Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad

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The Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad was a Florida railroad line charted in 1869. It consisted of the former Pensacola and Georgia Railroad, which ran east from Quincy, Florida through Tallahassee to Lake City, Florida, and the subsequently consolidated Florida Central Railroad, which had been renamed the year before from the Florida, Atlantic and Gulf Central Railroad, and which ran east from Lake City to Jacksonville. It was a 5 ft (1,524 mm) gauge railroad line.

George W. Swepson, a notorious scalawag, purchased both the P&G and the FA&GC in 1868 and, after renaming the FA&GC the Florida Central, set his carpetbagger protégé, Milton S. Littlefield—a former Union general known as the "Prince of Carpetbaggers"—loose in Tallahassee to buy, cheat, and otherwise defraud Florida legislators in order to obtain a new charter for a railroad that Littlefield promised would be extended west from Quincy to Pensacola.[1]

Backed by $6 million in capitalization, the Jacksonville, Pensacola and Mobile Railroad came into being in June 1869, and was organized the following month in New York City with Littlefield as president.[2] The original charter did not consolidate the Florida Central into the JP&M; this did not occur until the Florida legislature amended the charter in 1870.[3] Littlefield and Swepson then launched a major swindle, personally enriching themselves from the sales of company bonds to unwitting investors.[4] Due to the embezzling of such funds, the company was unable to extend the line to Pensacola, reaching only an additional 20 miles to Chattahoochee instead.[5] By 1879, the U.S. Supreme Court had a lien placed on the railroad's assets.[6]

In 1882, the JP&M and the Florida Central were acquired by Sir Edward Reed, and were renamed together as the Florida Central and Western Railroad.[7] Two years later, Reed brought the Florida Central and Western and several other Florida railroads he had purchased under the umbrella of what was named the Florida Railway and Navigation Company, which, in 1888, was renamed the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad (FC&P).[8] In 1900, a year after purchasing the majority of FC&P stock, the newly organized Seaboard Air Line Railway (now CSX Transportation) leased the FC&P and, in 1903, acquired it outright.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Turner. 97-100
  2. ^ Turner. 100
  3. ^ Turner. 101
  4. ^ Turner. 101-02
  5. ^ Turner. 103
  6. ^ Turner. 103
  7. ^ Turner. 114
  8. ^ Turner. 116-17
  9. ^ Turner. 146

References[edit]

  • Turner, Gregg M. (2008) A Journey into Florida Railroad History. Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida. ISBN 978-0-8130-3233-7