Florida family's view on secession

Joined
Jun 10, 2011
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618
#1
This is from the diary of Susan Bradford, a 14 year old girl living in Leon County, Florida. I find the diversity of opinion and attitudes in one family quite interesting:

"January 1, 1861 - A New Year has come to us now. As we sat around the long table today the conversation turned on the convention, so soon to meet in Tallahassee. Father said he considered this the most momentous year in the history of the South. He is for Secession and he does not think that war will necessarily follow. Brother Junius is a strong Union man and he thinks we will certainly have war; he says we will have war in any event. If the South secedes the North will fight to keep us, and if we do not secede all property rights will be taken from us and we will be obliged to fight to hold our own. He says he is for the fight but he wants to fight in the Union not out of it. Father thinks it is more honorable to take an open and decided stand and let all the world know what we are doing. Everyone at table who expressed an opinion was firmly set against the Republican party. Mother says she wants the negroes freed but she wants the United States Government to make laws which will free them gradually. All agree on one point, if the negroes are freed our lands will be worthless."
 

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Joshism

Sergeant Major
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
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Jupiter, FL
#2
if we do not secede all property rights will be taken from us
As much as slavery was a critical economic and social aspect of the antebellum South, I think this mindset is important to remember too. Especially because of the echos today regarding perceived threats to certain kinds of property from the federal government.
 

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