Date in History:
David Levy Yulee and James D. Westcott, Jr., took their seats in the United States Senate today as the first senators from the State of Florida. Yulee was from St. Augustine, while Westcott was from Tallahassee. David Levy Yulee won the longer term in office, which ended on March 3, 1851, while Westcott’s term expired on March 3, 1849. The decision was made by lot. Westcott later became the Attorney General of Florida in 1868. Yulee, who had previously served as the delegate from Florida in the 27th, 28th and 29th Congress, was a large land owner, railroad developer and entrepreneur. He was the major force behind the first cross-peninsula railroad that ran from Fernandina on the Atlantic coast to Cedar Key on the Gulf of Mexico. The railroad opened in 1860, but was almost immediately shut down with the outbreak of the Civil War.