Florida. General Assembly :: Assembly

Florida. General Assembly

Florida s General Assembly

I thank you for the honor which you have done me in electing me to preside over your honorable body, and shall show my appreciation of the same by exerting myself to the utmost of my ability to preserve that order and promote that dispatch of business which is so necessary, especially at this time, in which I ask, and trust I shall receive, your unanimous co-operation. Never before has a Legislature of Florida been called upon to consider of such grave and weighty matters as those which we will have to pass upon at this time. The long continued, persistent and unscrupulous aggressions of a majority of the Northern people upon the rights and interests of the Southern States of this Confederacy, have culminated in the election of a man to the Presidency of these United States pledged to make war upon the institutions of the South. The Southern mind is indignant at the result, and the Southern soul is in arms. The people of Florida cannot, must not, will not submit tamely to these insults and wrongs. To us the people look for the initiation of measures of redress, and the ways and means of sustaining our State during this crisis. Let us approach these questions with that earnest, temperate consideration that the vastness of their results demand. Within the next few months we will decide the political destiny of ourselves and of our posterity for ages. No crisis in our history can be more solemn and important than the one in the midst of which we now are. It should obliterate all traces of party and personal discord or jealousy. The petty contests among ourselves become contemptible in this great emergency, and all men of all parties and sections in our State should unite their best counsels as brothers embarked in a common ship. If the State of Florida is thrown upon her own resources for the support of a national government, it is vitally important that we should give prompt attention to that local legislation which may be immediately demanded by the interests of our own citizens. Let us apply ourselves to these great subjects with energy, and that success which ever attends a virtuous, a brave, and a free people when in the right...

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