Transportation facilities have always played a substantial and significant role in the development and settlement of the United States. Likewise, in the early days of Florida’s development, water transportation played a most important part, sailing ships helping to bring in some of the first settlers and visitors. Because Florida is a peninsula for the most part and has water access on most of its boundaries as well as many waterways serving the interior, transportation by water has always loomed large. Sailing vessels, however, have their difficulties not the least of which is the lack of a regular schedule and the difficulty in penetrating inland waterways. The early steamboats gradually supplanted them in the carrying of people and general cargo goods although sailing ships, mostly schooners, held their own or more for many years in the tranportation of bulk cargoes such as lumber and agricultural products. It is the story of these early steamboats, their advent on the scene in Florida waters, and their progress through the years with which this narrative is concerned. In their day they were centers of community activity and progress, and each arrival was longingly awaited.
Mueller, Edward A.
"East Coast Florida Steamboating, 1831-1861,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 40
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol40/iss3/4