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Caroline Mays Brevard

The Grove Museum

Caroline Mays Brevard (1860-1920), granddaughter of Richard Keith Call, original owner of The Grove, gained notoriety as a Florida historian, preservationist, and educator in the early twentieth century. Her textbook, A History of Florida (1904), was used by Florida schools for two decades. Like many other white historians of the south writing in the Jim Crow period, Brevard's textbook negatively portrayed African American freedmen and promoted the "Lost Cause." Popularized by writers like Brevard after the Civil War, the Lost Cause denied the role of slavery in causing the war and created an inaccurate and idealized version of antebellum plantation life based on white supremacy, which would have featured benevolent masters, southern belles, and African Americans who accepted enslavement without resistance. During her career as an educator, Brevard taught at local schools in Tallahassee before joining the faculty at the Florida State College for Women. She supported various historic preservation efforts, including the creation of a state library for Florida and the construction of Confederate monuments. At The Grove Museum, visitors can sift through a replica scrapbook of Brevard's writings and learn about her views on education, preservation, and history in her own words.