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Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Papers

Identifier: Ms 009

Scope and Content

The Broward Papers date from 1879 to 1918, but the bulk of the papers coincide with the gubernatorial term from 1905 to 1909. The major subject covered in the collection is the drainage of the Everglades and the development of South Florida lands. Additional topics include real estate, race relations, education, labor unions, liquor, taxes, transportation, waterways, railways, and Broward's campaigns for Governor and the U.S. Senate. The collection is comprised of incoming and outgoing correspondence, speeches, news clippings, campaign material, photographs (including images of dredging operations), legislative material, and legal documents. There are a small number of articles, pamphlets, circulars, and other publications pertaining to the drainage of the Everglades, dredging equipment, forestry, sugar, and waterways. In addition to the incoming and outgoing correspondence, there are four bound letterbooks containing letters written by Broward in 1905-1909. Correspondents include numerous real estate developers, business leaders, representatives of state and federal agencies, and Florida politicians such as William Sherman Jennings.


  • Creation: 1879-1918
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1904-1910



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Napoleon Bonaparte Broward was born in Duval County, Florida, in 1857. Throughout his young life he worked in various positions on farms, in logging camps, and on steamboats. As the owner of a steam tug, The Three Friends, he earned a reputation smuggling guns to Cuban revolutionaries prior to the Spanish-American War. Broward held various public positions, serving as sheriff of Duval County, on the Jacksonville city council, in the Florida House of Representatives (1901), and on the State Board of Health (1901-1904). He served one term as Governor of Florida, from 1905 to 1909. As Governor, he was instrumental in the drainage of the Everglades and encouraged development in South Florida. Following his gubernatorial term, he was elected U.S. Senator in 1910 but died before taking office.


10.75 Linear feet (14 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, speeches, news clippings, campaign material, legislative files, and other papers of former Florida governor, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Gift of Elsie Douglas and Napoleon B. Broward, son of Governor Broward. Additional material was acquired in 2003 from the Samuel P. Harn Museum at the University of Florida.

Alternate Form of Material

Items in the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward collection have been digitized for America's Swamp: The Historical Everglades project, which is generously supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). In addition to the links that are provided throughout this guide to the collection, all materials can be browsed at the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward page in the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please note the majority of items in this collection are not described individually. Therefore, it is not possible to search for a specific item (e.g., a letter written by a particular author). Instead, the digital collection is best accessed by selecting a folder title and browsing the images contained in each folder.

Related Material

For additional materials pertaining to Governor Broward and his efforts to drain the Everglades, consult the William Sherman Jennings Papers, the May Mann Jennings Papers, and the Thomas E. Will Papers.

Processing Notes

An addition to the collection was processed in 2003, which consisted of publications, speeches, blueprints, and correspondence files.


A Guide to the Napoleon Bonaparte Broward Papers
Finding aid prepared by John R. Nemmers
December 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.
Digitization funded with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America