5" x 8" sheets of paper, toned and with light soiling. Shaffer begins his letter with a long list of things a "northern man" will enjoy about the state (summer when winter time, fruits, sea shells, the ocean, etc.), but he soon delves into what he dislikes ... "First it is a nigger county. I have seen 11 thousand in one night. You would think they grow on bushes and spring out of the Earth. They do all the work .... They get drunk, murder steal, fight, anything that is mean." Although he notes life would be good for a white man who, "is rich and can own a good business and hire the niggrs to work.... [It is] not place for stock or grain. A cow's bag is no bigger in this county than a good sized apple so milk is scarce. No grass grows here for the sand is 40 feet deep .... The weather, it was cold and wet last week. The sun did not shine for 5 days. This week is warm. The sun shines hot enough to burn a blister on a niggers but." He also related encounters with some of Florida's wildlife, a manatee, a rattle snake, and a bear .... "Seen a sea animal 12 feet long with a head like a hog, breast like a woman, and tail like a fish. I was not afraid of the darned thing .... I was out in the brush and met a rattlesnake 7 feet & 6 1/2 inches long and as thick as a gals left leg ... My hair stood up and am not sure if that was all .... I forgot to tell you that I seen a bear. It was an old nigger wench that fell in the fires and they took her out feet formost. A period letter reflecting the culture of its time from a northern transplant who certainly was "not stuck on Florida."
Inventory Number: 44227