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The Florida Reader, страница 1


The Florida Reader

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The Florida Reader





  Edited by

  Maurice O’Sullivan, Jr., and Jack C. Lane

  For Janne Lane, who has endured, and for our children, students, colleagues and friends, who have shared our search for paradise

  Copyright © 1991, 2009, 2010 by Maurice O’Sullivan and Jack C. Lane

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

  Inquiries should be addressed to:

  Pineapple Press, Inc.

  P.O. Box 3889

  Sarasota, Florida 34230

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  The Florida reader : visions of paradise / edited by

  Maurice O’Sullivan and Jack Lane. — 1st ed.

  p. cm.

  Includes bibliographical references and index.

  ISBN 978-0-910923-71-2 (hb : alk. paper)

  ISBN 978-1-56164-062-1 (pb : alk. paper)

  1. Florida—History. 2. Florida—Description and travel.

  3. Florida—Literary collections. I. O’Sullivan, Maurice, 1944–   II.

  Lane, Jack, 1932–

  F311.5.F62 1990

  975.9—dc20           90-39065

  First Edition

  Hb 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  Pb 10 9 8 7 6 5

  Design by Joan Lange Kresek

  Composition by Sherri Hill

  Printed in the United States of America





  PETER MARTYR D’ANGHIERA, De Orbe Novo Decades (1530)

  ALVAR NÚÑEZ CABEZA DE VACA, The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca (1542)

  THE GENTLEMAN OF ELVAS, The Narrative of the Expedition of Hernando de Soto (1557)

  JEAN RIBAUT, The Whole and True Discoverye of Terra Florida (1563)


  JONATHAN DICKINSON, Jonathan Dickinson’s Journal (1699)

  JAMES GRANT, A Proclamation (1764)

  WILLIAM BARTRAM, The Travels of William Bartram (1791)


  RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Journals (1827-28)

  GEORGE MCCALL, Letters from the Frontiers (1830)

  JOHN JAMES AUDUBON, St. John’s River in Florida (1834)

  JOHN LEE WILLIAMS, Notice to Emigrants (1837)


  JACQUES LE MOYNE DE MORGUES, Paintings of the Timucua (1564)


  WASHINGTON IRVING, The Seminoles (1855)

  ALBERY ALLSON WHITMAN, The Rape of Florida (1884)

  MINNIE MOORE-WILLSON, The Seminoles of Florida (1896)

  ZORA NEALE HURSTON, The Eatonville Anthology (1926); How It Feels to Be Colored Me (1928)



  JOHN MUIR, A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1867)

  DANIEL G. BRINTON, A Guidebook of Florida and the South (1869)

  HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, Palmetto Leaves (1873)

  EDWARD SMITH KING, The Southern States of North America (1875)

  SIDNEY LANIER, Florida (1875)

  SILVIA SUNSHINE (Abbie Brooks), Petals Plucked from Sunny Climes (1880)

  LAFCADIO HEARN, Floridian Reveries (1911)


  STEPHEN CRANE, The Open Boat (1897)

  A. W. DIMOCK, Makers of Moonshine (1908)

  GEORGE E. MERRICK, The Eden Isle (1920)

  ZANE GREY, Tales of Southern Rivers (1924)

  ERNEST HEMINGWAY, Florida Letters (1935)

  WALLACE STEVENS, Farewell to Florida (1935)

  FEDERAL WRITERS’ PROJECT, Florida: A Guide (1939)


  MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS, The Everglades: River of Grass (1947)

  GEORGE AND JANE DUSENBURY, How to Retire to Florida (1947)

  JOSE YGLESIAS, Hard Times (1970)

  HARRY CREWS, Poaching Gators for Fun and Profit (1982)

  JUDITH RODRIGUEZ, Adult Mobile Homes (1986)

  BETH DUNLOP, Florida’s Vanishing Architecture (1987)

  T.D. ALLMAN, Miami: City of the Future (1987)




  The editors gratefully acknowledge permission to reprint the following copyrighted material:

  Miami: City of the Future by T.D. Allman. Copyright 1987 by T. D. Allman. Reprinted by permission of the Atlantic Monthly Press.

  “Poaching Gators for Fun and Profit” from Florida Frenzy by Harry Crews. Copyright 1982 by Harry Crews. Reprinted by permission of John Hawkins & Associates, Inc.

  Seminole Music by Frances Densmore. Reprinted by permission of the Smithsonian Institution Press from Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 161 by Frances Densmore. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 1956.

  The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Revised edition copyright 1988. Reprinted by permission of Pineapple Press.

  Florida’s Vanishing Architecture by Beth Dunlop. Copyright 1986 by Beth Dunlop. Reprinted by permission of Pineapple Press.

  How to Retire to Florida by George and Jane Dusenbury. Copyright 1947 by George A. and Jane E. Dusenbury; copyright renewed 1975 by Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Harper and Row.

  “Florida Letters” by Ernest Hemingway from Esquire. Copyright 1935 by Esquire. Reprinted by permission of Esquire.

  Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Copyright 1942 by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings; copyright renewed 1970 by Norton Baskin. Reprinted by permission of Charles Scribner’s Sons, an imprint of the Macmillan Publishing Company.

  “Adult Mobile Homes” by Judith Rodriguez. Copyright 1986 by Judith Rodriguez. Reprinted by permission of Rollins College.

  “Farewell to Florida” by Wallace Stevens. Copyright 1936 Wallace Stevens, renewed 1964 Holly Stevens. Reprinted from Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

  Hard Times by Louis Terkel. Copyright 1970 by Louis Terkel. Reprinted by permission of Pantheon Press.


  Any collection like The Florida Reader owes a great debt to all the writers and scholars who have explored and celebrated our state. In addition, we would especially like to thank

  Ann Henderson, Randy Akers, Ron Cooper, and their colleagues at the Florida Endowment for the Humanities for their energy and enthusiasm in helping all of us discover Florida;

  Participants in our FEH institutes and our classes for their questions and insights;

  Lynne Phillips, Kate Reich, Gertrude LaFramboise, and their colleagues in the Olin Library for their resources and diligence;

  Karen Slater, Dorcas Moseley, Donata Gataletto, Samantha Berger, and Janelle Taylor for their common sense and technical support;

  June Cussen and Lisa Compton of Pineapple Press for their patience and precision; and

  Our colleagues at Rollins for their encouragement.



  On April 30, 1562, three vessels, with 150 souls aboard, paused before the mouth of Florida’s St. Johns River. Startled
by the beauty he saw, the captain of this first French expedition to Florida would later remember the land as “the fairest, fruitfullest and pleasantest of all the world.” This Norman navigator, Jean Ribaut, a man renowned for his daring tactics and headstrong courage, believed he had found paradise:

  To be short, it is a thing unspeakable, the commodities that be seen there and shall be found more and more in this incomparable land, never as yet broken with iron plows, bringing forth all things according to its first nature, whereof the eternall God endued it.

  If Ribaut’s description sounds like an allusion to the Biblical account of Eden, we should not be surprised. Like most of the other members of his expedition, their captain was a devout Protestant, a Huguenot, committed, above all, to a close study of the Bible. In fact, much of the reason for this voyage across the sea was to establish a new Eden of the true faith. And just as the land with its vast resources reminded Ribaut of Eden, its natives bore a striking resemblance to Renaissance images of Adam and Eve: “They be all naked and of a goodly stature, mighty, fair, and as well shapen and proportioned of body as any people in all the world, very gentle, courteous and of a good nature.”

  These tawny natives, the Timucua, appear most vividly in a set of engravings based on the work of Jacques Le Moyne, a member of the second French Huguenot expedition in 1564. Le Moyne’s remarkable paintings show a highly structured society at work, at war, and at play. Although he recognizes their capacity for violence in war and infant sacrifice, his work emphasizes the harmony and richness of their lives. But these plates appear to present an alternative image of paradise, a term that by the Renaissance had become synonymous with Eden. Unlike Ribaut’s world of unlimited and effortless riches, Le Moyne’s paintings and comments portray an Eden of work and achievement.

  That two men with a common religious and social heritage should depict two different Edens is not unusual, for both visions come from Judaeo-Christian traditions. In fact, they stem from the conflicting accounts of creation in the Book of Genesis. The first version in Genesis (1:1-2:4a) is a joyful account of the creation of a universalized, idealized world, emphasizing effortless re-generation and limitless possibilities. God, creating man and woman in a world teeming with living creatures, sees that everything is good. This section ends with God telling his creatures to be fruitful and giving man dominion over all the riches of the world.

  The second account of creation (Genesis 2:4b-2:25) provides a very different view of man’s relationship to Eden. This Eden is less idealized, a land with geographical boundaries (i.e., the rivers Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates) and valuable minerals (i.e., gold, bdellium, and onyx). In it, man is created out of the land and given chores and restrictions. Rather than receiving absolute dominion over an ever-flourishing garden, man is required to act upon nature, to establish a state of harmony not only with the land but with himself.

  From these two versions, two very different traditions emerge. The first tradition, the one echoed by Ribaut, sees Eden as a land of unbounded riches which can immediately fulfill human needs and desires, a world whose bounty is fully realized. By simply entering Eden and surrendering themselves to its natural amenities, humans are restored and renewed without significant effort. If this version of Eden is the land of milk and honey, the second tradition envisions a land of cows and bees. Although the workaday Eden portrayed by le Moyne has restrictions and limits, it is also a world of great possibilities, a world within which effort and struggle can build rich and rewarding lives. In this land, humans seek self-realization and self-fulfillment, not by passive submission but through active participation. In the first there is a sense of repose, of serenity, of giving up the self. In the second, there is a spirit of adventure, of discovery, of re-creating the self.

  But whether they envision paradise as a land of milk and honey or one of cows and bees, human beings are expressing a common perennial yearning: the desire for renewal, re-creation, rejuvenation, and regeneration. Ribaut and Le Moyne were not the first, nor would they be the last, travellers to believe that the Florida peninsula possessed exotic Edenic qualities. Whether travelling by Spanish galleon or by auto-train, generation after generation has come to Florida with hopes of restoration or re-creation. Ponce de León’s quest for the fountain of youth in La Florida, the land of flowers, was only the first recorded account to identify the state symbolically with the idea of regeneration. From Huguenots fleeing religious persecution, Creek Indians escaping British domination, and African slaves seeking freedom to nineteenth-century tourists escaping industrial cities and twentieth-century Cuban refugees searching for political freedom and economic opportunity, each new wave of immigrants has carried to Florida a dream of a new life in paradise. Such visions have profoundly shaped the peninsula’s history and culture.

  Each work we have included in The Florida Reader embodies a distinctive vision of what the state is, what it has been, or what it should be. And each work is the product of an observer of Florida life during a specific historical period (what historians call a primary source). Combined, they offer a sense of the richness of our heritage, the depth and breadth of our history and culture. Our primary goal in this anthology has been to reflect that richness historically, culturally, and stylistically.

  Toward those ends we have included the famous (Ralph Waldo Emerson and Ernest Hemingway) and the obscure (James Grant and the Dusenburys), natives (the Seminoles and Zora Neale Hurston) and foreigners (Francois-René de Chateaubriand and Judith Rodriguez). Some of those represented adopted Florida as their home (Harriet Beecher Stowe and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings), others never even visited the state (Washington Irving and Albery Whitman). Some celebrate Florida as a nearly flawless paradise (Daniel Brinton and George Merrick), others have no difficulty finding flaws (John James Audubon and the Federal Writers’ Project).

  The thread which ties these works together is a concern for and fascination with this “incomparable land” and its people. The way that concern and fascination is expressed divides these writers into two broad groups. The first, which includes most of the Spanish explorers, Victorian travellers, and twentieth-century promoters and developers, recreates the vision of Florida as a land flowing with free milk and untaxed honey, a world of endless, bountiful summers where the rules are different, the living is easy, and the object is enjoyment.

  The second group consists of many of the early English settlers, nineteenth-century figures like Irving, Emerson, and Whitman, twentieth-century novelists like Rawlings and Hurston, and environmentalists and chroniclers of the state’s native conchs and crackers. They describe the need for effort in developing a sense of harmony with nature and warn of the dangers of not working within nature’s rules. These writers tell us that an endless stream of milk and honey can only come from the careful cultivation of cows and bees.

  We offer these selections from the many available because we think that these visions of Florida represent a body of Edenic literature that has exerted a powerful hold on our imaginations and the way we view our state today. For as Florida novelist Patrick Smith has so perceptively suggested, how we remember the land invariably influences how we treat it.


  B.C. c.7000

  Indians migrate into the Florida peninsula.

  A.D. c.1498

  John and Sebastian Cabot may have sailed along Florida’s Atlantic coast.


  The first map of Florida, drawn by Alberto Cantino, appears.


  Ponce de León becomes the first European to record a landing in North America when he arrives at St. Augustine.


  Pánfilo de Narváez lands at Tampa Bay.


  Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay to begin his expedition to the north.


  Tristán de Luna attempts the first permanent settlement at Pensacola Bay.


  Oranges are introduced from Spain.

/>   1562

  Jean Ribaut lands near the mouth of the St. Johns River.


  French Huguenots build Fort Caroline near Jacksonville.


  Pedro Menéndez de Avilés establishes the first permanent white settlement in the United States in St. Augustine.

  Menéndez captures and destroys Fort Caroline.


  Sir Francis Drake attacks and burns St. Augustine.


  England claims Florida.


  A Timucua revolt is put down by the Spanish.


  Construction of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine is begun.


  James Moore, governor of Carolina, besieges St. Augustine.


  Moore attacks and destroys Spanish missions along the frontier.


  The Spanish establish Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (Fort Mose) as the first free black settlement in North America.


  General James Oglethorpe of Georgia raids northern Florida.


  Spain trades Florida to England for Havana during the First Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian War). The British divide the area into East and West Florida.


  Florida remains loyal to England during the Revolution.


  England cedes Florida back to Spain in the Second Treaty of Paris.

  The first newspaper in Florida, the East Florida Gazetteer, is published in St. Augustine.

  A production of The Beaux’ Stratagem in St. Augustine is the first play performed in Florida.


  Americans in Florida form the Republic of Florida.

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