J. E. Dovell


Opportunities for profitable economic enterprise in Florida, capitalizing on the resources of the mild climate and millions of acres of unsettled land, had intrigued Northern investors long before the Civil War when Yankee visitors built the state’s first tourist industry. During the war, Northern investors moved into the federally occupied areas and planned continued and accelerated economic invasion of Florida. In the years of Reconstruction the state was “full of northern men looking for a proposition” for profitable investment. The visitation of Northerners increased from 1870 to 1890 as the United States enjoyed the new industrial expansion resulting from the profits of the war and ever mounting sums of surplus capital were made available for investment. The wilderness of the Florida peninsula attracted uncounted thousands who sought to take advantage of the opportunities of the southernmost frontier.