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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jackson County and Florida’s Secession from the Union

Monday of this week marked the 150th anniversary of Florida’s secession from the Union. It was the first step that would lead to Florida becoming part of the Confederate States of America and set it on the path to take part in the bloodiest war in American history.
Although it is commonly believed today that virtually everyone in the South was in favor of the movement, this was not the case. In Jackson County, for example, even many of the largest plantation owners opposed the move, as did a majority of the farmers and merchants. This surprised many at the time, as Jackson County planter John Milton, an ardent secessionist, was the state’s governor-elect.
Proof of strong Unionist sentiment in the county is easy to come by. When a statewide election was held on December 22, 1860, to pick delegates to the Secession Convention that was to convene in Tallahassee in January, all four of the delegates elected in Jackson County were strongly pro-Union.
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