Near the end of his tour of Florida as agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in early 1867, General James Fowle Baldwin Marshall, former resident of Honolulu and more recently paymaster general of Massachusetts troops, wrote to his wartime commander, Governor John Andrew: “I am tempted by the prospect of usefulness & success, as well as by my long tropical experience to join the ‘Yankee horde’ of reconstructionists, & become a Floridian.“ This “Yankee horde” was enticed to postwar Florida not only by the climate, already fabled throughout the North as beneficial for consumptives and others ailing with respiratory diseases, but also by economic opportunities in unoccupied land and undeveloped natural resources. In addition to some 20,000,000 acres of public lands which had been opened to entry after the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, there were unclaimed state and railroad lands, as well as confiscated Confederate properties, although some of these having been sold under the Direct Tax Law were tied up in litigation with previous owners when the war was over. Speculation concerning Florida settlements had actually started early in the war, following military occupation of the coasts of South Carolina and Florida, and gained momentum after peace was concluded. To assist prospective settlers, invite northern investors, and induce concessions from Florida property holders, a number of land and emigrant aid companies mushroomed. Among these was the New England Emigrant Aid Company, whose efforts in Kansas have been widely chronicled, but whose plans for an organized emigration to Florida are somewhat less known.
Clark, Patricia P.
"J. F. B. Marshall: A New England Emigrant Aid Company Agent in Post-War Florida, 1867,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 54:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol54/iss1/5