Cattle & Cowboys of Florida...

Discussion in 'Jim Crow Discussion' started by 5fish, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    I just want you to know Florida has Cowboys... https://flaglerlive.com/90351/florida-black-cowboys/

    Snip... Black ones...

    The exhibit is arranged simply as six colorful panels, the first one starting with the origin of cattle herding in Africa and the origin of the word cowboy (though its coinage, said to be from the Carolinas and explained as “a black slave who tended cows,” is not quite accurate). Another panel tells the story of Spanish ranches, then Ponce de Leon’s introduction of cattle—and, not so coincidentally, of blacks—to Florida in 1521.

    Many Florida born blacks gained their freedom as cattle traders, interpreters and through military service,” a panel notes. “Free black women also participated in the cattle trade. The most well known was Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley,” who, as Daniel Schafer documented in his 2003 biography, had been captured and enslaved from Senegal when she was 13, and sold twice, finally to a Floridian slave-owner. The panels have limited space, so Kingsley’s only hints at some of the more arresting parts of her story: she married her slavemaster, was freed, and that same year herself bought a plantation and 11 slaves, which she ran for 25 years until racism, which grew the moment the United States acquired Florida, forced her to take refuge in Haiti. She eventually returned, only to die on Florida soil a pauper.

    Snip...Cattle...

    Florida's cattle industry, one of the oldest and largest in the nation, is vital to the state's well-being. Ranching is an essential economic activity that preserves many aspects of the natural landscape, protects water resources, and maintains areas used by wildlife or for recreation. Yet few know about Florida's unique ranching traditions, which have been adapted to the subtropical climate and influenced by the state's distinctive history.

    In Florida, those who own or work cattle traditionally have been called cowmen. In the late 1800s they were often called cow hunters, a reference to hunting for cattle scattered over the wooded rangelands during roundups. At times the terms cowman and Cracker have been used interchangeably because of similarities in their folk culture. Today the western term "cowboy" is often used for those who work cattle.

    Snip...

    Florida ranching has evolved from many different cultural traditions, though the most important sources were the marshy coastal areas of Andalusia, Spain, and the hill regions of Britain and Ireland. In Andalusia, ranchers living in towns hired cow hands (vaqueros), who marked or branded the cattle, managed them from horses, and moved them to different locations during the year. They later brought long-horned Andalusian cattle to the Americas. In highland Britain and Ireland, herders marked or branded cattle for identification, penned them at night for protection, and moved them to different pastures during the year. In the fall, the animals were sold to drovers, who used dogs and whips to drive them to markets or slaughterhouses. The Spanish and British took these traditions to the West Indies, where they were adapted to the tropical climate and combined to create ranching systems used throughout the Americas.

    Florida's Andalusian/Caribbean cattle were the first in today's United States. Some scholars believe that cattle brought by the expeditions of Ponce de Leon in 1521 and Don Diego de Maldonado in 1540 escaped and survived in the wild. Organized ranching began with the founding of St. Augustine in 1565, when cattle from Spain and Cuba formed the basis of herds that fed the garrison and surrounding communities. In addition to herds owned by the Spanish and Indians, wild cattle flourished in the rangelands and prairies. Eventually Spanish colonists began exporting cattle to Cuba. During the 1600s, Spanish clergy raised cattle at the missions, where many Native Americans learned to tend them.

    Snip... https://www.floridamemory.com/photographiccollection/photo_exhibits/ranching/


    The link has 19th-century photos...

    By 1700, Florida contained approximately 34 ranches and 20,000 head of cattle. After British-Creek Indian raids in 1702 and 1704 devastated Florida cattle ranchers, Indians sustained cattle raising in Florida. Many had established large herds of wild cattle and stock acquired from the Spanish. Cattle herding was vital culturally and economically to the early Seminoles, as attested to by the name of their leader, Cowkeeper (ca. 1710-1783). They remained Florida's major livestock producers throughout most of the 1700s.

    During British rule (1763-1783), English planters and Creek Indians in west Florida owned substantial herds. Cowmen from Georgia and the Carolinas spread into north Florida during that period.

    In early Florida, Europeans, Americans, and Indians stole cattle from each other. Rustling became particularly widespread by the second half of the 18th century, and was one of the elements that led to the Seminole Wars.

    Snip...

    When the U.S. took possession of Florida in 1821, it was described as a "vast, untamed wilderness, plentifully stocked with wild cattle." Florida "scrub" or Cracker cattle were descended from the mix of Spanish and British breeds. These hardy creatures survived on native forage, tolerated severe heat, insect pests, and acquired immunity to many diseases.

    Early Florida cowmen survived in difficult conditions. They fought off panthers, wolves, bears, and cattle rustlers. Cowmen spent weeks or months on cattle drives across difficult marshes and dense scrub woods, often enduring burning heat, torrential thunderstorms, and hurricane winds. From central Florida they sometimes drove cattle as far as Jacksonville, Savannah, and Charleston. This gradually changed in the 1830s when the cattlemen re-established trade with Cuba, and Tampa, Punta Gorda, and Punta Rassa became important export ports.

    The number of cattle increased rapidly from the 1840s until the Civil War. Florida was second only to Texas in per capita value of livestock in the South. After the Armed Occupation Act of 1842, cattlemen from the overstocked states of Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas homesteaded 200,000 acres in Florida. Some seized range territory that the Seminoles had been forced to relinquish as a consequence of the Seminole Wars. The newcomers often brought foundation herds that interbred with wild scrub cattle. Few cattlemen owned grazing land since there was extensive open range. By mid-century, ranchers were running large herds on the extensive open range in central and south Florida.

    Wars provided an economic boost for Florida cattlemen, who provisioned armies during the Seminole, Civil, and Spanish American Wars. Although the Civil War disrupted the Cuban trade, Florida cowmen became beef suppliers to both armies. Hides, tallow, and meat from Florida were so important for the Confederacy that a Cow Cavalry was organized to protect herds from Union raiders.

    After the Civil War there were still wild cattle in Florida, as well as attractive markets to the north and south. During the next three decades, trade boomed with Cuba, Key West, and Nassau, and Florida became the nation's leading cattle exporter. From 1868 to 1878, ranchers received millions of dollars in gold doubloons for over 1.6 million cattle exported to Cuba. The Cuban commerce provided income to cattlemen, merchants, and shippers, and contributed to the state's recovery from Reconstruction-era depression.






     
  2. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    We had cattle drives... https://www.floridaraised.com/blog/2019/5/20/revisit-the-largest-cattle-drives-in-florida-history

    The Civil War Stimulated the Florida Cattle Industry

    In the American Civil War, when the Union Army gained control of the Mississippi River, it created a big problem for the Confederacy; it cut off the steady supply of Texas cattle that were used to feed soldiers. Unfortunately, the Union blockade runners by sea were also cutting off the supplies and food sources for the Confederate Army, and they had to find some alternatives quickly.

    You know that Ponce de Leon was responsible for importing cattle in the early 1500’s, as Spanish explorers sought to claim Florida and settle there. When the Spanish explorers were chased out of Florida, the cattle they brought with them were left behind. For generations the cattle became feral and multiplied, thanks to the ample freshwater resources and grassland in Florida. The Confederacy looked to Florida, as a source of cheap (or free) beef for military supply needs.

    But since shipping them or sending barges to transport the cattle from Florida was not possible, there were 700,000 or more cattle in the wild herd located primarily in South Florida. That was cattle country, and there was a meager population of about 3,500 people in the South Florida areas, with most of the 140,000 residents living in the northern parts of Florida.

    From 1862 to 1865, Florida cattle were driven by professional cowboys, or ‘drovers’ a distance of up to 500 miles to where the railroads began in the state of Georgia.

    At one point during the Civil War, Confederate Army officials asked that the railway ties in Florida be removed and reconstructed from Georgia to expedite shipments of food and other supplies to the army by rail. During that time there was widespread famine and food supplies were scarce; the hired cowboys had to work extra long hours to make sure that cattle were not being stolen.

    However, the majority of the Florida Railroad Company was owned by shipping magnates like Marshall Roberts and Edward Dickerson, who were located in New York and who supported the Union Army. There were ongoing legal battles waged against the Florida Railroad Company until the Confederate politicians finally persevered, and the railroad link was completed about thirty-days before the Battle of Appomattox in Virginia, April 9th, 1865.

    The Union Army was intent on ‘starving out’ the Confederate troops, and they were irritated by the new supply resource their opponents had discovered in Florida. So much so, that Union troops then invaded Key West, and Fort Myers to control the western coast of Florida, and prevent the massive cattle drives that were suppling the Confederate Army. In the mayhem that ensued (and thanks to free cattle) Florida became its own version of “the wild west” with deserters, runaway black slaves, draft dodgers and cattle rustlers and thieves. Some of these men were drafted into the Union Army, after the Florida west coast was seized.

    The largest and most historical cattle drives involving exportation of Florida cattle to southern United States began during the last few years of the American Civil War. After the war concluded, this activity stimulated the cattle industry in Florida. How is that for an interesting start to what is now a multi-billion-dollar industry for our state
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  3. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    Here a good civil war... https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/floridas-cattle-wars/

    Florida’s cattle were the first in North America. Since beef livestock were not native to the Western Hemisphere, it is believed they were brought over as early as 1521 by expeditions of Ponce de Leon. Ranching began before the 17th century around St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the United States. When Florida became a territory in 1821, it was a frontier plentifully stocked with wild cattle. By the eve of the Civil War, the state was second only to Texas in the per capita value of livestock in the South. The central and southern parts of the peninsula were open range. Exports of live cattle to Cuba became an important business in the 1850s, but were curtailed during the early part of the Civil War by the Union blockade and official – but sometimes violated – Confederate export prohibitions.

    Snip...

    Indeed, with a semi-wild herd approaching 700,000, Florida had almost five times as many cattle as people. South Florida was cow country: Except for Key West and Tampa, only about 3,500 of the state’s 140,000 residents lived south of present day Disney World. By the end of 1863 the region accounted for 75 percent of the beef cattle leaving the state.

    Snip...

    South Florida cattle drives took about a month to cover the 300 to 400 miles to Georgia railheads. Government plans to remove rails from the Florida Railroad Company’s trans-peninsula line and use them to lay a connection to the Georgia network were legally resisted by its owners. Through various legal challenges he delayed removal of the iron, and a Florida-to-Georgia rail link was not completed until a month before Appomattox.

    Snip...

    Since the federal garrisons at Key West and elsewhere would pay for cattle with federal currency instead of less valued Confederate scrip, General Woodbury envisioned Fort Myers as a trading and export center to draw herds away from the rebels — and toward any paying customers, including Cuban buyers. To accommodate the necessary ships, the general built a long wharf at Fort Myers.

    Refugees fleeing Confederate conscription began to arrive within days of the Fort Myers occupation. Military-aged males coalesced into an irregular force of Florida Rangers, but were soon incorporated into a new regiment, the Second Florida (Union) Cavalry. It eventually numbered more than 750 men. By the early spring of 1864, Union infantry reinforcements landed, including a group of African-Americans.

    Snip... Cow Cavalry...

    In March 1864 James McKay, who was in charge of Confederate cattle procurement in South Florida, wrote the state’s top commissary officer to say that he would be unable to secure cattle from his district in the next season unless the Confederate Army challenged incursions from Fort Myers. A result was the formation of the First Battalion, Florida Special Cavalry, a battalion of drovers commonly known as the Cow Cavalry or Cattle Guard Battalion. Their job was to renew the cattle drives, defend against Union cattle forays and eventually capture or force the abandonment of Fort Myers.

    Maj. Charles Munnerlyn of Georgia was given command. His political connections obtained earlier as a Confederate congressman proved valuable. For example, he convinced a personnel-stingy Gen. Joe Johnston, who commanded one of the biggest rebel armies, to provide a core of volunteers with cowhand experience. Since Cow Cavalry members were exempt from the military draft, the major received applicants from all over Florida. But he was selective, because inexperienced cowboys were worse than useless. Eventually, the Cow Cavalry consisted of nine companies totaling 800 men, and was active from Fort Myers to Georgia. By patrolling a 300-mile stretch of dusty trails and open range, the Cow Cavalry enabled cattle drives to be renewed.

    Snip... Furthest south battle east of the Mississippi...

    By February 1865 the success of the Cow Cavalry led to rumors that Fort Myers might soon be abandoned by the Union. Leading about 200 members of selected Cow Cavalry companies, Maj. William Footman decided to give the approximate 300 Yankees remaining in the fort a push. Although Footman originally planned a surprise attack, after capturing five soldiers outside the compound who told him about the presence of women and children inside, he decided to send a surrender demand. The demand was refused. The resulting, southernmost “battle” of the Civil War east of the Mississippi, evolved into a long-range skirmish with small arms and a few light artillery, resulting in few casualties on either side. Unable to take the fort by force, the rebels retreated into the bush, but federals unilaterally abandoned the place a few weeks later.

    Florida's cow cavalry...






     
  4. Wehrkraftzersetzer

    Wehrkraftzersetzer Hüter des Reinheitsgebotes

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  5. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    A little more info... https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2002-02-03-0202020099-story.htm

    Snip... the Olustee open up the Cattle drives again...

    A few miles east of Lake City, during the bloodiest fighting of the Civil War on Florida soil, Confederate Gen. Joseph Finegan drove back the Union Army's attempt to march across North Florida and take Tallahassee. Finegan, who had paid $40 for five miles of Lake Monroe shoreline at a courthouse auction in 1849, had become a cotton planter, statesman, lawyer and state senator who in 1861 voted to withdraw Florida from the Union.

    Between noon and early evening on Feb. 20, 1864, at least 10,500 soldiers on both sides clashed when the Union Army marching toward Lake City met Finegan's troops at Ocean Pond near Olustee. The Union lost 1,861 soldiers at the Battle of Olustee. The Confederates lost 946 men.

    "The Confederate victory at Olustee . . . pretty much opened up the corridor to the starving South," Russell writes.

    Snip... the end...

    Promoted to lieutenant colonel for his efforts, Munnerlyn surrendered the cow cavalry to the Union on June 5, 1865. Russell notes that Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox nearly two months earlier.

    But the cow cavalry had one more mission. In June 1865, in what Russell describes as "a final act of Confederate patriotism," Leroy and John Lesley and the McKay family aided the escape of Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, who slipped past Union forces to Cuba and on to England.

    "In general, the Cow Cavalry was successful in its attempt to feed the South, and although it was active for only about a year, it drove a number of beef north (the total number is not known) and succeeded in keeping at least central and south Florida free of Yankee occupation," Russell writes.



     
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  6. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    We(Florida) have Alligators them Aussies have Crocodilians...
     
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  7. Nitti

    Nitti Member

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    We also have fresh water crocs in the lower glades
     
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