December 29, 1765

Journal Entry

"Foggy morning; thermometer 52. Landed opposite to the mouth of the lake, which hath a full stroke with a south wind; the rock is all composed of snail and muscle-shells, hard enough to build with about 4 foot thick, and will split horizontally; some parts look like limestone, but whether for want of salt that abounds in sea-shells they will make such strong lime, I cannot say. Thermometer 72. P.M. Fish jumping continually; we encamped on a rocky point near a fine swamp of 25 acres, then a marsh of 20, near the end of an island on which some pines grew, then a great rich swamp round the cove; a very rainy night welcomed us."

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This photograph was taken from above the eastern shore of Lake George looking across Drayton Island to the western shore and the vast expanse of the Ocala National Forest.

Commentary

Bartram explored the east shore of today's Lake George during the groups' ascent of the river, then stayed mainly on the west shore when descending. The camp site for December 29 was on the east shore at today’s Lake George Point.

In Travels, William Bartram described entering Lake George on his sailboat: "behold the little ocean of Lake George, the distant circular coast gradually rising to view, from his misty fringed horizon. I cannot entirely suppress my apprehensions of danger. My vessel at once diminished to a nut-shell on the swelling seas, and at the distance of a few miles, must appear to the surprised observer as some aquatic animal, at intervals emerging from its surface. This lake is a large and beautiful piece of water; it is a dilation of the river St. Juan, and is about fifteen miles wide, and generally about fifteen or twenty feet deep...."