On his 10,000-acre plantation along the St. Johns River, Francis Philip Fatio had much to claim. With the labor of more than eighty slaves, Fatio and his partner investors established a thriving plantation in former Native territory soon after they arrived in British East Florida in 1771. Named in honor of his homeland, Fatio's "New Switzerland" plantation excelled in the production of timber, cattle, citrus fruits, and naval stores.1 Historians once suggested that lasting only twenty-one years, East Florida's British period was too brief to have much impact on the development of the colony: "too short for the roots to take much hold of the soil."2 New Switzerland's roots, however, survived the return of Spanish rule to East Florida in 1783 and continued to build wealth and influence for generations of the Fatio family into at least the twentieth century.3 Moreover, the colony's rich resources and diverse economy offered more than material success. On his plantation, Fatio also realized a new imperial vision for colonial East Florida after Spain ceded control of the territory to Great Britain in 1763, at the conclusion of the Seven Years' War.
Gallman, Nancy O.
"Reconstituting Power in an American Borderland: Political Change in Colonial East Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 94:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol94/iss2/4