David J. Coles


Since Frederick Jackson Turner delivered his seminal 1893 essay on the significance of the frontier in American history, scholars have delved into virtually every aspect of the western frontier experience. Unfortunately, historians have neglected many issues surrounding southern frontier life in the early nineteenth century. Studies of the Florida frontier during this period are particularly few in number.1 Recently, the work of several historians has heightened our appreciation of the importance of the frontier as part of Florida’s heritage. Other than several county and local histories, however, little new work has been written on the original north Florida panhandle frontier since the 1944 publication of Sidney Walter Martin’s Florida during the Territorial Days.