December, 1840. "Notice to Travelers St. Augustine and Picolata Stage:

The subscriber has commenced running a comfortable carriage between St. Augustine and Picolata twice a week.
A military escort will accompany the stage going and returning. Fare each way, five dollars. The subscriber assures
those who may patronize this undertaking that his horses are strong and sound; his carriage commodious and
comfortable; that none but careful and sober drivers will be employed; also every attention will be paid to their
comfort and convenience. Passengers will be called for when the escort is about leaving the city."

We have selected from the many one of the atrocious acts of violence committed by the savages previous to this
arrangement upon a worthy and respected citizen, Dr. Philip Weedman, whose three most estimable daughters are
still living in St. Augustine.

"November 25, 1839.—Shortly after the mail wagon left the city Dr. Philip Weedman, Sr., accompanied by his little
son, a lad about twelve years of age, both in an open wagon, with Mr. Graves, on horseback, left for the purpose
of visiting his former residence, now occupied as a garrison by a part of Captain Mickler's company. On arriving at
the commencement of Long Swamp, without any previous warning, he was fired upon and killed, having received
two balls in his breast; his little son was wounded in the head, baring his brain; also cut with a knife. The mutilated
youth, with the remains of his dead father, were brought in town today. The express returned for medical aid,
causing the Indians to run, as the wagon containing the mail was fired into, wounding Captain Searle and killing a
Polander who was riding horseback."

"Tuesday, November 26, 1839.—The funeral of Dr. Philip Weedman took place today, attended by all of our
citizens, who sympathize deeply with his numerous family."

The Polander, Mr. Possenantzky, was buried the same day according to the Hebrew form. The Indians continued
firing on the covered wagon train, calling them "cloth houses;" their object being to obtain supplies. When a
proposition was made to have fortified wagons hostile Indians were something which could not be worked by any
rule. They were the exception.

On Saturday, February 15, 1840, we find a record of two mail carriers having been murdered, one seven and the
other nine miles distant—G. W. Walton, from South Carolina, while on his way to Jacksonville, and Mr. J. Garcias,
near Live Oak Camp. The letters were undisturbed, although carried some distance. Both of the murdered men
were buried in St. Augustine. Afterward the mail was accompanied by an escort of five men.

"We have tried to hold up some cause, with the, semblance of a shade, to delude us into the belief that the Indians
have less activity and enterprise than the white men, but facts stand forward in bold relief denying us even the
poor consolation which such delusions might afford us. The lifeless bodies of our brethren speak trumpet-tongued
in favor of their removal, and the wail of hearts blighted by their successes is stronger and more piercing than the
fictitious surroundings of excited fancies."

Here is another thrust at the bloodhounds: "These distinguished auxiliaries have received more attention than their
service deserves, while great apprehension fills the minds of many for fear they should perchance bite a Seminole.
We would state as a quietus that a competent tooth-drawer will accompany them, entering upon his dental duties
very soon."

Another shocking murder occurred between Picolata and St. Augustine before the St. John's Railroad was
surveyed between Tocoi and St. Augustine.

"May 29th, 1840.—On Friday last a carriage and wagon had been obtained to proceed to Picolata for the purpose
of bringing some baggage and gentlemen connected with the theatrical company of W. C. Forbes, from Savannah.
Leaving Picolata on Saturday morning, May 23d, in addition to their own party they were joined by Mr. D. 6. Vose
of New York and Mr. Miller of Brunswick, who all reached the eleven-mile military post in safety. When within seven
miles of St. Augustine they were fired upon by Indians, severely wounding Vose, Miller and Wigger, a young
German musician. While this work of death was going on a wagon which had left the barracks that morning was
seen approaching; it contained three persons besides the driver—Mr. Francis Medicis of St. Augustine, Mr. A. Ball
and Mr. Beaufort. The Indians fired upon them near the six-mile post, when Mr. Beaufort and the driver escaped.
The mules ran away with the wagon. The firing being heard at the little garrison of seven men, they turned out,
when they saw distinctly twenty Indians. News having been received in town by a lad coming in on one of the
horses, a party of gentlemen repaired thither; on reaching the ground there lay Mr. Ball dead, while further on was
the body of Mr. Medicis, lying on his side, his hands clenched as if in the attitude of supplication, his right shirt
sleeve burned with powder and covered with blood. Mr. Francis Medicis was murdered the 23d of May, 1840,
between the hours of eleven and twelve o'clock. The bodies of Messrs. Miller, Ball and Vose were brought in at
dusk; that of Mr. Miller about nine o'clock. The bodies of the strangers were placed in the council chamber. Mr.
Forbes and his company passed over the Picolata road on the 22d of May, except Messrs. Wigger, German and
Thomas A. Line. Mr. Wigger was murdered, Thomas A. Line hid himself in a swamp, sinking up to his neck and
covering his face with a bonnet leaf, which he raised, to the great surprise of his companions when they were
searching for the survivors and gathering up the wounded."

The oldest citizens in St. Augustine now say that when Mr. German, vocalist, one of the theatricals, arrived in the
city, after his escape, his hair was standing perfectly erect on his head, and in twenty-four hours turned entirely
white. As the Indians rifled the baggage wagon, they carried off a considerable portion of the stage dresses and
other paraphernalia.

Now, we can peruse these tragic events as the visions of some wild romancer, or relate them to children as nursery
tales, partaking enough of the terrible to excite a desire for the wonderful. Wearied with waiting, and heartsick of
bloody murders, we find the following piece of composition written on this solemn occasion:

"How long shall the earth drink the blood of our women and children, and the soil be dyed with the ebbing tide of
manhood? Could they have looked with us upon the mangled corpses of Indian wrath and they were laid upon the
public highway, or gone to the council room and surveyed on its table, where side by side the marble forms of four
men lay, who a few hours before were looking to the future as filled with bright enjoyment, they would then have
whistled their philanthropy to the winds and cried aloud for vengeance. That was a sight never to be forgotten. We
have seen men killed in battle and perish by disease on the ocean, but amid the many affecting and unpleasant
incidents that have met our gaze we have never seen a spectacle like that. Here, in the rigidity of death lay the
youthful German, on whom manhood had just dawned, also the compact forms of muscular health, with the less
vigorous frames of more advanced years. A casual glance might mistake it for a mimic scene, where art had
exhausted her power in its production. But there was the pallid hue of faces; there was the gash the knife had
made in its course to the heart; the cleft forehead parted by the tomahawk in its descent to the brain, and there the
silent drop, dropping of crimson fluid to the floor, while our secretary, with his usual imbecility, issues orders to
muzzle the bloodhounds. The funerals of these unfortunate victims took place on Sunday, attended by a large
concourse of people, who expressed the keenest indignation at the repetition of such a scene so near our city.
Wild Cat was the leader of this band, as he stopped afterward at the plantation of E. S. Jencks, Esq., and told the
servants he had committed the murder."

The troupe filled their engagement at St. Augustine, as only a musician had been killed from their number. History
says: "The sterling comedy of 'The Honeymoon' was performed to a crowded house." Afterward the following notice
appeared: "During the winter months we have no doubt that a troupe embodying the same amount of talent which
the present company possesses would find it profitable to spend a month with us each season."

* * *
Another view of the stage from the Diary of Henry Benjamin Whipple

"Jan 27th (1844) Left St. Augustine today and after a tedious ride of four & a half hours arrived at Picolate 18 miles
from that city. We had a very quiet time, no danger being apprehended from rapid driving, & the caution appended
to the head of the way bill, 'all running of horses strictly prohibited on this line,' seemed to me quite a farce. Jog,
jog along more like an old scow than a northern stage coach. We were not troubled by changes of horses and
drivers by grog stations hotels or anything of the kind and very demurely walked up to the (what shall I call it)
Hotel!...Of one thing I am certain, the inn keeper wisely concluded no man ever stopped at his house twice & so he
made the most of his charge."

Line of Stages, Between St. Augustine & Picolata (The News, May 31, 1846)
The Traveling Public, is informed that Stages run regularly between the above places, as follows:
Leaves Picolata on Monday night, immediately after the arrival of the Mail steamer from Savanah.

Leaves St. Augustine at 5 o'clock Tuesday morning, to meet the Mail Boat on her way to Savannah.

Leaves on Friday at 5 o'clock, A. M. to meet the
Wm. Gaston on her way from Savannah to Picolata.

Leaves Picolata on Friday morning, after the arrival of the steamer
Wm. Gaston, from Savannah.

For passage apply to GEORGE W. COLE,
Florida House, St. Augustine. No seat can be secured unless paid for.

* * *
In 1854 the office of the Picolata Mail Stage was at Bridier's City Hotel.


William Cullen Bryant- Letters of A Traveller
When we left Picolata, on the 8th of April, we found ourselves journeying through a vast forest. A road of eighteen
miles in length, over the level sands, brings you to this place. Tall pines, a thin growth, stood wherever we turned
our eyes, and the ground was covered with the dwarf palmetto, and the whortleberry, which is here an evergreen.
Yet there were not wanting sights to interest us, even in this dreary and sterile region. As we passed a clearing, in
which we saw a young white woman and a boy dropping corn, and some negroes covering it with their hoes, we
held a large flock of white cranes which rose in the air, and hovered over the forest, and wheeled, and wheeled
again, their spotless plumage glistening in the sun like the new-fallen shnow. We crossed the track of a recent
hurricane, which had broken off the huge pines midway from the ground, and whirled the summits to a distance
from their trunks. From time to time we forded little streams of a deep red color, flowing from the swamps, tinged,
as we were told, with the roots of the red bay, a species of magnolia. As the horses waded into the transparent
crimson, we thought of the butcheries committed by the Indians, on that road, and could almost fancy that the
water was still colored with the blood they had shed.

The driver of our wagon told us many narratives of these murders, and pointed out the places where they were
committed. He showed us where the father of this young woman was shot dead in his wagon as he was going from
St. Augustine to his plantation, and the boy whom we had seen, was wounded and scalped by them, and left for
dead. In another place he showed us the spot where a party of players, on their way to St. Augustine, were
surprised and killed. The Indians took possession of the stage dresses, one of them arraying himself in the garb of
Othello, another in that of Richard the Third, and another taking the costume of Falstaff. I think it was Wild Cat's
gang who engaged in this affair, and I was told that after the capture of this chief and some of his warriors, they
recounted the circumstances with great glee. At another place we passed a small thicket in which several armed
Indians, as they afterward related, lay concealed while an officer of the United States army rode several times
around it, without any suspicion of their presence. The same men committed immediately afterward, several
murders and robberies on the road.


The stage line would run through 1870.
Picolata Stage
from Ponce de Leon and Florida war record
by George M. Brown
Return to Dr. Bronson's St. Augustine
History

History of Picolata
Notice to Travelers.

St. Augustine & Picolata Stage.

The subscriber has commenced running a comfortable
Carriage between St. Augustine and Picolata twice a week,
leaving St. Augustine Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Picolata
on Thursdays and Sundays: A military escort will always
accompany the Stage going out and returning. fare each way,
$3.

The subscriber assures those who may patronize this
undertaking, that his horses are strong and sound; his
Carriage commodious and comfortable; that none but careful
and sober drivers will be employed, and every attention paid to
their comfort and convenience.

Persons wishing seats, by leaving their names and place of
residence with Francis Bridier at the City Hotel, will be called
for, when the escort is about leaving the city.

Samuel Arey, Proprietor St. Augustine, Dec 4, 1842

St. Augustine News
Picolata Stages.

Having Commenced running twice in a week persons can
depend on them to arrive in St. Augustine on Monday afternoon
and leave at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning, and will leave Picolata
at 9 o'clock the day following, the Steamboat arrived which will
be on Wednesday evening. Each passenger is allowed 50lb
baggage, all over $1 per hundred. J. P. Levy

St. Augustine Florida Herald, January 13, 1836
We were put off at a place called Picolata, where a stage line is
supposed to convey you across country to St. Augustine. A
more disgraceful, disheartening abomination than Picolata and
its stage line I never met with in all my travels. Ever so many
years ago, when
Buckingham Smith was Secretary of Legation
at Madrid, he had occasion to send home to St. Augustine his
wife.

"Good-by and God bless you," he said. "You are comfortably
provided for your voyage. You are all safe until you reach
Picolata, and then Heaven alone can help you."


..... After waiting some five hours, about three in the afternoon
we started off, leaving all our luggage at Picolata; but bringing
in place of one of the trunks an English baronet, who hung on
to the rack behind as best he could, preferring that discomfort
to the horrible possibilities of being left. The ride over through
the monotonous pine barrens was dismal enough. Half of the
road was under water, and the poor tired horses could hardly
proceed beyond a walk. Added to this, the wind blew cold and
dreary, chilling us to the bone. About nine at night we drove
into the city of St. Augustine, and at the hotel of that name
found welcome and comfortable quarters. (
St. Augustine Hotel)

The New Harpers Monthly , Vol 41
Capt. Hebbart, of the steamer Florida, arrived to-day, 6 o'clock,
P. M. says that all communication between Picolata and St.
Augustine, in interdicted. the stage sent into the later place
was detained, but the driver, mounting a horse and taking a
musket, rode though yesterday for Picolata. The driver says
he saw plenty of Indian traces--that in fact the road was full of
them.

Day before yesterday Solono's house seven miles from
Picolata was burned, and a man by the name of Yanovar shot.

The steamboat lay out in the river last night, as it was deemed
unsafe for her to lie alongside the wharf. The passengers
intending to go to St. Augustine, have returned. An attack
upon Picolata by the Indians is daily expected.

Niles' Register - Jan 30, 1836
Notice to Travelers.
St. Augustine & Picolata Stage.

The subscriber has commenced running a comfortable
Carriage between St. Augustine and Picolata twice a week,
leaving St. Augustine Wednesdays and Saturdays, and
Picolata on Thursdays and Sundays: A military escort will
always accompany the Stage going out and returning. Fare
each way, $3.

The subscriber assures those who may patronize this
undertaking, that his horses are strong and sound; his
Carriage commodious and comfortable; that none but careful
and sober drivers will be employed, and every attention paid
to their comfort and convenience.

Persons wishing seats, by leaving their names and place of
residence with Francis Bridier at the City Hotel, will be called
for, when the escort is about leaving the city.

Samuel Arey, Proprietor St. Augustine, Dec 4, 1842

St Augustine News
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