3. Property Ownership under the United States
• 1821 US acquires Florida from Spain – largely
uninhabited except for Seminoles, escaped negro
slaves, some Spanish, British
• 1821 – Spanish Land Grants – ownership claims from
those who had settled in lands prior to US acquisition
• By 1840s – about 54,000 people in all of Florida … still
sparse population in southwest Florida
• 1860s – Florida Homesteaders come (1862 Act - 160
acres at $1.25/acre)– especially after Civil War – First
recorded U.S. settlers in Southwest Florida
5. So how to get people to come?
• For Investment
• For Better Opportunity in Life
• For Weather – Health
• For Recreation – Relaxation
7. Early Promoter – Charlotte
Wrote with F.C.M. Boggess:
“South Florida, the Italy of
8. “Beginning with January, the weather gradually gets warmer… never gets hot
in the summer… heat tempered by cooling breezes of Gulf of Mexico….”
“Tropical fruits will grow on Charlotte Harbor… fine pineapples raised here”
“Perpetration of crimes of a serious nature very rare”
“The settler revels in a wealth of “good things”
‘We never have the cyclones and tornadoes common in other setions and
discomfort from snow and ice is unknown, our section is free from all
contagious diseases, such as yellow fever and smallpox…”
Barthoff on Charlotte Harbor Area:
The first train rolled into Trabue in July 1886 with 200 laborers on board to begin work on the big Punta Gorda Hotel.
In August, 1886 the railway began regular service to Trabue with steamer service to Fort Myers.
This event was reported in newspapers of many cities including London, Boston and New York.