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Florida's Political Past: A Guide to Manuscript Collections, Archival Records, and Other Primary Historical Documents of Florida's Politicians

About the Guide

This guide describes the personal papers, family papers, archives, diaries, and other primary sources for the scholar interested in researching the leading political figures of Florida. Represented in this list are governors, members of the U.S. Senate, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, territorial delegates to the U.S. Congress, chief justices of the Florida Supreme Court, and selected lietenant governors and gubernatorial cabinet members. Although this guide primarily focuses on Florida's statehood (1845-present), earlier politicians also are included. The guide also includes a small number of leading individuals who never held these positions but whom had considerable influence on politics in the state. Although the institutions included in this guide are predominately Florida repositories, it is important to note that the list is not limited to Florida. Primary sources for several leading political figures actually are held by institutions outside of the state, and these holdings are included as well as those of the Florida repositories.

For each individual included in this guide, descriptive information is typically displayed in this format:

  1. Name (Last, First).
  2. Position(s) Held (Usually the highest positions only).
  3. The name of the institution holding the primary sources and a link to the web site. Note that the primary sources usually have to be of significant research value for inclusion in the guide. For example, a collection of autographs would not be listed simply because it contains the signatures of several Floridians.
  4. A brief abstract describing each of the manuscript collections and primary sources available at the holding institution.
  5. In addition to describing the significant primary sources for each individual, occasionally the entry includes a section entitled "Other Collections/Items of Interest." This section might indicate that family members possess a portion of the politician's papers, or that the collection of a prominent author contains correspondence with the Florida politician, etc.

In creating this guide, the author consulted several sources in order to identify primary sources:

Comments/Suggestions? This guide is continually under revision. Comments that will improve the site are extremely welcome. If you are aware of any primary sources I have missed, please send the descriptive information via email to

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