Centro Asturiano Hospital. The volume is among the Centro Asturiano Papers in the Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library. 31 The officials of the Comit Patritica were: Pedro Martnez Herrera, president; Silverio Bermdez, vice president; Severino Martnez, secretary; Manuel Trelles, treasurer; Manuel Arango, Laureano Nosti, Constantino Gonzlez, Jos Garca Miranda, and Francisco R. Daz. Comit Patritica Espaol de Tampa, Libro diario de sus acuerdos, November 12, 1896. 32 The Citizens Bank was chosen following the advice of Enrique and Jaime Pends, who did not approve of the sympathies of the representative of the First National Bank towards the Cuban patriots. Comit Patritica Espaol de Tampa, Libro diario de sus acuerdos, November 12, 1896; Las Novedades Pro-filibusterismo en Tampa, March 5, 1896; Los Espaoles de Tampa, December 3, 1896. 33 Comit Patritica Espaol de Tampa, Libro diario de sus acuerdos, December 10, 1896; May 26, 1897; Las Novedades Los Espaoles de Tampa, December 17, 1896; El patriotismo en accion, June 24, 1897. New York was the seat of the central committee of the Spanish patriotic juntas in the United States. Its secretary, Jos G. Garca, was the editor of Las Novedades Las Novedades Obra patritica, March 26, April 16,1896. Within the United States, Spanish patriotic juntas were also organized in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, San Antonio, Saint Louis, West Quincy (Massachusetts), Brunswick (Georgia), and Key West. Las Novedades November 26, 1896; February 11, 18, 1897, March 17, 1898. 34 Tampa Tribune February 28, 1896. 35 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, May 20, 1896, April 5, 1897. 36 The new board of directors was composed of Fermn Palacios, Prudencio Hernndez, Manuel Pensado, Peregrino Rey, Pedro Franco, Alejandro Martnez, Jos Vzquez, Ramn Cueto, Ladislao Gonzlez, Bonifacio Valero, Emilio Pends, Manuel Arduengo, Estanislao Azcano, Alejandrino Nistal, Jos Snchez, Adrin Bustillo, Jos Fernndez Valds, and Ramn Carreo. Comit Patritica Espaol de Tampa, Libro diario de sus acuerdos, November 8, 1897. It seems that the Comit was functioning at least until the end of the year, since its last remittance to New York ($1,059.30) was in January 1898. Las Novedades January 12, 1898. In addition to the activities of the patriotic juntas, officials of the Centro Espaol organized various fund-raising activities to help the Spanish soldiers wounded in the war in Cuba. Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, October 7, November 6, 1895, December 14, 1896. 37 Joan Marie Steffy, The Cuban Immigrants of Tampa, Florida. 1886-1898 (M.A. Thesis, University of South Florida, 1974), 81-86.
38 Adalberto Ramrez served two times in the City Council as councilman from Ybor City. He was first elected on March 6, 1894, and was reelected the following year, while holding the office of vice president of the Centro Espaol. 39 When news arrived in Tampa of the assassination, the Centro Espaol declared three days of mourning. A memorial mass was held at Our Lady of Mercy, in Ybor City, on August 18. Tampa Tribune August 11, 13, 18, 19, 1897; Las Novedades August 26, 1897. The Centro Espaol sent the widow of Cnovas a silver piece with the inscription: El Centro Espaol de Tampa, Estados Unidos de Norte-Amrica, al Patriota Mrtir, Antonio Cnovas del Castillo. Las Novedades Hermosa ofrenda, April 7, 1898. 40 Tampa Tribune April 3, 1898; Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, April 7, 1898. 41 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, April 15, 1898; Tampa Tribune April 19, 1898. 42 The Spanish consul in Tampa, Pedro Sols, left for Canada. During the SpanishAmerican War, Spanish interests in the United States were represented by France. Since France did not have a consulate in Tampa, a consular agent was named in the person of Vicente Guerra, a prominent Spanish cigar manufacturer. Vicente Guerra asked the board of directors of the Centro Espaol to rent the building to house the offices of the French consulate, but the suggestion was not carried out. Tampa Tribune April 22, 1898; Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, May 18, June 6, 1898. 43 The Centro Espaol hired two guardians to protect the clubhouse, one by day and one by night. Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, April 23, 1898. 44 With the approval of the president of the Centro Espaol, a small guard remained to protect the building against a possible attack, but it left a few days later. Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, June 6, 1898. 45 The Centro had ended the year 1897 with a record membership of 312; by October 1898 it had a record low of 131 paying members. During the Spanish-American War revenues dropped from $212.25 in May to $124 in June, and $94 in July. Centro Espaol de Tampa, Memoria de los trabajos realizados por la Junta Directiva durante el ao 1897 (Tampa: M. D. Cushing, 1898); Centro Espaol de Tampa, Memoria de los trabajos realizados por la Junta Directiva durante el ao 1898 (Tampa, M. D. Cushing, 1899); Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, June 6, July 3, August 3, 1898. 46 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, August 22, 1898. 47 Manuscript annual report for the year 1896, Centro Espaol Papers. 48 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, March, 23, 25, 1896. 49 Manuscript annual report for the year 1896. 50 Membership in the Centro Gallego of Havana, for example, increased almost sixfold (from 760 to 4531) in one year, after the Centro decided to include medical benefits among its services. Elwood Warren Shomo, Jr., The Centros Regionales of Havana, Cuba with Special Emphasis on the History and Services of the Centro Asturiano (M.A. Thesis, University of Miami, 1959), 82. 51 Centro Espaol de Tampa, Actas, September 1, 21, 27, 30, October 3, 6, 1898. 52 Manteiga, Centro Espaol de Tampa, 21-23. 53 Vicente Guerra to the president of the affiliate of the Centro Asturiano of Havana in Tampa, December 23, 1903, Centro Espaol Papers. 54 Ibid. 55 Vicente Guerra to the president of the Centro Asturiano of Havana, December 27, 1903.
PUNTA GORDA IN 1890: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY by Vernon Peeples Punta Gorda became the southernmost terminus of railroads in the United States in 1886. The coming of iron rails opened up southwest Florida for development and provided rapid access to some of the best hunting and sports fishing in the world. The previous year W.H. Wood, a New York City sportsman, had caught a tarpon on a rod and real in Charlotte Harbor and the account of his feat appeared in the London Observer and the Scientific American The sport of tarpon fishing was immediately popularized and attracted wealthy sportsmen from both the United States and England. Some who came included Andrew Mellon, John Wannamaker, W.K. Vanderbilt, P. Lorillard, Frederic Remington and Joseph J. Kirkbride. A Philadelphia physician, Joseph J. Kirkbride was a sports fisherman and hunter in both Florida and Maine. In the late 1880s he was a regular winter visitor to the Charlotte Harbor and St. Johns River areas. He came to Punta Gorda on the Florida Southern Railway and then traveled by steamer to St. James City on Pine Island. The photographs in this article are from the Kirkbride photographic collection in the Library of Congress. The pictures were taken with the first model of the Kodak camera, which was fitted with a lens that was masked to produce a circular negative.
A Florida Southern Railway locomotive at Punta Gorda in 1890. Passenger service to Punta Gorda began in August 1886. The 76-mile route between Bartow Junction and Punta Gorda was narrow-gauge track. This photograph was probably taken on the spur line in Punta Gorda that took passengers directly to the Punta Gorda Hotel.
The Punta Gorda Hotel in 1890. Opened in the winter of 1887-1888, this resort was owned by the Florida Commercial Company, the railroads companion corporation. The hotel was the first commercial structure built in Punta Gorda, engaging the labor of about 200 men who had to sleep in tents, there being no other accommodations.
Another view of the Punta Gorda Hotel in 1890. The facility contained 150 rooms, all commanding a view of the harbor.
Charlotte Harbor as seen from the Hotel Punta Gorda in 1890. The hotel's grounds were beautified with Mareschal Neil roses, camphor trees, and palms. The pleasure pier extended twelve hundred feet into the harbor.
Identified by Kirkbride only as A Florida Cracker in 1889, this photograph was taken near PuntaGorda.
The Alice Howard on Charlotte Harbor in 1889. This steamer carried the mail and passengers between Cleveland and Fort Myers. The operator was William M. White of Belfast, Maine. The steamer left Cleveland on the Peace River every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and stopped at Punta Gorda, St. James City, and Punta Rassa. Her speed was about 10 miles p er hour.
Another view of the Alice Howard.
Mrs. Wollero, a friend of the Kirkbrides, on the Alice Howard in 1889. Most passengers were headed for the San Carlos Hotel at St. James City or for Fort Myers. The season for the San Carlos was between December and April, and the Kirkbrides visited southwest Florida during this time of the year.
The upper deck of the Alice Howard.
The U.S. Mail Steamer Clara at Charlotte Harbor in 1890. Captained by J.W. Roan, the Clara could carry 100 passengers. She ran alternate days with the steamers Alice Howard and Sadie.
PITCHING FOR ST. PETERSBURG: SPRING TRAINING AND PUBLICITY IN THE SUNSHINE CITY, 1914-1918 by Melissa L. Keller Branch Rickey, manager of the St. Louis Browns, talked about his teams spring training home in St. Petersburg, Florida, in a 1914 interview with the St. Louis Times Its the greatest place in the world, Rickey claimed.1 For a tourism-based economy like St. Petersburgs, this was more than a compliment it was the kind of advertising city leaders craved for their growing town. Between 1914 and 1918, St. Petersburg officials became very conscious of baseballs publicity potential. The two local newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times and the St. Petersburg Evening Independent devoted enormous attention to the citys hopes for spring training. Enthusiasm and anticipation filled article after article on the areas spring training facilities and baseballs ability to draw flattering publicity to St. Petersburg. The real prize for hosting spring training proved to be the free promotion provided through press coverage. Its value, according to baseball historian Harold Seymour, could not be estimated in dollars and cents.2 St. Petersburg leaders believed this promotion was critical to the city's growth, and they discovered in the spring of 1914 that professional baseball, if only in town for a few weeks out of the year, meant an incredible opportunity for publicity. In 1914, St. Petersburgs population stood at 7,186.3 Like many towns around the nation, the citys image and economy developed from the wealth of its natural surroundings. Unlike other growing communities, however, St. Petersburgs identity formed without establishing an industrial-based economy. With the absence of traditional industry, tourism emerged as the citys primary source of economic stability; advertising, therefore, played a critical role in St. Petersburgs development.4 Indeed, historian Raymond Arsenault suggested that any visitor to the area during the early part of the century could sense that St. Petersburgs lifes blood was good publicity.5 Lew B. Browns Sunshine Offer exemplified the value of clever promotion. As editor of the Independent Brown devised an advertising promotion in 1910 that testified to St. Petersburgs warmth and sunshine. Brown offered free newspapers every day the sun refused to shine in St. Petersburg, thus giving the community the nickname of the Sunshine City. In thirty-seven years the newspaper had to fulfill its promise only 173 times. Local historian Karl Grismer observed that St. Petersburgs nickname was invaluable to the citys growth and ability to attract visitors.6 The Sunshine Offer and spring training emerged during a critical phase in the citys history when local leaders, such as Times editor William L. Straub, worked to polish St. Petersburgs image as an inviting and progressive town. Baseballs arrival in St. Petersburg followed a period of rapid growth in the community. The city spent thousands of dollars on local improvements between 1909 and 1913 for such projects as road paving and better water and sewer systems, and in 1912, officials broke ground for Waterfront Park, today known as Straub Park. Real estate development also increased during this period with new subdivisions appearing throughout the city.7 Part of St. Petersburgs growth
included the establishment of new buildings such as the Municipal Pier and La Plaza Theater.8 Aimed at enhancing the citys aesthetic appeal and entertainment, these improvements benefitted many of St. Petersburgs citizens, but the changes also encouraged tourism. By the mid-1910s, St. Petersburgs leadership, headed by Mayor Al Lang, placed tourism at the top of the citys priorities. His two terms in office marked the beginning of St. Petersburgs official commitment to attracting visitors a course the city has maintained ever since.9 With the agenda for the future set, St. Petersburg began to shed its village image, and the arrival of baseball accelerated that transformation. Today, Florida ranks as the undisputed home of spring training. Nonetheless, the Sunshine State worked hard and long for this coveted title. For many years baseball owners and managers travelled to southern states other than Florida for spring training. Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and the Carolinas headed the list of favorite training sites.10 Arkansas, however, became baseballs first spring training camp. Cap Anson, manager of the Chicago White Stockings, selected Hot Springs as his teams training site in 1886. Too many seasons of overweight and out-of-shape players convinced Anson that the saloons of Chicago did nothing to improve the condition of his team. Players displayed little eagerness for training away from home, but Anson's idea paid off. The Stockings enjoyed a successful season, and by the spring of 1887 other teams headed south for training.11 Although some questioned the need for spring training, most deemed the annual trek an essential element for winning. Florida was not completely absent from the list of baseball's earliest spring homes. The Washington Statesmen ventured into Florida for training in 1888, making Jacksonville the states first spring training site.12 For the most part, however, teams rarely made an appearance in Florida before Al Lang arrived in St. Petersburg from his native Pittsburgh. Albert Fielding Lang stood at the center of baseball activity in St. Petersburg. Lang was a one man chamber of commerce when it came to big league baseball, according to the Independent .13 When Lang died in 1960, Yankees manager Casey Stengel remembered Langs inseparable association with St. Petersburg and baseball. Al Lang certainly had the betterment of baseball and St. Petersburg on his mind daytime and nighttime, Stengel stated; he knew baseball was great advertisement for city and state and he carried that thought through to the fullest.14 Indeed, Lang's life epitomized dedication. Born in 1870, Lang lived in his native Pittsburgh for forty years before coming to St. Petersburg. By the time he left Pennsylvania in 1911, Lang had emerged as a prominent figure in Pittsburghs industrial world. With less than an eighth grade education, Lang had moved from laundry worker to laundry owner when he founded the Lincoln Laundry in 1895. Like many others, however, Lang came to Florida after his health began to deteriorate, and doctors told him he had less than six months to live. With that bleak diagnosis, Lang sold his business and eased into retirement. Seeking a warmer climate, he visited such places as Fort Myers, but the shores of Tampa Bay lured him to St. Petersburg in 1911. The transplanted Pennsylvanian adopted the Sunshine City as his new home, and immediately immersed himself in the activities and welfare of the city. Langs involvement in St. Petersburg affairs took many forms. Local citizens elected Lang mayor for two terms only five years after he arrived in St. Petersburg. He also acted as the president of the West Coast Telephone Company and the St. Petersburg Country Club.15
Al Lang. Photograph from The Story of St. Petersburg by Karl H. Grismer.
Baseball, however, clearly shaped Lang's revered position in St. Petersburg. In order to bring spring training to the Sunshine City, Lang, known as Mr. Baseball, coupled his previous experience as a businessman with his baseball connections in Pittsburgh. More important, Langs love for the game and his devotion to his new hometown helped to channel his energy into making spring baseball part of St. Petersburgs appeal and economy. Langs efforts to move the city into the premier spot of spring training sites cannot be overstated; he added structure, experience and personality to St. Petersburgs relationship with baseball. Many people within the formal ranks of professional baseball recognized Langs impact on St. Petersburg. Indeed, one New York Yankees general manager declared that modern day St. Petersburg is [Langs] monument.16 Nonetheless, Lang was not alone in the effort to bring spring training to St. Petersburg; other city leaders supplied fervent support for baseball. Like Lang, these boosters foresaw myriad values of hosting spring training. One Board of Trade member, A. W. Fisher, explained the significance of having spring training in the area: Winter baseball is essential for the entertainment of our visitors. . Baseball is the national game and it is absolutely necessary that we give the tourists some good games.17 Urban rivalry also spurred attempts to attract a team, for in 1913 the Chicago Cubs trained across the bay in Tampa. Like the city boosters in St. Petersburg, Tampa leaders also hoped baseball would draw tourists to their area.18 St. Petersburgs quest for a team commenced in 1912 when the Board of Trade aimed its sights on the St. Louis Cardinals. Board member H. B. Smitz tried to persuade the Cardinals manager, Miller Huggins, to bring the team to the Sunshine City. The Cards, however, declined the opportunity.19 In another attempt, Al Lang talked to the Pittsburgh Pirates manager, Barney Dreyfuss, about bringing the team to St. Petersburg. That will be the day, Dreyfuss responded, when the Pirates train at a whistle stop.20 Undaunted by these disappointments, the city pursued other organizations. Attracting a team became so central to St. Petersburgs agenda for the future that the city created an organization dedicated to baseball and other attractions. Formed in August 1913 and financed for $50,000, the St. Petersburg Major League and Amusement Company focused mainly on baseball.21 Many of the citys local leaders contributed to the formation of this group. P. W. Coe headed the organization as president; Paul R. Boardman, a local real estate agent, was vice-president; and in February 1914, officials appointed Al Lang to the position of financial manager.22 In the late summer of 1913, the organization prevailed in signing a contract with the American Leagues St. Louis Browns. Manager Branch Rickey (best known for signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and thus breaking baseballs strict racial segregation) felt the team needed a change of scenery from its 1912 training site in Waco, Texas, which was followed by a last place finish in the regular season.23 In St. Petersburg, Rickey found city leaders eager to provide a baseball team with everything needed for training. St. Petersburgs baseball company made the Browns an offer that was hard to refuse. It included free round-trip transportation, all expenses paid, as well as accommodations in the Fifth Avenue Hotel.24 More important for successful training, the city agreed to provide the Browns with a new baseball diamond and training facilities. The Browns owner was not obligated to pay rent for the field during the first spring. The baseball company stipulated, however, that if the
Browns decided to return to St. Petersburg, the team would pay $8,000 for the field, with a $3,000 down payment.25 Although contemporaries often referred to the ball field as Coffee Pot Bayou Park, the site received the official name of Sunshine Park soon after a frenzy of work began to clear the area.26 Laborers transformed the woods near present day North Shore Drive and Thirtieth Avenue Northeast from a wild array of trees, stumps, evergreens, and brush, into one of the best training grounds in the country, according to Branch Rickey.27 St. Petersburg prided itself on the. professional work and attention to detail used to build the field. Special clay from Jacksonville, which cost the Major League Company nearly $700, filled the base lines and pitchers mound. Carpenters worked furiously to build a grandstand and bleachers capable of holding 5,000 people and booths for refreshment and souvenir sales. The same craftsmen also constructed one hundred local advertising signs that covered the outfield walls. Especially innovative were the batting cages, sliding pits, and sprinting lanes requested by Manager Rickey.28 The Browns owner considered Sunshine Park among the finest sites in the nation for spring training because of all the modern conveniences.29 Reports in two St. Louis newspapers confirmed all the talk about St. Petersburgs baseball field. The St. Louis Republic told its readers, No big league team has as complete and as well arranged training grounds as Branch Rickey. Photograph from The Ultimate Baseball Book by Daniel Okrent and Harris Lewine.
the Browns.30 And the St. Louis Times quoted an experienced Browns pitching coach as stating, Its the best place I ever saw for a club to train at.31 Indeed, the ball field has been called baseballs first all-purpose training camp, the most novel to date and one of the most rugged of all time.32 When the Browns arrived in town on February 16, 1914, St. Petersburgs yearning for baseball seemed ready to burst. The St. Petersburg Times announced a series of daily articles on Browns players,33 and organizers scheduled a special train to bring fans to St. Petersburg from as far north as Tarpon Springs.34 The Evening Independent considered the occasion so extraordinary the newspaper issued an extra edition.35 Branch Rickeys biographer called the opening of spring training in St. Petersburg a holiday occasion.36 Four thousand fans watched the Cubs beat the Browns 3 to 2 on opening day, February 27, and the Times described the eclectic crowd that witnessed St. Petersburg's inauguration into spring training: Everybody went to the game. Every profession and every class was represented within the enclosure, and every type of the genus homo was there. Railroad magnates, famous authors, footlight favorites, gentlemen of the cloth, sporty men, doctors, lawyers, judges, teachers, merchants, clerks, hash hustlers, cab drivers, chauffeurs, negro laborers: they all turned out to see the opening of the season. When the first whoop went up the voice of a cosmopolitan crowd a regular baseball crowd made the pine woods and the shores of the tranquil bayou reverb with the welcome to the national game.37 Even before the Browns settled into their routine workouts, St. Petersburg newspapers and officials understood perfectly baseballs appeal and publicity possibilities. St. Petersburgs image, however, displayed a few rough edges when viewed from the perspective of a large city like St. Louis. Nonetheless, this did not deter St. Petersburgs leaders from believing, that with a little work, spring training could draw favorable publicity for the community. One of the citys earliest episodes with out-of-state advertising had a sobering effect on the people of St. Petersburg. In December 1913, a national magazine, Sporting Life had published the upcoming training camps around the leagues. To St. Petersburgs alarm the publication announced Petersburg, Florida, as the Browns training site. The Evening Independent stressed the significance of this error, calling it, an example of zero advertising for this city.38 Though the bulk of attention St. Petersburg received due to baseball placed the city in positive favor, local newspapers rarely, if ever, mentioned any negative publicity the community attracted in out-of-state newspapers. St. Petersburgs good reputation relied most heavily on the natural features of the area, while uncomplimentary comments hinged on the unavailability of wide-ranging activities. Although a new baseball field figured heavily in the Browns decision to train in St. Petersburg, nature played a critical role in bringing the team to the area. One local editor felt so confident about the salubrious effects of St. Petersburgs weather, he haughtily told his readers, Any town, even Jacksonville, can take care of champions, but it is the exceptional place in climate and environment that can shape ordinary players into pennant contenders.39 St. Petersburgs climate and semi-tropical setting created the context for nearly every article
pertaining to spring baseball. Local weather and the new baseball diamond impressed the Browns so much that the team doctor and the reporters covering the ball club consented to sign a state ment calling Sunshine Park the ideal training ground. The Evening Independent responded by stating, this is a fine recommendation for St. Petersburg and is certain to attract attention all over the country.40 Although the newspaper agreed that the Browns gained from the healthy environment, the daily emphasized the reports significance for St. Petersburgs tourism: This [endorsement] means a lot to the Browns and it also means a lot to St. Petersburg to have the Browns spread that kind of report over the country.41 Such out-of-state coverage appeared in the St. Louis Times Early in the teams training season, the newspaper described the balmy temperatures of Floridas west coast and how that weather benefitted the Browns. If the same weather keeps up that was on tap yesterday, when the thermometer hovered around the 75 mark, the daily declared, the Browns should be one of the best conditioned teams that ever went into the spring series in St. Louis.42 The same newspaper, however, criticized St. Petersburgs few uncooperative days of weather. It never rains in this ere Sunshine City it pours, reported the St. Louis Times after heavy rain suspended a game in early March. The daily added, when the sun does shine, though, which is almost always, it is hot.43 Despite the threat of torrential downpours and hot weather, out-of-state tourists and locals headed to Sunshine Park to see the Browns in spring action. Many tourists came to St. Petersburg for the main purpose of watching the Browns. C. O. Patterson of Illinois had wintered in the South for a number of years, and when the Browns came to St. Petersburg, he followed them to the Sunshine City. In a 1913 interview with the St. Petersburg Times Patterson explained his views on baseball and tourism in St. Petersburg. I believe that there will be many people brought to the city . that would go to other cities of the state if they could not get the sport here.44 Pattersons prediction of spring trainings drawing power was exactly what St. Petersburg leaders hoped for, and as one St. Louis newspaper told its readers, the Sunshine Citys dedication to baseball could be counted in sheer numbers. Covering the Browns in Tampa and St. Petersburg, the St. Louis Republic reported, The first day at Tampa the attendance was scarcely more than 1,000, while the succeeding day in St. Pete the stands were packed and it was estimated 4,000 fans paid their way to see the game.45 Although local and visiting fans filled Sunshine Park, the behavior of many players disappointed and even shocked the conservative Florida community. Because prohibition possessed a dry hold on St. Petersburg, many players visited Tampa for excitement. But too many drinks, late nights, and carousing resulted in sloppy games on the diamond. The Times censured the players actions by stating: The teams are down here to practice; but they have enough time to practice all their foolishness on days when the public is not paying good money to see good ball.46 Some people remembered the Browns players not for baseball, but for their off-the-field antics. They must have ruined fifteen girls while they were in town, one fan complained.47 Although the Browns raised the eyebrows of some fans, spring training in St. Petersburg received praise from local editors and baseball company officials. In St. Louis, local newspapers continued to treat readers to an assortment of conflicting reviews on St. Petersburg. For example, the Sunshine City received great publicity when the Browns manager told the St. Louis Times
about the incredible fishing available in the waters surrounding St. Petersburg. Such fishing! My goodness! Rickey exclaimed, You cant throw in the lines fast enough to pull out the fish.48 Only a few months later, however, the St. Louis newspaper reported that over thirty members of the team had gone on a fishing trip that resulted in no fish, but plenty of seasickness. Although the players may have been better with a baseball bat than a fishing pole and were unable to admit it, the article placed the blame on mediocre fishing in the St. Petersburg area. Fish, according to the St. Louis Times are not so plentiful, even in the Sunny South, where there are supposed to be many.49 This was not the kind of publicity St. Petersburg wished to attract. Another example of mixed attention the city received centered on the activities the area offered. I never knew there was so much pleasure in winding ones watch. Thats about all there is to do in St. Petersburg, one Browns player commented.50 Then in early March, a St. Louis newspaper told its readers that the attractions in St. Petersburg consisted of an ostrich farm and two moving picture shows.51 Only days later, the same daily described how the baseball players spent their free days strolling along the beaches of Pass-a-Grille and Johns Pass, choosing armloads of souvenirs from among myriad seashells scattered along the coast.52 This latter activity, of course, was the image that St. Petersburg officials hoped to establish in the minds of potential visitors. Fans at Sunshine Park watching a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Browns in February 1915. Photograph from St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream by Raymond Arsenault.
By the end of the season, local enthusiasts felt assured that spring training had a bright future in the community. City boosters even believed that two baseball teams would call St. Petersburg their spring home in 1915.53 Branch Rickey told reporters during the Browns departure from St. Petersburg that he hoped to return for the following spring season. Weve been treated royally here, the manager declared, and there is no other place on earth the Browns would rather have for a training camp than St. Petersburg.54 Although the Browns left without a contract, many believed the inaugural spring training was a smashing triumph and a valuable lesson. The Times conceded that transportation to the ball park needed improvement and that the weather could have cooperated better around game time. Overall, however, the newspaper declared St. Petersburgs first season of spring training a marvelous success.55 Bothersome details like poor transportation and player indiscretions were constructive lessons according to the Times No doubt, the paper explained, in many more or less important ways the local management acquired experience this first time that will prove helpful next year.56 St. Petersburgs hopes to lure two teams for the 1915 season were only partially fulfilled. Financial matters troubled the Major League and Amusement Company which found itself nearly $1,000 in debt.57 While Colonel Hedges procrastinated in his decision on whether to return to St. Petersburg for 1915, Al Lang worked tirelessly during the summer to attract another team. He travelled throughout the country talking to different team owners and managers.58 However, he had his eye on one particular team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Sunshine Park and St. Petersburg originally had captured the attention of the Phillies in 1914. Captain William Neal, the Phillies scout, enjoyed a few weeks of rest in St. Petersburg during the 1914 winter. Always the scout (the Phillies desperately needed more players at this time), he made his way to Sunshine Park to see the Browns in action. While the players may have interested Neal, Sunshine Park truly impressed him. He talked to Al Lang about possibly training in St. Petersburg. Because further negotiations with the Browns remained unclear, Lang promised to contact the Phillies when matters with the Browns were settled. By the end of the summer, the Browns decided to go elsewhere, and Lang was free to pursue the Phillies.59 The Phillies manager later told the St. Petersburg Times Give all the credit to Al Lang. The town owes it to him that we are here.60 Once the Phillies selected St. Petersburg for a spring training site, the city delighted in the attention the team brought to the area. In October 1914, when Lang announced the coming of the Phillies, local newspapers talked about advertising almost as much as they did baseball. In securing the Phillies to train here, stated the Times St. Petersburg will receive a lot of the best kind of publicity. The daily continued, The Sunshine City as a training camp is certain to get the kind of advertising which results in benefits.61 Nonetheless, articles on spring training proved valuable to the areas tourism only if the contents illustrated the city in a favorable light. When reporter James Isaminger of the Philadelphia North American arrived in St. Petersburg to cover the Phillies, the editor of the Independent recognized the magnitude of such an opportunity. As the advertisement that St. Petersburg would get out of the big leaguers being here to train is the main object in getting the club to this city, it is important to have good newspaper men do the work of corresponding for the Philadelphia papers, and the local boosters are much pleased that men like
Mr. Isaminger are to come with the team. They will write stuff for their papers that will be read and that will draw attention to the city.62 Isaminger referred to St. Petersburg in many of his articles as, the Naples of America, a designation the people of St. Petersburg relished.63 The Sunshine City welcomed the Phillies in 1915 by declaring a holiday for the opening game against the Chicago Cubs. Hundreds of local businesses closed for the afternoon on March 8, in order for more than 2,500 fans to watch the Cubs defeat the Phillies 8 to 5.64 The Phillies first spring training season ended too soon for the fans in St. Petersburg. By March 25, the team headed back to Philadelphia. However, the Phillies president, William Baker, expressed confidence that the Phillies would return in 1916. He told the Times I am very much pleased with St. Petersburg as a training camp, in fact our team never had better training quarters . . I see no reason at the present why the Phillies should not return here next year.65 City boosters also believed the team would be back the following season, and they hailed the Phillies first year in St. Petersburg as a grand success. Indeed, St. Petersburgs confidence ran so high at the end of the Phillies first spring in the town that the Times arrogantly editorialized, if [the Phillies] will pardon us for saying so, they would do well to come back.66 The team returned to the city in 1916, but this time as the National League pennant winners. After leaving St. Petersburg in 1915 and heading into the regular season, the team won fourteen of its first fifteen games and clinched the National League pennant.67 Over 2,000 fans greeted the Phillies at the train station when the team pulled into St. Petersburg to begin its 1916 training season.68 The Independent welcomed the pennant winners in an editorial that stressed the citys relationship with baseball as a mutual advantage plan; the Phillies advertise St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg furnishes the best climate ever and the park at which the men train.69 Clearly, a team training at Sunshine Park thrilled local boosters, but having a championship team train in St. Petersburg multiplied the opportunity for advertising and excitement. For example, publicity of a more modern kind enveloped St. Petersburg when a news crew captured the Phillies on film during a practice session in 1916. The taking of these views of the activities in the Sunshine City and its attraction, the Times explained, will be a valuable advertising asset to the city.70 The National League Champs also heated up the Tampa-St. Petersburg rivalry because the Sunshine City felt the Phillies constituted a much stronger draw than the Cubs. The Times threw a jab at Tampa by teasing: Tourists in St. Petersburg are baseball fans as indicated by the crowds which have turned out to see our Phillies in action. Over at Tampa the best they could do in the way of mustering up a baseball crowd was only 1,500. In the Sunshine City, however, the attendance last week reached 3,000 . . In addition to that, 123 automobiles were parked about the grandstand. A baseball crowd the size of the one which greeted the teams here would scare the Tampa folks half to death.71 Although the Phillies visited the Sunshine City for only a few weeks a year, the organization contributed to St. Petersburgs effort to draw visitors in other ways than baseball. Hoping to make things a bit livelier during spring training, Phillies scout, Captain Neal, assisted Al Lang in the creation of the Festival of States Parade in 1917.72 Today, the celebration continues to be an annual event attracting thousands of people to St. Petersburg.
Although the Festival of States provided visiting baseball players with diversions from sometimes relentless practices, training remained the top priority for teams. Managers, therefore, considered good weather critical to a successful spring workout. In 1916 and 1917, St. Petersburgs weather fulfilled all the expectations of team coaches and all the promises of local promoters. During those two spring seasons, the Phillies did not lose a single day of practice to harsh weather. For this reason, the Times boasted that more teams would head to St. Petersburg or other nearby communities for future spring training.73 The newspapers prediction began to materialize by the 1918 season. Just five years earlier, teams had virtually ignored Florida for spring training. By 1918, four of the sixteen major league clubs trained in Florida. Only Texas equalled Florida in the battle to attract teams.74 Other events, however, transpired that undermined the citys hopes for becoming a permanent spring training site. Amid the newspaper articles welcoming baseball and discussing the publicity the sport would bring St. Petersburg, the war in Europe slowly edged out all other concerns, including baseball. In April 1917, the United States entered the war. Despite this action, baseball officials decided in December of the same year to continue with plans to play a full season of games. They also continued to limit the number of players on each team, although this meant taking the risk that the military draft might deplete the reserve of players. These decisions were short-lived, however. By early 1918, baseball owners agreed to cut the number of games from 154 to 140. They also decided to eliminate player limits, cut back on the spring training season, and relocate many training sites closer to home in order to diminish railroad travel.75 The Phillies returned to train in St. Petersburg in 1918, but the atmosphere had changed. The 1915 pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillies. Photograph from The Ultimate Baseball Book edited by Daniel Okrent and Harris Lewine.
Cover of the 1915 World Series Souvenir Score Book. From The Ultimate Baseball Book edited by Daniel Okrent and Harris Lewine.
After the United States had entered the war, attendance at major league games plummeted; 1,283,000 fewer fans attended games during the 1917 season.76 St. Petersburg was not immune to the wars impact. When the Phillies closed their final game at Sunshine Park in 1918, the zest that once laced articles on the team all but disappeared. A fair size crowd witnessed the match. Nothing of an exciting nature attended the windup of the training work, the Times halfheartedly reported on the Phillies last spring training game.77 The effect of the war was so immense that local newspapers found it unnecessary to cite the fighting in Europe as the reason why the Phillies did not sign a contract for training in 1919. No arrangements have been made to return next year, according to the Times due to the uncertain conditions now existing.78 In May 1918, the government inflicted another blow on professional baseball. The work-or-fight order demanded that men eligible for the draft had to find employment aiding the war effort or join the service. Baseball owners tried to no avail to have players exempted from the order. Nearly 330 professional baseball players served in the Great War, while scores of others found full-time jobs in war industries.79 After the hostilities ended in November 1918, baseball team owners worked frantically to bounce back from the revenue losses they had experienced. The Sunshine City also tried to recoup. For St. Petersburg, its trial period with spring training abruptly ended in 1918. In March 1919, rather than players hitting and catching on the clay and grass of Sunshine Park, laborers St. Petersburgs Central Avenue in 1916. Photograph from St. Petersburg and Its People by Walter P. Fuller.
demolished the field that so many had called the ideal training spot. Several small fires had erupted at the abandoned field, and nearby neighbors grew concerned that the blazes would rage out of control. City officials, therefore, decided to tear down Sunshine Park.80 Recollecting the advantages of the field and spring baseball, the Times referred to the b all field as a city institution that had delivered favorable publicity to the city.81 As Sunshine Park vanished under the hands of demolition crews, some wondered about St. Petersburgs future as a spring training site. Nonetheless, faith ran high in St. Petersburg, and most locals felt confident that spring baseball would soon return. When the Phillies departed the city in 1918, St. Petersburgs relationship with baseball had been consummated. Four years of spring training in the Sunshine City gave city leaders a new sense of what baseball could offer tourists and hometown citizens. Between 1919 and 1922, city leaders pursued major league teams and also reevaluated what they had learned from the years the Browns and Phillies trained in St. Petersburg. A1 Lang led the way, but others joined him. Robert Carroll, head of the St. Petersburg Athletic Club, was indispensable in attracting the Boston Braves to the city in 1922. He rallied St. Petersburg behind the support of a new baseball stadium situated near present day Al Lang field.82 Local newspapers continued lauding baseball, and as in the past, editors linked spring training with the advertising benefits St. Petersburg received from the game. The Times implored local residents to make donations toward the cost of the new baseball field. Already this ball field has earned for St. Petersburg column after column of publicity in the northern press. The daily continued, It is worth many times the cost of the ball field to get this publicity alone.83 When the New York Yankees set up training in St. Petersburg in 1925, the city truly felt it had made the big leagues. The arrival of the Yankees meant St. Petersburg was the spring home to two teams which, according to some, meant double the advertising for the Sunshine City.84 For St. Petersburg, the experience with spring training in 1914-1918 offered new opportunities for advertising and tourism. City promoters considered baseball a powerful source of publicity. Although local leaders praised spring trainings ability to attract visitors, actual figures on tourism generated from spring baseball are nonexistent. Tangible numbers, even if available, would not likely change the evidence. St. Petersburg city leaders, including editors and elected officials, clearly believed spring training could attract more favorable publicity than nearly any other inducement St. Petersburg had to offer, except perhaps, sunshine. In addition to forming a part of the citys economic structure, spring training also contributed to the citys sense of identity. One editor made this clear during the 1920s when he stated, So well known is St. Petersburg that in Boston and New York newspapers the name of the state is not carried in their telegraphic datelines. There is only one St. Petersburg to the baseball fans.85 For St. Petersburg, this statement epitomized everything local leaders and private citizens wanted from spring training national recognition and publicity. 1 Branch Rickey quoted in Browns May Break Training Rules to go Fishing, Says Branch Rickey, St. Petersburg Evening Independent January 31, 1914, 1(reprinted article from St. Louis Times ). 2 Harold Seymour, Baseball vol. 2, The Golden Age (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971), 131.
3 Fifth Census of the State of Florida 1925 (Tallahassee, 1925), 83. 4 Raymond Arsenault, St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream. 1888-1950 (Norfolk: Donning Company, 1988), 79. 5 Ibid., 138. 6 Karl H. Grismer, The Story of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg: P. K. Smith and Company, 1948), 123. 7 Ibid., 120-121. 8 Arsenault, St. Petersburg 142. 9 Ibid., 144. 10 Seymour, Golden Age 131. 11 Bob Hesse, The Short Season: Baseball's Spring Fling (Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1982), 2-3. 12 Richard Crepeau, Reflections on a Diamond: Spring Trainings Impact on Florida, Florida Connections March-April 1990, 22; William Zinsser, Spring Training (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1989), 18. 13 Albert F. Lang, Mr. Baseball Dies Here at 89, St. Petersburg Evening Independent February 28, 1960, 1A. 14 A Final Tribute to Mr. Baseball, St. Petersburg Evening Independent February 28, 1960, 1E. 15 Arsenault, St. Petersburg 143; Grismer, St. Petersburg 196-197, 313-314; Mr. Baseball Dies Here at 89, Independent lA. 16 George Weiss quoted in A Final Tribute, Independent 1E. 17 A. W. Fisher quoted in Larry King, Grand Plans for Waterfront Baseball Field Surfaced In 1912, St. Petersburg Times no date, in baseball clipping file, St. Petersburg Historical Museum. 18 James W. Covington, The Chicago Cubs Come to Tampa, Tampa Bay History 8 (Spring/Summer 1986): 39-40. 19 Arsenault, St. Petersburg 143; Grismer, St. Petersburg 235. 20 Unsigned paper on spring training in St. Petersburg, no date, in baseball clipping file, St. Petersburg Historical Museum. 21 Arsenault, St. Petersburg 143; Grismer, St. Petersburg 235; King, Grand Plans. 22 Grismer, St. Petersburg 23S; Games With Cards Will be the Best, St. Petersburg Times February 20, 1914, 10. 23 Zinsser, Spring Training 16. 24 Grismer, St. Petersburg 236; and Twenty Games Arranged for the St. Louis Browns, St. Petersburg Times February 5, 1914, 1. 25 Zinsser, Spring Training 17. 26 St. Petersburg Has the Best Training Camp, St. Petersburg Times Desoto Celebration Edition, March 1914, 29.
27 Arthur Mann, Branch Rickey: American in Action (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1957), 77. (Mann mistakenly refers to Thirtieth Avenue Northeast as Thirtieth Street.) Rickey Delighted With Baseball Park Site, St. Petersburg Times January 3, 1914, 1. 28 St. Petersburg Has the Best Training Camp, Times 29; Where Manager Rickey Will Train Youngsters of St. Louis Browns, St. Petersburg Times December 28, 1913, 1. 29 Col. Hedges Pleased With His Ball Team, St. Petersburg Times March 3, 1914, 6. 30 L. L. Arms of the St. Louis Republic quoted in Big League Team Starts Practice, St. Petersburg Independent February 27, 1914, 6. 31 Joe Sugden quoted in Notes of the Browns, St. Louis Times February 27, 1914, 10. 32 Mann, Branch Rickey 76. 33 Series of Feature Stories for Local Base Ball Fans, St. Petersburg Times December 19, 1913, 12. 34 Fans Will Fill Coffee Pot Park, St. Petersburg Times February 25, 1914, 5; Mann, Branch Rickey 77. 35 Mann, Branch Rickey 77. 36 Ibid. 37 Four Thousand Fans Saw Opening of Baseball Season, St. Petersburg Times February 28, 1914, 7. 38 Branch Rickey Must Dig Hard, St. Petersburg Evening Independent December 20, 1913, 7. 39 Wonderful Climate Here May Pull St. Louis Browns Out of Cellar, St. Petersburg Evening Independent 1. 40 Ideal Training Ground, St. Petersburg Evening Independent March 11, 1914, 2. 41 Ibid. 42 Mercury Stands 75 as Browns Kids Toil, St. Louis Times February 18, 1914, 12. 43 Notes of the Browns, St. Louis Times March 6, 1914, 10. 44 C.O. Patterson quoted in Training Camp Brings Visitors, St. Petersburg Times December 23, 1913, 1-2. 45 Louis Lee Arms, That Gap at First Base is Worrying Branch Rickey, St. Louis Republic March 3, 1914. 46 Our Big League Baseball, St. Petersburg Times March 24, 1914, 4. 47 Luke Atkins quoted in undated 1982 St. Petersburg Times article, in clipping file, Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library. 48 Branch Rickey quoted in Browns May Break. ., St. Petersburg Independent 1. 49 Fish in Gulf are Still There as Brownies Fail, St. Louis Times March 23, 1914, 12. 50 Arms, Rickey is a Checker Fiend; Live Guff From Browns Camp, St. Louis Republic February 25, 1914, 8. 51 Where to Train, St. Louis Times March 3, 1914, 14.
52 Coming Week Busy One for Rickeys Crew, St. Louis Times March 9, 1914, 17. 53 St. Petersburg Has the Best Training Camp, Times 29. 54 St. Louis Americans Bid Good-bye to St. Petersburg and Her People, St. Petersburg Evening Independent March 23, 1914, 9. 55 Our Big League Baseball, Times 4. 56 Ibid. 57 Arsenault, St. Petersburg 143. 58 Phillies Will Establish Camp Here in Spring, St. Petersburg Times October 23, 1914, 1, 6. 59 Ibid; Pat Morans National League Camps Will Stir Our Cosmopolitan Baseball Fans From Lethargy, St. Petersburg Times March 5, 1916, 1; How Phillies Came to Pick Sunshine City, St. Petersburg Times Section 3, 1. 60 Pat Moran quoted in Pat Morans National League Champs, Times 1. 61 How Phillies Came to Pick Sunshine City, Times 62 Noted Writers Coming, St. Petersburg Evening Independent February 15, 1915, 2. 63 Phillies Eat Lunch Al Fresco at Coffee Pot Field Between Sessions of First Day's Work, St. Petersburg Times March 11, 1917, Section 1, 8. 64 St. Petersburg Times March 9, 1915. 65 William Baker quoted in Phillies Likely to Return Here, St. Petersburg Times March 13, 1915, 9. 66 Phillies Will Come Again, St. Petersburg Times March 30, 1915, 8. 67 Grismer, St. Petersburg 314. 68 Natl Champs Given Rousing Welcome Here, St. Petersburg Times March 7, 1916, 1 and 8. 69 Phillies Welcome, St. Petersburg Evening Independent March 7, 1916, 2. 70 Local Views to be Filmed Today, St. Petersburg Times March 11, 1916, 1. 71 Large Winter Crowds in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg Times March 26, 1916, 17. 72 Arsenault, St. Petersburg 144. 73 Not a Single Day Has Been Lost by Team, St. Petersburg Times March 30, 1917, 3B. 74 Phillies to Arrive March 20 is Word Reaching Mayor A. F. Lang, St. Petersburg Times March 2, 1918. 75 Seymour, Golden Age 247. 76 Ibid.
77 Phils End Training No Contract Made to Return Next Spring, St. Petersburg Times April 7, 1918, 8A. 78 Ibid. 79 Seymour, Golden Age 247-255. 80 Old Coffee Pot Ball Yard Will be Demolished, St. Petersburg Times March 7, 1919, 2. 81 Ibid. 82 Baseball and Publicity, St. Petersburg Times March 9, 1922, 4. 83 Ibid. 84 St. Petersburg Historical Museum, Pennants in the Breeze (exhibit pamphlet), in baseball clipping file, St. Petersburg Historical Museum. Chronology of spring training teams in St. Petersburg: St. Louis Browns 1914 Philadelphia Phillies 1915-1918 Boston Braves 1922-1937 New York Yankees* 1925-1961 St. Louis Cardinals* 1938 New York Giants+ 1951 New York Mets 1962-1987 From 1943 to 1945, World War II prevented the Yankees and Cardinals from training in St. Petersburg due to travel restrictions. + In 1951, the Yankees switched camps with the Giants. While the giants trained in St. Petersburg, the Yankees trained in Arizona. 85 Big-League Baseball Here, St. Petersburg Times no date, in baseball clipping file, St. Petersburg Historical Society.
THE RINGLINGS IN SARASOTA: A PHOTOGRAPHIC ESSAY by Susan A. Duckett Known primarily for their work with the circus, John and Charles Ringling made significant contributions to Sarasota. The only two survivors of the original five-member team, the broth ers rivalry, aptly displayed in their Florida activities, became especially apparent once the others had passed from the scene. Ralph C. Caples, agent for the New York Central Railroad, brought the Sarasota area to John Ringlings attention in 1909. By the 1920s, John and Charles led the boom in Sarasota along with Owen Burns, Ralph Caples, Joseph Lord, and Arthur B. Edwards; their contributions took the form of building hotels, developing property, and cultivating local business interests.1 John Ringling purchased his first parcel in Sarasota from Charles Thompson, one-time manager of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. John and his wife Mable lived happily in the frame house which stood on the bayfront property until their return in 1923 from a trip to Italy. Mable aspired to living in a mansion, and John obliged her. Thus began his Florida empire with the construction of Ca DZan, or House of John in Venetian dialect. Completed in 1926 and located on Indian Rocks Beach on Sarasota Bay, the mansion was built at a cost of approximately $1.25 million. Like the houses furnishings, the concrete lions which guard the entrance were brought by John Ringling from Europe. The marble, tile, and colored glass windows were also imported. The main hall contains an Aeolian organ which alone cost $50,000. Charles installed a similar instrument in his own Sarasota mansion, located just north of the Ca DZan. John Ringling sought (successfully) to create a palace as ornate as Henry Flaglers Whitehall in Palm Beach and James Deerings Vizcaya in Miami.2 Before his home was finished, John Ringling began construction of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to house the fruits of his European buying spree of 1923. Marble columns, hand carved doorways, and a bronze replica of Michelangelos David, along with numerous Renaissance paintings, were placed in the museum which started construction in 1927 and eventually was willed with the Ca DZan to the State of Florida in 1946.3 Other projects undertaken by Ringling did not fare as well as his mansion and museum. He began constructing the Ringling Causeway in 1925 in order to connect the mainland and Longboat Key, where he planned to build a luxurious hotel, the Ritz-Carleton. The causeway alone cost him $750,000 and took two years to complete. The economic boom burst, however, and work on the Ritz (into which Ringling poured $650,000) stopped in 1926. Instead, Ringling chose to purchase the already operative El Verona Hotel from Owen Burns and rename it the John Ringling Hotel. Charles Ringling followed his brother to Sarasota in 1910, creating winter-vacation homes for himself and his daughter Hester. Costing $880,000 and $750,000 respectively, the two homes, also on Indian Rocks Beach, were connected by an arched walkway, built in Mediterranean style. While Charless home and furnishings followed English designs, Hesters home reflected those of the Mediterranean. Charles Ringling died in 1926. After the death of his wife Esther,
Charless house was sold to Gerald Collins in 1953 ($200,000) and to Fred Wynans of Pennsylvania in 1958 ($300,000). New College later acquired the building for $400,000. Hester died in 1965 whereupon New College acquired her twenty-two room house and named it after the schools founder, A.W. Cook.4
John and Charles Ringling. Photographs from Those Amazing Ringlings
A poster advertising the Ringling Brothers circus at the turn of the century.
Aerial view of the Ringling properties. The Ca DZan stands in the background; the Charles Ringling mansion is to the right, close to Sarasota Bay. Photograph courtesy of New College Library. John Ringling built an eight-thousand-square-foot terrace onto the west side of his home, which was modeled after the Doges Palace in Venice, Italy. The roofing tiles were imported from Barcelona. Photograph from Yesterdays Sarasota
The west side the of Ca DZan. Named after a mansion he saw while in Madrid, John Ringlings home was completed in December 1926 at a cost of approximately $1.25 million. Dwight James Baum designed the building. Photograph courtesy of the John and Mable Museum of Art. The Ca DZans formal dining room. The ceiling was made of inlaid black walnut. The mansion contains thirty rooms and fourteen baths. Photograph courtesy of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Front entrance to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Begun in 1927, the property was donated to the State of Florida in 1946. John H. Phillips designed the building. Photograph courtesy of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. John Ringling collected 27 tapestries and over 600 paintings for his museum. His favorite artists included Cranach, Rubens, Poussin, Hals, Van Dyck, and Guercino. Photograph courtesy of the Manatee County Historical Society.
The completed courtyard of the Ringling Museum. John Ringling purchased the property from Sarasota in 1912. Photograph courtesy of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. While in Europe in 1923, John Ringling went on a buying spree of Renaissance art. Pictured here is a bronzed copy of Michelangelos David, which stands twenty feet high. Photograph from Those Amazing Ringlings
Entrance to the E1 Verona hotel. John Ringling renamed it the John Ringling Hotel after purchasing it from Owen Burns, the original owner. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives.
John Ringling eventually abandoned his Ritz-Carleton project on Longboat Key and settled for the Ringling Hotel to rival Charles Ringlings Sarasota Terrace. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives. The open-air courtyard dining room of the John Ringling Hotel. Designed by Dwight James Baum, it was originally named after Burns' wife. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives.
Swinging door leading to the dining room of the John Ringling Hotel. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives.
Two views of the courtyard outside the John Ringling Hotel. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives.
Decorative water fountain located behind the John Ringling Hotel. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives.
Front view of the Charles Ringling mansion, located north of the Ca DZan on Sarasotas Indian Rocks Beach. The tile was imported from Cuba. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library. West side of the Charles Ringling mansion. The house stands on a lot 900 feet wide and 2,000 feet deep. Photograph from Those Amazing Ringlings
Charles Ringling modeled his home and furnishings after English designs. Most of the furnishings, including these eighteenth-century living room pieces, were imported from Sheraton and Hepplewhite of England. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library. The music room of the Charles Ringling mansion. Like John, Charles had an Aeolian player organ built into the north wall of the room. The floor is made of teakwood planks and the wainscot of American walnut. The design is Italian Renaissance. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library.
The front gate to the Charles Ringling property. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library. View from the front entrance to the Charles Ringling mansion down the 2,000-foot driveway. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library.
Charles Ringling built an arched walkway in Mediterranean style between his home and that of his daughter Hester. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library. Hester Ringlings home during construction. It was built in Mediterranean style at a cost of $750,000. Photograph court esy of the New College Library.
The west side of Hester Ringlings home. Following her death in October 1965, it was sold to Photograph courtesy of the New College Library. The living room of Hester Ringlings home is only one of twenty-two rooms. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library.
Dining room in Hester Ringlings home. Photograph courtesy of the New College Library. Charles Ringling was instrumental in designing Sarasotas Courthouse, which was built on the land he donated after Sarasota seceded from Manatee County in 1921. Dwight James Baum designed the structure which was finished in 1927 and paid for by a bond issue of $500,000. Photograph courtesy of the Sarasota Historical Archives.
1 Kenneth Matthews and Robert McDevitt, The Unlikely Legacy: The Story of John Ringling, the Circus, and Sarasota (Sarasota: Aaron Pub., Inc., 1979), 20, 21; Gene Plowden, Those Amazing Ringlings and Their Circus (New York: Bonanza Books, 1967), 138, 151. 2 Plowden, Those Amazing Ringlings 181, 189. 3 Ibid. 154. 4 Sarasota Herald Tribune May 2, 1976; Through the Ages 8 (August 1930), 3-9, in Sarasota Historical Archives.
THE CIVIL WAR DIARY OF SAMUEL PASCO by Charles W. Arnade Pasco County in central Florida is named for Samuel Pasco (1834-1917), who died in Tampa. There is, to my knowledge, no historical record of any visit to the county of his name.1 Pasco remains a modest but instrumental figure in Florida history. What historical distinction warranted a county named in his honor? Primarily it was his role as chairman of the 1885 Constitutional Convention, which wrote the basic document that governed Florida until 1968. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1887 and served briefly as its speaker before going on to the U.S. Senate where he served from 1887 to 1899. In another notable role, he headed the Democratic State Committee of 1876, a pivotal year in southern history, leading to the end of Reconstruction and the re-establishment of the Florida Democratic Party. Pasco was unsuccessful in his 1884 campaign for governor of Florida. His last service came in 1899 when President William McKinley named him to the Isthmian Canal Commission seeking a U.S. controlled canal in Panama. Pasco was born in London, England, and as a child moved with his parents to Prince Edward Island in Canada and then to Massachusetts.2 Samuel went to Harvard where he was graduated in 1859. Forthwith he accepted a teaching position in Jefferson County in north Florida. His political career started when he became clerk of the circuit court of the county in 1868. Samuel Pasco left a Civil War diary, detailing his service in the Confederate forces. Until 1990 the diary was unpublished and abandoned in a dresser drawer of a granddaughter. When she died in 1987, the diary was found by a maternal cousin of the granddaughter. She initiated the process of getting it private ly printed after a painful transcription of Pascos difficult handwriting in a somewhat deteriorated manuscript.3 Various descendants of Samuel Pasco and their spouses worked on the transcription. As far as I can determine, no trained historian or expert on Florida history was connected with this worthy enterprise. While the printed diary was not prepared and edited by professionals, it serves as a valuable document for Florida history and merits an audience in Florida which it has not yet achieved. Pasco enlisted in the Confederate Army in August 1861 and participated in various campaigns. He was taken prisoner in November 1863 in Tennessee and was paroled and freed in Virginia in February 1865. His diary is incomplete. The entries from August 10, 1861, to September 3, 1862, are missing, as is the part covering February 3, 1863 to April 11, 1863. The transcribers also had difficulty deciphering some words which are left blank. This does not detract from adequate comprehension, but the diary needs editing and trimming of superfluous material, such as what time Pasco had lunch and how well he was able to sleep. The diary is a useful addition to the literature of the Civil War, especially as it relates to Florida. Besides, it is the diary of a young man, twenty-nine years old when he enlisted, who later became an important figure in Florida's postwar history.
Samuel Pasco. Photograph from Private Pasco: A Civil War Diary
Although the beginning of the diary is missing, we know Pasco enlisted with fifteen of his older students as private in the 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment, Company H, Jefferson Rifles at Fernandina, Florida. In September 1862, when the printed diary begins, Pasco was in the Cumberland Mountains in Kentucky doing the daily reports of the brigade. In October he became regimental clerk to the brigade headquarters. His army experiences outside Florida were in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. Of interest for Florida history is that Pasco was asked to travel back to various parts of Florida to collect absentees of the Regiment. This took him as far south as Brooksville. These glimpses and other information in Pascos simple style provide us with a clear picture of the doings, hardships, frustrations and moments of joy of life in the Confederate Army, as well as those of a prisoner of war. Pascos diary includes interesting observations about the places he visited in Florida and these excerpts are reproduced here in their entirety. 1862 Saturday, Dec. 6. We reached Monticello about 4 & we all accepted Mr. Palmers invitation to walk over to his store after which I lay down on the sofa and slept until the cars were ready to start of the Junction. [two lines illegible] . stopped with him until after dinner & then rode his mare to Waukennah. Called at Mr. Reids & Pinck Granthams on my way. Met quite a number of my friends at the crossroads and all seemed much pleased to see me. Sunday, Dec. 7. Heard this morning that Mr. Thomas is very sick and Mrs. C. went off to see him. Went to church, Mr. Gates preached & there was a good congregation of ladies & quite a number of soldiers. Took dinner at Capt. Murphys, Mr. & Mrs. Gates were there. About sundown walked to Mr. A. Wethington's, took tea there and remained until about 9 oclock. [next sentence illegible] Monday, Dec. 8. Went up to Capt. Edwards to-day but felt quite unwell & lay down on the sofa most of the time. Daisy is in Monticello at school. Tuesday, Dec. 9. Felt quite unwell all day but walked down to Capt. Wootens with Miss Carpenter to a sugar boiling in the afternoon. Wednesday, Dec. 10. Rode up to Monticello with Mr. Carpenter. Met Miss Seton as I was going into town. Stopped at Mr. Girardeaus; Mrs. G. is sick. Called to see Daisy who is at Dr. Myers sick. Took tea at Mr. Lingos where I called to see Miss Seton. Thursday, Dec. 11. Was going to a picnic to-day but did not feel well enough so remained all day at Mr. Gs. Walked up town in the evening and found Mr. Arendells buggy and rode home with Green & Mount. Friday, Dec. 12. Was quite sick all day & did not go out of the house all day. Saturday, Dec. 13. Stayed in the house nearly all day; in the evening Mr. Wethington sent a horse for me and I rode out to his house to spend the night with him.
Sunday, Dec. 14. Rode out to Sunday School & opened School in the absence of Mr. Arendell. Went home with the children & took dinner with Mr. Arendell's family. Monday, Dec. 15. A message came last night for me to meet Col. Dilworth at the junction this morning. I met him & found [word illegible] there expecting me to go East with him. Mr. Carpenter took me to the junction & Miss Carpenter & Pea rode with me on their way to Georgia. Met Livingstone at Madison and we spent the day there getting up arrangements to collect the absentees. Tuesday, Dec. 16. We left on the morning train for Lake City and went to Willards hotel. Here we made the same arrangements as at Madison. Wednesday, Dec. 17. We remained at Lake City all day & I was introduced to a good many acquaintances of Col. Dilworth. Thursday, Dec. 18. Got up very early & took the cars at 4 oclock leaving the Col. in Lake City. Met Lingo on the cars & gave him a few packages to take up to Monticello with him. Rode home on DeCaussey's horse. Friday, Dec. 19. Rode down to Wm. Thomas this morning and spent the day there. He is getting much better. Called at Capt. Wootens on my way home & took tea there. Saturday, Dec. 20. Attended Lodge this afternoon; the officers for the next year were elected. Guilford Houston is quite sick. Sunday, Dec. 21. Attended church this morning; Mr. Gates preached his farewell sermon. Took dinner at Capt. Edwards and afterwards called and took tea at Pinck Granthams who is to start for the army to-morrow. Monday, Dec. 22. Called to see Guilford; he is still very sick & it is feared he will not recover. Called at Mrs. Ulmers & Mrs. Bellingers during the day. Sat up with Guilford at night. Tuesday, Dec. 23. Left Guilford very low this morning. Mr. May sent me a horse to-day & I rode up to DeCausseys calling at Mr. Reids on the way & drank some cane beer. Charlie was not at home but after waiting a while he came in & I spent a very pleasant evening. Wednesday, Dec. 24. Rode up to Monticello after the cars left in company with Mr. Floyd. Called at Dr. Myers & found Daisy has gone home to-day in a carriage, a little better in health. Took tea at Capt. Girardeaus & afterwards rode down to the Junction & spent the night again with Charlie. Guilford died this morning & will be buried to-morrow. Thursday, Dec. 25. Rode down to Waukeenah after the cars left and went at once to the Lodge where we made arrangement for the burial this afternoon. We buried Guilford with Masons honors & I afterwards called at Mr. Johnstons.
Friday, Dec. 26. I was going out with Miss K.B. to Mr. Cookseys yesterday but owing to the burial we postponed it until to-day. We found them both at home & spent a very pleasant day & returned to W. in time for supper. Saturday, Dec. 27. Lodge met in the morning it being St. Johns day. Went home with Mr. Arendell & took dinner with him. In the evening rode out to Mr. McCalls where I spent the night. Sunday, Dec. 28. Rode on to Sabbath School in company with John & opened school. Spent the day at home. Capt. Wooten called & we all walked out to the grave yard where a Mr. Douglass was to be buried. But few were there & our assistance was needed. Monday & Tues. Dec. 29 & 30. Have been too unwell to go out these two days. Have had boils on my back & knee, had to occupy myself with reading chiefly. Wednesday, Dec. 31. Called at Capt. Edwards this afternoon & found Daisy a little better. Met Miss Emma Cole there & rode out with her to see Asa May. We afterwards walked over to Alvin May's where we spent a pleasant evening and spent all night. 1863 Thursday, Jan. 1, 1863. Went back to Asa Mays this morning & spent a most pleasant day. [next few lines illegible] Friday, Jan. 2. I rose up early & after breakfast rode up to the Junction where I took the cars for Monticello. A negro was hanged for murder & nearly all the male population had to witness the spectacle. I met Col. D. who wishes me to go to South Florida next week. Took tea at Mr. Girardeaus where I found the young ladies at home & I went with Miss Lizzie to see the Tableaux at the Academy got up by the ladies in behalf of the Soldiers Aid Society. The performance was very creditable to the ladies who got it up. Saturday, Jan. 3. Took the cars for the Junction & rode down home in company with Willie Cole as for school. Attended Lodge Meeting in the evening. Sunday, Jan. 4. It has been quite a wet day & I did not go out much until evening when I rode out to Mr. Wethingtons & took tea. Returned about 9 oclock. Attended Lodge in the evening & went to Wm. Johnston's afterwards to borrow a book. Monday, Jan. 5. Rode out to Gen. Whitfield's this morning where I made the acquaintance of his son-in-law Mr. Keyes. From there went to Capt. Edwards, found Daisy improving. About 4 oclock was obliged to go to Monticello to see Col. D. Took tea with him & then went to the DeCausseys. Charlie was not at home but I spent the night there. Tuesday, Jan. 6. Made Mrs. DeCausseys acquaintance this morning and after breakfast got on the cars for Lake City. McCann loaned me $20. Marion Clark was on the train & we put up together at the Railroad [?] house when we got to Lake City.
Wednesday, Jan. 7. Clark & his party left at Baldwin & I had to wait a few hours alone until t he Gainesville train came along. Reached G. about dark & put up at Addisons hotel where I met several old friends, Mr.....[several words illegible] Thursday, Jan. 8. Remained in Gainesville all day; it is a pretty little place & they keep it very neat. We left on the stage at 6 oclock and there were about a dozen passengers & it took us until midnight to cross Paynes prairie to Micanopy. Friday, Jan. 9. We were delayed two hours at Micanopy changing horses and finding the Post office which a preacher has just taken charge of & removed to the outskirts of town. We stopped at Flemington and got warmed up after which I was able to sleep a little and by that time the stage got nearly empty. We had a very poor breakfast and got to Ocala in time for a late dinner. Here we took another stage and a Catholic Bishop formerly of St. Augustine got in. We now had three white passengers; the Bishop, Dr. Mayo of Brooksville, a very entertaining companion, and myself. We took supper at Long Swamp and it was a very good one. At Sumpterville we stopped long enough to get warm. I had a few good naps in the night by kneeling down and resting my head on the seat. Saturday, Jan. 10. We had a long dull ride this morning before breakfast & it was about 11 when we reached Monroes ferry. Mrs. Monroe had died and her friends were collecting for the burial. We had breakfast and a new driver got on the stage who got us to Brooksville by 3 oclock. I put up at rather a poor looking house and went up to the P.O. where I met Randolph Saxon and other members of Co. C. I went early to bed & rested very well after the fatigues of my journey. Sunday, Jan. 11. Arose much refreshed and after breakfast walked over to church. There was a very large & attentive congregation present & after the sermon Mr. Breaker the pastor was reelected for another year; he is a very good preacher. Saw a few of Saxons men and Randolph at church. Dr. Mayo invited me out to his house but I cannot go for a day or two. Monday, Jan. 12. Have read a good deal to-day. Several of the men have come in to report themselves to-day but I have not be able to see Lt. Lang. Tuesday, Jan. 13. Read during the morning & in the evening walked out to Dr. Mayos about 3 miles from B. The country about here is very high and rolling and I enjoyed my walk very much. Dr. M. & his wife received me very kindly and I had a very nice supper. They have a beautiful situation and a very pretty garden. Wednesday, Jan. 14. Walked out before breakfast to see the garden; there are plenty of orange, lemon & lime trees; the last are very pretty with fruit in every stage of formation from the bud to the ripe fruit. Bananas and pine apples grow here and strawberries are already getting ripe. We had green peas and beets for dinner. We went out turkey hunting in the morning but all the turkeys kept out in the middle of the field. In the afternoon we tried the deer but they us before we did them and our success was bad. In the evening I got a note from Dunham who arrived on the stage to-day.
Thursday, Jan. 15. After breakfast walked back to town and found Dunham at the store and we made up our minds to leave on Saturday in the stage. After dinner I walked out to Lt. Langs about 7 miles to arrange matters with him in regard to taking on the men. We were rather crowded but I spent the night there and about bed time the rain came down in torrents. Friday, Jan. 16. Walked back to town this morning & now have everything arranged to leave to-morrow. It is quite cold to-day. McCants came along about dinner time and we had a very sociable time together the rest of the day. Saturday, Jan. 17. McCants stayed until we left. The stage came up from Tampa with the Bishop & a Priest on board so we had plenty of room and left after a good dinner. The weather continued cold. We travelled fast and took an early supper at Monroes Ferry. As the night advanced we suffered much from exposure in the open hack and once got out & built a good fire to warm by. We warmed while the mail was being assorted at Sumpterville. There the Priest & Bishop remained and we lay down on the bottom of the hack to sleep but had scarcely gone a mile when we lost a pin out of some part of the concern, then the traces broke and one accident after another delayed us for hours so I lay down to sleep. Sunday, Jan. 18. After I awoke I found we were still not ready to start but we got off at last and took breakfast where we ought to have been at midnight. We then changed drivers and got along much faster. We feared the Ocala stage would leave us but our new driver put us through in time for dinner. At Ocala I heard of a few of our men wounded at the recent fight at Murfreesboro. From Ocala we had a full stage and a crazy woman as one of our passengers, who did not allow us to sleep very soundly. Monday, Jan. 19. We reached Gainesville in time for breakfast and Dunham stayed behind a day. I met Randolph Saxon and family and travelled with them. We left G. early in the morning and reached Baldwin about noon; after remaining a few hours we started again and reached Lake City about dark. It was raining hard and it was with difficulty we could all get up to the Hancock House where we stopped. I met Lt. Ross after supper and Saxon and I got hold of copy of our list casualties at Murfreesboro. Poor Kyle was killed & several wounded. Tuesday, Jan. 20. We left at 4 oclock this morning but were up by 3 oclock. Mr. Saxons family left at Madison. I met Col Dilworth & Lt. Johnson at the junction so did not go on to Monticello. Rode home on Charlies horse. After supper went up to Capt. Edwards and found Daisy very low. Received letters from Jane, Fred & Amelia. Wednesday, Jan. 21. Have not felt well to-day and did not go out much. Thursday, Jan. 22. Capt. Wooten called this morning and we sat and talked for a long time. In the afternoon I went up to Mr. Edwards and found a good many there, Rev. Mr. Mackara among them. Daisy knew me but is very evidently sinking rapidly. I walked back home in company with some of the ladies. Friday, Jan. 23. Walked up to Mr. Edwards this morning and heard on the way that Daisy died about [illegible] oclock this morning. The family is in great distress. In the afternoon I rode up
to Mr. McCalls promising to return to sit up with the body and calling to see Sallie on the way who was sick but improving. Mr. McCall is improving. It was late when I got there so I stayed to tea and rode home about 8 oclock. Left my horse and walked up to Capt. Edwards. Found a number of ladies there. Poor Daisy looks very natural as she lies laid out in a plain white dress. Mr. Alexander has just arrived from Richmond. Saturday, Jan. 24. Slept only a little during the night. It is a beautiful morning. Took a short walk with Mr. Alexander after breakfast and remained at Mr. Edwards until near dinner time. Such is the scarcity of the proper materials that the coffin has to be trimmed in [illegible] which the [illegible] has neatly arranged. Dr. Myers came down from Monticello & we walked to the funeral. It was well attended. I was much fatigued and retired early. Sunday; Jan. 25. Dined at Capt. Murphys to-day and in the evening went out to Mr. Wethingtons where I took tea and spent the evening. Monday, Jan. 26. This has been a very wet day. Mr. Wade came down from Monticello and upon my advice the Trustees engaged him to take charge of the school for the coming year. Pages from Samuel P ascos diary, showing the entries from January 15-16, 1863. Photograph from Private Pasco: A Civil War Diary
Tuesday, Jan. 27. It was very rainy to-day but Col. D. required me to go up to Monticello and Mr. Wethington sent me up in his buggy. The rain stopped after a while so I did not get very wet. Went home with Col. D. and have been very busy writing up reports &c. Wednesday, Jan. 28. Have been quite busy again to-day in the office. In the evening went to Capt. Gs where I took tea and spent the evening. Found that all had retired when I got back but I easily found the way to my room. Thursday, Jan 29. Had to hurry through breakfast this morning to get to the cars in time to go to Tallahassee. Some soldiers from the 2nd. Fla. were on the train, fine healthy looking fellows. Met a few friends in T. In the evening called at Mr. Damiens and had a very pleasant time. The young ladies sang some new pieces. Friday, Jan. 30. Had to start very early on the cars and had a dull ride to the Junction. They had breakfast saved for me and Col. Stephens who came up on the train to see the Col. on business also took breakfast. In the afternoon a party of us went out to ride and we had a very pleasant time. I rode on DeCs horse & after tea walked to [illegible] & stated with him. [Note: At the bottom of the page under the line about riding DeCs horse are the letters cb/..vov,ua.] Saturday, Jan. 31. Capt. Edwards sent up a horse for me this morning to ride home. Called at Mrs. Johnsons and found Alice sick but Miss Isabel S. and I arranged to ride up to Genl. Whitfield's without her. We had a pleasant ride and enjoyed our call very much. Sunday, Feb. 1, 1863. [date written but no entry] Feb. 1. Left for the army and reached the Regt. in company with Col. D. & Lt. J. on the 9th. Col. Dilworth, Capt. Lewis & I are to mess together and the Colonels boy will cook and wash for us. [Note: The diary section from February 3-April 11 has not been located.] 1 Anyone who knows of any trip Samuel Pasco made to Pasco County, especially while he resided in Tampa, please contact Paul Camp of the Special Collections Department, University of South Florida Library, Tampa, FL 33620. 2 The reason for the move of the Pasco family to Prince Edward Island is never mentioned. While at the University of Prince Edward Island in 1990, I located in the provincial archives one document: a promissory note of John Pasco, the father of Samuel, dated March 21, 1843. Also, a wedding announcement by a certain Mr. Pascoe about the same time could relate to the Samuel Pasco family. According to one of his descendants, John Pasco was a printer and publisher in London. He is said to have published a temperance newsletter of some sort. The family moved to Prince Edward Island in 1842 (for reasons unknown), and later that year moved to Boston, where John opened a printing business. One of the documents in our Pasco family collection states that Samuel attended the Grammar Schools in Roxbury, Boston and Charlestown, entered the Charlestown High School, where he was fitted for college and was admitted to Harvard in the summer of 1854. His father's means were limited and he partly paid college expense by taking private pupils and engaging in other literary work in term time and by teaching school during the winter months. During his junior year he received the second Bowdoin prize offered for dissertations. He graduated with honors in 1858. Letter of William C. Gibbons to Tampa Bay History Managing Editor, September 21, 1993. 3 Private Pasco: A Civil War Diary copyrighted by William Pasco and William Gibbons for the Pasco family and printed by McAdams Multigraphics, Oak Brook, Illinois, 1990. A copy of the 188-page book is available in the
Special Collections Department of the University of South Florida Library. Copies can be obtained for $20 (including postage) from William C. Gibbons, Route 1, Box 139, Monroe, Virginia 24574.
BOOK REVIEWS Florida: A Short History By Michael Gannon. Gainesville, Florida, 1993. University Press of )ORULGDSS,OOXVWUDWLRQV%LEOLRJUDSK\,QGH[&ORWK DSHU Short histories are extremely difficult to write. There must be decisions on what to cut and how to maintain the flow and continuity while avoiding minute fractures of facts in squashing the story to fit the allocated space. Despite these difficulties, Michael Gannon has achieved remarkable success in writing Florida: A Short History The first third of the book describes Floridas history before 1900, and the remaining two-thirds covers the most recent hundred years. This is a wise choice for the general reader, but it does not emphasize the authors VWUHQJWK WKHFRORQLDOSHULRG In the Florida Legislature, one should never introduce a short bill because it will be read thoroughly. Likewise, it is dangerous to undertake a short history because people are likely to read it and point out every real and imagined flaw. This is a well written book that everyone should enjoy, even the reviewer looking for the miscue that creeps into every historical effort. First, a comment on a well crafted salvo! Florida is consistently short-changed in general works on American history because the state was not one of the original colonies, and to most U.S. historians if it did not happen in the Thirteen Colonies, it is not part of American history. Dr. Gannon uses a Spanish cannon to blow the Mayflower out of Plymouth Harbor with the statement, By the time the Pilgrims came ashore at Plymouth, St. Augustine was up for urban renewal (p. 4). There are some fractures of facts and a few arguable opinions that do not mar the book, but do deserve comment. Florida obtained millions of acres of land from the federal government under the Swamp and Overflow Lands Act of 1850, but physically, it was not all swamp and overflow lands. When Florida then sold four million acres of these lands to Hamilton Disston, the sale included uplands and swamp land, not exclusively swamp land as implied by the author. Members of the Florida House of Representatives would like to believe that the House is the Legislature. The picture on page 56 is identified as members of the 1887 Legislature and they were. However, the photograph shows the members of the House and does not include the Senate. In a spirit of fairness a more accurate identification would have been House of Representatives. Claude Pepper was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1928, and in 1934 ran unsuccessfully in a highly disputed race for the U.S. Senate. Two years later he was elected to the United States Senate. Thus, when he arrived on the national scene in 1936, he was already on the state scene. Women were first elected to state offices in 1928 when Mamie Eaton Greene was elected to the Railroad Commission and Ruth Bryan Owens was also elected to Congress. The same year Edna Fuller of Orange County was elected to the state House of Representatives, but she is omitted from the authors list.
Florida politics has always been difficult to control. Geographically it has been too big, politically too diverse, and in this century, political parties largely paper shells. While Ed Ball was a major player in Florida politics, his influence was mostly in north and west Florida. In Dade County he was a major annoyance, and in the rest of the state he was either mildly controversial or unknown. Ed Ball did not control politics, nor has anyone else (p. 88). The Tamiami Trail, a great engineering feat, began in 1915 and was completed in 1931 with the construction of the concrete bridges across the Peace and Caloosahatchie rivers. Most people considered the road complete in 1928 because it was then passible. Today the Department of Transportations official map of Florida indicates the distance between Tampa and Miami is 245 miles, not 143 miles as indicated on page 85. When the trail was completed in 1928, it was officially considered 283.9 miles. In 1949, Floridas education system was at a crossroads. The minimum foundation program had been adopted, and its implementation required significant additional funding, money the state did not have. Governor Fuller Warren proposed seventeen specific taxes, a proposal that galvanized the legislative lobbying fraternity and doomed the bill. The only politically possible tax was a sales tax that was limited and not a general sales tax as the author writes (p. 110). Then as now there were numerous exemptions such as food and medicine. The 1949 act also Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Floridas governor from 1905-1909, shown with his family on the mansion steps in Tallahassee. Photograph from Florida: A Short History
exempted automobiles from the tax. The fact that the meeting between Governor Warren and legislative leaders to decide which commodities to exempt was held at a cabin in an orange grove near Kissimmee owned by the lobbyist for automobile dealers may have contributed to this exemption. There are two concerns on page 93. Governor Fred Cone could not have vetoed 154 appropriations bills. He vetoed a number of bills, but not appropriation bills. Normally there is one appropriation bill for each regular legislative session. During Governor Cones tenure there were only two regular legislative sessions. The line-item veto is available to the governor for individual items in appropriation bills. On another issue, Governor Cones secretary, Ella Neill, performed a number of gubernatorial functions during the governor's illness. His brother, Branch Cone, also performed many duties, such as patronage and legislative affairs. Thus, it would not be accurate to claim that Miss Ella for all practical purposes was the first woman governor of Florida. Daniel McCarty of Fort Pierce was elected governor of Florida in 1952. All indications were that if death had not intervened, he would have been an outstanding chief executive. He was the first governor from south Florida in a number of years, but not the first governor from the southern counties (p. 126). Albert Gilchrist of Punta Gorda was elected governor in 1908, and there were others with strong south Florida identities. Dr. Gannon makes a surprising statement regarding Reconstruction: The state constitution of 1868 was an enlightened document, the best that Florida would have in the century (p. 51). The first part of this statement could probably be accepted with slight comment. However, the last half is more difficult because it plows new ground. Perhaps it would have been better to write a separate article comparing Floridas constitutions of the last century in order to develop the basis for this opinion. The Reconstruction constitution of 1868 was born of partisan discord in a supercharged emotional period in which the life of Florida (economically, socially, and politically) was turned upside down. A bitter division among the constitutional convention delegates resulted in one group meeting in Tallahassee and the other in Monticello. Politics rather than reason prevailed in 1868. The resulting constitution was a pragmatic document that treated white southerners far more gently than the Radical Republicans in Congress would have preferred. However, the new constitution met federal criteria and was approved by the commander of the Third Military District and by Congress, and Florida was re-admitted to the Union in time for Floridas electoral votes to be recorded in the Republican column in the presidential election later that year. The 1868 constitution granted suffrage to blacks, which was a condition for re-admittance to the Union, and then the state effectively nullified the black vote by making virtually all local public offices appointed by the governor. Was this enlightenment or political pragmatism? Michael Gannon is a distinguished historian. Florida: A Short History adds to his contributions to the states history. The book is attractive to the eye; the photographic selection is superior and the printing unusually sharp. More importantly, it relates the history of this state in a thoroughly readable style; this is a book to be read and shared with anyone remotely interested in Florida and its historical development.
Vernon Peeples The Seminoles of Florida By James W. Covington. Gainesville, Florida. 1993 University Press RI)ORULGDSS,OOXVWUDWLRQVRWHV%LEOLRJUDSK\,QGH[&ORWK DSHU By concluding a negotiated peace with the federal government [in 1842], the Seminole Indians had accomplished something that many other larger tribes had not: they had fought a war with the whites during the nineteenth century in the eastern United States and under the peace terms had been allowed to remain on their own land (p. 109). So writes James W. Covington, emeritus Dana Professor of History at the University of Tampa, in his recent work on the history of the Seminoles from their origins as a distinct people to the present. In fourteen chapters, seven up through the three Seminole wars and seven more to the present, Covingtons work represents the culmination of over forty years of research and writing on the Seminoles. The work begins with the familiar story of the migration of the Lower Creeks into the Florida peninsula in the eighteenth century. Through a combination of raids alongside whites, diseases and other calamities, the Creeks eventually displaced Floridas original Indian tribes. Whether Lower Creeks or Upper Creeks, who came in the next century, Covington reminds us that the first Seminoles were really Creeks who migrated to Florida (p. 5). As he chronicles the movement of the Muskogean and Mikasuki bands, the author discusses various features of Creek society transplanted to Florida, such as the rituals of war and peace, traditional square ground towns, marital practices, slave holding patterns, and the Green Corn Dance. The War of 1812 was a watershed for the Seminoles. Allied with the British, a few Seminoles even accompanied General Pakenham on his ill-fated expedition against New Orleans in 1814. At wars end, the plight of the Seminoles seemed hopeless. The issue of runaway slaves encroachment over the nebulous boundary separating American from Spanish territory proved disastrous for the Seminoles and their black allies. Added to this volatile mix was the British, who understood that any hope they had of maintaining a presence in the Gulf hinged on Seminole support. The British seemed to give the Seminoles just enough support to encourage them against the Americans, but then withdrew at the time the Seminoles needed them most. The First Seminole War was the beginning of the end for the tribe because its end marked the beginning of the tribes relationship with the Americans. Covington skillfully guides the reader through the complicated leadership factions, intermittent bouts of fighting and negotiating with whites, and the various migrations leading up to the wars of removal. His work chronicles the various removals of the Seminoles to the west, but his focus remains with those left behind. After the Third Seminole War (1855-58) there still were isolated Seminole settlements in the Ten Thousand Islands, the Everglades, and Big Cypress Swamp. The Civil War and Reconstruction diverted attention from the Seminoles, and serious efforts to remove the tribe west abated. As the twentieth century neared and white settlement grew in south Florida, Indian-white contacts became more frequent. The Indians bargained for manufactured goods with deer, mink, and alligator skins at posts in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. By the turn of the century efforts of missionaries and educators were well under way. In
The wife of Billy Bowlegs in an 1858 drawing. Photograph from The Seminoles of Florida
the 1930s and 1940s reservations were established at Brighton, Big Cypress, and Dania-Hollywood. The single most important piece of legislation affecting the Seminoles in the post-World War II era was the 1946 Indian Claims Commission Act, which provided compensation to tribes for past frauds committed by the federal government. According to Covington, the act proved to be a bonanza for lawyers, a good research tool for scholars who provided material for the attorneys, and of some benefit to those tribes that stipulated that part of the funds go for improvements such as roads and schools. The act also caused a split within the ranks of the Seminoles (p. 233). What followed was a seemingly endless trail of litigation. Friction between reservation and nonreservation (Trail Indians and Miccosukees) emerged, so much so that the Miccosukees obtained distinct tribal status. Fortunately for his readers, Covington probably overruled his editors because the book includes many long quotes. We read the comments of such Seminoles as Alligator, Wildcat, Jumper, and Billy Bowlegs; such military men as John Sprague, Ethan A. Hitchcock, John Casey, and Oliver O. Howard; and such other interesting characters as Alexander Arbuthnot, Kirk Munroe, and Lucien Spencer. These long quotes are well chosen and flow well with the narrative. The book contains many excellent pictures and maps. Covingtons work is well researched and written. It constitutes the best full treatment available of Florida's Seminoles. James M. Denham Ide lla: Marjorie Rawlings Perfect Maid. By Idella Parker with Mary Keating. Gainesville, 1992. University Press of Florida. xv, 135 SS,OOXVWUDWLRQV,QGH[&ORWK 3DSHU The tongue-in-cheek title is a good beginning for the ambivalent and understated tone of this book. Idella was the perfect maid for Marjorie Kinan Rawlings. She was talented, obedient, and industrious, handling every situation, no matter how bizarre, with a quiet, strong desperation that renders a familiar persona in American literature: The Black southern female domestic worker. The most important aspect of this story, however, is that it is Idella Parkers own life told in her voice, with the assistance of writer Mary Keating. Written in a serene conversational tone, this recollection gives the warmth and authenticity of a storytelling session on an old sun-drenched Florida porch. One may even feel a sense of being there, listening to Idella remember the days. She was cook, maid, beautician, hostess at several of the famous writers residences, and counselor for Marjorie Kinan Rawlings from 1940 to 1949. Idella gives a detailed, sometimes colorful, often painful narrative of just what that was all about. The great value of the book is its first person telling of Black Floridian womens history. Idella provides accounts of the quality of life in north central Florida for Black people and more specifically for the African-American female born in the South at the beginning of the twentieth century. It is always powerful and instructive to remember that Black Floridians had to pay to attend public schools. It is magical and exhilarating to read of Idellas proud connection to Nat
Idella Parker in 1949. Photograph from Idella: Marjorie Rawlings Perfect Maid.
Turner, the nineteenth-century freedom fighter. And it is also infuriating to relive the amazing transaction in which Idella was secured by Marjorie for what was little more than slavery, with a check for four dollars amid Idella's protests: Oh no, maam, I said in a loud voice, Im to work for Mrs. Camp. She lives in Ocala, not Island Grove. I tried to hand the check back to her, but she just waved it away. I continued my protest. But Im to work in Ocala for Mrs. Camp. Mrs. Rawlings looked up with a mischievous smile in her blue-gray eyes and said, Oh no Idella you don't want to work for Mrs. Camp. Shes hard to get along with (p.16). Thus, began Idella and Marjories decade-long relationship. For Florida history enthusiasts, the photographs are of special interest, and they are numerous and appropriate. The indexing of the book is also useful for locating Idellas mention of important figures such as Zora Neale Hurston. In the area of African-American family studies, it gives a step-by-step view of the mechanism of Black Floridian survival in the first half of the century. The simplistic style of extreme understatement and suppression is almost pathological. Idella is locked into a ten-year sentence of servitude with an insensitive and eccentric woman apparently afflicted with alcoholism and depression. The perfect maid seemed to be Marjories primary source of support, both physical and emotional. Idella leads us through drunk driving episodes, spoiled dinner parties, and the dishonest rip-off of her work in Cross Creel Cookery ; yet she annoyingly continues to inform the reader that Marjorie was a kind, well meaning person. What we begin to see is a system of volunteer servitude that was condoned and allowed because of circumstance. Idella was a teacher, gourmet cook, home economics expert, and beautician, possessing all the skills it took to run a rural Florida home of the 1940s and care for an ailing, temperamental mistress. And she was consistently treated like an unskilled, ignorant, minimally useful presence. Though she speaks of her productive and successful life with pride, speculation about the lost potential of such a hard-working and talented person in a non-racist environment is painful. For, other approaches on the subject one might read Trudier Harriss From Mammies to Militants and Susan Tuckers Telling Memories Among Southern Women or view Muriel Jacksons documentary The Maids wherein Dorothy Bolden, founder of National Domestic Workers of America, speaks of the same circumstance in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Idella is a cool retelling of what it was like to be an African-American caught up in a complex and deplorable system, servant to one of the more humane Anglo-American women of the time. Phyllis M. Taylor
BOOK NOTES Urban Vigilantes in the New South: Tampa, 1882-1936 By Robert P. Ingalls. Gainesville, 1993. University Press of Florida. xx, 286 pp. Illustrations. Maps. Notes. Bibliography. Index. 3DSHU The original cloth edition of this book was reviewed in Tampa Bay History in 1989 by Gail W. OBrien, who wrote in part: Urban Vigilantes is anchored at one end by the 1882 lynching of an English immigrant, and, at the other, by the 1934 mob murder of a black prisoner and the flogging death in 1935 of a white radical. Between these mob actions, the author carefully documents a series of Citizens Committees created by Tampas business and professional elite and designed to thwart union efforts by cigar employees who were preeminent among the city's work force. Frightened by the ease with which manufacturers of luxury, handrolled cigars could relocate, and worried about the devastating economic effects of relocation on their own fortunes, the elite kidnapped and exported labor leaders, smashed the labor press, destroyed equipment in the soup kitchens feeding striking workers, shot an AFL leader in 1903, and took the lives of two Italian immigrants in 1910 and of a northern-born Socialist in 1935. Throughout the book, the author argues that all of the vigilante actions, including the lynchings of black men in 1903 and 1934, were part and parcel of establishment violence, emerging from the traditions of community justice and republicanism in the Old South and continuing into the New . . Although [the author] does not analyze conflict among Tampa whites, he documents impressively the unlimited ends to which American businessmen would go to defeat labor, the support throughout the nation which such actions could generate, and the persistence of radical proclivities among Tampas cigarworkers, despite, or perhaps in part because of, their lack of success .... [T]his book reveals a great deal about the American establishment and the lengths to which it will go, when given tacit approval. Pioneer Commercial Photography: The Burgert Brothers, Tampa, Florida By Robert E. Snyder and Jack B. Moore. Gainesville, 1992. University Press of Florida. 316 pp. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Cloth As steamboats and railroads brought increasing numbers of tourists and residents to coastal cities in Florida, photography studios burgeoned. One of the best, most profitable, and longest lasting was S.P. Burgert and Son, which opened its doors in 1899 in Ybor City and continued as a family enterprise until the mid-1950s. This book chronicles the business and presents more than 200 photographs that record and help define the history of the Tampa Bay area. Set in the context of ethnic migration, worlds wars, economic upheaval, and the natural disasters of the first half of the 20th century, the photographs in this book include weddings, family portraits, Western Union delivery boys, tobacco fields and citrus farms, the building of
wartime ships in Tampa dockyards, Latin women in satin gowns in short, any local activity that someone would pay to record. Burgert Brothers photographs appeared in newspapers, magazines, and advertisements and as decorations in stores and businesses. Their aesthetic quality was respected well beyond Florida: both Life and National Geographic retained the Burgerts for assignments. Pioneer Commercial Photography shows and explains their lasting impact on the Tampa Bay area. Burgert Brothers new International truck in 1936. Photograph from Pioneer Commercial Photography
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS CHARLES ARNADE, a resident of Pasco County, is a Professor in the Department of Government and International Affairs at the University of South Florida. JAMES M. DENHAM is a Professor of History at Florida Southern College. SUSAN A. DUCKETT earned both a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of South Florida. MELISSA L. YELLER earned a B.A. in history from Eckerd College and is currently working on a master's degree at the University of South Florida. VERNON PEEPLES, past president of the Peace River Valley Historical Society, is a member of the Florida House of Representatives from District 72. PHYLISS M. TAYLOR, a University Librarian at the University of South Florida, is a poet who also teaches literature. ANA VARELA-LAGO, a graduate student in history at the University of South Florida, received her previous education in Spain.
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 ...........................................................................................GARY R. MORMINO Administrative Editor ...........................................................................................SYLVIA WOOD Editorial Assistant ...................................................................HEATHER C. R. MC CLENAHAN Administrative Assistant ............................................................................................GAIL SMITH 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 arid 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 disability. The University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Access Employer.
COVER: A train at the station in Punta Gorda in 1890. See the photograph essay on page 25. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress.
BOARD OF ADVISERS DONALD BALDWIN .............................................................. Poynter Institue for Media Studies PATRICIA BARTLETT ................................................................ Fort Myers Historical Museum HAMPTON DUNN .......................................................................................................... Histori an KENDRICK FORD ................................................................ Pinellas County Historical Museum LELAND HAWES .................................................................................................. Tampa Tribune STEVEN F. LAWSON ............................................................................... Department of History, University of North Carolina, Greensboro 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 JACKIE WATSON .................................................................................. Pioneer Florida Museum
A SARASOTA BEAR STORY In the late 1950's Dottie Davis, who was then the Sarasota County Historian, interviewed on tape Arthur B. Edwards, one of Sarasota's most prominent citizens. When Mrs. Davis asked him when he came to Sarasota, his answer was "I never came to Sarasota. Sarasota came to me. I was born here long before the city was founded or the county was created." He was born in 1874 just north of today's Ringling Museums which was a wild, sparsely settled frontier area. As a young boy he often went hunting with his father along the Sarasota Bay shore. The following is his description of one day's events: "...my Father, with his shotgun and a pack of dogs and I were walking down the beach one early morning, and back in those days there was a nice, clean, sand beach 30 to 50 feet wide from the entrance of Hudson Bayou north to the entrance of Whitaker Bayou, with the exception of Cedar Point (which is now Golden Gate Point), which was, incidentally, separated from the mainland by a channel some two or three feet in depth at high tide... And when we reached a point on the beach almost opposite where the Sarasota Hotel now stands (today's Palm Towers at Main Street and Palm Avenue), the dogs scented something and with their hair all ruffled up, they entered the dense jungle and followed up a low wet slushy alligator slide to a point about where the hotel and the alley in the rear are now situated and which was at that time quite a deep, wet, muddy depression. The dogs began to bay and howl, and a loud growling and snarling, slashing sound could be heard. My Father remarked that he had to get in there to see what the dogs were baying at. So he got down on his knees, and I was at his boot heels, and the two of us crawled through that impenetrable jungle until we were within approximately 20 feet of a large black bear standing up on his hind feet backed up against a wall of dense vines and briars, fighting off the dogs, one or two of which has been deeply gashed by the bear's claws. The dogs, the bear and the vines were so jumbled up, my Father had to be very careful in taking a chance to shoot; but he fired and felled a big, black 400 pound bear. Of course we could not drag him out to the beach alone, and Father had to walk approximately 4 miles to the house of a neighbor who had a yoke of oxen, and returned to the scene with ropes and chains; and with the oxen the bear was pulled out to the open area where he was skinned and quartered, and the neighbors in the area had bear meat on their dining tables for several days." History Society of Sarasota County Newsletter April 1993.
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