Birth of John T. Lesley

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12 May 1835

1835 - John T. Lesley was born in Madison County on this date. In 1848, Lesley moved with his family to Tampa. Lesley fought in the State Militia during the Third Seminole War until 1858. Captain Lesley commanded Company K of the 4th Florida Infantry, the "Sunny South Guards," and made Major in 1862. Lesley resigned his commission in 1863 to recruit a cavalry company. At the end of the war, Lesley returned to Tampa. Lesley served as Sheriff for two years. In 1869 Lesley ran for Mayor of Tampa. He campaigned on a single platform that Tampa’s charter should be revoked by the state legislature due to the City’s destitute financial condition. The majority of residents agreed and Lesley was elected mayor on March 1, 1869. On October 4, 1869, the state legislature responded as expected and revoked the City’s charter. When the news reached Tampa, Lesley and other City officials resigned their positions. He was elected to the Florida House in 1876 and the Senate in 1878 being reelected in 1882. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1885. He was also owner of John T. Lesley's wholesale and retail drug store. He died on July 13, 1913


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