Personal Papers &Primary ResourcesCollections
The correspondence consists of an envelope and letter dated February 9, 1886, from E. A. Lee to Mrs. William J. Clark, sent from St. Nicholas, Florida. The writer describes to Mrs. Clark, a friend in Ypsilanti, Michigan, her experiences as a winter visitor to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1886. She recounts her arrival in Jacksonville and the boat ride across the St. Johns River to St. Nicholas, a settlement on the east side of the river where she and her brother have rented homes. She describes in detail: the variable winter weater in Florida, with the temperature plunging to 17 degrees in a "cold wave"; her winter home "Sterling Villa," and the St. Nicholas bluff area, with several dwellings bordered by orange groves; and the crossing of the River back to Jacksonville by rowboat with other river options being a ferryboat and a small steamer. She writes admiringly of the "the beautiful St. Johns," but unfavorably regarding the city of Jacksonville, which she describes as flourishing but "not a particularly pleasant city." She finds that the city is frequented by Northerners staying in the "enormous" hotels for the winter, the streets are unpaved, and there is a multitude of stores "mingled indiscriminately together." In closing, while initially disappointed with Florida, she tells of her growing appreciation of the benefits of the mild weather, and the natural beauty of the area.
The envelope is addressed to Mrs. William J. Clark, Ypsilanti, Mich. Written in pencil on upper left: Letter from Mrs. Lee to Mother. The letter, while legible, is difficult to read, and a transcription is available. Copy 2 is a photocopy of the original letter.
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