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October 17, 2014

Whip Cracking Demonstration—L.K. Edwards, Junior

Whip Cracking Demonstration—L.K. Edwards, Junior

Fredric Remington introduced Americans to the “Florida Cracker” cowboy in the August 1895 issue of Harper’s Magazine. Remington sketched and wrote about the fiercely independent breed of Florida cattlemen, who herded cattle and battled rustlers along the frontier. For Remington and many of his contemporaries, the Florida they knew resembled a frontier as much as any region of the United States in the late 19th century. The term “cracker” derives from the sound created by the popping of a bull whip. Florida crackers carried whips and used them, along with dogs, to herd cattle on Florida’s wet prairies and scrublands. In this recording, L.K. Edwards, Junior, a third-generation cattleman from Marion County, Florida, demonstrates whip cracking at the 1956 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs. According to Edwards, buckskin “tanned by the Indians” and maintained with oil rendered from cows’ feet made for the best bull whip. He discusses the different sizes, materials and construction styles used to make bull whips, which constitute a long-standing folk art and tradition among Florida cattlemen.

Coffins Stacked Along the Bank of a Canal After the Hurricane of 1928, Belle Glade, Florida

Coffins Stacked Along the Bank of a Canal After the Hurricane of 1928, Belle Glade, Florida

Just two days before the second anniversary of the Great Miami Hurricane that wreaked havoc in South Florida, another powerful storm made landfall in the state. The Category 4 hurricane caused at least 1,500 deaths in the Caribbean before making landfall in Palm Beach County on September 16, 1928. The storm resulted in an estimated $25 million in damage along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, from Fort Pierce to Boca Raton. The greatest damage occurred inland, however, especially along the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee. As the hurricane passed over the large, shallow lake, intense winds pushed a wave of water over hastily-built farming communities. So devastating was the impact of the storm in this region that it became known as the Lake Okeechobee Hurricane. The destruction can largely be attributed to the drainage of the Everglades and its effects. In the decades before the storm, the state of Florida drained thousands of acres of wetlands in the northern Everglades. Commercial farming operations were established on the reclaimed land, and truckloads of migrant laborers were brought in to work the farms. Shoddily constructed homes and buildings accompanied the agricultural boom. These shortcomings were exposed during the hurricane of 1928. Estimates of the loss of life in the Lake Okeechobee region range from 1,800 to 3,500 people; at least 1,600 are buried in the Port Mayaca Cemetery alone. Because of the remoteness of the devastated area and the scope of the destruction, the true number of casualties will never be known. After touring the region after the hurricane, President Herbert Hoover initiated a project to build a massive levee to surround the lower half of Lake Okeechobee. The result was the Herbert Hoover Dike, measuring 85 miles (136.79 kilometers) long and 36 feet (10.97 meters) high. The dike held up during subsequent hurricanes in the 1940s.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas World War I Service Card

Marjory Stoneman Douglas World War I Service Card

Marjory Stoneman Douglas, best known as an environmentalist and author of The River of Grass (1947), served in the United States Navy during World War I, from April 1917 to May 1918. Frank Bryant Stoneman, Marjory’s father and editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald, sent his daughter to cover the story of the first woman in the Miami area to enlist in the armed forces during World War I. Douglas was the first to arrive at the recruiting office, and became the very woman she was sent to report on. She later joined the Red Cross and traveled to Europe after the Great War. Upon returning to the United States, she became an accomplished author and a tireless proponent of environmental protection. Marjory Stoneman Douglas died in 1998 at the age of 108. Presented here is Douglas’s World War I service card. It indicates that she served for 319 days at the rank of Yeoman 1st Class, after which she was promoted to Chief Yeoman, the rank at which she was discharged.

Wakulla Springs Glass-Bottom Boat Tour Chant by Luke Smith

Wakulla Springs Glass-Bottom Boat Tour Chant by Luke Smith

The sound recording presented here features a chant recited by Luke Smith at the 1981 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs, Florida. Smith, a longtime guide on the Wakulla River, sings about the underwater environment and summons fish to the boat. His chant is reminiscent of African-American spirituals and field hollers common throughout the Deep South of the United States. Alligators, snakes, rare birds, and native exoticism are part of Florida’s tourism industry. Narrated boat tours at sites such as Wakulla Springs State Park, located at the spring south of Tallahassee that gives rise to the Wakulla River, offer visitors the chance to experience all of these things and more under the guidance of knowledgeable guides. Such boat tours have been a long-standing part of Florida attractions, at Wakulla Springs, Silver Springs, Homosassa Springs, and Rainbow Springs, among others. Since the late 1800s, guides at Wakulla Spring have related folktales and described the flora and fauna as they rowed visitors up and down the river. Businessman Edward Ball built a lodge at Wakulla Springs in the 1930s, and as Wakulla Springs established itself as an attractive location for tourists and filmmakers, the guides were provided larger watercraft and regular employment. Right up through recent history, descendants of the first boatmen at Wakulla Springs have followed in the footsteps of their forefathers, and their chants, jokes, and stories have been passed down through the generations.

Waters of Destiny

Waters of Destiny

The systematic drainage of the Florida Everglades began in earnest in 1905. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, then Florida’s governor, committed significant state funds and solicited federal assistance in order to reclaim from underutilization the vast swamplands south of Lake Okeechobee. The ultimate goal of the Everglades reclamation was to access rich “muck” soil, covered in many areas by a thin layer of freshwater. Muck soil consisted of thousands of years of organic material accumulated on top of limestone bedrock. The muck made for ready and productive topsoil, but was quickly depleted once subjected to intensive farming. Also, when dried out by the hot Florida sun, the muck could catch fire. Over-farming and fire combined to greatly reduce the extent of muck soil in the decades after drainage began. Once the muck was gone, large-scale commercial farming operations relied heavily on fertilizers that polluted the environment. In addition, the drainage required to expose the muck significantly altered the landscape and ecology of southern Florida. Canals lowered the water table and inhibited the natural flow of the Everglades itself. Wildlife populations faced habitat loss and declined across the region as a result of drainage infrastructure projects. This film, Waters of Destiny, exhibits the typical portrayal of water-management projects before their full environmental impacts became known. The narrator refers to the efforts of the Central and South Florida Flood Control District and the Army Corps of Engineers as exhibiting “mastery [over water] by the determined hand of man.” The film, produced in the 1950s, contains excellent footage of all aspects of the drainage-infrastructure construction process and provides insight into changes in thinking about the science of water management since the mid-20th century.

Ringling Circus Clown Emmett Kelly in Sarasota, Florida

Ringling Circus Clown Emmett Kelly in Sarasota, Florida

Emmett Kelly (1898−1979), pictured here, portrayed the melancholy hobo-clown Weary Willie for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for more than a decade. His act differed from that of the typical jovial clown and made Weary Willie one of the most memorable components of the Ringling Brothers show. The Ringling Brothers built the show from humble beginnings in Baraboo, Wisconsin, into the largest and best-known American circus. They began their ascent in show business in 1884 when they combined with the Yankee Robinson circus. The following year the Ringlings bought out Yankee Robinson and became sole proprietors of the traveling show. The Ringling Brothers quickly acquired smaller circus shows and sought out the top performers from around the world. In 1919, the Ringlings merged their two largest ventures—Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey—into a single, combined circus, the “Greatest Show on Earth.” In 1927, the circus moved its winter quarters from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Sarasota, Florida. Members of the Ringling family had wintered in Sarasota since 1911. This photograph, taken in 1947, is by Joseph Janney Steinmetz, a world-renowned commercial photographer whose images appeared in such publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier's, and Town & Country. His work has been referred to as "an American social history," which documented diverse scenes of American life. Steinmetz moved from Philadelphia to Sarasota in 1941.

Killing Time

Killing Time

Highways to the southern states of the United States opened up during the second decade of the 20th century, allowing men and women from around the country to see the unique sites of Florida's interior, away from the cities on the east and west coasts. After the completion of the highway from Montreal to Miami in 1915, the number of automobile tourists increased dramatically. The original “tin can tourists” of the 1920s pioneered camper travel, and the practice became ever more popular after World War II, as young families as well as with increasingly mobile retirees journeyed south. Trailer parks developed to cater to these new visitors who brought their accommodations with them. Likewise, roadside attractions and amusement parks developed facilities to meet the needs of campers and trailers. The Tin Can Tourists of the World, an organization of camping and trailering enthusiasts, was founded at a Tampa, Florida, campground in 1919. Its goals were to provide its members with safe and clean camping areas, wholesome entertainment, and high moral values. This image of John and Lizzie Wilson and their trailer in Bradenton, Florida, in 1951 shows an example of post-World War II tin can tourists. The sign at the back of the trailer identifies the Wilsons as from Boston, Massachusetts. The photograph is by Joseph Janney Steinmetz, a world-renowned commercial photographer whose images appeared in such publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier's, and Town & Country. His work has been referred to as "an American social history," which documented diverse scenes of American life. Steinmetz moved from Philadelphia to Sarasota, Florida, in 1941.

Rescue Train Swept off the Tracks by the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane

Rescue Train Swept off the Tracks by the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane

On September 2, 1935, a powerful hurricane slammed into the middle Florida Keys. Known as the Labor Day Hurricane, it was the first Category 5 storm to strike the United States in recorded history. The hurricane claimed at least 485 lives, including about 260 World War I veterans working on a section of the Overseas Highway in a federal relief project. The veterans came from the ranks of the Bonus Army, a group of soldiers who camped at the steps of the U.S. Capitol in the early 1930s to demand compensation promised by the federal government, and who on July 28, 1932 were dispersed by U.S. Army troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. Some of the veterans later were given relief jobs by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt through the Works Progress Administration. On the day of the storm, officials sent a train to evacuate the men, but it failed to reach the camps located on Lower Matecumbe Key. This image is an aerial view of the ill-fated rescue train taken three days after the storm. High winds and an estimated 18 feet (5.49 meters) of storm surge swept the train off the tracks. Author Ernest Hemingway, then a resident of Key West, captured public outrage about the episode in an essay entitled “Who Murdered the Vets?” published just days after the hurricane. A government inquiry investigated both the mishandling of the evacuation and the shortcomings of forecasting work done by the Weather Bureau in the days leading up to the storm’s landfall. The official judgment ultimately assigned blame in both instances to nature, rather than to human error. Following the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, the Weather Bureau established additional monitoring stations in southern Florida and took steps to improve disaster preparedness in vulnerable coastal areas. The Labor Day Hurricane still ranks as one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfall in the United States, but it likely will be remembered mainly as the tragic conclusion to the story of the Bonus Army.

Devastation in Miami from the 1926 Hurricane

Devastation in Miami from the 1926 Hurricane

Florida, especially the southeastern portion of the state, experienced rapid growth in the early 20th century. The land boom of the 1920s brought thousands of new residents and ushered in a period of unprecedented construction. The prosperity initiated by the arrival of the Plant and Flagler railroads and prolonged by endless boosterism came to a screeching halt in mid-September 1926. A catastrophic hurricane made landfall near Miami Beach in the early morning hours of September 18, 1926. Known as the Great Miami Hurricane, the storm cut a path of destruction across southern Florida. With winds in excess of 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour and storm surge heights topping 11 feet (3.35 meters) above mean high tide, the hurricane left its mark from South Beach to Moore Haven on Lake Okeechobee, and on to the Tampa Bay area. The northern Gulf coast also experienced the wrath of the storm, which made a second landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, and dumped more than eight inches (20 centimeters) of rain on an area extending from Pensacola, Florida, to southern Louisiana. Weather Bureau officials were unprepared for the swift-moving hurricane, which betrayed few telltale signs of a major storm before slamming into South Florida. The citizens of Miami and the surrounding communities were equally surprised by the rapid advance of the storm. The devastation left in the wake of the hurricane prompted one Weather Bureau official to call the storm the “most destructive in the history of the United States.” Officials estimated the storm destroyed 4,700 homes in South Florida and left 25,000 people without shelter. The Red Cross reported that 372 people lost their lives and more than 6,000 people were injured in the storm. The long-term impact of the Great Miami Hurricane became apparent in the months and years to come as the real estate bubble burst and Florida plunged into an economic depression some three years in advance of the rest of the nation.

A Grant of Indian Territory from the Upper Creek Indians as also the Lower Creeks and Seminoles to Colonel Thomas Brown Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District of North America

A Grant of Indian Territory from the Upper Creek Indians as also the Lower Creeks and Seminoles to Colonel Thomas Brown Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District of North America

This document is an enclosure originally submitted by Henry Lee IV to Florida territorial judge Augustus Brevoort Woodward in September 1824. Lee sought Woodward’s assistance in securing claim to property purchased by his father, General Henry Lee, from Thomas Brown in 1817. On March 1, 1783, several “Kings and Warriors” representing Upper Creek, Lower Creek, and Seminole towns affixed their names and family marks to a document granting Thomas Brown, a British superintendent of Indian affairs, substantial territory west of Saint Augustine in what was then British East Florida. Brown had come to North America from England in 1774 to establish a plantation in the Georgia backcountry. He remained loyal to the British government during the Revolutionary War and led a mounted patrol, known as the King’s Rangers, in raids against the Americans along the southern frontier. Brown gained the support and assistance of several Creek and Seminole Indian leaders, who provided warriors to fight their mutual enemy, the Americans. In return, Brown kept their towns well-armed and provisioned. As the war neared its end in 1783, Brown and his men retreated to Florida. Sometime prior to March 1, a delegation representing Creek and Seminole towns visited Saint Augustine and met with Brown and other British officials. The land grant included here resulted from this meeting. The Indian delegation honored their “father and friend” for leading them into battle against the Americans, with a grant of land extending from the Amajura River, now known as the Withlacoochee, to the Saint Johns River. This document is a copy of the original, made on June 20, 1820, while Brown was living on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean. This document contains rare illustrations of southeastern Indian clan symbols. Many southeastern Native Americans practiced a form of social organization based on matrilineal clans, wherein they traced their lineages through their mothers’ families and were born into the same clan as their mothers. The symbols in this document represent several different clans. Some can be identified from their resemblance to known animals—such as alligator and bird—while others cannot. Clan names referred to mythical ancestors and often took the form of animals, plants, or forces of nature. Dozens of clans existed among the Creeks and Seminoles at the time this document was created. Also included on the document are titles belonging to leading men from Creek and Seminole towns. High-ranking men carried a war or diplomatic title and identified themselves with a town. For example Tallassee Mico was a Mico, or leading man, from the town of Tallassee.

Florida's Canal Main Street

Florida's Canal Main Street

Interest in constructing a water route across the Florida peninsula goes back to the colonial rule of the Spanish and the British and continued when Florida became a territory of the United States in 1821. The earliest American surveys for a possible canal in Florida were undertaken in the wake of excitement surrounding the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the first significant work on a cross-Florida canal as part of New Deal public works programs in Florida. After much debate, construction on route 13-B, of 28 suggested routes, began in 1935. Canal supporters welcomed the jobs and the commercial prospects associated with the canal, but opponents feared that the project would cost too much, damage the underground aquifer, and have a detrimental effect on agriculture in central and southern Florida. Because of widespread opposition, progress on the canal came to a halt in June 1936. In 1962, the U.S. Congress reauthorized construction. The Army Corps of Engineers planned what was called the Cross Florida Barge Canal. It was to be 12 feet (3.66 meters) deep and wide enough for two vessels to pass along the route begun in the 1930s. The planned course entered the Saint Johns River near Jacksonville, crossed into the Ocklawaha south of Palatka, traversed the Central Florida ridge between Silver Springs and Dunnellon, and then merged with the Withlacoochee River before reaching the Gulf of Mexico near Yankeetown. President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony and, at the conclusion of his remarks, set off the project’s first dynamite charges. By 1968, significant progress was evident in the eastern portion of the canal. The film presented here offers a positive portrayal of the canal in the early stages of construction. Governor Haydon Burns introduces the film by describing the reasons for building, the location, and other details of the canal. Also shown are illustrations of the proposed design, testimony by a geologist, sequences of Florida industry, footage of flooding in March 1960, an enemy submarine threat sequence, and President Johnson setting off the charges that marked the start of the work. Fierce opposition to the canal soon arose, however, primarily on environmental grounds, and construction was halted in 1971.

Seminoles with Irons During Round-up and Branding at the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation

Seminoles with Irons During Round-up and Branding at the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation

The cattle industry in Florida began soon after the nation’s oldest city, Saint Augustine, was established in 1565. Spaniards imported livestock to meet the needs of the small but critical colony. By the dawn of the 18th century, Spanish, African, and Native American cattlemen worked cows on the vast wet prairies and scrublands found throughout northern and central Florida. La Chula, the largest ranch in Spanish Florida, boasted thousands of head of cattle in the late 1600s. Seminole migrants took up cattle herding in northern Florida following the destruction of the Spanish mission system in the early 1700s. When, in the 1770s, William Bartram visited the Seminole town of Cuscowilla (also seen as Tuscawilla) located near the former La Chula ranchlands on present-day Paynes Prairie, he witnessed thousands of cattle grazing on the lush grassland. The Seminoles remained Florida’s primary raisers of livestock until the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842. During the Civil War, Florida Crackers, so-called because of the sound generated by their bull whips, supplied the Confederate Army with beef and shipped livestock to Cuba and other Caribbean islands via Punta Rassa near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. Florida’s modern cattle industry took off with the arrival of railroads in the late 19th century. In the 20th century, cattlemen developed breeds specially adapted to cope with the extremes of the Florida climate. The open range ended in the late 1940s with the implementation of statewide fence laws. Today, the cattle industry remains a vital component of Florida’s economy, and the state ranks near the top of cattle production in the United States. The Seminole tribe of Florida is one of the state’s largest producers. In this photograph, Seminole cowboys on the Big Cypress Reservation hold irons forged in the shape of their initials in preparation for branding the livestock.

Portrait of Seminole Indian Cowboy Charlie Micco at the Brighton Indian Reservation

Portrait of Seminole Indian Cowboy Charlie Micco at the Brighton Indian Reservation

Seminole Indians dominated Florida’s cattle industry during the early 19th century. The Seminoles themselves, not originally cattle people, inherited abandoned Spanish livestock in the 18th century and adopted herding into their own culture. Seminole cattle all but vanished as a result of fighting during the Seminole Wars (1817−18, 1835−42, and 1855−58). Following the removal of the vast majority of the Seminoles and the seizure of their cattle, the remaining Florida Indians adapted their herding culture to the abundant supply of wild hogs found in central and southern Florida. The federal government developed a cattle program for the Florida Seminoles during the Great Depression as part of the Indian New Deal. The program was intended to provide an economic foundation for the tribe, and aimed to ultimately wean Seminoles off of a traditional hunting lifestyle no longer feasible in southern Florida. A starter herd shipped from a western reservation arrived in the early 1930s but fared poorly in the Florida heat. Subsequent breeding efforts combined the desirable traits from Florida scrub cattle, descended from the old Spanish stock, with proven beef-producing varieties. The breeding programs eventually resulted in hardy animals capable of withstanding the climate and retaining weight. Charlie Micco, pictured here, was instrumental in the early development of the cattle program at the Brighton Reservation, located on the northwest corner of Lake Okeechobee. Federal officials chose Micco because of his previous experience working cows for white ranchers near Brighton. The government helped manage the Seminole cattle program for several decades. The Seminoles gradually took over total control of the program in the latter half of the 20th century. The photograph is by Joseph Janney Steinmetz, a world-renowned commercial photographer whose images appeared in such publications as the Saturday Evening Post, Life, Look, Time, Holiday, Collier's, and Town & Country.

The Holy Qur'an

The Holy Qur'an

This distinctive Qur’an comprises the first six surahs (chapters) of the Muslim Holy Book, starting with al-Fātiḥah (The opening) and ending with al-Anʻām (The cattle). The two beginning pages containing al-Fātiḥah are elaborately decorated, as is usually the case with this surah, first with an outermost frame of numerous, small, olive-green niches, but also with a series of other linear frames in red, white, black, green, and gold. Motifs include twisted metal bars and vines with top and bottom transom-like cartouches, suggesting a door shape, and possibly alluding to the fact that al-Fātiḥah is the opener or entrance to the entire Qur'an. The text is in bold black ink with frequent rubrication, and the script does not follow any of the known styles, although it still reflects elements of the thuluth and the naskh. Each chapter begins with a heading, giving not only the number of verses but also the number of words and letters in that chapter—all of which are elements used in the tazīb (division) of the Qur’an into sections and subsections, as well as in the esoteric ʻilm al-urūf (discipline of the letters). Diagonal rectangles and triangles branch out on the margins, providing pronunciation keys and additional guidance on the other possible riwāyāt (readings) of the holy text. The verse markers are indicated with red or gold triangular inverted commas, while the markers of the sections and subsections take different red and gold shapes. Throughout the text, the beginning phrases of all the sections and subsections are rubricated, together with ism al-jalālah (God’s name) and the inner bend of the letter kāf (k), a possible inference of kāf al-mashī ʼah, or the “be-and-it-is” will of God. Two colophon notes appear, distinct and independent, attributing the copying to two different scribes: Sayf ibn Muhammad ibn Salim al-Tawqi at the beginning, and ʿAbdulkarīm ibn ʿUmar ibn Mūsā al-Nawfalī at the end. The manuscript was produced in 1365 AH (1945).

Milestones of the Divine Revelation

Milestones of the Divine Revelation

Al-Ḥusayn ibn Masʻūd al-Baghawī (circa 1044−circa 1117), nicknamed muḥyī al-sunnah (Reviver of the Prophet’s traditions), was a Shāfiʻi scholar and Qur’an exegete. He was born, and possibly died, in Bagh or Baghshor, an old town that was located in Khorasan between the ancient cities of Herat (in present-day Afghanistan) and Merv (near present-day Mary, Turkmenistan). Preserved in this manuscript copy is the second and last part of al-Baghawī’s maʻālim al-tanzīl (Milestones of the divine revelation), an exegesis of the Holy Qur’an. The manuscript starts with al-kahf (The cave), the 18th surah (chapter), and goes on to include the remainder of the Muslim Holy Book, with its 114 chapters. The main text is inscribed in frames of gold, green, and red lines. All the verses are written and voweled in red ink, in the same lines with the exegesis, which follows in black. There is minimal text on the margins, with the exception of catchwords and rubricated text indicating the beginnings of the sections. The manuscript, copied by [illegible] Ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn Ismāʿil in 1110 AH (1699), was owned by a Muḥammad ibn Sālim ibn 'Āmir al-Ṭawqī as recently as 1946.

Bouncing Baby

Bouncing Baby

The film Bouncing Baby, featured here, is a prime example of the works produced by the Vim Comedy Company in Jacksonville, Florida, during the early years of silent films. Favorable weather, political support, and cheap real estate and labor helped to make Jacksonville a major center for motion picture production in this period. The mayor of Jacksonville in 1915−17, J.E.T. Bowden, set out to restore business confidence in northeastern Florida after a recessionary slump and extended an open invitation “to the moving picture fraternity of this country” to relocate to his city. Film companies at first thrived in Jacksonville's hospitable climate, but citizens and government officials grew tired of the studios, whose stunts—such as unannounced car chases, or falsely reporting fires in order to film the response—threatened public safety. In 1917, John W. Martin was elected mayor on a platform to curtail the film industry. By this time, Hollywood, California, offered a more viable location and much of the American film industry moved west. The Vim Comedy Company, founded in late 1915 by Louis Burstein and Mark Dintenfass, typified the short-lived studios of the movie boom in Florida. Vim employed many intriguing personalities and made 156 one-reel films in 1916 alone. In the same year, Vim also created a series of 35 slapstick comedies starring Oliver “Babe” Hardy and Billy Ruge entitled “Plump and Runt,” which occasionally included cameos by Ethel Burton. Other regulars with the company were Harry Meyers, Rosemary Thebe, Kate Price, and Billy Bletcher and his wife Arline Roberts. Including casts, directors, camera crew (known at the time as “knights of the crank”), and administrative personnel, the Vim Southern Studio in Jacksonville employed nearly 50 people in 1916, with a regular weekly payroll of approximately $3,800. Production at Vim studios came to a halt in 1917 after Oliver Hardy discovered that Burstein and Dintenfass both were stealing from the payroll.

Interposition Resolution by the Florida Legislature in Response to Brown v. Board of Education, 1957, with Handwritten Note by Florida Governor LeRoy Collins

Interposition Resolution by the Florida Legislature in Response to Brown v. Board of Education, 1957, with Handwritten Note by Florida Governor LeRoy Collins

In 1957, the Florida State Legislature passed a resolution in opposition to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, the Topeka, Kansas, case that ended legal segregation in public education. Racial segregation was originally found to be constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case in 1896. The decision laid the foundation for what became known as Jim Crow laws by declaring segregation legal if the facilities were “separate but equal.” The Brown decision removed that foundation, and many segregationists saw the case as an opening wedge to end all segregation. The Florida Legislature argued that the decision usurped the state’s constitutional power and passed a resolution to declare the court's 1954 decision null and void. The "interposition" resolution was intended to interpose itself between the citizens of Florida and the United States government in response to what the legislature contended was an illegal intrusion by the federal government on the rights of the state. Although he initially condemned the Brown decision, as did the majority of Southern elected officials, Governor LeRoy Collins sought to prevent the legislature from passing the resolution. He utilized a little-known provision of the state constitution to unilaterally adjourn the legislature to prevent passage. After the legislature returned and passed the resolution, he had no power to veto it because it was not a law, but only a resolution expressing the opinion of the legislature on the matter of racial integration. However, as it passed through his office, Collins hand-wrote the following note at the bottom of the resolution: "This concurrent resolution of 'Interposition' crosses the Governor's desk as a matter of routine. I have no authority to veto it. I take this means however to advise the student of government, who may examine this document in the archives of the state in the years to come that the Governor of Florida expressed open and vigorous opposition thereto. I feel that the U.S. Supreme Court has improperly usurped powers reserved to the states under the constitution. I have joined in protesting such and in seeking legal means of avoidance. But if this resolution declaring the decisions of the court to be 'null and void' is to be taken seriously, it is anarchy and rebellion against the nation which must remain 'indivisible under God' if it is to survive. Not only will I not condone 'interposition' as so many have sought me to do, I decry it as an evil thing, whipped up by the demagogues and carried on the hot and erratic winds of passion, prejudice, and hysteria. If history judges me right this day, I want it known that I did my best to avert this blot. If I am judged wrong, then here in my own handwriting and over my signature is the proof of guilt to support my conviction. LeRoy Collins, Governor. May 2, 1957." Presented here is the complete text of the resolution, with Collins’s handwritten note at the bottom of page nine.

The Facilitator of Utility on Medicine and Wisdom

The Facilitator of Utility on Medicine and Wisdom

This manuscript copy is a 15th-century work by a Yemeni author, Ibrāhīm ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Abū Bakr al-Azraq, or Azraqī. It is a book of remedies dealing with medicinal uses of seeds, grains, and other foods and their nutritional value. The material is based in part on two earlier works: Shifā’ al-ajsām (The curing of bodies) by Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Ghayth al-Kamarānī, and Kitāb al-raḥmah (The book of mercy) by Ṣubunrī. Included at the end is yet another work, Burʼ al-sāʻah (Speedy recovery), a short treatise by the renowned Persian polymath Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā al-Rāzī (also known by Latinized versions of his name, Rhazes or Rasis, circa 865−925). In the introduction, al-Azraq writes: "In the words of the Prophet . . . there are two classes [of persons] that people will always need, doctors for their bodies and the ulamā for their religion." Al-Azraq further drew on additional works, namely Laqṭ al-manāfi’ (The picker of benefits) by al-Jawzī (circa 1116−1201) and Al-tadhkirah (The reminder) by al-Suwaydī (circa 1203−91). He arranged the book so that he would cite Ṣubunrī first, followed by al-Kamarānī and then his own commentary. An addendum at the end provides a glossary defining the seeds, foods and other substances mentioned in the book. Al-Azraq claims he included in his work only the medicinal foods that were known and available to his fellow Yemenis at that time, a claim that could have interesting research implications if proven. According to a note at the end of the main work, this manuscript was copied for a scholar friend by the name of Abdullāh ibn Muḥammad ibn Jumuʻa al-Būsa’īdī, on Rabia al-Akhar 20, 1200 AH (February 19, 1786). The Facilitator of Utility is listed in the bibliographic encyclopedia of Kātip Çelebi (1609−57), but despite this and the appearance of several modern printings, little is known about al-Azraq.

The Compendium of Faith

The Compendium of Faith

Muḥammad ibn Jaʻfar al-Izkiwī was a leading Muslim scholar who lived in about 900. His name, al-Izkiwī, suggests that he came from Izkī, one of the oldest cities and centers of learning in the interior of Oman. Jāmiʻ al-adyān (The compendium of faith), sometimes referred to simply as al-Jāmiʻ (The compendium) or Jāmiʻ Ibn Jaʻfar (Ibn Jaʻfar’s compendium), is his best-known work. Shown here is an 18th-century manuscript containing the first part of Jāmiʻ al-adyān. As the title suggests, the book summarizes a wide range of topics in Islamic jurisprudence from an Ibadite (also seen as Ibadhite and Ibadi) perspective. Ibadism is an Islamic denomination that traces its roots to the seventh century, at the time of the Sunni−Shiite schism. It is named after Abdullāh ibn Ibāḍ, one of the founding scholars of the doctrine. Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other communities in North and East Africa. This work discusses topics pertaining to the five pillars of Islam, including the five daily prayers, the fasting at Ramadan, and almsgiving. It includes many edicts that are related to these topics. The manuscript, in a good condition despite some water damage on the margins, was paid for by a bequest of Sheikh ʿUmar ibn Saʿīd al-Bahlawī. It was copied by Saʿīd ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUdai al-ʿAbrī in 1156 AH (1743). In addition to catchwords, the margins include corrections, elaborations, and paraphrasing of the main text. The book is divided into more than 80 bāb (chapters), which are in turn divided into opinions and masāʼil (issues). Interesting additions include a listing of the currencies used in Oman at the time.

Commentary on “Madārij al-Kamāl”

Commentary on “Madārij al-Kamāl”

ʻAbd Allāh ibn Ḥumayyid al-Sālimī (circa 1869–circa 1914) was a leading Omani Ibadite (also seen as Ibadhite and Ibadi) scholar and poet, who was born in the town of Al-Ḥoqain in the Rustāq region of the interior of Oman. Ibadism is an Islamic denomination that traces its roots to the seventh century, at the time of the Sunni−Shiite schism. It is named after Abdullāh ibn Ibāḍ, one of the founding scholars of the doctrine. Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other communities in North and East Africa. Al-Sālimī first studied Islamic jurisprudence under the scholars of his area, before he traveled to the eastern region to broaden his knowledge by becoming a student of the renowned Sheikh Ṣālih ibn ʻAlī al-Ḥārithī (circa 1834−circa 1896). Despite his relatively short life, al-Sālimī wrote numerous books on a range of issues, including Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence, kalām (cosmological argument), comparative religion, Arabic grammar, ʻarūḍ (Arabic poetic meters), and history. This manuscript copy is the first part of a commentary titled Maʻārij al-āmāl (The ascendance of hope), in which al-Sālimī explains some of the concepts in his earlier versified treatise Madārij al-kamāl (The ladders of perfection), which itself is a commentary on Mukhtaṣar al-khiṣāl (The summary of traits) by Ibadite Yemeni scholar Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Sulaymān al-Ḥaḍramī ibn Qays (died 1082). The supercommentary deals with several topics in Islamic jurisprudence from an Ibadite perspective. This volume focuses on the rites of purification and ablution as part of the jurisprudence of salāt (prayers). The commentary is divided into many kalām topics that are in turn subdivided into masāʼil (issues) in the form of questions and answers. The manuscript, in black ink with frequent section rubrication, has no colophon information but is in good condition. No scribe name or date of production is given.

The Most Truthful Method of Distinguishing the Ibadites from the Kharijites and The Gift from Heaven on the Judgment of Shedding Blood

The Most Truthful Method of Distinguishing the Ibadites from the Kharijites and The Gift from Heaven on the Judgment of Shedding Blood

Sālim ibn Ḥammūd ibn Shāmis al-Siyābī (1908−93) was an Omani scholar, poet, historian, and judge. He was born in Ghāla, in the state of Bawshār in eastern Oman. A self-taught scholar, al-Siyābī memorized the Qur’an at age seven and went on to study Arabic language classics, including Ibn Malik’s Alfiyah, a 1,000-line poem about Arabic grammar rules. Al-Siyābī was also a prolific writer, and was the author of as many as 84 works, according to Sultān ibn Mubārak al-Shaybānī, who categorized al-Siyābī’s body of work into prose and treatises, poetry and versified writings, and research and correspondence. This manuscript was copied by Yūsuf ibn Sāʿid al-Zakwānī in 1386 AH (1966). It is in black ink with rubrication only of the headings, and comprises two works by al-Siyābī. The first part is a treatise defending Ibadism against the slander of other Muslim scholars. The second part of the manuscript, entitled wahb al-samā fī aḥkām al-dimā (The gift from heaven on the judgment of shedding blood), is mostly in verse, and deals with the jurisprudence of bodily injuries. It is divided into groups of a few lines, each rendering the judgment regarding injury of a particular body part. In the first work, Aṣdaq almanāhij fī tamyīz al-ibāḍiyya min al-khawārij (The most truthful method of distinguishing the Ibadites from the Kharijites), al-Siyābī laments the prejudices other scholars hold against the Ibadites, arguing in a question-and-answer fashion that the Ibadites are Sunnis, not Kharijites. He states in the introduction that he wrote the treatise after reading “tens by tens of Muslim doctrinal books,” in which “some of the scholars … are outraged … because they espouse the opinion that [the Ibadites] killed ʻAlī after having killed ʻUthmān.” The reference here is to the fourth and third caliphs of Islam, whose reigns (644−61) marked the split of the Muslim community into Sunnis and Shiʻa. The khawārij, or Kharijites, were historically followers of ʻAlī, but they declared him unfit as a caliph because they believed that he compromised his legitimacy by agreeing to arbitration during the conflict that pitted him against ʻUthmān’s supporter Mu'āwiyah. By rebelling against both Muslim camps and later declaring the Muslim majority rule illegitimate, these rebels came to be known as khawārij, or “the rogue ones.” A later schism within the Kharijites over what means to use to bring about legitimate political change resulted in the emergence of the Ibadites.  Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other communities in North and East Africa.

Al-Furqānī’s Qur’anic “Duʻā”

Al-Furqānī’s Qur’anic “Duʻā”

This 13-page manuscript is a Muslim mystic duʻā (prayer) attributed to Sayf ibn ʻAlī ibn ʻĀmir al-Furqānī, an Omani Ibadite (also seen as Ibadhite and Ibadi) scholar who is known for his writings on Islamic esotericism. Ibadism (also seen as Ibadhism) is an Islamic denomination that traces its roots to the seventh century, at the time of the Sunni−Shiite schism. It is named after Abdullāh ibn Ibāḍ, one of the founding scholars of the doctrine. Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other communities in North and East Africa. Al-Furqānī’s additional name attribute, al-Nizwī, suggests he hailed from Nizwā, one of the oldest cities and centers of scholarship in the interior of Oman. It is unclear when he lived, but a note at the end of the prayer states that the manuscript is in his own hand, and another note, albeit in a different ink, adds that it was copied in Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1318 AH (June 1900). It is believed that al-Furqānī used to perform this duʻā after each of the five daily Muslim prayers. The text on the margins of the first two pages gives guidance about the nature of the duʻā and how to perform it. The language is clearly of Sufi nature, with frequent use of terms such as nūr (luminosity), ʻilm (knowledge), luṭf (sublimity), and sirr (mystery). The last page of the manuscript shows another prayer, in the form of a grid consisting of six-by-six squares. Each square is divided into two triangles that are inscribed with the phrase Allāhu ʿalīm (Allah is all-knowing) and the number of times the phrase should be repeated. The use of the root letters ʻa-l-m (to know), together with the numbers, suggests a belief in the so-called ʻilm al-ḥurūf (knowledge of the letters), where the letters, especially those comprising the name of God, are believed to carry divine secrets that may be perceived only by those who worship diligently.

The Clear Guide on the Marriage of the Young

The Clear Guide on the Marriage of the Young

ʻAbd Allāh ibn Ḥumayyid al-Sālimī (circa 1869–circa 1914) was a leading Omani Ibadite (also seen as Ibadhite and Ibadi) scholar and poet, who was born in the town of Al-Ḥoqain in the Rustāq region of the interior of Oman. Ibadism (also seen as Ibadhism) is an Islamic denomination that traces its roots to the seventh century, at the time of the Sunni−Shiite schism. It is named after Abdullāh ibn Ibāḍ, one of the founding scholars of the doctrine. Today’s adherents of Ibadism are found primarily in Oman, in addition to other communities in North and East Africa. Al-Sālimī first studied Islamic jurisprudence under the scholars of his area, before he traveled to the eastern region to broaden his knowledge by becoming a student of the renowned Sheikh Ṣālih ibn ʻAlī al-Ḥārithī (circa 1834−circa 1896). Despite his relatively short life, al-Sālimī wrote numerous books on a range of issues, including Islamic doctrine and jurisprudence, kalām (cosmological argument), comparative religion, Arabic grammar, ʻarūḍ (Arabic poetic meters), and history. His five-chapter Īḍāḥ al-bayān fī nikāḥ al-ṣibyān (The clear guide on the marriage of the young) is a short, well-organized treatise on the jurisprudence of marriage, particularly for those who cannot yet be considered responsible adults. The treatise approaches the subject from an Ibaḍite perspective. Al-Sālimī first divides the various opinions into three categories, namely permission, objection, and conditional permission, before he delves further into them, critically examining each category in detail. The manuscript is in good condition. The text is in black and red ink, with the locations of the different opinions rubricated throughout the text. This copy was produced by Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-Muḥaidharī in 1339 AH (1921).

A Journey through the Atmosphere on an Airship

A Journey through the Atmosphere on an Airship

Al-riḥla al-jawwīya fī al-markaba al-hawā'iya (A journey through the atmosphere on an airship) is an Arabic translation by Yusuf Ilyan Sarkis (1856−1932 or 1933) of Cinq Semaines en Ballon (Five weeks in a balloon), a novel by the French author Jules Verne originally published in 1863. Shown here is a second edition of this work, produced by the Jesuit print shop in Beirut in 1884 (the first edition having been published in 1875). The novel tells the story of an explorer, Dr. Samuel Ferguson, who, accompanied by a servant and a friend, sets out to cross the continent of Africa in a hydrogen-filled balloon. One of the objectives is to find the source of the Nile. In Sarkis's translation, the initial chapters of the work are compressed, and the entire work consists of 42 chapters, as opposed to the original 44 chapters. Born in Damascus, Sarkis was one of the foremost Arab authors and editors of his era. He lived for a time in Istanbul but spent most of his adult life in Cairo. He was active as a publisher, bookseller, and man of letters, and he did some research on antiquities generally, but particularly on numismatics. He is best known for his Muʻjam al-maṭbūʻāt al-ʻArabīya wa al-muʻarraba (Encylopaedic dictionary of Arabic bibliography), published in 1928. He died in Cairo.

Yearbook for 1887

Yearbook for 1887

This volume is a yearbook for 1887, treating political events in Egypt for that year, covering activities in various ministries and governmental offices. The work is divided into 12 sections, with each devoted to a month. In the entry for January, for example, we read of the arrival in the port of Alexandria of the crown prince of Italy, the future King Victor Emmanuel III, and the state functions that were held in his honor. In the section devoted to April, we read the obituary of Muḥammad Sharif Pasha, the fourth prime minister of Egypt. The book was published by Maṭbaʻat al-qāhira al-ḥurra in 1887. The author of the yearbook, Yūsuf Ibn-Hammām Āṣāf (1859−1938), is best known for his history of the Ottomans, Tārīkh salāṭīn Banī ʻUthmān min awwal nashʼatihim ḥattā al-ān (History of the Ottoman sultans: From their origin to the present day). Āṣāf was born in Lebanon. He settled in Egypt and founded a publishing house, al-ʻUmūmīya, in Cairo in 1888.

The Nabhani Offering on the History of the Arabian Peninsula

The Nabhani Offering on the History of the Arabian Peninsula

Al-Tuḥfat al-Nabhānīya fī tārīkh al-jazīra al-ʻArabīya (The Nabhani offering on the history of the Arabian Peninsula) is by Muḥammad ibn Kahlīfa ibn Ḥamd ibn Mūsā al-Nabhānī (1883 or 1884−1950 or 1951). The author was a teacher at the Masjid al-Ḥarām in Mecca (as was his father). The younger al-Nabhani started this work after his visit to Bahrain, and a request that he write a book treating the history of the current rulers of Bahrain, as well of its ancient emirs and their dealings with friend and foe. As the original plan had been to limit the work to the history of Bahrain, al-Nabhānī initially titled his work al-Nubdha al-laṭīfa fī al-ḥukkam min al-khalīfa (The charming fragment regarding the rulers of the house of al-Khalīfa). When the work was expanded to include the totality of the Arabian Peninsula, its name changed as well. Chapter nine of this work is a large section (with independently numbered pages) on Basra (present-day Iraq), in which al-Nabhani served briefly as judge, and in which he was imprisoned by the British during World War I. The present copy is a revised and expanded second edition, published in 1923−24 at the Maṭbaʻat al-maḥmūdīya publishing house in Cairo.

An Introduction to the Study of the Eloquent Speech of the Arabs

An Introduction to the Study of the Eloquent Speech of the Arabs

Muqaddama li dirāsat balāghat al-ʻArab (An introduction to the study of the eloquent speech of the Arabs) is a work on Arabic literature or belles lettres. The author, Aḥmad Ḍayf, was an instructor at the Egyptian University (later renamed the University of Cairo). The book was intended for students at the university and was to serve as a study guide for their understanding of literary eloquence. It includes a brief description of the modern Arabic literary movement. Other topics covered are belles lettres and society, and the different categories of Arabic poetry, such as the poetry of the jāhilīya period, literally “the poetry of ignorance.” This pre-Islamic poetry is a major source for classical Arabic grammar and vocabulary, and the poems that have survived are held by some to be among the finest Arabic poetry of all time. Ḍayf also includes a survey of literary criticism in France from Pierre de Ronsard (1524−85) to Boileau (Nicholas Boileau-Depréaux, 1636−1711), both of whom were poets as well as critics. Dayf also discusses later literary critics, such as Hippolyte Taine (1828−93) and Ferdinand Brunetière (1849−1906). The book was issued by the publishing house of al-Sufūr in Cairo in 1921.

Contentment of the Seeker Regarding the Most Famous Arabic Compositions Printed by Eastern and Western Printing Presses

Contentment of the Seeker Regarding the Most Famous Arabic Compositions Printed by Eastern and Western Printing Presses

Edward Van Dyck was an American diplomat and author who served as consular clerk and vice-consul in Lebanon and Egypt from 1873 to 1882. He was the son of the missionary Cornelius Van Dyck, a medical doctor who was professor of pathology at the Syrian Protestant College (which became the American University of Beirut), but who is well known for his Arabic edition of the Bible. Kitāb iktifā' al-qanūʻ bimā huwa matbuʻ min ashhar al-ta'ālīf al-arabīya fī al-maṭābiʻ al-sharqīya wa al-gharbīya (Contentment of the seeker regarding the most famous Arabic compositions printed by Eastern and Western printing presses) is a bibliographic dictionary of printed works in Arabic, published by Edward Van Dyck in 1896.  The book consists of an introduction and three sections. The first section is on "the interest of Europeans in the Arabic language." The second is on "Arabic literature from its origins to shortly after the fall of Baghdad." The third section covers Arabic literature from "the 13th to the 17th century [CE]." The book includes an index of the literary works discussed in the text and an index of authors. The main body of the book was completed on September 9, 1896; however, the indices were not completed until the following year. Following them is a statement: “The indices were finished and the printing completed in April 1897.” The author’s afterword is dated March 1897, so the publication date of 1896 printed on the cover of the entire work appears to be an error. The book was edited by Muḥammad ʻAlī al-Bablawī, and was published by Maṭbaʻat al-ta'ālīf (al-hilāl), in Cairo.

Lamp of Kings

Lamp of Kings

Sirāj al-mulūk (Lamp of kings) is by Muḥammad ibn al-Walīd al-Ṭurṭūshī, a Maliki imam also known as Ibn Abū Zandaqa. Al-Ṭarṭūshī was born in Tortosa in Catalonia (in what was then al-Andalus, present-day Spain) in 1059 or 1060. He died in Alexandria, Egypt in 1126 or 1127. The topic of the Sirāj al-mulūk, his most famous work, is political theory. The present edition was published in 1888−89 by Maṭbaʻat al-khayrīyah in Cairo. According to Kitāb iktifā' al-qanūʻ bimā huwa matbuʻ min ashhar al-ta'ālīf al-arabīya fī al-maṭābiʻ al-sharqīya wa al-gharbīya (Contentment of the seeker regarding the most famous Arabic compositions printed by Eastern and Western printing presses), a bibliographic dictionary of Arabic literature published by Edward Van Dyck in 1896, an earlier print edition of this work was made in Alexandria in 1872 or 1873. Included in the margins of this work is the text of al-Tibr al-mabsuk fī naṣā'iḥ al-mulūk (The golden ingot of advice for kings), a translation from Persian into Arabic of al-Ghazzālī's Naṣīhat al-mulūk (Advice for kings). Born in Ṭūs, Persia (present-day Iran), in 1058, al-Ghazzālī was one of the foremost intellectual luminaries of the Islamic world. However, the authorship of a fair amount of the Naṣīhat al-mulūk has been called into question on stylistic and other grounds.

A Syrian Voyage in Central and South America

A Syrian Voyage in Central and South America

Father Henri Lammens was born into a Catholic family in Ghent, Belgium, in 1862. At the age of 15 he joined the Jesuits and later settled permanently in Lebanon. He mastered Latin and Greek and taught Arabic in Beirut. His first work was an Arabic dictionary, Farā'id al-lugha (The pearls of language), dating from 1889. He also served as editor for the Jesuit newspaper of Beirut, al-Bashīr (The evangelist). He wrote many works, most notably on the history of Arabia in the pre-Islamic era, as well as on the Umayyad dynasty. His scholarly work is marred by a lack of objectivity and an often violently polemical view regarding Islam. Among his well-known works are Remarques sur les mots français dérivés de l' arabe (Comments on French words derived from the Arabic), the Tasrīh al-abṣār (On archeological sites in Lebanon), and Etudes sur le régne du calipha Omaiyade Moʼawia Ier (Studies on the reign of Umayyid caliph Muʻāwiyah I). Lammens died in Beirut in 1937. Al-Riḥla al-sūrīya fī Amīrka al-mutawwasiṭa wa al-junūbīya (A Syrian voyage in Central and South America) is based on the author's trip to America and his essays about the trip published in al-Bashīr in 1893 and 1894. These pieces were translated into Arabic by Rashid al-Shartouni and published as a book by the Catholic Printing Press of Beirut in 1894. In the book, the author provides information regarding the religious practices, agriculture, industry, trade, and demographics of the places he visited. The countries covered are Cuba (chapters 1−3), Jamaica (chapter 4), Mexico (chapters 5−11), British Honduras (present-day Belize, chapter 12), Guatemala (chapter 13), Honduras (chapter 14), Nicaragua (chapter 15), Costa Rica (chapter 16), and Panama (at the time a department of Colombia, chapters 17−19), Colombia (chapters 20−23), and Ecuador (chapter 23).