Martin Tabert whose brutal death by flogging led to Governor Hardee banning flogging for all prisoners in 1922 For the story  CLICK THIS LINK

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building, Tallahassee, 
Florida, USA, headquarters of Florida Department 
of Environmental Protection

Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the Martin Tabert Story

Douglas outside her Coconut Grove cottage in the early 1920

Marjory Stoneman in her senior year at Wellesley College

Marjory Stoneman Douglas :

"Once in a while. My column would make a difference to somebody. A story came out in the paper, a North 
Dakota boy came walking into Florida and was arrested and put in a labor camp as a vagrant. They did that 
in those days. They made the vagrants work very hard and they beat them when they didn't. This boy was 
named Martin Tabert. He was beaten to death in a labor camp. The news of his death shocked me so much.
I really wrote a simple ballad titled "Martin Tabert of North Dakota is Walking Florida Now. It went as follows:"


"Martin Tabert of North Dakota is Walking Florida Now"

Martin Tabert of North Dakota is walking Florida now.
Oh children, hark to his footsteps coming, for he's walking soft and slow.
Through the piney woods and the cyprus hollows,
A wind creeps up and it's him it follows.
Martin Tabert of North Dakota is walking Florida now.
They took him out to the convict camp, and he's walking Florida now.
Oh children, the tall pines stood and heard him when he was moaning low.
The other convicts, they stood around him,
When the length of the black strap cracked and found him,
Martin Tabert of North Dakota,  And he's walking Florida now.
They nailed his coffin boards together and he's walking Florida now.
O children, the dark night saw where they buried him, buried him so low.
And the tall pines heard where they went to hide him.
And the wind crept up to moan beside him.
Martin Tabert of North Dakota,  And he's walking Florida now.
The whip is still in the convict camps, for Florida's stirring now.
Children, from Key West to Pensacola you can hear the great wind go.
The wind that he rousted when he lay dying,
The angry voice of Florida crying,
"Martin Tabert of North Dakota,
Martin Tabert of North Dakota,
Martin Tabert of North Dakota,
You can rest your walking now."

"When this poem was published it received enormous attention. It was read in Tallahassee, it was read in the 
Legislature and as a result they abolished beatings in the labor camps forever.What they substituted was a 
kind of sweat box which may have not been much more humane, but at least they abolished the beatings. I 
think it is the single most important thing I was ever able to accomplish as a result of something I've written."


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Born April 7, 1890(1890-04-07)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Died May 14, 1998(1998-05-14) (aged 108)
Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida
Occupation Writer




Known for Everglades conservation advocacy

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998) was an American journalist, writer, feminist, and 
environmentalist known for her staunch defense of the Everglades against efforts to drain it and reclaim land 
for development. Moving to Miami as a young woman to work for The Miami Herald, Douglas became a 
freelance writer, producing over a hundred short stories that were published in popular magazines. Her most 
influential work was the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), which redefined the popular conception 
of the Everglades as a treasured river instead of a worthless swamp; its impact has been compared to that of 
Rachel Carson's influential book Silent Spring (1962). Her books, stories, and journalism career brought her 
influence in Miami, which she used to advance her causes.

Even as a young woman Douglas was outspoken and politically conscious of many issues that included 
women's suffrage and civil rights. She was called upon to take a central role in the protection of the 
Everglades when she was 79 years old. For the remaining 29 years of her life she was "a relentless reporter 
and fearless crusader" for the natural preservation and restoration of the nature of South Florida.[1] Her 
tireless efforts earned her several variations of the nickname "Grande Dame of the Everglades"[2] as well as 
the hostility of agricultural and business interests looking to benefit from land development in Florida. 
Numerous awards were given to her, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she was inducted into 
several halls of fame.

Douglas lived until age 108, working until nearly the end of her life for Everglades restoration. Upon her 
death, an obituary in The Independent in London stated, "In the history of the American environmental 
movement, there have been few more remarkable figures than Marjory Stoneman Douglas.