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James D.


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Author | Historian | Speaker

Just off the Press...

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The revised, updated paperback edition of the dramatic story of how Southeast Florida began as a frontier land where bears, bugs and alligators ruled over small bands of settlers.

You’ll read about:

  • The surveyors who survived in malarial swamps as they mapped the coastline and scouted a site for a young nation’s most remote lighthouse.

  • The construction crew that battled wintry seas to bring barges of bricks, mortar and lenses to Jupiter Inlet - all while fending off threats from the Seminole Indian Wars.

  • The perilous Civil war years when the darkened lighthouse was used as a supply depot by Confederates who smuggled cargoes of cotton past lurking Union gunboats and into The Bahamas.

  • Jupiter, the little settlement that became a national communications hub with a telegraph, weather station, steamboat wharf and railroad terminal.

  • The updated paperback edition (288 pages, $22.95) offers new discoveries and insights. You’ll learn, for example, what became of Edward A. York, the “mystery man” who built Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in record time, then seemed to disappear from public view.


A Light in the Wilderness is available to online buyers in print and digital editions through, and other major Internet providers. It can be acquired by bookstores from Florida Classics Library (Hobe Sound, FL) and IngramSpark (La Vergne, TN).

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