Dr. John Westcott (1807-1889), president of the Florida canal company

Dr. John Westcott  (1807-1889), president of the Florida canal company

Dr. John Diament Westcott (1807-1889) served as president of the Florida canal company from 1881 until his death in 1889. Born in New Jersey, Westcott briefly attended West Point before leaving for medical reasons. For a time, he also attended medical school in Philadelphia before relocating to the Territory of Florida, serving as secretary to his older brother, James Westcott, the Territory’s first Secretary of State. Westcott soon became proficient in medicine, chemistry, mineralogy, and surveying. As a surveyor, Westcott became Surveyor General in charge of surveying the federal lands of the new State of Florida in 1850. Westcott’s knowledge of public lands along the East Coast of Florida when he later became president of the Florida canal company would prove useful in selecting choice state lands for the dredging work his company was to perform in the years ahead. Courtesy, Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Va.

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