Cache of documents found on eBay, from bills to legal letters, add fresh details to West Palm’s pioneer past.
“All history is made of a mosaic of little pieces.” — Palm Beach County Historical Society archivist Debi Murray.
In 1913, two men feared that the young City of West Palm Beach was about to swipe land purchased by black residents for for an African-American cemetery and use the money for a white graveyard.
In a typewritten letter, attorney and former mayor George Currie asks George Potter, one of the city’s earliest pioneers, to recall the agreement for the two-acre site, whose location today is uncertain.
“…there was never a time that the city did not intend to turn over the two acres for colored cemetery purposes…if I remember rightly, and you are the only one who knows that for certain,” Currie wrote.
In elegant script at the bottom of the page, Potter characterized the city’s casual contempt as theft: “I have no personal interest in the matter other (than) one of protest against what looks like a plain steal.”
The letter was among a cache of documents from West Palm Beach’s pioneer days area historian Ginger Pedersen discovered one Sunday afternoon while trolling eBay for the old Florida postcards she collects.
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