Tuesday, May 02, 2006

various players from our drama

JOSIAH WALLS - Defeated Hamilton in the contest for the Republican party nomination for candidate for Congress at the August 1870 Gainesville convention. Walls unexpectedly emerged as the compromise candidate of choice after the Osborn Ring narrowly failed to win the necessary fifty votes for Robert Meacham and stalemate between the Osborn and Hamilton-Purman camps looked inevitable. Walls's nomination realized J.C. Gibbs's ambition of winning Florida's congressional seat for an Africam American. WALLS, Josiah Thomas, a Representative from Florida; born in Winchester, Frederick County, Va., December 30, 1842; received a limited schooling; engaged in truck farming; moved to Florida; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1868; served in the State senate 1869-1872; presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-second Congress and served from March 4, 1871, to January 29, 1873, when he was succeeded by Silas L. Niblack, who contested his election; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third Congress (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1875); presented credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1875, to April 19, 1876, when he was succeeded by Jesse J. Finley, who contested his election; resumed his occupation as truck farmer; died in Tallahassee, Fla., May 15, 1905; interment in the Negro Cemetery. {www.bioguide.congress.gov) After Walls was seated in the 42nd Congress, one of his first activities was pushing through Osborn's Great Southern Railroad legislation that Hamilton had resisted. [Photos from Florida State Archives]

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