John Forbes and Company

Land ceded by the Seminoles and Lower Creeks to John Forbes & Company in 1804-1811 became known as the '''Forbes Purchase'''. The grants comprised 1.4 million acres of land on the Gulf of Mexico between the Apalachicola and Wakulla Rivers in West Florida. John Forbes (1767–1823) and his elder brother Thomas Forbes (d.1808) were Scottish traders who operated in East Florida, West Florida, Spanish Florida and the southeastern borderlands during the tail end of the eighteenth century. John Forbes & Company took control of the assets of its precursor trading firm, Panton, Leslie & Company, after William Panton died in 1801, followed by John Leslie in 1803.

When trade in deer hides and ammunition declined due to the War of 1812 and the Creek War, Forbes & Company sought repayment of losses through lawsuits against British officers and negotiations with Indian tribes. Creek and Seminole Indians ceded large tracts of land to the firm as payments for their debts, and the Spanish governor ratified the title. What became known as the Forbes Purchase equaled over 1.4 million acres acquired by Forbes and Company during the period from 1804 to 1812, making it the largest land grant in Spanish Florida. In 1817, the Forbes Purchase was sold to two merchants named Carnochan and Mitchel, who later formed the Apalachicola Land Company. In territorial Florida (1821–1845), the title to land near the Apalachicola River was not settled until 1835, and lawsuits related to land claims in the Florida Panhandle by heirs of Thomas Forbes were contested as late as 1887. Provided by Wikipedia
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