Monday, October 3, 2011

Florida History: Make ready for the fray, now it's Floridian Day (1914)

Posted by Jane Feehan

Drainage of the Everglades was talk of the state and political fodder in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Promises to drain land for farming helped elect Napoleon Bonaparte Broward as governor of Florida 1905-1909. The ode below from "Currie's Megaphone" reflects the view of drainage supporters who hoped to profit by farming. As history proved, farming in South Florida eventually took a back seat to tourism and commercial development.

 Ode in Anticipation of the drainage and opening of the Florida Everglades

They are coming! They are coming!
Don’t you hear their measured
They are coming by the thousand
                In their search for daily bread:
From the far off Rocky Mountains,
From Pacific’s shining strand,
Come the echoes of their marching
To the happy promised land:
As they travel through the darkness,
With the Tropic Moon for lamp,
Over fields of corn and cotton –
Can’t you hear the heavy tramp?

They are coming! They are coming!
                And their hopes are fixed and sure;
They are coming ‘neath the frost line
Where the summer suns endure;
From the storm-swept Western
From the Northern snowy plain;
To the land of milk and honey –
To the land of youth and gain.
Hark to yonder springing Footsteps!
Hear the laughing and the glee!
As they come in bands together
To the clime from Winter free!

They are coming! They are coming!
                And we cannot change their
They have heard about our ‘Glade
          And each other sure resource.
O’er the classic Suwanee river
              They are coming by the score,
So we’d better all get busy
            And encourage them galore;
 For the time has come to hustle
And make ready for the fray –
As the long night vigil’s ended
And now it’s Floridian Day.

(One more stanza, see Tropical Sun above)
                       - By  George Graham Currie

 For more about Broward and the Everglades, see:

Tags: Florida history, history of Florida 1900s, Everglades drainage, South Florida history, film research

No comments: