William Pope Duval

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William Pope Duval
2 Duval.jpg
1st Territorial Governor of Florida
In office
April 17, 1822 – April 24, 1834
Appointed by James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Preceded by Andrew Jackson
as Military Governor
Succeeded by John Eaton
Personal details
Born (1784-09-04)September 4, 1784
(near present-day Richmond, Virginia)
Died March 19, 1854(1854-03-19) (aged 69)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Nancy Hynes Duval
Signature

William Pope Duval (September 4, 1784 – March 19, 1854) was the first civilian governor of Florida Territory, succeeding Andrew Jackson who had been military governor. In his twelve-year governorship, from 1822 to 1834, he divided Florida into four territories, established the local court system, and chose Tallahassee as the territory’s capital because of its central location. Duval Street in Key West is named for him.

Early life[edit]

William Duval was born to Major William Duval and Ann Pope in "Mansfield," Henrico County, Virginia (near present-day Richmond). At the age of 14, he left home and struck out on his own, settling in Bardstown, Kentucky. He began to study law and was admitted to the bar at 19 in 1804. On October 3, 1804, he married Nancy Hynes in Bardstown

Congressional service[edit]

During an outbreak of Indian hostilities in 1812, Duval was given command of a company of mounted Volunteers. This service and his law experience helped to win him election to the 13th Congress of the United States in 1812. He served as a representative from the Democratic-Republican Party in the new Kentucky's 10th congressional district until 1815 when he did not seek re-election. He returned to Kentucky and continued to practice law.

Florida Territory[edit]

In 1821, Florida became a U.S. Territory, Duval was named United States Judge for the East Florida district on May 18, 1821. On April 17, 1822, President James Monroe appointed him as the first non-military governor of the territory, succeeding General Andrew Jackson. He was reappointed by President John Quincy Adams and President Andrew Jackson. During his twelve-year administration, he named the small Indian village of Tallahassee as the site of the territory's capital, on account of its central location. He was also known for his peaceful dealings with the Native Americans living in the state. He signed the first act of legislation in Florida as a U.S. Territory, dividing it into four territories and establishing the local court system.

Post governorship[edit]

Duval continued to live in Florida for a number of years, practicing law. He moved to Texas in 1848. He and his wife had eight children, many of whom began families in Texas, most notably Burr Harrison Duval. He died in Washington, D.C. He is interred at the Congressional Cemetery.

Legacy[edit]

There are many roads across Florida named after him, the most well known being Duval Street in Key West, Florida.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 111. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Jackson
as Military Governor of Florida
Territorial Governor of Florida
1822–1834
Succeeded by
John Eaton