"A Winter Climate for Invalids"

Date: 1883

Series: 614.42 L666 - "A Winter Climate for Invalids;:

The Gulf Coast of Florida.

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Early Florida Medicine


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An atmosphere of varying electric conditions, with the
Consequent production of ozone, purifying the air and keep-
ing it free from septic germs, is favorable.
A dry soil of sand or gravel, which quickly absorbs and
Filters away the rainfall from its surface, and does not keep
The air moist by evaporation, is an essential of a winter
health resort for pulmonary affections.
The salubrious atmosphere from extensive pine forests,
with their ozone and antiseptic influences, should incline
invalids to the choice of such proximity.
Facility for sea-bathing, at a tolerable temperature
throughout the winter, gives occupation and pleasure, and is
an important adjuvant in the treatment of some morbid
As in incipient and developing pulmonary tuberculosis
and in many other diseases prevalent among the dwellers in
cities, it is essential that there shall be a change of
habits from a sedentary to an out-door life, the region for a
health resort should be one in which there are abundant
opportunities for amusement or for agreeable and profitable
work in the open air. In a region of country where open-
air amusements can be varied by riding, hunting and sail-
ing, and where the scenery is an attractive blending of
vistas of forests and stretches of water, the conditions most
favorable to an out-door life will be most happily presented.
The poorly-nourished victim of tuberculosis should not
be banished to a land where his diet may be impoverished
by the lack of fresh meats and vegetables. If he is where
he can add to his fare by the products of his recreations of
hunting and fishing, then will good digestion be most likely
to wait on appetite.
Agreeable society is an essential of happiness and a pre-
ventive of depression of spirits in the class of invalids who
are obliged to seek winter quarters away from home. Their
associations should not be in a crowded caravansary, where
the halls echo with sad sound of coughing, and the cor-
ridors seem sepulchral with the hoarse voices of sufferers.
Far better is it to find companionship with the woodsman

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or the fisherman, and be entertained by their woodcraft or
simple lore of boats, bays and streams.
The ideal winter climate for invalids, embracing per-
fectly all the essentials and suited to the fancy and caprice
of sufferers, may not be found, but it can be approximated
in its most important requisites.
It is evident that in Europe and in this country mild or
warm climates have of recent years grown most in favor as
winter health resorts. In our own land Florida has become
the great winter sanitarium for consumptive invalids, for
the nervous and debilitated, and for valetudinarians of all
degrees, with the prospect of increasing in repute as the
merits of some of its most advantageous localities become
more generally known. My personal observations of
Florida have extended over the regions usually visited by
invalids and tourists, and over a domain of wilderness
beyond the ready access of travelers. The greater part of
the territory of the entire State still remains inaccessible to
invalids, and the tide of travel is mostly confined to the
great water-course of the St. John's River and its vicinity;
but the increased developments of railroads and of the coast
and interior navigation are about to speedily spread travel
over a most attractive sanitary region. That there are
portions of Florida much more suited for winter homes than
those generally resorted to it is the object of this article to
Florida is a land of many waters. It has a coast line
of about twelve hundred miles. Its rivers, lakes, everglades
and lagoons are numberless. It is estimated that from a
fourth to a third of the entire State, varying with the season
of the year, is covered by water. To its extensive and
peculiar water containing and surroundings is due to its unique
and wonderfully mild and equable climate. Florida is our
nether land, which, as Sidney Lanier wrote, by "its penin-
sular curve whimsically terminates our country in an inter-
rogation point." It geographically and climatically resembles
Italy, but its air is more bland and healthful, and its soil
Has even a greater range of productiveness.


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