Ellen E. Hodges


When the Florida secession convention voted in January 1861 to withdraw the state from the Union, it made a fateful decision, the consequences of which its members scarcely understood. The lives of Floridians, white and black, would be fundamentally altered-at first almost imperceptably, then with increasing speed and force-by the action of the delegates. Typical in many ways of those citizens whose lives would be completely altered by secession and civil strife was a young couple from Welaka in Putnam County-Octavia and Winston Stephens.