Henry B. Plant

Portrait of Henry B. Plant; source: State Archives of Florida, Florida MemoryHenry Bradley Plant worked in the mid-1800s in the express delivery business, starting in the north and later relocating to Georgia. During the Civil War, his company Southern Express worked under contract for the Confederacy but he left during the war and he spent two years traveling in the Caribbean, Europe and Canada. Plant returned after the war in 1865 to continue managing Southern Express and other business interests. In the late 1870s and early 1880s, Plant began to purchase and develop railway companies in order to build a system along the southern Atlantic seaboard. Also in the 1880s, he began acquiring and creating steamboat lines and hotels in cities served by both his rail and steamer lines. With support from northern investors such as Henry Flagler, he formed the Plant Investment Company in 1882 to expand his Plant System. In a span of ten years he acquired the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway; the Charleston and Savannah Railway; and the South Florida Railroad, among other lines. In 1892, he acquired the Florida Southern Railway. In 1902, a few years after Plant's death, the entire Plant System was acquired by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.

The Expedition was backed by Henry Plant, and the idea for the exploration trip was developed at a meeting with Plant in Tampa. James E. Ingraham was President of Sanford's South Florida Railroad, which had been acquired in 1884 by Plant. Throughout the Expedition Ingraham sent telegrams to Plant with updates on their progress, and upon his return he reported to Plant that South Florida should be developed. Plant decided not to pursue the development of South Florida, and Ingraham soon went to work for Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway and Model Land Company, who did develop southward along the Atlantic Coast.



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For other topics referenced in the Expedition texts, please refer to the Index to Subjects and Names.
1892 Everglades Exploration Expedition : Three Digital Texts, 2015