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The Florida Historical Legal Documents collection is a growing collection of primary source materials surveying changes in Florida law from the time it became a territory in 1822 through 1845 when Florida became a state. Anchoring the collection, Florida Territorial Laws is a time capsule of Florida history. The Laws document the establishment of the territorial court system based on British Common Law as of July 4, 1776. Taxation and licensure, establishment of the boundaries of counties and the incorporation of cities, administration of wills and estates, regulations pertaining to slaves, as well as the creation of roads, ferries and mail routes are recorded here. Religion was regulated by the state's incorporation of churches and naming of Trustees. Payments made to sheriffs and other individuals for state business, dissolutions of marriages and the reasons for the dissolution, as well as the regulation of the militia can be found in the Laws. Other materials in the collection offer supplementary information about the legal, political and social history of Florida before and after its Territorial period.
The collection is founded largely from the source document collections of the State Library and Archives of Florida and from the University of Florida's Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center at the Levin College of Law, which digitized the core texts for this collection.