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Napoleon Bonaparte Broward was born in Duval County, Florida, in 1857. Throughout his young life he worked in various positions on farms, in logging camps, and on steamboats. As the owner of a steam tug, The Three Friends, he earned a reputation smuggling guns to Cuban revolutionaries prior to the Spanish-American War. Broward held various public positions, serving as sheriff of Duval County, on the Jacksonville city council, in the Florida House of Representatives (1901), and on the State Board of Health (1901-1904). He served one term as Governor of Florida, from 1905 to 1909. As Governor, he was instrumental in the drainage of the Everglades and encouraged development in South Florida. Following his gubernatorial term, he was elected U.S. Senator in 1910 but died before taking office.
The Broward Papers <a href="top.htm">date</a> from 1879 to 1918, but the bulk of the papers coincide with the gubernatorial term from 1905 to 1909. The major subject covered in the collection is the drainage of the Everglades and the development of South Florida lands. Additional topics include real estate, race relations, education, labor unions, liquor, taxes, transportation, waterways, railways, and Broward's campaigns for Governor and the U.S. Senate. The collection is comprised of incoming and outgoing correspondence, speeches, news clippings, campaign material, photographs (including images of dredging operations), legislative material, and legal documents. There are a small number of articles, pamphlets, circulars, and other publications pertaining to the drainage of the Everglades, dredging equipment, forestry, sugar, and waterways. In addition to the incoming and outgoing correspondence, there are four bound letterbooks containing letters written by Broward in 1905-1909. Correspondents include numerous real estate developers, business leaders, representatives of state and federal agencies, and Florida politicians such as William Sherman Jennings.
For additional materials pertaining to Governor Broward and his efforts to drain the Everglades, consult the William Sherman Jennings Papers, the May Mann Jennings Papers, and the Thomas E. Will Papers.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
An addition to the collection was processed in 2003, which consisted of publications, speeches, blueprints, and correspondence files.
The majority of the documents in this series are not dated, but seem to date from Broward's term as Governor. Topics include the drainage of the Everglades, waterways, railways, transportation, conservation, taxation, race relations, state life insurance, education, and general legislation. The files in this series are arranged alphabetically.