Dred Scott, a slave who served as the hostler in Peter Blow’s Florence Hotel, waged a 14-year legal fight for freedom that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision of 1857, a pivotal event in American history. Scott has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
The Code of the City of Florence was amended several times between incorporation and 1858.
President of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis spoke in Tuscumbia in 1861.
Future President James A. Garfield fought in the Battle of Shiloh and was stationed in Tuscumbia.
Andrew Jackson visits in 1869.
A new charter was written in 1873 and amended in 1879 and again in 1901.
Lawyer and statesman James T. Rapier, a son of free African-American parents in Florence, holds the distinction of being just the second African American from Alabama to be elected, in 1873, to the U.S. Congress. Rapier has been elected to the Florence City Walk of Honor.
Presidential family member, Robert Todd Lincoln, visited in 1887.
Mayors of the City of Florence from 1850-1899:
1839-1852 John Simpson
1853-1860 George W. Snead
1861-1867 James Brook
1868-1869 James Bennington Irvine*
1869-1870 Neander H. Rice
1870-1871 William D. Hamner
1871-1873 Neander H. Rice
1873-1874 B.P. Joiner
1874-1879 William T. Brock
1879-1888 Zebulon P. Morrison
1888-1897 Robert Andrews
1897-1901 John Bedford Weakley, Jr.
*Son of James B. Irvine
Governors from Florence/Lauderdale County from 1850-1899:
1865-1867 Robert M. Patton serves as Governor
1874-1878 George H. Houston of Gravelly Springs serves as Governor
1882-1886 Edward Asbury O’Neal serves as Governor
Alabama Legislatures & other offices from Florence/Lauderdale County 1850-1899:
1886 Miss Gem Weakley is appointed by the Alabama Legislature as Senate enrolling clerk – the first woman to hold public office in Alabama.
1873 Neander H. Rice – Secretary of State Alabama
US Congressman from Florence from 1850-1899:
1873 James Thomas Rapier is elected to the U.S. Congress
National and International Appointments from Florence/Lauderdale County from 1850-1899:
1891 George Washington Goethals serves as Chief Engineer for the Panama Canal.