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Central Florida History

The Rutland Mule Matter

A fascinating journey Compliments

Day 10: 1865 Lincoln and Rutland’s Mule

Following the Civil War, Naval Officer Charles D. Lincoln, while assigned to Central Florida during the Reconstruction Period, assisted Margaret (Staten)Rutland, a Widow then living at APOPKA, in getting a Mule returned. This 10 Day countdown of a tantalizing true-life story that took place in Post-Civil War Florida, is courtesy of CroninBooks, and a Novel based on a true-life story, The Rutland Mule Mattter.

Day 9: 1867 Cinderella and Rutland’s Mule

CINDERELLA & Matthew Stewart lived in APOPKA. In 1880, their son Miles lived with them, but he would soon be moving across Lake APOPKA, where with his cousin OTHMAN RUTLAND, the two would become key players in establishing the town of WEST Apopka, or as that town is known today, FERNDALE. Cinderella was a sister of Margaret (Stanton) Rutland, the same Widow Rutland who had managed to convince the Navy’s C. D. Lincoln to assist her in getting that Mule shipped down river, from Jacksonville to Mellonville.

Day 8: 1858 Lake Mizell or Lake Rutland?

LAKE MIZELL, on WINTER PARK’S famed chain of lakes, might have been named LAKERUTLAND! On the 2 day of April, 1858, according to an 1881 deed, a lakefront Homestead was bought by David W. MIZELL, and that deed stated: “And whereas the said Isaac N. RUTLAND has died before the execution of said Conveyance.” The administrator of Rutland’s estate, Matthew A. Stewart, husband of Apopka’s Cinderella Stewart, signed the 1881 deed conveyance. Isaac did not die until 1864, a year before his Widow, Margaret (Stanton) Rutland, requested her Mule be returned.

Day 7: The PENSION’S Building of DC, and Rutland’s Mule

1888ORLANDO: At the Real Estate Office of John G. Sinclair, on Orange Avenue in 1880s downtown Orlando, Florida, a wall map of the county, paying particular interest to the area around Lake Hancock in west Orange County, provided the best clue yet in a family’s search for the truth. Othman Rutland heads north again, only this time with assistance from his brother-in-law, Ezekiel C. Vick. The two intend to meet, face to face, with a curious group of Federal pension clerks. They travel to DC, visiting the fabulous new Pensions Building, with hopes of getting answers about his father, knowing they share one thing in common with the clerks they are about to meet: they are all Central Florida landholdings!

Day 6: Florida’s Constitution and Isaac N. Rutland

WHEN is a Lawmaker NOT a Lawmaker? Several months ago, CitrusLAND asked that very question of Tallahassee. Why? Well, in April 22, 1861, Florida ratified a NEW State Constitution. 54 Floridians wrote and ratified that Constitution, but only 23 can be found in Florida’s roster of Lawmakers. CitrusLAND asked why 31 are not mentioned, because Isaac N. RUTLAND is among those 31 NOT listed.
“They were NOT”, replied Tallahassee, actual Lawmakers. But by definition, a State’s Constitution is its “basic, fundamental LAW”. If an individual assists in writing a Constitution, and then ratifies the end product, how is that person NOT a Lawmaker? Florida’s House of Representatives itself, for example, exists solely because the House and its duties were created by the State’s Constitution!
Now, CitrusLAND thanks Florida’s lawmakers for its recent change of mind, a decision that will add all 31 missing contributors to the State’s Official Lawmakers, a roster that dates to 1822.

Day 5: 1888 Ohio Representative Harris and the Rutland Mule

That out of obedience to instructions from headquarters, District of FLORIDA, I caused said Mule to be branded with the letters U. S. The Mule did not belong to the U. S.” Signed 22 Jun 1864; A. L. HARRIS, Colonel, 75 Ohio Mounted Infantry.
By 1888, Col. Harris was Ohio Representative, Andrew Lintner HARRIS, serving at Columbus, Ohio, leading Othman Rutland to believe Ohio to be a good place to find answers, not only about that mule, but about what happened to his long-missing father, Isaac N. Rutland.

Day 4: Starke Lake and #RutlandMule

1860: Dr. James D. STARKE, of present day OCOEE, Florida, was the selected Senator of Florida’s 19 Senatorial District. His district included his home County of Orange.
There were 20 districts in all, and that November of 1860, Dr. Starke had been one of the 16 Districts Senators who traveled to Tallahassee only weeks after Abraham Lincoln had been elected President.
On 30 November, 1860, 12 of 16 Senators, including Starke, had voted in favor of the following resolution: “this General Assembly having implicit confidence in the wisdom and patriotism of the people and the delegates whom they will select to the Convention, commit to them the interest of the State WITHOUT a suggestion as to the course proper to be pursued.”
Florida State Senators, in essence, abdicated their lawmaking authority, placing their State’s future in the ‘wise’ hands of 69patriotic’ Floridians. Isaac N. RUTLAND, of “Florida’s 19 Senatorial District,” was one of 69 patriotic Convention delegates. Rutland opposed Secession, but during early 1861, fulfilled his duty as a delegate, taking part in writing his State’s new Constitution.

Day 3: Cassius M is missing!

15 years after the mysterious 1864 death of “Hon. Isaac N. Rutland,” his estate remained unsettled. The administrator, Matthew A. Stewart, Isaac’s brother-in-law, requested, on June 9, 1879, that a judge appoint Othman’s sister, Sarah K. VICK, wife of Ezekiel C. VICK, as estate administrator, stating: “We have no idea if the other heir is living. He left seven years ago, and we have not seen or heard from him since.”
Isaac’s ‘other heir?’ That would be Cassius M. Rutland, the older brother of Othman and Sarah, last seen, according to the estate administrator, in 1872!

Day 2: The Isaac N. Rutland family:

History failed to record much about Isaac N. Rutland, or of the man’s role in Orange County’s past. But Rutland also had a family, and history reported even less of roles they played in what was then an emerging Central Florida ‘Paradise’. Othman & Sarah Rutland, two of Isaac’s children, were indeed true-life Central Floridians.
As children, all four Rutland orphans had been sent north to Georgia by 1870, but then two returned to a Post-War CitrusLAND. Othman and Sarah then played a part in developing this 19 Century American Paradise.
The Rutland Mule Matter is far more than a story of one man who became lost in the turmoil of America’s Civil War. It is in fact a historical presentation of one family’s tragic plight in a land seemingly cursed with family plight. “Just finished the Rutland Mule. OMG! Your research is so meticulous and your storytelling so captivating. I felt that I’d gone back to another time.” For the reader, separating fact from fiction will be their biggest challenge, but to ease the struggle, here’s a helpful hint: There are only two fictional characters. One is the hotel clerk in Columbus, Ohio. The other it the carriage driver in Washington, DC.

Day 1: Isaac N. Rutland and the Rutland Mule:

Captain Isaac N. Rutland replaced Captain Aaron Jernigan as leader of Orange County’s 1856 Militia, a volunteer militia based out of Fort Gatlin. By 1860, Isaac had been selected to represent a Senatorial district that included Orange County, and was one of two ‘wise’ Central Floridians assigned the task of deciding Florida’s future.
Isaac became one of many War casualties of 1864, and later, he was then denied his rightful place in Central Florida history. Denied, that is, until a 150 year old scribbled file folder suddenly surfaced. Inside that 1865 folder, a Provost Marshal’s file, a folder labeled ‘The RUTLAND MULE MATTER’, was found the secret Isaac’s children had been searching for.
Othman and Sarah finally learned of what really happened to their father. But could they handle the truth? Merely make believe? You can decide for yourself with the assistance of a nine page Bibliography!

THE RUTLAND MULE MATTER, one of five books by Richard Lee Cronin, each digging deep in Central Florida’s long forgotten history. Each is available at

3 Comments to The Rutland Mule Matter:

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dfs on Wednesday, May 02, 2018 2:24 PM
Othman and Sarah finally learned of what really happened to their father. But could they handle the truth? Merely make believe? You can decide for yourself with the assistance of a nine page Bibliography!
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Website on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 3:28 PM
I truly realize that innovation makes our work less demanding and now you have to work less by keeping in mind technology. The Rutland mule is one of its kind and dare to bear big loads.
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essayhave review on Monday, June 04, 2018 8:00 AM
Quite impressive historical updates found which can boost our knowledge. Through such updates we able to know about the transformation of our country and how it makes progress step by step.
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