"There's a big difference between entrepreneurs who make a fortune in the market, and those who do so by gaming the government."
Henry Plant: Pioneer Empire Builder
"A pioneer on the heroic scale, Henry Plant transformed a vast geographic and commercial territory into something entirely new. Out to sea at twelve, then a shopkeeper and a young executive—he rose from promotion to promotion, from success to success. Daringly seizing his own main chance, in the midst of chaos he set out to achieve the altogether spectacular. Over a 20 year period in the post-Civil War South, this Connecticut Yankee overcame a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles to emerge the ruler of an empire of railroads, steamships, communication centers, and luxury hotels.
And wherever he went, he left behind grateful employees and satisfied customers. From Charleston to Tampa Bay, his financial acumen and trustworthiness produced a corridor of prosperity that extended westward into Georgia, and by sea connected Tampa, Mobile, Key West, and Havana.
Until now, however, this mighty empire—sprawling, but tightly organized and smoothly run—has been a lost chapter in transportation history. This book, the first modern biography of the founder, provides the inside story on the often risky building and consolidation of the ultimately triumphant Plant System." - Florida Historical Society
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