Historical Books

history Turn the pages of the past.

Get the Local Weather Report
Previous Page Previous Page Next Page Next Page

Powell, after whom the stepson was sometimes called. Osceola or Oceola, signifying the Rising Sun - This gifted individual is about 30 years of age, 5 feet 10 inches high, rather slender than stoutóbut elegantly formedóof remarkable litheness of limbs yet capable of iron resistness, something of the Apollo and Hercules blended, or rather the easy grace, the stealthy step and active spring of the tiger. His grandfather was a Scotchman, his grand- mother and mother were full Indians. His father was, of course, a half breed and Osceola is therefore a quarter-blood, or one fourth white, which his complexion and eyes indicate, being lighter than those of the Indians generally. There is great vivacity in the play of his features, and when excited, his face is lit up as by a thousand fires of passion, animation and energy. His nose is Grecian at its base and would be perfectly Phidean but that it becomes slightly arched. There are indomitable firmness and withering scorn in the expression of his mouth - tho the lips are tremulous from the intense emotions which seem ever boiling up in him. About his brow care and thought have traced their channels, anticipating, on a youthful face the havoc and furrow work of time. - He has enjoyed the reputation of being the best ball player and hunter and the most expert at running, wrestling and all active exercises. At such times his figure whence all superfluous flesh is worn down, exhibits the most beautiful development of muscle and power. He is said to be inexhaustable from ball play and exercise so violent that the struggle for mastery has been known to cause the death of one of the combatants. He is of elevated and upright character and was of kindly disposition till put in irons, which converted to gall the milk of human kindness in his bosom, roused his fiery indignation, unquenchable but by blood, and excited him to deep seated ample revenge".


In the northwest corner of the court is the room used as the council chamber. Leading from this is a dungeon, which was used as the powder magazine. At one side near the top of the magazine is a large niche with a small opening looking into the council room, but not visible from that side. It is supposed that this was so arranged in order that the Commandant could listen to the proceedings of the council without their knowledge.


At the north side of the court, directly opposite the sallyport, is the chapel. The entrance to this room was very ornamental. This work which had become nearly obliterated by the action of the elements, has recently been reconstructed by the war department. Great care being taken in following the original plans which were obtained from the Spanish Government. Entering we see on each side the niches for holy water; just beyond, on the right, pieces of cedar imbedded in the masonry mark the place where the confessional was fastened to the wall. At the rear is a raised stone platform for the altar, and above the altar a large niche where stood the patron saint, St. Augustine. Looking up we see near the spring of the arch the ends of the old timbers which supported the platform for the choir. Directly overhead, near the middle of the room, is a square hole from which hung an immense wooden cross called the rood. On either side of the chapel are doorways through the iron bars of which prisoners could hear mass before being executed. The bars were necessary as at that time if a prisoner gained access to the chapel and knelt at the altar he could claim the right of sanctuary.


At the northeast corner of the court is a room called the "pennancarrah". At the north side of this room we enter a dungeon, 30 feet long on the west side, 16 feet on the east, 17 feet on the south and 20 feet on the north. This, we are told, was a prison. Through an opening at the north side of this room we enter a room 5 feet wide at the east end, 7 feet at the west, 20 feet long and 15 feet high. This room was used as a torture chamber. From this room we find a small opening 36 inches wide by 30 inches high. This opening had been carefully walled up in such a manner as to almost baffle discovery, but was found by Lieutenant Tuttle and Colonel Dancy in 1833. Passing through this opening we enter a dungeon 20 feet long, 13 feet wide and about 7 feet high. In this dismal place where not the faintest ray of daylight ever penetrates, and far from the sounds of the outside world, were found crumbled human bones. The finding of these bones was reported to the War Department by Lieutenant Tuttle on July 21, 1833. A copy of this report can now be seen in the rooms of the Historical Society at the Fort.

Previous Page Previous Page

[Return to Top of Page.]

Next Page Next Page

Vacation || History || Community || St. Augustine Map || Contact Us     RSS RSS  || StumbleUpon Toolbar  || Delicious social bookmarking service.  || Find Us on Facebook  || Watch Our YouTube Channel

Weather | Vacation Guide | Request Information | Calendar of Events

Copyright © 1998 - 2021 by VisitStAugustine.com || Privacy Policy || Site Map · Please send feedback to the Webmaster.

Website by St. Augustine Web Design