August 19, 2007

The Road to Jubilee

Not far from Tallahassee, Chiles bought a plot of land about 200 acres in size and built a "cook shack"--an old-fashioned cracker log cabin--in a clearing in the pines. It's actually three structures: the cook shack cabin with bathroom and loft, a "living room" next door with a fireplace, and a supply shed stocked with firewood and other stuff. He purchased the property soon after becoming governor I believe.

After he died, his wife Rhea named the property "Jubilee." As Morgan Freeman says in the movie Glory about the 54th Massachusetts regiment of black Union soldiers, Jubilee in the Bible is a blessed time when all chains would be broken and all slaves set free. A time of universal amnesty. Freeman tells a couple of young black kids something like this: "that's right, ain't no dream, we run away slaves and come back fightin' men...go tell you folks our kingdom come to the Year of Jubilee!"

Both of the Chiles/MacKay inaugural festivities were called Jubilees, meshing with Chiles' view of government as a covenant--a blessed social contract between individuals searching for a community.

Miccosukee Road, as it winds east past the Tally beltway, becomes the Miccosukee Canopy Greenway. It is also the "Road to Jubilee":

This soil was perfect for cotton, until the boll weevils came and destroyed the industry.
Before the Civil War, cotton would come into town by carriage on this road from the plantations in Leon and Jefferson Counties.
Red Hills of North Florida.

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