Monday, May 01, 2006

Jonathan C. Gibbs

J.C. Gibbs (1827 - 1874): Distinguished and able radical Republican politician. A native of Pennsylvania, Gibbs graduated from Dartmouth College and came to the South after the war as a Presbytarian missionary. Served in a number of government positions including as Florida's Secretary of State. Gibbs resented the Florida moderate faction's failure to nominate African Americans for high level offices. He correctly saw Hamilton as vulnerable and openly advocated delivering Florida's congressional seat to an African American. Gibbs journied to Jackson County, the base of Hamilton's African American support, to organize opposition to Hamilton simultaneous with Hamilton and Purman's nearly disasterous appearance in August 1870. The convergence of Osborn's revenge and Gibbs's efforts brought about Hamilton's sudden downfall, though Josiah Walls, not Gibbs was the beneficiary. Many considered Gibbs the most impressive and best educated Florida public figure of his era, black or white.
[Photo: Florida State Archives}

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