Ric A. Kabat


The sun was breaking through in Tallahassee on January 5, 1909, as groups of people filled the streets excitedly awaiting the inauguration of Florida’s new governor. The capitol was adorned with red, white, and blue bunting, and crowds had gathered on the grounds to watch the ceremonial festivities. At 12:00 P.M., Albert W. Gilchrist recited the oath officially accepting the office that he had sought so long and hard. Stepping to the podium, he could see hundreds of people waiting to hear his inaugural address. Many wondered: will Gilchrist be progressive? Will he pursue liberal policies or will his administration be a throw back to the reactionary nineteenth-century Bourbon days?