Death in the Everglades: The Murder of Guy Bradley, America's First Martyr to Environmentalism:...

Death in the Everglades: The Murder of Guy Bradley, America's First Martyr to Environmentalism

McIver, Stuart B.

Published by Univ. Press of Florida, 2003
ISBN 10: 0813026717 / ISBN 13: 9780813026718
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First printing. Dark green cloth spine and light green boards with matching endpapers. 187 pages. B&W illustrations and map. Chronology. Notes. Bibliography. Index. Book is as new, but rated as near fine due to previous owner's name/date on free endpaper. ~~ At the turn of the century those involved in the growing environmental movement were concerned about the mass killing of egrets and other plume birds for feathers to adorn women's hats. The Audubon Society in particular was instrumental in getting a new bird protection law enacted that provided for the hiring of game wardens. Guy Bradley was one of these wardens, and for three years he battled the plume hunters until he was shot and killed. McIver details Bradley's role in this South Florida frontier drama that comprises an important part of the history of Florida's and America's environmental movement. ~~ SIGNED by the author on the title page. In archival cover. Bookseller Inventory #

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"This is a fascinating account of the Florida plume hunters, the devastation they wrought, and the slow, painful progress--exemplified bravely on the hunting grounds by Guy Bradley--of the bird protection movement that ultimately succeeded."--Oliver H. Orr, Jr., Library of Congress (retired), and author of Saving American Birds: T. Gilbert Pearson and the Founding of the Audubon Movement

"A moving account of a raw frontier and a hero who lost his life trying to enforce the law."--Paul S. George, editor, Tequesta

Death in the Everglades chronicles the demise of one of 20th-century Florida's most enduring folk heroes. The murder of Guy Bradley represents a milestone not only in the saga of the Everglades but also in the broader history of American environmentalism. This fascinating biography of his abbreviated but eventful life is emblematic of the struggle to tame the Florida frontier without destroying it. As Stuart McIver unfolds the story behind this famous but little-known crime, he also provides a window into Florida history during the creation of modern South Florida.

Born in Chicago in 1870, Bradley moved to Florida as a young boy in 1876. Nineteen years later his father became associated with the developer and railroad magnate Henry Flagler, and in 1898 the family moved to the isolated coastal village of Flamingo. Situated on the southeastern fringe of the Everglades, Flamingo was a flash point in an emerging ecological battleground that drew the Bradleys and other pioneer families into a conflict later dubbed "the Plume Wars." At the turn of the century, the mass killing of egrets and other plume birds for feathers to adorn women's hats was a serious concern among the nation's growing cadre of environmentalists, especially among those who belonged to the Audubon Society, a conservation organization founded in 1886.

In 1901, at the urging of Audubon Society leaders and the American Ornithologists' Union, the Florida legislature enacted a bird protection law that provided for the hiring of local game wardens, and a year later Guy Bradley assumed the dual role of Monroe County's game warden and deputy sheriff. For the next three years, from 1902 to 1905, Bradley matched wits and sometimes weapons with an array of plume hunters and other nefarious characters, some of whom were strangers but many of whom were friends or acquaintances of the warden or his family. In the end, Bradley was shot and killed by Walter Smith, a man he had known for nearly a decade. How this murder came about, what happened to Smith and others left behind, and how Bradley's demise and subsequent controversies affected the environmental movement are intriguing questions that frame McIver's richly textured narrative.

With the instincts and skills of a master storyteller, McIver--long one of Florida's most historically minded journalists--has recaptured a tale for the ages, a story of personal sacrifice and collective awakening that altered the course of the state's natural and human history. Bradley should not be forgotten, and this book should not be overlooked by anyone seeking a full understanding of how the Everglades became a treasured but imperiled place.

Stuart B. McIver was a prolific journalist who also wrote numerous books, more than 500 magazine articles, and documentary films, for which he also worked as producer.

Book Description:

”Guy Bradley’s colorful life and violent death have always seemed the stuff of myth. . . . Death in the Everglades is both compelling history and a heart-tugging drama.”—Audubon

”An eye-opening, informative account of the rise and demise of the cruel plume hunting trade and of Guy Bradley’s heroic dedication to protect a beautiful and valuable natural resource: the egrets and flamingoes, roseate spoonbills and herons that still grace the Glades and our shorelines.”—Miami Herald

”Rescues from obscurity a key chapter in the history of American environmentalism. . . . With great finesse, McIver evokes Bradley’s tumultuous world, chronicles the pitched battle to save wild birds, and resurrects a true folk hero.”—Booklist

”Reminds us that Glades once was so wild that armed men quaked with fear.”—St. Petersburg Times

Guy Bradley, born in Chicago in 1870, was killed in 1905 only three years into his tenure as game warden in a south Florida that was still very much a frontier. His murderer, never prosecuted, was a one-eyed former Civil War sharpshooter who made his living supplying exotic plumage for women’s hats. At the time, an ounce of feathers was worth more than an ounce of gold. Bradley’s death sent shock waves across America and helped give impetus to the burgeoning environmental movement.

 

 

 

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Death in the Everglades: The Murder of Guy ...
Publisher: Univ. Press of Florida
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Near Fine
Edition: First Edition

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Book Description University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2003. Half Cloth. Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. First printing of the first edition in near fine condition, in a near fine dust jacket. Half dark green cloth with gilt, and half light green boards with matching endpapers in a dust jacket with a touch of edgewear and surface scuffing. The turn of the century saw mass killings of egrets and other plume birds for feathers to decorate women's hats. Florida enacted a bird protection law in 1901, and hired local game wardens. Among them was Guy Bradley, a local who knew many of the plume hunters first hand, and ended up being killed by one of them. 187 pp. Nature, History, Biography, Florida, Environmentalism, Birds, Plume Hunters. Seller Inventory # 006343

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Book Description University Press of Florida, 2003. Hardcover / Hardback. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First edition. Hardback. The murder of Guy Bradley represented a mile-stone not only in the saga of the Everglades but also in the broader history of American environmentalism. This fascinating biography of his abbreviated but eventful life is emblematic of the struggle to tame the Florida frontier without destroying it. As the author unfolds the story behind this famous but little-known crime, he also provides a window into Florida history during the creation of modern South Florida. At the turn of the century, the mass killing of egrets and other plume birds for feathers to adorn women's hats was a serious concern among the nation's growing cadre of environmentalists, especially among those who belonged to the Audubon Society, the conservation organisation founded in 1886. In 1901, at the urging of Audubon Society leaders and the American Ornithologists' Union, the Florida legislature enacted a bird protection law that provided for the hiring of local game wardens, and a year later Guy Bradley assumed the dual role of Monroe County's game warden and deputy sheriff. For the next 3yrs, from 1902 to 1905, Bradley matched wits and sometimes weapons with an array of plume hunters and other nefarious characters; some were strangers but many were friends or acquaintances. In the end, Bradley was shot and killed by Walter Smith, a man he had known for nearly a decade. How this murder came about, what happened to Smith and others left behind, and how Bradley's demise and subsequent controversies affected the environmental movement are intriguing questions that frame the author's richly textured narrative. Illus., Notes, Bibliog. and Index. 187pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. in F. dw. Seller Inventory # 16745

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