State Library of Florida, Federal Documents Collection
Address to the Territorial Legislative Council of Florida by Zepahaniah Kingsley, a member of the Council and a slaveholder. Kingsley shares his views on the necessity of slavery for Florida's economy and how best to manage the presence of both slaves and free persons of color in the territory.
Address to the Legislative Council of Florida on the subject of its Colored population by Z. Kingsley, a Planter of that Territory
Si genus humanum et morralia temnitis arma at sperate Deos:/Virg.
Do nothing inconsistent with the Divine Law of self preservation. Modesty becomes criminal when not supported by firm Resolution.
No subject has ever excited more feeling or animosity of late years among all the sections of the U. States than that of the coloured Population. Proppositions & arguments how it would be best to dispose of it have been presented to the Public under so many different views that it seems hopeless to offer any new argument or to attempt to reconcile all the different feelings & interest upon this very interesting question. But violent and accrimonious feeling has got to such a Pitch that it seems necessary to do something for the preservation of our southern Property which must either rise or fall in value according as this subject is rashly or discreetly disposed of: Some indeed have been of opinion that this is too delicate a subject for public discussion[,] but I doubt very much the good foundation of any Pollicy that shrinks from rigid investigation in every shape[,] for how are we to correct evills without clearly understanding their causes? and liberty is but an empty name a mere burlesque if we fear to speak the truth. The writer of this is well a ware of the difficulty as well as danger he incurs by venturing to obtrude or declare his sentiments upon so delicate a subject and certainly would be deterred from touching it if he was not excited by a strong feeling of self Preservation which overcomes the fear of that danger. He being a Planter in florida whose only dependence for these last 20 years has been in the labor of his slaves, cannot in this case be suspected of any membership or community with manumating societies, nor does he pretend to any great talent or skill as a writer but having travelled in the earlier [years] of his life to Africa and even been concerned in the hideous traffic of slaves, and has either [been] domiciliated in or visited all the west India Collonies[,] where he spent several years also in Cuba and Saint Domingo as well as the main land of south america where both from motives of interest & curiosity he has paid minute attention to those numerous & mixed populations and to their government; moreover having lived originnally in the state of south Carolina he thinks himself competent at least to relate facts which may enable others to compare thes[e] facts and draw conclusions whereby we may Judge of the causes of results obtained by Legislative Acts in some cases so widely different from those obtained in others from the very same materials.
Chicago Manual of Style
Kingsley, Zephaniah, 1765-1843. Address to the Legislative Council of Florida on the Subject of Its Colored Population by Zephaniah Kingsley, 1823. 1823. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/345199>, accessed 8 June 2023.
Kingsley, Zephaniah, 1765-1843. Address to the Legislative Council of Florida on the Subject of Its Colored Population by Zephaniah Kingsley, 1823. 1823. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.<https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/345199>
AP Style Photo Citation
(State Archives of Florida/Kingsley)