Letter from E. R. Trafford to James E. Ingraham (August 23, 1882)

Dublin Core

Title

Letter from E. R. Trafford to James E. Ingraham (August 23, 1882)

Alternative Title

Letter from Trafford to Ingraham (August 23, 1882)

Subject

Real estate--Florida
Investments--Florida
Polk County (Fla.)
Kissimmee (Fla.)
Sumter County (Fla.)

Description

A letter from E. R. Trafford to James Edmundson Ingraham (1850-1924), dated August 23, 1882. In the letter, Trafford informed Ingraham about the company efforts to buy lands from the U.S. Department of the Interior, an endeavor that was met with some difficulty because the governmental department "would not permit any one person to purchase more than 640 acres in one day" and "also refused to receive applications from persons outside the United States." Trafford also included a report of the lands in question. The report indicated the quality of the land, including its capacity for crop cultivation, its proximity to bodies of water, and its connection to lines of transportation and communication. The report highlights the questions and concerns regarding land investment during the period and also indirectly demonstrates the hardships faced by potential settlers in sparsely-settled regions.

Trafford was a company agent for the Florida Land and Colonization Company (FLCC) from 1882 to 1886. The FLCC was a joint-stock venture that invested in Florida land development and sales in the 1880s and early 1890s. The company was formed by Henry Shelton Sanford (1823-1891) with help from a group of British investors. The original impetus for the company's formation was Sanford's inability to continue his land acquisition and development efforts in Florida independently. Located at 13 Austin Friars, the company was officially registered in London on June 10, 1880. With the formation of the FLCC, all of Henry Sanford's Florida properties were transferred to the company in exchange for a £10,000 cash payment and another £50,000 in company stock. Sanford was named President and Chairman of the Board.In 1880, the company owned 26,000 acres scattered across Florida, including in the cities of Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Sanford, as well as in Alachua County and Marion County.

Almost from the outset, there was serious friction between the British board members and Henry Sanford. Disagreements erupted over business strategy, as Sanford frequently proposed initiatives deemed too bold for the cautious British investors. From 1882 to 1892, the company saw steady, if meager, profits. Most of its income came from the sale of lots in the city of Sanford. From 1885 until 1890, the company, while remaining solvent, continued to see declining profits. From 1886 to 1890, the profits were so modest that the company declined to pay dividends on its yearly profits. Needed improvements and developments in the city of Sanford during the late 1880s sapped much of the company's income. Following Henry Sanford's death in 1891, many of the investors lost the motivation to continue. On September 15, 1892, the various directors acted to dissolve the company. Its assets, including roughly 65,000 acres of Florida land, were divided among shareholders.

Creator

Trafford, E. R.

Source

Original letter from E. R. Trafford to James E. Ingraham, August 23, 1882: box 54, folder 18, subfolder 54.18.8, Henry Shelton Sanford Papers, General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum, Sanford, Florida.

Date Created

1882-08-23

Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original letter from E. R. Trafford to James E. Ingraham, August 23, 1882.

Is Part Of

Box 54, Folder 18, Henry Shelton Sanford Papers, General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum, Sanford, Florida.
Florida Land Colonization Company Collection, Henry Shelton Sanford Papers Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.

Format

application/pdf

Extent

1.21 MB

Medium

4-page handwritten letter

Language

eng

Type

Text

Coverage

Sanford, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Sumter County, Florida
Polk County, Florida

Accrual Method

Donation

Mediator

History Teacher
Economics Teacher

Provenance

Originally created by E. R. Trafford.
Donated to the Connecticut Historical Society after 1901.
Loaned to the Tennessee State Library and Archives for processing until June 1, 1960.
Donated by the General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum in 1960.

Rights Holder

The displayed collection item is housed at the General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum in Sanford, Florida. Rights to this item belong to the said institution, and therefore inquiries about the item should be directed there. RICHES of Central Florida has obtained permission from the Sanford Museum to display this item for educational purposes only.

Curator

Fedorka, Drew M.

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

Fry, Joseph A. Diplomacy and Business in Nineteenth-Century America. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 1982.

Locations

Categories