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Archive for the ‘Granville Brian Chetwynd Stapylton’ Category

On page 22 of The Chetwynd Chronicles it was noted that a brouhaha had erupted amongst the colonists over a February 4, 1886, article in the New York Herald about Granville Chetwynd-Stapylton and his practices, that they found quite offensive. Until today I could not find the article. It was worse than I ever imagined.

Apparently the Herald sent an unidentified correspondent to London to investigate Florida land companies there. Hence multiple headlines: FLORIDA FRAUDS; Investigating the Land Companies in London; YOUNG ENGLISHMEN ENTICED; Dupes Made to Pay Bonuses for Working as Farm Hands, etc. Two paragraphs into the article the onslaught begins.

“I was asked to call attention to the proceedings of a “pecksniffian” speculator named Stapleton, residing in or near Putnam county. Stapleton is the son of an English canon of unimpeachable respectability, and seems to have traded on the prestige attaching to his clerical connections. I am assured he had long been in the habit of enticing young Englishmen to Florida on the pretense of ‘teaching them farming.’ Once in his clutches, he sets them to do work as common farm hands, for which, instead of receiving wages, they have to pay a bonus of $400 or $500 per annum. Finally Stapleton unloads himself of his less desirable lots, for which he extracts his prices from these persons.”

Three days after publication Hugh S. Budd wrote to the Herald from Gardenia, Sumter county, Fla, “There is a paragraph which appears to refer to my partner, Mr. G. Chetwynd-Staplyton. . .” Budd, of course, went on to dispute the allegations as did 34 signees to their own letter to the newspaper.

After interviewing Stapylton’s agent the following month and perusing a prospectus, the Herald proclaimed,“the unvarnished truth is given.” But darn it! No apologies given for the pecksniffian barb?

Word of the day: pecksniffian, hypocritically benevolent; sanctimonious, selfish. The word derives from a Charles Dickens character, Seth Pecksniff, in his novel, Marvin Chuzzlenutt .

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While searching for kith and kin at genealogybank.com I decided to check up on Mr. Granville Chetwynd-Stapylton yet another time. I was not disappointed. The Press Horticulturalist of Riverside, California, published an article by J. [sic] C. Stapylton, April 22, 1893,The Banks and Orange Marketing in Florida. Stapylton formed the first bank in Leesburg in 1886 and, at the time of this writing, was growing in stature as a banker.

Although his article discusses the financial arrangements made between banks and citrus marketing and shipping in Florida, which might make one’s eyes glaze over, Stapylton, to put it succinctly, really had a way with words like these in the article’s opening paragraph.

The success of a country bank depends primarily, of course, on the strength and stability of the foundation of the natural resources of the territory which it serves. With us in the great lake region of South Florida, the orange is easily king, and he shares his monarchy with his royal consort, the lemon.

After detailing the financial procedures set in place locally he concludes: The activity of the entire population of South Florida during the gathering and shipment of the orange crop, is impressive; and behind this small army of pickers, sorters, sizers, wrappers and packers, behind the procession of heavy wagons loaded to the straining point with orange boxes and wending their way along every country road to a railroad, behind the gold trains whose gold freights bring back to us whatever prosperity we enjoy—behind all these things stand the country banks, directing with skilled and cautious hands the stream of credit of which they are: the fountain head, carrying through with speed, accuracy and precision, the innumerable transactions incident to the complex conditions of modern trade, guarding the people’s savings, and last, but not least, setting a public example of probity that, like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion.

What a sentence! Only St. Paul’s writings in the New Testament can trump Stapylton’s. And for the record, “probity” means one of strong moral principles, honest, and decent. That Stapylton was.

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Lot Description

ANONYMOUS

Southern states, America, 1880s

Scrap album containing sixty-one albumen prints, sizes approx. 3¼ x 3¼ in. to 7½ x 6 in., occasional inscriptions in pencil and one with photographer’s ink stamp (indistinct) on verso, loosely inserted in pre-cut slits, titled and several dated in pencil on mounts; with a quantity of miscellaneous photographs loosely inserted, blue cloth (lacking spine, partially disbound), titled Scrap Album in gilt on front cover.

Lot Notes

A personal album consisting of photographs relating to G.C. Stapylton, portraits and views in America’s southern states, probably Alabama and Florida including views of banana groves and orange groves, group portraits of workers, portraits at Stapylton’s wedding, an image of an alligator posed on a rocking chair wearing a hat and holding a pipe, views at Spring Lake, Lake Harris and Fat Island, and an image of a lynching titled ‘Justice’.

Price Realized (Set Currency)

  • ($1,031)
  • Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

Estimate

  • ($897 – $1,196)

Sale Information

Sale 5587

1 May 1996
London, King Street

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