January 30, 1766 Journal Entry
“Fine morning; set out from Roll’s, whose steward, Mr. Banks, was very kind to us, and seems to be a sober, careful, and agreeable man; we rowed 8 miles, crossing the river to Gray’s creek, which is 60 yards wide, and two fathom and a half deep; we went about 7 miles up it; its general course is west by south, and generally pretty straight, good high swamps on each side, though on the north side the pines come near, especially near the upper part, where the ground is poor; we could not pass near so far, as we had depth of water, by reason of many old trees fallen across the creek at 7 foot deep and 10 to 12 yards broad; great floods certainly come down it, for there were great banks of sand 4 foot, more or less high, drove on its banks; here is very good grass growing in the pine-woods knee high. We rowed down again crossed the river, and encamped at a great orange-grove, where thousands of orange-trees grow as thick as possible, and full of sour and bitter-sweet fruits; this is about four miles by land from Mr. Roll’s, though near 8 by water; he claims it in his 20,000 acres; some of it is good swamp, but mostly pine-land.”
Florida History Online “John Bartram’s Travels on the St. Johns River, 1765-1766.” May 2013.
Bartram, John. Diary of a Journey through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, from July 1, 1765, to April 10, 1766, annotated by Francis Harper. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, n.s., Vol. XXXIII, Pt. I. Philadelphia, PA, 1942.
Bruce, F.W. Assistant Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers. St. Johns River to Lake Harney, Florida. 1908. The Portal to Texas History. University of North Texas. Nautical Chart of the St. Johns River.