The Cigar Industry Changes Florida
Teacher’s Guide for Documents

Background Information

Bank Records

These documents are from the records of the First National Bank of Tampa, which opened in 1883, just as the cigar industry in Tampa was beginning to take hold. Naturally, as the industry grew, its impact on the local banking and business community increased, as these reports of the bank’s officials attest. Use these documents to illustrate the connection between the growth of the cigar industry and the growth of Tampa itself, as well as to explain why labor disputes were of such serious importance for business leaders.

WPA Records

“Ybor City” and L.M. Bryan’s “Cigarmakers’ Union Dispute” are examples of the short histories and stories written by authors working for the Florida Federal Writers’ Project, a branch of the Works Progress Administration (later Work Projects Administration) during the Great Depression. The state WPA office sent field workers into communities around the state to make observations, interview locals and write up their findings in short passages that could be used for reference purposes.

These documents describe aspects of the lives of cigar workers in Ybor City and the Tampa area. They are useful in that they are both informative and highly representative of the era in which they were written when it comes to matters of race and attitudes about labor disputes. These are in many ways secondary sources, but because they reveal much about the biases with which the authors approached their work, they are also primary sources. Because these documents have elements of both kinds of sources, they offer an excellent opportunity for students to think critically and evaluate these sources and decide what kinds of information can be usefully and reliably extracted from them.

Use to Illustrate:

  • The attitude of the bank’s leaders toward labor disputes in the cigar industry.
  • The role of the cigar industry in Tampa.
  • Attitudes towards the labor movement.

Document Analysis Worksheets
Created by the National Archives

Document analysis is the first step in working with primary sources. Teach your students to think through primary source documents for contextual understanding and to extract information to make informed judgments. The document analysis worksheets created by the National Archives and Records Administration are in the public domain.

Sunshine State Standards

  • SS.4.A.1.1: Analyze primary and secondary resources to identify significant individuals and events throughout Florida history.
  • SS.4.A.8.4: Explain how tourism affects Florida's economy and growth.
  • SS.4.A.6.1: Describe the economic development of Florida's major industries.
    Examples are timber, citrus, cattle, tourism, phosphate, cigar.
  • SS.4.A.6.2 Summarize contributions immigrant groups made to Florida.
  • SS.4.A.6.3: Describe the contributions of significant individuals to Florida.
    Examples may include, but are not limited to, John Gorrie, Henry Flagler, Henry Plant, Lue Gim Gong, Vicente Martinez Ybor, Julia Tuttle, Mary McLeod Bethune, Thomas Alva Edison, James Weldon Johnson, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
  • SS.4.A.6.4: Describe effects of the Spanish-American War on Florida.
    Examples may include, but are not limited to, cigar industry, temporary economic boom at Ft. Brooke due to Rough Riders, Cuban immigration.
  • SS.4.E.1.1: Identify entrepreneurs from various social and ethnic backgrounds who have influenced Florida and local economy. Examples are Henry Flagler, Walt Disney, Ed Ball, Alfred Dupont, Julia Tuttle, Vicente Martinez Ybor.
  • SS.912.A.3.13: Examine key events and key people in Florida history as they relate to United States history.
    Examples are the railroad industry, bridge construction in the Florida Keys, the cattle industry, the cigar industry, the influence of Cuban, Greek and Italian immigrants, Henry B. Plant, William Chipley, Henry Flagler, George Proctor, Thomas DeSaille Tucker, Hamilton Disston.
  • SS.912.A.3.9: Examine causes, course, and consequences of the labor movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • SS.912.A.4.11: Examine key events and peoples in Florida history as they relate to United States history.
  • SS.912.A.5.2: Explain the causes of the public reaction (Sacco and Vanzetti, labor, racial unrest) associated with the Red Scare.

Florida Standards

  • LAFS.4.RI.1.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • LAFS.68.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
  • LAFS.68.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • LAFS.910.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
  • LAFS.910.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
  • LAFS.1112.RH.1.1: Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
  • LAFS.1112.RH.1.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.