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William Marvin

Gov. William Marvin

  • July 13, 1865 - December 20, 1865
  • Provisional
  • April 14, 1808
  • July 9, 1902
  • New York
  • Homer Academy
  • Married twice--Harriet Newell, Elizabeth Riddle Jewett; one child


WILLIAM MARVIN, Florida’s seventh governor, was born in Fairfield, New York, on April 14, 1808. He was educated in New York’s public school system and at the Homer Academy. After studying law, Marvin was admitted in 1833, to the Bar of the Supreme Court and the Court of Chancery of New York. In 1835 he was appointed by President Andrew Jackson as U.S. district attorney of Key West. He also served two terms on the Florida Territorial Council, and he was a member of the 1838 Florida Constitutional Convention. In 1839 he was appointed as a judge by President Martin Van Buren, and in 1849 he was appointed by President James Polk to be a U.S. District Judge of the Southern District of Florida, a position he held until 1863. On July 13, 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Marvin Governor of Florida, with the goal of reinstating the state government. During his tenure, he petitioned for a state constitutional convention, which assembled on October 28, 1865, and canceled the ordinance of secession. Also the office of lieutenant governor was instituted, and new election dates were set for November 29, 1865. Marvin’s term ended on December 20, 1865. In 1866, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, but was denied his seat by the Radical Republicans. After his U.S. Senate snub, Marvin refused to be a candidate for any elective office, and he retired from public service. Governor William Marvin, who authored two nationally recognized textbooks, died in Skaneateles, New York, on July 9, 1902. He is buried at the Lake View Cemetery in Skaneateles.


Museum of Florida History: Florida Governors' Portraits

The Florida Memory Project: A Guide to Florida Governors and the Florida Cabinet

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.

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