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Plantation is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census the population was 84,955. It is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area. The city's name comes from the previous part-owner of the land, the Everglades Plantation Company, and their attempts to establish a rice plantation in the area.
Before the start of the twentieth century, the area that became Plantation was part of the Everglades wetlands, regularly covered by 2–3 feet of water. In 1855, Florida state passed the Internal Improvement Act and established the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the trustees of which act as a government agency to oversee management, sale, and development of state land. In 1897, the Interior Department submitted 2.9 million acres to the Florida Land Office; however, the submission was revoked the following year, due to fears it would "impinge upon the rights and interests of the Seminole Tribes." The Seminole people regularly used the area for hunting, fishing and camping, and also used the nearby Pine Island Ridge as a headquarters during the second and third Seminole Wars.
In 1903, Florida Governor William Sherman Jennings began an initiative to drain the Everglades. To establish Florida's entitlement to the land, Jennings obtained a new patent (known as the 'Everglades Patent') for land "aggregating 2,862,280 acres." Following his election in 1905, Jennings' successor, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward appointed Jennings as general counsel of the Internal Improvement Fund and continued the initiative for complete drainage of the Everglades (which was a core theme of his election campaign). Broward described the drainage as a duty of the trustees, and promised to create an "Empire of the Everglades".
The first attempts to drain the Everglades began in 1906, with the building and launching of two dredges into the New River: The Okeechobee (commanded by Captain Walter S. Holloway of the US Army Corps of Engineers) began cutting from the river's south fork (establishing the South New River Canal), and The Everglades began cutting from the north fork up to Lake Okeechobee (establishing the North New River Canal). The first waterway opened after the drainage attempts was named The Holloway Canal, after Captain Holloway.
Following a meeting at the 1908 Democratic National Convention, Broward and Jennings established a deal with Richard 'Dicky' J. Bolles: The fund trustees granted Bolles 500,000 acres (2,000 km2) of overflowed state lands at $2 per acre, with an agreement for the State to use 50% of the $1 million proceeds purely for drainage and reclamation, and another agreement to establish 5 main canals. Following this, Bolles founded the Florida Fruit Lands Company, becoming the Everglades' first private developer.
The Everglades Plantation Company was established in January 1909, following entry into a 2-year contract with the Internal Improvement Fund trustees by Adam A. Boggs (attorney and Vice President of the Miami Bank and Trust Company) and A.B. Sanders (engineer and later president of the Miami Engineering and Construction Company) to create a rice plantation in the Everglades.
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