Welcome to the Coonskin Library.
Welcome to the Florida Frontiersmen’s Coonskin Library named for one of the first libraries in an early old Northwest Territory (now Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) settlement.
At a public meeting in 1803 the subject of a library was discussed, but the scarcity of money was a stumbling block. There was next to none in the county. The little transactions between the settlers were almost wholly by barter. Very little more was raised than each family could produce, and there was no market for any surplus. “So scarce was money,” said Judge A.G. Brown, “that I can hardly remember ever seeing a piece of coin till I was a well-grown boy. It was with great difficulty we obtained enough to pay our taxes with and buy tea for mother.” However, by scrimping and ingenious devices a little money was saved for this object. As cash could be obtained by selling skins and furs at the East, some of the settlers who were good hunters made forays upon the wild animals. Esquire Samuel Brown, going on a business trip to Boston, took their skins with him —bears, wolves, and coons— and sold them to agents of John Jacob Astor. The Rev. Dr. Cutler, who accompanied him, selected from a part of the avails a valuable collection of books. In the original record it is called the “Western Library Association,” founded at Ames, February 2, 1804. In common parlance it went under the name of “Coon-Skin Library.” (Howe) 288, 289
Much like those early Northwest Territory settlers “by scrimping and ingenious devices” the Florida Frontiersmen created a library to further the education for all those with an interest and want to learn about the skills, trades, and history of pre1840 America.
Continue to check back as new books and other resources are being added all the time.
The library book catalog is sorted by subject matter. Click on the button to view.
Click on the book status button to see if a book has been borrowed. You can also sort the list by title, author, borrowed, etc.
Digital Book Library
We have a large books, articles, and papers digital collection that you can view or download. Click on the Digital Books & Articles button.
How to Borrow a Book
Click on button to find out how to borrow a book
Magazines Available in the library to Borrow
- Muzzle Blasts
- On the Trail
- Early American Life
- The Tomahawk & Long Rifle
- Blackpowder Annual
- The Back Woodsman
- and more
Click on the Library Contact to find out more about the library, or to request a book to borrow.