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By James M. Denham

The pervasive impact of the frontier is prime to an knowing of antebellum Florida. James M. Denham lines the expansion and social improvement of this moderately settled area via its event with crime and punishment. utilizing court docket files, govt files, newspapers, and private papers, Denham explores how crime affected traditional Floridians - whites and blacks, perpetrators, sufferers, and enforcers. He contends that even supposing the frontier made up our minds the enforcement and management of the legislation, the ethic of honor ruled human relationships. even if 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 serious (except for homicide) simply because such crimes violated the South's adored code of honor. A sparse, rural agricultural inhabitants valued a private integrity that integrated a robust feel of monetary morality. Honesty and truthfulness have been characteristics not just wanted yet demanded. Stealing used to be a contravention of that belief and got society's sternest punishment.

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Extra resources for A rogue's paradise: crime and punishment in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1861

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Others pointed to a general decline in national morality as well as to the deficient moral character of those who inhabited the state. Especially in the territorial era, which lasted from 1821 to 1845, fugitives from other states found Florida's sparsely settled frontier a safe haven. The territory contained many vast, remote, and unsettled places where fleeing felons could hide undetected after making their way overland from Alabama and Georgia or easily traveling by ocean or river routes. A few Floridians, overwhelmed by the criminal influx, divined causation in the secret machinations of other nations.

In summary, the purpose of this book is to examine and consider the patterns, specific instances, and effects of lawbreaking on Florida's antebellum frontier. At the same time, matters entailing administration, such as the role of law enforcement officials, the accommodation of criminals in jails and in the courts, the patterns of punishment, and the public's attitude toward lawbreakers, are considered. These findings may lead the way to a better understanding of society and culture in antebellum Florida and the South.

The origins and backgrounds of Florida's antebellum residents ultimately affected its criminal justice system at all levels. Most of those who settled in Florida during the antebellum decades migrated from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. But they also came from the border states of Kentucky and Maryland. These newcomers, along with migrants from the North, made up a large share of Florida's professional ranks. Lawyers, editors, schoolteachers, merchants, cotton factors, doctors, and ministers of the gospel formed an educated elite that came to dominate economic and political affairs.

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