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In Their Own Words

February 19, 1739

Spanish Moss Described

In his journal, Francis Moore described something new (to him) - what we know today as Spanish moss - along with Indians’ use of it:

“…I observed here a kind of long Moss I had never seen before; it grows in great Quantities upon the large Trees, and hangs down 3 or 4 Yards from the Boughs; it gives a noble, ancient and hoary Look to the Woods; it is of a whitish green Colour, but when dried, is black and like Horse-hair. This the Indians use for wadding their Guns, and making their Couches soft under the Skins of Beasts, which serve them for Beds. They use it also for Tinder, striking Fire by flashing the Pans of their Guns into a handful of it, and for all other Uses where old Linnen would be necessary.”

Source: Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 108.