The American Confederates
Another group of refugees that Belize accepted were the Confederates who lost the American Civil War. Just after the Civil War in the US ended in 1864, a contingent of American Confederates visited Belize and Honduras to look for a new home. The refugees found Belize more attractive and purchased land just outside Punta Gorda from a company called Toledo, Young and Company. The first wave of these immigrants arrived in 1867.
Upon arrival, the settlers first dug wells then they cleared land using axes and machetes. Next, one mile square tracks of land were surveyed using the American Township and Range system. This was unlike the metes-and-bounds system that was in use in Belize at the time. A 60 feet wide road was constructed and sixteen plantations amounting to 4000 acres were developed. This main road was laid out in an east to west orientation and three north pointing feeder roads were also made. This road was extended to become the San Antonio road linking Punta Gorda with the largest Maya settlement in the District.
The first crop which these farmers planted was cotton. Cotton did not do well because the settlement was in a high rainfall area. The settlement then ventured into new crops such as sugarcane. The sugar production technologies which these farmers used were more advanced than those employed by the Mestizo farmers of Corozal and the southerners harvested good crops.