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The Jarvis Howard Collection

No one really knows what brought Jarvis Cutler Howard and his brother from New York to Southwest Florida, but we certainly know what they did while they were here.  Jarvis Howard's great-great-granddaughter, Deborah Jamieson, has loaned FGCU the detailed journals that Howard kept during his years as a Punta Gorda homesteader from 1875-1877.  Together with the photographs, letters and other documents of the Jarvis Howard Collection, the journals reveal a man with a keen interest in his surroundings, and a way of life that has greatly changed in the last 140 years.  Howard was born in New York City in 1840 to an influential East Coast family, whose history from the 1630s to 1884 is chronicled in a genealogy written by Howard's uncle, also named Jarvis Cutler Howard.  Before moving to Florida, young Jarvis Howard served in the Union Army and managed with his father a newspaper that later became The New York Times.  He was 35 years old with a wife and three children when he decided to join his brother in the Florida wilds.  In his journals, Howard wrote of his experience building a home and farming the land, as well as his encounters with Seminoles, renegades, and homesteaders.  The genealogy reveals that he returned to New York City with his family for other opportunities, and that in 1880 he was managing the estate of industrialist Lawrence Waterbury.  After 1880, little is known of Howard's life.  He died in New York City in 1922.

Document2 Transcript of Jarvis Howard's Diary 1875
Document1 Transcript of Jarvis Howard's Diary 1876
8page letter3 Transcript of Jarvis Howard's Diary 1877
Howards Images