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The Southern Jewish weekly. [volume] (Jacksonville, Fla.) 1939-1992, August 25, 1939, Image 2

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Page Two
David Levy Yulee,
Patriot and Statesman
BY J. GEORGE FREDMAN
EDITOR’S NOTE: The
story of one of the country’s
little known pioneers is here
told by Mr. Fredman, editor
of the Jewish War Veteran
Magazine.
Although he was the first Sen
ator from the State of Florida and
the first Jewish Senator in the
history of the United States, Da
vid Levy Yulee is a name unknown
to most Americans. An ardent
patriot and a far-seeing statesman
of the highest calibre, his memory
will be honored by the Jewish War
Veterans of the United States at
their 44th annual encampment to
be held in Miami August 28th
through September 4th. The en
tire Miami Jewish community has
joined with the War Veterans in
staging a patriotic meeting to re
call this little-known figure.
Yulee was a true pioneer. His
father settled in the Florida ter
ritory before it became a part of
the United States. Yulee himself
was active in the fight that fin
ally won statehood for Florida,
and he was the State’s first repre
sentative in the United States
Senate.
He was a prominent figure in
national affairs for more than 20
years. His name was handed down
to posterity in hundreds of im
portant nineteenth century docu
ments. It was appended to the
first constitution of Florida and
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WHEN IN JACKSONVILLE VISIT THE SOUTHERN CREMATORIUM
can be found in the original doc
uments on file in many govern
ment departments, as well as in
the public reports of Senate and
House Committees and in the
writings of distinguished contem
poraries.
| For David Yulee was a man of
affairs, who never let go his hold
of an idea until he saw it expand
and develop to take its place in
the parade of progress. He was
an important cog in the machin
ery which gave life and force to
many existing practices. At a
time when statesmen ridiculed
the possibility of floating iron, he
advocated iron vessels and was in
strumental in overturning the op
position of the scoffers. Against
formidable odds, he championed
cheap ocean postage.
I Individualism marked Yulee’s
career at every turn. The records
show that he always retained his
belief in the unifying efforts of
* the railroads and in protection as
a principle function of govern
ment.. It was Yulee who was re
sponsible for the security of the
early settlers in Florida, when
other groups were being pillaged
by bold Indian attacks. It was
his audible voice that protested
the reduction of the army in
Florida.
His leadership did not pass un
noticed by the great men of the
period. There are many written
tributes to him, even among the
papers of his enemies. The esteem
in which he was held may be
judged by his appointment to the
Washington Commission, after
i Appomatox, for the purpose of
re-establishing Florida into the
Union. Perhaps those trends of
leadership and individualism were
hereditary. His father, Moses
Elias Levy, was a lever of freedom
also, and a man who stretched an
idea to its full elasticity.
Moses was born in Mogodor,
Morocca, in 1782; he emigrated to
St. Thomas at the turn of the
century, bought a small piece of
land, and in a few years had built
up a lumber business. In 1816,
he went to Havana and became a
government contractor to supply
troops. The free institutions of
America he idolized. Eventually,
he bought an expanse of land in
Eastern Florida and invited Eu
ropean families to settle on his
plantation. On the morning of
June Bth, 1821, a bronzed worker,
cherishing in his neart the “land
of the free,” presented himself be
fore the United States Circuit
Court in Philadelphia and declared
his intention of becoming an
j American citizen. It was at St.
! Augustine that Moses Levy re
ceived his certificate of citizen
ship, after passing through certain
formalities established by Andrew
Jackson.
David —(born June 2nd, 1810) —
was meanwhile under the watch
ful eye of a friend of his father
in Norfolk, Moses Myers, who su
pervised an education for him
THE SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY
Preparing To Take Produce To Market
J* hG Br. .
Colonists of one of the outlying agricultural settlements load
the eggs and vegetables of their farm preparatory to shipping them
into the large market at Tel Aviv. Egg production alone has in
creased from 150,000 eggs produced in 1922 to more than 40,000,000
last year, with the support of the agencies of the United Palestine
Appeal, American instrument for Palestine upbuilding.
The United Palestine Appeal has combined its fund-rasing ef
forts with the Joint Distribution Committee and the National Co
ordinating Committee Fund, Inc., in the United Jewish Appeal for
Refugees and Overseas Needs, in order to meet more effectively the
urgent need of Jews in distress in Central and Eastern Europe.
from 1819 to 1827. While his fath
er sat in his study in Florida writ
ing to the daily newspapers about
politics and religion, drawing up
plans for the abolition of slavery,
David poured over his books at
Norfolk. Soon, the sagacious
youth blossomed into maturity and
made his way into the interior of
Florida to manage one of his fath
er’s plantations. For reasons
which have not been made known,
there followed an estrangement
from his father. By 1831, he was
diligently at work in St. Augus
tine studying law with Judge Rob
ert R. Reid.
He was admitted to the bar the
following year.
I The first significant step up the
ladder was a clerkship in the Ter
ritorial Legislature. During the
Seminole troubles, he was of as
sistance in protecting the interests
of settlers. It was only because of
his interest in the negotiations
with the Indians that we now have
the report of the conference of
1834 between General W. Thomp
son, the United States Agent, and
the Seminole chiefs, among whom
was the famous Osceola kept for
future historians the addresses de
livered at this occasion. It is in
teresting to note that an import
ant military officer at the time
spoke of him as “not only the most
enlightened but one of the most
patriotic inhabitants of Florida.”
From here on, his advancement
was rapid. Popular admiration
was clearly in evidence, and by
1836 he was elected to the Legis
lative Council from St. John’s
county. His work in one year
was satisfying, thereby gaining
for him election to the Legisla
ture; and, when he was proposed
as a delegate to the Convention
which framed the Constitution of
Florida, his County gave him full
support. As a chosen delegate to
Congress from the Florida terri
tory for the next two years, he
shone as the moving spirit for
admission of Florida into the
Union.
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In 1841, a proposal was made
to reduce the standing army in
Florida. Levy saw that the Semi
noles were still rampant, a men
ace to the people, and comments
on his speeches against the pro
posal are legion. John Quincy
Adams, an opponent on the issue,
wrote in his diary for March 16th,
1842: that he "found Yulee mak
ing a red-hot speech against the
President’s message.”
On June 4th, Adams wrote:
“Long speech for a reduction of
the army. David Levy, delegate
from Florida, loquacious against
it.”
i A typical opinion of Levy’s abil
ity was produced by the hand of
Edward Everett after Levy spoke
on the Ashburton Treaty: “Levy’s
argument is so clear and satisfac
tory that I have not attempted
to improve upon it.”
i Only a statesman of Yulee’s tal
ent could have succeeded in a re
lentless drive to get Florida ad
mitted to the Union. Levy finally
(Continued on Page Five)
L. L. HUNT
Electrical Contractor
| Phone 7-3656 439 Smith St. {

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AMERICAN LAUNDRYi
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M. J. Greenblatt, Mgr.
Phone 5-4085 Forest St
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PH.S-8753 113-129 CUy Si
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