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Florida Political Papers: Home

Florida Political Papers: An Introduction

The Florida Political Papers Collection consists of manuscript collections of Florida politicians who held state and national political office during the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries as well as Florida politicians who ran, successfully or unsuccessfully, for state or national political office during those decades. In addition, the collection contains papers of individual non-office holders who were involved in local, state, and national political causes and campaigns. For example, the May Mann Jennings Papers, which document her involvement in the fight for women’s suffrage and environmental conservation. Also included are records of statewide political organizations such as the League of Women Voters of Florida and Florida legislative records. The later includes the Johns Committee Collection, which contains records from the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, the committee that investigated members and activities of civil rights organizations and gay and lesbian teachers and professors in Florida public schools and state universities.

The Florida Political Papers includes collections spanning the decades from 1800 to 2020 and beyond, from the David Levy Yulee Papers (territorial legislator, territorial delegate to Congress, and US Senator) to the Bill Nelson Political Papers (state legislator, state treasurer, member of Congress, and US Senator, 2001–2019). Expansive in scope, the papers provide correspondence (official and personal), reports, speeches, press information, official documents, and audiovisual material concerning many of the most consequential subjects and episodes in Florida and the nation’s history, including slavery, Indian wars, civil war, world wars, economic development and depression, presidential elections, environmental conservation, the Cold War, and space exploration. The papers also contain a wealth of documentation on areas that reflect Florida’s diverse political heritage, including civil rights for African Americans, voting and equal rights for women, Latinx immigration, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.

Governor Lawton Chiles meeting with African American Florida legislators (Photo credit

Florida Political Papers: The Collections

While the debate goes on in the Florida Senate, Senator Bob Graham of Miami examines his filed bills during the 1972 regular session of the Florida Legislature (Photo credit

University of Florida Digital Collections and Florida Political Papers

Other Florida Repositories Holding Florida Political Collections

State Archives manager Gerard Clark describes records on display at the State Archives of Florida to Governor Charlie Crist, Tallahassee (Photo credit

Repositories Outside of Florida Holding Florida Political Papers

Florida Political History Resources

The Florida Handbook, 1965-1966 (Photo credit FIU Law Collections)


National Resources for Florida Political History Research

Florida Political History Sites

Florida State Capitol, Tallahassee (Photo credit

Florida Political History Bibliography: Biographies

Five former governors posing with Governor Jeb Bush at the Florida Governors Forum, Tallahassee (Photo credit

    Adams, John. Warrior at Heart: Governor John Milton, King Cotton, and Rebel Florida, 1860–1865. Victoria, BC: Friesen Press, 2015.

    Brown, Canter Jr. Ossian Bingley Hart: Florida’s Loyalist Republican Governor. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1997.

    Buccellato, Robert. Finding Dan McCarty. CreateSpace, 2016.

    _______. Florida Governors: Lasting Legacies. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2016.

    Coggin, John Dos Passos. Walkin’ Lawton. Cocoa: Florida Historical Society Press, 2012.

    Corrigan, Matthew T. Conservative Hurricane: How Jeb Bush Remade Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014.

    Crew, Robert E. Jeb Bush: Aggressive Conservatism in Florida. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2010.

    Crispell, Brian Lewis. Testing the Limits: George Armistead Smathers and Cold War America. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1999.

    Dáte, S. V. Quiet Passion: A Biography of Senator Bob Graham. New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2004.

    Dáte, S. V. Jeb: America’s Next Bush. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2007

    Denham, James M. Florida Founder William P. DuVal: Frontier Bon Vivant. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2015.

    Doherty, Herbert J. Jr. Richard Keith Call: Southern Unionist. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1961.

    Drane, A. Hank. Hank Drane’s Historic Governors: Their Impact on the Sunshine State. Ocala, FL: A. H. Drane, 1994.

    Durkin, Joseph T. Confederate Navy Chief: Stephen R. Mallory. 1954. Reprint. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1987. Originally published as Stephen R. Mallory.

    Dyckman, Martin A. Floridian of His Century: The Courage of Governor LeRoy Collins. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.

    ______. Reubin O’D. Askew and the Golden Age of Florida Politics. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.

    Fernández, Mayra. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lawmaker (Beginning Biographies). Cleveland: Modern Curriculum Press, 1994.

    Flynt, Wayne. Cracker Messiah: Governor Sidney J. Catts of Florida. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977.

    ______. Duncan Upshaw Fletcher: Dixie’s Reluctant Progressive. Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1971.

    Foglesong, Richard E. Immigrant Prince: Mel Martinez and the American Dream. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2011.

    Harvey, Gordon E. The Politics of Trust: Reubin Askew and Florida in the 1970s. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015.

    Hühner, Leon. "David L. Yulee, Florida's First Senator.'' In Jews in the South, edited by Leonard Dinnerstein and Mary Dale Palsson, pp. 52-74. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973.

    Kallina, Edmund F. Claude Kirk and the Politics of Confrontation. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1993.

    Klingman, Peter D. Josiah Walls, Florida's Black Congressman of Reconstruction. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1976.

    Mormino, Gary R. Millard Fillmore Caldwell: Governing on the Wrong Side of History. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.

    Murphree, R. Boyd and Robert A., Taylor. eds. The Governors of Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2020.

    Proctor, Samuel. Napoleon Bonaparte Broward: Florida’s Fighting Democrat. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1950.

    Riley, Sid. The Biography of John Wayne Mixson Florida’s 39th Governor. Cocoa: Florida Historical Society Press, 2021.

    Roig-Franzia, Manuel. The Rise of Marco Rubio. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.

    Underwood, Rodman L. Stephen Russell Mallory: A Biography of the Confederate Navy Secretary and United States Senator. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2005.

    Wagy, Tom. Governor LeRoy Collins of Florida: Spokesman of the New South. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1985.

    Wickman, Patricia R. The Uncommon Man: George Smathers of Florida. Patricia R. Wickman, 1994.

Florida Political History Bibliography: Nonfiction Books, Including Memoirs, by Florida Politicians

Bennett, Charles E. "Congressional Ethics." In Congress and Conscience, edited by John B. Anderson, pp. 97-126. New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1970.

    _____. Florida's "French" Revolution, 1793-1795. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1981.

    Bennett, Charles E., and Donald R. Lennon. A Quest for Glory: Major General Robert Howe and the American Revolution. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

    Bush, Jeb. Reply All: A Governor’s Story 1999–2007. Create Space, 2015.

    Bush, Jeb and Clint Bolick. Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. New York: Threshold Editions, 2013.

    Bush, Jeb and Brian Yablonski. Profiles in Character. Miami: Foundation for Florida’s Future, 1995.

    Carroll, Jennifer. When You Get There: An Autobiography. Advantage Media Group, 2014.

    Crist, Charlie and Ellis Henican. The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat. New York: Dutton, 2014.

    DeSantis, Ron. Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama. High Pitched Ham Publishing, 2011.

    _______, The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival. Broadside Books, 2023.

    Frey, Lou Jr., and Michael T. Hayes, eds. Inside the House: Former Members Reveal How Congress Really Works. Lanham, MD.: University Press of America, 2001.

    Frey, Lou Jr. and Aubrey Jewett, eds. Political Rules of the Road: Representatives, Senators, and Presidents Share their Rules for Success in Congress, Politics, and Life. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2009.

    Graham, Bob. Workdays: Finding Florida on the Job. Edited by Lawrence Mahoney. Miami: Banyan Books, 1978.

    Graham, Bob and Chris Hand. America, The Owner's Manual: Making Government Work for You. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2009.

    Graham, Bob and Jeff Nussbaum. Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror. New York: Random House, 2004.

    Harris, Katherine. Center of the Storm: Practicing Principled Leadership in Times of Crisis. Nashville, TN.: WND Books, 2002.

    Hawkins, Paula. Children at Risk: My Fight Against Child Abuse: A Personal Story and a Public Plea. Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986.

    Hendricks, Joseph E. Little Joe: My Memories. Kissimmee, Fla.: Cody Publications, Inc., 1966.

    Hutto, Earl. Captain Supreme Goes to Washington. Pensacola, FL: Enhutt Publishers, 1996.

    Karl, Frederick B. The 57 Club: My Four Decades in Florida Politics. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010.

    Lehman, William. Mr. Chairman: The Journal of a Congressional Appropriator. Lanham: University Press of America, 2000.

    Mack, Connie. Citizen Mack: Politics, an Honorable Calling. Dallas, TX: Brown Books Publishing Group, 2020

    MacKay, Buddy and Rick Edmunds. How Florida Happened. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010.

    Martinez, Mel with Ed Breslin. A Sense of Belonging: From Castro's Cuba to the U.S. Senate, One Man's Pursuit of the American Dream. New York: Crown Forum, 2008.

    McKnight, Robert W. The Golden Years: The Florida Legislature, '70s and '80s Reflections on Campaigns and Public Service. Tallahassee, FL: Sentry Press, 2007.

    Nelson, Bill and Jamie Buckingham. Mission: An American Congressman’s Voyage to Space. San Diego, CA, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.

    Olschner, Barbara F. The Reluctant Republican: My Fight for the Moderate Majority. Gainesville: University Press of Florida,

    Pepper, Claude with Hays Gorey. Pepper: Eyewitness to a Century. San Diego, CA, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987.

    Peterson, Pete, ed. They Couldn't Have Won the War Without Us! Galena: Lead Mine Press, 1998.

    Radel, Trey. Democracy: A True Story of Weird Politics, Money, Madness, and Finger Food. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2017.

    Rubio, Marco. 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2006.

    ______. An American Son: A Memoir. New York: Sentinel, 2012.

    ______. American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone. New York: Sentinel, 2015.

    Scarborough, Joe. Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day: The Real Deal on How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and Other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004.

    ———. The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2009.

    ———. The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics-and Can Again. New York: Random House, 2013.

    ———. Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Western Civilization. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2020

    ———. This Ends Badly: How Donald Trump Conned America. New York: Hachette Books, 2020.

    Schultz, Debbie Wasserman with Julie M. Fenster. For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation's Problems. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2013.

    Sikes, Bob. He-Coon, the Bob Sikes Story. Pensacola, FL: Perdido Bay Press, 1984.

    Slade, Tom, and Tom and Peggy Fryer. Slade!: A Lifetime of Tales and a Political Primer. No publisher information, 2016.

    Warren, Fuller. Eruptions of Eloquence or, The Speeches, Addresses and Otherwise of Fuller Warren. Jacksonville, FL: Mendelson Print Company, 1932.

    ______. The True Story of the Warren Administration. Tallahassee, FL: Allied Printing, 1951.

    Warren, Fuller and James T. Landon, eds. Speaking of Speaking: Articles, Addresses and Other Strident Stuff. St. Augustine, FL: Record Press, 1944

    Warren, Fuller and Allen C. Morris. How to Win in Politics. Tallahassee. FL” Peninsular Publishing Company, 1949.

    West, Allen, with Michele Hickford. Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin's Journey to Faith, Family, and Freedom. New York: Crown Forum, 2014.

    Wexler, Robert, with David Fisher. Fire-Breathing Liberal: How I Learned to Survive (and Thrive) in the Contact Sport of Congress. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2008.

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