More details on Florida's "declaration of causes"


On January 21st, 1861, “Mr. Gettis of Hillsborough County” [the only Gettis listed on the rolls is James Gettis from the 20th Senatorial District; Simon Thurman is listed from Hillsborough County], offered the following resolution:

"Resolved, That a Committee of five be appointed by the President of this Convention to draft a declaration setting forth some of the grievances which compelled the State of Florida to dissolve her political connection with the late Federal Union, and that said Committee be instructed to report at the adjourned or called session of this Convention. "

The journal continues: "Mr. J.M. Daniel of Duval County moved to amend the resolution by adding that the Committee report at the next session of this Convention. Which was agreed to. The rules being waived, the resolution as amended was adopted," and Messrs. James Gettis, J. B. Dawkins (Alachua County), S. M.G. Gary (Marion County), William G.M. Davis (Leon County), and Thompson B. Lamar (Jefferson County) were appointed to said committee. [Pages 102-103]

The next session of the convention met on February 26, but lacked a quorum. A quorum was present on the 27th along with delegates Dawkins, Gary, and Lamar; Gettis and Davis were not present.

On March 1st, Thompson B. Lamar "moved that the Committee appointed at the previous session of this Convention to report to this Convention the causes which impelled the people of Florida to withdraw from the government of the late United States be discharged from the further consideration of the subject; Which was agreed to." [Page 11 of the called session]

No explanation is given for the committee’s recommendation that the members be discharged from their duty. The convention journal contains no further mention of the declaration of causes.

SOURCE: Journal of the Proceedings of the Convention of the People of Florida, Begun and Held at the Capitol in the City of Tallahassee, on Thursday, January 3, A.D. 1861. Tallahassee: Office of the Floridian and Journal, 1861.

Proceedings of the Convention of the People of Florida, at Called Sessions, Begun and Held at the Capitol in Tallahassee, on Tuesday February 26th, and Thursday, April 18th, 1861 [Printed within the Journal of the Proceedings....]