Yankee families became involved in Florida during the Civil War and in the Reconstruction. For example, the family of the American merchant John Jacob Astor owned a tiny railroad that connected Tocoi on the St.Johns River with St. Augustine; they later sold it to New York industrialist and founder of Standard Oil, Henry Flagler. The family of New York-born writer Henry James invested in a cotton plantation in Alachua County. Best known perhaps is Harriet Beecher Stowe's orange grove in Mandarin where she and her family wintered for seventeen years. The origins of these ventures remained largely unexplored as Florida documents were returned to the North, having never been seen by historians in this state. Now, as Northern libraries, historical societies, and archives place descriptions of their holdings online, it is possible to locate materials and collections that have been unexamined by Florida researchers. In 2012, Harriet Beecher Stowe's first published articles about Florida were discovered by finding issues of a Boston newspaper that scholars believed no longer existed. In another example, the availability of online resources revealed the papers of John Swaim, a founder of modern Florida. The purpose of this article is to share something of the range and diversity of their content.
Foster, Jr., John T.
"Swaim Family Papers: Civil War Reports and Letters of Recommendation for a Carpetbagger,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 93:
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol93/iss4/6