lake, near the middle of the Peninsula, towards its southern extre-
mity; and, pursuing a northern course, it falls into the Atlantic
Ocean 31 miles to the northward of St, Augustine ; its whole length
being ypwards of 300 miles. It is a broad stream, and is navigable
for vessels drawing 9 or 10 feet water as far as the head of Lake
George, a distance of about 120 miles. It is navigable with small
boats a considerable distance above that lake, and it is presumed
it would be no difficult matter to extend the navigation by a canal to
some of the rivers which fall into the Gulph of Mexico. This river
expands into a number of lakes ; one of which. Lake George, is up-
wards of 20 miles long, by nearly 15 broad ; and is ornamented by a
number of beautiful islands, abounding with orange-trees and beautiful
Almlachicola river divides this province from West ^Florida.
It is a large stream, formed by the Chatahouchy and Flint rivers,
both of which have their sources in Georgia, and are navigable with
St. Mary^s river forms the boundary between this province and
Georgia, on the north. It rises in E-o-ke-fa-no-ke swamp ; and after
a very crooked course of about 1 50 miles, falls into the Atlantic Ocean
below St. Mary's, between Cumberland and Amelia Islands. It is a
pretty large, and very deep river ; and can be navigated by large ves-
sels a considerable way into the interior of the country.
The principal bays are on the west coast, and are of much im-
portance, as aifording excellent shelter to vessels navigating the
Gulph of Mexico.
jlfialachee Bay is situated near the western extremity of the pro-
vince, and receives the waters of St. Mark's river, which rises uj
St. Josefih's Bay is situated about 100 miles to the southward of
Apalachee Bay. It receives the river Amajuara, the waters of which
nearly interlock with those of St. John's river.
Sfiiritu Santo, or Hillsborough Bay, is situated in latitude 28° ; about
70 miles south of St. Joseph's. It is a capacious inlet, capable of con-
taining numerous shipping, and admits vessels drawing 24 feet.
Charlotte Harbour is situated about 80 miles south of Spiritu Santo
Bay, in lat. 26° 43'. It forms the outlet of Charlotte river, which
nearly interlocks with St. Johns, between which there may, at some fu-
ture period, be a communication by a canal. This harbour has excel-
lent anchorage, and 15 feet water on the bar.
Chatham Bay is situated near the south end of the Peninsula, and ex-
tends from Cape Sable to Cape Roman, a distance of more than 70
A great part of the country is sandy and barren, but on the banks of
the rivers there is much excellent and very fertile land. The intervals
between the hills are represented as exceedingly rich ; and throughout
the whole there are extensive ranges for cattle.
There seems to be but a small supply of minerals in the country.
Limestone and iron ore are found on the bunks of the ApalachicoLa ri-
ver. Near Long Lake, which communicates with St. John's river by a
small creek, there is a hot mineral spring, which boils with great
force, and sends out a vast quantity of water, which is perfectly pure,
but has a disagreeable taste, and a smell like bilge water.
The climate is somewhat similar to that of Georgia ; but being
nearly surrounded by the sea, and within the range of the trade winds,
the summers are generally more cool, and the winters very mild and
pleasant. Except in the most northeni parts, frost and snow are never
seen ; cattle graze in the fields all winter ; and many places produce
two crops in the year. The thermometer ranges in summer from 78*
to 92**, and in winter from 40° to 70o.
This country was first discovered by Cabot in 1497 ; and in 1512
Ponce sailed along its eastern coast, and took possession of it, on the
2d of April, in the name of the king of Spain. An attempt was made
to settle it in 1522, and a second in 1528 ; a third in 1539 ; and a fourth
by John Ribault, a Frenchman, in 1562. In 1565 the French settle-
ment was broken up by the Spaniards, who were, in their turn, expell-
ed by the French in 1568 ; but the French King disowning the act, the
French abandoned the country, and it was occupied by the Spaniards.
In 1763 it was ceded to Britain for Havannah ; but during the Ameri-
can war, both Floridas were reduced by the Spaniards, aivi they were
guaranteed to the crown of Spain by the definitive treaty of 1783.
The late change in the Spanish dynasty having loosened the connec-
tion between the parent country and the colonies, Florida may now be
considered as in a revolutionary state ; and its future destiny will pro-
bably be fixed by the voice of the majority of the people.
Except the division into East and West there seems to have been
no other. The sub-division into counties and townships is unknown.
The population, exclusive of the Indians, is very thin. Probably the
white population does not exceed in all 8,500, of whom a considerable
portion are from the United States. The principal settlements are
aibout St. Augustine, and along the northern part of St. John's river.
The interior of the country is but little known, and is principally inha-
bited by the Seminole Indians, a wretched tribe, who are represented
as being dirty and savage in the highest degree.
The towns are neither numerous nor important. St. Augustine
is the capital. It is situated on the east coast, in latitude 29° 45' ; and
is of an oblong figure, intersected by four streets crossing one another at
right angles. The inhabitants amount to about 3000. The principal
public buildings are a church and monastery ; and the city is regularly
fortified. The principal fortification is the castle of St. Mark, which
is built of a calcareous stone peculiar to the country ; but excellent for
the purpose, as it is not liable to be shattered by balls. It is surrounded
by a ditch of considerable breadth ; and on the top of the walls, about
40 feet high, are a number of heavy guns, and some mortars. On the
side next the sea, there is a water battery. The surrounding country
is quite level, and is commanded by the castle. The greater part of
the trade of East Florida centres at this place, but it is carried on in
very small vessels, there being only eight feet of water on the bar.
JYew Smyrna is situated on a shelly bluff, on the Musquetoe river,
about 85 miles south of St. Augustine. It is inhabited mostly by Indians.
The other places laid down on the map are mostly detached settle-
ments that require no particular notice.
In such a country, under such a government, improvements are not
to be looked for ; the inhabitants may be said to do little more than
exist. There is nothing to stimulate them to exertion. There is no
patriotism nor public spirit in the officers of government, who are in
truth accountable to nobody ; and the public good is made the sport of
a wretched faction, calling themselves the servants of Ferdinand VII.
But the country is of great and peculiar importance to the United
States, of which it will, in all probability, at no distant period, form a
very interesting section. It presents a frontier to the state of Georgia
nearly 200 miles in length, inhabited by a cruel race of Indians, whom
they will then be able to check and controul. It has a sea coast nearly
1000 miles in extent, so that it is remarkably well situated for trade,
particularly in small vessels to the West Indies, to which it is conti-
guous. The Apalachicola, already noticed, forms its western bounda-
ry ; and this fine river, as it will convey to the gulph of Mexico all the
exportable produce of the western parts of Georgia, will be of great
importance, both to the inhabitants of Florida and Georgia ; and it is of
course desirable that the trade on it be entirely free. The interest,
indeed, of those who inhabit East Florida and Georgia is so insepara-
bly connected, that we may with confidence look forward to a period
when it will be one. Then will the inhabitants of Florida feel and ap-
preciate the blessings of self-government, and industry having its cer-
tain reward, the country will rapidly improve in population and na-
Is situated between 29° 45' and 31° north latitude ; and 8° and 10°
14' west longitude. Its extreme length is 154 miles, and breadth 88.
Its area about 6112 square miles, or 3,91 1,680 acres.
This province originally extended from the Apalachicola river to
the Mississippi ; but that part of it which lies to the westward of the
Perdido river being called by the French Louisiana, and included in
the cession of that country to the United States, West Florida is now
reduced to the forementioned limits. It is bounded on the north by the
Mississippi territory ; on the west by the Perdido river, which divides
it from said territory ; on the south by the gulph of Mexico ; and on the
east by the Apalachicola river, which divides it from East Florida.
Near the sea coast the ground is low, flat, and sandy ; but towards
the north it becomes more elevated, and the soil improves.
The Apalachicola river, which divides this from East Florida, has
been already noticed ; there are no other rivers of great importance*
but there are some spacious bays.
St. Jose/ih's bay is situated to the westward of Apalachicola river ;
and St. Andreiv^s bay is to the northward : both are of considerable ex-
tent, and may hereafter be of great importance to the trade of this part
of the country.
St. Hose's bay has its entrance between St. Rose's island and the
main land, and extends to the north and east about 30 miles. It forms
the outlet of Choctaw river, which rises in the Mississippi territory ;
through which it holds a very serpentine course, of about 45 miles, to
Florida ; and through Florida, about 25 miles more, to its outlet.
The most important bay is that of Pensacola, which is about 25 miles
long, and 7 or 8 broad. The entrance, at the west end of St. Rose's
island, is 2 miles broad, and 2 1 feet deep ; and is defended by a batte-
ry on the west side. This bay receives two rivers, the Conecuh, and
Yellow Water, both of which have their source a considerable way ia
the interior of the Mississippi territory.
Perdido bay, which forms the westerii boundary, is about 25 miles
long, by 6 or 7 broad ; but, being shallow, it is fit for navigation by very
small craft only.
St. Rose's island is a narrow strip of land, which stretches between
Pensacola bay and St. Rose's bay ; and is separated from the main land
by a narrow channel, navigable with small craft.
The soil and climate are nearly assimilated to those of East Florida.
The population, except about Pensacola, is very thin. Probably the
whole province does not contain above 1200 or 1500 inhabitants.
Pensacola is the chief town. It is handsomely situated on the west
side of Pensacola bay, and is of an oblong form, about a mile long, and
a quarter of a mile broad. The harbour is a fine body of water, hav-
ing four fathoms at its entrance, which deepens to 7 or 8. It is spa-
cious, and secure from every wind. The place is healthy and agreea-
ble, and is finely situated for trade, of which, while in the hands of the
British, it had a large share ; and the town contained several hundreds
of houses, and some spacioui^ public buildings. Under the manage-
ment of the Spanish government, it has been on the decline ; and tlic
only public building now worth notice is the governor's /lalaccy a large-
stone building, ornamented with a tower.
These islands are at all times of importance to the United States.
In peace they are a market foi many articles of produce ; and during
the present " unprofitable contest, who can do each other the most
harm," they form an extensive field for privateering.
The Bahama islands are very numerous, and extend over a great
space ; stretching from N. latitude 20 <> to 27°, and from 69° to 80°. W.
longitude from Greenwich. To the south are the important islands of
Cuba and St. Domingo, and to the west is the peninsula of East Flori-
da, from which they are separated by the gulph of Florida, a channel
about 60 miles broad. By far the greater part of these islands are
mere uninhabited rocks. The most important of them may be no-
ticed in their order from north to south.
Bahama Island, although it is 63 miles long, and 9 wide, and gives
name to the whole group, is uninhabited.
Abaco contained, in 1789, 2000 acres of cleared land, but many of the
settlers have since deserted it.
Andreas is a long, narrow, rocky island, possessing a light soil. A
few planters with their slaves are settled on it.
New Providence, or Nassau Island, is by far the most important
in the group. It is about 35 miles long, and 27 broad ; and contains
800 square miles, or 5 1 2,000 acres ; but in the interior it is little culti-
vated, though it is rendered important by its situation for trade ; and
by containing the town of Nassau, the capital of all the Bahamas.
Nassau is situated on the north side of the island, and rises from
the harbour, by a pretty steep ascent, to the summit of a ridge that lies
parallel with the coast. The streets are regular and well paved. The
houses are mostly built of stone, and many of them are handsome.
The principal public buildings are an elegant house for the governor-
general ; a court-house, two churches, a jail, work-house, and commo-
dious barracks for the troops. The town is divided into two parishes,
and in 1801 contained 1599 white persons, 752 free blacks, and 3861
slaves. It enjoys a very extensive commerce with England and the
West Indies ; and, before the war, it carried on an active intercourse
with the United States, from whence the inhabitants were supplied
with live stock and provisions.
The climate is represented as being very pleasant, and is favour-
able to vegetation, which renders the neighbourhood of the town beau-
tiful, being diversified with shrubbery, fruit trees, and orange groves.
Guanihani^ or Cat Island, is remarkable as being the first landing
place in America of the immortal Columbus, who called it St. Salva-
dor. It is upwards of 100 miles long, but it is of no great breadth. In
1783 it was settled by a number of royalists from the southern states.
In 1788 it contained 40 families, having 458 slaves. The principal
village is Port Howe.
IVatling's island, though settled but a few years, is represented as
being one of the most thriving in the group.
Exuma Island is situated 144 miles south-east of Providence. It is
about 40 miles long and 3 broad, and contains a few inhabitants. Ithas
a port of entry, which is one of the best in these seas for small vessels.
Long Island is situated about 30 miles to the eastward of Exuma.
It is 100 miles long and 3 or 4 broad, and contains some pretty good
soil. It was settled before the American war, and now contains about
1000 inhabitants, including slaves.
Crooked Island groupe is situated about 50 miles south-east of Long
Island, and includes Castle Island, Crooked Island, Acklin's Island,
and Atwood's Keys. Crooked Island consists of two parts, and is 67
miles long, and 7 or 8 broad. It was uninhabited till 1783, when it
was settled by a number of royalists from Georgia and Carolina. It
now contains a number of plantations, and 1000 or 1200 inhabitants, a
great part of whom are slaves. Pittstown, the capital, is but a small
village, but is rendered important by being the stopping place of the
Jamaica packets. Long Key is situated between the two islands, and
contains several very extensive salt ponds.
The Inaguas are two in number, the great and little. The largest
is 15 miles long and 15 broad, but is of no value except for salt.
The Caicos lie to the eastward of the Inaguas, and are distant from
Providence 250 miles, and 60 from St. Domingo. Grand Caicos is
about 30 miles long, and is pretty well inhabited. It contains some
pretty good land, and a port of entry.
Turks Islayids lie to the south-east of the Caicos, and are chiefly re?
markable for the vast quantity of salt they furnish. The largest
island is called the Grand Turk, and contains a salt pond upwards of a
mile long. Another salt pond, of nearly equal size, is situated on Salt
Key. In the early part of the year the salt in these ponds crystallizes
into solid cakes ; but the process is facilitated by the use of salt pans.
These pans are filled with water about 6 inches deep, from whence the
fresh water is speedily evaporated. A single labourer can gather 50
or 60 bushels of salt in a day. There are but few residents on the
islands, but a vast number of persons come over every year from Ber-
muda, for the purpose of raking the salt. The island has been es-
tablished as a free port, from which, before the war, the Americans
were permitted to carry away the salt on paying a duty of 3li cents
per ton. The annual supply of these islands has been estimated at
above 30,000 tons.
The soil is sandy, and but little cultivated. The few inhabitants
that live on them disavow all connection with the other Bahama islands.
The whole inhabitants in the Bahama islands have been estimated
at 4000 whites, and 1 1,000 blacks. The white inhabitants are of two
classes, called residents and wreckers. The residents are chiefly loyal-
ists and their descendants, who emigrated from the southern states of
America, at the close of the war. The wreckers are those persons
and their slaves, who are employed in rescuing shipwrecked vessels,
and their crews and cargoes, from the waves. They are excellent
sailors and swimmers, and being well acquainted with the keys, shoals,
and breakers, they are well qualified to follow their business ; but it is
said that they often endeavour by various ways to increase the number
of shipwrecks for the benefit of their trade. Since the declaration of
war, many of them are engaged in privateering.
ACCOUNT OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACES IN THE
UNITED STATES BORDERING UPON FLORIDA
AND THE GULPH OF MEXICO.
St. Mary's, in Georgia, is situated on the north bank of St. Mary's
river, which separates it from Florida. It is 135 miles from Savannah,
and there is a tolerably good road all the way. The population by last
census was 379 white persons, 30 free negroes, and 206 slaves. The
situation being low, the high spring tides overflow the town, but it is
upon the whole pretty healthy. It is favourably situated for trade,
having a good harbour, with sufficient depth of water to admit vessels
drawing 17 feet. This place is of great importance viewed in connec-
tion with Florida ; as it will be the general rendezvous for the troops
that may be employed against St. Augustine, or other parts of that
province. Amelia Island, which has of late become pretty conspicuousj.
is situated on the south side of the entrance of the harbour. It has
been deemed expedient to station a small naval force in that quarter,
and to erect a block house on Trader's hill, on St. Mary's river.
From the mouth of St. Mary's river to the Perdido river, along the
line, is nearly 400 miles, a great part of which is occupied by tribes
of Indians, from whom there is just reason to dread every cruelty
usually practised by these people upon their neighbours, unless a
check is put to it by getting possession of the country.
It has been already stated, that the country which lies to the west-
ward of the Perdido river, was included in the cession of Louisiana to
the United States. That part of it which lies between the Perdido
river and Pearl river has been annexed to the Mississippi territory ;
and that between the Pearl river and the Mississippi has been annexed
to the new state of Louisiana.
The country between Pensacola and Mobile, being a distance of
about 70 miles, is nearly an uninhabited desart. We then come to
the Mobile Bay, a handsome inlet 30 miles long, and of considerable
breadth. The inlet is about 5 miles broad, but it soon expands to 25
miles, and again contracts towards the head to 12 miles, where it re-
ceives the Mobile river. On the bar at the entrance of this bay, there
is about 16 feet water; through the bay there is generally about 2 or 3
fathoms ; but in the upper part there is only 10 or 12 feet. The town of
Mobile is built on the west side of the Mobile river, at its entrance
into Mobile bay. The situation is handsome, and some of the houses
are tolerably good. The inhabitants are estimated at about 400, and
have a considerable trade in beef, pork, and corn. There is a brick
fort a few miles below the city.
The Mobile river is composed of two branches, the Alabama and
Tombigbee, which unite about 40 miles above the town. The Alabama
has its rise in Georgia ; the highest branch is called the Estenawry, and
rises within a few miles of the boundary of Tennessee, near the Hi-
wassee river, a branch of the Tennessee.
After a course of nearly 1 00 miles, it is joined by the Hiowee from
the eastward, and the united stream^ there receive the name ot
Coosa Hatcha, and under that appell^ion run a course of 150 miles,
and receive the waters of Tallapoosce. It then assumes the name of
Alabama, and runs about 120 miles to where it forms a junction with
the Tombigbee, at Fort Stoddart.
The head of Tombigbee river is within a few miles of the Ten-
nessee river, to the westward of the Muscle shoals, where it is
called Natarchucky, and running a south-eastward course of 120
miles, it receives a great number of tributary streams, and then
makes a bend to the westward, about 40 miles, to Fort Tumbeckbey ;
from whence it flows, with a crooked passage, in a south-east direc-
tion, of about 150 miles to its junction with the Alabama.
Both these rivers have a fine navigation, and are of great importance to
this country. The Tombigbee is navigable with sloops to Fort Stephen,
and beyond that for smaller vessels, to within 50 miles of Bear Creek,
a navigable branch of the Tennessee river. The Alabama is represented
as a most beautiful river, with a clear gentle current, flowing at the
rate of 2 miles an hour ; from three to four hundred yards broad, and
from 15 to 18 feet deep in the driest seasons. It is navigable to with-
in 55 miles of a navigable point on the Hiwassee river, which falls into
Pascagoula River is a pretty important stream, but it is very shoal
at the outlet, admitting only vessels drawing 4 feet. The water
deepens however after crossing the bar, and there is a good boat navi-
gation for 150 miles. The soil on its banks, in the interior of the coun-
try, is represented as excellent.
From Mobile bay to Pearl river, the population is very inconsidera-
ble. There are a few settlements on the banks of the Pascagoula, and
a few more, chiefly FrcRch people, round the bay of St. Louis ; but in
general the country does not exhibit any appearance of cultivation
whatever. Even the roads are nothing but mere Indian paths, and the
scattered settlements exhibit but slight indications of the existence of
a government. Such was the state of the country a few years ago,
while under the Spanish dominion. Noav that it is formally annexed
to the United States, we may with confidence look forward to a great
and rapid improvement, the effect of the energies of a free people.
Pearl River is an important stream rising in the Mississippi territory,
near the 33d degree of lat. and pursuing a southward course of more
than 200 miles, falls into lake Borogne, a little to the eastward of lake
Ponchartrain. This river is represented as being navigable 1 50 miles.
It has 7 feet water at its entrance, and is considerably deeper thereafter;
but the navigation is at present very much obstructed by logs. From
the importance of its situatioi^, however, it will no doubt soon be
cleared, and afford a very valuable outlet to the inhabitants of this
part of the country.
The country between this river and the Mississippi has recently
been added to the state of Louisiana, to which it is considered an im-
portant appendage, as appears by the following extract from Governor
Claiborne's message to the legislature. " The consideration of the
act of congress, which provides for the enlargement ci" the limits oi
this state, has justly been considered as of primary importance. By
that act a considerable tract of country, rich in natural resources, and
highly improved by the hand of industry, is, with the assent of the
legislature, to be added to Louisiana. This accession of wealth and
strength was earnestly desired by the convention of New Orleans, and