For the proponents of the legend of the “Lost Cause” George F. Drew ranks high in the galaxy of heroes as the “Redeemer,” whose election as governor in 1876 saved Florida from the “Radical” Republicans, and restored “home rule” to the native white population. Of course, many Floridians had known during the 1876 election campaign that Drew was a New Hampshire native, that he had been a Unionist in Georgia during the war years, and that he was only recently converted to the Conservative-Democratic cause, after supporting Ulysses S. Grant for President in 1868. Nor was it any secret that the United States Court of Claims had awarded him a cash settlement for cotton which had been confiscated by General Sherman’s army and that such claims were only paid to Unionists who could prove their unswerving loyalty to the United States between 1861-1865. All this was enough to convince Conservative-Democrat Edwin W. L’Engle that, even though Drew could probably be elected, he would not be much better than a “Radical.” The Republican Tallahassee Sentinel raged that “Mr. Drew was nominated for the Union flavor that his record might give the ‘Lost Cause’.”
Shofner, Jerrell H.
"A Note on Governor George F. Drew,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 48:
4, Article 7.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol48/iss4/7