Gator! Danger Here!

​In 1875, The Atlanta Constitution published the dramatic headline: “We now announce to our readers, and the people of Georgia, that we are fitting up an expedition for a complete and thorough exploration of Okefinokee. The full details of the plan and expedition will be published soon – if they come out alive.” Over the next months, the paper released many exciting stories from the Okefenokee Swamp. Here is an excerpt from May 25, 1875:

Large Alligator with mouth open showing teeth; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 13, 2019. © Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at

“​In all directions we began to hear the unearthly bellowings of these hideous creatures. To the man who has never heard fifty of them make the swamp air reverberate at half minute intervals like the smothered mutterings of a distant thunder it was anything but pleasant, particularly if he was leg deep in the water and just in the midst of them. We pressed on, however, and after passing four or five of these pools, finally came into an ugly place, more hideous looking than any of the preceding ones, and while about the water the alarm of “gators!” was again sounded, an odorous musk – rather offensive than otherwise – rose from the water, and – “Gator! danger here!” shouted Uncle Ben, “He’s mad, and will catch you in a minute!” The stampede would have been an amusing scene to an on-looker who was out of danger. In the rush and splatter of water it seemed that every effort to make time was hindered by our feet sinking deeper into the mud. Tom Branch, in his eager flight, lost his equilibrium, and down he went head and ears into the mud and water.”

 –  Savannah Morning News. Savannah, Georgia. May 25, 1875

iNaturalist observation:


  1. Hi William! If found the article very interesting – especially since it appeared they conducted the expedition on foot!
    I could imagine what it would have been like to run into a pool full of gators! Oh Mercy…
    God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read through all the articles and journals of the 1875 expedition. Those were real men! More excerpts will post over the next few months. Thanks for reading and commenting! William


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