It is a daunting task to thank everyone who has helped in such a large project as a book, particularly when it is my first book, and I did a fair amount of learning as I researched. For their tireless help, I must start with my colleagues and the administration at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, particularly Jon Mills, who helped me flesh out ideas; the University of Florida Legal Information Center reference librarians; the University of Florida Special Collections librarians, especially Carl Van Ness and James Cusick; the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program staff and volunteers, particularly Paul Ortiz, Deborah Hendrix, and Sarah Blanc; and Jack Emerson Davis and the faculty of the University of Florida history department, who have helped a nontraditional graduate student avoid some mistakes. I am sure, however, that many remain; those are my own.
I would also like to thank the committee who awarded me the Patrick Riordan Memorial Fellowship in Florida Studies for 2014. The July I spent at the University of South Florida Special Collections as the Riordan Fellow provided me invaluable time and access to sources; I would especially like to thank Matt Knight and Andy Hues at USF.
Florida-wide research gave me opportunities to visit many of Florida’s fine libraries. I would especially like to thank Katie McCormick at Florida State University Special Collections; the staff at the Thomas G. Carpenter Library at the University of North Florida; the excellent and helpful staff at the Richter Library at the University of Miami; the wonderful librarians at the Stetson University College of Law Special Collections; and Teresa Farley of the Florida Supreme Court Law Library, (p.xxii) who helped me get started at my very first foray into research for this project.
Perhaps my greatest debt is to Miriam Spalding at the Florida State Archives, who has answered my questions, guided me through oceans of documents, and granted my many requests, and always with a smile. I am thankful that use of the archives remains free and open for citizens.
I am also grateful to those who gave generously of their time to be interviewed. Some of them are no longer living, most remain vitally alive, but all have left their mark on our great state. I have been honored to spend time with them and hear their stories. They are Emerson Allsworth, Reubin O’D. Askew, Martha Barnett, Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte, W. Dexter Douglass, Murray Dubbin, Martin A. Dyckman, Robert M. Ervin, Bob Graham, Stephen H. Grimes, Jerome and Gere Johns, Claude R. Kirk Jr., Jon Mills, Jon Moyle Sr., Ben Overton, Dick Pettigrew, Terrell Sessums, Chet Smith, Gene Stearns, and Ralph Turlington.
Deep thanks go to the University Press of Florida, especially series editors David Colburn and Susan MacManus and acquisitions editor Sian Hunter, for believing in the project, and to Marthe Walters, for helping to turn the manuscript into a book. I would also like to thank my copy editor, Jonathan Lawrence, for helping this to come out a much better book than it began. Thank you all for your care and patience.
Thanks seem not nearly enough to describe what I owe to my friends and family for enduring the years of my preoccupation with this project. The Nuñez-Nielsen and Barnett families I especially thank for putting me up in the lovely Tallahassee writers’ retreats also known as their guest rooms.
My deepest thanks I reserve for those who have lived through this project with me daily: my beloved Mitchell Prugh, whose moral support and help with research made creating this book both a pleasure and an adventure; and my parents, Flake and Clara Adkins, for waiting for this book patiently and lovingly.