Ossian B. Hart Photo

Ossian B. Hart

Born: Jan 17, 1821

Death: Mar 18, 1874

Birthplace: Jacksonville

Nationality: United States

Ossian B. Hart

Date of Birth : Jan 17, 1821
Date of Death : Mar 18, 1874
Birth Place : Jacksonville

Ossian Bingley Hart was the tenth Governor of the U.S. state of Florida, and the first governor of Florida who was born in the state. Born in Jacksonville to Isaiah Hart, one of the city's founders, he was raised on his father's plantation along the St. Johns River. He was a lawyer in Jacksonville. He moved to a farm near Fort Pierce, Florida in 1843, and was a founding member of the St. Lucie County Board of Commissioners. In 1845, Hart became Florida State Representative for St. Lucia County. In 1846 he moved to Key West where he resumed his law practice. In 1856, he moved to Tampa, Florida. Despite his upbringing, Hart was a Republican and openly opposed secession from the United States, causing some difficult times for him during the American Civil War. Following the war, he helped reestablish the governments of the state and of the city of Jacksonville. In 1868, he was appointed a justice of the Florida Supreme Court. In 1870, he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress, only to be elected governor two years later on January 7, 1873. He appointed Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs as Florida's first African American Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Also known as


  • Ossian Hart
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