Delegates to Florida's "secession" convention met in Tallahassee on January 3, 1861 to decide if Florida should join South Carolina and leave the Union. A vote was called on January 10, and of the 69 delegates present and eligible to vote, 62 voted to approve an Ordinance of Secession. The ordinance was later read to the public from the steps of the Capitol. Florida became the 3rd state to leave the Union, preceeded by South Carolina on December 20 and Mississippi on January 9.
The building that is now known as the Old State Capitol was completed in 1845--the year that Florida was admitted to the Union--and served as the seat of Florida's government until the late 1970s when a new Capitol building was completed immediately to the south. Although the Old Capitol was extensively remodelled after the Civil War to include a dome and east and west wings, many features of the Civil War era Capitol would be familiar to the legislators who served Florida when the state was part of the Confederacy.
Today the building serves as the Florida Legislative Research Center and Museum, and visitors are welcome. The building houses a number of historical exhibits on a variety of topics including the Civil War. On the grounds is a monument to the Confederate dead from Leon County (See Monuments section for more details).
The building is open 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM Saturday, and Noon - 4:30 PM Sunday and Holidays. It is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Admission is free but donations are welcome.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network is dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, both on land and underwater, and to involving the public in the study of their past.
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