Pistols and Politics
The Dilemma of Democracy in Louisiana's Florida Parishes, 1810–1901
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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My active interest in the turbulent history of Louisiana's Florida parishes began during my undergraduate years at Tulane University. In the course of my studies there, it became apparent that the level of violence that convulsed eastern Louisiana in the...
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Thomas Green Davidson was surprised when he heard of the brutal murder in neighboring East Feliciana Parish. Homicide was not unknown in the area, but a killing of this nature was certainly unusual. The reports told of a farmer shot in the back by an apparent lone gunman from ambush—a "bushwhacking." Although it was a...
1 A Brief Moment of Stability
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After traveling through the backcountry South in the early 18405, the Mississippi historian and editor J. F. H. Claiborne described some of the subtle differences between the plantation and piney-woods regions of southwestern Mississippi. Finding it unnecessary to provide details on the evident contrasts of life in each section, Claiborne...
2 Government Far Behind the Times: The Seeds of Chaos
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As the residents of the Florida parishes struggled with the enormous problems facing them in the early years of the nineteenth century, a political system that would shape the destiny of the state through the end of the antebellum period emerged in Louisiana. A coalition of planters and their commercial allies in New Orleans created...
3 An Education in Violence
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On a cool spring morning in April, 1862, the Fourth Louisiana Infantry Regiment, C.SA., received orders to abandon its encampment near Corinth, Mississippi, and move forward in support of the Confederate advance against Union positions in the vicinity of Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee. The rapid advance was occasioned by the Confederate high command's awareness that the evenly matched opponents...
4 Opportunity Lost: Incipient Chaos Delayed
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In the spring of 1865, the sectional conflict moved into another far more complex phase. Thousands of Union soldiers marched home to a hero's welcome in a land that the war had transformed into one of the most prosperous and productive regions on earth. Except for the loss of many of its sons, the North had remained insulated...
5 Organized Lawlessness: Chaos Ascendant
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The Democratic campaign to promote contempt for the Republicans and their supporters strengthened the position of the old elite. Conservative leaders effectively manipulated events in support of their own goal to resecure power. By encouraging the belief that...
6 War Without Honor: Chaos Ensconced
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In a swampy area along a roadside in northeastern Tangipahoa Parish, three men waited nervously. One, a teenage boy with little experience in such matters, crouched anxiously in a clump of bushes about one hundred yards up the road from the others. If all went as planned, he would announce the approach of the unfortunate victim with a series of bird calls. The two assassins, both armed with double-barreled...
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Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 1998