Okefenokee’s Exceedingly Rich Hammock Land

Excerpt from the 1875 Okefenokee Exploration by The Atlanta Constitution:

Landscape panorama of Chesser Prairie. Blue sky and clouds over Neverwet Golden Club plants, lily pads and a cypress hammock. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia, USA. October 24, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

BILLY’S ISLAND, OKEFENOKEE SWAMP, November 27, 1875 – “Lee and myself are camped tonight on this beautiful island. The growth of live oak and magnolia is really enchanting and I have never seen it surpassed. The hammock land is exceedingly rich. Deer occupy it in great numbers. Hunting them with fire light, their bright eyes shine around you in less than a quarter of a mile from your bivouac. The bear roams through it in the summer and hugs the swamp in the winter. The weather continues good. The light rains we have had lately were not at all troublesome.”


​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.

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