The ship "Reformation" wrecked off of the east coast of Florida

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23 Sep 1696

The ship Reformation wrecked off of the east coast of Florida near resent day Hobe Sound on this date. Onboard was a Quaker merchant traveling from Port Royal Jamaica to Philadelphia with his family named Jonathan Dickinson. The shipwrecked survivors were harassed and at times held captive by some of the Native American tribes including the Ais and the Jaega. Dickinson and the surviving members of their party traveled north along the undeveloped east coast of Florida finally reaching Spanish St. Augustine on November 15th. The Spanish then helped the party travel north to Charleston South Carolina and from there to Philadelphia. Dickinson wrote a journal of his ordeal as a castaway and captive which was first published in 1699 as God’s Protecting Providence. It is one of the earliest detailed accounts of Native American life in this part of Florida during the late 17th century and continues to be a resource for both historians and anthropologists. The book is still in print today and is often referred to simply as Dickinson’s Journal. The State of Florida dedicated a park near the shipwreck site in Martin County after Dickinson which opened in 1950.   


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