The Broward Family:
Francis Broward (Brouard) was born on 2-5-1755 in Perche Providence, Normandy, France. He sailed from Brest, France with 371 other Huguenots which landed at the Georgetown district in South Carolina in 1764.
He served with Count Polaski in the Battle of Savannah during the American Revolutionary War. He was married to Rebecca Sarah Bell on May 16, 1766 in Brunswick County, North Carolina. He also had a mercantile business in Charleston, South Carolina. He died on 1825 and she died on 12-29-1836 both of which were in Jacksonville, Florida. Their children: Charles born, 05-18-1785, Frances, 1789, Elizabeth Sarah, 01-31-1792, and John Nathaniel, 11-17-1795.
Colonel John Nathaniel Broward: Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Jr.’s Grandfather was John Broward who was born in All Saints Parish, Georgetown, District, Beauford, South Carolina on 11/17/1795.
He met Margaret Tucker who was born on May, 1801, (her parents were Thomas & Margaret Tucker) in Georgia and married her on October 15, 1824 in Jacksonville, Florida. She died on 5-29-1869 in Jacksonville, Florida. He named his children after famous people, Pulaski (Revolutionary War), Washington, (1st US President), and Montgomery (British General).
As of the 1850 U.S. Census, his was a farmer. They subsequently had 10 children, John Nathaniel Broward, 1825, Charles, 1826, *Napoleon B. Broward, Sr., 1828, Maria Broward ,1832, Caroline 1835, Helen Muland Broward, 1836, Margaret Broward, 1841, Washington, Broward, 1864, Montgomery, 1843, and Florida Broward, 1846.
Resource: Florida Heritage Collection
From the second Spanish period, after Florida became a territory in 1821, the private claims of John F. Brown (71+acres) and John Christopher (191+acres) made up most of the old 300 acre English grant. Other grants to the north and west were to Domingo Fernandez and Levin Gumby and 2,486 acres to John Broward.
They were very instructmental by supporting the Confederate Army as they sent beef, pork, fish, fruit and as well as salt. The usage of salt was extremely important in order to preserve the soldier’s meat from spoiling.
John Broward (grandfather) was elected to the Florida House of Representative during the year of 1845.
Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Sr., was born in 1828 in Cedar Creek, Florida and he met and married Mary Dorcas Parsons (born on 1835 in Eaton, New Hampshire) on 12-1851 in Mayport, Florida, she died on 1869.
Their children, California Broward, born 1858, Osceola Broward, 1858, Josephine Broward, 1852, *Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Jr. , 1857, Emily Broward, 1858 , Captain Montcalm Broward, 1859, Mary Dorcas Broward, 1861, and Hortense Broward, 1868
*Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Jr.: His autobiography: and Subsequent autobiography:
The son of John Broward was Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (4-19-1857-1910), for whom the Bridge which connects East Arlington with Dames Point in Jacksonville, Florida was named, should be first on the list.
Amander Parsons moved from New Hampshire about 1840, and bought a saw mill in Mayport, Florida for which he called “Mayport Mills”. At this time, he did not know that Amander Parsons would be his future father-in-law.
Soon after his arrival, his daughter Mary was 16 years old, met and married Napoleon Broward, Sr. in 1851. Their children: Jospehine Broward, Enid Lyle Broward, Elsie Hortense Broward, Ella Jeanette Broward, Agnes Caroline Broward, Florida Douglass Broward, Elizabeth Hutchinson Broward, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, III.
Pulaski Broward he joined the Confederate Army on 5-18-1862, as a member of the Marion Light Artillery Unit, he was honorable discharged on 5-10-1865 while in Meridian, Mississippi. He applied for his pension (#7332) which documents that he had developed pneumonia after leaving the battle at Ringgold, Georgia, marching to Atlanta, Georgia, and subsequently received a gunshot to the head just above his ear while fighting in Atlanta, Georgia. The application was executed and signed by Pulaski Broward, 2103 Main Street, Jacksonville, Florida, dating 8-11-1907. The request for his pension was approved on 8-31-1907 and he was to receive $120.00 per year.
Subsequently after his death, his wife, Vivian Karcher (they were married 9-27-1899 and resided in Duval County since 10-1-1899. He filed for an increase for his pension on 9-13-1913 at which time he indicated he was 81 years old. She applied for Widow’s Pension (A01606) benefits on 4-1-1914, while residing in Duval County, Florida it was ordered that she would receive $120.00.
Montgomery Broward joined the Confederate Army, 1861, as a member of the Marion Light Artillery Unit. They were married on 11-23-1871 in Hamilton County, his wife Elizabeth living in Panama, Florida, filed for a Widow’s Pension (A12211) on pension application after his death on 29-1899 and it was ordered on 3-26-1908 that she would received $120.00 per year.
The Civil War had a dramatic effect on the Parson-Broward families. Several of the Broward men joined the Confederate army, Napoleon Sr. being a captain of the “David Kemps” and then they were partners in the “Kate Spencer” boat. In order for the safety of the family, they were sent to their home in White Springs to live until after the war was over.
When the United States Army and Navy invaded Florida, Confederates, members of the Broward family were repeatedly implicated by harassment, consequently, in July 1862, the Broward Plantation was shelled and burned by Union forces, completely destroying it.
However by the fall of 1862, the salt works had been developed at Cedar Point to help produce the salt which was so critical to the preservation of food for the Confederate Army. The records of the Union Gunboat U.S.S. Cimerone tell of destroying that salt works at Cedar Point in October 1862.
By war’s end, Florida’s production of salt would prove to be its greatest contribution in terms of monetary value to the Confederate economy. Resource: National Park Service During the war, the Broward Plantation, barns and fences were burned by the Union Soldiers.
Subsequently, his New Castle Home was burned and he was temporarily jailed due to his allegiance. After the war, Napoleon Jr. and his brother Malcolm performed heavy labor to help the family survive, as they were not great farmers.
His father moved the family back to brother’s place, the former John Broward Plantation, where their aunts became responsible for raising the boys. He built a log house on the north side of the river and another home at New Castle with orange groves with the help of his sons.
Later his wife, Mary Parsons Broward died in 1869 due to the toll of the war and she was subsequently buried at Newcastle. Napoleon Sr. was grieving over the loss of his wife, and in Dec. of 1870 he spent the night in the cemetery and later died from pneumonia.
Napoleon, Jr. lived on the Broward Family Plantation for some time until his grandfather died 1873. He and his brother Malcolm remained on the farm until the fall of 1875, when they moved into town with their uncle, Joe Parsons. While living with their uncle they learned their skills of sawing the pine tree (farm) which was located in the Mill Cove area.
In 1876, having graduated high school, Broward, Jr. became a ship's mate and traveled to New England, where he stayed for two years. He later returned to Jacksonville in 1878 he landing a job aboard the tugboat which was owned by Mr. Kemp.
This is where he met his future wife, Georgiana Caroline “Carrie” Kemps and they were married on 1/6/1883 in New Berlin, Duval County, Florida. She became pregnant, but later died during childbirth on 12-1883. Sadly, a few days later their daughter did not survive.
Broward, Jr. withdrew from the river for a while and had the itch again to travel up north, but, by 1885 he was back on the St. Johns, piloting his father-in-law's steamboat “Kate Spencer”. On the ship he met Annie Douglass who was born 3-13-1867, a frequent passenger. After their courtship they fell in love and were married on 5-5-1887.
He was very known around town and as a result of the recent prison break-out, the county Democratic leadership council nominated Brown as the "new sheriff" as they all agreed he was the best man for the job. The governor of Florida appointed him to the post on February 27.
He was unable to keep the river off of his mind and on 12-18-1893, he entered an agreement with John J. Daly and Charles Scammell to be proprietors in a boat building company on Fort George Island which would be a "one boat hull". “The Three Friends” was built by Napoleon, Malcolm (his brother) and George DeCottes, a Jacksonville dealer in wood.
They were approached by the local Cuban community about shipping a load of munitions and some Cuban expatriates from Nassau to Cuba. “The Three Friends” shipped out of Jacksonville on their maiden voyage, with 100 tons of coal, 3,000 Winchester rifles, 500 machetes, 1 Million priming caps, 500 pounds of sulfur, 60 barrels of water, 2 cannons, 500 pounds of dynamite, and General Enrique Colasso straight to Cuba.
He continued this filibustering operation (gun smuggling) until President William McKinley declared war on Spain. He encountered several close calls, when his boat was nearly caught and destroyed by Spanish gunboats; the Spanish ambassador to the United States demanded that Broward be stopped and his ship impounded.
The U.S. authorities attempted to do stop the boat, but, he managed to escape by loading the ship under the cover of darkness in secluded locations, by hiding her behind larger ships as she left the St. Johns River, and by picking up Cubans and munitions from other ships at various points near the mouth of the river.
He later gained statewide recognition of his filibustering days. In 1900, the war over and his filibustering days behind him, Broward was nominated for the House of Representative, for which he won without any opposition.
While in the House, Broward supported several initiatives which included a state dispensary bill and a law allowing insanity as grounds for divorce (at the request of the powerful developer, Henry Flagler). In 1902 he was not interested in politics, as he was busy with a salvage operation in the Keys.
He was Governor of Florida from 1905-1909 and had family both in the Arlington area (New Castle Plantation) and on the north side of the river.
He successfully ran for Governor of Florida and was inaugurated on January 3, 1905. He was befriended by President Theodore Roosevelt who was an avid supporter for the Everglades drainage project.
During his term as the governor; he was successful with establishing the University of Florida, Florida State College for Woman and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College.
Broward was exhausted by running the U.S. Congressman campaign; he retreated with his family to his house at 9953 Heckscher Drive, on Fort George Island, Florida. Unfortunately, in late September, 1910, he became ill with gall stones which resulted in his hospitalization for a few days and subsequently died on 10-4-1910 before he was sworn into office of the United States Senate.