Skip to Search



A Guide to the T. Frederick Davis Papers

Finding aid prepared by Cameron Barratt

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
March 2005


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Davis, Thomas Frederick, 1877-1946
Title: T. Frederick Davis Papers
Dates: 1901-1951
Abstract: Notes, typescripts, correspondence and photographs regarding the history of Jacksonville, Duval County and the North Florida region.
Extent: 12.5 Linear feet. 19 Boxes.
Identification: Ms 182
Language(s): English
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Frederick Davis (writer and historian) was born in Chatham, Virginia on April 24, 1877. He was the son of Horatio Davis, a prominent Virginian lawyer who moved his family to Gainesville, Florida in 1886 (and later served as mayor from 1908 to 1909).

T. Frederick grew up in Gainesville and attended East Florida Seminary. He then joined the National Weather Bureau and worked in Galveston, Texas, Jacksonville, Florida, and Curacao in the West Indies. In 1902, upon his return to the United States, he worked in the Weather Bureau's Washington, D.C. office and wrote a history of Curacao. In 1905, he moved back to Jacksonville and continued his interests in research and writing by compiling a history of Jacksonville's climate. The National Weather Bureau accepted this compilation and published it as an official reference.

In 1911 Davis published the book for which he is most noted, The History of Early Jacksonville, Florida. He later revised this book and republished it in 1925 as The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity, 1513-1924.

In 1914 Davis retired from the Weather Bureau and started his own insurance company. During World War I, he played an active role at home, enlisting in the Duval County Militia and working on the Home Front. He also wrote extensively for the Florida Historical Quarterly. Among his better-known articles are "MacGregor's Invasion of Florida, 1817," "History of Juan Ponce de Leon's Voyages to Florida, Source Records," and "US Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813." In 1939, Davis published another important work: Digest of Florida Material in Niles' Register, 1811-1849, an index to articles about Florida published in the 76 volumes of the Register. The Florida Historical Society described it as a "continuous, contemporaneous and semiofficial history of the United States." Beginning in 1943, he also wrote a series of narratives for the Quarterly called Pioneer Florida.


Scope and Content

This collection comprises Thomas Frederick Davis's research materials and writings. It includes manuscripts, research notes, correspondence, newspapers and newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs and printing blocks. The majority of the collection is related to Davis's writings on Florida.

The first section of the collection consists of Davis's manuscripts for The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity, 1513-1924. Following these manuscripts are a collection of Davis's notes for his books and his various papers and addresses. Research topics range from Osceola to Ponce de Leon.

Davis was an avid correspondent, and the collection includes his correspondence with prominent political leaders and fellow historians. Also included are transcripts and/or notes pertaining to his public addresses. Davis made many appearances in front of social clubs, historical societies and public historical events around Jacksonville and other parts of Florida.

In addition, the collection consists of photographs, newspapers and scrapbooks. These include photo albums and loose photos from when Davis was in Curacao. Other photos in the collection are related to his two Jacksonville-based books and were used as photo inserts. Davis kept a few important newspapers, including a set of The Florida-Times Union from the week of the great Jacksonville fire of May 1901. Also there are copies of The Florida-Times Union commemorative issues from 1950 and from 1951. The two scrapbooks are full of newspaper clippings concerning the early 20th century history of Jacksonville and northeast Florida.

The collection also includes 8 printing blocks used for illustrating The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity and The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity, 1513-1924.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.


Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in the Davis collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], T. Frederick Davis Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.


Contents List

Box
1 T. Frederick Davis - Biographical
1 Writings- The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity; 1513-1924. pgs. 1-69
1 Writings- The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity; 1513-1924. pgs. 70-183
1 Writings- The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity; 1513-1924. pgs. 184-234
1 Writings- The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity; 1513-1924. pgs. 235-370
1 Writings- The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity; 1513-1924. pgs. 371-495
1 Writings- The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity; 1513-1924. pgs.496-575
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1886-1887
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1888-1890
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1895-1900
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1901-1905
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1906-1913
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1914-1918
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: 1918-1923
2 Research- For The History of Jacksonville and Vicinity. Period: Miscellaneous
3 Research- Florida Research Misc.
3 Research- Ponce de Leon I
3 Research- Ponce de Leon II
3 Research- Osceola I
3 Research- Osceola II
3 Research- Fort George Island
3 Research- Kelly Diary
3 Research- MacGregor, Gregor Sir
3 Research- Milly Francis and Duncan McKrimmon
3 Research- Aury, Luis de
4 Research- History of Steamboats(1823) and Spanish Land Grants
4 Research- Notes from Florida Newspapers. 1821-1845. Miscellaneous Subjects
4 Research- Printed letter from David Levy Yulee, Florida Times Union, 23 May 1886, with notes by Davis
4 Research- Miscellaneous Materials on Patriots War
4 Writings/ Research- The History of Tourism in Florida
4 Writings/ Research- A Brief Outline of Jacksonville's History and Development
4 Writings/ Clippings- "Short Talks" for Florida Times Union editorial page.
4 Writings/ Research- Florida Annexation- Division Movements: American Period
4 Writings/ Research- General Robert E. Lee's visit to Florida to 1870
4 Writings/ Research- First Protestant Prayer in North America
4 Address/ Writings- The Seminole Council of October 1834- April 1929
4 Address/ Writings- Milly Francis and Duncan McKrimmon: An authentic Florida Pocahontas
4 Address- The Pioneer of Jacksonville- March 27, 1934
4 Address- Jacksonville's Historical Background- April 17, 1943
4 Address- Jacksonville's Wartime History- March 9, 1943
4 Address- The Great Kings Road: The Spanish Trail- April 18, 1928
4 Address- Unveiling of Fort San Nicholas Marker- 1930
4 Address- Concerning the History of Colonel Newman's Expedition Against the Indians, 1812
4 Address- "This Historic Locality": Dedication of Fort Clinch State Park, 1940 and remarks at Arbor Day Ceremony at Fort Clinch, 1946
4 Writings/ Research- Excerpts from Niles Weekly Register and writings on related subjects
4 Speech Notes- General Thomas J. Jackson- January 19, 1938
4 Writings/ Research- "Florida Events of History"- First Legislative Council, 1822
4 Writings- Narrative and Article on the history of St. Johns Bluff
4 Writings/ Research- First Steam Gun in action and Catesby's view of Florida, 1723
4 Research- "Pioneer Florida"; Destruction of Port Leon, 1843; First Militia Organization; Tallahassee Wild in its Youth
4 Research- Florida's contribution to the Mexican War
4 Writings- Climatology of Jacksonville, Fla., and Vicinity, 1907
4 Writings- works and writings of T. Frederick Davis in index/ list form
5 Correspondence- Undated
5 Correspondence- 1911-1919
5 Correspondence- 1920
5 Correspondence- 1921-1922
5 Correspondence- 1923
5 Correspondence- 1924
5 Correspondence- 1925
5 Correspondence- 1926
5 Correspondence- 1927
5 Correspondence- 1928
5 Correspondence- 1929
5 Correspondence- 1930
5 Correspondence- 1931
5 Correspondence- 1932
5 Correspondence- 1933
6 Correspondence- 1934
6 Correspondence- 1935
6 Correspondence- 1936
6 Correspondence- 1937
6 Correspondence- 1938
6 Correspondence- 1939
6 Correspondence- 1940
6 Correspondence- 1941
6 Correspondence- 1942-1946
7 Miscellaneous- Knights of Columbus and Kingdom of St. Francis
7 Miscellaneous- State and Natural Park Service
7 Miscellaneous- Florida Historical Society Papers
7 Miscellaneous
7 Maps of Jacksonville
7 Miscellaneous- The Neglected Phases of Florida's History
7 Pictures- Jacksonville
7 Pictures- Curacao
7 Pictures- Miscellaneous
8 Printing Block- Map of Jacksonville
9 Printing Block- Social Scene
10 Printing Block- Two blocks; Rural Florida and Jacksonville City Seal
11 Printing Block- Three blocks; Jacksonville Cityscapes
12 Printing Block- Jacksonville Cityscape
13 Newspapers- Florida Times Union 1900 and 1950
14 Book- The Patriot War in Florida- Letters of T.A. Smith
15 Book- The Patriot War in Florida- Constitution of Eastern Florida
16 Book- Newspaper articles by or about T.F. Davis
17 Photo Album- Curacao
18 Photo Album- Curacao
19 Scrapbook
19 Scrapbook

Bibliography

Books by T. Frederick Davis

History of Curacao, Dutch West Indies. 1902
History of Early Jacksonville, Florida. 1911
History of Jacksonville, Florida and Vicinity: 1513-1924. 1925
MacGregor's Invasion of Florida, 1817. 1928
A Genealogical Record of the Davis, Swann and Cabell Families of North Carolina and Virginia. 1934
History of Juan Ponce De Leon's Voyages to Florida, Source Records. 1935
Digest of the Florida Material in Nile's Register, 1811-1849. 1939
A Narrative History of the Orange in the Floridian Peninsula. 1941
Florida Events of History. 1943

Monographs by T. Frederick Davis for the Florida Historical Quarterly

Florida's Great Seal-Its Historical Inaccuracies. October, 1924
MacGregor's Invasion of Florida, 1817. July, 1928
The Seminole Council, October 23-25, 1834. April, 1929
Elotchway, East Florida, 1814. Jan, 1930
U.S. Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813. Part I. July, 1930
U.S. Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813. Part II. October, 1930
U.S. Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813. Part III. January, 1931
U.S. Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813. Part IV. April, 1931
U.S. Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813. Part V. July, 1931
The Record of Ponce De Leon's Discovery of Florida. July, 1932
Arthur Tillman Williams. October, 1932
First Landing Place of Ponce De Leon in Florida. April, 1933
Fort Caroline, Huguenot Settlement on the St. Johns. October, 1933
Juan Ponce De Leon's Voyages to Florida, Source Records. July, 1935
Engagements at St. Johns Bluff, St. Johns River. September-October, 1862. October, 1936
Early Orange Culture in Florida and the Epochal Cold of 1835. April, 1937
USS Peacock in the War of 1812-A Fight off the Florida East Coast. April, 1938
The Disston Land Purchase. January, 1938
First Protestant Prayer in North America. January, 1940
A View of East Florida in 1817. October, 1940
Florida's Part in the War with Mexico. January, 1942
Milly Francis and Duncan McKrimmon-An Authentic Florida Pocahontas. January, 1943

Monographs by T. Frederick Davis

Climatology of Jacksonville, Florida and Vicinity. National Monthly Weather Review. December, 1907
Cold Waves of the Florida Peninsula. Makers of America. 1909
Summer Climate of the Florida Peninsula. The Florida Review. March, 1909
Osceola, the Patriot: Part I. The Florida Review. June, 1909
Osceola, the Patriot: Part II. The Florida Review. July, 1909
Coacoochee, Seminole Chief. The Florida Review. January, 1910
Romance of Steam Navigation on the St. Johns River. The Florida Review. October, 1910
Book of the Florida Historical Pageant, History Section. Jacksonville Community Service. 1922
A Brief Outline of Jacksonville's History. Welcome to Florida (brochure.) 1929
Historic St. Johns Bluff. Published by author. 1934
First Protestant Prayer in North America. Published by author. 1936
Historical Sketch of Fort Clinch and Amelia Island. 1940

Prepared Newspaper Articles by T. Frederick Davis

Descriptive Account of Curacao, Dutch West Indies. Gainesville (Florida) Sun. November 24, 1901
The Island of Curacao. Gainesville (Florida) Sun. June, 1902
The Negroes of Curacao Island. Florida Times-Union. 1902
The West Indian Hurricane. Florida Times-Union. October 2, 1908
Romance of Jacksonville's Beginning. Florida Times-Union. December 4, 1921
Jacksonville's Old Fire Department. Jacksonville Journal. December 29, 1923
Duval County Court Houses. Florida Times-Union. July, 6, 1924
Camp New Hope on the St. Johns River. Florida Times-Union. March, 16, 1930
Inception and Growth of Jacksonville's Post Office. Florida Times-Union. December 7, 1930
In the Days of the Pioneers. Jacksonville American. February 6, 1932
Arthur T. Williams. Florida Times-Union (Obit.) April 27, 1932
History of Old Forts on St. Johns Bluff. Florida Times-Union. October 30, 1932
St. Johns Bluff in the War Between the States. Jacksonville Journal. February 28, 1934
Florida History Short Talks. Florida Times-Union (150 short essays.) 1939-1942

Prepared Historical Addresses By T. Frederick Davis

Jacksonville's Historic Background. Civitan Club of Jacksonville, June 11, 1926.
The Neglected Phases of Florida's History. Annual Meeting of Florida Historical Society at Lakeland, February 7, 1928.
The Neglected Phases of Florida's History. St. Augustine Historical Society, March 13, 1928.
The Great or King's Road. Jacksonville Chapter, D.A.R., April 18, 1928.
The Timuqua and Apalache Indian Trails. At unveiling of Jacksonville Chapter, D.A.R., "Old Trails" marker in Hemming Park, Jacksonville, May 9, 1928.
Fort San Nicholas. At unveiling of Jacksonville Chapter, D.A.R., marker in South Jacksonville, May 17, 1930.
How Florida Has Overcome Adversity in the Past. Rotary Club of Jacksonville, July 1, 1930.
Cycles of Booms and Depressions in Florida. Lion's Club of Jacksonville, February 19, 1932.
The Record of Ponce De Leon's Discovery of Florida. Jacksonville Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, May 9, 1932.
History of Fort Newnan. At dedication of memorial at Fort Newnan, near Gainesville, Florida, March 24, 1933.
Some Unmarked Historic Spots of Duval County. Jacksonville Chapter, D.A.R., May 17, 1933.
History of the Tourist Movement in Florida. Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville, June 7, 1933.
Early History of the Lower St. Johns River Country. Jacksonville Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, July 10, 1933.
Our Historic Spots. Combined meeting of Duval County Confederation of Woman's Clubs and Woman's Club of South Jacksonville, January 25, 1934.
General Robert E. Lee's Visit to Jacksonville in 1870. Martha Reid Chapter, U.D.C., Jacksonville, January 26, 1934.
Early Jacksonville and its Pioneer Buildings. Combined meeting of Springfield Woman's Club and Springfield Improvement Association, of Jacksonville, March 27, 1934.
The Interest of the Modern Tourist in Historic Places. Business Men's Club of South Jacksonville, April 8. 1936.
What the Disston Land Purchase did for Florida. Annual Meeting of Florida Historical Society at St. Petersburg, January 25, 1938. Also published in Florida Historical Society Quarterly, January, 1939.
Historical Sketch of Fort Clinch and Amelia Island. At official opening of Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina, November 16, 1940


Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Curaçao.
Duval County (Fla.) -- History.
Florida -- History -- Spanish colony, 1784-1821.
Florida -- History -- War of 1812.
Florida -- History.
Jacksonville (Fla.) -- History.
Mac Gregor, Gregor, Sir, 1786-1845.
Osceola, Seminole chief, 1804-1838.
Ponce de León, Juan, 1460?-1521.
Steamboats -- Florida.



For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

University of Florida Home Page