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Bible. Latin. France. Fifteenth century.

Illuminated manuscript. One leaf.

"I[ncipit] Secu[n]diun Matheum..."

University of West Florida. Special Collections and West Florida Archives, John C. Pace Library. Pensacola, Florida.

The University of West Florida, part of the Florida state system of universities, was founded in 1966 and opened in 1967. The campus is located ten miles north of downtown Pensacola along the Escambia River. A nature preserve forms part of the campus. The John C. Pace Library was named for the first chairman of the Florida Board of Regents, a prominent West Florida lumber entrepreneur. The library houses more than 550,000 volumes. The Special Collections Department contains almost 630,000 items including documents, family records, and maps from Spanish exploration to the present, related to Pensacola and the historic west Florida and Gulf Coast region.

George Washington Sully. George Washington Sully was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1816 and moved with his family to Florida in the 1820s. He was a cotton broker by trade and an artist by avocation. His surviving work consists primarily of sketches made as a young man living in a variety of towns on the west coast of Florida. From his surviving work, we know Sully visited Bermuda in 1829, and from then until 1833, he lived in the Panhandle region of northwest Florida. By 1838 Sully was married and living in New Orleans, Louisiana. He subsequently moved to Mississippi, with his second wife, and by 1862 Sully had moved to Covington, Louisiana where he and his wife died in 1890.

The portraits of Lower Creek Indians represent a sample of the local people and places and landscapes painted by Sully. The first agreements to remove these Indians from West Florida were signed in 1832, although bands of Indians remained in the Pensacola area through 1836, and scattered groups continued to live there through the nineteenth century. It is not known whether Sully took lessons in art from his more famous uncle, Thomas Sully, or if he had any formal education at all.

Hix Chijo. Watercolor painting, 1834.

Portrait of a Lower Creek Indian, with red bandana and blue cape. In manuscript in pencil in upper right: Painted these rascals in Pensacola, Florida, August 1834. GWS. On reverse side, in manuscript in pen and ink: Hix Chijo.

[Unidentified Indian.] Watercolor painting. 1834.

Portrait of a Lower Creek Indian, with a multicolored bandanna and white-fringed orange-yellow shoulder garment, ca. 1834. On reverse side, in manuscript in pen and ink: W. Sully.

Bible. Latin. France. Fifteenth century. Illuminated manuscript. One leaf. "I[ncipit] Secu[n]diun Matheum..."

This illuminated manuscript leaf from a French Bible, circa 1410-1460, was presented to the University Library by the University of West Florida Faculty in 1969. The text is the opening to the Gospel of Saint Matthew from the New Testament. Saint Matthew is depicted in the large miniature, seated at a book stand. His symbol, an angel presenting a book, is shown in the upper left of the miniature. The use of gold leaf to decorate the page makes this an illuminated manuscript. The illuminated letter "I," done in a classical manner, looks like an Ionic column with curled volutes in its capital. The highly complex and decorative borders, full of twining flowers and fruit, are typical of French manuscripts of this period. Realistic images of a peacock and a nautilus shell appear in the margins. The manuscript leaf hangs in a place of honor in Special Collections, for the nautilus shell is the modern symbol of the University of West Florida.