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[5] of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican sectional candidate for the presidency of the United States on an avowed sectional policy. At the commencement of hostilities against the South, in Charleston harbor, and especially on the proclamation of President Lincoln calling for 75,000 troops to make an unconstitutional war on the seceded States, the war-cloud darkened all Florida and every heart burned with indignation. All former differences of opinion, all past party prejudices, yielded to the mastery of a just sense of impending danger; and, animated by the spirit that had inspired their fathers in 1776, the people of Florida resolved to unite in the patriotic effort to secure for the South an independent government, as the Constitution framed by their forefathers had been violated. With a patriotic and heroic sense of their great duty, our brave citizens throughout the State began to make preparations to be in readiness to respond to their country's call, to resist the wicked design of sectional partisans to wage a cruel war of coercion against the seceded States. Companies of cavalry, artillery and infantry were rapidly and successfully organized. The formation of these splendid organizations was so rapid that Florida secured a proud place when the time came for her troops to be received into the service of the Confederate States army.

The ablest jurists and statesmen of the country having firmly asserted, clearly elucidated and bravely vindicated the legal right of a State to secede from the general government, an intelligent, chivalrous people, proudly assured of the justice of their convictions, could not forswear the great principles of a lifetime. On the 3d of January, 186, the people of Florida, through their delegates chosen in pursuance of the act of the general assembly, approved November 30, 1860, assembled in convention in the hall of the house of representatives in the capitol of the State, at the city of Tallahassee. This honorable body, composed of the best talent in the State, was temporarily organized with John C. Pelot, of Alachua, as chairman, and

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