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Daniel H. Wiggins was born March 14, 1795 in Greenport, Long Island. He came to Florida in 1838, from Annapolis, Maryland, leaving behind his wife and children. He travelled in the company of his friend, Thomas Randall, a former Marylander who moved to Florida in 1827. Upon arriving in Florida, Wiggins stayed with the Randalls at their plantation "Belmont" located in Jefferson County. Wiggins, a millwright, plied his trade in Jefferson and Leon County. Like many other Americans, Wiggins and Judge Randall embarked on a journey to California during the famous 1849 gold rush. However, Wiggins died on board a coastwise steamer and was laid to rest near Umpqua City, Oregon.
The diaries chronicle the life of Daniel H. Wiggins from 1816-1834, while living and working in Baltimore and Annapolis; and from 1838-1841, when he journeyed to Florida to establish himself in trade. Wiggins' early diaries contain general notes on the weather and his health, his travels, and events of the day. A religious man, Wiggins attended church regularly, and wrote about his observations while attending various camp meetings. The early diaries from 1816 to 1820 are almost complete, but diaries between 1820-1834 are incomplete.
The diaries from 1838-1841 commence with Wiggins' trip to Florida by steamer. Once in Florida, Wiggins is prolific in detail about his life in and around Leon, Jefferson, and Gadsden counties. He relates information about Indian disturbances in and around Jefferson and Leon counties during the 2nd Seminole War. He describes his travels, the people he encounters, and his observations about the growing territory. His interest in machinery is apparent as he provides details and sketches of various agricultural equipment.
The collection also contains an 1862 letterbook of Mary L. Wiggins (relationship unknown) while attending the Female College Institute in Annapolis, Maryland.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Donor is a direct descendent of Daniel H. Wiggins.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Randall, Thomas, Judge, b. 1792
Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842. Seminole Indians Wars Women History 19th century Florida
Jefferson County (Fla.) Leon County (Fla.) Gadsden County (Fla.) Baltimore (Md.) Annapolis (Md.) Florida Description and travel
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