Emancipation and Reconstruction in Florida
Every May 20, Florida celebrates Emancipation Day. Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War and two years after the proclamation was first issued by President Abraham Lincoln.
This guide from the State Library of Florida explores Emancipation in Florida and the Reconstruction period that followed (1865-1877).
Materials are generally available through interlibrary loan from our circulating collection.
Links within the bibliographies take you to information in our State Library catalog or to more information on external sites.
- Baker, Bruce E., and Brian Kelly, eds. After Slavery: Race, Labor, and Citizenship in the Reconstruction South. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2013.
- Brown, Canter. Tampa in Civil War and Reconstruction. Tampa, FL: University of Tampa Press, 2000.
- Davis, William Watson. The Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida. New York, NY: Columbia University, 1913.
- Farmer-Kaiser, Mary. Freedwomen and the Freedmen’s Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2010.
- Federal Writers’ Project. Florida Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in Florida From Interviews With Former Slaves. Bedford, MA: Applewood Books, 2006.
- Fortune, Timothy Thomas. After War Times: An African American Childhood in Reconstruction-Era Florida. Ed. Daniel R. Weinfeld. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2014.
- Groene, Bertram Hawthorne. Ante-Bellum Tallahassee. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Heritage Foundation, 1971.
- Hager, Christopher. Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.
- Klingman, Peter D. Josiah Walls: Florida’s Black Congressman of Reconstruction. Gainesville, FL: University Presses of Florida, 1976.
- Ortiz, Paul. Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida From Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005.
- Richards, Leonard L. Who Freed the Slaves?: The Fight Over the Thirteenth Amendment. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015.
- Richardson, Joe Martin. African Americans in the Reconstruction of Florida, 1865-1877. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2008.
- Rivers, Larry E. Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2000.
- Smith, John David. Black Voices From Reconstruction, 1865-1877. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1997.
- Wallace, John. Carpetbag Rule in Florida: The Inside Workings of the Reconstruction of Civil Government in Florida After the Close of the Civil War. Jacksonville, FL: Da Costa, 1888.
- Weinfeld, Daniel R. The Jackson County War: Reconstruction and Resistance in Post-Civil War Florida. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2012.
- Williams, David. I Freed Myself: African American Self-Emancipation in the Civil War Era. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
- Willis, Deborah, and Barbara Krauthamer. Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2013.
- Cox, Merlin G. “Military Reconstruction in Florida.” Florida Historical Quarterly 46.3 (1968): 219–233.
- Gleason, William H., and Edward C. Wilaumson. “Florida’s First Reconstruction Legislature.” Florida Historical Quarterly 32.1 (1953): 41–43.
- Hall, Robert L. “‘Yonder Come Day’: Religious Dimensions of the Transition From Slavery to Freedom in Florida.” Florida Historical Quarterly 65.4 (1987): 411–432.
- Howe, Kathleen S. “Stepping Into Freedom: African Americans in Hillsborough County, Florida, During the Reconstruction Era.” Tampa Bay History 20.2 (1998): 4–30.
- Shofner, Jerrell H. “Political Reconstruction in Florida.” Florida Historical Quarterly 45.2 (1966): 145–170.
- Young, Darius J. “Henry S. Harmon: Pioneer African American Attorney in Reconstruction-Era Florida.” Florida Historical Quarterly 85.2 (2006): 177–196.
- Library of Congress. “Emancipation Proclamation: Primary Documents in American History.” LOC.gov.
- National Archives. “The Emancipation Proclamation.” Archives.gov.
- State Archives of Florida. Selected Documents from the Reconstruction Era. Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
- State Archives of Florida. Selected Documents from Late 19th Century Florida. Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
- State Archives of Florida. Selected Documents from Florida's Boom and Progressive Era. Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
- University of Richmond. Visualizing Emancipation.