Tracing Allen Spears' family
through land purchases

Lands of John Spears:

Calhoun County, Florida

Section 09, Township 02S, Range 08W
 (Lots 2 & 3 of fractional section 9 - 117.59 acres purchased 24 December 1850 under preemption dated to occupying the land in 1824)

From what I can glean from the original plat of survey for the referenced Lots 2 & 3, they were riparian lands immediately south of and adjacent to a small feature named Iamonia Lake having within its center an "Inundated Island" that appears to fill the lake except around the edges.  This has every appearance of being a manmade feature designed to harbor rivercraft.  A meandering natural slough enters the "lake" from the south southwest and the the "lake" no doubt represents an artificial enhancement of that slough.  The eastern boundary of both lots is the Apalachicola river, and these two lots comprise the bulk of fractional  section 9.  Lot 1 also fronts the Apalachicola but is immediately adjacent to Iamonia Lake to the north.  Only those 3 lots comprise the entirety of fractional section 9.  The river being sovereign bottom lands underlying a navigable waterbody would not have been conveyed, and the lands on the east side of the Apalachicola were among those sold by the Creek Nation
during the final years of Spanish control of Florida to John Forbes & Co. to satisfy trading debts and damages from William Augustus Bowles' two raids on the Panton Leslie & Co. store at San Marcos de Apalachee ... in other words those were lands title for which was conveyed prior to U.S. possession of Florida, therefore those lands were not surveyed into townships either upon possession or since.  

But what would be the purpose of such an "improvement" as described above?  My guess, and it's only a guess, would be that any and perhaps all kinds of produce of the area (such as timber & naval stores)  could have been loaded here for shipment down the river... but just to the west of Lot 2 in Section 8, the plat of survey depicts what appears to be an 11 chain by 23 chain (726' by 1518') fenced area.  Again, this is a guess, but it would appear that this may have been a pen designed to contain approximately a boat or raft load or two of livestock.  From this point, rafting or shipping amost anything down to the port of Apalachicola would appear to be a fairly simple matter.  The particular survey upon which the plat is based, is stated on the plat to have been performed "during the 1st & 2nd quarter(s) of the year 1838".

A copy of the 1838 plat can be seen by clicking here (double left click again anywhere on the plat to see a much larger version).  I have superimposed yellow arrows pointing to Lots 2 & 3.

Section 05, Township 02S, Range 08W  (W 1/2 of SW 14 of section 5 - 79.46 acres purchased 1 September 1852)

NOTE:  Actual document images are approximately twice the size shown.  To see them full size, right-click and select "view image".

This page was created on 27 March 2002
and was last changed on 29 March 2002