Lostmans Heritage: Pioneers in the Florida Everglades

2021 FAPA President’s Book Award: Silver: Adult Nonfiction General

The men and women who settled in the Florida Everglades before the Civil War thrived in an environment that was dangerous and wild and ever changing. While others came and went, the pioneers faced every challenge nature and man threw at them and carried on. They may have migrated from island to island now and again, but the Everglades were their home. And they did what they had to do to survive. Lostmans Heritage follows the author’s journey as she searches for her ancestors from the slave country of Savannah to the wilds of the Florida Everglades. Her story begins with her ancestor, Richard Hamilton, an extraordinary and dangerous man, a man who, against all odds, untangled himself from the bonds of slavery and began a family and a life in the Ten Thousand Islands. Hamilton follows Richard and other island residents to the ending of an era when the National Park Service evicted them all. Along the way she uncovers secrets and stories, polygamy, bootlegging, fist fights, murders, gangsters, killers, and tales of tomahawks and missing school teachers.

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