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Description

Finely executed manuscript survey map of the area around St. Augstine Florida, likely prepared furing the Civil War.

The map includes a number of important early landmarks in and around St. Augustine. The map includes a detailed range and township description, covering much of Townwship 7, Range 30 East, Township 7, Range 29 East, Township 8, Range 29 East and Township 8 South Range 30 East. While we have not engaged in an exhaustive search, the detail in this map would seem to be far better than any printed maps of the period, as it was not until the early 1880s that the area was mapped with any significant detail included in printed maps.

The map is drawn on "Vellum Tracing Paper -- Sagar's Patent," which is stamped in green on the verso of the map. This is a reference to Henry Sagar's patented process for manufacturing tracing cloth. This offers a good clue as to the dating of the map. This Vellum Tracing Paper was manufactured from 1861 onward and was used for a number of decades thereafter. However, it would be most likely that such cloth would have been used during the Civil War, when access to Northern products would have been heavily restricted and the South's major trading partner was Great Britain. This dating is consistent with the features on the map, all of which pre-date the Civil War, including several very early landmarks which had been abandoned, etc., well prior to the War.

The map does not locate the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway, charted in 1881. Similarly, the map locates the St. Augustine Lighthouse directly on the coast, but doesn't mention the location of the new lighthouse, which was located a few hundred yards inland. The new lighthouse was completed in 1874. There is also no sign of the rail line constructed to bring supplies to the lighthouse construction site or jetty built to protect the old light house during construction of the new light house.

We also note that the name St. Johns Railroad is used for the line running from Tocoi to just west of St. Augustine, with its terminus on the St. Sebastian River. Our search of contemporary maps shows that during the 1870s, the name Tocoi Railroad or Tocoi & St. Augustine Railroad was (see, e.g., Apthorp's Map of Standard Florida). We have located references to the line being called the Tocoi Railroad as early as 1873.

King's Road to New Smyrna and Palaka

Among the more interesting place names on the map is the "King's Road to New Smyrna". The Old King's Road was Florida's first highway. The road began in St. Augustine in about 1765 and eventually connected Colerain, Georgia, on the St. Mary's River, passing through the settlement of Cowford (Jacksonville), with the new settlement of New Smyrna on the Florida east coast. The road was constructed by British engineers, following the established trails of indigenous people.

With the advent of British rule in 1763, the need for settlers became acute. Colonel James Grant was appointed Governor of East Florida in 1764, and immediately began to consider the construction of a road to unify coastal settlements and military installations, and to provide a conduit for settlers. Lacking resources for the construction, the Governor undertook the task of raising subsciptions to build the road, and commited his own resources to the task. By 1765, Jonathan Byran, a Georgia planter, had completed an initial survey for the northern portion, from the St. Mary's River to St. Augustine.

The southern route, from St. Augustine to New Smyrna, was delegated to Lt. Governor John Moultrie, who in turn solicited the help of an English Entrepreneur, Dr. Andrew Turnbull. Turnbull was able to find investors for a colonial settlement at Mosquito Inlet. Many plantations were established there, and commerce became so great that a daymark was erected at the inlet. By 1772, the southern route had been completed to Matanzas Swamp, and by 1775 the road reached Colerain, Georgia to the north. Plantations were established along the route, providing a source of naval stores such as turpentine and pitch, and the lumber from Live Oak trees for building warships.

Following the British occupation, the road continued as the principal route into Florida until the 1880's, when it was replaced in this capacity by the Florida East Coast Railroad.

St. Johns R.R.

Toward the top of the map, the line of the St. Johns Railroad is shown. The Saint Johns Railroad was charted on December 31, 1858. The Railroad ran from Tocoi Landing on the St. John's River to New Augustine, a village near San Sebastian River, a distance of about 15 miles. The track was original built of wood and iron strap.

In March of 1862 Union gun boats destroyed the railroad's dock at Tocoi Landing, burned its rolling stock and took the rails to Hilton Head, South Carolina. By the late 1860's the Railroad had scraped together enough money to resume operations. Around 1870, the railway was bought by William Astor of New York City. The line was again rebuilt and in 1888 was purchased by Henry Flagler, and the track was converted to standard gauge. The line was completely abandoned by 1896.

Fort Peyton

The map identifies Fort Peyton, which is located west of the J.B. Reyes Grant on Moultrie Creek, in Section 12 of .Township 8, Range 29 East.

Fort Peyton, established by Major General Thomas S. Jesup in August 1837, was one of a chain of military outposts created during the Second Seminole Indian War, for the protection of the St. Augustine area. It consisted of four log houses built in a hollow square. This post was first known as Fort Moultrie, but its name was changed in honor of Lieutenant Richard H. Peyton, post commander in 1837. Fort Peyton was ordered abandoned in May 1840. The buildings burned to the ground on February 14, 1842.

U.S. Barracks

This note references the St. Francis Barracks, first constructed for ecclesiastical purposes in 1724 by monks of the Order of St. Francis. The site was converted by the British into a military barracks in 1763. After the British relinquished their claim to the region to the Spanish after the American Revolution, the barracks continued as a military facility, although the original wooden structures were torn down. The US took control of the facility in 1821. The Barracks remained a US Army installation until deactivated in 1900.

Gideon Dupont

The land acquired by Gideon Dupont is shown at the northwest of the confluence of the Matanzas River and Moultrie Creek. Gideon Dupont Sr. was a rice farmer from Charleston, South Carolina, who ventured to the St. Augustine area in about 1766. A letter from Henry Laurens dated August 30, 1766, describes Laurens invitation to Dupont to tour East Florida for the purpose of purchasing land. The American State Papers notes 2 claims by the heirs of Gideon Dupont to two parcels in the St. Augustine area, which were confirmed September 1, 1824.

Ramsay's History of South Carolina. . . notes at page 116:

South Carolina is indebted to Gideon Dupont . . . for the water culture of rice: he was an experienced planter of discernment and sound judgment, who after repeated trials ascertained its practicability. In the year 1783 he petitioned the Legislature of the Slate on the subject. . . . His method is now in general use on river swamp lands, and has been the means of enriching thousands, though to this day his own family have reaped no benefit whatever from the communication of his discovery.

Ferdinand Fallany and James Fellany

One of the larger land owners shown on the map is Fallany. The names F. Fallany and J. Fallany appear toward the bottom of the map, south of Moultrie Creek. Ferdinand Fellany held a grant of land on the Matanzas River ( Descriptive List of All Private Land Grants in East Florida (p.49)), which was likely granted at or about the same time as the 400 acre parcel of Matthias Pons (also noted on page 49). A grant to James Fellany of 285 acres on the Matanzas River is also noted in the same source (p. 93).

The St. Augstine Historical Society references the F Fallany Grant on a Survey by Benjamin A. Putnam (East Florida, T 8 S. R 29 E.), which is dated 1850.

Thomas Fitch

The lands belonging to "Fitch" are located south of Ferdinand Fallany's Grant. This is likely land once owned by Thomas Fitch and later confirmed to his heirs. Thomas Fitch was a lawyer, plantation owner, and slaveholder in South Georgia and East Florida in the early 1800's. He lived in St. Augustine when Florida was ceded to the United States and was appointed to be the first Judge of the new territorial government in that city. However, a yellow fever epidemic came to St. Augustine in 1821, and within days of his appointment as Judge, Thomas Fitch, his wife and children died of the yellow fever.

Other Place Names

  • Antonio Comares (?)
  • Old Mill
  • Wind Fall
  • McNeill
  • Briggs
  • Road to Palatka
  • Moccasion Branch
  • J. Rose
  • Others

The map is a remarkable early surveyors artifact, presenting the area around St. Augustine in remarkable detail for the period.

Condition Description
Some minor loss near St. Augustine
Reference
A Descriptive List of All Private Land Grants in East Florida . . . (Florida Land Office, 1842)