What one man can do on Florida’s soil

This little tidbit comes from Debow’s Review of March 1855:

What one man can do on Florida soil. We have often heard it remarked that Florida is the “best poor man’s country in the world,” and facts would seem to support the proposition.

Every man who settles a place with ordinary industry, can with his own labor earn a handsome living, and with proper economy, “lay by enough for a rainy day.”

One instance among, we venture to say, hundreds of others in our State, has come to our knowledge which deserves notice, and we publish for the information of those who may wish to seek a new home within our more genial clime and more yielding soil.

Mr. Bartolo Masters, jr., of this county, residing near Moccasin Branch, 15 miles from this city, has given us a statement of his crop, made the past season without assistance, and solely by his own labor. We put it down with the value as follows:

450 gallons syrup, at 50c per gallon $225
4 barrels sugar, 800 lbs. at 6c 48
3,000 canes at 2cts 60

This is the produce of one acre of cane. In addition to this, he raised 150 bushels of corn, and 200 bushels of sweet potatoes, the value of which we put down at $250 more; making in round numbers the sum of eight hundred dollars as the result of his season’s labor, to say nothing of the numberless comforts arising out of poultry, pigs and milk, &c., which are unconsidered trifles.

The land upon which this crop was raised is high pine land, “cow-penned,” and the mill with which the cane was ground is a common wooden one of rude manufacture. With such facts before them, let no one complain of the hardness of times. A little industry, energy, and perseverance, will make every man rich if he chooses to be.

We would remark that it would seem our pine lands cow-penned are better suited to the culture and growth of sugar cane than any other quality of soil. We judge so far from the fact that the yield per acre is greater in proportion than that of the best hammock lands. –St. Augustine Ancient City.

Gopher Hill

Mocassin Branch area today

The area around Moccasin Branch still supports farming. Today the primary crops are potatoes and cabbage.

Source:  Debow’s review, Agricultural, commercial, industrial progress and resources.
New Orleans [etc.]: J. D. B. DeBow, Volume 18, Issue: 3, Mar 1855
Courtesy Making of America Journals collection at the University of Michigan.

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