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Euchee Region: Scottish History

A History of Florida


Neil McLendon. Some adventurous Americans had made homes for themselves in Florida without waiting for the exchange of flags. Among these was Neil M. McLendon, a hardy pioneer, who, in the spring of 1820, made his way into what is now Walton County. He was the first white man who had entered that region for the purpose of making a home. His parents had come from Scotland to Wilmington, North Carolina, but McLendon liked the pioneer's life, and, when North Carolina became more thickly settled, said he must go to a new country for "elbow room."

There was "elbow room" in Florida, so, with his wife and children, he set out on his journey along the Indian trail leading from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish settlements on the Gulf coast. They were often hungry, and suffered many hardships on their way through the forest.

The Euchee Valley. He remained several months in what is now Santa Rosa County, then, leaving his family there, continued his journey on foot into the Euchee Valley. On the way he found a tribe of Euchee Indians, and met their chief. McLendon and the chief trusted and liked each other from the very beginning. In proof of this feeling the chief presented McLendon with his tomahawk, and invited him to live with him and to take for his own as much land as he chose to "blaze" around.

Who was the first white settler of the Euchee "region?" When and where did he first settle? To what place did he move?

With its fine climate, good water, and fertile soil, this country seemed just what McLendon had been looking for; so he willingly accepted the offer and set off, to return soon with his wife and children. Before long he was joined by his brothers with their families, and so began the white settlement of Walton County.

To his friends in North Carolina McLendon wrote: "Come, I have found a land teeming with production, abounding in game and good grazing . . . The woods are full of all sorts of grasses and berries . . . There is no better stock country to be found. Water pure and plenty and nothing to create sickness."

How was he received by the Indians? What were the attractions which this region offered? Who were induced to follow him?

Excerpt from Part Two, Chapter Four, "The Scotch Pioneers of the Euchee Region" A History of Florida, 1904. Next Section; Table of Contents.


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