Jesus Mendez


The figure of Henry Morrison Flagler towers her other men and women in modem Florida history. No individual-except, perhaps, his contemporary and fellow railroad man Henry Bradley Plant-can lay claim to his business acumen, daring, and romantic vision in fomenting Florida's growth and rising preeminence in the southeast United States. From dead last among the traditional southern states in 1900 in terms of population and manufacturing activity, Florida today ranks fourth among all states in the American Union as far as population and, in 2006, boasted of having one of its strongest economies.1 In addition, Florida today is, arguably, the nation's gateway to the Americas. Beginning in 1892, Henry Morrison Flagler was instrumental both to Florida's phenomenal growth at the end of the nineteenth century as well as to the state's growing importance as a commercial and communication link to the rest of the Americas.