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Joseph Marion Hernández

José Mariano Hernández (August 4, 1793 – June 8, 1857) was the first Hispanic American to serve in the United States Congress and was the first Delegate from the Florida Territory. He served from September 1822 to March 1823.

Hernández was born in St. Augustine, Florida when it was still a Spanish colony. After his Congressional service, he joined the United States Army and fought in the (Second) Seminole War in Florida, aiding in the capture of Osceola. He retired with the rank of Brigadier General.

He was an unsuccessful Whig candidate for the United States Senate in 1845. He later moved to Cuba and engaged as a planter in the District of Coliseo, near Matanzas and died at the family’s sugar estate, "Audaz", in the District of Coliseo, in Matanzas Province. He's interred in the del Junco family vault in Necropolis San Carlos Borromeo, Matanzas.

Hernandez-Capron Trail

In 1837, while with the U.S. Army, he was ordered to build a road between St. Augustine, Florida and Fort Capron, located near present day Fort Pierce, Florida, on the St. Lucie River. Hernandez cleared and blazed the route that, 12 years earlier, Col. James Gadsden had cleared along the Atlantic Coastal Ridge to the St. Lucie River. It passed from Fort Capron through Fort Vinton, Fort Drum, Fort Kissimmee, Fort Clinch, Fort Meade to Fort Brooke (Tampa).


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Preceded by
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida Territory's At-large congressional district

September 30, 1822 – March 3, 1823
Succeeded by
Richard Keith Call
Stub icon This article about a Florida politician is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.


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