UNF Library Special Collections and University Archives: 2012.013
The collection consists of a letter dated January 25, 1869, from A. B. Temple to A. R. Hunter, sent from the St. James Hotel, Jacksonville, Florida. The correspondent writes in a highly descriptive manner, and he provides details concerning business, travel and leisure activities in Jacksonville and the surrounding region. He relates his impressions of Florida upon his arrival in Jacksonville, stating "it is the largest place in the state, with about 6,000 inhabitants," but compares its enterprise unfavorably to his previous country town of far fewer inhabitants. He recounts several boating, hunting and fishing trips along the St. Johns River, with frequent sightings of alligators on the river banks. He also mentions visits to orange groves in Palatka (75 miles) and to another grove 130 miles from Jacksonville, and provides interesting information about orange production, the price of oranges and the cost of acreage. He observes there are "almost all prices for land if they think a man wants to buy."