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The Jackson County War

Reconstruction and Resistance in Post-Civil War Florida

Daniel R. Weinfeld

Publication Year: 2012

The Jackson County War offers original conclusions explaining why Jackson County became the bloodiest region in Reconstruction Florida and is the first book-length treatment of the subject.
 
From early 1869 through the end of 1871, citizens of Jackson County, Florida, slaughtered their neighbors by the score. The nearly threeyear frenzy of bloodshed became known as the Jackson County War. The killings, close to one hundred and by some estimates twice that number, brought Jackson County the notoriety of being the most violent county in Florida during the Reconstruction era.  Daniel R. Weinfeld has made a thorough investigation of contemporary accounts. He adds an assessment of recently discovered information, and presents a critical evaluation of the standard secondary sources.
 
The Jackson County War focuses on the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the emergence of white “Regulators,” and the development of African American political consciousness and leadership. It follows the community’s descent after the Civil War into disorder punctuated by furious outbursts of violence until the county settled into uneasy stability seven years later. The Jackson County War emerges as an emblem of all that could and did go wrong in the uneasy years after Appomattox and that left a residue of hatred and fear that endured for generations.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-9

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

A number of individuals provided invaluable support during my research and writing of The Jack son County War. Prof. Mark Bauman and Rachel Heimovics at southern Jewish historical society patiently edited the very rough draft I submitted about the murder of Samuel Fleishman and encouraged me to continue with my new interest. Prof. Canter brown Jr....

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xiv

On the evening of October 1, 1869, eighteen- year- old Maggie McClellan sat on the porch of Catherine Attaway’s hotel in Marianna, Florida. beside her stood her father, James F. McClellan, a prominent attorney who had argued many cases before Florida’s supreme Court. The mcClellans were joined by James P. Coker, a successful merchant. The two men were close associates in business...

Abbreviations

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pp. xv-17

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1. Like So Many Children, 1865

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pp. 1-8

The mayhem that engulfed Jackson County during the Reconstruction era surprised all who were familiar with its history and people. before the war, when murder was rampant through out Florida, Jack son County was known for its stability and prosperity. From 1851 through 1868, Jackson County, with a population of ten thousand, had averaged almost two mur-...

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2. Those Pests That Remind Us Daily of Our Degradation, 1866

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pp. 9-28

On the last Monday of January 1866, Marianna residents found a new-comer in their small town. Brevet Capt. Charles memorial hamilton, a twenty- five- year- old Union army officer recently arrived from Washington by way of Tallahassee, rode in on horseback. Hamilton’s immediate impression of Jackson County was “not unpleasant” and he found the people ...

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3. You Can’t Come Here with Any Such Equality, 1867

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pp. 29-49

Optimism for 1867 was shattered in early February by a brutal killing. Gilbert Walker, a freedman “of excellent character,” was hauling lumber on a public road outside Marianna when he encountered a Mr. Bell driving an empty oxcart in the opposite direction. Charles M. Hamilton re...

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4. Depression Is Almost Universal Here, 1868

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pp. 50-64

On January 1, 1868, Jackson County’s freedmen gathered to celebrate emancipation Day. With the forthcoming constitutional convention likely to be followed by establishment of a Republican- led state government, the fifth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation was particularly auspcious. For the same reasons that the black community viewed the coming ...

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5. They Believe There in Gunpowder Entirely, 1869 [Contains Image Plates]

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pp. 65-82

The story of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan has been well documented and retold many times. From its origin among the members of a social club of Confederate army veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866, the Klan spread across the south ern states, particularly af ter passage of the Reconstruction Acts in 1867. With only rudimentary central control, Klan cells operated ...

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6. A Small Hell on Earth, 1869

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pp. 83-102

Frank baltzell’s confidence in the future of Jackson County could not have been more mistaken. his enthusiastic assessment completely neglected the crucial element most capable of disrupting the calm and stability. Despite their seeming inactivity since the spring, the Regulators had not disbanded. To the contrary, with John Finlayson, William J. Purman, and ...

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7. I Have No Ambition to Fill a More Honorable Grave, 1870–1871

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pp. 103-130

The eighth U.D. infantry troops that arrived in late October 1869 to re-store order finally departed on April 28, 1870. The calm that lasted through these six months reassured Republican officials in Tallahassee and Washington they had been correct in their assessment that the intervention of federal soldiers in Jack son County had been warranted. in the pages of ...

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8. Whatever It Was, It Has Passed Away

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pp. 131-144

Pressure from the Ku Klux Klan and Regulators, threatening to break the Reconstruction Republican governments in the south, and the shocking testimony before the KKK Committee convinced the Grant administra-tion to take decisive action. Attorney General Amos Akerman wielded the enforcement Acts as a bludgeon to crush the white resistance groups. nu-...

Appendix 1: Biographical Index of Major Figures in the Jackson County War

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pp. 145-156

Appendix 2: Government Officials

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pp. 157-160

Notes

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pp. 161-188

Bibliography

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pp. 189-195

Index

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pp. 196-99

Illustrations

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pp. 100-225


E-ISBN-13: 9780817385989
E-ISBN-10: 0817385983
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817317454
Print-ISBN-10: 0817317457

Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 12 illus.
Publication Year: 2012