Jonathan Dickinson’s Journal is the written account of his experiences from the time he left Port Royal Jamaica on September 23, 1696 until he arrived in Philadelphia Pennsylvania during February, 1697. The Quakers published the first edition in August, 1699. Today, only a handful of original copies exist. At least twenty-two editions’ in English, Dutch, and German have been printed, under various titles. In the eighteenth century, the Journal became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.
It is unknown how Jonathan kept track of the events that occurred each day. He writes that he had no items with him including paper and pen. Possibly Jonathan Dickinson took with him to Philadelphia the personal statements each the survivor gave to the Spanish while recovering in San Augustine. Joseph Kirle, Master of the barkentine Reformation, read the original edition and confirmed its accuracy. The journals most important distinction is that it is the only witnessed, written description of the early American Indians who lived along the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
Jonathan Dickinson’s Journal inspired the development of Deliverance. However, in no way do I try to create a nonfiction account of Mr. Dickinson’s experiences. I am not writing a play-by-play record of the original journal. My historical fiction story focuses on Jonathan’s character as he developed as both a man and leader. I believe that the pain and suffering he endured at the hands a hostile, childish and thoughtless group of people made him search deep within him for the tools needed to keep the castaways alive.
In the eighteenth century, Jonathan Dickinson was elected mayor of the city of Philadelphia twice. Until his death, in 1722, he was one of the most successful merchants and respected citizens in the city.