With the 1885 constitution ratified and the state’s poll tax law about to become effective, the 1888 election was the last in which large numbers of blacks voted and was the last in which the Republican party posed a serious threat to the predominance of the Democrats for many decades. Even then the Democrats carried the state races by comfortable majorities. But the 1888 race had been an exciting election in which some Conservative-Democrats in the black belt counties had left themselves vulnerable to charges of violating federal election laws. This caused concern among them when Democrat Grover Cleveland was defeated for reelection to the presidency by Republican Benjamin Harrison. Return of a Republican president meant that federal marshals and district attorneys would be vigorously checking alleged election law violations as they had before Cleveland’s 1884 victory. As the inevitable investigations began in 1889 national attention focused on Madison County where citizens tried to prevent federal officials from following up on charges by Republican congressional candidate F. C. Goodrich that he had been defeated by illegal election tactics. But nowhere in the state was there more excitement than in Hamilton County where a seventeen-year old future governor of Florida shot a Republican in the head and one of the most bizarre post office robberies in the state’s history occurred.
Shofner, Jerrell H.
"The White Springs Post Office Caper,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 56
, Article 7.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol56/iss3/7