Beyond Tourism: America's Yesteryear

A blog of American History

Are you a Florida Cracker? Blog chain for April April 20, 2013

I’m participating in another blog chain so please read all the other posts in the chain and leave a comment. Bloggers love comments.

orion_mk3 – (link to post)
Ralph Pines – (link to post)
Angyl78 – (link to post)
Araenvo – (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – (link to post)
Lady Cat – (link to post)
LanaK – (link to post)
Lyra Jean – (link to post) <—- You are here
Sudo_One – (link to post)
articshark – (link to post)

On with the post.

Florida is a strange place. It is joked that it is the most southern northern state in the U.S. It was owned by Spain, Great Britain, Spain again, and then the United States. It was owned by Britain during the American Revolution and refused to join in the rebellion. During the Civil War the majority of the citizens did not want to secede but a secret congress held by a few landowning slaves made the decision to join the Southern Cause. When it became a state Northerners were instantly attracted to it as a winter destination against the frigid winters in the North. So with all the different peoples who inhabit Florida who is considered a Florida Cracker and who is not.

Clue: Quote from Jaws:

Ellen Brody: I just want to know one thing – when do I get to become an islander?

Mrs. Taft: Ellen, never, never! You’re not born here, you’re not an islander, that’s it.

Florida Cracker has various meanings:

The most popular definition comes Florida cattlemen. Unlike out west in Texas or other cattle states Florida cattlemen didn’t use a group a cowboys to gather up the herd. Instead they used dogs and a whip. They would crack the whip above the cattle to get them to go in desired direction and the dogs would keep them rounded up into a group so that they don’t scatter.

The next definition comes from the English settlers of Florida. Even back in colonial days Florida was a backwater. If you lived in Florida you were considered resilient, self-sufficient, and independent. While the more citified colonies considered Cracker and insult the settlers of Florida took it as a point of pride. If you were born in Florida and can trace your ancestry back to the Antebellum era to ancestors who also lived in Florida you are a Florida Cracker.

A looser definition is someone who is born and raised in Florida but their ancestry isn’t necessarily Floridian.

Even today while some people see cracker as an insult. A majority of native Floridians especially those who live in the country see it as a compliment.

Florida Cowboy


10 Responses to “Are you a Florida Cracker? Blog chain for April”

  1. […] to post) Lyra Jean – (link to post) Sudo_One – (link to post) articshark […]

  2. Tara Quan Says:

    Interesting. I really like the picture of the Florida Cowby.

    • Lyra Says:

      It was great learning about them. I knew that Florida had or has a cattle industry but I thought it pretty much ran the same as out west. I guess I have another blog post idea.

  3. DR Slaten Says:

    I always wondered where the term cracker came from. Now I know. lol

  4. […] to post) Lyra Jean – (link to post) Sudo_One – (link to post) articshark […]

  5. Sharon Says:

    This is really interesting. I had no idea there was even a thing like a ‘Florida Cracker’ … always nice to learn something new.

  6. I’m just a Florida resident for the past 13 years. 🙂

  7. I would have never guessed that Florida had cowboys! This was really interesting – and a fun fact to file away for future use. 🙂

  8. alexp01 Says:

    Reminds me of the football team map of the USA, where all Florida likes the local team…except the south, which is all about the NYC teams. Dave Barry once talked about how Florida was full of New Yorkers who did nothing but complain about how much better the Big Apple was than America’s Wang, “as if New York was some kind of glorious urban paradise instead of a place that smells faintly of pee.”

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