Friday, September 28, 2012

Reveries of a Bachelor

"From one who seems destined to have no immediate prospect of enjoying other worries than these.  Merry X-mas 1901.  W. C. Hodges.  Tallahassee, Fla."

The above is written in Hodges' own hand and appears to have been a gift to himself (as he was wont to do from time to time).  

This collection of "musings", Reveries of a Bachelor (or A Book of the Heart), was written by Donald Grant Mitchell in 1850, but published under his pseudonym Ik Marvel. 

Under the guise of Ik Marvel, Mitchell published Reveries of a Bachelor, one of the most popular works of the day, as popular Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Today, the book has been largely forgotten.   Mitchell (1822-1908) was an agriculturalist and landscape architect as well as a writer.  
Ik Marvel, AKA Donald Grant Mitchell

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Centennial of the Death of General Lafayette

From the Goodwood Library:  The last chapter of this book is entitled, "Centennial of the Death of General Lafayette".  Excerpts follow:
Sunday, May 20th, 1934, was the one hundredth anniversary of the death of General Lafayette.  Appropriate services were held in the national capitol in Washington commemorating this event, being attended by President Roosevelt, members of congress, and other public officials and foreign diplomats.
On the afternoon of the same day, at five o'clock, a memorial service was held in the city park in Tallahassee, in honor of the great French soldier and statesman, who was also Leon county's largest landowner, by reason of the township which was selected for him under congressional grant in 1825 being situated in Leon County.  Memorial exercises, sponsored by the Tallahassee Historical Society, were arranged by a committee representing the Tallahassee Historical Society, Masons, Daughters of American Revolution, American Legion, Woman's Auxiliary, Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Tallahassee Garden Clubs.  Chief Justice Fred H. Davis, of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida, a resident of Tallahassee since earliest childhood, was the principal speaker, and the following program was rendered:
Capital City Band, Mr. J. P. Koscielny, Director
Reverend Jeffery Alfriend, Chaplain Claude L. Sauls Post, American Legion
La Marseillaise
Capital City Band, Mrs. J. P. Koscielny, Director
Introduction of the Speaker by Dr. W. E. Lewis, Chairman of the meeting
Chief Justice Fred H. Davis, of the Supreme Court of Florida
Presentation of Lafayette Memorial Park
Hon. Jack W. Simmons, Member of Tallahassee City Commission
Reverend Jeffery Alfriend
The Star Spangled Banner
Capital City Band, Mr. J. P. Koscielny, Director

Prior to the Exercises the Capital City Band rendered a program of military music at the Band Stand, Corner Park Avenue and Monroe Street, where the ceremonies were held, and presented arms (the usual military salute) during the playing of the American and the French national anthems. 
The resolution of the City Commission of Tallahassee, giving the name "Lafayette Memorial Park" to the twelve acre park in the northeastern part of the city, and which lies within the boundaries of the Lafayette Grant, was spread upon the Congressional Record of May 29th, 1934, upon motion of Senator Duncan U. Fletcher, of Florida, and a copy sent by Senator Fletcher to the Ambassador of the French Republic at Washington, was answered by an appreciative letter from the Ambassador.
The Lafayette Grant contains the thirty six square miles of land known officially as "Township One North of Range One East," on the Florida land maps.  The monument marking the intersection of the Tallahassee meridian and base line for Florida surveys, which is located about one and one-half miles north of Lafayette Memorial Park, carries a tablet showing that it marks also the southwest corner of the Lafayette Grant.
Chief Justice Fred H. Davis
Supreme Court Portrait Gallery
Justice Davis concluded his address with John Quincy Adams' eulogy on Lafayette delivered in Congress in December, 1834:
Lafayette discovered no new principle of politics or of morals.  He invented nothing in science.  He disclosed no new phenomenon in the laws of nature.  Born and educated in the highest order in possession of an affluent fortune, and master of  himself and of all his capabilities, at the moment of attaining manhood, the principle of Republican justice and of social equality took possession of his heart and mind, as if by inspiration from above.  He devoted himself, his life, his fortune, his hereditary honors, his towering ambition, his splendid hopes, all to the cause of liberty.  He came to another hemisphere to defend her.  He became one of the most effective champions of our independence; but, that once achieved; he returned to his own country, and thence forward took no part in the controversies which have divided us.  In the events of our revolution, and in the forms of policy which we have adopted for the establishment and perpetuation of our freedom, Lafayette found the most perfect form of government.  He wished to add nothing to it.  He would gladly have abstracted nothing from it.  Instead of the imaginary republic of Plato, or the Utopia of Sir Thomas Moore, he took a practical existing model, in actual operation here, and never attempted or wished more than to apply it faithfully to his own country. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Maud Schwalmeyer

From the Goodwood Library:

Maud Schwalmeyer; detail from:
We have a little volume entitled Tallahassee of Yesterday, by Sallie E. Blake and published in 1924 in Tallahassee by T. J. Appleyard.  Our copy is inscribed "Maud Schwalmeyer, State College, Tallahassee, March, 1925". Miss Schwalmeyer and Arthur Williams are credited with establishing the FSCW school of education.

Senator Hodges and Maud Schwalmeyer are both mentioned in the January-February, 1922 issue of the magazine "Bird-Lore", which was the "official organ of the Audubon Societies":

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Arrive at Your Income Tax

Well, this seems timely... From a Hodges' scrapbook, dated 1921:

Boston Record
First, take your income,
Add wife's income,
Divide by your eldest son's age,
Add your telephone number,
Subtract your auto-license number,
Add electric light bill,
Divide by the number of kilowatts,
Multiplied by your father's age,
Add number of gold fillings in teeth,
Add your house number,
Subtract wife's age (approximate),
Divide by the number of aunts you have,
Add the number of uncles,
Subtract the number of daughters,
Multiply by the number of times
You have gone up in an airplane,
Subtract your best golf score,
Add a pinch of salt,
And then go out and
Borrow the money and pay the tax.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Be Gentle to this Garden Spot

Gardens of Goodwood
From a Hodges' scrapbook:
by Daniel Whitehead Hicky

O God, be gentle to this garden spot.
Here have I rested on a summer day,
Drinking the wine of this forget-me-not,
Breaking the bred that full-blown roses lay
Before my hungry eyes; filling my ear
With bells of tulips ringing bright and clear.

Here have I slept when night came to each flower,
Wrapped in these shadows, pillowed at my head
With velvet pansies through the dark's blue hour;
Here have I dreamed, and I was comforted.
O kindly Father, write upon Your scroll:
This is a petaled tavern for the soul.

About the poet:  Daniel Whitehead "Jack" Hicky was born in 1900 in Social Circle, Georgia, and settled in Atlanta.  His poems were published from the 1920s to the 1970s.  He died in Atlanta in 1976.  A contemporary critic praised his work, declaring him the "the leading lyric voice of the American South."  Rel Davis, who knew Hicky, wrote an nice article about his life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Early Churches in Tallahassee: The Methodists

From the Goodwood Library:  Tallahassee of Yesterday, by Sallie E. Blake, this chapter gives good detail about what life in the early years of the settlement:
Rev. J. C. Ley in his book "Fifty-two Years in Florida," says:  In 1825 a church was built in Tallahassee.  Josiah Evans was still Presiding Elder.  The builder was Rev. C. Woodbury, the father of Rev. Samuel Woodbury, of our conference.  The house was a plain wooden structure without ceiling, paint, sash or blinds, but the board shutters supplied their places, ad for many years this building served the people for a place of worship, and as far as I know, was the first Methodist church built in Florida. 
In 1828 Tallahassee was made a station, it having been served previously as one of the appointments of a circuit, Josiah Evans, Presiding Elder, and Josiah Freeman, preacher in charge.
By Rev. Joshua Knowles
Dear Brother in the Lord:  Preliminary to what follows permit me to state that I joined the Methodist Church in early life in Columbia, S. C., during the pastorate of Rev. Josiah Freeman, who was, I believe, the first stationed minister in Tallahassee.
He was truly a good man, more eminent for zeal and Godliness than for the graces of person or the gifts of a finished education.
In 1836 I was sent to Tallahassee--this was the third year of my ministry--accompanied by the Rev. J. L. Jerry, the heroic Presiding Elder.  I reached that place on the Saturday before the first Sunday in January, and was favored guest of Mr. Miles Blake, a faithful steward of the church and a good old-fashioned North Carolina Methodist.  My home was under his hospitable roof until he moved his plantation in the country, near Miccosukie Lake.  I then became a guest of Mr. William Manor, also a steward of the church, and a zealous Methodist.  Both of these gentlemen were in good circumstances and generous supporters of their church.  On the first Sunday night after my arrival, I performed for the first time the marriage ceremony at  the church, the only house of worship in the place.  It was an unfinished building, with a gallery for the colored people, from which came frequent inspiring responses to enliven the service.  During my pastorate I was the only resident minister.
Many families were driven away, and those remaining frequently annoyed by reports of Indian advances and depredations.  The Capitol was fitted up and barricaded with cotton bales, and at the signal of danger was to be sought by mothers and children as a place of protection and safety.  Sentinels kept up their vigils night and day for some time.  The old, spacious, Central Bank, a brick building in which resided Mr. Benjamin Chaires and family, was also made a place of refuge.
There was a good deal of sickness in Tallahassee this year among the citizens and soldiers stationed there.  One day I performed as many as four burial services.  Mr. Philip Courtney, an official member and a zealous worker in our church, died that year.  And here memory brings to mind some of those pious men and women amid sickness and death and Indian alarms, were my faithful co-workers:  Messrs. William Hilliard, Miles Blake, William Maner, George C. Johnson, Dr. J. R. Taylor, W. C. Campbell, and others.  Mrs. HIlliard, Mrs. Downes, Mrs. Wynn, of the Methodist Church; Mrs. Charles Austin of the Episcopal Church, and others.  I well remember them as pious, ministering spirits in the habitations of the afflicted and bereaved.  Mrs. Myers was quite gifted in prayer, which she sometimes led in social meeting.
During this and after years there was great unity among the different churches in Tallahassee.
During my pastorate, and subsequently, the Methodist congregation in Tallahassee was occasionally favored with the acceptable ministrations of the David L. White of Gadsden County, and the Rev. Wesley Adams of Jefferson County.  They were both remarkable men.  The latter subsequently became for a period the pastor of the Tallahassee church.  He was a man of venerable years, commanding presence, and genial spirit.  The very memory of his glowing countenance, even as I now write, softens my heart.  Not only early Methodism in Tallahassee, but religion generally in Middle Florida, owes much to the holy life and preaching of this good man.
At the close of this conference year I located in Tallahassee, and became a resident of the place for several years.  I was succeeded in the pastorate by the Rev. J. C. Simmons.  Brother Simmons was a strong man, physically, mentally and religiously.  He was a man of family.  The church owned a small and unpainted parsonage, which, by dint of hard begging, was plainly furnished.
The support of a minister with a family this year was rendered quite difficult by continued Indian troubles, which prevented absent families from returning, and others from moving in.  Brother Simmons did not therefore remain the whole year.
A singular incident occurred soon after his arrival.  During the Seminole war Tallahassee was thronged with gamblers.  One of them, "Uncle Ben Thornton," as he was called, a backslidden Methodist from Baltimore, came into my office one day and handed me nearly one hundred dollars, with the request that I pay it to Mr. Simmons, and stated that it was made up by his supporting friends to keep Mr. Simmons from leaving.  Seemingly by special and merciful Divine interposition, during the gracious revival in 1842, in which the Rev. Isaac Boring, who was then stationed in Quincy, labored very successfully, and with whom Thornton was acquainted, he was induced to attend the meeting, was reclaimed and joined the church, and died I believe a Christian.
In 1841, Tallahassee was for the first time, visited with yellow fever.  It was very fatal.  In some instances bearing away whole families.  Many, especially the dissolute, died in a few hours after the attack.  Many citizens retired to pine barrens south of the town, later known as "Belleair."  Others fled from the Territory (Florida was not then a state).  When the fever broke out I was in the North, but returned in time to witness the desertion and desolation of the town, and to nurse and close the eyes of cherished friends, and to follow them to the grave, and say over the sleeping dead the solemn ritual of the church.  Tallahassee, before this terrible visitation, was very dissipated.  Upon the disappearance of the epidemic, and restoration of business, influential citizens belonging to the different churches, and some who were members of no church, rallied around the temperance cause.  This temperance movement reclaimed many a drunkard, and was followed by a glorious revival of religion in the Methodist Church, which extended to other churches.  I think over one hundred whites were added to the Methodist Church alone, and many colored people also.  This revival was during the pastorate of Rev. William Choice, who was assisted by the Rev. Wesley Adams, Isaac Boring, and others, and worked a most satisfactory change in the moral and social aspect and feeling of the people of Tallahassee and vicinity.
By request of my brother, Rev. E. L. T. Blake, I address to you this letter.  It contains an imperfect narrative of Methodism in Tallahassee in an eventful and trying period of its history.  The Protestant Episcopal and Methodist Episcopal churches, standing as they do in the relation of mother and daughter, in their appropriate spheres should be hearty co-laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, and ever lovingly hail each other as brother.--Amen.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Great Seal of the State of Florida

The above is the original seal of the State of Florida, approved August 6, 1868.  The seal we use today was adopted in 1985 and shows a Seminole Indian woman rather than a Western Plains Indian, the steamboat has been drawn more accurately and the cocoa palm was changed to a sabal palm.  The 1924 book, Tallahassee of Yesterday by Sallie E. Blake, gives the information on the background of the original seal:
The Sun in his splendour rising over a highland in the distance, a cocoa tree, a steamboat on the water, & an Indian woman scattering flowers in the foreground.
In God we trust.
The Sun is the emblem of the Glory & Splendour.  In heraldry its meaning is "absolute authority."  The Highlands & Water are typical of the State, & the steamboat of its commerce and progress.  Flowers are the symbol of hope & Joy, & the Indian scattering them shows the influence of the Indian nation over the State.  The Cocoa or palm tree is the emblem of victory, justice & Royal honour.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Me and Pa in Florida

Book cataloguing continues...  Among the interesting finds is a little volume published in 1925, Me and Pa in Florida, by Marcia Oral Clutter.  Our autographed copy is not in very good condition, but a quick perusal brought to light the fact that the foreward was written by our very own William. C. Hodges.  

It seems this book was very popular.  A 1935 Evening Independent newspaper article states that,
In a revision of her brochure entitled "Me and Pa in Florida" that has wide circulation in 15 states since the fifth edition was published a few weeks ago, Marcia Oral Clutter, Orlando author, impersonator and artist, tells with humor and appreciation of their further adventures and discoveries in tours of the state.  The 48-page booklet contains comments on thousands of points of interest throughout Florida and descriptions of the personal adventures and reactions of the author and her husband to localities and people they encounter. 
Me and Pa in New Togs
Skipping over the foreward for a moment to the opening lines:
Deer Folks:--Me and Pa onct upon a time wuz among them northern folk who talked bout Florida.  The lure of the southland inspired Me and Pas with a painful longin for "The Land of Flowers" what the hole world wuz interristed bout, and we thought proberly the state wood fell prouder if we wuz among em.  Always wantin to make folks happie, Me and Pa packed up our thermos bottle, Cummie, smellin salts and a few other necessarie articles and keep goin till we reached Jacksonville, the meetropoliain of Florida and the gate-way two.  Me and Pa hunted all over for that gate, and we aint found it yet--but just to reely know we wuz in this wonder Florida gave us a trill, and Me and Pa aint goin back north no more; jest goin on down the penadodolum what sticks out in the warm water bout 500 miles.
Senator Hodges' foreward is thankfully not written in hillbilly dialect!
To Those Who Come
Florida is a great empire bounded by rolling seas, decorated with palms and orange trees and blossoms.  Men come to it from many lands and look for health and gold and pleasure.  All can be found between the boundary lines of the north, and the seas on the east and west and south.  BUT TO THOSE WHO COME let me give you all this friendly warning--health anywhere depends on yourselves--the use of the open air; the exercise that makes the blood circulate; the taking of foods that help instead of harm:  Gold can be found between these boundary lines, also, but found as it is found everywhere by diligent work; sustained action along proper lines; honest conduct and intelligent thought; it is never found anywhere else in any other way, and Florida is no exception to the rule.  Pleasure is here--abundant pleasure for every purse and every desire, but it is to be used rightly or else health will fly away and leave you old before your time, and the gold you have managed to find by labor will be worse than dross.  LET ME AS A FRIEND TO THOSE WHO COME HERE, urge you to remember these things and then Florida will be home--and Home is close akin to Haven. 
(Signed) WM. C. HODGES
Senator 8th District--Florida
Written especially for "Me and Pa in Florida"--M. O. C. 

Hopkins Bedroom, 1975

Notice the Venetian glass light fixture.