1892 Color Map of the northern East Coast of Floridaj

1892 color map of the lands of the Florida canal and Boston & Florida land companies
1892 color map of the lands of the Florida canal and Boston & Florida land companies

This rare map was found in the Trent University archives, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. It shows the state lands reserved for granting to the Florida canal company in yellow and the lands of its affiliated land company, the Boston & Florida Atlantic Coast Land Company, in blue. ¬†Each square block represents a “section” or one square mile of land. The larger squares represent townships, comprised of 36 sections or 36 square miles.

Several of the investors in the canal company organized the Boston & Florida land company to buy 100,000 acres of the Florida canal company at a dollar an acre. Sir Sandford Fleming, chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway soon became the land company’s largest stockholder. The participation of Canadian investors in Florida as early as 1892 has been a little known fact in Florida history. This map was so large that Trent University could not scan it as one continuous document. Hence, it had to be broken up and scanned in three separate sections. Is there enough interest in seeing the middle and southern east coast of Florida ca. 1892? Courtesy, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

Boston & Florida Atlantic Coast Land Company

Boston & Florida Atlantic Coast Land Company stock certificate issued in 1924
Boston & Florida Atlantic Coast Land Company stock certificate issued in 1924

In 1892, to raise additional cash to finance canal dredging, Bradley enlisted the assistance of Albert P. Sawyer, a wealthy Newburyport, Mass. investor to organize a new company to raise $100,000. Sawyer selected the State of Maine as the venue for the new enterprise because Sawyer believed that Maine assessed the least amount of incorporation taxes. The purchase of one share of preferred stock would entitle the investor to cumulative dividends with preference over common stock. In other words, the preferred shareholder would be entitled to dividends and the liquidation of stock before the payment of dividends on common stock and the liquidation of common stock. Within a few years, Sir Sandford Fleming, formerly chief engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, would become one of the largest investors in the new land company. Courtesy, Collection of the author.