To Lackland M. Stone.

To Lackland M. Stone.

Published Date

  • ca. 1829

Geographic Term

  • Jackson County, Marianna, Webbville, Territory of Florida.

Description

  • Anonymously published letter to Lackland M. Stone when he was Jackson County's representative in the Legislative Council. The writer was against moving the Seat of Justice from Webbville to Marianna claiming it would cause the downfall of Webbville and the prosperity of Marianna.

Transcript

To Lackland M. Stone

[left column]
As you have become a politician, and
the Representative of one of the first counties
in the Territory, we think it will not
surprise you if one of your constituents
should address you in the public prints.
It is in this way that strictures upon your
conduct will be made.
The acts and the character of a public
man are common property, and if yours
should be too roughly handled in the following
essay you must not attribute it to a
spirit of personal pique, but to the too
great partiality of your friends, in placing
you in an office you want the ability and
the honesty to fill. It is known to you
that a division for several years past has
existed among the citizens of Jackson
County in regard to the location of a seat
of justice: that it is at present, and during
the time you were a candidate it was
an absorbing question: one upon which
the people felt most interested, and therefore
most likely to demand from the Candidates,
pledges, how they would act in
the event of their election.
As far as can be ascertained when interrogated
on this point, the following was
your answer "I voted for Webbville when
the selection was left to the people. It
ought to be the place. The people themselves
have determined so, and I am satisfied-
I conceive the Council have no right
to interfere in the matter." Yet after this
pledge not made once or twice, but an [sic]
hundred times, in private houses, and at
public gatherings; what has been your
conduct? In direct opposition to the public
will and disregarding your repeated
pledges, in your first political act in the
Council, you have removed the Seat of
Justice from Webbville to Marianna. If
the Council in your own opinion "have
no right to interfere in the matter," what
reason can you assign for imposing on a
body of men, whom your language and
your acts would induce us to believe are
so ignorant, that they have no knowledge
of their rights, -and so pliant to your
wishes, that they can be "moulded like
clay in a potters hands." - They could
not all be governed by the same motives
which influenced yourself-an as it was
a matter of indifference to them in what
place the county site was established, their
vote was probably based upon the
representations you made them, and that
courtesy which is extended to the members
of any particular county, asking the
passage of a local bill. Here then is presented
the anomaly of a Representative
willfully misrepresenting the will of his constituents,
and calling upon a Legislative
body to do an act which he expressly declares
they have no right to do.
What Sir, is your apology for this?
You cannot say that you obeyed the
will, or that you consulted the interests of
your constituents. The result of a prior
election, and the signatures of above
three hundred men attached to a Memorial
now before the Council, would stamp
infamy on the assertion. If the public
good required the removal of the county
seat to Marianna, why did you not come
out boldly, and tell the people of the county
your intentions before the election.--They
are not blind to their interests,
and convince them that Marianna,
or Webbville, or any other spot that
may be selected is the most appropriate,--
and they will submit without
a murmur. But unless I am much mistaken
in their character, they will not suffer
their priviledges [sic] to be torn from them,
by the lawless hand of power. They have
the common feelings of men, and will show
a spirit of resentment on occasions like
this, when he should have stood up
in their defence [sic], is the first to do them an
injury.

[right column]
You can have Sir, no apology. The
Representative who is influenced by other
motives than those of public good: who
does not hesitate to sacrifice the poorer
part of the people, to secure the smiles
and patronage of a few rich individuals,
will always be found wanting in the ballot
box. You may extend the Southern
boundary of Jackson County and gather
around you a few more partisans in furtherance
of your design to build up and establish
Marianna. His Excellency the
Governor may recommend that the sixteenth
sections be leased out, and to save
yourself from the reproaches of your constituents
and the infamy of defeat you
may divide the county into Electoral Districts
running the lines to suit your necessities.
But it will not do-The people
Sir, cannot be gulled by Executive recommendations!
They have sense enough
to perceive that it is but a supplement to
your Marianna bill-that its only object
is the prosperity of Marianna and the
downfall of Webbville.
His Excellency is certainly aware that
in those States where the practice of leasing
out School lands for a short term of
years has prevailed, that experience has
proven the system to be incorrect and inadequate
to the end it was designed to effect.
Had he recommended that proper
steps be taken for a final disposition of
those lands, and that a part of the sixteenth
section in Jackson county (which
is now the most valuable in the Territory,)
be laid off into small lots, and
disposed of for the benefit of the school,--
then might we have regarded him as the
common father of us all, alike guarding
the interests of the school and his children.
This course might have been pursued by
his Excellency without any regard to interference
in the location of the county
seat.
But Sir, to return. In building your
hopes of future success upon the running
of a District line, you reckon without your
host. The people included in the District
intended for yourself will calculate
that the man who would violate his pledges
and betray a whole country, would not
hesitate if an opportunity presented to betray
a part of that county. They want a
Representative who would "be palsied by
the will of his constituents."
In conclusion Sir, we would direct your
attention to the memorial now before the
Council: But we cannot ask you to meet
the wishes of your constituents, by using
every exertion to repeal the law of which
they so loudly complain.
No Sir, -We must look beyond you!
We must call upon the Legislative Council
if they have been misled by your representations,
to retrace their steps and
make the only atonement in their power
to a people whom they have injured: They
have no doubt acted honestly on the
information given them.
They have now a more correct knowledge
of things as they are, from a legitimate
source-and it remains for us to see
if they will be as prompt and fearless in
consulting the wishes of the people, and
correcting an error, as their duty and the
dignity of their station would lead us to
expect.
A Citizen of Jackson County.
Again, Mr. Stone-on yesterday, when
the Memorial from Jackson County was
presented to the Council, you stated that
it contained charges against yourself that
was false, you then sir, uttered a base and
malicious falsehood, knowing it to be so.
Another Citizen of Jackson
County, whose name is
the 28th on the first
column attached to the
Memorial.