John Buchanan Floyd, Governor (American National Biography)

Scholarship
William G. Shade, "Floyd, John Buchanan,” American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00382.html.
In December 1848 Floyd was elected governor by a coalition of Democrats and Whigs, who supported his views on constitutional reform and internal improvements. As governor he advocated white manhood suffrage, a more equitable apportionment of the legislature on the basis of the white population, and an elective judiciary. He also pushed for an extensive program of turnpike, canal, and railroad construction. His administration stabilized the commonwealth's credit through a program of bond sales and oversaw an unprecedented expansion of appropriations for internal improvements. Floyd continued to defend southern rights while governor. He sought to strengthen slavery by aiding the Virginia Colonization Society in the removal of the commonwealth's free black population. He attacked the "never ending aggression" of the northern abolitionists and proposed that the commonwealth tax the incoming goods from those free states that persisted in refusing to return fugitive slaves. Finally, Governor Floyd issued a call for a national convention to oppose "agitation of the slavery question" and aided the formation in Richmond of the Central Southern Rights Association. He warned that, if the South did not resist, the northern fanatics would eventually control Congress and eliminate slavery.
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