Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Great Jackson County Land Boom

During its earliest days, Jackson County was a land speculator's dream. When Florida because a U.S. territory in 1821, the county was pretty much wide open land.

From a population of only a few dozen in 1821, the county grew to become the home of several thousand people in just the next ten years. All of this rapid growth, of course, meant good business for those promoting the settling of the region.

This item appeared in the South Carolina State Gazette and Columbia Advertiser in August of 1828. I find it fascinating because it combines the great promise of the area with a bit of bad news about a local drought:

A letter from Chipola, Florida, dated 18th July, says, “Lands have risen at least 300 per cent in price, and are daily advancing – the trade of emigration is flowing in most rapidly, and the country still proves uninterruptedly healthy; the Physicians, to avoid starvation, are moving away. Our crops, two or three weeks ago, were as fine as I ever saw; the most gratifying prospects were presented to the planters; since then, however, we have had a drought which still prevails and produces much alarm; it is a critical time, for the corn is now in milk. The cane crops are not yet injured; they are said by persons acquainted with its growth to be as fine as were ever seen, indeed nothing can surpass the luxuriance of their appearance.

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