Beyond Tourism: Florida's Yesteryear

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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 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://www.taraquan.com/ (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://randomwriterlythoughts.blogspot.ca/ (link to post)
LanaK – http://lanaketrick.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Lyra Jean – https://beyondtourism.wordpress.com/ (link to post) <—- You are here
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
articshark – http://www.drslaten.com/blog (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

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Friday Finds February 12, 2010

1. Florida Cracker/Pineywoods– A short article about Florida cattle.

2. Cracker Farmhouses, 1840-1920– Read a short history of house architecture before there was air conditioning. This site contains links if you want to read further about Cracker Farmhouse architecture.

3. Curs and Catahoula Leopards, the Cow-Hog Dogs– Read about the dogs that helped Florida cattlemen round up feral cattle.

4. Florida Highwaymen: Local Art makes Art History– Denied access to public galleries and museums in the 1950s and 1960s these self-taught African-American artists known as the Highwaymen sold their art to travelers on the state highways. Their art is now considered a Florida treasure.

5. Seminole Tribe of Florida – History– Read about the history of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The only Native Americans who never surrendered to the United States government. This page is part of a larger website built by the Seminole tribe of Florida.

6. Florida Everglades– Learn more about this unique ecology only found in Florida. Learn about the history, ecology and geography.