Friday, April 28, 2006
A friend "through all the combats that were fought"
Rev. Emanuel Fortune
[Photo from Florida State Archives]
Born a slave, Emanuel Fortune was a prominent minister and leading Republican party activist in post-War Jackson County. He was elected as a delegate to the Florida constitutional convention in early 1868 and as a Jackson County representative in the state legislature. A close friend of the Bureau agents, he accompanied Hamilton on voter registration and organization drives and may have saved Hamilton's life during a brawl with whites in Walton County. Fearing for life after the Finlayson/Purman shooting, Fortune fled with his family to Jacksonville in the summer of 1869. His son, Timothy Thomas Fortune benefitted from Purman's patronage when the latter was in Congress and became one the leading African American journalists of the early 20th century.