Welcome to Florida Historical Society Press™ initial volume in its newly created Gold Seal series. This is the first of what will eventually be a multi-volume series of specialized books that deal with narrowly focused issues in Florida history.
Given the emotional and ongoing interest in the American Civil War, it is appropriate that this inaugural issue focuses on that seminal event. Just sixteen years after its admission to the Union as a state, Florida, under the control of a slave owning planter elite, brushed aside the flimsy ties that bound it to the nation and joined its sister slave states in creating a new nation, the Confederate States of America. As every American knows, the result was a long, bloody and costly war that produced many changes in the body politic and economic climate of the United States. Pitting brother against brother, state against state and ideology against ideology, the war swept aside the dominance of agrarian Americans and ushered in a new era controlled by industrialists and bankers. Florida, and her fellow southern states, was left to the task of picking up the pieces of its culture, bolstered by a persistent and unflagging mentality of what should have been. It has taken the more than a century-and-a-half for the open wounds of defeat to heal.
Dr. I. D. S. Winsboro of Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers is the editor of the first Gold Seal volume. His scholarship on the role African-Americans played in the Civil War is well known. Once again, welcome to the inaugural volume. -- Nick Wynne,Executive Director, The Florida Historical Society