Reprint of an Ocala Banner editorial opposing removal of the State Capitol from Tallahassee, 1900

Reprint of an Ocala Banner editorial opposing removal of the State Capitol from Tallahassee, 1900


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of not quite one and one-forth million.
This last year we were able
to pay off State debts to the amount
of about two hundred thousand dollars,
and our State financiers consider
this quite a feather in their caps.
Even supposing that we are able to
keep this same rate of annual payment
of our indebtedness it will take
us about eight years to be free of
When the people of this county
and State vote for the removal of the
Capital from Tallahassee they will
certainly vote for an extra taxation
upon themselves.
They vote for interest bearing
bonds that probably will not be paid
during their lives.
The people of this county a short
time ago very wisely gave a strong
sentiment against the bonding of the
county for the purpose of building
good roads. In this road matter the
people would be more directly interested,
more of a personal matter, as
they and their children would get a
direct and immediate benefit. Yet,
knowing these benefits were tangible,
they declined to sanction the issuing
of bonds for this purpose. Now, the
people are asked to come forward next
November and vote to bond them
selves, to satisfy the false pride of
some ambitious town.
Do you think the people are going
to be so foolish? Nay, verily; not if

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the status of affairs can be shown to
them in the proper light.
The press in the Southern and
Eastern part of the State has been
thus far misleading in this matter.
It is leading the people to believe
that the Democratic State Convention
decided that there must be a
change of the State Capital. This is
not the fact. The Convention only
made it possibly to get the sentiment
of the Democracy of the State in this
matter by allowing the Democratic
voters to express themselves next
November in primary whether or not
they wanted a change, and if so to
what point. Tallahassee is to be
voted on to retain the Capital as well
as other places to get it.
Should any other place in the State
secure more votes than Tallahassee
it will then be the supposed duty of
our next Legislature to submit a
Constitutional amendment to the
people of the State, permitting the
change of Capital site from Tallahassee
to the place recommended by
primary. This November primary is
to be confined to the Democratic
But if the Constitutional amendment
is submitted it will be voted
upon by all political parties at a general
So you see a Democratic primary
might sanction removal of the Capital
and yet the Constitutional amendment
permitting such a change be re

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jected by the people at the general
The information that has thus far
gone out to the people has been one-
sided, as if to carry the measure
through with a rush and hurrah,
stampede the masses as it were, and
let them run headlong into the
meshes set for them.
If the Capitol building at Tallahassee
had been burned or otherwise
destroyed, making it necessary that
the State should have another build
ing somewhere, then I would sanction
the efforts made by the press of
Marion county, with all the adjunct
committees to have the building
erected in Ocala.
But, as the matter now stands, are
you just to the people of the State
as a whole, or even to Marion county,
in your advocacy of removal, without
first explaining to the people
that an additional taxation will be
necessary in order to secure removal?
I was in hopes that our tax list
sales would grow less and less each
year, but if this removal of the Capital
is unthoughtedly sanctioned by
the State you may expect a gradual
increase, rather than decrease, of tax
delinquents from year to year. And
who in the county is not already
ashamed of our inability to meet our
yearly tax demands, as shown by
sales of property under the hammer?

E.L. Carney


State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, BR0049


A reprint of letter to the Editor of the Ocala Banner from E. L. Chaney favoring the State Capital to remain in Tallahassee rather than moving it to Ocala, Florida.