When the New England Emigrant Aid Company, seeking to revitalize its colonizing enterprises after the Civil War, considered Florida as a prime location for northern settlers, the officers sent James F. B. Marshall on a scouting tour of the state. A native New Englander, former Hawaiian businessman, and paymaster general of Massachusetts troops, Marshall had volunteered for the assignment shortly after his election to the company’s board of directors in November 1866. Before he left Boston for a New York departure on December 18, Marshall was given a letter of instructions drafted by President John Murray Forbes and Vice President Edward Everett Hale. Although left mainly to his own initiative and direction as to the extent of his Florida tour, which he confined to the northern part of the state, Marshall was to locate land which would be attractive to northern settlers, preferably near Fernandina, the St. Johns River, and along the line of the Florida Railroad. In addition, he was to investigate economic opportunities for the “small farmers or working men,” the type of immigrant the company proposed to aid, and he was to report periodically by letter, both to Hale and to the company secretary, Trowbridge Forbush.
Clark, Patricia P.
"A New England Emigrant Aid Company Agent in Postwar Florida: Selected Letters of James F. B. Marshall, 1867,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 55:
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol55/iss4/6