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This week in history: Jonathan Dickinson shipwrecked

On Sept. 23, 1696, during a trip from Jamaica to Philadelphia, the barkentine (three-masted ship) Reformation foundered off Jupiter Island. Quaker merchant Jonathan Dickinson, along with his wife, infant son, two associates and 10 slaves, made a grueling and perilous two-month trek to St. Augustine. Dickinson’s journal is the first detailed account of the region, describing Florida’s now vanished early Indian tribes.

The area of southern Martin County now known as Jonathan Dickinson State Park was a World War II training camp before it was turned over to the state to become a park named for the man whose journal is the only comprehensive first-hand description of those lost people.

Historical marker at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.

Reprint of the frontspiece of Dickinson’s journal

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Posted in Flashback blog September 20, 2010 at 6:00 am.

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