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Florida Railroad Company (Napoleon's World)

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The Florida Railroad Company was an entity that existed within the state of Florida in the 19th century that is regarded as helping modernize the Florida state economy. Founded in 1855, one of its principal stakeholders was Josiah Marks, who would later serve as an influential Floridian governor and through the Governorship broadly expanded the railroad.

The company's primary goal was to build a railroad connecting the Atlantic coast with the Gulf coast. In 1859, a railroad line between St. Augustine, at the time the state's principal city, and the gulf, initially at Cedar Key was completed, and eventually a spur to Tampa, dividing from the main rail at Gainesville, was opened in 1864. In 1868, encouraged by an economic boom in Florida at the time, the railroad was run from Gainesville and St. Augustine to meet at Lake City and continue to Tallahassee and Pensacola. In 1870, the FRC acquired Edwin Railroad and extended a line connecting St. Augustine to Cowford and Savannah, Georgia beyond. Eventually, the Mexican Gulf Railroad Company extended their line from Mobile to Pensacola, thus completely connecting the FRC's lines to the rest of the United States.

In the late 1880s, Henry Flagler - an associate of John D. Rockefeller - purchased the FRC and built the Florida East Coast Railroad all the way to Key West during the 1890s, helping grow Miami.

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