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during which an Englishman, named Turnbull, planted a colony of Minorcans at New Smyrna; but on the recession to Spain, the colony was broken up. In 1819 Spain ceded Florida to the United States, and in 1821 the latter took formal possession.
During all the time of nearly three centuries of Spanish claim and possession, but a few small settlements had been made along the coast, the principal of which was Pensacola. With the decadence of the Spanish power in Europe that of the colonies kept pace, and no efforts appear to have been made either to possess and cultivate the soil or to civilize the aborigines. On the other hand, it seems that her Indian population received some considerable accessions from those of Georgia and Alabama, so that when Flori. da was ceded to the United States, it is estimated that there were not exceeding six hundred whites in the territory, while occupied by a tolerably dense Indian population throughout. The nuinber of refugee Indians was so great and preponderating, as to attach the name Seminole (meaning refugee, or runaway) to the whole of the Florida Indians.
It is highly probable that the Spaniards made some efforts to establish a settlement in the extreme southern part of the peninsula as being nearest and most accessible to Cuba. And there are strong probabilities that they projected and undertook to drain Lake Okechobee, as various completed sections of a canal from the Lake to the Caloosabatchie River are still to be seen. In relation to this there is a legend that they þad a penal establishment on an island on the lake, and that it was with convict labor that this effort to drain the lake was made.
In 1845, Florida was admitted into the Union, and thence on, her political history has been that of the other States, and particularly those of the South. From her cession to the United States to within two years of her secession, Florida was the theatre of almost continuous hostilities between the General Government and the Seminole Indians. The latter were easily driven into the peninsula, but here, with Spartan courage and Roman firmness, they resisted alternate coercion and persuasion to go west, and a feeble remnant still remains, evincing the instinctive love of country even in the savage breast. The presence of so large a tribe of Indians, together with their frequent and protracted hostilities, retarded the settlement of the peninsula for nearly forty years. Since the war, the State has attracted considerable attention on account of the mildness of its winter climate, and fruit-growing. But, so far, the eastern part, because of its greater accessibility, has been the only portion much visited or settled. The whole State is generally judged in both soil and climate by what the tourist experiences and sees along the St. John's, and thus he fails to arrive at anything like a correct estimate of these two important features of the State.
CLIMATOLOGY.-Florida extends from the 25° to the 31° north latitude, and lies within 80° and 88° west longitude from Greenwich; thus comprising about six degrees of latitude, and nearly eight degrees of longitude. The State has been likened in shape to a boot, the peninsula constituting the leg, and the continental portion the foot, with the toe to the west. She contains 59,868 square miles, making her territory a little more extensive than Georgia, the “ Empire State of the South.” The census of 1870 gives her population at 187,748, nearly equally between whites and negroes—the former being a few thousand in the majority. The middle and western divisions of the State, except near the coast, are elevated and generally rolling; and this character of the country extends eastward beyond Lake City to the Little St. Mary's River. The country is also elevated and rolling down the middle, and western slope of the peninsula to the 28° of latitude for the latter, and a little further south for the central ridge. From the St. Mary's River on the north, all along the eastern part of the State, the country is low and level beyond the head waters of the St. John's, and thus continues down the peninsula. The entire lower third of the peninsula is low and level, and covered with extensive savannahs, lakes, and everglades. A slightly more ele. vated ridge near the coast, on each side, is to be found in this latter portion. Florida has no mountains, nor are there any. in Georgia and Alabama of sufficient proximity to her borders to exercise any influence on her climate. In comparison with the St. John's, the other rivers wholly within her borders are small; and while the majority, like the St. John's, have their sources in lakes and swamps, others appear to be entirely of subterranean origin. This latter feature is peculiarly characteristic of many short but bold and voluminous rivers along the gulf coast of the peninsula, between the mouth of the Withlachooche and Tampa Bay. Some smaller streams of a similar subterranean origin are to be found on the western side of the St. John's, into which they empty. In the elevated and rolling sections, most of the rain water escapes through subterranean passages found in sink-holes
into which lead one or more large ditch-like ravines with numerous tributaries. The soil is mostly a silicious sand, loose and porous in elevated sections, fine and compact in those low and level. In some localities in Middle and West Florida there is some clay soil.
The absence of parallel geographical and surface conditions, between Florida and countries in the same latitude on the Eastern Continent, occasions greater dissimilarity in climate than might be supposed to exist if only superficially considered. The same thing, likewise, applies to a considerable extent to the climates of the two continents. While the Atlantic States of North America resemble more nearly in winter climate the countries in Eastern Asia than those of Western and Southern Europe, yet there are no exact parallels, and this divergence increases in the lower latitudes; for, although a fall of snow is rare in Canton, yet a parallel phenomenon would be its occurrence in Key West—both places being exactly in the same latitude. The summer temperature is also greater in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains than that in the same latitudes in Europe; and similarity in climates for all seasons is only approximated on the Pacific coast. Nor do the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean afford any parallels as regards the effects of the former on the climate of Florida.
Our consideration of the climate of Florida, then, must be confined to an exposition of such meteorological facts as have been accumulated, with such deductions and inferences as may be legitimately presented. And, in view of the paucity of material within my reach and the importance of the subject, this effort will lead, it is hoped, to a more thorough investigation of the subject by some one with greater abilities and more facilities at command than I possess.
In the first place, it will be observed that Pensacola (Barrancas Barracks) is the only place in Middle and West Florida where meteorological observations have been recorded ; and these observations can hardly be taken as fully and fairly representing the interior of these sections whose altitude is much inore considerable than that of the coast-line. The situation of Punta Rassa, on the Gulf coast, also, can hardly give a fair criterion of the climatic conditions of the interior of the peninsula. The small size and remote position of the island of Key West, at a considerable distance from the main-land, gives to that station but little importance as bearing on the climate of the State. Under all the circumstances, it is easy to foresee that this effort must fall far short of both completeness and exactness as representing either the whole State or any of its sections.
The first two of the tables are those of mean temperature and rain-fall for each month, season, and the whole year, as observed at the various military posts in the State for a period of years. The material of the other tables has been supplied by works from the Signal Office for two years, beginning October, 1872, and ending October, 1874. Only for the latter year is the percentage of relative humidity given for each month, etc. My excuse for introducing so many tables is the hope that the presentation of all the meteorological facts as thus tabulated, even only for one year, may not be uninteresting as affording something of an index of the normal climatic conditions of the State.
1.- Table of Mean Temperature for each Month, Season, and the Year; from observations at various points in
Florida for a period of years.
No. of Yrs. and Mos.
14 56.4 56.1 61.2 67.8 76,4 79.4 $2.3 82.4 80.7 68.7 61.1 51.2 69.5 81.4 71 2 55.6 69 4 2 1851-1855
1 25 62.7 61.4 69.8 73.6 76.9 79.0 82.5 82.4 $0.8 75.0 68.5 62.6 73.4 81.3 74.8 63.3 73 2' 5-6 1810-41; 1852-55
| 20 66.4 66.6 70.4 75.6 78.0 80.5 82.1 81.8 79.6 77 9 71 3 66.8 74.7 81.5 76.3 66.6 74.7 4-6 1839-41 ; 1850-55
1 10 66.7 68.9 72 9 75.4 79.1 81.6 83.0 82 9 81.9 78.1 74.7 71.0 75.8 82 5 78.2 69.5 76.5 14 1831-38; 1813-55
10 63.4 68.0 72.2 73.8 80.1 81 2 82.9 83.1 81.7 77 7 71.5 64.7 75.4 82.4 77.C 65.3 75.0
15 55.6 58.3 68.4 68 7 76 9 79.7 81 3 81.4 79.7 72.5 61.3 59.1 71.3 80.8 72.2 57.7 70.2 5 1850–55; ex. 1853 Judge Steel. 50 59.7 58 3 67.0 70.6 75.7 79.1 81 6 82 2 80.4 72 1 60 6.55 071.1 81.0 71 1 57.7 70 2 2-3 Oct. 1810-42 Military Post. 20 53.6 55.661.8, 68.5 75.4 80.8 823 81,6 78 5.70 1 61.0 55.668.6 81.6 69.8 54.9 68.7 17 1822–29 ; 1812-54 Military Post, irreg.
PositioX OF STATION
20 61.5 63.5 67.7 71.8 76.6 79.5 80.7 80.4 78 3 74.0 66.9 62.0 72.180.2 73.1 62.3 71.9 25 1825-1854
1 11 80 59.4 69 2 69.0 69.9 76.7 78.2 79.8 80.0 79.2 73.8 68.5 61.1 71.9 79.3 73.8 60.9 71.5 3-8 May, 1851-1854
St. Augustine, New Smyrna, and Fort Dallas are on the Atlantic coast; Jacksonville and Pilatka are on the St. John's; Fort Pierce (also called Fort Capron) is on
The records, in many instances, not being for the same years at the different points, may mislead as to their comparative temperatures. Oply those for the longest periods should be considered as approximating the true mean.