YULEE, David Levy

1810–1886

Biography

YULEE, David Levy, a Delegate and a Senator from Florida; born David Levy in St. Thomas, West Indies, June 12, 1810; at the age of nine was sent to the United States to Norfolk, Va. to attend a private school; studied law in St. Augustine, Fla.; admitted to the bar in 1836 and practiced in St. Augustine, Fla.; delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1838; clerk to the Territorial legislature in 1841; elected as a Whig-Democrat, a Territorial delegate to the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Congresses (March 4, 1841-March 3, 1845); did not seek renomination, having become a candidate for the Senate; upon the admission of Florida as a State into the Union was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from July 1, 1845, to March 3, 1851; unsuccessful candidate for reelection; chairman, Committee on Private Land Claims (Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Congresses), Committee on Naval Affairs (Thirty-first Congress); by an act of the Florida Legislature and at his request his name was changed to David Levy Yulee in 1846; again elected to the United States Senate in January 1855 and served from March 4, 1855, until his withdrawal January 21, 1861; chairman, Committee on Post Office and Post Roads (Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses); due to his support of the Confederacy, was a prisoner at Fort Pulaski in 1865; president of the Florida Railroad Company 1853-1866; president of Peninsular Railroad Company, Tropical Florida Railway Company, and Fernandina and Jacksonville Railroad Company; known as the "Father of Florida's railroads"; moved to Washington, D.C., in 1880; died in New York City, October 10, 1886; interment in Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Jewish Historical Society

Waltham, MA
Papers: 1843-1865. 8 items. Chiefly political correspondence.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 1 letter.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1855-1858. 3 items.

St. Augustine Historical Society

St. Augustine, FL
Papers: 1858. 1 letter.

University of Florida
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History

Gainesville, FL
Papers: 1842-1920. 14 feet. Correspondence relating to activities of Yulee as territorial delegate to Congress, U.S. senator, and member of the Confederate Congress. Includes correspondence, business and legal papers, letterbooks, maps, and surveys. Finding aid. Additional correspondence in Samuel Ashe Swann papers, 1850-1914.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Miscellaneous items. Finding aid.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Adler, Joseph Gary. "The Public Career of Senator David Levy Yulee." Ph.D. dissertation, Case Western Reserve University, 1973.

Hühner, Leon. "David L. Yulee, Florida's First Senator." In Jews in the South, edited by Leonard Dinnerstein and Mary Dale Palsson, pp. 52-74. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973. Reprinted from Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society 25 (1917).

Marks, Henry S. "Proceedings of the First Florida Congressional Delegation." Florida Historical Quarterly 44 (January 1966): 205-11.

Thompson, Arthur William. "David Yulee: A Study of Nineteenth Century American Thought and Enterprise." Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1954.

___. "The Railroad Background of the Florida Senatorial Election of 1851." Florida Historical Quarterly 31 (January 1953): 181-95.

Whitfield, James B. "Some Legal Phases of the Senatorial Contest Between David L. Yulee and Stephen R. Mallory, Sr., in 1851." Florida Law Journal 19 (October 1945): 251-55.

Yulee, C. Wickliffe. "Senator Yulee." Publications of the Florida Historical Society 2 (April 1909): 26-43; (July 1909): 3-22.

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