HARRISON REED, Florida’s ninth governor, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on August 26, 1813. In 1836 his family moved to Wisconsin, and Reed found work as an editor at the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Neenah-Menasha Conservator, and the Madison Wisconsin State Journal. He is credited with founding the town of Neenah on the Fox River. After moving to Washington, D.C., in 1861, Reed was employed at the Treasury Department, a position he held until 1863. He then was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to serve as Florida’s tax commissioner, negotiating about Confederate property that had been seized. Two years later, he was appointed by President Andrew Johnson to serve as Florida’s mail agent. Reed won his first election in 1868, becoming Governor of Florida. During his tenure, he had the challenge of trying to reinstate the state’s civil government and restablize the shattered financial and taxation system. He was successful in making improvements in these areas. Appointed in 1868, Jonathan C. Gibbs was the first African-American to serve as secretary of state in Florida’s cabinet. Reed faced strong opposition during his term from Democrats and from a faction of Republicans who made two attempts to impeach him. After leaving office, he served as editor of the Jacksonville Semi-Tropical Monthly Magazine from 1875 to 1878, and he was the Jacksonville postmaster from 1889 to 1893. Governor Harrison Reed died on May 25, 1899, in Jacksonville.
Florida State Archives holds official incoming correspondence for Governor Reed
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.