“Brothers will turn against their own brothers and hand them over to be killed.” —Matthew 10:21a
The Secession of Florida, January 10, 1861
he State of Florida is no stranger to controversy. They are in the news today because of the high value the governor places on personal liberty and Constitutional fidelity. It is not the first time such has been the case. On January 10, 1861, Florida formally seceded from the Federal Union, joining six other states of the Deep South in forming an independent Confederacy. Most people, including Floridians, know little of the Confederate State of Florida since it was the least populous state and far from the major battlefields. Nonetheless, Florida played a key strategic role in the War Between the States as a haven for blockade runners, a breadbasket for the armies, and an occasional fight—including the second bloodiest battle of the war per number of participants!
Drawn c. 1565 by French artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, this is one of the earliest and most influential maps of Florida and the surrounding region ever published. The fascinating story of this map begins with the ambitions of the influential Huguenot Admiral Gaspard de Coligny who, desirous of establishing a French foothold on the American mainland, sent the talented navigator Jean Ribaut to establish a colony.