Before the outbreak of the Seminole Indian War in 1835 the northern counties of East Florida were increasing in population at a faster rate than Middle and West Florida. Although the country was but sparsely settled there were a number of flourishing plantations, but these were laid waste by the Indians during the next seven years and immigration into that section almost entirely ceased. On the termination of the war in 1842, Congress passed a temporary free homestead act to encourage settlers to come into the section that had been the seat of the war in the hope that settlement would prevent further Indian disturbances.
"Letters from East Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 15:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol15/iss1/5