Guide to African American Resources in the State Library and Archives of Florida

Cover of Women's History Guide

State Government Records

Office of the Governor
(Record Group 100)

The post of governor of the state was created in the 1838 Constitution (Article III, Section 1, 1838 Constitution; Article IV, Section 1, 1885 and 1968 Constitutions; Ch. 14 FS) and became effective in 1845. The governor serves a four-year term and, since 1968, can succeed himself for one term.

The governor is the Chief Executive Officer of the state and as such is commander-in-chief of the state militia, signs all commissions for state and county officers, fills hundreds of state and county offices by appointment, and has the power of suspension over state and county officers. The governor is also chief planning and budgeting officer for the state, has veto power over legislative acts, can call special sessions of the legislature, and can call for adjournment if the legislature cannot agree upon a time.

The Executive Office of the Governor was created in 1979 (Ch. 79-190, Laws). The office is comprised of staff members handling the administrative functions required by the governor. The office also houses various committees, commissions, and councils created by the governor.

Florida Governor's Advisory Commission on Race Relations.
Records, 1957-1961, 7.25 cubic feet
S 226

This series contains records of the Florida Governor's Advisory Commission on Race Relations, more popularly know as the Fowler Commission, after chairman Cody Fowler. The Commission was created by the legislature in 1957 to study race relations in the state (Ch. 57-315, Laws). The Commission maintained liaison with the Attorney General, the Florida Highway Patrol, Florida National Guard, et al, to help anticipate disturbances of the peace and suppress violence. The ultimate purpose was to develop a sound race policy.

The series documents school desegregation policies, racial disturbances, and civil rights activities and includes a copy of the Commission's final report, which centers on school desegregation. There are speeches regarding race relations and correspondence documenting the Advisory Commission's communication with the Commission on Civil Rights, national Urban League, Fair Employment Practices Commission, Urban Renewal Administration, Black Supremacy Cult, the United Nations, the Southern Regional Council, and others. Files labeled "Legality of Negro sit-ins in colleges"; "Pro-segregation groups in the South"; and the Advisory Commission's report on "Negro Values" are also available. Other correspondence documents racial situations in Jacksonville (Duval County), Miami (Dade County), and Tallahassee (Leon County), Florida and other cities around the country.

Related Series: Record Group 102, Series S 776, [Thomas] LeRoy Collins, Correspondence; and Series S 756 [Cecil] Farris Bryant, Correspondence.

Florida Governor's Commission on the Status of Women.
Records, 1974-1985, 18 cubic feet
S 79

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the Commission on the Status of Women, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, resulting in recommendations that each state establish such a commission. Governor Farris Bryant's 1964 Executive Order established Florida's first Commission on the Status of Women, charged with identifying and increasing public awareness of the needs and concerns of Florida women. However, it was in 1972 that the Florida Governor's Commission on the Status of Women was activated by Governor Askew. The 1974 legislature granted funding to establish an office and pay a full-time Executive Director who was a member of the governor's staff. The commission was involved with such projects as ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, International Women's Year (1975), Talent Bank (source referral for employment/appointment of women to high level positions) and the establishment of local commissions to aid women throughout the state.

This series includes files pertaining to such subjects as minority business development, urban leagues, civil rights, and the League of Women Voters whose membership includes black women.


Territorial and State Governors: 1820-1929
(Record Group 101)

This record group contains the records of the governors from Florida's admission to the United States as a territory in 1821 through the Martin administration (1925-1929).

Scattered throughout the various series of records that comprise this record group is correspondence pertaining to African Americans. Some subjects that may be found in the listed collection include "Slaves and Free Negroes," and "Slavery."

Territorial and State Governors Letterbooks, 1836-1909, 83 volumes
S 32

Bound letterpress volumes of the outgoing correspondence of Governors Richard Keith Call, Robert Raymond Reid, John Branch, William Dunn Moseley, Thomas Brown, James Emilius Broome, John Milton, Abraham Kurkindolle Allison, Ossian Bingley Hart, Marcellus Lovejoy Stearns, George Franklin Drew, William Dunnington Bloxham, Edward Alysworth Perry, Francis Philip Fleming, Henry Laurens Mitchell, William Sherman Jennings, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, and Albert Waller Gilchrist.

Territorial Governors Correspondence, 1820-1845, 1.75 cubic foot
S 177

Incoming correspondence of territorial Governors William Pope Duval (1822-1834), John Henry Eaton (1834-1835), Richard Keith Call (1835-1840; 1841-1844), Robert Raymond Reid (1840-1841), and John Branch (1844-1845). Includes a file pertaining to "Slaves and Free Negroes."

State Governors Incoming Correspondence, 1857-1888, 3 cubic feet
S 577

Incoming correspondence of governors and acting Governors Madison Starke Perry (1857-1861), John Milton (1861-1865), David Shelby Walker (1865-1868), Harrison Reed (1868-1873), William H. Gleason (1868), Samuel T. Day (1868), Ossian Bingley Hart (1873-1874), Marcellus Lovejoy Sterns (1874-1877), George Franklin Drew (1877-1881), William Dunnington Bloxham (1881-1885), Edward Aylsworth Perry (1885-1889). The series contains general correspondence, county appointments and recommendations, and some legislative materials.

State Governors Correspondence, 1909-1925, 2.5 cubic feet
S 613

Correspondence of Governors Albert Waller Gilchrist (1909-1913), Park Trammell (1913-1917), Sidney Johnston Catts (1917-1921), Cary Augustus Hardee (1921-1925), and John Wellborn Martin (1925-1929). The files of Gilchrist, Trammell, and Catts mainly contain appointments and related correspondence.

William Dunn Moseley.
Correspondence, 1845-1849, 1 cubic foot
S 679

William Dunn Moseley was the first governor elected following Florida's admission into the Union, serving from 1845 to 1849. Included are legislative correspondence, appointments, recommendations, commutations, and pardons.

Thomas Brown.
Correspondence, 1849-1853, 1.25 cubic feet
S 755

Thomas Brown was Florida's second governor, serving from 1849 to 1853. The series consists of appointments, pardons, correspondence, and other related materials including information on internal improvements, Indian affairs, military affairs, and slavery.

James Emilius Broome.
Correspondence, 1853-1857, 1.25 cubic feet
S 777

James Emilius Broome was governor from 1853 to 1857. The series contains correspondence and other materials pertaining to Indian affairs, legislative matters, military affairs, internal improvements, slavery, and appointments.


Governors: 1929-1971
(Record Group 102)

The record group contains the administrative correspondence and other files of Florida's governors from 1929-1971. The records follow those of Record Group 101, Territorial and State Governors, 1820-1929.

The letters cover a wide range of topics related to black history. Information on Florida A&M University and Bethune Cookman College is available. There are filed "Lynchings," "Freedom T rain," "Labor problems," "Civilian Conservation Corps Black Enrollee Camps," "Ku Klux Klan," "Negroes," "Civil Rights," "NAACP," "Desegregation," "Integration," "Race relations," "Inventions," "Busing," "Minority Education," "Affirmative Action," "Black Education," "Equal Employment Opportunity," "CETA," "Community Action Migrant Programs," "Minority Business Development," and the "Black Caucus." Following are descriptions for each governor's administration with examples of relevant records.

Doyle Elam Carlton.
Correspondence, 1929-1933, 46.25 cubic feet
S 204

Doyle Elam Carlton served as Florida's twenty-fifth governor during one of the most critical peacetime periods in Florida's history. The state was faced with severe financial problems as a result of the Great Depression and Florida's dismal economy. Florida A&M University, lynching, and the cotton industry are among the subjects covered in these records. Other general subjects include agriculture and convict labor.

David Sholtz.
Correspondence, 1933-1937, 60.25 cubic feet
S 278

Administrative correspondence of Governor David Sholtz, twenty-sixth governor, reflects the effects of the Great Depression on Florida and the governor's determination to alleviate the state's economic crisis. The series demonstrates the governor's role as intermediary between the federal government New Deal programs and state and local participation. Pertinent subjects concerning black history include: activities of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) relating to racial violence in the state; black enrollee camps of the Civilian Conservation Corps; Bethune-Cookman College, and Florida A&M University.

Fredrick Preston Cone.
Correspondence, 1937-1941, 50.25 cubic feet
S 368

Administrative correspondence of Governor Fredrick Preston Cone, twenty-seventh governor, documents subjects such as Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College, lynching, and Ku Klux Klan activities in Dade and Hillsborough counties. There is also a photograph of black school children in Dade County.

Spessard Lindsay Holland.
Correspondence, 1941-1945, 60.5 cubic feet
S 406

Administrative correspondence of Governor Spessard Lindsey Holland, twenty-eighth governor, documents subjects including Florida A&M University, lynchings, labor problems, and the State Welfare Board.

Millard Fillmore Caldwell.
Correspondence, 1945-1949, 41.75 cubic feet
S 576

Administrative correspondence of Governor Millard Fillmore Caldwell, twenty-ninth governor, provides information on Florida A&M University, lynchings, and the Freedom Train.

Fuller Warren.
Correspondence, 1949-1953, 52.5 cubic feet
S 235

Administrative correspondence of Fuller Warren, thirtieth governor, covers subjects such as racial violence and bombings in Dade County, FloridaA&MUniversity, and lynchings.

Daniel Thomas McCarty and Acting Governor Charley Eugene Johns.
Correspondence, 1953-1955, 23.5 cubic feet
S 569

Governor McCarty suffered a disabling heart attack soon after taking the oath of office in January 1953. Until his death in September 1953, his official activities were limited. Senate President Charley Johns then served as governor until the inauguration of LeRoy Collins.

Official correspondence of Governors McCarty and Johns covers subjects such as civil rights and Florida A&M University.

[Thomas] LeRoy Collins.
Correspondence, 1955-1961, 74.5 cubic feet
S 776

Thomas LeRoy Collins was the thirty-third governor and the first to serve two consecutive terms. In addition to his activities as governor, Collins was also active nationally. He was considered for the 1960 Democratic vice-presidential nomination and served as chairperson of the Southern Governors' Conference, the National Governors Conference, and the Democratic National Convention in 1960. In 1959, Collins led a delegation of governors to the Soviet Union.

Collins' work in the improvement of race relations is well documented. It was during his administration that the Advisory Commission on Race Relations was created. Several files labeled "Advisory Commission on Race Relations" detail the activities of the Commission. Files labeled "Race Relations" include letters to the governor from such persons and organizations as Roy C. Wilkins, Executive Director of the NAACP; Reverend C.K. Steele, Tallahassee civil rights activist and member of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC); the Southern Regional Council; the Congress of Racial Equality; the National Baptist Convention; and the Commission on Race Relations.

Documentation on the landmark case "Virgil D. Hawkins v. the Board of Control and R.S. Johnson, Registrar of the University of Florida. Re: refusal to admit the plaintiff to the February 1, 1958 term of the College of Law solely because of race and color" is available (the State Archives also holds the Florida Supreme Court case file for this case). A file entitled "Leon County Incident" contains letters demanding justice prevail in the case of a mass rape of an African American student. An additional file entitled "Special Investigation file Lake County 12.0pt;" documents the case of children denied admittance to a white school because they looked black.

Other general files pertaining to black history are those labeled "Commission on Civil Rights," "Ku Klux Klan," "Migrant labor," "Florida A&M University," and "Segregation."

[Cecil] Farris Bryant.
Correspondence, 1961-1965, 77.75 cubic feet
S 756

Cecil Farris Bryant, was Florida's thirty-fourth governor. During his campaign, Bryant had advocated segregationist views, yet he still avoided a major crisis at the height of the Civil Rights movement. The closest Florida came to crisis was March 1964 when demonstrations broke out in St. Augustine as a result of a movement to desegregate motels and restaurants.

Information specifically concerning the black experience during Bryant's administration is found in the files labeled "Civil Rights," "Race Relations," "Race Relations Barnett Commission," " St. Augustine," and in documentation relating to legal matters and to St. Johns County, 1964.

[William] Haydon Burns.
Correspondence, 1965-1967, 34 cubic feet
S 131

The term of William Haydon Burns, thirty-fifth governor, was shortened due to a change in election cycles. During his two-year term, Burns was primarily involved in the areas of education, reapportionment, and highways. He appointed Clifton Dyson, an African American man from West Palm Beach, to the Board of Regents.

Civil Rights, race relations and Florida A&M University are among the subjects pertaining to black history which are documented in Burns' correspondence.

Claude Roy Kirk, Jr.
Correspondence, 1967-1971, 65 cubic feet
S 923

Claude Roy Kirk, Jr., thirty-sixth governor, was the first Republican elected to the office of governor since 1872. In April 1970, when the United States Supreme Court ordered the busing of Manatee County school children, Kirk ordered the district to disregard the orders and then suspended the orders twice in the ensuing battle that ended with Kirk relenting and allowing busing to begin.

Other subjects specifically related to the black experience are civil rights; minority education; race relations; the "Jacksonville Racial Situation;" school disturbances; Palm Beach County Sheriff Department; "EducationSchool Crisis;" and Florida A&M University.

Claude Roy Kirk, Jr.
Legal Files, 1967-1971, 9 cubic feet
S 926

This series consists of transcripts of hearings, reference notes, published reports, meeting agendas and minutes, investigative reports, and correspondence documenting the legal activities of the Kirk administration in many areas, including school integration and forced busing.


Governor Reubin O'Donovan Askew: 1971-1979
(Record Group 103)

Reubin O'Donovan Askew was the thirty-seventh governor of Florida, serving from January 5, 1971 to January 2, 1979. He served in the state House and Senate before being elected governor in 1970, defeating incumbent Claude Kirk. Askew was reelected in 1974, becoming the first governor in state history to be elected for a second successive full term.

Askew was primarily involved in tax reform, especially in the increase of homestead exemption, and passage of the "Sunshine Amendment" which called for full financial disclosure by public officials and candidates. Askew named the first woman to the Cabinet (interim Secretary of State Dorothy W. Glisson, 1974); the first African American justice of the state Supreme Court, Joseph W. Hatchett; the first African American Secretary of State in one hundred years, Jesse McCrary; and a African American woman, Athalie Range, to the post of Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs making her the first African American to serve in the "Little Cabinet."

Interspersed throughout the various series are records relating to the following subjects: affirmative action (S 101, S 126, and S 92); busing (S 70 and S 126); black organizations (S 75 and S 111); civil rights; Community Action Migrant Program; equal employment opportunities (S 75 and S 126); Commission on the Status of Women (S 79); minority education (S 126); and minority business development and the NAACP (S 92).

The following files may also contain useful information on African Americans: appointments (S 136, S 138, S 143); Education Coordinator College and University Files (S 127); Education Coordinator County School Board Files (S 128); Executive Clemency Meeting Files (S 96); Legislative Affairs Subject Files, which include a significant amount of material on housing (S 78); Speech Files (S 65); Press Recordings and News Conference Transcripts (S 66); Proclamations and Executive Orders (S 13, Dept. of State, Division of Elections); Executive Orders and Proclamations (S 509, Governor's Office); and Press Section Subject Files (S 849).

Special Assistant T.J. Rose Subject Files, 1977-1978, 2.5 cubic feet
S 681

Rose was Special Assistant to Governor Askew in the area of human relations. The files contain correspondence and reference materials pertaining to black appointments and organizations, the Department of Commerce, economic development, worker's compensation, and the Florida Commission on Human Relations.


Governor [Daniel] Robert Graham
(Record Group 104)

Daniel Robert "Bob" Graham was the thirty-eighth governor of Florida, serving from January 2, 1979 to January 3, 1987. During his administration, Governor Graham appointed the first African American woman to serve a judgeship in Florida. In December 1981, Leah Alice Simms became county judge for Dade County.

Records pertaining to black history include those related to affirmative action (S 639); CETA (S 656); Dade County/ Miami riots (S 889); and the Legislative Black Caucus and minority issues (S 882). Other series which may provide additional information are: Press Secretary Subject Files (S 172); Speech Files (S 930), and various legal records including prosecution files (S 884).

Issue Correspondence, 1979-1984, 35.75 cubic feet
S 850

The series contains incoming correspondence pertaining to major issues faced by the Graham administration, such as the Miami riots (McDuffy case). The records originated in the governor's Legal and Legislative Affairs offices and the Commission on the Status of Women.

Subject Files Relating to the Miami Riots, 1966-1969, 1980-1981,
2 cubic feet
S 889

The series contains materials on the Miami Riots of 1968 and 1980-81 including petitions, reports, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

Office of Minority Affairs Administrative Files, 1979-1986, 6 cubic feet
S 1458

The role of the Office of Minority Affairs was to insure minority access to and participation in state government. The records include correspondence, memoranda, subject files, reports, and photographs. Topics include affirmative action programs and assistance to minority and small enterprises.


Board of Commissioners of State Institutions
(Record Group 145)

The Board of Commissioners of State Institutions was created in 1868 (Article V, Section 20, 1868 Constitution). The Board controlled the construction of public buildings, in addition to other state institutions. The Board was abolished in 1969 with its functions passing to various departments of the reorganized Executive Department (Ch. 69-106, Laws).

Division of Construction.
State Institution Blueprints, 1937-1974, 19 cubic feet
S 95

Restricted: Any building plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, or diagrams of government facilities or structures in this series are exempt from public disclosure as per Florida Statutes Chapter 119.07 (Chapter 2002-67, Laws of Florida, HB 735, 2002).

The Division of Construction supervised the construction of all public buildings and state institutions under the administration of the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions. The series contains blueprints of various state office buildings and state institutions, including those for the State University System, such as Florida A&M University's plans for renovations and additions to Lee Hall.


Department of State
(Record Group 150)

The Department of State was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws). The Secretary of State is the head of the Department of State. The Secretary of State keeps records of all official acts of the legislature and the Executive Department. The Secretary and the Department administer elections, public records, the Great Seal, and the Administrative Code; issue charters to corporations; license public agencies (private detectives, security guards, charitable and consumer protection organizations); and manage the state's library services, archives, cultural affairs, museum, and historic resources. The Secretary is the Chief Cultural Officer and the Chief Protocol Officer of the State.

Secretary of State Correspondence, 1971-1980, 34.5 cubic feet
S 180

The series consists of general correspondence, reports, and memos that document the work of the Department of State under Secretaries Richard Stone (1969-1974), Bruce Smathers (1975-1978), Jesse McCrary (1978-1979), and George Firestone (1979-1987). Jesse McCrary was appointed as Florida's second African American Secretary of State.

Secretary of State Tom Adams Press Files, 1961-1970, 12 cubic feet
S 697

This series consists of subject files containing speeches, addresses, press releases, newspaper clippings, correspondence, memoranda, reports, photographs, films, and audio tapes. Files on civil rights, Negro employment, race relations, and student demonstrations contain materials of particular interest.

Secretary of State Tom Adams Subject Files, 1961-1970, 39 cubic feet
S 501

Cabinet agendas and minutes including correspondence, memoranda, reports, statements, bills, and other legal and legislative materials. Subjects specifically related to the black experience include the Civil Rights Act, the Bi-racial Committee, racial unrest, the Voting Rights Act, and Florida A&M University Hospital.


Office of the Secretary of State
(Record Group 151)

The post of Secretary of State was created in the 1838 Constitution (Article III, Section 14, 1838 Constitution; Article IV, Section 21, 1885 Constitution; Article IV, Section 4(b), 1968 Constitution; Ch. 15 FS). The Secretary of State was the successor to the Secretary of the Territory. The Office of Secretary of State was created in 1845 to maintain the state's public records. In 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws), the Office of Secretary of State became part of the Department of State.

Election Returns by County, 1824-1926, 26.50 cubic feet, 10 microfilm reels (35 mm.)
S 21

The records contain the returns of national, state, county, and military elections. Included are some poll books, voter registration lists, and sample ballots. The elections are for county offices (sheriffs, justice of the peace, tax collector), state offices (governor, state legislators), national offices (President, congressional representatives), and officers for local or home guard units during Seminole wars, the Civil War, and other wars. Also included are returns on referendum votes on laws.

These returns also document the vote counts for African Americans elected to national, state, and county offices. For example, Josiah T. Walls, Florida's first African American Congressman, was three times elected to the United States House of Representatives and twice unseated. In addition he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1868 and to the Florida Senate in 1869. In 1968 Joe Lang Kershaw of Dade County became the first African American elected to the Florida Legislature since 1889. Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry became the first African American woman to serve in the legislature when she was elected from Dade County in 1970.

Voter Registration Rolls for 1868, 1868, 7 cubic feet, 2 microfilm reels
S 98

Congress passed an act on March 23, 1867, calling for a registration of qualified voters. A qualified voter had to be male, twenty-one years of age, and a resident of the county, and had to take an oath of allegiance to the United States government. This was the first time that African Americans were allowed to register to vote. Most volumes in this series list voter's name, race, time of residence in county and state, native (of what state), naturalization (when, where, and how), and date of registration.

Superintendent of Registration Ossian B. Hart Correspondence, 1867,
.25 cubic foot
S 626

The Supplemental Reconstruction Act of March 23, 1867 was passed by Congress, directing the federal military commanders in the South to begin the registration of voters, election of delegates, assembling of conventions, and adoptions of state constitutions. Ossian B. Hart of Jacksonville was appointed Superintendent of Registration for Florida on June 13. He appointed boards of registration from each county to register qualified voters. In the selection of registers, the counties were encouraged to recommend an African American among the registrants.

The series contains correspondence to Superintendent Hart regarding the selection of the registers, instructions from the headquarters in Atlanta, and several lists of County Supervisors of Elections.

Secretary of the Territory and Secretary of State Letterbooks, 1830-1865, 1889-1905, 1922-1926,
22 volumes
S 24

Correspondence concerns all aspects of the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of State, with a small amount from the Secretary of Territory. Included in this series is the official correspondence of Jonathan C. Gibbs, the first African American Secretary of State from 1868-1873.


Division of Archives, History, and Records Management
(Record Group 154)

The Division of Archives, History, and Records Management was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws), combining the functions of the Public Records Screening Board and the Florida Board of Archives and History. The Division was primarily concerned with the management of documents, properties, and manuscripts having archival, historical, archaeological, or current record value. In 1986, the sections of the Division concerned with records became the Bureau of Archives and Records Management under the Division of Library and Information Services, and the sections concerned with the management of historic sites, properties, and museums became the Division of Historical Resources (Ch. 86-163, Laws).

Black Archives Conference Proceedings, June 1974, 2 audio cassette tapes
S 538

The Division of Archives, History, and Records Management and Florida International University cosponsored a conference on archives held in Miami in June 1974. The archives conference was called by Secretary of State Dick Stone to assure the people of Florida of all segments, persuasions, and special interests that records of their lives and achievements would be collected, preserved, and made available for future generations.

This series consists of two cassette recordings of the Black Archives Conference. Featured speakers included Secretary of State Dick Stone; Bobbi Hardwick, Florida International University; Dr. Harold Pinkett, National Archives; Nicholas E. Gaymon, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; Leroy Thompson, Florida Memorial College; and State Representative Gwendolyn Cherry. No transcripts are available.


Division of Elections
(Record Group 156)

The Division of Elections was created as part of the Department of State in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws). Prior to 1969, election records were maintained by the Office of Secretary of State. The Division administers all elections (primary, special, and general); publishes and maintains the Florida Administrative Code; and serves as the official records custodian of oaths and bonds, county ordinances, municipal charters and annexations, proclamations, extraditions, executive orders, and the official laws of Florida.

Proclamations and Executive Orders, 1845-1995, 38 volumes and 4.50 cubic feet
S 13

This series consists of proclamations and executive orders issued by the governor announcing special events, special legislative sessions, and special elections. The earlier volumes contain additional records, including articles of incorporation, election canvass returns, indentures, mortgage and deed statements, and extraditions. Proclamations honoring and recognizing African American individuals and organizations are included in this series.


Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs
(Record Group 158)

The Florida Folk Life Program was charged to "identify, research, and develop Florida folk artists, performers, folklore, traditions, customs, and cultural heritage and make folk art resources, festivals, and folk life projects available throughout the state."

Known as the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs from ca. 1985 until a 1995 reorganization, the bureau operated under the Division of Historical Resources, coordinating the annual Florida Folk Festival and directing such programs as Folk Arts Apprenticeships, Folk Arts in Education, Folk Heritage awards, and numerous research and collecting projects and programs. Part of the bureau was the Florida Folklife Archive, originally established in 1976 and maintained by the bureau as a depository for field notes and research findings of the folklife program and for the folklife collection of other researchers. Since 1995, the Florida Folklife Program has operated within the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources in Tallahassee and continues most of the same programs as the Bureau.

Descriptions of many of the audio recordings (interviews, music performance, storytelling) and photographs from the collection involving African Americans can be found on the Florida Folklife Collection page.


Florida Folklife Archive.
WPA Federal Writers Project Florida 12.0pt; Folklore Files, 1935-1943,
1.50 cubic feet
S 1583

The Federal Writers' Project, under the Works Progress Administration, was inaugurated September 28, 1935. One goal of the project was the publication of the "American Guide Series" of guidebooks on each state, with the collection of folk customs and lore as an integral aspect of the project.

This series consists of copies of research gathered in the 1930s and 1940s by the Federal Writers' Project of Florida. The materials are transcripts and edited copies of interviews and field notes and document a broad range of folklife subjects from Florida's Cracker, Afro-American, Cuban, Seminole, Minorcan, and other ethnic cultures. Topics include beliefs and customs, folk tales and stories, dialects and jargon, agricultural lore, occupational lore, proverbs, songs, rhymes, cowboy and prison lore, and superstitions. Of special interest are the narratives of former slaves.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Stetson Kennedy Florida Folklife Collection, 1935-1991, 7.25 cubic feet
S 1585

Terms Governing Use: To preserve the originals, patrons will use the photocopies of the WPA subject files (boxes 1-2 in lieu of boxes 3-5).

Stetson Kennedy spent most of his life studying the people of Florida, their lives, and their environment. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on October 5, 1916. Between 1937 and 1942 he headed the Florida Writers' Project unit on folklore, oral history, and social-ethnic studies. He traveled throughout the state to capture the traditions, songs, tales, and anecdotes of the people of Florida. In 1950 he ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate for the United States Senate from Florida on the platform of "Total Equality." Kennedy was a founding member of the Florida Folklore Society and its president in 1989. He has written and published many books on Florida and Southern culture, including Palmetto Country and Jim Crow Guide. He has received many awards such as the Negro Freedom Rally People's Award in 1947, the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1988, and the Cavallo Foundation Award for civic courage in 1991.

This series consists of originals and copies of materials related to Florida folklife created and/or maintained by Stetson Kennedy. The series includes WPA subject files, WPA school readers, manuscripts, and general subject files. The series includes both copies and originals of the WPA subject files obtained by Stetson Kennedy when the Federal Writers' Project folded in 1943. These files include interview transcripts and other field notes of WPA writers. It appears that Stetson Kennedy added related materials, such as newspaper clippings and additional research, to the files over the years. The files document the folk tales, songs, and art of many different ethnic and cultural groups found in Florida (Greek, African American, Bahaman, Latin American, Minorcan, Cracker).

The WPA school readers are articles prepared by Stetson Kennedy and others on the Federal Writer's Project staff in conjunction with the State Department of Education for use in schools. Subject matter includes Florida history, ecology, ethnic groups, and other topics of Floridiana.

This series also includes several manuscripts prepared by Stetson Kennedy and/or WPA writers (including Zora Neale Hurston) on various Florida-related topics. Some, such as the St. Augustine Guide and "Palmetto Country," were published; others, such as "Good Neighbors Across the Tracks" (about the Latin population of Key West and Tampa), and "History of the Negro in Florida," never were.

The general subject files contained in this series are similar in nature to the WPA subject files. That is, they cover a wide variety of Florida folklife topics and ethnic groups. They consist of newspaper clippings, articles, bibliographies, research notes, photographs, etc.

For related materials, see also series S 1583, WPA Federal Writers' Project Florida Folklore Files, and S 1584, Stetson Kennedy Donation Records.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Video Recordings of Florida Folklife Events, Programs, and Television Broadcasts, 1948-1995, 393 films and videotapes
S 1615

This series consists of motion picture films and video tape cassette recordings of performances by, interviews with, or documentaries about folk musicians, craftspersons, storytellers, folklife interpreters, and various aspects of folklife and folklore in Florida, including African American traditions. Many of the recordings document performances by national and local folk personalities at the annual Florida Folk Festival from 1952 to 1995. Other recordings, including documentaries and other shows produced for broadcast television, document other folk festivals and events, folk personalities and traditions, and programs carried out by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs, such as Folk Arts in Education activities. Together, the recordings document such areas as children's lore, foodways, religious traditions, maritime traditions, ethnic folk culture, material culture, and occupational lore.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Florida Folk Festival Fieldwork and Program Planning and Documentation Files, 1983-1995, 1998, 1999, 6 cubic feet
S 1664

This series contains the records compiled by Folklife Bureau staff in researching and planning for the annual Florida Folk Festival, particularly the folklife areas that provide a different theme for each year's Folk Festival. Photographs, slides, audio tapes, field notes, informant information sheets, and one video tape document fieldwork carried out by Bureau staff, including identifying, contacting, and interviewing informants and inviting selected informants to participate as demonstrators or performers at the Folk Festival. The series also includes proposals for and overviews of folklife area themes; photographs and slides of events at the Folk Festivals; and drafts of text and proposed photographic illustrations for the program books distributed at each Folk Festival.

Folklife themes documented in this series included ethnic celebrations such as the Jewish observance of Purim, Greek Epiphany, and Caribbean Carnival; African American and Anglo-Celtic-American traditions in Florida; the folklife of transportation, including customs, music, and crafts associated with saddlemaking, boat building, wheel making, and laying of railroad tracks; and the folklife of Central Florida.

The seventy nine audiotapes in this series document informant interviews with or musical performances by informants gathered during fieldwork or in performance at the Florida Folk Festival.

Series S1612, Florida Folk Festival Planning and Publicity Records, contains related records regarding Folk Festival planning.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Folklife Workshops Planning and Documentation Files, 1986-1995,
0.4 cubic foot
S 1679

This series contains records generated during the course of planning Bureau-sponsored workshops in various folk arts and folklife topics. Workshop proposals, research notes, budget estimates, and publicity and registration materials document plans for workshops in such folk arts as traditional fiddle music and dance, leather whip braiding, white oak basketry, Seminole basketry and patchwork, and duck decoy carving. In addition, summary information and final student project videos exist for "Documenting Your Community Traditions: African American Community Heritage Documentation Workshop" (1995).

Florida Folklife Archive.
Duval County Gospel Music Recordings, n.d., 11 items
S 1693

These tapes, copied from the originals in the collection of Rev. Robert Brown of Jacksonville, Florida, contain recordings of gospel music radio programs, group rehearsals, and sermons. Most of the recordings were of the Mt. Ararot Baptist Church.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Golden Gospel-Afro American Roots Grant Records, 1985,.25 cubic foot
S 1697

The Triumphant Gospel Singers Association of Jacksonville, Florida applied for this grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to produce a concert focusing on Afro-American acapella gospel quartet music and Negro spirituals. The concert was a memorial to Otis Jackson, a gospel song composer, singer, promoter and radio announcer. This series contains a copy of the grant, correspondence, site evaluation and copies of the gospel concert programs. The programs contain biographies of a number of gospel quartets and groups.

Florida Folklife Archive.
"Drop On Down In Florida" grant project records, 1979-1981,
0.25 cubic foot
S 1702

The "Drop On Down in Florida: Recent Field Recordings of Afro-American Traditional Music" record album grant project began in 1979. The major goal of the project was to investigate and promote one aspect of Florida's diverse folk culture, its traditional African American music. The music was recorded by Peggy Bulger, Florida Folk Arts Programs, Brenda McCallum, Stephen McCallum, and Dwight DeVane. The project was completed in 1980 and the album was released in 1981. This series contains copies of the grant and the booklet from the "Drop On Down" record album grant project. The booklet discusses the background of performers and the types of music included on the record album.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Little Galilee Baptist Church Gospel Music Fieldnotes, Audio Cassettes, Negatives, and Tape Logs, 1988, 0.5 cubic foot
S 1703

This series contains materials documenting African American gospel music from the Little Galileo Baptist Church in Mayo, Florida. It includes two audio cassettes of gospel music and spirituals recorded at the church. It also contains the tape logs, which lists the performers and songs, and the photo/slide log, which lists the subjects of the photos or slides on the contact sheets.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Traditional Sweetgrass Basket Making and Ukrainian Egg Decorating Workshops Records and Slides, 1988-1989, 0.25 cubic foot
S 1705

This series contains the registrations, correspondence, slides, photographs, news releases, and biographies of teachers of both the Sweetgrass Basket Making Workshop and the Ukrainian Egg Decorating Workshop held at the Stephen Foster Memorial in 1989. Also included are copies of the information pamphlet and poster. The sweetgrass basket making class was taught by Margaret Garrison of Jacksonville, Florida.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Guy Miles Interview Files and Recordings, 1962-1993, 10 cubic feet,
1,625 items
S 1709

Restrictions: Because of their fragile condition, access to the original reel-to-reel tapes #1-727 is closed; researchers should consult the digital files in WAV format, available in the Search Room.

Guy Miles was a professor of English at the University of Florida from 1957 to 1972 and was an authority on southern folklife. He was born in Dresden, Tennessee in 1908 and served in the Air Force during World War II. In 1959, he and his wife Faye bought a farm in Evinston, a small community about fifteen miles south of Gainesville, near Cross Creek, and Guy became a cattle rancher. In 1967, one of their neighbors in Evinston, an elderly black woman named Eliza Washington, asked Guy to set down what she wanted the community to know about her when she died. Guy recorded her "Talk" and later used her words at her funeral service. This meeting with Miss Liza spurred his interest in inquiring into the nature of "talk." Subsequently, Guy and several of his students started recording the "talk" of local people, launching a project that was to last twenty years and generate over 700 reel-to-reel tapes.

Miles was interested in recording the folklife of people through their own telling of their experiences, in the way people really said it. He recorded several main "talkers" from 1967 to 1987, providing a wealth of information on the country life of the area past and present, and relating the values, beliefs, and world view of the community through individual expression.

The Miles Collection consists of reel-to-reel and cassette tapes of interviews with "talkers," transcripts of some of these tapes, administrative files, correspondence, and diaries documenting Guy Miles' efforts to record the authentic "talk" of local individuals and his other activities in the 25 years preceding his death. The collection includes several tape indexes created by Guy Miles or his students and by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs.

The collection includes almost 700 reel-to-reel tapes of "talkers" recorded from 1967 through 1988. The tapes were recorded on both sides and all four tracks, so that one tape might have four talkers, each recorded on a separate track. The collection also includes several indexes to these tapes: a numerical index listing 717 tapes indicates who is recorded and where on the tape they are recorded; a chronological index lists all of the tapes by date recorded; and an alphabetical name index lists all of the talkers (by first or last name) and the tapes on which they are recorded.

"Talkers" files contain transcripts of some reel-to-reel tapes prepared by Guy Miles and audio tape logs prepared by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs after acquiring the collection in 1988. "From the Log" files contain Guy Miles' typed narratives of day-to-day events in his life from 1962 to 1988, the year of his death. A published book entitled "From the Ranch Log," containing excerpts from these narratives, is included in the collection (see container list).

There are also over 600 cassette tape copies of some of the reel-to-reel tapes, produced by the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs to preserve the information on the deteriorating original recordings. Finally, there are digital copies in WAV format of reel-to-reel tapes numbered 1-727, produced by the Archives to prevent use of the fragile originals.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Callahan Folk Arts Outreach Project Tapes and Photographs, 1993,
0.1 cubic foot
S 1711

This series contains audio cassette and digital audio tapes and photographs generated by fieldwork undertaken to document the folklife of the Callahan neighborhood of Orlando, Florida. Results of the fieldwork were incorporated into the "Folklife Of Central Florida" folklife theme area at the 1994 Florida Folk Festival. The tapes and photographs document African American hymn lining and blues, folk tales, and children's games. 

Florida Folklife Archive.
"Women's Contributions" Seminar Audio Tapes and Logs, 1989,
0.33 cubic foot
S 1712

Terms Governing Use: Camilla Collins tapes may not be used for publication, distribution, or quotation, as per informant depositor agreement between Collins and the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs.

This series contains fourteen audio cassette tapes and supporting materials documenting presentations at a Florida Endowment for the Humanities seminar, "Folk Culture in the South: Women's Contributions," held September 29, 1989 at the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History. The seminar featured presentations by Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs staff and area specialists in discussing the study of folk culture; folk traditions in Florida; women's occupational culture and lore; and the folk culture and lore of Hispanic, Jewish, and African American women, including customs, beliefs, family and social relations, folk tales and jokes, and musical traditions and styles. The seminar ended with a discussion with and performance by the Versateers, an African American quartet-style gospel group. In addition to the tapes, the series includes tape logs providing the names of the presenters and the topics discussed on each tape.

Florida Folklife Archive.
St. Johns River Survey Fieldwork Files and Tapes, 1982-1985, 2.5 cubic foot (including 73 audio cassettes and 39 reel-to-reel tapes)
S 1714

In winter 1985, the Bureau contracted with two folklorists to conduct a folk arts survey of the St. Johns River basin in northeastern Florida. The St. Johns River is the largest and most used river in Florida, supporting much river commerce as well as a modest amount of commercial fishing. Documentation compiled in the survey was used to prepare and present the "St. Johns River Basin Folklife Area" at the 1985 Florida Folk Festival.

This series consists of files and audio tapes generated by fieldwork undertaken to document the folklife of the communities surrounding Florida's St. Johns River. Commercial fishing traditions and the Mexican-American and African American communities received significant attention in the survey. The series includes informant information sheets providing name and location of informants and their area(s) of knowledge or skills; fieldnotes providing additional information on informants or on subjects discussed by them; and tape logs listing and describing each performance or subject of discussion on audio tapes of informant interviews, performances, or events.

Among subjects discussed in the records are the dance, music, religion, and foodways of Mexican Americans; music and religion of African Americans; and life and culture among these and other populations along the river, including fern growning; fishing, netting, and trapping; music, including bluegrass, old time gospel, quartet-style gospel, white gospel, country gospel, bluegrass gospel, and blues; crafts and skills such as woodworking, quilting, and boatmaking; cattle ranching; and religion and revivalism.

Florida Folklife Archive.
Versiteers Award Ceremony Tapes and Photographs, 1992,
0.1 cubic foot (including three audio cassette tapes)
S 1723

This series consists of audio cassette tapes, photographs, and supporting materials documenting a local ceremony held August 21, 1992 in Jacksonville, Florida honoring the Versiteers, a female gospel quartet group and 1992 Florida Folk Heritage Award winners. The ceremony consisted largely of a service at St. James AME Church, including prayers, readings, and songs by various clergy and gospel singers and groups, as well as remarks by Florida Folklife Council member Yvonne Tucker and Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs staff member Robert Shanafelt.

The series contains three audio cassette tapes of the ceremony; 35mm black and white negative strips and contact sheet depicting events at the ceremony; a tape index summarizing the contents of each audio tape and therefore serving as an outline of the events of the ceremony; and a signed release form depositing the materials in the Florida Folklife Archive.

Civil War Recollection of S. M. Hankins, 1861-1865, 0.1 cubic foot
S 1725

This series consists of a thirty-five page typescript entitled "My Recollection of the Confederate War," transcribed from the original "pencilled in longhand in an old account ledger." There is no indication of when the transcript was made or how it came to be interfiled with miscellaneous administrative files of the Bureau of Florida Folklife Programs.

The recollection were written by Confederate veteran S. M. Hankins, and begin with Florida's secession in 1861, when Hankins was 14 years old. They recall Floridians' initial reactions to the threat of war; the raising of military units; the death of a cousin resulting from combat wounds and imprisonment; the imprisonment of women and children and the burning of their homes if their husbands, fathers, or brothers were suspected of deserting; the shooting of deserters; the wartime treatment of African Americans; Hankins' enlistment at age 16; escorting prisoners to Andersonville; the Battle of Natural Bridge; and other wartime events.

Original manuscript retained by Hankins family (last known location).


Adjutant General's Office
(Record Group 172)

The Adjutant General is appointed by the governor and serves as his chief of staff in the governor's role as Commander-in-Chief. In 1973, the name of the office was changed to the Department of Military Affairs, with the Adjutant General head of the department. The Adjutant General controls all Florida units of the National Guard, supervises all arms, troops, branches, and stores of the Guard, and transports and subsists any armed forces required by the state to maintain law and order.

Office of the Adjutant General.
Muster Rolls and Supporting Documents, 1870-1918, 10 cubic feet and 6 microfilm reels (35mm.)
S 1146

This series contains muster rolls and supporting documents of the Florida State Militia, the Florida State Troops, and the Florida National Guard. The muster rolls in this series are the only known surviving listings of the Floridians who served in the State Militia, the State Troops, and the National Guard during this era. This series includes a number of rolls for organizations that were manned and officered by African Americans.


State Comptroller
(Record Group 350)

The post of Comptroller was created in the 1838 Constitution and implemented in 1845. The Comptroller succeeded the Territorial Auditor of Public Accounts and assumed his duties as the state's chief fiscal officer. The Comptroller's Office examined, audited, and settled all accounts, claims, and demands against the state. It supervised banking institutions, sale of securities, and collection of revenue and taxes. The Comptroller wrote warrants for payment against the state treasury and compiled annual reports for the governor and legislature on state expenditures and trust funds.

The duties of the Comptroller's Office were transferred to the Department of Banking and Finance in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws), with the Comptroller serving as the head of the Department. A constitutional amendment effective January 2003 combined the Comptroller with the State Treasurer to create a single chief state financial officer.

Revenue Records, 1841-1906, 1 cubic foot and 3 volumes
S 556

The series contains different types of revenue records maintained by the Comptroller's Office documenting the various duties of the Comptroller as collector of revenues. One volume contains the tax records for the freedman common school fund, 1866-1868, showing the collection of a poll tax from freedmen.

Tax Rolls, 1829-1898, 127 cubic feet and 5 volumes
S 28

The county tax assessor annually prepared a copy of the tax rolls for the Comptroller and the Territorial Auditor. These lists were used for collecting taxes authorized by the legislature.

From 1829 to 1852, only state taxes were entered on the assessment roll. Beginning in 1853, the rolls provided columns for the calculation of both state and county revenue and by 1869, the breakdown also included revenue allocated for county and state school funds. The early tax records document the number of slaves owned. Later, taxes paid by freedmen are listed.

Reproduction Note: Also available on microfilm.


Department of Commerce
(Record Group 360)

The Department of Commerce was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws), merging the Florida Development Commission, the Florida Industrial Commission, the State Apprenticeship Council, and the Florida Nuclear and Space Commission. From 1969 to 1972, the lieutenant governor served as the Secretary of Commerce. The Department promoted the development of the state in the areas of industry, trade, and tourism. In 1996 (Ch. 96-320), the Department of Commerce was abolished. Some of its functions were transferred to the new Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development in the Governor's Office. Other functions were privatized under the new Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corp., which the law directed the Florida Commission on Tourism to create.

Office of the Deputy Secretary.
Subject Files, 1970-1975, 2.5 cubic feet
S 422

Correspondence, reports, memoranda, and minutes of meetings document programs conducted by the department covering subjects such as minority businesses.

Administrative Files, 1972-1977, 13 cubic feet
S 429

This series contains files that reflect the administrative functions of the Office of the Secretary and deal with such subjects as personnel, leasing, minority business, equal employment opportunity, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program (CETA), the Florida A&M University Council of Sponsors, and the interpretation of department policy in response to public inquiries. The files contain correspondence, memoranda, reports, and other materials.


Department of Education
(Record Group 400)

The Department of Education was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws), assuming the responsibilities of the State Department of Education (Ch. 19355, Laws) and its predecessor, the Department of Public Instruction (Ch. 1686, Laws), which since 1869 supervised public education, kindergarten to graduate, in Florida. The department carries out the policies and duties authorized by law or by the State Board of Education and is headed by the Commissioner of Education who is the chief educational officer for the state.

Associate Commissioner Administrative Files, 1956-1971, 16.25 cubic feet
S 253

This series contains the administrative files of the Associate Commissioner of Education from 1956 to 1971. The records include miscellaneous information, such as reports, minutes, surveys, textbook adoption, school desegregation, Civil Rights Acts material, correspondence, and a wide variety of other material.

Division of Instruction
Subject Files, 1932-1945, 1968-1971, 7.75 cubic feet
S 257

Subject files of the Deputy Commissioner who oversaw the administration of various programs and acted as a "trouble-shooter" for the Commissioner include correspondence, memoranda, and other records relating to topics such as curriculum plans, National Youth Administration, National Education Association, Negro high schools, and segregation.

Federal School System Reports, 1925-1970, 0.6 cubic foot
S 1778

This series consists of statistical reports on Florida's public school system compiled by the Florida Department of Education and then submitted to the United States Office of Education. Prior to 1955, there were two set of reports: 1) Combined ("White and Colored" or "White and Negro"), and 2) "Colored" or "Negro." Each set recorded personnel statistics (such as number of administrative officers, supervising officers, teachers and pupils; average daily attendence; and number of schools) and financial statistics (such as income from permanent funds; leases of school lands; salaries of supervisors and teachers; supplies and other expenses; and status of retirement funds). Since 1955, the report was no longer divided by race but recorded the same kinds of information as before. The series also contains federal school report instructions; and correspondence (1936-1954) between officers of the United States Office of Education and officers of the Department of Education concerning the process of the federal school reports.

Florida Public Broadcasting
(Record Group 401)

The Dept. of Education is responsible for the state public broadcasting program system which supports all educational radio and television. Florida's educational television network was begun in 1957 (Ch. 57-312, Laws) by the Florida Educational Television Commission. The Commission consisted of seven members appointed by the governor. The Commission was abolished in 1967 (Ch. 67-569, Laws), and the system was placed under the State Board of Education. In 1969, the Dept. of Education took control of the system (Ch. 69-106, Laws). While the system provides educational programming and other programs of interest, each public broadcasting station in the state is independent and controls its own broadcast content.

Rosewood Claims Bill Hearings Videotapes, 1994, 27 items
S 1564

Restrictions: The videotapes cannot be duplicated without the permission of the legislature. (Public Records Law exemption 119.0115)

These videotapes document hearings held in 1994 on House Bill 591, a claims bill for compensation for survivors and their families of the Rosewood incident of 1923. On New Years Day of that year, a young woman claimed she was assaulted by a African American man who allegedly then fled toward Rosewood, a small, mostly black community about 40 miles west of Gainesville. An angry white mob attacked the community, hanged or shot several residents, and burned all of its buildings to the ground. The governor offered National Guard troops, but local law enforcement officials declined, saying that everything was under control. Despite their assurances, the rampage was allowed to continue for a week, resulting in the deaths of six African Americans and two whites, and the permanent evacuation of all residents of Rosewood.

Witnesses at the hearings included victims and their descendants and experts in areas such as psychology and economics. Testimony described the families who lived in Rosewood, the houses and other buildings in the town, the events of January 1, 1923, and the psychological and economic impact of the events on the victims and their families. Also included in the series are videotapes of proceedings of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in regard to the Rosewood claims bill.

Commissioner of Education
(Record Group 402)

The post of Commissioner of Education was established as the Superintendent of Public Instruction under the 1868 Constitution (Article VII, Section 7; Article IV, Section 25, 1885 Constitution). The Superintendent of Public Instruction became the Commissioner of Education under the 1968 Constitution (Article IV, Section 4(g)). The Commissioner was one of the elected Cabinet posts until a 1998 constitutional amendment, effective January 2003, removed the office from the elective Cabinet and changed the composition of the State Board of Education from the Governor and Cabinet to a board appointed by the Governor.

Dept. of Public Instruction.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Letterbooks, 1869-1870, 1877-1913,
50 volumes
S 244

Outgoing correspondence of the Superintendent of Public Instruction includes correspondence of Jonathan C. Gibbs, the only African American to serve as Superintendent of Public Instruction, spanning 1868-1873. Gibbs' responses to incoming correspondence offer insight into the educational issues of his time.

Dept. of Education.
Commissioner of Education Floyd T. Christian County Education Issues Files, 1966-1974, 9 cubic feet
S 306

This series contains correspondence among Christian, the department, citizens, the county school boards, and county superintendents. Some correspondence concerns integration issues, the 1968 teacher walkout, and other major education issues of the times.

Dept. of Education.
Commissioner of Education Floyd T. Christian Federal Education Programs Files, 1966-1973, 5 cubic feet
S 1129

The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 is among the issues covered in this series. The files also include correspondence, reports, memoranda, studies, and other materials relating to federal education programs such as the National Defense Education Act, the Economic Opportunity Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.


Board of Regents, Office of the Chancellor
(Record Group 441)

The duties of the Executive Director of the Board of Control were transferred to the Chancellor of the Board of Regents in 1965 (Ch. 63-204; Ch. 65-138, Laws). The Chancellor acted as chief administrator of the Board of Regents, which served as Director of the Division of Universities of the Department of Education (Ch. 69-106, Laws). The Chancellor was responsible for the administration of the State University System; advised the Board of all education problems; and supervised statewide studies and mades recommendations for higher education. The State Legislature abolished the Board of Regents in 2001 (Chapter 2001-170, Laws of Florida, SB 1162, Florida Statutes Chapter 229.0072(4)(o) and transferred its functions to the Florida Board of Education, a seven-member board of gubernatorial appointees established the previous year (Chapter 2000-321, HB 2263, Florida Statutes 229.004) to establish educational goals and objectives and, with the Commissioner of Education, to implement educational policies established by the legislature. In 2002, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment re-establishing a Board of Regents to oversee higher education in Florida.

Chancellor Robert B. Mautz Equal Educational Opportunity Files,
1973-1974, 2 cubic feet
S 829

Correspondence, surveys, reports and other materials relate to the Equalizing Educational Opportunity in Higher Education Plan prepared by the Board of Regents to put the State University System in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and with the order of the United States District Court, District of Columbia to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, in Adams v. Weinberger [391 F. Supp. 269 (D.D.C., Mar 14, 1975) (No Civ. 3095-70)].


State University System
Vice Chancellors Offices
(Record Group 442)

The executive staff for the Chancellor and the Board of Regents included an Executive Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and Associate Vice Chancellors. Prior to 1972, the Vice Chancellors were called Assistant Chancellors. Previously, a Business Manager assisted the Executive Director of the Board of Control. The executive staff members served as administrative aides to the Chancellor and were responsible for specific administrative areas, including administration and support; academic programs and affairs; student affairs; and budget and finance. The executive staff was the administrative head of the various offices of the central staff of the State University System, which is part of the Division of Colleges and Universities of the Department of Education.

Office of Student Affairs.
Reference Files, 1972-1978, 18 cubic feet
S 844

Reference files of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs include correspondence, memoranda, travel vouchers, purchase orders, supply orders, minutes of meetings, plans, and studies. Subjects include desegregation plans, Florida State University's Black Student Union, student organizations, etc.


State University System
(Record Group 443)

The State University System of Florida, which is part of the Division of Colleges and Universities under the Florida Board of Education, consists of the current ten state universities and all future universities established by the State of Florida. The institutions are the University of Florida, Gainesville; Florida State University, Tallahassee; Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Tallahassee; University of South Florida, Tampa; Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton; University of West Florida, Pensacola; University of Central Florida, Orlando; Florida International University, Miami; University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers. In 2002, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment re-establishing a Board of Regents to oversee higher education in Florida.

Office of Personnel.
Reference Files, 1970-1980, 31 cubic feet
S 999

This series contains reference files of the Personnel Office of the State University System including correspondence, legal papers, reports, and studies. Some records relate to the American Association of University Professors and United Faculty of Florida. Subjects include lawsuits, grievances, collective bargaining, grants, affirmative action, and equal employment opportunities for minorities and women.

Office of Equal Educational Opportunity Programs.
Title IX University Self Evaluation Reports, 1972-1978, 1 cubic foot
S 1110

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 barred discrimination on the basis of sex in federally assisted education programs and activities. Title IX specifically required that each university complete and submit to the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare a self-evaluation of its policies and practices concerning admission of students, and treatment of students and employees. It also required that policies and practices be modified if they did not meet the specified requirements. The series documents the self-evaluation process required under Title IX and includes reports, correspondence, and memoranda, directions for self-analysis, and documents suggesting remedial action.

Office of Equal Educational Opportunity Programs.
University Visitations Files, 1983-1986, 2 cubic feet
S 1268

The Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Equal Educational Opportunity Programs acted as liaison officer between the Equal Educational Opportunity (EEO) Advisory Committee, the State University System, and the Chancellor. The EEO Advisory Committee consisted of 11 individuals from private industry, education, local government, and organizations active in representing minority groups. It was established by the Board of Regents in 1982 to review the status of affirmative action and equal educational opportunity efforts in the State University System. The members made initial visits to the nine universities during 1983, and revisited some universities in 1984 and 1985.

The series contains the files of Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Equal Education Opportunity Programs, Delores Auzenne, from 1983 to 1986. It consists of correspondence, reports, and materials related to the on-site visits to the (then) nine Florida public universities, the recommendations of the EEO Advisory Committee, and the responses from the universities. The plans and actions taken by each university to enhance affirmative action in employment and educational opportunities for minority students are included.


Florida State University
(Record Group 450)

Florida State University is located in Tallahassee, Florida. The institution was chartered in 1851 and has been state-assisted since 1857. It operated under several different names until 1909, when it became Florida State College for Women. In 1947, the name was changed to Florida State University and the institution was made coeducational. It is part of the State University System, which is part of the Division of Colleges and Universities under the Florida Board of Education.

Office of the President.
Bernard F. Sliger Administrative Files, 1976-1990, 122 cubic feet
S 164

Bernard Francis Sliger served as President of Florida State University from 1977 to 1991. Sliger majored in economics and received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University. He was a faculty member and administrator at Florida State, Michigan State, Louisiana State, and Southern University. Dr. Sliger was Executive Vice President of Florida State University from 1972-1976; Interim President in 1976; and was appointed President in 1977. His administration was marked by the expansion of the engineering curriculum, research activities, and athletics program at Florida State University. After his retirement in 1991, Dr. Sliger was appointed President Emeritus. He served briefly as Interim President again in Fall, 1993.

This series contains correspondence, reports, financial papers, and memoranda documenting Dr. Sliger's interactions with Florida State University administrators and department heads; the Board of Regents; other state universities; committees; organizations; state agencies; and other government bodies. It documents several civil rights issues, including affirmative action, desegregation, discrimination, sex equity, and equal opportunity for minorities.

Office of the President.
Stanley Marshall committee files, 1957-1976, 5 cubic feet
S 1259

J. Stanley Marshall served as President of Florida State University from 1970 to 1976. Dr. Marshall came to Florida State University in 1958 as a science education professor. He served as the Head of the Department of Science Education and Dean of the College of Education prior to his appointment as Acting President in June 1969. He was appointed as President in June, 1970 and resigned in 1976. His administration was marked by political turbulence and student protests during the Vietnam era.

Florida State University President Stanley Marshall's committee files include the reports of the various campus committees during Marshall's tenure. Some of the topics included are minority students, affirmative action, women's salaries, and college sports. Also included in this series are materials from the President's Inaugural Committees from 1957 to 1970, which includes correspondence, addresses, and programs.


Superintendent of Common Schools for Freedmen
(Record Group 493)

The post of Superintendent of Common Schools for Freedmen was created in 1866 (Ch. 1475, Laws) to administer the common schools for freedmen. The governor appointed the Superintendent who in turn appointed assistant superintendents or requested that the county commission appoint an assistant superintendent for the county. The common schools were funded by a tax on male "persons of color" between the ages of 25 and 50. The post was abolished in 1868 with the creation of the post of Superintendent of Public Instruction, who was responsible for administering all state schools.

Superintendent of Common Schools for Freedmen Report, 1866,
0.25 cubic foot
S 288

This series contains the 1866 report of Superintendent E. B. Duncan. The report is a pamphlet that states the activities of the superintendent in educating Florida's freedmen.


State Department of Education
(Record Group 496

The State Department of Education was created in 1939 (Ch. 19355, Laws). It acted as an administrative agency under the direction of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to carry out policies and duties authorized by law or by the State Board of Education. It assumed the duties of the Department of Public Instruction, which had administered the state system of public education since 1869 (Ch. 1686, Laws). In 1969, the State Department of Education became the Department of Education, and the Commissioner of Education replaced the State Superintendent of Public Instruction as chief educational officer of the state (Ch. 69-106, Laws).  

Ledgers, 1859-1967, 12 Volumes
S 297

This series contains bound ledgers of the State Department of Education and its predecessor agency, the Department of Public Instruction. The records consist of fiscal and administrative materials covering a variety of financial transactions. They document the apportionment of federal and state funds to county school systems and state institutions of higher learning. When separate schools and colleges for white and African American students existed, the financial records list the appropriations as for "White" and "Colored" or "Negro" schools and teachers.


Spanish Archives
(Record Group 599)

The Spanish Archives record group contains materials from the Second Spanish Period (1783 to 1821). Primarily, it contains papers concerning the settlement of claims of individuals who held land grants or land titles from the Spanish government. In 1786, by Royal Order of the King of Spain, British subjects were permitted to remain in Florida provided they would take an oath of allegiance to Spain. In 1790, a Royal Order invited aliens to Florida regardless of their religious affiliations provided they hold and cultivate the land for a period of ten years.

In 1821, Spain ceded East and West Florida to the United States from Spain. On May 8, 1822, Congress passed the first Acts designed to carry out the provisions of Article VIII of the treaty of cession. It directed that three commissioners be appointed to ascertain and make final disposition of all previous title and claims to the land in the territory of Florida. Persons claiming title to lands under any patent, grant, concession, or order of survey dated prior to January 24, 1818 were instructed to file their claims with supporting evidence, before the United States Board of Land Commissioners at St. Augustine for East Florida lands and Pensacola for West Florida lands. The Board met from 1823 to 1827.

After 1827, the outstanding claims were handled by the United States Land Offices in St. Augustine and Tallahassee. The land parcels of all the approved claims were surveyed by the Surveyor General of the United States for the Territory of Florida and the State of Florida in the East and West Districts.

East Florida Papers, 1737-1858, 175 microfilm reels
S 979

The East Florida papers are records and documents from the second Spanish occupation of East Florida. The papers reflect the activities of the Spanish governors, Captain General, Exchequer, Intendant, Comptroller of the Royal Hospital, Department of Grace and Justice, Department of the Indies, Department of War, Department of State, Department of Treasury, Department of Foreign Possessions, and the Department of the Navy. The records document military commands in East Florida, especially along the St. Johns and St. Mary's Rivers; and the governing of Amelia Island and Fernandina. The papers also contain information on the government's dealings with the United States; Indians; Panton, Leslie, and Company; prisons; vessels and cargoes; fortifications and defense; and criminal proceedings. Also included are letters to and from the commander of Colored Militia (1812-1821), and papers on "Negro Titles, Runaways, etc." (1737-1805).

Reproduction Note: Available only on microfilm. Originals held by the Library of Congress.

Language Note: Documents mainly in Spanish.

United States. Board of Land Commissioners.
Confirmed Spanish Land Grant Claims, 1763-1821, 17 cubic feet,
1,806 microfiche and 7 microfilm reels
S 990

The Board of Land Commissioners was appointed by the President in 1822 to settle land claims ("An Act for ascertaining claims and titles to land within the territory of Florida," 3 U.S. Statute 709, May 8). It set up offices in Pensacola and St. Augustine (eventually two separate boards) to ascertain the validity of all titles and title claims to land in East and West Florida. The Land Commissioners either confirmed or rejected claims to lands by studying supporting documents supplied by the claimants.

The series consists of "dossiers" containing papers filed in evidence and confirmed as valid claims before the Board. Each land claim with its supporting documents was later encased in a manila jacket on which appears the name of the applicant, the number of acres claimed, disposition of the claim, and page reference to the American State Papers. The supporting documents include petitions or memorials to a governor for land; grants; attests; plats; deeds of sale, gifts, wills, bequests, and exchanges; applications; and translations of Spanish documents. Some files include a list of slaves owned. For example, the documents contained in the folder for Antonio Suarez (1807) includes lists of slaves with names, ages, and the designations "Negra," "Negro," and "Mulatto."

Reproduction Note: Also available on microfiche and microfilm
Language Note: Some documents in Spanish.

United States. Board of Land Commissioners.
Unconfirmed Spanish Land Grant Claims, 1763-1821, 5 cubic feet and 565 microfiche
S 991

This series consists of "dossiers" similar to those described above (S 990) containing papers filed in evidence and not confirmed as valid claims before the Board of Land Commissioners.

Reproduction Note: Also available on microfiche.
Language Note: Some documents in Spanish

United States. Board of Land Commissioners.
Memorials and Concessions, 1786-1821, 6 cubic feet and 1,600 microfiche
S 992

The series contains memorials or petitions to the governor for confirmation of the petitioner's right to ownership of land under the required conditions set forth by the Spanish government. Included is a file for Pe, a free "Negro", containing a petition to the governor, dated December 1801.

Reproduction Note: Also available on microfiche
Language Note: Documents in Spanish

United States. Board of Land Commissioners.
Memorials for City Lots in St. Augustine, 1764-1821, 1.5 cubic feet and 2 microfilm reels
S 993

This series consists of memorials or petitions to the governor for confirmation of city lot ownership in St. Augustine when the United States acquired Florida from Spain. Also included are other documents relating to claims in St. Augustine including deeds to town lots, an index to land, inventory of lots, and the Day Docket of the Board of the Land Commissioner. A file for Mariano, a "Negro", is also included.

Language Note: Documents in Spanish.


Parole Commission
(Record Group 640)

The Parole Commission was first established in 1941 (Ch. 20519, Laws) and has, at various times, been called the Probation and Parole Commission or the Parole and Probation Commission. Operating under Chapter 947, Florida Statutes, the stated purpose of the Parole Commission is to provide for public safety and protect the rights of victims by administering effective post-incarceration services including offender release, offender revocation, clemency, and victim assistance. To carry out these goals, the Commission is authorized to (1) determine what persons shall be placed on parole or conditional medical release; (2) fix the time, terms, and conditions of parole or conditional medical release; (3) determine violations of parole and what action should be taken with reference to such violations, including revoking supervision terms of offenders; (4) report to the Board of Pardons all circumstances relating to persons under consideration for parole; and (5) make investigations necessary for the carrying out of these duties, including clemency investigations and administration, providing investigative information and support to the Board of Executive Clemency. The Parole Commission is comprised of three members who are appointed by the Governor and Cabinet and confirmed by the Senate.

Office of Executive Clemency.
Application Case Files, 1972-1990, 77 cubic feet
S 1091

The series contains the application case files of the State Board of Pardons from 1972 to 1975, and its successor agency, the Office of Executive Clemency, from 1976 to 1990. The files contain individual applications for clemency, correspondence, reference letters, court papers and documents, and information on the final disposition of application. This series is a continuation of application case files of the State Board of Pardons, Series S 443. The files including, but not limited to, numbers 24466, 24475, 19985, 20043, 21072, 23066, and 18785, are among those containing applications for African Americans.


Department of Legal Affairs
(Record Group 650)

The Department of Legal Affairs was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws) to perform the powers, duties and functions of the office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General heads the department and is the chief state legal officer (Chapter 16, Florida Statutes). The department provides all legal services required by any department unless otherwise provided by law. It defends the state on appeals from criminal convictions through state and federal courts. The department provides assistance to local law enforcement agencies in major felony cases and maintains regional offices throughout the state to aid in these services. The Attorney General renders legal opinions on request to government agencies and appears on behalf of the state in all suits in the District Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court in which the state has an interest.

Florida Commission on the Status of Women
Florida Women's Hall of Fame Nomination Files, 1992-1997, 6.25 cubic feet
S 1790

This series documents the nomination and selection process of candidates for the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. It contains nomination forms, correspondence, letters of recommendation, memos, biographies, news clippings and press releases that pertain to each nominee. It also contains correspondence between Commission members, and between Commission members and Government officers, regarding the selection of the winners and the induction ceremonies. African American inductees in this time period include Carrie P. Meek, Gladys D. Milton, Evelyn Stocking Crosslin, and M. Athalie Range.


Department of Corrections
(Record Group 670)

The Department of Corrections was created as the Division of Corrections under the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions in 1957 (Ch. 57-317, Laws). The Board of Commissioners of State Institutions had been instructed to manage all state prisons since 1877 (Ch. 3033, 1877, Laws). In 1969, the Division of Corrections became part of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (Ch. 69-106, Laws). The Division's duties were increased in 1975, and it became the Department of Offender Rehabilitation (Ch. 75-49, Laws). The Department was renamed the Department of Corrections in 1978 (Ch. 78-53, Laws). Since 1975, the Department has overseen all agencies providing incarceration and rehabilitative services for adult offenders and, until the 1994 establishment of the Department of Juvenile Justice, for youth offenders as well. The Department administers institutional and non-institutional programs; and inspects all county, state, and municipal correctional and detention facilities; and operates over 50 prisons as well as work camps, work release centers (formerly called community correctional centers), road prisons, forestry camps, boot camps, and a drug treatment center.

Prison Registers, 1875-1959, 13 volumes, 2.25 cubic feet and 1 microfilm reel
S 500

This listing of all convicts received into the state prison system provides each prisoner's name, sex, race, age, birthdate, birth state, crime, sentence, date of release, prison number, and how terminated (i.e., end of sentence, pardon, death, etc.).


Florida State Hospital
(Record Group 841)

The Florida State Hospital was created in 1877 as the Florida Asylum for the Indigent Insane (Ch. 3035, Laws, 1877). In 1886, it was renamed the Florida Hospital for the Insane. In 1919, it received its present name, the Florida State Hospital. The hospital is located at Chattahoochee in Gadsden County, Florida. The Board of Commissioners of State Institutions (Ch. 3578, Acts, 1885) had general supervision over the state psychiatric hospital until 1969. At that time, it was placed under the supervision of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (Ch. 69-106, Laws) and later under the Department of Children and Families (Ch. 96-403, Laws). The state hospital is responsible for providing care and treatment to both paying and indigent mentally ill patients.

Medical Records, 1914-1983, 179.50 cubic feet
S 1063

Restricted by Florida Statutes Chapter 394.4615 (see below).

The series contains medical records of patients who died while hospitalized or were discharged from the Florida State Hospital and its predecessor, the Florida Hospital for the Insane. The post-1938 records are sample cases of selected medical records. The medical records contain charts, admission, furlough and discharge papers; progress notes; and other information pertaining to the patient's hospitalization and treatment. The 1914-1938 files are subdivided into (1) black females, (2) black males, (3) white females, and (4) white males.

As per Florida Statutes Chapter 394.4615:"Unless waived by express and informed consent, by the patient or the patient's guardian or guardian advocate or, if the patient is deceased, by the patient's personal representative or the family member who stands next in line of intestate succession, the confidential status of the clinical record shall not be lost by either authorized or unauthorized disclosure to any person, organization, or agency."


Florida Commission on Human Relations
(Record Group 891)

The Commission on Human Relations was created in 1969 (Ch. 69-287, Laws) and was restructured in 1977 (Ch. 77-341, Laws). An independent agency, the Commission was administratively attached to the Department of Community Affairs until 1979, when it was transferred to the Department of Administration (Ch. 79-190, Laws) and later to the Department of Management Services (Ch. 96-399, Laws). To carry out its mission to promote and encourage fair treatment of and equal access to opportunities for all citizens of Florida employment, housing, and public accommodations and to promote mutual understanding and respect among all Floridians by reducing intolerance, antagonism and inter-group tension, the Commission develops policies and procedures for providing equal opportunity,recommends methods to eliminate discrimination through education, legislation, and enhancement of public awareness, and conducts investigative hearings in discrimination cases.

Records, 1969-1976, 1 cubic foot
S 382

Records of the Commission on Human Relations include minutes, agenda, correspondence, program proposals, and news releases documenting the Commission's recommendations on civil rights issues, including equal opportunity, race relations, affirmative action, and job discrimination. More specifically, the records of the Commission reflect its plans for desegregation in the schools and in public accommodations. Correspondence on the Miami Crisis (riots) of 1969 includes a review and analysis of the situation. There is also a transcript of the July 1, 1978 meeting in which Al Featherton, leader of the Black Afro Movement, addressed the Commission on the Miami Crisis about the hostilities between the races. Other significant files are those relating to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Key West disturbances, and the Fort Pierce investigations.


Florida A&M University Hospital
(Record Group 893)

The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Hospital operated from 1950 to 1970 as the major health care facility for all African Americans, including students, faculty, and the general public, within a 160 mile radius of Tallahassee, Florida. It began as the sanatorium, student health center, and training center for African American nurses of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. The hospital building was constructed in 1949 and was managed by a Board of Trustees from 1957 to 1967 (Ch. 57-142; Ch. 67-41, Laws). The hospital was closed in 1970.

Daily Medication Logs, 1952-1961, 12 volumes
S 438

Restricted as per F.S. 395.3025 and 455.241. Research governed by F.S. 405.

This series documents the medication (narcotics) given to patients in general and in surgery, the emergency room and obstetrics ward. The name of the patient, type of medication, date, time, and doctor are listed.

Birth Certificate Receipts, 1948-1958, 2 cubic feet
S 439

Restricted as per F.S. 395.3025 and 455.241. Research governed by F.S. 405.

Receipts for the birth certificates issued by the hospital contain the date and place of birth, parents' names and occupations, and other birth information as given on the birth certificate. The records are incomplete for 1948 and are missing for 1949.

Hospital Registers, 1943-1967, 62 volumes
S 440

Restricted as per F.S. 395.3025 and 455.241. Research governed by F.S. 405.

Hospital registers are of several types including emergency and accidents, delivery room, autopsy reports, recovery room, pediatrics, medicare and operating room.

Death Records, 1953-1967, 1 cubic foot and 3 volumes
S 441

Restricted as per F.S. 395.3025 and 455.241. Research governed by F.S. 405.

Records documenting the deaths of hospital patients include original death reports with name, date of death, age, and cause of death, and indexed death register volumes.

Administrative Files, 1950-1963, 2 cubic feet
S 442

This series contains minutes and correspondence documenting topics discussed, decisions made and actions taken at staff meetings and by the Board of Trustees. Also included are subject files and tumor clinic reports.

State Board of Health
(Record Group 894)

Article XV of the 1885 Constitution provided for the creation of the State Board of Health, but the Board was not created until the 1889 special session of the legislature (1889, Ch. 3839, Laws). The Board was headed by the State Health Officer and located in Jacksonville. It could also impose coastal and city quarantines.

The State Board of Health studied health problems, administered health services programs, disseminated health information, and enforced rules concerning sanitation and communicable diseases. It also controlled the Bureau of Vital Statistics, the bacteriological laboratories, veterinary department with a State Veterinarian, and tuberculosis sanitariums. The Board became the Division of Health under the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services in 1969 (Ch. 69-106, Laws), and its functions were assumed by the new Department of Health in 1996 (Ch. 96-403, Laws).

Midwife Program Files, 1924-1975, 5.5 cubic feet
S 904

The inadequate supply of doctors and the remoteness of many patients to modern health facilities necessitated that the Board of Health develop a program designed to reduce infant mortality and to promote maternal and child health. In response, the Board initiated a midwife licensing program in 1931 providing classroom demonstrations and a procedures manual as well as basic equipment necessary for delivering infants.

This series documents the Board's licensing program and contains correspondence, reports of legislation, essays on midwifery, midwife manuals and publications, photographs, administration records, licenses, and artifacts.

Included areapplications for African Americans who applied for licenses. There is correspondence on black midwifery as well as a speech concerning the licensing of African American midwives. The series also contains the transcript of a story on midwifery, which briefly recounts the practice of a African American midwife. Photographs of African American midwives and their clients are also available.

A related series is S 1481, Applications for Certificate of Registration for Healing Arts, 1928-1955.

Bureau of Narcotics.
Applications for Certificate of Registration for Healing Arts, 1928-1955,
35 microfilm reels (16 mm.)
S 1481

This series collection contains the applications by physicians, surgeons, osteopaths, chiropractics, naturopaths, and midwives for certification and registration to practice the healing arts. Also included are applications for masseurs and chiropodists for the years 1944-1947 and 1951-1958 and physical therapist applications for 1952-1955. Information contained on the applications includes full name, business and residential addresses, sex, race, date and place of birth, length of Florida residency, former addresses, county of residence, and date of application.


State Welfare Board
(Record Group 897)

The State Welfare Board was created in 1937 (Ch. 18285, Laws). It assumed the duties of the State Board of Social Welfare (1935, Ch. 17477, Laws) which had replaced the State Board of Public Welfare (1927, Ch. 12288, Laws). The State Welfare Board administered the State Department of Public Welfare and twelve district welfare boards. The agencies administered state and federal funding for social welfare services and relief aid. In 1969, the State Department of Public Welfare became the Division of Family Services under the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services (Ch. 69-106, Laws). The State Welfare Board was replaced by the Family Services Advisory Council. Family services functions were later assumed by the new Department of Children and Families (Ch. 96-403, Laws).

Historical Files, 1927-1950, 0.25 cubic foot
S 871

This series contains the historical files of the State Welfare Board and its predecessors, the State Board of Social Welfare and the State Board of Public Welfare. The records include historical information on welfare assistance, social security, child welfare, the Adoption Act of 1943, the organization of the Board, and the first biennial report of the State Board of Public Welfare. The files include reports, photographs, and newspaper clippings

This series includes a 1935 "Report on Social Security in Florida" discussing race problems and noting that thirty-six percent of the state's population was Negro. The report also includes photographs documenting inadequate housing for African Americans.


Florida's legislative body dates back to 1822, when President James Monroe and the United States Congress appointed the first Legislative Council. Since 1838, the legislative body has been bicameral, with a House of Representatives and a Senate, collectively known as the General Assembly. The State Legislature was formed when Florida became a state on March 3, 1945, and elected its first state legislature on May 26 (Art. IV, 1838 Constitution). Voters from twenty counties elected seventeen state Senators and forty-one Representatives. The legislature met in its first session in June 1845. The legislature met biennially in regular session from 1845 to 1969 and annually since 1969. The districts from which the legislators are elected are reapportioned in the second year after each census, during the regular session. If agreement is not reached, a special apportionment session is called by the governor (Article III, Section 16, 1968 Constitution).

Since the territorial period, the Florida Legislature has enacted laws affecting African Americans. Early acts dealt with the legal status of slaves. In 1828, an act of the Legislative Council stipulated that slaves were to be classed as personal property, a status which remained unchanged until slavery was abolished. Legislation concerning the punishment of slaves and free Negroes, trade with slaves, and guardians for free Negroes was also enacted.

The General Assembly was prohibited from passing laws for the emancipation of slaves in 1845. However, after slavery was abolished, legislation concerning contracts with freedmen was passed and an act required "all colored persons claiming to be living together in the relation of husband and wife" within nine months to be regularly joined in the bonds of matrimony by a person legally authorized to perform the ceremony. In 1866, an act concerning schools for freedmen was passed by the General Assembly and in 1887 an act of the Assembly established the Industrial Normal School for Negroes, which eventually became Florida A&M University, the oldest historically black university in Florida.

In 1875, a bill concerning civil rights mandated that no citizen of this state, by reason of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, be excepted or excluded from full and equal enjoyment of any accommodation, advantage, facility, or privilege furnished by innkeepers, etc. However, private schools, cemeteries, and institutions of learning established exclusively for whites or colored persons were not included. In 1895, a law prohibiting white and Negro youth from being taught in the same schools was enacted, and in 1899 a bill was passed which legalized the marriages and legitimized the offspring of persons of African descent.

Early twentieth-century laws prohibited the marriages of whites to mulattos or Negroes. Railroad companies were required to furnish separate waiting rooms and ticket windows for white and colored passengers at depots.

The Florida Governor's Advisory Commission on Race Relations was created by the legislature in 1957 to study race relations in the state (Ch. 57-315, Laws), and more recently acts concerning black business enterprises and minority owned businesses have been passed. Numerous laws in the latter half of the 20th century addressed race issues and race discrimination.

During the Reconstruction period, nearly forty African Americans served in the legislature. Since 1968, more African Americans have been elected, including ten to the House of Representatives in 1982 when the Black Caucus was formed. James Burke served as House Speaker Pro-Tempore during the 1987 and 1988 sessions, the first African American to hold the position.

Listed below are some of the records that document Florida's legislative process as it relates to the black experience.


Joint Legislative Committees
(Record Group 940)

Joint committees can be appointed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House when deemed necessary. Prior to 1968, joint committees were appointed when directed by concurrent resolution.

Interim committees were authorized by bill or concurrent resolution to study specific areas or problems and were dissolved at the next session of the legislature after giving a final report. The interim committees existed when the legislature met biennially.

Special Legislative Committee Files, 1959-2000, 99.75 cubic feet
S 20

Minutes, correspondence, summary reports, studies, and journals document the work of joint, select, and special committees. The records of the Joint Committee on Campus Unrest and Drug Abuse (1969-1970) are of particular interest to black history researchers. A "Report of the Community Relations Service Student Unrest Survey" is available. A publication entitled "Introduction to the Black Panther Party" is also included. Interviews with witnesses and a list of persons who marched on the Capitol are also included.

Florida Legislative Investigation Committee.
Records, 1954-1965, 19 cubic feet
S 1486

Terms Governing Use: Chapter 93-405, Laws of Florida restricts disclosure of the "identity of any witness, any person who was a subject of the inquiry, or any person referred to in testimony, documents, or evidence retained in the committee's records; however, this exemption does not apply to a member of the committee, its staff, or any public official who was not a subject of the inquiry."

The Florida Legislative Investigation Committee was created in 1956 (Chapter 31498, Laws) as a special joint committee of the Florida Legislature. Commonly referred to as the Johns Committee, after its first chairman, Charley Johns, the Committee's original mandate was to "investigate all organizations whose principles or activities include a course of conduct on the part of any person or group which would constitute violence, or a violation of the laws of the state, or would be inimical to the well being and orderly pursuit of their personal and business activities by the majority of the citizens of this state." The committee was empowered to subpoena witnesses and take testimony and to employ experts, clerical, or other assistance as needed. In 1961 (Ch. 61-62, Laws), the purpose of the committee was extended to also include the investigation of the "extent of infiltration into agencies supported by state funds by practicing homosexuals, the effect thereof on said agencies and the public, and the policies of various state agencies in dealing therewith." The Committee was disbanded in 1966.

Records of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee include administrative files, correspondence, transcripts of testimony, information relating to various organizations under investigation, court cases, newspaper clippings, and publications. The internal workings of the committee are reflected mainly in the correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports to the legislature, staff reports, and statements of fact. The transcripts document the investigatory process at a more personal level and include transcripts of testimony heard before the entire Committee and transcripts of individuals who were interviewed by Committee investigators or local law enforcement officers. The records reflect the Committee's early intent to investigate the extent of communist and subversive organization activity, especially within the state university system in Florida. By 1961, it is apparent from the records that the focus of the investigations shifted to homosexuality. In addition, the series contains information regarding race relations, the civil rights movement, student peace movements, and anti-Castro organizations.

See also collection M91-7, Florida Bar, Florida Legislative Investigation Committee Records, 1957-1960.


Division of Legislative Library Services
(Record Group 945)

The Legislative Reference Bureau was created in 1949 (Ch. 25369, Laws) to assist the legislature by providing impartial and accurate information. The Bureau also provided comprehensive research and reference service on legislative problems. The Legislative Reference Bureau became the Legislative Services Bureau of the Joint Legislative Management Committee in 1969 (Ch. 69-52, Laws) and was dissolved in 1972 (Ch. 72-178, Laws). Its functions were continued by the Joint Legislative Management Committee's Division of Legislative Library Services until the JLMC was eliminated in 1998 and the Legislative Library was placed under the State Library of Florida.

Reference Files, 1945-1981, 79 cubic feet
S 1059

Reference files of the Division of Legislative Library Services and its predecessor agencies, the Legislative Service Bureau and Legislative Reference Bureau, contain correspondence, copies of bills, studies, and reports covering a variety of subjects including: racial discrimination; student riots; race relations; voter registration; riots; minority issues; integration of Florida's universities; Florida A&M University; bombs and bomb threats; and reapportionment.


Supreme Court
(Record Group 1100)

The Supreme Court replaced the Territorial Court of Appeals in 1845 (Article V, 1838 Constitution; Article V, 1885 and 1968 Constitutions). The Supreme Court consists of seven justices, with at least one from each appellate district. The Court hears appeals in death penalty cases and reviews the decisions of the District Courts of Appeal and trial courts.

Case Files, 1825-2002, 4,786 cubic feet
S 49

The series contains the closed case files of the Supreme Court of Florida in which an opinion was issued, including Florida Bar cases.

Mandatory Review Death Penalty Case Files, 1973-2002, 1,549 cubic feet
S 1256

This series documents criminal appeals for cases involving capital punishment sentences. The types of records in the series include briefs, records of appeal, and the final orders of the court.


Territorial Court of Appeals
(Record Group 1110)

The Territorial Court of Appeals was established by the United States Congress on May 26, 1824 ("An Act to Amend An Act entitled An Act to amend and Act for the Establishment of a Territorial Government in Florida and for other purposes," 4 U.S. Statutes 45). The court was composed of the five Judges of the Superior Courts of the Districts of Florida (Eastern and Western, established, 1822; Middle, 1824; Southern, 1828; and Apalachicola, 1838). The Court first met on January 3, 1825. The Court heard appeals from decisions rendered in Superior Court. The Judges examined records of the proceedings and could reverse or affirm judgment, award a new trial, or pronounce a new judgment. The Territorial Court of Appeals was replaced with the State Supreme Court in 1845.

Case Files, 1825-1846, 8.5 cubic feet, 10 microfilm reels (35 mm.)
S 73

The series contains records presented to the Court at the time of appeal and records that document the Court's decision. Included are several cases related to African Americans including the case of Caesar, a Negro slave v. the Territory of Florida and Territory of Florida v. Nicholas Prago, a free Negro (1843). In most instances when the citation reads "Territory of Florida v. Negro," the case involves manslaughter.

Reproduction Note: Also available on microfilm


State Census Records
(Record Group 1021)

A census is a count of persons and their property, usually for taxation or redistricting purposes. The first state census was authorized by the Constitution of 1838 to commence in 1845 and to be continued at ten year intervals. The purpose of this census was twofold: to supplement the Federal ten-year census that was carried out at the beginning of each decade and to determine Legislative electoral districts.

The Archives holds the original Leon County Census of 1825 (series L 69); the first state census in 1845 (S 1373); Marion County Census Return for 1855 (S 1374); Franklin County Census of Children, 1855 and 1866 (L 68); Census of Hernando, Madison, Orange, and Santa Rosa Counties from 1867 (S 1375); 1875 Alachua County census (S 1364); and the complete 1935 and 1945 censuses (S 5, S 1371). The 1825 and 1855 censuses statistically document the number of slaves owned. However, names of slaves are not listed. The 1875 Alachua County census and the complete 1935 and 1945 censuses provide the following information: name, address, inside or outside city limits, (1935 and 1945), age, sex, race (African Americans are listed as Negro, colored or mulatto in 1875; Negro and colored in 1935 and 1945), relation to family, own or rent home. The state census was abolished in 1949 and the federal census served as the state's census record beginning in 1950 (Senate Joint Resolution #46, 1949).

Original records have not been located for 1905, 1915, and 1925 censuses. The original copies of the 1885 census are located at the National Archives and are available on microfilm only at the State Archives. In some instances census enumerations, which were carried out on the county level, were kept by the counties. For further information regarding the availability of census records, contact the Archives.

Census of Leon County, Florida, 1825, 1 item
L 69

The 1825 census return for Leon County, Florida includes the name of the head of the family, the number of white males over 21 years, the number of white males under 21 years, the number of white females over 21 years, the number of white females under 21 years, and the number of slaves. The return also includes the totals for each category.

First Census of the State of Florida, 1845, 1 item
S 1373

This includes enumerations of the inhabitants of Alachua, Benton, Columbia, Duval, Gadsden, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Madison, Marion, Orange, St. Johns, Walton, Wakulla, and Washington counties. The document also compares the federal enumeration taken in 1845. The enumeration lists the county, the name of the census taker, the number of white males over and under 21, the number of white females over and under 18, the number of male and female slaves, and the number of male and female "free coloreds."The enumeration does not list the names of the inhabitants of the Florida counties.

Second Census of the State of Florida, 1855, 0.25 cubic foot
S 1374

Returns for Marion County are the only known existing records from the second state census conducted in 1855. The information recorded includes the name of the head of the family, the number of white males over and under 21, the number of white females over and under 18, the number of children between 5 and 18, the number of children in schools, the number of male and female slaves, the value of the slaves, the number of male and female free persons of color, the number of acres of and value of land, and the value of buildings, furniture, and plantation livestock. The book also includes a recapitulation for the entire county.

Lists of Children Between the Ages of 5 and 18 for Franklin County, Florida, 1855, 1866, 3 items
L 68

This collection consists of three lists pertaining to the number of school age children within a particular county. Two lists are for Franklin County, dated 1855 and 1866. They list the name of the parent and the total number of children between the ages of 5 and 18. The third list, which is undated, is believed to also be from Franklin County. It lists the names of the children in an unnamed school district.

Third Census of the State of Florida, 1867, 1 cubic foot
S 1375

This incomplete series contains returns from Hernando, Madison, Orange, and Santa Rosa Counties, total tabulations for the state, and miscellaneous fragments, such as a page listing the enumeration for Franklin County. The books of enumeration have separate listings for "colored" and white inhabitants. Both include the name of the head of the family, the number of males over and under 21, the number of females over and under 18, the total number of inhabitants, and the number of males between 18 and 45. The tabulations list population totals by county for "colored" and white populations.

Fourth Census of the State of Florida, 1875, 1 cubic foot, 1 microfilm reel (35 mm.)
S 1364

This incomplete series contains only the state census records of Alachua County.

The information recorded in the returns includes the name, age at last birthday, sex, and race of all those persons listed. For some entries, other information is provided including occupation, the value of real estate, the value of personal property, the number of acres planted in cotton, the number of acres planted in cane, and the number of orange trees.

Fifth Census of the State of Florida (Leon County), 1885, 1 folder
S 1647

This series only the enumeration of the citizens of Leon County. The information recorded includes the name, age, sex, and race of those persons enumerated. The enumeration is segregated by race.

Tenth Census of the State of Florida, 1935, 101 cubic feet, 30 microfilm reels (35 mm.)
S 5

This schedule includes the following information: name, address (whether inside or outside city limits), age, sex, race, relation to family, place of birth, degree of education, whether home owner or renter, and occupation. There is no index to these records.

Eleventh Census of the State of Florida, 1945, 64 cubic feet, 43 microfilm reels (35 mm.)
S 1371

This schedule includes the following information: name, address (whether inside or outside city limits), age, sex, race, relation to family, place of birth, degree of education, whether home owner or renter, and occupation. A few precincts are missing. There is no index to these records.