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Florida passes resolution, apologizes for slavery

  • Story Highlights
  • Florida legislature calls slavery "shameful chapter" in state's history
  • Florida is sixth state in past year to apologize for slavery
  • Resolution calls for healing, reconciliation across state
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(CNN) -- Florida has become the sixth U.S. state to apologize for slavery.

Both chambers of the Florida legislature adopted a resolution Wednesday expressing "profound regret for the shameful chapter in this state's history."

The resolution notes that Florida sanctioned and enforced "African slavery in one of its most brutal and dehumanizing forms" from 1822 -- a year after Florida became a U.S. territory -- until the end of the American Civil War in 1865.

Florida became a U.S. state in 1845. It joined other slave-holding states in the American South in seceding from the Union in 1861, triggering a civil war that ended slavery and preserved the Southern states as part of the United States.

Five other U.S. states have apologized for slavery since last year, including Alabama, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.

The Florida resolution cites state laws from the 1800s saying that any "slave duly convicted of robbery ... or burglary shall suffer death or have his or her ears nailed to posts and there stand for one hour and receive 30 lashes on his or her bare back at the discretion of the court."

Freed slaves "were denied the right to vote and in later years were, by law, so repressed, restricted and harassed that by 1850 most had been driven from Florida."

The resolution also "calls for healing and reconciliation among all residents of the state." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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