Echoes from a Distant Frontier
The Brown Sisters' Correspondence from Antebellum Florida
Within a month of their arrival on the shores of the St. Johns, the frontier erupted in Indian war. The Browns witnessed the terror and carnage firsthand, and their letters paint a vivid picture of the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). Their letters and those of their correspondents also contain astute observations about everyday life in a time, place, and society for which a very limited record remains.
Resolute and independent, the Brown sisters eventually married men who were actively engaged in the conflict—an army officer and a surgeon attached to the army. The sisters corresponded from the many places they lived during their fifteen-year residence in Florida, including St. Augustine, Newnansville, Fort King (Ocala), Pensacola, and Key West. Both as transplanted New Englanders struggling to survive in America's southernmost frontier and as wives of southern-born men, the sisters provide valuable insights on their social and domestic circumstances and on a largely undocumented region of the South.
About the Authors
Keith L. Huneycutt is a professor of English and department chair at Florida Southern College. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. His articles have appeared in Military History of the West and Florida Historical Quarterly. Huneycutt also lives in Lakeland.
"The Brown sisters' correspondence brings to life the Florida frontier of the antebellum period. Transplanted Yankees, Corinna and Ellen were astute observers of war, politics, and social customs. This fine collection of their letters reveals settlers' fears and ambitions, as well as the financial and intellectual challenges women faced."—Tracy J. Revels, Department of History, Wofford College
Other Titles by James M. Denham
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