• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The birthright of a fighting...
 Winds of adversity
 River runs and a romance
 Politics and the plague
 Breaking with Bourbonism
 A fight and a riot
 "Iniquity of the corporation...
 Bearding the Spanish lion
 "A price on his head"
 Fireworks in Florida
 Liberalism comes to power
 The battle of the giants
 A crusader becomes governor
 The Broward era begins
 "Save the people’s land!"
 "Praised by these--blamed...
 In the hands of the common...
 Notes
 Bibliography
 Index














Title: Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101406/00001
 Material Information
Title: Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Florida's fighting Democrat
Physical Description: x, 400 p. : ports. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Proctor, Samuel
Publisher: University of Florida Press
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Gainesville
Publication Date: 1950
Copyright Date: 1950
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Governors -- Biography -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Florida -- 1865-1950   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 367-383).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00101406
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 38002200
lccn - 50011070

Table of Contents
    Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Dedication
        Page v
        Page vi
    Preface
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Table of Contents
        Page xi
        Page xii
    List of Illustrations
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
    The birthright of a fighting democrat
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Winds of adversity
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    River runs and a romance
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Politics and the plague
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Breaking with Bourbonism
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    A fight and a riot
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    "Iniquity of the corporation people"
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    Bearding the Spanish lion
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    "A price on his head"
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Fireworks in Florida
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
    Liberalism comes to power
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    The battle of the giants
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
    A crusader becomes governor
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 208a
        Page 208b
        Page 208c
        Page 208d
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    The Broward era begins
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
    "Save the people’s land!"
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
    "Praised by these--blamed by those"
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
    In the hands of the common people
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
    Notes
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
        Page 337
        Page 338
        Page 339
        Page 340
        Page 341
        Page 342
        Page 343
        Page 344
        Page 345
        Page 346
        Page 347
        Page 348
        Page 349
        Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
    Bibliography
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
        Page 383
        Page 384
    Index
        Page 385
        Page 386
        Page 387
        Page 388
        Page 389
        Page 390
        Page 391
        Page 392
        Page 393
        Page 394
        Page 395
        Page 396
        Page 397
        Page 398
        Page 399
        Page 400
Full Text












Napoleon Bonaparte. Broward















~"""_ Xu~
d'k/ra-Y~YPm-~(







Napoleon Bonaparte Broward

Florida's Fighting Democrat

by
SAMUEL PROCTOR


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA PRESS
GAINESVILLE
1950









COPYRIGHT, 1950
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
-g
S77E






No part of this book may be reproduced in any form
without permission in writing from the publisher, except
by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in
connection with a review written for inclusion in magazine
or newspaper or radio broadcast.


PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY
THE RECORD PRESS, INC., ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA























To Bessie








Preface


IT IS FREQUENTLY STATED that the office of gov-
ernor of Florida serves as a political graveyard. Most of
the Florida governors who have sought to advance themselves
in national politics have failed; their so-called gubernatorial
political machines have usually proved to be myths. Florida
history reveals, moreover, that the office of chief executive
may also serve as a historical graveyard. Many of Florida's
governors have fallen"intd obscurity after their terms of office
have been completed, and today their lives and their achieve-
ments are almost forgotten. In most instances a governor's
influence and popularity have not extended beyond his admin-
istration. An exception is Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, one
of Florida's truly dramatic and spectacular figures. The Brow-
ard administration is considered one of the most important
in Florida's history; the Broward Era is regarded as a focal
point in the state's development; Broward's influence in politics
is still a force apparent today.
Few men in the political life of Florida have been the ob-
ject of either as much bitter hatred or as much adulation
as Broward. No one will deny that his achievements were re-
markable; all agree that his career, his activities, and his place
in history are unique. And yet Broward, like other great
men, shows the truth of Emerson's pronouncement: "To be
great is to be misunderstood." Throughout his life Broward--
was bitterly indicted as a hot-head, a demagogue, and a radi-
cal. Critics leveled the charge that he was inconsistent; his
political enemies saw him as an ambitious, ruthless upstart. He
was accused of fraud in his dealings with the Cuban junta, of
speculating in Everglades lands, and of stealing public funds.
Many believe that he left office a very wealthy man. Research
has revealed little to substantiate these charges and beliefs, and
vii








viii


Preface


the fact that Broward ended his career as a relatively poor
man stands as his finest and most durable monument.
In gathering materials for this study, I was continuously
aware that few men in Florida have been loved more than
Napoleon Broward was loved by his friends. There must have
been about him an indescribable, an almost incomprehensible,
charm. Certainly those who were admitted into the inner
circle of his warm regard considered his friendship a delight.
Broward's most impressive power lay in his moral force, and
his strongest leadership in high courage of the moral kind. His
character was founded upon a single rocklike faith-a belief
in the divine government of the universe and in the necessity
of making personal endeavor square with eternal principles.
As Samuel Butler once said, "Every man's work is always a
picture of himself." Thus, in this biography of Napoleon
Bonaparte Broward, Florida's Fighting Democrat, I have tried
not only to characterize the man and his time, but to portray
the work that he did.
Research into the life of any man necessarily obligates the
author to many people. I am particularly indebted to the
Broward family for making available valuable letters, manu-
scripts, and records from their family papers. They permitted
me to read and use what I wished, to quote what I pleased,
and to draw my own conclusions. They are in no way respon-
sible for the mistakes which this volume may contain. Their
full understanding of the problems facing the biographer,
and their truly rare qualities of intellectual detachment and
sense of historical accuracy lightened my burden considerably.
I am deeply grateful to Mrs. Napoleon B. Broward and to
her daughter, Mrs. Josephine Broward Beckley, for their many
helpful suggestions, their kind cooperation, and their never-
failing courtesy and consideration. My informal conversations
in their home gave me an understanding of Broward's per-
sonality that has been of invaluable aid. I am also grateful to
Mrs. Dorcas Beckley Foster, Broward's granddaughter, who








Preface


furnished most of the information relating to the filibustering
expeditions; to Mr. Carlton Beckley, a grandson; and to Mr.
and Mrs. Napoleon B. Broward, Jr. I am greatly indebted to
Miss Hortense Broward, the governor's youngest sister, for
information on the early history of her family, and to Mr.
Harry Fozzard, Governor Broward's nephew, who cooperated
in every way in locating and obtaining information of value
to this study.
There are many who assisted generously and graciously in
the writing of this book, and it is a pity that my indebtedness
must be repaid chiefly in printer's ink. I am sincerely grateful
for the helpful suggestions and invaluable aid given by Mr.
and Mrs. M. A. Brown, and for the reminiscences and details
of information supplied by Mrs. Maggie Kemps Jenkins, Dr.
S. A. Morris, Judge Lonnie Howell, Mr. Burton K. Barrs,
Sr., Mr. A. W. Cockrell, Mr. W. T. Cash, and Mrs. W. D.
Vinzant. Mrs. Laura Buxton Hobbes, Judge Burton K. Barrs,
Dr. J. E. Dovell, and Mr. Julien C. Yonge made available
unpublished records, papers, and letters. Miss Alma Warren
arranged a tour of the Executive Mansion in Tallahassee. The
management of the Jacksonville Journal allowed full access
to its newspaper files. Mr. C. J. King, editor of the Florida
Times-Union, not only made available his valuable newspaper
file, but his suggestions and kind cooperation were of in-
estimable help.
To Dr. James Miller Leake, of the University of Florida,
who first suggested this biography, and who gave generously
of his counsel, aid, and knowledge, in its original writing, I
am profoundly grateful. I gladly acknowledge my indebted-
ness to Professors Rembert W. Patrick, William E. Baringer,
Manning J. Dauer, William G. Carleton, Eugene A. Ham-
mond, and Paul L. Hanna for their kindness in reading and
criticizing all or parts of the manuscript. To the officials and
employees of the following libraries I am indebted for every
courteous assistance: the University of Florida Library;













Preface


the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Gainesville;
the University of Florida Law Library; the Florida State
Library, Tallahassee; the Library of the Florida Historical
Society, St. Augustine; the Jacksonville Public Library; the
Library of the Jacksonville Historical Society; the Library of
Congress, Washington; the New York Public Library; the
Duke University Library; the University of North Carolina
Library; the Emory University Library; and the Savannah
Public Library.
I am also obligated to Dr. Lewis F. Haines, director of the
University of Florida Press, who aided materially in the final
revision and editing; to Helen S. Haines, who designed this
book; to Mr. Howard L. Putnam, for reading and criticizing
the manuscript in its final form; and particularly to Miss
Rebecca Porter, assistant editor of the Press, whose careful
editorial assistance and ready cooperation have proved inval-
uable. For checking the manuscript in its early stages of
revision, I am indebted to Miss Bertha Mehlman and Mr.
Lamar Gammon. Finally, I am deeply grateful to my wife,
Bessie Rubin Proctor, for her considerable labors in reading
and evaluating the manuscript, and for her wise counsel and
long-suffering patience.
SAMUEL PROCTOR
Gainesville, Florida
July, 1950









Contents


Preface
I. The Birthright of a Fighting Democrat
2. Winds of Adversity
3. River Runs and a Romance
4. Politics and the Plague
5. Breaking with Bourbonism
6. A Fight and a Riot
7. "Iniquity of the Corporation People"
8. Bearding the Spanish Lion

9. "A Price on His Head"
o1. Fireworks in Florida
I 1. Liberalism Comes to Power
re. The Battle of the Giants
13. A Crusader Becomes Governor
14. The Broward Era Begins
15. "Save the People's Land!"
16. "Praised by These--Blamed by Those"
17. In the Hands of the Common People
Notes
Bibliography
Index


PAGE
vii
I

17
31
42
55
63
77
96
121
138

159
178
199
216
240
261
292

311
367
385
















Illustrations
(After page 208)


Three Friends

Broward Receiving the Oath of Office

The Broward Family

Napoleon Bonaparte Broward

Mrs. Broward as the First Lady of Florida










Birthright of a Fighting Democrat


INCE EARLY MORNING Napoleon had sensed that
something was wrong. At breakfast his mother's hands
had trembled and she had broken the little blue-figured
cream pitcher which had been one of her wedding presents;
and later, near the vegetable garden back of the house, he
had seen some of the slaves talking excitedly in little groups.
It was hot, even for a March morning in Florida in that
year of 1862. With his black puppy clutched in his arms, the
child hurried along the dirt path to the river. There, near the
bank, he released his dog Ring, breathed a sigh of relief at
having escaped the troubles of grownups, and sat down on a
blackened pine stump. Glancing idly across the water, he
watched a crane and a pair of tufted kingfishers wading on
the far side and listened to the noisy sparrows in the mimosas
and glossy-leaved japonicas which shaded the riverbank. The
boy threw a rock, hoping to disturb a clump of turtles sunning
themselves in the shallow water. Just then he heard jumbled,
excited noises behind him, in the clearing near the house. In-
stantly a woman's voice sounded, strained and urgent:
"Napoleon! Where are you? What are you doing?"
The boy did not answer, nor did he move. Only when she
called a second time did he whistle for Ring and retrace his
steps up the trail through the woods. When he reached the
place where the heavy wood growth fell back and the clearing
began, he saw half a dozen horses pawing the front lawn. A
cluster of men in gray uniforms waited on the porch. His heart
began pounding when he recognized his father, the tallest
man in the group. The man's brown eyes softened momentarily
as he stooped and hugged his son to him. He lifted the young-
[ ]


11/n I C"11%11







2 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
ster high in the air, then turned back to the others and in a
proud voice announced:
"This is my eldest son, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward."
Still holding the boy, the elder Napoleon continued the
story which he had begun a few minutes before. The Federals,
having captured Fernandina on Mar'ch 4, 1862, were now
headed toward Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Days before,
word that the invaders were coming had spread along the
Florida east coast like a prairie fire. Confederate headquarters
in Jacksonville was alerted when, on the last day of February,
Northern gunboats, under the command of Commodore Sam-
uel F. DuPont, weighed anchor at Port Royal, South Carolina,
and moved south toward Florida.1 News relayed from one
plantation to the other informed the Browards of the flotilla's
progress as it wound its way slowly along the Georgia coast and
past the Sea Islands.
Excitement in Fernandina, already high, rose to fever pitch.
As the Federal fleet inched past St. Marys Entrance, and
around the walls of Fort Clinch, the last of the city's inhabi-
tants-women, children, and old men, black and white-hur-
ried to the mainland and moved inland.2 Former United States
Senator David Levy Yulee was one of the last to leave.3 His
train pulled out of the railroad station as the gunboats ap-
proached.4 Fernandina lay forlorn in the early spring sun-
shine; a white flag fluttered weakly from the most prominent
pier as the Northern troops landed and occupied the town.
As Captain Napoleon Broward described the scene, his son
noticed that the faces of the men on the porch were grave.
Everyone listened intently as the captain told them that he
had given his command to his brother, Lieutenant Montgomery
L. Broward, so that he could ride across country to his planta-
tion to warn his family that seven ships of war and a regiment
of New Hampshire infantry were en route to Jacksonville."
Families along both sides of the St. Johns River would have
to move out immediately.
Having finished his story, the captain ordered his slaves






Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 3
to pile furniture and personal belongings in wagons and car-
riages, and then hurried over to the next plantation to confer
with his father, Colonel John Broward. He found that his
older brother Charles had just ridden in from Jacksonville and
had already sounded the alarm. Standing on the wide veranda,
unhurried and dignified, Johan Boward was ordering his slaves
to chopdnpalmetologs and blackenthe itsoot. Hop-
ing that they would resemble a battery of cannon from the"
distance, he planned to have the logs placed on a promontory
overlooking the river where the Federals were expected to sail.
Any reasonable delay of the Union gunboats would enable the,
Browards to move their families, slaves, and personal prop-
erty out of the area.6
Charles reported that scores of Jacksonville citizens were
leaving the city. Most of them moved toward Baldwin, where
the Confederate forces planned to establish and hold a line of
defense. Jacksonville was a scene of dire confusion and com-
plete disorder--a city of chaos, of movement with no purpose,
of foul smells and choking clouds of dust. People with fear-
blanched faces hauled furniture through the streets. Wagons
and carts swamped the roads and trails through which army
vehicles attempted to pass. Horses and people collided with
each other as they tried to free themselves from the maze;
master and slave-men, women, and children--sought refuge
from the hated enemy.
Late on the afternoon of March II, the Federal fleet ar-
rived at the mouth of the St. Johns.' Soldiers were sent ashore
in a small boat to reconnoiter. Officers questioned some Negroes
about the extent and conditions of fortifications in Jacksonville
and along the. lower St. Johns. The invaders, assured that
most of the fortified points were being either dismantled or
entirely abandoned, crossed the Bar and proceeded cautiously
up the muddy river.8 Posted sentries broadcast this news to
the planter families already clogging the highway. The
Broward cavalcade moved west toward White Springs where
John Broward owned property. /
ra -+ ,. I7 ''i* t Jr !








4 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
The trip was long and hot for the Browards. They moved
slowly by back-country roads, because the Federals had fanned
out into the woods around Jacksonville. The horses' hoofs
threw up clouds of fine gray dust which flecked the sun-filled
air and threw crazy shadows over the slow-moving wagon
train. The Browards were not the only people moving into the
interior. All along the road, wagons and carts, loaded with beds
and mirrors, chairs and tables-antiques crowded in with trivia
-rolled their slow way back from the coastal areas. To the
children it seemed like a wild and fantastic outing to some
far-off picnic grounds. The cavalcade traveled throughout the
night, the children sleeping in the wagons on quilts spread by
the slaves. Napoleon remembered being jolted awake when
the wagon crossed open ditches. The sky was grayish red,
lighted from fires in Jacksonville and the burning plantation
houses. The smoke burned his nostrils and watered his eyes. He
wanted to cry but his sister Josephine held his hand tightly and
he fell asleep again. Once during the night the procession was
halted for nearly an hour to allow some troops to pass. Na-
poleon heard a strange man talking with his father and grand-
father. The man revealed that several hundred Confederate
irregulars had arrived in Jacksonville on a railway train the
afternoon before. They carried with them orders to burn prop-
erty that might be of use to the enemy.9 Throughout the area
the torch had been laid to houses, barns, and sawmills by the
fleeing Confederates. The~few_people who remained in Jack-
sQonillethe stranger continued, were for the most part Union
sympathizers who owned property in and about town.l0
By early morning the Browards were near Baldwin. Refugees
told them that in Jacksonville the steam mills, Moonet's
foundry, over half a million board feet of lumber, and a Con-
federate gunboat marooned in the harbor had burned. The
railway station, warehouses, all the hotels, and the business
block were gutted by fire." It was later reported in a Northern
newspaper that a Mr. Remington, a Northern commission mer-
chant, was "shot and left to die in the streets," because of







Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 5
"utterances of treasonable sentiments." The newspaper also
told how two other Yankee residents were killed while trying
to escape in boats.12
After their arrival in White Springs, the Browards heard a
complete description of the capture of Jacksonville. When
Union vessels nosed their way out of the gray dampness to
the piers of the city, they were greeted by the charred ruins
left by the Confederate "regulators." Some degree of order
had been restored, however, and the city was taken with no
show of resistance.13 In fact, a deputation from Jacksonville
came aboard the flagship to surrender the town, pledge the
good behavior of its citizens, and pray for protection against
further vandalism.14
In White Springs the family moved into the house which
had formerly been their summer cottage. T-oonyung to realize
the tragedy horrnr f conflict e
wl--r unded ifof a healthy ,-wle-awake boy. Excursions
with his sisters into the nearby woods to pick wild berries were
pleasurable expeditions. With boyish enthusiasm he and his
younger brother, Montcalm, raided the fields and groves of
the neighborhood and secured watermelons, oranges, and pe-
cans. Napoleon's life was full; he still had all the food he
could eat and a bed to sleep in. Best of all, his grandfather told
wonderful stories about the Indians and the fighting in the
Seminole War, and-how the people lived when Florida was
still owned by Spain.
John Broward exerted great influence on Napoleon. During lll .
the war years when the boy's father was absent for long periods
of time, the lad naturally turned to his grandfather for guid-
ance. They hiked in the woods together and drove about the
countryside in an old black-painted rig. In the evenings when
it was cool enough for a fire in the living room, Napoleon and
Montcalm begged their grandfather for stories. Relaxing into
a comfortable position and drawing pleasantly on his pipe, the
old man obliged by telling the history of his family.
It always thrilled Napoleon to hear about Francis, the first








6 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
of the Browards to reach American shores."1 Francis, a native
of Provence, France, had sailed from Brest during the second
half of the eighteenth century and settled in the Georgetown
district of South Carolina. It is probable that he was a member
of the group of three hundred seventy-one French Huguenots
who arrived in South Carolina in I764.16 The political and re-
ligious persecution of French Protestants caused thousands to
seek shelter in the New World. Hundreds of families settled
at various convenient points along the Atlantic coast. South
Carolina, one of their favorite retreats, became known as the
home of the Huguenots in America.
According to Grandfather- Broward, Francis had served
under Count Pulaski in the fighting around Savannah during
the American Revolution. The summer of 1779 saw Pulaski's
forces suffering from fever and ague induced by constant ex-
posure in the low, marshy sea-island country.' Young Napo-
leon knew by heart how Francis had made a successful raid
through the English lines into Savannah and a secured a quan-
tity of quinine for the hard-pressed American troops.18 Prior to
the war, Francis Broward had established a small mercantile
business in Charleston, where he had met and married Sarah
Bell of that city. When the conflict ended, Francis moved back
to the Georgetown district, and there, on November 17, 1795,
his fourth child, John, was born.9 When the boy was five
years old the family moved to Florida, where Spain, under
the Royal Order of 1790, offered liberal land grants to set-
tlers." Francis Broward received a grant of three hundred
acres near the Nassau River at a place called Doctor's Island,
in the northern part of the East Florida territory.
At this time the Floridpa -aspselsettled and
only few-dozen families lived -n East Florida. The main
Arteries of travel were the St. Johns River and its tributaries.
Land travelers used the King's Highway, which started at
Colerain on the Georgia border and moved south across the
St. Marys River through Cowford and St. Augustine to New
Smyrna.21 Another road, formerly used by the English, led







Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 7
south from the entrance of the St. Johns, paralleling the sea-
shore to St. Augustine. As the new country opened, hardy
frontiersmen from Georgia and the Carolinas, among them the
Broward family, moved down to make their homes in Florida's
mild climate and on her fertile soil.
The Broward land was not patented to Francis by the Span-
ish Colonial government until many years after the family
had taken up residence. Writs were issued on February 13,
1816, and on August I6, 1816, by Governor Jos6 Coppinger.22
On April 29, 1825, the following grant was confirmed to
Francis' widow, Sarah Broward, by the United States Land
Commissioners: "Three hundred acres, situated, one hundred
sixty-two thereof on the waters of Nassau river, at the place
called Doctor's Island, and the three small neighboring islands
surrounded by marshes; thirty-eight acres situated near the
head of Pumpkin Hill creek, bounded on the north by Gilbert
McGlone, on the west by vacant lands, south by William Fitz-
patrick, and east by marshes; and one hundred acres at Pump-
kin Hill swamp, bounded on the north by marsh, east by Gil-
bert McGlone, and south and west by vacant lands; which two
last tracts lie distant from each other about one and a half miles;
and on the Nassau river . ."23
John Broward spent most of his early--ye th-oCn Doctor's
Islan d,-and__ ,arftter ift hs father's death, moved to Drum-
mond's Point on Cedar Creek.24 The Spanish government in
Florida had been making "water sawmill" grants to any settler
who would build and operate a sawmill.25 After applying to.
Governor Coppinger for such a grant, John received the certifi-
cation of his grant on April 24, 1816.26 It consisted of "sixteen
thousand acres of land in different tracts, seven thousand of
which lie between Cedar creek and Dunn's creek, on the north
side of the St. Johns river; three.thousand lie on the north
side of the St. Johns river, and on the east of the road to St.
Marys river; four thousand acres lie on the south side of
Dunn's creek, that connects Dunn's lake with the St. Johns
river at a place called Cabbage hammock; two thousand acres









V\n


8 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
lie at Sugartown, Cedar swamp, on the west of St. Johns
river.'27
Cutting enough pine lumber to fill his own schooner, John
sailed his cargo to the island of St. Thomas, in the Virgin
Islands, where he was cordially received by the governor and
presented with a gold-headed cane.28 John Broward was a man
of considerable genius and versatility. Planter, soldier, poli-
tician-in each role he was successful. During the Cartagenian
Rebellion of 1817 he was commissioned a captain by the royal
Spanish governor, and he played an active part in the military
expedition against the forces of Sir Gregor MacGregor that
were holding Fernandina.2" He married Margaret Tucker of
Camden County, Georgia, on October 15, 1824, and their mar-
riage license is the sixth on record in the probate court of Duval
County, Florida.30 Ten children were born of this union: five
sons-Charles, Napoleon Bonaparte, Pulaski, Washington, and
Montgomery; and five daughters-Maria, Caroline, Helen,
Margaret, and Florida.
John Broward's plantation house was constructed on a site
near the fork of Big and Little Cedar creeks. His slaves erected
a small sawmill and built a dirt dam across the water to get the
power to run his machines." By 1835 John was already one of
the large owners of land and slaves in north Florida. During
the latter part of his life he was called Colonel, a title he ac-
quired in the East Florida Regiment from Governor William
P. DuVal.32 In 1845 he represented Duval County in the first
state Senate, and he was on the committee that returned a favor-
able report on draining the Everglades.33 As chairman of sev-
eral important legislative committees, Jqhn play-ecan active
part inrorganizing the government of the new state.
John Broward, in common with other members of his fam-
ily, was a well-educated man. Always anxious that his children
should have t-efirnest-ed-ucatbn possible, he saw his oldest son,
Charles, graduated from the Harvard School of Law. There
is no way of determining the size of the Broward library, or
of estimating the number of books it contained, for they were


4-L







Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 9
destroyed when the house was burned during the Civil War.
But it is not likely that a man living in so isolated a territory,
even though prosperous, would own a large library.
Colonel Broward's second son, Napoleon, Sr., was born in
1829 on the family homestead. His early life was similar to
that of other young men of well-to-do Southern families in
the nineteenth century. He received his education at home, in
a private school which John Broward established on his planta-
tion for the benefit of his own children and those of his friends.
Teachers were brought from Charleston and from the North,
and a full course of study was provided. Among the teachers
were a Mr. Ochus, who taught music; Mr. and Mrs. Edward
Augustus DeCottes from Charleston; James H. McRory, who
later married a niece of Colonel Broward;34 and Jefferson
Plympton Belknap, a Harvard graduate. Belknap settled in
Mandarin, Florida, and experimented in silkworm culture be-
fore becoming a teacher. Several children from Jacksonville
attended the school. They were driven out to Trout Creek at
the beginning of the week and were rowed across the river by
a slave. After spending the week at the Broward home and
school, they returned to town each Friday.35
The eder Napoleon, like his father had considerable land-
holdings and was a large catt e owner in Duval County.36 He
loved the warm, rich life so closely associated with the planter
class of the ante-bellum South and was recognized in Duval
County as a hospitable and generous host. One of the amusing
sights of Jacksonville was Napoleon Broward elegantly dressed
in white linen, followed by a slave who held an umbrella over
his master's head to shade him from the sun."3 In 1851 Na-
poleon married Mary Dorcas Parsons, the only daughter of
Amander and Elizabeth Burke Parsons, from Eaton, New
Hampshire. Although they were from different sections of the
country and differed greatly in background and political senti-
ment, the Browards and Parsons were close friends. There was
little indication in 1851 of the bitter feelings that were to arise
between the families in later years.







IO Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
\ary Dorcas _as in many ways like her husband in person-
ality and disposition. She was vivacious, her movements were
quick, and she laughed often. Before her marriage she had
taught -school- fior a -few-months at Mayport, and it was re-
membered that she dealt firmly with her students. Her family
knew her as a woman of high integrity-a person not likely
to compromise on ideals and principles which she thought just
S ,-. and right.
c" -- After her marriage Mary Dorcas fell ill and was a semi-
** L invalid the rest of her life. Her helplessness changed her warm
personality and she became a quiet and retiring woman. Un-
pleasant clashes disrupted the family circle, and by 1856
SColonel Broward had hprnme so incned-agtinsthis.daughter-
L in-law that because-of- erle-disinherited his son. Part of his
Sill read: "In consequence of my son Napoleon B. Broward,
\having married a woman (Mary Dorcas Parsons) of a bad
Sand in my estimation a tiranical disposition, rendering it un-
isafe to put negroes slaves in her power,... I do hereby dis-
inherit him. . .." Although this will was never changed, there
was a reconciliation between John Broward and his son and
daughter-in-law. In White Springs, Mary Dorcas and her fam-
S ily lived in John Broward's house. Napoleon Broward was
named in the will as an executor of his father's estate.
Napoleon and Montcalm learned the history of their ma-
Sternal ancestors from their mother. She told them that Joseph
Parsons was the first of the family in America. He sailed from
Gravesend, England, in 1635, and settled near the present site
of Springfield, Massachusetts. An enterprising young man, he
secured a tract of land on both sides of the Connecticut River,
in the locality known then as Agawam. In 1646 Joseph was
town surveyor in Springfield, and during the next few years
secured monopoly rights of the beaver and fur trade of western
Massachusetts. When he died he was a large landholder and
was recognized as one of the wealthiest men in the colony.3
The generations of Parsons who followed played active
roles in the building of the social, educational, and political life







Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 11
of New England.40 One served as a judge and was a repre-
sentative in General Court at Boston.41 Another studied the-
ology with Increase Mather at Harvard College and gained
an outstanding reputation as a minister.42 Still another Parsons
was governor of New Hampshire during colonial days.43
William Parsons, great-grandfather of Napoleon and Mont-
calm, was a millwright by trade. He also acted for a time as
adjutant in the New Hampshire militia. His oldest son, Aman-
der, entranced by the fascinating stories of Florida printed in
Northern newspapers, left his family in New England and
moved to the Florida territory about 1840. At Mayport he
bought a sawmill and hired Minorcans from St. Augustine as
mill hands.44 After purchasing a large house in Mayport he
sent for his wife and his two sons, Joseph and William. His
daughter, Mary Dorcas, born in 1835, either in Eaton or Effing-
ham Falls, New Hampshire, stayed in the North for a short
while to attend school. To celebrate the arrival of his family,
Amander gave his workers a two-day holiday and invited all
his friends throughout the county to a barbecue.
A few mornings after they arrived, the Parsons children
were at the breakfast table when young Joseph asked his mother
for permission to go fishing. In a reproving voice, Elizabeth
Parsons said:
"Don't you know this is Sunday? You can't go fishing on the
Lord's Day."
The boy was surprised. "Lord's Day? I didn't know God
was in Florida."
"What do you mean, son? Of course he is in Florida. He's
everywhere."
"Well, back home we had a church and we knew God was
there," Joseph said. "There is no church here so I thought
there was no God."
That same day Amander Parsons rode over the countryside
announcing that church services were scheduled at his mill for
the following Sunday morning. For years thereafter, church
meetings were held there for the Parsons' family, millworkers,
and friends.45








12 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Later, during the I850's, Amander purchased the point of
land at Newcastle on the St. Johns, and there on a high bluff
he built a fine plantation house. In this house his last son, Hal-
stead, was born. The boy was named for Amander's partner
in the mill, Halstead H. Hoeg, who later became mayor of
Jacksonville.4
Mary Dorcas refused to be separated from her family, and
shortly after her mother and brothers moved to Florida, she
joined them at Mayport. In a letter written on December 12,
1849, to her uncle, Joseph Burke, she gave a picture of the
log schoolhouse which she attended: "The school room was
made of logs, no windows but very large cracks which give
plenty of light. And our hours of study from half past three
in the morning until half past eleven at night and of all cros
teachers ours was the crosest, he was Irish. . ."" Obviously,
Mary Dorcas' young imagination was vivid.
MaryntsG s sixteen year.soldhenshe married Na-
poleon Bnaparte ward Mayport in December, 185 .4"
,John Broward gave his son, as a wedding gift, the piece of land
;on Cedar Creek known as the Webb Place. Here, on a small
pine-covered ridge, close to where the creek flows into the St.
Johns River, Napoleon constructed a home for his new bride.
Their eight children-Josephine, Napoleon, Montcalm, Mary
Dorcas, Emily, Osceola, Hortense, and California-were born
Sin this house. The Browards liked historic and fancy names.
The couple's second child, and first son, was born on April
19, 1857, and named for his father. He passed the first five
years of his life on his family's plantation where the topography
and climate united to make an ideal place for a little boy to
swim and frolic. During these years Napoleon's great love for
nature and the outdoor world began to develop.
The family frequently went to the Boney Place, owned by
the elder Napoleon.49 It lay about seven miles north of their
plantation, on the Nassau River, just across from Doctor's
Island. There, in the blue-bright days of summer, the Browards
held their picnics and barbecues. Sometimes they would camp








Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 13
for several days on the river bank, a popular pastime called
marooningg.""' In the winter they dug oysters from the river
and roasted them under giant live oaks which still stand.
Young Napoleon's parents and grandparents held a recog-
nized "oa n in Duval County. They identified them-
selves with the professional men and the more prosperous
planters in the area. Culture and refinement were dominant
characteristics of this set; frequent-entertainment rLgenerous
hospitality were the- order of ..the day.51 Chief amusements
were dinner parties, cards, and dancing. Stately old Spanish
dances, old-fashioned square dances, Southern reels, and lilting
new Viennese waltzes were popular. The Broward home was
often the scene of gay parties where Marcellini, an old Spanish
Negro, with his "fiddle and bow," was the chief functionary.
John Broward's plantation, conveniently located, was a rest-
stop for friends traveling from Jacksonville to Fernandina and
Savannah by stage. An old oystershell highway, crossing their
land, ran past the rear of the house.52 Seldom was there a meal
in the Broward dining room without a guest.
Meanwhile, as storm clouds, so soon to break into civil war,
began to loom menacingly on the horizon, a nervous tension
became apparent in the daily lives of the people of the county.
The public mind drifted into political channels. All during the
spring and summer of I860, groups of men collected in front
of stores on Bay Street and on porches of the houses along
Church and Duval to discuss excitedly the grave issues of the
day. Heated discussions in the Broward home were frequent.
Not since the political crisis of 1850 had such serious questions!
faced the South. The split in the Democratic convention at
Charleston in May, I860, was generally approved by the
Democrats in the county, although the Whigs viewed the
threat of secession with grave misgivings. The Browards were
among those who joined a Jacksonville conclave on May 15
which declared that ". . the rights of the citizens of Florida
are no longer safe in the Union. ... .She should raise the ban-
ner of secession and invite her Southern sisters to join her.""5








14 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Reaction in Duval County to the election returns in Novem-
ber was immediate. Like secession factions all over the South,
Florida Democrats regarded Lincoln's election as the begin-
ning of the end of their struggle to safeguard Southern in-
terests and institutions and to preserve what they considered
their constitutional rights. It meant that the Republican party,
:holding strong abolitionist sentiments, was now in control in
Washington, and that security, as the Southern planter had
known it, was a thing of the past. Public meetings were held
and passionate resolutions adopted, all fiercely pro-secession
in tone. Typical of these petitions was that signed on November
6, 1860, by the "Ladies of Broward Neck," the Cedar Creek
precinct. It was directed to the "Politicians of Florida" and
asked if they would "remain in the Union and trust to the
tender mercies of the Yankees ... or ... avail themselves of
the means given them by God and nature and defend them-
selves?""5
On December 28, 1860, nearly two weeks before Florida's
secession, Colonel John Broward's daughter, Helen, presented
a new state flag to Governor Madison Starke Perry. Acknowl-
edging its receipt, the governor, like other supporters of a
Southern Confederacy, waxed enthusiastic and grandly pro-
claimed: ". . You have only anticipated by a few days the
proud position of our beloved commonwealth, by placing Flor-
ida under the symbol of a bright and effulgent star, by the
side of South Carolina, on a field of azure which I devoutly
pray God may fitly represent the future serenity and cloudless
sky of Southern Nationality.""
It was a time of mad passions and wild excitement as the
Articles of Secession were adopted in January, 1861, and Flor-
ida, along with South Carolina and Mississippi, left the Union.
The die was cast and there was no turning back. The contro-
versy between the North and the South was metamorphosing
into bloody conflict. With secession, the South reached the
brink of a gulf, and none of the commonwealths of the Con-
federacy approached its destiny with more shining gallantry








Birthright of a Fighting Democrat 15
and with more steadfast devotion than Floridaj. Hosannas
greeted a future that was more uncertain than most Southern-
ers believed. Years of waste and destruction, of misery and
anguish, lay ahead. But the South moved forward unfearing,
the hearts of her citizens filled with courage and hope, their
spirits sturdy and unbending.
The Broward men responded eagerly to the call for volun-
teers. Pulaski Broward joined Marion's Light Artillery in
1861 and served as a private in Captain John M. Martin's
company." Marion's Light Artillery was organized in May,
1861, and saw its first service on Amelia Island near Fernan-
dina. In the reorganization of the company the following year,
Pulaski was made a corporal and served in this capacity until
the end of the war."5 Pulaski took part in the Battle of Chicka-
mauga and was wounded in the Battle of Missionary Ridge.8"
Washington, another of Colonel Broward's sons, volunteered
his services to the Confederate cause. He was captured by the
Union forces and died in the Federal prison at Hilton Head,
South Carolina, before he could be exchanged." Montgomery
L. Broward was seventeen years old when the Civil War be-
gan. He joined Captain Malitico's company, then commanded
by his brother Napoleon. Montgomery was mustered into
Marion's Light Artillery in 1862," and later served in the
Western Army, fighting under Bragg, Hood, and Johnston.61
NapleOJaBr.oward hailed Florida's secession with great en- 1 i"
thusiasm. Commissioned a captain, he organized a company, /
an1y midsummer of 1861 was authorized to "repel invasion,
suppress insurrection and take charge of all suspicious persons
and also prevent every raid that may in your judgment be
detrimental to the interests of Planters in your section. . ,""
When news reached Florida. that a Federal fleet was pre-
paring to invade the state, Broward's company was alerted for
immediate action. He marched his men north into the Fernan-
dina area. The Confederate garrison at Fort Clinch was already
removing guns and ammunition. Fernandina citizens were
frantically piling furniture, trunks, and boxes into wagons and










16 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
carriages to be moved into the interior. In numbers and equip-
ment the scattered Confederate forces in east Florida were no
match for their assailants, and there was little hope of repel-
ling the invasion.
Broward's company was close enough to Fernandina on Sun-
day, March 2, 1862, to hear the tolling of the church bells
and the agitation of the frightened people as they crossed over
to the mainland. The following afternoon Captain Broward
was notified that the advance squadron of the Federal forces
had entered Fernandina Bay. His men remained hidden in the
woods for six days, waiting to see whether the Union soldiers
would stay in Fernandina or move down the coast.
When Napoleon heard that a Federal squadron loaded with
troops had sailed south from Fernandina, he became convinced
that the St. Johns River was a new target for assault. Remem-
bering the many plantations that lay unprotected along both
shores of the river, he rode to sound the alarm. His father's
home would surely be attacked. His wife, babies, and slaves
needed protection at his own plantation. They would have to
be transferred as quickly as possible out of the danger area.
On the afternoon of March Io, the young captain turned
his command over to his brother Montgomery and ordered his
troops to Yellow Bluff Point to "fire into the first Yankee ves-
sel that should come within range of their guns."'! Napoleon
rode through the night toward Duval County. By early dawn
he had reached the first fringe of farmhouses, awakened the
inhabitants, and notified them of the enemy's approach. Sev-
eral soldiers on guard in the area rode with him to the St.
Johns to help if the need arose. It was nearly noon when the
men, worn and tired, turned off the shell road and galloped
up the aisle of trees to the sun-splashed lawn before the house.








/ 2 cN,


Winds of Adversity


P RIOR TO THE Federal invasion in 1862, Florida
had, for the most part, escaped any real fighting. Except
for the seizure of Federal property in St. Augustine,
Chattahoochee, and Pensacola, the burning of the Confederate.
gunboat Judah, and the short-lived action at Fort Pickens, the
state was far removed from actual warfare. The invasion, how-
ever, left in its wake death and privation. Many were forced
to leave their homes and move inland for protection. The
Browards counted themselves fortunate to have a hone-in--
White Springs.
' The war continued until the Confederacy, overwhelmed, saw
its last gleam of hope fade. The conflict swept over the land
like some terribleidood, and the dream of independence, con-
ceived in the excitement of revolution, lay crushed in the dis-
astrous denouement. The Soufit was bif~etrokeiL. Defeat t
brought humiliations sacrifices, and dire-poverty-to-her pros-
trate citizens. The war raged four long years on a scale un-
precedented until that time. Its course had been run with heavy
costs in property, in human endeavor, in blood and tears, and
in mental anguish, and its aftermath bred bitter prejudices.
Everywhere in the South there were changes. Charred and
blasted towns, weed-choked fields, desolated gardens, ravaged
homes attested the reality of defeat. Now peace had its prob-
lems. Hunger and want were specters to be-faced daily. Over-
burdened with taxes, their money worthless, their fields and
homes destroyed, many Southerners grew discouraged and dis-
illusioned. The fall of the Confederacy was a bitter potion to
swallow. Reconstructing a destroyed civilization would be a!
long and difficult task.
[ 7]







18 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
SColonel John Broward and his family returned to Duval
County during the summer of 1865. Sick and old, bitterly dis-
appointed over the results of the war, John died in November,
1865. He was deeply mourned by his family, and his death
was noted by many in the state. Obituaries appeared in several
Florida newspapers. His widow, his son Charles, and his daugh-
ters remained at their Duval County plantation. Two years
later Napoleon, Sr., brought his family back from White
SSprings. The Browards were desperately poor. Their slaves had
been freed; their horfie, crops, and cattle, and most of their
personal possessions had been burned, destroyed, or stolen.
'Unable to pay the heavy taxes levied by the "carpetbag" ad-
ministration in Florida, they saw huge tracts of their land sacri-
ficed on the auction block in Jacksonville.
Napoleon Broward found his plantation greatly changed:
the house and the stables and fences had been burned; the high-
lands of the old farm had grown up in great clusters of chin-
quapin bushes and live-oak saplings; and the lowlands were
covered with a dense growth of high grass and weeds. Where
the house had stood, the undergrowth was so thick that traces
of the flowers and shrubs that once bloomed in the garden
could be found only with great difficulty.' The large oaks that
stood southeast of the house were burned on one side by the
fire which had destroyed the main buildings, and scarred on
the other by shot and shell from Federal gunboats. The river-
bank was strewn with fragments of lumber that was once the
cabin work of Union vessels.2
Young Napoleon and Montcalm helped their father build a
single pen-log house to shelter the family against early spring
frosts and rains. They cut pine saplings and fenced in a field.
With no money to buy mules, horses, or farm implements, they
fsed the few tools they had brought with them from White
Springs to clear away weeds, bushes, and grass from the heavy
'ground on the margin of the river. It was hard, back-breaking
labor far beyond the years of the two youngsters.
In the partly cleared field they planted Irish and sweet po-







Winds of Adversity 19
tatoes, sugar cane, beans, and English peas; and in a smaller
garden they set out cabbage, turnips, beets, lettuce, asparagus,
and onions.3 The work around the fields was chiefly the re-
sponsibility of Napoleon and Montcalm, while their older sis-
ter, Josephine, did the lighter chores and helped her mother
in the house. Their father secured whatever work was available
in Jacksonville or in the county so that the family would have
food until harvest time. quch was the postwar lot of many an-
cther once prosperous SoiA-e family.
It was a dawn-to-dusk task helping to get something for the
big family to eat, and Napoleon had to do a man's job. Al-
though two schools opened in Duval County in 1868 and 1869,
there is no record of the boy's attendance. During the evenings
he received some instruction from his mother in reading and
writing and in the Tiidamentls of arithmetic. This training,
however, could only have been spasmrodicard d slight because
of his mother's frequent illness.4 It is likely, too, that days of
hard labor in the fields and garden did not incline the lad
toward books or schooling.
Many years later Napoleon recalled this first year of the
return home and the disappointment he and Montcalm ex-
perienced when their crops failed. They planted four sacks
of potatoes which yielded one. The English peas withered and
died. Only the sugar cane promised a measure of success. As
Broward later told the story, he and Montcalm "pulled the
shucks off a stalk about one every day to see how many joints
had ripened, until we had counted seven and eight joints to
the stalk." Then one night, when the cane was almost ready for
harvest, a tree blew down on the fence which protected the
crop. The fence fell across a path and diverted a drove of
hungry cattle into the sugarcane patch. Seeking pasture, the in-
vaders trampled the stalks to shreds and ground them under-
foot.5
In his Autobiographical Sketch, Broward describes how the
children loved to hear their mother "tell of the delicious Flor-
ida-grown Irish potatoes, and the luxury of asparagus, which








20 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
none, save the rich, enjoyed." Only he and his sister Josephine,
of the Broward children, could remember "how lettuce tasted,
fixed up with cream and sugar."
The spring of 1868 was cold and rainy and the whole fam-
ily suffered from chills and fever. The Broward children were
"dosed with tartar-emetic" and a "period of cholagogue fol-
lowed, bitter enough to have cured, but it did not."6 The elder
Broward realized that his family suffered from these attacks
because their log house, built too close to the creek, was con-
tinually damp. These conditions were even more acute during
the spring months, when heavy rains caused the creek and river
to swell and overflow their banks. Napoleon helped his father
build a log cabin on higher ground, and during the summer the
family moved. After taking liberal doses of quinine, a popular
cure for fever and ague that was almost forgotten in the block-
aded South during the war, the Browards began to improve
generally in health.7
By fall the family's situation was less critical. The warm
weather and the sun-bright days helped along a fine harvest.
Napoleon and Montcalm used a drag seine in creeks and the
river and caught fish to swell the family larder.8 They earned a
little money when their uncle, Joseph Parsons, paid them one
cent each for water-oak pins, to be used for rafting logs.9
r Just when things seemed to be going better for the family,
tragedy struck. Napoleon's mother, in poor health for years,
had been tried further by the sorrows of the war and its after-
Smath. Living in a log house in all kinds of weather, without
proper food or medical care, Mary Dorcas failed gradually
r- after the family had returned to Cedar Creek. Her death early
in February, 1869, came as a painful shock to Napoleon. The
mother and son, always close, had been drawn together during
the dark days since 1865. The void brought by her passing was
one that was never completely filled for the lad, and he, like
the rest of the family, mourned her for many years.
Soon after the death of his mother, sorrow again came to
young Napoleon. His grandmother, Margaret Tucker Broward,







Winds of Adversity 21
died on her plantation on May 29, I869, after a relatively -
short illness.10 On June 15, 1870, a listing of the debts of the
John Broward estate was made and filed in the office of the
county judge in Jacksonville. One item was the bill of thirty-
eight dollars owed the physician for services "during the last
illness of Margaret Broward.""
Unable to care for his children properly, Napoleon Broward
moved his family to the old John Broward homestead, which
had been partly restored after the war. The aunts welcomed th_
opportunity to take care of Napoleon, his brother, and his sisters.
The old farm on Cedar Creek was abandoned, and soon the
fields and gardens were choked with grass and weeds and the
vacant house began to decay and fall apart. Pine and oak sap-
lings took root, and in a few years were tall enough to hide
the remaining signs of human habitation. Today it is impossible
to determine exactly where the house stood.
Napoleon and Montcalm helped their Uncle Charles to plow
and replant the land that had been cleared and to do other
necessary tasks about the house and farm. Inexperienced as
they were, unable to secure any labor or to pay for it even if
such help had been available, they found that their efforts
were almost futile. Charles Broward, a Harvard graduate
trained for the practice of law,.and a member of the planter
class, was hardly e uipped to cultivate a farm that hacLonce
required several Negro ~saves to p ow nd plant and to har-
vest the crops.
Family records are incomplete on the activities of Napoleon's
father during this period. He worked'at various jobs in Jack-
sonville, none of them important, trying to secure money to
help his family along. Deeply grieved by the loss of his wife,
he was unable to overcome the shock of her death. He spent
many hours brooding over her grave in the Parsons' family
cemetery. Sometimes he rowed to his old plantation, which
was only about two miles across the river from "Newcastle,"
and stayed there for days, alone in the desolate, weather-beaten
cabin, probably dreaming of the happier and more prosperous








22 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
days before the war. Keenly sensitive to the humiliations his
poverty brought, Napoleon, Sr., lamented the disastrous effect
,, of the South's defeat on his family's finances.
- "" One rainy night, early in December, 1870, he made a trip
to "Newcastle." Grief-stricken, he spent the whole night in
he cemetery, oblivious of the weather, and caught a severe cold
-- which quickly developed into pneumonia. He sank rapidly and
n a few days was dead. Napoleon felt deep sorrow over his
father's death, but this loss did not seem to mean so much to
him as had his mother's death. He was too young before and
during the war to have had any deep appreciation for or close
understanding of his father. There was only the natural affec-
tion and admiration that a son has for his parent.
After their father's death Napoleon and Montcalm faced
new and complex problems. Their Uncle Charles had moved
to Jacksonville, where he had opened law offices and eventually
prospered.12 Work in the fields and gardens of the Broward
plantation was now entirely in the hands of the two youngsters.
Before their uncle's departure, it had been a difficult task to
plant and harvest crops, but now the job was well-nigh im-
possible.
Napoleon's aunts-Colonel Broward's daughters, Helen,
Maria, and Florida-realized that under existing conditions the
farm could not be made to pay, and that they would have to
solve the problem of providing food for part of the family.
\Consequently, in the early weeks of 1871 the Broward ladies
moved to Jacksonville, taking with them Napoleon's sisters,
Josephine, Mary Dorcas, Emily, and Hortense."' They lived
on Monroe Street between Pine (now Main) and Laura. Later
they moved to 48 East Bay Street on the corner of Market and
opened a boardinghouse."1 The aunts enrolled their nieces as
day pupils in St. Joseph's Convent School, located on the cor-
ner of Pine and Duval streets."
~ Napoleon and Montcalm lived alone on the Broward plan-
tation for many months, trying to grow corn and potatoes and
fatten the few hogs that remained. They worked in the fields







Winds of Adversity 23
until darkness drove them in, well past sunset. Their supper
consisted of "hominy, peeled sweet potatoes, a piece of pork,
all boiled together in the same pot."'1 There was little to do
in the evenings and, as soon as supper was finished, they would
"lean their guns against the wall near the head of the bed, . .
place a bowie knife in a crack of the log house within reach,"
and go to bed."1
During the long summer afternoons after the crops were in
the boys swam in the river or fished off its banks. They were
expert shots and liked to hunt with their dogs Ring and Lady."1
In his later years, Napoleon remembered the Florida woods
as "abounding in deer, turkeys and squirrels, the hunting of
which furnished us a profitable and pleasing recreation."'1
ife adsliving by themselves on
the deteriorate farm. Their nearest neg ra 0fwomiles
away;,and contacts with the outside world were few. Occasion-
ally Uncle Charles made the tiresome trip from Jacksonville
to visit them, and sometimes on Sunday they would rise early
and walk four miles to spend the day at the house of their
Uncle Pulaski.20 They went to church as often.asa possible
since it was the most convenient place to meet their friends. On
one occasi-n-Naifpbeoif-pTiann-edto'accompany his neighbors,
Abram Geiger and his family, to church services. His Aunt
Lizzie, Pulaski's wife, had promised to cut out new linen
trousers for Napoleon and Montcalm. Montcalm's were com-
pleted, but the illness of one of the children prevented the
finishing of the pair intended for Napoleon. Determined that
he was going to wear these new trousers when he rode to church
with Mr. Geiger's daughter, Eugenia, Napoleon sewed them
himself.21
The boys lived on the farm until the fall of 1871. After
they had harvested their crops, they moved to the home of
Uncle Joe Parsons and worked for him in his lumber camp A
at Mill Cove. Napoleon's job was to raft logs after they had
been cut by the loggers and brought to the river with horse
teams. Both boys worked there for more than a year, but the







24 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
spring rains of 1873 brought back their attacks of fever and
ague. Unable to continue in the lumber camp, they moved to
E the plantation of Amander Parsons, their grandfather, on the
south side of the St. Johns. A New Englander, and a compara-
tive newcomer to Florida when the Civil War began, Amander
had suffered the fate of many who had adhered to the Con-
federacy. He saw his mill at Mayport burned and his planta-
tion at Newcastle destroyed. Although he had opposed slavery
prior to the war and had used free labor in his mill, through-
out the conflict he had remained loyal to the Southern cause.
According to family story, the Federal officials in Jacksonville,
suspecting Amander of being too strong a Southern sympa-
thizer, had briefly imprisoned him. For a while the Parsons felt
it necessary to leave Duval County and take refuge in central
Florida. After the War Amander rebuilt his home and planted
an orange grove, which by 1873 was thriving and productive.
Napoleon and his brother lived with their Parsons grand-
parents until Amander's death on August 30, 1873.22 In the
fall the boys moved to Mill Cove, farther down the river, to
be close to the small country public school which had been es-
tablished there. The lads boarded with a farmer of the neigh-
borhood, Philip P. Lord. Montcalm's board had been pro-
vided for in his grandfather's will, but Napoleon, two years
older, paid his own way by chopping wood, building rail fences,
and doing other odd jobs and chores around Lord's farm.
Napoleon was tall for seventeen; his body was hard and
swi The boy's shoulders Widened,-thisa rnnand legs length-
ened, and his skin grew- dar after daylong exertion in the hot
sun. Throughout the summer of 1873, he and Montcalm
worked on their grandmother's farm, helping to care for the
orange grove. For his work Napoleon was paid seventy-five
dollars. His brother received fifty.23
After another winter at Mill Cove, Napoleon left school in
the spring of 1875 to work on Uncle Joe Parsons' steamboat.
When he failed as a cook, he was made assistant fireman and
then worked as a deck hand and wheelman.4 It was a summer







Winds of Adversity 25
all green and golden for the boy, who could not remember
when he had been so happy. He loved boats and he spent many
years onaLem. The rest of hislife wa c cosnected- wit
ships and navigation.
The river to him was like an old friend. He learned to know
every turn, every level, and every mark of the St. Johns from
its source below Lake George to its mouth, where it entered
the broad Atlantic. Napoleon found it exciting to sail between
the banks of the river, and to watch the thickets of live oak
and cypress and the sun-splashed pine barrens which cut across
the hammocks and lay green to the river. In the jungle-like
hammocks the thick muscadine and wild-grape vines climbed
over the scrub and ascended the trees, winding round and
round. Along the shore, clumps of cypress trees, with tangled
masses of briars and vines around their trunks, were inter-
spersed with lush prairies and low grassy marshes, where the
water flowed torpidly and where large areas were paved with
green lily pads. On many days the sun was so bright that
Napoleon could hardly distinguish the purple and white violets
and the thickets of azaleas blooming along the sides of the
small streams that flowed lazily into the St. Johns. He liked
to watch the white-eyed towhees, the yellowthroats, and the
"piney-woods" sparrows fluttering among the palmetto scrub
which echoed and re-echoed their high-pitched reedlike notes.
As the fall of i~75. aipproache, -business-declined for the
Parsons' boat, and Napoleon returned to school. This time he -
went to New Berlin, Florida, attending the school there and
living with an old lighthouse keeper, Captain Summers. The
lighthouse, which was destroyed when the channel of the St.
Johns River was deepened during the I880's, stood out in the
river about two hundred feet from Dame's Point. Captain Sum-
mers, living alone in his gray weather-beaten cabin, welcomed
the boy, happy to have his company during the long winter
months. Napoleon enjoyed this winter. His grandmother paid
for his board,25 so there was plenty of time free from study to
fish in the river, watch the men build boats, and explore the







26 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Confederate breastworks on the slopes of the bluff, which,
manned and armed, had protected that area of the St. Johns.26
New Berlin was an active and thriving settlement. Formerly
Yellow Bluff, it lay about twelve miles north of Jacksonville
and was one of the larger shipbuilding centers of northeast
Florida. Its harbor was usually filled with fishing smacks and
ships waiting to be repaired. The town itself was built along
the river's edge, its rutted roads winding past frame houses
and stores at the foot of a steep bluff.
One of the prominent families of New Berlin was that of
Captain David Kemps, who owned a fleet of fishing smacks
and, at various times, several river boats as well. He built
such vessels as the Kate Spencer27 and other steamers, each of
which played an important and interesting part in the history
of navigation on the St. Johns River. The Kemps home, large
enough for nine children, stood on a high, finger-like point
of land overlooking the river. Since the township of New
Berlin began almost at the line of the Broward holdings, the
Kemps and Browards were friends and neighbors for many
years. During his winter at New Berlin young Broward was
a frequent visitor in the Kemps home. He and the captain's
oldest-daughter, Georgiana Carolina, began a friendship that
deepened with the years.28
The following summer, after school closed, Napoleon
shipped north on a lumber schooner. He drew his pay when
the vessel docked in New York City, and traveled to Middle-
town, New York, to see his youngest sister, Hortense, who
was living with Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Dill.29 Throughout
the rest of the summer and fall of 1876 Napoleon worked at
odd jobs along the New England coast. Early in December
he arrived at Cape _Cod _Massachusetts, where he hoped to
secure a berth on a fishing vessel. He fouiii, however, that
because of the long-continued and excessive cold, the fishing
season at this port had not begun. Snow, eighteen inches deep,
covered the ground, and large, jagged blocks of ice lay along
.the shore or floated unevenly in the gray sea water.30 Far from







Winds of Adversity 27
home, without money, shelter, or employment, Napoleon was
faced with the immediate problem of getting a job. The
Emma Linwood, a four-masted schooner and the only vessel
in port at the time, was about to sail when Napoleon heard
that there was still an unfilled berth aboard ship. Without
knowing the destination of the vessel, he decided to try for
the job. He had developed a-bad case of whooping cough and
was afraid that if he started coughing while being interviewed,
the captain might think him consumptive and not hire him.
He found Captain Newcomb of the Emma near one of the
wharves, supervising the loading of supplies.
In the weak sunlight Napoleon looked pale. He swallowed
a large glass of water to control his cough, walked quickly up
to the officer and asked, "Captain, do you want to ship a man?"
For a moment the captain seemed not to hear. He turned
around slowly, shoved the pencil that he was using into his
coat pocket, and scrutinized the lad from head to toe. Napoleon
hardly dared breathe for fear of encouraging another coughing
spell. After a moment the captain jerked his head and said,
"O. K. You'll do. Get aboard.""1
The schooner shipped_ _theGrand Banks of Newfound-
land, wherejts.crew spent the rest of the winter catching cod-
fish. This was the first winter in the North for Napoleon, and
he was totally unprepared for the frigid weather that he en-
countered in the Northern seas. Clad in Kentucky jeans and a
gingham shirt, he would have frozen to death but for the
generosity of other crew members, who lent him some warm
woolens.82 Napoleon remained in the North, following the
sea, for almost two years. Leading-a-sai1fr's-ife, he worked
on several dEfferent ships. After the winter in Newfoundland,
he shipped out of New Gloucester on a vessel freighting lum-
ber. Later, for a short time in 1878, he worked on an oyster
boat, probably when he was making his way from New
England to Florida.
There are only fragmentary records of his activities at this
time. During the latter part of 1878, he worked as wheelman







28 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
on a St. Johns River steamer. Probably he was in Jacksonville
much of March and April, 1879, where his father's estate was
being settled by the administrator.33 Late in 1879 he moved
to New Berlin, where he was employed by his old friend,
David Kemps, on one of the captain's river boats. Here he
worked for three years, first as a mate, then as captain of a
S vessel which plied between Jacksonville, Mayport, Palatka,
Sanford, and Enterprise.
In the fall and winter months ofI ~_ he worked on a tug
which brought huge clumps of brush, saplings, and tough wire
grass from points up the river to Mayport, where Captain
R. G. Ross was supervising the construction of the jetties.
These brush mattresses, as they were called, were commonly
used in the building of jetties. Chained together and sub-
merged in the water, they served as bases upon which the huge
boulders and broken stones, brought down from New York
City by boat, could rest.34
A frequent traveler with Napoleon on the Kemps' boat was
Georgiana Carolina Kemps, or Carrie, as she was called by her
family and friends. Carrie, nineteii years old when Napoleon
First began working for her father, often sailed on the steamer
S to Jacksonville, where she shopped. She liked to stand with
Napoleon on the. foredeck, the warm sun lighting her thick
brown hair, and watch him as he skillfully maneuvered the
vessel around the shoals and sand bars of the river and be-
tween the steep banks of summer green. Thin and lithe, and
wearing the great belled skirts of the period, Carrie walked
the decks and reveled in the sights and sounds of the river.
Napoleon was attracted. He admired Carrie's grace and her
ease of manner; and in her eyes, set high in a long and rather
thin face, he saw an open frankness which he liked.35 And
Carrie found in him those things which she desired in a hus-
band. By Decemher,.L882, Napoleon had saved enough money
to become a partner in the boat business of Captain Kemps and
the wedding date was set. A series of parties followed the an-
nouncement. One of the more resplendent was a reception and








Winds of Adversity 29
dance given on New Year's night by Mr. and Mrs. John Mc-
Donald.3 Napoleon and Carrie were married the first week 8
of JanuaryiS3, in the old Methodist chapeTat New Berlin.
Soon afterward they moved to Mayport, where they lived in
the home of Mrs. Arnau, who operated a boardinghouse for
men working on the jetties.7
In May, Broward gave up his work on the tug and applied
for a commission aspilot-of the St. Johns River Bar. After
he had deposited the necessary bond of five hundred dollars,38
he received his license on May i2.39 The rate of pilotage at the
St. Johns Bar, established by the Legislative Council while
Florida was still a territory, was two dollars for each foot of
water drawn by the vessel and two dollars for each day the
pilot was detained on board.4TrAs more people began settling
in northeast Florida, and as its commercial enterprises became
more important, the'value of the river and its harbors also
increased. The Territorial Act of 1839 had created a Board
of Port Wardens to regulate the anchorage, mooring, and
dockage of vessels at the port,41 and successive legislation es-
tablished controls over the pilots.42 The large number of ves-
sels crossing the Bar brought the pilots a lucrative income, and-
commissions were much sought after.
During the summer of 1883, Napoleon's ister-Josephine ]
died in Jacksonville. A few weeks later Napoleon and Carrie
moved from- Mayport to live in his sister's house on East Duval
Street, across from the old St. Andrew's parish church, near
the corner of what is now Florida Avenue. The furniture in
the house cost Napoleon one'hundred dollars.43 The rooms
were large, with high ceilings, and the floors shone like sun-
shine on a late summer afternoon. Moss-bannered oaks shaded
the front of the two-story house, and the back yard was large
enough for a flower garden.
September in north Florida was a season of bright sunshine.
Great splashes of sunlight slanted through the trees, and every-
where the foliage was a rich summer green. Grass, weeds, and
flowers in the woods were thick and fresh. In the air was a









30 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
fragrance of clover hay, the first cutting. Carrie, big with child,
was too sick to enjoy the warm autumn. She suffered from
attacks of dengue fever, but the doctor, fearing that her heart
might be weak, hesitated to give her his stronger medicines."
As the time for the birth of her child drew near, Carrie im-
proved. Her face colored and her body grew stronger. A son
Swas born on October 29, and the child was given his father's
name.
It was a happy day for Napoleon. Captain Kemps, notified
by messenger, started out from New Berlin immediately to
see his grandson. Suddenly, in the midst of the excitement,
-Carrie's condition changed and became critical. A few hours
after the birth of her baby, she suffered severe attacks of con-
gestive chills and fever, brought on by the dengue. In her
weakened condition she had little power of resistance. A strange
quiet filled the house, broken only by the movements of the
doctor and nurses, the baby's crying, and by occasional in-
quiries from kindly neighbors. Lamplights from the sickroom
cut across the outside darkness with the color of a new moon.
Carrie grew steadily worse during the night and in the early
Hours of the dawn of October 30, 1883, she sank into a state
of unconsciousness from which she never rallied,45 Her body
was placed on the steamer Mabey" and carried back to New
Berlin where she was buried in the Kemps family cemetery.7
yNapoleon's world was filled with darkness. Grief-stricken,
e could not work, and for weeks he lived with the Kemps
family in New Berlin. Adding to his sorrow was the problem
of his motherless child. Frantically he advertised for milk that
would agree with the baby, and went into the woods among
the Negro women, trying to find a wet nurse. But it was too
I late. The infant died on December 16, after a short life of
six weeks, and was buried in the grave next to his mother's.48
In less than five months Napoleon had lost his sister, his wife,
and his child. He knew the fullness of sorrow.








0 3 CN

River Runs and a Romance


SHE WINTER OF 1883-1884 was a hard and bitter
one for young Broward. After Carrie's death-.he con-
tinued to work as a pilot, directing the steamers over
the treacherous St. Johns Bar, through the channel to Jack-
sonville, and then out again. Shocked by his tragic loss, he
wanted to leave Florida and the scenes that reminded him of
his wife. Upon the advice of CaptainrKemps, he asked for and
received an indefinite leave of absence, and early in June, 1884,
took passage on a coastwise steamer headed north.' He planned
to visit his mother's Northern relatives and his own Northern
friends. Very little isknown of Broward's activities during the
next few months, but he probably traveled through the New
England states, saw his Parsons aunts and uncles, and renewed
old acquaintances at Cape Cod and New Gloucester. By late
fall he was back in Florida..
At Jacksonville Broward boarded a down-river steamer. Al-
though it was December, the air was like that of a warm April
day. The trees on both banks cast long shadows on the river;
moss scarves hung low from the branches and trailed in the
water. A wind, redolent of the salt smell of the Atlantic, cut
sharply across the vessel and lost itself in the woods.
The captain of the vessel was an old friend and Broward
helped him collect tickets. Among the passengers was a young
lady of seventeen,- Anie h 1abe assY who with ier
mother, her brother-Alexander, and her sister Elsie, was
traveling from Sanford to Mayport, to meet her father, Cap-
tain Douglass. Annie had arrived from New York in October
and had spent the past two months with relatives in Sanford.
After meeting the captain in Mayport, the Douglass family
[31]








32 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
planned to go on to their new home at Mount Pleasant.3 The
paths of Napoleon Broward and Annie Douglass crossed for
the first time, but it is doubtful that the two young people
gave each other more than a casual glance during the en-
tire trip.
Broward returned to New Berlin, where he worked for
Captain Kemps on the steamer David Kemps, recently pur-
chased for twenty-eight hundred dollars from the Washing-
ton Steamboat Company.' Later, he became a partner with
Kemps in the steamer Kate Spencer, which had been completed
in New Berlin.
The winter was a banner one for the river boats. The St.
Johns, like other rivers of northeast Florida during the I88o's,
swarmed with steamboats of every description, ranging from
small, odd-looking craft that ran to places far up the river,
to the fastest and most modern of passenger boats. Most of
these vessels were side-wheelers. With orange trees in full
bearing in the groves and plantations along the waterways,
and with few railroads south of Jacksonville to offer freight
competition, river-boat captains like Broward found the ship-
ping of oranges a lucrative business.
The steamers played an important part in the development
of JacksonvillU and the surrounding area. They transformed
Sthe St. Johns River ifto a pulsating artery of trade that pro-
vided the major means of transportation of freight and pas-
sengers to a large portion of the peninsula. Moreover, they
helped northeast Florida remain a part of the social life of the
South. Coastwise steamers made it easy for the ladies of Jack-
sonville, St. Augustine, and Palatka to hear the latest up-
country gossip, to learn the intricate dance steps introduced
at the St. Cecilia cotillions in Charleston, and to receive the
new fashion books from New York and Boston. Broward's
cargo often included bolts of taffeta and silk, as well as boxes
that bulged with combs and pins and buttons, shipped from
the stores in Jacksonville to the farms and houses along the
river.







River Runs and a Romance 33
Captain Broward, as he was now called, was on the path to j
prosperity through the river trade. By June, 1885, the Kate
Spencer made two trips daily to and from the St. Johns Bar,
carrying both freight and passengers. The newspaper adver-
tisements announced that the vessel loaded in Jacksonville
from "Wightman's and Christopher's wharf, rear of the post-
office," and promised "a glorious opportunity for sea air, fish-
ing and bathing."5
The Kate Spencer, newest and fastest boat on the river, re-
ceived a fair share of the tourist travel that constantly in-
creased each year after the war. The journey by rail from
the North was a tedious one, lasting two or three days. When
the tired traveler had made the final change of cars at Live Oak
and had finished the last lap over the Florida Central into
Jacksonville, he breathed a sigh of relief. Jacksonville, in win-
ter a city four times its summer size, was already known as
"TJie Winter City in Summer Land."6 The city offered few
municipal attractions. Apparently J-cksenville appealed to the
tourist because of its climate and because it was in Florida.
The hotelkeepers and steamboat captains like Broward received
the greater portiqa touristspending
D-irii'g the season of I884- 88_ approximately sixty
thousand tourists-arrived at Jacksonville's principal hotels and
larger boardinghouses.7 As the city could not accommodate
them all, many were forced to go on to other towns. In the
long summer months of 1885, when business was slack, the
fashionable hotels-the Everett, Windsor, and Duval--spent
considerable money for improvements and decorations.
Jacksonville in the I880's was unimposing. On Bay Street
the business buildings and hotels were interspersed between
residences. Back from the river the streets, usually unpaved,
outlined blocks of houses enclosed in trimly kept yards. Dur-
ing the winter season, tourists, dressed in the fashionable styles
of the North, promenaded along the wooden sidewalks on
Bay Street and watched the steamers as they passed up and
down the waterway.







34 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
The announcement of a race between the Kate Spencer and
a rival boat created considerable interest for the spectators. A
billowing tide of parasols and bright dresses, of black vests
and gold watch fobs, ebbed and flowed around the wharf
from which the vessels were scheduled to leave. A band blared
out the tunes of the day and added to the general clatter. The
two boats, cutting cleanly from the brown water, throbbed
while they awaited the starter's whistle. A great cheer went
up as the steamships propelled themselves on the current for
the race. There was furious betting, with the odds changing
frequently. When the boats reached their destination, the name
of the winner was hurriedly relayed back to Jacksonville. Many
newspapers throughout the country described these races. One
account reported: "A very hotly contested and exciting race
occurred between the steamers Kate Spencer and Seth. Low,
Sunday afternoon while coming up from the Bar. There was
but little difference in the time made by the two boats, the
Spencer having gained in the entire distance several hundred
yards."8
Broward arranged in July, 1885, to carrxy-the daily- mail
by boat to individual familiesahlng the route to Mayport."
,He tried to secure a mail contract from the government but
was not successful.'1 Early in October, when the mail-carrying
DeBary-Baya Steamers Company gave up its government con-
tract, mail deliveries to Mayport were suspended. Living on
his ship, Broward enjoyed an untrammeled, carefree li-feTHe
was, moreover, becoming prosperous through a growing amount
of freight and passenger business. Besides her regular runs,
the Kate Spencer catered to parties of fishermen and picnick-
ers, and each Sunday made special excursions to Mayport, Fort
George Island, or the Bar, all of which increased her earnings.
During the week, the Jacksonville paper published notices
of the Sunday trips, which usually attracted capacity crowds.
One such advertisement declared:
The newest and fastest steamer on the river, Kate Spencer,
will leave Wightman's and Christopher's, rear of the post-







River Runs and a Romance


office, for an Excursion to St. John's Bar and the Jetties.
Sunday, July 5, 1885 at 10 a.m. Returning, leave Mayport
at 4 p.m. Fare for Round Trip, 50 cents.'1
Family orppsoften..made a holiday of a river excursion on
the St. Johns. They carried filled lunch baskets aboard, and
througo-ut The voyage stuffed themselves with fried chicken,
smoked ham, cold meat, biscuits, pickled watermelon rind,
and a wide assortment of cakes and homemade candies. Other
passengers ate the hot meals sold on the boat and served on
deck by Negro waiters.
Many of the boats were elaborately fitted out. Their main
parlors sparkled with cut-glass chandeliers; gilt and gold
chairs lined the walls according to the latest fashion, adding
more to display than comfort. Mahogany-framed mirrors
decorated the ladies' salons, and carpets covered the floors.
On the boats which served liquors and wines, glasses clinked
continually in the smoking rooms. However, Captain Broward,--1
a strong p-ribitiointstf!r-efused to serve whisky aboard the
Kate Speer. At night the Negro hands assembled and sang
spirituals and lullabies. Sometimes the passengers danced on
the open decks, but more often, after a day of activity, they
were content to sit and idly watch the dark-brown water flow
quietly around the great bends of the river on its way to the sea.
Napoleon was every inch a prosperous river-boat captain. -
Attwenty-nine he had developed into a large man, with his
two hundred ten pounds well distributed ov-er-i-isiix-foot two-
inch frame. A mustache, thick and neatly trimmed in the fash-
ion of the day, adorned his full face. Long hours in the sun
had browned his complexion and had given a smouldering
redness to his dark hair. He walked with an alert, almost mili-
tary step, and usually wore a tailored, well-fitted coat of aver-
age lengt- open enough to allow a generous view of the
white linen shirt front and the collar above it. Dark trousers,
worn without cuffs, and a sash braid around his waist, com-
pleted his ship-captain's attire.12







36 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
In July, 1886, Broward went to Savannah to apply for an
appointment as the United States Local Inspector of Hulls
for the Savannah District, a job then unfilled. He was en-
. dorsed by Congressman Charles Dougherty and several prom-
I inent Jacksonville businessmen who wrote flattering letters of
recommendation. One such letter described him as "a young
man of great worth, and very superior intelligence . ""1
Despite this support, Broward lost the appointment to a
Georgia resident.
Several weeks later, on a clear bright morning early in
September, Annie Douglass boarded the Kate Spencer when
; it made its regular run back from the Bar. She threaded her
Sway through the crowds on the deck and found a seat on the
awninged side of the boat. She sat alone, her gray cloak across
the back of her chair, her dark hair thrown into strong relief.
Idly Annie watched the green banks slip by. As the captain of
the vessel approached her, she turned her head casually. He
introduced himself and asked if she were the person who had
made derogatory remarks about the service on his boat. A few
days before, a friend of the Douglass family had tried to
board the Kate Spencer at Fulton, but the ship had inadvert-
ently passed him by. Annie had recounted the incident to an-
other friend, who repeated the story to Napoleon. Since the
'young lady had been critical of the captain and the vessel,
Napoleon was determined to talk to his censor, who had been
aptly described to him.
With a flash of her dark-gray eyes, Miss Douglass admitted
that she had made the remarks, and assured him that she
considered them most fitting. Napoleon explained that on the
day in question he had been on a holiday trip to New Berlin
and had left a substitute captain in charge. She replied tartly,
"If you want to take your holidays off the ship, you should
choose someone to run the boat who knows how.""4 He flushed
at her sharp words, and then noticed that she was smiling and
that her eyes glowed warmly. They both laughed, and before
the ship docked they had become good friends.









River Runs and a Romance c6
After their first meeting, Napoleon often saw-Annie -o-the
boat when she made trips to Jacksonville to shop and visit.
During the voyages they talked politics and frequently com-
pared the North with the South. Although they sometimes
failed to agree, Napoleon always admired Annie's independent
thought and the forceful way she presented her arguments.
She never lacked spirit, and there was an innate charm and
grace about her that fascinated him. She was a little shorter
than middle height; yet when she stood next to the tall captain
she gave the impression of being small. Her delicate eye-
brows, finely etched nose, and precise little chin added dis-
tinction to her strong face. Her quick smile and her warm,
gentle eyes charmed everyone.
In October, 1886, Annie's father, Captain Douglass, was
injured when his ship was caught in a South Atlantic storm.
After his vessel had docked in New York he was taken to a
hospital, and Mrs. Douglass came up from the South to help
nurse him. Since Annie and Elsie could not remain alone at
Mount Pleasant, they moved to Jacksonville. Annie lived at
the home of Captain M. C. Rice, an old friend of the Douglass
family, and her sister boarded at the St. Joseph's Convent
School."1
Before long, Napoleon was using a variety of excuses to
visit the Rice home several times a week. In the evenings
after his boat docked at Wightman's wharf, Napoleon, his
shoulders sleek in his captain's coat, his face freshly shaved,
walked the short blocks to the house. If he found other young
men calling on Miss Douglass, he would swap stories with
Captain Rice for a half hour or so; then if his rivals were still
there, he would inform them that it would be better if they
went home.16 In spite of such presumptuous behavior, Annie
always welcomed Napoleon's visits. During the early evening
they walked with the smart crowds along Bay Street. On Sat-
urday nights they either made excursions on the steamer or
danced in the elegant parlors of the St. James Hotel.
One evening early in March, 1887, they returned to the








38 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Rice house from a walk along the riverbank. Standing to-
gether on the porch they watched the new moon rise above
the oak trees. The leaves of the columbine off the side porch
murmured softly. The city was hushed. Napoleon reached out
and covered Annie's hand with his own. In a quiet voice he
, .sked her to marry him and she consented.
SAt nine o'clock on the morning of Ma5g the Reverend
W. H. Dodge performed the wedding ceremony in the New-
nan Street Presbyterian Church. iFt s a--7-ay of glory for
Napoleon. The flowers, the music, and the large gathering of
relatives made the affair a social event in Jacksonville. One
newspaper declared: "The groom is one of Jacksonville's
strong and manly representative young men, and high char-
(V acter, joined to force and energy have given already influence
and friends. The bride... is universally esteemed for graces
of mind and person.""
Napoleon and his bride were escorted to the old "Augus-
tine" ferry where they boarded a train for St. Augustine.
After a three-day honeymoon, the couple returned to Jack-
sonville, visited for several days in the Rice home, and then
moved temporarily into a small furnished apartment at the
corner of Liberty and Bay streets.s1 Mrs. Broward owned
some property on Church Street in East Jacksonville, then
one of the fashionable suburbs, and there the couple built a
home.9 The two-story frame structure was completed in
October and the Browards moved in immediately.20 The fur-
nishings for the house cost approximately one hundred eighty-
five dollars.21 Some of this furniture is in use in the Broward
family today.
BrowarcLwas becoming increasingly popular in Jacksonville.
His years on the river had made him a familiar figure to the
people of the county, and his personable mien and affable
good nature made him a favorite boat captain. He apparently
showed only an average interest in politics at this time. In
October, 1886, he transported his friend, Charles Dougherty,
who was campaigning for re-election to Congress, to a po-








River Runs and a Romance


litical meeting at Mandarin.22 There is no other record
of his participation in the fall elections of that year.
Broward continued to operate the Kate Spencer, which was
doing a thriving freight and passenger business up and down
the river. In continuous service throughout 1887, except dur-
ing May, when Broward had her overhauled in Jacksonville,23
the vessel made her usual excursions all during the summer,
going as far as Palatka on many trips. On one of these voyages
a horse was carried to Mayport, for an army officer living:
there.24
In October, 1887, Broward bought a small woodyard and
gristmill from George A. DeCottes.25 The mill was used by
many people in the city to grind their feed and corn. The
captain hired a man to operate the business, while he continued
on the Kate Spencer. Nothing, it seemed, could wean him from
the river and his boat. However, events occurred during their,
first two months of 1888 which greatly affected Napoleonlk
Broward and helped determine his future activities.
On the last Friday in January, 1888, a notorious.forger.
from New York, who had absconded with forty thousand dol-
lars, was arrested in Jacksonville and lodged in the city jail.2"
With the sheriff's approval, the prisoner was transferred to a
suite of rooms in the Tischler Building, where he was guarded
by two deputies. Late on the night of February 2, while the
guards slept, the prisoner escaped.27 A great-.lam e arose all
over the state against the negligence of the sheriff, nd Gov-
ernor Perry asked for his resignation. The Democratic county
executive committee immediately called a meeting to consider
a nominee for the position and to make a recommendation to
the governor.28
Governor Perry explicitly demanded a man who was "thor-
oughly sober and of good moral character."29 Many considered
Broward the best qualified person for the office. The Florida
Times-Union endorsed him as a "man possessed of four pre-
requisites . integrity, honesty, courage, and above all abso-
lute sobriety."30








4-0 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
At the meeting on Saturday morning, a majority of the
executive committee voted for Broward on the first ballot,
and unanimously recommended him to the governor. The
county newspapers were enthusiastic over the committee's
choice. Editorially the Florida Times-Union expressed the
general sentiment of the voters when it declared the "nomina-
tion ... one of the very best that has ever been made in Duval
County."31
A letter from John L. Crawford, Florida's secretary of
state, received by Broward on the evening of February 21,
informed him that the governor had appointed him sheriff
of Duval County.3 Broward immediately subscribed to the
oath of office and dispatched his letter of acceptance to Talla-
/ hassee. His official commission arrived at the end of the week,
S and on thefollowingMonday, February 27, he took formal
charge_ the sheriff's office and entered upon its' duties im-
mediately.-lHe appointed Ed Williams and W. D. Vinzant
Sa"eputies, and Pat Phelan as jailer.33
Some of Jacksonville's winter tourists, bored with Bay
Street promenades and dances in the ballrooms of the Carlton
and St. James hotels, demanded more excitement. As a result
several gambling houses opened in the city. Gambling was not
legal, but law enforcement was lax, and these luxuriously fur-
-nished establishments operated wide open. During his first
Sr-lweek in office, Broward mapped out plans to clean the city
S i of this.vice.
The following Friday evening at nine-thirty, the sheriff,
accompanied by regular and specially appointed deputies, left
S the county jail and approached the "West End" saloon. He
posted his men in the shadows and then, with his slouch hat
pulled low over his fore he tered the building alone. No
onerecogniizedhim at first, and he had -time to survey the
premises and secure sufficient evidence to justify his arrests.
He took the proprietors into custody and his men hurried
*. 1 them off to jail. Broward and his deputies next raided a well-
appointed gambling house on Newnan Street, and then went









River Runs and a Romance


on to a third establishment. There they found that the owners
in their hurried departure had forgotten to lock and shutter
the place. Here Broward seized "a roulette table, one stud
poker table, one faro table, and one draw poker table."34
Next morning when questioned by reporters, the new sheriff
declared in a voice strong with conviction, "The law against.
gambling is complete and makes it my duty and not my privi-f
lege to break up such establishments .... I am under oath to
enforce it and I propose to do so."3" A large number of Jack-
sonville citizens applauded the sheriff's actions, and he was
highly commended by both local and state papers. The Florida
Times-Union predicted that when "another raid becomes neces-
sary . the fur will fly."36
On March 8, I888, the case against the gamblers came to
trial with Sheriff Broward an important witness for the county.
The gambling interests, who were powerful in northeast Flor-
ida, had made several attempts to "buy" Broward. He later
told how one gambler came to his office to persuade him not
to introduce certain evidence. Broward refused the request.
When the gambler had gone, the sheriff discovered that a
large roll of bills, tied with a string; had been left as a bribe.
He promptly returned the money.3 The gamblers were
eventually convicted and sentenced,
This first successful venture as a law enforcing agent helped /,
toluild-Broward's political reputation. Once again the Florida
Times-Union supported him with enthusiasm: "The wise and
politic course ... is for Sheriff Broward to go straight forward
in the line which he has begun. He has only to listen to the
papers to see that he has already made the beginning of a
great reputation. A month ago he was a modest citizen, held
in high esteem by a reasonably large circle of personal friends,
but unknown to the state at large. Now he is known all over
the state, and his example is being commended to other officials
in like station.""3











Politics and the Plague


BY MID-APRIL OF 1888, summer heat, still and
heavy, blanketed Florida. The sun scorched the earth,
dried up small ponds, and threatened the crops. A
sour smell rose from the river and permeated Jacksonville.
The stench hung like a mist over the low places, penetrating
the houses until whatever was touched or eaten felt and tasted
like the river. Mosquitoes swarmed over green-scummed pools
of water. Many families moved to Pablo Beach or to resorts
in the North. Broward's wife and his sister, Hortense, left for
New York City in July. Hardly had they reached their desti-
nation when they read the news which shocked and horrified
the whole country-yellow fever had broken out in Jackson-
ville and a terrible epidemic was raging.
In the early spring of 1888, a peculiar fever, which some-
what baffled physicians, was prevalent in several sections of
Florida. Word spread that it was the dreaded yellow fever,
but this fact was denied. The people of Bartow, indignant
when the Savannah Morning News on April 22 reported that
there was fever in Bartow, Plant City, and Micanopy, urged
their city to sue the paper for libel.1 The secretary of the Duval
County Board of Health investigated conditions in Gainesville,
Ocala, Dade City, Lakeland, Plant City, Seffner, and Tampa,
and found two cases of the fever in Plant City and a record of
twelve deaths there during the previous six months.
Vague rumors concerning the plague circulated in Jackson-
ville, and the Marine Hospital Bureau reported that yellow-
fever cases were being diagnosed as typhoid.2 Jacksonville
physicians vigorously denied these charges.3 There were scat-
tered cases in the state during June, but none in Jacksonville,
[42]









Politics and the Plague 43
and citizens there thought they were safe. If they could get
through July, they imagined all would be well.4
During the last week of July the first case in the city was
reported, but it caused only slight alarm. A man named R. D.
McCormick, who had come into Jacksonville by way of Tampa,
had registered at the Grand Union Hotel. He was ill and the
local physicians who examined him diagnosed his case as yellow
fever. On August 8 four more cases were found; and then,
without further warning, new cases developed each hour. On
August Io the Board of'Health issued its first proclamation,
which admitted the fever was rapidly reaching the epidemic
stage.' Panic and disorder swept the city.
When word of the fever reached Broward, he immediately
placed his office at the disposal of the health authorities. With
other officials_ he worked endless hours through the close, Y
windless night trying to keep some semblance of order in the-
maddened city. It was virtually impossible. Terror-stricken
people waited hours for a train, filled the seats in the cars, and
jammed the aisles. When the trains could carry no more, they
pulled away from the station leaving hundreds behind. All
the roads leading out from the city were congested with people,
fleeing in every conceivable conveyance and on foot, scores of
them uncertain where they might go. Their common purpose
was to leave the plague-ridden city.
Intense excitement and great fear prevailed throughout the
South. Nearly the whole state of Florida, as well as Savannah,
Mobile, Charleston, and a number of Northern and Western
cities, declared a rigid quarantine against-Jacksonville2 The\
people of Waycross, Georgia, threatened to tear up the rail-
road tracks if any re f ug eesraveled througfh--f Tmjack -
ville, even in locked cars an-i d-at a high rate of speed.7 As
a protective measure, the authorities at St. Augustine turned
back all mail from Jacksonville, although it had undergone
thorough fumigation. Other places in the state refused to
allow merchandise of any description to come into their com-
munities from the infected area. Some local boards of health








44 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
placed restrictions on machinery, wagon wheels, railroad iron,
ice, and even silver dollars.8 The officials of the Clyde Steam-
ship Line announced that 'their service to Jacksonville was
stopped,9 and this was followed by the discontinuance of all
Sup-river boats.10
By the end of August, daily reports were being sent out so
, that relatives would, know if any members of their family in
the city were sick. As soon as she heard about the epidemic,
Mrs. Broward wired her husband, asking if she should return
to Florida. Broward answered immediately, cautioning her to
remain in safety in New York. The sheriff could not leave,
even had he wanted to, because several of his deputies were
stricken and there were cases of the fever among the prisoners.1
Trouble was expected from poor Negroes and whites. During
the course of the epidemic, a bill was introduced in Congress
to appropriate one hundred thousand dollars to assist in eradi-
cating the fever.12 Rumors had circulated that the money was
sent for the needy. Although Federal funds had not arrived
in Jacksonville, many people were determined to have money
and rations. Scores of Negroes purportedly immune to the fever
flocked to the city, drawn by the extravagant stories of free
food and easy money.
Jacksonville became a place of despair and wretchedness.
The dead were everywhere-in the houses and lying unburied
in the cemetery on Union Street. Much of the white popula-
tion had fled the city and those who remained burned trash
and tried to disinfect their houses. Taking every suggested
precaution, they tied handkerchiefs and scarves across their
faces to keep fever germs out of their throats. The city's busi-
ness slowed down and finally stopped. Deserted stores, shut-
tered houses, and empty streets told a disastrous story. Food
ran short and coffin prices skyrocketed. Doctors and nurses
worked endless hours under the direction of the Jacksonville
Auxiliary Sanitary Association.
Many experiments were tried to check the plague. One of
the more popular was the "concussion" treatment, the theory







Politics and the Plague 45
being that the concussion caused by firing heavy cannon charges
would kill the yellow-fever "microbes." Four cannon anc
quantities of powder and blank cartridges were brought in
from Tocoi, Florida, and on the evening of August 17 two
hundred shots were fired.13 The only perceptible results from
this experiment were the noises of the cannonading and a num-
ber of broken windows in some nearby churches. One night
a detachment from Wilson's Battery placed one of its cannon
at the river's edge, pointing in the direction of Bay Street.
A Negro, hurrying along the sidewalk at the time, failed to
see the gun until it was fired within thirty feet of him. Think-
ing that the showers of sand thrown in his face were fever
"germs," he exclaimed: "Great Lord, how thick they falls."'4 i
Bells were rung throughout the city "to keep the miasma
moving." Upon the suggestion of several doctors, weary citi-
zens kindled huge fires of pine and tar each night in various
sections of Jacksonville to purify the air and prevent the spread
of the infection. Believing that night air encouraged the fever,
many people locked themselves in after dark. If they ventured
out at all they carried pieces of tarred rope as a disinfectant
and germicide."1
The weather continued hot, and by the middle of October
the fever had spread to Gainesville, Fernandina, Green Cove
Springs, Sainderson, Macclenny, and other communities. Past
experience indicated that the fever would abate with cold
weather, and church services were held to pray for frost. Then
suddenly the fever passed its peak. The epidemic was still
widespread in Jacksonville and elsewhere, but there was a
daily decline in the number of cases reported. On October 29
the temperature dropped to fifty-six degrees, the coolest
weather since the epidemic, and many persons hoped that the
end of the scourge was in sight."
As soon as Mrs. Broward heard that there was a break in
the epidemic, she wired her husband from New York that she
was coming home. Despite his protests, Annie Broward took
passage on the steamer Gulf Stream.1" The steamer's captain







46 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
refused to put in at Jacksonville, and Mrs. Broward left the
vessel in Fernandina. She traveled overland by wagon to Mount
Pleasant, her father's home, where her husband waited. Every
evening after that Broward went to Mount Pleasant, return-
ing to the city early the following morning. The family moved
back to Jacksonville a few days before Christmas.s1
Early in October, 1888, while the plague was still raging,
the Democratic slate of candidates for the November county
elections was announced. Broward was listed for the office of
sheriff.' During the yellow-fever epidemic there had been
little time for politics, and in the stricken city there was a de-
cided lack of enthusiasm for the approaching election. So many
of the white Democratic voters left the city that the Repub-
licans, depending upon Negro support, became the major
party in Duval County for the first time since the end of Re-
construction,
Election morning, November 6, broke dull and gloomy,
with heavy clouds hanging overhead. Though the weather in
the early part of the day threatened rain, none fell. The after-
noon was oppressively sultry and sticky, and the occasional
appearance of the sun made the heat almost unbearable.20 De-
spite the large number of names on the registration lists, a
light vote was cast in every precinct. Crowds of Negroes, vot-
ing the "straight Republican ticket," lolled about the polling
places throughout the day. The Democratic vote was small,
and the appearance at the polls of a white man-Democrat or
Republican-was regarded with curiosity. The Republicans
scored a great victory. Returns revealed that all the Demo-
cratic candidates had been defeated. Broward received 1,417
votes, whereas 2,573 were tabulated for his opponent, Roy
P. Moody.21
While he was sheriff, Broward fortunately had not sold
his woodyard on Bay Street. The yard was closed during the
epidemic, but reopened in November with the first cold
weather.22 Earlier that year, Broward had given up his work
on the Kate Spencer, although he retained his financial in-









Politics and the Plague 47
terest in the vessel. Captain Summers was in charge, and in
December the Spencer resumed her regular river runs be-
tween Jacksonville and Mayport.23
Broward, however, was not finished with politics. On Jan-
uary 2, 1889, Moody presented his own bond as the new
sheriff to the executive committee. While the bond was being
considered, one of the sureties withdrew. Before this matter was
settled, the time limit for the acceptance of the bond had ex-
pired, and the committee, strongly Democratic and arguing a f
technicality, declared Moody ineligible and disallowed his !
claim to office. The Florida Supreme Court, in its January
term, reviewed the case and upheld this action.24 In March,
Governor Francis P. Fleming reappointed Broward to the
vacancy. The governor's announcement delighted the public, -
and the county newspapers enthusiastically endorsed Broward.
The Florida Times-Union called him a "brave resolute man,"
and declared the appointment "a most worthy one.""2
Broward's distinctive qualities as a first-rate politician were
recognized in all of his activities. Hisiplomacy and tact, and
his scrupulous zeal in smoothing over incidents that could be-
come emba rassng, were factors that helped him greatly
throughout his public career. While Broward was sheriff, there
was close cooperation between the county and city police
agencies. A newspaper editorial complimented Broward and his
deputies, declaring: "... They second each other in the utmost
harmony and good faith, free from the petty jealousies,
which often spring up between public officials . ."2
Jacksonville at this time had a Republican mayor, C. B.
Smith, who had been elected in December of 1887. As an
aftermath of the Reconstruction period, the Republican party,
with strong Negro and conservative support, was still a factor
in Florida politics, In the Smith administration five aldermen,
the municipal judge, fifteen of the twenty-three policemen,
two police sergeants, and the chairman of the Board of Police
Commissioners were Negroes. The 'Democrats, dominated
largely by a white supremacy philosophy, found this state of







48 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
affairs distasteful and planned to change it. During the yellow-
fever epidemic, only a portion of the white city and county
officials, including Sheriff Broward, remained in Jacksonville,
and much of the responsibility of administering affairs fell to
the Negro officials. The Democrats, supported by some con-
servative Republicans, charged that the existing municipal
government was not capable of performing the functions
necessary for a judicious administration of the city's affairs,
and that such a condition would destroy Jacksonville's stand-
ing and credit as a municipality. The Florida legislature,
stronglyBDemocratiKwas-aed to amend Jacksonville's char-
ter so that Negroes could be excluded from public office.27
j A legislative committee arrived from Tallahassee for a
firsthand inspection of the situation, and Broward acted as
their guide. Mayor Smith, notified of the visit, ordered white
policemen to be on duty at the time. Hoping to thwart Smith's
plan, Sheriff Broward, already important in county Democratic
politics, suggested a ruse which the party leaders approved.
He conducted the legislators on a lengthy and extensive tour
of the city and its outlying areas. When they returned to City
Hall in the afternoon, they found they had missed the train
back to Tallahassee. As they were forced to stay overnight,
Broward secured lodging for them at the St. James Hotel.
At breakfast the following morning the sheriff suggested
that the committee make another inspection of the police force.
Train time was several hours away and the investigators agreed.
City officials, thinking the legislators had gone the evening
before, ordered the Negro police to return to duty. Broward's
scheme worked, and the committee returned to Tallahassee
with the evidence it needed. The Florida legislature subse-
quently approved a major revision of Jacksonville's charter,
House Bill No. 4, which empowered the governor to appoint
an eighteen-man council that would in turn appoint the mayor.
The Board of Police Commissioners and its chairman were to
be elected by the city council.28 Thus it was assured that in
the future only-white-Democrats-would be chosen as Jackson-







Politics and the Plague 49
ville officials. House Bill No. 4, in the passage of which
Brow= ad ye&da vital part, became an issue in later city
and county elections, and eventually in the gubernatorial cam-
paign of-rT90o4i-- .
While serving as sheriff, Broward continued his outside
business activities. In July, 1889, he sold his interest in the ?
Kate Spencer, at a profit, to George DeCottes. The woodyard
and gristmill were bringing in a small but steady income. In
both his political and business activities Broward prospered.
During the first week of January, 1890, Florida newspapers
were embellished with black headlines announcing the dis-
covery of phosphate in Marion, Citrus, and Hernando counties.
This news set Florida afire with excitement. Extravagant
stories were circulated about the untold wealth that was to
be had for the taking. Everyone would soon be rich. Sheriff
Broward heard that John F. Dunn had turned down an option
of two million dollars on his land, and that another man who
four years earlier had bought land at from fifty cents to a
dollar an acre had now sold his holdings for seventy-eight
thousand dollars.29 The newspapers were filled with stories
about Dunnellon farmers, who six months before had been
worth only a few dollars each, and now were so well off "they
need not ever touch a plow again.""3 Albertus Voght, who dis-
covered a phosphate bed while sinking a well on his small
farm at Dunnellon, acquired a fortune and became known as
the "Duke of Dunnellon," a title which he justified locally
by indulging in thoroughbred horses, half a hundred hounds,
handsome equipages, and lavish entertainments. The phos-
phate "boom" was underway.
Scores..f-prospectors poured into the Dunnellon area and
a typical boom burst into flower overnight: Gamblers, dia-
monds flashing on fingers and cravats, outlaws from as far
west as California and Mexico, and prostitutes suited for every
taste and pocketbook, flocked-t .the phosphate regions. Saloons
and brothels ran wide open. Only the primitive law of the
frontier held the rabble in check. Nearly everyone, black and








50 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
white, carried a pistol, the most effective variety of law. When
Broward visited Dunnellon he watched the justice of the peace
hold his Monday morning court session "under an oak tree
with a bacon box for a desk, a nail keg for a bench, and a
heavily armed constable nearby for emergencies.""1
)Businessmen all over the state were enthusiastic, some wild-
ly so, aii companies organized to mine phosphate sprang up
overnight. Napoleon Broward and John N. C. Stockton leased
'" / land near Black Creek in Clay County and established the
Black River Phosphate Company. Like many others, this min-
ing company did not meet with the success that its organizers
had hoped for. Land values were grcatllinflated by the boom,
land was frequently bought unwisely, and phosphate mining
machinery was scarce and expensive. As there were few, if
any, public roads or railroads to many of the deposits, they
were difficult to mine and operate. Much land, boomed as con-
taining "sure" deposits, was falsely advertised and sold to un-
wary buyers. Broward was disappointed but not discouraged
with his phosphate company. During the two years following,
he was associated with various mines near the head of Ich-
tucknee River and the Suwannee and Columbia County lines.3"
/ 'jThese mines were not successful, and Broward never recovered
the full value of his investments in phosphate speculation.
Throughout this period Broward's interest in politics con-
tinued. In June, 1890, he announced himself as a candidate for
the office of sheriff. As he was supported by most of the party,
by many citizens of the county, and by local newspapers, there
was little likelihood that he would fail to be elected.
Broward's popularity had grown tremendously. Numerous
meetings held by his supporters during the early part of July
were so well attended that the people overflowed the meeting
halls and stood outside on the streets and sidewalks to hear
him speak.33 The campaign began to warm up when a rival
candidate charged that sometime during election day, ballot
boxes, stuffed with Broward votes, would be substituted for
the regular boxes, and that occasion would be taken, during a







Politics and the Plague 51
preconcerted rumpus at poll-closing time, to switch the boxes."
These charges were refuted in the newspapers and were de-
nied vehemently both by Broward and his adherents, who took
the offensive and made political capital of the charges, win-
ning votes as a result. The election held on July 24, 1890,
which named Broward delegates to the convention, was pro-
claimed as "a big victory for the Sheriff." One newspaper em-
phatically declared that "it means the nomination of Napoleon
B. Broward for Sheriff of Duval County and his triumphant
election at the polls in November.""8 The office of sheriff was
certainly not the most important one in a county election, yet
in this contest it seemed as though the vital issue was the
election of Broward. Heralded as the "uncompromising Demo-
crat," he was declared the man who would "command the full
voting strength of his party.""
A large crowd of delegates to the Democratic county con-
vention streamed into the Park Opera House on the morning
of August 4. They filled the plush seats and stood against the
gas-yellowed walls. Curtains were pulled back from the win-
dows and an unfamiliar light stirred in the corners of the
building. In an excited air of expectancy the delegates awaited
the business ahead. Broward's name was one of the first to be
placed before the convention, and when the vote was taken he
had IOIj2 votes to his rival's 12. When the nomination was
made unanimous, the convention was almost broken up by the
cheers and shouts from Broward delegates and from his sup-
porters in the visitors' gallery.37
Several large political meetings were held between the end
of the convention and the November election, at most of
which Broward was one of the principal speakers or the guest
of honor. At a rally in Jacksonville on the evening of October
16, two speakers extolled the virtues of Sheriff Broward.
They were Major Alexander St. Clair-Abrams and Colonel
Robert W. Davis, two men who later bitterly denounced and
fought the candidate they were now praising." On October
24, with a group of supporters, Broward sailed on the steamer







52 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Mary Draper to attend a meeting in Mandarin.39 A final rally
was staged in Jacksonville on the evening of October 29, one
week before election day.40 The Republican party was no long-
er a major threat in Duval County politics in 1890, and ob-
servers safely predicted that the Democrats would win. Of the
2,535 votes cast, Napoleon Broward received 1,756.41 Because
of the Republican success in Duval County in 1888, state
Democratic leaders had been especially anxious for the party's
triumph there in 1890. Along these lines John L. Crawford,
secretary of state, wrote to Broward on November II, 1890: "I
congratulate you upon your triumphant election-upon the
political redemption of Duval County and the State of Florida.
Verily, the revolution very greatly exceeds my most sanguine
S expectations."42 Immediately after the New Year, Governor
\ Fleming forwarded Broward his official announcement of
Selection and his commission. The sheriff's bond was renewed
' with the county commissioners on January 2, 1891, and his
office settled down to the usual routine of business.
Though Broward's life after 1890 was conspicuously politi-
cal, he was not completely occupied with politics. His cor-
F-respondence shows that all his life he retained a love and
admiration for the river and for boats. When he was not
-- connected with boats in a business way, he constructed models
of the vessels he dreamed of building some day. In keeping
with this interest Broward, in the fall of 1891, formed a stock
company and-raised money to build a boat. Associated with
him in this enterprise were his brother Montcalm, now the
captain of the Kate Spencer, his br6ther-in-law, Captain
Roberts, and Ed Williams and Henry Fritot.
During November, construction was begun in New Berlin
on a thirty-foot yacht, which had a mast forty-two feet above
the deck, a bowsprit twenty-eight feet over the bow, and an
enormous canvas spread of three hundred and ninety yards.43
The vessel, completed in January, 1892, wa' christened the
Annie Dorcas by her namesake, Broward's young daughter.
The Dorcas was a lovely sight on the river, standing with her







Politics and the Plague 53
bow clear of the water and her sails spread to the wind. The
St. Johns Yacht Club regatta was scheduled for January 20,
and Broward entered the Dorcas. In her first race she made
a slow start, failed to pick up speed, and came across the finish
line far behind the other racers. Hoping to make a better
showing, Broward was determined to race the Dorcas the fol-
lowing day. It was a golden afternoon, calm and placid; a
brilliant sun gilded the wave caps and a salty breeze filled the
sails of the vessels. A large throng of spectators lined both
sides of the river shore along the scheduled route of the race.
The immense skirts of the ladies were vivid splashes in the
bright sunshine and their wide bonnets buckled in the playful
breeze. Broward, handsome in a shiny black coat, his face dark
from the sun and alive with excitement, captained the Dorcas.
The yacht made a fine start, taking the lead as she swept
out into the broad avenue of the river. Shielding his eyes from
the glinting brightness of the water, Broward worked mightily
to keep his boat ahead of the Maud, the entry from St. Augus-
tine, which was moving up just behind. The Dorcas took too
wide a swing at the turn and in the homestretch fell into second
place behind the Maud. Just behind Broward's boat were the
Annie I. and the Three Brothers, Captain Kemps' vessels,
swaying in the afternoon haze like giant sea birds. The wind
freshened, and as the yachts approached the "Chaseville reach"
a stiff wind was blowing. Every boat had the last ounce of
ballast up to windward, aid on either side of their bows a
white curling billow parted the water. Straining through the
mist, the Annie Dorcas crept up on the Maud, but just as she
crawled into first place she struck a submerged sand bar and
capsized. Some of the crew yelled for help, but Broward,
viewing the situation philosophically, climbed on the jutting
keel and watched the rest of the race in "water-soaked com-
fort."44 The later record of the Dorcas belied her initial ap-
pearance.
By the end of 1891 Broward had become one of the popular
and prominent men in Florida. His exploits as sheriff were





















54 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
frequently reported in state newspapers, and he was com-
mended for his activities and cited as an example for other
public officials. He was often invited to speak for civic and
religious organizations, to appear at public receptions and
social affairs, and to sign petitions to the governor and the
legislature. Broward was developing a broad interest in civic
affairs and in the social and business life of his community.








J/ 5 CN

Breaking with Bourbonism


N APOLEON BROWARD became involved in poli- ,'
tics at a particularly propitious time. The Demo-
cratic party throughout the country was undergoing a
transition and realignment, and liberals like Napoleon Broward
forged to the front in party leadership. Aggressive, ambitious
young Democrats marshaled their strength and moved inexo-
rably toward a definite party split.
The period following the Civil War became one of glory
for the powerful corporate and railroad interests. It was a
"Gilded Era," when men like John D. Rockefeller, Commo-
dore Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan walked hand
in hand with governors, Senators, and Cabinet members, and
enjoyed lenient and gullible Congresses, and acquiescent Presi-
dents. The tycoons, most of them staunch Republicans, main-
tained their power and influence in the North by means of
consolidations and concentrations in syndicates, combines and
trusts, and by a periodical waving of the "bloody shirt." In
Florida, as in many other Southern states, pali ical and eco-
nomic-supremacy was maintained to a great extent through
subsidie4-legislatures, controlled elections, and political pup-
pets as civil officers.
The Reconstruction era ended in Florida in 1876 with the
election of George F. Drew to the governorship and the with-
drawal of Federal troops from the state,1 In succeeding years'
the corporate and railroad interests dominated state politics.
Memberso6f-the great propertied group in the state-men like
Henry Bradley Plant, Hamilton Disston, Henry Morrison
Flagler, William D. Chipley, and James P. Taliaferro-had
[55]







56 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
abundant influence with such governors as William D. Blox-
ham, Edward A. Perry, and Francis P. Fleming.
The need for reform throughout the United States had
,'been apparent for many years. It had been recognized nation-
ally in 1872 when Horace Greeley made his ill-fated excursion
into politics. In each succeeding presidential campaign there
had appeared one, and sometimes two or more, parties stress-
ing issues that appealed mainly to wage earners and farmers.
The aims and goals of each of these groups were similar,
whether it called itself "Labor Reformer," "Greenbacker," or
"Anti-monopolist" nationally; or "Straightout," "anti-corpora-
tion and anti-railroad," or "Independent," in the state of
Florida.2 Harsh and unsparing criticisms were voiced by these
reformers, and they found sympathy and support for their
cause among the farmers in the South and Middle West.
Always activin p-lititcs the farmers prior to.he Civil War
cast their-votes,-as a.rulewith one or the other of the leading
parties. Voters in Florida generally supported the Democratic
ticket, although there was strong Whig strength in middle
Florida counties during the 1840's and I850's.3
After 1865 there swept across the nation movements which
crusaded in behalf of a Utopia of social and economic equality.
With strong support from the agrarian sections, these active
and independent factions became the "Grangers," the "Green-
-bkck Party," and finally the sweeping Fariiers' Alliance move-
ment. These movements were also making themselves felt
in Florida. But reform activities in the state, as in the rest of
the South, were delayed by the Reconstruction era. William
D. Bloxham entered upon his administration as governor in
January, I88--probably the most accurate date that can be
given for the beginning of the split in the Florida Demo-
cratic party.4
The anti-corporate faction, which Broward was later to lead,
received a tremendous acceleration because of the Disston land
Sale. Governor Bloxham and the Florida Internal Improve-
ment Board solfr-u-irmittio kcres of state land to Hamilton







Breaking with Bourbonism 7
Disston of Philadelphia and others for one million dollars.
The sale cleared he overdue indebtedness which had burdened
the Internal Improvement Fund, and the board was able to
grant land with undisputed title to encourage a much-needed
transportation expansion." The Disston purchase eventually be-
came the target for much adverse criticism, when it was charged
that top grade land was sold at too small a price.' In 1884,
the transaction contributed largely to a threatened split in the
Democratic party.8 The issue was to continue even longer and
was raised by the Populists against Governor Bloxham in the
gubernatorial campaign of 1896, as evidence that he had sided
with the vested interests. It also had repercussions in the
Broward-Davis campaign in 1904.
The legislature of 1883 submitted the question of a consti-
tutional convention to the people of the state, to be voted upon
in the general election of the following year. The voters de-
cided for the convention, 32,653 to 6,365.9 The Disston land
sale played a large role in the campaign of 1884. It was a
major reason why the Florida voters predicted that this cam-
paign would be heated, that it would "require hard work to
heal disaffection in the Democratic ranks," and that, regardless
of the "cause of the existing disaffection . whether it be the
Disston land sale, the reputed fortunes that were accumulated
in a few days by those who were permitted a knowledge of
the contemplated sale, the feeling of antagonism against the
so-called 'Tallahassee ring'; the virtual nullifying of the law
permitting poor men to purchase homesteads at 25 cents an
acre, or any other, disaffection is a reality, and it must be met
in a conciliatory spirit or the Democracy will lose control of
the government."'0
The political cris as rea~n th lution difficult. Until
the adoption of the\cTnstitution of I 8,there-was-no-statute,
or constitutional provision which prohibited a Florida governor
from being immediately re-elected to office. In the election of
1884, both Bloxham and Drew, former governors, were can-
didates for the nomination." Charges of speculation and fraud








58 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
were brought against Bloxham by Drew supporters. In turn,
Bloxham men charged Drew with land-sale corruption of his
own.12 Newspapers, like the voters, took sides in the conflict.
However, there existed in Democratic ranks a strong element
desiring party peace. Leaders of the harmony faction persuaded
Sthe convention that nominating either Bloxham or Drew would
5 be unwise, and contended that a new man would be politically
more desirable. The convention accepted this compromise pro-
1 posal and thus postponed party schism. The convention was
held in Pensacola, and General Edward A. Perry of Escambia
County received the gubernatorial nomination.13
Meanwhile, an independent movement was organized by
Democrats who opposed the Bloxham administration because
of its pro-railroad policy and the Disston land sale, but this
group refused to consider an alliance with the Republicans.
Strengthened by a lack of unity among their opponents, the
Independents held a state convention at Live Oak on June 18,
1884, and nominated Frank W. Pope, a brilliant young Madi-
son County lawyer, for governor.4 Indicting "Bourbon Democ-
racy" and the disunity which had evolved from the Civil War,
Pope campaigned on a platform which charged conservatism
with holding "its corrupt tenure by the passions and prejudices
born of that unhappy conflict."'"
/ Had the general election come immediately after the ad-
S journment of the Democratic convention, there is a chance
S that the Independents might have triumphed, but in the months
S before the balloting, the membership and strength of the move-
ment gradually waned. This was the result of two things: a
'\ sober second thought about the risk in splitting the white vote,
and the discretion that the older party had shown in nominat-
ing Perry. Nevertheless, the Independent vote cast in Novem-
ber was nearly 47 per cent of the total vote, and Pope carried
Alachua, Duval, Madison, Jefferson, Leon, Marion, Nassau,
and Washington counties.1
For the time being a break in the Democratic ranks was
prevented. But the election had been more threatening to







Breaking with Bourbonism 59
Democratic supremacy in Florida than any other since Recon-
struction. Had the Independents won that year, the future
control of the Democratic party in Florida might have been
seriously endangered. The election of 1884 marked the end
of the Independents as a third party threat in Florida, but
many of the progressive measures for which they stood became
planks in the Populist platform and were later battle standards
in the liberal crusade led by Napoleon Broward, Wilkinsohf
Call, and William Jennings.
The disaffected element in and out of the Democratic party
joined the Farmers' Alliance when it was introduced into
Florida in 1887." Membership in the Alliance spread rapidly,
especially in the older and more densely populated farming
sections in the northern part of the state. By April, 1890,
Alliances flourished in all of the counties except Franklin, Lee,
Dade, and Monroe, where the movement made little head-
way.'8
The crest of Alliance-activity in the state came whether
National Farmers' Alliance r cala in-ecember, I890.19
In the-faitlritions of that year Alliance men and those who
professed an adherence to Alliance philosophies and ideolo-
gies had won three-fifths of the seats in Congress, but an acute
observer could already detect signs of defection.20 Alliance
leaders, in Florida and throughout the nation, had become
more radical, and urged advanced legislation which the Demo-
crats would almost all refuse to enact.
The Ocala convention was indisputably the most significant.!
single event in the history of florida's agrarian revolt. It had
an important effect on Florida's political history, for out of
this movement grew reform demands which would culminate
in the election to the governorship of men like William S.
Jennings, Napoleon B. Broward, Albert W. Gilchrist, and
Park Trammell. Broward was not a Populist in the strict sense
of the term, but in his gubernatorial campaign in 1904 he/'
capitalized on Populist demands and agrarian discontent. A
large part of the vote which elected him governor came from







60 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
elements that figured prominently in the Alliance movement.
And from the platform adopted by the Ocala convention dele-
gates, the famous "Ocala Demands," Broward and other
liberal Florida Democrats like the second Stephen R. Mal-
lory, John N. C. Stockton, Frank W. Pope, John M. Barrs,
and Wilkinson Call, received much of their political philosophy.
Immediately after the Ocala meeting the Florida Alliance
began to weaken. Charges of radicalism were heard on every
side. Its program of agricultural improvement was disappoint-
ing. The Florida Exchange, which opened in Jacksonville in
1888 to promote cooperative buying and selling, fell short of
expectations and was finally closed four years later. Demorali-
zation was accentuated by the inefficiency of the Florida legis-
lature, which held its regular session in April and May of
1891. The majority of its members were Alliance men who
showed no cohesion. The greater part of the session was con-
sumed in an unsuccessful attempt to elect a successor to
United States Senator Wilkinson Call.2 When the end of the
session came and Alliance men returned to dissatisfied con-
stituencies, they could point to very few constructive measures.
Conservative control was obvious when the legislators repealed
the Railroad Commission Law, which had been one of the few
reform measures inaugurated in 1887.22 By 1890 discontent
and the earnest desire to better the situation had accelerated
the formation of an anti-corporation and anti-railroad faction.
Under leaders like Napoleon Broward the young reformers
demanded sweeping, even radical, changes.
A cleavage in the Democratic party appeared imminent in
Duval County during 1891 and the first part of 1892. A liberal
group of men, calling themselves "Straightouts," became the
major political faction in Duval Couny an secure a number
of important local offices. Growing in strength and influence,
they attracted to their ranks many of the rising young men of
Jacksonville. Such were Stockton, Barrs, and Broward. The
Straightouts supported Populist principles as far as they affected
the county. Holding anti-railroad and anti-corporation views,







Breaking with Bourbonism 61
the Duval County Straightouts became part of the liberal
Democratic movement and were in reality members of the
anti faction in state politics.
Supposed to the Duval Straightouts were the "Antis," who
protested the city "ring's" monopoly of key offices. In the ranks /
of the Antis were men like W. McL. Dancy, Porcher L'Engle,
Fleming Bowden, J. E. Hartridge, and James P. Taliaferro.
Many of these Antis were closely connected with the Talla-
hassee administration, and their leanings were towartdthe rail-
road and corporate interests which exerted great influence on
the chief executives and legislatures of various state admin-
istrations. Although they were known as Antis within the
county, they were really the group that "stood in" with the 7 Piz-
important vested interests in Florida. ThedermAtft e~ T-
one thing in Duval County and another in state politics. The _,T7 rv
rift, interesting in itself, was important also because it was part
of the larger break that was dividing the Democratic party
throughout the state and the nation.
The Republican vote became negligible in state elections
after 1888, and the Democratic party was firmly in the saddle,
although this did not always mean party accord. By 1892 there
were two conspicuous groups within the state party, each fight-
ing the other. However, the Independent movement hic
had developed in the TRo's as a result of conflict among the
Democrats lacked a cohesive] frce--a--iseemed doomed to-fail-
ure. The strength gained from the Independents' stand against
the Disston land sale was lost through their extreme anti-cor-
poration attitude. This opposition to the corporations was too
radical for the time; railroadinterests wreowerful in
Florida. Plant and Flagler spent millions of dollars in the
state, developing railroads, building lavish hotels such as the
Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine and the Tampa Bay Hotel in
Tampa, and advertising Florida as a great resort state. These
investments gave conservatism a strong influence in the Demo-
cratic party, and were stumbling blocks in the pathway of any
"politically immature hot-head" who dared protest corpora-










62 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
tion excesses and malpractices. In Florida the day for political
reform had not yet arrived.
The conservatives, strongly entrenched, were led by men
of wealth and political experience-William D. Chipley of
Pensacola, W. Hunt Harris of Key West, James P. Taliaferro
of Jacksonville, Ziba King of Arcadia, F. W. Sams of DeLand,
John W. Watson of Kissimmee, Charles J. Perrenot of Mil-
ton, John E. Hartridge of Jacksonville, John A. Henderson
of Tallahassee, and Tom Peter Chaires of Old Town. To dis-
lodge them from the political supremacy they had enjoyed
for so many years would be a hard and bitter fight.
Opposed to these conservative leaders were liberal Demo-
crats whose party beliefs and aspirations conflicted with railroad
and corporate interests and who demanded new party leader-
ship. The anti-corporation Democrats suffered severe and
heartbreaking setbacks, but instead of weakening they grew
stronger in their determination to rid the state and party of
corporation control. To them it was an evil to be eradicated.
In Duval County, Straightouts were aligned with the liberal
forces of the state. Among no other Florida group was there
more bitter opposition to the railroads and corporations.
Broward, Barrs, and Stockton led the chorus of caustic criticism
of the Tallahassee administration, launching vitriolic charges
^- of corruption, malfeasance, and fraud against the corporations
and their political supporters. To Broward and other liberals,
the railroads had come to typify the chief political evils eist-
ing in the state and were the cause of corruption in the Demo-
cratic party. The anti-corporate forces felt that for the good
of the commonwealth the alliance between the vested interests
and politics should be broken and obliterated.








J 6 r

A Fight and a Riot


T ITS MEETING early in March, 1892, the Duval
County executive committee set April 14 as the date
for the Democratic primaries which would name
delegates to the county convention. During the last week in
March, Broward announced his candidacy for re-election as
sheriff. On primary day large crowds gathered along Bay and
Forsyth streets, in front of the courthouse, and near every
polling place. Banners were jostled, men slapped each other
on the back, and there was much laughter. Caucuses were held
on almost every corner, and Broward and the other candidates,
together with their supporters, were busy all day persuading
voters to mark ballots one way or another. The Antis were
especially active. An opposition newspaper charged that "they
went into the highways and the byways, irrespective of party,
creed or previous condition, and invited all to come in and
vote early and often."'
Election .returns showed a__victory for the Antis, but evi-
dences Lfraud-were-m -Jeaksonville would have needed
a population of nearly a hundred thousand to match the un-
precedented vote cast.2 It was later shown that men voted
several times and that many Republicans voted in this Demo-
cratic primary. Charges and countercharges of fraud, multiple
voting, bribery, and ballot-box stuffing circulated everywhere.
The Florida Times-Union maintained that "the management
of the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad took an active
part in the primaries.... It colonized its employees here. It
sought to defeat the organized democracy of Duval County....
It was determined to make its corporate influence felt on this
occasion."'
[63]







64 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Excitement showed on the faces of the spectators, candi-
dates, delegates, and party leaders who awaited the beginning
of the Democratic county convention in Jacksonville on April
16. Since early morning scores of people, streaming in from
all corners of the county, crowded the sidewalks on Laura
Street in front of the Park Opera House and overflowed into
the street. Groups of men collected in Hemming Park and
along the wide porches of the St. James and Windsor hotels
and talked about the impending political battle. In the con-
vention hall every seat was filled and the aisles were jammed.
From the oblong stage a military band blasted out marches
and waltzes, but no one paid attention. The room was steam-
ing hot. Men took off their coats and rolled up their sleeves;
and women fanned themselves briskly with folded news-
papers or palmetto fans.
From the beginning, the convy-en-was--vd d- over the-
eligibility of-certain memniers who represented wards with
questionable vote tabulations. At an earlier meeting, the execu-
tive committee, under the leadership of John M. Barrs, had
compiled a list of delegates as reported by the poll inspectors.
When Broward's faction submitted sworn protests and affida-
vits charging gross frauds that involved the rights of forty-
three delegates to their seats, the committee refused to proceed
further. A committee on credentials, "top-heavy with Antis,"
was instructed to investigate and report on the protests and
fraud charges.
Evidences of fraud, especially in Wards Four and Five,
were numerous. When affidavits were filed, proving that Re-
publicans had voted, some of them several times, even the
Antis on the committee admitted their guilt. This admission
developed a crisis in the meeting, and when word reached Anti
leaders of the decisions of the committee on credentials, they
hurriedly pushed through a motion dissolving the committee,
thus making its report invalid.
ImmediatelyThe-coWventoir became a bedlam. Hysterical
shouts of delegates were engulfed in a pandemonium in which







A Fight and a Riot 65
threats, curses, and protests occasionally were audible. The
Antis, being in the majority, declared the convention sole
judge of the eligibility of candidates and delegates, thereby ,
discarding the accusations of the committee on credentials. A L; t
slate of delegates, headed by the convention chairman, was ;
named, and an Anti ticket was selected for nomination to the :
legislature. Sheriff Broward was not included.
At this juncture the committee on credentials filed into the
hall and demanded that its report be heard. The small but
determined Straightout faction led by Broward insisted on
hearing the report, and its demand was finally allowed. With
the thunderous approval of Broward's liberal wing, it recom-
mended a new election and a new convention, and demanded
that the "election ... be from registration lists and inspectors
. . be appointed satisfactory to the candidates and the con-
vention now adjourn sine die."'
Thelidblew off. Delegates stood on s a ardthir
approval or condn-ation. e Antis succeeded in quieting
the convention long enough to secure a majority vote to re-
ject the committee report. As the convention chairman an-
nounced this vote, the Straightout faction, led by Broward,
John N. C. Stockton, and John M. Barrs, left the hall. The
threatened break in the county Democratic party had finally
taken place."
As the Straightouts walked out of the building and into the
sun-filled park, they were greeted by cheers and shouts from
men on the sidewalk and street. One of them, an owner of
large lumber and turpentine properties in central Florida, con-
gratulated Broward and offered him money for his coming
political campaign.6 After canvassing the primary returns in
an empty room in the Park Opera House, the Straightouts
called for a new primary election on May 19 and for a con-
vention to be held two days later. They emphasized that "the
convention will be a convention of democrats."7 It was almost
dark when the bolting Straightouts completed their work,
ending a day that would long be remembered in county and







66 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
state politics. These events, and their results, were destined to
have an important and a far-reaching effect upon the future
of the Democratic party in Florida. Meanwhile the Antis
formed their convention into a permanent organization and
named a slate of candidates. They offered Broward the nom-
nation for the office of sheriff, but he remained faithful to
W"c L_ his party and faction and refused this offer.
Week later some of the_city_records_aisappeared. Im-
mediately the papers blamed the Antis. The Florida Times-
Union implied that important Jacksonville officials were
involved in the theft.8 The stolen records contained an official
census of the voters of the county, including those from dis-
puted Wards Four, Five, Six, and Seven. Eventually the
records were returned, but the persons allegedly involved were
not apprehended.
On April 20, four days after the first convention, Brward
again announced himself as a candidate for office for the May
-melection, promising to a-bide the result of the said pri-
mary election and support the nominees thereof."9 Broward,
Stockton, and Barrs opened the Duval County Democratic
Club at 5Y2 East Bay Street. This club was to exert a forceful
influence in future city, county, and state elections. Broward,
one of the principal speakers at a giant mass meeting held at
this "headquarters" on the eve of the Straightout primaries,
predicted "a success and victory" for the "genuine democrats
of the county.""'
.,-The May i9 pnriary-put-Broward on the Straightout ticket
as a candidate for sheriff. On electionaight a great victor
rally was held in the auditorium of Metropolitan Hall, which
was too small for the huge crowd. Broward, his dark eyes
flashing with excitement, made a rousing speech. He compli-
mented his party lieutenants for their labors and predicted
that the day would be one to be looked back upon with pride
because it would disgrace the "self-styled democrats who stood
at the polls making a memorandum of democrats who were
men enough to come out and vote, and trying to intimidate
others who wanted to vote."1







A Fight and a Riot 67
The Straightout convention opened two days later in the
Park Opera House.. The meeting was orderly and the busi-
ness of choosing delegates to the state convention at Tampa
and the district convention at Gainesville was completed
quickly. Broward was chosen to spearhead the Gainesville
delegation, and other Straightout leaders were designated to
go to Tampa.
Broward decided to accompany the Straightout delegation
to Tampa. When the men arriveclthey eagerlyjoined the gay
convention crowds flowing along the wide tree-bordered streets
of the Gulf port. Bunting splashed across store fronts and
hotels, and many private homes displayed American and
Florida flags. Huge welcome signs greeted delegates at every
corner in the downtown area. Firecrackers and band music
added to the gaiety.
The convention opened-in~-an atmosphere of expectancy
and curiosity. Anything might happen. The, confticf began
immediately, for when the roll was read, 'oy the names o
the Anti delegates from Duval County were called. A roar of
protest rose from the floor and from the visitors' gallery where
Broward was seated. Broward and other Straightout leaders
held a hurried caucus after the first district chairman, S. M.
Sparkman, announced that seating the Anti delegation was the
final decision of the state committee in charge. The Straight-
outs persuaded Major St. Clair-Abrams to protest the decision
and to move that the case of Duval County be referred to the
committee on credentials. This was allowed after both factions
agreed not to participate until a decision was rendered.
At five o'clock in the morning, after an all-night session,
the committee on credentials took a vote. Straightout leaders
were waiting in Broward's room in the Tampa Bay Hotel for
the decision of the committee. Upon learning that the Antis
were to be seated, they planned a last-ditch stand that failed
when the convention voted down St. Clair-Abrams' proposal
that neither delegation be seated.12
The main business before the convention was the nomina-









68 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
tion of a Democrat for governor. On the evening of June 3,
after the Alachua County delegate proposed Henry L.
Mitchell of Hillsborough County, the newly installed elec-
tric lights began sputtering and then went out, plunging the
hall into darkness. Lanterns were lit and the convention busi-
ness resumed. Robert W. Davis seconded the Mitchell nomi-
nation, proposing that it be made unanimous. The roll call
began and most of th'c6iiuty delegates climbed aboard the
Mitchell band wagon. Mitelell received the nomination by
acclamation."
Broward and the Straightout delegation returned to Jack-
sonville disappointed but not completely crushed. Their defeat,
they realized, was due to thestrong corporation and railroad
influences present in the convention, but their cause was grow-
ing in Duval County and throughout the state. Events in
Jacksonville in the following weeks made Broward stronger
politically and more popular than ever before.
Late on the hot afternoon of July 4, 1892, near a waterfront
dock in Jacksonvillea-ight-began between a white man, Frank
Burrows and a Negro, Benjamin Reed. In the scuffle Reed
crushed Bu~row-r s kull with a heavy oak board. Reed tried
to escape but was captured, placed in Broward's custody, and
lodged in the jail at the foot of Liberty Street. When Bur-
rows died during the night, an ominous undercurrent of lynch
talk flowed throughout Jacksonville. Hoping to prevent such
action, about five hundred Negroes quietly congregated in the
area. Sentries, with guns beneath their coats, patrolled the
streets leading to the jail, and controlled part of the East Jack-
sonville area. White pedestrians were surrounded and ques-
tioned, and only a whistled signal to watchers on the next
corner allowed them to go through. When white men ap-
proached the jail, desperate Negroes closed in, covered them
with guns, and refused to let them proceed."
Although the excitement was intense, twenty of Broward's
policemen arrived unmolested. A telegram from Adjutant
General David Lang informed the sheriff that three local







A Fight and a Riot 69
military companies-the Jacksonville Light Infantry, the
Metropolitan Light Infantry, and Wilson's Battery-were
mobilized in their armories and were ready to resist an attack
upon the jail."1 The evening passed without bloodshed.
Sheriff Broward, expecting a hostile demonstration next day by
Negroes, or an attack by whites, stationed his men with guns
at all the prison windows and placed an extra guard outside
Reed's cell. Hundreds of Negroes massed on porches behind
trees, and in streets and- alleys around- the jail, whispered
among themselves, and waited for something to happen. Many
were armed with muskets and rifles. Others carried clubs,
knives, razors, and revolvers, "from the $2 pistols that shoot
both ways to the improved self-cocker.""6
A little after nine o'clock on the second evening, deputies
came out of the main prison door and placed lanterns around
the steps to light a makeshift platform. Mayor Robinson,
Judge McLean, Sheriff Broward, and colored leaders talked
to the crowd. The sheriff's voice had a confident ring as he
explained that the armed militia gave no cause for a demon-
stration and that it was ordered out to protect the prisoner and
to repress mob violence. About an hour later, the militia
marched down Bay Street to Liberty and fanned out into the
blocks around the prison building. A Gatling gun set up in
front of the prison steps by a small detachment forced the
crowd to move back. By midnight the marshes, shanties, yards,
and trees within a three-block radius of the jail were filled
with armed Negroes." The atmosphere was electric with ten-
sion, but this second night passed without serious disturbance.
The area around the jail turned into a tent city and there was
a clatter all night as sentries changed and messengers hurried
in and out. Broward slept only two hours in the forty-eight
and his face was lined with worry and fatigue. Mrs. Broward
sent him some fresh clothes and he shaved at his office.
Broward was in constant communication with Tallahassee, and
on the morning of July 6 he telegraphed Adjutant General
Lang for more troops. Two companies-the St. Augustine







70 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Rifles and the St. Augustine Guards-arrived during the after-
noon and were immediately marched to Liberty Street where
they were placed on duty before the jail. Adjutant General
Lang, who had traveled from Tallahassee by train to take
personal charge, ordered additional troops from Gainesville,
Palatka, and Starke.
Meanwhile considerable desultory shooting by individuals,
white and colored, kept the excitement at a high pitch. A
fusillade of bullets ricocheted on the wall behind one of the
policemen, and in the return fire a Negro was shot. A deputy
was hit four times after he accidentally dropped his gun and
it fired. About two hundred men were defendg-the prison,
and many more from nearby Florida towns and from south-
ern Georgia volunteered their services.'s The Gainesville
Guards, the Gem City Guards of Palatka, and the Bradford
County Guards of Starke arrived by railroad on July 7. The
entire city had assumed a martial appearance. Armed soldiers
patrolled the streets, citizens were stopped and questioned, and
those carrying guns were arrested. The sheriff ead rumors
that Negro_ women were planning to fire the city, and with
the city and military o-fficial he tried vainly to ferret out the
facts." On the afternoon of July 7, the military companies
stationed in Jacksonville staged a battalion drill and a parade
on Bay Street, both as reassurance and warning to the populace.
The weather was oppressively hot and tempers were short. In
the evening, storm clouds began piling and a downpour helped
disperse the mob. Negro citizens, in a meeting held that after-
noon, had denounced the mob leaders and asked the people
to return home. There was no outbreak during the night and
by the next day the city was quiet. The military companies
departed after holding a dress parade on Bay Street in front
of the Carlton Hotel.20
Jacksonville settled back into its normal routine, although
its citizens realized that they had had a close call For three
days and nights the tension had been so great that the slight-
est untoward incident might have touched off a catastrophe.


/
--








4
^ ^
x^^
;p '$
*\, ^ \







A Fight and a Riot 71
Sheriff Broward was the recipient of much well-deserved
praise; his tact, levelheadedness, and sense of fairness con-i
tribute largely to the protection of his psoner.o thhold-
Sin i ncendiarv elements among both white and
colored, and to the preservation of law and order. .Troughout
the crisis Jacksonville was the news center of the nation. News-
papers in Eastern and Northern cities published stories of thej
"race riot" on their front pages.
The excitement gradually-died- down and the public- re-
turned to the political situation. On July 20, 1892, a news-
paper notice invited the young men of Duval County to meet
the following Friday night and formnanlrganPiftiti to-back
Broward in the approaching election.21 The sheriff's popularity
was strongly evidenced by the many Democrats who gathered
in Metropolitan Hall to form the Young Men's Broward
Club, and to hear Major St. Clair-Abrams speak in Broward's
behalf. Broward already was probably the strongest man in
Duval County politics, and his influence in state politics was
rapidly becoming more apparent. The club became the most
talked-of organization in the city, and its membership soon
rose to over seven hundred; by election day it was even
larger. Smaller "Broward" clubs were organized throughout
the county.22
Broward was one of the principal speakers at the meeting
which formed the Young Men's Broward Club, and during
his campaign he made many political talks. Never a great
orator, Broward was a clear, honest speaker who possessed a
novel technique. With his clothes neatly pressed and his dark
hair well brushed, he made an impressive appearance on the
speaker's platform. There was something winning in his mod-
est demeanor, he was direct and forceful as his arguments
developed, and he always spoke in language that his hearers
could understand.
During the afternoon of August 2, Broward and other mem-
bers of the Straightout delegation boarded a dusty day coach
and traveled to Gainesville for the second district Congression-








72 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
al convention, which was to meet in the Alachua County Court
House. As Duval County was represented by two delegations,
the convention faced the same seating problem that had
affected the Tampa meeting. The question was immediately
referred to the committee on credentials, and Duncan U.
Fletcher23 argued the cause of the Straightouts. The commit-
tee recommended by a vote of io to 8 that the Straightouts
be seated.
Charles M. Cooper of Duval County, General Robert Bul-
lock, D. H. Young, E. M. Hammond, and E. C. Sanchez
were candidates for the Congressional nomination. After the
first few ballots the contest narrowed to Bullock and Cooper.
Twenty-nine votes were taken on August 4, Cooper leading
General Bullock on every count. After a supper intermission,
the delegates reconvened and balloting was resumed. Ninety
ballots were tabulated before adjournment, and there was no
prospect of an immediate nomination. Broward and the Duval
delegation, who supported Cooper, hoped to break the dead-
lock. Political caucuses ran far into the night. Broward went
from one to another, "buttonholing" party leaders and per-
suading delegates to support Cooper. When the convention
reassembled the next morning, Cooper's prospects were bright-
er. On the one hundred and sixth ballot Sumter County voted
for Cooper, bringing his total to 113 votes. On each succeed-
ing count Cooper grew stronger and the one hundred
thirty-ninth ballot gave him the necessary majority and the
nomination.24 The convention adjourned and the Duval dele-
gation returned to Jacksonville.
The sheriff attended a huge rally and barbecue the following
day at Plummer's Grove in Mandarin. Speaking for his fac-
tion, Broward presented an intimate analysis of the records
of several of his political foes and admonished his listeners
to stick by the "true Democratic party," assuring them that
"all good and pure people would stand by the Straightouts."25
The Broward Club was in session almost nightly during all of
August and September. The club now had a membership of







A Fight and a Riot 73
over one thousand, a substantial part of the voting population
in Jacksonville, which could prove a formidable weapon in
any election.
On the evening of September 30 the Straightout campaign
came to a close with a huge torchlight procession. Precincts all
over the county sent representatives to march in the parade,
and many of them carried signs and banners which read: "Help,
Holler, We feel Good. Our Candidate is Napoleon B.
Broward for Sheriff." The streets were filled with flags and
faces; bunting and gaudy crepe paper fluttered from windows,
housetops, and storefronts. Several precinct delegations brought
bands with them, and as the music from one blared into the
bannered distance, the sounds were picked up by another band
marching past. The crowds flowed across the sidewalk into
the streets and pressed against the marchers who went their
slow way up Bay Street, and then down Duval to Laura Street
and the Park Opera House, where a giant political rally was
held. The crowd was so huge that almost three thousand people
stood outside. The speakers that night included many of the
state's political leaders, who lauded Broward for his past ac-
complishments and made generous predictions concerning his
political future.
Electie-day was filled with L unshie---and-triumph for .S i
reward -andhi- yaIghtotI faction. They were successful at
the polls, and Broward won by a vote of 1,406 to 564. One *
newspaper's headlines proclaimed: "Broward leads the ticket
and beats Fleming Bowden in the latter's own precinct-wild
enthusiasm all over the city."26 The Straightout victory was
not the only triumph. As the returns from all over the nation
flashed over the wires, they told of Cleveland's election with
a Congress that was Democratic in both branches. Democratic
hopes of a jubilant victory were a reality.
The year 1893 was uneventful for Sheriff Broward until
November. Early in that month a group of Jacksonville busi-
nessmen and sport enthusiasts formed the Duval Athletic Club
and announced that a boxing match for the heavyweight cham-








74 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
pionship of the world would be fought in the city. The fight
between James J. Corbett and Charles Mitchell of England
was scheduled for the following January 25.27 Opposition to
the project was immediate and wrathful. Mayor Fletcher of
Jacksonville compared prizefighters with "pickpockets, thieves,
thugs and blacklegs";28 the rector of St. John's Church felt
that the fight would injure and shock "the best and purest
element" of the community.29 Governor Mitchell,'opposed to
any "prize fight, boxing or sparring contest,""30 issued a special
message "directing every sheriff to do his utmost to prevent
the fight coming off.... ."31
Preparations for the exhibition continued. During Decem-
ber, Corbett trained in Mayport and Mitchell in St. Augustine.
The Athletic Club leased the site of the old Fair Grounds,
which lay within the city limits,32 and advertised the fight as
a "boxing match with five ounce gloves.""33 Sheriff Broward,
instructed by the governor to prevent the fight, was promised
"all the assistance you ly require in upholding the laws of
this State.""' He confrfed with the state adjutant general,
and, as a result, four companies of troops were detailed to
Duval County to aid in keeping "the peace of the State.""3 On
January 17 the Gate City Rifles Company from Sanford was.
en route to Jacksonville and the second battalion of state militia
was under orders to march.
Broward was called tp Tallahassee on January 19 for a meet-
ing with Mitchell. On his return, when he was asked by a
newspaper reporter whether the governor was unalterably de-
termined in his stand against the fight, Broward answered with
great vehemence: "Determined? Humph. I should say so!
You let anybody go up there and talk fight to the Governor
and he'll hop on 'em as quick as a lark on a grasshopper."3"
State militia marched into the city two days before the fight.
As the troops paraded through the crowded streets, the people
who were interested in the fight hissed and booed, and many
hurled rocks and paper bags filled with sand.37 The military
activities were of no avail. The Athletic Club's attorney, A. W.







A Fight and a Riot 75
Cockrell, secured from Circuit Judge Rhydon M. Call a
permanent injunction against Broward, forbidding him to in-
terfere with the boxing match in any way.38
By eight o'clock on the morning of the fight dense crowds
jammed the streets. A glittering mob-gamblers, sports writers
and enthusiasts, roustabouts, promoters, and prostitutes-
flocked to the city. for the event. Jacksonville had never be-
fore seen a day like'this. The bannered sidewalks vibrated with
the noise of hawkers shrieking their wares, bawdy songs,
gamblers taking bets, shrill laughter, raucous band music, pro-
fanity, and fine talk.
The fight was to begin at two o'clock, but the crowds started
moving to the Fair Grounds by eleven. Every hack and rattle-
trap conveyance in the city was pressed into service and "hitched
behind nags, horses, and mules of every description." Street-
cars were jammed, excursion boats plied back and forth, and
fight enthusiasts rode on horseback or walked. By noon the
seats in the Fair Grounds were fillin4~irpidly, at ten to twenty-
five dollars each, and a full crowd waFs there an hour before
the fight. The fight promoters sent Sheriff Broward a twenty-
five dollar seat ticket, but it was not used.39
Byfight time the-sky-was bright and warm sunshine filled
the grounds. The ladies' gaily-hued dresses and the loud-
checked vests of the gamblers were bright splashes of
color on the tiered seats. "Sportingmen" gathered in the
ringside seats, and there were "few present who did not
have something in the shape of a flask in their hip pockets,
or a basket of beer within easy reach."'4 Among the
celebrities were New York's Steve Brodie, wearing a silk shirt
and a derby hat, Lillian Lewis, the Manhattan actress who bet
twelve hundred dollars on Mitchell, and Clara Desplaines,
who owned the most famous brothel in Kansas City, and who
came dressed in shoes, suit, and hat like a man.4
The fight was short. Corbett knocked Mitchell out in the
third round and retained his title as world's heavyweight
champion. After the fight, Broward's deputies stopped the

















76 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
boxers and served them with warrants ordering them to appear
in court the following morning. Charged with assault and bat-
tery, each man posted a five thousand dollar bond. Corbett went
on trial in February and a jury of six men brought in a ver-
dict of not guilty. The case against Mitchell was dropped.
After this excitement wore off, Broward resumed his usual
business activities. He and Montcalm worked, that spring, on
a small river tug they hoped to complete by fall.42 There was
every reason for Broward to be content. His political star was
growing brighter and the liberal cause he espoused was gain-
ing popularity and support. Napoleon Broward was now the
avowed "strong man" in Duval County and was a recognized
SpartlIT;'nTFori- TlIe names of Broward, Barrs, and
Stockton were revered by Straightout adherents throughout
the state. When this trio spoke politically, they spoke for the
liberal Democrats of the largest and richest county in Florida.











"Iniquity ofthe Corporation People"


T HE COUNTY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of
which Broward was a member met in Jacksonville
early in July, 1894. Duval County was spljtJnti two
political faction whhlSre econc-ii re Two executive
committee functioned and, later, separate primaries were held.
Rumors during the first week in July indicated that the Antis
were planning to call a "snap-election" to name delegates to
the party convention. Denouncing such a move in a heated
talk before the executive committee, Broward declared: "If
the other side tries to take snap judgment by calling primaries
on twenty-four hours' notice, it will show that they do not
intend to have a fair election. Nothing but a fair count can be
had. The eo le are not going to stand fraud."' The
Straightout committee decided that s ould this snap-election
materialize, they would find some way of naming delegates
to their own county convention.
The question of election inspectors was also heatedly dis-
cussed by the Straightouts. Florida law provided that inspectors
would supervise elections to assure an honest ballot-unt. In
past elections these inspectors had usually bee Anti- conae-
quently, the tabulations were often questioned by taighto ts,
who made frequent charges of fraud, and who wer ni de-
termined to help supervise vote tabulations. "The votes are
going to be counted," they insisted. "We will see that they are
counted, whether we are given an inspector or not."2
W. McL. Dancy, an avowed Anti and a delegate to the!
Tampa convention of 1892, announced himself as a candidate
for the nomination for state senator. During the campaign the
Florida Times-Union usually classified the Antis as Dancyites.
[77]








78 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
To Straightouts, Dancy's candidacy and the question of election
inspectors were all part of the same issue. They were willing
to "go into the primaries with the Dancy contingent, provided
they will be fair enough to agree to the 'straightouts' having
one inspector out of the three, and using the registration list
to vote from. . ."
The campaign began on July 9 with a large political rally
at Gravely Hill; Straightouts and Antis attended, Broward,
one of the principal speakers, was loudly cheered by the crowd
when he scathingly denounced corporation control in the state,
and lashed at ". . Chipley in the West . Plant in the South
and . Flagler in the East, all protesting and fighting to
maintain the rates. . ." The sheriff charged that "the great
wealth of Florida is so bottled up by the railroads as to pay
tribute to Georgia pprts, to the detriment of those of Flor-
ida . ."5 These frank statements were amply substantiated
by facts and figures produced by the liberals. Georgia cities
were receiving more favorable rates in the shipping of citrus
and phosphate than Florida cities, although the latter were
really closer to the groves and mines.
In an open letter to the press, on July 20, 1894, Broward
revealed how four railroads-two in Florida6 and two out-
side7-had established an interstate transportation monopoly
which was costing Florida approximately four hundred thou-
sand dollars a year. The companies manipulated local rates on
oranges so as to receive an additional twenty-four dollars per
carload, or about eight cents per box.8 Rate discrimination for
phosphate shipments from mine to port were flagrant, and
Broward, in his open letter, harshly arraigned the railroads for
their practices.9
The corporation forces in the state denied the charges and
pointed to the vast revenues brought to Florida by the rail-
roads. They argued that new roads were the primary factor
in opening the southern part of the state to settlers, and'that
Northern capital had developed and populated frontier sec-
tions of Florida. The philosophy of the railroad adherents







"Iniquity of the Corporation People" 79
was expressed in a newspaper statement of Henry B. Plant:
"... It seemed to me that about all South Florida needed for
a successful future was a little spirit and energy which could
be fostered by transportation facilities."'1 In trying to rebut
Broward's charges, the railroad forces circumvented the real
issues. Without denying the benefits which railroads brougitD
to Florida, the liberals complained against abuses practiced by
the transportation interests.
W. McL. Dancy and E. J. Triay headed the Anti delegation
to the Gravely Hill rally. They rode up in an elegantly
decorated rig, "... the finest on the grounds, drawn by two
high-stepping thoroughbreds, and maneuvered by a liveried
footman." Tables were placed beneath the widespread branches
of the trees, and after the meeting there was a barbecue. One
newspaper reported that the Antis ate apart from the crowds
and that "they had sandwiches made of costly canned meats
and chicken and golden pheasant, with jellies, and wines and
ginger pop with ice to wash it down, and a box of fine cigars
to smoke after their banquet was finished. . ." According to
the newspaper's story, Dancy sensed that this aloofness was
resented and helped himself to "the largest and best pickled
cow rib he could find. Selecting a conspicuous place against
the side of the schoolhouse, and brandishing the rib like a
broadsword, he nibbled at it.""1
A few days later the Antis met in Jacksonville and an-
nounced that the Duval primaries were scheduled for July
24 and that elected delegates would assemble in convention two
days later. There were loud protests from the members of the
Anti executive committee when Dancy stated that he was with-
drawing as a candidate for state senator. Broward's uncle,
Captain Joseph Parsons, who was an Anti leader, arose to speak
against Dancy's decision. In his excitement he put his lighted
cigar on the seat of his chair. The captain introduced a reso-
lution which asked Dancy to reconsider his decision, and then,
having forgotten his cigar, he sat down. The meeting was al-
most broken up by Parsons' loud yell of pain. He quieted down







80 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
after someone sloshed a bucket of water on the seat of his
trousers. Helped from the meeting room, Captain Parsons
stood up in his carriage all the way home.12 Dancy reconsid-
ered and decided to run after all.
A Straightout committee, invited to the meeting by the Antis,
proposed that for party amity both factions agree upon the
election date. They also asked for representation on the board
of election inspectors. The Antis denied both requests and
suggested that an Anti-Straightout committee meet and appoint
the inspectors." Refusing this, the Straightouts met the fol-
lowing Saturday morning, July 14, to map their campaign
tactics. Broward headed the committee which named July 24
for the primaries and July 26 for the convention. After the
meeting, the sheriff traveled to Mayport by steamer and spoke
at an evening political rally. It was a hot night and Broward's
linen suit was streaked with perspiration, but his talk was calm
and to the point. He accused the railroads and corporations
of "trying to get possession of the state," and detailed "facts
and figures that surprised many who had not given the matter
much consideration."'1
On the evening of July 18 a large rally was scheduled for
Mandarin, and both Duval County factions sent speakers. The
Antis arrived about an hour before the Straightouts and
walked to the meeting place near the school a mile from the
river. They erected a crude platform and waited for the crowd
to assemble. By six o'clock the schoolyard was filled; men sat
under the trees, on the ground, and on the school steps, and
some of the boys perched on the tree branches. Just before
the Straightouts came into sight, Joe Akorn, an Anti leader,
climbed onto the platform, called the meeting to order, and
introduced Dancy. When the opposing faction arrived, Dancy
was speaking, and he was immediately followed by E. J. Triay
and Judge Christie. Apparently the Straightouts were to be
muzzled. The crowd started calling for Duncan U. Fletcher,
Dancy's opponent, but the Anti chairman ignored the demands.
During Christie's address, Anti men quietly circulated the







"Iniquity of the Corporation People" 81
story that, as soon as the judge was finished, beer and whisky
would be served on a boat anchored in the nearby St. Johns.
By this means the Antis hoped to break up the meeting before
the Straightouts could participate. A man interrupted Christie
to ask about Straightout speakers, but the judge took no notice
of him. Akorn, aware of growing excitement among the spec-
tators, suddenly turned down the lantern used to light the
platform and loudly announced that the meeting was ad-
journed. In the darkness, Anti men tried unsuccessfully to
start a rush through the woods to the river. Thereupon the
Straightouts hurriedly took over the platform; and as soon
as they turned up the lantern, Fletcher began his talk. When
Broward spoke, Akorn and his men stood on the outskirts of
the crowd, cat-calling and insulting him. A fight began when
a Straightout called Akorn a traitor, and the latter struck at
his insulter. In the general brawl, a rock shattered the lamp
on the platform, and men hit each other with bottles, sticks,
and fists. The rally ended in an uproar and the Straightouts
started back to Jacksonville, but not before the sheriff arrested
Akorn for disturbing the peace and wearing "brass knuckles"
in the fight."
Jacksonville's citizens daily grew more excited about the
campaign. The Straightouts suspected that people were being
registered illegally, and asked that two of their men "be
allowed to stand within the room and note who were being
registered, so that those who had not, might be sought out
and impressed with the duty of qualifying themselves to
vote."'6 E. J. E. McLaurin, the supervisor of registration and
a strong Anti supporter, denied the request. When the
Straightouts refused to leave his office, the supervisor declared
he could register no one. It was evident from the wild rumors
circulating throughout the city that trouble was expected.
Crowds of rowdies from both factions collected before the
courthouse. Inside the building, the halls were filled with men
who talked in loud, agitated voices. Curses, threats, and oaths
stirred the air. At this moment, Broward, followed by a squad







82 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
of deputies, arrived and entered the building. Slowly they
marched up the steps and through the main corridor, carry-
ing their guns, but saying nothing. The brawlers, quelled
at this show of force, quickly dispersed.17 Again the sheriff's
prompt action and levelheaded tact had helped to mitigate
a situation that might have developed into something serious.
Meanwhile, McLaurin moved his office from its regular
place in the courthouse to a new location across the street. The
Straightouts protested this move and Florida Times-Union
editorials denounced the supervisor. On July 19 a petition
which demanded that McLaurin be removed from office on
charges of misfeasance was forwarded to Governor Mitchell,
who refused to act."8 Although Mitchell had been elected by
liberal and conservative voters, the latter group was the more
influential. Attempts were made to secure a compromise on
the issue of the election inspectors when the Straightouts sub-
mitted their list. The Antis, however, objected to most of the
nominees and proposed that only eight inspectors be Straight-
outs. This arrangement would give the Antis a majority of
the inspectors. When the Straightouts rejected the proposal,
negotiations failed.
Turmoil filled Jacksonville on the day the two rival pri-
maries were held. A hot July sun poured over the city. Crowds
of people gathered in front of every polling place, rode in
buggies along Bay, Forsyth, and Adams streets, filled up the
green benches in Hemming Park, and lolled on the open
porches of the St. James and Windsor hotels. Everybody
talked about the election and its outcome.
After the Anti votes were tabulated and published, the
Straightouts protested the results and violently denounced
their opponents. Broward's group charged that "men who had
not resided in the city two weeks were marched to the polls
and made to vote the railroad ticket; railroad men . away
on the trains in other parts of the state, were voted by proxy;
boys of 16 and 17 were induced to vote in as many wards as
they could .. ; sailors from vessels which had been in port







"Iniquity of the Corporation People" 83
two days were enthused with free booze and marched up to
the ballot boxes . ; dead men's names were raked up from
graves and the shroud and used to swell the majority. .. ."
One report said that men "came from Callahan, Gainesville,
Ocala, Fernandina, and points within o10 miles of Duval
County to participate in the travesty of a primary.""
Two conventions were held on July 26. The Antis met in
the Park Opera House, and the Straightouts in Metropolitan
Hall. John E. Hartridge won the Anti nomination to the
Florida Senate, and W. McL. Dancy and Edward Plummer
were nominated to the Florida House of Representatives. The
Straightouts nominated Duncan U. Fletcher for the Florida
Senate. In the balloting for nominees for the legislature, J. E.
Pickett defeated Broward's uncle, Pulaski Broward. Pickett
and Benjamin R. Powell became Straightout candidates.
When the state convention met in Jacksonville five days
later, there were two delegations from Duval County. The
committee on credentials settled the seating question, and
accepted the Antis by a vote of 28 to 12. The Florida Times-
Union reported that William D. Chipley, while not a member
of the committee, had "set in" on its sessions, and influenced
its decisions in favor of the conservatives.20 The convention
named Benjamin S. Liddon as Democratic nominee for Florida
supreme court justice and Stephen M. Sparknan from the
First Congressional District to succeed Stephen R. Mallory.
Representative Charles M. Cooper was renominated from the
Second District.
During the campaign, Broward became convinced that the
establishing of a railroad commission would help to eliminate
railroad abuses and to diminish unfair corporation influence
and control. At a large political rally on September 21, he
sharply reiterated his advocacy of the legislation suggested
in his widely quoted open letter of July, 1894.21 Broward was
particularly interested in laws which would forbid rate dis-
criminations between long and short hauls.22
As election day drew nearer, the Straightouts, holding a







84 Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
tenuous political position, were determined that they would
help supervise the election. Though many voters in Duval
County gave them sympathetic support, in other sections of
the state their policies and actions were curtailed by the rail-
road-corporate forces. Broward's faction, given no voice in
the state convention and little voice in the legislature, now
seemed destined to play a minor role in the local election.
Straightout leaders advocated immediate action to cope with
this situation.
During the last week in September, Mayor Fletcher wrote
a letter to John M. Barrs, Jacksonville's city attorney, and
asked whether there were powers under the city charter to in-
tervene in a state election, provided illegal interference at the
polls was suspected. Barrs informed the mayor that it was
legal for city police to keep polling places under surveillance
on election day if there was strong evidence that balloting
would be obstructed by persons employing such "weapons as
guns, clubs, and brass knuckles. .. ." Barrs' letter was so
worded as to give county authorities the same rights as those
delegated to city police.23 The Antis immediately protested
and telegraphed a copy of Barrs' letter to Governor Mitchell.
Even before the letter was published, the Antis surmised what
Barrs' opinion would be. Conservative leaders apprised the'
governor daily of political developments in Jacksonville.
On the morning of September 30, Broward received a tele-
gram from the governor, summoning him to Tallahassee:
"Come here by first train. Business very important. Answer
time of arrival here."24 When the sheriff did not answer this
message, Mitchell wired again the next morning: "I sent
letter last night. Comply with instructions therein."25 Broward
probably received a letter from Mitchell about the same time
that he received this second telegram. Mitchell wrote:

It is reported to me that many Conservative Citizens of Duval
County are apprehensive that breaches of the peace and riot-
ing will occur at the General Election which is to take place




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