Monday, June 15, 2015


[A short postscript. It's generally predictable which blog posts are going to get a lot of traffic and which ones won't. Crime, for instance, generates very little traffic on my blog whereas posts about the media (their ignorance of municipal boundaries is one) generates a terrific amount of traffic. Another subject that generates little traffic is Florida history but that won't deter me from writing about it. The blog post below from 6/10 about Florida history was off the charts popular with my readers and was retweeted several times also. Undoubtedly it was the combination of history, race, and politics that was of interest to many people. Without further ado. . .the incredible story of Josiah T. Walls:]
Image from Wikipedia.
Kartik Krishnaiyer at The Florida Squeeze has this interesting historical flashback about Florida Republican Josiah T. Walls; here is an excerpt:
     Republican Josiah T. Walls was Florida’s first African-American Congressman, and a powerful symbol of the Reconstruction era in the state. [emphasis added] Walls was born into slavery in Virginia and captured by the Union Army during the Peninsula Campaign. Eventually he was discharged in Florida after the Battle of Olustee and settled in the Gainesville area.
     Following the Union victory, carpetbagger/scalawag Republican governments took the state over from the secessionist Democrats and Walls quickly impressed the state’s new political leadership. He was elected to the State Senate in 1869 and was elected to Congress in 1871. By 1874, the Democrats had retaken control of the state and much like the violent behavior of the party’s establishment faction in other southern states, Florida’s Democrats were determined to eliminate black representation and reimpose single-party rule in the state.
     The Democrats unseated Walls based on electoral “fraud” (the only actual fraud was the African-Americans and Republicans who were denied the ballot at gunpoint) and seated former Confederate Colonel Jesse Finley.