A short history of Florida

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A short history of Florida

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A short history of Florida
Leake, James Miller
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D. C. Heath and company
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History -- Florida ( lcsh )

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University of South Florida
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Florida Studies

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FOREWORD To compress into the space of this supplement the history of such state as Florida is indeed a task. Florida, while young as a state , the American Union, is, at the same time, very old. She was a panish colony long before Jamestown was settled or the Mayflower •uched on the New England coast. Much of her early history is so far back in the dim reaches of the .:..st that it has been hard to sift out the grains of historic truth from the chaff of myth and legend and romance. If the author has suc ceeded, even in a small way, to present the main facts of Florida's history to the youth of this splendid state, he will feel amply repaid for all the labor expended in this work. In the preparation of this little work, the author wishes to acknowl edge his indebtedness to Caroline Mays Brevard's "History of Florida" and to the "Memoirs of Florida" by Governor Francis P. Fleming. Without the assistance derived from their works his task would have been far more difficult. It is a pleasure to testify here to his indebted ness to these lovers of Florida. In closing this foreword, may he not hope that an understanding of Florida's history will make all of her children better citizens of this great Commonwealth and of the Federal Union of which she is a part. JAMES MILLER LEAKE. GAINESVILLE, FLOl



CHAPTER I THE EARLY SPANISH EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES The peninsula which now bears the name of Florida and is the southeastern state of our Union, early attracted the attention of Spanish explorers. Florida is shown on a map made in the year 1502, while as early as 1510 the Council of the Indies, a council of the Spanish government that had charge of the Spanish colonies in America, claimed that fleets and ships had gone thither. In 1513 Juan Ponce de Leon received a royal grant. to discover and settle "Bimini," a legendary island, which was supposed to contain the far-famed fountain of youth, the healing waters of which it was claimed would restore youth to old men and were possessed of magical curative properties. Ponce de Leon had accompanied Columbus on his second voyage to the New World and had later become governor of Porto Rico. Setting out to explore the lands granted to him, he came within sight of Florida during the Easter season of 1513, calling the new country Florida, from the Spanish name for the season, Pascua Florida. De Leon seems to have made explorations along the coast on both sides of the peninsula and to have returned with the belief that he had discovered a large island. In 1514 he returned to Spain, reported his discoveries, and received from his sovereign a grant to colonize "the island of Bimini and the island of Florida," of which he was appointed adelantado, or governor. In 152 1 he set out again, this time to colonize the lands granted him, as well as to make further discoveries and explorations. It is be lieved that he touched on the island of Tortugas, so named from the large number of turtles found there, and that he landed at. other places; but disease broke out among his I


2 HISTORY OF FLORIDA men, causing loss of much of his forces. He was wounded in an Indian attack; and abandoning his attempt to settle Florida, he died soon after in Cuba. In spite of his failure to effect a permanent settlement in Florida, he gave to that country its name; and he has left on the pages of history a reputation for courage and daring, which is perpetuated in his epitaph, "A lion by name and still more so by nature." In the meantime another Spaniard, Diego Miruelo, seems, during the year 1516, to have sailed for some distance along the west coast of Florida. He discovered a beautiful body of water, which was, in all probability, Pensacola Bay. R eturning to Cuba, he carried back with him some gold obtained from the natives and wonderful stories _ of the beauties of the country which he had visited . Passing over the expeditions of Fernandez de Cordova, who in 1517, according to some writers, landed on the west coast of Florida, was attacked by a large band of Indians, and died aftf!rward of wounds then received, following which his discouraged party returned to Cuba; of Pinelda, who was sent out by Don Francisco de Garay, the governor of Jamaica, to find out more of the beautiful country de scribed by one of Cordova's party, and who sailed up the Gulf coast of Florida and thence west, past the mouth of the Mississippi, and as far west as the Panuco in Mexico; of De Ayllon, who in 1520 sailed from San Domingo for the purpose of securing Indians as slaves, and learned much about the country north of the St. Johns River; and of Gomez, who explored the coast along the Atlantic, from Labrador southward in; search of a Northwest passage, proving that Florida was a part of the mainland and not an island: we come to the important expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez in 1527-1528. Jealous of the great successes cif Cortez in Mexico, Ve lasquez, the governor of Cuba, had sent an expedition under De Narvaez against Cortez. Although greatly outnumbered by the forces of De Narvaez, Cortez had sur prised and defeated his opponent and had taken D e Narvaez


EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES 3 prisoner. The Spanish government favoring Cortez, the appeal of De Narvaez met with little encouragement from his ruler; and disappointed of replacing Cortez in Mexico, De Narvaez received from the Emperor Charles V per mission to conquer and colonize Florida, with the title for life of Adelantado of all the lands he should discover and conquer. Sailing from Spain with five vessels and six hundred men, he reached the West Indies in 1527. He wished to continue his journey to Florida, but nearly one fourth of his men refused to go any farther. In a hurricane he had the misfortune to lose two of his five vessels and seventy of his men. These losses delayed his expedition, and it was not until the spring of 1528 that he was able to set out for Florida. In April of that year he anchored in a bay north of what is now Tampa Bay,1 though some ac counts seem to indicate Pensacola Bay as his landing place. Although he had not looked for much resistance from the Indians, he found them aggressive and warlike, far different from the more peaceful natives of the West Indies. When his men landed, a number of Indians who were gathered on the shore, although they did not then attack the whites, warned them by signs of evident hostility to go back on their boats and to leave the lands of the red men. It. was then decided by De Narvaez that he, with the larger part of his forces, would proceed by land along the coast to the bay discovered by Miruelo; and that the ships manned by one hundred of his men should meet him there. Marching northward a few days after leaving his vessels, De Narvaez met a party of Indians, some of whom wore gold ornaments. When asked whence came this gold, the Indians pointed to the north, speak . ing the word "Apalachee." Believing that they were on the track of vast treasures of precious metal, De Narvaez and his followers pushed on to a village of the Apalachee Indians, on Lake Miccosukee, near the site of present Tallahassee. 1 St. Clement's Point, on the peninsula west of Tampa Bay, was probably the landing place.


4 HISTORY OF FLORIDA When this village was reached, great was the disappointment of the Spaniards; for instead of a city rich in gold and silver which they had hoped to find, they found only a small and poor Indian village . Expeditions to surrounding Indian villages brought only continued disappointment and aroused deeper suspicion and hostility for the white man in the native Indians. Near the spot upon which Tallahassee now stands was the village of Anhayea. Here De Narvaez took up his residence for several weeks, while the natives attempted in various ways to rid themselves of the feared and hated Spaniards. Failing to drive off the invader by a sort of irregular warfare, the Indians resorted to strategy, claiming that while their land was poor and useless to the white man, there was distant only nine days' march toward the sea, a rich village called Aute, where an abundance of provisions could be obtained. Despairing of finding gold in -this region, and being in need of s uppli es for his forces, De Narvaez pushed on to Aute, only to find that its inhabitants had reduced it to a pile of ashes and had fled. D e Narvaez, discouraged at the misfortunes which had befallen his expedition, and having lost many of his men from disease and by Indian attacks, now determined to leave a country which held out no hopes of success and even threatened starvation for the surviving members of his forces. But how to get out of the country was now a problem; for he was destined never to see again the vessels which had conveyed his forces to Florida. These vessels had reached Pensacola Bay and anchored there. Tired out wit~ their long waiting and watching for the leader and his forces who did not return, they left the harbor and cruised and searched along the coast for a year; then giving up all hope for the safety of De Narvaez and his party, they sailed to Mexico. As more and more it appeared to De Narvaez and his companions that longer waiting for the fleet was in vain, he determined to build boats in which to leave Florida for


EXPLORATIONS AND DISCOVERIES 5 Mexico or Cuba. This, however, was no easy task; for both materials and skilled workmen were lacking. Fortunately, there was a blacksmith in the party who, with a bellows made from deer hides, forged nails from the swords and other arms. Ropes were made from palmetto fiber and from the manes and tails of the horses; while horse hides and clothing of the men were used for sails. In a few weeks the vessels were finished; for notwithstanding their diffi culties, the men worked hard at their task. In the latter part of September, the newly built vessels headed out into the Gulf, bearing a crew worn with privation and hardship, but filled with high hopes of reaching Mexico. Greater hardships, however, were in store for them than any that they had yet experienced. One vessel was wrecked near Pensacola, two are believed to have been lost near Santa R~sa, while the vessel carrying De Narvaez was blown out to sea by a storm and never again heard from. The last boat reached Pass Christian, where its crew went ashore to escape the perils of the deep only to fall into the hands of the Indians. All but a few of them were killed; the re mainder were taken prisoners by the savages. After eight years of captivity among the Indians, four survivors of the De Narvaez exp e dition reached the Spanish settlements in Mexico. Among these was Nufiez Cabeza de Vaca, who has handed down to us a narrative of De Narvaez's venture and of his own wanderings.1 Thus ended the earliest Spanish attempts to discover and colonize the great peninsula of Florida. It would be another decade before Spain would agarn attempt to dispute its possession with Indian tribes who hunted through its great pine forests, its rich hammock lands, and its lake dotted prairies. 1 Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca.


CHAPTER II DE SOTO The next explorer to whom the magic summons of Florida camewas Hernando de Soto, who had served as a soldier in the West Indies, and afterward had accompanied the great conqueror Pizarro in his conquest of the Incas of Peru. De Soto's reputation as a soldier and leader was so great that when he sought permission of the Spanish ruler to conquer Florida, his request was readily granted. Further,. more, he received the title of "Adelantado of Florida and marquis of all the lands he might discover, and Adelantado of Cuba.'' High hopes of Spanish successes in Florida re vived when he set out from Spain in April, 1538, accom panied by a splendidly equipped and carefully picked body of six hundred men. His fleet consisted of seven vessels. The v-0yage of De Soto and his party from Spain was auspicious. By Easter Sunday, 1538, the Canaries had been reached, and on Pentecost his little fleet had anchored in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba. The remainder of the year, 1538, and until May of the following year De Soto remained in Cuba, where preparations were made for his expedition into Florida. On Sunday, May 8, 1539, the Adelantado sailed from Havana with a fleet of nine vessels, carrying a carefully chosen expeditionary force, about three hundred horses, and ample provisions and supplies. On May 25, the day being the festival of Espiritu Santo (the Holy Spirit), land was sighted, and the ships cast anchor in what we now call Tampa Bay. On Friday, May 3 0 , his forces, with the exception of the seamen who were left in charge of the ships, landed in Florida, near the spot where, eleven years 6


l ) V s n e 0 i n d d n . e . e s DE SOTO 7 before, the party of De Narvaez had first set foot on Florida soil. Once more the Spaniards had come to dispute with the red men the possession of the land of their ancestors. All along the coast the white invaders saw columns of smoke arise as the Indians kindled their signal fires to tell their villages of the white man's return. Memories of friction with the Spaniards which had been slumbering since the days of De Narvaez's ill-fated expedition were reawakened in the warlike redskins, who now determined on meeting the invaders with all the craftiness and cunning of Indian war fare. Soon after his party landed, De Soto sent out two of his leaders with strong forces of men into the interior. The purpose of this was to seek to capture some Indians who could be used as guides. One of these parties was under the command of Baltasar de Gallegos. It consisted of forty horsemen and eighty foot soldiers. The other party was under the command of Juan Rodriguez Lobillo, whose followers, numbering fifty men, were on foot. Reach ing some Indian huts or cabins near a river, the Spaniards met with stubborn opposition. Although they succeeded in capturing four women, the party of Lobillo reached camp with six of their number wounded, one mortally. The party under Gallegos, however, was more successful. In an open field they came upon a group of about ten Indians, most of whom fled into the thickets at the sight of the mounted Spaniards. One of the number came toward them and, much to the Spaniards' surprise, greeted one of them in Spanish, saying: "Do not kill me, Cavalier; I am a Christian! Do not slay these people; they have given me my life!" They now saw that he was a white man, a European, although he was naked and sunburnt and tattooed in the Indian manner. He called to his Indian companions, quieting their fears, and they soon joined him; and, mounting behind the Spanish horsemen, they all went back to the Spanish camp . This white man so strangely present among the Indians


8 HISTORY OF FLORIDA was Juan Ortiz, a survivor of the De Narvaez expedition. He had, with a companion, left the vessel and gone ashore, after his leader and most of his forces had penetrated into the interior of the country. He had been captured by the Indians and, his companion having been killed in attempting to escape, Ortiz had been put to torture. His life had been saved by the intercession of the daughter of the chief; and for more than eleven years he had lived among the Indians until he had almost become one of them. The Indians now gave him permission to join De Soto's forces, and he accompanied De Soto on his wonderful journey. In July, after sending some of his ships back to Cuba with the news of his landing in Florida, De Soto began his journey northward. Meeting with much the same hostility from the Indians that De Narva;ez had experienced, and returning this hostility with cruelty and even treachery, which only served to make greater enemies of the natives, De Soto pushed his way up the peninsula, through forest and hammock, across swamps and rivers, often short of provisions, until he reached the Withlacooche River. Crossing that stream, he came to an Indian village called Ocalee, probably in the vicinity of modem Ocala. Here food was more plentiful. Leaving Ocalee, De Soto's forces marched into the territory of a fierce, warlike, and powerful chief, Vitachuco. Here a severe engagement was fought on a plain between two lakes. In this battle a great many Indians were captured and the whites kept many of them as prisoners, but several days later the prisoners successfully rebelled against their captors and many escaped. In this uprising of the prisoners, De Soto had a narrow escape from death. The expedition now headed in a northwesterly direction, crossing the Suwanee River, and reached Anhayea in Oc tober, where the winter was spent. De Soto sent out exploring parties in various directions from Anhayea. At Aute, many traces were found of De Narvaez's hapless expedition: the little forge, the mangers of his horses, and


DE SOTO 9 even the skulls of some of these animals that had given their hides to furnish sails for the boats in which their masters had sought to find their way to Mexico. De Soto sent Juan de Afiasco back to Espiritu Santo with thirty cavalry, with orders to Calderon, who had been left there, to bring the rest of the forces which had been left with . him to Apalachee . . Afiasco reached Espiritu Santo, sent back two caravels to Cuba, and, loading the brigantines with the infantry, he coasted the peninsula from point to point, arriving at Apalachee Bay on December 28, 1539. Calderon, with the cavalry and some crossbowmen o~ foot, went by land . On Wednesday, March 3, 1540, De Soto broke up his winter quarters, and taking a northeasterly line of march from Apalachee reached the Savannah River. Crossing this stream and then recrossing it, he traversed the gold region of upper Georgia and came down the valley of the Coosa and Alabama to Mauvilla (near the site of Mobile), where he had a severe battle with the Indians in which he lost eighteen men and had one hundred fifty wounded.


CHAPTER III THE INDIAN TRIBES OF FLORIDA After the death of De Soto and the failure of his expedition to establish a permanent settlement of the country granted him, Florida remained for a good many years longer in the hands of its original inhabitants before a successful settlement would be made by white men. The Florida Indians were a wild and warlike people, who were destined to give the white men much trouble before they should give over to settlement the hunting grounds of their forefathers. In the southern part of the peninsula were the Tequestas and the Caloosas, comparatively peace ful tribes more like the natives of the Bahamas than they were like the other North American Indians. The Indians of North Florida belonged to the great Muscogee family, of which the Cre e ks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles were the leading m e mbers. The Indians in the northern part of Florida were a primi.: tive people, of large physique, copper colored, with high cheek bones and straight, coarse black hair. To the smaller Spaniards they seemed a race of giants; and their courage and prowess in battle, as well as their keen sight and hearing and good marksmanship in hunting, gave the invading E u ropeans a wholesome r espec t for them and for their war like qualities. The Indians built their dwellings in villages which were surrounded by posts ten or twelve feet high driven in the ground close enough together to form a sort of palisade. This served as a defense against their enemies in case of an attack; and from its protection war parties could make sorties against the enemy. Within the palisade the dwellings were very primi tive, bei n g little mor e than arbors built of I O


n d e ! -0 e >f a 1-r e l ! r-f e 1e e. . n ce THE INDIAN TRIBES OF FLORIDA t t poles, with coverings of branches or grass woven together. Sometimes the entire tribe lived in one building, of which a certain portion was set apart for the chief and his family . The main occupations of the Indians were hunting, fishing, and fighting for the men; while the women tilled the soil and prepared the food. As Florida streams, lakes, and coastal waters teemed with fish , and her forests abounded in game, bear, deer, turkey, as well as smaller game, -meat was plentiful the year round. Even with primitive agricul tural implements, the soil of most of the region was light and fertile and easy to work; and the long warm season made it possible for such vegetables a _ s corn, beans, and squashes to be produced easily and in abundance. Nuts and fruits could be had in season, and in his clearings the Indian could produce enough fragrant tobacco to supply him with this luxury. For clothing, of wh1ch he did not need or wear a great deal, the native used the skins of animals and a coars e cloth made from grass and palmetto fiber. Deer hide s w e r e use d for making moccasins; and for ornaments of which the Indian like most primitive peoples was very fond shells, pearls, and gold w ere used. The gold was probably procured from the Indians of the nearest gold regions, possibly from North Georgia. Some of the Indians tattooed their skins, and they used paint, especially when on the warpath. . The head of the Indian tribe was the chief, who would be called a king if the tribe were powerful and warlike . The office of chief seems to have passed to the oldest son at his father's death. The Indians worshipped __ the Great Spirit, and they believed that the brave and the good would after death be admitted to the happy hunting grounds. Feasts and festivals had an important part in their worship . Not only were the sun and m:oon honored with religious ceremonies, but also the seasons and the time of planting and ripening of the corn. The most important figure in their worship was the priest or medicine man, who was both feared and respected by


12 HISTORY OF FLORIDA every member of the tribe, and who was ofttimes nearly as powerful as the chief himself . Before entering upon a campaign or concluding any important business, the warriors were assembled around the council fire, pipes were smoked, and the decisions were made after debate and deliberation. The main weapons of the Indian, before he procured the rifle and learned its use from the whites, were the bow and arrows, spears, clubs, and tomahawks. The arrow and spearheads were made of stone, usually quartz or flint, and in fashioning them the Indian showed considerable skill and craftsmanship. The Indian hatchet, or tomahawk, was also made of stone and ~ad a wooden handle. In the great shell mounds, old Indian fields, and Indian burial places beautiful samples of Indian weapons and utensils . t< have been found. F s p a, Like many primitive peoples, the Florida Indian was a strange mixture of good and bad, of contradictory virtues P and vices. Brave and high-minded at times, he could be g, cruel and relentless at others . The warriors were very u proud of the number of enemies they had killed in battle; rr and each warrior's importance as a fighter was testified to d by the number of scalps he had taken. Usually the Indian n neither asked nor gave quarter, but sometimes prisoners h were taken. These were often put to torture and finally fa killed, but were occasionally kept as slaves. In rare in-l.J stances a prisoner who had displayed conspicuous bravery or s , courage of a high order was released from his bonds and 0 adopted into the tribe. si To nature lovers like the Indians, Florida of that period must have been a wonderfully attractive place a land of fa high pine forests, broad prairies, and fertile hammocks, tt dotted with thousands of clear lakes and with great rivers g, and large springs. Many of the places throughout the state S preserve in their musical names the memory of the fierce s1 people who owned it and loved it before our fathers came. 11 w a


LS a :s 1, ~l e s a s e •. CHAPTER IV THE FOUNDING OF THE FRENCH COLONY The early Spanish attempts to effect a settlement of Florida by fighting men and great military leaders having failed, the next Spanish attempts in Florida were peaceful. Several years after the death of De Soto a few Spanish priests determined to land in Florida. Their purpose was to convert the Indians to Christianity, and in so doing to acquaint them with the arts of civilization . . When the expedition reached Tampa Bay two of the priests tried to land, expecting to go into the interior to gether. But h?-rdly had they landed when the Indians fell upon them with their war clubs; and both of the unarmed missionaries were put to death. Another of the priests determined to land alone, hoping thereby to convince the natives that the expedition was a pacific one; but hardly had he landed when he too was killed. Discouraged by the fate of their three companions, and seeing no prospect of landing with any degree of safety or of meeting with any success in their attempts to convert the Indians, the rest of the party abandoned the missionary enterprise and set sail for Cuba. Every attempt of the Spaniards to conquer Florida having failed up to 1~56, in that year King Philip II of Spain de termined on a new method of procedure. At that time the governor of Mexico was Don Luis de Velasco. To him the Spanish sovereign decided to intrust the conquest and settlement of Florida. Don Luis had been very successful in Mexico in dealing with ~he Indians of that country. He was a man of good judgment, fairness, and moderation; and he had treated the natives kindly and protected them 13


14 HISTORY OF FLORIDA in their rights. . King Philip II hoped that he would be successful in allaying the hostility of the Florida Indians : In 1559 a carefully planned expedition was sent out by him from Vera Cruz, under the command of Don Tristan de Luna. This expedition, which consisted of fifteen hun dred soldiers and settlers, and several priests to do mis sionary work among the Indians, landed near the present site of Pensacola. With them the settlers brought a year's supply of provisions. Yet notwithstanding the adequate preparations, the expedition ended in failure. A settlement was attempted where . Pensacola was afterward built, only to be abandoned . After many explorations, which brought only weariness and discouragement, the Spaniards returned to Mexico or the West Indies; and Philip II, seeing another Florida failure, declared that he would make no further attempt to conquer Florida. This he decided because it did not then seem likely that France woul9-be able to effect a settlement in Florida. Up to this time France, busy at home with domestic affairs 11nd torn by the bitterness of the controversy between Catholic and Huguenot (Protestant), had .taken little interest in the establishment of colonies in America. How, e1rer, in 1524, Verrazani, an Italian in the French service, had explored the North American coast from Nova Scotia to the Carolinas. This strip of territory he had called New France and Claimed it in the name of its ruler. This meant an overlapping of Spanish and French claims, for Spain also laid claim to the same land as a part of Fl9rida . France, however, was very slow in followin_g up her claim to the southern part of New France with actual attempts at settlement. It was not until after the expedition of De Luna that the French attempted to found a colony in the southern , part of her territory within the domain claimed by Spain. So bitter was the feeling in France against the French Protestants, or Huguenots, that many of them cherished the desire of founding a colony in which they might have safety and freedom in religious matters. Among the Hugue-


THE FOUNDING OF THE FRENCH COLONY 1 5 not leaders the most important was Admiral Coligny. He h'ad long wished to found a colony for his oppressed co religionists in the New World within the domain claimed by France. He had already attempted to colonize some ~f his followers on the coast of Brazil, but this attempt had ended in failure. But Coligny determined to make another attempt at colony planting and, having obtained a com mission from his ruler, Charles IX of France, he chose the brave and efficient Jean Ribault as commander of the expedition. Ribault sailed from France in February, 1562, in two vessels. With him sailed some of the finest men of France, for the Huguenots represented an industrious and determined element of the French population. They were attempting the difficult task of planting a colony not for pecuniary gain, love of adventure, or political profit, but for the highest of all motives for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Although he reached the coast . of Florida about the thirtieth parallel of latitude, near the site of St. Augustine, Ribault did not land there, but sailed in a northerly direction until he reached the mouth of the great river which we call the St. Johps, a stream known to the Indians as Welaka. Because he first looked upon its noble waters on the first of that month, Rib: ;mlt named it the River ot May._ Ribault explored the coast for a considerable distance, giving French names to the various points along the coa!rt and to the streams and rivers which emptied into the Atlantic. Finally he reached Port Royal, in South Carolina, where he decided to begin a settlement. Building a small fort, which he called Fort Caroline in honor of King Charles; he founded the colony around which clustered so many Huguenot hopes. But France, just now burdened with the strife and dissension of a bloody civil war at home, could not furnish the needed men or supplies for the new colony; so discouragement forced the end of the first attempt of the French to settle Florida. The second French attempt at settlement in Florida was


16 HISTORY op FLORIDA made in June, 1564, after the long months of civil and re ligious war in the mother country had forced the contend:. ing factions into a peace or, rather, a truce. Having reached an agreement with his Huguenot subjects, Charles IX now granted Coligny the assistance he had sought for the little French colony across the sea. Three ships under the command of Rene de Laudonniere were fitted out. Laudon niere had accompanied Coligny on his first voyage. The site of the former colony at Port Royal was now abandoned, and the new settlement was made on the south side of the St. Johns River nea-r its mouth. Here a fort was con structed, triangular in shape, of sand and logs and given the same name as the other -Fort Caroline. The second French' expedition was received in a friendly manner by the Indians. Indeed, the French seemed to. have a great advantage over the Spaniards in dealing with the natives. Not only did the Indians bring them presents of vegetables and fruit, but they showed the French settlers how to plant maize, or Indian corn, and how to set fish traps. _Had the French been able to keep the friendship of the Indians, it would have stood them in good stead in their future rivalry with the Spaniards. The colonists soon became dissatisfied, disputing among themselves and alienating the friendship of the natives by harsh and unfair treatment. Much valuable time was wasted in hunting for gold and treasure, which might better have been spent in cultivating .the land and planting crops. In the spring of 1565, provisions nearly gave out and starvation seemed to be staring the infant settlement in the. face. The discouraged settlers now determined to build themselves such vessels as they might be able to improvise, and to return in them to France. About this time an English fleet, under the command of the great sea captain, Sir John Hawkins, touched on the Florida coast in search of fresh water. He assisted the struggling French colony very generously, leaving them a large supply of provisions and a vessel from his fleet. After the departure of Sir J qhn


THE FOUNDING OF THE FRENCH COLONY 17 and his fleet the French settiers made their preparations to leave the fort and return to France. However, on August 29, 1565, the very day upon which they had planned to sail for France, reenforcements from the mother country arrived. Ribault had kept his word and had not forgotten his little colony. Seven vessels, laden with sup ' plies of every kind, including domestic animals and tools, but better still bringing families of French emigrants, cast anchor in the harbor. The infant colony was for the time saved. •


CHAPTER V DESTRUCTION OF THE FRENCH COLONY BY THE SPANIARDS In 1565 the Spanish ruler, Philip II, decided to make another attempt to colonize Florida. In order to hold this part of his possessions in the New World, it was necessary that settlers be sent out and colonies be founded. Rivalry between the leading European countries was already sharp, and this rivalry was beginning to make itself felt in Ame rica also. In order to assert her claims to Florida, Spain must establish real control there. The man selected by his royal master to conquer and colohize Florida was Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, whose brav:ry and ability were ex~ ceeded only by his cruelty and ruthless opposition to his enemies. Ne~s from the French Huguenot colony in Florida, and an account of the expedition which Ribault was fitting out to go to its aid, reached Menendez about the time he was preparing to sail for Florida. This news greatly angered the Spaniards, and Menendez found no trouble recruiting forces to go to that country. To the romantic call of the New World was added the appeal of fighting against the French Protestants in their new settlement beyond the sea. Finally, all preparations having been made, the fleet of Menendez put out to sea in midsummer, crossed the Atlantic without trouble from storms, only to be scattered by a great tempest just before Porto Rico was reached. On reaching that island Menendez found that he was accompanied by only about one third of his forces; but he was too anxious to begin his work in Florida to await the arrival of the rest of his expedition. On August 28, the day consecrated to St. Augustine, Menendez landed, giving the name of St. Augustine to the 18


DESTRUCTION OF THE FRENCH COLONY 19 place where he disembarked. From the neighboring Indians he secured as much information as he was able about the French and their settlement; and soon after he left to dis cover their whereabouts and to warn them away from the territory of Florida. Sailing along the coast in a northerly direction, he soon discovered four of Ribault's ships, which had arrived near the mouth of the river but had been compelled to anchor outside because they were too large to cross the bar at the outlet. Alarmed at the presence of Menendez, the French in quired who he was and wished to know upon what mission he had com e . Menendez angrily responded that he was Menendez of Spain, that he came as the representative of his sovereign, and that he had orders to kill all Protestants in the region. He demanded the surrender of all Frenchmen, declaring that he would spare the Catholics among them. As most of Ribault's men were Protestants, and as they could not hope to defeat the strong force of Spaniards, they decided to endeavor to escape by sea , Cutting the cables of their vess e ls, they put out to the high seas, eluded the pursuing Spaniards, and escaped for the time being the vengeance of their enemi es. Menendez and his forces then returned to St. Augustine. On September 8, they took formal possession of Florida in the name of the Spanish ruler. Celebrating the occupation of the "land of flowers" with religious services, they began the city of St. Augustine, the ol_dest town of the present United States. St. Augustine occupies the site of an Indian v illage, the chief of which had given his dwelling to the Spaniards as a present. Not being abl _ e to find stone in sufficient quantities in the vicinity for the building of fortifications, the Spaniards hastily built the first defenses of the city out of earth and logs. Eighty cannon were mounted as the main protection of what was destined to be an important stronghold of the Spanish power in America. In the meanwhile the French at Fort Caroline were in a


20 HISTORY OF FLORIDA quandary. Had they better remain in their fortifications, strengthen them, and await the attack of the Spaniards, or should their fighting men leave the wol!len, children, and sick under the care of a small garrison at Fort Caroline and hunt up and attack Menendez and his forces? The latter course was decided upon; so Ribault and the larger part of his effective forces boarded their vessels and sailed against the Spaniards. Soon after leaving Fort Caroline, a terrific storm arose which was accompanied by a fierce gale. The French vessels were scattered and driven upon the coast, some of them more than a hundred miles south of the port from which they had put out to sea. The larger part of Ribault's men escaped from the wrecked vessels to the shore, but their condition was far from desirable. They were stranded far from Fort Caroline, and the way back to the fort was diffi cult and dangerous. The shipwreck of Ribault's vessels and the loss of supplies and equipment was a severe one. Moreover, Fort Caroline, with its weak garrison and its women, children, and sick, was in immediate danger of a Spanish attack, for Menendez now determined to advance against the weakened French outpost. Crossing with difficulty the country which lay between him and Fort Caroline, interspersed as it was with swamps, rivers, and lakes, he led his men through the driving rain against the doomed fort. Spanish hatred for the French and Catholic intolerance of the Protestant Huguenots fired Menendez and his men as they hurled themselves against the weak garrison. There could be only one outcome to the struggle, for the odds were too greatly in favor of the Spaniards. A horrible massacre ensued in which many of the garrison, including the women and children and even the aged and infirm, were ruthlessly cut down. Although Menendez finally gave orders that the noncombatants should be spared, many of them had already been killed. Only a few of the garrison escaped to the woods, and even some of these came back and threw themselves on the mercy


DESTRUCTION OF THE FRENCH COLONY 21 of the Spaniards.' All of those who came back and voluntarily surrendered were put to death. A few of those who escaped, after experiencing great hardships, finally made their way to the coast. Here they were rescued by two small vessels of the French fleet which had been left in the harbor when Ribault and his party had set out against the Spaniards. Having accomplished the destruction of Fort Caroline and most of the French garrison and settlers there, Menendez prepared to finish his task of driving the French out of Florida. From the Indians he learned of the wrecking of the ~rench vessels on the coast, so he now set out in search of any of the French who had survived the shipwreck. At Matanzas Inlet, two hundred of Ribault's unfortunate men had gathered after the loss of their ships, but they had no means of crossing to the mainland. When Menendez and his forces came upon them, ~he French were completely at his mercy, as they had no means of opposing him or of escap ing. At first they requested Menendez to allow them to pass the inlet and join their friends at Fort Caroline. Menendez then told them of his destruction of the fort, and they asked to be sent back to France. This request seemed reasonable, in light of the fact that France and Spain were at peace. However, Menendez would make no promises nor would he give any guarantee as to their safety or treatment, stating that they must surrender to him and. trust to his mercy. The French decided to accept his terms, as that seemed to be their only chance. The French prisoners were brought across in companies of ten; but instead of being sent to St. Augustine as prisoners as they had expected, they were practically all put to death. Eight who claimed to be Catholics were spared. The cruel work of Menendez was nearly done. He soon cleared Florida of the remaining French inhabitants. Ribault and his party were captured near Matanzas, and much the same fate was meted out to them as to their friends. A few musicians and mechanics, and all of the •


• 22 HISTORY OF FLORIDA French prisoners who said they were Catholics, were spared. L ess than twenty in all escaped death at the hands of the Spaniards. Ribault, brave and courag e ous to the last, met death fearlessly as a Christian gentleman should. The standard of Spain had replaced that of France in Florida .


CHA PTER V I THE SPANISH OUTRAGE AVENGED The news of the destruction of the French settlement at Fort Caroline was gladly received by the cruel Spanish monarch, the gloomy and fanatical Philip II. Not only did he welcome it as a blow that had struck a rival power in the lands across the sea, but it s uited his religious bigotry; for it also weakened the Huguenots, hated by him and his church as heretics. Had these French colonists who had been ruthlessly massacred been Catholics, the outrage woul~ have raised great indignation in France, and would doubtless have caused great resentment on the part of the-French sovereign . But Charles IX was also a good Catholic and had no special affection for heretics in general, or even for his own French Protestants, the Huguenots. So the Span iards feared little from him in the way of revenge. Many of the people of France, however, wei:e filled with righteous indignation, and resented bitterly this insult to their flag and the unjust murder of their fellow countrymen . In a stirring memorial addressed to the king, Charl es was petitioned by the widows and orphans of the murdered colonists to avenge their death. However, through fear of bringing on a war with Spain, br because of indifference, he did no .thing against the Spaniards. It is very likely that the Spaniards would have escaped harm at this time had it not been for Dominique , de Gourges. It is impossible to say with any degree of certainty whether D e Gourges was a Catholic or Protestant. We do know, however, that he was a good Frenchman, that he loved his country and her reputation, and that he resented Spain's unwarranted cruelty to his fellow countrymen. In addition he hated the Sp~niards with a deep and deadly hatred, 23


24 HISTORY OF FLORIDA and this hatred had a good basis and reason. From his youth he had been a soldier, and while still a young man he had been captured by the Spaniards who had treated him very cruelly. The memory of this outrageous treatment still rankled in his breast and made him long for revenge. He felt that the time for a blow at the hated Spaniard had come. The course taken by Dominique de Gourges would have been impossible to-day. War is now carried on between gov ernments, not between individuals. But that was the day of freebooters and privateers; and as his government did not seem willing to chastise the Spaniards, Dominique deter mined to do so. Keeping his plans for attacking the Span iards secret, even from his brother, from whom he borrowed part of the funds needed to fit out his expedition, Dominique de Gourges sold all his property, and with the funds thus made available he purchased three small vessels. He recruited a crew of nearly two hundred men, telling them that the purpose of his expedition was to capture slaves l').long the African coast. Leaving Europe in August, 1567, his expedition, after a very stormy voyage, arrived at the island of Cuba, where he called his men around him and acquainted them with the true purpose of his venture. He made a spirited appeal to his followers to avenge the massacre of their fellow countrymen by Menendez and his Span iards, telling his little army that in any danger they might encounter he would always be at their head. The expedition of De Gourges awaited the full of the moon, so that they might have the advantage of its light in crossing from the Bahamas to Florida. They found the Spaniards in a far stronger position at St. Augustine than the French had possessed in Fort Caroline, for St. -:Augustine was much more favorably situated and far better defended. Upon the site of Fort Caroline, which Menendez had destroyed, the Spaniards had built another fortification, San Mateo. Two smaller forts had been erected to guard the mouth of the St. Johns • River. Sailing along the coast, the French continued northward to the mouth of the St. Marys River.


THE SPANISH OUTRAGE AVENGED 25 All along the coast were throngs of warlike Indians, for the Spaniards at St. Augustine had succeeded in making enemies of the natives of the entire region. These Indians believing that De Gourges' vessels were Spanish, had assembled to resist their attempts to land. Among the 0crew of one of the French ships was a trumpeter who had been in Florida. The Indians recognized him and greeted his coming with every manifestation of joy. De Gourges told the chief of these Indians, Satouriona, that the French desired the friendship of the Indians and that he had brought him presents. • Satouriona then called the neighboring chiefs to meet the French in a council, in which the French and Indians showed their confidence in each other by laying aside their arms. The Indians recounted a long story of the wrongs that they had suffered at the hands of the Spaniards . Because of their friendship for the French, the Indians said they had been robbed . of their food and homes and that their children had been killed. They brought before De Gourges a sixteen-year-old French boy, who had escaped from the Spaniards at the time of the massacre and had taken refuge with the Indians. Their refusal to give him up to the Spaniards had turned them against the Indians. The council finally decided that the French and their Indian allies should in three days make a joint attack upon the Spanish forts. Before the council adjourned, the French distributed presents among the Indians trinkets, mirrors, and knives things held in great esteem by the red men. When the day for the attack upon the forts had arrived, the French left in their ships by sea and the Indians advanced against the Spanish fortifications by land. Meeting before dawn of the second day near the forts at the mouth of the river, the French and Indians had to wait for some hours on account of the tide in order to attack. This enabled the Spaniards to see the approaching enemies, so the attack was robbed of the element of s.urprise. However, the two forts were reduced and the surviving Spaniards captured.


HISTORY OF FLORIDA D e Gourges then marched against San Mateo, and the Spaniards were so surprised by the attack that they made little defense. The commander with a few of his men escaped. The rest of the garrison were killed in taking the fort, or were captured when it was stormed. De Gourges now tasted the revenge he had so lon g awaited. Menendez had hanged some of his prisoners from a tree near Fort Caroline. On the tree he had posted a notice which ran thus: "This is done, not as unto Frenchmen, but as unto Lutherans (P_rotestants)." De Gourges hanged some of his Spanish prisoners to the same tree, writing an inscription that, '' This is done, not as unto Spaniards, but as unto liars, thieves, and murderers." Finding St. Augustine too strong to be attacked successfully by his small forces, De Gourges, after destroying the three captured. Spanish forts, returned to France.


CHAPTER VII THE SETTLEMENTS AT ST. AUGUSTINE AND PENSACOLA Soon after the destruction of the Spanish forts by De Gourges, Menendez, who was in Spain when the French attack was made, returned to Florida. He brought back with him men and supplies, and in a . short time San Mateo and the other fortifications were rebuilt. Once more the Spaniards were in control of the northeastern part of Florida. From St. Augustine, Menendez sent out exploring parties into the northern and western parts of the peninsula for the purpose of finding out about the interior and also to chris tianize the natives. But these explorations could make. little headway, for the Indians had come to hate and fear the Spaniards. Indian treachery began to match Spanish cruelty. Most of the missionaries sent to the Indians were killed by the natives, and the Spaniards punished them with severity for these outrages. Neither_ Spanish missions nor settlements had so far succeeded to any great extent in inland Florida. So far Menendez had been the most successful of the Spanish leaders in Florida, but even his endeavors had been only partially rewarded by success. After spending a few years in Florida, _he left the government of the province to his nephew and returned to Spain. His sovereign re ceived him with great honor, gave him high position in the Armada, or powerful fleet, which he was assembling for the invasion of England, and in every possible manner showed his appreciation of Menendez's services. But Menendez died just as the flee t was about to sail against the English. , But other niisfortunes were in store for St. Augustine. In the year r 586 the great English sea captain, Sir Francis Drake, while returning from one of his voyages to the West 27


HISTORY OF FLORIDA Indies, learned of the Spanish settlement at St. Augustine. Drake had made a great reputation by his attacks on Spain. For several years he had been carrying on the policy which he had begun -that of weakening Spain by attacking her colonies and ships in the New World. In line with this policy, he landed and destroyed the little town just about twenty years after it had been founded . The Spaniards soon rebuilt St. Augustine; but it grew very slowly, for Spain was busy with other matters and showed little interest in the Florida colony. The Church, however, had not lost interest in the conversion of the Indians; and it was not long, about 1563, before twelve missionaries belonging to the Franciscan Order came to Florida and worked among the Indians in the villages near St. Augustine. For a while their efforts with the natives were crowned with success, 'many of the Indians accepting the Catholic faith. But friction finally developed; and in an upris ing against the missionaries the redskins destroyed many of the missions and massacred most of the priests . How ever, the Church persisted in its efforts to convert the natives, and soon other missionaries came to replace those who had been killed. New chapels were built in place of those that had been destroyed; and not only were these replaced, but many new missions were founded along the coast and even inland as far as central Florida. Many of these priests won the confidence and love of the savages, and many Indians became converts to the Christian faith. The continued spread of the Spanish settlements into the interior again aroused the hostility of the Indians. War broke out in 1638 between the Apalachee Indians, an interior tribe, and the Spaniards at St. Augustine. Al though outnumbered by their Indian enemies, the Spanish garrison, through their better arms and superior methods of fighting, successfully defended their settlements and drove the Indians back into their own region. Many captives


ST. AUGUSTINE AND PENSACOLA were taken, and some of these prison~rs and their de scendants were used for years as workmen on the fortifi cations at St. Augustine. The fort at St. Augustine was built of coquina from Anastasia Island. It was well planned and constructed, and r e mains to-day, after more than two centuries, a strong fortification. It is known to us as Fort Marion, but by the Spaniards it was called Fort San Marco. 11111111""~ .. , ,.,111"V)!)mi,•""' -=--OLD FORT MARION To protect the town from the sea the Spaniards built a sea wall, which did good service until after Florida became a territory of the United States, when the old Spanish wall was replaced by a more substantial one. The settlement of Pensacola, which was the next important one of the Spaniards in Florida, was made in 1696. Some years earlier, in 1559, Don Tristan de Luna had vainly attempte d to found a colony on a beautiful bay which the Spaniards called Santa Maria, but which is now known as Pensacola Bay. The second attempt to found a settlement here was more successful. The colony was founded under the leadership of Don Andres . d'Arriola, who landed on Pensacola Bay in 1696


30 HISTORY OF FLORIDA with three hundred men. They built a small fort, which was called San Carlos, and erected a church and several dwellings. This settlement was given the name of Pensacola, which also became the name of the beautiful body of water upon which it was located. The Spaniards had taken possession of this territory just in time . The French had become active in American exploration and settlement, and were now claiming and attempting to take possession of not only the St. Lawrence Valley, but of the Mississippi Valley as well. About a year after the Spaniards had established themselves at Pensacola, a French expedit ion, led by the great Lemo.ine d'Iberville, appeared off Pensacola Bay with the intention of landing there for the purpose of making a settlem_ent. Finding that the Spaniards had effected a settlement ahead of them, d'Iberville's party did not enter the harbor; but leaving Pensacola to the east of them, they passed to the west and made settlements at Biloxi and afterward at Mobile. A later agreement between the French and the Spaniards fixed the Perdido River as the boundary between the Spanish settlements in Florida and the French settlements in Louisiana. For several years there was peace between France and Spain, and during this time good relations existed between the French settlements at New Orleans, Biloxi, and Mobile, and the Spanish colony at Pensacola. But Spain and France, each contesting for place and power in the European wars of the eighteenth century, were soon at war a.1sain; and the colonies were inevitably drawn into the rivalries of the mother countries. When France entered the war against Spain, the French government ordered De Bien ville, the governor of Louisiana, to attack Pensacola. ,f De Bienville, on May 14, 1719, appeared before Pensa-7'-cola with his fleet. His attack upon the Spanish city was supported by a large force of Indians, who advanced against Pensacola by land. As Metamoras, the commander at Pensacola, had not yet heard that Spain and France were


ST. AUGUSTINE AND PENSACOLA 31 at war, the attack of the French _ came as a complete sur prise to him. Feeling that his garrison was too weak to resist the combined French and Indian forces, he entered into negotiations with De Bienville, agreeing to surrender on condition that the French respect private citizens and their property, that his garrison should be allowed to march out with the honors of war, and that they should be carried to Havana in French vessels. After the surrender of Pensacola, De Bienville could spare only sixty men to garrison the captured town. He sailed away with grave misgivings as to the ability of this small force to hold Pensacola should the Spaniards attempt to regain it. Later events proved the correctness of these misgivings. When the French vessels which carried the Spanish garrison of Pensacola reached Havana, they were seized by the Spaniards. The Captain General of Cuba commanded that the officers and crews of the French ships be imprisoned. A strong Spanish expedition was then sent out to regain Pensacola, the captured French vessels form-ing a part of the fleet. The French commander at Pensacola at first refused to surrender; but finding himself unable to cope with the fat stronger Spanish force, he asked for a truce of four days, hoping to get assistance from De Bienville. This request was refused by Metamoras, who was willing to grant only two days, at the expiration of which the French surrendered, as no help had come to them. De Bienville, anxious to hold the western part of Florida, decided again to attempt the capture of Pensacola. He ',.__ fitted out another fleet and got together a large force of / French and Indians. While the fleet operated against Pensacola from the bay, the land forces were to attack the city from the rear.. The attack succeeded, and the Spanish garrison surrendered. Despite his success, De Bienville felt that his forces were insufficient to justify his attempting to hold Pensacola; so he demolished the fort and burnt the town, after which he departed for Louisiana. This victory


32 HISTORY OF FLORIDA of the French over the Spaniards in Pensacola was called the "Pe nsacola War" by the French in Louisiana. The war between France and Spain was terminated by the peace of 1722, by which Pensacola was returned to Spain. The Spaniards did not rebuild Pensacola on its original site, where Fort Barrancas now stands; but wish ing the town to be more easily defended against possible Indian attacks when they returned in 1722, they built Pensacola on Santa Rosa Island. After some time the . settlement spread to the north side of the bay, where the present city of Pensacola is now located. There, in the year 1763, a year eventful in the history of the English Colonies as the close of the Fre nch and Indian War, the city of Pensacola was laid out. I


CHAPTER VIII GEORGIA AND FLORIDA Much of the trouble between the colonies of the various European nations in the New World resulted from the rival ries of the.mother countries in Europe. But another source of friction was the overlapping of territories claimed by the colonies. As early as 1526, De Ayllon had attempted to settle a colony on Jamestown Island, where nearly a century later the first permanent British colony in North America was planted. Indeed, Spain had claimed the coast as far north as Virginia as a part of what her early explorers had called Florida. D espite the fact that she still claimed territory far to the north of the present northern boundary of Florida, by the end of the seventeenth century Spain had declined rapidly as a world power. All along the Atlantic coast from New England to Carolina British colonies had been planted succ essfully, and the charter of South Carolina had fixed the southern boundary of that province below St. Augustine. If the South Carolinians tried to settle in the southern part of the lands claimed under their charter, trouble between Spain and England .would be sure to come, as well as dissension between the Spaniards in Florida and their English neighbors in the Carolina settlements. Twice before the end of the seventeenth century St. Augustine had suffered at the hands of the English. Sir Francis Drake had burned the town in 1586; and in 1665 Captain Davis, an English freebooter, had attacked and plundered it before the fort defending the city had been completed. The victories of the English fleet over the Spanish Armada and the news of the British settlements toward the south caused great alarm to the Spaniards in Florida. 33


34 HISTORY OF FLORIDA However unw elcome this news of British settlements near St. Augustine might be to the Spaniards, the English wasted no love on the Spaniards in Florida. Florida was looked upon as a place of refuge for runaway slaves and servants from the English settlements and as an instigator of the Indians in their attacks on the English settlements. In 1676 a small force from Florida made an unsuccessful attack upon one of the Carolina settlements, while ten years later another Spanish expedition plundered Port Royal and destroyed many plantations. The English colonists in South Carolina bided their time; but in 1702, when war had broken out between England and France and Spain, Governor Moore of South Carolina determined to attack St. Augustin~. Although he was able to drive the people of St. Augustine into the fort, where he kept them in a state of siege for three months, the St. Augustine people behind the strong walls of their fortifica tion were able to repulse every attack. Despairing of reducing the fort, Moore and his men burned the town of , St. Augustine and departed. Having only partially succeeded in his efforts at St. Augustine, Moore decided to transfer his operations against the weaker Spanish Indian towns of middle Florida. War was carried into the midst of the Apalachee region, where the Indians under the guidance of the Spanish missionaries had made great progress. The most important town of this region was Fort San Luis, about two miles west of Tallahassee's present site . This town was defended by twenty-three Spaniards and four hundred Apalachee Indians. Moore's forces greatly outnumbered the Spaniards , while the Apalachee Indians were exceeded in number by Moore's Creek allies. After killing the Spanish commander, Don Juan Mexia, and about half his men, the English destroyed the fort and church after robbing them of everything of value contained in them. In a like manner was treated the town of Ayavalla on the St. Marks River. Moore's party too k many captive


GEORGIA AND FLORIDA 35 Indian prisoners off as slaves and devastated the entire region. The English in vasion of the Apalachee country greatly weakened these Indians and reduced their number. Appeal ing to the Spaniards at St. Augustine for assistance, the Apalache es persuaded the Spanish governor to build a fort on the lower St. Marks for their protection. This fort, which was known as San Marcos de Apalachee, was com pleted in the spring of 1718, and near by the. Indians built a little church and town.. During this same year the French built a fort on St. Josephs Bay. They called it Creve Coeur, which in English is "Broken Heart." After a few months this fort fell into the hands of the Spaniards. But with the settlement of Georgia, the most southern and last of the thirteen English colonies to be settled, far greater danger was in store for Spanish Florida. Georgia was founded by Oglethorpe in 17 33. The first settlers built a fort on the Altamaha River and another at Frederica on St. Simons Island . The Spaniards looked with disfavor upon the establishment of these settlements, claiming that the presence of the English there was an invasion of Spanish territory. Oglethorpe met with a stern refusal their de~ mand that these posts be surrendered stating that h:! was prepared to defend them and, if necessary, that he was ready to attack St. Augustine. War between England and Spain in 1739 gave Oglethorpe the opportunity he had long desired of attacking Florida. A joint expedition of Georgia and South Carolina forces, supported by an English fleet and assisted by a large body of Indian allies, invaded Florida with St. Augustin e as the objective. Toward the clos e of May, 1 . 739, all these forces met near St. Augustine. The small forts in the vicinity were taken with little trouble, • for they were weak and not heavily garrisoned. St. Augustine was then invested and a blockade established. As the siege of the town progressed, its inhabitants were forced to take refuge in the fort, where they were


36 . IDSTORY OF FLORIDA safe from tne enemy but where they greatly increased the number to be fed from the fort's supply of food. The English hoped that the fort would soon be starved into submission, and for a time it looked as if their wish would come true. Indeed, so low did the food stores of the fort become, that even Don Manuel Monteano, the Spanish governor and a man of great courage and energy, almost gave up hope. Despairing of keeping up the defense of the fort unless he should receive _ aid from Cuba, he wrote as follows to the governor of that island: "I assure.your lordship that it is impossible to express the confusion of this place, for we have no protection except the fort, and all else is open field. The families have abandoned their homes and have come into the fort for protection, which is pitiable, although my only anxiety is the want of provisions; and if your lordship, lacking requisite force, cannot relieve us, we must certainly perish." However, conditions began later to improve for the be leaguered fort. On the night of June 25, a party from the fort made a successful sally and recaptured Fort Moosa. This event encouraged the Spaniards but depressed the English. As the hot summer months came on, sickness broke out among the English, who began to weary of the siege and to demand that they be allowed to return to their homes. Some even deserted to the Spanish. But Ogle thorpe and his forces held out until July 10, when news of Spanish ships having reached Mosquito Inlet with pro visions for the fort caused a withdrawal of the attacking forces. Monteano had expected an attack the following spring from the English, but this attack did not materialize. In 1742 Monteano decided to attack Oglethorpe's colony. The Spanish authorities in Cuba sent out a fleet to co operate with him in this expedition. Entering the harbor of St. Simons on July 5, 1742, he succeeded in running past the shore batteries whose heavy fire did not stop the Spanish fleet. Realizing that the fortifications at St. Simons were


GEORGIA AND FLORIDA 37 doomed, Oglethorpe destroyed them and withdrew to Frederica. Here, on July 7, he was able to defeat the Spanish forces in the battle of "Bloody Marsh. " To attack Frederica, the Spaniards had to cross a marsh on a narrow causeway . Here they were surprised by the English; and in the fighting that followed, the Spaniards were repulsed with a loss of more than two hundred men killed and many prisoners taken. After this repulse the Spaniards withdrew to St. Augustine. In March, 1743, Oglethorpe once more appeared before St. Augustine, but as he was not strong enough to take the fortifications of the city, and as the Spaniards would not come out to offer battle, he was forced to return to Georgia without materially damaging the Spanish forces in Florida . While no love was wasted between the two colonies, nominally they were at peace with each other until the French and Indian War. Spanish Florida and English Georgia continued to view eaGh other with distrust and suspicion, each biding its time and hoping for the opportunity of exterminating its neighbor.


CHAPTER IX FLORIDA BECOMES A BRITISH COLONY The war which is designated in European history as the Seven Years' War is known to us as the French and Indian War. In that struggle Spain sided with France against England. When the war ended in 1763, England had won many victories in Europe as well as in India and America. Aided by her American colonies, she had wrested Canada away from the French, while her navy had captured Havana from its Spanish owners. With the peace of Paris in 1763, England became the chief possessor of lands in North America. _ By the terms of the treaty, France gave up to England all of her lands east of the Mississippi except New Orleans and a small piece of territory near the mouth of the "Father of Waters." The year before the treaty France had ceded New Orleans and its environs to Spain along with the rest of the French territory west of the Mississippi. In 1763 England owned all of the territory between the Mississippi and the Atlantic except Florida. She was anxious to acquire Florida in order to round out her Amer ican colonial possessions . As Spain was equally desirous of retaining Havana, which had been a base for her operations in North, Central, and South America, it was arranged in the treaty that Florida should be turned over to England by Spain in return for Havana, which its English captors now handed back to Spain. Although the treaty provided that the Spaniards who remained in Florida should be secure in their property rights and that they should retain the right to worship according to the Catholic faith, many of them decided to l eave Florida as they did not like the change in government . 38


FLORIDA BECOMES A BRITISH COLONY 39 To such the choice of reaching the Spanish settlements in either M ex ico or Cuba was allowed; and transports -ere furnished to carry them to the place of their choice. Most of the Spaniards of St. Augustine and P ensacola l eft their Florida homes rather than remain unde r English rule. For convenience in governing the new colony, the English government divided Florida into two parts -East and West Florida. That part of the peninsula east of the Apala chicola River was designated as East Florida; while the territory extending westward from that stream to the Mississippi and Lake Ponchartrain, and northward to the ,3 1 of latitude, received the name of West Florida. After ward the boundary of West Florida was ~ade 32 281 north latitude, _taking in most of the southern half of what is now Alabama and Mississippi. As never before Florida prospered under English rule. It was the policy of the English government in Florida, as in the other American colonies, to ei:icourage the settlement and development of the country. Liberal land grants were made to officers and soldiers who had served in. the wars against France and Spain . News was published in the mother country of the fine climate and natural resources of the new colony. Many settlers of energy and character were induced to try their fortunes in the "land of flowers." From England and Scotland, as well as from the nearer English colonies of Georgia and South Carolina, desirable colonists and their families came into Florida to make their homes. Some forty families came over from the island of Bermuda. Soon Florida began to show the influence of these new colonists. Good roads were made, and such crops as indigo, sugar cane , and fruit were cultivated. Quantities of lumber were cut and shipped, and an era of material prosperity for Florida seemed assured. Politically, too, a brighter day seemed to have dawned for the colony. Wherev e r the English colonies had been established, som e of the English ideals of free government had taken root. To meet the demand for some popular


HISTORY OF FLORIDA participation in government, the governors had been allowed to call general assemblies to aid in making laws for the colonies. The Floridas were no exc eption to this rule . Their governors were authorized by the home government in England to call representatives of the p e ople in assemblies as soon as possible to make laws for the people of the colonies. Until such a time as an ass embly could be called, the gov ernors were, with the advice of the councils, to establish courts. ...._ In 1767, Dr. Andrew Turnbull, a Scotchman and a member of the governor's council, believing that Minorcans and the natives of the other Mediterranean islands would thrive and be P!'.OSperous in Florida , form e d a company for the purpose of s e ttling such colonists in East Florida. His plans were that these colonists should grow the kind of crops familiar to them in the countries from which they came such crops as indigo, the olive, the fig, and the grape. The passage of the colonists was to be paid by the company; and they were to be furnished with food and clothing for a term of three years, during which time they were to work for the company. At the end of this term of service each colonist was to r e ceive fre e enough land for his support. On these terms fifte e n hundre d colonists were brought over from Italy, Greece, Smyrna, and Minorca, and were colonized at a settlement known as New Smyrna on Mosquito Inlet. For a while things went well with the new settlement, but friction developed between the colonists and the officials of the company. Members of the colony charged that they had been mistreated by the company and that they had suffered for lack of clothing and food. Finally an insurrec tion broke out among them, which was put down with an iron hand, two of the leaders being executed . Nine years after the founding of New Smyrna, some of the colonists protested to the government at St. Augustine, laying their wrongs befor e it and b e gging for release from all obligations to the Turnbull Minorcan Company. The


FLORIDA BECOMES A BRITISH COLONY 41 matter was taken up and investigated by the government, and the colonists were released from all obligations to the company. Only six hundred of the fifteen hundred colo nists were left; and most of these moved to St. Augustine, where they were given land in the northern sections of that city. During the Revolution Florida remained loyal to Great Britain. As a newly acquired colony she had been fairly treated by the mother coun.try. Few of the causes of complaint that caused the Thirteen Colonies to the north of her to break away from English rule operated here. During the long struggle blitween the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain Florida's sympathies were with the latter, and many refugees of British leanings came into Florida from Georgia and South Carolina: Possibly a few of the Florida inhabitants favored the cause of independence; bt it is certain that the larger part of the population had no desire to break away from the British government. The news of the Declaration of Independence was received in St. Augustine with feelings of astonishment, but without any enthusiasm for the Colonial cause; and the excited but loyal population burned John Hancock and John Adams in effigy in the public square. Several thousand loyalists , or Tories, as they were called by the Colonial side, came into Florida from Georgia and South Carolina during 1777 , and 1778, stirring up bitter feeling in Florida against the American cause, and causing a like feeling of bitterness against Florida in the Colonies. Colonial troops in Georgia planned an invasion of Florida, but this invasion was never carried out. At St. Augustine plans were made for an expedition against Georgia. This invasion also failed . During the remaining years of the war there was much talk of Florida invading Georgia and other plans for Colonial invasions of Florida; but neither materialized. Spain declared war a.gainst England in 1779, and in August of that year the governor of Louisiana invaded •.


42 HISTORY OF FLORIDA W est Florida . H e captured the forts on the Mis sissippi, and the following March he occupi e d Fort Charlotte on the Mobil e River. H e then move d against P e nsacola, which was commanded by G e n e ral Campbe ll. The Spaniards outnumbe r e d the English forc es, and on May 9, 178 0 , Campbe ll and his m e n laid down their arms and surrendered Pensacola to Spain . The Spanish flag once again floated over West Florida from Pensacola to the Mississippi. /


CHAPTER X F L ORID A AGAIN A SPANISH C O L O NY Despite the loyalty of Florida to Great -ritain during the Revolutionary War, England showed litt1 1 appreciation for her colony's attitude and little gratitude for the faithfulness of Florida's inhabitants. With the rest of her former colo nies independent from New England southward, her desire to hold Florida was no longer strong. By the treaty of September 3, 1783, East and West Florida were ceded to Spain in return for the Bahama Islands. By the terms of the agreement with Spain the English colonists who had settled in Florida were allowed eighteen months to move out of Florida and to transfer their property. A few of the English settlers, however, remained, and so did all of the Minorcans. Some who had migrated from Georgia and South Carolina returned to their former homes. The remainder of those who wished to leave the country to find new homes in Nova Scotia, the Bahamas, or in England left on transports furnished by the British government. It was hard to_ replace the English settlers who -had left the colony, as they made better settlers than the Spaniards; for the English had come into the new continent to establish homes, whereas the Spaniards sought mainly gold, silver, and precious stones. Although Spain made great efforts to re place the lost English colonists, the right kind of settlers were hard to find, and many of the most promising English estates in East Florida remained unoccupied. The Indians became so bold in the now sparsely settled country that the inhabitants of St. Augustine kept close to the guns of the Spanish forts. So g.eat was the fear of the Spaniards of serious trouble with the Indians, that they now began to cultivate the good will and friendship of the neighboring tribes. Of their 43


44 HISTORY OF FLORIDA Indian neighbors, the Creeks, an intelligent and warlike tribe, were the most feared and hence the most sought as friends by the Spaniards. One of the leading Creek chief tains was Alexander McGillivray. This remarkable man was a half-breed, the son of a Creek woman and a Scotch trader. McG-illivray was intelligent and well educated. During the Am_rtj.can Revolution he had taken the side of the British aifd had attained the rank of a colonel in the British army. In the year 1784 McGillivray had acted for the Creeks and Seminoles in the negotiation of a treaty with the Spaniards in which the promise was given that no white men should be allowed to cross the lands of these tribes without Spain's consent. For his services to Spain in win ning for her the friendship of other Indian tribes he received the title and salary of a colonel from the Spanish government. But McGillivray was not straightforward in his dealings; and with a strange mixture of intelligence and duplicity, he acted for the Creeks in the negotiation of a treaty with the United States, the terms of which displeased both the Creeks and the Spaniards. The treaty provided that after a certain date all the trade and commerce of the Creeks should pass through ports belonging to the United States. Investiga tions, caused by resentment over this provision of the treaty, disclosed the fact that McGillivray was playing a triple role. He was, at the same time, a chief of the Creeks, a colonel in the Spanish army, and a brigadier general in the service of the U,nited States. While drawing a large salary from Spain, he was also on the payroll of the United States. Sometimes he wore the uniform of a Spanish colonel; on other occasions he would appear clad as a brigadier general of the United States. But throughout all his pathway of deceit and double dealing, of playing off British, Spanish, and American interests against each other, and reaping wealth and position thereby, McGillivray remained at heart an Indian, a powerful chief, striving to advance the interests of his people at the expense of the whites.


FLORIDA AGAIN A SPANISH COLONY 45 During the second Spanish occupation of Florida, another bold and unscrupulous adventurer -not an Indian but a white man and a native of Maryland played an important and interesting part in Florida affairs . This was General William Augustus Bowles . During the Revolution Bowles had been an officer in the British forces. . He had been stationed at Pensacola , but while there had been dismissed from the service and had joined a party of Creek Indians. Bowles afterward married the daughter of a Creek chief, and for some time lived among the Indians. In 1779, when the news of the capture of Pensacola by the Louisiana Spaniards reached him, Bowles marched against them with a large force of Indians. Although he did not succeed in regaining Pensacola for the British, he regained the good will of the British authorities; but he was . roving and adventurous by nature and soon left Florida for New York and the Bahamas, where he became, succes sively, actor and portrait painter. When the Spaniards took possession of Florida after the treaty of 1783, Bowles was sent there by the British to establish a trading post among the Creeks. However, the mere establishment of a trading post did not satisfy the ambition of this adventurer, who had visions of a far greater power for himself. What Bowles seems to have decided upon was to win Florida from the Spaniards. To this end he sought alliances with the Indians of East Florida ?,nd with those of the Alachua country. He failed to win these Indians; but with his old friends, the Creeks, he was more successful, although he had to misrepresen~ things to the natives to win their consent to his plans. He made the Creeks believe that the stocks of goods at the various trading posts were presents that had been sent to the Indians and appropriated by the white traders. Con vinced by Bowles that they had been wronged by the Spaniards, the Creeks at first joined him in making war against the power of Spain. Until the Indians found out how Bowles had deceived


HISTORY OF FLORIDA them, they accepted his leadership wholeheartedly, even giving him the title of "King of Florida." Making his headquarters at Miccosukee, Bowles led his forces against St. Marks, surprising and capturing the fort. Eventually, however, he was forced to surrender it; and the Creeks, discovering how grossly he had misled them, gave him up to the Spaniards. They carried him a prisoner to Cuba where, a short time later, he died in prison. Probably the most important happening during the period of the second Spanish occupation of Florida was the dispute over the northern boundary of West Florida. The English had always fixed the northern boundary line at latitude 32 28'. However, in the treaty of 1783, at the close of our war of independence, she had agreed upon the thirtyfirst parallel of latitude as the southern boundary of the territory of the United States bordering on West Florida. Spain had insisted that the northern bcmndary of West Florida, when she had conquered it from the British, was the older line of latitude, 32 28'; and contended that England had no right to grant the United States, by the treaty of 1783, territory that at that time belonged to Spain. The territory in dispute, which comprised the southern half of the present states of Alabama and Mississippi, was claimed by both Spain and the United States for many years. Indeed , it was not until 1795, twelve years after the treaty of 1783, that Spain gave up her claim to this strip of land. But the western boundary of West Florida gave nearly as much trouble, as it had changed hands several times, as also had Louisiana , its next neighbor on the west. In 1803, during the presidency of Thomas J efferson, Louisiana _ was purchased from France by the United States. Louisiana had been settled by the French and, up to the year 1762, had been governed as a French province. In 1763 France . had ceded it to Spain, in whose possession it had remained until 1800, when it had been receded to France, now governed by Napoleon. Fearing that it might fall into the


FLORIDA AGAIN A SPANISH COLONY 47 hands of his enemies, Napoleon, in r803, sold Louisiana to the United States. Almost immediately after our purchase of the Louisiana territory, questions arose as to the boundary between it and West Florida. Up to 1762 France had claimed the part of West Florida west of the Perdido River. Having purchased Louisiana from France, the United States now claimed that part of West Florida which France had owned. Spain, on the other hand, contended that, as she had conquered West Florida from England, France had no just claim to any portion of that territory, and hence could not sell any of that land to the United States. The two distinct pieces of land that were involved in this boundary dispute were: (r) the Baton Rouge district, com prising the territory between the Mississippi and the Pearl rivers; (2) the Mobile district, made up of the country be tween the Pearl and the Perdido rivers. Both districts were claimed by the United States as lands formerly belonging to Louisiana and now a part of the United States by the Louisiana Purchase; while Spain's . contention was that they were included in her territory of Florida. In the long struggle of Europe against the imperial am bitions of the Emperor Napoleon, Spain became involved in the phase of the greater conflict known as the Peninsula War. With her very existence as an independent power at stake, Spain had little time or opportunity to pay much attention to Florida or to her territorial boundary questions. Taking advantage of the opportunity offered by Spain's plight in Europe, the inhabitants of the Baton Rouge district declared their independence, called their country the Republic of West Florida, and sought admission into the Union. A month after it had declared its independence the Republic of West Florida became a part of Louisiana. This was on October 27, r8ro. This territory came to be known as the Florida parishes of Louisiana. With the outbreak of the war between the United States and Great Britain in 18r2, our government was afraid to


HISTORY OF FLORIDA leave the Mobile district in the hands of Spain. England and Spain were now on good terms, as England had aided Spain in her struggle to drive Napoleon out of Spanish territory. Fearing that England might acquire the Mobile country from her ally, and that it might be used as a base of hostile operations against the southern United States, our government now took steps to seize it. In April, 1813, General Wilkinson, who had come with a force from New Orleans to attack it, received the surrender of Mobile. Florida's western boundary since that event has been the Perdido River.


CHAPTER XI RELATIONS BETWEEN FLO_RIDA AND THE UNITED STATES TO THE YEAR 1812 During the long struggle between France and the nations which had allied themselve~ to overthrow Napoleon, the United States had tried to remain neutral. But as the rivalry between England and France became sharper and more bitter, each country had become more and inore dis~ regardful of neutral commercial and trading rights. Napoleon's Berlin and Milan decrees, formulating his Continental System, and the British Orders in Council, which ain;i.ed to cut off all neutral trade with France and the countries controlled by Napoleon, bore heavily on the United States. Our government tried to avoid war by resorting, first, to the Embargo Act, which created so much opposition on the part of American shipping interests that it was finally re pealed; then, to a Non-intercourse Act, which was passed by Congress and which aimed to forbid our trade with only France and England. As these were the European countries with which most of our commerce had been carried on in the past, the Non-intercourse Act caused nearly as much dissatisfaction as the Embargo measure. Despite our desire to remain at peace, the United States was finally drawn into a war with England, because of the high-handed defiance by that country of our rights on th. e high seas, and on account of much interference by the strong British navy with our ships and sailors under her policy of impressment. As soon as it became evident that there would be war with England, our government, fearing that England would seize or acquire in some way the control of Florida from her weak ally, Spain, and so gain a base of hostile operations 49


50 HISTORY OF FLORIDA against the southern part of our territory, tried to induce Spain to cede Florida to the United States if not permanently, at least until any danger had passed of its being used against u s by another hostile power. Congress even went so far secretly as to give President Madison authority to take possession of Florida if there seemed to be any danger of a foreign power doing so. Although our government took great pains to keep these plans for a possible seizure of Florida quiet, in some way they became known. This resulted in certain South Geor gians joining with some of the residents of the northern _part of Florida in the creation of a state on the banks of the St. Marys, which they called the "Republic of Florida.''. As its political hea:d, or president, General John McIntosh was chosen, and Colonel Ashley headed its armed forces. The most important achievement of these forces was their part in the capture of Fernandina, which is on Amelia Island just off the Florida coast and near the mouth of the St. Marys. It was an important port of entry for foreign vessels; and in order to protect American interests, General Matthews, commanding the American forces in that vicinity, determined to take it. The combined forces of Ashley and Matthews overcame the Spanish garrison commanded by Don Jose Lopez, who surrendered the city and island. On March.17, 1812, an agreement was signed whereby Fernandina was to remain a free port of entry to the ships of all nations; but in event of war between England and the United States the shipping of England should be excluded after May 1, 1813. Just after the attack upon Fernandina, three hundred Americans went against St. Augustine. Near the old city they were joined by another force of one hundred. But this expedition accomplished little, for St. Augustine was ably commanded by Governor Estrada of East Florida. Sickness broke out among the American troops, and the remaining forces were too weak to storm the strong defenses of the city. Finally the undertaking was abandoned.


FLORIDA AND THE UNITED STATES 51 The Georgia frontier was alarmed at the possibility of an Indian invasion on a large scale and soon took steps to deal with this menace . The Seminole Indians, who were said to have been preparing to make a raid into Georgia, were a branch of the Creek Indians who had come into Florida. They resided in the Alachua district; and their principal chiefs were King Payne and Billy Bowlegs, sons of Secoffee, the Creek chief, who in 1750 had led into Florida his band of runaway Creeks, afterward known as Seminoles. Three hundred Georgians decided to attack King Payne's town. On reaching a lake a few miles from this town the Georgians were attacked by the Indians, who fought from the protec tion of a dense hammock. By feigning a retreat the whites drew the redskins from their cover, and a desperate fight followed which was led by King Payne, a picturesque figure upon his beautiful white horse. In this fight King Payne was wounded. The Indians then retired, and the Georgians hastily constructed breastworks. About sunset the Indians, , led by Billy Bowlegs, returned to the attack. The savages made several charges against the breastworks; but they suffered such losses in the fighting which followed that they finally withdrew. After eight days in the Alachua country, probably spent near the great Alachua prairie, which now bears Kirig Payne's name, the Georgians began their long march back home. On their way they were again attacked by Bowlegs and his warriors, but they beat them off and reached Georgia in safety . . While small bands of Indians from Florida gave trouble from time to time along the frontier, which led to retaliatory raids on the weaker Spanish settlements, there was no great, Seminole raid upon the Georgia settlers. The Seminoles had been taught a lesson by the Georgia raid upon their territory. This invasion by American citizens of the territory of Spain, a country with which we were at peace, did not please the Spanish government. The Spanish minister at Washington complained of the invasion of Florida. How ever much the Georgians might justify their attack upon


52 HISTORY OF FLORIDA the Seminoles as a measure of self-defense, it was hard for our authorities in Washington to justify it to the Spanish representative. So when the governor of East Florida demanded that all American troops be withdrawn from Florida, our President complied with his demand; for war with Great Britain seemed to be nearly certain, and it seemed poor policy to begin a dispute that might lead to war with Spain at the same time. By President Madison's orders all American forces were withdrawn from Florida.


CHAPTER XII JACKSON'S INVASION OF FLORIDA War between the United States and Great Britain was declared in 1812. In the autumn of 18u, Tecumseh, the great chief of the Shawnee Indians of the northwest, had come south to induce the southern Indians to join those of the west in a plot to attack the American settlers along the whole frontier of the U r,ited States. Tecumseh was a great leader and a speaker of eloquence, and he succeeded in inducing many Creeks and other Indians to take the war path against the American settlements. Tecumseh's plans in the south found support from the British agents in P ensacola. These British agents encouraged the Indians in their plans to attack the settlers in American territory and even furnished them with arms and suppli es. Pensacola was a Spanish possession, but that did not seem to prevent the British from using it to stir up the Indians to their savage warfare against the white American settlers. Spain was either in sympathy with these agents, or else she did not have the power to make them desist from their cruel work. Meanwhile the decla'ration of war between England and the United States called many of the American men to arms, leaving the frontier settlements poorly prepared to r es ist Indian attacks. When the Creeks took the warpath, many of the women and children of the country now known as southern Alabama took refuge at Fort Mims, a few miles north of Mobile. Into this so-called fort, which was really a stockade inclosure for cattle made by a farmer named Mims for the security of his stock, more than five hundred men, women, and children had gathered. On August 30, 1813, a thousand Creek warriors, led by Weatherford, a half-breed and the nephew of Alexander 53


54 HISTORY OF FLORIDA McGillivray, attacked the fort. About two hundred of the men in the fort were American volunteers; and so bravely did they defend the place that about half of the attacking Indians were ' killed. Finally the Indians broke into the stockade, and all of the survivors of the earlier :fighting were massacred. This was one of the most horrible Indian massacres in American history; and the fact that it was instigated by the English, whose agents had offered five dollars apiece for the scalps of men, women, and children, deepened the indignation of the. American frontiersmen. Not only was American anger :fired against the Indians who had perpetrated this fiendish outrage; but the British, who had instigated it, as well as the Spanish, who had harbored them at Pensacola and allowed Spanish Florida to be the place of their plotting, came in for wholesale condemnation throughout the United States. The news of the Fort Mims massacre horrified the entire country; but T ennessee first was g iven the honor of coming to the rescue of her southern neighbors and kinsmen. The Tennessee legislature voted thirty-five hundred men to march against the savages under the command of Andrew Jackson. In cooperation with a band of cavalry under General Coffee and a large body of militia recruited on the frontier, Jackson . overran the Creek country and defeated them with great slaughter in the battles of Talladega and Horse Shoe Bend. These victories completely broke the power of the Creeks. They were forced to sue for peace, and they soon ceased to be the menace to the frontier that they formerly had been. Some of the surviving Creeks sought refuge with the British in P ensaco la; others j oined their kinsmen, the Seminoles, in the interior of Florida. The Battle of Horse Shoe Bend was fought March 27, 1814. It soon became evident to Jackson that our frontier would have no relief from constant Indian raids upon our settle ments, unl ess the Spanish would stop allowing the agents of England at Pensacola and Apalachicola Bay to arm the savages and instigate their attacks.


JACKSON'S INVASION OF FLORIDA 55 Jackson had at this time been made a major general and placed in command of the southern military district of the United States. .The government at Washington had been so weakened by the military operations of the British forces under Ross as to be virtually powerless to interfere with any plans Jackson might make. These circumstances combined practically to make Jackson the military dictator in his district; and Jackson was not afraid to take the authority of dealing with the Spaniards in his own hands. An emergency confronted him which called for immediate action. Jackson did not hesitate to deal with the Spaniards vigoro usl y. During the summer of 1814 British ships entere d the harbor of Pensacola as freely as if it were their own port. The Indians of the surrounding territory were openly enlisted in the British service; they were supplied with ammunition and arms in Pensacola and marched and drilled in its streets. P ensacola was full of Indians in British uniforms. Spain's farce of friendliness to the United States fooled no one. It was evident that Florida was being used by England as a base of hostile operations against the southern United States. For Jackson the time had come to act. Raising a force of three thousand volunteers from T e n nessee and Kentucky, Jackson marched agail;l.st Pensacola. On his way he was joined by other troops, so that he had quite a formidable army when he reached Pensacola. Jackson camped within two miles of the Spanish fortifications on November 6, 1814, and sent forward an officer with a flag ' of truce to negotiate with the governor. The officer was fired upon, and Jackson's response was a demand for the surrender of Pensacola. As the Spanish governor refused to comply with this demand, Jackson prepared to storm the fortifica tions and take the town. Pensacola was well garrisoned and defended. It was protected by a fort and several batteries, and in the harbor were several war vessels. Jackson determined to take the Spaniards by surprise . He marched his troops around Pensacola by night; and on the morning of November 7 he advanced against the city


HISTORY OF FLORIDA from the east. Two batteries opened fire on his advancing troops, but these were soon silenced and captured. Seeing that Jackson was determined to take the city, the Spanish governor came out to meet the American commander and offered to surrender . This Jackson accepted and advanced into the city. After his forces had entered Pensacola, while marching down the main street, they were fired on by British marines. The Americans returned the fire with such vigor that the marines and their Indian allies lost little time in escaping to the British ships. The British left Pensacola on their vessels; but the Indians were landed at the mouth of the Apalachicola River, where later they gave much trouble . General Jackson remained two days in Pensacola; but at the end of that time he left for Louisiana, as he had to hasten to New Orleans, which it was believed the British were planning to attack. Before turning over Pensacola to the Spaniards he demolished the fort and batteries. Two months later Jackson added to his military reputation by winning the victory of New Orleans_. But even after the Treaty of Ghent, which closed the War of 1812, had become known to the British in Florida, the British officers who had escaped from Pensacola con tinued to make trouble for the United States among the Florida Indians. Two of these British officers, Captain Percy and Captain Nichols, had built a strong fort on the Apalachicola River after Jackson had driven them from Pensacola. This fort they had used as a base of operations against the frontier settlements of Georgia and Alabama. Here they armed and supplied the Indians and runaway negro slaves who would cross into American territory and attack the settlements. As it was commanded by a negro, one Garcia, it was known as the Negro Fort. As depreda tions from this fort continued for more than a year and a half and no signs had appeared of the fort's being abandoned, our government determined to act. Colonel Clinch was sent against the fort with one hundred and sixteen men and


JACKSON'S INVASION OF FLORIDA 57 some Creek allies. They destroyed the fort, executed Garcia and a Choctaw chief, and turned over the Spanish negroes . to the Spanish agent, while the runaway American negroes were taken in charge by Colonel Clinch. More than two hundred thousand dollars worth of property was found in the fort. The destruction of an Indian village, Fowltown, just above the Georgia line, by General Gaines in November, 1817, came about in the following manner. As the attacks on the frontier settlements of Georgia and Alabama had continued, even after the destruction of the Negro Fort, and suspect ing the Seminoles and runaway slaves who had taken refuge ' with them as being responsible, General Gaines had sought an interview with a ~hief named Enemathla. As the chief refused to come to Gaines's camp, that officer sent out a party of . his troops to Enemathla's village, Fowltown, to bring him. As they entered the Indian village these American troops were fired 0n by the Indians. The troops in their turn attacked the Indians and destroyed the village. In one of the cabins they found evidence that Enemathla looked upon himself as a British officer. In retaliation for the destruction of Fowltown, the Indians began to attack and plunder plantations and small settlements near the American border, escaping after these depredations into Florida. Finally, Lieutenant Scott and his entire command, who were ascending the Apalachicola River in a boat with supplies for Fort Scott, were ambushed by a band of Indians hidden in a swamp bordering the river. In the sudden attack by the Indians, Scott and most of his men were killed. The news of this deed so aroused American sentiment that the government had to act. As it appeared that Spain was either unable or unwilling to control the Indians, Jackson was given command; and he was authorized to call on the neighboring states for troops should he find it necessary. Just as he had shown himself at Pensacola and at New Orleans to be a man who could act promptly and effectively, General Jackson again proved


58 HISTORY OF FLORIDA himself, on the Florida border, a man of action and energy . With one thousand volunteers, mostly from Tennessee, five hundred regulars, and a large band of Creeks, he attacked the Miccosukee towns in East Florida and destroyed them. Then he turned against the Fowl towns, which were located just west of the Suwanee, and devastated them. Hearing that there were British agents at St. Marks and Suwanee, who were encouraging Indian attacks upon the United States, Jackson marched against them. At each of these posts, which surrendered with practically no resistance, Jackson took a number of prisoners, among . them being two British subjects, Arbu.thnot and Ambrister. Arbuthnot was a Scotch trader who was captured at St. Marks; .Ambrister was a former soldier under Nichols who was taken at Suwanee. Each was acc used of having instigated and assisted the Indian attacks on the frontier. They were tried and sen tenced to death, for which Jackson was afterward severely criticized. Turning westward Jackson again captured Pensacola, which surrendered after a few hours' resistance, Jackson agreeing to the Spanish governor's conditions that he and his men should march out with the honors of war; and that they should be carried safely to Havana. With the taking of P ensacola, West Florida passed into the hands of the Americans. Jackson established a provisional government for West Florida in Pensacola and then left for a much n eeded rest at his home in T ennessee. In September, 1819, the government of the United States returned West Florida to Spain; but a treaty was even then being negotiated be~ tween the two countries by which Spain would sell both the Floridas to the United States. In less than two years the stars and stripes would fly over the public buildings of St. Augustine and Pensacola; and. the inhabitants of East and West Florida would come under the dominion and sovereignty of the United States.


CHAPTER XIII FLORID A B ECOME S A TE RRI TORY O F THE UNITE D STATES The fact that Florida would be a desirable acquisition for the United States had been evident in America for some time . So long as a weak power like Spain held on to Florida, there could be no peace between the Florida Indians and the settlers on the American frontier. The Indians resented the presence of the white s e ttlers in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia upon the lands over which they and their savage ancestors had fought and hunted at will. The Indian massacres made the settlers hate and fear them. The campaigns of Jackson against the Florida Indians brought home to Spain the fact that she must either curb and restrain her restless Indian subjects or have American punitive expeditions constantly invading Florida. For Spain properly to police Florida so as to control the Indians would require a huge army and a vast expenditure of money, neither of which Spain could afford in her weakened and demoralized condition. However, after a long discussion of the sale of Florida between the authorities of the two countries, Spain agreed, in the treaty of February 221 1819, to sell Florida to the United States for five :rpillion dollars on condition that the American government assume certain Spanish claims. The treaty of cession of Florida to the United States was ratified by Spain on October 24, 1820, and by the United States_ Senate February 22, 1821. General Andrew J ackson was appointed military ~or of East and West Florida, pending the formation of a regular territorial government. The newly acquired territory was formally taken posses sion of by the United States in July, 1821. For East Florida, the transfer of authority took place at the Government 59


60 HISTORY OF FLORIDA House in St. Augustine. The Spaniards saluted their flag with a salvo from the guns of the fort, and the Spanish guard marched out carrying with them the banner of Spain, which so long had flown over the defenses of the ancient city. The American troops then approached and exchanged salutes with the forces of Spain. Then our soldiers marched into the fort and fired a salute to the stars and stripes, which had been raised in place of the Spanish flag that had, just an hour before, fluttered in the breeze. East Florida was now a possession of the United States, in whose union she and her sister territory, West Florida, were destined to become a prosperous and important state. One week later, on July 17, West Florida was transferred to the sovereignty of the United States. For three weeks 1 he Spaniards from various parts of West Florida had been assembling at Pensacola preparatory to embarking on transports from that port to Cuba. Near by Jackson and his forces camped just outsid~ Pensacola, which city years before he had taken only to see it returned to Spain . . Jackson now awaited the day when he should take permanent pos session of Pensacola for his country. The morning of the day set for the transfer ceremonies was a time of great excitement. The American troops entered Pensacola in the morning with colors flying and bands playing; and .marching through the city streets, they took up their position on the public square opposite the Government House. Upon the arrival of the American forces, the Spanish soldiers, in their best uniforms, left their barracks and took up their position opposite the long line of Americans. About ten o'clock General Jackson and his staff rode into the city, dismounted near the public square, and walked between the lines of American and Spanish soldiers to the Government House. There he was re . ceived by Governor Callava, and the necessary details of the transfer were arranged. After the important business had been transacted, these two officials, representing the sovereignty of their respective countries, walked together between the


FLORIDA BECOMES A UNITED STATES TERRITORY 61 lines of soldiers to the center of the square. All eyes were upon them as they stopped before the flagstaff from which the Spanish colors fluttered in the southern breeze. General Jackson gave a signal. The American flag began slowly to ascend . the staff, while simultaneously the flag of Spain began to descend. Meeting halfway, the two flags paused a moment side by side. The American banner then ascended till it flaunted its stars and stripes from the standard's very top; while Spain's flag descended from the position which it had long occupied to be folded away with the memories of the time when West Florida had belonged to Spain. West Florida had passed from Spain's control and had become an American territory. For the Spaniards and their friends it was a moment of sadness; for the citizens and soldiers of the United States an occ~sion of great joy and congratulation. Yet the Americans were ordered by General Jackson to avoid any demonstration that might hurt the feelings of those who hated to see their country's flag come down, and also to see the sovereignty of Florida handed over to another country. This consideration for the feelings of others was character istic of the great man, who now acted as the representative of his country in Florida, and who would soon be called by his country to even greater tasks and higher honors. Jackson was a hard fighter; but he was a good and mag nanimous man in the moments of victory and success and a good loser when things went against him. Besides the Spaniards the Indians also were interested in the transfer of Florida. They were not at all pleased in seeing the stars and stripes wave in the place of the Spanish flag. The lands of Florida, so said the Indians, belonged not to the Spaniards but to the red men. They belonged to the Indian, and the Spanish government had no right to sell them to the United States. They wondered how the Great White Father at Washington would deal with the Indians; and some of their leading chiefs went to Pensa cola to talk with Jackson about the future.


HISTORY OF FLORIDA Jackson received them firmly but kindly. He told them that his government wished peace, not war, with the Indians. But he said that the Creeks, who did not belong in Florida, must return to their own people and country; and that runaway slaves must be returned to their owners. The policy of his government toward the Florida Indians would be to gather them into a territory, or reservation, where the President would give them the same rights as white men. To this the Seminoles replied through a chief, who acted as spokesman for his people, that: "White people live in towns where many thousands work tog ether on smali grounds; but the Seminole is a wild and scattered people. The Seminole swims the streams and leaps over the logs of the forest in pursuit of game , and is like the whooping crane that makes its nest at night far from the spot where it dashed the dew from the grass and flowers in the morning. For a hundred summers the Seminole warrior has rested under the shade of his live oaks, and the suns of a hundred winters have risen upon his ardent pursuit of the buck and bear, with none to question or dispute his claims." It was evident that the Indians were far from satisfied with the American policy toward them as stated by Jackson . They saw that living under the government of the United.States would be far different from living under the easy-going Spanish governors at Pensacola and St. Augus tine. However, the chiefs promised to carry Jackson's message back to their people and-lay the matter before them in a council. Jackson served only a short time as governor of Florida. His health, never at any time very robust, was at this time especially poor; and having suffered many hardships in his active military campaigns, he needed quiet and rest. In October, 1821, he left Florida for his home in Tennessee to seek rest and health in the cooler climate of his adopted state. He left Colonel George Wal ton to govern Florida in his absence~ turned northward from Pensacola on his long journey home to Tennessee.


FLORIDA BECOMES A UNITED STATES TERRITORY 63 Jackson left the indelible impress of his character and personality upon Florida. He had fought along her borders and within her territory. He had invaded her, conquered parts of her territory, and served as her first American governor. Within ten years he was to become her President as chief executive of the nation. Florida's largest and most populous city, one of her great western counties, and one of her many lakes perpetuate his memory in their names. But his connection with Florida is written most enduringly in the hearts of all of us who remember with gratitude what he did to win Florida for the American Union.


CHAPTER XIV ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPING THE NEW TERRITORY Having acquired possession of Florida, it now remained for the Federal government to organize the territory and provide for its government until such time as it should reach the stage of development and have the population necessary for admission into the Union as a state. Under the provisions for its government as a territory, East and West Florida we re united into one territory. The governor, who was also commander in chief of its militia and superintendent of Indian affairs, was to be appointed b y the President. He was to be assisted by a council, com posed of thirteen of "the most discreet men of the territory," who were to hold annual meetings. / In 1822 President James Monroe appointed William P. Duval to be governor of the territory of Florida. Gover nor Duval was the son of a R evolutionary officer, a native of Virginia. He was born in Virginia, but he had moved to Kentucky and had come to Florida from that state. In 1812 he had been sent to C ongress from Kentucky, and was practicing law there when Monroe appointed him to the governorship of Florida. Duval was governor of Florida from 1822 to 1834 -twelve important years in her history. He was a man of genial and attractive personality, a fine lawyer who spoke well, and was very thorough and ener getic in the transaction of business. He was frank and fea rl ess in the performance of duty, had a high order of courage and initiative, and during his lon g tenure of office succeeded in keeping the respect and confidence of his people. D espite his firmness w ith the Indians, they trusted him and respected his sense of fairness and his way of al ways keeping his word. They said he never spoke to them 64


ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPING THE TERRITORY 6 5 .. with a "forked tongue," but that he dealt with them honestly and without deceit. The first meeting of the territorial Legislative Council was held in June, 1822, at Pensacola; the next meeting, the following May, was held at St. Augustine. But as East and West Florida were united under the United States territorial plan into one government, it was necessary that a p ~rmanent capital site be chosen. To perform this task the Council appointed two commissioners, Dr. William H. Simmons of St. Augustine and Mr. John Lee Williams of Pensacola. According to their instructions they were to examine carefully the territory lying between the Chipola and Suwanee rivers and select a site favorable for a capital. These commissioners made a thorough exploration of this beautiful section of Florida, and they selected the site of Tallahassee as the best place for a capital. They were hospitably received by the principal chiefs of the section, Chefixico, now an old man, and Enemathla; and they were inti:oduced by them to many of the warriors of the country. The Indians would give no definite assurances concerning the site chosen until Governpr Duval should call on Enemathla a,nd take him to confer with the Great Father at Washington. , Tallahassee was surveyed in 1824, and it was given the musical name of the Indian tribe that had possessed the fields in which it now stands. A log-house capitol was constructed for the meeting of the Council, and, around it fifteen or twenty houses were soon erected. Thus in the heart of what was then a vast unsettled country the little capital of Florida began. Soon, however, settlers began to arrive. Planters from the older states Georgia, tl:i Carolinas, and even Virginia found their way into the new settlement and established , homes for their families. Log houses soon gave way to comfortable frame structures. Churches and schools began to appear not only in the capital' but in other new settlements. Men of culture and refinement, whose views and manner


66 HISTORY OF FLORIDA ., of life were to have a deep and abiding influence on Florida traditions, came in and took up lands for plantations and built homes for their families . In 1826 the corn e r stone of the State Capitol was laid, but it took many years to com plete the building. Among other important men who STATE CAPITOL -EAST FRONT early settled in Florida was Prince Achille Murat, nephew of the great Napoleon and son of the king and queen of Naples. With the overthrow of Napoleon, his brotherin-law, the King of Naples, had lost his throne and had afterward been shot. His son, Prince Murat, after many hardships and adventures, had come to Florida. Dropping his title of Prince, he was known as Colonel Murat in Talla hassee, where he practiced law in a small way. Most of his time seems to have been spent on his fine plantation a few miles from Tallahassee. He was one of the most charm ing, eccentric, and interesting characters of the youthful capital. It was at first a difficult journey that the members of the Legislative Council had to make in their trips to the capital.


ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPING THE TERRITORY 67 'From various parts of Florida they came on horseback in little companies of twos and threes, wending their way through the fragrant pine forests, traversing rich and densely timbered hammocks, or winding their way through the lake-dotted prairies. Even the Indian villages were . few and not very close together. Here and there settlers had made poorly defined wagon roads, or Indian trails led from village to village . About the first material improvement made in Florida by Congress was a public road, from Pensacola through Tallahassee to St. Augustine, linking the old capitals of East and West Florida with the new capital of Florida. In 1836, a little more than a decade after the founding of Tallahassee, General R. K. Call built the first Florida railroad from Tallahassee to St. Marks, which was then an important port. Most of the commerce and trade of the Tallahassee region was carried on by this railroad. Congress, in gratitude for the services rendered us by General Lafayette, the noble Frenchman who had aided us in our struggle for independence, had voted him a tpwnship of land in Florida. The land selected was just east of _ Talla hassee. General Lafayette never saw, or settled upon, his Florida land; but he sent out a number of his countrymen to make a settlement on his lands, and they became a -useful and intelligent element in the West Florida population. Into Wal ton and Santa Rosa counties, or rather into the country which is now called by those names, came substantial type s of settlers Scotch families from North Carolina, of whom Neil McClendon and Colonel John McKinnon were leaders and forerunners. Early in Governor Duval's administration the problem which was involved in the American policy toward the Indians began to give trouble in Florida. This was the problem of moving the Indians from their old lands to reservations set apart for them by the Federal government. While he was governor of Florida, Jackson had outlined to the Florida Indians the policy of the government re-


\ 68 HISTORY OF FLORIDA specting them; and they had shown displeasure at the suggestion of being removed from their old homes. In 1823 the first steps were taken in Florida in the carry ing out of the removal plan. Governor Duval met a number of the Indians at Camp Moultrie, a few miles below St. Augustine, to make plans with them for the removal. A few of the powerful Indian chiefs r e fused to enter into any negotiations with the white people, and declared that they would not be bound by any treaty into which the other chieftains entered . After a conference lasting several days; a treaty was; signed. By the terms of this treaty the Indians agreed to give up all claims to any lands in Florida except those granted them by the government. The se lands constituted a large reservation twenty mil e s south of Micanopy. They were to receive permanent and peac e ful poss e ssion of the lands in this reservation; and they were to be guaranteed the care and protection of the United States as long as they yielded submission to its authority and obedience to its laws . The United States also guaranteed to pay the Indians six thousand dollars in cash to compensate the m for improvements made on the lands the y were giving up, and also to make them an annual payment of fiv e thousand dollan1. They were to be suppli e d by the government with rations of corn and salt for on e year. An ag ency was to be established in the district, and a school was to be put there. In addition six chiefs were granted reservations on the Apalachicola River. Having reached an agreement with the Indians, Governor Duval now went among the various tribes, trying to win the friendship of the Indians and to make them feel satisfied with the policy of the government toward them. He assured them that they would be given a whole year in which to prepare for their removal. During this y ear no white settlers should be allowed to build hous e s or plant crop$ on the Indian lands. At the expiration of the year the Indians were not ready to go. They had not harvested


ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPING THE TERRITORY 69 their crops. In order to impress the redskins with his fairness, and to prevent the suffering that would have ensued had they been forced to leave their crops, Governor Duval allowed them to remain until November. Before he finally succeeded in removing the Indians to their reservation, and also in opening up their old lands for white settlement, Duval had to depose Enemathla, the leader of the Tallahassees and the foremost chief among the Indians. The sheer bravery of Governor Duval, who, accompanied only by his interpreter, went into a large meeting of the Indians and seized Enemathla when he was trying to incite the Indians to take the warpath against the whites, so impressed the Indians that trouble was for the time being prevented. Enemathla, deposed from the leadership of his tribe, made his way into Georgia and joined the Creeks. His place at the head of the Tallahassees was taken by the subchief, John Hicks. After a short while Hicks brought the Indians of his neighborhood together at St. Marks, and the Miccosukees and Tallahassees left their old fields to take up their abode in the new lands provided for them by the Great Father at Washington. The places that had known them would know them no more; and in their old country, now to be taken over entirely by the white men, there would be left few traces of their long possession of this land. The musical Indian names of their former dwelling places, the arrows and spearheads, the bits of pottery, and the stones which they used for grind ing their com, alone remain to remind us of the fierce and warlike natives from whom our early settlers wrested the great section around the state capital.


I CHAPTER XV THE SEMINOLE WAR The Indians were not satisfied with the lands granted them as a reservation; or probably it would be more exact to say that they were not satisfied with reservation life. For a people who had led the free roving existence of the Indians to be limited to a portion of the territory which they had formerly owned, and over which they had fought, fished, and hunted, was irksome and unpleasant. Furthermore, the whites were not inclined to let them long remain undisturbed on their reservation. As more and more settlers poured into Florida, there was an ever increasing tendency to encroach upon the lands of the red man. Gradually the Federal government began to consider the feasibility of moving all of the Indians west of the Missis sippi River. A treaty was made with some of the Florida Indian chiefs in 1832, by the terms of which it was decided that the government would send a commission composed of these chiefs with their agent a,nd their interpreter, a negro named Abraham, to examine the western lands upon which it was proposed to settle the Florida Indians. If the Indian l eaders found these western lands satisfactory, they should r eport the ir opinion to the various tribes and use their influence in favor of the removal. Although these chiefs after their examination of the lands said they were satisfied, upon their return to Florida they opposed removal. The Florida Seminoles were runaways from the Creeks and refused to go to a reservation on which they and the Creeks would have to live together. One of the objections of the opponents of removal was the cold ness of the Western climate; while another was the fact that no lightwood was found on the lands selected for the 70


THE SEMINOLE WAR 71 reservation. It looked as if the Indians would seriously oppose, even to taking up the hatfhet against the whites, all attempts to remove them. / In 1834, just when the question of the removal of the Indians was becoming acute, Governor Duval's long ad ministration came to an end. Florida's first American governor, General Jackson, had now become President of the United States, and it was his duty to name Governor Duval's successor. Jackson named, as Governor General, John Eaton, a fellow Tennesseean artd long-time friend. General Eaton had been a firm friend and loyal supporter of "Old Hickory" at every stage of his remarkable career. While a senator in Congress from Tennessee, Eaton had defended Jackson's course in Florida, when his invasion of Pensacola and his hanging of the two British subjects, Arbuthnot and Ambrister, had been called into question . Jackson had shown a deep appreciation of his friend's loyalty; and when called to the presidency, he had made Eaton a member of his Cabinet. In 1834 Jackson sent him down to Florida as governor, but Eaton only remained there about a year, for the President then sent himabroad as minister to Spain. After Eaton's resignation, Jackson appointed to the governorship an officer who had formerly served under him, General Richard Keith Call, who acted. as governor for eight years -1835 to 1840 and 1841 to 1844. During a large part of his administration, and throughout that of Governor Robert R. Reid, from 1840 to 1841, occurred the S e minole War, which covered the period from 1836 to 1842. This war came about as a result of the government's determination to remove "the Indians to the western lands. It was a long struggle characterized by bitter fighting and intense bad feeling between the Indians and the whites. This long struggle between the United States and the Florida Indians, which we know as the Seminole War, b gan as follows: I One of the leading Indians in Florida was Osceola, a half-breed. He was the son of an English -


HISTORY OF FLORIDA man, one William Powell , who had lived among the Creek Indians in Georgia and had married Osc e ola's mother, a Creek woman. While he was still a child , Osc e ola's mother had come down from Georgia and had joined the S e minoles in Florida, bringing her child with h e r. H e r e , Osc e ola had grown to vigorous young manhood . At the outbreak of the Seminole War he was thirty-one years old , and had risen to a position of lead e rship and authority among the S e minoles, although he did not rank as a chi ef. Osceola opposed the removal of the Indians, and he used his influ ence to keep his p e ople from acc epting the conditions laid down by the gov e rnment. From the time that Osc e ola defied the Indian Agent, G e neral Thompson, and broke up the council by sticking his knife in the table and crying out, "This is the only treaty I will ever make with the whites!" to his ambushing and murde r of Charle y Emathla, a chieftain who was urging that the Indians_ consent peace ably to the removal, he became the recognized lead e r of the Indians. I This leadership of Osceola to the t hites c ould mean only one thing -war between the Indians and the United States, unless our gov ernment abandoned its declar e d policy of removing the Indians. One of the first persons to realize that the Indians were preparing to take the warpath was General Thompson; for immediately after the murder of Charley Emathla, the Indians b e gan to buy great quantities of powder. When he r eported this to the government, he was forbidden to s e ll more; and in a fit of temper Osceola and a band of his followers ambushed and killed General Thompson and Lieut enant Smith, burned the store and buildings, killed the employees at the settler's store, and set out to join their tribe in the Big Wahoo Swamp on the Withlacoochee River. The Seminole War had begun. But the thing that did more to awaken the country to the dangers that were involved in the Indian uprisings w.,s the Dade massacre.


THE SEMINOLE WAR 73 On the morning of December 28, 1835, the same day on which General Thompson was killed, Major Dade, commanding one hundred and thirty-nine American soldiers. was ambushed, near the Withlacoochee River, while on the way from Tampa to Fort King._ He had left Tampa a few days before, guided by a negro named Lewis, . who is be lieved to have informed the Indians of the route to be taken and the time of setting out. The Indians had concealed themselves on the western side of the road in the thick palmettos; and when they had fired their rifles at close range into the soldiers in marching order, and entirely unaware of the presence of the foes, nearly half of Dade's command and the commander himself were killed at the first volley. The survivors rallied and drove the Indians off; but hardly had they protected themselves with a hastily constructed triangular breastwork of pine trees when the Indians returned in force and completed their deadly work. When the second attack was over, only two American soldiers had escaped. The scene of Dade's massacre is near the Big Wahoo Swamp, close to Bushnell in Sumpter County. The news of the loss of Dade and his men did not reach General Clinch, who was in command of the United States troops, until he had already called for volunteers to avenge the killing of the friendly chief, Charley Emathla. As most of the volunteers had enlisted for only a short time, General Clinch decided to begin operations against the Indians at once. So when he was joined by General Call with several companies of volunteers, the march :was im mediately begun for the Withlacoochee River. When the river was reached an attempt was made to cross it; but the water was deep and the progress so slow that only about two hundred and sixty of tlie men had succeeded in crossing when the Indians, of whose J?resence the troops were unaware, suddenly opened a heavy and unexpected fire. With part of his forces on either side of the stream, the commander of the American forces was in


74 HISTORY OF FLORIDA a desperate plight. Finding the force of Indians too large to be beaten back from their strong position, protected by a hammock, after two attempts had been made to drive them from their position, he ordered the American troops who had crossed the river to return. This withdrawal, under conditions of extreme difficulty and under the expectation of a renewed attack, was carried out with great suc cess. This was the Battle of the Withlacoochee River. Soon after the failure to drive the Indians from the Big Wahoo Swamp, General Winfield Scott, who was to win a great name for himself in the War with Mexico, was placed in command of the forces in Florida. Owing to the fact that he knew little of the Indians or their way of fighting, he made little headway against them. From their shelter in the swamps and hammocks, parties of Indians would Taid the white settlements and plantations, destroying property, carrying off stock and negroes, and putting families to death. Many plantations were given up, and the settlers and their families were driven , to the protection of the nearest towns or forts. Finally, General Jessup, who had made a great name for himself, when he had compelled the Creeks to leave their homes in Georgia, was placed in command of the forces in Florida. For a while he left General Call in command, arid that leader was soon joined by General Armstrong with twelve hundred Tennessee soldiers . In November these soldiers, under Call and Armstrong, crossed the Withla coochee River and drove the Indians out of their encamp ment. Several hours of hard fighting with the Indians followed, in which the redskins were driven back into the Big Wahoo Swamp, where it was all but impossible for the white men to follow them. Shortly after the fighting in Big Wahoo Swamp, General Jessup ~oined the troops. He waged a continuous campaign against the Indians, defeating them in battle and following them into the ~wamps in which they tried to hide. This consistent hammering that he gave the red men soon began


THE SEMINOLE WAR 75 to bring results. The Indians were fast becoming con vinced that the government meant business, and that they were, sooner or later, to be removed from Florida to the West. Gradually the Indians seemed tb realize the weakness of their position; the meager nature of their resources when compared with those of the powerful republic, with which they were engaged in warfare; and the disaster that must befall them in the ultimate outcome of the struggle. In the spring of 1837 a number of the chiefs sought an interview with General Jessup. They promised him that they would go south of the Withlacoochee River and prepare their people for removal to the West. It was decided that they should all meet at a fort near Tampa, and that from that point they should be sent to Arkansas . Large numbers of the Indians had assembled by the middle of May, and among them were Osceola and Coacoochee. With the appearance of so many Indians it looked as if the war were ended. Indeed, many of the settlers believed this to be the case, and they began to return to their long-deserted homes. But this seeming willingness to leave Florida was just an Indian trick, a subterfuge to give them time to plant their crops. Having accomplished the purpose for which the fake peace was planned, Osceola induced all the Indians to escape with him into the Everglades. To the whites this was the signal for a call to more troops and for the be ginning of another campaign. It now looked as if much of the work against the Indians must be done over again. But the Indians were now making their last stand; and the odds were heay-ily against their doing anything more than to prolong the struggle. Even to Osceola its final outcome must have been certain. A In the early autumn of 1837 King Philip, Osceola, Coacoochee, and Talmus Hadjo were captured and im prisoned. Osceola was imprisoned at first in St. Augustine; but the government did not wish to take any chances on


HISTORY OF FLORIDA his again escaping in Florida, , where he had many followers among the Indians, so he was sent to Fort Moultrie, near Charleston, South Carolina. Here he soon pined away and died, broken-hearted at his failure to win the victory for his people. So passed away one of the most remarkable Indians of his time. Coacoochee and Talmus Hadjo finally escaped from the prison at St. Augustine, making their way back to their tribe after great hardships . So indignant were they and their friends at their treatment and at the imprisonment of Osceola, that they swore to oppose the white men to the bitter end. In December of the same year, 1837, the last great battle of the Seminole War was fought. General Taylor won a victory over the Indians after three hours of hard fighting near Okechobee. This was the last pitched battle of the war, and the losses in it were heavy. For the rest of the war the activities of the American troops were largely the hunting down of broken and disspirited bands of Indians. In the spring of 1838 some fifteen hundred Florida Indians were sent to Arkansas. Few of the Indians now remained in Florida, but these continued to make war on the white men. In small bands which would no longer fight open battles, these Indians dodged about in hammocks and swamps, from which they would make unexpected raids on undefended settlements. Taylor's plan was to provide blockhouses for every so many miles of settled territory, and to patrol this territory so as to capture or wipe out these bands of hostile Indians. General Taylor was succeeded after two years by General Armistead, who commanded the troops in Florida for one year. Armistead was relieved by General Worth, who com pleted the task of removing the Indians and who, in 1842, ended the Seminole War. In the spring of that year, General Worth notified the government that only about three hundred Indians were left in Florida, and he advised that these be allowed to remain below the Peace River.


THE SEMINOLE WAR 77 His advice was followed, and upon this arrangement peace Jf"'as made. I/'-,,_ The Seminole War had lasted seven years, had cost the lives of fourteen hundred American soldiers, and also the expenditure of large sums of money before the Indians were finally subdued and removed. The maximum armed strength of the Indians had been about two thousand warriors, while our forces had numbered at one time around nine thousand men. When the war ended, large and fertile parts of Florida were now open for settlement, without the fear of an Indian invasion always before the settler and his family. Florida was lost to the Indians and would fast become a white man's country.


CHAPTER XVI FROM STATEHOOD TO SECESSION The settlement of Florida advanced rapidly after the close of the Seminole War. New settlers came into the growing and prospero u s territory, and marked increase in the population and prosperity of the country was made during the years from 1842 to 1845. Sentiment for state h ood increased in the territory, and opinion was somewhat divided, both i n Florida and in Congress, as to whether F l orida shou l d come into the Union as one state, or be divided into the states of East and West Florida. Finally, Cong r ess having passed an enabling act and the state having prepared an acceptable constitution, Florida, on March 3, 1845, was admitted into the Union, of which Pres ident John T yler proclaimed her . a member. T he last territorial governor of Florida was John Branch, who was appo inted in 1844. He called the first election of state offic i a l s to be held in Florida, fixing the date of the e l ect i on on May 26, 1845. Wil l iam D. Moseley was chosen as the first governor of the new state for a term of fo u r years. T he const i t ution wh ich was adopted for the new state was based upon the territorial constitution, framed in 1838 by a convention at St. Joseph, once an important town but w h ich has now entire l y disappeared. This constit u tion, changed so as to provide for a state, instead of a territorial, form of government, remained the fundamental law of the state until 1861. During Governor Mose l ey's administration Florida pro gressed in numerous ways. Many acres of public lands were so l d, and many settlers came into the state. The capitol , of which the corner stone had been l aid twenty 78


FROM STATEHOOD TO SECESSION 79 years before, was complet e d in 1845, and attention was called by the governor in his m e ssag e to the L e gislature to the need of a school syste m "that should bring instruction to every man's door." The administrations of three other governors bridge the period between 1849, the end of Governor Moseley's term, and the outbreak of the war b e tween the states: Thomas Brown, a member of the Whig Party, whose term of office covered the years from 1849 to 1853; Jame s E. Broome, a Democrat, who was governor from 1853 to 1857; and Madison S. Perry, a Dem ocrat, whose administration began in 1857 and ended in 1861. In 1849 and again in 1857 the Indians gave trouble . Although their number was small, the Seminoles were hard to confine to their reserva tion. In their raids on the , outlying and unprotected white settlements and plantations much damage was done to life and property. Settlers many miles from the reservation suffered when the Semi-WILLIAM DUNN MOSELEY First Gov e rnor of Florida noles broke their reservation bounds. However, both the uprising of 1849, and the more s e rious one of 1857, were put down by state troops, without having to call upon the Federal government for assistance. From 1850 to the outbreak of the war b e tween the states Florida continued to prosper as a state in the Union; but gradually it was becoming more and more e vid ent, to the people of Florida as well_ as to the inhabitants of the other Southern States, that the North was bent on overthrowing


80 HISTORY OF FLORIDA the rights of the Southern States. A situation was being created by Northern aggression on the rights of the states, which would either force the Southern States to acquiesce in the destruction of those rights, or force them from the Union in order to save these rights that were threatened with destruction. The right of secession had long been held in the United States. It was no invention of the South brought forward to defend slavery, as some Northern writers and politicians have falsely charged. Probably no section of the country had resorted to the threat of secession more often or preached secession more consistently than New England. During the War of 1812 and again at the time of the Texas annexation and in the Mexican War, with which New England had little sympathy, New England press, preachers, and politicians urged on the Northern States the right of secession. Now when the interests of the South were being threatened, and the Southern States began to talk secession, the North called secession " re hellion " ; and to the North what had been a virtue on Boston Common became a heresy in Charleston or Tallahassee. The continued agitation against slavery in the North; the refusal of the Abolitionist sections to obey and help enforce the Fugitive Slave Laws; the ill-timed and unfair attacks upon the decisions of the United States Supreme Court when these decisions were fa,vorable to the states that had slaves, convinced the South that the Northern Nationalists were bent on a rule or ruin policy that was subversive of the fundamental doctrine of the Constitution. With the election of Lincoln, the candidate of those interests and factions in the North and Northwest most bent on the destruct~on of slavery, the Southern States, one by one, determined that the time had come to withdraw from a Union that had ceased to respect the legitimate field of state activity. To Florida the question of secession was not settled on "snap judgment." As far back as the time of Governor


FROM STATEHOOD TO SECESSION 81 Moseley it was apparent that the time might come when Florida would have to leave the Union or give up cherished rights. The representatives of Florida in the Legislature of 1859 passed a resolution declaring that the state of Florida would stand by her sister Southern States if their rights were endangered. In November, 1860, Governor Perry recommended to the Legislature the withdrawal of Florida from the Union, and he called a convention for that purpose to meet at Tallahassee on the third of J anu ary, 1861. The state acted calmly and with deliberation; the secession of the Southern States was no act of over enthusiasm or excitement. Florida had weighed the issues, and she had decided the course that it was right for her to take. On January ro, 1861, the convention which had been in , session for a week of discussion and deliberation adopted the Ordinance of Secession, which declared that Florida withdrew herself from the Union and was an independent nation.


CHAPTER XVII FLORIDA IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES Florida was the third of the Southern States to withdraw from the Union, South Carolina and Mississippi having already done so. One day after the withdrawal of Florida Alabama followed the example of her near neighbors. The other Southern States soon followed, and before long eleven of the states of the Union had severed all connection with the republic in which they had formerly been members. All of the states that had seceded up to February 4, 1861, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, , Louisiana , and Texas. -sent representatives to Montgomery, Alabama, on that date and formed the Confederate States of America. A temporary, or provisional, constitu tion was adopted, and a provisional President and Yice President were chosen. Afterward a permanent constitution was adopted by the Confederate Congress on March 11, 1861, which, having been ratified by the member states, went into effect in February, 1862. Soon after, the other Confederate States Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee severed their connection with "the United States and joined the Confederacy. On February 17, 1861, Florida became a member of the Confederate States of America, of which Jefferson Davis and Alexander H. Steph e ns became President and Vice President, respectively. In November John Milton became governor of Florida, serving until his death on April 1, 1865, practically till !he end of the war. The history of his administra tion is the story of Florida's part ii:i the Confederacy and in the war that for four long years raged between the North and South. It is not necessary in a short history of Florida to dwell 82


FLORIDA IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 83 on her part in the heroic fighting of the Civil War, where the fighting was done on the soil of other states. That is recounted in the other pages of this volume, dealing with United States history in general. This chapter will try to describe the more important happenings during the war period in Florida. A few '1.ays before Florida seceded, the state troops began the policy of seizing the forts and arsenals and other property within Florida's borders which could be used against the state should the Federal authorities attempt the policy of coercion. The United States arsenal on the Apalachicola River and Fort Marion at St. Augustine were seized by state troops without any resistance from the garrisons. The navy yard, Fort Barrancas, and Fort McRae near Pensa cola were taken possession of by Florida; but Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, which commanded the harbor of Pensacola, remained in the hands of the United States troops. The Federal government also was able to retain control of the forts at Key West and the Tortigas. Despite the efforts of General Bragg to capture Fort Pickens from the Federals, it was reenforced by the Union government; and by the end of the summer of 1861, not only was Pensacola blockaded by the United States navy, but all important ports on the Florida coast were closed. In February, 1862, the Confederate troops evacuated Pen sacola. General Samuel Jones, who had succeeded to the command of the Confederate forces at Pensacola, after Bragg had been transferred to Mobile, was ordered to evacuate Pensacola. It was impossible for the Confederacy to hold it longer in the face of the Union control of the harbor by Fort Pickens and the blockade. He was ordered to destroy any property of a kind that might aid the Federal troops in carrying on the war and to destroy the railway from Pensa cola to the junction. On May 9, after all the sick and wounded, together with the baggage, had been removed from the city, all of the troops were withdrawn except several companies of cavalry, who were left to destroy the


HISTORY OF FLORIDA property which could not be moved, but which should not fall into Federal hands. When this property had been fired, the cavalry retreated and the inhabitants of Pensacola fled into the interior of the state. On May 10 the Federl:!,l authorities took possession of Pensacola. The Union forces were now in control of virtually the entire Florida coast. The Confederates had giverr up Fernandina in March, and a short time after St. Augustine had surrendered to the Federal forces. In the spring of 1862 Jacksonville was occupied by the Union forces for nearly a month; and later in the same year, for a short while in October, they again took possession of the city. Early in March, 1863, two regiments of negro soldiers, commanded by Colonel Higginson and Colo _ nel Montgomery, were stationed in Jacksonville. General Finegan and a small body of Confederates attempted to drive them from the city. It was a very difficult task, for the negro regiments could operate under the cover of guns on the Union boats. Whenever the Union forces would attempt to fight beyond the reach of the fire from the gun boats, the Confederate forces made them hustle for the pro tection of their boats. In an engagement in Jacksonville on March 10, and again at the "Brick Church" on March 17, the Union troops were driven back. In every way possible the Confederates hampered the movements of these Union forces, engaging them in occasional ski~ishes and attacking them whenever they ventured away from the shelter of their gunboats. Finally, on Sunday, March 29, the Federals evacuated Jacksonville after first setting fire to the city. During the war Florida was an important source of food and supplies for the Confederate armies. One of the important commodities furnished by Florida was salt. The Confederate government maintained valuable salt works at St. Andrews Bay. Other salt works were operated there by private interests. All of these works were unprotected by soldiers, and it was very easy for the Federals to destroy them. The value of the property destroyed by the Union


FLORIDA IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 85 forces at St. Andrews Bay is estimated at about three millions of dollars. Florida suffered also from deserters

86 HISTORY OF FLORIDA . road, the other by the Jacksonville and Lake City road. Within an hour the entire Confederate force had engaged the Federals in a terrific battle which lasted more than four hours. Finally the Union forces gave way, and the Con federates pursued their retreating enemy until darkness helped to cover their retreat. This was a brilliant victory for the Southern troops over a foe whose numbers were superior to their own. The results of Olustee were important . . The Federal forces were driven back into Jacksonville, and this attempt to invade the interior section of the state was defeated. Valu able supplies of cotton, lumber, and provisions were saved for the Confederacy. Considerable arms were captured from the Federal army and a large number of Northern prisoners were taken. The Union losses were 203 killed, u52 wounded, and 506 missing; while the Confederate losses we;re 93 killed, 847 wounded, and 6 missing. After the Union defeat at Olustee, many of the Federal troops at Jacksonville were removed to South Carolina. The troops that remained in Jacksonville were held by the forces of the Confederates pretty close to that city. While the Confederate forces were not strong enough to drive the enemy out of Jacksonville, they were able to keep him from invading the interior or lower part of the state and to prevent his damaging the railroads to Cedar Keys. West Florida suffered more than any other section of the state from Union raids. Pensacola had been taken by the Federals early in the war and was used as a base of opera tions by the Federals . In 1862 Milton suffered from a raid; and from that time until the end of the struggle West Florida endured many hardships from this source. The commander whose conduct in western Florida was most disgraceful and whose troops committed the worst outrages and depredations was General Asboth. In 1864 he raided and looted Eucheeanna, and a little later he took Marianna. The conduct of these raiders turned a great many people into bitter enemies of the Union. In a section where most


FLORIDA IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 87 of the able-bodied men of military age were absent with the Confederate armies, Asboth and his troops made war on boys and old men and looted and pillaged noncombatants. In March, 1865, Federal troops tried to take the Florida capital, Tallahassee, the only Southern state capital east of the Mississippi that had not been reached and occupied by Union forces. It looked as if Tallahassee would fall into the enemy's hands; but the splendid fighting of a small Confederate force at Natural Bridge drove back the invaders and saved the capital. Shortly b e fore the close of the war John Milton, Florida's war governor, died. The worries and anxi e ties of the long years of fighting and the onerous duties and responsibilities of his office had been a heavy burden for him to carry. His death occurred just before the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. He was spared the sorrow of seeing the end of the Confederacy and the bitterness and demoralization of Reconstruction.


CHAPTER XVIII FLORIDA IN THE PERIO D OF RECONSTRUCTION If The surrender of General Lee's forces at Appomattox on f April 9, 1865, practically ended the war. Soon after General Johnston's forces laid down their arms; and the surrender of the two main Confederate armies was followed by the cessation of hostilities throughout the South. On May 17, 1865, the Confederate forces in Florida surrendered to the Federal authorities. The lorig struggle was over; and the Confederate soldiers, broken and war weary, turned from war and fight ing and began their long homeward journey. The bravery with which these men, who for four long years had faced the dangers and hardships of war, now turned to the diffi cult tasks of rebuilding an overthrown civilization, and to restoring a country torn and wasted by the red hand of war, has compelled the admiration of friend and foe alike. The bravery of the Southern soldier on the field of battle did not exceed the heroism with which he now took up the difficult problems of peace, and the Southern women, faithful now as ( throughout the long struggle, stood ready to do their part. \_ In the annals of the Confederacy Florida's name stands out in bold relief. On the battlefields of Virginia, from First ( Manassas to Appomattox; in the fighting in the west from Shiloh to Chattanooga; on her own home soil throughout the entire war Florida officers and soldiers played an heroic part. Florida furnished three Confederate major generals: Loring, Anderson, and Smith; and nine briga dier generals: Walker, Brevard, Bullock, Finegan, Miller, Davis, Finley, Perry, and Shoup. In the Confederate Cabinet Stephen R. Mallory of Florida was Secretary of the Navy. From the death of Governor Milton on April 1, 1865, 88


THE PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION 89 until July of that year, A. K. Allison, the President of the Florida Senate, served as governor. . ( Florida's returned soldiers and her civilian population found themselves confronted by grave problems in 1865 and the ten years that followed, -the problems of rebuilding a civilization shaken by war, cursed with the evils of carpetbag government, and threatened with negro domination. To the South the war had brought a train of evi ls . Its ending found the slaves free, money of no value, plantations run down and in many cases abandoned, and business ruined. Under such conditions it was the task of the people of Florida to restore the state's prosperity. It was a difficult task; but had the Federal Congress seen fit to allow the state to accomplish it without Federal interference, it would have been done better and far sooner. 1With an empty treasury and the ante-bellum debt to be paid, the state was not allowed to return to self-government; but it was " placed under military rule in July, 1865, when William Marvin was appointed governor. A constitutional convention met at Tallahassee and adopted a new constitution for the state. Although this convention accepted the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, the Federal government still refused to allow Florida's senators to take their seats in Congress, reversing the theory upon which the North had waged the war, namely, "that a state could not secede," -and now declaring that Florida was out of the Union. ( Despite the fact that they were not allowed representation in the Senate of the United States, the people were allowed to elect a governor, David S. Walker, who was inaugurated in January, 1866. He served only until July, 1868; and during his short term of office Florida was kept under military rule . Federal troops were stationed throughout the state, under the pretense that their presence was necessary to secure to the negro his newly acquired freedom. To make. a bad matter worse, some of these United States soldiers were negroes; pr wherever they were used friction and race


HISTORY OF FLORIDA feeling were bound to r e sult. Whateve r the rights of the case, had the Federal government be e n tactful, only white soldiers would have been us e d in Florida. The constitution adopte d just after the close of the war was repudiated by the Federal government , and an election was ordered for another constitutional convention. This convention, which was far less competent than its predecessor to frame the fondam,ental law for a self-governing white community, drew up a constitution and nominated a governor and other state officers. Seventeen of its members were ~ith neither the expe ~ in government nor the ability and character to fit them for the performance of this highest duty of citizenship. The officers nominated by this convention were elected, and on the fourth of July, 1868, they took office. Harrison Reed, who in a Democratic state called himself a Republican, was now governor . Of course this could happen in only one way. The real popu lation of Florida, its white citizens who had sympathized with the South, were practically denied the right of suffrage, while the new constitution gave the ballot to the ignorant former slaves. The former master, with training and experi ence in government, was denied the right of suffrage; the ignorant negro, formerly his slave, was armed with the ballot. Surely the bottom rail of the fence had been placed on top! . r As might have been expected under such conditions, an I ignorant and incompetent legislature was chosen to make laws for the state. In the first legislature that convened under this new constitution were many negroes who could neither read nor write; but they passed the kind of laws that the Republican radicals wanted, and Florida was readmitted to the n. Harris~eed remained governor until 1873; but to the white citizens of Florida his administration was anything but satisfactory, as is shown by the fact that three attempts were made to impeach him. These attempts _ failed, how ever, because the legislature that then represented Florida


------~ ~~ ~ ----------THE PERIOD OF RECONSTRUCTION 91 did not reall s eak for a ma 'orit of her competent white population. Ossian B. Hart succeeded Reed in the guber( natorial office, but his administration was a short one; for he died in 1874, his lieutenant governor, Marcellus L. Stearns, filling out the unexpired term. Reed, Hart, and Stearns are the only three Re_ publicans that have ever been governors of Florida; and the years covered by their admin istrations are those years in which self-government was denied the state through the Reconstruction policy of the r cals who controlle ngre.ss During these administrations Florida suffered greatly from high taxation, the proceeds of which were unwisely and even dishonestly ex e ed. Many public officers of these governments were corrupt and dishonest; others that were not were untrained and incompetent. The burden of this twin evil, dishonesty and incompetency, was borne by the white popu lation-'who were deprived of their just share in government. As taxation mounted, the white people of the state grew poorer and poorer, often their once valuabl::::.e ~ r,::o ~er~~:;;::~ sold for inability to meet the heavy taxes. Nor di e negro really benefit much through carpetbag government. He became demoralized by idleness and political excitement, he was plundered often by unscrupulous politicians, and he was deluded by extravagant promises which the Federal government could not or would not redeem. T-he negro, once industrious and thrifty, became a loafer who hoped to go to the legislature or to live on the governmental bounty. he persons who really did prosper were the carpetbaggers Northern adventurers who, as a rule, held no Florida property and paid no state taxes. They controlled the state government, ran it in their own interest, monopolized the higher and more lucrative offices, and filled the lesser ones with negroes. It is a commentary on their unfitness to rule that Florida_ began to prosper only when their regime was at an end. In 1876, the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration ~ f Independence, the elections that ended carpetbag rule in


92 HISTORY OF FLORIDA Florida, as well as in other Southern states, were held. teams was a candidate to succeed himself as governor in 1876. The Democratic candidate was George F. Drew. In the same election the Democratic candidate for President of the United States was Samuel J. Tilden, and his Repub lican opponent was Rutherford B. Hayes. A Republican board was appointed to canvass the vote of the state. It decided that the Republican candidates for both the presi dency and governorship had carried Florida. The Supreme Court ordered another count, which gave a majority for both offices to the Democratic nominees. The dispute as to the presidency was referred to the well-knowri Electoral Com mission appointed by Congress, which counted the electoral vote of Florida for Hayes, who was declared President. However, the Federal government did not interfere with the count ordered by the Florida Supreme Court, which showed that Drew and two Democratic representatives to Congress had been elected in Florida. To one familiar with Florida's history, it is hard to believe that Florida voted for a Republican president and in the same election chose a Democratic governor and two Democratic . members of Con gress. It looks as if, having manipulated the presidential vote to suit themselves, the Republicans practically admitted that they had stolen the electoral votes of three Southern States ----....Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana all of which Hayes had to have to elect him, when they admitted the legality of the Democratic state governments chosen at the same time in these three states. Yet the election was not without compensations to the good people of Florida. The Federal troops were soon with drawn from the state; and with the disappearance of the Federal bayonets, the carpetbag rule collapsed and the state passed into the hands of its own citizens. Since that time Florida has been uniformly Democratic in state and United States politics. "Home Rule" had at last been restored to the South.


CHAPTER XIX TW O DECA DES OF H O ME RULE, FROM DREW THROUGH MITCHELL Two decades of progress and prosperity were begun for Florida when George F. Drew was inaugurated as the first of the five governors whose administrations cover the years from 1877 to 18_9 Governor Drew was just the kind of executive needed by Florida to help the state recover from the dishonesty and extravagance of the carpetbag days. He was a successful business man; and the same policies that had aided him in his own business honesty, vision, and economical man agement characterized his administration of the affairs of Florida. He inaugurated a policy of economy which was much needed; for until the burden of taxation which bore heavily on the state's population was reduced, Florida's industry and commerce could not hope to make any substantial progress. Under Governor Drew negotiations were begun with the Federal government for the recovery of large amounts due the state from the government on account of the "Indian War Claims." 'Etthe expiration of Governor Drew's four years of service, e was succeeded by William B. Bloxham, one of the most popular of Florida's chief executives. Combining tact and consideration with his great personal popularity, he com manded the respect and confidence of the entire state. Under his able leadership the state of Florida made progress in nearly every line. _ His handling of the "Lnternal Improvement Fund," which { had been so badly mismanaged by the Republican governors just after the war, released this fund from the custody of the '-=--93 .


94 HISTORY OF FLORIDA Federal courts and put it back under the control 0 the state authorities who could use it to aid in the development of badly needed railways. Capital began to flow into the state for investment, and for several years there followed an unprecedented building of railroads in Florida. Large areas of overflowed lands were drained and brought under cultivation, an~ a period of great prosperity began in the state. More attention was given to education. Schools were established and improved; and an Agricultural College was founded at Lake City and a School for the Deaf and Blind at ~t. Augustine. In 1885, during the last year of Governor Bloxham's term of office, a convention was called which framed a new constitution to replace the unsatisfactory constitution of 1868. This constitution was ratified by the people. in 1886 and, with few amendments, is still the fundamental law of Florida. The first administration of Governor Bloxham was fol lowed by that of Governor Edward A. Perry, who served the state as its chief executive from 1885 to 1889./ Governor --' Perry was b orn m -the state of Massachusetts; but had come to Florida at an early period in his life, and since his youth had made his home in Pensacola. At the outbreak of the war between the states, he had raised a company in the Second Florida Regiment, which had seen hard service in the army of northern Virginia, especially distinguishing itself at Williamsburg and at Seven Pines. Perry was elected colonel of the regiment, and in 1862 became a brigadier general. Twice severely wounded in battle, General Perry came out of the war with a reputation for bravery and devotion to duty which would have made him a man of distinction for the rest of his life had he served the state in no other capacity than that of a private citizen. But Florida i!gain called on hurt o serve as her governor -this time in the days of peac During his administra-/ tion the prosp; 1c ad already come to Florida went ~ard. Railroads continued to be built, and. along their


'l ' W DECADES OF HOME RULE 95 stretches n w towns sprang into being. Farm lands, with better facilities for getting their crops to market, increased in value and productiveness . Cattle and hogs became more profitable as towns developed to furnish them a market. Tourists began to come to Florida for health and relaxation, its warm climate and splendid bathing beaches making this an ideal state in which to spend the co l d winter months. To accommodate the wealthier touri~ts, the first of our great hote l s began to be built, among them the famous Ponce de Leon. In the summer of 1888 an epidemic of yellow fever broke out in Tampa. This terrible tropical and subtropical disease was at that time a calamity far greater than we to-day can picture; for modern preventive medicine and sanitation now serve as the means of checking and controlling it. It spread from Tampa to Jacksonville, where it raged in a virulent form and took a huge toll of life. From these cities it spread to other smaller places in the state. Jacksonville suffered most in this epidemic; and but for the generous response from all over the country, the situation there would have been far worse. As it was, the disease raged there for months and many people died. ,... Another Confederate veteran, Francis P. Fleming, suc ceeded to the governorship at the expiration of Perry's term ~ce. Governor Fleming was a citizen of Jacksonville, who had served through the Civil War with a courage and devotion to duty that had won him his country's gratitude. After the war he went into the practice of law in Jackson ville, attaining high rank among the attorneys of that city. The same fine qualities that he had displayed as a soldier and those which he showed in the practice of his profession, recommended him to the people of his state when, in 1889, t~y were electing a ~He made the state a wise, fair, and high-minded executive, "who never thought of his personal interests when they conflicted with the interests of the state." One of the most important business developments of

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HISTORY OF FLORIDA ' I Fleming's administration was the discovery of phosphate deposits in Marion County and later in other Florida I counties. This developed into a great industry; in fact, it developed into one o _ f the most profitable industri es of the state. In 1913, one of its best years, the phosphate industry of Florida had grown to such an extent that the total amount produced in that year was over two million Ion ,......,=:~ ,o~re Florida turned to the "men of the sixties" and chose for the third time in succession a Confederate veteran to be her governor. In 1893 Henry L. Mitchell, an attorney of Tampa, was elected to that high office. During his administration two of the worst disasters occurred that ever befell the state. In D ecember, 1894, the coldest weather of which we have any record for Florida seriously damaged the state. De cember 29, 1894, will probably be long remembered as the "coldest day ever known in Florida." The orange crop was destroyed and many fine groves were ruined. Many truckers and fruit growers lost their entire income. Although this cold wave occurred thirty years ago, some of its effects are still noticeable in the old citrus section of the state. The other disaster, while not so far reaching in its con sequences, and not so serious in its financial aspects, was, nevertheless, a severe blow to certain sections of the state and caused loss of much valuable property. On September 29, 1896, a severe hurricane swept across Florida, taking a heavy toll in property destroyed or badly damaged. Governor Mitchell's administration was to be remembered for educational reasons, because in 1893 William N . Sheats became Superintendent of Public Instruction. The efficient public school system of this state "is a monument to the tire less zeal, indomitable purpose, and official honesty of this indefatigable worker in the cause of education. This was the beginning of Mr. Sheats's long period of service in an office which he held about a quarter of a century.

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,CHAPTER XX ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS (1897-1917) In 1897 William D. Bloxham was for the second time inau gurated governo r of Florida. Since Florida's admission as a state in 1845, no other governor has ever . served two terms. Despit e this unique tribute to his personal popu larity, Governor Bloxham's second term did not have an auspicious beginning. He took office in a period of great busin ess depression accompanying the financial crisis of 1897 . . This panic was far reaching in its effect, and hard times were characteristic, not of Florida alone, but of the entire country; yet Florida's public finances made a splendid showing before Bloxha~•s administration had closed. The state was able to pay off a debt of $200,000 for money borrowed about ten years before. All of the bonds issued in 1871 were absorbed by the ed ucational funds. Only $260,600 of the state's bonded indebtedness remained outstanding in the hands of other creditors. The treasury showed a surplus on hand, and the state tax proper was reduced to two and one half mills, the low est in the history of the state to that time. Indeed, Florida's financial rating was among the highest in the Union. During this administration of Governor Bloxham war broke out between the United States and Spain. The causes of this war were found in Am erica n opposition to Spain's policy toward the Cubans. In the long struggle between the Spanish government and the Cubans who desired inde pendence, the sympathy of Florida was largely with the Cuban revolutionists. A good many Cubans were workers in the cigar factories of Florida. The ir account of the sufferings of their fellow countrymen increased the interest 97

PAGE 102

98 HISTORY OF FLORIDA which the people of Florida would naturally have felt for Cuban independence. Indeed, so great was the sympathy for this cause in certain parts of the state that the government had to keep a keen lookout to prevent the fitting out of "filibustering" expeditions in behalf of the Cubans. One of these vessels, the Three Friends, despite the watchfulness of our government, made repeated voyages to Cuba with arms and ammunition for the insurgents. The policy of the Spanish government toward the insur gents aroused great indignation throughout the United States, and open criticism of Weyler and of his treatment of the captured Cuban revolutionists filled our papers. At last, on April i1, 1898, after the United States had been angered beyond endurance by the blowing up of the Maine, President McKinley sent a message to Congress asking for authority to put a stop to the war in Cuba. War between Spain and the United States was the outcome. Although Florida very promptly furnished the regiment asked by the Federal . government as her quota toward carrying on the Spanish-American •War, the Florida regi ment did not see active service in Cuba during the struggle. The war was over in a far shorter time than even the most sanguine of our people expected it to be; so that many of the men who had volunteered, expecting to have a part in the liberation of Cuba, got no farther than the training camps in this count~-y. Because of its nearness to Cuba, Florida was a sort of base of operations during the war. The South Atlantic squadron, which played so important a part in the naval conduct of the war, was anchored at Key West. Army transports used Tampa as a port of embarkation; and Tampa, Jacksonville, and Fernandina served as concentration points for regiments, awaiting orders. _In 1901 William Sherman Jennings of Brooksville became governor. He brought to the office of chief executive con siderable experience as a lawyer and legislator. During the campaign of 1900 in which he had been elected, one of the

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ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS (1897-1917) 99 main issues before the voters had been the question of re moving the capital. The advocates of capital removal contended that the state could be best served by placing the capital in some more centrally located place. However, the ties of sentiment and tradition were strong, and the vote was decisively in favor of having Tallahassee remain the capital of the state. With this question decided, appro priations were made by the next Legislature for making necessary additions and improvements in the Capitol building. The administration of Governor Jennings showed con-., tinued improvement in the fiscal condition of the state. The bonded indebtedness was reduced from $1,032,500 to $601,667, and the interest payments on the debt reduced $40,000 per annum. .All of the outstanding state bonds were now absorbed by the educational funds of the state. In the settlement of the Indian War claims, the state paid off $132,000 of state bonds issued in 1857 and held by the United States in the Indian Trust Fund, with interest upon the same for twenty-nine years -a total of $396,212.66. During the same time the revenues of the state, from sources other than direct taxation, showed a very large increase; while despite the large appropriations made by the Legis latures during Jennings's term. of office, the rate of taxation for general revenue purposes was reduced to one and one half mills. During this administration, after many years of effort on the part of the various delegations in Congress, an act was passed by that body in 1902, authorizing the payment of the long-standing "Indian War Claims." By the settlement of these claims against the Federal government the state of Florida received more than $1,000,000. During this period the change was made from the convention system to the party primary for the nomination of officers, in the hope that this new method might do away with some of the abuses of the convention. Even to-day; nearly twenty-five years , after the change was made in

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100 HISTORY OF FLORIDA Florida, there _ is still considerable discussion concerning the merits and shortcomings of the two methods of choosing candidates. The worst calamity that befell the state during the Jennings administration was the Jacksonville fire, on May 3, 1901, which almost destroyed the city. Thousands were rendered homeless and business was seriously crippled. But a new Jacksonville has risen out of the ruins and ashes of the destroyed city. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward succeeded Jennings as gov ernor in 1905. He was an independent Democrat, who won his nomination in spite of the opposition of the political organization .which usually determines, or goes a long way toward det e rmining, candidates. The most important economic question which absorbed public atte ntion during Governor Broward's term of office was the drainage of the swamp and overflowed lands of the state. This was not a new question, for it had been dis cussed with more or less interest for a period of sixty years. Broward beli e ved that the drainage of these lands would result in a great improvem ent for the state. He had made a study of the drainage plans, and he had thoroughly famil iarized himself with the Everglades. To Broward must go the credit of making a start on the reclaiming of some of the fertile muck lands of the great swamp area of South Florida. The constitutional amendment relating to . drainage proposed by the Legislature of 1905 was defeated by the vote of the peopl e of the state. The Legislature of 1905 passed a measure, looked upon by a good many people at that time as unwise, which has ful.ly justified the wisdom of its authors and is beyond ques tion one of the most constructive pieces of legislation in the state's history. This measure is what we know as the Buckman Act. By the provisions of this act all of the then existing state institutions of higher education were abolished. A Univer sity of Florida was established for male students, and a

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ANOTHER TWENTY YEARS (1897-1917)' IOI Florida State College was provided for female students. The University of Florida was located near the central part of the state at Gainesville_. The Florida State College for Women was placed at Tallahassee. A Normal College for ADMINISTRATION BUILDING Univer s ity of Florida Negroes was founded at Tallahassee, and the Institution for the Blind, Deaf, and Dumb, founded in 1885, remained at St. Augustine. All of these state institutions were placed under the supervision of the State Board of Control ap: pointed by the governor. The wisdom of this legislation has been amply demonstrated in the progress of these institutions under the wise policy of the Board of Control and the efficient executives at the head of the various institutions. Few institutions have had so remarkable a development as has the University of Florida, under the able administration of its president, Dr. A: A. Murphree. Governor Broward was succeeded by Albert W . Gilchrist in 1909. Governor Gilchrist was a business man of Punta Gorda when he was elected to the office of chief executive. The next governor of Florida was Park Trammell of

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102 HISTORY OF FLORIDA Lakeland, who was elected to succeed Governor Gilchrist in 1912, his term of office beginning in January, 1913. Governor Trammell had served the state in the capacity of attorney general; and at the expiration of his term of office as gov ernor in 1917, he donned the toga of a United States Senator. During his administration as governor the World War broke out; and Florida found two of her industries, naval stores and phosphate, seriously interfered with through the closing of Germany's seaports by the Allied control of the sea.

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CHAPTER XXI FLORIDA FROM 1917 TO 1924 The period covered by the last two chapters of this little history is too fresh in our minds; and we are living too close to the things we are writing about to disc u ss them fairly in very great detail. A historian, and a history, should above all have perspective; for without this quality we cannot see persons and events in their proper proportions. It is like trying to judge a . great portrait or landscape by standing too near it; when to s ee it properly, we should view it from a distance. So this chap~er, like the one which precedes it, will be short. It will be a very bri e f summary of some of the important happe nings of seven rathe1 crowded years. These seven years in Florida's history are covered by all of the administration of Governor Sidney J. Catts, and by nearly all of the administration of his successor, Governor Cary A. Hardee, the present incumbent, whose term still has a few months to run till January, 1925. During Governor Catts's administration, the most important happening, not only for Florida ana the rest of America but to the rest of the world, was America's entry into the World War. Many state problems were created by the war. The great problem that confronted Florida, after the going into effect of the Selective S e rvice Act, was how its popu lation could best do its part to support the cause for which 42,3 0 1 Florida soldiers, sailors, and marines had enlisted. During the Catts administration, the question of prohi bition played a large part in Florida politics. This issue largely determined Governor Catts's election. On December 14, 1918, the Florida Legislature ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, popularly known as the Prohibition Amendment. 103

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104 HISTORY OF FLORIDA With the winning of the war and the signing of the Armis tice came the inevitable period of readjustment, the return to peace conditions, and the problems of domestic politics. It had been difficult to put the country on a war basis after long years of peace; it was not without difficulties that the country returned to a peace basis after eighteen months of war. The Legislature in Governor Catts's term of office provided for the state institutions with a fair degree of liberality; and under the efficient direction of President Murphree and President Conradi, the University of Florida and the State College for Women made rapid strides forward. The school system of the state has shown .marked improvement from year to year. The able policies of Dr. Sheats, during his long term of service as superintendent, were vindicated in better schools, with longer sessions, and a lq,rger number of graduates from the various high schools each year. The common interest and mutual interdependence of the public schools of the state and the state's higher institutions of learning began to be more and more evident, as year by year the increase in graduates from the high schools was reflected in the increased attendance on the higher institu tions of learning. In January, 1921, Mr. Cary A. Hardee, a banker of Live Oak, became governor. He carried into the executive office a determination to redeem his campaign promises of an economical business administration. During the years of his administration, Governor Hardee has been able to re duce the general tax rate in the state, and at the same time to increase the appropriations in many lines of the state's activities. Probably the most significant advances in the last few years of Florida's history, and those most rich in promise for the future, are the improvements in schools and roads. During the Hardee administration Superintendent Sheats died in office. He had been reelected to the office that he had held so long in 1920. Governor Hardee named, as the

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FLORIDA FROM 1917 TO 1924 1 0 5 successor to Dr. Sheats, one who :had for many years been closely associated with the school system of the state, Mr. W. S. Cawthon, at the time of his appointment State High School Inspector of Florida. The appointment of the governor has been ratified in a decis1ve manner by the people of Florida. Under such a superintendent the good work in education in Florida will certainly continue. When one considers the wonderful growth of Florida along so many lines; when the w ealth of her natural resources, her unequaled climate, the fertility of her soil, and the length of her crop season are called to mind; when one takes into account the fine qualities and sterling Americanism of her population; and when one reads the history of her wonder ful growth and development in so comparatively short a time -may he not be pardoned for his unbounded enthusiasm for her past and for an unclouded confidence in her future?

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