THE sun passing below the horizon, and night approaching, I arose from my seat, and proceeding on arrived at my camp, kindled my fire, supped and reposed peaceably. And rising early, employed the fore part of the day in collecting specimens of growing roots and seeds. In the afternoon, left these Ellisian springs and the aromatic graves, and briskly descend the pellucid little river, re-entering the great lake; the wind being gentle and fair for Mount Royal, I hoisted sail and successfully crossing the N. West bay, about nine miles, came to at Rocky Point, the West cape or promontory, as we enter the river descending towards Mount Royal:
these are horizontal slabs or flat masses of rocks, rising out of the lake two or three feet above its surface, and seem an aggregate composition or concrete of sand, shells and calcarious cement; of a dark grey or dusky colour; this stone is hard and firm enough for buildings, and serve very well for light hand mill-stones; and when calcined affords a coarse lime; they lay in vast horizontal masses upon one another, from one to two or three feet in thickness, and are easily seperated and broke to any size or form, for the purpose of building. Rocky Point is an airy cool and delightful situation, commanding a most ample and pleasing prospect of the lake and its environs; but here being no wood, I re-embarked and sailed down a little farther to the island in the bay, where I went on shore at a magnificent grove of Magnolias and Oranges, desirous of augmenting my collections. Arose early next morning, and after ranging the groves and savannas, returned, embarked again, and descending, called at Mount Royal, where I enlarged my collections; and bidding adieu to the gentleman and lady, who resided here, and who treated me with great hospitality on my ascent up the river; arrived in the evening at the lower trading house.
The Next morning early got off[,] padled about 2 Miles & come to the mouth of Johnsons Springs; padled near a mile up & come to a vast Fountain, almost in every respect like the other great Spring that I visited before. I;went a shore, mounted very high, hills very steep next the Creek, but fell away more gradually back, & enterd a beautifull grove of Palm Trees[,] large spreading live Oaks & -Vast Laurel Magnolia, mounted a very high ridge, from whence had an almost endless view of a vast baren desart, altogether impenetrable so thickly over grown with short schrubby Oaoks, Bays[,]Yapon[,] Prinos & short laurel bushes (Magnolia Grandaflora) & c. about these hills & open groves, observed abundance of the beautiful Scarlet Sage, the beauti[fu]ll large yellow Malva, A noble, sweet sented Shrub bearing golden clustres of Flowers, Tall Apuntia, breeding plenty of Cochaniel. Returnd to my boat, & with a gentle favourable breese sailed over to Drayton Island; I landed here[,] got some Roots & seeds of some valuable Shrubs & Plants, set off and  By night got over to a Promontary at the mouth of the River. the shore being very rockey & the wind blowing very high[,] found it very dificult & dangerous landing, it being open to the Lake but with great struggle got round a point of Marsh, into a safe harbour by dark, here I camped all Night. Next norming I traversed about this Point[,] came to an Orange Grove, I discovered a most singular & beautifull Species of Convolvulos[.] left this place & within night got safe down to the lower Store very wet & tired, having gone through a very heavey gust of Rain.S’ Johns River[.]
Resources and Links
Bartram, William. Travels Through North & South Carolina, Georgia, East & West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws; Containing An Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians. Embellished with Copper-Plates. James and Johnson Publishers. 1791. Electronic Edition.
Harper, Francis, ed. The Travels of William Bartram, Naturalist’s Edition. Yale University Press. New Haven. 1958.
Bartram, William. Annotated by Francis Harper. Travels in Georgia and Florida, 1773-74; a report to Dr. John Fothergill. Annotated by Francis Harper. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, n.s., Vol. XXXIII, Pt. II. Philadelphia, PA, 1943.
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.
Florida History Online. New World in a State of Nature; British Plantations and Farms on the St. Johns River, East Florida 1763-1784. May 2013
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.
Florida Museum of Natural History. Florida Naturalists. William Bartram. Book of Travels. May 2013
US Forest Service guidelines on camping within the Forest.