[Jacksonville, Fla. no publisher, circa 1920?].
Unbound. Broadside plat map. Measuring approximately 16½" x 20". Printed in black on buff paper. Old fold lines, with some small breaks at folds but overall a very nice copy.
An advertising broadside for a proposed all-African-American town. The numbered grid for the town is laid out on either side of the Atlantic Coast Railroad line. Owned by the "Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Florida, Inc.," the plat consists of 132 acres, 1500 50" x 100" lots, to be deeded to "members of the Craft." One 5-acre section and one 20-acre section have been blocked off in the upper corners, presumably for use as a public park. The broadside is signed in type by M.W. David D. Powell, Grand Master, A.L. Lewis, Sec'ty and Treas. M.B. Ass'n., and by P.A. Mitchell, Grand Sec'ty, with the address given as Box 341, Jacksonville, Fla.
The Most Worshipful Union Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Florida was established in Jacksonville in 1870. David D. Powell was Grand Master from 1916-1944. The organization's Masonic Temple at Broad and Duval Streets was built in 1912-13, with payments for its construction being completed during Powell's administration. Powell's secretary/treasurer for this town enterprise was Abraham Lincoln Lewis (1865-1947), founder, in 1901, of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, "the first old line legal reserve insurance company established in the South for colored people." He also helped create American Beach, "an ideal summer resort" owned by the insurance company employees. Additionally, Lewis organized the Afro-American Pension Bureau in 1903, assisted Booker T. Washington in establishing the National Negro Business League in 1904, and was a major philanthropist and businessman in Jacksonville. (See the short biographies of both men in *The Crisis* magazine, Jan. 1942, Vol. 49, No. 1.)
Following the Civil War, there were many attempts to create all-black towns, and some 60-80 were settled throughout the country. Records for these communities are sparse, and we have been unable to establish whether the town of David City, Florida was ever built. The town of Sisco (likely the same as the aforementioned "Cisco") was founded in the 1880s by W.W. Sisco in Putnam County, a few miles south of Palatka, and is now considered a ghost town.
A rare, possibly unique plat map for a proposed African-American Community.