By James M. Denham
The pervasive impact of the frontier is key to an realizing of antebellum Florida. James M. Denham lines the expansion and social improvement of this carefully settled sector via its event with crime and punishment. utilizing courtroom documents, executive records, newspapers, and private papers, Denham explores how crime affected traditional Floridians - whites and blacks, perpetrators, sufferers, and enforcers. He contends that even if the frontier made up our minds the enforcement and management of the legislations, the ethic of honor ruled human relationships. even though indictments for crimes opposed to individuals have been way more common than these for crimes opposed to estate, the punishment for the latter was once extra critical (except for homicide) simply because such crimes violated the South's loved code of honor. A sparse, rural agricultural inhabitants valued a private integrity that incorporated a robust experience of monetary morality. Honesty and truthfulness have been features not just wanted yet demanded. Stealing used to be a contravention of that belief and got society's sternest punishment.
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Additional info for A rogue's paradise: crime and punishment in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1861
20 The availability of concealed arms often encouraged bloody assaults, especially when mixed with intemperance and gambling. "21 The frontier was a dangerous place, and strapping on firearms and knives came natural to men who lived there. Not surprisingly, in the light of those circumstances antebellum Floridians insisted that the federal Constitution guaranteed them the right to bear arms. Section twenty-one, article one of the Florida State Constitution (1838) essentially restated the Second Amendment.
The appointive nature of many of Florida's important administrative posts during its territorial years (1821-45) also had an important role in giving Florida's professional population a particular political stamp. These years coincided with national political struggles between the Democrats and the Whigs. In a sense, party battles at the national level often played themselves out in Florida. 11 But the same was true of governors, district attorneys, marshals, and a whole host of lesser officials.
Though he resigned his post to become judge of the Western Judicial District of Florida, Brackenridge remained on hand in an advisory role. He suggested that the legislators take up a digest of the Missouri territorial laws as a Page 7 guide. The circumstances of Missouri were similar to Florida at that time, because, as Brackenridge stated, "it was settled by citizens of the United States, habituated to English and American Legislation. " 7 When it came to civil law, the first council also adopted the common and statute law of England prior to July 4, 1776, provided these laws did not conflict with the Constitution.
A rogue's paradise: crime and punishment in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1861 by James M. Denham