The Letters of George Long Brown ― A Yankee Merchant on Florida's Antebellum Frontier
The Letters of George Long Brown ― A Yankee Merchant on Florida's Antebellum Frontier
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  • In 1840, twenty-three-year-old George Long Brown migrated from New Hampshire to north Florida, a region just emerging from the devastating effects of the Second Seminole War. This volume presents over seventy of Brown’s previously unpublished letters to illuminate day-to-day life in pre?Civil War Florida. Brown’s personal and business correspondence narrates his daily activities and his views on politics, labor practices, slavery, fundamentalist religion, and the local gossip. Having founded a successful mercantile establishment in Newnansville, Brown traveled the region as far as Savannah and Charleston, purchasing sea island cotton and other goods from plantations. He also bartered with locals and circulated among the judges, lawyers, and politicians of Alachua County. The Letters of George Long Brown provides an important eyewitness view of north Florida’s transformation from a subsistence and herding community to a market economy based on cotton, timber, and other crops, showing that these changes came about in part due to an increased reliance on slavery. Brown’s letters offer the first social and economic history of one of the most important yet little-known frontiers in the antebellum South.A volume in the series Contested Boundaries, edited by Gene Allen Smith
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