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Flagler Enterprises Letters

 Collection — Box: 146
Identifier: MSS 1964-107

Scope and Contents

The two manuscript letters, dated 1893, are by George F. Miles, St. Augustine, Florida to Landford Fleming, Esq., C.M.G., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and refer to matters pertaining to Flagler enterprises. Mr. Miles at that time was general manager and director of the Florida Coast Line Canal and Transportation Company with headquarters at St. Augustine, and Mr. Fleming was a stockholder in the "Boston and Florida Land Company."

In his letter of March 21, 1893, Mr. Miles expressed concern about the health of Mr. Fleming, and suggested that the delightful climate in Florida could be beneficial to him. About business matters, he wrote: "The country along our waterway is making rapid progress just now. The Canal works are going on, and a railway is being pushed as vigorously as possible through our land grant. In addition to this, Mr. Flagler is just about commencing the construction of a hotel to hold 500 people at Lake Worth and which will be open next winter. And the pine-apple industry on the West Shore of the Indian River is making quite a boom in the price of land. Mr. Flagler bought two places on Lake Worth last week, amounting in all to about 50 acres, for which he paid $103.00. I was with him when he closed the transaction and therefore know the particulars. This place is on the levi of our waterway about 260 miles South of St. Augustine... we effected the reorganization of our company on the 14th inst.; Mr. Flagler was elected president and I was appointed general manager and placed on the board of directors..."

On May 1, 1893, Mr. Miles informed Mr. Fleming that he had spent "The last couple of weeks at the Capital of the State arranging for some additional Legislation in connection with our Canal Company... I succeeded in getting our bill through the Senate by a unanimous vote, but it will take a few days before it will be seriously considered in the lower house." He then stated that he had returned to St. Augustine to see about, "starting up our first new dredge which is just about completed, and have to send down the coast for about 150 men... We intend to operate our dredges night and day and hope to have Biscayne Bay connected with the Southern terminals of the new railway - now under construction - by the early part of next season." In closing his letter, he expressed the hope that Mr. Fleming had quite recovered from his illness and urged him to "pay us a visit here." Again, he praised the Florida climate.


  • created: 1893

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Henry Flagler was born in 1830 in the state of New York. After a series of business ventures, Flagler finally struck it big in the early 1870s when he went into partnership with John D. Rockefeller and formed Standard Oil, which quickly became the top oil refinery company in the U.S. After ten years in New York City with Standard Oil, he moved to St. Augustine to pursue transportation and tourism ventures in Florida.

In the mid 1880s he began construction on the Hotel Ponce de Leon and quickly purchased the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax Railroad to provide the reliable transportation for out-of-state visistors to reach his hotels and attractions. This railway became only the first in a series of railways that were combined and expanded to become the Florida East Coast Railway. Flagler opened hotels all throughout the state as well as numerous other enterprises and the Florida East Coast Railway grew as he developed areas in the southern parts of the state including Miami and even as far as Key West. The developers in Miami desparately wanted Flagler to continue the railroad to Miami in the 1890s so he was offered land from the Florida East Coast Canal and Transportation Company and the Boston and Florida Atlantic Coast Land Company as well as private landowners.

Henry Flagler died in 1913 and is buried in St. Augustine. [Source: Biography of Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Morrison Flagler Musuem, Palm Beach, Florida]


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