Tallahassee July 2, 1868
To Colonel John T. Sprague
Commanding, District of Florida
I have the honor to inform you that the State Government provide[d] under the new Constitution for the State of Florida, in accordance with the Reconstruction Laws of Congress, has been duly inaugurated & all the conditions precedent to the admission of the State into the Federal Union have been complied with & our Representatives admitted to Congress.
With high respect I am, Colonel,
Your obt sevt
State Archives of Florida: Series 577, Box 04, Folder 6
Letter from Governor Harrison Reed to Colonel John T. Sprague, Union military official supervising the occupation of Florida, informing him that Florida had met the requirements set forth by Congress for readmission into the Union.
July 2, 1868
As a result of the Military Reconstruction Act, passed on March 2, 1867, congressional Republicans effectively took control of Reconstruction away from President Andrew Johnson. The Act's provisions divided the ex-Confederate States (except Tennessee) into five military districts, required black suffrage and ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, and called for conventions to establish new constitutions in each of the affected states. Delegates to the Florida Constitutional Convention were elected in November 1867. The bitterly divided convention met in Tallahassee the following January, and after much controversy, a new constitution, with black suffrage, was adopted and approved by the voters in May 1868. Republican Harrison Reed was elected governor, and on July 2 he wrote a letter to the military commander of Florida, Colonel John T. Sprague, informing him that Florida had completed the requirements to be readmitted to the Union.