EXPLORERS first, then colonizers. Now interest in Florida, already aroused by the journey of Vaca, was quickened to a lively heat when, late in 1543, Moscoso and the remnants of De Soto’s band at last straggled into the City of Mexico. It would appear that hardships and failures could in no wise impair a Spaniard’s […]

Hernando De Soto

He was “a gentleman by all four descents,” and had recently been created by the Emperor a knight of the order of Santiago. He had already led a career of adventure not often equaled. He had served under Pedrarias in Nicaragua, and, by his marriage to Pedrarias’s daughter, Dona Isabel, had become brother-in-law to Balboa, […]

Lower Florida And The Seminoles

South of the mouth of the Ocklawaha the St. John’s River broadens into Lake George, the largest of its many lakes, a pretty sheet of water six to nine miles wide and twelve miles long. Volusia, the site of an ancient Spanish mission, is at the head of this lake, and the discharge from the […]

Florida – The City Of Jacksonville

Southward from Savannah, the railway route to Florida renews the monotonous landscape of woods and swamps. For ninety miles it goes in an almost straight line southwest through the pine belt of Southern Georgia, crossing the Ogeechee and Altamaha Rivers to Waycross, and then, turning to the southeast, proceeds in another almost straight line for […]

Some Florida Peculiarities

Florida is a strange region, yet most attractive. The traveller regards its surface as mainly a monotonous level of forest and swamp, with fruit and floral embellishments, but it in fact rises by an almost in-sensible ascent from the coast towards the interior, where there is a central summit ridge all along the peninsula of […]

Florida – Ancient St. Augustine

Thirty-six miles southeast of Jacksonville, on the seacoast, is the oldest city in the United States, founded by Menendez in 1565, and existing to this day with the characteristics of a Spanish town of the sixteenth century, which have been also reproduced in the architecture of most of the newer buildings. A small inlet from […]

Florida East Coast

All along the Atlantic shore of Florida south of St. Augustine are popular winter resorts, their broad and attractive beaches, fine climate and prolific tropical vegetation being among the charms that bring visitors. Ormond is between the ocean front and the pleasant Halifax River, its picturesque tributary, the Tomoka, being a favorite resort for picnic […]

Florida – Ascending St. John’s River

The St. John’s is the great river of Florida, rising in the region of lakes, swamps and savannahs in the lower peninsula, and flowing northward four hundred miles to Jacksonville, then turning eastward to the ocean. It comes through a low and level region, with mostly a sluggish current; is bordered by dense foliage, and […]

Going Down The Ocklawaha

The Ocklawaha, the dark, crooked water, comes from the south, by tortuous, windings, through various lakes and swamps, and then turns east and southeast to flow into St. John’s River, after a course of over three hundred miles. It rises in Lake Apopka, down the Peninsula, elevated about a hundred feet above the sea, the […]

Florida – The Land Of Flowers

In the early sixteenth century there flourished a valiant Spaniard of noble birth, a grandee of Aragon, who had taken part in the conquest of Grenada, Don Juan Ponce de Leon. He had accompanied Columbus on one of his American voyages, and in 1510 was appointed Governor of Puerto Rico. The bold Don Juan had […]