Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
FLORIDA, a state of American Union, formed from the Florida Purchase. (See
—The constitution was in the usual form. The governor was to hold office for four years, and to be ineligible for four years thereafter. The capital was to be Tallahassee. The legislature was forbidden to emancipate slaves, or to prevent immigrants into the state from bringing slaves with them. Under this constitution the state was admitted by act of March 3, 1845, Iowa being admitted by the same act.
—In politics, national and state, Florida was whig by a small majority until 1852, when the democrats elected the governor and congressman by a close vote, 4,628 to 4,336 for governor. The remnant of the whig minority in 1856 took the name of the American party, but in 1858 this also disappeared, and but one party, the democratic, existed in the state. Jan.10,1861, a state convention passed an ordinance of secession by a vote of 62 to 7, and Feb.4 the delegates from Florida took part in the first meeting of the congress of the confederate states. After 1863 Florida was left to its own defense by the confederate government; at the close of the rebellion it came early under control of the federal authorities. July 13, 1865, President Johnson appointed a provisional governor, who called a state convention for October 25. This body "annulled" the ordinance of secession, Oct.28, and adopted a new constitution, Nov.7, which declared the abolition of slavery "by the government of the United States" limited the right of suffrage and the right to sit on juries to white persons, and defined the state boundaries as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of the river Perdido; thence up the middle of that river to the boundary of Alabama, in latitude 31° north; thence due east to the Chattahoochee river; thence down the middle of that river to the Flint river; thence straight to the head of the St. Mary's river; thence down the middle of that river to the Atlantic ocean; thence southwardly to the gulf of Florida and gulf of Mexico; thence northwardly and westwardly, including all islands within five leagues of the shore, to the beginning" The convention, by ordinance, repudiated the state debt incurred during the rebellion. Under this constitution an election for state officers and congressmen was held Nov. 29, a legislature was organized Dec. 18, and Jan. 16, 1866, the president relived the provisional governor. The state remained under its own authorities until the passage of the reconstruction act of March 2, 1867, when it became part of the third military district commanded by Maj. Gen. Pope, Col. Sprague having command of the sub-district of Florida. Under this régime a state convention adopted a constitution Feb. 25, 1868, which was ratified by popular vote, May 4-6, state officers being chosen at the same time to hold until January, 1873. As the new constitution conformed in all respects to the act of congress(See
—Considerable desire has always been shown in West Florida for annexation to Alabama, and in 1869 Alabama offered Florida $1,000,000 as the price of her consent to the proposed annexation. A popular vote upon the question was ordered in West Florida by the governor in that year, and showed a majority in favour of such annexation, but no further steps were taken in the matter.
—The name of the state was first given to the entire territory by its discoverer, Ponce de Leon, in 1572, from the Spanish name of the day on which it was discovered, Pascua Florida.(Easter Sunday).
—GOVERNORS. Wm. D. Moseley(1845-9). Thos. Brown(1849-53). Jas E. Broome(1853-7), Madison S. Perry (1857-61), John Milton (1861-5), Wm . Marvin (provisional) 1865. David S. Walker (1866-8), Harrison Reed (1868-73), Ossian B. Hart(1873-7), Marcellus B. Stearns(acting-governor)1876, George F. Drew(1877-81), Wm. D. Bloxham(1881-3).
—See French's Historical Memoirs of Lousiana and Florida; Fairbanks' History of Florida; Adams' Florida; Lanier's Florida; Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia, 1861-80; Tribune Almanac. 1838-81. The act of March 3, 1845, admitting Florida, is in 5 Stat, at Large, 742.
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