Petition from citizens of Fayette County asking for the county to either be dissolved or its boundaries modified, January 8, 1834

Petition from citizens of Fayette County asking for the county to either be dissolved or its boundaries modified, January 8, 1834

Transcript

To His Excellency William P. Duval and the honorable Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida:

The undersigned citizens of Fayette County do respectfully petition your honorable body to annex to our county its original boundaries or to reunite it with that of Jackson County. A call of so high a nature require[s] that we should adduce evidence to show that it is necessary to restore us either in one way or the other to our former prosperity, as well as to relieve us from evils, which we are otherwise too fatally doomed to bear. At the organization of Fayette County, its limits were larger than they are at present, and its population was destined to increase in numbers and in wealth. From this position we have been displaced by your legislature. Let us turn to our personal condition and it is obvious that by an act passed by the last Legislature we may safely assert that one half of our territory, one half of our population and two thirds of our wealth has been taken from our county and added to Jackson. We affirm that there are not more than eight or ten freeholders in the county. Whilst the entire number of qualified voters does not exceed one hundred, as an evidence of the latter position we refer your honorable body to the Election for delegate, which will at the same time establish the diminution of our population. Hopson's or Richards' precinct together with Ochesee gave in 1831 considerably over one hundred votes. At the last Election, they gave a consolidated ballot, which together with that portion of pine barren country that has been added to this county from Washngton and fell short of one hundred. Whilst our population has thus decreased, as is decreasing, our burthens becomes more oppressive, and a forecast into the future is both ominous and fearful. According to our present judicial arrangements, two terms of the Superior Court and as many of the inferior courts are to be holden out of our limited population of less than one hundred voters, out of which grand and petit jurors are to be chosen. The delay and inconvenience of obtaining justice under such circumstances must be apparent to your honorable body.

At the last last court holden for this county, Judge Cameron in his address to the grand jury enforced upon their consideration the duty of building a Court House and common jail for the county. From our scarcity of population, wealth , &c we feel assured that your honorable body will agree with us in saying that we are too poor to accomplish those all-important buildings. The evils complained of by your humble petitioners are not visionary; to the contrary they have been too seriously felt by many of them.

They therefore hope that your honorable body will duly consider their petition and grant their prayer. And they will ever pray, &c &c &c. 8 January 1834


1

To His Excellency William P. Duval and the honorable Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida:

The undersigned citizens of Fayette County do respectfully petition your honorable body to annex to our county its original boundaries or to reunite it with that of Jackson County. A call of so high a nature require[s] that we should adduce evidence to show that it is necessary to restore us either in one way or the other to our former prosperity, as well as to relieve us from evils, which we are otherwise too fatally doomed to bear. At the organization of Fayette County, its limits were larger than they are at present, and its population was destined to increase in numbers and in wealth. From this position we have been displaced by your legislature. Let us turn to our personal condition and it is obvious that by an act passed by the last Legislature we may safely assert that one half of our territory, one half of our population and two thirds of our wealth has been taken from our county and added to Jackson. We affirm that there are not more than eight or ten freeholders in the county. Whilst the entire number of qualified voters does not exceed one hundred, as an evidence of the latter position we refer your honorable body to the Election for delegate, which will at the same time establish the diminution of our population. Hopson's or Richards' precinct together with Ochesee gave in 1831 considerably over one hundred votes. At the last Election, they gave a consolidated ballot, which together with that portion of pine barren country that has been added to this county from Washngton and fell short of one hundred. Whilst our population has thus decreased, as is decreasing, our burthens becomes more oppressive, and a forecast into the future is both ominous and fearful. According to our present judicial arrangements, two terms of the Superior Court and as many of the inferior courts are to be holden out of our limited population of less than one hundred voters, out of which grand and petit jurors are to be chosen. The delay and inconvenience of obtaining justice under such circumstances must be apparent to your honorable body.

At the last last court holden for this county, Judge Cameron in his address to the grand jury enforced upon their consideration the duty of building a Court House and common jail for the county. From our scarcity of population, wealth , &c we feel assured that your honorable body will agree with us in saying that we are too poor to accomplish those all-important buildings. The evils complained of by your humble petitioners are not visionary; to the contrary they have been too seriously felt by many of them.

They therefore hope that your honorable body will duly consider their petition and grant their prayer. And they will ever pray, &c &c &c. 8 January 1834

2

Source

State Archives of Florida: Series S876, Box 04, Folder 7

Description

Petition signed by 49 citizens of Fayette County asking Florida's territorial legislative council to either enlarge the county to include all of the territory it had when it was originally established in 1832, or dissolve the county and return its territory to Jackson County. The county's loss of territory, qualified voters and wealth as a result of the council's decision to cut the county in half in 1833 are cited as reasons for desiring this change.