Andrew K. Frank's monograph is a remarkable study of the five eras of human occupation of the Miami River's north bank before the 1896 inception of the city of Miami. The book's main goal, as the author himself states, is to provide the city “with a sense of its history that has largely been denied,” an objective that is clearly met in the ensuing pages (p. 5). For this purpose, Frank takes his readers on a journey that begins with the ancestors of the Tequesta Indians who inhabited the region some 4,000 years ago and ends, interestingly, where most other histories of Miami and South Florida begin, with the arrival of Julia Tuttle in 1891 and the construction of the Royal Palm Hotel by Henry Flagler in 1897.

The book is divided into six chapters framed by an introduction (“Miami's Lost History”)...

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