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Cary Augustus Hardee served as Florida's twenty-third governor from January 4, 1921 to January 6, 1925. Hardee was born in Taylor County on November 13, 1876. Hardee's pre-gubernatorial career included employment as a school teacher in Taylor, Jefferson, and Madison Counties, and principal of the Perry School. He then began the study of law and was admitted to the Florida Bar at the turn of the century. In 1905, he was elected State Attorney for the Third Judicial Circuit, a position he held until 1913. Hardee also became involved in the banking profession, helping establish the First National Bank in Live Oak and the Farmer's Bank in Madison. In 1915, Hardee won election to the Florida House of Representatives from Suwannee County and became Speaker of the House his first term of office. He was re-elected to the House in 1917.
In 1920, Hardee won the Democratic nomination for Governor and defeated Republican candidate George E. Gay in the general election. Hardee's term of office was a busy one. Constitutional amendments reapportioned the State Legislature and outlawed state income and inheritance taxes. The controversial convict-lease system was outlawed in the state, and the governor placed a strong emphasis on public education and fiscal responsibility.
Following his term, Hardee continued his involvement in the banking and legal fields. He campaigned for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1932 but was defeated. Hardee resided in Live Oak until his death on November 21, 1957.
Governor Hardee's scrapbook consists primarily of newspaper clippings from his term of office from 1921 to 1925. Due to the absence of correspondence and other records from this period, Governor Hardee's scrapbook contains the best source of information on his term available at the Archives. Among the myriad of topics included are his inauguration ceremonies, legislative affairs, internal improvements, the state economy, the convict-lease controversy, expansion of the State Capitol, dedication of the State Military Arsenal, the death of President Warren G. Harding, and the National Governor's Conference. Also included are various flyers and pamphlets, and several original photographs of the governor, his cabinet, and his family.
Several loose items are present in the scrapbook, including an invitation to the White House and a 1940 letter to Hardee from Hamilton Holt, president of Rollins College. This interesting letter concerns an upcoming meeting of the "Florida Anti-Third Term Democrats," an organization designed to prevent the reelection of Franklin Roosevelt.
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Florida. Governor (1921-1925 : Hardee) Florida. State Military Arsenal.
Taxation Florida Convict labor Florida
Florida Politics and government 1865-1950
National Governor's Conference Jacksonville, Fla., etc.) 1924 : (16th :