Affidavit from the case Southern States Land and Lumbar Co. v. Napoleon B. Broward, Governor of the State of Florida (in...


Material Information

Affidavit from the case Southern States Land and Lumbar Co. v. Napoleon B. Broward, Governor of the State of Florida (includes Sydney Chase's description of Everglades exploring expedition of 1892 and his opposition to drainage of the Everglades)
Series Title:
Business Records of Sydney Octavius Chase
Physical Description:
Chase family
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 22
Folder: 5.68. Everglades Drainage (Bill Number 479)


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text

In the United States Circuit Court, Fifth

Circuit Southern District of Florida

Southern States Land & Lumber


versus In Chancery.

Napoleon B. Broward, Governor
of the State of Florida, et al. )




Before me the undersigned officer, personally appeared

Sydney 0. Chase, to me well known who upon oath says:
That he is a citizen of Sanford, Orange County, Florida, is

forty-five years of age, a native of the State of Pennsylvania, and that

twenty-seven years ago he came to Orange County and has lived there

ever since; that his business during these years has been of varied char-

acter, for many years being connected with Land Department of the South

Florida Railroad, a road running between Sanford and Tampa, on the

Gulf Coast;since then has been engaged in insurance business, farming and

orange growing, and is familiar with the general character of the lands

in South Florida.

That in March 1892, he was a member of the Everglades Exploring

Expedition organized by Mr. J. E. Ingraham, who was at that time Presi-

dent of the South Florida Railroad Company, which exposition was organized

for exploring the character of the lands transversing the State in a

southeasterly direction from Fort Shackleford. The party left Fort

Myers, in Lee County in March of that year and traveled a distance of

ninety miles to Fort Shackleford on Western margin of the Everglades. The

lands between Ft. AMyers and Ft. Shaokleford were mostly flatwoods and

prairie interspersed with pine and palmetto islands and cypress stamps.

The party consisted of twenty-two men fitted with boats, and surveying

corps. It was their expectation to find high rich hammock lands in the
center of the glades, trip to be made in about eight or nine days, but

the difficulties encountered were under-estimated, and actual time consum-

ed in crossing the glades proper was from sixteen to eighteen days. Having
under estimated the time required for the trip, rations ran short and

members of the party became weak for want of food which prevented satis-
factory distance being covered each day, seldom making over five miles,

some days not over one or two miles being traveled, and it was with

difficulty that destination was reached.

After leaving rort Shaokleford saw grass portions of the glades

were entered, these being underlaid with soft muck varying in depth
from six inches to several feet;traveling southeast towards head of the

Miami River this mucky deposit became deeper and very loose and sloppy
some soundings showing a depth of from ten to fifteen feet. At times

the men would sink to their waist in the soft slush and in order to travel

at all had to step from tussock to tussock. We found succession of saw
grass growth and open glades, saw grass bodies oftentimes being from two

to three thousand feet in width. For the first few days the route was

chained, but owing to difficulties encountered, that part of the work was
abandoned. About mid-way between Ft. Shackleford and head of the Miami

river, the slushy deposit varied in depth of from 10 to 15 feet and on
approaching the river this slush became shallower and was underlaid with

rock. On the route was seen a number of small islands varying in size
from 3/4 of an acre to two acres which had elevations of from one to three

feet, all of which had appearance of being over-flowed during high water

periods. The only person met on the trip was an Indian, on Eastern margin
of the glades.

In affiants opinion, the utility of drainage of the Everglades

is problematical for the reason that the soil is loose in character, and

if drainad there would be an enormous shrinkage,probably three to four

feet--Its value for agricultural purposes is also problematical, the soil

being of mush newer formation than saw grass bodies in upper portion of

the State. In event of drainage the mucky deposits would be in danger
.of fires which annually sweep the grazing districts and forests of the

State, affiant having often seen mucky deposits of the kind burn for months

to a depth of froam two to three feet. Men oanoe afire these a&y Ad-e*

posits bur until abamrge. The drainage of the EverglaAes would
have no benefiolE effect on that part Wo Lee County lyin -uest of the

Referring o general offoot of the drainage on liad&e in South
Florida- ha drainage would have no beneficial effect on the adjoining
high pino lands but would be bonefaticial to the flat wvoodm land in that
seotion if deCtroa for cultivation. .ith regard to prairie land-~-I
used for ga *si ter would ba n3o bnerits1, )but i oultivated some benefit
would be derived from the dratjage.
Affiaut further state that hlie doeo naot own any Ulans within
the limits o' tho drainage distriota ectablibhod under Lot of 1905 and
Is not interested in any way n pa;,ent oe taxes therein.
.worn to wad subscribed this
27th day of Janaryj 1906, before me.
,.,,, .. Jr. )


Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd