David Levy YULEE, Congress, FL (1810-1886)

Senate Years of Service:
1845-1851; 1855-1861
Democrat; Democrat

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.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; 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; 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.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present