On October 4, 1916, a young Seminole boy named Tony Tommie wrote a letter to his friend Frank Stranahan, the trading post operator at Fort Lauderdale on the New River. Tony was sixteen years of age at the time, and had completed one year of instruction at the Fort Lauderdale elementary school. His brief note contained a plea for a $10.00 loan with which he could purchase a number of items, the most interesting of these being some “little alligator[s]” to be raised for re-sale to tourists. Unfortunately, there is no record of Stranahan’s response. However, given his long-standing friendship with the Seminole people who frequented his store, and the fact that he had known Tony’s family for many years, it is likely that the loan was granted.
Kersey, Jr., Harry A.
"The Tony Tommie Letter, 1916: A Transitional Seminole Document,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 64:
3, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol64/iss3/6