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Kissimee Valley and it was reopened to ing the land and making it suitable for prevent damage in this direction.

Since 1881, surveys have been made by corporation, state and national engineers from Lake Okechobee along the Kissimmee River, from Lake Okechobee to the Gulf, and from Lake Okechobee to the Atlantic. All of the makers of these surveys agree in the particular that Okechobee, the reservoir of the region, is twentyone feet above the sea-level and seem confident this this amount of fall in the short distance from Okechobee to the ocean will make drainage an engineering feat of only ordinary difficulty. It can be seen from the map that the lake is, in no direction in which it is proposed to drain, more than sixty miles from the coast.

Basing his plans upon these surveys, Napoleon B. Broward, the present Governor, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund, is prosecuting work, in the name of the State, on the Atlantic side. He proposes to cut at least six canals, one hundred and twenty feet wide and ten feet deep, from Lake Okechobee to the ocean. The canals will cover the section between Jensen and Fort Lauderdale on the East Coast, as shown in the map, embracing, in round numbers, a region of eight million acres. The canals will vary in length from twentythree miles to sixty miles, and the total canal

cultivation and habitation.

The Trustees expect to operate, in completing these canals, six dredge boats with a dipper capacity of four and one-half cubic yards, and capable of moving six and one-half cubic yards of earth per minute. The crane or arm of the dredges will have a reach of sixty feet on each side, thus cutting a canal of one hundred and twenty feet. The machinery used in excavating is manufactured in Chicago and is of the finest and most serviceable workmanship. It is shipped from Chicago to the East coast and there put together for use. Each dredge will cut about one mile of canal of the requisite width and depth per month, working in ordinary soil. Working in limestone formation, the distance cut will be from one-third to one-fifth as great. Basing the estimate upon five hundred miles of



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at work. Basing his estimate upon the work already done, Governor Broward estimates the cost of the State's share in the work as follows: Cost of six dredges, $300,000; cost of operation until completion of the canals, $1,200 per month for each dredge, or $635,000 for the five hundred miles of canal; repairs, etc., $100,000; making a total of $1,035,000 for the reclamation of about eight million acres, or between twelve and fifteen cents per acre.

To raise this money the Legislature of 1905 created the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund and Board of Drainage Commissioners, with power to organize a drainage district and assess a drainage tax not to exceed ten cents per acre. Fearing that the constitutionality of this act would be questioned, the Legislature provided for a constitutional

of the Internal Improvement Fund, was to be used to begin operations on the canals. This tax led to a bitter fight between the corporations owning land in the drainage district and the Board of Drainage Commissioners, and the tax collectors of the various counties interested have been enjoined by the United States Courts, on the plea of the land syndicates, against the collection of the tax, on the ground that the Legislature exceeded its authority in giving to any Board the power to levy taxes. Until the passage of the constitutional amendment, the work is being carried on by the funds already in the hands of the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund.

As to the value of the lands once they are drained there is scarcely any doubt. Governor Broward, Governor Bloxham, Disston and others have had tests and

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analyses made of specimens sent from various parts of the region and, to say the least, the reports have been remarkable. Analyses made by Prof. A. P. Aiken, of the Royal Agricultural Society of Scotland, Prof. H. W. Wiley, Chief Chemist of the United States Agricultural Department, Prof. D. Tacke, Director of the Peat Experiment Station, Bremen, and Prof. W. J. Williams, of the Keystone Chemical Company of Philadelphia, show a great similarity in the composition of the soil, from whatever portion of the region the specimens are taken. The follow

Organic Matter.. 50.61

Silica and indis

soluble silicates. 28.56

Oxide of Iron....










Phosphoric Acid..



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Sulphuric Acid... Chlorine Oxide of Magnesia, etc.....

This analysis, by comparison with analyses of soils of lands recognized for their fertility and adaptability for truck farming and sugar cane culture, shows that' the lands in the Everglades are richer than almost any other portion of the globe which is now in cultivation and has been tested for these purposes. The adaptability of the land as indicated by these examinations for sugar cane culture is so noticeable as to have been com

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proper cultivation the yield should be equal to that of any other country on the face of the globe."

D. G. Purse of the United States Department of Agriculture in writing to Governor Broward concerning specimens of cane found in this section states that "its analysis shows the cane in question to be the richest in the world in sugar contents, affording a basis for exploitation exceeding and surpassing anything in the United States, Cuba or the Hawaiian Islands."

Analysis of these specimens of cane show them to contain between eighteen and twenty per cent of sucrose, the element in the cane convertible into sugar.

These lands are not only adaptable to sugar cane culture, but are also the best of their kind for truck farming and citrus fruit culture. The lands of Manatee, Hillsborough, Lee, De Soto, Polk, Dade, St. Lucie, and Volusia counties have be

to $1500 per acre. Land now worthless will sell for $100 an acre when drained.

The importance of this immense undertaking can with difficulty be comprehended. It is estimated in figures which can scarcely be understood by the ordinary mind. The reclamation of this land means the addition to Florida of nearly as much cultivated land as she now has. It means the throwing open to cultivation of an area twice as large as the State of Connecticut. It means that Florida will become the sugar producing state of the Union, and that for her sugar products the $150,000,000 will be paid, which is now annually sent abroad for imported sugar, an amount expended for an import which exceeds by several million dollars the value of our united exports of corn, wheat, flour, beef, and naval stores. It means that Florida will in a few years become one of the richest and most important states in the Union.

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