Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Really Little Town which Is the Capital of Florida

In my personal collection, I have an interesting travelogue from 1938 entitled A Southerner Discovers the South, by Jonathan Daniels.  In chapter 32, the author arrives in Tallahassee:
I came deeper and deeper south to the really little town which is the capital of Florida.  And in the conventional columned Southern mansion, I found Governor Fred P. Cone who had been confined to his bed because his feet hurt him.  He looked older than most of the Southern Governors I had seen.  In the little upstairs sitting room of the Executive Mansion he rocked in his chair and told me the trouble with his slippered feet.  
"Is Florida a Southern State?" I asked him.  "What?"  "Is Florida still in the South or have the millionaires carried it off?  "Florida's Southern all right.  Why, North Florida and South Georgia are about the same, same folks, same ways of making a living.  Florida is a Southern State sharing the fate of the South.  Of course, North Florida and South Florida are different.  There are a lot of Northerners in the South and they're different from the old farm and plantation folks in the North.  They usually say down here in Ocala is about the dividing line."
So I rode south in the strange certainty that if I went far enough south I should find the end of the South and a new North below it...
Some things never change, do they?

For more on this book and to view a map of the journey, visit

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