GUIDE TO THE
FRANCIS P. FLEMING
1694-1912 (bulk 1810-1912)
1.35 cubic ft.
Francis Philip Fleming was born 28 September 1841 at Panama Park, Duval County, Florida, one of seven children born to Lewis Fleming and his second wife, Margaret Seton Fleming. The Flemings had three children, Francis Philip, Charles Seton (killed at the Battle of Cold Harbor, 1864), and Frederick A. With his first wife, Augustina Cortez, Lewis Fleming had two sons, George and Lewis I.
Francis Fleming’s paternal grandfather, George Fleming, emigrated to Florida from Scotland in 1785, receiving large land grants for his military service for the Spanish government; he married Sophia, daughter of Francis Philip Fatio, a Swiss immigrant. Their son, Lewis Fleming (1798-1862), was a Major on the staff of Richard Keith Call who distinguished himself in the Indian Wars; he farmed Hibernia, a St. Johns River plantation. Fleming’s maternal grandfather, Charles Seton, settled in Fernandina Beach in the early 1800s; he also descended from the Fatios. As a member of a prominent Florida family, Francis was educated at home by private tutors. When he was twenty years old he left the business world and enlisted as a private in a company of volunteers that was incorporated into the Confederate Army’s 2nd Florida Regiment during the Civil War. He became quartermaster-sergeant of his regiment in November 1862, and earned a battlefield promotion to First Lieutenant in Virginia. While home on sick leave, he commanded a company of volunteers at the Battle of Natural Bridge south of Tallahassee, Florida.
At the end of the war Fleming studied law and was admitted to the bar 12 May 1868 in Jacksonville, practicing in the firm Fleming and Daniel. He became involved in politics beginning as a member of the State Democratic Executive Committee and participated in the campaign of Governor George F. Drew in 1876. He accepted the nomination in 1888 and was elected the fifteenth governor (8 January 1889-3 January 1893). During his term he established a state Board of Health with the goal of suppressing Yellow Fever, and reformed the tax structure.
Fleming was a member of the Florida Yacht Club; commander of the R.E. Lee Camp of Confederate Veterans; aide-de-camp to General John B. Gordon, Florida Division of the United Confederate Veterans; vestryman and warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church; member of the Florida Board of Trade; member of the Seminole Club; president of the Jacksonville Bar Association; member of the Florida Bar Association; president of the Old Confederate Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home Association; trustee of the University School of Medicine of Richmond, Virginia; president and active member of the Florida Historical Society, and editor and contributor to the society’s quarterly publication.
He married Floride Lydia Pearson in 1871; they had three children: a daughter, Elizabeth Legere Fleming who married Frank Percival Hamilton; Francis Philip, Junior; and Charles Seton, both of whom practiced law. Francis Philip Fleming died in Jacksonville on 20 December 1908.
Scope and Content
The Francis P. Fleming papers consist of his personal papers including correspondence; Seton and Fleming family letters and documents, some from the Spanish period in Florida, as well as an original land grant from Canterbury, England in 1694. There are detailed letters written by Fleming describing his experience while a soldier in the Civil War, plus original muster rolls for the 2nd Regiment, Florida Volunteers, 1861-1863. His post-war correspondents include Edward Aylsworth Perry, Edward Bradford Eppes, and Henry M. Flagler. Included in the collection are his typewritten transcripts of documents pertaining to Florida history, including extracts from United States and Florida government documents about a wide range of subjects (internal improvements, draining the Everglades, public roads, Seminole Indians). There are political printed materials, 1902-1908 (circular letters, handbills, speeches, and broadsides) for Florida political campaigns of Wilkinson Call, J.M. Barrs, Duncan U. Fletcher, Albert W. Gilchrist, Park M. Trammell, and others. Also included in the collection are four letterpress copybooks, 1901-1908.
The collection is organized into five series: family papers (Seton and Fleming); Francis P. Fleming personal papers; official Civil War records; Florida history research (subject files sub-series, political printed materials sub-series, and newspaper sub-series); and business records.
The series are arranged in chronological order.
Some of the early family documents are in Spanish.
ProvenanceThe bulk of the Fleming papers were given to the Florida Historical Society by Francis P. Fleming’s granddaughter, Mrs. Hester Fleming Williams, date unknown. Three additional letters were donated by Mrs. Elizabeth Fleming Ingle in 1980.
Preservation photocopies (Box 2, folder 14) of documents from Box 1, folders 1-7 should be used instead of fragile originals.
Selected Subject TermsFleming, Francis P. (Francis Philip), 1841-1908 – Archives
Seton, CharlesFlorida – History – Spanish colony, 1784-1821
Florida – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Personal narratives, Confederate Florida– Politics and government – 19th century
Florida – Politics and government – 20th century United States– History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Personal narratives, Confederate
Family Papers Series
Seton Family correspondence and documents
Charles Seton (Don Carlos Seton) correspondence and legal documents (land grants, deeds), 1810-1836, 1854 (some in Spanish)
Fleming Family correspondence and documents
Land petition of Francis P. Fatio, 1791
Letters testamentary on the estate of George Fleming, 1811
Land deed (indenture), England, 1694 [oversized, in map case]
Lewis Fleming poetry, Fernandina, 25 September 1816
Lewis Fleming letter, 1835
East Florida proclamation, 1831 (copy)
Francis P. Fleming Personal Papers Series
Francis P. Fleming Civil War letters, 1862-1865
Recipients: Aunt Tilly, Miss Eliza, brother
General Edward Aylesworth Perry Civil War letters received from David Lang, 1863, and List of Killed and Wounded of the 2nd Regiment Florida Volunteers in the battle of the Seven Pines near Richmond, Va., May 31, 1862
Notes taken by Captain C. Seton Fleming 2nd Florida Infantry during the early part of the Campaign of 1864 in Virginia
Insignia on collar of coat [worn by] F.P. Fleming senior as Commander, Florida Division, United Confederate Veterans
Folder 6F.P. Fleming letters to cousin Edward, and Capt. E.M. L’Engle, 1867-1868; and letter from W.A. Hardee, 1868
F.P. Fleming correspondence, 1872-1910
Correspondents include E.A. Perry, Edward Bradford Eppes, J.J. Thompson, W.R. Moore, S. Pasco, W.D. Ballantine, Henry M. Flagler, J.M. Dickinson, and relatives seeking genealogical information. Topics include organizing a Florida Historical Society, plus empty envelopes addressed to Fleming and to Matilda Fleming and Matilda Seton; also, includes E.A. Perry letter to Charles C. Jones, 1872
Condolence letters and resolutions on death of F.P. Fleming, 1908-1909
Includes memorial in The Florida Historical Quarterly, April 1909, Confederate Veteran obituary, 1909, and newspaper obituaries
Folder 8aProclamations on Fleming’s death, 1908 [oversized, in map case]
Newspaper articles and typescripts, 1859, 1892-1893Includes obituary of Fleming’s mother-in-law, Elizabeth Leger Pearson
Publications by Francis P. Fleming, 1906, n.d.Includes report and address to Florida Historical Society memoralizing George Rainsford Fairbanks, 1906; and a newspaper article, "Steamboating on the St. Johns River in the Early Days" from his column, "Some Florida Incidents," n.d.
Official Civil War Records Series
2nd Regiment, Florida Volunteers Muster Rolls, 1861-1863
Includes Companies 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, C, D, E, G, H, I, M, R; Hospital Department at Richmond, Va., 1861, 1863; Field and non-commissioned staff, 1861, 1883 [oversized, in map case]
2nd Regiment, Florida Volunteers Muster Rolls copies and transmittal letters, 1880-1906
Includes wounded, missing, and killed
2nd Regiment, Florida Volunteers Muster Roll lists (copies), 1880s
Includes wounded, missing, and killed for Companies D (Captain T.W. Brevard), E (Captain John D. Hopkins), F (Captain James F. McClellan), G (Captain J.J. Daniel), I (Captain William P. Pillans), K (Captain George W. Call), and those men serving under Captain W.R. Moore. [oversized, in map case]
Florida History Research Series
Subject Files Sub-series
Indian Affairs (typed transcripts)
Includes essays on Native Americans in Florida, Osceola, and the Seminoles (vocabulary and names)
The Carib Indians essay (typed transcript)
Congressional documents concerning land claims (typed transcript)
Includes claims of Charles F. Sibbald, John Ponce, Philip J. Fontaine, and list of settlers in 1844
State political affairs, 1839-1912 (typed transcripts)
Includes separate government for East Florida, a history of Florida through Reconstruction
State government documents, 1831-1855 (typed transcripts)
Includes reports on survey for ship canal, banks of Florida, commercial development, Dade Institute, survey for railroad route, Florida Education Society of Tallahassee
U.S. government documents, 1841-1891 (typed transcripts)
Includes contested elections
Congressional bills, 1814-1846 (typed transcripts)
Includes an act to authorize the laying out and opening certain public roads in the territory of Florida, repair of government house in St. Augustine, depredations in Florida by the U.S. Army in 1814, railroad in 1846, J.W. Simonton vs. U.S. re: land in Key West, admission of Florida into the Union, draining the Everglades
U.S. and Florida documents, 1847-1864 (typed transcripts)
Includes lighthouse at Bayport, post office at Fernandina, improvement of the Ocklawaha River, 1864 report of occupation of Florida by Union forces
Internal improvements, 1822-1837 (typed transcripts)
Includes Apalachicola and Chattahoochee rivers, and members of legislative or territorial councils, 1822, 1845-1912
Political Printed Materials Sub-series
Printed circular letters and broadsides, 1902-1906
Political handbills and broadsides, 1902-1904
Includes campaigns of Wilkinson Call, J.M. Barrs, speech of William Jennings Bryan at Jacksonville (16 February 1904), Napoleon B. Broward, Frank Clark, Telfair Stockton, and Senator Taliaferro
Political cartoons, 1904
Political handbills and broadsides, 1906-1908
Includes campaigns of E.B. Bailey, William B. Lamar, John Stockton, John S. Beard, Duncan U. Fletcher, Robert W. Davis, Albert W. Gilchrist, Park M. Trammell, Charles B. Parkhill
Includes drainage of the Everglades, Indian War Claims Fund, Nicaragua Canal, Panama Canal, peonage in Florida, anti-Democratic Party, purchase of the Philippines, and appropriations by Florida representatives in the U.S. House
Civil War newspaper article clippings, 1863-1866
Includes The Jacksonville Standard, 9 June 1859; The Richmond Times, 29 May 1865; The Pensacola Gazette, 27 July 1880; The Monticello Tribune, 22 November 1890; The Florida Mirror, 26 May, 2, 16, and 23 June 1894; The Weekly News (Pensacola, Fla.), 20 July 1894; and The Daily News (Pensacola, Fla.), 17 January 1902 [oversized, in map case]
Preservation photocopies of correspondence from Box 1, folders 1-7
Business Records Series
Vol. 1 Letterpress copybook, 31 May 1901-8 January 1903
Vol. 2 Letterpress copybook, 14 January 1903-4 May 1905
Vol. 3 Letterpress copybook, 5 May 1905-11 July 1907
Vol. 4 Letterpress copybook, 12 July 1907-30 November 1908