Letter from E. R. Trafford per William Beardall to Henry Shelton Sanford (February 29, 1884)
Letter from Trafford to Sanford (Feb. 29, 1884)
A letter from E. R. Trafford per William Beardall to Henry Shelton Sanford, dated February 29, 1884. In the brief letter, Trafford acknowledges receipt of four signed deeds, as previously requested. Trafford was a company agent for the Florida Land and Colonization Company (FLCC) from 1882 to 1886. He served as the company’s local representative, managing the company office in Sanford, Florida. He was selected by the board of the FLCC, despite resistance from the President and Chairman of the Board, Henry Shelton Sanford. Unlike his predecessor, James Ingraham, Trafford provided Henry Sanford with little confidential, first-hand information about events in Florida. As a result, Sanford regularly advocated for Trafford’s replacement. However, the company’s other board members, distrustful of Henry Sanford’s business acumen, retained Trafford precisely because his first loyalties remained with the company in London and not Henry Sanford. His tenure as FLCC agent is reflective of the often tense relationship between Henry Sanford and his fellow board members as well as the increasingly limited influence Sanford had in company affairs. William Beardall, meanwhile, was an Englishman who worked for the FLCC at its local office in Sanford, Florida. He served as an assistant to the company agent, E. R. Trafford. He worked previously for the Scottish industrialist Sir William MacKinnon before joining the FLCC. 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 with help from a group of British investors. Located at 13 Austin Friars in London, 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 and Marion counties. 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. As a result of consistently meager profits from its inception, 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.
Trafford, E. R.
Original letter from E. R. Trafford per William Beardall to Henry Shelton Sanford, February 29, 1884: box 54, folder 18, subfolder 54.18.21, Henry Shelton Sanford Papers, General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum, Sanford, Florida.
Is Format Of
Digital reproduction of original letter from E. R. Trafford per William Beardall to Henry Shelton Sanford, February 29, 1884.
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.
"Letter from E. R. Trafford per William Beardall to Henry Shelton Sanford (February 21, 1884)." RICHES of Central Florida. https://richesmi.cah.ucf.edu/omeka/items/show/4267.
1-page handwritten letter
Florida Land and Colonization Company Office, Sanford, Florida
Originally created by E. R. Trafford and William Beardall.
Donated to the Connecticut Historical Society after 1901.
Loaned to the Tennessee State Library and Archives for processing until June 1, 1960.
Donated to the General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum in 1960.
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.
Fedorka, Drew M.
General Henry S. Sanford Memorial Library, Sanford Museum
Fry, Joseph A. Diplomacy and Business in Nineteenth-Century America. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 1982.
Munro, J. Forbes. Maritime Enterprise and Empire: Sir William MacKinnon and His Business Network, 1823-1893. Rochester, NY: