Beyond Tourism: America's Yesteryear

A blog of American History

Friday Finds January 29, 2010

I’m starting a new feature for this blog, Friday Finds, articles around the net and blogosphere that are about Florida History. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

1. A History Lesson for Hudson– This blog post written by Chuck Hallenbeck isn’t really about Florida at all. For those interested he does give some background on Colonel William Jenkins Worth who brought the Second Seminole War to an end.

2.Orlando beyond Mickey Mouse–  Vivienne Mackie on her blog writes about the Orange County Regional History Center. It shows there is more to Orlando besides Disney World.

3.At the old-timey Bradley’s Country Store, the grits are fresh and Florida’s history keeps turning– This is an article in the St. Petersburg Times written by staff writer Jeff Klickenberg. It is about Frank Bradley who lives in Moccasin Gap and at 84 at the time the article was written last year, he still grinds his own grits and makes his own sausage. There is also a 2:23 minute video.

4. Miami to Havana Overnight Cruise in 1929– Read a copy of a cruise brochure that would take you on an overnight cruise from Miami to Havana in 1929. Before Castro took over and Cuban cigars weren’t illegal. Havana was considered the Paris of the West.

5. Healthy Climes and Killer Swamps– Read original letters and pamphlets from settlers starting from when Florida was a territory through the Civil War and into the 1880’s. Click on the letter to read it word for word. Re-typed below the original document for easier reading.  It’s 3 pages.

6. Tracking the paths: A look at all of the major hurricanes (category 3 and higher) that have passed through Florida since 1851– From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel a history of Hurricanes containing 9 links including hurricane photos and the top 30 deadliest hurricanes and top 30 costliest hurricanes.



Colonel William Jenkins Worth January 27, 2010

Colonel William Jenkins Worth

Military Career and Legacy
Colonel William Jenkins Worth fought in the War of 1812, the Second Seminole War, and the Mexican-American War where he died at the Alamo in San Antonio. Lake Worth in Florida and Fort Worth in Texas are named after him, according to Palm Beach Photo Tour.

Role in the Second Seminole War

According to the History of the Second Seminole War written by John K. Mahon, Colonel Worth accomplished three things. He lowered the expenses of the United States Army by eliminating or replacing roles that were, in earlier campaigns, held by militia and civilians. At the end of a year which ended April 30, 1842 the quartermaster estimated a savings of $174,923.90.

He was able to coerce Seminole Indian leader Coacoochee, also known as Wildcat, to convince other Seminoles to surrender. This was after Coacoochee was captured and shipped to New Orleans with fifteen other Seminole Indians. Colonel Worth had him sent back to Florida where he was held prisoner in Tampa.

Colonel Worth finally brought the war to an end by not resting during the hot summer months, but not without a price. The majority of South Florida was still marsh and everglades. This was before the everglades were drained for settlement. Mosquitoes were still a huge problem. Many soldiers died from disease and heat exhaustion.

The end of the War
The war ended in 1842, sort of. Not all the Seminoles were sent west. A few hundred of them were allowed to stay in Florida on reservations made for them. White settlers were not happy with this outcome and a few of the Seminoles were not happy with the out come either. Small skirmishes lasted through the 1840s and early 1850s. The outcome was finally settled during the Third Seminole War which lasted from 1855-1858.

Read another article about Lake Worth.  (Link forthcoming.)