March 20, 2008

The Hot Tampa Sun Must Have Brought This On...

The descendant of a 19th-century Tampa (Florida) business owner has sued the city to collect on a Civil War-era promissory note for implements and ammunition to defend the town. I kid you not. Hey Eric, does she have a case or what? :-)

With interest, the "bill" amounts to more than $22 million.

The note issued by the city June 28, 1861, was $299.58, but with the desired 8 percent interest since, the total comes to $22.72 million, an attorney for Joan Kennedy Biddle says in a December letter to the city requesting payment. Read the whole story here.

I really like the one reader's response. Since the suit is from 1861, if the city loses, they should pay her with Confederate dollars!

Speaking of Tampa, there's a wonderful book by Canter Brown that chronicles the role of this Florida Gulf Coast town during the Civil War. It's title is Tampa in Civil War & Reconstruction and was published in 2000 by the University of Tampa Press.

2 comments:

Drew W. said...

Paul,
I've been wondering about this book for a while. I found one review online but it didn't sway me either way. What do you like about it? Does it have much military focus?

Thanks,
Drew

Paul Taylor said...

Drew,

Just over 1/3 of the book's 200 pages of narrative cover the Civil War Years. The rest of the book addresses Reconstruction. Nevertheless, it is extremely detailed and thorough, considering the lack of military action that occurred in Tampa. The handful of Union naval bombardments on the town's Fort Brooke as well as the Union occupations are all covered in detail. Plus there are plenty of rare illustrations and photos.

The author, Canter Brown, Jr., is well-known in Florida as a detailed and thorough historian who has written a number of scholarly titles detaining Florida life and culture in the nineteenth-century.

Paul