Children7.jpg (17030 bytes)


December 24, 1823
The citizens of Fernandina sent a memorial to Congress requesting that the land reserved by the Spanish around the town's flagpole and its public lots be declared the property of the town. From Territorial Papers — Florida, volume XXII, 1821 - 1824


[NA:HF, 18 Cong., 1 sess.:DS]
TERRITORY OF FLORIDA [December 24, 1823]

To the Honourable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled—

The Memorial of the Undersigned Citizens and Inhabitants of the Town of Fernandina (Amelia Island) East Florida-Respectfully sheweth—

That his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain reserved to himself the right of 1500 Varras (equal to 1395 yards 2~ feet) round all fortified Towns in F1orida: commencing from the flagstaff, and forming a circle, for the convenience of defending the p1ace; when not required by the King the Inhabitants were allowed to cultivate the same—The said ground has been measured and planted by the poor Inhabitants for many years, from which they obtain their support—

Your Memorialists pray that your Honourab1e body will confirm the right of the Town of Fernandina to the said 1500 Varras, and to all the Public Lots in the said Town for the benefit thereof—The rent arising from the said land, a1tho on1y a small portion is arab1e; will in time enable the overseer of the Town to provide for the poor; have a School House, and defray the expences of a Minister, of whom we stand in great need—We humb1y pray that your Honourab1e body will take our Memoria1 into consideration and grant our petition—

FERNANDINA 24 December 1823

Chas Seton
Gaspar Rosy
Domingo Acosta
Domingo Luna
Fran.. L Pons
Antonio Dias
Migue1 Mabrite
John Llanza
Martin Arnau
Francs Triay
Frances G, Triay
Peter Triay
Bernardo Sintas
Joseph Lopez
Pedro Arnaw
Joseph Arnaw
Peter Capo
Andres Lopez
William Tiboret
Thomas Backhouse
Ynocencio B. Cardona
John D Braddock
Ephm Harrison
Samuel Harrison
John Harrison
Robt Harrison
Saml Harrison junr
W. H. G. Saunders
J Midd1eton
Wm Parker
Jno. Brown
Juan Cercopo1y
Jose Estella
F D MDonell
James Pe1ot
William MDonell

Elizabeth Susannah Christopher Houston died at the age of 30.

Jane Christopher was born. She later married William Monteith Braddock.

William, son of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born.

January 13, 1824
It is not known, as far as I can tell, when Hester the youngest daughter of John Cutler Braddock and Lucy Cook died. Her will recorded in Camden County, GA court records is dated January 13, 1824. Strangely, as can be seen in the following transcript, her name is written as "Hester" across the top and is also in the opening line: "I, Hester Christopher . . ." However, her signature at the end of the will is "Esther Christopher." In earlier days wills were transcribed by the clerk of court from the original documents into court will books. The clerk who transcribed her will may have inadvertently wrote "Esther" instead of "Hester" when he copied the will’s signature.

Hester Christopher’s Will

Georgia )
Camden County) In the name of God, Amen, I Hester Christopher of the County of Camden, State of Georgia being weak in body but Sound mind and memory, praise be to God for the same, do this Thirteenth day of January eighteen hundred and Twenty four make and publish this my last Will and Testament in manner following, that is to say—--
[???] presents that after all my just debts and burial expences[sic] have been paid, the rest of property shall be willed in the following manner———————————————

I will and bequeath to J. David Braddock in trust for Hester Braddock his daughter the following property, Lottie my house Servant a Negro Woman and her child Pam[?]. Also I give and bequeath five Silver table[?] spoons, wearing apparel, one gold ring, string beads and two trunks———

I give and bequeath to my beloved Mary Edwards one clock, one set of China, four large spoons, six tea spoons & one ladle[?], & one band box.

And after all my debts are paid, I [will that] the remaining part of my property is to be equality divided among [my] Brother William Braddock, [William] Berry[sic] and Mary Edwards [????] property that will be [William] Berry’s is in trust for his son Richard Berry, the balance of my real and personal estate that is to be divided among them, Sam. Joe, and Mary, and her four children & Mariah. Also one house and lot in the town of St. Marys being part of that [??] one. Also, I give and bequeath to them all the right to a tract of land on Amelia Island left me by my mother, and all the remainder of my estate to be divided among them equally, and Lastly I do make, constitute, and ordain William Berry sole executor of this my last will and testament——————————

[?????] testimony whereof I do hereunto [set] my hand and seal the day and year first written———————————

Signed, sealed, pronounced,       )
and declared by the said             )
[H]ester Christopher as her       ) Esther Christopher
[l]ast will & testament               )
in the presence[sic] of us who ) LS [Legal Seal]
at her request and in                  )
her presence hereunto set        )
our names as witnesses             )
to the same.——————        )

Samuel Griffin )
[Calvin] Hayes )
[????? Hubbard] )

March 24, 1824
Elizabeth Greenwood Braddock, daughter of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, married James Bessant.

May 19, 1824
According to claim Con. A31 G&S IV401, 565, 606, of this date, Andrew Atkinsons claims 450 acres granted him 4/5/1815 at the King's Plantation at Ship Yards, St. Johns River is being adversely held by John C. Houston.

October 18, 1824
Elizabeth Louisa, daughter of John David and Martha Christopher Braddock, was born.

December 15, 1824
According to American State Papers, Public Land Claims in Florida, John D. Braddock, by his attorney, Waters Smith, presented his memorial to this board, praying confirmation of title to 640 acres of land, under the donation act, situated on the south side of Little St. Mary’s River, the same 640 acres on the road from Rose’s Bluff to the main road from St. Johns River to Georgia he had petitioned the Spanish for in 1807. Joseph Higginbotham, also represented by Walter Smith, present a memorial for 640 acres on the "upper landing of Little St. Marys."

December 29, 1824
An Act "To designate the times and places for holding the county courts in certain counties in the Territory of Florida "  states: "In the county of Nassau, on the second Mondays of March and October, and until the county seat of said county shall have been permanently located, said court shall hold its sessions at the house of David Braddock, at a place known and called the Sand Hill, on the river St. Marys." The act can be seen at Florida Historical Legal Documents.

Elizabeth Greenwood Houston, daughter of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. She later married John S. Richardson.

Mary Floyd Broadhead was born. She later married William Greenwood Christopher.

November 10, 1825
Hutto Loudner, son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, was born. He later married Louisa Higginbotham.

December 23, 1825
According to American State Papers, Public Land Claims in Florida, "The board met this day pursuant to adjournment. Present, the Hons. Davis Floyd and William H. Allen.

"Full and sufficient testimony having been adduced in the following claims, the board confirmed the same, viz. John Houston ninety-two acres on Talbot Island . . . John D. Braddock six hundred and forty acres under the donation act, in the county of Duval, on the road from Rose’s Bluff . . .Nathaniel Wilds three hundred acres on Loftin Creek . . ."

December 24, 1825
According to American State Papers, Public Land Claims in Florida, "The board met this day pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members.

"The following claims were this day taken up, and confirmed by the board, viz. Elijah Higginbotham three hundred and fifty acres on Little St. Marys . . . Joseph Higginbotham three hundred acres on Spell’s Swamp, Nassau River. . ."

December 29, 1825
According to American State Papers, Public Land Claims in Florida, "The board met this day pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members. "The following claims were, after due consideration, rejected by the board, viz. Thomas Higginbotham 200 acres . . . N. Wilds 184 acres. . ."

December 31, 1825
Report No. 4, American State Papers, "Public Lands," under the heading, "Register of claims to land not exceeding 640 acres, founded on actual inhabitation and cultivation previous to the 22nd February, 1819, for which certificates of confirmation have been granted by the undersigned commissions," the 640 acres on "road leading from Rose’s Bluff, occupation and cultivation from 1810 to 1824," which received a Spanish grant in 1807 is finally confirmed as being John David’s land in the eyes of the United States government.

Belinda Leigh was born. She later married John David, son of John David and Martha Christopher Braddock.

September 22, 1826
John Carroll Houston III, son of John Carroll Houston II and Elizabeth Susannah Christopher were married.

October 27, 1826
Elijah Higginbotham, son of Elijah and Anna Teresa Hodges, was born. He later married Mary Louisa, daughter of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham.

David Braddock Houston, son of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. He later married Louisa Harvey Braddock

August 21, 1827
Louisa, daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born. She later married Hutto Loudner Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock.

John Spicer Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, married Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, daughter of Joseph Alexander and Mary Ann Pinkham Higginbotham.

Oscar F., son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock was born. He later married Anna Sawyer Bessant.

January 26, 1828
According to John Brown's claim Con. B73 DG V 411. John Houston is Justice of the Peace.

July 8, 1829
Martha Christopher Houston, daughter of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. She later married John Johnson.

July 14, 1829
William S. Braddock, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Luanza Elizabeth Higginbotham, daughter of Elijah Higginbotham and Anna Teresa Hodges.

July 18, 1829
According to Territorial Papers — Florida Territory, volume XXIV, 1824 – 1828, "Proclamation of Reelection of Legislative Counselors," William Braddock was elected a legislative councilor.

December 25, 1829
Spicer Christopher Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Braddock, was born. He later married Jane Harvey Houston, daughter of John Carroll and Mary Greenwood Braddock.

Ann Sawyer Bessant was born. She later married Oscar F. Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock.

Nathaniel Wingate was born. He later married Pricilla Turner Wilds, daughter of Nathaniel III and Hester Ann Braddock Wilds.

July 5, 1830
John Owens was born. He later married Martha Christopher Braddock, daughter of Spicer Christopher Braddock and Anna Sever Sapp.

July 30, 1830
According to Territorial Papers — Florida Territory, volume XXIV, 1824 – 1828, "Proclamation of Reelection of Legislative Counselors," William Braddock was elected a legislative councilor.

October 27, 1830
Mary Louisa Braddock, daughter of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. She later married Elijah Higginbotham, son of Elijah Higginbotham and Anna Teresa Hodges.

February 2, 1831
According to, "1831 Laws of Florida Territory 9th Session, ". . . an ACT to provide for the appointment of Pilots for the St. Johns and Nassau rivers, in the Territory of Florida"—and for other purposes was passed. John Houston was appointed one of the commissioners:

1. Be it enacted by the Governor and Legislative Council of the Territory of Florida, That Isaiah D. Hart, Farquhar Bethune, and John Houston, be, and they are hereby, appointed commissioners of pilotage for the bars and rivers of St. Johns and Nassau, and they are hereby charged with the duty of granting branches to pilots for said bars and rivers, to establish rates of pilotage, and to prescribe all the necessary rules and regulations for the government of said pilots.

2. And be it further enacted, That the act entitled an "act to establish the rates of pilotage for the St. Johns river in the Territory of Florida," approved, 20th January, 1827, and all acts, and parts of acts, giving power to the county courts to appoint pilots for said bars and rivers, be, and the same are hereby repealed.

Passed, Feb. 2, 1831.
[Approved, Feb. 7, 1831.]

February 21, 1831
John Edwards Wirick, son of Adam and Adeline Catherine Edwards Wirick, was born. He later married Ann Josephine Davis.

May 1, 1831
Jane Harvey Houston, daughter of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. She later married Spicer Christopher Jr.

May 13, 1831
According to Camden County marriage records, Nathaniel Wilds III married Hester Ann Braddock, daughter of John David and Martha, of Florida.
Wilds.jpg (1450 bytes)

August 10, 1831
Iradelle Edward Wyche Bryan, son of Hardy and Maria Wyche Bryan, was born. He later married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of John David and Louise M. Houghton Edwards.

October 27, 1831

According to Camden County marriage records, Dr. Henry D. Holland married Esther Ann Berrie, daughter of William and Ann Braddock Berrie.

December 12, 1831
According to Territorial Papers — Florida Territory, volume XXIV, 1824 – 1828, "Memorials to the President by Inhabitants of the Eastern Judicial District," Alexander Braddock, William Braddock, John S. Braddock, and J. Braddock were among signers of a "memorial of the Inhabitants of Nassau County praying for the reappointment of Judge Joseph L. Smith.

Charlotte, wife of William Braddock died.

Robert H. Houston, son of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. He later married Mary B. Gresham.

Alexander, son of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born.

February 19, 1832
Joseph Braddock, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Isabell Incy Higginbotham.

Nathaniel Wilds, son of Hester Ann Braddock and Nathaniel Wilds III was born. He died in the Civil War.

Ruth White Houston, daughter of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. She married John Johnson in 1851 after his wife and her sister, Martha Christopher Houston died.

Marshall R. Holland, son of Henry E. and Esther Ann Berrie Holland, was born.

Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born. She later married Joseph William Mills III.

February 17, 1833
According to Territorial Papers — Florida Territory, volume XXIV, 1824 – 1828, "Appointments to Office by the Governor," John Braddock and William Braddock were appointed Justices of the Peace for Nassau County, and William was appointed appraiser for the Union Bank.

May 23, 1833
John Spicer Braddock II, son of John Spicer and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Mary Lee Higginbotham.

May 30,1833
In Camden County, Georgia court records is the entry, "John D. Braddock, Justice of the Peace witnessed May 30, 1833 on Amelia Island receipt of $197.56 by James King from Mary C. and E. Harrison for full or part payment on five slaves formerly the property of Henry O’Neil."

January 11, 1834
Luanza Elizabeth, daughter of Elijah and Anna Teresa Hodges Higginbotham was born. She later married William S. Braddock, son Of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham.

February 13, 1834
According to Territorial Papers — Florida Territory, volume XXIV, 1824 – 1828, "Appointments to Office by the Governor," John D. Braddock was appointed Justice of the Peace for Nassau County. . ."

May 17, 1834
Mary Elizabeth, daughter of John David and Louisa M. Houghton Edwards, was born. She later married Iradelle Edward Wyche Bryan.

June 20, 1834
Mary Lee Higginbotham, daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born. She later married John Spicer Braddock II, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham.

Martha Christopher Wilds, daughter of Hester Ann Braddock and Nathaniel Wilds III, was born. She later married John N. Wingate.

Louise Anna Houston, daughter of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. She later married Ephriam Gresham.

James Braddock Edwards, son of John and Mary Braddock Edwards, married Mary Kempes Turnbull.

Lucy Cook Braddock Fitzgerald died.

Cornelia, daughter of James and Mary Greenwood Braddock Bessant, was born.

The Nassau County seat, including the courthouse and post office, was moved from Fernandina to Evergreen, and John David’s son Spicer Christopher was named first postmaster.

January 26, 1835
Charlotte, daughter of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born.

Alexander, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Elizabeth Haddock.

September 22, 1836
John Carroll Houston, son of Elizabeth Susannah Christopher and John Carroll Houston, married Mary Virginia Hall.

John David Cutler Braddock Wilds, son of Hester Ann Braddock and Nathaniel Wilds III, was born. He later married Sophronia Libby.

Emily, daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born. She later married John Sherwood Geiger.

February 3, 1837
Alexander, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Elizabeth Haddock.

July 26, 1837
Elizabeth, daughter of Richard James and Mary C. Piles Berrie, was born. She later married Henry W. Pyles.

December 13, 1837
Spencer Louis Houston, son of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born. He later married Rosalie Lamee.

December 18, 1837
A company  of volunteers composed of men from Jacksonville and it surrounding areas was formed to serve in the Second Seminole war. Trouble between white settlers and the Seminoles began in 1817 when the settlers, believing the Spanish had incited the Indians against them attacked Seminole settlements. This first Seminole War occurred during the Spanish occupation of Florida. It lasted until 1818 when General Andrew Jackson, in hot pursuit of Seminoles who had crossed into Georgia and  burned homes of settlers, led an army into Florida and put a stop to their hostile acts. The Second Seminole War started in 1835 as a result of most of the Seminoles refusing to abide by a treaty signed by a few of them in 1832 requiring the Seminoles to give up their lands within three years and be resettled out west. This war lasted until 1842  A third Seminole War started in 1855 and lasted three years.

The following is from Huxford’s genealogical quarterly:


Company of the First Regiment of Florida Volunteers Commanded by Col. John Warren received into services by Gen. Thomas S. Jessup, Commander of the Army of the South, from the 18th day to the 19th day of Dec., 1837.
All enrolled at Jacksonville and had, traveled a distance of 70 miles to enroll.

1. William Haddock Captain
        Sampson (Negro)
1.  Robert Williams
        Tom (Negro)
1.   DN Cone 2nd Lt.
1.   William H. Williams 1st Sgt. *
2.   Jonathon Turner 2nd Sgt.
3.   James Thompson 3rd Sgt.
4.   Archabald Hogans 4th Sgt.
1.   Isaac Harvey 1st Copl
2.   Nimrod Robinson, 2nd. Corpl.
3.   Benj. Oglesby, 3rd. Corpl.
4.   James Hogans, 4th Corpl.
1.   Samuel Russel, Mus. *
2.   Isaac T. Williams, Mus,-.*


1.      John Beasley
2.      Hiram Bennett
3.      William Barber *
4.      Moses Barber
5.      Natham Beasley *
6.      Aldridge Braddock
7.      Alexander Braddock *
8.      Ephraim Conway
9.      John Cqmbs
10.    George Combs
11.    John Canaday
12.   Thomas D.  Colding
13. Samuel Davis
14. Josiah Dobson
15. Thomas Davis
16. John Ennis
17. Giles J. B. Ellis J
18. John C. Green
19. John T. Green
20. Willis A. Hoge**
21. Harry Harrison
22. Isaac Hines
23. George Hisler
24. Samuel Hoges
25. Erick Johnson
26. Isaac Jernigan
27 Aron Jernigan
28. Gideon Slade
29.   Riley Johns
30.   John M. Johnson
31.   Willoughby Mincy
32.   Alexander McDonald
33.   William Murry
34.   Richard Murry
35.   John Russell
36.   Samuel Russell
37.   Abner Sweat
38.   William Sterlen
39.   John Sauls
40.   John Sikes
41.   Samuel R. Sweat
42.   Benj. Thomas
43.   James Thomas
44.   John Thompson ***
45.   Charles Whitamore
46.   Anderson Williams
47.   Ruben Williams
48.   William Williams * .
49.   John D. Williams *
50.   Garrett Vanzant

Signed by William Haddock, Capt.
and Jno H. Winder, Inspector and Muster
officer. These signatures are on file,
at the Huxford Genealogical Library.

*-absent., sick
** Shown both as Willis a Hoges and
William Hoges. This is probably Willis
A. Hodges.

*** Substitute in Green's Co. now in
the field.

This same Co. also served an enlist-
ment from June 19,1837 to Sept. 18,

Priscilla Turner Wilds, daughter of Hester Ann Braddock and Nathaniel Wilds III, was born. She later married Nathaniel Wingate.

Charlotte, daughter of James and Ann B. Braddock Wilson, was born.

Elisabeth B., daughter of Henry E. and Esther Ann Berrie Holland, was born.

Isabella, daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born.

April 15, 1838
Abraham H. IV, son of Abraham H. III and Kinizah King Colson, was born. He later married Sarah Ann, daughter of Alexander Jackson and Isabelle Higginbotham Braddock.

June 14, 1838
Mary Elizabeth, daughter of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. She later married Joseph Jones.

December 28, 1838
Charles Bishop Futch was born. He later married. Mary "Molly" Louisa, daughter of Hutto Loudner and Louisa Higginbotham Braddock.

Nassau County courthouse burned destroying a lot of valuable records.

James, son of James and Elizabeth Greenwood Braddock Bessant, was born.

John Hardy Higginbotham, son of John Jackson Higginbotham and Eleanor Hagan, was born. He later married Jane, daughter of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham.

David B., son of James and Ann B. Braddock Wilson, was born.

August 29, 1839
Not happy with the federal government’s plan of admitting East and West Florida into the Union as one state, the citizens of East Florida made their displeasure evident through a lengthy memorial signed by over 400 men of East Florida. In it, they proposed that the all the area east of the Suwannee River be made one state and the area beyond it another, and they detailed their reasons why. Braddock and related families are amply represented.


August 29,1839

Division of the Territory, or East Florida a District Territorial Government.

At a fall meeting of the Inhabitants of the City of St. Augustine, East Florida, held pursuant to public notice, at the Court House, on Thursday the 29th day of August, 1839, General Joseph M Hernandez was appointed President, and Major J. John Beard, Jr. and S. Hill Williams, Secretaries of the meeting.

The object of the meeting was explained, and the meeting addressed by Major Putnam, and several gentlemen. On motion it was Resolved That the following gentlemen, viz: Gabriel W. Perpall, Esq., Gen Peter Sken Smith, Col. John M. Hanson, Bernardo Segui, Esq., and Col Gad Humphreys, be a Committee to draft Resolutions, expressive of the sense of the meeting.

The Committee having retired, reported the following resolutions, which were adopted by acclamation, and without a dissenting voice:

Resolved; that as Floridians as American citizens- we are gratified at the presence at this time, of the same Men and the same Spirit that were present in the meeting of the fifth day of February, 1838, to protest against the calling a Convention to form a State Constitution- and against the imposition of State Taxes- and to organize in favor of "Division".

Resolved, That we have not, at any time, yielded our preferences, or compromised our principles - we are- as we were, in that first meeting- one and all for separating The East, from the Middle and West, making the Suwannee the dividing line.

Resolved, That we have organized for Division and nothing but Division, and for the purpose of cooperating with our fellow Citizens of The East, for the Division of This Vast Territory- comprising as it does, The Country and The Capabilities sufficient for Two States; the West being nearly equal in size to Massachusetts and Maryland combined; and nearly as large as South Carolina;- and the Territory lying East of the Suwannee possessing an area approaching in extent Pennsylvania or New York, and equal in extent to Tennessee or Michigan.

Resolved, that a glance at our Geographical position, shows that the natural outlet of the Middle and West is to the Gulf of Mexico- while The East has its natural outlet to the Atlantic coast-thus, from the beginning, nature designed The Separation- That subsequently, the conflicting and diversified interests of The Floridas demanded and obtained- and in seeking Division, we only seek to establish The Right of Separation that had its foundation in the Justice and Policy of the Spanish and English Governments, under which, The Floridas were formed into Two separate Provinces, each having its own Governor; and they were so ceded by Spain to the United States.

Resolved, That the Constitution and Laws of the United States having established the Federal Ratio of State Representation at Fourty-Seven Thousand Seven Hundred and as in the Census that preceded the Late Territorial Convention, the aggregate population of the Floridas fell Ten Thousand short of the Federal number, we consider a Constitution, emanating from the representatives of a minority a Dead Letter- whether approved or rejected by the Territory at large.

Resolved, That adhering to the principle of Division we do maintain the birth right of the East to a separate and Independent Territory East of the Suwannee; while with mingled feelings of kindness and respect we would say to the Middle and West: is not the whole land before us:. Let there be no strife between us, for we be brethren.

Resolved, That again as before, we enter our public and solemn Protest against the premature, impracticable and ruinous scheme of precipitation the whole of this great Territory into a single State: -when the people of The East have , with such commendable unanimity, rejected both the State and The Constitution at the ballot Box.

Resolved, That the inability, as also the indisposition of the East, to participate in the mere pageant of A State Government, upheld by Direct Taxes, is apparent to all- and we should be still more reluctant to exchange our Territorial Independence for State honors, purchased by the degrading and humiliating condition, that in the Middle and West pay the Taxes of the East.

Resolved that we shall support, for office, men who are opposed to forming the Floridas into a single State, and opposed to the system of Taxes, inseparable to the adoption of a State Government-and who are the uncompromising advocates of Division.

Resolved, That we respectfully solicit the inhabitants of the Towns and Counties of the East to hold similar meetings- and we most respectfully ask, for these proceedings, the attention of the Hon. Charles Downing; our delegate in Congress, with the assurance of our undiminished confidence in this ability and faithfulness to effect The Division, so ardently desired by his constituents in the East, and Vitally important to the welfare of the East.

Resolved, That in petitioning for the Division of the Floridas, we appeal with confidence to the wisdom, justice, and patriotism of the distinguished Statesmen who represent Our Common Country, In the Councils of the Nation, at Washington. They can appreciate the importance of the Two States of Florida to the southern portion of the confederacy, and to the Union.

Resolved, That these proceedings be signed by the President and Secretaries, and published in the papers of this City; the Tallahassee Star, the paper at Jacksonville; the Charleston and Savannah papers; the Globe and the National Intelligencer, Washington.

Joseph M. Hernandez, President
J. John Beard Jr., Secretary
S. Hill Williams, Secretary

Memorial to the Honorable the Senate an house of Representatives of the United States in Congress

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray, that your Honorable body will give such consideration to the wishes of the Citizens of East Florida, as expressed in the sentiments of the Resolutions passed, and that you will pass a Law erecting and organizing that portion of Florida which lies East of the Suwannee River, into a Territory, separate and distinct from the other parts of the Territory of Florida- and your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

Among the Nassau County names were:
Spicer C Braddock
William M Braddock
Wm S Blount 
Jacob Geiger
Tho Haddock
Josiah Lewis
William Curry
Stephen Rigs
John H Haddock
Joseph Higginbotham
Jeremiah Felter
Sam Russell Sen
John Wingate
John D Braddock Sen
James Wilson
Jackson Tyner
Sam Walker
Joseph Haddock Sen
John Kirkland
Wm Braddock
Jo K Prevatt
Roger Canes
Alex J Braddock
Owen Wingate
P. M. Wilds
Wm A Russell
John Right
Job P Haskins
Nathaniel Wilds
John Bassent
John Jones
Joseph Haddock Jun
John E Curry 
Wm Crogin
James Sapp
Wm Prevat
James A Braddock
Charles Wilds
Sam Russell
Wm Vaughan
James Tison
William G. Braddock

All the signers can be seen at: MEMORIAL

August 30, 1839
Thomas Ellis Hardee, husband of Mary Ann Berrie, died.

December 10, 1839
Edward O. Houston, son of Mary Greenwood Braddock and John Carroll Houston II, was born.

Edward Elmo, son of Hester Ann Braddock and Nathaniel Wilds III, was born. He later married Elizabeth Johnson.

Isabella Incy, daughter of Elijah and Anna Teresa Hodges Higginbotham was born. She later married Joseph Braddock, son of John Spice Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham.r

February 29, 1840
Jane, daughter of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. She later married John Hardy Higginbotham.

May, 1840
Julia Ellen Edwards, daughter of John David Edwards and Louisa M Houghton, was born.

October 22, 1840
James Aldridge Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, married Winnifred Haddock, daughter of Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Higginbotham Haddock.
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As with their Braddock and Lyford maritime ancestors, James Aldridge Braddock and some of his descendants had a knack of being part of memorable events and achievements. At some point, he and his family moved to the vicinity of Crescent City in Putnam County. He and some of his sons served in the Confederate Army as far away as Virginia during the Civil War.  According to a Florida Historical marker, his farm also played a memorable role in that war. Calling it the scene of the Battle of Braddock Farm, the marker says it was   the scene of the southernmost skirmish between Rebels and Yankees.

In 1868, after the war, the farm was scene of another battle, this one the tragic climax of a family feud between sons of James Aldridge and neighboring Turner brothers. In the years since, the shootout fame grew to legendary proportions, helped tremendously by the following excellent in-depth article published in the genealogical magazine Heritage Quest by St. Johns River Community College Professor Brian E. Michaels, curator of the college's Florida Collection and author of numerous aids for Florida genealogy searchers--click here: Brian E. Michaels.

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A Historico-Genealogical Puzzle Solved

By Brian E. Michaels

Most experienced researchers would probably agree that a close encounter with historical and genealogical truth often requires several—or many—observations of the same event. A case in point is the famous Braddock-Turner Feud, which took place in Putnam County on the Florida frontier in the years following the great unpleasantness still known to many local folk as the War of Northern Aggression. Although the southernmost battle of the Civil War also took place in Putnam County, the Braddock-Turner shootings are the stuff of which local legends are made—though the legends seldom agree. In fact, it took more than four years of research to untangle the true story.

ONCE UPON A TIME..."there lived near Crescent City James A. Braddock, the owner of large herds of cattle, horses, and hogs roving at large over a great extent of wild country. He was one of the cattle lords. He had a large family, and, like Gad Yelvington, Aaron Jernigan of Orange county, Abner Johnston of Sumter County, and other lords, was very hospitable and generously entertained all visitors..."

The paragraph above appeared in the Palatka Times-Herald of September 13, 1895, under this headline: "The Great Duel Between The Three Braddock Brothers and The Three Turner Brothers Near Crescent City, In Putnam County, A Quarter of A Century Past." The headline was not unusually bad as frontier journalism twenty-seven years or so after the fact, and probably no one quibbled over the fact that whatever the Braddock-Turner affair was in the beginning, it most certainly was not a duel.

Like most frontier stories—and the area of Putnam County about eighty miles south of Jacksonville and forty west of St. Augustine just after the Civil War was an authentic frontier—the basic story can be told in a few words: six members of two families shot each other up—leaving a total of three members of the two families dead. That is the basic story in twenty-five words or less.

The Times-Herald writer opined that this was an unusual fight, since it had for its cause so small a matter. As a matter of historical fact, however, small matters killed men daily in early Florida. Marjory Stoneman Douglas, writing of the social hierarchy of the state in Florida: the Long Frontier, noted that "the polished tone of the society was also affected by the ever-present violence of the frontier... Many a dead man was carried home to his family on a shutter. So many died, there were so many duels, so many scandals, that the legislature passed an anti-dueling ordinance, adding the resolution, however, that any man who refused a challenge was a coward."

But perhaps we're getting ahead of our story—or, more precisely, our stories, for there are at least three written accounts of the affair. One is the Times-Herald report of 1895; another is a 1938 manuscript account; and the third is a version garnered in 1939 by the grandson of one combatant's widow.

Let us return to our (first) story: "Near Braddock three men—Turner brothers, moved and located. They came from Columbia County, or near there. Bill Turner had penned two hogs, of little value, claimed by Turner and also by Braddock. There was another bone of contention. The right to travel a road partly fenced—was it not a public highway? The fence was let down by one party and replaced by the other.

"The three Turner brothers and the three Braddock brothers, sons of J. A. Braddock, were prepared with guns for a fight, defensive or offensive." Before long, "Bill and Dave Turner were killed, and Jim Turner was badly wounded. John Braddock was killed, Joe Braddock was frightfully wounded and Bill Braddock wounded. This was a terrific fight in pine woods. No one except the combatants were present. Everyone got behind a pine tree, and the Turner brothers would occasionally run from one tree to another for better advantage, while the Braddock brothers stood closer together. Finally all fell except Bill Braddock..."

"This was an unusual fight, since it had for its cause small a matter. Three brothers on one side—so long meditated—not a sudden or drunken encounter. All the men were near home and were alone. They were brave, cool and fearless. They were not assassins; they stood manfully for a fair and equal fight to the death."

Thc author of the above account and his sources are unknown today, but it's probably just as well; his story was even less accurate than the headline. Robert B. Dowda's 1938 manuscript account however was based upon an interview with a local citizen whose hearsay information was nearly as vague as thc Times-Herald’s. "It was near Crescent City," he said, "at a site known as Denver" that "…occurred one of the bloodiest and most gruesome feuds recorded in Florida history. This was called the Turner-Braddock feud and in the summer of 1868 terminated in a battle that resulted in death of two Turners and one Braddock. Both families were early settlers and raised cattle on the vast piney wooded ranges west of Crescent City near Denver. The dispute arose over range rights and Turner’s possession of some hogs that were alleged to have belonged to the Braddocks",

"Finally, in the summer of 1868, Jim and Dave Turner, while splitting rails near their home, were surprised by Joe, Bill and John Braddock. Words and threats passed and in thc ensuing battle John Braddock and Dave Turner were killed and Jim Turner seriously wounded, Bill Turner, who up until this time had avoided trouble, came to his brothers' rescue but was killed also.

"Jim Turner was discovered, as he lay seriously wounded, by Josiah Harrison and a Negro employee who took him to the Harrison home and nursed him back to health. The feud had brought death to three men; the other three principals lived for over 60 years after this time and all passed within a four year period, 1931-35."

Dowda’s description of the affair as "one of in bloodiest and most gruesome feuds recorded in Florida history" is perhaps stranger than the affair itself, but the mystery deepens further with "Old Man John Causey's Report of the Braddock-Turner Fight" as recorded on September 26, 1939, by J. LeRoy Padgett of Crescent City, whose grandmother, Ozilla Padgett, had been the widow of John, the only Braddock killed in the fight. A note Padgett appended to his record of the interview states it that John Causey was 83 when he told his version of the following story.

"The old man Braddock, father of John, Bill, and Joe, was under the impression that buying the improvements on a piece of land made him the owner of the land also. A squatter, whose name cannot be recalled, sold the old man his personal effects on the land now owned by J. 1.: McGrady, near C[rescent] C[ity] Station, and moved away.

"Dave Turner moved on the land and took out homestead papers, whereupon the Braddocks tried to get him off. One morning he was there with his brother Bill when Bill and Joe Braddock came by. Some heated and threatening words were passed and everybody went home to get their guns. The Braddocks brought John back with them and the Turners got their other brother Jim who lived across from the Steve Turner place. They all met just east of the bayhead by McGrady's grove.

"Dave Turner was big man. He was over six feet tall, weighed over two hundred and was rawboned. He told the Braddocks that he would fight any two of them if they would lay their guns down. This was a scheme to get them unarmed and at the mercy or the Turners. The arms of the latter were inferior to those of the Braddocks. Jim Turner had a muzzleloading rifle and his brothers had single barrel muzzleloading shotguns. The Braddocks had muzzleloading shotguns but one or two of them were double barreled and in addition to this, John, who was an officer in the Confederate Army, had a .36-caliber, six-shot, cap and ball Colt pistol.

"More talk passed and John shot Dave down. The other two Turners shot John, which left them with empty guns. By this time Joe and Bill Braddock got into it and filled Bill Turner with buck shot and Jim ran. This left no one standing on the scene but Joe and Bill Braddock and they went to John. As Joe bent down and asked him if there was any thing he could do, Dave Turner raised up and shot Joe; the bullet just glanced his side, but knocked him down. Bill, whose gun was empty, ran to Dave and beat his head in with his gun stock. The ones killed were John Braddock and Dave and Bill Turner. John's last words were, "Take my pistol and kill the last damn one." Bill said if he'd thought about the pistol he'd have killed Jim Turner too, but as his muzzleloader was empty, Jim got away."

So much for the conflicting stories. Three young men were dead, that much was certain. Society could not suffer such an occurrence to pass without notice and due process, so the lengthy process of determining the truth began on 9 March 1869, with arraignment in Circuit Court under indictments returned by the grand jury against all three survivors. What happened, though the extant docket books fail to spell it out, was that Bill Braddock was charged with killing both Dave and Bill Turner; Joe Braddock was charged with both simple assault and assault with intent to kill Jim Turner (but not charged with killing either Dave or Bill Turner); Jim Turner was charged with killing John Braddock and assaulting, with intent to kill, Bill and/or Joe Braddock.

For a battle with no witnesses, the case produced a remarkable number of them in Court: There were no fewer than fourteen witnesses subpoenaed; some of them had actually watched the killing from a distance of twenty feet or so.

"Due process." was apparently able to move more rapidly in those days, so the court 'adjourned until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning." At nine on Wednesday, the court again met, "pursuant to adjournment and after transacting business adjourned for the day. So again on Thursday.

The entry for Friday, March 12, however, is somewhat more explicit about Wednesday's mysterious business. "On the 10th instant a jury of twelve men were empaneled and sworn..." and after hearing the evidence, the prisoner William Braddock having been arraigned on an indictment for the murder of William Turner and plead not guilty on this day, the Jury...say, upon their oaths, we the jury find the defendant guilty of manslaughter in the second degree."

And what of James Turner and his indictment for the murder of John Braddock? After hearing the evidence and charge of the court... "we the Jury find the defendant not guilty. So Say We All."

Turner's assault charge was listed simply as "continued"; but the mystery at this point would appear to have been substantially solved: Bill Braddock was guilty of manslaughter and James Turner was not. However on the very day that he was found guilty of murder in the second degree, Bill Braddock, his attorneys, and prosecutor Banks argued—or, presumably, at least discussed—a "motion made," the upshot of which was an order "by the Court now here that the verdict in this cause rendered be set aside and a new trial granted." Further, Bill Braddock was to be "admitted to bail by giving bond in the sum of $5,000 with two good sureties to be approved by the Sheriff." In the alleged murder of David Turner, young Braddock was likewise admitted to $5,000 bail—in a manner which required that not so much as one dollar actually changed hands during the transaction.

Seven months later—as a new trial was about to get underway on 26 October Bill Braddock's attorneys moved to "quash" or set aside the indictments against him for both Turner deaths. The motion alleged that the grand jury which had returned the indictments had been improperly sworn because "the oath was administered to them by the State's Attorney, who was not by law authorized to administer the same…."

The judge’s quick denial of thc motion cleared the way for the new trials to begin, But then the prosecutor made a motion of his own: "On motion of thc State’s Attorney the writs of venire was quashed and thc Jury was discharged." Why? Well, Gentle Reader, that is part of the mystery that surrounded this case for more than 100 years. In any event, all four of thc pending cases against the three survivors were that day again continued by presiding Judge J. H. Goss of the Fifth Judicial Circuit.

On March 14, 1870, all of the cases were continued again, and on October 24, all four cases were "on prossed."

Now, nol pros is thc abbreviation of nolle prosequi: a Latin term still used (some say used all too frequently) by which a prosecuting attorney declares his unwillingness to prosecute a case or, having begun prosecution, to prosecute the case further, Thus were all three defendants freed. But why did State Attorney Arch T. Banks "nol pros" the cases? The answer is not to be found in the Court record.

Since there would bc no further mention of thc matter in the docket books, the next logical place to search for clues to this aspect of the case would be the actual instruments (official papers) filed in the trials. Unfortunately, the "Record of Instruments Filed in Circuit Court" only goes back as far as April of 1886—nearly sixteen years after the Braddock-Turner cases were dismissed. Nor, for three long years, did a search of extant court records produce any further evidence.

What really lay behind the Braddock-Turner affair? What really happened on that fatal day (which, incidentally, did not occur in "the summer of '68" at all)? The facts of the Times- Herald's "Great Duel" remained hidden from modern eyes for a very long time. Now, however, "genealogical" sources and research tactics, along with the eventual location of the original papers from the case, have revealed the full story,

The Times-Herald reporter was already asking some pertinent, although melodramatic, questions in 1895: "When and where was just the point where there might have been peace between these neighbors, and so much of pain, death and grief prevented? An old mother looked in anguish on her dead and wounded sons; wives, children, and sisters grieved and were sorrowing, being made widows and orphans the same day,"

The answers to the Braddock-Turner puzzle lay hidden for nearly ninety more years, for all three written accounts of the Braddock-Turner fight have now been proved wrong on crucial points.

The puzzling events of the Braddock-Turner affair defied all efforts to unravel them for more than three years. Then, during an extensive search and survey of old county records stored many years ago in a dusty dormitory cell of an abandoned road prison, Putnam County Archives Assistant Janice Smith Mahaffey finally located the lost Braddock-Turner trial papers.

Still later, in a cache of yellowed old Palatka newspapers, yet another printed account of the Braddock-Turner affair "of 1868" was discovered—in the form of a letter to the editor in the Palatka Times-Herald of September 20, 1895. Declaring that none of the survivors desired to revive the old quarrel or "to seek notoriety" in the matter, "Old Settler," as the writer signed himself, offered his "short correct account" of the fight and its causes. He claimed as his authority the recollections of James R., the sole Turner survivor:

"In the first place, both William and Dave Turner were in the Union army during the unpleasantness. The Braddocks were in the Confederate service, and you and your readers know that the feeling that then existed against former Union men was very strong. In 1867 Dave Turner entered a homestead about one mile distant from the home of Mr. Braddock, Sr., who considered this as interfering with his range rights, word was conveyed to the Turners to get away, and many ways were used by Mr. Braddock, Sr., to accomplish that end. It was Mr. Braddock, Sr., who was accused by William Turner of taking his (Turner's) hogs and carrying them to Haw Creek, and having them marked in his own mark and brand. Also it was the Turners who had fenced in the lot, a part of their homestead, and the Braddocks were the ones who tore the fence down..."

With the original court documents restored to light, and by combining the research strategies of the genealogist and the historian, to correct the numerous errors in the various accounts of the incident, and to answer most—though not all—of the questions which have persisted for nearly 120 years. From the trial documents and numerous other sources—maps, gravestones, land records, probate files, tax records, newspaper clippings, census records, family history materials, and interviews with descendants—we are now able to reconstruct with reasonable certainty the actual events of 118 years ago.

First, the famous fight' took place in the winter of 1869—late in the afternoon of Friday, January 29—and not during "the summer of 68."

Nor does the pistol of "Old Man John Causey's Report" figure in the story. The pistol-—a five-shot, .36-caliber Colt, not a six-shooter—is now in the possession of James Padgett of Crescent City, a descendant of John Braddock's widow, Ozilla. It may have been with Braddock when he died, but not one witness mentioned seeing it at all on the fatal day. Certainly it was not fired during the fracas, and one witness even swore under oath that there were no weapons at the scene except one rifle, five shotguns, and the "common pocketknives" of the combatants. And it was Bill, not Jim, Turner who bore the sole rifle on that fatal afternoon.

A fence had indeed been let down for horses to pass, and the Braddocks had apparently crossed it earlier in the day, but no one could testify under oath as to who actually had lowered it. A disputed land title was also involved in the affair, but there is no mention of barn-burnings or other long-term tormenting of neighbors by either side in any of the documents.

Before unfolding the drama of that fatal Friday afternoon, let us briefly introduce our cast of characters. Much of what is now known about them, however, has been omitted because of space limitations.

JAMES ALDRICH BRADDOCK, son of William and Charlotte Ann Christopher Braddock of Nassau County, Florida, patriarch of the Braddock Clan in Putnam and Volusia Counties and father of the three Braddock brothers, was born 13 June 1816, in Nassau County, and died 25 January 1883, near Crescent City. He married Winnifred Haddock of Nassau County on October 22, 1840, and by her had twelve children.

James A. Braddock apparently came to Putnam County in 1856. He recorded his cattle mark at the Courthouse on July 18 of that year. For $2,320 he had purchased from one James C. Green "the entire mark and brand swallowfork in one ear, underslope in the other, branded Roman 'J,'" along with some other marks. A deed executed the same day between the same parties ($900 for a tract of land) referred to Green as being of Putnam County and Braddock as "of the same place."

In the 1860 U.S. Population Census of Putnam County, James A. Braddock's real estate holdings were reported as worth $2,000, and his personal property was valued at $1,500. On the 1868 Putnam County Tax Roll, Braddock was assessed for 120 acres of land, bonds or notes due him, four "horses, mules, or asses," 1,025 head of cattle and hogs, three carriages, and household furniture, along with watches, musical instruments or jewelry worth $10. His "convention tax" to support that year's state constitutional revision convention was $14.41, regular state tax $36.02, and county tax $18.06, substantial sums for those days and an indication of personal wealth.

When the fight took place, James Aldrich Braddock was away from home, fishing on Haw Creek. He did not return until the following day to learn of the fight and the death of his first born son.

JOHN HARDING BRADDOCK was born in Nassau County, Florida, about l842. He married Ozilla Sanders about 1860, and some Braddock family records indicate that John Braddock died without issue. The 1870 U.S. Population Census for Putnam County, however, lists four children (" Alvalina" age 9; Anna, 6; Mariah, 4: and John, 2) living with his widow, shown as "O. Braddock" roughly eighteen months after John's death. The 1880 census also enumerates Ozilla—with her second husband, James Padgctt--and daughters "Eveline" Braddock, age 18; and Anna Braddock, age 15, along with three younger Padgett children, the oldest of whom is ten. Mariah and John Braddock are not with the family; they may have died during the intervening years.

John was taxed for eighty acres of land in 1868. On December 8, seven weeks before he was killed, John Braddock had bought from John G. Long of St. Augustine a forty-acre tract. Long acknowledged the sale before a Justice of the peace just four days before Braddock's death. Earlier in 1868, Braddock had acquired forty acres from the State of Florida for fifty cents an acre. On the 1868 county tax roll he was assessed for one horse, 160 head of cattle and hogs, household furniture, and jewelry. In 1869 his estate listed for tax purposes 80 acres, two horses and 84 cattle/hogs, furniture, and jewelry.

WILLIAM CHRISTOPHER BRADDOCK, second son of James Aldrich, was born about 1844 in Nassau County. He married, probably after 1860 and before mid-1863, Malvina Victorina Bright, who was to bear him twelve children. He reportedly died in Lakeland, Florida, about 1920. In the 1868 tax roll, Bill Braddock reported money let out at interest, bonds held and notes due him, three horses, mules or asses, 105 head of cattle and hogs, a carriage, and household furniture. He appears not to have owned land in Putnam County until he homesteaded and received title to the land in the mid-1870s (Certificate No. 545). In 1869 he reported only two horses, a new increase of five cattle and hogs, and household furnishings. He had also acquired some jewelry, musical instruments, or some such in the interim.

JOSEPH DECATUR BRADDOCK, third son of the family, was born 19 April 1846 near the St. Mary's River in Nassau County, and died in Crescent City on 16 March 1935. He served about three years as an underage volunteer during the Civil War, and on 10 August 1865 he married Louisa J. Bright, who bore him nine children before her death in 1889 at the age of forty-six. He married Ida K. Baker three years later, and Minnie C. Roberson in 1916. Joseph Braddock's obituary appeared in the Crescent City Journal of March 22, 1935.

WILLIAM TURNER, the oldest brother and apparent leader of the Turner clan in Putnam County, was born in Georgia (perhaps in Appling County) in the 1820s (probably about 1822-24). He reportedly married Mary Ivey in 1850, but she died in 1860—before the family came to Putnam County—leaving him with at least four boys, three of whom (Christopher Columbus, born 1850; William Knight, 1852- 1891; and Albert, 1857-1923, were present when their father was fatally wounded. Another son (Stephen H., 10 January 1853-6 January 1923) had left the scene just before the shooting started.

Soon after Bill Turner and his boys arrived in Putnam County, he married Ann Eliza Higginbotham (1830-1894), widow of Joseph, who had died some time before October of 1866. Bill and Ann Eliza then had two children, one of whom, Matthew Alan, may have been born after Bill's death.

By 1868, Bill Turner, whose second wife had land of her own when he married her, was assessed for 620 acres worth $2,000. Money was due him from bonds or loans, and he reported two horses, 175 head of stock and a carriage. His estate was assessed essentially the same in 1869. Little more has been found about William Turner.

JAMES R. TURNER, the only Turner combatant to survive the gunfight, was born in Appling County, Georgia, about 1830. According to one account, he and a twin brother were the oldest of a family of eight sons and seven daughters born to Jesse Turner of Appling County. Another source says there were seventeen children, not fifteen.

James married Sarah Ann Rozar Ellis, probably in 1851, and lived in Hamilton County, Florida, for a number of years before bringing his wife and four children to Putnam County on 9 January 1868, when they located in the woods near Crescent City, "bending their efforts toward farming, citrus fruit growing. stock raising and nursery gardening." After a stint as a pioneer orange grower, James apparently returned to Georgia, where he reportedly "led the life of a frontiersman and farmer" until his death sometime before 1913. His wife seems to have remained in Putnam County until her death in 1901

In 1868, James Turner was assessed for thirty-head of cattle, a carriage, and household: furnishings. The following year all was the same, except that the assessed value of the' carriage had dropped $5.

DAVID TURNER, the first to fall in the fracas, left little record in Putnam County. No land or tax records pertaining to him have been found. He came to Putnam County after the 1860 Census and was killed before the 1870 census, and no marriage record has come down to us. Two Turner children (Charles, age 11, and Thomas, age 9) appear in James's household with his and William's children in the 1870 census, but then drop out of sight. One family source believes that a relative may have come to Putnam County, perhaps from Philadelphia, to check on the Turner children some time after' the fight. It may be that Charles and Thomas went north to maternal grandparents or other' relatives. In any case, aside from the court proceedings by his death, it would seem as if David Turner had simply never lived.

Now let us return to our story. On the' afternoon of Friday, 29 January 1869, James and David Turner were "getting out sills" for a house on a piece of land near Dunn's (now Crescent) Lake in southeastern Putnam County. A public road of some years' standing cut: through the property, making a jog to go around' a pond on its way south from Horse Landing on the St. Johns River to the community of Volusia in the adjacent county by that name. A few hundred yards toward the northern or Horse Landing end of the road from the field where the Turners were laboring that chilly afternoon were the residence and the field of one Wesley P. Byrd.

Earlier in the day Wesley P. Byrd had received a visitor, one Joseph M Weston, who upon his arrival went out to the field where Byrd was plowing. Soon, Joe and Bill Braddock approached on horseback, accompanied by their brother John, who was on foot, leading his horse. According to Weston, "they called out to Byrd and said come out and witness what was done or should be done—that the Turners had their witnesses and they (the Braddocks) wanted witnesses" too.

Byrd and Weston joined the Braddocks and walked with them about two hundred yards to talk to the Turners. The Braddocks then returned toward Byrd's field to leave their horses. At about this time, Weston saw William Turner, who reportedly had heard the discussion at his home half a mile distant, walking toward his brothers, rifle in hand. Then the three Turners approached the three Braddocks. David Turner was in the lead, according to Weston's account, and cursing the Braddocks. He stopped within fifteen feet of the Braddock brothers, while Bill and Jim were some feet behind him.

Meanwhile, a party of Turner children and stepchildren in company with one James R. Watson, who had been helping Bill Turner build a fence when the ruckus began, was watching the confrontation from a vantage point opposite Weston and Byrd's.

From the moment at which the Braddocks and the Turners stood face to face, the story took much less time to happen than it does to tell.

The Braddocks were essentially in a straight line--William on the left, John in the center, and Joseph to the right. William Turner faced William Braddock. David Turner, in the center, faced John Braddock at a distance of about ten feet; James Turner was opposite Joseph Braddock. All except William Turner were armed with double-barreled shotguns. The following account, which is drawn from pretrial depositions and sworn testimony at the trials of William Braddock and James Turner, is as close to the occurrence as it is possible to come today, 118 years after the fight.

Face to face, "the Braddocks and the Turners cursed each other." Dave Turner laid down his gun, offered to throwaway his pocket knife, and expressed a willingness to fight any two of the Braddocks simultaneously if they would lay down their guns. He took about two steps toward John Braddock, cursing him all the while and, according to Wesley Byrd, daring the Braddocks to shoot.

Then Dave retrieved his gun, and just as he had it in his hands, John Braddock fired. David Turner went down. James Turner immediately shot John Braddock from his right, and as Braddock was falling, William Turner unlimbered his rifle and shot John again, this time from his left.

Bill Turner was lowering his gun when Bill Braddock shot him in the stomach and abdomen at close range. Turner dropped his empty rifle and walked away, mortally wounded. At about the same instant, Joseph Braddock fired at James Turner, who returned fire.

Meanwhile, David Turner had regained his feet and was trying to shoot Bill Braddock from the opposite side of a tree; he fired without immediately noticeable effect, through he may have put a shot into Bill's arm and hit Joe by accident at the same time. Joe Braddock and Jim Turner exchanged fire once again and Turner, wounded, left the field.

David Turner fired the last shot from where he had fallen, according to the testimony, and still had not given up when William Braddock struck him with his gun, just as the Dowda account had reported.

When the smoke had cleared Dave Turner lay dead on the field. The wound inflicted by John Braddock, in the opinion of the witnesses, would have proved fatal in any case—but he had been hurried into eternity by Bill Braddock's gun-stock. James Watson swore that the head of David Turner .had been beaten to pieces; the skull was broken."

Like William Turner John Braddock had been "wounded in his bowels," a certain death sentence in those days." Fourteen shot about the size of low-mould buckshot had penetrated his right side" and two of them had exited from the left. While Braddock was in the act of falling, Bill Turner's rifle ball had entered near his right shoulder, about four inches below his collar and had not exited. John Braddock "died in about 15 or 20 minutes." Even so, he may have been luckier than William Turner.

The tragic plight of Bill Turner, who lived until the following day, was graphically depicted by the testimony of his friend Joseph Chairs: "He was in a dying condition when I saw him. He was perfectly conscious of his condition. At times he was in great pain, but not sufficient pain to make him unconscious. He thought he would die soon.

"Mr. Turner raised his clothes and showed me where he was shot. I then asked him who shot him. He said they shot him. I then asked him who he meant by they. Mr. Turner said Mr. William Braddock shot him about the time he (William Turner) shot Mr. John Braddock. He then asked me if I knew where his ball hit John Braddock. He asked me then if I knew where his brother's shot—Dave Turner's—hit John Braddock.

"I think the rest of his conversation was of a private character, concerning his family. ...

"Mr. Turner died about 30 minutes after he made his statement to me. I was with him when he died. I of my own knowledge saw that he was dead and helped to bury him...."

David Turner, William Turner, and John Braddock were dead. Joe Braddock was badly wounded; Bill Braddock had been hit in the arm and James Turner once in the arm, once in the leg, and three times in the body. The great Braddock- Turner feud was over.

James Turner and the surviving Braddock brothers came face to face again some twenty-six years after the fight, but an eyewitness to the encounter reported that they neither spoke to each other nor exhibited "any feeling of resentment or anger."

Well over a hundred and ten winters have come and gone since the earth received all that was mortal of William Turner, David Turner, and John Harding Braddock. Nevertheless, that one bloody incident still dominates the annals of Putnam County more than any single occurrence before or since.

According to Joseph Weston, the shooting lasted only "about one minute or a minute and a half," but the events of that January afternoon in 1869 are still discussed in some Quarters as if they took place last week. One descendant, a few years ago, even expressed a reluctance to talk about the affair for fear of reviving "bad feeling" between the families.

Who was really at fault? No one knows today. If anyone ever really knew, no one can ever be certain again. But that doesn't really matter much any more. Genealogical and' historical resources and research techniques may have come a long way in twelve decades, but what matters more—as our newspapers remind us daily—is that we humans have not really learned very much since that bloody afternoon of January 29, 1869.

JJoseph "Joe" Decatur Braddock, survivor of the Braddock/Turner shootout. JDBRAD.JPG (28033 bytes)

James Aldridge's grandson Paul Braddock became mayor of Auburndale, Florida, and Paul's son became Country Western Hall of Fame songwriter Bobby Braddock.

James Aldridge Braddock died June 25, 1883 in Denver, Putnam County, Florida at the age of 67. He left the following will:

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December 24, 1840
Spicer Christopher Braddock, son of John David and Martha Christopher Braddock, married Anna Sever Sapp.

Mary Hamilton Houston, daughter of John Carroll II and Mary Greenwood Braddock Houston, was born.

Mary Jane, daughter of Alexander Jackson and Isabella Higginbotham Braddock, was born.

Stephen D. Kirkland was born. He later married Martha Christopher Braddock, daughter of William Montieth and Jane Christopher Braddock.

William, son of James and Elizabeth Greenwood Braddock Bessant, was born.

Jane Ann, daughter of Henry E. and Esther Ann Berrie Holland, was born.

October 19, 1841
John David, son of John Cutler and Lucy Cook Braddock, died

December 18, 1841
William Berrie, husband of Ann Braddock, died.

Spicer, son of Hester Ann Braddock and Nathaniel Wilds III, was born. He later married Sarah Louisa, last name unknown, and died of wounds received in the Civil War.

John Harding, son of James Aldridge and Winnifred Haddock Braddock, was born. He later married Ozilla Sanders.

John M. was born. He later married Martha Christopher Wilds, daughter of Nathaniel III and Hester Ann Braddock Wilds. He died at the age of 21 of wounds received in 1863 in the Civil War.

Spicer, son of Nathaniel III and Hester Ann Braddock Wilds, was born. He later married Sarah Louisa, last name unknown. He died at the age of 22 of wounds received in 1864 in the Civil War.

April 3, 1842
John Carroll Houston IV, son of John Carroll Houston III and Mary Virginia Hall, was born at Mayport. He later married Susan Elizabeth Stewart. In a an unusual stroke of good fortune, a microfilm of the 1783 Spanish Florida census (reel # 1014120) I ordered through the local Family History Center also had on it a several page typescript titled Pioneer Days on the Indian River - " The life of Captain John Houston and His Family." John Carroll IV is the Captain Houston. The writer was his daughter, Annie Laura Houston Braddock.  Some of the many interesting things she tells that are appropriate to repeat here are:

"Captain John's grandfather, John Houston, came to Talbot Island, near the mouth of the St. John's River. He was the uncle of General Sam Houston of Texas fame. Originally, the two Houston brothers came from North Carolina. John Houston came to Florida and General Sam Houston's father went to Tennessee.

"My father . . . . joined the Indian War when he was sixteen years old. . . . .When father returned from the war, he and his father travelled down the old Capron Trail which went from New Smyrna to Ft. Pierce. They reached Eau Gallie in the last part of November, 1859, being the first settlers.

". . . they sometimes ran out of salt at which times grandfather  went over to the ocean with large boilers, boiled the salt water down, brought it home and place it in large vats to dry out.

"Father would drive his ox team to Lake Winder and use a boat to Sanford or Jacksonville as necessary, to secure clothing, staple supplies, groceries, etc.

"Father brought the first cattle ever brought south of New Smyrna on the East Coast . . .

". . . in the freeze of 1886, most of the fish in the river froze. The orange groves were also frozen and badly damaged. My brother-on-law, Preston McMillan, said he would pick fish up by the wheelbarrow loads on the shore and put them around his orange trees.

My father went through many hardships on this river [Indian River] when he ran his sailboat. No matter how cold or wet the weather, he would always sail his boat. I have also been on his boat at dead calm and he would have to get near the shore and then pole his boat along. Among others to carry the mail on sailboats on the river was mother's youngest brother, Charles Stewart, and my father's two brothers, Fred and Carroll Houston."

Pat Braddock Youngs, granddaughter of Annie Laura Houston Braddock, has a full transcript of her grandmother's story on her web page: PIONEER DAYS ON THE INDIAN RIVER.

May 7, 1842
Aldridge, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Virginia, last name unknown.

Johnson Houston, son of John Carroll II and Mary Greenwood Braddock Houston, was born.

Robert Wilson Braddock, son of William Montieth and Jane Christopher Braddock, was born. He died at the age of 19 in 1863, apparently in the Civil War.

Martha Ann, daughter of Alexander Jackson Braddock and Isabella Higginbotham, was born.

Martha, daughter of Thomas B. and Mary Lucretia Lee Higginbotham, was born. She later married Jackson G. Nelson.

Mary, daughter of James and Ann B. Braddock Wilson, was born.

April 5, 1843
Sarah Ann, daughter of Alexander Jackson and Isabella Higginbotham Braddock, was born. She later married Abraham H. IV, son of Abraham H. III and Kizinah King Colson.

June 2, 1843
Anna Mary, daughter of Spicer Christopher Braddock and Anna Sever Sapp, was born. She later married Hezekiah Tucker.

November 11, 1843
Lousia Jane Bright was born. She later married Joseph Decatur Braddock, son of James Aldridge and Winnifred Haddock Braddock.

Martha Christopher Braddock, daughter of William Montieth and Jane Christopher Braddock, was born. She later married Stephen D. Kirkland.

William Christopher Braddock, son of James Aldridge and Winnifred Haddock Braddock, was born. He later married Melvina Victoria Bright.

James Woody, son of James Braddock Edwards and Mary Kempes Turnbull, was born. He later married Catherine Ann Morriss.

January 22, 1844
Henry Edward, son of John Spicer Braddock and Nancy Sarah Higginbotham, was born. He later married Elmira Florence Wright.

November 21, 1844
Hutto Loudner Braddock, son of William and Charlotte Christopher Braddock, married Louisa Higginbotham.

December 6, 1844
Henry Clay Pickett, son of John Seymour Pickett III and Amanda Emma Flinn, was born. He later married Emily DeNora, daughter of John Spicer Braddock II and Mary Lee Higginbotham.

Mary Braddock Edwards, wife of John Edwards, died.

Louise Harvey Braddock, daughter of William Monteith and Jane Christopher Braddock, was born. She later married David Braddock Houston, son of John Carroll and Mary Greenwood Braddock Houston.

Elizabeth Edwards Christopher, wife of John Bluet Christopher and daughter of John and Mary Braddock Edwards, died at the age of 57.

Wesley Curtis, son of Nathaniel III and Hester Ann Braddock Wilds, was born. He later married Mary Recca Higginbotham, daughter of Thomas William and Majorie Murrhee Higginbotham.

William James, son of James and Ann B. Braddock Wilson, was born.

Selina M., daughter of Henry E. and Esther Ann Berrie Holland, was born.


fflag.bmp (42462 bytes) March 3, 1845
Florida was admitted into the Union as the 27th state.
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