By James M. Denham
The pervasive effect of the frontier is key to an figuring out of antebellum Florida. James M. Denham lines the expansion and social improvement of this in moderation settled quarter via its event with crime and punishment. utilizing courtroom documents, executive files, newspapers, and private papers, Denham explores how crime affected usual Floridians - whites and blacks, perpetrators, sufferers, and enforcers. He contends that even if the frontier made up our minds the enforcement and management of the legislations, the ethic of honor ruled human relationships. even supposing indictments for crimes opposed to folks have been way more widespread than these for crimes opposed to estate, the punishment for the latter was once extra serious (except for homicide) simply because such crimes violated the South's adored code of honor. A sparse, rural agricultural inhabitants valued a private integrity that incorporated a powerful feel of financial morality. Honesty and truthfulness have been characteristics not just wanted yet demanded. Stealing used to be a contravention of that belief and obtained society's sternest punishment.
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Additional resources for A rogue's paradise: crime and punishment in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1861
Editor Elias Gould of the St. " The man continued, "Unquestionably the press has a great deal to do with these epidemics.
They rarely laid the cause to poverty, broken families, a lack of education, or other causes cited by modern-day commentators. Contemporary observers usually noted that society itself was suffering from a kind of moral sickness. As proof, they pointed to an increase in murders, drunkenness, swearing, Sabbath-breaking, andworst of allpublic apathy. In response to the apparent pestilence of crime, judges also took official note of the close connection between moral depravity and crime and called for a moral rebirth.
These questions are far easier to ask than to answer, but the student of crime and punishment is obliged to use available evidence to search for clues. Because of the complex nature of human emotions, definitive answers to these questions are as difficult to obtain now as they were at the Page 3 time and can probably never be established with any degree of certainty; but the search is revealing in itself. Some answers can be found by a simple tabulation of indictments and successful and unsuccessful prosecutions of crimes in surviving court records.
A rogue's paradise: crime and punishment in Antebellum Florida, 1821-1861 by James M. Denham