Wakulla County Historical Society

"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable." Thomas Jefferson

Archive for the month “December, 2013”

Visit The Museum To See Early Artifacts of Wakulla County

Drop by the Museum today for our Open House to see a fantastic exhibit. Read more about it…

By Sandra Vidak

We are pleased to officially open the Forbes Purchase-Hartfield Survey exhibit in the Betty Oaks Green Room at the Museum.

The story of the Forbes Purchase began in 1776 when three Tory sympathizers: William Panton, Thomas Forbes and John Leslie, arrived in St. Augustine. They had been prominent in the Indian trade in South Carolina and Georgia and sought similar opportunities in Florida. They did so as Panton Leslie & Company establishing headquarters in Pensacola. In 1792 Panton admitted John Forbes (the youngest brother of Thomas Forbes) to the firm as a junior partner and sent him to Alabama to handle the Chickasaw and Choctaw trade. By that time Panton Leslie & Company had a monopoly on Indian trade with the Upper and Lower Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee in the Southeast. The leather and fur trades were lucrative for the firm and in some years as many as two hundred fifty thousand deer hides and beaver pelts were traded and shipped to Europe. The firm’s success during Panton’s leadership, deteriorated after his death in 1801 as damage was inflicted on its commerce by William Augustus Bowles, the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson’s war on the Creek nation, and competition from American traders.
Read more…
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