On the eve of the Civil War Tallahassee and Leon County were the center of Florida’s economic, political, and social life. Tallahasseans read about themselves in their two weekly, and decidedly political, newspapers: the strongly Democratic Floridian and Journal (circulation 1,500) and the Whiggish Florida Sentinel (circulation 1,000). As a national force the Whigs had disintegrated, but the Florida Sentinel retained the party’s principles. Local people kept further informed by talking among themselves. Conversations ranging from philosophical discussions to plain gossip were held on street corners, at stores, at churches, and at meetings of clubs and fraternal orders such as Jackson Lodge, No. 1, the state’s oldest masonic organization.
Rogers, William Warren
"A Great Stirring in the Land: Tallahassee and Leon County in 1860,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 64:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol64/iss2/4