Thursday, May 23, 2019

Today I went south of the border...the original border.

Today's Trivia (about the southern border of the United States of America)

Before there was a United States of America there were thirteen colonies which after the Revolutionary War became the first thirteen states of the Union...Alabama was not one of those original colonies.  Now driving north along U.S. highway 231 at the current state line where Alabama and Florida meet there is one of those historical markers one sees scattered all over this country.  I must have passed that marker a hundred times without ever looking at what it said...today I stopped!  (I probably should have said, "We stopped."  For I was with my friend Ron A. who actually pointed out the historical marker to me in the first place...gotta give credit where credit is due...thank you Ron.)




 
 
 
I hope you all enjoyed this bit of trivia. ~ Norm



Click here for On the border Part One

On the Border, Part II


This is the second installment of a two-part series on border disputes in Florida history. If you missed reading the first blog, click here to read it.
Last week, we looked at John Houston McIntosh, a borderland Floridian whose life reflected the tensions that sometimes cropped up along the Florida-Georgia border before Florida was a United States possession. Today, we look at an even more profound border conflict in Florida history, one that took almost a century to settle completely.
When the dust cleared after the American Revolution and the treaties were all signed, the newly created United States possessed the 13 former British colonies between Canada and the southern edge of Georgia. The Spanish obtained East and West Florida in a separate treaty with the British. That left just one problem: What was the legal boundary between Florida and Georgia? As the maps below demonstrate, it depended on who you asked.
Excerpt from Thomas Bowen's Map of North America (1780s). Florida Map Collection - State Library of Florida.
Excerpt from Thomas Bowen’s Map of North America (1780s). Florida Map Collection – State Library of Florida.
Excerpt from Joseph Purcell's map of the Southern states, plus Spanish East and West Florida (1792). Florida Map Collection - State Library of Florida.
Excerpt from Joseph Purcell’s map of the Southern states, plus Spanish East and West Florida (1792). Florida Map Collection – State Library of Florida.
Jean Baptiste d'Anville's "New and Complete Map of the West Indies" (1794). Florida Map Collection - State Library of Florida.
Jean Baptiste d’Anville’s “New and Complete Map of the West Indies” (1794). Florida Map Collection – State Library of Florida.
The mapmakers couldn’t agree, and neither could the statesmen. Considering how few people lived in the area at the time, it might not seem like such a big deal, but keep in mind that in those days the Florida-Georgia border was an international boundary line. Conflicts over the boundary continued between Spain and the United States, until finally the two countries agreed to settle their disputes by treaty. The Treaty of San Lorenzo, also sometimes called the Treaty of Madrid or Pinckney’s Treaty, stipulated that the two governments would appoint a joint commission to survey and mark the official border between Florida and Georgia.
Andrew Ellicott, a friend of Thomas Jefferson and a reputable surveyor and engineer, represented the U.S. on the commission. Captain Estevan Minor represented Spain. The two commissioners met at a point on the east bank of the Mississippi River below Natchez, where they were to begin their work. The Treaty of San Lorenzo called for the line to be surveyed out from the 31st parallel on the Mississippi east to the Chattahoochee River, down the Chattahoochee to its junction with the Flint River, then east to the source of the St. Marys River, then down the center of the St. Mary's River to the Atlantic Ocean.
Drawn portrait of Andrew Ellicott, who represented the United States on the joint commission tasked with surveying out the boundary line separating Spanish Florida from the United States (circa 1800s).
Drawn portrait of Andrew Ellicott, who represented the United States on the joint commission tasked with surveying out the boundary line separating Spanish Florida from the United States (circa 1800s).
 
Sounds simple enough, right? All the instructions were right there, nice and plain. Ellicott, Minor, and their assistants began their work in 1796 and continued surveying the line into the year 1800. When it was time to connect the line with the St. Mary's River, the commissioners explored several of the river’s forks and finally agreed upon a point that would be considered the river’s “source,” as the treaty directed. Here, the surveyors erected a large hill of soil, later called Ellicott’s Mound. They determined the latitude and longitude of this location and were thereby able to calculate the correct placement of a line between the mound and the intersection of the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers, which would be the Florida-Georgia boundary.
Excerpt of a map from Andrew Ellicott's 1803 journal, showing the source of the St. Marys River (1803). The State Library of Florida holds an original printing of this journal.
Excerpt of a map from Andrew Ellicott’s journal, showing the source of the St. Marys River (1803). The State Library of Florida holds an original printing of this journal.
Ironically enough, the placement of this line never proved a sticking point between Spain and the U.S. The real fireworks began once Florida and Georgia were both U.S. possessions. One of the first orders of business after Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821 was for the federal government to survey Florida out into townships and sections so the land could be distributed to settlers and local governments. To do this, however, the government surveyors needed to know exactly where the line separating Florida and Georgia truly was. Consequently, the United States Surveyor General arranged for the boundary to be clarified.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, some officials were beginning to doubt whether Ellicott’s Mound was located at the true source of the St. Marys River. Captain William Cone, a resident of Camden County who was familiar with the area, said the source of the river was actually located about 20-30 miles to the south. The state of Georgia appointed a commission to study this issue, as well as a surveyor named J.C. Watson to run, survey, and mark the proper line. When Watson finished his work, his line was not as far south as what Captain Cone had called for, but his line still ended south of Ellicott’s Mound. Georgia stood to gain a great deal of new territory by these findings, and state officials quickly extended county boundaries and state surveys to include it.
After several more rounds of conflicting surveys, Florida officials filed a bill of complaint with the United States Supreme Court, which is constitutionally charged with settling interstate boundary disputes. The suit never reached a final hearing. The state governments of Florida and Georgia ultimately ended up deciding the matter themselves. In 1857, both states agreed to use Ellicott’s Mound as the turning point for the boundary on the St. Marys River. A subsequent joint survey team worked out a line that everyone agreed upon, and the whole package was recognized and confirmed by an act of Congress in 1872. This settlement affected a number of land titles, of course, and these associated matters were eventually decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1887.
Florida and Georgia still have their differences from time to time, as adjoining states often do, but the southern boundary between them has all but ceased to be a matter for comment. The legacy of this near century-long disagreement is, however, still highly visible on state maps. You’ll recall that the land north of the Watson Line was claimed by Georgia all through the process of settling the dispute. By the time the controversy was settled, the land lying between the Watson Line and the real Florida-Georgia border had in many cases been sold and resold so many times that to re-survey it all into the Florida land system would have been very tedious. So, as a result, there is a strip of land across the top of the Sunshine State that belongs to Florida, yet is organized according to Georgia’s system of land description, as this map shows:
An excerpt from a map of Madison County published by the Florida Department of Transportation. The Watson Line is highlighted in red. Notice that the land between this line and the Georgia is not divided into the same system of townships and sections as the land farther south. Florida Map Collection - State Library of Florida.
An excerpt from a map of Madison County published by the Florida Department of Transportation. The Watson Line is highlighted in red. Notice that the land between this line and the official Florida-Georgia line is not divided into the same system of townships and sections as the land farther south. Florida Map Collection – State Library of Florida.
Remember that the State Library & Archives is an excellent source of information on all aspects of our state’s political history – even the obscure bits. We encourage you to visit info.florida.gov and search our catalogs to find more about your favorite topic in Florida history!

Friday, March 15, 2019

If you're too poor to pack up and move away from New York, that's your own damn fault...you voted for him and his party.


As residents flee New York's high taxes, state uses intrusive audits to get cash from defectors
By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News

New York State goes to extraordinary lengths to catch wealthy residents who try to flee its burdensome taxes, leaving a gaping hole in the state’s treasury.
The aggressive approach by state tax collectors comes as the Empire State faces a $2.3 billion budget deficit that even Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “as serious as a heart attack.”
Cuomo, a vocal critic of President Trump, blamed congressional Republicans for passing tax reforms that reduced the state and local tax deduction Americans can take on their annual income tax forms -- meaning residents of high-tax blue states like New York have been feeling the pinch, sparking their exodus.
“This is the flip side. Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich,” Cuomo said last month. “We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.”
 ~ Provided by Storm'n Norm'n ~
LOL X 100
But New York state auditors are doing their best to ensure that those fleeing the state’s high taxes will face difficulties, including being subjected to an audit -- likely to be followed by a massive tax bill.
New York conducted 3,000 “non-residency” audits between 2010 and 2017, recouping around $1 billion from the practice, CNBC reported.
Between 2015 and 2017, the auditors on average collected $144,270 per audit, with more than half of those who were audited losing their cases.
New York's success rate on audits can be attributed not only to the traditional methods of investigation like going through an individual’s credit card bills, but also to new high-tech tools that include tracking phone records, social media, and even veterinary and dentist records, according to the outlet.
Data show that between July 2017 and July 2018, the high-tax and Democrat-controlled states of New York and Illinois lost the most residents, with New York losing more than 48,000 residents, while Illinois’ population declined by more than 45,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
It remains unclear how many top-tax-paying residents were part of the people who fled the states, but the data show that low-tax red states like Florida and Texas gained new residents.
“If you’re a high earner in New York and you move to Florida, your chances of a residency audit are 100 percent,” Barry Horowitz, a partner at the WithumSmith+Brown accounting firm, told CNBC. “New York has always been aggressive. But it’s getting worse.”
New York is also working extensively to catch those high-worth individuals who fake their move to Florida in a bid to avoid paying steep taxes in New York.
Unlike in New York, where punitive tax rates apply to fund its burgeoning public sector and welfare state, Florida’s residents aren’t subjected to any income or estate tax.
Even Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, mother of pro-tax Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, touted Florida’s low-tax system after fleeing the Big Apple.

“I was paying $10,000 a year in real estate taxes up north. I’m paying $600 a year in Florida. It’s stress-free down here.” — Blanca Ocasio-Cortez
“I was paying $10,000 a year in real estate taxes up north. I’m paying $600 a year in Florida. It’s stress-free down here,” she told the Daily Mail from her home in Eustis.
Yet New York's get-tough approach toward its former residents may pose some dangers in the long-term. While recouping unpaid money works for the state’s treasury in the short-term, such practices create a hostile environment for the wealthy that threatens to accelerate their exodus.
And with the top 1 percent paying nearly half of the income taxes in the state, New York can’t afford any more departures.
“Even if a small number of taxpayers leave, it has a dramatic effect on this tax space,” Cuomo said last month.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.

 

 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

My sister needs to listen to this...and all other non-believers

I'm deeply saddened that my very own sister does not believe a word of any of this...and most likely will not watch or listen.  She has openly expressed that by
exposing the truth I am "sick with hate" ...'nough said!
 


 My sister has no clue who Cloward and Piven is or what they stand for.