THE DISCOVERY OF A CAVE IN FLORIDA

The following account of the discovery of a remarkable cave in Florida is from a correspondent of the New York Journal of Commerce: 

The structure of the under stratum of rock and earth in Florida is cavernous to a great extent. Indeed, as far as explorations have been made, the ground produces the appearance of a honeycomb, on account of the numerous cavities which are found to exist. Those indentations in the surface of the earth called “sinks” are found here…some of them dry and some filled with water; while rivers disappear under the ground and are seen no more. Florida is not only “the land of flowers,” but, also, the land of wonders. 

A few days ago, Mr. Henry Wooten and myself started on a hunting expedition, with the intention of camping out a few days. On Saturday, the 29th of September, we pursued a deer into a hammock and attempting to ride through it, Mr. Wooten’s horse stumbled into a small sink. While Mr. Wooten was endeavoring to extricate his horse, I dismounted and was engaged in examining a curious pile of stones which had attracted my attention. On one of them I found an inscription as if graven with some steel instrument, but nearly obliterated by the ravages of time. Mr. Wooten, by this time, had led his horse out of the sink and on rejoining me, said  he had discovered a cave. After vainly endeavoring to decipher the strange inscriptions which I had found, we each collected an armful of pinewood to serve for torches. On arriving at the entrance, we saw by the light of our torches, that the bottom of the cavern was several feet below us. Handing my torch to my friend, I prepared to descend, which I accomplished with ease, the rocks serving as steps. Wooten, then handed me down an armful of light wood and torch and prepared to descend further. We now found ourselves in a subterranean passage, ten feet high and fifteen feet wide. We pursued this passage for nearly half a mile, it growing larger at every step and appearing to descend into the earth by an easy inclination, when we unexpectedly found ourselves in a cave of immense extent. We entered small caverns which led off from the main cave. We finally entered a sort of square doorway and found ourselves in a cavern of most beautiful appearance, the reflection of our lights against the sides, producing a magnificent effect. For the first time in my life I felt the full force of that beautiful description, which Goldsmith has given of the grotto of Antiporas. 

The most wonderful thing which met our view in this cave was a Latin inscription, graven in the solid rock. The inscription stated that a party of Danes had visited this cave in the year 1030 and that a priest who had accompanied them had left this memorial of their visit. The name of the priest was Marcus Poleus. It also stated that those bold navigators, had embarked on a voyage of exploration and had been driven far south, also that they had visited many large islands and finally had landed in a thickly populated country, where the people had received them kindly, thinking them superior beings; that several of their number, together with some Greek artisans and two priests had been left there as a colony. This is the substance of the inscription as far as it could be deciphered.

Now, does not this suggest an important inquiry to the antiquarian? Is it not probable that the islands mentioned were the West Indies and may not the country where they landed be Mexico? We well know that the ancient Mexicans had a tradition that about four hundred years before the landing of Cortez in that country, “Children of the Sun,” with white faces, came to them and taught them the arts of civilization. Is it not probable that this colony of Danes and Greeks, with their two Latin priests, were the persons referred to by tradition? Perhaps many buried secrets concerning the early history of America may be revealed by that strange device. This wonderful cave is easy of access and is situated a few miles from the Florida Railroad and ten miles from Waldo.  


Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers

Source: Florida Peninsular: 11-10-1860

Note Linda Flowers...After finding this old newspaper article I researched its validity. I found that the Danes spoken of are "Vikings" and there has been evidence found that they possibly discovered America five hundred years before Columbus was so honored.  The evidence for this theory has been found in our northern states and Canada. I leave you, the reader, for your own conclusion, as there was no mention in the article of who the gentleman was with Mr. Wooten, who was the one to actually report these findings. 


Transcribed, Formatted and Submitted by Linda Flowers

This Page Created March 28, 2012
Copyrighted 2012- Linda Flowers
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