|Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida|
|Appointed by||Edward A. Perry|
|Preceded by||George G. McWhorter|
|Succeeded by||R. Fenwick Taylor|
|Appointed by||William Marvin|
|Preceded by||William A. Forward|
|Succeeded by||Samuel J. Douglas|
|Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida|
|Preceded by||George G. McWhorter|
|Succeeded by||George P. Raney|
|Judge of the |
First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
|Appointed by||George Franklin Drew|
|Confederate States Senator|
February 18, 1862 – May 10, 1865
|Preceded by||Constituency established|
|Succeeded by||Constituency abolished|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's At-large district
March 4, 1853 – March 3, 1857
|Preceded by||Edward Cabell|
|Succeeded by||George Hawkins|
|Member of the Florida Senate|
|Secretary of State of Florida|
|Preceded by||James Tillinghast Archer|
|Succeeded by||Charles W. Downing, Jr.|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
|Attorney General of Florida|
July 14, 1846 – 1848
|Preceded by||Joseph Branch|
|Succeeded by||James T. Archer|
Augustus Emmet Maxwell
September 21, 1820
|Died||May 5, 1903 (aged 82)|
|Education||University of Virginia|
Augustus Emmet Maxwell (September 21, 1820 – May 5, 1903) was an American lawyer and politician. Maxwell served in a number of political positions in the State of Florida including as one of Florida's Senators to the Confederate States Congress, Florida Secretary of State, and as Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
Early life and education
Maxwell was born in Elberton, Georgia, on September 21, 1820. In 1822, his family moved to Greene County, Alabama, where Maxwell would attend private school. Maxwell studied law at the University of Virginia, graduating in 1841 and was admitted into the Alabama State Bar in 1843. After practicing private law in Eutaw, Alabama, he moved to Tallahassee, Florida in 1845.
Not long after arriving in Florida, Maxwell served as the second Florida Attorney General from 1846 until 1847. A Democrat, he was then served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1847 until 1848, when he resigned to become the second Florida Secretary of State, a position he held until 1849. Later in 1849, Maxwell was elected to the Florida Senate, but would soon resign a year later.
Maxwell, however, had developed a reputation in the state for his work on legislative committees, and, as a result, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Florida's at-large congressional district. He served in Congress for two terms, opting not to run for re-election in 1856. After his retirement from Congress, Maxwell moved to Pensacola, Florida, where he served as President of the Alabama and Florida Railroad.
American Civil War
On January 10, 1861, the State of Florida voted to secede from the Union, becoming the third state to do so, following South Carolina and Mississippi. Maxwell's exact stance on secession remains unknown to historians, but his support from pro-secessionist state legislators seems to suggest that he was a secessionist. In November 1861, the Florida Legislature elected him to the Confederate States Senate, a position he would serve in until the end of the American Civil War.
Maxwell was regarded as an exceptionally practical Senator. Realizing that Florida's main contributions to the war effort were food and manufactured goods, he opposed increased taxes and conscription, both of which he felt would hurt Florida's production value. He also asked Confederate President Jefferson Davis to warn people against planting anything other than food.
Despite his practicality, Maxwell was known for his corruptness. In the Senate, he was a staunch supporter of President Davis' power-grabs, and did not oppose his expanding executive authority. In addition, Maxwell was named chairman of a special committee tasked with investigating the Confederate Department of the Navy, which was run by his close friend Stephen R. Mallory. Following the disastrous Battle of New Orleans, the Confederate Navy was blamed due to the failure of the ironclads. Hoping to forestall this, Mallory persuaded the Congress to investigate the conduct of the department instead. With the investigative committee stacked with Mallory's friends, including Maxwell and Representative Ethelbert Barksdale, the committee found no evidence of neglect or ineptitude.
On May 10, 1865, Union Brigadier General Edward McCook entered Tallahassee without incident. Ten days later, the American flag was hoisted over the Florida State Capitol and McCook read the Emancipation Proclamation on its steps, officially marking the surrender of Florida.
After the war, Maxwell remained a very popular figure in Florida. In late 1865, Governor William Marvin, a former judge appointed provisionally by President Andrew Johnson, appointed Maxwell to the Florida Supreme Court. Maxwell would only serve in this position for a year before his resignation, however. Maxwell formed a law partnership with Mallory in 1866, and resumed his presidency over the Alabama and Florida Railroad.
When Reconstruction ended following the Compromise of 1877, the Democrats retook control of Florida. As a result, Maxwell was appointed to the First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida by Governor George Franklin Drew that year. He served in this position until 1885, when he resigned in order to attend the state's Constitutional Convention. Maxwell and the other delegates rewrote the Carpetbag Constitution of 1868 and instead replaced it with a new Constitution which heavily restricted the rights of African-Americans.
In 1887, Governor Edward A. Perry appointed Maxwell as the eighth Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. He would serve as Chief Justice until 1889, when George P. Raney was chosen to succeed him. Maxwell would remain on the Florida Supreme Court as an Associate Justice until 1891, when he officially stepped down.
Later life and death
Burial and legacy
Maxwell is buried in St. John's Cemetery in Pensacola. Maxwell's grandson, Emmett Wilson, later represented Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives. His father-in-law, Walker Anderson, and his son, Evelyn C. Maxwell, both also served on the Florida Supreme Court.
- "MAXWELL, Augustus Emmett - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- Warner, Ezra J.; Yearns, Wilfred Buck (1975). Biographical Register of the Confederate Congress. LSU Press. ISBN 9780807100929.
- "Justice Augustus Emmet Maxwell". Supreme Court. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- "Florida Seceded!". www.americaslibrary.gov. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- Underwood. Mallory. pp. 111–112.
- Editors, History com. "Confederate States of America". HISTORY. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- "Museum of Florida History - The War Ends: Surrender, Occupation, and Emancipation » Florida in the Civil War". www.museumoffloridahistory.com. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- "Chief Justices List". Supreme Court. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
- Underwood, Rodman L., Stephen Russell Mallory: a Biography of the Confederate Navy Secretary and United States Senator. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2005. ISBN 0-7864-2299-8
| Attorney General of Florida
James T. Archer
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's At-large congressional district
|Confederate States Senate|
|New constituency|| Confederate States Senator (Class 2) from Florida
Served alongside: James Baker