Back to former Florida governors
William Dunn Moseley

Gov. William Dunn Moseley

  • June 25, 1845 - October 1, 1849
  • Democratic
  • February 1, 1795
  • January 3, 1863
  • North Carolina
  • University of North Carolina
  • Married Susan Hill; six children


WILLIAM DUNN MOSELEY, Florida’s first Governor under statehood, was born in Lenoir County, North Carolina, on February 1, 1795. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1818, studied law, and established a private practice in Wilmington, North Carolina. Moseley entered politics as a member of the North Carolina State Senate, an office he held from 1829 to 1836. In 1836, Moseley moved his family to a plantation on Miccosoukie Lake, Florida and returned to his career in public service. He served in Florida’s Territorial House of Representatives in 1840, and was a member of the Florida Territorial Senate in 1844. On May 26, 1845, he was elected Governor of Florida, and on June 25, 1845, he was sworn into office. During his tenure, he advocated for states’ rights, he endorsed the development of agriculture in the state, and he was a proponent of creating state-funded public schools. Also, the Mexican War had started and the federal government initiated the building of Fort Clinch in Fernandina and Fort Jefferson on Garden Key. After leaving office on October 1, 1849, Moseley retired from public service. He returned to his Jefferson County plantation and later moved to Palatka where he operated a large citrus grove. Governor William D. Moseley died on January 4, 1863, and he is buried at the West View Cemetery in Palatka, Florida.


Florida State Archives holds the official papers of Governor Mosley

Museum of Florida History: Florida Governors’ Portraits

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.

Recent Florida Governors