Florida’s Role in the Civil War (webinar)

This interactive webinar focuses on Florida’s role in the Civil War. Archivist Boyd Murphree will discuss the variety of Civil War resources available on the Florida Memory website as well as additional collections housed in the State Library and Archives of Florida.

Florida Memory is a Web initiative by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library and Information Services. Florida Memory provides free online access to archival documents, films, photographs and sound recordings from the State Library and Archives of Florida.

Thursday, June 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EDT

All you need is a computer, your Internet connection and a telephone to participate. When you attend a live event, you can post questions to the speaker and chat with other participants during the presentation.

If you know that you will be unable to attend the live event but would like to view the recorded webinar, please register. All registrants will automatically receive a follow-up email with the link to view the recorded webinar.

[UPDATE: Go to our Webinars page for free recordings of past sessions.]

Register for this session.

Meeting number: 597 574 200

Once your registration has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the live session. For registration information and assistance, contact:

Kurz and Allison lithographic print of the Battle at Olustee: Olustee Battlefield, Florida

Kurz and Allison lithographic print of the Battle at Olustee: Olustee Battlefield, Florida

Arthel “Doc” Watson (March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012)

Guitarist Doc Watson died on Tuesday at the age of 89. Hailing from Deep Gap, NC, his impressive flat-picking, deep baritone voice and gift for storytelling captivated audiences around the world. Although he didn’t begin his professional musical career until the age of 40, Watson grew up playing a variety of styles and instruments. His willingness and ability to embrace and interweave a broad spectrum of genres earned him many prestigious accolades, as well as a long list of collaborators and fans.

We look back on Doc Watson’s legacy with a podcast featuring his performance with Jack Lawrence at the 1996 Florida Folk Festival’s Old Marble Stage.

Doc Watson and Jack Lawrence

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Additional recordings of Doc Watson from the Florida Folklife Collection can be found on the CD Look a Yonder Comin’… and in the Florida Folklife Collection database.

Francis Drake Attacks St. Augustine

On May 28 and 29, 1586, Sir Francis Drake led an attack on the Spanish city of St. Augustine. The Englishman commanded a fleet of 25 ships commissioned by Queen Elizabeth to conduct a series of raids against Spanish settlements in the Americas. Drake also attacked Cartagena, Columbia, and Santo Domingo, on the island of Hispaniola, during his expedition.

Baptista Boazio, Saint Augustine Map (1589)

Baptista Boazio, Saint Augustine Map (1589)

Baptista Boazio, an Italian cartographer, created this map in 1589 in order to illustrate the exploits of Drake. This map is the oldest document in the collections of the State Library and Archives of Florida. Boazio’s map of St. Augustine is the earliest known visual depiction of a European settlement in what is now the United States.

60th Annual Florida Folk Festival

1976 Florida Folk Festival Program

1976 Florida Folk Festival Program

The 60th annual Florida Folk Festival will be held Memorial Day Weekend at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs. The Festival began in 1953 under the direction of Sarah Gertrude Knott, and hasn’t skipped a year since, placing it among the longest continuously-running folk festivals in the country.

View of trick roper Danny Coflin performing with Thelma Boltin at the 1970 Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, Florida.

View of trick roper Danny Coflin performing with Thelma Boltin at the 1970 Florida Folk Festival - White Springs, Florida.

Florida Memory offers extensive resources relating to the Florida Folk Festival, including audio recordings dating back to 1954, thousands of photos, programs from 1953-2006, video footage, and an alphabetical list of Festival performers.

The Beers family performs at the Florida Folk Festival: White Springs (ca. 1960s)

The Beers family performs at the Florida Folk Festival: White Springs (ca. 1960s)

The Florida Folk Festival is a great way to interact with, and learn about music, art, traditional occupations, and foodways unique to the state of Florida. This year, festival goers can expect performances and workshops from Arlo Guthrie, John Anderson, Billy Dean, Frank Thomas, Doug Gauss, and Amy Carol Webb and a myriad of other musicians, storytellers, dancers and artisans.

For more information, please visit the Florida Folk Festival website.

Regional food vendor at the 1978 Florida Folk Festival: White Springs (1978)

Regional food vendor at the 1978 Florida Folk Festival: White Springs (1978)

Pete Seeger Podcast

In 1977, the Florida Folklife Program sponsored a series of free concerts by nationally renowned folk musicians at the Stephen Foster Center in White Springs. Included in the lineup were Jean Ritchie, the New Christy Minstrels, the Kingston Trio, Doc and Merle Watson, and Pete Seeger, who turned 93 on May 3. To celebrate Pete’s birthday, we’ll revisit his performance recorded 35 years ago in this month’s podcast.

Born in New York City, Pete Seeger learned the banjo in 1938, and worked with Alan Lomax at the Archive of American Folk Song in the Library of Congress. As a songwriter, his original repertoire included “Turn Turn Turn” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” He also formed two influential groups, the Almanac Singers and the Weavers, who sang labor anthems like “Which Side are You On?” as well as traditional numbers such as “Goodnight, Irene.”

During his extensive career, Seeger inevitably crossed paths with Florida folk artists. In 1956, he recorded for Folkways Records with the Washboard Band, which featured Florida Folk Heritage Award Winner William “Washboard Bill” Cooke. Not surprisingly, he also struck up a friendship with the Father of Florida Folk himself, Will McLean. The two performed together in 1963 at Carnegie Hall, and Will McLean was notably present for Seeger’s 1977 White Springs appearance.

Pete Seeger wrote about Florida in his music as well. “Delbert Tibbs” is an ode to the African-American poet who was wrongfully convicted of murder and rape in 1974 and sat on death row in Raiford State Penitentiary until January of 1977. The song helped procure justice for Tibbs, and in 1982, all charges against him were dismissed.

Today, at the age of 93, Pete Seeger is still performing, recording and promoting social justice. Let’s hand the microphone over to our mistress of ceremonies, Thelma Boltin, and sing along as Pete picks the banjo and strums his 12-string guitar.

Part 1

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More Info: Catalog Record

Intermission

Part 2

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Lois Duncan on the Steinmetz Collection

Award-winning author Lois Duncan is the daughter of photographer Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She is the author of 50 books, ranging from children’s picture books to adult novels, but she is best known for her young adult suspense novels. Seven of Duncan’s books have been adapted into films. Recently, Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, optioned Duncan’s Down a Dark Hall.

In this series of blog posts, Duncan gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of some of her father’s most famous photographs.

Florida Memory: Joseph Janney Steinmetz was a world-renowned commercial photographer whose images appeared in such publications as The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier’s, and Town and Country.

Steinmetz lived in Sarasota, Florida. He fell in love with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus which wintered there and photographed performers for 20 years. This photograph of clown Emmett Kelly in a bubble bath is one of the most famous of his circus images. How did it come to be?

Ringling Circus clown Emmett Kelly in a bubble bath.

Ringling Circus clown Emmett Kelly in a bubble bath

Duncan: Joe was good friends with many of the Ringling Brothers Circus performers. He took this photo of Emmett Kelly in the bathtub as a favor to Kelly, who wanted the image for his Christmas card.

Joe’s wife, Lois Foley Steinmetz, was crouched down out of sight behind the chair that held Kelly’s clothing, with an egg beater in her hand. After every shot Joe took, Lois would leap out of hiding, use the egg beater to increase the foam in the tub, and conceal herself once again.

The Joseph Janney Steinmetz Collection

Few photographers captured the allure and promise of Florida like Joseph Janney Steinmetz. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1905, Steinmetz came to Florida in 1941. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy developing techniques for aerial reconnaissance photography.

Steinmetz at his studio: Sarasota (May 5, 1948)

Steinmetz at his studio: Sarasota (May 5, 1948)

After moving to Florida, Steinmetz found regular work with the Florida Development Commission, a promotional agency of the Florida state government. He also operated an independent photography studio in Sarasota.

Seminole family selling patchwork clothing near the Brighton Reservation (January 27, 1948)

Seminole family selling patchwork clothing near the Brighton Reservation (January 27, 1948)

Over the course of his career, Steinmetz’s images appeared in numerous publications, including The Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier’s, and Town and Country. Although his favorite subject was the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Steinmetz captured a variety of subjects ranging from weddings to Tupperware parties to the Florida Seminoles.

Ringling Brothers Circus clown Emmett Kelly enjoying a bath

Ringling Brothers Circus clown Emmett Kelly enjoying a bath

Visit Florida Memory to learn more about Joseph Janney Steinmetz and to view photographs from his wonderful collection.

Richard Aloysius Twine Collection

Self-portrait of Richard A. Twine
Graceful young women in a studio portrait
Ione Powell

 

Richard Aloysius Twine, born in St. Augustine on May 11, 1896, had a brief but notable career as a professional photographer in Lincolnville, Florida. Lincolnville was the center of the black business and residential community in St. Augustine during the first few decades of the 20th century.

These black-and-white images reflect the social and cultural environment of the Lincolnville community in the 1920s, and include photographs of the annual Emancipation Day parade.

The original photographs taken by Richard Aloysius Twine are housed in the Saint Augustine Historical Society in Saint Augustine, Florida.

Unheralded Emancipation (May, 1862)

On May 9, 1862, Union Major General David Hunter declared freedom for all slaves living in the states of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Although his declaration was not the first emancipation measure during the war (Major General John C. Frémont had previously ordered the freeing of Rebel-owned slaves in Missouri), Hunter’s action shocked both the Confederate and Union governments.

Receipts for the sale of slaves: Tallahassee (September 19, 1862)

Receipts for the sale of slaves: Tallahassee (September 19, 1862)

The seceded states had long portrayed the Republican administration of Abraham Lincoln as a government of radical abolitionists. Lincoln, however, pursued a conservative approach to emancipation, which he did not officially endorse until September 1862 with the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

While he personally abhorred slavery and hoped for its eventual extinction, Lincoln argued that secession, not the existence of slavery in the South, was the reason for the war. He believed that a crusade for emancipation would lose the slave-owning Border States (Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland) to the Confederacy. This concern led him to revoke Frémont’s order and remove the general from command.

Unlike Frémont’s order, which only applied to slaves owned by persons actively supporting secession, Hunter’s order called for the liberation of all slaves, whether owned by Confederates or Unionists, within the area of his command (South Carolina, Georgia and Florida).

It did not differentiate between slaves actively employed in Confederate war work and those engaged in civilian labor such as agriculture, which was the previous requirement for releasing slaves under the Union’s Confiscation Act of 1861. Hunter then used his order to enlist freed slaves into the Union Army.

Contrabands (runaway slaves) escaping to the Unites States bark Kingfisher off the coast of Florida (1862)

Contrabands (runaway slaves) escaping to the Unites States bark Kingfisher off the coast of Florida (1862)

Lincoln insisted that only the President as commander-in-chief could issue an emancipation order. He announced that his government had no prior knowledge of Hunter’s intent to issue such a proclamation and declared the order void.

The War Department ignored Hunter’s effort to create a black regiment. While Hunter’s policies made him popular with abolitionists, most Northerners in the spring of 1862 were not ready for emancipation or the arming of freed blacks.

The South’s view of Hunter’s policies was obviously even less enthusiastic. Emancipation and arms for blacks fed the long-held Southern fear of confronting an insurrectionary slave population.

The Confederate government viewed Hunter’s actions as a call for slave rebellion and a racial outrage. It proclaimed General Hunter an outlaw. If captured, he would not be entitled to the rights of a prisoner of war but liable for execution at the discretion of the President of the Confederate States.

Ironically, Jefferson Davis, the president who would have signed Hunter’s death warrant, had known Hunter for over 30 years; they had been friends since first meeting as young army officers in 1829.

For a complete picture of Hunter’s fascinating and controversial career—he also served as president of the military commission that tried the suspects in the Lincoln assassination conspiracy—see Edward A. Miller, Jr., The Biography of David Hunter: Lincoln’s Abolitionist General (University of South Carolina Press, 1997).

Drawing of African-American soldiers during the Civil War (ca. 1863)

Drawing of African-American soldiers during the Civil War (ca. 1863)

Of course the biggest potential impact of Hunter’s emancipation order and recruitment of blacks was on slaves in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Only a month before Hunter’s proclamation, several escaped slaves who had flocked to Union gunboats off of Jacksonville, which the Federals had captured in March, were forcibly returned to their Confederate masters after the Union evacuated the city in April 1862.

A year later, however, when the Union occupied Jacksonville for a third time, it was black soldiers of the 1st and 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry regiments who greeted the escaped slaves. No longer unheralded, the black soldiers’ expedition filled the columns of newspapers across North and South.

Koreshan Unity Collection (Part Two)

The Koreshan Unity Collection: An Inside Look into Processing a Large Archival Collection (Part Two)

In 2009, the Koreshan Unity collection was transferred to the State Archives of Florida and staff began their initial assessment and planning for processing the collection.

The collection had been rearranged numerous times over the course of its century of existence, so archivists could not determine in what order the records might have originally been filed or used – what archivists refer to as original order.

Here is a typical box as it appeared upon arrival at the State Archives:

Unprocessed box

In the absence of original order or any obvious organizational scheme, archivists began by identifying general categories of activities or topical areas under which all of the records appeared to fall. Archivists then began a rough sort of the boxes into these categories, forming preliminary record series, or sets of files that document certain functions or activities of the organization.

In late 2011, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) awarded the State Archives grant funding to conduct detailed processing of the collection. The grant enabled the Archives to hire a full-time project archivist whose work we are highlighting throughout this series of posts.

Processing the collection