In the late 1850’s Florida surpassed Georgia and South Carolina in the production of Sea Island cotton. This development was made possible by three factors: climate, soil, and technological progress. While nature supplied the first two requisites, the latter factor was the result of inventive Floridians who designed and patented cotton gins that made the production of Sea Island cotton profitable. A combination of environment and mechanical development thus enabled Florida to supplant the traditional leaders and become the nation’s largest producer of long staple cotton.
Shofner, Jerrell H.
"Sea Island Cotton in Ante-Bellum Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 40:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol40/iss4/5